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Tempting Skies

Tempting Skies: Book Three, Beyond the Wood Series by Michael Roueche

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The Rising

The Rising by Heather Graham and Jon Land

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Half-Cut

Half-Cut (The Cut Series Book 1) by Arnold Eslava-Grunwaldt

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The Diary Of An Immortal (1945-1959)

The Diary Of An Immortal (1945-1959) by David J. Castello

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Exiles: A Mystery in Paris

Exiles: A Mystery in Paris (The Daniel Levin Mysteries Book 1) by Lawrence J. Epstein

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A Glitch in the System

A Glitch in the System by Adam Aust

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Off the Hook

Off the Hook: A Christmas Ornament Adventure by John Arvai III

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Telonaut: (Teloverse Series) (Volume 1) by Matt Tyson

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5 Days to Landfall

5 Days to Landfall by Robert Roy Britt

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Tempting Skies: Book Three, Beyond the Wood Series by Michael Roueche

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Tempting SkiesHow would you like to read your ancestors’ journals about their lives while living through the Civil War? Would you be able to understand the perspectives of both sides?

Just recently in the year 2012, while searching through the attic of a mansion in Lexington, Kentucky, scheduled for demolition, a manuscript and letters revealed the history of this estate beginning in the 1820s. These documents are the foundation of the third book of this trilogy.

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Betsy Richman Henderson Gragg appears to have a charmed life. Born as a privileged daughter of a slave-owner and beautiful, she married a Southern gentleman who fought for the Confederacy. When he dies in battle, who quickly remarries. Fortunately, Betsy finds love again and this time marries a Union soldier, Their love quickly has her carrying their child.

The Rising by Heather Graham and Jon Land

Reviewed by Russell Ilg

The RisingThe Rising, a sumptuously entertaining, lightning-paced romp, is a difficult book to categorize. Bestselling author Jon Land, and even bigger bestselling author Heather Graham, have joined forces to pen a tale that’s part sci-fi, part young adult, part thriller, part mystery, part romance, part—well, just take your pick.

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The amazing thing is that this genre hybrid hodgepodge works. And it works in a big way—literally, since The Rising features a pair of teenagers who are only thing standing between the world and total annihilation. One of them is Alex Chin, a blond-haired, blue-eyed, high school football hero heartthrob who’s life begins to unravel when he suffers a concussion during a playoff game. The CT scan reveals an anomaly that will ultimately send Alex on a mind-bending quest to find not only the truth that’s out there in true X-Files fashion, both about himself and the world as a whole.

Half-Cut (The Cut Series Book 1) by Arnold Eslava-Grunwaldt

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

Half-CutA police thriller that is as clever as it is suspenseful; Half-Cut makes a noticeable entrance into the ever-growing genre of police thrillers. Author Arnold Eslava-Grunwaldt delivers with this debut novel, which is a well-orchestrated thriller that builds in intrigue, portrays sympathetic characters, and introduces readers to central character Detective Sergeant Hamilcar “Ham” Hitchcock, a seasoned and wise detective on the Yonkers, NY police force.

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Readers will find themselves immediately drawn into the intense world of Detective Sergeant Hitchcock, as he finds himself called to the residence of Bernard “Barney” Bloemker. At first glance, it appears that Barney died of a heart attack. However, something seems out of place with the corpse when it is noted that half his head has been shaved bald. Barney’s unconventional haircut did not match the plain interior set up within his apartment. The mystery continues to grow, as another oddity about poor Barney’s corpse arises. The medical examiner notices a telltale sign of arsenic poisoning indicating that a much more sinister scenario was beginning to unfold; Bloemker’s death may have been murder.

Exiles: A Mystery in Paris (The Daniel Levin Mysteries Book 1) by Lawrence J. Epstein

Reviewed by Timea Barabas

Exiles:  A Mystery in ParisAlthough the title of the novel by Lawrence J. Epstein reads Exiles: A Mystery in Paris, in fact there are several types of mysteries tackled on various levels. The readers are invited to explore these and see beyond the shadow of the murder case which reigns over the plot.

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It all unravels in Paris, 1925 – a period marked by recovery, vitality and hope. It is the hope of a fresh start that pushes Daniel Levin to leave his home and venture into a foreign land to try and accomplish his dream of becoming a writer. While he quickly befriends the right people and receives a lot of help from them, he still has to face a lot of obstacles alone. Some of these are regarding his literary carrier, some even threaten his life.
Soon after his arrival, a murder takes place in his vicinity. The audacity of the crime and the fame of the victim guarantee the headlines. While he begins as merely a keen observer, his status will shift as he will find himself ever more involved in the case. Meanwhile, he is also faced with the mystery of love and its many masks. Levin thus has the opportunity to discover a city like Paris through a woman. As a bonus, the pages of the book are spiced with the appearances of famous characters of the likes of Sylvia Beach, Ernest Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein, all of who are strongly portrayed and bring an extra layer of complexity to the novel.

Off the Hook: A Christmas Ornament Adventure by John Arvai III

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Off the Hook:  A Christmas Ornament AdventureWhy do we have ornaments on a Christmas tree?

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Is the reason decoration? Many trees combine ornaments given as remembrances of family members or memorable events.

Would you be surprised to discover that there is a purpose for the decorations, probably one that has been kept a secret from you?

On Christmas Eve, while most people are asleep and dreaming, each ornament diligently goes to work. It is the ornaments responsibility to fix the tree lights, tighten screws on the tree stand, and even guard the cookies and milk from pets. This annual event requires each decoration to be “off the hook.”

The star on the top of your tree is different and not an ornament. All the ornaments cooperatively work together to activate the star which is a location transmitter lighting each rooftop to be seen only by Santa.

This year the Thompson family has a problem. They just don’t know that it exists. During their annual Christmas Eve party, the family cat somehow toppled the star, falling into an empty gift bag which Aunt Connie brought to her home.

Once she discovers the star, she believes it is a gift to decorate one of her many trees. What will happen to the Thompson children when Santa is missing their home? Without a location transmitter, how will their home be found?

How can their Christmas be saved?

How can the family’s ornaments possibly save Christmas for the children?

Off the Hook is a wonderfully creative story with the illustrations perfectly matching the text into a logical and well-organized original Christmas story for children of all ages. Numerous themes surround this short book such as cooperation, friendship, prejudice, stereotypes, diligence and doing not what is easiest, but what is the right thing.

Surprisingly, each ornament is an independent character with an individual personality humanizing each and even revealing a little of every person’s hidden prejudices and biases.

The colorful illustrations perfectly match the text entrancing readers from as young as 2 to 102 focusing on the individual ornaments and the children.

When not being a US Army veteran, an IT professional, husband, and father of three children, the author enjoys hockey and using his imagination to create a beautifully original story.

This enchanting Christmas novel is available as an e-book or a paperback.
Off the Hook is a wonderful Christmas story that will endure the test of time becoming a new family traditional story to be shared with generations.

A Glitch in the System by Adam Aust

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

A Glitch in the SystemDebuting as a compelling and uncompromisingly good read, Adam Aust’s A Glitch in the System brings readers the forefront of the thriller genre with its riveting merging of sex, mystery and legal intrigue that has a dominatrix racing against time and the odds to solve an engulfing mystery that is completely destroying her life.

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In a particularly fascinating and intriguingly creative narrative, author Aust treats his readers to a gripper of a story that successfully flows with the spine tingling continuity similar to other well-known thriller writers like John Grisham. The story is steeped in a plot infused with cleverly planned and flowing twists that lend to this being an adventurously scintillating read that you want to finish in one sitting.

The Millennial Reincarnations (The Millennial Trilogy) (Volume 1) by Daniel Mark Harrison

Reviewed by Suzanne Odom

The Millennial ReincarnationsDaniel Mark Harrison’s book, begins with a forward explaining about China’s five different types of leaders. Reading this proved very helpful in understanding the rest of the novel which tended to jump from character to character throughout the book. It’s a collection of stories set in the time frame of 1990 – 2014 with a variety of interesting characters and story lines.

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The beginning tells of a man driving through New York City with his 14 year old daughter, Alyssa, and her friend. Tragically and unexpectedly, they are involved in a horrible car accident and the two young girls are killed.Thus begins a story whose characters are so interwoven amongst each other, and a story that asks the popular question, “Why are we here?’.

Telonaut: (Teloverse Series) (Volume 1) by Matt Tyson

Reviewed by Teri Davis

TelonautSero Novak’s current age is forty-six years old. However, he was born one hundred seventeen years ago. For the missing sixty-nine years, he was just code – a spider map – on a permaDrive, waiting for a body.

Currently, he is occupying his eleventh human body.

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Sero is the lead Telonaut auditor, whose responsibility is to evaluate the space colony of NineDee. As the auditor, he lives on a wet world planet while assessing construction progress and getting to know the residents and their aspirations..

Attitudes have changed substantially over the past centuries. Back in the twentieth century, people hoped their children would have better lives. People worked hard so that their kids could have a better life. Everyone competed to have more than their neighbors. This philosophy just didn’t work with so many people losing out in a competitively structured society and after the final global financial crisis, the world crumbled.

5 Days to Landfall by Robert Roy Britt

Reviewed by Teri Davis

5 Days to LandfallLiving along the Atlantic Ocean in South Carolina, most people know how to prepare for hurricanes. Their communities understand the potential disaster and work well to minimize the amount of damage to the communities. They know that nature always wins. These communities almost can write a book about storm preparedness including evacuations.

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The Falling of the Moon (Moonfall Mayhem Book 1)

Reviewed by Teri Davis

The Falling of the MoonHow many of us secretly dream of life as “happily ever after?”

For Ascot Abberdorf of Shadowvale, all she has to guide her through life is a single book of fairy tales. Being orphaned, she relies on the guidance of her big brother for advice as she is approaching adulthood. However, when her big brother arranges her marriage to a much older man, she decides to leave her home carrying her guide book of fairy tales and whatever silverware she can quickly grab along with her loyal bat-winged cat, Moony. She believes that by traveling to the distant Daylands, she will find her true love as her destiny in life. Her father was from Shadowvale and her mother from Daylands, so why not discover how the other half lives?

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Since Ascot is a vampire, this land of brightness is a little strange to her.
As luck would have it, the prince of the land is searching for a wife.
Fortunately, a fairy godmother appears giving Ascot a ring with this inscription to help her find her true love. “I burn bright in Love’s True sight. If you light not where I have shown, live out your life, unloved, alone.”

Poisonfeather (The Gibson Vaughn Series) by Matthew FitzSimmons

Reviewed by Teri Davis

1503939294A wealthy billionaire spends seven years in prison for embezzlement. However, he doesn’t seem to regret his past crime. After an interview with a financial magazine about his upcoming release, it is apparent to everyone that he has hidden money from the authorities.

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So who will find the money first?

Charles Merrick swindled people’s hopes and money. Many people invested with him every penny so that their families would have prosperous futures. He took their money and left them with nothing.

Escape Clause (A Virgil Flowers Novel) by John Sandford

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Escape ClauseQuite a story again. This time Virgil Flowers gets involved with not only some dudes who steal tigers from a Minnesota zoo but he is also trying to find out who beat up Frankie, his current girlfriend.

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It all starts when Virgil and Frankie are swimming in the lake on Frankie’s place when Sparkle and her new boyfriend, Rev. Bill come along and pile into the pool with them. (As a side note Rev. Bill works 9 months as a priest and then 3 months as a bartender. Sandford is good at rigging up stuff like that). Turns out that Sparkel is in the area to do some digging into a local manufacturing plant that is hiring Mexicans in an uncanny and illegal way. She is going to do the investigating for her dissertation that is required for her degree.

Law and Disorder by Mike Papantonio

Reviewed by Jud Hanson

Law and DisorderAttorney Nicholas “Deke” Deketomis is a hard hitting lawyer in Spanish Trace, FL and a monumental thorn in the side of corporations who put profits before people. He has a reputation for going after companies with everything he has and obtaining large settlements for his clients. Deke’s life becomes very complicated, however, after he is framed for murder while litigating two major tort cases against Bekmeyer Pharmaceauticals and S.I. Oil. Substantial money is at stake and conservative forces backing both companies seem to be conspiring against Deke to shatter his credibility and destroy his reputation. The question is, will he be able to beat the odds once again or is this the end of his stellar career?

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Playing with Fire by Peter Robinson

Reviewed by Jud Hanson

Playing with FireOne dark night in Yorkshire, DCI Banks and DI Cabot are called to the scene of a fire. Two derelict boats have been set on fire and there are two victims: the daughter of a local doctor and a marginally successful artist. Much is revealed as Banks and Cabot investigate, including the possible existence of an art forgery ring involving Leslie Whitaker, a local book seller and Cabot’s newest love interest, Phil Keane and that the artist’s death might be the result of a blackmail attempt. This could be the most challenging case yet for Banks and Cabot and time is running out as more fires are set and more people fall victim to the unidentified arsonist.

Predator: A Crossbow Novel by Wilbur Smith

Reviewed by Jud Hanson

Predator“Predator” is the third book featuring former British soldier Hector Cross. The book opens with the escape of Congo, the man who was responsible for the death of Cross’ wife. Congo seeks revenge against Cross for his incarceration and death sentence. He plans to destroy Cross’ life by destroying Bannock Oil, the source of Cross’ wealth. Congo puts together a complicated plan involving mercenaries, the would-be dictator of an independence-seeking, oil-rich province of an African country and his corrupt attorney. When Cross realizes that Congo has escaped custody, he puts together his own force to stop him once and for all. What follows is ultimately showdown between the two men, only one of which will make it out alive.

The Northeast Quarter by S.M. Harris

Reviewed by Teri Davis

The Northeast QuarterA birthday celebration changes their lives.

Colonel Wallace Carson is looking forward to his granddaughter’s birthday party. Now that is it 1918, Ann is ten-years-old and feels special that she shares her birthday with the country.

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During the family gathering, the Colonel gives advice to his heir, Ann, to always protect the Northeast Quarter of the family land. The Colonel started his estate in that part of Winfield, Iowa and expanding his property as he prospered.