Friday, February 23, 2018

Straight Browsing from the Library: First Impressions by Jay Hogan


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jay Hogan will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

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Michael:

Two years ago I made a mistake, a big one, and then I threw in another couple just for good measure. I screwed up my life big time but I made it through. I was lucky.

Then I was given the opportunity for a fresh start. Two years in Auckland, NZ, ‘The City of Sails’. Away from the LA gossip, a chance to breathe, to get my life back together.
I grabbed it and packed my new set of golden rules with me.

I don’t do relationships.
I don’t do commitment.
I don’t do white picket fences.

And I especially don’t do arrogant, holier-than-thou, smoking hot K9 officers who walk into my ER and rock my world.

Josh:

The only thing I know for certain about Dr. Michael Oliver is the guy is an arrogant, untrustworthy player, and I’d barely survived the last one of those in my life. Once was more than enough.

The man might be gorgeous but my eleven-year-old daughter takes number one priority and I won’t risk her being hurt, again. I’m a solo dad, a K9 cop and a son to pain in the ass, bigoted parents.

I don’t have time for games.
I don’t have time for taking chances.
I don’t have time for more complications in my life.

And I sure as hell don’t have time for the infuriating Dr. Michael Oliver, however damn sexy he is.

READ AN EXCERPT


Josh was fuming. Fast pitch was one of the few activities he got to enjoy on his own and now he had to put up with Michael freaking Oliver. Arriving at Kendrick’s he’d immediately collared Mark at the bar as the guy was buying a round.

“What the hell, man? Whose idea was it to invite him?”

His friend plastered a huge grin on his face and held up his hands in surrender. “Nothing to do with me, mate. Boss man just asked me to deliver him.”

“And you couldn’t think of any reason that wouldn’t be a good idea?”

“What was I going to say?” Mark studied his friend. “And honestly, he seems a good guy and he plays a solid game.”

“I don’t give a flying fuck if he plays like Nathan Nukunuku, he’s an asshole.”

“Funny, that’s what he called you.”

“Wait. He called me an asshole?”

Mark snorted. “Lighten up, Josh. Anyone would think you actually liked the guy.”

“Fuck off.”

Mark whacked him on the back of his head.

“Ow,” Josh protested.

“Suck it up. You deserved it. So, the guy was cruising, so what? Oh. My. God. What a scandal. And he even got lucky with a gorgeous young man, well good for him. It’s not a crime. And besides, he’s hot. And he hit on you. I would think that was reassuring, that you haven’t lost it. You’re both obviously hot for each other.”

“I’m a father of an eleven-year-old girl.”

“And that came with getting your dick cut off, did it?”

“You wouldn’t understand,” Josh dismissed the comment.

MEET THE AUTHOR


Jay is a New Zealand author writing in the LGBTQIA genre in MM Romance and Fantasy. She has travelled extensively and lived in many places including the US, Canada, France, Australia and South Korea, and loves to add experiences from these adventures into her writing.

She is a cat aficionado especially of Maine Coons, and an avid dog lover (but don’t tell the cat). She loves to cook- pretty damn good, loves to sing - pretty damn average, and as for parenting a gorgeous daughter-well that depends on the day.

She has lovely complex boys telling sweet sexy stories in her head that demand attention and a considerable number of words to go with them. Their journeys are never straightforward and can even surprise Jay, but the end is always satisfying.

You can find her at:

https://www.facebook.com/JayHoganAuthor
https://twitter.com/taranakidreams
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079C9R46H

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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Straight Browsing from the Library: The Atomic City Girls by Janet Beard


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Three randomly drawn readers will receive a digital copy of the book. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

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In the bestselling tradition of Hidden Figures and The Wives of Los Alamos, comes this riveting novel of the everyday people who worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II.

“What you see here, what you hear here, what you do here, let it stay here.”

In November 1944, eighteen-year-old June Walker boards an unmarked bus, destined for a city that doesn’t officially exist. Oak Ridge, Tennessee has sprung up in a matter of months—a town of trailers and segregated houses, 24-hour cafeterias, and constant security checks. There, June joins hundreds of other young girls operating massive machines whose purpose is never explained. They know they are helping to win the war, but must ask no questions and reveal nothing to outsiders.

The girls spend their evenings socializing and flirting with soldiers, scientists, and workmen at dances and movies, bowling alleys and canteens. June longs to know more about their top-secret assignment and begins an affair with Sam Cantor, the young Jewish physicist from New York who oversees the lab where she works and understands the end goal only too well, while her beautiful roommate Cici is on her own mission: to find a wealthy husband and escape her sharecropper roots. Across town, African-American construction worker Joe Brewer knows nothing of the government’s plans, only that his new job pays enough to make it worth leaving his family behind, at least for now. But a breach in security will intertwine his fate with June’s search for answers.

When the bombing of Hiroshima brings the truth about Oak Ridge into devastating focus, June must confront her ideals about loyalty, patriotism, and war itself.

MEET THE AUTHOR


Born and raised in East Tennessee, Janet Beard moved to New York to study screenwriting at NYU and went on to earn an MFA in creative writing from The New School. Her first novel, Beneath the Pines, was published in 2008. Janet has lived and worked in Australia, England, Boston, and currently, Columbus, Ohio, where she is teaching writing, raising a daughter, and working on a new novel.

https://www.janetbeard.com/
http://www.facebook.com/janetbeardauthor
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1425436.Janet_Beard
https://www.instagram.com/janetlbeard/

Buy links:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-atomic-city-girls-janet-beard/1126314388?ean=9780062666710#/
https://www.amazon.com/Atomic-City-Girls-Novel/dp/0062666711/ref=sr_1_1

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Straight Browsing from the Library: The Unlikeable Demon Hunter: Crave by Deborah Wilde



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Deborah is giving away a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

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What doesn’t kill you...

seriously messes with your love life.

Nava is happily settling into her new relationship and life is all giddy joy and stolen kisses.

Except when it’s assassins. Talk about a mood killer.

She and Rohan are tracking the unlikely partnership between the Brotherhood and a witch who can bind demons, but every new piece of the puzzle is leaving them with more questions than answers.

And someone doesn’t appreciate them getting close to the truth.

Go figure.

On top of that, a demon known only as Candyman has unleashed a drug that’s harming users in extremely disturbing ways.

After a friend of Nava’s is hurt, she vows to take this demon down. But will life as she knows it survive this mission, or will this be the one time she should have looked before she leapt?

Happily-ever-after: barring death, she’s got a real shot at it.

READ AN EXCERPT


“I love home delivery.” Malik lounged in his doorway, eyeing me the way the wolf must have with the three little pigs. His British accent was pure sin.

“I love your arrogance that you didn’t bother moving after I almost killed you.”

He laughed, flashing straight white teeth against his bronze skin. He was still the only being I’d ever met who could pull off a Caesar cut, and was still the stuff of billionaire romance cover fantasies in his soft gray trousers that were artfully tailored to the hard lines of his body and navy shirt, carelessly folded back at the cuffs. “Oh, petal. I’d say I missed you, but I didn’t. Now, unless you brought the more interesting twin?” He peered into the hallway. “No?”

He shut the door, but I stuffed my foot in to block it. Not like he politely stopped trying to close it. “Ow.” I pushed my shoulder into the door to keep my poor bones from breaking. “If you weren’t wondering why I was here, you wouldn’t have let security buzz me up or let my toes cross the wards I’m sure you’ve got strung across this door.”

“Ten seconds.”

“That’s not–”

“Five, four…”

“Demons are being bound.” I rushed my words as he made a buzzing noise.

Malik yanked me inside by my collar and slammed the door.

I wrenched free.

His penthouse apartment hadn’t changed. Still to-die-for sweeping views of the city, a massive glass wine storage unit in the open concept space, and a loft bedroom. He pointed at one of the leather sofas, custom made to hug the curved walls. “Sit and talk.”

MEET THE AUTHOR


A global wanderer, hopeless romantic, and total cynic with a broken edit button, Deborah writes urban fantasy to satisfy her love of smexy romances and tales of chicks who kick ass. This award-winning author is all about the happily-ever-after, with a huge dose of hilarity along the way. “It takes a bad girl to fight evil. Go Wilde.”

Website: http://www.deborahwilde.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/wildeauthor
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeborahWildeAuthor/

Buy Link:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0784674R3
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0784674R3

NOTE: This title is discounted for up to 60% until midnight February 26 and the entire series is on sale until then as well.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Straight Browsing from the Library: Racing the Tide by January Bain


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. January Bain will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

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Racing the Tide, Book one in the TETRAD Group series.

Cole and Gabby, undercover in Vancouver’s Chinatown, have no time for the attraction developing between them. Not when the race is on to rescue a kidnap victim before time runs out.

My name is Cole McClintock. My new job with the TETRAD Group has me working with a woman that’s gotten me so tied up in unfuckingbelievable knots that I’m a certifiable nut job. I mean, just look at her. The woman is beyond hot with those big doe eyes and luscious curves that makes me want to possess every single inch of her.

One look at Cole McClintock and knew I should stay right the fuck away from him. My name is Gabriella Banks and I’d be the first to admit I’m complicated, but at least my job as a new operative with The TETRAD Group keeps me too busy to dwell on my lack of a sex life. I never thought I’d be admitting this, but my strong-woman exterior hides a craving for something more—something only Cole can provide…

READ AN EXCERPT


The bed trembled, its legs jerking and thudding about in a kind of macabre dance. Cole woke instantly. Is this the big one? The king-size bed shimmied and rattled a few more times, then settled back down, coming to rest slightly askew on the hardwood floor of his bedroom, the earth having released its rage. Another fucking tremor. He ran his hands through his sweat-damp hair, glancing over at the bedside table.

Five-fourteen a.m. He slid his gaze from the clock to the picture, as he did every morning, ready to administer his daily punishment. During the long night of sleeping intermittently, he had made up his mind, but now, looking at her face, he couldn’t do it. He couldn’t dishonor her memory in that way. Especially not in that way. The coward’s way.

His mind zeroed in on the single event defining his life, the day haunting him every second the clock ticked. The day almost a year ago when he’d pulled into his driveway after a voice message he could make no sense of. Finding the front door ajar. Walking down a hallway so silent he could hear the pounding in his skull echoing his slamming pulse. Finding the bathroom door shut against him. One more obstacle. Turning the handle as slow as a swimmer in deep water, finding it unlocked, his throat tight and aching. The creak of the hinges. The door swung open. His vision darkening around the edges as he took in the horror of the scene. The heaviness in his chest that made him sink to the floor, gathering her into his arms. No. Oh, God no. Not like this.

MEET THE AUTHOR


January Bain has wished on every falling star, every blown-out birthday candle, and every coin thrown in a fountain to be a storyteller. To share the tales of high adventure, mysteries, and full blown thrillers she has dreamed of all her life. The story you now have in your hands is the compilation of a lot of things manifesting itself for this special series. Hundreds of hours spent researching the unusual and the mundane have come together to create a series that features strong women who don’t take life too seriously, wild adventures full of twists and unforeseen turns, and hot complicated men who aren’t afraid to take risks. She can only hope the stories of her beloved Brass Ringers will capture your imagination as you follow their exploits as much as they did when she wrote them.

If you are looking for January Bain, you can find her hard at work every morning without fail in her office with two furry babies trying to prove who does a better job of guarding the doorway. And, of course, she’s married to the most romantic man! Who once famously remarked to her inquiry about buying fresh flowers for their home every week, “Give me one good reason why not?” Leaving her speechless and knocking her head against the proverbial wall for being so darn foolish. She loves flowers.

If you wish to connect in the virtual world she is easily found on Facebook, twitter and writes a weekly blog about her journey on Blogger. Oh, and she loves to talk books…

Blog http://januarybainjourney.blogspot.ca/
Twitter https://twitter.com/JanuaryBain
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/january.bain
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6437282.January_Bain

Buy the book at Amazon or Totally Bound

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Friday, February 9, 2018

Straight Browsing from the Library:Jack Gregson & the Forgotten Portal by Peter Wilsn


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Peter Wilson will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

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Winner of the Bronze medal in the 2017 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards in the Pre-Teen Fiction-Mystery category.

Something has changed at Gregson Manor. An evil force from the family's past has returned to upheave their lives. Jack and his cousins explore the family secrets as they are pulled through a portal into a universe of endless worlds and possibilities. Together, they race to escape and destroy the evil Theorden and his followers who strive to unlock the power of the Forgotten Portal and wreak havoc on Gregson Manor and the World.

READ AN EXCERPT


They continued down the mud track until reaching a junction where three paths met and the Warden Statue stood before them.

“The Monk,” David said as they looked up at it. Over the years the three of them had named all twenty-three statues of Gregson manor, based purely on what the person looked like. While they knew each represented important Gregson family members from different generations, that hadn’t stopped them inventing some of the more childish names such as The Fat Dwarf, Big Butt Betty and Jack’s personal favorite The Constipated General.

The Monk stood on a small pedestal, the total height of the statue being around two meters. He had bare feet, with long flowing robes closed by a rope tied around his waist. His hands were pressed together at chest height as if praying and his shaved head was bowed with eyes closed.

“What do we do now? There’s no blue emerald here that I can see.” Rosie asked, examining the statue from all angles.

“Don’t know, that nutty woman didn’t say.” David replied, referring to the curator. “She did tell us to the bring the book though, maybe that will tell us something.”

Rosie pulled it out, then dropped the bag to the ground and sat on it. She went to the contents page and read down the list until she came to the chapter on the Rear Garden.

She started to read:

The Rear Gardens are situated at the rear of the Gregson Manor…

“Whoever wrote this really spells things out, don’t they? Does it mention that the grass is green and the trees point upwards in a tree like fashion?” David asked sarcastically. “It’s like it’s written by a moron, for morons.”

MEET THE AUTHOR


Peter Wilson has been writing for years. He started with short stories (many of them just 55 words long). The storylines and genres he chooses to write in are fantasy, horror & fast paced thrillers, as that is what he enjoys reading.

A number of years ago Peter sat down to write another short story, based on a prompt given in an online writing competition. As the word count rose, he realized that it wasn’t so short and it had turned into a novel: Jack Gregson & the Forgotten Portal, which recently won a Moonbeam award. He’s currently working on the sequel to the book, in what he plans to be a trilogy.

Peter lives in Sydney Australia. When he’s not writing, he works in the digital world, creating content for games, music and movie companies.

Website: https://www.peterwilsonauthor.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/jgregsonportal/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15155874.Peter_Wilson

Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Straight Browsing from the Library: David Pereda


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. David Pereda will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

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The year is 1952 and Ramon Rodriguez’s life as a teenager in fun-loving Havana is filled with typical activities and concerns: girls, education, religion, baseball, parties, and hanging out with friends. The country is enjoying a period of prosperity and happiness--until General Batista stages a coup that topples the government and Ramon’s life is flung into chaos.

In a few short years, the carefree fifties morph into a vicious and repressive dictatorship highlighted by corruption, organized gambling, school closures, student demonstrations, police brutality, and assassinations.

As Ramon experiences the thrills of his first romantic relationship, graduates from school, and struggles to plan for an uncertain future, he is forced to make important decisions that may be dangerous to him, his family, his friends, and his girlfriend – the beautiful Sonia -- and could turn deadly.

READ AN EXCERPT


Black Face chomped on his cigar, eyeing Pepe with deliberation. He was big and muscular and mean-looking. Pepe looked frail next to him. ‘Go home, muchacho.’ He finally said. ‘Now. Before you get in trouble.’

‘Is the president really dead?’ I asked. ‘Is it true?’

The fat policeman laughed in my face. He had rotten teeth and bad breath too. He winked at Black Face. ‘Hey, Valdez, did you hear that? This boy wants to know if the president’s dead. How do you like that?’

The black policeman laughed too, as if what Puffy Face had said was the funniest thing in the world, his burly body shaking all over. He coughed, and tears came to his eyes.

‘Is he dead?’ Pepe asked.

The two policemen laughed some more, but not so hard.

Their laughter was running out of steam. Maybe they were getting tired. I realized, suddenly, how scared I really was of them – my heart was pounding hard and my breath was coming in shallow little gasps. It was time to leave. Who cared if the president was dead or not, anyway? We could find that out later.

‘Is he dead?’ Pepe asked again.

‘You sure ask a lot of questions,’ Puffy Face replied with annoyance. ‘No, he ain’t, cabron. Bastard ran away. Scared.’

‘Cabron yourself,’ Pepe said under his breath. ‘Fat ass!’

‘What was that you said?’ Perez scowled at Pepe.

‘Nada, Señor Policia. Nothing!’ Hermes said, walking rapidly toward the other side of the street. ‘He didn’t say nothing.’

Perez watched us with his frog eyes as Joaquin and I struggled to take Pepe away. Black Face chewed on his cigar stump.

‘What these little bastards need is work,’ Perez said. ‘Trabajo.’

‘Trabajo, si.’ Valdez took the cigar out of his mouth and spat again. ‘Put them to work in the sun ten hours a day with a pick and a shovel. That’s what they need. I guarantee you they won’t be so sassy then.’

‘Si,’ Perez said. ‘That’s what they need.’ He laughed. ‘And palos. Una buena partida de palos. Beat the shit out of them with a stick.’

As if to emphasize his words, Perez hit the façade of the school building hard with the butt of his machine gun. ‘And here’s where they learn all that mierda. Right here!’ He banged the wall again. ‘From the curas and their goddamned Catholic schools.’

‘That’s the problem with Cuba, the goddamned curas,’ Valdez said. ‘Fucking priests stick their noses into everything. All they do is create trouble. Look at these kids, asking questions. No respect for authority. Wanting to know who’s the new president.’

‘Si, what the fuck do they care who’s the new president? That’s the fault of the curas,’ Perez said, adding so softly I had to strain to hear him as we rambled away, ‘School and curas. Never liked them and never will.’

Unexpectedly, Black Face screamed something at us. The jumbled words reached my ears with the force of a slapping wind as we hurried down the street. For a moment, I couldn’t comprehend what he was saying and then, finally, I did.

‘It’s Batista, cabrones. You hear me? Batista! That’s the name of your new president. And he’s black too. Like me.’

MEET THE AUTHOR


David Pereda was born in Havana, Cuba. The award-winning author of seven previous novels, he enjoys crafting political thrillers and edgy mainstream novels with unique characters placed in exotic settings. He has traveled to more than thirty countries and speaks four languages. Before devoting his time solely to writing and teaching, David had a successful international consulting career with global giant Booz Allen Hamilton, where he worked with the governments of Mexico, Venezuela, Peru and Qatar, among others.

A member of MENSA, David earned his MBA from Pepperdine University in California. He earned bachelor degrees in English literature and mathematics at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

He lives in artistic Asheville, North Carolina, with his youngest daughter Sophia, where he teaches mathematics and English at the Asheville-Buncombe Community College. He loves sports and is an accomplished competitor in track and show-jumping equestrian events.

http://davidpereda.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/David-Pereda-Writer/345490998614
https://twitter.com/DavidPeredaAVL

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Havana-Blues-David-Pereda-ebook/dp/B078KLQNL9
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/havana-blues-david-pereda/1127421804

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Straight Reading from the Library: Beautiful Evil Winter by Kelly K. Lavender


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kelly K. Lavender will be awarding $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

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After the USSR collapses, a time reminiscent of the unforgiving gun-slinging days of the frontier west, mild-mannered Ethan and fiery Sophia board a plane bound for Russia. They hope to prevail with their homespun plan to secure their son's safe passage to America. What can go wrong? Maybe, an innocent ill fated encounter with the Mafia or maybe, being marked as a target for mob revenge. Perhaps, having to rely on a first-time adoption coordinator to complete the process and shelter them from harm. Honestly, what won't go wrong?

Inspired by a true story, Beautiful Evil Winter triumphs as epic historical fiction about the human capacity for hope, the traumas that shape our lives and the hardships we'll endure for love.

READ AN EXCERPT


“I’m too tired to talk.” Turning away from him, I grab a blanket and reposition my entire body as close as possible to Ethan’s seat.

“Okay, well, I’ll get comfortable. Must finish my movie,” he announces as he shifts around in his seat and loosens his tie.

From the corner of my semi-closed eye, I see him push off his shoes and remove his socks. Wiggling his now naked toes, he grabs his iPad and powers it on.

Gathering the blanket closer, I relax and try to drift away.

“Aw, Melissa, moan for me, “ a breathless male pleas as he grunts.

“Yes, yes, that’s it!” A female pants in reply.

A glance reveals more than I want to see, a totally naked couple pleasuring each other.

I feel my cheeks redden with anger. There are children on this flight!

As I glance across the aisle, I see a Mom hugging a toddler acutely aware. Her sour expression says it all as she positions her child’s head in the direction of the seat window. Re-adjusting my body, I turn to face him, carefully choosing my words.

“Look, you may enjoy that movie, but a lot of people wouldn’t—especially the parents of children on this plane. If you’ll angle your screen toward the window and turn the volume down or use your ear plugs, I think several passengers will be grateful.”

“Mind your own business, bitch! I’ll watch whatever I want in the seat I paid for!” His eyes gleam. He enjoys this too much.

In my peripheral vision, I can see slack-jawed Mom across the aisle, her toddler now in the arms of his Dad. Her gripping hand like a talon, flexing as waves of rage engulf her. I see fury fill her eyes and heart—morphing her into a predator and a protector of her young.

Gripping the hand rest, I reach up for the call button. Immediately, his hand covers mine.

“You didn’t say that you don’t like porn,” he says with a smile as his hand squeezes mine.

My eyes glitter with cold, hard hate—hate as tangible as a slab of black marble. Hate that maims and kills, without regret.

“Let me be clear,” I hiss.

“Your movie disgusts me as much as you do! Leave me alone, and don’t talk to me!”

Turning my upper body away from him, I grab a pillow and blanket—positioning myself toward Ethan and away from him.

“And I let my fingers do the walking walking walking—all the way up your back.”

With unbridled fury, I turn and slap him with the force of my pent-up anger—anger at his moronic behavior, anger at having to sit on the tarmac for two hours and anger at having to deal with idiocy all along this journey.

Chuckling, he touches his now red-striped cheek.

I glance over at Ethan for help, but he’s still comatose, only a gunshot wound would wake him up.

Where’s that flight attendant? I did manage to push the button.

Some little kid is crying in the background. The 5-year-old girl adjacent to us is wearing white socks splattered with dirt. She’s picking her nose and staring at us in wide-eyed wonder.

Finally, a tall, heavyset flight attendant hurries down the aisle looking irate.

“What’s going on here?” he demands. 
In a well rehearsed move, he kicks Ethan’s boot to wake him.

“What? Why did you kick me?” Ethan whines as he rubs his eyes, finally looking back and forth between me and Brightly. “Good God, what’s going on here?”


“I was just asking myself the same thing,” says the flight attendant, shooting daggers at me.

Clearly, he thinks this is all my fault.

Rising to his feet and stepping into the aisle, Ethan blinks in disbelief, then grabs my arm and yanks me out of my seat to stand beside him.

“Are you ok?”


I nod, my lips trembling.

READ THE REVIEW
 
I chose the above excerpt to illustrate an issue I had with this book.  The book takes place shortly after the breakup of the USSR (1991).  However, the iPad, which is mentioned in the excerpt, was first released in 2010.  While the rest of the story appears to largely accurate, the placement of an iPad being used on the plane to stream porn via the plane's internet in the early 1990s was anachronistic. Since it occurred at the beginning of the story, it did color my enjoyment moving forward and perhaps made me even more sensitive to editing issues than I'm already prone to be.

Most of the errors were minor and could have easily been fixed with editing.  For example, run on sentences ("This is your pilot I apologize for the delay." p.10), punctuation errors (“He’s out cold.” Between the screaming baby and me trying to wedge past him, he hasn’t moved an inch.” p. 11), point of view errors (My eyes glitter with cold, hard hate—hate as tangible as a slab
of black marble. p. 13), issues with unnecessary capitals (Vice President, Presidential p. 30),  sentence fragments (Growing up, a repair tech never called and never needed. p. 30).  There were incidents like these throughout the book.

That said, the story itself was enthralling.  The main couple, Sophia and Ethan, were as different as night and day from each other.  She is very strong and aggressive; he is very non-confrontational. There is a lot of growth with them as they go through this adventure together - Ethan begins to get a backbone, and Sophia gentles a bit. 

 The story is told with several flashbacks that explain how they met, an accident that happened to Sophia that made it impossible for her to have children of her own, things leading up to the adoption itself.

The best scene in the book is the bar scene - it's not only the black moment which puts them on the radar of the Russian mafia, it's also where you can best see the growth in Ethan.

The book is based on the author's own trip to Russia to adopt her son. Thankfully, based on the book club questions at the end of the book, her own trip was less eventful than Sophia and Ethan's.  But, the heart of the story, the love the main characters have for their son, and the difficulties they are willing to go through to get him ring true and that is what makes this book worth reading despite the editing issues. 


MEET THE AUTHOR


Kelly’s fascination with fiction began in middle school when she entered a book-reading contest and won. As an ardent fan of the resonating narrative and the cliffhanger, she decided to dedicate herself to becoming a skilled writer. When college professors spotlighted her writing in the classroom, it anchored her interest in becoming a novelist.

After earning a business degree, she continued to pursue her education at UCLA, via the UCLA Writers' Extension Program, where her work earned praise from an Award-Winning Author. A rickety project trip to Russia, to adopt a baby boy, provided the inspiration for her debut novel, Beautiful Evil Winter.

Awards:

READERS’ FAVORITE INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS
Beautiful Evil Winter a 2014 Triple Genre Finalist: Fiction-Suspense, Fiction-Thriller-General and Romance Sizzle! Readers’ Favorite receives entries from small presses, celebrities and New York Times Best-Selling Authors. Beautiful Evil Winter earned more accolades with READERS FAVORITE INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS by securing a place in the Winners' Circle for the mega category—Fiction Suspense.

THE ERIC HOFFER AWARDS honored Beautiful Evil Winter by selecting it for the Winners' Circle-Commercial Fiction! The Hoffer Award honors "...writing of significant merit..."

The NATIONAL INDIE EXCELLENCE AWARDS chose Beautiful Evil Winter as a New Fiction Finalist!

DAN POYNTER'S GLOBAL EBOOK AWARDS placed Beautiful Evil Winter in the Winners' Circle for Fiction-Suspense

Plenty, my second novel, also earned distinction as a DAN POYNTER'S 2016 GLOBAL EBOOK AWARD BRONZE MEDALIST-FICTION SUSPENSE.

Award-Winning Novels:

Beautiful Evil Winter
Plenty

Organizations:

Writers’ League of Texas
UCLA Writers’ Extension Program
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