Roses & Thorns

Roses & Thorns

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Witch Got Your Tongue & A Peck of Pickled Warlocks #PNR @LiviaJWashburn

Witch Got Your Tongue

The Plot:

Aren McAllister is a beautiful but shy and withdrawn young woman who has battled a stuttering problem her entire life. But then, seemingly by accident, she discovers that she wields an incredible power: she is actually a witch and can cast potent spells—but only by singing them.

This discovery throws Aren into a dangerous power struggle between different factions in the society of witches who live among humans, unknown by them. And for the first time she encounters a romance that may change her life as much or more than the powers she never knew she had.

A Peck of Pickled Warlocks

She has been lied to her whole life. Her father is trapped in a hostile world, and it’s her fault. Her former lover is a warlock who can’t be trusted. Her only hope to put things right is a thousand-year-old talisman that once belonged to a handsome warrior who was also the most powerful warlock in all the land.

Aren McAllister, the tongue-tied witch, is back in A Peck of Pickled Warlocks. In this sequel to the critically acclaimed Witch Got Your Tongue, Aren searches for a way to rescue her father from the other-worldly realm of the witches’ council. From the sandy beaches of the Gulf Coast to the bright lights of Las Vegas to the dangerous depths of an abandoned silver mine.

About the Author:

Under the names Livia J. Washburn and L.J. Washburn, Livia Reasoner has been writing award-winning, critically acclaimed mystery, western, romance, and historical novels for almost thirty years. She began to write in collaboration with her husband, author James Reasoner, and soon branched out into telling her own stories.

In addition to writing, Livia enjoys photography, arts, crafts, and cooking, but she also loves having a pile of lumber, a circular saw, and a building project. An accomplished carpenter, she has framed houses and built more sets of bookshelves than she can remember, some of which have been filled with the books she’s written. A good day for her includes having time to create something new in the kitchen, on a story, and in the garage.

Livia lives in the Texas countryside with her husband, and her dogs. Her websites can be found at, and she blogs when she can find the time at


Again, I've reviewed two books in a series together because they simply need to be read that way. I greatly enjoy humorous books, and these did not disappoint. All her life, Aren has stuttered, and has felt inferior to her brother, the warlock her parents always wanted. Little did she know why she stuttered, or why she never really sang around the house, in the shower, or along with the radio when she drove. Then her temp agency sends her to an “entertainment” agency on Halloween, and she finds herself wearing a skimpy witch costume, singing a telegram that sounds kind of like a curse. She’s even more shocked when the man to whom she sang the curse shows up at the agency complaining it worked.

The only problem I had with both books was stilted dialog, and Witch Got Your Tongue had a cliff-hanger ending. I suggest buying both Witch… and A Peck of Pickled Warlocks together so you can go straight from one to the other. And both books come with a warning: choking hazard. You will laugh. A lot. Also set aside a good block of time. You won’t be able to put them down.

Warnings:  None
Witch Got Your Tongue:  152 Pages
A Peck of Pickled Warlocks:  254 Pages
Witch Got Your Tongue:
Print:  $8.99
Digital:  $2.99
A Peck of Pickled Warlocks:
Digital Price:  $2.99

Buy Links:

Witch Got Your Tongue:
A Peck of Pickled Warlocks:

Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

39 Bayshore by Donna J. Grisanti


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.


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
Print:  $12.99
Digital:  $6.99

Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Palladine by Kenneth Eade


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 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.”


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
Print:  $7.41
Digital:  $4.99

Thanks for visiting.