Category: Adult Fiction

Indiana Belle by John A. Heldt

Posted February 21, 2017 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Adventure, Fiction, Review, Romance, Science Fiction, Series, Time Travel / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Indiana Belle by John A. HeldtIndiana Belle by John A. Heldt
Series: American Journey #3
Series Rating: five-stars
on April 14th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 406
Format: Kindle
five-stars

Providence, Rhode Island, 2017. When doctoral student Cameron Coelho, 28, opens a package from Indiana, he finds more than private papers that will help him with his dissertation. He finds a photograph of a beautiful society editor murdered in 1925 and clues to a century-old mystery. Within days, he meets Geoffrey Bell, the "time-travel professor," and begins an unlikely journey through the Roaring Twenties. Filled with history, romance, and intrigue, INDIANA BELLE follows a lonely soul on the adventure of a lifetime as he searches for love and answers in the age of Prohibition, flappers, and jazz.

My take on this book:              First off I am so terribly sorry for this very late review on this book. I am very glad once again for Mr. Heldt for asking me to read and review this book. This book has three different third person point of view chapters scattered throughout the book.

The main character is Cameron Coelho. He is a twenty-eight-year-old doctoral student who is working on his dissertation of the Mid-West during the Roaring Twenties. What I like about him is that despite being a very rich young man he acts like a normal college student trying to finish his degree. I also like how he tries to keep his promise to Geoffrey and himself. Cameron overall is a great and wonderful guy who tries to be a good person despite the trouble that finds him in 1925.

What I like about him is that despite being a very rich young man he acts like a normal college student trying to finish his degree. I also like how he tries to keep his promise to Geoffrey and himself. Cameron overall is a great and wonderful guy who tries to be a good person despite the trouble that finds him in 1925.

What I don’t like about Cameron Coelho is that he can be a bit too overprotective especially of Candice once they get together. I don’t know if you call this a dislike but I kind of found it strange that he fell in love with Candice without meeting her in person. This is truly a minor issue for this character, though, as Mr. Heldt has written him so well that he is very three dimensional in my honest opinion.

The second character is Candice Bell. She is a twenty-five-year-old society writer that lives in 1925 Evansville, Indiana. What I like about Miss Bell is that she has many sides to her that even we, the readers, don’t know all of them. We see her Mid-Western hospitality, the way that she acts as if she can do no wrong in front of her mother, along with how she acts tough when following a lead for a story, she is very stubborn when she is trying to do something that she knows is the right thing to do, and among many others. Candice Bell, in my humble opinion, is much like most women back then would have been. Reading about her is like being able to have a sneak peek into their lives back then. What else I liked about Candice is that she seemed to keep Cameron guessing since the first time they meet face to face.

What I like about Miss Bell is that she has many sides to her that even we, the readers, don’t know all of them. We see her Mid-Western hospitality, the way that she acts as if she can do no wrong in front of her mother, along with how she acts tough when following a lead for a story, she is very stubborn when she is trying to do something that she knows is the right thing to do, and among many others. Candice Bell, in my humble opinion, is much like most women back then would have been. Reading about her is like being able to have a sneak peek into their lives back then. What else I liked about Candice is that she seemed to keep Cameron guessing since the first time they meet face to face.

What I dislike about her is the fact that she was writing articles that were putting her in danger. I know that is something that she loves to do but I just can’t believe that she did that. She should have been thinking about might happen if she exposed these secrets, she might get herself into trouble. I also dislike that she couldn’t see who was one of the ringleaders, that she was trying to put away. Good thing that Cameron helped save her.

For the antagonist, I am still having a hard time deciding. At first, I thought it was time itself seeing as how Cameron is from the year 2017 while Candice is from 1925. Then I thought Geoffrey as I remembered that he told Cameron to not save Candice since she was supposed to die in 1925 so his great-great-great grandparents could meet. Seeing as Geoffrey is Candice’s cousin. However, what I liked about Geoffrey is that he is very cautious regarding information about his time machine and who he allowed to use it. I also liked how he willingly helped Cameron.

What I disliked is that he made Cameron promise him to not get involved with Candice. Another thing I disliked about him is that he wanted to be kept in the loop on almost everything that was going on with Cameron in Indiana.

What moved me about this story is Cameron’s determination to save Candice despite Geoffrey telling him not to. I totally loved the settings and the time travel. I felt like I was transported there through his words so I could be there with the characters. My favorite supporting character I think would have to be Geoffrey’s wife. Mostly because she is extremely observant and sees things that no one else does.

Indiana Belle by John A. Heldt is an amazing book. I am giving this book a five star rating since I couldn’t stop thinking about it at all. In my mind, Mr. Heldt is a fantastic writer that can take you to place you never imagined. I also like his way of time travel as it is different than what we are used to seeing/reading about. This is the second book by him that I have read and I can’t wait to read his other books.

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About John A. Heldt

John A. Heldt is the author of the critically acclaimed Northwest Passage and American Journey series. The former reference librarian and award-winning sportswriter has loved getting subjects and verbs to agree since writing book reports on baseball heroes in grade school. A graduate of the University of Oregon and the University of Iowa, Heldt is an avid fisherman, sports fan, home brewer, and reader of thrillers and historical fiction.


Poet of the Wrong Generation by Lonnie Ostrow

Posted December 4, 2016 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Fiction, Music, Review, Romance / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Poet of the Wrong Generation by Lonnie OstrowPoet of the Wrong Generation by Lonnie Ostrow
Published by Harmony River Press on November 10th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance
Pages: 470
Format: Paperback
five-stars

"It's not that I don't love you, and my tears are yet to dry. But you can't go back and forth forever and we've already said goodbye."
Through these words, a young poet unearths his musical soul while severing ties with the woman he loves after her stunning betrayal. Unknowingly, in writing this ballad of liberation, he will soon evolve as one of the fastest rising stars on the pop music landscape.
The year is 1991; the place, New York City. Here we meet Johnny Elias, a college student from Brooklyn with boundless adoration for two things in life: timeless popular music, and the heart of a sweet, complicated young woman who is clearly out of his league.
Megan Price not only is the object of Johnny's affection, but also the only daughter of New York's most powerful PR woman: the indomitable Katherine Price.
Projecting that her daughter's boyfriend will never live up to the family standard, Katherine cleverly perpetrates a series of duplicitous schemes to rid Johnny from her high-class world. But in her callous disregard, she inadvertently sets him on a determined course to his improbable musical destiny - while sending her own daughter spiraling down a path of devastation.
Poet of the Wrong Generation tells the symmetrical story of a lovable underdog and his meteoric rise to stardom, his humiliating downfall and his unprecedented attempt to reclaim his place as the unlikely musical spokesman for his generation. At the heart of Poet is a tale of star-crossed lovers and their struggle with unforeseen success and disillusionment, in an attempt to rediscover lasting harmony.
Uniquely integrating a variety of original song compositions, Poet projects the epic clash between true contentment and the fable of stardom's rewards; a nostalgic journey through the major events of the 1990s, with a cherished cast of characters and a stunningly unpredictable conclusion.

My take on this book:              Wow! I have been reading this book for a while and I got it as an ARC from the publishing company that represents Mr. Ostrow. Poet of the Wrong Generation by Lonnie Ostrow is truly an inspiring read. This book started off as a college assignment and now I feel like for Mr. Ostrow that it’s going to be a bestseller. In this review, I am going to be trying something different like identify who the protagonist, the main secondary character, and the antagonist are in the books.

The main character of Poet of the Wrong Generation by Lonnie Ostrow is, of course, Johnny Elias as he goes through the motions of everything that happens to him in this book. We start out with Johnny Elias looking at his stuff as he is packing up to move somewhere when he uncovers a picture taken back in 1991. He goes through the heartbreak of losing his first love with Megan Price, starts his musical career, ends his musical career because of Katherine Price, lives in solitude for a long time, starts creating new music, restarted his musical career, and tries to get back to living with Megan Price. What I liked about Johnny Elias is that he is an interesting character who is easy to relate to. He was in the foster care system and didn’t get out until he was an adult. I also like his strength as he was able to get through his heartbreak no matter how tough it was for him. He worked hard and continued until he got where he wanted to be. What I didn’t like about Johnny Elias is that when his career was going down the tube, he didn’t try to take down the one person that he knew was behind it all. Instead of facing this person he took it and hid away. I like to think of myself a good person, but I really wanted him to at least tell her off. I guess now after I am done reading the book, I get why Johnny did it because everything was happening way too fast for him, he wasn’t getting a break to actually work on writing the songs. Then there was the fact that his record company wanted out of him. Johnny is a very interesting and confusing character.  Johnny ended up becoming a really good guy at the very end and proving it to everyone.

In Poet of the Wrong Generation by Lonnie Ostrow, there are a lot of secondary characters that are very important in both Johnny’s life and Megan’s life. The second character that I deem would be very appropriate for this is Katherine Price. Katherine Price is the secondary character for both Johnny and Megan in the ways that she is the one that wanted the best for her daughter while pushing Johnny to achieve things that weren’t really in his grasp. Katherine is a very complicated secondary character. What I liked about her is that she cares about her family even though she goes about it in a very unrespectful way. Katherine was really the one that was the motivating shove, pushing her daughter into dating other people while still dating Johnny. If she hadn’t done this, he probably would have never written the songs for his first album and her daughter might not have had another very important person in her life. What I really didn’t like about Kathrine was that she was stuck up about  not wanting her daughter to be with Johnny because she didn’t want her high-class daughter to be with low-class Johnny.

The antagonist is Megan Price. She does want to be with Johnny Elias but she let her mom set her up with many guys and ended up with one that turned out to be a bad choice for her. Megan is the oldest of Katherine’s two children and is the one that Katherine wants to have the best out of life. That includes a great love life that will propel her into life. Except Megan found love in the worst possible person in her mother’s eyes and when Megan tried to keep it going with Johnny her mother went into full battle mode. I started to like when she finally tried being her own person, by being there for Johnny to show him that she loved him. However, sadly she had to lose Johnny and be put in a horrible position, to become strong enough to stop trying to please her mom. What I didn’t like about Megan was that she couldn’t stand up to her mother about anything in the beginning. She continued to please her mom even when it made her and Johnny miserable.

The thing that moves me about the story is that here is this sweet guy living in Brooklyn, New York and he is dating a high-class girl like Megan, they are both in love with each other. Yet they have this one huge problem and that is Megan’s inability to tell her mother no. Which makes it hard on Johnny who wants to spend time with Megan but can’t because her mom keeps getting in the way of their relationship. Despite the hardships that they faced they ended up living good lives away from each other but can’t help to feel that they left their relationship without finishing it and they finally get that chance after many years have passed for them both.

The setting of the story first started off in New York, then moves around as Johnny is on tour, then some time later it was mixed between New York and Connecticut and then we end the book in New York once again. I believe that Mr. Ostrow did a wonderful job and conveyed enough information to make it seem real.

My favorite supporting characters are Andy Raymer and Jacqui Raymer. The reason I like them is despite everything Andy has stayed with Johnny. If it weren’t for Johnny he probably wouldn’t have gotten Jacqui back. These two are very special in Johnny’s life as they helped him throughout everything including keeping track of his fan base after he stopped singing and kept it going even though his management company wasn’t “managing Johnny Elias” anymore. Andy was and is Johnny’s manager, while Jacqui was the one that did his artwork for his albums and singles as well. If it wasn’t for the two of them he probably wouldn’t have got as good a contract as he did at the recording company. These two helped Johnny through everything in his life be it his professional or just his daily life, Johnny always went to the two of them to get their opinion

The most memorable thing in the book for me was probably Johnny’s musical career going off the way it did. Just wow, there he is, and then plummeting down to nothing through all the rumors. Then people still remembering Johnny after he took time away from the limelight for a bit. People still knew who he was and wanted to hear more of his music.

Poet of the Wrong Generation by Lonnie Ostrow is an awesome writer and this book is amazing. It had me talking about it every single time I would put it down to return to my reality. In the end, this book is a five star rating and I am happy to read and give an honest review for ARC of this book. I know that Mr. Ostrow has a bestseller on his hands and that I hope everyone will enjoy this book as much as I did.

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About Lonnie Ostrow

Lonnie Ostrow has been an innovator, storyteller, promoter and celebrity-insider for more than two decades. With Poet of the Wrong Generation, he combines all his unique experiences to bring you a novel of love & betrayal, music & fanfare, downfall & redemption – a fable of stardom’s rewards, set in New York City during the 1990s. Since 2001, Mr. Ostrow has been the publicity/marketing director & researcher for the iconic best-selling novelist Barbara T. Bradford. Previously he served as a PR executive, promoting an assortment of first-time celebrity authors. From 1995 – 2001, Mr. Ostrow was widely credited with inventing the “living celebrity postal phenomenon.” In all, he worked with more than 40 legendary personalities, creating major media events to celebrate their postal recognition by an assortment of foreign nations.


The Becoming by William Truax III

Posted October 22, 2016 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Angels, Fantasy, Fiction, Greek Mythology, Mythology, Novella, Paranormal, Paranormal People, Paranormal Romance, Review, Romance, Series, Supernatural, Witches / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Becoming by William Truax IIIThe Becoming by William L. Truax III
Series: Angel/Witch Saga #1
Series Rating: three-stars
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform on September 25th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction
Pages: 204
Format: Kindle
three-stars

Just one day after Cameron leaves her job, Francis takes Cameron to meet Dean, (a charming, sophisticated and successful young man) her employer and friend. She is offered a position at his company where Francis works. Cameron is thrilled and accepts the position without hesitation. Read what happens when these two friends discover their true paths as they venture into endeavors with some unforeseen allies. Their goal is to stop an ancient evil who is hell bent on destroying Heaven and taking God's Throne!

My take on this book:              The Becoming by William Truax III is unlike what I thought it would be. I had a completely different version of the book from the synopsis to what the book actually is.

The book is in two different point-of-views. The first point-of-view is of Cameron and she is, unknowingly to her, a witch. The second point-of-view is of Sam and he is, unknowingly also an angel or at least part of an angel.

Cameron is a believable character that is trying to get a job and support herself. Which she does with the help of her friend, Francis.  Cameron finds out about her being a witch and that her main powers are with electricity and lightning. To me, those two powers sound so awesome. I also think that these powers totally fit Cameron. Cameron will isn’t as strong as I would think someone of her power should be. It is almost like she goes under a spell and loses herself in him.

Sam is living on his own despite his mom having a key to his apartment. He works at Walmart and has made recent changes to his lifestyle. Sam is a believable character. At first, his mother was very overprotective of him but then she seems to allow him to become an adult. The mother-son relationship between the two was totally sweet, I could totally picture it. He didn’t really know about himself being an Angel until he went to get his girlfriend back from the people that took her away.

The book overall was good. I truly like the concept. Although, the beginning of the book was slow and kind of hard for me to get into. Once  I got to the middle of the book, it was fast-paced and I liked it more. However, I found the gaps of time that weren’t explained well, due to the deep point of view that author maintains. I also found that I had a lot of unanswered questions after reading the book. These unanswered questions had to do with things that I didn’t understand in the book and with why certain things happened when it contradicted with what the character was thinking/doing in the first half of the book. The gaps in time really bothered the flow of the story. I figured these might be answered within the other books of the series.

The Becoming by William Truax III is overall a good book but not exactly what I thought it would be. I am giving it a three stars rating due to the time gaps and the unanswered questions. I think that the author really has a way with keeping with the point of view which is good. But I would like to see a better switch and less confusion when going from Cameron to Sam. I feel that this author will continue to grow as a writer. Please give it a try as if you like mythology you may understand it better than I did.

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three-stars

About William L. Truax III

William L. Truax III is a father of 2, an 11-year-old girl and an 8-year-old boy. His wife, Tiffany, and himself have been together now for the last 12 years and going strong. He works full time for Xerox and he, of course, writes. He resides in Marianna, Florida with his family. In 2006 to 2007 he served in the United States Military Corps and was sent home due to injury, since then he has been taken care of by the Veteran’s Affairs.


The Odd Fellows Society by CG Barrett

Posted September 20, 2016 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Fiction, Mystery, Read-a-thon, Review, Thriller / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Odd Fellows Society by CG BarrettThe Odd Fellows Society on November 12th 2015
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 334
Format: Kindle
five-stars

Santiago Torres, the Jesuit headmaster of one of Washington, D.C.'s top high schools, knows two truths. First, historian Jasper Willoughs, his closest friend, didn't toss himself off a dormitory roof. Second, a Georgetown University secret society-a running joke on campus-has blood on its hands. Torres's pursuit of the truth embroils him in a bizarre and deadly scavenger hunt. The clues, scratched out on parchment by the mysterious Odd Fellows Society, lead Santi to risk everything he holds sacred: his job, his life, even the woman he secretly loves. As for his relationship with his God? Well, that's complicated. A hold-your-breath thriller that explores America's national obsession with race, The Odd Fellows Society will have you looking at the U.S. capital-and its monuments' secrets-in a whole different shade of black and white. Note: While this novel's protagonist is a Jesuit, this book is not a religious book.

My take on this novel:             The Odd Fellows Society by C.G. Barrett took me on a surprisingly good mystery that made me want to keep on reading. I was hooked from the email that the author sent me and the plot. Although, the life of a book blogger sometimes means I need to wait to read a book as I I have other commitments. Once I opened the book on my kindle fire I was once again reminded why I wanted to read it.

The Odd Fellows Society reminded me of a mixture of two great series. The first one is Dan Brown’s books with Robert Langdon, with the church and the teaching/history of the priesthood. The second one is National Treasure for the clues of using some pieces of our history, the baddies, and the history as well. I love both of these series. As I reading this book it reminded me of those two series which prompted me to read more to discover what happens next every single time.

I was instantly mesmerized with this novel. I wanted to know what happened next and what the clues meant. I was surprised in a few areas of the books as I didn’t expect what happened (such great plot shifts). Overall, this book caught me off guard and exceeded my expectations. That is always a good thing. This book is also not like one that I normally read. I try to stay away from ones that deal with religion. Unless the plot is really something, like this book and the Robert Langdon ones as well.

I am giving this book five stars as it is an outstanding read that I am glad I took the chance on. The characters are all perfectly developed and some plots twist I completely didn’t expect. The mystery was superb. I would and will recommend this really awesome book to anyone who loves a good mystery.

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About CG Barrett

A native of Northeast Pennsylvania, C.G. Barrett received a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and a M.A. from George Mason University.

A former teacher and student of history, Barrett currently serves as publisher of a Tampa newsmagazine. His humor writing about life as a parent has appeared in over a dozen parenting magazines throughout the United States.

Barrett’s popular novels have included both young adult and adult fiction in the genres of fantasy and mystery. His love of mythology, fairy tales, history and politics is evident in his fiction, which frequently explores spirituality, family and identity in a rapidly changing world.

Barrett lives with his wife, his three daughters and his two Shetland Sheepdogs in Tampa, Florida.


Cape May by Holly Caster

Posted September 10, 2016 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Chick Lit, Drama, Fiction, Review, Romance, Rural, Urban, Womens Fiction / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Cape May by Holly CasterCape May by Holly Caster
Published by TDC Publishing on September 3rd 2015
Genres: Fiction, Women's Fiction
Pages: 310
Format: ebook
four-stars

New Yorker Joanna Matthews is rapidly approaching 60 and desperate for a change. The last remotely daring thing she did—jumping into an unconventional marriage with her best friend Brian—happened 20 years ago. Now, their life’s comfortable, if routine. Joanna craves more and begins pursuing her long-deferred dream: owning and running a bed & breakfast. She’s captivated by Cape May, New Jersey, America's Oldest Seaside Resort. On the bus south, she meets a novelist, and is thunderstruck when she falls passionately in love for the first time. How will her late awakening affect the future and her three-decade relationship with Brian?

My take on this book:              Cape May by Holly Caster was totally different than what I thought it would be like. Holly Caster is a wonderful author. Her writing is truly amazing and I actually felt like I was there in New York or Cape May with these characters. The ending was wonderful, though. I am giving this book a four stars rating. It took me a while to get into the book as the beginning was kind of slow especially when we would go back in time to certain parts of Joanna’s or Michael’s lives. Other than that little problem I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Cape May is a really great book. It’s all third person point-of-view and is either with Joanna or Michael. I recommend this book to all adult book fans. It reminds me a little of Murder, She Wrote but not completely. I mean not the murder or mystery part, but Joanna reminds me a little of the way Jessica’s life changed after she retired. How she embraced her life and became what she wanted. I think that is what Joanna finally does. She made a decision and she stuck with it. Joanna became a better version of herself. I liked the emotional growth the character made through the story.

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About Holly Caster

Holly Caster writes an entertainment column for The Nyack Villager, has written dozens of articles for employee assistance websites, and is the Editor of two journals devoted to pain management education. She is hard at work on her next novel Anne/Island/Whales. She lives in the lower Hudson Valley Region with her playwright husband Tom Dudzick and their two cats Alfie and Bill.

Holly knew in 9th grade she wanted to be a writer after receiving an A+ on a paper about 1930’s actress Irene Dunne. That early triumphant high hooked her, and she’s been writing ever since. She grew up in an apartment full of books, with a mother who read more than cooked, a father who wrote for a living, and a sister who grew up to write for a living. She married a successful playwright, and gave birth to two children who grew up and are writers. Her earliest memories involve Dick & Jane, red and blue fish, magical wardrobes, and Captain Nemo’s submarine. She watched stories in her head and eventually wrote them down. Holly spends too much time watching films, from the 1930s through the present, would rather be in an art museum than almost anywhere, and would consider her perfect day spent in a European café with coffee and a book, resting her feet after being dazzled by Kandinski. She writes in her almost nonexistent free time, and considers herself blessed to work with words, whether her own or someone else’s.