This is the blog of Samie Sands, author of Lockdown. There will be many great books and projects reviewed here. For more, check out thelockdown.co.uk.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Author Notes on Forgotten

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"Forgotten introduces 3 new characters, all of which bring a new dimension to the zombie apocalypse caused by the AM13 virus. These 3 people all have their story told from their point-of-view as the situation around them becomes increasingly dire.
Ethan is an obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) sufferer who's condition has affected his life dramatically. His fear or germs, disease and illness has caused him to become isolated, afraid, 'different'. There is no chance someone this frightened can survive the zombies...is there?
Alyssa is an overly confident teenage girl who has spent her life daydreaming about the zombie apocalypse finally arriving - and now that it has, she knows with an absolute certainty that she will survive. She's read all the books, watched all the films, done all the research. She's strong, tough...a badass! Any group would be lucky to fight alongside her.
And finally, there is Dr. Jones, the scientist who can't understand why he alone seems to have been selected to attempt to cure the virus...surely there are survivors that are much more experienced than him in virology? And what will happen to him if he fails? Is the fate of the human race really resting on his shoulders alone?
These characters are also frustratingly real and not what you'd expect from a zombie apocalypse novel. The AM13 series tells the stories of the people usually ignored, forgotten about. You may love it, you may hate it, but you won't know until you try it :)"

Author Notes on Lockdown

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"Leah isn't the typical heroine that you find in zombie apocalyptic novels. She's not got any of the survivalist skills needed in this horror-filled situation; she isn't strong, level-headed or able...she certainly isn't someone you'd want on your team!
In fact, Leah is flawed, frustrating, she's actually a bit of an airhead. She's 23-years-old but is very young in her mind - indecisive, desperately insecure and afraid of real life (and that's before the arrival of any zombies). She's always been a 'follower' in her life, and continues to be so throughout the plot. Leah stays true to her - albeit imperfect - self.
She is what makes Lockdown a unique read. Following her journey into the unknown isn't full of action and smart decisions. Is Leah a protagonist that you'll route for? There is only one way to find out!"

Monday, 29 June 2015

Alluring Song by Aimee McNeil

Alluring Song is part of The Book Review Club – sign up for free books to review and gain readers and feedback for your book HERE.
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Raised in seclusion, Lorelei is suddenly taken forcibly from the only place she has ever known. Her captors, led by a man named Crewe, become enamored of the fair Lorelei, except the warrior named Ajax, who refuses to accept her innocence. Suspicions lead him to act upon deep-rooted instinct. Lorelei can feel his distaste for her, almost palpable in the air, while she struggles against the confusing feelings he stirs within her. Everything about Ajax appeals to her, while he seems intent on causing her harm. Ajax, bred from a lineage thought to be only myth, struggles between his nature and the intense desires that Lorelei inflames within him. Her very being causes him to question everything he believed to be true. When Lorelei is taken from his grasp, and her life is threatened, he realizes he will stop at nothing to save her, even if it is at the risk of his own life. The notorious Teller arrives at Falls Landing, making strategically violent moves against the crown, causing fear and doubt to stir in the hearts of the people. Fueled by a vengeance so fierce, Teller has woven an intricate plan for the demise of the royal structure, the king, and the true target of his hatred. The once-proud King Brom spirals into the web of lies and deceit his own wife, Queen Peronell, has spun around him. His ability to rule the kingdom comes into question as he encounters threats that infiltrate his realm. The truth of his downfall soon confronts him, and he is left to face what will remain. Prince Arthur struggles with dark urges that threaten his sanity. His thirst for pain, pleasure, and the taste of blood begin to control him. When his secretive mother reveals the truth of his existence, he embraces his nature, even biting the hand that feeds him. His fascination soon turns toward the mysterious beauty that shows up at his door, and he will destroy anything that gets in his way. All paths collide, and Lorelei finds herself in the middle of a struggle for power. She must face the truth of her creation, confront the powers that seek her, and face the new world that has forever changed from the protective walls of her forest. The dangers that surround her have been in play long before Lorelei was born, but they have been awaiting her arrival. Lorelei will also discover something that gives her the strength to face all that confronts her, her heart holding the key.
Sign up to The Book Review Club to get your copy, and enter the Competition to be in with a chance of winning a signed paperback copy!

Sunday, 28 June 2015

The Book Review Club - Crying Over Spilt Light by George Saoulidis

Crying Over Spilt Light is part of The Book Review Club – sign up for free books to review and gain readers and feedback for your book HERE.
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What If You Could Hire Your Own Personal Muse?
On the verge of abandoning his life-long project, an obsessive physicist hires the innovative service of an android Muse to help him finish his work. But when things start to go missing from his life, he must learn that not all is worth sacrificing on the altar of science before he has nothing left to live for.
 
Do you want to know what’s next for poor-but-brilliant Yanni? Do you wanna meet the Muse?
 
Review: I really enjoyed the complex writing style of this author - Crying Over Spilt Light combines mythology with intriguing characters. The plot is fast paced, dark, exciting and gripping. Once I started reading this book, I couldn't put it down. Highly recommended!

Friday, 26 June 2015

Moonlight on Nightingale Way by Samantha Young

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Logan from Echoes of Scotland Street is back with his own smouldering story, as the bestselling On Dublin Street series returns...
Logan spent two years paying for the mistakes he made. Now, he's ready to start over. He has a great apartment, a good job, and plenty of women to distract him from his past. And one woman who is driving him to distraction...
Grace escaped her manipulative family by moving to a new city. Her new life, made to suit her own needs, is almost perfect. All she needs to do is find her Mr. Right-or at least figure out a way to ignore her irresistible yet annoying womanizer of a neighbor.
Grace is determined to have nothing to do with Logan until a life-changing surprise slowly begins turning the wild heartbreaker into exactly the kind of strong, stable man she's been searching for. Only just when she begins to give into his charms, her own messy past threatens to derail everything they've worked to build...
Samantha Young is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author from Scotland. She’s been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Author and Best Romance for her international bestselling novel ON DUBLIN STREET. ON DUBLIN STREET is Samantha’s first adult contemporary romance series and has been sold in twenty eight countries.
Review: I'm a huge fan of Samantha Young's books. I love the way her characters are layered, complex and seemingly fall in love with their complete opposites - with disastrous and amazing, steamy consequences, and this book is no different. Grace and Logan are like chalk and cheese, but their chemistry negates this and they end up in a complicated relationship. The story line is pushed forward by these characters, and by the end of the book I wanted more! Highly recommended.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Vow of Solitude by Austen Thorne

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Detective Jordan Denali is in a fight for her life against the ghosts from her past and a Serial Killer taunting her with his every move. She lives a life of solitude and plans to keep it that way.
When Callie Marceau, a curious Medical Examiner, decides she wants in on the biggest case of her career, as well as, Jordan's life, Jordan is powerless to stop her. 
Review: I loved this wonderful romance story! Callie and Jordan are amazingly written characters that you quickly fall in love with. Throw in a bit of excitement and mystery and you have an awesome thriller on your hands. Highly recommended.

Monday, 22 June 2015

The Girl Who Went Missing by Ace Varkey

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When June Warner arrives in India to visit her sister Thalia, a trip to take her mind off her jilted engagement, she is greeted by the bright hot chaos of Mumbai but not her sister. She goes to the YMCA where Thalia is staying, only to find that she is not there. 

Convinced that Thalia’s no-show is a sign that she is in danger, June begins a desperate search for her younger sister. 

Police Commissioner Oscar D'Costa, scarred by the tragedies of his past, swears he will never again ignore his gut instinct when it comes to a missing girl. And with more and more dead foreign women being found in his precinct, he becomes convinced a conspiracy is at play. 

Through the two worlds of American naiveté and Indian chaos, they must find the girl who went missing.
Review: I loved reading The Girl Who Went Missing! Ace Varkey is an amazing author with a unique writing style. I really enjoyed the varying viewpoints unraveling the mystery as the story line progressed. Each character had a distinct, unique voice and by the end of the book, I felt like I knew the all really well. Prepare for unexpected twists, turns and a deep, dark tone. I can't wait to read more from this author!

Sunday, 21 June 2015

The Replacement by Patrick Redmond

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Everyone envies the Randalls: beautiful, accomplished and high-flying, their lives are almost too good to be true.
No one envies Stuart. A tough childhood has left him making his way as best he can, vowing to lose a bit more weight and become a bit more successful.
But a chance encounter sets in motion a series of events which will shatter everything. Some will think they've lost, others will think they've won, but none of them will be prepared for the final catastrophe of jealousy, betrayal and agonizing justice.
They should never have invited Stuart in - and he should never have trusted them.
A brilliantly assured psychological thriller that builds tension with such power and conviction, you will feel as if you are there with them, fighting for a say. 
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Patrick Redmond was born in Essex in 1966. After attending school in Essex and the Channel Islands he completed a Law degree at Leicester University and then a Masters at University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He spent ten years working in the City of London specialising in Commercial and EU law, before leaving to become a full time writer. His novels have hit the bestseller lists in the UK, Germany and Italy, and have been translated into fifteen languages. Patrick lives in West London.
Review: Oh my God! The Replacement is an amazing, twisted, complex story with narcissistic parents, confused and frightened adults who haven't managed to grow up and a hospital mistake which turns everyone's lives around. Being mixed up at birth is bound to lead to problems, but these problems are intensified when everyone in the picture feels like they're the victim, like their story is the worst. Patrick Redmond has an amazing and gripping way of writing which gave each character their own, individual tone. Once I was sucked into the story line, I couldn't put the book down until the final, explosive page.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Miracle at Christmas by Sydney Canyon

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A Modern Twist on the Classic Scrooge Story.
Dylan Bosch is workaholic, power-hungry lawyer who pushed away everything good in her life to become the best defense attorney in the state of Colorado, often winning the worst cases and keeping anyone with enough money out of jail.
She’s visited on Christmas Eve by her deceased law partner, Barry, who threatens her with a life in hell like his own, if she doesn’t change the path she is on. During the course of the night, Dylan is taken on a journey through her past, present, and future with three very different spirits. 
Review: There are many versions of the scrooge tale, and this has to be one of my favourites! It's fun, feisty and exciting. It's stand-out different and highly recommended.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Hotel of Seduction by Marina Anderson

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Are you ready for a weekend away at the Hotel of Seduction?
Grace has won the man of her dreams - and her fantasies. Brooding, sensual, wealthy and handsome, their days and nights are filled with pleasure. But can this enigmatic man truly love her?
Together they have set up a secret, exclusive hotel for adventurous couples, designed to open their guests' eyes to the darker, deeper side of desire. But one of the visitors has an agenda, and David is becoming distracted by a new arrival.
As they explore the delights on offer, Grace realises this is a test: if she fails, she will lose David to his next passing fancy. If she succeeds, she will secure his love for ever, and he will finally invite her into his world . . .
Take some time away and allow yourself to be seduced by The Hotel of Seduction.
Review: Hotel of Seduction is from an erotic series and although I haven't read the rest of the books, it didn't diminish my enjoyment or ability to follow the story line. Marina Anderson has a way of turning the erotic genre on it's head and adding more excitement and interest to the plot. Grace is an extremely layered character who unravels more and more. By the end of the book, I felt like I understood her more than at the beginning, and the cliffhanger at the end left me wanting to know more...

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Just Me by Graysen Morgen

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Wild child Ian Wiley has to grow up and take the reins of the hundred year old family business when tragedy strikes. Can she let go of her reckless ways long enough to conform? After all, she is a Wiley and with that name comes a legacy.
Cassidy Harland is a little surprised that she came within an inch of picking up a gorgeous stranger in a bar while on vacation, but weeks later when she runs into that stranger again she is shocked to find out she’s the new head of the company.
Review: Graysen Morgen is an excellent storyteller, and this shines through in Just Me. The scenery depicted in beautiful, the characters included are layered and full of realistic depth and the storyline moves quickly in an exciting way. The passion described between Ian and Cassidy is breathtaking and as a reader, you really route for their happiness.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Crying Over Spilt Light by George Saoulidis

Crying Over Spilt Light is part of The Book Review Club – sign up for free books to review and gain readers and feedback for your book HERE.
George Saoulidis Cover
What If You Could Hire Your Own Personal Muse?

On the verge of abandoning his life-long project, an obsessive physicist hires the innovative service of an android Muse to help him finish his work. But when things start to go missing from his life, he must learn that not all is worth sacrificing on the altar of science before he has nothing left to live for.

Do you want to know what’s next for poor-but-brilliant Yanni? Do you wanna meet the Muse?

Confessions of an Assassin by Linda Heavner Gerald

Confessions of an Assassin has been reviewed as part of The Book Review Club - sign up for free books to review and gain readers and feedback for your book HERE.gerald_cover %283%29
The secret government agency which Catherine Carnegie was enticed to join gave her the hardest assignment of her life in Bali, Indonesia. Once alluring, she now found the glamour and danger not worth the required sacrifice. Eventually, she was given a way out but it required the destruction of the thing she loved most. Her life was spent in pain and agony until the day a package arrived from an unlikely source.  That was the gift which set her free.
Author, Linda Heavner Gerald
Linda Heavner Gerald is retired with her husband on the Gulf of Mexico where she writes daily.  Two years ago, Linda began writing after a vision would not leave her mind.  Nightly, this scenario played in her thoughts until she finally prayed for guidance.  The result was her first book, Beaufort Betrayal.  Linda wrote non-stop for over two weeks until the book was completed.  She was afraid that if she stopped, she would not be able to pull all of the loose ends together.  Now, writing is easier and more enjoyable.  Her sixth Thriller should be released any day.  Her goal in writing is to provide readers with a book of substance which says something important.  Although told as a story, there is always a message as well as current medical problems with solutions.  Linda uses her medical background to encourage those who may be experiencing symptoms but afraid to seek help.  Depression, post traumatic stress, effects of grief and macular degeneration are just a few of the subjects she has presented.
Review: Oh wow!I was very excited to read ‘Confessions of an Assassin’ as I am a huge fan of Linda Heavner Gerald and I wasn’t disappointed. The book is filled with action, as can be expected, but it was so much more than that. The characters have many layers which  unravel as the plot thickens and the story is filled with unexpected twists and turns. I love the way it is written as a woman looking back on her life because it means she is viewing the love, the loss, the excitement, the danger, all with the benefit of hindsight. I would recommend this book to anyone, no matter what genre you prefer as there is something in there for everyone!

Friday, 12 June 2015

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

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THE SENSATIONAL SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
A tragic accident. It all happened so quickly. She couldn't have prevented it. Could she?
In a split second, Jenna Gray's world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.
Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating . . .
Clare Mackintosh spent twelve years in the police force, including time on CID, and as a public order commander. She left the police in 2011 to work as a freelance journalist and social media consultant, and now writes full time. She is the founder and director of Chipping Norton Literary Festival, and lives in the Cotswolds with her husband and their three children.
Review: I read 'I Let You Go' on the promise of 'that twist'. Of all the possible plot shocks I was imagining, I could never in a million years have guessed what it was going to be. When it was revealed, I actually had to re-read a few times to check I'd got it right! This psychological thriller is the best I've read in a very long time. The characters are deep and complex, the story line steam rollers you and you'll finish the book still reeling. Highly recommended!

The Eternal Express by David Lessoff

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Exhausted and inebriated after partying at an afterhours club, twenty four year-old Spencer Stevens boards a commuter train on his way to visit one of his many girlfriends. He dozes off, only to discover upon waking that he is now the conductor on a different train. Spencer shortly becomes aware that this is not a dream and the passengers are all dead, with their souls traveling to their eternal resting places. It has now become his responsibility to see that they safely arrive. Ride along The Eternal Express with Spencer on his journey through life and death as both bone chilling and heartwarming stories are told by the passengers he meets along the way.
Review: The magical elements in The Eternal Express quickly feel real within the plot of this story. I love the way Spencer interacts with each of the passengers in an individual manner and also the way each person relates to his own life in one way or another. The mystery unfolds in this thriller in a very exciting way. This would make a great film. Highly recommended.

Purr!

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PURR! A Children’s Book about Cats is an informational picture book intended as a read-aloud and a research resource for children in the early grades. The book contains a helpful collection of information about domestic cats, as well as information about the most popular types of cats. The book will inform and entertain early learners by its presentation, illustrations, and research. The book is fitting into the elementary school language arts program of study for the early grades.
Review: Purr! is a cute and educational book perfect for pre school readers. The illustrations are striking, done by a very talented artist. This book can be read over and over and still be fun.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Yolk by Colleen Baxter

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Adam Garwood did not realize that when Jillian Lambert walked into his detective agency, his life would never be the same.
Not only was Jillian trying to uncover a cold case from twenty years prior, but she was also looking for her twin sister, Devon, whose disappearance was the focus of this case.
Adam would soon learn that his probing would uncover a hidden mystery surrounding the Centaur Theatre and its cast of actors, this also leading to frightening details about the Montreal mafia.
Should he leave well enough alone? He would be jeopardizing not only his own life but that of Richard’s, his lover and soon to be husband. Had his desire to solve this case become all-consuming to him? 
Review: Yolk is a fun, fast-paced, but ultimately suspense-filled novel filled with complex characters and a mystery that unfolds in an exciting way. Adam is a detective with a difference, and you can't help but fall in love with him and his view on the world. This is one of those books that leaves you thinking long after the last page. Highly recommended!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Quest for Sleeping Handsome

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For Ursune, a young shepherdess from the High Mountain, no challenge is too great. So when the Red Kingdom is in danger of falling into the hands of the neighboring Forest Kingdom, she is eager to join the contest for the Questers. With the help of some unlikely companions: a talking blue sheep, a handsome knight-in-training lad, a love-struck apprentice astronomer, and a famous martial arts dance star, they have to find the missing sleeping Prince Handsome before it is too late. Of course the quest will not be easy for them when they have magical monsters, thieves, and an evil enchantress chasing after them. Can they find the prince in time? And will they be able to wake him up with a kiss?
Review: Quest for Sleeping Handsome turns the fairy tale genre on its head in this fun loving story. You will find familiar and unique ground in it in equal measures. It's easily enjoyed by adults and children of a wide range of ages alike. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

The Darkling Child - The Defenders of Shannara by Terry Brooks

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From New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks comes a thrilling stand-alone novel in his legendary Shannara series—the perfect place for new readers to begin.

After taking up his enchanted sword against the dark sorcerer Arcannen, Paxon Leah has become the sworn protector of the Druid order. Now a critical hour is at hand, as a beloved High Druid nears the end of her reign and prepares to pass from the mortal world to the one beyond. There is little time for Paxon to mourn his friend and benefactor before duty summons him. For in a distant corner of the Four Lands, the magic of the wishsong has been detected. Paxon must accompany a Druid emissary to find its source—and ensure the formidable power is not wielded by the wrong hands.
 
But danger is already afoot in the village of Portlow. Gentle traveling minstrel Reyn Frosch possesses the uncanny gift, and curse, of the wishsong. And now his coveted abilities have captured the malevolent interest of none other than Arcannen—whose quest for power is exceeded only by his thirst for vengeance. The lone survivor of a brutal assault on a notorious pirate city, the sorcerer is determined to retaliate against the Federation’s elite military guard—and use the devastating power of the wishsong as his ultimate weapon.
 
Praise for Terry Brooks
 
The Sword of Shannara is an unforgettable and wildly entertaining epic, animated by Terry Brooks’s cosmically generative imagination and storytelling joy.”—Karen Russell,New York Times bestselling author of Swamplandia!
 
“If Tolkien is the grandfather of modern fantasy, Terry Brooks is its favorite uncle.”—Peter V. Brett, New York Times bestselling author of The Desert Spear
 
“I can’t even begin to count how many of Terry Brooks’s books I’ve read (and reread) over the years. From Shannara to Landover, his work was a huge part of my childhood.”—Patrick Rothfuss, New York Times bestselling author of The Name of the Wind
 
“Terry Brooks is a master of the craft and a trailblazer who established fantasy as a viable genre. He is required reading.”—Brent Weeks, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Angel Trilogy
 
“The Shannara books were among the first to really capture my imagination. My daydreams and therefore my stories will always owe a debt to Terry Brooks.”—Brandon Mull, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Beyonders and Fablehaven series
Terry Brooks is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty-five books, including the Genesis of Shannara novels Armageddon’s Children and The Elves of Cintra; The Sword of Shannara; the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy: Ilse Witch, Antrax, and Morgawr; the High Druid of Shannara trilogy: Jarka Ruus, Tanequil, and Straken; the nonfiction book Sometimes the Magic Works: Lessons from a Writing Life; and the novel based upon the screenplay and story by George Lucas, Star Wars(R): Episode I The Phantom Menace.(tm) His novels Running with the Demon and A Knight of the Word were selected by the Rocky Mountain News as two of the best science fiction/fantasy novels of the twentieth century. The author was a practicing attorney for many years but now writes full-time. He lives with his wife, Judine, in the Pacific Northwest.
Review: I have read an earlier book in this series, and absolutely loved it so I was extremely looking forward to this one and it didn't disappoint! Terry Brooks has an amazing way of weaving a plot that sucks the reader in from the very first page. The storyline of The Darkling Child is unique in so many ways. At an initial glance it may seem like a typical paranormal, war based novel, but there really is so much more to it than that. The characters are well scripted, the language used is beautifully descriptive and you can't stop yourself from getting hooked!

Monday, 8 June 2015

In Someone Else's Hands by Sam Sommer

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When a failed terrorist attack on the Boston Art Museum draws a young gay couple into the plot by abducting and holding them hostage, one of the two men’s lives suddenly and horrifically comes to an end, while the other is saved at the last minute by the swift actions of a hardnosed and dedicated detective.
Drawn into the life of the man he’s just saved (a man who bears a striking resemblance to someone he loved and tragically lost), it soon becomes obvious that there’s more to their friendship than meets the eye.
Through a series of serendipitous events, both men must revisit painful memories and emotions once believed put to rest. Yet what they ultimately discover is that in order to find a future together, they must first find a way of letting go of their pasts. 
Review: This story is tense and romantic all at once. Art and John are lovable characters - similar but different in the very best ways and their individual strength shines through as they find themselves in the middle of a horrific situation. This book is definitely worth a read, I'm looking forward to more work from this author.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

When I Grow Up by Sarah Bern

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This is a story about a little girl talking to her mom at bedtime and daydreaming about all of the things she can be when she grows up.
 It's a cute toddler story or an easy-read story for a preschooler.
Review: Really sweet and entertaining story with fabulous illustrations to accompany it. It's hard to keep the attention of a preschooler and this does it well!

Friday, 5 June 2015

Falling Snow by Graysen Morgen

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Dr. Cason Macauley, a high-speed trauma surgeon from Denver, quietly spends two months a year in the snow covered mountains of Aspen working in the ER on a rotation between multiple hospitals in the state. She is beginning her third year on the rotation and looking forward to two peaceful, easy months when she is practically plowed by a beautiful woman on the sidewalk outside of a ski shop.
Adler Troy is a professional snowboarder who has time for nothing but the snow. When the stress builds from too many sponsor obligations and a failing marriage, she finds herself in the ER with a concussion from a snowboarding accident.
The last thing Cason wants is to fall for a straight married girl who lives life on the edge of a snowboard. Adler doesn’t realize what’s right in front of her until it’s gone, but will it be too late? 
Review: I really loved everything about this book. Graysen Morgan has created brilliantly crafted characters that reveal increasingly more of themselves as the story line develops, and by the last page I felt like I really knew Alder and Carson well. This is a sweet, romantic story set in the mountains. Of course, there are complications along the way, but true love never runs smoothly! Highly recommended.