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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 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | IndieBound 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

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 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!

My Review

4 stars

Julia Bonatti’s friend, Geneva is going to get married. But Julia sees some unhappy astrological signs ahead. But she doesn’t want to rain on Geneva’s happiness. But things go to hell quickly when a murder happens at the reception. Julia decides that she is going to solve this mystery and learns that Geneva’s family has some dark secrets that she might not want to hear about. It also looks like the killer is willing to stop Julia in any way possible.

Julia sees darkness in the signs but she doesn’t want to ruin Geneva’s big day. And what could go wrong does the whole day of the wedding with a missing sister, a drunken wedding planner, and an intruder being shot. Sadly it’s Moira, Geneva’s sister that dies. Julia decides to look into this mess and quickly finds herself in trouble.

This is a great cozy mystery with a n astrological twist added in. I loved how the astrology played into the story. I didn’t really guess who killed Moira but I loved the why. The story flowed well and kept me entertained. I have not read the first book in the series but I think I will go back to catch up.

I received All Signs Point to Murder from Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours and Netgalley for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

Tour Participants:
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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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Without Fear or Favor

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Without Fear or Favor (Butch Karp – 29) by Robert K. Tanenbaum

In the twenty-ninth novel in the New York Times bestselling Karp-Ciampi series featuring the best fictional prosecuting attorney in literature (Mark Lane, #1 New York Times bestselling author), Butch Karp and his wife Marlene Ciampi must stop a radical organization of armed militants bent on the cold-blooded murder of uniformed on-duty police officers.

When a cop shoots down the son of a respected inner-city Baptist preacher, the community rises up in anger and demands to have the officer prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But there s something more than a call for justice at work here: a plot to bring down the city s police force through a conspiracy so vast and malicious only Butch Karp and his band of truth-seekers can untangle it.

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Author’s Bio

Robert K. Tanenbaum is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five legal thrillers and has an accomplished legal career of his own. Before his first book was published, Tanenbaum had already been the Bureau Chief of the Criminal Courts, had run the Homicide Bureau, and had been in charge of the training program for the legal staff for the New York County District Attorney’s Office. He also served as Deputy Chief Counsel to the Congressional Committee investigations into the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. In his professional career, Tanenbaum has never lost a felony case. His courtroom experiences bring his books to life, especially in his bestselling series featuring prosecutor Roger “Butch” Karp and his wife, Marlene Ciampi.

Tanenbaum was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He attended the University of California at Berkeley on a basketball scholarship, and remained at Cal, where he earned his law degree from the prestigious Boalt Hall School of Law. After graduating from Berkeley Law, Tanenbaum moved back to New York to work as an assistant district attorney under the legendary New York County DA Frank Hogan. Tanenbaum then served as Deputy Chief Counsel in charge of the Congressional investigations into the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.

The blockbuster novel Corruption of Blood (1994), is a fictionalized account of his experience in Washington, D.C.

Tanenbaum returned to the West Coast and began to serve in public office. He was elected to the Beverly Hills City Council in 1986 and twice served as the mayor of Beverly Hills. It was during this time that Tanenbaum began his career as a novelist, drawing from the many fascinating stories of his time as a New York ADA. His successful debut novel, No Lesser Plea (1987), introduces Butch Karp, an assistant district attorney who is battling for justice, and Marlene Ciampi, his associate and love interest. Tanenbaum’s subsequent twenty-two novels portrayed Karp and his crime fighting family and eclectic colleagues facing off against drug lords, corrupt politicians, international assassins, the mafia, and hard-core violent felons.

He has had published eight recent novels as part of the series, as well as two nonfiction titles: The Piano Teacher (1987), exploring his investigation and prosecution of a recidivist psychosexual killer, and Badge of the Assassin (1979), about his prosecution of cop killers, which was made into a movie starring James Woods as Tanenbaum.

Tanenbaum and his wife of forty-three years have three children. He currently resides in California where he has taught Advanced Criminal Procedure at the Boalt Hall School of Law and maintains a private law practice.

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My Review

5 stars

Police officer Tony Cippio takes community policing seriously. He plays basketball with the teens on his beat to show them that he is not the bad guy. He does care and wants to help. But he is gunned down. At the same time an unarmed black teenager is killed by a white police officer. These incidents look separate but attorney Butch Karp has discovered a link and now has to try and convince the jury that there is much more to these two cases than you first see.

In a story that could have been ripped out of today’s headlines, we follow along with several people. Those that want to start chaos by fanning the flames of racial tensions, those that stir the pot to increase their ratings, those that want to look like the hero, and then there is Butch Karp that wants justice.

This is my first Butch Karp story and I loved it. If you like police procedures and well written legal stories, look no further. I was quickly drawn into this story and held tight by the writing. I loved how you see all areas of this world. It is not just racist police officers or those that target police just because that is their job.

This is a great story and a great introduction to the Butch Karp series. I can’t wait to go back and read the story from the start.

I received Without Fear or Favor from FSB Associates for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

Holy

Horror /contemporary dark fantasy
Date Published: April 15, 2017
Publisher: Darkwater Syndicate, Inc.
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Gus Stevens has the worst of both worlds. By night, he resides in the Dream World, a place steeped in magic and exotic dangers. By day, a giant snow-lizard stalks him in the Real World, looking to make Gus its next meal. In order to regain control of his life, young Gus must undergo a psychoanalytic exorcism. But this comes with a high price—he must break away from everything he has ever thought was real. Author Abbie Krupnick blends the magical and the mundane in this avant-garde dark fantasy where nothing is as it seems.
Excerpt
The high-pitched scream of a predatory bird echoed from the direction of the Valley. The eagle was approaching at break-neck speed, a maroon streak under the stars. Then it braked and circled lazily overhead a few times before alighting opposite Gus, talons gripping the edge. Gus heard the volcano groan, its anger filling him. The mountain shuddered, its sides growing warm. He slipped out of his cocoon of heat, felt naked without it in front of the bird.
“Hello,” the Magician said, examining him with green eyes. “Why don’t you come down and we’ll talk about things in the grove.”
Gus wondered how much he had overheard.
The mountain was heating up by the second. In a few minutes the smooth stone would scald his feet. A pale orange glow flashed briefly at the bottom of the vent, then colored to yellows and reds too fast, too soon.
“Whenever you’re ready,” Language whispered.
“Don’t listen to him, Gus,” the Magician said. So the Magician could hear, too. What an unsurprising comfort that was.
“Boy, in a few moments, I’m going to flood the whole World with molten rock. Make your choice quickly, because this is the only chance you’ll get.”
“Gus Stevens, you get down from the volcano this instant!” the Magician ordered sternly. Gus couldn’t help snickering at that.
“What are you going to choose, a lifetime of pain here, pretending you’re happy when you can’t even talk about your sham of happiness?”
“I’ll give you a nice, relaxed ride down to the grove. Your Mothers will make your favorite foods. I’ll even make Spear Mother take off her helmet for you.” The last offer disgusted him.
“Gus, he’s a monster.”
“This renegade spirit is crazy.”
“He’s whoring out Spear Mother.”
“I would do no such thing. I’m simply explaining to my son—”
“Boy, friend, vessel, host, house, my stronghold, listen to me: Which do you want? The misery this poor excuse for a Person offers you or freedom?”
I don’t know! I don’t know! I don’t know! I don’t know!
“Easy, Gus, easy,” the Magician murmured. Gus shot him a poisonous look, took several deep breaths while staring at the rising column of magma. A despairing question anchored him.
I’m going to suffer whether or not I’m free, right? he asked the rock illuminated like a burning mineshaft. The magma rose higher. The Dream World will go under and I’ll be the same?
The magma’s rise halted as Language stopped to think.
“Well,” it replied. “You’ll have me.”
What difference will that make?
“Do you promise not to be angry if I tell you?”
Sure.
“The truth is, I don’t know,” it said, and the magma resumed its journey upwards. It had to be less than seventy feet away. Sixty-five. Sixty. It stopped again. “I don’t know what the Waking World is like except through what I’ve overheard you say.”
So how do you know you’re important there? You don’t even know if it exists.
“I don’t. But I trust Mathis. You do, too, don’t you?”
Dumbstruck, Gus replied, I guess.
“And he told you the mountain would explain everything?”
Yes. He didn’t tell me that the mountain was possessed by a crazy spirit calling itself Language incarnate.
“Exactly, Gus! Well done!” the Magician wheedled, “Don’t trust it. Trust ME. I’ll give you all the knowledge you’ve ever wanted from me if you return to the grove.”
The magma hadn’t started to rise again but its heat was baking his face.
Please, Language begged, now inside his head. Please.
You don’t care what happens to me. So what if I kill myself, right? You lose your chains. I’m still screwed.
I’ll be trapped in your soul again, but YOU will be free to use me. Which is how it should be.
Then you’re exchanging one prison for another.
If you were in my place, you’d be right, but the rules are different for me. Please, Gus. Let me go.
He had nothing to say to it.
Please, Gus. Please. PLEASE.
It was hysterical, its voice rising higher and higher with the magma. His ears were ringing again.
PLEASE. PLEASE. Let me go. Let me go. Let me go. LET ME GO.
Its hysteria was getting to him. He couldn’t stop his own tears from leaking.
Please, Gus. Please let me out. LET ME OUT! LET ME OUT! LET ME OUT!
It was screaming bloody murder. He covered his ears as though this would muffle the sound inside his head. He was ready to smash the sound out of his skull on the vent but Language stopped him with a whimpering, Please.
“Please please please please please!” the Magician mocked, voice muffled. He kept chanting “please please please” as he cleaned his feathers. Gus tuned him out, waited until the bird had finished so he could see the hate on Gus’s face. Long-hidden vows to repay the suffering his mentor had caused him boiled to the surface. He chewed them all into a simple order to Language.
Now.
About the Author

Abbie Krupnick lives in Summit, New Jersey. When she’s not writing, she trains Brazilian jiu-jitsu and makes explosive quantities of visual art.
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A Gleam of Light

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A Gleam of Light (The Survival Trilogy – 1) by TJ Wolf and ML Wolf

In 1995, at the age of eight, Una Waters survived a terrifying encounter at 30,000 feet aboard Flight 564 from Dallas to Las Vegas. It changed her forever. After 21 years, and a decade away from the Hopi Reservation where she grew up as a child, a surprise plea for help brings Una back, to solve a mystery that threatens their traditional way of life. The U.S. Army’s sudden interest regarding a cave discovery in the Sacred Peaks has triggered alarm, leading to violence. With the help of friends, new and old, Una must confront her painful past, seek proof to qualify the ancient site for protection under law, and stand up to a stiff-necked general, whose agenda is more concerned with retrieving a mysterious power source.

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T.J. Wolf 

Author’s Bios

T.J. & M.L. Wolf joined forces in the field of Healthcare, exploring mutual interest in the work of UFO researchers like Budd Hopkins and movie directors like Steven Spielberg. The History Channel’s “Ancient Aliens” became a focal point of their quest to uncover the truth regarding humanity’s purpose and how it pertains to our future. Married twenty years, they write Speculative Fiction and live in Boardman, Ohio with their six-pound Yorkie, who keeps the family in line.

Website

My Review

4 Stars

When Una Waters was nine years old, she had a strange experience. She spends the rest of her childhood impatiently waiting to get off the reservation, which she does when she turns eighteen. Now Una works for the Department of the Interior and is called back when the military starts performing operations on a mountain sacred to the Hopi. Of course Una is ready to fight for her people and ends up on an adventure beyond this world.

This story combines history about Native Americans, the possibility of UFO’s and aliens, and a government conspiracy. Una has an interesting experience that shakes her at an early age and she watched the US government cover everything up. Now she works for the government and now has the knowledge to fight back when she learns of them trying to take over a sacred cave. From there we go on a race against time, following clues, and finding out the truth.

Whenever you talk about aliens the Hopi will eventually work into the conversation because of the pictograms that resemble people in space suits or aliens. The Hopi mythology leads a lot to interpret to many people that believe in aliens. Just watch an episode of Ancient Aliens and you will understand what I mean.

This part of the book I had no problem with. Unfortunately it was the execution of the story that cause me trouble. The narration was rough and jumped all around. It is the first book in the series and I know you have to work out the bugs but I think they could have reviewed it just one more time before releasing it. Having said that, A Gleam of Light is a good story and leaves thing open for the next book. I would be interested in reading the second book.

I received A Gleam of Light from the author’s for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Preceded by Chaos: Vol. 1 by M. Wheeler

The protagonist, Mitchell Weaver, is a young Emergency Medicine doctor. Mitchell has entered a high stress, distinguished profession with the burden of a variety of particularly disturbing personal demons that he must battle every day in order to maintain the façade of sanity and control. The second installment of the series, Volume +1, documents Mitchell’s state of mind as he tries his hand at decency and sobriety. Whether he nds himself at his job in New York or volunteering in the Dominican Republic, he struggles to suppress hedonistic urges and restructure awed philosophies. Although his attempts to gain control of his life are genuine, the question remains, “Is Mitchell gradually gaining control or is his life slowly falling apart.”

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Author’s Bio

Wheeler held an eclectic series of jobs – including working as a studio engineer and a teacher –

before he entered medical school in his thirties. During his residency while living in New York City, he wrote his first two books which would eventually become the Preceded by Chaos series. Wheeler travels extensively for his job but currently lives in Miami.

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My Review

5 stars

Mitchell Weaver is back from his drug and alcohol fueled trip to Europe in vol. 0 and is working to stay sober. He is allowed to practice medicine after a board review and works in an emergency room. But he is having trouble with his girlfriend. She is insisting on marriage and he doesn’t want that. They are in the process of splitting up when he decides to head to the Dominican Republic and help his friend Natalia with the battered women.

When I read vol. 0 I was so confused as to what is happening and I admit that I didn’t rate it very high and was very reluctant to read vol. 1. After reading vol. 1 I have to say that I really liked the story. Mitchell is trying to stay clean but he is fighting with his girlfriend and thinks spending some time with his friend Natalia will help him figure out what he wants. But it is working with the abused women that opens his eyes.

I really liked this story. It drew me in and I wanted to find out when and where Mitchell is going to find himself. I can’t wait to see what happens in vol. 2, if there is going to be a vol. 2.

I received Preceded by Chaos: Vol. 1 from Authoright Marketing and Publicity for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

The Weight of Lies

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The Weight of Lies by Emily Carpenter

Beachgoers who tuck a copy of Carpenter’s new book into their bags this summer can expect the thriller—packed with riddles, a novel-within-a-novel, and characters who take the definition of Southern Gothic to sinister new levels—to keep them on their chaises long past sundown. It’s what Carpenter considers her idea of the perfect beach read. One with a twist.

Meg Ashley leads a life of privilege, thanks to a bestselling horror novel, Kitten, her mother wrote decades ago. But Meg knows that the glow of their very public life hides a darker reality of lies, manipulation, and the heartbreak of her own solitary childhood. Desperate to break free of her mother, Meg accepts a proposal to write a scandalous, tell-all memoir.

Digging into the past—and her mother’s cult classic—draws Meg to Bonny Island, Georgia, and an unusual woman said to be the inspiration for the book. At first, island life seems idyllic, but as Meg starts to ask tough questions, disturbing revelations come to light…including some about her mother.

Soon Meg’s search leads her to question the facts of a decades-old murder. She’s warned to leave it alone, but as the lies pile up, Meg knows she’s getting close to finding a murderer. When her own life is threatened, Meg realizes the darkness found in her mother’s book is nothing compared to the chilling truth that lurks off the page.

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Early Praise

“Twists aplenty in this searing murder mystery should leave readers dizzy, in the best way possible.”

KIRKUS (Starred Review)

“An unputdownable read.”

PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY (Starred Review)

“Don’t let this nail-biter of a good read pass you by!”

ROMANCE TIMES

“The Weight of Lies might just be my perfect summer crime book.

CRIME BY THE BOOK

“Overall, this is a well-crafted, must-read thriller with bits of romance, horror and intrigue used strategically by Carpenter to keep pace and amp up tension.

VILMA’s BOOK BLOG

Emily Carpenter

Author’s Bio

Emily Carpenter, author of Amazon bestselling debut, Burying the Honeysuckle Girls, which sold over 100,000 copies in just under six months, grew up in Alabama and lives in Georgia. Southern Gothic is in her blood, and she’s vacationed on islands like the fictitious Bonny for many years.

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My Review

4 stars

Frances Ashley wrote a horror story called Kitten and has become famous with a cult following. Meg Ashley is her daughter and has never had to work a day in her life living off the riches of the book. Meg is estranged from her mother and not spoken to her in three years. She gets offered the chance to write a tell-all story about her troubled home life and the story behind Kitten and jumps at the chance to make lots of money and get away from her mother.

Meg finds herself at Bonny Island to add more realism to the story. As she is there she finally feels like she is home and makes a connection with Doro Kitchens, the inspiration for Kitten. But as she starts digging she starts to realize that there is more to the real life story when she is first warned then she finds her life in danger. But she can’t quit now, Meg has to learn the truth.

Meg is a spoiled little brat that can’t get along with her mother but is sure fast to stick out her hand for money. She decides to write the tell-all to make a break for herself and to get her own money. But as she starts digging into the murders at Bonny Island that the book Kitten is based on things start taking a turn for the worst. As we follow Meg we also get snippets of the book Kitten that entices you to keep reading to see what is truth and what is lies. And how does Doro play into the murders.

This is a great thriller that gave me goose bumps. Although Meg annoyed me and you jump around in the story, I did really enjoy it. I think this is one of those that many will like.

I received The Weight of Lies from Sabrina Dax Publicity for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

Pipeliner

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Pipeliner by Shawn Hartje

For seventeen-year-old Jason Krabb, high school life in 1990s Idaho is a world of cargo shorts, cassette tapes, and junk food. Plagued equally by algebra and puberty, Jason sets out to find a girlfriend and become a rock guitarist. His quest is irreversibly jolted when he attends a bonfire and meets an alluring girl from the other side of town and a rag tag crew who are bringing gas lines through the desert in order to keep the lights on in Portland and Seattle, places where Jason hopes to find his nirvana as a guitarist.

Meanwhile, things deteriorate at home. Jason’s pediatrician mom, Leah, sadly faces the twilight of her parenting years while his father, Curtis, contends with the enormity of running a big ticket research laboratory and coming to terms with his son’s wayward path.

Pipeliner is at once a coming of age love story and a comical timestamp of early 90s family life. Set in the fictional Idaho town of Helen Springs, pop. 58,000, its characters are as vibrant as the lofty peaks and purple sunsets of the high desert. Here we find rich farmers, poor ranchers, dutiful Mormons, government honchos, disgruntled vets, drug-dealing bruisers, irksome teachers, and spirited students, all doing their best to keep the lights on.

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 Shawn Hartje

Author’s Bio

Shawn Hartje was raised in Sioux City, Iowa and has lived in Idaho, Colorado and West Virginia. He has lived in Northern California since 2002. He enjoys high desert scenery, paddling rivers, and skateboarding with his kids.

Website

My Review

4 stars

Jason Krabb is trying to find his place in the world in a small Idaho town in the 90’s. His family has some money with a successful pediatrician for a mother and a less successful father that constantly has to hear it from his wife. Jason was the star of the swim team but now that it is disbanded he doesn’t know what to do. He hears about some pipeliners that are laying pipe for gas and is kicking around the idea to drop out of high school to work with them then head to Portland or Seattle to be a rock star.

Jason’s parents don’t think he can live up to his older, smarter brother’s standards. He is an average student and focuses on his guitar. Jason is trying to figure out where he fits into the world when he meets new girl Betsy and is drawn to her and the pipeliners. Of course he is going to experiment with sex, drugs, rock and roll to find himself.

When I first read the summary to Pipeliners I had to laugh. I could think of the stupid stuff that I did as a teenager. When I read about Jason thinking he could just be a rock star or simply dropping out of school to lay pipeline I had to chuckle. I remember those half-baked ideas that sound award winning when you are young.

Although you have an idea of where this story is going, it’s about the journey. I was laughing and remembering the 90’s for myself. I grew up in a small farming/ranching area so I understand a lot of what Jason is going through. It’s a good read of one kid trying to figure out himself and his place in the world.

I received Pipeliner from the author for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.