Monday, March 30, 2015

Another Wonderful E Author


Elizabeth Hunter's turn up to the plate

This isn’t so much an eauthor highlight as it is a particular series by an e author.  It’s a three book series written by Elizabeth Hunter that can’t be read as stand-alone books but I can almost guarantee that if you read the first book, you will want to read the other to so you can find out what’s going on.  Warning – if you are a reader who hates spoilers, the first book up should be OK to read, but then skip the next two reviews if you don’t want to know what happens from there on.  I might even play with using the break thingy on Blogspot to hide them.

This author has more books and series though one is a vampire series and since I don’t do vampire series any longer, I never did warm up them as a whole, I don’t know if I will read any of that series or not.  But I will certainly read any of hers that aren’t.
OK - can't figure out how to do do a break - so I'll just give a warning
The Scribe (Irin Chronicles, #1)The Scribe by Elizabeth Hunter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've read this book twice now with the intention writing a review and hmmn - neither time I did. So this review is more from memory that usual. Ava Matheson is a very troubled heroine. All her life she has heard voices that no one else hears and they leave her no piece. He mother and step father think she needs help. In order to help with the voices that give her rest as well as an ongoing 'restless' feeling, she lives a pretty isolated and solitary existence. She earns a living traveling around the world as a photographer. She is in Turkey taking pictures when she realizes she is being followed. Her very wealthy step father has done this in the past and she is very angry and decided to turn the tables and confront her 'stalker'. She grudgingly allows him to know that she knows he's tracking her and at different times will interact with him. But when she discovers he does NOT work for her step father, she is really angry.

When she finally agrees to speak to him again, he has quite a story to tell. He is of a different race of people, the Irin, who are descendants of angels. Malachi has been sent to watch over her as she has gained the attention of the Grigori, descendants of fallen angels. Grigori are evil and prey upon humans and it is the Irin duty to protect humans. Malachi is very attracted to Ava and she to him, but because they are different, they are not allowed to touch skin to skin at the risk of what the power Malachi has can do to humans. But touch her he does eventually and through that they discover that she is NOT human. They are not quite sure what she is.

This is a combination RS/Paranormal as Malachi and his people/team work to find out what exactly Ava is and why she is being targeted by the Grigori. This book is lush and vivid in both the description of the localities and the growing love/ tenderness/ need between Ava and Malachi. Elizabeth Hunter is a wonderful writer and you can really “feel” the love between these two, more so than many a book I’ve read. Malachi made such a sacrifice at the end of the book, that I my throat was all closed up and I was in tears. It’s rare that I get that caught up in a book. There is no question that this book gets the highest marks from me.

There is no question this is a 5 out of 5 book.

There are spoilers ahead

The Singer (Irin Chronicles, #2)The Singer by Elizabeth Hunter

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I kept meaning to star and review the first book in this amazing series, The Scribe. To that end I recently reread it but that was around the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I still didn’t get around to it. And now that I’m in the GoodReads Challenge, I’m not sure if I go back, it will get counted as part of the 2015 challenge. I most certainly don’t want to cheat and fudge the numbers. When I pass that 60 book mark I set for myself, I want to be honestly earned – she said earnestly.

So until I figure out if that one will spoil the numbers, I’ll stick with the second one in the series for now, The Singer. The Singer starts out almost immediately after The Scribe ends and absolutely cannot be read without reading the first book.
This series of books is a race of people descended from fallen angels. There are the Irin (male) and Irinia (female) who came from angels who after they fell, went back to Heaven. They are the “good” guys. And then there are the Grigori (male) who are descended from angels who stayed fallen and they are the bad guys. They are extraordinarily beautiful and feed on the souls of human women. In the first book, Ave Matheson, our heroine, has been ‘hearing voices’ her whole life. She has been to many doctors, been treated by physiatrists and had to learn to stay away from people in order to stay sane. She meets Malachi, a Irin who tells her she is an Irinia, and a very powerful though untrained one. They form a soul deep connection, to the point where one can barely live without the other.

At this point there be spoilers coming. If you haven’t read The Scribe but are planning on it (and you should) and are not a fan of spoilers – read no further – it’s at your own risk

At the end of the last book, Malachi gave his powers to Ava to save her life and as a result was killed by a Grigori. Ava in inconsolable as she watches him turn to dust and in her overwhelming grief screams a phrase in the old language, “Come back to me Reshon”. Because she is strong and has powers never imagined and not understood, Malachi does come back. But Ava doesn’t know this. He reappears somewhere else and he has no clue as to anything, his name, his powers, where he’s come from, nothing. The only thing he does know is he was called by someone he loves beyond all reason, even though he doesn’t remember her.
Because of her relentless heartache, though heartache doesn’t really begin to explain how she feels, she goes to a retreat run by Irania to get them to help teach her what she is and what she can do.

This brief outline just barely touches on what this book and the one before it, is about. If I only had one work I could use to describe it, it would be longing. Ava and Malachi spend most of the book apart and while Malachi slowly begins to discover who he is and who Ava is and he is desperately trying to reach her. And Ava still thinks Malachi died and has a very difficult time even functioning. At the same time something dark is coming. Ava can sense it but she doesn’t know what it is. On top of that there is the mystery of who she really is. It is the mother’s line that determines if someone is Ir

Ava is in deep, deep mourning over the loss of Malachi, her Reshon, and her fated mate. The author manages to convey the loss one feels and the depth and pain of it brilliantly. I know this from experience in losing my own husband a number of years ago. You think the loss is lessening somewhat and then the least, most unexpected thing happens and it’s new and fresh all over again.

Ava and Malachi spend a good part of this book apart and if this were strictly a romance, it would really bother me. But because this is more than a romance, it’s like a paranormal with a very (very) strong romantic element, it works for me. Both Ava and Malachi are such richly written characters I’m in awe of this Elizabeth Hunter. The secondary characters are also very real. The world building is phenomenal. You can tell I’m impressed can’t you?

This is the second book in the series and as such ends on almost as much a cliffhanger as the previous book. I’m kind of glad I took so long reading this one – it’s been sitting in my TBR pile for a while now – because the time before the next one is much shorter this way. It’s not every ebook that I’m willing to pay whatever they charge, but it doesn’t matter what they do – I NEED to read more about Ava and Malachi and this fascinating world.

There are even more spoilers ahead

The Secret (Irin Chronicles, #3)The Secret by Elizabeth Hunter

My rating:  4.5 out of 5 Stars

This is a wonderful wrap up to this series. First off, it absolutely can’t be stand alone book. You need to have read the two previous books to understand what’s happening in the third book. I’ll try and give a real quick synopsis on what’s happened so far. In the first book of this trilogy, we are introduced to Ava Matheson. She has been ‘off’ all her life. She hears voices constantly, she can’t relax and it’s best for her if she is somewhat isolated from others. We meet Malachi, a very mysterious man who is keeping an eye on Ava as she travels through Istanbul in her job as a photographer. He is not to make contact with Ava, but she’s one smart cookie and catches him spying on her. Malachi has the power to still the voices she hears and throughout the book, they fall deeply and completely in love with each other. Ava it turns out, is more than she seems and a lot of bad guys; Grigori, children of fallen angels and fallen angels themselves, are after her. At the end of The Singer Malachi gives up his life to save her, an ending that almost physically hurt, in the way it affected me.
In The Singer, Ava has brought Malachi back to life with her incredible powers. But he comes back with no memory except of a woman names Ava. A good deal of the book is spent with Malachi trying to reach this mysterious woman who has called him and with Ava mourning the loss of her Reshon, her mate. Because of the richness of Ms. Hunter writing, we really feel the pain that Ava feels, even though the reader knows that Malachi is trying to find her. He is such a strong hero and he is so lost in this book. Yet he retains his innate strength through out. Their eventual reunion is very poignant but Malachi is not the same man Ava knew before because of all the missing pieces in his memory.
We discover more in the second book, what Ava is and the world building continues. Ava spends a great deal of time in a retreat for the Irina, the female member of the Irin race, learning and working with her powers.
Now we come to The Secret. The story opens with Ava and Malachi spending time with each other, trying to get to know each other in this new reality they are living. Though their love is just as strong and compelling as it ever was, they still need to get to know each other in a more intimate setting. The Irin race spend a lot of time with each other, they are close, and Ava and Malachi need some time with just each other.
There is more world building and things aren’t always as they seem in this, the final book in the story of Ava and Malachi. Pretty much anything I say will be a spoiler and I don’t want to do that so I will say that pretty much all are questions are answered in this book. We find out how and what Ava really is. There is a whole group of people that are very important to the overall story but we haven’t seen them yet until this book.
I’m not giving this one a 5 out of 5 but a 4.5. As the series has gone along Ms Hunter has added more and more characters and I found myself getting a bit lost as to who is who in the secondary characters. I preferred the more streamed down first book in this area for this reason. But I still adore the love story and the connection between Ava and Malachi is off the charts.
The author says after the book that though this was originally planned as a 3 book series and she has pretty much finished the story of Ava and Malachi, she now realizes she’s just barely touched the surface of this world and I so agree. With this new race there are a lot more stories she can tell so I’m glad she is staying in this world she has created

  'til later

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Why this hipster Granny loves Ereading

Yep, I can now call myself a hipster granny – 'cause I am one!

I didn’t think I would ever be an ereader.  Amongst my ‘people’ – fellow romance readers – I was a hold out.  I had no intention of doing ereading.  I love the feeling of a good book.  Years and years ago I was at a Romantic Times convention in Toronto On and they had a prototype for demonstration and I vividly recall thinking that it was a really dumb idea and no one would want to give up print books for such a thing.  But fast forward a number of years later and the world of ereading has indeed taken off once technology started catching up with demand, making ereading an alternate way of reading a book.

But still I resisted until there were too many books I wanted to read that were only available as ebooks.  I sat in on a seminar on different ereaders at an RWA conference a few years ago to hear the pros and cons and I ended up thinking a Kobo would best suit my needs.  Books on Kindles and Nooks weren’t easily available in Canada.  So it wasn’t long after I got home when I got one and loaded up a few books.  It came with 100 free books but none of them really appealed to me to be honest.  But I managed to figure out how to buy them from Chapters and I also got Caliber if I got any ebooks from an epublisher directly.  I would take it to work and was astonished that many people I work with had no idea what is was and I spent many a lunch hour explaining what it was and how it worked.  It seemed odd as I had just come from a group where I was a bit of dinosaur to a group where I was a tech-type leader.  Me!  A leader in technology.  Whoever would have thought such a thing?

I was still maybe 75% print books to 25% ebooks and most of the ebooks I was reading were only available as ebooks.

But then my world was really rocked and my reading turned upside down when I got an IPad!!!  It came with IBooks and I uploaded/downloaded (I don’t really know the difference) the Kobo app and the Kindle app and I was off to the races.  From that moment on it turned around completely and I became 98% ebooks as opposed to 2% print.  And for some of those who are older dinosaurs than I am, here are some perks

  • Colour covers that no one else can see.  OK – I confess (and have many times) I can be sucked in by a good looking guy on a cover.  But reading a print book in public with such a cover – even more so if he’s mostly naked – can be a bit intimidating and opening myself up somewhat to possible mockery.  With an ebook, one doesn’t have to wonder about that.  My original Kobo only had the covers in black, white and gray.  But I love the colour.

  • Changing font size.  I LOVE this feature of ebooks.  My vision – it ain’t what it used to be.  And it often changes throughout the day.  My eyes are tired more towards the end of the day so it’s easy peasy to make it bigger.  When I read the 2% print books, I have to wear reading glasses and hold the book right up to my nose.  With and ereader, I don’t have to worry about that.

  • Traveling.  I know a lot of you will be nodding at this one but when packing for a trip somewhere the big question isn’t what clothes to take but rather what books to take.  What if I were to take a Western and wasn’t in the mood to read a Western.  Then I have to add a RS.  But what if the Suspense is much greater than the Romance and I’m more in the mood for a romance.  So I have to add a historical.  But what if the heroine of that one is a twit and drives me nuts.  So I bring a contemporary.  And so on.  And what if I go on a real reading frenzy.  I’ll need more than just those books.  The mind boggles.  But with an ereader my choices are almost limitless.  I have books on Kindle, books on Kobo and books on Ipad.  Surely I’ll find something and it won’t weigh down my suitcase.  I kid you not when I tell you a few years ago, before I started reading ebooks, I went to an RWA conference – AND BROUGHT 5 BOOKS WITH ME!!!  The insanity of it.  Here I was at a place where they are handed out almost like candy and I brought some from home.

  • Always having my bestest of the best within reach.  I’ve been slowly collecting my favourite all time books on my Ipad.  It’s so damn comforting to have them handy, never far from me.  I’m very much a mood reader and if I’m in a sad mood, I don’t have to plow through boxes or shelves to find say – One Summer to read and cheer me up.

  • Savings on purses.  Before I carried at least 3 books with me at all times.  As Canada doesn’t have $1 or $2 bills now, instead of paper, we have heavy coins.  You add heavy coins, 3 books and a bunch of pens, wallet and all other things I carry in a purse and I was often having the straps break on me, causing me to have to buy more purses.  Now with just the one device that doesn’t weigh that much, my purse is lighter and I also don’t have so sore of shoulders anymore.

  • Space in the house.  Oh my goodness yes – space.  Though I still don’t have it because I have culled my books yet – I have well over 2,000 to go through – 36 BOXES alone in one of the bedrooms, when I get around to that job I will have ever so much more space – specially in that bedroom because right now there isn’t even room for a bed.  It’s the handiest thing in the world to have them all on ONE SINGLE IPAD instead of 36 BOXES in the bedroom

  • Not having to worry about my anality.  Because yes, I am anal about keeping my books in mint condition.  I was reading a rare one the other day and I got it new in 1996 and while they pages have yellowed considerably; it looks like it’s never been read.  Folding pages or breaking spines or making border notes or anything like that is simply not done in my world to my books!  My sisters making fun of me for it, one of them even to the point of deliberately breaking books signs when she sees me.  That hurts me as well as the book.  I have enough physcosees so it’s nice to be able to dump one.

  • My IPad is backlit!  I love that.  I can read in bed with no lights on.  When I’ve read enough I don’t have to reach over and turn out a light or I don’t have to look around and think to myself – I really should be cleaning this room up.  It’s dark in the room!

  • Orientation.  I know it’s a small thing, but it’s kind of nice to be able to hold it horizontally or vertically.  When I hold it horizontally and it’s a Kobo book, I even have it set to two pages just like a real book

  • Emotional overload.  I love emotional reads, but sometimes I take them too much to heart and need a break.  With my IPad, I can quickly flip over to a game and play that for a bit of a break before I'm ready again to tackle the emotional.  What's really bad - and it's happened - is I've taken a break from an emotional book, put it down and then can't remember where I put it.  Now that drives me crazy.

  • Free books.  This needs to be repeated.  FREE BOOKS.  Kindle has quite a nice selection of free books you can download.  They (or the author – not sure which) have this ingenious idea of having the first book of some series free of charge.  It’s happened three times now just recently where the first book was free and I loved it so much that I went back and bought up the rest of the series and possibly more.  This happened with both Peggy L. Henderson and Brenda Rothert, my two eauthor highlights.  In both cases, I not only bought the whole series but also other books by the author.  I can’t imagine going into a book store and trying to bargain with them to give me the first book of a series free and I’ll buy the rest if I like it.


I’m sure once I post this, a lot more reasons will come to mind.  But for right now this far outweighs the cons of reading ebooks.


‘til later


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Wonderful World of EAuthors

This is the second of a number of e-authors I want to highlight; wonderful authors I never would have found if I hadn’t drastically changed my reading habits.  Way back when I first thought of getting an ereader, one of the main reasons was to try books by authors that were strictly epublished.  I still planned on reading mostly print books but that obviously has changed over the years.

The author of today is Brenda Rothert.  I have read all the books of her series Fire on Ice (currently on for a real good price at Amazon for 5 very good books) and one other book.  I have a couple more of this series to read and she has a few other books I plan on picking up.  I have more than the normal number of reviews, but since it’s the complete series, I hope I don’t bore anyone reading them.
Bound (Fire on Ice, #1)Bound by Brenda Rothert

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

For the first time like in forever it seems, I have some time to ‘stray’ from my normal duties; either that or my normal duties are just so boring I need a break from doing them so I’m doing this here review.
This is one of those books that made me resent work. I would have much rather stayed home so I could read more and while I was at work, reluctantly, I clock watched to see how soon I could go on break/lunch to read more. It’s even a real mystery how I came across this one. I was trail following – you know – ‘readers who bought this one also bought this one’ kind of thing. When I saw the title and the cover, it was even more of a mystery as I figured it would be a BD/SM kind of story – something I’m not into AT ALL – not that there’s anything wrong with it – just not my cuppa.

But instead Bound deals with death of loved ones and the grief it can cause and the journey recovering from that grief, something I am too familiar with. Another issue that might have prevented me from getting into it is it’s told from first person POV, something else I’m no normally a fan of unless done well. But right from the beginning I was completely hooked. It starts out with Kate’s story. She is a young 22 year old unwed expectant mother who’s boyfriend dumped her when he found out he was going to be a father. Kate is less than thrilled herself, until she loses the unborn child and she realizes how deeply she loved this baby and how grief stricken she is.

The story then switches to Jason Ryker – or Ryke, a young pro hockey player/part time underwear model and overall serious hottie. His life is turned upside down when his wife is killed by a drunk driver while he was playing a hockey game out of town. We don’t hear more from his point of view until a little while down the road when his loss isn’t quite so fresh. Although the timing jumps back and forth a bit, it does appear to be seamless. Also, the first little bit is a chapter from Kelsie then a chapter from Ryke but then it can be a jump in the same chapter, but again I found this very seamless and could tell almost immediately whose POV we were reading. Although written by the same author, I found Ryke’s more “guy speak”

Ryke and Kate are at different stages in their grief process. They meet at a support group. I know from experience how quick and how close you can feel to someone who has experience death in their family. I also fully get how out of nowhere the sense of loss can hit at the most unexpected moments.

These two are delightful characters, simply and completely delightful. Ryke in particular is just the bees’ knees of heroes. He’s kind, considerate, tall, dark, handsome, an athlete, plays what I consider the manliest man sports – hockey. He is really drawn to Kate but understanding that she’s not where he is in the healing process. She is equally drawn to Ryke but is still to wounded to get involved in a more intimate way through much of the story. I love that she knew she wasn’t the same person after her baby died. She had changed fundamentally. That is what I discovered after my husband died too. The very basis of who I was changed.

This book just hit all cylinders with me. An incredible hero, a wonderful heroine, situations that I could personally relate to, a sport I love – it has it all. Too top if off – the price is AMAZING. Bound gets two amazing thumbs up!

There is another book with Ryke and Kate – Captive which I already have and am looking eagerly forward to reading!


Captive (Fire on Ice, #2)Captive by Brenda Rothert

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

After finishing Bound, the emotional first book by Brenda Rothert which told the story Ryke and Katie, it was a no brainer that I would read this one as soon as I could. Ryke and Katie had met in a grief support group and fallen deeply in love in the first book.

If the first book was about overcoming grief, this one is about overcoming fear, at least on Katie's side. The book takes place a couple of years after the first book and Katie and Ryke are still passionately in love. But the pain of loss hasn't finished with them yet. I don't want to tell too much of the story at the risk of spoilers so I'll focus more on the characters.

I fell even deeper in love with Ryke in this book. He is truly a wonderful hero. Like the first book, this is told in first person with it alternating between Ryke and Katie. In the professional area of his life, his hockey career, things couldn't be better, but his marriage isn't doing quite as well. This isn't a marriage in trouble story, far from it. He is still completely gone for Katie.

I had more issues with Katie. I was impatient with her at times during the story and wanted to smack her, not a good thing to want to do. I thought she made decisions too soon and they were the wrong ones. And here she has this incredible guy willing to die for her and I think she lost sight of that a few times over the course of the book.

This kept me from giving it five stars like I did, Bound, but it is still a very good story and still gets thumbs up, maybe just quite as enthusiastically as the first book.


Edge by Brenda Rothert

My rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars

I just finished reading the final two books in this Fire on Ice series, Drive and Release and realized I hadn’t recorded this book on GoodReads. Well, of course that called for a reread as I didn’t want to do it from memory because as with all the previous books in this series, I loved it.
Luke Hudson is in the big leagues and one of the premier players on the team when he is ‘kneed’ by an opposing player.

From Sporting Knee-on-knee collisions are very dangerous and often times result in significant knee injuries. A player who executes a knee-on-knee collision is more susceptible of a major or match penalty than a player who uses his knee only to stop an opponent. Intentional knee-on-knee hits often result in a suspension. Knee-on-knee hitting is considered to be a cheap shot and a dirty play by NHL players, and players who clearly hit using the knee can expect retaliation from opponents”

As anyone who knows hockey, this is a dirty play meant to injure and injure Luke it does. He is out of the game for months and before he can play at the major level, he has to do a stint of rehab in the minors. The trainer of the minor league team he is sent to is Adella, or better known as Della Price. Hockey is in her blood as her father is one of the best coaches in the league. I simply LOVED her. As a female in a predominantly male sport, she manages to strike just the right balance. She can trash talk with the best of them and most of the players kind of look at her as a little sister who fixes their booboos. She’d made a mistake a few years ago and gotten involved with a hockey player and now a single mother, doesn’t want to make that mistake again. So when Luke starts making the moves on her, she shuts him down right away. But Luke is persistent and she feels something for him she’s never felt before. But they still can’t do anything about their attraction as she is in a sense his employee as she helps him with his training to get back to the big leagues.
But when he’s called back up, well, that takes care of that issue and they act on their growing temptation.

Luke, and I really enjoyed him too, has really fallen hard for Dell. For the first time, hockey isn’t his number one focus.

So this book is how they overcome the obstacles in front of them and there are a few, to be together. I love both characters and a couple of secondary characters become the stars of their own book.

Everything connected with me in this book; Luke and Della, Ryker her son, her job, his hockey – just everything. This is a second read and it was just as good if not better than the first time I read it.

As I said in a previous review, Ms. Rothert has really done her research on hockey and it shows. This whole series has been such a great find and I look forward to reading more of her delicious books by this author.

(Tired of them yet - only 2 more to go) 

Drive (Fire on Ice, #4)Drive by Brenda Rothert

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

I'm not quite sure what happened. I read the first 3 books of this series as well as another book by this author and loved them all. But then I think I forgot to buy more or something as the author kind of fell off my radar. Big mistake that one. Thankfully I stopped the fall and brought her back on board. I loved this book!

Nico Vereshkova and Sadie Alexander first meet in a hotel. She is there as she's the maid of honor for her best friend Dell, the heroine in the third book of this series. She sees Nico who is drop dead gorgeous and a Russian who can barely speak English. She's immediately attracted and he asks to see her again in very broken English. But. Things are not as they seem when he is SO busted when it turns out he's a groomsman at the same wedding. The groom is a hockey player and was the hero of the previous book. I'm going to have to reread the book as I read it a while ago and didn't do a review. And I really want to do one as I love this series. Sadie sees Nico speaking English just fine with only a hint of an accent and realized she's been played and she's less than impressed with him, hot Russian or not.

Fast forward a few months and Nico has been promoted to the big leagues, something he's been hoping for desperately. He grew up poor and wants to support his parents and the rest of his family who sacrificed so much for he and his career. Dell is a trainer on the team and Luke, her now husband, one of the players. Because Sadie, our heroine, and Dell are such good friends, she and Nico end up in the same orbit. And while there is still wild attraction between the two of them, there are major hurdles. He's a real player, never dating the same girl twice and she knows this so isn't about to give into the attraction. And Nico has been warned away by Luke who is very fond of his wife's best friend and knows that Nico is a 'love 'em and leave 'em' kind of guy and doesn't want to see him hurt Sadie. But as Sadie and Nico slowly get to know each other, true feelings develop.

It's kind of funny. I recently read another hockey romance where the hero was a real man whore and I didn't like it at all, but this one I really liked. I think it's because even though nico was also a man whore, he respected Sadie more than the hero of the other one. Also, nico really does try and honor Luke's request that he not put the moves on Sadie. Instead they become friends first and mutual respect. I didn't feel that with the other one.

I really wish they had half stars here as this deserves more than a four. But I'm trying to be a bit stricter on fives.
I do give this book a happy an d well deserved recommendation.


Release (Fire on Ice, #5)Release by Brenda Rothert

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

This is the final book in the Fire on Ice series by Brenda Rothert and like all the other books I enjoyed it immensely. It’s now off season and Orion Caldwell has gone home for the summer. He’s staying at his family home and is there to help out with his niece and nephew, his sisters children, after their father takes off on the family. He is a little leery as he had a bad break-up not long ago and his ex is still living in his home town. He meets Samara Cross, our heroine, who is working as a check out/cake designer at the local supermarket. To say she is skittish is putting it mildly. Orion vaguely remembers her from high school and her stand offish attitude intrigues him. Being a professional hockey player, he’s not used to being turned down. Now that he’s a player or anything, unlike some of his team mates. He’s loyal and genuine and just a real good guy. He finally convinces Samara to give him a chance and they slowly fall in love. Samara has had some bad stuff happen in her past and she has good reason to be leery of getting into a relationship but Orion is so gentle and so patient, she learns to trust him.

This is the least hectic of the series, maybe because it takes place on the off season. I only had one quibble. We first meet Orion in the previous book and when asked, he said he was from Canada. Yet in this book he only lives an hour or so away from Chicago, where the big league team plays. The author never really specifies where his hometown is – but I have my doubts it’s in Canada otherwise I’m sure she would have mentioned it. But that’s minor.

Another thing I would like to say – the author mentions that until she started writing this series she didn’t know much at all about hockey. I’m impressed at how well she seemed to “get” it. She has a new series about a minor league team and Orion will be playing a role I think, in the next series after a major sacrifice he made towards the end of this book.

I have been very pleased with this whole series and for anyone interested, the boxed set is available on Kindle for $4.89 at, $6.25 at It burns my butt the difference in price but still $6.25 is still a good price for 5 very good books. I bought them one at a time so it cost me more.

And I just want to make things clear in case anyone is wondering.  I have had NO contact with this author.  I haven't taken any free books - I don't like accepting free books.  It gives me a sense of obligation that a) I have to read them and b) I have to like them.  That's my own personal opinion - I have an overinflated sense of it *grin*. 
(though I am going to contact her and let her know about this so hopefully it might cheer her day - but that is the FIRST contact)
Nope - this is just an author I discovered because the first book was free.  I read it, I loved it and I wanted to read more by this author.  The lowest grade of all of them was a 4 out of 5.
The books are all written in the same way - first person with alternating chapters in alternating points of view.  By the time I was even part way through the first book, I loved this style of writing and will never shy away from first person books again.
These are all books I will read again.  Already I'm feeling the tug of Ryke and Kate.
'til later

Monday, March 23, 2015

Recent Read

LifersLifers by Jane Harvey-Berrick

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Steam Level: Oh yea, watch your tongue with this one!

My Thoughts: I saw a review for this book at AAR and was intrigued enough to give it a try. I have a weakness for this kind of storyline – good underneath hero having spent time in jail unjustly so I got it very soon after I read the positive review. And I can see why it got one. I really, really like this book, in fact it I would have given it 5 stars if I didn’t have a few issues with the heroine, Torrey Delaney. On the other hand, the hero, Jordan Kane was pretty much a perfect hero for me.
When he was only 16, Jordan was young and very stupid and got behind the wheel of a truck when he was wasted. Also in the truck with him was his older brother Michael and when Jordan crashed the truck, Michael was killed. As a result, Jordan was sent to juvie and then right after that to prison. He has just been released and is on probation at the start of the story. He meets Torrey when he attempts to get a coffee at the cafĂ© she works at and is run out of the restaurant by the owner. Michael had been a star quarterback on the Texas high school football team and from all that I’ve heard, Texan’s take their football VERY seriously. Jordan is still hated by pretty much the entire town for ‘murdering’ his brother. Torrey is the waitress who is new to the town. Her mother is the minister there and Torrey is staying with her mother after some bad stuff went down in Boston where she was living and needing to regroup, she showed up at her rather estranged mother’s place. So of course she knew nothing about the history of Jordan and why he was hated so much. All she knows is he is a very hot guy and Jordan LOVES hot guys. Now this is where I started having issues with Torrey. Other readers may not though. To me, at the beginning of the story Torrey is quite trampish. She has no problems being just a booty call, she swears like a truck driver and she had no problem having an affair with a married guy back in Boston. I had issues for the first part for what I consider ‘lack of morals’. I may be too old fashioned but to me sex with another person shouldn’t be a recreational sport. Hook ups or one night stands just aren’t my thing. I think sex between two people should involve feelings. And, yes, it bothers me when guys do the same thing – but I don’t know – I just think guys are more bred to be dogs so it does bother me more when women are loose with their favours. I think we should hold ourselves to a higher standard than just scratching an itch and doing it with a stranger.
I also had some issues with the way the author wrote Torrey’s mother. She apparently ‘found God” but the author wrote in such a way that wasn’t consistent with that. The mother pretty much abandoned her husband and daughter and I can’t see such a thing happening. Also, the mother was pretty strongly against Torrey and Jordan having a relationship because Jordan was a “murderer”. I didn’t buy that either. I think the author was a bit lazy and took the easy way out. I don’t think a pastor in real life would be that much of a hypocrite – at least I like to think that.
But back to the review. There is instant chemistry between Jordan and Torrey, but I think Jordan is one of the most fragile heroes I’ve ever read. And I so don’t mean this as a negative. Instead it just made him more appealing. He didn’t want to do anything to risk getting his parole reversed and because of this took a lot of abuse from others – with the exception of Torrey. Once she met and began to develop real feelings for Jordan, I like her much better and she became fiercely protective of him. I loved that about her. What she realized that nobody else, including his own parents, was that Jordan was hurting even more than anyone else. He and Michael had a very close relationship and Jordan had a strong feeling that because of what happened, he didn’t have a right to be happy.

I did a lot of pondering while reading this book - a book that makes me ponder is a good thing. I couldn’t help but think that he was very unfairly punished for what he did. Yes, it resulted in someone’s death and he should do retribution for it – but I couldn’t help but thinking charging him with murder, a 16 year old, was going overboard. I think it would have been so much more effective to have him visit young people and give a first person account of the tragedies that can happen and the results of driving while wasted. What a powerful messenger he could be. Jordan would have to live with what he did for the rest of his life and his life would be forever changed. I just thought that the result of what happened to him a little too harsh. But then again, I don’t know how this kind of thing would be handled in Texas.

So in conclusion ladies and gentleman – in some ways this is a 5 – but because of heroine issues at the end it’s a 4. But I have a real good feeling that I will be rereading this one again so – thumbs up to this book.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Since I've done it so often before

I just wanted to do a quick update. I'm still here and not taking a lengthy break again. But I'm on vacation this week and giving the brain a break. I'm either leaning the bedrooms or reading up a storm. More of the second than the first I'm afraid, but if not before, I'll be back on Monday for sure. I have access to a computer then and it's ever so much easier doing posts on a computer than an out of date iPad. And since this is an original iPad, it's woefully out of date. I downloaded a brain game to try and upgrade and exercise my brain. I even paid for the upgrade. But then I got an update notice so got the latest one. But now I can't open it as its too powerful or something for my iPad 1. Anyway this is a wave by and I will be back with better shortly.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Random Ramblings

I’m working the late shift (12 to 8) and there is nothing to do except let my mind wander so I’ll follow it and write down where it wanders.  It’s not unlike the guy following a parade at the end and scooping up the horse poop.



This will be like horse poop.  And speaking of poop, not many probably realize this, but it’s a real fun word to say out loud.  Try it – say it out loud and see if you don’t get if not a chuckle, at least a smile.  Of course it works better if you’re alone.  If anyone is around and you say the word ‘poop’ out loud and they hear you – well – it will be a tough explanation.  Its best if make the ‘p’ at the end pop.


I get 4 weeks’ vacation where I work.  I’ve carried 2 weeks over from last year over so as it stands now, I have 6 weeks vacation in 2015.  I’m going to take a least a week off when I head to NYC to RWA in July.  Then in August, there are a group that seems to grow as word of our fun spreads of coworkers and head to a summer cottage on a local island. 
As there are 10 of us this year though chances are one or two attendees will drop out, we are up to 2 cottages.  It’s a week of hilarity emboldened by much alcohol.   So that will be at least a week also as I need recovery time after the week.  Now that I’m in the upper age range, it takes long to recover.  And that still leaves me with 4 weeks.   I’ve decided to take next week off.  The plan is to do massive amounts of house work in two of the bedrooms in the house.  I live in a 3 bedroom bungalow with another room in the basement which can easily be set up as a bedroom.  For years now I’ve wanted to knock down the wall between the two smaller bedrooms in order to make more of a sitting room/bedroom.  But I’m a great procrastinator.  I took a week off last year with the same purpose in mind.  On Monday I thought – ah, what the heck – I’ve got the rest of the week to do this.  Tuesday – hell, I still have enough time.  Wednesday – I’ve still got four days.  Thursday – it shouldn’t take me that long.  Friday – I have two days left – that should do it.  Saturday – well, it’s too late now, I’ll rush and get it all done tomorrow.  Sunday – Oh SHIT you idiot!

I’m hoping I don’t have a repeat of that week.


I signed up for a challenge at GoodReads.  Normally I don’t sign up for Challenges as the minute I do, I start to feel the pressure.  I’ve tried doing Wendy’s – it’s an excellent one – but then I run around in circles when there’s only a couple of days left thinking “ whatwillIread?  whatwillIread?  Ican’tdoit, Ican’tdoit”  Then I’m a mess.  But in this challenge at GoodReads the challenge (or reader) picks the number of books and they can be any book.  I tried to figure it out mathematically.  If I were to read a book a week – sometimes more – I should be able to read 60 – should be no problem right?

Well, then my TV was invaded by gremlins and I was watching very little TV.  And my book reading skyrocketed.  So far this early in the year I’ve read 34 books and I’m going to smash my number to smithereens if I keep this up.  I had to fix things though.  I inadvertently added a couple of short reviews for books I had read last year but somehow they showed up as being read this year and they counted towards the number I read for the challenge.  I debated leaving them there, but then thought, ’no, that would be dishonest’ so I removed them, then thought 'maybe I’m going a bit overboard on the honesty thing.  Who's going to notice?  It's not like we will be entered to win millions of dollars'  But I still changed the date anyway.  Oh well.

But then again I may not blast past the number I put down.  The television gremlins finally made their final stand when I could only get about 7 or 8 channels.  And one of the channels I COULD NOT get was Showcase.  Now for those who don’t know, Showcase is the channel that plays Outlander.  It is simply unimaginable that I miss even a second of Season 2.  It simply WILL NOT happen.
 And there is not a chance in hell I wasn’t going to take out those gremlins like the old Space Invaders game before April 5, the day it comes back here.  So I called Rogers and someone came over on Sunday to fix it.  I now get all the channels I’m supposed to – with sound.  And I shamefully confess *shaking head in sorrow* that I watched the season finale of The Bachelor.  I’d only watched one or two shows all season!!  I could have spent those 3 hours…….reading.  But nope – now that I have no more gremlins, I went straight back to the (as some call it) the “bube tube”.


I mentioned on another post that I’m signed up for this site called BookBub.  Every day they send a list of books found at either Amazon or Koo that are either greatly reduced or even free.  Now with new choices pouring in every day, not to mention the Kindle Daily Deal which I check – well – daily, I’m not going to get just any old book.  If it even appeals to me, I check out reviews on Amazon and GoodReads first.  Now I find many of the reviews on GoodReads helpful – but Amazon – fuggaboutit.  Many are less than useless.  I see some books on there with hundreds of reviews by an author I’ve never heard of and roll my eyes.  It’s obvious the author has friends, family and friends “stuffing the ballot” so to speak.  I know that this is an issue that will never be solved – but to authors – STOP IT.  It’s NOT going to make me buy your book when we have scores of reviews that say “Great Book” or “Couldn’t put it down!!!!!” or “I already bought the sequel”, “Can’t get enough of this author”.  Come on now – do you think the legitimate reader who does any homework at all is going to buy into this?  The only reason I ever do is to go up and down the reviews and hit NO on the “Is this review helpful?”  But here me author – I WILL NOT BUY YOUR BOOK.  It’s always the 1 star negative reviews I place any kind of value on. 

I’m looking at today’s Daily Deal and first I thought – hmmmmm – maybe.  But this book in particular, has over 1,000 reviews and nope – never heard of the author before so it’s just like I said above.  Here are a few reviews.

Very good read.  Couldn’t wait to read the next book.”

It was a good read can’t wait to read the rest of the books.  I like series you get to know the characters in all of all the books

Awesome book, love the series! Exceptional author

And just one more – though I could go on..

This Book was awesome.  I would recommend it to anyone who likes a lot of action and intrigue.  Plus the Love Drama” (Love drama???  What is Love Drama???)

Are any of those the least bit helpful???  Nope, I won’t be getting this book.

One star reviews can drive me nuts too.  Along with the multiple, multiple useless 5 star reviews, this book had some readers that weren’t so happy.  One “reviewer” gave 1 star to said RS book where the hero is a SEAL and on the cover of the book is just the hero with not a whole lot on.  So you have a clue what kind of book you’re going to get right?  But the one reviewer had this to say

I didn’t really read this book because half way down page 1 they had already used the “F” word.  Many people may not care about this but I do.  I wish more reviewers would make it clear if the book used this word and if there are explicit sexual scenes in this book.  It would sure save me from downloading a book I know I won’t read

To said reviewer – so would using the thing inside of your head.  If it’s a RS with SEAL’s it’s a given they are going to use salty language.  What – you think a bunch of men who does the most difficult jobs in the world and constantly put their lives on the line are going to use words like ‘rats’ or ‘fudge’?  Get a clue.  By posting such a ‘review’ on such a book, you make yourself sound stupid.

Something tells me this person wouldn’t say the word poop even if it’s real fun to say.

'til later

Yep - another night I'm on the late shift with not much to do.  So THIS is why I had to get my cable fixed



Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Part II - Peggy L Henderson

These are the other two books of hers I've read - though there WILL be more.  I really do enjoy her writing

Ain't No Angel (Second Chances, #2)Ain't No Angel by Peggy L. Henderson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've read a couple other Peggy Henderson books in the Yellowstone series and really enjoyed them so was more than willing to try another series she's written even though I still have to finish the Yellowstone one. And it was actually the second book in this series, Diamond in the Dust, that appealed to me. But the hero in that book is the villain in this book so I wanted to see how villainous he was.

This is another time travel western and like the other series, I think the author does a wonderful job. Laney Goodman has led a sad and lonely life in the present time. Raised in foster care, she's never had friends or family and she about to embark on a life of reluctant prostitution when her first "customer" offers her a position working with horses, a passion of hers, in Montana. With nothing left to loose, she agrees. The next morning she wakes up in strange clothes in a real honest to goodness stage coach. It takes her a while to figure out and then with the help of her mysterious benefactor, she's been sent back to the past.

Tyler Monroe runs a successful horse ranch but he is starting to have problems. One of them is a lost bet to we'd a mail order bride. Because his mother abandoned he and his father, he wants nothing to do with women and the last thing he wants is to marry one of them. But when he meets his mail order bride, Laney of course, he changes his mind and they marry.

They are both attracted to each other but both have issues.

I enjoyed this one quite a bit. I had no problem suspending belief and buying into the time travel aspect. I liked both Tyler and Laney a lot. Laney is drawn to Tyler and his old fashioned manners. She's never been treated so respectfully by a man and I REALLY liked Tyler. He is confused and dismayed by his growing feelings for Laney but at all times treats her with dignity even though he begins to suspect she may be a 'soiled dove'

I recommend this book happily to fans of western and time travel readers.

Diamond in the DustDiamond in the Dust by Peggy L. Henderson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 Stars

My last review was for the second book in this series, though it was this book that really appealed to me. And while I think this book could be read as a stand-alone, I am glad I read Ain’t no Angel first as the hero in Diamond in the Dust, Gabe McFarlain, played a significant role in Angel as the bad guy. There is something delicious when an author can successfully change a villain into a hero and the author does a wonderful job with Gabe. At the end of the first book he is sent to the present time from 1872 – to say why would be a huge spoiler for the first book so I won’t say why, but he doesn’t go happily. In fact it’s very much against his will when he realized the mysterious Mr. Johnson has sent him to the future. One of the keys to writing a good time travel is make it seem believable - even if the reader knows it can't happen and in this case I had no problem buying into how it's done

He wakes up on the side of the road, badly beaten up (from the end of the first book ‘cause he’s the bad guy and deserved it). Morgan Bartlett, our heroine, sees him lying there and picks him up and brings him home. It doesn’t take Gabe long to realize he’s in the present time but when he shares this with Morgan, she doesn’t quite know what to think.
Gabe has a lot of issues. He would have to, being the bad guy from the second book of the series. He grew up in the old west the bastard son of a whore who didn’t give Gabe much in the way of love. He was treated badly by the town’s people and he was abandoned by the man who fathered him in favour of another son. To say he had a chip on his shoulder was putting it mildly. But Morgan sees something in him. Morgan is a trust fund baby who is determined to make a life for herself despite a controlling mother. She is also a single mother who chose not to stay with the father when he punched her.

Gabe develops strong feelings for Morgan yet he refuses to act on them. He comes from the past where men treat women with respect and he doesn’t think he is good enough for her. As he falls for her more and more, he feels worse and worse for what he did to Tyler Monroe the hero of the previous book. On top of that he hates feeling beholden to Morgan. Because he comes from the past, he doesn’t really know how things in the present work and he finds it difficult that he is not able to pay his own way. He also is old fashioned enough that he is almost horrified by today’s style of clothing. All these factors make for a very appealing hero. He really made the book for me.
I liked Morgan too though she wasn’t quite the standout for me. I found her a little too bit lenient with her mother’s interfering ways. And because she was quite wealthy, she didn’t really have to struggle too much financially, though when her mother cut off her trust fund, she needed to find something. But she’d never really had to work and didn’t have a career. But that's just a minor point.

I am so delighted I found Peggy L. Henderson. This is the fourth book of hers I've read and I just think she writes very good books. I plan to read everything she has. I'm delighted when I find an author I can really get on board with.

Monday, March 09, 2015

The Wonderful World of EAuthors

Because I read 99.5% ebooks these days and since the big publishers actually charge MORE for an ebook than they do for a print book and I REFUSE to pay MORE.  Here are just a few examples of why I’m not reading the big authors these days

Rogue Spy  - Joanna Bourne

$7.99 Mass Market paperback - $8.21 Kindle

Run to You -  Rachel Gibson

$4.68 Mass Market - $8.99 Kindle

Hard to Come by – Laura Kaye

$7.12 Mass Market - $7.99 Kindle

Mind Games by Carolyn Crane

$6.33 Mass Market - $9.12 Kindle

I could go on, but you get the picture. 

Update – in the interest of fairness, I just finished comparing prices for a lot more books and it seems prices are coming down for ebooks, though still not what I think they should.  Source Books and Harlequin are the two best New York publishers who also publish in eform.  Avon at the opposite end, often are charging $2 MORE for an ebook than a Mass Market book - at least here in Canada - yet another reason I loathe them.  In my mind, publishers should charge $2.00 LESS for an ebook as there is no cost for printing, shipping and any number of things that ebooks would cost less for.  Of course none of that should be put on the authors.  I believe they should get the same amount whether it be an ebook or a print book.

But to a great extent the damage has already been done.

Most of the authors I’ve been reading these days are either self published or their publishers are small epublishers.  As a result, I’m finding a lot of authors I’d never heard of before and many of them are VERY GOOD.  And the prices I’ve been paying are VERY reasonable.

 They recently did their Annual Poll at AAR and while I submitted books for quite a few of the categories, I knew the odds of any of the books/authors I picked would even make honorable mention.  But because I’ve been so impressed with so many of them, I want to highlight some of the gems I’ve found so that other ereaders can check them out too.

Today’s author is Peggy L. Henderson.  I’ve read 4 of her books so far and plan to keep reading more.  All the books I've read so far have been Western Time Travel though she does have some Westerns that don't involve the traveling of time too.  

Every book I’ve read has been at least a 4 out of 5.  Here are the reviews of the first two books I’ve read by this really good author.

Yellowstone Heart Song (Yellowstone Romance, #1)Yellowstone Heart Song by Peggy L. Henderson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I recently came across this really nifty keen site called BookBub. It sends me daily ebook deals.

Yellowstone Heart Song was in the first bunch of recommendations and talk about score, score, score!!! It was free, it’s mash-up of Time Travel and Western romance and it was very, very good.

Aimee Donovan, a trauma nurse, thought the old man she met in the hospital was pulling her leg when he told her he could send her back in time 200 years so she could do some backpacking in Yellowstone before it became such a tourist place. She humoured him and quickly through together a backpack with only the bare essentials.

Next thing she knows, much to her shock, is she has indeed been sent back to a place she knows but doesn’t know and realizes that time travel does indeed exist. Though she is an experience back packer, she does manage to get herself in a bit of a pickle and is surprised to be rescued by two men, one of whom is a mountain man named Daniel Osborne and is the son of the old man who sent her back and the one she was told to connect with. Daniel is less than pleased to run into this strange but beautiful young woman in the middle of nowhere. Zach, the time traveling father had told Aimee before he sent her back NOT to say anything to Daniel, so Aimee is hindered in what she can say to him as to who she is, how she got there and what her plans are.

I really, really enjoyed this story. I love time travel and I love westerns so this hybrid was right up my alley. And both Daniel and Aimee were wonderful characters. Daniel was in turn grouchy, resentful, gentle and thoughtful. He lived in his element. He had loved and been rejected cruelly in the past and did NOT want to have anything to do with another white woman. He fought his growing feelings for Aimee but it was a losing battle. And I loved Aimee as a heroine. She was a perfect kind of person to travel back in time when life was more primitive. She’s an experience back packer as mentioned and is very much at home in the wilderness. Though she knows quite a bit, she and Daniel bond as he shows her more survival lessons.

And of course Zach’s insistence that Aimee not tell Daniel anything about being sent from the future comes back to bit them.

The secondary characters are excellent. I love the teasing his “brother” Elk Runner. And Aimee has a best friend in the present that apparently has a story of her own further down the line.
The writing is very good and her descriptions of the area very clear. I’ve never wanted to visit Yellow Stone before – but now – maybe. I found this story very moving and touching in places and funny and sweet in others. As I said, this book is free at the moment but there isn’t a doubt in the world that I will be getting the rest in the series and any other book I can find by this author. I’m a happy little camper with this discovery.

Yellowstone Redemption (Yellowstone Romance Series, # 2)Yellowstone Redemption by Peggy L. Henderson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I knew after finishing the first book in this time traveling western series, Yellowstone Heart Song that I would be reading the rest of the book in this series, this one, Yellowstone Redemption, is the story of Sarah Osborne, daughter of Daniel and Aimee from the first book, and Chace Russell, a traveler from the future.

Chance is mysteriously sent back in time after passing out drunk the previous night. He almost dies of exposure and when he is drooped off at the cabin where Sarah and her family live by a small group of natives, Sarah nurses him back to health.

Once he realizes he really has traveled back in time, Chase is like a fish out of water. He has no real coping skills for living the kind of life he's been sent back to and must rely on Sarah while her parents are away on a rendezvous.

I loved Sarah. She was completely competent in the wild but unsure of herself in dealing with a young man she is attracted to. She has lived a somewhat isolated life, though she has many friends among the native tribes. But she doesn't know how to deal with her growing feelings for Chase.

Chase was a slightly more difficult character to warm up too. You just KNOW there is a good guy wanting to come out. And he has reasons for being the way he is, but he comes across as a bit of a jerk at the beginning. But as he learns and grows and adapts to the time he's been sent to, he grows on one.

Another thing I couldn't quite figure out is why the author had him come back in time from so far in the future. He comes from the year 2035 and I couldn't help feeling that's too far advanced. That's 20 years from now and considering how far we've come as a society in just the past 10 years, well I'd rather she have had him from a time closer to today's tine.

I did love visiting with Daniel and Aimee again. They appear iin the second part and are still hale and hearty and madly in love.

So while this one doesn't get quite as high a rating as the first one, still., I really did enjoy it and am quite pleased I bought the whole series in a bundle.

I think as a marketing idea, this is brilliant. Offer the first book free and hopefully get the reader invested in the rest of the books in the series as well as other books the author may have written. It worked out great in this case *grin*

I have two more (so far) by this author I will post

'til later


And oh, oh!!!  I forgot to mention that Yellowstone Heart Song - the book I gave highest marks to, is free at Amazon right now - so go!  Get it!  It's a good one :-)