Are you an avid reader looking for your next "fix"? Can't bear to be without some form of reading material in your spare time? Welcome to my world! Whether you are seeking a new book to "feed your need", or you are an author seeking an unbiased point of view on your own recent masterpiece, this is the place to be. With life as with books, you never know where the next step might take you...

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Girl Without a Name by Sandra Block

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Well, I did it.  I broke down.  I just couldn't TAKE it anymore!  The wait time, the uploads, the slowness even when only ONE window and TWO tabs were open.  I...borrowed Mom's laptop.  (THANKS MOM!) In truth, it was offered from the start but I didn't want to impose considering I bought it for her last Christmas.  It'll work in the mean time...I do have a birthday and Christmas coming up.  (No hints or anything...^-^)  Moving forward at the speed of light...

Today, we're ushering out the month (September is OVER already?!) by exploring a psychological thriller in both story type and the actual story itself.  You see, it takes place in a mental hospital but the circumstances of the latest person's arrival are far more mysterious than their usual check-ins.  Get your thinking caps on because this mystery is going to take less know how and more intuition to get to the darkened heart of.  Ladies and gents, I give you today's book of choice...

Sandra Block

About the book...
In what passes for an ordinary day in a psych ward, Dr. Zoe Goldman is stumped when a highly unusual case arrives. A young African American girl, found wandering the streets of Buffalo in a catatonic state, is brought in by police. No one has come forward to claim her, and all leads have been exhausted, so Zoe's treatment is the last hope to discover the girl's identity. 

When drugs prove ineffective and medical science seems to be failing, Zoe takes matters into her own hands to track down Jane Doe's family and piece together their checkered history. As she unearths their secrets, she finds that monsters hide where they are least expected. And now she must solve the mystery before it is too late. Because someone wants to make sure this young girl never remembers. 

The Girl Without a Name is a powerful novel of memory and forgetting, of unexpected friendship and understanding...and of the secrets we protect no matter the consequences.


Initially I couldn't help feeling like I was missing a bigger piece of the puzzle.  There were all these hints and mentions of previous installments that lacked luster due to my newness to the series.  As my curiosity set in, I looked into it and discovered this was actually only the second release for the author AND the series...imagine my reaction.  It's not often that you get THAT much disconnect between the first and second installments, but trust me when I say it DID in fact pass.  Do I still believe I might have benefited from reading the first, first?  Sure...but after a few more chapters, it mattered not....I was ensnared by the story and there was no turning back.

Zoe is the kind of character that you don't expect. She's witty and wordy and despite her chosen field of study, she has ADHD.  Unexpected, right?  Okay, well it was to me and it posed several issues for her from time to time but with a little extra effort on her part and some carefully prescribed medication, she had it handled.  Way to go Zoe!  Anywho, let's get back to the present.  Zoe is on probation due to not passing her "finals" and working through a child psych rotation.  What fun!  Usually, not too far from the truth, but with the latest Jane Doe addition, things are going to get a little crazy.  You see "Jane" is the title character (mostly, though I also believe Zoe is from time to time), and she's a mystery like no other.  She remembers not her past, barely her present, and has no hold on the future.  Her initial catatonic state doesn't even allow for questioning but even as she's broken out of it, the answers are hard to come by.  It takes a lot of personal interest on Zoe's part to make things start to come together...but are they really?  Or are her own issues getting in the way of truly healing her patient?  I vote for the latter, but with the issues not being her own.  (Chew on that readers...)  Little by little, we gather the pieces of the young lady's puzzle, while uncovering more about our inquisitive leading lady.  As it turns out, there's more than meets the eye in both of their cases as well as someone else that's a key player in everything about to unfold.  Unfold it does and well, I can only'll be left speechless.

The ending blew me right out of the water.  While some of my suspicions were confirmed, others were put on trial and still others were grown from the shadowy places left behind.  I definitely didn't see THAT coming, which added to the book's overall appeal.  Zoe's feelings of guilt are something that will be shared with most readers, including myself, but only just.  I wouldn't change my wardrobe to black at the loss incurred, but I might have an accessory for a short time for having my heart deceived.  Confused?  Well then, you'll just have to read the story now won't you?  

In my mind's eye, the author did a bang up job of creating a character you could care about in both lead and supporting roles, while making the "bad guy" (or girl) someone equally human.  You won't want to be besties by any means (especially when the **it really hits the fan) but you will see their side on some choices made....very few, but some.  Recommended read for older teens through adults due to overall issues dealt with, not language or X-rated scenes.  If you're a fan of Thrillers, Psychological or Mystery driven, this is definitely a book for your must read list.  


About the author...

Sandra Block graduated from college at Harvard, then returned to her native land of Buffalo, New York, for medical training and never left. She is a practicing neurologist and has been published in both medical and poetry journals. The Girl Without a Name is her second novel.



Special thanks to Brianna at Wunderkind PR for the copy for review.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, the publisher, or those promotions forthcoming, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title celebrated its book birthday earlier this month with Grand Central Publishing, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.

Until next time...happy reading!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

BLOG TOUR: Westly: A Spider’s Tale by Bryan Beus

 Hi guys and gals!
Welcome back to the site that aims to please the bookish soul in you, Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

TODAY, we're joining a book tour already in progress for a Children's Fiction title that looks absolutely ADORABLE.  So, why am I not reviewing it?  Alas, my schedule was too full for the addition (*sniff_tear*) but that's certainly not going to stop me from drawing attention to it.  No siree!  So, get a spot ready on your wish list because here comes the next addition...
Westly: A Spiders Tale
Bryan Beus
This is tale of a caterpillar named Westly who is destined to be a Monarch butterfly and the next king of the butterfly kingdom. But sometimes things don't turn out the way we plan. When Westly emerges from his cocoon he is nothing like he expected. As a spider he must rediscover who he is. Adopted by the "dirt eaters," Westly is determined to make a difference. He is determined to belong, to be loved, and most importantly, to become who he was born to be.
add to goodreads
  Author Bryan Beus
Bryan Beus – which rhymes with Zeus – is the winner of the Kirchoff/Wohlberg Award from The New York Society of Illustrators. He works full time as an illustrator for magazines, book covers, film and game conceptual art, and more. When not writing and drawing, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Amanda, mindful meditation, drinking root beer floats, and eating far too many Sour Patch Watermelons. Westly is his debut novel.
$25 Blog Tour giveaway
$25 Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon eGift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 10/15/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an eGift Card or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
Westly (1)
Special thanks to Kathy at I Am A Reader for the chance to bring this promotion to you.  (THANKS!)  For more information in the title, the author, the tour, or those on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title celebrates its book birthday 09/29/15, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.
Until next time...happy reading!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Little Woman in Blue: A Novel of May Alcott by Jeannine Atkins

Hi guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're exploring a newish Fiction title drawn from the pages of lives past and starring a very recognizable family name.  Literary fans rejoice!  You're about to discover the life of the OTHER Alcott sister you may or may not have known.  Interest peaked?  Good, because here comes today's book of choice...

A Novel of May Alcott

About the book...
May Alcott spends her days sewing blue shirts for Union soldiers, but she dreams of painting a masterpiece—which many say is impossible for a woman—and of finding love, too. When she reads her sister’s wildly popular novel, Little Women, she is stung by Louisa’s portrayal of her as “Amy,” the youngest of four sisters who trades her desire to succeed as an artist for the joys of hearth and home. Determined to prove her talent, May makes plans to move far from Massachusetts and make a life for herself with room for both watercolors and a wedding dress. Can she succeed? And if she does, what price will she have to pay? 

Based on May Alcott’s letters and diaries, as well as memoirs written by her neighbors,  LITTLE WOMAN IN BLUE puts May at the center of the story she might have told about sisterhood and rivalry in an extraordinary family. 


May was such a force of life, even if she didn't see it in herself most the time.  Passionate and caring, artistic to a fault, talented in matters of life but not those of the heart.  She spent most of her life chasing after her dream in dribs and drabs while everyone else kept telling her the monumental size of her impossible desire.  Her persistence paid off, leading her to a life more colorful and rich than she could have imagined for herself in the day and age, after all....a woman's works were not considered highly in most circles.  It wasn't however until her later years in life, that her achievements in art were outweighed by her love of family.  Now don't get me wrong, she always cared for her mother, father, and sisters....I'm speaking of family in the sense of creating one of her own.  It was heartbreaking to see her so lonely all those years, but equally so to see it fall so quickly from her grasp when found at last.  She deserved so much more, but fate was never accused of being a kind mistress and life marched on without a glance back.

The care and passion that the author showed in this portrayal of familial and sisterly love was memorable.  We see life from both Louisa's and May's perspectives from their poor beginnings to their achievements in the arts (writing and painting, respectively) to their trials of life and love.  There is a deep seated mutual respect between the girls but to me, it was always bittersweet.  Jealousy and in-content plagued them both night and day, day and night, year after year.  They loved each other because only those you truly care about can get under your skin so badly, it just made for a less than tender affection between them.  I really loved getting to know May and the final sacrifices at book's end truly finished shaping her character for me.

In conclusion, if you're going to embark on the journey, you better be in for the long haul.  This isn't a read that can be raced through.  It must be given time and understanding because only then can the light from within its pages shine through.  Recommended for older teens through adults not due to any mischievous content (gasp...Julian sees her ankle!) but for appropriate interest levels and dedication to the story.


About the author...

Jeannine Atkins is the acclaimed author of twelve books for young readers featuring women in history, including Borrowed Names: Poems about Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C. J. Walker, Marie Curie and their Daughters. She is an adjunct professor at Simmons College and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. 



Special thanks to Caitlin at Caitlin Hamilton Marketing and Publicity, LLC for the ARC for review.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, the publisher, or those promotions on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title was released earlier this month via She Writes Press, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.

Until next time...happy reading!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Enjoying a severe case of...The Doldrums by Nicholas Gannon!

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Today, we're chasing away the end-of-weekend blues with a Children's Fiction selection that's set to hit shelves this week.  It comes to us via Greenwillow Books and is the first installment in a brand new series from first time author Nicholas Gannon.  If this is only the beginning, I can't WAIT to see what's in store for us in future installments!  But I digress, it might be a bit more helpful if I actually share the book that I am excited about before the actual excitement.  ^-^  Ladies and gents, explorers and adventurers of all ages, please join me in welcoming today's book of choice...
Greenwillow Books
About the book...
Archer B. Helmsley certainly has THE DOLDRUMS. He has grown up in a house full of oddities and treasures collected by his famous explorer grandparents; a collection he wishes he could add to. But when Archer’s grandparents go missing on an iceberg, his mother—aware of his explorative “tendencies”—forbids him from leaving the house (except for school).

Yet Archer still longs for adventure. With his friends Adélaïde L. Belmont—who may have lost her leg in a crocodile attack—and Oliver J. Glub—who is always prepared for everything that could go wrong—Archer realizes what his first grand excursion should be: rescuing his grandparents from that iceberg in Antarctica.
And so together they make a plan. A plan to escape Archer’s home, to live a little, and to leave their eccentric town. It's a good plan. Well, it's not bad, anyway. Of course, nothing goes quite as they expect. But in the end, the truest adventure is friendship. And you don’t have to go all the way to Antarctica for that.
To me, it reads like a cross between A Series of Unfortunate Events and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (both of which are remarkable reads, so if you haven't sampled them and have not the foggiest notion of what I am referring to, feel free to educate yourself on them at your earliest convenience ^-^). 
The story itself is curious.  I mean, how else can you truly describe a story that introduces your lead character so simplistically and yet fully all at once?  That's what I thought.  Curious indeed.  Archer is a wonderful lad simply wishing to break out of the box created for him by his parents to not only live a life of adventure but rescue those that saw fit for him to dream of it...his grandparents.  The fact that they have been lost on an iceberg is no deterrent to him, in fact it allows the flames of hope to continue burning....and with good reason.  They ARE adventurers and explorers themselves with mad skills that range from living on the back of an elephant to assisting a sea captain in need so well that he saw fit to grace them with his eye (yeah, I'll let you ponder that, but it's not gruesome like it sounds).  How's a little (okay, HUGE) iceberg suppose to have taken them down?  According to The Doldrums Press, easily...but don't believe EVERYTHING you read.  Thus begins Archer's story, but it's certainly not how it ends. 
Character wise, we have a lovely mix that starts with our leading lad, continues with his sidekick chum Oliver, and marches forward with Adelaide.  Now, the middle was friends with the former not for adventure but companionship.  Despite the fact that he found Archer rather odd, he was one of the few that would speak to him and tolerate his eccentricities, and thus a friendship was born.  When push comes to shove though and the REAL quest is about to begin, his yellow belly may just prove too strong a'll just have to wait and see.  As for latter soul mentioned, she's a ballerina without a stage.  Put on the sidelines due to "mysterious circumstances" (of which we are privy but the same may not be so for her compadres), she's an open book on her here and now but the past is something she'd rather not get into.  She's certainly had a rough road for such a young lady but it hasn't put a damper on her spirit which is as feisty and vibrant as ever.  It makes for a very interesting addition to this little group of friends, sparking more forward motion than they probably would have achieved left to their own devices.  Suffice it to say, I enjoyed the lot of them...even those you'd rather not meet face to face (aka Mrs Murkley...mostly).

The author takes his time allowing us to get to know each of the characters with a section for Archer and Oliver, one for Adelaide, and then finally the trio that they now are.  The inclusion of artwork within its pages only adds to the majesty of the book's presentation.  Seriously, the illustrations are beautiful and the color palette chosen matches the tone of the story (something that will make more sense as you read).  It has elements of whimsy and seriousness, cause and effect, choice and consequence, with a healthy dose of adventure...just not in the way you might imagine.  Confused?  Don't be for it won't help your situation.  The only way out of this quandary is to READ IT, then things will become crystal clear.  Recommended read for adventure seekers of all experience levels.  If you have an active imagination, and love stories about the things that really matter, this is definitely a tale for you.
About the author...
Nicholas Gannon studied art and design and held a number of odd jobs before becoming a full-time author. He has lived in Tennessee, Minnesota, and New York, including a brief residence at a tall, narrow brownstone in New York City that was the inspiration for 375 Willow Street. He now resides in Brooklyn. This is his first book.
Special thanks to Gina at HarperCollins Children's Books for the review copy.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, or the publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is set to hit store and virtual shelves near you THIS TUESDAY (09/28/15) via Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, so be on the lookout or consider pre-ordering!  You won't be disappointed.
Until next time...happy reading!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Love Lessons Learned with Author Tawny Weber!

Hi guys and gals!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're taking a break from the reviews and shining the spotlight on a new release via Meryl L Moss Media from Harlequin Books.  It stars a passionate protector that's certainly not hard on the eyes and definitely falls into the realm of NO KIDDOS.  So, if you are a kiddo, step away from the post.  I'll keep it clean but I can't make promises about the book's content.  Capice?  Okay.  So, spotlight on and directed towards...

Tawny Weber
Harlequin Books

About the book...
Lark Sommers's dry spell is officially a sex-starved desert. Since taking over her mom's quirky coffee shop in Nowhere, Idaho—putting her own career on permanent hold—Lark's been, well, miserable. But her friends have a plan…one that starts with a superhot guy with a rockin' hard bod.
US Navy SEAL Shane O'Brian has no clue he's being set up. All he knows is that Lark does incredible things to his libido. Still, Shane can't quite bring himself to tell her what he does for a living. After all, their risqué business is temporary—no strings, no falling in love. Especially when there's no way this SEAL would ever be tempted into anything more than a sexy little fling…


Okay, so not my typical read but it sounded like a fun way to say goodbye to summer days and hello to winter's snuggle-filled haven, am I right?  Of course I am!  ^-^ So, since I wouldn't be reviewing this one, I thought, why not get in on another aspect of the read with a special Guest Post from the author herself.  This time, it's all about the in lessons learned FROM the book and despite the hotness of the read, I think the carry away sounds pretty sweet.  Ready, set, READ!


Love Lessons Learned:
Real life romance lessons learned from the book
with author Tawny Weber

I think one of the most important lessons that can be taken from A SEAL’s Temptation is to follow your own dream.  If we’re blessed enough to have people in our lives that love us deeply, then ideally they should accept, embrace and support our dreams. But that’s often not the case.  For Shane, his dream was to be a SEAL but his mother would not—could not—support that dream.  So much so that his following it created a rift in the family.  Out of stubbornness, Shane held onto his dream at the cost of family.  Lark, on the other hand, gave up her dream in an attempt to honor a memory.  Both of them had to learn that while dreams often come with a price, it’s not the price of love.  There are always compromises and middle grounds that can be found.  In writing about Shane and Lark finding theirs, I learned a thing or two about my own. 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

About the author...

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than 30 books, Tawny Weber writes sassy, emotional romances with a dash of humor, featuring hot alpha heroes. Fans are invited to check out Tawny’s books at her website, For extra fun, join her Red Hot Readers Club for goodies like free reads, complete first chapters, recipes, insider story info and much more.  Her books are available in sixteen countries.



Special thanks to Amanda at Meryl L Moss Media for the chance to bring this promotion to you.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, the publisher, or those promotions on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now via Harlequin Books, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.

Until next time...happy reading!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Alice Takes Back Wonderland by David D. Hammons

Hi there!
Welcome back to the Friday edition of Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Still pecking right along on the OLD laptop, but despite its inability to break the speed of light, it's holding its own...for now.  Survey says....I see a new addition, nay the ONLY addition to my birthday/holiday wish list.  Anywho...

This week has been a mixed bag reading wise with jumps from Children's Fiction to Storybooks and even Military infused Fiction.  Today, we're landing feet first in the wild wonders of Young Adult with a title that's bound to catch your fancy, give it a makeover, and send it straight back to you even more wonder-filled than before.  It's just that good!  Before I get too far ahead of myself into a future that may never be, allow me to introduce today's ebook of choice...

David D. Hammons
(HB) 9781620077160  |  (EB) 9781620077146  |  (PB) 9781620077153

About the book....
Ater ten years of being told she can’t tell the difference between real life and a fairy tale, Alice finally stops believing in Wonderland. So when the White Rabbit shows up at her house, Alice thinks she’s going crazy. Only when the White Rabbit kicks her down the rabbit hole does Alice realize that the magical land she visited as a child is real. But all is not well in Wonderland.

The Ace of Spades has taken over Wonderland and is systematically dismantling all that makes it wonderful. Plain is replacing wondrous, logical is replacing magical, and reason is destroying madness. Alice decides she must help the Mad Hatter and all those fighting to keep Wonderland wonderful. But how can she face such danger when she is just a girl?

Alice must journey across the stars to unite an army. She discovers that fairy tales are real in the magical world beyond the rabbit hole. But they are not the fairy tales she knows. Fairy tales have dangers and adventures of their own, and Alice must overcome the trials of these old stories if she wants to unite the lands against Ace.

With the help of Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Snow White and heroes old and new, Alice may have the strength to take back Wonderland.


We're all mad here...
...but just enough to keep things interesting.

I gotta say, it was a WONDERFUL read (no pun intended...or perhaps there was... ^-^).  I enjoyed every minute of it from the flick of the first page to to the final moments.  The hardest thing for me wasn't just putting it down (though that was REALLY hard...and I intend on buying a tree copy as soon as it releases) but deciding how and what to say about it all.  

I could have said...a girl travels to another world, incites a war in an effort to restore what's been taken, all while trying to get back to where she was taken.  It sums it up in a round about way but much like the Ace of Spades, all the WONDER is sucked right out of it.  So, I was back to square oh HOW to share this tale!

I could have also went along the lines of...there's this girl, named Alice.  Remember her?  Well she gets kicked down a rabbit hole by her formerly good friend W.R. (White Rabbit) and lands in a topsy turvy version of what was called Wonderland.  I know, right?  How could it POSSIBLY get any more crazy?  Well, it does.  She meets the new ruler, the old ruler, the memory of the Cheshire Cat, the Hatter before and after the wonder is sucked right out of him, and a whole cast of Wonderland familiars.  Then, oh but then she travels to Never Never Land and meets Peter (much more swoon worthy here) and the Lost Boys and Tinkerbelle who isn't really...and the crocodile who isn't really...and then Hook who is REALLY...and with that, I've no longer written a review, but another version of the book when I finished my verbal barrage.

In reality, the best I could do without giving everything away is this.  It's a Young Adult Fantasy novel for those of the target age and WELL beyond.  The perfect fit for those that aren't usually into this particular sub genre, such as myself.  I usually avoid the more intense Fantasy reads simply because there is SO much world building (which is wonderful) that I literally have to take notes to follow what in the blazes is going on with any clarity.  Enough though this one from an outside perspective is enough to turn your head round and round and round, it has its basis in FAIRYTALES...the ones that most of us grew up with (or continue to grow with).  So all that complex world building comes from a place that's familiar making the twists and new takes on them THAT much easier to roll with, thus allowing the stories intricacies and complexities to shine through.

In conclusion, a WONDERFUL read...wait, I already said that.  Umm, a magical voyage through the pages that reminds us that books are powerful portals to worlds and adventures untold...if only we've the imagination to explore them. 


About the author...

While visiting Cambridge during my time studying abroad, I tried to sneak into C. S. Lewis’s old apartment. I wanted to stand where the old master stood. I wanted to glean bits of imagination that no-doubt still clung to those walls. A locked door barred my path, and I fled to the safety of the campus pub.

It has been my goal to live a life that is notable as the life of that master of writing. I’ve climbed the slopes of Machu Picchu, swam in Loch Ness, smuggled ice cream into China, and made moonshine in my hometown. I studied writing and business in school, and gave up a position in my family’s Black Walnut company to chase my dream. Life, if you make it so, can be an adventure.

Despite all my adventures, there is no greater journey than that which can be found in a book. It was cartoons that got me into writing, works meant for children that as an adult fascinated me with their joyful outlook. It was the old masters, Lewis, Tolkien, Hemmingway, Vonnegut, who challenged me to live an adventure of a life, and then write even greater adventures in books. Perhaps one day I’ll make it into that old Cambridge apartment. Perhaps one day I’ll be invited.



Special thanks to Rhea and Clare at Curiosity Quills for the ebook for review.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, or the publisher and their complete catalog, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is set to release 09/28/15 via Curiosity Quills Press, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.

Until next time...happy reading!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

From Russia Without Love by Stephen Templin - Review + Interview!

Hi guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

So, I'm working on the old OLD laptop while a friend tinkers with the old one to see is a Frankenstein resurrection can be made...doubtful but hey, it can't be any worse.  *fingers crossed*  Speaking of reanimated things or people that just won't die, I've got a rather exciting book for you today that's several steps away from my regulars but not so far off the page strewn course to be unfamiliar.

Picture it. 2000 and something.  I'm in my favorite reading spot minding my own business when, BAM!  I get a review request for a Fiction read that could have been ripped from the day's military headlines.  The story sounds interesting but I'm concerned about the jargon and political intensity that may abound.  Would they overshadow what my interests we raised by?  300 or so pages later and much to my bookish joy, my concerns were laid to rest...and I ended up reading the next installment upon publication too!  Fast forward to a few months back and another email toting the coming glories of a book by one of the author duo responsible for my other reads off the beaten path.  A synopsis glimpse later and I was in!  Which brings us to today's featured title....

A Special Operations Group Thriller, Book 2
Stephen Templin

About the book...
SEAL Team Six veteran Chris Paladin left the Navy to become a pastor, but CIA spook Hannah Andrade pulls him back into Special Operations Group to locate the White House Chief of Staff’s kidnapped son-in-law before he is executed by Greek terrorists. Cantankerous Army Delta Force operator Sonny Cohen reunites with Chris and Hannah as they race the clock to save the hostage.

In Athens, Chris and his teammates discover that Russia is secretly behind the kidnapping, part of a murderous plan to attack the flow of natural gas in Europe. The Cold War has heated up again.

Chris and his crew’s rescue quickly changes into a mission to capture-or-kill a Russian spy.


Sound exciting?
Oh trust IS!

As I said, having read the previous series of books, I had a little background and connection with the characters in this story, but even from an outsiders perspective, I can see this working wonderfully as a standalone read.  The history makes their personal connections that much stronger and emotional (yes, I said emotional...just because they are guys and SEALS at that doesn't mean they don't have feelings), but the story itself is self contained.  If you've been following my site for any about of time, you'll note that this is not a corner of the Fiction genre I delve into very much.  For me, it's not the violence, combat, or link with reality that's the stake through my heart, but the political nature of the story.  It sounds heartless, but for the sake of my reading enjoyment, I couldn't care less.  It's like with Indiana Jones movies (hopefully you've seen at least one).  There is all the Nazi (etcetera) takeovers, war advances, and so on, but it blends so well with the adventure story we've come to love, it's a background piece that doesn't interfere...just like here.  

Now don't get me wrong, there are certainly higher political powers at work and aspirations of countries outdoing other countries, but you get so caught up in the more focused story that you can choose to acknowledge its existence without it taking over the entire read.  Passages detailing which country was enraged by this country regarding the planned Natural Gas access, or even those that tell down to the scope type about the firearms being used, all boiled down to a check mark in my mind's file and a gloss over to see where our heroes were now...and I'm none the worse for wear.  We've got a killer story filled with action, espionage, and mayhem hat will keep you on the edge of your seat.  The finite details will enchant some, but for me, the characters are where it's at!

Chris (code name Reverend), Hannah (Infidel), and Sonny (Mr. Sunshine) are a lethal trio.  Whatever they put their minds to, consider it done....and I mean REALLY done.  There's no escaping when they've set their sites on you.  Even if they have to go to the ends of the earth, sneak aboard a cruise ship, jump overboard in the dead of night to chase a shadow through the streets of are going down.  *Hoo Rah*  Despite all of that, they aren't just kill and capture machines.  Chris is actually a Reverend in his "other life", something that brings him great inner peace and joy.  True, he'd love for that world to encompass Hannah a bit more on the regular but he'll take what he can get until her path ties into his (*fingers crossed*).  Being our "leading man", we get inside his head much more than those of his teammates but that doesn't mean they are a complete mystery.

Hannah is rather deadly herself.  If you don't get knocked out my her looks (according to the reactions of most men surrounding her), she'll easily pick you off with a well placed shot and erase all traces of it occurring with a call to one of her many contacts.  Never mistake her for an unassuming woman; she just might have to MMA your butt to the ground.  (*high five*)  That brings us to Sonny.  He's certainly the most crass and loves nothing more than the heat of the mission (well, except his food and women) but we actually see a small crack in that bada** veneer this time around.  I won't exploit it (though I should), but it once again brings him back out of the realm of married to his work and everyday dude.

So, are you convinced?  Is this a must read on your wish list now?  Admittedly, it won't be for everyone, but for those that venture between the pages, you may be surprised just how high it rates on your reading list.  Recommended for adult readers due to the story itself and violent content...otherwise, we're clean like the take downs they aim for.  Don't forget to check out the first book in this series, Trident's Gleam.  Now for the creme de resistance!  When the review request for this title came through, I also had the opportunity to interview the author.  (Score!)  Seeing as I've now bent your ear for some time, I'll let him do the talking about the book and some UBER FABULOUS news you'll want to note.  Ladies and gents, please join me in welcoming author Stephen Templin!


Author Interview:  Stephen Templin
From Russia Without Love

1. You were in the military and you write about the military.  Is it a case of convenience (as in writing what you know) or simply the action, suspense, and drama that naturally comes from this particular area that drew you like a moth to a flame?

As a child I played soldier and was a Boy Scout. But growing up I was also a reader and a writer. Over time, I discovered that my greater passion is in writing. Because I’ve experienced the military and am still excited about it, particularly special ops and its extension into CIA activities, there is the flame.  

2. I've read your previous works written with Howard Wasdin (Seal Team Six series).  What was it like going solo?  Any preference for one or the other?  Pros and cons? 

For our nonfiction book, it was easier for me because the content was mostly Howard’s life. I just had to interview him and write it. And we went back and forth with the revisions. For him it was tough to relive a challenging childhood and the trauma of war—which led to the breakup of his most valued treasure, his family at that time. 

For our fiction books, it was more difficult for me because the content was mostly mine—there are so many choices open to a fiction writer, and it’s a marathon to complete a novel. Switching from fiction coauthor to fiction solo streamlined the writing process for me. Now, for this series, writing fiction solo seems like a good fit, and I can see continuing this for quite some time. But I’m open to the idea of collaborating with others in the future—it just depends on things like the project, demand, and what value each member brings to it.

3. Some readers may notice, others may not but seeing as I did, I have to ask.  What's with the (sorta) James Bond reference title wise?  Big fan perhaps or simply a great play on words that fit?  *curious*

I’ve enjoyed Ian Fleming’s stories, which I came to know through film, so that’s always in the back of my mind. And when thinking of titles, I sometimes look at Bond titles for inspiration. In May of 2014, Onet (Poland’s largest news website) interviewed me about Russian intervention in Ukraine (interview here: ), and that prompted me to think about where the future of this conflict may lie—which led to the plot for a new novel. The idea for the title came quite quickly and was difficult to shake off, which also inspired me to explore themes of love and hate. 

4. I read that the movie rights to one of your books sold to Vin Diesel himself, congratulations!  Any juicy tidbits you can share?  Which title, when it starts filming, or perhaps who is on your wish list for starring in it?

Thank you. Yes, Vin Diesel has the rights, but I haven’t heard any specifics about production other than that Vin Diesel wants to star as Howard. Howard would be an adviser during filming and both our names would appear at the beginning of the film.

5. For those short on time or with limited attention span, describe your book in TEN words or less....

Reverend, Infidel, and Mr. Sunshine must capture-or-kill

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About the author....

Since elementary school, STEPHEN TEMPLIN felt a need to write, dreaming of becoming a novelist, and now he is a New York Times and international bestselling author, with the movie rights to one of his movies purchased by Vin Diesel. Steve’s books have been translated into thirteen languages. He is a “hybrid” author who maintains active book contracts with top publishers such as Simon and Schuster and St. Martin’s Press while also publishing independently.

After high school, he completed Hell Week, qualified as a pistol and rifle expert, blew up things, and practiced small unit tactics during Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training. Later, Steve left the Navy and became a missionary. Then for fourteen years he lectured as a tenured professor at Meio University in Japan, where he also practiced the martial art aikido. Currently, he lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. 

To connect with Steve and for updates about new releases, as well as exclusive promotions, visit his website and sign up for the VIP Readers Group at:



Special thanks to Emily at Trident Media Group, LLC for the ebook for review and to author Stephen Templin for humoring my curious mind in the interview.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, or the publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title was released the beginning of this month, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.

Until next time...happy reading!

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