Book Review: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Title: In Cold Blood
Author: Truman Capote
Pages: 343
Publisher: Vintage Books
ISNB 0679745580

On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues.

As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. In Cold Blood is a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.

REVIEW

A true account of a multiple murder and its consequence – In Cold Blood was truly a chilling read.

This is my second book for TFGs book of the month and I enjoyed it tremendously which I wasn’t expecting. I am so not a fan of non-fiction, in fact I loathe them but because the peeps from TFG assigned it for September I went ahead and bought a copy.

In Cold Blood was a retelling of the heinous murder of the Clutter family which put Holcomb, Kansas on the map. The year was 1959 and the crime was a shocker in the quiet town of Holcomb especially since the victims were a staple in this quiet town. The story goes back and forth giving us detailed descriptions of the Clutter family and their killers, Perry Smith and Dick Hickock. The story was told in four parts which I might add helped me a  lot to better understand the story.

Part I (The Last to See Them Alive) was a retelling of how the Clutters were before they died and how influential they are in Holcomb. This is also a chapter wherein we get to see a glimpse of their killers – Perry and Dick. I loved this part because it gave me a sense of the Clutters and of how life was in he 50’s in Kansas.

Clutter Family
(image credit: gcpolice.org)

Part II (Persons Unknown) was the part I got bored the most. I don’t know why but I just got bored reading Dick and Perry’s life yet this part was important to somehow understand what went on these two guys head. This was the part that I just wanted to know the motivation of these two for killing the Clutters and how the investigation went.

Richard (Dick) Hickock
(image credit: http://www.kansasmemory.org)

Perry Smith
(image credit: murderpedia.org)

Part III (Answer) was the start of the chasing of the murderers by the authority. This is also the section wherein we understand how the investigation got its break from what seems to be the perfect crime. I actually thought that it was indeed perfect – there was really no connection and it seemed like the Clutters were just unfortunate souls in being killed that night.

Perry Smith escorted to court

And lastly IV (The Corner) was the account of Dick and Perry in jail until their death in April 14, 1965.

Overall, In Cold Blood was a good retelling but there are parts of the book that I got too bored that I wanted to stop reading it. The accounts were horrifying and just by thinking about the incident, you can never really tell how a persons mind work until that crucial moment. A single thought can snap the calmest mind. The crime that both Perry and Dick committed was so senseless that I end up thinking if $50 was worth the lives of 4 innocent people. I do get the why they killed them but for a measly $50 that’s a very cheap way to die. I can’t imagine the fear and torment the town of Holcomb endured during those moments. Sadness doesn’t sum up what I felt after reading In Cold Blood. I don’t just recommend this book to non fiction lovers but to everyone who is curious about the event and murder/mystery enthusiasts as well. I need to watch the movie now.

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Book Review: Glimpse by Sara Daniell + Giveaway

The Solitary Bookworm & Reading Addiction Blog Tours presents Glimpse by Sara Daniell

Title: Glimpse: The Dwellers
Author: Sara Daniell
Pages: 278
Publisher: M&E Publishing
ISBN: 9780615685915
Source: Reading Addiction Blog Tours
Purchase Link: Kindle | Print

Orion Draper is not your typical Dweller. She is a non-conformist with an insatiable appetite for adventure. And trouble. So it is no surprise when she finds herself eavesdropping on a Constable meeting. One word that makes no sense, “Earth”, sends Orion on a quest for answers.

What is this “Earth”? And why has it never been mentioned before? Her search is soon over, but not without a heavy price to pay. Forced to leave behind the only home she has ever known, Orion fights for the chance to return. Every corner holds a new danger, and every shadow hides a secret. No one can be trusted, and no town is permanent.
Will Orion ever return to Dandux? Or is she forever condemned to repeat this hell she now knows?

REVIEW

Glimpse is a story about Orion and her life as a Dweller in the Sphere, speficially Dandux. Orinio is tagged as a troubled teen according to the Spheres code and that doesn’t suit well with Orion. She maybe a little different but troublemaker she is not. Together with her friend Sage she snoops around the perimeter of Dandux after eavesdropping at a secret meeting and that night turned her and Sages life around.

Orion is a bull headed girl who doesn’t take sh*t from anybody as long as she does what she think is right. Someone who will do anything to prove her point eventhough death can be a possibility. Sage is a very faithful friend. Very colorful character, street smart and devoted to her friend. Together they try to fight hunters to survive inevitable death. They meet Plath, a lead hunter who seems to be on their side after an encounter where Plath left them and helped them live but is Plath one of the good guy or bad guy?

The world building was phenomenal, I couldn’t put it down. The pacing was fast and I finished this book in one sitting. The story felt like dystopian-ish (a genre that I don’t usually read) but it worked well for me. The end of the story was intriguing so I can’t wait to read on what will happen to Orion in the next book. An awesome book to start what seems like a great series. For only $.99 this is definitely recommended and worth it.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

GIVEAWAY

It’s that time again to win one awesome book so head over at TSBs Facebook Page, fill out the form and good luck on winning! 🙂

AUTHOR BIO
Blog | Facebook

Sara Daniell is a 27 year old from a small town in Arkansas. She is married to her best friend, has two amazing daughters, and is a full time college student working towards her Masters in Special Education. When not busy with working, doing homework, and being a mom, she loves to read and write.

Sara Daniell is the author of The Holly Nather Trilogy & The Dwellers series.

Favorite Quote:
“You’re off to Great Places! Today is YOUR day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!” ~ Dr. Seuss



Book Review: Guardian of the Moon Pendant by Laura J. Williams

The Solitary Bookworm & BB Book Tours presents Guardian of the Moon Pendant by Laura J. Williams

Title: Guardian of the Moon Pendant
Author: Laura J. Williams
Publisher: Laura J. Williams
Purchase Links: eBook | Print copy

The MacAlpin women are of a fierce clan, born from a rare bloodline that harbors a dark and powerful secret – a mystical heirloom called the Moon Pendant. It is the key to controlling the MääGord standing stones, a magical Portal into the Otherworld, the realm of the Fae.
Anabel and Izzy’s MacAlpin are two sisters, polar opposites, living separate lives.

Anabel’s life is going precisely according to her plan, a ring on her finger from her steady beau, Edgar, and medical school in the fall.
Izzy’s life is filled with scars and wounds from her past. Dubbed the “spare child” by her family and treated poorly, she rebelled, and now lives life by her own rules.
These two sisters’s worlds are about to explode when one of them must go to Scotland and fulfill her duty as the Guardian of the Moon Pendant, by recharging this magical heirloom with four elementals, air, earth, water, and fire, and then finally close the Portal.

There’s only one problem…

The Baobhan Sith – a vampiric faery who lures men in with her hypnotic voice, feeding on their blood or transforming them into Màrmann, her zombie-like warriors who do her bidding – desires the Moon Pendant to take control over the Portal, opening a gateway into the realm of man, helping her to seek revenge on the MacAlpin clan, and to quench her eternal thirst for human blood.
Anabel finds herself torn between a sinfully handsome Scottish warrior, Blane and her fiancée, Edgar. Izzy finds herself, angered by her sister’s lack of faith in her.
Both sisters are forced to help one another, but may end up killing each other in the end.

Will these two sisters put aside their differences before the final task to charge the Moon Pendant or will the Baobhan Sith, the vampiric faery, be successful and open the Portal into the Otherworld?

REVIEW

Guardian of the Moon Pendant is my first highland/Scottish book, and it was incredible. It was a story with amazing characters, strong story line and thrilling action screens. Although 30% of my journey with Williams’ book was a confusing, that didn’t stop me in enjoying Guardian of the Moon Pendant.

Characters. Main characters Izzy and Anabel are a sisters and they don’t get along. Though most of the time they quarrel and whine a lot (which makes them somewhat childish to some point) about each other and almost anything, the characters for me felt genuine – capturing sibling rivalry to the dot. I myself quarrel with my younger sister a lot and we fight with almost anything but the love is there – which also reflects with the MacAlpin sisters. They are like north and south and it seems like there’s no way to find the middle ground with the two but in the end, everything worked out. Blane on the other hand I was not feeling so much love. I think part of it is because as I stated this is my first highlander story so I may not be feeling the appeal compared to some readers but character wise he’s okay. Anabel and Blane’s attraction is one of my “huh” moments. I didn’t feel it. For me the story could have done without it and still get an amazing story but it’s there so yeah.

POV. Guardian of the Moon Pendant goes back and forth between Izzy and Anabel and I don’t have any issues with dual or multiple POV as long as the story flowed flawlessly, and in Guardian of the Moon Pendant it did. Dual POV is a good way of knowing what the other character is feeling and thinking making a story more in-depth in my opinion and I love that about this book.

Story. The story started out with the MacAlpin family (Izzy, Anabel and their mother + Edgar) and that gave me a little glimpse about the characters but it was a bit rushed going to the main plot itself which confused me a little bit. It was like Anabel was designated guardian and all the information was dumped rather than being explained – so that’s where my main issue lies. The fae element in the story added spunk coupled with Izzy’s sarcastic dialogues was what really made me enjoy the story in spite my issues.

Overall. I did enjoy reading Guardian of the Moon Pendant. The plot and story line was intriguing and promising but the characters needed more details for me. The ending was okay as well and no loose ends so that was double okay for me. I think I’ll enjoy this better if I had read highlander/Scottish stories in the past more so maybe I’ll re-read this in the future, we’ll see. And I have to add this: that cover is so captivating. Lovely, lovely cover.

AUTHOR BIO
Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Laura J. Williams is a hopeless and lost cause, tucked away in her dark sleeping chamber, in her gloomy abyss of a writing cave, separated from the realm of man, chomping on chicken legs and quenching her thirst with large glasses of red wine. She is consoled daily by her rescued cat, baby-kitty, who only gives her love when she wants to.

Aye, it is a sad life she lives…
But, God danced the day Laura was born, the angels rejoiced, and the demons trembled.

She’s just another day-dreamer with a story to tell, doing her best to kick arse. She hides behind a shroud of anonymity, creating a world of lost mythical creatures, breathing life into them, and praying that someone will take pleasure in her work.
She is the warrior of the heroine, the sorceress of words, yielder of magic, teller of dark secrets, and the jester of tantalizing tales.

BB Book Tours

Book Review: Pulled by A.L. Jackson

The Solitary Bookworm and Reading Addiction Blog Tour presents Pulled by A.L. Jackson

Title: Pulled
Author: A.L. Jackson
Pages: 388
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Source: Reading Addiction Blog Tour

Melanie Winters and Daniel Montgomery shared a love most only dream of, a love they believed bonded them together for life. When their world is shattered by the tragic loss of their daughter, overwhelming grief and misguided guilt distorts the truth, and their relationship ends in uncertainty and unanswered questions.

For nine years, they drift through life, each unable to forget the one who holds the strings to their heart. In an attempt to escape the pain of her past, Melanie finds herself trapped in a loveless marriage, while Daniel loses himself in a career that means nothing without Melanie by his side.

Now, when their lives again intersect, neither can deny the connection they felt so long ago.

But will the power that drew them together be enough to heal the wounds from their past, and will they have the courage to overcome the insecurities and fears that threaten to keep them apart?

Pulled is a story of attraction and separation, of destiny and duty, of a love so strong it refuses to give up even when all others have.

REVIEW

WOW! Just wow! I need to breath first before I can write a good review on this one. This was one heck of an emotional read – I can’t even think of how to start this review or what I should include or not to avoid giving out too much spoilers.

Okay so, Pulled is a story about Melanie and Daniel – two teenage lovers separated by circumstances they can’t stop themselves. Pulled is not just a story about hearts being broken and dreams being shattered, it is more. 9 years of being separated had its traumatic effects to both Methanie and Daniel as well as their families and everyone was never the same again. For such a young couple, what they went through was too much for them to bear for 9 years. Miserable is not even enough in this case. It makes me sad to read how their story progress and how much pain their situation gave them.

Feeling betrayed – and no I won’t tell you why (soo hard to not include spoilers gah!) – Melanie married Nicolas, a guy she just met, and they stayed married until fate decided to get in the mix and intercepted the events to allow Daniel to see Melanie again. There folks is where it gets too exciting to put down the book I tell you.

Granted that the attraction between Melanie and Daniel was quick but for unknown reasons, it somehow worked for me. I could not even categorize it as insta-love, their connection just felt so genuine and delicate that I really felt the love between them. Nicolas was a great addition to the mix as well. His character is so raw that he really adds drama and friction to the whole story. To summarize Pulled I’ll just have to say this: Read the book, enjoy the journey and be sure that you are prepared to hold your breath because Pulled is so exciting and romantic at the same time it will melt your heart.

SIDE NOTE: Watch out for the guest post and giveaway later today! You need to enter to win a copy of this book I swear! 😛

AUTHOR BIO
Official Website | Twitter | Blog | Facebook

A.L. Jackson first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student. She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.

Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three beautiful children. Her favorite pastime is spending time with the ones she loves.

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Book Review: Sophie’s Turn by Nicky Wells + Giveaway

The Solitary Bookworm and Reading Addiction Blog Tour presents Sophie’s Turn by Nicky Wells

Title: Sophie’s Turn
Author: Nicky Wells
Pages: 424
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
ISBN: 9781938404207
Source: Reading Addiction Blog Tour

Slapper. Slut. Adulteress. These are hardly words that Sophie Penhalligan would normally use to describe herself. Yet this is exactly how she is behaving, all things considered, even if she isn’t quite married to Tim yet. And it’s all happening because her past is coming to tempt her! Nine years ago, she met her teenage idol and rock star extraordinaire, Dan, up close and personal. Well, almost. Now Dan has crash-landed back in her life. How could Tim ever stand a chance against the charming, handsome singer? How could she?

REVIEW

Sophie’s Turn is a great beach read, it was a swift and easy story to follow and I think all romantic buff might enjoy. Sophie just wanted the good life – the nice boyfriend, a steady and productive job, great relationship with friends, and a nice little home as a married woman. Sophie’s plan is already in action as she has everything she wants and needs with a slight problem – Tim, her boyfriend. From the start of the story, you’ll really feel something different about Tim. He’s an ok partner but there are just things that can irk you about your partner and Sophie has a few on her mind. With her problems in tow, she accidentally bumped into Dan – the rock star from her younger years and then that’s the start of an emotional roller coster for Sophie.

What I love most about the story is the ending of how Sophie made a decision with her situation against the two men in her life. It was courageous of her and I believe it was the right thing to do. I can’t seem to write a better review of not including spoiler so I’ll give you a gist of Sophie’s Turn. It is a quick and enjoyable read with tons of twist and turn. The writing is so light you’ll be able to read it in no time. I have to admit that when I was reading Sophie’s Turn I kept on comparing it to Bridget Jones although they are so different. Maybe it’s an English thing. Anyhoo, who doesn’t love a quick romance story with an ending that will leave you wanting for more? Although the story ended with a hint of another book, I believe Sophie’s Turn can be read stand alone.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

EXCERPT

“What the hell is going on here?” I hissed, trying to prevent others from hearing our exchange.

“Oh, Sophie, Dan’s turned up. Isn’t it amazing?” she beamed at me.

“I can see that,” I kept hissing, “But what is he doing here?”

Rachel was quite drunk herself and looked at me with those bleary eyes that usually meant she was up to no good. “Sophie,” she declared solemnly and rather loudly, “you have broken the man’s heart. He has come to reclaim you.” She wobbled unsteadily and I gripped her arm. Usually one to hold her liquor, party-girl Rachel had clearly gone too far tonight.

“Shshshshshshshsh!” I admonished. “Will you keep your voice down? What are you talking about?”

“Dan is completely besotted with you, and he said he couldn’t bear the thought of you getting engaged to Tim so he had to…hic…come and check him out…hic!” Oh God, she had the hiccups. She would have to spend the night in the guest room. Once Rachel got the hiccups, she was beyond salvation. I gave her twenty minutes before she collapsed. I had to extract critical information fast.

“Why did you introduce him to Tim?” I continued my interrogation. “Couldn’t you have sent him away?”

“Oooh noo, Sophie. I couldn’t turn this lovely, heartbroken man away.” She looked at me with big, innocent, and totally unfocused eyes. “In fact, we were just looking for you. You seemed to have… hic… hic… hic…disapp-hic-eared.”

“What did you say to Tim about who Dan was?” I needed to know.

“That he was Dan, of course. Your boy-hic-friend from Tusk!” She dropped this bombshell completely nonchalantly.

“You what?” I squeaked. “Please tell me you’re joking.”

“Noooo, I’m s-hic-erious! Ti-hic-im thought it was very funny. Hic.”

I wrung my hands and barely prevented myself from tearing at my hair. If Tim had thought it was funny, he must have thought Rachel was being facetious or winding him up. He had seen her drunk before (and the experience hadn’t done anything to endear her to him in any way), so it was likely that he hadn’t paid the slightest bit of heed to the truth she was spouting. But I had to move, and fast.

“You,” I said to Rachel, grabbing her by the shoulders and steering her toward the stairs. “You have had enough to drink. You are going to bed.”

“I hic-am?” Rachel asked, surprised.

“Indeed,” I confirmed grimly and marched her up the stairs. “Right, here you are. Guest room. Bed. Now.” I propelled her forward and she flopped on the bed like a rag doll.

“Very ti-hic-hic-red,” she mumbled before passing out.

I, on the other hand, had sobered up dramatically and had only one thought left: damage limitation. I blundered back downstairs, racing quite unladylike in my high heels, and skidded to a halt in the lounge. There they were, companionably sitting in front of the stereo, playing DJ.

I clattered across the floor, grabbing a bottle of champers and three glasses off a table as I went. Tim looked up, and then sprang to his feet.

“And here she is,” he announced to Dan with no small measure of proprietary pride. “Doesn’t she look gorgeous?”

Dan rose to his feet, somewhat unsteadily, and looked me up and down. A sad smile played on his face for just the briefest of moments.

“She looks stunning, indeed. Congratulations to you both.” He walked over to me and planted a chaste kiss on my cheek. “Well done,” he said softly, and Tim beamed gratefully, completely unaware that the comment was aimed solely at me. In fact, he seemed completely besotted by Dan’s manly, famous presence.

“Dan here and I were just discussing rock music,” he informed me as though Dan were his new best friend.

I shuddered for a moment. God forbid.

“Dan has some very interesting views about the movement, you know?”

I winced and smiled a secret apologetic smile at Dan, but he was too drunk to notice anything patronizing in Tim’s comment. I had to separate the two before things got out of hand. Luckily, one of our other guests absolved me of thinking up more ruses by descending on Tim and whisking him away to the kitchen.

Dan and I regarded each other in silence.

“You do look beautiful,” Dan repeated, suddenly sounding a whole lot more sober.

I wanted to cry. “What are you doing here?” I whispered, not trusting my voice.

“I don’t really know,” he acknowledged. “I just felt…lonely. At a loose end. I had to see you and convince myself that…well, that it really is too late. You know?”

I was simultaneously touched and petrified. “I thought we’d agreed…,” I started, but Dan interrupted immediately.

** GIVEAWAY **

Here’s another giveaway for everyone – a chance to win an eBook of Sophie’s Turn and all you have to do is fill out the form in TSBs Facebook page and that’s it. Good luck guys! 🙂

AUTHOR BIO
Official Website | @WellsNicky | Facebook

Rock On! Nicky Wells writes fun and glamorous contemporary romance featuring a rock star and the girl next door. Her debut novel, Sophie’s Turn, is the first part in her Rock Star Romance Trilogy. Not unlike Sophie, her heroine, Nicky loves rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters. When she’s not writing, Nicky is a wife, mother, and teaching assistant. Nicky is also a featured author on the innovative reader/author project, loveahappyending.com.

Originally born in Germany, Nicky moved to the United Kingdom in 1993, and currently lives in Bristol with her husband and two boys. In a previous professional life, Nicky worked as a researcher and project manager for an international Human Resources research firm based in London and Washington, D.C.

Visit Nicky on her blog where you can find articles, interviews, radio interviews and, of course, an ongoing update on her work in progress, the second and third parts of the Rock Star Romance Trilogy. You can also follow Nicky on Twitter and find her on Facebook.
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Book Review: The White Oak by Kim White

Title: The White Oak (Imperfect Darkness #1)
Author: Kim White
Pages: 136
Publisher: Story Machine Studio
ISBN: 132940014205108
Source: Netgalley

In The White Oak, the first book in the Imperfect Darkness series, Cora Alexander is pulled through a sinkhole and enters the underworld still alive. Her living presence threatens the tyrannical rule of Minos and the Infernal Judges who have hijacked the afterlife and rebuilt it, trapping human souls in a mechanical, computer-controlled city that lies at the core of the earth. To survive, Cora must rely on her untrustworthy guide, Minotaur, an artificial intelligence. She is helped by a mysterious voice, and by Sybil, underworld librarian and author of each person’s book of life. When Cora’s own book is destroyed, Sybil gives her a golden pen and sends her into the City to begin writing her own destiny. Along the way, she reunites with the ghost of her dead brother, Lucas, a genius programmer who alone is capable of finding the chink in Minos armor. This fast-paced adventure begins, and ends, in the middle of the action; introducing the characters, themes, and mysteries that find their resolution later in the series.

REVIEW

The first few pages of this book started with a boom. The readers immediately plunges into the story and it didn’t stop there until the very last page. The White Oak is a dual POV story switching between Cora to Lucas whilst Cora is alive in the underworld, Lucas is undoubtedly dead. Yes, Cora is still alive while in the underworld and that lies the big (?) and mystery in  the novel. There is a bigger picture in this series and The White Oak was a great teaser to start it all.

As I said, the moment you started reading the book you’ll be sucked into the story immediately. While switching POV between Cora and Lucas regarding the current situation, you’ll also be reading about the backstory of the two which is a good thing because some books don’t do this making it more confusing to follow a story.

Greek mythology is heavily incorportated in the story and I love Greek mythology. I think that’s one of the reasons why I loved reading The White Oak to begin with. The writing was awesome – smooth, though I think some people might not enjoy the dual POV BUT in all fairness to the author, you’ll definitely know who’s speaking at the moment. It was also a quick read, it was around less than 150 pages in my Nook which is a plus for me. Short enough to enjoy and get hooked and long enough to grasp what the series is about and what to expect from the following books. And add that gorgeous cover, who would be interested right? Highly recommended indeed.

Book Review: Crux by Moira Rogers

Title: Crux (Southern Arcana #1)
Author: Moira Rogers
Pages: 394
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN: 139781605044590

To find her destiny, she must trust him with her life…and her heart.

Jackson Holt makes a decent living as a private investigator in New Orleans, home of one of the largest underground supernatural populations in the United States. He and his partners have never met a case they couldn’t crack…until a local bar owner asks him to do a little digging on her newest hire.

New Orleans is the fourth destination in as many months for Mackenzie Brooks, a woman on the run from a deranged stalker. After all, any man who shows up on her doorstep claiming to be her destined lover has more than a few screws loose. But crazy doesn’t explain why he always finds her no matter how far she runs.

When her well-meaning boss puts a PI on her case, Mackenzie comes face to face with the incredible truth: magic is real, and whatever spell has kept her hidden and separate from the paranormal world is rapidly deteriorating.

With time running out, she has no choice but to trust Jackson as he struggles to uncover the truth of her past-and her destiny.

REVIEW

Mackenzie is afraid. She is being hunted and she thought it was just because of a broken hearted lover that she didn’t endulge. Little does she know that it is something more than just being a girlfriend.

Mackenzie running through 5 states eventually meets Nick Peyton who owns a barn in New Orleans. Working as a bartender, Mackenzie eventaully meets Jackson and that night, everything changed for Mackenzie. Without genting into too much detail, Mackenzie now discovers that everybody and everything is not as it seems and a big aspect of her life is about to be told to her that will change everything she believes in.

The characters were developed enough for my taste. The plot and story has its own twist to it and I enjoyed every page of it. Though the romance side and connection between Mackenzie and Holt was quick, that’s really not an issue for me with Crux since it worked. Not into these kind of covers though but that’s just me. 🙂 Crux is the right combination of paranormal romance. Crux is the first in a series and has proved to be a strong and amazing read. I can’t praise it enough to tell you how much I enjoyed it. Nice combination of ass kicking scenes, romance and mystery. Crux can be read as a stand alone in my opinion and it is a great intro to what seems to be a great series to follow.

Book Review: Dark Side of Valor by Alicia Singleton

Title: Dark Side of Valor: A Novel
Author: Alicia Singleton
Pages: 352
Publisher: Strebor Books
ISBN: 1593093853
Source: Author

A child advocate and a mercenary must work together to overcome their past losses and save both of their lives and hearts.

Lelia Freeman created a life for herself after growing up homeless on the streets of Los Angeles. When the horror has passed, Lelia vows to make a better life.

Now, Lelia spends her life trying to save children. As the director of ChildSafe Shelters, she is summoned to Washington and asked to serve on a committee that aids the children of a war-torn African nation. Life takes a dramatic turn when Lelia uncovers terrible corruption and is kidnapped for her knowledge.

Her fate is in the hands of Elijah Dune, a mercenary stuck in the past. Haunted by the loss of his daughter, Elijah is the only one who can save Lelia—but he believes she is to blame for his daughter’s death.

Dark Side of Valor delves into the destructive forces of guilt and revenge as two people are connected by their love for a lost little girl.

REVIEW

I was due for a review of Dark Side of Valor but unexpected circumstances was unavoidable but I am glad that I did received it and to review it now. Reading Dark Side of Valor was a combination of sadness, love, happiness and overwhelming satisfaction.

I won’t go on telling you what the book is about since the synopsis covers everything but what I would tell you is what makes this book awesome. First of all, Lelia was such a strong lead. Having dealth with so much difficulties early in her life, it made her strong and respectable. The story will tell us the story of Lelia’s struggle, how she survived, how she managed to straingthen up her act and made a name for herself with child advocacy until how she was captured and kidnapped by Deng until she returns back to the US.

Elijah on the other hand was hard to crack. You can feel that he’s a troubled soul but won’t actually understand the dilemma after the middle part of the book. The moment I heard his piece I actually stopped reading and re-read a few page back. The twist left me both stupefied and amused at the same time – I wasn’t expecting that one but a very good one I tell you.

I remember a particular line in the book that made me catch my breath all of a sudden –

“How can two broken halves make a whole?”

Yeah, it’s really hard to fathom how two broken soul can make a whole but that is also the answer to her question. It’s both a dilemma and a solution at the same time. It’s sad that two people can be this sad and broken but I feel so much happiness that they have one another.

Deng was a very effective villain. I really felt scared for Lelia’s life. What I would have loved more was to read more about Deng in the middle part of the book since so much anticipation was building up but we’ll see him again in the last pages.

I’ll share one of the scenes my heart broke the most –

“Yes, I’ve seen them. My pride won’t allow me barefooted and wearing the same wrinkled dress.”

Makol’s chin dropped. “Mistress Freeman, I do not understand because I do not Know what pride feels like.”

Don’t get me wrong, this is a great book but not easy to read mainly because of how heavy the topic is. I have a few struggles with the start of the story but it all worked out for me in the end. I can definitely recommend this one.

SIDE NOTE: Book was provided by Alicia for an honest review. I would like to thank Alicia for personally sending me a copy and thank you for Dorothy for coordinating this one for me.

Here’s a short video from Alicia about Dark Side of Valor

Book Review: Desert Rice by Angela Scott

The Solitary Bookworm & My Reading Addiction Blog Tours presents Desert Rice by Angela Scott

Title: Desert Rice
Author: Angela Scott
Pages: 225
Publisher: Evolved Publishing
Date Published: 8/13/2012
Source: My Reading Addition Blog Tour

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N

Samantha Jean Haggert is a beautiful twelve-year-old girl—but no one knows it. All they see is an awkward boy in a baseball cap and baggy pants. Sam’s not thrilled with the idea of hiding her identity, but it’s all part of her older brother’s plan to keep Sam safe from male attention and hidden from the law. Fifteen-year-old Jacob will stop at nothing to protect his sister, including concealing the death of the one person who should have protected them in the first place—their mother.

Sam and Jacob try to outrun their past by stealing the family car and traveling from West Virginia to Arizona, but the adult world proves mighty difficult to navigate, especially for two kids on their own. Trusting adults has never been an option; no adult has ever given them a good reason. But when Sam meets “Jesus”—who smells an awful lot like a horse—in the park, life takes a different turn. He saved her once, and may be willing to save Sam and her brother again, if only they admit what took place that fateful day in West Virginia. The problem? Sam doesn’t remember, and Jacob isn’t talking.

REVIEW

Sam and Jacob are on the run. After hauling their dead mother, they skipped town. What happened? Where are they going? How will they survive? Sam and Jacob are both teenagers trying to survive outside their trailer home. Without any parent, they are forced to fend for themselves but as days passed it seems like both Sam and Jacob has something to hide.

Sam is such a timid girl. Very head strong and a bit childish at first. She doesn’t want the road they are heading and it scares her to death. In addition to having a bossy brother, Sam tries to make the most out of their miserable life. Jacob on the other hand tries to be strong. Although he is of a young age, Jacob continues to find ways on how to make them survive. He took odd jobs and took everything, for Sam.

The story is actually tricky to follow at first. Learning the same broke my heart. It was hard not to put this book down. Information is relayed bit by bit which makes the story more agreeable to read. You’ll know from very start that there is something wrong with the scenario yet you aren’t given the given picture instantly. The author gives you ample time to absorb the gravity of the event and when you come to the climax it would really make you catch your breath. This is not a happy story, well not happy all throughout, and the author did end it beautifully. The author will show you that Sam and Jacob isn’t perfect, they have flaws and the world is cruel yet the author will also show you that when you reach the end of your journey it can be worth the trip. Desert Rice is a good example of writing an effective story. To sum it all up – Desert Rice was riveting and breath taking! Would definitely recommend.

 

AUTHOR BIO

Blog | @whimsywriting | Facebook

I hear voices. Tiny fictional people sit on my shoulders and whisper their stories in my ear. Instead of medicating myself, I decided to pick up a pen, write down everything those voices tell me, and turn it into a book. I’m not crazy. I’m an author. For the most part, I write contemporary Young Adult novels.

However, through a writing exercise that spiraled out of control, I found myself writing about zombies terrorizing the Wild Wild West—and loving it. My zombies don’t sparkle, and they definitely don’t cuddle. At least, I wouldn’t suggest it.

I live on the benches of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains with two lovely children, one teenager, and a very patient husband. I graduated from Utah State University with a B.A. degree in English, not because
of my love for the written word, but because it was the only major that didn’t require math. I can’t spell, and grammar is my arch nemesis. But they gave me the degree, and there are no take backs.

As a child, I never sucked on a pacifier; I chewed on a pencil. I’ve been writing that long. It has only been the past few years that I’ve pursued it professionally, forged relationships with other like-minded individuals, and determined to make a career out of it. You can find me at my website, where I blog obsessively about my writing process and post updates on my current works. I’m also on Twitter and Facebook, but be forewarned, I tweet and post more than a normal person.

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Book Review: The White Thread by K.B Hoyle

Title: The White Thread (The Gateway Chronicles #3)
Author: K.B. Hoyle
Pages: 404
ISBN: 139781612131078
Publisher: The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House
Source: The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House

For the duration of her freshman year, Darcy Pennington agonized over the fate of her dear friend, the nark Yahto Veli, who sacrificed himself to the Oracle to set her free. As her third trip to camp, and to the magical land, approaches, Darcy wonders if she’s capable of the daring rescue she wants to embark upon, but soon realizes there’s much more at stake.

Her return to Cedar Cove Family Camp is marked by a mysterious disappearance, and in Alitheia a new message from the Oracle adds to the riddles that must be deciphered if they are to expel the dark evil that hovers over the land. The six friends and the alchemist Rubidius plan a sea journey that will take them beyond the borders of Alitheia, and into the realm of a legendary archipelago. Tellius winds up joining them as well and the foes they meet along the way are both deceptive and charming, while the Oracle’s riddles seem to dog them at every turn.

Darcy is also hiding a secret from her best friend Sam that could test their friendship beyond the breaking point, and there’s an unexpected development in her relationship with Tellius that changes everything and makes her understand that the deepest scars sometimes cannot be seen.

Darcy isn’t sure if she’s prepared for another meeting with the Oracle, but if she wants to have any chance of saving her friend, she must try. To complicate matters, the evil they left behind in Alitheia has not remained dormant.

REVIEW

In the thrid installment of the Gateway Prophecies, the six is faced with yet another dilemma and it seems like the culminating battle between good and evil is nearing. Tselloch is on the move and devising a plan unknown to everybody but the most important matter now is how will the group save Yahto Velli from the Oracle. Voitto Vessa is under a “coma”, for the lack of a better word, for divulging the secret that the oracle imparted. Darcy, Sam, Perry, Dean, Lewis and Amelie together with Rubidius and a group embarked on a mission to find the oracle and save Yahto Velli and probably save Voitto Vessa as well.

The White Thread doesn’t lack the adventure that I was thirsting for from my hang over The Six and The Oracle. Compared from the first two, for me The White Thread is the preparation for what’s about to happen in Alitheia in the future. It seems like all the events are connected with each other and this is also the reason why one must read the series in order.

Collin was hinted from The Oracle to be a big part of the story but The White Thread confirms this angle, so we’ll be seeing more of Collin in the next installment. Yey on the extra bad guy, but I still don’t know how Hoyle will play this one out. One reason more to anticipate the next books.

Darcy surprisingly matured a little in The White Thread but Darcy hasn’t failed to disappoint me yet again. This time its an issue about respect. Don’t want to discuss what that is but I’ll say this, sometimes you have to consider if your actions is worth it and if that action wouldn’t hurt anybody. If the urge is too strong, I believe telling the person directly would be best than keeping it until the person hears it from someone else. Enough about Darcy. Tellius is maturing, finally! It is time that he sees action that he deserves and in this installment, it seems like Tellius is developing feelings for Darcy as well. So that’s exciting to read in the next books. Perry was arrogant and immature, Sam was amazing – loyal as ever but the rift between Darcy and her was something new knowing that Sam is someone not to get angry easily. Amelia, Lewis and Dean was so so. They are visible but I want more. It’s about time the other characters get the highlight asides Darcy.

With what happened, it seems like the Oracle is somewhat connected to Tselloch in a way so I am looking forward to how the story continues. One may think that these are separate events but thinking about the story and their progress, it seems like everything is connected with one another. I still don’t know how the story will go (one thing I love about this series is that it’s not predictable, it keeps e guessing) so I have to wait it out.

To wrap it up – I have a love and hate relationship with The White Thread and the whole The Gateway Chronicles but not the kind of hate you are thinking. I love the story, the world building, the writing, the characters, everything but I hate NOT GETTING more of the story immediately. That’s how good this series is. Its very addictive and not reading what happens next is making me very moody and impatient. I want more and I want it now!

The Gateway Chronicles

The Six

The Oracle

AUTHOR BIO
Blog | Twitter | Goodreads

K. B. Hoyle is a wife to a wonderful husband, a mother to two rambunctious little boys, an expectant mother to baby number three, and has been a classical educator for five years. She always knew from a young age that she wanted to write stories that would inspire people. Her favorite genre to read and write is Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction, so that is where her journey began. K. B. Hoyle began writing her first fantasy novel at the age of eleven, which proved to be valuable experience and practice for the novels she would publish as an adult.

K. B. Hoyle is currently writing the Young Adult Fantasy series The Gateway Chronicles, but she never stops brainstorming and planning for all the stories she hopes to write in the future.