Jul 262012
 


Play Him Again
(A Matt Hudson Novel)

Genre: Mystery
Riverdale Press
E-Book
Published on March 17, 2012
472 KB or 283 Pages

Play Him Again


Set in California in the Roaring 20’s when silent movies are the rage and producing talkies is just too expensive. Only two studios even have equipment to add the sound and they don’t want to share even with their favorite bootlegger, Matt Hudson. His dream is to make a film with actors actually talking and rake in the dough. His oldest friend in the world, con man Danny Kincaid, tries to use the talkie gold mine angle to his favor with a Chicago mobster fresh to California. Sadly he ends up dead, swimming with the fishes. “Hud” goes on a mission to track down Danny’s killer hoping he doesn’t join Danny in the morgue.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This was a quick fun read that was very interesting. Spattered with big time actors of the 20’s like Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks who all happen to be friends with Matt “Hud” Hudson. Hud’s girlfriend is upset she is not as friendly with the famous trio.

Referencing the success of the movie The Jazz Singer really set the time and place of the story. This piece of fiction seems to have been well researched regarding the era, movie making and prohibition which makes it believable. The plot and subplots are polished and interwoven but at times the story is a bit bogged down trying to let the reader know just too much.

I was really taken with the characters the author created. The famous ones acted as expected but “Hud” especially was multifaceted. A man trying to better himself, wanting out of bootlegging and trying to make himself something in the hot industry of the era, making movies.

I can’t wait to see where the author takes Matthew “Hud” Hudson next!

Dollycas

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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May 222012
 

Reading Addiction Blog Tours

Brenda Youngerman writes about stories that matter. A southern California native coming from a very large family where she never felt like she fit in. “I was the youngest member of a huge family and I never really felt like I belonged there.”

Her first novel, Private Scars, was an expose of what happens to a victim of domestic abuse when they have never been exposed to it. From the moment the first review came out Youngerman realized her calling… that of the voice of the victims.. those who don’t have the strength to speak for themselves. Since Private Scars (2006), Youngerman has published a novel a year, each one exposing another social issue that those in power choose not to discuss. “If one person is helped by one of my novels, that is a good day.”

Brenda is currently at work at her eighth and ninth novel (simultaneously).

Why Book Covers are so Important

The old adage of “don’t judge a book by its cover” is simply false advertising for any author. The simple truth is, that just like the way a person appears to other people which would entice one to go up and speak with them a cover entices people to pick a book up off a shelf and give it a try. But the cover itself is really not as simple as a pretty picture and the title. I have discovered that colors and fonts attract people differently.

Books that get picked up off of shelf more often tend to lean towards the redder shades and away from blacks and greys. A brown cover is certain to sink you! And then of course there is the inverted lettering – white on dark – that will turn most people away.

If someone cannot pick up a book and read the jacket to get persuaded to open the first few pages there is no point in having a cover at all. In fact, most used books, from the old fashioned used books stores, were sold without covers which meant that a person was drawn to an author and a back cover copy.

The other part about book covers is that they should be interpretive of the story within. Take for example The Hunger Games which has the pin as the focal point on the cover. One doesn’t know what that is until you read the book, yet it is a perfect interpretation of everything within the pages.

Coming up with a great cover is one of my favorite, and most challenging, parts about writing. In the case of Hidden Truthsand Restored HopeI knew exactly what I wanted on the cover and I was lucky enough to find an artist to bring them to life. In hind sight I’m not sure that Sorrowed Soulsis a great cover for the story within. Although I love the cover to Public Lies,it is a difficult set of colors.

The truth of the matter is that the a book cover is just like any other type of advertising for a product… it must reach out and touch someone from the shelf!

~Brenda

Skewered Halo
Strategic Book Publishing
Available Now


Sibling Rivalry!

Brittany Montrose was the star of the family and when her sister Diane was born she was not about to give up that spotlight. From the time Diane was a toddler Brittany told her she was no better than garbage, that they weren’t really sisters, that her real parents dumped her the doorstep and her parents only agreed to take care of her as long as she behaved and never made any trouble. She told Diane that if wasn’t careful they would throw her out with the trash. She even called Diane “Garbage Girl”. Diane lived in constant fear of losing her family and her home.

Finally as Diane was graduating from high school as valedictorian the truth finally comes out. Her parents denied Brittany claims but really did nothing different. Her dad tried but her mother still sided with Brittany at every turn.

Diane tries to move on with her life but that is easier said than done. Her life becomes one filled with mystery, lies, and murder.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This tale takes dysfunctional family to a whole new level. Brittany is pure evil and her parents didn’t have a clue and couldn’t seem to cut the ties that bound them to their awful child.

I can tell you I felt a gambit of emotions while reading this story but the mother in me was furious. How can two parents be so out of touch with one of their children?

I love stories that evokes such emotions like this one does. It is a powerful read with surprising twists that I was unable to put down. This is the first book I have read by Brenda but it will not be my last. Her website says she writes

‘Fiction with a Purpose’ – stories about real people and real issues. Each novel tackles a different issue and with them she opens up conversations about subjects many would like to sweep under the rug.

That is the truth. Such hatred Brittany had for her sister. Jealous beyond belief. A mother so blinded by love for one child, almost so that her other children or husband barely exist in her life.

This is one of those stories that stick with you and you will be talking to your friends about it. Sad to think there are families like this in the world. My children are all adults but when I completed this book I felt the need to reach out to each them to tell them how much I loved them. “Fiction with a Purpose” = excellent read!

Dollycas

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Next Blog Stop May 24 at A Case of Reading Insomnia

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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May 122012
 

The Naked Gardener

Published by CreateSpace

“What you feel is your own to tend. No one can share it. No one can endure it for you. No one can inhabit your world but you.”

Katelyn loves Maze, he loves her, there is no denying that. Maze wants to get married but Katelyn has had her heart broken before and likes things just the way they are. They have recently brought a farm in Vermont and spend time there each summer.

Katelyn has made a friend and a few acquaintances. They meet up one day and decide to take a trip. A canoe trip down the local river. Six women, three canoes and they are going to take a break from their lives for three days and camp out, catch fish and get to know each other better. Maze is not behind this plan at all but there is not stopping Katelyn.

The river and the trip takes a wild turn and some great friendships bloom including one very unlikely one.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This was one of the first free books I had on my Kindle and I am kicking myself for waiting so long to read it. The story was like a breathe of fresh air as I sit watching my own flowers bloom.

I had heard nothing about this story and didn’t read any reviews or even much of the synopsis before ordering it. With a title The Naked Gardener I wasn’t sure what I was getting into but I can honestly say I will never look at a garden the same way again.

Katelyn’s journey in the story as well as all six women’s journey down the river was a delight to read and offered much insight to my own journey through this world. “We have only a small corner where we can make a difference and a short time to try. But if we start in one small place, no one can predict how much difference that little corner might make.”

This is the author’s first novel and it is so beautifully written. Her descriptions of the garden and the river almost transport you right there. This book is about friendship, love, being a strong woman and making our own choices, so much more than gardening naked.

This is a very fast read and I give it my highest recommendation. Make it a book group choice or read it with a group of your friends, it would make a great read for a girl’s weekend. Enjoy!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


*The Kindle edition is free is your are a Prime member or just $1 if you are not. NOOK is $1 as well.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Feb 182012
 

Last Chance Beauty Queen
Published by Forever
Hachette Book Group
3rd in Series

Hugh Debracy, an English Baron, comes to Last Chance, South Carolina to try to complete a deal that his partner started before he disappeared. He needs to try to convince the owner of Golfing For God to sell him his property so that he can build his textile plant. Seems the land has perfect road and rail access, but the owner is not selling. Enter Caroline “Rocky” Rhodes, former Last Chance Watermelon Queen, aide to U.S. Senator Rupert Warren and daughter of the owner of Golfing For God. The Senator needs this factory built and expects Rocky to make it happen.

Rocky doesn’t come home to Last Chance often and coming home while the Watermelon Festival is going on turns this trip into quite a crazy return.  She is supposed to be working for the Senator, but her friends and family expect her take part in the festival as a former Watermelon Queen, wearing the green and pink dress, riding on a float in the parade and even taking part in a kissing booth.  She really wants to be promoted to the Senator’s Washington Office and none of these shenanigans are going to help her land the job.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I broke my own rule, this is the third book in this series and I read it without reading the previous two installments and you know what, it didn’t matter. This book can definitely read as a stand alone. This is Rocky’s story. Home At Last Chance is her brother Tulane’s story and Welcome to Last Chance starts off the series with their brother Clay’s story.

This is a wild crazy story full of wild and crazy characters and it was a splendid, fun and a very entertaining read. The Sorrowful Angel added a unique element to the story that at first I was confused by, but in the end it all came together.

Ruby Rhodes, Rocky’s mom runs the local beauty parlor, and you know how hairdresser’s know everyone secrets, that is definitely the case here. She is also the typical mother than can get her kids do anything she asks, even her oldest son, Stone, the local sheriff.

There is also a fourth book in the works, Last Chance Christmas. I plan to read the first two books before that one is released.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

ABOUT THIS AUTHOR
Hope Ramsay was born in New York and grew up on the North Shore of Long Island, but every summer Momma would pack her off under the care of Aunt Annie to go visiting with relatives in the midlands of South Carolina. Her extended family includes its share of colorful aunts and uncles, as well as cousins by the dozens, who provide the fodder for the characters you’ll find in Last Chance, South Carolina. Hope earned a BA in Political Science from the University of Buffalo, and has had various jobs working as a Congressional aide, a lobbyist, a public relations consultant, and a meeting planner. She’s a two-time finalist in the Golden Heart, and is married to a good ol’ Georgia boy who resembles every single one of her heroes. She has two grown children and a couple of demanding lap cats. She lives in Fairfax, Virginia where you can often find her on the back deck, picking on her thirty-five-year-old Martin guitar.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Mortal Deception by Liz Roth

 E-Book Challenge, Literary Escapes, Reviews 2012  Comments Off on Mortal Deception by Liz Roth
Jan 192012
 

Mortal Deception
Kindle

What would do if you found out your nephew was dying? Dani Perez’s twin sister’s son is dying. There is a long shot cure that would save him but can Dani follow through on the crazy plan the sisters come up with. She is also trying to clear her husband’s name. He was killed during a bust and has been labeled a “dirty cop”. Her entire world is turned upside down as she tries to complete and survive both missions.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This is one of those stories that I don’t want to tell you too much about so that I don’t ruin any of the suspense. I read the whole thing in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down.

This is a exciting story with really strong family relationships. The things we do for love. Dani puts her life on the line for both her nephew and her husband’s memory.

The author takes us with these characters on a journey of love, loss, surprise, tension, fear, worry, and hope in an extraordinary way.

This is my first Liz Roth novel that I would classify as a romantic thriller. I hope she has another one it the works because I definitely want more!! I highly recommend this one.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

This book is from my personal collection.



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