Friday, July 26, 2013

BIRTHDAYS OF A PRINCESS by Helga Zeiner

Birthdays of a Princess by Helga Zeiner on Tour June 1st - July 31st 2013

Book Details:

Genre:  Psychological Thriller Published by: POW WOW Books Publication Date: May/June 2013 Number of Pages: 290 ISBN: 978-0-9868798-7-6 Purchase Links: Coming Soon

Synopsis:

To be famous and be admired by total strangers can be very dangerous. Her little girl has always been her princess. In fact, she was so lovely, Melissa entered her toddler into child beauty pageants, making her a star from an early age. But her dreams and hopes are shattered one October morning, when Melissa watches a breaking news story on television. A young girl has been filmed by bystanders, committing a brutal assault in broad daylight in a downtown Vancouver Starbucks…and it looks like the girl is her daughter. From this moment on, a story unfolds, so shocking, that it will hold you captive and you will find yourself reading faster and faster into the night.

My thoughts...

From the beginning this gut wrenching book will grab your attention and not let go. Written so well you feel every emotion Tiara is having. The characters are great...though there are some you will hate. This may be a difficult read for some as it deals with a sensitive issue.

After years of sexual abuse the pent up anger and hatred is finally released in a way that horrifies people. No one understands why at first, until Tiara is ordered to have a mental evaluation and the psychiatrist helps her begin a journey of healing.

"Birthdays of A Princess" is a suspenseful, emotional, shocking tale that will leave you numb. This is definitely a 5 Star read!

I received a copy of this book free in exchange for an honest review.

Read an excerpt:

Prologue She wakes up earlier than usual. It’s not even eight yet. The apartment feels empty, but that doesn’t surprise her, because it is empty most mornings. To make sure, she gets out of bed, opens the curtains, waddles down the narrow hallway, stops at the second bedroom and listens briefly. Not a sound. Of course not. She would have heard the flat door open, no matter how late. She is a light sleeper. The kitchen greets her with familiar comfort. Welcome, my lonely friend. Make yourself a cup of tea. Sit down by the window. Look out, check the weather, think about what to wear for work. Stop listening. Nobody is home but you. Just another day in the big city. Vancouver is still sleepy. Yawning and slowly stretching like a lazy lion, rubbing its exhausted eyes, waiting for the helpers to brush the filthy remains of last night’s excitement from the concrete floor of its den. The water kettle switches itself off and she pours the boiling water over the tea bag and waits one minute, standing in front of the kitchen counter. It has to be exactly one minute, no point in doing anything else but stare at the twirling surface inside her cup. Sixty seconds later–the second dial on her kitchen clock is within her periphery—she discards the bag, heaps three generous spoonfuls of sugar into the cup, followed by so much cream that the tea instantly cools to drinking temperature, and sits down at the kitchen table. Still thinking it’s just another day. A gentle traffic hum outside, no sound inside her kitchen. Correction: no sound inside her flat, this two bedroom, one bathroom borderline apartment. Borderline because its location touches a good neighborhood and the Eastside. The street she lives on stops the filthy guts of downtown spilling over into suburbia. Her kitchen window points toward the high-rise monuments of downtown Vancouver. Very pretty at night, not so attractive at daytime when the not-so-high and not-so-modern buildings that envelope the skyscrapers become visible. She doesn’t want to look at the decaying grey buildings any longer that provide a battle ground between city planners who want to sell it to developers and Eastsiders who have occupied them. Just another day. And it is so quiet. Melissa turns on the TV, not realizing that it is exactly eight o’clock now. The channel is set on CTV and there is a ‘Breaking News’ banner flashing in bright orange below the female morning anchor. She increases the volume. The excited voice of the lady anchor fills her kitchen. She takes a sip of her sweet, sweet tea and leans back a little. “We have a developing story of a brutal attack on a customer at Starbucks coffee shop on Robson Street. Apparently a young woman has stabbed another woman inside Starbucks. Our reporter Emily Jackson is on location. Emily, what can you tell us…?” The upper body of a reporter, holding a microphone in one hand and fighting her wind-swept hair with the other, comes into the picture. Melissa hadn’t noticed that it is quite windy outside. Well, it’s October, at least it’s not raining. Behind the reporter a yellow band is restricting access to the crime scene. She sounds overly excited. “From what we have learned, a young woman has suddenly attacked a woman inside the coffee shop you see right behind me. We don’t know yet if the customer was already seated or still standing in line to place her order. We also don’t know the identity of the attacker or of the victim yet or have any information about the motive. Apparently the attacker suddenly produced a knife and threw herself at the woman, yelling obscenities on top of her voice. As you can see behind me, police have cordoned off the area and are processing the scene.” The anchor interrupts her. “Do we have any information about the condition of the victim? Is she badly hurt? Or…” An autumn gust blows hair over the reporter’s face. She nearly loses her microphone, trying to control the strands with both hands, but fumbles it back into position when she realizes that the camera is focused on her again. One side of her pretty face is completely covered with hair. It looks ridiculous and Melissa catches herself thinking the reporter would look a lot prettier if she had a different hairstyle. “The ambulance has transported the victim to the emergency ward of St Paul’s…” The reporter’s voice travels along Melissa’s attention span and loses its grip. Background noise quality. She likes that. And God, her tea is good. Another developing story news-flash banner demands her attention again. The anchor sounds triumphant: “We have just received a video-clip from one of our viewers. We would like to warn you that some viewers may find the content of this video-clip offensive in nature…” The clip starts. The picture is shaky, the filmmaker hassling for a good position between other coffee-shop customers who have jumped up to look what is going on in the middle of the room. The back of shoulders and heads pop in and out, screams of horror and confusion can be heard. Their unedited sound quality provides an unnerving authenticity to the unfolding drama.  An arm rises up in the air and down again, in kind of a wood chopping motion. Up and down, in one swift move, no hesitation whatsoever. In fact, the chopping goes on. Up and down, up and down—accompanied by ‘Oh my God’s’ and ‘Oh no, oh no’s’. The filmmaker edges closer, seems to get up on a chair, because he is above the scene now, holding his iPhone or whatever device he’s got, high above the center of the customer-circle that inched away from the dangerous situation. The victim of the attack is on the floor now, mercifully blurred by the rapid movements of the inexperienced cameraman, or maybe by CTV’s editing. The attacker, the young woman, wearing a black hoodie, is over her and chops into her with such vengeance that Melissa can feel the force of her hatred, furious and powerful. The victim is trying to protect her face and chest with crossed hands. The mad attacker continues to stab her wherever she can—face, arms, torso, it is impossible to make out exactly in the shaky clip where her knife slices into. Bodies pop in and out of the picture and mercifully block most of what is going on. Several of them finally muster enough courage to intervene. The picture goes even more shaky and blurry. Then the anchor speaks again. “We have word from the police that the victim you have just seen being attacked inside Starbucks on Robson about an hour ago is in critical condition. The young woman has been overpowered by three heroic young men…” and now it happens, it’s not ‘just another day’ any longer “they were performing a citizen’s arrest and held her captive until the police arrived…” the anchor’s voice fades, just like the reporter’s before, because all of Melissa’s focus concentrates on what she sees on the screen. Meanwhile the filmmaker has managed to muscle himself closer to the group of guys who have pulled the young women off her victim and have now pinned her to the ground. Her face appears. The filmmaker zooms in. She smiles victoriously straight into his camera, as if she has achieved a very special feat. Melissa is standing now, holding on to her cup of tea, frowning with the exhausting task of connecting what she sees on the screen with the reality of her life. It can not be. It can not be. But it is. The tea cup slips from her weak hands, falls to the floor, spills its content on the cheap vinyl kitchen floor before rolling under the table. It is. It is. It is…her daughter.

Author Bio: 

Born and educated in Germany, Helga left her home country when she was 18 to travel the world and experience the magic of life she was passionately reading about. She spent the next 15 years in exotic places like India, Thailand, Australia and Hong Kong, where she worked her way up into excellent managerial positions in large international companies. To achieve this she had to further her education and enrolled at night classes at the 'Chinese University of Hong Kong' for her Diploma in Management Studies. Love eluded her for many years. She was nearly 40 when she finally met her dream man and settled in Canada, where she now lives, neatly tucked away in the wilderness. She has previously written several suspense novels which have been published in Germany. Her first novel written and published in English is called. ‘Section 132”. A thrilling fact-based page-turner about a young girl forced into a polygamous marriage that has received countless 5-star reviews. Birthdays of a Princess’ is her second novel and will be published in June 2013.

Catch Up With Ms. Zeiner:

Tour Participants

Monday, July 22, 2013

Ageless Derma Anti-Aging Intensive Skin Brightener



The key to a flawless complexion begins with even skin tone. But years in the sun coupled with aging and other factors can produce unwanted dark areas on our skin. Dark spots, age spots, liver spots, brown spots, black spots – no matter what you call them, no one wants them. Fortunately, Ageless Derma Anti-Aging Intensive Skin Brightener offers an effective, natural solution to diminishing dark spots quickly and safely.

Radiant skin is within your reach with Ageless Derma Anti-Aging Intensive Skin Brightener. Formulated with scientifically proven ingredients and developed by a team of researchers, physicians, scientists, and estheticians sharing over 30 years experience, Ageless Derma Anti-Aging Intensive Skin Brightener offers natural, safe ingredients with clinically proven results. Other face whitening creams often contain harsh chemicals posing potential health threats. You can rest at ease knowing Ageless Derma Anti-Aging Intensive Skin Brightener uses only natural, botanical ingredients derived from nature and improved with science.

Combining six powerful ingredients producing dynamic results, Ageless Derma Anti-Aging Intensive Skin Brightener will lighten and even out your skin tone within weeks, leaving you with a healthy, youthful look. Formulated by the experienced professionals at Ageless Derma, these clinically proven ingredients will youth-infuse your skin.

My thoughts...

A few weeks ago I reviewed the Ageless Derma Retinol and Vit K Eye Cream and found it to be a wonderful Cream! The results still amaze me as I see my face in the mirror each morning.

After that review I added the Ageless Derma Anti-Aging Intensive Skin Brightener to my routine and I'm very impressed! My skin looks much younger, age spots have diminished greatly, and my overall skin tone is brighter and more even (uneven skin tone was my worst problem, and oh so soft. I really love this product and I think you will too!

You can find their website HERE.

Ageless Derma gets an A+.

EVOLVh Shampoo & Conditioner



I was recently introduced to EVOLVh through a monthly subscription box and I love it. Strongly scented, not super lathering but leaves my hair so soft and shiny. I was so happy with the results that I've already purchased the full size products!

Shampoo Ingredients: Atmospheric Water, pHytoBlend (proprietary concentrate blend of 20 herbs in an aqueous base), decyl glucose, disodium sulfosuccinate, cocamidopropyl betaine, lauryl glucose, coco polyglucose, seaweed extract, citrus aurantifolia, mango, lecithin, sunflower oil, soya, safflower oil, wheat amino acids, vitamin C, wild pansy, sweet clover, apricot, nasturium, nectarine,passion flower, citrus seed extract.

Conditioner Ingredients: Water, pHytoBlend (proprietary concentrate blend of 20 herbs in an aqueous base) stearylkonium chloride, glyceryl monostearate, palm oil, mango, lecithin,sunflower oil, soya, safflower oil, wheat amino acids, vitamin C, wild pansy, sweet clover, apricot, nasturturm, nectarine, passion flower, citrus seed extract.

EVOLVh products contain herbal blends, amino acids and fatty acids to nourish and repair hair and are sulfate, paraben and sodium chloride free. They are also vegan, not tested on animals, color safe and free of all the chemicals you find in other shampoos and conditioners.

GROUNDED by Neta Jackson



Grace's fiance bothered by her outspoken stance on purity and her near-constant travel, has broken off their relationship. Exhausted and unwilling to continue her current tour, she books a flight home. Traumatic events result in a paralyzing fear of flying.

Stuck at home due to a major snowstorm, Grace begins, for the first time, to connect with the residents of Beecham Street. Will she recover her faith and overcome her fears, or will she give up her career? Grounded is an uplifting, contemporary tale in an urban setting featuring characters courageously wrestling with the real spiritual and practical issues of average people.

My thoughts...

I've read all Neta's series...The Yada Yada Prayer Group; The House of Hope; Harry Bentley and Lucy Come Home; and Souled Out Sister. All are fabulous!

When I first heard about "Grounded" I could hardly wait to get my hands on a copy. I finished it this week and am sad to say I didn't find it interesting. It was slow moving, the storyline didn't hook me. I wasn't even excited to see Estelle as one of Grace's neighbors but most of all I didn't care for Grace's character. She doesn't seem to "fit" with all the other characters in previous novels.

I do plan to read book two and I'm keeping my fingers crossed it will be as good as the author's other novels!

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

Saturday, July 20, 2013

THAT CERTAIN SUMMER by Irene Hannon



Karen and Val are family--yet they're anything but close. Karen has carried the burden of responsibility for her aging mother ever since her gorgeous sister left town years ago to pursue a career in theater. But Val had darker reasons for leaving town--as well as a secret to keep--and coming home has never been an option . . . until their mother suffers a stroke.

Reunited in their hometown, Karen and Val must grapple with their past mistakes, their relationship with each other, and their issues with a mother who is far from ideal. When a physical therapist raising his daughter alone and a handsome but hurting musician enter the picture, the summer takes on a whole new dimension. As their lives intersect and entwine, can each learn how to forgive, how to let go, and how to move on? And strengthened by the healing power of faith, might they also find the courage to love?

With her trademark compelling characters and heartwarming hope, fan favorite Irene Hannon offers her readers an inspiring true-to-life tale of complex family relationships, transgressions revealed and forgiven, and the complicated process of finding love.

My thoughts...

I really like Irene Hannon's books and was anxious to read this one, she writes great suspense with a touch of romance. This book is romance without the suspense and it's just as good as her other novels! The characters are so real, I got lost in the pages and went through difficulties and joys with them. I must say Margaret was not one of my favorites.

A strong storyline, complex relationships, and the power of forgiveness make this an awesome read!

I received a copy of this book free in exchange for an honest review.

"Available June 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group."

Blush Mystery Box July 2013



"Monthly Beauty Picks Delivered Straight to Your Door!
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I ordered this Mystery Box on Thursday and it was in my mailbox on Friday! I'm so pleased with the products and so many full size items! Amazing service and an awesome surprise! Can't wait to try them!

You can get a one time box for $34.95 or a MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION - $24.95. Order yours today!

Friday, July 19, 2013

New Subscription Box ~ Aloap Beauty Mail



"Aloap is a small company which believes in providing great products and satisfaction to customers.

This company was founded on the primary beauty needs and wants of women.

At Aloap we believe wonderful products are everywhere, but some women just don't know where to look or are overwhelmed by the massive amount of beauty products available out there. Which to chose?! Well Aloap is here to help, let us do the shopping and searching for you for only $18 a month you will receive 5-7 full size and sample products from major and small brands from around the globe."

I'm in love with this box already, what a great bag and what fantastic products! Can you believe how many full size were included? I'm still trying them out but so far I can say I'm going to be a steady customer of Aloap!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

THE ROCKIN' CHAIR by Steven Manchester

TheRockinChair_banner1

The Rockin' Chair by Steven Manchester on Tour July 1 - August 31



The Rockin' Chair by Steven Manchester
Book Details Genre: Fiction Published by: The Story Plant Publication Date: June 18, 2013 Number of Pages: 242

Purchase Links:


Synopsis:

Memories are the ultimate contradiction. They can warm us on our coldest days – or they can freeze a loved one out of our lives forever. The McCarthy family has a trove of warm memories. Of innocent first kisses. Of sumptuous family meals. Of wondrous lessons learned at the foot of a rocking chair. But they also have had their share of icy ones. Of words that can never be unsaid. Of choices that can never be unmade. Of actions that can never be undone.Following the death of his beloved wife, John McCarthy – Grandpa John – calls his family back home. It is time for them to face the memories they have made, both warm and cold. Only then can they move beyond them and into the future.

A rich portrait of a family at a crossroad, The Rockin’ Chair is Steven Manchester’s most heartfelt and emotionally engaging novel to date. If family matters to you, it is a story you must read.

My thoughts...

A warmhearted story of a husband whose wife has passed on and his mission to set things right within his family before he joins her. Their lives are a mess, many relationships are broken, hearts wounded. As he sits in his rocking chair on the front porch observing his grandchildren he knows he must do something to bring his family back together. Infidelity, drug addiction, alcohol... each are suffering in their own way. His most difficult challenge will be reconciling with his son, Hank.

Don't be surprised if you can't hold back the tears. Manchester writes in such a way that you get lost in the lives of this family. You feel their emotions and the love they discover is still there. Beautifully written, it will make you want to keep reading!

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

Read an excerpt:

Elle picked up Evan, Tara and Lila at the airport. As she approached the threesome, she gasped at the sight of her emaciated daughter. For a few moments, Tara’s eyes scanned every inch of her mother’s face before she spread her twig-like arms. Elle hugged her, then pulled away and peered into her sunken eyes. “Are you sick?” she asked. While Tara shrugged, Elle grabbed Evan for a hug. “I’ll explain it on the way,” he whispered in her ear. Lila stood there, looking up at her grandmother—curiously. Elle bent down and smiled at the baby. “Hello, my love,” she whispered, “Grandma’s waited much too long to meet you.” The little girl was a living doll. She had Tara’s strawberry blond curls and the same dark eyes as Alice. Lila grinned. “Hi, Gramma,” she said, and never flinched when Elle scooped her up and kissed her cheek. Elle looked back at Tara and could feel her eyes swell with tears. “Grandma?” Evan asked, grabbing her attention. Elle shook her head, the tears beginning to cascade down her tired face. “When?” he asked. Elle reached for his hand. “Last night…right in Grampa’s lap.” “In the rockin’ chair?” he asked, his voice cracking. Elle nodded again. Evan’s eyes filled. “Where else?” he said. Elle noticed the confusion in her daughter’s eyes and thought, She’s so out of it. Before Elle could explain, Evan leaned into Tara’s ear and filled it with the bad news. “We’re one day too late. Grandma passed away last night.” Though delayed, Tara burst into tears. As they left the airport terminal, Elle walked alongside Evan. “How did you find her in New York?” she asked in a whisper. “Her cell phone’s been turned off for weeks.” She looked back at her daughter, who was already lagging behind. “It wasn’t easy,” he said, and shook his head. “Let’s just say…thank God I did.”
 

Author Bio:



Steven Manchester

Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestseller Twelve Months, Goodnight, Brian, and several other books. His work has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning and BET’s Nightly News. Recently, three of Manchester’s short stories were selected “101 Best” for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

Catch Up with Steven: rss_512 facebook_512

 

Tour Host Participants:

Monday, July 15, 2013

KINDLE FIRE GIVEAWAY!!!

Kindle Summer This is a joint AUTHOR & BLOGGER GIVEAWAY EVENT! Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HD 7".
Kindle Fire HD 7" Giveaway
The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HD (US Only)
  Or $199 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)
  Or $199 in Paypal Cash (International)
 

Sponsoring Bloggers & Authors

  1. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
  2. Feed Your Reader
  3. New Adult Addiction
  4. Jessabella Reads
  5. The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Somthing Year Old Girl
  6. Books Unhinged by StacyHgg
  7. S.A. Larsen - Writer's Ally
  8. Author Inger Iverson
  9. The Geeky Gamers
  10. annakyss
  11. Everyday Word Magic
  12. Candance's Book Blog
  13. Page Flipperz
  14. SMI Book Club
  15. Laurie Here
  16. Feed Your Fiction Addiction
  17. Phantasmic Reads
  18. The Book Bellas
  19. Please Don't Remove MarGreat's Glasses
  20. Author Jennifer Laurens
  21. J.C. Valentine
  22. Holly Hood
  23. Young Adult Novel Reader
  24. Author Heather Bixler
  25. Literary Meanderings
  26. Suspense Author Kim Cresswell
  27. Mother Daughter & Son Book Review
  28. Meredith's Musings
  29. Auggie Talk
  30. Author Camelia Miron Skiba
  31. Author Lena Sledge
  32. LoriTheAuthor
  33. Author Dianne Venetta
  34. Curling Up with A Good Book
  35. MyLadyWeb
  36. Fae Books
  37. Bea's Book Nook
  38. Girls with Books
  39. Ketch's Book Nook
  40. Turning Pages
  41. Bookhounds
  42. Karey White
  43. My Devotional Thoughts
  44. Author Talia Jager
  45. Author Helen Smith
  46. Sher A Hart: Written Art
  47. Author MK McClintock
  48. Word to Dreams
  49. Buku-Buku Didi
  50. Tasty Book Tours
  51. Readerlicious
  52. Romance Bookworm's Reviews
  Giveaway Details 1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire 7" HD (US Only), $199 Amazon Gift Card or $199 in Paypal Cash (International). There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire. Sponsor a future Kindle Fire Giveaway by signing up HERE. Ends 8/15/13 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Meeting of A Different Kind by Linda MacDonald




















When archaeologist Edward Harvey’s wife Felicity inherits almost a million, she gives up her job, buys a restaurant and, as a devotee of Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall, starts turning their home into a small eco-farm. 

Edward is not happy, not least because she seems to be losing interest in him. Taryn is a borderline manic-depressive, a scheming minx, a seductress and user of men. Edward and Taryn don’t know each other but they both know Marianne. 

To Edward, Marianne is a former classmate who sends him crazy emails. She is Taryn’s best friend, and when Marianne meets Edward, she tells Taryn how wonderful he is and that he is not the philandering type. Taryn sees a challenge and concocts a devious plan to meet him during a series of lectures he is giving at the British Museum. When Edward and Taryn’s paths cross, questions of friendship, loyalty and betrayal are played out against a backdrop of mental fragility and the destabilising effects of a large inheritance.


My thoughts...


I started the book and quickly found out it definitely isn't my style, I prefer more "wholesome" books I guess you'd say. I read quite a bit of this one as I did want to give my honest opinion. Felicity inherits some money, quits her job, and turns their home into an eco farm.

Edward complains to an old school friend who tells another female friend and this woman decides to seduce him and prove he isn't as perfect as everyone thinks. There's a lot of passion, raw emotion, in the book. If you like these type stories then you're sure to like this one as well. 
n
I received an ecopy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Enter the giveaway for the chance to win:
 
Lapis Lazuli and sterling silver Y-chain necklace
Murano glass heart earrings with rolled gold earwires
2 x hand-knitted luxury pure wool hats - some flexibility with colour options to suit winners
1 x signed copy of Meeting Lydia
 
Each winner will also receive 1 Meeting Lydia bookmark and a signed A Meeting of a Different Kind postcard.
 
Correctly identify 2 quotations that Linda MacDonald overheard on a train and used in the first chapter of A Meeting of a Different Kind. See sample on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Meeting-Different-Kind-Linda-MacDonald/dp/1780883250/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1351775196&sr=1-1#reader_1780883250 
 
Winners will be drawn from those correctly identifying both quotations. In the event of fewer than five correct entries, those with one correct quotation will go into the draw for the remaining prizes. If there are fewer than 5 entries with two or one correct answer, winners will be drawn from those leaving a comment after a review or guest post during the tour.
 
Email your answers to: fictionaddiction.booktours@gmail.com


About the Author

Linda MacDonald was born and brought up in Cockermouth, on the edge of the Lake District in Cumbria, England. She was educated at the local grammar school and later at Goldsmiths’, University of London where she studied for a BA in psychology and then a PGCE in biology and science. She taught secondary science and biology in Croydon for eleven years before taking some time out to write, paint and make jewellery. In 1990 she was lured back into teaching at a sixth form college in south-east London where she taught health and social care and psychology. For over twenty-five years she was also a visiting tutor in the psychology department at Goldsmiths’.

At the end of 2009, Linda broke her wrist very badly through tripping over a classroom chair. Reminded of the fragility of life and how time was passing with her writing dreams still unfulfilled, she decided to publish her first novel independently. Meeting Lydia was inspired by finding an ex classmate on Friends Reunited. The novel explores the effects of school bullying on later life, and the pros and cons of internet relationships from the perspective of a woman going through a midlife crisis. It was published in September 2011. The stand-alone sequel, A Meeting of a Different Kind, had already been drafted before Linda broke her wrist and was published in November last year. It continues the story from the perspectives of two different characters, looking at issues of friendship, loyalty and betrayal. Both books may be read independently and are being very well-received by a wide ranging readership of men as well as women. It is expected that there will be a third part to the series and this is a work in progress.

Health issues in 2011 prompted Linda to retire from teaching in order to concentrate on her writing career. She hopes that with this new focus she can bring her books to the notice of a larger audience.




Linda’s links

Amazon UK Author Page:

Amazon US Author Page:

Troubador Author page Meeting Lydia

Troubador Author page A Meeting of a Different Kind

Twitter @LindaMac1



















Tuesday, July 9, 2013

WHEN SUMMER COMES by Brenda Novak



Welcome to Whiskey Creek— Heart of the Gold Country!One day, Callie Vanetta receives devastating news….

She needs a liver transplant. But her doctors warn that, in her case, the chances of finding a compatible donor aren't good.

Determined to spend whatever time she has left on her own terms, she keeps the diagnosis to herself and moves out to her late grandparents' farm. She's always wanted to live there. But the farm hasn't been worked in years and she begins to fear she can't manage it, that she'll have to return to town.

One night, a stranger comes knocking at her door…...

He's an attractive and mysterious drifter by the name of Levi McCloud, and he offers to trade work for a few nights' shelter. Callie figures she doesn't have anything to lose. He needs a place to stay until he can fix his motorcycle; she needs an extra pair of hands. The arrangement seems ideal until what was supposed to be temporary starts to look more and more permanent. Then she realizes she does have something to lose—her heart. And, although he doesn't yet know it, Levi stands to lose even more.

My thoughts...

This is the fourth book in the series and though I didn't read the first three this one did great as a standalone. Callie Vanetta needs a liver transplant and she is told the odds of finding a donor are slim. She decides to live the rest of her life doing what she has always wanted to do...move back to her grandparents farm! No one has lived there for years and she begins to feel she may not be able to stay until Levi McCloud shows up on her doorstep one evening looking for shelter.

I found this to be an entertaining story, kind of sweet, but there's Levi has a past that could cause trouble for Callie. Well written, enjoyable!

***I won this book on Goodreads as a first reads giveaway. This is my honest review.***

BORDERLAND by Anson Scott



When the Cartel violence plaguing Mexico spills across the border and takes the life of Jake Martin’s estranged, money-laundering father, the airline pilot and Navy veteran finds himself back in the town he thought he had left for good. Led by clues from the grave and pursued by a crooked lawyer, his sexy assistant and the DEA, Jake unwittingly embarks on a quest for millions in hidden cash.

Destined for the narcos but intended for something much darker than drugs, the money has also attracted the attention of Ricardo “Tuco” Medrano, an American-born, violence-weary Cartel enforcer who is looking for a way out. Unknowingly tied by more than the treasure in the desert, Jake and Tuco are drawn together in a deadly contest that will play itself out in the mountains west of El Paso.

My thoughts...

If you can't imagine dealing with the violent mexican drug cartel, this book will give you a look into their world. Jake Martin, an airline pilot, has inherited millions from his money laundering father. Problem is, he has to find it. Tuco Medrano is also looking for the money, he's a cartel enforcer.

A well written book that went with me everywhere! I had to keep reading to see what happens next. The storyline is chilling, both believable and unbelievable, the characters are great (whether you liked or hated them). There's lots of action and suspense. You gotta read it!

***I won this book on Goodreads as a first reads giveaway. This is my honest review.***

Monday, July 8, 2013

THE NEXT TIME YOU SEE ME by Holly Goddard Jones



A debut novel by award-winning author Holly Goddard Jones, about the people surprisingly connected to the discovery of a dead woman’s body in a small town.

Thirteen-year-old Emily Houchens doesn’t have many friends. She finds more comfort playing make-believe in the woods near her house in Roma, Kentucky, than with her classmates, who find her strange and awkward. When she happens upon a dead body hidden in the woods one day, she decides not to tell anyone about her discovery—a choice that begins to haunt her.

Susanna Mitchell has always been a good girl, the dutiful daughter and wife. While her older sister Ronnie trolled bars for men and often drove home at sunrise, Susanna kept a neat house, a respectable job, a young daughter. But when Ronnie goes missing, and Susanna realizes that she’s the only person in Roma who truly cares about her sister’s fate, she starts to question her quiet life and its value.

The Next Time You See Me is the story of how one woman’s disappearance exposes the ambitions, prejudices, and anxieties of a small southern town and its residents, who are all connected, sometimes in unexpected ways. Emily; Susannah; Tony, a failed baseball star-turned-detective, aspiring to be the county’s first black sheriff; and Wyatt, a fifty-five-year-old factory worker tormented by a past he can’t change and by a love he doesn’t think he deserves. Their stories converge in a violent climax that reveals not just the mystery of what happened to Ronnie but all of their secret selves.

My thoughts...

Thirteen year old Emily finds the body of a woman in the woods, a local prostitute who has been reported missing. Instead of telling anyone she decides to keep it her little secret for a while. I can't imagine anyone doing that. What comes out of this is a well written story of the lives of some people that cross each others paths. Told from different points of view makes it more interesting. A lot of people are just plain dissatisfied with their lives. Well written, moves at a steady pace, a book worth reading!

***I won this book on Goodreads as a first reads giveaway. This is my honest review.***

A TAP ON THE WINDOW by Linwood Barclay



Hailed as a "suspense master” by Stephen King, Linwood Barclay now reveals the dark side of a small town—and the even darker secrets that hide there...

It’s been two months since private investigator Cal Weaver’s teenage son Scott died in a tragic accident. Ever since, he and his wife have drifted apart, fracturing a once normal life. Cal is mired in grief, a grief he can’t move past. And maybe his grief has clouded his judgment. Because driving home one night, he makes his first big mistake.

A girl drenched in rain taps on his car window and asks for a ride as he sits at a stoplight. Even though he knows a fortysomething man picking up a teenage hitchhiker is a fool, he lets her in. She’s the same age as Scott, and maybe she can help Cal find the dealer who sold his son the drugs that killed him. After a brief stop at a roadside diner, Cal senses that something’s not right with the girl or the situation. But it’s too late. He’s already involved.

Now Cal is drawn into a nightmare of pain and suspicion. Something is horribly wrong in the small town of Griffon in upstate New York. There are too many secrets there, too many lies and cover-ups. And Cal has decided to expose those secrets one by one.

That’s his second big mistake.

My thoughts...

An entertaining book though not as thrilling as it sounds. There's lots of dead bodies and parts were predictable though there's enough mystery to keep you reading. I must say I found the ending a bit of a letdown. I was expecting more of a BOOM and got a pop.

The hitchhiker Cal picks up is a girl that knew his dead son, sounds harmless. Always follow your mothers good advice, never pick up a hitchhiker!

***I won this book on Goodreads as a first reads giveaway. This is my honest review.***

RIVERS by Michael Farris Smith



It had been raining for weeks. Maybe months. He had forgotten the last day that it hadn’t rained, when the storms gave way to the pale blue of the Gulf sky, when the birds flew and the clouds were white and sunshine glistened across the drenched land.

Following years of catastrophic hurricanes, the Gulf Coast—stretching from the Florida panhandle to the western Louisiana border—has been brought to its knees. The region is so punished and depleted that the government has drawn a new boundary ninety miles north of the coastline. Life below the Line offers no services, no electricity, and no resources, and those who stay behind live by their own rules.

Cohen is one who stayed. Unable to overcome the crushing loss of his wife and unborn child who were killed during an evacuation, he returned home to Mississippi to bury them on family land. Until now he hasn’t had the strength to leave them behind, even to save himself.

But after his home is ransacked and all of his carefully accumulated supplies stolen, Cohen is finally forced from his shelter. On the road north, he encounters a colony of survivors led by a fanatical, snake-handling preacher named Aggie who has dangerous visions of repopulating the barren region.

Realizing what’s in store for the women Aggie is holding against their will, Cohen is faced with a decision: continue to the Line alone, or try to shepherd the madman’s captives across the unforgiving land with the biggest hurricane yet bearing down—and Cohen harboring a secret that may pose the greatest threat of all.

Eerily prophetic in its depiction of a southern landscape ravaged by extreme weather, Rivers is a masterful tale of survival and redemption in a world where the next devastating storm is never far behind.

My thoughts...

"Rivers" is a bit of a spooky novel, lots of dark things happening. After ravaging hurricanes hit the southern coastline the damage is catastrophic and the government decides to remove them from the US. Residents can sell their property and move north or remain and make it any way they can. There are those that choose to stay for various reasons. Cohen has remained mostly due to memories of his deceased wife and daughter.

Due to the fact there is no law in the land things go drastically downhill, people are robbed of their supplies, human trafficking runs rampant. The rest you'll have to read for yourself. There's lots going on in the book and you will want to know what happens to everyone. The extreme weather patterns will also make you stop and think what if this really happened?

***I won this book on Goodreads as a first reads giveaway. This is my honest review.***

MORE BITTER THAN DEATH by Camilla Grebe



In the chilling follow-up to Some Kind of Peace, Siri Bergman returns to investigate a brutal murder case centered in the dark world of domestic abuse.It’s a rainy evening in a Stockholm suburb, and five-year-old Tilde is hiding under the kitchen table playing with her crayons, when a man enters and beats her mother to death in cold blood. Tilde can’t quite see the murderer, but she’s the only witness.

Across town, psychologist Siri Bergman and her friend Aina are meeting with their old friend Vijay, who wants them to host a self-help group for victims of domestic abuse. Over the course of several evenings, five very different women share their stories of impossible love, violence, and humiliation. At the same time, Siri finds herself at a crossroads—she’s carrying her boyfriend’s child, but is still beset by doubts and fears.

Swedish sisters Camilla Grebe and Åsa Träff weave all these threads together so that the search for healing and the ability to love again are soon transformed into a hunt for Tilde’s mother’s killer. Everyone is a suspect: the many men in the victim’s life, her own son, even some of the women in the self-help group. Grebe and Träff combine the chills of first-rate crime novels with palpable emotion and personal experience (Träff is a real-life psychologist), as More Bitter Than Death builds to a shocking conclusion.

My thoughts...

This is a favorite of mine, it kept me guessing to the last page! I wasn't familiar with this author but wow, she knows how to write a mystery! Five year old Tilde watches as her mother is beaten to death though she can't see the face of the murderer. The therapist she sees also has a dark past.

There's a lot of focus on domestic abuse and it's very informative in that area. The author has done her research. If you enjoy a good mystery you'll enjoy this one! Well written, not as fast paced as I like them but it wasn't too slow either. An enjoyable read!

***I won this book on Goodreads as a first reads giveaway. This is my honest review.***

Sunday, July 7, 2013

YESTERDAY'S ECHO by Matt Coyle



While never convicted of his wife’s murder, Rick was never exonerated either. Not by the police. Not by the media. Not even by himself. Eight years later, police suspicion and his own guilt remain over his responsibility in his wife’s death.

When he meets Melody Malana, a beautiful yet secretive TV reporter, he sees a chance to love again. When she is arrested for murder and asks Rick for help, the former cop says no, but the rest of him says yes and he grasps at a chance for love and redemption.

Rick’s attempt to help turns terribly wrong, and he, too, becomes a suspect in the murder and the target of a police manhunt. On the run, Rick encounters desperate people who will kill to keep their pasts buried.

Before Rick can save himself and bring down a murderer, he must confront the truth about his own past and untangle his feeling for a woman he can never fully trust.

My thoughts...

For a first novel this is a great book! Wonderfully written, fast paced, one of those you don't want to put down so you stay up late reading and find it hard to get up in the morning. I'm anxiously awaiting book two!

Rick Cahill was deemed guilty of his wife's muder by the media. The police also had him as their main suspect. Eight years later he is managing a restaurant and is interested in a relationship with a beautiful reporter. However, he's in for a big surprise!

Rick, once again, becomes a suspect in a murder. You'll have to read the book to find out whose.

"Yesterday'e Echo" is a powerful read! A thriller that you will take with you to read a few pages where ever you can!

***I won this book on Goodreads as a first reads giveaway. This is my honest review.***

THE BURN PALACE by Stephen Dobyns



The sleepy community of Brewster, Rhode Island, is just like any other small American town. It’s a place where most of the population will likely die blocks from where they were born; where gossip spreads like wildfire, and the big entertainment on weekends is the inevitable fight at the local bar.

But recently, something out of the ordinary—perhaps even supernatural—has been stirring in Brewster. While packs of coyotes gather on back roads and the news spreads that a baby has been stolen from Memorial Hospital (and replaced in its bassinet by a snake), a series of inexplicably violent acts begins to confound Detective Woody Potter and the local police—and inspire terror in the hearts and minds of the locals.

My thoughts...

A baby is missing from the maternity ward, a snake is left in the empty crib. If that isn't enough to make you want to read the book how about the mother believing her baby is a devil or a man found dead in his car and a teenager disappears, the shape the corpse is in when found is enough to make your skin crawl. Oh, I can't forget the wolves invading the town!

This a dark read, full of mysteries and weirdness. If you like Stephen King you'll probably like this novel. I give it 4 stars. ***I won this book on Goodreads as a first reads giveaway. This is my honest review.***

New Lands (The Chronicles of Egg, #2)



This highly anticipated sequel to Rodkey's much-praised debut is funny, heartfelt, and action-packed. Don't miss it!
After a narrow escape from Deadweather Island, Egg and his slightly deranged partner Guts head for the remote New Lands. They’re in search of the lost Okalu tribe, who hold the key to the mysterious treasure map that Egg can't decipher.
But the ruthless Roger Pembroke is hard on Egg's trail, and the New Lands are full of new enemies — against which our heroes only weapons are their brains, their courage...and the two dozen swear words Guts just memorized in the local tongue.
They're going to need help.
But who can they trust?
Is Kira, the beautiful and heavily armed Okalu refugee, their ally…or their enemy? Is Pembroke's daughter Millicent on Egg's side…or her father's? Why on earth is the notorious pirate Burn Healy being so nice to them? And the biggest question of all: what shocking secret is Egg about to discover in the shadow of an ancient Okalu temple?

My thoughts...

Sometimes I like to read books outside the genre I normally read, I know this type of book is highly popular. It wasn't a bad read at all, it just isn't my style. Part of the story were interesting and surprising, I can see why people enjoy this genre.

It's well written, challenging, and has a neat storyline. Would I read more in this series? Yes, I will.

***I won this book on Goodreads as a first reads giveaway. This is my honest review.***

Last Chance Book Club by Hope Ramsay



After a painful divorce, Savannah White wants nothing more than to find her happy place. So when she gets the chance to pack up her life -and her son - and move to the idyllic town where she spent childhood summers, she jumps at the opportunity. Last Chance is just as charming as she remembered. She's even invited to join the local book club, where talk soon turns to Savannah's plan to bring the ramshackle downtown movie theater back to life. A new challenge is just what Savannah needs to move forward.. . .

Dash Randall wants to put his fortune to good use, but he remembers Savannah as the bratty "princess" who descended upon him each June, causing no end of trouble. But the teenager he remembered has grown into a gorgeous and generous woman, and it isn't long before Dash finds himself wanting to make brand new memories with Savannah. But first, Dash and Savannah will need to make peace with their pasts to find a new chance for love.

My thoughts...

This is a book you don't want to down. A fun story with great characters that I enjoyed so much. Ramsey has written in a way that is easy to picture the whole scene! I liked what Savannah did to the town once she arrived, it was fun to read about and to see the romance between her and Dash.

I've got to read more of the Last Chance series, I'm afraid I'm hooked!

***I won this book on Goodreads as a first reads giveaway. This is my honest review.***