Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Many Hands by Dale Smith (Review)

The Nor' Loch is being filled in. If you ask the soldiers there, they'll tell you it's a stinking cesspool that the city can do without. But that doesn't explain why the workers won't go near the place without an armed guard. That doesn't explain why they whisper stories about the loch giving up its dead, about the minister who walked into his church twelve years after he died. It doesn't explain why, as they work, they whisper about a man called the Doctor. And about the many hands of Alexander Monro.

Featuring the Doctor and Martha as played by David Tennant and Freema Agyeman in the hit series from BBC Television.

1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star

This was such a great DW story! I loved how every action by both the Doctor and Martha fit perfectly with their on-screen personas. Every time the Doctor was saying something or doing something in the book it was very easy to read it in David Tennant's voice and visualize him acting that way, which is so nice.

The monsters in the story were super creepy and not at all what I thought they were going to be. There were so many funny lines, that I was smiling so often it was ridiculous.

I loved that the story took place in Scotland, and when it said the Doctor had a Scottish accent I was hearing the accent David used in the episode Tooth and Claw.

Fans of Doctor Who should love reading The Many Hands - I know I did! :)

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Friday, November 29, 2013

Beautiful Chaos by Gary Russell (Review)

Donna Noble is back home in London, catching up with her family and generally giving them all the gossip about her journeys. Her grandfather is especially overjoyed - he's discovered a new star and had it named after him. He takes the Doctor, as his special guest, to the naming ceremony.

But the Doctor is suspicious about some of the other changes he can see in Earth's heavens. Particularly that bright star, right there. No not that one, that one, there, on the left...

The world's population is slowly being converted to a new path, a new way of thinking. Something is coming to Earth, an ancient force from the Dark Times. Something powerful, angry, and all-consuming...

1 star1 star1 star1 star

The start of this story brought to mind the sad scene at the end of Journey's End, when the Doctor was left all on his own. However, then the story goes back in time to a time when Donna & the Doctor are visiting her family - I loved that! How we get to see so much more of what Donna's family was like and the last chapter in the book was so touching and sweet - any fan if Donna Noble should be deeply moved by it.

Recommended to fans of Doctor Who.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Maggie's Turn by Deanna Lynn Sletten (Review)

Sometimes you just have to walk away…to rediscover who you are.

Maggie Harrison is a devoted wife and mother, always putting the needs of her family ahead of her own. Then, one day, without planning to, she drives away, leaving behind an indifferent husband and two sulking teenagers. Maggie goes off on a quest of self-exploration, enjoying adventures, meeting new people, and rediscovering her passions. For the first time in years, she dreams about what she wants out of life, and she realizes that her deteriorating marriage can no longer continue as it is. Can she and Andrew repair their floundering relationship, or is their marriage over?

Andrew Harrison likes his life to be in perfect order. He enjoys his work and status in the community, leaving Maggie to take care of everything at home. He knows his marriage isn't perfect, but after twenty-three years and two kids, whose marriage is? When Maggie leaves without a word, he is forced to start paying more attention to his home life and his almost grown children, and he begins to do a little self-exploration of his own. Slowly, he begins to understand what drove Maggie away, and how important she is in his life. Is it too late to resolve their differences and save their marriage? Or will Andrew lose Maggie forever?

1 star1 star1 star1 star

I was delighted by how enjoyable a read Maggie's Turn ended up being. I immediately was drawn into the story and was connected to the characters.

Maggie is a wife and mother who has been underappreciated for years and has reached her breaking point, so one day she just takes off. First with the intention of only being gone for a few hours, however that quickly evolves into a journey that takes her through many states and making many new experiences.

Andrew, Maggie's husband, definitely needed a wake up call. His behavior was horrible and I could understand why Maggie felt she had to get a break. I loved the scenes with him realizing how much work Maggie does, not only around the house but for other as well, and that everything she does isn't as simple as he thought.

I personally didn't like that Maggie went off alone with men and put herself into situations that caused her to be tempted to cheat. I won't say whether or not she actually did anything but I feel, and this is a view I know isn't shared by everyone, that when you are married you should never put yourself into a situation that might cause you to stray - physically or emotionally.

Maggie's Turn was a great book and one that I recommend.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book to review. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done.***

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  • Paperback: 246 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1491277289
  • ISBN-13: 978-1491277287
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Available to purchase at Amazon (Paperback) | Amazon (Kindle) | B&N (Nook)

Deanna Lynn Sletten writes women's fiction and romance novels that dig deeply into the lives of the characters, giving the reader an in-depth look into their hearts and souls. She has also written one middle-grade novel that takes you on the adventure of a lifetime.

Deanna's romance novel, Memories, was a semifinalist in The Kindle Book Review's Best Indie Books of 2012. Her novel, Sara's Promise, was a semifinalist in The Kindle Book Review's Best Indie Books of 2013 and a finalist in the 2013 National Indie Excellence Book Awards.

Deanna is married and has two grown children. When not writing, she enjoys walking the wooded trails around her northern Minnesota home with her beautiful Australian Shepherd or relaxing in the boat on the lake in the summer.

Deanna is hosting a giveaway on her website for a $100 Amazon gift card and signed copies of Maggie's Turn. For complete details on how to enter go to:

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Promise to Protect (Men of Valor #1) by Liz Johnson (Review)

Navy SEAL Matt Waterstone knows about keeping people safe. When his best friend's sister is attacked, Matt promises no harm will come to Ashley Sawyer—not on his watch. But Matt's not the only protective one. Ashley will do anything to safeguard the residents of the battered women's shelter she runs. She's sure she can handle the threats she gets in return. What she can't handle is the way Matt scales the walls around her heart. Yet when she falls prey to a crime web far more sinister than she'd realized, trusting Matt could be the only way to survive….

1 star1 star1 star1 star

I always enjoy a story when it features SEALs, so I was pretty sure I'd like long as it wasn't corny, as some can be. I thought the author did a great job of showing the toughness of SEALs and also their kind caring side. Tristan, Ashley's brother, was a great character and I'm looking forward to reading his story in SEAL Under Siege. If you like suspense stories featuring SEALs you should enjoy this story too.

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Christmas at Harmony Hill: A Shaker Story by Ann H. Gabhart (Review)

She stared up at the Shaker buildings. They took in those in need. That was why she was riding into their village. But she couldn't stay here. Not forever. They divided families. She'd heard her grandmother speak harshly of the way Shakers didn't believe in marriage and had special houses were children were kept from their parents.

Heather put a hand over the swell of her baby inside her. Surely they wouldn't take a newborn from his mother's bosom. Heather's mother couldn't have imagined that happening or she'd have never told her to come...

1 star1 star1 star

It's kind of hard to describe my feelings about this book, but I'll try. I loved the beginning with Heather being in the camp with Gideon, her husband, and his fellow soldiers. I love books set during the Civil War and wasn't expecting this Shaker book to take start in the midst of a Northern Army camp - nice surprise. Some parts of the story were really hard to get through, way too many details and not enough dialogue, so that made it tedious to read at times and really slow me down. The ending was sweet, predictable, but still sweet. 

If you love Shaker novels you would probably enjoy Christmas at Harmony Hill more than I did. Regardless, if you are looking for a different Christmas story and the synopsis of this book sounds interesting to you, I think you should give it a read.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book to review. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done.***

Available November 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Emerald Green (Ruby Red Trilogy #3) by Kerstin Gier (Review)

Gwen has a destiny to fulfill, but no one will tell her what it is.

 She’s only recently learned that she is the Ruby, the final member of the time-traveling Circle of Twelve, and since then nothing has been going right. She suspects the founder of the Circle, Count Saint-German, is up to something nefarious, but nobody will believe her. And she’s just learned that her charming time-traveling partner, Gideon, has probably been using her all along.

This stunning conclusion picks up where Sapphire Blue left off, reaching new heights of intrigue and romance as Gwen finally uncovers the secrets of the time-traveling society and learns her fate.

1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star

A fabulous conclusion to a great trilogy! I loved reading Emerald Green so much and hated it when I reached the end, since I knew that this was it there would be no more about these characters. My suspicions from the previous novel were correct! I love when that happens, but only when it's not completely obvious and this wasn't! Xemerius again made me laugh so much, he's such a great addition to this story!

I recommend this fantastic series to anyone who loves tales about time travel.

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Adventures of Rupert Starbright Book 3: The Ghost of Winter Joy by Michael DiCerto (Chapter Reveal)

Strange creatures begin to appear in the normally dull Graysland after Rupert Starbright digs up a mysterious bell in his backyard. Rupert sets off on his latest adventure to discover the secret of a mysterious haunted mansion and its creepy occupant and the connection to the old holiday called Winter Joy.

Title: The Adventures of Rupert Starbright Book 3: The Ghost of Winter Joy
Author: Mike DiCerto 
Publisher: Zumaya Publications
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Language: English

About the Author:
A filmmaker and writer since childhood, Mike has directed numerous shorts, music videos, documentaries, promotional videos and two feature films (NO EXIT and TRIPTOSANE). His first novel, Milky Way Marmalade received rave reviews and was the winner of the 2003 Dream Realm Award.

He is very excited about the release of the first of his exciting new kid-lit series, RUPERT STARBRIGHT: The Door to Far-Myst.

Mike, a certified Yoga instructor, has many interests including gardening (loves growing chili peppers in his rooftop garden), playing guitar, cats (long-time volunteer at NYC’s Ollie’s Place Adoption Center), really good and really bad movies and 70s TV as well all kinds of geeky stuff. He is a dedicated MST3K fanatic. He thinks of music as his religion—especially Classic Rock.

He lives quite contently in a NYC apartment with his wife and soul mate, Suzy and their rescued kitties, Cosmo and Rupert.

You can visit Mike’s website at

Book Trailer:

Chapter Reveal:

Chapter 16 
Terrible Gold

The Hammerhead cruised along for two hours before Rupert felt the boat slowing down.  All he had seen during the journey was blue sky and a few puffy clouds overhead that slowlygrew darker and blacker. A slow rain began to fall, and McCoy decided he’d had enough and took off for a dryer corner to nap in.
Rupert peeked over the rim of the barrel and scanned the deck. It was quiet, although he could hear voices coming from below. He looked out over the railing of the boat and couldn’t believe his eyes. The boat was passing through a narrow channel past thick, dense trees and foggy land. The trees were ancient-looking, and many braches, like creepy hands, reached out towards the Hammerhead.
Where are we? Rupert wondered. He had never heard of Geelding’s Bay, and he had certainly never heard about a creepy place like this in Graysland or its surrounding regions.
The space between the shore and the ship grew less and less, and soon Rupert could hear occasional animal sounds coming from deep in the dense forest. Finally, the waterway widened, and they came upon an ancient stone building. It was built into the side of a hill and overgrown with thick brush.  A decrepit pier, held together by algae and dead vines, awaited the Hammerhead.
Rupert had to think quickly. Soon the deck would be busy, and his chances of getting caught would be high. As the ship slowly brushed the side of the pier with a dull screech, he closed his eyes to think of a plan. He had to Imagine something.
He reached into his jacket and took out the glass ball. It was hot, and the cat’s eyes were beaming ruby-red! Something dark and scary lay ashore.
Only the sound of the rain disrupted the eerie quiet that blanketed the land around him. There were no crewmen rushing on deck. Not yet. He needed to explore the boat and get some answers. He needed to move around quietly, invisibly.
He shook the sphere, and a wash of snow swirled around the little cat. The cat—even its red eyes—vanished behind the wall of white flakes. Rupert imagined how cool it would be if he could imagine snow that would swirl around him and make him invisible. Only the snow would also be invisible so he could wander around at will and not be seen.
Rupert focused his mind, and a wall of invisible snow, swirling like a cyclone, moved across the world, blanking out everything it passed. It then surrounded him, and in his mind, he became as clear as water. A soft whirring sound filled his ears, and he opened his eyes. Looking up at the sky, he saw a slight flickering. He looked down at himself.
He was gone! He is arms, his legs, his entire body were invisible. He could feel a slight tingling swirling all around him. His Imaginings had done it again!
Rupert climbed out of the barrel and walked briskly across the wet deck, his invisible feet splashing in the occasional little puddles. A staircase that led below the deck, and he quietly descended.
The steps led to a narrow passage with two doors on each side. At the end was an open area where hushed voices were busy in a discussion. The ceiling was quite low, and Rupert could easily reach out and touch it.
He made his way toward the voices, continually checking to see if he was still invisible. He was. When he reached the end, he was looking into the galley of the boat, where the captain and the crew sat around a large table. McCoy was curled up in a ball on Captain Stormwatch’s lap, and his ears twitched as he raised his head and sniffed the air.  
“It all seems like a child’s tale! If I may say, Captain, let’s just grab the gold and be on our way,” said a tall, skinny man with a blue woolen hat and a long mustache capped at each end with gold beads.
“Listen to me, Kreezer,” the captain said in a deep and serious tone. “This is your first run for this terrible gold. It <i>would seem a child’s fancy story to a fool like you! But perhaps you would like to be first off-deck to face it?”
McCoy hopped off the captain’s lap and made his way towards Rupert.
Kreezer mumbled something under his breath, and the captain stood up.
“Wicked spirits guard this gold. This terrible, terrible gold,” Captain Stormwatch began, lowering his voice to a whisper. “But an even more wicked spirit has sent us on this quest, and we must wait for his word. Then and only then may we leave this vessel and enter the crypt.”
Rupert’s mind was spinning again. What wicked spirit? A crypt? Why was this gold so terrible?
“That terrible spirit you speak of also wants to put a stop to Winter Joy,” said Wurmzy. He scratched the top of his bald head. “How will you face your children when there are no gifts for them under the trinket tree?”
A chorus of confused questions and complaints erupted.
“What do you mean no more Winter Joy? What sort of rubbish is that! Such a foul and evil demon!”
“Silence!” the captain ordered. “We have been hired to collect the gold. Never have I been told we were helping end the Winter holiday.”
“Perhaps,” Wurmzy replied, “but we all know what that gold will be used for. It’s even more terrible than you know. We’ll have the gold. Not even Gripper can stop us if we band together and refuse to just hand it over to him for the few crumbs he’s tossing at us.”
More conversation erupted, and the captain slammed his heavy fist on the tabletop.
“We have our mission, and we will complete it and head back to our homes. Let the evil demons do as they wish.”
Rupert felt a soft rub and looked down to see McCoy brushing back and forth against his invisible legs. The cat began his loud purring. Rupert tried to push him gently away, but it only seemed to encourage the friendly kitty even more.
One of the men at the table, a squat man who wore a green-and-yellow shirt and had a snake tattooed around his neck, glanced across the room and spotted McCoy’s antics. His eyes opened wider than his mouth. The axe-faced man who sat across from him chuckled.
“What’s wrong with you? Look like you just saw the ghost of your old great-grandfather!”
“I think maybe I am, as I live and breathe! Seems McCoy has made pals with it!”
All heads turned towards Rupert. Of course, no one saw him, just the orange-and-white kitty rubbing up against—nothing!
The captain slowly walked towards McCoy.
“Hey, there, boy, whatcha got? A little mouse, maybe?”
McCoy meowed and purred and made little happy sounds. Rupert wanted to run, but he was afraid to move. The captain stepped closer, squinting his eyes as if that might reveal what the cat was cozying up with. Very slowly, he extended his index finger closer and closer to Rupert’s invisible face.
It wasn’t even an inch away when Rupert lunged his head forward and chomped his teeth down on the captain’s finger. Captain Stormwatch screamed and snatched back his throbbing digit as chaos exploded. The captain looked like he wanted to run, but he couldn’t. He had to stay strong in front of his men. He grimaced and put his hands on his hips.
“Listen, you foul demon! I order you to leave this vessel!”
Rupert’s invisible smile went ear to ear. The captain frowned angrily and, with clenched fists, took another step towards him. Rupert took a deep breath and let out a deep and loud roar that even scared McCoy, who scampered under the table.
The captain got a silly expression, and he jumped back in fear. Many of his man raced out of the room.  Rupert was trying not to laugh when the captain pulled a large knife from the sheath hanging on his belt. Rupert’s smile vanished as he watched the knife rise into the air.
“They are attacking!” one of the crewmen cried.
The captain froze, and Rupert turned and escaped down the hallway and up the stairs to the deck. The moist air hit his face and felt refreshing. The rain had stopped.
There was a sound of clanging metal, and when he turned he couldn’t believe what he saw. Ten skeletons dressed in golden suits of armor were attempting to board the craft!
Captain Stormwatch rushed onto the deck, a mean-looking sword with a curved blade held out before him.  The rest of his crew rushed out behind him, all with swords, spears, and harpoons at the ready.
“Attack these gilded demons! The heads! Off with their heads!” ordered the captain.
The men rushed the army of skeletons as swords swung and metal clanged against metal.
Rupert stepped back and was not sure what to do. He watched as the captain, with a clean swing of his sword, lopped the helmeted skull off one skeleton. The body beneath it collapsed to the ground in a lifeless pile of gold. The captain laughed with delight.
But not all his men were as skilled, and two of them had been knocked off their feet and were wrestling with the invaders on the deck.  Another was pushed overboard and splashed into the water.
Rupert knew he had to help. If the skeletons defeated the crew, he would be stuck here forever. Maybe he would be discovered by the skeletons and killed! He closed his eyes and tried to think of something. He didn’t realize he was no longer invisible, nor that the glass ball in his jacket pocket was growing even hotter.
Rupert felt cold breath on his neck. He was afraid to breath.
“Hello, Master Rupert.” Gripper greeted him.

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Doctor Who: Ghosts of India by Mark Morris (Review)

India in 1947 is a country in the grip of chaos - a country torn apart by internal strife. When the Doctor and Donna arrive in Calcutta, they are instantly swept up in violent events.

Barely escaping with their lives, they discover that the city is rife with tales of 'half-made men', who roam the streets at night and steal people away. These creatures, it is said, are as white as salt and have only shadows where their eyes should be.

With help from India's great spiritual leader, Mohandas 'Mahatma' Gandhi, the Doctor and Donna set out to investigate these rumours.

What is the real truth behind the 'half-made men'? Why is Gandhi's role in history under threat? And has an ancient, all-powerful god of destruction really come back to wreak his vengeance upon the Earth?

1 star1 star

Ghosts of India was all right - not good, not bad, just all right. I've read quite a few of the Doctor Who novels and many of them I think would make great episodes. However, this one I don't think would. There really wasn't much to the story. the characters (besides the Doctor and Donna) were bland, even Gandhi sorry to say. The monster wasn't that smart or scary and the solution at the end was just dull.

There were a few cute lines from the main characters, but even though their on-screen personas were hardly like them. The Doctor called people idiots way too often, I honestly can't remember him even calling anyone that in the show. (I could be completely wrong and he did, but I just don't remember it.) Oh, he would imply that people were because when he's around no one else is smart, but I don't recall him actually saying it. (I'm talking only about the reboot here, I still haven't watch many of the classic ones)

If you've never read a DW novel and are looking for one, I would suggest you read a different one first. My personal favorites, so far, are: The Stone Rose, Sting of the Zygons, and The Pirate Loop.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Twice a Bride (The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek #4) by Mona Hodgson (Review)

Love lost doesn’t mean love lost forever.
Can unexpected romance deliver a second chance for two deserving widows?

Full of resolve, young widow Willow Peterson decides to pursue her dreams to be an artist as she settles into a new life in the growing mountain town of Cripple Creek.  When she lands a job working as a portrait painter with handsome entrepreneur and photographer Trenton Van Der Veer, the road before Willow seems to be taking a better-than-anticipated turn.

With questions tugging at several hearts in town, including the Sinclair Sisters’ beloved Miss Hattie, change is traveling down the tracks as several unexpected visitors make their way out West.  Will the new arrivals threaten the deep family bonds of the Sinclair sisters and the roots of love that are just taking hold for Willow?

Filled with the resonating questions that all women face, this romance awakens hope against grief, love against loss, and dreams against life’s unexpected turns. 

I GIVE THIS BOOK:1 star1 star1 star1-1/2 stars

After reading the three previous books in The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek series I was looking forward to reading Twice a Bride, the fourth and final book in the series. I very much enjoyed it and hate that it is the last book about this family.

I loved Hattie immediately from the first book and so wanted to see her get another love, she's a great woman and if anyone deserves another chance at love it's her. Then there's Willow, someone that I liked so much from the moment she was introduced, and I felt so terribly for all that she went through in her young life. The way love comes for both of them was wonderful and so sweet!

My only complaint is that, at times, the story felt rushed. There were two different love stories being told, updates on the previous books main characters, and a few "problems" that were solved so quickly that it almost felt as though shouldn't have even have been in there.

Even though this book could easily be read as a stand alone, as the author does a fabulous job of giving all the necessary details about each one of the previous books' stories, I would recommend reading them in order. I loved this book and series and think any fan of historical fiction would greatly enjoy them too.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book to review. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done.***

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