Saturday, November 30, 2013

Urban Hunters Series

Author: Gary Taaffe
Genre: Teen/Young Adult
Pinky's rating (out of 5): 5 dragonflies

Book Description from Book 1 - Four Small Stones
Billy’s gotta find some girls, or he and his brothers face extinction, the last of their kind living a Stone Age life in the Australian bush. The spirits choose Billy to see what he can find in the big city. But he’s never even seen a girl before and all he’s got to wear is a loincloth. His dad wants a fat one to keep him warm in winter and his oldest brother Mallee, wants six! No one knows what Pindaari wants.

Before he goes he must pull off the impossible and earn his brother’s respect, outsmarting them at their own game with a stinking dead kangaroo, a flooded cave crawling with bats and a quartz crystal.

Could life get any more difficult? Why yes it could, Billy could fall in love ...

My Thoughts
When I was contacted by Gary Taaffe to read and review his Urban Hunters Series of books I was interested to see what was in the marketplace for this age bracket that didn't involve sparkly vampires.

Let me just say I was very impressed.
This series follows Billy an indigenous Australian on his journey into manhood. We are introduced to his family and the elders, and learn what it means to be part of a community.
Gary has managed to blend the beauty of the Australian Outback with a story that is as entertaining as it is informative.
While written for a younger age bracket, adult humour has been included. However it has been written in such a way that what seems like a funny incident to a younger audience, holds an underlying meaning for the adults.
I highly recommend this series to everybody who is interested in reading a beautifully written story.
About The Author
Gary lives in a small coastal town in NSW, Australia. There’s open ocean on one side, a massive saltwater lake on the other and enough virgin bushland in the surrounding areas to lose yourself for a week.
When he’s not writing, Gary’s hunting deer for the freezer or putting around the lake fishing for flathead.
He’s a Toolmaker by trade, a successful inventor and now, a writer. Urban Hunters is the culmination of his inventiveness, his enthusiasm for the outdoors and his fun–filled sense of humour.
Connect with Gary here:
Facebook Author Page Gary Taaffe-
Twitter @Urban_Hunters-



Author: Cara Faith Donovan
Published: 26 November 2013
Genre: Romance
Pinky's rating (out of 5): 5 dragonflies

Book Description
Can a virgin be a whore? I guess it depends on your definition of the word. Working a minimum wage job, I was struggling to save up money for college. Things were tight but I was managing to scrape by. At least I had a roof over my head, right? Wrong. My mother was moving on to husband number five and decided to sell the house without giving me notice. The bank took care of that with a thirty day grace period.

Taylor Ross walked into the coffee shop where I worked and offered me the perfect solution. His father was a regular customer and apparently thought highly enough of my service to mention me in his will. I couldn't just take money but when offered me a job with a great salary including room and board, how could I refuse? I didn't know at the time just what services Taylor thought I'd offered his father.

He wanted me to embrace my inner whore and in return my financial worries would be over. There was only one problem. I had no idea what that meant. Taylor was willing to train me, so the only real question was what was I willing to do to have everything my heart desired?

My Thoughts
I loved this book.

The underlying theme and title of this book, is woven throughout the story in many different contexts, and before you think you are in for some hot erotica, you aren't.
The author has done a wonderful job building the characters and making them real. I truly felt I was Laura's best friend and she was telling me all about her experience.  This book is full of emotion and questions that will make you stop and think, 'What would I have done in this situation?'.
Can a Virgin be a Whore?...You will just have to read this book and find out for yourself.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

In the Beginning

Author: London Miller
Published: 16 October 2013
Genre: Romance
Pinky's rating (out of 5): 4 dragonflies

Book Description

Twenty-year-old Lauren Thompson left her small town in Michigan to begin a new life in the Big Apple where no one knows her name or the tragedy that had rocked her family fifteen years prior. With new friends and an intriguing new love interest, starting over is easier than she expected...but Mishca Volkov isn't what he seems. As the son of a Russian Mob boss, he thrives in a world of chaos and fear, earning the title of Bratva Captain through blood and pain. 

When the two cross paths, lines blur and passions ignite, bringing them closer than they could ever imagine. Until secrets from the past threaten to tear them apart. Can they fight past their demons...or were they doomed by fate before they ever met. 

My Thoughts
When I started reading this book, I wasn't sure what to expect. 

We are introduced right from the start to some very strong characters, and the author has managed to build on this very well. 

I was able to work out the connection between our leading characters quite early on in the story, but that did not detract from my reading pleasure.

While the author has woven Russian words and phrases throughout the story, as I didn't understand them (and didn't really feel like entering them into Google translator) they were lost on me and I skipped over them, though for the most part I was able to understand the emotion behind what was supposedly being said.

What let this book down in my rating was the lack of editorial quality. That aside, I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Blog Tour - The Child of Denys

Genre: Young Adult/Middle Grade Fantasy Fiction
Publication Date: 10/31/2012


When Katie finds a cat hiding in her mother's garden, she has no idea the kinds of adventure that await her.

 A new kid appears in school at the same time Katie's friends and family begin having nightmares, and she begins to have amazingly vivid dreams. In her dreams this new cat speaks to her, telling of darkness that has invaded the Dream Realm and encouraging her to begin a journey to help save not only the Dream Realm but the real world as well.

Max, the new kid in school, has a dog that seemed to adopt him. Just as the cat had claimed Katie. Max's mom recently died in a car accident and his father had a very difficult time dealing with her death. That left Max alone and without any friends other than his new dog.

Katie, her family and her friends learn that a simple, caring gesture is sometimes all it takes to change the course of the world. Join Katie and Max as they learn the true power of our dreams and the importance of our friendships.
Back in the classroom, Mrs. Daily had us work on writing.  “I’d like you all to try writing a creative story.  We will work on the stories for the next few weeks.  Today I’d like you to write down some ideas for your stories.”  Mrs. Daily explained.  “You don’t have to actually write the story, just jot down some ideas and you can begin to weave the ideas together as your story develops.”As I began to write down ideas, I recalled the dream I had the night before.  I wrote about the horses, the palace and the book.  I also wrote about Dennis, and how she could talk.  Next to me, Max was writing as quickly as I was.  I could hear his pencil as he scratched words in dark slashes across his paper.  I tried to read what he was writing, but his slouching shoulder blocked my view of his paper.
Later on the bus, Tasha and I talked about the stories we were writing.  I told her about the dream I had the night before, about the cat I had found and about how my dad was making me look for her owner.  “Maybe he is right.”  Tasha said.  “If she is that special of a cat she probably does have someone looking for her.”  Frustrated with Tasha, I asked “Didn’t you hear what I was telling you?  She TALKS to me.  She told me she doesn’t have an owner.”  Tasha didn’t believe me.

Almost as if she was reading my mind, Phoebe said “Go child, eat this and nothing will harm you.”  She handed me what looked like a small stone.“This is just a rock!” I argued.  “We do not have time for arguing.”  Phoebe said impatiently.  “Eat and you will be fine.”  Fine?  How could I be fine?  Feeling like I had no other choice I began to wade into the water.
As I entered the water I put the small stone in my mouth.  On first taste it was as sour as a lemon.  I felt my tongue dry in response to the acidic flavor.
I began to chew the stone, and the sour taste began to change into a delicate, fruity flavor.  It was a flavor I had never tasted before, yet seemed so familiar.  It was like everything good I had ever eaten was combined into one momentary taste.  As I swallowed the last bit of the stone I felt an odd warm sensation in my head.
I braced myself for the cold I expected, but found the water was actually warm.  Not quite as warm as the water I run for my bath, but certainly not cold.
Wading deeper into the water I felt strange creatures brushing up against my legs.  “Do not fear, Child.”  Phoebe yelled from the shore. “If you are not afraid they will not harm you.”  ‘Don’t be afraid’ I thought, ‘Yeah right; they aren’t the ones in the water.’

Buy links:  

Paper back

Kindle -


Google Books


Other links:  Spotlight on Lost to Books Blog  

On my blog:



Nicole Gillette (or Nikki to her friends and family) describes herself as a wife, mother, crafter, gardener, chef and whatever else is needed. She stays busy following her two children around to sporting events, creating amazing art pieces, writing, and running her online business "Creating Amidst Chaos".  (link url

Growing up in Northern Michigan Nikki learned to appreciate spending time outdoors. She enjoys camping, hiking and fishing and collects memories and mementos on her trips to use in scrapbooks, crafts, art projects and writing. Nothing is off limits to use!

As she began to explore different art techniques her friends and family encouraged her to teach lessons on scrapbooking and mixed media art. As a result she developed a series of written tutorials that are now available in e-book format.

In addition to the crafting tutorials she has written children's books that are engaging and entertaining for children and adults as well. Most of the inspiration for her writing come from the wonder she sees in the eyes of her children as they explore our world.

Nikki ensures us that as a 'Jack-of-all-Trades' you can be sure of only one thing. As time goes by she will develop and change so you can expect her projects and writings to do the same. 
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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Snowdrops Wilt At Dawn - The Demonic Series

Author: Maree Ward-Russell
Published: 3 October 2013
Genre: Paranormal/Romance
Pinky's Rating (out of 5): 5 dragonflies

Book Description
They're weak, he thought bitterly. I hate the weak. I'm not weak. I'll show them – I'll show them all!

A white-faced boy tromped begrudgingly down a hillside stomping snowdrops into the frozen ground. In the nearby woods, black mist swirled mysteriously at the base of a large fir tree, as two figures vanished as quietly as they had come. Before the roses, before the dusk came a time of innocence and laughter.

Nestled quietly in Washington State, the town of Wenatchee is where Lucas Bevan moved when he was four. Living with his mother and a stepfather who inflicts misery, Lucas has the most depressing existence a teen could have - apart from his Becky.

Then along comes Marcus - streetwise and guarded. He gives Lucas just the hope he needs. But Marcus has a secret with unimaginable consequences.

Snowdrops Wilt at Dawn is another instalment in the Demonic series. Bitter, twisted and gripping it shows how easily you can be drawn in!

My Thoughts
After first meeting Marcus in Roses at Dusk, I couldn't wait to see what he got up to in Snowdrops Wilt at Dawn, and lets just say that he is as dark and mysterious as ever.
The amazing Maree Ward-Russell has managed to snag this readers attention right from the first words.
We are drawn into the misery that is Lucas's life and you feel for him and hope that things get better. Then his world is torn apart, or is that put back together, when he meets Marcus. 
We are  taken on an emotional roller coaster ride, as Lucas, and Becky try to put the puzzle together, but there is always just a little bit missing, and some things just aren't what they seem.
We are given just enough detail to keep the story moving forward, without spoiling the progression towards an ending that will leave you totally torn.
I can't wait to see what will come next in The Demonic Series.

Friday, November 1, 2013


Author: C Reynolds Keller
Published: 9 September 2013
Genre: Action/Thriller
Pinky's Rating (out of 5): 4 dragonflies

Book Description
Thomas March Quinter, 44, is a Cleveland trial lawyer with a love for the law and a thirst for justice. Not long after leaving the safety of one of Cleveland’s white shoe law firms to set up his own shop, he’s approached by a former college classmate, David Bordman, an increasingly mysterious figure whose background since their days at Princeton includes the Navy, the CIA, and the U.S. State Department. Now Bordman offers Quinter a job complete with international travel, adventure and generous pay. The offer extends to Jennifer Milleux, Quinter’s secretary, as well. Soon the pair embark on a journey that will change their lives forever. The picture darkens quickly as events spin out of control. In the United Sates, offices are ransacked, murder strikes, and clear Middle-Eastern connections are made apparent. Internationally, attacks and abductions are standard fare as Quinter and Jennifer pool their efforts to resolve increasingly complicated and threatening questions. Their quest becomes even more difficult as Quinter and Jennifer find themselves labelled suspected killers, and become the objects of a nationwide manhunt. Will they be able to clear their names while simultaneously discovering the reasons for the violence surrounding them? Quinter is determined to do so. His first task, however, will be to keep Jennifer and himself alive.
My Thoughts
While I enjoyed this story, I found it to be very difficult to read in parts, and found myself re-reading passages to fully comprehend who was doing what to whom.
While I don't think this was because the story was poorly written, it was more to do with the fact that there was so much happening in the story line it was hard to keep track of everybody.
The author has been able to paint wonderful descriptions, that at times had me drifting away to places unknown, imagining I am seated near the fountain watching the passing parade.
The underlying plot in this story is very believable and has just the right amount of momentum to keep it moving forward.
This is the debut novel for this author, and I am looking forward to reading more of his work. I believe it will only develop further.

The Healers: Those That Were Hidden

Author: Stephen G. Lonefeather
Genre: Romance
Pinky's Rating (out of 5): 5 dragonflies

Book Description:
THE HEALERS is the second book of Stephen G. Lonefeather's saga that began with SPIRIT DANCE. It is now nine years later when after several years of being plagued by discomforting dreams, twenty year old Gordon sojourns to a windswept mountaintop to cry out for a vision. Inside his medicine wheel the spirit energies of Wakan Tanka answer his pleas in the form of a mysterious set of events that include the visit of a great bear. Their answers however, come in the form of riddles that are beyond his understanding.

***This is often the way of The Great Spirit; to give only a suggestion or an unclear message to the inexperienced mind. This prompts the receiver to seek the council of Sages. After doing so, their walk is always more surefooted.

The counsel Gordon receives sends him on a journey to find his biological family. It is a journey of stumbling blocks, stepping stones, avarice, and goodwill that finally unveils his past and reveals his true purpose in the hoop. Though he is guided by spirit energies from time to time, his altruistic decisions are of his own free will. They in turn promote healing to others that he will never be aware of. This of course is always the hope of the Great Spirit.
My Thoughts
When I finished reading the first book of the series, Spirit Dance, I was interested to know more about this family and their history. We had only been given a glimpse of Gordon's story, and at that time I was left wondering what life had in store for him.
After reading The Healers, I am now left contemplating even more so. What might become of him now that he is older and wiser and has been charged with keeping an unbelievable secret, that has been handed down for many generations.
We are taken with Gordon on his journey of enlightenment and discovery as he learns more about his ancestors, and how his adoption by, and his spiritual connection to Lynn and Andy is so much more than first thought.
Again Stephen has woven a beautiful story with mystery and intrigue, as well as the magic and wonder that is life.
While this is the second book in the series, it has been written in such a way that it can be read and enjoyed as a stand alone book. However this reader recommends that to fully appreciate the wonder that is the Great Spirit, that they be read in sequence.
If you truly believe, it will happen.