Liberty’s Promise By Heidi Sprouse

Liberty’s Promise
By Heidi Sprouse
Genre: Historical/Revolutionary War/Time Travel

Benjamin Willson and Charlotte Elizabeth Ross fall in love with one another amid the American Revolution, forming a bond that cannot be shattered by death—or time.
The Battle of Johnstown tears them apart with one vicious, indifferent musket ball, but the two souls will find their way back to one another over two hundred and thirty-three years later as Ben Wilson and Charlotte Elizabeth Ross the Second.
As the two reunited lovers share memories of their lives so long ago, they unearth a journal that belonged to the son they created just before Benjamin fell. Expecting to learn his story in the pages of his book, they are unprepared to learn that it is a tribute to his stepfather, Jacob Cooper.
Jacob had loved Charlotte since childhood, but the first time he saw her with Benjamin he knew any dream he’d ever had of claiming her for his own was hopeless. Worse, Jacob genuinely liked and respected Benjamin so he accepted his fate, although still tormented to see the two of them together.
But when Benjamin’s life drained away on a cold and lonely battlefield, Jacob stepped in to help Charlotte pick up the pieces of her shattered soul. He knew Charlotte would never love him as she loved Benjamin, yet he married her, took on the role of father to Benjamin’s son, and raised the boy to understand the precious gift of his heritage—and freedom.
Ben and Charlotte become lost in the words of their son from the past as they learn about the torch that Jacob Cooper carried for his only love, and what it means to keep Liberty’s Promise.

About the Author
Heidi Sprouse lives in upstate NY in historic Johnstown. She attended college at St. Rose in Albany, knowing all along her two loves were teaching and English. It took four years before she landed the teaching job of her dreams, but twenty years later she is still nurturing little ones in pre-K. She loves the privilege of watching brand-new little humans as they discover and begin to shape their own worlds.
Knowing what she wants and going after it in relentless pursuit is Heidi’s gift. Deciding to become an author can be downright unnerving, but Heidi bit into the challenge, took off, and never looked back. Her perseverance proves success is not a matter of luck; it’s a matter of finding what speaks to your heart, and committing to do that thing until it makes a difference.
When she isn’t busy teaching or with her husband, Jim, her son, Patrick, and her canine kids Chuck and Dale, she’s cooking up her next novel. She dabbles in sweet romances, historical fiction, and suspense thrillers, depending on what pleases her reader’s eye at any given moment. Heidi is always in search of the extraordinary in the ordinary, writing about strong men with old-fashioned values and the women who pick them up when they fall. She’ll tell anyone it’s never too late to chase after your dreams, no dream is too small or insignificant, and any mountain can be moved with a proposal and a good plan.

https://www.facebook.com/heidi.sprouse.1

http://saltrunpub.com/heidi-sprouse/
On Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073CZHHX8

The Homecoming by Alan Russell

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. You wake up to get the kids to school to discover that one of your children is gone. No sign of a break-in or any disturbances. But, for the Pierce family, the nightmare is a reality. After a bonfire on the beach, the Pierce family returned home. Early the next morning, their 7-year-old daughter, Stella, had simply vanished.

An enormous investigation was launched. No clues except dead ends. While the family struggled to move on with their lives, the lead investigator continued to follow each lead no matter how obscure. Things appeared hopeless. Stella was gone. Just as abruptly, 7 years later, Stella reappears.

Although elated, the family is shocked. Of course, Stella is grilled as to her whereabouts. Her answer? She’s been with the Travelers – a group of extraterrestrial explorers. Thinking she’s traumatized, they try everything to get Stella to tell the truth. What the don’t realize is the truth is stranger than anything they can handle. So, where has Stella been & what exactly happened to her?

I was highly anticipating reading this one. The synopsis was intriguing and it was listed in my preferred genre (mystery/thriller/suspense). I feel completely let down. I’d heard great things about Mr. Russell. His writing style/talent isn’t the issue. The book was the issue.

It started off perfectly. I was drawn in, cared about the progression of the case, etc. What I didn’t anticipate was the fact that the book should have been categorized as paranormal or even sci-fi. My initial belief was that it would progress as the synopsis hinted. Stella’s return would be plausibly explained.

I was wrong. If you’re thinking of reading it, please note that. If sci-fi mystery is your bag, then you’ll enjoy this book. It is not my bag and perhaps the mischaracterization of the plot caused me to have a chip on my shoulder towards the book. Regardless, I was disappointed in the ending as well. I felt completely let down.

The bright spot in it was Detectve Cheever. He was a fantastic character & would have been much more appreciated had he been given a real case to solve. For me, I give it a 3 star rating. Again, YA romance ( which also takes up a huge piece of the book) fans & those into sci-fi, paranormal, will probably have an entirely different opinion. Mr. Russell is quite talented and could’ve have crafted a much better story.

The Good Widow: Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

The last thing Jacks Morales expected was to see two police officers on her doorstep. But, it shocks her to her core when they deliver the worst news possible. Her husband of eight years has died in a car accident. As if that’s not bad enough, his death didn’t occur in Kansas, where he said he was. Instead, he died in Hawaii and he wasn’t alone.

James died alongside his mistress. She, too, had been living a double life. When her fiancé, Nick, arrives shortly after the police, he and Jacks decide to travel to Hawaii, together. There are too many variables. When did the affair start? Why did two seemingly happy people decide to cheat on their respective partners? How exactly did the car accident occur?

Jacks hopes Nick can help her reassemble her life and come to terms with the secrets her husband had hidden. Their plan is to retrace the deceased couples final days. But, as details emerge, she’ll have to wade through a lot of fact and fiction.

The author duo has joined the ranks as suspense/thriller authors. This novel is a mix of romance, family drama, thriller, & mystery. Jacks is a flawed heroine- kind of love her or hate her character. Though the plot definitely lagged a bit in spots, the writing is solid. Some of the events will readers having shaking their heads. I wasn’t quite convinced that too many scorned wives would travel to their husband’s love nest in order to retrace his final steps.

Regardless, it was a good read and I would read additional works from one or both authors. I give it 4 stars.

Boomer at the Bat (Woodville Tales Book 1) by Julia Dweck


If you’re looking for a fun summer read for your elementary-aged child, look no further! Julia Dweck, acclaimed children’s author, has crafted yet another winning read.

‘Boomer At Bat’, the first of the Woodland Tales, features two animal teams battling it out on the baseball diamond. Boomer is determined to be the game’s hero by nailing a home run. He’s so determined that he forgets how important it is to be a good sport. Thankfully, his coach is there to reinforce good behavior. Can Boomer do the right thing & still be a winner on the field?

Books with a moral message still need to be entertaining. After all, they don’t get their point across if no one reads them! Julia Dweck has done a tremendous job writing a terrific story AND getting her message through. As an added bonus, Chris Kennett has drawn exquisite characters. The story will most definitely keep your child(ren) interested. I can see this one becoming an ‘every night’ read before bed.

I thought so much of it that I’ve recommended it to my Aunt who is a librarian at a local Christian school & at our community library. I give it 5 stars. I never get tired of reviewing Julia’s books. Good authors should also be celebrated. Good children’s authors, even more so!

*I received a copy in exchange for review. ALL of my opinions are my own.

Theodore and the Enchanted Bookstore by K. Kibbee Blog Tour!

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Theodore and the Enchanted Bookstore: Tale of the Spectacular Spectacles

By K. Kibbee

Genre: Early Chapter Book {ages 6-10}

Living life as a bumbling breadbox with fur, was hardship enough for Theodore the Corgi, but when the young dog finds himself cold and alone in a frightening animal shelter, it’s clear that his struggles have only just begun.

Labeled “unadoptable,” by shelter staff, Theodore mires in the gloom until a kind-eyed stranger with a pocket full of handcrafted jerky and a quirky smile, rescues him with the intent of making Theodore the newest addition to his curious Bookstore. Though overwhelmed at first, Theodore soon finds both his new friend and the odd bookstore are welcoming hosts, despite the Corgi’s run of clumsy mishaps. And while Theodore’s formerly dull and lonely life fades to memory, a new, adventurous one blooms before him—for hidden amongst the dusty stacks of books and things at the Enchanted Bookstore, waits a peculiar little man with a set of the most magical, Spectacular Spectacles imaginable.

About the Author

K. (Kristine) Kibbee is a Pacific Northwest writer with a fascination for all things literary. Kristine’s passion for creative writing began in her early youth and led her to the doors of Washington State University, where she earned a degree in Humanities, with a focus in Professional Writing. Kristine followed her scholarly pursuit of writing with published works in The Vancougar, The Salal Review Literary Review, Just Frenchies magazine, and S/Tick Literary Review. She is presently a regular columnist for Terrier Group magazine.

Kristine’s novella, “The Mischievous Misadventures of Dewey the Daring,” was her first and only self-published release, and is still currently available on Amazon.com. Her middle-grade fantasy novel, “Whole in the Clouds,” was released in November 2014 and is being re-released by Incorgnito Publishing Press, with additional material, in October of 2016. The first installment in her YA fantasy series, “Forest of the Fae-Devlin’s Door,” was released in early 2016 with Incorgnito.

Kristine anticipates following the release of book two in the “Forests of the Fae” series (“The Raven Queen”) with a third and final installment, which will tentatively come to print in early 2018.

Kristine regularly engages on a variety of social media platforms and can be followed:

On Twitter @K_Kibbee

On Facebook: facebook.com/KKibbeewrites

Publisher’s Info:

https://www.facebook.com/incorgnito/
@incorgnitobooks

Incorgnitobooks.com

On Amazon: http://amzn.to/2oVfUfz

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The Son: Philipp Meyer

More likely than not, you’ve seen at least the commercials for ‘The Son’, which AMC has made into a series. It stars Pierce Brosnan (my mom’s all time favorite celebrity crush).

The novel takes place as three, separate generational stories. Each is told via a member of the McCullough family in an every other chapter format. Story #1 is that of Eli McCullough. We follow Eli from a boy until far into adulthood. In 1849, 13-year-old Eli is kidnapped by Comanche Native Americans. Readers follow this brutal path with him as he fights to survive.

Story #2 is that of Eli’s son, Peter. Without having had as tragic a life as his father did, Peter finds it difficult to relate to the man they call The Colonel. Where Eli is strong, Peter is weak. Most of the Colonel’s endeavors make Peter cringe. But, a time comes when, in Peter’s eyes, the Colonel has gone too far. Then, Peter has to make a choice between family and conscience.

Story #3 is of J.A. McCullough. She is the Colonel’s great-granddaughter and only gets a few years to have with him. At the time of J.A.’s story, women are seen & not heard, at home & far from the workplace. But, as the family runs short of male heirs, it’s up to her to salvage the family’s name and wealth.

While each story contains its own drama, each character is quiet similar to the one before him or her. The McCulloughs fight for what they have, want, and/or can’t have. Sometimes they take the hardest road and a few times the easiest. During the time period for all combined, their families story could be of any family in the South trying to make their way. Few survived. But, in our (fictional) historical account, the McCulloughs were one of the few.

First, sensitive readers beware, there is an incredible amount of violence & sex throughout the book. Due to the time period, racial slurs were the norm. The book has them in abundance towards all groups excluding Caucasian.

By far the most violent is the time period of Eli with the Comanche. It is downright brutal. Perhaps it’s historically accurate. I never fact-checked and read it as fiction. Eli is both likeable & detestable depending on which stage of his life you’re reading about. Peter is the most likeable and could be considered a hero, I suppose. J.A., to me, was the least likable. She doesn’t come across as the type of person that anyone would want to know.

The plot was well-developed and, though I read reviews by some who disliked the format, I had no trouble with the switches in time and the back & forth of the chapters. The only thing I double-blinked about was the dialogue with the Native Americans. It was portrayed as if they spoke fluent English which is difficult to believe.

Putting the gratuitous violence aside, I enjoyed the mystery side of the plot. It truly had me guessing as to where the author was going with it. I did, however, think the book was way too long. I would have rather read about only Eli & Peter. But, at over 500 pages, it was a bit much. I preferred the book over watching the series. I have to give it 4 stars for being ambitious and original.

Lots of ‘Pants on Fire’

‘Liar, Liar. Pants on Fire!’ was probably a phrase everyone has heard as a playground taunt. If we use it freely in today’s society, it’d basically be the only thing we’d ever say. We’re taught from a young age to trust political figures and law enforcement. Most of us grow up in communities were we can trust our local police. But, anymore, that’s where it stops.

For whatever reason, this is the first Presidential election that I was even remotely interested in. I watched all the debates. I watched constant coverage. I voted in the primary & the official election. My husband did too. In fact, for the first time ever, he was contacted by our party to help with various things. It was an exciting time.

Obviously, both candidates were flawed. Deeply flawed. One portion of all the back & forth seemed to bother me the most though. James Comey. Now, I had always heard that he had integrity. He was a stand up guy. Jim Comey would ‘get it right’. Then he started acting political. There’s no other way to describe it. Political. He said no indictment, but laid out an indictment via television. He began to say one thing and do another. Reopening and closing cases like they were for traffic tickets.

No matter one’s political affiliation, what the situation can be described as is: sad. If, as I was saying, we’re to trust authority, especially law enforcement, than what does this say? The man in charge of THE law enforcement agency can’t get his story straight, leaks information, and has his own version of honesty, then where does that leave us?

What of the media? As a small town girl, I knew that our local paper was not of the notoriety of the NY Times. But, even now, people in our community are back & forth as to whether to believe 90% of what’s printed. If the NY Times isn’t telling the whole truth, who is? Is there anything left that sacred? ‘Don’t believe everything you read’ used to be just a figure of speech. Now, it’s become almost a truth. Somewhere in the bias, the hatred, the rhetoric, there is a kernel of truth. But, whose truth- ours, our representatives in government-  who’s?

I guess we have to decide who to believe & when. Hopefully, at some point, the truth will again become the norm and we can go back to believing most of what we read about politics. Afterall, the nightly news shouldn’t be fiction or spun or polished. Our world is what it is. If we can see that, why are some trying to deceive us?