Book Review: Her Thin Blue Lifeline: Indigo Knights Book I by A.J. Downey

Her Thin Blue Lifeline: Indigo Knights Book I by A.J. Downey

A Romance Novel published by Second Circle Press (06/28/17)

Summary:

Chrissy Franco just won a major case, but not everyone is happy about her success. Someone posts her home address online and it only takes one nut job to take everything away from Chrissy. Tony McCormick is the police detective called to the scene and the one to find Chrissy barely alive. Chrissy won’t be able to feel safe again until the culprit is caught and Tony won’t rest until he finds the man terrorizing Chrissy.

Keywords:

MC, Bikers, Lawyer, Courtroom, Victim, Shooter, Apartment, Defense, Clients, Innocence, Romance, Blame, Guilt, Recovery, PT, Cop, Damsel in Distress, Strong Female Character

My Review:

I felt for Chrissy. She is the woman everyone relates to at night walking home alone. Or on a dark street alone. Her story is why some people lock their doors at night. She is the woman with the target on her back for no reason other than because she hit a man’s ego. I felt for her and her feelings of terror and PTSD. I wanted her to recover and to pick up the shattered pieces of her life in a happy ending.

This book is such a true reflection of what people and women go through in this world where we are never truly safe. When something so terrible happens, like it did to Chrissy, the person might never fully recover – physically and mentally. Chrissy is so brave to stay in that city and to work as hard as she did in her physical therapy. She did nothing to deserve what happened to her. The author gave so much life and power to Chrissy. She wasn’t your typical damsel in distress.

I liked seeing a different kind of motorcycle club than the Sacred Hearts series and can’t wait to see where AJ Downey goes next.

This novel was published by Second Circle Press on 06/28/2017 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.50

Links for more information:

A.J. Downey’s Blog

Goodreads

Facebook

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All About the Donuts: Local Donut Shop Review – Steve’s Doughnuts

Steve’s Doughnuts

Snoqualmie, WA

7730 Center Blvd SE, Snoqualmie, WA 98065

stevesdoughnuts.com

What I tried:

Sugar twist, classic glazed, Boston Creme, Butter Bar, Cinnamon Roll, Maple Bar

~$8.25. Buy 5 get, the 6th free!

What to expect:

The donuts are hearty. If you want a donut that is thick and delicious, this is the place to get it. The shop owners are friendly. The shop itself is small and homey. You can find their treats at some of the local coffee shops in the area. They have a different special type of donut they make every day.

My favorite:

The freshness of the donuts. They make them in batches and on a Saturday at 8 A.M. I was able to get donuts right from the cooling rack. My favorite donut that I tried was the butter bar. It was like eating an old fashioned and a glazed combined into one flaky pastry.


S.O.S.
Save Our Shop

We are announcing our plan to survive into the next year. This
post is our plan going forward. To read about the ongoing
struggles for business on the Ridge, read 
Here.

To overcome our challenges we need to leverage our existing skills
and boost sales. Snoqualmie is our home and we want to stay, but
we can’t sell enough doughnuts on the Ridge anymore to stay
afloat, so we want to take our show on the road! We want to start
a Food Truck! This will be a two part plan:

Part 1) Kickstarter: We need to generate cash, plain and simple.
As such we are going to launch a Kickstarter campaign soon. The
purpose of this will be to catch up on power bills, ingredients,
rent and the other odds and ends that fall behind when sales drop.
We’ve been able to recruit some local businesses to help provide
some amazing incentives. We’ll publish everything soon, but
examples include S.O.S. T-shirts, Doughnut Club membership
cards, Sponsorship Decals ON THE TRUCK, and even the
opportunity to host the truck at your office where you will be
worshipped by your co-workers!

Part 2) Investors: Opening the business to investors, combined
with debt leverage, will be how we acquire the actual truck. We
will provide a full valuation for the existing business, plus
projections for the truck portion. Once this portion of the
business is online we will be able to generate an exceptional cash
flow. We will use our existing production capability to supply a
mobile retail outlet, making our slow days great days, while being
able to stay in Snoqualmie, safe and sound. If you think you’ll be
interested in investing or loaning, contact Steve!

Link to their GoFundMe

Book Review: The Watch & Wand: The difference between science and magic is a matter of perspective (Project Gene Assist Book 2) by Allie Potts

The Watch & Wand: The difference between science and magic is a matter of perspective (Project Gene Assist Book 2) by Allie Potts

A Science Fiction/Cyberpunk/Dystopian Novel published by Axil Hammer Publishing (12/5/17)

Summary:

A worldwide economic collapse has left society in shambles with only basic technology. Stephen is able to connect to what’s left of the grid to play a video game with a stranger. What’s left of tech is easy for Stephen to manipulate. It’s not enough to sneak off to play games online and Stephen longs for excitement. That’s exactly what he gets when he has to go to town to get parts. He meets a girl on the run from the new government enforcers – the Watch.

Keywords:

Genetic Engineering, Science and Technology, Rivals, Technology,  Future, Dystopian, Survival, Dark Ages, War, New Government, Towers, Grit, Magic, Evolution, Economic Collapse, New Order, Salvation, Friendship, Romance

My Review:

I was immediately immersed in this post-apocalyptic world. First the focus was just in Stephen’s barn as he connects with a stranger through an online video game. Then the world expands as we see Stephen’s home life “off-the-grid” on the farm. We don’t linger there long before Stephen is off to find parts to fix the grid and our world expands a bit more as we see what a typical town looks like. The world continues to expand as Stephen’s adventure continues and his problems increase.

Stephen was a great character. He underwent a significant change throughout the story. He was willing to take a chance on the strange girl and help her, not expecting anything in return. She, Bean, was also a character I immediately took a liking to in this story. She had many secrets and I liked the mystery that surrounded her. Stephen and Bean together made for a great team and the romance that built between them felt very natural and sweet. Their romance was not the focus of the story, which I appreciated. The story remained focused on Stephen and his goal and the overarching plot that kept sweeping Stephen up in its grasp.

The world felt full. The technology and world building were explained adequately. The only parts that was harder to understand and appreciate fully were the magical element, but I thought the author did a good job integrating the fantasy element into the story and the world.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this novel. This is my honest review.

This novel was published by Axil Hammer Publishing on 12/5/2017 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.25

Links for more information:

Allie Potts’ Website

Goodreads

Twitter

Event Aftermath – Si View Holiday Bazaar and Juanita Elementary Holiday Bazaar

I had a blast at both events yesterday! I got some really nifty locally crafted Christmas gifts as well 😉 I can’t wait for next year. Thanks everyone who came out and bought our books and supported local businesses!

Book Review: For the Love of Christmas by Starla Huchton

For the Love of Christmas by Starla Huchton

A Sweet Romance Novel published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (10/30/17)

Summary:

Santa has polar flu and needs a replacement, but Mr. Klaus only has a daughter, Meri, and she hasn’t married yet. Meri loves reverse engineering toys. She loves Christmas. She loves her family. It is up to her to find the new Santa, but she only has a few weeks to find the right man to fit the job. Brett Dunning has not celebrated Christmas in 7 years, since his wife died giving birth to his daughter, Holly. If the magic of Christmas points to Brett, will Meri be able to convince him to give the holidays a chance again?

Keywords:

Christmas, Santa, Santa’s Daughter, Tradition, Family Business, Snow, Holidays, Single Parent, Romance, Love, Friendship, Magic, Holiday Spirit, Choir, Baking

My Review:

This story is a bit unbelievable with the whole’ Santa is real aspect,’ but once you get over that, it’s a wonderfully sweet romance. The characters were simple, yet fully developed and full of personality and quirks. This is a family friendly romance – sweet for the holidays.

Meri is the perfect daughter, friend, and wife. Is it the magic of Christmas and her family history that makes her smell so sweet, gives her super sympathy and loads of patience, and all around makes her perfect? Brett is more down to earth and realistic as a person. He loves his daughter, but can’t get over his love of his late wife easily.

Every scene with Holly in it was beautiful. I loved how Meri and Brett both interacted with her and how alive she felt as a young child. The doting love that both Brett and Meri gave to Holly was wonderful and endeared both Meri and Brett even more to me as a reader.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. on 10/30/2017 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

Links for more information:

Starla Huchton’s Website

Goodreads

Book Review: The Tchaikovsky by E G Sergoyan

The Tchaikovsky by E G Sergoyan

A Mystery/Thriller Novel published by Amazon Digital Services LLC (11/16/16)

Summary:

Diane is not thrilled to be representing Dr. Moon in court again, but at least the case is interesting. Dr. Moon is accused of kidnapping a young girl. The case should be cut and dried, but according to Dr. Moon, he had to take the girl to an audition across state lines so that she could play The Tchaikovsky violin Concerto in D major in order to release her late music teacher from possession of her body. And Dr. Moon is a psychic.

Keywords:

Violin, Possession, Erhu, Tradition, Tchaikovsky, Obsession, Perfection, Music, Lawyers, Accusations, Psychic, Accusations, Frustration, Ghost, Spirit, Con Artist, Trial

My Review:

What a story! It didn’t take long to suck me into this story. The buildup and pacing was phenomenal and the characters were so interesting and compelling. The magical realism/unearthly/ghostly part of the story wasn’t overwhelming or unusual in its treatment.

I loved the back and forth opinions on Dr. Moon. Is he a con artist or is he the real deal? Do people believe in spirits, ghosts, and possession? What is really wrong with Jane? Though I didn’t wish for Jane to be plagued by anything, I was amused that the drugs prescribed by a ‘real’ doctor weren’t working for her and made everything worse.

Diane and Dr. Moon’s relationship was interesting and I loved their first encounter on the street. Both characters, and all the other characters in fact felt full, real and well-developed.

The ending was amazing and I loved how the author handled the subplots of the story. Everything came together so remarkably!

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services LLC 11/16/2016 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 5.00

Links for more information:

E.G. Sergoyan’s Website

Upcoming Local WA events: Juanita and North Bend – Get Your Holiday Gifts and Books!

Juanita Craft Fair
December 2nd, 2017 10AM-4PM
Cost: Free 

More Info
I’ll be at the booth for the Writer’s Coop of the Pacific Northwest from 1pm -4pm. Come say hi and get all my books!


Si View Holiday Bazaar in North Bend, WA
December 2nd, 2017 9AM-3PM
Cost: Free 

More Info

The Si View Community Center is holding its annual Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, December 2nd, 2017 from 10am to 3pm. Si View Community Center, located in the center of North Bend, offers a quaint atmosphere that lends itself perfectly to this Holiday tradition. I’ll be at the booth for Free Valley Publishing from 10am-12pm. Come say hi and get all my books!

Events Schedule

9AM-3PM
Shopping for Gifts and Concessions
11-11:45am
Si View Youth Dance
12pm-1pm
Silverbells Carolers
1-1:45pm
Mount Si High School Carolers
2:45pm
Raffle Drawing (tickets $2 each, 3 for $5)

Book Review: Unchosen by Jeffrey Cook and Katherine Perkins

Unchosen by Jeffrey Cook and Katherine Perkins

A Dark Fantasy Novel published by Amazon Digital Services LLC (10/10/17)

Summary:

“There’s no more ifs. There’s no more maybes.” (Page 104).

Everything went wrong when the chosen one died. Had they horribly misinterpreted the prophecy? Their world will now be under Xaramor’s rule for thousands of years, but there may still be hope for the chosen one’s four companions to still save the world.

Keywords:

Powerful Females, Diversity, Epic Fantasy, Fight, Prophecy, Tragedy, Death, Baba Yaga, Doom, Hope, Travel, Tower, Magic, Healing, Battle

My Review:

I noticed. The chosen one may have been your typical young male, but those left behind were the most diverse cast of characters. I appreciated so much this fact that two of the main four characters were powerful females with their own distinct personalities and abilities (Celeste and Noriko). The other two main characters were also diverse in their own ways as well (Nils and Hobie).

I liked how the chapters had their own POV and we got to see the unfolding of the world from different voices and get a little more inside the main characters’ heads.

I enjoyed the breadth of the world that the main characters traveled to accomplish their missions – the book had a definite Lord of the Rings vibe – even if for most of the action they didn’t really have one distinct mission. How to stop Xaramor? You can’t just stop him!

This book turned “the chosen one” trope upside down and showed how sometimes prophecies can be misinterpreted. Finally, a realistic plotline! They didn’t always get it right on the first guess – which is where mayhem and battles ensued. Although there’s lots of death and violence, this book isn’t bloody and gory.

I’ve never read such a good and well written middle – but I did sorely miss the traditional beginning, middle and end of a “chosen” one fantasy. This book was a deviation from the norm. It was fun and different. I loved the Baba Yaga scenes.

The book featured a truly epic final battle – worthy of the slow, slow buildup from the beginning of the end in the beginning to the end of the end at the end.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services LLC 10/10/2017 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 3.50

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Jeffrey Cook on FreeValley Publishing

Jeffrey Cook’s Facebook

Book Review: Dragons of Frost and Fire by Susan Brown

Dragons of Frost and Fire by Susan Brown

A Fantasy Novel published by Susan Brown (05/23/15)

Summary:

Kit is relentless in her search to find her mother. She KNOWS that her mother is still alive. She will do anything – brave the cold death-dealing wilderness of Alaska by herself – to find her mother. It’s been a year since her mother disappeared, but Kit won’t give up. The magical knife tells her that she still has time to save her mother, she just has to figure out what the small town of Silver Claw is hiding and how the secret of the town is related to her mother’s disappearance.

Keywords:

Magic, Sorcery, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Family, Small Town, Secrets, Dragons, Genetic Mutation, Alaska, Wilderness, Survival, Blizzard, Storm, Magical Object, Friendship

My Review:

Kit is a larger-than-life character. Her need to find her mother is so all consuming in her mind. She believes with all her being that her mother, even after a year lost in the Alaskan wilderness, is still alive. That amount of conviction blows my mind. Her passion and devotion to her search is very endearing. She cares so much about her family and her mother. I wanted her to succeed!

The mystery of Silver Claw kept drawing me in. As much as Kit, and I as the reader, wanted to like some of the townsfolk, the suspicion was ever present on the surface. What did the town do to Kit’s mother? What were they hiding about her disappearance? Why did her lab notes disappear? What did she find out? The mystery is well paced in this story and the clues were gradually revealed and well placed.

The fantasy elements didn’t play a major part in the plot of the story. A magical knife did help Kit and was evidence to the fact that her mother was still alive. The ending did contain quite the fantasy reveal. This book appealed to me quite a bit because it focused on the characters and the secret that Silver Claw kept hidden within its residents. This is a fantasy book for non-fantasy readers as well as fantasy readers.

This novel was published by Susan Brown on 05/23/2015 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

Links for more information:

Susan Brown’s Website

Goodreads