Thursday, November 9, 2017

Review of NEW BOY by Tracy Chevalier

By Tracy Chevalier
Published May 11th, 2017 by Hogarth
Hardcover, 204 pages

From the New York Times bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring comes the fifth installment in the Hogarth Shakespeare series, a modern retelling of Othello set in a suburban schoolyard.

Arriving at his fifth school in as many years, a diplomat's son, Osei Kokote, knows he needs an ally if he is to survive his first day so he's lucky to hit it off with Dee, the most popular girl in school. But one student can't stand to witness this budding relationship: Ian decides to destroy the friendship between the black boy and the golden girl. By the end of the day, the school and its key players - teachers and pupils alike - will never be the same again.

The tragedy of Othello is transposed to a 1970's suburban Washington schoolyard, where kids fall in and out of love with each other before lunchtime, and practice a casual racism picked up from their parents and teachers. Peeking over the shoulders of four 11 year olds Osei, Dee, Ian, and his reluctant girlfriend Mimi, Tracy Chevalier's powerful drama of friends torn apart by jealousy, bullying and betrayal will leave you reeling.


How about we begin with that for some strange reason I am indecisive regarding my opinion of this book. I have never had this occur before, so as you can imagine I am perplexed concerning it nonetheless I will forge ahead.

Next, this is a speedy read, you should blast through it in no time. The story takes place within one day additionally each section is a different part of the school day. Now, the story itself is interesting keeping you engaged. Furthermore, as a reader, I was engrossed in the many different aspects of hate and deception that the book was abundant with. However, eleven-year-olds do not have the mental capacity for such a complex plan that Ian instigated also some other situations were not proper for an elementary school playground. Plus, at that age, boys and girls are not as involved emotionally. Consequently, the plot of the story had trouble working logically for me though it was entertaining. That’s all folk’s.

19 October 1962 in Washington, DC. Youngest of 3 children. Father was a photographer for The Washington Post.

Nerdy. Spent a lot of time lying on my bed reading. Favorite authors back then: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madeleine L’Engle, Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Joan Aiken, Susan Cooper, Lloyd Alexander. Book I would have taken to a desert island: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.

BA in English, Oberlin College, Ohio, 1984. No one was surprised that I went there; I was made for such a progressive, liberal place.

MA in creative writing, University of East Anglia, Norwich, England, 1994. There’s a lot of debate about whether or not you can be taught to write. Why doesn’t anyone ask that of professional singers, painters, dancers? That year forced me to write all the time and take it seriously.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Review of THE FIRST SIGNS OF APRIL by Mary-Elizabeth Briscoe

The First Signs of April: A Memoir
By Mary-Elizabeth Briscoe
Published September 5th, 2017 by She Writes Press
Paperback, 257p

Wounds fester and spread in the darkness of silence. The swirling reds, oranges, and yellows of fall’s foliage dance alongside Mary-Elizabeth Briscoe like flames as she tears through the winding back roads of the Northeast Kingdom, Vermont. Desperate to outrun memories that flood her mind, no matter how hard she rolls her motorcycle’s throttle, she cannot escape them.

Shut down and disconnected, Briscoe has lived her life in silence in order to stay alive. Her grief is buried, and shame is the skin that wraps around her bones—but then, following the brutal murder of a local teacher, she is forced as a grief counselor to face her lifetime of unresolved sorrow. Will she finally be able to crack the hard edges of her heart and allow in the light of truth so real healing can occur?


Do you read memoirs? No! Well, as a reader of multitudes of memoirs, you definitely can put this on your TBR list since it reads like fiction due to its remarkable writing. To begin with, the book is set-up so that it goes back and forth from 1981 when she was in high school and the year 2000 the summer after finishing her doctorate with a nice flow. It effortlessly held my attention till the end.

Generally speaking, even though it is comprised of oodles of sorrow this factor brings forth insight, the wisdom of mental healing, and learning what defines you. Furthermore, Mary-Elizabeth Briscoe focused solely on what was vital to explain her dilemma, nothing more, nothing less, so there is no overload of useless information. Finally, I want to mention how this book opened my eyes causing me to see more clearly regarding past and present situations that are restricting me from being all that I could be. Since nobody should miss out on reading this spectacular memoir purchase yourself a copy above.

Mary-Elizabeth Briscoe is a licensed mental health counselor currently on sabbatical from her private psychotherapy practice in northeastern Vermont. She currently spends her time between Cape Cod, Vermont, and Ireland. She has a masters degree in clinical mental health counseling from Lesley University and is a licensed clinical mental health counselor and a Certified Trauma Professional. She has been a lecturer for Springfield College School of Professional and Continuing Studies St. Johnsbury, Vermont campus. She has contributed to Cape Woman Online and Sweatpants and Coffee magazine. This is her first book. Visit her website, her Facebook, and on Twitter.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Subhuman Book Blitz & (INTL) Giveaway of $50 Amazon gift card

Subhuman (Unit 51 #1)
By Michael McBride
Published by: Pinnacle Books
Publication date: October 31st, 2017
Genres: Adult, Horror

At a research station in Antarctica, five of the world’s top scientists have been brought together to solve one of the greatest mysteries in human history. Their subject, however, is anything but human . . .

Deep beneath the ice, the submerged ruins of a lost civilization hold the key to the strange mutations that each scientist has encountered across the globe: A misshapen skull in Russia. The grotesque carvings of a lost race in Peru. The mummified remains of a humanoid monstrosity in Egypt . . .

When a series of sound waves trigger the ancient organisms, a new kind of evolution begins. Latching onto a human host—crossbreeding with human DNA—a long-extinct life form is reborn. Its kind has not walked the earth for thousands of years. Its instincts are fiercer, more savage, than any predator alive. And its prey are the scientists who unleashed it, the humans who spawned it, and the tender living flesh on which it feeds . . .


Queen Maud Land, Antarctica
December 30, 1946

Their compasses couldn’t be trusted this close to the pole. All they had were aerial photographs taken six days ago, which were useless in this storm. The wind propelled the snow with such ferocity that they could only raise their eyes from the ground for seconds at a time. They couldn’t see more than five feet in any direction and had tethered themselves to each other for fear of becoming separated. Their only hope was to maintain their course and pray they didn’t overshoot their target, if it was even there at all.
Sergeant Jack Barnett clawed the ice from his eyelashes and nostrils. He’d survived Guadalcanal and Saipan, two of the bloodiest battles in the Pacific campaign, with no more than a few scars to show for it, but no amount of experience could have prepared him for what he’d found down here at the bottom of the world. When his commanding officer assigned him to an elite expeditionary squad, he’d assumed he was being sent back to the South Pacific with the rest of the 2nd Marines. It wasn’t until his briefing aboard the USS Mount Olympus that he learned he’d been drafted for Operation Highjump, whose stated mission was to establish a research base in Antarctica.
His mission, however, was something else entirely.
Jagged black peaks materialized from the storm. He’d studied the aerial reconnaissance and committed the configuration of the Drygalski Mountains to memory. They had to be nearly right on top of the anomaly they’d been dispatched to find.
The Nazis had made no secret of their interest in the South Pole, but it wasn’t until eighteen months ago, when two German U-boats unexpectedly appeared off the shores of Mar del Plata and surrendered to Argentinian authorities that the intelligence community sat up and took notice. All charts, books, and identification papers aboard had been destroyed, and the captains had refused to divulge the nature of their mission to Antarctica, the whereabouts of a jettisoned dinghy, or the reason their passengers were covered with bandages.
The Counterintelligence Corps had been tracking various networks used to smuggle SS officers out of Europe and into South America, but none of those so-called ratlines passed through the Antarctic Circle. During their investigations, however, they’d encountered rumors of a mysterious Base 211 in Queen Maud Land, a veritable fortress commissioned by Hitler in the face of inevitable defeat. They couldn’t dismiss the stories out-of-hand and potentially allow the Nazis to regroup and lick their wounds, so nearly 5,000 men had boarded a squadron of aircraft carriers, destroyers, and icebreakers under the auspices of scientific research and embarked upon a perilous four-month journey through a gauntlet of icebergs and sheet ice. Sorties were launched in every direction in an attempt to reconnoiter the entire continent, upon which, in addition to vast stretches of snow and ice, the cameramen aboard the planes photographed surprising amounts of dry land, open water, and what appeared to be a bunker of German design nestled in the valley ahead of them, which was why Barnett’s squad had parachuted into this frozen wasteland.
The wind screamed and nearly drove Barnett to his knees. The rope connecting him to the others tightened and he caught a fleeting glimpse of several of his men, silhouetted against coal-black cliffs rimed with ice. Barnett shielded his field glasses from the blizzard and strained to follow the course of the ridgeline eastward toward a peak shaped like a shark’s tooth. He followed the sheer escarpment down to where it vanished behind the drifted snow. The ruins of a rectangular radar tower protruded from the accumulation.
Barnett lowered his binoculars, unclipped his line, and unslung his M3 carbine. The semi-automatic assault rifle had been equipped with an infrared spotlight and a special scope that allowed him to see in complete darkness. The Nazis had called the soldiers who wielded them Nachtjaegers, or night-hunters, which struck him as the perfect name as he struck off across the windswept snow, which broke like Styrofoam underfoot.
The twin barrels of a FlaK anti-aircraft turret stood up from the drifted snow, beneath which a convex slab of concrete protruded. Icicles hung from the roof of the horizontal embrasure like fangs, between which Barnett could see only darkness.
He crouched in the lee of the bunker and waited for the others, who were nearly upon him before they separated from the storm. Their white arctic suits would have made it impossible to tell them apart were it not for their armaments. Corporal Buck Jefferson, who’d served with him since the Solomon Islands, wore the triple tanks of his customary M2 flamethrower on his back. They’d rehearsed this scenario so many times that he didn’t need to be told what to do. He stepped out into the open and raised the nozzle.
“Fire in the hole.”
Jefferson switched the igniter, pulled the trigger, and sprayed molten flames through the embrasure. The icicles vaporized and liquid fire spread across the inner concrete floor. Gouts of black smoke churned from the opening.
Barnett nodded to the automatic riflemen, who stood, sighted their M1918 Browning automatic rifles through the gap, and laid down suppressing fire. The moment their magazines were empty they hit the ground in anticipation of blind return fire.
The thunderous report rolled through the valley. Smoke dissipated into the storm. The rifleman cautiously raised their heads.
Barnett waited several seconds longer before sending in the infantrymen, who climbed through the embrasure and vanished into the smoke. He rose and approached the gun slit. The flames had already nearly burned out. The intonation of their footsteps hinted at a space much larger than the unimpressive façade suggested.
He crawled into the fortification, cranked his battery pack, and seated his rifle against his shoulder. The infrared spotlight created a cone of what could only loosely be considered light. Everything within its range and the limitations of the scope appeared in shades of gray, while the periphery remained cloaked in darkness, through which his men moved like specters.
The bunker itself was little more than a storage corridor. Winter gear and camouflage fatigues hung from hooks fashioned from exposed rebar. A rack of Sturmgewehr 44 assault rifles stood beside smoldering wooden crates filled with everything from rations to ammunition. Residual puddles of burning gasoline blinded his optics, forcing him to direct his sightline toward walls spattered with what looked like oil.
“Sergeant,” one of his men called.
A haze of smoke collected near the ceiling amid ductwork and pipes that led him into a cavernous space that reflected both natural and manmade architecture. To his left, concrete gave way to bare stone adorned with Nazi flags, golden swastikas and eagles, and all kinds of ornate paraphernalia. Banks of radio equipment crowded the wall to his right. He recognized radar screens, oscilloscopes, and the wheel that controlled the antenna.
“It’s a listening station,” Jefferson said.
There was no power to any of the relay boards. Chairs lay toppled behind desks littered with Morse keys, handsets, and crumpled notes, both handwritten and typed.
“Give me some light,” Barnett said.
He lowered his weapon and snatched the nearest man’s flashlight from him. He didn’t read much German, but he recognized the headings Nur für den Dienstgebrauch and Befehl für das Instellunggehen. These were top-secret documents, and they weren’t even encrypted.
Barnett turned and shined the light deeper into the cavern. The rear wall was plastered with maps, the majority of which were detailed topographical representations of South America and Antarctica, all of them riddled with pins and notes. His beam cast the shadows of his men across bare rock etched with all sort of bizarre and esoteric symbols before settling upon an orifice framed with wooden cribbing, like a mineshaft. Automatic shell casings sparkled from the ground, which was positively covered with what could only have been dried blood.
“Radioman,” he said.
A baby-faced infantryman rushed to his side, the antenna from the SCR-300 transceiver on his back whipping over his shoulder.
“Open a direct line to Rear Admiral Warren. Ears-only.”
A shout and the prattle of gunfire.
Discharge momentarily limned the bend in the tunnel.
Barnett killed his light and again looked through the scope. The others followed his lead and a silent darkness descended.
A scream reverberated from inside the mountain ahead of them.
Barnett advanced in a shooter’s stance. The tunnel wound to his right before opening into another cavern, where his infrared light reflected in shimmering silver from standing fluid. Indistinct shapes stood from it like islands. He placed each footfall gently, silently, and quieted his breathing. He recognized the spotted fur of leopard seals, the distinctive patterns of king penguins, and the ruffled feathers of petrels. All of them gutted and scavenged. The stench struck him a heartbeat before buzzing flies erupted from the carcasses.
He turned away and saw a rifle just like his on the ground. One of his men was sprawled beside it, his boots pointing to the ceiling, his winter gear shredded and covered with blood. Several hunched silhouettes were crouched over his torso and head. They turned as one toward Barnett, who caught a flash of eyeshine and a blur of motion.
His screams echoed into the frozen earth.

Michael McBride was born in Colorado and still resides in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. He hates the snow, but loves the Avalanche. He works with medical radiation, yet somehow managed to produce five children, none of whom, miraculously, have tails, third eyes, or other random mutations. He writes fiction that runs the gamut from thriller (Remains) to horror to science fiction (Vector Borne, Snowblind) . . . and loves every minute of it. He is a two-time winner of the DarkFuse Readers' Choice Award.


Monday, October 23, 2017

HAVEN Book Blitz & Giveaway of a AMAZON $15 Gift Card

Mary Lindsey
Published by: Entangled Publishing
Publication date: November 7th, 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

“We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”

Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere. He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.

Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.


Mary Lindsey is a multi award-winning, RITA® nominated author of romance for adults and teens. She lives on an island in the middle of a river. Seriously, she does. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, two Cairn Terriers, and one husband.
Inexplicably, her favorite animal is the giant anteater and at one point, she had over 200 "pet" Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. The roaches are a long story involving three science-crazed kids and a soft spot for rescue animals. The good news is, the "pet" roaches found a home... somewhere else.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Review of LILAC LANE by Sherryl Woods

Lilac Lane (Chesapeake Shores #14)
by Sherryl Woods
Published October 17th, 2017 by Mira Books
ISBN 0778331334
Hardcover, 352 pages

No one writes about friends, family, and home better than Sherryl Woods. Told with warmth and humor, Lilac Lane is a brand-new story in her beloved Chesapeake Shores series, one reader all over the world have waited two years to read!

At the heart of Lilac Lane is Keira Malone, who raised her three children alone after her first marriage broke apart, and who, after years of guarding her heart, finally finds love again. But that love is short-lived when her fiancé suffers a fatal heart attack. Grieving and unsure of what’s next, Keira agrees to move from Dublin to Chesapeake Shores, Maryland, to spend time with her daughter, Moira, and her new granddaughter, Kate, as well as to help her son-in-law, Luke, with his Irish pub, O'Brien's

Not wanting to live underfoot, she rents a charming cottage on Lilac Lane, replete with views of the ocean and her neighbor’s thriving garden—not to mention views of the neighbor himself. The neighbor is none other than Bryan Laramie, the brusque and moody chef at the pub, with whom Keira is constantly butting heads. But things get real when Bryan’s long-lost daughter, whom he hasn’t seen since she was a baby, shows up out of the blue. As Bryan and Keira each delve into their pasts, reopening wounds, the rest of the town is gearing up for the Fall Festival Irish Stew cook-off, and making no bones about whose side they’re on. It’s Kitchen Wars meets This is Your Life—a recipe for disaster…or a new take on love?


Before beginning the actual review I need to be utterly honest with you, I was incapable of finishing this book. This was difficult for me since I always finish books I am obligated to review but apparently there is a first for everything. It’s not that I did not allow myself enough time or forgot about reading it, the truth is I was slowly being bored to death. Lilac Lane is the first book I have read by Sherryl Woods, therefore, I now know her writing is not my style. The plot was lackluster along with a group of one-dimensional characters not containing enough substance to hold my attention. I really did give it the old college try, but when bickering is the primary undertaking how much can a reader take? Although the story did embody one interesting theme it consequently lacked enough focus or time within’ the plot to make it an engaging part of the story. Consequently, if the author had fixated more on Bryan’s ordeal and reduced the squabbling an enjoyable book could have been born.

Nevertheless, just since I found the book incompatible with my liking does not mean you will feel the same. Go ahead and give it a try. I like to think of books like people you're not going to like everyone you encounter.

With her roots firmly planted in the South, Sherryl Woods has written many of her more than 100 books in that distinctive setting, whether in her home state of Virginia, her adopted state, Florida, or her much-adored South Carolina. Sherryl is best known for her ability to creating endearing small town communities and families. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 75 romances for Silhouette Desire and Special Edition.

Review tour for LILAC LANE:
Monday, October 16th: The Sassy Bookster – spotlight
Tuesday, October 17th: The Sketchy Reader
Tuesday, October 17th: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, October 18th: Stranded in Chaos
Thursday, October 19th: Reading Reality
Thursday, October 19th: Readaholic Zone
Friday, October 20th: Black ‘n Gold Girl’s Book Spot
Monday, October 23rd: Katy’s Library blog and Instagram
Tuesday, October 24th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, October 24th: What is That Book About – spotlight
Wednesday, October 25th:Books and Bindings
Thursday, October 26th: Bookchickdi
Friday, October 27th: View from the Birdhouse
Friday, October 27th: Book Reviews and More by Kathy – spotlight
Monday, October 30th: A Holland Reads
Monday, October 30th: A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, November 1st: Novel Gossip
Thursday, November 2nd: Suzy Approved
Saturday, November 4th: Girl Who Reads
Monday, November 6th: Palmer’s Page Turners
Tuesday, November 7th: Bewitched Bookworms
Wednesday, November 8th: Moonlight Rendezvous
Thursday, November 9th: LiteraryJo Reviews blog and Instagram
Friday, November 10th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Monday, November 13th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Tuesday, November 14th: The Romance Dish
Tuesday, November 14th: Blogging with A