Roses & Thorns

Roses & Thorns

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

39 Bayshore by Donna J. Grisanti



THE PLOT:

Carolyn Reynolds’ health problems force her to sell her wildly successful company to avoid scandal if the truth comes out. Her mother’s tragic hit-and-run death plus day-to-day business pressures have overwhelmed her. Her aunts’ solution to relieve Carolyn’s maladies only make matters worse. The dilapidated fixer-upper mansion, Cass, Muriel, and Bee, gift her only comes with more stress-filled problems.

First, two scared teenaged vagrants with a baby with nowhere else to go add to meeting the other two lot owners: an ex-con contractor trying to get the job to rebuild Bayshore and a pastor trying to lessen Carolyn’s problems. Despite initial reservations, Carolyn comes to care about them all, as her own past comes back to haunt her. Her search for her mother’s killer has led someone to renew a dangerous interest in Carolyn’s life.

The two other Bayshore tenants have their own problems. Contractor Shealds Jackson hopes to prove he’s really a good man after a stint in prison tarred his name. Pastor Peter Allred aims to move on from a violent incident in his past. Both men will grow closer to Carolyn as murder and mayhem threaten to destroy, not rebuild, their lives.

About the Author:

Donna J. Grisanti made her debut as a published novelist in 2006 with Wandering Hearts. A former senior nursing administrator, she now divides her time between writing, family, and church. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.

Review:

I wanted to like 39 Bayshore, but it didn’t quite grab me that way I thought it should. The preface begins with a murder in Los Angeles, and then chapter one takes the reader to Maryland, and the murder in the preface is not addressed again for quite awhile. The book is also full of mixed tenses, misused words, and messy point-of-view changes (“head-hops”), sometimes in the middle of a paragraph. And I found the pacing very slow.

After about the fourth chapter, I was ready to just cut my losses and put it aside, but I cared about the characters enough to want to see what happened to them. So I did something I rarely do—I went to the back of the book to read the ending, and found characters who had not yet been introduced. Well, that didn’t work. Fortunately, I’d bookmarked the place where I’d left off, so I returned and read the rest, kvetching at the bad grammar and head-hops all the way through.

The copy I read was an advanced review copy, so some of the problems I found may have been fixed before publication. But I highly doubt the author fixed the fact that she started the book with a murder and then dropped it completely until much later.

Warnings:  None
Length:  342 Pages
Prices:
Print:  $12.99
Digital:  $6.99

Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Palladine by Kenneth Eade



Blurb:

Robert Garcia was an unremarkable man, tapped out of a promising military career to become a death squad assassin for the CIA. Retirement was not in the cards for Robert, so he disappeared instead.

After he comes out of the cold to answer the call to aid a fellow soldier facing a bum rap, he is thrust back into the spotlight when he is in the wrong place at the wrong time and kills a terrorist, thereby saving dozens of lives. He finds gainful employment in the slaughter of jihadists, which sparks an urban legend that Robert, a dangerous and unfeeling assassin, is a living paladin, whose mission is to rid the earth of evil for the betterment of mankind. Social media gives him the name “Paladine,” and God help whoever gets between him and his next target.

About the Author:

Described by critics as “one of our strongest thriller writers on the scene,” author Kenneth Eade, best known for his legal and political thrillers, practiced law for 30 years before publishing his first novel, An Involuntary Spy. Eade, an award-winning, best-selling Top 100 thriller author, has been described by his peers as “one of the up-and-coming legal thriller writers of this generation.” He is the 2015 winner of Best Legal Thriller from Beverly Hills Book Awards and the 2016 winner of a bronze medal in the category of Fiction, Mystery and Murder from the Reader’s Favorite International Book Awards. His latest novel, Paladine, is currently a quarter-finalist in Publisher’s Weekly’s BookLife Prize for Fiction. Eade has authored three fiction series: The “Brent Marks Legal Thriller Series”, the “Involuntary Spy Espionage Series,” and the “Paladine Anti-Terrorism Series.” He has written fourteen novels which have been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.

“I’ve been writing all my life, but began publishing my work out of a passion for the environment. My wife, Valentina, is a professional photographer, who worked for two years on an environmental exhibition called, ‘Bee Cause I Care’ which was exhibited by the Prince Albert II Foundation and is now touring cities in France to bring awareness to the importance of pollinators and the dangers facing them. I penned a few articles on the subject for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and turned my research into my first book, Bless the Bees. That passion continued with the publication of my novel, An Involuntary Spy, which is an action thriller that also points to the dangers of genetically engineered food. Then I began publishing the “Brent Marks Legal Thriller Series,” which, in part, is based on actual experiences during my long career in law.

“Now I divide most of my time between France, where I have resided for the better part of ten years, and Russia. I try to put as much realism in my novels as possible, and they all revolve around important social issues. I treasure all of my readers and love to hear from them, whether it’s good or bad. Sometimes I make changes based on their suggestions and one reader has inspired a character who has appeared in my latest two novels. Everyone who signs up on my mailing list at http://www.kennetheade.com gets a free ebook, and I give away a Kindle Fire every month to a lucky winner on the list. I love this new adventure and hope you enjoy taking it with me.”

Review:

It seems you can’t even go to McDonald’s for a burger these days. Trying to lie low and remain anonymous doesn’t work for highly-trained assassin Robert Garcia when he hears a click behind him as he’s about to take a bite of his Big Mac. No one else in the place seems to even hear the click let alone recognize it the sound of someone cocking a weapon. But Robert does, and he reacts, shooting the AK-47-wielding terrorist before anyone else even realizes the man is there. Robert holsters his own weapon and melts into the crowd, walking away from the melee well before the authorities arrive, and before any witnesses can identify him.

The press labels Robert “Paladine,” and dying billionaire Bryce Williamson sets up a foundation to fight terrorism as a cover to hire “Paladine” through the dark web to kill the jihadist who killed Bryce’s wife, as well as any other terrorist Robert can identify and neutralize. Unfortunately, the Federal government is trying just as hard to neutralize Robert as they are the terrorists he’s targeting. After all, “Paladine” is making them look bad.



As both Paladine and the movie American Sniper the US government has trained many men to kill, and then sent them home when their military service is over and expect them to adjust to civilian / “civilized” life. And in toughening up these men, they make it difficult for them to reach out for the help they need to adjust. But, I digress.

Paladine grabs you at the beginning and hangs on to you right through to the end. You live inside Robert Garcia’s head—feel his loneliness and isolation as well as his desperation to stay alive and free, and his anger toward the terrorists he hunts. You feel the predator inside him, as well as the humanity. Paladine is well worth reading.

Warnings:  Violence
Length:  274 Pages
Prices:
Print:  $7.41
Digital:  $4.99

Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

#AllDarlingChildren #Fantasy by Katrina Monroe @AuthorKatM




Blurb:

All boys grow up, except one.

On the tenth anniversary of her mother’s death, fourteen-year-old Madge Darling’s grandmother suffers a heart attack. With the overbearing Grandma Wendy in the hospital, Madge runs away to Chicago, intent on tracking down a woman she believes is actually her mother.

On her way to the Windy City, a boy named Peter Pan lures Madge to Neverland, a magical place where children can remain young forever. While Pan plays puppet master in a twisted game only he understands, Madge discovers the disturbing price of Peter Pan’s eternal youth.

About the Author:

Katrina Monroe is a novelist, mom, and snark-slinger extraordinaire.

Her worst habits include: eating pretty much anything with her fingers, yelling at inappropriate times, and being unable to focus on important things like dinner and putting on pants.

She collects quotes like most people collect, well, other things. Her favorite is, “If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.” Dorothy Parker


Review:

Having read another of Ms. Monroe’s books, I looked forward to a book with a twisted sense of humor, but what I found in All Darling Children was a book that was just twisted. Peter Pan meets Lord of the Flies. The Lost Boys are not just boys who play Indians with the Red Men, and Captain Hook and Smee are all that’s left of the crew of the Jolly Roger. They, by the way, are ghosts. Under Peter Pan’s leadership, The Lost Boys slaughtered the crew in their sleep. Now, Peter has captured Wendy’s granddaughter. And he intends to have his revenge on Wendy for leaving him all those years ago. And if all of that wasn’t bad enough, the book had an iffy ending. I’m not sure if it was a cliff-hanger leading to a sequel, or just disturbing.

I wanted to put it down halfway through, but I also wanted to see if Madge survived. I was like a bird mesmerized by a snake. It was as bad as reading Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. I will be leery of Ms. Monroe’s books from now on. And if there’s a sequel to All Darling Children, I absolutely do not want to read it. This one gave me enough nightmares, thank you very much. The only reason I’m giving it even two roses is that it was well-written and Wendy was engaging enough that, repulsed as I was, I had to finish it.

Warnings:  Graphic Violence
Length:  217 Pages
Prices:
Print:  $10.99
Digital:  $5.99

You’ll notice we always include the publisher’s buy link. That’s because authors usually receive 40-50% of the net proceeds from the publisher. Editors and cover artists usually receive about 5%. When you buy a book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or another third-party vendor, they take a hefty cut and the author, editors and cover artists receive their cuts from what is left. So, if a book costs $5.99 at E-Book Publisher.com and you buy from there, the author will receive about $2.40-$2.99. If you buy the book at Amazon, the author will receive about $1.70-$2.10.

Download the file from the publisher onto your computer as you would any other file. I’ve created a folder for books on my computer, with subfolders by source (Marketing for Romance Writers, Net Galley, Authors who find me on Kindle lists, etc.). That way, if there’s a glitch with your Kindle, the books are on your computer. Some publishers send books in all digital formats. If my Kindle breaks and my kids buy me a Nook, I won’t have to replace all of my books. If you have a Kindle and your hubby has a Nook, you won’t have to buy separate copies, so buying directly from the publisher can save you money.

Moving the file from your computer to your e-reader is as easy as transferring any file from your computer to a USB flash drive. Plug the larger USB end of your e-reader charging chord into a USB port on your computer and simply move the file from the folder into which you’ve downloaded the book to Documents/Books directory on your e-reader. You can move the file by highlighting it and dragging it to the documents directory in you Kindle you want to move it to. Or right click on it, and then left click copy or move. Or hit Control/C for copy, Control/X for cut, and Control/V for paste.

Your author will be happy you did when he/she sees his/her royalty statement.

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