Thrice Read Books

Katherine Hastings – Author Interview

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn sat down to talk to author Katherine Hastings about her debut historical romance, In the Assassin’s Arms

*This post originally appeared in the July 12, 2018 edition of BETWEEN THE LINES – our monthly newsletter. We’ve since changed the format, and you can sign up here.

Another amazing historical romance novel made its debut this week, along with its author! Jenn read and reviewed the book, and sat down with author Katherine Hastings, to talk a bit about the story.


Allow us to introduce… 

Katherine Hastings.

Jenn: So, Katherine… New book, FIRST book, coming out next week. Are you more excited, or nervous?

Katherine: It’s coming up so fast! I’m switching between nervous and excited with enviable speed. I think I may give myself whiplash.

Jenn:  No! No whiplash.

Katherine: I joked that I was going to wear a neck brace on release day so I don’t hurt myself. LOL

Jenn: LoL… totally.

So, In the Assassin’s Arms comes out in a little over a week. Could you tell us a little bit about it?

Katherine: Sure can! In the Assassin’s Arms is the story of John Douglas and Charlotte “Charlie” Cornewalle who were childhood friends, and each other’s first crush. They haven’t seen each other since childhood and then Charlie comes back into John’s life… but not how he’d hoped. The sweet little girl he remembered is now a skilled assassin, just like him… and she thinks his father murdered hers. He thinks she killed his friend. If that isn’t bad enough, they are each members of different factions of assassins… and sworn enemies. When they both end up with a target on their back, they must work together to find out who is after them, and solve the mystery of who killed her father. Both of these assassin’s must battle their way not only through the people who are after them, but through the feelings for each other that grow on their adventure.

Jenn: Oh, wow! Now, this is a historical romance… What time period does it take place in?

Katherine: It is set in 1714 England.

Jenn: I’m looking forward to reading it (I just got my ARC a couple days ago… squee!). And this is your debut novel… have you always wanted to be a writer?

Katherine: I’m so excited that you’re participating in my first book release! As far as always wanting to be a writer, when I was a child I said I wanted to be a writer. But, like most children with their dreams of being professional ice skaters, or hockey players, I didn’t really think it was an actual option. I put aside my writing after high school and didn’t write again until a few years ago when I got knee surgery. I was so bored I decided to start writing a book I’d come up with, in a dream, about a decade ago. There I was with my leg stuck up in the air and I just started typing away. Once I started I couldn’t stop! I finished the novel in a couple of weeks and was so sad it was over, I started another, then another. Even with a few books written, it still hadn’t occurred to me that I could actually be a writer. But, with the encouragement of my friends, I sent one in for consideration, and Fiery Seas sent me the email they wanted to publish it. There was lots of jumping that day. Lots and lots of jumping. LOL

Jenn: I bet! So, is In the Assassin’s Arms the first in a series? Or is it a standalone novel?

Katherine: It is the first book in a series. So far, I have three written.

Jenn: Oh, very awesome! I adore series…

Katherine: Me, too! I like to get lost in a series and follow all the characters as long as the author will let me!

Jenn: Do you write full time now? Or do you juggle your writing with another J-O-B? And if you do the juggling thing, how do you find balance?

Katherine: I have a business handling marketing and social media for businesses in my area. Luckily for me, it’s incredibly flexible so when I get an idea for writing, I can usually stop what I’m doing for work and write. It’s made balancing the two quite easy, actually. I’m very lucky!

Jenn: Very cool! The businesses that have you working for them are very lucky, indeed. That social media marketing thing can be a killer when you have the million OTHER things needed as a business owner.

Katherine: Exactly! It’s my job to handle their social media so they can focus on what they do best!

Jenn: How much planning do you put into your writing? Or are you more of a pantser?

Katherine: I am a planner through and through! Each book I write starts as a dream. Then from my dream I figure out the plot from start to finish. Once that is done, I put it into a chapter by chapter outline. I leave plenty of room for creative twists and what-not, but when I start writing I have the entire book plotted out. It helps me write so much faster than before I started doing this.

Jenn: I totally envy your ability to write like that… Every book I ever outlined, I had to start back over from scratch.

Katherine: LOL! It definitely takes a lot of thought before I start writing the outline! But so far I’ve stuck to it quite well!

Jenn: Very cool. You mentioned that Assassin’s Arms is the first in a series, and that you have 2 more finished. Could we get an idea of when we can anticipate book 2?

KatherineBeneath the Assassin’s Touch is the second book in the series. Fiery Seas has it signed for publication and it will be out in print and digital hopefully later this year! I’m really excited about this one. It follows a character you’ll meet from In the Assassin’s Arms, Viktor, on his own romantic adventure.

Jenn: Yay for continuing adventures and learning more about other characters!

Katherine: He wasn’t a planned character in In the Assassin’s Arms, yet I adored him so much when he waltzed into my book I knew he needed his own!

Jenn: hehe… Those tend to jump out at us, right?

Katherine: Right!

Jenn: Our review of In the Assassin’s Arms will be live on July 12, and we’ll have buy links up as soon as they become available. is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you or your debut novel before we wrap up?

Katherine: I can’t wait to see what you think about my first book baby! I hope that you and others have as much fun reading it as I had writing it. There’s plenty of action, adventure, and romance for anyone who enjoys those kinds of books. This has been such a childhood dream come true and I look forward to writing more books that hopefully everyone will enjoy!

Jenn: Here’s to book babies and dreams come true that you never thought would!

Katherine: It’s been an incredible adventure!

Jenn: I bet!

I’d like to thank you for your time, on behalf of Thrice Read Books and our readers. This has been so much fun, and I’m so looking forward to reading In the Assassin’s Arms.

Katherine: Thank you so much for hosting me! It’s such an honor to have you take interest in my book, and I can’t tell you how much you book bloggers mean to us new writers! We appreciate you more than you know!

Jenn: Just out of curiosity, would you be heading to RWA2018 in a few weeks?

Katherine: I actually won’t this year due to a bunch of work stuff, but next year I hope to! It’s on the calendar!

Jenn: Aww. Awesome!

Katherine: I really do appreciate all your support! This has just been so fun! You’re my first official interview! LOL

Jenn: Whoohoo! I love that we get to be firsts

I’ll have buttons for this at the bottom of the post, but can readers find and follow you on social media?

Katherine: Great! I love getting social with people!

They can find me at www.katherinehastings.com. I’m also on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. [We’ve got the links in the buttons below!]

Katherine: Thank you again for hosting me!!

Jenn: You bet!

Have a great day, and watch out for that whiplash!

Katherine: HA HA HA! I am pretty accident prone! LOL

Jenn: You, too, Katherine. Thanks again and good luck.

Jenn sat down to talk to author Katherine Hastings about her debut historical romance, In the Assassin’s Arms

Facebook Twitter Website Instagram

Our Reviews of Katherine’s Books:

In the Assassin’s Arms Beneath the Assassin’s Touch

By the Assassin’s Side

Buy Katherine’s Books Here:

By the Assassin’s Side

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews book 3 in Katherine Hasting's Daggers of Desire series, BY THE ASSASSIN'S SIDE - historical romance - action adventure romance - pirates
Jenn reviews book 3 in Katherine Hasting’s Daggers of Desire series, By the Assassin’s Side

About the book:

By the Assassin’s Side by Katherine Hastings

Historical Fiction/ 242 Pages

Flyte Publishing – February 6, 2019

Gold may not be the only treasure they find. 

As they race to find the treasure, Simon and Vivian must fight the men hunting her down… and the feelings for each other growing each step of the way.

With part of a stolen treasure map in her possession and mercenaries hot on her trail, Vivien runs to the one person she knows will keep her safe. Captain Viktor. But when she arrives at his ship, it isn’t her oldest friend commanding it, a new man has taken his place. Captain Simon Blackmore. Though reluctant to work with this imposter, his skills both as a pirate and an assassin are exactly what she needs to find this treasure… and stay ahead of the men who want their map back.

Half the treasure as payment for protecting the fiery courtesan convinces Simon to escort her and help uncover Captain Avery’s lost loot. Danger nips at their heels every step of the way, and her obstinate personality makes the already monumental task even more difficult. But soon they are fighting for more than just staying alive… they are fighting the feelings for each other that are even more dangerous than the men hunting her down.

Can they work together to find the treasure that could change both their fates, or will they discover that the greatest treasure was there all along?

Jenn’s Review:

Katherine Hastings is back with a third installment of the Daggers of Desire series, rounding the series out with the story of Vivian and Simon.

Simon inherited the pirate vessel, Dark Shark, from his good friend and longtime partner, Viktor, when Viktor retired. While in port, waiting for the crew’s next adventure, a stubborn, determined woman demands to see the captain – only she’s quite distressed to discover Simon now carries the title.

Vivian’s found herself in a bad situation, the worst she’s ever faced. And when the tall, imposing Simon insists that Viktor has retired, Viv is at a loss. Her long-time friend and occasional lover, Viktor, is the only one she trusts to get her through her dilemma – a stolen half of a pirate treasure map.

Simon keeps his word and delivers Viv to Viktor’s doorstep, and true to the new Captain’s word, Viktor confirms his retirement and helps the pair plan their perilous journey to find Captain Avery’s lost pirate treasure.

Nothing in their journey is straight forward, and the pair repeatedly make their predicaments worse through their stubbornness. A common background is the only thing that eases the tension between them to quiet the constant sniping at each other.

This is a fun swashbuckling romance, with a quick pace and quick wit sprinkled throughout. While it is the third book in the series, it can easily be read on its own.


Jenn reviews book 3 in Katherine Hasting's Daggers of Desire series, BY THE ASSASSIN'S SIDE - historical romance - action adventure romance - pirates
Jenn reviews book 3 in Katherine Hasting’s Daggers of Desire series, By the Assassin’s Side

We interviewed Katherine back in July, 2018. You can read more here.

Buy the book:

Beneath the Assassin’s Touch

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews BENEATH THE ASSASSIN'S TOUCH by Katherine Hastings, Book 2 in the Daggers of Desire series - historical romance - romance fiction - assassin fiction - adventure romance
Jenn reviews Beneath the Assassin’s Touch by Katherine Hastings, Book 2 in the Daggers of Desire series

About the Book

Beneath the Assassin’s Touch, 
Katherine Hastings

Adult, Historical Romance, 201 Pages

Flyte Publishing, January 23, 2019

Sometimes the safest place is in the arms of the most dangerous man.

As Viktor fights to save Nora from assassins hot on her trail, it turns out they’re up against an even bigger battle… the feelings for each other they can no longer deny.

When Viktor envisioned pulling the beautiful Baroness into his arms, he was thinking he wanted a quick roll in the hay… a one-night stand like he’d had with a lengthy list of ladies before her. Tossing her over his shoulder to escape her would-be assassins wasn’t what he had in mind, yet that’s exactly how she ended up in his arms the night they met. Now Viktor is stuck protecting the willful woman until they can solve the mystery of who would want her dead. He must use all his skills, as both pirate and assassin, to save her… and all his willpower to resist the growing feelings that threaten to pull him under.

Baroness Nora Aberdeen finds herself ripped from a life of luxury, dependent on the infuriating assassin to keep her alive. Unsure who to trust, she can’t deny the safety she feels when she’s by his side. Dragged through England to places she never imagined, Nora struggles to survive while also struggling to battle the feelings the roguish pirate awakens within her.

Can they fight their feelings while they fight for their lives? Will he be able to save her, and in doing so save himself… or will pride and duty tear them apart?

About the Author

 
Katherine Hastings loves love. It’s why she writes romance novels. Getting lost writing a romantic adventure is one of her favorite pastimes. When she’s not on an adventure with her characters, she can be found at her home in Wisconsin snuggling her husband, two Boston Terriers, and the world’s naughtiest cat. Two things make Katherine want to leave her happy home these days… going for rides on her dressage pony or floating at the beach in her big inflatable raft. Writing her novels while floating in the lake is one of her ultimate pleasures… that and Fried Wisconsin Cheese Curds, of course.

Jenn’s Review

Katherine Hastings is back with book 2 in the Daggers of Desire series, Beneath the Assassin’s Touch. In book 1, we briefly met the pirate, Viktor, and he’s back with his over-the-top wit and salacious, playful antics to rescue the endangered damsel, keep her out of harm’s way, and find his own happily ever after.

Viktor hides a damaged, painful past behind his mask of daring escapades, quick sense of humor, and bawdy bosom buddies. Never one to settle down for long, he agrees to take a short stint away from his pirate ship, Dark Shark, to help John and Charlie prevent an assassination. The only catch is, they don’t know exactly who’s at risk, only that the intended victim will be at a ball at a nearby estate. He’s growing weary of the pirate’s life, even if he is a captain with his own ship.

Never one to let a little work get in the way of a flirtation, Viktor trails a beautiful baroness out onto a balcony for a bit of fresh air.

Nora doesn’t exactly like the plush life she’s carved out for herself, but the cost of turning back is too high for her to pay – so she plays her part and grits her teeth. The dashing, well-dressed man that follows her around her husband’s party is more than an annoyance, his continued affections could jeopardize all those she holds dear. But when armed men attack her in the dark, she has no choice but to flee in the handsome stranger’s arms.

Nora is all prickles and defenses, continually demanding that Viktor returns her to her home, refusing to believe that she’s in any danger. Her ongoing denial and fight for her independence could cost her her life. And Viktor refuses to let the beautiful, strong Nora out of his grasp – she’s possibly his best chance at healing old wounds and finding the happiness he never thought could be his.

Ms. Hastings has tackled yet another historical romance with a flair for witty banter, sexy tensions, and action-packed adventure. BENEATH THE ASSASSIN’S TOUCH is the second book in the series, and characters and situations from book 1 are referenced, met, and take part in some of the action, but this book can be read as a standalone in its own right. A nice break from the typical adult historical romance.

Jenn reviews BENEATH THE ASSASSIN'S TOUCH by Katherine Hastings, Book 2 in the Daggers of Desire series - historical romance - romance fiction - assassin fiction - adventure romance
Jenn reviews Beneath the Assassin’s Touch by Katherine Hastings, Book 2 in the Daggers of Desire series

We interviewed Katherine back in July 2018. You can read the article here.

Buy the Book

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback formats here:

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Charles Duhigg's THE POWER OF HABIT  - nonfiction - personal development - productivity - psychology
Jenn reviews Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit

About the Book

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business,  Charles Duhigg

Adult, Business and Money

Random House (February 28, 2012)

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • This instant classic explores how we can change our lives by changing our habits.
 
“With the days of pulling all-nighters and eating pizza at 2 a.m. (hopefully) behind your new grad, there’s no time like the present to get into a good routine.”—Real Simple
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The Wall Street Journal • Financial Times
 
In The Power of Habit, award-winning business reporterCharles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to the sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

About the Author

My name is Charles Duhigg, and I’m a reporter for The New York Times. I’m also the author of The Power of Habit, about the science of habit formation, as well as Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Productivity in Life and Business (which is available for sale on Amazon on March 8, 2016!)

I’ve worked at the Times since 2006. In 2013, I was part of a team that won the Pulitzer Prize for a series about Apple named “The iEconomy”. Before that, I contributed to NYT series about the 2008 financial crisis, how companies take advantage of the elderly and national violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act. (For those series, I won the National Journalism Award, the Investigative Reporters and Editors’ Medal, the National Academies’ reporting award and other recognitions.)

But let’s be honest, you aren’t visiting this page so I can brag about series and awards. (Unless you’re my mom. Hi mom!)

I’m also a native of New Mexico. I studied history at Yale and received an MBA from Harvard Business School. I now live in Brooklyn with my wife and two children and, before becoming a journalist, was a bike messenger in San Francisco for one terrifying day.

I would love to hear from you. I’m at charles@charlesduhigg.com.

Jenn’s Review

Ever wonder why some habits are easier to change than others? Ever pondered what makes us tick? Why is it so hard to quit smoking or stick to a diet? Check out Charles Duhigg’s THE POWER OF HABIT.

Through engaging, real life examples drawn from personal lives and history alike, Duhigg shines a light on the psychology and neuroscience behind the things we do automatically. He explores the science behind AA, business successes and failures, and the psychology behind the Montgomery bus boycott, and why it became the catalyst for the Civil Rights movement.

Between story illustration, science, and practical tactics, the reader has a down-to-earth explanation of the habits and how to change them.

This is a priceless book for the person looking to make lasting change in their lives, and a critical insight into why some businesses fail while others succeed.

For the layperson who wants to get healthier to the seasoned boardroom professional, I would recommend this book to just about everyone. I’ve been able to use the knowledge in this book to make positive changes in my own life, and used the information to help my teenager break some of her unwanted habits early on.

This is NOT a quick fix book to help you loose weight, loose your ex, make a ton of money, etc. This IS a valuable resource for understanding habits and developing a strong game plan to make lasting change in your life.

Jenn reviews Charles Duhigg's THE POWER OF HABIT  - nonfiction - personal development - productivity - psychology
Jenn reviews Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit

Buy the Book

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, audiobook, Hardcover, paperback, and Audio CD editions. [affiliate link]

Good Luck with That

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Kristin Higgins' GOOD LUCK WITH THAT - Contemporary Women's Fiction with a dash of romance
Jenn reviews Kristin Higgins’ Good Luck with That

About the Book

Good Luck with That, Kristan Higgins
Adult, Humor, 480 Pages
Berkley (August 7, 2018)

Emerson, Georgia, and Marley have been best friends ever since they met at a weight-loss camp as teens. When Emerson tragically passes away, she leaves one final wish for her best friends: to conquer the fears they still carry as adults. 

For each of them, that means something different. For Marley, it’s coming to terms with the survivor’s guilt she’s carried around since her twin sister’s death, which has left her blind to the real chance for romance in her life. For Georgia, it’s about learning to stop trying to live up to her mother’s and brother’s ridiculous standards, and learning to accept the love her ex-husband has tried to give her. 

But as Marley and Georgia grow stronger, the real meaning of Emerson’s dying wish becomes truly clear: more than anything, she wanted her friends to love themselves. 

A novel of compassion and insight, Good Luck With That tells the story of two women who learn to embrace themselves just the way they are.

About the Author

Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of 18 novels, which have been translated into more than two dozen languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Her books have received dozens of awards and accolades, including starred reviews from Kirkus, The New York Journal of Books, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and Booklist. She is a five-time nominee for The Kirkus Prize for Best Work of Fiction, and her books regularly appear on the lists for best novels of the year of many prestigious journals and review sites. If you want to keep up with Kristan’s new releases and get a free short story, sign up for her mailing list at www.kristanhiggins.com.

The proud descendant of a butcher and a laundress, Kristan lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband, two long-lashed children, a couple of frisky rescue dogs and an occasionally friendly cat.

Jenn’s Review

I had the good fortune of attending a writing class taught by Kristan Higgins over the summer, and when I had the opportunity to read one of her full novels, I jumped on it. Good Luck With That is warm, witty and honest women’s fiction with a hefty dose of romance in the second half.

Emerson, Georgia, and Marley met at “fat camp” in their teens and became fast friends for life. Georgia and Marley share a house (kind of), but try to stay in touch with Emerson over the years. But the best of intentions go awry, and Georgia and Marley are called to Emerson’s hospital bedside just hours before their friend passes away. In their grief, they agree to follow the instructions in an envelope that they aren’t allowed to open until after Emerson’s funeral.

Good Luck With That is an honest and compassionate look at life with obesity and eating disorders, as well as a window into how society treats women based on their weight and size. As a woman who’s struggled with weight and eating disorders all my life, I found myself between the pages of this book. I’ve lived so many of the experiences that the protagonists endure, and their eventual triumph is heartening. The book also prompted some honest conversation at home with Hubby and Daughter (who is 13 and already struggling with society and her weight). These conversations will continue and battles will be won and lost, much like the trio in this book.

Have a hanky handy for this book, and be compassionate with yourself and others as you read. Five stars and highly recommended!

Jenn reviews Kristin Higgins' GOOD LUCK WITH THAT - Contemporary Women's Fiction with a dash of romance
Jenn reviews Kristin Higgins’ Good Luck with That

Buy the Book

 This book is available in Kindle, Library Edition, paperback,  and in audio book editions from Amazon  [affiliiate link}

Highland Retribution – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Keira Montclair's historical romance novel, Highland Retribution
Jenn reviews Keira Montclair’s historical romance novel, Highland Retribution

About the Book

Highland Retribution,  Keira Montclair, The Band of Cousins Volume 3

Adult, Historical Romance

Keira Montclair (June 17, 2018)

They stole everything from her. With his help, she’ll finally get it back. Braden Grant is haunted by the death of his friend Ronan, who took his own life. No one knows why the warrior resorted to such desperate measures, but Braden blames himself. He won’t feel settled until he’s atoned for failing to save his friend, and when he meets Cairstine Muir, he wonders if he’s finally found his chance. Held against her will by the very man who killed her family, the lass is a prisoner in her own keep. Her beauty and quiet strength call to him as much as her situation urges him to fight. Though life has taught her harsh lessons, Cairstine still has an ember of hope in her heart. She longs to escape her captors and exact vengeance on them, but nothing is more important to her than her wee son’s safety. Though she failed to save her family, she pledges she will always save him, come what may. When a strong, handsome defender steps into her life, promising to help her exact vengeance on her captors, she sees the opportunity she’s waited for…but is the possibility of a new life worth the risk to her son?

About the Author

Keira Montclair is the pen name of an author who lives in Florida with her husband. She loves to write fast-paced, emotional romance, especially with children as secondary characters in her stories. 
She has worked as a registered nurse in pediatrics and recovery room nursing. Teaching is another of her loves, as she has taught both high school mathematics and practical nursing.

Now she loves to spend her time writing, but there isn’t enough time to write everything she wants! Her Highlander Clan Grant Series is a reader favorite is a series of eight stand-alone novels. The Summerhill Series is a contemporary romance series set in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region in Western New York. Her third series, The Highland Clan, is set twenty years after the Clan Grant Series and will focus on the Grant/Ramsay descendants. Her newest series is The Soulmate Chronicles, historical romance with a touch of paranormal. 

You may contact her through her website at www.keiramontclair.com. She also has a Facebook account and a twitter account through Keira Montclair. If you send her an email through her website, she promises to respond.

Jenn’s Review

It’s been a while since I’ve sat down with a romance I knew I could finish in an afternoon. Highland Retribution was on my TBR pile, and I figured I’d breeze through it during one of our family reading nights.

Highland Retribution is aahistorical romance set in 1280’s Scotland, and features Braden Grant and Caistine Muir – two young people with vastly different upbringings.

Braden has a quick and violent temper, but he’s been raised to do the right thing, to never hit those more vulnerable than himself, and to protect women and children. He’s recently lost his closet friend to apparent suicide, and the brief encounter with a beautiful young stranger seems to have had a powerful impact on him. Every instinct inside Braden drives him to seek her out and learn more about her situation – little does he know that learning about her will draw him and his cousins into danger and deeper into an on going mystery surrounding apparent child trafficking.

Cairstine is in a bad situation – the man who killed her entire clan has been holding her hostage for 6 years, their child is the shackles he uses to control her. When she encounters the handsome stranger at a wedding feast that she and her captor were not invited to, her heart begs the heavens to send him to help her. But first, she needs to make sure her son is safe, and her journey out of captivity is a rollercoaster of emotions and danger.

This is a quick read. Not the best romance I’ve read lately, but certainly a satisfying read. The characters don’t always have distinct voices, which was a disappointment – this is the third book in a series, and I would expect that at this point, the author would have sufficiently developed her characters and their voices. Aside from that, if you enjoy hunky Scotsmen, action, and mystery, snag this book for a quiet evening reading.

Jenn reviews Keira Montclair's historical romance novel, Highland Retribution
Jenn reviews Keira Montclair’s historical romance novel, Highland Retribution

Buy the Book

 This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, audiobook, and paperback editions. [affiliate link]

Off the Map – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Sierra Dean's Adult Action/Suspense Romance OFF THE MAP
Jenn reviews Sierra Dean’s Adult Action/Suspense Romance Off the Map

About the Book

Off the Map, Sierra Dean

Adult, Romantic Suspense, 220 Pages

Sierra Dean (October 2, 2018)

Her last job won’t be a day at the beach.

Harper Barton has one reason and one reason only to be in Colombia, and it isn’t for fun in the sun. As an expert in “acquiring” antiquities, she’s been tasked with collecting a valuable necklace from a gala. The problem? A drug kingpin wants the piece for himself, and won’t let a cat burglar get in his way.

Diego Morales is in Colombia doing research for his next book. The mild-mannered professor was expecting dusty books and boring lecture halls, not a beautiful woman sweeping him onto the dance floor and planting a kiss on him before being chased out of the building by armed guards.

Harper and Diego find themselves neck-deep in trouble when they’re kidnapped by the drug kingpin, but things go from bad to worse when they both go overboard and end up lost in the middle of the Colombian jungle. Can they stay alive long enough to get home? Can they stop fighting long enough to realize there’s more than just jungle heat simmering between them?

Off the Map is high-stakes adventure with spark, snark, and plenty of danger. 

About the Author


Sierra Dean is a reformed historian. She was born and raised in the Canadian prairies and is allowed annual exit visas in order to continue her quest of steadily conquering the world one city at a time. Making the best of the cold Canadian winters, Sierra indulges in her less global interests: drinking too much tea and writing urban fantasy.

Ever since she was a young girl she has loved the idea of the supernatural coexisting with the mundane. As an adult, however, the idea evolved from the notion of fairies in flower beds, to imagining that the rugged-looking guy at the garage might secretly be a werewolf. She has used her overactive imagination to create her own version of the world, where vampire, werewolves, fairies, gods and monsters all walk among us, and she’ll continue to travel as much as possible until she finds it for real.

Jenn’s Review

Indiana Jones meets Tomb Raider in Sierra Dean’s action romantic suspense Off the Map, complete with a snarky, dare-devil heroine and anthropology professor (albeit far less daring) hero.

Harper Barton’s career as a specialty cat burgler goes sideways as the intelligence reports for a quick grab-and-go job in Columbia turns out to be utterly wrong. In an effort to get out alive, she wrangles an unassuming man into a dance at the museum gala, plants her prize in his pocket, steals a hot kiss and attempts to make a getaway.

Diego can’t believe his luck. He’s in Columbia to study some artifacts that appear to be from a lost warrior culture, and has a speech to give at the museum gala. So far, his trip has been less than exciting, and his sister back home has pestered him for years to have an adventure. When the beautiful woman who invited him to dance kisses him so passionately that he can’t wait to see her again, he thinks he might finally accomplish his sister’s challenge.

Until the beautiful woman dashes away, with armed guards on her heels.

The pair alternate between attraction and bickering over the course of the ensuing days, trying to survive their explosive escape from captivity and certain death at the hands of Columbia’s most notorious and insane drug lord. Free of his clutches, can Harper and Diego survive the jungle to make it back to safety?

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Dean’s world-building and character development are spot-on. The tension, both sexual and plot, kept me reading long past bedtime, and her twists in the plot kept me guessing what misfortune might befall the couple right up to the end.

This was a satisfying story, but I felt it ended very abruptly. Ms. Dean does suggest that this may have a sequel, but with so little space between the couple’s reunion and the end… The only other down-side of my review of the book is that the editing was incomplete, but not so much as to make the book unreadable.

Off the Map is an adult read, steamy, without edging off into erotica. Action-packed, thrilling, and immersive, this one gets a thumbs up.

Jenn reviews Sierra Dean's Adult Action/Suspense Romance OFF THE MAP
Jenn reviews Sierra Dean’s Adult Action/Suspense Romance Off the Map

Buy the Book

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback format here:

Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Magical High Society – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Desdemona Wren's NA Paranormal Novel MARJORIE DIAZ'S UNFORTUNATE INTRODUCTION TO MAGICAL HIGH SOCIETY - diverse books - LGBTQA FIction
Jenn reviews Desdemona Wren’s NA Paranormal Novel Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Magical High Society

About the Book

Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Magical High Society, Desdemona Wren

Adult, NA Paranormal, 339 Pages

Publisher: Antler Doe Publishing; 1 edition (September 4, 2018)

Girl meets boy. Girl falls in love with boy. Boy hunts girl for sport.

Marjorie Diaz has no idea who Patrick Watkins is. When he saunters into her senior seminar class during her last semester of college, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with him. 

She’s swept up into a whirlwind—and often times fairytale-esque—romance. That is, until his family kidnaps her and sends her to the last place she ever thought she would go again. 

Now, with the help of her best friend Lucian Maravalle, she has to run for her life, and try not to think too hard about the fact that everyone important to her has been keeping a dangerous secret. A secret that could cost Marjorie her life.

Book one in the Marjorie Diaz series.

Cover art by Ariel LeAnn of Cat’s Paw Media

This title is LGBTQIA+ and features a full POC cast.

About the Author

Desdemona Wren is a novelist who writes gay fiction with monsters, witches, and actual plots. She’s from Seattle, WA, but currently resides in the mystical land of Northern California. Where everybody wears coats all the time, nobody says ‘brah’, ‘bruh’, ‘bro’ or any variation of that word, and absolutely nobody surfs.

She has two cats named Oliver and Ophelia who have traveled the world. From The Great Smoky Mountains, to the tallest peaks of The Cascades, and even to the Grand Canyon; they’ve been everywhere. For more information on future books, visit her website at http://desdemonawren.com

Jenn’s Review

New Adult fiction isn’t something I generally jump at, but I made an exception for this review request, from author Desdemona Wren, because I love paranormal fiction, and wanted to try something a little different.

Marjorie’s last semester of college isn’t off to a great start when she gets partnered with sarcastic, flirtatious Patrick on their first day of Senior Seminar for their senior project. She thought she knew everyone in her major, and Patrick seems to know her, but Marjorie has no recollection of seeing this man in any of her classes.

To complicate things further, his flirtatious behavior is followed up by a hallway make-out session. Marjorie walks out of class to be confronted by Patrick and his very beautiful girlfriend kissing.

Aside from the storyline, this book was an adventure for me – an asexual protagonist in a romance, millennial voice, and a driving plotline. Ms. Wren’s storytelling feels a tad awkward at times, with scattered dialogue that didn’t seem to drive the plot and lagging character development that picks up once it’s finally established.

That said, however, the author took the time to give each character a unique voice in the book, and to some degree, I would attribute some of the awkward narratives to the protagonist’s personality, more than the author’s writing skill (Marjorie has some deep-seated issues – she’s not glamorous by any means). Hooray for a deeply flawed heroine that isn’t swooning over every cute guy she meets!

This is definitely not a young adult read and is geared towards the New Adult level. With an asexual heroine, the book is free of any graphic sexual content, however, the language is rough enough that I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone under 16. Millennial fans of paranormal and diverse books – this one is for you.

Jenn reviews Desdemona Wren's NA Paranormal Novel MARJORIE DIAZ'S UNFORTUNATE INTRODUCTION TO MAGICAL HIGH SOCIETY - diverse books - LGBTQA FIction
Jenn reviews Desdemona Wren’s NA Paranormal Novel Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Magical High Society

Buy the Book

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback formats here:

Motivation Manifesto

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Brendon Burchard's MOTIVATION MANIFESTO - nonfiction - personal development - self-help
Jenn reviews Brendon Burchard’s Motivation Manifesto

About the Book

Motivation Manifesto, Brendon Burchard

Adult, Personal Development, 256 Pages

Publisher: Hay House Inc.; First Edition edition (October 28, 2014)

“The Motivation Manifesto is a poetic and powerful call to reclaim our lives and find our own personal freedom. It’s a triumphant work that transcends the title, lifting the reader from mere motivation into a soaringly purposeful and meaningful life. I love this book.” — Paulo Coelho

The Motivation Manifesto is a pulsing, articulate, ferocious call to claim our personal power. World-renowned high-performance trainer Brendon Burchard reveals that the main motive of humankind is the pursuit of greater Personal Freedom. We desire the grand liberties of choice—time freedom, emotional freedom, social freedom, financial freedom, spiritual freedom. Only two enemies stand in our way: an external enemy, defined as the social oppression of who we are by the mediocre masses, and an internal enemy, a sort of self-oppression caused by our own doubt and fear.

The march to Personal Freedom, Burchard argues, can be won only by declaring our intent and independence, stepping into our personal power, and battling through self-doubt and the distractions of the day until full victory is won. Recalling the revolutionist voices of the past that chose freedom over tyranny, Burchard—at times poetic yet always fierce—motivates us to free ourselves from fear and take back our lives once and for all.

About the Author

 
BRENDON BURCHARD is one of the most watched, quoted, and followed personal development trainers in the world. He is a global Top 100 Most-Followed Public Figure on Facebook, and he’s often referred to as “one of the most successful online trainers in history” (Oprah.com). A #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and #1 USA Today bestselling author, his books include The Motivation Manifesto, The Charge, The Millionaire Messenger, and Life’s Golden Ticket. He is the star and executive producer of the #1 self-help show on YouTube, and his podcast, The Charged Life, debuted at #1 on iTunes. Over 50,000,000 people watched his videos in the last 12 months, more than 30,000,000 see his posts every week across the web, and 1,000,000-plus students have completed his online courses or video series. SUCCESS Magazine named Brendon as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Leaders in Personal Growth and Achievement, along with Oprah, Deepak Chopra, Joel Osteen, Arianna Huffington, Dave Ramsey, Dr. Oz, Wayne Dyer, and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg. Learn more at Brendon.com

Jenn’s Review

I’m a personal development junkie (for those who don’t already know this). I stumbled upon Brendon Burchard’s The Motivation Manifesto while looking for something else on his website. At the time, I was mired in overwhelm, health issues, and depression, and as I was already somewhat familiar with Brendon’s work, I jumped on what appeared to be a lovely volume of literature.

I was not disappointed.

This is a slender volume, for sure, coming in at under 250 pages. Contents aside, the time and care Mr. Burchard put into designing the book is clear – this could easily be an heirloom work of philosophical rhetoric from centuries ago.

The content is what sets this book apart, though. Borrowing from the great philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries, Burchard stylizes and lays out a challenge to 21st Century dwellers to live more fully, open ourselves up to new ways of thinking, and raise our standards.

If you would prefer not to take a hard look at how you’re currently living your life, to be challenged to hold yourself accountable for your words, behavior, and impact on the world, this is not the book for you. If you are not ready to flip your life upside down and change how you think and how you live, this book is not for you.

If, however, you’re looking for motivation to improve your life, start with this volume. If you want to find those elements that seem to be missing from your life, depriving you of a life fully lived – this is your book.

Slender though it is, The Motivation Manifesto is not a book to be rushed through. Take your time. Ponder each section and every declaration. Do the exercises in the accompanying workbook (free to download). Share a copy or two with someone you love.

Jenn reviews Brendon Burchard's MOTIVATION MANIFESTO - nonfiction - personal development - self-help
Jenn reviews Brendon Burchard’s The Motivation Manifesto

Buy the Book

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle, Audiobook, Hardcover and Audio CD formats here:

Dark Goddess

Jenn reviews Amalie Howard's YA Paranormal Fiction novel, DARK GODDESS - OwnVoices, Diverse Fiction, Authors of Color, Paranormal Romance
Jenn reviews Amalie Howard’s YA Paranormal Fiction novel, Dark Goddess

About the Book


Dark Goddess, by Elaine Pofeldt 

Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, 381 Pages Sky Pony February 13, 2018

After an epic struggle that unseated the Azura Lord of Death and placed Serjana Caelum’s best friend, Kyle, on his throne, the Mortal Realm is peaceful and the balance between good and evil—which Sera is sworn to protect—has been restored.

But signs of a new threat to the world of men quickly begin to appear: A scourge of demons descends on the Mortal Realm, and Sera is beside herself trying to locate their source. She sends word to the gods for help, and their answer comes in the form of Kira, the living incarnation of Kali, goddess of destruction.

Stunning and dangerous, Kira plans to protect the heavens at all cost, even if it means destroying the entire Mortal Realm. Soon Sera and Kyle find themselves fighting not just the demon plague, but Kira and her twin. But when an even more sinister threat arises—putting not just the human world but all planes of existence in jeopardy—they must all learn to work together or lose everything they sacrificed so much to save.

About the Author

Biography

AMALIE HOWARD is the award-winning author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, VOYA, School Library Journal, and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Kid’s INDIE NEXT selection. Her debut novel, Bloodspell, was a #1 bestseller in gothic fiction, and the sequel, Bloodcraft, was a national IPPY silver medalist and Children’s Moonbeam Award winner. She is also the co-author of the #1 bestseller in Regency Romance, My Rogue, My Ruin, in the Lords of Essex historical romance series. She currently resides in Colorado with her husband and three children. Visit her at www.amaliehoward.com.

Jenn’s Review

Sera and Kyle are back for more adventures in Xibalba in the second installment of the Alpha Goddess series by Amalie Howard, Dark Goddess.

The teens narrowly averted the Kali Yuga in Alpha Goddess, but if they thought it was over, they’ll have to think again. More demons are escaping the hell realms, regardless of how many Kyle sends back through the portals. The ruling gods and protectors of the mortal realm trust neither Sera nor Kyle, citing their separate parentage and exploits from the first half of the story. Dev has vanished back to Illysia, leaving Sera in the hands of some very zealous warrior goddesses, and without critical information that Kyle and Sera could sure use to get the demon problems under control.

To further complicate things, the situation has awoken two goddesses that are bent on resetting the balance, Kali and Durga. And Kyle is crushing on both of them. Because, you know, getting involved with volatile, destroyer goddesses that have a reputation for ignoring the rules is always a good idea when the human race is on the line. (Or so Sera points out.)

The clock is ticking and time for humanity is getting short. Can Sera and Kyle solve the riddle of the demon invasion, without help from the council, before Kali’s deadline arrives?

This is another young adult, OwnVoices novel from an incredible author. Not your run of the mill Greek mythology, Ms. Howard pulls in all the colors, smells, and culture that surrounds Hindu beliefs and weaves them into a vibrant, diverse urban fantasy.

Jenn reviews Amalie Howard's YA Paranormal Fiction novel, DARK GODDESS - OwnVoices, Diverse Fiction, Authors of Color, Paranormal Romance

Jenn reviews Amalie Howard’s YA Paranormal Fiction novel, Dark Goddess

Sam’s Review

Sera is now torn between the man who is her soulmate and the demon lord she’s known for a long time. And apparently the apocalypse isn’t over yet. Now she must go against the people who only want to protect her from the danger she herself is expected to face.

This book is just as good as the other one. Filled with suspense, romance, and magic, Dark Goddess is a thrilling sequel. But like the previous story, it was cliche in a couple of places.

Buy the Book

 This book is available from Amazon in Kindle and Hardcover editions. [affiliate link]