Monday, March 27, 2017

Shady Place by David A. Byrne

**I received this book from the author, David A. Byrne, in exchange for my honest review**

5/5 Stars

Synopsis per Goodreads:
Shady Place is a fifty-five and up planned community in Florida. It’s full of vibrant seniors enjoying the the sunset years of their lives. Shady Place the novel is about those people.

Shady Place follows the antics and exploits of Jim Phillips, a retired police detective from Philadelphia, as he tries desperately to avoid contact with the outside world, but quickly finds himself sucked into the goings on around him.

Upon his arrival Jim is shocked to discover his new neighbor is his old nemesis, former mob boss Mike Johnson. Sensing a second chance to get his old enemy, Jim decides to concoct a way to finally finish what he started and put Mike behind bars. Jim’s actions set off a rivalry between the two that sees them competing at every turn, including for the affections of the beautiful widow Beverly Stanton.
The unlikely duo is forced to work together when it appears murder is afoot, but only they can see what is happening.  

Shady Place is the first book by up and coming author David "A" Byrne. (can't forget the A), I thought was brilliant for being a first novel. The world building was top notch. I pictured it occurring in Flagler Beach, or maybe Ponce Inlet somewhere, Ormond By The Sea. This cute retirement community that I can picture completely in my head. The characters I did imagine older than they were, only because my father is the same age as the main character and he's not retiring any time soon, but in my head I had this grumpy old men feel, with a huge infusion of jersey mafia/detective going on, right down to the accent. I hate to use the word "cute" but I just wanted to reach through the book and hug them all, I fell in love with Jim cause he's this cranky old guy that you can't help but love, and all the friends that he finds himself making a long the way.

I don't think Shady Place was meant to be this dark and serious detective book, so don't expect a lot of twist and turns and alley ways, to me it was fairly predictable, but the ride to the end was what I adored about the book, I found a lot of it hilarious. The book is straight forward, humorous and keeps you wanting to read more of it. Great Job!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Saven Denial (2.5) by Siobhan Davis

**I recieved this book from the author, Siobhan Davis, in exchange for my honest review
5/5 Stars

Synopsis per Goodreads:

My mother was right to fear me.
I’m an abomination.
And the world should be very afraid.

Sadie has been kidnapped by the Tor, the vindictive alien race who destroyed Thalassic City. As her past, present, and future collides, her worst nightmare looks set to become her shocking new reality.

A deliberate pawn in leader Griselda’s vengeful game, Sadie is horrified to learn the truth about her heritage and the destiny that’s already been mapped out for her. Refusing to cooperate, she risks paying the ultimate price for her defiance.

Love for Logan is her only motivation to stay alive. Saving him is the only thing that matters—the fate of the world depends upon it. While he may never forgive her, she’s determined to protect him. Until her dying breath.

Note from the author: This continues the story from where it left off in Saven Disclosure. This is not an optional novella but an essential read if you don't want to miss out on important plot developments.

Literally the second after I finished book number 2, I started this one.  The good news is I didn't start reading the series really until three books have come out, the bad news is I finished this one in no time at all, considering it's a novella, and now I have to wait until August.. AUGUST! ugh.  UGH!  I'm so impatient already.

This one started off RIGHT where the other one left.  So you absolutely NEED to read this one after you've finished book 2, and before you start book 3 (if you are coming in after 3 is out already).  This book covered so much in the short amount of pages it had, it really went into some answers that popped up through the first two books.  It also had the proper amount of turmoil and action that is so great about the series.

I love the fact that the author is exploring more of the sci-fi thing, I'm a huge sci-fi fan, I love it all, space, and time travel, and aliens and futuristic stuff, and technology that is only thought of in the minds of it's creators.  I can't wait to find out what happens 3 out yet?!

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Saven Disclosure by Siobhan Davis

**I recieved this book from the author, Siobhan Davis, in exchange for my honest review
5/5 Stars

Synopsis per Goodreads:

To protect Logan, I have no choice but to deceive him.
But I’m not the only one hiding the truth.
Will our love survive all the secrets and lies?

Enemy alien ships crowd the skies over Earth while the world waits with bated breath. The Saven have been exposed, and where once they were abhorred, they are now championed as our greatest ally and our only possible savior.

Logan and Sadie have been separated, and the longer he is gone, the more their love is tested by duty, doubts, and deception.

Sadie and Jarod have infiltrated the highest levels of government, but they are playing a dangerous game. Surrounded by people with conflicting agendas—hell-bent on using her for their own aim—Sadie is confused when the lines between good and evil are blurred. It’s impossible to tell friend from foe, and no one can be trusted.

When the full extent of the experiments taking place in Sector Twenty is disclosed, Sadie can no longer sit back and watch as the lower classes face a horrific fate. Racing to save her loved ones and mankind, she risks her own safety and the love she’s waited a lifetime for to do the right thing.

But no one thought to save her from herself.

I devoured this book in a day.  And that is pretty impressive considering 8 hours of today I was forced to work.  I constantly had my nose in my phone, I read while I was walking to and from my car, I read at lunch, I read at red lights (DONT JUDGE ME!) I read from the moment I got home, till the moment I finished.

I liked this book better than the first one, because there was a LOT in this one.  A lot of everything, from romance to action to betrayal to heartbreak.  I'm not fond of the on and off again relationship thing, so that was aggravating, but it all came together, everything came with a price, and lies were a big theme in this book, lies to protect the people you love.  There were some parts that were pretty annoying, like why on earth would she agree to do some of the things she agreed to do?  Why can't people just freaking communicate!?  WHY!?  As the book progressed things made more sense, the WHY!?!? was answered.  The characters became more loveable.

Of course she left it on a cliffhanger too.. so..I hated the author for about 2.5 seconds, until I read the authors note at the end of it.  And one of the first things she said in there was Don't hate me! LOL.  She's definitely got the cliffhanger thing down.

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Saven Deception by Siobhan Davis

**I recieved this book from the author, Siobhan Davis, in exchange for my honest review
5/5 Stars

Synopsis per Goodreads:

I’ve fallen hard for an alien, but he’s harboring secrets.
Massive secrets that threaten the very essence of humanity.
How can I give him my heart when his race plans on taking my future?

Sadie Owens has been slowly dying inside. Bit by bit, piece by piece, day by day. Trapped in a life she hates, she relies on only one person—herself.

Despised by her family and betrayed by an unscrupulous government, Sadie dreams of a different life. When she is chosen to participate in the government’s new social experiment, she is ecstatic at the prospect of spending six months in Thalassic City, the shiny new city under the sea.

Immediately drawn to Logan Chandler, Sadie is captivated by the beautiful boy with the ocean-blue eyes. Logan seems to embody everything that has been forbidden, but he isn’t all he appears to be.

Confused over Logan’s true intentions and concerned when best friend Jenna starts transforming in front of her eyes, Sadie partners with newcomer Jarod in a bid to uncover the government’s real agenda. The truth is more shocking than anything she could ever have imagined.

When Sadie finally understands why the Saven walk among us, will it be too late to save her heart and the human race?

After taking a long forced retirement from blogging and obsessively reading, due to cracked screens and broken nooks, I have finally started on book one of the Saven series.  It's only fitting though that I do my first review in forever and ever, on a book written by Siobhan Davis, who if you look back on past reviews, is one of my favorite authors.  I've loved and absorbed every single book she's written so far, and I am so completely honored to have the chance to read this one as well.

I think this book was wonderful, I love the attention to detail, and the ability that the author has to draw you in and make you picture exactly what is going on.  I also loved the ability that the author has to make you feel for characters and the life that they were dealt.

The main character Sadie comes from a low class caste system of society, shes stifled and suffocated by her job that she was forced to quit school to start doing,   She applies to go to Thalassic City, for 6 months for a chance at a better life, and she's accepted.  When she gets there she meets Logan, a guy who she has a very strong connection to.  As we go through the book we learn there's more to the opportunity than meets the eye. The characters were likeable, Sadie was a bit niave and immature at times and make me wanna throttle her, but she's still a work in progress, we don't go from a sheltered exsistance to complete awesome in a few chapters.  Logan was dreamy, I felt like we should see more of him though, a lot of the book was the angst and back and forth I love you, NO I have to stay away from you! but I love you!  Dante was the perfect villian, total douche, I hated him enough that I wanted to throw my phone a few times.

There's a lot of teenage angst and love and sparks, and drama.  There are some parts of the book that were completely and utterly gutwrenching.  And the ending leaves you with more questions than you know what to do with.   I can't wait to read the 2nd installment.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

No Excuses: A Memoir by Derrick Coleman Jr.

**I didn't receive this book from anyone, I purchased the hard cover version at Barnes and Noble in Daytona Beach, Florida as a birthday gift for myself**
5/5 Stars
Synopsis per Goodreads:
The first deaf athlete to play offense in the NFL (and win a Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks!) relates his inspirational story of hard work and determination in his own words. Great for readers of all ages.

The inspirational memoir from the popular current Seattle Seahawks running back Derrick Coleman Jr., who, in just his second year in the NFL, won the 2014 Super Bowl with the Seahawks. Showcasing his unlikely and challenging journey to become the first deaf offensive NFL player, he talks about overcoming internal obstacles and external obstacles (bullies and naysayers) in the course of reaching your true potential.

I'd like to start out first by explaining myself before I dive into my review.  I had no idea who Derrick Coleman Jr was until I saw his Duracell commercial in the middle of the season that the Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014.  Once I saw it, I jumped the bandwagon.  I became a Seahawks fan.  I have been cheering hard ever since, I don't care who taunts me for jumping the bandwagon, I am player #12.  I cried hard when they lost their second bid at the Super Bowl.  I cheered even harder when I heard #40 was returning from his injury this year.  Who is number 40? why Derrick of course.  He is the first deaf offensive NFL player in the history of NFL.  He's the first, but thanks to doors opening, he won't be the last, I just know it.  Why do I care?  I myself am hard of hearing.  I wear bilateral hearing aids (both ears) since I was 3 years old.  When I saw the commercial and read the closed captioning of what he was narrating, my soul jumped up and down and screamed YES! he knows what I'm talking about!  Right now I am 34 years old, I am a single mom, but while I'm not a professional sports player, I am pretty rare in my choice of a career, not many people can say they know a deaf medical assistant.  Yep, I'm in the medical field.  I have a special stethoscope to hear blood pressures with, and I have to concentrate extra hard on both patients and the Doctors that I work with, not all of them like to look at you and speak clearly.  So..yes, my soul rejoiced when I learned about Mr. Coleman.  Enough about me! lets get on with it!

I have read this book twice now.  TWICE.  Once because I inhaled it, then a second time because I wanted to make sure I didn't miss anything by inhaling it.

This book was well written, it was an easy read, I don't normally pick up biographies to read, I have enough going on in my own life to read about someone else's drama.  But being who he is, and his message of positivity that he talks about frequently, his helping of children who are also deaf, and everything that he represents, I wanted to read it.  Turns out he really does understand.  Most everything he talked about in his book, I felt or dealt with in some way, from the hearing aids batteries, to behind the ear headphones.  Being picked on and called stupid and told no.  How we don't know how we sound without them and usually end up shouting.  Having to wear the giant box around our necks and handing each teacher a microphone to speak into.  How we are dead to the world when we sleep without them, and Elementary school is just plain BRUTAL.  but fear not, because like him, I experienced the friends and surge in popularity too in Middle school, and especially high school.  I enjoyed reading about the things he went through, his football days, how he didn't get drafted, how it made him feel.  I loved how he didn't dwell on the details of his being bullied in elementary school, instead focusing on trying not to remember it, because he has moved past it.  He and I are worlds apart, I am in Florida, I am older, I am a mom, I love to watch NFL, but if I tried to play it id be sat out within seconds I haven't learned the coordination, but when I read the words of his books, I was right there with him going OMG YES! me too! and not knowing anyone else like myself really, it was awe inspiring to know that I AM NOT ALONE!

Derrick Coleman Jr is humble, he strikes me as the type of person by the tone in his voice that is down to earth, easy to talk to and 100% real.  He inspires so many people, so many kids, and obviously so many adults, but he doesn't see the big deal, because all he had to do was work for it, work hard for it, and if he can do it, so can so many others out there, right?  he's really inspiring to so many.

I so very highly recommend this book to everyone, not just the hard of hearing community, but to everyone because he really is inspiring, his mantra Be Yourself and No Excuses are truly words that everyone can grasp and live by.  Thank you Derrick Coleman Jr for being who you are!  You are an awesome guy.

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Memory House by Bette Lee Crosby

**I received this book from the author in exchanged for my honest review**

4/5 Stars

Synopsis per Goodreads:

Ophelia Browne knows the answer is yes. She knows because she’s been granted the unique gift of finding and caring for those forgotten memories. But now she’s nearing ninety, and Browne women seldom live beyond ninety. 

Before time runs out Ophelia must find a successor. Someone who can take hold of the gifts and keep the memories from fading. 

When broken-hearted Annie Cross shows up on the doorstep of The Memory House Bed and Breakfast, Ophelia knows she is the one. The two women forge a bond of friendship as they sip magical dandelion tea and share stories. When Annie starts to sense the memories Ophelia is delighted, but then a thread of violence begins to unravel and Ophelia fears things have gone too far.

I loved the synopsis, it seemed right up my ally, cute with a bit of phenomenon in it.  The author also contacted me right about the time when I was a little bit over smutty romance and things like that, I wanted something more contemporary.

I loved the bond of friendship between Annie and Ophelia, I often found myself wondering if they were related through some sort of distant link.  The dynamics of their relationship seemed more than friendship, almost mother/daughter.  I liked the character and world building, I almost wanted to go to the bed and breakfast myself.

This was the first book I have read by this author, I was immediately swept into it, i loved all the little stories and memories that Annie discovered, I'd wished I could have learned more beyond what she learned, but at the end of the book the author revealed they were characters in her other books.  So I do have the chance of hearing the stories. How exciting.

This was a really cute story, I thank the author for allowing me the reading pleasure.

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Saturday, February 28, 2015

For the love of Ash by Taylor Lavati

**I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review**

4/5 Stars

Synopsis per Goodreads:
Maggie Larken is a reformed party girl. After her parent’s death, she’s left to raise Asher, her nine-year-old brother. 

Luke Wilson has done everything his parents have ever asked of him. A new teacher, Luke constantly questions where is life is headed. 

When Luke and Maggie meet, neither is in the market for a relationship. But sometimes life has other plans. Both navigate new waters as they try to decide where their priorities should lie, while also seizing what they want. 

In this heartbreakingly real tale of love, Maggie and Luke discover what being a family truly means. 

*This book is a standalone and NOT part of a series. This book contains mature content

I enjoyed this book, the main character wasn't a simpering idiot, she was strong, she took care of her brother and adopted him as her own, despite her young age, and is doing everything in her power to raise him right.  She does a better job than most single moms out there.  I loved it.  I love a strong main character.  This book was easy to read, and was also well written, good world building and character building.  I loved the characters and world building, the cover was beautiful.

Luke was a strong male character as well, with family burdens on his shoulder too, though in this day in age the burdens he has to bear, are easy enough to resolve with a phone call, it was never fully explained to me why things didn't get reported.   I liked how he stepped up though, both for his family and for Maggie.

Some of the substories with other minor characters in there didn't really have a good resolution, which kinda irritated me, and the ending felt really rushed, but other than that, I do recommend the book.

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