Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Run Rabbit Run by Kate Johnson

Run Rabbit Run (Sophie Green Mystery, #5)"A car gets blown up, and it's either going to Al Queda or Sophie Green."

I haven't read the first four books of this series, but when Choc Lit released the fifth one, this one, I figured in order for them to release a book they didn't have the first four for, that it would be able to stand alone, and I can't resist a woman spy.

It can stand alone. Even though some characters were in the book that obviously had run ins and experiences with Sophie in previous books, I never found myself confused. 

Sophie is a woman spy...gone rogue and not by choice. She's been framed for murder. So she goes on the lam, a hot Jack in tow (Savvy?) and though at first they're at each other throats and pointing fingers, they end attracted to each other. Car bombs and bullets tend to draw people together, you know?

Exploding cars, fake passports, bugged phones, traces, debates on what agent friend to trust, grand theft, a nine year old genius, larceny, knocking out cab drivers...there's no end to the excitement. Or the humor. The best thing about this book is the humor. I laughed out loud many times.

"Well, we could buy her dinner," I suggested. "Or I could introduce her to to my associate, Mr. SIG-Sauer."

Luke: Is it anything in particular I've done?

His secretary: Begins with Sophie. Ends with Green.

Luke: I haven't done her in a week.

Who is Luke? That's the good part. They are rarely together in this book as his girlfriend, Sophie is on the run, but the love between the two is great. Sophie and Luke alternate between the book. Luke's privacy is being violated left and right and he's worried to death about the woman he loves. I actually felt sorrier for Luke than Sophie! And Sophie was getting shot at and threatened...more than Luke.

Quibbles: At times I didn't like Sophie. She seems to need a man a lot. Though in all fairness, I think many of us would if we were being framed for murder and going through all this stuff, and Sophie never claims to be perfect. That's a point in her favor, and it makes her real. And there were times I felt the book was getting repetitive. Plane hopping, phone calls, find a hotel, plane hopping again... However, I don't feel this could have been avoided given the story line.

"It's all right for girls in films to rush around all over the place without knocking themselves out, but I believe that if God intended for me to be a runner, He wouldn't have given me a double D."

Conclusion: funny, fast paced, and keeps you guessing (as well as laughing.)  I received this from the publisher.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Never Coming Home, The "Wispa It" Blog Tour and Giveaway

Please welcome Evonne Wareham today. She's a new author with Choc Lit whose novel, Never Coming Home, is being release March 12. I had the pleasure of reading this great romantic suspense, and just in case you all missed it, will be reposting my review at the end of this post.

Meanwhile, Evonne is here to answer a question-and provide a wispa from her novel-I asked her before we give away a copy of Never Coming Home. 

Never Coming Home‘Wispa It...’ Snippet No. 9
Kaz stifled what felt like a thread of panic. There was no
reason for it. She could handle this. She wanted him gone.
She needed … space … To get her thoughts in order. That
was it. No space with him sitting on the end of the couch,
watching her. So strange to feel that he understood.
‘I’ve kind of dropped a bombshell into your life,’ he said
‘You could say that.’

Here's what Evonne had to say when I asked her about Italy. Much of the setting of Never Coming Home takes place in Italy. I wondered if she had been there herself, and I asked her to provide pictures.

One of my aims when I write is to take the reader to interesting places. (I also try to scare them to death, creep them out, make them sigh over the hero and laugh/cry with the heroine – but that is quite a different story.) When Tara asked me about the locations I used for the book I was pleased to be able to share pictures and information on some of them.

I lived for a long time in London, including three very happy years in Chelsea, when I worked in Eaton Square. My heroine, Kaz, also lives in Chelsea, although I gave her a house close to the Thames. The photo is of that area, looking over towards the river. The Albert Bridge, which features quite a lot in the story, is visible in the background. Kaz used to walk there often with Jamie, her daughter, so it has bitter-sweet memories for her.

Kaz’s search to discover what really happened to Jamie takes her to Italy – to Florence. I used Florence because it is one of my favorite cities. The first picture is of the Ponte Vecchio, another famous bridge. This one is lined with shops. Kaz and Devlin take a romantic stroll along it in the evening, before making a break-though in their search, with devastating results. That’s page 79 in the book, if you’re looking.  

The second picture of Florence is a panorama of the city and is the view from the Piazzale Michelangelo, which Kaz and Devlin visit much later in the story.

I now live in Wales, which is where I was born, and I like to set at least one scene in Wales in all my books. The one in Never Coming Home is quite short – Devlin and Kaz make a brief visit to Cardiff, tracking down some information, travelling by train. This is the main railway station, where they arrive, on page 230.

That’s a brief, lightening tour of a few of the key locations from Never Coming Home. I hope the pictures help them come alive, when you read the book.

I can't thank Evonne enough for taking the time to father all these photos and visit Book Babe. Please, let's show some support for Evonne and her new book. Leave a comment with an email address (I won't know all of you personally!) and one of my pampered pooches will choose a winner from their food bowl a week from today. The winner will receive a paperback copy of Never Coming Home

Now, A shortened version of the review I posted a while back:

When a man with a shady past as some kind of secret agent and a woman who believes her daughter is dead get thrown together by intriguing circumstances, sparks fly between them as they uncover one twisted horrific fact after another. Devlin presents new evidence that has Kaz rushing to find out what really happened to her daughter...

Very well told. The love between the hero and heroine grows gradually even though the attraction is instant. Both of their "narratives" have funny, sarcastic, and honest bits. Both characters are extremely likable. The mystery... I confess I had the "whodunit" part figured out early in the story, but there's a lot more twisted and gruesome details than I anticipated, and I was still surprised by a lot of things in the outcome. 

Loved this book. Perfect blend of sex, suspense, horror, mystery, passion, and warm-hearted moments. 5 stars. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dog Tails, Twitter

Dog Tails: Three Humorous Short Stories for Dog LoversDog Tails: Three Humorous Short Stories for Dog Lovers is available again on Amazon Kindle. Buy here. I am mighty proud of myself. I did the formatting all on my own. I've learned a lot since last year when I first attempted the world of self-pubbing. So...if you've missed out on the little doggies, it's now only 99 cents.

And I'm finally tweeting. I'm @TaraChevrestt. I've provided a little blue bird hook up at the bottom side of the blog. :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Long Way Home by Lisa J. Yarde

Long Way Home - A NovellaI don't rate or review books I've helped to edit. However, I do tell others about them. I have no doubt this one will appeal to many of my contemporary romance reader/blog followers.

Long Way Home is about two Japanese Americans, Taka Chang and Kevin. In each other's arms, they find solace from the everyday stress of their lives. Taka just wants to live her life her way. Her wealthy and very bitter father had made things difficult for her. Though she loves Kevin, at times, she feels controlled and smothered by him.

Does love conquer all? Or do we sometimes make decisions that we regret later? I'm not going to divulge too much plot here, but I will say that from a car fender bender to an airplane scene, Long Way Home is a never ending roller coast of intense emotions: longing, love, confusion, anger, regret. And it will make you think long and hard about your own life choices and how you choose to spend your time, bitter and angry or enjoying love while you can?

Available on Amazon

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bond Girl by Erin Duffy

Bond GirlThere are two types of women that work in the "man's world." One, the woman who because a bitter and cruel man hater (and really, with what she has to put up with all day, it's no wonder), and two, the woman who gets fake tits and wears tiny tops and lets her thong hang out and knows absolutely nothing about the job. The former is Cruella. The latter is Baby Gap. And in between, you have Alex. 

Alex entered the world of Wall Street believing she'd get fair treatment, that her sex wouldn't be an issue. NOPE. 

This is book is hilarious. From an elevator scene of "mine is bigger than yours" to a scene in which a newbie shouts out loud about Cox... it's priceless. The giant 1000 dollar wheel of cheese... The auction in which women can't bid. (This is the most sexist place I've ever read about)..

"First up, we have a helmet signed by the Forty-Niners. The whole team!"
"Giants!" some yelled, offended that a football helmet from San Francisco was for sale.
"I know, I know. This hurts me, too. But some of you must be closet Forty-Niners fans. For this one day only, it's allowed."

Aw, New Yorkers. :)

In between the hilarity, however, are bits that will piss women off. There's no end to the sexual abuse Alex goes through. Even worse, a top client has his eye on her. She has a choice: sleep with the man and become rich or not sleep with the man and lose the account and her job and...omg.

Really, once you read the book, you'll understand the meaning between a rock and a hard place.

I loved this book. Having worked in a "man's world" myself, I "got it." Been there, done that, though is by far, worse. I also learned a LOT about the stock market and how they work on Wall Street.

What I didn't like, the only thing I didn't like is that the heroine is TSTL regarding this guy, Will. I mean, I saw it coming a mile away. I was yelling at her throughout the novel.. "NO, NO...don't you see???" I mean come on, he's always busy on weekends...he never answers his phone... Duh. And went she got all upset over what to me, was so obvious, I was rolling my eyes.

Four stars. I received this from the publisher. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Siren's Song: A Bandit Creek Time Travel by D.L. Snow

Siren's Song A Bandit Creek Time TravelKindle freebies can go either way. Sometimes, they stink from the get-go, full of typos and awkward phrasing, and I just stop reading. Life's too short. This was a terrific surprise.

Just downloaded onto my kindle this week, I was in the mood for something short and picked it up. It's a novella, approximately 2 or 2 and a half hours of reading. And very well done.

Joss is former singer turned school teacher. She hasn't sang since her mother died. (Interesting story there. Not telling.) She moves back to Bandit Creek, Montana where she struggles with who and what she wants to be and where she wants to do it. She's confused. She gets even more confused when a hand comes out and pulls her into Lost Lake, and into Bandit Creek 100 years ago.

There's a saloon madame who wants to sell Joss's services, a seedy man wanting to buy them, an Indian with answers he doesn't want to divulge, and of course, a handsome man that Joss starts to fall for.. but he thinks she's crazy-always talking about the future and tell him he's from it.. cause he looks exactly like a boy that disappeared from Bandit Creek ten years before (in modern Bandit Creek.)

I loved how this unfolded. I was left guessing as to its ending. The characters all had interesting stories. The love story was done at a good pace and believable. I think it could have used more details. I mean, the chick did time travel. Imagine using a nasty ole outhouse, bathing back then, getting adjusted to a life without  modern appliances.

All in all, a terrific read. Five stars.

Monday, February 13, 2012

My Best Valentine's Day Ever

I wrote this for Romance Junkies, a giveaway that was done in a chat room. As I couldn't direct my family and friends to the chat group, I decided to also post it on my blog. Cause this is one of the best things I've ever wrote.

My Best Valentine's Day Ever Was:

NOT romantic for starters. I was only eight years old, maybe nine, and my hero was my DAD. I was in the second grade, and my dad worked a ways away. I only saw him in the evenings, and he was often tired (he worked hard!) or planning a sermon. He was a minister too at the time.

Like Ciara, the heroine in Love Request, I battled school bullying everyday due to my hearing impairment.

Well, my mother always came to pick me up at school, but that VD, I walked out of my classroom, and who was waiting for me?? My dad!!! Right there in my school hallway! He had gotten off of work early, and he was picking me up. You know the term "grinning from ear to ear?" That was me. I was grinning ear to ear.

Not only did my dad get off work early and take me home, but he handed me a little plastic heart full of those conversation hearts right there in front of my classmates! They were jealous! LOL It felt good to make the mean girls jealous. Their dads didn't come pick them up with a heart full of candies!

I ate them slowly, and I saved the container.

That was my best VD ever. :)

What was yours? Did it involve a hunk? A high school sweetheart? Or was your hero your dad?

               My daddy and I. I was three.

Accomplished In Murder by Dara England

Accomplished in MurderI thought this was a thoroughly enjoyable little mystery. My only quibble is at times, except for the arranged marriages and transportation, it didn't feel historical, but that's me being nit picky.

Drucilla's bff has a quickie wedding and then send Drucilla a letter implying that she's scared of something. So Drucilla head off to her friend's to find out what troubles her only to discover her friend is dead.

With snooping, uncomfortable questions, and a tour of the house, she manages to figure out whodunit, but almost too late. Just when it seemed she has the entire thing solved, it turns out to be only half solved and she's at the killer's grasp. 

I liked it. I also thought it a perfect length, but then I'm not one of those people who wants a 600 page novel full of lengthy, pompous descriptions. It worked for me.

Four stars and I got this on Amazon Kindle as a freebie.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cruising Attitude by Heather Poole

Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 FeetWhat a great book!! Though it's a memoir, it's well done. The narrator SHOWS us and transports the reader into the airplane, crashpad, terminal, bar. There's no telling here. I was thoroughly entertained and I was laughing so hard during much of it that my husband demanded to know what was so funny, and I had to read passages aloud to him.

Just some of the content: her early days as a flight attendant with an airline that actually used duct tape on the seats, flight attendant training, skirt lengths and what they symbolize, why you shouldn't date pilots, her own dating experiences with pilots, flying standby (been there!!!), flight attendant breakdowns, problem passengers, finding a place to live in NYC, the horrors of flying the Miami/New York or the Vail flight full of fur coats, and last but not least, working and living with her mother. 

Really loved this. It was honest, entertaining, and told in a humorous manner. 

Laugh out loud moments for me:

"I could have kissed each and every one of my instructors at that very moment, calling to mind a psychological response known as Stockholme syndrome. Stockholme syndrome happens when abducted hostages (flight attendant trainees), begin to show signs of loyalty to the hostage-taker (flight instructors) regardless of the danger, risk, or torture in which they have been placed.....This is the only possible explanation for why I actually thanked my instructors when we learned that the navy blue polyester getup, all $2000 of it, would be deducted from our first couple of paychecks."

And when she works with her mom who also becomes a flight attendant and hollers out "mom" in the middle of business class when she needs her mom to hand her a bottle of wine.. Nice!!! LOL

And this bit here: "Bob, the stylish pilot, actually saves his standby passes for people he hates. Then he can gleefully relish when they get stranded in Senegal for ten days..."

Too many great and funny moments to list. Nevertheless, a well written and humorous memoir. I highly recommend it to anyone who has ever contemplated being a flight attendant. I wonder how many of you can figure out who the celebrities are she talks about but doesn't name?

Five stars. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Under Her Brass Corset by Brenda Williamson

Under Her Brass CorsetThis is a romance/steam punk/fantasy novel. Confession: Steam punk isn't one of my strong genres. I keep trying it because the characters/blurbs appeal to me, but except for Dark Vow (sorta steam punk, but not heavy on it), I find myself confused more often than not as I try to visualize everything.

Thankfully, the steam punk stuff in here wasn't too ridiculous. A ship that flies. Cool. Showers. (common now, but weren't then.)

The fantasy stuff was a bit weird, however. Enter a strange octopus. That had my eye brows reaching up.

The romance was more lust at first. Realistic. None of that love at first sight, more lust and it grows into love.

The plot was intriguing, involving a map, a snow globe, the fountain of youth, immortality, a rogue cousin/pirate.... but I felt it got over shadowed at times by the sex/gadgets.

It doesn't lack suspense as I kept wondering how the characters would end up, what with him being immortal and her not...

Not bad. Not a favorite of mine, but it wasn't horrible. I think those more into the steam  punk will love it more. As I confessed above, I keep trying the genre and keep struggling with it. Not the author's fault.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Ride for Rights is on Amazon

Ride for Rights

In the summer of 1916 women do not have the right to vote, let alone be motorcycle dispatch riders. Two sisters, Angeline and Adelaide Hanson are determined to prove to the world that not only are women capable of riding motorbikes, but they can ride motorbikes across the United States. Alone. 

From a dance hall in Chicago to a jail cell in Dodge City, love and trouble both follow Angeline and Adelaide on the dirt roads across the United States. The sisters shout their triumph from Pike’s Peak only to end up lost in the Salt Lake desert. 

Will they make it to their goal of Los Angeles or will too many mishaps prevent them from reaching their destination and thus, hinder their desire to prove that women can do it?

Besides being on MuseItUp Publishing Website, Ride for Rights is also available on Amazon today. Just letting you all know. :)

Valentine Delights: Kiss Me Anthology from Still Moments Publishing

This is an anthology of three short stories just in time for Valentine's Day.

First up, is The 14 Days of Valentines by Maggie Devine.

A woman lawyer suddenly gets a secret admirer who sends her expensive gifts everyday starting Feb 1 till Valentine's Day when she's supposed to don her new dress, earrings, and bracelet and meet her potential suitor for a fancy dinner. Who is the man? Is her boss, John, who has been trying to convince her for some time that they would be good together? Or is it HIS boss whose she's had HER eyes on, but is otherwise taken? Or is it that man upstairs who just wants to bed her?

Liked: I honestly didn't know who it was till it was revealed. Common sense kept telling me it was the guy she wanted it to be, BUT there were enough doubts in the story to keep me on my toes. I started questioning the happily ever after and who it may be with.

Didn't like: The abrupt ending. And no, it has nothing to do with it being a shortie. I love shorties. I just didn't feel the connection required btw these two, who have never dated before, but are suddenly planning to have sex and live together. Relationships don't build to that level without some dating.

Second up, Love's Fortune by Nicole Zoltack.
Woman loses job, is walking the street, when she's offered another the circus! That's pretty cool! So she takes the job as a fortune teller, meets a shape shifting lion, and kinda learns some stuff from her new job: such as, she needs to practice what she preaches.

Liked: The way she makes a widowed woman feel better about moving on.. the way she tells a man that the only reason he hasn't found love is because he's shut himself off, basically. He's preventing himself from finding love. In the process, the heroine realizes she's doing the same thing. Real sweet moral there.

Didn't like: Fail to see how the shape shifting really moved anything along. Or them wanting her to be a witch. The shape shifting, except for him saving her life, didn't mean anything.

Third, The Designer's Bride by W. Lynn Chantale.
Story contains both sensual content and suspense. The sensual is hot, sexy sex between the heroine and the man she loves and wants to marry. The suspense plays into the story when her father keeps barging into her life demanding she marry a man she hates, said man in tow with him everywhere. He's a real jerk. I didn't like him at all.

Liked: The sex. Also loved Jordan, the hero, and how he makes everything just perfect from the ring to the dress to the plans. I thought that was just awesome. Except for the dad, this story was like a fantasy come true. It also had me reeling for a minute there toward the end as I seriously worried things were ruined. Also, Chantale injects the perfect amount of description into her story, not too much, not too little.

Didn't like: I would have liked things to end better btw the heroine and her dad. I got kind of sad by the way things panned out there. I would hate for my dad and I to be on the outs like that. This was my favorite story, however due to the sensual elements and just OMG hero.

Conclusion: Four stars for this anthology. :) I receive this from an author who wanted my honest opinion.

Buy here:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Manu by Christopher Nicole

ManuThis is a historical fiction that educates the reader about Indian  history. Told from the POV of an Englishwoman, widowed from her missionary husband, it tells of the British occupation of India and a strong woman who dared to rule, Manu.

The story begins with Emma in England, caught for thieving and accused of murder. Her only way out is to marry a missionary who is traveling to India. She is not allowed back in England for ten years. Little does she know that that ten years will actually become a much longer period due to her own desires.

Presented with an opportunity to be a governess to an Indian princess, she takes it. And she "goes native." At first, things are rough. The prince is a homosexual, the princess thinks she is a warrior and threatens to place Emma naked on an anthill-something to that effect. And of course, the British rule with a condescending attitude.

The big guy finally dies, no heir in sight except for an adopted child that the British refuse to acknowledge. Manu, the princess takes over and leads her men into battle. I liked this:

"I will throw their heads at your feet," Risaldar promised. (a soldier)
"I will throw their heads at my own feet," Manu declared. (hell, yea)

Emma discovers that despite the fact she loves Manu, hates what the British has done, has an Indian husband, is now wearing saris, and has a half Indian child, she somewhat ponders going back to England. Now it may be too late. She's also very busy playing go-between as the English don't believe Manu is fit to rule and attempt to control her in every way they can.

Well told, but seriously lacking emotional depth. Also lots of long dialogue bits. Thought told from Emma's POV, she really doesn't have much emotion. That surprised me. Also found her surprisingly agreeable to just about anything and that didn't fit in with the character we were first introduced to.

I liked it, however. Three stars. I received this from the publisher.

Dog Tails: Three Humorous Short Stories for Dog Lovers is getting a makeover

I published my first book last year...a book of short stories based on my pampered pooches. Well, sales didn't skyrocket. Tons of people came to me saying, "Oh, I'll buy it for my kids." 


It's not a children's book, and obviously, I need the cover portray that better.'s going off the market for a few days because it's getting a makeover! And a price change!!!!!

It will no longer be available on Kobo, Nook, Sony, or in the ibookstore anymore. It will be an Amazon only book. Sorry!

Meanwhile, here's the new cover. :)