Posted in Flashback Friday

#FlashbackFriday – #FreeBook – Fields’ Guide to Abduction (A Poppy Fields Adventure) by Julie Mulhern @juliemulhern

Real-life has been playing havoc with my reading schedule and I wasn’t able to read a book from my HUGE TBR Stacks this week. So, I started to think about books that may give your mind an escape from all the drama that has entered our lives due to this Coronavirus. The Poppy Fields Adventure Series is one of my favorites. They are full of suspense and humor. Every book has made my year-end Best Reads List.

Ms. Mulhern has kept the 1st book in the series FREE!

There are 4 books in this series available today. Book 5 –Fields’ Guide to Pharaohs will be released next Tuesday, March 31. 

Below you will find my review for Fields’ Guide to Abduction (including its new cover!) followed by links to reviews fo the next 3 books. Be sure to download your Free Copy of Book 1 today!

Fields’ Guide to Abduction (A Poppy Fields Adventure)
Mystery/Suspense
1st Book in Series
Setting – Mexico
J&M Press (May 28, 2018)
Paperback: 248 pages
ISBN-10: 1720872201
ISBN-13: 978-1720872207
Kindle ASIN: B07D4R881K

Poppy Fields, Hollywood IT girl extraordinaire, agreed to a week at the newest, most luxurious resort in Cabo. After all, what’s better than the beach when a girl is feeling blue? When Poppy is abducted, she’ll need all her smarts, all her charm, and a killer Chihuahua, to save herself. 

 

Dead body #1 found in bed, with me. That was a shock.
Dead body #2 found in bed, not with me. That was a relief.
Dead body #3 died telling me I’m a lousy actress.
I already knew that.
Dead body #4 died trying to kill me.
Dead body #5 died kidnapping me.
Dead body #6 died guarding me.
Dead body #7 was a really bad man.
Dead body #8 was an even worse man.

 

That’s a lot of dead bodies for a girl looking for a week’s relaxation in Cabo. And, I’m probably leaving a few out–math isn’t my thing. Unless I can escape the cartel, I might be the next dead body.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Wow, Wow, Wow! I sat down to start this book last Monday evening and I didn’t look away until I finished the whole thing.

This is not a cozy mystery. This is a wild ride of action and suspense.

Poppy Fields escapes to Mexico after enduring a harrowing event. She plans to lie on the beach, make one public appearance and relax. Well, that didn’t happen. The dead bodies start to pile up at a rapid pace and then she is abducted. And then there are even more dead bodies!

Full of crazy twists and turns poor Poppy finds herself in all kinds of dangerous situations. I love Poppy, that girl needs to think on her feet and she does for the most part, but there are some situations you just need to let happen and hope and pray there will be another way out.

Ms. Mulhern has topped herself and knocked this way out of the park! She partners suspense with humor in a way I believe only she can. She has created a fantastic protagonist. I was cheering for Poppy the whole way. The pace was fast, the plot was fabulous, and the dialogue was fluid. Such as exciting read!

This story has moved to the top of my Best Reads of 2018. I can’t wait for the next installment! Bring on more Poppy Fields as soon as possible!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my reviews of  Fields’ Guide to Assassins here, 

Fields’ Guide to Voodoo here, Fields’ Guide to Fog here

About the Author

Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders and the Poppy Fields Adventures She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is–she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

 


Also by Julie Mulhern



*This book is in my private collection, purchased from Amazon.
Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Evil Men Do (A P.T. Marsh Novel) by John McMahon #Review / #Giveaway


The Evil Men Do (A P.T. Marsh Novel)
Suspense/Thriller
Police Procedural
Setting – Georgia
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons (March 3, 2020)
Hardcover: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 052553556X
ISBN-13: 978-0525535560
Kindle ASIN: B07SZQP2C5

What if the one good thing you did in your life doomed you to die?

 

A hard-nosed real estate baron is dead, and detectives P.T. Marsh and Remy Morgan learn there’s a long list of suspects. Mason Falls, Georgia, may be a small town, but Ennis Fultz had filled it with professional rivals, angry neighbors, and a wronged ex-wife. And when Marsh realizes that this potential murder might be the least of his troubles, he begins to see what happens when ordinary people become capable of evil.

 

As Marsh and Morgan dig into the case, it becomes clear that Fultz’s death was not an isolated case of revenge. It may be part of a dark web of crimes connected to an accident that up-ended Marsh’s life a couple years earlier–and that now threatens the life of a young child. Marsh veers dangerously off track as his search for clues becomes personal..and brings him to a place where a man’s good deeds turn out to be more dangerous than his worst crimes.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

My first experience with P.T. Marsh was gripping and this one was even more so.

Swarmy Ennis Fultz is dead and he left plenty of suspects behind. A very observant little girl plays a major role and P.T. uncovers more evil than he ever could have imagined. The deeper he digs veers him in a direction that appears to be personal. A direction that could cost him his job and maybe even his life.


Mr. McMahon has created complicated characters and puts them in complex situations. I ended my review of The Good Detective saying John McMahon is now an author to watch, and I was right.  I thought P.T. Marsh had turned a corner. He did but as far as I thought. He is still hurting and raw. He is smart, determined, and flawed and still trying to come to grips with the loss of his wife and son in a freaky hit and run accident. P.T. is also embroiled in a civil suit along with the police department for excessive use of force on a previous case. He doesn’t believe he did anything wrong and that could come back to bite him financially. He is trying to stay sober and do his job but it isn’t easy. His partner, Detective Remy Morgan, an African American woman is getting frustrated with P.T. but hopes when push comes to shove he has her back. P.T. has started a relationship with Medical Examiner Sarah Raines but he is clearly still in mourning. He tries to hold tight to the relationship with his father-in-law but something always seems to get in the way.

So much happens within the covers of this book. The author has cleverly plotted this story with several tentacles all entwined together. The book opens with “The little girl knew things.” but transitions to P.T.’s life quickly in Chapter 2. We continue to have visits from the little girl between many of the chapters. This process really drew me in from the start. Soon, it truly became impossible to put the book down. P.T. was continually pulled in several directions. Sometimes he followed the clues in a logical manner but sometimes he goes off on tangents that were dangerous for both him and his partner.

McMahon has delivered a compelling story that will have readers glued to the pages. I wanted P.T. to succeed, get the answers he needs and catch the bad guys, but sometimes I wanted to reach into the pages and grab him to protect him from some of his risky decisions.

The Evil Men Do is a  riveting gritty suspense-filled thriller. P.T. Marsh is a character you become invested in quickly. His life is a wild ride that doesn’t let go. All the strings are not wrapped up at the conclusion of this book either so readers are left excitedly waiting for book #3. Well done, Mr. McMahon! This was a PERFECT ESCAPE!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review for The Good Detective here

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.

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 April 2, 2020, 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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Boy from the Woods by Harlan Coben – Early Review

Release Date – March 17, 2020


The Boy from the Woods
Suspense Thriller
Setting – New Jersey
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (March 17, 2020)
Hardcover: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 1538748142
ISBN-13: 978-1538748145
Kindle ASIN: B07TYBQJBM

A man with a mysterious past must find a missing teenage girl in this shocking thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Run Away.

 

Thirty years ago, Wilde was found as a boy living feral in the woods, with no memory of his past. Now an adult, he still doesn’t know where he comes from, and another child has gone missing.

 

No one seems to take Naomi Pine’s disappearance seriously, not even her father-with one exception. Hester Crimstein, a television criminal attorney, knows through her grandson that Naomi was relentlessly bullied at school. Hester asks Wilde-with whom she shares a tragic connection-to use his unique skills to help find Naomi.

 

Wilde can’t ignore an outcast in trouble, but in order to find Naomi he must venture back into the community where he has never fit in, a place where the powerful are protected even when they harbor secrets that could destroy the lives of millions . . . secrets that Wilde must uncover before it’s too late.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

As soon as I find out the release date for a new Harlan Coben book I rush to my reading calendar and make sure I keep a date open to review it. Then I anxiously wait for the book to pop up for review. Coben is my favorite author when it comes to suspense and he never disappoints.

The story starts out with Naomi Pine being bullied and soon after the teenager disappears. No one seems to care that the girl is missing except a classmate who feels guilty for not stepping up to defend her and even played along with some of the pranks played on her. He is worried so he reaches out to his grandmother, Hester Crimstein, a television criminal attorney. Hester then reaches out to Wilde, a man who was found in the woods near her home 30 years ago and was befriended by her son. Wilde feels he has things in common with Naomi and immediately begins his search. A search that could cost him. A search that could hurt others. A search that will reveal secrets that could destroy lives.


This story is absolutely fabulous!

If you have read other Coben thrillers the name Hester Crimstein may be familiar. She is a woman who is tough as nails but we now see she has a soft spot for her grandson. Until now she has been a supporting character that pops up here and there. Through this story, we finally get to know more about this sassy broad who comes to town to see what her grandson Matthew really knows about a girl he says is missing.

We also meet Wilde, a boy found living in the woods about 30 years ago when he was between 6-8 years old. He spoke English but didn’t know his name or anything about where he came from. He soon became known as Wilde. No family ever claimed him so he was placed in foster care and he excelled in school. Upon graduation, he joined the military excelling there as well.  That led to a post-military career in security and investigation.  But the man is clearly a loner and is happiest living in the woods that will always be his home.

The thing Mr. Coben really does well is create characters with many layers. Some like Hester’s are revealed over time. Other’s like Wilde, Naomi, and Matthew are peeled back over the course of the story but I always feel like he holds just a bit back in case he wants to revisit them again in the future. All the characters are interesting and held my attention and I wanted to know more.

He has wrapped these characters into a story that starts as a missing person case and quickly becomes so much more. Wilde truly was all in when it came to finding Naomi and went to great lengths to get answers. He runs into roadblocks but pushes through, literally at times, to get in people’s faces to find out what the know or what they did. A surprising twist changes the game and ratchets up the suspense and takes us in new directions.

Coben blends social and political themes, really highlighting how far the rich will go to keep their secrets. We are immersed in the dark side seeing people who have created a great public facade but who truly have no morals or ethics. It made my cringe in places.

Mr. Coben also shows us a softer side as characters deal with loss and grief while trying to move forward. Grieving the loss of a loved one is something I am very familiar with and he captured and told this part of the story in a heartwarming and believable way.  It was a nice little subplot alongside all the action and suspense.

As I said, this story is fabulous, it is filled with twists and thrills. I totally escaped into every aspect of the story. Well-plotted and written, with a perfect pace. The ending was a complete surprise, The Boy From The Woods is a complex story that was so compelling.  I loved it! My world completely stopped when I started reading. In fact, Harlan Coben is responsible for my latest book hangover because I stayed up until the early morning hours to finish this book.

The Boy From The Woods deserves more than 5 stars. It earns my Paradise Rating and a place on my Best Reads of 2020.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Harlan Coben and his book on his webpage here.



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.”

Posted in Giveaways Spotlights

Death in the Family (A Shana Merchant Novel) by Tessa Wegert #Spotlight / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery @tessawegert

DEATH IN THE FAMILY
Death in the Family (A Shana Merchant Novel)
Traditional Detective Mysteries/ Suspense
1st in Series
Publisher: Berkley (February 18, 2020)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0593097890
ISBN-13: 978-0593097892
Kindle ASIN: B07RZGJB86

A storm-struck island. A blood-soaked bed. A missing man. In this captivating mystery that’s perfect for fans of Knives Out, Senior Investigator Shana Merchant discovers that murder is a family affair.

 

Thirteen months ago, former NYPD detective Shana Merchant barely survived being abducted by a serial killer. Now hoping to leave grisly murder cases behind, she’s taken a job in her fiancé’s sleepy hometown in the Thousand Islands region of Upstate New York.

 

But as a nor’easter bears down on her new territory, Shana and fellow investigator Tim Wellington receive a call about a man missing on a private island. Shana and Tim travel to the isolated island owned by the wealthy Sinclair family to question the witnesses. They arrive to find blood on the scene and a house full of Sinclair family and friends on edge.

While Tim guesses they’re dealing with a runaway case, Shana is convinced that they have a murder on their hands. As the gale intensifies outside, she starts conducting interviews and discovers the Sinclairs and their guests are crawling with dark and dangerous secrets.

 

Trapped on the island by the raging storm with only Tim whose reliability is thrown into question, the increasingly restless suspects, and her own trauma-fueled flashbacks for company, Shana will have to trust the one person her abduction destroyed her faith in—herself. But time is ticking down, because if Shana’s right, a killer is in their midst and as the pressure mounts, so do the odds that they’ll strike again.

 

About Tessa Wegert

DEATH IN THRE FAMILY TESSA WEGRET

Tessa Wegert is a Canadian expat, journalist, and former digital media strategist. Her business and marketing articles have appeared in such publications as Forbes, the Huffington Post, Adweek, and The Economist. Death in the Family is her first novel.

Callie Beaulieu has been an actress for several decades. Classically trained, she is predominantly a theater actress, and her work has been seen around the country. Callie recently returned to the US after spending nearly a decade living in the Caribbean. She is a proud member of Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA.

Author Links – Website – Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – 


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.

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 March 7, 2020, 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

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Posted in Cloak and Dagger Challenge Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Fields’ Guide to Fog (The Poppy Fields Adventures) by Julie Mulhern #Review


Fields’ Guide to Fog (The Poppy Fields Adventures)
Mystery/Suspense (Humorous)
4th in Series
Setting – London, England
Publisher: Independently published (September 30, 2019)
Paperback: 266 pages
ISBN-10: 1698265018
ISBN-13: 978-1698265018
Kindle ASIN: B07XZB4TYT

It isn’t easy having Hollywood’s biggest, brightest star for a mother—especially when her Russian oligarch boyfriend has been kidnapped. When Poppy Fields flies to London to be with her mother, she finds nothing but fog, danger, and phenomenal shopping.Too bad half the city wants Poppy dead, and she has no idea why.The odds against her are high, the menace is real, and if she doesn’t find answers quickly, a dirty bomb will send global financial markets plummeting. Poppy will need charm, smarts, and a killer Chihuahua if she wants to save the world (and snag those boots she spotted at Harrods).

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Poppy Fields’ is back and she and “Thor” are fighting crime across the pond and her feisty Chihuahua is along for the ride too. When Poppy receives a call from her mother telling her that her rich Russian oligarch boyfriend, Yurgi has been abducted she wastes no time getting there.  Yurgi’s son Vincent is handling the money issues if a ransom demand comes through. Chariss wants her daughter Poppy on hand to do what she is quickly becoming famous for – catching the criminals. They barely touchdown in the foggy city and bullets are flying. Can she do it again? Can she catch a killer and live to tell the tale?

___

This is another fantastic book for Julie Mulhern. The action starts quickly and goes full throttle until the very end. Bullets flying, a rolling fog, bombs exploding, a building collapses, more bullets fly, the masked motorcycle rider returns, and Poppy makes a surprising discovery. Amongst all that, Thor (Mark) starts to push a little harder for a relationship or even just one dance. Mr. Brown’s boss Jane Doe is also introduced and Poppy learns driving on the wrong side of the road is harder than it looks. Chariss wants her man back and is somewhat oblivious to everything else going on around her. Thankfully Poppy knows how to deal with her mother.

So much happens in this story it is impossible to put down. Ms. Mulhern’s characters are fully developed and jump off the page. Again, the drama and suspense in laced with plenty of humor. I absolutely love everything about the way she writes a story.  The pace is fast, the dialogue is crisp, and the characters are fabulous. Poppy Fields is an awesome protagonist and I just can’t get enough. This time there is one surprise that was just amazing and I am anxious and excited to see how that subplot continues.

I always mention planning accordingly when picking up a book in this series because once you start reading you will not want to stop until you reach the end.

Each Poppy Fields adventure is terrific! Fields’ Guide to Fog, like the 3 previous books, receives my Paradise rating. I recommend reading them all in order so you really get to know Poppy and the other characters and enjoy all their adventures!

 

You can read my review of Fields’ Guide to Abduction here. 

You can read my review of Fields’ Guide to Assassins here. 

You can read my review of Fields’ Guide to VooDoo here.

Book 1 is free right now!

About the Author

Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders and the Poppy Fields Adventures She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is–she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

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.”

Posted in Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Woman of Two Minds by Bourne Morris #Review / #Giveaway @BourneMorris

To Be Released Tuesday, November 9, 2019

A Woman of Two Minds
Medical Thriller/Suspense
Setting – Nevada
Black Opal Books (November 9, 2019)
Paperback: 300 pages
ISBN-10: 1644371677
ISBN-13: 978-1644371671
Kindle ASIN: B07WDD56PL

Kit Mackenzie, a brilliant young CEO of a Fortune 500 corporation, is on trial for the murder of her mother. Was it self-defense or homicide? After the prosecutor discovers a secret brain operation in her past, he believes Kit has a strong motive for murder. His discovery begins one of the most unusual trials in American history. Media from all over the world descend on the courtroom to cover a story they find too astonishing to believe. Mackenzie must depend on her renowned attorney and the insights of a skilled neuro-scientist in the fight to prove her innocence and gain the acceptance of a man she has always wanted.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This was a powerful read. I am going to try to write this review carefully not to give too much away because to enjoy this story you need to read and discover all the bits and pieces on your own.

Kit Mackenzie was in a dark place, dark enough that she tried to take her own life. She did survive but her life is dramatically changed forever. A change the prosecutor believes led her to kill her mother. Her fate plays out over the pages of this story.

When I accepted this book for review I was not aware of the suicide element to the story, but I became so engrossed in Kit’s story there was no way I was going to put this book down. For this gripping story, I pushed down the uncomfortable moments.

The trial takes place in 2018 but we travel back in time to follow Kit’s journey before she tried to take her life and then through the trial date to get her perspective and the perspective of those around her.

The medical aspect of this story was profound and very interesting. New medical discoveries are made every day but it takes some true bravery and sacrifice to submit to the operation in this story.

The author set a perfect pace. As it got later into the evening I was saying to myself, just one more chapter and continued to read two or three more and then repeated the process. I finally had to stop because my eyes just wouldn’t stay open. Speaking of eyes, I went to the optometrist the next morning and my Kindle went with me. Even after my eyes were dilated for the exam, I just increased the font size so I could keep reading while my husband had his exam. I quickly finished the book after we got home.

Ms. Morris does keep her readers on their toes too, right up until the very last page . . . what a moment!

Well-written and plotted, this story blew me away. If medical thrillers or bold thought-provoking stories are your thing you will enjoy A Woman of Two Minds.  This book has earned a place on my Best Reads of 2019 list!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

  Bourne Morris is also the author of the Red Solaris Mysteries. You can read my review of The Red Queen’s Run here, The Rise of the Red Queen here, and The Red Queen Rules here

Find out more about Bourne Morris and her books on her website here, Facebook and Twitter too.



I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
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.

Follow Bourne Morris on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Bourne Morris on Facebook for 2 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 November 21, 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.”

Posted in Cloak and Dagger Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Early Review – Thin Ice: A Mystery by Paige Shelton @MinotaurBooks

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.

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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.”

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

#Spotlight / #Giveaway – Deep Past: A Novel by Eugene Linden – Great Escapes Book Tour

Deep Past: A Novel
by Eugene Linden

 

It is my pleasure to shine the spotlight on this book today!

About the Book


Deep Past: A Novel
RosettaBooks (May 14, 2019)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1948122375
ISBN-13: 978-1948122375
Digital ASIN: B07PMF4Y17

If nature could invent intelligence of our scale in a blink of geologic time, who’s to say it hasn’t been done before…

A routine dig in Kazakhstan takes a radical turn for thirty-two-year-old anthropologist Claire Knowland when a stranger turns up at the site with a bizarre find from a remote section of the desolate Kazakh Steppe. Her initial skepticism of this mysterious discovery gives way to a realization that the find will shake the very foundations of our understanding of evolution and intelligence.

Corrupt politics of Kazakhstan force Claire to take reckless chances with the discovery. Among the allies she gathers in her fight to save herself and bring the discovery to light is Sergei Anachev, a brilliant but enigmatic Russian geologist who becomes her unlikely protector even as he deals with his own unknown crisis.

Ultimately, Claire finds herself fighting not just for the discovery and her academic reputation, but for her very life as great power conflict engulfs the unstable region and an unscrupulous oligarch attempts to take advantage of the chaos.

Drawing on Eugene Linden’s celebrated non-fiction investigations into what makes humans different from other species, this international thriller mixes fact and the fantastical, the realities of academic politics, and high stakes geopolitics—engaging the reader every step of the way.

About the Author

Eugene Linden is an award-winning journalist and author on science, nature, and the environment. Deep Past draws on his long career in non-fiction as the author of ten books, including his celebrated works on animal intelligence and climate change: Apes, Men, and Language, the New York Times “Notable Book” Silent Partners, and the bestselling The Parrot’s Lament. His book, Winds of Change, which explored the connection between climate change and the rise and fall of civilizations, was awarded the Grantham Prize Special Award of Merit. For many years, Linden wrote about nature and global environmental issues for TIME where he garnered several awards including the American Geophysical Union’s Walter Sullivan Award. He has also contributed to the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, and National Geographic, among many other publications.

Author Link – Website – http://www.eugenelinden.com/

Purchase Links –

AmazonB&NRosetta Books

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Posted in Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – Caught Up in It (Blu Carraway Mystery) by David Burnsworth – Great Escapes Book Tour @DavidBurnsworth @HeneryPress

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

Website   Facebook  Twitter   GoodReads

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKobo


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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.”

Posted in Cloak and Dagger Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes Read The Printed Word Challenge Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – The Good Detective by John McMahon @PutnamBooks


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.

 


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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.”