Monday, March 28, 2016

"Free of Malice" by Liz Lazarus

"But if you had shot him, you would be dealing with a lot more than you are today," she replied. "If you killed or even wounded him, there could have other ramifications, don't you think?" It would have been self defense. He attacked me, remember?" "Yes, I know, and I'm not a legal expert, but I believe if you had shot him when he was leaving, you couldn't claim self defense."......

Based on real life experiences of the author, this psychological legal suspense takes place in Atlanta. Journalist Laura Holland is attacked and terrorized in her home. Although she survives the attempted rape she is traumatized. She seeks the help of a therapist who uses a P.T.S.D. therapy to help her. Something new; called E.D.M.R., (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing).  She does so only at her husband's insistence. Laura has the loving support of Chris in fighting the demons haunting her.

The attackers last words were he'd return. Will he? Will Laura remember enough about that night to help the police catch her attacker? Or will someone close to her be suspect? Was it a stranger after all? She suspects any man who resembles her attacker. But is her memory something to be trusted? 

Laura tries from a journalist view to see what would have happened if she had been able to shoot her attacker that night. Would it have been self defense? Maybe not. Laura's therapist, Barbara, also lends a hand with trying to help her piece these questions together, in addition to the therapy. With the help of an attorney, Thomas Bennett, Laura is attempting to put everything together.  Where it goes will surprise you. Thomas helps her step by step as if she'd shot her attacker and what might have happened to her. Laura is writing this because she figures that others are just as in the dark as she has been. Thomas resembles her attacker. She suspects him from their first meeting.Could it be that easy? Is it Thomas?

Haunting, scary, and traumatizing to think that this was a parallel true story to an incident in the authors life.  There is a fine line between self defense and crossing over a line to illegal. Where is that line? So many suspenseful situations that could have gone so many ways. Kept me guessing until the end. I felt that this was a good indication of what could happen to you if you made that choice to fight back, but who wouldn't try? I read this book in one day because it was so enthralling. I wanted to know who did it! It was a fast paced story line, well written characters. Great ending. I prefer loose ends to be tied up when a book ends. I was certainly not disappointed.

Thank you Netgalley and Mitchell Cove Publishing and Liz Lazarus.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

"Fragile Brilliance" A Roman McCullough Novel by Eliot Parker

                                 Buy "Fragile Brilliance" now on Amazon; click here!

"Ben ran the tip of his tongue around his lips. "This whole operation requires a fragile brilliance. A type of brilliance that allows you to think and feel and do things in ways you didn't know you were capable of doing or feeling. "....

The story takes place in Charleston W.V.. On his way into work, police sergeant Ronan McCullough, helps a college kid being assaulted outside a sports bar. During the attack Ronan is also attacked and left in bad shape.

Suffering stress related and health problems from the attack, Ronan refuses to give up his search for his attackers. By doing so he will put himself in even more danger when he finds himself uncovering a drug ring. His determination will threaten the balance he has with his partner Ty. Can they get through this, or is Ronan so hard headed about retribution that he's willing to lose the things he loves in the process?

The investigation will drag his family into the line of fire. Ronan will have to work with other officers that don't necessarily appreciate him. The drugs are spreading fast. Can they stop its infiltration into Charleston?

Steady pace, action packed. Gruesome drug usage aftermath.  I enjoyed this mystery suspense. Even with his injuries Ronan won't give up, even if it means risking his job. It's also a story of family and those we would protect at all costs. 

I also got to read this as an actual soft cover book, which I appreciated. I usually read and review with Kindle but it was a nice change to have the actual book for my shelf. I can see a future for "Ronan McCullough" as a series. 

Thank you Eliot Parker

Thursday, March 24, 2016

"The Last Girl" by Joe Hart

                                           Buy "The Last Girl" now on Amazon: click here!

"The Dearth," Penny reads from the chapter heading. "Late in the year two thousand sixteen, a noticeable drop in female births became apparent across the globe. At first it was by only several percent but soon after, in mid-two thousand seventeen, the rate dropped to well below half o the previous year's. By fall of the year two thousand eighteen, despite an unprecedented, scientific undertaking by the National Obstetric Alliance female births were recorded at less than one in one hundred million."........

Book One in the Dominion Trilogy.

The story starts in the near future when female babies are no longer being born. A global happening being investigated, but with no real answers. The world population is changing and now women are a dying breed. With that the world will eventually die out as well.

So a look into Zoey's life begins. She's held in a compound called the ARC or Advance Research Compound. Someone leaves her secret gifts of chewing gum and books she's never seen or read before. One not approved or written by the National Obstetric Alliance. The women are kept there to protect them from the plague and those that would hurt them or try to use them for their own purposes. One by one though the girls graduate out of the program. Told they're going to a "safe zone."  Zoey believes it's all a lie. They are not treated as if they are the last hope. They are treated as prisoners and brainwashed.

There is a young man Zoey  is interested in. Lee is the son of her cleric, Simon.  His father's job consists of keeping watch over Zoey,  and accompanying her wherever she goes outside her room.  Zoey's plan is to escape the compound and find out what is really going on in the world. Nothing like she suspects she's been told. Who can she really trust? What is waiting out there for her?

This book fascinated me. It was along the lines of "Divergent" or "The Hunger Games."  Who is  to say that our future is not headed in these very directions? What would happen to us if suddenly the male or female species were starting to disappear? Could we be saved? Would the world as we know it end?

When Zoey reaches freedom things are not as she thought they would be. Will anyone help her? Is she better off behind the walls? Was her life all lies? She'll find out what the truth is. There are people outside the ARC who are just as interested in what is going on in there,  as Zoey was to find out what was going on outside of it.  Which leads us to the end of the of the first book in this series. I look forward to the next one! Does Zoey go back? Can she make a life outside of the ARC? What will become of her ARC  family?

Thank you Netgalley and Thomas and Mercer Publishing

Friday, March 18, 2016

"Death Unmasked" by Rick Sulik

" No I just want to know your feelings about death." Well, I'll unmask it for you. I don't fear death. Death is a natural occurrence. We're no strangers to death, Paula. We lived and died before, and we'll live and die again. Death smiles at all of us. All a person can do is smile back, when death comes calling. Loneliness is what I fear."......

A novel of reincarnation and retribution.

Emil and Laura are fleeing for their lives. Their homeland has been invaded and they are in fear for their lives. Rounded up by soldiers, everyone is being deported. Loaded into cattle cars and traveling by train in the cold and the snow. Such a sad tale. Most are dying or murdered, few escape. Will Emil and Laura's love survive?

That is the beginning set up of this story. That was the past, but present day is in the life of Houston Police Officer Detective Sean Jamison. There is a serial killer on the loose preying on women. Much in the way some soldiers preyed on the women during the holocaust. Sean has a vivid memory during a sudden migraine. Was he Emil in another life?

I found this story fascinating. The thought of reincarnation is so interesting, and told in one of my favorite genre; crime/serial killer/thriller. Told in chapters between Sean and the killings and a woman who is drawn to some personal items as Sean is. Can Sean find the killer? Can he find his "Laura" in this life? There is more than one murderer out there and Sean has a unique way of finding them. Is it luck? Or is it something unexplained? Sean and his team of officers are on the trail.

The killer quotes an Oscar Wilde poem. It's how they know that a previous case and the current ones are connected. "Yet each man kills the thing he loves, " from the "The Ballad of Reading Gaol." I would recommend looking this up on your own and see what the story is behind the Oscar Wilde poem. It is fascinating in itself, and It gives you insight and understanding into this tale.

The story line is rather unusual and a bit of fantasy depending on how much you believe in things like reincarnation or self hypnotic states, or that the police would use these methods to track criminals. Still the story is captivating and will hold you to the end. I would recommend you give this book a shot, it may be outside of your usual reading habits but I do think it's worth reading.

Thank you Rick Sulik

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

"Between You and Me" by Lisa Hall

"I do, Charlie, I do understand. And we really appreciate everything you do, Maggie and I; we do appreciate it, I promise, all the long hours and hard work, and we love you for it.  Placated, you nod and I breathe a sigh of relief. For a moment there I wasn't too sure which way things would go, and I realize that I am constantly living on a knife-edge, where even one sentence taken in slightly the wrong manner can mean the difference between war and peace. "......

This psychological thriller is about a married couple, Sal and Charlie. They love each other but the edges have frayed and neither is happy anymore. Sal would leave but can't. The reasons are many and become oh so clear how easy it is to stay and how hard it is to go. Like being mired in quicksand.  You are taken on a ride where the clues of what will eventually happen are warning you of the impending danger. One is the controller and one gives in to save peace for their daughter, Maggie.

Told back and forth between Sal and Charlie's point of view. Charlie can rationalize the behavior and place blame on Sal. After all, Charlie is the one who works hard for the family, and thinks Sal sits around all day doing nothing at home with Maggie.  Sal does the best that can be done, everything but leave that is. Always trying to anticipate Charlie's moods and behavior.

Domestic violence is so much more than physical acts of abuse. The mental cruelty throughout this book is heart wrenching.  Charlie is not someone you will like.

Charlie gets involved in something shady at work. Proving that everything about Charlie is off, and has little distinction between right and wrong. Sal is attempting to make a new life, but there will be a drastic outcome for all involved when fate brings everything together.

Surprise ending, but I did suspect it. Still a gripping suspense. In one sense the domestic violence is just a peek at what it's really like and as in real life one doesn't know how badly it will end, just  that it will end badly.

Thank you Netgalley and Carina UK Publishers

Saturday, March 12, 2016

"When I'm Gone" by Emily Bleeker


"I feel pretty melodramatic writing you a letter to open on the day of my burial. According to Dr. Saunders I have a pretty decent chance of beating this thing, but you know  me;  I don't trust doctors.  No harm in starting this journal, you know, just in case.  I've always wanted to try my hand at writing; maybe this will be my first step toward finally writing the novel dancing around my brain for the past ten years. They  say write what you know, right? Apparently I know cancer and we are not friends."........

This bittersweet tale takes place in Farmington, Michigan.  Luke and wife, Natalie, and their children; Nine year old May, Will, their 14 year old son, and three year old Clayton. The story begins on the day of Natalie's funeral . Later that day after returning home, he finds the first of what will be a series of letters from her. The thought of the letters coming gives him something to lean on, a little hope.

Her love for her family carries on after her death. Her words give him strength he needs until he can pick up the pieces of the new life he never wanted. Natalie left him a true gift. She is teaching her husband to help her family go on without her.

Where are the letters coming from though? They're arriving regularly in the mail. The pain of losing her is so hard on all of them.  A heartbreaking story, but at the same time it's the story of a mother's love.  Luke is living by the letters. Afraid not to and afraid to let go. He doesn't follow every detail exactly but he fears not having them or the day they stop. He brings the people who were important to Natalie into their lives trying to honor her wishes.

The twists come when Natalie's secrets come to light as the letters and life goes on. Slowly things are revealed. Tragic secrets and surprises come so quickly that I couldn't stop reading this story. Emotional, as a parent knowing you're going to die and leave the people you love. Suspenseful, while trying to figure out what secrets people close to them are keeping from Luke and the kids. A story of how a whole other life and world existed for someone you shared your life with. Will Natalie's letters lead Luke on a road to healing and moving on without her? Or will the secrets crush him?

Thank you Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing

Friday, March 11, 2016

"Unspeakable" by Kristen Hope Mazzola Release Blitz!

 Title: Unspeakable (Unacceptables MC Romance)
                                                   Author: Kristen Hope Mazzola
                                                   Release Date: March 12, 2016
                                           Find on Goodreads –


It’s finally my time.

Everyone has their damn breaking point, why did the president of my MC’s daughter have to be mine? She was everything I wanted, and nothing I could have.  Being a prospect was hard enough. Living with my father that I had only known for a few years wasn’t making life any easier. And there I was, ready to jeopardize it all for love. I went to Vilas to figure out where I came from, little did I know that I wasn’t just going to be passing through. This life was pumping through my veins, I just didn’t know it until I walked into the Unacceptable’s bar for the first time.

Raine Hellock was my kryptonite and come hell or high water, I was going to figure out how to make her mine.

Buy Links:

Barnes & Noble –



“Anything you need, Abel, I’m your man.”
He flicked his cigarette butt onto the ground and stomped out the ember with his steel toed boot. “That’s what I am scared of.”
“You can trust me.”
He dug his hands deep into his pockets. “I know that, son, and that is what scares me the most. My fucking baby girl is going to go through what her mother, Crickett, and my mother went through, that never-ending fear of whether or not their man will make it home at the end of the day.”
“I’m not going to let her down.” I gritted my teeth. There was no fucking way I would put Raine through the pain of losing me.
“You can’t fucking promise that, Ryder. No outlaw can. Our women fight alongside us every goddamned day and there is no way to ease their minds. That’s a burden we all must carry.”
“Until my last breath, I am going to fight for her.”
Abel grabbed my shoulder. “I know. Now let’s go catch a fucking bad guy.”

More in this series:

Unacceptable – Released June 25, 2016

It’s finally my time.

Time to escape from my mother, her crazy antics and questionable morals. I'm getting the heck out of Dodge, leaving the trailer park, to make something of myself. Everything was fine until I walked into The Unacceptables' bar and met Abel Hellock. With his gorgeous muscles, tattoos, motorcycle and perfect smile, my knees quaked. My life was about to be sucked back into the seedy underbelly I fought so desperately to climb out of.

Everything was fine until I met my step-brother for the first time.

**18+ for sexual situations, language, and adult themes**

Author Info:

You want to know more about me? Well, let's see...

I am just an average twenty-something following my dreams.  I have a full time "day job" and by night I am an author.  I guess you could say that writing is like my super power (I always wanted one of those).  I am the lover of wine, sushi, football and the ocean; that is when I am not wrapped up in the literary world.

A portion of all my profits are donated to The Marcie Mazzola Foundation.

Goodreads –

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

"The Killing Forest" A Louise Rick series by Sara Blaedel


"Several hours had passed after the horrific events of his initiation before he dared sneak out into the clearing. The cars were gone, and he'd held his breath; the silence and the sharp light from the clear, starlit sky seemed threatening. A few embers from the bonfire still glowed, but he didn't dare approach it to warm himself. He had no way of knowing if anyone had stayed behind to wait for him. At last he snuck around the shadows of the trees over to the oak, where he knew they have must have left a lot of the food his father had brought along."......

"Special Search Agency Officer" Louise Rick is the head of her 2 person unit. Her and her partner, Eik Nordstrom, are responsible for missing person cases- where a crime is suspected. They are assigned a case of a missing teenage boy from the nearby town of Hvalso. There are long time traditions and rituals that take place in these small towns. Secrets to be uncovered. Rituals that include sacrifices that the outside world will not understand.

Sune Fransden disappeared on his 15th birthday. His father would rather the police were not involved, after all he knows why his son ran off. His mother is near death and only wants to see her son one last time. Will she get her wish? Louise suspects that someone from her past didn't die the way it was reported. This new case may bring up some old memories. Sune's father is someone she once knew and someone that knew her lost love, Klaus. Could the two things be connected? Bad blood between them though could hinder the search for Sune.

As the truth is unraveled can Louise save Sune? Will the others involved be caught or seek revenge on Louise for getting involved in the first place? Can Louise find out if Klaus's death was a murder or a suicide as reported? She's not sure what to believe at this point. Her investigation will lead to danger for her friends and loved ones. There is death but will those responsible be brought to justice?

Translated from Danish crime author Sara Blaedel and set in Denmark. This is the 8th book in the "Louise Rick" series. It was a little different settling into the book with unfamiliar names and places. Sometimes that throws me off and I wasn't sure if I would like it at first. I was pleasantly surprised however, and able to get used to it fairly quickly. The story grabbed my attention. It became more intense and involved as I went, and I ended up enjoying this book. It's definitely worth reading something unique to the crime genre.

Thank you Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing

"Unspeakable" An Unacceptables MC Romance by Kristen Hope Mazzola

"With kind eyes, she smiled and took a seat on the bed next to me. "You've always been very special, Raine. Your dad has always known that and he wants more for you than a dangerous life married to a club member.".........

This is the second book in the "Unacceptables Motorcycle Club" romance series. In the first book we met Cricket and Abel. The years have moved on and Abel's daughter Raine is all grown up. When Ryder Walsh comes to town searching for his dad, just like Cricket had done years ago, he finds a new life. He also finds Raine.

The problem is can they get past her tough dad to be together? One biker knows what another biker is all about.  Being part of the same club makes it nearly impossible to get away with much. Does Ryder have her best interests at heart? Abel wants a better life for Raine, better than the hard one being part of the club will bring.

Ryder is going to have to figure out if Raine is better off with or without him. He loves her enough to give her up but can he? Can they find a way to each other without the others reminding him he's not good enough for her? Ryder is still a prospect so he doesn't have much say in how things go in his life.  He'll have to prove himself in a horrifying way to stay part of the club, and part of Raine's life.

Do they end up together or apart? You won't know until you pick this one up and find out. I just love these books by Kristen Mazzola. This one, like the others, has a story line that captivates you. The characters are ones you'll love or hate and want to know better. They always end in a way that makes you hope she's writing the next one already.

Thank you Kristen Hope Mazzola. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

"Finding Strength" by Shevawn Michelle

                                           Buy Finding Strength today on Amazon: click here!

"You have been the joy of my life, and you have brought me so much happiness. I wanted to leave you with something that will always remind you of me. When you think you are forgetting me, read the words on the pages. When you feel alone, you'll find me within the bindings. I'll always be with you, wherever you go in life, I'll be there....."

Anna is about to face the hardest thing that is ever going to happen to her. There is no way to make it ok and she's never going to be the same. This book had me crying just a few pages in. After a tragic accident Anna has the love and support of people who try to help her live again. The thing is can she find a way to get her life back? She asked herself the same questions a mother in this position asks. What could I have done differently? As if it will change the outcome. This story is about finding her way through the maze and the wake of destruction. It's not all tears and grief. There is a love story and a story about life and happiness mingled in. It's about life, sweet and funny, and sad. Its about where you get your strength from and is not always in the places you expect.

You will dive right into Anna's life with her friends Amy and Shane. Jacob is set to become a new love from the moment she meets him.. You just fall into the story right away.  The author captured the reality of tragedy very strongly. A very emotional story. Well worth reading. If you know what it's like to love and to have lost it's a comfort to have this story surround you. It is also a bridge to understanding someone you perhaps know that has been through this. There are times you want to reach into this book and give Anna a hug. This book shows what a real friend is like. We should all be so lucky to have an Amy in our lives. This book is about what its like to be a mother, a wife, a friend, a sister. Its about what happens when we lose the very things that give us a reason to live.

This isn't just a story about losing something. It's the story of survival and how to go on. For some of us that is everything. The story goes back and forth over time and how Anna came to be where she is now. Wonderful look at how people affected her life. Even though it was heart wrenching, I loved this story. Extremely well versed as to the pain in this reality. Kind of like you know the truth when you read it. The story flowed and stopped and started again. The way life does. Characters that you will keep in your heart and remember. It will give new meaning to you about where your strength comes from during the hard times, during life.

I may have used a lot of personal statements here rather than story line detail. I don't want to give it away because I want you to buy this book and read it. What its going to offer you is going to be more than any words I can put here. Writing this review was a bit harder than usual for me. Such an emotional story. I probably crossed the line from a professional review into a more personal review because honestly this book is that, personal.

Thank you to Shevawn Michelle for the ARC- and for touching me in a way that most writers only hope that they can.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

"The Steel Kiss" by Jeffery Deaver

"Benkoff's death, he thought grimly, might be the opposite of the Baxter case. There Rhyme had had too much evidence and parsed it too carefully. Perhaps in the "Unsub 40" situation he'd missed some clue in prior scenes that might have pointed to the Abe Benkoff's apartment as the site of a future attack. And he experienced the unnerving hollowness he'd felt when he learned of the businessman's death. The uneasiness and, okay, guilt that had prompted his decision to end his career as a criminal forensic investigator...."

Amelia is searching for a serial killer. She knows vaguely what he looks like-but he evades her. He's amused that the pretty red head is after him. He has no plans on letting her slow him down.

Meanwhile, retired police Captain Lincoln Rhyme, a quadriplegic, is teaching classes on crime scene analysis. One student, Juliette Archer, is going to be part of his new team and his new intern. Lincoln and Amelia consult with each other, along with a personal relationship.

Being disabled in body only, Lincoln continues his police work where he can. Amelia asks for his  help on a special case to help what appears to be an accident victims family. Lincoln and Juliette concentrate on the escalator accident that left a man cut nearly in half and his family penniless. Can they find enough evidence to help this family?

Amelia continues her hunt and a game of cat and mouse ensues. The game that can lead to more dead bodies. What happens if it turns out the escalator accident was actually a murder? The killer is figuring out ways to his work with things you'd think were an accident at first look. Complications continue as someone from Amelia's past arrives with claims of innocence.

What if the killer has found a way to spread his evil to bigger levels? Can this team of investigators find this domestic terrorist and stop him? As in all Jeffrey Deaver novels, his story lines are interesting, and connected in ways that keep you fascinated. This author is good at leading you down a familiar road only to take a quick turn into a surprising whole other direction. Being the 12th in the "Lincoln Rhyme" series, you'll find it is still a fast paced, page turning adventure. A scary story for our technological times.

Thank you Netgalley and Grand Central :Publishing