Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Book Review ~ "Taken" by Dee Henderson

Taken by Dee Henderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received from Publisher to Review
Genre: Christian Suspense

Book Description:  Abducted at the age of sixteen and coerced into assisting the Jacoby crime family, Shannon Bliss has finally found a way out. She desperately wants to resume some semblance of normal life, but she also knows she has some unfinished business to attend to. She has enough evidence to put her captors behind bars for a very long time.

When Shannon contacts private investigator and former cop Matthew Dane to help her navigate her reentry into society, she quickly discovers that gaining her freedom doesn’t mean her troubles are over. For one thing, her brother is the leading candidate in the race for Illinois governor, and news of her escape will create a media frenzy. For another, the ransom her family reportedly paid years earlier appears to have been a scam; no one knows what happened to the money. And then there’s the fact that Shannon’s escape involved faking her own death. If the Jacoby family learns she is still alive, they’ll stop at nothing to silence her.

If justice is to be done, and if Shannon’s life is ever to get on track again, Matthew will need to discover exactly what happened to her–even if it means stirring up a hornet’s nest of secrets.

My thoughts; When I read the synopsis for this book I was intrigued. A woman escapes a crime family after 11 years of captivity. I knew it would be an emotional ride and full of detective work. I wasn't disappointed. I'm glad I requested this book from Bethany House.

Shannon's journey from victim to metal health is very meticulous. She has everything planned. She has a list and sticks to her list and the time schedule she feels is appropriate. She sought out the man she felt could help her best, Matthew Dane. His daughter survived eight years before she was rescued. He knows how to deal with her situation, he is compassionate, and he understands her better than anyone else.

There is suspense and drama in the book, but it focuses on the emotions of the victim and the man who helps her. As Matthew leans more of her ideal, the more impressed he is of the woman she has become. When he is stumped by her behavior, he prays to seek inspiration and the best way to help her. It is not a fast moving book. Layer upon layer of the story and the process of bringing justice for Shannon add for a good story.

There is a tiny bit of romance. The violence is described long after the events. Most of the horrors Shannon endured are alluded to without many details. I would classify this book as clean.

Dee Henderson is a new author to me, even though she has published several books. I will definitely be watching for more of her books to read in the future.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Blog Tour Spotlight ~ "Steel and Bone: Nine Steampunk Adventures" + tour Giveaway!

Shovel the coal and stoke the boilers as nine steam punk authors explore islands of mystery and adventure across the seven seas.

The Clockwork Seer by Katherine Cowley: On an island of oddities, a young clairvoyant struggles for normalcy, but deadly automatons have other plans.

Sindisiwe by Scott E. Tarbet: A slave girl in Zanzibar escapes a beating when a stranger in the marketplace proves her past is more than just a fairy tale.

Stand and Deliver by TC Phillips: Neither shackles, slave labor, nor the island’s deadliest inhabitants will prevent these brothers from meting out justice to their father’s murderers.

Island Walker by C. R. Simper: Kit digs her treasures out of trash heaps, but the theft of her invention leads to discoveries money can’t buy.

A Mind Prone to Wander by Danielle E. Shipley: Beyond a locked door lies Rowan Charles’ death or his sanity, and the survival or extinction of his people.

Curio Cay by Sarah E. Seeley: The future of humanity rests in the hands of three time-traveling scientists battling biomechanical creatures in the Jurassic past.

The Mysterious Island of Chester Morrison by Kin Law: Dodging her chaperone, a debutante stumbles into adventure and romance at the World’s Fair.

Revolutionary by John M. Olsen: A dirigible captain goes down with his ship, and wakes to find himself a captive of a sky-dwelling civilization.

The Steel Inside by Gail B. Williams: Darkness lurks in Sarah’s forgotten past, kept hidden by those who claim to be her devoted husband and loyal servants. 

Purchace your copy here:
Amazon Kindle USA: http://www.amazon.com/Steel-Bone-Nine-Steampunk-Adventures-ebook/dp/B00YQRAIIC
Amazon Kindle UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Steel-Bone-Nine-Steampunk-Adventures-ebook/dp/B00YQRAIIC

Katherine Cowley

Katherine Cowley wrote her first story at the age of five, a retelling of the Icarus myth titled “The Turtle That Got Too Close to the Sun.” She has worked as a documentary film producer, a radio producer, and a college professor. She now devotes herself to writing steampunk, fantasy, and science fiction. Cowley’s short stories and essays have been published and won awards in the Locutorium, the BYU Studies Personal Essay Contest, the Meeting of the Myths, Four Centuries of Mormon Stories, and the Mormon Lit Blitz. You can also read her stories online at katherinecowley.com.

Katherine loves European chocolate, the history of science, and steampunk fashion. She has lived in the United States, Brazil, and Finland, and currently resides in Arizona with her husband and two daughters.

Scott E. Tarbet

Scott E. Tarbet writes what fires his imagination: the broad umbrella of speculative fiction. He is especially intrigued by how human beings react to and interact with science, technology, and other magics.

Educator, chef, professional opera singer, and Steampunk craftsman, with a long list of short stories and other works to his credit, he makes his home in the splendor of the Utah mountains with his wife and best friend, Jewels.


TC Phillips

TC Phillips hails from tropical central Queensland in Australia, where he currently lives with his loving wife, three young children, a spoilt cat, and an overactive imagination. An avid reader from a young age, he has held a long-standing attraction for the written word and is excited to make his own contributions to the vibrant and ever shifting world of storytelling. Holding degrees in both Theatre Studies and Education, he is also currently completing his Master of Arts (writing) through Swinburne University of Technology.

C. R. Simper

C. R. Simper is an Arizona native who graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Purchasing and Logistics Management. She married another Arizona native in 1991 and is now the stay-at-home mom of three daughters and one son.

Simper has written in multiple genres over the past three decades. She has found that writing maintains a sense of order in her life. Her first published story, “The Journey of Inspector Roux” appeared in Terra Mechanica: a Steampunk Anthology (2014), another Xchyler publication.

Other hobbies that she enjoys are playing volleyball, genealogical research, and indexing obituaries. She is a member of the American Night Writers Association (ANWA).

Danielle E. Shipley

Danielle E. Shipley's first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself. Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them.

Shipley has also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home-schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble. When she's not living the highs and lows of writing, publishing, and all that authorial jazz, she's probably blogging about it at EverOnWord.wordpress.com.

This is her third appearance in a Xchyler anthology, following the paranormal "Two Spoons" in Legends and Lore, and "Reality As We Know It" in fantasy collection The Toll of Another Bell. Other publications include Inspired (a novel), and a series of fairy-tale retelling mash-ups, The Wilderhark Tales.

Sarah E. Seeley

Through two wonderful mentored research experiences, Sarah E. Seeley had the opportunity to work with dead sauropods and ancient odonates while acquiring her undergraduate degree in geology from Brigham Young University. She hopes to study more dead things in the future and contribute to scientific discussions about what makes life on Earth so amazing. In the meantime, she explores the bright side of being human by writing dark fiction.

Seeley's independently published works include Maladaptive Bind and Blood Oath: An Orc Love Story. Sarah's short story "Peradventure" appears in Xchyler Publishing's Legends and Lore: An Anthology of Mythic Proportions. Another short story, "Driveless," appears in Leading Edge Magazine Issue #66. You can learn more about Sarah on her writing blog at www.SlithersOfThought.com

Kin Law

Living in the bustle of NYC, Kin is constantly reminded he is a child of two worlds. Originally from Hong Kong, he's traveled both geographically and socially, working in many professions including movie projection and line cooking. He has degrees in Media and Culinary Arts, and a great love of Philosophy. As for fiction, his favorite authors are Douglas Adams, Hemmingway, and Chuck Pahlaniuk.

Today, Kin is a culinary copywriter, intent on furthering his novelist career. He loves his fiancée, his cat Zoe, Scotch, bacon and coffee. Addressing himself in the third person makes him chuckle.

John M. Olsen

John M. Olsen has been creating things his whole life through a mixture of technical and creative processes, whether building family, stories, art, software, woodworking or anything else. He has dreams of becoming a Renaissance man and loves to learn new things to add to his store of randomly accessible information (otherwise known as irrelevant trivia). Writing is one of his loves, inspired by having read most of his father’s extensive fantasy and science fiction collection in his teen years.

He builds high-end simulation software, and has contributed chapters to several books on computer graphics and game design, as well as publishing fiction in multiple genres.
He lives in Utah with his wife and five children, some of whom are old enough to have moved out and back in. Together they have also raised three nieces and a nephew, and are minions of their benevolent cat overlord.

Gail B. Williams

Gail Williams lives in her own private dungeon populated with all the weird and the wonderful she can imagine. Some of it’s very weird, and the odd bits and pieces are a bit wonderful. With a vivid imagination fuelled by a near death experience at the age of three, there was really no other choice for Gail than to write, something she’s been doing for as long as she can remember. She’s tried not doing it, but it never works for long, her brain gets itchy if she hasn’t written anything for a couple of days. Gail is English by birth, but lives in Swansea, Wales, married a Welshman and they have two fantastic children. They live with the world’s most imperious and demanding cat. An asset management specialist by day, a freelance editor and keen writer of an evening and weekend, she really needs to learn to sleep. To find out more see www.gailbwilliams.com

James Ng
James Ng (pronounced Ing) was born in Hong Kong, where he spent most of his childhood drawing monsters and robots, making his own elaborate cardboard toys, and playing soccer. Ever since, he has been on the move between Hong Kong, Vancouver, Chicago and New York. His travels have greatly influenced him, allowing him to combine Eastern and Western cultures in his artwork.

Currently James is enjoying the freedom of being a freelance concept artist and illustrator. After a sunny summer in Vancouver, and traveling to London, and then to New York for an award show and exhibition, he is back in his home of Hong Kong to continue his career.

Read and Excerpt:

As the promised giant slayers await conveyance to their enemy’s castle, Rowan reflects on 

the events that led to this fateful hour…

I’ve seen enough of the clockwork roc in recent years to imagine its first appearance—from 

the way the sunlight will have glinted off its feathers of golden metal, to the strength and 

precision of its massive talons clamped over the wall’s edge, to the unsettling look in its 

glassy eyes when its blade-sharp beak dropped the scroll at the feet of the man who had 

made himself Skycastle’s king. Though I remember nothing of the first reading of the scroll’s 

message, it’s since then been repeated so often that I could recite it word for word.

People of land, it read, it has reached my ears that you have killed the giant Opher, 

Lord of Gold. This is a great loss to me, as he was my beloved brother and my only true 

companion. I demand compensation. You will therefore relinquish to me, on the first day of 

the new year, two young women from among your number, each twenty years of age. 

Transportation to my castle will arrive to fetch them from “your” shore of the Clouded Sea. 

The young women will remain with me until the year’s end, after which time, I conditionally 

vow, I will arrange to have them returned to you. Should you refuse to comply with my 

wishes, you will find the consequences most unpleasant.

 . . . Unless you are a particularly morbid people, fond of death, in which case I shall 

forever wonder whether my revenge was technically successful.

Yours in all seriousness,

Griffon, Lord of Wings

Only two women, the people thought. Only for a year. Not a huge catastrophe, as 

such things go. For the long-term well-being of the city as a whole, it seemed a negligible 

price to pay. And so the clockwork roc bore the pair of brave volunteers away, leaving 

Skycastle in peace to await their return. But when the roc came again, it came alone, 

carrying nothing but a second scroll.

People of land, I regret to inform you that the young women you graciously lent me 

are dead. Lest you mistake me, let me make clear that my regret—and, in all candor, my 

frustration—has less to do with their deaths in and of themselves, and more to do with the 

fact that they died for sheer stupidity.

As the expiration of my guests has occurred prior to that of the full length of their 

stay (one year) as agreed upon between “your” castle and mine, you will send a replacement 

pair to fulfill our contract. The terms are unchanged: two young women, aged twenty, 

travel-ready on the Clouded Sea’s shore on the first of the year, to be returned (conditionally) 

on the year’s last day, else your entire city shall suffer my severe disappointment.

Yours, with sympathies,

Griffon, Lord of Wings

Grieved, outraged, and horrified, the people wasted no time in rebuilding their 

broken ships as best they could. Though they lacked the supply of lifting gas necessary to 

make the ships airworthy, the vessels could still navigate a sea of clouds. In short order, they 

launched to locate the giant’s castle and put an end to his terrorization. But search though 

they might, the Lord of Wings’ home could not be found, leaving Skycastle little choice but 

to give up another pair of young women.

And another, the following year.

And another, the year after that.

June 28

June 29

June 30

July 1

July 2

July 3

July 4

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Blog tour ~ "The Sheik's Ruby" Jennifer Moore + tour giveaway

The Sheik's Ruby

The Sheik's Ruby by Jennifer Moore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received Electronic copy to review
Genre: Clean Romance

Book Description:  Shelby wants to break away from the mold of her small town and make a name for herself in the big-city journalism world. While skiing, she meets mysterious stranger Hakim who is actually the prince of the Middle Eastern kingdom of Khali-dar. When his enemies learn of Hakim’s connection to an American girl, they target Shelby. Fleeing to the safety of Khali-dar, Shelby falls deeper in love not only with the prince, but with his country. As she struggles to survive terrorist attacks, withstand the Sheik’s prejudice, and find her place in a world she doesn’t understand, she must choose which life she is willing to sacrifice—the comfortable one she has worked so hard to create, or the one with the man she loves.

My thoughts: I would consider this a Cinderella story. Shelby is a working girl from a small town in Colorado. While on assignment for the winter sports magazine she meets a handsome man and challenges him to a race down a ski slope. She doesn't realize his a Prince from the a small country in the Middle East.

Prince Hakim loves that fact that Shelby has no idea who he is and he can be a "normal" person around her, her family, and friends. He can mingle in a happy middle class home without people seeing to his every wish or treating him differently.

This become a problem when his country has a terrorist attack aimed at the royal family and he must hurry home, uncovering his true identity. It becomes worse when the terrorists begin to target Shelby to get to him.

This is a love story set in two completely different environments. First is Colorado. It it more carefree and the two of them getting to know each other and developing feelings for the other. The second is set in a lavish castle in a culture that a man and woman cannot show affection for each other in public.

The book has some action, suspense, romance, and mystery. There is mild violence, bullying, and kissing.

Amazon * Wild Rose Press * Barnes & Noble

 “Does your father know you’re asking me?”

 Hakim gazed over her shoulder and took a deep breath. “He knows.”

“But he doesn’t want me to come, right?”

“I will bring a companion of my choice tomorrow.” He locked his gaze onto Shelby’s and leaned toward her. “You are my choice. Will you please come?”

The Sheik apparently doesn’t buy into the whole “guests are gifts from Allah” idea. “Of course, I would love to come.” She smiled, but knew it didn’t appear convincing. She hated feeling like she was the source of their discord. “You are nervous. Please do not feel uncomfortable.”

“I’m worried I’ll say or do something stupid.” She winced. “I’m not exactly a refined debutante who knows how to act in formal situations. I don’t want to embarrass you, Hakim.”

“I do not want you to be a refined debutante. I have spent enough time with those people to know they are not what I want.”Hakim maneuvered his horse until he faced Shelby and their legs were nearly touching. He leaned closer, his gaze earnest. “What I want is you, Shelby Jo.”

He cupped her cheek in his hand. Shelby felt her heart flutter and her nerve endings tingle as she lost herself in the deep brown pools of his eyes.

 His thumb stroked her skin, leaving a trail of heat in its wake. He slid his hand into her hair and drew her closer, his lips covering hers.

When she drew away, Shelby inhaled deeply and grinned. “Hearing you put it that way, how could I possibly refuse?”


Praise for Sheik's Ruby “What a fun read! THE SHEIK’S RUBY is a fabulous Cinderella story with both ancient and modern tones you don’t want to miss.” ~Josi Kilpack ~*~ “THE SHEIK’S RUBY is a perfect blend of romance and adventure, set in locales both familiar and exotic. When I finished, I wanted to start over and enjoy it again. ~Nancy Allen

Jennifer  Author Jennifer Moore Jennifer Moore is a passionate reader and writer of all things romance due to the need to balance the rest of her world that includes a perpetually traveling husband and four active sons, who create heaps of laundry that is anything but romantic. She suffers from an unhealthy addiction to 18th and 19th century military history and literature. Jennifer has a B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Utah and is a Guitar Hero champion. She lives in northern Utah with her family, but most of the time wishes she was on board a frigate during the Age of Sail.
  Also by Jennifer Moore: Becoming Lady Lockwood (2014 Whitney Award Winner), Lady Emma's Campaign & Miss Burton Unmasks a Prince.

  Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 7/17/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway