Aug 3, 2016

Review - 44 Gilmore Street by Shani Struthers

"We all have to face our demons at some point." 

Psychic Surveys - specialists in domestic spiritual clearance - have never been busier. Although exhausted, Ruby is pleased. Her track record as well as her down-to-earth, no-nonsense approach inspires faith in the haunted, who willingly call on her high street consultancy when the supernatural takes hold. But that's all about to change. Two cases prove trying: 44 Gilmore Street, home to a particularly violent spirit, and the reincarnation case of Elisha Grey. When Gilmore Street attracts press attention, matters quickly deteriorate. Dubbed the 'New Enfield', the 'Ghost of Gilmore Street' inflames public imagination, but as Ruby and the team fail repeatedly to evict the entity, faith in them wavers. Dealing with negative press, the strangeness surrounding Elisha, and a spirit that's becoming increasingly territorial, Ruby's at breaking point. So much is pushing her towards the abyss, not least her own past. It seems some demons just won't let go...


A brilliant finale to a series!

I read this a few weeks ago. 44 Gilmore Street was pretty timely after my disappointment with the movie, The Conjuring 2. The later was based on the infamous Enfield Poltergeist, but unfortunately made changes that didn't improve on the original story, giving it the Hollywood treatment. 

44 Gilmore Street did immediately remind me of the Enfield story, with the haunting carry on happening to an average family, living in an average house on an average British Street. So I wasn't surprised when the reference to the case came up. 

Let's face it, we don't usually expect people living down the road or next door to experience a haunting. Because most of us can relate to their living situation, it notches up the creepiness. 

All the team return, but this latest case comes with the added scrutiny of the press. That and the persistence of a new client that Ruby is reluctant to take on threatened to drive a wedge into the team. And at a time they are facing one of their most violent hauntings, they need to pull together. 

The writing, as ever, is engaging but simple and direct with the perfect balance of decription, carrying the reader through the action flawlessly. The story is complex with several misdirects so just when I thought I had it all figured out, it shifts again, keeping me turning pages right to the very end. 

I highly recommend this entire series. 


Jul 28, 2016

Tempting Jo by Nancee Cain - Release Day

Congratulation to Nancee Cain on the release of her second novel, Tempting Jo. Look at that beautiful cover. To celebrate release day, I have a few teasers and an excerpt.


Forbidden love is hell...

Confident and quirky, Jo Sanford thinks her boss is God's gift to women--and she couldn't be further from the truth. Devilishly handsome, Luc DeVille will stop at nothing to lure his administrative assistant right into his arms--and bed.

Over Rafe Goodman's dead body...

Rafe, Jo's best friend, refuses to sit by and watch as Luc tries to win the heart of the woman he's always protected. After all, Rafe is her guardian angel. Suddenly, Jo's caught in the middle of a battle between good and evil. But the closer she gets to the fire, the hotter it burns. Now, Jo's going to learn that when love battles lust, Heaven and Hell collide.

Now doesn't that sound tempting? 


To my surprise, Mr. DeVille scratches Atticus behind the ears instead of pushing him away. “Since we’re stuck here, what should we do?” Finished with his sandwich, he wipes his mouth with his thumb. I’d have been more than willing to lick it clean for him.
A pounding on the door interrupts us. Dadgumit, just when things are about to get interesting with Mr., er, Luc. I scurry to the door, intent on getting rid of whoever it is. I find Rafe holding a bag of food and two cups of coffee.
“Hey, I figured your power was still out, so I brought you some coffee and breakfast.” His eyes scan my small apartment, narrowing when he spies Luc.
Mr. DeVille smirks. “What impeccable timing. Goodman, is it?” He casually swings his legs over the side of the bed and steps into his pants.
“Yes, sir.” Although polite, Rafe’s voice has an edge to it. The tension in the air snaps like an impending storm. “The roads are clear, although Mrs. Cabot called and said not to come to work today since schools are still closed and the power remains off for much of the area. Here included, I see.”
“How astute of you to notice. No wonder I pay you the big bucks. Of course Mrs. Cabot said to stay home. It isn’t her losing money, is it?”
Mr. DeVille pulls off my sweatshirt, revealing those cut abs. I stare unabashedly, and Rafe snaps his fingers in front of my face. Luc buttons his shirt, glaring at Rafe the entire time.
“Well, Friday. Thank you for the hospitality. I’m sure since Goodman flew here on the icy roads to check on you, I’ll have no problems getting home. I suggest you take today to study for your classes, and remember I’ll be more than happy to help with your homework assignments.” His eyes flash with desire, and my cheeks heat.
Rafe snarls, looking positively feral.
“A-Are you sure the roads are okay? Would you like a cup of this coffee before you go?”
“I only brought two cups,” Rafe protests.
Shocked by his rudeness—and to our boss, no less—I quickly offer, “Mr. DeVille can have my cup.” What has gotten into him?
Ignoring Rafe, Mr. DeVille turns to me as he shrugs into his coat. “That’s quite all right. Thank you, Friday.” He gives me a conspiratorial wink and a smile.
Rafe, in comparison, receives a cool nod. The hair on my arms stands on end when Mr. DeVille stops and turns to face my friend. I must be having some sort of low blood sugar event because I swear it looks like the rims of his blue eyes have turned the color of a hot stove eye. I blink and find him glaring at Rafe, and the look is returned in kind. Good thing we aren’t living in a century past. If we were, I’m quite certain there would be a duel at fifty paces. He leaves without saying another word.
Rafe slams the door with a muttered, “Good riddance.”
I cross my arms in front of my chest. “Thanks a lot.”
“You’re welcome.” He ignores my sarcasm.
I sigh and gratefully accept the warm to-go cup. I can’t stay mad at him for long; he’s my best friend.
And he has coffee.

Add Tempting Jo to you TRL on Goodreads

About the Author

During the day, Nancee works as a nurse in the field of addiction to support her coffee and reading habit. Nights are spent writing paranormal and contemporary romances with a serrated edge. Authors are her rock stars, and she’s been known to stalk a few for an autograph, but not in a scary, Stephen King way. Her husband swears her To-Be-Read list on her e-reader qualifies her as a certifiable book hoarder. Always looking to try something new, she dreams of being an extra in a Bollywood film, or a tattoo artist. (Her lack of rhythm and artistic ability may put a damper on both of these dreams.)


Apr 3, 2016

To Blue or Not to Blue

It's Autism month. There is some debate on if it should be awareness or acceptance month. The fact is, even those living with Autism can't agree on almost anything connected to Autism. Yesterday, buildings and monuments all around the world went blue for World Autism Awareness day and lots of people are Lighting Up Blue. I won't be. It's not popular to admit that or to point out what Light Up Blue officially represents. I specifically didn't post this yesterday out of consideration for those who just wanted to enjoy the day and not get involved in the politics of Autism. 

Living with Autism can sometime feel like shouting into a void. It can be lonely and frustrating. Awareness and Acceptance are complex issues, and my own views are continually evolving. The truth is somewhat disconcerting. Although Autism connects us, the Autism community is a community, not divided but splintered into a million pieces. There is very little universal consensus on anything from causes to decision making to if the term should be 'Autistic' or 'person with Autism'. Being a spectrum disorder, Autism affects individuals and families in such vastly different ways that everyone wants something different from Autism month. The one thing that we all want is to feel heard.

It's a touchy subject for some. Like it or not, aware of it or not, agree with it or not, Light it Up Blue started and still represents an Autism Speaks Campaign.

I used to Light Up Blue. I used to support Autism Speaks with money and time. I donated work for a fundraising collection of stories. I spread the word on social media. Then I found out that, like other charities I'd previously donated to, huge sums of money raised was going to pay salaries, research, and marketing campaigns to raise even more money. And very little going to directly to help those in need right now.

That is why I no longer go Blue. 

I don't support everything they stand for, but anyone would be hard pressed to find a group they can agree with on everything. It's not about the goal of the research for a cure because I do support the research. I hope those who are severely debilitated or who wish it can someday access a cure. It's not that they sometimes portray autism as something terrible, because you know what? For some it is terrible. It's not even that they support parents and caregivers as advocates, because what is the alternative? Someone who has never met my son but thinks they know better because they are on the spectrum too? I would no more allow my son to make major life decisions alone than I would a four-year-old. And I am even less likely to allow some autistic stranger tell me that I don't know best for my son and myself. Because I sure as hell do.

So, when I don't Light Up Blue, IS NOT A JUDGEMENT on anyone who does. Is it not me saying I support anti-AS groups either, because I don't. I have no interest in being silenced or discounted as a voice for my son. It is not me saying I support acceptance over awareness. I want both to a degree.

I will never accept something that hurts my child the way Autism does. I do want acceptance in a positive way that helps autistic people integrate and live their life to whatever level they are capable. 

I want awareness. Real awareness, not the fluffy 'isn't autism great for Silicon Valley' awareness. The raw awareness of the good and bad. The meltdowns, outbursts, the stress, the grief, the work from caregivers and autistic individuals, the determination, sleepless nights, the milestones, achievements, and the moments of joy. I want Awareness of how little things can make life a little easier. 

So, regardless of want to achieve this April, if you turn blue or not, whatever it is you support or how you support it, and even if I don't agree with your message, I do hope at the end of it, you feel heard. 

Happy Autism Month.

Feb 22, 2016

The Revenger by Debra Anastasia Release Day

I am so very excited about this release and I am already reading it. This is a not to be missed book. On FaceBook I described it as "Sheer Brilliance". It's a sort of anti-hero origin story for adults. Or hero origin story depending on your perspective. Dark, twisted, and heartbreaking. Debra Anastasia at her very best.


The real hero of this story is dead. You should have met him. He was a beautiful man. The love of my life. I didn’t deserve him.

Now what’s left are the jagged edges of the person I am without him, and what I have to do to get by. This isn’t even a story about love. Not really. It’s a twisted tale of revenge and hate—a happily never after.

The only man in my life now is the one I have to kill.
I’m Savvy Raine.
I used to be a wife.
I used to be a mother.
Now I am the Revenger.


There was very little chatter after the alarming phone call. Savvy looked at the clock. It was only five, but the extra help Tallow had enlisted acted like she was about to disintegrate. When they were finally done, they hung Savvy’s costume from a door, fully expecting her to drop trou in front of all the strangers.
She looked at the silver outfit meant to demean her and classify her as his, just like all his other favorites.
“Yeah, I’m not actually going to be wearing that.” She looked from one shocked person to the other.
Tallow recovered first. “But this is what he told you to wear!”
Savvy laughed hollowly. “Yeah, he can suck his own d*ck for all I care.”
The atmosphere changed. The others now realized Savvy didn’t think it was a huge honor to be a f*ckhole.
“That’s not acceptable. I’ll put you in it myself if I have to, but you’re leaving here in that outfit.” Tallow bravely gathered up the skirt and came into Savvy’s personal space. He obviously thought she was just a regular girl.
In an instant she’d lifted Tallow into the air by his neck. “I’m not wearing it.” She stared him down until he began to turn blue. Then she set him back on his feet.
Tallow was a quick learner and smoothed his fancy shirt. 
          “Okay then, let me see what else we have."

Buy Links 

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Feb 19, 2016

Abandoned Blog Tour - Guest Post from Elisa Dane

Today, I'm delighted to welcome Elisa Dane to my blog as part of the blog tour for the release of her latest book - Abandoned. As a writer myself, I'm always fascinated by the process of other writers and so I opted to ask Elisa a question about her writing. I will review the book at a later date, but trust me, this book is to the author's usual incredible high standard.

Abandoned by Elisa Dane

Publication Date:  February 15, 2016
Publisher:  Swoon Romance

My name is Tierra Owens, and I like to kiss. A lot. It numbs the hollow ache in my chest and—for a few minutes—makes me forget how truly alone I am. My mother is an alcoholic. She hates me and insists I'm the reason she's not married to my father, whom I have never met. My best friend, Kaylee, is the only person who knows the real me. Everyone else sees what I want them to: a happy, confident, popular girl who has the world at her feet.

I am a fraud.

Relationships are forbidden. I avoid them at all costs. Sex? Emotions? Those things make a person vulnerable, and vulnerability always leads to heartbreak. When my childhood crush, Mattie shows up at school my world tumbles off its axis. The shell I surround myself with feels more like a pathetic crutch than a protective barrier, and I find myself wanting things. Daydreaming about what it would be like to have a boyfriend, a relationship—love.

The sad fact is: I'll never have any of those things. I am unworthy—trash. Which is why my mom abandoned me.

Grab it now!
My question 

You don't seem at all shy about tackling difficult subject matter in your books, such as relationship abuse among teens and teen drinking. Can you explain a little about how you do your research?

Hi, Carol! So excited to be hanging out with you today! Okay, so you’re interested in knowing what type of research I do to tackle the tough subjects I write about. Two words: my hubby. I’m married to a police officer that worked in a high school for eight years. He’s also an active shooter instructor and owns his own company, which goes into schools and assess their safety, while training them how to deal with critical incidences, such as active shooters. While I’m never told specific details about any of his cases, I do glean a good deal of information from him as to what types of problems and situations are plaguing today’s teens. I’ve gone to him on a number of occasions while plotting, and asked what types of negative behavior he’s seeing at the schools. He’s dealt with all kinds of bullying, both online, and in person, as well as sexual extortion, substance abuse, physical abuse, etc. My guy is a fountain of information.

He was exceptionally helpful to me while I wrote each of my YA novels. In general, I’ll explain the situation my character’s are in, then ask him if that situation is believable, and if the police happen to be involved, how would they respond? My main character, Tierra, did her level best to keep the police out of her situation, which was not the smartest decision on her part. With my other books, In The After in particular, I pretty much ran every aspect of the book by him while I was writing. I consider myself extremely lucky to have a police officer for a hubby!

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today! I hope you and your readers enjoy Mattie and Tierra’s story!

Give Away 

Ends February 26, 2016

·  One (1) winner will receive a $10 Amazon gift card and a digital copy of Abandoned by Elisa Dane (INT)

About the Author 

Elisa Dane loves books, chocolate, reality television, her family, and All Star Cheerleading. Not necessarily in that order! She writes contemporary YA romance with cheerleaders. Yep. She writes what she knows, and it’s her hope that her stories will not only take you on a romantic journey that will warm your heart, but that you’ll find a new respect for the sport of All Star Cheerleading you may not have had before. She’s represented by Brittany Booker of the Booker/Albert Agency, and has published a NA paranormal series under her real name, Lisa Sanchez.

Thank you, Elisa, for joining us today and Chapter by Chapter for arranging the blog tour.