Sunday, June 30, 2019

Books I DNF'd in June

The Past and Other Dead Things:  I think if I had a friend like July come back from the dead, I would spend every waking moment trying to make her dead again.   That is all I have to say about this one.

Girls of July:  I was bored with the characters in this book.  Also, I had a hard time buying that any of the parents in the book would not check where their child was going for the entire summer.  It just wasn't realistic to me.

The Dark Lake:  I didn't connect with the main character.  I felt like Gemma's character was too much of a cliche.  You know the cop who doesn't have it together and has horrible behavior patterns like cheating?  I wasn't willing to finish the book to see her solve the mystery.

The Au Pair: I DNF' this very early one.  I didn't like the dual timelines of the story.  I found the book boring and confusing at times.  It just wasn't for me.

Recursion:  I really wanted to like this one.  I found it so confusing.  I tried the audio and had to rewind a couple of times because I kept losing the narrative.  It just didn't work for me.

Supermarket: Sometimes a random book that I haven't heard of  will pop up at my library and I take a chance. Sometimes it's a hit and someimes it's a miss.  This was a miss.  I get what the author was trying to do with this book.  However, the main character was boring.  I couldn't connect with him or with the story.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Review: Alien: Echo by Mira Grant

Author: Mira Grant
Publisher: Imprint
Date of publication: April 2019

An original young adult novel of the Alien universe

Olivia and her twin sister Viola have been dragged around the universe for as long as they can remember. Their parents, both xenobiologists, are always in high demand for their research into obscure alien biology.

Just settled on a new colony world, they discover an alien threat unlike anything they’ve ever seen. And suddenly the sisters’ world is ripped apart.

On the run from terrifying aliens, Olivia’s knowledge of xenobiology and determination to protect her sister are her only weapons as the colony collapses into chaos. But then a shocking family secret bursts open—one that’s as horrifying to Olivia as the aliens surrounding them.

The creatures infiltrate the rich wildlife on this virgin colony world—and quickly start adapting. Olivia’s going to have to adapt, too, if she’s going to survive...

I'm a big fan of the Alien movie franchise.  The first and second movies are in my top favorite horror movies of all time.  I didn't even know that people wrote books set in that "world".  So, when this book came up as a suggestion at my library, I knew I had to give it a try.  The story involves Olivia and her twin sister Viola.  Their parents are scientists who travel from planet to planet helping out colonies on new worlds.  They are experts in alien biology.  

I wish I could say I liked this book, but I really didn't.  It's a quick read, so that is one good thing I can say about it.  The first half of the book is kind of dull.  It was mostly Olivia thinking about how much she liked a girl in her class and wondering if that girl liked her in return.  The real action doesn't take place until the last quarter of the book and even then it wasn't very suspenseful.  I didn't feel any of the tension that I feel when I watch an alien movie.   Especially, when the main character kept thinking about her girlfriend and how much she wanted to make out with her.  I'm sure that is what would be going through your mind when you are being hunted by a killer alien.

I think had this been told in third person and with more then just Olivia's perspective I might have enjoyed it more.  I felt like was spent way too much time in her head and she was annoying. The other characters were cliche and forgettable.  There were a couple of reveals toward the end that were a surprise.  But it wasn't enough to save the book.  I'm not sure if I'll continue with the series.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Blog Tour: Review of Summer by the Tides by Denise Hunter.

Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Date of publication: May 2019

Following a painful betrayal, Maddy Monroe’s love life is a wreck, and her restaurant career is in shambles. When her grandmother goes missing, she and her estranged sisters converge at the family beach house in Sea Haven, North Carolina. Being with uptight Nora and free-spirited Emma at the place where their family broke apart is a struggle, and undercurrents of jealousy and resentment threaten to pull the sisters under. In the midst of the storm, sparks begin to fly between Maddy and Gram’s maddening neighbor, Connor Murphy.

As the sisters pack up the family belongings, memories of idyllic, slow-paced summers are resurrected. But long-buried secrets also come to light as Maddy discovers that all was not as it appeared that last summer in Sea Haven—nor today in the seemingly perfect lives of her sisters.
As family tensions rise and Connor causes tumult in Maddy’s heart, the sisters must find a way to accept each other for the women they’ve become before the bitterness of the past destroys their hope for a future.

My thoughts;
Summer by the Tides is the latest from Denise Hunter.  It involves three estranged sisters who come back to their family summer home when their grandmother goes missing.  All three have secrets are still harboring resentments from years before.  The book mainly focuses on Maddy, who is suffering from a broken heart, and her growing friendship with neighbor Connor.  Their romance was very sweet and I loved watching their relationship grow from friends to more. The book is also deals with family secrets and how those secrets can tear a family apart.  But it is also about forgiveness and grace.  I was rooting for the sisters to find their way back to each other.

This will make a great beach read.  I highly recommend this sweet and clean summer romance.

Purchase Links

About the author:

Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 25 books, including A December Bride and The Convenient Groom, which have been adapted into original Hallmark Channel movies. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader’s Choice Award, The Carol Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist. When Denise isn’t orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking green tea, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband are rapidly approaching an empty nest.

Connect with Denise

Instagram tour:
Monday, June 3rd:
Tuesday, June 4th: @beritaudiokilledthebookmark
Wednesday, June 5th: @_ebl_inc_
Thursday, June 6th: @my_book_journey
Friday, June 7th: @nsiabblog
Saturday, June 8th: @thecaffeinated_bibliophile
Sunday, June 9th: @sarahandherbookshelves
Monday, June 10th: @sarahs_reads

Review tour:
Monday, June 10th: @angelareadsbooks
Tuesday, June 11th: Lori’s Reading Corner – spotlight or guest post
Tuesday, June 11th: Amy’s Book-et List
Wednesday, June 12th: Jathan and Heather
Thursday, June 13th: A Chick Who Reads
Friday, June 14th: View from the Birdhouse
Monday, June 17th: @simplykelina
Tuesday, June 18th: Reading Reality
Wednesday, June 19th: Empowermoms
Thursday, June 20th: I Wish I Lived in a Library
Friday, June 21st: Blooming with Books
Monday, June 24th: Mel’s Shelves
Tuesday, June 25th: Christian Bookshelf Reviews
Wednesday, June 26th: Midwest Ladies Who Lit and @mwladieswholit
Thursday, June 27th: Running Through the Storms
Friday, June 28th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, July 1st: Back Porchervations
Tuesday, July 2nd: Moonlight Rendezvous and @moonlight_rendezvous
Wednesday, July 3rd: Books and Spoons
Friday, July 5th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Monday, July 8th: Run Wright
Tuesday, July 9th: Girl Who Reads
Wednesday, July 10th: What is That Book About

Blog Tour: Review & Audio Excerpt Trail of Blood by Keith Latch; Steve Wands

Author: Keith Latch; Steve Wands
Narrator: Matthew Berry
Length: 5 hours 34 minutes
Publisher: Keith Latch, Steve Wands2019
Genre: Horror
Release date: Apr. 5, 2019
Synopsis: Occult investigator Sam Logan receives a cryptic call about a man’s missing son that leads him and his partner, Carter Mason - a disabled veteran - into a small town infested with vampires. With each hour they spend in town after dark they discover just how deep the infestation runs and just how unlikely father and son will be reunited.

Trail of Blood is an exciting, blood-soaked, pause-resister for fans of The Lost Boys and Hellblazer.

In Trail of Blood, Sam Logan and his partner Carter Mason take a job to find a missing boy and discover that the town has been taken over by vampires. It's a good thing they are happen to be vampire hunters as well as private investigators.  I thought this was a fairly enjoyable vampire horror novel.  It had a lot of action and fun characters. Sam and Carter are characters  I would want to read about in another book.  The only thing that I didn't enjoy about the book was I felt like the story was part of a series. I felt like I was missing something.  I would have liked to know more about The Network and that wasn't explored enough for me.  Still, the overall story was a way to spend an afternoon.

The audio production of the book was excellent.  I also really enjoyed the narrator's voices.  If you are looking to a fun vampire horror I recommend checking this one out.

Buy Links
Buy on

About the Author: Keith Latch

At the age of 12, Keith read Dean Koontz's The Voice of Night. Thus, began his love affair with the things that go bump in the night and the things that are not easily explained. Cemetery Things is the author's second novel. Currently, he lives in a small town in the American South with his wife and is hard at work on his next novel.

About the Author: Steve Wands

STEVE WANDS is an Indie author, Artist, and Comic Book Letterer. He works on top titles at DC Comics, Image, and Random House. He’s the author of the Stay Dead series, co-author to Trail of Blood, and is a writer of short stories. When not working he spends time with his wife and sons in New Jersey.

About the Narrator: Matthew Berry

Matthew has been very active in his career as a radiologic technologist, but something was nagging at him.  His urging to be involved with the written word.  The medical journals he wrote did not fill the desire for the kind of words he wanted to be a part of.  He had always considered himself a writer.  But one that often had difficulties completing the story.  So, how else could he be involved?  Matthew began listening to audiobooks and decided in 2017 that he was going to give it a try.  
He now has 9 audiobook projects on sale at Amazon, Audible, and iTunes with two projects in the works.

Tour Schedule
June 23rd:
June 24th:
June 25th:
June 26th:
June 27th:
June 28th:
June 29th:

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Blog Tour: Review of Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Author; Jennifer L. Armentrout 
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Date of publication: June 2019

Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens—gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers.

When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed…

My thoughts:

Storm and Fury is the first book in a new spin-off series that takes place dark Elements world.  The one thing that I did like was I didn't feel it was necessary to to have read the Dark Elements trilogy before reading this one.  I was able to pick up on the world and how it worked fairly easily.  That being said, this ended up be just OK for me.  I had a hard time connecting with the writing.  I found some of the dialogue a bit cheesy and that kept taking me out of the story.  I also found Trinity to be a bit annoying.  Maybe I'm just over reading about characters who keep pushing the boundaries at the expense of other peoples safety.  I think fans of this author's fantasy series will enjoy this one.  So, I encourage you to give it a try.  It just wasn't for me.

Purchase Links

About Jennifer L. Armentrout

# 1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia with her husband and her Jack Russell, Loki. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. Find her on Twitter @JLArmentrout or become a fan on Facebook and Goodreads.

Connect with Jennifer

Instagram tour:
Monday, June 10th: @bookclubwithbite
Tuesday, June 11th: @theliteraryllama
Wednesday, June 12th: @superspacechick
Wednesday, June 12th: @girlsinbooks
Friday, June 14th: @thegraduatedbookworm
Saturday, June 15th: @lovelyreadergirl
Sunday, June 16th: @amberafterglowreads
Monday, June 17th: @theshybooks

Review tour:
Monday, June 10th: Sincerely Karen Jo
Tuesday, June 11th: @bookishly_tiff
Wednesday, June 12th: Becca Leighan
Thursday, June 13th: Treestand Book Reviews
Friday, June 14th: Book by Book
Monday, June 17th: @iam.caryn
Wednesday, June 19th: @thecityofdarkclockwork
Thursday, June 20th: Inky Moments
Friday, June 21st: Lori’s Reading Corner – spotlight
Monday, June 24th: @booksandjil
Tuesday, June 25th: Moonlight Rendezvous and @moonlight_rendezvous
Wednesday, June 26th: @booktwinsreview1
Thursday, June 27th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, July 1st: Read Love Blog
Tuesday, July 2nd: Book Fidelity
Monday, July 8th: Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile
Thursday, July 11th: @thebibliolife

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Blog Tour: Excerpt & Giveaway of Say No to the Duke by Eloisa James

by Eloisa James
SeriesThe Wildes of Lindow Castle
Historical Romance

PublisherAvon Books
Publication DateJune 25, 2019

 Could she possibly refuse a duke’s hand—in favor of a sardonic, sinful rake?

Lady Betsy Wilde’s first season was triumphant by any measure, and a duke has proposed—but before marriage, she longs for one last adventure.

No gentleman would agree to her scandalous plan—but Lord Jeremy Roden is no gentleman. He offers a wager. If she wins a billiards game, he’ll provide the breeches.

If he wins…she is his, for one wild night.

But what happens when Jeremy realizes that one night will never be enough? In the most important battle of his life, he’ll have to convince Betsy to say no to the duke.

Enjoy this short excerpt!

They  moved toward  each other as  if they were following the steps of a very slow, very grand  country dance. One that was danced by kings and queens and countryfolk alike.

When   they were   beside each   other, she squared  her shoulders and met  his eyes. “I decided to come to you. I hope that is all right.” 

“I do believe that you are the bravest woman I’ve ever met,” he replied.

He  couldn’t  have said  anything better;  Betsy felt herself  begin to glow. “I haven’t  been brave to this point, but  I have made up my mind to change. I outlawed being nervous, but now I need to  outlaw being afraid.” She hesitated. “I have chosen courage, and now I choose happiness.”

“I  love  you as  you are,”  he whispered,  and then his mouth came down on hers.

Her breath caught in her throat because their tongues met as if they kissed every day, every  night. He tasted right, which sent a shiver through her whole body, and pushed   her against him gently, the way a pebble might roll up a beach when the tide comes in.

One doesn’t fight the tide.

Tour Wide Giveaway

To celebrate the release of SAY NO TO THE DUKE by Eloisa James, we're giving away a paperback copy of Wilde in Love by Eloisa James to one lucky winner!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback copy of Wilde in Love by Eloisa James. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Books.  Giveaway ends 6/28/2019 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Books will send the prize to the winner directly.  CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

About Eloisa James

ELOISA JAMES is a New York Times best-selling author and professor of English literature who lives with her family in New York, but can sometimes be found in Paris or Italy. She is the mother of two and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight. Visit her at
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Release Day Event: Justified by Jay Crownover

We are so excited to celebrate the release of JUSTIFIED by Jay Crownover with you today! JUSTIFIED is part of the new Loveless, Texas series and it is available now! COme back on July 1 for a review of the book!

Join Jay's Reader Group for Exclusive News!

The New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men series delivers a romance about a rugged Texas sheriff who must protect the woman who was once his sworn enemy... Case Lawton comes from a family of criminals. So as the sheriff of Loveless, Texas, he's determined to do everything by the book--until he's called to Aspen Barlow's office after a so-called break-in. The last thing he wants to do is help the woman who cost him custody of his son. But Aspen isn't the heartless lawyer Case remembers, and he starts to question his long-held grudge... Aspen is scared for her life, and Case is her last hope for protection. But to get him on her side, she'll have to reveal the painful truth from all those years ago. Now, as they work together to track down a dangerous criminal, Case and Aspen learn to trust each other. And as the threats escalate, it becomes clear there's a thin line between love and hate... because there's nothing Case wouldn't do to keep her safe.  

Purchase your copy of JUSTIFIED today!

Amazon | Nook | Apple Books | Kobo



Jay Crownover is the international and multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men Series, The Saints of Denver Series, The Point Series, Breaking Point Series, and the Getaway Series. Her books can be found translated in many different languages all around the world. She is a tattooed, crazy haired Colorado native who lives at the base of the Rockies with her awesome dogs. This is where she can frequently be found enjoying a cold beer and Taco Tuesdays. Jay is a self-declared music snob and outspoken book lover who is always looking for her next adventure, between the pages and on the road.

  Connect with her: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Reader Group


Monday, June 24, 2019

June Mini Musings

Gitchie Girl: This was a quick true crime story about the murder of four teens and the abduction and rape of a 13 year old girl.  While it was interesting at times, I found it to be a bit dry.  I found it didn't really offer much more than a wikipedia page would offer.  Still it's worth a read.

The Ash Moon: This was a random pick for me.  It ended up being OK.  I found myself rolling my eyes a lot while reading.  I found the insta-bonding, "you are mine no matter how much you don't like it"  to be cringey.  Orion was over the top.  I probably won't finish reading the series.

The Brat: I found this one to be a so-so historical romance. The couple was fairly bland with little chemistry. There was a little mystery, but even that wasn't too exciting.  I have read better from this author.

Take Me Down: This second book in the Knight Brothers series.  This one is Parker and Emily's story.  While I did think the "I love yous" came a bit quick, I did like the chemistry between the couple.  I also enjoyed their banter.  A great addition to the series.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Blog Tour: Review of Till There was You by Marie Force

Author: Marie Force
Publisher: HTJB, Inc
Date of publication: June 2019

Being an adult has its advantages... 

Lucas Abbott and his identical twin grew up sharing everything—including a reputation for funny, idiotic behavior. But now that Lucas is ready to shed that lovable-idiot image, grow up and have a real, adult relationship, the joke’s on him. He and his twin have fallen for the same woman.

Crushed and hoping a few days on the slopes will work out his frustrations, he heads for Stowe, Vermont. All thought of fun and relaxation flies away as a car spins out in a snowstorm, and his firefighter/paramedic training kicks into high gear.

Danielle Rowson is hoping to pick up the pieces and build a new life for herself and her daughter in Vermont. Winding up in a ditch in the middle of a blizzard isn’t part of the plan—and neither is the kind, sexy rescuer whose strong hands pull them to safety.

Lucas has been a little kid, a big kid and now an adult—and he discovers that adulting has more than one advantage. Especially when it comes to sharing with Dani and Savannah the one thing that’s his and his alone: his love. 

Till There was You is the fourth book in the Butler, Vermont series.  It's the first one that I have read and it held up well as a stand alone book.  I didn't feel like I was missing anything by not having read any of the other books in the series.  This one is Lucas and Danielle's story. 

I thought this was a very sweet and slow burn romance.  I loved that Lucas and Danielle took time to get to know each other as friend before taking it further. It was sweet watching Lucas fall for Dani and little Savannah.   I  respected Dani wanting to stand on her own before the took the plunge again.  I also loved that there was not a lot of angst.

Lucas is one of 10 children.  That means there is huge cast of characters coming in and out of the narrative.  They were wonderful and added a lot of humor and color to the story.  The downside of coming into  a big series late in the game is that when I like a cast of characters, I end up wanting to go back and read the rest of the books. This adds to my ever growing TBR pile.  The upside is I have a lot of other family member romances to read about and get to stay in the world for a little bit longer.  I definitely recommend this one.

Read your copy now: 


Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 contemporary romances, including the Gansett Island Series, which has sold more than 3 million books, and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books, which has sold 1.5 million books. In addition, she is the author of the Butler, Vermont Series, the Green Mountain Series and the erotic romance Quantum Series, written under the slightly modified name of M.S. Force. All together, her books have sold more than 5.5 million copies worldwide!

Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news.

Join Marie's mailing list for news about new books and upcoming appearances in your area. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter @marieforce and on Instagram. Join one of Marie's many reader groups. Contact Marie at


Saturday, June 22, 2019

Review: A Willing Murder by Jude Deveraux

Author: Jude Deveraux
Publisher: Mira
Publication date: Sept 2018

.Sara Medlar is a household name in romance, with millions of books sold. But lately, retirement has been boring her and she's found herself back in her hometown of Lachlan, Florida, remodeling the grand old mansion she'd admired as a child. It's much too big for her alone, but she'd die before letting anyone in town know that.Then Sara's niece Kate is offered a job in Lachlan--a start in what could be a very successful career in real estate. She accepts immediately, but with so little saved up, she'll have to approach her estranged yet incredibly famous aunt for a place to stay while she gets herself settled. But when she arrives at Sara's home, she finds she's not the only long-term houseguest. Jackson Wyatt already has his own room, and though it's impossible to deny his good looks and charm--he's clearly got her aunt wrapped around his finger--she's also never met anyone who irritates her quite like Jack does.However, when two skeletons are accidentally uncovered in the quiet town, this unlikely trio is suddenly thrust together by a common goal: to solve a mystery everyone else seems eager to keep under wraps. United by a sense of justice and the desire to right old wrongs, Sara, Kate and Jack will have to dig into Lachlan's murky past to unravel the small town's dark secrets and work to bring the awful truth to ligh

A Willing Murder is the first book in the Medlar mystery series.  It involves three unlikely detective roommates who end up solving a decades old murder mystery.  I did end up enjoying this one.  I was expecting more of a thriller but the book felt more like a cozy mystery.   There were a few ways that I thought the mystery would go and I ended up being wrong. I completely surprised by the ending.

The best part of the book was the relationship between Sara, Kate and Jack.  The trio had great personal chemistry and played well off of each other.  I loved their banter and the way they made me laugh.  Kate and Jack in particular.  I'm not sure if romance isin the cards for the two but I definitely "ship" them.  I guess I'll have to wait for the next book to see if it develops any further.    If you are looking for a good cozy mystery with some great humor, I do recommend this one.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Review: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Author: Jenn Bennett
Publihser: Simon Pulse
Date of publicaiton: April 2018

Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern-day Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.

But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

What could go wrong?

With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.

And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?

Starry Eyes is a YA contemporary that involves a sweet friends to lovers to enemies to lovers again trope.  Zorie and Lennon (I loved his name) used to be best friends.  But something happened on Homecoming night that broke up their friendship and budding romance.  When they find themselves on the same camping trip and they are abandoned by their friends, Zorie and Lennon must work together to find their way out of the forest.

I'll admit at first, I didn't love this one in the beginning.  I though it was a little over the top.  I mean Zorie's parent own a spa that is next to a sex toy shop owned by Lennon's two mothers. THat part isn't what bothered me. I was just worried it was going to end up being cheesy.  Instead, I was pleasantly surprised.  I ended up enjoying the story.  Both Zorie and Lennon were dealing with some issues and end up being able to work through them with the help of the other. The big falling out at Homecoming was all a misunderstanding and lack of communication.  But, their time in the woods was well spent as they talked out everything and cleared the air.  Can I just say that I would have loved a boy like Lennon in my life when I was a teen.  It's worth a read.  I would recommend it to the older YA crown though.  There is some content (while done tastefully and responsibly) that I don't think younger YA readers are ready for.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Spotlight: Excerpt of Swann's Down by Charles Salzberg

Swann's Down by Charles Salzberg Banner

Swann's Down by Charles Salzberg

Book Details:

Genre: Detective/Noir/Mystery
Published by: Down & Out Books
Publication Date: May 14, 2019
Number of Pages: 300
ISBN: 978-1-64396011-1
Series:Henry Swann
Purchase Links: Amazon | | Goodreads


When Henry Swann is asked by his quirky partner, Goldblatt, to find a missing psychic who's swindled his ex-wife out of a small fortune, he just can't say no. Although he doesn't actually expect to get paid, he figures it might give him a chance to finally learn more about his partner's mysterious past. His search takes him into the controversial, arcane world of psychics, fortune tellers, and charlatans, while raising questions in his own mind about whether or not there is an after-life.

While working his partner's case, he's approached by a former employer, attorney Paul Rudder, to track down a missing witness who might be able to provide an alibi for his client, Nicky Diamond, a notorious mob hitman who's scheduled to go on trial for murder he claims he didn't commit in a week. Swann's search for the missing witness, who happens to be the defendant's girlfriend, takes him from Brooklyn to a small beach town across the Bay from Mobile, Ala. But what does she really know and will she even come back with him to testify for her boyfriend?

Read an excerpt:

The Age of Aquarius

"We're partners, right?"
Nothing good can come from that question when it comes from the mouth of Goldblatt.
"I mean, all for one and one for all, am I right?" he quickly added in an attempt, I was sure, to seal the deal.
"I think you're confusing us with the three musketeers. May I point out there are only two of us, and I'm afraid that's not the only fallacy in your declaration. But you might as well finish what you've started."
We were having our weekly Friday lunchtime sit-down to discuss what Goldblatt likes to refer to as "business." I have another name for it: waste of time.
Our venue changes from week to week but the concept is always pretty much the same: a cheap diner-slash-coffee shop somewhere on the island of Manhattan. Today's eatery of choice (Goldblatt's choice, my destiny) is the Utopia Diner, on Amsterdam, near 72nd Street. And as for the business we'd just finished discussing, well, to be honest, there never is very much actual business to discuss and today was no exception.
At this particular moment in time, we were going through a bit of a dry spell, which always makes me a little nervous because no matter how much I banish it from my mind, the rent is due the first of every month and at least three times a day I seem to develop a hunger that must be quenched. Still, a good fifteen, twenty years away from Social Security, and with precious little dough in the bank--okay, let's be honest, no dough in the bank--and no 401-K to fall back on, I need to keep working. And, as much as I don't like to admit it, lately it's been my "partner," as he likes to refer to himself, as opposed to my preferred albatross, who's brought in the bulk of our clients.
We'd already finished eating--though technically, Goldblatt never actually finishes eating which means a meal can easily turn into an all-day affair, if I don't apply the brakes--and we were just waiting for the check to arrive. This is a crucial point of any meal with Goldblatt because it is the opening gambit in what has become our weekly routine of watching the check sit there in no-man's land somewhere between us until I inevitably give in, pick it up, and pay. Otherwise, I risk one of two things: either we'd be there all afternoon or, worst case scenario, Goldblatt will decide he's still hungry and threaten to order something else. Neither one of these options is the least bit appealing.
"I'll get right to the point," he said.
Just then, out of the corner of my eye I spotted the waiter, like a white knight, approaching with our check in hand. If I acted quick enough I might be able to get out of there before I can be sucked into something I don't want to have anything to do with.
"That would be nice," I said, reaching for my wallet. "What is your point?"
"I need to hire you."
I was stopped in my tracks before I got my wallet halfway out of my back pocket.
"Really? To do what?"
"I want you to find someone for me. Well, to be more precise it's not really for me. It's for my ex-wife."
Wait a minute! Goldblatt married? Goldblatt with a wife? Goldblatt a husband? This was a new one on me, something I'd never even considered.
"You…you've been married?" I stammered.
Truth is, I never pictured Goldblatt being in any relationship other than with, yes, as irritating as it might be, me. I mean the guy isn't exactly anyone's idea of Don Juan, although I suppose in theory there are women who might find him if not attractive in the conventional way at least interesting in a specimen-under-glass way. Or maybe as a project. Women love a project. They love a challenge. They love the idea that they have the opportunity to remake a man in their image. Maybe that was it. But whatever it was, my world was shaken to the core. And what would shake it even more would be to find that he was actually a father, too. But one shock per meal is more than enough, so there was no chance I was going to pursue that line of questioning.
"Unfortunately, the answer is yes. More than once, in fact."
"Holy Cow," I blurted out, channeling the Scooter. "You're kidding me?"
At this point the same bald, squat waiter who seems to serve us in every diner we patronize, reached our table and dropped the check right in front of me.
"This is not something a man usually kids about."
"How many times?"
He held up three fingers.
"Three times! You've been married three times?"
I gulped.
"Are you married now?"
He shook his head. "Nah. I'm kinda between wives. Giving it a rest, if you know what I mean.
But chances are I'll be back in the saddle again soon enough."
"Okay, so let me get this straight. You've been married three times and now you're single but you would consider getting married again?"
"Man is not meant to be alone, Swannie. You might consider the possibility that your life would be enriched if you found your soulmate."
You're fortunate if you find one soul mate in life and I'd already had mine. She was yanked from my life as a result of a freak accident, a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I didn't know if Goldblatt knew the circumstances of her bizarre accidental death, but I wouldn't have been surprised because he seems to know a lot of things he has no business knowing.
"Some men are meant to be alone, Goldblatt. I'm one of them and after three failed marriages maybe you should consider the possibility you are, too."
He smiled and puffed out his chest. "What can I say, Swann? I'm a friggin' babe magnet."
I would have laughed, should have laughed, but I was still processing the scary fact that he'd been married three times. That meant there were three women in the world who not only were willing to marry him but did marry him. I wanted to know more. Much more. Everything, in fact. But this was not the time and certainly not the place to delve into Goldblatt's mysterious, sordid past. Nevertheless, I promised myself I would revisit this topic in the not too distant future.
Still in shock, I avoided our weekly "who's paying for this meal" tango, grabbed the check and reached for my wallet...again.
"So, wanna know the story?" he asked.
"Which story would that be?"
"The story of why I want to hire you?"
Excerpt from Swann's Down by Charles Salzberg. Copyright 2019 by Charles Salzberg. Reproduced with permission from Charles Salzberg. All rights reserved.

Praise for Swann's Down:

"Psychics, double-crosses, missing persons--Charles Salzberg's latest Henry Swann book has it all. Swann's Down is a gritty, no-frills PI novel that brings to mind greats like Reed Farrel Coleman's Moe Prager and Michael Harvey's Michael Kelly. Whether this is your first Swann adventure or the latest, you won't want to miss the brass-knuckle punch that is Swann's Down. Trust me."
~ Alex Segura, author of Blackout and Dangerous Ends

"From Manhattan to Coney Island to the steamy shores of Alabama, Charles Salzberg delivers a top-flight mystery with his latest Henry Swann outing. Highly recommended."
~ Tom Straw, New York Times bestselling author as Richard Castle

Swann's Down gives readers two intriguing mysteries for the price of one, as skip tracer Henry Swann pursues a woman who might alibi a murderer and a psychic who swindled the ex-wife of Swann's partner. Shamus Award-nominated Salzberg does a superb job cutting between the two investigations. I kept turning pages to stay with both chases as the suspense increased to the very end. Whatever is going on, Swann is at the center of this story. His wry wit, quotes from authors and philosophers, genius for questioning suspects, and dark past make him a character readers will follow anywhere as he seeks his quarry. This is another thrilling addition to this excellent series.
Rich ZahradnikLights Out Summer, winner of the 2018 Shamus Award for Best Paperback Private Eye Novel

Author Bio:

Charles SalzbergCharles Salzberg is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in New York magazine, Esquire, GQ, Redbook, The New York Times Book Review and other periodicals. He has written over 20 non-fiction books, including From Set Shot to Slam Dunk, an oral history of the NBA, and Soupy Sez: My Zany Life and Times. He is author of the Shamus Award nominated Swann's Last Song, Swann Dives In, Swann's Lake of Despair, nominated for two Silver Falchions, Swann's Way Out, Devil in the Hole, named one of the best crime novels of the year by Suspense Magazine. He was a Visiting Professor of Magazine at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and he teaches writing the New York Writers Workshop where he is a Founding Member. He is a member of the MWA-NY Board.

Catch Up With Charles Salzberg On:, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

Enter To Win!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Charles Salzberg. There will be 6 giveaway winners. There will be 1 Grand Prize winner of one (1) Gift Card. There will be five (5) 2nd Prize winners of one (1) Print Edition of Swann's Down (U.S. Mailing Addresses only). The giveaway begins on May 1, 2019 and runs through July 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours