Category: New Releases

Review: BETWEEN THE BLADE AND THE HEART by Amanda Hocking

Cover Between the Blade and the HeartBETWEEN THE BLADE AND THE HEART by Amanda Hocking / YA Fantasy / Released Jan 2, 2018 by St. Martin’s Press

When the fate of the world is at stake
Loyalties will be tested

Game of Thrones meets Blade Runner in this commanding new YA fantasy inspired by Norse Mythology from New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking.

As one of Odin’s Valkyries, Malin’s greatest responsibility is to slay immortals and return them to the underworld. But when she unearths a secret that could unravel the balance of all she knows, Malin along with her best friend and her ex-girlfriend must decide where their loyalties lie. And if helping the blue-eyed boy Asher enact his revenge is worth the risk—to the world and her heart.

Review:

This is the first Amanda Hocking book I have read and I must say that I am a FAN.  My taste in books include Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series, Colleen Vanderlinden’s Home series and Darynda Jones’ Charley Davidson series so I am no stranger to the fantasy world.  Ms. Hocking beautifully builds a world that is both familiar and fascinating and fills it with richly developed characters.

Familiar are the challenges of a college-aged daughter’s relationship with her mother, juggling an ex-girlfriend and a new heart-throb and having a pet.  Fascinating is Malin’s role as a Valkyry, her questions about destiny and free-will and the fact her pet, Bowie, is a wolpertinger.

Seamlessly paced, BETWEEN THE BLADE AND THE HEART is a page-turner and I can’t wait for the second book in the series, FROM THE EARTH TO THE SHADOWS coming out in April 2018.

 

Book Excerpt BETWEEN THE BLADE AND THE HEART by Amanda Hocking

BETWEEN THE BLADE AND THE HEART by Amanda Hocking / Young Adult Fantasy / Released Jan 2, 2018 by St. Martin’s PressCover Between the Blade and the Heart

 

ONE

The air reeked of fermented fish and rotten fruit, thanks to the overflowing dumpster from the restaurant behind us. The polluted alley felt narrow and claustrophobic, sandwiched between skyscrapers.

In the city, it was never quiet or peaceful, even at three in the morning. There were more than thirty million humans and supernatural beings coexisting, living on top of each other. It was the only life I’d ever really known, but the noise of the congestion grated on me tonight.

My eyes were locked on the flickering neon lights of the gambling parlor across the street. The u in Shibuya had gone out, so the sign flashed SHIB YA at me.

The sword sheathed at my side felt heavy, and my body felt restless and electric. I couldn’t keep from fidgeting and cracked my knuckles.

Continue reading “Book Excerpt BETWEEN THE BLADE AND THE HEART by Amanda Hocking”

New Release: SECRETS OF CAVENDON by Barbara Taylor Bradford

51CZNHxZwHLSECRETS OF CAVENDON by Barbara Taylor Bradford / Romance / St. Martin’s Press / Release Date:  Nov 21, 2017

From beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Barbara Taylor Bradford comes a stunning, epic novel featuring the characters of the beloved Cavendon series.

For years things have run smoothly at Cavendon Hall, with very few quarrels, dramas, or upsets among the Inghams and the Swanns.  But since the end of World War II, things have changed.

The Secrets of Cavendon picks up in the summer of 1949, with the new generation of the estate at the forefront of the scandal and intrigue.  With romance, betrayal, heartbreak, and possible murder threatening too tear them apart, the Inghams and Swanns will have to find a way to come together and protect each other in the face of threats they never could have predicted.

BARBARA TAYLOR BRADFORD was born and brought up in England and started her writing career as a journalist.  She has written thirty international bestsellers.  Secrets of Cavendon is her thirty-second novel.  In 2007, Queen Elizabeth awarded her the OBE (Order of the British Empire) for her literary achievements.  She lives in New York with her husband, TV and film producer Robert Bradford.

New Release: MAD Librarian by Michael Guillebeau

61cHoeaY5iLMAD LIBRARIAN by Michael Guillebeau • Mystery/Women’s Crime • Madison Press • Releasing Nov 16, 2017

MAD Librarian is women’s crime humor that reads like Breaking Bad: The Library Edition. When the city cuts off funding for her library, Serenity Hammer embezzles from a neglected city fund that turns out to be the conduit for all state political corruption. Now she has all the money she needs to build the library her city deserves—if she can do it fast and stay alive.

Cayocosta72 reviews said, “This book is truly every librarian’s dream come true. After fighting budget battles over and over again, librarian Serenity has lost her library funding. What’s a librarian gonna do? How about ripping off the city that’s ripping off its citizens? Serenity begins helping herself to the funds that local politicians have been setting aside for their own personal “rainy day “. With the money she amasses she can build a library to thrill readers everywhere. Problem is, those politicians aren’t too thrilled to see their money disappearing and they plan to do anything to get it back. Why in the world are libraries always under threat? A funny, moving story of our most precious institutions under threat.” 

 

Half of all profit from MAD Librarian will go to the Awesome Foundation for Library Innovation. The intended audience for this book is anyone who is mad about all that our libraries have to do with too little support, and dream of what they could do with more.

MICHAEL GUILLEBEAU has published three mystery novels and two anthologies. His first book, Josh Whoever (Five Star Mysteries, 2013) received a starred review in Library Journal, and was named a Debut Mystery of the Month by Library Journal. His last anthology, Eight Mystery Writers You Should Be Reading Now, won the 2017 Silver Falchion Readers’ Choice Award. Guillebeau has published over twenty short stories, including three in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. 

Michael Guillebeau lives in Madison, Alabama and Panama City Beach, Florida. For more information, see www.michaelguillebeau.com.

PERSONAL NOTE:  I am excited that Michael contacted me with his latest release.  I LOVED Josh Whoever.  His story, characters, pacing were spot-on.  I am eagerly awaiting a review copy of his new book.  In the meantime I will share with you my review of Josh Whoever from the March 2013 edition of The Book Breeze.

Josh WhoeverJOSH WHOEVER By Michael Guillebeau • Publisher: Five Star Publishing • Pages: 284 • Genre: Mystery

This is a tough book to review not because I didn’t love it but because I loved it so much I want to tell you everything. But no spoilers here; I won’t deprive you of the wonderful journey of JOSH WHOEVER.

From the cover: “Josh burned out on saving the world years ago. Now he’s a small-time con man who wants to stay drunk in the back room of the Western World bar between scams.”

No, Josh is no hero yet through a set of circumstances or divine guidance Josh is thrust into the case of the missing daughter from the Russian mob. If he fails he is promised an ugly death. However, it isn’t fear of dying that keeps him going but a promise to a grieving mother.

You aren’t likely to forget Guillebeau’s characters as they come to life on the page in a story seasoned with naivety and cynicism and the choices we make.

JOSH WHOEVER is a tale of humanity told with humor and sadness and a sense of hope that even the worst of us can achieve perfection, if only for a moment.

New Release: DEATH, TAXES, AND A SHOT GUN WEDDING by Diane Kelly

51+F8lZjEWLDEATH, TAXES, AND A SHOT GUN WEDDING by Diane Kelly / Mystery / St. Martin’s Press / Released Oct 31, 2017

As Tara Holloway and her soon-to-be-husband Nick prepare for their big day, along with the RSVPs and well-wishes, Tara has been receiving death threats from an unknown source.  The culprit has to be someone from an earlier investigation, but Tara has run across too many lawbreakers to narrow it down.  While she dodges attempts on her life, Tara also finds herself working a rent scam where a crook is ripping people off for thousands of dollars.  Will she be able track down the con artist and make it down the aisle in one piece?  Or will “till death do us part” come sooner than Tara thought?

Diane Kelly has once again written a hilarious, witty adventure that ties up the series in true Tara Holloway style.

DIANE KELLY is a former state assistant attorney general and tax advisor who spent much of her career fighting, or inadvertently working for, white-collar criminals.  She is also a proud graduate of the Mansfield, Texas Citizens Policy Academy.  the first book in Diane’s IRS Special Agent Tara Holloway series, Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure, received a Romance Writers of American Golden Heart Award.  Book #2, Death, Taxes, and a Skinny No-Whip Latte, won a Reviewers Choice award. Diane has combined her fascination with law enforcement and her love of animals in her K-9 cop Paw Enforcement series.