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Archive for April, 2017

Bone White

Bone White

by Wendy Corsi Staub

on Tour April 1-30, 2017

Synopsis:

Bone White by Wendy Corsi Staub

In Mundy’s Landing, bygone bloodshed has become a big business. During the rigorous winter of 1666, all but five colonists in the small Hudson Valley settlement died of starvation. Accused of unimaginable crimes, James and Elizabeth Mundy and their three children survived, but the couple were later accused of murder and executed. Left to fend for themselves in a hostile community, their offspring lived out exemplary lives in a town that would bear the family name. They never reveal the secret that died with their parents on the gallows… or did they?

“We Shall Never Tell.” Spurred by the cryptic phrase in a centuries-old letter, Emerson Mundy has flown cross-country to her ancestral hometown in hopes of tracing her ancestral past—and perhaps building a future. In Mundy’s Landing, she discovers long lost relatives, a welcoming ancestral home… and a closet full of skeletons.

A year has passed since former NYPD Detective Sullivan Leary solved the historic Sleeping Beauty Murders, apprehended a copycat killer, and made a fresh start in the Hudson Valley. Banking on an uneventful future in a village that’s seen more than its share of bloodshed, Sully is in for an unpleasant surprise when a historic skull reveals a notorious truth. Now she’s on the trail of a murky predator determined to destroy the Mundy family tree, branch by branch.

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller/Suspense
Published by: William Morrow Mass Market
Publication Date: March 28, 2017
Number of Pages: 384
ISBN: 0062349775 (ISBN13: 9780062349774)
Series: Mundy’s Landing #3 (Stand Alone)
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Read an excerpt:

Chapter 1

July 20, 2016
Los Angeles, CA

We shall never tell.

Strange, the thoughts that go through your head when you’re standing at an open grave.

Not that Emerson Mundy knew anything about open graves before today. Her father’s funeral is the first she’s ever attended, and she’s the sole mourner.

Ah, at last, a perk to living a life without many—any—loved ones; you don’t spend much time grieving, unless you count the pervasive ache for the things you never had.

The minister, who came with the cemetery package and never even met Jerry Mundy, is rambling on about souls and salvation. Emerson hears only We shall never tell—the closing line in an old letter she found yesterday in the crawl space of her childhood home. It had been written in 1676 by a young woman named Priscilla Mundy, addressed to her brother, Jeremiah.

The Mundys were among the seventeenth-century English colonists who settled on the eastern bank of the Hudson River, about a hundred miles north of New York City. Their first winter was so harsh the river froze, stranding their supply ship and additional colonists in the New York harbor. When the ship arrived after the thaw, all but five settlers had starved to death.

Jeremiah; Priscilla; their sister, Charity; and their parents had eaten human flesh to stay alive. James and Elizabeth Mundy swore they’d only cannibalized those who’d already died, but the God-fearing, well-fed newcomers couldn’t fathom such wretched butchery. A Puritan justice committee tortured the couple until they confessed to murder, then swiftly tried, convicted, and hanged them.

“Do you think we’re related?” Emerson asked her father after learning about the Mundys back in elementary school.

“Nope.” Curt answers were typical when she brought up anything Jerry Mundy didn’t want to discuss. The past was high on the list.

“That’s it? Just nope?”

“What else do you want me to say?”

“How about yes?”

“That wouldn’t be the truth,” he said with a shrug.

“Sometimes the truth isn’t very interesting.”

She had no one else to ask about her family history. Dad was an only child, and his parents, Donald and Inez Mundy, had passed away before she was born. Their headstone is adjacent to the gaping rectangle about to swallow her father’s casket. Staring that the inscription, she notices her grandfather’s unusual middle initial.

Donald X. Mundy, Born 1900, Died 1972.
X marks the spot.

Thanks to her passion for history and Robert Louis Stevenson, Emerson’s bookworm childhood included a phase when she searched obsessively for buried treasure. Money was short in their household after two heart attacks left Jerry Mundy on permanent disability.

X marks the spot…

No gold doubloon treasure chest buried here. Just dusty old bones of people she never knew.

And now, her father.

The service concludes with a prayer as the coffin is lowered into the ground. The minister clasps her hand and tells her how sorry he is for her loss, then leaves her to sit on a bench and stare at the hillside as the undertakers finish the job.

The sun is beginning to burn through the thick marine layer that swaddles most June and July mornings. Having grown up in Southern California, she knows the sky will be bright blue by mid-afternoon. Tomorrow will be more of the same. By then, she’ll be on her way back up the coast, back to her life in Oakland, where the fog rolls in and stays for days, weeks at a time. Funny, but there she welcomes the gray, a soothing shield from real world glare and sharp edges.

Here the seasonal gloom has felt oppressive and depressing.

Emerson watches the undertakers finish the job and load their equipment into a van. After they drive off, she makes her way between neat rows of tombstones to inspect the raked dirt rectangle.

When something is over, you move on, her father told her when she left home nearly two decades ago. She attended Cal State Fullerton with scholarships and maximum financial aid, got her master’s at Berkeley, and landed a teaching job in the Bay Area.

But she didn’t necessarily move on.

Every holiday, many weekends, and for two whole months every summer, she makes the six-hour drive down to stay with her father. She cooks and cleans for him, and at night they sit together and watch Wheel of Fortune reruns.

It used to be because she craved a connection to the only family she had in the world. Lately, though, it was as much because Jerry Mundy needed her.

He pretended that he didn’t, that he was taking care of himself and the house, too proud to admit he was failing. He was a shadow of his former self when he died at seventy-six, leaving Emerson alone in the world.

Throughout her motherless childhood, Emerson was obsessed with novels about orphans. Treasure Island shared coveted space on her bookshelf with Anne of Green Gables, The Secret Garden, The Witch of Blackbird Pond

She always wondered what would happen to her if her father died. Would she wind up in an orphanage? Would a kindly stranger take her in? Would she live on the streets?

Now that it’s happened he’s down there, in the dirt … moving on?

She’ll never again hear his voice. She’ll never see the face so like her own that she can’t imagine she inherited any physical characteristics from her mother, Didi—though she can’t be certain.

Years ago, she asked her father for a picture—preferably one that showed her mother holding her as a baby, or of her parents together. Maybe she wanted evidence that she and her father had been loved; that the woman who’d abandoned them had once been normal—a proud new mother, a happy bride.

Or was it the opposite? Was she hoping to glimpse a hint that Didi Mundy was never normal? Did she expect to confirm that people—normal people—don’t just wake up one morning and choose to walk out on a husband and child? That there was always something off about her mother: a telltale gleam in the eye, or a faraway expression—some warning sign her father had overlooked. A sign Emerson herself would be able to recognize, should she ever be tempted to marry.

But there were no images of Didi that she could slip into a frame, or deface with angry black ink, or simply commit to memory.

Exhibit A: Untrustworthy.

Sure, there had been plenty of photos, her father admitted unapologetically. He’d gotten rid of everything.

There were plenty of pictures of her and Dad, though.

Exhibit B: Trustworthy.

Dad holding her hand on her first day of kindergarten, Dad leading her in an awkward waltz at a father-daughter middle school dance, Dad posing with her at high school graduation.

“Two peas in a pod,” he liked to say. “If I weren’t me, I’d think you were.”

She has his thick, wavy hair, the same dimple on her right cheek, same angular nose and bristly slashes of brow. Even her wide-set, prominent, upturned eyes are the same as his, with one notable exception.

Jerry Mundy’s eyes were a piercing blue.

Only one of Emerson’s is that shade; the other, a chalky gray.

***

Excerpt from Bone White by Wendy Corsi Staub. Copyright © 2017 by Wendy Corsi Staub. Reproduced with permission from William Morrow Mass Market. All rights reserved.

Wendy Corsi Staub

Author Bio:

New York Times bestseller Wendy Corsi Staub is the award-winning author of more than seventy novels. Wendy now lives in the New York City suburbs with her husband and their two children.

Catch Up With Wendy Corsi Staub On Her Website 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!

My Review

4 stars

It is a year after the Sleeping Beauty Murders and everything seems to have calmed down in the little town of Mundy’s Landing. Then Emerson Mundy shows up with some old letters that she has inherited. Emerson is looking into the history of her family. But this is just the beginning. Ora Abrams, the curator of the Mundy’s Landing Historical Society has a girl’s skull that has been passed along through her family. Ora decides that she wants it looked at to learn how the girl died.

Sully Leary is adjusting to life in Mundy’s Landing when she is surprised by her former partner Stockton Barnes. He says he is just looking for a place to crash but he is acting strange and might be dragging both of them into something. Finally, Roy Nowak is coming to Mundy’s Landing. Roy is Emerson’s fiancé and she has no idea that he is coming to town. Shortly after his arrival he is found dead. Is it a suicide or is there a new killer in town?

This is a great mystery. There were three different stories that converge on Mundy’s Landing. I loved reading about the history of this town and it seems that someone is bound and determined to end the Mundy line. And Ora with a skull, CREEPY!!!

I have not read the other books in this series. Bone White could be read as a standalone book but I think the background of the other two books would add to the story. This book had three separate parts that come together at the end and there was a good mystery along with all the drama of Mundy’s Landing. Overall I really liked this book and I would be happy to get the first two books to catch up on what I missed.

I received Bone White from Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

Tour Participants:

Visit the other hosts on this tour for more reviews, guest posts, interviews, & giveaways!

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Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Wendy Corsi Staub and William Morrow. There will be 3 winners of one (1) Print copy of Bone White by Wendy Corsi Staub. The giveaway begins on March 30th and runs through May 2nd, 2017. This giveaway is for US residents only. Void where prohibited by law.

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A Question of Devotion

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A Question of Devotion (Mrs. B Mystery – 1) by Anita Kulina

Then she saw it – a sheet of paper in the mailbox, underneath the mail. It was white with large black letters and said LEAVE IT ALONE.

Mrs. B has a quiet life, and she likes it that way. Morning pinochle games at St. Mary’s Senior Center. Afternoon lunches with Myrtle, Anne and Rose. Peaceful evenings with a cup of coffee and the classic movie channel.

But one day she wakes to a phone call, which leads to consequences she could never have foreseen. Secrets snowball and threaten to change the neighborhood of Burchfield forever. Someone has to make things right. It’s up to Mrs. B.

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Author’s Bio

Like most people who love to write, Anita Kulina has been telling stories since she was old enough to hold a pen. Her first publication was in the letters-to-the-editor column of Adventure Comics #341. Nowadays, much of her work centers on the rich and colorful lives of Pittsburgh’s working poor. Since Anita spent much of her life in those ranks, it’s a subject dear to her heart.

Her book Millhunks and Renegades won her the Achievement in Literature award from the community of Hazelwood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is currently at work on the next two Mrs. B books.

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My Review

5 stars

Mrs. B is your typical little old lady. She has her little events like pinochle at the Senior Center and lunches with her best friends. She also has a nice little relationship with the new little girl across the street. But when Mrs. B’s friend tells her about the trouble her son is in, Mrs. B decides to start investigating to see if she can prove he was innocent. Between her learning to use internet searches and many secrets that start coming to light Mrs. B start getting threatening notes and phone calls. She may be in over her head with her digging but she is not going to let that stop her from solving this mystery.

This is a wonderful cozy mystery. Mrs. B is a sweet little old lady that knows everyone and everyone knows her. Most people might not think of her as a detective but that is not going to stop her search for the truth. I loved reading about her bumbling around on the internet. But I loved the interaction between her and Kelly.

If you like cozy mysteries look no further. This one has a great story and some hair raising events. I will be looking forward to other books in this series.

I received A Question of Devotion from Premier Virtual Author Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Exceprt

See the first part of this excerpt here.

            It was three o’clock when Mrs. B left the Senior Center. The church fair would open in an hour or two. People were bustling around to get ready and little kids were already congregating around the bouncy castle. The very first booth at the end of the drive was the bake sale. Mrs. B walked toward it, stepping aside as someone hurried to drop off a pecan pie.

At the booth, she heard a curt “We’re not open yet,” and then the young woman looked up and apologized. “Oh, hi, Mrs. B. Sorry, we’re so busy! I didn’t realize it was you.”

Mrs. B said, “I don’t want to bother you, but I wonder if I can get a little something.”

“We don’t have the cash box out yet, but if you have exact change . . . .”

Mrs. B fumbled through her change purse. Four dollar bills, two quarters and seven pennies. She had more than enough. “Can I have that little loaf of banana bread?” she asked.

When she got home, she pulled the mail out of the mailbox and picked up the evening paper from the porch. As she walked through the front door, out of the corner of her eye she saw a flash of color. A child’s pink sweatshirt was lying across the seat of her glider.

She walked back outside, looked around, and then picked it up. Must have been a little girl on her way to the fair. She folded it gently, laid it back on the glider and went inside.

With a fresh pot of coffee brewing, Mrs. B cut herself a slice of banana bread, then cut the remainder of the loaf in two. She wrapped one half in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator and wrapped the other in aluminum foil and put it in the freezer. When the coffee was ready, she got out a cup and plate, spread some cream cheese on the banana bread, and sat down to read the paper.

On the second page, she saw why Myrtle had been crying.

Ron Monaghan, Myrtle’s son, had been arrested. Money was missing from St. Mary’s Church. A lot of money. More than Mrs. B would have thought the church had, until she remembered the large bequest from Dr. Harrigan last year. Or was that the year before?

Poor Myrtle.

Leo, Ron and Danny were friends all through grade school and even in high school, when Danny started to hang out with the athletes and Leo and Ron got in with a wilder crowd. From the day Danny’s football scholarship took him to college, success followed that boy like he was riding the tail of a lucky star. In a million years, she wouldn’t have guessed the kid with the muddy face, spilling milk at her kitchen table, would someday coach the Chicago Bears.

For Leo and Ron, though, things were different. They drifted from job to job, never caring if they were fired, or if they had a black eye, or if they woke up at a police station. Nothing seemed to interest the two of them except their nighttime carousing. Then one day—out of the blue, it seemed to Mrs. B—the two of them packed up Ron’s old station wagon and left for California.

Something bad happened there. Mrs. B never knew what and she wasn’t sure she wanted to know. Ron came back alone. The day he came home, Ron stopped at Mrs. B’s house. He said he hadn’t seen Leo for a while. He didn’t even know where Leo was.

Mrs. B still didn’t know.

But Ron, he’d been walking the straight and narrow for all these years now. At least that’s what everyone thought. He was even on the board at St. Mary’s Church. When they asked Ron to join, no one gave a lick about his past. Half the neighborhood boys were in trouble at some time or another. No, all the board cared about was the fact that Ron was a contractor. They were looking for someone to oversee work when the church needed repairs. For free, of course. Father Clancy asked Ron himself, and naturally Ron couldn’t say no.

At the time, Mrs. B took Ron’s position on the board as evidence of the turnaround in his life. Father Clancy once told Mrs. B that Ron had the second best attendance record at St. Mary’s board meetings.

Walter Earnest, their treasurer, was first. Even though he was starting to get dementia, the date of a board meeting was one thing Walt never forgot.

No one had the heart to ask Walt to step down, so eventually Father Clancy started paying the bills for the church. They took Walt’s name off the bank accounts and added Ron’s last year, mainly because they needed two names and no one else on the board would take on the responsibility.

Mrs. B read to the end of the article. Ron had been released on bond and the trial date was pending.

Well then, why was Myrtle so cheerful this afternoon?

Before Mrs. B went to bed that night, she walked out to her front porch to see if the sweatshirt was still on the glider. It was gone. She looked down to the bottom of her street for a few minutes, watching the lights twinkling all around the fair.

Praise for A Question of Devotion

“If you can picture Columbo when he’s retired, and spending more time in church and the kitchen, and Polish, and wearing a babushka, you have a sense of the down-home detective that Anita Kulina has created. I love Mrs. B!”-Brian O’Neill, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist and author of The Paris of Appalachia

“A Question of Devotion is a comforting snapshot of an aging population, where the way of life is still bound by churches, neighborhoods, and countries of origin. Its heroine, Mrs. B, is not just an old woman living out her twilight years at the senior center, but an able detective engaged in solving a mystery as cozy as cocoa and afghans on a cold Western Pennsylvania day.”-Kathryn Miller Haines, author of the Rosie Winter Mysteries and the Iris Anderson Mysteries

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Gone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen

No one ever disappears completely…

You leave for work one morning.

Another day in your normal life.

Until you come home to discover that your boyfriend has gone.
His belongings have disappeared.
He hasn’t been at work for weeks.
It’s as if he never existed.

But that’s not possible, is it?

And there is worse still to come.

Because just as you are searching for him
someone is also watching you.

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 Mary Torjussen

Author’s Bio

Mary Torjussen has an MA in Creative Writing from Liverpool John Moores University. She worked for several years as a teacher and lives outside of Liverpool, where Gone Without a Trace is set.

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My Review

3 stars

Hannah Monroe has just attended some training for work and learns that she is up for a huge promotion. She can’t wait to get back home and share the news with her boyfriend of four years, Matt. But when she gets home, Matt is going and not just gone but all of his stuff is gone and Hannah’s is moved back in from storage. And I mean everything even the stuff in the refrigerator. But that is not all, his phone is disconnected, his social media is gone, and even the pictures in Hannah’s phone are gone. Hannah is upset and plans on hunting Matt down for an explanation. But strange things start happening and it seems that someone is watching her.

When I first read this description I was intrigued. How can someone completely disappear like this? Is Matt only in Hannah’s mind? What if Hannah is a complete psycho and Matt had to take extreme measures to get away from her? I had a hard time dealing with Hannah, she is so selfish and immature. And it’s a little worrisome how obsessed she becomes with finding Matt. She takes a great career and dumps it down the drain along with her personal well being.

I hate to say it but I started losing interest in the story when it was about 3 months later and Hannah is a complete wreck and she still has no information on Matt. Then there was the twist that I really was not that impressed with. From there the book should be wrapping up but things were still all over the place for me.

Overall, I have to say that I was not as impressed with the story. But I do see that this book has received several raving reviews. I think this is going to be one of those books that you will either love or hate. I strongly recommend checking it out for yourself, you may like this more than I did.

I received Gone Without a Trace from Penguin Random House for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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The Wrong Side of the Grave (Mothman Mysteries – 1) by Bryna Butler

When Eric Jansen takes a seat behind his drums, every girl in the place takes notice. Not that he’s surprised. He’s had decades to practice. The guy is almost perfect. Still, there’s that one tiny thing…

Eric Jansen is an alien. Offworlder. Take me to your leader, fall from the sky, space invading, phoning home, UFO jockey. A swipe of the tattoo on Eric’s arm will reveal his true form which locals call Mothman, a winged creature formed of ashen gray skin and glowing red eyes. Eric is one of the last of his kind.

So when the recently deceased of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, start walking and talking, the Men in Black mark him as suspect number one. It will be up to Eric and his inner circle to solve the mystery before the black suits lock him up and throw away the key.

A fun read, Wrong Side of the Grave is a fast-action Teen Sci-Fi Mystery with a paranormal twist.

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 Bryna Butler

Author’s Bio

Butler’s young adult mystery novels feature strong female leads and are woven from elements of horror, suspense, comedy, and mystery, all in a modern, small town setting. She is best known for her Midnight Guardian Series (YA Paranormal Mystery) and Mothman Mysteries (YA Sci-Fi Mystery).

Butler is inspired by writers like Cassandra Clare, Jennifer Armentrout, Rachel Caine, Joss Whedon, and Patricia Briggs. Her work contains no profanity or explicit scenes, making it appropriate for pre-teen as well as teen readers.

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My Review

5 stars

Eric Jansen is one heck of a drummer that always draws a crowd. But he has a secret, he is an alien. He is what the locals call the Mothman. But the thing that gets attention is when the local dead start rising from the ground. It seems the Men in Black think it is Eric’s fault. Eric is going to try to figure out what is happening with his best friend Bridge.

Eric is an alien that eats vampires, another species of aliens. I love the fact that vampires are a whole new creature as opposed to what we traditionally think of a vampire. I really like that they are food for another bigger, badder alien. Bridge was a little kick in the pants and I loved how eager she was to solve the mystery of the rising dead.

This is a great new series with a well-developed world. The ending left me a little off balance but that just means that I can’t wait to see what happens next with this series. I also see that Bryna Butler has another series, Midnight Guardian that I can’t wait to read too.

I received The Wrong Side of the Grave from eBooks for Review for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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The Magician’s Workshop, Volume One by Christopher Hansen and JR Fehr

Everyone in the islands of O’Ceea has a magical ability: whatever they imagine can be brought into existence. Whoever becomes a master over these powers is granted the title of magician and is given fame, power, riches, and glory. This volume of books follows the journey of a group of kids as they strive to rise to the top and become members of the Magician’s Workshop.

Layauna desperately wants to create beautiful things with her magical powers, but all she can seem to do is make horrible, savage monsters. For years she has tried to hide her creations, but when her power is at last discovered by a great magician, she realizes that what she’s tried to hide might actually be of tremendous value.

Kai just wants to use his powers to have fun and play with his friends. Unfortunately, nearly everyone on his island sees him as a bad influence, so he’s forced to meet them in secret. When one of the creatures they create gets out of control and starts flinging fireballs at their town, Kai is tempted to believe that he is as nefarious as people say. However, his prospects change when two mysterious visitors arrive, praising his ability and making extraordinary promises about his future.

Follow the adventures of Kai, Layauna, and a boatload of other characters as they struggle to grow up well in this fantastical world.

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Author’s Bios

Christopher Hansen

Christopher Hansen

The first glimmering Chris Hansen had that there was far more to reality than he had ever imagined occurred six days after his ninth birthday.
“Christopher!” cried a wise, old sage. “Life is full of deep magic. Miraculous things happen all the time and all around us, if you know where to look for them.”
Full of expectation and childlike optimism, Chris began searching for this magic, prepared to be surprised and amazed by it. And he was: he found Wonder! Now he’s chosen to write stories about it.

J.R. Fehr

JR Fehr

When J.R. Fehr popped out of the womb, he knew there was more to the world than the four boring hospital walls that he was seeing. “Zango!” his newborn mind exclaimed as he saw people appear and disappear through a mysterious portal in the wall. As a child he found life wowtazzling, but as he grew older the cold water of reality hit him, and the magic he once knew vanished. After spending some wet and shivering years lost in a joyless wasteland, he once again began to see magic in the world. He writes because the Wonder of true life is far grander than anything he ever thought possible.

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My Review

4 stars

In the world of O’Ceea everyone has the magical ability to project anything they can imagine to enhance or create objects. But with any power, there are rules and those that do not have permission can be punished for projecting. But when someone becomes 16, they can take part in the Color Test to find a guild or magician. Kai, Weston, Layauna,Talia, Kaso and Kalaya all have their own abilities and weaknesses. They will learn that what they think is a weakness is not necessarily that bad. Follow along as they learn to use their abilities individually and together all in the hopes that they will have color inside of them.

This is going to be a series of books about these kids and their abilities. In volume one we learn about the kids as they prepare for the Color Test. I loved learning about the kids and their different abilities. I love how they think they are failing yet they just have to find their place in this world.

I admit that I was a little confused with different things in this world but many of my questions were answered if I was patience. There are something that were not so I am hoping they will be answered in Volume 2. But I loved the description of this world and watching the children grow into young adults.

This is a wonderful start to a new series and I cannot wait to get my hands on Volume 2.

I received The Magician’s Workshop, Volume One from eBooks for Review for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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The Existence of Pity by Jeannie Zokan

Growing up in a lush valley in the Andes mountains, sixteen-year-old Josie Wales is mostly isolated from the turbulence brewing in 1976 Colombia. As the daughter of missionaries, Josie feels torn between their beliefs and the need to choose for herself. She soon begins to hide things from her parents, like her new boyfriend, her trips into the city, and her explorations into different religions.

Josie eventually discovers her parents’ secrets are far more insidious. When she attempts to unravel the web of lies surrounding her family, each thread stretches to its breaking point. Josie tries to save her family, but what happens if they don’t want to be saved?

The Existence of Pity is a story of flawed characters told with heart and depth against the beautiful backdrop of Colombia.

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 Jeannie Zokan

Author’s Bio

Jeannie Zokan grew up in Colombia, South America, where she read almost every book in the American school she attended. Her love of books led her to study Library Science at Baylor University then to attend The George Washington University in DC. When the chance came to head south, she took her motorcycle to Florida’s Gulf Coast to write stories for the local newspaper.

She now lives ten minutes from the beach with her husband, two teenage daughters, and three pets, all of whom keep her inspired and just a little frantic. She enjoys aerial yoga, tennis, and holding NICU babies as a volunteer. But there’s always writing. Writing to relive, writing to understand, writing to remember, writing to renew.

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My Review

4 stars

Josie Wales lives in Cali, Columbia with her missionary parents in the late 1970’s. Josie is 16 and starting to test out the waters to find her own beliefs and thoughts. A lot of this is different from her parents Baptist beliefs. As she start exploring her world she starts keeping secrets from her parents about things like her boyfriend and looking into other religions. But she is not the only one keeping secrets. Her parents are keeping secrets from her and each other. Secrets that could destroy the whole family.

Being a missionary’s kid is tough. You get forced into a box and are supposed to live it. I felt for Josie as she is trying to find her own place in the world. But she is balancing on a knife trying to be the girl her parents want but trying new things that appeal to her. But things are going to explode when secrets come out as Josie start digging into them.

This is a great story. I had moments where I was laughing and others where I was crying. This is a captivating story and one that I think everyone should check out.

I received The Existence of Pity from the author and Red Adept Publishing for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Canvas of the Soul

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Canvas of the Soul
Author: Melissa Taggart
Release Date: March 17th 2017
Publisher: Extasy Books
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Canvas of the Soul continues the heartwarming journey of Lindsey and Jason as career, unplanned pregnancy and relationship issues test the strength of their marriage and love for each other. Through their darkest hours of loneliness to the joys of renewed love, their story serves to inspire and uplift.
 
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Amazon: link coming soon
Barnes & Knoble: link coming soon
Extasy Publishing: http://ow.ly/Gx83309otWT
 

A year later, Jason and I still own the gallery. His success surprised even us, and his art has become something of a cult to the point where he is now a celebrity… magazines, radio, and even television interviews. It was a lesson that hard work and dreams can go hand in hand. Success became a reality for us, and we made enough to build our one-story dream home with the luxurious bedroom and bathroom I had always wanted.

Max is still with us and has a huge back yard as his domain. But he’s an older boy now and doesn’t run around like he used to. He either sleeps in my lap or at Jason’s feet when he’s home, but that’s not too often these days. Change is good, but sometimes it comes at a price.

Today Jason and I were supposed to take Max to the vet for a check-up, but Jason was too busy finishing a commission for a client. So I left work early to pick Max up. As always, he was waiting by the door when I got home, his tail wagging his usual greeting.

“Ready to go for a ride?” I asked, petting his head.

I rolled into the kitchen to grab a drink and Max’s leash. He waddled in behind me and went straight to his food bowl, looked at it, and then expectantly at me.

“Nice try, buddy,” I said. “We can’t be late for the appointment.”

We had only waited in Dr. Dean’s office ten minutes before we were called in. Max followed me into a pale green room decorated with dozens of client pet photos and thank you letters. He sat anxiously by my feet, his ears and nose working overtime at all the sounds and strange smells.

A moment later, Dr. Dean, a cheerful redhead in her forties, came in.

“Good to see you, Lindsey,” she said, lifting Max onto the table. “How’s my favorite patient today?”

“He’s doing great. Appetite’s good. Just a little slower than he used to be.”

“That’s normal for a dog his age,” Dr. Dean said as she examined Max. “You and Jason take such good care of him he could live well past the normal life expectancy.”

“Well, that’s good to hear.”

Considering that Max was my companion most of the time, it was very good news.

After Dr. Dean had finished the exam, she set Max back onto the floor. He waddled toward me and nudged my hand as if seeking reassurance.

“Good boy,” I said, stroking him. “See, that wasn’t so bad, was it?”

After we had left Dr. Dean’s office, we headed to the gallery to see what Jason was up to. I parked at the reserved space in the front. A well-dressed client emerged carrying a wrapped canvas. Max and I had barely reached the door when Max barreled through and took off to Jason’s office.

“Hang on, Max!” I cried, watching him furiously waddle away. He scratched at the door until it partially opened and he squeezed through.

Macy, Jason’s little sister, appeared from the store room and laughed at Max’s vanishing butt.

“Hey, Linds, good to see you! Jason’s just on the phone with a client. He shouldn’t be long.”

She sat at the reception desk, a lovely frosted glass u-shaped unit decorated with plants and a few small pieces of Jason’s art. As I rolled toward her, I noticed some new paintings displayed beneath suspended lights.

“Looks great in here,” I said. “Is that new?”

Macy nodded while putting away a few files. “For a private showing tonight. That’s the client he’s on the phone with.” She paused to glance up at me. “Who would have imagined that Jason’s work is a hit in China?”

My Review

5 stars

It has been one year since Lindsey and Jason started their relationship. Jason’s art has become very popular and he is spending more and more time away promoting it. This is starting to put a strain on their marriage. Than an unexpected pregnancy adds to the stress. This is going to be a true test of Lindsey and Jason’s marriage and family. Will it bring them together or break them apart?

It is so easy to get into this story. Jason has become a very popular artist and is now in high demand. That has him working long hours and appeasing to potential buyers. It’s so hard to be happy for him while at the same time feeling for Lindsey as she is feeling left behind. Add in a surprise baby and it just broke my heart for Lindsey. I could see both sides of this one and was almost torn apart just reading the book. I was hoping that this would ultimately pull them closer together and make a strong family but I was also dreading the worst too.

This is a great addition to Canvas of the Heart. Melissa Taggart does a great job drawing you into the story and giving you the full range of emotions. I definitely recommend checking out this book.

I received Canvas of the Soul for free from Maria Vikers and Melissa Taggart for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

Book 1
Canvas of the Heart By Melissa Taggart
 
Georgia native Melissa Taggart is a believer in tackling challenges. Diagnosed with CP at the age of three months, as a child she discovered that writing offered her a way to deal with a speech impediment. It not only paved the way for better communication, but she transformed a challenge into the voice of a writer eager to teach the world that people with disabilities are people with the same lives, loves and longings as anyone else. Through Melissa’s amusing, insightful and touching stories, she addresses issues and common misconceptions in a way that will open the eyes and hearts of readers everywhere. Her goal is to deliver her special message with humor and candidness, as well as bring greater awareness about the real world of the disabled. When Melissa is not busy creating the universe of Lindsey, Jason and Max, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She also volunteers part-time in a first grade classroom helping the kids with worksheets and games and other activities.
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Book Page On Facebook: http://ow.ly/4OcL309otn5

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No Greater Agony

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No Greater Agony by Todd Allen

Jack Bishop always dreamed of becoming a writer.

That ambition finally became reality with his critically acclaimed debut novel, but following up on that success has proved difficult. For over a year, he has failed to produce a new bestseller and his publisher is losing patience. In a last ditch effort to save his floundering career, Jack is sent to the renowned writer’s retreat, Wabasso Lake, with orders to finish his manuscript in record time.

Jack’s first impression of Wabasso is that of an idyllic place to work, but despite being surrounded by awe inspiring nature and the lovely Kate, a fellow author, he continues to be plagued by self doubt. It is with the discovery of a hidden manuscript that Jack begins to scratch the surface of the retreat’s sinister purpose. As visions of fictional characters inundate Jack’s waking life, he is driven to the brink of madness.

A diabolical intelligence has stirred. Wabasso wants something from Jack, but is he willing to pay that price to achieve his greatest desire?

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Author’s Bio

Todd Allen lives on the East Coast of Canada. A lifelong fan of all things horror, Allen threw his hat into the literary ring in 2015 with his first novel, Sacra Obscurum. Allen is proud to follow up his debut with the 2017 release of the psychological thriller, No Greater Agony. Influenced by genre greats, M.R. James and H.P. Lovecraft, and raised on Stephen King and Peter Straub, Allen aims to deliver his own brand of creeping, cerebral horror.

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My Review

5 stars

Jack Bishop is an author that received major fame from the release of his first book. But his second book is just not coming, no matter what he does. His publisher is about done with him. So Jack goes to Wabasso Lake, a place known as a writer’s retreat, and hopes to write his second book. But something strange is going on. When he discovers a lost manuscript things seem to go from bad to worse.

I loved this book. The prologue sucks you in and leaves you wanting more. Jack is trying to do whatever he can to write his second book. His discovery of the manuscript makes you think that he might be back on track until strange things keep happening. There is more to this manuscript than just a great story.

This is a great thriller. It hooks you will the camp in 1953 then dumps you into Jack’s own nightmare in 2012. This is one that I recommend for anyone that likes horror/thriller stories. You will not be disappointed.

I received No Greater Agony from Sage’s Blog Tours for free. This has not influenced my opinion of this book in any way.

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The Last Sin

The Last Sin

by KL Murphy

on Tour March 13 – April 14, 2017

Synopsis:

The Last Sin by KL Murphy

Detective Mike Cancini has seen some dark days, but his skills are put to the test when a priest is discovered, brutally murdered in a run-down church in Washington, D.C. The man who discovered the body is none other than Cancini’s longtime friend and confidant, Father Joe Rossi. The murdered priest, Father Matthew Holland, was adored by the congregation, and it seems clear that this was a crime of opportunity in a deteriorating neighborhood.

However, Cancini soon learns some shocking details from the church secretary, and begins to suspect that Father Holland was not as saintly as he may have appeared. This new information leads to a trail of bribes and decades of corruption polluting the church. Cancini must confront his own struggles with his faith and uncover the truth of the conspiracy before more people are killed.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery & Detective / Police Procedural
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: March 2014
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780062491633
Series: Detective Cancini Mysteries #3
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

Sunday, February 21st: The Day Of

The smell of incense lingered in the air, temporarily masking the odor of rotting wood. Father Matthew Holland inhaled. The bitter scent stung his nose. Three years had passed since he’d taken over the church and nothing had changed. Even with the increased attendance and community outreach, the church offerings remained meager. Without offerings—without money—the parish church would die.

The priest sat down on the front pew, his robes gathered around his feet. His gaze shifted to the empty pulpit. Two large and colorful plants graced the altar, but they weren’t enough to hide the worn carpet or faded paintings, nor could the soft candlelight make him forget the plywood that covered the cracked stained glass. There was so much to do, so much need. He sighed and looked to the cross over the altar. Not for the first time, he asked for forgiveness, for understanding. There would be money now—he’d made sure of that—but at what cost? He’d done it for the church. His pulse quickened and his stomach clenched. Bending forward, he forced himself to take one deep breath after another until the moment passed.

He loosened his cleric collar and yawned. The evening’s mass had been long and difficult. The drunks in the back of the church had refused to leave, in spite of the old deacons’ best efforts.

“S’our right to be here,” the man with the long, stringy hair had said. His words slurred, he’d leaned forward as though he might topple straight into the next pew. “Worshipin’ God,” he’d
said, although it had sounded like something else judging by the gasps from the congregation. The drunk had pointed a dirty hand toward the altar. “Here to see Father Holland. Tol’ us to come anytime.”

The drunk had swayed again, and his companion had reached out with a strong arm to catch him. Father Holland’s mouth had gone dry at the sight of the tattoo on the man’s forearm—a black dagger plunged into a white skull. Three drops of blood extended in a single line from the tip of the dagger to the man’s wrist. He knew that tattoo, knew what it meant.

The awkward moment had passed although not before Father Holland caught the disdain on the faces of the ladies in the choir. Still, none of the parishioners had said a word, all looking to him instead. He’d hidden his trembling hands in the folds of the heavy cassock and swallowed. “St. William is open to everyone, our members and our guests. However, since we are about to have communion, I would ask that everyone who is not singing remain quiet. Guests may come forward for a blessing, of course.” He’d been careful to keep his voice steady. Thank the Lord it had been enough. The man with the oily hair had quieted down and then stumbled out during the Eucharist. His friend with the tattoo had stayed a moment longer, then followed.

Silence filled the sanctuary now. Father Holland rubbed his hands together and shivered. He could still feel the cold eyes of the tattooed man and the curious glances from the congregation. The man’s presence at the evening mass had been no accident and no drunken whim. The message had been clear.

After the church had emptied, he’d walked to the corner market and made the call. He’d done the best he could. Money changed everything. It always did. He opened his hand and stared
at the crumpled paper with the phone number. He was not a stupid man. Nothing came without a price. He murmured a prayer until his shoulders relaxed and the drumbeat of his heart slowed.

His stomach growled, the gurgling loud and rumbly, and he realized it had been hours since he’d eaten. Breaking the quiet, a sound came from the back of the church, a click and a swish as the heavy outer door swung open. He stood and smoothed his cassock. Dinner would have to wait. He strained to see, but the vestibule was dark. “Who’s there?” he asked.

The door clanged shut and heavy steps sounded on the dingy marble floor. Father Holland replaced his collar and ran his fingers through his hair. There was only silence. The hair on the back of his neck prickled. “Is somebody there?” he asked again.

A figure shrouded in black stepped out of the dark.

Father Holland stiffened. “Why are you here?”

From the shadows, the eyes of the visitor glittered in the candlelight. “I’m a sinner, Father.”

Father Holland’s shoulders slumped. “We are all sinners in God’s eyes.”

***

Excerpt from The Last Sin by KL Murphy. Copyright © 2017 by Witness Impulse. Reproduced with permission from Witness Impulse. All rights reserved.

 

K.L. MURPHY

Author Bio:

K.L. MURPHY was born in Key West, Florida, the eldest of four children in a military family. She has worked as a freelance writer for several regional publications in Virginia, and is the author of A Guilty Mind and Stay of Execution. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, four children, and two very large, very hairy dogs.

To learn more about the Detective Cancini Mystery series or future projects, visit her Website 🔗, Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗 pages.

My Review

5 stars

Detective Cancini is called in to investigate the brutal murder of a priest, Father Holland. Then his friend Father Rossi is attacked because someone thinks he knows about Father Holland’s murder. Cancini is almost pulled from the case because of his relationship with Rossi but Cancini plans on figuring out what is really happening one way or another.

This is the first book in this series that I have read. Cancini is a tough as nails detective and has personal issues that come into play in this story. But what kind of a detective would he be without family drama, relationship issues, and so much more. That just drew me into this story even more. I didn’t know what to expect, who the killer was, and what the motive was.

This is a great, action packed thriller that I had a hard time putting down. I was so turned around that I didn’t expect the motive or the killer. I loved The Last Sin and I will definitely be getting the other books in this series.

I received The Last Sin from Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for KL Murphy and Witness Impulse. There will be 3 winners of one (1) code for a BlueFire eBook copy of The Last Sin by KL Murphy. The giveaway begins on March 13th and runs through April 16th, 2017.

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Ashes

Ashes
by Steven Manchester
on Tour February 19 – April 21, 2017

 

Ashes by Steven Manchester

Book Details
Genre: Fiction
Published by: The Story Plant
Publication Date: February 21st 2017
Number of Pages: 260
Purchase Links:

Synopsis:

Middle-aged brothers Jason and Tom Prendergast thought they were completely done with each other. Perceived betrayal had burned the bridge between them, tossing them into the icy river of estrangement. But life – and death – has a robust sense of irony, and when they learn that their cruel father has died and made his final request that they travel together across the country to spread his ashes, they have no choice but to spend a long, long car trip in each other’s company. It’s either that or lose out on the contents of the envelope he’s left with his lawyer. The trip will be as gut-wrenching as each expects it to be . . . and revealing in ways neither of them is prepared for.

At turns humorous, biting, poignant, and surprisingly tender, Ashes puts a new spin on family and dysfunction with a story that is at once fresh and timelessly universal.

Read an excerpt:

Tom wheeled his late-model, platinum-colored BMW into Attorney Russell Norman’s freshly paved lot and parked between a brand new Lexus—sporting the license plate JUSTIS4U—and a custom pickup truck. Looks like I’m going after the hillbilly, he thought when he spotted the faded Massachusetts Department of Correction sticker in the rear window. His blood turned cold. “It must be Jason,” he thought aloud. I didn’t think he’d come.

Tom took a few deep breaths, not because he was nervous about his father’s death or talking to any lawyer but because he hadn’t seen his Neanderthal brother—for fifteen years, I think. He paused for a moment to give it more thought. Although their relationship had essentially vaporized in their late teens—the result of a fall out that still haunted his dreams—they’d occasionally wound up in each other’s orbits; weddings, funerals, and the like, enough to remain familiar with each other’s career choices, wives, and children. But even that came to an end fifteen years ago, he confirmed in his aching head before opening the door. While his toothache-induced migraine threatened to blind him, he took one step into the oak-paneled waiting room. His and Jason’s eyes met for the briefest moment. As though they were complete strangers, they both looked away. And here he is, Tom thought, disappointed. This is just great.

Through peripheral vision, Tom noticed that his older brother now wore a scar over his right eye, just above a bushy eyebrow that could have easily belonged to a homeless Scotsman. A jagged ear lobe, a piece clearly torn away, pointed to a crooked nose that sat sideways on his face—all of it rearranged since birth. What a big tub of shit he’s turned into, Tom thought, struggling to ignore his throbbing face and head. He’s as fat as a wood tick now, he thought, grinning, and he looks like he’s ready to pop. Jason looked straight at him, as if reading his mind. Tom immediately looked away, his rapid heartbeat starting to pound in his ears, intensifying his physical pain. Unbelievable, he thought. After all the years and all the distance, his elder brother—by only two years—still scared the hell out of him. He’s just a big asshole, that’s all, he told himself, but he still couldn’t bring himself to rejoin his brother’s penetrating gaze.

The secretary answered her phone before calling out, “Mr. Prendergast . . .”

Both brothers stood.

“Attorney Norman will see you now.”

Tom walked in first, letting the door close behind him—right in Jason’s face.

“Still a weasel,” Jason muttered, loud enough for all to hear.

“What was that?” Tom asked just inside the door.

“Don’t even think about playing with me,” Jason warned as he reopened the door and entered the room, “’cause I have no problem throwing you over my knee and spanking you right in front of this guy.”

I’m fifty years old, for God’s sake, Tom thought, and he thinks he’s going to spank me? I’m surprised the prison even let him out.

The attorney—his hand extended for anyone willing to give it a shake—looked mortified by the childish exchange.

Tom shook the man’s hand before settling into a soft leather wing chair. Jason followed suit.

The room was framed in rich mahogany paneling. The desk could have belonged in the oval office. Beneath a green-glassed banker’s lamp, stacks of file folders took up most of the vast desktop. An American flag stood in one corner, while framed diplomas and certificates, bearing witness to the man’s intelligence and vast education, covered the brown walls.

Attorney Norman wore a pinstriped shirt and pleated, charcoal-colored slacks held up by a pair of black suspenders. He had a bow tie, a receding hairline that begged to be shaved bald, and a pair of eyeglasses that John Lennon would have been proud to call his own. There’s no denying it, Tom thought, trying to ignore his brother’s wheezing beside him, he’s either a lawyer or a banker. He couldn’t be anything else.

While Jason squirmed in his seat, visibly uncomfortable to be sitting in a lawyer’s office, his hands squeezed the arms of the chair. What a chicken shit, Tom thought, trying to make himself feel better. Peering sideways, he noticed that his brother’s knuckles were so swollen with scar tissue they could have belonged to a man who made his living as a bare-knuckle brawler. He’s still an animal too, he decided.

Attorney Norman took a seat, grabbed a manila file from atop the deep stack and cleared his throat. “The reason you’re both here . . .”

“. . . is to make sure the old man’s really dead,” Jason interrupted.

In spite of himself and his harsh feelings for his brother, Tom chuckled—drawing looks from both men.

“The reason we’re all here,” Attorney Norman repeated, “is to read Stuart Prendergast’s last will and testament.” He flipped open the folder.

This ought to be good, Tom thought, while Jason took a deep breath and sighed heavily. Both brothers sat erect in their plush chairs, waiting to hear more.

As if he were Stuart Prendergast sitting there in the flesh, the mouthpiece read, “My final wish is that my two sons, Jason and Thomas, bring my final remains to 1165 Milford Road in Seattle, Washington, where they will spread my ashes.”

“Seattle?” Tom blurted, his wagging tongue catching his tooth, making him wince in pain. Quickly concealing his weakness, he slid to the edge of his seat. “Oh, I don’t think so,” he mumbled, careful not to touch the tooth again.

Jason was shaking his head. “Hell no,” he said.

The attorney read on. “I’ve always been afraid to fly, so I’m asking that I not be transported by airplane but driven by car.”

“No way,” Tom instinctively sputtered.

Jason laughed aloud. “This is just great. The old bastard’s dead and he’s still screwing with us.”

The less-than-amused attorney revealed a sealed envelope and continued on. “As my final gift to my sons . . .”

“Only gift,” Tom muttered, feeling a cauldron of bad feelings bubbling in his gut.

“I’m leaving this sealed envelope for them to share, once and only once they’ve taken me to my final resting place.”

“What the fuck!” Jason blurted.

Every cell in Tom’s overloaded brain flashed red. Don’t do it, he thought. You don’t owe that old man a damned thing. But every cell in his body was flooded with curiosity. He looked at Jason, who was no longer shaking his fat head.

“Maybe the bastard finally hit it big at the dog track?” Jason suggested.

Tom nodded in agreement but secretly wondered, Could it be the deed to the land Pop bragged about owning in Maine? He stared at the envelope. For as long as I can remember, he claimed to own forty-plus acres with a brook running straight through it. He stared harder. Could it be? he wondered, wishing he had X-ray vision. A parcel of land in Maine sure would make a nice retirement . . .

“How ’bout we travel separately and meet in Seattle to spread the ashes?” Jason said, interrupting his thoughts.

“Great idea,” Tom said, hoping against all hope that the idea would fly with their father’s lawyer.

Attorney Norman shook his head. “I’m sorry, gentlemen, but your father specifically requested that you travel together with his remains to Seattle. Any deviation from this can and will prohibit you from attaining the sealed envelope.”

There was a long pause, the room blanketed in a heavy silence. Son of a bitch, Tom thought, this couldn’t have come at a worse time. He turned to Jason, who was already looking at him. “What do you say?” he asked, already cursing his inability to curb his curiosity.

Jason shook his head in disgust. “The last thing I want to do is to go on some stupid road trip with you.”

“Trust me, that’s a mutual feeling,” Tom shot back.

“But I don’t think we have a choice,” Jason added. “Our fucked-up father wants to play one last game with us, so to hell with it—let’s play.”

This is insane, but he’s right, Tom thought. With a single nod, Tom stood. “Okay, let’s have the ashes then,” he told the lawyer.

The attorney shook his head. “I don’t have them. They’re currently at a funeral home in Salem.”

“Salem?” Tom squeaked, unhappy that his tone betrayed his distress.

“That’s right. You have to take custody of your father’s remains from the Buffington Funeral Home in Salem, Massachusetts.”

“You must be shitting me.” Jason said.

The attorney smirked. “I shit you not,” he said, throwing the letter onto his desk.

Salem? Tom repeated in his head. Just when I thought Pop couldn’t be a bigger prick . . . The migraine knocked even harder from the inside of his skull, making him feel nauseous. Amid the pain, his synapses fired wildly, considering all this would mean: I’ll have to take bereavement leave from school and find someone to cover my classes. I should probably double my treatment with Dr. Baxter tomorrow. And what about Caleb and Caroline? he asked himself, quickly deciding, They’ll be fine without me for a few days. Then he pictured his wife’s face. And Carmen, she’ll be fine without me for a lot longer than that. The nausea increased. Screw her.

“Are we done here?” Jason asked, obviously itching to leave.

The lawyer nodded. “I’ll need proof in the form of a video or a series of photos that you’ve deposited your father’s remains where he wished. Once I have that, the letter’s all yours.”

“How wonderful,” Jason said sarcastically. He stood, turned on his heels, and headed for the door.

Tom also got to his feet. He looked at the lawyer and, trying to ignore his physical discomfort, he smiled. “Don’t mind him,” he said, shrugging. “That imbecile is exactly what our father trained him to be.”

 

Author Bio:

Steven ManchesterSteven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestsellers Twelve Months, The Rockin’ Chair, Pressed Pennies, and Gooseberry Island as well as the novels Goodnight, Brian and The Changing Season. His work has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning, and BET’s Nightly News. Recently, three of Manchester’s short stories were selected “101 Best” for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

Find Steven on his Website, on Twitter, & on Facebook!

My Review

5 stars

Jason and Tom Prendergast were raise in a very dysfunctional family. Their father was an alcoholic and very physically and verbally abusive to the brothers. The brothers were inseparable until one situation drove a wedge between them. They have grown up and have created their own lives as a prison guard and teacher. Then they learn that their father has died and left them an inheritance with a stipulation. If they want the inheritance then they have to drive across the country to spread his ashes in Seattle. Neither brother really wants to do this but curiosity gets the better of them. They reluctantly agree to this last request/order from their father.

Jason and Tom are complete opposites to each other from their profession to even the kinds of foods that they eat. Neither really wants to be around the other and they spend their time nitpicking and annoying each other. But the longer they are around each other, they start reminiscing about the past and come to the thing that drove the wedge between them.

I really enjoyed this story. As much as Jason and Tom irritate each other they irritated me too. But the more you learn about their past and how messed up their home life was, it makes sense. I couldn’t help but feel bad for the brothers. But there was more than one place I was laughing at how they messed with each other, I can see me doing that to my own brother.

This is a great story and one that I think everyone will like. I recommend everyone check it out.

I received Ashes from Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

Tour Host Participants:

Don’t miss your chance to learn more about Steven Manchester & his book, Ashes! Visit the tour stops for interviews, guest posts, and lots of reviews!

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Don’t Miss Your Chance to WIN Ashes!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Providence Book Promotions for Steven Manchester and The Story Plant. There will be 5 US winners of one (1) PRINT copy of Ashes by Steven Manchester. The giveaway begins on February 18th and runs through April 23rd, 2017.

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