Friday, October 24, 2014

Author Interview: To Love a King by Shona Husk

Today we are lucky enough to have author Shona Husk for an interview.  She is promoting her latest book in the Court of Annwyn series, To Love a King.

Publisher: Soucerbooks Casablanca
Date of publication: October 2014

He’s Trying to Reclaim His Past
To keep the balance between good and evil at the court of Annwyn, Prince Felan ap Gwyn has two weeks to marry and take the crown. But he wants more than just power—he wants love; a love he once had but was too stubborn to hold on to.

She’s Struggling to Face the Future
It took years for Jacqueline Ara to put her life back together after Felan abandoned her. She’s moved on, even if her heart still burns for him. But with war in Annwyn looming and death bleeding into the mortal world, Felan and Jacquie will need to heal old wounds and rekindle the passion that once welled between them…or face losing everything.

Kari& Autumn: What inspired you to become a writer?

Shona: I wrote as a child, but it wasn’t until I was on maternity leave that I started writing as an adult. I also discovered romance novels about the same time and I knew that was what I wanted to write. I love creating new worlds and putting my characters through hell as it makes the happily ever after that much sweeter.

Kari& Autumn: Where do you come up with the ideas for your books?

Shona: Ideas are everywhere. I think lots of little things pull together to make an idea so by the time it snowballs into what I recognize as a story idea it’s been rolling around my mind for ages. I read a lot and widely, from current affairs (which is where the plagues came from in To Love a King) to mythology, to nonfiction, biographies as well as all kinds of fiction. The more I put into my mind the more there is for my subconscious to draw on. It does make it tough to pin point where exactly an idea came from.

Kari& Autumn: What exciting projects are waiting in the wings?

Shona: I’m working on a few more Annwyn books. The Darkling Lord (Court of Annwyn #4) will be out in March next year and two more will follow. I also have a contemporary series starting next year which is super exciting. You can keep up to date with my new releases through my newsletter:

Kari& Autumn: Who is your favorite literary character and why?

Shona: My first literary crush was Rhodry from Daggerspell by Katherine Kerr. He was a hot half-elf who was also a mercenary. He was ever so dashing and over the course of 15 books got into all kinds of trouble.

Kari& Autumn: Just for fun, if you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

Shona: A cat. No matter the size they are slinky when they move. They snooze a lot and eat whatever they want. They also look good in spots and stripes.

About the author:

Shona Husk lives in Western Australia at the edge of the Indian Ocean. Blessed with a lively imagination she spent most of her childhood making up stories. As an adult she discovered romance novels and hasn’t looked back. With stories ranging from sensual to scorching, she writes contemporary, paranormal, fantasy and sci-fi romance. 

Buy Links:

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pre-Publication Teaser Tour: What to Do with a Bad Boy by Marie Harte

We are excited to be taking part in the pre-publication tour to promote Marie Harte's upcoming book, What to Do with a Bad Boy, Book 4 in the McCauley Brothers series.  Over the next two weeks, a different blog will be releasing a new excerpt every day.  We have the 4th one for you below! ( The full list of stops can also be found below) 

What to Do with a Bad Boy
Author: Marie Harte
Pubdate: November 4th, 2014
ISBN: 9781402287435
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Every time Delilah Webster runs into Mike McCauley, he practically bites her head off. The rough-and-tumble contractor clearly has baggage. Del has her own emotional scars and knows she’s better off keeping her distance, but Mike’s temptation in jeans and a T-shirt and she’s always been good with her hands…

There’s something about the strong-willed mechanic that sets Mike’s motor running—and scares the hell out of him. Mike has loved and lost and will never hurt like that again, even if that means walking away from a woman who makes him feel alive for the first time in years.

When a simple kiss turns hot and heavy, Mike discovers he can’t stay away, no matter how certain he is they’re destined to crash and burn…

An Excerpt

She didn’t like him towering over her desk. Over her. She rose to her feet and wondered if standing on her chair to gain a height advantage would seem too juvenile. “Well what? J.T. and I met Vanessa and Cam for a game of bowling. Colin was there. We might have let a few words slip, but it was an accident.” Through the door, a loud curse sounded. “I work in a garage. We’re not having a tea party, McCauley. Grow a set of stones and deal.”
He took a step closer, and she had a hard time looking away from his eyes. Man, she’d never seen a blue so…blue. “My name is Mike.”
“Mike.” She licked her lips, not liking the sudden dryness. To her consternation, his gaze fixed on her mouth. “So, uh, get over it.”
“Right.” Mike took a deep breath, then let it out and stepped back. “Quit cursing around my kid.”
“I’ll try.” For once he hadn’t ordered her to stop seeing Colin. “I don’t know when I’ll be seeing him again, so it probably doesn’t matter.”
Mike shrugged. “Abby’s putting together a celebration party Wednesday night, for her new book deal, I think. She’ll probably invite you.”
Actually, Abby had sent the invitation via email that morning. “Oh. You’re going?”
“Yeah.” That handsome smile he so seldom wore appeared, showing a dimple in his left cheek. “But I know how I scare you, so I don’t figure I’ll see you Wednesday night. Don’t worry, I’ll tell Colin you were busy.”
“Scare me? You?” She huffed. “In your dreams, Mike.” She moved around the desk to poke him in his rock-solid chest. “I’ll be there Wednesday. Try not to be more of an ass than you can help. I mean, your kid will be there. Don’t want to show Colin what you’re really made of.”
He leaned down, so that his nose was all but touching hers. “Sweetheart, you couldn’t handle what I’m really made of.”

Make sure to check out Book Hounds tomorrow for the next installment!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author:

Caffeine addict, boy referee, and romance aficionado, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Marie Harte is a confessed bibliophile and devotee of action movies. Whether hiking in Central Oregon, biking around town, or hanging at the local tea shop, she’s constantly plotting to give everyone a  happily ever after. Visit and fall in love.

Throwback Thursday: The Man From Stone Creek by Linda Lael Miller

Author: Linda Lael Miller
First published in 2006 by  Harlequin

When trouble strikes in Haven, Arizona, Ranger Sam O'Ballivan is determined to sort it out. Badge and gun hidden, he arrives posing as the new schoolteacher, and discovers his first task: bringing the ranchers' children under control. So he starts with a call on Maddie Chancelor, the local postmistress and older sister of a boy in need of discipline.

But far from the spinster Sam expects, Maddie turns out to be a graceful woman whose prim and proper demeanor is belied by the fire in her eyes. Working undercover to capture rustlers and train robbers has always kept Sam isolated and his heart firmly in check until now. But something about the spirited postmistress tempts him to start down a path he swore he'd never travel….

The Man From Stone Creek was a bit underwhelming.  I liked the overall storyline.  Sam is undercover as a school teacher while he tracks down a group of bandits.  Maddie runs the local mercantile and takes care of her brother.  The attraction is there, but Sam is promised to another woman  

The problem i had with the story was the lack of heat between Maddie and Sam. They don't even kiss until almost the very end of the book.  When they do finally kiss, they jump right into bed together.  I just wasn't feeling the love between the two of them.  I also felt like it was a bit too long.  I definitely could have been shorter.    I wouldn't say skip it, but just don't expect too much.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Blog Tour: The Summer of Long Knives by Jim Snowden

Author: Jim Snowden
Publisher: Book Tree Tropes
Date of publication: Septmeber 2013

In the summer of 1936, the racial and political climate in Munich are growing tense, and Kommisar Rolf Wundt and his wife Klara are increasingly desperate to leave Nazi Germany while they still can. But when a member of the League of German Girls is found brutally murdered and posed in the yard of a dilapidated farmhouse, Rolf’s supervisor declares that they can’t leave until he’s solved the case. Rolf’s investigation leads him from the depths of the underground Communist movement to the heights of Germany’s elite Nazi society, exposing the cracks in Germany’s so-called unified society as well as the unspoken tensions in Rolf’s complicated marriage. Ultimately, long-buried secrets and overwhelming evidence are laid bare, but how can Rolf bring the killer to justice in a country devoid of justice? And how can he protect himself, his wife, and his former lover from the barbarism of a corrupt and power-hungry government?

I am always sad when a book ends up being a DNF one for me.  I always go into a new story with enthusiasm and every intention of finishing.  But, I have also come to learn that I sometimes have to just give up on a book.  It doesn't always mean it's badly written. It is usually because to story doesn't fit me.  I found that with The Summer of Long Knives.  I just really couldn't get into the story.  

I kept having the feeling that I was missing something like an earlier book.  I had a hard time orienting myself to the story.  I also think that I really don't know enough about the political climate of that time in history to really get a grasp of what was going on within the main characters. I felt like there wasn't enough of a set-up in the beginning to help me with this.  I have read a couple of reviews that stated that the book didn't have a 1930s Germany feel to it and I have to agree.  I felt like the language was very American and contemporary.  
Having said all of that, I have seen a lot of great reviews for the book.  I encourage you to try it and see if you like it for yourself.  It just wasn't a book for me.

About the author:

Bellevue author Jim Snowden has published short stories in Pulphouse, Mind In MotionThe Seattle ReviewThe King’s Englishand MAKE.His novellaEscape Velocities, was named a 2004 notable story by the editors of StorySouth. Jim received his MFA from the University of Washington in 2004, where he won the David Guterson award for his work on his debut novel,Dismantle the Sun. He also runs a small press, MMIP Books, which published its first short story collection, Coming Unglued: Six Stories About Things Falling Apart, in May of 2011. Its second collection, Blood Promises, And Other Commitments was released in April of 2013.

 Connect with Jim

Purchase Links

Jim Snowden’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, September 15th: Nightly Reading
Wednesday, September 17th: The Year in Books
Thursday, September 18th: Maurice on Books
Tuesday, September 23rd: Words by Webb
Thursday, September 25th: 5 Minutes for Books
Friday, September 26th: Mystery Playground – Drinks with Reads guest post
Monday, September 29th: JulzReads
Wednesday, October 1st: Back Porchervations
Monday, October 6th: Diary of an Eccentric
Wednesday, October 8th: Books and Movies – spotlight/giveaway
Thursday, October 9th: Sarah’s Book Shelves
Monday, October 13th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Thursday, October 16th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Monday, October 20th: Omnimystery News – author guest post
Wednesday, October 22nd: From the TBR Pile
Monday, November 3rd:  Musings of a Bookish Kitty

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Divided We Fall by Trent Reedy

by:  Trent Reedy
published by:  Arthur A. Levine Books
publish date:  January 28, 2014

Danny Wright never thought he'd be the man to bring down the United States of America. In fact, he enlisted in the National Guard because he wanted to serve his country the way his father did. When the Guard is called up on the Idaho governor's orders to police a protest in Boise, it seems like a routine crowd-control mission ... but then Danny's gun misfires, spooking the other soldiers and the already fractious crowd, and by the time the smoke clears, twelve people are dead.

This was an audiobook that I got from the SYNC program that does every summer.  If you haven't signed up for that, I'd say go for it!  You get the option of downloading 2 YA audiobooks every week during the summer, one classic book and one new book.  

Divided We Fall was really great book.  It turned out to be a lot better than I was expecting!  Danny signs up for the National Guard out of honor to his father and help out at home.  He gets involved in Idaho trying to stand against the will of the President.  His National Guard unit is called in to protect the downtown area during protests when Danny's weapon accidentally discharges.  That incident starts a war between Idaho and the government of the United States.  

Trent Reedy did a good job covering a lot of the arguments that I kept coming up with.  So hats off to him.  Again this is the start of a series, but this is one that I'll probably keep up with.  I'm interested to see what happens.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Blog Tour: A Breast Cancer Alphabet by Madhulika Sikka

Author: Madhulika Sikka
Publisher: Crown
Date of publication:  February 2014

From NPR News executive editor comes an indispensable and approachable guide to life during, and after, breast cancer.

The biggest risk factor for breast cancer is simply being a woman.  Madhulika Sikka’s A Breast Cancer Alphabet offers a new way to live with and plan past the hardest diagnosis that most women will ever receive: a personal, practical, and deeply informative look at the road from diagnosis to treatment and beyond.

What Madhulika Sikka didn’t foresee when initially diagnosed, and what this book brings to life so vividly, are the unexpected and minute challenges that make navigating the world of breast cancer all the trickier.  A Breast Cancer Alphabet is an inspired reaction to what started as a personal predicament.

This A-Z guide to living with breast cancer goes where so many fear to tread: sex (S is for Sex – really?), sentimentality (J is for Journey – it’s a cliché we need to dispense with), hair (H is for Hair – yes, you can make a federal case of it) and work (Q is for Quitting – there’ll be days when you feel like it).  She draws an easy-to-follow, and quite memorable, map of her travels from breast cancer neophyte to seasoned veteran.

As a prominent news executive, Madhulika had access to the most cutting edge data on the disease’s reach and impact.  At the same time, she craved the community of frank talk and personal insight that we rely on in life’s toughest moments.  This wonderfully inventive book navigates the world of science and story, bringing readers into Madhulika’s mind and experience in a way that demystifies breast cancer and offers new hope for those living with it.

Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I was happy to join this tour to promote A Breast Cancer Alphabet. Breast cancer is a disease that affects a woman's life in ways that she cannot imagine. While I didn't read the book cover to cover, I found the parts I did read to be informative as well as comforting.  I think one of the best ways to survive an illness is by drawing from the wisdom of one who has been on the same path.  I would have no problem passing this book onto a loved one who may find herself on this path.  

About the author:

MADHULIKA SIKKA is a veteran broadcast journalist with decades of experience. Among other media outlets, she has worked at NPR News and ABC News.

Visit Madhulika’s website for more information.

Purchase Links

Madhulika Sikka’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Wednesday, October 1st: The Reading Date 
Thursday, October 2nd: Peeking Between the Pages
Friday, October 3rd: Guiltless Reading spotlight/excerpt
Monday, October 6th: WV Stitcher
Tuesday, October 7th: Lisa’s Yarns
Wednesday, October 8th: Life is Story
Friday, October 10th: Bibliotica
Monday, October 13th: A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, October 14th: Nightly Reading
Monday, October 20th: Lesa’s Book Critiques
Monday, October 20th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, October 20th: Laura’s Book List – giveaway
Tuesday, October 21st: Sincerely Stacie
Tuesday, October 21st: My Shelf Confessions
Thursday, October 23rd: Luxury Reading
Monday, October 27th: Patricia’s Wisdom

Blog Tour: Review & Interview: Fallen by Leslie Tentler

Please welcome author Leslie Tentler.  She is promoting her latest book, Fallen.  Enjoy her interview after my thoughts on the book.

Publisher: Left Field Press
Date of publication: October 2014

Amid a sultry Atlanta summer, someone is targeting police…

The investigation becomes personal for APD Detective Ryan Winter when a colleague and friend is shot dead, the second victim in just weeks. But even as he finds himself being drawn into the tense hunt for a serial cop killer, he is forced to re-examine his own shattering personal tragedy.

An ER physician at Atlanta’s busy Mercy Hospital, Dr. Lydia Costa is no stranger to suffering. Still, the recent police slayings reopen barely healed wounds—and bring her face-to-face with her ex-husband, Ryan Winter.

As the body count rises and paranoia tightens its grip on the police force, Lydia and Ryan are pulled together by circumstances and fate…causing old passions to reignite despite their painful shared past. But as Ryan moves closer to discovering the killer’s identity, someone is watching, placing both him and Lydia in mortal danger.

My thoughts:

 I enjoyed Fallen.  While it has great suspense and a good serial killer mystery, it is also a heartbreaking story about two people who are destined for each other if only the can move beyond the hurt from their personal tragedy.  Lydia and Ryan are divorced after losing their toddler son in a freak accident.  The murder of a fellow cop brings them back together. It's clear that they still care for each other.  The loss of a child always makes for a heartbreaking story.  I was rooting for them to find their way back to each other.  

The mystery was good with an interesting twist.  Someone is targeting cops and that means a whole lot of suspects.  I was surprised at the killer in the end.  That made the book more enjoyable.  I definitely recommend Fallen.  This is the fist one I have read by the author.  I will have to check out her Chasing Evil Trilogy next!

Kari& Autumn: What inspired you to become a writer?

Leslie: My love of reading, I’m sure. I read a lot as a child – even more than I do now, because I had so much more free time – and still remember summers when my mother would keep me busy by constantly taking me to our local library to load up on books. “Living” in those fictional worlds made me want to take it a step further and start creating my own characters and stories, I think.

Kari& Autumn: Where do you come up with the ideas for your books?

Leslie: That’s a good question. I wish I knew the answer! I just get these little seeds of ideas in my head and then start working the story out on my computer screen. I daydream A LOT about my characters, and the majority of those scenes floating in my mind never make it into the actual story.

For my Chasing Evil Trilogy, all I knew in the beginning was that I wanted each book to be about a different FBI agent, facing the investigation of his life while also beginning to develop feelings for a woman ensnared in the case. My new book, Fallen, is also in that “law enforcement romantic thriller” territory. But emotionally, I wanted to give it a new twist. Instead of having two characters who meet and fall in love over the course of the story, I wanted to write about a couple who had been very much in love, then had a terrible tragedy befall them that drove them apart. Having a previously married couple trying to find their way back to one another was something I hadn’t done before. And of course, all of this is set against a pretty tense investigation my hero is handling…he’s a homicide detective with the Atlanta Police.

Kari& Autumn: What exciting projects are waiting in the wings?

Leslie: I have another novel close to completion that I’m planning to publish sometime next year. While Fallen is a standalone novel, my next book, tentatively titled Clarity Bay, might be the start of a series. It’s my first foray into something outside of law enforcement-oriented romantic thrillers. While Clarity Bay certainly has aspects of romantic suspense, it also has a Southern, small town romance vibe.

Kari& Autumn: Who is your favorite literary character and why?

Leslie:It has nothing to do with romantic suspense, of course, but I just adore Bridget Jones.

Kari& Autumn: Just for fun, if you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

Leslie: Definitely a cat. My cat, Alex, is sitting in my office right now. Cats just always seem so cool and un-needy. But being a duck, floating around on the water all day, also seems pretty great, too.

Thanks for having me!

About the author:

Leslie Tentler is best known as the author of the Chasing Evil Trilogy (MIDNIGHT CALLER, MIDNIGHT FEAR and EDGE OF MIDNIGHT). She was named as a finalist for Best First Novel at ThrillerFest 2012 for Midnight Caller, and as a finalist in the 2013 Daphne du Maurier Awards for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense for Edge of Midnight. She is also the recipient of the prestigious Maggie Award of Excellence. Her newest romantic suspense novel is titled FALLEN.

Leslie is a member of Romance Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, The Authors Guild and Novelists, Inc. A native of East Tennessee, she currently resides in Atlanta.

Her latest book is the romantic suspense, Fallen.

For More Information

Sunday, October 19, 2014

After Visiting Friends: A Son's Story by Michael Hainey

Author: Michael Hainey
Publisher: Scribner
Date of publication: February 2013

Michael Hainey had just turned six when his uncle knocked on his family’s back door one morning with the tragic news: Bob Hainey, Michael’s father, was found alone near his car on Chicago’s North Side, dead, of an apparent heart attack. Thirty-five years old, a young assistant copy desk chief at the Chicago Sun-Times, Bob was a bright and shining star in the competitive, hard-living world of newspapers, one that involved booze-soaked nights that bled into dawn. And then suddenly he was gone, leaving behind a young widow, two sons, a fractured family—and questions surrounding the mysterious nature of his death that would obsess Michael throughout adolescence and long into adulthood. Finally, roughly his father’s age when he died, and a seasoned reporter himself, Michael set out to learn what happened that night. Died “after visiting friends,” the obituaries said. But the details beyond that were inconsistent. What friends? Where? At the heart of his quest is Michael’s all-too-silent, opaque mother, a woman of great courage and tenacity—and a steely determination not to look back. Prodding and cajoling his relatives, and working through a network of his father’s buddies who abide by an honor code of silence and secrecy, Michael sees beyond the long-held myths and ultimately reconciles the father he’d imagined with the one he comes to know—and in the journey discovers new truths about his mother.

So, I did it, I tried another memoir type book. After Visiting Friends is the story about the author's attempt to find the true story behind his father's death.  As an adult he notices inconsistencies in the obituaries and the explanation given to his mother by his uncle for how his father died.  Over the next few years, Michael uses his investigation skills to get to the truth.

The book ended up being just an OK read for me.  For one, I thought it was a little longer than it needed to be.  The author's tends to ramble on about the his childhood often switching gears abruptly.  I was hoping for something more intriguing than what I got in the book.  The truth of what happened the night he died was kind of underwhelming and I guessed it about halfway through the book. That was disappointing.  I did feel bad for Mr. Hainey though.  I thought his father's newspaper friends took loyalty a little too far in hiding the truth from the family, especially after so many years had passed.

I think fans of books like this one will enjoy it.  But, don't go into the book expecting a major mystery.  Instead you will find a book about a man who lost his father too soon and his trying to reconcile that man he though his father was with the man he turned out to be.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Nightmares! by Jason Segal and Kirsten Miller

Authors: Jason Segal & Kirsten Miller
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers 
Date of publication: September 2014

Sleeping has never been so scary. And now waking up is even worse!

Charlie Laird has several problems. 

1. His dad married a woman he is sure moonlights as a witch.
2. He had to move into her purple mansion, which is NOT a place you want to find yourself after dark.
3.He can’t remember the last time sleeping wasn’t a nightmarish prospect. Like even a nap. 

What Charlie doesn’t know is that his problems are about to get a whole lot more real. Nightmares can ruin a good night’s sleep, but when they start slipping out of your dreams and into the waking world—that’s a line that should never be crossed.

And when your worst nightmares start to come true . . . well, that’s something only Charlie can face. And he’s going to need all the help he can get, or it might just be lights-out for Charlie Laird. For good.

In the spirit of Halloween, I thought it would be fun to listen to Nightmares!, a middle grade "scary story".  While it wasn't really scary for me, I think it will be just spooky enough for any middle grade reader who is looking for a little scare.  The story involves Charlie whose mother died three years before.  His father has since remarried and moved the family into his step-mother's house.   That is just the beginning of his problems.  His dreams seem to be happening during his waking time.  Soon it spreads to his friends and the entire town.  

There are a couple of themes running through the book that make it a great read for this age group.  One of the things that Charlie and his friends learn is that in facing your fears, it isn't knowing what you are afraid of.  It is knowing why you are afraid if it.  Once you figure that out, you can conquer anything. It is also a coming of age story about loss and dealing with the extreme grief of losing a loved one.  Charlie's inability to say goodbye to his mother and move on with his new life is the cause of the negative energy that starts all of the nightmares in the town. I have to say the scene in which he faces his own fear was very touching.

The book was co-authored by Kirsten Miller and Jason Segal.  You probably know him from "How I Met Your Mother" I thought he and Ms. Miller make a great writing team and I look forward to reading more from them in the future!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Joint Review:The Farm by Tom Rob Smith

Author: Tom Rob Smith
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Date of publication: June 2014

If you refuse to believe me, I will no longer consider you my son.

Daniel believed that his parents were enjoying a peaceful retirement on a remote farm in Sweden. But with a single phone call, everything changes. 

Your mother...she's not well, his father tells him. She's been imagining things - terrible, terrible things. She's had a psychotic breakdown, and been committed to a mental hospital. 

Before Daniel can board a plane to Sweden, his mother calls: Everything that man has told you is a lie. I'm not mad... I need the police... Meet me at Heathrow.

Caught between his parents, and unsure of who to believe or trust, Daniel becomes his mother's unwilling judge and jury as she tells him an urgent tale of secrets, of lies, of a crime and a conspiracy that implicates his own father.

This is the first book I have read by this author.  Autumn told me that she enjoyed his other books, so I'll have to look them up to try out for myself.  The Farm ended up not being anything like I expected it to be.  I ended up really liking the story.  I was totally taken by surprise at the ending and that always makes me like a book even more. 

The story that Daniel's mother tells is believable, yet unbelievable at the same time.  I felt like the author did a good job of misdirection and building suspense. For a while you really don't know who to believe.  That is all I will say about the plot because it would ruin it if I said more.  I highly recommend this one!

I read Tom Rob Smith's 3 books in the Leo Demidov series.  I liked that series.  I thought Child 44 was the best.  I think what I like about his writing is that he is an English speaking writer but writes about foreign countries.  It's not translated writing, where there's the possibility of something lost along the way.  Sometimes it feels that way when I'm reading some of the translated works, I'm reading it and I'm thinking either this writer is totally messed up in the head or something just didn't get translated right.  

I thought The Farm was pretty good.  The first 2/3 of the book was kinda plodding along.  Kari assured me there was a really good twist and that was the thing that kept me going.  It was, but it was really far along in the book.  It took a long time to get there.  Yes, I would recommend Tom Rob Smith, but I might recommend Child 44 over this book.