Wednesday, July 19, 2017

CALL TO ENGAGE ~ A blog for those romance lovers who I've been neglecting all these years

   Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  Publisher: HQN Books (June 27, 2017)
  ISBN: 0373801963

The Poseidon team are hard-bodied, fiercely competitive Navy SEALs. But when a sensitive mission goes disastrously wrong, three of the team’s finest will have to trust their hearts and instincts to uncover the truth…

Lieutenant Elijah Prescott should be spending his precious leave somewhere with sun, surf and scantily clad women. Instead, he’s heading home with two goals in mind. Figure out exactly how his last assignment went to hell and almost killed him—and reconnect with the woman who might offer salvation.

Ava Monroe has streamlined her life, eliminating every source of pain—including a marriage touched by tragedy. One glimpse of her ex and those good intentions turn to bad-girl desires. Her strategy: get over Elijah by getting under him again, sating herself until she can finally let go. But as betrayal within the rank of the SEALs turns deadly, there’s no denying that her heart and her life are on the line. Elijah is the only man who can protect both…

“This hot and sexy adventure takes readers on a thrilling ride of romance, secrets, and SEALs.” –RT Book Reviews

“Reminiscent of Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series, Weber’s latest will appeal to her fans as well as other military-romance readers.” –Booklist

“I love a good SEAL romance and Tawny Weber knocked this one out the park. Don’t miss it!” –USA Today bestselling author Karen French
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Where is CALL TO ENGAGE from the author Tawny Weber

One of the things I love about reading is visiting so many new places from the comfort of a book.  Thanks to stories, I’ve visited every state in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, most of Europe, Greece and Egypt, outer space, and Middle Earth.  Sometimes those visits are brief, almost like seeing them from the window of an airplane as we fly over.  Other times it’s like being immersed in the culture.  

That’s something I like to keep in mind when I write my own stories.  I tend to set them in California since not only is it a beautiful state with a variety of interesting locales, it’s a place I know well.  My SEALs are based in Coronado, just outside of San Diego, so much of my series is in that gorgeous, sunny area. But for CALL TO ENGAGE, I wanted to bring in a little of Northern California, closer to home.  I’d thought about San Francisco, but since I love the wine country, with its rolling hills and gorgeous colors, its history, and gourmet sensibilities, I went there instead. There’s a relaxed feeling to that area that I wanted to bring into the story, and to my hero since he’d been through so much.  Where better to make life choices than home, I thought? Especially when home is filled with serenity and expectations.  

I’d love to know–have you visited California?  Do you have a favorite area?  And what is the most exciting locale you’ve enjoyed in a story?  

New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling author of more than forty books, Tawny Weber loves writing about sexy heroes, most notably her popular Navy SEALs series. Her sassy, emotional romances are filled with men dedicated to being the best—and women determined to have the best. Tawny credits her ex-military alpha husband for inspiration in her writing, and in her life. The recipient of numerous writing accolades, including Romantic Times Reviewers Choice and in addition to the NY Times and USA Today bestseller lists, Tawny has also hit the number one spot on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

A homeschooling mom, Tawny enjoys scrapbooking, gardening and spending time with her family and dogs in her Northern California home.

Tawny Weber’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Wednesday, July 12th: Reading Lark After Dark
Monday, July 17th: Books a la Mode – excerpt
Wednesday, July 19th: Bewitched Bookworms
Thursday, July 20th: Readaholic Zone – excerpt
Monday, July 24th: A Fortress of Books
Wednesday, July 26th: Snowdrop Dreams – excerpt
Monday, July 31st: Staircase Wit
Thursday, August 3rd: Jathan & Heather
Friday, August 4th: Becky on Books
Monday, August 7th: Book Nerd
Wednesday, August 9th: The Romance Dish
Monday, August 14th: Moonlight Rendezvous
Wednesday, August 16th: What I’m Reading
Friday, August 18th: Books and Spoons – excerpt

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Review of MY SISTER'S BONE ~ Mind Blowing

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (July 11, 2017)
ISBN: 0062661965

Rivals The Girl on the Train as a compulsive read
(and beats it for style). — Observer (UK)

In the vein of Fiona Barton's The Widow and RenĂ©e Knight's Disclaimer, a psychological thriller about a war reporter who returns to her childhood home after her mother's death but becomes convinced that all is not well in the house next door—but is what she’s seeing real or a symptom of the trauma she suffered in Syria?

The One Person You Should Trust Is Lying to You…

Kate has spent fifteen years bringing global injustice home: as a decorated war reporter, she’s always in a place of conflict, writing about ordinary people in unimaginable situations. When her mother dies, Kate returns home from Syria for the funeral. But an incident with a young Syrian boy haunts her dreams, and when Kate sees a boy in the garden of the house next door—a house inhabited by an Iraqi refugee who claims her husband is away and she has no children—Kate becomes convinced that something is very wrong.

As she struggles to separate her memories of Syria from the quiet town in which she grew up—and also to reconcile her memories of a traumatic childhood with her sister’s insistence that all was not as Kate remembers—she begins to wonder what is actually true…and what is just in her mind.

In this gripping, timely debut, Nuala Ellwood brings us an unforgettable damaged character, a haunting, humanizing look at the Syrian conflict, and a deeply harrowing psychological thriller that readers won’t be able to put down.

MY SISTER’S BONES is a mind blowing suspense novel that you will only be able to put down for bathroom and subsistence breaks. Additionally, this is only Nuala Ellwood’s first book so waiting to see what she will come up with next to this reader feels like torture.

The plot is astoundingly penned including how the book itself is put together. The story flips back and forth between two different situations that the main character Kate is entangled in than about three-fourths of the way through the book there is a part two and finally, a part three where lo and behold during these intense transformations I literally felt as if I had been kicked in the gut. Generally, a reader is used to the emotional rollercoaster that a book, especially like this, can bring about, but I had never had a physical reaction to a book such as I did with this one indeed it was quite the surprise to me. Therefore, if this writer can bring on this reaction when no others before have just imagine the possibilities. The story keeps you on your toes wondering what's about to happen next leaving you in awe and perplexed. Throughout the book innumerable emotions are imposed upon you such as having your heart wrenched, bravery, a tad of joy and then there’s gruesomeness smacking you right upside the head. Also, a mystery saunters along with the plot holding you in its clutches along the way.   

I hear Paul’s voice through the clanking sound of a bell ringing somewhere on the edge of my consciousness. Then a hand clasps round my waist, a gust of cold air whips into my face and I am one the ground, shuffling on my belly towards the men. I feel blood in my mouth, congealing and thickening as I try to breathe. Then the sound of gunshot pummels the air. I put my head down, close my eyes and start to count, and when I open them I see his face.  

I was left with many questions because of this book. How fluid is our reality? We know from scientific studies that two people can witness the same event and their explanations will not be the same. How much emotional trauma can one individual take before they lose their marbles? Also, how stressful do things have to become in one's life before your mind tricks you into seeing things that do not exist? Then finally can one person have multiple forms of PTSD?    

It’s funny but whenever I think of you two girls I see you there on that beach with your mom...I’m blindsided by a memory...I’m digging in the sand with my fingertips, waiting for the touch of a jagged tooth, but instead my hand rests on something thick and hollow. I pull it out and sit back to examine my find. The object is black and has a criss-cross pattern indented into its surface. I run my fingers along it, delighting in in the rough sandpapery feel. It is my treasure, my secret, and I sit for a few minutes holding it to my chest like a sleeping baby...My mother is yelling at me. She grabs the object and runs toward the sea...she explains that the precious object I’d held to my chest was a tiny bomb-it was most likely a remnant of the famous bouncing bombs that had been tested on Reculver beach during the war.

If you want to read a book that goes above and beyond this is the one

Nuala Ellwood is the daughter of an award-winning journalist. Inspired by her father’s and other journalists’ experiences with post-traumatic stress disorder, she gained Arts Council Funding for her research into the topic and ultimately made it the main theme of My Sister’s Bones, her debut psychological thriller.

Find out more about Nuala at her website, and connect with her on Twitter.

Monday, July 17th: SJ2B House Of Books
Tuesday, July 18th: she treads softly
Wednesday, July 19th: Readaholic Zone
Thursday, July 20th: Tina Says…
Monday, July 24th: A Bookish Way of Life
Tuesday, July 25th: Kahakai Kitchen
Wednesday, July 26th: Art Books Coffee
Thursday, July 27th: A Bookworm’s World
Monday, July 31st: Ace and Hoser Blook
Tuesday, August 1st: StephTheBookworm
Wednesday, August 2nd: Book Hooked Blog
Friday, August 4th: 5 Minutes For Books
Friday, August 4th: Jathan & Heather
Friday, August 4th: My Military Savings

Monday, August 7th: Wining Wife

Monday, July 10, 2017

PAINTBRUSH BOOK BLITZ & $5 Amazon giftcard and a copy of The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

Hannah Bucchin

Published by: Blaze Publishing
Publication date: July 11th, 2017
Genres: Romance, Young Adult

Mitchell Morrison and Josie Sedgwick have spent their whole lives at the Indian Paintbrush Community Village, a commune full of colorful characters tucked in the mountains of North Carolina, and they aren’t particularly close–at least, not anymore. Josie wishes she could spend all of her time at Paintbrush planting tomatoes, hiking the trails, or throwing giant communal birthday parties, while Mitchell can’t wait to escape the bizarre spiritual sharing and noisy community dinners. Luckily for both of them, high school graduation is just around the corner.
But when Mitchell’s mother makes a scandalous announcement that rocks the close-knit Paintbrush community, and Josie’s younger sister starts to make some dangerously bad decisions, the two find themselves leaning on each other for support – and looking at each other in a whole new light. Their childhood friendship blossoms in to something more as they deal with their insane families, but as graduation approaches, so does life in the real world, forcing Josie and Mitchell to figure out what, exactly, their relationship is – and if it can survive their very different plans for the future.


“Hi.” I tighten my grip on her waist, and she moves her hand from my shoulder, sliding her fingertips slowly, until they rest on the back of my neck. I close my eyes.

When I open them again, she’s staring at me, her face so close I can see the flecks of brown in her green eyes. It would be so easy to kiss her. Just a few inches. It would be the easiest thing in the world.


“We’re a mess, aren’t we?” He grins at me.

I can’t help it—I lean into him, pressing my shoulder into his, wanting to feel his warmth and his soft sweatshirt, wanting to be a part of that smile.

I shrug. “All the best people are messy.”

Hannah has spent her life falling in love with beautiful places, both real and fictional. She grew up in charming Bethlehem, PA, went to college in sunny Chapel Hill, NC, spent a summer studying wildlife in Tanzania, volunteered on organic farms across New Zealand, and hiked all over Acadia National Park in Maine. When not writing, reading, or adventuring, she likes to daydream about the dog she'll adopt someday, listen to music from the sixties, and exchange ridiculous texts with her parents and siblings. Paintbrush is her first novel.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Review of Strange Contagion by Lee Daniel Kravetz

ISBN: 0062448951
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Harper Wave (June 27, 2017)

Picking up where The Tipping Point leaves off, respected journalist Lee Daniel Kravetz’s Strange Contagion is a provocative look at both the science and lived experience of social contagion.
In 2009, tragedy struck the town of Palo Alto: A student from the local high school had died by suicide by stepping in front of an oncoming train. Grief-stricken, the community mourned what they thought was an isolated loss. Until, a few weeks later, it happened again. And again. And again. In six months, the high school lost five students to suicide at those train tracks.
A recent transplant to the community and a new father himself, Lee Daniel Kravetz’s experience as a science journalist kicked in: what was causing this tragedy? More importantly, how was it possible that a suicide cluster could develop in a community of concerned, aware, hyper-vigilant adults?
The answer? Social contagion. We all know that ideas, emotions, and actions are communicable—from mirroring someone’s posture to mimicking their speech patterns, we are all driven by unconscious motivations triggered by our environment. But when just the right physiological, psychological, and social factors come together, we get what Kravetz calls a “strange contagion:” a perfect storm of highly common social viruses that, combined, form a highly volatile condition.
Strange Contagion is simultaneously a moving account of one community’s tragedy and a rigorous investigation of social phenomenon, as Kravetz draws on research and insights from experts worldwide to unlock the mystery of how ideas spread, why they take hold, and offer thoughts on our responsibility to one another as citizens of a globally and perpetually connected world.

I am sure you are familiar with this situation; you have met some friends at a coffee shop and the person at the next table is having a loud irate conversation on their cell. What happens next? You start getting frustrated and the more it goes on, the more irritated you and your friends get until this one individual has drained all the fun from your gathering. That readers is social contagion.

Social Contagion has to be one of the most beneficial books I have read hence giving me a better understanding of the influences either consciously or subconsciously influencing my mental well being from the people that surround me including the magnitude of media bombardment from television to the internet. When I began reading this book I could not believe that none of these concepts of social contagion never crossed my mind before, especially the most common ones for instance “happiness connects people by up to three degrees of separation, and that a sad acquaintance doubles our chances of becoming unhappy ourselves.”

The book's plot starts off with the cluster of suicides but that is just a stepping stone for Kravetz’s investigation into social contagions which fills the book with fascinating information and statistics. Unquestionably the deluge of information bursting from the pages is mind blowing here are a few simple examples:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder cascades across no fewer than three generations, connecting people to a single event by more than a century.
  • Fear, whether transmitted by pheromones or through direct or indirect observation, proves to be one of the more impactful social contagions.
  • Greed is one of the most common traits on the planet.
  • Next to chocolate and true north, music is the closest thing to universal agreement we have.

Kravetz writing itself is good, particularly how he organized the book. Furthermore, each fundamental social contagion is broken down into separate sections than chapters keeping all ideas orderly so there is no confusion. The book ends with a relevant section on suicide prevention groups with their descriptions and either a phone number or web address to contact if you or someone you know is in need of help. This would be the perfect book for high school students so they can understand how behavior, ideas, and media affects themselves and others.
Stress opens the portal to experience feelings of defeat, inferiority, humiliation, frustration, sorrow, anguish, and even shame emotions that are not only highly contagious but will also...cascade through closed environments. Even in a high school.

Even if you are not a fan of nonfiction, I would recommend you read this book since it will help enlighten you on how the most minute element changes your world.

If you or anyone you know is contemplating suicide please immediately contact The National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255

Lee Daniel Kravetz has a master’s degree in counseling psychology and is a graduate of the University of Missouri–Columbia School of Journalism. He has written for Psychology Today, the Huffington Post, and the New York Times, among other publications. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and children.
Find out more about Lee at his website, and connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, June 27th: A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, June 28th: Book Hooked Blog
Thursday, June 29th: A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall
Friday, June 30th: Books & Tea
Tuesday, July 4th: Wining Wife
Tuesday, July 4th: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, July 5th: Based on a True Story
Thursday, July 6th: Readaholic Zone
Thursday, July 6th: she treads softly
Monday, July 10th: StephTheBookworm
Tuesday, July 11th: Kahakai Kitchen
Wednesday, July 12th: Books on the Table
Thursday, July 13th: Library of Clean Reads