Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Giveaways Reviews 2016 Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – Little Girl Gone by Gerry Schmitt

little girl gone

Little Girl Gone (An Afton Tangler Thriller)
Suspense/Thriller
Setting – Minnesota/Wisconsin
Berkley
An Imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC
Release Date – July 5, 2016
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425281765
E-Book ASIN: B016JPTML2
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In the first Afton Tangler thriller, the unforgiving cold of a Minnesota winter hides the truth behind an even more chilling crime…
 
On a frozen night in an affluent neighborhood of Minneapolis, a baby is abducted from her home after her teenage babysitter is violently assaulted. The parents are frantic, the police are baffled, and, with the perpetrator already in the wind, the trail is getting colder by the second.

As family liaison officer with the Minneapolis P.D., it’s Afton Tangler’s job to deal with the emotional aftermath of terrible crimes—but she’s never faced a case quite as brutal as this. Each development is more heartbreaking than the last and the only lead is a collection of seemingly unrelated clues.

But, most disturbing of all, Afton begins to suspect that this case is not isolated.  Whoever did this has taken babies before—and if Afton doesn’t solve this crime soon, more children are sure to go missing . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Author Gerry Schmitt is also known as cozy mystery writer, Laura Childs. Warning – this is not a cozy mystery! 

The story opens with Marjorie Sorenson at a doll show selling her “reborn dolls” (definitely not something I would buy). When Susan Darden shows her interest in the dolls she never could have imagined the terror that would follow.

Afton Tangler is a family liaison officer. She is assigned to a child abduction case, Susan and Richard Darden’s case. It turns out to be a difficult case and she works very closely with Detective  Max Montgomery and the FBI to find the baby and the kidnapper/s.

I was drawn into this book immediately. The story is told from multiple points of view and for me this made the story exciting and fast paced.

I liked our introduction to Afton. She is a divorced mom, raising her two daughters, who just happened to receive some impressive vehicles as part of her settlement. She is an intelligent woman with a stick to it attitude. She and Detective Montgomery work so well together. Afton hopes to be a detective someday and working with Max may be help speed up the process. I really enjoyed the way the investigated this case and followed the leads. Sometimes into very dangerous situations. The chief of police did give them a lot of leeway in this case leading me to think he knows more about Afton that we readers do at this point. I am anxious to see where these characters go in the future and excited to learn about their families and any past they may have.

The story does have a very creepy start and Marjorie is a really creepy person and so is her son. They really did make my skin crawl. After the first chapters it turns into more of a police procedural story but they are revisited throughout the whole book.

All of the characters are well written and realistic from the Dardens to their teenage babysitter and the other officers and agents. Even the over the top, pushy reporter, seemed just like a Fox broadcaster.

I loved that the story starts in Minnesota and that clues lead them to Wisconsin, and the way the law enforcement agencies worked together.

The author is off to a great start for this series. The main characters are engaging and the story was interesting with a edge of your seat ending.  I am looking forward to book #2.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

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

Written as Laura Childs



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Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
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Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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 Reviews 2016 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – The Girl From Home by Adam Mitzner

the girl from home
The Girl From Home: A Thriller
Setting – New York/New Jersey
Gallery Books (April 5, 2016)
An Imprint of Simon and Schuster Inc.
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1476764283
E-Book ASIN: B010MHAB2W
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Jonathan Caine is a true master of the universe—a currency wizard with a trophy wife, a penthouse condo with a view of the Statue of Liberty, and the desire for more—when his world comes crashing down, spiraling him into a relentless fall from grace. Devastated, Jonathan returns to his hometown to care for his ailing father and attend his twenty-fifth high school reunion, where he becomes reacquainted with former prom queen Jacqueline Williams. Back in the day, Jackie didn’t even know Jonathan existed. Now she is intrigued by the man he has become. But their budding relationship has problems, not the least of which is Jackie’s jealous and abusive husband. Jonathan is determined to learn from his mistakes, but is he capable of complete transformation? Or will a shocking temptation test his desire for redemption beyond anything he could have imagined?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

“I want what I what” says Jonathan Caine several times throughout this book. He has a wife that he doesn’t love, but she looks good on his arm, and she is only there for the money. He has a giant penthouse and wants a house in the Hamptons right on the ocean and won’t settle for less. He has expensive clothes, expensive shoes, and eats at the elite restaurants. His mother has died, his father is sick, but he makes rare trips home. All he wants is more and more money and he takes too many risks to get it. It was just a matter of time before everything falls apart.

Jacqueline Williams was popular in high school. She married the top player on the football, had two children, a boy and a girl. Her life is perfect, NOT! Her husband is abusive and she is afraid he is going to kill her.

As Jonathan life is in a downward spiral, he goes home to check on his dad and try to escape what is happening in New York. He goes to his high school reunion and meets Jackie. He always admired her from afar in school but now they seem to have a real connection. A connection that could get them killed.

I will start off my saying Jonathan Caine is very unlikable character, his wife is no better. That being said they will draw you right into the story. A story of greed and the price you can pay. I felt so sorry for Jackie Williams and her kids. Her husband is drunk who was cheats on her but is super possessive of her. She better be at home and answer the phone when he calls. Treat him nice in front of his friends and cater to his every need. Because if she didn’t she met his wrath. When Jonathan and Jackie meet we see a different side and Jonathan’s wants change.

The prologue tells us where we will end up. Then the story starts in the past, but every other chapter jumps months into the future. Then in Part 2 we are in present time.  Written this way we are given a chance to get to know the characters and I liked that.

The plot then takes a twist that I thought may be coming but it wasn’t playing out in the way I imagined. The twists continue until the final one that I thought was startling. I went back and read a few pages again to see if I read it correctly. Yes, I did! I love those kind of endings.

A very gripping read. This is a story that will keep you up late into the night reading until the very end.

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about Adam Mitzner and his books on his webpage here.

Click the covers for more information or to order from Amazon.
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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 E-Book Challenge Reviews 2016 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Early Review – Girl on the Run by Daryl Gerber Wood

I was honored and thrilled when I was asked to review an early copy of this book!

girl on the run

Girl on the Run

Kindle Edition, 334 pages
ISBN 0997361107 (ISBN 13: 9780997361100)

Available for Purchase April 9, 2016 by Chucklin Inc.

When a fairytale fantasy night becomes a nightmare, Chessa Paxton must run for her life…but will the truth set her free?

Chessa Paxton, an event planner in Lake Tahoe, celebrates a successful night at the Happily Ever After Ball, but her dream quickly becomes a nightmare when she wakes up beside the body of her dead husband. Nauseous and confused, feeling as if she’s been drugged, she can’t explain to the sheriff why her princess costume is bloodied. With her father already a convicted murderer, she feels invisible shackles ratcheting onto her wrists and ankles. She runs! But she can’t escape vivid flashes of memory: a massacre in a meadow; men and women in fairy tale costumes; Snow White’s dead body shielding her from bullets.

Though Chessa is a former costumer and a master of disguise, she quickly learns that hiding while trying to prove herself innocent is the most difficult task imaginable. Especially when the sheriff wants to throw her in jail and the real killer wants to silence her forever.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A fantastic debut into the suspense genre for Daryl Wood Gerber.

Chessa Paxton attends the Happily Ever After Ball with her husband. All her hard work and planning seem to be a great success. Then she wakes up in her home next her husband with blood all over and her husband dead. She realizes quickly she is the prime suspect and with father already a convicted murderer she knows she doesn’t have a chance. She knows she has to get out of there and she does. She runs! She has to prove she didn’t do it but all she can remember are little snippets of what she thinks happened. With a few disguises and a little help from her friends she tries to find the real killer. While the police are searching for her and not the real killer she finds out that it isn’t easy to hide. The police want to arrest her and the killer wants her dead.

I was spellbound from start to finish. The author grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go. I couldn’t read and flip the pages fast enough. I was so impressed by Chessa courage to find the truth. She was always thinking and planning, staying at least 1 step ahead of the police. Was she remembering correctly? Why was she still alive? Just so she could be framed for the murder? She doesn’t give up. She is determined to find the truth or die trying.

I was so completely engaged by this character and engrossed in the story. Each twist drew me deeper and deeper in, real life around me ceased to exist. The author has written a story with depth and layers full of true mayhem. All the characters are spectacularly written and the situations are so real. I could easily see this book turned into a movie. I had a vivid picture of everyone and everything that happened.

You may know Daryl Wood Gerber, aka Avery Aames for her cozy mystery series’. Let me tell you there is nothing cozy about this story.  She has entered the Thriller/Suspense class with a BANG! Drama from page 1 and a story that will give you chills. RUN, don’t walk, to purchase this book, heck pre-order it as soon as you can.

paradise 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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 Literary Escapes Reviews 2016 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review – Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben

While by favorite genre is Cozy Mysteries I do also like a good suspense thriller. Harlan Coben is my all time favorite thriller author. When he has a new book come out the world just stops and I escape deep inside the story. I was blessed to receive an advance copy for review. I am thrilled to tell you all about it so you can grab it on March 22 when it is released.

FOOL ME ONCE
Fool Me Once
Suspense/Thriller
Setting – New Jersey

Dutton (March 22, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 400 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0525955092
E-Book ASIN: B0141ZP33S
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Former special ops pilot Maya, home from the war, sees an unthinkable image captured by her nanny cam while she is at work: her two-year-old daughter playing with Maya’s husband, Joe—who had been brutally murdered two weeks earlier. The provocative question at the heart of the mystery: Can you believe everything you see with your own eyes, even when you desperately want to? To find the answer, Maya must finally come to terms with deep secrets and deceit in her own past before she can face the unbelievable truth about her husband—and herself.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have a new FAVORITE COBEN!! Fool Me Once has edged out Caught. This story is absolutely brilliant!!

Maya flew helicopters overseas in Iraq but she has left the military after a mission goes way wrong. Home with her husband Joe and her daughter Lily, she is suffering from the mental effects of war and dealing with her sister’s death a few months before.  She tries to get on with her life but her troubles continue as her husband is viciously murdered. Two weeks later she returns home to find the nanny camera has images of 2 year old Lily playing with her dad. Is he alive? Who did they bury? Why is there so much death around her? Maya starts on a journey to find the truth and what happens with amaze you.

Maya is a very engaging character. She is a super strong woman fighting her demons. Joe and his family have secrets upon secrets and I just can’t tell you more.

Twisted, woven together, plot lines cross and untangle just to mix all together again. Coben is a genius, the story is masterfully written. The reader is drawn into the story and the tension and suspense builds and builds until you get whiplash from the final spin that will leave you breathless. Fool Me Once, Mr. Coben is full tricks. He got me. He got me good! And I positively LOVED IT! This is his best book yet!

New to this author, this is a fantastic one to start with!  Already a fan, get this book as soon as you can!

paradise 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

Myron and Mickey Bolitar Series’






Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. 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 Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cloak and Dagger Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes Reviews 2016 What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review/ #Giveaway – BURNING HEAT By David Burnsworth Great Escapes Book Tour

burning heat large banner 640

BURNING HEAT
By David Burnsworth

The villains are bad, the heroes are human, and this book is a keeper!
~Back Porchervations

A quick moving story that is hard to put down. I really liked this storyline and the characters are believable.
~3 Partners in Shopping; Nana, Mommy, &; Sissy too!

This is definitely a series I would recommend. David Burnsworth is a fantastic storyteller and I can’t wait for the next one.
~Tea and A Book

What charms me with both of these books is Brack’s affection for his dog, Shelby. When things get dicey, he has one person he trusts to take care of the dog. And he always finds time to spend with him until it’s safe to bring him home again. Friends say Shelby is his chick magnet. I can see that.
~fuonlyknew

BurningHeatFront
Burning Heat
Suspense/Thriller
Setting – South Caarolina
Publisher: Five Star Publishing (January 20, 2016)
Hardcover: 286 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1432831110
E-Book ASIN: B01ATYI6XO
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Synopsis:

As darkness blankets the holy city of Charleston, South Carolina, Brack Pelton, an Afghanistan War veteran, steps out of a rundown bar after a long night. Before he gets to his truck, he finds himself in the middle of a domestic dispute between a man and a woman on the sidewalk. When a little girl joins the couple and gets hit by the man, Brack intervenes and takes him down. But the abuser isn’t finished. He pulls a gun and shoots the woman. Brack saves the little girl, but his world has just been rocked. Again.

The next day, while sitting on a barstool in the Pirate’s Cove on the Isle of Palms, his own bar, Brack scans the local paper. The news headline reads: Burned Body of Unidentified Hispanic Man Found at Construction Site. Nothing about a dead woman in the poor section of town. Brack feels a tap on his shoulder and turns around to see an eight-year-old girl standing behind him. She’s the little girl he rescued the night before, and she wants him to look into her sister’s shooting.

Violence and danger make up Brack’s not-too-distant past. Part of him craves it–needs it. And that part has just been fed. Things are about to heat up again in the lowcountry. May God have mercy on the souls who get in the way.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This is a book I have been waiting impatiently for since I finished the author’s first book Southern Heat back in May of last year. Burnsworth set the bar high with that one and the good news is he matched it with this one.

Brack Pelton is a former race car driver and an Afghanistan War veteran who has had a life full of drama, he lost his wife to cancer and anger was taking over so he enlisted with a death wish. He made it back but is emotionally and physically scarred by the experience. He is back just in time to witness his uncle’s death and as his only heir inherits a rundown bar called the Pirate’s Cove. He tracks his uncle’s killer in the first book.

This time the story opens as he sees a man hitting a woman and a little girl watching on and when he intervenes the woman is shot. Brack takes off with the little girl while bullets are flying. When the police arrive on the scene the woman’s body is missing. Brack and all the other characters we met in Southern Heat are again brought together to find the woman or her body and catch the man who shot her.

I learned from the first book, which was amazingly David Bursworth’s first published mystery novel, that when you start reading you are not going to stop reading until you finish it. So I planned accordingly and that is just what happened. The action starts on page 1 and takes us to some dark places, some creepy places and some scary places. The story continues at a very fast pace as Brack investigates and continues to put himself in and others in dangerous situations. He is also on edge because someone is sabotaging his business, a break in and liquor license issues are just the tip of the iceberg.  I should also mention he is quite a “player” with at least 3 women vying for his attention.

The story is full of flawed characters trying to do the right things. It also has a crazy group of villains. And a wonderful 50 pound mixed breed dog named Shelby. All the characters are so well written. Easy to imagine and see clearly. Easy to root for or hate.

Burning Heat has a tight plot that is thrilling and suspenseful and so much fun to read. Brack Pelton is definitely one of the good guys and I loved taking this edge of our seat journey with him. I hope he invites us along again soon.

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

db-photo

About This Author

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

 
 
 
 
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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 E-Book Challenge Reviews 2015 Wisconsin Author You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review/Giveaway – Lost in America by Laura Fitzgerald

lost in americaLost In America (Book One, Episodes 1-3)
Thrillers & Suspense > Suspense > Supernatural
Paperback: 290 pages
Publisher: Cardinal Press LLC (June 4, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-1942656111
E-Book ASIN: B00WGOAN32
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It’s the near future, and the next big thing is already here. Smartphones, tablets, even TVs have been replaced by Butlers, your own digital personal assistant who knows you intimately. It’s killer technology … really, it is.

Billed as “luxury for the little guy,” your Butler knows your clothing sizes, your favorite pizza toppings, the music you like, and gets you whatever you want at your command. Your Butler is always there for you. Watching. Waiting. Listening. It knows everything about you, and so does the company behind it.

That’s where the danger comes in.

Meet Kendra Sinclair. She’d be the first to tell you there’s nothing special about her, until she uncovers a massive conspiracy designed to kill millions of people, including those she loves most. Kendra’s the only one who can stop it … unless the bad guys stop her first, which means she needs to get Lost In America.

But how can she, when privacy is just an illusion?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Most of the books I read are series books were there is an underlying story-line or theme that plays throughout the series and has a mystery or two played out within each book. This book contains the first three episodes (like a television series) of a series set in the non-distant future. A future that is getting closer every day.  Life hinges on how the world uses new technology that replaces common things like out cell phones and televisions. Picture Apple’s new smart watch or a smarter television that knows your entire life, from the food you like to your blood type, what you said to your kids this morning to who visited your house. Technology that leaves what the NSA has on us to shame. What happens when all the information falls into the wrong hands. Hands that want to control the world’s destiny.

All I could say when I finished Episode 3 was “wow, Wow, WOW!” Get me Episode 4! It is out and is calling to me! These stories are quite addicting. I found once I started reading I couldn’t stop. At first I was cursing Laura Fitzgerald and then I was thinking this is pretty genius. This type of story is going to interest everyone from teenagers to senior citizens. With the content it gives us some things some of us may see if our lifetimes and for the older folks it was something they have been predicting for years.  With this format some may wait until all the episodes are released and binge read like they binge watch television series on Netflix and others will grab each exciting episode as it comes out and wait with wondrous anticipation for the next installment.

Some may think this book is too Sci-Fi, which I rarely read, and I am here to tell you it is not. This is close enough to current time that is reads like a suspense thriller. Written is the episodic format the suspense continues to build and build and build. I truly am looking forward to each and every new release because I quickly became engaged and Kendra is an leading character that should grab everyone’s attention.

I was given the first 3 episodes bundled together for review and they can be purchased that way. If you are not sure if this story is for you but you want to check it out the episodes can all be purchased separately and the first episode is just 99 cents.

This is totally different than anything else I have written by this author. She has me completely hooked. She releases the episodes almost as soon as they are finished. She is going to have readers begging her to write faster.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Laura Fitzgerald and her books on her webpage here.  Sign up for her monthly newsletter so you know when new installment to Lost in America are available.


GIVEAWAYThe author is giving away 1 copy of Lost in America!

Print or E-Book – Winner’s Choice!
Print Copy – U.S. Only

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.

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will earn you 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for Laura for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End September 29, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners 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 E-Book Challenge Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes Reviews 2015

A Far Gone Night by John Carenen Great Escapes Book Tour – Review

a far gone night large banner640

A FAR GONE NIGHT
by John Carenen

AFGN CoverA Far Gone Night
(Thomas O’Shea Mystery, #2)
Setting – Iowa/Minnesota
Mystery – Thriller
Perfect Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Neverland Publishing Company, LLC (September 8, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-0990314851
E-Book ASIN: B00NUU4AOO
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Synopsis:

Suffering from insomnia, wise-cracking tough guy Thomas O’Shea goes for a late-night stroll through the peaceful streets of Rockbluff, Iowa, and finds himself pausing downtown on the bridge that spans the Whitetail River. When he glances downstream, something catches his eye…something that looks like a body. He scrambles down to the riverbank, pulling the body of a young girl from the water. The girl is naked, with two bullet holes in the back of her head. Ever suspicious of law enforcement, O’Shea chooses not to mention the bullet holes when Deputy Stephen Doltch, on routine patrol, discovers him at the river’s edge.

When the coroner’s report lists the cause of death as “drowning,” Thomas confronts the coroner, but his questions are met with hostility. Then the coroner and his wife disappear, along with the body of the dead girl.

Teaming up with his friend Lunatic Mooning and Clancy Dominguez, an old buddy from his Navy SEAL days, Thomas and the other two men join together to bring justice to the dead girl, a quest that takes them to the Chalaka Reservation in Minnesota, seedy businesses adjacent to the Chalaka Casino, and straight into the world of organized crime.

A fast-paced story, laugh-out-loud moments and familiar, quirky characters from Carenen’s debut novel, Signs of Struggle, continue to enliven the complex world of Thomas O’Shea. Once again, Thomas gears up to find answers that will reveal who put the bullets in the girl’s head, why she was killed, and her identity, which may hit a little too close to home…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am so glad I started organizing book tours and that John’s daughter found me to put together a tour for him or I would have missed this book and the one before it that I now need to read. I usually think of Iowa as a pretty quiet place except for the Republican political craziness that happens there. Organized crime, high stakes gambling, Navy Seals, who knew??

I absolutely love Thomas O’Shea! He is a tough guy with a heart and struggles every day to uphold his Christian faith with the things he does to find the truth and take on the bad guys. His friend Lunatic Mooning, yes that is his name, is quite a character as well.

I also love the way John Carenen tells this story. Yes, it is very fast paced but very descriptive as well and the characters are so engaging. There is also plenty of action. I felt more like I was watching a movie instead of reading a book. There is bit of humor, O’Shea has some great one liners. There are also several tense moments that had it been a movie I would have been sneaking peeks from behind my hand over my face. I was totally immersed in the story from the first page until the last word. This is one of those books that gives people like me a “book hangover” because once I started reading I just couldn’t stop until I finished it.

I have not read Signs of Struggle yet and had no trouble at all reading this book as a stand alone. I plan to read it as soon though because I want to be ready for book #3 when it is released.  Another new to me author I want to shout from the rooftops about!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Dad_and_Roxie_-_photo_for_back_cover_and_website About This Author

John Carenen, a native of Clinton, Iowa, graduated with an M.F.A. in Fiction Writing from the prestigious University of Iowa Writers Workshop and has been writing ever since. His work has appeared in numerous popular and literary magazines, and he has been a featured columnist in newspapers in North and South Carolina. A novel, Son-up, Son-down was published by the National Institute of Mental Health.

His debut Thomas O’Shea mystery novel,
Signs of Struggle
, was published in October of 2012.
A Far Gone Night
, the long-anticipated sequel, continues the exploits of the enigmatic protagonist and the quirky characters of Rockbluff, Iowa.

John is currently an English professor at Newberry College in Newberry, South Carolina. He and his wife live in their cozy cottage down a quiet lane in northern Greenville, South Carolina. He is a big fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes and Boston Red Sox.

neverland

Author Links:

www.curlylarryandme.wordpress.com,

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4721052.John_Carenen?from_search=true,

https://www.facebook.com/CarenenJohn

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour!

Tour Participants

May 13 – deal sharing aunt – Review, Interview, Print Giveaway
May 14 – readalot – Review
May 15 – Omnimystery News – Interview
May 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
May 17 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – Guest Post, E-Book Giveaway
May 18 – Community Bookstop – Review
May 19 – Musings and Ramblings – Guest Post, E-Book Giveaway
May 20 – Frankie Bow – Guest Post
May 21 – Tea and A Book – Review, Guest Post, Print Giveaway
May 22 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Guest Post

Giveaways as shown
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 E-Book Challenge Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2015 What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Southern Heat by David Burnsworth Great Escapes Book Tour – Review

southern heat large banner640

Southern Heat
by David Burnsworth

I am excited to share this book with you today!!

SouthernHeatFrontSouthern Heat
Setting – South Carolina
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Five Star; first edition (February 19, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-1432828004
E-Book ASIN: B00IF9FAKS
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Synopsis:
Gunshots echo down an antebellum Charleston alley. Brack Pelton, an ex-racecar driver and Afghanistan War veteran, witnesses the murder of his uncle, Reggie Sails. Darcy Wells, the pretty Palmetto Pulse reporter, investigates Reggie’s murder and targets Brack.

The sole heir of his uncle’s estate, Brack receives a rundown bar called the Pirate’s Cove, a rotting beach house, and one hundred acres of preserved and valuable wetland along the Ashley River. A member of Charleston’s wealthiest and oldest families offers Brack four million dollars for the land. All Brack wants is his uncle’s killer.

From the sandy beaches of Isle of Palms, through the nineteenth-century mansions lining the historic Battery, to the marshlands surrounding the county, Southern Heat is drenched in the humidity of the lowcountry.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am just amazed that this was David Burnsworth first novel. He credits several people for helping him polish it for publication but let me tell you this is an author to watch!

Action starts on page 1 when Brack Pelton finds his uncle shot in an alley and takes us  to the best and worst parts of Charleston as he tries out who pulled the trigger and why. The story continues to be very fast paced and my Kindle’s pages were flying and then I ran out of power. I tried plugging it is to keep reading but the machine wouldn’t cooperate so I downloaded it to Mr. Dollycas’s Kindle so I could keep reading and stayed up reading until I reached the end.

His characters were so vividly written. From Brack to Brother Thomas, Mutt, Darcy, Detective Wilson and even a 50 pound mixed breed Dog named Shelby, I could picture them all in my mind and was totally engaged.  The bad guys as well as the good were perfectly described and Burnsworth writes in such a way that the details just naturally flow without becoming too wordy.  The plot flowed easily as well. A really great balance is achieved and that can be very difficult.

My favorite character was easily Brack. He has been through so much already in his life and even when he wants to give up he finds ways to keep going.

It is usually hard to give a debut novel 5 stars because as a reader I have set the bar high then for their next book, but this story is definitely worth a 5 stars. It has been more than a year since this book was released so I hope the author releases a new one very soon. I am anxiously waiting!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

db-photo
About This Author

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

Author Links:

www.davidburnsworthbooks.com,

https://www.facebook.com/BurnsworthDavid, https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7229192.David_Burnsworth?from_search=true,

https://twitter.com/DavidBurnsworth

Be sure to visit the other stops on this tour!
Tour Participants

May 6 – A Blue Million Books – Interview
May 7 – readalot – Review
May 8 – Tea and A Book – Review, Guest Post
May 9 – Mystery Playground – Interview, E-Book Giveaway
May 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
May 11 – fuonlyknew – Review, Print Giveaway
May 12 – Lori’s Reading Corner – Guest Post, Print Giveaway
May 13 – Omnimystery News – Guest Post
May 14 – View from the Birdhouse – Review
May 15 – Brooke Blogs – Review, E-Book Giveaway

Giveaways as shown

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 Literary Escapes Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review – The Stranger by Harlan Coben

strangerThe Stranger
Suspense/Thriller
Dutton
Published by The Penguin Group
Release Date: March 24, 2015
Setting: New Jersey
Hardcover: 400 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0525953500
E-Book ASIN: B00NMPN46W
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The Stranger appears out of nowhere, perhaps in a bar, or a parking lot, or at the grocery store. His identity is unknown. His motives are unclear. His information is undeniable. Then he whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you picking up the pieces of your shattered world.

Adam Price has a lot to lose: a comfortable marriage to a beautiful woman, two wonderful sons, and all the trappings of the American Dream: a big house, a good job, a seemingly perfect life.

Then he runs into the Stranger. When he learns a devastating secret about his wife, Corinne, he confronts her, and the mirage of perfection disappears as if it never existed at all. Soon Adam finds himself tangled in something far darker than even Corinne’s deception, and realizes that if he doesn’t make exactly the right moves, the conspiracy he’s stumbled into will not only ruin lives—it will end them.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I get so excited when a new Harlan Coben thriller is about to be released. I drop everything and read it as soon as it arrives. This one had a very different feel right from the start but like all of his other books I started reading and just couldn’t stop. I had to break it up over 2 evenings because my eyes just wouldn’t stay open but if my body had let me I would have finished the whole thing all in one sitting.

“The Stranger” visits normal everyday people that could have been me or my friends or neighbors. Anyone who is affected by a secret someone close to us is keeping. Adam’s wife, Corinne, had a secret and after the stranger reveals it to him his life is never going to be the same. The stranger also visits other throughout the story with secrets too, changing their lives.

What appeared to be a pretty straight forward story quickly twists and turns. Exactly what I expect from Mr. Coben. I found myself completely enthralled by this story, you may even say mesmerized. At first I thought Corinne’s secret was hurtful but not life shattering. Yes, the couple’s trust had been broken, but I thought a strong marriage would survive it. But the more Adam’s story continued and the plot started to play out I saw the author’s writing style start to shine and draw us in deeper. It is a story that has many layers. This is not you typical nail biting thriller, but more a mystery with thrilling and suspense filled moments.

I have been impressed with every Harlan Coben novel. I can’t say that is my favorite Harlan Coben book, Caught still holds that spot, but frankly all of his stories rate 5 stars to me. They all grab a hold of you and don’t let go. If you a are a new fan or an old fan this book should be on your “Can’t Wait To Read” list!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Click Here To Pre-order Today From Amazon

To find out more about Harlan Coben and his books visit 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 Reviews 2014

Review – Naked Addiction by Caitlin Rother

NAKED ADDICTIONNaked Addiction
Suspense/Thriller
WildBlue Press (October 7, 2014)
Paperback: 416 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0990557388
E-Book File Size: 1204 KB
ASIN: B00NU6AA92
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Tired of working undercover narcotics, police detective Ken Goode wants a transfer to homicide. After the Camus-reading surfer finds the body of a beautiful woman in an alley, he is assigned to head a team of relief detectives with the hopes of proving he is homicide-worthy.

As Goode explores the underbelly of the affluent coastal enclave of La Jolla, California, and its hipster neighbor, Pacific Beach, he clashes with the patrons and employees of a neighborhood bar: real estate agents and beauty school students who have possible ties to an escort service and a drug ring – and keep turning up dead.

The untimely disappearance of Goode’s sister proves a worrisome distraction as he chases suspects and a dogged cub reporter chases him. But Goode doesn’t give up. He is determined to solve this case and land a full time place in the homicide division.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I was first introduced to Caitlin Rother’s work through her True-Crime stories, Lost Girls, Dead Reckoning and I’ll Take Care of You so I was already a fan. I knew this book was out there and the author was continuing to improve it and get it published. I am so glad things came together. This book started out as a short story and she used the knowledge she gained from writing True-Crime to make this an outstanding fictional story.

What Rother has given us in a complex mystery that brings together sex, drugs and murder. The story has so many layers and more that a few twists. It is so well-written. The authors years as a journalist shine as she draws the reader into the story.

Police Detective Ken Goode is so good! He is juggling several balls in the air and he tries to solve this murder and his police career comes full circle. He is also a man with a tragic past the has shaped the way he looks at life in general.

Norman Klein, the cub reporter has had this murder investigation story dropped into his lap because the regular crime reporter is out sick. He has the editor riding his back continually to get the story first with all the details, even when the police are not releasing much in the way of details. He goes to some very dangerous lengths to deliver what his boss wants. He clearly is not using his head as he goes places he has no business going.

Like most murder investigations there are several leads and not all of them pan out. The reader is taken behind the scenes and into the procedures followed as the investigation takes many different directions and I was totally surprised with the ending. At one point I thought and I knew the who and the why but I was only right on half of my theory and it was a theory I threw out several times as another suspect came to the forefront. So for me this was a perfect read.

I really like these characters and I hope Rother continues their stories in a future novel or series. She is already off to an excellent start.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Links to my reviews for:

Dead Reckoning

Lost Girls

I’ll Take Care Of You

To find out more about Caitlin Rother and her books visit her 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.”