A Matter of Grave Concern

Grave concern


About the Book:

When Maximillian Wilder joins the notorious body snatchers known as the London Supply Company, the last thing on his mind is love. He’s worried about Madeline, his vanished half sister, who was last seen in the company of Jack Hurtsill, the gang’s conscienceless leader. Raiding graveyards, stealing corpses, and selling them to medical colleges as dissection material is dirty work, but he has to gain Jack’s trust. He’s determined to find out what happened to Madeline—and to bring Jack to justice if she was murdered for the coin her body could bring.

Beautiful, spirited Abigail Hale, daughter of the surgeon at Aldersgate School of Medicine, detests the challenging, hard-bargaining Max. But she must procure the necessary specimens if she is to save the college and her father’s career. She believes she is going to be successful—until Jack double-crosses her. Then she’s swept into a plot of danger and intrigue, one where Max must intervene and protect her, no matter the risk to his plan . . . or his heart.

My Thoughts:

Ms. Novak has done it again!  From the very first sentence I just knew this was going to end with my house being a mess and burnt leftovers for dinner!  I could not stop reading this intriguing historical romance!  The details were written so well that I felt dirty, like I needed to brush my teeth, or that I had encountered a corpse myself, or even worse, Jack at one point or another.  The resurrection business certainly lent itself to a great storyline, one I will not soon forget.

Abigail and Max were so easy to love.  The way that Novak was able to bring these two together happened so seamlessly and so believable.  Abby may have been a bit naive and innocent when it came to men, but she was able to hold her own in a man’s world.  And Max?  Oh my word!  Another historical hunk brought to life by Ms. Novak!  While the characters stood out, they did so while amplifying the entire story.  I really enjoy Ms. Novak’s writings, it is very easy to fall into her stories and forget where you are, especially her historicals!

One quote from the book that reminds me of a lost love:

“You fill my mind, dominate my thoughts.  Even when I tell myself not to think of you, I can’t help it.”

It’s those encounters with love that fill our minds, our hearts and never truly leave.  That is the craving that lingers after reading A MATTER OF GRAVE CONCERN.

About the Author:

brenda novak(from Brenda’s site)

“I caught my day-care provider drugging my children with cough syrup and Tylenol to get them to sleep while I was away,” Brenda says. “It was then that I decided that I needed to do something from home.”

However, writing was the last profession she expected to undertake. In fact, Brenda swears she didn’t have a creative bone in her body. In school, math and science were her best subjects, and when it came time to pick a major in college, she chose business.

Abandoning her academic scholarship to Brigham Young University at the age of 20 in order to get married and start a family, Brenda dabbled in commercial real estate, then became a loan officer.

“When I first got the idea to become a novelist, it took me five years to teach myself the craft and finish my first book,” Brenda admits. “I learned how to write by reading what others have written. The best advice for any would-be author: read, read, read….”

Brenda sold her first book, and the rest is history. Many of her novels have won or placed in contests such as the National Reader’s Choice, the Bookseller’s Best, the Write Touch, the Award of Excellence and the Beacon Award for Published Authors.

Brenda and her husband, Ted, live in Sacramento and are the proud parents of five children—three girls and two boys. She juggles her writing career with her children’s softball and soccer games, field trips, carpool runs and homework sessions.

When she’s not spending time with her family or writing, Brenda is usually working on her annual fundraiser for diabetes research—an on-line auction held at her website May 1st – May 31st. Her youngest son, Thad, has diabetes, and Brenda is determined to help him and others like him. She also enjoys traveling, watching sporting events and biking–she rides an amazing 20 miles every day!


I hope you all enjoy A MATTER OF GRAVE CONCERN!


Cici ♥

October 7th, 2014 Books 0 Comment

Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses


About the Book:

The Tiger’s Wife meets A History of Love in this inventive, lushly imagined debut novel that explores the intersections of family secrets, Jewish myths, the legacy of war and history, and the bonds between sisters. (Ecco/HarperCollins, July 2014.)

When Eli Burke dies, he leaves behind a mysterious notebook full of stories about a miracle worker named the White Rebbe and the enigmatic Angel of Losses, guardian of the lost letter of the alphabet that completes the secret name of God.

Years later, Eli’s granddaughter Marjorie stumbles upon his notebook and everything she thought she knew about her grandfather—and her family—comes undone. To learn the truth about Eli’s origins and unlock the secrets he kept, she embarks on an odyssey that takes her deep into the past, from the medieval Holy Land to eighteenth-century Venice and Nazi-occupied Lithuania. What she finds leads her back to present-day New York City and her estranged sister, Holly, whom she must save from the consequences of Eli’s past.

Interweaving history, theology, and both real and imagined Jewish folktales, The Angel of Lossesis a family story of what lasts, and of what we can—and cannot—escape.

My Thoughts:

It isn’t very often that a book stays on my mind for long after I’ve read it.  That’s not to say I haven’t read some touching, intriguing, captivating books, but that it isn’t often they spur continual thoughts.  When you read so many books in a week/month, you have a continuous stream of stories, so the book can’t really stick with you for too long.  THE ANGEL OF LOSSES, stuck with me a little longer than most.  I spent a little more time thinking about the characters and the story itself, but I also spent some time evaluating myself, my thoughts, and my beliefs.   Having some of my own family drama, this debut seems to captivate the truth and realism that plaques sisters when there is discord.

One of my favorite parts of the book was near the end, I feel as though I must share it with you:

“Only the Almighty can bring the redemption, Mannasseh says.  

We must hope only that he hears our prayers and is merciful.  

No man can cross the river until that day.

     And no man knows if today is that appointed day, Yode’a said.  And no angel, either…”

This story is a good mixture of family drama, mystery and myth.  It will leave you wanting to go explore your own family journals and history and look for the story you may have missed.

About the Author:

Stephanie FeldmanStephanie Feldman grew up in Philadelphia and studied writing at the University of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts, and Barnard College. She lived in New York City for 10 years before returning to the Philadelphia area with her husband and daughter.The Angel of Losses is her first novel.

You can follow Stephanie on Twitter and a few other places, and write to her at sbf@stephaniefeldman.com.

 (from http://stephaniefeldman.com)


tlc logo

October 3rd, 2014 Books 2 Comments

Deep In The Meadows Author Interview

Today I am so excited to share an interview with Lisa Cronkhite, author of DEEP IN THE MEADOWS.  I enjoy getting to know a little bit about authors, I always feel it gives me an edge when reading their books, like I know something that others don’t.  :)


Here’s our little Q & A session:

C:  Why did you begin writing?  

L:  To shed light on mental illness.

C:  What process do you use when beginning a book?  (Storyboard, just sit and write, outline, etc)

L:  I just sit and write it out. Yes, I think of it beforehand, but the guts of it comes out in the writing.

C:  Is there a character that you’ve created that you have a special bond with or that you can really relate to?

L:  Yes, My Milly/Amelia character in Disconnected. She suffers from a split personality and with the mental illness I suffer from, I       think that best relates to it.

C:  If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?

L:  Walking my dog, listening to music, hanging out with my family.

C:  Aside from writing, what other talents or special gifts do you have?

L:  I can draw and paint pretty good.

C:  Which characters are the most fun to create, good or evil?

L:  The ones that have a lot of spunk and energy and a great outlook on life.

C:  If you could be any character from a book, who would you choose?

L:  Definitely, Blake Stone. He’s the greatest. He’s a strong person, he accepts things gracefully and fully understands there is a reason for everything.

C:  Puppies or kitties?


C:  Chocolate or vanilla?

L:  Chocolate!

That’s it folks!  Thank you, Lisa, for taking the time to give us all a little glimpse at you!  :)

More…About the Author:
Midwest Author Lisa M. Cronkhite’s love for writing started when she was a teen, journaling of her torrid romance with her first boyfriend then and now husband of over two decades. She picked up writing again after her first bipolar episode and psychotic break when her doctor recommended it as a coping skill. Once again, with pencil in hand, Lisa dove herself into crafting poetry. Through the years, Lisa has published her poems in print and online magazines such as Poetry Repairs, Grey Sparrow Press, Sacramento Poetry Center, Poetry Salzburg Review and many more. Lisa also has short stories in magazines like Suspense Magazine and YA Fiction magazine Suddenly Lost in Words.
Her novels include Dreaming a Reality, Demon Girl and Deep in the Meadows. Disconnected is her fourth novel. Lisa is currently working on her next novel, Purple Haze.

ditm coverTitle: Deep in the Meadows
Author: Lisa M. Cronkhite
Genre: Mystery/Suspense Thriller
Pages: 140

Bianca “Bee” Thompson’s brother, Jimmy, has been dead for ten months, yet she still feels his presence lingering. And one question haunts her: Was Jimmy’s death an accident?

Probing into the events on the night of Jimmy’s death, Bee hears strange voices. The voices lead her to a blood-splattered room, a terrifying threat, and a deadly trap. Is Bee on the trail of her brother’s murderer, or is she entangled in a totally different and much more diabolical plot?

ISBN-13    978-1-61603-030-8
ISBN-10    978-1-61603-030-5

Order Now!

October 3rd, 2014 Everyday, everything 0 Comment

Books to Movies Giveaway Hop

books to movies hop 2014[1][1]



Thanks to Bookhounds and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer for hosting the Books To Movies Giveaway Hop!  For this giveaway I am going to give away two of my favorites.  Enter in the Rafflecopter form below to win.tokillamockingbirdnotebook

Open to U.S. residents only.  Must be 13 years or older to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
<!– end LinkyTools script –>

Be sure to stop in and enter the Blog Forward Challenge Giveaway!


October 1st, 2014 Everyday, everything 13 Comments
ad ad ad

Flickr Images

flickrRSS probably needs to be setup

View All Photos

Google Connect

Melissa Foster
The Well-Read Wife
I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
The Blog Dare on Bloggy Moms


Women Online
Colleen's bookshelf: to-read

Of Mice and MenAnimal FarmWhere the Sidewalk EndsThe Great GatsbyThe Catcher in the RyeTo Kill a Mockingbird

More of Colleen's books »
Colleen Cook's to-read book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists