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THE LAST GOODNIGHT by Kat Martin—A REVIEW BY VERONICA JORGE

October 22, 2021 by in category Book Reviews by Veronica Jorge, Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , ,

The Last Goodnight

Kat Martin

Kensington Publishing Corp.

October 26, 2021  

ISBN 978-1-4967-3679-6

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The weather’s getting cooler. Falling leaves and changing colors begin the transition into a new season. Nature can be blustery, wild, destructive, regenerative, and unexpected. Like life, and the lives of the characters in Kat Martin’s new romantic thriller, The Last Goodnight.

Kade Logan never saw his wife, Heather, again after their divorce. Her disappearance always puzzled him. Until the day her murdered body had been found in the hills of Denver. Shoving aside his hurt feelings of betrayal from Heather’s unfaithfulness, he hires a private investigator to find her killer. But he never expected the P.I. would be Ellie Bowman; petite and gorgeous.

Ellie moves in to Kade’s Diamond Bar ranch in Coffee Springs, Colorado and works undercover as a cook, trying to narrow down the list of possible killers. At this point every friend, ranch hand, and town shopkeeper are suspects; including the sheriff, Glen Carver!

Kade and Ellie work the case while also trying to tame the growing attraction between them. Both divorced and victims of unfaithful spouses, they find trust and love elusive and frightening. But when Heather’s killer resurfaces and hones in on Ellie, they both realize the choice they must each make. Hopefully, before it’s too late.

So, grab a hot cup of brew and a throw and nestle into your cozy chair. The Last Goodnight will have you loving and rooting for handsome, powerful Kade and beautiful feisty Ellie where you’ll find that it’s not just murder and caffeine pounding through the town of Coffee Springs, Colorado.

Oh, and just so y’all know, I got dibs on Kade Logan.

Veronica Jorge

See you next time on November 22nd!


Other Books by Kat Martin

(Hover over the covers for buy links. Click on the cover for more information.)

BEYOND CONTROL

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BEYOND CONTROL

BEYOND DANGER

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BEYOND DANGER

BEYOND REASON

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BEYOND REASON

COME MIDNIGHT

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COME MIDNIGHT

PIVOT

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PIVOT

SHADOWS AT DAWN

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SHADOWS AT DAWN

THE PERFECT MURDER

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THE PERFECT MURDER

THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL

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THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL

THE CONSPIRACY

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THE CONSPIRACY

THE DECEPTION

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THE DECEPTION

WAIT UNTIL DARK

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WAIT UNTIL DARK

THE LAST GOODNIGHT

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THE LAST GOODNIGHT

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BOOK REVIEW: MIGUEL’s BRAVE KNIGHT: YOUNG CERVANTES and HIS DREAM of Don Quixote

September 22, 2021 by in category Book Reviews by Veronica Jorge, Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , , ,

MIGUEL’s BRAVE KNIGHT: YOUNG CERVANTES and HIS DREAM of Don Quixote

by Margarita Engle

illustrated by Raul Colon

Peachtree Publishers, 2017  

ISBN 978-1561458561

A REVIEW BY VERONICA JORGE

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I don’t know about you, but I could sure use a little good news; a happily-ever-after ending to a long tumultuous never-ending season. It’s not likely I’ll see the dust cloud of a hero riding in, or hear the sound of a trumpet blasting in victory.

Enter the picture book to the rescue to soothe, cheer and calm the heart with its hopeful words and uplifting illustrations. Which reminded me of a book I once reviewed and which I find to be pertinent to our times, all times; Miguel’s Brave Knight: Young Cervantes and His Dream of Don Quixote by Margarita Engle; illustrated by Raul Colon.

Fairytales make us believe that dreams can and do come true. But it was Don Quixote who dared brave the dragons, (that is windmills and obstacles), that imprison the treasures and beauty of life, in order to set them free.

In Miguel’s Brave Knight, the reader meets the boy Miguel de Cervantes. Born in 1547, and a contemporary of the English playwright William Shakespeare, Cervantes would become one of Spain and Latin America’s most important literary figures. Today the world knows him best as the creator of the idealistic, and sometimes foolish, Don Quixote, the Man of La Mancha. His character’s name has even become part of the English language; quixotic, which Webster’s dictionary defines as: foolishly impractical, especially in the pursuit of ideals.

Well-known for her strong and descriptive verses, Margarita Engle, winner of numerous awards, enchants the reader with a series of poems that reveal the personal sorrows, as well as the social and political events of the day, that shaped Miguel’s life and formed his thoughts. “Hunger”, “Waiting”, “Daydreams”, “Disaster”, “Learning to Write” and, “Imagination”, are some of the poem titles that portray the young author in the making. (Also sounds like a day in the life of a writer).

Full-page pen and ink watercolor illustrations by Raul Colon, an award-winning illustrator of more than thirty books for children, complement Engle’s moving verses. The muted brown, grey, and blue tones create dream-like visions that help the reader experience Miguel’s life.

The end pages include interesting author and illustrator notes, and important historical and biographical information.

A book that awakens dormant aspirations and provokes action, Miguel’s Brave Knight is a timeless tale of the power of the imagination to create hope out of despair, turn dreams into reality, and bring into existence the light from within that dispels the darkness. In this way one can, as Miguel says, “right all the wrongs of this wonderful but terribly mixed-up world.” (From the last line of Engle’s poem, Imagination).

Which proves what we as readers and writers already know: words have power. So let’s saddle up, pen, or laptop, in hand and join our brave and idealistic knight in his marvelous quest for that unreachable star.

(My Review Originally published by the Christian Library Journal; used with permission.)

Veronica Jorge

See you next time on October 22nd!


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FOUR CUTS TOO MANY: A Sarah Blair Mystery by DEBRA H. GOLDSTEIN—A REVIEW BY VERONICA JORGE

May 22, 2021 by in category Book Reviews by Veronica Jorge, Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , , ,

Four Cuts Too Many: A Sarah Blair Mystery By Debra H. Goldstein

Kensington Publishing Corp.  2021   ISBN 978-1-4967-3221-7

It started out as a regular day. Sarah Blair sat outside of the Carleton Junior Community College waiting for her friend Grace Winston, a cutlery teacher in the culinary arts department. And if you’ve read the previous Sarah Blair mysteries, you know that nothing is ever ordinary in Sarah’s life.

In Four Cuts Too Many, Debra H. Goldstein’s new Sarah Blair cozy mystery, Dr. Douglas Martin, the chairman of the culinary arts program gets stabbed in the back…literally. Sarah dons her sleuthing cap once again to find the real killer, but she finds herself hard pressed to figure out who had the best motive because the entire staff referred to Dr. Martin as the ‘Malevolent Monster.’

When the police target Grace as the prime suspect, even Sarah cannot explain away her friend’s argument with the chairman and her bloody apron. Or the fact that the knife in his back belonged to Grace!

Like searching for a hidden object embedded in a painting, Debra is a master at hiding the true killer in plain sight within the story. Filled with a motley crew of characters and a tangle of secret lives, and ambitious hearts where no one is exactly what they seem, Four Cuts Too Many is an engaging page turner and a delightful read.

I can’t wait to read what Debra cooks up in her next mystery.  Five __ Too Many?  Whatever it is, I am certain that with her creativity and story skills she will create another recipe for success.

And if you want to ramp up your kitchen skills, the recipes at the end of the book are a tasty ending to a great story so make sure to treat yourself. 

Veronica Jorge

See you next time on June 22nd!

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The Sarah Blair Mystery Series

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ONE TASTE TOO MANY

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ONE TASTE TOO MANY

TWO BITES TOO MANY

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TWO BITES TOO MANY

THREE TREATS TOO MANY

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THREE TREATS TOO MANY

FOUR CUTS TOO MANY

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FOUR CUTS TOO MANY
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Veronica Jorge Reviews: Seriously, Mom, you didn’t know? by Marguerite Quantaine

January 22, 2020 by in category Book Reviews by Veronica Jorge, Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , ,

Seriously, Mom, you didn’t know?

by Marguerite Quantaine

Cantine Kilpatrick Publications, 2019

ISBN-13: 978-0940548053

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Relationships are delicate. They take time to cultivate and grow. And when it comes to matters of the heart, it can sometimes seem like navigating through a quagmire or minefield.

Enter Marguerite Quantaine, your guide and confidante.

Seriously, Mom, you didn’t know? is a collection of sad, funny, and warm stories. Based on events and moments from Marguerite’s own life, these relatable narratives reflect on the changing roles of relationships and offer insightful observations on society and how we live and love.

Marguerite writes about the variety of inter-relationships that come in all shapes and sizes, both good and bad, and the upstream battle when your life and love choices pit you against societal mores. Her writing style is engaging and her stories offer unique perspectives.

But the best that this book has to offer are the surprising and hidden gems that each story reveals. For example: The emotions of feeling, losing, and loving that are universal; the discovery that self-confidence and resiliency are the best defense against bullies; and her recipe for good communication: sincerity, levity, and good intentions.

Heart-tugging and thought-provoking, Marguerite’s stories cause us to examine how we grow through our exchanges with others, and to consider what things we place the most value on. The reader must ultimately answer whether life is calculated by what we let go of, or by what we hang onto with our hearts.

Veronica Jorge
See you next time on February 22nd!


Seriously, Mom, you didn’t know?

SERIOUSLY, MOM, YOU DIDN’T KNOW?
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Reviewing Reviews by Jenny Jensen

December 19, 2019 by in category On writing . . . by Jenny Jensen tagged as , , , ,

Caution: This is a pet peeve. A rant may ensue.

I enjoy book reviews. I read reviews of books I might want to purchase, reviews of books I’ve read and loved, reviews on the works of authors I I know and love, reviews of books I’ve just finished, reviews of my client’s work. And I read reviews because, well, I really love listening to fellow bookworms talk about books.

Reviews are important to any author’s success, of course, but they’re especially important to the Indie author. Indie authors can promote any number of ways, but reviews are the crucial fuel for sales. Readers rely on reviews, especially if the author is new to them; Indie authors rely on reviews to find readers. It’s this fact that makes me so crazy when a review is an elaborate retelling of the story, complete with outing all the twists and mysteries as well as the resolution. That isn’t a review; it’s a damn book report.

I can feel my head begin to explode when a reviewer prefaces a sentence with ‘spoiler alert’. That’s not a pass to spill the beans. It’s a glaring neon sign declaring that this reviewer, this self appointed arbiter of storytelling, has kindly read the book for me. Now I can save my money because reviewer person has graciously taken care of that grisly chore of actually reading. (Audacity always makes my blood boil.) I mean, what about the word ‘spoiler’ don’t you understand?

A book review should give me some indication of why and how the book affected the reviewer. Specifics are welcome, the more insightful the better. Perhaps the author’s voice is particularly unique and pleasing, or the plot was a refreshing take on a well-loved genre. Maybe it’s the characters that win the day, or the book presented a world view that made the reviewer thoughtful. And if the reviewer didn’t like the book I want to know why. If the book was terrible, what made it a stinker? If some aspect of the story was off-putting be fair; not all readers like the same thing, which doesn’t necessarily make the work bad.

It’s not about the author. If a reviewer dislikes a book because the F-bomb and it’s numerous cousins were used it does not mean the author is in need of spiritual counseling. If the political bent of the tale does not suit the reviewer it does not mean the author could use time in a re-education camp. A review is about the story.

Being of mostly open mind and generally democratic spirit I’ll take the one or two line reviews of the “If you like fill in the genre then this is a must read” or “I spent a great winter weekend with this book. Highly recommend” variety. I may not have any specifics but there is something wonderfully persuasive about that kind of joyful sharing.

You may say I should just give a pass to the book reports and the spoilers, and you would be right. But I raise my pen-sword in defense of every Indie author I know, and those I’ve yet to meet. Insightful, honest reviews are sustenance to a writer. They impact sales and the writer’s heart. When you review, do it with substance. Please don’t retell the story – it’s the author’s story to tell and the reader’s tale to enjoy, and for the love of the muses, don’t give away the best bits. You’re going to make my head explode and I do not want my heirs to have to clean that up.

Well, I did say it might be a rant.

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