Sep 172019
 


The Vanished Bride (Brontë Sisters Mystery)
Biographical Historical Fiction/Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Yorkshire, England
Berkley (September 10, 2019)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0593099052
ISBN-13: 978-0593099056
Kindle ASIN: B07PF6T82G

Before they became legendary writers, Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë, and Anne Brontë were detectors in this charming historical mystery…

Yorkshire, 1845. A young wife and mother has gone missing from her home, leaving behind two small children and a large pool of blood. Just a few miles away, a humble parson’s daughters—the Brontë sisters—learn of the crime. Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë are horrified and intrigued by the mysterious disappearance.

These three creative, energetic, and resourceful women quickly realize that they have all the skills required to make for excellent “lady detectors.” Not yet published novelists, they have well-honed imaginations and are expert readers. And, as Charlotte remarks, “detecting is reading between the lines—it’s seeing what is not there.”

As they investigate, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne are confronted with a society that believes a woman’s place is in the home, not scouring the countryside looking for clues. But nothing will stop the sisters from discovering what happened to the vanished bride, even as they find their own lives are in great peril…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

When I pull out my list of favorite books, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is always near the top of the list so when I learned of this book I knew I just had to read it.

Bella Ellis writes a story where the Brontë sisters with a couple of assists from their brother become amateur detectors when they learn of a young bride missing from her home with a gruesome scene left behind. The sisters spend their days trying to write but have been bored and in need of some fresh ideas. They soon realize they know the governess caring for the missing woman’s children. Charlotte feels this gives them the in they need to investigate. The sisters are very independent but their father worries about their excursions. They feed him stories so he doesn’t worry but he knows his daughters. He prays each day that they come home safe.

This story takes place before any of the Brontë works have been published. The author captures their knowledge, imagination, uniqueness, and perseverance in an excellent way.  She immerses them in a complex and compelling mystery. The girls travel “hither and thither” is their quest to find the vanished bride. The clues started to fall into place for me a bit before the sisters but I was totally entertained by the journey I was taken on. The author’s descriptive talents brought each setting and the characters place in it to life. In a time where women are usually seen and not heard and treated like property, the feminist slant to the story was refreshing.

What I really enjoyed was the story being told by each of the sister’s point of view alternating chapter by chapter.  It really gives insight into their lives and thought processes allowing readers to get to know each in a more personal way. Ms. Ellis has done her research and presented it in an interesting way.

Intriguing and entertaining, The Vanished Bride, is a fascinating historical mystery that fans of this genre will enjoy whether they have read Brontë sisters work or not. It does make me want to go back and reread some of their stories and poetry which I haven’t done for years.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Bella Ellis is the Brontë-esque pseudonym of Rowan Coleman, an acclaimed author of numerous novels for adults and children. She first visited the former home of the Brontë sisters when she was ten years old. From the moment she stepped over the threshold she was hooked and embarked on a lifelong love affair with Charlotte, Emily, and Anne; their life; their literature; and their remarkable legacy.


I am giving away my review copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian 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.

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

Contest Will End October 1, 2019, 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.”

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Aug 292019
 

Singapore Sapphire (A Harriet Gordon Mystery)
Historial Mystery/ Amateur Sleuth
1st in Series
Setting – Singapore
Berkley (August 6, 2019)
Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 198480264X
ISBN-13: 978-1984802644
Kindle ASIN: B07KDW7YKS

Early twentieth-century Singapore is a place where a person can disappear, and Harriet Gordon hopes to make a new life for herself there, leaving her tragic memories behind her–but murder gets in the way.

Singapore, 1910–Desperate for a fresh start, Harriet Gordon finds herself living with her brother, a reverend and headmaster of a school for boys, in Singapore at the height of colonial rule. Hoping to gain some financial independence, she advertises her services as a personal secretary. It is unfortunate that she should discover her first client, Sir Oswald Newbold–explorer, mine magnate and president of the exclusive Explorers and Geographers Club–dead with a knife in his throat.

When Inspector Robert Curran is put on the case, he realizes that he has an unusual witness in Harriet. Harriet’s keen eye for detail and strong sense of duty interests him, as does her distrust of the police and her traumatic past, which she is at pains to keep secret from the gossips of Singapore society.

When another body is dragged from the canal, Harriet feels compelled to help with the case. She and Curran are soon drawn into a murderous web of treachery and deceit and find themselves face-to-face with a ruthless cabal that has no qualms about killing again to protect its secrets.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I was a little hesitant when I opened the book to a glossary and a cast of characters. I was afraid the different dialects were going to mess with the flow and I like to get to know the characters myself as I read the story, especially for the first book of a series. So I skimmed the glossary and ignored the cast list and jumped right in. What I found was a unique mystery with very interesting characters in a fascinating setting.

Harriet Gordon lost both her husband and child to Typhus in India. She returned to England and became involved in the Suffragette Movement and got into a bit of trouble. She then decided to join her brother, a minister, and headmaster of a school in Singapore. There was work there for her to do but with no pay. To earn money she placed an ad to be a personal secretary. Her first client was Sir Oswald Newbold, a man well known for his exploration and a mining magnate. He was also president of the exclusive Explorers and Geographers Club. He had hired Harriet to transcribe his memoirs to get them ready for publication. Her employment ends abruptly when she finds the man dead in his home.

Inspector Robert Curran arrives on the scene and sees Harriet is a formidable woman with a keen sense of observation. He also feels she is hiding something. Something not pertaining to the death but something that is holding her back. Inspector Curran is holding something personal back from her as well, but beyond that, he believes she can help him with his case.

These characters are very well-developed for the first book in a series, but the author has left them plenty of room to grow. I enjoyed the way a friendship was built between them. The author also surrounds these characters with a diverse cast. Young students from the school, the staff, her brother to everyone we meet as we follow along with the investigation. All the characters are strong even those with minor parts to play. There are a lot of characters but I had no trouble keeping them straight.

The descriptions of Singapore, 1910, are vivid and I could tell the author was familiar with the setting and had researched it greatly.  It was no surprise when her biography stated she had lived there. Her words definitely transported this reader back in time to a place I knew very little about. She even captured the weather and makes her readers feel it. I was sweating in sympathy for the characters.

The mystery was an imaginative jewel. Precisely plotted, with culture and time are clearly portrayed. The pace had a slow build but really picked up about halfway in. The story was complex with twist after twist. The ending was suspenseful and kept me on my toes until everything was revealed.

Singapore Sapphire was an extraordinary read and I am looking forward to my next adventure with Harri and the good inspector. This series is off to an excellent start.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About A.M. Stuart 

Australian author, A.M. Stuart, learned her passion for history from her father and began her writing career halfway up a tree in the school playground where she wrote her first (unpublished) historical romance.

There have been many published, and multi award-nominated, historical romances (writing as Alison Stuart) since then but her first love has always been historical mystery.

Born in Kenya, her family came to Australia when she was ten years old. As an adult, she lived in Singapore for a number of years, where the idea for the Harriet Gordon Mysteries first crystallized.

In her life outside writing, she enjoyed a varied career as a lawyer in a wide number of fields including the military (where she held the rank of Major) and as a senior executive in the fire services.

The first of The Harriet Gordon Mysteries, SINGAPORE SAPPHIRE, was published by Berkley in August 2019.

Readers can connect with A.M. Stuart at her Facebook page, Twitter or subscribe to her newsletter.


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian 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.
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Contest Will End September 12, 2019, 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.”

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Aug 132019
 

I was thrilled to receive this book from the author
for an early review! 


Thin Ice: A Mystery
Suspense/Mystery – Some Explicit Language
1st in New Series
Setting – Alaska
Minotaur Books (December 3, 2019)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1250295211
ISBN-13: 978-1250295217
Kindle ASIN: B07P9LQD41

Thin Ice will chill your bones.

Beth Rivers is on the run – she’s doing the only thing she could think of to keep herself safe. Known to the world as thriller author Elizabeth Fairchild, she had become the subject of a fanatic’s obsession. After being held in a van for three days by her kidnapper, Levi Brooks, Beth managed to escape, and until he is captured, she’s got to get away. Cold and remote, Alaska seems tailor-made for her to hideout.

Beth’s new home in Alaska is sparsely populated with people who all seem to be running or hiding from something, and though she accidentally booked a room at a halfway house, she feels safer than she’s felt since Levi took her. That is, until she’s told about a local death that’s a suspected murder. Could the death of Linda Rafferty have anything to do with her horror at the hands of Levi Brooks?

As Beth navigates her way through the wilds of her new home, her memories of her time in the van are coming back, replaying the terror and the fear—and threatening to keep her from healing, from reclaiming her old life again. Can she get back to normal, will she ever truly feel safe, and can she help solve the local mystery, if only so she doesn’t have to think about her own?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Beth Rivers is a successful thriller author using the pseudonym of Elizabeth Fairchild. She has many fans but one fanatic took things way too far. Kidnapped and held in a van for 3 days, she manages to escape as the van was going down the road. Recovering in the hospital from her injuries her captor is still on the loose and she knows she is not safe. With a little help, she unexpectedly leaves the hospital to go to an undisclosed location.

Beth soon touches down in Benedict, Alaska with only her typewriter and a backpack full of paper and clothes.  She has booked a room at the Benedict House, not knowing it is a halfway house for women who committed non-violent crimes. With lodging options at a minimum, she sets that aside because she feels safe, or at least safer than she felt before. That is until she learns a woman was killed shortly before she arrived. Could the death be connected to her? Had she been found already?

The police chief was contacted by the detective overseeing Beth’s case and he has vowed to keep her safe. She has come up with a cover story to explain her injuries and reasons for her travel for the rest of the town. She continues to have memories of those three days making it hard to move on but after learning more about her the police chief consents to let her help with his current case and even finds her a job to pass her time. She may never get back to normal but for the moment she is safe.

____

Paige Shelton gives readers a cozy-ish protagonist but she turns up the suspense as she deals with her kidnapper on the loose and her escape to Alaska. Beth’s injuries were serious, her head is scarred and she has a brain injury. She finds herself enmeshed in Benedict, getting used to the weather, getting to know the people and finding a killer.  She is also striving to remember anything that would bring her kidnapper to justice. The severe headaches, mini seizures, and flashbacks really resonated with me. I also identified with her funky haircut. After my accident in 2001, I dealt with the same, thankfully no kidnapper was involved.

All the characters within this story have layers and I believe we have just started to peel them away. Benedict seems to be a place where everyone has come to escape from something and we really don’t find out too much about any of them except for the deceased and people directly connected to her. That means the author has plenty of material for this series going forward.

I really enjoyed the way Ms. Shelton described her settings. From the airplane and the images out the windows, the airport, the town, Benedict house, the forests, everywhere Beth traveled was brought to life and easily imagined. Readers are taken to the wilds of Alaska and yes, there is wildlife too.

The plot weaves Beth’s trauma together with the death in Alaska but only one is wrapped up by the final page. I really enjoyed the author’s approach to the entire story. The pace was quick and there were several happenings that could have turned the situations in different directions. You could feel that Beth was on edge the entire time.

I read this book incredibly fast and I want more! I was a little disappointed that both mysteries were not completed because I hate waiting for the other shoe to drop and I imagine and hope there are going to be many more suspenseful moments ahead before that other mystery will be wrapped up.  I can’t wait!!

This book will be released on December 3rd and I highly recommend you pre-order your copy. I am very excited for this series to continue.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

PAIGE SHELTON had a nomadic childhood as her father’s job as a football coach took the family to seven different towns before she was even twelve years old. After college at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, she moved to Salt Lake City where she thought she’d only stay a few years, but she fell in love with the mountains and a great guy who became her husband. After a couple of decades in Utah, she and her family recently moved to Arizona. She writes the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series, which begins with The Cracked SpineThin Ice is the first in a new series.

Paige Shelton is also the New York Times Bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries. She’s lived lots of places but currently resides in Arizona. Find out more at www.paigeshelton.com

Also by Paige Shelton


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. 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.”

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Aug 092019
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
Checking off the “U” this week to complete my Alphabet Soup Challenge.


Under My Skin
Psychological Thrillers
Setting – New York
Park Row (October 2, 2018)
Hardcover: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 9780778308409
ISBN-13: 978-0778308409
Mass Market Paperback – August 20, 2019
ISBN-10: 0778309568
ISBN-13: 978-0778309567
Kindle ASIN: B0777JZ62P

What if the nightmares are actually memories?

It’s been a year since Poppy’s husband, Jack, was brutally murdered during his morning run through Manhattan’s Riverside Park. In the immediate aftermath, Poppy spiraled into an oblivion of grief, disappearing for several days only to turn up ragged and confused wearing a tight red dress she didn’t recognize. What happened to Poppy during those lost days? And more importantly, what happened to Jack?

The case was never solved, and Poppy has finally begun to move on. But those lost days have never stopped haunting her. Poppy starts having nightmares and blackouts—there are periods of time she can’t remember, and she’s unable to tell the difference between what is real and what she’s imagining. When she begins to sense that someone is following her, Poppy is plunged into a game of cat and mouse, determined to unravel the mystery around her husband’s death. But can she handle the truth about what really happened?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Living in opulence or squalor, under the skin people are just the same. Everyone suffers. Everyone struggles. It just looks different from the outside.

Grief can be all-consuming and no one knows that better than Poppy Lang. Her husband, Jack was murdered in Manhattan’s Riverside Park a year ago. His death sent Poppy over the edge, she can’t account for several days after she received the shocking news. When she comes back to the land of the living she is wearing clothes she has never seen with very little memory of what happened. She is also devastated that Jack’s killer was never caught, the case is still open but stagnant.

Then she starts to have nightmares and blackouts. She feels like she is being followed and she is missing vast periods of time.  She needs to remember what happened to her because she thinks it will lead straight to Jack’s killer.  The question is – Can she survive her quest and handle what she finds?

___

The synopsis and prologue captured my interest. I wanted to know what happened to both Jack and Poppy, but there were a lot of confusing moments. I think that is just what the author intended. Poppy’s path certainly wasn’t a straight one so much so it was sometimes hard to know what was really real and what was not. There is also quite a bit of repetition that was oft putting at first until I noticed a minuscule change in the event.  Poppy’s fears are palpable and continued to pull me further into the story.

I really didn’t care for her therapist who seemed to be missing the big picture. Her goal seemed to be getting Poppy “a good night’s sleep” while not realizing her client was mixing pills with alcohol, mixing sleeping pills of different dosages with alcohol, mixing sleeping pills with other pills and alcohol, making her hallucinate, have nightmares and blackouts.

Poppy’s best friend Layla was a mother hen over her. She was so traumatized when her friend went missing she wants to be sure it doesn’t happen again. She comes across a very controlling person. The lead detective on her husband’s case is also very involved following up each little clue that is uncovered.

Ms. Unger takes us an emotional roller coaster with almost everyone Poppy interacts with a suspect. Through her words, we see what Poppy sees, and most of it is downright frightening. I am glad I don’t live in New York, I would probably never leave the house again. I was so engrossed in my reading that when a child entered the room and surprised me I actually jumped and my Kindle went flying into the air. This book has exciting twists and some terrifying turns. I did have a very hard time putting it down and stayed up late in the night to finish. Then I was too keyed up to sleep.

The story is so well written and immersed in this psychological mystery there is some food for thought regarding death and losing a loved one. I may have only caught this because I continue to grieve for a loved one myself.

This is the first book I have read by Lisa Unger but it won’t be my last.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Lisa Unger is a NYT and international bestselling, award-winning author. Her books are published in 26 languages worldwide, have sold millions of copies, and have been named “Best of the Year” or top picks by the Today show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Weekly, and the Sun-Sentinel, among others. Her essays have appeared in the NYT, the Wall Street Journal, NPR and Travel + Leisuremagazine. Lisa lives in the Tampa Bay area of Florida with her husband, daughter, and labradoodle.


Also by this Author


I am giving away 1 Kindle copy!
It will be sent directly from Amazon.
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

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.

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

Contest Will End August 23, 2019, 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

This book was from my private collection.

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Aug 022019
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
Checking off the “Q” this week on my Alphabet Soup Challenge.


Queen of the Trailer Park (Rosie Maldonne’s World)
Amateur Sleuths/Humorous Fiction
1st in Series
Setting – France
Translated from French
Amazon Crossing (June 1, 2015)
Paperback: 334 pages
ISBN-10: 1477827560
ISBN-13: 978-1477827567
Kindle ASIN: B00Q74VXMC

Rosie Maldonne is outspoken and sexy. She’s also unemployed, and, with three children and a cat, life is a little tough. The four of them—well, five, if you count the cat—live in the South of France, in a run-down trailer near a vacant lot. They make do, living off her part-time waitressing job and a little help from the state.

Rosie thinks things are finally turning around when she meets handsome police officer Jérôme—until she realizes that his appearance coincides with her friend Véro’s disappearance. Then, something even stranger happens: Rosie finds a package with a crazy amount of money in the trash can of a fast-food joint. With so much going on, Rosie has some big questions: Where is Véro? Is Jérôme too good to be true? Who put all that cash in the trash? And what happens when they want it back?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Single mom Rosie Maldonne lives in a trailer that had seen better days with her three children and their cat. Mostly unemployed she depends on government assistance to keep food on the table.  She waitresses at a nearby restaurant and begs loans from friends when the money runs out. That is until she makes a bizarre discovery in a trash can on her way home – A huge amount of money in several envelopes.

During this time her friend Vero and her son go missing and the police come to Rosie for answers she just doesn’t have. One police officer Jérôme is particularly nice and starts to be around wherever she goes. She also meets a very nice older man that wants to take care of her and the children.

While Rosie tries to find her friend and tries to decide what to do with the found money, she also has to deal with a new development that would evict her from her home. Finding help in unique places she fights to keep what’s hers and save Vero and her son.

____

I was looking for a book to fill the “Q” spot for a reading challenge. The synopsis sounding interesting and felt close to the cozy genre I love so I quickly snapped it up.  I was a little nervous when I realized it was a French story translated to English, but after reading the first few pages I knew that was not going to be a problem at all. The book cannot be classified as a cozy though due to the explicit language used throughout the story.

The lead character Rosie, who would rather be called “CriCri” is a very interesting character. She is very open about her life and has a huge heart.  She takes in one child of a friend quickly and is ready to welcome in another even when she is as poor as can be. She doesn’t let it get her down. She gets her children to school each day and tries to have as much fun with them as possible. The kids are happy and well cared for. Rosie has a quick mind and can put anyone in their place immediately, even men who have come to hurt her. She is always one to two steps ahead of everyone and really can think on her feet. She also has a continuous inner dialogue that is absolutely priceless. She uses unique terminology, calling her children lovingly “crib lizards” and “chickadees” along with other phrases that may only be unique because of the translation from French. She also appears to be a very sexy woman.

The flow of the story has a few issues but I know that is due to the translations. There are a few mysteries to solve and some twist together while others don’t. While most are solved by the end of the book they are things unresolved that will have me reading the next book in the series.

The Queen of the Trailer Park is an entertaining/hilarious story.  Rosie’s antics will have you in stitches and shaking your head. I enjoyed following her exploits all around town. I am so glad I was looking for a “Q” book and found this author and this series. This was a great little escape to France.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Alice Quinn has worked many jobs, from theater hostess to waitress, and has traveled the world, often relying on her wits to make ends meet. After the success of her first novel, Queen of the Trailer Park, in her native French, she quit her day jobs and now makes her living writing full-time. She lives in the South of France with her two teenage children and several cats.


I am giving away 1 Kindle copy of this book!  

It will be sent directly from Amazon.

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.

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

Contest Will End August 16, 2019, 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 This book was from my private collection. 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.”

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Jul 262019
 

The House on Xenia
(A Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery Series)
by Rita Moreau

 

About the Book 


The House on Xenia (A Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery Series)
Paranormal Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Independently Published (May 8, 2019)
Paperback: 332 pages
ISBN-10: 1096120712
ISBN-13: 978-1096120711
Digital Print Length: 209 pages
ASIN: B07R9Q682Y

A government conspiracy. A life-threatening secret. Can a psychic accountant balance the books of justice?

Mary Catherine “MC” Mahoney prefers numbers to her supernatural powers. But when a cold-case corpse shows up under her cousin’s family home, the only calculations that add up are paranormal. And deep within the floorboards of the house on Xenia, MC and her madcap Greek family uncover evidence pointing to visitors from another planet…

Pursued by military agents intent on keeping the secrets buried, MC will have to play by the house’s rules to expose the alien mystery. And there’s only one member of the family who can get to the hidden truth…

Can MC reveal the cover-up, or will a dangerous hush job close her books forever?

The House on Xenia is a standalone novel in the Mary Catherine Mahoney cozy mystery series. If you like psychic female sleuths, crazy family antics, and long lost aliens, then you’ll love Rita Moreau’s quirky tale.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

While there are recurring characters the author states each book in this series can be read on its own. Intrigued by the synopsis I decided to read this book without reading the prior books. What I found was a very bizarre mystery. You see for me the main character was not Mary Catherine “MC” Mahoney or any of the other human characters. For me, the main character was the House on Xenia. Generations of Mary Catherine “MC” Mahoney’s family have lived in the House. A House that vowed to protect the family from anything. In the book, it is described as a YaYa (Greek grandmother), nurturing, caring, with a huge heart and protective qualities. Also, unusual is that no one is living in the house and keeping up with the maintenance. The house is said to be dying, but it still holds some important secrets.

Several characters have psychic abilities, some are in Ohio where the house is and others are in Florida. When a body is found under the family home everyone’s focus is the House. Not just the family but the military too and talk turns to aliens and secrets that need to be kept. But the House wants to talk and to only one person. MC is caught in the middle. Does she reveal all or does she keep her mouth shut and move on?

The author has presented a very interesting mystery. One that kept my attention even though it was very unique from most mysteries I read. The House has answers so the investigation evolves in an unconventional way. Several people gave input and there were those acting in an underhanded way to keep people from finding out the truth. That deception put people in danger.

Using a real place in this fictional story added extra credence. The Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is where UFO investigations dating from the 1940s to the 1960s with all the conspiracy theories. Theories that people still talk about today like Area 51.

This story was not what I had expected it to be but I was entertained from the first page to the last. I found The House on Xenia to be an enjoyable read and a nice escape.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Rita Moreau is the author of the Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery series.

A workaholic by nature, upon retirement, Rita Moreau began work on her bucket list, writing a book. Traveling the national parks with her husband George in a vintage Bluebird motor home, (on George’s list), Rita completed her first novel Bribing Saint Anthony. Back home she completed Nuns! Psychics! & Gypsies! OH! NO, Feisty Nuns, The Russian & Aunt Sophia and The House on Xenia. Rita and her husband live in a postcard called Florida where he has fun telling everyone he is the author’s husband. When not writing she joins PatZi Gil on the Joy on Paper radio program with Book Buzz Mysteries or you can find her teaching fitness classes and doing her best to keep busy. She loves connecting with readers.

Praise for The House on Xenia
(A Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery Series)
by Rita Moreau

The House on Xenia, a full-sized YaYa (Greek grandmother). It’s also very much extraordinary . . .
~INTO THE ABYSS

This was just so much fun to read. There are fun, zany characters, house included, and more than one mystery to figure out. Made me grin enough my face hurt.
~ fuonlyknew

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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.”

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Jul 052019
 


Layover
Psychological Thrillers
Setting – Kentucky
Berkley (July 2, 2019)
Hardcover: 416 pages
ISBN-10: 0440000866
ISBN-13: 978-0440000860
Kindle ASIN: B07J47PGXN

Joshua Fields takes the same flights every week for work, his life a series of departures and arrivals, hotels and airports. During yet another layover, he meets Morgan, a beautiful stranger with whom he feels an immediate connection. When it’s time for their respective flights, Morgan kisses Joshua passionately, lamenting that they’ll never see each other again.

As soon as Morgan disappears in the crowd, Joshua is shocked to see her face on a nearby TV. The reason: Morgan is a missing person.

What follows is a whirlwind, fast-paced journey filled with lies, deceit, and secrets as Joshua tries to discover why Morgan has vanished from her own life. Every time he thinks one mystery is solved, another rears its head—and his worst enemy might be his own assumptions about those around him.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A chance meeting at an airport. Joshua feels an instant connection to Morgan. She gives him a killer kiss good-bye, but he can’t just let her go. He chucks his plan to meet his father to close a business deal and follows Morgan. He knows she is on the run and hiding something huge but he just can’t leave her behind. Joshua is soon mentally trapped into Morgan’s web and he could end up making the ultimate sacrifice all the be with a girl he met on a LAYOVER.

David Bell is one of my favorite authors but this one didn’t blow me away as others have.

Joshua Fields appears to be a very intelligent young man who may need a vacation from work but he keeps making bad decisions. I understand being in a rut and wanting change but I had a hard time believing the lengths he went to for a woman he just met and knew for all of a few minutes. He is a good guy but his first move was almost stalkerish. After that, though I realized Morgan was a master manipulator who knew just how to pull Joshua’s strings as soon as he continued to follow wherever she led.

I realize the premise of this book from an encounter the author actually witnessed but I just couldn’t get on board with it all. Maybe if the woman was a someone from his past, that he hadn’t seen in years I would have found it believable because they would have had a smidgen of history to build on.

Putting their meeting aside the story itself was complicated as Morgan’s story was revealed piece by piece from several viewpoints. The key was learning the true story and for that to come out there were several twists. Readers are treated to some suspenseful moments as the chase of Morgan and now Joshua continues. The author’s writing style of short chapters with mini-cliffhangers and alternate points of view worked very well. Those little teasers had me doing the just one more chapter thing over and over again. For me, the ending was unexpected and made me glad I had kept reading.

Aside from wanting to jump into the book several times to try to stop Joshua making stupid choices, this was a largely entertaining read.

Of course, I am looking forward to David Bell’s next thriller.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

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



GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The 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.

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Contest Will End July 19, 2019, 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.”

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Jun 112019
 

Those People
Psychological Thrillers
Setting – South London, England
Berkley (June 11, 2019)
Hardcover: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 0451489144
ISBN-13: 978-0451489142
Kindle ASIN: B07HDR77YL

From the author of the international bestseller Our House, a new novel of twisty domestic suspense asks, “Could you hate your neighbor enough to plot to kill him?”

Lowland Way is the suburban dream. The houses are beautiful, the neighbors get along, and the kids play together on weekends.

But when Darren and Jodie move into the house on the corner, they donʼt follow the rules. They blast music at all hours, begin an unsightly renovation, and run a used-car business from their yard. It doesn’t take long for an all-out war to start brewing.

Then, early one Saturday, a horrific death shocks the street. As police search for witnesses, accusations start flying—and everyone has something to hide.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lowland Way is a fantastic neighborhood especially if you have children. Nice homes, good schools, and friendly neighbors. The entire street is closed off on Sundays so that the kids can play in the streets like their parents did when they were youngsters. Those Sundays have brought the neighbors together to support each other.

Then the woman at the start of the street passes away. The neighbors are all hoping for a nice family or elderly couple to move in. Instead, they get Darren and Jodie. The first day Darren breaks down a wall the entire neighborhood had fought the council to keep. Then the loud music starts and the cars start to pull in taking up the limited parking on the street and fill Darren’s yard. Trash and debris from a renovation project litter the lot. The Sunday Play-Out has to be canceled when one of the children is hit by Darren moving one of his cars. The police are no help, saying it is a council issue. The homeowners tried to reason with Darren and Jodie, but all that does is make them rachet up their behavior.

Things don’t change until someone dies. The crash brought everyone out of their houses. The police finally have to do something, but it is the neighbors who are suspect. Everyone is shocked and their stories don’t add up.  Could someone on Lowland Way be a killer??

_____

The story opens just after the horrendous crash that left one person dead and one injured, then it takes us back in time eight weeks to detail what events led up to the crash told from several points of view. What we quickly learn is everything is not as idyllic as it seems, but when “THOSE PEOPLE” move in people band together.  Meanwhile, whatever cracks that were already present in the resident’s lives continue to erode.

All these characters are flawed and most, not that likable, but they earned my sympathy. Here in the States, police would have stepped in to handle Darren and Jodie. Things that were sending them over the edge just wouldn’t happen here. I also felt the one idea the residents came up with near the end should have been thought of much earlier, avoiding much of the conflict, but that would have eliminated the story.

The setting was interesting to me because I remember playing outside with my friends. The same for my children. Sadly that is not the case for my grandchildren. The days of “be home when the streetlights come on” and neighbors keeping an eye on each other’s children are over. This affluent neighborhood did an excellent job of creating a child-friendly environment until THOSE PEOPLE arrived.

The drama was high but the pace was a little slow. The complexity of the story was peeled back in layers filled with tension and conflict. I did enjoy the varied points-of-view. It gave an added depth to each of the characters and exposed the interpersonal relationships for what they really were.

Even with the unlikable characters, I was drawn into this book. I wanted to know what happened next. With its well-plotted twists, the ending really took me by surprise.

In my opinion, I could see a movie made of this story or a television series like How To Get Away With Murder, so easily. The author has written a story with a dark twisted theme many people would enjoy.

Note- There is a fair amount of profanity in this book which may put off some readers.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Louise Candlish attended University College London and worked as an editor in art publishing and as a copywriter before becoming a novelist. She lives with her husband and daughter.


Also by this Author


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

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

Contest Will End June 25, 2019, 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.”

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May 212019
 

Caught Up in It
(Blu Carraway Mystery)
by David Burnsworth

About the Book


Caught Up in It (Blu Carraway Mystery)
Hard-Boiled Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – South Carolina – Trips to Malaysia, Hollywood, and Las Vegas
Henery Press (April 23, 2019)
Hardcover: 286 pages
ISBN-10: 1635114780
ISBN-13: 978-1635114782
Digital ASIN: B07N7LW9WS

The award-winning diva, C, has got a big problem: someone wants her dead. A team of mercenaries attempts to gun her down in Kuala Lumpur. Lucky for her, Lowcountry Private Investigator, Blu Carraway, is already on the job there for a different client.

Double-lucky for C, they make their move when she’s chit-chatting with him in a bar. Unlucky for the mercenaries, four of them end up dead.

The hunt is on now for the mega-pop star. Where does she go to hide out? The sleepy islands around Charleston, South Carolina—Blu’s backyard. He’s already proven himself once, so C hires the Blu Carraway Investigation Agency to protect her for real.

The job takes Blu halfway around the world and several cities in between. The search for the truth reveals what could drive a person to want someone else dead.

And Blu Carraway ends up right in the way.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Private Investigator Blu Carraway is in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia protecting pop star “C” from an unknown element who wants her dead. Believing she is being watched by another team Blu is taking some downtime in a local bar. Then C walks in and soon the bad guys follow. Blu takes control and leaves four bodies behind.

He returns home to the Lowcountry and is surprised when the diva shows up on his turf begging him to protect her again. He takes her on with some rules of his own. Before long he is using all his resources to keep her safe. Over the course of just a few days, chaos ensues. Blu starts to question who he can trust. He and his team travel hither and yon trying to ascertain who is behind the hit put out on C. Amidst all the action Blu is also dealing with a very sick horse.

When I pick up a David Burnsworth novel I know I am in for non-stop action and more than a few dead bodies. This series was originally was a spin-off of the author’s other series, but by the end of this story the two series are now completely blended together. This made me very happy because Brack from the Heat Series and Blu from this series are both such strong characters working around and out of Charleston, South Carolina and I had no idea how the author could keep both series going. Brack and Blu have worked together and characters from the other series have crossed over to this one. Bringing Blu, Brack, Crome, and the ladies in their lives together makes perfect sense and makes this series so strong and compelling.

These characters are so well written, they are intriguing and we learn more about them throughout the story and in each new book. Readers can see their growth and witness their life’s journeys. The dialogue is fantastic and realistic for people who have known each other for a long time and who have seen what they have seen.  The relationships are strong and understanding.  They are not just teammates, they are friends and they care about each other. The accepted their client into their fold and went to extreme lengths to keep her safe at their own peril and I would expect no less from the characters we have come to know over the course of these stories.

Mr. Burnsworth also knows how to set a scene. His island home, complete with his herd of wild horses and swarms of mosquitos, along with every location his characters travel is vividly described. His words take readers right there on the front lines of the mayhem that seems to follow Blu and his team everywhere they go.

Fast-paced, action, suspense, and drama. Burnsworth keeps the reader’s eyes glued to the pages hardly giving us time to come up for air. I loved it. While the story reached a great ending I was sorry to see the book come to an end. These characters really grab ahold, it’s hard to let them go.

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Click on the links below to read my reviews for other books by this author.
IN IT FOR THE MONEY
BAD TIME TO BE IN IT
SOUTHERN HEAT
BURNING HEAT
BIG CITY HEAT

About the 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. He is the author of both the Brack Pelton and the Blu Carraway Mystery Series. Having lived in Charleston on Sullivan’s Island for five years, the setting was a foregone conclusion. He and his wife call South Carolina home.

Author Links

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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.”

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May 092019
 


The Good Detective
Suspense/Thriller
Police Procedural
Setting – Georgia
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons (March 19, 2019)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0525535535
ISBN-13: 978-0525535539
Kindle ASIN: B07F63ZJT7

How can you solve a crime if you’ve killed the prime suspect?

Detective P.T. Marsh was a rising star on the police force of Mason Falls, Georgia–until his wife and young son died in an accident. Since that night, he’s lost the ability to see the line between smart moves and disastrous decisions. Such as when he agrees to help out a woman by confronting her abusive boyfriend. When the next morning he gets called to the scene of his newest murder case, he is stunned to arrive at the house of the very man he beat up the night before. He could swear the guy was alive when he left, but can he be sure? What’s certain is that his fingerprints are all over the crime scene.

The trouble is only beginning. When the dead body of a black teenager is found in a burned-out field with a portion of a blackened rope around his neck, P.T. realizes he might have killed the number-one suspect of this horrific crime.

Amid rising racial tension and media scrutiny, P.T. uncovers something sinister at the heart of the boy’s murder–a conspiracy leading all the way back to the time of the Civil War. Risking everything to unravel the puzzle even as he fights his own personal demons, P.T. races headlong toward an incendiary and life-altering showdown.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is a gritty, compelling, emotional, terrifying story that I escaped right into and only came out for air when I had to get some sleep. I dove back in the next day as soon as I was able and stayed there even after I stopped reading the author’s words. This story has stuck with me since.

Detective P.T. Marsh is still trying to recover after losing his wife and son in an accident almost 2 years ago. He had always had good instincts but he is seriously off his game, drinking too much and having blackouts. His poor judgment leads him to the home of an abusive boyfriend after meeting his girlfriend and noticing the bruises covering her body. After beating the guy to shreds he leaves him with a deadly warning. Back on the job the next day he and his partner are called to a murder. Soon he realizes they are headed on the same path he took to the victim of his beat-down. Did he blackout and kill the guy? No way, but can he really be sure? Especially when the techs are going to find evidence he was there the night before.

While he tries to cover his tracks he makes a huge discovery in the victim’s garage. Evidence of arson that leads them to a field that been burned. As he looks over the fire scene he makes another grisly discovery. A young black teen’s body with a noose around his neck. Did the abusive boyfriend lynch this kid and light the field on fire to cover his crime?

P.T. takes on the case while trying to keep his involvement secret from everyone. What he finds is appalling and shocking and could rock the town of Mason Falls to its core.

The author has created vivid characters P.T. Marsh is a strong man. Flawed, smart, a complicated man facing demons of his own. Finding himself wrapped up, in this case, may be the thing that finally breaks him. His partner Remy is a young rookie who knows something is up with her partner but he shuts her out at every turn. His chief and the other officers have faith in him, but he is holding on to his job by the tips of his fingers. He made a stupid decision to try to scare off an abuser and it could be the final nail in his coffin.

Mr. McMahon takes on serious issues in his debut novel. A layered story featuring the racial divide found in Mason Falls, Georgia dating back decades, back even as far the civil war. Little clues lead to huge reveals. With the current climate these days it wasn’t as hard to wrap my head around these ghastly acts as it would have been just a couple of years ago. So sadly, this story definitely had a ripped from the headlines feel. Something you could see on the nightly news today.

McMahon does an excellent job of setting each scene taking the reader right into the drama. This story was an emotional journey both for the characters and for me as the reader. Anger, repulsion, fear, heartbreak, and more. The story had a slow build but soon following P.T. step by step was riveting. The dialogue was true to life with a few curses as expected in this genre.

For me, John McMahon is now an author to watch. He ends his acknowledgment with “P.T. Marsh will be back. Stay tuned.” That makes me happy because I believe the man has turned a corner and I would like to see where the author takes this character.

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About the Author

John McMahon studied Creative Writing at The University of Arizona. In his role as an ad agency creative director, his work has won a Gold Clio for Fiat, and he’s written a Superbowl spot for Alfa Romeo. He currently lives in Southern California with his family and two rescue animals. He’s hard at work on another P.T. Marsh book and dreams of splitting his time between Cabo San Lucas and Lake Lanier, Georgia.

 


I am giving away my review copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian 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.

LIKE John McMahon Facebook Author Page for 3 Bonus Entries

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

Contest Will End May 23, 2019, 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.”

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Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series) by Jodi Rath Get Your Copy Today!
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