June 11, 2017

Review: Nyxia by Scott Reintgen



Product Description:
Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.
 
Forever.
 
Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden—a planet that Babel has kept hidden—where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.
 
But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.

My Thoughts:
YA novels for me lately have been very hit or miss. It seems like once the genre exploded authors were just haphazardly slapping stories together that made no sense or were filled with inappropriate content. Fortunately this isn't the case with Nyxia. The story is well thought out and builds suspense from the first few pages. There is the typical teenage angst, love story and conflict but it all very real and makes perfect sense within the story. 

I would say it's almost like The Hunger Games in space. The characters must fight to survive but can't help becoming friends. Throw in a last minute twist and a cliff hanger of an ending and you have an incredible start to a trilogy that I cannot wait to complete.

My Recommendation:
This is an absolute must read for all sci-fi fans, especially if you also enjoy YA. 


March 26, 2017

Review: Hannah's Moon by John A. Heldt



Product Description: 
After struggling for years to have a child, Claire Rasmussen, 34, turns to adoption, only to find new obstacles on the path to motherhood. Then she gets an unlikely phone call and soon learns that a distant uncle possesses the secrets of time travel. Within weeks, Claire, husband Ron, and brother David find themselves on a train to Tennessee and 1945, where adoptable infants are plentiful and red tape is short. For a time, they find what they seek. Then a beautiful stranger enters their lives, the Navy calls, and a simple, straightforward mission becomes a race for survival. Filled with suspense, romance, and heartbreak, HANNAH’S MOON, the epic conclusion of the American Journey series, follows the lives of four spirited adults as they confront danger, choices, and change in the tense final months of World War II.

My Thoughts:
I've been reading Heldt's books since 2012 and this one by far has been my favorite. It's full of heartbreaking decisions and events but still concludes with a happy ending. I love the way history is always weaved into the books. It always makes me wonder about the true events and I usually end up on Wikipedia trying to learn more.

In this final installment in the American Journey series, the book has 3 separate story lines playing out and I was instantly pulled into them by my heartstrings. Claire and Ron face heartbreak from the opening pages and you can't help but fall in love with their characters. David is what women everywhere yearn for but the one woman that captures his heart is already taken. And for the one who holds the key to the time travel, devastating news leads to an unexpected future for Professor Bell and his wife. The book is definitely an emotional roller coaster that I fully enjoyed riding with my hands high up in the air. 

My Recommendation:
I highly recommend this one for anyone who loves historical romance with a little touch of fantasy. 


February 25, 2017

Review: The Ulterior Motive by Jack Coleston



Product Description:
The fate of the United States hangs in the balance and only a select few can prevent the impending disaster. Stanley Carmichael is an intelligent and hard-working member of the Central Intelligence Agency. Yet, he never expected to be named Deputy Director of the CIA so soon in his career. Nonetheless, he finds himself stepping into shoes that feel impossible to fill. 

Anna Carmichael is a legend. She’s one of the fiercest ex-members of the Special Activities Division, where she saw more than enough blood and war for a lifetime. Now, she’s still CIA, but stuck behind a desk and bored. Luckily for her, it seems her fieldwork isn’t done yet. For as soon as Anna’s partnered with rookie FBI Special Agent Blayze Phillips, she realizes his investigation is a lot more dangerous than it seems—especially when it turns its attention to the mysterious Caliph al-Maqasid. 

They know that the Caliph spent the last few years successfully uniting fractured terrorist groups in the Middle East. Now he's formed the most well-funded, strategically efficient operation that’s on its way to becoming a true global caliphate. But who is the Caliph, really? Why doesn’t anyone know anything about this infinitely clever, charismatic, and terrifying man? And what, exactly, is he plotting next? 

The Carmichaels will have to work together to find out, because the Caliph is about to strike at the heart of America.

My Thoughts: 
This is definitely a "ripped from the headlines" read. It was so realistic that I got chills in some parts of the story because I swear I've seen news stories that were very similar. It makes the book that much more compelling. I only hope that someone who can pass for a real life Anna Carmichael is out there protecting is. 

The opening pages of the book begin with what actually plays out towards the ending which was a great way to keep me in suspense the entire time I was reading. I kept thinking "Who was it that Stanley saw?" and I never guessed correctly. 

The only reason I didn't rate this one a full five stars was because a few of the scenes and some of the dialogue didn't seem to flow as well as a most of the book. Otherwise this was an awesome, fast-paced thriller and the best part is that this is just the first book in a series. I can't wait for more. 

My Recommendation:
I recommend this one for anyone who loves political thrillers with real life scenarios. 


January 1, 2017

Books I've Read in 2017

Books
January

  1. Reincarnation by Suzanne Weyn
February
  1. The Ex by Alafair Burke
  2. The Ulterior Motive by Jack Coleston
  3. Hannah's Moon by John A. Heldt
April
  1. The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers by Lilian Jackson Braun
  2. Magical Misfire by Kimberly Frost
May
  1. The Chocolate Puppy Puzzle by JoAnna Carl
  2. One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline
  3. We Witch You a Merry Chistmas by Adele Abbott
  4. The Party by Robyn Harding
  5. Urban Enemies Anthology edited by Joseph Nassise
June
  1. Nyxia by Scott Reintgen
  2. Lola by Melissa Scrivner Love
  3. Nice Guys Bite by Jennifer Estep
July
  1. The Darkest Corner by Liliana Hart
  2. Invictus by Ryan Graudin
Audiobooks
January

  1. The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer
  2. Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde
  3. Witch Is When It All Began by Adele Abbott
  4. The Circle by Dave Eggers
  5. Witch is When Life Got Complicated by Adele Abbott
  6. Private Games by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan
  7. Undead and Unwary by MaryJanice Davidson
February
  1. First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde
  2. Big Little Liars by Liane Moriarty 
  3. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
  4. Witch is When Everything Went Crazy by Adele Abbott
  5. Undead and Unforgiven by MaryJanice Davidson
  6. Witch Is When Things Fell Apart by Adele Abbott
  7. Witch Is When The Bubble Burst by Adele Abbott
March
  1. One of Our Thursdays Is Missing by Jasper Fforde
  2. Echoes in Death by J.D. Robb
  3. The Width of the World by David Baldacci
  4. Paris Match by Stuart Woods
  5. The Fireman by Joe Hill
  6. Undead and Done by MaryJanice Davidson
  7. Cockroaches by Jo Nesbo
April
  1. The Dispatcher by John Scalzi
  2. Feverborn by Karen Marie Moning
  3. Aloha From Hell by Richard Kadrey
  4. Black Out by Lisa Unger
  5. The Woman Who Died A Lot by Jasper Fforde
  6. Feversong by Karen Marie Moning
  7. I See you by Clare Mackintosh
May
  1. A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell
  2. Little Deaths by Emma Flint
  3. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
  4. Witch is When the Penny Dropped by Adele Abbott
  5. The Black Book by James Patterson and David Ellis
  6. The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman
  7. The Tourist by Robert Dickinson
  8. The Girl Before by JP Delaney
June
  1. Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton
  2. Brilliance by Marcus Sakey
  3. My Husband's Wife by Jane Corry
  4. Snared by Jennifer Estep
  5. After you Left by Carol Mason
July
  1. A Better World by Marcus Sakey
  2. The Fix by David Baldacci
  3. Earthcore by Scott Sigler
  4. Written in Fire by Marcus Sakey
  5. Insatiable Appetites by Stuart Woods
Grand Total: 62



Here's what I read in previous years:
    2016
    2015
    2014
    2013
    2012
    2011
    2010
    2009
    2008

August 20, 2016

Review: Outside the Lines by Sheila Lowe




Product Description: 
What should have been a routine afternoon on the witness stand for Forensic Handwriting Expert Claudia Rose turns into a shocking assault that leaves her bruised and bloodied. Following on the heels of a series of other traumatic events, the attack sends Claudia to the brink of a breakdown. 

Her fiancĂ©, L.A.P.D. Homicide Detective Joel Jovanic, learns of the attack while leading a homicide investigation into a mailbox bomb. An innocent housekeeper in the tony Venice neighborhood is dead and the homeowner is the CEO of a major pesticide-producing corporation that has been targeted in the past. When a notebook found in a geocache near the crime scene leads to the protest group People for Safe Food, Jovanic needs Claudia to identify the handwriting of a suspected eco-terrorist. 

Though she may have recovered physically from the assault, weeks later Claudia’s fears continue to plague her. Desperate to get away, she accepts an invitation to lecture in the UK, but her trip turns into a nightmare when she runs afoul of both the FBI and New Scotland Yard. Jovanic’s homicide case has followed her to London where she finds herself unexpectedly allied with the chief suspect. 


My Thoughts:
Outside the Lines is the 6th book in the Forensic Handwriting Mysteries but it definitely stands alone. There are references to incidents in the earlier books but nothing that makes a difference in this story line.  

Forensic Handwriting Expert Claudia Rose can easily analyze a person by their handwriting. She sees what people work hard to hide. With this skill she's become a valuable part of her fiancĂ© Joel's success as a homicide detective. 

In this case, an incident that starts out as a harmless scare tactic by a group of people protesting a pesticide corporation, turns deadly when someone is accidentally killed. Now the leader of the group is on the run and asking Claudia for help. As the lead suspect he's being chased down by Joel who warns Claudia away from him but she can't help getting involved. Now tension strains Claudia and Joel's relationship as she works on figuring a way to make things work for everyone.

My Recommendation:
I really love how Sheila builds the story. Different scenarios have you thinking you can guess at what's coming next but as you read on you realize you were wrong. Through the twists, the suspense builds up to the gratifying end. I highly recommend this book, and series, to anyone who loves a good mystery with a surprise ending.