Tag Archives: Michelle Diener

WW Ladies Book Club

Barbara Vey -- September 11th, 2013

AdrienneGiordano_CocoBarknell_HR-200x300
I look at my to-be-read pile and I think I need a nice long European cruise where I do nothing but read and eat and kick back to enjoy the fact that it’s hard for people to disrupt my reading if I’m on a ship!  And, now that I have my passport, I’m ready to sail.  Here’s what the WW Ladies got off their tbr piles this week.
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Heidi

Heidi

Dog Collar Crime by Adrienne Giordano

 

Read by Heidi

Lucie Rizzo is feeling down since she lost her banking job, and had to move back home. It’s home that she wants to stay far away from, with her mob-infested family. While trying to re-group, she has started a dog walking business and looking into her own doggie clothing/accessory line, Coco Barknell. All of a sudden, she is being attacked and her dogs are getting kidnapped! Lucie has to turn to her on again-off again man, Frankie Falcone, to help her get her dogs, and find out why these attacks are happening!! With everything going on, she also has to see where is her heart is at for her job, her family, and her love life.

I don’t know what I loved most about the book…. Lucie and her mob family OR Frankie and his mob family OR Roseanne, Lucie’s best friend OR the mystery of who is the doggie napper is OR the wonderful dogs themselves!! And since it’s set in Chicago (my hometown!), it’s even sweeter!! It has the right mix of love and mystery, with a sprinkle of puppy makes it a book to fall in love with. Plus, out of all the dogs in the book, I think Otis is my favorite!

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Becky

Becky

Banquet of Lies by Michelle Diener-1

Read by Becky

Giselle poses as a chef, trying to remain invisible as she tries to find her father’s killer and keep hidden a political document he gave her.  As the mystery turns dangerous, Lord Aldridge becomes curious about his new chef and his attention puts her into danger.

History and intrigue make up this beautifully written novel of spies, romance and danger and I love historical intrigue!  The added bonus is that Giselle is smart and courageous and extremely clever.  It reminded me a bit of Downton Abbey insomuch as how the drama of the servants and the drama of the upper class tie together for a fuller story overall.

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DeAnn

DeAnn

Entangled by Amy Rose Capetta-2

Read by DeAnn

iCade is 17 and a survivor.  She finds out she was an experiment and that she has a brother that she must save.  She bands together with a crew of interesting characters in the hope of finding her brother. But, those who created them have their own agenda and they will do anything to stop her, or have her.

 

This YA futuristic story reminded me a bit of Serenity, but with young adults and a different kind of mission. This was a little more gritty than most YA futuristics I’ve read.  I like how Cade is forced through circumstances to be a loner, but has to overcome that in order to band together with this crew to save her brother.  I think many young adults, and adults, often feel isolated and find it difficult to socialize and this story really addressed that transition for Cade in a way that was part of the story itself.  There’s a lot of good vs. evil and adventure along the way. Fascinating and intriguing.
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Becky

Becky

Winter in Full Bloom by Anita Higman-3

Read by Becky

Widow Lily Winter travels around the world to Australia to find a long lost twin sister she’s just discovered exists.  Lily’s daughter has moved out leaving Lily alone and lonely, so the enticement of finding  a sister she had no idea she had gives her good reason to overcome her terror of flying.  Once there she discovers more about herself and about her sister as she also finds a chance to fall in love again.

 

I adore Lily! Her mother is not very loving, yet Lily is.  This is an inspirational romance, very sweet and emotional.  Love conquers all is layered in a way that reveals to us how many different kinds of love there is and how all love is important.  I experienced a roller coaster of emotion while I read this book.  Lily’s need for love and connection gives her courage and it was truly moving and uplifting to read!

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DeAnn

DeAnn

Would Be Witch by Kimberly Frost-4

Read by DeAnn

Tammy Jo Trask discovers that she may have actually inherited the family witch powers after all. When a locket carrying the family ghost is stolen she has to get help from the man she is forbidden to contact.  A powerful, magical man on a LOT of levels!

This book reminded me of the Sookie Stackhouse series in that it is funny, paranormal and the main character is a hoot! The only other author I’ve read that was like that is Angie Fox with her Demon Slayer series. Kimberly Frost was new to me, but I love a good laugh and gave this a try and boy was I happy I did!I  There’s a lot of magical mishaps that had me laughing out loud and Tammy Jo’s personality made pretty much everything fun.  Captivating, humorous and highly engaging…I’m still smiling.

Sarah

Sarah

Nora Roberts Land by Ava Miles-5

Read by Sarah
Meredith loves books written by Nora Roberts and is criticized by her estranged husband for wasting her time on such nonsense. He ascertains that the failure of their marriage was in part due to her unrealistic expectations derived from the pages of these novels. Meredith rises to the  challenge and lives her own fantasy, demonstrating the real value of fantasy is more than entertainment, but rather a human need to experience life on one’s own terms, giving both hope and desire.

In Ava Miles’ story she contemplates the value of fantasy in everyday life.  To me, this only serves to enrich one’s life and reminds me that life can be what you make it including finding love like in the pages of a Nora Robert’s story.

The winner of Dianna Love’s giveaway yesterday is Beth aka Scifibookcat .  Please email Cassondra @ authordiannalove.com (no spaces) and put Honeymoon to Die For in the Subject line.  Congratulations.

Bottom line:  They may have to bury me with my tbr pile, but I’ll go out happy!

WW Ladies/Men Favorite Books of 2012

Barbara Vey -- December 31st, 2012

There are best of lists popping up all over.  Best books, best movies, best fashions and more than enough worst lists, but we won’t go there.  Rather than name “Best Books,” we’re going with the WW Ladies favorite reads of 2012.  Now this doesn’t mean the book had to be published in 2012, it just means it had to be read in 2012.  In their emails to me, many lamented the fact that they could pick just one and it was a very difficult decision.  Kym absolutely couldn’t make up her mind.  Regardless, here’s what I finally got out of them.

 

Heidi

Heidi

 

Heidi - Gnome on the Range, by Jennifer Zane

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SheilaSomebody to Love, by Kristan Higgins.

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joysann

joysann

 

joysann – This is too hard…  I don’t like to choose. There are just too many books I really enjoy a lot.  Print book: Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Audio book: I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

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Susan

Susan

 

Susan - The Emperor’s Conspiracy by Michelle Diener
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Kym L

Kym 

Kym –  I can’t do it! I loved Trisha Ashley‘s newest, Chocolate Shoes and Wedding Blues, just as I love all of hers. Really liked Grace Burrowes‘s Lady Louisa’s Christmas Knight and was also thrilled to discover Rena Gregory’s short story in the Five Golden Rings anthology.

 

 

 

 

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Joan

 

Joan –  If You See Her by Shiloh Walker 

 

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Tammy

TammyFifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James, I loved the whole trilogy as one story.

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Michael

Michael

MichaelTimeless (The fifth book in the Alexia Tarabotti series) by Gail Carriger (audio book)

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Ashley

Ashley

AshleyOne Night Rodeo by  Lorelei James

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I have to agree that’s it’s almost impossible to pick a favorite book I read this year.  There were many that I enjoyed, but the two I talked about most to people were The Escape Diaries by Juliet Rosetti , a fun romp with an escaped but not guilty convict and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, a futuristic adventure that I couldn’t put down.  Neither were all romance, but did have romantic elements.

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Please take a moment to tell me the best book you read in 2012.  It won’t be easy, but I do like to get recommendations, as do all my readers.

Bottom Line:  Remember to check back tomorrow for the link to my new website…it’s launch day!!

Weekly Giveaways

From Pam, Affaire de Coeur Magazine:  Blog Contest with Kat Martin.  Comment and your name will go into the drawing for an autographed copy of Against the Odds to one blog commenter.

WW Ladies Book Club

Barbara Vey -- December 20th, 2012

Well, we’re nearing the finish line to complete the Christmas shopping, get the decorations up and mail off those annual newsletters.  Hope you’ve been buying lots of books to give as gifts.  Be sure to get some for yourself…you deserve them!  Here’s some suggestions from the WW Ladies to get you started.

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joysann

joysann

Cowboy Casanova by Lorelei James

Read by joysann

Ben McKay is the one of the huge clan of sexy cowboys that’s seems pretty staid, dependable and quiet, unlike his wild brothers and cousins. But the fact is, Ben discreetly parties out of town in a quiet club – a BDSM club that is exclusive and private. When the new bank president, Ainsley Hamilton shows up there to explore her secret submissive streak, dominant Ben is more than happy to help her experiment, maybe permanently.

Lorelei James has done it again, writing a cowboy romance that sizzles, nearly burning the circuits in my e-reader. I love the McKay clan and all its in-laws and out-laws, and there is always plenty of drama and excitement to keep me turning the pages. Cowboy Casanova is hot and sexy, and brings more to the McKay story. Now I can get started on the more recent story, Kissin’ Tell. (Oh man, I just found there is a brand new e-release, Gone Country. I’ve got some catching up to do!)

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Ashley

    Ashley

Along Came a Duke by Elizabeth Boyle

Read by Ashley

After her father died Tabitha Timmons spent her days being a free house maid to her aunt and uncle, her hands were rough and her clothes were hand me downs. But, what she did have was spunk and a great desire not to marry! However, when a mysterious gentlemen admires her attitude and offers her a solution to her problems, it has Tabitha questioning everything she thought she wanted.

A modern day Cinderella story, full of witty dialogue, and superb characters, It’s a timeless romance story that is a real page turner.   An amazing happily ever after tale!

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Heidi

      Heidi

Gnome on the Range by Jennifer Zane

Read by Heidi

Jane West is a busy single-mom of two very active boys. She works for her mother-in-law Goldie at the local adult toy store. Her weekends are filled with running after the boys and going to garage sales. Once her boys purchase two garden gnomes, her life is turned upside down. Someone wants those gnomes back, and is sending dangerous messages to Jane and her family. Jane’s hot firefighter neighbor Ty Strickland is worried about Jane, even with all the feelings he is starting to have for her. Jane is determined to solve the mystery before someone she loves gets hurt.

It has been a really, really long time where I have read a book and laughed out loud at it. Not only is Jane such an enjoyable character, but her mother-in-law is a stitch and a half!! I think I had a smile on my face the entire time I read this book. I was out drinking coffee between appointments, and two people asked me what I was reading because I was smiling so much. I am itching to read the second book: Gnomeless and the novella for the holidays: Gnome for the Holidays.  I think these books are the best to end the New Year with a BANG!

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Susan

         Susan

The Emperor’s Conspiracy by Michelle Diener

Read by Susan

Charlotte Raven, the daughter of a whore, was surviving in the slums of London by masquerading as a chimney sweep when she was saved by a noblewoman who raised her to be a lady. Charlotte never turned her back on her old friends, though, including the boy who is now a crime lord. When she befriends Lord Edward Durnham’s sister and her sons, she gains Edward’s attention…and his suspicion. After he discovers her underworld connections, she aids him in an investigation to find out who is smuggling gold out of England. This puts both of them in danger.

This book has it all: history, suspense, romance. It’s fast-moving and easy to read. The characters were so well-written, they came alive on the pages. The historical details made it believable and easy to picture the scenes. I didn’t want this book to end.

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joysann

joysann

Poison Princess: The Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole

Listened to by joysann

Evie Greene is determined to just stick out the last couple years of school until she can leave her protective mother and take her secret crazy hallucinations away from her affluent home. But in a flash, the world as she knows it ends, and she sees that her nightmares were really prophetic dreams, and the horrors were true. Now she and her companion, tough, brooding, hunky Jackson Deveaux , begin to search for the answers and other gifted young people like them before facing the battle of good against evil.

This is an edge-of-your-seat page turner that totally absorbed me. I listened to Poison Princess on audio, and that only made what was an already terrific story even better. It kills me that there is a wait until the next book in the series comes out – it can only get better.

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Heidi

Heidi

A Cold Creek Noel by Raeanne Thayne

Read by Heidi

Caidy Bowman suffered tragedy as a young girl, and now she stays on her family’s ranch in Pine Gulch taking care of her family and the animals on the ranch. When Caidy’s dog Luke gets injured, she meets new veterinarian Ben Caldwell. Ben’s gruff demeanor ruffles Caidy’s feathers and she has had training around veterinarians. When Caidy finds out that Ben and his family are struggling in a new town and with their own loss, she lowers her guard and invites them to stay on their land. Ben’s only concern is for his children and having them adjust with the holidays, but when he meets Caidy, the feelings between them are undeniable.

This is the type of holiday story that makes you feel good all over. It has heart, warmth, love and the holiday spirit all wrapped up inside.  Raeanne really knows how to create a sense of family with the Cold Creek Series. I really thought this was one of the best ones I have read so far.

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Susan

         Susan

Nightingale by Jennifer Estep

Read by Susan

Bigtime is the home of superheroes, ubervillains and powerful event planner Abby Appleby. When superhero Talon is blinded by ubervillain Bandit and his henchmen during a blizzard, Abby scares them off and takes the blinded superhero to her loft. They become close, but she has her own secrets and transports him to another place and disappears. Now Talon is looking for her – and so is Bandit.

It was super fun to read Nightingale. I’m a huge fan of the Bigtime series and was delighted when Nightingale came out. It more than lived up to my high expectations. Even if you haven’t read the other Bigtime books, it’s a stand alone and you won’t feel confused. I hope Estep will have another one out soon.

Bottom Line:  Books are the gifts that keep on giving.

WW Ladies Book Club Blurbs

Barbara Vey -- June 15th, 2011

I have to admit that all the authors blurbed about today are new to me in that  I haven’t read any of them yet, but more to consider for my TBR pile.  Meanwhile, I’m gearing up for the Southeastern Wisconsin Festival of Books this weekend.  I’ll be doing three panels (luckily the same day) and I know I’ll be asked to recommend books.  I have a huge list (divided into genres) and now I have a few more I can add to the list thanks to the WW Ladies.

Heidi

Heidi

The Art of Romance by Kaye Dacus (E-Book)

Read by Heidi

This is the second book of the Matchmaker Series, featuring Caylor Evans, an English Professor who has given up on love to be the care-taker for her grandmother “Sassy” Evans. “Sassy” has plans of her own when she decides with her other friends that Caylor needs to be happy. Dylan Bradley has just returned to Nashville after being humiliated in the Philadelphia art scene. His grandmother “Perty” has given him specific instructions to get his life back together. Dylan and Caylor have a spark between them, but their past mistakes are preventing them from moving forward. Their love of the creative arts, as well as their strong faith, could be just the things to bring them together.

One of the biggest reasons I turn to a contemporary Christian romance novel is the fact that you don’t need the sex to have a wonderful romantic story. I truly appreciated they way that Kaye not only wove the story around the main characters, but the way she created the feeling of the struggles within the two main characters themselves. I felt the beginning blossoms of a romance, and how it grew like a strong flower. It was refreshing to see Caylor confronted with someone who had too much to drink, and the appropriate choices she made to keep herself safe. Since this book is part of a trilogy, I am inspired to read the other books and complete the set.

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Dawn

Dawn

Rogue Oracle by Alayna Williams

Read by Dawn

Tara Sheridan is the best criminal profiler, and most eccentric. Tara also specialists in Tarot Card reading. In this case she will have to use her divination skills to realize that the new assignment from her friend and sometime lover, Agent Harry Li, is a dangerous proposition in every way.  Former Cold War operatives, all linked to a top-secret operation tracking the disposal of nuclear weapons in Russia are disappearing.  The bodies are missing and there are very few clues. Tara increasingly ominous dreams, are suggesting something dark, along with her Tarot card reading skills and the unwanted help of the Delphi Daughters she is about to find a terrifying endgame that even Tara could not have foreseen.

I found this book to be very interesting. I love the Tarot cards mixed with the FBI profiling.  Those are two stimulating subjects and they mixed well with the story line.  The secret scheming and underhanded methods of the  Delphi Daughters held my attention from chapter one to the end.

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Lynn

Lynn

In a Treacherous Court by Michelle Diener

Read by Lynn

John Parker, a loyal courtier during Henry VIII’s  reign, is sent to escort a court commissioned artist from the London quay.  Susanna Horenbout, the tantalizing artist, unknowingly holds a secret that could change the course of history, and cost many lives.  Beneath the many layers of lies and intrigue, Parker struggles to discover who is plotting against the King, while keeping Susanna out of danger, and out of his heart.

I found it a pleasure to read a well – researched historical novel in which nearly all the characters truly existed.  A very fast paced, plucky story with much double-dealing, many brawls, and plenty of adventure.  My kind of book.

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Kym

Kym

A Choir Of Angels by Marilyn Baron (E-Book)

Read by Kym

Rhonda Paver’s dream was to sing at her daughter Hayley’s wedding. Rhonda was relentless, a bull dog, and never backed down .. Even if it meant selling her soul, to cross over and help her daughter celebrate the happiest day of her life.

This may be considered a short story, but Marilyn gives a fast-paced plot line with  wonderful conflict as Hayley learns to cope with the loss of her Mother and prepare for her wedding.  A supernatural, humorous, heartfelt ebook which exemplifies a  Mothers Love that will prevail, even after death. This is one wedding I wouldn’t want to miss!

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Ashley

Ashley

The School for Brides by Cheryl Ann Smith

Read by Ashley

Miss Eva Black is a twenty-three old spinster hiding from her mother’s past as a courtesan. The only joy in her life is teaching young courtesans to become suitable wives. She never had any problems with her school until the vengeful Duke of Stanfield comes pounding on her door demanding his mistress back, with his mistress long gone and married; the Duke demands that Miss Eva becomes his new mistress. What starts out as a love-hate relationship has the chance of becoming real love, if the two of them can overcome the secrets of their past.

A witty and sensual tale of love between two people, in two different classes of society. The love-hate between the characters is highlighted with amusing dialogues throughout the novel which made it a delightful read for me.

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Bottom Line: Another dark, gloomy, rainy day here.  Thank goodness when I open a book I have sunshine throughout my house (seriously, I need to wear sunglasses).

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