Sunday, December 29, 2019

What '80s Pop Culture Teaches Us About Today's Workplace


What '80s Pop Culture Teaches Us About Today's Workplace Book #2

PUB: Silver Tree Publishing

PUB DATE: November 6th 2019

By: Chris Clews

SYNOPSIS:

Oh, Carol Anne, who crooned, "They're here." Poltergeist, 1982. Perhaps you really meant to say ...

"It's he-ere." That is, the sequel to the first book by Chris Clews: What '80s Pop Culture Teaches Us About Today's Workplace: Unexpected Business Lessons from Ten of the Great '80s Movies That Defined a Generation. So where does Book #2, subtitled 10 More Iconic Movies, Even More Totally Awesome Business Lessons, take us? Cue the unforgettable '80s quote: "Where we're going, we don't need roads." (Back to the Future, 1985.)

You'll need a guide for this journey (Chris Clews!) and there's no better way to travel than to hop back in the time machine '80s style. Remember the sequels craze that swept the nation at the same time as through such iconic feature films like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Rocky, Back to the Future and every slasher film set on a street or in a camp? Yes, the '80s excelled in creating sequels and so does Chris.

So, are '80s movies really imbued with timeless lessons for business leaders? Yes, yes they are! The era of parachute pants, Members Only jackets, padded shoulders, and earrings as big as your face also brought us the same creative indulgence for the workplace today in the form of bigger business lessons, bigger budgets, and anything-goes totally radical marketing. And the practical, evergreen lessons for businesses of all kinds? They're timeless.

In Book #2, you'll find 10 more unforgettable '80s movies and even more righteous business lessons that you can apply at work immediately. Plus a totally radical foreword from '80s silver screen sweetheart Diane Franklin of Better Off Dead fame. Turn the pages and celebrate the arrival of a decade that saw an explosion in creativity and the rise of the individual.

Discover dozens of relatable, unique and fun workplace lessons with a side of nostalgia. You'll never look at these movies and their characters the same as you did before.

Here's a sneak preview. Rated "G" for all audiences:

-- The Outsiders -- When the chips are down, it's more important than ever to make the right decisions, or "Stay gold."
-- The Princess Bride -- How to drop the "As you wish" mentality.
-- Caddyshack -- Learn how to "Be the ball" in business.
-- Fast Times at Ridgemont High -- Why it's okay to say, "I don't know."
-- The Lost Boys -- Reject your workplace vampires.
-- Coming to America -- "When you think of garbage, think of Akeem." Translated for the workplace? Earn your leadership.
-- Better Off Dead -- Being successful requires that you "Get out over your skis" and hit that mountain as fast as you can.
-- Weird Science -- It takes a bit of crazy to continue to move the business world forward.
-- Ghostbusters -- It's true! Strapping an unlicensed nuclear reactor on your back makes you less risk-averse.
-- The Karate Kid -- "Don't forget to breathe. Very important." is perhaps the greatest business advice of all time. In other words, you surely don't want to lose your sh!t when it hits the fan.

The timeless lessons of '80s movies (taught to some of us as tweens and teens, and just now being discovered by younger generations) still resonate and apply to our careers. Extract these lessons and live them every day.

So, take off those work clothes, get into some parachute pants and a Members Only jacket, pump up your favorite '80s jams and get ready to learn What '80s Pop Culture Can Teach Us About Today's Workplace.
REVIEW/THOUGHTS:

Chris Clews did it again with this second installment of “What 80’s POP Culture Teaches Us About Today’s Workplace”, with 10 more iconic movies, and even more totally awesome business lessons. I absolutely loved this book and devoured it!
What a fun read with amazing leadership and business advice on how to successfully navigate the workforce as a new employee or a seasoned leader or business owner. As a child of the 80’s, who also tend to quote from 80’s movies and scenarios myself, I am so ecstatic to be reading this amazing book!
We all have something to learn and Clews delivery was fun, clear, and relevant. With our younger workforce who are now rediscovering and embracing the fabulous 80’s era, this book will also serve as a great guide for those starting a new job or career. I am certainly not a new-by and was able to pick up sound advice as a leader in health care administration!
I love the way the book is organized in very easy to read font and organization highlighting important messages with separate Fun Facts section and a bonus Lessons. I love that important concepts have bolder fonts to emphasize the message and valuable lessons in each of the chapters.
It also helped that I had 80’s music blasting while listening and enjoying this read for extra inspiration.
I highly recommend this read for yourself and makes an amazing gift to anyone looking to succeed in our current workplace.

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT:



Chris Clews grew up in Reisterstown, MD, and is the quintessential child of the '80s, with a closet full of '80s movie t-shirts and a house full of '80s movie artwork. He is an author and keynote speaker on the intersection of '80s pop culture and today's workplace. A huge supporter of animal rescue, he donates a portion of the proceeds from his books and speaking engagements to the SPCA International.

Chris has more than 20 years of corporate marketing and ad agency experience, is a graduate of Elon University, and lives by the words of his favorite poet laureate, Ferris Bueller: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop to look around once in a while, you could miss it."

Chris is the author of an entire series entitled What '80s Pop Culture Teaches Us About Today's Workplace, which examines iconic movies and their characters, offering up memorable and impactful lessons for workers of all ages, in all industries, and at every level of contribution and leadership. He speaks on the topic of '80s pop culture and the lessons it can teach us about business today.

If you are interested in having Chris speak at your conference/event/seminar, please send an email to cclews1@gmail.com or visit chrisclews.com. You can also find Chris on Twitter: @80spopculture, Instagram @ChrisClews80s, LinkedIN at ChrisClews and Facebook at Chris.Clews.10 and ChrisClews80s.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

WHERE THE LIGHT FALLS - SELECTED STORIES OF NANCY HALE EDITED BY: LAUREN GROFF


WHERE THE LIGHT FALLS SELECTED STORIES OF NANCY HALE
EDITED BY LAUREN GROFF

LIBRARY OF AMERICA 

PUB DATE: OCT 1 2019

SYNOPSIS:

Lauren Groff invites a new generation of readers to rediscover the haunting stories of a neglected mid-century master

A teenage girl in Connecticut driven to near delirium over her burgeoning sexuality. A twenty-something New Yorker transplanted to a small Virginia community who boldly befriends the town pariah. A New England widow in search of alcohol and excitement while babysitting her grandson. A Maryland socialite who has built a secret bomb shelter that becomes the center of her imaginative life.

These are some of the characters who inhabit Nancy Hale’s lush fiction. Haunting, vivid, and wonderfully subversive, Hale’s stories typically concern women recognizable to all of us—sometimes fragile, possibly wicked, deceptively ordinary, navigating their way uncertainly through life.

Nancy Hale was one of the most accomplished short story artists of her era, winner of ten O. Henry Awards and a frequent contributor to The New Yorker from the 1930s to the 1960s. But by the time of her death in 1988, this remarkable writer, so far ahead of her time in her depiction of complex women, was largely forgotten. Now Lauren Groff reintroduces this modern master with a selection of twenty-five of her best stories— brilliant short fiction that encompasses childhood and adolescence, marriage and motherhood, desire and infidelity, madness and memory.

Where the Light Falls reveals Hale as a gifted stylist—a painter in light and shadow—and an acute observer of modern American life.

REVIEW/THOUGHTS:

This is an amazing collection of short stories by Nancy Hale written during a time long forgotten, that needs to be reintroduced to this new generation of readers. This was exceptionally edited and compiled by Lauren Groff who also writes a beautiful introduction and bio.

Groff’s introduction on Hale gives readers a better perspective of that era and what to expect of the world and culture of that time. Hale’s stories were written between the 1930s  to 1960's, when most writers of that era wrote of the "heroic or well-off white man", and Hale insists on writing about the importance of the lives of ordinary woman and children.

Hale's writing will stay with you long after you have read it and will impact you in some way or another. Though the book is an easy read, I intentionally savored it for a few days reading the stories and enjoying them one at a time as if savoring a delicious rare treat. Hale's prose is elegant and her topics are brave speaking of abortion, racism, fascism - some of the issues at that time which is relevant to our world now. I am very excited to have been introduced to such an exceptional writer that without this book, her voice would not have been heard by many today.

I highly recommend this book for an amazing collection of masterful writing that is a must read for anyone calling themselves a contemporary avid reader.

*of note "Proceeds from the sale of this book will be used to support the mission of Library of America, a non profit organization that champions the nation's cultural heritage by publishing America's greatest writing in authoritative new editions and providing resources for readers to explore this rich, living legacy".


AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT:


Lauren Groff is the New York Times bestselling author of three novels, The Monsters of Templeton, Arcadia, and Fates and Furies, and the short story collection Delicate Edible Birds. She has been a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Kirkus Prize, and the LA Times Book Prize. Her work has been featured in The New Yorker, along with five Best American Short Stories anthologies, and she was named one of Granta's 2017 Best Young American Novelists. Her next book, a collection of short stories called Florida, will be published in June 2018. Lauren lives in Gainesville, Florida, with her husband and sons.

THE APPLE - DEVASHISH SARDANA

THE APPLE

DEVASHISH SARDANA

PUB DATE: OCT 22, 2019

SYNOPSIS:


For 6000 years, they’ve protected Eden’s mysteries. Now someone is about to commit history’s most daring theft…

Queen Azura would sacrifice her life to fulfill her ancestors’ sacred mission. For thousands of years the Sentinels have safeguarded Eden and the Tree of Immortality. But one fateful night she awakens to find a man with a bullet wound in his head and an empty branch where the apple once hung.

He has no memories, not even his name. Nursed back to health by stern islanders who demand answers, he worries his nightmares of secret gates and a monstrous seven-headed serpent may be real. And if he doesn’t piece together the visions soon, his caretakers could become his executioners.

As the strange man struggles to recall how he came to the island, Azura fears someone has the means to defeat all their safeguards. And with the temptation of life everlasting, it’s only a matter of time before the would-be-killer strikes again.

Can Azura and the outsider solve the riddle before Eden’s final secret is exploited for evil?

The Apple is an innovative, fast-paced thriller. If you like unique puzzles, ancient legends, and a pulse-pounding twist on a familiar story, then you’ll love Devashish Sardana’s action-packed adventure.
REVIEW:


The Apple by Devashish Sardana

I enjoyed this adventure read very much and love the premise of the story. The Sentinels and their Queen Azura have been protecting the tree of immortality in the Garden of Eden for the past 6000 years. This Eden is located in the southern coast of India in the Bay of Bengal called North Sentinel Island. The last island undiscovered by modern man.

Finding Eden was their first mission but getting there is half the battle as they have to get the Apple as well. In this story, I love how modern and ancient cultures are presented as modern pharma is coveting to discover the cure for all diseases and money while money is no object to find this.

I enjoyed the fast paced adventure in reading this book that kept me turning those pages. Fantastic story line, plot and characters. I did visualize Dr. Indiana Jones in a heist while reading this book. I found this to be a highly entertaining and enjoyable read.


AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT:


About Devashish Sardana

Devashish Sardana is the acclaimed author of 10x10 Thrills, a Facebook and Instagram blog where he writes 100 Word Thrillers for his fast-growing community of 75,000+ followers.

Devashish is a small town boy from India who grew up with big dreams and an even bigger imagination. After graduating from IIM Ahmedabad, he sharpened his storytelling skills as a senior brand builder in a Fortune 100 company for 8+ years.

Devashish lives in Singapore with his wife and college sweetheart, Megha. He currently flits across the globe selling hope in a jar (beauty creams).








Friday, December 27, 2019

CAPTIVE TRUTH by Karen Stary

CAPTIVE TRUTH

KAREN STARY

CAN'T PUT IT DOWN BOOKS

APRIL 11TH 2019

SYNOPSIS:

A mercenary, a gambler, and a warlord are drawn together for a high stakes poker game. The trophy: a woman, Christine. They are men of unquestionable wealth, indomitable power, and overwhelming guilt; each is enchanted by Christine’s alluring beauty and each relentlessly desires to have her for himself. 

Life has left Christine unable to form meaningful emotional relationships. However, without the ability to appeal emotionally to her male captors she is not only jeopardizing her own fate, but also the fate of other women as well. Alone, with only the three men who have come to mean so much to her, Christine must use not only her wits but her compassion to extricate herself. Will she become one man’s prized possession, or can she regain her sense of self?

Stary’s complex plot keeps the reader guessing as she explores some of today’s most controversial issues for women.

THOUGHTS/REVIEW:

I enjoyed this beautifully written book - the prose and imagery that Stary writes is just brilliant! I read this book in one afternoon because the book is literally unputdownable. I enjoyed the poker reference as the overall theme of the story with the book chapters being divided, beginning with the Deal, the Flop, the Turn, the River and finally the Showdown. What a crazy ride this story was with brilliant plot and an ending that really surprised me. I also enjoyed how Stary was able to immerse the the readers and are transported into these characters' most inner thoughts. You really get to know the character well. The dialogue was superb and the pacing of the story was quick and kept my interest and me turning those pages as more characters and plot is introduced. 

It was a beautiful story told overall on how our childhood issues affect and carry on through our relationships into our adulthood. I loved the overall themes that addressed the main characters' life long friendship, love and acceptance. I enjoyed this for the romance, the thrill and suspense.

I do want to caution the readers with trigger warning: Rape and child abuse.

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT:

Author Karen Stary is a resident of San Diego, California, and a native of New Jersey who spent her summers on the Jersey Shore. She writes about the fragile relationships between women and men in today’s world. Stary asserts that women have yet to realize their true potential: to achieve something greater than any woman who came before them.


Tuesday, December 24, 2019

The Book Ghost by Lorna Gray


THE BOOK GHOST 

PUB: ONE MORE CHAPTER 

PUB DATE: 14TH DECEMBER 2019

SYNOPSIS:


A page turning, literary post-war historical novel full of secrets and mysteries.

England, Christmastime 1946

A young widow leaves behind the tragedy of her wartime life, and returns home to her ageing aunt and uncle. For Lucy – known as Mrs P – and the people who raised her, the books that line the walls of the family publishing business bring comfort and the promise of new beginnings.

But the kind and reserved new editor at the Kershaw and Kathay Book Press is a former prisoner of war, and he has his own shadows to bear. And when the old secrets of a little girl’s abandonment are uncovered within the pages of Robert Underhills’s latest project, Lucy must work quickly if she is to understand the truth behind his frequent trips away.

For a ghost dwells in the record of an orphan girl’s last days. And even as Lucy dares to risk her heart, the grief of her own past seems to be whispering a warning of fresh loss…

The Book Ghost will be published in the UK as Mrs P’s Book of Secrets.

REVIEW/THOUGHTS:

The story begins in 1946, just after the end of WWII, during the wintertime in the north Cotswolds town of Moreton-in-Marsh where Lucy, better known as Mrs P has come back home to help out in her aging aunt and uncles’ publishing house “Kershaw and Kathay Book Press”.

Lucy’s husband was just killed during the war, and despite her experience is now working as a clerk/receptionist/tea girl alongside her uncle and a new editor named Robert Underhill. Underhill prior to the war was studying to become a doctor. Though he could have been excused, he volunteered in the war efforts only to be captured immediately and became a POW for the last 5 years. Underhill would disappear from the office from time to time and the mystery surrounding his disappearance from the office intrigues Mrs. P.

I love historical fiction reads especially the WWII period. I enjoy learning about the circumstances surrounding the story line and the author gifts the reader with amazing detail and backstories of the characters.

England at that time was still reeling from the war, and while the country recovers, the people remain in rations. The men have come back and the women have to step back from their roles - running the country while the men were gone. The widows are trying to find their way back and are dealing with the guilt from the loss of their loved ones, mostly finding difficulties with establish relationships.

There are new ways of speaking in society where prying questions are not acceptable unless information is freely offered. The men that have come back are dealing with their own trauma from the war and I find that the author did a great job in creating that world post WWII.

The story is told through Lucy’s experience and point of view. Overall, I did enjoy the writing as it feels very much to the time period and the details were rich and vivid. It did move a little slow for me though I did enjoy the beautiful descriptions and the character development in this story.

I recommend this book for HF fans who are interested in the post WWII England setting.

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT:


Lorna Gray is passionate about understanding the past and takes much of her research from spoken history. She loves the fact that writing gives her the excuse to ask people about their memories, and treasures the unique little insights that every new conversation has to offer.

She writes post-WWII fiction and is published by an imprint of Harper Collins. Her titles are In the Shadow of Winter, The War Widow, The Antique Dealer's Daughter and newest release Mrs P's Book of Secrets.

She is also a published illustrator and her work has featured in a number of archaeological reports, children's books and non-fiction titles.

Above all, Lorna loves a good adventure. She doesn't mind whether it comes in the form of a good book, a film or rambling about the ruins of a castle as long as it is guaranteed to have a happy ending. She is married and lives in the Cotswolds, UK. She is very active on Facebook and would be delighted to meet you there.

I have a strong relationship with the past just like Eleanor, the heroine of debut novel In the Shadow of Winter. My inspiration to write about 1940s Britain comes from the traces that still live around us today. It comes from the tales that my elderly neighbours tell, and from the details and contradictions that have been recorded from a time we know so much about and yet no two people ever describe it in quite the same way.

This is what first inspired me to write In the Shadow of Winter and to set the intensely emotional adventure that unfolds within it, with all of its danger, romance and mystery, in the winter of 1947.

My published titles include In the Shadow of Winter, The War Widow, The Antique Dealer's Daughter and Mrs P's Book of Secrets (published as The Book Ghost in the USA). I am published by One More Chapter.

I'm married and I live in the Cotswolds, UK.










Monday, December 23, 2019

The Family Upstairs by LISA JEWELL


THE FAMILY UPSTAIRS

ATRIA BOOKS

5TH NOVEMBER 2019

LISA JEWELL

SYNOPSIS:

Be careful who you let in.

Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am.

She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them.

Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.
In The Family Upstairs, the master of “bone-chilling suspense” (People) brings us the can’t-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets.

THOUGHTS/REVIEW:

This is my first Lisa Jewell book and I am definitely a fan of her writing. She brilliantly creates the perfect amount of thrill, chill, suspense, and that eerie atmosphere that will keep you glued to this book and ignoring everything else going on in your life. I had this book with me wherever I went. The book is brilliantly written and told in multiple POVs that will have you immersed in the story and the suspenseful drama that is slowly revealing itself. 

The story follows Libby Jones who at the age of 25 inherits an abandoned multi-million dollar mansion in the coveted Chelsea neighborhood around the Thames area in London. She is bound to learn the truth about herself and the family that she came from. What she may not be ready for is learning who she really is and the macabre murder/suicide scene where she was left in, when she was only an infant, untouched. 

I love how the story slowly unfolds while learning about Lucy and Henry’s history and current living situation. Their life gets turned around as their mother allows these new friends to take advantage of her and her family – slowly infiltrating their home and disrupting their once lovely family and life. It is quite the story with some surprises that caught me in the end that makes for a very entertaining and fantastic read for me.

I highly recommend this book for those who want a wonderful domestic thriller and suspense read that is every bit chilling and disturbing.

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT



Lisa was born in London in 1968. Her mother was a secretary and her father was a textile agent and she was brought up in the northernmost reaches of London with her two younger sisters. She was educated at a Catholic girls’ Grammar school in Finchley. After leaving school at sixteen she spent two years at Barnet College doing an arts foundation course and then two years at Epsom School of Art & Design studying Fashion Illustration and Communication.

She worked for the fashion chain Warehouse for three years as a PR assistant and then for Thomas Pink, the Jermyn Street shirt company for four years as a receptionist and PA. She started her first novel, Ralph’s Party, for a bet in 1996. She finished it in 1997 and it was published by Penguin books in May 1998. It went on to become the best-selling debut novel of that year.

She has since written a further nine novels, as is currently at work on her eleventh.

She now lives in an innermost part of north London with her husband Jascha, an IT consultant, her daughters, Amelie and Evie and her silver tabbies, Jack and Milly.


Lisa's Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/LisaJewelloff...


THE WICKED REDHEAD by Beatriz Williams


THE WICKED REDHEAD - BOOK #2 (THE WICKED CITY)

WILLIAM MORROW PAPERBACK

PUB DATE:
10th DECEMBER 2019

BEATRIZ WILLIAMS

GENRE: HISTORICAL FICTION

SYNOPSIS:

The dazzling narrator of The Wicked City brings her mesmerizing voice and indomitable spirit to another Jazz Age tale of rumrunners, double crosses, and true love, spanning the Eastern seaboard from Florida to Long Island to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

1924. Ginger Kelly wakes up in tranquil Cocoa Beach, Florida, having fled south to safety in the company of disgraced Prohibition agent Oliver Anson Marshall and her newly-orphaned young sister, Patsy. But paradise is short-lived. Marshall is reinstated to the agency with suspicious haste and put to work patrolling for rumrunners on the high seas, from which he promptly disappears. Gin hurries north to rescue him, only to be trapped in an agonizing moral quandary by Marshall’s desperate mother.

1998. Ella Dommerich has finally settled into her new life in Greenwich Village, inside the same apartment where a certain redheaded flapper lived long ago...and continues to make her presence known. Having quit her ethically problematic job at an accounting firm, cut ties with her unfaithful ex-husband, and begun an epic love affair with Hector, her musician neighbor, Ella’s eager to piece together the history of the mysterious Gin Kelly, whose only physical trace is a series of rare vintage photograph cards for which she modeled before she disappeared.

Two women, two generations, two urgent quests. But as Ginger and Ella track down their separate quarries with increasing desperation, the mysteries consuming them take on unsettling echoes of each other, and both women will require all their strength and ingenuity to outwit a conspiracy spanning decades.

THOUGHTS/REVIEWS

A beautiful story told in two timelines which picked up from the first book, The Wicked City. I feel that reading the first book first would thoroughly give the reader a better understanding of the amazing characters that Beatriz Williams have created.

Though I did not read the first book, I still thoroughly enjoyed this beautiful story told from 1924 during the Jazz Age and Prohibition Era, and how it connects to 1998 with Ella Dommerich in Greenwhich Village.

Ginger Kelly is an awesome character you will fall in love with for her strength, will and wit. The connection of these two characters I found amazing to read. I am a huge fan of Historical Fiction and witty characters and I certainly enjoyed this amazing book!

I highly enjoyed this entertaining read and look forward to the third book in this series.

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: BEATRIZ WILLIAMS


Beatriz Williams is the New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author of The Golden Hour, The Summer Wives, The Secret Life of Violet Grant, A Hundred Summers, and several other works of historical fiction, as well as the screenwriter for the television adaptation of The Summer Wives, currently in development with John Wells Productions. A graduate of Stanford University with an MBA in Finance from Columbia University, Beatriz worked as a communications and corporate strategy consultant in New York and London before she turned her attention to writing novels that combine her passion for history with an obsessive devotion to voice and characterization. Beatriz’s books have won numerous awards, have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and appear regularly in bestseller lists around the world.

Born in Seattle, Washington, Beatriz now lives near the Connecticut shore with her husband and four children, where she divides her time between writing and laundry.



Saturday, December 21, 2019

THIN ICE by PAIGE SHELTON


THIN ICE

MINOTAUR BOOKS 

PUB DATE: 3rd DECEMBER 2019

PAIGE SHELTON

SYNOPSIS:


First in a new series set in Alaska from beloved author Paige Shelton, Thin Ice will chill your bones.

Beth Rivers is on the run – she’s doing the only thing she could think of to keep herself safe. Known to the world as thriller author Elizabeth Fairchild, she had become the subject of a fanatic’s obsession. After being held in a van for three days by her kidnapper, Levi Brooks, Beth managed to escape, and until he is captured, she's got to get away. Cold and remote, Alaska seems tailor-made for her to hideout.

Beth’s new home in Alaska is sparsely populated with people who all seem to be running or hiding from something, and though she accidentally booked a room at a halfway house, she feels safer than she’s felt since Levi took her. That is, until she’s told about a local death that’s a suspected murder. Could the death of Linda Rafferty have anything to do with her horror at the hands of Levi Brooks?

As Beth navigates her way through the wilds of her new home, her memories of her time in the van are coming back, replaying the terror and the fear—and threatening to keep her from healing, from reclaiming her old life again. Can she get back to normal, will she ever truly feel safe, and can she help solve the local mystery, if only so she doesn’t have to think about her own?

REVIEW/THOUGHTS:

This book is first in the series, and my first book to read from author Paige Shelton. I would have to say I enjoyed this read very much and enjoyed reading about a book with amazing destinations like the remote Benedict, Alaska which adds to the thrilling atmosphere of this suspenseful mystery. The story begins as our main character, Beth Rivers, who is a thriller author was kidnapped by a fan. Beth miraculously escapes capture but sustained a brain injury, which caused her to lose her memory. Reeling from a recent ordeal of being kidnapped, she finds a perfect place to hide in this remote town in Alaska. While in Benedict, she partners with the Police Chief Gril Samuels, while he works on a case involving the suspicious death of a woman who also seems to be hiding things.  

Overall, I liked the character and how she tried to acclimate herself to this new town. It did hold my interest and found it to be an entertaining read. It did leave me hanging with lots of questions unanswered until the next installment which I am anxiously waiting for. 

AUTHOR PAIGE SHELTON:









Into The Dark by Karen Rose


INTO THE DARK

BERKLEY PUB

PUB DATE: 14th NOVEMBER 2019

SYNOPSIS:

When Michael Rowland saves his younger brother Joshua from the clutches of his stepfather, he runs for his life with his brother in his arms. From his hiding place he sees the man who has made their lives a misery taken away in the trunk of a stranger's car, never to be seen again.

Doctor Dani Novak has been keeping soccer coach Diesel Kennedy at arm's length to protect him from her dark secrets. When they are brought together by the two young brothers who desperately need their help, it seems they might finally be able to leave their damaged pasts behind them.

But as the only witness to the man who kidnapped and murdered his stepfather, Michael is in danger. As Diesel and Dani do all that they can to protect him, their own investigation into the murder uncovers a much darker web of secrets than they could have imagined.

As more bodies start to appear it's clear that this killer wants vengeance. And will wipe out anything that gets in his way...
  

REVIEW/THOUGHTS:

Into the Dark by Karen Rose is a Suspense Romance Thriller, Book #5 of the Cincinnati Romantic Suspense Series, that moves fast and will keep you on your toes and turning those pages. This is a part of a series that I have not personally have read before, but I enjoyed this just as amazingly as Karen Rose’s fans and dedicated readers. I understand the huge following Rose has, because from the first page, the reader will already be hooked by her writing. I love the action filled scenarios that make for a very suspenseful story line and creative plot that keeps the book moving in a very exciting way.

The characters in this story are amazing and the subject matter will grip you and immerse you into the story. I loved the main character, Dr. Dani Novak, who I understand from the author’s notes has a rare genetic disorder called Waardenburg syndrome, which affects hearing the most, besides the other pigmentation issues in the skin, hair and eyes. It opened my understanding of people and families who have to navigate language and speech using sign language and other ways of communication.

The book begins with a highly emotional scene where Michael Rowland, a deaf child, is rescuing his 5-year-old brother, Joshua from being abused by his step-father – running away as fast as he could, while also witnessing a murder – which puts Michael’s life on the line. Michael’s coach, Diesel Kennedy, brings the injured Michael to Dr. Dani Novak, who will treat Michael. She is also deaf in one ear, and is able communicate with Michael using sign language.

I am in awe of Karen Rose, as her books are so well written with amazing characters, an intense story line, a subplot with romance and of course the murder mystery thriller with the amazing twists that make for a highly entertaining read. I am a fan and will definitely be going back to read the rest of this exciting series that is emotionally charged and highly addicting read.


AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT

Internationally bestselling, RITA-award winning, author Karen Rose was born and raised in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. She met her husband, Martin, on a blind date when they were seventeen and after they both graduated from the University of Maryland, (Karen with a degree in Chemical Engineering) they moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. Karen worked as an engineer for a large consumer goods company, earning two patents, but as Karen says, “scenes were roiling in my head and I couldn't concentrate on my job so I started writing them down. I started out writing for fun, and soon found I was hooked.”

Her debut suspense novel, DON'T TELL, was released in July, 2003. Since then, she has published fifteen more novels and two novellas. Her seventeenth novel, ALONE IN THE DARK, will be released in 2016.

Karen's books have appeared on the bestseller lists of the New York Times, USA Today, London's Sunday Times, and Germany's der Spiegel (#1), and the Irish Times, as well as lists in South Africa (#1) and Australia!

Her novels, I'M WATCHING YOU and SILENT SCREAM, received the Romance Writers of America's RITA award for Best Romantic Suspense for 2005 and 2011. Five of her other books have been RITA finalists. To date, her books have been translated into twenty-four languages.

A former high school teacher of chemistry and physics, Karen lives in Florida with her husband of more than twenty years, her two daughters, two dogs, and a cat.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Bound in Flame by Katherine Kane


BOUND IN FLAME

SMITH PUBLICITY

28th OCTOBER 2019

SYNOPSIS

Letty Lang is a suffragist of the most fearless kind, with a bullwhip, big plans, and ancient power she doesn’t understand. Will a fast horse and a stubborn man derail her dreams?

Banished to boarding school to tame her wild temper, Leticia Lili‘uokalani Lang sails home to Hawaii, bringing her devotion to animals with her. She’ll be among the first female veterinarians in history—most remarkable in 1909 when women still cannot vote.

With one mad leap into the ocean to save a horse, Letty sets another destiny in motion. She is a mākāhā, a Gate to the healing fires of the land, her beloved ‘aina. Letty must fight to harness the ancient power that lives within her, fueled by her connection to the islands. But the price of power is steep. Her inner flame burns hot—hot enough that her kisses can actually kill, a precarious inconvenience since the horse’s owner, Timothy Rowley, lights another kind of fire.

Can Letty learn to master her power to have a chance at life and love? Or is the danger of the flame too great?

REVIEW/THOUGHTS

I love Historical Fiction, Romance, mystical fantasy, and Hawai'i. Bound in Flame had it all. I was excited to get my hands on this book for its premise and for the beautiful and attractive book cover too. It brought me back to one of my most favorite place to visit in the world. So when I heard about Kane's book, I knew I would really enjoy this read.

This book is the first in the series of the Hawaiian Ladies Riding Society and the time frame was mainly set in 1909 prior to Hawai'i annexation as a state. Kane writes the book as an imagining of Hawaii's past, with beautiful magical and poetic writing that highlights fierce and fearless women. Letty Lang a suffragist and one of the first female veterinarians in history is pretty remarkable. I loved following her adventures and her colorful life and happily ever after too.

Kane's writing is refreshing with vivid and rich details of Hawai'i - she deeply honors its culture and tradition as well - lovely to see it in her writing. I loved how she took her inspiration from real life events and some people that have lived in that time period, and re-imagined this beautiful and fantastic tale. It was a nice and different read for me, though I really enjoy historical fiction but have never really divulged much into historical fantasy, and happy to have read this book by Kane.

I recommend this read for historical fiction fans, fantasy fiction, and love strong female lead characters.



AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT




Katherine Kayne now writes the romances she only dreamed of reading as a girl. With horses and magic and happily ever after… and heroes strong enough to follow their heroine’s lead. Counting herself fortunate to live in Hawaii a part of each year, Katherine created the world of the Hawaiian Ladies Riding Society to tell the stories of the fearless horsewomen of the islands’ ranches. Because who doesn’t love a suffragist on horseback? With a bullwhip? Wearing flowers? If you come along for the ride, be prepared for almost anything to happen. Katherine can promise you fiery kisses, charming cowboys, women who ride like the rainbow to save the day, and that rarest of beasts—handsome men who like to dance.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

12/17/19 MEET ME ON LOVE LANE


PUBLISHER: GALLERY BOOKS

PUB DATE: 10th DECEMBER 2019

AUTHOR: NINA BOCCI

SYNOPSIS:

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of On the Corner of Love and Hate comes a romantic comedy about a woman who grudgingly returns home to small-town Pennsylvania, only to find herself falling in love—not only with the town, but with two of its citizens.

Charlotte Bishop is out of options in New York City. Fired, broke, and blacklisted by her former boss, she’s forced to return to her hometown of Hope Lake, PA to lick her wounds. Although she’s expecting to find a miserable place with nothing to do, she is pleasantly surprised to discover it is bustling and thriving.

She’s only supposed to be in Hope Lake temporarily until she can earn enough money to move back to New York. She’s not supposed to reconnect with her childhood friends or her beloved grandmother. She’s not supposed to find her dream job running the local florist shop. And she’s definitely not supposed to fall for not one but two of Hope Lake’s golden boys: one the beloved high school English teacher, the other the charming town doctor.

With a heart torn between two men and two cities, what’s a girl to do?

A perfect blend of humor and heart, Meet Me on Love Lane is the second in a new series from USA TODAY bestselling author Nina Bocci that is sure to charm fans of Josie Silver and Sally Thorne.

REVIEW:
In this second installment of the Hopeless Romantic series, we are graced with Charlotte Bishop’s story that begins with a very exciting prologue - Charlotte, a 10 year old child along with her best friend, tries to run away from home to be able to stay in Hope Lake after her parents’ divorce. Charlotte ends up living with her mother in New York City. All through her life growing up, she was always told by her mother how awful Hope Lake was, and discouraged her from every going back. 
Fast forward twenty years, many things have happened since then; her mother’s death, losing her job, credit cards all maxed out and losing her credibility as a wedding planner. Charlotte needed to make sure things cooled off or find another fresh start. Hope Lake was her answer and reconnecting back with the only family she has left.

Coming back to Hope Lake, a small town in Pennsylvania, Charlotte finds the town quite unexpectedly. Hope Lake as she remembers it then is quite different, though in a very positive way. What she finds is a beautiful bustling town full of friendship, family, and the possibility of a long lost love. As Charlotte finds herself and what she wants to accomplish professionally, will she also find the right person her heart has been longing for?

This is my first Nina Bocci book and was I impressed with her writing style and brilliant dialogue from the conversations and banters to text messaging. I enjoyed the overall plot and amazing character development. You will fall in love with Gigi and the rest of the cast of characters in this book, that adds to its lighthearted and heartwarming moments. I find that this was more than a feel good romcom story, but a very well written women’s fiction full of positivity, hope and love.

 
AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT


Nina Bocci is a novelist, publicist, eternal optimist, unabashed lipgloss enthusiast, constant apologist, and a hopeless romanticist. She has too many college degrees that she’s not using, and a Lego addiction that she blames on her son.



Monday, December 16, 2019

Arroyo by Chip Jacobs


PUBLISHER: RARE BIRD BOOKS

PUB DATE: 15th OCTOBER 2019

AUTHOR: CHIP JACOBS

SYNOPSIS

Set against two distinct epochs in the history of Pasadena, California, Arroyo tells the parallel stories of a young inventor and his clairvoyant dog in 1913 and 1993. In both lives, they are drawn to the landmark Colorado Street Bridge, or "Suicide Bridge," as the locals call it, which suffered a lethal collapse during construction but still opened to fanfare in the early twentieth century automobile age. When the refurbished structure commemorates its 80th birthday, one of the planet's best known small towns is virtually unrecognizable from its romanticized, and somewhat invented, past.

Wrought with warmth and wit, Jacobs' debut novel digs into Pasadena's most mysterious structure and the city itself. In their exploits around what was then America's highest, longest roadway, Nick Chance and his impish mutt interact with some of the big personalities from the Progressive Age, including Teddy Roosevelt, Upton Sinclair, Charles Fletcher Lummis, and Lilly and Adolphus Busch, whose gardens were once tabbed the "eighth wonder of the world." They cavort and often sow chaos at Cawston Ostrich Farm, the Mount Lowe Railway, the Hotel Green and even the Doo Dah Parade. But it's the secrets and turmoil around the concrete arches over the Arroyo Seco, and what it means for Nick's destiny, that propels this story of fable versus fact.

While unearthing the truth about the Colorado Street Bridge, in all its eye-catching grandeur and unavoidable darkness, the characters of Arroyo paint a vivid picture of how the home of the Rose Bowl got its dramatic start.
  

REVIEW


I was intrigued by this book and the story surrounding the famous and beautiful Pasadena, California “Colorado Street Bridge” also known by the locals as the “Suicide Bridge” where many lives were lost. As a long-time resident of Southern California and living only a few blocks from the bridge where I pass it by multiple times a day, I knew that this book by Chip Jacobs ARROYO would be a fantastic read. Part Historical Fiction and part Magical Realism this was a very creative story of learning the fascinating history surrounding the Arroyo Seco, and the surrounding San Gabriel Foothills and the Sierra Madre range through this fictional tale. I certainly learned a lot about the famous names that were either residents or have influenced Pasadena in some way such as Teddy Roosevelt, Upton Sinclair, Charles Fletcher Lummis, and Lilly and Adolphus Busch (Busch Gardens and Budweiser) to name a few.

I enjoyed how the story begins and is seen through the eyes of Nick Chance and his very unusual dog who saves his life which he calls Royo, in 1913. In a parallel timeline 80 years later in 1993, the story connects back to the famous bridge in a very interesting way. I thought the writing was very creative with beautiful prose that took me back to the early days when Pasadena was just developing and the residents that built the city to what it is today. I loved that the landmarks I know well now and how it started back in the day and to see some of the places still present to this day was remarkable to me. One of the places mentioned was Vroman’s which is an amazing independent bookstore that I frequent, and to know that it was already a part of Pasadena’s history since the early 1900’s was pretty amazing. I loved that the author also mentioned one of my favorite hang outs “Pie ‘n Burger” and the Colorado Blvd shops, and many famous names that I merely know now as famous streets in Pasadena, which now gives meaning and understanding.

We all know something about Pasadena, whether it’s from the Beach Boys song “Little old lady from Pasadena”, or have seen the famous Rose Parade every New Year, or have watched the football games at the Rose Bowl. I highly recommend this book for a great historical fiction read that is a delight and will capture your interest.
AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT:

Chip Jacobs is an award-winning author and journalist. His most recent book is his debut novel, Arroyo, historical fiction set around construction of Pasadena, California's mysterious Colorado Street Bridge. His other books include the biography Strange As It Seems: the Impossible Life of Gordon Zahler; the environmental social histories The People's Republic of Chemicals and the international bestselling Smogtown: the Lung-Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles (both with William K. Kelly); the dark-humor, true crime caper The Ascension of Jerry; and the stories collection The Vicodin Thieves. He also has contributed pieces to anthologies, most recently for the bestselling Los Angeles in the 1970s: Weird Scenes Inside the Goldmine about the attack on an idealist lawyer by a depraved cult. His reporting has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Daily News, CNN, The New York Times, Bloomberg, and LA Weekly, among other outlets.

Jacobs’ writing has been honored, among others, by the Independent Publishers’ Book Awards (IPPY), the Indies Book of the Year contest, Foreword and Booklist magazines (for starred reviews and top books in genre), The Green Prize for Sustainable Literature, the Southern California Book Festival, the Shanghai Book Awards, and as a Chinese “Most Influential” and “Outstanding Popular Science” book. Jacobs and his subjects have appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Marketplace Radio, Slate, Wired, NPR-syndicate stations, C-Span, Politifact and elsewhere. He lives in Southern California.


 

 


Sunday, December 15, 2019


12/14/19 HIGH HEELS AND BEETLE CRUSHERS

BLOG BLITZ





High Heels & Beetle Crushers by Jackie Skingley
Genre: NA / Adult Memoir
Tour Dates: 14th December 2019
Publication Date: 14th December 2019









A compelling memoir of post-war Britain. Jackie Skingley grew up with limited career choices but joining the Women’s Royal Army Corps offered her a different life, living and working in a military world, against the backdrop of the Cold War. Packed full of stories reflecting the changing sexual attitudes prior to the arrival of the pill and the sexual revolution of the mid 60s, Skingley’s memoir denotes a shift in the political and social fabric of the era. Follow her relationships with the men in her life from finding her first true love, which through a cruel act of fate was denied her, to embarking on a path of recovery




Author Bio

For Jackie Skingley, adventure has been her quest since childhood. Life with the British army allowed Jackie to live all over the world and gain huge appreciation for different cultures and customs. Since 1999, Jackie and her husband have lived in the Charente region of South West France where Reiki, jewellery making, painting and mosaics, as well as writing keep her fully occupied. Member of the Charente Creative Writing Group, mother and grandmother.

Social Media Links – https://twitter.com/skingleyj

https://www.facebook.com/skingleyj/


Purchase Links

UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/High-Heels-Beetle-Crushers-Officer/dp/1789042909/#

US - https://www.amazon.com/High-Heels-Beetle-Crushers-Officer/dp/1789042909/#


Giveaway to Win 2 x Paperback copies of High Heels & Beetle Crushers (Open UK / US Only)
*Terms and Conditions –UK & USA entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
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Saturday, December 14, 2019

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover


REGRETTING YOU

MONTLAKE ROMANCE

PUB DATE: 10th DECEMBER 2019

SYNOPSIS:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends with Us comes a poignant novel about family, first love, grief, and betrayal that will touch the hearts of both mothers and daughters.

Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.

Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.

With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.

While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.

THOUGHTS/ REVIEW

If Morgan Grant could turn back time, she would probably do it to correct some of the mistakes that happened in her past – like getting pregnant, marrying way too early and placing her career on hold to raise her daughter and take care of the family.

Her daughter Clara is now sixteen and her relationship with Morgan is fractured from her over protection. Clara’s confidants have been her father Chris and her aunt (Morgan’s sister). As the story progressed, you realize that what happens are that the betrayals, and the secrets that protect the people you love, may just hurt them more than simply telling them the truth.

How far do you protect your family in exchange for your own downfall?

How far would you sacrifice to your own demise and unhappiness?

This was my first Colleen Hoover novel, and I now understand why she has such a huge following of loyal readers. This book was so well told, and powerful that I read this in less than four hours. There simply is no putting this book down. You had to know what will happen next! Each of the characters played an important role in the story and you will be completely immersed in their role in the story.

It had been a long time since I cried over a book, and this one made me ugly cry and wrecked me to the core. I felt every emotion the characters were feeling from the painful regret and disappointment, to the hurt and betrayal for those left behind. I loved the development of the story and how it is about the sacrifices we go through for people that we love and care for, and that people are not always what they seem. Some people will disappoint you but many people will also surprise you and in the end.

I highly recommend this amazing book for an amazing family drama and a story of first loves, gut wrenching betrayal, devastating loss and disappointments, and in the midst of all this finding truth and love.

 AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: COLLEEN HOOVER
International and #1 New York Times bestselling author of romance, YA, thriller and Women's Fiction. And maybe a ghost story soon.

I don't like to be confined to one genre. If you put me in a box, I'll claw my way out.


My social media username is @colleenhoover pretty much everywhere except my email, which is colleenhooverbooks@gmail.com