This Christmas, Tallie Graver would like to take a break from running her cleaning business to be with her boyfriend, Max, and enjoy their first holiday together—alone. Instead, she’s stuck keeping her mother and grandmother from duking it out during the town’s annual Christmas Eve bingo game. As for festive spirit, she’ll have to settle for her mean-spirited Aunt Ronda, whose mouth could use some soap.
The night only gets worse after Tallie discovers Ronda’s body. It seems someone cleaned her clock with a can of varnish. While all the evidence points to Ronda’s husband, Tallie doesn’t believe her beloved Uncle Hoagie could do such a dirty deed. Of course, his sudden disappearance doesn’t help his case. If Tallie hopes to clear his name, she’ll need to dig up some dirt to locate the real killer. Otherwise, someone else could get rubbed out.
Misty Simon always wanted to be a storyteller…preferably behind a Muppet. Animal was number one, followed closely by Sherlock Hemlock… Since that dream didn’t come true, she began writing stories to share her world with readers, one laugh at a time. She knows how to hula, was classically trained to sing opera, co-wrote her high school Alma Mater, and can’t touch raw wood. Never hand her a Dixie cup with that wooden spoon/paddle thing. It’s not pretty.
Touching people’s hearts and funny bones are two of her favorite things, and she hopes everyone at least snickers in the right places when reading her books. She lives with her husband, daughter, and two insane dogs in Central Pennsylvania where she is hard at work on her next novel or three. She loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. https://mistysimon.wordpress.com/
High-level election officials mysteriously disappear from key presidential election swing states. A nursing home franchise in Minnesota keeps patients chained to their beds. Former General Frederick Farmington, a populist candidate with a radical protectionist agenda, inexplicably soars in the polls.
Are these incidents connected? Colonel Zack Kelly and his national security team suspect persons unknown within the president’s inner circle of aiding Farmington by tampering with the election.
Zack’s partner, Rene Garcia, infiltrates the Farmington campaign. She uncovers a plot to rig the election by hacking into state computers and using artificial intelligence to “cook the books.”
Zack finds the roots of the conspiracy run so deep they penetrate the lives of not only his team, but also his father, daughter, high-school classmates, and his first love of years ago.
Racing against time, Zack has to dig deep and use all his skills to rescue his colleagues from vicious killers who will stop at nothing to seize presidential power.
Not all of them will survive.
During his time in the military, Don Helin served at a number of stateside posts as well as overseas in Vietnam and Germany. He is the author of six thrillers that draw from his military experience, including three tours in the Pentagon. He writes for “TheBurg”, a community magazine based in Harrisburg.
His novel, Secret Assault, was selected as the Best Suspense/Thriller at the 2015 Indie Book Awards. His novel, Long Walk Home, won a Five Star review at Readers Favorite Awards and his latest novel, Roof of the World, was just awarded a Finalist in the 2020 Indie Book Awards.
MISSING s a top-notch political thriller, as timely as it is terrific. Thriller vet Don Helin turns his sights on shenanigans arising in the days leading up to a presidential election in a tale that is both eerily prescient and scarily on point. Call MISSING a book ripped from headlines we never want to see as Colonel Zach Kelly and his crack national security team race to prevent a crisis of catastrophic proportions that would change the nation forever. A tour de force destined to be shelved right alongside Seven Days in May, Advise and Consent, and Six Days of the Condor.”
— Jon Land, USA Today bestselling author
“Don Helin’s new thriller, MISSING, starts with a literal bang and never lets up. Old flames, old pain and problems from the past put Colonel Zack Kelly at the center of a perplexing mystery full of shocking twists and turns. His team of tough and colorful characters have returned to help him investigate a high-tech conspiracy that couldn’t be more topical. If you’re looking for an action-packed page turner with a story ripped from today’s headlines, look no further”
— Haris Orkin, award winning author of YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE and Amazon Best Selling Author of the JAMES FLYNN THRILLERS
Don Helin has a prescription for a fever pitched thriller that sounds a loud constitutional alarm for today. With his new novel, MISSING, Helin infuses the likes of Robin Cook and David Baldacci into a highly-charged, fast-paced warning that our political health might well be on life support. A timely and exciting read.”
— Gary Grossman, Best-selling author of Executive Actions, Old Earth and Red Hotel.
This is a 4 Sparkler review of a contemporary romance that takes place in the mountains of North Carolina near Asheville. It’s a decent story with several subplots that keep things moving. For my full review, look under the “Romance” page.
Publisher Blurb: Shifter Quinn Adler knew he would live and die as a slave. Quinn’s life was filled with pain until he was rescued from an abusive pack. But in Lydon, Quinn can’t be sure of anything, so he’s terrified of everything. With no one to give him direction, he is lost—until Deke takes control of him. Deke Timmons hates that he has to play the role of master to his mate. Unfortunately, Quinn won’t accept his love until Deke can show him what being mates means. Vowing to help Quinn, Deke takes him into the world he’s never seen. Though sometimes their relationship is tense, his methods seem to be working. Then a power-mad Alpha swoops in to kidnap Quinn and ends up getting Deke by mistake. Now Deke must play submissive to a wolf complicit in Quinn’s abuse. He’ll do whatever it takes to get back to his mate—but with Deke in peril, Quinn must find his courage and reclaim the person he was meant to be.
Thoughts: This is the second in a paranormal series. Quinn was taken as a boy from his family by an abusive alpha. He was raped, beaten, starved, and treated as a slave until he was rescued by another family. Unfortunately, he has trouble reintegrating to a regular life and especially with his new “master”—who turns out to actually be his true mate. Deke knows he has to take things slow with Quinn and tries to. Then Deke is kidnapped and Quinn realizes what Deke means to him and he will do anything to get Deke back.
What I liked: the characters are strong and well-drawn with quirks, flaws, and strengths. The world building is excellent, especially with the vampyres being created to protect the Omegas. There’s a happily ever after that satisfies, but it’s also obviously part of a series because a few threads are left dangling even though this is a stand-alone. And you don’t need to have read the first one to know what’s going on in this one.
What I didn’t like: The book was slow to start for me. Okay, not really, but I had to skip over the first few pages because of the violence there. There are a lot of “triggers” in this book for some people. I didn’t get the whole “Omega” (and other Greek letters indicating who was what in society). Maybe that was explained in the first book. I also didn’t understand the whole “guy” got pregnant thing that obviously had to do with being an Omega.
Recommendation: It was a good book with strong characters and excellent world building. There are some triggers (rape, violence, abuse) that may take away from some readers’ enjoyment but overall, it’s a good read.
Just a heads up to authors and others, I am making some minor changes to the Sparkling Book Reviews pages. Mostly to organize things better. From now on, author promos will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays and reviews posted Monday/Wednesday/Friday. The weekends will be whatever I feel like doing. It could be nothing, it could be tips and tricks for authors, or anything else. Hope you’ll continue to join us here.
Speaking of reviews – check out my 3 sparkler review of “Cherry Cheesecake Murder” by Joanne Fluke under the “Mysteries” page.
She plans happily-ever-afters. He sings about them. But will their starstruck connection last?
As a small town wedding planner, Nicky Sinclair craves true love and decadent cakes. But her world is rocked when a famous Scottish musician shows her the kind of affection she’s only dreamt about. Except just as their hearts are humming in tune, she receives terrifying news and finds herself caught in the headlines.
On the brink of superstardom, Reid Macpherson pours all his energy into his band. But after showing up at a small town bar to test out his latest song, the last thing he expected was to fall for a gorgeous local who has no idea who he is. So when he realizes he has feelings for her, he invites her to New York City for the kick-off of his first world tour.
After Nicky learns devastating news that’s hit the airwaves, emotions run high and she fears Mac will leave her and return to Scotland forever. And Mac worries with Nicky left behind, his voice will forever be silenced, the love they shared nothing but a lingering lyric in one of his hit songs.
Will the harmonious couple see each other again, or have they uttered their final goodbye?
I’ll See You Again is the fourth book in a series of standalone contemporary romance novels. If you like steamy opposites-attract stories, and heart-wrenching feels, then you’ll adore KG Fletcher’s rock star romance.
Buy I’ll See You Again for a ballad of loyalty and longing today!
NickySinclair (small-town wedding planner, long-brunette hair, green eyes, White Barn Weddings, chabby chic, she looks like a Ralph Lauren model, loves cowboy boots & visiting the local pub owned by her BFF)
Reid Macpherson (Scottish rock star/celebrity, think Ed Sheeran but better looking, auburn hair and beard, blue eyes, Celtic tattoos on his arms, guitar player/singer, about to start his first world tour)
Dubbed, “The Singing Author,” KG Fletcher lives in her very own frat house in Atlanta, GA with her husband Ladd and three sons. As a singer/songwriter in Nashville, TN, she became a recipient of the “Airplay International Award” for “Best New Artist” showcasing original songs at The Bluebird Café. She earned her BFA in theater at Valdosta State University, and has traveled the world professionally as a singer/actress. She currently gets to play rock star as a backup singer in the National Tour, “Remember When Rock Was Young – the Elton John Tribute,” http://www.almosteltonjohn.com She is also a summer artist-in-residence at her alma mater performing roles in musicals for the Peachstate Summer Theatre program, her favorite roles to date being Donna in Mamma Mia!, and Marmee in Little Women the Musical.
KG is a hopeless romantic continuing her work on her original cabaret act called, “The Novel Romantic – an unexpected evening of sweet & spicy love” to help promote her romance novels. As a full-time indie-artist, a particularly thrilling moment was when her Amazon best-selling romance novel, Georgia Pine became a 2019 Maggie Award of Excellence Finalist. KG loves to interact with readers on social media, and is a conference speaker sharing how music can enhance a writer’s experience.
Hi all! Sorry I’ve been absent for so long. Did a major move this month and it took all my time to pack, move, settle… (still working on that). But, we have new reviews up and I’ll be open to authors for new promos too. As for the reviews: Teresa has a new one on her page – a fiction one this time. “Chaos Reigning” by Jessie Mihalik – 2 1/2 sparklers. Under the Fiction page, Jeannine has a 4 sparkler review of “These Nameless Things” by Shawn Smucker You’ll find my reviews for “Paint by Number” by Andrew Grey (4 sparklers) under LGBTQ, and a two sparkler reviwe for Sweet Chunk of Madness by Deany Ray under Mysteries. Enjoy!
Even though Gabbi Black is a firm believer in happy endings, she makes her characters work for it in every romance she writes, no matter what the genre. From contemporary to BDSM, they are penned late at night in her home on a beautiful British Columbia mountain surrounded by magnificent trees and every conceivable woodland creature—including bears. She also writes gay romances as Gabbi Grey.
Amber Eyes Synopsis
School principal Gage Clayton is still grieving the death of his wife and submissive, yet he can’t ignore his Dominant needs. As he enters Club Kink, he’s inexplicably drawn to a newly released sub with an intriguing proposition and the most captivating amber eyes. But she has disturbing baggage and her expectations prove quite a challenge, one that would necessitate a commitment he’s not ready for.
Rielle Reid needs a Dom while she waits for her former Master to return. When she invites a handsome stranger to her home dungeon for a night of play, she’s surprised at his gentle dominance—and her response to it. But in the light of day, his demand for equal footing confounds her. After living four years as a twenty-four/seven slave, she has no concept of how to be anything other than property.
Gage must find a way to master Rielle to free them both from the shackles of the past.
She needs a firm hand.
He needs a challenge.
He was contrite about his language choice but not about the question. “Can we stop the role-play?”
Her head snapped up, pupils dilating. “You’re displeased?”
He was treading on dangerous ground. “I was very pleased last night. And this morning.” He eyed his toast, buying himself a moment. “But I’m not sure of the rules here. I’m trying to delineate between the play and the rest of it.”
“I’m not…I’m not used to being anything but a slave to my Master.”
“And I’m not your Master.” His patience was fraying. “At the moment, I don’t even want to be your Dom. I want us to have a normal conversation, on even ground.”
She sighed, and it wasn’t a sigh of pleasure. Wrapping her arms around her waist, she pulled in protectively upon herself. “I’m out of my depth, Gage. I don’t know how to relate to you except as a submissive.”
“Don’t know how or can’t remember?”
That brought her up short. “I’ve been a submissive for so long that…” She fluttered her hands. “I’m not comfortable as anything else.”
“Last night, though, at the club…” Had she been anything other than submissive? Would he have come home with her if she’d shown any Domme tendencies? No, she’d been clear about what she wanted, but had also probably understood nothing short of a proposition would’ve brought him here. He certainly hadn’t planned on inviting himself.
“Try, Rielle, for a few minutes.” He gathered his thoughts, choosing his next words carefully. “Why did you invite me here?”