Moving, #BookRelease, and #FantasticBeasts

This past weekend was busy – I attended a book festival in Lexington, KY and we moved my oldest son into a new apartment.  The book festival didn’t go so well – very few attendees, and I only sold a few books.  But I did have the opportunity to see a friend who’d moved to Lexington a few years ago – she made a special trip to the book fest just to purchase a signed copy, and that means a lot.

Moving my son out of his college apartment was an experience – one I hope to soon forget.  This isn’t an actual picture, but sadly, it’s a pretty good likeness of his bedroom.  I think we can all agree that girls are generally more attentive to personal hygiene and maintain a certain standard of cleanliness.  But guys?  They probably never notice the smell in their apartments – but moms never forget it.  You could burn candles and spray air freshener 24/7, and I don’t think it would have put a dent in the odor.  He promised me he’d do better in his new ‘adult’ apartment – I’m not holding my breath on that one.  But trust me,  I held it while I packed!

Last week I attended a book release for local author David Bell at the library here in Bowling Green.  He’s written several thrillers, and Somebody’s Daughter is his latest.  Always a pleasure to hear him speak – an outstanding sense of humor, and keeps the audience laughing.

Is anyone else as excited as I am over the trailer for Fantastic Beasts:  The Crimes of Grindelwald?  I actually squealed when I saw it in the theater – hubby pretended he didn’t know me.  I’ve heard that Jude Law does an incredible job as a younger Dumbledore – and kudos to him for taking on such a formidable challenge.  Potter fans could love him or crucify him – but I hope it’s the former.

Have a great week!


The Island: Vampires of Merovingi #1 by Sarah M. Cradit #bookreview #vampires #fantasy

1789. Saint-Domingue. Hispaniola. West Indies. 

Etienne de Blanchefort has seen incredible success as a colonial planter in the Northern Province of Saint-Domingue. Though uprooting his family from France a decade past was a gamble, life in the tropical West Indies has been good to him, his wife, and four children. With France embroiled in their great revolution across the Atlantic, he harbors little doubt he made the right decision for his family’s future.

Until, that is, the arrival of his fiend.

Etienne’s practical nature cannot reconcile what he knows to be true of his world with what he cannot ignore about the abominable creature haunting his family and the island.

Nor can he ignore his wife’s terrifying dreams that slowly steal her vitality.

Or Victorine’s burgeoning free spirit and wariness of their way of life.

Or Nanette’s curious, furtive behavior as she hides in trees.

Or Marius’ secret new friendship with one he cannot name.

Or Flosine’s unsettling drawings of a man from a time long before theirs.

Etienne’s fiend will not stay elusive for long. He has a request. A very particular, very important request, one that will change the lives of Etienne, his family, and his descendants forever.

I’ve been a vampire fan since the original Fright Night movie with Chris Sarandon.  After the Twilight novels, vampire books flooded the market for a while, then receded, but I’m glad to see them making a comeback.  Maybe not quite as big of a splash this time, but that’s alright with me.  Since I’ve read all this author’s Crimson and Clover series, I was thrilled to learn she was starting a new series featuring vampires that fit within that same world.

Not having read a ton of historical fiction books, I appreciated the attention to detail and extensive research the author clearly performed for this book.  As always, her imagery is rich with description.  Although the first 25% of the book was a little slow for my taste, the pace moved along much quicker after that.

The Island looks to be the start of a riveting series and I look forward to meeting more of the vampires!

I received a digital ARC of this book from the author.

Scream Site by Justina Ireland #bookreview #TuesdayBookBlog #YA

Sabrina Sebastian’s goal in life is to be an investigative reporter. For her first big story, she researches a popular website called Scream Site, where people post scary videos and compete for the most “screams.” While Sabrina’s friends and her sister, Faith, talk nonstop about the creepy viral videos, Sabrina just hopes that covering this trend will get her the internship she’s wishing for. But as she digs into the truth behind the website, she begins to suspect that these aren’t only aspiring actors and videographers at work. Some clips seem a little too real. And when Faith goes missing, Sabrina must race against time to save her sister from becoming the next video “star.” 

This is categorized as a YA novel on NetGalley, but I have to wonder if that was a mistake, because it reads very much like a middle grade book.  Fourteen-year-old protagonist Sabrina is a likable main character.  She’s very goal-oriented, and her tenacity and love of her family are admirable.  Best friend Evelyn is a hoot, and steals nearly every scene.

The mystery is intriguing, but requires a massive suspension of disbelief from the reader.  The details overlooked by investigating detectives and the reactions from Sabrina’s family members over certain events are just a bit too unbelievable, and the wrap-up comes about quickly and has distinct ‘Scooby-Doo’ overtones.  All of this makes me feel like Scream Site is geared more toward middle grade, or at least the lower end of the YA spectrum.

I felt like this book did an excellent job with warning teens not to trust everything they read on the internet, never giving out personal information to strangers, and the dangers of people misrepresenting themselves online.  You can never be sure who you’re talking to.

I’d recommend this book for middle grade or lower age range YA readers, but doubt it would hold much appeal for the older YA crowd.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.



Switzerland, #BookPromo Woes, and a Book Bash

Hubby and I had a relaxing fourth of July – saw Ocean’s 8 the day before (awesome cast, writing could have used more humor), then spent the fourth with friends grilling out and chilling in the pool.  Which felt delicious in the 95 degree heat.

The youngest son is still on his European tour, and performed in Switzerland this past weekend.  Since it’s one of two places he was most excited to visit (the other is Germany), I asked how he liked it.  His response?  ‘I’m going to try to find out the logistics of moving here.’  Guess it met his expectations.

I’m completely frustrated with promoting The Gemini Connection.  Whatever worked for Sarah, isn’t connecting with TGC.  Even with the price drop, it’s just not moving, and I’m not sure what else to try.  If you have suggestions, please share them.  I have a blog tour and a few more promos coming up in July, so I’m hoping that’s the push it needs.

If you’re in the Lexington, KY area this Saturday, July 14th, I’ll be at the Lexington Legendary Book Bash.  Looking forward to meeting readers and seeing authors I’ve met at other events!  Hubby and I are also helping the oldest son move into his first ‘adult’ apartment.  I have high hopes he’ll keep it looking like an adult lives there and not revert back to his piggish college ways.  Keep your fingers crossed.


The Writer’s Reading Corner: Kenechukwu Obi #amreading #thriller #suspense

I’m a fan of Harlan Coben (especially his Myron Bolitar series), for exactly the reasons today’s guest, Kenechukwu Obi, describes below.  Kenechukwu’s book, End It By The Gun, was just released yesterday!

One of the books I’ve read and like very much is TELL NO ONE by Halan Coben. What I particularly like about Halan’s suspense novel is his mastery of words and his ability to take a reader through many captivating twists and turns that are all over the story. I discovered a writing style similar to mine in some ways in the novel, and I recommend it to anyone hungry for a thriller/suspense novel that’s simply magical.

The title of my own novel is END IT BY THE GUN. It’s a thriller/suspense novel.

Strong ambition drives Beck Blades, an aspiring writer from rural Nebraska, to become obsessed with having big Hollywood studios make movies based on his fiction stories. Taking a heavy toll on his marriage, Beck’s writing ambition soon proves hard to achieve. However, he is not a man to give up, even as rejections trail his efforts. He continues to write one fiction story after another with no breakthrough, until he writes his eleventh one, the unusual one, which grabs headlines through unexpected route. Success begins for Beck, but little does he know his female literary agent has an extra plan way beyond representation.

My Author Bio

Kenechukwu Obi was born of Nigerian parents and immigrated to Canada where he gained admission to study business administration at the University of Regina in Canada. He writes in different genres, including novels, plays, poetry, children’s fiction, short stories and song lyrics.

Social media contacts







WWW Wednesday: What Am I Reading? #amreading

WWW Wednesday is a meme from Sam at Taking On A World Of Words

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m currently reading Girl at the Grave by Teri Bailey Black.  Small towns hold the most secrets, and this one has loads.  I’m enjoying the earlier time period of this book.

Valentine has spent years trying to outrun her mother’s legacy. But small towns have long memories, and when a new string of murders occurs, all signs point to the daughter of a murderer. 

Only one person believes Valentine is innocent—Rowan Blackshaw, the son of the man her mother killed all those years ago. Valentine vows to find the real killer, but when she finally uncovers the horrifying truth, she must choose to face her own dark secrets, even if it means losing Rowan in the end.

I just finished Hades Rising (Assassin Fall #1.5).   I read the first book in this series around a year ago, and I can’t recommend it enough!  I’ve been missing Hades (Two), and this novella gave some insight into his tortured past.  This will satisfy me for a bit, but I’m anxious to get the next book!

Best friends, Two and Nine, have spent their entire lives within the Academy’s barbed wire fences and tall brick walls. Deep in the San Juan Mountains, they have lived in absolute isolation with the other subjects, trained so that one day they may be integrated into the outside world.

Two dreams of becoming the perfect military leader the Academy wants to groom him into. However, when he learns that Nine is leaving the Academy, he realizes that his future is meaningless without her. With time running out, he hatches a plan for them to escape together–even if it means going against the brutal overseers of the project he was born into.

Next, I’ll be reading an ARC of The Point by John Dixon.

What if you had a power you had to hide from everyone–until now? In this bold sci-fi action thriller, a secret training program at West Point is turning misfits into a new generation of heroes. 

Welcome to The Point, future leaders of the Posthuman Age.

New Cadets, society is not ready for you. The oldest, fiercest fear is ignorance. The general population would burn you at the metaphorical stake.

Here, you will train alongside other posthumans. You will learn to control and maximize your powers and to use them for the greater good. You will discover camaraderie and purpose.

You will become a part of something bigger than yourselves: the Long Gray Line. 

Scarlett Winter has always been an outsider, and not only because she’s a hardcore daredevil and born troublemaker–she has been hiding superhuman powers she doesn’t yet understand. Now she’s been recruited by a secret West Point unit for cadets with extraordinary abilities. Scarlett and her fellow students are learning to hone their skills, from telekinetic combat to running recon missions through strangers’ dreamscapes. At The Point, Scarlett discovers that she may be the most powerful cadet of all. With the power to control pure energy, she’s a human nuclear bomb–and she’s not sure she can control her powers much longer.

Even in this army of outsiders, Scarlett feels like a misfit all over again, but when a threat that endangers her fellow students arises from the school’s dark past, duty calls and Scarlett must make a choice between being herself and becoming something even greater: a hero.


Smoke and Iron (The Great Library #4) by Rachel Caine #bookreview #YA #fantasy @Berkleypub

To save the Great Library, the unforgettable characters from Ink and Bone, Paper and Fire, and Ash and Quill put themselves in danger in the next thrilling adventure in the New York Times bestselling series.

The opening moves of a deadly game have begun. Jess Brightwell has put himself in direct peril, with only his wits and skill to aid him in a game of cat and mouse with the Archivist Magister of the Great Library. With the world catching fire, and words printed on paper the spark that lights rebellion, it falls to smugglers, thieves, and scholars to save a library thousands of years in the making…if they can stay alive long enough to outwit their enemies.

I felt the last book in this series was somewhat slow, but this book barely dropped below warp speed.  Alternating POVs from the characters, double crosses, triple crosses, intricate, multi-layered plans, and bigger automatons….so much going on.  I couldn’t stop reading, but was so afraid not all of the characters would remain standing at the end – but no spoilers here.

In this book, several scenes demonstrate just how much the characters have grown and matured from Ink and Bone.  While being tested to their limits, they discover inner strengths and qualities needed to survive, and it was very satisfying to see how they’ve developed.

This is a wildly creative YA fantasy series I’ve enjoyed from book one, and will eagerly anticipate the final installment.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

Today is release day for Smoke and Iron!

Buy links: AmazonKindleBarnes & NobleNookBooks a MillionIndieboundiBooksKoboGoogle Play

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