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Book Review

The Mad Hatter by Yvonne Mason

 

The concept behind this book is deliciously evil. I’ve listened to Yvonne Mason’s podcast for awhile. Now. Ya’ll she’s crazy fun so I had no idea what to expect from her book. The idea for this story is one I haven’t seen before. I had to finish it just to see how it would end. I the fast moving plot moved the story and kept me coming back to read “just one more chapter”. It was easy to imagine the well-rounded characters acting out their roles in my head. She did a great job sharing the factual information needed without boring the reader. If you enjoy something a little different than the norm, read this book.

 

 

The year is 1888. The Place is the East End of London. Dead and mutilated bodies are popping up all over the east end from Stamford to Whitechapel.
Jack the Ripper is making his mark in the East End in ways that puts the city on edge, so to speak.
Johnathon Rhoades has been exposed to mercury since he was a boy of sixteen working in his father’s hat factory, which he now owns due to his father’s unexpected death. The hats that are created at the factory are in such demand that he almost cannot keep up with the orders.
Young Elizabeth, who happens to be in the employ of Johnathon Rhoades manages the storefront on Whitechapel road.
As the body count climbs and all of the East End is quaking in their shoes, the hat factory is booming. Everyone who is anyone wants a creation from the Rhoades Hat Factory including Sam Flanghan, the local coroner.
Who is the Ripper? Why are these hats so much in demand? Is the Hatter really mad?

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Background:
The eldest of five children, Yvonne was born May 17, 1951 in Atlanta, Georgia. Raised in East Point, Georgia, she moved to Jackson County, Ga. until 2006 then moved to Port St. Lucie, Florida where she currently makes her home.
Licensed bounty hunter for the state of Georgia.
Education:
After a 34 year absence, returned to college in 2004. Graduated with honors in Criminal Justice with an Associate’s degree from Lanier Technical College in 2006.
Awards:
Nominated for the prestigious GOAL award in 2005 which encompasses all of the technical colleges. This award is based not only on excellence in academics but also leadership, positive attitude and the willingness to excel in one’s major.
Affiliations:
Beta Sigma Phi Sorority
Member of The Florida Writer’s Association – Group Leader for St Lucie County
The Dream:
Since learning to write at the age of five, Yvonne has wanted to be an author. She wrote her first novel Stan’s Story beginning in 1974 and completed it in 2006. Publication seemed impossible as rejections grew to 10 years. Determined, she continued adding to the story until her dream came true in 2006.
The Inspiration:
Yvonne’s brother Stan has been her inspiration and hero in every facet of her life. He was stricken with Encephalitis at the tender age of nine months. He has defied every roadblock placed in his way and has been the driving force in every one of her accomplishments. He is the one who taught her never to give up
Yvonne’s Philosophy in Life – “Pay it Forward”:
“In this life we all have been helped by others to attain our dreams and goals. We cannot pay it back but what we can do is ‘pay it forward’. It is a simple concept. By helping three people, those three people help three more people and soon that becomes nine. Those nine people each help three more people and the giving continues. As you see, it is the power of three. Our giving comes back to us ten-fold. So one could say it is three to the power of ten. We all started out with nothing. By using this philosophy we can help one another and share the goodness of life’s wealth.”
Speaking Engagements:
Yvonne is an accomplished motivational speaker and is available for speaking engagements. Previous engagements include:
April 27,2009 Martin County Member of Panel on Being a Victim
April 6,2009 Book Signing in Vero Beach at Business Block Party
March 7,2009 Brevard Authors Book Fair – Speech on Gerard Schaefer, Florida’s First Serial Killer
December 2008- “Commemorative Speech on Gerard Schaefer’s Victims – IRSC Vero Beach, Fl
November 2008 – “How to write different genres” Lewis Carroll Sixth Grade Merritt Island, Fl.
April 2008 at IRCC – “How to Sell One’s Self in the Business World” presentation to the student body.
April 2008 at The Palm Glades Girl Scouts Council Sixth Annual Luncheon as the featured keynote speaker – “Dreams, Goals and Aspirations” presentation.
May 2007 at Lanier Tech – “Succeeding in Life” Power Point presentation to the student body using the concepts of Stan’s Story.
May 2007 at Blackshear Baptist Church – Power Point presentation entitled “Acceptance of Self and Others”.
May 2007 at IRCC – “How to Reach Your Goals – It’s Never Too Late” presentation to adult women returning to school to become professionals in different fields.
Personal Appearances’:
Yvonne has appeared on Blog Talk radio shows:
Now that’s what I ‘m talking about with Louise Aveni
The Odd Mind with Angel Lesa
She will be appearing on the Cliff Roles show out of Sarasota on Oct 10,2008
And several other shows in the upcoming months
Personal Appearance Circle Books Sarasota, Florida Nov 8,2008
Appeared in The Fort Pierce Tribune, Vero Beach Press, Stuart News and Port St Lucie News
Lewis Carroll Middle School – the Sixth grade class
Contacting Yvonne:
All inquiries should be directed to Yvonne @ysam51@ysam51@yahoo.com
Yvonne’s Online Bookstores – http://thebookattic.ecrater.com
http://stores.lulu.com/theskeletoncloset
http://yvonnemason.wordpress.com

 

Chasing the Dollar by Ellie Ashe

 

I received the audiobook version of this in exchange for a review.

I love a good cozy. I love a snarky female lead. I love a hot man that adds some steam. This book has all three. I listened to this book while on a road trip and there were so many times I found myself paying more attention to the story than the road (ha!). It’s a great story with fun characters and a fast paced plot. I actually stayed in my car a little longer when I got home so I could finish it. The narrator does a great job with the voices and seemed to capture each of the unique personalities.

 

Miranda Vaughn has spent the last year and a half fighting for her freedom. Arrested for a fraud scheme involving her supervisors, she’s lost her job at a prestigious investment firm, her fiancé, and her reputation. She walks out of the courtroom a free woman, only to find that life has a few more curve balls to throw her way. The jury may have found her not guilty, but Miranda is broke, in debt to her beloved aunt, and can’t find a job because of the cloud of suspicion still swirling around her.
She’s not going to be able to move forward with her life until she finds out who set her up. Buried in the evidence against her, Miranda finds a larger scheme, one involving far more money than the $37 million her boss fleeced from unsuspecting investors. Determined to uncover the truth, Miranda begins her own investigation—leading her to Macau and Belize, and into the arms of one sexy FBI agent, who may or may not prove to be trustworthy. When the danger heats up, Miranda finds herself in a race against time to find the person behind it all. Before he finds her…

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Ellie Ashe has always been drawn to jobs where she can tell stories–journalist, lawyer, and now writer. Writing quirky romantic mysteries is how she gets the “happily ever after” that so often is lacking in her day job.
When not writing, you can find her with her nose in a good book, watching far too much TV, or trying out new recipes on unsuspecting friends and family. She lives in Northern California with her husband and three cats, all of whom worry when she starts browsing the puppy listings on petfinder.com.
To learn more, visit ellieashe.com or sign up for her newsletter at http://www.subscribepage.com/EllieNews.

 

Blood of the Warden by M.A. Nichols

Another great book in this series. The action driven plot made me race to the end so I could figure out what happened. Now, of course, I have to wait until the next book comes out to get more of this story. I like these characters and this story. I think the author did a great job of giving us more of the current story line but introduced a few new twists so it seemed like a new story.

Annie is struggling to correct her mistake. She wants to be tough and independent and struggles with trust. Her friends want to help but struggle with knowing how. This story is building to a crescendo which I can’t wait to read.

 

 

 

Two years ago, Annie faced an agonizing choice–save her family or unleash an evil into the world. Weighed down by the dark memories of her past, Annie is a shadow of the person she once was. With fervent determination, she desperately seeks to save countless souls from suffering the repercussions of her choices. But at what cost?
The Dark Knights are on the hunt, slaughtering whole families in their quest to open the Drogue, but when they go after Emma Shaw, Annie sees a chance to atone for her past and save her friend. In this compelling sequel to The Drogue, M.A. Nichols brings us back to the enchanted world now cursed by darkness–but all the magic in the world is no match for Annie Morgan’s relentless quest for redemption.

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Born and raised in Anchorage, M.A. Nichols is a lifelong Alaskan with a love of the outdoors. As a child she despised reading but through the love and persistence of her mother was taught the error of her ways and has had a deep, abiding relationship with it ever since.

She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in landscape management from Brigham Young University and a master’s in landscape architecture from Utah State University, neither of which has anything to do with why she became a writer, but is a fun little tidbit nonetheless. And no, she doesn’t have any idea what type of plant you should put in that shady spot out by your deck. She’s not that kind of landscape architect. Stop asking.

 

The Angel Alejandro by Alistair Cross

**I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review**

When I read a book, I want to forget all the boring parts of my life and enjoy a little escape.  I love reading books that make me want to serve my family cereal because I am too busy reading the next chapter. This book does that. The story of an angel who forgets and a demon who wants to take advantage of the situation. The whole town suffers. The characters are solid and completely believable as real people. The action in this story drives the plot forward. I didn’t feel like there were any down times. Bottom line- I enjoyed this book.

 

 

 

Angel or Demon?
Naive and heart-stoppingly handsome, he calls himself Alejandro, and Madison O’Riley has no clue what to do with him. As they set out to recover his lost identity, Madison realizes the mysterious man who saved her life harbors deep, otherworldly secrets that will put her in grave danger.
The Devil is in the Details
Gremory Jones has something for everyone, and for a price, he’s willing to make a deal. Walking the streets in top hat and trench coat, he tempts the citizens with nefarious wares from his shiny black briefcase. But buyer beware: All sales are final – and fatal.
A Scorching New Terror Has Come to Town
The townspeople are changing in appalling ways and it’s up to Madison – with the help of a psychic, a local priest, and the new chief of police – to help Alejandro unlock his forgotten powers before an unspeakable evil tears apart the fabric of existence … and costs them their very souls …

Amazon

________________________________________________________________________________Alistair Cross was born in the western United States and began penning his own stories by the age of eight. First published by Damnation Books in 2012, Alistair has since published several more novels. In 2012, he joined forces with international bestselling author, Tamara Thorne, and as Thorne & Cross, they write the successful Gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, is an Amazon Best Seller, as is Alistair’s solo novel, The Crimson Corset.

In 2014, Alistair and Tamara began the internet radio show, Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! Haunted Nights LIVE! premiered to great acclaim and has featured such guests as Chelsea Quinn Yarbro of the Saint-Germain vampire series, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels that inspired the hit television series, Jay Bonansinga of the Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter novels, and New York Times best sellers Christopher Rice, Jonathan Maberry, and Christopher Moore.

Alistair is currently at work on several projects including a solo novel and a new Thorne & Cross collaboration. His influences include the works of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, John Saul, Ira Levin, and William Peter Blatty.

Learn more about him at his website: http://alistaircross.com

 

Away from Shore by Mary McCormak Deka

**I received a copy of this in exchange for a review**

These poems are a beautiful melody exploring the evolution of a love interest. The emotions expressed in this first collection of poems moved me and made me think twice about what I read. I appreciate her willingness to open up and share her joys and pain throughout this relationship. I think it takes a lot of guts to do something like that.

 

 

 

 

Falling in love makes you vulnerable. For all the joy, there is danger, too, and heartbreak. Lyrical and full of imagery, the poems are bittersweet, both beautiful and haunting.

 

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Mary McCormack Deka has been published in India and the US. Her poems have appeared in the Goodreads newsletter, Railonama, and The Mystic Nebula. She won the Bare Hands Poetry and Photography Postcard Competition of 2013 and was a recipient of the Quinn Award for Poetry in 2012.

She’s inspired by everything—oceans and forests, sardines and tangerines, stained glass and kizomba dancing. She likes to travel, read, write, and tell stories.

Descent Birthright Book 3

I love reading series. I hate reading series. I love reading series. No, I actually hate reading series. Ya know why? Because they are more addicting that reading a stand alone. I came across The Birthright series through a book review request website. I was HOOKED. Amy Saunders does an awesome job creating an original story that keeps me on the edge of my seat and honestly, I have yet to figure out how it is all going to end.

In this third installment, Roz has come way more into her powers and is beginning to accept who she is and use what she is to help those around her. There was one detail, that I won’t spoil for you, that I did not see coming, but I loved it. I had hoped this installment would not leave any questions. But it only left more. I have already contacted the author and told her I NEED TO READ THE NEXT BOOK.

 

Rosamund knows that she’s an heir to an ancient throne. But accepting it is another matter.

As she and her family and friends try to peel back the layers of the “bad seed” mystery, it’s clear that she can’t ignore her mark or the responsibilities it comes with. Or the fact that someone is searching for the heir–for her. And she doubts he or she has good motives.

With her father shedding his façade and a bigger threat making its presence known, Rosamund may need to embrace her destiny sooner than she expected.

Other Books in the Series:
Inborn (Book 1)
Marked (Book 2)
Bequest (A Short Story)

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Amy is a sci-fi/mystery addict with a soft spot for humor and romance. She lives in Massachusetts, and loves to bake and watch movies. Learn more about Amy and her books at http://amysaundersauthor.com.

Previous Review from terriluvsbooks

Can’t Buy Forever by Susan Laffoon

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review

This is a nice love story. I found myself thinking about some of John Irving’s novels as I read this story. The characters are so easy to feel for and I had to keep reading in order to see how it would all come together in the end. The author created a strong story completely led by the characters. She also does a great job of “showing” the story to the reader instead of “telling” them. That’s what I appreciated the most. I found myself getting so lost in the story, I lost track of time.

In the early 1950s, Odessa Drake (Dessa) is rescued from a bleak existence with a single mother. She takes a chance on the unknown to work in a boarding house owned by a widowed great aunt in Mineville, New York. Dessa is devoted to Aunt Flo and especially a young man, Nicholas, who appears and takes shelter in the attic, the only available space. Four years pass. She looks forward to each day because of his presence, in spite of the tedious work. Dessa is now eighteen and knows little more of Nicholas than the day he arrived to work the mines. She knows only he is a remarkable man who has a limp and she trusts Nicholas explicitly. There is a familiarity both recognize and an unshakeable bond develops. Nicholas has reasons to keep his past buried. Dangers loom and become evident when Nicholas gets too close and exposes their bond. What is the mystery behind this threat? To discover the answer, they escape by railway heading West, colliding with treachery and uncovering secrets, mile by mile. Their journey is impossible, but, they are supported by friends who risk their lives to make sure a great love and lineage is preserved. Or is it? None will forget their odyssey as they proceed to their destiny farther than they imagined.

Amazon

Susan Laffoon knows whereof she writes having been raised in Glens Falls, in upstate
New York. There, the Hudson River and the boulders that lie in its path, is Cooper’s Cave, a hide-a-way made famous in James Fedimore Cooper’s novel, ‘Drums Along The Mohawk.’ She visited this impressive attraction often growing up and listened to the rushing waters that echoed in the cave. There she decided to one day write romantic adventures. Thus as a young girl, while friends played with dolls, she imagined and scribbled stories of adventure to escape childhood responsibilities and unhappiness. She continued to journal through the years occupied with her husband, Gregg, and seven children. It was discovered her love of storytelling was predisposed from a Scandinavian father who died young, a journalist for the Denver Post, a half century earlier. This passion is being fulfilled by his daughter, since putting aside her stethoscope and career as a registered nurse. “Writing has always been in the shadow of my heart.”

Shadow Sight by E.J. Stevens

I found out about this series through Jess at The Audiobookworm. I helped promote book 5 from this series, The Hound’s Bite. It sounded very interesting so I wanted to start from the very beginning. I liked this book and I’ll be catching up on the rest of the books. Ivy Granger is the kind of character I like. She is bold and snarky and loves her friends dearly. She will do anything to keep them safe. I liked that this book incorporates all types of fae including a few I don’t really know much about. The action driven story kept me coming back until I finished.

 

 

 

 

Some things are best left unseen…
Ivy Granger’s second sight is finally giving her life purpose. Ivy and her best friend Jinx may not be raking in the dough, but their psychic detective agency pays the bills—most of the time. Their only worry is the boredom of a slow day and the occasional crazy client—until a demon walks through their door.Demons are never a good sign…

A demon attorney representing the water fae? Stranger things have happened. And things are about to get very, very strange as a bloodthirsty nightmare hunts the city of Harborsmouth.
There’s blood in the water…
Kelpies have a reputation for eating humans. Unfortunately, Kelpies are the clients. When an Unseelie faerie this evil stalks the waterways of your city, you have to make hard choices.
The lesser of two evils…

Amazon

Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated by Tom Starita

** I received a copy of this in exchange for a review**

This book is a good example of why I wish Amazon would allow for half ratings. To me this a strong 3.5. The main character, Lucas recounts his life after a long relationship with the love of his life. Lucas recounts his life and his thoughts and ideas on how his world has changed. I think the author did a good job creating a strong character and allowing the reader to delve into his mind, but the plot is lacking a little bit. I would have liked to see this story be more plot driven instead of only relying on the main character. Some of that may stem from my tastes as I feel the author did a decent job with the writing.

Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated is a classic coming-of-age story that takes a unique and comic look at what we all fear— having to grow up and abandon our dreams.
For a charismatic man like Lucas James, life is a breeze because everyone else provides the wind. This man-child front man for a mediocre cover band has been mooching off of his fiancée Jackie for years until she finally decides she’s had enough. Faced with the reality of having no income to support his carefree lifestyle, Lucas James abandons his principles and gets a job working in the stockroom at, “That Store.” How does he cope with this new found sense of responsibility?
He casually steals…
In a life spent bucking authority how will Lucas James deal with his manager, ‘Victor the Dictator’? How long can he survive Ralph, a starry-eyed coworker who desires nothing more than to be best friends? Will Lori, a twenty-something cashier, be like everyone else and fall for his charms? Will he ever find a place to live? And is “growing up” just another way of saying “selling out?”
With this hilarious and engaging novel, author Tom Starita perfectly captures a character we have all met and perhaps some of us know all too well.

Amazon

Rinaldi Triplets by M.A. Nichols

Back in November, M.A. Nichols contacted me to review one of her books, The Drogue. Nichols and I have gone back and forth and I have enjoyed working with her. In her first book, she introduced us to the Rinaldi Triplets. When she told me about her short story that would help shed some light on their mysterious history, I wanted to read it. This short story only adds to the plot set forth in her first book. I’m excited to share that the next book in her series is out today. I preordered it and I’ve added it to my TBR.

Before the chaos of the Dark Knights and the Drogue, Cassandra, Chloe, and Cait
Rinaldi were just three sisters. But when they are shown visions of dark and terrible things that have and will happen, things will never be the same.

 

 

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