Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Audible Book Review - TINK'S NEVERLAND (Cosmos' Gateway Book 1) by S E Smith

Title: Tink's Neverland (Cosmos' Gateway, Book 1)
Author: S E Smith
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Montana Publishing
Release Date: March 31, 2012


About the Book:

She touched his hand, and everything changed....

Jasmine “Tinker” Bell has always had a love for life, looking forward to any new adventure that happens to come along, but when a friend’s experiment creates a portal to another world, she finds herself immersed in far more adventure than she ever dreamed.

J’kar ’Tag Krell Manok had given up hope of ever finding his bond mate. Then a pint-size female unlike anything he has ever seen suddenly appears on his spaceship to save the life of his brother, and disappears just as suddenly. He will do anything, follow her anywhere, to get her back - and he just might be able to do that, because she left a very important piece of technology behind...

Discover new worlds, new species, and the hilarity that can ensue when Tink, an eternally optimistic, quirky, small town mechanic meets J’kar, a serious Prime warrior from a far-off galaxy who is used to being in control!

Internationally acclaimed S.E. Smith presents a new action-packed story full of adventure and romance. Brimming with her signature humor, vivid scenes, and beloved characters, this book is sure to be another fan favorite!
Buy Links: Amazon 
Buyer's Note:  Such a great deal!  If you read on Kindle, this book is currently free on Kindle Unlimited, and if you are a member of Audible Escape (formerly known as Audible's Romance Package) you can get it free there as well!


My Review:

If you are a fan of S. E. Smith's Dragon Lords of Valdier series, you are going to love TINK'S NEVERLAND and the Cosmos' Gateway series!  The plot line is somewhat similar, but with a new world and a very real hunky alien man (not a dragon).  

Ms. Smith's books are so much fun to listen to on Audible. Her characters are strong and feisty with an adorable soft side as well. And they are hot. I mean, really, really HOT. Another book that is not for the kiddies. This one is very adult, but with a lot of humor. I mean, a LOT of humor. I couldn't help smiling as I listened.

The story was a bit slow to start, with a lot of background being brought out, but once the story got going, I could not put it down!  Loved all the Sci-Fi stuff, especially RITA. There was a bit of a cliffhanger, or unfinished business, but that's okay. It was a truly fun book to listen to. Can't wait to read more in this series!    

My Rating:

About the Author:
Don't miss out on free ebooks and Audiobooks by visiting http://sesmithfl.com! 

~The true magic of a story is one that gives you the power to believe that you are in control of your destiny. ~ S.E. Smith

The biggest responses from readers are how much they enjoy rereading my stories and the connection they have with the characters. Family, friends, loyalty, and true romance wrapped in vivid, believable worlds create stories you can connect with and leave you feeling empowered! If you are looking for a new type of reading experience, step into the Worlds of S.E. Smith and discover the magic!

S.E. Smith is a New York Times, USA TODAY, International and Award-winning Bestselling author of Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Western Time Travel, and Paranormal Romance. Her addictive story lines bring action, adventure, and suspense-filled tales mixed with humor and romance to readers around the world. 

She has also written emotionally charged, action-packed stories for Young Adults and children that will take them on a journey they will never forget. Her stories cross a variety of genres and she is proud to share these amazing adventures with readers. 

S.E. Smith Awards

New York Times Bestselling Author https://www.nytimes.com/books/best-sellers/2015/04/19/e-book-fiction
USA TODAY Bestselling Author
International and Award winning Bestselling Author
2017 Library Journal Best Book Top 5 Pick
2016/2017 Wishing Shelf Book Award Winner and Finalist for Young Adult
2016 Library Journal Best Book Top 5 Pick
2016 SFR Galaxy Award Winner for Best Antho and Best Menagerie Scifi 
2014 & 2015 RomCon Reader Crown Award Winner
Indie Reader Top 10 Author
2014 International TKH Science Fiction Writer of the Year Award Winner
2014 SFR Galaxy Award Winner Best New SFR Series
2014 IRC Nominated Best Author


Monday, June 24, 2019

Audible Book Review - WORKING GIRL by Shana Gray

Title: Working Girl
Author: Shana Gray
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 6, 2018


About the Book:
A sexy seven-day job interview. Seven irresistible interviewers. Who will she choose at the end of the week?
Working Girl is a sexy new story, perfect for fans of Audrey Carlan's Calendar Girl, Helen Hardt and Rhyannon Byrd.
Tess has been determined to get revenge for her father, ever since he was falsely accused of misusing company funds and unceremoniously let go from Diamond Enterprises. Applying to be Executive Assistant to the elusive, elderly head of the company, Mr King, seems the ideal way to get inside the firm and clear his name.
But the job interview is not what she expects. Arriving at the company HQ, she is escorted to a helicopter, blindfolded and flown to a secret location. She meets a man whose voice is disguised, but introduces himself as Mr King and says the job advertisement was a ruse to find the new CEO of Diamond Enterprises. The catch, the interviewer says, is that the job will only be hers if she passes a seven-day interview.
Tess will have seven mysterious men who will assist her - one for each task each day. She will have to use all of her skills if she's to succeed and to resist the powerful magnetism of the irresistible men sent to help - or distract - her. Or will Tess find herself losing her heart when she meets her man of the week?
Mr Monday, Mr Tuesday, Mr Wednesday, Mr Thursday, Mr Friday, Mr Saturday, Mr Sunday. Meet all seven in Working Girl - who will be your man of the week?

Buy Links: Amazon 
Note:  If you have the Audible Romance Package, this one is free!

My Review:

What starts out as a scheme for revenge turns into a dilemma Tess could not predict.  Author Shana Gray has created an interesting plot with a job interview like no other. In order to get the job, Tess had to agree to an extensive series of seven tests, one each day, and each day with a different delectable man! Although the ending was a bit predictable, the process of getting there was an enjoyable read.

I listened to Working Girl on Audible and the narrator was delightful.  I didn't want to stop listening!


My Rating:

About the Author:
Shana Gray writes contemporary romance and women's fiction that just might make you laugh. With 30 books behind her, some translated into multiple languages, she's always eyeing the next story line. 

She lives in a small town in Ontario, Canada, is a mom of two grown sons, a brand new daughter-in-law, and is her black cat's human. When she's not writing or at her day job, she can be found daydreaming about life, usually with a glass of wine or cocktail in hand and making travel plans to far off lands to feed her wanderlust. Her newest series - Girl's Weekend Away - is out now.

Shana is represented by Louise Fury of The Bent Agency.

Visit her online at shanagray.com
Twitter @shanagray_
Facebook: Shana Gray

And if you would like to meet Shana Gray in person, come find her at the Coastal Magic Convention in Daytona Beach in February 2020!  Find out more at CoastalMagicConvention.com  




Sunday, June 23, 2019

Ramblings and Recipes - Unpack and Re-pack for Upcoming Events

After a whirlwind trip to Greece, Italy, France and Spain, I am finally home and have managed to wade through my seven loads of laundry and mountain of mail. 

The trip was fantastic! We stopped in the Orlando area to pick up my daughter, Jamie, and my grandson James. We then flew to Athens, Greece, where we met my other daughter, Tracy. The five of us spent several days in an absolutely gorgeous villa at the foot of the Acropolis. A walk out our back door took us to the heart of Plaka, the quaint shopping and restaurant center of the Athens area. And a glance from our rooftop terrace gave us a some great views. 



The photo to the left is of my daughter Tracy sitting outside in our very private patio area of the villa, surrounded by lemon trees, an orange tree, an olive tree and many flowering plants. It was so peaceful and so beautiful! Great place to sip a glass of wine at the end of the day!

We hated to leave Greece and the wonderful food and people, but our itinerary demanded we fly to Rome where we boarded our cruise ship, the Norwegian Epic, for a seven day cruise up the western coast of Italy, over to southern France and to Barcelona before heading back to Naples and to Rome.  


We had one major mishap on our ship. A very sad situation. It seems that a female passenger was missing and suspected to have gone overboard. The ship turned around and we spent many hours searching for her. Passengers left whatever they were doing to assist in looking for her. Spain sent helicopters and search planes and numerous boats. Unfortunately, she was not found. The search was called off and we continued on our journey, although my heart was left there, in the middle of the sea, with the family whose loved one was lost.

We eventually ended our cruise at the Port of Civitavecchia near Rome. A few more days in Rome topped off our trip! 

Among all the places we visited, including the flower market in Sorrento, the Collisium in Rome, the ruins of Pompeii, and so much more, I think my favorite was in Vatican City. The grandeur and awe-inspiring beauty of the Sistine Chappel and St. Peter's Basilica went straight to my inner soul. A photo can't capture the intense beauty of it all. 

Oh!  And the coffee! Europeans really know how to drink coffee.

And yes, hubby and I tossed a coin into Trevi Fountain to ensure that we will indeed return to Rome one day!


After getting home, unpacking my bags and doing some hefty laundry, I am now re-packing my bags and preparing to head out again!  

This time I am heading to the Cape Canaveral area.  I will be on my way to the Space Coast Book Lovers Convention!

There will be over 70 (or is it 80 now?) fabulous authors and all kinds of reader activities! This is a well-planned event that I thoroughly enjoy attending each year. Will I see you there? 

For more information, go to https://www.spacecoastbooklovers.com/





Thursday, June 20, 2019

Book Review - THE NEGOTIATOR by Avery Flynn

Title: The Negotiator
Author: Avery Flynn
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: April 24, 2017


About the Book:
Wanted: Personal Buffer 
Often snarly, workaholic executive seeks “buffer” from annoying outside distractions AKA people. Free spirits with personal boundary issues, excessive quirks, or general squeamishness need not apply. Salary negotiable. Confidentiality required.

Workaholic billionaire Sawyer Carlyle may have joked he needed a buffer from their marriage-obsessed mom, but he didn’t need a waiting room filled with candidates to further distract him. (Thanks, bro.) But when a sexy job applicant shooes his mom and the socialite in tow out of his office, Sawyer sees the genius of the plan. And the woman. In fact, Miss Clover Lee might just get the fastest promotion in history, from buffer to fake fiancĂ©...
This free-spirit might look like hot sunshine and lickable rainbows, but she negotiates like a pitbull. Before Sawyer knows what hit him, he’s agreed to give up Friday nights for reality tv, his Saturdays for flea markets (why buy junk still baffles him), his Tuesdays and Thursdays for date nights (aka panty-losing opportunities if he plays his cards right). And now she wants lavender bath salts and tulips delivered every Monday?
Yup, she’s just screwing with him. Good thing she’s got this non-negotiatable six-weeks-and-she’s-gone rule or Sawyer may have just met this match..
 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36687436-face-off
Buy Links: Amazon 
Note:  If you have the Audible Romance Package, this one is free!

My Review:

Okay.  You may be thinking that the whole "Billionaire boss and lowly female employee romance" is a bit overdone, but you haven't read Avery Flynn's take on the subject.  I loved this book!  Yes, it is spicy and hot, but these characters are awesome!  Clover (who is absolutely NOT a plain Jane) is a strong, snarky, intelligent lady who can definitely match the almighty Sawyer Carlyle when it comes to negotiations.

I could not put this book down.  Steamy at times, but the story was really good with well developed, likeable characters.

Sorry kiddies!  This one is strictly for adults.

My Rating:

About the Author:
Avery Flynn is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling romance author. She has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip.

She was a reader before she was a writer and hopes to always be both. She loves to write about smartass alpha heroes who are as good with a quip as they are with their *ahem* other God-given talents. Her heroines are feisty, fierce and fantastic. Brainy and brave, these ladies know how to stand on their own two feet and knock the bad guys off theirs.

Find out more about Avery on her website (averyflynn.com), follow her on Twitter (@AveryFlynn) and Pinterest (pinterest.com/AveryFlynnBooks), and like her on her Facebook page (facebook.com/AveryFlynnAuthor). 

Join her street team, The Flynnbots, and receive special sneak peeks, prizes and early access to her latest releases!

Also, if you figure out how to send Oreos through the Internet, she'll be your best friend for life.

Contact her at avery@averyflynn.com. She'd love to hear from you!  

And if you would like to meet Avery Flynn in person, come find her at the Coastal Magic Convention in Daytona Beach in February 2020!  Find out more at CoastalMagicConvention.com





Sunday, June 2, 2019

Ramblings & Recipes - Greek Villas and Great Food

Things will be slow here at The Novel Lady for a few weeks. 

This is a special time for me and my husband. A special time that deserves a special vacation.

As you read this, I will be relaxing with a bottle of wine and some amazing Greek Food for the next several days. We have rented a villa in the shadow of the Acropolis near Athens, Greece, where we will wrap ourselves completely in the culture and do our best to tour much of the area.  

This is my first time to Greece, so I'm truly excited about it!  

Here are a few pictures of the villa, and I will be sharing many more by the time we get back home.

Can you picture yourself joining me here for a glass of wine?  Or maybe a cappuccino and some baklava?

And the holiday doesn't end here!  After several days in Greece we will fly to Rome where we will board our cruise ship and travel toward many more wonderful destinations in Italy, France and Spain and more.

When I can, I will post more here and on my Facebook page.


Double Nut Baklava
(Found at www.tasteofhome.com)

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 cups sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1-1/4 cups butter, melted
  • 1 package phyllo dough (16 ounces, 14x9-inch-sheet size), thawed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup honey

Directions

  • 1. In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients; set aside. Brush a 13x9-in. baking pan with some of the butter. Unroll the sheets of phyllo dough; trim to fit into pan.
  • 2. Layer 10 sheets of phyllo in prepared pan, brushing each with butter. (Keep remaining dough covered with plastic wrap and a damp towel to prevent it from drying out.) Sprinkle with a third of the nut mixture. Repeat layers twice. Top with five phyllo sheets, brushing each with butter. Brush top sheet of phyllo with butter.
  • 3. Using a sharp knife, cut into diamond shapes. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • 4. In a small saucepan, bring the sugar, water and honey to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes. Pour hot syrup over baklava. Cover and let stand overnight.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Book Review - THE TUSCAN CHILD by Rhys Bowen

Title: The  Tuscan Child
Author: Rhys Bowen
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: February 20, 2018


About the Book:
From New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Rhys Bowen comes a haunting novel about a woman who braves her father’s hidden past to discover his secrets…
“Pass the bread, the olives, and the wine. Oh, and a copy of The Tuscan Child to savor with them.” —NPR
In 1944, British bomber pilot Hugo Langley parachuted from his stricken plane into the verdant fields of German-occupied Tuscany. Badly wounded, he found refuge in a ruined monastery and in the arms of Sofia Bartoli. But the love that kindled between them was shaken by an irreversible betrayal.
Nearly thirty years later, Hugo’s estranged daughter, Joanna, has returned home to the English countryside to arrange her father’s funeral. Among his personal effects is an unopened letter addressed to Sofia. In it is a startling revelation.
Still dealing with the emotional wounds of her own personal trauma, Joanna embarks on a healing journey to Tuscany to understand her father’s history—and maybe come to understand herself as well. Joanna soon discovers that some would prefer the past be left undisturbed, but she has come too far to let go of her father’s secrets now… 

My Review:
As I was sitting and planning my trip to Italy, I came across this book that looked quite intriguing. Of course I had to order The Tuscan Child! And I must say that once I started it, I could not put it down.

The story starts out with a British bomber pilot being shot down in Italy in WWII, reading from his perspective, and feeling the anxiety he would have experienced being fearful of being discovered by the German soldiers as he parachuted down. 

Then the story skips back and forth from Hugo Langley in 1944 and his daughter Joanna in 1973. Normally I don't care for stories that skip back and forth in time that way, but Rhys Bowen was masterful in building the mystery and suspense and allowing the reader to find the answers little by little.

The Tuscan Child was one of the better historical fiction books I've read in quite some time.  This author made me feel like I was right there in Tuscany, drinking the wine and tasting the olives.


My Rating:

About the Author:
Rhys Bowen is the New York Times bestselling author of two historical mystery series as well as the #1Kindle bestseller In Farleigh Field and the international bestseller The Tuscan Child. 

In Farleigh Field was nominated for the Edgar Award, won the Agatha award for best historical mystery as well as the Bruce Alexander Memorial Award.

Rhys was born in Bath, England and educated at London University but now divides her time between California and Arizona. Her books have been nominated for every major mystery award and she has won fourteen of them to date. 

She currently writes two historical mystery series, each very different in tone. The Molly Murphy mysteries feature an Irish immigrant woman in turn-of-the-century New York City. These books are multi-layered, complex stories with a strong sense of time and place and have won many awards including Agatha and Anthony. There are 17 books so far in this series plus three Kindle stories, The Amersham Rubies, Through the Window and The Face in the Mirror--a great way to introduce new readers to Molly's spunky personality.

Then there is Lady Georgie, Rhys's latest,and very popular, heroine. She's 35th in line to the throne of England, but she's flat broke and struggling to survive in the Great Depression. These books are lighter and funnier than Molly's adventures. They poke gentle fun at the British class system--about which Rhys knows a lot, having married into an upper class family rather like Georgie's, with cousins with silly nicknames,family ghosts and stately homes. The twelfth book in the series, Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding, will be published August 2018. Two books in the series have won the Agatha award for best historical mystery.
The series received the Readers Choice Award for favorite mystery series and Rhys was nominated for career achievement. It was also voted one of Goodreads top 10 cozy mysteries. The books have been translated into many languages and brought Rhys fans from around the world.

Her most recent achievement has been the big World War 2 stand-alone novels, In Farleigh Field and The Tuscan Child. They have enjoyed impressive sales world-wide and brought Rhys many new readers.

As a child Rhys spent time with relatives in Wales. Those childhood experiences colored her first mystery series, about Constable Evans in the mountains of Snowdonia. 10 books including the Edgar nominee Evan's Gate. She has lived in Austria, Germany and Australia, but has called California her home for many years. She now escapes to a condo in Arizona during those cold California winters. When she's not writing she loves to travel, sing, hike, paint and play the Celtic harp.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Book Review - CAPTURING CARA by S E Smith

Title: Capturing Cara - Book 2 of Dragon Lords of Valdier
Author: S E Smith
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Montana Publishing
Release Date: April 26, 2012


About the Book:

Cara Truman is a pint-size pistol whose inquisitive nature has gotten her into trouble on more than one occasion, but this adventure took her farther than she ever expected – on a journey out of this world!

Trelon Reykill thought he had his hands full. A militant group of Curizans had captured his brother Zoran, and he was busy trying to fortify the Valdier defenses against the Sarafin Warriors, even as his dragon was roaring for him to find a mate. He was furious about the first, excited about the second, and pissed about the last. The last thing he expected to find on the primitive planet his brother has taken refuge on was his true mate. 

Now, he has a whole new set of problems… capturing Cara long enough to make her his. His symbiot loves her, his dragon wants her, and he can’t catch her. On top of all that, someone is trying to kill her. 

Internationally acclaimed S.E. Smith presents a new action-packed story full of romance and adventure. Brimming with her signature humor, vivid landscapes, and beloved characters, this book is sure to be another fan favorite!

Please be advised this book contains graphic content.
Buy Links: Amazon 


My Review:

This was such a fun book! After reading Abducting Abby, Book 1 of this series, I knew I had to read more. Again, although I started reading the paperback book, I went ahead and purchased the audio version as well. The humor and fantasy made my long drive so much more fun while listening to this book.  I highly recommend the Audible version.

Cara is an energetic, fiesty, inquisitive, brilliant little gal who can certainly put a dominating Dragon Lord in his place!  I loved her character!

Although a bit of the first book is recapped from Cara's perspective, I still strongly advise that you read Book 1 before reading this one. As for me, I'm off to find Book 3 of this series!!

Note:  I met the author, Susan Smith, at the Coastal Magic Book Convention back in February. What a delightful lady and a fabulous story-teller!! She gifted me the paperback book and autographed it for me, something I will treasure for years to come.  


My Rating:

About the Author:
Don't miss out on free ebooks and Audiobooks by visiting http://sesmithfl.com! 

~The true magic of a story is one that gives you the power to believe that you are in control of your destiny. ~ S.E. Smith

The biggest responses from readers are how much they enjoy rereading my stories and the connection they have with the characters. Family, friends, loyalty, and true romance wrapped in vivid, believable worlds create stories you can connect with and leave you feeling empowered! If you are looking for a new type of reading experience, step into the Worlds of S.E. Smith and discover the magic!

S.E. Smith is a New York Times, USA TODAY, International and Award-winning Bestselling author of Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Western Time Travel, and Paranormal Romance. Her addictive story lines bring action, adventure, and suspense-filled tales mixed with humor and romance to readers around the world. 

She has also written emotionally charged, action-packed stories for Young Adults and children that will take them on a journey they will never forget. Her stories cross a variety of genres and she is proud to share these amazing adventures with readers. 

S.E. Smith Awards

New York Times Bestselling Author https://www.nytimes.com/books/best-sellers/2015/04/19/e-book-fiction
USA TODAY Bestselling Author
International and Award winning Bestselling Author
2017 Library Journal Best Book Top 5 Pick
2016/2017 Wishing Shelf Book Award Winner and Finalist for Young Adult
2016 Library Journal Best Book Top 5 Pick
2016 SFR Galaxy Award Winner for Best Antho and Best Menagerie Scifi 
2014 & 2015 RomCon Reader Crown Award Winner
Indie Reader Top 10 Author
2014 International TKH Science Fiction Writer of the Year Award Winner
2014 SFR Galaxy Award Winner Best New SFR Series
2014 IRC Nominated Best Author


Author's Note: For those who wonder, I did not write "Phoenix". I hope this doesn't cause too much confusion! Thank you, (the other)~S.E. Smith~

 

The Novel Lady Published @ 2014 by Ipietoon