Saturday, May 14, 2016

#Book #Review . . .This Too Shall Pass


A “literary tsunami” that is taking the world by storm—already sold in over 30 countries—about one unforgettable woman’s search for a meaningful life Blanca is forty years old and motherless. Shaken by the unexpected death of the most important person in her life, she suddenly realizes that she has no idea what her future will look like.

To ease her dizzying grief and confusion, Blanca turns to her dearest friends, her closest family, and a change of scenery. Leaving Barcelona behind, she returns to Cadaqués on the coast, accompanied by her two sons, two ex-husbands, and two best friends, and makes a plan to meet her married lover for a few stolen moments as well. Surrounded by those she loves most, she spends the summer in an impossibly beautiful place, finding ways to reconnect and understand what it means to truly, happily live on her own terms, just as her mother would have wanted.

A fresh, honest, and ruefully funny story about love, sex, marriage, grief, friendship and parenthood, THIS TOO SHALL PASS is an irresistible novel that is fast becoming an international phenomenon.

M & J’s Review

It took me a moment to wrap my head around this story. I didn’t immediately love it nor did I dislike it. Thankfully, this is a very short read, so I didn’t have to ponder on my feelings for too long. 

I think what bothered me most about Blanca is she reminds me of what I may be like when my mother passes. I can’t imagine Blanca’s pain because I haven’t lived it yet, but I damn sure am not ready to embark down that road any time soon. She and her mother were extremely close. Blanca really is floating through life and putting on a show of strength, when in actuality, she’s falling to pieces inside. She’s really lost and while she’s trying to find her way through her painful grief, she begins to slowly discover what is most important to her.

While Blanca may appear somewhat normal to her family and friends, she knows she’s an imposter among the living. To go on holiday with your two ex-husbands, two of your closest friends, and two sons, you know something can’t possibly be right about this scenario—destination coast of Cadaqués. And whom other does she decide to meet up with is her lover of many years. How this woman could keep a straight face is beyond my comprehension, but one thing I’ll say about Blanca, she lived her life as she saw fit regardless as to what her family and friends thought. In fact, her mother encouraged her to be her own woman, so I’m sure her mother was proud.

Unfortunately, for me, I can’t say I share the same enthusiasm as the synopsis suggests. In fact, I found the story to be a little boring. But I appreciated Blanca’s voice while speaking aloud in her mind to her mother. The secrets that only she and her mom held. Her lover, two ex-husbands, friends and children were totally oblivious to this fact. It’s through her thoughts the reader gets to meet her mom and I found that to be very touching and moving. What Blanca was actually experiencing was a grief meltdown, but she isn’t fully aware of it yet, but eventually it all comes together for her in the end. 

Mello & June gives This Too Shall Pass three stars. Busquets writing is brilliant and smooth. Her ease of storytelling opens the reader’s mind. The story is short and one that is light and airy. This isn’t a bad read by any means, it just wasn’t for my tastes. If you have a few hours to spare, this would be a great read to take while traveling on a short road trip or heading to the beach. The book goes on sale Tuesday, May 24, 2016 wherever books are sold. Please pick up a copy. Happy Reading!

Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

Are YOU Insured?

Friday, May 13, 2016

#Author #Interview. . .Jonathan's Shield

Proudly Presents. . .A Book Spotlight
Featuring Author, Channing Turner

Jonathan’s Shield

By Channing Turner

Genre: Biblical Historical

Beral's only goal is to serve loyally as Jonathan's shield bearer and protect his prince through whatever battles may come. But Jonathan needs a friend as well, a man he can trust while navigating the precarious footing of his father's court. Being that friend puts Beral's life in danger and stretches his loyalty to the breaking point. For what Jonathan wants is to do Yahweh's will, whether that be through defying his increasingly paranoid father, King Saul, or supporting the aspirations of young David, whom Jonathan believes is the rightful heir to the throne.

As he competes with David for the hand of the king's daughter, Beral struggles to hold true to his loyalties, even while he watches King Saul descend into madness. 

If Yahweh withdraws his protective hand, Beral and his men will be all that stand before their gathering enemies. Only one thing is certain: Beral's fate, as well as the future of Israel, is tied to the virtue of their king, and Saul's honor has long since fled.

Author Bio:

A son of the South, Channing Turner grew up in Arkansas and Louisiana before graduating from Louisiana State University in Psychology. He did graduate work in marine biology and became an estuarine biologist along the Texas coast. After retiring from the petrochemical industry where he worked in Louisiana and Montana as a laboratory analyst, he managed the 2010 US Census in Montana and northern Wyoming. He now lives in eastern Washington with his wife, Barb.

Channing served in the army and was discharged as an Armor captain. Reading and writing are his sedentary pursuits, but he also enjoys riding his Tennessee Walker in the Blue Mountains of Washington and Oregon.


1. How did you come to write Jonathan’s Shield?

I was in a Bible class on the Old Testament a long time ago—at least ten years or so. We came across this little-known story in 1st Samuel in which Prince Jonathan, King Saul's eldest son and heir to the throne, climbs a hill to attack a Philistine outpost. He routs the enemy and wins the battle for Israel. He was accompanied only by a loyal shield bearer who is never named and never heard about again. I couldn't get that anonymous shield bearer out of my head. I thought he deserved a name and a story. 

2. What do you lend to the literary world that other authors do not? 

Not so much. I am basically a blue collar guy with a little education. If I had to compare my life with those of some better known writers, I'd have to say I feel a kinship with Jack London or Louis L'Amour. They worked at a variety of jobs that had nothing to do with books before they turned to writing. Me too. 

3. What challenges did you face writing Jonathan’s Shield

Mostly the challenge was to take this seriously and not to just dabble at it. It’s hard to sit your butt down in a chair and stare at a computer screen every day, especially if you’re just thinking of it as a hobby. I recall that when I hit around 30,000 words it began to sink in that I was actually writing a novel. 

There was also a lot of research for this book. Sometimes I thought I was working on an anthropology thesis. 

Since I’m a believing Christian, Jonathan’s Shield presented a unique challenge for me. It would be R rated if it were a movie. I debated with myself about putting in some of the sex and violence, but I figured the Bible is already full of that kind of action. I only added detail. 

It’s been important to me that I follow the story accurately and with respect without going full blown graphic. I suppose readers will have the final say on whether or not I pulled it off. 

4. What type of books do you enjoy reading? 

I love historical fiction. And I still like westerns. The rest of my library would have some military stories, mysteries, thrillers, and a little bit of fantasy stuff. 

5. What steps do you take to prepare for the writing process? 

I can’t think of any zen-like procedure I go through to get ready to write. I did do a lot of reading on ancient times when I was writing Jonathan’s Shield. Sometimes I would look up and realize I had spent half the night reading about some aspect of Biblical times that had nothing to do with the story. It was just interesting. 

6. What is the hardest part about being an author? 

It’s a solitary pursuit. If you can join a writer’s group of some kind, that is a great help. 

Also the marketing. I never knew you had to do so much after a book is out. If you think finding a publisher/agent for your book is hard, wait until you start to market it. 

7. What is a typical day like for you? 

I’m retired so I can pretty much do what I like. My wife and I stay so busy with our various interests and grandkids that I often say that I should go back to work so I can get some rest. Five days a week I go to the Y in the morning to work out or do aerobics. Coffee with the boys on Wednesday (All of whom are amazed that I wrote something. They didn’t even know I could read.) I ride my horse about three times a week and sometimes do trail rides or mounted orienteering on the weekends. 

Most of my writing is done at night. I did shift work for years, and I have no trouble staying up late. 

8. What other interests do you have besides writing? 

Well I already mentioned my horse. I’ve had Eddie for fourteen years now. We still don’t like each other but we have a mutual toleration society. He threw me and put me in the hospital for three weeks about five years ago. He’s never apologized either. 

I like to read. I’m a little bit of a political junkie. 

9. How long did it take you to write Jonathan’s Shield

A little over a year including rewrites and editing. And that’s before Red Adept Publishing got ahold of it, and we did more editing and rewriting. That doesn’t count all the time I spent thinking about what a cool story it would be if I would only start writing it down. 

10. Tell our readers something interesting about you we would be surprised to learn? 

I usually talk slow and always with a deep South accent so I don’t make a good first impression. It’s a little bit of stereotyping, but I don’t mind. It’s always better to have people underestimate you. 

11. What are your guilty pleasures of TV shows you have to watch? 

Hands down, LSU football. Everything else is negotiable.  I used to watch Deadliest Catch, but it got old after a few seasons. 

12. If we were a guest in your home, what type of atmosphere would we encounter? 

I hope you would find us accommodating. My wife, Barb, is a gracious host, far better than me. We both love to talk though. My role is tour guide. I enjoy driving visitors around to see the sights, whether it’s downtown or the great outdoors. I suppose I have a lot of civic pride about where I live.


On Amazon:

Brought to You By:

Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

#Cover #Reveal. . .Full Share


Full Share by Eliza Freed 

Publication date: June 21, 2016

Genres: Contemporary, New Adult


Nora Hargrove’s post-grad life includes a horrific entry-level job, a cave of an apartment, and a strict avoidance of all interpersonal relationships. She knows only one thing about herself—she wants to be left alone.

Avoiding her mother’s forced family time, she seeks solitude on her own terms. In a poorly ventilated, overcrowded Dewey Beach rental, she discovers there’s no place to hide. Not from yourself, not from your life, and not from love. This is the story of Nora Hargrove’s full share.

I learned the healing power of a good bloody Mary and a dip in the Atlantic. I kayaked in the dead of night and witnessed the only shooting star I’ve ever seen. I fell in love on a bed made of pallets. I lived.

Life is deep. Dive in.


We boarded car number eleven. Jack sat across from me and as soon as we cleared the boarding platform, he began rocking our car back and forth. I didn’t react. 

“Ah, man. This reminds me of my childhood.” He sat back and rested his arms on the back of the bench on each side of him. 

Still no reaction. 

“I miss it. What about you, Nora Hargrove?” 

“Can’t you ever just be near someone? Do you have to be with them?” 

Jack leaned over toward me and very seriously asked, “Do you hear yourself?” 

I lowered my eyes and hid from him, and with a finger to my chin he forced me to face him. 

“Let’s try this again.” He was so incredibly kind. His eyes were a deep blue against the falling sun in the sky. I let myself unknot there. “What do you miss about your childhood?” He waited. I was sure he was preparing himself for my sarcasm. 

“I miss having someone to respect.” I didn’t look away. I’d give him exactly what he asked for, and he’d probably regret it. “So, don’t fuck this up. Okay?” 

He ran his fingertips down the side of my face as my words sank between us. 

I dropped my bag on the mattress next to him. He stirred and rolled over, facing me with a pleasant expression on his face. 

“What are you doing in my bed?” I wasn’t angry. I wasn’t even surprised. The boundaries of my life had disappeared on this short block in this one-mile-long beach town. 

“I was hoping you’d come down and climb in with me.” 

I tilted my head and pondered Jack. He was enormous. My boyfriend in high school had been a few inches taller than me, but we’d weighed about the same. Jack’s arm might have weighed more than me, and when he spooned me and put one leg over my thighs, it felt like a tree was lying across my body. He was a man. 

“Why are you even here? Don’t you have to work?” My eyes rested on the arm he’d just put up behind his head. Even through my multi-year silent obsession with Rob, it was never about his body. Rob had that lanky, I-might-be-a-coke-addict look. He was always maybe dirty, but probably not, because his shoes cost more than most people’s car payment. Every ounce of Jack was strong, and my admiration of his body threw me a little. 

“No power. That’s why I’m cooking myself out here. It’s out on the whole island.” 

“Really?” I surveyed the room, but nothing was ever plugged in to note the absence of power except the shell lights, and we only turned them on at night. 

“Really. How come you didn’t come down last night?” Jack moved over until the back of his body rested against the wall. 

I sat next to him, and he pulled me down to lie beside him. “I was tired. My job can be draining.” He slid me closer to him. My back was resting on his chest. “And sometimes this house can be draining.” 

“Not on Thursday nights.” I pulled Jack’s arm over my shoulders and closer to me. “No. Not on Thursdays.”


Eliza Freed graduated from Rutgers University and returned to her hometown in rural South Jersey. Her mother encouraged her to take some time and find herself. After three months of searching, she began to bounce checks and her neighbors began to talk; her mother told her to find a job.

She settled into Corporate America, learning systems and practices and the bureaucracy that slows them. Eliza quickly discovered her creativity and gift for story telling as a corporate trainer and spent years perfecting her presentation skills and studying diversity. It’s during this time she became an avid observer of the characters we meet and the heartaches we endure. Her years of study have taught her laughter is the key to survival, even when it’s completely inappropriate.

She currently lives in New Jersey with her family and a misbehaving beagle named Odin. An avid swimmer, if Eliza is not with her family and friends, she’d rather be underwater. While she enjoys many genres, she has always been a sucker for a love story…the more screwed up the better.



Eliza is giving away a signed ARC of Full Share and a $25 Amazon Gift Certificate

Brought to You By:

Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

Don't Be UNdressed. . .Get Covered!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

#Book #Blitz. . .Pallbearers and Gamblers

Proudly Presents. . .A Book Blitz
Featuring Author, Michael John Cruit

Pallbearers and Gamblers

By Michael John Cruit

Genre: Fiction

It’s 1971 and the Vietnam war rages. Michael Dibiaso returns from his tour of duty in Vietnam and the army assigns him to a special unit that acts as pallbearers and honor guard for soldiers killed in the war. These experiences turn Michael into a bitter opponent of the war. After his discharge from the army he continues to attend funerals of fallen soldiers.

Michael’s family has been involved with the Chicago Mafia for years. His father had been good friends with Al Capone. His brother Sergio works with the Mafia in their Stardust Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Sergio becomes embroiled in a fatal dispute with a Mafia capo and Michael gets involved. The brothers decide to get revenge by stealing the year-end skim from the Desert Inn – seven million dollars.


Michael Cruit was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. He served three years in the United States Army, including thirteen months in Vietnam. After his discharge he attended the University of Minnesota, earned a degree in sociology and entered the graduate program in social psychology. In 1980 Mr. Cruit went to Costa Rica to write his dissertation, but never returned to the US.

Social psychology was not useful for survival in the rainforest and he endured several years of poverty. He survived by panning for gold and making coconut oil, then paddling upriver six hours to the nearest town, where he sold the gold and coconut oil and purchased supplies. Eventually, he learned carpentry and made a decent living working on local construction projects.

There are no roads, no power lines, no phone lines anywhere near his house. A pelton micro-hydro system provides enough electricity for lights, fridge and computer. He still lives in the Costa Rican rain forest, with seven cats, five dogs, thousands of parrots, toucans and monkeys and billions of bugs.



Brought to You By:

Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

#Cover #Teaser. . .Cornered by J.A. Belfield

DISCLAIMER:  For Mature Readers Only!  This Cover Teaser may not be suitable for all Reading Audiences!

Hello, Intellectual Minds!

I'm so excited to bring you this cover teaser of Cornered by J.A. Belfield.  All will be revealed on Monday, May 16, 2016 @ 8am EST. 

Like we say at Mello & June, Don't Be Undressed, Get Covered!  Enjoy the Teaser and please stop back to see the revealing of Cornered.  Not only are you going to enjoy the cover, J.A. Belfield is hosting a giveaway with the cover reveal. And, from the look of things, this is going to be one steamy hot read! Have your Fans Handy!  Stay tuned to Mello & June for further details.  

Cornered goes on sale Monday, May 30, 2016.  Happy Reading!

Brought to You By:

Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

Don't Be UNdressed, Get Covered!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy #Mothers Day

From all of us here at Mello & June, It's a Book Thang! we'd like to wish all mothers a very happy fulfilling blessed day!  For us children who still have our mothers with us, remember to treat her right, not just on Mother's Day, but everyday! You only get one mother and when she's gone, you don't want to have the if-ah-would-ah-could-ah moments. As my grandmother used to say, "Give me my flowers while I can enjoy them, not when I'm gone!" And I gave her plenty in her lifetime and more.

While we're on the subjects of mothers, please know even if you haven't birthed any children, doesn't mean you aren't 'motherly.'  Women in general usually mothers something. It's a woman's nature.  That's how we were designed.  Hopefully, you use your motherly instincts for the good!

And now on to other matters at hand.  Seeing as how time flies so fast, we're reminded that June is just around the corner and that also means, Mello & June, It's a Book Thang! will be celebrating it's ninth year in the book blogging era.  I can't believe it's been that long.  We've had so many transitions through the years and many blog posts.  We've actually reached over 300 blog posts and I'm happy we're still here to do it.  

We want to share some fantastic news with you.  Beginning next month, Mello & June, It's a Book Thang! will be hosting a huge giveaway.  We're so excited and hope you will be too.   This giveaway is something all can enjoy.  So, please stay tuned to our blog for updates.  It's a giveaway YOU will not want to miss!  We're so sure you're going to enjoy it, you'll want to pass the information along.  There will be a special tab at the top of the blog for you to find all the information you'll need to enter the giveaway.  

Also, you'll notice we're working in conjunction with many blog tours.  There are new cover reveals, book blitzes, giveaways, guest posts, author interviews and the like for you to enjoy. As is normal, there will be buy and contact links for you to download and to stay-in-the-know about your favorite authors and new literary voices you haven't heard from yet.  We try to keep it interesting at Mello & June, and we appreciate our readers, guest authors and blog tours.

Last, but certainly not least, we'll be reading more and more books.  That's how we do! There are so many we have to review and so little time, but no matter what, we will make it work. We get lots of comments regarding the look of our cool blog.  We thank those who think so. Again, we like to engage all readers from every walk of life.  There's something for everyone. Feel free to peruse our Pinterest Pins and check out the Mello & June ads (tab at the top of the blog) to pin to your favorite book pages.  

That's all the news we have for now.  Oh, before we forget, several aspiring authors contact us to ask for writing tips and marketing ideas.  On the right hand side of the blog, there are a few blog tour buttons. If you hover over them and click, it will take you directly to their services.  They offer an array of author services to fit your budget. Make sure you contact them and get your book tour scheduled. Who knows, you could possibly end up having a stop right here on Mello & June, It's a Book Thang!  Keep in mind, we receive over 300 pageviews a day, and that's pretty huge when you're in the book market.  You never know who will see your spot.  

We hope you'll enjoy the rest of this Mother's Day and your week.  Stay tuned for some amazing giveaways coming in June.  Trust me, my character, June, is too excited.  We don't want to disappoint the feisty lady.  Take care and God Bless!


Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Book Reviewer

Blog Mistress of Mello & June, It's a Book Thang!  

Mothers Don't Only Give Life,
They Give Us Love!