REVIEW of Death Grip by Tracy Sherwood

March 30, 2015

Contemporary Fiction isn't really my genre, so this is the first time I've read something like this. But boy-oh-boy, was this a good first time.
A bit of background about how the book came to be; in an interview Author Tracy Sherwood said that her debut novel, Death Grip, is influenced by the plight of returning military women expected to resume their demanding roles as wives and mothers while struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This book is for the survivors of any tragic event and their loved ones who suffer along with them.
Title: Death Grip
Author: Tracy Sherwood
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: March 30, 2015
Source: ARC Given by Author

War hero Kat Hartley is home from the Middle East, struggling to return to her life as a wife and mother. But Kat is locked in a battle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that threatens to destroy her and her family.
Imprisoned by shame after helplessly watching her fellow soldier die in a fiery Humvee explosion, Kat can’t escape his terrified eyes. They haunt her daylight hours and torment her sleep at night. However, Kat is held in the clutches of a darker secret. The doomed soldier was also her lover…and the husband of her now-widowed sister.
Kat will never truly be free until she confronts the guilt over her past. But can she conquer the enemy within that holds her in its death grip? It’s a fight she must win at any cost. Or lose what matters the most.

Kat Hartley, a wife and mother of two, is a strong, intelligent, and an independent woman. She married young to a man she loved but felt inferior to. She felt the need for freedom, enlisting gave her this. Or so she thought.

I loved how this book is an eye-opener.

Death Grip tackles a very serious issue. Most people misunderstand Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. There are people who take it lightly and think the person experiencing it is exaggerating. While there are some who makes matters worse by criticizing these victims.

Another heartbreaking dilemma this book shows us is the treatment some people give veterans. Soldiers risk their lives to protect and serve their country. They leave their families behind knowing the reality of dying during service, in hopes of making their respective countries better – safer. But what do most of them get? They get condemned. They don’t get the respect they deserve most of the time! I’ve always been one to believe that we are all equals. We are not above anyone. That’s why reading how individuals look-down on, disregard, and misjudge these heroes upset me so much.
Last but most definitely not the least, I loved the ending. It’s simple, but right. I’m not going to give any spoilers as to what happened though.

This pretty much sums up my review of Death Grip by the very talented Tracy Sherwood. It’s a pretty short book; it was 98 pages on my Kindle, if I’m not mistaken. This is good for a quick, but “heavy” read.

I’ll be giving this a 4-star rating, mainly because I was touched by the subject matter.

Tracy is a Pushcart Award nominated writer and prize-winning screenwriter. She is published in A Cup of Comfort for Women, The Pointed Circle, Thirteen Stories, Scary Stories, among other magazines and literary anthologies.

Tracy credits her own fighting spirit to late her Marine Corps soldier father who is creator of the classic military comic strip, DAN FLAGG, and love of literature to her English professor mother.

COVER REVEAL of An Obsession with Vengeance (Wanted Men #3) by Nancy Haviland!!!!

March 27, 2015


Title: An Obsession with Vengeance (Wanted Men #3)
Author: Nancy Haviland
Publication Date: July 21, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Organized Crime, Romance

Maksim Kirov is a mobster who gets what he wants, both at his posh gentleman’s club in Hell’s Kitchen and in the bedroom. Sexy, dangerous, and obsessed with control, he’s risen through the ranks to become a highly respected leader in the tight-knit Tarasov crime syndicate. He rules with an iron fist…until he meets Sydney Martin.

The Australian-born Sydney is determined to refuse Maks’s advances, despite their electrifying chemistry. The owner of a neighboring nightclub, Sydney rules her own domain. But when a deal with a Mexican drug cartel goes terribly wrong, she has no choice but to turn to Maksim and the Tarasov organization for protection. Could giving in to their intense attraction be what saves both Maks and Sydney? Or will their all-consuming passion—and her shocking secret—destroy their lives?
In the hot and scandalous third installment of the Wanted Men series, lust and loyalty clash in New York’s mob underworld.




Title: A Love of Vengeance (Wanted Men #1)
Author: Nancy Haviland
Publication Date: December 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Organized Crime, Romance
Once the most feared member of an Italian Mafia crime family, Gabriel Moretti returns to New York at the request of his mentor, Russian crime boss Vasily Tarasov. Vasily needs someone he can trust in Seattle to protect his estranged daughter, Eva Jacobs, while he avenges the murder of the young woman’s mother. Gabriel is unstoppable in a fight, whether he’s using fists, blades, or bullets; but innocent, onyx-haired Eva may just be the most dangerous—and beautiful—thing he’s come up against.
Intense sparks fly between the two, tempting Gabriel to mix business with pleasure while in the Emerald City. But once word gets around that Gabriel has shown up in New York, Stefano—his vengeful brother and the de facto head of the family—decides that Eva is the key to ending the feud between them…permanently.
In this pulse-pounding romantic thriller set against the backdrop of New York City’s storied underworld, loyalties will be tested, secrets will be told, and mob justice will be served.

Title: The Salvation of Vengeance (Wanted Men #2)
Author: Nancy Haviland
Publication Date: March 24, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Organized Crime, Romance
Only something as important as her best friend’s wedding to mob boss Gabriel Moretti could allow Nika Paynne a reprieve from captivity. Her abusive husband has kept her under his thumb with footage of her beloved brother, Caleb, killing another man. But the respite from her violent life isn’t the only draw. Vincente Romani—Gabriel’s deadliest guardian—will be one of the best men at the wedding, and Nika has lingering thoughts about the fascinating mobster…covetous thoughts that may put her life in danger.

With the heartbreak he’s suffered and the brutality he effortlessly delivers, Vincente knows he’s the last person who can offer Nika a happily-ever-after. But his vow remains. He will do everything in his power to free his redhead from her violent prison—even if that means losing her forever.

In the second thrilling and passionate Wanted Men book, a dangerous line is drawn between loyalty to the mob and loyalty to one’s heart.

Nancy Haviland writes about her alpha mobsters and their ladies from her home near Toronto, Ontario. She has three children, an arrogant but playful kitty named Talbot, and she adores her Tim Horton's coffee, as any self-respecting Canadian would. She writes contemporary romantic suspense but will happily read anything that involves two people smooching.


COVER REVEAL of Discovering April by Sheena Hutchinson!!!!

March 27, 2015

Title: Discovering April
Author: Sheena Hutchinson
Publication Date: April 27th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

April Landau thinks she has everything she’s ever wanted. Her high school sweetheart, a house she can’t afford, her bipolar tabby cat, and she’s all set to begin her Junior year of college. Just when she least expects it, her life gets thrown for a loop. When things between her and her long time boyfriend unravel, she becomes stuck in a downward spiral of emotion. Finally, opening her eyes to the fact that she may have given up more than she ever could have imagined in this relationship. She finds herself struggling to keep her head above water.
Enter April’s next door neighbor— Jared Hoffman. He’s her complete opposite. A high school drop out who was forced to take over his parent’s business after their untimely death. It’s no surprise this tragedy affected him greatly, causing him to recede almost completely from society.
But he has one secret. A secret he’s been carrying around for years.
What happens when their worlds collide? Can an old friendship be the one thing that brings these two back to life?
A new adult love story filled with drama, sex, death, and the complications of all of the above.
Short Steamy Excerpt: 
“Why, Jared Hoffman, do you not want this?” I tease, slowly unbuttoning his shirt. 
He smiles, his hands bracing themselves on the bed at either side of my head. “I didn’t say that... it’s just I don’t want to rush anything.” 
Jared’s shirt falls open when I finally reach the last button. His perfect abs are shadowed and defined by the moonlight. My eyes start up his chest. “Rush?” I whisper softly as my hands graze their way up his biceps that frame my face. “Jare… this has been seven long years in the making. I think we’ve waited long enough.” 

He pauses for a second. I hear his breath hitch in his throat as his dark eyes study my face. For some reason, I’m surprised when I feel Jared’s lips on mine. The passion between us is renewed at my admission. It’s my turn to moan against his lips. My legs automatically slide up and down his, causing my dress to hike up slightly before my legs wrap themselves around his waist. His hands make their way up my side slowly as if ingraining into memory the curve of my body. My hands have automatically found their way to his belt. I slip my fingers through it and release the hook, swinging it open. Before I know it, I’m unbuttoning his jeans. That’s when I feel his hands squeeze me tight. His lips leave mine for the first time since I spoke, and I feel them slowly trace their way down my neck. My fists clench against the skin on his waist.

“Oh, Jared,” I groan.

His body freezes above me for a fraction of a second. His head lifts out of the crook of my neck to meet my eyes again.

“Do you know how long I’ve waited to hear you call my name like that?” he whispers.
My hands find their way to his face and mingle with his hair. “There’s more where that came from.” I shoot him a sexy smirk before pulling his lips back to mine.
Pre-order (Amazon pre-maturely listed the cover, however it has not been advertised so no one will see it before the reveal):
Discovering April will be on Pre-Order sale for $0.99 until 5/1/2015!
--Starting 4/27/2015 The Seraphina Series will also be on sale until 5/1 in honor of April’s release!
Starting 5/1 Discovering April will be enrolled in Kindle Unlimited
Sheena is a born and raised New Yorker, even her writing can’t hide her hard sarcasm. She claims destiny lead her to writing again. She constantly strives to be a positive role model and write stories that empower and inspire. 
Sheena always roots for the underdog, believes in love at first sight, and that everyone should have their happily ever after. While God is currently writing her love story she continues to put all her time into her writing as she is constantly getting new inspiration.
For more on Sheena and her books visit her website

Cover Reveal for Two Princes: The Biker and The Billionaire by Victoria Danaan.

March 25, 2015

Hey Booksnakes! This is the first time The Booksnake Etc. will be taking part in a cover reveal. *oooohhh!* Exciting!! Okay so here’s a synopsis of the book.
March 23, 2015

Rating System Update!!

March 21, 2015
Lately, The Booksnake Etc. has been actively participating in Blog Tours as Blog Tour Host. Achievement Unlocked!!!

Because of this, I have decided to change my rating method. From "To-Read", I'll be giving it a star rating now. And this is basically what the stars would stand for:
1 star - Unfortunately, out of respect to the author, I wouldn't be writing a review for books that gets this star. No need to further explain.
2 stars  - I'll be writing a review, but it won't be that detailed. In a nutshell, this is an "Okay" book.
3 stars- I liked this book, and I will tell you guys about it. This is an above average book. Like, "I liked it, but I don't think I'll be re-reading it sometime soon." 
4 stars - I loved the book!! There were probably just very little things I didn't like (proofreading mistakes, character growth, etc.), but I still love it, 
5 stars - In my eyes (and own world) this book is perfect. It can do no wrong and I would fight for it to the death.
That's it! Hopefully this helps my readers in deciding how good the book I'm reviewing really is.

BLOG TOUR OF American Savages by J.J. McAvoy

March 19, 2015

Awesome day everyone! So once again we have strayed from our Marian Tee Mania. But like my review for Cement Heart by Beth Ehemann, this is something that have already been setup before MTM even started.

Anyway, I don’t think I will be hated though because we’ll be giving away prices!! Yay! So just read through the review (your choice really), or you can just go to the bottom of the page and click on the link to join the contest for a chance to win!

So here’s a short excerpt before we go to the actual review.

Note: Spoilers ahead

Title: American Savages
Author: J. J. McAvoy
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Suspense, Thriller
Publication Date: March 19, 2015
Source: ARC given by Author and Nicole from Indiesage PR

“Villains by Choice."

Betrayed. Melody is nowhere to be found, Liam is in jail, and the Callahan family is cracking, just as Avian Doers, the FBI Director and puppet master behind their downfall, planned.

But just because they’re down doesn't mean they’re out. To fight back, Liam and Melody will have to put everything on the line. The kid gloves are coming off, and no one is getting out alive. Nothing will compare to the reign of terror that is about to envelope the entire country. First they were Ruthless, now they are pure Savages. The end is here, and no one is safe…
Liam Callahan is still, if not more, ruthless as ever. He wants revenge, and he is out to get it. He’s stronger, smarter, and more patient. He’s also hurt. A lot. But through the pain that he’s feeling, the love he feels for his family still shines.

Melody Callahan a.k.a. Mel has been through a lot of pain; physically, mentally, and emotionally. She’s strong, but she’s also learning to depend on other people. Her love for Liam and Ethan trumps everything – almost. 

The first time I have read Ruthless People, I fell in love with it right away. I started stalking the author and checking different websites every week to see if the next installment has been released. 

First of all, I loved the subject. There are other books out there that basically tackle the same topic, but nothing even came close to the intensity that this series have given. Ruthless People trilogy has shown us that there are bad people who still follow certain rules. They have moral standards that they live by. From “Family is everything, and protect them at all costs” to “No killing on Sundays”. It’s not just about drug trade, money, and killing. It’s about family, trust, and most importantly love. 

Alright, so on to what I loved about American Savages. Olivia is dead *round of applause*. Yep, Malibu Bitch Barbie is now gone. As to why and by whose hands, you’ll find out once you read the book *wink*. Is it weird that this is the first thing I liked? To be honest, I thought that she would somehow change her tune, and actually be loyal to the family, given what Mel and the others have done for her and her father. But no! She decided to be selfish, greedy, and prideful. So yeah, let’s just say that her death was a pretty good highlight. 

The twists and surprises in this book (the entire trilogy actually) continues to amaze me. I mean seriously, the only thing you can guarantee is that the people who did the Callahans wrong will die a most likely painful death. I don’t know how Ms. McAvoy comes up with these ideas, but she’s truly amazing…and dark if I’m being honest. I mean sheesh, the different ways of hurting that she’s come up with.

Mel and Liam have both grown. You’d think that because they are so emotionally attached now that they will become weak. They didn’t though, but instead became stronger because they trusted one another. They’re also not as trigger happy as they used to be in the past, which is a wonderful thing considering they have Ethan around. Both of them are also not afraid to feel anymore, may it be happiness, pain, or sorrow. They don’t hide it as much as they used to, which is amazing in terms of character growth. 

The family has been “shown” more in this book. Declan, Coraline, Neal, and Sedric. These characters have always been there, but in previous books they weren’t given as much credit as they were here. I don’t know if it’s just my opinion, but they do seem to be more important on this book. 

I cried a lot. When a very important person died (I choose to withhold that information), my heart broke. I never would have expected it. I asked myself, “Why this person? Why not someone else?” But then I realized that it would be more painful (for me) if another person died in his/her place. (I’m not going to give the gender away). But the thing that made me cry the most was the part when I thought Liam and Mel were gonna die. The pain was Just. Too. Much. I was so terrified because I really thought they were going to do it (if you want to know what IT is then I suggest you get the book ASAP). Seriously J.J. McAvoy, don’t scare us like that ever again. 

What was I not a fan of in this book…(5 minutes later) Can’t think of anything. Sorry. I’m not just saying this to suck up or anything; I just really liked every part of this book. If you don’t agree with me, then please do let me know.

Ruthless People, The Untouchables, and American Savages are three books that have easily made my Top 10 favorite books of all time, no doubt about it. J. J. McAvoy did such a wonderful job that I got obsessed instantly. From the very first chapter of the very first book, I knew that I was hooked, and I will not rest until I read “The End”. This gets a “TO-READ”stamp, and 6 out of 5 stars.
Thanks so much for bringing us this wonderful trilogy J.J. McAvoy. I know that ending this makes you sadder than us, but it has been a wonderful journey and for that, thank you. We will forever be ruthlessly yours.
NOW for the fun stuff!!!! Who wants to win stuff? If you do, just click on this link
If you want to stalk J. J. McAvoy you can find her on Twitter @JJMcAvoy

If you haven’t yet, (shame on you) get her books here:




J. J. McAvoy first started working on Ruthless People during a Morality and Ethics lecture her freshman year of college. X number of years later, she is an insomniac who has changed her major three times, and is a master in the art of procrastination. If you ask her why she began writing, she will simply tell you “They wanted to get their story out.”

MTM Day 12: REVIEW of The Ice Around My Heart

March 17, 2015

We are now on the 12th day of Marian Tee Mania, and we are about to review the final book in the Pussketeers collection. By the way, just to be clear, I personally named this the Pussketeers collection. It’s not the actual name though, because it’s really titled the How Not To Be Seduced series. So yeah, I just wanted to put it out there. (Awkward silence)

Going back, for those who have closely monitored the progress of this collection (I am one of them), Ice Around My Heart is really interesting. Why? Because this second installment to Rathe and Mary’s story has been a long time coming. But boy, oh boy is it worth it. 

Title: The Ice Around My Heart (How Not to be Seduced by Dukes #2)
Author: Marian Tee
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Published on: January 27, 2015
Source: Bought

A young ordinary girl falls for a rich, handsome duke. If this were an ordinary love story, she would have been his bride. Instead, she becomes his mistress. 

In taking the eighteen-year-old Mary Ashton with him to London, Rathe Wellesley - the 5th Duke of Flanders and England’s #1 Heartthrob – knows that his most cherished woman would become the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons. 
Even so, Rathe is unable to keep himself away from her. 

Mary used to think she had the power to change the duke’s outlook on love. But when someone starts spreading lies about her, making Rathe and the whole world believe that she’s too young for him--- 
When she looks into Rathe’s eyes now, she fears that no matter what she does, the duke will ultimately choose…to leave her.
Rathe Wellesley is still as cold as ever, but he’s learning to be more vulnerable when it comes to our young beaut. However, this is the same reason he tries harder to push her away. He tries to do everything to have her hate him. He tries his best to break her heart, when he doesn’t even realize that he’s breaking his soul as well.

Mary Ashton is still a shy girl, but she tries her best to be stronger for Rathe. She tries her best to have people see her as a woman and not just a girl. She’s still trying to make Rathe fall in love with her…but there’s only so much she can take.

What don’t I love about this book? *incredulous look* seriously though, this book has drama, evil plot, heartache, family problems, and lovemaking. (I just had to get the last one in there *grins widely*.) Mary’s strength is something to be greatly admired, while Rathe is just – an a**hole. But I guess the pain of having hundreds of people judge you does that to a person. 

As usual, I loved the heartbreak that’s in the story. I cried a lot while I was reading this book, but that’s already to be expected. By the way, just want to share, but I’ve always loved a tragic event happening in books. Like, in this book, when Mary fell and hit her head, I liked that so much. *evil laugh* I kinda scare myself sometimes.

I also found the twist in the end very refreshing. I was NOT expecting that at all. I think if that happened in reality…whew! Everyone who owns a TV would tune into that. 
To be honest, I got a little confused with the evil plot. I mean, I know what they were trying to do, I just think it needed a little bit more build or depth. I think other people who thrive on drama and plots and stuff might find this book a bit lacking on that part. But then again, this is a romantic novel and not a crime story, so I guess it’s fine. *smiles*
This is a really good ending to the How Not to be Seduced series, and for the fans who’ve read every book in it, I’m sure you won’t feel like you’ve been left hanging. So I once again give this a “TO-READ” stamp.

Like I mentioned in another review, I’ll be reviewing a Marian Tee book that I wasn’t a huge fan of, just to prove that I’m not being biased or anything. For now, I hope you guys get her books if you haven’t yet. They’re really good. 


March 17, 2015
Hi booksnakes!! I have something really special for you guys. I know we have Marian Tee Mania going on, but this event is something that has been planned out even before MTM started. Please don’t hate me because I promise you guys this is SO worth it, and there’s a chance that you’ll be one of 5 winners of a signed paperback of Cement Heart and a $50 Amazon gift card. 
I have been given an ARC by our lovely author and her team as part of their blog tour, and admittedly I read it pretty late because of some personal stuff. So in true booksnake fashion, I read the entire thing in 4 hours to make sure I have my review up and running. Let me tell you, it wasn’t a hardship at all. 

Title: Cement Heart
Author: Beth Ehemann
Genre: Romance, Sports & Games, Contemporary
Publication Date: March 15, 2015
Source: ARC Given by Author
Tour Organized by: The Book Avenue

I have reviewed a couple of Best Selling Author Beth Ehemann’s work before, Room for You and Room for More. These two books (and another one titled Room for Just a Little Bit More) are about Brody and Kacie. It’s a wonderful love story, but more than that, there was a character introduced there named Viper – the man with a Cement Heart
NOTE: There will be spoilers!! Because that is how I roll. *wink*
Lawrence Finkle, known simply to his die-hard Minnesota Wild fans as Viper, isn’t used to hearing the word no. He lives his whole life just a little on the reckless side. After all, life is just one big game, right?
When what was supposed to be an innocent bet goes horribly wrong, he’s left to deal with the aftermath—and the guilt. In an effort to make things right the best way he can, he ends up falling for the one person on the planet he never should have.
The old saying goes that two wrongs don’t make a right . . . or do they?
Lawrence Finkle a.k.a. Viper is a man-whore. There’s no other word for it! (Sorry Beth *awkward laugh*) He screws everything that walks, and sometimes even two at a time. He’s the guy that has nothing to live (or die) for. He genuinely believes that if he’s gone, nobody would even care. He deeply cares for a very few people only, so when he lost a friend – a brother – he loses himself. 
Let me begin by saying that I DID NOT expect where this story was heading – at all! Originally I thought that this story would be about Viper and Darla, because they have been hooking up in Room for More…but I was wrong. I would say that I hated that, but honestly, I didn’t. 
In general, I loved how very unpredictable this book is. Whatever expectations you have when you start reading it, will be completely shattered when you continue. I know because I have never been so wrong in my entire life when I assumed I knew what this book was about. 
This book made me realize how completely unexpected life is – or how it ends. One minute you’re laughing and not giving a damn, and the next, POOF! Everything has changed. You lose someone, and in the process, you lose yourself. That’s what happened with Viper. 
This is kind of ironic for me, but Viper didn’t have a lot of sexual thoughts towards Michelle – which you’ll get to know once you read the book. There are two reasons why I was a bit taken aback by this. First, he is a hornball and that is not a secret. You would assume that if he’s digging someone, he’ll have very explicit thoughts. Second, most romance novels would have a lot of mushy details. Like, “I felt my heart racing when she opened the door.” But there weren’t a lot of that here, which I liked very much because it was VERY realistic. I mean, a guy like our leading man wouldn’t have such sweet thoughts. It’s just not him. So I liked how Beth didn’t suddenly make him a heart and roses kind of guy overnight.
Their team didn’t make the playoffs? Bummer! *sad face* Kidding. I didn’t really have any bleh moments. It’s possible that because I was trying to finish it as fast as I could I didn’t really have the chance to dwell on the “negatives”. 
So overall I loved this book. In my own opinion though, I think this should be the last installment in the series. It’s already a good ending, and it still leaves a lot of things to the imagination. So obviously this is “TO-READ”, and I give this a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Now without further ado, like I promised, there are certain people who’ll be lucky enough to win prices. YAY!! (Though I am not one of them *sad*)

How do you enter? Click on this link and follow the instructions.
Room for You:
Room for More:
Room for Just a Little Bit More:

Beth Ehemann lives in the northern suburbs of Chicago with her husband and four children. When she's not sitting in front of her computer writing, or on Pinterest, she loves reading, photography, martinis and all things Chicago Cubs. She's represented by Jessica Watterson of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

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