Saturday, May 26, 2012

Outlaw Heroes Now Available in Paperback!

Front & Back View of Outlaw Heroes
Paperback Cover (by Tugboat Design)
Hi all,

I just wanted to let you all know that my kid's novel, OUTLAW HEROES is now available in paperback on Amazon. I had several requests to turn this book into a paperback version, so, here it is! It's only $6.99 and you can visit its Amazon page here.

OUTLAW HEROES used to be available in paperback but I had that taken down because of the price the publisher was asking and because it was filled with errors. Since then, I have made changes to it and my proofreader (Crystal from Crystal Clear Edits) found all the errors in the book and fixed those. My book cover designer (Deborah from Tugboat Design), who had created the front cover for my eBook, created the back cover design for the paperback too and made it ready to upload to CreateSpace. Deborah also added the page numbers to the book's manuscript for CreateSpace - something I had tried to do myself but didn't succeed! So now we have a great product ready to share with anyone who enjoys a fun, action/adventure story!

Be on the lookout in June at Goodreads - I plan to have a giveaway there for 4 copies of Outlaw Heroes.

If you are looking for a fun book to entertain your age 10 or up child or middle school grade child, try OUTLAW HEROES - adults seem to like it too!


Friday, May 25, 2012

Book Review: Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim

Hi all,

UPDATE: Now a Top 100 Bestseller on Amazon!

The most recent book I've read is Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim, and I have to say, I was captivated by this book. It is is wonderful piece of historical fiction. If you love historical fiction, especially the pre-Civil War era, this is the book for you. This is Ms. Ibrahim's debut novel. I was lucky enough to download it for free on Kindle awhile back, but this book is well worth paying for.

Old Cover.
Book Description:

In 1837, Lisbeth Wainwright is born to the white mistress of a sprawling Virginia plantation. Seconds later, she is delivered into the arms of her black wet nurse, Mattie. For a field hand like Mattie, her transfer to the big house is supposed to be considered an honor—except that the move tears Mattie away from her beloved grandfather and her infant son, Samuel. But Mattie is a slave, with no say in the matter, and so she devotes herself to her master’s daughter, though she longs to be raising her own child. Growing up under Mattie’s tender care, little Lisbeth adopts the woman’s deep-seated faith in God, her love of music and black-eyed peas, and the tradition of hunting for yellow crocuses in the early days of spring.

New Cover.
As the years pass, Lisbeth is drawn slowly back into her white parents’ world and begins to learn the ins and outs of life for a high-born young lady. Still she retains her connection to Mattie, befriending Samuel and drifting comfortably between the two worlds. She accepts her parents’ assertion that their slaves depend upon them for guidance and protection, yet that notion becomes more and more difficult to believe as she gains awareness of the inequality of life in the big house versus the slave quarters. When, on the threshold of her society wedding to debonair Edward Cunningham, Lisbeth bears witness to a shockingly brutal act, the final vestiges of her naiveté crumble around her. Just twenty-one years old, she is forced to choose between what is socially acceptable and what is right, a decision that will change her life forever.

This compelling historical novel chronicles young Lisbeth Wainwright’s coming-of-age during one of the most difficult chapters of American history. Lisbeth’s powerful bond with Mattie makes her loss of innocence in the face of society’s ugly secrets all the more heartbreaking, and yet it is the courage she learns from her stand in mother that enables Lisbeth to blaze a new path for herself. Yellow Crocus offers moving proof of how the greatest social change often blooms forth from small personal acts of love.

Buy on:

My 5 Star Review

Elizabeth (Lisbeth) Wainwright is born into privilege on a southern plantation in 1837 and is immediately given into the arms of a black slave wet nurse named Mattie. Mattie has been forced to leave her own small baby boy behind to take care of Lisbeth, and while she is resentful at first, she grows to love little Lisbeth as much as her own son. As Lisbeth grows, her relationship continues with Mattie and her eyes begin to open up to the unfairness of the wrongful institution of slavery. As an adult about to embark on the perfect marriage with a man of means, Lisbeth is witness to the harsh reality of slavery and instead takes a path that changes her life forever. 

I was completely enthralled by Yellow Crocus from the very first sentence and the story did not lose my interest to the very last page. This is a story about the lives of two very different women in an era when women, both black and white, were basically considered the property of men. You see the subtle influence that Mattie has on little Lisbeth in teaching her that all people are the equal with the same feelings, emotions and loyalties to friends and family. It is truly a beautifully written story like none I've read in a long time. Bravo to Ms. Ibrahim for writing such a fascinating, captivating work of fiction. Beware: you will not want to put this book down!



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Review: Stay Close, Novac! by Jan Romes

Hi all,

I learned about this book through my book cover designer (Tugboat Design) and decided to buy it and give it a try. Am I glad I did. This novel by Jan Romes was fun to read and would make the perfect vacation or beach read. And it's only $1.99 on Amazon! Here is a description of the book and my 5 Star review!

Book Description:

Jessi Novac leads the quiet life of a romance author until someone leaves a series of explicit notes under her windshield wipers and heavy breathing on her answering machine.

Until NYPD can track down the culprit who's trying to scare the bejesus out of her, Jessi hides out at her grandmother's beach house in Myrtle Beach where she hopes to get her bearings. Instead, her life takes an even bigger tilt toward crazy when she meets her clumsy neighbor. She's suspicious of Ian Alexander, and attracted to him at the same time. Their relationship becomes a calamity of errors until strange things start happening at the beach house. Jessi clings to Ian for protection, but soon discovers her heart may be in more danger than her life.

My 5 Star Review

Jessi Novac is a romance author whose life is recently in turmoil. She is being stalked, so she decides to hide out in her grandmother's Myrtle Beach home until the police can find out who is following her. She needs peace and quiet to finish writing her latest novel on time, but instead is sidetracked by the handsome handyman next door. Her life becomes a succession of adventures and misadventures as she realizes she's still being followed and as she also finds she is falling in love with her handyman hero.

Stay Close, Novac! is a fun, witty and face-paced romance novel. The author, Jan Romes, writes in a way that reminds me of Janet Evanovich with her charm and wit. Even though this is a short novel, the story is quite full and you walk away feeling like you have read a book twice its size. I really enjoyed reading Stay Close, Novac! and will definitely read more of Ms. Romes novels.

Currently Reading

I am currently reading Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim. I have hardly been able to put it down - it has been that good! I'll write a review when I'm done!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Book Reviews: The Big 5-OH! & On Deadly Tides

Hi all,

As I've said before, I love reading and ever since I purchased my Kindle months ago, I've been finding new and interesting authors to read. Here are two books I've read in the past few weeks that I'd like to share with you.

The Big 5-OH!
Sandra D. Bricker

I downloaded The Big 5-OH! when the book was having a free day. It sounded like a light, fun novel and I thought it might be fun to read. I wasn't disappointed. Before downloading it, I read some of the Amazon reviews and was surprised at the many negative reviews for this book. Instead of turning me away, however, the negative reviews made me want to read it and decide for myself. From what I could tell from the reviews, people either completely loved or hated this book. It thought that was an odd reaction for a light romance novel. Also, this is a Christian Romance, which caused some of the complaints from readers because it wasn't clearly stated as being one. That didn't make a difference to me though, it was still a good story. Here is a description of the book and my review.

Book Description:

Olivia Wallace has a birthday curse . . . or so she thinks. It was a broken heart on her 16th, a car accident on her 21st, pneumonia on her 30th, and a fall down a flight of stairs on her 35th. There were Ohio blizzards on her 38th, 39th, and 40th; and six days before her 45th, she lost the love of her life to a heart attack. Numbing grief stole that birthday and a couple more to follow and, on the morning of her 48th birthday, she received the call she’d dreaded ever since losing her mom so many years ago…she was diagnosed with stage-3 ovarian cancer. The doctors didn’t hold out a lot of hope, but Liv survived and maintained her faith. Months of surgeries and chemotherapy and radiation treatments followed.

But now, as her 50th birthday creeps up the icy Ohio path toward her, her hair has grown back, her energy level is up, and she is officially cancer free. It makes her nervous. After everything she’s gone through, Liv hates the idea of driving on icy roads and returning to work as an O.R. nurse in a local Cincinnati hospital.

Her best friend Hallie knows just the thing to break Liv out of the winter doldrums, while providing a safe haven of warmth, sunshine, and a time to regroup: a holiday in the Florida sunshine!

$9.99 on Amazon Kindle

My 5 Star Review:

Olivia Wallace has had a rough few years losing her husband and then fighting cancer. She's lost her joy for life. On top of that, she is turning 50 and is fearful of her "birthday curse" because many terrible things have happened on her birthday through the years. Her best friend insists she take a vacation to Florida so she can relax, get some sun and feel refreshed. When Olivia meets a handsome doctor in Florida, her outlook does get brighter and that's when the fun begins!

The Big Five-OH! is a fun romance novel and a lighthearted read. If you enjoy a good, clean romance novel, this is the book for you. This is also a Christian novel, so don't be surprised when a few prayers pop up. Overall, I enjoyed this book and think it would be the perfect book to take along on vacation or to the beach.

On Deadly Tides (A Wendover House Mystery Book 3)
Melanie Jackson

I've been reading this series by Melanie Jackson and have enjoyed it very much. Her mystery books are fun, light and entertaining, not deep, dark mysteries that are hard to solve. That's why I enjoy them, they are just fun to read and Ms. Jackson has a beautiful writing style that is just enjoyable to read. Oh - and I loved the book cover for this one! Be sure to read The Secret Staircase and Twelfth Night, book 1 & 2, before reading this one so you will understand what is going on. Here is a description of the book and my review.

Book Description:

A body has washed up on the beach and the past which was buried once is now a present danger to Tess MacKay and others in the islands. Questions about the corpse's identity lead to an exhumation of an empty grave and further queries about a supposed accidental death that might be a ritual murder. Unwilling to believe claims of a family bane that kills Wendovers every third generation, Tess sets out to find her missing great-grandfather-- dead or alive.

$3.99 on Amazon Kindle

My 5 Star Review:

Another winner by Melanie Jackson. On Deadly Tides continues the Wendover House Mystery series when a body washes up on the island and it looks surprisingly like Tess' great-grandfather who is already supposed to be dead and buried. From there, Tess begins to investigate and learns even more island secrets. This is a short novel and a quick read, but well worth it if you've been following this series. Ms. Jackson has a beautiful way with words that makes reading her novels a joy. Can't wait for Book 4!

What I'm Currently Reading

Currently I am reading a fun romance novel by Jan Romes called Stay Close, Novac! Can't wait to share the review with you on this one. I also love the cover on this book too - although I am biased - Tugboat Design, the designer who created my book covers, also created the one for this book. :)

Why Do I Give Every Book I Review 5 Stars?

In truth, I only write reviews for books I read, enjoy and feel deserves 5 stars. I read a lot of other books too, ones that I would rate much lower - like 2 or 3 stars - but I don't bother to write reviews for those books. Not all books are for all people - we all know that. If I read a book that doesn't interest me or that I don't like, it isn't always because the author isn't a good writer - it may be because I just don't like the story or I don't like their writing style. So, does that author deserve a low rating because I personally didn't like it? Of course not. So you will only see reviews of books that I did like. I'll leave it for other people to speak their mind about books they don't like. Personally, it isn't worth my time to write a negative review of someone's book.



Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Novel Like No Other - Leaving Serenity by Alle Wells

Hi all,

I just have to share with all of you the novel Leaving Serenity by Alle Wells. I just finished reading it and I have to say it is one of the BEST novels I have read in a long time. Ms Wells has such a beautiful style of writing and a knack for telling a story that makes you want to forget everything else and just read. This is one of the very few books that I literally could not put down. If you love a story with a strong woman lead who struggles to make a better life for herself, you will love this novel. Here is a description of the book and the review I posted on Amazon.

Leaving Serenity
Alle Wells

Book Description:

Nikky Harris is a modern-day ugly duckling who triumphs over life’s unseen obstacles to become an independent, successful, and stunning swan. Her story illustrates the power to succeed that lies within all of us. In 1996, Nikky is a rich and beautiful woman - a self-made woman. She returns to her hometown after a twenty-five year absence to face the demons she left behind. During her visit, she shares her story of growing up feeling unwanted and out of place in a small town in the 1960′s and early ’70′s. Nikky’s road to success is heartwarming, uplifting, and inspirational
My 5 Star Review:
Nikky Harris returns home to a family she felt never loved her and the memories of her youth that she ran away from twenty-five years ago. Now a successful business woman, Nikky still struggles with her past as she relives the moments that changed her life in the 1960s and '70s that made her decide to run away from her hometown Serenity.

The characters and their experiences and emotions jump out at you from the pages of Leaving Serenity by Alle Wells. The smoothness of Ms. Wells writing immediately draws you into this heartwarming, and sometimes heart wrenching, story as you follow the lead character's life through heartache and triumph. Ms. Wells beautiful writing style, storytelling ability and unforgettable characters reminds me of southern writer Anne Rivers Siddons. I loved this book and have definitely become of fan of Alle Wells.

Leaving Serenity is available in eBook format on Amazon.