The Devil’s Grin By Annelie Wendeberg

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Published: September 16th 2012

Series: The Kronberg Crimes #1

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I would like to thank the author for sending me her book and sharing this story!  Keep an eye out for my interview with her!  If you like mysteries and Sherlock Holmes, you will want to read this book!

What would you do if you lived in a time where women were not allowed to have certain jobs?  This story is a bout such a woman that crosses the law to be what she dreams of,  Dr Anton Kronberg, England’s best bacteriologist.  She disguise herself as a man and doctor, if caught, she could end up in prison for years.

Dr. Kronberg is called upon to help solve a series of murders that remained undiscovered until a cholera victim is found floating in the city’s drinking water supply.  As she investigates they find evidence of abduction and medical maltreatment. While Scotland Yard has little interest in pursuing the case, Kronberg pushes on and crosses paths with Sherlock Holmes. The detective immediately discovers Kronberg’s secret – a woman masquerading as a man in order to practice medicine.  Holmes is very intrigued by this on all sorts of levels. Both must join forces to stop a crime so monstrous, it outshines Jack the Ripper’s deeds in brutality and cold-bloodedness.

This book was a fantastic read!  I didn’t want to put it down once I started reading.  The author’s way of writing is marvelous. I gave this book a ‘5 star review’!  I admire the work of the characters, especially Dr. Kronberg.  How would you like to wrap yourself up every day in order to conceal that you were born a woman and deemed not fit for your job that you have actually found a way to excel in?  Loved it!  Keep an eye out as Annelie Wendeberg will be a featured author this year with an interview!

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Z Plan Series update from the author, Mikhail Lerma!

Z Plan Series update from the author, Mikhail Lerma!

‎Z Plan-Blood on the Sand by my featured author of the month for January, Mikhail Lerma is in progress of finishing up his second book in the series! He is also getting ready to reveal a third book! Check out Mikhail and my book review for the first book in this exhilarating series!

Z Plan-Blood on the Sand Book Review: https://simpletasteforreading.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/z-plan-blood-on-the-sand-by-mikhail-lerma/

Interview with the author: https://simpletasteforreading.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/featured-author-of-the-month-mikhail-lerma-interview/

Check out this series!!!!!!
http://zplanbook.wordpress.com/

The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell

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“Birds keep chirping and music keeps playing.  Life continues as another life ebbs away.

We have seen death before, Marnie and I, a mountain of ice melting over time, drops of water freezing at your core reminding you every day of that which has vanished, but the despair we know today is a sadness sailing sorrow through every bone and knuckle.

There is no moment in which we say good-bye, there is no finality as he slips into peacefulness, he simply leaves us, and though I seek courage when he passes I am weakened by tears, but I must hide them for he leaves us a lie to conceal, a lie he sent to save us.”

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I received this book from the author, whom I would like to thank greatly for sharing her story with me!  I gave this book 5 stars!

“Today is my birthday. Today I am fifteen. Today I buried my parents in the backyard.” So begins Lisa O’Donnell’s novel about two sisters who find their parents dead and, instead of reporting it, decide to keep it a secret until they can make it on their own. The Death of Bees is not for the faint of heart, but it is a beautiful, haunting, coming of age tale that is far more sad than salacious. While it may shock many readers, it’s end point isn’t the shock value; there’s a deep, affecting story at the heart of The Death of Bees.

There are elements of mystery from the novel’s first lines:

Eugene Doyle. Born 19 June 1972. Died 17 December 2010, aged thirty-eight. Isabel Anne Macdonald. Born 24 May 1974. Died 18 December 2010, aged thirty-six.

Today is Christmas Eve. Today is my birthday. Today I am fifteen. Today I buried my parents in the backyard.

Neither of them were beloved.

From here, the story unfolds as part mystery, part contemporary fiction, and part coming of age tale. Marnie and Nelly navigate their lives in some ways quite similar to how they have already been. They must outsmart their neighbors and those searching for their parents. They must learn who to trust. As Marnie and Nelly alternate first-person narratives, the reader slowly learns what happened to Eugene and Isabel. Some days feel quite ordinary for them as teens who can do what they like, while others test their loyalty, strength and will.

I highly recommend this one. I thought the writing was incredible and the story line was unique and original!

Keep an eye out as I will be featuring this author later this year! Also, I will be doing a giveaway to win a copy of this book! 😀

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Pack Law & Pack Law (The Awakening) By Marie Stephens

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥

These are two books that I was given by the author Marie Stephens.  I will also be doing an interview with her, so keep an eye out!  I would recommend the audience for these books to be adult.

The first book, Pack Law had a good story line.  A woman working at a hospital is kidnapped one night while tending to a man with a gun shot wound.  Her whole world changes after a sexual encounter that marks her as his mate.  She soon comes to find out what the man really is and discovers a whole ‘pack’ of them.

The writing style was different  but the story was good. I would put this book under the genre of “erotic paranormal”.  I don’t typically read ‘romance/erotic’ books, but I did like the story line.  This book opened up the tale for the next book “Pack Law-The Awakening” which is below!

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I liked the second book a little better than the first.  There was a lot more going on. Like I said above, I do not read ‘romance/erotic’ books, but again, it has a great story line, for those of you that do! Zane takes Elaina as his mate after being given the place as the Alpha of the pack. He and Elaina are then drugged and kidnapped to be tricked into Zane taking another mate while under the influence of the drugs. The pack has to determine who was behind it, who the ones are that caused it to be as it broke the laws of the pack.

Thirty Seconds Before Midnight by Helen J Beal

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Every life means something to someone, somewhere.

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This book was given to me by the author.  I would first like to thank her for sharing her story with me.

Helen’s retold story of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth is given through the eyes of a land tortoise, Herbert, whose ancestors came from the Galapagos Islands. He was born and raised in a menagerie in England, at the estate of Bestwood. His entire life is circumscribed by the mundane routine of the small zoo and he had never wandered beyond the Wall.

Things change when the owner of Bestwood sells the estate to Dave Palmer, a rock and roll star. His strange family, including a pair of twin sons and a Brazilian model wife move in and upset the routine of the menagerie and the zookeeper Bob and his daughter Stella.

Most of the story is told through the eyes of Herbert, the tortoise, aided by his able spy, Digby, the parakeet who can fly and hide in trees to observe human activities.  These parts made me laugh the most, Herbert was always relying on Digby for the latest news!

Changes are afoot for the residents of Bestwood, and not for the best. Midway through the story, on the best and worst day of Herbert’s life, tragedy strikes.  What could be the best day for a tortoise? You will have to read the story to find out!

That said, I think the author is absolutely brilliant in the voice of Herbert, his apt descriptions and wry observations, and the emotions he, as a tortoise, can feel while still thinking rationally. He very quickly became my favorite character. It also made me think, that if I had a tortoise, I sure do hope he would be as loving as Herbert.

Although this story does end in slight tragedy, it is well worth the read.  I found so much in the story that just the tale being told.

Keep an eye out, as I will being doing an interview with the author! 😀

Check out her book: http://www.amazon.com/Thirty-Seconds-Before-Midnight-Helen/dp/1909354015/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362432169&sr=8-1&keywords=Thirty+Seconds+before+midnight

Featured Author of the Month: Lisa Wooten, Interview…look for my contest to win a book mark and magnet from Lisa!

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The author that I am featuring this month is Lisa Wooten. Lisa lives in Philadelphia with her husband, Ted, and their Persian cat, Clara Rose. Since she was a child, she wanted to be a writer, but took the safe route and got a “real job” in the healthcare industry. Now that she is settled in her personal and professional life, she decided to take a stab at writing and much to her disbelief, she was published on her first try! Lisa’s suspense/thriller novel, Unforgivable, was released in December, 2011. Check out my interview with her!

Sierra: When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

Lisa: When I sat down to write Unforgivable, it was August 2008. The entire story from beginning, middle and end was already in my mind, but I just needed to get out so it took a full year to write. It took another six months to get it edited and then another year to get it published. At the time, I had just received a promotion at work and was working crazy hours and I was planning my wedding. In hindsight, it wasn’t the best time to start a novel, but it all worked out in the end.

Sierra: Tell us a little bit about your book, Unforgivable:

Lisa: Unforgivable takes place in an insane asylum where the main character, Joan, is serving a life sentence for murdering her best friend at their senior prom. Joan tells everyone she is innocent, but no one will listen to her, except for her psychiatrist. This is where the story unfolds itself because it is the doctor and the patient sorting through what really happened that night through a series of therapy sessions. The book is dark, but it also has some touching scenes where our humanity is exposed and it definitely has some interesting characters and lots of humor.

Sierra: How did you choose the genre you write in?

Lisa: I’ve always loved reading thriller/horror books and with Unforgivable, I wanted to add in a psychological twist and disorient reality for the readers. It was really fun to write.

Sierra: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write?

Lisa: I know what wasn’t fun; the fantasy scenes! Joan has an imaginary world in her mind that she escapes to when reality is too difficult to deal with so in the book I dedicated specific chapters to show you what she thinks her reality is and what kind of person she is in her own mind, or what kind of person she could be if she weren’t mentally ill. I’m glad I wrote them because people always tell me how much they love the fantasy trips to her world, but it was a pain to write.

My favorite parts to write were the therapy sessions with the doctor because I love the relationship that they have and the ease of their conversation even though they’re dealing with difficult situations and topics. I also love putting in all the musical references because I’m a huge music fan and I absolutely adore ’60s music and I think that shows throughout the book.

Sierra: Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

Lisa: I think everyone can relate to having an imaginary world. I’m sure everyone has been at work and fantasized that they were somewhere else, like on a beach in Mexico, drinking strawberry daiquiris. That’s what Joan does, but takes it a bit too far. In my line of work, I have encountered patients with mental health issues, but they were not this extreme so most of it was just my imagination.

Sierra: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

Lisa: I love, love, love Dean Koontz. When reading Dean, I never think to myself, “wow, I wish I could write like that” because when I read him, it’s like I’m not even reading a book; I am living the story that he’s telling. He pulls you in so intensely that you go on a little journey in your mind and you completely forget this is an author who created a story. He’s amazing and I adore him!

Sierra: Do you ever experience writers block?

Lisa: I’m going through it right now! I’m currently working on my second novel, While I Cry, and I don’t think I’ve hit a block; I’ve hit the whole brick wall! I’m trying to work through it but it’s very frustrating and I’m starting to panic because now I have a deadline, which I did not have with Unforgivable. I also don’t help my self confidence at all because Unforgivable has sold well and the majority of people have had such wonderful things to say about it that I am applying pressure on myself to do even better with While I Cry. I need a chill pill.

Sierra: Is there an author that you would really like to meet?

Lisa: I would love to meet Dean Koontz, but I feel like I would freeze up and not enjoy the experience.

Sierra: Can you tell us about your new book?

Lisa: While I Cry is going to be an old fashioned ghost story, but it’s going to have a modern twist. It focuses on a 14 year old girl, Grace, who is just starting high school and the hardships that come with being the new girl and trying to adjust to this new chapter in her life. Along the way, she meets Edie, who helps her through some difficult times, such as being bullied, but things aren’t what they seem with Edie and Grace starts to travel down a dark path.

Sierra: If you could go back and do it all over again, is there any aspect of your first novel or getting it published that you would change?

Lisa: I definitely would have believed in myself more and wrote Unforgivable sooner. It’s the big f-word that held me back; no, not that f-word, Failure. I was so afraid at failing that it made me turn away from something that I truly love. Now that I know that I have talent and I’m still enjoying it, writer’s block aside, I’m moving forward with my writing career.

Sierra: Do you have any advise to give to aspiring writers?

Lisa: Never give up. Not everyone who writes is going to be a published author, or make lots of money, or have a gazillion fans and that’s okay. If it makes you happy, then do it. If a certain type of genre or category of writing is not working for you, try something different. If you can’t write that horror novel that knocks everyone’s socks off, try a series of short stories or perhaps writing online articles. There are so many ways that you can express yourself that you shouldn’t get tied up on one option. Try things out and see how it goes. Also, research, research, research. If you are at the stage where your work is completed and you want to get published, do your research and learn how to do this before starting. With more and more people self publishing and being really successful at it, like Amanda Hocking, getting your writing out there for the world to see is much easier than in the past so don’t give up.

Sierra: Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Lisa: I do want to thank everyone who has read Unforgivable and I’m grateful for all the kind words and reviews. I truly appreciate the time that these people have taken out of their lives to read something that I’ve created. It’s a really cool feeling. I also want to thank you, Sierra, for giving my novel a try and I hope that you enjoy it and that your subscribers do as well.

Check out my review of Lisa’s book “Unforgivable” here:https://simpletasteforreading.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/unforgivable-by-lisa-wooten-2/

To purchase Lisa’s book: http://www.amazon.com/Unforgivable-Lisa-Wooten/dp/0984775226/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362154044&sr=8-1&keywords=Unforgivable+Lisa+Wooten

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