Thursday, April 28, 2016

A fun murder mystery: "The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder" by Rachel McMillan

Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder

about the book...

In 1910 Toronto, while other bachelor girls perfect their domestic skills and find husbands, two friends perfect their sleuthing skills and find a murderer.
Inspired by their fascination with all things Sherlock Holmes, best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem launch a consulting detective business. The deaths of young Irish women lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city’s underbelly, where the high hopes of those dreaming to make a new life in Canada are met with prejudice and squalor.
While searching for answers, donning disguises, and sneaking around where no proper ladies would ever go, they pair with Jasper Forth, a police constable, and Ray DeLuca, a reporter in whom Jem takes a more than professional interest. Merinda could well be Toronto’s premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever–if they can stay alive long enough to do so.
my review...

Filled with witty dialogue and characters you just won't be able to get enough of, "The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder" is a clever mystery that you will definitely want to get your hands on! I especially loved the historical setting of this novel because I am a Canadian myself, and what could be better than reading a novel set in one of the most famous cities in your very own country? McMillan does a great job at bringing history to life, adding some real details as well as some intriguing fictional ones that make for entertaining reading. McMillan writes in a delightful style, and I like the unique bits she adds to her stories, such as when a certain sentence has an asterisk next to it, allowing you to step out of the novel for an added tidbit of information added at the bottom of the page. Jem and Merinda are hilarious characters who often had me chuckling at their antics, and yet they also have a surprising amount of heart as well. And while normally I don't overly enjoy romantic novels per se, this novel had just the right flavour of romance. In fact, there is a certain scene between Jem and Ray that had me laughing out loud! (I dare not say more as I don't want to ruin it for you).

And so it is with a sense of Canadian pride that I can highly recommend this entertaining novel, not just because of the country Rachel hails from, but because it is simply a well-written and fun read. I can't wait to see what is next in store for Jem and Merina, because whatever it is, it will be worth reading about! 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher and the Litfuse Publicity Group, for the purposes of this unbiased review.

about the author...

Rachel McMillan
Rachel McMillan is a keen history enthusiast and a lifelong bibliophile. When not writing or reading, she can most often be found drinking tea and watching British miniseries. Rachel lives in bustling Toronto, where she works in educational publishing and pursues her passion for art, literature, music, and theater.


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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Code 13 by Don Brown

The second book in "THE NAVY JAG SERIES" follows Lieutenant Commander Caroline McCormick as she is assigned to the prestigious Code 13 Administrative Law Division. Not only is she excited for the opportunity to work at the Pentagon for a division that ensures she will rise quickly through the ranks, but she's reacquainted with the man she almost married, P.J. MacDonald. P.J. soon reads her in on his high-pressure secret assignment, forming a legal opinion on the ramifications of a massive drone project that would see the Navy working alongside Homeland Security sharing drone surveillance. Soon afterwards, P.J. is killed right in front of Caroline, and a second murder follows shortly after. Caroline suddenly finds herself in the cross-hairs of powerful forces who will do whatever it takes to further their interests.

Code 13 is another action-packed novel that seems all too plausible a scenario to occur in real life. I quite liked Caroline's character, from her deep integrity to her bravery to do whatever it takes to catch the killers who took down P.J. The U.S. Navy scenes seem realistic, and if I were an American reader I would certainly be able to understand why U.S. citizens are so proud of their Navy! The premise of the story is a very interesting one to consider, in terms of whether the government would be justified to have the massive drone set-up depicted in this story for the purpose of protecting their ocean border and also their citizens. However, I do have to admit that while I enjoyed the overall plot, I did not always find the actions of either the contractor or the mob, who have varying interests, to be all that realistic. I'm not sure I bought the rationale for the steps that they take in this story. So while I found the story to be entertaining and the main characters to be well portrayed, I found the "bad guys" to be a little to formulaic and not believable. That said, I still did enjoy the story, and will certainly continue on with the series. There was certainly plenty of action to move the story along!

I award this book a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars. Those readers who enjoyed the first book in this series, "Detained", will no doubt enjoy this second installment as well.

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher via the BookLook Bloggers program, for the purposes of this unbiased review.

about the author...

Don     BrownDon Brown is the author of Malacca Conspiracy, The Navy Justice Series and Black Sea Affair, a submarine thriller that predicted the 2008 shooting war between Russia and Georgia. Don served five years in the U.S. Navy as an officer in the Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps, which gave him an exceptional vantage point into both the Navy and the inner workings of 'inside-the-beltway' as an action officer assigned to the pentagon. He left active duty in 1992 to pursue private practice, but remained on inactive status through 1999, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He and his family live in North Carolina, where he pursues his passion for penning novels about the Navy.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Free song of the week!

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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Are you SURE this is a debut? Fabulous! "Counted with the Stars" by Connilyn Cossette

Cover Art

about the book....

Sold into slavery by her father and forsaken by the man she was supposed to marry, young Egyptian Kiya must serve a mistress who takes pleasure in her humiliation. When terrifying plagues strike Egypt, Kiya is in the middle of it all.

Choosing to flee with the Hebrews, Kiya finds herself reliant on a strange God and drawn to a man who despises her people. With everything she's ever known swept away and now facing the trials of the desert, will she turn back toward Egypt or surrender her life and her future to Yahweh?

my review...

Quite simply, I can hardly believe that "Counted with the Stars" is a debut novel! I can honestly say that I loved this novel from beginning to end, finding it to be well-written, engaging, and totally impossible to put down! The author has succeeded at bringing ancient Egypt to life in a way I've never read before, and Kiya is a character whom I instantly felt sympathy for and was rooting for as if she were a real person. All of the characters have been crafted with a sure hand, and seem as real as you and I, struggling to make sense of the hardships we encounter in life. The chapters where the Egyptians encounter the plagues caused me to consider their perspectives in a way I never have before, as the common people truly suffered for the pride that their Pharoah displayed. And yet I gained a new appreciation all the more of how God had to strip all the peoples of their trust in their many gods, to show that He is the one true God. As Kiya finds her own faith in her gods shaken, I could only celebrate as she comes to realize that our God is a God she can trust with every part of her being.

"Counted with the Stars" is written with a wonderful depth that had me experiencing a myriad of emotions along with the characters. Kiya's journey is a triumphant one, as she realizes that in surrender to Yahweh she can walk away from the pain of her past into a future where she knows God has her good in mind. I award this book a rating of 5 out of 5 stars, and urge you to get a copy for yourself!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

about the author....

Connilyn CossetteWhen she is not homeschooling her two sweet kids (with a full pot of coffee at hand), Connilyn Cossette is scribbling notes on spare paper, mumbling about her imaginary friends, and reading obscure, out-of-print history books. There is nothing she likes better than digging into the rich, ancient world of the Bible and uncovering buried gems of grace that point toward Jesus. Her novel Counted With the Starswon the 2013 Frasier Contest and was a semifinalist in the 2013 ACFW Genesis Contest. Although a Pacific Northwest native, she now lives near Dallas, Texas. Connect with her at

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Cynthia Ruchti’s ‘Song of Silence’ Music-Themed Giveaway

As the music fades and a chasm separates her from the passion of her heart, will Lucy's faith song go silent, too? Find out in Cynthia Ruchti's new book, Song of Silence. The musical score of her life seems to be missing all the notes. When a simple misstep threatens to silence Lucy forever, a young boy and his soundless mother change the way she sees—and hears—everything.

Celebrate the release of Song of Silence with a blog tour and giveaway. Two winners will be chosen!

song of silence - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of Song of Silence
  • A $150 Visa cash card
One second place winner will receive:
  • A copy of Song of Silence
  • A music-themed prize pack filled with goodies hand-picked by Cynthia
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on May 9th. The winners will be announced May 10th on Cynthia's blog.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

A fine follow-up: "A Powerful Secret" (Book 2 of the Worthington Destiny Series) by Leman & Nesbit

Cover Art

about the book....

Sean has always felt like an outsider in his own family.
Now he must risk never achieving what he wants most--his father's love.

Billionaire globe-trotter Sean Worthington is stunned when his older brother suddenly abandons the Senate race in New York and walks away without a backward glance. As campaign manager, Sean's left to handle the media feeding frenzy with no answers. Worse, their father--as usual--backs Will, the "perfect" son.

Frustrated by his father's lack of belief in him, Sean determines to finally move on and forge a unique path. But when a powerful secret is revealed, threatening everything Sean has counted on, he must wrestle with shocking truths . . . and combat the power brokers behind the scenes who have the Worthington family in their crosshairs.

my review....

The second novel in The Worthington Destiny is a fine follow-up to the first book in the series, "A Perfect Ambition". The same primary cast of characters returns in "A Powerful Secret", but with the primary focus this time being on Sean, the second (and middle) child in the family. Once again, the authors take the concepts of the Birth Order and flesh out how this could manifest itself in the intriguing (and wealthy) Worthington family. I quite enjoyed how the family's story was fleshed out further in this novel, as Sean encounters the life-changing secret his mother had been keeping from him his whole life. I can't imagine how earth-shattering learning something like that would be, and yet the authors do a good job of not allowing Sean to be bogged down in his grief, but instead allow him to move through it and emerge all the stronger on the other side. I do have to say that I did not find this novel to move along as fast as the first novel in the series did, and so it did not hold my interest quite the same way the first did. It may be that I didn't get the same feeling of suspense that I did in the first novel with the bombing that took place. However, as far as contemporary fiction goes, this novel has plenty of dramatic and unexpected moments that are sure to maintain readers' interest in the characters lives. Leman and Nesbit make a strong writing team, and the novel has been well-crafted.

I urge those readers who are looking for a solid fiction book that will both provide entertainment while offering new insights on birth order to grab a copy of "A Powerful Secret". I, for one, am looking forward to how things conclude in the third book of the series, A Primary Decision, which is being released Fall 2016!

I give this book a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

 about the authors....

Dr. Kevin LemanDr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known psychologist, radio and television personality, and speaker who has taught and entertained audiences worldwide with his wit and commonsense psychology. A bestselling and award-winning author, Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books about marriage and family issues, including The Birth Order BookSheet MusicMaking Children Mind without Losing Yours, and Have a New Kid by Friday. He is coauthor, with his son Kevin Leman II, of a series of illustrated children's books for each child in the family. He is also featured on 6 video series on marriage, parenting, blended families, and single parenting.

Jeff NesbitJeff Nesbit is a former communications director to the vice president at the White House, served as the director of public affairs for two prominent federal science agencies, and has been a national journalist with Knight Ridder Newspapers. He is the author of 20 novels. Cocreator of the Emmy award-winning Science of the Olympic Winter Games and the Science of NFL Football video series with NBC Sports, Jeff is executive director for Climate Nexus and writes "At the Edge," a weekly science column for U.S. News & World Report.

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