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Archive for June 6th, 2017

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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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KNOLL: The Last JFK Conspiracist by [Hillard, Stephen]

Knoll: The Last JFK Conspiracist by Stephen Hillard

A young protégé of Edward Snowden flees the NSA after she learns that her project (KNOLL) is designed to detect and destroy any person with new facts about the conspiracy to assassinate JFK. The project’s latest target: a small-town attorney, son of a mysteriously murdered cop, who has just discovered his family’s involvement with deceased Mafia Kingpin Carlos Marcello, and the events that day in Dallas. All paths lead to a small Louisiana town that still hides its secrets, and converge on the doorstep of Marcello’s still-active savant of assassins. He is unstoppable. His creed: Omerta Is Forever.

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Author’s Bio

Steve Hillard grew up in Bossier City, Louisiana and Grand Junction, Colorado. He graduated from Colorado State University and later earned a degree in philosophy at Columbia University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Colorado. Before settling into his current career as a private equity entrepreneur, Hillard was a teacher at Rikers Island Prison, a welder, a carpenter, and a practicing lawyer. He is the founder and head of Council Tree Communications, a private equity fund involved in the entertainment and telecom industries. He resides with his wife, Sharmaine, in Grand Junction, Colorado.

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My Review

5 stars

William “Bus” McIntyre is a small town lawyer and Vietnam veteran. He is haunted by his father’s murder years before. When he is handed the personnel file for his father, there is a note about his involvement in Dallas and Carlos Marcello. Bus goes on the hunt for his father’s killer.

Banner McCoy is a NSA data analyst that works on a project called KNOLL. It is supposed to gather information regarding Kennedy’s assassination but it really is eliminating anyone with real information behind the killing.

This is a great story full of lots of action. Bus is planning on running for District Attorney when his old friend at the Junction City Police Department hands over an old file on Dean McIntyre, Bus’ father. Bus is determined to find out how his father was involved in Kennedy’s assassination. Then there is Banner, she learns how her project is actually keeping the truth hidden.

Then we have an aging hit man to the mafia that is following the instruction of his dead boss, Carlos Marcello. He is supposed to get rid of anyone that has knowledge about the assassination of Kennedy. This is the link between the two story lines.

Overall I really enjoyed this story. There is a lot of information that leads you to your own conclusions to Kennedy’s assassination. I loved where this book went, even if I had a little bit of a rough time getting into the story at first.  I do think that this book will please those that are interested in the Kennedy assignation.

I received Knoll from FSB Associates for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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YA Fantasy, horror
Date Published: December 26 2014
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FREE For a Limited Time
Only the best are chosen to breed.
The rest are loaded onto carts and taken away from the encampment.  Never to be seen again.
Trinity has one week to escape into the forest and discover the fate of her kind.
Dive into the Lake of Sins and discover a world filled with human-animal hybrids where predators are friends and monsters aren’t nearly as scary as those who create them.
The YA, dark fantasy series people are calling dark, gritty and too disturbing to put down.
 
 
About the Author

L. S. O’Dea grew up the youngest of seven in a family that uses teasing and tricks as an indication of love (or at least that’s what she tells herself).  Being five years younger than her closest sibling often made her the unwilling entertainment for her brothers and sisters.
Before she started kindergarten her brothers taught her how to spell her first and middle name—Linda Sue.  She was so proud she ran into the kitchen to tell her mother.  She stood tall and recited the letters of her name:  L-E-M-O-N   H-E-A-D.
Perhaps, she has her siblings to thank for the demons that whisper through her mind and help to create these dark and demented stories.
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Tyrant’s Throne (Greatcoats – 4) by Sebastien de Castell

Would you – could you? – uphold the law at the cost of those you love?

After years of struggle and sacrifice, Falcio val Mond, First Cantor of the Greatcoats, is on the brink of fulfilling his dead King’s dream: Aline, the King’s daughter, is about to take the throne and restore the rule of law once and for all.

But for the Greatcoats, nothing is ever that simple. In the neighboring country of Avares, an enigmatic new warlord is uniting the barbarian armies which have long plagued Tristia’s borders – and even worse, he is rumored to have a new ally: Trin, who’s twice tried to kill Aline to take the throne for herself. With the armies of Avares at her back, she’ll be unstoppable.

Falcio, Kest and Brasti race north to stop her, but in those cold and treacherous climes they discover something altogether different, and far more dangerous: a new player is planning to take the throne of Tristia, and the Greatcoats, for all their skill, may not be able to stop him.

As the nobles of Tristia and even the Greatcoats themselves fight over who should rule, the Warlord of Avares threatens to invade. It is going to fall to Falcio to render the one verdict he cannot bring himself to decide: does he crown the girl he vowed to put on the throne, or uphold the laws he swore to serve?

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My Review

5 stars

Aline is about ready to take the throne of Tristia. But word comes from the border of Avares and there is a great army getting ready to attack Tristia. Falcio, Kest, and Brasti head to the border to find out what is going on and prepare for battle. But this is no simple war, someone powerful is determined to take control of Tristia and the barbarians are going to help them. It is up to the Greatcoats to stop them.

It’s always hard for me to finish a great book and a wonderful series. I love the ending yet I hate having to leave this wonderful world and amazing characters. Just when you think the main battle is over and Aline is going to take the throne, the Greatcoats learns of a new warlord that is intent on taking over Tristia. The Greatcoats go to stop them but learn so much more along the way.

I always wondered if they were going to be enough along with Aline to reunite Tristia. This country is so broken that I didn’t see how traitors and a child could bring it together. But when Falcio finds what is really needed, all I can say is my heart stopped. I didn’t want to see this ending but it was what was needed although heartbreaking.

I loved to see how everything ended. We have traveled so far and long with these people that you can’t hope but wish things work out for them. Some do, some don’t, and not all of them will make it to the end of the book.

This is an amazing series and one that I strongly recommend everyone check out. It will draw you in, get you wrapped up with all of these wonderful characters, run you the gambit of emotions, and leave you crying from sadness and happiness.

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Traitor’s Blade (Greatcoats – 1)

Falcio is the first Cantor of the Greatcoats. Trained in the fighting arts and the laws of Tristia, the Greatcoats are travelling Magisters upholding King’s Law. They are heroes. Or at least they were, until they stood aside while the Dukes took the kingdom, and impaled their King’s head on a spike.

Now Tristia is on the verge of collapse and the barbarians are sniffing at the borders. The Dukes bring chaos to the land, while the Greatcoats are scattered far and wide, reviled as traitors, their legendary coats in tatters.

All they have left are the promises they made to King Paelis, to carry out one final mission. But if they have any hope of fulfilling the King’s dream, the divided Greatcoats must reunite, or they will also have to stand aside as they watch their world burn…

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My Review

4 stars

The Greatcoats were the king’s special army that was judges and jury for the king. But they were ordered by the king for special missions and told to stand down when a Duke killed the king. Because of them not standing up for the king, people see them as traitors and call them tatter-cloaks and treat them like crap.

Falcio was the first cantor of the Greatcoats and was giving the job of finding the kings Chariots, which he doesn’t know what this is. Falcio and his friends Kest and Brasti have been together for the last five years, since the king’s death, looking for his Chariots. But Falcio finds himself in Rijou during Granath Kalila, The Blood Week, think the Purge where people can kill torture, and loot without persecution. There Falcio finds a mother and her children about to set on fire. He saved the one girl and plans to get her through this week so she can claim her bloodline.

When I read the blurb for this book, the first thing I thought of was the Three Musketeers. Traitor’s Blade is so much more. It’s an epic story of love and loss, loyalty and treachery, and lots of kick ass fights. This is an amazing story that will draw you in and leave you wanting more. Falcio had a rough start yet found himself a family with the Greatcoats. Being marked a traitor has been hard on him and the others.

I loved following along with Falcio, Kest, and Brasti. I can’t wait to read Knight’s Shadow and see what happens next.

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Knight’s Shadow (Greatcoats – 2)

Following his beloved debut, Traitor’s Blade, Sebastien de Castell returns with volume two of his fast-paced fantasy adventure series, inspired by the swashbuckling action and witty banter of The Three Musketeers. Knight’s Shadow continues the series with a thrilling and dark tale of heroism and betrayal in a country crushed under the weight of its rulers’ corruption.

A few days after the horrifying murder of a duke and his family, Falcio val Mond, swordsman and First Cantor of the Greatcoats, begins a deadly pursuit to capture the killer. But Falcio soon discovers his own life is in mortal danger from a poison administered as a final act of revenge by one of his deadliest enemies. As chaos and civil war begin to overtake the country, Falcio has precious little time left to stop those determined to destroy his homeland.

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My Review

5 stars

The Greatcoats are back and up to their ears in trouble. Trin is a Duchess and is trying to rule Tristia and has a large army gathered to make sure she rules. Falcio and the other Greatcoats are trying to get Aline, the true ruler, some favors from the other Dukes and Duchesses that start ending up dead. Of course the Greatcoats are blamed but they are not the only ones. A massive war is gathering as people find anything that they can use for a weapon. Time is passing quickly, will they get the favors or will war start first.

I love this series!! Aline is just a child but is the rightful ruler of Tristia, if they can stop Trin. Falcio has been poisoned and is racing the clock to get the cure. Kest is fighting with the Saint’s Fever that he has now that he is the Saint of Swords. And then there is Brasti. We learn so much more about him. I have to say he is my favorite character. All of his wise ass comments, especially during fighting remind him of me when I’m in my Krav Maga class.

But the part I really enjoyed was Valiana. I love following a woman as she stands up to fight. Her heart was in the right place but she has been thrown to the wolves without any training. But although she is put down she does not let that stop her in the least. Thank goodness Dariana is there to teach her.

This is an amazing fantasy series that I strongly recommend everyone check out. There is so much action, betrayal, and so much more that it will appeal to anyone.

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Saint’s Blood (Greatcoats – 3)

How do you kill a Saint?

Falcio, Kest, and Brasti are about to find out, because someone has figured out a way to do it and they’ve started with a friend.

The Dukes were already looking for ways out of their agreement to put Aline on the throne, but with the Saints turning up dead, rumors are spreading that the Gods themselves oppose her ascension. Now churches are looking to protect themselves by bringing back the military orders of religious soldiers, assassins, and (especially) Inquisitors – a move that could turn the country into a theocracy. The only way Falcio can put a stop to it is by finding the murderer. He has only one clue: a terrifying iron mask which makes the Saints vulnerable by driving them mad. But even if he can find the killer, he’ll still have to face him in battle.

And that may be a duel that no swordsman, no matter how skilled, can hope to win.

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 I thought I had book three for review but I’m sorry to say that I was mistaken. I do have it on order and hope to review it shortly.

Sebastien de Castell

Author’s Bio

Sebastien de Castell had just finished a degree in Archaeology when he started work on his first dig. Four hours later he realized how much he actually hated archaeology and left to pursue a very focused career as a musician, ombudsman, interaction designer, fight choreographer, teacher, project manager, actor, and product strategist. His only defense against the charge of unbridled dilettantism is that he genuinely likes doing these things and that, in one way or another, each of these fields plays a role in his writing. He sternly resists the accusation of being a Renaissance Man in the hopes that more people will label him that way.

Sebastien lives in Vancouver, Canada with his lovely wife and two belligerent cats.

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I received Traitor’s Blade, Knight’s Shadow, and Tyrant’s Throne from Quercus for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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The Tunnel

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The Tunnel (Danny Katz – 2) by Carl-Johan Vallgren

Once a promising military intelligence officer and high-functioning heroin addict, Danny Katz now uses his gifts as a linguist and computer programmer in his work as a private investigator. His drug habit ultimately derailed his earlier career, but now he is clean—and self-employed. In short, Katz is used to his fair share of suffering and all too familiar with Stockholm’s seedy underbelly.

When his former drug dealer, Ramón, dies from an apparent overdose and Ramón’s girlfriend, Jenny, disappears without a trace, Katz suspects that something is amiss. He decides to investigate, enlisting the help of prosecutor Eva Westin (another ex-junkie from his past) to find the missing young woman. It isn’t long before the line between Katz’s current and former lives begins to blur, raising many questions about his own troubled youth.

Katz’s inquiries lead him to the darkest corners of Stockholm’s black market, including its porn industry, and he quickly finds his old addiction threatening to reassert its grip on his life. It also becomes clear that someone is willing to do whatever it takes to keep him from discovering the answers to his questions. Will Katz be able to master his personal demons and discover the truth behind Ramón’s death and Jenny’s disappearance before the city’s netherworld once again claims him as its own?

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 Carl-Johan Vallgren

Author’s Bio

Carl-Johan Vallgren is one of Sweden’s most loved writers. He has been awarded the Swedish August Prize for Best Novel of the Year, and has been translated into 25 languages. He’s also a talented musician with Warner Music.

Website

My Review

4 stars

Katz, Jorma, and Eva have known each other since they were homeless teenagers living on the streets of Stockholm. But time moves on and they have all grown. Katz is now a private investigator and is on the hunt for his old drug dealer. But the investigation leads him to the porn industry.

Eva has become a prosecutor and is now looking into how the mafia is laundering their money in Stockholm. And then there is Jorma, not liking the clean path, when he is approached about a robbery he jumps at the opportunity, but the robbery goes wrong and he is left injured and on the hunt by the police.

This book has a little bit of everything in it: drugs, sex, violence, and so much more. Katz is still fighting his drug addiction 10 years later. He is also trying to learn more about his Jewish father. Eva is trying to be a good mother but suffers from sex addiction. And although everything is separate, the more Katz digs the more it really all links together. I loved the dark, gritty world we find ourselves in. It’s not pretty by any means. But this is what you expect from Scandinavian noir. It dirty, ugly, and horrible but it rings true.

This is a great story and my first book of Carl-Johan Vallgren’s. It was not hard to read it as a standalone book but I do have the feeling that if you read The Boy in the Shadows first some of the small background would have made more sense.

Over all this is a great book and one I recommend for anyone that likes Scandinavian noir or dark and gritty thrillers.

I received The Tunnel from Quercus for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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