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Archive for the ‘5 Star Books’ Category

Shore Haven

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Shore Haven by Jennifer Reynolds

The citizens of America know life in a post-apocalyptic world isn’t easy and leaves little reason to rejoice. Therefore, when Samantha’s baby sister graduates from college, a trip to Liberty Island seemed like the perfect way to celebrate. Nothing could have been more wrong.

Shore Haven, a newly built, self-contained refuge, was meant to be a source of security for what was left of America’s future. The compound’s founders, Jason and his uncle, Jasper, are shocked when a second, even more destructive event arises, causing them to open the facilities doors to the populace sooner than planned.

Samantha, Jason, and those few who survive soon discover they have more to fear than the dead rising, as the rest of the planet is determined to keep the turned from reaching their shores…no matter the price.

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About the Author

Jennifer Reynolds is a native of North Alabama. She has a Master of Fine Arts degree from National University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Alabama.

She is a multi-genre author who focuses mostly on post-apocalyptic novels with plagues and zombies as their source of destruction and paranormal romances, especially shifters, werewolves, and ghosts. She does occasionally dabble in other genres such as general fiction, horror, and suspense thrillers.

When she’s not writing, she’s her mother-in-law’s full-time caregiver, a stay at home wife, an avid reader, and the mother to two kitties, Lilith and Midnight.

If you’d like to know more about me, Author Jennifer Reynolds, then check out this informational brochure or one of my many social media sites.

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My Review

5 stars

America has gone through the ringer many years prior with earthquakes, floods, and all kinds of other natural disasters. But life has been rebuilt and goes one. But some people remember the stories from their grandparents and have prepared. Thus, Shore Haven was created.

Samantha is so happy that her sister Madeline has graduated from college and books them a trip to Liberty Island. But then there are reports of people becoming very sick then eating other people. Samantha and Madeline start venturing out and tragedy happen. Samantha is injured and rescued by Jason and his group and taken to Shore Haven.

They learn that some CDC scientists have a cure for the disease and plan to get that cure. Samantha also wants to find out if her husband and parents have survived. She is torn because she is getting close to Jason but there is a little thing called a husband stopping her. Jason has his own issues but has fallen for Samantha and is determined to help her and keep her safe.

This was a fantastic read. Samantha is not the typical apocalyptic heroine but does a great job. Jason is a great guy and I loved how he was determined to protect her. The story is well paced and the action is pretty steady. Of course, you have more than just the zombies to deal with like cannibals and such.

My only complaint is that the ending seemed rough. I was expecting more than how it ended. But this is a great read and one that I recommend checking out if you like a good zombie apocalypse story.

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

I would like to thank Jennifer Reynolds for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Clawed

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Clawed (Panther’s Pride – 1) by Tonya Coffey

All I wanted was a family.

So I surrounded myself with the only friends I’ve ever had and joined the Junior Reserved Officers Training Corps (JROTC) so I could feel the love of a family unit.

When we went to a two-week summer camp in the mountains of Kentucky, Carter Rollins, the leader, tempted me with always being desired. If I joined his Army Pride, I’d have the connections I’d dreamed of.

Yet something was mystifying about the boy with eyes like an autumn sky. Maybe it was his rugged exterior or his entrancing demeanor. When a group of rogue campers took my friend Sarah and I, I never imagined how accurate my senses were.

A fictitious legend shifts before my eyes…

To escape, I will have to use every trick I’ve ever learned but getting out may lead me into the path of a deadlier enemy.

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Tonya Coffey

About the Author

Tonya grew up in a small town in southern Kentucky. She was always surrounded by nature whether it was on the farm or in the forest camping with her family. The older she got she realized she had a vivid imagination and sharing her stories with others gave her joy. With her husband and two teen sons motivating her, she continues to share her imagination with the world.

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My Review

5 stars

Christa Taylor is an orphan that has been bounced around foster homes. She has always wanted a family which she finds in a JROTC class in high school. Her team of five is competing for a summer leadership program when they are approached to be part of a Special Forces training group. All five agree and find themselves in a week long camp.

While there they are pushed into running, self-defense, and other aspects of training. But at the bond fire the first night things go a little weird. Chris starts having strange dreams of panthers and a king and queen. She is also has a crush on the leader Carter. When Chris and Sarah are kidnapped on a morning run, they learn that there is more to this training camp than they first though. Chris also learns that there may be more to her own past.

You know when you get a book and you know it will be good but you just can’t find the time to review it? Then you seem to forget about it? Yep, I am so guilty of this with this book. I’ve had it for a long time but just haven’t gotten to it. I do not know why; it was one heck of a read.

Chris is a tough girl that has gone through the worse kinds of foster people. But she has become tough for it. I love how she has found her own little family despite her current home. As for the training camp, you have some serious cuties there and they are clearly willing to do whatever to get Chris’ little family to join.

Of course, Chris has a turn of bad luck that is a blessing in disguise. I think things turned out well for Chris but now I want to know more about her own past. And more about the king and queen. Argh!! Please write faster Tonya!!

This is a great start to a new series that I can’t wait to get the next book for. I promise that I will read it as soon as I get it. No more procrastinating this one.

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

I would like to thank Tonya Coffey for the opportunity to read and share this book. Thank you for waiting so patiently for my review.

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The Lost Wonderland Diaries

by J. Scott Savage

Publication Date: 9/8/20

Hardcover

ISBN: 9781629727868

Retail Price: $17.99 Page Count: 352

Middle Grade Fantasy

Cover Illustration: Kevin Keele

Book Design: © Shadow Mountain

Art Direction: Richard Erickson

Design: Sheryl Dickert Smith

Synopsis:

Something monstrous wants to exit Wonderland and enter the real world.

Lewis Carroll, author of the classic book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, secretly recorded the true story of his actual travels to Wonderland in four journals which have been lost to the world . . . until now.

Celia and Tyrus discover the legendary Lost Diaries of Wonderland and fall into a portal that pulls them into the same fantasy world as the White Rabbit and the Mad Hatter. However, Wonderland has vastly changed. Some of the characters that Tyrus remembers from the book have been transformed into angry monsters.

Helped by the Cheshire Cat and a new character, Sylvan, a young rabbit, Celia and Tyrus desperately work to solve puzzles and riddles, looking for a way out of Wonderland. But the danger increases when the Queen of Hearts begins hunting them, believing the two young visitors hold the key to opening multiple portals to multiple worlds, and she will stop at nothing to capture them.

Will the crazed creatures of Wonderland escape into the real world? Can Celia and Tyrus stop them and save both worlds? Or will they be trapped in Wonderland forever?

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Goodreads     Indie Bound     Deseret Book     Books-A-Million

Praise for The Lost Wonderland Diaries

“Savage pays homage to Carroll’s world with imagination as well as a notable love for math and literature while adding his own ingenious twists to the original. Both Celia and Tyrus struggle with bullying back home, and Celia’s dyslexia is a constant source of frustration when other kids underestimate her intelligence, and the book ultimately offers a message of empowerment and self-love. A fun and clever return to Wonderland.” –Kirkus

“It’s very clear that Scott not only loves the [Wonderland] books, but he GETS them. He gets Lewis Carroll/Charles Dodgson. His love of wordplay, which is so often missing from sequels and interpretations! The math! The names! The puns! What a delight! This is both an action-adventure and a wonderful exploration of Wonderland, and written with such sensitivity, too, toward the new main characters and the original characters!” –Jessica Day George, NYT bestselling author

“A whimsical adventure packed with clever puzzles and plenty of heart. Whether you’re already a fan of Wonderland, or new to Lewis Carroll’s world, you’ll be so glad you fell down this rabbit hole!” –Shannon Messenger, NYT bestselling author

J. Scott Savage

About the Author

J. SCOTT SAVAGE is the author of both the Mysteries of Cove and the Farworld middle grade fantasy series and the Case File 13 middle grade monster series. He has published 19 books, visited more than 3,000 schools, and taught dozens of writing classes.

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For author interview requests, please contact Callie Hansen at HERE

My Review

5 stars

Celia has just moved to a new town where her mother is the new librarian. But the library is the last place Celia wants to be; she has dyslexia and finds this a nightmare world. One day at the library she meets another kid, Tyrus. Through a misunderstanding they end up in her mother’s office opening a mysterious box. The box ends up holding the four missing Wonderland journals of Lewis Carrol.

Celia and Tyrus find themselves sucked into Wonderland. But this is not the Wonderland from the Alice stories. A dark shadow is warping the characters and threatening to destroy everything. Celia wants nothing more than to go home but Tyrus is wrapped up in the Wonderland story. Both children are going to have to come together to save Wonderland before it is destroyed and our world next.

This is a great story for any age. I love how it is geared to mid grade readers and hoe it touches on bullies, being different, and dyslexia. I had to laugh at the part where Celia is thinking about how adventure stories don’t talk about the kids that hide in their rooms or call a parent or the police.

I really recommend this story for any younger reader and those that love the Alice in Wonderland stories. This was a great reimagining that kind of has me hoping that we will come back to this world and maybe Through the Looking Glass.

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

 

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I would like to thank Shadow Mountain Publishing for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Ashes Beneath Her

Author: J.R. Erickson

Narrator: Margy Stein

Length: 9 hours and 18 minutes

Series: Northern Michigan Asylum Series, Book 3

Publisher: J.R. Erickson

Released: Oct. 15, 2019

Genre: Paranormal

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Author: J.R. Erickson

Narrator: Kelsey Navarro

Length: 7 hours and 57 minutes

Series: Northern Michigan Asylum Series, Book 2

Publisher: J.R. Erickson

Released: Aug. 15, 2019

Genre: Paranormal

(more…)

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ThepatienceofaDeadMan

Welcome to the blog tour for chilling novel, The Patience of a Dead Man by Michael Clark. Today we have an excerpt for you, and a chance to win a fantastic giveaway!

Read on, if you dare!

The Patience of a Dead Man KINDLE Book One Cover

The Patience of a Deadman

Publication Date: April 15, 2019

Genre: Horror/ Paranormal *Author has described it as more “chilling than gory”.

He just spent everything on a house in disrepair, but he didn’t know someone was waiting inside.

Tim Russell just put his last dollar on a handyman’s dream; a quaint but dilapidated farmhouse in New Hampshire. Newly single after a messy divorce, his plan is to live in the house as he restores it for resale. To his horror, as soon as the papers are signed and his work starts, ghosts begin to appear. A bone-white little boy. A woman covered in flies. Tim can’t afford to leave and lose it all, so he turns to his real estate agent Holly Burns to help him decide whether he has any shot at solving his haunted problem. Can they solve the mystery before he loses his investment…or maybe his life?

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Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE: Henry’s Demise

November 29th, 1965

The sun was low in the sky on another perfect New Hampshire day. Henry Smith had just washed and brushed his favorite horse just inside the old red barn. The workday was over until something caught his eye…something out beyond the pond, way out in the field. He walked toward the front of the house and stood there for a few seconds, scanning the tree line where he thought he might have seen her.

It had looked to Henry like the woman they would see from time to time at the corner of the property, cutting across the field into the woods. The closest neighbors were more than a mile away. Henry knew them, and this woman did not look familiar.

The truth was there was no explanation why the woman made frequent appearances way out here for the past few years. All of the neighbors had their own meadows full of wild grapes and blueberries, not to mention pumpkins. Why come here? Then he got to thinking: It was time to select the annual Christmas tree. Why not kill two birds with one stone? He went back to the barn, grabbed the hatchet and set off down the front lawn past the stone wall and headed toward the far left corner of the field. One hundred yards later, he turned left into the forest.

He had known about the overgrown grove since they bought the place, but he was still enamored by it. If this grove had been tended to over the years, I’d have my tree already. I’d just chop it down, and after a relatively short drag back to the house, I’d be done.

The grove started about thirty yards into the wild forest, fully on Smith property. The Christmas trees gone wild had become towering spruce and of course, too far gone for holiday use. They were all at least forty feet tall, more or less, and grew in perfect symmetrical rows. In and around the grove in odd spots however, were random wild spruce that could pass for Christmas trees if you looked hard enough.

Henry made his way through the first few yards of the wild forest, and as always, all at once, the grove opened up in front of his eyes. He was fond of this place. It was hidden, and then it was in your face. And if you were here, it was yours and yours alone for the moment, like being lost in the hallways of an empty mansion. He angled his path to cut through the many rows, moving diagonally and to the right, deeper into the woods. Where’d she go?

He passed more rows than planned, and before he knew it, he could see the man-made symmetry coming to an end at the border of the congested wild forest. More and more rogue trees had claimed odd spots here– a near-even mixture of man and nature. The forest floor here wasn’t just spruce needles like the rest of the grove; leaves from all sorts of trees had drifted in over the years, leaving piles of natural mulch.

The briars were thick, and behind them, undisturbed forest. Nestled inside the briars and brush were two high mounds of leaves that had collected for decades. They seemed artificially high as if they covered something. At first, Henry thought it might be a section of stone wall, but the stone wall in this forest also happened to be the property line, and he was sure he was still a ways from that.

As he closed in, he realized the two piles were each nearly waist-high. A section of gray stone peered out from under twisting vines that had caught years of falling leaves, revealing something several shades lighter than anything naturally occurring.

Gravestones, he recognized. Thirty-one years living here and I didn’t know… He looked down at his hatchet, wishing it was a pair of pruning shears. The briars proved well prepared to protect their long-held secret, but Henry’s curiosity was powerful. He forged ahead, hacking and flattening the bases of the sharp plants so that getting back out wouldn’t be the same battle it was going in.

As soon as he broke through the last of the thorns, he put down the hatchet, dropped to his knees and began to clear the dead leaves and ivy. The stones were crooked from years of heaving frosts but remained steady as he worked. There was a large one on the left and a smaller one on the right.

There was so much moss they were illegible. Concentrating on the left one, Henry scraped gently at the space he estimated the epitaph would be. After three or four moments of gentle effort, he had cleared the top two engraved lines. The first, in smaller letters, read: “Here lies.” The second line, where the person’s name should appear, was taller than the first–but he couldn’t quite make out the inscription.

Then, a twig snapped. Henry looked around, attempting to focus in the dark; it must be her; time to meet the stranger. He looked back, down the near-perfect aisle of spruce. It was all shadows and night had finally fallen. He squinted and took off his glasses, trying to catch a better glance.

She stood there in the dark–the mystery woman in the long dress. All he could make out was her silhouette; her pale white hands were holding what might be a bouquet, and her hair was pinned up, worn away from her neck. It was as unkempt as the woods behind her, strands and bunches pushing out in odd directions.

And there was a smell.

There are many unpleasant odors on a farm, but Henry recognized this as the smell of something unmistakably dead. Like the time a mouse died inside the wall of their bedroom. It was decay, and it was coming from her.

Available on Amazon!

About the Author

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Michael Clark was raised in New Hampshire and lived in the house The Patience of a Dead Man is based. The bats really circled the rafters of the barn all day long, and there really was a grove hidden in the forest. He now lives in Massachusetts with his wife Josi and his dog Bubba.

The Patience of a Dead Man, Dead Woman Scorned & Anger is an Acid are his first three novels.

Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | BookBub

 

Guest Post

“FEAR minus DEATH equals FUN.”

I didn’t write that. I saw it on Disney+, in fact, on a show called “The Imagineering Story.” It’s a documentary about how Walt Disney and his employees designed the Disney parks, including the thrill rides.  “FEAR minus DEATH equals FUN” was their approach to creating many of the rides, including roller coasters like Space Mountain.

My name is Michael Clark, and I subscribe to that theory. I love a good ghost story as long as it’s not gratuitously morbid–I want to feel the hair rise on the back of my neck. Do horror stories scare you away? I don’t want to do that. I want to give you a thrill like the adrenalin rush of a good roller coaster—don’t worry, when it’s over, you’ll be safe and sound.

I like eerie, and I like chilling. I love ghosts as opposed to monsters or demons. Do bad things happen in my books? Sure, but no more than you might read in a crime novel, and it’s never for the sake of vulgarity. Did you like the movie The Sixth Sense, or maybe Silence of the Lambs? That’s what I’m going for—a top-notch thriller that could stand with these great stories. Did I achieve my goal? That’s for you to decide. Just know that you’re not getting a slasher or teen horror, you’re getting psychological horror wrapped into a ghost story-mystery with a twist or two. Thanks for your time!

My Review

5 stars

Tim Russell has just gone through a bad divorce. He has decided to take the last of his money and buy a rundown farm in New Hampshire. He quickly learns that he is not alone and calls the realtor, Holly Burns. Holly Always liked ghosts as a kid and jumps right into events. She quickly learns that this is not the simple haunting that she thought it would be.

A woman haunts the farm that she owned 100 years ago along with an unseen ghosts and a young boy. It’s apparent that something is wrong with the whole situation. As a couple journals come to light from the former owner along with nightmares and anniversaries it becomes clear that Tim and Holly may not get out of this haunting alive.

OMG!!! Where to begin?!? This is a killer story. Malevolent ghosts, a down on his luck guy, and a sweet love interest. Poor Tim has been getting the short end of the stick for the last three years and just wants to get on with his life. I loved how the relationship built with Holly, so natural. As for the ghost, cane we say cra-cra?!?

I liked this book so much that I bought the audio version so I could keep listening as I worked on a project. I do recommend that if you are going to be alone, at night, by yourself to make sure you are locked it. I had creeps and swore Milly was creeping around behind me. Mark Herrietha did a fantastic job of narrating this story.

If you are looking for a great ghost story, look no further. I can’t wait to get into Dead Woman Scored.

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

 

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What makes this tour extra special is that it’s part one of 3! This book is the first in a trilogy, best read as one big, terrifying story!

Here are the details for the other tours:

Dead Woman Scorned (The Patience of a Deadman #2): October 5th – 9th

Anger is Acid (The Patience of a Deadman #3): November 30th – December 4th

Comment if you are interested in joining the other tours. We are happy to provide The Patience of a Deadman (Book One) as well!

Blog Tour Schedule

August 3rd

Cats Luv Coffee (Review) https://catsluvcoffeez.blogspot.com

Ity Reads Books (Review) www.ityreadsbooks.com

Purple Shelf Club (Review) https://www.purpleshelfclub.com/

Ally’s Reading Corner (Review) https://allysreadingcorner.com/

August 4th

Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Review) www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com

Sophril Reads (Review) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

Cocktails and Fairy Tales (Review) https://www.facebook.com/CocktailsFairytales

August 5th

Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

@DreaminginPages (Review) https://www.instagram.com/dreaminginpages/

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Reads & Reels (Review) http://readsandreels.com

August 6th

Dark Whimsical Art (Guest Post) https://www.darkwhimsicalart.com/blogs/news

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

I Smell Sheep (Spotlight) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

@_MyBookCorner (Review) https://www.instagram.com/_mybookcorner/

August 7th

Horror Tree (Guest Post) https://www.horrortree.com

Blood Rose Writings (Review) http://www.bloodrosewritings.blogspot.com

@TheCrookedHouse (Review) https://www.instagram.com/thecrookedhouse/

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

  1. Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

@heyyyitsfahh (Review) https://www.instagram.com/heyyyitsfahh/

Giveaway: To win print copies of the entire trilogy (US Only), or a print copy of The Patience of a Dead Man (International), click the link below!

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Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours

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

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Folly at the Fair

Join us for this tour from July 13 to August 11, 2020!
Book Details:Book Title: Folly at the Fair (An Annie Oakley Mystery) by Kari Bovee
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 + yrs), 322 pages
Genre:  Historical Mystery
Publisher:  Bosque Publishing
Release date:   June 2020
Tour dates: July 13 to August 11, 2020
Content Rating:  PG-13 for some swearing, violence, and mature themes.

Book Description:

She never misses a target. But unless she can solve this murder, she’ll become one… Chicago World’s Fair, 1893. “Little Sure Shot” Annie Oakley is exhausted from her work with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. But when a fellow performer scuffles with a man who threatens her harm, she has to keep her eyes peeled. And when the heckler is found dead under the Ferris Wheel, Annie won’t rest until she proves her defender is innocent. Before she can rustle up any clues, an old friend asks Annie to protect her young daughter. And as more bodies turn up around the grounds, she’s going to need all her sharpshooting skills just to stay alive. Can Annie live up to her reputation and put a bullseye on the killer? Folly at the Fair is the third book in the Annie Oakley Mystery historical fiction series. If you like strong heroines, Wild West adventures, and suspenseful twists and turns, then you’ll love Kari Bovee’s fast-paced whodunit.

Buy the Book:
Amazon
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Meet the Author:

 

When she’s not on a horse, or walking along the beautiful cottonwood-laden acequias of Corrales, New Mexico; or basking on white sand beaches under the Big Island Hawaiian sun, Kari Bovee is escaping into the past—scheming murder and mayhem for her characters both real and imagined, and helping them to find order in the chaos of her action-packed novels. Empowered women in history, horses, unconventional characters, and real-life historical events fill the pages of Kari Bovée’s articles and historical mystery musings and manuscripts. An award-winning author, Bovée was honored with the 2019 NM/AZ Book Awards Hillerman Award for Southwestern Fiction for her novel Girl with a Gun. The novel also received First Place in the 2019 NM/AZ Book Awards in the Mystery/Crime category, and is a Finalist in the 2019 International Chanticleer Murder & Mayhem Awards and the International Chanticleer Goethe Awards, as well as the Next Generation Indie Awards. Her novel Grace in the Wings is a Finalist for the 2019 International Chanticleer Chatelaine Awards and the International Chanticleer Goethe Awards. Her novel Peccadillo at the Palace is a Finalist in the 2019 International Chanticleer Murder & Mayhem Awards and the 2019 International Goethe Awards, as well as a Finalist in the 2019 Best Book Awards Historical Fiction category. Bovée has worked as a technical writer for a Fortune 500 Company, has written non-fiction for magazines and newsletters, and has worked in the education field as a teacher and educational consultant. She and her husband, Kevin, spend their time between their horse property in the beautiful Land of Enchantment, New Mexico, and their condo on the sunny shores of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

Connect with the author:  Website ~ Goodreads ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Pinterest

My Review
5 stars

It is 1893 and Annie Oakley is at the Chicago’s World’s Fair. She is tired from her travels and shows but when a fellow performer is attacked, she steps up to defend her. Unfortunately, the attacker is later found dead and the performer accused. Annie has no problem stepping up to find the real killer. She is also asked to look after a friend’s child so finds herself on two different fronts.

I really like Annie Oakley; she is a great role model for girls. She was a tough woman during a men’s time that had no problem getting her hands dirty with the men. To have this story based on her with a great mystery thrown in had me overjoyed.

Although this is the third book in the series, I had no problem jumping in and enjoying the read and not feeling lost. And after reading this story I can’t wait to go back and see what I have missed from the previous two books.

If you like historical mysteries, Annie Oakley, or the Chicago World’s Fair I think you will enjoy this story. It is well written and draws you in right away. I had a hard time putting it down.

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

Tour Schedule:
July 13 – Working Mommy Journal – book review / giveaway
July 14 – Viviana MacKade – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
July 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
July 21 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
July 22 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
July 23 – She Just Loves Books Books – book review / giveaway
July 24 – My Reading Journeys – book spotlight / character interview / giveaway
July 25 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
July 28 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review / giveaway
July 29 – The World As I See It – book review
July 30 – Books and Zebras – book review
July 31 – Library of Clean Reads – book review / giveaway
Aug 3 – Pen Possessed – book review / giveaway
Aug 4 – Leels Loves Books – book review / giveaway
Aug 4 – Jessica Belmont – book review / giveaway
Aug 5 – Splashes of Joy – book review / author interview / giveaway
Aug 5 – JBronder Book Reviews – book review / giveaway
Aug 6 – History from a Woman’s Perspective – book review
Aug 6 – 100 Pages A Day – book review / giveaway
Aug 7 – Adventurous Jessy – book review / giveaway
Aug 11 – Olio By Marilyn – book review / giveaway

Enter the Giveaway:

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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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Resurrection Men

Resurrection Men (Sooty Feathers – 1) by David Craig

Glasgow 1893.

Wilton Hunt, a student, and Tam Foley, a laudanum-addicted pharmacist, are pursuing extra-curricular careers as body snatchers, or ‘resurrection men’, under cover of darkness. They exhume a girl’s corpse, only for it to disappear while their backs are turned. Confused and in need of the money the body would have earnt them, they investigate the corpse’s disappearance. They discover that bodies have started to turn up in the area with ripped-out throats and severe loss of blood, although not the one they lost. The police are being encouraged by powerful people to look the other way, and the deaths are going unreported by the press. As Hunt and Foley delve beneath the veneer of respectable society, they find themselves entangled in a dangerous underworld that is protected from scrutiny by the rich and powerful members of the elite but secretive Sooty Feathers Club.

Meanwhile, a mysterious circus arrives in the middle of the night, summoned to help avenge a betrayal two centuries old…

Else When Press     Amazon UK     Amazon US     Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

Author Bio

Aside from three months living on an oil tanker sailing back and forth between America and Africa, and two years living in a pub, David Craig grew up on the west coast of Scotland.  He studied Software Engineering at university, but lost interest in the subject after (and admittedly prior to) graduation. He currently works as a strategic workforce planning analyst for a public service contact centre, and lives near Glasgow with his wife, daughter and two rabbits.

Being a published writer had been a life-long dream, and one that he was delighted to finally realise with his debut novel, Resurrection Men, the first in the Sooty Feathers series, published by Elsewhen Press in 2018. Thorns of a Black Rose was David’s second novel, also published by Elsewhen Press. He returns to the Sooty Feathers series with Lord of the Hunt.

Twitter     Facebook     Goodreads

My Review

5 Stars

It is 1893 in Glasgow and we meet Wilton Hunt and Tam Foley. Wilton comes from money but has been kicked to the curb for not following along with the family business. Tam is a retired military man who barely keeps the family pharmacy running so he can stay high on alcohol and morphine to hide from his demons.

Both men manage to keep their heads above homelessness by digging up bodies for the local university. Unfortunately, one night the body they dig up disappears. When they go hunting for it they learn that Glasgow has a serious paranormal underbelly. Vampires run the town and a battle is going to be waged with an angel, demons, and Templar Knights.

I was in to read this book as soon as I read body snatchers and a disappearing corpse. I figured this was going to be a paranormal ridden story, but I had no idea what I was in for. This is one heck of a story that sucked me in from the start and wouldn’t let me go. You have a whole underworld that is being kept hidden. Good versus evil, and two guys stuck in the middle filled with enough snark to keep you laughing through the horrors.

I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone that likes historical/paranormal stories. This is the first book in a series but concludes like a stand-alone. After the ending, I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book, Lord of the Hunt.

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

 

I would like to thank Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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“Wow – this is one INCREDIBLE novel that I could not put down.
It had me  on the edge of my seat and I can honestly say that I never
saw the end coming. It was full of suspense, action but also humour
(done in a way  that only Lauren can accomplish).”
5-Star Review of THE NUTCRACKER CONSPIRACY by Working Mommy Journal

 

Join Us for This Audiobook Tour from June 8 to June 26, 2020!
Book Details:

Book TitleThe Nutcracker Conspiracy (A Thorny Rose Mystery #4) by Lauren Carr
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 +),  388 pages
Genre:  Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:   January 30, 2020
Content Rating:  PG-13 (Lauren Carr’s books are murder mysteries,
so there are murders involved. Occasionally, a murder will happen on
stage. There is sexual content, but always behind closed doors. Some
mild swearing (a hell or a damn few and far between). No F-bombs!

 

Book Description:

Three years ago, the nation gasped in horror when the President of the
United States barely escaped an assassination attempt that left two
dead—the vice president’s wife and the attempted assassin.  Even after
numerous investigations proved otherwise, conspiracy theorists argue
that the assassin was acting on orders from the CIA, FBI, and every
federal agency within a hundred miles of the capital.

Aspiring Author Dean Conway is the last person Lieutenant Commander
Murphy Thornton wants to spend his Saturday afternoon when they end up
at the same wedding reception table. While their wives tend to
bridesmaid duties, Murphy is trapped listening to Dean’s latest
work-in-project—completing the manuscript of an investigative journalist
who’d disappeared months earlier.

“She was number twelve,” Dean says.

“Twelve?” Murphy asks.

“Twelve witnesses connected to or investigating The Nutcracker shooting have died either in an accident or suicide.”

Two days later, Dean dies suddenly―but not before sending a text message to Murphy:

“13”

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Audible

BookBub ~ Add to Goodreads

 

Meet the Author:

Lauren Carr is the international
best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Chris Matheson
Cold Case, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty-five 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, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and
humor.

A popular speaker, Lauren is also
the owner of Acorn Book Service, the umbrella under which falls iRead
Book Tours. She lives with her husband and two spoiled rotten German
Shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Instagram

My Review
5 stars
I previously reviewed a physical copy of this book. The audiobook had given it so much more reach. I loved this book all over from the start. This is another great addition to the Thorny Rose series. You really need to check it out!!

A presidential assassination attempt three years prior took the lives of the vice president’s wife and the assassin. Since then there have been all kinds of conspiracy theories about the true target and who ordered the murder.

Zip to present day which finds Murphy Thornton at a wedding reception with author Dean Conway. Dean is going on and on about his book about the assassination attempt. He tells Murphy about how twelve witnesses have died in the last couple years. How when someone seems to be getting close to the results, they end up dying. Murphy doesn’t think anything about it until he receives a text message from Dean saying “13.” Dean is later found dead.

Murphy jumps into the mystery of spies, stolen secrets, and assassinations. What follows is a twisting, turning ride with lots of red hearings along the way. I was kept on my toes the whole way and was completely wrong with who the killer was, as usual. This is what makes me a huge fan of Lauren Carr’s books.

And of course, there are the animals: Gnarly, Newman, and Spencer. The only thing I can say is lycanthrope. Sprinkled through the story are hilarious canine antics.

I love Lauren Carr’s books and strongly recommend checking them out. You can read them in order to get more from the books or you can read them as a standalone without being completely lost. If you like mysteries, you HAVE to check them out. You won’t be disappointed. I really enjoyed this book as a read but listening to it has given it more depth. It’s definitely worth the read or listen.

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

 

Guest Post: J. Bronder Book Reviews

The Fine Pink Line between Spunky and Stupid

By Lauren Carr

“Do you think my character is stupid?”

Recently, an author asked me that question about the female lead in her romantic suspense after a reviewer stated “like many women in romantic suspense” her female lead character was “stupid.”

Thus, my friend’s question to me, “Do you think my character is stupid?”

Truthfully, I read a lot of books in which the strong female lead character comes across as less than intelligent. I find that the writer, in his or her effort to force their character, usually an amateur detective, into a suspenseful, thrilling situation, ends up having their lead make decisions that, to most of us, would be considered less than wise.

While lurking on book review sites, it is not uncommon to read poor reviews for cozy mysteries or suspense novels in which reviewers will say that the female protagonist ended up in a dangerous situation because of bad decisions. More often than not, that poor decision was not confiding in their hunky detective/police officer boyfriend/husband.

From what I have observed, I believe the problem lies in some writers failing to see the line (I’ll call it pink since it usually involves a female character) between spunky and stupid.

According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, the definition of spunky is “full of spirit, courage, and determination.”

The same dictionary defines stupid as “not intelligent: having or showing a lack of ability to learn and understand things.”

As you can see by these two definitions, spunky and stupid are two entirely different things. Sometimes, a writer will have their lead character act in a courageous manner for stupid reasons or without clearly thinking through the situation or considering what could go wrong with their plan of action. This leads to readers and reviewers seeing the protagonist as stupid instead of spunky.

Let me illustrate. Back in my youth, when I thought I was immortal, I went skydiving. I had never even been up in a plane before. My boyfriend at the time had made reservations for lessons and after a full day of learning how to properly jump out of an airplane, what could go wrong, and what to do if something did go wrong, we went high up into the air and jumped out—with parachutes.

Now, jumping out of a perfectly good plane with a parachute after a full day of lessons on how to do this properly (especially when I had never been up in an airplane before) was, in my opinion, “spunky.” It was courageous. (Some of you may disagree.)

However, if I had not taken a full day of lessons—if I had paid a reduce rate to some guy with a plane and gone up in the air and strapped on a chute and jumped out without knowing what I was doing—that would not have been spunky. It would have been an unintelligent decision because I would not have known what I was doing. It would have been tragically “stupid.”

Notice, that one little detail—the decision to accomplish my task—skydiving—and to do it after a full day of carefully examining the pros and cons via those lessons is the pink line between spunk and stupidity.

I can see how easy it would be for a writer, wanting their female protagonist to end up in a hair-raising suspenseful situation that will thrill readers all by virtue of her “spunky” nature, can cross that pink line into the “stupid zone.”

Here are the primary issues that can slip a protagonist across the fine pink line:

  • Lack of rationalizing the character’s motivations for the readers. Often, writers fail to adequately explain to their readers why their characters are choosing to behave the way they are.

In the case of my suspense author friend, after reading an early draft of her book, I did believe her character was making a dumb choice, which ended up putting her in harm’s way. Yet, that choice was the catalyst for the entire plot line. She had to make that choice in order for there to be a book. So, the writer rewrote the chapter leading up to that decision to include conversations, etc, explaining the rationalization for her actions.

In rationalizing the protagonist’s actions for the reader, the writer has to examine every other possible avenue—exactly like a real person does when she must make a major decision and address them within the book. That way, readers will know the character has considered other options and will understand her reasons for rejecting those alternatives.

For example, in the first installment of the Thorny Rose mystery series, Kill and Run, my lead character Lieutenant Murphy Thornton, USN, is investigating a multiple murder case involving a navy petty officer. During the course of his investigation, he discovers a connection between his case and the murder of his stepmother’s first husband.

Of course, his stepmother, Homicide Detective Cameron Gates is determined to question her only lead, a possible material witness to Murphy’s case. To complicate matters, Murphy’s new wife, Jessica Faraday insists on going along to question the witness.

It would have been very easy for me to open the chapter in which Cameron and Jessica enter the coffee shop to question the witness—which leads to an exciting action packed gun fight scene with them in the middle.

However, as a writer, I had a duty to my readers, not to mention my characters, to explain why Murphy was allowing his wife to tag along with Cameron to question a witness who he suspected was in danger from the killer. In order to do this, I had to include a whole scene prior to them entering the coffee shop in which Murphy argued with both Jessica and Cameron. During this scene, readers learned that even though Jessica was a “civilian” she was not totally inexperienced:

  • She was a licensed private investigator.
  • She was carrying a gun, has a permit, and had taken gun and self-defense classes.
  • Her father was a noted homicide detective.
  • She’s being accompanied by a trained and experienced homicide detective.

By the end of this scene, I addressed every possible argument readers would have while adding suspense to the follow up coffee shop scene via Murphy’s concern for Jessica’s safety. Instead of viewing Jessica as a wide-eyed naive young woman playing cops and robbers, she is trained and has knowledge about what she could possibly be walking into—which makes her come across as spunky to my readers.

  • Poor reasons for the character’s unwise choices. Let’s say the female protagonist is a chef who is sleeping with the lead detective investigating the murder of her sues chef. She finds the murder weapon baked into a wedding cake.

In this case, the lady chef will need to have an extremely good reason for not calling her detective boyfriend to say, “Hey, honey, I just found the murder weapon!” That is what most normal, intelligent people would do.

Granted, this would not be as suspenseful as having the killer lock her in a freezer while he tries to make his escape.

A good reason for not calling would be because she had dropped her cell phone down the garbage disposal and ground it up and the phone lines are down because of a hurricane and she is trapped in the dark with the killer.

A bad reason would be because she tried to call her boyfriend and the call went straight to voice mail and she is just plain too impatient to wait for her honey to get the message so she decides to trot up to the killer and say, “Hey, I just found the murder weapon with your name engraved in the handle. That means you did it. I’m making a citizen’s arrest. Now hand over that gun you have in your pocket and let’s go downtown.”

In a nutshell, writers sometimes need to remind themselves that art imitates real life. While our characters may not be real, their decision making skills and actions need to have one foot in reality. They need to have a good reason for their choices.

Often, it takes some creativity on the writer’s part to put their protagonists in suspenseful situations while making them come across as spunky, without crossing that pink line and making them come across as unintelligent, but then—isn’t that half of the fun, if not all of it, in being a writer?

Tour Schedule:June 8 – She Just Loves Books – audiobook review / giveaway
June 9 – Mystery Suspense Reviews – audiobook review / author interview / giveaway
June 10 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – audiobook review / guest post / giveaway
June 10 – T’s Stuff – audiobook review / guest post / giveaway
June 11 – Sefina Hawke’s Books – audiobook review
June 11 – Bound 4 Escape – audiobook review / giveaway
June 12 – Splashes of Joy – book spotlight / guest post / author interview / giveaway
June 12 – Nighttime Reading Center – book spotlight / giveaway
June 12 – Locks, Hooks and Books – audiobook review / guest post / giveaway
June 16 – Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews – audiobook review /giveaway
June 17 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
June 17 – Blooming with Books – audiobook review / giveaway
June 19 – Stephanie Jane – book spotlight / giveaway
June 22 – Hall Ways Blog – audiobook review / giveaway
June 23 – Books for Books – audiobook review
June 24 – JBronder Book Reviews – audiobook review / guest post / giveaway
June 25 – Thoughts in Progress – audiobook review / giveaway
Enter the Giveaway:
Enter for your chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card courtesy of Lauren Carr, author of THE NUTCRACKER CONSPIRACY

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I would like to thank Lauren Carr and iRead Book Tours for the opportunity to read and listen to this wonderful story and share it.

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Awake

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Awake by Jennifer Reynolds

After waking in a field, naked, battered, bloody, and with no memory of who she was or what happened to her, Olivia “Liv” Stone, discovers that roughly four years have passed and a plague has swept her world, killing some and turning most into creatures only heard about in horror stories. Worse, she fears that during those missing years, she might have been one of the beings. How that was possible, and how she was human again, Liv doesn’t know but aims to find out. Along the way, she joins a war to eliminate the remaining creatures by waking as many of the undead as possible.

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Jennifer   Reynolds

About the Author

Jennifer Lynn Powell Reynolds is a native of North Alabama.

Jennifer has a Master of Fine Arts degree from National University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Alabama.

Writing has always been a large part of her life. In high school, her local newspaper published a large number of her poems, and she won numerous poetry and short stories awards. Since high school, she has worked on a number of different projects, but her focus was on acquiring her degrees.

She finished the first draft of her first novel, a post-apocalyptic piece titled Alone, around the time she graduated with her B.A. Since then, she has written numerous other novels, short stories, and poems.

Aside from spending her days immersed in the fictional worlds she creates, she works part time at Stained Glass Artistry.

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My Review

5 stars

Liv wakes up naked, battered, and throwing up fingers. Next to her is a dead soldier missing said fingers. This is the first day of her new life as a human that was formerly a zombie. A cure has been created that can turn a small percentage of zombies back into humans. Those that don’t turn are quickly killed by the same cure.

Liv doesn’t know who she is but starts remembering a little about her life prior to being a zombie and while she was a zombie. She wants to make amends and volunteers to help administer the cure. She meets others like her and prejudices from humans that are worried the former zombies will return to their previous life.

I really enjoyed this story, I was hooked from the moment I learned about the soldier with the missing fingers. I really felt for Liv as she tried to put the pieces of her life back together and deal with the things that she did. I loved the twist about bring the zombies back, you don’t see that one when you think zombie story.

This is a great story that I recommend checking out. I am now a huge Jennifer Reynolds fan and can’t wait to get my hands on anything she writes.

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

I would like to thank Jennifer Reynolds for the opportunity to read and share this amazing story.

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