Tuesday, May 30, 2017

0 Into Your Arms Release Day Blitz

INTO YOUR ARMS by Chelsea M. Cameron
SMP Swerve
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
eBook ISBN: 9781250125187; Price: $3.99

Get fired up for Into Your Arms, the first book in the sexy new Squad Stories series from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Chelsea M. Cameron!

Freya has secrets she doesn’t intend to share. Not with her new friends on the cheerleading squad at Maine State University, and certainly not with sexy lumberjack-look-alike Rhett. Just because sparks flew between them at a bar one night doesn’t mean he gets to know why she transferred to MSU. When Freya dares Rhett to come to cheerleading practice, she never expects to see the dark-haired lumberjack again. 

Except Rhett is the last person to turn down a dare, especially when it comes from a pixie-sized blonde. When Rhett wows the squad and becomes Freya’s stunt partner, his hands come far too close for comfort. But as Freya and Rhett’s hot post-practice sessions bring them closer, she risks her secrets being revealed. Can Freya chance exposing who she really is to the guy who wasn’t supposed to win her heart?

Author Bio
Chelsea M. Cameron is a New York Times/USA Today Best Selling author from Maine, whose books include Deeper We Fall. She's a red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world's worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car, tweeting (this one time, she was tweeted by Neil Gaiman) and playing fetch with her cat, Sassenach. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.

Author Links
Twitter: @chel_c_cam

Buy Links

Into Your Arms by Chelsea M. Cameron Excerpt

            I’m done with the salad long before Rhett finishes everything else, so I just kind of keep tossing it and watch him. He moves with the same fluidity that he does during cheer. For a big guy, he’s graceful, and he’s an excellent dancer. I hate how sexy it is.
Rhett starts whistling to himself. He does that a lot, and it’s not annoying, surprisingly. I keep trying to find flaws, but I can’t seem to. There must be something. I just have to work harder to find it.
That means that I’ll probably have to keep coming over here. Oh, well. At least the food is good?
Two hours later I’m on Rhett’s couch again, my hands on my stomach and regrets in my heart.
“I should have waited to have that cupcake, but it just looked so good,” I groan, resting my head back against the cushion. I kind of want to stretch out and take a nap.
“I’m glad you liked my food and I’m sorry you’re having regrets.” He tips his head to the side and gives me a tiny smile. It still does things to me. Everything he does affects me. I wish I could find a way to make it stop.
Rhett and I hold eye contact for just a little too long. I inhale slowly and the air in the room changes. Shifts to something else. And even though my stomach is sloshy and full, I can’t ignore the magnetic pull toward Rhett. My body leans toward his without even realizing.
Somehow, I’m able to slam on the brakes and pull back. I blink a few times and take another breath. Shit. That was close. Rhett clears his throat, and his face is just a little red under his beard.
He lets out a slow breath and chuckles under his breath.
“What?” I ask, afraid to know the answer.
“Nothing,” he says, his voice a little rough. He turns to look at me again, but I don’t meet his eyes. I can’t let that happen.
“I should probably get home,” I say, even though it’s only eight. I need to get out of Rhett’s apartment, which is filled with his things and his scent and him. It’s too much to handle right now. It’s scrambling my brain.
“Sure,” he says in a distant voice. He pushes himself off the couch and holds out his hands to help me up. If I wasn’t so full, I would ignore him, but I am, so I take his hands. They feel new and familiar all at once. His hands dwarf mine, but he holds me gently. He’s still holding my hands and he needs to stop holding my hands and I need to go home.
Right now.
But then I look up at him and I just . . . I kiss him. I pop up on my toes and reach for his mouth and I kiss him. Just like that. His mouth is lush and soft. He’s surprised at first and then he sinks into it, and I brush his bottom lip with my tongue and then I realize that I’m kissing Rhett and I should definitely not be kissing Rhett.
I drop his hands as if they’re burning me and scoot around him, heading for the door.
“So, I’ll see you tomorrow? Thanks for the food, I really have to go, bye,” I say in a rush and basically bolt. He calls after me, but I don’t listen.
I’m shaking when I get to my car and have to sit and breathe for a second before I can actually drive away. Part of me expects him to follow me after such a hasty exit, but he doesn’t.
So I take another shaky breath before I turn on my car and drive back to my lonely apartment.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

0 When Others Define You: Week 4 of #Sync's #Free Summer of #Audiobooks is Live

It's week 5 and this week AudioFile and Sync bring you two new titles . Remember these audiobooks are only available: 05/25 - 06/01. You can download the audiobooks by clicking here: http://www.audiobooksync.com/ ←←← All you need to download them is the overdrive app which is also free on the website.

by Lana Krumwiede | Read by Nick Podehl
Published by Brilliance Audio

Taemon has always known he’s a bit different. But in the walled city of Deliverance, where everyone possesses a form of telekinesis known as psi, being different is dangerous. Being different can get you labeled a freakling. Or worse, see you banished to the Powerless Colony, where even the simplest tasks, like getting dressed or turning on the lights, must be done by hand. Taemon has learned to blend in, to pretend he’s just like everyone else in Deliverance. To pretend that he can’t send his mind wandering into objects and see exactly how they work. But Taemon’s brother, Yens, suspects the truth, and he’ll stop at nothing—even murder—to expose Taemon’s secret. In this thrilling dystopian novel from newcomer Lana Krumwiede, Taemon must choose between accepting his life among the freaklings or fighting for the destiny he’s never wanted?—and all that comes with it.

Listen to a clip:

by Anna Ziegler | Read by Sarah Drew, John Getz, Travis Johns, Amy Pietz, Bobby Steggert
Published by L.A. Theatre Works

Anna Ziegler’s Boy is a powerful statement about sexual identity and the mystery of what makes us who we are. After a baby boy is seriously injured in an accident, a doctor persuades his parents to raise the child as a girl. As the child grows up, the child—known as Samantha and Adam at different times—faces an extraordinary challenge to carve out a place in the world.

An L.A. Theatre Works full cast performance featuring:

Sarah Drew as Jenny
John Getz as Dr. Wendell Barnes
Travis Johns as Doug
Amy Pietz as Trudy
Bobby Steggert as Adam Turner

Directed by Debbie Devine. Recorded in Los Angeles before a live audience at The James Bridges Theater, UCLA in July of 2016.

Boy is part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity Series featuring science-themed plays. Major funding for the Relativity Series is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, to enhance public understanding of science and technology in the modern world.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

0 Review: Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love

Bloomsbury | May 23, 2017
ISBN: 9781632867940
Historical Fiction/Mystery
Source: Publisher


The sixth book in the James Runcie's much-loved Granchester Mystery series, which has been adapted for Masterpiece's Grantchester starring James Norton, sees full-time priest, part-time detective Sidney Chambers plunged back into sleuthing when he discovers a body in a bluebell wood.

It is May 1971 and the Cambridgeshire countryside is bursting into summer. Attending to his paternal duties, Archdeacon Sidney Chambers is walking in the woods with his daughter Anna and their aging Labrador, Byron, when they stumble upon a body. Beside the dead man lies a basket of wild flowers, all poisonous. And so it is that Sidney is thrust into another murder investigation, entering a world of hippies, folk singers, and psychedelic plants, where love triangles and permissive behavior seem to hide something darker.

Despite the tranquil appearance of the Diocese of Ely, there is much to keep Sidney and his old friend, Detective Inspector Geordie Keating, as busy as ever. An historic religious text vanishes from a Cambridge college; Sidney's former flame, Amanda Richmond, gets a whiff of art-world corruption; and his nephew disappears in the long, hot summer of 1976.

Meanwhile, Sidney comes face to face with the divine mysteries of life and love while wrestling with earthly problems--from parish scandals and an alarmingly progressive new secretary to his own.

My Thoughts

Over the past few years, I have watched Grantchester on PBS. It didn't take me long to become a fan of the series. It's about a vicar, Sidney Chambers, that lives in a small parish and through extenuating circumstances meets up with a detective, Inspector Geordie Keating, who reluctantly enlists the vicar's help in solving a mystery. The two eventually become friends and a partnership is formed. I know I don't do the series justice by my summary, but trust me, it's good.

Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love is the sixth book in The Granchester Mysteries series. Runcie writes in such a way that you can just jump into the sixth book without reading the previous books. However, if you're watching the series, there are definite spoilers ahead, so turn back now. I'm not kidding. If you're still reading then this is on you. 

Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love takes up in May of 1971. Grantchester, though a quiet town, doesn't stay that way for long. Sidney is a Archdeacon and is searching for flowers with his daughter Anna when they stumble upon a dead body. It isn't long before he and Geordie are on the case. And that's not the only one. There's a few more in this book that include a missing book, a sexual assault case, and a missing child, who happens to by Sidney's nephew.

I can see now how perfectly the characters of the television series are cast. Runcie hit the mark with these characters. Sidney Chambers is often hit with the dark side of life, but remains faithful to his calling. He is flawed which makes him seem real. He struggles in his marriage, as a father, and in life. Geordie is passionate and often disagrees with Sidney, but their respect for one another often sees them through the difficulties. Which makes their friendship lasting.

If cozy mysteries are your thing then Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love is a book you don't want to miss. In fact, the entire Grantchester series (both book and television) is one you don't want to miss. Season three of Grantchester will begin in the US in a few weeks, and I can't wait to see what Runcie has in store for these characters.

*I received a copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for a review. All my opinions are my own. This post contains an affiliate link.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

0 To Walk Invisible Reading Challenge: Part 1

I didn't sign up for any new challenges this year. Challenges are awesome you say? I know they are, but at the time I really wasn't sure what direction my reading was going to take me in. I'm kind of a moody reader. Some days I feel like reading a romance while other days it's mystery. It wasn't until earlier this year, while I was watching To Walk Invisible on PBS, it finally occurred to mew what I wanted to do: I want to find out more about the Brontes, but more specifically Jane Eyre. I want to know what others thought about her as well. I want to read about how Charlotte Bronte influenced other authors. I want to read about how other authors envisioned and then wrote about what happened next in her life.

About a month ago I re-read this classic and fell back in love with it. (I still have the paperback copy I bought in high school.) After I finished reading I scoured my shelves and kindle for anything Jane Eyre related (I knew I owned several books) and came up with a pretty good stack of books to help me on my discovery of Jane Eyre. Some are retellings, some sequels, some essays. And from that my challenge began to take form.

Thus begins my 
To Walk Invisible Reading Challenge Part 1.

Books on Kindle:
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
Jane Rochester by Kimberly Bennett
All Hallows at Eyre Hall by Luccia Gray
My Mr. Rochester by L.K. Rigel

This stack of books should keep me busy for awhile. I'll reveal the second part of my challenge when I get close to finishing this one. 

I've already read a few Jane Eyre inspired books over the years that you may want to check out. I know that there are many more out there, so I'm open to suggestions if you have them.

Jane by April Linder
A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont
Jane Eyre's Daughter by Elizabeth Newark

Join me, encourage me, watch me as I read my way through these books.

*This post contains affiliate links. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

0 The Princess Bride, Summer, and Grantchester: Last Week In Review (49)

Can you hear summer calling you? I can. The kids are almost finished with school and can hardly hold still with the anticipation of vacation. Not that we have anything big planned. But the hazy, lazy days of summer will soon be upon us.

I had a good week for finishing books. 

I've been watching the series Grantchester on PBS. The television series is based off of James Runcie's: The Granchester Mysteries. This was the first book I've read in the series, though I wish I would have started with book 1 instead of 6. It's good nonetheless. Season 3 of Granchester starts in a few weeks here in the US. I can't wait!

I finally finished this audiobook. I'll have a lot to say about it when I post me review, so stay tuned.

And Doctor Faustus. A play about a man who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for some magical powers. A great bedtime story.

Books I'm Currently Reading or Listening To:

I've only just downloaded Understanding the Stars to my mp3 player. Yes. I still have a mp3 player. As long as it works, I'll still use it. If you have Kindle Unlimited you can read this book for free.

Summary: Unbeknownst to her, Alexandria has been the guinea pig in an alien experiment. Ronan, a human with his own alien-entangled past, sets to help her escape their clutches and maybe win her heart. This debut science fiction novel is fast-paced, action packed, and remarkably unique! 

I read the first chapter of Mothers and Other Strangers last night and was loath to put the book down to go to be. A book about a complicated mother-daughter relationship that sounds fantastic.

Summary: "My father proposed to my mother at gunpoint when she was nineteen, and knowing that she was already pregnant with a dead man’s child, she accepted."

Thus begins this riveting story of a woman's quest to understand her recently deceased mother, a glamorous, cruel narcissist who left her only child, Elsie, an inheritance of debts and mysteries. While coping with threats that she suspects are coming from the cult-like spiritual program her mother belonged to, Elsie works to unravel the message her dying mother left for her, a quest that ultimately takes her to the South African family homestead she never knew existed. 

Steeplejack by A.J. Hartley. I've only read the first few pages, but I can tell I'm going to enjoy it. 

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Anglet Sutonga, makes a living repairing the chimneys, towers, and spires of Bar-Selehm. Dramatically different communities live and work alongside one another. The white Feldish command the nation’s higher echelons of society; the native Mahweni are divided between city life and the savannah. And then there’s Ang, part of the Lani community who immigrated there generations ago and now mostly live in poverty on Bar-Selehm’s edges.

When Ang is supposed to meet her new apprentice, Berrit, she finds him dead. That same night the Beacon, an invaluable historical icon, is stolen. The Beacon’s theft commands the headlines, yet no one seems to care about Berrit’s murder—except for Josiah Willinghouse, an enigmatic young politician. When he offers Ang a job investigating the death, she plunges headlong into new and unexpected dangers.

Meanwhile, crowds gather in protests over the city’s mounting troubles. Rumors surrounding the Beacon’s theft grow. More suspicious deaths occur. With no one to help Ang except Josiah’s haughty younger sister, a savvy newspaper girl, and a kindhearted herder, Ang must rely on her intellect and strength to resolve the mysterious link between Berrit and the missing Beacon before the city descends into chaos. 

I'm still reading/listening to Moby Dick with the kiddos. We're about 40 pages in to this massive tome. Along with reading, we're also listening to The Moby Dick Big Read. Lots of people teamed up to make this happen. It's a fundraiser to save the whales. Go to http://www.mobydickbigread.com/ to find out more.

I did do a lot of reading last week and not so much television watching. I continued watching my favorites: Doctor Who and Call the Midwife. I'm behind on several shows including: iZombie and Class. Also The Unbreakable Kimmy Schimidt has returned to Netflix and I can't wait to find time watch. I did manage to sneak in some family time and watch The Princess Bride. I also learned something pretty fantastic. 

Are you ready? 

You might need to sit down, 

Okay, here it goes:

The Princess Bride is coming back to theaters for a short time in celebration of its 30 year anniversary! 

Big thanks to @coffeelvnmom for telling me about it.

Things Of Note

There are still a few days left to download audiosync's week four offerings. These audiobooks are free. You only need the Overdrive app (which is also free) to participate. New books will be available Thursday.

That's it for now. Enjoy your week! 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

0 Sync Is Looking Outward In Week 4 of #AudiobookSYNC’s #Free #Audiobook Program

This week AudioFile and Sync are looking outward in week 4. Remember these audiobooks are only available: 05/18 - 05/25. You can download the audiobooks by clicking here: http://www.audiobooksync.com/ ←←←

by Dan Poblocki | Read by Dan Bittner
Published by Scholastic Audiobooks

Multiplatform takes on horror with a trilogy that brings Miss Peregrine to middle grade with an online Skeleton Creek twist! Come Play With Us...

Buildings have memories. Places bear scars. We've all had those moments--a chill in the air, a sense that something terrible once happened where we stand. But some houses are more than scary. They're hungry.

Larkspur House has lured five kids inside, and they're trapped. The five will have to look carefully--there are clues to the house's secrets scattered all over the grounds, and if they can figure out the past, it might show them a way out of their terrifying present. Will they stay strong enough to discover the house's weakness and escape? Or will the horrors of Larkspur House scare the five right out of their minds?

Each book in the series is full of creepy photos and objects that tell one story in the book, and unlock exciting, choose-your-own-adventure stories online where kids try to survive the house!

by Nita Belles | Read by Nicol Zanzarella
Published by Oasis Audio

Modern slavery is happening all around you . . . and you can be part of the solution.

Human trafficking is not just something that happens in other countries. Nor is it something that just happens to “other people,” such as runaways or the disenfranchised. Even kids in your own neighborhood can fall victim. But they don’t have to.

Through true stories and expertise from her many years of boots-on-the-ground experience, anti-trafficking expert Nita Belles teaches you everything you need to know about human trafficking in the United States, helping you identify risk factors, take practical steps to keep your loved ones and neighbors safe from predators, and recognize trafficking around you, so that you can help fight it.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

0 Feature: The Berghof Betrayal: A Winston Churchill 1930s Thriller

The Berghof Betrayal: A Winston Churchill 1930s Thriller
by Michael McMenamin, Patrick McMenamin

Publication Date: May 19, 2016
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback & eBook
Genre: Historical Thriller

The Berghof Betrayal, a Winston Churchill 1930s Thriller, by Michael McMenamin & Patrick McMenamin, continues their award-winning Winston Churchill Thriller series with a new action packed story of conspiracy and intrigue involving a fake Nazi plot to assassinate Hitler
Michael McMenamin & Patrick McMenamin’s The Berghof Betrayal, a Winston Churchill 1930s Thriller was inspired by an actual diary entry of German diplomat and publisher Count Harry Kessler in early 1933, shortly after Hitler took power:

“Weiland Herzfelde has absolutely reliable information that the Nazis plan a fake attempt on Hitler’s life which is to be the signal for a general massacre. The sources of his information are the SA in Dortmund and a tapped telephone conversation between Hitler and Röhm.”

This fake assassination attempt will allow the Nazis to declare martial law and liquidate their political opponents. Unknown to Hitler, however, his enemies within the Nazi party—the Black Front—are conspiring with renegade elements of his own SS to turn the fake assassination attempt into a real one.

Churchill learns of the fake plot and persuades Mattie McGary, William Randolph Hearst’s top photojournalist and Churchill’s adventure-seeking Scottish god-daughter, to investigate. McGary meets up in Germany with her fiancé, American lawyer and former MID agent Bourke Cockran, Jr., who is trying to acquire the rights to Rear Area Pig, a book exposing Hitler’s less-than-heroic wartime service. Mattie and Cockran attempt to stay one step ahead of the SS loyal to Hitler who will stop at nothing to keep Cockran from acquiring the book and Mattie from learning the truth about the fake plot.

Michael and Patrick are the co-authors of the award-winning 1930s era “Winston Churchill Thriller” series. The first three books in the series—The DeValera Deception ,The Parsifal Pursuit and The Gemini Agenda—all were named Grand Prize Winners for Fiction by the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and Book of the Year for Thriller/Suspense and Historical Fiction by ForeWord Reviews.

Check out another interview with Michael about Churchill's Irish-American mentor


THE VIEW WALKING DOWN the access road away from Hitler’s mountain home was even more spectacular than it had been driving up. With the sun high and the air crystal clear, Mattie could see their destination of the village square in Berchtesgaden several miles below while above and around them towered the snow-covered mountain peaks of the Obersalzburg. She took several photos of the scenery in all directions. Hitler had reclaimed his Alsatian Blondi who walked obediently without a leash several yards in front of Hitler. She was once again struck by the lack of security. Anyone could be waiting in ambush in one of the nearby chalets or around the next bend in the road and his two SS guards, who were a good fifty yards behind them to afford their Führer his privacy, would have been useless.
Mattie was curious as to whether he had taken any precautions for his safety. “Herr Hitler, I am surprised at the absence of security here now that you are Chancellor.”
            “I’m a fatalist, Fraulein McGary. Anyone with a rifle, telescopic sights and good aim in one of the chalets up here, “ Hitler replied, pointing to the widely scattered houses on the hill sides around them, “could pick me off as I walk. Or they could wait for me in the village square where I frequently walk as we are today. Still, I am not entirely defenseless. Let me show you. Do they have snow in England? Did you make snowballs as a young girl?” he asked with a smile.
            “I’m a Scot, not English,” Mattie replied, “and I assure you we have plenty of snow in the Highlands. I had two older brothers and, in self-defense if nothing else, I made plenty of snowballs in my youth.”
            “And you threw them as well?”
            “A snowball has no other purpose, Herr Hitler. I pack a mean snowball and I have both a good arm and a good aim. Would you like to see?” she asked with a grin.
            “Actually, yes I would. Make your best snowball and then throw it in front of us as far and as high as you can.”
            Mattie reached down and began to pack a snowball wondering how in bloody hell she was going to work this into her story. When she finished, she held the snowball out for Hitler’s inspection.
            “Excellent! Now, throw!”
            Mattie reached back and threw the snowball high in the air in front of them. Then, she watched in amazement as Hitler swiftly produced a Luger automatic pistol from the pocket of his great coat, extended his right arm straight out and fired. The snowball exploded in a spray of white.
            “Oh! My goodness!” Mattie exclaimed. “That was an incredible shot!”
            Hitler’s eyes narrowed. “What do you mean ‘incredible’? You think that was luck? That I can’t do it again?” he asked, the Luger now held barrel down at his side.
            “Oh, no. Of course not. I was simply admiring your marksmanship,” she replied.
            “My SS guards tell me I’m as good as, if not better than, their best marksmen. But go ahead, make another snowball.”
            “Really, Herr Hitler, I’m persuaded. It’s not necessary.”
            “Make another snowball.”
            Mattie did; she threw it; Hitler fired; and the snowball again burst apart in mid-air. He was obviously a crack shot, she thought, and needed no introduction to the new triangle stance which had improved her accuracy after Robbie Rankin had taught it to her.
            “I am a fatalist as I told you. Still, I believe in my destiny to lead the German peoples back to greatness,” he said as he slipped the Luger into his pocket and smiled. “But it never hurts to give Destiny a helping hand every now and then.”
            After that, they walked along in silence. As the snowball exhibition demonstrated, the Nazi leader was in a good mood and showed no signs of displeasure at their interview or some of her tough questions. And he shouldn’t, she thought, because except for his chilling counter-threat against the Jews, he had fielded her questions fairly well, questions she was sure he did not regularly receive from the German press.  Moments later, she heard the sound of a motorcar and watched as Hitler’s Mercedes with its black top and windows up passed them.
They were in sight of the village square when Hitler spoke for the first time since ordering the second snowball. “I noticed as we talked in the tea house, Fraulein, that you have acquired an engagement ring since last we met in Munich. Allow me to offer my congratulations. Who is the fortunate young man?”
            “Thank you. His name is Bourke Cockran. I introduced him to you at the Hotel Continental last June.” Mattie said. You know, she thought, that time when you were supposed to meet my godfather Winston and you stood him up.
            “Ah, yes. I do remember. You two were with Kurt von Sturm and his most attractive blonde companion.”
            “Ingrid Johannson. She now owns a major publishing company in New York.”
              “Yes, well, she and Kurt were a handsome couple, but I daresay you and Kurt would be an even more handsome couple. You know he’s the commander of Germany’s newest zeppelin?”
            What an odd thing to say, Mattie thought. Had Hitler seen her SS file also? “Yes, I know. Kurt’s a good friend. We had drinks a few days ago in Berlin.”
            “A fine young man. I cannot divulge the details, but he was most helpful to the Party and me at a critical time leading up to our breakthrough election in 1930. To me, he represents the Nordic ideal—tall, blond and physically fit. Just like my loyal SS.”
            Yeah, right, Mattie thought. And the “tall, blond and physically fit” snake serving as the number two man in your precious “loyal SS” is up to his neck in a plot to kill you.
            Hitler chuckled. “You’ve heard, of course, the joke about the perfect Aryan man?”
            Mattie thought she had, but she wasn’t sure and she wasn’t going to admit it in any event. When Mattie smiled and shook her head ‘no’, Hitler continued, “The perfect Aryan man is as tall as Goebbels, as physically trim as Goring and as blond as Himmler.”
            Hitler laughed at his own joke and Mattie joined in, but not for the same reason. She had heard the joke, but in the version she heard, it had been ‘as blond as Hitler’, not Himmler.

Literary Awards and Praise for the Winston Churchill Thrillers:

The DeValera Deception

Grand Prize Winner Fiction, 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Historical Fiction Book of the Year, ForeWord Reviews 2011
Thriller/Suspense Book of the Year, ForeWord Reviews 2011

"Crisply written and meticulously researched, The DeValera Deception is a remarkably well-crafted adventure story." -Mysterious Reviews

"A fast-paced historical thriller. The historical aspects of the novel are especially true to life, giving it a strong factual feel.” -Suspense Magazine

The Parsifal Pursuit
Grand Prize Winner Fiction, 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Thriller/Suspense Book of the Year, ForeWord Reviews 2012

“Evocative of Ken Follet and Steve Berry at their best, The Parsifal Pursuit is a thrilling ride through pre-World War II Europe, a masterful page-turner you won't soon forget!” D.E. Johnson Award-winning author of the historical mysteries The Detroit Electric Scheme and Motor City Shakedown.

"Vivid portrayal of Churchill and unusual insights into Hitler's character, a fast-paced thriller that is hard to put down." Richard Langworth, Author of Churchill By Himself.

The Gemini Agenda

Grand Prize Winner Fiction, 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Historical Fiction Book of the Year Finalist, ForeWord Reviews 2013
Thriller/Suspense Book of the Year Finalist, ForeWord Reviews 2013

“This series set in America and Europe during the 1930s gets better each time out. The story about secret experiments on twins is both chilling and irresistibly entertaining.” Les Roberts, Past President, Private Eye Writers of America.

“The McMenamins have once more successfully woven together history and fantasy in a dramatic thriller.” David Freeman, Editor of Finest Hour, The Churchill Centre Journal.

About the Authors

Michael McMenamin and Patrick McMenamin are the co-authors of the award winning 1930s era “Winston Churchill Thriller” series. The first three novels in the series—The DeValera Deception, The Parsifal Pursuit, and The Gemini Agenda—received a total of 14 literary awards. The Berghof Betrayal is their fourth Winston Churchill Thriller and they are currently at work on their fifth, The Silver Mosaic. Both Michael and Patrick have travelled extensively in Europe, South America, Central America and Asia while Patrick has also travelled in the Middle East and Africa.

Michael is the author of the critically acclaimed Becoming Winston Churchill, The Untold Story of Young Winston and His American Mentor [Hardcover, Greenwood 2007; Paperback, Enigma 2009] and the co-author of Milking the Public, Political Scandals of the Dairy Lobby from LBJ to Jimmy Carter [Nelson Hall, 1980]. He is an editorial board member of Finest Hour, the quarterly journal of the the International Churchill Society in Washington, D.C. and a contributing editor for the libertarian magazine Reason. His work has appeared also in The Churchills in Ireland, 1660-1965, Corrections and Controversies [Irish Academic Press, 2012] as well as two Reason anthologies, Free Minds & Free Markets, Twenty Five Years of Reason [Pacific Research Institute, 1993] and Choice, the Best of Reason [BenBella Books, 2004]. He was formerly a first amendment and media defense lawyer and a U.S. Army counter-intelligence agent.

Patrick, the other half of the father-son writing team, is an award-winning journalist who has produced stories for HuffPost Live, ABC News, Fox News and Fox Business Network, including work with John Stossel and Judge Andrew Napolitano. He is a Phi Beta Kappa cum laude graduate of the University of Rochester with Departmental Honors in both 20th Century European history and Film Studies.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

0 Champagne, Mystery, and Movie Magic: Review Dangerous To Know

Dangerous to Know
Forge Books
April 11, 2017
ISBN13: 9780765381866
 Historical Fiction
Source: From Publisher


Classic Hollywood. Silver Screen Style. Vintage Murder. A champagne cocktail of a mystery covered in movie magic stardust

December 1938. Lillian Frost has plunged head first into a world of boldfaced names and endless glamour as social secretary to movie-mad millionaire Addison Rice. Costume designer Edith Head is now in charge of Paramount Pictures’ wardrobe department, although her position is precarious: potential replacements are being auditioned on a regular basis. The two friends again become partners thanks to an international scandal: a real-life incident, a historical footnot long forgotten, in which the war clouds gathering over Europe cast a shadow on Hollywood.

At a swanky Manhattan dinner party the well-heeled guests speak ill of Adolf Hitler in front of a German maid with Nazi sympathies. The secrets she spills soon have all of New York society running for cover--and two of Paramount’s biggest stars, Jack Benny and George Burns, facing smuggling charges.

When an émigré composer seeking work at Paramount is found dead, Marlene Dietrich tells Edith she blames agents of the Reich. As Lillian and Edith unravel intrigue that extends from Paramount’s fabled Bronson Gate to FDR’s Oval Office, only one thing is certain: they’ll do it in style.

My Thoughts

Renee Patrick is the pseudonym for the dynamic writing husband and wife team Rosemarie and Vince Keenan. Last year's release of Design for Dying (Lillian Frost and Edith Head #1) was met with rave reviews and has been nominated for several awards. Design for Dying is a cozy, behind-the-scenes mystery surrounding Hollywood's Golden Age. You have atmosphere, glitz and glamour, and murder, of course. Not to mention two intelligent women who steal the show. Dangerous to Know is the second book starring this amateur crime-fighting duo.

After the success they had in Design for Dying, Edith and Lillian have built a bit of a reputation for themselves. So much so, when Marlene Dietrich comes knocking insisting they investigate the disappearance of a composer, they agree. The mystery launches them head-first into a plethora of espionage, gangsters, cover-ups, FBI investigations, starlets, and secrets. Patrick uses "a real-life incident, a historical footnote long forgotten, in which the war clouds gathering over Europe cast a shadow on Hollywood."

I love old movies. I love how glamorous everything seemed in 1930's Hollywood. I loved the clothes, the cars, the panache lifestyle. Renee Patrick takes you back to when glamour rules, gossip is king, and everybody has a secret. Dangerous to Know is a noir with two classy ladies who are whip smart and savvy. It's a nod at the classics and it will keep you guessing until the very end. Lillian Frost and Edith Head are an unstoppable force to be reckoned with and I can't wait for their next adventure.

 *I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review. My opinions are my own.

0 Mother's Day, Being An Introvert, and What To Read Next: Last Week In Review (48)

First, I want to say a belated Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there. I know Mother's Day can be hard for some people too. It is for my family, for we lost my mother-in-law just over a year ago and my grandmother in January. I miss both women very keenly.

My Mother's Day gifts were a cloth-bound Northanger Abbey, a candle that smells of Irish cream (it smells so good!), and a little box that my daughter decorated with hearts. Over the past few years I've been gifted cloth-bound Jane Austen books from Penguin Books. Northanger Abbey finished off the collection. I love them. They're so beautiful and look great on my shelf. I think I'll start collecting the Brontes next! 

So this time of year is exciting for many people, but draining for me. Graduations, weddings, engagements, baby showers, oh my! That has been my life lately. Every weekend has held one of these events and sometimes more. I feel exhausted from being overly social. I'm ready to hide in my introvert cave for awhile with a book. 

Image of Moby Dick by David Austen.

I did not get a lot of reading done last week. I managed to finish Dangerous To Know last night as well as listen to a few more chapters in An Uncommon Courtship. (the ebook is on sale at Amaon for $1.99. I'm not sure how much longer the sale will last, so be sure to check the price before buying.) So progress is being made at least. I'm also reading Dr. Faustus and Moby Dick with my kids. I say "kids" but they're pre-teen and teen. They'll always be kids to me, though. As well as reading Moby Dick, we're also listening to The Moby Dick Big Read. They have (had?) a website, for some reason I'm not able to access it today, but the Big Read is available on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/moby-dick-big-read. Each chapter is read by a different celebrity. We've only listened to four chapters so far, but it's really good. Also, you can read more about it on Open Culture.

Things To Note

Seasons of Stories is back! You can have short stories delivered to you inbox from Penguin Random House.

Don't forget you only have a few days left to download this week's Sync titles. Bronx Masquerade and Teenage Diaries.

Last. but not least:

What should I read next from my TBR pile?

I'm trying to stop myself from starting all these books at the same time. However, I'm leaning toward Mothers and Other Strangers. It's tough to choose!

What are you reading?

*I have affiliate links to Amazon in this post. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

0 Audiobook Review: The Viscount Who Loved Me

The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons #2)
by Julia Quinn, Read by Rosalyn Landor 
Audio CD, Unabridged | 12.25 hours
Published January 31st 2017 by Recorded Books


1814 promises to be another eventful season, but not, this author believes, for Anthony Bridgerton, London's most elusive bachelor, who has shown no indication that he plans to marry. And in all truth, why should he? When it comes to playing the consummate rake, nobody does it better... - Lady Whistledown's Society Papers, April 1814

But this time the gossip columnists have it wrong. Anthony Bridgerton hasn't just decided to marry - he's even chosen a wife! The only obstacle is his intended's older sister, Kate Sheffield - the most meddlesome woman ever to grace a London ballroom. The spirited schemer is driving Anthony mad with her determination to stop the betrothal, but when he closes his eyes at night, Kate's the woman haunting his increasingly erotic dreams.

Contrary to popular belief, Kate is quite sure that reformed rakes do not make the best husbands - and Anthony Bridgerton is the most wicked rogue of them all. Kate is determined to protect her sister - but she fears her own heart is vulnerable. And when Anthony's lips touch hers, she's suddenly afraid she might not be able to resist the reprehensible rake herself.

My Thoughts

I think it's safe to say that Julia Quinn is the queen of historical romance. Well, she is for me anyway. I've read several of her books and loved every minute of it. This is the first time I've listened to one on audio. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to listen to The Viscount Who Loved Me. It's read by the esteemed Rosalyn Landor, who I think the Brigertons would entirely approve of to narrate their story. 

It started with a bee sting. Anthony has  never really gotten over his father's death, a man that he loved more than life. He's stumbled through life becoming known as one of the greatest rogues of his age. He's finally decided that it's time for him to settle down. He makes a list of attributes he wishes in a future wife, but he's adamant that whoever he chooses he must not fall in love with. He meets the perfect woman: Edwina Sheffield. She is everything he's hoped for, but her sister is the only obstacle standing in his way.

Kate Sheffield loves her sister. She wants to see her happily married, but not to the most notorious bachelor in London. From her first meeting with Anthony Brigerton, she tells him plainly that she will do anything to protect her sister. Anthony takes it as a challenge. The more they're thrown together, the less interested he is in Edwina. After all it's Kate who he thinks about, dreams about.

Anthony and Kate's relationship reminded me a lot of Benedick and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing. Kate was almost reminiscent of a Jane Austen character. Not any one in particular, but more of a combination of Elizabeth Bennett and Elinor Dashwood. Anthony was the perfect match for such a character, though at times I thought him rather brutish. But their characters meshed well together.

Julia Quinn makes almost every character in her novel charming on some level. Even the minor characters I love. If you've not met the Bridgertons yet, you really need to. And if you get the chance, listen to them on audio, but keep your earbuds handy for the steamy scenes!

Friday, May 12, 2017

0 Audiobook Review: Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

Author: Anna Kendrick
Narrator: Anna Kendrick
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio
Published: November 15, 2016
Length: 6 hours
ISBN: 9781508213550
Genre: Memoir
Source: Publisher


A collection of humorous autobiographical essays by the Academy Award-nominated actress and star of Up in the Air and Pitch Perfect.

Even before she made a name for herself on the silver screen starring in films like Pitch PerfectUp in the AirTwilight, and Into the Woods, Anna Kendrick was unusually small, weird, and “10 percent defiant.”

At the ripe age of thirteen, she had already resolved to “keep the crazy inside my head where it belonged. Forever. But here’s the thing about crazy: It. Wants. Out.” In Scrappy Little Nobody, she invites readers inside her brain, sharing extraordinary and charmingly ordinary stories with candor and winningly wry observations.

With her razor-sharp wit, Anna recounts the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture as only she can—from her unusual path to the performing arts (Vanilla Ice and baggy neon pants may have played a role) to her double life as a middle-school student who also starred on Broadway to her initial “dating experiments” (including only liking boys who didn’t like her back) to reviewing a binder full of butt doubles to her struggle to live like an adult woman instead of a perpetual “man-child.”

Enter Anna’s world and follow her rise from “scrappy little nobody” to somebody who dazzles on the stage, the screen, and now the page—with an electric, singular voice, at once familiar and surprising, sharp and sweet, funny and serious (well, not that serious).

My Thoughts

Scrappy Little Nobody is a collection of essays by Anna Kendrick. The topics range from early childhood recollections, life as a penniless actor, and Hollywood stardom. I'm usually not big on celebrity memoirs, but I thought I'd give this one a shot since I enjoyed some of her movies. I think the first movie I saw her in was Twilight. However, the movie that made me a fan was Pitch PerfectI didn't really know much about Kendrick's life before listening to this audiobook. I had no idea she was a child actor or that she performed on Broadway. She even won a Tony. As you can tell, I was totally in the dark as far as Anna Kendrick was concerned.

Kendrick is the narrator of her book and she does a superb job. It has a casual tone that makes you feel like it's just the two of you in a conversation. Scrappy Little Nobody has the same edgy snarkiness that Kendrick's characters often portray in movies. I often wondered if it's her actual personality or if she's giving the people what they want--so to speak. But despite my misgivings, the audiobook was interesting and entertaining. It does feel as if she's being mostly honest with her readers. She doesn't gloss over the bumpy road to stardom or make it sound easy. 

Scrappy Little Nobody is must for Anna Kendrick fans who want to get to know her better.

 Check out an excerpt from Scrappy Little Nobody below:

*Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link to Amazon.I received this audiobook from Simon and Schuster Audio in exchange for a fair review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

0 Sync celebrates the power of teens. #freeaudiobooks

This week, Sync celebrates the power of a teen voice. Download week three audiobooks from SYNC ←←←

Bronx Masqueradeby Nikki GrimesRead by Jessica AlmasyKevin R. FreeMarc Damon JohnsonSisi Aisha JohnsonMelanie MartinezCherise Boothe
Acclaimed poet, novelist, journalist, and educator Nikki Grimes was born and raised in New York City. Each of the 18 kids in Mr. Ward's inner city classroom has something important to say, but some don't even realize it. Then Mr. Ward begins to have "open mic" poetry slams once a month on Fridays. Young adult listeners will identify with the characters in Bronx Masquerade as they explore questions about life and self-expression. "As always, Grimes gives young people exactly what they're looking for-real characters who show them they are not alone."-School Library Journal

Teenage Diaries: Then and Nowby Radio DiariesRead by Hosted by Joe Richman
They conduct interviews, keep audio journals, and record the sounds of daily life; usually collecting more than 30 hours of raw tape over the course of a year, edited into documentaries airing on NPR’s All Things Considered. Whether it’s the story of Amanda, a gay teen trying to understand her sexuality, or the story of Juan, who crossed the Rio Grande with his family illegally, these stories offer insight into the mysterious life of teenagers. Sixteen years later, five of those diarists return to chronicle their grown-up lives.

These books are only available for a limited time: Available: 05/11 - 05/18. You also need to download Overdrive app. It's available on Available for IOS®, Android™, Kindle® and Windows Phone®, as well as for Windows and Mac desktop platforms. 
It's easy, peasy, lemon squeezy! 
Stay tuned for next week's selection! 


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