Salem’s Cipher | Thursday Reads

“Salem’s Cipher” by Jess Lourey

(pic from Amazon.com)

I recently finished reading Salem’s Cipher and it was SOOOO good. And I’m not just saying that because Jess Lourey is one of my favorite authors and everything Jess writes is pretty much gold to me. This one took me awhile to finish, I started in December and just finished last week. Now, that isn’t to say that this book was hard to read or hard to get into, that is simply not the case, I just don’t have as much free time to read as I had couple years back, and I wanted to take my time with this one.

This book is such a thrilling game of cat and mouse full of history (think Da Vinci Code or National Treasure) and even some self-discovery and overcoming your fears.

The blurb:

A troubled codebreaker faces an epic plot reaching back through centuries of America’s secret history

Salem Wiley is a genius cryptanalyst, courted by the world’s top security agencies ever since making a breakthrough discovery in her field of quantum computing. She’s also an agoraphobe, shackled to a narrow routine by her fear of public places. When her mother’s disappearance is linked to a plot to assassinate the country’s first viable female presidential candidate, Salem finds herself both target and detective in a modern-day witch hunt. Drawn into a labyrinth of messages encrypted by Emily Dickinson and centuries-old codes tucked inside the Beale Cipher, Salem begins to uncover the truth: an ancient and ruthless group is hell-bent on ruling the world, and only a select group of women stands in its way.

I HIGHLY recommend Salem’s Cipher to anyone who likes mysteries, action-packed thrillers, or just books, period!

Purchase Salem’s Cipher on Amazon here

Connect with Jess on her Website, Twitter, and Facebook

 

Salem’s Cipher by Jess Lourey

Happy Book Pub Day to Jess Lourey’s “Salem’s Cipher”!!!!

(pic from amazon.com)

To start, I just want to say, that Jess is one of my favorite authors (in my top three, top two actually, ok ok, she’s my second favorite author) and I’ve been waiting for her new book for months!

The blurb:

Salem Wiley is a genius cryptanalyst, courted by the world’s top security agencies ever since making a breakthrough discovery in her field of quantum computing. She’s also an agoraphobe, shackled to a narrow routine by her fear of public places. When her mother’s disappearance is linked to a plot to assassinate the country’s first viable female presidential candidate, Salem finds herself both target and detective in a modern-day witch hunt. Drawn into a labyrinth of messages encrypted by Emily Dickinson and centuries-old codes tucked inside the Beale Cipher, Salem begins to uncover the truth: an ancient and ruthless group is hell-bent on ruling the world, and only a select group of women stands in its way.

Sounds good, doesn’t it????

Order “Salem’s Cipher” on Amazon here

Connect with Jessie on Her Website, Facebook, and Twitter

Be sure to check out my 3rd all-time favorite series, Jess’s Murder-By-Month series

The Catalain Book of Secrets | Thursday Reads

“The Catalain Book of Secrets” by Jessica Lourey

Jessie became one of my favorite authors since I discovered her Murder-by-Month series (which you can find on Amazon here) (she is under Jess for this series). CBS is a novel she started back in 2002, but it was then set aside, until 10 years later she rediscovered it, and finally finished it in 2012. It had been rejected by traditional publishers. Jessie decided to start a Kickstarter project for self-publishing it. I am proud to say I was her first donor! Well, the campaign was successful and on December 12, 2014 it was published. And take a look at this cover! It’s is one of my favorites. Top 3 for sure!

 (pic taken from Amazon.com)

Ok, so what is CBS about? Well, let me tell you! It’s a tale of a family of strong women, a family curse, and magic. If you are a fan of Practical Magic or The Craft, you will love this book.

The Catalain’s live in the little town of Faith Falls in Minnesota. The family home is the impressive Queen Anne mansion. Ursula Catalain is the current keeper of the Book of Secrets. Soon, the ghost of a man she murdered when she was 12 appears at her door in a new form.During this time, Ursula’s daughters Jasmine and Katrine are pulled back home. The Catalain women [Ursula, Xenia & Helena (her sisters), Velda (her mother), Jasmine, Katrine, and Tara (Jasmine’s daughter)] must band together to save Ursula and Jasmine from the dark family curse. Oh, and the town gets visited from snakes every few decades.

And while you in Faith Falls, be sure to stop by the bead shop, Stacy’s Beads, and visit with a friendly and familiar face 🙂

Jessie also wrote  companion novella called “Seven Daughters”. The blurb: Every one of Helena Catalain’s handmade candies carries magic, and that’s a problem for Meredith Gottfridsen. Awakening the 100-year-old feud between her family and the Catalains, Meredith forces peaceful Helena to fight to keep Seven Daughters, her famous candy store, and the beautiful Queen Anne mansion she calls home. When a massive ball of snakes overtakes the town, bringing with it knowledge and fear, Helena realizes the stakes are even higher than she imagined. Brimming with humor and heartbreak, hope and magic, this novella takes readers deeper into the world of the Catalains and Faith Falls, the snug Minnesota town that houses them.

Order “The Catalain Book of Secrets” on Amazon here
Order “Seven Daughters” Novella on Amazon here

Visit Jessie’s website here (P.S. I LOVE her website!!!)
Find her on Facebook here
Follow her on Twitter here

New Book Releases: 2nd Half of 2015

So for todays blog, I am making a list of the 2nd half of 2015 book releases that I’m most excited about and am recommending because they are either a favorite author and/or series. As I discover more books, I will just add them in an edit at the end of this post. The majority are thrillers, but I do enjoy books of many different genres.

Here we go!

And the Good News Is…: Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side by Dana Perino – available now

Making the Case: How to Be Your Own Best Advocate by Kimberly Guilfoyle – available now

Independence Day by Ben Coes – available now

In Real Life: My Journey to a Pixelated World by Joey Graceffa – available now

I, Justine: An Analog Memoir by Justine Ezarik – available now

The President’s Shadow by Brad Meltzer – 6/16

Sins of the Innocent: A Novella by Jamie McGuire – 6/28

The Insider Threat by Brad Taylor – 6/30

The English Spy by Daniel Silva – 6/30

Code of Conduct by Brad Thor – 7/7

Something Beautiful: A Novella by Jamie McGuire – 8/16

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes – 9/8

Murder, She Wrote: the Ghost and Mrs. Fletcher by Donald Bain & Jessica Fletcher – 10/6

The Survivor by Vince Flynn & Kyle Mills – 10/6

Mentions for 2016: Beautiful Burn by Jamie McGuire – 1/31, The Year of the Locust by Terry Hayes – 5/3, and the next Murder-By-Month mystery by Jess Lourey

Jess Lourey’s Kickstarter Campaign

Hey Guys!

Taking a quick break from Blogtober for a quick note. One of my favorite authors, Jess Lourey, has started a Kickstarter campaign for her new novel (which she dubs the best thing she has ever written) The Catalain Book of Secrets. She had been rejected by the big boys (publishers) and is venturing into self-pubbing this one (not the Amazon Kindle/CreateSpace route either).

The Kickstarter campaign is running for the month of October (I meant to blog about it days ago) and in the first 24 hours was already 1/3 funded! Yeah!! Right now, we have about $7000 in 27 days to raise. It was perfect timing, I was the first one to back the project!

If you don’t know who Jess Lourey is, she has written the Murder-by-Month series (which is one of my favorites). She is a fellow Minnesotan! A fabulously talented writer! And a kick ass person!

So, please, take the time to check out her Kickstarter for The Catalain Book of Secrets here.


Here’s the blurb from Kickstarter:

A magical realism novel that explores the power and poison of secrets in a Minnesota town.

I need your help to successfully self-publish The Catalain Book of Secrets, my magical realism novel and the best thing I’ve ever written. Here’s a description:

Faith Falls is a snug little Minnesota town constructed over a mystery, a place where the most impressive building is a gorgeous Queen Anne with turrets, cantilevered gables, and a wraparound porch. In a concealed room beneath the twisting stairs of the Queen Anne lies The Catalain Book of Secrets, the repository of the wisdom the Catalain women have gathered since the beginning of time.

Ursula Catalain, current keeper of the Book of Secrets, is content to concoct spells in her garden cottage until the ghost of the man she murdered when she was 12 appears at her door in a new form. His return pulls Jasmine, Ursula’s daughter, back into the fold. Once believed to be the most powerful of the Catalains, she foreswore her gift years before to bury a shameful secret. The ghost of the murdered man also calls home Katrine, Jasmine’s sister, who has been banished for fourteen years. Finally able to return to Faith Falls and the beloved Queen Anne, Katrine must claim her true Catalain power to save her mother and sister from the dark family curse.

Told in a majestic mosaic of strong women’s voices, The Catalain Book of Secretsweaves together alchemy, hope, tragedy, and true love to spin a tale in the style of Garden SpellsEva Luna, and Bloodroot.

I believe this book deserves a wide audience, and I’m asking for your help in reaching it. The amount I’m asking for is the minimum needed to do things right; see the detailed budget below. Any extra funds this campaign receives will be put into increased marketing outreach.


Please help fund this project. Any, and I mean ANY, amount helps. And please share the project with your friends as well. Thank You!

Here are some links:

The Catalain Book of Secrets: Kickstarter Link

Jess Lourey: Official Website

Jess Lourey’s Blog: “Who Moved My Net?”

And Jess recently joined Twitter: @jesslourey

Another week gone by…

Well, the week is almost over.

Meant to blog the other day when I received the rhyming dictionary I ordered. I haven’t officially used it yet, but am absolutely in love with it. And looks like it will be very easy for me to use. Can’t wait to get working on lines that I’ve written and getting them to rhyme. I was organizing and consolidating my notes, and became very overwhelmed and wanted to just give up. But I made it work, and cleaned it up. Hoping to get some more work done tomorrow night after work.

In the next coming weeks, I hope to make many blog posts on the progresses of my writing (since this was the main reason to starting a blog).

Have a GREAT weekend!! 🙂

P.S. “I Am Pilgrim” by Terry Hayes countdown is 18 days.

P.P.S. One of my favorite authors, Jess Lourey, is taking a year off from teaching to become a full time writer (I am so so excited for her and about this). She has decided to restart up her blog and share her journey. Check it out! And you should check out her Murder-by-Month series as well. It’s killer!

My Writing Influences/Book Series That I Love: Part Two

This part two are the series that are my current obsessions, continuing chronologically (except for the last one).

Murder, She Wrote series by Donald Bain & “Jessica Fletcher”     I first discovered this series in October 2000. I found myself in Waldenbooks (does anyone remember this bookstore? it was my favorite), and I was looking at the Halloween display (I have a serious obsession with Halloween and Halloween related things) and came across the MSW book Trick or Treachery. Murder, She Wrote is one of my favorite tv shows, so I thought how cool, I need to check out this book. Loved it. Rest is history. Well over 20 books and counting, with the next being due out April 4th (squeeeee). My favorite ones are when they are located in Cabot Cove.

Murder-by-Month series by Jess Lourey     If I didn’t decide to buy a Kindle, I may never have discovered this fantastic author and series! I am SO glad I did. Jess is from MN, her books are set in MN, and they have the best titles ever (May DayJune BugKnee High by 4th of July, etc). I strongly recommend this series if you enjoy good murder mysteries, small town USAs, fantastic and interesting characters, and Nut Goodies!

Scot Harvath series by Brad Thor     I came across Brad Thor on recommendation by fellow Vince Flynn fans. I am slowly working my way through the series, but am very much enjoying it. Scot Harvath is a badass! (I can only dream about how awesome a Mitch Rapp/Scot Harvath team up could have been!!) If you’re on twitter, you can follow Brad (@BradThor) and I suggest you do.

And saving the best for last…..my absolute favorite author and series…..ever…..

Mitch Rapp series by Vince Flynn     I was late in discovering Vince. Now, I had heard about him from time to time, being a fellow Minnesotan, but never really thought much about it (and boy I kick myself about that all the time). Honestly, I never thought it was a genre that I wanted to read or would even like (boy was I wrong). In 2008/2009 I learned of a common denominator (which I will be keeping personal). Shoot forward to 2010, when he was releasing American Assassin, I decided to hit one of the local book signings, which was on a Thursday. Never reading one of his books, never been to a book signing before, I didn’t know what to expect. Before the singing there was a little Q&A, and even though I felt a little confused, listening to him speak, was point blank amazing. Got to mention a few things when he was signing my book, and the rest is, simply put, history. It was an amazing feeling on several different levels. That Saturday, I went back to the bookstore, and picked up Term Limits and started reading it. And I couldn’t put it down. That Sunday, since I am pretty addicted to Twitter, and noticing that Vince didn’t have one, and there were no fan ones, I decided to create one (you can find it at @VinceFlynnFans). By Monday, I had the support of the publishing company. That was pretty cool. So I finished TL which to date is my favorite VF novel. And so I started in on the Mitch Rapp books, Transfer of Power which was my favorite of the Rapp series (until The Last Man came along). My goal was to read all of them before the following prequel Kill Shot was released. I almost made it. I cannot quite express how much I love the Mitch Rapp series enough. Vince had magic hands for sure. Not only writing a strong, badass, kickass, someone I would want in my corner, male character, but many strong women characters as well. Vince’s fans range from the young to the old, male and female. And they are the best fans out there. From when I created VFF to present day, I have never encountered any negative comments (like many other fan twitters do). And I definitely think a person’s fans really speak about that person! From fellow fans, I have discovered many other wonderful authors (bestsellers and indie) and have made so many wonderful connections, in which I owe to VF. He was more than just an author, but, in my opinion, one of he greatest humans to ever live. If you had the chance to meet him, talk to him, know him, you are a very lucky person. June 19th 2013 was a very hard day. This is the day we lost Vince Flynn. But his words live on… He lives on…

I like a lot of books. Many different genres. I still hope to continue to broaden my horizons, maybe even getting more into classic literature. I have a very large pile of books to get through, but it is ever growing.