Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Girls of Mischief Bay

The Girls of Mischief Bay
The Girls of Mischief Bay
Price: $6.99

Book Description March 1, 2015Susan Mallery, the New York Times bestselling author of Three Sisters, is world renowned for her "insightful, funny, and poignant" stories (Booklist). With her brand-new Mischief Bay series, she brings vivid color to the story of three friends on the brink of a new life. 
 Nicole Lord wants to be a good wife, but there's a difference between being supportive and supporting her husband, who quit his job to write a screenplay she's never seen. He won't even help take care of their son, leaving Nicole to run the house and work full-time. 

Sacrificing a personal life for her career is how Shannon Rigg became VP at her firm, but she wonders now whether she made the right choice. An exciting new relationship with a great guy convinces her that it might not be too late—until he drops a bombshell that has her questioning whether she really can have it all. 

Although Pam Eiland adores her husband, she feels restless now that the kids are grown. Finding sexy new ways to surprise him brings the heat and humor back to their marriage, but when unexpected change turns her life upside down, she'll have to redefine herself. Again.
Through romance and heartbreak, laughter and tears, the girls of Mischief Bay will discover that life is richer with friends at your side.







3.0 out of 5 stars I'm Reluctant to Write This, February 25, 2015


I know I am in the minority with my feeling for this initial book in this new series. I almost feel as if I need to apologize for how I feel about it.

This book is wonderfully written with thoroughly fleshed and well rounded characters. I agree that these women are the types that I could see being friends with. However, as entertainment value they left something to be desired. I read to escape my everyday problems, and these characters left me depressed. Let me try to explain ----->POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD<------ br="">
We have three women, each a decade apart in age. They range from 30's to 50's. Each brings to the table some sort of issue. From being depressed about no longer being young and attractive, to being single at nearly 40, to having a husband who left his job and is contributing nothing to his marriage. I am in my 50's so of course Pam's problems hit home with me and really depressed me. I too feel out of the loop and not very content with my age. But Pam manages to do something about it and just when everything is going her way, fate slaps her upside the head in the worst way possible and makes things horrible---to the point that she contemplates suicide.

Nicole to seems to finally get her life together and have hope for her marriage - until her husband strikes it big and becomes Hollywood an all the worst definitions of the word.

Luckily as far as HEA's go, Shannon our 40 year old comes the closest but it is a path fraught with complications.

All in all, instead of leaving this book happy and with hope for the future, leaving with the knowledge that I was entertained, I left instead looking for my anti-depressants and a glass of wine.

I admit on the positive side this book did force me to contemplate my life a little closer, but is that what we really want our romance (and that was what this book was being advertised as when I chose it at NetGalley) to do? I had hoped for a slightly more frothy read, but I understand well that Ms Mallery really doesn't write frothy. At least not now.

This book also lacked in the sizzle department - tepid at best, although some sex scenes are quite amusing.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Tales of the Alaska State Troopers




With the elements against them, the state troopers of Alaska face every day with a fight for their lives.

In the state of Alaska, anything goes. For the state troopers, an average day can include blizzard conditions, midnight sunsets, and subzero temperatures. Tales of the Alaska State Troopers gives insight to just how the brave men of the law combat these conditions while still upholding their duties to the fine people of Alaska.

Follow Trooper Dan Valentine as he finds himself in the midst of a crisis when an abandoned truck holds more than just an old blanket on the passenger seat. Dan’s responsibility for the town of Trapper Creek becomes a fight for survival when he realizes the truck has enough explosives in it to make a small dent in the Alaska Range.

Troopers such as John Adams and Terrance Shanigan also have more to worry about than frostbite. Their stories include rescuing an Eskimo who has fall through the ice on his snow mobile, locating missing teenagers after a terrifying bear attack, and occasionally scraping dead, frozen, thousand-pound moose off major highway roads.

Tales of the Alaska State Troopers is rich in content and action. Anyone familiar with the life of a lawman or the state of Alaska will be fascinated with the way Mathiesen delivers his narrative. It’s all in a day’s work for troopers like Dan Valentine, who never know what a new day can bring.

 Until space travel was invented, Alaska was known as the last frontier. Yet, this author proves just how much those in the 'lower 48' don't really know what it's like to live in such a State like this one. In so many ways, Alaska still IS the last frontier and will most likely always stay that way.

Most of us, not all of course, probably could never conceive of living where we couldn't get access to our public safety officials within a matter of minutes. Alaskans who don't live in one of the very few larger towns or cities, live with this constantly. Imagine having an emergency that needs a police officer or paramedic pronto and learning that you won't get one for hours.

That is what this book is all about. It is a sometimes extremely dry narrative (nearly report like) but an always informative look into the jobs and lives of some of these men (nope, no women troopers in this book). There is a great deal of information, both historical and geographical in this book and I enjoyed that aspect a lot.

Even some of the stories that had meant to be humerus took on a the authors dry aspect. The exception was one notable story concerning a dead moose and a trooper trying to get this carcass off of the road. He was doing this in 40 below weather with the moose actually frozen onto the black-top! This story had me in stitches.

I wish that some of the stories had been from the last few years so we could have seen exactly how far Alaskan troopers had come, but I am hoping to see a sequel.

*ARC supplied by publisher for reviewing purposes.



Tales of the Alaska State Troopers: Stories of Courage, Survival, and Honor from the Last Frontier

Tales of the Alaska State Troopers: Stories of Courage, Survival, and Honor from the Last Frontier

Tales of the Alaska State Troopers: Stories of Courage, Survival, and Honor from the Last Frontier
by Peter B. Mathiesen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.60



With the elements against them, the state troopers of Alaska face every day with a fight for their lives.

In the state of Alaska, anything goes. For the state troopers, an average day can include blizzard conditions, midnight sunsets, and subzero temperatures. Tales of the Alaska State Troopers gives insight to just how the brave men of the law combat these conditions while still upholding their duties to the fine people of Alaska.

Follow Trooper Dan Valentine as he finds himself in the midst of a crisis when an abandoned truck holds more than just an old blanket on the passenger seat. Dan’s responsibility for the town of Trapper Creek becomes a fight for survival when he realizes the truck has enough explosives in it to make a small dent in the Alaska Range.

Troopers such as John Adams and Terrance Shanigan also have more to worry about than frostbite. Their stories include rescuing an Eskimo who has fall through the ice on his snow mobile, locating missing teenagers after a terrifying bear attack, and occasionally scraping dead, frozen, thousand-pound moose off major highway roads.
Tales of the Alaska State Troopers is rich in content and action. Anyone familiar with the life of a lawman or the state of Alaska will be fascinated with the way Mathiesen delivers his narrative. It’s all in a day’s work for troopers like Dan Valentine, who never know what a new day can bring.

Until space travel was invented, Alaska was known as the last frontier. Yet, this author proves just how much those in the 'lower 48' don't really know what it's like to live in such a State like this one. In so many ways, Alaska still IS the last frontier and will most likely always stay that way.

Most of us, not all of course, probably could never conceive of living where we couldn't get access to our public safety officials within a matter of minutes. Alaskans who don't live in one of the very few larger towns or cities, live with this constantly. Imagine having an emergency that needs a police officer or paramedic pronto and learning that you won't get one for hours.

That is what this book is all about. It is a sometimes extremely dry narrative (nearly report like) but an always informative look into the jobs and lives of some of these men (nope, no women troopers in this book). There is a great deal of information, both historical and geographical in this book and I enjoyed that aspect a lot.

Even some of the stories that had meant to be humerus took on a the authors dry aspect. The exception was one notable story concerning a dead moose and a trooper trying to get this carcass off of the road. He was doing this in 40 below weather with the moose actually frozen onto the black-top! This story had me in stitches.

I wish that some of the stories had been from the last few years so we could have seen exactly how far Alaskan troopers had come, but I am hoping to see a sequel.

*ARC supplied by publisher for reviewing purposes.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Gemini Cell - Myke Cole



Gemini Cell: A Shadow Ops Novel by Myke Cole (Jan 27, 2015)

 

Book Description

January 27, 2015
Myke Cole continues to blow the military fantasy genre wide open with an all-new epic adventure in his highly acclaimed Shadow Ops universe—set in the early days of the Great Reawakening, when magic first returns to the world and order begins to unravel…

US Navy SEAL Jim Schweitzer is a consummate professional, a fierce warrior, and a hard man to kill. But when he sees something he was never meant to see on a covert mission gone bad, he finds himself—and his family—in the crosshairs. Nothing means more to Jim than protecting his loved ones, but when the enemy brings the battle to his front door, he is overwhelmed and taken down.

That should be the end of the story. But Jim is raised from the dead by a sorcerer and recruited by a top secret unit dabbling in the occult, known only as the Gemini Cell. With powers he doesn’t understand, Jim is called back to duty—as the ultimate warrior. As he wrestles with a literal inner demon, Jim realizes his new superiors are determined to use him for their own ends and keep him in the dark—especially about the fates of his wife and son…

 

 



This is a fantastic book from the Military/Fantasy genre.  It is actually a prologue to the Shadow Ops series I don’t really like Zombie based speculative fiction, but I liked how Mr. Cole handled it.
 However, how this book is written may keep this series to a smaller audience.  There are a lot of strong kick-butt scenes –with a few slightly quixotic relationships. It may be better to stick with the kick-butt, politicking and fighting relationships and leave the romance alone.
I have a feeling that I would not have been so disappointed in this book had I read the others in this series. However, as a set up for exactly what the ‘Gemini Cell’ is, this book is fantastic and has even tempted me to try the first book.
It would be   difficult to describe to a possible reader just what the Gemini Cell is – but I can tell you that they are part of a secret branch of the government (naturally!).  So far, the ‘experiment’ in using these ‘people’ is not working out too well.

What I did have larger  issues with is Mr. Coles’ world of magic is explained away very much like the one in Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels series.  In addition, the Zombie aspect is very much like Kate’s Vampires.  I realize that this is a genre in which some authors ideas may overlap – but this part of this world seemed to overlap quite a bit for me. Later in the book (the ending actually) Mr. Cole breaks Jim out of the mold and I really loved this aspect.  This is why I want to follow my instincts and read more of the series. I think the rest of the series will break the mold.

ARC supplied by publisher.



Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Match for Addy


Available for Pre-order. This item will be released on February 1, 2015.

      Product Details                    Book Description



February 1, 2015
In Search of True Love
Spinster Addy Coblentz fears she'll never marry. So her parents hire the new matchmaker who's moved to their Amish community of Seven Poplars. But Addy doesn't just want a match. She wants love. While some of her potential suitors are perfectly fine, only one man catches her eye. Gideon Esch is everything Addy's looking for: strong, kind—and handsome. But he's only a poor hired hand who can never give her family the stability they want. With her future happiness at stake, will Addy follow the rules…or follow her heart?
THE AMISH MATCHMAKER: Bringing love to Seven Poplars—one couple at a time!


This was an interesting read.  It ends on a very satisfying note.  On one hand, we get to see what appears to be an insider’s view of the Amish heritage and learn how they do certain things.  This is one of the most interesting aspects of this book.  But on the other hand:
Dorcas or as we soon find out, Addy seems to be according to her parents, in desperate need of a husband.  Especially one well off enough to take care of them in their old-age. Now Addy is supposed to be a plain, Plain girl and she is almost 30.  (Yes, I meant to type the word ‘plain’ twice since the Amish are sometimes called the Plain People).  Addy is constantly being reminded by her mother that she needs a husband and that she owes it to her parents to do so as soon as possible, that Addy is being too picky.  I suppose the mother means well in her own way, but as I am a non-Plain woman, it struck me as a non-Amish way to be (at least looking at if from the point of view from the other Amish and Mennonite books I have read).

Right off the bat Addy meets up with the handsome Gideon who happens to be the local matchmaker’s hired hand.  This was not the best of circumstance in which to meet!

Now Gideon just really rubbed me the wrong way – if this were not a book about the Amish, I think I could have expected him to be a player just strutting his stuff all of the time, waiting for the women to fall down at his feet!  This is how he acted.  One minute he is preening for Addy, wetting down his shirt and hair and singing – loudly. I was waiting for him to strip out of his shirt and flex his manly muscles at her and then do a dance! He is actually ticked at Addy because she was ignoring him while talking to another man and the next minute he claims that he thinks of her as ‘another sister’.   Why does Gideon, who  in  his 30’s, keep thinking of the men and women he frolics with as boys and girls?  I couldn’t seem to wrap my head around that.  I understand the Amish are not worldly – but Gideon seems to be more so than most others are and I would have expected him to  act more like an adult.

I had to keep reminding myself as I was reading this book, that this was about the Amish or I really would have been annoyed as to how this story spun out. These two thirty-something’s act like schoolyard children and I eventually wanted to give up on the book.  However, I did not because I really wanted to see if Gideon finally steps up to bat, so to speak and admits to his true feelings.  The last 20% of the book makes everything come together and makes you appreciate the story more.

The writing is good, the romance aspect is a little frustrating and the story is a little repetitive, but the lessons a reader will learn in pride goeth before a fall, makes up for some of the flaws. I ended up enjoying this book more than I thought I would.

ARC supplied by publisher.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Strange Magic by James Hunter

Strange Magic: A Yancy Lazarus Novel (Pilot Episode) by James Hunter (Jan 16, 2015)

 

 

Book Description

January 16, 2015
Yancy Lazarus is having a bad day: there’s a bullet lodged in his butt cheek, his face looks like the site of a demolition derby, and he’s been saran-wrapped to a banquet table. He never should have answered the phone. Stupid bleeding heart—helping others in his circles is a good way to get dead.

Just ask the gang members ripped to pieces by some kind of demonic nightmare in LA. As a favor to a friend, Yancy agrees to take a little looksee into the massacre and boom, he’s stuck in a turf war between two rival gangs, which both think he’s pinch-hitting for the other side. Oh, and there’s also a secretive dark mage with some mean ol’ magical chops and a small army of hyena-faced, body-snatching baddies. It might be time to seriously reconsider some of his life choices.

Yancy is a bluesman, a rambler, a gambler, but not much more. Sure, he can do a little magic—maybe even more than just a little magic—but he knows enough to keep his head down and stay clear of freaky-deaky hoodoo like this business in LA. Somehow though, he’s been set up to take a real bad fall—the kind of very permanent fall that leaves a guy with a toe tag. Unless, of course, he can find out who is responsible for the gangland murders, make peace in the midst of the gang feud, and take out said magical dark mage before he hexes Yancy into an early retirement. Easy right? Stupid. Bleeding. Heart.





 
Strange Magic" (can't seen to get that damn song out of my head now---->)I got it as an ARC from the NetGalley/PUBLISHER not the author.

I'm sorry to say that it looks as though I am the only one that found this entry to be somewhat lackluster. Oh it is filled with tons of kick-butt fighting (swords too!) and a lot of action, but the reader is plopped into a world that some of us just won't understand. I know an author is supposed to show and not tell, but a little explanation at the beginning of the book would have gone a long way to keep me interested and I would have enjoyed it all that much more.

The style of writing is a tad choppy, the inner dialoguing and grandstanding seemed to be in excess and the fact that you could never get a firm hold on the protagonists (Yancy) age was annoying at best; one minute talking like a hip-hop speaking teen and the next sounding like a 70 year old man. I felt no empathy with Yancy even though he really has a hard time of it. Actually none of the characters - main, secondary or tertiary, elicited any emotion from me. So much was dumped on the reader - chapter after chapter; something new to fight, something bigger and badder, just more - it just appears to be a hopeless cause after a while.

What I did like is that Yancy seems to have more going for him than he seems to know about magic wise and that bodes well for future books. Though he came close to being a 'mary-sue' figure in this book, Yancy and the author managed to squeak by on that one.

This books pages seemed to have been multiplying while I was reading it. The info claims it is only 217 page long, which should take me at the most (if it's a good book) 4 hours to read...nope it took me what seemed to be forever, and that tells me a lot.

As much as I hate to say something so sexist like this - here goes - this really seems to be a 'mans' novel. It is filled with a ton of fighting,machismo, swearing,Vietnam war stories and the blues (music that is) as well as magic. No world building, no explanations, you are just plopped into the world with no explanation and need to fend for yourself. I kept thinking maybe I'll get an explanation later in the book.

This was difficult for me to finish.

ARC supplied by NetGalley.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Importance of Being Alice by Katie MacAlister










Book Description

January 6, 2015
First in a new series!

From New York Times bestselling author Katie MacAlister comes a series about finding your own wonderland—through one roadblock at a time....

Nothing about Alice Wood’s life is normal right now. Her fiancé, Patrick, called off their wedding and relationship only days before their nonrefundable wedding trip. And though a luxurious European river cruise for one is just what she needs, it’s not what she gets....

Due to a horrible misunderstanding, Alice is now cramped in her “romantic” suite with one of Patrick’s friends. Instead of cruising along the Rhine, Main, and Danube rivers sipping champagne with the love of her life, she’s navigating the waters with a strange—yet mysteriously handsome—British aristocrat.

A baron of dubious wealth—and not-so-dubious debt—Elliot Ainslie is just looking forsome alone time to write the books that keep his large family afloat. But his stodgy, serious self is about to be sidetracked by a woman who seems to have jumped out of the pages of a fairy tale, one who is determined to shake up his life...and include him in her own happily ever after.




Yes, Katie's books seem to follow a certain sort of formula and MOST of her books follow this. Maybe formula is the wrong word -I'll give you an example of what I mean : "nnrng and foowah" using these non-words during sex, this sort of thing is found in most of her books, think Noble Intentions (Noble series) for one. The first few times this is amusing even maybe snort worthy, after a few years it gets to be almost expected. It may be amusing to new readers but what happens to us old timers who have been there from the very first book? It has gotten old to us.

This particular book was a little harder for me to swallow than many of Katies past efforts. Some scenes just seem to go on forever, I did not feel much empathy or sympathy with the main characters and I actually disliked them at times. suspending disbelief is a must when you are reading fiction, but in this book I felt I needed to suspend it too much; to the point of wanting to just put the book aside instead of finishing it.

This is being called a "sweet romance" -trust me, Katie proves that she can get down and dirty with the best of them with this book. No, the sex is basically shrouded in euphemisms like usual - but some of the sex seems to go on forever and ever. Plus there are more scenes in this book than I am used to with one of Katies novels.

I think I've grown too old for these newer offerings. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯