Roses & Thorns

Roses & Thorns

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Funny, Warm, Suspenseful--Dream Child by J.J. DiBenedetto



Blurb:

Dr. Sara Alderson can deal with eighty-hour workweeks as a resident at Children’s Hospital. Dealing with crises in the Emergency Room or the OR is second nature to her. But now she faces a challenge that all of her training and experience hasn’t prepared her for: Lizzie, her four-year-old daughter, has inherited her ability to see other people’s dreams.

After Lizzie befriends a young boy on a trip to Washington, DC, and then wakes up in a panic that night because of a “bad funny dream,” Sara knows exactly what it means: her daughter is visiting the boy’s dreams. Complicating matters is the fact that the boy’s father is a Congressman, and he’s dreaming about a “scary man in a big black car” threatening his Daddy.

Unraveling a case of political corruption and blackmail would be hard enough for Sara under the best of circumstances. But when she has to view everything through the eyes of a toddler, it may be an impossible task.

Review by Rochelle Weber:

Dream Child is the third book in J.J. DiBenedetto’s Dream Series, and I feel as though Sara and her family are old friends—except for the newer additions, Lizzie and the twins. Sara, her mother-in-law Helen, and Lizzie are en-route to Washington, DC, for a medical conference when Lizzie meets five year-old Billy Hanratty. In an hilarious passage, Lizzie cleans and bandages a wound Billy sustains on a sharp piece of metal when the train zigs and the children zag. She uses soap and toilet paper, and insists Billy needs “a inna-veeny.” It takes Sara a moment to realize Lizzie means an intravenous solution, which she lets Lizzie explain to the fascinated passengers listening in. After “checking” Lizzie’s work and allowing her to cleanse the wound with an alcohol swab and dress it with a real bandage, Sara introduces herself to Billy’s mom and learns they are the family of the Congressman who represents her district in DC. That night, Lizzie starts visiting Billy’s dreams about his Daddy and a scary man in a big, black car, and Sara, her husband Paul, and best friend Beth have to unravel a mystery interpreted by a four year-old.

Again, Mr. DiBenedetto has written a terrific stand-alone thriller wrapped in the warmth of family, and fueled by other people’s dreams. This time, however, the dreams come from a pair of little kids, with only occasional “first-hand” glimpses when Sara visits Lizzie’s dreams while she’s seeing Billy’s. Talk about keeping a series fresh! As usual, Dream Child engaged me at the very beginning, especially with Lizzie’s account of her ministrations to Billy. The whole book is worth buying just to read that passage. And it kept me reading to the very end. There was even a day when I was at my volunteer job at the VA and decided not to open my computer and edit because I couldn’t put down my Kindle. Yes, Mr. DiBenedetto—you caused me to play hooky! Download a copy, get the paperback, or listen to the Audible version and maybe play a little hooky with Dream Child yourself.

Length:  278 Pages
Prices:
Print:  $10.24
Digital:  $3.99
Audible:  $21.83

Thanks for visiting. Rose, Julie, Donna, & Rochelle

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Christmas on the Strand by Loretta Wheeler



Blurb:

Winter on Galveston Island is a bevy of all types of weather imaginable. From gusty winds, Savanna Burke refers to as Male Gales, to a mixture of sleet, ice and once in a great while, snow. This winter, Savanna’s found the island winds are bringing change, for her, and for Terence Whittaker, Galveston Island’s well-known clairvoyant. 


Come visit Galveston Island with Savanna during Christmas and find the wonder of Christmas on the Strand. 


Christmas on the Strand is the prequel to a series of cozy stories titled Southern Breezes. All the stories are set on Galveston Island, sharing the lives of a group of people who visited the island when they were young and have returned to claim it as their permanent home. 





Donna's Review: 


Yes, I know. Christmas is gone. But when you’ve got to read something quick, you go to your backlist and find something quick. 

That’s how I picked up Christmas on the Strand by Loretta Wheeler. Being a native Texan myself, the appeal, of course, was that the setting was on Galveston Island.

This is a novella, so it is not lengthy. I am not particularly a fan of novellas, but Wheeler has a smooth southern drawl to her writing that sucks the reader in. The setting is well done and captures the Galveston flavor. (Made me want to go back for a visit!)

The characters of Savanna Burke and Terence Whittaker are nicely drawn, and their goals, while not particularly earth shattering or dramatic, are keen nonetheless. Even the animals have personalities in this book. The plot moves along at a steady pace. Usually novellas tend to lag because they are so thinly written. Not the case with this book. Wheeler has written a book with enough goal and conflict within the characters themselves to drive the plot forward to its end.

I also appreciated the fact that the hero and heroine did not jump into bed the first chance they got. Savanna had some morals, and that appealed to me. I liked both of the main characters so much more for that.

Now, this is a bit of a paranormal flick, so for those readers not wishing to dabble in that genre, you might wish to pass this by. There was not much of that going on here, but I cannot vouch for Wheeler’s other work as I have not read it. Typically, that is not my cup of tea, so if I do not read her other works it will be because of the genre and not her as a writer. (Although . . .  I would really like to know what happens with these two next . . .)

I understand Wheeler will be writing other books that will be companions to this one. No doubt, readers will be enthralled with Savanna and Terrence and will be coming back for more.


Easily 5 roses. 

Length: 72 pages
Digital Price: $0.99
Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/CHRISTMAS-STRAND-Loretta-Wheeler-ebook/dp/B00R0DPTDS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424304840&sr=8-1&keywords=wheeler+loretta

Thanks for visiting, Rose, Julie, Donna & Rochelle 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Strong As Death by M.S. Kaye

Blurb:

Ilona runs from her sheltering mother in order to find the truth, why she’s seeing people who are invisible to everyone else. A mysterious boy named Archer guides her through Brooklyn and introduces her to Hendrick, the man who claims to be her father—though he died in 1890. Ilona must discover not only what she must do to rid the city of Soll, a sadistic and powerful spirit, but also what it means to be half ghost. She proves what her mother told her—love is stronger than death.

Review:

This author starts us out with vivid descriptive action. It is good vs. evil in the ethereal world with haunting; ghosts, spirits, and even an element of schizophrenia…spirits which also interact in the physical world. Strong as Death is a well written novel, intriguing from beginning to end. I did find the ending to be slightly odd fitting with a relatively minor character quite suddenly joined to a major character. However, overall this book was an enjoyable read, and I would recommend it highly.

Length:  180 Pages
Digital Price:  $4.99
Buy Link:

You’ll notice we always include the publisher’s buy link. That’s because authors usually receive 40% of the book price 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. If you buy the book at Amazon, the author will receive about $0.83.

Downloading the file from your computer to your Kindle is as easy as transferring any file from your computer to a USB flash drive. Plug the larger USB end of your chord into a USB port on your computer and simply move the file from your “Downloads” box to your Kindle/Documents/Books directory. You can download your books onto your computer using “Save As” to a “Books” file you create and sort them into sub-folders by genre, author, or however you wish before transferring them to your Kindle. That way, if there’s a glitch with your Kindle, the books are on your computer. Your author will be happy you did when he/she sees his/her royalty statement.

Thanks for visiting, Rose, Julie, Donna, & Rochelle

Sunday, February 15, 2015

One More Second Chance by Jana Richards


Blurb:



Dr. Alex Campbell has an agenda—finish his contract to provide medical services in Maine, pay off his medical school debt, and head back to his real life in San Diego. But when he meets Julia, all his carefully laid plans are put in jeopardy.



Julia Stewart, Lobster Cove’s high school principal, swears she’ll never let another man drag her away from the home she loves. Her aging parents need her, and the Cove is where she wants to raise her daughter. When her mother’s illness brings her and the big city doctor closer together, panic sets in. Her marriage taught her men don’t stay.



Can she put aside the heartaches of the past and trust Alex enough to accept the love he’s offering? Or will her fear of abandonment mean she’ll send him away forever?



Review by Rochelle Weber:



I received an advanced copy of One More Second Chance in return for an honest review.



When Julia Stewart’s daughter, Ava, falls down her parents’ basement stairs, and her father refuses to meet her at the ER, she wonders what’s wrong. Things seem even stranger when her mother is too distraught to face her. Then, Alex Campbell, the hot, new doctor on duty in the ER suggests Ava may be the victim of child abuse. Julia’s somewhat mollified when she gets home with Ava and calms down. As an educator, she’s called Child Services a few times herself and she has to admit, in Dr, Campbell’s shoes, she may have made the same decision.



Lobster Cove is a small town, and it’s impossible to avoid Dr. Campbell—especially since he lives next door to her parents and finds her mother on his porch in her nightgown at three a.m. looking for her friend who lived there several years ago. Does her mother have Alzheimer’s Disease? Convincing her father to take her mother to a neurologist for the definitive tests is almost as difficult as convincing the conservatives on the School Board to allow her to set up a day care facility so teenage mothers can continue their education.  Julia finds herself fighting battles on several fronts—with Alex Campbell by her side in all of them.  And worse, Ava loves him.  But Dr. Alex is from San Diego, and he’s made it clear he wants to head back to his nice, warm So Cal climate as soon as his contract is up.  Men leave.  Her husband left and Dr. Alex is planning to leave as well.  Julia can’t let herself or Ava get involved with him.



Alex, meanwhile struggles with his feelings for Julia and Ava, and his desire to escape the horrible climate in Lobster Cove, even while warming to the town and its residents. He finds himself practicing family medicine as well as emergency medicine and finds he enjoys treating the whole person—diagnosing a problem, prescribing treatment and watching the patient improve, or seeing the community come together to support a family when it’s clear the patient won’t improve. That’s something he never encountered in the ER in San Diego, and he finds himself liking it.



I really enjoyed this contemporary romance.  It wasn’t as funny as the other book I read by Ms. Richards.  It addressed much more serious issues—Alzheimers Disease and how it affects both the victim and her family, a patient with mysteriously recurring urinary tract infections, the importance of catching breast cancer early, teenage pregnancy, the importance of sex education in school, the damage a lazy teacher can cause to his students, and the toll exhaustion can take on an ER doctor. The characters were real, three-dimensional people who spoke naturally.  No stilted dialog!  Yea!  Ava actually sounded like a five year-old. Despite the serious issues, the book was warm, witty, and entertaining.  I highly recommend One More Second Chance.



Length:  255 Pages

Prices:

Print:  $TBA

Digital:  $5.99




You’ll notice we always include the publisher’s buy link. That’s because authors usually receive 40% of the book price 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. If you buy the book at Amazon, the author will receive about $0.83.



Downloading the file from your computer to your Kindle is as easy as transferring any file from your computer to a USB flash drive. Plug the larger USB end of your chord into a USB port on your computer and simply move the file from your “Downloads” box to your Kindle/Documents/Books directory. You can download your books onto your computer using “Save As” to a “Books” file you create and sort them into sub-folders by genre, author, or however you wish before transferring them to your Kindle. That way, if there’s a glitch with your Kindle, the books are on your computer. Your author will be happy you did when he/she sees his/her royalty statement.



Thanks for visiting. Rose, Julie, Donna & Rochelle

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Once and Again By M.S. Kaye


Blurb:

On her deathbed, Aiden’s mother asks him to find his father, who had left them and disappeared thirteen years ago, shortly after Aiden’s brother died. While searching the roughest area of Baltimore, Aiden meets Maylynn. After eight years of seminary and one year of priesthood, Aiden had thought he was capable of seeing beautiful women in only a platonic way. But Maylynn proves to be too difficult.

Seven years later, Maylynn shows up on Father Aiden’s doorstep for a premarital counseling session with her fiancĂ©. Aiden soon realizes something is wrong, more than just his constant struggle against his attraction—Maylynn and her fiancĂ©, Davis, are hiding something from him.

Review:

I like this author! M.S. Kaye writes a lovely romance novel once again. Once and Again has the right balance of mystery and romance with intriguing twists. Kaye’s characters are the strength of her writing. I am able to get deep inside her characters through her detailed descriptions and vibrant interaction. Her writing develops interest in each character as an individual, and then interweaves their lives to create a strong and appealing plot. I enjoyed this novel and I recommend it highly.

Length:  74 Pages
Digital Price:  $3.50
Buy Link:  

You’ll notice we always include the publisher’s buy link. That’s because authors usually receive 40% of the book price 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. If you buy the book at Amazon, the author will receive about $0.83.

Downloading the file from your computer to your Kindle is as easy as transferring any file from your computer to a USB flash drive. Plug the larger USB end of your chord into a USB port on your computer and simply move the file from your “Downloads” box to your Kindle/Documents/Books directory. You can download your books onto your computer using “Save As” to a “Books” file you create and sort them into sub-folders by genre, author, or however you wish before transferring them to your Kindle. That way, if there’s a glitch with your Kindle, the books are on your computer. Your author will be happy you did when he/she sees his/her royalty statement.

Thanks for visiting, Rose, Julie, Donna, & Rochelle