Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Half Moon Lake by Steve Brock

 

Crease Williams, after devastating occurrences in his life, is seeking quiet and solitude, but instead finds himself accused of kidnapping and murder…



By Steve Brock





Crease Williams lived a charmed life with a bright future. Only in his junior year at Texas Christian University, his skills as a wide receiver had already captured the attention of NFL scouts.

Then a tragedy cost him his family and his desire to play football. Personally devastated, he left his old life behind and got as far from Ft. Worth, TX, and football as he could get.

Keeping mostly to himself, he became a float-plane pilot in the far north of Minnesota. Flying fisherman and hunters into remote locations was how he spent his time. When a group he had flown to Roudy’s Cabin goes missing, he faces accusations and more turmoil than he could have ever imagined. To make matters worse, his quiet existence is upturned by an element from his past bent on vengeance.

Half Moon Lake is Steve Brock’s first novel. A suspenseful mystery written with likable characters and a lighthearted flavor.

Book Information

Release Date: March 30, 2022

Publisher:  Steve Brock

Soft Cover: ISBN: 978-0578391977; 187 pages; $9.99; Kindle Unlimited FREE

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3knaPfd


My Thoughts:

This was a good read.  The author did a good job of spinning a story that keeps your attention from the start.  I was intrigued and just had to keep reading.  The story unfolds well and the characters are really well written and relatable.

If you enjoy a mystery with suspense and engaging characters, this book is for you.  

4/5

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via PUYB.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.





The Bobcat Bar and Grill was rockin’. In the center of a raised stage that faced a collection of round wooden tables and ladder-back chairs, a middle-aged R and B diva gyrated her hips to the music. With a double-fisted death grip on a stand-up microphone, she belted out lyrics: “R-E-S-P-E-C-T…Find out what it means to me…” The stage lights created spheres of pink and blue fog in the smoke-filled atmosphere. A saxophone player swung his horn back and forth in rhythm with the music, while the keyboard player stood and pounded the keys of a baby grand piano like they insulted his sister. The diva ended the song with a flourish and the already dancing crowd erupted with applause.

          The singer announced a quick break while the more intoxicated in the crowd continued to clap in appreciation. When the noise subsided, a uniformed deputy sitting at the bar looked at the keyboard player and said, “I hate to be a killjoy, but don’t you think we ought to get our prisoner to the station, Sheriff?” He nodded his head toward a scruffy-looking character in handcuffs next to him.

          Still smiling from the moments on stage, Sheriff Maurice Broussard replied, “Yeah, you’re right, Joe. Let’s pack him up and go.”

          As he spoke, he felt a hand on his shoulder. The sax player said, “Come back and sit in with us again, Mo.”

          “Count on it. I’ll be back,” the sheriff said with a big smile. The 10-15 call was the reason they came to the Bobcat, but Sheriff Mo couldn’t resist the chance to relive his jazz band days back on Bourbon Street in a previous life.

          He was a native of New Orleans, but like so many others, Katrina had forced him to flee north on a temporary relocation. At least, that was the original plan. Once here, he found some stability that he lacked before. The weather took some getting used to, but it was otherwise a nice place to live, so he decided to stay. Being county sheriff wasn’t something he’d ever considered before he came here, but he found it agreed with him.

          He and his deputy each grasped an arm of the scruffy-looking man and led him out the door and to the car. Obviously inebriated, the prisoner asked, “What am I being arrested for?"

          Joe shook his head and said, “I’ve told you twice already."

          “For being a drunken asshole,” Mo said. “You can be an asshole, and you can get drunk, but you can’t do both, not around here.”


 














I’ve been an author in search of a novel for just about forty years now. Writing was the first thing I ever wanted to do seriously. Over the years I’ve done quite a variety of things. My first real job, the kind where you have a schedule and get paid hourly, was as a cook at the local Sonic Drive-In. I’ve been a machinist, a forklift driver, a production worker, a computer programmer, an IT guy, an installation manager, a software trainer, and an education department manager. Those are just the employment highlights. Through it all, I was a husband and father, and I attended college at night to get my bachelor’s degree in technology management.

Before all that started, I wanted to be a writer. It just didn’t work out that way. Maybe that’s ok, I’ve had a good life and I have a wonderful family that I am proud to have. I don’t regret any of what I’ve done to support my family over the years. The desire to write has persisted, however, and I took a look at my odometer one day and it read 61 years old. None of us know how high our personal odometer will go, but I knew if I was ever going to be a writer, now was the time.

I’m bringing my lifetime of experience to my novel writing. Many of my characters are loosely based upon people I’ve known in real life. Some of my plot elements are also influenced by real-life experiences as well. As of this writing, my first novel, Half Moon Lake, will be published on Amazon in a few weeks. I have begun work on my second book as well. I hope you will take time to register your email address so I may keep you apprised of announcements and special offers. I’d be thrilled to count you as one of my first dedicated readers.

Steve Brock’s latest novel is Half Moon Lake.

You can visit his website at www.BrockNovels.com or connect with him at Twitter.








Sponsored By:

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Seeking Tranquility by Amy Schisler

 

Against the beautiful backdrop of the Virginia shoreline, caring islanders and scientist, Jared Stevenson, help Christy McLane find the faith and tranquility she seeks, but the serene island is not without its dangers…

By Amy Schisler



Amy Schisler “creates a tapestry of emotional reactions, strength, and faith from her loved ones that brought me to tears at times.” 

--Writer’s Digest on Island of Promise

Christy McLane and her child prodigy sister, Molly, are alone in the world. Alone, until they arrive on the island of Chincoteague, Virginia. Like the famous ponies that roam the area, Christy and Molly flee to the island to take refuge after a tragedy leaves them marooned and unanchored. To stay afloat, Christy will need to make unforeseen sacrifices as she navigates the waters of life. 

Against the beautiful backdrop of the Virginia shoreline, caring islanders and shy, aerospace scientist, Jared Stevenson, help Christy find the faith and tranquility she seeks. However, just when everything seems perfect, Jared’s hidden past disrupts their peaceful existence, plunging the entire island into a sea of lies and danger that will change their lives forever. 

Book Information

Release Date: June 16, 2022

Publisher:  Chesapeake Sunrise Publishing

Soft Cover: ISBN: 979-8985223217; 345 pages; $15.95; eBook $7.99

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3OjMioj



My Thoughts:

I truly enjoyed this story.  I absolutely adored Molly.  She is so mature for her years and advanced.  I liked just how smart she really was.  Jared was a favorite too, and Christy for that matter.  All of the characters were really well written and the story was oh so good.
I was pulled in from the start and didn't want to put it down.  There is a little bit of everything in this one and I wasn't sure exactly what was going to happen.  I like the way that it all played out and how the author handled it.  Really good read.
4/5

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via PUYB.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Christy handed the police officer a bag containing a Pony Pork doughnut, a glaze-covered creation baked with brown sugar and bacon. Personally, Christy thought the mere idea of that combination was revolting, but it was a popular choice among their male clientele. 

“Have a great day, ladies.” Nick, a regular at the Sugar and Sand Donut Shop, tipped his hat as he walked out.

“He’s really cute,” Christy said in a matter-of-fact tone, watching the twenty-something in the crisp, blue Chincoteague Island Police uniform smile and wave at a couple passing by.

“And taken,” Diane said. She nudged Christy out of the way and placed a tray of fresh doughnuts on the counter.

“Story of my life.” Christy said with a smile and pulled a sheet of wax paper from the box to transfer doughnuts to the display case. 

“What are you, twenty-three? You’ve got plenty of time.” Diane smiled at the next customer and took their order. 

Christy bit back a sarcastic retort that she was twenty-four and had zero time in her busy days for men or anything else and finished unloading the tray of hot, fresh pastries. She could feel her hips expanding just from inhaling their mouth-watering aroma. Cinnamon, blueberry, chocolate, and lemon scents escaped from the case in a mixed wave as she closed the door and hefted the large tray back to the kitchen. When she returned, after making a stop in the staff bathroom, adjusting her ponytail, and washing her hands, a lull had fallen over the Sand and Sugar.

“What a story, huh?” Diane asked, wiping down a table.

“About the boater?” Christy asked. “Does stuff like that happen a lot around here?”

“Not usually with locals, more often with tourists who rent boats without any knowledge of how to use them. Just wait until summer. All kinds of crazy things happen once the island is crammed with people.”

“At least it keeps things interesting,” Christy remarked dryly. Though she liked the island well enough—it was pretty, and the people were nice—she missed the fast pace of life in and around D.C. 

“Any plans for the weekend?” Diane asked, moving to another table.

“Besides working?” Christy took a deep breath and blew it up, sending a stray hair flapping in front of her eyes. “All I ever do is work.”

“Things picking up at the store?” Diane walked behind the counter and tossed the rag into the basket under the sink and rinsed her hands.

“Yeah. It’s getting crazy. I must have made two dozen shirts on Saturday afternoon, and it’s only mid-May. That giant iron thingy scares me to death.”

Diane laughed. “Custom shirts are the most popular item sold here on the island other than toy ponies.”

“And doughnuts,” Christy said.

“And doughnuts.” Diane nodded and straightened the napkins, coffee stirrers, and smoothie straws on the counter as she talked. “Are you going to keep both jobs through the summer?” Diane glanced toward the door once the straightening was finished, and Christy wondered if she was avoiding her gaze. She knew that it was hard on Diane if Christy had to run out before everything was tidied and ready for the next business day, but Diane was willing to work with her—so far.

“Unfortunately, I have to. I don’t really have a choice.” Christy bit her lip and looked down at her hands. “Now that I’m Molly’s guardian, I’ve got to support us both. I’m going to make sure she has a good childhood and then goes to college. She’s so smart, and she has the ability to make more of her life than I have.”

Diane turned toward Christy and tilted her head, giving her a sympathetic smile. “You’re smart, too, and you’re still young. Don’t count yourself out yet. Your ship will come in someday.”

“Hmph. You mean the Titanic? It already sank.” Christy crossed her arms and leaned back on the counter. Behind her were an array of blenders used to make healthy, and not-so-healthy, smoothies. She wasn’t this pessimistic by nature, but today was one of those days. She felt the stress of their situation riding her like one of those mermaids with a whole ship perched on her back, taking the brunt of the wind and waves. And the ship that Christy carried on her back was in distress.

Diane gently laid her hand on the young woman’s arm. “Honey, you’ve got a big, happy life out there waiting for you. Anybody who’d do what you’ve done deserves only the best in life, and the good Lord is going to see that you’re rewarded for it.”

Christy sighed and shrugged. “I didn’t really have a choice, did I? Molly’s my half-sister, and I’m all she’s got with Mom and Fred gone.” She looked up and blinked the tears away. Even after two years, the reality of their deaths still stung. She supposed it always would.

“I know it doesn’t seem fair, but somewhere in this mess, God has a plan for you. Molly’s lucky to have you, and your mom’s watching over the both of you.”

The bell chimed, and both women looked up at the opening door.

“Good morning, Paul. How are things on the island today?” Diane asked, giving Christy a chance to turn away and wipe her eyes.

“Quiet, just the way I like it.” Paul took off his police cap and pointed to the coffee pot. “Could you make it a double, please? Stacey’s the best assistant the department’s ever had, but her coffee is like drinking brown water.”

“Why don’t you just tell her that she needs to add more grounds to the pot?” Diane asked, pouring a large cup of steaming coffee.

Paul shook his head. “I have. She says it’s the maker and keeps saying we ought to get one of those fancy pod things.”

“No!” Diane gasped, her hand over her heart. “Not one of those ‘fancy pod things’!”

Paul smiled. “Laugh all you want. There’s a reason half the town comes here for their coffee, with or without a doughnut. Everyone else has switched over to those machines, and the fine art of brewing a good cup of Joe is dying faster than those machines can spit into the cup.”

“Well, you don’t have to worry about me switching over to a Keurig or any other fancy kind of coffee maker. I’m a little too old-fashioned for that.”

Christy rolled her eyes, wishing they did have a Keurig so that she didn’t have to clean out the giant, metal coffee maker every day. She hated that chore.

As usual, Paul tried to pay Diane, and Diane shooed him away. When the door closed behind him, Christy said, “You give half your inventory away to the local police and firefighters. Oh, and the Coast Guard, too.”

Diane lifted her shoulders and let them fall. “They deserve it. It’s the least I can do. Their jobs aren’t easy, especially this time of year and running through the fall. They make a lot of sacrifices in the line of duty.” She turned to Christy. “And we take care of our own around here. You remember that.”

Christy nodded. It was a nice sentiment, but she had to rely on herself. Nobody else was going to pay the bills or buy the groceries or make sure Molly was taken care of. Christy was on her own for all that.





Amy Schisler is a novelist, poet, children’s book author, spiritual writer, blogger, reader, and avid traveler with years of professional experience in all manner of writing-related endeavors. Whether she’s writing novels filled with faith and inspiration, books that children will love, or her weekly blog devoted to family life and faith, she loves connecting and resonating with her readers. Amy’s first novel, A Place to Call Home, a romantic suspense, debuted in 2014, and her much-loved Chincoteague Island Trilogy has won numerous literary awards. Amy lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland with her husband, Ken, their daughters, Katie and Morgan (and sometimes their daughter and son-in-law, Rebecca and Anthony), and their dogs, Rosie and Luna. When she’s not writing, Amy can usually be found on a boat in the Chesapeake Bay or hiking in the Rocky Mountains, most often with a good book in her hand.

Her latest book is Seeking Tranquility: Chincoteague Sunsets Trilogy Book 1.

You can visit her website at www.AmySchislerAuthor.com  and connect with her at TwitterFacebookGoodreads and Instagram

 


Sponsored By:

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Gage by Christina Bauer


Book Description:

Gage runs the L’Griffe, AKA the dragon shifter mafia on Earth. Since the human realm has no supernatural police, the L’Griffe do more than loan money or sell contraband. When it comes to dragon shifters, the L’Griffe are the law. And Gage isn’t the only sheriff in town, either. Other secret groups have their own gangs, including ghouls, demons, and everything in between. It’s an awkward balance, but it works.

Until the demons consolidate into the Horde. This alliance plans to take over Earth, and that’s just for starters.

Now Gage must build his own connections to fight this new threat. Fortunately, Gage’s true love, Huntress, comes from a family of superhuman warriors. All of them agree to team up and put down the Horde. Success seems just around the corner.

Then the truth becomes clear.

Thanks to magical cloning, the Horde is led by an old enemy of Huntress’ family—one that everyone thought had been destroyed forever. Now their archnemesis is back and more powerful than anyone could have imagined.

Looks like defeating these demons may also destroy Gage, Huntress, and everyone they love.

Don’t miss the exciting conclusion to the Angelbound Offspring Series!

ANGELBOUND OFFSPRING
1. Maxon
2. Portia
3. Zinnia
4. Rhodes
5. Kaps
6. Mack
7. Huntress
8. Gage
* This is a completed series.

Perfect for teen and young adult readers who want their book series to deliver: badass world building, angels, demons, paranormal romance, fresh themes from contemporary fiction, LOL romantic comedy, gods and goddesses, dark fantasy, strong girls and women as heroines, themes about loners and outcasts, the best laughs in humorous literature, general coming of age whackery, and (most importantly) truly unusual epic fantasy.


My Thoughts:

I've loved everything I've ever read by this author and have read since she started the initial Angelbound series (Myla is still my favorite character...with Lincoln).  Seriously have loved every book in the series.  The Offspring have had a special place in my heart and I'm so sad to see the series ending.  It ended wonderfully, don't get me wrong, but I'm sad it is over.

Amazing characters, epic battles...all the action and spice you could want in a book.  That is what we have here!  I would absolutely read this series in order so you can enjoy it's full awesomeness.  Amazing story with a bittersweet tang to it...I'm hoping to see these characters maybe in guest appearances in future books.

5/5

Monday, July 11, 2022

Moon Deeds by Palmer Pickering

 


Book Description:

It's 2090: the last outpost of freedom is the moon, the best defense against technology is magic, and the only hope for humankind rests in the hands of the Star Children.

Twins Cassidy and Torr must save Earth from a ruthless enemy at a time when the only force more powerful than alien technology is magic. Moon Deeds launches the siblings' journey across the galaxy, where they must learn their power as the Star Children, claim their shamanic heritage, and battle dark forces that threaten humankind.

The Star Children Saga follows Cassidy and Torr as they slowly awaken to their destiny as the twin Star Children, born every millennium to reconnect with the source of all life. They come to discover the sheer enormity of their task: to find our ancestors on a lost planet across the galaxy and save humanity from a spiraling descent into darkness. The powers they must wield to accomplish this task are truly frightening and put at risk everything they love.

Come along with 20-year-old twins Cassidy and Torr, who inherited deeds to land parcels on the moon. They want to use their moon deeds to get off Earth and escape a brutal dictatorship. But first they must unlock their shaman powers.

A rollicking yet poignant adventure in the not too distant future, when we have colonized the moon and nearly lost Earth to a dictatorship. Only the shamans remain free, plus the lucky ones who escaped to the moon.

Join the adventure! An addictive space opera, science-fantasy series.


My Thoughts:

This is the kind of story that I love to get lost in.  Usually I prefer a romance book, but sometimes I just need a good fantasy or science fiction book.  This book was it for me.  I was expecting the world building and character introductions as this is the first in what I'm hoping to be a long series!  It was a book that I honestly got pulled into and truly enjoyed.

I think for me it was the characters and how well they were written.  The story itself is wonderful but the author did an absolutely fabulous job with the characters.  I can't wait to see where the next book takes them and what is going to happen!  Already waiting on the second book!

5/5

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via PUYB.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.




Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Blue Haven by Lisa King


Book Description:

Welcome to Blue Haven, the world’s most lucrative condo corporation—so exclusive that only five lucky residents live in this lush, tropical paradise, housed in a top-secret location.

Among them is twenty-five-year-old Aloe Malone, an introvert and former waitress who traded bussing tables for lengthy sleep-ins, ocean dips, Michelin-star restaurants, spectacular sunsets, and unlikely new friends—all thanks to a spurious lottery win.

Life’s good.
Damn good.

That is, until Aloe discovers a journal.

Seemingly left by a past resident named Eloise whose entries are both sad and evoking, Aloe quickly suspects there’s more to Blue Haven than meets the eye.

Her suspicions are confirmed when visions arise, gruesome hallucinations she can’t understand, followed by a strange yet familiar man lurking in places he shouldn’t. Something’s wrong. Or maybe it’s all in her head. Regardless, she vows to uncover the truth.

Except someone wants to keep her quiet, and it’s the last person she ever suspected.

Blue Haven is a science-fiction thriller that explores what innovation can achieve—and destroy—despite the best intentions. King’s imaginative world building and use of moral ambiguity make this page-turning novel a thought-provoking thrill that’s impossible to put down

My Thoughts:

This is one of those books that once you start, you won't be able to put down.  So so good!  I can't even tell you how much I enjoyed it.  I really wasn't certain what to expect from the sci fi thriller tag, but it was a pleasant surprise.  I loved that I wasn't sure what was going to happen next and the thriller aspect was done so amazingly well.

Aloe is a good character and Blue Haven is amazing...in concept.  I really feel like I lived this book and I am just still reeling from it.  Not figuring out a book from the start is a nice thing and I totally recommend this one to those who love thrillers.  You won't be disappointed. 

5/5

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via PUYB.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Shadow of the Gypsy by Shelly Frome

 


Book Description:

A nemesis out of the past suddenly returns, forcing Josh Bartlett to come to terms with his true identity.


Josh Bartlett had figured all the angles, changed his name, holed up as a small-town features writer in the seclusion of the Blue Ridge. Only a few weeks more and he'd begin anew, return to the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut and Molly (if she'd have him) and, at long last, live a normal life. After all, it was a matter of record that Zharko had been deported well over a year ago. The shadowy form Josh had glimpsed yesterday at the lake was only that—a hazy shadow under the eaves of the activities building. It stood to reason his old nemesis was still ensconced overseas in Bucharest or thereabouts well out of the way. And no matter where he was, he wouldn't travel thousands of miles to track Josh down. Surely that couldn't be, not now, not after all this.

My Thoughts:
Such a good, good read.  If you like mystery and suspense, you will love this book.  There are so many twists and turns that I wasn’t sure which way it was going.  I LOVE that.  It wasn’t a cookie cutter mystery but a well written one.

The characters were great.  I liked the authors writing style and descriptions.  This is one of those books that you are going to read and sit there afterwords saying wow.   Such a good read.  

5/5

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Ignatius and the Swords of Nostaw by D. A. Mucci


Book Description:

Ignatius and the Swords of Nostaw is the first in an action-packed series perfect for readers who love an impossible mission led by an unlikely hero.

The coming-of-age story follows teenager Ignatius (nicknamed “Iggy”) who finds himself transported to a medieval world filled with magic. In the Kingdom of Skye, Iggy develops special powers and accomplishes quests in an effort to find his way home, fighting the evildoers along the way. While the genre is fantasy and the setting includes magic, mythological creatures, celestial races, and different lands, action-adventure is the undercurrent of the writing style, unveiling clues and surprises as the plot unfolds.

This YA fantasy is perfect for both teens and adults, as it gently reminds us that we are responsible for our destiny - and the most unexpected people can be the best teachers.


My Thoughts:

This was a really good read.  Iggy isn't having the best of times in high school and there are some uncomfortable issues going on.  But he doesn't know who he truly is and suddenly he is in the Kingdom of Skye.  There is a lot going on in this book and it has plenty of action.

I loved that the author put a lot of thought and effort into the Kingdom of Skye.  You can tell the world building here was done well and I enjoyed it.  There are twists and turns in the plot and it kept me guessing and reading.  I loved that it was a larger book so I didn't feel that the story was rushed at all.  I'm ready to read the next one!

4/5

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via PUYB.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.






Tuesday, May 31, 2022

GO MVMT

 

The GO MVMT is all about helping Christians develop the confidence to share the Gospel by resourcing them with an action kit.  This digital action kit is free and has amazing tools inside.  


You can download your free kit to join this amazing movement:  https://bit.ly/3NlHaPP


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