Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Her Last Breath by Linda Castillo

by:  Linda Castillo
published by:  Minotaur Books
publish date:  June 2013

What at first seems like a tragic, but routine car accident  suddenly takes on a more sinister cast as evidence emerges that nothing about the crash is accidental.  But who would want to kill an Amish deacon and two of his children? He leaves behind a grieving widow and a young boy who clings to life in the intensive care wing of a hospital, unable to communicate.  He may be the only one who knows what happened that night.  Desperate to find out who killed her best friend’s husband and why, Kate begins to suspect she is not looking for a reckless drunk, but instead is on the trail of a cold blooded killer amid the residents of Painter’s Mill.  It is a search that takes her on a  chilling journey into the darkest reaches of the human heart and makes her question everything she has ever believed about the Amish culture into which she was born.

So I'm back to the Kate Burkholder series.  I'm obsessed, what can I say?  This one drove me a little crazy.  Not the central mystery, but the subplot of the Daniel Lapp.  In this book, Daniel Lapp's bones are found and of course Kate and her family started flipping out.  That's understandable.  However, the jumps that Kate's mind make are crazy.  Like she didn't tell the Sheriff about the missing person's case of Daniel Lapp when the bones were found....ummm that's because it's a 17 year old case.  Why would a 17 year old case immediately spring to anyone's mind?  And she's worried that she won't give the right details from that day when they question her.  Can anyone remember the specifics of a day 17 years ago?  No!  That stuff was getting a little ridiculous.

Otherwise, I really liked this book.  The mystery was different than the others in this series.  I love Painters Mill and the characters in the town.  This book also talked about the genetic problems within the Amish community and I thought that was interesting aspect.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Blog Tour: Under a Silent Moon by Elizabeth Haynes

Author: Elizabeth Haynes
Publisher: Harper Paperback Reprint edition 
Date of publication: February 2015

Two women share a grisly fate in the first entry of this exciting new British crime series—a blend of literary suspense and page-turning thriller that introduces the formidable Detective Chief Inspector Louisa Smith—from the New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Haynes, “the most exciting thing to happen to crime fiction in a long time” (Sophie Hannah, author of Kind of Cruel).
In the crisp, early hours of an autumn morning, the police are called to investigate two deaths. The first is a suspected murder at a farm on the outskirts of a small village. A beautiful young woman has been found dead, her cottage drenched with blood. The second is a reported suicide at a nearby quarry. A car with a woman’s body inside has been found at the bottom of the pit.

As DCI Louisa Smith and her team gather evidence over the course of the next six days, they discover a shocking link between the two cases and the two deaths—a bond that sealed these women’s terrible fates one cold night, under a silent moon.

Under a Silent Moon is the first in the DCI Louisa Smith series.  I read Human Remains by this author and really liked it, so I was eager to read this one.  I wasn't disappointed.  The book involves "Lou" who is on her first case as a DCI.  Two women are found dead in seemingly separate circumstances, but their proximity and relationship makes the police want to delve further into what happened.  I thought the mystery was really good.  I kept thinking I had it worked out, but in the end I was wrong.  I love when that happens!

One of the things that I really liked about the book was the way it was told.  The reader gets several points of view, not just Lou's.  That made the guessing game more interesting.  I also liked the reports and analysis that were sprinkled throughout the book.  It made me feel like I was a part of the investigation.  I also enjoyed the characters.  Lou Smith is a good cop and is definitely a character I want to read more about.

I will be reviewing the next book, Behind Closed Doors, on April 13 as part of another tour.  So make sure to come back and see my thoughts!

About the author:

Elizabeth Haynes is a police intelligence analyst, a civilian role that involves determining patterns in offending and criminal behavior. Dark Tide is her second novel; rights to her first, Into the Darkest Corner, have been sold in twenty-five territories. Haynes lives in England in a village near Maidstone, Kent, with her husband and son.

Visit her at, connect with her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

Purchase Links

Elizabeth’s Tour Stops for Under a Silent Moon

Wednesday, February 25th: I Wish I Lived in a Library
Thursday, February 26th: Dreams, Etc.
Monday, March 2nd: Wont to be Quilter
Tuesday, March 3rd: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, March 4th: Vivacious Hobo
Thursday, March 5th: Buried Under Books
Tuesday, March 10th: Olduvai Reads

Monday, March 2, 2015

Trust No One by Jayne Anne Krentz

Author: Jayne Anne Kretnz
Publisher:Putnam Adult
Date of publication January 2015

It's no coincidence when Grace Elland finds a vodka bottle next to the lifeless body of her boss, motivational speaker Sprague Witherspoon. The bottle is a terrifying--and deliberate--reminder of the horrors of her past. Grace retreats to her hometown to regroup and tries to put everything she's learned about positive thinking into practice--a process that is seriously challenged on the world's worst blind date. Awkward doesn't begin to describe her evening with venture-capitalist Julius Arkwright. 

She has nothing in common with a man who lives to make money, but the intense ex-Marine does have some skills that Grace can use--and he's the perfect man to help her when it becomes clear she is being stalked. 

As Witherspoon's financial empire continues to crumble around them, taking a deadly toll, Julius will help Grace step into her past to uncover a devious plan to destroy not only Grace, but everyone around her...

Trust No One is the latest stand alone out by Ms. Krentz.  Like River Road, her stand alone that came out last year, it really brought me back to her pre-parnormal book days.  I really enjoyed this one. Grace finds her boss murdered in his bed.  It brings back memories of the dead body she found when she was 16 years old. Seeing the vodka bottle next to the bed makes it seem more sinister.  It's the same type of bottle that she found years before next to the other dead body.  She shrugs it off as a coincidence until it seems that someone is stalking her.  She meets millionaire, Julius on a bad blind date, but he ends up being the one who can protect her form harm.

For a mystery, this one was a hard one to work out on my own.  There are a couple of twists that made it pretty intriguing.  It was hard to piece together how the murders, missing money and a dead rat in the fridge (Personally, I was with Grace on her decision about that one!) all fit together.  But, I really liked it and thought the solution made a lot of sense.

The romance was fun as well.  Even though they were set up on an awkward blind date, Juluis and Grace end up realizing that there is an intense attraction.  Grace is reluctant to get involved since she has never had a great track record with men.  She always ends up fixing them.  I thought Julius was good for her.  The only thing that got old was the constant "Witherspoon" affirmations.  It kind of made the book have too much of a  goody-goody feel to it.  I could have done with less of that.

I hope this is a new trend for this author.  I am enjoying her straight Romantic Suspense books.  I look forward to the next one!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Rock Canyon Romance series by Codi Grant

I reviewed the first book in this series, Things Good Girls Don't Do back in November 2014   I recently finished the next three so I thought I'd combine them into one post:

In Good Girls Don't Date Rock Stars (Avon Impulse, April 2014), Gemma waked up in Vegas to find herself married to an old flame.  It seems they sealed the deal in a drunken haze.  She quietly sneaks away and intends on sending him divorce papers.  Superstar Travis lost her once and has no intention of losing her again.  He sets out to woo her and make her his forever.  What he doesn't know is Gemma has a big surprise for him.

I would have to say out of all of the books, this one was my least favorite.  I have never really been a fan of hidden pregnancies.  I always feel really bad for the father because of all of the time he loses out on with his child.  I think it is incredibly selfish of the mother to keep it a secret.  I have a hard time respecting anyone who would do that, especially if the father is a good guy.  Gemma did end up redeeming herself in the end.  But, it was a little too late for me to like these two together.So, this one was just OK for me.

The third book Bad Girls Don't Marry Marines (Avon Impulse, June 2014) was a lot of fun to read.  Valerie went through a bad divorce that caused a scandal and it still haunts her around town.  Justin has never been able to forget Valerie and the steady kiss they shared a long time ago. He sets out to win her heart.

I really  loved Valerie and Justin together. I thought they were good for each other.  I felt kind of bad for Valerie because she has a bad reputation around town that she can't seem to shake.  It doesn't help that her father is a prominent business man in town.  I was happy when she kept standing up to him.  Their HEA was really sweet and the ending perfect!

The fourth book, Return of the Bad Girl (Avon Impulse, December 2014) was the more serious one of the bunch.  In this one, Caroline has moved back home to start over. Gabe has moved to town to try to start over as well and to make amends with some old friends.   When they both find themselves renting the same apartment, it's hard to keep the sparks from flying.

I said this one is more serious because it deals with some more serious issues. Both of them harbor secret tragedies.  Gabe served time in prison for DUI and for causing his sister's severe brain damage in the process. He has never let go of his guilt over what he has done and feels unworthy.  Caroline has a great hatred for her father because he allowed her to be violated years before.  Gabe and Caroline were perfect for each other.  They each helped the other see that they were worth a deep love and forgiveness.  I would have to say this one is my most favorite out of the four books.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Bone Orchard by Paul Doiron

by:  Paul Doiron
published by: Minotaur Books
publish date:  July 15, 2014

In the aftermath of a family tragedy, Mike Bowditch has left the Maine Warden Service and is working as a fishing guide in the North Woods. But when his mentor Sgt. Kathy Frost is forced to kill a troubled war veteran in an apparent case of "suicide by cop," he begins having second thoughts about his decision. 

Now Kathy finds herself the target of a government inquiry and outrage from the dead soldier's platoon mates. Soon she finds herself in the sights of a sniper, as well. When the sergeant is shot outside her farmhouse, Mike joins the hunt to find the mysterious man responsible. To do so, the ex-warden must plunge into his friend's secret past—even as a beautiful woman from Mike's own past returns, throwing into jeopardy his tentative romance with wildlife biologist Stacey Stevens

I tried listening to this audiobook once and I put it away.  I don't know what was going on with me that day.  This is the fifth book in the Mike Bowditch series and I had been really enjoying it so far.  But for some reason when I started this one I just wasn't into it.  However, I gave it another try and I'm really glad I did because I ended up really liking this story.

In this book Mike has left the warden service and he's working as a fishing guide.  Kathy, is having a hard time because of a suicide by cop.  When he goes to visit her, Kathy is shot and Mike is there when it happens.  He gets involved in the investigation as to who exactly shot her and why.  When everyone is assuming, it's friends of the man she shot, Mike has other ideas.  He doesn't give up until he gets his man.  

I was glad that this book kind of went back to the roots of the series.  I think it needed it.  The last book I felt like was starting to wander too far out there.  Again, I recommend this series.  It's really very good.  The audiobooks are well done, I like the reader even with his over the top Maine accents.  Definitely check them out!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Blog Tour: Accept This Dandelion by Brooke Williams

Author: Brooke Williams
Publisher:  Self
Date of publication: February 2015

Renee Lockhart has her eye on a lofty goal…to fill the open position of morning radio show host on a nearby secular station. When her co-workers sign her up for a local TV version of “the Bachelor,” Renee goes along with it in order to raise her profile. Ben McConnell, one of the most eligible bachelors in town, insists that Renee be placed on the show, despite her bumbling audition. Ben gets much more than he expected in Renee. He gets a girl who doesn’t bow to his every whim…and a girl who opens his eyes to true, unexpected love. Enjoy a local version of the popular "Bachelor" TV show...where nothing can go right for Renee!

Are you ever in the mood for a super sweet clean romance?  Then this book could be the one you are looking for.  In Accept This Dandelion, Renee finds herself accepted as a contestant on a dating show.  Initially, she is in it to make a name for herself in order to get noticed for the AM slot at her radio station.  No one with Ben's reputation would ever go for a woman like her.  But, she quickly finds that the heart doesn't always have the same plan the mind does.

 I have never watched the Bachelor on TV, but I have heard about how backstabbing and brutal it can be.  If the show was more like the one in the story, I think I might actually watch it.  I thought his was a really cute romance. Ben and Renee are both using the show for ulterior motives. She wants a new job and he wants to change his playboy reputation in the press. They instead end up finding something that they didn't expect. I thought they were cute together.  I also liked how they both stayed true to themselves throughout the book.  

This is the first book I have read by this author.  I definitely recommend giving it a shot.  I know I'll be seeking out her other books!

About Author

There are plenty of days when I feel like I am “just a mom,” but I fully believe there is NO such thing as “just a mom.”  Moms are so important and there is so much to each and every one of us.  Writing is a huge part of my life and I hope that it brings as much enjoyment to others as it has brought to me.  Thank you for stopping by the page and reading a little bit about me and my passion for writing.  I hope to hear from you and I hope, more than anything, that you enjoy what my girls have allowed me time to write.

Buy links:

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Silent Warrior by Donna Kaufman

Author: Donna Kaufman
First published in 1997 by  Loveswept

Her note read, "I'm in trouble," and John McShane sensed the desperation in Cali Ellis's plea for help. He'd flown to the Caribbean on a rescue mission, but the woman whose defiant beauty still heated his blood refused to leave without answers. Unable to deny her desire for this fierce warrior, Cali longed to taste the fire of his possession. She'd always trusted him with her life, but was she sure enough to dare surrender?

Silent Warrior is the second in the Delgado Dozen series.   John McShane showed up briefly in the first book, Santerra's Sins.  This time around, McShane receives a note from an old friend saying she is in trouble.  He has loved her forever, but she was married to his partner.  After 10 years, he can't resist lending a helping hand. Cali is in trouble, but she isn't exactly sure who is after her or why.  She just knows that is has to do with something her long dead husband was working on before his death 10 years earlier.  She is hoping her old  John will be able to help.

This one was just kind of OK for me.  Throughout the book, I kept feeling like I was missing a key piece of the plot.  So, the mystery was just kind of meh.  The romance was too rushed.  I know that John had wanted Cali for a long time.  So his fall was understandable, but for Cali, it should have been slower.  She had no idea he felt that way about her.  The whole thing seemed too rushed and force.  The next one is Light My Fire and it's T.J.'s story.  I'll be giving it a shot soon.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Book Excerpt: One Night in Close Exposure by Ashley C. Harris

One Night in Close Exposure by Ashley C. Harris
The highly awaited follow up (and final book in the series) to Ashley C. Harris’ ONE NIGHT IN HEATED SNAPSHOTS.

Series: Snapshots #2
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: February 23, 2015
Publisher: Self-Published
Print Length: 89 pages
Format: Digital
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Synopsis: Beth, in another life, was a top student and had nothing but visions of a successful career in her head. That was until one night with Sterling Johnson, the sexy and deceitful swim champion next door, who changed her entire future. Now, because of that night from her past, Beth’s path as a photographer is forever changed. Gone is the young women she used to be as she struggles to keep a secret hidden.

Sterling Johnson, on the other hand, has quickly become America’s favorite Olympic athlete. Constantly followed and stalked by the press and the father he has turned his back on, Sterling craves someone who isn’t interested in his celebrity.

When a publicity stunt takes him back to a wild college campus and Beth, who turns out to be the media photographer assigned to his story, the flame he thought was dead rekindles. Will Beth prove to be the only girl not interested in his celebrity status? Or are her own twisted secrets and lies about to bring both their worlds down?

Enjoy this excerpt!

·       “So,” his voice cracked with a fraction of compassion, “you want me to help your friend, is that what you’re making a spectacle about right now?” he asked as she felt her face getting more and more red. A spectacle?
She took another deep breath as she stared at part of her team approaching the ropes and security asked Sterling if they should be let in too. He said no, as he and Beth stood close in the smoldering sun.
            “I want you to not punish a decent guy. Do you still have it in you to be decent, Sterling?” He paused, and they shared a long look as he finally breathed. “Fine.” “Fine?” she asked, wondering more and more if he had sent those pictures to her. God, who are you really? she wanted to ask.
            “I’ll make the phone call to get Ari reinstated on one condition.”
            “What’s that?” she asked as he took another step closer and made the inside of her pulse want to explode.
            “I want the slate wiped clean between us.”
            “Wiped clean?”
            “Clearly you’re still holding a grudge. I’m asking you to forget our past so we can work well together the rest of the day.” That was a little hard to do considering what he didn’t know, but if he was asking this, then was it possible that maybe he wasn’t the one sending those photos? Maybe he really didn’t want this experience to be awkward or terrible. The question is, if not Sterling, then who? Beth wondered as she tried to play investigator instead of photographer.
            Then, as he raised his phone to call his lawyer, she saw it, theSiren app was loading, and her heart shattered. This was all some kind of sick game celebrities must play on normal people. This was why his father had told her to keep Sterling away until his swimming career was done. Until this hyper version of him was over. He was sending the pictures!
            “What the hell is wrong with you?” And then she saw their picture flash on his phone as he gave her a questioning look.
            “What’s this?” He looked confused as he noticed the picture on his phone, and just as she was about to go absolutely ballistic on him, there was the piercing sound of a gunshot, stopping her heart.
            Everything was suddenly a slow moving blur as Sterling, who was rigid and guarded before, was diving around Beth now. All the animosity and weird energy between them was gone as their bodies collided and he was shielding and taking her down. His skin was warm, strong, and protective. Nothing was making sense.
His security team was diving around them too—well, around Sterling, whose arms were around Beth as they hit the ground. People were screaming and students beyond the ropes were
going crazy as they still managed to snap phone pics. Unbelievable ... yet, in a sick way, if Beth had been a bystander she would have been just as bad.
            So many bodies were pushing Beth and Sterling hard to the floor, her heart was racing like it was about to stop. Oh my God! A gun went off! Has someone been shot? Has Sterling? As he held her tight and she felt all his weight on her, their eyes locked on each other and they became so close that for a moment there was no celebrity, or Olympics, or media photography ambitions, or regretful feelings between them from the past, just a recognizing of something deeper. That truly, for whatever reason, they did care about each other.

            Then the world around them sped back up as an alarm on campus was blasting and Sterling was pulling Beth up the next instant as he shielded her body so only his back was exposed as he half lifted and half pushed her into his limo. Then the vehicle was talking off.

To celebrate the release of ONE NIGHT IN CLOSE EXPOSURE, Ashley’s giving away a gift card to Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) worth $10! Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ONE NIGHT IN HEATED SNAPSHOTS, Book One in the Heated Snapshots series, is currently free on Amazon! Grab your copy now!

About Ashley C. Harris:

Author and film director Ashley C. Harris resides in Florida. Ashley was first recognized for her edgy writing and unique film work when she wrote and directed the teenage film Lines. Lines was the first feature film in the world captured using only Mac Laptops.

In 2013 Ashley teamed up with Barclay Publicity to release the first title in a new young adult series Shock Me. Ashley then went on to release the first of a new NA series, One Night in Heated Snapshots, that quickly reached Amazon's Best Selling top ten list for sports romances.

When she is not dreaming up new books and working on film sets, she loves to spend time with her friends and family.

Keep a close watch for Ashley's newest young adult books releases!

Connect with Ashley at: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Tumblr | Instagram

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Haunted by Lynn Carthage

Author: Lynn Carthage
Publisher: Kensington
Date of publication: February 24,2015

Sixteen-year-old Phoebe Irving has traded life in San Francisco for her stepfather’s ancestral mansion in rural England. It’s supposed to be the new start her family needs. But from the moment she crosses the threshold into the ancient estate, Phoebe senses something ominous. Then again, she's a little sensitive lately—not surprising when her parents are oblivious to her, her old life is six thousand miles away, and the only guy around is completely gorgeous but giving her mixed messages.

But at least Miles doesn't laugh at Phoebe’s growing fears. And she can trust him…maybe. The locals whisper about the manor’s infamous original owner, Madame Arnaud, and tell grim stories of missing children and vengeful spirits. Phoebe is determined to protect her loved ones—especially her little sister, Tabby. But even amidst the manor’s dark shadows, the deepest mysteries may involve Phoebe herself…

I thought Haunted was an enjoyable read.  The story is about Phoebe and her family as the move to England to start over.  Phoebe did something so horrible that they had to move to start over in a new life.  The problem is that she can't remember what she did.  Her parents are distant and don't seem to pay attention to her.  She is also seeing ghosts.  There is a mysterious boy in the neighborhood who may hold some answers.

I was pleasantly surprised by this debut novel.  I thought it was well written and definitely a spooky read.  I won't give away too much of the plot, but I liked the twist in the end.  Phoebe was a likable character.  She wants to make amends for what she did.  She also wants to do whatever she can to protect her baby sister from the evil in the house.

This is a great debut and I recommend it for any lover of YA ghost stories!  I look forward to the next book in the series.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Gone Missing by Linda Castillo

by:  Linda Castillo
published by:  Minotaur Books
publish date:  June 2012  

Rumspringa is the time when Amish teens are allowed to experience life without the rules. It’s an exciting time of personal discovery and growth before committing to the church. But when a young teen disappears without a trace, the carefree fun comes to an abrupt and sinister end, and fear spreads through the community like a contagion.

I read the first 3 books in this series back to back but I got a little burnt out on them, so I had to take a little break.  However, I found myself missing Kate Burkholder and John Thomasetti.  I felt like the series took a little nosedive in book 3.  The book didn't feel well edited and the story just didn't feel right.  Gone Missing put the series back on track.  

Instead of John Thomasetti consulting on the case, Kate Burkeholder was called in to consult on one of his cases for a little different twist.  The pair were able to link one missing Amish teen to a series of missing Amish teens spanning over several years.  The case takes a lot of crazy twist and turns as expected.  The ending to this book was a really good one.  Also, Kate and John finally seem to decide to officially commit to each other.  

I have to wait for the next book from the library so it'll be a little while before I get to it.  I've been really enjoying this series.  Linda Castillo has done a great job with the characters and bringing Painters Mill to life.  I definitely recommend this series to all the mystery readers out there.