Sunday, June 30, 2013

Kim McMahill Is Visiting Today. I'm Reviewing Her Book, Desperate Dreams

Kim grew up in Wyoming, which is where she developed her sense of adventure and love of the outdoors. Since leaving Wyoming she has enjoyed many opportunities to see the world and has lived amid some of America’s most stunning landscapes. Kim started out writing non-fiction, but her passion for exotic world travel, outrageous adventures, stories of survival and happily-ever-after endings soon drew her into a world of romantic suspense. Along with writing adventure novels Kim has also published over eighty travel and geographic articles, and contributed to a travel anthology and cookbook.

To most, America has become a safe, orderly, predictable place, but to a few, like Nyla and Ethan, it has become a prison. Inseparable since childhood, but now faced with being torn apart, they are determined to change the course of their future.

As Nyla struggles to understand her deepening feelings for Ethan, they embark on a desperate journey for freedom through the inhospitable Big Bend region of Texas. With their two best friends in tow they attempt a daring border crossing to chase a dream few would understand and only the most courageous will dare to challenge the new order and embrace forbidden love.

The sounds made the hairs on the back of Nyla’s neck tingle. She couldn’t tell how close the predators roamed, but as her mind replayed the scene from the highway through the abandoned towns she decided any distance was too close. She would never forget the hunger in the predator’s eyes, the gleam of their long teeth or the absolute lack of fear the wolves had shown for their passing vehicle. Now, they didn’t even have her tiny car for protection.

Nyla stayed close to Ethan as she cautiously walked on, picking up anything that could serve as a weapon for self-defense. She hoped the two wolves they kept hearing were the extent of the pack. The size of the group they had seen on the road would be impossible to escape from or fight off if an encounter occurred.

Another wolf returned the call and the sounds grew closer. Nyla had read that the animals’ sense of smell was highly evolved and feared their group had already been detected and determined to be an acceptable meal.

“I think they caught our scent, they sounds are getting closer,” Nyla said.

“Just keep walking and don’t talk,” Ethan said as he listened to the howling. His mind wandered back to the highway and he felt true fear for the first time in his life.

Soon the howling stopped and the silence made Nyla even more nervous. She could almost feel eyes following their movements. She heard a rustle up ahead and huddled close behind Ethan as he flicked on his light. Two large four legged bodies whirled around and disappeared into the brush.

“Here.” Nyla handed each of her friends a sturdy stick about four feet long.

“If they come at us, don’t turn your back to them. If there’s only two maybe we can hold them off,” Ethan added as he took the stick from Nyla’s hand.

Nyla watched as Ethan quickly extracted a knife from his pocket and secured the blade to the end of the stick, making a spear. Just as he finished wrapping the string and tying it off, Nyla spotted the two shapes re-emerging from the shadows, this time from behind.

“Behind us,” she hissed as the group whirled around to meet their enemy.

Ethan tried to shine his light in their eyes, but this time the wolves kept their eyes diverted and began circling the group.

“Huddle up, backs together,” Ethan whispered.

The wolves paced slowly and methodically, moving in closer with each circuit around the group, spacing themselves so the potential meal was sandwiched between them.

“Claire and Jared, stay focused on the animal closest to you no matter what you hear from us. Nyla and I will concentrate on this one. If we lose our focus on one, it will expose our flank. That’s probably their plan—one strikes and the other attacks from behind when everyone’s attention is diverted.”

The moment the words were out, a wolf lunged at Claire, hitting her shoulder...

My Review:
Nyla Ward and Ethan Brand have been friends since childhood. But Nyla’s family remembers a time when there was freedom. No monitors, no surveillance and the government wasn’t continually watching, maybe even controlling, everyone’s actions. There were rumors of drugs in their prepared meals to keep them calm and Nyla well knew what happened if you went against the government, her own mother sat behind the grey walls of the Facility.

Ethan and his friend Jared were coming of age. They would soon pass their required studies and be sent away. Where? No one knew, but rumors swirled against what the government told them. The men were sent to the east coast or to the military. But they never came back.

Doomed to a society of oppression, Nyla and her girlfriend Claire along with Ethan and Jared decide to make a break for it. Under the cloak of darkness and into an impending storm, they left on a chaotic journey through the Big Ben Region of Texas.

Boarder guards awaited them but freedom stood within reach. Will they make it before they’re captured? Will the two young couples find happiness in Mexico where all that was forbidden in America, including love, would be a possibility?

Once again Kim McMahill delivers a chilling portrayal in Desperate Dreams. As I read the book, I could see how easily headlines and technology in place today could easily turn into the unsettling future of tomorrow. Another real page turner. Well done!

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Penelope Marzec's Daddy Wanted

Penelope Marzec grew up along the Jersey shore. She started reading romances at a young age and fell hopelessly in love with happy endings. Two of her inspirational romances won EPIC’s eBook Award and another was a finalist in that contest. Her paranormal, Irons In The Fire, was a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award.

My Review: 
Grace was afraid her roommate, Elyse, would never be able to care for her baby, she couldn’t even care for her turtle, but Grace had a plan to help Elyse out in the husband department.

Russell Thrope, their upstairs neighbor, would work out nicely for Elyse, but it seemed he had plans of his own and for Grace, not Elyse. But he wanted a strictly business deal with Grace. He needed an emergency date.

Through a series of unfortunate incidents and calamities the threesome face catastrophes in life and love. Will Grace find a Daddy for Elyse’s baby since Aidan, the father, has fled the scene? Can Grace stick by her principals and find someone to love or will she step aside so Elyse can find the right man.

Penelope Marzec writes a delightful story. Her character, Grace, seems to get into one incident after another and I couldn’t put the book down because I had to know if Grace and Elyse would be all right in the end. Daddy Wanted is a cute love story.

Visit her website at for more information.

Daddy Wanted available from and

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Shaken Blessings by Celeste Charlene

Sandra Calbrin arrives in Africa after a military coup – with her designer jeans and high heeled shoes – to check on the five orphan girls she’s sponsored and collect shea nuts for her line of beauty products. The trip would only last a few weeks, but little did she know she’d be there almost a year and escape with only a carry-on bag and her life.

Sandy had left nursing behind a decade ago to build her multi-million dollar health spa business, but a pastor convinces her to vaccinate the African children in the wake of an epidemic. She is shocked by the practices used to feed and bathe the babies and she fears the parents will only bring them harm. While at a hospital, she meets a baby girl whose mother had died. The child has been abandoned since and the villagers are sure the child is cursed.

The hospital official lets Sandy take the child who she names Blessing. Sandy wants to show the local parents how to care for their children using Blessing as an example. Sandy breaks local taboos and is confused by their unusual customs and is accused of prostitution then Blessing’s father demands money from Sandy for his child.

The military officers continually harass Sandy telling her she is under investigation. They make her wait hours to receive the proper stamps to allow her passage among the villages where she treats the babies and the locals. When rebels try to take over the country, Sandy and Blessing are in grave danger.

Sandy realizes through her ordeals that she is strengthened in the Lord and must obey his will to survive, even if it means giving up everything that was once so precious to her.

Celeste Charlene writes a powerful story of growth and redemption. The situations in Africa are frighteningly real and found the main character in one dilemma after another, but rescued through God’s saving grace.

Celeste was a medical missionary for almost thirty years in West Africa. She has been a public speaker at missions conferences and in churches sharing her experiences. Shaken Blessings is her debut novel.

Visit her on the web at

You may purchase Shaken Blessings from Amazon    Prism Book Group or other fine online stores.