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Safe Keeping

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Safe Keeping by Barbara Taylor Sissel

4 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) My son is a murderer…. So begins this chilling and emotionally charged mystery from highly acclaimed author Barbara Taylor Sissel.

Emily Lebay had always thought of her family as ordinary. Sure, they’ve endured their share of problems, even a time of great trouble; what family hasn’t? But when a woman’s body turns up in the dense woods near their home, and Emily’s grown son Tucker is accused of murder, Emily is forced to confront the unfathomable, and everything she believed about her life is called into question.

This isn’t the first time Tucker has been targeted by the police; a year ago he was a person of interest when another woman was found dead in the same stretch of woods. Still, neither Emily nor her daughter, Lissa, can reconcile their Tucker with these brutal crimes. Terrified, convinced there’s been a tragic mistake, Emily and Lissa set out to learn the truth about Tucker, once and for all. And while his life hangs in the balance, what they discover proves far more shocking than their darkest fears.

The Lebay family is one huge dysfunction after another. Roy, the father, has severe PTSD from Vietnam. This leads to him having issues with Tucker, his son. Tucker has problems of his own. His former girlfriend, Miranda, was found murdered last year in woods by his parents house. He was a person of interest but never convicted of the murder. Now Jessica has turned up dead in the same area and since she was Miranda’s friend and an acquaintance of Tucker, he is the suspect in this murder.

Emily, Tucker’s mother, doesn’t believe that Tucker could have killed Jessica. Emily and her daughter Lissa decided to prove that Tucker is innocent even if Roy has washed his hands of Tucker. But there is a lot more to this story than they originally thought. There are many skeletons in this family’s closet and they are going to surprise you.

I was pleasantly surprised with this book. There was a lot more to it than I thought there was going to be. It’s amazing how the different characters try to struggle through life and coping with the different situations in it. It always amazes me how things can happen in the family dynamics and not everyone knows what is happening. How can Emily be so blind to what is happening with her children? And Roy, what the heck? I can understand some of his behavior but that doesn’t excuse the crap he did/does at all.

I was completely surprised by the ending but I think it did well wrapping up the book. This is one book that I think you will be pleasantly surprised by. It’s one that I recommend that you read.

I was given a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

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The Newfoundland Vampire (The Newfoundland Vampire – 1) by Charles O’Keefe

4 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Like every other geek alive, Newfoundland native Joseph O’Reily secretly wants to be a superhero. At thirteen he fantasized about being a vampire, and ten years later he’s still fantasizing – but mostly about a beautiful redheaded woman who has eyes only for him. The one thing different about Joseph’s adult fantasy is that, amazingly, it comes true one night when he goes to a local university pub. Cassandra Snow, literally the woman of his dreams, invites him to her place for an evening of personal pleasure. Of course he’s not going to say no. But when strange things start happening afterward, Joseph quickly learns that not all dreams should come true. Cassandra has plans for him – forever. And those plans don’t include daytime activities. An animal lover and recent vegetarian, Joseph wrestles with all the weird changes he’s experiencing after his encounter with Cassandra. Eternal youth and amazing power come at a price that is perhaps higher than he can afford. The constant hunger for blood and the secrets Cassandra harbors test his resolve and his mental and physical limits. And then there’s the fact that a two-hundred-year-old vampire is after his head – literally. Joseph’s night vision improves dramatically, giving him a glimpse of the darker side of the world and the terrible evil of vampires who walk among humans. As he tries to balance his regular life with the new reality of his vampire existence, he is determined to hold onto his personal convictions and what he values most – his humanity.

Joseph is a geeky young man that happens upon sexy Cassandra Snow, vampire. After a night of passion, Cassandra turns Joseph into a vampire without his consent to fight her psycho ex husband, John Snow. John comes around every couple years and kills off Cassandra’s lovers to get revenge on her.

Joseph, now a sexy vampire with a moral dilemma, can we say vegetarian, decides to make the best of a bad situation and starts training with Cassandra and being a superhero.

I loved Joseph. He is your typical geeky, dungeon and dragon’s guy that is super shy around women. I loved how he handled the transition to vampire, so much better than most stories. Cassandra on the other hand just irritated me. Although strong, she is a manipulative twit. I was really hoping Joseph would come to his senses and kill her to be done with her.

This is a great vampire story, a fresh take on the over worked idea. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series to see what happens to Joseph next.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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I have been asked to be part of this tour and I am so excited. This looks like a great story. I will have a review posted later.

Summary:

(From Goodreads) As a straight-A student with a budding romance and loyal best friend, M.T.’s life seems as apple-pie American as her blondish hair and pale skin. But M.T. hides two facts to the contrary: her full name of Monserrat Thalia and her status as an undocumented immigrant.

But it’s harder to hide now that M.T.’s a senior. Her school’s National Honor Society wants her to plan their trip abroad, her best friend won’t stop bugging her to get her driver’s license, and all everyone talks about is where they want to go to college. M.T. is pretty sure she can’t go to college, and with high school ending and her family life unraveling, she’s staring down a future that just seems empty. In the end, M.T. will need to trust herself and others to stake a claim in the life that she wants.

Author Maria E. Andreu draws from her personal experience as a (formerly) undocumented immigrant to explore an issue that affects over one million children in the U.S. But while the subject matter is timely, it is M.T.’s sharp, darkly funny voice and longing for a future that makes this story universally poignant.

Author:

Maria E. Andreu is the author of the novel The Secret Side of Empty, the story of a teen girl who is American in every way but one: on paper. She was brought to the U.S. as a baby and is now undocumented in the eyes of the law. The author draws on her own experiences as an undocumented teen to give a glimpse into the fear, frustration and, ultimately, the strength that comes from being “illegal” in your own home.

Now a citizen thanks to legislation in the 1980s, Maria resides in a New York City suburb with all her “two’s”: her two children, two dogs and two cats. She speaks on the subject of immigration and its effect on individuals, especially children. When not writing or speaking, you can find her babying her iris garden and reading post apocalyptic fiction.

For more information about Maria or The Secret Side of Empty make sure to check out Maria’s website.

To purchase the book on Amazon, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads.

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Cold City (Repairman Jack: The Early Years – 1)
By F Paul Wilson
4 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) The first of three Repairman Jack prequels, revealing the past of one of the most popular characters in contemporary dark fantasy: a self-styled “fix-it” man who is no stranger to the macabre or the supernatural, hired by victimized people who have no one else to turn to.

We join Jack a few months after his arrival in New York City. He doesn’t own a gun yet, though he’s already connected with Abe. Soon he’ll meet Julio and the Mikulski brothers. He runs afoul of some Dominicans, winds up at the East Side Marriott the night Meir Kahane is shot, gets on the bad side of some Arabs, starts a hot affair, and disrupts the smuggling of preteen sex slaves. And that’s just Book One.

This is the start to Repairman Jack. He is a 21 year old that has just moved to New York after dropping out of college. He lives off the grid and is just getting into the business. You can see how Jack is stumbling into his calling and just starting to use the black rages.

I have yet to start the Repairman Jack series although I do have the first book. It was recommended that I start with these first so I have a foundation for Jack. I fell in love with him. He’s tough, no nonsense, and takes care of business. I got sucked into the story and was up late trying to finish it. I can’t wait to see where Jack goes from here but I’m glad that I started with these books before getting into the Repairman Jack series. I can’t wait to get started on Dark City.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

War of Wings VBT

The battle for Paradise is about to begin…

In the beginning Heaven was perfect. All of the angels lived in complete harmony and bliss. Gabriel skated through existence on the many simple pleasures Heaven had to offer, Michael led the worker angels proudly, and Lucifer was the highest of the cherubim as well as the minister of music right under God. With one question everything changed. When God’s highest angel placed reason over faith to corrupt Heaven, a secret movement separated loved ones into two sides. After Lucifer discovered the power of the seven deadly sins and used them to empower angels, the two sides violently collided in the first war of all time, The War of Wings.

War of Wings, the new fiction novel, tells the story of the fall of one-third of the angels from Heaven and everything that led up to it through two love stories destined to collide. With Lucifer, the highest cherub angel beginning a revolution in Paradise, author Tanner McElroy presents a unique tale of the trials, tribulations, and journey of four angels of various ranks in the hierarchy of Heaven.

Gabriel and Michael formed the resistance for God but Arrayah, the mesmerizing virtue angel of humility, came into the picture with a secret that may unhinge everything. Can the love of one save the others or will holding on too long cause the demise of many?

Author

Tanner McElroy lives in Dallas, Texas where he is already working on the second novel in the series, “War of Wings: The Reign,” and finishing up a non-fiction debut “The Stitches,” about his experience with baseball and heartbreak. A former professional baseball player with the Texas Rangers, McElroy is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, Romance Writers of America and the Writers’ League of Texas.

My Review

The War of Wings by Tanner McElroy

5 stars

This is a story of how the angels become the fallen. Everything in Heaven is perfect. Nothing dies, when someone eats some fruit the tree automatically bears another fruit, and the area is perfect, except for Gabriel. He doesn’t like how everything is perfect and has an obsession for making things less perfect. He coasts through his existence. Skipping out of work he is assigned to, eating and fighting too much, and is generally lost. Michael is trying to get him to come around but Gabriel fights him as well. But when Michael has a vision of pending doom in Heaven and Gabriel is the savior of angels, Gabriel can’t find it in himself to want to be part of the vision.

Then there is Lucifer. He is an angel one step below God and believes that through his performances and actions God will place him on the same level. But when the rumor of the Son of God starts, Lucifer can’t handle that. In a fit of jealousy and rage, he starts questioning God and believes he has found the truth of Gods betrayal to the angels. He finds the newly created planet he calls Terra and gathers an army to battle angels in heaven for their freedom from God.

I absolutely loved this book. I got sucked in right away by Gabriel. I couldn’t help feeling for him. He feels lost and doesn’t really know his place in Heaven so he slacks off and would rather play than be useful. Then there is Michael, basically a big brother to Gabriel trying to get him to start growing up but not succeeding. Lucifer was an angel you couldn’t help feeling partially sorry for but in the end it was all his pride and jealousy.

Anyone will like this book. Although it is about the angels the book was not too preachy, which is a bit sticking point to me. There is beautiful imagery and a great story. This is one book that you don’t want to miss out on.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Get a copy of War of Wings on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads.

For more information, be sure to check out Tanner McElroy’s website.

The Stranger You Know

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The Stranger You Know (Forensic Instincts – 3) by Andrea Kane

4 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) It begins with a chilling phone call. And ends with another girl dead.

College-age girls with long red hair are being brutally murdered, posed like victims in a film noir. Each crime scene is eerily similar to the twisted fantasy of a serial offender now serving thirty years to life—a criminal brought to justice with the help of Casey Woods and her investigative team, Forensic Instincts.

Call. Kill. Repeat. But the similarities are more than one psychopath’s desire to outdo another. As more red-haired victims are added to the body count, it becomes clear that each one has been chosen because of a unique connection to Casey…

Now the Forensic Instincts team must uncover the identity of a serial killer before his ever-tightening circle of death closes in on Casey, the ultimate target. As the stalker methodically moves in on his prey, his actions make two things clear: He knows everything about Casey. And he won’t stop until she’s dead.

Casey and Forensic Instincts are called in to find the missing daughter of a dying man that disappeared a year prior. They learn the Glen Fisher, whom they just helped put in prison, is responsible for her death and the death of Casey’s friend from years prior. But then collage girls with red hear are starting to be killed in the same way Fisher killed, even though he is in prison. Fisher starts taunting Casey and it seems that he is targeting her for the next victim.

I liked the concept of the Forensic Instincts. They use unorthodox methods to solve cases and seem to have more freedom than standard FBI. I got sucked into this book and couldn’t wait to find out who was the killer. This book was fast paced with great action. This was my first book by Andrea Kane but it will not be my last.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

The Deliverance of Evil

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THE DELIVERANCE OF EVIL

On 11 July 1982, Elisa Sordi was beautiful. Commissario Michele Balistreri was fearless. Italy was victorious.

A killer was waiting…

On 9 July 2006, with Sordi’s case twenty-four years cold, and Balistreri haunted by guilt and regret, Italian victory returned.

And so did Sordi’s killer…

But this time Michele Balistreri would be ready. This time he would fear no evil.

This looks like a great book. This is one that has been added to my wish list. I can’t wait to get it. Links to purchase the book are below.

 

AUTHOR

Roberto Costantini was born in Tripoli in 1952. Formerly an engineer and business consultant, he is now a manager of the LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome, where he also teaches on the MBA program.

INTERVIEW

Italian author Roberto Costantini introduces mercurial Rome Commissario Michele Balistreri in his debut thriller, The Deliverance of Evil—the first of a trilogy.

Did your engineering background help you plot such a complex novel?

Planning is part of my mindset; it’s part of my life. My wife was very upset because the house was full of flow charts. But then the planning has to stop when you start writing. If the character doesn’t want to do what you planned, you need to rearrange the plan.

Judging by The Deliverance of Evil, there’s much more on your mind than whodunit.

Each book in the trilogy is a classic thriller because you have many suspects, you have the person who is investigating, and in the end, you also have the murderer. But the nontraditional part, the part that was more interesting for me, is the story that goes across the three books. That’s the story of a family, and through this the story of Southern Europe from the ’60s until now.

With his explosive temper and callousness toward women, Commissario Balistreri isn’t an easy guy to like.

Many writers build a central character that has some bad characteristics—he drinks too much, or he’s a womanizer, or he’s violent, or whatever—but in the end the author describes him so that people will like him. I purposely put some things in Balistreri’s character so that people will really dislike him. I think the truth does not necessarily come out of good people. The association that, in a thriller, it has to be a good guy who finds the truth has nothing to do with reality. I actually believe that most people who are very good personally would not be able to find a murderer. In order to be able to identify with somebody who kills, you yourself cannot be entirely that good. So I think it is important that, in the end of The Deliverance of Evil, the investigator is not so different from the murderer.

Why?

A little bit of violence is in everybody. I’m not talking about only criminals. In 99% of people, this violence remains there for their entire lives and nothing happens. In 1%, by mere chance, it explodes and things go beyond control. The real violence that we have to fear is not from serial killers—it’s the diffused, small violence that is inside each of us, because of the fact that we are not happy.

Were people you know surprised by the novel?

Absolutely, 100%. When they heard I was going to publish, at first they all thought it was going to be a management book.

Purchase Book:     Amazon US     Amazon UK     Book Depository

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