Half-Blood Dragon
Dragon Born Trilogy Book 1
K. N. Lee
Self-pub, 2017
Kindle ed, 200 pages
Genre(s) Dystopian Fantasy Romance
Source Author's Newsletter

Other books in this series: Magic-Born Dragon #2, Queen of the Dragons #3

Synopsis:  
Pirates, dragons, mermaids. Embark on a coming of age journey that will leave you breathless.

A lady-in-waiting's job is to follow orders. For Rowen, it is to execute her stepfather's plan to elevate the family's station by an advantageous marriage to the crown prince. Intrigue and seduction fill Rowen's days, but the prophecies that haunt her dreams at night warn her that death awaits.

The taunts of her sleepless nights are realized when she is framed and sentenced to death for the prince's murder.

For a human, there’s nowhere to run and no one to turn to in a kingdom where power is tightly held by full-blooded dragon shifters.

It will take a stranger from the shadows to save Rowen from execution and reveal a truth full of terrifying potential. It is time for Rowen to find the courage to accept her fate, awaken her gift, and set the world on fire.

Change is coming. So is a new prophecy that threatens the fate of the entire world.

About the Author:  
K.N. Lee is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. When she is not writing twisted tales, fantasy novels, and dark poetry, she does a great deal of traveling and promotes other authors. Wannabe rock star, foreign language enthusiast, and anime geek, K.N. Lee also enjoys helping others reach their writing and publishing goals. She is a winner of the Elevate Lifestyle Top 30 Under 30 "Future Leaders of Charlotte" award for her success as a writer, business owner, and for community service.

She is signed with Captive Quill Press and Patchwork Press.

K.N. Lee loves hearing from fans and readers. Connect with her!

www.knlee.com

www.WriteLikeAWizard.com

www.Facebook.com/knycolelee

www.twitter.com/knycole_lee

www.wattpad.com/user/KNycoleLee

My Disclaimer:  I was provided a free copy of this book for signing up for the author's newsletter. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  ✮✮✮✮
What would your status be in a world where magic is important if you were the only one without magic? It's called "low man on the totem pole". Well, that's where Rowen is in her world. Lady Rowen Glenick is under her stepfather's orders to raise the family's standing by marrying the Crown Prince. She's a lady-in-waiting to the Princess. She's also the only half-dragon blooded person in the whole bunch and cannot shift form. So how she did it, I don't know, but she and Prince Lawson are planning on getting married.

His younger brother, Prince Rickard, is a wastrel and a profligate as far as she is concerned. Yet, he seems to be after her. The more she resists him, the harder he pursues her. She hates him and his circle of lascivious friends. 

All of a sudden, the Crown Prince is dead and Rowen is accused and condemned. Strangely enough, Prince Rickard seems to be trying to help her. She narrowly escapes her own hanging and ends up at sea on a pirate ship with a mermaid who hates her. But it's not too long before the army shows up looking for her.

She's left with so many questions and so few answers. Like why did the mermaid hate her? Who was the pirate captain really? Would her mother, the Duchess, be all right? Why didn't her friend, Lady Brea, speak up for her? Where was Macana? Who really killed Prince Lawson? And who was the Red Dragon who was so gentle with her?

Through the whole book, there was a sense of anticipation. The pace throughout was really good. Lady Rowen was a well-developed character. She had a lot of depth to her and was well-rounded. The pirates were also well done. The other characters were not as well developed, but they were secondary. Perhaps we will be seeing them more in the second and third books and they will be more developed then. Characters such as the Duchess and Prince Rickard are sure to be in the following books, so there is much to look forward to with their characters. Possibly with Macana and Lady Brea as well. And Princess Noemie perhaps?

One of the characters mentioned something that I thought was an excellent point, and I wish I could remember which character it was now. But the point was that the dragons chose to spend their lives in human form rather than dragon form, so why should they look down on Rowen or humans as they did? I thought that was a really good point! If being a dragon was so superior, why did they spend all their time in human form? Silly dragons!

I strongly recommend this book to those of you who enjoy fantasy. And I'd add the other two to your TBR list as well. I certainly have them on mine.




Gargoyles in the Garden? You bet!

Sorceress Awakening
Gargoyle and Sorceress Book 1, The Avatars Book 1
Lisa Blackwood
Self-pub, Nov 2011
Kindle ed, 257 pages
Genre(s) NA, Paranormal Urban Fantasy 
Source Author's rep

Other books in this series: #0.5 Sorceress Found, #2 Sorceress Rising, #3 Sorceress Hunting, #4 Sorceress at War 

Synopsis:  
Author's Note: Sorceress Awakening was previously published as Stone’s Kiss and was part of the Urban Fantasy series called The Avatars.

As a child, a near-drowning accident stole Lillian’s old life. Her new life began the moment she awoke at the foot of a brooding, stone gargoyle.

Years later, Lillian still finds comfort in Gregory, her gargoyle, never guessing he is more than cold stone until demonic creatures called the Riven attack. Gregory senses her terror and wakes from his healing sleep.

After the battle, Lillian learns the humans she thought were her family are a powerful coven of witches at war with the Riven. Lillian is something more than human, a powerful worker of magic, an Avatar to the gods. Gregory has been her protector for many lifetimes, but troubles in their homeland forced him to flee with her to the human world. And it wasn’t an accident which stole her memories—it was Gregory. He suspects Lillian is host to an infant demon, one capable of evil greater than the Riven.

Despite everything, Lillian fears she’s falling in love with her guardian. While she might be able to defeat the Riven with Gregory’s help, she doesn’t know if her fragile new love can survive the evil growing in her own soul...

About the Author:  
Lisa Blackwood is a writer of fantasy romance, gardener, lover of music and all things book related. She grudgingly lives in a small town in Southern Ontario, though she would much rather live deep in a dark forest, surrounded by majestic old-growth trees. Since she cannot live her fantasy, she decided to write fantasy instead. 

An abundance of pets, named after various Viking gods, helps to keep the creativity flowing. Freya, her ever faithful and beloved hellhound, ensures Lisa takes a break from the computer so they can rid the garden of cats with delusions of conquest.
My Disclaimer:  I was provided a free copy of this book by the author's representative. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  ✮✮✮✮
This was a good story. Gregory sounds like a whole lot more fun than the gargoyles in The Hunchback of Notre Dame! He's a lot bigger for one thing. And he's sexy!

I felt the characters were well-written. Humorous at times. While Lillian had no memory of their joint history, what Gregory shared was really interesting. In this life, Lillian is a young woman, so the book seems to be more YA than NA. She responds and acts out more childishly than I would prefer in some instances. I think I would have liked her to be a more mature character to handle all that's thrown at her. It also kept the relationship between the two on a certain level. So, it almost seemed like this was written to prepare for a series where she grows up and their relationship changes. That was a bit frustrating when I could see their relationship already.

Finding out that she is more than just what she appears changes the whole picture and possibilities for Lillian and Gregory. The ideas that went through my head when I found out left me with a bunch of questions, but I can't mention them without spoilers. So, I can't go into this like I'd like to. But what it does mean is that I'd like to read at least one more book in this series to see if any of my ideas and questions carry through or get answered. But for now, nothing can happen while Lillian's trapped in her Hamadryad and purifying the baby demon she's been carrying. 

Sit down and read Sorceress Awakening this summer and see if you decide to add gargoyles to your garden! I'm definitely adding them to mine! 
Maid for the Rock Star
Romance Island Resort series Book 1
Demelza Carlton
Lost Plot Press, 2015
Kindle ed, 310 pages, also in paperback
Genre(s) Contemporary Romance, Celebrity Bad Boys
Source Author's Newsletter

Other books in this series: Rock Star's E-mail Order Bride #2, Rock Star's Virginity #3, Rock Star and the Billionaire #4, The Rock Star Wants a Wife #5, The Rock Star's Wedding #6, Maid for the South Pole

Synopsis
A maid at the exclusive Romance Island Resort, Audra knows how to handle rock stars, billionaires, and celebrities. She keeps their secrets, cleans up their messes, and makes sure their holiday is a memorable one. There's just one rule: no relationships with guests. And Audra never breaks the rules.

Jay Felix is rock royalty and he knows it. When one of his bandmates threatens to break up the band, he goes into hiding at the Romance Island Resort. Looking for a distraction, he sets his sights on the unattainable Audra. But what's a rock star to do when the girl he wants is the one woman he can't have?

Welcome to paradise, where the romance is as hot as the weather and the tides aren't all that's surging beneath the surface.

About the Author
Demelza Carlton has always loved the ocean, but on her first snorkeling trip, she found she was afraid of fish.
She has since swum with sea lions, sharks and sea cucumbers and stood on spray-drenched cliffs over a seething sea as a seven-metre cyclonic swell surged in, shattering a shipwreck below. Sensationalist spin? No - Demelza tends to take a camera with her so she can capture and share the moment later; shipwrecks, sharks and all. 
Demelza now lives in Perth, Western Australia, the shark attack capital of the world.

The Ocean's Gift series was her first foray into fiction, followed by the Nightmares trilogy. She swears the Mel Goes to Hell series ambushed her on a crowded train and wouldn't leave her alone.

To get an email whenever Demelza releases a new title AND get a free book, sign up for her VIP newsletter at http://www.demelzacarlton.com



My Disclaimer:  I was provided a free copy of this book when I signed up for the author's newsletter. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  ✭✭✭
Audra's the hard working maid at the resort who's trying to stay out of trouble so she can get the internship she's applying for with the weather service. She's got her degree, now she wants to put it to use. She's well-written and has good depth to her. She's an educated young woman with a degree working a job to get through until she can make that connection to a career.

Along comes the rock star. He's arrogant and demanding and he wants her. She spends all her time answering his service calls and fending off his advances. Jay Felix is shallow and crude, that's how he's written. A bit too crude for my taste. His one thought is sex. 

He's also extremely good looking and in great shape. He can't seem to keep his clothes on, either. And she's having a hard time keeping her eyes and hands off him. The action is good and quite often amusing.

When he's injured, she nurses him and pampers him. And resists him, right up until the end. Is she off for Antarctica to forecast the weather? That would be telling.

Get your own copy of Maid for the Rock Star and read all about the frolics taking place at Romance Island Resort when rock royalty drops in.
Sweetwater American
Eileen Cruz Coleman
Self-published,2010
Kindle ed, 282 pages
Genre(s) Interracial, Cultural
Source Author's rep

Synopsis:  
Sandy is young, smart, and attractive, and as an aspiring film student at a prestigious university in Washington, D.C., she seems to have everything going for her, including the attraction of one of her young, handsome professors.
But Sandy also has a past.

While very young, she is sent to live with her godmother in a small town in El Salvador. The town is nondescript in every way but one: in over seven years, no babies in the town have been born alive. Without a scientific reason for the stillborn children, it seems the only explanation is that the town is cursed.

Now grown and attending college in America, Sandy continues to carry the weight of her childhood with her, a burden that has always prevented her from ever being truly happy.

Then one day she meets a cafeteria worker named Elena, and Sandy instantly feels the pull of something mysterious and intriguing in the woman.

Reluctantly, Elena agrees to be the subject of Sandy’s film project, and in the process provides the key to unraveling the secrets of Sandy’s past and the path to finding true love in the future.

About the Author:  
Eileen Cruz Coleman was born in Washington, D.C. to an immigrant El Salvadoran mother and a Puerto Rican father. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in History. Her short stories have appeared in numerous literary journals both online and in print. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two children.
My Disclaimer:  I was provided a free copy of this book by the author's representative. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  ✭✭✭
Sandy seemed to walk around in a fog for about three-quarters of the book. She was in her own little world even when she was forced to deal with people. It was like she stepped outside herself and watched her body go through the emotions of life. Even in her grieving process.

For me, it was hard to relate to the strong Latino aspect of this. It was stressed so much. Suffering is suffering no matter where you come from or the color of your skin. Why do we have to make such distinctions?

The book dragged and was depressing even with a happy ending. All of the sadness of the past is suddenly gone because the boy is with her, she finished her film, and Michael came back when she called. It seemed too neat and tidy after all the pain and sorrow, all the back and forth, present and the past. All tied up with a neat little bow of her inheritance.

The writing in this book is solid, but the book just doesn't work. It's another one where I'm stumbling around in the dark. Perhaps, I am not the right reader for the book.



The Little Paris Bookshop
Nina George
Crown Publishing Group, Jun 2015 
Originally published in German as Das Lavendelzimmer
Translated by Simon Pare
Kindle ed, 320 pages, 
Genre(s) Women's Lit
Source Purchased

Synopsis:  
There are books that are suitable for a million people, others for only a hundred. There are even remedies--I mean books--that were written for one person only...A book is both medic and medicine at once. It makes a diagnosis as well as offering therapy. Putting the right novels to the appropriate ailments: that's how I sell books." 

Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can't seem to heal through literature is himself; he's still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.

After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country's rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself. 

Internationally bestselling and filled with warmth and adventure, "The Little Paris Bookshop" is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people's lives. "From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author:  
Born 1973 in Bielefeld, Germany, Nina George is a prize-winning and bestselling author (“Das Lavendelzimmer” – “The Little Paris Bookshop”) and freelance journalist since 1992, who has published 26 books (novels, mysteries, and non-fiction) as well as over hundred short stories and more than 600 columns. George has worked as a police reporter,
columnist, and managing editor for a wide range of publications, including Hamburger Abendblatt, Die Welt, Der Hamburger, “Politik und Kultur” as well as TV Movies, and Federwelt. Georges writes also under three pen-names, for ex “Jean Bagnol”, a double-andronym for Provence-based mystery novels.

In 2012 and 2013 she won the DeLiA and the Glauser-Prize. In 2013 she had her first bestselling book “Das Lavendelzimmer”, translated into 27 languages and sold more than 500,000 copies.

In November 2011, Nina George established the “JA zum Urheberrecht” (YES on Author’s Rights) initiative, which supports the rights of authors, artists, and entertainers and is dedicated to resolving issues within the literary community as well as establishing fair and practical rights-license models for the web-distribution. 14 writers’ associations and 27 publishing partners have since joined the JA…-Initiative. George supports the “Initiative Urheberrecht” (Author’s Rights Initiative—www.urheber.info) as well as the “gib 8 aufs Wort”-campaign of the VG Wort.

In August 2014 George initiated the Amazon protest in Germany www.fairer-buchmarkt.de, where over 2000 German-speaking authors – Nobel prizewinning Elfriede Jelinek or Bestselling author Nele Neuhaus – signed an open letter to Jeff Bezos and Amazon, protesting against the banned-book-methods of the giant retailer in the Hachette/Bonnier-dispute.

In 2015, George founded the Initiative Fairer Buchmarkt e.V., which supports questions of law in the daily business of authors – for example in contracts, fees or author’s rights and e-Business.

George is Member of PEN, Das Syndikat (Association of German-language crime writers), the Association of German Authors (VS), the Hamburg Authors’ Association (HAV), B├╝cherFrauen (Women in Publishing), the IACW/AIEP (International Association of Crime Writers), the GEDOK (Association of female artists in Germany), PRO QUOTE and Lean In. Nina George sits on the board of the Three Seas Writers’ and Translators’ Council (TSWTC), whose members come from 16 different countries.

Nina George teaches writing at Literaturb├╝ro Unna, Alsterdamm Kunstschule, Wilhelmsburger Honigfabrik, where she coaches young people, adults, and professional authors. George also moderates (bilingual) readings and works as a speaker.

www.nina-george.com

find me also on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/NinaGeorge.S...

My Disclaimer:  I purchased this book at full price. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  4+Stars!
This book could have not been written by an American writer. There's is just something about it that says it was written by a European writer. They really write differently. There is an intimate knowledge of their countries and customs that Americans simply don't have. It does show in their writing.

This book has something I haven't seen in awhile. That's a true dedication. One where it is set formally at the front with intent and quotes and such. This book is dedicated to the departed and to those who go on loving them. Nina George lost her father, who she was very close to, shortly before writing this book.

Jean Perdu (John Lost) is the owner of La pharmacie litteraire (The Literary Apothecary) where he prescribes the correct books for people. La pharmacie litteraire is a converted river barge, basically a floating bookshop. 

Monsieur Perdu has two women in his life. One is from twenty years ago and she left him a letter he never read. Since her time, Monsieur has had no other woman, until Catherine literally fell into his life. Now she is collecting postcards and waiting. 

Monsieur has finally read Manon's letter and must make this voyage and find closure to their relationship. It is a quest for answers, for peace.

The author used diary entries from Manon, Monsieur Perdu's first love, to bring her into the story. I felt that really helped to bring her presence into the story and to keep her real while all the action was going on during the river cruise. The pace was a bit uneven, but the storyline was great and the characters were interesting. Each one added something to the story. I was left with a quiet, mellow feeling that I wanted to hold on to.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough to any reader of women's lit. To readers of books, it will be fun following the book discussions. To travelers, you can follow the river cruise. And to romantics, there is plenty of romance!
Millie's Angel
Kim Petersen
MashPit Publishing, Feb 2017
Kindle ed, 294 pages, also in paperback
Genre(s) debut novel, romantic suspense, magical realism, faith
Source Author's rep (AXP)

Other books in this series: A Stroke of Faith #2 (prequel)

Synopsis
When her mother abandons her, Millie is left to pick up the pieces and care for her little brother, Ace. Just as she begins to accept her mother’s disappearance from their lives, Millie discovers the shocking secrets surrounding her birth; leaving her anguished and torn between her feelings for her father.

Through friendships, romantic connections and heartbreak, Millie learns that she is never alone to face the many obstacles life throws her way - for her life becomes centered on the celestial presence of an angel. As Millie becomes a young woman, she learns that in loving herself and directing the train of her thought-world, she holds the key to the Kingdom of Heaven: right here on earth.

When her mother contacts her a decade later, Millie visits with her just in time to realize her own angelic gift, when she finds she is not alone in discovering her mother’s whereabouts. With evil lurking between the cracks in her family, the appearance of Millie’s gift - a phenomenon that will heal and shine brighter than she could ever have imagined - changes her family’s perspectives and the direction of their lives forever.


About the Author:  
Kim Petersen is the first-time published author of a magical realism novel. Millie's Angel follows the story of a girl as she struggles between her mother's abandonment and her father's dark side.

Mother of five wonderful children, Kim enjoys balancing family life while working from home and never ceases to find inspiration among the moments shared with loved ones.

Kim’s passion is reflected in her writing when she pens stories that stage beautifully twisted characters who ponder the secrets of life and death. She is currently working on part two of Millie's Angel.


My Disclaimer:  I was provided a free copy of this book by the author's representative. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  4-Stars
I really wasn't sure how to classify this book when it came to a genre. It is sort of in a class by itself. Yes, it is a love story and a story about a dysfunctional family. But this is so much more than that. This is a story about good vs. evil, about good driving out evil. Be ware, there are angels among us.

Emily and her twins, such a sad story. A story of God showing us the way, but giving us the choice, allowing us self-will. 

Glen, Millie's father, finally made it to the light he kept striving to find all along. He had kept fighting against the serpent within him and finally, there was help strong enough to help him cast it out.  
Damon seemed to know what Millie was all along. And then there was Ace, Millie's brother. The serpent had its teeth into him when he was young. As he grew, the attachment grew stronger and finally, he became the host and fled.

The Bible says, "God has given believers the Holy Spirit to help us on our walk of faith. He will guide us in the right direction." Throughout Millie's life, she turned to God for guidance. Sometimes she did it directly and sometimes she turned to Him through her angel.

This book is about faith and yet it is still a very comfortable read for anyone, even those not looking for a "Christian" book. Faith is the main focus and you are still not preached at. This is a very uplifting book in many ways. Though is has many very dark times and many bad things happen. It is a book of struggle and pain. The pace of the book is good, though there are some areas where it does bog down with all the sorrow and some predictability. This book comes with my strongest recommendations.

It's just old news, right? Not to some!

Yesterday's News
Yesterday's Paranormal Mysteries #1
Sam Cheever
Electric Prose, 2017
Kindle ed, 171 pages, also available in paperback
Genre(s) cozy mystery paranormal, ghosts
Source Author's newsletter

Other books in this series: Threads of Yesterday #2, Yesterday's Ghosts #3

Synopsis
Antiques can be a dangerous business. Especially when you're dealing with a desperate politician, a sexy ex-cop, and a couple of "spirited" companions.

Anna Yesterday owns Yesterday's Antiques in small town USA. When she finds an old newspaper clipping lining the drawer of an antique dresser, she realizes she's never heard the horrible story of rape and suicide detailed on the yellowed newsprint. So she starts to dig, and her sleuthing exposes an ugly cover-up that casts the residents of Crocker, Indiana into danger and intrigue, and leaves them with a corpse.


About the Author:  
USA Today Bestselling Author Sam Cheever writes romantic paranormal/fantasy and mystery/suspense, creating stories that celebrate the joy of love in all its forms. Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, Sam is the award-winning author of 50+ books and has been writing for over a decade under several noms de plume.

Website: www.samcheever.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sam-Ch...
Twitter: https://twitter.com/samcheever
Blog: www.samcheever.com/blog
My Disclaimer:  I was provided a free copy of this book from the author's newsletter. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  5-Stars!
This cozy mystery has it all! Sam Cheever is a prolific author in the cozy genre. If you aren't au courant with cozies, you really should check out what's there. It's a world all its own, and it's a rich gold mine!

Anna Yesterday is the owner of the antique store. Her "guardian angel" is a hunky cowboy ghost she wishes weren't a ghost. His sidekick is a snarky saloon girl who also happens to be a ghost. Anna's recently hired a guy who seems too good to be true. And you know what they say about things that seem too good to be true...

Then there's the newspaper article Anna finds in the old chest she bought the other day from a local family. It's all about a rape in town, but she's never heard this story. Given that it's about the former mayor, whose son is the present mayor, she can't understand why she's never heard the story. Inquiring minds want to know...

Anna and her new hire, Pratt Davies, get into and cause all kinds of trouble in town when they start poking their inquiring noses into this story. It takes 2 ghosts, a cat, and an autistic teenager to solve this one! It's dangerous and it's hilarious all at once. And then there's just a bit of it's so sweet, too. But let's save that for the end, okay? Go get your copy of Yesterday's News and settle in for a really great read.

Books 2 & 3 in the series:

Asking for Truffle
A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery #1
Dorothy St. James
Crooked Lane Books, September 12, 2017, release
Kindle ed, 304 pages, paperback also available
Genre(s) Cozy Mystery
Source Author's Rep (NetGalley)

Other books in this series: none as yet

Synopsis:  
When Charity Penn receives a letter saying she won a trip to Camellia Beach, South Carolina complete with free cooking lessons at the town's seaside chocolate shop, The Chocolate Box, she's immediately skeptical. She never entered any contest. Her former prep school friend offers to look into the phony prize--only to end up drowned in a vat of chocolate. 

Struck with guilt, Penn heads to the Southern beach town to investigate why he was killed. But as wary as she is of the locals, she finds herself lured into their eccentric vibe, letting her defenses melt away and even learning the art of crafting delicious chocolates. That is until delight turns bittersweet as she steps straight into the midst of a deadly plot to destroy the seaside town. Now, only Penn's quick thinking and a mysterious cask of rare chocolate can save the town she's learning to love. Rich and decadent, Asking for Truffle, the first in a new cozy series by Dorothy St. James, is sure to be a delectable read for fans of JoAnna Carl and Joanne Fluke.
About the Author:  
Pseudonym for author Dorothy McFalls

Mystery author Dorothy St. James was born in New York but raised in South Carolina. She makes her home on an artsy island community in South Carolina with her husband, tiny little dog, and fluffy cat. Though writing has always been a passion for her, she pursued an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and a graduate degree in Public Administration and Urban Planning. She put her educational experience to use, having worked in all branches and all levels of government including local, regional, state, and federal. She even spent time during college working for a non-profit environmental watchdog organization.

Switching from government service and community planning to fiction writing wasn't as big of a change as some might think. Her government work was all about the stories of the people and the places where they live. As an urban planner, Dorothy loved telling the stories of the people she met. And from that, her desire to tell the tales that were so alive in her heart grew until she could not ignore it any longer. In 2001, she took a leap of faith and pursued her dream of writing fiction full-time. 


My Disclaimer:  I was provided a free copy of this book by the author's representative. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  4-Stars
The heroine in this book starts life trying to beat the stigma attached to her name. Her "loving family" has given her the moniker Charity Penn and treats her like a charity case. They ignore her as much as they possibly can. Only her half-sister Tina has anything to do with her. In fact, she calls her every day when she is away, just to be sure she is all right.

She's recently split from her mafia-type boyfriend, Erik, the Cheese King. His parting gift was a nasty little dog, Stella. She does look over her shoulder from time to time to see if he has sent anyone after her.

She's had this letter about winning a trip to Camellia Beach and some chocolate making lessons. Knowing she didn't enter any contest, she makes the trip to find out what it's all about. What she finds is quite a mixed bag.

On one hand, she has two very sweet older women offering her chocolate lessons and friendship. A very nice surfer dude, who sidelines as a lawyer. And a helpful detective from the county sheriff's office.

Then, on the other hand, there's the local police chief who doesn't seem to see anything wrong and developers who want to take over the land under her feet. And secrets. So many secrets.

This book had me creeping through the dark a lot. Sneaking up stairways. In the end, the bad guy gets it, though. That's one of the good things about cozies, they always have HEA.

A Debut Novel Well Worth 5 Stars!

Beneath the Skin
The Skin Quartet series #1
Zara West
The Wild Rose Press, Jun 2016
ebook, 251 pages, also available in paperback
Genre(s) Contemporary Romance, Legal, Mystery, Interracial, Thriller, Debut Novel
Source Author

Other books in this series: Close to the Skin #2

Synopsis
Ex-Olympic wrestler and reclusive billionaire artist Aristides Stavros has one mission—to rescue his sister, a popular tattoo artist from the old enemy who has kidnapped her. But at every turn, he is confronted by anthropologist Melissa Dermot. Is she just an innocent girl in over her head, or is she working for the international crime boss holding his sister?

Only one thing is certain--when Ari holds the beautiful Asian-American in his arms, questions of guilt and innocence fade against an undeniable fiery attraction. But can their wild passionate love survive the tangled web of long-buried secrets, intentional deceit, and murderous revenge that lie just beneath the surface?


About the Author
Zara West loves all things dark, scary, and heart-stopping as long as they lead to true love. Born in Williamsburg,
Brooklyn, Zara spends winters in New York where the streets hum with life, summers in the Maritimes where the sea can be cruel, and the rest of the year anywhere inspiration for tales of suspense, mystery, and romance are plentiful.

An accomplished artist by training and passion, she brings a love of art to every book she writes. When not marooned on an island or chasing after Greek shepherds, Zara tends her organic herb garden, collects hats and cats, and whips up ethnic dishes for friends and family.


My Disclaimer:  
I was provided a free copy of this book by the author. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  5-Stars!
You must read the synopsis for this book to put it into perspective. I found that the synopsis explained Ari but the book was much more from Melissa's perspective. Once I read the synopsis, it put things in focus for me so that I understood it all much better.

Ari and Melissa come together with the same goal in mind, not knowing that, and certainly not trusting each other. But there is a strange attraction for both of them. They have such different approaches to danger. You wouldn't think they could ever come together. While Melissa slips through the shadows desperately trying to avoid its notice, Ari arrogantly tries to stomp it into submission.

But come together they do and Ms. West makes it sound like poetry. Her writing is exquisite in parts and does read like poetry. I was mesmerized by it. I found myself totally lost in the ambiance she was creating with the magic of her words. I think I was even a bit disoriented when I reached a stopping point that broke the spell. Ms. West has been kind enough to provide me with the second book in this series, and I am looking forward to finding time to read it with great anticipation. I can't recommend this book highly enough to any romance reader. You have to like your dangerous bits, too, though; because there's the thriller part of this book as well. Try it, you'll love it! Then reflect on the fact that this is a debut novel. Yes, this is the first book by this author. Totally blows me away. Such talent. I hope she never runs out of ideas now that she's gotten started. 
Wicked for Hire
Paranormal in Manhattan #1
Lotta Smith (GoodReads Author)
Self-pub, Apr 2016
Kindle ed, 123 pages, also in paperback
Genre(s) Cozy Mystery, Ghosts, Humor
Source Author's Rep

Other books in this series: 
2. W is for Wicked
3. Wicked Little Secret
4. Wicked of the Christmas Past
5. Sweet Wicked of Mine
6. Wicked and Haunted
7. Wicked, Manor, and Murder (pre-order)

Synopsis:  
Medical student Amanda Meyers thought she had her life all planned out until people started dying the moment they touched her. Being cleared of any wrongdoing didn’t stop the medical school from expelling her, and it didn’t rid her of the unfortunate nickname Grim Reaper.

Luckily, having a rep as the harbinger of death isn’t a total resume killer. Rick Rowling, Special Agent for the FBI’s Paranormal Cases Division recruits her to work for the Bureau. But the sexy, brilliant, outrageous loose cannon proves to be just as untouchable as the mysterious creature or creatures that may be responsible for the seemingly unsolvable murder that becomes their first case together.

Instead of treating patients, Amanda’s life becomes a test of her patience and a wild ride into the wicked paranormal world where her new boss runs the show. Together they face a ghoulish force that could destroy the entire city and a grueling family dinner that could leave Amanda contemplating hara-kiri.

It’s a battle of life and debt [student debt, that is] and saving the world has never been so funny.


About the Author:  
***Signup for my mailing list and get updates for new releases: http://eepurl.com/bOSLYj (Just copy and paste into your browser)***

I'm the author of Paranormal in Manhattan Mystery series and PI Assistant Extraordinaire Mystery. I fell in love with mystery the moment I developed consciousness. I'm especially fond of lighthearted murder mystery stories with a little sprinkle of romance.

I went to medical school hoping to see real corpses and sexy professors. Back then, I was into this kind of mystery series about a smokin' hot forensic medicine professor and a quirky female student going a-sleuthing, cracking unsolvable cases. I truly, madly wanted to team up with a super hot professor and crack a difficult murder or two. (Note; I got to see the corpses, but sexy professors were nonexistent.)

I love to hear from my readers. Feel free to drop me a line at lottasmith_author@yahoo.com

Connect with me on:
Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1VQhhqE
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LottaSmithNovel


My Disclaimer:  I was provided a free copy of this book by the author's representative. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  
I'll start with the cover since that's what gets your attention in the very beginning. I really am attracted by a great cover! The ones in this series are very good, too! But when you meet the star of the series in Chapter 1, she doesn't seem to match the gal on the cover. At least her description of herself doesn't match. The one on the cover is svelte, sassy-looking, and tall. Mandy describes herself as "5'4", and I'm a size of two--or maybe three--larger than her dress size." She was referring to Jennifer Lawrence in the Hunger Games when she said her. Yes, the gal on the cover is wearing heels, but 5'4"? Okay, no big deal I suppose. It just seemed to bother me for some reason. But she certainly is sassy, and it gets her into trouble over and over. It's also 50% of the humor in the book.

The interaction between Mandy and her new boss is hilarious! Rick Rowling (yes, Rowling) is Good-Looking, Arrogant, Intelligent, and Wealthy. You noticed those were all capitalized, right? That was intentional. Everything about Rick is capitalized. Oh, he's also quite Taken with our Mandy girl. From the way she looks to the way the bad guys drop dead after she touches them. He just wants her to keep her mouth shut. Remember the sassy part? Their relationship is volatile.

The story happens so fast that all I can remember is their relationship. The story really is skimpy and needs fleshing out. Or is it just the vehicle for their fun and games? Well, I will have plenty of opportunities to find out because I bought all six of the books in the series based on the first book. Still, I only gave this first one three stars because of the sketchy story. No, there is no logic to that other than maybe I can't resist a sale. Even that doesn't explain buying six books you're not sure you will want to read. But I keep coming back to their relationship hijinx. Try this first book and see what you think. Ms. Smith's books are almost always on sale, I think.

Setting the Record Straight on Marilyn

Marilyn Monroe:
Private and Undisclosed
New Edition: Revised & Expanded
Michelle Morgan
Robinson, May 2012
Kindle ed, 254 pages, also in hardcover and paperback
Genre(s) Memoirs & Bios
Source Purchased at full price

Synopsis
Following a number of sensationalist biographies of Marilyn Monroe in recent years, this comprehensive, meticulously researched volume brings an important fresh perspective on the many controversies in her life. It is essential reading for anyone interested in Marilyn Monroe and the Golden Age of Hollywood.

This new edition of Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed has been thoroughly revised and expanded to include an additional 60,000 words. It reveals a very different Marilyn from the celluloid invention. For the first volume, Michelle Morgan interviewed approximately 100 people who knew or were related to Marilyn in some way, including key figures in her life - family and friends, as well as work colleagues, and more casual acquaintances. This new edition includes information gleaned from many more interviews, as well as additional family background and many new stories. Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed is the most comprehensive Monroe biography yet. It covers her trip to England in great detail and gives the true story behind the making of The Prince and the Showgirl.

About the Author:  
Michelle Morgan is the author of The Ice Cream Blonde, The Mammoth Book of Hollywood Scandals, Marilyn's Addresses, and Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed. She has been interviewed on dozens of radio stations and featured on many television programs, including the BBC National News.

Michelle Morgan is the founder and president of the UK fan club, the Marilyn Lives Society, established in 1991. She has appeared on BBC national news, Sky News and regional UK radio, as well as answering questions in one-hour live internet chat for the BBC. She lives in Northamptonshire, UK.
My Disclaimer:  I purchased this book. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  
I have never read any of Ms. Morgan's other works on Marilyn, but this one is very well researched. The biography itself is the first 72% of the book. Then remembrances are another 2%. The references are 12% of the book. An indepth index takes up 12%. Then the photos take the last 2% of the book. She has talked to people who have never been spoken to before, especially about Marilyn's early years.

She uses a tone that seems like straight up reportage sometimes and a novel at others. But I guess that's life. There is a lot of information and the pace moves it along fairly quickly. Two things really bothered me about this book. One is that everything seemed to have the same importance. Nothing was stressed or highlighted more than anything else. Almost like a monotone. A bit mind-numbing I found.

The other thing was the address book aspect. I wanted to get out a map and some map pins and mark every address she mentioned. I was temped to go back and count how many addresses were mentioned in the book! 

It seemed to be a thorough look into Marilyn's early years and the relationships from those years. The later years that had been much more publicized, were not covered as deeply and seemed to almost be just touched on. After all the detail and addresses of the earlier parts, the ending was tied up fairly quickly. The Kennedy and Sinatra involvements were down-played, I felt. Overall, it showed a woman who was totally unprepared for the life she stumbled into and just tried to handle it as best she could.

This is not the bio I would recommend for someone who hasn't read anything about Marilyn Monroe before, but as a secondary read, it's fine.
From the Mist
Hidden Cove Trilogy #1
Alexa Dare (GoodReads Author)
Towering Pines Publishing, Feb 2017
Kindle ed, 292 pages, also available in paperback
Genre(s) Time Travel Romance
Source Author's newsletter freebie

Other books in this series: Of the Deep #2, On the Edge #3

Synopsis:  
Reality cooking show host, Megan Forrester, braces for a film crew interruption of her long-awaited lighthouse tour vacation. While Megan cooks in a fake kitchen on a filming set, she misses out on heating up things in a real bedroom. As if only's pile up like a stack of failed gluten-free recipes, she looks forward to a fun escape and getaway with her best friends from childhood and is no way prepared when fate intrudes.

When she steps into an unnatural fog in the present, she stumbles into the arms of a sexy pirate turned supply runner Everett Quinn in 1892. Everett sets out to waylay a man that threatens Everett’s livelihood. While Harbor Keep’s founder, Captain Zachariah Donovan, controls most of the town, he has no say against Everett and his former pirate mates. Destiny, on the other hand, holds sway.


About the Author:  
Author Alexa Dare, with the oversight of the Jellicle Three (Jasmine, Lightning, and Stormy of feline persuasion), pens time travel and paranormal romance the way she likes to read them: sensual, adventurous, memorable. Along with spending time with her happily-ever-after alpha outdoorsman, Alexa cozies up at home—when not devoting her time to writing and bringing sexy romances to readers—with movies, popcorn, and triple chocolate cupcakes, not necessarily in that order. 

My Disclaimer:  I was provided a free ecopy of this book for subscribing to the author's newsletter. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  ✭✭✭⭑  
Time travel romance is tricky. It either works or it doesn't. I'm not sure that this one does. So far, it's all in the dark, literally. Everyone is stumbling around in the dark. It got really confusing keeping track of who was who in the dark.

We have the romance part. Megan and Everett are all set. They've fallen in love and gotten together in spite of Captain Donovan's best efforts. And man, he's one bad man. Actually, he's evil, a real nasty character. I just hope he stays in the past and that he isn't his own descendant or something like that. But I don't think we've seen the last of him.

Both Jo and Abigail are missing in the fog, though whether they are in the present or past isn't determined, yet. Isabelle, the Captain's wife, is still missing in the past. I'm pretty sure Ursula had something to do with that. And does Ursula have something to do with the curse or whatever it is that Mrs. Carlisle is worried about? And who is Mrs. Carlisle? Is she someone from the past or a descendant?

There was no real HEA because Megan and Everett are still in the past with her entire life up-in-the-air and he's barely hanging on. So, while I sat and read this book in one sitting and really enjoyed it, I'm not convinced it should get all those stars. There are just so many things unresolved. It's too much like a prequel from that point. Abigail's story is next in Of the Deep and then it's Jo's story in On the Edge. I do plan to read both of them because I liked the first book and want to know what happens. Check it out and see what you think.

Just Daddy's Little Girl

Macaria
Six Degrees Book 1
R. Kitt (GoodReads Author)
Kindle ed, 82 pages, May 27, 2017
Genre(s) urban fantasy, YA, romance, paranormal,
Source Author

Other books in this series: Pretty Monsters #2

Synopsis
Macaria doesn't feel human until she's forced out of Hades, by her own father.

Adam has no idea that his life is about to take an unexpected turn.

One week will untangle the mess of questions Macaria and Adam have accumulated, from their seemingly chance meeting.

YA with some mature content.


About the Author:  
Just a gal who loves to read and write YA romance fiction and NA romance fiction, with happily ever afters. I love other books too, but the list is long.

I love my family. I love to eat. I love to cook. I love the arts. I love to be easy going and positive. I love the outdoors.

Razalii
~xoxo~

My books are free on KU (Kindle Unlimited/Amazon), the link is: amazon.com/author/r.kitt


My Disclaimer:  I was provided a free copy of this book by the author's representative. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  
I seem to be doing a lot of short books lately. This one packs a lot between its covers. And it's totally unexpected. A story of the daughter of Hades by a mother that's basically unknown? Well, unknown on Wikipedia and such places, 'cause I checked.

Okay, so Macaria ticks off her father, Hades, by making Charon send this soul back to its body because of its color. It was red and gold, like hers rather than blue like the other souls. So, Hades exiles Macaria from Hades for an undetermined length of time. But it's all handled with kid gloves. He's such a Dad! Her big brother is there to watch over her. She's got her feathered bag with her phone, clothes, and black platinum credit card. And after all these years of asking without an answer, she is now to meet and stay with a long lost family member.

And then there's that red and gold soul again. His name is Adam and they seem to have more than colors in common. Big brother is watching, remember. So is Daddy. And when things get a little too wild, and the monsters get a little too big, Daddy can lend a hand.

I thought this was a really cute story considering it's about the daughter of Hades. You just don't expect them to be a really normal family. Maybe normal's not the word. The action never seems to stop for them. I wonder what surprises are in Pretty Monsters? There goes my TBR list again! How 'bout yours?