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This Chick Read: Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

If I had read the cover of this book more thoroughly before picking it up, I would’ve realized that this novel is a modernized version of the Russian folktale Vassillissa the Light.  Since I did not, I spent the majority of the novel going WTF!!?  Luckily, I have some minor knowledge of Baba Yaga, who is a witch in the Russian folktale, and I kind of remembered that she was evil, and so, got partially clued in that this was a modern retelling of a folktale.  Even knowing that I still would have to say WTF!!?  HOWEVER, the story was well written and strangely fascinating.  Enough that I kept reading, and enjoyed the experience.

Vassa, the heroine in this novel, as with most mythological tales was given tasks to accomplish. While these tasks seemed to be impossible, she, with the help of some magical constructs (in this case, a talking doll, some loving geese, and a hero with stars for eyes) manages to save not only herself but the whole world from unending nights and dancing, evil department stores that behead their shoppers.  Yep, that’s what she said.  

If you pick up this book, do as I say and not as I do. Read the synopsis, and possibly the cliff notes version of the actual Russian folktale.  It will make so much more sense!  If not, then do not fear!  You have not ingested any accidental qualudes or taken shrooms. You have not become Alice and fallen down the rabbit hole. You will be confused, yet impossibly enraptured by this well told, fanciful modern fairy tale.  Alls well that ends well, and in this case, it did! End well, that is!

❤️❤️❤️❣️
Buy it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo!

Copyright 2016 Deborah Kehoe A Chick Who Reads All Rights Reserved

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This Chick Read: Veiled Threat (Highland Magic #3) by Helen Harper

If you have not read this charming series by Helen Harper, you are missing out!  Integrity, a name that is somewhat of an oxymoron, as she is a former thief, has lived up to her name and shown that she exudes both integrity and honor.  She is determined to claim Clan Adair’s land, and to clear her father’s name as the murderer of his clan. At the end of Honour Bound, Integrity loses the Sidhe games, but wins the prize when her crush, Byron awards her the prize he has won.

Veiled Threat revolves around Integrity claiming her land, and honoring the agreement to collect the bones of one of their clan out of the Lowlands. Byron arrives to help her even while still not believing her claim that his father killed hers.  There are a few surprises, mixed in with misadventures and a romantic tease, but essentially this novel is a prelude to the final installment, Last Wish due out December, 01.

I am eager for Byron to finally believe the truth about his father, but at the same time I dread it. It breaks my heart to think of a son’s love and trust in his father will be destroyed. I do look forward to the fulfillment of all that chemistry between Byron and Integrity, but wonder if the cost is worth the reward.

❤️❤️❤️❤️
Buy it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

Copyright 2016 Deborah Kehoe A Chick Who Reads All Rights Reserved

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This Chick Read: Virtue Falls by Christina Dodd

Twenty-three years ago Elizabeth Banner witnessed the murder of her mother, and her father was sent to jail for the crime.  Now, Elizabeth is part of a geological team sent to Virtue Falls to continue the research her father had started while living in that area. While there, an earthquake strikes large enough to send a tsunami racing towards the town. Although injured from the quake, Elizabeth races to the cliffs to film the tsunami as it hits town. Garik Jacobsen, Elizabeth’s ex husband and FBI Agent, races to Virtue Falls to make sure Elizabeth and his adopted mother are ok. Even though they are estranged, Elizabeth and Garik still have feelings for each other, and when someone begins to attack the citizens of Virtue Falls, they begin to investigate whether her father really killed her mother.

This was a fantastic psychological exploration of both Elizabeth and Garik’s feelings for each other and their relationships to all of the suspects in that town. Elizabeth was an interesting character.  Very bright and totally blunt, she lacks the social skills that a woman with her looks would normally have. When she visits her father at the rest home he is interred at, she is shocked to find that none of the workers believe that he killed her mother. She still has the feelings of a little girl abandoned, and only with Garik’s help does she start to open up and care for her father, seeing past the lable of murderer she’d always connected with him. Garik uses the emergency as a reason for living again, connecting with his ex and overcoming past behaviors that may have contributed to his current unhappiness.  I did find his wanting of  Elizabeth at times baffling.  Yes, she’s gorgeous, but her lack of common sense was kind of annoying. However, I loved the way the pair who were separated at the beginning of the book, came full circle, solving all of their problems, and all while tracking down a stalker-murderer no less.

The mystery was great and the love story emotional.  I enjoyed both of the main characters growth, with each other certainly, but most of all I loved how Elizabeth came to care for her father. 

❤️❤️❤️❤️
Buy it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo!

Copyright 2016 Deborah Kehoe A Chick Who Reads All Rights Reserved

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This Chick Read: Has to be Love by Jolene Perry

A young adult romance, Has to be Love delves into emotions we all felt as kids in high school times ten.  Clara, a gifted writer, has been accepted into the college of her dreams, Columbia, in NYC. She tells no one, because this acceptance scares her to death. She would have to leave her safe life in the small town in Alaska where her dad and boyfriend Elias live. She would have to overcome her insecurities and live in a world where no one knows her, and where she may be stared at. You see, Clara was mauled in an attack by a bear that killed her mother. She has claw marks down one side of her face and body, and thinks those marks define who she is. 

The contrast between Clara’s insecurities about her looks and her overly hormonal advances on her boyfriend Elias were kind of shocking, to be truthful. Not that high school kids don’t test the boundaries, because now a days, they blow right through them, but because she seems so hesitant about everything but those feelings. Her relationship with Elias gets tested when a young man, a student from Columbia, fills in as a substitute teacher. Rhodes a man who views life as an adventure and the world his playground, does open her eyes to the world beyond her little town in Alaska.

I really liked this book. The behind the scenes look at the Mormon religion was interesting, and their faith in no way detracted from the story. I did not like that Rhodes was a teacher. That part really bothered me, even though there was only a three year age difference. I understood that without having met him Clara wouldn’t have seen beyond her own backyard, but it made me feel gross.  Elias was my favorite character in the book. Here was a boy that knew who he was, who he loved, and who he wanted to be. Very simple, but there was a lot to be admired in that simplicity. 

This book held a lot more emotion within its pages then I would have thought when reading the jacket and I’ll admit to wiping away a tear or two. If you pick it up, it may hold a surprise or two for you as well.

Buy it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo!

Copyright 2016 Deborah Kehoe A Chick Who Reads All Rights Reserved

❤️❤️❤️❤️

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This Chick Read: Star Nomad (Fallen Empire book 1) by Lindsay Buroker

Lindsay Buroker has a new science fiction series, Fallen Empire, that has been released on Amazon, and is free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription. I haven’t read a true science fiction novel in a little while, but when I read this synopsis I thought it had all of the traits of some of my favorite genres. A strong female lead character, a conflict between two alien races, a lot of action adventure, and the promise of either a great male-female friendship or love affair.  I was not disappointed! Continue reading “This Chick Read: Star Nomad (Fallen Empire book 1) by Lindsay Buroker”

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This Chick Read: The Operator (The Peri Reed Chronicles) by Kim Harrison

Peri Reed is trying to lie low and live a life off the grid.  After discovering in The Drafter that the life she’d been leading was fabricated, Peri is in hiding from Bill, her ex Opti handler.  Unfortunately, Bill has other plans for her. A drug has been created that would return all of the memories she’d lost. The catch is that she’d be hooked, and Bill could control her by providing her with the drug, Evocane. Her choice between re-discovering herself and becoming, essentially, a crack addict was actually a difficult one. The Operator explores her relationship with the man she once loved but forgot, the man she loved who betrayed her and the boss she’d like to kill.  With a couple other psychopaths thrown into the game.

The Operator explored a bit more of Peri’s background. Silas, the man she loved and had wiped from her memory, is no longer content to watch things happen from the sidelines. In my opinion, he’s a big part of the success of this story. Without Silas, Peri would just be a caricature, an empty humanoid shell. The fact that she wants to remember their previous life together gives her the strength to fight for her freedom, and someone we can identify with and root for.

Kim Harrison is the author of one of my favorite series (The Hollows) and I can’t help but compare Peri to that series female protagonist, Rachel Morgan. Peri  and Rachel have a couple of things in common.  They both have an inordinate amount of talent, they are a bit insecure, and their conscious comes in the form of a sidekick (Peri’s a hallucination of her ex partner and Rachel’s a pixie named Jenks). They both have a lot of honor, even though they may use bad judgement and extraordinary means to deliver the right outcome. When I pick up a book in either of their series, I know I am in for a wild ride.  The Operator was definitely that!

❤️❤️❤️❤️
Buy it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo!

Copyright 2016 Deborah Kehoe A Chick Who Reads All Rights Reserved

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This Chick Read: Forgotten Sins (Sin Brothers #1) by Rebecca Zanetti

Having read and reviewed Deadly Silence which is a spin off of the Sin Brothers series, and being a fan of Rebecca Zanetti’s I thought it was about time to get started on my genetically engineered soldier education!   Continue reading “This Chick Read: Forgotten Sins (Sin Brothers #1) by Rebecca Zanetti”

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Excerpt Blitz! You First by Stephanie Fournet

YOU FIRST by Stephanie Fournet | JenHalliganPR.com

I’m thrilled to help reveal an excerpt from Stephanie Fournet’s upcoming contemporary romance, YOU FIRST! Check out the book below, along with the teaser excerpt, and be sure to enter the giveaway!

You FirstYou First by Stephanie Fournet
by Stephanie Fournet
Publisher: Blue Tulip Publishing
Release Date: December 13, 2016

Driven. Private. Insanely talented.

Gray Blakewood is the most successful crime writer under the age of thirty—and he has a secret that could cost him his life.

He just wants to finish his latest novel before his world unravels, and the last thing he needs is a beautiful distraction.

Meredith Ryan, his new personal assistant, has seen more than her fair share of hard knocks. And, still, she’s the sweetest person he’s ever met.

She deserves a lifetime of happiness—which he can’t offer.

But he can’t seem to stay away.

Goodreads

Excerpt from You First

Her pink blush turned scarlet. If he could place his palm against her cheek, he knew it would burn like a fever.

Did she know he burned like a fever?

He crossed the kitchen and stopped at the island, far enough away so he couldn’t reach out and touch her if his willpower slipped. He nodded toward the mop.

“Now you. Why on earth are you mopping my floor?”

She gave a flustered roll of her eyes. “Smoothies.”

“Smoothies?” At his mystified expression, her mouth twitched, but her blush didn’t wane.

Don’t be embarrassed in front of me, he wanted to tell her. You make me laugh, but I’d never laugh at you.

“Tropical Smoothies is next door to Dr. Wexler’s office. I picked up some smoothies for us,” she said, looking chagrined. “I thought I could manage to walk in with them and the dogs, but I was wrong.”

“Uh-oh,” he said, beginning to feel bad for his teasing. She’d brought him a smoothie?

“Yeah, uh-oh. Yours survived intact,” she said and then grimaced. “About a third of mine ended up on the floor.”

“Well, you can have mine. How much were they? I’ll cover the—”

“Oh, no,” she said, shaking her head. Meredith set the mop in the bucket and walked to the sink. “It’s totally my treat.”

“That’s not necessary,” he said, following her.

She turned on the water and set about washing her hands, but she looked back over her shoulder and met his eyes. “You always say that. I wanted to do it. You were having a lousy day.”

He watched her dry her hands, not liking the feeling that settled in his stomach.

“Not a pity smoothie, I hope.”

He saw her glare before the corner of the towel sailed out and snapped him in the gut. “No, not a pity smoothie.”

Gray blinked at her in wonder. So, there was a little salty in Meredith’s sweet. This discovery made his mouth go dry and his thighs tingle. He wondered — not for the first time — what she tasted like.

Before he could step closer to her, she swiveled on her heel and stalked to the fridge. Meredith pulled open the door and emerged from behind it with two hefty Styrofoam cups. She shoved one in his face.

“Here. A completely pity-free smoothie,” she said, an angry edge clear in her voice.

He took it from her slowly. Gray wasn’t exactly sure what was happening, but he knew it was his fault. He’d upset her. By accusing her of pitying him? By disparaging her gift? He realized he’d done both, but Gray sensed something else. He felt instinctively that all could be resolved with an embrace — something he could not do.

Gray held her with his eyes instead and took a sip.

“It’s heavenly,” he said. And it was. He tasted strawberry, banana, and chocolate. Of course, Meredith would bring him something sweet. “Thank you.”

A little of the fight left her eyes. “You’re welcome… It’s a Beach Bum.” The corners of her mouth might have turned up just a little.

“What’s yours?” he asked softly, never letting his gaze leave hers. He wanted her to smile again. He wanted her to know from now on he’d take whatever she wanted to give him, and he’d be grateful, whether that was a cold compress, or a smoothie, or a song in his kitchen.

“It’s a Bahama Mama,” she said, taking her own sip. He wondered if she did it to keep that growing smile in check. “Strawberries, pineapple, coconut, and white chocolate.”

“That sounds good.” She was farther away from him now than when she’d sat beside him on his couch, but the energy between them had completely changed. Was it all in his head? Or did she feel it, too? Gray had no doubt he carried enough desire to charge the air for both of them, so it was possible he was fooling himself.

But what if he wasn’t?

“Want to try it?” She offered him her cup, making his heartbeat quicken. “I swear, I don’t have cooties.”

He took it from her. “I never would have thought you had cooties.” And he won the smile.

Feeling a little dizzy, he put her straw between his lips and sucked. Honeyed tropical flavors flooded his mouth.

This is what she’d taste like if I kissed her now. The thought grabbed him by the balls.

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You First by Stephanie Fournet | Teaser | JenHalliganPR.com

Stephanie Fournet | JenHalliganPR.com
Credit: Tammie Simon

About the Author

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Stephanie Fournet, author of Fall Semester, Legacy, Butterfly Ginger, and Leave a Mark lives in Lafayette, Louisiana—not far from the Saint Streets where her novels are set. She shares her home with her husband John and her daughter Hannah, their needy dogs Gladys and Mabel, and an immortal blue finch named Baby Blue. When she isn’t writing romance novels, she is usually helping students get into college or running. She loves hearing from fans, so look for her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and stephaniefournet.com.

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This Chick Read: Imprudence (The Custard Protocol #2) by Gail Carriger

Imprudence continues the adventures started in Prudence with Rue and her friends in their dirigible The Spotted Custard.  I have been a fan of all of Gail Carriger’s series, and one of the things I love the most is how her characters from each series are tied to each other. Continue reading “This Chick Read: Imprudence (The Custard Protocol #2) by Gail Carriger”