My interview over at The Art and Craft of Writing Creatively is HERE

Purchase my book Images of America: Detroit Lakes HERE

Monday, July 9, 2018

Book Review: A Man Called Ove by @Backmanland

Publisher: Atria Books
Format: Paperback
Source: personal

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

This meme really sums up how I felt when I was done reading A Man Called Ove. It has been awhile since I’ve cried all the way through a book! Backman introduces us to an elderly gentleman who just recently lost his wife. I don’t want to give anything away but from the beginning you realize what Ove is planning and the floodgates open up. Think of a mixture of Grand Torino and the Notebook. Fate plays a hand and Ove is thwarted from his plans at every turn of the page. I will just leave you with some of my favorite quotes from the book (I know you will want to read it after this!)

He was a man of black and white.
And she was color. All the color he had.

“I miss you,” he whispers.
There’s a quick gleam in the corner of Ove’s eye. He feels something soft against his arm. It takes a few seconds before he realizes that the cat is gently resting its head in the palm of his hand.


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Book Review: The Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews

Series: The Red Sparrow Book 1
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: 2/20/2018
Format: Media Tie-in
Source: Purchased from Barnes and Noble

In contemporary Russia, state intelligence officer Dominika Egorova has been drafted to become a "Sparrow" -- a spy trained in the art of seduction to siphon out information from their marks. She’s been assigned to Nathaniel Nash, a CIA officer who handles the organization’s most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young intelligence officers, trained in their respective spy schools, collide in a charged atmosphere of tradecraft, deception and, inevitably, a forbidden spiral of carnal attraction that threatens their careers and the security of America's valuable mole in Moscow. 

I will be the first to say that books about Russian espionage are not my first pick to read, that is usually my mom’s type of book. I will say the reason I picked this book up was because of the previews for the movie version. I just had to read the book before I see the movie, it is how I roll.

The beginning grabbed me right away, I was pulled into the lives of Dominika and Nash. It was a more slow pace to start, which I liked because it eased me into some very heavy reading. After the two meet the book really takes off and I was taken on a roller coaster ride of emotions. There were moments in the book that I was cheering them on and then the next I was raging against one of them for being asinine. The many other characters beef up the story. The author peppers a variety of evil and good men and woman throughout the storyline that creates an almost dizzying affect for me. I couldn’t tell most of the time who were the good guys and who were the bad guys! Which means I was staying up late just to read one more page that turned into one more chapter!

As a bonus, at the end of each chapter was a little recipe for something one of the characters ate. I did mark a few to try just because the way the author described the savory meal made my mouth water.

The author’s expertise is very prevalent in his writing. As I was reading, I wondered if his career with the CIA was as exciting as Nash’s. This was definitely not a book I would have picked up just out of the blue, but I am so glad I did. The ending of this book is really just the beginning and left me craving to read the next!

Thursday, April 26, 2018


Hi Everyone!!! I'm finally back! It has been awhile but I'm ready to start posting and reviewing again. There's been a lot of changes in my life, personal and career, the last few years. Now I'm armed with a new computer (that won't constantly crash on me) and a fresh outlook on reviewing. I most likely won't post AS much as I use to. I am going or more quality then quantity. I've really missed the book blogging world so I am looking forward to this adventure again,,,:-)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Audio Review: A Good Marriage by @StephenKing

Read by: Jessica Hecht
Publication Date: September 30, 2014
Format: Audio CD
Source: Publisher

What happens to woman who finds out that the husband she married over 20 years ago is not the person she thought he was. That is what happens to Darcy Anderson in Stephen King’s short story, A Good Marriage. But can it be true. Can this man, the father of her children, be a murderer?

From the beginning, King pulls the reader into the mind of Darcy. From her initial reaction to finding a box full of secrets to the final fatal decision she makes to save herself and her children. With a roller coaster of emotions, Darcy faces off with Bob who somehow figured out that his wife learned his deep dark secret and comes home early from his business trip. For Bob, it is a relief and he decides to unburden himself, letting the one person he knows he can trust know every last gruesome detail of each murder.

King really does know how to write a short suspenseful story with characters a reader can believe. These two could be your neighbors or even your relatives. This one was perfect for me to stick in my earplugs and listen to while I worked. Any Stephen King fan who hasn’t read or listened to this one yet, should.

DISCLOSURE: I received this audio from the publisher at no charge and in no way influenced my review.  

Monday, October 27, 2014

Book Spotlight: Deadly Odds by Allen Wyler

Publisher: Astor + Blue
Publication Date: October 1, 2014

Astor + Blue Editions is proud to present Deadly Odds, a new breakout suspense thriller with a “techno edge” by bestselling author Allen Wyler. What happens when a shy and awkward young computer hacker has a run-in with terrorists?

Twenty-three year old Arnold Gold is a local computer genius in his native Seattle, described as a “part-time hacker and full-time virgin” by his friends. When the awkward young shut-in decides to take matters in his own hands, and venture to Vegas “to get lucky,” little does he know that his hacking skill will make him a bull’s-eye target for terrorists and the FBI.

A major terrorist group wants Arnold’s “Dark Net Hacking” system to help hatch their latest plot, and they’ll stop at nothing to claim it—even killing Arnold’s friends. Now, with murderous terrorists, the FBI, and the local cops on his tail, Arnold finds himself trapped in a high-stakes game with the odds of survival slim to none. It will take every last bit of his genius intellect and legendary hacking skill to stay one step ahead of the deadly game, and foil the plot that will turn Sin City into the scene of the deadliest terror attacks since 9/11.

Written in Allen Wyler’s break neck style and attention to expert detail, Deadly Odds is as terrifyingly plausible as it is darkly humorous and enjoyable. The riveting story of a young man who lives life through his computer and discovers its dark side is sure to win him legions of new fans. Filled with suspenseful twists and enough technological detail to keep both techno-thriller and classic suspense fans on the edge of their seats, Deadly Odds is the ultimate thrill ride for the emerging tech-savvy generation.


Allen Wyler is a renowned neurosurgeon who earned an international reputation for pioneering surgical techniques to record brain activity. He has served on the faculties of both the University of Washington and the University of Tennessee, and in 1992 was recruited by the prestigious Swedish Medical Center to develop a neuroscience institute.

In 2002, he left active practice to become Medical Director for a startup med-tech company (that went public in 2006) and he now chairs the Institutional Review Board of a major medical center in the Pacific Northwest.

Leveraging a love for thrillers since the early 70’s, Wyler devoted himself to fiction writing in earnest, eventually serving as Vice President of the International Thriller Writers organization for several years. After publishing his first two medical thrillers Deadly Errors (2005) and Dead Head (2007), he officially retired from medicine to devote himself to writing full time.

He and his wife, Lily, divide their time between Seattle and the San Juan Islands.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Book Spotlight: The Page Turners: Blood by @Kevin_T_Johns

Series: The Page Turners, Bk 1
Publisher: Cat & Bean Publishing
Publication Date: November 30, 201

Have you ever felt abandoned by your parents? Ignored by your teacher? Betrayed by your peers?

Do you feel more of a connection to the characters in the books you read than to people
in the real world?

Have you experienced the loneliness of being the only person in your little community who dreams of something bigger?

Nate Bourdain has

In The Page Turners: Blood, Nate and his friends are thrilled to discover an ancient book of magic hidden in the school library--they now have the means to stand up to villains that make high-school life such a battle.

But, when the book's dark magic releases a fictional killer into the real world, the teens must prove they have what it takes to be heroes, or fall as bloody victims in their own horror story turned real.


Kevin T. Johns grew up in a small Ontario town, reading comic books, watching horror movies, and playing guitar in punk rock bands. After studying film and English literature in university, he co-founded an arts and culture magazine, where he was a contributing writer and senior editor for several years. He lives in Ottawa with his wife and two daughters. The Page Turners is his debut novel. Look for books two and three of The Page Turners Trilogy.

Website  /  Facebook  /  Twitter

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Cover Reveal: The Tapestry by Nancy Bilyeau @TudorScribe

 Publication Date: March 24, 2015
Touchstone Publishing
Formats: eBook, Hardcover 
Pages: 390
Genre: Historical Mystery 
Series: Joanna Stafford, Book Three

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In THE CROWN, Sister Joanna Stafford searched for a Dark Ages relic that could save her priory from Cromwell?s advancing army of destruction. In THE CHALICE, Joanna was drawn into an international conspiracy against Henry VIII himself as she struggled to learn the truth behind a prophecy of his destruction. Now, in THE TAPESTRY, Joanna Stafford finally chooses her own destiny. After her Dominican priory in Dartford closed forever?collateral damage in tyrannical King Henry VIII?s quest to overthrow the Catholic Church?Joanna resolves to live a quiet and honorable life weaving tapestries, shunning dangerous quests and conspiracies. Until she is summoned to Whitehall Palace, where her tapestry weaving has drawn the King?s attention. Joanna is uncomfortable serving the King, and fears for her life in a court bursting with hidden agendas and a casual disregard for the virtues she holds dear. Her suspicions are confirmed when an assassin attempts to kill her moments after arriving at Whitehall. Struggling to stay ahead of her most formidable enemy yet, an unknown one, she becomes entangled in dangerous court politics. Her dear friend Catherine Howard is rumored to be the King?s mistress. Joanna is determined to protect young, beautiful, na?ve Catherine from becoming the King?s next wife and, possibly, victim. Set in a world of royal banquets and feasts, tournament jousts, ship voyages, and Tower Hill executions, this thrilling tale finds Joanna in her most dangerous situation yet, as she attempts to decide the life she wants to live: nun or wife, spy or subject, rebel or courtier. Joanna Stafford must finally choose.

Pre-Order the Book

About the Author
Nancy Bilyeau has worked on the staffs of InStyle, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Ladies Home Journal. She is currently the executive editor of DuJour magazine. Her screenplays have placed in several prominent industry competitions. Two scripts reached the semi-finalist round of the Nicholl Fellowships of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Her screenplay "Zenobia" placed with the American Zoetrope competition, and "Loving Marys" reached the finalist stage of Scriptapalooza. A native of the Midwest, she earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan. THE CROWN, her first novel, was published in 2012; the sequel, THE CHALICE, followed in 2013. THE TAPESTRY will be released in March 2015. Nancy lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Stay in touch with her on Twitter at @tudorscribe. For more information please visit Nancy Bilyeau's website