#BookReviews 5 #Stars for each one

You would be amazed at the variety of the books that I am sharing with you today. If the young adult adventurous story made me feel as young as Lily and Christy, Mateo’s blood brother kept me at the edge of my chair and A Long Walk Home reassured me that Angels of hope are always around us. I have read three more books but would like to share only those that earned 5 star reviews from me.

The Bloody Shoe Affair by Joy York is a brilliant YA adventurous story of two teenagers who dare to venture into dangerous avenues of investigating a double murder, as Lily believes an innocent man has been imprisoned. A first person account, with exciting details and teen talk; teen tone never wanes throughout the book, and that adds an extra charm to the carefully crafted dialogues, interspersed with a dash of humor despite a serious theme. Lily’s crazy idea of stuffing marshmallows in Christy’s bra and Troy asking if any of them were wearing perfume that smells like marshmallows cracked me up! 

Joy’s characters are crafted with immense dexterity. It is the inquisitive nature of Lily that draws her reticent cousin, Christy into her daredevil plans of sneaking into the basement to locate the old jail cell and talk to the potential murderer. She believes in taking risks, possesses an amazing skill of cooking up stories at the spur of the moment, and has an incredible convincing power to impress people. An incorrigible liar, intrepid and obdurate, Lily exudes enviable confidence, which inspires Christy who nurses doubts at each step and is scared that if they are caught, she might have to spend the rest of her summer in reform school.

The strength of this book is connected with its characters. You would love them despite their irrational feats of lying and spying. It captures the true behavior of youngsters. An enjoyable read!

Mateo’s Blood Brother: Sequel to Mateo’s Law is a dark tale of revenge, action-packed with fierce attacks by Delilah, who returns in this book with a vengeance. Undeterred by the responses of the Chief of Police, Jesse and Sheriff Mateo, the wicked shape shifter is too smart for the brothers. The chase keeps you guessing till the last page, concluding in an incredible manner. The budding romance of Mateo and Blair has matured in this book and there are some steamy love scenes in the middle of busy hours of the chase. 

Cox’s crisp style adds to the pace of the story, which moves forward quickly, the investigations sound genuine and the friendships amazing. All the characters have an unbelievable strength and refuse to give up despite serious injuries. She puts just the right emotion into the relationship of Mateo and Blair. A thread of suspense hangs till the end, with the appearance of another brown wolf. I like how Sandra lightens the sordid situations with a dash of humor. This is a well-written book, just like her western romances. Though a sequel, it can stand alone. Highly recommended.

A Long Walk Home symbolizes trudging through your failures and frustrations into maturity, a lovely message of thinking about your own self and finding happiness despite all the negativity that tries to blind us. Written in an eloquent style that never falters, Finn takes you through the lives of two friends and delivers a profound message: “there is magic all year round but I am glad they take some time to think about it once a year.”

Kenzie’s pain would reach your heart; the season of joy and celebrations seems meaningless to her, as her emotions spiral out of control. The setting is perfect for the mood of the story. However, our Angels of hope are always around us to protect us before we plunge deeper into the dumps. This sweet story would win your heart. I finished it within an hour. 

Thank you. Happy reading!
Balroop Singh.

If you like poetry, here is my latest release  Hues Of Hope 

Welcome my guest @jansikes3 #NewRelease

I am delighted to welcome Jan Sikes, (my author buddy) with her new release ‘Ghostly Interference.

BOOK BLURB:

Jag Peters has one goal in his quiet comfortable life—to keep his karma slate wiped clean. A near-miss crash with a candy apple red Harley threatens to upend his safe world. He tracks down the rider to apologize properly. Slipping into a seedy biker bar, he discovers the rider isn’t a “he”, it’s a “she”, a dark-haired beauty.

Rena Jett is a troubled soul, who lives in a rough world. She wants no part of Jag’s apology, but even while she pushes him away, she is attracted to him. When he claims to see a ghost—her brother—can she trust him? And could her brother’s final gift, a magical rune stone with the symbol for “happily ever after” have the power to heal her wounds and allow opposites to find common ground—perhaps even love?

GROWING UP IN FOSTER CARE

 Rena Jett’s mother died of a drug overdose when Rena was a baby. As no relatives could be located to take her and her brother, Sam, they went into the foster care system. 

I drew from my own experience of having worked for the Texas Child Protective Services for several years. There is an average of 30,000 children brought into the foster care system per year in Texas. That’s a lot! Not all foster homes are kind and loving. Not all are bad. In fact, I’d say there are more good than bad. But for my story, I needed lots of bad to develop this character. 

Rena has built walls around her heart to avoid more hurt. She’s tough as nails and rides the big red Harley like a pro. She needs no one. And, now that her brother is gone, she’s even more determined to protect herself. Throughout the story, she reveals to Jag incidents that’s caused her to build this shell around herself. 

Excerpt:

“You seemed to click with Mattie and Sheila. Did you ever have a dog?”

She frowned and stiffened. “There was this little stray once. I’d sneak food out to him when I could.” Her voice broke.

After a long pause, Jag asked softly. “What happened?”

“The foster dad caught me and whipped me, then killed the dog and made me watch.” A sob caught in her throat. 

“Oh,Rena.” Jag gently wiped away a stray tear. He wanted to hold her and make all the bad memories go away. “I’m so sorry.”

She sniffed. “After that, I never tried to have another dog. I do really like them though.”

Jag searched for words of comfort. The horrors she’d endured were beyond his comprehension. It didn’t seem fair that any child should have to suffer so much. And yet, under all of that, was a beautiful sweet girl just waiting to be loved and cared for. He swallowed past the lump in his throat.

“You’ll never be mistreated like that again as long as I’m alive.” 

“I can damn well take care of myself. I didn’t survive all of that shit by being weak.”

Excerpt 2:

“Jag, can I tell you something?”

His eyes widened. “You can tell me anything. I hope you know that.”

She looked down at the amber liquid in the bottle. “One time I was sent to this foster home over in Rigsby. They wouldn’t let Sam come with me. He’d gotten into trouble for fighting and they sent him to detention.” Her voice trailed off. 

“Go on. I’m listening.” Jag slipped the pizza into the oven and sat the chips and dip on the bar. 

“It was a nice house like this and I thought I’d finally landed somewhere I would be treated good. Boy, was I wrong.The foster mom locked me in a closet for hours one time because I ate a piece of cold pizza from the refrigerator.”

Jag put his arms around her from behind and murmured into her hair. “I can’t even begin to imagine all that you’ve been through. It’s no wonder you don’t trust anyone.”

She twisted around to face him. She fought to keep her voice from trembling. “I wanted so badly to have a family. Someone who gave a damn if I lived or died. But, they never came. It was just me and Sam trapped in a system that was broken in so many ways it could never be fixed.”

***

Have you ever had any experience with the foster care system, or known anyone who grew up in it? I’d love to hear from you! 

BOOK TRAILER LINK: https://youtu.be/NHaLVSe_flI

Purchase Links:

AMAZON

BARNES & NOBLE

Connect with Jan:

Website Blog Facebook Amazon Author Page

Thank you, Balroop, for allowing me to use your blog space to talk about my new book, Ghostly Interference