Review: Death by Chocolate Malted Milkshake

Death by Chocolate Malted Milkshake (A Death by Chocolate Mystery #2)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The island fishing village of Eastport, Maine, has plenty of salty local character. It also has a sweet side, thanks to Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree, her best friend Ellie, and their waterfront bake shop, The Chocolate Moose. But when island life is disrupted by the occasional killer, Jake and Ellie put their chocolate treats aside to make sure justice is served.

This summer, Eastport’s favorite lovebirds, kindergarten teacher Sharon Sweetwater and Coast Guard Captain Andy Devine, are getting married. The gala reception is sure to be the fête of the season, especially with a wedding-cake-sized whoopie pie courtesy of The Chocolate Moose. For Jake and Ellie, the custom-ordered confection will finally reel in some much-needed profits. But the celebratory air, and sweet smell of success, are ruined by foul murder.

When Sharon’s bitter ex-boyfriend Toby is poisoned with an arsenic-laced milkshake, Andy is jailed as the prime suspect and the wedding is cancelled, whoopie pie and all. Then Sharon makes a shocking confession—one that sounds like a fishy attempt to get Andy off the hook. Now both the bride and groom are behind bars. And with the fate of The Chocolate Moose at stake, it’s up to Jake and Ellie to catch a poisonous predator before someone else sips their last dessert.

Includes a Recipe!

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Death by Chocolate Malted Milkshake is a fun cozy mystery. Two ladies with bakery think a milkshake of theirs was the murder weapon. Yet as it turns out…it really wasn’t. But they won’t know that until much later. A man nobody liked is killed. Leaving the main characters worried and in a much bigger hole…than they started with. Jake feels like giving up on their business, while Ellie is still hopeful. But with a local murder to solve things quickly escalate out of control.

The characters were realistic. There was no emotional attachment where I felt like cheering for them. I did feel bad about their sinking business. The plot had mystery. It was entertaining. Just not the omg, I have to finish this tonight or else. Sarah Graves brought themes of family, friends, and intrigue to her novel. It had enough to spark an interest of whodunit and why.

 

 

Review: White as Silence, Red as Song by Alessandro D’Avenia

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Hailed as Italy’s The Fault in Our Stars, this Italian bestseller is now available for the first time in English.

“I was born on the first day of school, and I grew up and old in just two hundred days . . .”

Sixteen-year-old Leo has a way with words, but he doesn’t know it yet. He spends his time texting, polishing soccer maneuvers, and killing time with Niko and Silvia. Until a new teacher arrives and challenges him to give voice to his dreams.

And so Leo is inspired to win over the red-haired beauty Beatrice. She doesn’t know Leo exists, but he’s convinced that his dream will come true. When Leo lands in the hospital and learns that Beatrice has been admitted too, his mission to be there for her will send him on a thrilling but heartbreaking journey. He wants to help her but doesn’t know how—and his dream of love will force him to grow up fast.

Having already sold over a million copies, Alessandro D’Avenia’s debut novel is considered Italy’s The Fault in Our Stars. Now available in English for the first time, this rich, funny, and heartwarming coming-of-age tale asks us to explore the meaning—and the cost—of friendship, and shows us what happens when suffering bursts into the world of teenagers and renders the world of adults speechless.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

White as Silence, Red as Song by Alessandro D’Avenia is emotionally just as good as The Fault in Our Stars. I was hooked. The sadness swept me up within its current. Immediately, I felt the love, the pain, and the loss. But there was also hope and happiness to be gained. The characters are young and have a lot to to learn. Especially, Leo. He is hopelessly in love with a girl who ends up with cancer. That cancer eats away at her until, she passes. I was just as anguished as Leo. But I enjoyed watching Leo fall and then slowly rise up, again. He found a new hope. A new direction that involved love. Love is red. Silence is white. The original girl of his heart, teaches him lessons that help Leo move forward in life. His family was supportive. This YA novel was completely sad, engaging, and beautiful. I recommend it to readers everywhere.

 

Review: A Catered Cat Wedding by Isis Crawford

A Catered Cat Wedding

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Sisters Bernie and Libby Simmons run a catering business in their upstate New York town, and they’re ready and willing to handle any wedding–even one where the bride and groom have tails . . .

Susie Katz is known as the crazy cat lady of Longely, New York, and goes out of her way to earn the title, right down to her cat T-shirts and porcelain Hello Kitties. She’s a fanatic for anything feline. Humans, not so much.

So when she decides to put up a tent on her property and hold an extravagant wedding ceremony for her two Russian blues, she makes sure to include a few two-legged guests–primarily to raise some hackles. All her favorite enemies will be there: her bird-loving neighbor, a rival cat breeder, a local animal rights activist, and the niece and nephew who stand to inherit her considerable fortune . . . if she doesn’t spend it all on cat tchotchkes first. Susie can’t wait for them all to watch as Boris and Natasha slink up the aisle in their very expensive diamond-studded collars, before everyone starts digging in to the poached salmon and caviar provided for the occasion by Bernie and Libby.

But chaos erupts when a wedding gift is unwrapped and a mischief of mice jump out of the box–followed by the disappearance of all the pampered partygoers. Just a few hours later, Susie is stabbed in the back while searching for her missing kitties near the now-empty tent–and it’s up to the Simmons sisters to sniff out the killer . . .

Includes Original Recipes for You to Try!

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

A Catered Cat Wedding by Isis Crawford is a novel filled with humor, cats, and murder. An older woman is obsessed with her cats. She ends up spending a fortune on a cat wedding for two of her most prized cats. Yet just as the weirdest wedding is about to unfold, everything goes wrong. From there, the two sisters catering the wedding are taking care of a mice problem only to find the cat owner stabbed to death. This novel was full of laughs and utter chaos. I found the cat owner strange and her murder interesting. I loved the niece and nephew of the crazy cat lover. And the two main cats made this story even more fun to follow. I did not like Suzie, the cat owner, at all. Her personality and way with spending made me dislike her. The sisters catering the wedding, Bernie and Libby were kind even to Suzie. The plot was crazy but the murder inside caught my full attention. I enjoyed reading this new mystery.

 

 

 

Review: Final Roasting Place by Devon Delaney

Final Roasting Place

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Sherry Frazzelle is back to being Sherry Oliveri, her divorce all but final and her new life in full swing. Her part-time job is helping her father with his hooked-rug business, and her full-time passion is competitive cooking. But murder is about to rock their little Connecticut town . . .

Erno Oliveri made sure to be on set for his daughter’s cook-off appearance on Sunny Side Up with Brett and Carmell. Or as it’s now known, Sunny Side Up with Carmell and Brett–since the ambitious young Carmell seems to have the producer and station owner eating out of her hand. But the important news is that Sherry has bested the competition with her Spicy Toasted Chickpea and Almond appetizer and clinched the spatula-shaped trophy. It’s her shining moment–until everything goes dark.

A quick-moving storm has knocked out power to the studio–and when the lights come back up, Carmell is at her desk with a sharp object lodged in her neck. The weapon is an unusual tool, used by craftsmen who make hooked rugs. Has someone taken corporate backstabbing to a new level, and framed Erno in the process? If Sherry’s going to protect her dad and their family name, she has to find out where he was when the lights went out . . .

Includes Recipes from Sherry’s Kitchen!

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Final Roasting Place by Devon Delaney delivers both mystery and humor. I love the way the characters bristle and fight between each other. Each one takes their opinion seriously. Then, there is the father daughter relationship on the pages. Sherry and her father seem to get along. I find it funny how he kept eating other foods except for his daughter’s own dishes. Despite that, Sherry and her dad were charming characters. Sherry is a smart, quick, and talented sleuth. Her fast thinking and observations help solve the murder case.

News worthy stories are just about to get deadly. It might even get worse for Sherry Frazzelle and her father. A cookout show, containing contestants and delicious meals, starts off okay but ends with a big bang. Jealousy, greed, and a fear of change bring out a murderer. The suspects list grows with each page, just as all evidence points to Sherry’s father, another clue proves someone else is the murderer. But who? A race to investigate and find the real killer keeps Sherry’s hands full.

Final Roasting Place offers a lot of entertainment. Action, intrigue, and a bunch of clues as to who may or may not have committed the crime. The cast is enjoyable to follow along. Reminds me of the Murder She Wrote TV show.

 

Review: Face Off by Brenda Novak

Face Off (The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles, #3)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Tortured and left for dead at sixteen, Evelyn Talbot turned her personal nightmare into her life’s work—studying the disturbing psychopathy of some of the world’s most vicious serial killers. Now a leading psychiatrist at Hanover House in a small Alaskan town, she tries to believe the past will never come back to haunt her—until a woman goes missing from a cabin nearby, and every clue points to the man who once brutalized her…

As her boyfriend, who is the area’s only police, begins to investigate—and finds not one but two bodies—Evelyn can’t forget that her would-be killer, Jasper Moore, was never caught. But there are no new faces in tiny Hilltop, no one who seems suspicious or potentially violent. In this twisted game of cat and mouse, Evelyn is certain of only one thing—Jasper must be hiding in plain sight. And if she can’t find him before he comes for her, she won’t be lucky enough to survive twice…

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Face Off by Brenda Novak is another brilliant installment to this series. I was intrigued. The entire time, I was waiting for Evelyn’s past killer to attack her. Yet each moment never seemed like the right time for Jasper. Jasper like any other serial killer, ended up making many mistakes. He became careless and it took him spiraling out of control. Everything he worked for, was doomed. The intensity of the big moment, kept me on edge. I was expecting a dark, creepy, and deadly read.

Brenda Novak provided me with just that. The characters were funny, entertaining, and added to the flavor of this read. I had to roll my eyes and bite my tongue at the humiliation that Jasper put up with as he planned his future killings. He hated the men who told him what to do and when to do his work. It was interesting to watch as his temper was pushed and how he barely reined it all in…I kept expecting him to lose his patience at the facility every time. Yet, he surprised me. So many turns and twists…Even knowing the background, I was still kept in the dark as to what would happen. The ending was epic. I would have wanted a bit more darker satisfying end with Jasper. But I will have to wait for the next tale to see what happens next. Overall, I recommend this thriller to all.

Review: Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The follow-up to her critically acclaimed Lie to Me, J.T. Ellison’s Tear Me Apart is the powerful story of a mother willing to do anything to protect her daughter even as their carefully constructed world unravels around them.

One moment will change their lives forever…

Competitive skier Mindy Wright is a superstar in the making until a spectacular downhill crash threatens not just her racing career but her life. During surgery, doctors discover she’s suffering from a severe form of leukemia, and a stem cell transplant is her only hope. But when her parents are tested, a frightening truth emerges. Mindy is not their daughter.

Who knows the answers?

The race to save Mindy’s life means unraveling years of lies. Was she accidentally switched at birth or is there something more sinister at play? The search for the truth will tear a family apart…and someone is going to deadly extremes to protect the family’s deepest secrets.

With vivid movement through time, Tear Me Apart examines the impact layer after layer of lies and betrayal has on two families, the secrets they guard, and the desperate fight to hide the darkness within.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison is another great tale. It has the mystery, intrigue, and dark edge to it like all of her previous books. However, the pacing was what almost stopped me from reading the book. It felt dragged. In the beginning there was no action or dialogue that made me want to dig in further. I felt myself wanting to quit until the middle of the book when the story finally gripped me. I should be hooked in from the beginning. But I was not. I love this writer’s work. Every book is unpredictable as to which way she writes. This one kept me wondering…until the clues came straight out which gave away too much in my opinion.

The story was about a family a family being torn apart by deception. The main characters is dying and relied on her parents to help save her. Only to find out, they are not her parents after all. Can you imagine being a family all those years only to discover that when it really counts, the truth come out…or sort of does. Mindy’s predicament is a tough one. Then there is someone wanting to keep things hidden. Only time will tell if Mindy survives and whether her family is completely destroyed. Overall, Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison was a good book. But not as great as her previous ones.

Review: Cross Breed by Lora Leigh

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Fans of #1 New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh’s scorching Breed series first met Cassie as a little girl in Elizabeth’s Wolf. Now Cassie has finally come into her own as a young woman, and she’s about to discover the one she is destined for–but it is unclear whether her fate is to be mated for life, or marked for death…

The Breeds are humans altered before conception with the DNA of the predators of the earth. But although they all carry the genetic material of beasts within them, Cassandra Sinclair stands apart. A unique mix of wolf, coyote and human, she is revered by many–but preyed upon by others. She is fiercely protected by her community…but no one manages to stop her when she slips away one day to offer her body in exchange for her sister’s safety.

The man she succumbs to surprises her by unleashing her inner animal in ways she never dreamed possible–and provokes her deep, furious rage. To Cassie’s shock, he is the mate she has long awaited. She may never be able to forgive his deception. Still, as dangerous enemies track her, and as the threat of all-out war between Breeds and the humans who despise them hovers in the air, they must join forces and hold fast to each other.

But the passionate union between them holds a potential that could change the world–and some will do anything to stop it…

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Cross Breed by Lora Leigh is an intense paranormal romance tale. I was sucked into the whole Breed and Human world. Scientists took children away from their families only to use their embryos for creating half humans and half animals. Taking sperm from coyotes and wolves the government thought they could create an army to use as a weapon against others. Only it backfired on them in ways they did not expect. Eventually, enough human families had missing family members used and killed for these experimentations. The offspring were not looked at as monsters by the majority of the humans. But that did not mean that others were not disgusted with the Breeds and hybrids.

A young woman, Cassie, is overpowered by the feelings of lust and lack of fear towards a man who first aimed to kill her. He knew she was his mate when he saw her at eighteen. But he never went to claim her until 6-years later. One challenge between, and a night of exotic passion lead to distrust and anger. No matter the danger towards them both, their mating heat keeps increasing and only they can help each other survive its brutal wave.

Dog, aka Cain, is a coyote Breed. But he lets the council who created him think he’s undercover for them. Dog wants to get the info to take them out and destroy them. The council are the ones responsible for creating the Breeds and Hybrids like himself. Anger and loss is all Dog knew until his mate. Cassie gives him hope and tears his world upside down…but he’ll do everything in his power to keep her alive and with him.

Lora Leigh created a world full of drama, risks, and heat. I felt the instant attraction between both protagonists. They reeled me in deep. The plot is full of adult language from time to time, some fighting but not graphic, and a little bit of BDSM is inside the sex scenes. I recommend this paranormal romance to all adults.

Review: When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A woman is forced to question her own identity in this riveting and emotionally charged thriller by the blockbuster bestselling author of The Good Girl, Mary Kubica. 

Jessie Sloane is on the path to rebuilding her life after years of caring for her ailing mother. She rents a new apartment and applies for college. But when the college informs her that her social security number has raised a red flag, Jessie discovers a shocking detail that causes her to doubt everything she’s ever known.

Finding herself suddenly at the center of a bizarre mystery, Jessie tumbles down a rabbit hole, which is only exacerbated by grief and a relentless lack of sleep. As days pass and the insomnia worsens, it plays with Jessie’s mind. Her judgment is blurred, her thoughts are hampered by fatigue. Jessie begins to see things until she can no longer tell the difference between what’s real and what she’s only imagined.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier and two hundred and fifty miles away, another woman’s split-second decision may hold the key to Jessie’s secret past. Has Jessie’s whole life been a lie or have her delusions gotten the best of her?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica is a very depressing yet intense novel. Inside, I followed a young woman’s journey through nightmares. She has been in the hospital at her mom’s side and won’t sleep until her mom gets better or passes away. The doctor tried to tell Jessie to get some sleep, but she won’t listen. I felt her pain and her tiredness. Her confusion and pain about finding her father and her mom’s cancer was horrifying. Jessie could not tell apart reality from nightmare. I could not tell the difference until the ending…that’s when all became clear. Grief, loss, and secrets are explored in this novel. I cried a lot when I read this story. Jessie did want her mom to die from cancer. She kept hoping she would get better. Then, there was the fact that Jessie never knew her own father. Mary Kubica never revealed that secret. But the man that should have been her father became one to her while her mom was passing away from her cancer. The death was slow…and when the last moment came, it sped by quickly. My heart broke. Overall, this was intriguing, dark, and heartbreaking.

 

Review: Last Night with the Earl by Kelly Bowen

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Earl. War hero. Notorious rake. After the Battle of Waterloo, Eli Dawes was presumed dead-and would have happily stayed that way. He’s no longer the reckless young man he once was, and only half as pretty. All he wants is to hide away in his country home, where no one can see his scars. But when he tries to sneak into his old bedroom in the middle of the night, he’s shocked to find someone already there.

Rose Hayward remembers Eli as the arrogant lord who helped her late fiance betray her. Finding him stealing into her art studio doesn’t correct her impression. Her only thought is to get him to leave immediately. Yet the tension between them is electric, and she can’t help but be drawn to him. He might be back from the dead, but it’s Rose who is suddenly feeling very, very much alive.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Last Night with the Earl by Kelly Bowen is historical romance that captures the heart and soul. Here, I got to explore the depths of humanity. How far are we willing to help others? An earl, suffering from war, gets a young boy soldier up on a horse when his fellow friend/soldier points a gun at him. Daring the earl to give up the horse so that his uninjured friend could run away. Yet the earl refuses and saves the boy instead. That day earned him more scars and possible death…Years later, just when everyone assumed him dead, the earl finds his father has died and is now taking up to hiding away from the public. Scarred, damaged, and licking his wounds, the earl is content to leave London’s society. Yet his plans are dashed when he comes back home. The one woman who caught his heart lives and teaches at his home residence. There they banter back and forth until both get their anger, loss, and grief straightened out…friendship builds up and so does the attraction and lust. However, both are too injured to let loose and love. The young female artist and the earl need to forgive, heal, and overcomes their fears.

I loved this novel. Kelly Bowen creates characters that are impossible to ignore. Her scenes are vivid, entertaining, and full of emotion. My heart broke for both protagonists. Their troubles made them three-dimensional. I easily was swept away by their actions, romance, and personalities. Plenty of heat, intrigue, and humor are displayed on the pages. These make it hard to stop reading the book. Overall, I highly recommend Last Night with the Earl to all readers. A discovery of art, passion, and inspiration await in this read.

 

Review: Cowboy, Cross My Heart by Donna Grant

Cowboy, Cross My Heart

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant takes you deep inside the Texas rodeo scene, where danger and desire ride side by side. . .

Naomi Pierce isn’t the type to let a cowboy sweep her off feet. It’s not her first rodeo, after all. But when she returns to her Texas hometown, she can’t help but be swept up again in the rough-and-tumble world of hard-riding, bronco-busting good-ol’-boys she loved as a girl. She might be here to photograph her Rodeo Queen best friend. But it’s one fine-looking cowboy who really captures her eye…

Brice Harper is all man, all muscle, and all heart. From the moment he rides into the stadium, he can’t help but notice the beautiful stranger with a camera watching him from the stands. It doesn’t take a zoom lens to see the sparks of instant attraction. But things really heat up when he meets Naomi up-close–and he discovers that someone is stalking her friend. Brice wouldn’t be any kind of cowboy if he didn’t offer to help the ladies out. But can the rough rider keep this spirited shutterbug out of danger–without risking his heart?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Cowboy, Cross My Heart by Donna Grant is a strong read. There are issues of sexual harassment, rape, and unlawful men abusing their power status. The emotional journey was a roller-coaster ride. There were just as many ups as there were downs. I cried for the women being abused by men who should have been trusted. It was sickening reading how a strong character broke into a frightened women for her life. Until her best friend came back to visit her and start investigating into what was happening…the young lady would have been drowning in a miserable life. Their friendship was unbreakable and held them together. The men, aka the cowboys, who came to the rescue made my heart melt multiple times. I fell in love with each cowboy who swore to protect the women and their family. Also, the theme of family was strong here. It showed how one family who went through abandonment survived. Their love and support for each other made me smile. Their were parts that were funny, charming, and romantic as hell. Other parts were intense, dangerous, and scary. Donna Grant provided a lot of action-packed scenes. This made the contemporary romance novel a quick read. I loved it. Overall, I would highly recommend this title to all readers. Plus, it provided an inspiration for women to stand up for themselves.

Review: Sister of Mine by Laurie Petrou

Sister of Mine

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A debut novel of domestic suspense in the vein of Liane Moriarty, Shari Lapena and Claire Douglas about two sisters bound together by a murder

Penny and Hattie have always only had each other—their father left long ago and their mother died in a sudden tragic accident. Penny has always watched out for Hattie, even when she felt usurped by her younger, more vivacious sibling. When Penny’s marriage turns sour and her once-charming husband becomes controlling and abusive, who does she turn to for help but Hattie? An unguarded cigarette, helped along by a few conveniently lit matches and some sleeping pills, creates a deadly fire that frees Penny from an unimaginable life, but not without a cost. The weight of their secret binds the two sisters together, for better or worse. When a new man enters their lives, the twists deepen and the secrets compound. Meanwhile, incidents of arson begin to break out locally and the detective who investigated the death of Penny’s husband develops renewed interest in the case, threatening to unravel all their secrets.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Sister of Mine by Laurie Petrou is a haunting yet intense journey. Two sisters who are close end up with a deadly secret. One that can shatter their bond forever or keep it closer. The story consumed me. The emotional bond between Hattie and Penny made me cry. Penny suffered so much only to fall further away from everything. It felt terrible knowing that disaster was hanging over them constantly. Fear of their secret breaking out…then, to end up having their lives separated and utterly destroyed. It broke my heart to know how it ended for Penny. I had hoped for so much more for her. Penny was weak in the beginning yet became a strong woman in the end. Her life felt like it was over before it could even blossom. There’s nothing greater than two sisters who bond together…Overall, this mystery was good. I recommend it to others who love a dark and gripping story.

 

Review: The Feed by Nick Clark Windo

The Feed

 

 

 

 

Synopsis: 

Set in a post-apocalyptic world as unique and vividly imagined as those of Mad Max and The Girl with All the Gifts, a startling and timely debut that explores what it is to be human and what it truly means to be connected in the digital age.

IT MAKES US. IT DESTROYS US. NOW WE MUST LEARN TO LIVE WITHOUT IT.

The Feed is accessible everywhere, by everyone, at any time. It instantaneously links us to all information and global events as they break. Every interaction, every emotion, every image can be shared through it; it is the essential tool everyone relies on to know and understand the thoughts and feelings of partners, parents, friends, children, colleagues, bosses, employees . . . in fact, of anyone and everyone else in the world.

Tom and Kate use the Feed, but Tom has resisted its addiction, which makes him suspect to his family. After all, his father created it. But that opposition to constant connection serves Tom and Kate well when the Feed collapses after a horrific tragedy shatters the world as they know it.

The Feed’s collapse, taking modern society with it, leaves people scavenging to survive. Finding food is truly a matter of life and death. Minor ailments, previously treatable, now kill. And while the collapse has demolished the trappings of the modern world, it has also eroded trust. In a world where survival of the fittest is a way of life, there is no one to depend upon except yourself . . . and maybe even that is no longer true.

Tom and Kate have managed to protect themselves and their family. But then their six-year-old daughter, Bea, goes missing. Who has taken her? How do you begin to look for someone in a world without technology? And what happens when you can no longer even be certain that the people you love are really who they claim to be?

Rating: 3-stars

Review:

The Feed by Nick Clark Windo is emotional dystopian story. Imagine the world as you know, being connected to the internet. Everything is controlled by what humans do on this internet, aka The Feed. Humans are the source of energy for the feed. Apparently, none of the characters or humans could survive without the Internet. It was needed just a highly as the air required for one’s lungs. Take the internet away and society was doomed. But was it already doomed before it collapsed?

So, this story explores the depth in which society relies and on lives on The Feed. An internet thing that keeps everyone and everything going. It crashes and everyone falls apart. Destruction, chaos, and war among individuals who once loved each other…are depicted on these pages. I couldn’t find a connection to the characters. Their world was confusing and dark. The world really was obsessed with The Feed, if they could not learn to live without it.  This made me wonder if our society would go this extreme one day. Absolutely, scary fact to think about…but it left me wondering. Other than the couple who loss their daughter the story felt flat and repetitive. It did not capture my interest the way I thought it would have. I was expecting for a more realistic doom day relating to technology and society. Some of the fictional twists, just did not make sense. Overall, The Feed was okay but not the best.

Review: Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin

Paper Ghosts

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Carl Louis Feldman is an old man who was once a celebrated photographer. That was before he was tried for the murder of a young woman and acquitted. before his admission to a care home for dementia. Now his daughter has come to see him, to take him on a trip. Only she’s not his daughter and, if she has her way, he’s not coming back . . .

Because Carl’s past has finally caught up with him. The young woman driving the car is convinced her passenger is guilty, and that he’s killed, other young women. Including her sister Rachel. Now they’re following the trail of his photographs, his clues, his alleged crimes. To see if he remembers any of it. Confesses to any of it. To discover what really happened to Rachel. Has Carl truly forgotten what he did or is he just pretending? Perhaps he’s guilty of nothing and she’s the liar. Either way in driving him into the Texan wilderness she’s taking a terrible risk. For if Carl really is a serial killer, she’s alone in the most dangerous place of all . . .

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin is a frightening thriller. A young girl looses her sister to a murderer. But no one knows who killed her. The young girl girl, now a grown woman, is desperate to find answers. She believes an older man, a photographer with dementia, is the killer. Yet, nothing fits. She goes a long way out to set-up an adventure to help the old man remember details. The longer she’s with him, the more she’s not sure if he’s really forgetting or just playing her. Traveling a lone with a possible murderer is the craziest thing ever. However, Grace is willing to do it. The plot was steady. Sometimes slow. It felt like the who dun it was dragged out so much that finding the real killer was lost. I am still left questioning everything that I just read. The ending to me, was unsatisfactory. It left more things open than closed. I wanted to know all the answers. Only questions kept popping up instead. Overall, it was creepy and strange.

Review: The Hunger by Alma Katsu

The Hunger

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Evil is invisible, and it is everywhere.

Tamsen Donner must be a witch. That is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the wagon train known as the Donner Party. Depleted rations, bitter quarrels, and the mysterious death of a little boy have driven the pioneers to the brink of madness. They cannot escape the feeling that someone–or something–is stalking them. Whether it was a curse from the beautiful Tamsen, the choice to follow a disastrous experimental route West, or just plain bad luck–the 90 men, women, and children of the Donner Party are at the brink of one of the deadliest and most disastrous western adventures in American history.

While the ill-fated group struggles to survive in the treacherous mountain conditions–searing heat that turns the sand into bubbling stew; snows that freeze the oxen where they stand–evil begins to grow around them, and within them. As members of the party begin to disappear, they must ask themselves “What if there is something waiting in the mountains? Something disturbing and diseased…and very hungry?”

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Hunger by Alma Katsu is an interesting yet dark journey. A moment in history known as the Donner Party has been relived and retold here. Survival is key. Each member of that doomed party went through hell. Back then, traveling was difficult if not impossible. Timing was not on the Donner Party’s side. Their hardships soon led to chaos, mistrust, and death. Alma Katsu made this historical fiction come alive with a suspenseful voice. A sadness clung to every page. The intensity of the plot grew and it was hard to let go of the book. I felt sorry for the characters and enjoyed following them on this trail. The plot was steady but packed with the right amount of details and action to keep the pages turned. Overall, I would recommend it to those looking for a scary yet entertaining tale.

Review: Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks

Formula of Deception

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“I love Carrie Stuart Parks’s skill in writing characters with hysterical humor, unwitting courage and page-turning mystery. I hope my readers won’t abandon me completely when they learn about her!” —Terri Blackstock, USA TODAY bestselling author of If I Run, If I’m Found, and If I Live

An artist hiding from an escaped killer uncovers one of World War II’s most dangerous secrets—a secret that desperate men will do anything to keep hidden.

After the murder of her twin sister, Murphy Anderson changed her name and appearance and moved to Kodiak, Alaska, to avoid the press and publicity. But when local authorities discover she’s an artist and request her help in drawing a dying man’s memories, she unintentionally ends up in the limelight again—and back in the killer’s crosshairs.

The deathbed confessions of an Alaskan hunter have Murphy drawing the five bodies he discovered on remote Ruuwaq Island ten years ago. But what investigators find has them mystified. Evidence suggests that the bodies were deliberately destroyed, and what they uncover in an abandoned Quonset hut from World War II only brings more questions.

As one by one the investigators who were at the hut die, Murphy knows there is something much darker at stake. What happened on this island during the war? And who is willing to kill to keep its secrets buried?

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks is definitely for fans of Heather Graham, J.T. Ellison, and Brenda Novak. Carrie Stuart Parks brings a lot of excitement and danger in this thrilling read. A crime investigation leads back to a historical secret that somebody is  willing to kill to keep buried. Yet, investigators are getting closer and their death hangs into the air. As new and old victims pile up, the intensity of the situation rises. This dark Alaskan murder mystery, kept giving me chills.

Inside Formula of Deception, I got to meet a twin of a dead woman. The twin, Murphy Anderson, goes into hiding. Staying away from a murderer, is the plan. However, Murphy is soon drawn out of hiding and back into danger. Murphy has a talent that is needed for an investigation. This now, puts her at high risk. The murderer is still killing people to keep the historical secret hidden. It’s only a matter of time, before everything escalates out of control. Overall, this one was phenomenal.

 

Review: Dead Drift by Dani Pettrey

Dead Drift (Chesapeake Valor, #4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Private Investigator Kate Maxwell never stopped loving Luke Gallagher after he disappeared. Now he’s back, and together they must unravel a twisting thread of secrets, lies, and betrayal while on the brink of a biological disaster that will shake America to its core. Will they and their love survive, or will Luke and Kate become the terrorist’s next target?

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Dead Drift by Dani Pettrey is an exciting yet deadly journey. One that will reunite two old lovers who never gave up…time has a way of pushing old memories to surface and soon anger turns to passion. But now, they’re both targets. A fierce enemy has found out who they are and where they’re located. The end goal was to kill them both. However, FBI Agent Kate Maxwell and top agent Luke Gallagher are not to be stopped.

Inside Dead Drift, I got to experience the thrill of chasing down and stopping the bad guys. Especially one that wouldn’t stop targeting the FBI members. Danger, romance, and suspense kept me turning the pages. Dani Pettrey brought to life, the law enforcement and organization of a federal criminal case. It was both exciting and terrifying at the same time. I wasn’t sure what to expect and numerous times I thought both main characters would die. Death hung in the air as the agents worked to escape and capture an enemy. Overall, I would recommend this to all Criminal Minds and NCIS fans. This book has all the similarities but the danger feels so much more realistic.

Review: Slowly We Die by Emelie Schepp

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

An accidental slip of a blade…Then murderous revenge…A patient’s accidental maiming leads a young surgeon to abandon his profession…Now, ten years later, a series of gruesomely senseless murders are rocking the medical community. The weapon? A surgical scalpel.Who is preying on these victims? What does the grisly pattern reveal? And who will be next? Special prosecutor Jana Berzelius is in charge of the investigation. What she can’t know until finally closing in on the murderer is how her own mother’s recent death is intimately connected.

For fans of Tess Gerritsen and Patricia Cornwell, an intricate medical thriller that keeps everyone guessing. 2017 SWEDISH CRIME WRITER OF THE YEAR’Schepp may be the smoothest storyteller among the new crop of Nordic noir aces…the ingenious plot reveals and hidden connections keep you glued to the action.’ – Kirkus Reviews

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Slowly We Die by Emelie Schepp is a frightening thriller. Imagine being locked in with an unconscious prisoner only to find him awake…the nurse dropped the needle. Her partner bent down to pick it up only to find her dead and the prisoner alive.

Death hung in the air on every page. The intensity of the increasing violence and the volume of people being murdered by a scalpel made my hair stick up. Then, I found out the main character, a prosecutor, may have a personal attachment to the case at hand. Freaky, deadly, and chilling…Emelie Schepp got the fear factor in full force.

The novel really went into depth on the strictness or lack of strictness in the punishments for prisoners. It also showed how some higher individuals also got lower to no punishment for their crimes. Unjust and quickly spiraling out of control, the justice system is sinking. People are scared. These issues are still a big problem to be dealt with…yet nothing got fixed.

How many people have to die before the justice system is fixed? And who is behind all the killings? Is a less strict policy best for deals with criminals…like our prosecutor thought? Or was she wrong? Overall, I enjoyed reading Slowly We Die by Emelie Schepp. It definitely left me thinking hard on these subjects.

 

Review: Friction by Sandra Brown

Friction

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown comes a gripping story of family ties and forbidden attraction.

A Texas Ranger, relegated to deskwork due to past recklessness, petitions to regain custody of his five-year-old daughter, and his case is assigned to a family court judge who is as attractive as she is ambitious. When a masked gunman barges in during the custody hearing with his sights on the judge, the Ranger reacts instinctively and goes after him. But authorities apprehend the wrong man, and the real gunman remains unknown, at large, and a threat. Will this take-charge lawman jeopardize his chances of custody by going after the would-be assassin? And will this unlikely pair be able to deny the forbidden attraction building between them?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Sandra Brown’s latest novel, Friction, was just the way I liked it. Raw, complicated,  dangerous, and emotionally charged. The plot was fast-paced. It had my adrenaline pumping, like the moment when the judge got into her car and there was the other main character…inside it with blood and a gun in his hand. Frightening and intense is the temperament of this tale. The characters have everything to lose. One has lost a lot more than he knew and has an even greater risk of losing what’s left. Loss, grief, and justice are the main themes to this novel.

Friction held my attention from the start. It gained my sympathy for a father who lost his wife and found out that his daughter who survived a deadly situation wasn’t really his. But he loved the little girl as if she were his own. Despite his dead wife’s betrayal, he was still in love with her. That proved how great of a man he was inside and out…then there was the lady judge whose life just got complicated. A man whose case she handled ended up being the one man she fell in love with…it was not intentional but it happened. He was not going to let a second woman die. So, he risked himself to save her…but the bad guys are still loose. Overall, I loved reading this thrilling book. I highly recommend it to all readers.

Review: In Hitler’s House Book 2 by Jonathan Lane

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In book two of In Hitler’s House, Willy Weber and Carlotta Krause descend into the depths of the espionage game as World War II rages around them. Working at once against Hitler and often at odds with one another, each fears getting an order to assassinate the other. Meanwhile, the allies dither over whether or not they should be assigned to assassinate Hitler.

Their love grows more intense and more desperate. Carlotta, with her hidden Jewish background, comes into ever greater danger of being sent to a concentration camp. Willy, who is now responsible for delivering certain essential war materials to the Reich, must play a dangerous game as he contrives to short the orders on instructions from his handler, master spy Paul Dukes. Hitler becomes increasingly suspicious that Willy is actually a spy and saboteur, but his love for him as the son he never had prevents him from acting on his suspicions…until it doesn’t.

As the war intensifies, the increasingly deranged Hitler makes more and more bizarre sexual demands on both Willy and Carlotta, to the point that they are forced to do things with him that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

The battle within Hitler’s very secret innermost circle parallels the war unfolding beyond the peaceful Untersberg and Hitler’s mountain hideaway the Berghof, where intrigue abounds and danger hides in every shadow.

Jonathan White Lane is the pseudonym of a scholar of both 20th Century and classical history.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

In Hitler’s House book 2 by Jonathan Lane, the plot becomes more dangerous. Those closest to Hitler are experiencing the fear that he creates. None of them know for sure, if they will kill each other or be killed. Then, there’s those that are closer to Hitler’s heart, that are now suffering the same kind of fear as those who work for his deadly fantasies. Hitler’s demands become unbearable and it is that which will destroy them all one by one. Doom is leering over the cast of characters as war is a constant battle. Hitler is getting more delusional by the second and that makes him the deadliest enemy alive.

History, espionage, and secrets come alive in this novel. Jonathan Lane knows how to entertain his readers. I was lost within his book. It was deeply engaging and fun to follow as the events played out…deception is both a miracle and a curse to those around Hitler. Even Hitler himself is causing his own destruction because of it. Overall, I would recommend this historical dark tale to readers everywhere.

 

Review: Security by Gina Wohlsdorf

Security

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“Original and imaginative . . . Ripping suspense, sheer terror, and a wrenching love story.” —Sandra Brown, New York Timesbestselling author of Friction 

The terrible truth about Manderley is that someone is always watching. Manderley Resort is a gleaming, new twenty-story hotel on the California coast. It’s about to open its doors, and the world–at least those with the means to afford it–will be welcomed into a palace of opulence and unparalleled security. But someone is determined that Manderley will never open. The staff has no idea that their every move is being watched, and over the next twelve hours they will be killed off, one by one.

Writing in the tradition of Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King, and with a deep bow to Daphne du Maurier, author Gina Wohlsdorf pairs narrative ingenuity and razor-wire prose with quick twists, sharp turns, and gasp-inducing terror. Security is grand guignol storytelling at its very best.

A shocking thriller, a brilliant narrative puzzle, and a multifaceted love story unlike any other, Security marks the debut of a fearless and gifted writer.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Security by Gina Wohlsdorf is an entertaining yet deadly mystery. It kept me guessing. The scenes where it was so obvious that someone did something that couldn’t be brushed off was overlooked. I wondered what would have happened, if the blood scenes were checked and inspected. How many times the hints of something darker were present yet ignored. The intrigue built with every page. Made me curious as a cat. Every moment a murder has been committed it’s been shrugged off by the sheer visibility due to a reasonable excuse of what it could have been. My questions were, wouldn’t a sane person look further into the blood scenes, who was injured, and how did it happen unnoticed? Yet the characters who noticed something did not take it further which added to the intensity of the severe situation. A murderer was loose and able to kill everyone without a single disturbance. Gina Wohlsdorf’s writing caught my eye and kept me reading. I love a good mystery and the frightening story of being watched by someone unknown was creepy as hell. Overall, I recommend this novel to all.

Review: Savage Liberty by Eliot Pattison

Savage Liberty (Duncan McCallum #5)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The fifth installation of Eliot Pattison’s Bone Rattler series follows the exiled Scotsman Duncan McCallum to the stepping-stones of the American Revolution

Acclaimed author Eliot Pattison continues his Bone Rattler series as Duncan McCallum is drawn into dark intrigue surrounding the Sons of Liberty in this gripping thriller set in the early days of the American revolution.

Pattison’s deep historical knowledge and attention to detail brings a young America to life, immersing the reader in the atmosphere and events that were to lead to the American rebellion. Protagonist Duncan McCallum is lead into a mystery of murder, treachery, and intrigue with Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and a secret society of American patriots organizing to resist the British throne.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Savage Liberty by Eliot Pattison is a novel that sent me back in time. I love following Scottish characters. I have never read a novel, where they were never not in trouble. There was always something going wrong to keep the action steady. Duncan MaCallum’s life was interesting. Death was constantly hanging over his head. Duncan is a strong, determined, and stubborn man. He appeared foolish but is not. He is braver than most men. His relationship with the strong-willed woman, Sarah, is beautiful. Both are good people struggling to survive in their new world. Boston was a place of danger, violence, and uprising. Duncan was smart to leave there but somehow it still chased after him. The time period was captured perfectly. Eliot Pattison created this story in way that deeply engaged me in all the characters’ lives. I felt as though I just lived through them all. Overall, I would recommend this to history fans and historical fiction lovers. This was fun to follow.

Review: Wonderblood by Julia Whicker

Wonderblood

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

It’s 500 years in the future, and a mad cow-like disease called “Bent Head” has killed off most of the U.S. population. Those remaining turn to magic and sacrifice to cleanse the Earth.

Wonderblood is Julia Whicker’s fascinating literary debut, set in a barren United States, an apocalyptic wasteland where warring factions compete for control of the land in strange and dangerous carnivals. A mad cow-like disease called “Bent Head” has killed off millions. Those who remain worship the ruins of NASA’s space shuttles, and Cape Canaveral is their Mecca. Medicine and science have been rejected in favor of magic, prophecy, and blood sacrifice.

When traveling marauders led by the bloodthirsty Mr. Capulatio invade her camp, a young girl named Aurora is taken captive as his bride and forced to join his band on their journey to Cape Canaveral. As war nears, she must decide if she is willing to become her captor’s queen. But then other queens emerge, some grotesque and others aggrieved, and not all are pleased with the girl’s ascent. Politics and survival are at the centre of this ravishing novel.

Rating: 3-stars

Review:

Wonderblood by Julia Whicker is a frightening, gross, and devastating tale. Loss, grief, and chaos loomed ahead in this read. The world went from how we knew it to one unrecognizable to me. Death. blood, gore, and sacrifice were everywhere. The story was strange. It was worse than any apocalypse novel that I have ever read. I couldn’t tell if they were any heroes, or if they were all just a bunch of lost souls too damaged by the destruction of their world. I would recommend this book if one is into the weird and unforgettable darkness that consumes long time afterwards. Wonderblood was a very dark read.

Review: Feral Attraction by Eileen Watkins

Synopsis:

Cat groomer Cassie McGlone tails a killer gone wild over feral felines. . .

Cassie’s good friend Dawn is part of an organization that’s trying to protect a colony of stray cats on the property of a senior condo community in Chadwick, New Jersey. The residents have got their backs up over the cat invasion, and Dawn has come to Cassie’s grooming and boarding shop, Cassie’s Comfy Cats, to ask her help in talking sense to them.

Not everyone’s against the cats. Eccentric Sabrina Ward feeds them and has even created makeshift shelters for them in the nearby woods, infuriating her neighbors. Following a heated community meeting–in which Cassie and her veterinarian boyfriend come up with a proposal–Sabrina’s body is found in the woods. The police are calling her death an accident, but Cassie smells a rat. Narrowing down the list of suspects may be tougher than herding cats, but Cassie is determined to collar the killer before another cat lover has a fatal accident . . .

Praise for The Persian Always Meows Twice

“Fans of felines will appreciate Cassie’s demonstrated attachment to the master species, which Watkins successfully integrates throughout her debut, a deft blend of mystery and cat love.” –Kirkus Reviews

“A promising start to a new cozy series. And the information the author provides about cats is fascinating.” –Suspense Magazine

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Feral Attraction by Eileen Watkins is an exciting feline mystery. It turns out that a community of feral cats have moved closer to an older retired community housing center. That’s where all the trouble begins…A few residents began feeding the cats thus, an increase in the population of feral cats being seen. Many of the residents do not like the cats and want them gone. Some are willing to go to the extreme to get rid of the cats and those invloved in helping the cats stay alive and free. Murder, mayhem, and a charming cast of characters are found in this book. I love how an expert cat groomer who has an animal behavior degree is called in to settle the dispute. But Cassie soon finds herself in more hot trouble than she can handle…I loved reading this new novel. Overall, I would recommend Feral Attraction to all readers. I can’t wait for the next book!

Review: Goodbye Cruller World by Ginger Bolton

Synopsis:

Named after her beloved tabby, Deputy Donut, Emily Westhill’s donut shop in small-town Fallingbrook, Wisconsin, is doing so well, she’s expanding into catering weddings. But a killer is about to crash the reception . . .

Normally, Emily’s eyes tend to glaze over when prospective brides go on about their wedding plans. But when the owner of the clothing shop, Dressed to Kill, asks Emily to design a donut wall for her reception, she’s immediately sweet on the idea. With the help of her father-in-law and business partner–the former police chief of Fallingbrook–she hangs the treats from dowels on the wall so guests can help themselves.

But that night, when the groom ends up on the floor with signs of poisoning, Emily suspects someone has tampered with her treats. When the groom dies, there’s no way to sugarcoat it: she’s got a murder on her hands. Despite a list of suspects as long as the guest list, Emily vows to find out who created the killer confection to save her shop’s reputation and keep the bride out of handcuffs. She’ll have to move fast . . . before the poisoner takes a powder.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Goodbye Cruller World by Ginger Bolton is one of the best cozy murder mysteries I have read lately. The characters are so real. The cast of characters are funny, charming, and deadly if crossed. Themes of family, love, and food can be found inside this book. Ginger Bolton created an a very entertaining piece of fiction.

The main question was how far does our love push us and how far is too, far? An older sister takes raising her younger sister way too seriously…Jenna was right in saying, that her older sister, Suzanne, is smothering her. When one cannot be allowed to marry a man whether he was decent or not, is not up to anyone but the bride. Yet things do not go as planned and get sticky pretty fast.

Emily is the main protagonist. She owns a bakery with her father-in-law. Emily lost her husband and her interest in weddings isn’t high. But then, she was asked to do a baking thing, and Emily is all in…until the groom is found dead eating one of her creations. Who poisoned him and why? Emily will work hard to find who the killer is to save her business and her friend aka the bride.

Another lovable character is Brent. Brent is a police officer who is deeply interested in Emily. Emily likes Brent, too. Plus, her feline cat, Dep, likes him as well. Brent ran miles just to get to a deadly scene where Emily is involved. The man deserved happiness and medals in my book. His personality is fun.

Overall, I would highly recommend Goodbye Cruller World to all readers. I got swept up immediately. The danger made it fast-paced. Ginger Bolton’s writing was engaging to follow. I truly loved her characters and how the scenes played out in the end. It was amazing. Never a boring moment and plenty of action.

Review: Grounds for Remorse by Misty Simon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

No more cheating . . .

Best friends Tallie Graver and Gina Laudermilch both seem to spend a lot of time around urns. For Tallie, they’re part and parcel of the family business, Graver’s Funeral Home. Even though she’s traded ashes for dusting with her own cleaning business, she still works part-time for her folks and lives above the funeral parlor. For Gina, they’re the vessels that contain her heavenly brew at her coffee shop, Bean There, Done That. And both women are learning that owning a business can make finding time for romance challenging.

But when Gina’s new beau turns out to have a wife, who barges into the coffee shop to take him home, she can’t contain her bitterness and loudly threatens to poison his cup or boil him in vat of coffee. So when Mr. Wrong turns up dead at the bottom of a staircase inside Gina’s locked home, she finds herself at the top of the police’s suspect list. Tallie needs to sweep in to save her friend. But she’ll need to watch her step, or she may go from being a funeral home employee to becoming their next client . . .

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Grounds for Remorse by Misty Simon is a deadly chase for a woman sleuth, Tallie. Tallie’s best friend is dating a man that seems too good to be true. Just when they should be heading out for a date, a wife comes in cursing at Tallie’s bff. Gina swore to kill her latest if he does not stay away from her. Turns out that a lot of people overheard. Next thing they know, he ends up dead in Gina’s place. From there Gina is a top suspect. But Tallie knows her friend did not do it. That left questions of who did it and why he or she would frame Gina.

Tallie is a strong woman dependent woman who left her previous ex. Both she and her friend Gina start dating again. Only Gina’s date seems to be more than what he appears to be. Tallie is dating a decent man, Max. Max is easy to love. He is perfect for Tallie. Max is a complete gentleman around Tallie and makes her happy. Tallie works for her family’s funeral home yet she has a thing for solving a crime and getting into deadly situations. The police, like Burton do not want to see Tallie in a long time. She’s always getting herself into trouble. Her boyfriend, Max, agrees. This made me laugh.

Tallie wants everyone she cares about to be happy and safe. Yet it appears all she gets is yelled at for placing herself into danger. She swears she won’t get involved again…but usually, when  that is said, it seems trouble will always find Tallie no matter what she says. I can already feel it brewing.

Gorunds for Remorse was fun, addictive, and charming. It had enough suspense to keep me guessing. The characters were quirky and realistic. I felt like I was there and could see these things happening for real. Trouble, mischief, and death can be found inside this book. I was thoroughly entertained. The promise of another book featuring Tallie, Gina, and Max is exciting. I cannot wait to read the next grand adventure. Misty Simon has caught my full attention and will be keeping it glued for her next book in this, A Tallie Graver Mystery, series.

Review: Crime & Punctuation by Kaitlyn Dunnett

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

After splurging to buy her childhood home in the Catskills, recently widowed Mikki Lincoln emerges from retirement as a freelance editor. With her ability to spot details that others fail to see, it’s not long before Mikki earns clients–and realizes that the village of Lenape Hollow isn’t the thriving tourist destination it was decades ago. Not with a murderer on the loose . . .

When perky novice writer Tiffany Scott knocks at her door holding a towering manuscript, Mikki expects another debut novel plagued by typos and sloppy prose. Instead, she finds a murder mystery ripped from the headlines of Lenape Hollow’s not-too-distant past. The opening scene is a graphic page-turner, but it sends a real chill down Mikki’s spine after the young author turns up dead just like the victim in her story . . .

Mikki refuses to believe that Tiffany’s death was accidental, and suspicions of foul play solidify as she uncovers a strange inconsistency in the manuscript and a possible motive in the notes. Then there’s Tiffany’s grandmother and husband, who aren’t exactly on friendly terms over the local area’s planned rejuvenation efforts . . .

Unable to convince police that they are focused on the wrong suspect, Mikki must rely on her keen eyes to catch the truth hidden in Lenape Hollow. As she gets closer to cracking the case, only one person takes Mikki’s investigation seriously–the cunning killer who will do anything to make this chapter of her life come to a very abrupt ending . . .

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Crime & Punctuation by Kaitlyn Dunnett caught my attention with just the title alone. I was immediately drawn into what the plot may have held. Once I started reading, I was even more curious. The book quickly introduced me to the main protagonist. Mikki Lincoln is an older widowed woman who moves back to her family home. A home that needs major improvements such as updated plumbing for modern use. Her money is fading…and then, she begins work as a freelance editor. That’s when the story really starts. A young client approached her with a new book. One that holds more history than fiction. But what Mikki will soon find out is that it may contain the details she needs to solve a current murder investigation and an older one.

Kaitlyn Dunnet’s writing was well-done. I could visualize the the older woman as she worked to solve the crime committed. Her home was easy to see as well. The plot spun fast once the freelance editor finally dug into her client’s novel…after that, I was swept into a journey filled with danger, suspense, and chaos. It was engaging to read. I liked Mikki. Yes, she was older than a I would have liked for her character in this type of story, but she made it work. The trouble that came with her client’s death was fun to follow. Overall, I would recommend this title to readers everywhere.

Review: Cultural Diversity in Health and Illness by Rachel E. Spector

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

For courses in Community/Public Health Nursing, Transcultural Nursing, and CEUs.

Promotes an awareness of the dimensions and complexities involved in caring for people from diverse cultural backgrounds

The ninth edition of Cultural Diversity in Health and Wellness examines the differences existing within North America by probing the health care system, consumers, and examples of traditional health beliefs and practices among selected populations. An essential for any health-care professional, this book sets the standard for cultural perspectives and more importantly HEALTH—the balance of the person, both within one’s being—physical, mental, and spiritual—and in the outside world—natural, communal, and metaphysical. (Terms such as HEALTH are written this way to emphasize holistic meaning.) An emphasis on the influences of recent social, political, and demographic changes helps to explore the issues and perceptions of health and illness today, while introductory and capstone chapters help place material within perspective.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Cultural Diversity in Health and in Illness by Rachel E. Spector was an interesting textbook to study. There were a lot odd cultural stuff that made me think, why people do them while others made sense. I was taken on a journey through each cultural group and explored their ways of religion, health, and illness. Most believe in evil eye. I do not. But how so many of them despite their differences that did was a curiosity to me. I had to buy this textbook for my cultural diversity class in health. There was plenty to discover, learn, and think about…the writer did an excellent job in portraying each ethnic group. Not all groups were included in this book. But a good majority were. It broke down the major minority and majority ethnic groups into sections for a student, like me, to learn. Odd but well-organized. Many old healing traditions stuck out to me as weird. For health professionals this is a great brief study in creative health culture diversity. The traditions and customs of most groups are explored. I was not going into a health profession but needed a health credit. Overall, it was an intriguing study.

Review: Trumpets of Jericho by J. Michael Dolan

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The Trumpets of Jericho is the first book, and only novel, devoted in its entirety to one of the more remarkable if lesser-known stories of the Holocaust–the defiant 1944 Jewish armed revolt at the Nazi death camp Auschwitz– and the just as inspiring account of the four young female conspirators arrested and savagely tortured by the Gestapo during the investigation that followed.

As one of the architects of the rebellion, the 22-year-old Roza Robota, arguably the greatest Jewish heroine to come out of the Holocaust yet little remembered today, is brought to vivid and long-overdue life. Meet her and the rest of the heroes, and villains, in this epochal saga that will both thrill and horrify you at the heights and depths our unpredictable kind is capable of reaching.

In Trumpets, the historian, J. Michael Dolan has produced a work that he believes will stir you as deeply as its subject has him. In conjunction with bringing this epic tale to light, he explores, among other themes, religion and the existence of God, the psychology of genocide, friendship and romantic love, sexual and other pathologies, the nature of good and evil, right and wrong.

Above all, he shows how the most monstrous crime ever committed was in the end no match for the indomitability, the grandeur of the human spirit.

“As moving as Schindler’s List, horrific as Son of Saul, heroic as The Grey Zone… an adventure of a book destined itself for Hollywood.” –Raja-Rao Literary Endowment

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Trumpets of Jericho by J. Michael Dolan is a fascinating account of World War II. The darkest time period in history. I am a huge fan on anything that shows me what it was like during that time era. The horrors of what people went through was an emotional journey unlike any other. I loved how historian, J. Michael Dolan, used both fictional and real characters for his book. It was easy to follow along. Loss, grief, and death followed every page. The plot was engaging. It portrayed a realistic telling of those events in 1944. I greatly appreciated how much history and research the writer did. It was like being teleported back in time. A  time full of dangerous, deadly, and intense situations. Danger existed everywhere back then.

Trumpets of Jericho, is a must read  for all. It is both an educational and entertaining story. S much history to relive and remember. Plus, there are some heroic figures I do not remember studying in school and have learned by reading this novel. One such heroine, was Roza Roberta.   I was able to connect with her immediately. She fought against the wrongs of this horror from the Holocaust. She was a strong character that I really liked. The story took me straight back to Auschwitz, known as the death camp. I cried reading this…It was well-told. I can see this historical novel being a bestselling movie one day. I would so watch it! There are multiple themes associated with the crimes committed during this era. It was interesting to read. Overall, I recommend this powerful story, Trumpets of Jericho, to all readers.

 

 

Review: Jesus the Bridegroom by Brant Pitre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In Jesus the Bridegroom, Brant Pitre once again taps into the wells of Jewish Scripture and tradition, and unlocks the secrets of what is arguably the most well-known symbol of the Christian faith: the cross of Christ. In this thrilling exploration, Pitre shows how the suffering and death of Jesus was far more than a tragic Roman execution. Instead, the Passion of Christ was the fulfillment of ancient Jewish prophecies of a wedding, when the God of the universe would wed himself to humankind in an everlasting nuptial covenant.

To be sure, most Christians are familiar with the apostle Paul’s teaching that Christ is the ‘Bridegroom’ and the Church is the ‘Bride’. But what does this really mean? And what would ever possess Paul to compare the death of Christ to the love of a husband for his wife? If you would have been at the Crucifixion, with Jesus hanging there dying, is that how you would have described it? How could a first-century Jew like Paul, who knew how brutal Roman crucifixions were, have ever compared the execution of Jesus to a wedding? And why does he refer to this as the “great mystery” (Ephesians 5:32)?

As Pitre shows, the key to unlocking this mystery can be found by going back to Jewish Scripture and tradition and seeing the entire history of salvation, from Mount Sinai to Mount Calvary, as a divine love story between Creator and creature, between God and Israel, between Christ and his bride—a story that comes to its climax on the wood of a Roman cross.

In the pages of Jesus the Bridegroom, dozens of familiar passages in the Bible—the Exodus, the Song of Songs, the Wedding at Cana, the Woman at the Well, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, and even the Second Coming at the End of Time—are suddenly transformed before our eyes. Indeed, when seen in the light of Jewish Scripture and tradition, the life of Christ is nothing less than the greatest love story ever told.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Jesus the Bridegroom by Brant Pitre is a must read for all Christian readers, especially those who are Catholic. It explains and takes readers, like myself, on a journey to following the relationship between Jesus and the church. I was impressed with the research that went into making this book. There were plenty of quoted material that went with the pages as they continued the discussion. I loved how Brant Pitre showed us, readers, the way of Jesus and the way of the Jews. History, faith, and Christian doctrine are implemented throughout this book. I enjoyed diving deeper into my faith with Brant Pitre as my guide. His words were easy to follow and made understanding the content of that historical moment in a way that was epic. I would recommend this to readers worldwide. If you’re Catholic definitely read this, if you’re another Christian faith, read it to familiarize yourself with relationship of Jesus Christ. Overall, it was educational, informative, and well-done.

Review: No Cure for the Dead by Christine Trent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

When a young nurse dies on her watch, Florence Nightingale must uncover the deep-hidden secrets someone will kill to keep buried.

It is 1853. Lady of the Lamp Florence Nightingale has just accepted the position of Superintendent of the Establishment for Gentlewomen During Temporary Illness in London. She has hardly had time to learn the names of the nurses in her charge when she suddenly finds one of them hanging in the Establishment’s library. Her name was Nurse Bellamy.

Florence’s mettle is tested by the dual goals of preserving what little reputation her hospital has and bringing Nurse Bellamy’s killer to justice. Her efforts are met with upturned noses and wayward glances except for her close friend and advocate inside the House of Commons, Sidney Herbert. As Florence digs deeper, however, her attention turns to one of the hospital investors and suddenly, Sidney becomes reluctant to help.

With no one but herself to count on, Florence must now puzzle out what the death of an unknown, nondescript young nurse has to do with conspiracies lurking about at the highest levels of government before she’s silenced too.

For fans of Anne Perry and Laurie R. King comes No Cure for the Dead, the rich and enthralling series debut from Christine Trent.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

No Cure for the Dead by Christine Tent is an interesting yet deadly read. A young nurse is recruited as head of a hospital. What she finds once there, is more than any nurse should ever see. A suicide that bears the marks of a murder, nurses who are cruel and scheming, and several affairs going on in a secret room. One murder may turn t multiple murders. But head nurse, Florence, makes sure no one else dies under her care. Danger, risks, and trouble are brewing on these pages. Florence is a smart and well-educated no nonsense kind of woman. She takes full responsibility and does not turn away from hardships. I liked her a lot. It was easy to fall into the novel’s plot. It was thick with mystery, mayhem, and death. I enjoyed following nurse Florence as she went about fixing the sad state of the hospital and finding the real murder before it got way worse. Some of the characters are left with scars but will survive. Overall, I highly recommend this murder medical mystery to all.

Review: Color Me Murder by Krista Davis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Includes A Front and Back Cover for You to Color!

By day, Florrie Fox manages Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. By night, she creates her own intricately detailed coloring books for adults, filling the pages with objects that catch her eye. There’s plenty of inspiration in her new apartment–a beautiful carriage house belonging to Professor John Maxwell, Florrie’s boss. He offers the property to Florrie rent-free with one condition–she must move in immediately to prevent his covetous sister and nephew from trying to claim it.

When the professor’s nephew, Delbert, arrives, he proves just as sketchy as Florrie feared. But the following morning, Delbert has vanished. It’s not until she visits the third floor of the store that Florrie makes a tragic discovery–there’s a trap door in the landing, and a dead Delbert inside. The esteemed Professor Maxwell is an obvious suspect, but Florrie is certain this case isn’t so black and white. Doodling clues, she begins to consider other colorful characters on the scene, all with a motive for murder. With a killer drawing closer, Florrie will need to think outside the lines . . . before death makes his mark again.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Color Me Murder by Krista Davis is exactly that! It’s the first book in a new series. This cozy mystery was fun. If the cover didn’t lure me in already, the plot definitely did. The cover is in a format where readers, like myself, can have fun coloring it. I really liked that and hope to see something like that continued with this series.

This novel introduced me to Florrie Fox. She is the main protagonist and the woman sleuth who solved the murder investigation. She owns a coloring bookstore. I found that neat. It tied in with the title, Color Me Murder. Florrie is a woman that I could easily relate to and love. Her sparkling personality made it fun to follow her. The way she stumbled onto some of the clues was interesting. Like falling and then finding a secret trap door…only to find a dead body. It was both exciting and chilling. From there Florrie goes about coloring, doodling clues, and possible answers. That was something I never knew a sleuth to do.

Krista Davis brought danger, friendship, and mystery to this start of a new series. Also, I found a tiny bit of romance bubbling up too. The plot was engaging. It kept at a steady pace. I was able to finish reading this book in one sitting. Once I dug into the book, I couldn’t put it down. Color Me Murder is a must read cozy mystery with an excellent cast of characters that are likable and believable too. Overall, I highly recommend it to all readers.

Review: In the Name of the Family by Sarah Dunate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

`It is better to be feared than loved’ – Niccolo Machiavelli

In the bear pit of renaissance politics, a young Florentine diplomat finds himself first hand observer on the history’s most notorious family – the Borgias.

In the Name of the Family – as Blood and Beauty did before – holds up a mirror to a turbulent moment of history, sweeping aside the myths to bring alive the real Borgia family; complicated, brutal, passionate and glorious. Here is a thrilling exploration of the House of Borgia’s doomed years, in the company of a young diplomat named Niccolo Machiavelli.

It is 1502 and Rodrigo Borgia, a self-confessed womaniser and master of political corruption is now on the Papal throne as Alexander VI. His daughter Lucrezia, aged twenty-two, already thrice married and a pawn in her father’s plans, is discovering her own power. And then there is Cesare Borgia: brilliant, ruthless and increasingly unstable; it is his relationship with the diplomat Machiavelli which offers a master class on the dark arts of power and politics. What Machiavelli learns will go on to inform his great work of modern politics, The Prince.

But while the pope rails against old age and his son’s increasing maverick behavior, it is Lucrezia who will become the Borgia survivor: taking on her enemies and creating her own place in history.

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

In the Name of the Family by Sarah Dunate is deep political read. A family swamped with political tension, betrayal, and revenge. A daughter who helps her father as much as her brother tries to destroy their father.  So many themes are found inside this book…it was an adventure of a lifetime. The historical novel captured the time period and politics down perfectly. It felt as though I traveled back in time. There was plenty of action to keep me attention. Murder, corruption, and power were the central themes featured on every page. The children of the Pope felt more like pawns than anything else. The daughter was a pawn for the Pope’s own gain. The son became a hungry Mongolia for more power and influence. The level that each of these three main characters stooped to was engaging as it was sad. Too many viewpoints were told in this book. I would have enjoyed it more if there just two different viewpoints at most telling their side of the story. The historical time period was what made this an entertaining tale. I couldn’t connect with the main characters, which was really disappointing. Overall, good but could have been better.

Review: The Clarity by Keith Thomas

The Clarity

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Dr. Matilda Deacon is a psychologist researching how memories are made and stored when she meets a strange eleven-year-old girl named Ashanique. Ashanique claims to harbor the memories of the last soldier killed in World War I and Matilda is at first very interested but skeptical. However, when Ashanique starts talking about being chased by the Night Doctors—a term also used by an unstable patient who was later found dead—Matilda can’t deny that the girl might be telling the truth.

Matilda learns that Ashanique and her mother have been on the run their whole lives from a monstrous assassin named Rade. Rade is after a secret contained solely in memories and has left a bloody trail throughout the world in search of it. Matilda soon realizes Ashanique is in unimaginable danger and that her unique ability comes with a deadly price.

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

The Clarity by Keith Thomas is an interesting read combining fictional elements and nonfictional information together. The frightening parts about experimental portions were based on some real experiences that did really happen to people. The characters were okay. But no emotional attachment that made me want to really connect with them. I thought they were fine but but not were Inwould be talking bout how great they were. The plot was gruesome, dark, and intense as was expected with some of the things mentioned. There was a lot of action in this novel. I would have been happier if there was more to the characters. There needed to be more on the interaction and backstory between/of the characters. It just felt felt flat to me.

The novel did hold a promising tale…Dr. Matilda is by far the worst character. She is a doctor interested in the whole journey of memory and past lives. Yet she wasn’t what I expected and didn’t meet the expectations for her role in this story. There were other characters that I did really like and thought that Keith Thomas did a fine job in creating. Characters like Kojo and Brandon were believable and enjoyable to follow.

The Clarity was fast-paced, action packed, and full of government misuse. Like the medical experiments that still bring a chill down my back. A lot of conspiracy themes are found inside the book. Overall, it was good and suspenseful.

 

Review: A Duke Like No Other

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

First comes love, then comes marriage. Unless it’s the other way around. . .

General Mark Grimaldi has sacrificed everything for his military career, working his way through the ranks without the benefit of a nobleman’s title. Now, his years of dedication are about to pay off—with an offer for a prestigious promotion to Home Secretary. There’s only one condition: Mark must be married. Aside from the small matter of not actually wanting to be wed, Mark faces another troubling problem: he already has a wife.

Nicole Huntington Grimaldi has spent ten contented years in France without her husband—and without regret. When Mark asks her to return to London and play the part of his beloved wife, she sees her chance. But neither of them is prepared for news that will throw Mark’s future into chaos…nor the undeniable desire they’ve rekindled. Maybe happily-ever-after can happen the second time around in A Duke Like No Other, the next Regency romance from Valerie Bowman.

Valerie Bowman’s Playful Brides novels are:

“Wholly satisfying.”—USA Today

“Smart and sensual…readers will be captivated.”—RT Book Reviews

“Smoldering.” —Booklist

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Duke Like No Other by Valerie Bowmanis another enchanting romance. A historical that pushes boundaries and sinks its teeth into my heart. The plot was fast-paced, engaging, and emotional. Two protagonists both with a desire to work in a dangerous field and do what is right. Despite their Desiree and attraction, both hide things from each other. This causes a rift to form and both fall apart. A marriage based on love but broken by secrets. Neither one was able to let his or her pride down to set things right between them. Ten years later, life has a way of bringing them back together. One wants to become a mother and the other the Secretary of State.

However, to become Secretary of State he needs his wife back in England to assume the position of a family man. General Mark Grimadali is more of a family man than most presume and more than he, himself thinks he is. It was funny watching his troubles, fears, and heart explode among the pages. His wife Nicole is jus s strong of character as her husband. Stubborn to a fault…she can’t hide her feelings any longer. Afraid of a broken heart again, she is prepared to leave her husband she loves one more…but could he really not love her? Both are grave, smart, and charming. I fell hard and fast for these characters. Their personalities and struggles were exciting to follow. Overall, I highly recommend this historical regency novel.

Review: Expiration Date by Devon Delaney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

After a short-lived marriage, Sherry Frazzelle is living single life to the fullest in her little Connecticut town, accompanied by her Jack Russell terrier, Chutney. Her new passion is competitive cooking–but it turns out that murder is the surprise ingredient . . .

With contestants from Maine to California and a ten-thousand-dollar prize at stake, Sherry’s latest competition, hosted by the CEO of an organic food company, is sure to be heated. But she’s more than ready to step up to the stove. After all, she did win the award for Most Creative Cupcake back in high-school.Today, she’s hoping her flavorful pork tenderloin will sway the judges. Instead, it seems someone’s decided to slay one of the judges . . .

After Chef Birns falls face first into the Seafood Flatbread Pizza, Sherry’s dish is deemed suspicious. Now she’ll have to stir through a stew of rule-breaking, corruption, and gossip to get herself off the chopping block, and find out who turned this food fight fatal . . .

Includes Recipes from Sherry’s Kitchen!

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Expiration Date by Devon Delaney is an exciting new series. This first novel was packed with humor, murder, and mayhem. There is a cooking contest with a huge money prize. People want to win. But then, a judge is killed and an innocent cook is being setup. Sherry is excited to cook and hoping to win the contest. However, all hopes go down the drain when she has been framed for murder. Sherry has to work hard to solve the case just to prove her innocence. The lead detective doesn’t believe in her and that puts her in a pickle.

Sherry is a determined woman to make it as a cook. Yet her sleuthing skills are just as much fun to follow. Devon Delaney’s writing is engaging. I found myself laughing and enjoying the cast of characters. Plus, there are fun phrases that are used that made this book a must read. There was mystery, suspense, and a sort of charm that pulled me in deeper. Sherry has seen a lot of action and had her hands full with this latest journey. I cannot wait to see what adventure comes next. Overall, I recommend this novel to all readers.

 

Review: After Anna by Lisa Scottoline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Nobody cuts deeper than family…

Dr. Noah Alderman, a widower and single father, has remarried a wonderful woman, Maggie Ippolitti, and for the first time in a long time, he and his young son are happy. Despite her longing for the daughter she hasn’t seen since she was a baby, Maggie is happy too, and she’s even more overjoyed when she unexpectedly gets another chance to be a mother to the child she thought she’d lost forever, her only daughter Anna.

Maggie and Noah know that having Anna around will change their lives, but they would never have guessed that everything would go wrong, and so quickly. Anna turns out to be a gorgeous seventeen-year-old who balks at living under their rules, though Maggie, ecstatic to have her daughter back, ignores the red flags that hint at the trouble brewing in a once-perfect marriage and home.

Events take a heartbreaking turn when Anna is murdered and Noah is accused and tried for the heinous crime. Maggie must face not only the devastation of losing her daughter, but the realization that Anna’s murder may have been at the hands of a husband she loves. In the wake of this tragedy, new information drives Maggie to search for the truth, leading her to discover something darker than she could have ever imagined.

Riveting and disquieting, After Anna is a groundbreaking domestic thriller, as well as a novel of emotional justice and legal intrigue. And New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline will keep readers on their toes until the final shocking page.

 

 

Praise for Lisa Scottoline:

“Scottoline keeps the pace relentless as she drops a looming threat into the heart of an idyllic suburban community, causing readers to hold their breath in anticipation.” —Booklist on One Perfect Lie

“Readers can be assured that the author nails the high school milieu, from athletic rivalries to sexting…they’re in for one thrilling ride.” —Kirkus on One Perfect Lie

“Entertaining…This fast-paced read culminates in a daring chase that would play well on the big screen.” —Publishers Weekly

 

 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

After Anna by Lisa Scottoline is an intense thriller. A deadly journey where people have died and other may still die. A father wrongly accused of murdering his wife’s daughter. He never killed anyone and the dead girl isn’t who they originally thought she was. This family was torn apart and ruined. Only to be bounded together again once more. However, getting back together, will depend on timing. If they’re too late the husband dies and so does the real daughter. But if timed right, they may just end of saving both. The FBI are involved after a therapist finds out that the young girl isn’t the one matching in the newspaper. This whole time, the innocent have been trapped and tortured. I was filled with intrigue. This book kept me guessing. I was afraid of what the outcome would be. Lisa Scottoline has once again, written a title worthy of reading. Dramatic, frightening, and emotional…After Anna is a journey of survival and hope in a world of darkness. Overall, I recommend it to readers everywhere.

 

Review: The Flower Girl Murder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Daisy Burns was a likable, devoted wife and mother who spent her spare time volunteering at school events. Everyone loved Daisy. So why would someone shoot her three times and dump her body behind a Planned Parenthood chapter in North Carolina?

With no witnesses and few leads, Raleigh detective Marc Allen turns to the press for help—specifically, veteran news anchor Lancaster Heart. Heart agrees to broadcast the police department’s plea for information in his nightly newscasts.

Elderly viewer and longtime social worker Blanche Avery is positive she recognizes the photograph on the television as an older version of her friend Daisy— the young, heavily pregnant girl she met years before who made the decision to give her child up for adoption.

When Tanner Goochly Jr.—a member of a notorious crime family—becomes the victim of another point-blank shooting, Allen races to discover the connection between the murders. Could it be that Daisy was somehow involved with an illegal enterprise, or was she hiding something else, another secret to be discovered?

The body count is rising, and the suspect pool is widening. As Allen’s investigation reaches a fever pitch, he realizes that a mother’s choice could have killer consequences.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Flower Girl Murder by Keith Hirshland is another crime investigation. A murder that goes unsolved until a clue pops up…from there I was hooked. Not everything is what it appeared to be. A young woman who appears to be a decent woman is found dead. No clues as to why or who did it. Then, another body is found and the detective is racing to find out why and how they’re connected. Two murder victims with an apparent opposite lifestyle are now dead. The race to find the killer is exciting. Crime, secrets, and lies keep the detective, Marc Allen busy. But then someone remembers something…and from there all hell breaks loose. There was a lot of action, intrigue, and suspense to keep me entertained. The who done it kept echoing in my mind…guessing happened a lot. Keith Hirshland is a talented writer. He made it impossible to stop reading his book. The detective is a determined fellow who gives his all into solving his investigations. I really liked this character. Overall, this was a great read. I recommend it to all.

Review: Severed by VL Towler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The Louisiana parish of Nakadee, a typical town of Creoles, Cajuns, Blacks, and Whites, is more interested in its annual Hot Sauce Festival than in the lives of two eccentric celebrity writers living in the “Hollykook” house. Dr. Lula Logan, a Northerner teaching forensic anthropology at the local university—and researching the stories buried in the graves of local slaves—is reluctantly drawn into an investigation by her ex-boyfriend, a detective, regarding a severed finger left at the Police Department. As the investigation expands, she is caught up in a romantic tug-of-war with an enigmatic U.S. Congressman who turns her liberal worldview upside down. She is also thrust into the lives of the town’s colorful suspects, including a head-turning Confederate-sympathizing college student, a precocious wanna-be- rapper, and a scholarly handyman.

Everybody is connected in Nakadee, which leads to intriguing alliances among the rich, not so rich, and those on their way to being important. When the crimes become a murder investigation, Lula discovers that small towns like Nakadee are not always what they seem, and sometimes hide very big secrets.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Severed by VL Towler is  the perfect book to reading during this month (March). This novel features a black educated woman who is plunged into a big murder investigation. From politics to the crazy locals, Dr. Lula and her ex-boyfriend will have their hands full. The cultural aspects of the different characters inside this fictional town was fun to read. Louisiana is the best place for this kind of chaos and murder to happen. It felt real. A lot of racial issues were brought into this story. Blacks versus whites etc. and the danger is enough to cause a sense of fear… chills running down my back. Here, unlike most stories a black person is behind the danger…and Dr. Lula will find her life in danger. Survival, forensics, and chasing after a killer kept me entertained. I cannot wait to see what happens next. Overall, the plot was good (3.5-stars), the intrigue and suspense (4-stars each), the characterization is spot on (5-stars).

Review: As Bright as Heaven

As Bright as Heaven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From the acclaimed author of Secrets of a Charmed Life and A Bridge Across the Ocean comes a new novel set in Philadelphia during the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, which tells the story of a family reborn through loss and love.

In 1918, Philadelphia was a city teeming with promise. Even as its young men went off to fight in the Great War, there were opportunities for a fresh start on its cobblestone streets. Into this bustling town, came Pauline Bright and her husband, filled with hope that they could now give their three daughters–Evelyn, Maggie, and Willa–a chance at a better life.

But just months after they arrive, the Spanish Flu reaches the shores of America. As the pandemic claims more than twelve thousand victims in their adopted city, they find their lives left with a world that looks nothing like the one they knew. But even as they lose loved ones, they take in a baby orphaned by the disease who becomes their single source of hope. Amidst the tragedy and challenges, they learn what they cannot live without–and what they are willing to do about it.

As Bright as Heaven is the compelling story of a mother and her daughters who find themselves in a harsh world, not of their making, which will either crush their resolve to survive or purify it.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner is a wonderful journey. Packed full of emotions, action, and risks…I was hooked. A family that survives the war but barely gets through the flu war. Losing a mother is difficult. The husband and children were great to follow. I felt their pain as though it were my own. Susan Meissner wrote a story that is sad, heartfelt, and engaging.  An emotional journey that I will never forget. Overall, I recommend this

Review: Club Dead (book 3)

Club Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, #3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Sookie’s boyfriend has been very distant–in another state, distant. Now she’s off to Mississippi to mingle with the underworld at Club Dead–a little haunt where the vampire elite go to chill out. But when she finally finds Bill–caught in an act of betrayal–she’s not sure whether to save him…or sharpen some stakes.

Rating: 3-stars

Review:

Deadly…

Club Dead by Charlaine Harris was entertaining but not as engaging as I had hoped. Quirky characters and a messy yet complicated plot. I wasn’t sure what was happening or how it was going to end. Vampires, werewolves, blood, and humans are all included in this wide cast of characters. None of them actually get along well.

Review: Living Dead in Dallas (book 2)

Living Dead in Dallas (Sookie Stackhouse, #2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

When a vampire asks cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse to use her telepathic skills to find another missing vampire, she agrees under one condition: the vampires must promise to behave and let the humans that are involved to go unharmed. Easier said than done. All it takes is one delicious blond and one small mistake for things to turn deadly.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Quirky, deadly, and mysterious…

Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris is the second novel in this series. Vampires are usually romantic. Yet in this book, the vampires seems demanding, powerful, and geeky. There really isn’t a sexy hot image of being with the vampires in this series. Humans can end up dead unlike other novels. Charlaine Harris combines the vampire and human world into a murder mystery series. I found it intriguing. The plot is completely different and kept me guessing. There is some romance, sex, and other adult things.

 

Review: Dead Until Dark (book 1)

Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, #1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Sookie Stackhouse is just a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. Until the vampire of her dreams walks into her life-and one of her coworkers checks out…. Maybe having a vampire for a boyfriend isn’t such a bright idea.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Funny, quirky, and intriguing…

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris is the first novel in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I found it bizarre, quirky, and entertaining. Murder, mayhem, and paranormal characters all in one great read. Sookie is a good looking blonde human being who can read minds and see vampires who glow. She fascinates Bill. Bill is a vampire, who has just moved to Sookie’s town to settle down. Both fascinate each other. Soon, their friendship becomes more. Sookie is appalled by the other vampires and feels distant with Sam. It was interesting to follow these characters as their problems escalated and their relationship developed. The plot was steady. The characters felt real. Overall, it was a good paranormal romance.

 

Review: A Bicycle Made for Two

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The first in the new LOVE IN THE DALES romantic comedy series, set in a beautiful Yorkshire village.

Chock-full of colourful characters, bawdy wit and a bit of love and passion for good measure.

In a lost corner of the Yorkshire Dales, Lana Donati runs a medieval theme tourist trap restaurant with her brother. As a distraction to help them get over losing the father they loved dearly, and as a tribute to his passion for the beautiful area they live in, Lana hatches a plan to boost business for everyone by having the Grand Départ route pass through their village.

But this entails getting the small community to work together to convince the decision-makers that their beloved village is Tour material. Not an easy task when the people involved include Lana’s shy, unlucky-in-love brother Tom, the man-eating WI chair Yolanda, bickering spouses Gerry and Sue, arrogant celebrity Harper Brady, and Lana’s (attractive) arch-nemesis, former pro-cyclist turned bike shop owner, Stewart McLean, whose offbeat ideas might just cost them everything.

From the author of The Honey Trap and Meet Me at the Lighthouse, this is a rural romance for lovers of Fiona Gibson, Sue Moorcroft and Penny Parkes’ Larkford series.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

A Bicycle Made for Two by Mary Jayne Baker is an emotional story. It is both sweet and sad. Some humor is planted within this romantic journey. The path of pain, loss, grief, and healing are told here. Family, second chances, and love are the other major themes featured in this novel. Lana is a strong female protagonist. Her dad is is constant pain due to terminal cancer. Her and her brother Tom, end up losing their father. While working the family business, Lana meets Stew. A cousin of a jerk. Their romance has its ups and downs like a real life relationship. I was not sure what the final outcome of their relationship would be. Mary Jayne Baker kept me entertained. I loved her plot. It was steady, heartfelt, and realistic. Overall, I recommend this women’s fiction tale to all readers.

Review: Crooked Principles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Elijah Warren was a workaholic for the FBI, but during his hunt for the vicious “Poetic Murderer,” he fell in love with Aurelia Blanc—a beautiful and erudite forensic pathologist—and they barely escaped with their lives. They’ve since left the FBI for slower days and a mountain cabin, but a desperate call from remote Alaska leaves them not a choice.

Grizzly is a town of less than a hundred people, and for twelve straight years one of them has been killed. No one talks about the murders, like long- ignored secrets. In fact, it seems no one talks at all. But there’s a sick change in the pattern of death, and a mournful mother wants answers after her five- year-old son is stabbed and bludgeoned to death.

Something is very wrong in the diffident town of Grizzly, and stranded by the winter, Elijah and Aurelia face the killer daily, with paranoia as real as the icy air of Alaska. This is nothing like they’ve faced before.

Whose dark past will reveal Grizzly’s secrets?

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Crooked Principles by Kevin Cady is the second novel in this exciting series. I was hooked. There was enough danger, risks, and mystery to keep my interest. My eyes were glued to every word. The plot was engaging. The pages seemed to fly by quickly. Fear, death, and a dark game from a killer is chilling to read. Suspenseful, edgy, and thrilling…I recommend this mystery/thriller to readers everywhere.

Review: The Killing Edge

Synopsis:

Chloe Marin was lucky. She was just a teenager when a party at a Florida beachside mansion turned into a savage killing spree, and she was one of the few to survive. Bloody handwriting on the walls pointed to a cult whose rituals included human sacrifice. Chloe’s sketch of one of the killers linked two dead cult members found in the Everglades to the massacre, closing the case as far as the cops were concerned.

Ten years later Chloe works as a psychologist specializing in art therapy to help traumatized victims, and on the side she finds release in her passion for the martial arts. Police who hire her as a consultant know she’s a literal kick-ass advocate for victims who can’t always speak for themselves.

The current disappearance of a young swimsuit model ranks low on the cops’ priority list. Everyone assumes the girl has run off for some fun in the sun, instead of getting ready for a photo shoot. Everyone but Chloe, who suspects a killer is using the modeling agency to stalk his prey. When the ghost of the model appears, asking Chloe for help, she knows that she has to do everything she can.

So does Luke Cane, a British ex-cop-turned-P.I. investigating the disappearance of the model on behalf of her father. Chloe and Luke have trouble trusting each other, but they can’t help their strong attraction for one another. Luckily they agree on the important things: someone needs to find those missing girls, and if a few laws have to get bent so lives can be saved, too bad.

When Chloe arrives late for an appointment at the modeling agency, she discovers a gruesome mass murder eerily similar to the one she witnessed a decade ago—and can’t help thinking that if she hadn’t run late, she would have been there when the killer arrived. Ten years ago she hadn’t been convinced the police had identified the real killers, and now she’s sure of it. The same evil mind is behind the current murders, and she’s afraid she’s the target— and terrified that she won’t be able to cheat death a third time. She has no choice now but to trust Luke on every level, because with a killer closing in, he’s the only one who’s willing to do whatever it takes to keep her alive.

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

Unlike similar novels from this author, The Killing Edge, just did not engage me as much as I had hoped. It was still interesting, edgy, and dark. Murder, bloodshed, and serial killer(s) still out hunting down their victims. I usually feel connected to the main characters but I did not feel connected to these characters. I understood them. I felt their pain and determination to solve the murders. Yet, I was not hooked. I was both intrigued and entertained though. Heather Graham still has the talent for writing novels that ring a chill down my spine. The intensity of the scenes happening in this novel was just as exciting. The plot felt slower to me. I felt like I was moving steady. I usually move quickly through the pages. Just was not happening this time around…overall, it was good. The Killing Edge is worth reading.

Review: A Quick Bite

Synopsis:

That hot guy tied to Lissianna Argeneau’s bed? He’s not dessert – he’s the main course!

Lissianna has been spending her centuries pining for Mr. Right, not just a quick snack, and this sexy guy she finds in her bed looks like he might be a candidate. But there’s another, more pressing issue: her tendency to faint at the sight of blood…an especially annoying quirk for a vampire. Of course it doesn’t hurt that this man has a delicious-looking neck. What kind of cold-blooded vampire woman could resist a bite of that?

Dr. Gregory Hewitt recovers from the shock of waking up in a stranger’s bedroom pretty quickly – once he sees a gorgeous woman about to treat him to a wild night of passion. But is it possible for the good doctor to find true love with a vampire vixen, or will he be just a good meal? That’s a question Dr. Greg might be willing to sink his teeth into…if he can just get Lissianna to bite.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Sexy, intriguing, and overall exciting to read…

A Quick Bite by Lynsay Sands introduces me to the Argeneau Vampire series. This first book, gives me everything I want in a romance novel plus some. Interesting characters both immortal and mortal alike. The main protagonists have challenges ahead of them that were fun to follow. I am hooked. Smart yet caring vampire meets sexy human psychologist. The twists and turns kept me turning the pages. I am in love. I cannot wait to read the next book in this series as well as the rest. Overall, I recommend this paranormal romance to all readers.

Review: Murder in an Irish Churchyard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The village of Kilbane in County Cork, Ireland, has a new garda–and her first case is a grave matter indeed . . .

It’s official! Siobhán is now Garda O’Sullivan, and her five siblings couldn’t be prouder. While brother James runs Naomi’s Bistro, Siobhán is doing her part to keep the village safe. Of course, Kilbane is pretty quiet compared to a place like Dublin, where Macdara Flannery has gone to be a detective sergeant.

Then one night the local priest summons Siobhán to the church cemetery. There’s a dead man in the graveyard–aboveground. He lies shot on a blanket of freshly fallen snow, hand stretched out toward a nearby headstone. He’s a stranger, but the priest has heard talk of an American tourist in town, searching for his Irish ancestor.

A detective sergeant is dispatched from Dublin to assist with the case, and as fate would have it, it’s Macdara. After his parting, things are awkward between them, but they have to work together. They learn the victim was from Dublin–Dublin, Ohio, that is. And when his family members are located and told of his murder, the plot thickens. Siobhán begins to dig for a motive among the gnarled roots of the family tree. But as long-buried secrets are unearthed, she and Macdara will need to stay two steps ahead of the killer or end up with more than one foot in the grave.

Rating: 4-.5-stars

Review:

Murder in an Irish Churchyard by Carlene O’Connor is the third installment to this enjoyable cozy mystery series. Humor, family drama, and an Irish heritage are woven into this book. Siobhán is the leading protagonist and sleuthing detective. I really like her personality. She’s reliable and well-known for solving crimes. This time, an unknown person ends up dead in the church yard. No one knows who he is. Siobhán gets called in by the priest to check it out. She hasn’t even started her new career officially and yet Father wants her to head this murder case. Father is also another likable character. Easy to love him. Carlene O’Connor heats up the story as Siobhán takes the case. I was hooked. The plot is intriguing and the who done it theme kept going through my mind until the mystery was solved. I had to keep reading! It was fun getting lost within this third novel. I would love to see more of these wonderful characters…overall, I highly recommend this mystery to all readers.

Review: Ghost Moon (book 3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Reclusive collector Cutter Merlin is seldom seen in Key West lately, not at all. Officer Liam Beckett visits Merlin’s curious house and discovers the gentleman in his study. In his death grip: a volume of occult lore and a reliquary. His eyes are wide with fright, his mouth a horrified rictus where spiders now dwell.

Kelsey Donovan returns to the old house to catalog her estranged grandfather’s collection of artifacts and antiquities, vowing to see his treasures divested properly. But she cannot ignore the sense that she’s being watched, the reports of malevolent black figures, the pervasive smell of death.
Is the Merlin house haunted, even cursed? Liam knows well that some ghost stories are true and he swears to protect Kelsey. But there are forces at work for whom one more life is a pittance to pay for their deepest desire.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Ghost Moon by Heather Graham is full of spook. Chills, ghosts, and hauntings are found here. I was hooked. The mystery in this last part of the series was really evil. A man once known to a family ends up killing them all for a power in some object. But what he does not know is that the surviving member is friends with a cop who can also see and hear a ghost. A friendly ghost who helps the protagonists with their ongoing investigation. An old house full of creepy objects that would give anyone nightmares. Rumors of devil worship and black magic fill the pages. Only there is an evil human behind it all. And there’s another ghost wanting to destroy the human. The ending was bittersweet. I will miss Bartholomew. His personality and help were a major part of the attraction to this series. I cannot believe the series has finally come to an end…I loved all the protagonists and ghosts alike. Overall, I recommend this suspenseful yet dark read to all.

Review: Ghost Night (book 2)

Synopsis:

A slasher movie turns real when two young actors are brutally murdered on a remote island film set. Their severed heads and arms are posed in macabre homage to a nineteenth-century pirate massacre.

Two years later, survivor Vanessa Loren is drawn back to South Bimini by a documentary being made about the storied region. Filmmaker Sean O’Hara aches to see how the unsolved crime haunts her…and Sean knows more than a little about ghosts.

Lured by visions of a spectral figurehead, Vanessa discovers authentic pirate treasures that only deepen the mystery. Are the murders the work of modern-day marauders, the Bermuda Triangle or a deadly paranormal echo of the island’s violent history? As Vanessa and Sean grow closer, the killer prepares to resume the slaughter…unless the dead can intervene.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Ghost Night by Heather Graham is at it again! Her cast of characters from the previous book are meet once more in this second installment. I love the O’Haras and their significant others. Hearing and seeing ghosts adds to the fun and mystery. This time, however, is Sean O’Hara and ghost Bartholomew’s turn at adventure and maybe, romance. A woman comes seeking Sean’s help. She once acted for a film until people were murdered. Then, more people were being killed. Sean isn’t convinced but with his sister, uncle, best friends, and a ghost, he can’t ignore the quest. History there seems to be nothing but dark, haunting, and deadly. I felt shivers down my spine. The intensity of the deadly situation kept building up with every page. It was thrilling. The cast of new characters are enjoyable to follow. A new crime to solve and new ghosts to meet. Heather Graham has just proved to be the best writer. Overall, I recommend this book to all.

Review: Ghost Shadow (book 1)

Synopsis:

There are those who walk among us who are no longer alive, but not yet crossed over. They seek retribution…vengeance…to warn. Among the living, few intuit their presence.

Katie O’Hara is one who can.

As she’s drawn deeper and deeper into a gruesome years-old murder, whispered warnings from a spectral friend become more and more insistent. But Katie must uncover the truth: could David Beckett really be guilty of his fiancée’s murder?

Worse – the body count’s rising on the Island of Bones, and the dead seem to be reenacting some macabre tableaux from history. The danger is increasing by the moment – especially as Katie finds herself irresistibly drawn to David, who may be responsible for more than just one killing….

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Ghost Shadow by Heather Graham is a novel that pulls in the reader. Liked it did with me. I was so hooked that I ended up speeding through the pages. When I got to the end, I was beyond satisfied. The characters are intriguing. A combination of old family history and an old revenge seem to come back and taunt the living. Somebody wants the a certain family line to perish. All because their family member hung for a crime. A crime that was actually committed by the hung member. Yet for some reason the family member believes that he/she is the curse out to get revenge. With the help of a ghost and the ghosts of the victims presented, the protagonist may just survive this deadly game of cat and mouse. Love, murder, and mayhem are found everywhere. I loved reading this and cannot wait to read the next novel. Overall, I highly recommend Ghost Shadow to all readers.

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