The Whiskey Sea Review & Giveaway

If you’re looking for your historical fiction to add an element of adventure or a touch of romance, look no further.  Ann Howard Creel’s new novel does just that.  I learned about the lengths people would go during Prohibition for extra money.

After her mother’s death when she was just a child, Frieda and her sister, Bea, were taken in by a fisherman, Silver, when they had nowhere else to go.  He cared for them as if they were his own.  When he loses the ability after a health crisis to take care of himself or the girls, Frieda is left to pick up the pieces to take care of him and pave a way for a better life for Bea.

As a trained boat mechanic, an opportunity presents itself to help the rumrunners make nightly boat trips for liquor to sell in town.  As lucrative as it is, it’s extremely dangerous.  Not only to be caught by the guard boats and arrested, but to be captured and killed by pirates.

The book started and hooked me right away, as I haven’t read anything before about rumrunners during Prohibition.  I loved how Frieda was feisty and fought hard for what she wanted, unusual for these times.  While other girls went to school to study to become nurses or teachers, she knew she was meant to work on the sea.

I thought the middle of the book got a little bogged down with a new romance that seemed out of character for her.  But the ending also was a page turner.

For anyone who enjoys historical fiction, if you’re looking for a new-to-you subject, this is one to pick up.  The adventure is enough to hold your interest.


image About the author:

Ann Howard Creel is the author of ten published novels–four middle grade, three young adult, and three adult novels. Her children’s books have won numerous awards, and THE MAGIC OF ORDINARY DAYS was made into a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie for CBS.

Creel’s latest novel, THE WHISKEY SEA, a story about a female rumrunner, is available on Amazon as a Kindle book, paperback, audio book, and MP3 CD.

For more information, visit Ann’s website.


Thank you to TLC, I have a copy for one lucky reader.  Please fill out the Rafflecopter below.
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The Regulars Review

In today’s society, we all know the value placed on being pretty.  Magazines are Photoshopped so even supermodels look better on the page than they do in real life.  Actors get styled and made up before television appearances and red carpets.  With the ability to see a picture taken immediately, how many of you have had a redo when the angle is wrong or you need to reapply your lipstick?

That is the concept Georgia Clark brings us in The Regulars.  It tells the story of three friends (Willow, Evie, and Krista) who are ordinary 20-somethings trying to navigate life in New York City. Willow is a photographer trying to make a name for herself outside of her famous dad’s shadow. Evie dreams of a life writing rather than editing the glossy Salty.  And Krista aspires to be an actress, if only she can make it to her next audition on time.

Until one day someone gives Krista a jar of Pretty, a magical elixir that will change the girls’ appearance to make them look like supermodels.  What will happen if they take it?

I was entertained by this book a lot more than I expected to be.  Think of it as a fairy tale for adults. After reading an interview about how this book came to be, I couldn’t help but suspend disbelief for the few days I was immersed in this story.  It made me think of the pressure placed on women today just based on looks.  Girls as young as preschool age putting way more thought than necessary into their clothes and their hair.  Little girls telling their moms they look fat when compared to their friends.  So what can we do to change it?

Unfortunately, I think we have a long way to go before red carpets become more about the roles women play in movies rather than what designer they’re wearing.  Props to Reese Witherspoon for starting the trend with #AskHerMore last year. Hopefully, the generation of young girls will start following Evie’s attitude from this book a lot sooner.

image About the author:

Georgia Clark is the author THE REGULARS (Emily Bestler Books/Simon & Schuster), and two YA novels, SHE’S WITH THE BAND and PARCHED. THE REGULARS is her debut adult fiction and is being released around the world.

Georgia was born in Sydney, Australia. Her BA in Communications (Media Arts & Production) saw her becoming active in the student movement and blow way too much money on making short films and music videos.

After graduating she became a professional hipster for a while as Editor of The Brag, an excellent weekly music street press magazine. This also involved being in a band, the seminal electropop trio, Dead Dead Girls. She went on to become an Online Producer for a soapie called Home & Away, and Online Writer for Fremantle Media Australia.

In 2008 her first novel, She’s With The Band was published by Australia’s largest independent publisher, Allen & Unwin. She’s With The Band was released in the U.S. and the U.K. in 2011. It attracted five-star reviews.

Georgia has worked as a freelance journalist and copywriter for ten years. She is published in Cosmo, CLEO, Daily Life, Sunday Life, Girlfriend and more. She has attended writers’ residencies in Martha’s Vineyard and Portugal, and has also received grants for her work.

Georgia moved to from Sydney to New York in 2009 just for fun. Here, she performs improv and enjoys meeting new and interesting cheese platters. She writes from the New York Writers Room, which involves macaroons and many, many cups of tea. She lives in Brooklyn and is hard at work on her next book.

Thank you to BookSparks and their #bestsummerever for the copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Monster’s Daughter Review & Giveaway

I applaud author Michelle Pretorius for this novel.  She managed to teach me about a completely new to me culture in an interesting way.  This novel takes place in South Africa from 1901 to the present.  For someone like me with no previous background on the subject, she wrote a historical thriller that managed to shock me at times.

There are dual storylines at play here.  We start out during war in 1901 with a doctor performing unethical medical experiments on people.  Fast forward to 2010 where we meet Alet, a constable for the Unie police, called to investigate a burned body.  The story alternates between Alet’s search for a current killer and the flashbacks of how this murder relate to what happened in the past.

At one point I gasped out loud with a twist I did not see coming.  Pretorius has a knack for pacing and knows just how to drop the right clues when, an amazing feat for a debut novelist.  It was incredibly researched.  However, this is not a novel to read when you are doing multiple things at once.  You need to pay attention and focus.  There’s a lot of characters and how they relate to each other is essential to your enjoyment of the story.

I did love the South African terms and titles I was unfamiliar with interspersed throughout the story.  Aside from the central mystery to solve, I was learning about scientific advancements, race relations, and politics of what seems to be a corrupt system in Africa.  Both storylines keep you glued to the page as the mystery unravels for both the reader and our protagonist.

imageAbout the author:

Born and raised in South Africa, Michelle received a B.A. at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein. She has lived in London, New York, and the Midwest and holds an MFA in Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago. She is currently a doctoral student in creative writing at Ohio University.

Connect with Michelle
Website | Facebook | Twitter

imageThanks to TLC Book Tours, I have one copy of The Monster’s Daughter to give away to a lucky winner.  U.S. and Canada residents only, please. Click on the Rafflecopter to enter.
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Everything We Keep Review & Giveaway

What if you are set to marry your high school sweetheart, the love of your life, only to be attending his funeral on what was supposed to be your wedding day?  That is the premise of Kerry Lonsdale’s debut, Everything We Keep.

Aimee had her life all planned out: marry James and work at her parents’ restaurant as a chef.  The rest would just as easily fall into place.  But, unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way.  And all that comes crashing down at her fiance’s funeral.  As a psychic approaches her letting her know James is still alive, Aimee doesn’t know what to believe anymore.  But she is determined to find out because she is afraid to move on without him.

The reader is left to unravel the mystery along with Aimee, and Lonsdale throws in flashbacks to add to the suspense and make us question what we know so far.  This book will have mystery lovers racing to determine the truth.  Prefer your book with a cocktail on the beach?  So does Aimee!  The scenes set in Mexico are perfect for beach reading and Lonsdale’s descriptions have you imagining yourself with her there.  Romance fans will also be thrilled this book is right up their alley.

This captivating read is perfect for fans of Karma Brown and Catherine McKenzie.  And when you finish and are begging for a sequel, your wish has already come true!  What We Leave Behind will be published by Lake Union in 2017.

image About the author:

Kerry Lonsdale believes life is more exciting with twists and turns, which may be why she enjoys dropping her characters into unexpected scenarios and foreign settings. She graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and is a founder of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, an online community of authors located across the globe. She resides in Northern California with her husband, two children, and an aging golden retriever who’s convinced she’s still a puppy. Everything We Keep is Kerry’s first novel.

Connect with Kerry
Website | Facebook | Twitter


Thanks to TLC Book Tours, I have one paperback copy to share with a lucky winner!  (U.S. And Canada only, please). Enter on the Rafflecopter.
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