Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Indiana Belle by John A Heldt

Providence, Rhode Island, 2017. When doctoral student Cameron Coelho, 28, opens a package from Indiana, he finds more than private papers that will help him with his dissertation. He finds a photograph of a beautiful society editor murdered in 1925 and clues to a century-old mystery. Within days, he meets Geoffrey Bell, the "time-travel professor," and begins an unlikely journey through the Roaring Twenties. Filled with history, romance, and intrigue, INDIANA BELLE follows a lonely soul on the adventure of a lifetime as he searches for love and answers in the age of Prohibition, flappers, and jazz.

I've had the pleasure of reading some great independently-published books this year and Indiana Belle is one of the best. Time travel is one of my favorite subjects in fiction, so I was excited when I was asked for a review. These kinds of stories can be tricky and sometimes overly complicated. But Indiana Belle far exceeded my expectations.

Like all time travel stories, Indiana Belle started with the setup, the discovery of the time travel capability, and the character's desire to go to a particular time. The setup here was necessary but quick. As soon as Cameron stepped into 1925, I couldn't put the book down.

John A. Heldt writes in a fluid prose with easy and natural conversation. I felt the story moved quickly because he didn't get bogged down in details. Few time travel novels can boast the same.

Indiana Belle is one in a series of American Journey books by Heldt. However, it's a stand-alone novel so readers don't need to read the first two to enjoy this one. I will be checking out the rest of the series when I get a chance.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Kindle Countdown Deal: Indiana Belle

I highly recommend adding this time-travel romance to your summer reading list. You have one more day to get Indiana Belle by John A. Heldt at the Kindle Countdown price of $0.99. And check back for my five smiles review. I would love to get a dialogue going with our readers about this book. Don't worry about getting it done in time because you won't be able to put it down, either.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Beside the Music by BJ Knapp


Beside the Music is the perfect summer read for anyone who crushed on a rock band in the 80s. What if that rock band showed up at your door today and wanted to live in your house while they recorded their comeback album? Would you say yes? Brenda did. And just as her husband doesn’t think it’s the right time to start a family, it’s definitely not the right time to bring a rock band and their entourage into their home. But it happens anyway.

BJ Knapp’s writing is casual and quick to read. I love her depiction of any former-rock-band-fan’s daydream. Much of the book is about day-to-day life for Brenda, but it’s fun for those of us wishing to live out that fantasy. To anyone who’s never obsessed over a hair band it might get a little tedious.

In summary, I liked the book. I am an admitted recovered glam-band junky (specifically Nelson and Poison), so I had no trouble getting into it. I’ll probably recommend it to my sister. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Here with Me Now by Rebecca Markus


Today I'm pimping my own book because it's my blog and I can do that.

Here with Me Now is the story of Mallory, an awkward teenager who feels ugly and unloved. She imagines daily what it would be like to be in a romantic relationship with her neighbor Kain who happens to be in his mid-twenties. Her adolescent fantasies provide an escape from the reality of junior high school where bullies run amok. 

As Mallory matures and gains confidence in herself, she never loses the idea that she and Kain belong together. Then one day when she's only sixteen, her fantasy becomes reality. She and Kain enter a secret relationship that spells trouble for both of them. 

Here with Me Now is about the self-doubt we face as young girls and how those insecurities influence the choices we make.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Mercy Row Retribution Blog Tour

Nevermind the Furthermore is proud to be today's stop on the Mercy Row Retribution blog tour. Below I've included an excerpt from this historical novel which is the third in a series about a Philadelphia Irish crime family. You can read the full description on Amazon.

            "Gerry, go to the side entrance. If I signal you, kick it in and stop whoever tries to get out," Mike said.
            "Got it," Gerry replied.
            When Gerry was in place, Mike opened the store door and Jake walked in. Mike stayed by the door as a lookout. The door chimed, telling the proprietor someone had entered. 
            "Be right with you," Morris said from his office behind the store.
            As he walked through the door, he saw Jake and panicked. He turned and ran, trying to get to the back door before Jake could get around the counter.
            Jake yelled, "Joe where you going. We just want to talk."
            Mike signaled Gerry and Gerry kicked the door twice before it broke. He pushed the door open with force and it hit something and bounced back. He pushed again and ran into the office. Joe Morris's ample body was lying on the floor and he was holding his nose as the blood ran through his fingers. Mike ran in just behind Jake.
            "Mike, Gerry pick him up and put him in that chair," Jake said.
            "You pick him up. I got a bad back," Mike said.
            Jake motioned to Gerry and each took an arm and pulled Morris to a standing position. They plopped him in the office chair. "What the fuck is this all about," Morris asked in a muffled voice as he was still trying to stop the blood with his hands.
            Jake took a clean hanky from his back pocket and threw it at Morris. "Here, put your head back and hold this to you nose," Jake said and then grabbed Morris's little finger on his right hand and snapped it. Morris screamed and blood from his nose splattered onto Jake.
            "God damn it, Gerry. Did you have to break his nose? Now he ruined this suit," Jake said over Morris's screams.
            It took a few minutes for Morris to stop yelling and crying. When he did, Mike said calmly, "Joe, you know why we're here. Just tell me where the money is and Jake won't have to break the rest of your fingers."
            "I don't… I don't know what you are talking about," Morris yelled.
            Jake took Morris's left little finger and snapped it. Morris screamed again. "God damn it, Joe, you took money from Mercy. She uses that money to feed hungry families and get kids medical treatment. What the fuck's wrong with you?" Jake yelled.
            Morris was crying again. "Where is the money?" Mike asked.
            "By the cash register on the floor. Loose floor board," Morris said shuddering from pain.
            Mike looked at Gerry. Gerry walked into the store, pried open the loose board and whistled. "Holy shit," he said aloud. He grabbed a paper bag and filled it with the cash from Joe's hiding place.
            "I got it," Gerry said as he walked over to Mike.
            Mike looked into the bag, pulled some stacks of cash out and said, "Gotta be a hundred k in here." Then he punched Morris in his already broken nose. Morris fell off the chair, balled himself up on the floor. "Son of a bitch," Mike said and kicked Morris in the ass.
            "Take it easy, Mike," Jake said.
            "I'm cool," Mike said as he pulled his .45 and pointed at Morris's head.
            Gerry slowly pushed Mike's arm so the gun pointed to the ceiling and said, "You made a promise to my Mom."
            Mike looked at Gerry for a full minute and then holstered his gun.
            "Gerry, go get the tape and rope," Jake said. When Gerry returned he tied Morris's hands and was about to tie his feet when Mike said," Leave his feet. I'll be damned if I'm carrying him to the car. He can walk."

           Hallman was born in 1944 and raised in the Kensington section of North Philadelphia. Hallman's father was Harry Hallman, Sr., a champion pool player who also owned a poolroom called Circle Billiards, located at Allegheny Avenue and Lee Street in Philadelphia. The younger Hallman spent many hours after school at his father's poolroom and watching his father play in other poolrooms in Philadelphia and New Jersey. The people he met, some belonging to the real K&A Gang, influenced his writing of the Mercy Row series.
After a year of being an apprentice plumber he served four years in the U.S. Air Force, including two tours in South Vietnam as a photographer. His first tour was at Ton Son Nhat Airbase where he processed film shot by U2 Aircraft over North Vietnam and China.  He returned to the same place for his second tour, but processed film shot by U.S. fighter recon aircraft. He is married to Duoc Hallman, whom he met in Vietnam, and has two children, Bill and Nancy, and one grandchild, Ava.
Hallman is a serial entrepreneur who has created several marketing services and digital media companies and continues to work as a marketing consultant. 

Email Hallman at harry@mercyrow.com. Keep informed at www.mercyrow.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mercyrownovel.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Who Left the Cork Out of My Lunch? by Vicki Claflin


Vicki Claflin, writer of the award-winning blog Laugh Lines, has written a fun and informative book about being a woman over fifty. I'm not quite there yet, but I did relate to Claflin's insecurities on aging. Also, Who Left the Cork Out of My Lunch? gave me a valuable look into my not-too-distant future.

Most of the book's chapters are broken down into lists. I love lists. I make them all the time on scraps of paper, lose them, and make them again. That's normal, right?

I laughed through much of the book, which was weird when I was waiting for the end of my daughter's ballet class in a room full of other moms. I couldn't help it because Claflin's humor is spot-on. She's put a comfortable and sisterly spin on getting older. I found myself agreeing on many of her points. Example: One of her pet peeves is tights worn as pants.
"When leggings became hot, apparently people became confused about what actually constitutes pants. Leggings are heavier and more opaque, providing the same coverage as pants, just skinnier. Tights are much less sheer, showing the rest of us your cellulite, your underwear, and your lady bush."
YES! I've been saying this for years. So much this.

I especially enjoyed Chapter 18: The 12 Stupidest Love Songs. OMG YES! I'm also one to over-analyze song lyrics to the point where they drive me nuts every time I hear them. Just ask any of my friends. Go ahead. I'll wait.

I recommend Who Left the Cork Out of My Lunch? to any woman who needs a reason to laugh at her aging self. It's a humorous memoir punctuated with quotes from women about aging. And, yes. I do realize that I've said I don't review memoirs and this is the third memoir I've reviewed. I don't even know what to say for myself. People just keep sending me good ones.