Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Review: The Mysterious Doll by Linda Weaver Clarke

The Mysterious Doll (Amelia Moore Detective Series Book 4) by Linda Weaver Clarke
ebook, 162 pages
Expected publication: January 31st 2015 by Smashwords Edition 
Source: I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review

Amelia Moore, the founder of the Moore Detective Agency, specializes in missing persons. Her cases have taken her to some very interesting places and put her in some dangerous situations, but she always solves the case. With the help of her partner, Rick Bonito, the business is flourishing.

Pauline Jones is confused why her boyfriend took off without telling a soul where he was going. But that isn’t all. Sam Whitaker is accused of stealing a valuable porcelain doll from the museum. His disappearance makes him look guilty, but Pauline is convinced he is innocent. When Amelia finds Sam, she realizes they need to prove his innocence. Where is the antique doll and who has taken it?

My Review:
I've read all of this author's mysteries and this one is my favorite! They're all good, but they just keep getting better and better. I think part of it is getting to know the characters more with each book and watching the way Amelia and her partner, Rick, work together.

Amelia is a smart woman--one who definitely follows her hunches and thinks outside of the box. Rick is there to bring new ideas and ways of thinking into the partnership in order to help solve the cases. Rick and Amelia are attracted to one another and their relationship slowly develops over each passing book. There was a lot more romance between them in this one and it was very sweet to watch them interact with one another. They didn't let that get in the way of their work.

The mystery element was great! It moved along at a good pace and just when I thought I had it figured out at the end, a few twists were thrown in and I was at a loss once again. What I especially love is there are always great characters, a good plot, an entertaining mystery, and it's all clean. These books don't have to be read in order, since each book is about a different case, but it really helps to do so in order to see the progression of both the working and personal relationship between Rick and Amelia.

Content: no language; mild violence; no religious elements; squeaky clean romance
(to see my new content rating system, click here)

About the Author:  
Linda Weaver Clarke 
Linda Weaver Clarke travels throughout the United States, teaching a “Family Legacy Workshop,” encouraging people to write their family history and autobiography. She is the author of the historical romance series, “A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho,” which includes: Melinda and the Wild West - a semi-finalist for the “Reviewers Choice Award 2007,” and a new mystery series, “The Adventures of John and Julia Evans.” 

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Rough Edges by Kimberly Krey $50 Book Blast

Rough EdgesRough Edges by Kimberly Krey $50 Book Blast
Divorced mother, Allie Emerson, never imagined she’d be raising two teenage girls on her own. Between parenting and paying the bills, she hasn’t even thought about meeting a man. That changes once she hears local carpenter, Braden Fox, is in need of a secretary. Back in high school, Allie had done all she could to deny the sparks burning between her and Braden; perhaps now they could explore the possibilities. Braden has heard all about what Terrance did to Allie and the girls, has been planning to stop by and see how she’s getting along, but Allie beats him to it by showing up at his shop in search of a job. Her single visit reignites the old flame Braden used to torch for her; trouble is, old feelings of resentment return as well. Allie did choose Terrance over him, after all. And as much as Braden wants Allie in his life, he’s not sure he can open his heart again. With this second chance at romance, will the bumps in their relationship be too much to get over, or will this carpenter learn to smooth out the past?
Praise for Rough Edges "Kimberly Krey never fails to truly amaze and captivate my heart ... She has done it yet again with this heart stopping journey of a second chance at a once in a lifetime love." ~Amber @ Wonderings of One Person

"An utterly charming romance!" ~Jamie Brook Thompson  

add to goodreads  
Their eyes met once more, and a shot of heat flooded his chest like a liquid bolt of lightening, forcing his pulse to rush. “I’ve missed you,” he blurted.
Her eyes widened in response, and Braden wondered if he’d been too bold. He’d hardly meant to speak it. It’d been more of a thought. A longing, really.
At last she nodded. “Yeah,” she said, her voice soft and low. “I … I’ve been wondering about you too. How you’ve been over the years. I kept asking Terrance who you were dating. If you were close to marrying anyone…” Her words drifted off for a breath, but then she spoke up again. “You admitted that you’d turned down our offers to come to dinner and catch up.” She studied him for a moment, a challenge presented in her gaze. “All those years. Why didn’t you just come?”
“You know why.” He’d nearly spoken over her, but he couldn’t help it.
“No, Braden, I don’t.”
He nodded adamantly, taking a step back and folding his arms. “Think about it, Allie.” ...
“I have thought about it –”
“Not nearly enough, apparently,” he snapped.
“I’ve thought about it all these years. It hurt my feelings. I thought we were friends.”
... Braden bit back his words and broke into a pace.
“Braden,” she said, “I wanted you to stay a part of our lives. You were the best influence Terrance had and you just stopped being his friend? Why would you do that?”
Braden froze in place. “I was a better friend to him than you’ll ever know.” Or possibly the worst, he realized. He strode back, his gaze set on her. “And I didn’t want to be your friend, Allie. I wanted more than that and you know it.”
Her face fell flat. Her lips parted. But no words came. She cleared her throat, casting her eyes to the floor.
“Yeah,” he said. “Don’t pretend that you don’t know. I made it clear. And as soon as I did you started setting me up with every friend you had. Including Kayla.”
“That’s not…” Her face flushed red. Her lips tightened. “That’s not how it went, Braden.” The silence that followed was painful. The tension wedged in each passing second pressed at Braden’s last nerve.
“Well,” he said, “this has been a nice trip down memory lane, but if you don’t mind I’ve got to get back to work. Come on out when you’re ready.” He turned away from her in one quick jerk and walked out of the kitchen, one long stride after the next.

Kimberly Krey Author Kimberly Krey
Writing Romance That's Clean Without Losing the Steam! I'm a reader of good, clean romance, a lover of family time and Diet Coke, and the ultimate hater of laundry. I'm not patient enough to enjoy yoga, or tall enough to be great at basketball, but I do love to run - anywhere but on a treadmill. I love the sound of a rainstorm when I have no place to go, the feel of Soft Lips chap Stick on my lips, and the first peek of blue water as we round the mountains toward our favorite getaway in Bear Lake.


$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 2/18/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 26, 2015

Devon's Choice by Catherine Bennett $50 Book Blast

devon's choiceDevon's Choice by Catherine Bennett $50 Book Blast
Life holds no surprises for Devon Murphy. Her life consists of keeping tabs on her aging Irish father, working part time at a coffee shop, and building her online graphics design business. Devon’s only tricky situation is a shallow relationship with the pampered and affluent Michael Turner, who sees her as just another woman to conquer. Following his father’s death, Brandon’s only goal is to expand the family business and live life on his own terms. That is, until he walks into the coffee shop one snowy evening and meets the enchanting, red-haired barista behind the counter. But can Devon and Brandon’s attraction for each other be strong enough to help erase their deepest disappointments and renew their faith in God? 

 Excerpt: Brandon looked over at her neutral expression. Whatever kind of relationship she had with Michael Turner didn’t seem to be making her happy. At that moment, all he wanted to do was to make her forget all about the jerk.

As if sensing him watching her, Devon turned her head enough to make eye contact with him. The faint, milky glow from the streetlight showed enough of her features for him to see a soft blush warm her cheeks. Under her dark lashes, he watched her sea green eyes glint invitingly as her soft lips turned up at the corners. In that moment, his resolve to keep the date on a friendly level came crashing down.

Catherine BennettAuthor Catherine Bennett
 I grew up in Ohio where I currently live with my husband and our two rescue Labradors. Some of my favorite things include reading, shopping, pepperoni pizza, Hershey bars and hanging out with my two grown sons. I also love dogs; so going to the dog park is cheap entertainment for my husband and I! Growing up an only child, I had many imaginary friends. I believe this - and a love of books - fueled my desire to write. It was many years later that my dream of becoming a published author came true. I’m grateful to God for always keeping a story in my heart and hope you are blessed and entertained by my book.

Coming Soon...

Devon's Choice (1)

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 2/15/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Review: Keeping Kate by Lauren Winder Farnsworth

Keeping Kate blog tour

Keeping Kate 

Keeping Kate by Lauren Winder Farnsworth
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 13th 2015 by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Orphan Kate Evans is determined to make a life for herself on a Utah ranch, taking care of a little girl named Addie. But when she meets her irritable employer, Kate is forced to confront the past she's been running from—and face a future she never dreamed possible. This latter-day twist on the classic Jane Eyre is a romantic and gripping read.

My Review:
I've read Jane Eyre several times and have absolutely loved it! The author did a great job in staying true to the original story, yet keeping it inventive, if that makes sense.  

Kate is an orphan, wanting to find somewhere to belong. She becomes a nanny for a sweet little girl, Addie, and finds her niche. Kate is strong because she has to be. Her parents death left her feeling unloved and unwanted, yet her faith never wavers. For as strong as she is, she sure is naive. There were times when I wanted to yell at her to wake up and take a look around. She missed some very obvious things.

Her employer, Addie's father, Tyler, is very gruff and grumpy at first and then he abruptly changed--I wish it would've been a smoother transition. Honestly, I had a hard time liking Tyler. He came off across as spoiled and selfish. Yes, he had good reasons to be grumpy and selfish, but that didn't change how I felt about him.

Tyler's best friend, Jonathan, suddenly decides he likes Kate and the pursuit  and love triangle is on! Things only get more complicated when someone returns from Tyler's past. I didn't like the way things resulted with that arrival.

The relationships were all complicated; the characters were flawed; the story was full of assumptions and misunderstandings, yet it worked. This version was harder for me to love. After much pondering on the reasons why, I decided that it's because this takes place in the here and now, which really personalizes it more, and I wouldn't be okay with these situations that seemed fine 200 years ago.

Content: no language or violence; heavy religious tones (LDS)--lots of details about faith, religion, etc.; mild romance (clean kissing). Clean.

About the Author:
Lauren Winder Farnsworth 
Lauren Winder Farnsworth was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is an avid reader, a chocolate enthusiast, a musicophile and a CPA—which, yes, is somewhat unusual for a novelist, but don’t let that freak you out. She obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from the University of Utah, went to work as an auditor of various financial statements, and then decided that writing down the stories swimming in her head sounded like a good creative outlet on the side. Having obtained two degrees from the same institution has made Lauren somewhat of a compound collegiate fan, and the only entity that holds more of her heart than the University of Utah is her husband, Bryan. Lauren currently lives in South Jordan, Utah, where she spends entirely too much time watching Gilmore Girls and looking for excuses not to clean. She loves to hear from her readers at www.laurenwinderfarnsworth.com.

Website  *  Amazon  *  Twitter  *  Goodreads 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Review: The Legend of Abuela Rose: Pirates and Legends by D. Ann Nadeau

The Legend of Abuela Rose: Pirates and Legends - Book One 

The Legend of Abuela Rose: Pirates and Legends - Book One by D. Ann Nadeua
Kindle Edition, 133 pages
Published November 16th 2014 by LJM Publishing, LLC 
Source: I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review
Heart broken and afraid, Gabriella – the beautiful granddaughter of Abuela Rose – stands atop a windy mountain wondering what will become of her and the life she has always known.

At the same time, floating on the ocean, surrounding that windy mountain, is a ship captained by a pirate with designs on both Gabriella and the seaside village she calls home.

When the two collide, Gabriella must fight to save all that is important to her even if it means disguising herself to face down the evil Captain Eduardo.

Written with purpose and heart, The Legend of Abuela Rose is the first in D. Ann Nadeau’s Pirates and Legends series. This first book tells the tale of a young girl, who after great loss, finds her life’s purpose. Young readers will enjoy the humor and adventure as they come to understand the importance of both kindness and service to others. 

My Review:
What a sweet little story! Although it's short, it really packs a punch. Gabriella is now alone, since her beloved grandmother has passed away. As she's standing on the mountain, mourning her loss, a pirate captain, Eduardo, spots her through his spyglass while at sea, and is determined to make her his wife.

There are many poignant moments, as well as many humorous ones. I love the growth and the circumstances surrounding that growth. The story progresses in a natural way; it never fee;s rushed--it feels complete.

Grizzly, one of Eduardo's crew members really stole my heart. He's often thought of as stupid, but he has such a big heart and is a great character, one who really understands what matters. He knows more than others think he does. The characters really are great and the descriptions made them easy to visualize. As in any great story, some are easy to love and others are easy to hate.

Content: Clean!


About the Author:
D. Ann NadeauD. Ann Nadeau is the best-selling author of So Many Miracles and The Legend of Abuela Rose, Pirates and Legends Book One.

The recipient of a four-year acting scholarship, D. Ann Nadeau attended Suffolk University where she won multiple awards including the Helen Hayes Award. As a performer, she has appeared in such productions as The Glass Menagerie (as Amanda) and Annie (as Mrs. Hannigan). In addition to stage, D. Ann has worked in movies including the award-winning short Retirement Rehearsal for The American Film Institute.

Believing humor is the best medicine, D. Ann studied at L.A.'s famed Groundlings School and performed stand-up at venues including The Improv, Catch a Rising Star and The Comedy Store.

Her favorite job has been that of wife, mom, grandma and teacher. D. Ann and her husband, Jerry, divide their time between Arizona and Ecuador and enjoy traveling.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Spotlight: Sandra Olson and Books

I love to support authors who write clean stories. It seems like I discover more and more every day and there are so many great books out there! I recently learned about an author who writes clean medical thrillers. They all sound so good. I hope I'm able to find some time to read some of them soon. I'm excited to introduce you to author Sandra Olson.

Sandra Olson 
I'm a retired Reg. Nurse who loves to write. I have 7 published novels; 3 medical thrillers( Rebirth & Murder by Proxy, Behind Prison Bars) 2 romantic thrillers (The Turquoise Cross & Connections) and 2 mysteries (Toxic Blood & Finding the Lost Ones). My books are available as soft cover and e-books through amazon.com.
I write about my own experiences as a nurse blending actual fact with fiction to create page-turning stories. I have worked in hospitals in Obstetrics & NICU, at a women's prison, at a dialysis clinic and have taught at a nursing school.
My stories do not contain graphic sex as I want my granddaughters to be able to read my works. They do contain mysteries, love stories, murders, mayhem and excitement.

My novel "Murder by Proxy" has been added to the recommended reading list for nursing classes at the Univ. of Arkansas. I'm flattered!

Here's more information about the books she's written:

Paperback, 198 pages
Published June 29th 2009 by Xlibris Corporation

What is the value of a human life?
In our modern hospitals, the ethics of choosing who will live and who will die becomes a daily drama between patient, family and doctor.
If someone you loved was dying, and you had it within your power to save them, would you?
Even if it meant someone innocent had to die to do it? That is the dilemma facing Dr. David Franklin.
Elizabeth Franklin is dying of the same rare genetic brain disorder that killed her mother. He has the money and medical knowledge to obtain the stem cell tissues needed for the experimental surgery that could save her.
But does he have the right, even if the embryos are created solely for that purpose?
When does the cost become too high?

The life of an innocent infant hangs in the balance, as one nurse struggles to prevent Dr. Franklin from killing her to save Elizabeth.
When experimentation becomes murder, how much are we willing to excuse?


Murder by ProxyMurder by Proxy 
Paperback, 272 pages
Published June 1st 2011 by Publish America 
Joyce Lattimer is thrilled when she becomes a nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at a large Boston hospital, but while caring for the sick infants she discovers someone deliberately causing their deaths. When the nurse responsible is uncovered the Hospital Board refuses to believe that one of their own would murder babies and they merely move Martha Ryan, an LPN, out of the NICU, but allow her to work in Pediatrics.
Sinister phone calls from a man cause Joyce to wonder if Martha knows the truth about what is happening. Who committed the murders, Martha or an accomplice or both? Why would anyone want to kill such defenseless innocents? As Joyce struggles to protect the hospital's smallest patients, she is threatened and her friends and family become targets. How can you stop something that no one else believes is happening?


The Turquoise CrossThe Turquoise Cross: A Romantic Thriller 
Paperback, first, 266 pages
Published May 2012 by createspace

When she returns to France for the reading of her grandfather’s will, Marcie Fields has no idea how it will change her life. The castle she inherits includes a family mystery. During World War II her grandmother’s disappearance crushed her grandfather and has haunted the family for over ten years. Are there still clues she can uncover?
And finding the man of her dreams, Pierre Jardin, starts of chain of events that not only threatens her life but that of her twin infants. As a vindictive woman from Pierre’s past plots to kill Marcie, her ultimate revenge is to sell their babies to a man running a black market adoption ring. While a brave nurse, Nadine L’Orange, tries desperately to protect the infants, time is running out.
Set in post-war France this novel of romance and intrigue gives the reader a vivid description of the landscape and culture of this wonderful country.


Paperback, first, 218 pages
Published January 2nd 2013 by createspace

Over twenty-two years have gone by since Reverend Forester sent men out to “hunt” for wives. Now with all the single young men in his snake-handling church congregation ready to start families, he organizes another hunt.
But times have changed in twenty years. The men aren’t prepared for the way the world outside their sheltered community does things. And when one man finds and falls in love with a spunky Mormon girl, his world is about to be turned up-side-down.
It has been five years since Elizabeth Franklin’s lifesaving brain surgery. The connections she shares with her adopted family fill the void in her life since the murder of her father. But the bond she shares with five year old Melinda Lakes borders on the mysterious.
Everyone has connections in their life; be it family, friends, religion, work or madness; it influences and directs our actions.

Behind Prison Bars: A Medical Thriller
Published October 25th 2013 by Createspace
Samantha Owens applied for the vacant position offered by the State of Texas prison officials for a Registered Nurse with obstetrical experience to work in their OB clinic. After her somewhat frightening orientation what she actually ended up working was the night shift position making her responsible for over 900 inmates in the women’s correctional facility. Facing the challenges of triaging pregnant inmates and those with multiple medical issues was daunting and often dangerous during the minimally staffed night shift.

For Amy Graham who was incarcerated for writing hot checks, the challenges ranged from simple embarrassment and loneliness to the horrors of being a relatively innocent victim of the dangerous women around her.

Although this novel is a work of fiction and the characters’ names have been changed to protect the author, Samantha Owens’ experiences are based on actual incidents that happened to the author when she worked as a nurse in a women’s correctional facility.

Toxic BloodToxic Blood: Introducing James Ford Detective 
Kindle Edition, 311 pages
Published May 5th 2014
High-tech medical dialysis equipment can keep a person alive even after they have reached complete kidney failure; but the process of hemodialysis is complicated. The machines must be set up properly, tested and monitored during the hours-long treatments by skilled staff or the treatment itself can become deadly.
Patricia Barker left Massachusetts and the job she loved working in obstetrics to escape the man who was stalking her. She accepts a nursing job in the Bentonville Dialysis Center but no idea how much skill it will require, let alone how dangerous it could be for the patients if she makes a mistake.
Brittany Combs, the clinic's Head Nurse, doesn’t know that the man who was stalking Pat has now decided she is a more appropriate love interest. Her life becomes a tangled and dangerous web as he draws her into his world by threatening her vulnerable patients if she doesn’t give in to his demands. His vicious plot turns deadly hanging her life in the balance.