Archive for May 5th, 2016

Cross and Burn


Cross and Burn (Tony Hill & Carol Jordan – 8) by Val McDermid

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Internationally best-selling crime writer Val McDermid’s work speaks for itself: her books have sold millions of copies worldwide, won numerous accolades, and attracted a devoted following of readers around the globe. Her latest, Cross and Burn , picks up where The Retribution left off: following the best crime-fighting team in the UK– clinical psychologist Tony Hill and police detective Carol Jordan– who when we last saw them were barely speaking, and whose relationship will now be challenged even further.

Guilt and grief have driven a wedge between long time crime-fighting partners psychologist Tony Hill and ex-DCI Carol Jordan. But just because they’re not talking doesn’t mean the killing stops.

Someone is killing women. Women who bear an unsettling resemblance to Carol Jordan. And when the evidence begins to point in a disturbing direction, thinking the unthinkable seems the only possible answer. Cornered by events, Tony and Carol are forced to fight for themselves and each other as never before.

An edge-of-your-seat page-turner from one of the best crime writers we have, Cross and Burn is a chilling, unforgettable read.


My Review

3 stars

Tony Hill and Carol Jordan are back. After their last case that left Carol with the death of her brother and sister in law, Carol has retired. She blames Tony for their deaths and he does too. Then a mother is reported missing and a woman is found murdered that looks like Carol and Tony finds himself being blamed. Paula McIntyre finds herself at a loss and calls Carol in to help her find the proof that Tony is the killer. Carol just knows that Tony wouldn’t be involved and although she doesn’t want to have anything to do with him she steps in to find the real killer.

It’s clear that Tony and Carol’s relationship has fallen apart. Both of them are distant and lonely and want to be together yet they don’t. But with this new killer and Tony being blamed as the killer, Carol can’t just sit back and do nothing. This book is more about them trying to work around their split. I admit that I have not read any other books in this series. But I recommend that you read the other books so you can understand more about Carol and Tony’s relationship.

As for the mystery, I was a little disappointed. I didn’t see a lot of police discovery for the clues. It was more the killer explaining why he did what he did. It kind of ruins the challenge of reading the story and trying to guess what is going on. I also hate to say this but the first part of the book bored me more with the drama between Tony and Carol. There was a turning point and then things pick up but I was about ready to put the book down.

I think if you had read the rest of this series you would probably like this book more than me. But as a stand-alone story I was not really into it.

To purchase Cross and Burn make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Val McDermid’s website.

I received Cross and Burn for free from the publisher, a long time ago, in exchange for an honest review.

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The Crow of Connemara by Stephen Leigh

(Excerpt from Goodreads) The Crow of Connemara is a contemporary Celtic fantasy set primarily in Ireland.  Picking up threads from ancient Irish mythology and folktales, this story is fantasy, drama, and tragic romance all at once, a tale caught in the dark places where the world of ancient myth intersects our own, where old ways and old beliefs struggle not to be overwhelmed by the modern world.

Colin Doyle is young Irish-American musician from Chicago, whose interest is traditional Irish music.  Maeve Gallagher is an Oileánach, an “Islander” from Ireland’s west coast. Islanders are outcasts treated with suspicion by the locals, who think them responsible for wild and strange happenings in the area. Colin soon discovers that he’s connected to Maeve in ways he never could have imagined.


My Review

4 Stars

Colin Doyle wants nothing more than to play his Celtic music and visit Ireland. His family try to guide him into better choices but he finally decides to follow his dreams and go to Ireland. While there, he meets Maeve Gallagher. But Colin finds the locals don’t like Maeve or her friends, Oileanach’s they are called, that live on a local island. Colin throws the warnings to the wind and follow Maeve. But Maeve has a big secret, she is fae and as her relationship with Colin grows it’s going to end in tragedy.

This is a great story. I loved the imagery. Colin loves Ireland and after trying to do what his parents tell him finally decides to follow his heart. I enjoyed all the mythology of Ireland and finding out more about the fae as we learn more about Maeve. I was hoping for a happy ending but this is a relationship that won’t work out. I did feel bad for Maeve because of this.

Over all this is a good story and I would recommend it for those that like romance with some Irish mythology added in.

To purchase The Crow of Connemara make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Stephen Leigh’s website.

I received The Crow of Connemara for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Surviving Alzheimer’s With Friends, Facebook, and a Really Big Glass of Wine:

A caregiver’s guide to love, humor, patience, confusion, anger, and wine

With unfiltered observations and sometimes dark humor, author Dayna Steele chronicled her mother’s journey with Alzheimer’s on Facebook. This collection of Alzheimer’s updates posted on the social media network includes biting humor and raw emotion as Dayna carries you from the diagnosis to the inevitable end. Also included are sections from a neurologist, Long Term Care insurance specialist, other caregivers, documents expert, elder care attorney, and an assisted living advisor. This is a journey way too many of us are going to experience in one way or another. If you have to experience Alzheimer’s and chances are you will – do it like Dayna with love, wit, and wine.

I would normally never read a book about Alzheimer’s or click LIKE on a Facebook post about someone’s declining mother. Dayna Steele sneaked past my defenses the same way that she dealt with her own misery – with humor – by making me laugh, she managed to break my heart. –Lisa Gray, Houston Chronicle Gray Matters

These observations are so gripping and so graphic. –a Facebook comment

This book is going to be of tremendous help to so many. –Dr. Roy Goldberg, Geriatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Dayne Steele

Dayna Steele is a radio and television personality, entrepreneur, author and keynote speaker. Dayna Frances Nicholson was born on August 11, 1959, in Houston, Texas, to William and Frances Nicholson. She graduated early from Dulles High School at 16 and enrolled in Texas A&M University to study pre-med before changing her major to theater.

Author Interview

Dayna Steele

Author of Surviving Alzheimer’s With Friends, Facebook, and A Really Big Glass of Wine

  1. The book chronicles your mother’s illness through your Facebook posts. Did you include every post in the book? What was the selection process like?
    My co-author Heather Rossiello kept a database of every single post and every comment – there were literally thousands of comments on some posts. We went through them all after I lost Mom and tried to keep only the posts and comments that 1) Included informative information for caregivers 2) made us laugh out loud, and, 3) made us think.
  1. After each post you include comments that your community left. Did you pick those or did you have other people help you?
    We went through every comment, sometimes two or three times, to make sure we adhered to our own guidelines above. This book wasn’t a memoir so much as a help tool for others in the future. 
  2. What was your relationship with Alzheimer’s disease before your mother’s diagnosis? Did you have any preconceptions about the illness before you started this journey with her?
    I like to think I am a fairly well educated and informed person. I knew what Alzheimer’s was and I knew it was called “The Long Goodbye.” Then the diagnosis – and I realized I had no idea how stressful, sad, irritating, confusing, etc this disease is. No one tells you the really rough stuff like the possible violence or cleaning up your own mother’s feces or any number of things like this. You also don’t realize how all encompassing it becomes physically and mentally until you actually have to live it.
  3. How did the support of your Facebook community impact you through this hard time?
    Facebook became my support group. My Facebook community gave me ideas, information, suggestions and laughter and love. And, once I wrote a particularly hard post, I would let go of the negative emotions. It was very cathartic to write and share.
  4. When did you get the idea to turn your Facebook posts into a book?
    Literally when so many people started commenting. “I hope you put this in a book.” In fact, the first couple of pages in the book are those words of encouragement from so many followers.
  5. How has your Facebook and local community supported you through the creation of the book?
    Just constantly encouraging me to compile it all in a book. And giving me permission to laugh and cry and get mad – over and over and over. 
  6. How did you decide what materials to include in the second half of the book?
    The second half of the book is all resources I wish I had at the beginning. There are sections written by people who helped me along the way: a neurologist, document expert, Long Term Care insurance rep, an assisted living advisor and more. I also included a list of questions everyone should ask their loved ones and a section where caregivers and their caregivers talk about what it is like on that side.
  1. You coauthored the book with Heather Rossiello. What was her role in the book’s process?
    I found I could not live it and relive it at the same time – it was too daunting and depressing. Heather came in about half way through the journey for a totally unrelated reason – she had some copies of my In the Classroom book she wanted signed for teachers and we met for coffee. She asked what I was working on and I told her about the book idea and my challenges with getting it done. She asked if she could take a look and see what could be done – and then did it! (book link – http://www.amazon.com/Classroom-Success-educate-inspire-teachers/dp/1508836221/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8)
  2. What are you hoping readers will get out of Surviving Alzheimer’s?
    Someone once said to me there isn’t a users’ manual on what to do or what is going to happen when you get this diagnosis. I hope this book does become the manual for what to do and how to do it for caregivers everywhere.
  3. You’ve been named the spokesperson for Caring.com. How do you hope to aid those dealing with Alzheimer’s in this role? *Please note it is Caring.com not Care.com
    As the Chief Caring Expert for Caring.com, I hope to be able to guide others to this great resource I wish I had known about early on. Not only would I have been able to read the reviews and make a better informed decision on where to put mom but I also would have had access to so much content for caregivers. There is an answer to just about every question you may have as well as support groups for Alzheimer’s and even more on the site. And, it’s free. Alzheimer’s is a very expensive disease and when you can find any sort of fee help, that’s the best.

Purchase Links

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

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