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September 25, 2017

Donna's September Reading Round-Up #MondayBlogs

by Donna Huber



Between the 3 day weekend for Labor Day and 4 day weekend for Hurricane Irma, I got a ton of reading done this month - 11 books finished! I was without power for about 12 hours due to the hurricane (my area had its first ever tropical storm warning - we are over 200 miles from the coast!) and without the internet for 3 days. Other than that I just had some small debris, though there were a lot of trees down in my town. I used the impromptu long weekend for a mini read-a-thon.

I started doing the meme It's Monday! What are you read? monthly because often I was still reading the same set of books each week, but I might have to consider going back to a weekly format if I keep reading so many books each month. Here's a look at what I read this month, what I'm currently reading, and what I plan to read next.

September 24, 2017

Archangel's Viper by Nalini Singh

by MK French


Holly Chang had been turned into a vampire against her will, and has been struggling to control her impulses. Outside of the usual structure for vampire creation, she is able to talk with those the elites would never even notice. There's a bounty on her head, however, and the powers she has aren't like those of an ordinary vampire. Viper is one of the Tower's most trustworthy vampires and something like an assassin in his own right. As much as they class, he is one of the few capable of keeping her safe.

September 23, 2017

Meet Tessa Robertson Author of Assassin by Day


Tessa Robertson has been landlocked in the heart of Iowa, USA for the better portion of her life. She grew up on sci-fi and action movies, but isn’t nearly a ninja...yet. Since childhood, writing stories and reading have been a constant. Moonlighting in a law firm, she takes on her favorite cases: criminal. Her stories push the limits of standard characters and explore the thriller facets of romance and action.

In her spare time, Tessa attempts to teach her Australian Shepherd and Golden Retriever new tricks; spends copious time with family; catches up on her favorite shows; and listens to country music.
Currently, Tessa has her debut novel, Assassin By Day, available through Crooked Cat Books.

September 22, 2017

3 Books About Strong Women

by Susan Roberts


I love reading books about strong women and I have three reviews for you today.  One is about a modern detective in NYC, one about a woman trying to get over a divorce and the last about a woman dying of cancer.  All of the women in these books are strong and capable of overcoming their problems.  Have you read any of these books?

Deadfall (Alexandra Cooper #19) by Linda Fairstein

Deadfall
July 2017; Dutton; 978-1101984048
ebook, audio, print (400 pages); cozy mystery
Many series grow old and readers get tired of the same old formula but I can guarantee you that after 18 previous books, Alexandra Cooper has not gotten old and her character and the plot are as fresh as book 1. Thanks to First to Read for an early copy of this book to read and review.

One of the things that I've liked most about the series is that the author picks a landmark in NYC and along with setting the story there, she shares a lot of information about that location. In this book, the landmark is the Bronx Zoo. As usual, Cooper is investigating a case that she's been told to stay away from. When the DA is killed on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he has come to confront Alex and falls into her after he is shot, she becomes one of the main suspects in the case. Her two good friends from previous books, Mike and Mercer help investigate the case even though they've been told to stay away from it because of their involvement with Alex. As the three of them try to untangle the secrets surrounding the DA's shooting, they get deeper into the case. It's a real page-turner until the end to find out the answer to what has caused the shooting.

Note -- this is a series that really should be read in order because there's a lot in each book that refers back to the previous book. That is especially true with this book because it happens right after book #18.

This is a great fun roller coaster of a read and it's a fantastic series.

Buy Deadfall at Amazon

Cicada Summer by Maureen Leurck 

Cicada Summer
July 2017; Kensington; 978-1496706522
ebook, print (320 pages); women's fiction
"The symbolic meaning of a summer when the cicadas come is one of rebirth and renewal." This novel takes place in Wisconsin during a cicada summer and is a story about rebirth and renewal - both of the house that Alex is renovating and in her personal life.

Alex has been renovating old houses in the three years since her divorce and finally wins the bid on a very old, very trashed older home that she wants to renovate and sell. The house is in terrible shape but she sees so many ways to make it come alive again by really digging in and working hard. Problem after problem happens and the cost of the renovation gets more and more expensive - the house had to be lifted up to re-do the foundation, the roof leaked and destroyed the upper floors and even more. Along with working on the house, Alex is the mom of a 6-year-old and shares custody with her ex-husband. As the summer continues, Alex also finds that she still has feelings for her ex-husband. Can Alex find rebirth and renewal for the house and her past relationship with her husband during this cicada summer?

I loved the characters in this book - Alex is so strong and determined while working on the house yet still questions herself and her decisions that led to her divorce. There is also a lot of information about old houses which I found very interesting. Plus there is a lovely older neighbor next door who adds information about the house but also an interesting mystery to go along with it. This is a great read.

Thanks to Goodreads for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.

Buy Cicada Summer at Amazon

Before Everything by Victoria Redel

Before Everything
July 2017; Viking; 978-0735222571
ebook, print (288 pages); women's fiction
Spoiler Alert: this is a sad book so have Kleenex close at hand when you read it!

Before Everything is a book about a woman who is dying of cancer. As the book begins, Anna is in the last few days of her life. As she faces death, she looks back at the good and the bad in her life, worries about her family and her good friends and how they will cope with her loss. But it's also full of lighthearted moments as she reflects on her life and her best friends who have basically abandoned their lives to be at her side and keep her final days full of memories and love. So, yes, it's a sad book but there is an overall feeling of love and friendship and memories that transcend the sadness with the joy of a life well lived.

Buy Before Everything at Amazon



Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling.  She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends.  She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with her on Facebook, Goodreads or Twitter.


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September 21, 2017

Symphony of Heart Strings by T. E. Hodden

by MK French

Bob is the embodiment of the quirks of fate that brings people together. Life is a web of connections, each string making its own note to add to the melody of the world. He finds those strings that resonates together and has them meet, often for romantic relationships. He is tasked with finding Jenny love, but every attempt ends in a discordant note. Finding the reason involves becoming visible to keep her safe.

September 20, 2017

Well-Written: The Way to London: A Novel of World War II by Alix Rickloff

by Susan Roberts

This is a well-written book about WWII and how it affected the lives of the rich. I can promise you that you won't like the main character at the beginning of the book - she is sarcastic and rude and a real elitist who doesn't care how other people live or how the war is changing their lives. Don't let your feelings towards her, affect your decision to continue reading this book. I think that the author deliberately made her unlikable to show how she changes throughout the book. When you finish this book, you'll be glad that you read it and left with a memory of a strong female character.

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