How You LeaveTexas by Alana Cash

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BOOK DESCRIPTION

How You Leave Texas is a volume of three short stories and a novella about four young women who leave Midland, Austin, Fort Worth and Mayville, Texas for New York, California, Jakarta, and in one instance, jail.  The young women seek escape from boredom and sorrow and they find it.  Hilarious, tragic, and revelatory, the stories are about extraordinary women with ordinary lives

Synopsis of individual stories:

Dam Broke – On the night of their high school graduation, Annabelle and Mickey ride a scooter in pouring rain as they reveal closely held secrets. (6 pages).

In sixth grade, I abandoned the reading glasses for a blond wig and a fake mole above my top lip. Mickey started wearing sunglasses indoors and carrying business cards.

Camille’s Net Worth – On the day she turns 40, Camille’s life goes from bored to worse in uncontrolled demolition.  She accepts an exciting job opportunity and travels back and forth to Indonesia.  The job isn’t what is appears, but the irony of how things turn out causes Camille to laugh until she has tears rolling down her face. (42 pages).

“I’m not going to spend much time repeating myself,” Camille said, “I want you to remove whatever you want to keep from this house. You can store your stuff in a rental truck if you need to until you find a new home, but you will be gone from here by midnight and never return.”

“You can’t do that!”

“If you are not gone by midnight, I will set fire to the house.”

Krystal’s Wedding – Krystal leaves her seriously flawed family in Midland, heading for New York City, where she takes a few slippery steps.  Krystal’s mother encourages her to find a husband in order to escape her loud roommate in Hell’s Kitchen and her boring job. However, Krystal actually gets her footing in New York and in life when she is offered a new, fulfilling direction (21 pages).

Krystal felt safer with Hudson there, but it must be as clear to him and his family as it was to her that theirs was a match of china and paper plates. As Krystal faked a sip of the champagne with a name she couldn’t read because it was printed in twirly letters in French, she wondered how hard his mother would try to prevent Hudson from getting too serious …

Frying Your Burger – Nicky and three irreverent friends spend mornings at a coffee shop tossing repartee on love, sex, and religion.  For a short while, Nicky is caught up with a sexy Hollywood player, becoming a pawn in the battle of egos between two movie directors trying to ruin each others careers.  The affair flares, then fizzles, but Nicky lands on her feet (108 pages).

I went into the room marked Cashier and got into a long line. And there he was. Grinning that grin. He should have had a license for it. It was that bright. I stood next to him in my white t-shirt and white pants looking like someone straight out of the “hospital orderly fashion catalogue.” It was all I had clean that day.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

alana cash

Alana Cash is an adventurer.  She’s been on ride-alongs in New York City patrol cars. She’s kissed a man inside Norman Bates’ Psycho house. She trekked alone through war-torn Serbia.  She’s used her experiences as inspiration for her work as an acclaimed writer and filmmaker.  Some of her favorite accolades are:

  • She was one of 60 US teachers profiled on the PBS series, “A Writer’s Exchange,” for her talent as a teacher at the University of Texas Informal Classes
  • Her feature film, “Tom’s Wife,” based on her novel of the same name, won awards all over the world
  • Her documentary “Anna Freud: Under Analysis,” part of documentary trilogy on women in science, was translated into German for broadcast in Austria, Germany & Switzerland

She’s a native Texan and makes great chili.

WEBSITE:   WWW.ALANACASH.COM

Wikipedia

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Book Review : The Gilded Fan by Christina Courtenay

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REVIEW

I have always enjoyed Christina Courtenay’s books and this one was no exception. An adventure across continents, where different cultures meet, we follow Midori and Nico as they set sail from Japan to England.

Midori was a great character with mixed heritage, a Japanese father and an English mother, she could wield a sword as good as any man, if not better. She was fiercely independent and determined to deal honourably with the situation that forced her to escape from her beloved Japan and seek refuge with her English family in Plymouth.

Nico, captain of the ship that carried Midori to England, was simply delicious. A true leader, strong and well respected, fair and with a gentler side when needed. His meeting with Midori presented itself with all sorts of problems from the start and took him not only to physical places he had no intention of going, but to emotional places which he had long since buried.

Set in the 1600’s, with the English Civil War as a backdrop, there was lots of action and adventure in this book, together with a healthy dose of romance, I really enjoyed spending time with these characters.

BOOK DESCRIPTION

How do you start a new life, leaving behind all you love?

It’s 1641, and when Midori Kumashiro, the orphaned daughter of a warlord, is told she has to leave Japan or die, she has no choice but to flee to England. Midori is trained in the arts of war, but is that enough to help her survive a journey, with a lecherous crew and an attractive captain she doesn’t trust?

Having come to Nagasaki to trade, the last thing Captain Nico Noordholt wants is a female passenger, especially a beautiful one. How can he protect her from his crew when he can’t keep his own eyes off her?

During their journey, Nico and Midori form a tentative bond, but they both have secrets that can change everything. When they arrive in England, a civil war is brewing, and only by standing together can they hope to survive…

AUTHOR LINKS

'Promote Me!' portrait

www.christinacourtenay.com

Twitter : @PiaCCourtenay

Publishers : ChocLitUK

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Book Review : Security by Mandy Baggot

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REVIEW

With a slight shift in sub-genre from romance to romantic suspense, Mandy Baggot’s books get stronger and stronger.  This is probably my favourite one to date.

We meet Autumn Raine, singing superstar and she is not instantly likeable, coming across as spoilt and self-obsessed. However, gradually the walls come down and you get to know the real woman underneath who is both vulnerable and determined at the same time. Underneath the celebrity exterior, there is a genuine likeable person. She’s had a lot of emotional obstacles to overcome and has not always had the best advice. Now she’s up against the biggest challenge yet with her life in danger.

Cue mean and moody, northern bodyguard, Nathan Regan. He doesn’t change his attitude or his mind for anyone, that is until he comes up against Autumn Raine . As if outwitting kidnap plots and extremists isn’t enough for one guy, he also has  demons of his own to battle at the same time.

With unexpected twists in the plot, Security, has suspense and tension all the way through, together with some great chemistry and tough romance, this really is my sort of book.

Description

Autumn Raine is a pop vocalist at the very top of her game. She’s a style icon, the paparazzi’s darling and everyone wants to be her friend. But when her safety is threatened, her whole life starts to unravel.

Enter Nathan Regan, an ex-elite soldier who is assigned to protect her. He’s a good man doing bad things but what drives him? Passion? Madness? Or grief? Demons from his past are threatening to consume him. Can he win the fight alone or will he have to admit he needs help?

As the threat deepens, Autumn starts to find out who she really needs in her life. Is there still room for personal assistant Janey or rapper boyfriend Rockweiler? When everyone around her is feeding her lies, how does she work out the truth? Does her record producer know more than he’s letting on? What is her mother, the British Foreign Secretary’s involvement in the situation? And can Autumn put her faith in a forty-something Jamaican woman who handles an automatic weapon as expertly as she cooks?

Eluding kidnap and trying to stay alive, can Autumn find the strength to be the person she longs to be? And can two people, poles apart, forge something strong enough to survive anything?

GIVEAWAY

As part of of the Security launch, Mandy is having a giveaway. Anyone who posts a review on Amazon up until the end of May can enter into the Rafflecopter draw to win a £25/$40 Amazon gift certificate. You will be able to enter via this link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e42d6b8/

About the Author

Mandy Baggot brings you award-winning fiction! In 2012 she won the coveted Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK’s Festival of Romance. Her novel Strings Attached was also short listed for Best Author Published Read!.

Mandy writes strong contemporary romance and characters you’ll fall in love with. Previously self-published, she was signed by US
mandy baggotpublishing house Sapphire Star Publishing in January 2012. Shortly afterwards she became a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Mandy is a self-confessed Twitter addict who also likes to show off her singing talents on You Tube – check out Lady Gaga! She has auditioned for X Factor, appeared on ITV1s Who Dares Sings and longs to duet with Bryan Adams. She also has a fondness for white wine, mashed potato, country music and World’s Strongest Man.

Mandy lives near Salisbury in Wiltshire, UK with her husband, two daughters and two cats called Kravitz and Springsteen.

You can find out more on Mandy’s website
http://mandybaggot.com

or check out her author page at Sapphire Star Publishing
http://www.sapphirestarpublishing.com/mandybaggot

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Book Review of WHAT HAVE I DONE by Amanda Prowse

what have i doneKathryn Brooker is the headmaster’s wife. While her husband spends his days disciplining unruly teenagers in the grand halls of Mountbriers Academy, Kathryn spends hers baking scones for her son’s cricket match in a beautiful cottage in the manicured school grounds.

In the evenings, when her husband strides home to compliment her cooking and kiss her hello – ignoring jokes from their children about grown-up lovebirds – Kathryn Brooker is the very picture of a fulfilled wife and mother. Anyone who peered through the downstairs sash window at the four figures sat easily around their scrubbed-pine kitchen table would see a happy family without a care in the world. They would envy Kathryn her perfect life.

But they would be wrong. Kathryn is trapped in a nightmare. And she is about to do something to change it. Something only a truly desperate woman would do…

My Review

Amanda Prowse was brought to my attention my Jera’s Jamboree book review site (see here for interview) and I was immediately intrigued by the sound of this book. I purchased it in digital format and was grabbed by the first page. I really wanted to find out what events had brought Kathryn Brooker to a police cell accused of murdering her husband.

What Have I Done really gets into the psyche of the characters and I couldn’t help but feel compassion for this woman who had suffered mental and physical abuse at the hands of her husband for many years. I found the book very moving and the writing full of emotion.

As Kathryn, I felt a tremendous amount of sorrow for her but as Kate I became almost like a proud parent, urging her on to better and better things.

A thought provoking, at times sad, read but one that is well worth it.

To find out more about Amanda Prowse, visit her website at www.amandaprowse.co.uk

Facebook www.facebook.com/AmandaProwseAuthor

Twitter : @MrsAmandaProwse

amanda prowse

A Little Announcement …

I am delighted to say my book United State of Love has been awarded the Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion.

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For those of you who are not aware of this award, basically it is given to books that have been through an anonymous reading panel and deemed to be of a high quality. If you want to find out more you can visit their website INDIE B.R.A.G. You can also see my book featured under their ‘romance’ section.

So after five months of waiting, I can now say I am officially a ‘2012 B.R.A.G.MedallionTM Honoree’.

And here is my book with its medallion

😀

united-state-of-love

Available in paperback and digital at

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Brag Medallion

Feed A Read

Barnes & Noble

You can find indieBRAG on Facebook HERE

Reviews

Amazon, seven 5* reviews and two 4* reviews

Kim The Bookworm

Lou Graham

Book Review of Gray Justice by Alan McDermott

gray justice

About the Book

Gray Justice is the fast-paced debut thriller from Alan McDermott. When a killer walks free from court, the victim’s father sees just two options: accept the judge’s decision; or take on the entire British justice system. Tom Gray chooses the latter and his crusade attracts instant worldwide media coverage. It was just what Tom was hoping for, but it brought him a lot more than he bargained for.
Gray Justice is much more than a simple tale of revenge: it’s a roller coaster ride with an ending you’ll never forget!

My Review

At first you could be forgiven for second guessing how the plot might go; an ex-SAS soldier seeking revenge for the unlawful death of his son and subsequent suicide of his wife. Cue ex-SAS guy blasting away with a semi-automatic rifle, car chases, fist fights, killing all the bad guys but ultimately coming out a hero.  Well, Gray Justice doesn’t quite go like that, it tackles the need for revenge in a rather unique way.

Gray Justice is a fast paced, action packed thriller. Yes, there was a shoot-em-up gun battle, explosions and death, but it wasn’t over-done and it was perfectly fitting of the plot.  The premise of Gray’s revenge was very thought provoking and it did make me stop and think. Without giving anything away, the method Gray uses to decide what justice to dish out is something that could prompt a healthy debate over a pint or two.

The ending wasn’t exactly what I was expecting and leaves the door open to the sequels which I shall definitely be reading.

Gray Justice is currently available FREE on Amazon.

About the author

alan mcdermott

Alan McDermott is a software developer from the south of England, married with beautiful twin daughters. When he isn’t creating critical applications for the NHS, he is writing action thrillers.

His debut novel, Gray Justice, has been very well received. The other two books in the series – Gray Resurrection and Gray Redemption – were released in 2012.

Alan is currently working on his fourth title.

You can follow Alan on Twitter through his @Jambalian account.

Alan blogs at http://jambalian.blogspot.co.uk/p/t.html

Book Review : No Such Thing As Immortality

I’m in love with … A VAMPIRE! 

NSTANever thought I’d say that, but Nathaniel Gray from Sarah Tranter’s novel ‘No Such Thing As … Immortality’ has stolen my heart. He is Mr Darcy with fangs.

‘I will protect you until the day I die … forever!’

A vampire does not have to feel any emotion not of his choosing. And Nathaniel Gray has spent two hundred years choosing not to feel. But when he accidentally runs Rowan Locke off the road, he is inexplicably flooded with everything she’s feeling, and that’s rage, and lots of it.

He is consumed with the need to protect Rowan at all costs including from himself. To Nate, what is happening is unthinkable and is pretty much as unbelievable as the existence of faeries. 

But you see, ‘There is no such thing as …immortality.’

My review

As you can probably tell from above, I absolutely adored Nathaniel Gray, the 250 year old vampire, from Derbyshire.

Quirky? Yes.

Humourous? Most definitely.

Intense? Oh yes.

Sexy? Hell, yes!

The supporting cast were great too, each with their own personality traits, Elizabeth was very sweet but had hidden depths and James’ dry sense of humour really made me laugh at times.

Nate and Rowan had a great relationship, very intense and the chemistry between the two sizzled right off the page.

Sarah Tranter has a very distinctive style of writing, one which I found refreshing and captivating. I’m not one for vampires, but I really bought into the whole idea. The plot was exciting and at times had me on the edge of my seat, I really didn’t know what was going to happen. This wasn’t just a love story, it had action and adventure in it too and a smattering of humour throughout.

A most excellent read and I am already looking forward to the next book in the series.

LINKS

sarah tranterSarah Tranter website

Twitter @sarah_tranter

Facebook : Sarah Tranter

Publishers ChocLit

AMAZON.CO.UK