Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review: Looking For Trouble - Trice Hickman

Some dreams will test your head and your heart…

John Small may be a successful Wall Street banker, but at heart he's a country boy from the sleepy town of Nedine, South Carolina. John wants to open Nedine’s first black-owned bank. But big dreams can bring big problems—and John’s snooty New York City girlfriend is just the beginning. John is about to learn some hard truths about money, power, love, and loyalty. And when his future, and his family's legacy, is in danger, help will come from where he least expects it...

Alexandria Thornton is a hard-working corporate attorney by day, but she’s passionately pursuing her dream as a spoken word artist by night. Frustrated with her career and her lackluster love life, Alexandria’s ready to throw in the towel on both—that is, until a man from her past reenters her life and changes everything. But her newfound happiness is short-lived when old lovers, lingering secrets, and hidden desires threaten to end it all…

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Trice Hickman has a way of writing stories that draw you in then cradles your heart like a newborn baby. I believe in the gift of prophecy, so I was very curious to see how the characters would deal with their "gift" in this story. The Author definitely did her homework on the subject.

Looking for Trouble has characters that leap off the pages and demand your attention. This book is full of suspense, drama, and some laugh out loud moments. Trice has waved her writing wand once again and have created an unforgettable story.

5 Stars


Disclaimer: Book Referees was given a Free Copy of this book. Our thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist. We were not compensated for the review. Thank you for giving Book Referees the opportunity to review your book.

"In memory of my Grandma Allene. I miss you so much, and I know you're smiling down on me from above."
"This book is also dedicated to all the dreamers out there who put their fear aside, stepped up to the mountain's edge, stuck their foot out, leapt forward, and took off soaring!"
The two lines above came directly from the dedication page of my 5th novel, LOOKING FOR TROUBLE, which officially releases today! I chose to start this message with those two lines because both are deeply personal to me.
I love every book I've written, for different reasons, and in different ways. LOOKING FOR TROUBLE, holds a very special place in my heart because one of the main characters, Grandma Allene, is named after my maternal grandmother, Allene Salmon Trice. Much like the character in this book, my Grandma Allene was loving, and wise, and compassionate, and funny, and knowing, and God-fearing. Most of all, she loved her family to no end. Some of my best memories from childhood are of Christmas gatherings at her house. I'll never forget her signature white Christmas tree decorated with sparkling white lights and red doves, or the love that filled the room when our whole family came together to celebrate with good food and lots of laughter. She was the glue that held us together. I felt my grandmother's presence while I was writing this book, and honestly, there were times when I'd talk to her and I felt as though she was guiding me as I wrote certain scenes...but that's a conversation for another time...
The second dedication is meaningful because I know what it's like to face your fears and go after your dreams. I suffered from writer's block for over 15 years before I wrote my first novel, UNEXPECTED INTERRUPTIONS. Now, four novels later, I'm still writing (finishing up my 6th novel right now) and I'm still loving what I do. When I tell you that I feel blessed beyond measure, I truly, truly mean it. I know for a fact if there's something you want bad enough, just stick with it and you'll eventually get it. You've just gotta keep your feet moving! 
I have to give all glory and praise to God for blessing me with the ability to write, the discipline to finish each story, and the tremendous love He surrounds me with that sustains me each day. I also want to thank all of you who have supported me by purchasing my books, spreading the word, writing reviews, and attending my events. You've been a blessing to me and I appreciate you! 
GET YOUR COPY TODAY! First week sales are very important so please make your purchase this week, 10/29 thru 11/2.  

Monday, October 21, 2013

Review: Parallel Pasts - Julia Blues


Our past can cause us to become prisoners of our own private hell. The hardest thing about writing a review is when you read a book that is so close to “home." I’m a firm believer in… when a student is ready – a teacher/master will appear, but in this case – it was a book.

Parallel Pasts introduces us to Cory & Fatima – who are so consumed by their pasts it causes them to be afraid to live in the now. They are each fighting their own private demons, and that’s one of the things that connect them. Before they can truly get to know each other, they have to come to terms with their pasts. Will they be able to move forward? Or will they let their pasts consume their lives?

Proverbs 4:23
23 Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.

Julia Blues has delivered a beautifully written novel that’s heartbreaking, inspiring, and most of all honest. This debut novel has a solid believable plot, along with dialogue that is rich in detail. The Author did an extraordinary job of creating characters that will stay with the reader long after you have read this novel. I really enjoyed Cory & Fatima’s journey of growing, learning, and loving. One thing Author Julia Blues seems to do so effortlessly is introducing readers to numerous characters and having them fit together perfectly in the story.

I finished this book feeling a sense of renewal. Life is definitely a journey filled twists & turns, but we have to continue to hold on through it all.

God has not promised me sunshine
That's not the way it's going to be
But a little rain
Mixed with God's sunshine
A little pain
Makes me appreciate the good times – Walter Hawkins

Excellent debut – Julia Blues...

5 Stars


Disclaimer: Book Referees was given a Free Copy of this book from the Author. Our thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist. We were not compensated for the review. Thank you for giving Book Referees the opportunity to review your book.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Review: Theo at the Park - Jaclyn Crupi

Theo is a funny loving dog that's used to sniffing everything in his path. So imagine his frustration when he wakes up one morning and realizes he has lost his sense of smell. He sets out on an adventure to find his sense of smell. Will Theo regain his sense of smell?
The illustrations were the first thing that caught my attention. I was going through the 75% off bin at Barnes and Noble and seen Theo's face and smiled to myself. I opened the book and fell in love. Theo at the Park is a scratch & smell book - so the reader can join Theo on his quest.
This is a very quick & fun read. The book is 25 pages - a great length for keeping the attention of children from ages of 3-6 years old.
4 Stars

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Review: Lighthouse Island - Paulette Jiles

In the coming centuries the world's population has exploded and covered the earth with cities, animals are nearly all gone and drought has taken over so that cloudy water is issued by the quart. There are no maps, no borders, no numbered years. On this urban planet the only relief from overcrowding and the harsh rule of the big Agencies is the television in every living space, with its dreams of vanished waterfalls and the promise of virtual vacations in green spaces, won by the lucky few.

It is an unwelcoming world for an orphan like Nadia Stepan. Abandoned by her parents on a crowded street when she was four, the little girl is shuttled from orphanage to orphanage, foster-family to foster-family. Nadia grows up dreaming of the vacation spot called Lighthouse Island, in a place called the Pacific Northwest. She becomes obsessed with it and is determined to somehow find her way there. In the meantime this bright and witty orphan falls into the refuge of old and neglected books; the lost world of the imagination. And beyond the confusion and overcrowding and the relentless television noise, comes a radio voice from an abandoned satellite that patiently reads, over and over, the great classical books of the world-Big Radio, a voice in the night that lifts Nadia out of the dull and perpetual Present.

An opportunity for escape appears and Nadia takes it, abandoning everything to strike out for Lighthouse Island in a dangerous and sometimes comic adventure. She meets every contingency with bottomless inventiveness meets the man who changes the course of her life: James Orotov, mapmaker and demolition expert. Together they evade arrest and head north toward a place of wild beauty that lies beyond the megapolis-Lighthouse Island and its all-seeing eye.


This story was intriguing and frightening at the same time for me. You're immediately pulled into a world that could possibly be a glimpse of our future. Water shortages, drought, extinction, government issues all play a role in this eye-opening thriller. The writing style was very different from what I'm used to, but it worked well with the story as a whole.

Nadia was a girl after my own heart, I say this because her character loves to read books. This is the main reason for her character's drive and passion to find out about her past, and wanting to find her own place to belong. Lighthouse Island is the destination that Nadia's character is trying to reach throughout the story, along the way Nadia meets a few strange "characters" that add substance and depth to the story. I liked the concept of this story, and It really made me think about a lot of things that we take for granted everyday. I loved the author's descriptions of Nadia's world, and the fact that you could see yourself in her position, and dealing with the same problems.

I enjoyed the way the author draws you in from the very beginning and takes you on a journey you will never forget. There we're a handful of errors that kept jumping out at me as I read, but It didn't take away from the story at all. I gave this book 4.5 stars and will be recommending to a few friends.                                    

4.5 Stars

Billie Jo

Disclaimer: Book Referees was given a Free Copy of this book. Our thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist. We were not compensated for the review. Thank you for giving Book Referees the opportunity to review your book.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

New Release: A Secret Worth Keeping - Lakisha Johnson

Review: Revenge, Inc - Keleigh Crigler Hadley


When I received this book for review – the cover caught my attention. I didn’t read the synopsis because I just wanted to dive in. I would have to say it wasn’t what I thought it would be – and guess what.... That was a great thing in this case. From the first page to the end of the book I was engrossed. I finished this book in one day.

Life has a way of changing in the blink of an eye – and there’s nothing you can do about it. Or is it? The people at this AA meeting share their story of being wronged – and decide to form a group – and get revenge on everyone that they believe is the source of their pain. I have to admit I did cheer them on for forming this group, then another part of me thought – “This may not be a good idea...” but I was eager to see this thing through the end...

Insert evil laugh here _______________________.

"Revenge is a kind of wild justice, which the more a man's nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out." – Francis Bacon

Revenge, Inc is a powerful novel about revenge & its aftermath. Even if you don’t believe in getting revenge – you will be able to sympathize with each character & their story. There were a few grammatical errors, but it never interrupted the flow of the story. Author Keleigh Crigler Hadley does an excellent job of creating a story that will keep readers eager to keep turning the pages.  

4 Stars


Friday, October 4, 2013

Review: The Church Show - N.S. Ugezene

The Bridence Network was looking was looking to move past being the 'Best International Network of 2009.' To spearhead their newest venture, "The Church Show," they decide to enlist Clint Raspin, a TV producer who after five years is looking to capture the defining moment in his career. He sets his sights on making “The Church Show” that defining moment even if it means making an under the table deal. 

This secret deal unfortunately backfires and creates a liability for one of the show's leading men. Pastor Gregory Barnes suffers the misfortune of having his church go up in flames. That causes him to point the finger at someone who he made an enemy out of for the blatant disrespect he showed them but he has no idea that the whole time he was being deceived. How will the secrets unfold? To find out, tune in to “The Church Show.”


This was a great book. I was immediately drawn into the story and had a hard time putting it down. There was so much drama in this story it was mind blowing. I couldn't believe how much backstabbing and underhanded dealings went on behind the scenes. 

Clint wasn't a very nice person, in my opinion, out for only himself and would step on anyone just to get what he wanted. I was hoping he would redeem himself at some point, but that wasn't the case. The pastor would have to be my favorite character. This was a man who wanted nothing more than to help his church and ran into so many obstacles at every turn. 

This was a very interesting read, filled with lots of drama and true-to-life situations. The author did a wonderful job of bringing each one of these characters to life. I gave this book 4 stars and would recommend to anyone looking for an exciting read!!!

4 Stars

Billie Jo

REVIEW: Scandalous! - Hallie Fryd

Product Details
Reading level: Teen Nonfiction
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Zest Books; Original edition (February, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0-9827322-0-5
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Who doesn't love having the inside scoop to something Scandalous? Growing up everyone I knew would come to me for the latest information on current events. Being the only child for years - newspapers, magazines, encyclopedias, and books were my close confidantes. I would soak up as much information as I could. 

This is the perfect book for young adults who need a crash course on some of the major events that happened in their parent's lifetime. Everything wasn't always about the Rihannas, Beyonces, and Lil Waynes of the world. Scandalous covers everything from The Miss America nude photos (Vanessa Williams) to the Bush/Gore election. Who can forget The Jim Bakker sex & money scandal? 

This book is very informative. The layout is perfect for kids who tend to shy away from anything regarding history. I can't rave enough about this book. I highly recommend this book.

5 Stars


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Review: Dump - Erin Elisabeth Conley

A compact and humorous read with invaluable advice, Dumped is the ultimate guide to coping, moping, and dealing with heartbreak. Inside, you’ll learn how to read pre-dump warning signs, confront post-dump exes, and move on to greener pastures. Includes tell-all quotes from real teens.

Product Details
Paperback: 128 pages
Language: English
ISBN-10: 097726601X
ISBN-13: 978-0977266012
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 4.9 x 0.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces

(Click on Image to Order A Copy)


Dumped is the ultimate advice book for teens who are dealing/dealt with a break-up. I don't ever recall getting dumped... Ok... I'm lying. After my first break-up, I remember being immured in my room for hours. Getting dumped can be one of the most horrendous things you will experience in life, but life does go on. 

Dumped details what to do after being dumped, the emotions you feel after being dumped, avoiding temptations & pitfalls, learning how to cope, and ultimately learning how to get over it. One of the things I loved about this book is the Quizzes & lists. 

For example: 20 Movies to Curl Up and Cry With - 10 Clever Ways to Make Him Regret it. 

The book is the perfect size to slide in and out of your purse without anyone noticing. 

As some parents can attest to when their kids become teenagers it can be hard to get them to open up about certain things. I think Dumped is a perfect conversation starter with your kids, and if they aren't ready to talk about it, slip the book on their dresser and walk away.

4 Stars


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Review: Crap - Erin Elisabeth Conley, Karen Macklin, and Jake Miller

Teens deal with all kinds of crap, from nagging teachers to backstabbing friends. But crap doesn’t have to ruin one’s day—or one’s life, for that matter. Learn how to get through it in this humorous and unconventional look at everyday annoyances in teen life.
✳ WINNER: Yalsa Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers

Product Details
Teen Nonfiction
Paperback: 96 pages
Language: English
Publisher: Zest Books
ISBN-13: 978-0-9790173-5-3


When I'm confronted with CRAP - the first thing, I ask myself - Will this really matter five years from now? Sometimes it works - other times it doesn't. Crap to me is that annoying itch that you can't seem to reach. It irritates you for a bit, but it evidently goes away.

Crap is the perfect advice books for teens & great reminder for Adults. The information contained within the pages are very vital to the many obstacles your teen will face during their lives. Authors Erin Conley, Karen Macklin, and Jake Miller did an excellent job of creating an amusing, thoroughly entertaining book that will keep readers' attention. 

I highly recommend this book!!!

4 Stars


****How Do you Deal with CRAP?**** Comment below for your chance of winning a copy of this book.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Review: Emotions - Charles F. Stanley

This book was very inspirational and uplifting.  Author Charles F. Stanley did an outstanding job in explaining our emotions and how we can overcome negative emotions.  He said that all the emotions we have come from God.  He explains that God could have just given us good healthy emotions, but that He wanted us to experience fear and other negative emotions that will make us rely on Him for everything.   If we did not have fear, we would walk upon rattlesnakes and bears and have no fear and they could cause us harm.  

Author Stanley also explains that God always provides a support system for us.  He says that the emotions we experience should lead us to God in prayer.  He further explains that we should take stock of our life,  commit ourselves to the Father’s plan, embrace who God says we are, praise God, and then do the God’s work.  He says that God is training us to trust Him for all our needs, conform us to the character of Christ, and use adversity to prepare us for ministry. Stanley also says that there are ten terms for effective service:  verbally, physically, patiently, gratefully, generously, tenderly, forgivingly; devotedly, cheerfully, and honorably.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and give it 5 stars.  


Review/Giveaway: How Not to Be a Dick - Meghan Doherty

On the one hand, nobody wants to be a dick. On the other hand, dicks are everywhere! They cut in line, talk behind our backs, recline into our seats, and even have the power to morph into trolls online. Their powers are impressive, but with a little foresight and thoughtfulness, we can take a stand against dickishness today.
How Not to Be a Dick is packed with honest and straightforward advice, but it also includes playful illustrations showing two well-meaning (but not always well behaved) young people as they confront moments of potential dickishness in their everyday lives. Sometimes they falter, sometimes they triumph, but they always seek to find a better way. And with their help, you can too. - Zest Books
Product Details
Reading level: 18+
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Zest Books (October, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1-936976-02-7

At first glance, I couldn't help but to chuckle at the name of this book, How Not to be a Dick. I started to make a mental list of everyone who nettles me. Surprisingly, the list wasn't that long who am I kidding - thank goodness, I didn't write it down on paper.
How Not to be a Dick starts off with a How Not to Be A Dick Agreement - a must for the beginning of any friendship. It covers How Not to Be a Dick in relationships, at home, school, work, etc. I love the "Dick & Jane" illustrations throughout the book - which made for a very pleasurable read.
This book is geared to readers who are 18+, but I would recommend this to any teen over the age of 15.  Why not learn earlier How Not to Be a Dick?
4 Stars
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