Thursday, August 31, 2017

Literary Escapes Challenge--August Update

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Challenge – Try to read 1 book set in each of the 50 states + the District of Columbia. (51 Points). If you complete the challenge you earn 50 Bonus Points. You also can earn Bonus Points for books set in Countries around the world. 1 Bonus Point for each country. (No repeats – only 1 point can be earned for each country.) Your books can be fiction or non-fiction and can be in any format, print, digital, audio. 


Alabama--To Kill  Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Alaska--(Finding Justice by Kathi Daley)
Arizona--(Sprinkle With Murder by Jenn McKinlay)
Arkansas--Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women Of Little Rock by David Margolick
California--Scheduled To Death by Mary Feliz
Colorado--Fatality By Firelight by Lynn Cahoon
Connecticut--Pick Your Potion by C.C. Dragon
Delaware--Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
District of Columbia--Curious Minds by Janet Evanovich
Florida--Child's Play by Merry Jones
Georgia--15 Minutes by Larissa Reinhart
Hawaii--Murder At Turtle Cove by Kathi Daley
Idaho--(Blue Heaven by C.J. Box)
Illinois--Life After by Katie Ganshert

Indiana--When The Grits Hit The Fan by Maddie Day
Iowa--(Dewey: The Small Town Library Cat Who Touched The World by Vicki Myron)
Kansas--Brake Failure by Alison Brodie
Kentucky--A Ghostly Mortality by Tonya Kappes
Louisiana--A Fatal Romance by June Shaw
Maine--Telling Tails by Sofie Ryan
Maryland--Courtyard Corpse by Sherry Lodge
Massachusetts--The Witch And The Dead by Heather Blake
Michigan--My Perfect Imperfections by Jalpa Williby
Minnesota--(I Can See You by Karen Rose)
Mississippi--(Out Of Circulation by Miranda James)
Missouri--(30 Second Death by Laura Bradford)
Montana--Vangie Vale and the Murdered Macaron by R.L. Syme
Nebraska--(Composing Amelia by Alison Strobel)
Nevada--(Vanilla Beaned by Jenn McKinlay)
New Hampshire--It's Always The Husband by Michele Campbell
New Jersey--(The Plot Against America by Philip Roth)
New Mexico--(The Night Journal by Elizabeth Crook)
New York--(The Christie Curse, by Victoria Abbott)
North Carolina--Purr M For Murder by T.C. LoTempio
North Dakota(Badlands by C. J. Box)
Ohio--Ill Will by Dan Chaon
Oklahoma--(The Girl In 6E by A.R. Torre)
Oregon--The Shadow by Kathi Daley
Pennsylvania--(Never Buried by Edie Claire)
Rhode Island--(Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult)
South Carolina--What She Inherits by Diane V. Mulligan
South Dakota--(These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder)
Tennessee--The Big Overnight by Libby Kirsch
Texas--Say Goodbye For Now by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Utah--(Bookman Dead Style by Paige Shelton)
Vermont--The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian
Virginia--(The Diva Takes The Cake by Krista Davis)
Washington--A Winter's Tail by Kathi Daley
West Virginia--(Miranda Warning by Heather Day Gilbert)
Wisconsin--Avery: The Case Against Steven Avery and What "Making a Murderer" Gets Wrong by Ken Kratz
Wyoming--(Open Season by C.J. Box)


International Settings

Canada--Holiday Hangover by Kathi Daley
Italy--A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay
Greece--Evanthia's Gift by Effie Kammenou
France--Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Egypt--Exodus 95 by Kfir Luzzatto
England--I Found You by Lisa Jewell

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

BOOK TOUR: Dinner Conversations by Jason Reid

Title: DINNER CONVERSATIONS
Author: Jason Reid
PublisherCreatespace/Reid Group
Pages: 348
Genre: Humor / Family / Parenting








“You are going to LAUGH! You are going to then wonder if these conversations actually happened. You are going to wonder what kind of guy would actually say these things to his family.”

The answer is simple—yes, these conversations did actually happen. They occurred over a period of roughly 5 years, mainly at my dinner table.  I took them verbatim and posted them on Facebook so that all my friends could get a good laugh.
I must be honest with you, some of you will are going to laugh and say things like “…that sounds like something I would say or want to say” others are going to think that I am a horrible parent.  I am ok with either thought process.
What I hope is that after laughing, scratching your head and wondering what is wrong with Jay Reid, you realize that you need to create more of your own Dinner Conversations.  
Please join me @ www.Facebook.com/DinnerConversations to read more and post your own.” 

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Review: This is a hilarious collection of conversations between the author, his wife and their children. Anyone who has ever sat around a family dinner table over a period of years is sure to find several conversations which will sound eerily familiar. I know I did!

I think this would be fun to read aloud from at future family gatherings, just to see what sort of "dinner conversations" it sparks around our table.

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher with no expectation of a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

Rating:  Four stars


Taxes

Kids
"You have to pay how much in taxes?!?"


Jay

"Yep, half or more of my money goes to pay taxes, the rest goes to pay for you guys. I have almost nothing left over."


Kids
"That's crazy!”


Jay
"I agree, but I am stuck with all of you."



Jason Reid is an entrepreneur by trade and a dad by passion. He currently lives in Murrieta, California with his wonderful wife and amazing four children. Over the years he has written numerous business books, a novel, and children’s The Protector Bug book series.

His latest book is the humor/family/parenting book, Dinner Conversations.

SOCIAL LINKS:

TWITTER | FACEBOOK



MEDIA CONTACT:
Dorothy Thompson
 CEO/Founder PUMP UP YOUR BOOK
Winner of P&E Readers Poll 2016 for Best Publicity Firm

 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

BOOK TOUR AND GIVEAWAY: Dead On The Bayou (Twin Sisters Mystery #2) by June Shaw


 


Dead on the Bayou (A Twin Sisters Mystery) by June Shaw


Dead on the Bayou (A Twin Sisters Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Lyrical Underground (August 22, 2017)
Paperback: 192 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1516100965
E-Book ASIN: B01N3ZNZVL
It may be easier to patch up an old home than a broken heart. But along the Louisiana bayou, where beauty and danger mingle all too seamlessly, thoughts of romance may have to simmer on the back burner . . .
Twin sisters and fellow divorcees Sunny Taylor and Eve Vaughn have established their home repair and remodeling business with an eye toward quality and personal attention. So when they’re approached by hunky Dave Price to fix up his bayou fishing camp, they’re more than happy to take the job—especially since they both secretly think he may prove to be more than just another satisfied customer . . .
The ramshackle campsite could certainly use a woman’s touch. What it does not need is a dead body—but that’s what the trio stumble across. Clearly, the poor soul was murdered—and once the town tongue-waggers get going, Sunny, Eve, and Dave come under suspicion of the police, not to mention potential clients . . .
Now, with their futures on the line, their brewing love triangle will have to wait. Helped—and harried—by the twins’ mother and her retirement home’s cadre of amateur sleuths, the trio starts snooping on their own. But when another dead body turns up, they’ll have to get their hands dirtier than a swamp-bottom snake if they hope to clear their names . . .
Review: I love the unique premise of this novel and series. Identical twins with very different personalities provide a multitude of plot twists and plenty of humor.

Eve is the more outgoing twin, while Sunny has a much more unique personality. She shies away from romance, and when she gets scared she hums and sings Christmas carols--which can be highly inappropriate and hilarious at the same time.

The supporting cast includes a group of gossipy senior citizens. They never leave the Home, but they seem to know everything about everyone in town. 

The plot is well-developed and the story is well-written. The reveal was a total surprise, after many twists and turns to get us there. I look forward to reading more about these characters in the future.

**I received a copy of this book from the author with no expectation of a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**
Rating: Four stars

About The Author

juneshaw_2 From the bayou country of South Louisiana, June Shaw previously sold a series of humorous mysteries to Five Star, Harlequin, and Untreed Reads. Publishers Weekly praised her debut, Relative Danger, which became a finalist for the David Award for Best Mystery of the Year. A hybrid author who has published other works, she has represented her state on the board of Mystery Writers of America’s Southwest Chapter for many years and continued to serve as the Published Author Liaison for Romance Writers of America’s Southern Louisiana chapter. She gains inspiration for her work from her faith, family, and friends, including the many readers who urge her on.

For more info please visit juneshaw.com.
http://www.juneshaw.com/ https://twitter.com/juneshaw https://www.facebook.com/june.shaw.338 http://www.ekensingtonbooks.com/author.aspx/31823

Purchase Links
Amazon
B&N
Google Books


a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
August 21 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – INTERVIEW
August 21 – Readsalot – SPOTLIGHT
August 22 – My Journey Back – REVIEW
August 22 – Books, Dreams, Life - SPOTLIGHT
August 23 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
August 24 – Book Babble - REVIEW
August 25 – Socrates' Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book - SPOTLIGHT
August 27 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
August 28 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW
August 29 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 30 – Maureen's Musings – REVIEW
August 31 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
September 1 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 2 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 2 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
September 3 – deal sharing aunt – SPOTLIGHT

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

BOOK TOUR AND GIVEAWAY: The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

The Good Daughter

by Karin Slaughter

on Tour August 7 - September 8, 2017

Synopsis:

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

The stunning new novel from the international #1 bestselling author — a searing, spellbinding blend of cold-case thriller and psychological suspense.

Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind…
Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn's happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father — Pikeville's notorious defense attorney — devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.
Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father's footsteps to become a lawyer herself — the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again — and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized — Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it's a case that unleashes the terrible memories she's spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won't stay buried forever…

Packed with twists and turns, brimming with emotion and heart, The Good Daughter is fiction at its most thrilling.

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller, Suspense
Published by: William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins
Publication Date: August 8, 2017
Number of Pages: 528
ISBN: 0062430262 (ISBN13: 9780062430267)
Series: Good Daughter 1
Purchase Links: Amazon πŸ”— | Barnes & Noble πŸ”— | Goodreads πŸ”—

Review: The drama starts on the very first page, and it continues all the way through. Charlotte (Charlie) and Samantha (Sam) Quinn had a horrendous event happen to them in their childhood, and neither of them has ever really gotten past it, although they are impacted in different ways. When current events bring them back together and start to connect to the past, they are both forced to face the past, their relationship with their father, and their relationship with each other--all while trying to discover the facts behind the current tragedy. 


All of the characters are very well written and developed. We get into the minds of the main characters, slowly learning more about what happened to them all those years ago, and what they've been going through since then. 


TRIGGER WARNING: There are several scenes of graphic, gory violence, which could be disturbing to some readers. There is also a rape scene which is EXTREMELY disturbing.  


As I have said, this book is intense, in action and emotion, and will keep you glued to the pages. I laughed and cried my way through it, and am fast becoming a huge fan of this author.  


**I received a copy of this book from the publisher with no expectation of a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**


Rating: Four stars


Read an excerpt:

Charlie Quinn walked through the darkened halls of Pikeville middle school with a gnawing sense of trepidation. This wasn’t an early morning walk of shame. This was a walk of deeply held regret. Fitting, since the first time she’d had sex with a boy she shouldn’t have had sex with was inside this very building. The gymnasium, to be exact, which just went to show that her father had been right about the perils of a late curfew.
She gripped the cell phone in her hand as she turned a corner. The wrong boy. The wrong man. The wrong phone. The wrong way because she didn’t know where the hell she was going. Charlie turned around and retraced her steps. Everything in this stupid building looked familiar, but nothing was where she remembered it was supposed to be.
She took a left and found herself standing outside the front office. Empty chairs were waiting for the bad students who would be sent to the principal. The plastic seats looked similar to the ones in which Charlie had whiled away her early years. Talking back. Mouthing off. Arguing with teachers, fellow students, inanimate objects. Her adult self would’ve slapped her teenage self for being such a pain in the ass.
She cupped her hand to the window and peered inside the dark office. Finally, something that looked how it was supposed to look. The high counter where Mrs. Jenkins, the school secretary, had held court. Pennants drooping from the water-stained ceiling. Student artwork taped to the walls. A lone light was on in the back. Charlie wasn’t about to ask Principal Pinkman for directions to her booty call. Not that this was a booty call. It was more of a “Hey, girl, you picked up the wrong iPhone after I nailed you in my truck at Shady Ray’s last night” call.
There was no point in Charlie asking herself what she had been thinking, because you didn’t go to a bar named Shady Ray’s to think.
The phone in her hand rang. Charlie saw the unfamiliar screen saver of a German shepherd with a Kong toy in its mouth. The caller ID read SCHOOL.
She answered, “Yes?”
“Where are you?” He sounded tense, and she thought of all the hidden dangers that came from screwing a stranger she’d met in a bar: incurable venereal diseases, a jealous wife, a murderous baby mama, an obnoxious Alabama affiliation.
She said, “I’m in front of Pink’s office.”
“Turn around and take your second right.”
“Yep.” Charlie ended the call. She felt herself wanting to puzzle out his tone of voice, but then she told herself that it didn’t matter because she was never going to see him again.
She walked back the way she’d come, her sneakers squeaking on the waxed floor as she made her way down the dark hallway. She heard a snap behind her. The lights had come on in the front office. A hunched old woman who looked suspiciously like the ghost of Mrs. Jenkins shuffled her way behind the counter. Somewhere in the distance, heavy metal doors opened and closed. The beep-whir of the metal detectors swirled into her ears. Someone jangled a set of keys.
The air seemed to contract with each new sound, as if the school was bracing itself for the morning onslaught. Charlie looked at the large clock on the wall. If the schedule was still the same, the first homeroom bell would ring soon, and the kids who had been dropped off early and warehoused in the cafeteria would flood the building.
Charlie had been one of those kids. For a long time, whenever she thought of her father, her mind conjured up the scene of his arm leaning out of the Chevette’s window, freshly lit cigarette between his fingers, as he pulled out of the school parking lot.
She stopped walking.
The room numbers finally caught her attention, and she knew immediately where she was. Charlie touched her fingers to a closed wooden door. Room three, her safe haven. Ms. Beavers had retired eons ago, but the old woman’s voice echoed in Charlie’s ears: “They’ll only get your goat if you show them where you keep your hay.”
Charlie still didn’t know what that meant, exactly. You could extrapolate that it had something to do with the extended Culpepper clan, who had bullied Charlie relentlessly when she’d finally returned to school.
Or, you could take it that, as a girls’ basketball coach named Etta Beavers, the teacher knew what it felt like to be taunted. There was no one who could give Charlie advice on how to handle the present situation. For the first time since college, she’d had a one-night stand. Or a one-night sit, if it boiled down to the exact position. Charlie wasn’t the type of person who did that sort of thing. She didn’t go to bars. She didn’t drink to excess. She didn’t really make hugely regrettable mistakes. At least not until recently.
Her life had started to unspool back in August of last year. Charlie had spent almost every waking hour since then raveling out mistake after mistake. Apparently, the new month of May was not going to see any improvement. The blunders were now starting before she even got out of bed. This morning, she’d been wide awake on her back, staring up at the ceiling, trying to convince herself that what had happened last night had not happened at all when an unfamiliar ringtone had come from her purse.
She had answered because wrapping the phone in aluminum foil, throwing it into the dumpster behind her office and buying a new phone that would restore from her old phone backup did not occur to her until after she had said hello.
The short conversation that followed was of the kind you would expect between two total strangers: Hello, person whose name I must have asked for but now can’t recall. I believe I have your phone.
Charlie had offered to meet the man at his work because she didn’t want him to know where she lived. Or worked. Or what kind of car she drove. Between his pickup truck and his admittedly exquisite body, she’d thought he’d tell her he was a mechanic or a farmer. Then he’d said that he was a teacher and she’d instantly flashed up a Dead Poets Society kind of thing. Then he’d said he taught middle school and she’d jumped to the unfounded conclusion that he was a pedophile.
“Here.” He stood outside an open door at the far end of the hall.
As if on cue, the overhead fluorescents popped on, bathing Charlie in the most unflattering light possible. She instantly regretted her choice of ratty jeans and a faded, long-sleeved Duke Blue Devils basketball T-shirt.
“Good Lord God,” Charlie muttered. No such problems at the end of the hall.
Mr. I-Can’t-Remember-Your-Name was even more attractive than she remembered. The standard button-down-with-khakis uniform of a middle-school teacher couldn’t hide the fact that he had muscles in places that men in their forties had generally replaced with beer and fried meat. His scraggly beard was more of a five o’clock shadow. The gray at his temples gave him a wizened air of mystery. He had one of those dimples in his chin that you could use to open a bottle.
This was not the type of man Charlie dated. This was the exact type of man that she studiously avoided. He felt too coiled, too strong, too unknowable. It was like playing with a loaded gun.
“This is me.” He pointed to the bulletin board outside his room. Small handprints were traced onto white butcher paper. Purple cut-out letters read MR. HUCKLEBERRY.
“Huckleberry?” Charlie asked.
“It’s Huckabee, actually.” He held out his hand. “Huck.”
Charlie shook his hand, too late realizing that he was asking for his iPhone. “Sorry.” She handed him the phone.
He gave her a crooked smile that had probably sent many a young girl into puberty. “Yours is in here.”
Charlie followed him into the classroom. The walls were adorned with maps, which made sense because he was apparently a history teacher. At least if you believed the sign that said MR. HUCKLEBERRY LOVES WORLD HISTORY.
She said, “I may be a little sketchy on last night, but I thought you said you were a Marine?”
“Not anymore, but it sounds sexier than middle-school teacher.”He gave a self-deprecating laugh. “Joined up when I was seventeen, took my retirement six years ago.” He leaned against his desk. “I was looking for a way to keep serving, so I got my master’s on a GI bill and here we are.”
“I bet you get a lot of tear-stained cards on Valentine’s Day.” Charlie would’ve failed history every single day of her life if her teacher had looked like Mr. Huckleberry.
He asked, “Do you have kids?”
“Not that I know of.” Charlie didn’t return the question. She assumed that someone with kids wouldn’t use a photo of his dog as his screen saver. “You married?”
He shook his head. “Didn’t suit me.”
“It suited me.” She explained, “We’ve been officially separated for nine months.”
“Did you cheat on him?”
“You’d think so, but no.” Charlie ran her finger along the books on the shelf by his desk. Homer. Euripides. Voltaire. Bronte. “You don’t strike me as the Wuthering Heights type.”
He grinned. “Not much talking in the truck.”
Charlie started to return the grin, but regret pulled down the corners of her mouth. In some ways, this easy, flirty banter felt like more of a transgression than the physical act of sex. She bantered with her husband. She asked inane questions of her husband.
And last night, for the first time in her married life, she had cheated on her husband.
Huck seemed to sense her mood shift. “It’s obviously none of my business, but he’s nuts for letting you go.”
“I’m a lot of work.” Charlie studied one of the maps. There were blue pins in most of Europe and some of the Middle East. “You go to all of these places?”
He nodded, but didn’t elaborate.
“Marines,” she said. “Were you a Navy SEAL?”
“Marines can be SEALs but not all SEALs are Marines.”
Charlie was about to tell him that he hadn’t answered the question, but Huck spoke first.
“Your phone started ringing at o’dark thirty.”
Her heart flipped in her chest. “You didn’t answer?”
“Nah, it’s much more fun trying to figure you out from your caller ID.” He pushed himself up on the desk. “B2 called around five this morning. I’m assuming that’s your hook-up at the vitamin shop.”
Charlie’s heart flipped again. “That’s Riboflavin, my spin-class instructor.”
He narrowed his eyes, but he didn’t push her. “The next call came at approximately five fifteen, someone who showed up as Daddy, who I deduce by the lack of the word sugar in front of the name is your father.”
She nodded, even as her mother’s voice silently stressed that it was whom. “Any other clues?” He pretended to stroke a long beard. “Beginning around five thirty, you got a series of calls from the county jail. At least six, spaced out about five minutes apart.”
“You got me, Nancy Drew.” Charlie held up her hands in surrender. “I’m a drug trafficker. Some of my mules got picked up over the weekend.”
He laughed. “I’m halfway believing you.”
“I’m a defense lawyer,” she admitted. “Usually people are more receptive to drug trafficker.”
Huck stopped laughing. His eyes narrowed again, but the playfulness had evaporated. “What’s your name?”
“Charlie Quinn.”
She could’ve sworn he flinched.
She asked, “Is there a problem?”
His jaw was clenched so hard the bone jutted out. “That’s not the name on your credit card.”
Charlie paused, because there was a lot wrong with that statement. “That’s my married name. Why were you looking at my credit card?”
“I wasn’t looking. I glanced at it when you put it down on the bar.” He stood up from the desk. “I should get ready for school.”
“Was it something I said?” She was trying to make a joke out of it, because of course it was something she’d said. “Look everybody hates lawyers until they need one.”
“I grew up in Pikeville.”
“You’re saying that like it’s an explanation.”
He opened and closed the desk drawers. “Homeroom’s about to start. I need to do my first-period prep.”
Charlie crossed her arms. This wasn’t the first time she’d had this conversation with longtime Pikeville residents. “There’s two reasons for you to be acting like you’re acting.”
He ignored her, opening and closing another drawer.
She counted out the possibilities on her fingers. “Either you hate my father, which is okay, because a lot of people hate him, or—” She held up her finger for the more likely excuse, the one that had put a target on Charlie’s back twenty-eight years ago when she’d returned to school, the one that still got her nasty looks in town from the people who supported the extended, inbred Culpepper clan. “You think I’m a spoiled little bitch who helped frame Zachariah Culpepper and his innocent baby brother so my dad could get his hands on some pissant life insurance policy and their shitty little trailer. Which he never did, by the way. He could’ve sued them for the twenty grand they owed in legal bills, but he didn’t. Not to mention I could pick those fuckers out of a lineup with my eyes closed.”
He was shaking his head before she even finished. “None of those things.”
“Really?” She had pegged him for a Culpepper truther when he’d told her that he’d grown up in Pikeville.
On the other hand, Charlie could see a career-Marine hating Rusty’s kind of lawyering right up until that Marine got caught with a little too much Oxy or a lot too much hooker. As her father always said, a Democrat is a Republican who’s been through the criminal justice system.
She told Huck, “Look, I love my dad, but I don’t practice the same kind of law that he does. Half my caseload is in juvenile court, the other half is in drug court. I work with stupid people who do stupid things, who need a lawyer to keep the prosecutor from overcharging them.” She held out her hands in a shrug. “I just level the playing field.”
Huck glared at her. His initial anger had escalated to furious in the blink of an eye. “I want you to leave my room. Right now.” His hard tone made Charlie take a step back. For the first time, it occurred to her that no one knew she was at the school and that Mr. Huckleberry could probably break her neck with one hand.
“Fine.” She snatched her phone off his desk and started toward the door. Even as Charlie was telling herself she should shut up and go, she swung back around. “What did my father ever do to you?”
Huck didn’t answer. He was sitting at his desk, head bent over a stack of papers, red ink pen in hand.
Charlie waited.
He tapped the pen on his desk, a drumbeat of a dismissal.
She was about to tell him where to stick the pen when she heard a loud crack echo down the hallway.
Three more cracks followed in quick succession.
Not a car backfiring.
Not fireworks.
A person who has been up close when a gun is fired into another human being never mistakes the sound of a gunshot for something else.
Charlie was yanked down to the floor. Huck threw her behind a filing cabinet, shielding her body with his own.
He said something—she saw his mouth move—but the only sound she could hear was the gunshots echoing inside her head. Four shots, each a distinctive, terrifying echo to the past. Just like before, her mouth went dry. Just like before, her heart stopped beating. Her throat closed. Her vision tunneled. Everything looked small, narrowed to a single, tiny point.
Excerpt from The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter. Copyright © 2017 by Karin Slaughter. Reproduced with permission from HarperCollins. All rights reserved.
Karin Slaughter

Author Bio:

Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 36 languages, with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her sixteen novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and the instant New York Times bestselling novel Pretty Girls. A native of Georgia, Karin currently lives in Atlanta. Her Will Trent series, Grant County series, and standalone novel Cop Town are all in development for film and television.

Catch Up With Our Author On: Website πŸ”—, Goodreads πŸ”—, Twitter πŸ”—, & Facebook πŸ”—!

Tour Participants:

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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Karin Slaughter and William Morrow. There will be five (5) winners of one (1) print edition of The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter! This giveaway is open to US residents only. The giveaway begins on August 1 and runs through September 3, 2017.
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Friday, August 18, 2017

BOOK TOUR AND GIVEAWAY: All Signs Point To Murder (Zodiac Mystery #2) by Connie di Marco

All Signs Point to Murder by Connie di Marco

All Signs Point to Murder

by Connie di Marco

on Tour July 23 - August 23, 2017

Synopsis:

All Signs Point to Murder by Connie di Marco
Rob Ramer was the perfect husband until he committed the ultimate family faux pas — he shot his sister-in-law to death. Believing himself under attack by an intruder in his home, he fired back. But when evidence is discovered that Rob’s wife, Brooke, was plotting his murder, Brooke is charged with conspiracy in her sister’s death. Geneva, a third sister, is desperate for answers and seeks the help of her friend, San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti. Geneva’s lost one sister and now it seems she’ll lose the other. Was this a murder plot or just a terrible accident? Julia vows to find the answer in the stars.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, Paranormal
Published by: Midnight Ink
Publication Date: August 2017
Number of Pages:336
ISBN: 0738751073 (ISBN13: 9780738751078)
Series: A Zodiac Mystery, 2 | Each is a Stand Alone Mystery
Purchase Links: Amazon πŸ”— | Barnes & Noble πŸ”— | IndieBound πŸ”— | Goodreads πŸ”—

Review: This is the second book in the series, although each one is easily read as a stand alone story. While I enjoy the overall story and the characters, I often find the astrological chart information too difficult to follow/understand.

In this story, we find that many of the characters are hiding secrets, but I had no idea which one was the murderer until deep in the plot. There were many clues, but it wasn't until we had all of them that the killer's identity was clear.  

Julia and her friends are becoming more developed characters as the series continues, giving us more insight into their lives and relationships. Some people are still pressing Julia to begin dating again, and there is a hint or two that she might do so in the future. For now, though, I'm enjoying her as an independent single woman. 

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher with no expectation of a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

Rating: Four stars

Read an excerpt:

The building on Guerrero was a once proud Victorian with bow front windows. It had since been broken up into six small units and fallen into disrepair. I drove around the block several times before I managed to find a parking spot a few doors down. The shops on the main street were long closed and the streets deserted. I shivered and let the car heater run another minute to warm up before I left the comfort of my little metal box. There was something about this chore that made my stomach go into knots. Rummaging through a dead woman’s possessions was bad enough, but what if I found something that implicated Moira in a crime? Should I remove it and risk the police finding out?
I climbed out of the car, careful to lock it and approached the long stairway leading to the front door. The wind had died down and now fog danced around the streetlights. It was eerily quiet. No lights shone from any of the windows. I hoped all the residents were safely tucked up in their beds by now. I climbed the cracked granite stairs to the entrance. The weathered door stood ajar, listing slightly on its hinges. I grasped the handle and twisted it, but the lock mechanism was out of commission. Inside, a bare overhead light bulb hung from a chain. It cast a meager glow down the long corridor, cannibalized from a once grand entryway. The hallway smelled of dirty cat litter, moldy vegetables and cigarette smoke. I followed the corridor to the end, and stopped at the last door on the right.
I slipped the key into the lock. It offered no resistance. The door opened immediately. Had it not been locked? I caught a slight scuffling sound and cringed. I hoped no furry long-tailed creatures were waiting inside for me. I reached around the doorway and felt along the wall. My fingers hit the switch. A rusting chandelier with two bulbs missing illuminated the one large room that was both Moira’s living room and bedroom. I tested the key with the door open, locking and then unlocking it. Now I felt the resistance. The door had definitely been unlocked. I stepped inside and shut it behind me, making sure the lock was secure. Was it possible someone had been here before me and left without locking the door? Or had Moira simply been careless?
I had to make sure I was alone in the apartment. There were no hiding places in this sparsely furnished room. I checked under the bed just to be sure and opened the closet, terrified that someone or something might jump out at me. The closet was narrow, filled with a jumble of clothing, half on the floor. I walked into the kitchenette and spotted a doorway that led to the back stairs and the yard. I tested the handle on the door. Locked. I checked the space between the refrigerator and the wall, and then the shower stall in the bathroom. I was alone. I had been holding my breath and finally let it out in a great sigh.
I started with the drawers in the kitchen and checked the counter, looking for any notes with names or phone numbers. There was nothing. The kitchen was surprisingly clean, as if Moira had never used the room. Inside the refrigerator were a few condiments, a half-eaten unwrapped apple and a loaf of whole wheat bread. I quickly rummaged through the drawers and the freezer to make sure there were no bundles of cash disguised as frozen meat.
The main room housed a collection of hand-me-downs and broken furniture, ripped curtains and piles of clothing in various spots around the floor. Had she really lived like this? I heaved up the mattress, first on one side and then the other, making sure nothing was hidden between it and the box spring. Under the bed, I spotted only dust bunnies. I pulled open each of the bureau drawers, checked their contents and pulled them all the way out to make sure nothing was behind them. I opened a small drawer in the bedside stand. Amid a loose pile of clutter was a dark blue velvet box embossed with the letter “R” in cursive gold script. Could this be from Rochecault? I was fairly certain it was. Rochecault is an infamously expensive jeweler on Maiden Lane downtown. How could Moira have shopped there? Was this what Geneva had meant when she said her sister seemed to have a lot of money to spend?
I opened the box and gasped. An amazing bracelet heavy with blue stones in varying colors rested inside. The setting had the slightly matte industrial sheen of platinum. Moira couldn’t possibly have afforded this. Shoving the box into a side pocket of my purse, I decided I was definitely not leaving this for the police to find, and slid the drawer shut.
I scanned the room. Moira hadn’t been much of a housekeeper and it didn’t appear as if there were many hiding spots. I headed for the desk, a rickety affair with two drawers and a monitor on top. I clicked on the hard drive and waited a moment. The monitor came to life and asked for a password. It would take someone much more talented than I to unearth its secrets. Under a jumble of papers and unopened bills, my eye caught a small black notebook. This looked promising. Perhaps it was an address book that would give us all of Moira’s contacts. I dropped my purse on the floor and reached for the book. A searing pain shot through my skull. Blinded, I fell to the floor.
***
Excerpt from All Signs Point to Murder by Connie di Marco. Copyright © 2017 by Connie di Marco. Reproduced with permission from Connie di Marco. All rights reserved.
Connie di Marco

Author Bio:

Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries from Midnight Ink, featuring San Francisco astrologer, Julia Bonatti. The first in the series, The Madness of Mercury, was released in June 2016 and the second, All Signs Point to Murder, available for pre-order now, will be released on August 8, 2017.
Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the national bestselling author of the Soup Lover’s Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime. Some of her favorite recipes can be found in The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. Connie is a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Catch Up With Connie di Marco On: Website πŸ”—, Goodreads πŸ”—, Twitter πŸ”—, & Facebook πŸ”—!

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Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Connie di Marco. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card AND 2 winners of one (1) eBook copy of All Signs Point to Murder. The giveaway begins on July 21 and runs through August 24, 2017.
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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

BOOK TOUR AND GIVEAWAY: Dark Harvest (Holt Foundation #2) by Chris Patchell

Dark Harvest by Chris Patchell Tour Banner

Dark Harvest

by Chris Patchell

on Tour August 1-31, 2017

Synopsis:

Dark Harvest by Chris Patchell
Becky Kincaid ventures out in the middle of a snowstorm to buy a car seat for her unborn baby and never makes it home. When a second pregnant woman disappears, Marissa Rooney and the team at the Holt Foundation fear a sinister motive lurks behind the crimes.
Lead investigator, Seth Crawford, desperately searches for the thread that binds the two cases together, knowing that if he fails, another woman will soon be gone. While Seth hunts for clues, a madman has Marissa in his sights and she carries a secret that could tear her whole world apart.
Can Seth stop the killer before he reaps his dark harvest.





Book Details:


Genre: Suspense

Published by: Kindle Press
Publication Date: May 30th 2017
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 1546428445
Series: A Holt Foundation Story, Book 2
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Kindle Unlimited  | Goodreads 

Review: This book picks up shortly after IN THE DARK ends, but can easily be read as a stand alone--although I would strongly suggest reading both. 

When a pregnant girl disappears, The Holt Foundation begins an investigation. When a second pregnant girl is taken, they suspect a black market adoption ring. What they eventually discover is even darker and more upsetting.

The main characters, Seth and Marissa, are still dealing with the repercussions of her daughter Brooke's kidnapping (the topic of book #1), as well as other issues in their relationship, while at the same time having to work together to try to find the missing girls and prevent others from being taken. 

There is a lot going on throughout the book, and the suspense will keep you on the edge of your seat, anxious to know what will happen next.

Considering what we learn in this book, will be interested to see what happens in the next one!

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher with no expectation of a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

Rating: Four stars

Read an excerpt:

Chapter 1
A sharp pain jabbed Rebecca Kincaid’s side, and she sucked in a breath. Her hand fell to the hard swell of her belly, rubbing gently. Round ligament pain, she figured, just one of the many joys of being pregnant.
“Chillax, kiddo,” she said to the baby dancing inside her as the pain subsided.
Smiling to herself, she glanced around to see if anyone else was close enough to hear. Some people called you crazy for talking to yourself in public. She caught the eye of a redhead standing beside a stack of Diaper Genies. Dressed in blue jeans and a red flannel coat, the woman smiled. She looked to be in her mid-twenties, older than Becky, but not as old as some of the women in her prenatal classes. The woman’s gaze strayed to the strained buttons around Becky’s baby bump.
“When are you due?”
“Two more weeks and counting.” She grimaced. Being this big, nothing was comfortable. Her back ached, her hips hurt, and even sleeping was hard.
The woman smiled sympathetically. “I know, right? I felt the same way when I was pregnant, like I was Sigourney Weaver in that Alien movie with a little monster just dying to get out.”
“I know what you mean,” Becky said, breaking eye contact.
Truthfully, she hated that movie. Violent and gory. Comparing a baby to a bloodthirsty alien tearing its way out of its mother’s womb, well, that was kind of sick. She was much more of a romantic-comedy kind of girl.
“I have a toddler at home,” the woman said. “Seems like just yesterday I was in maternity clothes, though.”
Becky faked a laugh and turned down an aisle, away from the stranger.
She parked the cart and ran her hand over the Chicco car seat sitting center shelf. She didn’t need her mother to tell her it cost too much. Most of her baby stuff she’d picked up at the Salvation Army store or had gotten handed down from the women at work, but Becky knew that car seats were one of those things you had to buy new. On her waitressing salary, the best she could afford was the cheapest one on the rack. And even that was pricey.
The doctor said that most first babies came late, but in the last day or two, she’d had a few contractions. Fake contractions, the nurse said. Whatever they were, they freaked her out. She knew she wouldn’t be able to bring the baby home from the hospital without a car seat, so here she was, shopping in the middle of a freak snowstorm. If her mother knew that she was out on a night like tonight, she’d have a fit.
Becky fingered her necklace, grabbed the white-gold heart, and ran it along the chain as she searched the shelves for something more affordable. Of course, the one she wanted was up on the top shelf, well out of reach. She scanned the area looking for a box stowed a bit lower. There were none.
Becky sighed and glanced down the aisle. Didn’t anyone work in this store?
Where was Nathan when she needed him? All six foot three of him could have reached up and grabbed the box off the shelf with no problem at all, but at five foot two, almost as wide as she was tall these days, it was hopeless. Frowning, she stepped on the bottom shelf and stretched high, wiggling her fingertips in a desperate bid to tip the box toward her. The metal shelf groaned under her weight. It shifted suddenly, and Becky’s stomach lurched. Thrown off balance, she careened backward, hands flailing wildly as she grasped for something—anything to stop her fall. Nothing but air.
Oh God. The baby.
Strong hands gripped her coat, catching her inches from the floor. Heart racing, Becky closed her eyes and regained her footing. Her hands flew to her belly. The baby kicked her hard, as if chastising her for being so careless.
“Careful, honey. You don’t want to fall in your condition,” a woman said. It was the redhead again. “Let me get that.”
Becky bit her lip and stared at the damned box. Why didn’t they put the boxes lower where pregnant moms could reach? It was probably some stupid marketing trick to get you to buy the most expensive ones. They were at eye level.
“Maybe we should find a clerk,” Becky said. “I’m not sure you should be climbing up there either.”
“If we wait for someone else to come along, we’ll both die of old age. Besides, we gals have got to help each other out.”
The redhead winked. Stepping onto the warped bottom shelf, she reached high overhead and slid the baby seat from its perch. Climbing back down, she turned and dropped the box safely into Becky’s cart.
“There,” she said, clapping the dust from her hands with a satisfied smile.
“Thanks,” Becky said. “If my boyfriend were here . . .” She trailed off, irritation rippling through her. Why was it that she was the only one responsible for all of this baby stuff? She hadn’t gotten pregnant by herself.
The redhead’s eyes narrowed.
“Where is the baby daddy? Shouldn’t he be helping you with this?”
“He’s out with his friends. He’ll be home soon, though.”
Becky blushed and turned away. Why was she lying to a perfect stranger? Nathan wouldn’t be home soon. In fact, she didn’t know when she would see him again. For her, home was a dreary little basement apartment that she could barely afford, while he lived in a sprawling frat house minutes away from the University of Washington campus. She had only been there once. The night she had gotten pregnant.
The last three dozen texts she sent him went unanswered. He ignored her baby updates. She’d even sent him images from the ultrasound.
But he’d never responded. He didn’t answer her calls. She might as well not exist. Pregnant and alone, she was an eighteen-year-old walking clichΓ©. And what was worse, her mother had been totally right about Nathan, not that Becky had any intention of admitting it.
Becky’s shoulders slumped. A painful lump formed in her throat, and she rubbed her belly.
“Men are pigs, honey,” the redhead said, patting Becky’s shoulder. “The sooner you learn that lesson, the easier your life is going to be.”
Even though Nathan was ignoring her, Becky still held a sliver of hope deep in her heart that once the baby was born, he’d come around. Once he held his son, looked down into his beautiful face, everything would change.
Becky sniffed and dabbed her nose on her sleeve. She could hope.
“Do you have someone who can help you carry the baby seat to your car? It’s slippery out there. You almost fell once today; you don’t want to risk that baby again.”
The woman reached out and patted her baby bump. Becky recoiled, startled by the presumption of the stranger’s touch.
“Sorry,” the woman said, curling her fingers into a fist. “Force of habit.”
Becky grasped the handle of the shopping cart and steered it down the narrow aisle.
“Thanks for your help but I can manage,” she called over her shoulder. In her haste to escape the awkward situation, the front wheels slammed into a shelf. The cart shuddered, and Becky’s belly ran up against the handle. She gasped, pain shooting through her.
“You okay?”
The bright flash of pain subsided. Cheeks burning, Becky waved her hand and kept going, wanting to distance herself from the woman. She’d already embarrassed herself enough for one night. Besides, it was late, and her back was killing her. All she wanted to do was go home and stretch out on the couch, maybe catch an episode of The New Girl before she fell asleep.
Waiting at the register, she looked at all the baby things crammed on the shelves. They were so sweet. Stuffed bunnies with long, floppy ears; burp cloths; and pacifiers.
Her belly tensed. The baby kicked like he knew he was going to be born into a life of hand-me-downs. A fake contraction rippled through her, and she released a short breath. At least she thought it was fake. She wasn’t ready for the real kind yet.
Unable to stop herself, Becky picked a stuffed bunny off the shelf. Raising it to her face, she ran its baby-soft fur across the bridge of her nose. It smelled powdery fresh and reminded her of her favorite stuffed animal from when she was a kid. A potbellied bear with a matted brown coat and a large blue nose. She’d loved that bear. Took it with her on every trip. Slept with it every night for far longer than she cared to admit. Her mom had restuffed that bear at least three times that she could recall.
She felt a pang thinking about her mom. They hadn’t spoken for five months now, ever since that terrible fight they’d had about Nathan. And the abortion her mother thought Becky should have.
She couldn’t kill her baby.
“Ma’am?” the clerk called to her. She looked up. The couple in front of her was gone, and the line had cleared. She was next.
“The bunny?” The clerk held out her hand for the stuffed animal. Becky shook her head and forced a smile. The bunny was a luxury she couldn’t afford. Squeezing the downy soft tummy one last time, she set the stuffed animal back on the shelf.
“Just the car seat,” she said, digging for her wallet. Paying cash for her purchase, she left the store.
Thick flakes of snow shone under the streetlights and swirled around her in the frigid wind. A blanket of white covered the icy parking lot.
Becky pressed the trunk button on the remote. Some asshole had parked his black van right next to her. With the whole empty parking lot to choose from, why would he park so close?
Shit luck, she supposed, the only kind she seemed to have these days.
The wheels on Becky’s cart rattled on the chunky snow and ice. She slipped. Catching herself, she kept going. On a grim night like this, most smart people stayed home.
Snowflakes caught in her eyelashes, and others brushed her cheeks like icy angel kisses. Becky stowed the car seat in the trunk. The nearest cart caddy was a football field away. Okay. She probably shouldn’t abandon the cart, but screw it. She was tired, pregnant, and it was damned cold out here. No one would blame her. She launched her cart through the empty parking lot. It ground to a halt the next row over.
Shivering as the damp night air wrapped around her and the snowflakes melted in her hair, Becky rounded the side of the car and glared at the van. He’d left her eighteen inches of space. How the hell was she supposed to open her door wide enough to crawl into the driver’s seat? It would have been difficult even if she had been her normal size, but in her current condition, it was impossible.
But what choice did she have? Wait out here until the asshole showed up and moved his ratty van? With the way her luck was going, it probably belonged to some kid who worked in the store and wouldn’t be off for hours yet. She could try the passenger’s side, but crawling over the gearshift and the console between the seats in her condition . . .
Becky sighed. Feeling dumb and desperate, she dialed Nathan’s number. His picture flashed on her phone. He had a handsome face with blue eyes and a smattering of light-brown freckles. She waited. One ring. Two. Five. The call went through to voicemail the way it always did. Becky’s stomach heaved, and she pocketed the phone.
Glancing up, she eyed the van and set her jaw.
She could do this.
Easing her way between the two vehicles, her swollen belly smearing the dirty side of the van, she waddled toward the driver’s door. The side mirrors of the vehicles almost touched.
Behind her, she heard the crunch of shoes on snow. Becky’s breath caught.
She spun, her belly scraping the passenger’s door as she looked behind her.
The redhead from the store smiled.
“God, you scared me.” Becky slapped a hand over her racing heart as adrenaline shot through her system at warp speed. The baby must have felt it too. He twisted and squirmed inside her.
“Sorry. I would have called out, but I didn’t know your name.”
“Becky,” she said, still gripping the keys tight in her hand. She drew in a couple of cleansing breaths.
“I think you dropped this.”
The woman held something out in front of her. It was the stuffed animal from the store—the snow-white bunny with floppy ears. Becky frowned and shook her head.
“It’s not mine. I . . .”
She was so focused on the rabbit that she didn’t hear the grinding sound of the van’s door open until it was too late. Large gloved hands clamped onto her shoulders and heaved her inside. She landed on her belly. A bright bolt of pain ripped through her. The air rushed from her lungs.
The front door slammed closed. The engine roared to life. Becky screamed. A stabbing pain, like the sharp pinch of broken glass, burned at the base of her neck. She tried to push the man away, but he pinned her hands.
“Let’s go,” he said.
The van rumbled out of the parking lot. A right turn, then a left.
Becky screamed again. Her vision narrowed, a black tunnel growing wide around the edges. Her eyelids drooped, heavy as lead, until they fluttered closed.
***
Excerpt from Dark Harvest by Chris Patchell. Copyright © 2017 by Chris Patchell. Reproduced with permission from Chris Patchell. All rights reserved.

Chris Patchell

Author Bio:

Chris Patchell is the bestselling author of In the Dark and the Indie Reader Discovery Award winning novel Deadly Lies. Having recently left her long-time career in tech to pursue her passion for writing full-time, Chris pens gritty suspense novels set in the Pacific Northwest, where she lives with her family and two neurotic dogs.

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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Chris Patchell. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card! The giveaway begins on August 1 and runs through September 3, 2017.
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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Teaser Tuesday

3
Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. It is very easy to play along:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.

"There was something about this chore that made my stomach go into knots. Rummaging through a dead woman's possessions was bad enough, but what if I found something that implicated Moira in a crime?"
ALL SIGNS POINT TO MURDER, Conne di Marco