Category Archives: Books
The Berkeley Bowl Cookbook
Recipes Inspired by the Extraordinary Produce of California’s Most Iconic Market
by Laura McLively
Release date: April 17th, 2018
I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Berkeley Bowl Cookbook
Recipes Inspired by the Extraordinary Produce of California’s Most Iconic Market
by Laura McLively from NetGalley and Parallax Press in order to read and give an honest review.
Loved this cookbook! It’s nice to bring Californian cuisine to Toronto Canada. This book was full of amazing vegetarian recipes with unique ingredients, easy to follow instructions, beautiful coloured photographs, and creative seasonal menus.
Although some of the ingredients aren’t found in your average grocery store I was able to find them at a local Asian grocery store. Even if you can’t obtain the ingredients easily, one of the things that impressed me about this book was the fact it gave you a few suitable and easily available substitutions. I was also fond of the fact it categorized the recipes by the type of vegetable you’re using I.e. Leaves; Flower, Seeds and Pods; Spores and Succulents; Stems; Roots and Tubers; and Sweet and Savory Fruit instead of the appetizers, entrees etc.
I recommend this to anyone looking for a culinary adventure! It has something to suit every vegetarians’ taste. With dishes such as Sweet & Sour Tofu with Gooseberries, Indian Stuffed Eggplant and my new favorite dessert, Lemongrass Coconut Ice Cream you can’t go wrong!
(Under the Northern Sky #1)
by Leo Carew
Release date: April 1st, 2018
Intense, gripping and an adventure not to be missed.
When young Roper, son of the Anakim’s Black Lord watches his father slaughtered in battle, he is thrust into the role of leader of the Black Kingdom’s Army and new Black Lord of the Kingdom. When forced to retreat or lose thousands of soldiers he becomes a disappointment and is mocked by everyone in the kingdom. Their opponents, the Sutherners, after the death of their commander, are left in the hands of Bellamus, referred to by the kingdom as an “upstart” or “nobody”. Both sides fates being left to men who are sorely underestimated and who must prove their worth’s to their kingdoms.
Roper faces opposition at every turn by the Black Kingdom’s fiercest and most decorated soldier, Uvoren. Uvoren, feels the kingdoms should be rightfully his and will go to any length to obtain it. After basic posturing, humiliation and a smear campaign by Uvoren, Roper must find a way to become a hero to his people and gain confidence in himself. He does everything in his power to not only become a great warrior but to become a great and fair leader to his people.
In his debut novel, Carew does an impeccable job of creating a foreboding frozen northern landscape along with masterfully depicting the lifestyle and culture of the Anakim people who live there. His characters feel genuine, flawed and incredibly believable. Fraught with intriguing political twists and battle scenes that are as vivid as they are powerful this book will keep you engaged in Carew’s world right to the end. The end leaves not on a cliffhanger but open to the next instalment which I for one will be eagerly waiting for.
Although I read urban fantasy and am not a regular reader of Epic Fantasy I loved The Wolf, I found it intense and captivating. If you enjoy epic fantasy such as George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones this series might appeal to you.
Book #Review of Everyday Gratitude: Inspiration for Living Life by A Network for Grateful Living, David Steindl-Rast (Foreword), Kristi Nelson (Introduction) (#NetGalley)
Everyday Gratitude: Inspiration for Living Life
by A Network for Grateful Living, David Steindl-Rast (Foreword), Kristi Nelson (Introduction)
Release date: April 3rd, 2018
I received a complimentary ARC copy of Everyday Gratitude: Inspiration for Living Life by A Network for Grateful Living, David Steindl-Rast (Foreword), Kristi Nelson (Introduction) from NetGalley and Storey Publishing in order to read and give an honest review.
~A great reminder when things become overwhelming, Everyday Gratitude guides us to find the small treasures of positivity in our everyday lives.~
Everyday Gratitude: Inspiration for Living Life as a Gift is not a how-to book per se but a great reminder when feeling overwhelmed to find something to be grateful for each and every day. Each page has a colourful image, an inspiring quote from everyone from Helen Keller to Dalai Lama, as well as a question which prompts you to think about how that quote can be applied to your life. If you journal these would make excellent journal prompts to help you find the positives in your lives
All in all, not an in-depth heavy read but a nice reminder to help gain clarity and perspective when things might not necessarily be going well for you. I personally found it to be the little boost to get my focus going in the right direction, especially on the trying days.
I really enjoyed this book which I know will become one that I will refer to time and again.
Book #Review of A Glimmer of Hope (The Avalon Chronicles #1) by Steve McHugh (@StevejMchugh) (#NetGalley)
A Glimmer of Hope
(The Avalon Chronicles #1)
by Steve McHugh
Release date: April 1st, 2018
I received a complimentary ARC copy of A Glimmer of Hope (The Avalon Chronicles #1) by Steve McHugh from NetGalley and 47North in order to read and give an honest review.
…a well written, unique and fast-paced #urbanfantasy novel!
Layla Cassidy, daughter of an infamous serial killer, spent her life running away from her old life and the possibility of turning into her father. She changes her name, hides her past and settles into a routine of night clerk at a train depot and student of metallurgy during the day. One night while at work she is kidnapped and her friends slaughtered in an attempt to gain information on her father’s secret prison. She is kidnapped and held captive in a secret compound underground guarded by vile supernatural creatures. She manages to escape but not before activating secret scrolls which bind her with three spirits and a demon, all of which now residing in her head and giving her powers outside of her realm of understanding.
Now she must learn to cope with them all talking to her, control her new powers and tame the demon inside her head threatening to turn her into the murderer. After her escape, she learns she is not alone, there are others just like her who will help protect and guide her.
I enjoyed A Glimmer of hope, although slow to start it is well worth the wait. A caution to those squeamish about violence, there are some gory scenes but on the whole, the book has well-developed characters, a unique and interesting plot culminating in a heart-stopping conclusion. If you want to a well written, unique and fast-paced #urbanfantasy novel, this is for you.
The Bone Curse
(Benjamin Oris #1)
by Carrie Rubin
Release date: March 27th, 2018
Part thriller, part paranormal mystery, this is a fast-paced, well-crafted and brilliantly original novel!
Pragmatic medical student, Ben Oris, is on vacation with his best friend Laurette, a Haitian medical student, when an injury occurs while visiting the Catacombs. Ben possessed by unseen forces accidentally cuts his hand on a centuries-old bone, a cut that puts Ben and all those he holds dear in a life and death battle with evil forces too irrational for his rational mind to believe. Laurette knows that something evil is following Ben but it challenges his logical, scientific mind putting their friendship and lives in peril.
The book weaves a tale through medical anomalies, Haitian Vodou and the bonds of family and friendship which culminates in a heart-stopping conclusion. The characters are interesting, quirky and believable which when combined with an intriguing plot will keep you turning the pages until the wee hours of the morning.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I found this to be unique and captivating and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good thriller with an occult twist. I’m definitely looking forward to reading Carrie Rubin’s next Benjamin Oris book!
by Melissa F. Olson
Release date: February 13th, 2018
I received a complimentary ARC copy of Shadow Hunt (Disrupted Magic #3) by Melissa F. Olson from NetGalley in order to read and give an honest review.
The last book of the Disrupted Trilogy and the end of Scarlett’s second series picks up immediately after the second book, Blood Gamble left off. Weeks after the events in Las Vegas and the death of Jamieson, another Null she finds out she is pregnant with his child. A rare occurrence, Scarlett is dealing with the aftermath of finding out that after years of believing it was impossible she is, in fact, going to have a baby, the baby of two very powerful Nulls. Scarlett tries to keep the pregnancy under wraps until she learns more about her options and the consequences of having a null child. Not knowing who to turn to she sneaks out of town to consult with Maven, an ancient Vampire she feels might be able to give her advice. Leaving her bargest, Shadow, at home and in the care of Jesse she is on her way, not knowing the danger she is leaving them to face. Jesse opens the door to an innocent looking visitor which launches an evil plot by Shadow’s former owners, the Luparii who come to retrieve what’s theirs and put their plan into motion. The Luparrii’s see Scarlett as a threat and will do everything in their power to see her destroyed. After her secret is outted, Scarlett teams up with werewolves, vamps, witches and humans to stand with against the magical Wild Hunt which that would ultimately end the world as they know it.
I really enjoyed Shadow Hunt. It gives us a character-driven, fast-paced and complex storyline that you’ll want to devour in one sitting. I think this, in my opinion, was the best of the trilogy and even though it’s the end of this trilogy I hope we hear from Scarlet and Jesse in the future.
My book Review of Midnight Curse (Disrupted Magic #1) by Melissa F. Olson found here.
by Laura Joh Rowland
Release date: January 9th, 2018
I received a complimentary ARC copy of A Mortal Likeness (#Victorian #Mystery No.2) by Laura Joh Rowland from NetGalley & Crooked Lane Books in order to read and give an honest review.
A fast-paced, suspenseful whodunit set in Victorian England, A Mortal Likeness, will keep you on the edge of your seat. I read and reviewed book one, The Ripper’s Shadow last year and found this one to be just as enjoyable.
In this story, we join photographer Sarah Bain and the disgraced Lord Hugh Staunton after the fallout of solving the Jack the Ripper case. Hugh, short on cash after being disowned by his wealthy family persuades Sarah to open a detective agency. With funds running low they are at the mercy of whichever cases fall in their lap. While working on a case investigating a philandering husband, they are thrust into a high-profile case which although paying well will throw them into peril at every turn.
The wealthy and influential Gerald Mariner frustrated with the lack of progress by the police in solving the kidnapping of his son Robin Mariner hires them to solve the crime. Broke and in need of cash they accept the case but Sir Mariner has one caveat, they are to tell no one they are working on the case. Although Hugh is nonplussed about it, Sarah is uncomfortable lying to her police constable lover who has been assigned to the case. There also may be connections to Sarah’s supposedly dead father whom she sees in the background of some surveillance photos she’s taken. Sir Gerald, is convinced that the kidnapping is an inside job and invites them to stay on his estate to investigate. With emotions running high and a killer under the same roof, they are met with hostility and distrust. To make matters worse the other officer on the case had his career damaged on the Jack the Ripper case, partly thanks to Sarah and Hugh, has a vendetta against them and will not rest until he can pin the kidnapping on them.
I thoroughly enjoyed the twists, turns which lead up to a surprising but very satisfying ending. I would wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone who loves a good mystery.
#Book #Review of The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross (The Curious Affair Of #2) by Lisa Tuttle #Victorian #Mystery #Paranormal
by Lisa Tuttle
Release date: November 28th, 2017
I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross (The Curious Affair Of #2) by Lisa Tuttle from NetGalley & Random House Publishing Group – Hydra in order to read and give an honest review.
This is the second entry in the “Jesperson and Lane Casebook/Curious Affair of ” series by Lisa Tuttle. Although I haven’t read the first book, this book works well as a stand-alone and I have added the first, The Somnambulist and the Psychic Thief (The Curious Affair Of #1) to my TBR pile. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was a fast-paced, and fun Victorian mystery, reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes but with a touch of the paranormal.
The book opens with Charles Manning, a disciple of Felix Ott’s British School of Wisdom collapsing and dying in the London home of colleagues and private detectives, Jesperson and Lane. Manning arrives at the house just after 1am in a state and before his death declared that he was being hunted by witches which with his last breath he accuses Miss Lane of being. His death at first appears to be of natural causes but as with most good mysteries, that of course, is not the case. Jesperson and Lane convince Mr. Manning’s brother that not all is as it seems, and they are hired to find out who or what truly killed his brother. Manning’s research of the “Shriek pits, a phenomenon prevalent in folklore had him staying in Aylmerton, Norfolk. The Author Lisa Tuttle manages to create interesting well-developed characters who drive the plot forward and keep you entertained. Following Manning’s timeline before his death, Jesperson and Lane travel to Norfolk to retrace his steps in the process meet some interesting characters, including the Ringer family and the infamous Buslstrode sisters at Wayside Cross. The three unmarried sisters are wise-women or healers, but some are convinced they are witches. The story is full of twists and turns, from uncovering previous murders to a stolen baby and the curious disappearance of the distraught mother. There are clever red herrings and plotlines that whisper of magic, fairies, poison rings and an undecipherable grimoire all of which culminate in a fantastic twist at the end.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a well-written, cleverly crafted, quirky and fun mystery. If you enjoy Sir Conan Arthur Doyle or Agatha Christie I would recommend giving this a try.
On 11 November 2017, there will be countries that will remember Veterans or their fallen soldiers. In the U.S., Veterans’ Day honors Veterans. In other countries it is called Remembrance Day or Armistice Day. If you wish to learn more about the history and reasons you can visit: http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/history-of-veterans-day
The founding members of Call Sign Wrecking Crew, LLC have decided to reduce the price of their second novel, Call Sign: Wrecking Crew Wings of Eagles, in honor of U.S. Veterans’ Day. Some of the main characters are based on real people who were U.S. Military Veterans, such as themselves.
In the series, the main characters are all former military whose careers led them into some form of Special Forces. They eventual formed a team of CIA special operators. By book two, Call Sign: Wrecking Crew Wings of Eagles, this team is no longer part of the CIA. They are part of a private company that does high-end security. One of their assignments was to shore up the security of their hometown. Events unfold, which were out of the team’s control, and sent their hometown on a collision course with Evil.
If your interest is piqued then why not check out the series:
If you are on a tight budget, the prices might be just what you are looking for. However, if you are looking for a paperback book for a loved one who served or for any other reason, each book has that option as well. If you look closely, you might be able to get an eBook and a print book.
If you are outside of the U.S. and prefer alternate options, then here are the links that should take you to the nearest Amazon Marketplace:
Call Sign: Wrecking Crew Storm Warning: myBook.to/CSWCSW
Call Sign: Wrecking Crew Wings of Eagles: myBook.to/CSWCWOE
Genesis: Call Sign: Wrecking Crew Slice of Life: myBook.to/GenesisCSWCSOL
David McKoy and Lynn Hallbrooks founded Call Sign Wrecking Crew, LLC in 2010. In January of 2011, the first book went live on Amazon. They hope that their books will both educate and entertain.
To learn more about them, you can visit their website: http://cswcllc.weebly.com/
Love knows no boundaries and bridges the gap between creed and culture. Whether prince or pauper, beauty or beast, cupid entangles unsuspecting hearts. From the exchange of a glance to the throes of romance, follow these couples as they discover that love has no limits. Indulge your taste for adventure with ten diverse tales from familiar and exotic parts of the globe.
“Shades of Love” is brought to you by a select group of ten award-winning and best-selling writers, whose stories feature couples who close the cultural divide through their love.
Author Description of Novels
Claiming Lana – Reana Malori
Jake Bradford and Lana Miller are two strong-willed people who seem to be sworn enemies. That all changes in the blink of an eye when they’re thrown together for an important project. When passion simmers just under the surface, the outcome is not what either of them could have expected, but exactly what they needed.
Caliente Nights – Suzette Riddick
Nursery school teacher Jeanette Adams and athlete Alonzo Castro are immediately attracted to each other. He is aware of his Cuban mother’s disapproval, but it’s not enough to keep him from pursuing the African American beauty.
The Blind Shot – J.L. Campbell
Kofi Danquah and Regina Chu are settlers in a foreign land, but the one thing they have in common is their attraction to each other. As their relationship moves from platonic to passionate, so does their families’ opposition to their love … but Kofi and Regina want what comes naturally and they won’t be denied.
When East Meets West – Annamaria Bazzi
Winter Portobello, a coed from a faith-based Italian family falls in love with a fellow student, Samir Chamas, a Lebanese immigrant. Together, Samir and Winter must prove their love to be as strong as the hearts that bind them, despite the cultural and religious differences that threaten to destroy the Chamas family.
Would Smell As Sweet – Janae Keyes
Sick of feeling like a prisoner in her own home, Shayna moves the small town of Cotton Springs, Texas. She puts the pieces of her life back together and finds romance, but Happily Ever After only lasts until Shayna’s stalker finds her hiding place and turns her dream into a nightmare.
Postcards from Havana – Toye-Lawson Brown
Arlene Joy never expected to win a five-day trip to Havana, Cuba. After meeting Arlene at a fiesta, Vincenté Martinez is happy he came home.
Third Base – P.C. Zick
Baseball star Tomas Vegas loses focus on his game when he meets Adriana Moretti from a tight-knit Italian family. When she falls for the handsome Puerto Rican, their families attempt to pull them apart, which only brings them closer together.
The Best Game – Hebby Roman
After years apart, Liana De Leon and Damian Escobedo meet again in their San Antonio hometown. Liana wants to escape her high-profile life, but coming home isn’t working out the way she planned. Instead of the quiet life she envisions, the city’s most eligible bachelor is set on winning her heart and making all her dreams come true.
Small Town Boy – Caroline Bell-Foster
They were first loves, but tragedy struck before Kerry and Noah could explore their lives further. Years later, can the British politician and the American County singer ever re-connect?
Sometimes Money Ain’t Enough – Stacey-Deanne
Raquel Hood has everything a woman could want; money, beauty, and an entire town under her command. But after meeting Tobias, Raquel realizes that sometimes money ain’t enough.
Short Author Bios
Reana Malori is an Amazon Top 100 bestselling author of sensual and contemporary romance. She weaves stories that pull the reader into her world and to share in her universe, even if only for a short time. Her stories feature women you’d love to hang out with and men who love them with everything they have.
Suzette Riddick enjoys writing romance novels with real life situations readers can relate to. She’s an Amazon bestselling author of African American Romance. In 2013, she was nominated for an Emma Award and was a featured author in USA Today ~ Happy Ever After.
J.L. Campbell is an award-winning, Jamaican author who writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, sweet romance, women’s fiction, as well as new and young adult novels. She is a certified editor, who also writes non-fiction.
Annamaria Bazzi – Love is an important part of life, not just something to be experienced but also to be read. After thirty-one years of marriage, and still going strong, Annamaria Bazzi believes in the happily ever after. This strong belief transcends into her romance novels—every person deserves his and her own happy ever after. Annamaria writes contemporary romances to bring new love experiences to her readers. She also writes young adult sci-fi/fantasy and dabbles in paranormal short stories.
Janae Keyes – Janae Keyes is an American mom, wife, and hopeless romantic living in Europe. She loves to explore various cultures coming together through the magic of love. Residing in a suburb of Brussels, Belgium, with her husband and daughter, Janae loves to share her passion for romance with others.
Toye-Lawson Brown is an Amazon bestselling author of multicultural romance novels. In 2014 she was nominated by the B.R.A.B Book Club for Breakout Author of the Year.
P.C. Zick – Bestselling and award-winning author, P.C. Zick, creates contemporary romances with a social consciousness. She describes herself as a storyteller no matter what she writes. Strong female leads, handsome and heroic men, and descriptive settings grace more than a dozen published novels.
Hebby Roman is a New York traditionally published, small-press published, and Indie published #1 Amazon best-selling author of both historical and contemporary romances. Her book, “Border Heat,” was a Los Angeles Times Book Festival selection. She has been a RONE Finalist three times and in three different categories.
Caroline Bell Foster is an internationally bestselling, multi award-winning British author of diverse romantic fiction and named as one of the most influential people in culture & entertainment in the East Midlands, England.
Stacy-Deanne (Dee-Anne) is an award-winning author of sensual romantic suspense, contemporary romance, and women’s fiction books. She’s written Amazon Top 100 bestsellers, and her work has been praised and reviewed in USA Today numerously. Stacy’s books are full of passion, thrills, intriguing characters and so much emotion you can’t get enough! If you want something different and unpredictable then definitely check out her work.
Only $0.99 on Amazon or FREE on Kindle Unlimited. Find the boxed set at: https://www.amazon.com/Shades-Love-Reana-Malori-ebook/dp/B0762C4N71/