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Archive for June, 2018

The Completionist

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The Completionist by Siobhan Adcock

Find her. You need to keep looking, no matter what. I’m afraid of what might’ve happened to her. You be afraid too.

A young Marine, Carter Quinn, comes home from war to his fractured family, in a near-future America in which water is artificially engineered and technology is startlingly embedded in people’s everyday lives. At the same time, a fertility crisis has terrifying implications for women, including Carter’s two beloved sisters, Fred and Gardner. Fred, accomplished but impetuous, the eldest sibling, is naturally pregnant—a rare and miraculous event that puts her independence in jeopardy. And Gardner, the idealistic younger sister who lived for her job as a Nurse Completionist, has mysteriously vanished, after months of disturbing behaviour.

Carter’s efforts to find Gard (and stay on Fred’s good side) keep leading him back home to their father, a veteran of a decades-long war just like Carter himself, who may be concealing a painful truth that could save or condemn them all.

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Siobhan Adcock

Author’s Bio

Siobhan Adcock is the author of the novels The Barter and The Completionist. She lives in Brooklyn.

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My Review

3 stars

Natural disasters have ravaged the country leaving many without water and leaving the coasts inhabitable. Water is a precious commodity and has started to be artificially engineered. The downside is that this ne w water causes infertility. This story takes place in New Chicago. Carter Quinn is a marine that has just returned from the H2.0 war.

Carter’s sister Gardner is a Completionist, one of those that help the few women that become pregnant to carry the baby to full term. Carter’s other sister; Fred has become pregnant and is preparing to get married.

I love dystopian stories and I was excited to start reading this one. It was an interesting story; although there are other ways to get clean water I suspended that idea for now. Most of the population cannot have children, ok good idea. But then those few women that do get pregnant are fined for it? I do understand the strict regiments and basically making them breeding stock.

Over all this is one of those books I think you will either like or hate. It’s not a bad read if you suspend belief in several areas. It is worth a read and I don’t feel like I would have wasted my money. But it’s not one for me that is screaming to be added to my shelves.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Spark Point Studios for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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The Book of Dog

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The Book of Dog by Lark Benobi

It’s the Night of the Yellow Puff-Ball Mushroom Cloud and Mary Mbwembwe is making a cup of chamomile tea. Josefina Guzman is chasing a fox from her yard. Margie Peach is pumping gas into her car. Wanda Lubiejewski is plunging a stopped toilet. Stella is looking for her aunt’s kitchen shears. And Major Eureka Yamanaka is hefting a briefcase into Marine Helicopter Squadron One.

None of these women know it yet, but a mysterious yellow fog is coming their way, sowing chaos in its path. Mexico has declared war on the United States. The President has declared war on Burkina Faso. The White House is under attack by giant bears and the Vice President has turned into a Bichon Frise.

It’s Apocalypse Time, my friends.

Soon the Beast will rise.

And six women will make a perilous journey to the Pit of Nethelem, where they will either stop the Beast from fulfilling his evil purpose, or die trying.

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Author’s Bio

I’m author of The Book of Dog, coming soon from Vegetablian Press. It’s a book of shenanigans in which six unlikely women defeat the Beast of Revelation, also known as “The President.” Ebook, Audio and Trade Paperback coming in September, 2018.

Thanks for being a reader! We’re a vanishing breed.

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My Review

5 stars

This story is a twisted, comedy of errors as he world we know goes to hell. You have five normal women that have been changed into animals yet can retain their human logic. You have a pregnant teenager with the spawn of Satan. Then you have the beast straight from the book of Revelations. Oh, don’t forget that the president has been changed into a Bichon Frise.

This book was laugh out loud funny with its humorous and snarky look at the world. It was the perfect read for me as I needed a laugh. It was a great break from the dreariness of regular life and one that I recommend everyone checking it. If you laugh at least once, this book was worth it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

PR by the Book

I would like to thank PR by the Book for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Book Details:

Book Title: The Enigma Dragon: A CATS Tale (The Enigma Series Book 9)
Authors: Charles V Breakfield and Roxanne E Burkey
Category: Adult Fiction, 360 pages
Genre: Thriller, TechnoThriller
Publisher: ICABOD Press
Release date: Oct 5, 2017
Tour dates: May 28 to June 22, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (There are some descriptive sex scenes but not throughout)

Book Description:

Do the vast amounts of information and technology available hold humans hostage? Does analog communication create a vulnerability?

The political climate in the world is unnerving. North Korea is running missile tests, but where are they getting their deadly supplies? Meanwhile, terrorists are hiding in plain sight, using American technology that is out on display in libraries and museums for the world to see, but are using analog methods to gather and assemble their information. No internet searches equal no red flags which lets the bad guys believe they are operating undetected. But the Cyber Assassin Technology Services (CATS) team is on the job. As Juan and Julie Rodríguez send their operatives out across the globe to track down these foot soldiers also known as Analog Information Mules, they’ll discover the horrible potential treats, and learn about each other along the way.

Mike and Marge control ePETRO, an oil shipping business with offices in London and New York, but they don’t have the same business goals in mind. Marge intends to sell the North Koreans uranium in addition to oil obtained illegally from the government-sanctioned Middle East. But Mike may have other plans, mainly, keeping the profits of these sales for himself. Then there is the mysterious Steven Christopher, who oversees the AIMs, and is working several angles behind the scenes. Steven is the only one trusted by both Marge and Mike, but why?

The CATs team has feet on the ground, with Ernesto and Tyler following two women through Washington, D.C. as they visit the Smithsonian looking for nuclear fusion processes and down the Texas coast where a dangerous package makes its way onto a ship bound for Asia. Jamie, an Irish man with a heartbreaking past, joins the team in Texas and finds not only a new job, but acceptance. George and Summit travel across Asia following the oil and some suspiciously mislabeled furniture. After a rocky start at being paired up, Mercedes and Brayson head to Panama and are watching a previously known Dark Net data center, but Mercedes is soon extracted to help out in D.C. She quickly becomes embroiled in Steven Christopher’s world. Brayson is left behind alone in Panama and, still recovering from a lost love, learns that he can’t truly be a part of the team until he has forgiven himself.

While Juan stays with Quip and his supercomputer ICABOD, tracking his team members and relaying constantly updated information at the team’s nerve center, Julie heads to London. Julie finds herself in the center of all the trouble as she goes undercover in the ePETRO offices. When Julie disappears, Juan drops everything to find her. Quip loops his wife EZ, a Unified Communications expert, to help monitor and control the CATS team movements so that operatives can find the culprits in their different theaters of operation.

Award-winning authors, Breakfield and Burkey, take readers on a new techno-thriller adventure with their 9th book in The Enigma Series. The Enigma Dragon is a chilling journey across four continents, and twelve cities that uncovers terrifying possibilities of what is to become of our world if the CATS team cannot defeat our enemies.

To follow the tour, please visit Breakfield & Burkey’s page on iRead Book Tours.

 

Buy the Book:
Watch the book trailer:
Meet the Authors:

Charles Breakfield

Charles holds a master’s degree and works for a high-tech manufacturer as a solution architect, functioning in hybrid data/telecom environments. A long-time technology geek, Charles enjoys writing, studying World War II history, travel, and cultural exchanges. He’s also a fan of wine-tastings, riding his Harley, and continues developing his woodworking skills. Now included in people on the move in Dallas Business Journal.

Roxanne Burkey

Roxanne has two passions – working with technology and writing. She enjoys working to drive optimized customer experiences with technology in her role with a high-tech manufacturer. Texas is home for her and her family. When time permits Rox likes gardening, hiking, sewing, refinishing antiques, exploring, wine-tasting, and traveling. She loves to listen to people which often results in odd treasures that come to life in her stories. Now included in people on the move in Dallas Business Journal.

Connect with the authors: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

Guest Post

We know book reviews are important. How do you feel when you receiving book reviews – the good and the bad.

Response: Reviews are kind of like a score card.  It takes time for people to do reviews and we like to acknowledge or show appreciation for their efforts. It takes time to read or listen to our stories and most people stop there.  For those readers we consider to be over-achievers, they will donate a few extra minutes of their valuable time and place a review giving their feedback.  We are most grateful for those snippets of insight whether it is good or poor as long as it is constructive.

Reviews are an author’s calling card.  Great ones are extremely hard to get and bad ones you don’t seem to be able to outlive.  But in all things feedback is valued, if you are going to improve.  Bad reviews are acceptable ways to learn and grow as an author, but if they are vicious or hateful in nature we discount them as folks that have other issues in their life and want to take their anger out on someone they really don’t know and can remain anonymous. We consider these vicious reviews and reviewers just a notch below fake news. These types of reviews bother Burkey a great deal.

We do read our reviews and we try to do send thank you notes for all reviews received. In the case of our audio reviews we often send thank you notes for folks taking the time to listen and review since each audible is weighing in at 10+ hours of listening time. The first four books in the Enigma series are available as audio as well in ebook and trade paper.

Reviews for The Enigma Dragon include the following quotes: “Speaking of characters, Juan and Julie Rodriguez are the very definition of a power couple and its endearing to have such a strong, but mature romance in a techno-thriller like this. We normally deal with strange loners or jaded individuals, but Juan and Julie are both realistic and very in love. It’s a great taste of the real world in the book and for me, this is where Breakfield and Burkey’s strengths come into play.” Alex P

“My favorite member of the CATS team is likely not the choice of most readers. I was completely enthralled with the story line involving Jamie. It is not often I reread chapters during the first read of a book, but I found myself lost in the tale of loss and despair described in Jamie’s chapter.” Thomas Anderson

“…This second CATS-centric installment (after 2016’s The Enigma Gamers) will leave readers yearning for more. Astute prose and an unwavering pace energized by first-rate characters and subplots.” Kirkus

Reviews are the collateral of professional authors.  But they come bearing one of two gifts; 1) Elation of your self-worth and your writing ability or 2) Depression darkness based on the dreaded feeling that a bad review suggests should be shoveling horse manure as your chosen vocation. Honestly, we prefer the ones where the reviewer believes we walk on water and catch bullets with our teeth after we put on our capes. J

Enter the Giveaway for your chance to win an ebook copy of The Enigma Dragon
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I would like to thank iRead Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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The Scented Bones: The Svabodina Case Files (The Svabodina Case Files Book 1)

Genre: Paranormal/ Crime Thriller

Expected Publication Date: September 28, 2018

Publisher: KDP Select

Angel Svabodina is a rookie forensic anthropologist, enjoying the beginning of her new career. That joy comes crashing down when she figures out the skeleton she’s working on is not human and then it vanishes.

She throws herself fully into the case without thinking about the parties involved, a psychopomp associate, and paranormal mafia families made up of vampires and werewolves—or the consequences.

When she sees there’s no avoiding the inevitable, Angel has to suck it up and work with the werewolves to solve the case but can she trust them?

Werewolves and witches are in a centuries-old feud, but that doesn’t stop the shivers running down her spine from one wolf in particular. What’s more, nothing comes for free, including information. To get what she needs from the werewolf don, Angel has to meet with the fae queen. Can she meet her without repercussions and solve the case?

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About the Author

ANGELINA KERNER is a self-published author of paranormal and lighthearted romance. She’s the wife of a photographer/physicist, and the mother of a cute little toddler, but she’s also been a dancer, a psychologist, an anthropologist, a geographer, a dreamer, and an adventurer. She does her best writing while being bothered by her cats, taking care of her son, in dressing rooms while waiting for family to try on clothing, and at home in sunny California. Angelina loves to play goddess-dragon matchmaker, transporting readers to a place where young goddesses have lovable flaws, the Fates plan to dethrone, the universe is endless and untamed, and dragons roam free! She also loves to write carefree romance where one can finish reading with a smile.

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Cover Reveal Organized By

I would like to thank R&R Book Tours for the opportunity to share this book.

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Red Rider

Thriller

Date Published: April 1 2018
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A grieving father – known to the reader only as Teacher – takes on a new identity after the brutal murder of his teenaged son. Masquerading as a substitute teacher, he tracks down the killer – a high school senior – and methodically builds a web to entrap him. Teacher does not desire simple justice or death for the killer; he wants the killer to endure what his son endured. But Teacher’s plan takes a life-shattering turn when he must save his son’s former girlfriend from the clutches of the brutal MS-13 gang.
A taut, suspenseful thriller, Red Rider explores the depths of revenge and the strength of human bonds.

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About the Author
Gerrit Steenhagen grew up in San Diego, California. He wrote, produced, and directed the indie drama If Tomorrow Comes. He currently resides in Los Angeles.
Contact Links
 

My Review

4 stars

A father has lost his son in a brutal way then lost his wife in the aftermath. He has discovered the killer is a senior and has taken the role of a substitute teacher to get close to him. But just as he is getting ready to get his revenge, his son’s former girlfriend is having some trouble with a MS-13 gang. Things are going to get tough before he can get his revenge.

This was an interesting story. You have a broken man that has lost everything except the revenge for his son’s life. But he is going to find something to fight for when he discovers Girl and the trouble she is in.

This is a quick read with a lot of emotion, brutality, and a surprise ending. It was a tough twist and I could see where some would find it a trigger. I can understand the desire for revenge and can’t really fault him for it. Definitely not a normal read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

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RABT Book Tours & PR
I would like to thank Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Trazer

 

Young Adult Sci-fi

Date Published: 10/18/17
Publisher: YorubaBoy Books
It’s the year 93 O.O., and Dara Adeleye is a student with a bright future and her life figured out. That is, until a chance encounter with a mysterious child changes everything.
Dara lives in a world shaped by the Miracle of Elegua, an intervention by the gods in the fate of an Earth on the brink of collapse decades before she was born. Exceptionally gifted as an artist, her day-to-day attentions are on excelling in school in order to rise above her lower-class upbringing and raise her friends and family out of the dreaded red vanes. But Earth is headed towards the brink again and it may just be the gift she doesn’t know she has that can save it . . .
Kristano Arvelo is a trazer–the term used for the graffiti writers of Dara’s time, a once-slang that originated in her home town of Todirb Wall. The aimless leader of a local group of trazers, he may hold a key to unlocking Dara’s hidden gifts. But it will come at the cost of the destiny she believed was hers.
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About the Author

JOSEPH OLUMIDE ADEGBOYEGA-EDUN was born in Lagos, the then-capital city of Nigeria.  A great-grandson of  the First-Secretary of the Egba United Government, he was brought to the United States at age two when his parents came to study. Increasing corruption in the Nigerian government followed by the return of military rule thwarted their plans to move back and America became home. They set roots in Brooklyn, New York, a vibrant environment colored with graffiti and steeped in elements of hip-hop that left an indelible mark on the future author’s consciousness.

The cultural influences and experiences of his homeland and the city of his early youth have been a strong source of creative inspiration for the author. Trazer: Kids of Stolen Tomorrow is his debut novel, and the first entry in the Trazer Series. When not writing, Joe enjoys working on other projects with his creative partners  LenStorm, 7Woundz and Soundz, and exploring the breathtaking wilderness of the Chesapeake.

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My Review

4 stars

It has been 93 years since the world almost ended yet was saved by the gods. The world is divided into classes with the red vanes being the lower class and the blue and green vanes higher. Dara Adeleye is an artist that is trying to raise her status with her work. But there is a special ability that she doesn’t know about.

Enter Kristano Arvelo, a trazer and leader of a local gang. Trazer is slang for graffiti writers with special abilities. Kristano has the ability to awaken Dara’s gifts. These gifts are important to the continued survival of the human race. It seems we are on the verge of another collapse and Dara may just hold the key to survival.

I liked the story. The world and characters are well written and I was drawn into the story curious at where it was going to go. The yorubua people and mythos was a great addition and something for me to research and learn more about.

The only problem I had was that the story was a little disjointed with having to look up things all the time. But beyond that it was a good read. I am curious to see where it is going to go from here.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

RABT Book Tours & PR
I would like to thank Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Ice

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Ice (Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery – 1) by Lauren Carr

When Sandy Lipton and her unborn child disappeared, the court of public opinion found young Chris Matheson guilty. Decades later, the retired FBI agent returns home to discover that the cloud of suspicion cast over him and his family has never lifted.

With the help of a team of fellow retired law enforcement officers, each a specialist in their own field of investigation, Chris Matheson starts chipping away at the ice on this cold case to uncover what had happened to Sandy and her baby and the clues are getting hot!

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Lauren Carr

Author’s Bio

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

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My Review

5 stars

Chris Matheson is a retired FBI agent that has moved home after the death of his wife to a terrorist attack. He now lives on his mother’s farm with his three daughters.  Because he has shut himself off from the world, his mother talks him into joining his late father’s book club. This is no ordinary group; it is a collection of retired law enforcement officials that does a lot more than read books called the Geezer Squad. They reluctantly let Chris in and show him that they are working on one of Chris’ dad’s old cold cases. Middle age women are found brutally killed with their houses burned down around them.

But this is not the only murder they will be investigating. Twenty years earlier, Chris took a teenage girl, Sandy Lipton to the prom. Shortly thereafter she is found to be pregnant and she insists that Chris is the father, but that can’t be since nothing happened after prom. Just before Sandy is to have the baby she disappears and Chris is initially blamed for the murder. Even though he is cleared the locals still look at him as the killer that has his police father cover everything up.

Chris has his hands full with the investigation when a former friends wife is discovered murdered and he tries to blame Chris. There is a cartel member that is found dead on Chris’ property. You have the brother to Sandy Lipton that seems to have everything going for him. And don’t forget the casino owner’s daughter that has a rap sheet and a quick answer to all the questions.

This is another great mystery from Lauren Carr. I love Chris. He is a good man that finds himself in trouble yet keeps his cool. I loved Doris, she’s one woman you don’t want to cross or you will be stuck eating her tuna casserole. Oh, and you can’t forget Sterling. A retired police dog that is “goofy.” And I have to say that I love Mick Alger’s narration, he adds so much life to the characters.

If you love mysteries and enjoy Lauren’s other books you need to check out the new Chris Matheson series. You will not be disappointed.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank iRead Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share this book.

Guest Post

Killing Friends, Acquaintances, and Strangers

By Lauren Carr

“Do you ever kill anyone you know in your books?”

Every time I make a new acquaintance, upon discovering that I write murder mysteries, at some point, they will shoot me a worried expression and ask that question, to which I will reply, “Yes.”

That’s why I have no friends.

I don’t always kill people I know. Sometimes I kill complete strangers.

Such was the case in my new release Ice. In this first installment in my newest series, the protagonist, Chris Matheson, witnesses a fight between two women while at an all-night department store. After the fight is broken up, one of the women proclaims that she is pregnant, declares herself a victim, and immediately takes names while calling her thug boyfriend.

The other woman grabs a case of beer and hurries out the door. As she passes Chris, he notes that being an older woman, she was pretty old to be getting into fights. Shortly afterwards, she is murdered, and Chris is drawn into the case.

Except for the murder, this scene is one that I had witnessed at a department store at least twenty years ago. Like Chris, when one of the women hurried past me with a case of beer, I observed that she seemed old to be getting into fights over someone cutting in line at a store check-out.

Not unlike the scene in Ice, the other woman, an equal participant in the fisticuffs, launched into a victim act worthy of an Academy Award.

This scene—both the fight and the two women involved—was so striking that I stored it away in the back of my mind to draw upon later. No, I didn’t take any names or even write any notes on paper. I just tucked this incident away. Two decades later, when planning the plotline for Ice, I took it out, dusted it off, and realized that the fight, followed by one of the women’s murder, was the perfect catalyst to draw Chris back into a decades old cold case.

Had either of these women done anything to me to warrant what one would perceive as a negative portrayal? No, I had never seen either of them before or since. Their only crime was capturing my attention and inspiring me. Today, I doubt if I could pick either of them out of a line-up. Their images have been replaced with two characters who fit into my plotline.

So, to go back to the original question: Do I ever kill people I know in my books? Yes, and I also kill total strangers.

So, if you see me, you’ll want to be careful. You could very well end up in my book. If not now, maybe later, when you least expect it.

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Dangerous Places

Dangerous Places by Susan Hunter

Dangerous Places

by Susan Hunter

on Tour June 4 – 15, 2018

Synopsis:

Dangerous Places by Susan Hunter

When teenager Heather Young disappeared from the small town of Himmel, Wisconsin everyone believed her boyfriend had killed her—though her body was never found. Twenty years later, his little sister Sammy returns to town. She begs her old friend, true crime writer Leah Nash, to prove her brother Eric isn’t a murderer.

But Sammy has no new evidence, and her brother doesn’t want Leah’s help. Leah says no—but she can’t help feeling guilty about it. That feeling gets much worse when Sammy is killed in a suspicious car accident. That’s when the independent, irreverent, unstoppable Leah takes up her cause. Her investigation takes her to some dark and dangerous places, and the truth she finds has an unexpected and shattering impact on her own life.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Himmel River Press
Publication Date: November 2016
Number of Pages: 348
ISBN: 1540356477 (ISBN13: 9781540356475)
Series: Leah Nash Mysteries #3 (Each is a Stand Alone Mystery)
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Google Play 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Read an excerpt:

Chapter 1

So, Leah, good to see you. I almost missed your book readin’ there. But what I heard, you did real good. I’m late because the stop ’n’ go light on Main is on the blink, caused a little fender-bender. But that’s OK, eh? Because we put the—”

“I know, Marty, you ‘put the sure in inSUREance.’ ”

Marty Angstrom beamed, thrilled at the evidence that his painstakingly-crafted slogan for the A-1 Independent Insurance Agency had achieved market penetration.

“Noreen was gonna come too, but she’s at her mother’s over to Waukesha tonight. But she bought your book anyway. Gonna give it to her sister for her birthday. I got it right here. Could you sign somethin’ personal? You know, make it special for her to give to Arlene?”

“Sure.” I took the book he handed to me and sat down to autograph it.

Unholy Alliances is the true story of the death of my younger sister Lacey at a residential school run by Catholic nuns. Years after the fact, I got a tip that her death wasn’t accidental as we’d all believed. The investigation I did for my small-town paper, The Himmel Times Weekly, brought the truth to light and also generated some national interest. I wound up with a book deal and a career switch from reporter to true crime writer.

My book reading at the annual Himmel Public Library Wine and Cheese Fundraiser was my first official “celebrity” appearance in town. Although I’d spent the past few months promoting my book across the country on every radio show, television interview program, and podcast that would have me, I’d been a little nervous no one would show up on my home turf. But there was a respectable crowd.

As I signed the book, Marty kept talking.

“So, you’re a big deal now, aren’t you? I saw you on the TV the other day, everybody at McClain’s was watchin’. Gettin’ real famous and all. Leah Nash, big-time author, eh? But I can still say I knew you when.” He smiled with the kind of hometown pride that was usually reserved for a Packers player. I was very touched. He really is a nice man.

“I don’t know about that. The book’s doing well, but that promotional tour stuff is pretty wearing. I’m glad to be home.”

“Speakin’ of home there, Leah, how you set for insurance on that new loft apartment you moved into? Renters need insurance too.”

“I hadn’t really thought about it, Marty. I’ll call your office and—” As I handed him the book, my response was cut off by a jolt to my arm from a woman carrying a full glass of burgundy. The slosh from it instantly made my pale-yellow blazer look as though I’d been a casualty in a shootout.

“Oh! I’m so sorry. I’m sorry.” She began dabbing ineffectively with her hand at the spreading deep red stain on the front of my blazer.

“It’s OK, don’t worry about it.” I stood and stepped away from the table, slipping out of my jacket. Fortunately, the wine hadn’t penetrated through to my shirt. I snagged a bottle of water and a napkin from a circulating waiter. As I liberally doused the front of my jacket, the woman apologized again, her voice high and tense.

“Hey, c’mon. It’s not a big deal,” I said. Several people began to glance our way. “I’ll just run to the bathroom and run some cold water on it.” I smiled to ease her embarrassment and hurried off to the restroom. I pushed through the door and narrowly missed slamming it into the bent head of a man who had just started to rise from kneeling under the sink. Startled, I took a half-step back to check the sign on the door. “Ladies.” Nope, I hadn’t barged into the men’s room by mistake.

As he stood I realized he was wearing workman’s clothes and held a wrench in his hand.

“Had a leaky pipe emergency. All done except the moppin’ up.” He indicated a puddle of water that nearly reached the two stalls on the opposite wall.

“Oh, well, sorry to bang in here. Is it OK if I just run some water on this stain so it doesn’t set?”

“Sure, sure. Workin’ fine now. I got to say, Leah, your daddy would sure be proud of you tonight.”

I stopped cold. Nothing brings me up short like mention of the father who abandoned us. “Excuse me?”

“Now, don’t get all huffy, there. You ’member me, don’t ya? It’s Dorsey. Dorsey Cowdrey. I knowed your dad. Knowed you too. We both did a little work for Anthony Dunn, back when he wasn’t so hoity-toity and his name was Tony. Likes to be called Anthony now. Mr. Dunn is even better.” He started a laugh that ended in a smoker’s cough before he went on. “I’m still Tony’s go-to guy. What my daddy used to call a jack-of-all-trades. Little plumbin’, little carpentry, little electrical, little this ‘n’ that. Not much I can’t handle.”

I stared at him without recognition. He had a foxy face, long and sharp-featured with weathered skin. His build was lean, his hair ginger-colored and streaked with gray. Even his ears were fox-like, high and almost pointed. I guessed him to be in his late fifties or early sixties.

“I’m sorry, I don’t remember you, Mr. Cowdrey.” I had turned my back and was running water over the spot on my blazer.

“Oh now, darlin’, don’t say that. You can’t forget the man what used to give you them Baby Ruth candy bars you was so crazy about. I used to call you ‘little Ruthie’ ’cause you liked ’em so much.”

As I squeezed the excess water from my jacket, I closed my eyes and saw my five-year-old-self and a much younger version of this man leaning toward me. “Here you go, little Ruthie. You sit right there on your swing and chew on this. I’m goin’ in to talk to your daddy fer a minute.” I hadn’t liked him very well—he smelled like stale sweat and tobacco—but I had indeed been crazy about the Baby Ruths, and at five, I was easily won over. Actually, even now, the right candy bar can take you pretty far with me. I faced him and said, “Yes, you’re right. I do remember you, Mr. Cowdrey.”

He smiled, revealing small, sharp yellow teeth that made him look more vulpine than ever. “I heard your little presentation there. You did a real nice job. I’m not much of a reader myself. My boy Cole, though, seems like he read your whole book. I guess he likes bein’ famous, even if he don’t come out lookin’ too good.”

Again I was puzzled. “Cole Granger? He’s your son?”

Cole had been a low-level drug dealer involved with my youngest sister Lacey in her lost days. The last time I saw him, he was a pretty scared loser, on the run out of town from some criminals who were a lot more dangerous than he was.

“By marriage, yeah. He’s my stepson. We don’t get along too good. Still, kin is kin, right?”

The door swung inward then as two laughing women came through. They stopped at the unexpected duo who greeted them. I gave them that funny little half-smile you offer to strangers, and I stepped to their left.

“Excuse me, please. Bye, Mr. Cowdrey.” I didn’t say it was nice seeing him, because it really hadn’t been. Something about that guy gave me the willies. He was picking up his tools as I left.

I hurried back to the reception room, lest Dorsey Cowdrey decide to escort me, and found an empty chair to drape my damp blazer on. As I did so, someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned and saw the woman who’d spilled my drink. My expression must have conveyed a not-very-friendly “Enough, all ready. Let it go,” because she started talking quickly.

“No, but wait, please. What an idiot I am. I’m just nervous, I guess. You know, you think something through in your head, and you imagine what you’ll say and how it will go, and then it doesn’t.” She was speaking so quickly that it was hard to follow her, and what I did catch I didn’t understand. Her obvious nervousness was all out of proportion to the slight accident she’d caused.

“I have to talk to you. I need you to—please.” She gulped, emitting a sound between a gasp and a hiccup. She continued a little desperately, “Leah, don’t you remember me?”

Two in one night. What were the odds? I had no idea who she was, and she saw the lack of recognition on my face.

“It’s me, Samantha. Sammy. You have to remember. You were my best friend!” Her voice was stronger now, but still pleading. And then I saw it, as I looked straight into her face. I flashed back to a big, sunny room, with two little girls sitting on a bed, repeating in unison: “We’re best friends. We’ll always be, ’cause I’m for you, and you’re for me.” Then high fives and waves of laughter.

“Sam? Sammy.” I repeated the name with growing certainty. The eyes had it. They were Samantha’s—big and wide set, a little wary now, as though the world were an unfriendly place, but still an amazing shade of aquamarine. Her fine flaxen hair was darker, and instead of hanging like a shining curtain down her back, was cut short and blunt-edged. But it was Sam.

***

Excerpt from Dangerous Places by Susan Hunter. Copyright © 2018 by Susan Hunter. Reproduced with permission from Susan Hunter. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Susan Hunter

Susan Hunter is a charter member of Introverts International (which meets the 12th of Never at an undisclosed location). She has worked as a reporter and managing editor, during which time she received a first-place UPI award for investigative reporting and a Michigan Press Association first place award for enterprise/feature reporting.

Susan has also taught composition at the college level, written advertising copy, newsletters, press releases, speeches, web copy, academic papers and memos. Lots and lots of memos. She lives in rural Michigan with her husband Gary, who is a man of action, not words.

During certain times of the day, she can be found wandering the mean streets of small-town Himmel, Wisconsin, dropping off a story lead at the Himmel Times Weekly, or meeting friends for a drink at McClain’s Bar and Grill.

Catch Up With Susan Hunter On:
Website, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!

 

My Review

5 stars

Leah Nash has returned home after finishing the tour for the book she wrote on her sister’s death. But the homecoming is short lived when an old friend, Sammy sets her off on another cold case. Twenty years ago, teenager Heather Young disappeared and everyone figured her boyfriend, Eric did it. Sammy wants Leah to prove that Eric was innocent. This is going to lead to Leah learning more about her own family that someone is determined to keep quiet.

I really enjoyed this story. Leah is a great strong woman yet she makes plenty of mistakes that hinder her investigation and cause more problems. She does get wrapped up in the investigation but she also has her own mysteries that make her want to know more about her father.

This is the first book from this author that I have read. I liked how it could be a standalone yet not a huge rehashing if you already have read the other books. I really like Leah Nash; she is well written and has realistic flaws that make her that must more appealing. I love both mysteries; they had me guessing until the end.

If you are looking for a great mystery, look no further. I really enjoyed Dangerous Places and will be checking out the other books in this series that I have missed.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share this book.

Tour Participants:

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Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Susan Hunter. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com gift Card. The giveaway begins on June 4 and runs through June 17, 2018. Void where prohibited.

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Book Details:

Book Title: Buckaroo Buckeye: A Little Nut with Big Dreams
Author: Kristin Anderson Cetone
Illustrator: Nadia Komorova
Category: Children’s Fiction (Ages 3-7), 36 pages
Genre: Friendship, Social Skills & School Life, Bullies, Growing Up & Facts of Life
Publisher: KLAC Enterprises, LLC
Release date: September 1, 2012
Tour dates: May 21 to June 15, 2018
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

Winner of the Mom’s Choice Silver and OneBookAZ Awards!

There’s a new cowboy in town! Hit the trail with Buckaroo Buckeye, a lovable little nut who falls from his tree in Ohio, as he dodges the bumps and bullies along the way in a magical journey to find his true place in the world.

Created by Reading Specialist Kristin Cetone, Buckaroo Buckeye teaches children 4-8 to: • Learn to ignore bullies
• Improve their self-esteem
• Connect with reading
• “Dream, Believe and Achieve” no matter their size!

Your child will be inspired by Buckaroo’s determination in this touching story with unforgettable characters illustrated by Nadia Komorova. Get yours today!

 

Buy the Book:
 
Watch the book trailer:
Meet the author:

 

Buckaroo Buckeye grew out of author Kristin Anderson Cetone’s imagination and joy of reading.

Born in Dayton, Ohio, she traveled many miles before putting down roots in the Arizona desert. Influenced by family, education, life experiences, and a desire to teach others, Mrs. Cetone discovered her purpose—just like Buckaroo Buckeye did.

Her true calling and passion is writing and helping others become successful readers. She created Buckaroo to encourage children to believe in themselves and follow their dreams while dodging the bumps and bullies along the way. Reading will help guide the way. Being a Reading Specialist, she has also created Nuts About Reading™ an informal, supplemental, online reading service. She shares her insights and suggestions to help parents strengthen their children’s reading process and become successful readers.

Her joy now is to inspire and help kids to find the Buckaroo Buckeye in themselves.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

Finding Your Voice: Writing in First Person (or Third)

My stories come from my heart.  The words of my stories are intended to create emotions and feelings in the reader based on my own feelings and emotions about the character.  I design one main character with several lesser characters that are met along the way.  My main characters speak about themselves and share events that they are experiencing.  My goal is to develop a closeness with my audience and bring the reader into my experience as the writer.  I feel that children connect to the character and story more through use of dialogue, so my stories use many quotation marks, allowing the reader to feel they are taking part in the character’s experiences.  I have always been able to express my feelings and opinions better through writing and not verbally.  First person is perfect for me to express the feelings of my characters.  I must add, I have my father’s mischievous gene and twinkling eye, so I like to infuse a little humor, whether through words or the illustrations.

BUT more importantly, for children, I feel very strongly that the pictures need to support and bring the text to life.  The foundation to good comprehension is visual processing.  Young children have not yet developed the ability to comprehend through words alone.  They need help to picture the words and the story.  The more they picture, the better they remember the story and understand the writer’s message(s).  Young children develop their own reading success through pictures, representing the text, up to third grade.  In third grade, they switch to using only the words for meaning and comprehension, as pictures are used less.  Now they must master the art of visual processing on their own…creating their own pictures in their minds for the words they read.  Thus, for the older children the task becomes more challenging for the writer to illicit these visuals through their word choice.

 “Success comes from a tiny ‘seed’ within each of us.  This tiny seed contains our hopes and dreams and passions in life.  When we receive encouragement and nourishment from family, culture, education, and life experiences, the seed will sprout and grow mighty, and rise above the bumps and bullies and setbacks along the way.

Discouraging words…discourage dreams,

Encouraging words…sprout dreams,

Parents plant the seeds.”

-Kristin Anderson Cetone

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Curse of the Ancients

Book Details:

Book Title: Curse of the Ancients by Hawk MacKinney
Series: The Moccasin Hollow Series Book 3
Category: Adult Fiction, 278 pages
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Publisher: Sage Words Publishing
Release date: April 2018
Tour dates: May 28 to June 15, 2018
Content Rating: R (This book is rated R for explicit murder scenes.)

Book Description:

As Craige Ingram climbed the stairs of the derelict building, that peculiar stench of a dead body hit him. It was the same smell no matter where—SpecOps SEAL encounter gone sour, or in a vacant, roach-infested apartment. Inside, his SEAL buddy-turned head of Buckingham Parish Homicide’s Investigative Support Division, Grayson MacGerald, was huddled with the coroner next to a swollen decaying corpse that was days old and hardly more than oozing dead meat.

The PI inside Craige had a gut feeling that there was more to this than a dead body, and Craige’s Grannie always told him, “Trust your feelin’s.” But that was before Mihály Keaulescu set down two of his Black Falcon choppers on Craige’s Moccasin Hollow private airstrip in an uninvited stopover. It got worse. From his airstrip to Israel, to Turkey and a nightmare-dream of one-of-a-kind ancient artifacts that not only threatened the serene life Craige knew and loved at Moccasin Hollow, it would destroy the world.

To read reviews, please visit Hawk MacKinney’s page on iRead Book Tours.

 

Buy the Book:
 
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Meet the Author:
With postgraduate degrees and faculty positions at several medical universities, Hawk MacKinney has taught graduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem. In addition to his work in classrooms and laboratories, he has written numerous professional articles on chordate neuroembryology and authored several novels that reflect his southwest upbringing in Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel nominated for both the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award, details the family bloodlines of his protagonist in the Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series. Hidden Vault of Secrets and Westobou Gold, Books 1 and 2 in the series, have received national and international attention. Hawk is also writing a science fiction series, The Cairns of Sainctuarie.Connect with the author: Website

My Review

5 stars

A young woman’s body has been discovered but during the autopsy it is clear that there is more going on than just a basic murder. It seems her neck has been broken and she was poisoned. Grayson MacGerald knows the best person to help him investigate this death is Craige Ingram and calls him in. But soon enough both men find themselves in the middle of terrorists, biochemical warfare, attacks, and a ton more. Both men are going to have to keep on their toes if they are going to solve this mystery.

Craige Ingram is back and on the run trying to solve the mysterious death of several people. But it clear that there is more to this adventure than first impressions. But Craige is a bad-ass and is up to the challenge.

If you are looking for an action packed thrill ride, look no further. This book has a bit of everything that you will suck you in and leave you wanting more. There were a couple great twists to keep me guessing. I do recommend reading this series in order or you will miss something.

This is an amazing series filled with action and adventure. I can’t wait to check out other books from Hawk MacKinney.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

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Ends on June 23, 2018
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