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WTF by Cathy Yardley

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WTF by Cathy Yardley WTF by Cathy Yardley
Series: Geek Actually #1.1
Published by Serial Box on June 7, 2017
Source: Publisher
Genres: Episodic, Chic Lit, Geek
Pages: 69
Format: eBook
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Meet your new best girlfriends. Michelle is a hard-nosed Science Fiction editor who is used to things going her way; Taneesha is a talented video game programmer who is used to being the odd (wo)man out. Aditi is a fantasy writer on the verge of her big break; Christina is a rebel on the sidelines of Hollywood. And Elli is a fan – of anything and everything that keeps are from “proper adulting.” Together they are Rebel Scum (at least in their shared group chat), and best friends through thick and thin. They might live far apart but through the power of the internet and a shared love of all things geek, they are ready to face the world side by side.

This is the 1st episode in the first season of Geek Actually, a 13-episode serial from Serial Box Publishing. This episode was written by Cathy Yardley.

Michelle and Aditi have been friends for ages, but with Michelle as Aditi’s editor for her debut fantasy novel, their relationship is under a bit of strain. Aditi needs to blow off some steam—a hot Tinder date does the trick (and then some). Meanwhile, Taneesha and Elli are both having some job trouble.

Amber and I were talking yesterday about what makes me a geek – because I’m obviously a geek. Just the fact that I write book reviews for fun probably qualifies me, but add in our weekly board game night and the fact that we literally had a 45 minute discussion on monster types the other day and there’s little doubt. But I don’t have any geeky female friends like the women of Geek Actually. I do wish I had a group of friends like them.

In this episode, we meet all the women and learn a bit about where they’re at in their lives. We see their jobs, husbands and lovers. It’s fun and sexy but it also touches on some heavier topics  like body image and sexism. I love the diverse cast of characters and people who I have something in common with (not that I ever go out of my way to swing by a PokeStop).

I have read serial fiction before and it’s a format I enjoy. I like the short episodes that flow together. I’m looking forward to spending more time with these characters. After this introduction I like them but don’t care about them yet; I am interested to see where their stories go.

About Cathy Yardley

Cathy Yardley writes fantasy, chick lit and romance. She loves J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts, Jim Butcher, J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter, Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series, Stephen King, Jennifer Crusie, Marian Keyes, J.K. Rowling, and a slew of other authors.

She calls herself a geekgirl. She loves the San Diego Comic-con. She’s a bit Sherlockian, but hasn’t gone full Whovian yet.

She loves being an author. Loves writing. Loves promoting. Loves everything about it.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

The Freedom Broker by K. J. Howe

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The Freedom Broker by K. J. Howe The Freedom Broker by K.J. Howe
Series: Thea Paris #1
Published by Quercus on February 7, 2017
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 400
Format: eBook
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Kidnap negotiator Thea Paris has spent her entire life with survivor's guilt, following an unspeakable childhood tragedy. At eight years old, she watched, frozen in fear, as her twelve-year-old brother, Nikos, was abducted from their home in Kanzi, Africa. Although he was recovered nine months later, he was never the same after that; worse, Thea discovers that she was supposed to have been the target.

This defining experience drives Thea to become one of the top operatives in the field of kidnap-and-ransom consultancy. Nicknamed "Liberata" because she once secured the release of a captive from the Sicilian mob without her client paying a cent, she travels the globe trying to bring hostages home--mostly through negotiation, but occasionally through more forceful means. She is very good at her job.

Twenty years after her brother's abduction, Thea's worst nightmare is revisited when her father, oil magnate Christos Paris, is taken on his sixtieth birthday. He disappears from his yacht while it is moored at Santorini, the ship's whole crew slaughtered mercilessly.


Thea immediately calls in her team at Quantum Security International, premier K&R specialists. Following protocol, they break down Christos' life, looking for leads, but the list of enemies and business competitors is endless. Not surprisingly, Christos Paris has imprinted his designer shoe on innumerable backs during his journey to the top of the oil business. And he was abducted only a few days before the biggest deal of his career.

From there, the case only gets stranger. Unlike most abductions, there are no ransom demands, no political appeals, no prisoner release requests. Instead, the kidnapper sends foreboding quotes in Latin by text from burner phones. What does the kidnapper want?

And most importantly for Thea, will she be able to prevent a second kidnapping from destroying her family for good?

I have to admit, I really enjoyed this action adventure/mystery novel. Thea’s job is get back people who have been kidnapped, whether through negotiation or rescue operations, and she’s good at it. So when her father is kidnapped she can’t trust anyone but her team to get him back. Of course, it’s not simple. We’ve got arms dealers and African politicians and oil magnates all vying for power, with her father smack dab in the middle of it. And we’ve got a love interest for Thea. It’s got a lot going on, but exciting and fast-paced.

Thea’s a great character, smart, tough, and skilled. She’s also a bit blinded by her feelings toward her family. This is one of those instances where the reader knows a lot more about what’s going on than the protagonist, but even at that there are a few surprising twists.

The author has clearly done her research into kidnappings and hostage situations. I also appreciated that Thea is a diabetic. It’s not often that we see women in fiction checking their blood sugar levels before jumping out of airplanes or worrying about whether her insulin will stay cool enough in the heat of the desert. Being diabetic doesn’t hamper Thea, it just means she has to be even more prepared.

Over all, a great start to a series. I’m looking forward to reading more, hopefully with a little less focus on crazy family drama.

About K.J. Howe

Kimberley Howe is the Executive Director of ThrillerFest. Thrillerfest is a conference of International Thriller Writers held every July in New York City. She is also a former medical, health, and fitness writer, as well as, a world traveler, cyclist, swimmer and tennis player.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Dead Tide by Leighann Dobbs

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Dead Tide by Leighann Dobbs Dead Tide by Leighann Dobbs
Series: Blackmoore Sisters Mysteries #3
Published by the author on December 6, 2013
Source: instaFreebie
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 291
Format: eBook
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For three hundred years, the Blackmoore house has harbored a valuable secret ...

The Blackmoore sisters learn about this secret from the dying lips of the historian they hired to decipher their centuries old family journal. Too bad he never gets the chance to tell them exactly what he has uncovered...or where to find it.

But someone else knows where to find it, and they are prepared to take it from the Blackmoore’s no matter what the cost.

The sisters are forced to put their newly discovered paranormal powers to the test as they fight off treasure stealing pirates in between figuring out clues from ghosts, decoding an old journal, finding their way through an underground maze and dodging quicksand, bottomless pits and whirlpools.


Oh, and did I mention the dark and mysterious stranger that keeps showing up--is he friend or foe?

Of course, their trusty cat, Belladonna is around to give them a helping hand when they need it ... and she has a secret of her own.

Will the Blackmoore sisters be able to figure out where the treasure is and get to it before the dead tide turns and hides it for another three hundred years?

Mystery, magical power, romance – and pirates. It’s light and fun. This was one of my read-a-thon books and it was perfect. It’s a quick read, maybe a little unbelievable, but that’s okay since it’s so enjoyable.

The sisters are each discovering their own powers, like seeing ghosts or electric fighting powers – yeah, not sure about that one yet. I like how much they care for each other and how well they all work together. The plot is carried on from book #2; they’re hunting for the treasure and so are the bad guys. People end up dead, thankfully none of them. The mystery is not terribly strong here, but the girls and their men make up for it. It does veer strongly toward romance, so if you don’t like a love interest clogging up your mystery, avoid this series. I do enjoy it, when it works right, and it does for me with these stories.

I’m looking forward to reading the next. I think they’ll be heading out west for a book. We haven’t seen the sisters away from their home, I hope the formula works as well when they’re not in Maine.

About Leighann Dobbs

Leighann Dobbs is the pen name of a not so famous author who lives in New Hampshire with her husband, her trusty Chihuahua mix Mojo and her beautiful rescue cat, Kitty. She likes to write romance and cozy mystery short stories and novelettes perfect for the busy person on the go.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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