#BookTour & #BookReview: Teetering on Disaster: A Memoir by Michaela Renee Johnson

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: May 7, 2009

Summary:

“It was 1992 when her father saw the economic collapse coming, he had two choices, the rough path or the easy path, and he chose the rough one…” Dad began. Then I interrupted, “DAD, ITS MY MEMOIR ” And then my Mom piped in and yelled, “OH MY GOD I RAISED A BUNCH OF NARCISSISTS ” Let’s try again… Meet Michaela: she’s the girl next door–except that “next door” happens to be a 27-foot 5th Wheel Trailer with no electricity or running water in the Sierra Nevada’s. At 17 she sets out to take on the world, but 10 years later, she finds herself right back where she started…in a small mountain town in the middle of nowhere. You’ll laugh and you’ll cry -sometimes at the same time- as she stumbles upon a few Mr. Right Now’s and other adventures on her quest to find love and uncover the girl she always was but had lost somewhere along the way. Join ‘Crazy Kayla’ and her nutty cast of characters for a little muddy-path Rock Crawlin’ through the true story of how her American Dream survives and thrives, in the face of life’s inconveniences and heartbreaking setbacks that sometimes leave her Teetering on Disaster.

Review:

What an emotional journey !!!

Michaela Renee Johnson has written a powerful page-turning memoir with “Teetering on Disaster”.

Kayla had such a rough complex start to life with so many turns along her heart wrenching journey. I wondered what else could possibly happen and then something else always did!

There were so many inspirational quotes that we should remember as we travel through our lives.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and definitely recommend it.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

4 Stars.

#BookReview: Lines We Cross (Nickel Bay Brothers #1) by Marika Ray

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: March 19, 2020

Summary:

Small towns were made for second chances…even if it’s your best friend’s sister.

Skylar Rae
I’m getting by just fine on my own when the boy who stole my heart and ran away twelve years ago shows up in town again. He’s a big shot baseball player now, needing my help to rehab his knee. If he’d just lay off the flirting and the dimples he throws with each grin, I might be able to do my job. Good thing I’m not dumb enough to fall for him a second time.

Max
I promised my best friend I would never make a move on his little sister. I kept that promise—if you don’t count that one kiss senior year—but now that we’re adults and I’m moving back home, all bets are off. Skylar Rae isn’t the same person I knew twelve yearsago and neither am I. It’ll take a lot more healing than I expected to see if she and I can cross that line again.

Review:

Marika Ray has written a heartfelt and touching romance with “Lines We Cross”.

This is the first novel in the Nickel Bay Brothers Series.

The relationship between Skylar and Max had both its good and difficult moments.

The character development for all of the brothers along with Skylar and Max was fantastic.

Nickel Bay seems like the perfect little town to either visit or live in.

This was a fun and entertaining novel that kept me wanting to turn the page all the way to the end.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for fair and honest review.

4 Stars.

#BookReview: The Mother-in-Law by Kiersten Modglin

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: March 17, 2020

Summary:

There’s something strange about Loren’s new mother-in-law…

When Loren meets Jack, she’s sure he’s the man she’s been waiting for—a perfect husband and a father for her young daughter. Shortly after their wedding, their plans to start a life together are put on hold when the couple receives word that Jack’s father has died.

In an effort to appease her new husband, Loren invites her mother-in-law, Coralee, to stay with them while she grieves. When strange things begin to occur just after her arrival, Loren questions how much she knows about the woman she invited into her home.

One calculated move after the next, Coralee attempts to drive a wedge between Loren and her new husband. Jack believes his mother’s strange behavior is just further proof she needs their help, but Loren isn’t so sure. As Coralee’s actions become increasingly sinister, Loren is pushed to her breaking point and she realizes she must do whatever it takes to get rid of her mother-in-law for good.

What she doesn’t know about her new family could kill her…

Review:

I was totally and utterly shocked by Kiersten Modglin with her page-turning novel “The Mother In Law”.

The beginning was mysterious and draws you in instantly.

The twists in this novel were unexpected but that is one of Kiersten’s talents and she did not disappoint with this one.

The complex relationship between Loren and Jack was intriguing. Coralee the mother-in-law was powerful and intense.

I would absolutely recommend this; as well as, her other books.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for fair and honest review.

4 Stars.

#BookReview: The Ruby of the Sea by Peggy Lampman

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Book Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: February 5, 2020

Summary:

From the award-winning author of The Promise Kitchen comes a riveting new story of twin sisters caught in their mother’s crosshairs on what to do about their disturbed younger sister.

Lush with devastating secrets, lies, romance and psychological drama…”You tell me about a family without a certain amount of dysfunction, and I’ll tell you that family is lying.”

After aimlessly traveling the country for fifteen years, Linnea Chandler returns to her hometown of Key West, Florida keeping the genesis of a life-altering phobia to herself—not a good idea, as she comes to find out. The 19th Century lighthouse that she, her parents and two sisters call home also has a troubled past, carrying the frightening myth that eerily mirrors the mystery of her younger sister today. Should Linnea run while she can?

The women must decide to what extremes they are willing to go to protect their secrets. Ignore the brutality behind the retrieval of spoils from a fatal shipwreck in 1857? Defy a 2017 hurricane threatening to pummel their town? And when their world is upended, do the women have the strength to move forward?

Review:

Every once in a while I read a story that hits home for me in a lot of ways! “The Ruby of the Sea” is that story!

Peggy Lampman wrote a remarkable novel full of soul-stirring and poignant moments that touched my heart, bringing every emotion to the surface. I literally felt every sentiment pulling from my soul. My senses were heightened! There was no holding back!

Peggy Lampman wrote about family, and all of its fabrications with an evocative insightfulness. Happiness was almost enchanting! Feral Chickens. History, Magical! A gorgeous 19th century lighthouse. Even each crack was written about beautifully! Mental illness and it’s acceptance. Each word leading to the next; like a poem, a love letter. A perfectly planned execution, like a lyrical dance!

There was a piece of me in each character. Between that and Peggy Lampman’s writing, I was left with a sense of awe and appreciation when I closed the book.

Staring at it’s beautiful cover, knowing the Chandler family had left their mark and I was left better for knowing their story! and, no review I write can express my love for this book and my gratitude!

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

#BookReview: Diamonds, Teak, and Murder (Crystal Coast Cases #1) & Lenses, Lust, and Murder (Crystal Coast Cases #2) by A.M. Ialacci

Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Lenses, Lust, and Murder Date of Release: January 6, 2020

Summary:

When Allie Fox became a private investigator, she envisioned herself solving crimes and keeping her hometown of Carteret County a safe place. Instead, to her great regret, she’s found herself trailing cheating husbands and tracking check kiters. All that changes when her autistic brother, Ryan, discovers a body near the Cape Lookout Lighthouse. Now, Allie is diving headfirst into the investigation.

Everyone in town loved the victim, or so they’re saying. Yet Allie soon discovers many at the Cape have shocking secrets they would kill to keep hidden. As she closes in on the truth, a frightening attempt is made on her life. Can she unravel the clues to reveal the murderer’s identity before becoming their next victim?

Review:

I was absolutely intrigued by “Lenses, Lust & Murder”!! A.M. Ialacci drew a stunning landscape right from the start. The trip climbing up the lighthouse and its view were breathtaking!! Too bad there was a dead body at the end of it!!

Then the island was so fired up with excitement as the ferry came in with the FBI Agents, and the local agents arrived to both work with Allie Fox and bring a special “something” for Allie’s brother!

A genius Set-Up! Intense! This was a story I knew I was going to dig my teeth into!

The novel sustained its intensity right through to the very last alarming twist!

A.M. Ialacci is a force to be reckoned with in the Mystery Genre. I hope there are a lot more stories with Allie as our female sleuth!

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

Diamonds, Teak, & Murder Date of Release: August 1st, 2019

Summary:

Upon the sudden deaths of her parents in a car accident, credit fraud investigator Allie Fox traded her fast-paced life in Chicago for a boatyard bookkeeping job in sleepy Carteret County, North Carolina. It is a huge transition, especially as she is now the sole caregiver for her younger autistic brother. But when the yard foreman mysteriously ends up dead at work, she can’t resist being pulled into the mystery.

Plenty of people had reason to want Ty Guthrie dead, but he had been kind to her as a kid, and even the sheriff’s department thinks there may have been foul play. Despite the possibility of alienating all of her co-workers and risking her livelihood, Allie becomes a consultant on the case to discover the murderer in their midst.

The deeper she digs, the more secrets she unravels, and the killer turns his sights on her, and even worse, her brother. At odds with law enforcement and the DA while a massive hurricane bears down on the coast, the only thing that matters is that her brother is in danger. With everything to lose and time running out, it’s up to Allie alone to stop the killer, or die trying.

Review:

Reading “Diamonds, Teaks & Murder” was truly riveting! I read it ridiculously fast!

This is a second impressive murder mystery written by A.M. Ialacci!

I loved being introduced to another one of her protagonists!  A.M. Ialacci truly gets you invested!  It was fun to be back  after reading her first book, “Sight in the Dark”.

Allie Fox was just as unstoppable at finding answers, as I was in finishing her story!

I was so wrapped up in her livelihood, and that of her brother; that I had to know what the outcome was going to be…and….What a surprise it was!!

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for fair and honest review.

4 Stars.

#BookReview: Seek – Project XOL (BookOne) by Amabel Daniels

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Reviewer- Serena Soape

Date of Release: April 14, 2020

PreOrder Here:

Summary:

It’s been months since Cassidy Shaw has heard from her mother, Rosa, a world-renown scientist. When she does, it’s in the form of an urgent edict to retrieve a key. Arriving at Rosa’s apartment in Cincinnati, Cassidy encounters strangers. One man who seems determined to silence her. The other, could he be her savior?

Luke Dixon enters the fray, believing his neighbor is being attacked. Never one to ignore someone in distress, he’s then shocked to realize he’s the one needing rescue. Bound together through violence, Cassidy and Luke must come to trust each other as they embark on a search, armed only with the key and Rosa’s cryptic directions. It’s a journey with unexpected answers and decades-old research. A search with more questions…and a lethal enemy who returns when least expected.

Review:

Amabel Daniels’ “Seek: Project XOL” is a mysterious action-packed novella.

The story kept me on the edge of my seat, wondering what was going to happen next.

The evolving relationship between Cassidy and Luke was something that I did not imagine.

This is definitely an unexpected brilliant cliffhanger and I am anxiously awaiting the next book in this series…….

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for fair and honest review.

4 Stars.

#BookReview: Woman on the Edge by Samantha M. Bailey

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: June 1st, 2019

Summary:

A moment on the platform changes two lives forever. But nothing is as it seems…

‘Take my baby.’

In a split second, Morgan’s life changes forever. A stranger hands her a baby, then jumps in front of a train.

Morgan has never seen the woman before and she can’t understand what would cause a person to give away her child and take her own life.

When the police question Morgan, she discovers none of the witnesses can corroborate her version of events. And when they learn Morgan longs for a baby of her own, she becomes a suspect.

To prove her innocence, Morgan frantically tries to retrace the last days of the woman’s life. She begins to understand that Nicole Markham believed she and her baby were in danger. Now Morgan might be in danger, too.

Was Nicole a new mother struggling with paranoia?

Or was something much darker going on?

Pulse-pounding, heartrending, shocking, thrilling. This is one book you won’t be able to stop thinking about.

Review:

(I know this is longer than I typically write, but this book really hit me in the feels)

I was completely dedicated to finishing “Woman on the Edge” in one sitting from the very first sentence!

It was spectacular!

I had chills!!

I had to know everything!!!

My mind was racing!!

Imagine a zipper being zipped up, that is how perfectly this story came together!

Nicole had a fierce, passionate drive to protect her daughter, Quinn. Wanting to protect a character while reading is so visceral!

My mind was spinning!

I was switching lanes constantly with Morgan! She was in trouble with the law, and for a long time I was cheering her on as she tried to prove her innocence and then boom!! Samantha Bailey had me completely stumped!! Even though I was connecting with Morgan, I would shift back and forth to contemplate her innocence!

My mind was swirling!

I loved that there was a solid Women’s Fiction story weaved between this Psychological Thriller that you will not miss, because it was so gripping in its own right.

The character’s were hugely developed.

Samantha Bailey’s Debut Thriller had me so absorbed…..I am still in a “‘Woman on the Edge’ Coma”!!

She has absolutely been added to my Top Author List!!

I read this novel with the same sense of urgency the subway trains rush in and out of their terminals!

I trust you will thoroughly devour it, as I did!

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

 

#BookReview: Singularity Syndrome by Susan Kuchinskas

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: February 22, 2020

Summary:

All humans have a complex colony of microorganisms living in our guts. This microbiome influences our health, our thinking and our moods. If you can change someone’s microbiome, can you control their thoughts?

That’s the plan of Thom Elliott, a power-mad tech titan who wants to create a new world order where humanity is ruled by Sekai, the most powerful artificial intelligence ever created. His weapon is Glorp, a nutritional energy drink beloved by the tech community that secretly includes genetically engineered microbes to transform human gut flora.

Finder is a brilliant detective who hates people. He might agree with Elliott that an AI could do a better job of running the world. But when Finder’s own microbiome is contaminated with Elliott’s brew, it’s up to him and his chimera sidekicks to stop him.

Review:

I would like to start with saying that “Singularity Syndrome” by Susan Kuchinskas was not my typical genre of book. But, early on, I found myself not able to stop reading because I was so into the story.

The futuristic aspect of this novel seemed far fetched, yet also believable with technology and at the rate we are moving.

My favorite characters in the book are definitely “Parrot” and “Altima”.

The ending was quite surprising!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for fair and honest review.

3.75 Stars.

#BookReview: In Alexa’s Shoes by Rochelle Alexandra

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: June 11, 2019

Summary:

In Alexa’s Shoes – a dramatic, uplifting true story of a young girls struggle to overcome great odds to survive through WWII.
In the autumn of 1940, thirteen-year-old Alexa’s happy life is ripped from her as she, her mother, and many of the locals are rounded up by the Nazis in Poland. Loaded onto cattle trucks, they are transported to an unknown destination. Terror and uncertainty become the new normal. Life is a continuous nightmare as she is selected by a Gestapo officer’s wife, destined to become little more than their slave.
Separated from everyone she loves Alexa relies on her Christian faith, inner strength and courage, to endure through her long nightmare. Her story takes her on a treacherous journey across war-ravaged Europe in search of her family and the life she once knew. Despite living through unimaginable hardships and life-threatening danger, Alexa feels that someone, or something, seems to be looking out for her. Years later, she finds out that not all was as it seemed, as hidden secrets from this dark period in history are revealed to her.
In Alexa’s Shoes is a historical novel that beckons the reader to follow in the footsteps of a real-life individual who walks by faith to triumph over tragedy, one step at a time. It is based on the true story of the author’s grandmother.

Review:

“In Alexa’s Shoes” is an utterly sanguine story that is also empathetic and absolutely unforgettable!

I admire Alexa for sharing her story with her granddaughter. It was truly an honor to witness her experience.

I admire Alexa’s strength, faith, hope and perseverance.

An astonishing story of the human heart!

Read this book and take this compassionate journey!!

Rochelle Alexandra wrote a first-class novel!

I was given this book by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

#BookReview: I Said Yes by Kiersten Modglin

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: February 18, 2020

Summary:

The next psychological thriller from the bestselling author of The Good Neighbors…

Yes.
The word that brought me such great joy and, eventually, such heartbreak.

When Mark asked me out for the first time, I didn’t have to think twice.
I said, “Yes.”

When he asked me to marry him just a year later, the answer came as easily as the breath that followed it.
“Yes.”

When he asked me to keep his secret, my response came too quickly.
“Yes.”

Now, in front of a judge and jury, I’ll be asked the question I never anticipated.
“Did you know who the killer is?”

The answer is second nature by now.
“Yes.”

Summary:

Kiersten Modglin wrote an elaborately delivered domestic thriller that will shock even the best reading detectives out there!

“I Said Yes” flips the script when you least expect it!

A few times I just wanted to scream! Because the surprises were just so huge!

Many things in this story will make you think twice before you answer your next simple “Yes or No” question! I know I will.

Once again….It was “Mind Boggling….Kiersten Modglining!!”😉

I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

4 Stars.