Sunday, September 11, 2016

House Eire--June Gillam-Book Reveiw-Giveaway

                                                       
                            
Scroll to the bottom of this post for information and link to the Giveaway
About the book (provided by IReadTours)...
In House of Eire, Hillary Broome, a reporter-turned-ghostwriter from Lodi, California, and her detective husband Ed fly to Ireland—Ed for a gang conference in Dublin and Hillary to research her ancestors in Galway. Hillary plans to meet up with her friend Bridget, who’s pushing a greedy developer to include a memorial museum inside his proposed Irish theme park. As Hillary travels through Ireland and learns more about her friend’s crusade, she uncovers secrets and mysterious forces nudging her to fly away home.

And I thought...
The story was good. But it took me till almost the end to get really captivated by it.  By the very end I was wanting to read the next installment of this series. 

This was a long read. Over half way through I was trudging through read it.  And, I continued in order to write this review.  I received a complimentary copy of House of Eire from the author and 
I Read Tours

Along with the copy of House of Eire I also received House of Cuts and House of Dads (information about both books is at the end of this post)I was not required to read either of these books.  The other books in this series were  'gifted' to me to introduce the series.

I chose not to read the first two books before I read House of Eire.   It is possible had I read them I would have been a 'bit' more interested in this book.  But honestly I sincerely doubt it.

I enjoyed the depth of research information that June Gillam did in writing this story.  The tour through Ireland made me feel like I was really there and had me wanting to go there.

The story about the main character Hillary going to Ireland to research her family history really didn't develop.  The sub plot about an American developer planning to build a theme park took over the story.
The mystery developed when Hillary's contact is found murdered after receiving strange voodoo type dolls.  Frankly I wasn't really surprised to find out who was behind the murder.  I was surprised along with Hillary who was involved (by association) in the scheme.

Overall I can say I thought this was a good book.  Not one that I would call great.  I am looking forward to reading House of Cuts and House of Dads and any additional installments.

The best part about House of Eire was that it was a clean story.  There were a couple discreet bedroom scenes.  The mayhem was not graphic at all.  I would recommend this book for
any audience.

I received a complimentary copy from IReadTours

This review will post at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and
Good Reads.
                            Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~  Barnes and Noble

About the author...
June Gillam teaches literature and writing at a Northern California Community College. She describes this series as psychological suspense novels in which Hillary Broome, reporter and ghostwriter, fends off complex villains of many kinds: a berserk butcher, a demented daughter and a haunted theme park developer.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~Facebook

Thoughts from June Gillam...
We all take many kinds of journeys. Some last for just a day and others for a lifetime. My writing journey started out with poems and journals—lots of them. Years and years of them, amounting finally to a creative writing Master’s degree from Sacramento State University in 1983, with a collection of poetry as my culminating project. Some of them were published and even won a few prizes—I still love writing poetry and that moment when the poem “arrives” into my heart and soul and I have to run catch it on paper so it won’t vanish in the midst of everyday practical business. Sometimes I’ve had to pull off the freeway to write it down. My poem “Shameless Hussy Looks Back” was published in the Winter 2015 Peregrine Magazine through the Amherst Artists & Writers Press. https://www.createspace.com/5357673

Back in the summer of 1990, though, it had come as a shock to realize, while I was a student in a teacher’s writing workshop, that I didn’t know how to write a family story. I explored that problem over the years and finally came to understand that ours was not a storytelling family. My poems started to sound to me as if they wanted to become stories, but I had been raised in a sort of goodie-two-shoes home, where conflict was kept hushed up under our rugs. Of course, stories are nothing without conflict, so I began the long and expensive project of teaching myself how to gather what I needed—courage and companions—to learn to write stories that held the tension of conflict. That ended up being the subtitle of my dissertation: Women writing stories containing conflict.
It was published by an academic press, but they priced it way too high, and I couldn’t get them to lower the price so regular folks could afford it. So I started a new journey: becoming the publisher for my own works. Now I’m Gorilla Girl Ink—bold black and white words on the page. I’ve published a book of poetry, So Sweet Against Your Teeth, and three novels in the Hillary Broome Series—where I indeed show I’ve learned to create conflict on the page!
I love the journey of life and the gift of expressing the many pathways it can take on the pages of my writing.

What others are saying...Praise for Hillary Broome Novels

House of Cuts
A maniacal butcher, a journalist/teacher with a shameful secret, and a cigar-toting detective set the stage for this psychological thriller, the first in a series of Hillary Broome novels. Set in California's Central Valley, House of Cuts involves suspense, intrigue, and a burgeoning romance. My favorite things about this novel include the dialogue, the wonderful details, and its sense of place—from the lush walnut orchards of Morada, CA, to PriceCuts, what Gillam terms the "24/7 machine," the kind of superstore familiar to any modern reader. I also enjoyed the fact that eight of the fifty-one chapters are told from killer Melvin's point of view so that I was able to get a first-hand glimpse into his demented, mother-obsessed mind.
~Candace Andrews, author of High Tides: Wading Through Depression—Every Day

House of Dads
One of Gillam's strong virtues as a writer is her ability to enmesh you, the reader, in the many layered action of the story until you become that close and helpless bystander who must live every unspeakable thing out with the characters. Too bad about the hundred things and obligations with their gummy fingers on you. Too bad until the story is finished, for you are not free to return focus to your own life, not yet. When you close the book at last, it is with a sigh of relief and gratitude and satisfaction that YOU don't have to live out such things yourself as you and the characters have experienced together. Oh, but all will linger in your mind. And at the same time, you will already have an eye out for the next Hillary Broome adventure!
~Zoe Keithley, author of The Calling of Mother Adelli

And now for the Giveaway...

House Eire--June Gillam-Book Reveiw-Giveaway

                                                       
                            
Scroll to the bottom of this post for information and link to the Giveaway
About the book (provided by IReadTours)...
In House of Eire, Hillary Broome, a reporter-turned-ghostwriter from Lodi, California, and her detective husband Ed fly to Ireland—Ed for a gang conference in Dublin and Hillary to research her ancestors in Galway. Hillary plans to meet up with her friend Bridget, who’s pushing a greedy developer to include a memorial museum inside his proposed Irish theme park. As Hillary travels through Ireland and learns more about her friend’s crusade, she uncovers secrets and mysterious forces nudging her to fly away home.

And I thought...
The story was good. But it took me till almost the end to get really captivated by it.  By the very end I was wanting to read the next installment of this series. 

This was a long read. Over half way through I was trudging through read it.  And, I continued in order to write this review.  I received a complimentary copy of House of Eire from the author and 
I Read Tours

Along with the copy of House of Eire I also received House of Cuts and House of Dads (information about both books is at the end of this post)I was not required to read either of these books.  The other books in this series were  'gifted' to me to introduce the series.

I chose not to read the first two books before I read House of Eire.   It is possible had I read them I would have been a 'bit' more interested in this book.  But honestly I sincerely doubt it.

I enjoyed the depth of research information that June Gillam did in writing this story.  The tour through Ireland made me feel like I was really there and had me wanting to go there.

The story about the main character Hillary going to Ireland to research her family history really didn't develop.  The sub plot about an American developer planning to build a theme park took over the story.
The mystery developed when Hillary's contact is found murdered after receiving strange voodoo type dolls.  Frankly I wasn't really surprised to find out who was behind the murder.  I was surprised along with Hillary who was involved (by association) in the scheme.

Overall I can say I thought this was a good book.  Not one that I would call great.  I am looking forward to reading House of Cuts and House of Dads and any additional installments.

The best part about House of Eire was that it was a clean story.  There were a couple discreet bedroom scenes.  The mayhem was not graphic at all.  I would recommend this book for
any audience.

I received a complimentary copy from IReadTours

This review will post at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and
Good Reads.
                            Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~  Barnes and Noble

About the author...
June Gillam teaches literature and writing at a Northern California Community College. She describes this series as psychological suspense novels in which Hillary Broome, reporter and ghostwriter, fends off complex villains of many kinds: a berserk butcher, a demented daughter and a haunted theme park developer.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~Facebook

Thoughts from June Gillam...
We all take many kinds of journeys. Some last for just a day and others for a lifetime. My writing journey started out with poems and journals—lots of them. Years and years of them, amounting finally to a creative writing Master’s degree from Sacramento State University in 1983, with a collection of poetry as my culminating project. Some of them were published and even won a few prizes—I still love writing poetry and that moment when the poem “arrives” into my heart and soul and I have to run catch it on paper so it won’t vanish in the midst of everyday practical business. Sometimes I’ve had to pull off the freeway to write it down. My poem “Shameless Hussy Looks Back” was published in the Winter 2015 Peregrine Magazine through the Amherst Artists & Writers Press. https://www.createspace.com/5357673

Back in the summer of 1990, though, it had come as a shock to realize, while I was a student in a teacher’s writing workshop, that I didn’t know how to write a family story. I explored that problem over the years and finally came to understand that ours was not a storytelling family. My poems started to sound to me as if they wanted to become stories, but I had been raised in a sort of goodie-two-shoes home, where conflict was kept hushed up under our rugs. Of course, stories are nothing without conflict, so I began the long and expensive project of teaching myself how to gather what I needed—courage and companions—to learn to write stories that held the tension of conflict. That ended up being the subtitle of my dissertation: Women writing stories containing conflict.
It was published by an academic press, but they priced it way too high, and I couldn’t get them to lower the price so regular folks could afford it. So I started a new journey: becoming the publisher for my own works. Now I’m Gorilla Girl Ink—bold black and white words on the page. I’ve published a book of poetry, So Sweet Against Your Teeth, and three novels in the Hillary Broome Series—where I indeed show I’ve learned to create conflict on the page!
I love the journey of life and the gift of expressing the many pathways it can take on the pages of my writing.

What others are saying...Praise for Hillary Broome Novels

House of Cuts
A maniacal butcher, a journalist/teacher with a shameful secret, and a cigar-toting detective set the stage for this psychological thriller, the first in a series of Hillary Broome novels. Set in California's Central Valley, House of Cuts involves suspense, intrigue, and a burgeoning romance. My favorite things about this novel include the dialogue, the wonderful details, and its sense of place—from the lush walnut orchards of Morada, CA, to PriceCuts, what Gillam terms the "24/7 machine," the kind of superstore familiar to any modern reader. I also enjoyed the fact that eight of the fifty-one chapters are told from killer Melvin's point of view so that I was able to get a first-hand glimpse into his demented, mother-obsessed mind.
~Candace Andrews, author of High Tides: Wading Through Depression—Every Day

House of Dads
One of Gillam's strong virtues as a writer is her ability to enmesh you, the reader, in the many layered action of the story until you become that close and helpless bystander who must live every unspeakable thing out with the characters. Too bad about the hundred things and obligations with their gummy fingers on you. Too bad until the story is finished, for you are not free to return focus to your own life, not yet. When you close the book at last, it is with a sigh of relief and gratitude and satisfaction that YOU don't have to live out such things yourself as you and the characters have experienced together. Oh, but all will linger in your mind. And at the same time, you will already have an eye out for the next Hillary Broome adventure!
~Zoe Keithley, author of The Calling of Mother Adelli

And now for the Giveaway...

Friday, September 9, 2016

A Bride For Carlton-Karla Gracey-Book Review


                                                        Mail Order Bride - A Bride for Carlton: Sweet Clean Historical Western Mail Order Bride Mystery Romance (Sun River Brides Book 1) by [Gracey, Karla]
About the book (provided by Amazon)...
Come along for the ride to meet feisty Boston city girls who know what they want, and rugged Montana men who just need to be loved. It's 1900, and things are changing fast in sleepy Sun River. As the town begins to expand, its inhabitants are getting restless, looking for love and adventure. 

Why would an accomplished governess respond to an advertisement in the Matrimonial Times? Myra Gilbert had never considered such a thing, but something has awoken within her and she is determined to take her chance on love.

Carlton Green claimed his lands, and now has the deeds in his grasp. But something is missing in his life. Will his quest to find love fill that hole, or is there something from his past that could change everything and leave him with nothing?

And I thought...
I was looking for something to read on my computer and stumbled onto this title.
I wasn't sure how I would like it.  I'm not really a fan of historical romances.  Or thought I wasn't!
I am now and a fan Karla Gracey!  I'll be checking out additional titles from this series for sure.

This was a fun and quick read for me.  I started it and couldn't stop.  Stayed up way too late but I was intrigued with the story and the characters.

The story line wasn't what I expected.  The typical guy meets girl.  Guy wants/gets girl.  Then trauma, or tragedy or an x comes in and causes trouble.  They split then get back together at the end and all is well.  Happily ever after.  The end.

This story wasn't like that.  There was sweet romance.  Via letters.  Till Carlton shows up in Boston  to meet Myra the girl who answered his ad for a Mail Order Bride.    A quick romance that began  through their letters quickly takes the next step to a wedding.

But before they can wed unexpected trouble arises.  Carlton has to face his past and figure out a way to move forward.  And tell Myra about his past.

I enjoyed the story.  And I enjoyed that there weren't a lot of characters.  And a lot of twists and turns and sub stories involved.  I think this is what made it such a fast read for me.   Trying to count
I don't believe there a more than a dozen characters total.  And some are never even introduced in the book.  (The family Myra works for as a governess is out of town.)

A Bride For Carlton is Book #1 in the Sun River Brides Series.  I look forward to reading more books in this series.

I read this book on my computer using the Kindle Cloud app.  I was not offered this book 
by anyone and was not asked to write a review.  

This review will appear on my blog My Journey Back The Journey Back and on consumer sites including Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Good Reads.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Service Tails-Ace Collins-Book Review

                                              Service Tails
About the book(provided by Litfuse)
Service Tails (Abingdon Press, August 2016)
Heart-tugging true stories of the courage, faith, and loyalty of remarkable service dogs.
Not all heroic dogs wildly toss themselves into lifesaving situations. Some save lives simply by their incredible commitment to duty and service. Some lead the way to independence for people whose disabilities were supposed to limit their lives.
In Service Tails: More Stories of Man’s Best Hero, prolific author Ace Collins introduces us to leaders whose entire lives are wrapped in the banner of service. Their stories are remarkable snapshots of the value of vision and teamwork, as well as devotion to duty and unconditional love and acceptance–stretching the way we see both canine and human potential. Their training was intense, their loyalty unquestioned and each step of the way they constantly adapt to better serve those they lead. These unforgettable dogs are more than heroes; they are models from which we can learn how to love and serve unconditionally. 
And there's a Giveaway . . .     
service tails - 400 (2)
Enter today by clicking the icon, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 30. The winner will be announced August 31 on the Litfuse blog.         
 And I thought . . .
Ace Collins had me with the cover.  As soon as I was offered
this book I signed up! 
And I was not disappointed.  Service Tails is filled with heart
warming stories that reminded me of the Kitchen Soup 
series only much better. 
There are 12 stories.  Most of the stories are 16-20 pages 
long.  Making it simple to each story as a chapter.  
There are a few photo's.  
I really liked that each story began with a quote and the a 
graphic of dog foot prints.  
This is a great book.  I recommend it as a gift book for dog 
lovers! 
 I received a complimentary copy from Litfuse in exchange for my hones review. 
This review is posted at My Journey Back.  
This review is posted at Good Reads and the following retailers...
About the Author . . . 
Ace Collins
Ace Collins defines himself as a storyteller. He has authored more than sixty books that have sold more than 2.5 million copies. His catalog includes novels, biographies, children’s works as well as books on history, culture and faith. He has also been the featured speaker at the National Archives Distinguished Lecture Series, hosted a network television special and does college basketball play-by-play. Ace lives in Arkansas.
Find out more about Ace at http://acecollins.com.

                                                                                                                                                       






Friday, August 26, 2016

Book Spotlight-Mystery Mountain Book 4

                             
Mystery Mountain is Book 4 ...The Saga of Rugged Mountain Living Continues as Killers infiltrate Raincraft

About the book provided by Amazon
This is the fourth book in Marie Grace's series, MYSTERY MOUNTAIN. 
A teen is violently kidnapped and held hostage to get their hands on a family in the Witness Protection Program.
A brutalized family is rescued - from the father.
A painful hidden fracture is discovered on a rape victim, and now mountain justice must prevail. An old printer is discovered; what to do with it? 
An apartment dug out of the mountain is finished.
Romance blooms with unlikely characters.
A giant of a man creates a haven for a destitute widow and her sons.

Book five is in the making as the lives of and trials of 'Mountain and Back Woods People' step from the shadows of the forest on top of a mountain.

A little more provided by BookLook 
Marie Grace wows readers with the fourth novel in her Mystery Mountain series. In the small town of Raincroft, the bonds of love and family are stronger than all outside or dangerous influences and adventures while romance blossoms between two unlikely people. Through determination and strength, Grace’s engaging characters find the courage to overcome adversity.

And I thought...
I am a little on the fence about this book.  I requested the book from BookLook to review and I had high hopes for it. 
I was intrigued by the description.  
I received the book and began reading on my computer using the Kindle Cloud Reader. 
I think possibly if I had been reading a paperback copy I might have enjoyed it much more.  And been able to finish it.

I didn't finish the book.  It just became a little daunting with the review post hanging over my head.  

It took me a very long time to read which isn't normal for me. 
I enjoyed the storyline as it was described and I enjoy the characters. 

But there were a lot of characters and I had difficulty keeping them straight. 
I wish that the author had included a cast of characters for the reader.  

Since this was Book 4 I did feel a little lost.  Normally I don't have a problem with reading books out of order.  But this one was difficult. 

If I had the opportunity to read a paper back copy of the book I would be glad to give it another chance.  

I received a complimentary Kindle copy from BookLook.

This review is posted on Good Reads.

This review is posted at Amazon, Barnes and Noble , CBC





Wednesday, August 24, 2016

No Way Up-Mary Connealy-Book Review

About the book (provided by Bethany House)
The Fight for the Cimarron Ranch Has Just Begun!
When Cimarron Ranch patriarch Chance Boden is caught in an avalanche, only the quick actions of hired hand Heath Kincaid save him. Before leaving by train to receive treatment to save his leg--and possibly his life--Chance demands that Heath read the patriarch's will and see its conditions enforced immediately. If Chance's three bickering adult children, Justin, Sadie, and Cole, don't live and work at the ranch for an entire year, ownership of the ranch will pass to a despised distant relative. 

Before long, however, Heath discovers that the avalanche may have been intentionally set--and that more danger lurks ominously. Finding his own future--and a desired future with Sadie--locked up in saving the Cimarron Ranch, Heath and the Boden siblings must work together against outside forces that threaten them all.
About the author ...
Mary Connealy writes "romantic comedies with cowboys" and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has more than half a million books in print. She is the author of the popular series Wild at Heart, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie's Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero. Learn more at www.maryconnealy.com.

And I thought ...
A fun little summer read.  Give me a Cowboy and I'm happy.   I couldn't happier  No Way Up is full of Cowboy's!  
It was an easy fast read.  The story only takes place in a few days but it is filled with tension as the Brode family fights no only for their ranch but to stay alive!  There is suspense in the air as some unknown villain try's to 'take them out'.  
There was a little sibling squabbling going on as Sadie annoys her brothers when she starts becoming interested in ranch hand Heath. 
The humor comes out in the story as each of the siblings 'fire' Heath for one reason or another.  Mostly for getting caught kissing the irresistible Sadie.  
I enjoyed the sub story line about Angelique who comes to town to work at the orphanage when Sadie has to leave her position to 'help at home'
I'm a little curious if Book 2 will offer us a little romance with the new in town Angelique and one of the brothers.  

No Way Up (Kind of a strange title to me which is explained within just a few pages) is book 1 of the Cimmarron Legacy. 
I look forward to Book 2.  

No Way Up was a good summer read appropriate for all audiences.  

I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. 
This review will be posted at My Journey Back, Good Reads, retail sites and linked at blog linky parties.  

Visit these retails to read additional reviews or purchase:

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Leaving Triscuit---Will Pollock-Review and Giveaway


                                                             
                                                  Leaving Triscuit: Conscious Goodbyes, Happy Homecomings by [Pollock, Will]
                                                       
"LEAVING TRISCUIT" FREE ON AUGUST 9, 10 AND 11
Available Free on Kindle Unlimited.  Click here

We’ve all been there: leaving your pet for extended periods can be very difficult and downright heartbreaking for you and your pet.

But it doesn’t have to be!

This feisty, resilient, smart-as-a-whip Rat Terrier will help you relieve travel stress by using compassionate-communication techniques as outlined by four animal-communication experts.
From chapters like “When Zippers Fly” to “Away Game” and “Reunited,” you’ll have checklists and other techniques on how animals and humans can communicate, even from far away.
Freelance writer and author Will Pollock and his best friend, Triscuit, share their personal story on how they transformed what used to be a stressful situation to a much easier, routine exercise.
Worry less. Do more. Buy Leaving Triscuit and you’ll forever transmute your departures in to a stress-free effort!
Buy @ AMAZON


EXCERPT

Triscuit gazed at me with forlorn eyes and a worried mug. Agitated and distressed, she was in effect saying, ‘Good grief, not again.’ Triscuit hopped on the bed and straight into the suitcase, as if to plant her flag and insist I pack her, too. As a canine parent, you know this doggie agenda: eyes as big as saucers, ears pinned back, shoulders slumped, spirit hanging low. Like Triscuit and so many other dogs and cats of her intuitive ilk, she knew.


I received a complimentary copy  from Elite Book Tours.   
I found Leaving Triscuit to be heart warming and sincere. 
As pet owners many of us can relate to some of the experiences the author faces with pet ownership.  Our pets are beloved members of our families and it's always difficult when they become anxious or traumatized.  
This book is a great resource for pet owners.  It is filled with personal stories,experiences and tips.  

About the author . . . 
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6fwOzZ1sJ6U/V5EsO1GtvfI/AAAAAAAAH5g/gjVtGmD2cHsK9lCFF8NQvKWRP_j7_sKDwCLcB/s200/Pollock%252C%2BWill%2B102013-034%2Bsq.jpg
Will Pollock is a freelance multimedia journalist, content wrangler, artist and author based in Atlanta. His love of dogs and animals began early on when his family owned a Great Pyrenees in New York City named Yeti. He decided to write “Leaving Triscuit” after the stress of leaving his beloved Rat Terrier, Triscuit, while on a three-week trip to Ireland. Separation anxiety is a problem for most pet owners, and the tips and strategies Will learned from experts will help ease that pain.

Click here to visit authors website.

Click here to enter the giveaway

This review is posted on Amazon and Good Reads.
This review is also posted at My Journey Back and linked blog parties.