Quantity Not Quality

To get myself in shape for Tough Mudder, I went to the gym twice yesterday. Once in the early morning, once at night. That is two days worth of gym time. If I can sneak an additional lunchtime gym visit in, then that would be three days worth of gym time in one day. By the time Tough Mudder comes around I will have spent about a month and a half worth of gym time in a third of the time. Nice. If I actually worked out each time instead of sitting there watching my friends workout while I enjoyed my coffee or caught up on the latest gossip, I would be freaking Wonder Woman!

Against the Odds: A Love Story
J. Adams
4.1 Stars (59 Reviews)
Genre: Romance

FREE for a limited time

Tired if dealing with an unfaithful husband after seven years of marriage, Raine Edmunds finally gets a divorce. Wanting to start over, she leaves her successful modeling career behind and goes to a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico to stay with her best friend. The ranch is the perfect place for her to take stock of her life and all she’s accomplished.

Then Raine meets Hayden, her friend’s brother-in-law, and the opposite of all the other men she has ever known. As their friendship blossoms, so does her love of ranch life. She discovers that what she wants most-what her heart truly desires-is right in front of her.

Everything about Raine and Hayden’s love is against the odds. Now they must prove to each other and to themselves that no matter what trials assail them, their love will be strong enough to overcome any obstacle.

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Head Games
Kevin Alex Baker
4.6 Stars (34 Reviews)
Genre: Humor & Satire | Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

FREE for a limited time

Aspiring actor Jordan Patrick is rapidly realizing the world has no use for another theatre student. Desperate to prove his talents have value, he agrees to work for Dr. Foster, a psychologist who secretly hires performers to infiltrate the everyday lives of his patients, and then stage situations which advance their therapy. Once they’re in, Foster’s players trick his clients into situations designed to make them confront their issues.

This part-time job becomes Jordan’s toughest role yet as he’s assigned to follow an eccentric patient named Julie, lie his way into her life, and help Foster rebuild her trust in men. White Oleander author Janet Fitch raved, “Kevin Alex Baker is a rare find, and Head Games is a sweet discovery, a ripping page-turner.”

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The Bonds of Blood (The Revenant Wyrd Saga Book 1)
Travis Simmons
4.6 Stars (27 Reviews)
Genre: Horror | Fantasy

FREE for a limited time

In the world of Saracin, the Goddess damns the earth that killed her two beloved angels and tears it into six realms. As a reminder of their transgression, each person is branded with a stigmata on their palms as testament of their home realm and their separation from the Goddess.

Thirty years later, in the Holy Realm, Jovian, Angelica, Amber, and Joya, quadruplets whose mother died in childbirth, have just reached their 21st spring and are now adults. When terrible visions depicting the downfall of their family stir within Jovian and Angelica, they struggle to make sense of what they have seen while trying to live a normal life.

After Amber is kidnapped in the night, her three siblings are drawn into a dangerous pursuit across the Great Realms to find her. With every step they uncover more mystery surrounding their families past, and something far worse–an ancient enemy that could threaten their hope of ever seeing Amber alive again.

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The Invention of the Big Bang: A mysterious, thought-provoking and inspiring novel about taking risks and living life unconditionally
Fred Schäfer
4.6 Stars (21 Reviews)
Genre: Contemporary Fiction | Literary Fiction

FREE for a limited time

Ludwig is a wealthy banker who wants to be an artist. His wife Gina is convinced that matter and time can’t exist. Daniel and Monika, a young bohemian couple, live happy lives with values and believes that are in almost every aspect the opposite of what Ludwig and Gina’s lives are about.

One day Ludwig starts telling Daniel his story: how he helped political refugees to escape to Casablanca; how he lost everything and what happened then; how he and Gina travelled the world. But there was more. It took a long time before Daniel discovered the banker’s secret: the dark events that once dominated his past and that even Gina didn’t know.

Despite all their differences, the friendship between the two unlike couples grows over many years. Then, one day, Ludwig’s past catches up with him.

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The Home Place
Mike Addington
4.6 Stars (16 Reviews)
Genre: Historical Fiction | Literary Fiction

FREE for a limited time

Matt’s harsh words and ways permeated the farm, life made bareable only by his wife, the saintly Cora. The 10 children learned hard work and morals, which they would need when they left the safety of the farm in North Georgia in the 1950s. They would need the love and bonding of family when two of the boys left home and moved to town and ended up with a rough crowd. None rougher than Buel Hollins, who controlled the county through bribes and graft and, if that didn’t work, through murder. When the Downey boys and Buel Hollins came together, only tragedy could follow.

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An Odyssey Mystery And Danger

Full of danger and breathless action and intrigue, Author Michaela Thompson’s mysteries are skillfully plotted with well-laid clues to reward the reader who is not swept away. Another cornerstone of Michaela’s writing is carefully researched and vividly drawn settings. Her Indian and European cities and countrysides are as convincing as the Florida coast in Hurricane Season. Enjoy!

 

Hurricane Season: Florida Panhandle Mystery # 1
Michaela Thompson
3.9 Stars (71 Reviews)
Genre: Historical Fiction | Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

A STORM, AN ILLICIT LOVE AFFAIR, AND MOONSHINE… (actually, two illicit love affairs)

The 1950s fairly leap off the page in this classic cozy mystery set in northern Florida in the Eisenhower era, complete with Johnny Ray on the jukebox and a Womanless Wedding—this one interrupted by an explosion at a moonshine still. Lily Trulock, owner of Trulock’s Grocery & Marine Supply, leads a pretty quiet life until a stranger comes to town. The new guy’s not what he appears, but then, some of St. Elmo’s residents aren’t either.

Before she can say, “down the hatch,” Lily’s at the center of a vicious murder and a no-holds-barred bootlegging war—and a nasty storm’s on the way. This is a vibrant, atmospheric, powerful novel—is filled with energy, mystery, and motion as a hurricane.

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Riptide: A Florida Panhandle Mystery(#2)
Michaela Thompson
4.6 Stars (5 Reviews)
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense | Women’s Fiction

A RIP-ROARING, PULSE-POUNDING FLORIDA PUZZLER…

As intricate as a fisherman’s net, Riptide fairly writhes with sinister delights—family secrets, family feuds, lost family fortunes, betrayals, puzzles, sunken treasure… and murder, of course. With a bit of illicit romance and treachery thrown in for seasoning. This rife atmosphere swirls around New york artist Isabel Anders, who’s summoned home to tiny St. Elmo, Florida to deal with an emergency: the aunt who raised her has been brutally—and mysteriously—injured.

Isabel arrives to find the family mansion in ruins, her aunt living in a trailer, and, dangerous as a cottonmouth, the lover she left at sixteen just where he used to be. Waiting for her. Except now he’s got a grudge against her, a secret of his own, and some unsavory companions. Just when Isabel’s aunt seems to be getting better (but before she’s able to talk again) she dies just as mysteriously as she was injured. Suspecting murder, Isabel quickly ties her aunt’s death to another.

But to find the killer, she has to hack her way through a small-town jungle of intrigue and several generations of interrelated secrets, producing hours of pulse-pounding delight for the confirmed puzzle fan.

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Venetian Mask: A Michaela Thompson International Thriller
Michaela Thompson
4.2 Stars (4 Reviews)
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

MURDER AT CARNIVAL IN THE FLOATING CITY

The surreal splendor of Venice glitters and mesmerizes as six so-called friends who, it turns out, barely know each other meet at Carnival to play a malignant game that quickly turns murderous. Sally, the “Tallahassee lassie” spurned by the rest as a virtual hayseed, is swept up by a mysterious count, attending masked balls, operas, and Carnival revels even as she mourns her marriage and dodges a deadly pursuer. “Things should happen at Carnival,” says her unlikely protector, who resembles Harlequin in more than his costume. “If they go on just the same, there’s no reason for Carnival at all.” There’s absolutely no chance of that in this psychological tour de force of surging identities wrestling to emerge in people forced by violence to confront their inner Harlequins and Medusas.

The characters change costumes, alter egos, sex partners (and preferences), and most of all, their stories while Carnival swirls around them, each more desperate by the hour to solve the murder, commit another, save a career, escape a past…whatever it is that Carnival, as much a character as the humans, seems to command them to do. The guignol grows ever grander, the danger more heightened as the clock ticks toward midnight on Fat Tuesday and Sally finds she has more enemies than she thought.

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Fault Tree: A Michaela Thompson International Thriller (#1)
Michaela Thompson
3.9 Stars (7 Reviews)
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

HELLO, IT’S YOUR PAST CALLING…

“Placing blame” thinks Marina Robinson, “is my life’s work. And why?” There’s a lot in her past to account for—nightmares and terrors, crimes and betrayals that happened half a world away, ten years go. Now she’s an engineer with a great job. She’s a failure analyst, an investigator who figures out what causes accidents, and she’s working on her most fascinating case–the fatal crash of a roller coaster–when suddenly the phone rings. And her world tilts…

The elusive, unidentified caller can be only one person—Catherine, her beloved younger sister who supposedly died in a fire ten years ago. Once again—for the moment abandoning her case–Marina is inexorably drawn back to India, the country that seduced her so long ago in so many ways, where something unspeakable happened to a child, and where she herself participated in misdeeds so shocking she can’t forgive herself. She starts by tracking Catherine’s lost lover, Nagarajan, the irresistibly charismatic guru under whose spell Catherine fell those many years ago, a man so dangerous, so full of hubris he took his name from Indian snake gods, and who at times seemed more serpent than human. But who is also reportedly dead—a suicide in a jail cell.

Thus begins an odyssey of fear and danger–far from dead, Nagarajan seems to be everywhere, and so do his disciples (at least those who haven’t gone mad from guilt). Nowhere, it seems, is Marina safe, nor is anyone who knows anything about the young victim of Nagarajan’s atrocities. Wherever she turns, the path seems strewn with fresh bodies. Just when the jig seems up, Marina calls on her skills as a failure analyst and Thompson pulls off a surprise ending that will leave you gasping.

Fault Tree is that rare novel that pulls us into the exotic experience of a stranger in a strange land, much like Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s Heat and Dust or Gregory David Roberts’ Shantaram.

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Magic Mirror: A Parisian Mystery (Georgia Lee Maxwell #1) (The Georgia Lee Maxwell Series)
Michaela Thompson
4.1 Stars (192 Reviews)
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

SACRE BLEU! THEY KILLED A MAN FOR A MIRROR!

Florida transplant Georgia Lee Maxwell doesn’t take to Paris at first, despite the fact that she’s at least leaving a no-good man and a hated job as a society editor. Now she’s a Paris correspondent, thank you very much—a dream come true for any journalist.

There’s just a slight down side—she arrives in freezing rain, gets caught in a traffic jam caused by a bomb scare, and hates her apartment; but the real Bonjour is finding herself face down on a museum floor during a robbery. “Killed for a boring story!” she thinks. But as it happens, she isn’t the one who dies. Three terrifying masked gunmen shoot the unfortunate security guard.

They could have stolen all the treasures of Monte Cristo’s cave, so to speak, but it turns out they’ve made off with only a mirror. True, it once belonged to the French seer Nostradamus, but it may be the museum’s least valuable item.

Does it have some prophetic ability? Does someone know something the gendarmes don’t? Here’s what Georgia Lee knows: If she finds out first, she’s a journalistic hero. If she doesn’t, she’s dead.

Excerpt:

The first hint of anything extraordinary was a loud clattering on the staircase we had just descended. A moment later, three people burst violently into the room.

One of them, stumbling as if he’d been pushed, was the blue-uniformed guard I’d seen upstairs. The other two wore jeans, burgundy-colored ski masks, brown leather bomber jackets, and gloves. Both of them held stubby black guns. They looked around at us. One of them spat out some sort of order in French.

It was the most ungodly nightmare. Here were these killers, or terrorists, or who knew what, telling us to do something, and they were telling us in French. At that moment, I couldn’t have understood Bonjour. But the others— the guard, Mallet, Overton— were getting on the floor and lying face down, so I did the same. In a second, one of the intruders grabbed my wrists and taped them together, tight. I heard them shuffling around taping the others.

I lay with my nose pressed against the cold linoleum, wishing to God I’d never left Florida. Any indignity I’d had to put up with at the Sun was nothing compared to this. I was going to be killed, and all because of a story about art conservation that probably wouldn’t have worked out anyway. I thought about Mama and Daddy, and about Twinkie, who was just getting adjusted to Paris. I’m happy to say I didn’t give more than a passing thought to Ray Brown, the man I’d left in Bay City who wasn’t worth a damn.

All of this took just seconds. I heard a drawer opening and closing. The back of my head prickled. In everything I’d read about these situations, people got shot in the back of the head. The prickling became a numbness that crawled down my neck and along my spine.

Only a moment later, the shot came.

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Oh They Smile!

Don't underestimate a baby turtle. We were gathered on the ground, watching this baby turtle make its rounds to each person, and just exploring like baby turtles do. Aww how cute! A pet baby turtle. So small and helpless(walking towards mans leg), … [Continue reading]

One Plus A Muffin

I love discovering new foods that my lovely chickies will enjoy. This time it's peaches. We found a worm in a batch of peaches and got too grossed out to eat any more, but for chickies the worm is a delightful bonus. As soon as they spot the peach in … [Continue reading]

I Run To The Marshmallow House

I can feel it coming. I am afraid. They call it New New Math.CONNECTED Simon DenmanGenre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense | Science FictionFREE for a limited timeCONNECTED is a speculative fiction thriller with touches of science … [Continue reading]

A Roll Of The Dice

Sparks fly in this outstanding Vegas Series by author Mimi Barbour. Start the series with Roll the Dice. Fast-paced, explosive and thrilling roght from the start. A serial rapist is on the loose and the two new partners are determined that it isn't … [Continue reading]

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