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Raced by K. Bromberg

 

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago right here in my last Amy’s #NASCAR Reading List, I adored all three books in K. Bromberg’s Driven Series. Those books (Driven, Fueled and Crashed) follow Rylee Thomas, a woman who has buried her past to the point of walking through life numb until she quite literally falls into the arms of smokin’ hot Indy Car driver Colton Donovan.  Colton on the other hand is the exact opposite of Rylee. Colton purposely lives a life in sensory overload to outrun the demons from a past he is afraid will not just catch up with him- but completely ruin life as he knows it.  The series is told primarily in Rylee’s point of view- with a couple of chapters in Colton’s point of view scattered into Fueled (Book 2), and more than a couple scattered into the final book, Crashed (Book 3).

“She thought I was done with her.” – Colton Donovan, Raced by K. Bromberg

Raced is NOT a novel in the trilogy (obviously since if it were then it technically wouldn’t be a trilogy). Raced is the much anticipated companion to the trilogy that is entirely in Colton’s point of view. It’s chapters revolves around several key scenes/chapters in all three books. Her fans begged for it and Bromberg delivered.

Personally, I had been anticipating Raced greatly after devouring the entire trilogy in a little over a weekend. Was Raced what I expected? Yes and no.  Yes in that Colton’s POV’s were exactly what I had hoped they would be: raw, honest and full of the conflict and emotion behind the race-face Colton wears through life. It was exactly what I wanted and what I got in aces (ha- pun totally intended).

What was unexpected? Two things. The first being a sob inducing scene between Colton and his father towards the end of Raced (that is all I will say- spoiler hounds).  The second second thing- I didn’t expect but totally loved was the author’s description that was before each of the chapters of Raced. These chapters let readers know what she was thinking, or why she picked a particular part of the saga to share in Colton’s voice.

“How do I explain that the way she made me feel caused the demons I’d buried deep down to start to whisper that I don’t deserve anything from her.” Colton Donovan, Raced by K. Bromberg

Remember Raced is NOT a stand alone novel- nor does it claim to be one. Think of it as the extra deleted scenes from your favorite movie that you get when you buy the director’s cut. Raced adds a certain richness and emotion to the story told throughout Driven, Fueled, and Crashed.

If this companion leaves you wanting more of Colton & Rylee- fear not! K. Bromberg plans on releasing a yet-to-be-named novella that covers key points in the ten year gap that takes place at the end of Crashed and it’s epilogues some time in early 2015. Also fans of the trilogy can anticipate Slow Burn, a novel focusing on Haddie Montgomery (Rylee’s bestie and roommate) and Beckett Daniels (Colton’s crew chief and best friend) from the original trilogy. Slow Burn is currently available as a pre-order for it’s February 24th, 2015 release.

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For “Full Disclosure” I bought the original trilogy at the urging of a friend and enjoyed it so thoroughly so I ordered the reading companion as well. I was not asked to review it by anyone- I did so because I loved what I read and thought you might too.

Driven by K. Bromberg

This is my favorite kind of book review to do for BadGroove. Why you ask? Because it’s the kind that I share because I stumbled upon something I absolutely loved. This review was NOT solicited (you always know when I am because I put my usual disclaimer at the bottom of the review)- instead I am reviewing it because I had to share it with you all because it’s THAT GOOD. It’s the kind of review where I am thankful I can make it work for this blog because I know that some of you will like it too.

I was introduced to the Driven Trilogy by a Facebook friend. We were chatting back and forth about reading and books and she asked if I had  read anything by K Bromberg?  I hadn’t and at the time I happened to be in a reading mood but nothing I had downloaded was holding my attention enough.  So on her suggestion alone I downloaded the entire trilogy to my Kindle.  I devoured the whole three book series in four and a half days and it left me wanting more. I think it will leave you wanting more too. Luckily for us we don’t have long to wait.

The Driven trilogy is a racy romance but it is also so much more. It centers around Rylee Thomas, a social worker working with abused children at a halfway house (called THE HOUSE) that is much more like a home than most of these boys have ever known. One night at a fundraiser for THE HOUSE Rylee literally falls into the arms of race car driver and renown player Colton Donovan. (more…)

Avoidable Contact by Tammy Kaehler

Race car driver Kate Reilly is back in author Tammy Kaehler’s 3rd book in the Kate Reilly mystery series Avoidable Contact.  I can’t tell you how excited I was to get my hands on Avoidable Contact. I’ve read Kaehler’s first two books of the series (Deadman’s Switch and Braking Points) and I thoroughly enjoyed them both so I knew I was in for quite the ride.  I was definitely not disappointed.

“All the crap going on in the outside world can’t stop me from doing what I do best: kicking butt on the racetrack.”  pg 238, Avoidable Contact by Tammy Kaehler

In Avoidable Contact, our protagonist Kate is driving one of the Sandham Swift team Corvettes in the famed 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race.  The book opens with Kate Reilly standing on a very crowded pit road amid the chaos and crowds that is pre-race.  With less than an hour until the green flag, Kate spots two police detectives “with their serious faces on” heading her way flanked by the second in charge of operations fro the newly formed United SportsCar Championship series (USCC).  It immediately concerns her and well it should.  They are there to tell her that her boyfriend Stuart was involved in a hit-and-run accident outside the speedway that morning and is in serious condition at a nearby hospital fighting for his life.  Stuart is in charge of operations for the USCC and it doesn’t make sense to Kate that he would even be outside the track an hour before the start of the race.  Pushing that aside, Kate decides that Stuart wouldn’t want her to not drive in the race when the only thing she could do in the hospital for him is sit in the waiting room. Kate is determined to press on in spite of what is going on at the hospital blocks away and decides to concentrate on the race and her car and in between her driving stints she can watch for updates on Stuart and help in the search for who ran Stuart down and why.  She pushes Stuart and the rumors floating around the track as far out of her mind as she can and concentrates on driving- except during her first stint on the track Kate witnesses a terrifying on track incident that heaves her and the entire USCC racing community shaken to the core.  Kate can only wonder if the on track incident is related to Stuart’s pre-race accident and if that was the case who was their next target?

The thing that I adore most about the Kate Reilly Mysteries is Kate herself.  She is a very real character- and while she is spunky she still has those human moments and flaws that we all have and that makes her very real to me.  She is not a crime fighting machine in the guise of a race car driver- she just happens to usually be in the wrong place at the right time and the drive to see things though.  While Kate is a female driver in a male dominated sport (although not really- as Kate isn’t the only female driver) readers aren’t continually hit over the head with the fact that she is a female.  Kate doesn’t see her self as a female race car driver- but as a racer and that’s it.  Kate Reilly is a multifaceted character that I can identify with on a personal level.  She is the reason that I love these books.  I also love that Kaehler actually incorporates a real racing series right down to the recent creation of the United SportsCar Championship Series created when the American Le Mans Series and the Rolex Sports Car Series merged back in 2013.

What unfolds over the course of the race is a gripping tale with more turns than the road course at Daytona.  I am not going to go any further into plot of Avoidable Contact because I want you to enjoy it as untainted by spoilers as possible.  But I will say that of the three Kate Reilly Mysteries- Avoidable Contact has moved into first place as my favorite!  Readers get to see parts of Kate’s life we haven’t seen before.  And I will say this: expect to be left craving book 4 and to be saying things out loud like “Urg! But what happens next?!” after you turn that last page.

Author Tammy Kaehler is a technical writer in the Los Angeles area.  To go along with the release of her third Kate Reilly Mystery, Tammy Kaehler has been blogging about some of the research she did for Avoidable Contact.  These blog posts are a perfect companion to the book: Avoidable Contact – The Backstory, Avoidable Contact- Racing Into The NightAvoidable Contact- My Sleep Research, and Avoidable Contact- Daytona’s Checkered Flag. They give you just a little bit of insight on what kind of research goes into a book like this plus are just fun race experiences and you KNOW how I like those since I write them for BadGroove. Pick up a copy of Avoidable Contact today- I really think you will love it! I certainly did.

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For disclosure an advanced readers copy of Avoidable Contact was supplied for review purposes- but I would have had it queued up in my kindle pre-order queue if it hadn’t because I LOVE this series!

“I am the car and the car is me.” Martin Warwick in Tenths of a Second an audio short story by Simon Wood

Racers know that racing is a slippery slope of talent, speed, technology and for the up and coming racer sponsorship money (to buy the technology to create the speed to showcase the talent). It’s a sport where, to up-and-coming drivers, tenths of a second can mean the difference between hoisting a trophy in victory lane and having to scrounge around for the money to get to the track for the next race with equipment that may or may not be competitive enough to garner you with anything more than an “also ran” performance.

This is extremely evident to Martin Warwick, protagonist in Tenths of a Second, and driver in the open wheel Formula Ford racing series (yes it’s a real racing series- here is the Formula Fords wiki page if you are curious). He knows he has what it takes to make it as a professional driver but his equipment isn’t of the quality that can get him a performance that will showcase his driving talents. That is until the mysterious Mr. Mallory shows up in Martin’s garage stall at a race with an intriguing offer. While Mallory doesn’t have the much needed sponsorship money Martin’s hoping for, he has an experimental telemetry system that governs the car and driver. Mallory assures that utilizing his system will get Martin the type of performance that will turn heads and have sponsors throwing money his way. Martin signs up with Mallory deciding that he might as well give the developmental system a go because even if it’s a total flop at least it will get him a much needed engine rebuild and testing time at a track before the next race.

“Success was my nourishment, friend, lover and soul mate.” Martin Warwick in Tenths of a Second an audio short story by Simon Wood

As a result of his partnership with Mallory, Martin quickly finds him self on the fast track to the career as a professional racer that he has been yearning for. The question is at what cost will those precious tenths of a second come and is it worth it for Martin?

Tenths of a Second is an audio short story by Simon Wood.  Let me assure you that there is nothing usual about this story and it’s telling. I will be the first to admit that I don’t tend towards audio books at all because I find if I am not engaged with the actual reading of something my mind wanders and I lose interest. THIS WAS NOT THE CASE with this story (and I have even downloaded a second audio short by Simon but haven’t listened to it yet).  At first Tenths of a Second is like pulling up a chair and reminiscing with a friend as he tells his story, but with plot twists (that not be divulged here but trust me) that Simon Wood does so well.  I highly recommend this short (it’s about 40 minutes by my computer) audio story! Order Tenths of a Second today- it is well worth the $1.50- trust me!!

Simon Wood probably sounds familiar- I have reviewed his Aidy Westlake Racing Mysteries novels Did Not Finish and Hot Seat for BadGroove as well as interviewed the author himself.  Simon is a prolific author, ex-professional race car driver, and a licensed pilot. You can find out more about Simon and his books on his website.

The Race: Living Life On Track

 

 

The old adage never judge a book by it’s cover could have been coined in regards to this book.  Based on the cover alone, the average NASCAR fan might pick this book up thinking it’s a biography of Darrell Waltrip. They might expect to be regaled with great behind-the-scenes tales from his years racing in NASCAR’s premier racing series. They would get this in some respects but do not be fooled. The Race: Living Life On Track by Froman, Mauldin and Waltrip is NOT about Darrell Waltrip as much as it’s a story of Motor Racing Outreach (MRO) who ministers and guides those in the NASCAR community. And while indeed it contains many anecdotal stories from the track it’s more about how they assist those in the racing community win the race of life though faith.

The authors of The Race are three-time NASCAR Champion Darrell Waltrip, Kyle Froman (Director of Development for Motor Racing Outreach) and Billy Mauldin (the President and CEO of Motor Racing Outreach. Each chapter of the book has a theme on how this can be done and includes relative stories from the track but also relevant bible verse and personal experience from each of the three authors with the theme and it’s lesson for the race of life.  These stories make the book easy to relate to for race fans on an individual level while continuing to relate back to the NASCAR community as a whole.  Also in each of the chapters the three authors take on the themes with personal revelations from the track and their respective lives in general. At first I thought this style produced a disjointed text but either I got use to the format or it cunningly pulls together the further you are into the book.

This book is for the Christian NASCAR fan looking for guidance on incorporating faith into many aspects of their everyday life.

The Race: Living Life On Track is available at amazon.

For more information on the book and it’s authors visit: B&H Publishing Group

Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed by John F. Ross available now at Amazon and other retailers.

 

“Racing appealed on a level far more deeply satisfying than fame and money; besides the pure adrenaline rush, it gave him an outlet for taking control and conquering life’s uncertainties.” John F. Ross, Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed.

It’s been awhile since I read anything- especially anything I could use for an installment of “Amy’s #NASCAR Reading List” but finally here it is! In this installment I am reviewing John F. Ross’s biography Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed. Chances are you are having one of two reactions to the title.  One reaction might be “Who?”   The other thought might be something along the lines of “World War One ace fighter pilot.”  The second thought was what came into my head when I was asked if I would like a copy of this novel to review for my readers to the point I nearly turned it down. Luckily the words Indy 500 caught my eye and I thought- heck I will give it read.

I am glad I did.  My dad is an aviation buff so I was familiar with the name Eddie Rickenbacker in that sense; ace pilot of World War I. But that is about all I really knew about him- that he flew biplanes in World War I.  I am going to be honest- when in school I was never a huge fan of history. All those dates and names and places. But this book brings this era that we learned about in school to life for me with it’s words in a way that has never been done before.  About the excitement and the constant changing of the industrial revolution and as the author calls it the “Age of Speed”. The book is very full of descriptive prose that make you feel like you are reading a novel instead of a biography. (more…)

If you’ve been reading for awhile- you know that I reviewed author the first two books in Simon Wood’s racing thriller series here on BadGroove a couple months ago. As I mentioned in the review, I rather enjoyed both DID NOT FINISH and HOT SEAT and expanded out to Simon’s other “non racing” books.  I am excited that Simon was kind enough to answer some questions for me for BadGroove. So without further adieu:

BG: Did you always want to be a writer? Did you have a proclivity towards writing as a child?

Simon: No, not at all.  I’m dyslexic so I avoided the written word like the plague.  I wanted to draw.  I was a daydreamer coming up with stories but I didn’t begin writing until I was thirty.

BG: Your bio mentions you are a sometimes private investigator. How did you get into private investigation work?

Simon: When I moved to the US, I couldn’t get a job.  My wife and I were living pretty close to the breadline so we were looking to supplement our income so we responded to an ad to become mystery shoppers.  We “shopped” cinemas, electronic stores, fast food joints, etc.  We did well enough that we kept being bumped up the food chain moving to restaurants, to hotels and to finally casinos.  Once we started working in Vegas, we had to get PI licenses.

BG: Does being a “sometimes private investigator” help with being a writer- especially in the suspense/thriller genre?

Simon: To be honest, most of the work was pretty sedate and detail oriented.  The only thing we did have to do was come up with a lot of cover stories as we were undercover a lot of time.  The best thing about the job is all the people watching I got to do.

BG: Who are a couple of your favorite authors and/or books?

Simon: I’m a big Reginald Hill & Raymond Chandler fan.  But I would say my biggest influence is Hitchcock.  He understood human frailty and he liked to poke it with a stick and I like that.

Simon’s books DID NOT FINISH and HOT SEAT are the first two installments that follow Aidy Westlake, a young racer with a pension for finding trouble. Since Simon is an ex-race car driver I wondered how his experience factored into the personality of Aidy.

BG: Did you always want to be a racer? How did you get into it? (more…)

Dad was a purist. His interest began and ended with formula cars. Me, I was more like my racing hero, Jim Clark. He was a double Formula One champion, but he’d driven everything- sports cars, saloon cars, NASCAR and even rally cars. While my dream was to reach Formula One, I’d drive anything.” Hot Seat by Simon Wood.

I was introduced to Simon Wood’s books by association. I posted reviews for Tammy Kaehler’s Kate Reilly Racing books earlier this year (Dead Man’s Switch and Braking Points).  Tammy also blogs about motorsports over at Two For The Road- a blog she shares with Simon Wood (who is a former race car driver) and it was reading this blog that made me look up Simon’s books (he has quite a few books- but so far there are just the two in the Aidy Westlake Mystery series- which are racing related so that was logically where I started).

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