C Last Name of Authors

The Art of Escaping by Erin Callahan

The Art of Escaping by Erin Callahan CoolCoolHeartThumbs upThumbs up

The Art of Escaping by Erin Callahan is a young adult book.  The main character Mattie and her friends are working on surviving their last summer and year of High School.  To me the characters read real and the problems and high school issues seemed equally as realistic. Mattie wants to learn how to be an escape artist and she has found someone to help her.  Will with two LLs wants to be truthful about his sexuality but is afraid. When Will finds out Mattie’s secret, she is sure all is lost.

Reading about keeping secrets and to wanting anyone to feel that you are different is a key part of High School.  Trying to find your way is also a High Schooler’s trait. I liked how the book unfolded. I liked how Will and Mattie help each other to be their best.  I like how the book stays positive for the main characters even when their secrets begin to eek out. I liked how we heard the voices of the main characters from their own point of view in different chapters. I think it could be confusing for some students if they struggle with inferencing because the chapters are not named by the characters. The book has opens the conversation about LGBTQIA, so the book may open up some questions for some students.  

The Art of Escaping by Erin Callahan was a good read.   


Shamed by Chelsea Camaron and Ryan Michele

Shamed by Chelsea Camaron and Ryan MicheleCoolCoolHeartHeartThumbs up

Shamed by Chelsea Camaron and Ryan Michele takes place in a small country town in Alabama and with a MC called Ruthless Rebels.  Kenderly works at a gas station at night.  During the day she tries to keep her mom awake and alive during her deep depression. Kenderly feels stuck and tries to keep everything together - except when it comes to Dixon James Cartwright - DJ.  They were lovers in HS but broke up soon after.  DJ belongs to the Ruthless Rebels and is a 1%er.  Kenderly attracts the wrong kind of danger and DJ feels compelled to help her, which just pulls them back together - maybe. A second chance at love does not happen often, but Kenderly is scared.

Shamed is a novella by Chelsea Camaron and Ryan Michele.  I have not read anything by these authors, so I was pleasantly surprised by the book.  It is a novella, but felt longer and more complex.  I went right out and bought the second book - so this is a series I am going to keep up with!

Gabe by Ruth Cardello

Gabe by Ruth CardelloCoolCoolHeartHeartThumbs upThumbs up

Gabe by Ruth Cardello is the second book in a fun new series (7 Brides for 7 Brothers).  The books are all written by different authors and all are contemporary romances about the seven brothers and their seven brides.  Each can be read alone, but then again why would you?

Gabe is a real estate mogul who lives for the deal.  He sees property as things to buy and sell.  So when his father died, and he inherited the ranch they used to go to when he was a boy with a caveat.  He had to stay out there for a time before he can get rid of the property.  When he went out to check out the ranch, he meets Josephine.  She is the crazy caretaker, only she might not be what she seems and that is when things begin to get weird.  She needs something from Gabe, but as usual communication might be a problem, but Josephine has a skill set that not many people know about it.  And then there is the chemistry…  Gabe by Ruth Cardello is a fun good read.  


In the Heir by Ruth Cardello

In the Heir by Ruth CardelloCoolCoolHeartHeartThumbs upThumbs up

Ruth Cardello is a gifted author.  She is able to take characters, make them interesting, put them into realistic situations and have the readers fall in love as they do.  Alisha Coventry has always loved parts of the Westerly family.  Rachelle and Spencer are two of her favorite people. So when Rachelle suggests Alisha wed Spencer to help him get needed money.  She is all in, until Brett (the older brother) questions what is happening.  Alisha sees Brett and Brett sees Alisha and suddenly they are confused.  

In the Heir seems to be the start of a new series by Ruth Cardello called Westerly Billionaire.  The book is a fun fast read.  

The Family Gathering by Robyn Carr

The Family Gathering by Robyn Carr

The Family Gathering by Robyn Carr reminds us about how families can find each other even after years apart.  The book brought us Dakota Jones, who moved near his siblings when he was finished with being in the armed forces.  He felt separated from them after leaving home as soon as he could. Sullivan’s Crossing is just the place for him, with other people who are down to earth and accepting of him.  This is the third novel in the Sullivan’s Crossing Series.

The love story between Dakota and Sidney was a slow build up.  Sidney didn’t want anything to do with Dakota, but he was so persistent and persuasive that she realized that she really did like him.  I love how Robyn Carr’s characters are ordinary in a very everyday way. The characters are all people who you would like to be friends with.  I was glad that we were able to catch up with Maggie and Cal with Sully as well as Sierra and Connie.

Families coming together after a difficult childhood and learning the bonds are stronger and more emotionally strong was certainly one of the main themes from Robyn Carr.  The Family Gathering was a great read.


A Gathering of Secrets by Linda Castillo

A Gathering of Secrets by Linda CastilloCoolCoolHeartHeartThumbs upThumbs up

A Gathering of Secrets by Linda Castillo is the newest and tenth book in the Kate Burkholder Series.  Kate Burkholder is the chief of police in Painters Mill, Ohio a setting that includes both Amish and English (non Amish).  Kate grew up within the Amish community, but left for a different life. Each of the books bring you deeper into the community and deeper into the life of Kate.  While this book is part of a series, I feel it can be read as a stand alone as well. 

The book starts out starkly with a teenage suicide and while you are reeling from that another teenage death occurs, but is different in cause and distinction.  Kate is called to a huge barn fire due to the missing teenager. It is from here the story twists and turns. Not all is as it seems. The missing teenager - what and who was he really?  Kate finds a shocking parallel of happenings to what she, as a young teenager in her Amish community, had to deal with and face. The case twirls as Kate is unable to stop searching for the truth, even at her own peril.  

I liked the book a great deal.  I liked how Kate had to work through the parallels.  I liked how Thomasetti and Kate’s relationship grew and changed.  I felt that there was a lot of insights into God’s Will within the Amish and helped with understanding the connections from the past and the present.  I liked how Kate continued to maintain her professional dealing with the Amish and the English, making her a more conflicted and dynamic character. A Gathering of Secrets by Linda Castillo was a great read.

Ice: Knights of Silence by Amy Cecil

Ice:  Knights of Silence #1 by Amy CecilCoolCoolHeartHeartThumbs upThumbs up

Ice: Knights of Silence MC #1 by Amy Cecil is the first of a new MC series.  Amy Cecil is a new novelist for me as well. Knights of Silence MC is located in a small town in New York.  They are one percenters who have no problem defending their family and territory from other MCs.

Ice is the president of the Knights of Silence.  His early history and how he found the Knights of Silence is explained in the beginning of the story.  This beginning allows the reader to be invested into the story and the characters of Caden and Emma. 

Caden, Ice becomes a member of the Knights of Silence and eventually becomes President.  Emma moves on to college and starts her own small company with their social presence. She has a best friend, her family and a fiance.  Until one day her best friend disappears and she turns to Ice for help. All those old feelings come back and suddenly it is love, but more information comes out and suddenly Caden realizes that he is in a war with someone.

I didn’t realize the book would end in a cliffhanger (not my favorite thing), but the second book has been published so it is easier to read both stories together.  I enjoyed the story and the characters. I am going to read more of this series. Ice: Knights of Silence MC #1 by Amy Cecil was a hot, biker read.

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

How to Walk Away by Katherine CenterCoolCoolHeartHeartThumbs upThumbs up

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center was a pleasant surprise of a read!  I am not sure what I was expecting, other than an interesting read by a newer author to me.  What I found was a book full of promise and challenge. The main character was Margaret Jacobsen.  She has been the hard worker; the child who always succeeded.  She went to college, business school and just was within a whisper of the job she wanted and an engagement to a man she loved.  That’s when it happened and her life changed totally. It is then she as she struggles to understand what happened and what the new normal is, that she truly finds what makes her happy.

There are some characters that everyone will love to hate! One you would like to just strangle. Some you will love, but mostly it is all about Maggie. She is stronger than she thinks and has plenty of gumption!  

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center was a great read!


The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain

The Stolen Marriage by Diane ChamberlainCoolCoolHeartHeartThumbs upThumbs up

Diane Chamberlain’s books always keep my attention, mostly because I do not know where they are going next.  Her books always seem to connect with me.  During WWII, Tess and her friend Gina go off to Washington for a weekend trip.  Tess had too much  to drink and in the blink of an eye, she is pregnant with a stranger’s baby and moving to Hickory, North Carolina married a reticent man with secrets.  Tess hoped for the best, but the town and rules are far and away different from what she is used to, her in-laws treat her so poorly, and she is really still in love with Vincent.  Tess is determined to get her RN license and work, something that is being discouraged, but what is really happening?

The Stolen Marriage is a story that pulls at the heart.  You know that there are secrets among good people and those secrets seem to be such a mystery.  Diane Chamberlain has written seemly a story with intricate characters, and still a more intricate story line.  The book has much to recommend it to a variety of people. The Stolen Marriage is a great read.   


The Summer Nanny by Holly Chamberlin

The Summer Nanny by Holly Chamberlin CoolCoolHeartHeartThumbs upThumbs up

The Summer Nanny by Holly Chamberlin is another novel in the Yorktide, Maine Novels.  While the books are not identified as a series, they are labeled as books from Yorktide, Maine.  I have always thought they were about York, Maine and not just because of the name of the town.

This novel focuses on Amy and Hayley.  Two friends since forever, they both embark on summer jobs as nannies for summer people.  Hayley knows life is hard and has struggled her entire life to make her way. Her lack of support from her family has caused her to leave college and help support her parents.  She scores a great job with Jon and Marisa Whitby and their 2 year old twins. She loves the girls, but is desperate to find a way out of her life and then she meets Ethan, the son by a previous marriage. Is this her way out? 

Amy Latimer is the daughter of Leda Latimer.  Leda is a weaver who has recently been growing in reputation, while struggling with her choices to grow.  Amy lands a job with Cressida Prior. Amy is immediately smitten with her dynamic employer, but she seems to spend all her time waiting on Cressida and not on her children.  Despite the growing signs, Amy continues to find Cressida a role model, which seems to grow a wedge between Amy and her mother, Leda and her best friend Hayley.

I very much enjoyed the novel, especially with how the story unfolded, as the summer progressed.  I enjoyed the setting (one of my favorite places on earth) and how the characters interacted with each other.  I like how the growth of the characters was self reflective and allowed them to be supportive of each other. One note of caution, the beginning of the book reads like a very similar book by the same author (Last Summer), but once you meet the characters and read beyond the first few chapters, you realize that it is the tone that is similar, not the story (although there are some parallels).  

Summer Nanny by Holly Chamberlin is a good read, especially for the summer!

Petite Madeleine by Eva Charles

Petite Madeleine by Eva CharlesCoolCoolHeartHeartThumbs upThumbs up

Petite Madeleine by Eva Charles is so sweet.  This is the third book of the Meadow Shores series and might be my favorite so far!  Drew and Cassie seem to be so suited to each other, but the scars to being together were so hard for Cassie and Drew to get!!!

Cassie and Drew run into each after ten years . They had dated but when Drew spirals down over his parent’s death they lose each other.   Little does Drew know that Cassie has had struggles of her own.  Both still have feelings, but somethings are hard to move forward from.  I loved the descriptions and sounds of the cities and the ball games.  Drew’s baseball team, the Blues had enough similarities to feel like my beloved Red Sox!  Cassie is a baker of pastry and other fancies - really - what’s not to like.

Eva Charles portrays the struggles in such a way, that you feel for the characters and cheer them on, even when things are tough. I love when they visit the family with older members.  Petite Madeleine is a great read!!!

A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta Chase

A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta Chase CoolCoolHeartHeartThumbs upThumbs up

A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta Chase, an historical romance was a fun read. This is the first book in a new series called the Difficult Dukes. I enjoyed the basic premise of the story and the characters.  Loretta Chase is a new author for me, so I was unsure what to expect.  What I found was a fun read!

Hugh Philemon Ancaster, seventh Duke of Ripley was one of the three Dukes of Dis-Graces.  He was the best man for his friend.  Ripley ends up having to chase the reluctant bride as she escaped the morning of the wedding.  It seemed that she not only had been imbibing for courage while she was having serious second and third thoughts.  

Olympia was on her seventh seasons of not find a husband.  Her family needed the money and she needed to help provide that.  Finally a duke wanted her as a wife, but she was seriously conflicted.  Olympia thought she was unexceptional, a bookish spinster with glasses, so she was uncertain why he chose her. And then the morning of her wedding she ran, only to be followed by Ripley.  

The problems for Ripley and Olympia were varied.  They ran into rain, lots and lots of rain, and water and then a dog!  Each episode brought them closer, but Ripley knew that he could not poach what was his friends - Right?

I enjoyed reading Loretta Chase’s novel, A Duke in Shining Armor.  Since it is the first book in the series, I look forward to reading more in the series.  A Duke in Shining Armor was a good read.  

See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng

See You in the Cosmos by Jack ChengCoolCoolThumbs upThumbs upBig Grin

See You in the Cosmos is by Jack Cheng.  It is listed as Children’s Fiction and Middle Grades, which I believe is an accurate description.  I found the book super interesting and think many students will enjoy the book.  The book is presented in a stream of consciousness pretty much, with Alex’s thoughts peppering the book with insights, fears, hopes and dreams, as the story comes out.  

Alex Petroski is an eleven year old kid, who pretty much takes care of himself and his mother.  He has an older brother who lives in LA and a dog named Carl Sagan after his favorite person.   Alex is all about rockets and space.  He manages to build get to a rocket contest after building a rocket even though he is only a kid.  Luckily there are some decent adults around him and he ends up on an adventure looking for his dog, his dad, and his mom.  Eventually Alex recognizes he is also looking to understand love and trust and bravery as well, without even knowing he epitomizes them.

Jack Cheng’s book See You in the Cosmos is a wonderful coming of age book that makes you realize how much kids can understand and what they need.  The nebulousness of understanding difficult subjects is one way this book shines.  See You in the Cosmos is a great read.


Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One by Ernest ClineCoolCoolThumbs upThumbs upHeartHeart

One of my students picked Ready Player One to read from a small group of books he was offered.  I was less than enthusiastic and the young person told me that they thought it was going to take him a really long time to read the book.  Both of us began the book with huge trepidations.  Boy, were we WRONG!  

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline was a FABULOUS read!  I loved the storyline, the characters and all the twists, turns and riddles.  The book not only kept my interest but dragged me into a world I do not know a lot about, but was mesmerized by it.  Better yet, my student found that he too was into the book and was actually reading more than was assigned and loving it.  Trust me - if you knew the student - you too would be thrilled.

Ernest Cline takes us into a world of video gaming and alternate realities in the future (I think I am supposed to call it a MMO).  The characters all have ‘gaming names’ and avatars which are all in a quest looking for an Easter Egg left by one of their gaming heroes.  The prize is lots of money  The main character Wade doesn’t have a lot.  In fact he is pretty much on his own, but he has the drive to figure out parts of the clues and games.

I am recommending this book to a number of my students.  I know that they will love it!!!

The House at Saltwater Point by Colleen Coble

The House at Saltwater Point by Colleen Coble CoolCoolHeartHeartThumbs up

The House at Saltwater Point by Colleen Coble is a romantic thriller with a whodunit edge.  The book also reminds us how much we think we know about our family is not always as much as we think.  There are always secrets, some you know, some you do not. Ellie Blackmore and Grayson Bradshaw are the main characters in this second book of the series Lavender Tides.  The book focuses on their families and how their life brings them closer and closer as they investigate. Ellie’s sister is missing and there are all sorts of rumors about what she did and how she is a criminal.  Grayson is expected to investigate what happened to the missing coke and how Ellie’s sister stole it. Meanwhile, Ellie is desperate to learn the truth about her sister and Grayson finds out - well his family is not what he thought!  


The book twists and turns with the intrigue and surprises.  It is not necessary to read the first novel first, although I have read the previous novel.  Colleen Coble is known as a Christian novelist, however I did not find the books preachy or too religious, but a solid romantic thriller with a religious edge that shows up more at the end.   The House at Saltwater Point by Colleen Coble was a good read.


One for the Rogue by Manda Collins

One for the Rogue by Manda CollinsCoolCoolHeartHeartThumbs upThumbs up

One for the Rogue by Manda Collins is the fourth book in a series called Studies in Scandal.   The series follows the lives of four young ladies in England as they are given their chance for academic freedom, but of course they all fall in love with marvelous open-minded rich husband.  This book focuses on Gemma and Cameron. Gemma is a series geologist. She knows that as a woman her work is not taken seriously, but she is determined. Lord Cameron Lilse is also a serious fossil hunter.  He gets swept in Gemma’s orbit and is determined to help his “sister-in-law”. Too bad neither treat the other as in-laws.

We have stolen artifacts, murder, rushing around the countryside, and shady fellows all wrapped in with Gemma and Cameron.  It is no wonder, they are constantly breaking the “rules of the ton” and will have to marry. One for the Rogue was a fun historical romance to read.  


The Sixth Day by Catherine Coulter and JT Ellison

The Sixth Day by Catherine Coulter and JT EllisonCoolCoolHeartHeartThumbs upThumbs up

Catherine Coulter’s newest book in the series A Brit in the FBI is called The Sixth Day.  Once again, Nicholas and Mike are thrust into a mystery that seems unsolvable. It all starts while they are in England visiting Nicholas’s family on vacation.

It seems that politicians are dropping dead.  A backdoor has been exploited in the security software that all major governments are using, allowing criminals to demand payment AND allowing all communications to be shared.  Add to the maelstrom and you have a missing manuscript that pieces have been found, secret twins languages, and Dracula. Nicholas and Mike have to figure out all this while avoiding a droid army and spying hawks.  

I liked the short chapters, the mystery around the brothers and manuscript.  I was not as impressed with the dirty politician, but I have little patience with that.  The story was enjoyable with the complex storyline. I like the main characters of Nicholas and Mike, but didn’t feel that the other characters were as interesting or likable.  

A complex plot line and twists and turns make The Sixth Day by Catherine Coulter a good read.


The Devil's Triangle by Catherine Coulter and JT Ellison

The Devil’s Triangle by Catherine Coulter and JT EllisonCoolCoolHeartHeartThumbs upThumbs up

The newest thriller in the Brit in the FBI series is out next week.  Catherine Coulter and JT Ellison’s book The Devil’s Triangle is a rollercoaster of a ride.  Nicholas Drummond and Michaela Caine are back.  Their new agency Covert Eyes is getting ready to take on their new roles. The team is called by their friend, the “Fox”, her husband has disappeared and she is being hunted. Nicholas Drummond and Michaela Caine and their team are ready to roll and help their friend. Only she seems to be embroiled in something even bigger including a giant sandstorm in the Gobi Desert.  The team flies into Venice only to be surrounded and attacked. The problem is all about how they all fit together.  

The Devil’s Triangle by Catherine Coulter and JT Ellison is a great read.  The constantly changing situation with the constant fast moving pace and action.  Once again, you are dragged along with the story as more information is discovered and Nicholas and Mike are following right behind. This is a book not to start on a Sunday night - as Monday morning will come way too soon.

Devil's Own by Megan Crane

Devil’s Own by Megan CraneCoolCoolHeartHeartThumbs upThumbs up

Chaser - big, bold, brash, and bossy - what’s not to love.  Everything according to Lara.  He is in the MC of the Devil’s Keepers, the enforcer no less.  Lara teaches history at the local high school and needed Mr. “Chaser” Frey to come in for a parent conference.  Just what he wants to do - meet a prissy teacher who thinks she knows everything.Lara hates bikers and Chaser is definitely a biker.  So how do you explain what happens next?  How do you explain what happens after that?  

Chaser and Lara are definitely in over their heads.  It is hot, hot and hotter still. Devil’s Own, the third book in the The Devil’s Keepers Series by Megan Crane is a must read if you love bad bad boys who are really really hot and Harleys. 

Wed to a Spy by Sharon Cullen

Wed to a Spy by Sharon Cullen CoolCoolHeartHeartThumbs upThumbs up

Wed to a Spy by Sharon Cullen was an interesting historical romance with lots of steam.  The novel puts us in the time of Mary, Queen of Scots; Elizabeth, Queen of England; and Catherine de’Medici, regent Queen of France.  Three strong women who were powerful and always trying to prevent the others from getting a hand up over the other.  Into this world of came Aimee de Verris, a young innocent woman forced to spy on Mary by Catherine.  However, Aimee is no spy and never figured out what, if anything, she should find out.  Then comes Simon Marcheford, a long time spy for Elizabeth who ended up at Mary’s court.  Mary forces them to wed.  What a twist for Aimee’s life and Simon’s mission.  How will she get away back to France and an Englishman?  How will he explain to Elizabeth that he was forced to be married?

I found the book to be interesting and I wanted to know how they worked out their problems. The book did make me feel the time period and the problems of the people involved.  Wed to a Spy by Sharon Cullen was a hot interestingly good read.  

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Eva Charles | Reply 14.09.2016 11.34

Thank you for the lovely review! Like the Blues, I hope your team (and mine) is still playing in October!

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Latest comments

23.10 | 11:23

Awesome interview! B.J. Daniels books are just GREAT!! Always anticipating the next one! Appreciate her talent, and bringing us wonderful hours of reading!

22.10 | 18:12

For one, I’m glad you can come up with ideas and that the characters talk to you. Keep them talking and thank you and your characters.

22.10 | 17:30

I adore B J Daniels’ books. She grabs me from the first sentence and doesn’t let go until the last sentence. I loved this interview.

01.10 | 16:20

Happy Birthday! I remember when book club started when you turned 50. OMG! 100% agree with political status. So disappointing. Happy Foliage!

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