Saturday, August 31, 2013

Dog Soldier Moon by McKendree Long

 
In this sequel to his novel, No Good Like It Is, McKendree Long continues the saga of Dobey Walls and Jimmy "Boss" Melton during the three years following the Civil War.  In Dog Soldier Moon, a great crime decimates the tiny Panhandle community of Canadian Fort, twisting relationships and putting Dobey and the Boss on a trail of retribution and frontier justice, yet unaware that they are targets of two Pinkerton teams.  Black Kettle, Meotzi, the 'Boy General' Custer, and J.B. Hickok flesh out the cast in this all new classic tale.  (taken from the back of the book)

Having read and reviewed No Good Like It Is, I was really excited when McKendree asked me to review Dog Soldier Moon.  Even though it's been a couple of years, I remembered the excitement and joy I got from reading the first book.  Plus, the author is a heck of a nice guy and it's always a joy working with him.  So it was with much anticipation that I cracked this one open, knowing full well that no book can live up to the hype I'd already built in my brain for it.

My already beloved characters were returned to me, along with some new ones that I quickly came to love as well.  Coming from a time when men were men, I found myself intrigued by their roughness and wit.  Hurt a man's woman, and there will be Hell to pay.  The women are tough as nails, too, but also so sweet and loving that you can't help but adore them.  New to this book is Shelly, and I don't know how I ever got along without her!

I think Dog Soldier Moon actually surpasses the first book and it is definitely alright as a stand alone book.  McKendree's sense of humor is found throughout the book and there were several 'laugh out loud' funny parts.  Read the first chapter and you'll be hooked!  On the other hand, there are some really raw, violent scenes as well.  There were a couple of times I had to stop reading because I was imagining the scenes too intensely and needed a few seconds of a break from it.  If you're squeamish, you may want to skim a few parts. 

Though this is fictional history, it's so easy to get sucked in and enjoy it for what it is, a great read.  You also may learn a little something along the way.  Whether you like horror, drama, romance, or just good old 'cowboys and Indians', there's something in this book for you.  Even though I had convinced myself that it couldn't live up to the hype I'd built up in my brain, it surpassed my expectations.  I'm waiting patiently for McKendree to finish the third book in the series.

For more information on McKendree Long, please visit his website and feel free to leave him a comment.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Darkness Lies in Winter Giveaway!



Recently, I posted a review for Darkness Lies in Winter by Ariana Wood.  First, I was wrong on the release date, and I apologize!  It's available now!  The author, being the sweetheart she is, is giving away 3 copies of her e-book to people who 'like' her Facebook author page!  All you have to do to enter is go here, and press that little thumbs up button!  She'll choose the winners on September 13th!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Alternate Currents by Arleen Alleman

 
Author Darcy Farthing is living in DC with her fiancĂ©, Mick Clayton, enjoying a much needed respite.  As they prepare for a wedding and a romantic cruise, they find out that a good friend, Charlie Scott, has mysteriously disappeared.  Against Mick's wishes and without much thought of consequences, Darcy flies to Seattle to help Charlie's partner, Don Freeburg, and daughter, Penelope, cope with their loss.  She finds that a prior well-intentioned decision about parenthood has sparked a series of tragic events, which threatens to destroy a parent-child bond.  Eager to help, Darcy plummets into the unfamiliar world of domestic partnerships, surrogates, and assisted reproductive technology.  While the police and FBI are still trying to solve Charlie's kidnapping, Penelope also vanishes.  Detectives implicate a local clergyman, a birth-mother, and a radical author, but can find no proof of guilt.  When Darcy tries to apply her investigative skills to the baffling case she sustains a vicious attack by an unbalanced killer.  Mick rushes to her side and as  the mystery is finally solved he also becomes a victim of vengeance and madness.  (taken from the back of the book)

Alternate Currents is the fourth book in Alleman's series, following Current Assets, Currents of Vengeance and Currents Deep and Deadly.  If you've read any of the other books, you're already a Darcy fan and know to pick up this book to continue with the sage.

Since I haven't read the other books, it was a little different for me reading this.  Arleen did an amazing job referencing the earlier books.  We know that there was some trauma having to do with cruise ships before this, but instead of rehashing everything for those that have read the books, she gives us just enough to keep us wondering.  Personally, it was just enough to make me want to pick up the other books and find out exactly what did happen!  If you've read the previous ones, you won't find the references here annoying or in over abundance.  If you haven't read them, it'll simply pique your curiosity.

The characters are actually pretty entertaining.  I found myself enjoying a few of them even though I didn't have the rapport that was most likely built during the initial books.  I liked them well enough, but at the end, when neat little bowties are made, I found myself feeling like things were dragging.  It was sort of like getting updates on people I didn't care about.  I have no doubt that if I go back and read the first 3 books first and then reread this one, I'll find each of those ending tidbits fascinating.

Now for my favorite part of reviewing a mystery, reviewing the mystery!  I hate when I can figure everything out before the author reveals it, and Arleen definitely led me on a wild chase!  One moment I was certain I knew the culprit and then the next I was certain it was someone else!  I had so much fun just trying to figure out who was the bad guy and who was just a jerk and who was misunderstood and I have to admit, I didn't see it coming.  Once things began to unravel, I found myself riveted and just waiting for the rest of the explanation.  It all makes sense and ties together nicely.

If you're looking for an enjoyable, thrilling mystery, this very well could be the book for you.  Personally, I putting the rest of the series on my 'to read' list and then I'm going to reread this one.  Though it stands alone just fine, I really feel like building a little more history with the characters would make it even more enjoyable.  For more information on Alleman's work or to see her book tour, please check out her website

Darkness Lies in Winter by Ariana Wood


 
Though Victoria's life appears picture perfect from the outside, no one knows what it's really like on the inside. Her father is a callous, yammering cad. Her mother grows more distant and ill with each passing day. When her older brother's attempt to be like their father begins to fail, he turns to drugs. And then there's her baby brother, Bradley. He's a sweet boy that can't help that he's just a little different.
 
Victoria seems to be getting a handle on things until the unthinkable happens: Her mother suddenly dies. Victoria is tossed into a world of survival for not only herself, but for her little brother as well. But, how high will the price of her sacrifices be? Will she ever be able to have a life of her own?  (taken from the back of the book)
 
I'm not normally a drama person, but I just couldn't put this one down.  Ariana has a great way of storytelling that keeps you flipping page after page, even after the first read through. 
 
For me, the biggest draw to this book is Ariana's talent for creating characters that I love to hate.  All of the characters are fascinating and well-rounded.  You care about them from the moment the story begins.  As the villains surface, though, you can't help but grab them and hold them tightly to you so that you can despise them as long as possible. 
 
Darkness Lies in Winter will be released on Amazon only September 3rd.  Whether you're a drama person or not, this book will provide you with a great escape and is definitely worth checking out.
 
 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pretty Ugly by Barbara M. Barnes

 
In Barbara's book, she tells us personal true-to-life stories.  Most of these don't frame her life in a flattering light.  The point of sharing them is to show us how she overcame adversity and low self-esteem and how we can do the same.  We also get a few of Barbara's poems and a glimpse into the next book she's working on. 

Now for my personal thoughts!

Barbara is a fascinating woman who I'm so glad I've met!  E.Y.E.S. is an acronym for Eventually You'll Emerge Stronger.  Barbara is the CEO and Founder of the organization.  It's a self-esteem and self-empowerment group.  She is a certified life coach and motivational speaker.  My favorite Barbara quote is:  'If you feel that there is no one that loves you...you must take up the slack!'

Barbara's stories are heartfelt and sincere and they aren't always pretty.  She allows us into her life by showing us exactly what she was thinking and feeling in those moments.  They're wonderfully written and most of the time you can actually hear her talking to you in her humorous voice.  I could even see the hand gestures!  Such vivid writing!

There are also several spots in the book where pertinent factual information has been inserted.  You can find anything from statistics to emergency hotline information. 

For more information about E.Y.E.S., please click the link. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

So, it's been quite awhile!  I didn't think I'd ever be pulling Litter out of the 'sleeping pile' but here I am!  Life has finally slowed down to the point that I can re-enter the world of reviewing and blogging and I'm excited about it!  I've got some great giveaways coming up soon and I look forward to reconnecting with my blogger world!  Stay tuned this month as I slowly start to pull everything back together and get going again.  In the meantime, be patient with me!  I've been gone for years! 

Giveaway Notice

All winners of giveaways will be notified as soon as their name has been drawn. Each winner will have two weeks to respond in order to receive their prize. Prizes cannot be delivered without an email/physical address. Any prizes that are not claimed within a two week period will be forfeited.

Notice

All books (unless otherwise specified) belong to me already, have been borrowed, or are sent to me by the author, publisher or review company for review. I do not receive any monetary rewards for reviewing books. The opinions expressed in my reviews belong solely to me.