January 2016


All this time by kim cox

stars-5-0._V192240867_ (1)

 

I first heard of Kim Cox when we both belonged to a group for designing book covers. Over time I saw different covers that she was working on, and when I saw All This Time advertised I decided to read it.

I was not disappointed with the book, and I loved the cover. That is one of the things that caught my eye!

All This Time is a very enjoyable read that I finished in one long evening—actually into the morning. Trevor Drake had developed the reputation of loving and leaving a long list of women. Jenny Morgan had married a cheater once, and after the divorce, she wasn’t going to give her heart to someone who would break it again. She doesn’t deny her attraction to Trevor, but she doesn’t trust him–and she has work to do.

Trevor had no idea how she felt about him, but he has been crazy about her all along. He just never had the courage to pursue her. He knew that she saw him as a friend who was lacking in ambition and a womanizer.

When her father became very ill he had one wish. He wanted a grandchild before he died. Jenny would do anything for her dad, but she had not created any romantic liaisons because she was intent on managing the business that he had started and then handed over to her. Trevor also has a strong affection for Joe Morgan and he jumps at the chance to marry Jenny and father her child. He is determined to show her how much he loves her and how responsible he actually is. Jenny finally agrees to the marriage, but she is determined that it will be temporary. Trevor is determined to make it last forever.

There is a traitor in the company; one that is intent on destroying Jenny, as well as Joe Morgan and the business. The author kept me guessing for a long time. She wrote some passages from the traitor’s point of view, but never revealed who she truly was until just after Jenny’s father revealed shocking facts that she didn’t know. The woman sensed that things were different, and fled before the police could confront her and make an arrest.

This story is romantic, suspenseful and funny in places. I felt sorry for poor Trevor! He worked so darn hard to prove that he was a good guy, but between Jenny’s lack of trust and the shadows that the traitor cast, he was fighting an uphill battle. It seemed he might never win Jenny’s trust and her love.

Great job, Kim Cox. I recommend “All This Time.

This book can be purchased on Amazon.com by clicking here.

invasion of privacy

stars-5-0._V192240867_ (1)

 

2 letters sum up my thoughts about Invasion Of Privacy by Ian Sutherland- Read them frontwards or backwards-WOW represents how I feel about this book!

This book held me transfixed—filled with cyber geek speak, some of which I have heard, but none of which I have enough knowledge to speak with authority. I actually sent the author a message and asked him if the premise of the story had any basis in reality—and he quickly replied that things of that nature are indeed real.

Most of us use the internet pretty regularly with little thought to the dark side of it. Yes—in the news we hear that countries around the world have entities that hack into government agencies, banks and credit card companies to steal information and security secrets. They also threaten infrastructures like hydro grids, airline companies…but the general public never seriously believes that they could personally be involved; that is until you read invasion of Privacy! This book took me places that I don’t want to believe exist!! For me it involved a dark world in cyberspace that could be equated to crime mobsters like Al Kapone –just a different decade and a different venue, but just as corrupt, just as territorial and just as deadly. It was shocking to read how easily the hackers accessed personal information, the techniques they used to get the information that they wanted, the multiple ways they set up false identities so that they could not be detected.

To the outside world,Brody Taylor is a security consultant. In actual fact he is a top dog in the internet hacker world—a recognition that he has worked hard to achieve, and one that creates jealousy and anger in a few of those that he has beaten or exposed. High on a recent success as a security consultant, he lets himself be enticed by a request for help on CrackerHack, an online forum used by computer hackers from all over the world to brag about their exploits and swap ideas, tips and techniques. Brody spent much of his spare time on there. The message was from a member called Crooner42, a username that Brody vaguely recognised. Crooner said he was looking for someone with  ‘Advanced Pentest Techniques.’  Too late Taylor realises that he has been duped, but his pride won’t let him back down. He decides he will follow through with the challenge.

While working every possible angle to find a way into the seemingly impenetrable site, he becomes aware that a sadistic killer may be following it to pick his victims. Brody’s line of work is illegal in the eyes of the law, but he finesses his way into a police investigation that is searching for a serial killer who is contacting women, arranging to meet with them and then rapeing and murdering them. He teams up with Detective Jenny Price and uses some of his skills to help solve the case. Of course there is something in it for Brody—in doing so, he discovers the elusive thread that lets him nail the challenge he accepted from Crooner42.

But little does he know that in doing so he has placed himself and his career as a hacker in mortal danger.

I highly recommend this book, and I will definitely be watching for another Brody Walker thriller. A job well done, Ian Sutherland. WOW, WOW, WOW!!!

To purchase Invasion of Privacy at Amazon.com click here.

 

 

unsevered by traci sanders

stars-5-0._V192240867_ (1)

 

Unsevered kept me glued to the pages from the first paragraph. The dedication reads: “Dedicated to all military spouses … especially those whose loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice.”

The book is written in first person and it is a raw, emotionally realistic portrayal of  Jewel, a military spouse who feels she has lost all reason to live, when Harley, her husband and the man she shares the deepest kind of love with, loses his life in combat.

The paranormal component of this story is wonderful, and an element that many people who lose the love of their life, too would wish to have—contact with the one who has left this earthly scene, leaving their lives shattered and their hearts broken.

Harleys guidance steadies Jewel through many painful times. In the first chapter his voice, his presence stops her when she is about to commit suicide.

I quote from the book  “Just as the first pill is about to meet with my tongue, the radio comes on by itself and plays a soft version of “I Got You Babe.’’ My nose is invaded with the scent of Eternity cologne and a disembodied voice sends chills down my spine. “Don’t do it, Jules.”

I would know his voice anywhere. “Harley? Oh, Harley.’’

“Yeah, baby. It’s me. I’m here,” he says, his words calm and soothing. A tremble reverberates throughout my body. The tears seem to pause midstream on my face. My voice is barely audible. “Where? I can’t see you. I must be dreaming.”

“No, you’re not dreaming. You’re grieving. And you’re about to make the biggest mistake of your life.”

….“This can’t be happening. You’re dead. I’m just hallucinating. It’s the pills. Just the pills.” I nod my head a few times with vigor to confirm it to myself. I look down at the bottle still in my hand; I haven’t taken them yet. I put the capsules back in the bottle and close the lid.

“I’ve been watching you since the moment I died. I know what you were about to do.”

My eyes shift toward the floor. “But what’s the use in living if I can’t be with you? At least we could be together this way.”

“It doesn’t work like that, sweetheart. You can’t kill yourself to be with me. We won’t end up together.”

Tears flood my eyes. “But I miss you, Harley. I want to be with you. There’s nothing here for me anymore. I don’t want to live without you.” The room is silent for a moment. I call out his name to ensure he’s still there.

Moments later, he speaks again. “I know. I miss you too. But I lived out my destiny. I died doing what I was meant to do. I served my purpose in the world, and then I was called home.”

 “But your home is here with me. You belong here!” Anger and desperation seep through my words.

“The universe is done with me, but it isn’t done with you yet, baby. You haven’t fulfilled your destiny.”

Throughout this story of a love that never dies, one that is unsevered even in death, Jewel learns what her destiny is and it helps her to move on.  Do not miss this terrific read! It shows that in spite of shattering grief, and utter despair life needs to continue on, so we each fulfill our purpose for being here–our destiny. Beyond that time of sorrow , joy can eventually fill the soul and there is hope–in Jewels case even unsuspect gifts!

To purchase Unsevered on Amazon.com click here

resilence by ica iova

stars-4-0._V192240704_

 

I was glad that I had read the prequel, Unsung Victims, before I read Resilience.

For me, Unsung Victims was an outstanding book and it set the stage for Resilience and the ongoing nightmare that Johanna White’s ex-husband, Detective Louis White, continued to cause in her life, even after his death.

In Unsung Victims, Johanna quickly learned that since her husband was one of them, the police brushed aside her calls for help, effectively neutralising any help she could have expected from law enforcement when his behaviour in their private life became frightening and intolerable. When she divorced him, he also used his influence and power to discredit her, turn her children against her and make others, including herself at times, doubt her stability and sanity.

From the first line in Resilience, I understood what Johanna was going through. After four long years of fighting, once again Louis and his lawyer, Melinda Morton, were taking her to court in a bid to gain full custody and push her out of her children’s lives for good.

When Louis didn’t show up in court, I was surprised. But Melinda Morton had been by his side all the way, so it wasn’t unreasonable to think he would have left everything in her very devious, capable hands if he was working undercover on something.

Later, when he was found dead, I wasn’t surprised when the police focused solely on her as the murderer. She had threatened him in a heat of rage and there were witnesses. The members in the department had to have known how acrimonious the divorce and the ongoing battle for custody had been. It would have been a quick and easy assumption.

Johanna knew she needed the best legal representation she could get—someone who would believe in her—who would be unbiased. Preston McLeod came to mind—but would he even take her case? Preston had his own reasons to doubt her, to be biased.

Johanna has needed to defend herself for so long—even representing herself in court; when Preston agrees to take her case she has doubts about his motives, and besides that, it isn’t in her to sit back and let someone else hold the key to her future, without her input.

I really did enjoy Resilience. I love Ica Iova’s writing, but I am giving Resilience 4 stars, rather than the 5 stars I gave to Unsung Victims. This is really hard for me to do, but as a reader and a reviewer I have to be true to myself. FOR ME, there were some things in the story line of this book that just didn’t reach the standards that I have come to expect from this great artist’s work. I don’t want to leave any spoilers so I won’t elaborate.

I encourage all readers to remember that reviews are from one readers point of view.
You may LOVE, Love this book. I enjoyed it, and I still recommend it, but I encourage you to read Unsung Victims before you read Resilience, so you get the most out of the book.

To purchase Resilience on Amazon.com click here.

 

Unsung victims by Ica Iova

stars-5-0._V192240867_ (1)

 

I was totally captivated by Unsung Victims. For me this book felt so real, so heart-wrenching, that I felt Johanna White could be a real person and I was reading her biography.

I watched her relationship with Detective Louis White blossom and become the envy of many women. Everything was so perfect. Louis was the man any woman’s romantic heart would desire. Until his other side began to come through. Then I watched the marriage crumble, and Louis become a nightmare to live with.

When Johanna decided she wanted a divorce, he did what many abusive people do. He begged for another chance. I could feel how torn she was, but I really hoped she wouldn’t take that route. Logic told me it was too risky, but little did she (or I) realise how risky sticking with her decision would be.

All Louis’s charm totally vanished, and a sadistic, vengeful man who would stop at nothing less that ruining Johanna’s life took center stage. He portrayed her as having poor parenting skills and made everyone (including herself) doubt her stability and sanity. And he used his influence and power to try to gain sole custody of their children with the intent to shut her out of their lives entirely. It became clear that the children didn’t really matter to him, they were simply a means of destroying the woman who dared to try to take back control of her life.

The unsung victims were the poor children. Divorce affects children at any age, but this book clearly portrays what a vicious, acrimonious divorce can do to young children. My heart bled for them and Johanna. It became very easy to despise Louis and those that marshalled behind him in his underhanded deceitful ways.

Johanna’s story is written in first person, and once again Ica Iova did a masterful job of creating and developing the characters in this book.

This is the 3rd book that I have read of Ica Iova—she has become one of my favorite authors. I have already downloaded “Resilience” (the sequel to this book) and I can’t wait to read it.

Unsung Victims can be purchased on Amazon.com by clicking here.

Book Reviews that sell--Dr Gary Webb

stars-5-0._V192240867_ (1)

 

 

Book Reviews That Sell is filled with great tips and it is already in a folder in the Kindle app on my computer for easy access.

One piece of information that really caught my attention was the idea of putting a direct link inside your ebook where readers can post their review. I always encourage people to write reviews but I know that many of the readers who tell me they loved my books are intimidated by the very act of getting to the place where they can write the review on Amazon. Gary Webb said “Don’t just send them back to the Amazon book detail page. Have them go directly to the review page for your book.” He says to wirte “Here is a link to this book’s review page: http:// http://www.amazon.com/ review/ create-review? …” (and put in the ASIN of your book…) “it should link to that book’s review page. On that page, the reviewer can immediately enter a star rating, begin writing the review, and add a headline for the review.” I can hardly wait to try this, and I wonder if if would work with Smashwords or GoodReads also. Possibly not, but I’m going to check it out.

Dr. Gary Webb suggested something else that I thought was very interesting. He wrote “When you write a review, Amazon does not permit including links to your own books or links to URLs outside Amazon. However, they encourage links to other products (including books) on the Amazon website. Therefore, it is possible for you to write a review of one book, but also praise another one. Such a review can be one written by the same author, or a similar book written by another one. As an example, you could compare two books by the same author. In the reviews editor, you can insert a clickable link from one book to the other. Do not try to enter a link directly. The review editor does not allow that. However, just above the right-hand corner of the editor, Amazon has included a button that says, “Insert product link.” All you need to do is to click that button and type in the URL for the other book.” I think this really something to consider when writing reviews. I’m just going to have to take some time and practice a bit to understand how this works.

I also appreciated what he said about the verified purchase check when you go to write a book review. I have often wondered about this because I have readers who use iTunes, Nook and Kobo formats—and I’m certain that the verified purchase would make them shy away from leaving a review. I’ll be honest, it has made me back off from writing a review if I bought the book on Smashwords. Gary Webb wrote “Here is another reason I dislike the verified purchase label for reviews. If someone buys your book from a competing online retailer such as iTunes or Barnes and Noble, they honor your request (inside the book) to post a review on Amazon.com. Although, they paid full price for the book, it will not count as a verified purchase. The Amazon system would not have a record of its purchase in their system. To clarify, Amazon says, “If a review isn’t marked Amazon Verified Purchase, it doesn’t mean that the reviewer has no experience with the product – just that we couldn’t verify it had been purchased at Amazon.”

This book also made it clear to me what is required to stay within Amazons guidelines and avoid getting into trouble.

Webb also suggested that you join the Author Marketing Club and use their free tools for finding possible reviewers, which is something that I intend to do.

I also appreciated the extra bonuses that were included in the book: a downloadable spreadsheet for keeping track of Reviewers, a list of FREE/PAID REVIEW sites, plus many links to useful sites that is save readers a lot of time.

I also appreciated his advice to not “collect reviews;” but instead make it your mission to “connect with reviewers.”

I have only mentioned a fraction of the things that appealed to me in this book. I highly recommend it as a resource of choice for indie authors. Amazon is a very large stage for an author’s work, and reviews are “life’s blood” for any book!

Book Reviews That Sell is available on Amazon by clicking here

revenant-snow-xlarge

Last night my husband and I went to see the REVENANT at the theater in Williams Lake. We have not watched or been to a movie in years—in fact I’m very certain that the last one we watched in a theater was “Catch Me If You Can” one evening when we were in Kamloops, B.C. when we were much younger and he was open to doing something like that.

At this stage in life, he is only interested in the News, sports, hunting and fishing shows and nature shows so that is basically what we watch on TV. He has no use for “fiction” and shoot ‘em up movies like James Bond or CSI. But when he saw the previews for the REVENANT —based on the “true story” of a frontiersman/trapper, the bear attacking the man, the Appaloosa horse (he used to raise Appaloosa’s) being ridden full tilt over a steep cliff, he decided he wanted to go to that movie. Our son-in-law and daughter were going also so we met them in town, went out for Chinese food and then went to the movie together.

Here is my review for the REVANANT. The cinematography and makeup artistry were very well done. And Leonardo DiCaprio probably deserves an award for his acting and the reported discomfort he had to endure during filming. But for me, the actual presentation of the story of Hugh Glass the notorious frontiersman and trapper required too much suspension of reality to become totally involved. I felt like I was watching Hugh Glass as superman on steroids. Any normal human being would have died in the circumstances portrayed, no matter how determined and tough they were.

Tom Hardy did a very good job of playing the role of John Fitzgerald who, to me, came off as a total self-serving, traitorous asshole who lied and was willing to kill when it suited him. But in all fairness, under the circumstances, his decision to leave Huge Glass as dead could probably justified as self-preservation, but the rest of his actions revealed his true character.

This movie was “based on a true story,” but I was reminded again that certainly all fiction has some basis of “truth” somewhere. There is plenty of violence, murder, shooting (often using musket guns that never seem to be needed to be muzzle loaded in fast moving scenes—bang, bang, bang) –also beautiful scenery and the movie was shot in natural light.

After the movie was over I asked my daughter and son-in-law what the title meant and how it related to the show. None of us knew so when we came home I looked information about the movie and the meaning of REVENANT. Online I discovered that Revenant means “a person who has returned, especially supposedly from the dead.”

If you are interested click on the following links to learn more about Hugh Glass and the movie. The true story behind the Revenant and from the Telegraph.co.uk   “Leonardo DiCaprio Hugh Glass True Story” which is very revealing.

You may love this movie! For me, it was simply a night out. Would I go to see it again? Not likely. I don’t like it when something is presented as based on truth, yet is so patently fiction.  I don’t shy away from violence and blood and guts–I just don’t want to have to “hold my nose” and pretend that I believe it is truth. I’d be much more interested in seeing “13 hours” in the theater or sitting at home with a glass of wine and watching NCIS. It’s a good thing that we do not all have the same tastes.

Next Page »