Tagged: Contemporary

Tribute – Review

Sam reviews Chris Knoblough's Middle Grade Horror novel TRIBUTE in this edition of the Thrice Read Books review blog

About the Book:

Tribute by Chris Knoblaugh (The Cleaners, book 1)

Middle Grade Horror/Latino Fiction 255 pages

Self-published through Amazon Digital Services, LLC April 13, 2018 

When twelve-year-old Miguel’s gang member Papa makes promises to Santa Muerte, someone in Miguel’s family loses a soul. The last time, it was Miguel’s gentle aunt. This time, the target is Miguel’s brother, Juan.

Santa Muerte, the skeletal patron saint of drug traffickers and murderers, always claims her fee.

The trouble is Miguel won’t let Juan’s spirit go. The resulting paranormal possession attracts demons, doppelgangers, and an ancient soul slayer from the depths of Hell — all of whom must be vanquished if Miguel is to live. 

Even with help, Miguel’s refusal to release Juan threatens the lives of those Miguel loves most. Miguel must choose to release his brother or lose yet another loved one, for the bargain was made with Santa Muerte and the price must be paid.

About the Author:

Chris Knoblaugh runs Dancing with Words Tutoring along with her husband, Mark Dooley. She currently teaches English at a middle school in south San Jose, California. Her interests have expanded to include self-publishing and blogging. Her blog, https://dancingwithwordstutoring.blogspot.com, is structured to help reluctant students learn to be comfortable with writing. She and her husband live in California with more books than necessary and two rescue kitties. Her much beleaguered daughter, Monica, holds her own in this raucous family.

Chris has a B.A.in English Literature with High College Honors, a B.S. in Biology, and an M.A. in Teaching with Reading Specialization. Her novels and stories incorporate myths, cryptids, regional traditions, and historical settings. She enjoys writing for her students and for her tutoring business. You can find her at her blog, at FaceBook, or at Twitter.

Happy hauntings!

Sam’s Review:

Welcome to the land of Tribute, AKA, a book about demons, possession, and a heck ton of danger and ghosts. Tribute was written by Chris Knoblaugh, and is about a Mexican-American family living in San Jose, California.

Miguel has lost his brother, Juan, and is bound determined to find his killer. But Juan hasn’t found his peace, and is stuck in purgatory. This makes him a ghost, and when Miguel ticks him off, he summons a ton of demons that put him and his loved ones in danger.

For me, this book was a trip to crazy town, with a whole bunch happening at once. Several times, I had to shake my head and go, “what? Just, what?” Please know that this book has swearing, and some violent moments, mainly about the demons. It was still interesting, though.

On this edition of Sam's Teen Reads Corner, Sam faces Santa Muerte in Chris Knoblaugh's middle grade horror novel, TRIBUTE

Buy the Book:

 This book is available from Amazon in Kindle format only, here. [affiliate link]

Additional Information about this book:

 Ms. Knoblough was featured in her hometown newspaper about the same time she submitted her request for review. She talks more about her motivation behind writing and publishing Tribute. You can read the story here.

Scourge – Promo & Excerpt

About the Book

Scourge     By Charley Pearson

Fiery Seas Publishing     August 14, 2018   

Adult – Medical Thriller

Financially independent, biochemistry genius Stacy Romani grows up off the grid, while her Roma family takes advantage of her knowledge for their own gain.

Watching his family farm struggle, and traumatized by mass slaughter, Aatos Pires wants to heal animals but gets seduced by industry and goes to work for a big pharmaceutical company.

When Aatos’ co-worker Trinity creates a deadly doomsday virus, it puts the world population in jeopardy as it spreads exponentially. . .with no cure in sight.

Stacy and Aatos work alone to find a cure, as the CDC and FBI close in. Will they find a way to stop the plague or will it be the end of the world?

~ Praise for SCOURGE ~

“Imaginative and full of action…continually shifting the quirky plot into places that are both surprising and fantastical…succeeds with its scientific intrigue and decisively high stakes.”

– Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Charley Pearson started in chemistry and biology, then moved on to bioengineering, so the Navy threw in some extra training and made him a nuclear engineer. This actually made sense when his major task turned out to be overseeing chemical and radiological environmental remediation at Navy facilities after the end of the Cold War, releasing them for unrestricted future use. Now he writes fiction. 

Social Media: 

Facebook     Twitter     Website

Thrice Read Books is a stop on the blog tour for Charley Pearson's new medical thriller, SCOURGE. Now available from Fiery Seas Publishing

Excerpt (w/ permission from author & publisher)

Excerpt, Chapter 9

The blast was louder than the angular man expected. Dirt and rocks burst from the earthen dam. One shard clipped his arm and two of his followers swore at injuries. But water ran through the cove once again, the balance of creation restored, and the night’s mission a success. Or the knight’s mission, for was he not a crusader, the most sterling of advocates for the recovery of nature?

Flow increased as the dam crumbled. Water gushed, pulsed, then poured downhill as the structure gave way. Not exactly smashing down the trees, scarcely more than annoying to the people below from mild flooding, but still acceptable. Sweeping away the village may be what Jamie had promised, but none of his people had achieved such skill.

“It’s not enough,” said a mousy young woman, his latest recruit. “One river at a time, one hamlet’s worth of people, will never get the job done.”

“Yeah,” said another. “Jamie was supposed to get three times that much dynamite.”

“You should talk,” said Jamie. “You were promising poison gas.”

The angular man raised his arms. “Patience, dear ones. We are the best our species has to offer. We shall not bicker amongst ourselves. We shall not accuse. Perhaps Trinity is correct, and the technology does not yet exist to accomplish our beneficent goal. But someday we will prevail. Seek on, and in the meantime, continue your smaller acts of distraction. Ecoterrorism, some may call it, but we know better. Any action to slow the destruction of habitat, to forward the path of Luddism, is honorable.”

A bit of moping, but mostly nods. Glorious people, his disciples. Even that skinny Chad boy, with little academic training to contribute to the cause, could make a fine soldier should they ever need one. It shouldn’t come to that, of course. Peaceful extirpation of the human species was the goal. Well, as peaceful as they could make it. Dynamite made a charming exception now and then.

Time. That’s all it would take. Eventually, one of his people would find a means to secure the final objective. Perhaps Trinity. Far more competent than any other he led, and her dedication grew with time. She had not cried about the necessity of killing people in months.

Buy the Book

FIERY SEAS BOOKSTORE     AMAZON     BARNES & NOBLE     KOBO

The Jinx – Promotion & Excerpt

Thrice Read Books hosts a blog tour stop for THE JINX by Ernest Lancaster, with chapter excerpt
Thrice Read Books is a stop on the blog tour for Ernest Lancaster's debut novel, The Jinx.

About the Book:

The Jinx     By Ernest Lancaster

Series: Memphis M.O. Book 1

Fiery Seas Publishing     July 24, 2018

Suspense / Action

Disaster strikes and innocents die as police sniper Rick Munro is plagued by a first-call jinx. As his career takes off, he must overcome his rookie mistakes, and keep his team members safe.

When Munro returns to TACT as a newly promoted lieutenant, the jinx torments him still. He must contend with team members’ rival agendas around every turn. Munro finds himself in a battle he can’t escape as corruption and death unfold around him.

Who can he trust? Will Munro break the streak or will it destroy everything he believes in?

About the Author:

Ernest Lancaster retired from the Memphis Police Department as a captain after serving as a cop for thirty-three years.

In the early seventies Lancaster spent two years walking a night beat in downtown Memphis, when The Peabody and Beale Street lay boarded up and crumbling and the center city became a dystopian ghost town after dark. He patrolled in ward cars, trooped for three days through a sea of pilgrims to Elvis’s funeral, edited the Memphis Police Association’s newspaper and acted as the association’s vice-president. For twenty-six years he held positions on the TACT Squad.

Lancaster now resides with his wife and Yorkie in the Smoky Mountains, where they love to hike and camp.

Social Media:

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Buy the Book:

This book is available in paperback and Kindle versions at these outlets:

Fiery Seas Pub Bookstore   Amazon   Barnes & Noble    Kobo

Excerpt, Chapter Eleven (reprinted with permission of the author & publisher)

Vickie delivered a plate and silverware, wrapped in a napkin, to the booth. She set a cheeseburger with a generous serving of thick, golden fries, and a pickle spear in front of him.

“More coffee?”

Munro edged his cup over. “Sure.” He turned to Loretta. “Want a burger? The kitchen is about to close.”

“You trying to make me fat?”

“We have a salad left,” Vickie said.

“No, thanks. Coffee’s plenty.”

Munro reached for his wallet. “How much do I owe?”

Vickie jutted out her palm. “It’s on the house. We’re glad to see you pass through at night.”

“How much are they usually?” he asked.

“Four dollars.”

Munro counted out bills from his wallet. “Here, take three. I’ll pay half price with a dollar tip.”

“Suit yourself.” She took the money.

Loretta’s gaze followed Vickie as she made her way back to the counter. “You know she just put your money in her pocket. Now she’s writing in her ledger, ‘one free burger to the police.’”

“Good for her,” he said. “I bet she works hard for her money.”

“Had to pay, huh? You have a guilty conscience?”

Munro opened the bun and sprinkled the meat with pepper. “Who doesn’t?”

“Good question.” She watched him with wary eyes as he dotted his fries with spots of ketchup. “So, you’re only half corrupt?”

He looked up. “Half price doesn’t hurt a business. I’m not a Boy Scout, but it helps keep me from straying over the double-yellow line head-on into stuffing my pockets or my belly at the public’s expense.”

“Are most cops corrupt?”

He shook his head. “No. Only a few are rotten to their core. And their stench tends to float to the surface. But on the streets in the real world, good and bad wear more faces than a diamond.” He took a hungry bite out of his half-price burger. “And beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.”

She touched her finger to her cheek and traced the scar down her face to where it crevassed her lip. “How can you be a cop if you can’t tell the difference between right and wrong?”

“Easy,” he said. “The almighty law is written down in black and white for any moron to read. And I do know the difference. It’s just that I’ve been around the block enough to know if you ride tall on a white horse through the mud all the time, the only thing you do is turn the horse black.”

“What about justice?”

“Justice? Whose? Movie heroes chase justice.” He stared out onto Madison Avenue. “Real cops, spilling their souls in the streets, are too busy trying to survive to worry about justice. That and clawing to hold onto a bit of their sanity—on a good day.”

She cocked a brow. “Aren’t you supposed to help people?”

“Don’t you see?” he asked. “I help people every day, every chance I get. That’s what I get paid for. And there’s never a shortage of people down and out on their luck needing it. But too many want help screwing someone in the ground to satisfy a grudge or escaping the consequences of their own foolishness.”

He took a slug of coffee like whiskey, and recoiled at its heat. “But if you keep your head down and your antennae up, every once in a while you can climb out of the muck and save some poor schmo who’s buried in disaster. Or make a difference in a kid’s life. Maybe even hammer a predator who deserves it. Those are the things that make it all worthwhile. But most of it is just madness you ride out.”

“Man.” She stared as if he were some offbeat poet ranting in the street. “Your eggs are scrambled.”

Jenn sat down and interviewed Mr. Lancaster about his debut novel, The Jinx, and published the transcript in our newsletter, Between the Lines. You can read the article here.

The Bombshell Business Woman – Review

About the Book

The Bombshell Business Woman, AMber Hurdle

Teen to Adult, Business, 207 Pages

Clovercroft Publishing (October 1, 2017)

A Bombshell Business Woman at her best stands proud in who she is and what she offers, abandoning the whirlwind of uncertainty. A Bombshell commands attention for her business, attracting the right customers, who fall in love with her brand experience. Her business allows her to live life on her terms so she can enjoy her family, friends, and her abundant life.

You are a Bombshell. You might just need to learn how to embrace your inner Bombshell without falling out of balance, feeling overwhelmed, or allowing your business to run you.

The Bombshell Business Woman will serve as your guide to do just that. You will learn practical strategies to master branding, marketing, management, networking, goal setting, time management, vendor relationships, technology, and more. With easy to digest business advice and real-life stories that will inspire you to step into who you were designed to be, The Bombshell Business Woman will activate the bold, brave, and successful female entrepreneur within you.

About the Author

Amber Hurdle understands what it takes to accelerate success. A former teen mom who evolved into a powerhouse businesswoman, Amber has worked with international celebrities and Fortune 500 companies alike. Whether she is empowering female entrepreneurs, teaching them out-of-the-box business strategies, or energizing and educating leadership to boldly next-level their employee engagement, Amber leverages her vast experience throughout multiple entrepreneurial, corporate, and institutional cultures. As the author of The Bombshell Business Woman, and popular host of the Bombshell Business Podcast, Amber’s straight-shooting “velvet machete” and warm personality never fail to motivate professionals to strategically up their game in business and in life.

Amber holds a degree in Public Relations and Advertising, a dual minor in Marketing and Organizational Communication, and an ACC certification from the International Coaching Federation. She has been featured in national publications such as Reader’s Digest and InStyle magazine, and as an employee engagement expert in the upper division-level textbook Applied Public Relations: Cases in Stakeholder Management, 3rd edition, by Kathy Brittain Richardson and Marcie Hinton.

A family woman and friend who loves hard, Amber lives just outside of Nashville with her husband and children. There she enjoys exploring the food scene, cooking with her family and friends, and being a bona fide gym junkie.

Amber offers additional advice and resources on her website, amberhurdle.com, and can be found on Twitter at @amberhurdle.

Jenn’s Review

Ladies! Yes you! The one in the back of the room, trying to hide because, as big as your dreams are, you’re afraid that if you step out into the spotlight, they’ll figure out you’re a fraud. Yup. I’m totally talking to you.

I met Amber Hurdle on Twitter, and when I saw that she had a book for women entrepreneurs, I had to go check it out. I had RWA 2018 National Conference coming up. I run two businesses (at least, I pretended to for the longest time), and couldn’t seem to make any headway in building either. After I read the synopsis of Amber’s book, I bought it. No dithering, no joke. It shot straight to the top of my TBR pile.

The Bombshell Business Woman is all about growing up as a person AND a brand, building your company from the ground up, even if it’s a one-woman show. Amber doesn’t pull any punches – she’s been at the bottom, and speaks straight to the heart of the struggle that fempreneurs face every day.

The book comes with several workbooks that you can download, so that you are actively putting her steps into practice. And it includes a book club guide so you can build your own Bombshell Squad of like-minded women to read and grow side by side with. (I’m looking to facilitate my own Bombshell Squad group over at my Sage Wolfsong page on Facebook, IM me if you’re serious about making your business take off)

BOMBSHELL BUSINESS WOMAN by Amber Hurdle - Jenn's review on the Thrice Read Books blog - Fempreneur, Women in Business, Nonfiction

Buy the Book

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

Beyond Circumstances – Cover Reveal

You know how much we love surprises. Once again, Thrice Read Books is part of a Fiery Seas Publishing cover reveal. This time, it’s for an upcoming romance novel called Beyond Circumstances by Gloria Joynt-Lang.

About the book:

Beyond Circumstances by Gloria Joynt-Lang

Series: Out of the Darkness

Contemporary Romance    Fiery Seas Everlasting

June 12, 2018

Dr. Lexie Draden didn’t want to leave her successful career as a surgeon in Chicago, but she didn’t have a choice. Her family needed to heal, and as long as she was around, it wasn’t going to happen. While adapting to her new community, she meets Zak Tifour, a man as intriguing as he is handsome.

Most of the small-town residents view Zak as a man who likes his privacy, but to a select few, something doesn’t seem right. Long-time resident Cicily McQuay believes she has the key to the man’s odd behavior – a link to terrorism. After all, he just isn’t the type of man who belongs in her community. But to belong, you need to be welcomed; something Cicily has never extended to Zak.

Zak knows plenty of terrorists and has even lived amongst them, but not like Cicily suspects. Escaping from a lifetime of bloodshed and regrets, he attempts to distant himself from the quirky townsfolk; people unable to comprehend boundaries. It appears to be working until he encounters the town’s new attractive doctor. Even though his secrets run deep, she ends up trusting him with her heart. But trust is fragile, and when Zak gets drawn back to his old life, Lexie must decide whether he’s a dangerous man or a broken hero.

About the Author:

Gloria Joynt-Lang

Gloria Joynt-Lang was born in Ars-Laquenexy, France and spent her childhood experiencing the vast landscapes of Canada. A graduate of the University of Alberta with a degree in Criminology, she devoted her career to working in the criminal justice system. She now splits her time living in rural Alberta, Canada as well as Southern California with her husband and their two dogs, a Maltese named YaHoo and Yorkie named Smookie Bijoux. Why the Yorkie has a stripper name shall remain a tight guarded secret. A lifelong nerd, she is most comfortable with a book or laptop close by except when she transforms to cool biker chick, hopping on her motorcycle for a speed limit abiding ride to the nearest bookstore.

Social Media

Website      Facebook     Twitter

Cue Drumroll… here’s the cover you’ve been waiting for!

Cover reveal Beyond Circumstances

Invitation to Poetry – A Review

Graphic Invitation to Poetry review

About the Book:

From the Author: 

A book that reveals fantastic feelings all of us have experienced or are going to experience. An invitation to poetry embracing music, nature and love at the same time…eBook -standalone-was self-published in 12 October 2017.

69 pages

About the Author:

Mihai Brinas is a 24 year old native of Romania with a love of life, poetry and reading. He loves to enter the town library at times to stroke the books with fingers and sight while walking among the shelves to “feel their smell”.

Excerpt (with permission of the author):

the kiss

from your lips
you kindly drop a smile
while falling
it draws feelings
i pick it up
and press it against my lips
then i give it back to youso you do not seem sad

instagram sized Invitation to Poetry graphic

Jenn’s Review:

I haven’t picked up a collection of poetry in ages, aside from the few (large) volumes I have in my personal collection. Mostly because I just haven’t really found anything interesting lately.

So when Mihai approached me on social media, and asked if we would do a review for our blog, I agreed out of curiosity (I’ve read a  few of his poems on Twitter).

This little collection of poems did not disappoint! Freeform poetry that subtly explores the human range of emotions while not going overboard into flowery verse. 

This is one that will remain in my Kindle for a long time to come, so that I can revisit it at will! Four stars.

Buy this book: 

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle format here. [affiliate link]

Mihai has published a second book, Alignment of Thoughts (see affiliate link below)

Origin – Guest Review

Guest Review by Mason Bushell for Origin by Dan Brown

About the book:

The #1 New York Times Bestseller (October 2017) from the author of The Da Vinci Code.
 
Bilbao, Spain
 
Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend a major announcement—the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” The evening’s host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon’s first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough . . . one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence.

As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation, which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch’s precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.

Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Vidal must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain’s Royal Palace itself . . . and who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch. On a trail marked by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon and Vidal uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch’s shocking discovery . . . and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us.
 
Origin is stunningly inventive—Dan Brown’s most brilliant and entertaining novel to date.

About the author:

Dan Brown is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Da Vinci Code and, previously, Digital Fortress, Deception Point, and Angels and Demons. He is a graduate of Amherst College and Phillips Exeter Academy, where he spent time as an English teacher before turning his efforts fully to writing. He lives in New England with his wife.

Mason Bushell Guest Review on Thrice Read Books for Dan Brown's Origin

Mason Bushell’s Review (guest post):

In true Dan Brown style this is an in depth and detailed work that challenges the religious belief system. In this case the story of creation and the origin of the human race. It all hinges on a big discovery made by one Edmund Kirsch. Robert Langdon is once again at the centre of the controversy when it falls to him to get the big discovery out to the world whilst on the run from those intent on keeping it hidden. The story is captivating and pacey throughout. It would flow very well if it weren’t for the five sides of the story being told in consecutive chapters. 450 pages encompass a whopping 104 chapters each jumping between different character views and story points. That little niggle aside, the big revelation is intriguing and worth the read for. The book is really well researched and well put together I give it a 4 out 5.

Buy the book:

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, hardcover, paperback, audiobook and audio CD here. [Affiliate Link]

About Mason:A review by Mason Bushell, hobby naturalist and author of the Workhouse Mysteries. Find him and his sleuth Holly Ward in the following places: Facebook    Twitter     Website     Email: masonbushell@yahoo.comAmazon [Affiliate Link]

Break the Line – Promo And Excerpt

About the Book:

Break the Line by Allison Mullinax

Contemporary Romance   Fiery Seas Everlasting

February 13, 2018

As a pro-fisherman, Benson Howell’s days are spent on murky lake water, reeling in largemouth bass and winning first place trophies. At twenty-nine, life is easy and carefree. His only job is to stay in the top rankings during the fishing circuit, and keep the sponsors happy. That is, until he meets hot tempered, fiery haired Danni-Rose in small-town Alabama. He has never backed down from anything too big to reel in.

Danni-Rose has spent the past six years of her life burying her past. When Benson Howell literally plows his boat right into her life, armed with simmering anger, she fights the current pulling her closer to him. With a past she can’t let go of, and the sexy fisherman breaking down all her walls, Danni-Rose does everything she can to break the line connecting her to Benson.

Will Danni-Rose be able to let go of the past?  Can Benson change her mind about him? Or will they both miss the catch of a lifetime?

About the Author:

Allison Mullinax photo

North Alabama native, Allison Mullinax, grew up in the small lake town of Guntersville, AL. She discovered the escapism and addiction of writing at an early age. Today she remains a lover of reading, all things outdoors, and spending time with her husband and three daughters. 

You can find Allison on Social Media here:

Website     Facebook     Twitter

Buy this book:

ISBN: 978-1-946143-43-3  ~  eBook  ~  $3.99

ISBN: 978-1-946143-44-0  ~  Paperback  ~  $10.99

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Kobo     iTunes

Jenn’s Review: can be found here.

Excerpt (with permission from the publisher)

Excerpt 2 from Chapter 2 of BREAK THE LINE by Allison Mullinax

As expected, half the town is jam-packed into the mid-size barn turned restaurant. Christmas lights are strung across the large wooden beams along the ceiling, and the entire restaurant is a sea of picnic tables smashed together. The Whiskey Bayou Boys are perched on an old handmade stage toward the back of the restaurant. The fiddles, banjo, and guitars have everyone tapping their feet. Upstairs in the “hay loft” are the pool tables and dart boards. Buckets of crawfish, corn, and smoked sausage are plopped down in the center of each table. If you want to order anything else, then you might as well find another establishment.

“Pass me the hot sauce, baby.” My dad stretches his hand across the table, and I give it over. I pinch the crawfish head between my fingers, and my mouth waters when it snaps off. It’s been too long since I’ve enjoyed a night out.

“I don’t wanna hear you mutter a single complaint tonight about heart burn.” My mom gives my dad a stern look as he douses the entire crawfish in hot sauce. He winks at her and tosses it into his mouth, making a sound of pleasure while he chews.

“You sure look pretty tonight, darlin’,” my Aunt Becky shouts across the table moments before the band fires to life on the other side of the room. I smile and give her an appreciative nod.

“It’s the blue, it always makes her eyes shine.” My mama smiles at me, and pats my hand beside her.

“She gets it from her mama.” Daddy gives Mama his best smirk.

“I still don’t want to hear any complaints from you tonight. No use in trying to butter me up now. And you best hope we have a bottle of antacid at home, because the drug store is already closed for the night.” Mama swats at his hand. But Daddy ignores her, reaching around and placing his arm across her shoulders.

“All right, all right.” He hands the hot sauce back across the table, and I can’t help but laugh at their banter.

The song comes to an end and the singer places his lips to the microphone. “Now if my eyes aren’t deceiving me, I believe I see Miss Danni-Rose here tonight.” The patrons of the restaurant begin cheering and clapping and I smile behind a pull of my beer bottle.

“No way. Not tonight, Rickey!” I holler out across the barn, knowing I’ll more than likely give in. I’m two beers down, and the easy-going nature of the town is washing over me like a warm bath, replacing the anger I felt earlier in the day.

“Awww. Come on now, Danni, you don’t want to disappoint the fine citizens of this town. What do you say, folks? You feel like hearing Danni-Rose sing to us tonight?” Again, the barn comes to life with applause. I stand to my feet and the noise level raises another decibel.

“That’s my baby,” my dad yells to the table next to us as I scoot my way past them.

“One song,” I say, holding up my finger to Rickey, approaching the stage. He reaches his hands down and pulls me up with a grin stretching across his entire face.

He steps away from the microphone and holds his hands out in front of him for me to take his place. I wave over to the other band members, and they return with a smile. I curl my fingers around the microphone, feeling the cool metal against the palm of my hand. It’s been too long, but something in the air tonight has me feeling free, more than I’ve allowed myself to feel for quite some time.

I scan the faces of the room, and it’s then that I see him. That fisherman is tucked away in a corner booth, and his brown eyes are boring holes into mine. I feel the smile melt off my face, and I’m instantly set on fire with anger. I watch when he pulls a tumbler of dark liquid and ice to his lips, and I swear I see him smiling behind it.

The Ghost Files – Review

About this book:

Cherry blossom lipstick: check 
Smokey eyes: check 
Skinny jeans: check
Dead kid in the mirror: check 

For sixteen year old Mattie Hathaway, this is her normal everyday routine. She’s been able to see ghosts since her mother tried to murder her when she was five years old. No way does she want anyone to know she can talk to spooks. Being a foster kid is hard enough without being labeled a freak too. 

Normally, she just ignores the ghosts and they go away. That is until she see’s the ghost of her foster sister… Sally. 

Everyone thinks Sally’s just another runaway, but Mattie knows the truth—she’s dead. Murdered. Mattie feels like she has to help Sally, but she can’t do it alone. Against her better judgment, she teams up with a young policeman, Officer Dan, and together they set out to discover the real truth behind Sally’s disappearance. 

Only to find out she’s dealing with a much bigger problem, a serial killer, and she may be the next victim… 

Will Mattie be able to find out the truth before the killer finds her?

About the author:

Apryl Baker uses Authorgraph to connect personally with readers.
Visit Authorgraph.com, click “Request Authorgraph” and include a message to Apryl to receive a personalized inscription that you can view in your favorite reading apps and devices!

Sam’s Review:

Hello again! How was your weekend? Today we’ll be talking about the Ghost Files by Apryl Baker. This is the first book in a series, and is becoming a major motion picture.

Matilda, or more commonly known as Mattie, has the ability to see ghosts, though everyone she tells that to thinks she’s crazy. Which is why she doesn’t tell anyone. But she may have to expose her secret in order to help rookie police officer Dan solve the missing persons cases of at least ten children, whose ghosts are the only clues she has, and bring a serial killer to justice. Can she avenge the deaths of the children, or will she join them and be the next victim? A true ghost story/murder mystery, Ghost Files was captivating for me, and left me ready for more. Plus, it has a great plot twist in the end, and Mattie tries not to curse. Now that is my kind of girl! I recommend this book to teenage and up ghost lovers, and teens and up only because it has some tense and violent scenes in it. Read the book for a good time, and a heroine unlike any I’ve seen. I don’t know about you guys watching at home, you might have read a book or watched a movie where the protagonist was like Mattie. Subscribe, leave a like, and enable notifications, and I’ll be back next week. Bye!

Buy the book:

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

Evermore (Mer-Tales Book 4) – Review

About the book:

Mother knows best.

The underwater world of Natatoria is enjoying a long awaited period of peace — and with it, the merpeople’s very first chance to visit human civilization. Ash and Fin’s wedding marks the perfect opportunity for the mers to celebrate their newfound freedom. But when they return home to Tahoe to prepare, Ash’s absence from the human world has raised more than a few questions about where she’s been. When blaming fingers point to Ash and Fin as the culprits who burned down Fin’s home, even his mind-jacking mojo hasn’t stopped the authorities from issuing the happy couple an early wedding gift—a matching pair of arrest warrants. 

Instead of bringing their families together, Ash and Fin’s upcoming wedding drives a wedge between the very cultures they’re trying to bridge. And when their reality takes an unexpected twist, Ash realizes her dual existence comes with a hefty price. Neither her human nor her mer family understand the sacrifices they’re asking of her, and as much as she wants to please both her mer and human mothers, she knows she’s one misstep away from breaking two maternal hearts. 

But with humans becoming aware of the mer, Ash and Fin must scramble to save their families, their societies . . . and their love. The only thing they know for sure is that when it comes to Natatorians, old habits die hard. 

And a royal should never get too comfortable.

About the Author:

Author Brenda Pandos lives in California with her husband and two energetic boys. After her release of EVERMORE late 2015, she suffered from a stroke. While she’s had a miraculous recovery, the part of her brain she’d used to write fiction with hasn’t returned yet. 

At 18-months post-stroke, she’s decided to start working on her memoir to tell her story. It’s very tiring for her and slow going, but she’s determined to finish this project.

She’d love to hear your encouragement and well wishes. Feel free to email brendapandos@gmail.com or write on her facebook wall.

** Join my email list to find out about freebies, new releases, contests, and much more at brendapandos.com or email me at brendapandos@gmail.com **

Sam’s Review: 

Hello, all of my fellow readers, and the writers who watch my reviews. Today we finish up the Mer Tales series by Brenda Pandos with the book Evermore, starring all of your favorite characters from the series, of course, as well as some new ones. In case you’re new, my name is Sam, and this is Sam’s Teen Reads Corner! Let’s get started.

Fin and Ash are ready to tie the knot. All they need to do is get Ash’s, erm, “surrogate” father’s permission. I know what you’re thinking. “Why are you so nervous? It’s got to be great having two families!” You wish. Ash has to please both of her moms, deal with her snarky sister, keep Fin from mer-mojoing her family and friends, and stay away from a stalker. Oh, can’t forget that she has a merling on the way! Plot twist!

Anyways, Tatchi and her adopted daughter, Nicole, try their best to help Ash with the wedding, but the merling makes things a tad bit difficult. Again, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the first two, for some odd reason, but in my opinion, it was a tiny bit better than Everlost, so it get four point five stars. I think that Ash kind of makes it better, and there’s so many new characters, so that might have something to do with the sudden four and a half star rating. There’s too much going on for me!

If you want to get more review like this, and become one of my fellow readers/writer (it depends on which one you are. Heck, you guys could be both if you want!), all you have to do is subscribe, enable notifications, and like the video. Oh, and if you guys have a book that you think that I’d enjoy, please, don’t hesitate to suggest said book. Stay bold, my readers and writers!

Buy this book:

This book is available on Amazon as a Kindle, paperback or audio book here. [affiliate link]

Check out Sam’s reviews for the other books in this series:

Everblue (book 1)

Evergreen (book 2) 

Everlost (book 3)