Wednesday, December 28, 2016

"The River At Night" by Erica Ferencik

"Looking back, I equate this stage of enjoying the wilderness with the second glass of wine. Everything is lighter; you can see the funny side of disaster. But things rarely improve with the third, they get dangerous with the fourth, and you better pray to God someone is around to scoop you off the floor after that. It was our second day in the woods and we were days away from home."

Four friends are on their annual girls trip, a white water rafting adventure in the Maine wilderness. Wini, the reluctant participant, would have been happy sitting on a beach somewhere. Pia. Rachel. Sandra. Their young guide Rory. 

At first it was kind of a slow start with Wini, and her reluctance to go off with her friends. Each of them kind of re-examine their lives. Comparing notes, figuring where they belong in life, and the universe.

After an accident they must find the will to survive until rescue comes. What will they do to survive? Will they risk their own life to save a friends? Will all the things that haven't been said come out? Who lives and who doesn't? Or will the four survive as a unit? 

When they come upon the site of a campfire hey are hopeful that they are rescued. They could be wrong. Evil is waiting. With survival at hand, truths are uncovered, secrets revealed. Inner strength shows itself. 

This first half was a an interesting tale of action and adventure. The second half a thriller and a tale of friendship, and the ties that bind you or break you. 

Thank you Erica Ferencik, Netgalley, and Gallery Books

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

"A Tapestry of Tears" Short Stories from India by Gita Reddy


"What must I do, to forget?" she asked. "You must create a remembrance so that you do not forget. You must make a place for those girls in your life, talk about them when you feel like it, and weep." 

"A Tapestry of Tears" is a collection of short stories from India. I've previously read many of this authors other books. She writes adult, as well as children's books. I've enjoyed them all. 

You know sometimes when you read something out of your own parameters, you're apt to learn something new. You also realize that we are all more alike as women than not, even though our cultures may seriously vary. 

You also will learn how devastating some things are. In the first story there is a tale of how women poison their newborn girls, and are expected to do this. Sons are preferred. I can't imagine as a parent living with this. But, learning to be strong, they found a way to cope. 

Descriptive and flowing words will allow you to immerse yourself in these stories. Mostly about relationships, and women, empathetic tales. 

Thank you Gita Reddy. I always enjoy your work.

Friday, December 16, 2016

"Two Days Gone" (A Ryan DeMarco Mystery) by Randall Silvis


"You're out there somewhere," he said. "You're cold and you're hungry, and as far as I know, you're completely out of your mind. But you're out there. And I'm coming to get you. I'll find you, my friend."......

Tom Huston, celebrity around his Pennsylvania college town. An author, professor and family man. Until the day comes his family is found gruesomely murdered, and Tom has disappeared.

Sergeant Ryan DeMarco knew Tom. Like everyone else, finds this murder hard to believe. His search for answers and Tom includes delving into a novel Tom was working on. Are there clues in it? Did Tom have a life that no one knew about? 

Is Tom alive? Dead? Innocent or guilty? Ryan will have to uncover secrets and untangle the confusion to get to the bottom of these murders. Are the answers in the books that Tom has written? Ryan's own pain and problems will keep him company on this road. 

I found Ryan to be an interesting character in his own right. Considering Huston as a friend, he struggles with his own sense of loss for this family. Along with his own personal losses, and demons, he has a hard edge, walking a fine line between (Pennsylvania State) police officer and friend. 

This story was gripping from the very first chapter. I didn't want to stop reading until I knew what happened to Claire, Thomas Jr., Alyssa, and baby David. Would the man they trusted the most really take their lives?

Thank you Randall Silvis, Netgalley, and Sourcebooks Landmark Publishers

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Babytrick "The detroit im dyin" Trilogy Book 3 by T.V. LoCicero


"Buckman, whose arm she was on, called her Camie, but to everyone else she was BT. They all knew that BT stood for something she was not supposed to be- a babytrick- since anything under 16 was officially not allowed in the PP. But nobody here here really seemed to give a sh**, and the younger you looked, the more of a dick magnet you seemed to be.".......

Several story lines come together in this third book of the "detroit im dying" trilogy. Camie, a 14 year old hooker, trying to escape the current confines of her life. Mark, a free lance writer for Rolling Stone magazine, finds several interesting stories he's looking into. Camie being one, the current mayor's last term in office, and some shady characters weaved in and around these characters. Then there is Ella, a former cop, whose life is about to get ugly and complicated. 

A dark, sad story involving life on the streets of a hard town. Your chances of ending up dead seem to be pretty even odds. While a series, a definite stand alone. Death, violence, prostitution, and child exploitation. Will Camie make it out? Will Mark get a story or several? Will Ella be in so far over her head that she can't be saved? 

I enjoyed this dark disturbing tale, more than I expected. Unusual, but probably running along the lines of the truth of life on the dark side, and on the streets. Can this kind of a story have a happily ever after? You'll have to read it and find out. 

Thank you T.V. LoCicero.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

"In Albuquerque, Abandoned" A Mystery Novel by Tower Lowe

"Leon continued to pace. "Yes, I know there's no baby in the dumpster. But doesn't last long, knowing it. The thought keeps coming back-that I need to go rescue the baby. It's not bad now, but by tomorrow morning I won't be able to stop myself. I'm willing for that police officer to shoot me for the baby's sake."......

Cinnamon and Burro are back for book 7 in this series. Cinnamon is still hunting for her long gone mother, and isn't far behind when they get to Albuquerque.

They've been hired by a friend of Leon's family. The man, Leon, has been diagnosed with mental illness and is causing quite the daily scene at a dumpster near the school.

So many people want Leon stopped. Leon thinks he hears a baby crying and is continually in search of this baby. He's afraid it's been left in the dumpster. A local officer is close to shooting him, fed up with Leon's behavior. Others are becoming more and more rattled. Fear of whatever knowledge Leon might actually possess about the activities of others.

Does Cinnamon finally catch up to her mother? Burro has a possible new love life in the works. Will it work out? Will Leon find the crying baby, or will others get their way and finally have Leon locked away?

With quirky names and characters, a highly entertaining story. Just like the previous books, it's a fun read, a little serious, and very engrossing. Although a series, these can be read separately.

Thank you Tower Lowe

Monday, November 28, 2016

"Crescent City" (An Alec Winters Series Book One) by Chariss K. Walker

"When he reflected on his outward impression, Alec wasn't sure how he appeared to the predators he killed. They always cowered, looking on him with horror and terrorized by what they saw, but still, he didn't know how he looked in that form. He still felt like a man when he destroyed them. An angry man, but a man all the same. Those he protected saw......"

In the city of New Orleans there is a man, Alec. He appears fairly average. To the victims of horrible crimes he is an angel. To the evil perpetrators he is a beast, sent by God to deliver them to hell.

Vivien Simon is a local reporter. When she gets wind of an angel that victims claimed to have seen, she becomes involved for the hunt to Alec's identity. Vivien is able to help the victims and the police in a new way. This story was so unique and mesmerizing, I couldn't read fast enough.

Will Alec remain unidentifiable, except to his family? Will he continue to walk the streets of the "Crescent City" as a savior for the good, and punisher of the evil?

What a great read! I didn't know before reading this book, that New Orleans was also nicknamed the "Crescent City." I look forward to more in this series. What kind of life will Alec have with those he loves, and the secrets he must keep?

Thank you Chariss Walker

Saturday, November 19, 2016

"Forbidden Birth" A Chris Ravello Medical Thriller by William Rubin

"I stared back at my partner, speechless for the first time in years and feeling very old, very tired. On top of everything else going on, Commissioner Kelly had pulled me aside earlier, putting the screws on me to wrap things up quickly-as if it were that simple! And Dad had called me too. He was at a doctor's office getting tests run for an irregular heartbeat he had just developed. How many different directions could a guy get pulled before he snaps?"........

Dr. Chris Ravello is the only physician-detective in the history of the N.Y.P.D. Newly appointed to the ''Division of Medical Crimes," he's facing his first serial killer. Nicknamed "The Giver," this monster is taking young women and their unborn children, to experiment on.

Moving from doctor to police officer was easy for Chris after the murder of his mother. His family supportive, wife Michelle, and two young children. There are challenges brought about to the family because of the career change. I like the way the author made Chris into a real person immediately. He didn't have to grow on you as you read, as sometimes the case in books. 

Opening page was frightening. Just a hint of what was to come. Lucky for Chris, his partner is also his childhood friend, Kevin. The medical terminology was on point and graphic. The storyline feels real and will draw you in immediately. 

"The Giver" is enjoying the killing, but he has a specific agenda. He's also enjoying watching the police try to figure it out. Meanwhile the bodies keep showing up. His plans inadvertently may include Chris Ravello. Some heart stopping moments related to Chris and his loved ones. "The Givers" motives are really creepy and quite disturbing.

Will he be caught? How many will he kill? A unique and thrilling story line. Story had me hooked on the first page. Just when you think you know what's going on there is a great twist. I love a good thriller and this was definitely one of those!

Thank you William Rubin.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

"Slain Passion" The Blast Book One by Chris Lange

"Then came the aftereffect of the Blast. A disease that had no name, symptoms, or cure. People didn't get sick, they changed. The infection spread, swift, invisible, and the whole process lasted about three days. From survivors, they mutated into cavemen."...

The world is in a new environment, and in the aftermath of what's known as the "Blast." Kat and Holly are just a few of the survivors, hiding in a safe place. Hiding from those now known as the "Blasted." It's a scary dark world beyond their doors. 

Someone has come knocking, looking for Kat and Holly. He knows one of them possesses something that may help save those that are left. Do they believe the story Conroy is spinning? Can they find it in themselves to take this leap of trust? Will Kat risk her own life and or Holly's to save what life is left outside their protected home?

Graphic language, sex, adult situations. New relationships will emerge from the darkness into the new light, some will end. Explosive ending to send you right to the next book in the series. Gripping story line, with or without the adult content. Great read! 

Thank you Chris Lange

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

"Meeting Danger" Book One In The Danger Series by Caila Jaynes and Allyson Simonian

     Buy "Meeting Danger" now on Amazon: click here!

"Even the night he'd been kidnapped and beaten, he'd remained calm. And unlike Butch, who'd wanted her fully dependent on him, Camden was just the opposite. He wanted to teach her things, to help her grow and become self sufficient. He even seemed to get pleasure out of it. What she felt for him went beyond gratitude. She was enthralled with him. Inside and out. Camden Taylor was a beautiful man. And she totally didn't deserve him. "........

This is the first book of the new "The Danger Series." These are romantic suspense books based on law enforcement members of the Phoenix Task Force.

Camden reluctantly has been working undercover with a ruthless biker gang known as the "Wicked Disciples." Recovering from a horrifying case, he goes into this new case with trepidation. His cover is blown when he chooses to intervene in something that would have cost a man his life. Now he's being held by the gang.

Autumn has been running with the bikers for a long five years now. Girlfriend of the powerful and controlling gang leader, Butch. Abused and afraid that Butch will kill her if she tries to leave. Still she thinks about it. Autumn knows about Camden and needs to make a choice. Will she help him and save his life, and possibly her own? Can they escape Butch and his "Disciples?"

Once the choices are made it will affect many. Autumn has secrets that will be exposed. It's the aftermath of Camden's experience that the real story with Autumn begins.

Well written with a steady, exciting pace. I couldn't wait for what was next. Characters that were intriguing and powerful. What a great start to this series!

Thank you Caila Jaynes and Allyson Simonian

Friday, October 28, 2016

"Missing Parts" by Lucinda Berry

"Now was the time for me to freak out, but I still felt nothing. Dr. Koven had just told me my daughter was suffering from a medical problem that had the potential to kill her, and I was numb. Maybe I was in shock. People responded to bad news differently all the time. I was sure any minute the emotional impact of the news would hit me. It had to. Until then, my job was to be there for David and Rori.".....

Celeste has spent her life creating it to be just the way she wants. She's married, with a daughter. She has a career. She has mom friends that meet for dinner and gossip. David stays home to care for Rori, since Celeste is at work. He handles the play dates. She also has a secret she refers to as, "That Night." Celeste seems to have a pretty good life. 

Celeste grew up without her dad and wants more for her own child. She"ll do anything to protect the life she has created. Everything is about to be on the line when Rori becomes extremely sick. Celeste's reaction to the illness creates friction between her and her husband, David. 

There were things about Celeste's character I found unusual as a parent, but not necessarily unique to moms world wide. Many can have children, not everyone should. There's a complicated connection sometimes. It's created a chasm in her marriage.

Is 4 year old Rori going to die? Will their marriage get through this trial? What lengths will Celeste go to protect her family? What happens when the details of "That Night" are finally revealed?

The story had some shocking surprises! Definitely a psychological thriller you will enjoy. What is wrong with Celeste? I developed some empathy for her along the way. What has she done? Celeste has some "Missing Parts,"and those she love will suffer for it. 

Thank you Lucinda Berry, Rise Press Publishing. 

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Saturday, October 22, 2016

"The Twenty-Three" (Promise Falls Trilogy) by Linwood Barclay

                    Buy "The Twenty-Three" on Amazon: click here!

"I know I won't be able to get them all. But I hope I'll be able to get enough.".....

Its the final book of the "Promise Falls Trilogy." Detective Barry Duckworth recognizes a serial killer is at work in their little town. So many disturbing things are going on. 

It's Memorial Day, May the 23rd, in Promise Falls, N.Y. People are becoming sick in droves. Some are dying. Over the past month the number "23" has been appearing at the scenes of some very bizarre happenings. 

Private investigator Cal Weaver is also back in this book. He's trying to figure out if the town has been poisoned and why would anyone do such a thing. Is some one exacting some sort of revenge? What would they have to gain by killing, or sickening so many?

If they can figure out the meaning of "23" perhaps they'll find their killer. Who will it be? Will Detective Duckworth and Cal survive? How many residents of "Promise Falls" will die? Will the killer get away? With a surprise "who done it," I would have never guessed the ending! 

I really liked this trilogy. Well written, unusual situations, and great characters. Everything is wrapped up from the previous two books. The author says it's the final book, but the ending was so good, and I can see future opportunities to return to "Promise Falls."

Thank you Linwood Barclay, NetGalley, and Berkley Publishing Group.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

"Hide and Seek" A D.I. Helen Grace Thriller (Book 6) by M.J. Arlidge

Buy "Hide and Seek" now on Amazon: click here! 

"Helen raised her head, refusing to look broken, but all she saw was a hundred mocking faces-laughing, joking, revelling in her misfortune. In her former life, she'd been a respected police officer- she would have dealt with someone like Campbell swiftly and decisively- but now she was powerless to act. In here she was the butt of all jokes, an accident waiting to happen, a handsome trophy for any inmate brave enough to chance an attack.".....

We're back for book six in the "Detective Inspector Helen Grace" series. Book 5, (Little Boy Blue), ended in a way you knew there was going to be serious trouble coming for Helen. These are stand alone books, but I highly recommend the series. Seeing character development through the books gives you a greater investment, and I think more enjoyment with each book. Helen is a complicated woman. 

Helen is now in Holloway prison. From there she's waiting for trial to try to prove her innocence. Will she make it on the inside? When fellow inmates are being murdered in a gruesome manner, she begins a hunt for a serial killer. 

Who could this killer be? Is it another inmate, or someone from the staff? Helen needs to figure it out before she becomes next on the killers list. Many have eyes on the former police officer, and very few would lift a finger to help her. 

Meanwhile, trying to solve this while not having police means and access, may be one of her most trying cases yet. The cop in her won't let it pass. It's being officially investigated of course, but having Helen on the inside may save some lives. 

I hated to see Helen end up where she has. Will she be able to prove she's not a killer? Will she ever be able to go back to being a police officer, even if she is found innocent? The real question is who is the killer, and will Helen die at Holloway? What an exciting read this was! 

Thank you M.J. Arlidge, NetGalley, and Penguin UK.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

"The Highest Stakes" A Jack Murphy Thriller by Rick Reed

"At the hospital Sergeant Wolf oversaw the drawing of blood from Jack and Liddell, as ordered by Double Dick. Their test results showed they were clear of any alcohol or drugs in their systems. Liddell got a few stitches, but Doctor Findlay was nice and hid them in the hairline. Then Dr. Findlay faced Jack and moved his mouth like he was talking but there was no sound. Jack panicked, thinking he really had gone deaf, until the doctor grinned and said "Just kidding. Who'd you shoot this time, Jack?" Everyone's a comedian."..........

One of my favorite detectives is back in this new "Jack Murphy Thriller" series.  In this fourth installment we find Jack looking for a "needle in a haystack" kind of killer. What's truly scary is who this person actually is, and how he came to be a murderer. The scene is set in Evansville, Indiana.

The killer appears so ordinary that no one notices him, not even after it's already too late, and he's committed another murder. Jack isn't your usual cop, and if anyone can figure out who he is, it's definitely going to be Jack, along with his partner Liddell. Others know his identity and may go to great lengths to eliminate him before the detectives uncover the truth. Well, if he doesn't eliminate them first. Some shady cops are involved and ill equipped to know what they've gotten themselves into.

Does he operate alone? How does he travel the country doing as he pleases? His fatal mistake could be getting on Jack's radar, or will he find a way to escape into the void? This story was a little more intense and complicated than previous books. Still, I found the characters interesting, and the story line intriguing. Some exciting scenes led to another great book in this series. 

All Jack's issues with his job don't come from the outside. Not everyone is happy with the way Jack gets his job done, sometimes that includes family. Jack does still have his inherited dog, Cinderella. She provides a little humor to the story with her antics. A good book always has a dog in it doesn't it?

One of my favorite things about this author is his attention to detail. As soon as you begin one of his books, the details are so interesting that it draws you inside the book immediately. His characters are descriptive. You get a real feel for the  people and situations. I can't wait for the next in the series!

Thank you Rick Reed, NetGalley, and Kensington Publishing.

Friday, October 7, 2016

"Set in the Woods" by Lacey Crowe

"When Jordan reaches the last page, he lays the script face down on his lap. He looks out the window and watches the city disappear behind him. Now, he can only see trees. A cheesy independent horror film. It's not what he expected. It's not like anything he's ever done before. "Last stop," the lady bus driver says in a hoarse voice.".......

Jordan is just a teenager, dropped out of school, distanced from his single mother. He's just wanting a way to make some money, when he finds an ad for a job on the internet.

The job is for an actor for an independent horror film, and it's "Set In The Woods." That alone should have been a clue to run the other way. Turns out Jordan is the only actor, and Lionel is the only crew member. Drawn now into Lionel's twisted game, will he survive? Asked to do the weirdest things, he goes along. After all Lionel is going to pay him, or maybe not.

The twist will hit you hard, and you'll never see it coming. Clever doesn't begin to describe this author. I just sat here shocked when I finished it. It's the next day and I'm still not over it.

A short story from the author of one of the most disturbing books I've ever read, "Apostle." Who could pass up a chance for another disturbing book from her? Not me. You shouldn't either. You read this book and I guarantee you'll want to read "Apostle," along with anything else she writes.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

"Web Of Fear" A Glenmore Park Mystery (Book 3) by Mike Omer

"Hannah's mouth tasted bitter, and she felt as if her entire body was covered in a layer of slime. Some days, no matter how much she showered, she couldn't feel clean. She sat in Clint's Chevy as he drove her back to her car. The lighthearted atmosphere that had surrounded them as they left Red's Pizza was gone. It was evening, and they had visited and interrogated two rapists, a child molester, and a pedophile who was once caught with over seven hundred underage porn clips on his laptop. Hannah hadn't managed to stay calm and distant for long. These twisted examples of humanity at its worst got under her skin, into her bloodstream, piercing her heart."....

It's St. Patrick's Day and Detective Hannah Shor is out on a date when she gets a frantic phone call from a friend. The friends daughter,Abigail, is missing, and it appears her best friend, Gracie, is also missing. Two young girls just hanging out in the local park, with the promise of meeting a new boy, and now they're gone.  

Can Hannah and her partner, Bernard Gladwin, find these girls alive or dead? Was it random? A pedophile? Or is it someone with a grudge against one of the families? With the help of the others in the department the search is on. Street patrol officer, Tanessa Lonnie, is also back, along with her brother, Mitchell, and several others from the previous two books. The FBI becomes involved when its declared a kidnapping. That involvement won't necessarily go smoothly for everyone, some relationship issues will come to light as well. I like the way the characters are humanized. They become more than just words on a page. They become real people, ones that you can relate to their feelings and emotions. 

The story isn't all dark. The author has a sense of humor that is allowed to sneak in here and there. Be sure to read the section of Martha driving down the road, thinking about her next book club. It's not often you will laugh out loud during a thriller, but this is one of those gifted authors who knows just how to reel you in. Clever story lines. 

Missing girls in Glenmore Park made for a gripping tale. Just as it was steady paced reading, it took off to some exciting changes. Things I didn't see coming and some great scenes. Great ending. Not everyone will survive this ordeal, but you'll need to read it to find out! This police procedural series is one of the better ones I've had the pleasure of reading. I enjoy these characters and story lines. 

Thank you Mike Omer

Monday, October 3, 2016

"Rise of The Chosen" by Anna Kopp

"The Waking was a global event that began when humans who died began coming back to life. "At first we didn't know what to call them. Most call them zombies, but it didn't seem right, because unlike their fictional counterparts, they didn't hunger for flesh, Others called them demons, sent back from the underworld to the world of the living after a lifetime of sin. Ghosts, spirits, the possessed, one thing was certain: the dead were dead no longer." A.J. Hill.......

It's the future, the worst has come true. Set in Savannah, Georgia. Those that died came back one of two ways, a zombie like killer, or strong enough to help preserve life, an immortal. 

Samantha has lost her family. Her father was a hero in his defense job with the "Watch Guard." Now Sam is also part of the guard. A gruesome story at times, and a dire warning from a friend "that war is coming." 

Sam isn't completely alone. There is someone special in her life, but that person is also endangered. When secrets are uncovered and Sam is drawn deeper into her job, it will be hard decisions and danger for Sam. 

"The Watch" has secrets and Sam will have to choose a side. Those that have become immortal and can control themselves become "the Chosen." Now the Chosen have a new plan for their lives. Find out how Sam fits into this and what side she chooses. 

I wasn't real sure if I'd be interested in this book. There's a lot of "apocalypse zombie" stories out there. I was pleasantly surprised that it was a rather intriguing story line with a new take on a currently common theme. The ending was a great set up for what looks to be an exciting series. 

Thank you Anna Koop, NetGalley and Blue Moon Publishers.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

"Little Boy Blue" by M. J. Arlidge

"This isn't about love," his captor whispered. "This is about hate." His eyes shot open, but it was too late. His captor was already winding the duct tape over his chin, his mouth... He tried to scream, but his tongue was forced back down by the sticky, bitter adhesive. Now the tape was covering his cheeks, flattening his nose. Moments later, the tape passed over his eyes and everything went black."......

We're back for the 5th book in the "Detective Helen Grace" thriller series. I've read several of them, and thoroughly enjoy this series. The stories take place in Southampton, England.

Detective Helen Grace has a secret life that is about to collide with her work life. When there is a murder of a man who also engages in this kind of behavior, Helen is on the case, and aware of the implications his death may cause her. Will Helen's secrets be exposed? Especially when the dead man is someone Helen knows intimately.

Tracking this killer wont be hard or will it? Is it the man who appears normal, with a wife and a job? His secret life is what makes him happy, and so far he's been quite good at it. Will Helen's determination catch him, or do they have the wrong person? There is more to the murderer than meets the eye and more bodies may follow.

Will Helen share her secrets with anyone? Will they suspect her private behavior? It's hard investigating the murder of someone she came to think of as a friend, yet not let on to her co-workers who he was to her. Someone knows her secret. Will they expose it? This story delves into the lives of people who spend time at S&M clubs, and privately with people they hire for this purpose. A nosy reporter, that Helen has tangled with before, would be more than happy to expose Helen's secrets. Will she? At any time some of the people that feel crossed by Helen may be her undoing.

As always, interesting story line, surprises, and some characters you'll love or hate. Helen is a rather complicated character, brought almost to life through the stories. Her boss though, I suspect Detective Superintendent, Jonathan Gardam, may play a bigger roll in her life in the future. Something creepy though in the way he watches her. Shocking ending! Great series! 

Buy "Little Boy Blue" on sale October 4th on Amazon: click here!

Thank you M.J. Arlidge, Netgalley, and Berkley Publishing

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Monday, September 26, 2016

"Faultlines" by Barbara Taylor Sissel

"I'm sorry." Jenna squeezed Sandy's hand, and she look over at her, seeing her through a prism of tears, the tine faultlines of their shared love and sorrow."

The one phone call every parent hopes they never get. It's 3am when the police notify Sandy and Emmet that their 20 year old son, Jordan, his cousin Travis, and his girlfriend, Michelle, have been in a horrible wreck.

Of course the questions begin. It's a small rural Texas town. Who is to blame and why? Alcohol, and or drugs? Will the three young people survive? It will divide the family since Travis is the son of Sandy's sister, Jenna. Emotions are running high, blame being placed.

As the truth is exposed it will either break them apart or bond them stronger. Sides will be chosen, lies exposed. Can any of this shattered family be saved? There are deep secrets within the family, as well as the mystery of what happened that fatal night. Jordan's mother, Sandy, was a strong character, in the sense she would do what most mothers would. Stand by her child, guilty or not.

This contemporary fiction shows us how a drunk driving accident affected so many people. Well thought out, and a steady pace made this a very enjoyable book.

Thank you Barbara Taylor Sissel, NetGalley, and Lake Union Publishing.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"Dead Lemons" The Far South Series by Finn Bell

"I don't know what to say now, when she said it I knew, just knew that on some level I had been thinking this; she just put words around it. "See, that's a dead lemon. Someone who knows they are never going to work out but still hangs around causing nothing but pain for themselves and the world. What's the point?" Betty says, then looks me in the eye. "You a dead lemon, Finn?" she asks."......

Life in New Zealand for Finn, has become something of a problem. He's pretty much ruined it. The story starts with him about to die. Then we look back to see how he got himself into his current state. The story weaves back and forth between the present predicament, and the months earlier leading up to this point.

The story of a long ago,mysterious disappearance of a young girl, and later her father, from their cottage resurrects itself when Finn moves into that very place, hoping to rebuild his broken life.

The old tale intertwines with Finns new life as he searches for answers. He does so mostly out of curiosity, but for his own well being. Finn is trying to make some life changing decisions. People in town are friendly enough, but the neighbors kind of creeped me out from their first meeting with Finn. Finn does manage to make some new friends, that will play an important part of the new life he's learning to build for himself.

There is some genuinely graphic and creepy details in this story. It's like walking along on a sunny day, only to turn the corner and walk straight into a hurricane. Do the neighbors know more than they're saying about the long ago disappearances? Some gripping parts, a heart stopping thriller. Did I mention graphic and creepy?

I'd be doing you a disservice if I left out Finn's visit to a counselor. If you've ever been through anything hard in your life, those would be the passages to pay special attention to. There is much to be taken from this book.

This well written thriller will leave you wanting answers before you're done with the first chapter. It was so easy to fall into this book. Does he make it? Can he be saved? Should he give up? What exactly has Finn done, in his short life, that makes others want him dead? Is Finn a "Dead Lemon?" 

Friday, September 16, 2016

"The Army of Orphans" The Beginning by F.B. Veneziano

"Before the revolution, most orphanages and boarding schools were in the country, hidden away. Now there was a boarding school right on the outskirts of Pervaiske, where orphans from all over the territory went to live. It was rumored children there were abused by staff members, and even tied up and beaten by their peers for things like getting good grades because it put pressure on others to work harder. Sometimes orphans disappeared. It was also rumored there was never enough food. Irina knew the stories as well as I did. Anton asked once about something he had heard. What I did know was that I was the oldest boy. It was my job now to protect my sister and brother. The problem was, I was scared to death.".........

The year is now 2045. 30 years ago there was a revolution that parted Ekrunia from the Ukraine. The Krisko family once lived as a peaceful, happy family. The story is told by their son, Alex. He has an older sister, Irina, and a younger brother Anton. When their mother is killed in an accident, their father becomes an abusive drunk. 

Their circumstances change, but the sadness continues, as their father gives them away. While in the care of an orphanage, a revolution has broken out. The children, and other orphans, now must make decisions to save themselves, and protect themselves from the dangers that are before them. All the danger is not just outside the walls.

From the beginning the tale was engaging and heartbreaking. Told at a steady pace, I was drawn in by their story. Children having to grow up too soon, robbed of their childhood. Not protected or loved by the adults who should have cared, but did not. Taken from people who did care. You can't help but become attached to them as they take on an adult journey to survive and stay together. The kindness, shown by a few of the adults they come in contact with, was heart warming. It gave me hope that their future wouldn't be all bad. Can they survive the rebellion on their own? 

This is the first book of a trilogy. I look forward to the next one, and where the story will lead. The exciting ending has left the door open for so many possibilities! This is the kind of story that would make a wonderful movie. I really enjoyed this book by this new author. I see a wonderful future ahead.

Thank you F.B. Veneziano 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

"Haematemesis" by Henry G. Sheppard


How one man overcame a fear of things medical and learned to navigate his way around hospital 


Noun: the vomiting of blood

To suddenly be thrust into the medical maze after a diagnosis that all of us would be terrified to get. The author handled his journey with grace and a sense of humor. 

His journey laid out before you. Grateful for the kindness he was shown during this time, along with universal common mistakes and missteps. It started in 2007 when he first became ill, then again in 2015 when it returned. Leukemia is a scary diagnosis for anyone. I guess you never know how you'll handle such a thing. 

An unusual book, with an unusual subject. I found it interesting and rather entertaining. I admit more than a few passages made me laugh out loud. The author has a comforting sense of humor. It takes a special person to journal what has to be one of, if not the worst, episode in ones life. 

There were passages though that were just painful to read. I'm sorry for anyone who has to go through this. I lost my 28 year old son in law to cancer in 2004. I'm glad to know that this author is still with us and doing something he's quite good at, writing. Even his initial email to me for this request, was so entertaining, I'm pretty sure I would have said yes to the review request, even if he'd written a book about floods and alligators. 

While you may question how a book about under going cancer treatment could be entertaining, I'd agree with you. However, it's all about attitude, and strong will to see yourself through set backs. That makes this book worth reading. 

Thank you Henry G. Sheppard. It was my pleasure to read for you. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

"Combustion" by Martin J. Smith

                         Buy "Combustion" on Amazon September 27th: click here!

"Starke had a flickering thought: TV news would be all over the story, and Paul Dwyer's family shouldn't find out that way. While he was no fan of Shelby Dwyer, the new widow deserved better. He took a long pull, certain the delay was spiking the blood pressure of a woman whose smile he had yet to see during her first few months as his boss. She was a puzzle."....

Los Colmas, CA has a murder in their midst. Cop Ron Starke, has his hands full with a list of suspects, and motives. The body of Paul Dwyer, a local real estate developer,has been found in the dried up pond of some developing property.

The widow, Shelby, has her own secrets. Paul wasn't what he appeared to be to everyone else. Not everyone thought Paul's developing the area was in the best interest of the town either. Was he killed by someone he angered with his work? Was it someone closer? 

Can Ron Starke appease his difficult boss and get the answers he is looking for? An out of control wildfire may burn the town to the ground, and there may not be anything left to investigate. Small towns and close relationships often help keep secrets. The closer Ron gets to the truth the harder his life is going to become. 

This mystery was well written, great characters and an intriguing read. I loved the relationship he has with his dad. Not a typical situation, but handled with such love. A few well placed surprises that will keep you fully engaged until the end. 

Thank you Martin J.Smith, Netgalley, and Diversion Books