Jul 252017
 


Shadow Girl (An Afton Tangler Thriller)

Suspense/Thriller
2nd in Series
Setting – Minnesota
Berkley
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Release Date – August 1, 2017
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425281789
Kindle ASIN: B01MXHV6CL

 

 

The brutal murder of a business tycoon leaves Afton Tangler and the Twin Cities reeling, but that’s just the beginning of a gruesome crime spree…

Leland Odin made his fortune launching a home shopping network, but his millions can’t save his life. On the list for a transplant, the ailing businessman sees all hope lost when the helicopter carrying his donor heart is shot out of the sky.

Now with two pilots dead and dozens injured, Afton Tangler, family liaison officer for the Minneapolis Police Department, is drawn into the case. As she and her partner investigate family members and business associates, whoever wants Leland dead strikes again—and succeeds—in a brazen hospital room attack.

The supposedly squeaky clean millionaire has crossed the wrong person—and she’s not finished exacting her revenge. The case explodes into an international conspiracy of unbridled greed and violence. And as Afton gets closer to unearthing the mastermind behind it, she gets closer to becoming collateral damage…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this follow up to Little Girl Gone we find Afton Tangler tangled up in another police investigation. Something she loves as she hopes to become a full fledged detective instead of a family liaison officer.

A helicopter bringing a donor heart from Madison, Wisconsin is shot down out of the sky crashing down on a college campus. Afton and Detective Max Montgomery were nearby for a neighborhood meeting so they become some of the first responders.  Deputy Chief Gerald Thacker assigns Afton to work with Max on this difficult case.

Mom Chao Cherry ordered the hit on the helicopter. She is out for revenge but the police know nothing about her or even that she and her team plan to keep terrorizing the victims she chooses.

Ms. Schmitt takes us into the story from various characters points of view to drag us deep into the gritty and at times terrifying story.  This story involves many more people than the first book but I had no trouble following. I really enjoyed following the investigation to its conclusion. It grabbed my attention right away and held it to the very end.

I found both Afton and Max to be very engaging in the first book and they have grown to be very comfortable working together in this one. All the officers working on the case and the Deputy Chief realize Afton has talents to bring to the table. She doesn’t always follow Max’s orders but when she doesn’t she seems to have a good reason.

The content of the story was very well written and researched. This series brings a totally different type of story than I have seen from her alter ego Laura Childs. The language and events are raw and rough at times but rings true for these characters in this setting. It is fun to see this author bring us this thrilling story and a darker side of life while still giving us characters to root for.

Warning  – do not start this book late in the day. The author writes in a short chapter format that will have you saying “just one more chapter” several times until you realize you have read the whole darn book.

This book is part of a series but can be read on its own. To really know Afton and Max you should start with Little Girl Gone. I am already looking forward to the next Afton Tangler Thriller.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Gerry Schmitt is the author of the Afton Tangler Thrillers, and, writing under the pseudonym Laura Childs, the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty-five novels, the Tea Shop, Scrapbooking, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. She is the former CEO of her own marketing firm, has won TV and radio awards, and produced two reality TV shows. She and her professor husband enjoy collecting art, travel, and their two Shar-Pei dogs.

Author Links –
Webpage – Facebook 

To find books written as Laura Childs click here.

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Jul 172017
 

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I am starting in Minnesota, then Missouri and then off to North Carolina!
Should be a fun and busy week.

Here’s what I read and what
I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


Unzipped (Chrissy McMullen Book 1)

Release Date May 31, 2005
Setting – California
My Review

The Detecting Duchess (Victorian Bookshop Mystery)
Release Date May 26, 2017
Setting – London – UK
The Great Escapes Tour stops here this Wednesday!


Calamity at the Continental Club (A Washington Whodunit)
Release Date – July 15, 2017
Setting – Washington D.C.
The Great Escapes Tour stops here this Thursday.


Masking for Trouble (A Costume Shop Mystery)
Release Date – October 4, 2016
Setting – Nevada
My Flashback Friday Read

Scheduled Escapes


Shadow Girl (An Afton Tangler Thriller)
Release Date – August 1, 2017
Setting – Minnesota
For Review


Lions and Tigers and Murder, Oh My (Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery)
Release Date – July 4, 2017
Setting – Missouri
I will be featuring this book for Cozy Wednesday next week.


The Girl Who Was Taken
Release Date – April 25, 2017
Setting – North Carolina
For Review

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jul 112017
 

Bring Her Home
Crime Suspense Thriller
Setting – Kentucky
Berkley (July 11, 2017)
Paperback: 464 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399584442
Kindle ASIN: B01MAY1TSV

 

 

Just a year and a half after the tragic death of his wife, Bill Price’s fifteen-year-old daughter, Summer, and her best friend, Haley, disappear. Days later, the girls are found in a city park. Haley is dead at the scene, while Summer is left beaten beyond recognition and clinging to life.

As Bill holds vigil over Summer’s bandaged body, the only sound the unconscious girl can make is one cryptic and chilling word: No. And the more time Bill spends with Summer, the more he wonders what happened to her. Or if the injured girl in the hospital bed is really his daughter at all.

When troubling new questions about Summer’s life surface, Bill is not prepared for the aftershocks. He’ll soon discover that both the living and the dead have secrets. And that searching for the truth will tear open old wounds that pierce straight to the heart of his family…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Each year I wait very impatiently for the new David Bell thriller. This year was no different and it was well worth the wait except I didn’t think so as I read Part One. Let me explain.

Two 15 year old girls disappear. Summer and Haley were just like sisters, they did everything together. Bill Price just thought his daughter Summer was pushing her limits by missing her curfew until the police call. The girls were found in a park. Haley is declared dead immediately but Summer is rushed to the hospital badly beaten in grave condition. Bill and his sister, Paige, remain by the bedside rubbing her arm and talking to her. Then Paige starts to wonder if the girl in the bed is really Summer at all. Something I thought very early in the story.

Then we get to Part Two and the classic David Bell twists start to evolve. Different suspects, different scenarios, and a father driven to find the truth. I am treading lightly here so as to not tell you anymore than what the synopsis of the book provides. When I reached Part Two of this book I could not put it down.

Having experienced the loss of a child albeit in a very different way, I felt Bill Price’s pain. It ripped right into my heart. This man wanted answers and he was going to do anything to get them. The police told him to let them do their job, he tried, but he couldn’t. I understood his passion, even when the outcome could be the worst thing he could imagine he couldn’t stop. As the story continues so do the twists and surprises and Bill never quits or backs down.

Bell knows how to tell a story with strong characters. His stories have many layers. There is drama from start to finish. The pacing is absolutely perfect and the way he writes pulls the reader deeper and deeper into the story. He also uses short chapters so even late at night the “I just read one more” overtakes you and before you know it you are finishing the story. Mr. Bell is responsible for my latest book hangover 🙂

Like everything else this man has written this is an excellent story, one that will stick with you beyond the final page. For suspense fans, this is a must read.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

You can find out more about David and his books visit his webpage here



GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!! 

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End July 25, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Jul 062017
 

Would you like to receive an Advanced Copy of Shadow Girl?

Thanks to the author I have 2 Advance Copies to give away!

If you are chosen you must post a review on GoodReads on or before the August 1 release date and post a review on Amazon between August 1 and August 4. 


Shadow Girl (An Afton Tangler Thriller)

Suspense/Thriller
Release Date – August 1, 2017
2nd in Series
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425281789
Kindle ASIN: B01MXHV6CL

The brutal murder of a business tycoon leaves Afton Tangler and the Twin Cities reeling, but that’s just the beginning of a gruesome crime spree…

Leland Odin made his fortune launching a home shopping network, but his millions can’t save his life. On the list for a transplant, the ailing businessman sees all hope lost when the helicopter carrying his donor heart is shot out of the sky.

Now with two pilots dead and dozens injured, Afton Tangler, family liaison officer for the Minneapolis Police Department, is drawn into the case. As she and her partner investigate family members and business associates, whoever wants Leland dead strikes again—and succeeds—in a brazen hospital room attack.

The supposedly squeaky clean millionaire has crossed the wrong person—and she’s not finished exacting her revenge. The case explodes into an international conspiracy of unbridled greed and violence. And as Afton gets closer to unearthing the mastermind behind it, she gets closer to becoming collateral damage…

About The Author

Gerry Schmitt is the author of the Afton Tangler Thrillers, and, writing under the pseudonym Laura Childs, the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty-five novels, the Tea Shop, Scrapbooking, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. She is the former CEO of her own marketing firm, has won TV and radio awards, and produced two reality TV shows. She and her professor husband enjoy collecting art, travel, and their two Shar-Pei dogs.

Author Links –
Webpage – Facebook 

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

2 Winners will be selected Sunday! 

Books will be mailed Monday! 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Jun 292017
 

The House of Memory (Pluto’s Snitch)
Paranormal Historical Mystery/Suspense
2nd in Series
Setting – Alabama
Thomas & Mercer (June 27, 2017)
Paperback: 316 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1477819937
Kindle ASIN: B01NCIKAQX

 

Raissa James not only sees the dead but she’s caught the ears of the living—especially now that she’s solved her first case. Word of Pluto’s Snitch, her private-investigation agency specializing in the occult, has spread far and wide. It’s even come to the notice of Zelda Fitzgerald, the nation’s most celebrated flapper. And Zelda’s in need of its services.

Along with Reginald Proctor, her partner in detection, Raissa travels to Montgomery, Alabama, where Zelda’s friend Camilla has suddenly become prone to violent fits and delusions. Has Camilla gone mad…or has she been possessed?

Raissa and Reginald soon discover that Camilla’s not the only young lady in the area to fall victim to something unnatural. Now it’s up to the Snitches to follow the clues and save Camilla, locked away behind the walls of the formidable Bryce Hospital asylum. But the key to her rescue might not lie among the living at all. Because Raissa knows that the dead have their secrets, too.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this second book of this series Pluto’s Snitch is called on by the famous Zelda Fitzgerald. She has asked partners Raissa James and Reginald Proctor to help her friend Camilla. After two unexplainable episodes Camilla’s mother has sent her to the Bryce Hospital asylum thinking that she has gone insane. Her mother gives permission of any and all treatment the will make her daughter docile enough to get married. Raissa and Reginald quickly find this is a difficult case that may involve many more young girls. Putting themselves in danger they are determined not only to save Camilla but as many other girls as they can.

The author takes us back to the roaring 20’s with flappers, prostitution, prohibition, possession, ghosts and more. A time when women were seen but not heard and many were treated a property. She even includes Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald and Tallulah Bankhead in the story. The author brings true history into her stories making them very believable.

What makes the story so interesting is that Raissa has a gift. She can see and hear the dead. Sometimes what she sees is quite graphic and scary but she soldiers on to get the answers she seeks. She has dead people in her dreams too, sometimes they give her more questions than answers but they almost always move her investigation forward.  While Reginald cannot see spirits (yet) he is a critical thinker and has Raissa’s complete trust. Together they make a fine detective team.

Carolyn Haines is very descriptive in everything from the characters to the settings. She has to be for this story to be a success. Pictures were painted in my mind of both the human characters and the spirits. I could also clearly picture everywhere Raissa went from the Sayre house to the asylum.

There was evil at play in this story both in the living and the dead. The plot would make an excellent movie but it would be one I probably would watch peeking through my fingers over my eyes.

A fast read, hard to put down, a chilling story. You may want to read The Book of Beloved first to start this series from the beginning. I highly recommend both.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

USA Today bestselling author Carolyn Haines has published over 70 books in a number of genres, both dark and light. She is an animal advocate and a former muckraking journalist. THE BOOK OF BELOVED, a Pluto’s Snitch mystery, is the first book in a new series. The latest book in the Sarah Booth Delaney series is ROCK-A-BYE BONES.

To learn more about Carolyn or to sign up for her newsletter, please go to www.carolynhaines.com or find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram


Click on book covers for more info or to order from Amazon.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Jun 242017
 


Closet Full Of Bones
Women Sleuths/Suspense
Pixiegrind Ink Ltd. (May 24, 2017)
Print Length: 280 pages
Kindle ASIN: B071LPTS3X

Ever since they were children, Gillian Hearth has been her sister Frankie’s guardian, her sounding board, and her best friend. Together, the Hearth sisters quietly bury their secrets and form a formidable team during any crisis. Purchasing the old Blymhill house with the hopes of turning it into an artists’ retreat, the sisters are finally living their dream. But when Frankie’s stable ground is rattled by a vengeful ex-boyfriend, an unstable friend from the past shows up unannounced with delusions of intimacy, and a cold case cop starts sniffing around their door, the sisters are forced to wonder how far they will go to keep their secrets safe.

Gillian discovers that, this time, her fight is about to land her in the crosshairs of a dangerous predator who will use any means necessary to remove her from the equation. With everything she holds dear under threat, Gillian battles to keep her head above water and her skeletons in the closet.

About The Author
In addition to being the author of the Marnie Baranuik Files, AJ Aalto is an unrepentant liar, a poor Sudoku puzzler, a badge bunny, a PVP gamer, and a fruitcake. When not studying murder, you can find her singing Monty Python songs in the shower, eavesdropping on strangers, stalking her eye doctor, or failing at life. Readers will find her work littered with dark creatures and flawed monsters.

Webpage
Follow on Facebook           Twitter        GoodReads     Amazon

Find more books by A.J. Aalto here.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jun 012017
 

Big City Heat (A Brack Pelton Mystery)
Suspense/Thriller
3rd in Series
Setting – Georgia
Henery Press (April 25, 2017)
Paperback: 294 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635111996
Kindle ASIN: B01N6UQHTG

 

 

Lowcountry bar owner and Marine veteran Brack Pelton heads to Atlanta in the wake of a panicked three a.m. phone call. A woman is missing and Brack’s friend Mutt is in danger. Brack’s old flame, investigative news correspondent Darcy Wells, now lives there and is set to marry another man. If Brack was honest with himself, and he usually wasn’t, he’d realize that the missing woman isn’t the reason for his visit. His Semper Fi buddy Mutt can handle himself just fine.

When Brack and Mutt team up to find the woman, the Atlanta underworld revolts, the two biggest players target them, and people start dying. Most people would size up the situation, call it impossible, and walk away. But most people are not Brack Pelton. Impossible situations are his specialty. He made it through Afghanistan and when the military commanders mistook suicidal tendencies for leadership qualities they promoted him. Can Brack succeed at finding the woman, protecting his friend, and winning the girl without destroying the Capital of the South? Not since Sherman’s march across Georgia has the city of Atlanta been in this much danger.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The 3rd installment to this thriller series takes Brack Pelton and his mostly faithful dog Shelby to Atlanta to help his friend Mutt find a missing woman. Star reporter Darcy Wells is in Atlanta too and is engaged, but not to Brack, something he is not too happy about. The 3 team up for a wild adventure that may be the end of them. Buckle in and hold on tight as David Burnsworth takes us at breakneck right along with them.

The author continues to bring the “heat”. Our characters find themselves in Atlanta’s gritty underworld of drugs, prostitution, sex trafficking, illegal imports and more. Car chases and guns blasting reign as they find themselves deeper and deeper in a case that may be beyond their reach. The action starts right away and holds a very rapid pace through the entire story. It get so intense Brack realizes he needs to get Shelby out of harm’s way. The decision brings Brother Thomas to Atlanta too. It was great to see the whole gang together.

Burnsworth writes a story so well you feel like you are watching a movie instead of reading a book. His descriptive talent is top notch enabling me to see such vivid pictures in my mind.

There is a bit of a romantic element to the story as Brack tries to decide if he should fight for the girl but it all takes places right along with all the action. The Southern dialect comes through in the dialogue especially with Brother Thomas and Mutt. Brack is a sarcastic son-of-a-gun so there is humor there too.

I knew from the author’s first book that he was an author to watch. He gives us the full package – tough, flawed characters you want to root for and a thrilling plot that will keep you up reading late into the night. This guy just keeps topping himself. I am so excited about all his stories. I need to read Blu Heat soon. It has Brack crossing over to meet Blu Carraway, the protagonist of his new series that will be released in September. Burnswoth’s future is really heatin’ up and I can’y wait for more!!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

db-photo
About This Author

David Burnsworth became fascinated with the Deep South at a young age. After a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and fifteen years in the corporate world, he made the decision to write a novel. Southern Heat is his first mystery. Having lived in Charleston on Sullivan’s Island for five years, the setting was a foregone conclusion. He and his wife along with their dog call South Carolina home.

Author Links: Webpage   Facebook  Twitter   GoodReads

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

May 132017
 

I will be reviewing this book next month.
The Girl Who Was Taken
Suspense Thriller
Kensington (April 25, 2017)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496701008
Kindle ASIN: B01JEJC8PW

Charlie Donlea, one of the most original new voices in suspense, returns with a haunting novel, laden with twists and high tension, about two abducted girls–one who returns, one who doesn’t–and the forensics expert searching for answers.

Nicole Cutty and Megan McDonald are both high school seniors in the small town of Emerson Bay, North Carolina. When they disappear from a beach party one warm summer night, police launch a massive search. No clues are found, and hope is almost lost until Megan miraculously surfaces after escaping from a bunker deep in the woods.

A year later, the bestselling account of her ordeal has turned Megan from local hero to national celebrity. It’s a triumphant, inspiring story, except for one inconvenient detail: Nicole is still missing. Nicole’s older sister Livia, a fellow in forensic pathology, expects that one day soon Nicole’s body will be found, and it will be up to someone like Livia to analyze the evidence and finally determine her sister’s fate. Instead, the first clue to Nicole’s disappearance comes from another body that shows up in Livia’s morgue–that of a young man connected to Nicole’s past. Livia reaches out to Megan for help, hoping to learn more about the night the two were taken. Other girls have gone missing too, and Livia is increasingly certain the cases are connected.

But Megan knows more than she revealed in her blockbuster book. Flashes of memory are coming together, pointing to something darker and more monstrous than her chilling memoir describes. And the deeper she and Livia dig, the more they realize that sometimes true terror lies in finding exactly what you’ve been looking for.

CHAPTER EXCERPT

Emerson Bay, NC
August 20, 2016
11:22 p.m.

Darkness had forever been part of her life.

She looked for it and flirted with it. Became quaint with it and charmed it in a way foreign to most. Morbidly of late, she convinced herself about the joys of its company. That she preferred the blackness of death to the light of existence. Until tonight. Until she stood in front of an abyss that was dead and blank in a way she had never encountered, a night sky without stars. When Nicole Cutty found herself in this chasm between life and death, she chose life. And she ran like hell.

With no flashlight, the night blinded her as she broke through the front entrance. Knowing he was just an arm’s length behind, adrenaline flooded her system and drove her for a few strides in the wrong direction until her eyes adjusted to the tarnished glow of the moon. Spotting her car, she reoriented herself and ran for it, fumbling with the handle until she ripped open the door. The keys hung from the ignition and Nicole cranked the engine, shifted into drive and stepped on the accelerator. She gave the engine too much gas and nearly sideswiped the vehicle in front of her. Her headlights brought to life the ink-black night, and from the corner of her eye she saw a flash of color from his shirt as he appeared from around the hood of the parked car in front of her. She had no time to react. She felt the thud of impact and the awful rocking of the car’s suspension as the wheels absorbed the unevenness of his body before regaining traction on the gravel road. Her response came without thought. She pushed the accelerator to the floor and twisted a tight U-turn, then raced down the narrow road leaving everything behind her.

Nicole jerked the wheel as she skidded onto the main road, swaying in the driver’s seat as the fishtail settled and ignoring the speedometer as it climbed past 80 mph. She flexed her arm from where he’d grabbed her, a deep purple bruise already forming, while her eyes bounced from the windshield to the rearview mirror. Two miles went by before she eased off the four-cylinder and the whine quieted down. Being free gave her no relief. Too much had happened to believe fleeing could make the problems of tonight disappear. She needed help.

As she turned onto the access road that led back to the beach, Nicole ticked off the people she couldn’t ask. Her brain worked that way, in the negative. Before deciding who could assist her, she mentally crossed off the people who would do her harm. Her parents were at the top of the list. The police, a close second. Her friends were possibilities, but they were soft and hysterical and Nicole knew they would panic before she explained even a fraction of what had transpired tonight. Her mind churned, ignoring the only real possibility until she had ruled out all others.

Nicole paused at the stop sign, rolled through it while she grabbed her phone. She needed her sister. Livia was older and smarter. Rational in a way Nicole was not. If she dismissed the last stretch of their lives and ignored the distance between them, Nicole knew she could trust Livia with her life. And even if she wasn’t sure about this, she had no other options.

She stuck the phone to her ear and listened to it ring while tears rolled down her cheeks. It was close to midnight. She was a block from the beach party.

“Pick up, pick up, pick up. Please, Livia!”

THE ESCAPE
2 Weeks Later

Emerson Bay Forest
September 3, 2016
11:54 p.m.

She pulled the burlap from her head and gasped for air. It took time for her eyes to adjust while amorphous shapes danced in her vision and the blackness faded. She listened for his presence but all she heard was the splattering rain outside. Dropping the burlap bag to the ground, she tiptoed to the bunker door. Surprised to see it opened a crack, she put her face to the crevasse between the door and the frame and looked out into the dark forest as rain pelted the trees. She imagined a camera lens trained tightly on her eyeball as she peered through the splinter in the door, and then the camera’s focus backing out in a slow reverse zoom that captured first the door, then the bunker, then the trees and eventually a satellite view of the entire forest. She felt small and weak from this mental picture of herself, all alone in a bunker sunk deep in the woods.

She questioned whether this was a test. If she pushed through the door and stepped into the woods, there was the chance he would be waiting for her. But if the open door and the moment free from her shackle were an oversight, it was his first misstep and the only opportunity she’d had in the last two weeks. This was the first moment she found herself untethered from the wall of her cellar.
With her hands trembling and still bound in front of her, she pushed open the door. The hinges creaked into the night before the slapping rain overwhelmed their whine. She waited a moment, held back by fear. She squeezed her eyes shut and forced herself to think, tried to push away her grogginess brought on by the sedatives. The hours of darkness from the cellar came back to her and flashed in her mind like a lightning storm. So, too, did the promise she made to herself that if an opportunity for escape appeared, she’d take it. She decided days before that she’d rather die fighting for her freedom than walk like a lamb to the slaughter.

She took a hesitant step out of the bunker, into the thick and heavy rain that ran in cold steaks down her face. She took a moment to bathe in the downpour, to let the water clear the fogginess from her mind. Then, she ran.

The forest was dark and the rain torrent. With tape binding her wrists, she tried to deflect the branches that whipped her face. She stumbled on a log and fell into the slippery leaves before forcing herself up again. She had counted the days and thought she’d been missing for twelve. Maybe thirteen. Stuck in a dark cellar where her captor stowed her and fed her, she may have missed a day when fatigue sent her into a long stretch of sleep. Tonight, he moved her to the forest. Dread had overwhelmed her as she bounced in the trunk, and a nauseous feeling told her the end was near. But now freedom was in front of her, somewhere beyond this forest and the rain and this night, she might find her way home.

She ran blindly, taking erratic turns that stole from her all sense of direction. Finally, she heard the roar of a semi truck as its wheels splashed through the wet pavement. Breathing heavily, she sprinted towards the noise and up an embankment that led to the two-lane highway. In the distance, the truck’s red taillights sped on, fading with each second.

She stumbled into the middle of the road and on wobbly legs chased the lights as though she might catch them. The rain pelted her face and matted her hair and drenched her ratty clothing. Barefoot, she continued in a push-slap, push-slap gait brought on by the deep gash on her right foot—suffered during her frantic march through the forest—which trickled a crooked line of blood behind her that the storm worked to erase. Driven by panic that he would come from the forest, she willed herself on with the sensation that he was near, ready to fast step behind her and pull the sac over her head and bring her back to the cellar with no windows.

Dehydrated and hallucinating, she thought her eyes were deceiving her when she saw it. A tiny white light far off in the distance. She staggered toward it until the light splintered in two and grew in size. She stayed in the middle of the road and waved her bound hands over her head.

The car slowed as it approached, flashed its high beams to illuminate her standing in the road in wet clothes and no shoes, with scratches covering her face and dripping blood down her neck to dye her T-shirt red.
The car stopped, wipers throwing water to each side. The driver’s door opened.

“Are you okay?” the man yelled over the roar the storm.

“I need help,” she said.

They were the first words she’d spoken in days, her voice raspy and dry. The rain, she finally noticed, tasted wonderful.

The man walked closer, recognized her. “Good god. The whole state’s been looking for you.” He took her under his arm and led her to the car, carefully seating her in the front passenger seat.

“Go!” she said. “He’s coming, I know it.”

The man raced around to the other side, shifting the car into drive before his door was closed. He dialed 911 as he sped along Highway 57.

“Where’s your friend?” he asked.

The girl looked at him. “Who?”

“Nicole Cutty. The other girl who was taken.”

About the Author

Charlie Donlea lives in Chicago with his wife and two young children. He spends a part of each year fishing with his father in the far reaches of Canada, where the roads end and lakes are accessible only by floatplane. These majestic trips to “God’s Country” inspired the setting for his novels. With so many choices of entertainment, and countless other books to choose from, he thanks you for spending your time and treasure on his creation. Readers can find him online at charliedonlea.com.

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Kensington is hosting a giveaway!!
One winner will receive:
Finished copy of SUMMIT LAKE by Charlie Donlea
Finished copy of THE GIRL WHO WAS TAKEN by Charlie Donlea
THE GIRL WHO WAS TAKEN Keychain

CHARLIE DONLEA GIVEAWAY

Contest Ends May 31, 2017
They will announce the winner.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Early Review – Day of Secrets by Daryl Wood Gerber

 2017 Reviews, E-Book Challenge, You Read How Many Books Challenge  Comments Off on Early Review – Day of Secrets by Daryl Wood Gerber
Apr 242017
 
Day of Secrets
Suspense/Thriller
Setting – California
Self Published
Release Date – May 5, 2017
Kindle ASIN: B06ZYP2WJC

 

 

A mother he thought he’d lost. A father he never knew. An enemy that wants them dead.

At the age of five, Chase Day became an orphan. For thirty-one years, after a rebellious youth, he did his best to turn his life around and build a normal life—first as a Naval officer and then as a history professor at a boutique Bay Area college. Now, all that changes when he finds his mother, whom he thought had perished in a fire, dying from a gunshot wound. In her last breath, she urges him to find and protect the father he never knew. Where has his father been? Why has he never made contact? Can Chase discover why his family is a target before an unknown enemy destroys him?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Daryl Wood Gerber brings us her 2nd suspense filled story following Girl on the Run.

I was thrilled to receive an advance copy of this book.

Chase Day gets a terrifying phone call from a woman he had thought was dead. He knows that voice, his mother’s, without thinking twice he rushes to her aid. He finds her dying of a gunshot wound. In her last breath, she begs him to save his father. A man he has never met. Using his naval officer’s training and experience he tries to find his father and find out why his family is being hunted.

Wood takes us on a heart pumping adventure that will have you glued to your seat from the first page until the last. I read the entire book all in one sitting.

Chase Day is such an interesting character. His mother left him at the age of 5, he never knew his father. He is raised by his grandmother. He joined the Navy after graduation and now works as a college history professor. He has real trust issues. He has suffered from PTSD and works with a group helping those that are suffering. With some help from his friends and borrowing several of their vehicles he is trying to uncover the secrets that have put his family and those close to him in the sights of a killer.

We follow Day on a corkscrew of twists and turns as he makes contact with the people in his mother’s past. All of them seem to be hiding something. He even bumps into his old high school girlfriend and thinks she seems may be in on the plan to eliminate his family. Day doesn’t even know if he can trust the police. Is he being paranoid? Who can he really rely on?

This is a captivating story of physical and emotional pain, deception, and revelation. Day’s story is thrilling and heartbreaking.  It is a story that will stick with well beyond the final page. Daryl Wood Gerber has proven again to be a gifted storyteller and one to watch in this genre. An absolute must-read!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Agatha Award-winning and nationally bestselling author DARYL WOOD GERBER ventures into the world of suspense again with her second novel, DAY OF SECRETS. Daryl writes the bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries and will soon debut the new French Bistro Mysteries. As Avery Aames, she pens the bestselling Cheese Shop Mysteries. Fun tidbit: asan actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to read and cook,and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

Visit Daryl or Avery atwww.darylwoodgerber.com.

Daryl’s Blog Avery’s Blog Mystery Lover’s Kitchen Killer Characters

Facebook:   Daryl      Avery 

Twitter: @AveryAames @DarylWoodGerber

Goodreads:    Daryl Wood Gerber     Avery Aames


Click on covers to view details on Amazon.

No Giveaway today,
but you can pre-order Day of Secrets for just 99¢
and have it delivered to your device on May 5.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Feb 282017
 
For the first time ever, one of Harlan Coben’s #1 New York Times bestselling hardcovers will be going straight to trade paperback with the release of HOME (on sale February 28th, 2017) TODAY!
I reviewed this book back on September 20 when the hardcover was released and gave it a Paradise Rating – More then 5 stars!
It was one of my Top Reads of 2016.
Today I am reposting my review and the publisher is allowing me to give 2 copies away!!
home
Home
Myron Bolitar Book 11
Crime/Suspense/Thriller
Dutton (September 20, 2016) TODAY!
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 400 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0525955108
E-Book ASIN: B01COJUGOE
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

Ten years after the high-profile kidnapping of two young boys, only one returns home in Harlan Coben’s gripping thriller.

A decade ago, kidnappers grabbed two boys from wealthy families and demanded ransom, then went silent. No trace of the boys ever surfaced. For ten years their families have been left with nothing but painful memories and a quiet desperation for the day that has finally, miraculously arrived: Myron Bolitar and his friend Win believe they have located one of the boys, now a teenager. Where has he been for ten years, and what does he know about the day, more than half a life ago, when he was taken? And most critically: What can he tell Myron and Win about the fate of his missing friend? Drawing on his singular talent, Harlan Coben delivers an explosive and deeply moving thriller about friendship, family, and the meaning of home.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

First let me state this book can easily read as a stand-a-lone, but the main characters have a history and after reading this book you will want to know that history.

The story starts with Myron getting a call from Win. Ten years ago two boys went missing and for Win it is personal because one of the boys was family. After all this time Win receives information that puts him back on the trail and he needs Myron’s help. These two are like the dynamic duo only while Myron is the star of these books he is more often Robin to Win’s Batman.

While Myron does make appearances in Coben’s young adult series, Live Wire, the last Myron Bolitar thriller was published in 2011, so at first I was worried first about my memory of everything Bolitar but also if during the years away the characters wouldn’t live up to my hopes.  Coben has written some stellar thrillers since we last visited these characters so the bar was set really high. Well, I need not have worried, my memories picked up like I has read the previous book the day before  and Coben hits this one out of the park!

Myron, Win (Windsor Lockhorne III), Esperanza and Big Cindi are all back. Mickey, Myron’s nephew and his girlfriend and friend Spoon (Young Adult Series) along with Myron’s parents are all involved in this book. We meet more of Win’s family and the other missing boy’s family too. Plus the criminals who play a part in this story. They are all vital and spring from the pages.

The entire plot starts and ends with gripping and astounding twists, exactly what I expect from this author. The story has tons of drama, action, and mystery along with several edge of your seat moments. Family interactions and deep psychological matters are revealed that had me absolutely stunned. There are some moments of humor too that fans of Myron and Win will truly appreciate. These two are a pair like no other.

The pace is so fast. I wanted to savor this story I had been waiting so long for but with points of view continually switching between Myron and Win that was impossible.  I did the just one more chapter thing so many times I just gave up and stayed up and finished the whole thing and again at the end I exclaimed “WOW!” His books tend to have that effect on me.

In recent years my reading has been more on the cozy side but if I had to choose my all time favorite author my answer has been and will be Harlan Coben. His writing grabs me by the collar and doesn’t let go. I anxiously await each new book. As I finished this one I thought is this the last Bolitar novel? The characters seem to be in a good place so it could be but I sure hope it is not. I do know that whatever this author writes I am going to want to read it immediately so I can’t wait to see where he takes me next.

paradise 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End March 14, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

To find out more about Harlan Coben and his books visit his webpage here.

Myron and Mickey Bolitar Series’




Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Drawing Conclusions (A Sketch in Crime Mystery) by Deirdre VerneBUY TODAY
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