Author Archives: Jennifer @Can'tPutItDown

Review: GATEKEEPER and FLESH AND BLOOD (Hayle Coven Novels #6 & 7)

Gatekeeper and Flesh and Blood (Hayle Coven Novels #6 & 7) by Patti Larsen

Gatekeeper Goodreads Back Cover

Syd had been hoping grade twelve would go smoothly. But it’s not even the first day of class and she’s dreaming about some Sidhe gate and an approaching threat. Before she can enlist her mother’s help, her grandmother Ethpeal disappears, presumably gone after the Dumonts. Miriam pursues her mother, leaving Syd in charge of the coven. All fine and good, except no one trusts or believes in her. Add to that her new friend, Liam, seems somehow tied to the dreams she’s having, threats from Celeste and the fact Meira is suddenly acting like a little brat and Syd has her hands full. Maybe too full. 

Someone is knocking at the Gate and she has no way of answering.

My Thoughts

I am a HUGE fan of Patti Larsen’s writing, especially this Hayle Coven series. Each book is seriously better than the last. So, somehow I missed the announcement that Gatekeeper was out and available (I’m blaming the new changes to Facebook changes). As soon as I knew I downloaded it and every other book I was reading was put on hold. I finished Gatekeeper in less than a day’s time. Yes, it is THAT good. Patti’s writing is THAT good to keep my attention and hold me in her thrall until the very. LAST. Word.

Gatekeeper picks up where The Long Lost ended. Quaid is still living with the evil Dumonts under pretenses of being one of them with revenge on his mind. Syd’s father, Harry is still stuck as a mortal and trying his darndest to get back to Demonicon. Celeste is still being a pain in the ass (I really can’t stand her lol).  And we can’t forget Syd’s friend, the troubled, one tip to shift the balance train wreck waiting to happen Alison. Still needy as ever, but you can’t help but to feel some of her pain and want to make everything okay for her.

And then there is Twelfth Grade, graduation looming like a light at the end of the tunnel for Syd. Then Gram decides to take off with her own revenge on her mind. When Syd’s mother decides to go in search of her, along with Uncle Frank, who is still coming to terms with his own mess (which if you ask me, he should be grateful to even still be around, but that’s a story for another day…) the family magic is transferred to Syd and she suddenly finds herself in charge of the coven…and the household, as her dad has basically checked out, too wrapped up in his own self  and issues, and little sis Meira, with her new snotty attitude and new found love for makeup and hair products,  until her mother’s return. Sounds like enough is on her plate already right? HA! Yeah right. Now there is a Gate that Syd has been dreaming of, and the fate of the world and the Sidhe is at risk and time is already running out to not only find the Gate but to save the day once again. Enter new character Liam, a new favorite of mine. The last of the Gatekeepers.

Full of keep you on your toes excitement, I am never not amazed at where Patti takes the storyline. As long as she keeps churning them out, I will keep reading them!

  Purchase Information

  Amazon $5.99*

  Smashwords $5.99*

  *price at the time of this post

 Flesh and Blood Goodreads Back Cover

When Syd’s father chooses to use blood magic in an attempt to return to Demonicon, he not only seals his own fate, a death sentence, he somehow transfers all of his remaining power into the demon cat, Sassafras. Transformed by Harry’s magic, Sassafras is suddenly back to his human form. Faced with a sullen and angry teen demon who refuses to help, Syd must somehow find a way to reach the other plane before Harry’s depleted body destroys itself or he is burned at the stake for his crime.

My Thoughts

The. Best. One. Yet. Those four little words hold a lot of power to be able to describe a whole book. I was basically a blubbering mess the whole book through. For those how don’t know me personally, I’m a tough girl, it takes A LOT to make me shed some tears. Flesh and Blood did just that. Being the seventh book in this series, fans can’t help but feel like you are a part of the Hayle family.

Syd’s father, Harry, is desperate to try anything, anything at all to return him to not only Demonicon, but to make him not moral anymore. Even going as far as to use *GASP* blood magic, which is punishable by death. When his attempt goes wrong, all of his powers are sent into Sassafrass, the Hayle family cat. And low and behold, Sassy is now a teenage boy! For the first time in 150 years, he is no longer in the body of a cat! Unfortunatly, Harrys body is on the decline and time is not on Syd’s side as Syd, Sassy, and Liam (yes he makes a return in book seven so I’m hoping he is here to stay!!) research, experiment, and even travel to the demon plane to get help from Sassy’s dad just to save Harry’s life. Gram is still gone, Meira is basically keeping Harry alive by feeding him her demon power, then the nasty Dumonts decide to make their return, a long with Quaid. Syd also comes to realize just how much power she really does have and the coven starts showing some respect. You can’t help but root and cheer for Syd, considering she didn’t even want anything to do with the family magic, no less her powers!

Full of emotion, both the happy and sad kind, I would LOVE to share with you how Flesh and Blood ends…but I don’t like cheating and I feel I would be cheating readers by telling. So grab your copy then feel free to email me if you are looking for someone to discuss with! If you have never read any of the Hayle Coven novels, grab you a copy of Family Magic and be amazed at how fast you devour the rest of the series.

Actually I’ll tell you what. Just because I LOVE this series so much I will personally gift a copy of Family Magic from Smashwords to the first non-kindle e-reader owner who comments on this post, just to get someone else started in this most excellent series. Just include your name and email address. I’m only gifting ONE copy so you better be quick!  Kindle owners can borrow it for free on Amazon!! Hear that? FREE! Although I don’t know for how long so you better hurry!

  Purchase Information

  Amazon $5.99*

  Smashwords $5.99*

  *price at the time of this post

Review: DEAD NIGHT (Potter’s Secrets)

Dead Night (Potter’s Secrets) (Kiera Hudson Series Two Book 1.5) by Tim O’Rourke

The Goodreads Back Cover

When Potter disappears from Hallowed Manor for twenty-four hours, he goes in search of the only person he thinks will be able to give him answers as to why the world has been pushed. That person is his first love, Sophie. 

But Sophie has been pushed, too, and is running for her life. In a world where wolves live amongst humans, Potter must save Sophie while trying to search for answers.

During his search, he discovers that some things are best left secret. 

My Thoughts

Tsk Tsk Tsk…Oh Potter…the places Tim takes you, the predicaments he puts you in. First of all let me state that this may be a “novella” but it sure doesn’t read like one. There was so much packed into the pages of 1.5 that I had felt like I had read a whole novel. This is probably going to be the hardest review I have ever had to write. Why you ask? Well for two reasons: one being that because unless you have read Tim’s Black Hill Farm books, there are connections you just wouldn’t get and two being the fact that there are so many surprises in store for the reader I REALLY don’t want to ruin this read for anyone! Not new fans of Tim’s books or current fans who just haven’t made it this far yet. Upfront I apologize for the vagueness of this review!
So, that being said, I must say I loved getting to know Sophie, even though it is the “pushed” version of her. I love how she tied into the whole story and getting to know more about her. I loved that a certain character makes an appearance. I love the laugh out loud moments Tim filled the story with. I love how Tim keeps me guessing right until the end when I am screaming at him for not writing more and making me wait, although he doesn’t know that I do that because I never tell him. Ah hell, guess the cats out of the bag😉
In all honesty, each book, whether it be a novella or a novel, is better than the last. I have loved watching Tim grow as an author and also where he has taken Kiera Hudson and gang. You never know what to expect when you dive into chapter one of a Tim O’Rourke book. If you haven’t read any of his books, give him a try. If you want in on the Kiera Hudson series start with Vampire Shift, or give the Black Hill Farm books a go. Ok, enough plugging, just read it already!🙂

 Purchase Information

Amazon $1.99*

Smashwords $1.99*

*purchase price at the time of this post












*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Seeds of Discovery Book Tour

About the book:
Nobody at Bristlecone High School has ever paid attention to William Rose. Since the day he arrived in the small, mountain town years ago, he’s blended into the background.

Quinn Robbins never noticed William at all, until the icy Friday night he suddenly appeared directly in the path of her car, and just as suddenly vanished. After that, she found herself noticing him constantly, seeing for the first time just how different he was.
First were the books he always had his nose buried in. Why would a senior in high school always be reading medical journals? Then there were his habitual appearances down by the river every Friday night, just like the night she almost hit him – not to mention his odd habit of disappearing there, with no place and no reason to hide!
Overtaken by a sense of curiosity that she just can’t seem to shake, Quinn finds herself trying to figure out exactly what is going on with him.  When he starts to show up in her dreams, she can’t decide if her curiosity has become too much of an obsession … or if there is something … more.
Finally it becomes clear that the answers she seeks might only come from finding out what is happening at the river. But on the night Quinn decides to follow him, her very new mystery draws her fatefully to a very old mystery. To a discovery she thought could only exist in a fairy tale.
Uh oh, Quinn. 1st Period History will never be the same!

In the Dusk Gate Chronicles, you’ll meet characters who find their way straight into your heart, on a journey you’ll long to join. Join readers everywhere as you fall in love with the Dusk Gate Chronicles.

About the author:
Breeana Puttroff has loved making up stories since she could talk. For many years, her biggest audience for those stories was the fantastic students she had the privilege of teaching.
One summer afternoon, while she was picnicking in the beautiful mountains of her Colorado home with her little girl, Breeana saw an old, broken stone bridge, and she just knew there was a story inside. Six months later, the Dusk Gate Chronicles was born.
Breeana now runs a small business and writes full-time, and is a busy, single, homeschooling mom to her beautiful daughter.
Breeana holds a B.A. in English from the University of Northern Colorado, and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction and Literacy from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA.
Tour Schedule: 
1st – Heather C. @ It’s All About Me
4th -Jennifer @ Can’t Put It Down
5th -Andi @ Radiant Light
7th -Sheila @ Sheila Deeth
8th -Jamie @ Culture Shock
9th -Jennifer K @ My Life With Books
10th -Heather G. @ Fire and Ice
10th -Sara @ So Simply Sara
11th -Kristy @ Kristy K. James
12th -McKenna @ Young At Heart
14th -Phaedra @ Identity Discovery

Read an Excerpt:

Then, all of a sudden, he was there. William was walking on the sidewalk almost at the end of the street, where a small lead off to a hiking trail met the sidewalk.  He was wearing the same long overcoat and hiking backpack he had been wearing a week ago.
Adrenaline rushed through her veins. Where was he going now? It was Friday again; would he be down by the bank of the river three weeks in a row? She wasn’t aware of making a conscious decision to follow him, but somehow she found herself turning onto a frontage road that would drop her near the river, hopefully before William made it there on foot.
She drove quickly to one of the scenic pull-offs she was familiar with; there were many little picnicking spots along the mountain river where sightseers and hikers could pull in and access the water. She parked her car and got out, walking as quickly as she could to reach an open area where she had a good view of the valley.
The riverbank had just come into view when she saw him. He was walking down a steep path, right toward the river. Quinn ducked behind a pine tree and watched. From her vantage point behind the tree, she could see most of the edge of the river, right up to the base of the old, broken bridge. As she watched, William approached the water, right near the bridge. He stopped, and looked around. For a moment, he looked right at Quinn’s tree. She panicked, and scooted as far to the other side as she could, hoping desperately that he hadn’t seen her. She had no idea how she would explain herself if he approached her.
Silently taking a few deep breaths, she strained to listen for any sounds. She didn’t hear him coming toward her. She didn’t hear anything. Finally, she edged back around the tree and scanned the riverbank.
It was empty. Nobody was there.
What in the…?
She crept further around the tree, trying to get more of the valley in her view.
Still nothing.
A wave of irritation washed over her that overpowered her caution. So what if he saw her? What was he going to do? At least she would have some answers. She circled around the tree and walked toward the riverbank, all the way to the bridge.
He wasn’t there. He wasn’t anywhere.
She whirled around, searching the entire valley with her eyes, even carefully scrutinizing the shallow water flowing over the rocks in the riverbed. He had to be here.
But he wasn’t.
Frustrated, Quinn found herself walking all over the riverbank in the cold evening air, looking behind trees and boulders. The sun had set almost completely. Soon she wouldn’t be able to see anything. There was no sign of another human being anywhere on the riverbank. He hadn’t had time to go anywhere, had he? What was going on here?
In a last, desperate move, she walked toward the broken bridge where she had seen him standing. She edged close to the water as far as she could, hoping to peer beneath the base of the bridge. Maybe he was hiding there? She had to get so close to the water that she got her shoes a little wet, but she could finally see behind the dark outcropping. Nothing. He wasn’t there, either.
Quinn sighed. She climbed up the crumbling steps and stood for a moment on what was left of the platform at the top. From here, she could see literally everything, even behind some of the smaller boulders she had searched.  She was alone.
At that moment, a strange idea popped into her head. What if he had climbed up the bridge and kept on walking? What if it wasn’t really broken?
She knew the thought was absurd. She was standing here, and the bridge was broken. William Rose could not have kept on walking. Yet the thought resonated with something deep inside of her, a feeling she did not understand rising from her chest. She walked forward to the broken edge and looked over. He still wasn’t down there. The water swirled below her in freezing ribbons.
Carefully, she put her right foot over the edge, feeling the space.
Book Two: Roots of Insight
Buy it *HERE*
Book Three: Thorns of Decision
Buy it *HERE*

Review: SPRITE (Annabelle’s Story Part One)

Sprite (Annabelle’s Story Part One) by Leigh Michael

The Goodreads Back Cover

Annabelle Walsh thought she had it all. She was the star of her swim team, had a loving family, a great boyfriend, and to top it off, she’d be starting at UCLA in the fall. One day, she’d be referred to as Dr. Annabelle Walsh. 

She was living every girl’s dream – until her life was turned upside down. All starting with finding out that she’s not just a human, but also a water spirit. Half-human, half-sprite to be exact. Although not just any sprite, Annabelle is prophesied to be the only one who can save both the sprites and mankind. 

With a mix of current events, anecdotes from Greek mythology, tidbits of folklore, and Leigh’s own imagination, we join Annabelle in her journey to restore order beneath the sea. Each step of the way her mind, body, and soul are pushed to the limit begging the question, how much can one half-human, half-sprite take?

My Thoughts

Sprite was different from anything I have read before. My attention was captured from the first page, and I knew I was going to enjoy Annabelle’s character. Annabelle has a dream…a plan for her life. She seems to have it all. Until one night she is kidnapped right out of her driveway. Life will never be the same. And now the fate of everyone is in her hands. With the help of Adrian, a member of the water world royal family, it is a race against time to avoid the trackers and find the missing shell that will save the day.

I enjoyed the under water world Michael’s has created. The descriptions were vivid and the characters likable. The story also had plenty of suspense and left me wanting more. My only issue was that it seemed Annabelle adapted a little to easily to everything going  on. One minute she is standing on her driveway, the next she is swimming  for her life and being told she is the one prophesied to save the day. While she thinks of her family often, it just seemed a little odd that she would so readily accept the fact that she is half human and half sprite..who even knew they existed! I love how different this story line is. It’s a refreshing break from werewolves and vampires. While Sprite was a quick read, there was a lot of story packed into the pages.  I look forward to reading the next book in the series and hope the wait won’t be too long! Michael’s has done a great job for her first published novel!

 Purchase Information

 Amazon $.99* / Free* for Prime members / paperback $7.99*

 Barnes and Noble $7.19* paperback

 *price at the time of this post

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Review: SMOKE AND MAGIC (Blood and Gold Series #1)

Smoke and Magic (Blood and Gold Series #1) by Patti Larsen

The Goodreads Back Cover

Auburdeen Hayle is the sixteen-year-old daughter of the next leader of her coven. When the transition of power becomes tense, Burdie is sent from her home in America to stay with old friends in London to keep her safe. But a handsome young man chooses to hide from the police in her hansom, drawing Burdie into an underground world of magic that challenges even her sense of adventure and puts her at odds with the very people who are meant to protect her.

My Thoughts

How fun was this steam punk novel was! It amazes me the diverse story telling talent Patti Larsen has. Being the first novel in the Blood and Gold series, I think I am going to love these as much as I do Patti’s Hayle Coven novels! And what a great cover! Beautiful!!

Auburdeen Hayle (Burdie) is a ball of fun! She is sassy, bold, and brave. Burdie is not too happy about being sent to stay with her mothers long time friend and her family in London while her mother becomes the coven leader back in the New World. I loved Burdie from the first page. Such attitude! She is not afraid to speak her mind, and is use to doing (and wearing) what she chooses. How different things are for a teenage girl in London! Trouble is bound to find Burdie, no matter where she goes. Good things Burdie is never one to back down…or back off, once she sets her mind to something!

The trouble begins before Burdie even reaches the Brindle house, when Jack ends up hiding in her hansom, while the police are searching for him. This one chance meeting sets the ball rolling for the rest of the story and everything that follows. Burdie is soon to find out witches are not the only one’s with magic out there!

While I enjoyed all of the new characters, I was so happy to see Sassafras in this series, as he is one of my favorite characters in the
Hayle Coven novels. I enjoy the friendship blossoming between Kate and Burdie. With her new friends…and enemies, Burdie is determined to get to the bottom what is going on, find a way to help Jack, and put a stop to the evil doers.  Lots of magic, action and  suspense from beginning to end. I can’t wait to jump into book two, Fire and Illusion!

 Purchase Information

Amazon $3.99* / Free for Prime members

*price at the time of this post














*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Review: THE LONG LOST (The Hayle Coven Novels #5)

The Long Lost (The Hayle Coven Novels #5) by Patti Larsen

The Goodreads Back Cover

Syd’s worst fear has come true. Quaid found his family, the Dumont coven, and has chosen them over her. Not to be outdone, her friends are all going their separate ways, her solid normal foundation falling out from beneath her. When the Dumonts come for a visit, Syd’s family history unfolds, leading her to discover things that shake her beliefs about herself and those she loves while struggling to accept she’s lost her one true love.

My Thoughts

In this fifth installment into the Hayle Coven series, Patti Larsen has truly outdone herself. The Long Lost is my absolute favorite so far. Right from the first page I felt like I was settling in with old friends. I love to see how far Syd has come, and how much she has grown. I am also loving her grandmother, who lost her crazy in the previous book, The Wild. She is funny and spunky and feisty, and bold. The only character missing is Meira, Syd’s little sis, who is also a fav of mine.
The Long Lost picks up where The Wild left off, with Quaid off searching for his real family. His return is not at all what Syd had ever imagined. Standoffish and short, Quaid has found his family and has made the choice to join them. My heart was breaking for Syd. We girls remember that first breakup with the first love, and Syd’s feelings and thoughts were so relatable. Being the fighter she is, Syd uses those feelings of hurt and anger to only make her stronger. As it turns out, Quaid’s new family, the Dumonts, are long time Hayle enemies and the past is about to meet the present head on. As in true Patti Larsen style, the show down will be intense!
And we can’t forget Syd’s dad, who is still trying to find a way back to Demonicon and his frustration is taking its toll on the family. He plays a small role in The Long Lost and I am still hoping to learn more about his past and how he and Syd’s mom found each other.
On top of the family feud with the Dumonts, feelings of betrayal by Quaid, and her dad about blowing the neighborhood to smithereens, Syd’s friends are falling apart. Blood is moving to Europe with his family, Simon’s parents are making him go to college, Alison is dealing with her drunk mother and new demons of her own, and Pain…well let’s just say a huge secret is about to be blown wide open!
If you have not read any of the Hayle Coven series, you are truly missing out. The characters are interested, the plots exciting, and the writing descriptive. You will not be disappointed! Try them! Get hooked!! Then share the goodness with your book loving friends! Patti Larsen will quickly be one of your new favorite authors.


 Purchase Information

 Amazon $4.99*

Smashwords $4.99*

*price at the time of this post













Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this book at no charge from the author in exchange for my honest review.


Whispering Coves by Amy Armbruster

The Goodreads Back Cover:

While Shyla Walters is recovering in the St Louis Stress Center her husband Jaycob lets the lease go on their apartment. He rents an old plantation house called Whispering Cove Plantation on the outskirts of Savannah, Georgia, thinking it’s the perfect setting for Shyla to truly heal from the devastating loss of her brother and grandmother, the tragedy that cost Shyla her sanity.

Shyla now has to readjust to life outside the stress center in an entirely new location and home, with a husband who has become a stranger to her. As Shyla tries to cope with life outside of the stress center she is faced with a new struggle. Life at Whispering Cove Plantation isn’t what it seems. Shadows tend to move on their own and whispers from the cove seem to echo of a tainted past in every darkened hallway.

My Thoughts:

For a first go at writing a novel, I am impressed with Amy’s work. As with all new authors, room for improvement but a decent job for her first go at it.

I’ve read quite a few reviews on this novel on a couple different sites and there seem to be some mixed feelings. Here are my thoughts on the biggest disagreement: Shyla has just spent months recovering from the death of her brother and grandmother (who was like a mother to her) in a stress center. She already has her suspicions about her husband…considering at first he came all of the time to visit and then those visits all but stopped. Then he throws another curve ball…Surprise! I’ve let the lease go and we are moving away from everything and everyone you have ever known without even consulting you about it! Seriously? Who wouldn’t be mad? I would be furious with my husband! She is already on fragile ground and every single thing familiar to her is taken away. I didn’t find Shyla annoying or weak, I felt more that she was trying to find herself again, emotionally and mentally. Now, her husband on the other hand, I couldn’t stand. I personally thought he was the weak one…his courage to have an affair while his wife was locked away was strong but how weak to play pretend and not have the (pardon my french) balls to tell his wife the truth. I couldn’t stand him.

I loved Jack’s character, and his grandmother. I loved the story behind the ghost haunting and the fact the author included the diary. Whispering Coves sounds like a magical haunting place that I would LOVE to visit. How happy was I when the storm left Shyla and Jack alone together! The story, past and present day, came together wonderfully and blended well.

I won’t go into the errors because the when the author sent me a copy  she told me up front that it was going through an editor at that time. I think a couple of reviews that I have read were a little harsh, considering this is the author’s first novel. I also want to state that I did not know this author before being contacted about reading and reviewing this novel. The author sent me a copy in exchange for MY honest review.

An easy, eerie, and fun read, I would recommend picking up your copy of Whispering Coves!

 Purchase Information

Amazon $3.99* / Free for Prime Members*

*at the time of this post

Review: DEAD FLESH: Kiera Hudson Series #2 Book #1

Dead Flesh: Kiera Hudson Series #2, Book #1 by Tim O’Rourke

The Goodreads Back Cover:

When Kiera and her friends return from the dead, they soon realise that the world is not the same – it has been pushed. Returning to Hallowed Manor, Kiera soon learns that it’s not only the world that has changed, she is changing, too.

Asked to help solve the murder of missing school teacher, Emily Clarke, Kiera and her friends soon discover that they are now living in a world where humans and wolves live together, sharing a fragile peace.

But during her investigations, Kiera soon discovers that the world is now a much darker and dangerous place than the one she left behind.

“Dead Flesh” is Book One in The Kiera Hudson Series Two.

This is a Young Adult novel, recommended for ages sixteen years and up.

“Kiera Hudson – Dead Angels” Book Two, coming soon!

My Thoughts:

I know I say this is the best book yet after each book of Tim’s that I read but seriously Dead Flesh rocked it! Your favorite characters Kiera, Potter, Kayla, and Isador are back in Tim’s new Kiera Hudson series and I couldn’t be more pleased. I have been a fan of Tim’s since reading his Black Hill Farm almost a year ago and I have enjoyed watching him grow as a writer. The characters and plots get stronger and his writing gets darker and more intense with each book he publishes.
Dead Flesh is dark, creepy, and full of suspense. Right from page one, you fall back into that comfortable zone you get when you feel like you know the characters personally. A few new one’s have been added to the story, including Kayla’s new friend Sam. As with all of Tim’s books, I was left wondering “what about…” (I won’t tell you about what because I don’t want to spoil it)by the time I reached the end. But don’t worry, Tim will get to those what abouts in his own time. Be prepared for a few surprises along the way too! So go get it, get it NOW!! If you are new to Kiera Hudson, be sure to read his vampire series also. It will take you back to when we were first introduced to Kiera and Potter and explain some of the back story. Dead Flesh is a highly recommended read for Kiera Hudson fans but also for those new to the character. A wonderfully creepy start to series two!!
My favorite passage from Dead Flesh:
“Are you for real, sweetcheeks? Potter barked. You said yourself that Banner was a waste of space. If we go marching into his station with that video, he is going to make us feel about as welcome as a fart in an elevator!”

Purchase Information

Amazon $2.99*

Smashwords $2.99*

HOW TO PLANT A BODY by Terri Ann Armstrong

From Goodreads:

“How to Plant a Body”

Sarcastic by nature, Lily Aster’s morning just went from bad to worse. A dead body has been discovered—by employee, Joey Emerson—in her family’s flower shop’s greenhouse. Greeting Lily as she tries to get inside, is Detective Anthony Falcetti, the guy in charge . . . now. Lily instantly falls into extreme dislike for the man and the feelings are quite mutual. Her sister Angelica simply wants to get inside, clean up the place and get on with their work day. Not today!
Owen and Iris Aster own Aster’s Offerings and have spent more than thirty-five years building it up to the tremendous success it is. Problem? Dead bodies tend to bring business to a screeching halt. Add to that a daughter who is hell-bent on finding out who is responsible while trying to outdo and out-sleuth a seasoned detective, and finding herself oddly attracted to him. Something she is not very proud of. Lily finds herself knee-deep in an investigation Detective Falcetti is trying his best to keep her as far away from as is humanly possible.
Personalities clash, clues are uncovered, feelings are hurt, emotions are set on high and lust is in the air. With a quick wit and sharpened tongue, Lily Aster brings readers into her world and gives them something to laugh at while enjoying a great, old-fashioned who-dun-it!

My Review:

First of all, I think it only fair to say I am not a huge “cozie” reader. I’ve actually only read a handful of them. I’m more of a horror, paranormal,thriller type of girl. When Terri asked me to read an ARC of her new cozie I gladly accepted. After all, I have read her Menace Trilogy and love love loved it so how could she go wrong?? Let me tell you, I was not disappointed! I was actually really impressed! The characters and story line just came alive as I was reading. Right from the first chapter I knew I would really love Lily Aster’s character. She is a feisty, smart-mouth, witty woman with a strong backbone and is not afraid to speak her mind. Her loyalty lies with her family and she will do whatever it takes to protect them and keep the Aster family name clean.
After her past heartbreak, the last thing Lily needs is a man. Enter the gritty, handsome Detective Anthony Falcetti. Each with their own motive and using each other, they engage in a battle of push and pull as feeling start to flare.
You will pretty much find it all in Armstrong’s first venture into this genre. There were plenty of laughs and moments of surprise. As hard as I tried to figure out what what was really going on, I must admit I couldn’t. And I’m glad because I think that would of taken away a lot of the fun of the story. The characters are fun and very “every day”. I can’t wait to read more of Armstrong’s “How To” series!! Highly recommended! A job well done!

 Purchase Information:

Amazon e-book: $2.99*

Barnes and Noble e-book: $2.99* / paperback $10.79*

*purchase price at the time of this post





 Alessa is just seven years old when her uncle rapes her for the first time.  As the years pass, his sexual appetite becomes more voracious and his perversion more twisted, until the abuse has become almost a daily ritual, with the unspoken involvement of the girl’s mother.

At the age of sixteen, after the death of her only friend, Alessa finds herself at the mercy of her real-life monster, with no relief in sight.  She flees her home to escape this hell, only to find herself descending into a more dangerous one. Alone and helpless in the streets of North Philadelphia, she encounters more human predators who want to take over her life and devour her.  About to hit rock bottom, Alessa manages to break away from her new tormentors and finds refuge in a shelter for homeless and abused women.

Wherever she goes, however, trouble keeps seeking her out, until she meets three people who change the course of her life forever.  Though Alessa’s bittersweet journey is perpetually fraught with challenges, she does, nevertheless, manage to find fleeting moments of joy along the way.  But as she begins to settle down, a ghost from the past comes to haunt her again, threatening to destroy the very foundation of her small world and plunging her back into an abyss of despair, until she makes her final bid for escape.



Born and raised in Plymouth Meeting, a small town west of Philadelphia, Paige Dearth was a victim of child rape and spent her early years yearning for a better life. To escape the unwanted attentions of her molester, a pedophile uncle who lived with the family, she married at the age of nineteen and moved with her new husband to Chula Vista, California. After two years of marriage during which she struggled to make ends meet, she became pregnant, only to discover that her husband was a heroin addict. Paige waited for the birth of her daughter and when the baby was just eight months old, moved back to Pennsylvania. With no formal education or money to fall back on, she courageously set out to pick up the pieces of her shattered life and make it whole once more.

Living through the fear and isolation of her youth, Paige developed the ability to create stories that would help her cope and finally put them to use by embarking on a series of novels. Believe Like A Child, the author’s debut offering, is the darkest version of who she could have become, had fate not intervened in the nick of time. It presents a fine balance between what lives on in her imagination and the evil that lurks in the real world.




Emma’s first childhood memory of being beaten by her father, Pepper, was when she was just five years-old.  Resentful that he had to sacrifice his life for a woman he barely knew and a child he never wanted, Pepper holds Emma responsible for his failure to achieve the life he once imagined for himself.  As time passes, his intolerance of Emma grows and his physical and verbal abuse escalates beyond the imaginable.

For years Emma questions why her mother Valerie doesn’t stop Pepper from tormenting her.  Instead, her mother sits by silently, secretly grateful that it is her daughter, and not herself, who is left to endure Pepper’s abuse.  At the height of Emma’s agony she begs her mother to intervene, but is left to deal with the unbearable situation on her own.

Pepper’s coldblooded beatings develop in Emma an overwhelming sense of revenge that comes to lay the foundation of the person that Emma becomes.  As Emma grows older and more resourceful, she reaches a breaking point with her father. No longer able to control the impulse to fight back, she finally takes matters into her own hands.

Having learned the art of hate from her father and the mastery of manipulation from her mother, Emma sets out to make a better life and leave the beaten child that she once was behind her.  Emma’s strong will to survive and uncanny ability to even the score with people who do her wrong, catapult her to the brink of isolation and back.

Emma becomes a strong woman who endures the heartless brutality of the people that she meets.  Her determination to have a normal life and her insurmountable courage to protect the people that she loves delivers her into dangerous situations where she is required to do whatever it takes to survive.  At last, she is able to find happiness in small doses as her instincts take over and lead her to better things.    Nevertheless, her most thrilling moments comes only when she finds retribution.


  • 4 bloggers, 1 author, 8 winners, 2 novels
  • 2 winners of a paperback or Kindle copy of Believe Like A Child (US & UK only for e-book) from each blog site
  • All 8 winners will automatically receive  a copy of Paige Dearth’s new novel, WHEN SMILES FADE, coming in Summer 2012


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Winners will have 24 hours to respond to the winner notification email. If winner(s) have not responded within the 24 hours, a new winner(s) will be drawn and the same provisions will apply.

April 21 – 27: Can’t Put It Down – A Book Review Blog

April 28 – May 4: Page Flipperz – Kat With Many Tales

 May 5 – May 11: Mary’s Cup of Tea

May 12 – May 18: Fade Into Fantasy

Interview With The Author Questions:

1.       Why did you write this novel?

Since I was young I made up stories in my mind.  It was my ultimate escape from my rough upbringing.  While most children make up stories that bring them joy, my stories were always dark.  These stories, darker than my real-life, helped me to cope.

Believe Like A Child is a graphic novel.  The reason I wrote it to be so sexually explicit is because I wanted readers to feel the horror of child abuse, sexual exploitation and rape.  There is nothing pretty or light about these subjects.  However, while the subject matter is harsh, the novel is written so that my readers can enjoy a fast paced suspenseful thriller with a sturdy narrative.

2.      Why did you title your book Believe Like A Child?

I am asked this question a lot by my readers.  Having lived a rough childhood, I was not carefree and I never experienced the freedom of thought that most kids do.  About a year ago, I was having a conversation with a close friend.  We were discussing the book and how I could make my book a reality.  He told me to just believe like a child.  I was confused and he explained that kids believe in their dreams and the people around them with an unwavering faith.  Even when things don’t go their way, their innocence allows them to continue to simply believe things will turn out okay.  I felt terrible that I couldn’t relate to what he was telling me.  I used this line in one of my chapters because it hits the very core of the psychological difference between abused children and those who are not.  So, when I look at my title and have any doubt that people will love my book, I remind myself to just believe like a child.

3.      What surprised you about the writing process?

The amount of time it takes to edit the novel.  I’ve read it at least nine times.  I had it professionally edited and a friend read it twice before publishing.  The process was very, very long.  I’ve learned a lot from publishing my first novel and found ways to expedite the editing process for the novel I just finished writing.

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