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Those Girls Excerpt

Today is the release of Chevy Steven’s new book Those Girls.

Those Girls

Those Girls

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Life has never been easy for the three Campbell sisters. Jess, Courtney, and Dani live on a remote ranch in Western Canada where they work hard and try to stay out of the way of their father’s fists. One night, a fight gets out of hand and the sisters are forced to go on the run, only to get caught in an even worse nightmare when their truck breaks down in a small town. Events spiral out of control and a chance encounter with the wrong people leaves them in a horrific and desperate situation. They are left with no choice but to change their names and create new lives.

Eighteen years later, they are still trying to forget what happened that summer when one of the sisters goes missing and they are pulled back into their past.

This time there’s nowhere left to run.

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Chevy Stevens

CHEVY STEVENS grew up on a ranch on Vancouver Island and still calls the island home. For most of her adult life she worked in sales, first as a rep for a giftware company and then as a Realtor. While holding an open house one afternoon, she had a terrifying idea that became the inspiration for Still Missing. Chevy eventually sold her house and left real estate so she could finish the book. Still Missing went on to become a New York Times bestseller and win the International Thriller Writers Award for Best First Novel. Chevy’s books have been optioned for movies and are published in more than thirty countries.

Excerpt

THOSE GIRLS

Chapter One

July 1997

            We’d only been on the road for an hour but we were almost out of gas. The white line of the highway blurred in front of my eyes, my lids drooping. It was three in the morning and we’d barely slept for days. Dani was driving, her face pale, her long dirty-blond hair pulled under a baseball cap and out the back in a makeshift ponytail, her eyes staring straight ahead. Her name was Danielle, but we just called her Dani. The oldest at almost eighteen, she was the only one who had her license. She’d barely said a word since we left Littlefield.

On my right, Courtney was also staring out the window. When her favorite country song, “Wide Open Spaces” by the Dixie Chicks, came on the radio, she turned it off, then stared back out into the dark night. She brushed at her cheeks and I could tell she was crying. I gave her hand a squeeze, she gripped it back. Her hair was down, one side pushed forward, trying to hide the burn that had left an angry red mark along her jaw line.

None of us had ever traveled this far from home before. We’d found a map at the hardware store—Dani had stolen it while we kept watch—and carefully planned our route to Vancouver. We figured we could make the drive in about eight hours if the truck held up. But we had to stop in Cash Creek first and borrow some money from one of Courtney’s old boyfriends.

It was the middle of July and so hot you couldn’t walk outside without feeling your skin cook. We were golden brown, freckles covering our faces and upper arms—a family trait. Forest fire warnings had been out for a month, a few towns had already been evacuated. Everything was dried out, the fields pale yellow, the weeds in the ditches covered in gray dust. We were in jeans shorts and T-shirts, our skin sweaty even this late at night, and the air smelled hot.

I touched the camera hanging around my neck. My mom had given it to me when I was ten, just before she died. Dani hated it when I took her photo, but Courtney loved it— used to love it. I didn’t know now. I glanced over at her again, then down at my chewed nails. Sometimes I imagined that I could still see the blood under them, as if it had soaked into my skin like it had our floors.

“We’re going to need gas soon,” Dani said suddenly, making me jump.

Courtney turned back from the window. “How much money do we have?”

“Not enough.” Before we left town we’d siphoned a little gas from a neighbor’s truck and gathered what food we could, picking fruit and vegetables from the farm’s fields, taking eggs from underneath the hens and storing them in our cooler. Our cupboards were empty by then—we’d been living on soup, Kraft dinners, rice, and the last few pounds of ground deer meet in the freezer from the buck Dad had shot that spring. We pooled our money—I had a few dollars from babysitting, and Dani had a little money left from when she helped during hay season, but she’d used a lot of it already that year, trying to keep us afloat.

“We could get some money for your camera,” she’d said.

“No way!”

“Courtney sold her guitar.”

“You know why she really sold it,” I said. Dani had gotten quiet then. I’d felt bad but I couldn’t do it, couldn’t give away my one good thing.
“What are we going to do?” I said now.

“We’re going to steal some gas,” Dani said, angry.

Dani always sounded pissed off, but I didn’t pay any attention to it unless she was really mad. Then I got the hell out of her way.

She had a right to be angry. We all did.

From Those Girls by Chevy Stevens, on sale July 7, 2015, from St. Martin’s Press, LLC. Copyright © 2015 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Press, LLC.

For more information on Those Girls or to purchase the book make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Chevy Steven’s website.

Scintillate

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Scintillate ( Scintillate Series – 1) by Karen Tjebben

4 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Kate Archer is instantly drawn to Nick, the new boy at school. He’s handsome, smart, and interested in her – perhaps a little too interested according to Kate’s brother. And it’s a good thing Nick is interested, or Kate would have died the night of the football game. Sure, Nick rescued Kate, but he can’t stop the inevitable. Kate is changing; she just doesn’t know it. She can’t explain the visions and sensations affecting her body, but she can enjoy the pleasure of Nick’s kiss – that is, until she learns the real reason he is with her. Betrayed by her genetics, Kate begins a metamorphosis that forces her to confront an unseen reality and claim her true destiny.

Kate is your typical high school girl. She has a super crush on her best friend’s brother. Then a new guy, Nick comes to school and she is instantly fascinated with him. But when she is around him strange things happen. She finds herself in different situations and Nick just seems to be around to save her causing her to just like him more. But Kate is not your ordinary girl and once she learns the truth, doesn’t really want to accept it or Nick.

I have to say that I have mixed feelings about this book. I like the concept of the story, I am interesting I seeing how this series is going to progress. Kate was interesting. There are some of her behaviors that are irritating and naïve, but I could understand that she has no real experience to draw from. Of course you have to have a love triangle. I’m sorry; I admit that I’m not really a fan of love triangles and insta-love.

It is a good story and will draw you in. I couldn’t wait to find out what was going on with Kate. But, you don’t find out until close to the end of the book. It was a bit disappointing that the book moved so slowly. You will also have a lot of questions that will not be answered with the first book.

Now, just because I seem to be complaining about the whole book, I’m not really doing so. This was a good story. I did want to know what was going to happen next and I did like the relationship between Nick and Kate. In the end I think I will be reading the next book in the series, mainly for more information about Kate and the Asteri.

For more information on Scintillate or to purchase the book make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Karen Tjebben Facebook page.

Reading Addiction

I received this book for free from Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Death of a Songbird

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Death of a Songbird (The Birdwatcher’s Mysteries – 2) by Christine Goff

4 stars

 

(Excerpt from Goodreads) In desperate need of respite, Lark Drummond accompanies her friend, Rachel Stanhope, on a birding expedition. But their relaxing afternoon takes an gruesome turn when Lark witnesses her business partner’s malevolent murder through her spotting scope. With the help of their birdwatching club, she sets out to figure out whodunit. However, as more information surfaces, it soon becomes apparent that this case is much more menacing than they originally bargained for.

 

Lark Drummond has a silent partner, Ester Mills that helps run the Colorado Drummond Hotel. But things are going to get sticky when Lark learns that she has bird watching convention going on, two maids out sick, and that Ester just cancelled her coffee order. To get a breath of fresh air, Lark goes out bird watching with Rachel Stanhope and sees Ester being murdered. It is now up to Lark to figure out who did it and why.

 

There is a lot going on in this story. The main part was about the coffee. It’s amazing how things can affect the environment and when I read about shade grown vs. full-sun grown coffee it made me thing about where I was getting my coffee from. Of course there are the bird references which just add to the story too.

 

This is a cute little mystery with bird watching as a main theme. I love all the information that you get from reading Death of a Songbird. It was just like A Rant of Ravens, just the extra little bits that make the story better.

 

If you like the quick, cozy mysteries make sure to check out the Birdwatcher’s Mystery series. They are great books with lots of extra information and a great location.

For more information on Death of a Songbird or to purchase the book make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Christine Goff’s website.

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

Flame Tree Road

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Flame Tree Road by Shona Patel

4 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) 1870s India. In a tiny village where society is ruled by a caste system and women are defined solely by marriage, young Biren Roy dreams of forging a new destiny. When his mother suffers the fate of widowhood—shunned by her loved ones and forced to live in solitary penance—Biren devotes his life to effecting change.

Biren’s passionate spirit blossoms as wildly as the blazing flame trees of his homeland. With a law degree, he goes to work for the government to pioneer academic equality for girls. But in a place governed by age-old conventions, progress comes at a price, and soon Biren becomes a stranger among his own countrymen.

Just when his vision for the future begins to look hopeless, he meets Maya, the independent-minded daughter of a local educator, and his soul is reignited. It is in her love that Biren finally finds his home, and in her heart that he finds the hope for a new world.

Biren Roy is a young boy that grows up in rural India in the late 1800’s. There he learns of how sons are prized and daughters are dreaded. He also sees what happens to his mother when she becomes a widow. She is basically forced away from her family and treated as though she is dead. When he goes to school, Biren starts learning about British beliefs and he starts realizing the inequity women have in Indian culture.

Biren then goes to Cambridge to further his education and become a lawyer to fight for women’s rights. He meets Estelle and sees how she fights the social norms but dressing in men’s clothing and attending classes disguised as a man. When Biren returns to India he learns that he is going to basically be a middle man between the Indian’s and British governments. This and his ideas of how women should be treated don’t win him any favors and he starts to lose hope of ever changing traditional beliefs.

I have to say that I liked this story. It’s so heartbreaking and angering to know that just because a woman becomes a widow she is basically nothing to her family. But sadly women usually are looked down on throughout the years. I love how this fired Biren to stand up and create a change. He doesn’t always have a easy path and does lose his drive, but he does keep fighting.

It was interesting learning about Indian custom and how much of a difference there was between Indiana and British governments. I liked Biren. You couldn’t help cheering him on and Estelle was such an inspiration. I have to say that the ending is sad and makes you wonder about what really happened.

This is a good book and I recommend it for anyone. You will learn more about Indian culture and will encourage Biren to keep going.

For more information on Flame Tree Road or to purchase the book make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Shona Patel’s website.

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

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Exile (Guy Erma – 3) by Sally Ann Melia

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Thank God!

13-year-old Teodor has found a way to escape from kidnap, how long before he is safely home?

13-year-old Guy Erma has run away from everything he has even known and no longer knows what the future holds.

They escaped through dark tunnels and back alleys but they also discovered a hidden terror that now threatens their entire planet.

Two boys as different as two boys might be. Their adventure has forged an unexpected friendship, but do they really trust each other?

Dare they share their darkest, deepest secrets?

During the fight at the end of Hunter, Guy realizes that his opponent is not wearing body armor. He also realizes that he is fighting the kidnapped prince Teodor. Make a split second decision, Guy helps Teodor escape. The boys have to stay on their toes to escape the dome elite who are under the control of Chart Segat, the one responsible for Teodor’s kidnapping.

But things are going from bad to worse. In the beginning of Kidnap we are learn about the Sas Darona plague and poison pills. One of the pills has disappeared. While the boys are running they unknowingly stumble upon its hiding spot. Now, Karl Valvanchi needs to find the boys and find the poison pill before it is detonated.

This is an action packed race against time. I love the interaction between Guy and Teodor. Although they come from different backgrounds they have common goals and could easily be friends. I really liked Karl. I would like to learn more about him since everyone seems to look down on him. But he seems to be the one true person that really wants to and can help out with finding Teodor and the poison pill.

The Guy Erma series is great, action packed books. It’s hard to put them down and I admit that it is almost disappointing when you get to the end. I would love to learn more about this world and some of the characters. I really hope that there will be more to come from Sally Ann Melia whether it is more on Guy Erma or other books.

For more information on Exile or other books in the Guy Erma series or to purchase Exile make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads and Sally Ann Melia’s website.

I received this book for free from iRead Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

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Blood Ties

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Blood Ties by Nicholas Guild

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Homicide detective Ellen Ridley of the SFPD is tracking a serial killer terrorizing young women in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ridley is sure she’s cornered her most likely suspect: Stephen Tregear, a hacker and code breaker who works for U.S. Naval Intelligence. But Tregear is not the killer… he’s the killer’s son.

Ridley and Tregear team up to look for Tregear’s father, Walter, in an elaborate game of murderous cat and mouse. As the body count rises, Ridley must race against the clock to stop Walter before he kills any more women–and Tregear must finally confront the father who has been trying to kill him for twenty years. Blood Ties is an elegant and frightening thriller from Nicholas Guild.

Ellen is on the case of a serial killers that inflicts pain on his victims then dumps their bodies. With the help of her partner Sam, they both learn as this killer keeps them on their feet with no evidence left behind. Ellen then things she has found the killer but when she confronts Stephen she learns that it is really his father, Walter.

Stephen goes on to tell her about his poor family life. But when he finds a body in his father’s car he finds some of his mother’s belongings and goes on the run. Several years later he is living with some people that basically raised him when he returns home to find them brutally murdered. Trying to hide from his father he goes into the Navy.

Ellen, Sam, and Stephen must work together to stop Walter. Things take a turn for the worse when they learn there is a lot more than Walter hunting Stephen down, he may have had help all along.

This is an amazing story. Although you learn shortly into the book that the killer is Stephen’s dad, that in no way stops the story, it makes it all the better. You can’t help but feel sorry for Stephen. He is wrapped up in guilt about leaving the woman’s body when he was 12 but you can understand why. And Walter, major creepy.

This book kept me on the edge of my seat. I didn’t want to put it down and I just couldn’t wait to see what happened next. This is a great thriller that needs to be in everyone’s collection. Make sure to get Blood Ties.

For more information on Blood Ties or to purchase the book make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Nicholas Guild’s website.

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

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Calves in the Mud Room by Jerome Brown

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Wade Summers wants nothing more than to go on his date tonight with high school hottie Glory Schoonover.

Unfortunately, a fierce February blizzard has blown in and a couple of first-time heifers are calving early. Way too early.

And Wade’s never delivered a calf all by himself before. (His grandfather was always there to show him the way).

Simmering under the teenage hormones and unexpected birthing is a conflicted son who finally confronts the abuse of his shady stepfather and a betrayal by his somewhat disengaged mother.

Kirkus Reviews called this coming-of-age story “An exciting, elegant debut.”

It’s rough around the edges, full of brute hardship, raw strength, and pure heart.

Wade doesn’t have the best home life. Both his mother and step-father are alcoholics and don’t want to have anything to do with Wade and his younger siblings. They live on a farm that his grandfather ran but since his passing it’s been up to Wade. This is another thing that his step-father doesn’t want to deal with.

Today is the day that Wade is supposed to take Glory Schoonover to the Valentine’s dance. Everything seems to be going his way until he has to resort to using his late grandfather’s pickup, cows are caving way early, and everything else seems to be going to hell. He wants to have the attitude that he is just going to go to the dance for him but he knows better and goes to work helping the cows. After that he tries to meet up with Glory but she has all ready gone to the dance. Although Wade rushes to get there things go from bad to worse.

I felt bad for Wade but I have to say that he is a great kid for all that he is going through you can still see how responsible he is. I grew up on a farm and I understand exactly what Wade goes through. I’ve also been in his shoes regarding a similar situation to Glory. Although things don’t work out it is true that they were not meant to and something better is on the way.

This is more of a short story on a teenager trying to figure out what to do in his life. But I really liked it and would like to read more about Wade.

This is a great story and I think you should add it to your list. It’s one worth reading and will make you want to read more from Jerome Brown.

For more information on Calves in the Mud Room or to purchase the book make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Jerome Brown’s website.

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

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