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Showing posts with label book reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label book reviews. Show all posts

Sunday, March 29, 2020

The Soul Searchers Mysteries bk 2 by Caryn Larrinaga

Audiobook Series Blog Tour: The Soul Searchers Mysteries by Caryn Larrinaga

Author: Caryn Larrinaga

Narrator: Jessica McEvoy

Length: 9 hours 51 minutes

Series: The Soul Searchers Mysteries, Book 2

Released: March 2020

Publisher: Twisted Tree Press

Genre: Supernatural Cozy Mystery


Mackenzie Clair finally has this whole ghost-hunting psychic thing figured out. The Soul Searchers are a hit, she’s got pet-parenting down, and she even has a plan to banish the poltergeist running amok at a lakeside cabin. Best of all, Donn’s Hill feels like home. But not everyone loves the town as much as Mac.

A world-famous paranormal debunker thinks the psychics in Donn’s Hill are lying about their abilities. His determination to destroy the Soul Searchers threatens Mac’s livelihood, and when a killer strikes, the sheriff’s suspicions threaten her freedom.

Mac needs all the help she can get to find the real murderer and clear her name… even if that help comes from beyond the grave.
Buy on Audible

Caryn Larrinaga is a self-described horror evangelist and paranormal junkie. Her debut supernatural mystery novel, DONN’S HILL, won the League of Utah Writers 2017 Silver Quill Award in the adult novel category and was a 2017 Dragon Award finalist. Her short fiction has won multiple honors and been featured in local and international anthologies. Watching scary movies through split fingers terrified Caryn as a child, and those nightmares inspire her to write now. She lives near Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and their clowder of cats. Visit www.carynlarrinaga.com for free short stories and audiobooks.
WebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagramGoodreads
Narrator Bio

Between peddling video games and teaching yoga in her home state of Arizona, Jessica McEvoy attempts to conduct a career as a professional voice actress. This, however, is moderately undermined by the fact that she records in a dimly lit closet with her microphone balanced on a stack of old board games (Junior Scrabble and Powerpuff Girls Monopoly form a strong foundation), but she hopes that no one holds that against her.

Though her main work consists of narrating audiobooks, her first dive into the voice world was through the NoSleep podcast after answering a post from the LibriVox forums. Having been raised on horror movies and scary stories, she was beyond excited to be able to work on the show. Many stories, tortured screams, deranged villains, and creepy little girl giggles later, Jessica hopes to work on the podcast for seasons and seasons to come.
Twitter
Q&A with Striker the cat
  • What is your full name? Do you have a nickname (if so, who calls you this)?
    Striker Clair. Mac sometimes calls me “my cat” in front of other humans, which is hilarious.
  • Where do you live now, and with whom? Describe the place (home and location) and the person/people you live with.
    Mac found me a really nice, warm, cozy apartment in a big yellow house not too far from Main Street in Donn’s Hill. There’s a great big tree right by the window, so I can climb up and down whenever I want. My favorite part about it is this cushy bench that runs along the inside of a round turret; it’s sunny there for most of the day and it’s a great place to nap. Usually I sleep in the soft bed Mac bought me though; she’s pretty warm so I let her share it with me.
  • What is your job?
    I’m in charge of security for a TV show called the Soul Searchers. I travel with the team when they’re filming and make sure no mice or birds interfere with anything. If a ghost shows up, I keep Mac safe. She’s really important. You know… to the show. 
    Sometimes I help my friend Graham sell his sculptures at the Afterlife Festival. He always sells way more when I’m around!
  • What do you consider your greatest achievement so far, why?
    I’m really proud of how far Mac has come since I’ve been taking care of her. When we first met, she was so lost. She didn’t even have a home. Now I make sure she’s happy and healthy, and she’s really thriving. It’s great to see!
  • Do you have a motto? If so, what is it?
    “A treat in the hand is worth two in the bag.” Also, “Give me the bag.”
  • Mackenzie Clair (aka Mac) is a wanderer at heart. For Mac, home is where the people she loves are, and at the beginning of Donn’s Hill, everyone she loves has either left this life or betrayed her completely. She’s used to starting over, and her willingness to dive head first into uncharted territory serves her well as she discovers the return of a lost psychic ability to see the dead. 
    Mac has dark, curly hair and tends to have shadows under her blue eyes from staying up late reading. Her sweet tooth can get out of control, and her favorite snacks include lemon bars and homemade chocolate chip cookies. She loves a good cup of tea but will take coffee if somebody else made it.
  • Striker is a small tortoiseshell cat who found her way into Mac’s life just when she was needed most, as cats have a way of doing. Fond of games and cuddling, she takes care of Mac as well (or better) as Mac takes care of her, and her inquisitive nature has a way of leading her human both into and out of trouble. Favorite snack: crunchy treats from Mac’s landlord’s breast pocket.
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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Hearts in Darkness (Hearts in Darkness #1) by Laura Kaye




I enjoyed this book. Two strangers who meet in a dark elevator is an awesome concept for a book. This is a very short book and also the 1st book in their story.

Caden holds the door of the elevator for a very busy Makenna. Almost immediately after the door shuts on the elevator the power goes out in the building. Makenna has not looked up to see more than the hand of the man who help the door, so neither know anything about the other except she has red hair and he has a tattoo on his hand.

Due to a child hood trauma, a car accident that left his mother and brother dead, Caden is claustrophobic and afraid of the dark. The two spend hours in the dark trying to get each other through. They play 20 questions and really get to know each other before they even know what each other look like, things also heat up.

When the lights finally come on it's time to see if there is a chance for them outside of the elevator.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Alycat and the Tournament Tuesday by Alysson Foti Bourque


Join us for this tour from March 17  to April 6, 2020!




Book Details:



Book Title:  Alycat and the Tournament Tuesday by Alysson Foti Bourque

Category:  Children's Fiction (Ages 3-7),  32 pages

Genre:  Children's Picture Book

Publisher:  Mascot Books

Release date:   March 17, 2020

Content Rating:  G





Book Description:



A “Mom’s Choice Award Winner”! Alycat’s brother, Bugsy, is playing in a
golf tournament with some of his friends, and wants to use his lucky
ball to win the game. But when Alycat forgets his lucky ball at home,
Bugsy learns what luck is really all about. Can Bugsy win the tournament
without his lucky ball? Alycat and the Tournament Tuesday is part of
the Alycat Series: alycatseries.com.




Buy the Book:

Amazon.com


My review:
Alycat and the Tournament Tuesday  Is the 4th book in the Alycat series by Alysson Foti Bourque. I have read a couple other books in this series also. Each book is amazingly illustrated with bright colors and cute animal characters. Chiara Civati does an amazing job with the illustrations. The illustrations draw the kids attention and for the most part tells the story right along with the words.

Each book in the series not only tells a cute story but it teaches a lesson. At the back of the book there is also a list of definitions to the golf terms from the book. I personally do not know much about golf other then you hit the ball into the hole basically. I did not know what Mulligan meant but now I do.

In the story It is Tournament Tuesday. Alycat's brother Bugsy plays golf. He feels he has to have his "Lucky Ball" in order to win. When he forgets his ball at home and Alycat by mistake grabs the wrong ball, she tries to fix it by coloring a star on the ball with a marker. All is well and good and Bugsy is having the game of his life, until the ball lands in water and the star washes off. Bugsy is positive he will never win. But his family remind him he has worked hard and practiced hard, and so far has played the whole tournament extremely well with out the ball. SPOILER: He wins!!


  
Meet the Author:


Alysson Foti Bourque is the author of the award-winning Alycat series.
Alysson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from
the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a Juris Doctor degree from
the Southern University Law Center.



After practicing law for six years, she traded in writing trial briefs
for writing children’s books. Alysson enjoys public speaking
opportunities at schools, conferences, and festivals nationwide. She
hopes to inspire people of all ages to follow their dreams and believe
in themselves wholeheartedly.



AWARDS & HONORS



The Alycat Series has won several prestigious awards including:

Three Mom’s Choice Awards®

Benjamin Franklin Digital Award, Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA)

Best Book Award Finalist

NY Big Book Award

Reviewed by Midwest Book Review

Southern Festival of Books Panelist

Louisiana Book Festival Featured Author

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter   Facebook  ~  Instagram ~ Pinterest


Interview with Alysson Foti Bourque

  • In today’s tech savvy world, most writers use a computer or laptop. Have you ever written parts of your book on paper? Yes! The first book of the Alycat series, Alycat and the Thursday Dessert Day, was written one night on loose leaf paper after tucking my kids into bed. I have kept those papers to remind me of the excitement that I had as my imagination spilled over onto the paper. 

  • If you’re a mom writer, how do you balance your time?
    I write when my kids are at school and once they go to bed. I always bring a notebook to their activities so that I can write down ideas or thoughts that cross my mind. 

  • How were you as a kid? I was a “march to the beat of my own drum” type of kid. If I found something that excited me, I gave that certain something 100% of my time. When I was about six years old, I was a flower girl in my aunt and uncle’s wedding and wore the most beautiful taffeta and lace dress! I was so smitten with that dress that I wore it for every single picture day at school until it no longer fit me. So, my grade school pictures are basically all the same—except that year that I added a crown and wand to the ensemble. I’m not sure how I kept friends. 
  • What do you want children to learn/take from your books? I want young children to use each book as a tool to help them creatively solve their own problems and learn how to cope with tough situations. By incorporating imagination, kindness, and creativity into their daily lives, they will have the skills to conquer the world!
  • What advice would you give budding writers? Research as much as you can online. There are many forums out there that provide guidance for new writers. Also, read as much as you can! You can learn a lot from other author’s writing styles.  Work hard and keep at it. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. 

Tour Schedule:



Mar 17 - Working Mommy Journal – book review / giveaway

Mar 17 - Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway

Mar 18 – The Pen and Muse Book Reviews – book review / author interview

Mar 18 - Gwendalyn’s Books – book review / author interview / giveaway

Mar 18 – Books, Dreams, Life – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

Mar 18 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway

Mar 19 – Over Coffee Conversations – book review / giveaway

Mar 19 - eBook Addicts - book review / giveaway

Mar 20 – A Mama's Corner Of the World – book review / giveaway

Mar 23 – StoreyBook Reviews – book review / giveaway

Mar 24 – Svetlana's reads and views – book review

Mar 24 - Laura`s Interests – book review / giveaway

Mar 25 - Library of Clean Reads – book review / guest post / giveaway

Mar 25 – Rosco's Reading Room – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway

Mar 26 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway

Mar 26 - T's Stuff – book review / author interview / giveaway

Mar 27 – Books Direct – book review / guest post / giveaway

Mar 30 – She Just Loves Books – book review / author interview / giveaway

Mar 31 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway

Apr 1 – Bookworm for Kids – book review / giveaway

Apr 2 – Pickagoodbook.com – book review / author interview / giveaway

Apr 6 - My Journey Back-The-Journey Back – book review / giveaway


Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway






Sunday, March 22, 2020

The Soul Searchers Mysteries bk 1 by Caryn Larrinaga

Audiobook Series Blog Tour: The Soul Searchers Mysteries by Caryn Larrinaga

Author: Caryn Larrinaga

Narrator: Jessica McEvoy

Length: 9 hours 54 minutes

Series: The Soul Searchers Mysteries, Book 1

Released: Aug. 1, 2017

Publisher: Twisted Tree Press

Genre: Supernatural Cozy Mystery


"Grief can change us... rewire our brains and shift the way we look at the world..."

After returning home from her father's funeral to find her boyfriend in bed with another woman, Mackenzie Clair is looking for a fresh start. She thinks she'll find it in her favorite childhood vacation spot, but returning to Donn's Hill awakens more than nostalgia. Mac regains a lost psychic ability to talk to the dead, and the poltergeist haunting her apartment is desperate to make her use that gift to find his killer.

Aided by her new roommate - a spirited Tortoiseshell cat named Striker, and the ghost-hunting crew of the nationally televised show Soul Searchers, Mac struggles to learn how to use her powers. But she'd better get a handle on them fast, because someone in town is hiding a deadly secret. If Mac can't somehow divine the truth, Donn's Hill will never be the same.
Buy on Audible

Caryn Larrinaga is a self-described horror evangelist and paranormal junkie. Her debut supernatural mystery novel, DONN’S HILL, won the League of Utah Writers 2017 Silver Quill Award in the adult novel category and was a 2017 Dragon Award finalist. Her short fiction has won multiple honors and been featured in local and international anthologies. Watching scary movies through split fingers terrified Caryn as a child, and those nightmares inspire her to write now. She lives near Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and their clowder of cats. Visit www.carynlarrinaga.com for free short stories and audiobooks.
WebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagramGoodreads
Narrator Bio

Between peddling video games and teaching yoga in her home state of Arizona, Jessica McEvoy attempts to conduct a career as a professional voice actress. This, however, is moderately undermined by the fact that she records in a dimly lit closet with her microphone balanced on a stack of old board games (Junior Scrabble and Powerpuff Girls Monopoly form a strong foundation), but she hopes that no one holds that against her.

Though her main work consists of narrating audiobooks, her first dive into the voice world was through the NoSleep podcast after answering a post from the LibriVox forums. Having been raised on horror movies and scary stories, she was beyond excited to be able to work on the show. Many stories, tortured screams, deranged villains, and creepy little girl giggles later, Jessica hopes to work on the podcast for seasons and seasons to come.
Twitter


I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Caryn Larrinaga. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Q&A with Author Caryn Larrinaga
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • I had so much fun working with Jessica as she adapted both of these novels into audiobooks! Luckily, I had already worked with her on a smaller project before, and I knew she would be the perfect Mackenzie from her reading of my novelette Hide and Seek and her amazing work on the NoSleep Podcast, so we skipped the audition part of the process. Once each of the novels were ready, I sent them to her to read and crossed my fingers she’d like them enough to want to perform them. (When looking for a great narrator like Jessica, there’s definitely a “She said YES!!” moment that involves much shrieking and jumping up and down.) We decided on a reasonable production schedule, then she started recording chapters and uploading them for me to approve. I love that I get to listen to it as she’s working, so we can make sure we’re both on the same page about personalities, accents, and cat-related awesomeness. Then we get to celebrate together once the book is finally live on Audible and iTunes, which is always super exciting!
    • My favorite unexpected bonus about this process is that it happens while I’m working on the next book in the series, so I’m listening to my characters “talk” to me through Jessica’s performance, and that actually has a huge impact on my writing. Listening to her narrate Donn’s Shadow definitely helped me overcome a bit of writer’s block with the third book, and I’m so grateful!
  • How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters? 
    • Jessica made it really easy to work very closely with her. She requested a pronunciation guide, and since even my own name can be tricky for some people, I sent over an audio recording of me saying the different character names and any other oddball words. For the first book, I even sent her an audio clip of me making Striker’s trademark “Brrrllll,” since that was based on the real Striker’s habit of trilling at us instead of meowing. :)
    • Every once in a while, while listening to a chapter, I’d hear Jessica pronounce a word differently than I do (like “ylang ylang”). Before reaching out to ask her to change it, I’d look it up online… and pretty much every time, I’d learn that I’ve been saying something wrong for literally YEARS! So that’s another nice little bonus of working with a good narrator, haha.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • Absolutely! Mackenzie’s first encounter with a ghost is based on a friend of mine, who mentioned (far too casually for something this spooky) that ghosts who are “just passing through” will sometimes sit for a spell at the edge of her bed. In the night. In the dark. It doesn’t bother my friend, but it bothered the heck out of me, so I had to go home and start writing a story about it.
    • Mac’s additional encounters with poltergeists and other paranormal entities were also based on a few real-life events, like an experience my mother had with some kitchen chairs that moved on their own (six of them, all at the same time).
    • I get freaked out pretty easily and I like to let myself lean into those fears and write them down, especially when they take me to weird or scary places in my mind. But in real life, I’m a huge scaredy cat. Let’s just say Mackenzie is much, much braver than I am!
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • Wow, is this something people say? Everyone starts out listening to stories before reading them. If there’s someone out there shaming audiobook listeners, the first thing I’d say is, “Stop it.” Because if they don’t like it, that’s fine, but there’s no wrong way to enjoy a good story. It’s like how everyone has their own learning style; we all have our own leisure style, too. Don’t be ashamed if you prefer one format over another. Whether you prefer to experience good stories via ebooks, paperbacks, books, movies, games, or whatever… just enjoy it! And then do all the content creators a favor and leave reviews. :)
  • Have any of your characters ever appeared in your dreams?
    • Striker visits me in my dreams all the time, which I’m sure is because I miss her. Not long after she passed away, we fostered and adopted some special-needs kitties, one of whom passed away after only a couple of years with us. The pair of them show up in my dreams together, always snuggling and cleaning each other.
    • None of my other named characters have really shown up in my dreams. But many of the monsters I write about definitely appeared in my nightmares before making it onto the page, like the monsters in the corners of the ceiling that I wrote into my story “Watchers’ Warning.”
  • How do you select the names of your characters?
    • I put a lot of thought into naming my characters, especially for Donn’s Hill and Donn’s Shadow. Mackenzie is named after my favorite character on a TV show called “The Newsroom,” and I thought that if I was the kind of person who wanted kids (I am not), I’d name a daughter after her. Instead, I named a character after her. :) Her last name, Clair, comes from the fact that she’s a clairvoyant. 
      Mackenzie’s handsome landlord, Graham Thomas, is named after one of my favorite fictional men and the man who created him: Thomas Harris’ Will Graham.
    • I’ll usually look up common names from the year a character was born, or names that represent their heritage. Then, to make sure I’m not reusing the same name over and over (my placeholder for characters who identify as female tends to be “Megan” and I have no idea why), I check them against a spreadsheet I keep of every character name I’ve used and where I used it. Yep, I’m one of those people who (rightly) thinks spreadsheets are fun.
  • Who is your favorite character to write?
    • In the Soul Searchers mysteries, I love writing the characters who antagonize Mac. For some reason, creating moments where they get under her skin is incredibly fun. I also love writing Kit, because our personalities are really similar but I do a better job acting polite than she does. I like living vicariously through Kit and just saying whatever I want, doing what I think is best, and fighting for the people I love regardless of the consequences.
  • What is your writing Kryptonite?
    • Books and video games. If I’m on a deadline, feeling stressed, or--let’s face it--just awake and at home, it’s soooo tempting to spend the entire afternoon living in someone else’s imaginary universe instead of working on my own. I have to work hard to keep myself on task some days, but I try to find a balance between working and relaxing.
  • Do you write listening to music?
    • Most of the time, yes. I like to listen to Delerium’s Poem album on repeat so it sort of fades into the background, filling up the part of my brain that wants music without distracting the part of my brain that needs to imagine things and think of the right words to describe them. If I need to set a specific mood or get into the mind of a particular character, I’ll switch it up. Emotional scenes with Graham get written to ‘90s alternative rock, for example.
      But when I need to write a scary scene, like Mac attempting to summon a spirit, I have to turn the music off.
  • What’s next for you?
    • Right now, I’m working on the third and final book in the Soul Searchers Mysteries. It’s bittersweet to be wrapping up Mac’s story, but I’m excited for her to get to solve her personal mysteries on top of yet another murder (poor girl - she’s such a body magnet!). 
      Apart from that, I’m also working on a standalone horror novel that pulls from my Basque heritage. We have some deliciously terrifying folklore and it’s so much fun to explore the dark things that scared my ancestors. I also have three short stories coming out in a few different anthologies this year, and hopefully more to come!
      Definitely subscribe to my newsletter at www.carynlarrinaga.com -- you’ll get a free ebook, plus you’ll stay in the loop about everything I have coming up!
    <Music Playlist

    View the full 14-day tour schedule here!
    Plugging you into the audio community since 2016.
    Sign up as a tour host here.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Custodian of the Spirits by Brownyn Long Borne

Title: Custodian of the Spirits
Series: The Valley of the Heart's Delight
Author: Bronwyn Long Borne
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: February 5, 2020



Left penniless after her husband’s death, Fiona Lenihan and her two young children set out for California in search of a fresh start. Ten years ago Fiona fled the Irish Potato Famine. She has crossed an ocean, why not a continent?

Kier Moran is a loner with a reputation for being the best tracker, best shot, and best guide. As a favor to his aging parents, he is leading their wagon train west to the Santa Clara Valley, known as the Valley of Heart’s Delight.

Kier intends to deliver his parents safely to California then resume life under the sun and stars. But meeting Fiona Lenihan threatens his simple plan.







Review:
4*
This was my first book by Brownyn Long Borne. I loved every page of this book, but the ending. I literally wanted to throw my kindle across the room. The ending left the book wide open for a part 2 and I just hope there is one. This story was no where near finished. There are way too many unanswered questions, at least for me. There could of least been an epilogue. I probably would not have read this book if I knew how it was going to end. I am basing my star rating on the book not the ending. 

Other then the ending I really enjoyed the book. I enjoyed the descriptions of the country the travelers were crossing. I could picture the places they traveled through. The romance was very sparse for most of the book but the many trials the characters went through more than made up for that.
The book is about Fiona Lenihan and her two young children. Her husband passed away and his family basically threw her out. She had a choice either to leave or her and her children be banished to work in her husbands families fields. She had already lost a brother to those fields. 

She was an immigrant from Ireland. Her brothers and her set out for America during the Great Hunger in Ireland. Fiona has survived so many things in her life, her abusive father, loosing her whole family, coming to America, loosing one brother aboard the ship, the other in the fields, an abusive husband, and finally her In Laws betrayal. When she heard about the families crossing the country to go to California she felt it was her only option for her children to have a life. Along the way she meets many families and makes many friends. They go through Indian attacks, storms, deserts, and more. Many of the trials ending in death. 

Her first friends along the way are a Doctor and his wife, she becomes a nurse for him. She is also the companies cook. She also falls for the leader of their company Keir, and he for her. Keir is a loner though and warns Fiona when they reach California he will leave again. 


I received this book from the Author or Publisher to read and review. The gifting of this book did not affect my opinion of it.



Bronwyn Long Borne is a nurse by day and writer by night. She grew up in Wyoming, where you can still see the wheel ruts carved into the land by the thousands of covered wagons headed west.

Her first novels are the self-published Shalemar Trilogy--Length of Days, Poetry of Days, and the forthcoming Wonder of Days--under the pen name Rohret Buchner.

Bronwyn and her husband live in Denver, Colorado. They share a love of food, wine, the mountains, and the arts.

Please visit www.bronwynlong.com to learn more about Bronwyn and her books.