July 25, 2020

Review: The Witches of Vegas by Mark Rosendorf




Product Description:
Where can Witches and their vampire mentor practice their powers without being discovered or persecuted?

By using their magic, the Witches of Vegas become the number one act performing on the Las Vegas Strip—a great achievement for them, but not so much for the magicians—who can't possibly keep pace.

Isis Rivera is the adopted fifteen-year old daughter of The Witches of Vegas. Zack Galloway is the teenage nephew and assistant to the last magician left in the city. Although they should be rivals, when Valeria, a four-hundred-year-old witch with a long-seeded grudge against humanity arrives in Sin-City, both teens act to bring their families together to stop the evil hag in her tracks.

But can the combined witches' powers and the ingenuity of the magicians be enough to stop Valeria from taking over the city and possibly the world?

My Thoughts:
Lately I haven't read a lot of YA because I always end up feeling a little bit frustrated with the scenarios the teens in the book go through. Often times they're acting way more adult than I feel a YA book should be. The Witches of Vegas was actually pretty true to how most teens behave even though it was pure fantasy.

I really enjoyed the story and it was a fun adventure following along with all the drama of being undercover witches with a rival trying to ruin things.  There was a good mix of highs and lows and the action always had a lot of suspense to keep me pulled in to the story and reading through the night. 

Isis and her adopted family were easy to love but my heart was with Zack. He was lovable and endearing as the love-struck hero. I cannot wait for the next installment of the series. 

My Recommendation:
I recommend this for anyone who loves a fun teen adventure. 



May 2, 2020

Review: The Lane Betrayal by John A. Heldt

Updated: March 8, 2020 

Product Description: 
Virginia physicist Mark Lane has a problem. Weeks after privately creating two time machines, he learns his corporate partner wants to use the portable devices for nefarious purposes. Rather than give him the chance to do so, Mark takes the time boxes and escapes to the relative safety of 1865.

For Mark, wife Mary, and their children, the adventure is a chance to grow. Mary runs a business. Jeremy, 19, and Ashley, 12, befriend escaped slaves. Laura, 22, finds her place as a nurse. Jordan, 25, falls for a beautiful widow. All hope to find peace in the past.

Billionaire Robert Devereaux has other ideas. Shortly after Mark's betrayal, he sends an assassin to 1865 to retrieve his property and set matters straight.

Filled with romance, suspense, and history, THE LANE BETRAYAL follows a modern American family as it tries to find security and contentment in the final weeks of the Civil War.

My Thoughts: 
I'm a big fan of Heldt's time travel fiction and was not disappointed by Book 1 in the new series. It's really amazing how many authentic details are woven into the book. The story draws you in pretty quickly and the sprinkles of historic fiction make you want to learn more about the real events. The suspense builds throughout the story with a couple of unexpected twists. A usual, I'm anxiously awaiting the next installment of the Lane's adventure.  

My Recommendation:
I recommend this to anyone who loves historical fiction with time traveling adventure.

April 17, 2020

Review: Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier


Product Description:
All it takes to unravel a life is one little secret...
Marin had the perfect life. Married to her college sweetheart, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They're admired in their community and are a loving family—until their world falls apart the day their son Sebastian is taken.
A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself. The FBI search has gone cold. The publicity has faded. She and her husband rarely speak. She hires a P.I. to pick up where the police left off, but instead of finding Sebastian, she learns that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman. This discovery sparks Marin back to life. She's lost her son; she's not about to lose her husband, too. Kenzie is an enemy with a face, which means this is a problem Marin can fix.


Permanently.

My Thoughts:
I was absolutely hooked from page 1. A parent's worst nightmare befalls Marin and now she has to figure out how she can keep going. A year goes by with no sign of her son and as her marriage is falling apart she's struck by another blow. 

This is the perfect scenario for a great suspense thriller. Little bits and pieces are revealed at the right time that keep you on the edge of your seat, reading well into the night. Each twist was a new path that lead to the truth which I would have never guessed. Amazing!

My Recommendation:
I recommend this to anyone who loves the perfect edge of your seat thriller. 

January 25, 2020

Review: The Stranger's Wife by Anna-Lou Weatherley




Product Description:
Beth and Cath are leaving their husbands.
This is a story about two very different women.
One is wealthy and having an affair with a man who gives her the kind of love that her cold, detached husband does not.
One is living hand to mouth, suffering at the hands of a violent partner who would rather see her dead than leave him.
You may think you know these women already and how their lives will unfold. Beth will live happily ever after with her little girl and her soulmate. Cath will go back to her abusive husband. And these two women will never cross paths.
But you will be wrong.
On the 3.15pm train from London to Bristol, Beth and Cath are about to meet and discover they share one shocking thing in common.
A clever, engrossing and absolutely unputdownable page-turner of a read about what really lies beneath the surface of a marriage. Fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train will be hooked on The Stranger’s Wife.


My Thoughts:
It took a while for us to find out when Beth and Cath's paths would and the rest of the story to unravel but getting there was very interesting. The story goes back and forth over a year so you are kept in suspense with cliff hanging chapter endings. It kept me reading well into the night several nights in a row. 

And just when you think you've figured out how the book will end you get thrown off by what plays out. Overall it's a great edge of your seat read. 

Recommendation: 
I recommend this for anyone who loves a good suspense thriller. 

January 5, 2020

Review: Camp Lake by John A. Heldt





Product Description:
Phoenix, Spring 1983. For the Carsons, five siblings from the present day, it has come down to this. Find the parents they have chased through time for more than two years or go home and resume their lives without them.

While Adam and Greg remain in Arizona and Natalie searches the country for leads, Cody and Caitlin travel to a summer camp in Maine, where their mother and father met as counselors. The twins, now 19, hope to intercept the older versions of their parents even as they work beside the younger ones.

All of the Carsons prepare for a reunion that seems inevitable. Then tragedy strikes one family member and seductive strangers pull two others in unhelpful directions as a summer of promise turns into one of uncertainty and sacrifice.

Filled with humor, romance, and heartbreak, CAMP LAKE, the poignant conclusion of the Carson Chronicles series, follows the lives of several spirited adults as they confront choices and change the era of big hair, space shuttles, and video arcades.

My Thoughts: 
Camp Lake is the final installment of a 5 book series and I'm kinda sad about that. I've grown to love the Carson clan, their ever growing family and their time-traveling adventures. In each book there are plenty of surprises along the way and this is no exception. It kind of gave me a Back To The Future vibe when the twins become friends with their young parents but that only added to the enjoyment of the story's conclusion. 

I'm happy that throughout the books each of the Carsons find love and even though I knew it was coming, seeing the way everything played out for Cody Carson made me happy. It's the perfect ending to the series that I will greatly miss now that it's completed. 

Seeing that Heldt is the author of three different time travel series, I can only hope that I'm soon introduced to a new set of characters that I can go on more fun journeys with. 

My Recommendation:
I recommend this book, series and author to anyone who loves time travel with a little splash of romance. 

January 4, 2020

Review: A Night at the Movies by H.A. Price





Product Description:
Twenty-year-old Verona Hamlin has been working for the past four years at the theater. She’s growing restless, but the one thing that keeps her sane is her coworker Dave, a prankster who takes to mutilating movie posters, laughing at patrons, and quoting The Simpsons to keep him and Verona entertained.

But when Verona decides she’s had enough, her life takes some unexpected turns.

A hilarious and compelling depiction of life behind the movie theater concession stand.


My Thoughts:
As a teen I worked at an amusement park for 3 seasons. When I read the description of A Night At The Movies it sounded just like the atmosphere working there had so I was really excited to read this. Other than Dave, Verona and her friends were a little more well behaved than my bunch but it brought back so many fun memories. 

I enjoyed the book and the characters overall but at the end of the day I was expecting a little more in the storyline. It kind of remained flat and I kept expecting something major to happen but when the story played out it was just a little bump that didn't move me very much. 


My Recommendation: 
I recommend this to anyone who loves humorous fiction and anyone who has worked in any type of entertainment facility. 


Books I've Read in 2020

Books
January
  1. A Cold Silence by Danielle Girard 
  2. The Stranger's Wife by Anna-Lou Weatherley
  3. The Dilemma by B.A. Paris
February
  1. Our Child of the Stars by Stephen Cox
March
  1. The Night Swim by Megan Goldin
April
  1. The Lane Betrayal by John A. Heldt
  2. Witch Is How To Fool Cats by Adele Abbott
  3. Witch Is How To Lose Big by Adele Abbott
  4. When I Was You by Minka Kent
May
  1. Witch is How Life Changed Forever by Adele Abbott
  2. The Love Scam by MaryJanice Davidson
June
  1. The Missing Sister by Elle Marr 
July
  1. The Search Party by Simon Lelic
  2. The Witches of Vegas by Mark Rosendorf
August
  1. Witch Is Where Magic Lives Now by Adele Abbott
September
  1. The Fair by John A. Heldt
Audiobooks
January
  1. Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts
  2. Normal People by Sally Rooney
  3. A Minute to Midnight by David Baldacci
  4. Nine Elms by Robert Bryndza
  5. Twelve Mighty Orphans by Jim Dent
  6. The Vexed Generation by Scott Meyer
  7. Winter World by by A.G. Riddle
  8. The Solar War by A.G. Riddle
  9. The Remaining by D.J. Molles
February
  1. The Lost Colony by A.G. Riddle
  2. A Merciful Death by Kendra Elliot
  3. Aftermath by D.J. Molles
  4. The Lazarus Protocol by David Bruns and Chris Pourteau
  5. Black Heart by Anna-Lou Weatherley
  6. Make Mine Magic by Shanna Swendson
  7. The Good Samaritan by John Marrs
  8. Refugees by D.J. Molles
  9. Cassandra's War by David Bruns and Chris Pourteau
  10. Optional Retirement Plan by Chris Pourteau
March
  1. Abby Cooper Psychic Eye by Victoria Laurie
  2. Fractured by D. J. Molles
  3. Recursion by Blake Crouch
  4. A Merciful Truth by Kendra Elliot
  5. Run by Blake Crouch
  6. *69 by Blake Crouch
  7. A Deadly Affection by Cuyler Overholt
April
  1. The Warsaw Protocol by Steve Berry
  2. Sharpest Sting by Jennifer Estep
  3. Unsolved by James Patterson, David Ellis
  4. The Murmur of Bees by SofĂ­a Segovia
  5. This is How You Lose The Time War by Amal El-Mohtar
  6. Crush The King by Jennifer Estep
May
  1. American Kingpin by Nick Bilton
  2. Pandemic by A.G. Riddle
  3. The Wreck by Landon Beach
  4. Golden in Death by J.D. Robb
June
  1. The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
  2. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
  3. The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate
  4. Genome by A.G. Riddle
July
  1. The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley
  2. Walk the Wire by David Baldacci
  3. The Housekeeper by Natalie Barelli
  4. Savage Girl by Jean Zimmerman
  5. His & Hers by Alice Feeney
August
  1. The Couple on Cedar Close by Anna-Lou Weatherly
  2. Departure by A.G. Riddle
  3. The Kill Club by Wendy Heard
  4. Allegedly by Tiffany A. Jackson
  5. We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor
September
  1. One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
  2. For We Are Many by Dennis E. Taylor
  3. Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey
  4. The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
  5. I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman
October
  1. To Coach A Killer by Victoria Laurie
  2. The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley
  3. Emma in The Night by Wendy Walker
  4. Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris
Grand Total: 75

Here's what I've read in previous years:
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008

Top 5 Books I've Read in 2020


  1. Winter World by by A.G. Riddle
  2. Recursion by Blake Crouch
  3. The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
  4. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
  5. The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate


Books I Didn't Finish in 2020

Below will be any books I started and didn't finish and the reason why. 

  1. The Killer Collective by Barry Eisler
    • This was on a list of the top 5 audiobooks of 2019 so I picked it up but I didn't realize it was actually a cross of 3 different series books, none of which I have read. Once I realized that I was still willing to give it a try but I just couldn't wrap my head around the characters so I was mostly tuning the audiobook out.  I've read and loved other Eisler books so I may just circle back to this one if I ever read any of these series books. 
  2. An Ace and A Pair by Blake Banner
    • I couldn't get into the story. It seems like a great premise but I wasn't pulled into the story at all. I read about 10% of the book on my Kindle and just gave up when it was clear I had no interest in getting to the end. 
  3. Qualityland by Marc-Uwe Kling
    • I listened to 20% of the audiobook and just didn't like it at all. Nothing about the story engaged me and I didn't want to waste anymore time hoping the story lived up to all the hype I've heard about it. 
  4. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
    • I just couldn't engage with the book. I bailed pretty quickly but don't think I'll revisit it at any time. 
  5. All Systems Red by Martha Wella
    • I actually got a fourth of the way into this one but didn't care to make it to the end. It just didn't hold my attention enough.