Friday, January 22, 2016

Show Time by Phil Harvey

Synopsis via

Future viewing audiences have become totally desensitized to violence and entirely dependent on sensation to escape their boring workaday lives—an addiction nurtured by the media with graphic portrayals of war and crime and with so-called reality programming. Now, TV execs in pursuit of the only things they care about—higher ratings and bigger paychecks—have created the ultimate reality show: Seven people, each bearing the scars of his or her past, are deposited on an island in the middle of Lake Superior. Given some bare necessities and the promise of $400,000 each if they can endure, the three women and four men risk death by starvation or freezing as the Great Lakes winter approaches. The island is wired for sound, and flying drones provide the video feed, so everything the contestants do and say is broadcast worldwide. Their seven-month ordeal is entirely unscripted, they can’t ask for help or they forfeit the prize, and as far as the network is concerned—the fewer survivors the better.

I was graciously provided a copy of this book through Netgalley.
To be honest I was very hesitant to read this book. When I see the name P. Harvey, I automatically think about the radio commentator, Paul Harvey. So I wondered if Phil Harvey might be Paul Harvey's son and was worried it would be a political satire or just a book about his personal ideas.
Well, I was very happy I took the plunge. I had a very hard time putting this book down.
It's a story of the future. A future where the population is blase' about violence. Where people will pay thousands a month to see seven people living on an island, hoping to see them starve, or freeze to death or even kill one and other. These seven people have agreed to live on an island for a specific amount of time. Everyone who survives earns $400,000. But what is the catch? They are given a limited amount of food and clothing and they have to survive the majority of winter, and they can't accept ANY outside help. Oh, and they are watched 24/7 by the public. Nothing in their life will be private. Now, each person has their own special reason for doing this, each person has their dark side.
Mr. Harvey has created a world that seems somewhat familiar. It's like Naked and Afraid, but with clothes-well, most of the time. Of course there are some who like to be watched no matter what they do. 
I loved the way he developed the characters. I gained insight into each character little by little. There isn't really any mystery. I can say there is some suspense, but not in the traditional sense of the genre. The suspense is in trying to figure out the reason each person has agreed to this insane challenge. There is also suspense in trying to figure out which ones will survive. Who will literally freeze to death? Who will starve to death? If someone were to die and the winter proved desolate of food, would they go all "Donner Party"??
Mr. Harvey did a great job of keeping me hooked. Each page kept me wondering what would happen next. Will the hoe sleep with everyone willing, even a woman? Will the married people stay true to their spouse? Will the hothead attack? Will there be fighting for food? 
You are going to LOVE this book!

Dance of the Pink Mist (Cracked Chronicles 2) by K.D. Van Brunt

Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance

Word Count: 99, 125

ISBN: 978-1-77233-239-1

Editor: JS Cook

Cover Artist: Sour Cherry Designs

Synopsis via Evernight Teen:

In the sequel to Win the Rings, Gray is now a prisoner at Cracked, forced to undergo combat training under the supervision of his nemesis, Jace. He soon learns first hand why all the other kids at Cracked are scared to death of her, but he also finds a chink in her armor and they both realize they have an eerie connection to one another. 

Gradually, Gray is drawn into Jace’s dangerous world of Special Ops missions, where death waits like a shadow in every corner. 

For Jace, Gray poses a new kind of threat. Although she’s proficient in all types of combat, Jace’s training hasn’t prepared her for him, and she is forced to confront feelings she has never experienced before.

This is the second book in Mr. Van Brunt's Cracked Chronicles.
Jace and Gray are now both at Cracked, but Jace is one of Gray's instructors. All her life Jace has been treated like a soldier, not as a human being, let alone a girl. She and Gray are now the property of Cracked. What does Gay bring to Cracked and Jace? Cracked wants Gray for his powers, but for Jace, he brings feelings she has never felt. As a Cracked agent she is taught to suppress any emotions and here comes Gray, making her FEEL.
As you know, I am very careful not to post spoilers. So here goes, it may be difficult.
Mr. Van Brunt shows us again that he is  a wonderfully talented story teller. He knows how to put just the right amount of technical information without bogging the story down. He does an excellent job with Jace and her evolution. She is first and foremost a hardened soldier, but her emotional immaturity is brought out in a very convincing manner. You never doubt that she is confused by the feelings that Gray evokes. But she always falls back to her comfort zone: her military training.
But then there is Gray. Gray has lived on the run with his sister. He knows about feelings, he and his sister are very close. But Jace brings uncertainty to Gray.
Mr. Van Brunt seems to be very conscious about what is age appropriate for Jace and Gray. That is something that you don't see in most YA stories. These days the writers want to make teenagers more like adults; especially when it comes to sex and "playing house". But Jace and Gray's naivete is kind of cute. It actually made them a little more endeared towards them.
There is so much to like about Dance of the Pink Mist and Mr. Van Brunt. The story is far from simple. Mr. Van Brunt is able to weave all of the different aspects flawlessly: the complexities of the military aspect, the complexity of each character, and the complexity of how each character interacts with each other as well as the story line. He creates a complex world that you don't want to leave. You are taken on an emotional roller coaster ride with each character, even the secondary characters. This ability, in my opinion, is the hallmark of a great writer.
I eagerly await the next installment of the Cracked Chronicles. But I also hope he brings me new worlds to explore.
This is a MUST READ series. You won't be disappointed!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Way of the Warrior by Suzanne Brockman, et al

Suzanne Brockmann, Julie Ann Walker, Catherine Mann, Tina Wainscott, Anne Elizabeth, M.L. Buchman, Kate SeRine, Lea Griffith

To honor and empower those who've served, all author and publisher proceeds go to the Wounded Warrior Project.

This is a book that is very dear to my heart. Eight authors have banded together to give back to the soldiers who have given a piece of themselves, whether it be a body part or part of their own psyche, they have sacrificed for our country.

Each short story is about a wounded service member who is fighting their own disability,  but also the man or woman who loves them just as they are. But the most poignant part of each story is the struggle for the Wounded Warrior to believe that someone could love them "damaged".
With eight stories in a book, the reading is a little different than with a full novel. The reader actually gets to be transported to eight different places. It is easy to find a place where you can take a break if needed. Or *gasp* actually put it down to go to work. But be warned- you really won't want to put it down.
Each story brings to life the real struggle that wounded service members go through. The physical pain, the emotional roller coaster, accepting their "new normal" or new body, the belief that they are not worthy of being loved, as well as the triumph of conquering their demons. Each story evoked so many emotions. I cried, I smiled, I cheered, but mostly I grieved for the loss each person suffered.
If you like to read about hot military men and women who overcome their disability as well as their own self, this is a book for you.
I consider this a "MUST READ". And with your purchase, you will be doing a very good deed.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Zack Armed & Dangerous Audible


Hello Everyone! I hope your holidays were full of family and love.
This is my first review of 2016! I am so excited for this coming year and being able to let everyone know what I think. Seriously, who doesn't want their opinion to make a difference? I hope and pray that by putting my opinion out there, it will help so many people find great books to read.
I have reviewed Zack already, but this review is all about the Audiobook.
First, let's review a little about Zack: 
Synopsis via

Ever since bad boy Zack Hunter left her ten years ago, breaking her heart, Sky MacKenna hasn't been able to find a man who sets her on fire the way he did. Then he comes striding back into her life—bigger, badder, and sexier than before.

Zack Hunter never thought his job as an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent would lead him back to his small hometown, and he never thought he'd set eyes on Sky again. Leaving her behind had been the stupidest thing he'd ever done, but this time he isn't going to let her go. And as soon as Zack lays eyes on Sky, he makes it clear that he intends to make her his all over again.

When Sky becomes entangled in the case he's investigating, Zack can't help but take the threat personally. As the danger mounts, their passion burns even hotter.

**Please note: Zack was published in print only with St. Martin's Griffin. Zack was originally published in eBook and print with Ellora's Cave under the title Wildfire. Character names were changed at St. Martin's request, and the "Armed and Dangerous" versions were expanded considerably from the original "Wild" series.

I have read the original version Miss McCray wrote and I have read this new version. Which is better? Actually I don't think one is better than the other. I think Miss McCray took an excellent read and expanded on it. She is a writer who knows exactly what her readers want and gives it to them.

Zack and Sky are an interesting couple. Here are two people who have a history together. A history that was painful for Sky and difficult for Zack. Zack hurt Sky in a way a woman never forgets. Now Zack is coming back to his home town years later determined to win her back.
This is a story full of emotion, conflict of the heart, and a love that survived time.

I find it hard to write a review for some of Cheyenne's stories. It isn't because the story is bad. It is in fact because the stories and characters are so well written that putting emotion into words can be a very difficult endeavor for most. I fell in love with Zack and Sky as a couple and as individuals. I felt the anxiety Zack felt as he rode back into town. I felt the lust and hurt Sky felt when Zack drove onto her ranch. Cheyenne writes with such heart and emotion, that the story comes alive in your heart. You can't help but cheer for Sky and Zack. You can't help but hurt when they hurt or feel fear when they feel fear.
Zack is book #1 in the Armed and Dangerous series, but I promise, you won't stop reading until you have completed the series and then, you will still want more!!

The narrator for this book is Kelly Owens. Miss Owens has a voice that draws you in and hypnotizes you. Her voice is so smooth and her cadence is even and soothing. Now, don't get me wrong, her voice is soothing in a way that makes you want to hear her voice. She definitely knows how to put inflections where they are needed, put feeling into each character's emotions, but most of all, she breathes life into each character.  I understand Miss Kelly has recorded another of Miss McCray's books. I look forward to losing myself in her voice and Miss McCray's wonderful, HOT world of sexy cowboys.
If you like audiobooks, this is a must listen. If you have never listened to an audiobook, try this one out, it will hook you on the wonderful world of audiobooks!
Enjoy Miss McCray's wonderful, HOT, world of sexy cowboys and the sassy women who tame them!