Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Blog Tour: Where the Bones are Buried by Jeanne Matthews

Author: Jeanne Matthews
Published by: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Number of Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781464203466

Dinah Pelerin has finally put her life in order. Living in Berlin with her boyfriend Thor, she has landed a job teaching Native American cultures at the university. She’s never felt happier. And then her Seminole mother Swan shows up with a crazy scheme to blackmail a German tax dodger and dredges up a secret Dinah has kept hidden from the IRS and from straight-arrow Norwegian Thor, a former cop now with hush-hush international duties.

Germans harbor a century-long fascination with the American Wild West and American Indians. Some enthusiasts dress up as Indians and adopt Indian names. Like Der Indianer Club which has invited Swan to a powwow where she plans to meet her blackmail victim. Dinah tries to head her off, but arrives at the scene too late. A man has been killed and scalped and Swan quickly becomes the prime suspect. Torn between love for her mother and dismay at her incessant lies, Dinah sets out to find the killer—hoping the killer doesn’t turn out to share her DNA. But Swan isn’t the only liar. Everyone is lying about something. Margaret,Swan’s dead ex-husband’s former wife, come to the city with Swan. Dinah’s teen-age “ward.” Thor. Especially Dinah. Ghosts of Germany’s terrible history haunt Berlin while she faces exorcising a hateful ghost of her own.

Where the Bones are Buried is the 5th book in the Dinah Pelerin series.  I have read all of the previous books and have been enjoying the series so far.  This time around, Dinah has moved to Berlin to be with her boyfriend Thor.  She has started to feel happy and settled when her mother comes to visit carting trouble along with her.  Dinah has an affinity for getting involved in murder cases, so it isn't any surprise when she discovers a dead body and her mother stands accused of murder.

I liked this one, but I won't say it's my favorite.  Dinah did seem more settled and comfortable with herself.  She is making great strides toward sticking in one place and not wanting to run from conflict.  She is thrown a curve ball from not only her mother but from Thor as well.  He has his own surprise for her.  I was hoping she would stick with him and not run.  I like the direction that their relationship is heading.  I think the stability of a relationship is good for her character.

I say it's not my favorite because I felt the mystery was a bit convoluted. Despite that, I still enjoyed it.  I liked the resolution with the money situation.  I never cared for that story line. I will warn that I really don't think this one can be read as a stand alone.  There are too many characters with too much back story and I found that it might be confusing for a new reader.  I would recommend reading at least the first book, Bones of Contention to get the gist of what is going on with Margaret, Swan and KD.

I highly recommend this book as well as the series.  I look forward to reading Dinah's next adventure!

Read an excerpt:

Chapter 1
Dinah Pelerin wasn’t used to waking up happy and it scared the daylights out of her. She pulled the blanket to her chin and snuggled close under Thor’s arm. They had known each other for almost ayear, but had moved in together just three weeks ago. With every passing day, her confidence grew that she’d made the right decision. She cared about him more than she’d cared about anyone in a very long time, but the people she cared about had a habit of turning into liars or dying. Thor was too honest to lie.
She said, “I wish you didn’t have to go. It’s not fair. I haven’t learned my way around the city yet and the only person I know besides you is the wacko across the hall.”
“You have a dozen Berlin guide books and street maps and Geert isn’t a wacko. He’s the resident caretaker. If the lights go off or the furnace dies, tell him and he’ll take care of the problem. Anyway, I’ll only be away for five days. Norwegian Intelligence can’t function without my unerring wisdom.”
“Can’t you send your unerring wisdom to them in an email?”
“I’m glad you’ll miss me, kjære, but I have my orders.” He looked at his watch and sat up. “I need to be at the Embassy in an hour. I’m picking up two diplomats who will join me on the flight to Oslo.”
“Just my luck to fall for alatterday James Bond, forever charging off to save the nation.” She placed a hand over her heart. “I could not love thee dear so much loved I not honor more.”
He kissed her in a particularly melting way, then rolled out of bed abruptly and headed for the shower. “Hold that thought.”
“You’re a tease, Thor Ramberg.”
“Like Bond, I leave them begging for more.”
He didn’t hear. The bathroom door snicked shut and she slipped on her robe and padded into the kitchen to make coffee. Rain pelted against the windowpanes and the pedestrians on the Niederwallstrasse down below carried umbrellas and wore their collars turned up like KGB operatives. Until the Wall fell in 1989, this street and the area for miles around was Soviet-dominated East Berlin. Since that time, the Germanys had reunified and Berlin had reinvented itself as the cultural and financial hub of Europe. The only thing that hadn’t changed was the KGB weather.
She shivered. If September was this cold and dreary, she didn’t want to think what winter would bring. But in spite of the gloom, she’d never felt so happy. It seemed that the stars had aligned and for the first time in living memory, every aspect of her life clicked perfectly. Thor was wonderful, her new job as guest lecturer on Native American cultures at Humboldt University was a plum, and the weather aside, Berlin was one of the most exciting cities she’d ever visited. She tried to put the thought of all this happy synchronicity out of her mind lest the gods grow jealous and snatch it away.
She brought in the International Herald Tribune, poured herself a mug of the local Einsteinbrew, and sat down at the kitchen table to read about the turmoil in Greece and Pakistan and Kenya. The world seemed fragmented, a jigsaw of violent factions that refused to fit together and fanatics willing to do anything in furtherance of their cause. She worried about Thor’s work carrying out counterterrorism missions on behalf of his native Norway. He’d almost been killed in Greece last June while investigating a ring of arms traffickers. She had encouraged him to go to law school or return to a less hazardous police job in Norway. But he was a patriot and he craved adventure. She had learned not to try and argue him out of his dream job as an international sleuth.
He breezed into the room in a dark suit and tie, bringing with him the ferny scent of Fitjar soap. With his deep brown eyes and almost black hair, he did look a bit Bond-like – a cross between Sean Connery and Genghis Khan. He was descended from the Sami people of Arctic Scandinavia and he loved cold weather as much as she hated it. He poured himself a cup of coffee and glanced out the window. “Museum weather. You should go to the Pergamon this afternoon. The Gates of Ishtar will start your anthropologist’s juices flowing.”
“It’s on my list.”
“And there’s a market in the platz with local fruits and vegetables and flowers.”
“I’ll check it out.” His tie didn’t need straightening, but she pretended it did, standing ready for a kiss that would have to last her for five days. “I’ll probably spend the day preparing for my first class. I know that most Germans speak English and the ones who sign up for my class will be fluent, but I don’t want to use too many Americanisms or too much jargon.”
“Most Germans under the age of fifty have studied English in school. Even those who say they speak ‘only a little English,’ can talk politics like a senator, which by the way is the German word for senator.”
He was so relaxed and reassuring. Too relaxed? She felt a frisson of superstitious fear. “You will be careful, won’t you? Don’t let the bad guys sneak up on you.”
“I’m off to Oslo, not Kabul.”
Her iPhone erupted in a concatenation of percussive plinking.
Thor took a quick swallow of coffee and set down his mug. “Answer your xylophone. I’ve got to run.”
“No, wait…” she turned toward the phone.
“I’ll call you.” His kiss landed in her hair somewhere in the vicinity of her left ear and he hurried out the door.
Frustrated, she picked up the phone. “Hello.”
“Dinah, is that you? It’s your mother. Your friend Margaret and I are in the Hartsfield Airport in Atlanta waitin’ for our flight. What’s that number, Margaret? Here it is, Air France, seven seven-oh. Don’t we change planes somewhere, Margaret?”
“You’re coming here? To Berlin?”
“What? Good heavens, that’s too little for me to read, Margaret. Anyhow, we’ll be arriving this evenin’ at…what? Can that be right? All right, tomorrow evenin’ at eight-thirty at TXL, which we think is the name of the airport. If you can come get us and put us up for a few days, that’ll be just lovely.”
Dinah fought back a groan. “How long do you plan to be here?”
“That depends, baby. We have a little detective job we need you to help us with.”

Giveaway Details:

1 Box of books including Where the Bones are Buried from Poisoned Pen Press (US only) using the rafflecopter script below. Winner will receive a print copy. The giveaway will run from Feb 28 through April 4, 2015 12AM EST.

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About the author:

Jeanne Matthews was born and raised in Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Journalism and has worked as a copywriter, a high school English and Drama teacher, and a paralegal. She currently lives in Renton, Washington with her husband, who is a law professor.

Catch Up:

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Tour Schedule:

Monday, March 30, 2015

Blog Tour: Dog Crazy by Meg Donahue

Author Meg Donahue
Publisher: William Morrow
Date of publication: March 2015

The USA Today bestselling author of How to Eat a Cupcake and All the Summer Girls returns with an unforgettably poignant and funny tale of love and loss, confronting our fears, and moving on . . . with the help of a poodle, a mutt, and a Basset retriever named Seymour.

As a pet bereavement counselor, Maggie Brennan uses a combination of empathy, insight, and humor to help patients cope with the anguish of losing their beloved four-legged friends. Though she has a gift for guiding others through difficult situations, Maggie has major troubles of her own that threaten the success of her counseling practice and her volunteer work with a dog rescue organization.

Everything changes when a distraught woman shows up at Maggie’s office and claims that her dog has been stolen. Searching the streets of San Francisco for the missing pooch, Maggie finds herself entangled in a mystery that forces her to finally face her biggest fear-and to open her heart to new love.

I love when I read a book and it gives me a warm and fuzzy (or should I say furry) feeling in the end.  Dog Crazy did just that to me.  It's a well written and sweet story about love and loss with some lovable four legged friends thrown in. Maggie is a recent transplant to San Francisco.  She is a pet grief counselor who is harboring a few issues of her own.  The recent loss of her beloved dog Toby has caused her anxiety to escalate into agoraphobia.  She hasn't left her yard in 100 days.  Helping her newest patient Anya find her dog Billy maybe the answer to helping her get out of the house.

The thing that I liked about the book was the author's look at anxiety disorders and the way pets can help people manage them.  Using her friend's dog Giselle, Maggie is able to slowly allow herself to leave the confines of her yard and start exploring the city.  I thought the subject was handled realistically.  Maggie is never really "cured"  but she is able to make great progress and learn some coping skills. 

 For many, pets become a part of the family and the grief that one feels when they die can be overwhelming.  Once Maggie ventures outside, she realizes that there is a whole world of possibility for new love and friendship.  I was really rooting for her to find a way to open her heart up again to be able to fall in love, not only with Henry, but with a new dog.

Does the mystery of what happened to Billy ever get solved?  I'm not telling!  You'll have to pick up this wonderful story and find out for yourself!

About the author:

Meg Donohue is the author of How to Eat a Cupcake. She has an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University and a BA in comparative literature from Dartmouth College. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she now lives in San Francisco with her husband, their two young daughters, and their dog.

Find out more about Meg at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Purchase Links

Meg’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, March 10th: Walking With Nora
Thursday, March 12th: A Chick Who Reads
Friday, March 13th: Kritters Ramblings
Monday, March 16th: Always With a Book
Tuesday, March 17th: BookNAround
Wednesday, March 18th: Bibliotica
Thursday, March 19th: Peeking Between the Pages
Monday, March 23rd: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, March 24th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Thursday, March 26th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Monday, March 30th: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, March 31st: Books in the Burbs
Wednesday, April 1st: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Friday, April 10th: I’d Rather Be At The Beach

Sunday, March 29, 2015

You by Caroline Kepnes

by:  Caroline Kepnes
published by:  Atria
publish date:  September 30, 2014

When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.  There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

This book was quite a thing.  I think most readers will have strong feelings about You.  My first thought are that Caroline Kepnes must be quite the firecracker.   You was very dark and...dirty is the word that kept coming to mind most often.  

Beck walks into a bookstore one day and walks out with Joe as her new stalker.  He steals her phone so he can read all her emails and monitor her social media accounts.  He kidnaps her boyfriend and orchestrates his disappearance with a series of social media posts.  He worms his way into her life until he is everything she has ever wanted.  All is right in Joe's world until Beck stops behaving as expected.  Then everything goes wrong...very, very wrong.  

Like I said this book is dirty.  The language is rough.  The way Joe talks is really bad.  I didn't think I could run across anyone that could cuss more creatively than nursing students, but Joe is in the running.  It's also written from Joe's point of view as if he's talking to Beck.  "You did this"  "You did that"  That type of writing might be a bit of a turn off, but I got used to it after awhile.  

As it turns out, this is a series.  The second book is slated to come out in September, 2015.  According to Goodreads it's called Love.  I'll probably read it, because Joe and his obscene mouth cracked me up.  

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Book Spotlight: Hot & Botherd by Crystal Green

Author:Crystal Green
Publisher: Intermix/ Berkley
Date of publicaiton: March 2015

On the dusty outskirts of Vegas, there’s a down and dirty saloon where all sorts of lethally charming—and genuinely dangerous—men carouse to seduce the women who happen to venture inside on their way to and from Sin City.

Despite the many women he’s bedded over the years, Gideon Lane has never been able to get Rochelle Burton completely out of his head. He certainly never expected to see the city girl again, now a successful author, all grown up in all the right places and asking for his protection.

After their disastrous night together, Rochelle was determined to put Gideon—and the things he made her want—far behind her. But when an obsessive fan expresses their anger over her latest book in a disturbing way, Rochelle’s overprotective cousins insist she hire the best bodyguard the Rough & Tumble saloon can offer.

Both Rochelle and Gideon intend to keep their relationship strictly professional, but when the threat to Rochelle puts them in close quarters, Gideon can’t help wanting the chance to prove that some things are better the second time around…

Add it to your TBR pile on Goodreads:

Where to find your copy:

Amazon Kindle
B&N Nook

About the author:

You can call her “Crystal,” “Chris,” or “Christine”—she’s the same person, even though her different pen names reflect different writing personalities.

Under “Crystal Green,” she writes romance. “Chris Marie Green” is in charge of the urban fantasy series Vampire Babylon, which features six full-length books, three novellas, and one short story. Chris Marie has also indie published a New Adult Single Girl/Geek Lit hybrid with illustrations by Billy Martinez called The She Code, along with other shorter works that follow the rules that all girls should know in life.

Crystal used to be an 8th grade teacher of reading, writing, and US History, but she promised herself if she ever sold 3 books in a year, she would take a chance and write full-time. Ten years later, she is still feverishly writing and loving it!
Connect with Crystal:

Friday, March 27, 2015

Book Spotlight: Echoes by Laura K. Curtis

Author: Laura K. Curtis
Publisher: Intermix (Berkely)
Date of publication: March 2015

A single photo of herself as an infant on a beach, taken before the date on her birth certificate, throws everything Calliope Pearson knows about herself into question. Hoping to find answers, she takes advantage of her job as a travel writer to make a reservation at the Caribbean island resort in the picture.

Resort security chief Mac Brody distrusts Callie on sight. After all, she looks exactly like his deceitful missing wife, Nikki, who owns half the resort. But when Nikki’s found dead, Mac's facing murder charges, and he’s sure that Callie must hold the key to proving his innocence.

The deeper Callie and Mac dive into the mystery of her past, the more bodies surface. And they’ll have to learn to trust each other, or become victims of a dark danger neither could've imagined…

Add it to Goodreads:
Where to find your copy:

About the Author:

Laura K. Curtis does everything backwards. As a child, she was extremely serious, so now that she’s chronologically an adult, she feels perfectly justified in acting the fool. She started teaching at age fifteen, then decided to go back to school herself at thirty.

Laura has taught middle school social studies, high school literature, and college-level rhetoric, all with relative success. She’s also a full-on Mac geek who spent years as a consultant and running an academic computing lab. The only thing she completely failed at in the field of education was attempting to teach obedience to her pack of Irish Terriers. Currently, she lives in Westchester, NY, with her husband and two insane Irish Terriers who have taught her how easily love can coincide with the desire to kill.

To date, she has two romantic suspense novels (Twisted, 2013 & Lost, 2014) and one contemporary romance (Toying With His Affections, 2014), none of which her mother thinks are as good as The Speshel Dog.

Connect with Laura:


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Smitten by Janet Evanovich

Author: Janet Evanovich
First published in 1990 by Loveswept

Single mom Lizabeth Kane isn't exactly carpenter material -- she's never picked up a hammer in her life. But she desperately needs the construction job that builder Matt Hallahan is offering. And even though he knows trouble is ahead, Matt can't refuse Lizbeth's irresistible smile.
Matt Hallahan isn't exactly relationship material -- he has always been too busy working on other people's houses to make a home of his own. And even though she knows better, Lizabeth can't stop thinking about the rugged carpenter.
Is the relationship Matt and Lizabeth are building solid -- or more like a house of cards?
I have read a few of this author's early books and for the most part, I have enjoyed them.  I have mixed feelings about Smitten.  It was written in the early 90s and I think updated for the 2000s.  The premise is that Lizabeth is recently divorced with 2 small boys.  She needs to find a job so she doesn't lose her house.  The problem is that her degree in History isn't doing her much good. On a whim, she applies for a job as a carpenter.  Matt hires her for two reasons.  He feels sorry for her and he lusts after her.  Yeah, a great reason to hire someone. Within a day, they are making out on the job site.  That was weird and a little creepy.

For the most part, I liked the story.  I thought it had a lot of humor in it.  There are several characters and situations that reminded me of the Stephanie Plum series.  Plenty of the scenes made me laugh.  I also loved Matt.  He was a sweet character and great for Lizabeth and her boys.  

What I didn't like about it was the way Lizabeth's job changed.  She is hired to be a laborer in Matt's construction site.  He first puts her to work painting trim.  Over time she eventually transitions into the office working as their office manager.  I was disappointed in that.  Why couldn't she have become skilled as a builder or something else on the site?  Why turn her into the obvious stereotypical role as a secretary?  For me, it really dated the story. think fans will like this story.  If you can ignore the stereotypical gender roles, I think you will enjoy it was well.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

One Wish by Robyn Carr

Author: Robyn Carr
Publisher: Mira (Harlequin)
Date of publication: February 2015 

Grace Dillon was a champion figure skater until she moved to Thunder Point to escape the ruthless world of fame and competition. And though she's proud of the quiet, self-sufficient life she's created running a successful flower shop, she knows something is missing. Her life could use a little excitement. 

In a community where there are few eligible singles, high school teacher Troy Headly appoints himself Grace's fun coach. When he suggests a little companionship with no strings attached, Grace is eager to take him up on his offer, and the two enjoy…getting to know each other. 

But things get complicated when Grace's past catches up with her, and she knows that's not what Troy signed up for. Faced with losing her, Troy realizes Grace is more than just a friend with benefits. He's determined to help her fight for the life she always wished for but never believed she could have—and maybe they can find real love along the way.

I swear, this series just keeps getting better.  One Wish is Grace and Troy's story.  Troy is finally over his heartache from losing Iris when he starts noticing how much he likes spending time with Grace.  Grace has been keeping a secret about her earlier life and isn't sure if she is ready to share it with Troy.  Can she trust him enough to show her true self?

I thought this one was so much fun to read.  Watching Troy and Grace fall in love was such a pleasure! They had some hilarious scenes  that made me burst out laughing. Even though she is slow to trust him with her secret identity,  I thought their relationship was very believable and went at a nice steady pace.  Admittedly, Troy did have a "brain atrophy" for a little bit regarding their future, but he redeemed himself in a very nice way in the end.  Their HEA was super sweet.  

Along with Troy and Grace's story, we are treated to a lot of the rest of the town's characters that have shown up in previous books.  That is what makes this series great.  Being able to check in with previous couples and seeing how life it progressing in the town of Thunder Point.  I makes me want to move there myself! The way Raeanne helped her cousin Ginger was very endearing.    Ginger's story is up next and I can't wait to read it!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hold the Dark by William Giraldi

by:  William Giraldi
published by:  Liverlight Publishing Corporation
publish date:  September 8, 2014

At the start of another pitiless winter, the wolves have come for the children of Keelut. Three children have been taken from this isolated Alaskan village, including the six-year-old boy of Medora and Vernon Slone. Stumbled by grief and seeking consolation, Medora contacts nature writer and wolf expert Russell Core. Sixty years old, ailing in both body and spirit, and estranged from his daughter and wife, Core arrives in Keelut to investigate the killings. Immersing himself in this settlement at the end of the world, he discovers the horrifying darkness at the heart of Medora Slone and learns of an unholy truth harbored by this village.

So I picked up this audiobook from the library.  I have to say it's one of the most messed up books I've read in a long time.  There were so many parts that I had to stop and rewind because I was like "wait, did I seriously just hear what I heard??"

Core is wolf expert, but he's old and retired and estranged from his dying wife.  He gets called to the remote village of Keelut by Medora Slone because her son was taken by wolves and she want his help to retrieve whats left of his body.  She wants to be able to give her son a proper burial because her husband is a soldier away at war and wants to give him at least that when he gets home.  

Well, Medora is a crazy nut job.  She wanted Core there to discover that she had killed her son not the wolves.  She takes off before the police show up.  Then Medora's husband comes home early and take off after her.  He cuts a big blood trail across Alaska looking for her.  

I don't want to give away the ending, but Oh do I want to talk about it.  Seriously, if you've read this, email me or something because how crazy was the ending of this book??

Monday, March 23, 2015

Blog Tour: The Kill Shot by Nichole Christoff

Author: Nichole Christoff
Publisher: Random House Alibi
Date of publication: March 2015

Jamie Sinclair’s father has never asked her for a favor in her life. The former two-star general turned senator is more in the habit of giving his only child orders. So when he requests Jamie’s expertise as a security specialist, she can’t refuse—even though it means slamming the brakes on her burgeoning relationship with military police officer Adam Barrett. Just like that, Jamie hops aboard a flight to London with a U.S. State Department courier carrying a diplomatic pouch in an iron grip.

Jamie doesn’t have to wait long to put her unique skills to good use. When she and the courier are jumped by goons outside the Heathrow terminal, Jamie fights them off—but the incident puts her on high alert. Someone’s willing to kill for the contents of the bag. Then a would-be assassin opens fire in crowded Covent Garden, and Jamie is stunned to spot a familiar face: Adam Barrett, who saves her life with a single shot and calmly slips away. Jamie’s head—and her heart—tell her that something is very wrong. But she’s come way too far to turn back now.

If you are looking for a non-stop action packed book full of intrigue and spy chasing, then you should definitely check this one out.  The Kill Shot is the second book featuring Jamie Sinclair, private detective-turned-security-agent for hire. Her Senator father hires her for what seems to be a routine job; guarding someone delivering a US diplomatic pouch to  London and home again.  Once Jamie gets off the plane in London, she quickly realizes that this job is anything but routine.

I devoured this book.  I literally read it in a couple of hours because I couldn't walk away from it.  It was non-stop action from the beginning and didn't let up until the end. You never know who to trust in the book so it definitely will keep you on your toes.  Jamie Sinclair is a great character.  She is great at what she does, smart and beautiful.  She is hesitant to give into her feelings for Adam,  I did find that part of the book frustrating.  I hope that he shows up in the next book and that they make some more progress.  It would hate to have the" should I or shouldn't  I?" question go on for too many books.

I am looking forward to the next book, 

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About Nichole Christoff

Nichole Christoff is a writer, broadcaster, and military spouse who has worked on air and behind the scenes producing and promoting content for radio, television news, and the public relations industry across the United States and Canada. Christoff is a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime and the Jane Austen Society of North America. She also belongs to Private Eye Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and three of RWA’s local chapters where she’s served as an officer and a member of the board. In Christoff’s first year as a member of RWA, her first manuscript won the Golden Heart for Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements. Her second manuscript won a Helen McCloy Scholarship from Mystery Writers of America. Her last manuscript was a finalist for the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. Her latest novel, The Kill Shot, is a 2014 Killer Nashville Claymore Dagger finalist.

Purchase Links

Nichole Christoff’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Wednesday, March 11th: Book Nerd
Thursday, March 12th: FictionZeal
Monday, March 16th: Reading to Distraction
Wednesday, March 18th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Thursday, March 19th: Kahakai Kitchen
Thursday, March 19th: Annabel and Alice
Thursday, March 19th: A Fantastical Librarian
Friday, March 20th: Bell, Book & Candle
Monday, March 23rd: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, March 24th: Back Porchervations
Tuesday, March 24th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Wednesday, March 25th: Brooke Blogs
Wednesday, March 25th: Queen of All She Reads
Thursday, March 26th: Joyfully Retired
Monday, March 30th: Vic’s Media Room
Tuesday, March 31st: Booked on a Feeling
Wednesday, April 1st: Omnimystery News – author guest post
Friday, April 3rd: Reading Reality

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Joint Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

by:  Marissa Meyer
published by:  Feiwal + Friends
publish date:  January 27, 2015

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Fairest is sort of a prequel in the Lunar Chronicles.  It tells the story of how Queen Levana comes to power.  Fortunately, a lot is explained in this book because frankly, so much time has passed since I've read some of these Lunar Chronicle books, I don't remember how all these characters relate.  This book did a good job of illustrating the family dynamics between Levana, Cinder and the new character Winter.   This is is a good book to tide the LC fans over until Winter come out.  I think you might be surprised at how sympathetic you might feel towards Levana after hearing her story.

I really enjoyed Fairest and thought is was a great addition to the series.  I am glad that the author wrote it, because it gives us a lot more history and how everyone relates to each other.  I wouldn't recommend reading this one first because things will be spoiled for you before reading the first three.

It's a shorter book, so it can be read quickly.  I admitted to Autumn in the beginning that I felt bad for Lavana and could see how she turned so evil.  But in the end, I decided that she was just basically crazy and not much would have saved her.  The book has the first three chapters of Winter (Book 4) as a teaser bonus. Neither one of us read them so we would be surprised.  I can't wait for Winter to come out this summer!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

One of Us by Tawni O'Dell

Author: Tawni O'Dell
Publisher: Gallery Books
Date of publication: August 2014

Dr. Sheridan Doyle, a fastidiously groomed and TV-friendly forensic psychologist, is the go-to shrink for the Philadelphia District Attorney's office whenever a twisted killer's mind eludes other experts. But beneath his Armani pinstripes, he's still Danny Doyle, the awkward, terrified, bullied boy from a blue-collar mining family, plagued by panic attacks and haunted by the tragic death of his little sister and mental unraveling of his mother years ago.

Returning to a hometown grappling with its own ghosts, Danny finds a dead body at the infamous Lost Creek gallows where a band of rebellious Irish miners was once executed. Strangely, the body is connected to the wealthy family responsible for the miners' deaths. Teaming up with veteran detective Rafe, a father-like figure from his youth, Danny, in pursuit of a killer, comes dangerously close to startling truths about his family, his past, and himself.

One of Us was an intriguing read.  I really enjoyed the mystery. Danny Doyle is a forensic psychologist who studies serial killers for a living.  He has returned to his hometown to take care of his grandfather.  While there, a dead body is discovered.  The investigation leads to answers about what really happened to his baby sister and with his mother's conviction.  

 The story is told through the eyes of Danny and Scarlet.  At first, I thought the book would only be from Danny's point of view.  Then there was a switch about a quarter of the way through and it switched to Scarlet.  It was a little odd and unexpected because it didn't seem to fit with the story.  But, things definitely become clearer as the book progresses. I ended up really liking how the plot was doled out.  It kept me on my toes and kept the story interesting.  I did figure somethings out early, but there were a few surprises as well.

I haven't read anything else by this author.  I know I want to seek out some of her other books after reading this one.  I do recommend trying it out.  I think fans of a good mystery will like this one.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Hush by Karen Robards

Author: Karen Robards
Publisher: Gallery Books
Date of publication: December 2014

When Riley Cowan finds her estranged husband Jeff dead in his palatial home, she's sure it's no coincidence. The police rule it a suicide, but Riley thinks someone's out for blood—specifically someone Jeff's father ripped off in one of the biggest financial fraud cases of all time. She suspects that someone is trying to send a message to Jeff's father: Tell me where the money is, or everyone you care about will die. 

Riley's in-laws might be billionaires, but she's afraid that not even their dirty money can protect her from an irate investor who will stop at nothing to get his hands on his misappropriated cash. Enter Finn Bradley, Philly-based FBI agent and Riley's love interest from way back when. Finn agrees to help Riley, and the two reignite sparks they both thought were extinguished long ago. But can they discover the killer's identity in time, before he resurfaces—and strikes again? 

Hush is the latest offering my one of my "go to" authors.  I think I have read just about everything she has written, so I usually know I will get a good read.  Hush was a fairly entertaining read. I did enjoy it for the most part.  I just didn't love it.  The premise of the story is that Riley finds her ex-husband dead having seemingly committed suicide.  His father has been recently exposed in a money  fraud scandal and they have lost everything.  Riley is convinced he was murdered because there are billions of dollars missing and someone desperately wants that money. Enter Finn Bradley, a government agent who also wants to find that money.

The reason I thought the book was just OK was I felt like it wasn't anything original.  The romance between the two was very rushed.  I just didn't feel the intense attraction between the two of them.  The one and only love scene in the book was less steamy than I know this author is capable of, so I was a bit disappointed there.

As for the mystery, I was surprised in the end.  So, there is that. I guess it boils down to not really liking any of the characters very much. Most of them make incredibly stupid moves that just keep getting them into trouble.  Especially, Riley and that got tiring after a while. I think most fans will like the story.  For me, I felt like the author was "phoning it in" and it could have been better.  

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Throwback Thursday/Joint Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

by:  James Dashner
published by:  Delacourte Press
publish date:  October 6, 2009

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Kari and I were behind on the times on The Maze Runner.  Neither of us had read the book or seen the movie.  We decided to both listen to the audiobook.  Kari sent me a text saying she wasn't really enjoying the beginning.  That surprised me since it was so popular, but that seems to be a trend with us.  If every one loves it, we don't like it.

So I got started with The Maze Runner and my first thought was that I hated the slang.  Why do authors have to get all crazy with the slang?  I think their secret hope is that it'll make it into mainstream usage.   I think a good rule of thumb should be if it's not a sentence that you could say with a straight face in public, don't put it in your book....slangwise anyway.  

While, the beginning frustrated me with endless unanswered questions and the weird evasions of the Gladers, the rest of the book did get better.  By the middle of the book I was really interested in the story and how it was going to end.  The end was surprising. and I have the second book on hold.  

I have to agree with Autumn about pretty much everything.  I hated the beginning of the book.  The slang was annoying.  I have also never been a fan of stories where the characters don't tell the new guy anything. Yet, they get mad at him for doing something he shouldn't.  How is he supposed to know if you don't tell him anything?  Why YA authors do this is beyond me.  

I did end up liking the book.  I didn't love it, but I think that the younger YA crowd will find this one exciting.  The book left things very opened with questions to be answered, so I will probably keep up with the series with Autumn.  Say tuned for book number 2, The Scorch Trials.