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Book Review: Divine Intervention by Ica Iova

Cover Divine Intervention

About the book:

LUKE MARSHAL, a brilliant doctor and whole-hearted atheist, clings to the last dredges of a life shattered by grief when he meets EMMA COOPER, a gorgeous novelist, proud mother of 13-year-old SKYLER, and a true believer that no man – besides God – deserves her trust.

My review – 4 out of 5 stars:

Divine Intervention was a compelling book that was sometimes difficult to put down – at least in the beginning. Later on it began to slow a bit, but it ended well. The characters were well developed, evoking the proper emotional response for their situations, but the who’s who became a little confusing toward the end. The story was well-told, although it contained more romance and less mystery than I expected, and some of the New Age-ish theological was a little disconcerting to my conservative background. Still, I enjoyed Ms. Iova’s work and would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for an entertaining read.

About the author:

Ica Iova Head ShotIca Iova is the author of several books–two of which are award winners. She Never Got To Say Goodbye, was one of the three winners at World’s Best Story, 2015, and Boundaries, was a finalist at WBS, 2014.

Member of Federation of B.C. Writers, Ica writes what she enjoys reading. In her novels, she brings to life powerful, gripping relationships and fascinating characters to whom readers can relate. Every one of Ica’s books reminds readers that life is precious, and that no one should waste it on insignificant things.

When Ica is not writing, editing, or marketing, she’s a proud wife, mother, and grandmother, with a substantial sense of humor. She loves spending time with her family and pets, shopping for shoes, or just lazing around with a good book.

Buy the book HERE

Where the find Ica Iova:
Website
Amazon Author Page
Facebook 

Blessings,

Linda

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Book Review: Factor Man by Matt Ginsberg

Cover Factor Man

5 Stars

About the book:

Ginsberg takes readers on a digital thrill ride where the protagonist holds the key to the most revolutionary and powerful technology since the atomic bomb. This mysterious character, who calls himself Factor Man, is set to change the world with a single algorithm, making him (or her) one of the smartest, richest and perhaps one of the most wanted person on the planet. By factoring larger numbers, Factor Man claims to be able to break the public key encryption that could shut down the internet. The press wants to interview him. The Chinese Government wants to kill him. And the FBI wants to protect him. But first they have to find him!

My review:

Several weeks ago I received an email from a publicist offering me a complimentary digital copy of Factor Man because I make no secret of the fact that I love a good thriller. There were no strings attached to the gift, but I am happy to recommend this unique novel to anyone who enjoys a puzzling mystery that will give your brain a good workout.

The story begins when a mysterious character who identifies himself/herself only as Factor Man contacts a reporter named William Burkett. Through a series of emails, he lays out his four-year plan to turn the worlds of higher mathematics, Cyberspace, and high finance upside down, and he offers Burkett exclusive rights to the story. Through these emails, the author cleverly educates those of us whose math education stopped at plane geometry and whose knowledge of the Internet is informed mostly by Abby and McGee of NCIS fame so we can understand the rest of the story.

Once the groundwork is laid, the story moves into the real world as more people are introduced into Factor Man’s scheme. What was at first believed to be a hoax by a crazy mathematician looking for his fifteen minutes of fame becomes an international happening that can either usher in a new era of peace and prosperity or send the world economic and political systems crashing back into the dark ages. The final segment of the story is full of FBI, CIA, and other agencies as well as spies, contract killers, and suspense that kept me up until the wee hours to find out what happened.

Matt Ginsber is a highly intelligent man with a wide variety of interests. I’m very glad that one of his interests was writing an amazingly entertaining story, and I’m hopeful that he’s interested in writing another one soon.

About the author:

GinsbergMattAuthorMatt Ginsberg got a doctorate in astrophysics from Oxford when he was 24. He quickly came to his senses, however, switching to artificial intelligence and teaching at Stanford for a decade. He’s been on the front page of the New York Times and, surprisingly, was happy about it. He’s been a political columnist and published playwright, and constructs crosswords for the Times. He has written about a hundred technical papers. And one novel.

Find Matt Ginsberg on his website.

Buy Factor Man on Amazon.

Blessings,

Linda

Book Review: Wild Revelations (Cold Springs Mystery Book 1) by Sara Caudell

Wild Revelations Cover

About the book:

After ten years of being away from her hometown, Cary returns to find a paralyzed father, dead cattle, legal problems, mustangs and guns.

My review:

Wild Revelations is the story of Cary, a young urban professional, who returns to her roots on a Colorado ranch to check on her father who has suffered a paralyzing stroke under somewhat mysterious circumstances. The author weaves an entertaining web of stolen breeding records, property disputes, unexplained cattle deaths, unbroken horses, and one too many suitors.

The book is well written for the most part, although the editing is a little careless toward the end. The characters are fully drawn so that the reader roots for the good guys and boos the bad ones. The romance is a small but enjoyable part of the story, but the few intimate scenes are a little awkward. Regardless of a few shortcomings, I would recommend Wild Revelations, and I look forward to reading more of Sara Caudell’s work.

About the author:

Sara Caudell Head ShotI grew up in a small ranching community in Colorado where I learned to judge beef on the hoof and under wrap. After moving around the country for my husband’s career and catching college courses as I could, I finally found myself in one place long enough to finish my degree. I was an artist (acrylic), raised three children, managed offices, and started my own genealogy resource business before weaving my stories and experiences into novels. I now live in central Texas with my patient husband and four cats. In my spare time I do genealogy and historical research and nurse orphan kittens back to health for the local animal shelter.

Find Sara on her website and on Twitter 

Buy the book on Amazon 

Blessings,

Linda

Book Review: A Kink in the Road (A Deadline Cozy Mystery Book 7) by Sonia Parin

Cover

About the book:

Humorous Cozy Mystery. Clean read: no graphic violence, sex, or strong language but lots of fun characters and quirky dialogue.

Eve’s new inn is about to open, with or without a name. As a new local business owner, Eve thinks it would be a splendid idea to attend a local town meeting. Little does she know she’s been excluded from them for a good reason. She’s been labeled a troublemaker. Now there is a new resident in Rock-Maine Island and she’s been warned to stay away from him.

One look at William Hunter the Third is enough to convince Eve she wants nothing to do with the man. Despite everyone’s efforts to keep Eve away from him, the inevitable happens and he lands on her doorstep.

To make matters worse, the billionaire brings along an entourage which includes his ex-wives, his friends and… a killer.

There have already been two deaths at the house she’s turned into an inn. Another death makes it three. Thinking disasters come in threes, she hopes this will complete the cycle. But what if she’s on a treadmill and doomed to play host to murder and mayhem? The town will surely rise up against her…

My review:

A Kink in the Road is a fun read about a young woman named Eve who finds herself in a small town with a large, possibly haunted, house on her hands. She decides to convert it into an inn where she can entertain guests and show off her culinary talents. Since there wouldn’t be much of a plot if things went smoothly, several days before she’s ready to open, an inconvenient storm strands a group of weekend visitors. Their wealthy host has a home of his own in town, but he isn’t prepared for overnight guests, so he and his friends end up in Eve’s inn. The situation turns out to be the perfect recipe for murder and mayhem that kept me guessing and laughing at the same time. This is the 7th in the Deadline Cozy Mystery Series. I look forward to going back and catching up on what I’ve missed.

About the author:

Head ShotI write humorous Contemporary and Paranormal Cozy Mysteries with fun dialogue and quirky characters. When I’m not reading or writing or consuming vast amounts of chocolate and caffeine, I tend to watch favorite movies or reruns of favorite TV shows. I love creating engaging promotional blurbs for my books. You can find these posted on Twitter and Facebook.

Buy the book on Amazon

 

 

Blessings,

Linda

Book Review: A Slim Chance by Elizabeth Harrison

Cover

About the book:

 Four women meet at a Manchester university party in 1975 and become close friends. Over the following thirty years, their lives are shaped by their childhoods, their relationships with men, and the backdrop of rapid changes in society for women.

When one of the four, Linda Hammond, is found dead, suspicion falls on her use of Svelta, a widely prescribed slimming drug linked to numerous deaths. Also in the frame of suspicion is an eminent cardiologist who arranged an illegal abortion for Linda when he was a medical student, the knowledge of which could finish his career.

Concerns about the high number of deaths amongst Svelta users are picked up by two investigative journalists. They uncover the manipulation of the clinical trial data on which the drug was licensed and the readiness of Sipher Pharmaceutical to rebut any concern over the drug’s safety.

Linda’s death dramatically changes all the women’s lives, laying bare deceit, a lack of personal integrity and corporate greed.

My review – 3.5 of 5 stars:

 A Slim Chance by Elizabeth Harrison was an enjoyable story, but it was too much – too many main characters, too many story lines, too many social issues. After the opening scene in which one of the main characters dies, the story flashes back thirty years to when four young women meet. For the next several chapters, the women get to know each other and form lifelong friendships. This part of the story was well done. I had difficulty finding a place to stop and looked forward to returning to my Kindle. As the women left college and entered the real world, however, their lives diverged and so did their stories.

The author dealt with many important women’s issues like abortion, abuse of several kinds, self esteem and body image, and drug addiction to name a few. They also dealt with corporate misconduct, especially in the drug industry. While all of these issues need to be exposed, I felt that since so many were covered in one story, none of them was handled as effectively as they might have been if only one or two had been the focus. There were also several passages, especially those related to the corporate misconduct, where the author’s voice switched from story-telling to lecturing.

I would recommend this book to readers who can focus on the story rather than the short-comings in the telling of it. A strong developmental editor could do a lot to pull A Slim Chance up to a four-star or even a five-star rating.

 About the author:

 HeadShotLiz Buxton and Dee Harrison (Elizabeth Harrison) have been friends since the age of five. From a shared background of school, marriage, children, and then divorce, they have gone on to pursue quite different careers and lifestyles, but have always kept in touch.
Dee has worked in IT and built two successful software companies. Liz has had a freelance career as a Furniture Designer to the manufacturing industry as well as training as a Yachtmaster and living on a sailing boat for five years.

This is their first novel together.

 Buy the book at Amazon 

Book Review: The Blue Coyote (A Frannie Shoemaker Campground Mystery) by Karen Musser Nortman

Cover The Blue Coyote

About the book:

Frannie and Larry Shoemaker love taking their grandchildren, Sabet and Joe, camping with them. But at Bluffs State Park, Frannie finds herself worrying more than usual about their safety, and when another young girl disappears from the campground in broad daylight, her fears increase. The fun of a bike ride, a flea market, marshmallow guns, and a storyteller are quickly overshadowed. Accusations against Larry and her add to the cloud over their heads. Frannie begins to puzzle out the mystery: Are the itinerant road workers as much of a threat as Frannie thinks? What about the lone woman camper who also disappears? Or is the girl’s deadbeat dad behind it all?

My review:

After reading The Blue Coyote, another Frannie Shoemaker Campground Mystery and the second in the Camping Can Be Murder Boxed Set, I feel like I know the Shoemakers, their grandchildren, and their friends personally. That’s why I was so incensed when Larry became the prime suspect in a campground kidnapping. Frannie was even more infuriated, though, as the authorities seemed to focus on her husband while the missing child and her own grandchildren remained in danger and the real culprit remained at large. In spite of many warnings to stay out of it, she put on her amateur sleuth hat and went to work.

Even for the reader who is not a regular cozy mystery fan, Frannie’s adventures are lively and exciting enough for an enjoyable weekend in the recliner or maybe even in a camp chair around the fire pit. Karen Nortman’s descriptions of the camping experience and the surrounding countryside are realistic enough to make the reader want to pack the RV and hit the open road – as long as there are no villains waiting at the campground. An added bonus is the vivid description of the sumptuous meals she and her friends share around the campfire and the recipes and camping tips at the end of each book. As for me, two Frannie Shoemaker stories were enough to make me a fan, and I can’t wait to begin reading the next one.

About the author:

Head Shot Karen Musser NortmanKaren Musser Nortman, after previous incarnations as a secondary social studies teacher (22 years) and a test developer (18 years), returned to her childhood dream of writing a novel. Bats and Bones, a cozy mystery, came out of numerous ’round the campfire’ discussions, making up answers to questions raised by the peephole glimpses one gets into the lives of fellow campers. Where did those people disappear to for the last two days? What kinds of bones are in this fire pit? Why is that woman wearing heels to the shower house?

Karen and her husband Butch originally tent camped when their children were young and switched to a travel trailer when sleeping on the ground lost its romantic adventure. They take frequent weekend jaunts with friends to parks in Iowa and surrounding states, plus occasional longer trips. Entertainment on these trips has ranged from geocaching and hiking/biking to barbecue contests, balloon fests, and buck skinners’ rendezvous. Frannie and Larry will no doubt check out some of these options on their future adventures.

Karen has three children and eight grandchildren. She also loves reading, gardening, and knitting, and can recite the 99 counties of Iowa in alphabetical order.

Visit her website at www.karenmussernortman.com
Buy the book on Amazon 

Or buy it with two other Frannie Shoemaker Campground Mysteries in the Camping Can Be Murder Boxed Set HERE 

Blessings,

Linda

Book Review: Bats and Bones (A Frannie Shoemaker Campground Mystery) by Karen Musser Nortman

Cover Bats and Bones

About the book:

Camping can be murder. Oh, sure, on the one hand there’s the stunning scenery, socializing with old friends and new acquaintances, amazing food cooked outside, and so on. But what if a dead body turns up on one of your hikes-for-fun-and fitness?

Frannie and Larry Shoemaker, retired baby boomers, are looking forward to a relaxing Fourth of July weekend with friends in beautiful Bat Cave State Park. They begin the weekend with a wonderful meal and some laughs over the antics of nearby novice campers. But when someone kills the campground host and Frannie’s group discovers the body, their favorite getaway becomes a quasi-prison, and the eccentricities often seen in a campground are viewed as suspicious behavior. A severe weather threat and the possibility that the murderer could be either a campground resident or an intruder from the outside compounds the danger. Frannie, while naturally curious, is warned off by her retired-cop husband, but still stumbles on information making her a target of the killer. At the same time, Frannie is working through the recent loss of her mother and an uncomfortable relationship with one of her own camping group.

My review:

I have been a mystery lover since I first discovered Agatha Christie in the Weekly Reader Book Club at school. After finishing the exploits of Mrs. Marple and Hercule Poirot, I moved on to tougher detectives like Parker’s Jesse Stone, Patterson’s Alex Cross, or Baldacci’s team of King and Maxwell. But after reading Bats and Bones by Karen Musser Nortman, I may become a cozy mystery fan all over again.

The first book in the Frannie Shoemaker Campground Mysteries Series immediately drew me in. My husband and I fell in love with the RV lifestyle shortly after we retired, and we have met many campers like the Shoemakers and their friends who are easy-going, fun-loving, gregarious, and all around nice people. The scenarios in Bats and Bones were reminiscent of many of our camping trips – minus the dead bodies, of course.

Karen Nortman’s writing style captures the laid back atmosphere of the campground while still building the tension as the plot thickens and Frannie becomes involved in spite of her best efforts to heed the warnings of her husband Larry and local law enforcement. Nortman’s characters are well developed and likeable – except for the bad guys. She offers a reading experience that’s fun, engaging, and flinch free, and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

About the author:

Head Shot Karen Musser NortmanKaren Musser Nortman, after previous incarnations as a secondary social studies teacher (22 years) and a test developer (18 years), returned to her childhood dream of writing a novel. Bats and Bones, a cozy mystery, came out of numerous ’round the campfire’ discussions, making up answers to questions raised by the peephole glimpses one gets into the lives of fellow campers. Where did those people disappear to for the last two days? What kinds of bones are in this fire pit? Why is that woman wearing heels to the shower house?

Karen and her husband Butch originally tent camped when their children were young and switched to a travel trailer when sleeping on the ground lost its romantic adventure. They take frequent weekend jaunts with friends to parks in Iowa and surrounding states, plus occasional longer trips. Entertainment on these trips has ranged from geocaching and hiking/biking to barbecue contests, balloon fests, and buck skinners’ rendezvous. Frannie and Larry will no doubt check out some of these options on their future adventures.

Karen has three children and eight grandchildren. She also loves reading, gardening, and knitting, and can recite the 99 counties of Iowa in alphabetical order.

Visit her website at www.karenmussernortman.com
Buy the Bats and Bones HERE 

Or buy it with two other Frannie Shoemaker Campground Mysteries in the Camping Can Be Murder Boxed Set HERE 

Blessings,

Linda

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