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D. E. Haggerty is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

Murder, Mystery, & Dating Mayhem

“Murder, Mystery, & Dating Mayhem” by D. E. Haggerty

Published as… Humorous Chick Lit with a dash of Murder/Mystery

To Be Published on… 1 March 2015

About the Book

My name is Izzy. I drink too much, am clumsier than a newborn foal, and my brain-to-mouth filter often malfunctions. My daredevil husband killed himself in a parachuting accident five years ago and my best friend Jack has decided it’s time I jump back in the dating pool. He’s perfectly happy to throw me in if I don’t listen. Just when things in the dating world start to heat up, my grandma dies. Only her knitting group of Jessica Fletcher wannabes is sure it’s murder. I’m not convinced but I’m always up for a bit of excitement as long as it doesn’t lead to a night in jail. Well, more than one night anyway. Will I miss my chance at love because I’m chasing imaginary killers? Did someone really kill grandma or am I and my merry band of geriatric thieves imagining things?

Buy the Book at Amazon or Smashwords

About the Author

D. E. Haggerty Author Photo
I was born and raised in Wisconsin, but think I’m a European. After spending my senior year of high school in Germany, I developed a bad case of wanderlust that is yet to be cured. My flying Dutch husband and I have lived in Ohio, Virginia, the Netherlands, Germany and now Istanbul. We still haven’t decided if we want to settle down somewhere – let alone where. Although I’ve been a military policewoman, a commercial lawyer, and a B&B owner, I think with writing I may have finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. That’s assuming I ever grow up, of course. Between tennis, running, traveling, singing off tune, drinking entirely too many adult beverages, and reading books like they are going out of style, I write articles for a local expat magazine and various websites, review other indie authors’ books, write a blog about whatever comes to mind and am working on my fifth book.

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Boom Baby Review’s Best of 2014!

2014 was a really busy year for me, and I tried to amp up the reviewing. Although there were some books that weren’t quite my thing, I was really lucky to get some great books. As such, I want to give a shout out to my 4.5 and 5 Fireball reviews of 2014! Each one is linked to the review, so you can check out what I thought about it. And now, in no particularly order, they are…

Fantasy

Wizard of Ends, Book Two: Dark Creature by Vanessa Finaughty & Majra by J. Simon

Monster Lit

Waking the Merrow by Heather Rigney

Contemporary Poetry/Prose, Military

Starved for Bullets by Ryan Goodrich

Erotic Romance

The Brethren of the Coast by Barbara Devlin (Reviewed in 2014: My Lady, The Spy; The Most Unlikely Lady; One-Knight Stand)

Steampunk Action/Adventure

The Adventures of Ichabod Temperance by Ichabod Temperance (Reviewed in 2014: For the Love of Temperance; A Study in Temperance)

Superhero, Comedy

Scarlet Winters by J. Kwong

Contemporary Literary Fiction

The First Noble Truth by C. Lynn Murphy

Historical Fiction

Agnes Canon’s War by Deborah Lincoln

…and that was the best of 2014. Thank you to all the authors and readers who made this a great reading year. I’ve got the proverbial stack of books already to get 2015 kicked off with a bang, so watch this space for more books and more reviews and more everything!

Happy 2015!

Review: “Scarlet Winters” by J. Kwong

“Scarlet Winters: The Berona Chronicles” by J. Kwong

Available from: Amazon
Released on: 16 August 2014
I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

Description: Welcome to the city of Berona – a city governed by four Superheroes with great superpowers. Thanks to the Superheroes, Berona is mostly crime-free, and is touted as one of the best cities in the world. However, there are some people who aren’t so sure about Berona’s greatness…

Meet Terry Landers – a genius inventor who can create anything out of nothing. But Terry knows that she’s unpleasant and rude. which is why she’s surprised when she’s asked to become a Superhero’s sidekick. Terry is one of the few people who questions the wisdom of having the Superheroes govern Berona, and as she dives into her new role as a Superhero sidekick, she begins to realize just how right she might be.

Throw in a child kidnapping and evidence that links the crime to the Superheroes, it’s now up to Terry to save her beloved city. But will she be able to fulfill her duties as a sidekick? Or will danger find her first?

Recommended for young adults, aged 16+, Scarlet Winters is a humorous book that pokes fun at comic book superheroes.

Review: I ate this book. I mean, almost literally. I’m a very fast reader and can tear through books, but even I was surprised at how fast I got through this one. It was immensely readable, and parts were honestly laugh out loud funny. (Dammit, I almost snorted coke through my nose at one time, thanks to a badly timed drink. I think it was the “tools and idiots” part.)

This book is not for everyone, I’ll admit. You have to have a particular sense of humor, but there are lots of people out there with that sort of twisted, dark funny side and all those people–you, yes, I’m talking to you!–need to read this book.

Our main character actually has a good heart but nothing at all resembling a filter on her brain or mouth, and it’s hysterical. She says everything and anything, and just doesn’t give a damn what people think about her. The inventor thing is funny, too. And the setup of the city of Berona is equally as fascinating and amusing. Poking at comic stereotypes along the way.

I liked this book so much that I can even forgive the author for the Warehouse chapter, and for the PoV thing in the last two chapters. (‘Cause it actually worked.)

It’s clear there’s more to come, and I want it. 5 Fireballs because I cannot give it any more…

5 Fireballs

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Tara Quan is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

Operation Owl

“Operation Owl” by Tara Quan

Published on… 15 July 2014
Published as… Romance/Humor

Tara Quan’s Top Ten Romantic Scenes in Cinema

In the process of writing this list, I began to understand why my husband doesn’t fully approve of my taste in movies.

1) I’m cheating here, but every time Han Solo and Princess Leia kiss—Star Wars, 1977, 1980, 1983
2) Evelyn’s drunken speech where she says she’s a librarian—The Mummy, 1999
3) When Evelyn runs back to save Rick—The Mummy Returns, 2001
4) Rapunzel and Flynn facing down Mother Gothel—Tangled, 2010
5) Edward waving his umbrella through the limousine roof—Pretty Woman, 1990
6) Giselle and Robert’s ballroom dance—Enchanted, 2007
7) Belle and the Beast’s ballroom dance (the soundtrack is a significant factor)—Beauty and the Beast, 1991
8) The magic carpet ride (the soundtrack is an even more significant factor)—Aladdin, 1992
9) When Pat chases Tiffany down after the dance competition—Silver Linings Playbook, 2012
10) When Eddie confesses his love for Kiki in front of the entertainment press corps—America’s Sweethearts, 2001

About the Book

Five years ago, Maya Jain kissed her best friend only to have him run out of her dorm room and leave the state. When he shows up in Washington, D.C., a wanted fugitive sought after by every branch of the US government, she can’t bring herself to ignore his plight. As their physical relationship picks up where it left off, she decides it’s time to make him see her as more than the bespectacled, bookish girl he once called “Owl.”

After being accused of espionage and treason, Zack Strong needs a forensic accountant to help clear his name. Not knowing who he can trust, this white-hat hacker has no choice but to ask his former best friend and math tutor for help. Together they unravel a cyber conspiracy at the Barn, an NSA facility tasked to intercept electronic communications. But as they traverse the nation’s capital to avoid capture, Maya insists on letting their simmering sexual tension take its natural course. Even though he’s never been able to shake the memory of their one kiss, he refuses to let her give up her life for a man with no future.

Buy the Book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, AllRomance, Decadent Publishing

About the Author

Tara Quan Author Photo
Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, Tara enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Armed with magical powers or conventional weapons, her characters are guaranteed a suspenseful and sensual ride, as well as their own happily ever after.

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Review: Instant Karma by Donna Marie Oldfield

“Instant Karma” by Donna Marie Oldfield

Available from: Amazon
Released on: 19 July 2014
I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

Description: Do you believe in karma? Materialistic, selfish estate agent Siena Robinson doesn’t – until she hits a disastrous run of bad luck that makes her wonder if she has brought it upon herself.

In Instant Karma, Siena moves to the quiet village of Fenville, where the locals are opposing a development that will see a beloved hall and library replaced by new flats and shops. What her neighbours don’t know is that she is one of the developers and stands to make millions from the deal.

But then Siena discovers that her high-school sweetheart, Aiden, is leading the protest and she finds herself acting as a double agent who is torn between her neighbours’ plight and making lots of money.

Will Siena betray her new friends and let greed ruin a second chance with Aiden? And will she ever find out who or what is behind her run of bad karma?

This quirky contemporary fiction book combines romance and wry British humour with a deeper karmic message as the reader follows Siena on her enlightening journey.

Review: This story was like A Christmas Carol, but in modern real estate.

From the description, you know that you’re not going to like the main character at first. And you don’t, or at least I didn’t. What I struggled with is that I wanted to find more deeper inside her, or good excuses in her past, to explain why she was the way she was and thus give me a reason to root for her Big Change at the end and be happy to see it. I had trouble finding that with Siena.

There were reasons given from her past, things that had happened to her, but they were barely explored enough to explain her and they seemed a little…“stock.” Like things that are meant to manufacture “auto-sympathy” for a character without working for it, and those authorial devices tend to bother me. I wanted to see more glimpses of her from the past to make me see that she had once been different, to really make me feel it. To show me more than tell me.

There is romance, although Aiden felt a little “pre-manufactured” as well, and I struggled to really feel their connection, past or present. Especially with how awful she was, what did he see in her other than the past? But then, the book was about trying to get her past self to become her present self again.

Our author has a fairly readable style and the story did flow along well. I found it a bit over-written at points, but not so much that I couldn’t get through it. And a story that can make me feel strongly about a character (for better or worse) does have something going for it, but it was hard for me to root for Siena’s big change of heart . She just drove me crazy–like how everything was always someone else’s fault–although I did find her bad karma moments funny.

So this one is hard for me to know how to properly rate. It wasn’t a bad book, but I did struggle with its characters in needing more characterization to really pull me into their lives. So, I think I’m going to have to go with 3 Fireballs.

3 Fireballs

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Rob Manary is Visiting! [Book Blast]

Strangers on a Bus

“Strangers on a Bus” by Rob Manary

Published on… 29 March 2011
Published as… Romantic Comedy/Memoirs

Rob Manary’s Excerpt

The moon chose that moment to emerge from the clouds and illuminate an angel surely sent from God to save this book. Nay, an angel never looked as beatific as the radiant vision making her way down the aisle towards me.

An angel is an unfair comparison. An angel would weep, for no angel could steal breath the way this woman stole mine. And angels don’t have breasts nearly as nice. I don’t think there are silicon artists in heaven.

What the hell was that!?!

That was edit #2.

I had to give up my vacant seat to a character I’ll refer to, for now, as “girl.”

We haven’t settled on a name for “girl” yet, and my original intro for “girl” was:

Okay, so I saw this hot girl coming down the aisle toward me. But she was right behind this buffet nightmare, a guy who got every penny he ever paid for an “all you can eat” buffet. I’m too kind to resort to fat jokes, but if he could wash every crevice that needed daily washing I would be genuinely surprised. And I bet there are parts of his anatomy that have seen neither soap nor sunlight in years.

And he was eyeing me like the last piece of pizza on the Titanic.

I make me laugh, the last slice of pizza on the Titanic? Even I don’t know what the hell that means, and I’m sure that might be the worst metaphor in the history of word putting together.

So the guy needing a serious Weight Watchers intervention was shaking the entire bus as he made his way towards me, and I couldn’t insert a digit up my nose because I was smiling coyly at the hot girl behind him in case this dream guy somehow chose not to sit next to me.

At least I hoped I was smiling coyly at “girl.” My seduction techniques are so refined sometimes my flirting leaves me looking simple, and other times completely mentally deficient.

So that’s how “girl” originally entered the story, but she demanded something better, hence the angel nonsense.

I think I’m going to call “girl” Gertrude. That’s as close to a consensus on a name we’ve come to after an exhaustive series of negotiations that went a little like this:

Gertrude: “If I’m going to be in your book, I want a great romantic heroine name.”

Me: “What’s wrong with your name? I like your name.”

Gertrude:” It’s so plain, so ordinary, I hate it. Come up with something better, something sexy.”

Me: “Okay, how about Melba?”

Gertrude: “Melba? Like Melba toast? Melba’s not a sexy name.”

Me: “I have an Aunt Melba. She’s very sexy for an eighty year old. How about Gertrude?”

Gertrude: “Gertrude’s almost as bad as Melba.”

Me: “Hey, I’ve got an Aunt Gertrude, another very sexy senior citizen.”

Gertrude: “Why would you want to name me after one of your old aunts? You’re so weird. Give me a sexy temptress name.”

Me: “I got it… you ready… it’s a good one… Florist!”

Gertrude: “Florist? Florist? How about dentist? Or plumber? Florist is a job, not a name.”

Me: “I have an Aunt Florist, but she’s not very sexy. She really kinda looks like my Dad in drag, but years ago my Dad shaved his mustache.”

So I was left with the daunting task of coming up with a secret identity for “girl”. I think she’s Gertrude.

About the Book

If you liked When Harry Met Sally, you’ll fall in love with Robb and Gertrude from Strangers on a Bus…

Robb is crushed by a failed relationship with the love of his life and finds himself unexpectedly on a long bus trip from his adopted home in the U.S. back to his native Canada.

At the first stop in NYC, a girl gets on and so begins a contemplation of life, love, and strange events that will bring tears of laughter and heartache streaming down your face.

Is this girl Robb’s real true love or just a rebound? How far can they get on a bus ride anyway?

This is a true story.

Buy the Book at Amazon

About the Author

Robert Manary is an international playboy and man of mystery, with the charm and sophistication of James Bond shaken not stirred with a couple ounces of Cyrano de Bergerac, a dash of Rasputin, and garnished with the rapier wit of Thurston Howell the Third.

That’s how he sees himself, anyway.

The truth is Robert Manary is a construct created to protect the dubious reputation of his Clark Kent like mild mannered writer/puppeteer/the man pulling the levers and breathing life into the Great and Powerful Oz (don’t look too closely behind the curtain).

Manary is an award winning blogger, an erotic romance novel writer, the author of a pretty decent romantic comedy, and for a brief period in the early nineties served as dictator of a small South American country.

Most of that is true.

Manary is also an experimental artist who has no clue how to write an Author’s Bio, and definitely no idea how to end one.

P.S. He is also a shameless plunderer of pop culture.

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Review: Sir Edric’s Temple by Thaddeus White

“Sir Edric’s Temple” by Thaddeus White

Available on: Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Smashwords
Released on: 30 October 2013

I purchased this book on my own.

Description: When Sir Edric Greenlock, the Hero of Hornska, is summoned to attend the King in the dead of night he fears imminent execution. Committing adultery is frowned upon in King Lawrence’s domains, especially when it’s with Lawrence’s wife. The King, however, has something else in mind. Priceless royal treasures have been stolen, and the King dispatches Sir Edric to retrieve them in a mission that could optimistically be described as suicidal.

Accompanied by his pathologically loyal manservant Dog, the prudish elf Lysandra, and a man called Colin, he must travel to the Unholy Temple to retrieve the royal treasures from a mysterious thief.

Review: This was a far shorter story for White, but that works for the book. It was about what I’ve come to expect from him in over-all enjoyableness, although it was funny–as it was meant to be a comedy, he achieved it, though only for those who like somewhat morbid humor and frequently bawdy quips. As I do, it worked for me. His meandering style remains but I’ve come to enjoy it, and his penchant for funny and unusual words also continues. Rumpy-pumpy, really?

Another solid 4 Fireballs!

4 Fireballs

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Review: “Welcome to the Multiverse (Sorry for the Inconvenience)” by Ira Nayman

Welcome to the Multiverse (Sorry for the Inconvenience) by Ira Nayman. I received this book free in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your own copy at Amazon.

Description: This hilarious science-fiction comedy novel follows the first case for Noomi Rapier, rookie investigator with The Transdimensional Authority – the organisation that regulates travel between dimensions. When a dead body is found slumped over a modified transdimensional machine, Noomi and her more experienced partner, Crash Chumley, must find the dead man’s accomplices and discover what they were doing with the technology. Their investigation leads them to a variety of realities where Noomi comes face-to-face with four very different incarnations of herself, forcing her to consider how the choices she makes and the circumstances into which she is born determine who she is.

Ira Nayman’s new novel is both an hilarious romp through multiple dimensions in a variety of alternate realities, and a gentle satire on fate, ambition and expectation. Welcome to the Multiverse (Sorry for the Inconvenience) will appeal to comedy fans who have been bereft of much good science-fiction fare these last eleven years. Ira’s style is at times surreal, even off-the-wall, with the humour flying at you from unexpected angles; he describes it as fractal humour. Anyone who has read his Alternate Reality News Service stories will know how funny Ira is. The characters we meet from around the multiverse deserve to become firm favourites with all fans of science fiction comedy.

Review: This not being the first piece I’ve read from this author, I feel that I have the authority with which to make the following statement: Ira Nayman is, without a doubt, totally insane. I mean, really bug-nuts crazy. How could anyone in their right mind, after all, come up with the stuff he puts into his stories?! The answer: no one, which is why he’s obviously not in his right mind.

This is what I’m saying.

As such, you can imagine that his stories are about the same. And they are. But they’re really funny, which is what makes them pretty awesome. But you know what? It also makes them kind of hard to properly describe! I can’t exactly tell you about the story. You sort of just have to read and experience the machine-gun fire satirical bullets yourself.

It’s very dry, wry, sarcastic, sardonic, tongue-in-cheek, straight-forward and convoluted. It loves to play in the not-so-politically correct/but-not-so-bad-either waters. The characters interact with the narrator and accompanying literary devices, and always very amusingly. As are the narrator’s interactions with you, the reader.

Noomi and Crash aren’t the most three-dimensional characters in the world, but they’re not flat either. You just don’t dive too deep into them, but that’s okay. I think it would take away from the fun of the story if we did. There’s a plot and characters. It’s all there, and it’s good, but the story itself really is the world and all the other worlds: an infinite number of them.

I’m not really sure what else to say. I guess you’ll just have to experience it for yourself. ;-) The only reason it’s not getting a five is cause while it’s very enjoyable, it’s not the kind of story that grabs me by the throat and smacks me around, which are the types that get 5 Fireballs, but it’s close… 4.5 Fireballs!

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