Thursday, 31 May 2018

#CoverCrush The Search for Maggie Ward by Andrew M. Greeley

For new visitors do I want to explain that Cover Crush is something that my friend Erin over at Flashlight Commentary came up with and I adopted the idea together with some other friends. And, now we try to put up a Cover Crush every week. You can check below my pick of the week for their choices this week!


A poignant tale of love, loss, and faith set in the aftermath of World War I, from the acclaimed author and theologian

Young navy flier Jerry Keenan is supposed to be on his way home to Chicago, law school, and a postwar life that is socially acceptable to a well-off Irish Catholic family. Instead, he is in Arizona, delaying that homecoming while he wrestles with his memories of combat and the men he saw die.

That may be one reason an encounter with a girl at a Tucson lunch counter seems so appealing. Another reason is that she is mysterious, hauntingly beautiful, and very sexy—the perfect antidote for a troubled heart.

But at the very moment Jerry realizes how much he needs Maggie Ward, she dramatically vanishes, or is taken, from him. And Jerry, in search of his destiny and his soul, must be willing to move heaven and earth to find the woman he loves.

Thoughts:

I found the cover of this book to be lovely. The silhouette of the woman together with the corner image of the man standing in the desert of Arizona, with the cactus and the airplanes. It feels like a perfect cover for a historical romance novel.

Check out what my friends have picked for Cover Crush's this week:

Stephanie @ Layered Pages





Tuesday, 29 May 2018

#BookReview The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond @michellerichmon @MichaelJBooks

The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Would you stake your life on your marriage?

Newlyweds Jake and Alice are offered a mysterious wedding gift - membership of a club which promises its couples will never divorce.

Signing The Pact seems the start to a perfect marriage.

Until one of them breaks the rules.

The marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.

Because The Pact is for life.

And its members will do anything to make sure no one leaves . . .


**********

Jake and Alice are newlyweds when they get to a mystery gift, a membership into a secret club that promises that if they just follow some rules will they never divorce...

This sounds great, doesn't it? Wrong! Actually, this deal makes me think of the movie Cat's Eye (1985) and the short story about a man (James Woods) that signs a deal to never smoke again...yeah that worked well too...


Anyhow, this is a thriller so one quickly realize that this deal (with a thick manual of rules) is too good to be true and they soon learn that the punishment for breaking a rule can be really, really bad. I was on edge reading this book, at first, nothing really happens (Jake and Alice goes on with their married life), you just have a bad feeling that it will slowly start, and that is what happens, small things, and suddenly this pact start to rule their life and Jake, the narrator starts to feel that they need to get out of this deal, but how to get out of a deal that no one has ever left...alive?

The Marriage Pact is a superb thriller and I just loved the feeling all through the book that it will keep going worse until something really bad will happen.

I want to thank Michael Joseph for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Monday, 28 May 2018

#BookReview The Way of Beauty by Camille Di Maio @CamilleDiMaio @FreshFiction #FFreview

The Way of Beauty by Camille Di Maio
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hearts and dreams evolve in the shadow of the once-magnificent Penn Station.

Vera Keller, the daughter of German immigrants in turn-of-the-century New York City, finds her life upended when the man she loves becomes engaged to another woman. But Angelo Bellavia has also inadvertently opened up Vera’s life to unexpected possibilities. Angelo’s new wife, Pearl, the wealthy daughter of a clothing manufacturer, has defied her family’s expectations by devoting herself to the suffrage movement. In Pearl, Vera finds an unexpected dear friend…and a stirring new cause of her own. But when Pearl’s selfless work pulls her farther from Angelo and their son, the life Vera craved is suddenly within her reach—if her conscience will allow her to take it.

Her choice will define not only her future but also that of her daughter, Alice.

Vera and Alice—a generation and a world apart—are bound by the same passionate drive to fulfill their dreams. As first mother and then daughter come of age in a city that is changing as rapidly as its skyline, they’ll each discover that love is the only constant.


**********

What truly enchanted me when it came to THE WAY OF BEAUTY was Penn Station. Oh, how I wished it was still standing in all its glory. Alas, it had to give way for progress. Luckily, there are still images and like this book, imaginative stories that make Penn Station come to life again.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

#Wishlist May: Declined on NetGalley

Let's face it, being declined for a book on NetGalley is never really fun, especially when it's a book you really want. So, this month's wishlist is 5 titles that I really wanted, but alas was declined for.

**********

A new series about a young woman whose connection to antiques takes her on a magical adventure, reminiscent of Outlander

New York Times bestselling author of The Witch's Daughter Paula Brackston returns to her trademark blend of magic and romance to launch a new series guaranteed to enchant her audience even more.

Xanthe and her mother Flora leave London behind for a fresh start, taking over an antique shop in the historic town of Marlborough. Xanthe has always had an affinity with some of the antiques she finds. When she touches them, she can sense something of the past they come from and the stories they hold. So when she has an intense connection to a beautiful silver chatelaine she has to know more.

It’s while she’s examining the chatelaine that she’s transported back to the seventeenth century. And shortly after, she's confronted by a ghost who reveals that this is where the antique has its origins. The ghost tasks Xanthe with putting right the injustice in its story to save an innocent girl’s life, or else it’ll cost her Flora’s.

While Xanthe fights to save her amid the turbulent days of 1605, she meets architect Samuel Appleby. He may be the person who can help her succeed. He may also be the reason she can’t bring herself to leave.

With its rich historical detail, strong mother-daughter relationship, and picturesque English village, The Little Shop of Found Things is poised to be a strong start to this new series.

Grief and guilt are the ghosts that haunt you when you survive what others do not….

After their last deployment, when she got shot, her fiancé Martinez got killed and his bomb-sniffing dog Elvis got depressed, soldier Mercy Carr and Elvis were both sent home, her late lover’s last words ringing in her ears: “Take care of my partner.”

Together the two former military police—one twenty-nine-year-old two-legged female with wounds deeper than skin and one handsome five-year-old four-legged Malinois with canine PTSD—march off their grief mile after mile in the beautiful remote Vermont wilderness.

Even on the Fourth of July weekend, when all of Northshire celebrates with fun and frolic and fireworks, it’s just another walk in the woods for Mercy and Elvis—until the dog alerts to explosives and they find a squalling baby abandoned near a shallow grave filled with what appear to be human bones.

U.S. Game Warden Troy Warner and his search-and rescue Newfoundland Susie Bear respond to Mercy’s 911 call, and the four must work together to track down a missing mother, solve a cold-case murder, and keep the citizens of Northshire safe on potentially the most incendiary Independence Day since the American Revolution.

It’s a call to action Mercy and Elvis cannot ignore, no matter what the cost.

The first in a gripping new series, A Borrowing of Bones is full of complex twists, introducing a wonderful new voice for mystery readers and dog lovers.

Steven Savile returns with a gritty new fantasy about a reluctant hero combatting a forgotten god.

Every legend promises the same thing: at the time of the land’s greatest need the heroes shall return. What they don’t mention is that we are the greatest threat our green and pleasant land has ever known, or that our obsession with concrete and steel, with technology and advancement, is slowly killing the land. In the legends saving the land never involves the slaughter of its inhabitants. Legends lie.

In the last primeval woodland of London an ancient force stirs, issuing the call.

His voice echoes in the minds of the disaffected and disenfranchised, the doomed youth of the city: Rise up!
In a single night, six girls who have never met and bear no relation to each other are struck down by a mysterious sickness that leaves them in persistent vegetative state. Across the city an old woman who hasn’t opened her eyes in years finally wakes. Her first words are: The Horned God is Awake. Soon the puzzling truth emerges. Each Sleeper’s final words were the same dire warning.

One for one. The message was seared into the floor, along with all of the craziness a hundred year old obsession had amassed. With the children disappearing across the city, two men are about to learn the terrible truth behind those three words. They are all that stand between our world and the cleansing fire of the once and future king. The question our heroes must answer: how do you kill a god the world has forgotten about?

In This Fallen Prey, the next installment of New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong’s thriller series, Casey Duncan is about to face her toughest job as police detective in Rockton yet.

When Casey first arrived at the off-the-grid town, an isolated community built as a haven for people running from their pasts, she had no idea what to expect, with no cell phones, no internet, no mail, and no way of getting in or out without the town council’s approval. She certainly didn’t expect to be the homicide detective on two separate cases or to begin a romantic relationship with her boss. But the very last thing she expected was for the council to drop a dangerous criminal into their midst without a plan to keep him imprisoned, and to keep others safe.

Of course Oliver Brady claims he's being set up. But the longer Brady stays in town, the more things start to go wrong. When evidence comes to light that someone inside Rockton might be working as his accomplice, helping him to escape, Casey races to figure out who exactly Brady is and what crimes he’s truly responsible for committing.

In the next page-turning entry in Kelley Armstrong’s gripping series, life in Rockton is about to get even more dangerous.

The ocean is home to many myths,
But some are deadly...


Seven years ago the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a mockumentary bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a tragedy.
Now a new crew has been assembled. But this time they're not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life's work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost.

Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the waves.
But the secrets of the deep come with a price.



Check out my friend's wishlists: 

Heather @ The Maidens Court
Erin @ Flashlight Commentary
Stephanie @ Layered Pages

#BlogTour All the Little Children by Jo Furniss @Jo_Furniss @annecater ‏

All the Little Children by Jo Furniss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback: 318 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (1 Sept. 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1542045681
ISBN-13: 978-1542045681


When a family camping trip takes a dark turn, how far will one mother go to keep her family safe?

Struggling with working-mother guilt, Marlene Greene hopes a camping trip in the forest will provide quality time with her three young children—until they see fires in the distance, columns of smoke distorting the sweeping view. Overnight, all communication with the outside world is lost.

Knowing something terrible has happened, Marlene suspects that the isolation of the remote campsite is all that’s protecting her family. But the arrival of a lost boy reveals they are not alone in the woods, and as the unfolding disaster ravages the land, more youngsters seek refuge under her wing. The lives of her own children aren’t the only ones at stake.

When their sanctuary is threatened, Marlene faces the mother of all dilemmas: Should she save her own kids or try to save them all?


BOOK REVIEW


I didn't hesitate to say yes when asked if I wanted to be on this blog tour and one of the reasons was that I could listen to the audio version. All the Little Children is a book that interested me because of the dystopia theme. A family, two sisters with their children out camping, and then they realize that something is wrong. They can't contact anyone and they see fires in the distance. What has happened? Are they the only one that has survived? 

All the Little Children is a book that engrossed thanks to the brilliance of the narrator and the thrilling story. You don't know what will happen next all through the book. What I really liked about the book is that Marlene, the main character is not a perfect person, she makes mistakes and sometimes she frustrated me (a lot), but she is also a fierce mother who will do anything to protect her family. 

There is not a slow start to the book, pretty early one do we learn that something is wrong, but it will take a while for the full truth to be learned. And, Jo Furniss doesn't hold back the punches. There are several scenes that were hard to listen to and if you have a hard time reading books where children are hurt should you perhaps pick something else. I found the book to be very gripping and suspenseful, and the ending left me wanting more. I would love to know what happens next.  

All and all, this book is a great book, perfect for thriller and dystopia fans!  
    

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


After spending a decade as a broadcast journalist for the BBC, Jo Furniss gave up the glamour of night shifts to become a freelance writer and serial expatriate. Originally from the UK, she lived in Switzerland and Cameroon, and currently resides with her family in Singapore.

As a journalist, Jo has worked for numerous online outlets and magazines, including Monocle, The Economist, Business Traveller, Expat Living (Singapore) and Swiss News. Jo has also edited books for a Nobel Laureate and the Palace of the Sultan of Brunei. She has a Distinction in MA Professional Writing from Falmouth University. In 2015 she founded www.SWAGlit.com—an online literary magazine for writers in Singapore.

All the Little Children is Jo’s debut novel and she is working on a second domestic thriller to be released in 2018.

Connect with her via Facebook (/JoFurnissAuthor) and Twitter (@Jo_Furniss) or through her website: http://www.jofurniss.com/

Buy the book


Thursday, 24 May 2018

#CoverCrush Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

For new visitors do I want to explain that Cover Crush is something that my friend Erin over at Flashlight Commentary came up with and I adopted the idea together with some other friends. And, now we try to put up a Cover Crush every week. You can check below my pick of the week for their choices this week!

A dark psychological romance perfect for fans of Holly Black or Maggie Stiefvater, whose yet to be published sequel won the Golden Heart ® for Best Young Adult Romance.

A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full. Harbingers settle in places where tragedy is about to strike, then feed on the energy of the dying. Then, they leave. Off to the next doomed place. No one wants a family of harbingers of death as neighbors, but that’s exactly what seventeen-year-old Angie Dovage gets when Reece Fernandez moves in next door.

Angie knows the mysterious boy is more than he appears, but can’t imagine that his presence heralds a massive tragedy that will soon devastate the region. She has more to worry about than Reece’s inevitable departure, because where harbingers of death go, the Beekeepers follow. Their sting turns sane people crazy, kind people into killers. Where Beekeepers go, people die. Quite horribly, in fact. Their love of chaos makes a disaster that much harder to survive, and they are stinging at will, causing a sudden epidemic of violence in her quiet mining town.

Angie wants to protect everyone she cares about, but stopping the Beekeepers involves a choice that will claim her life or Reece’s soul. She’s about to learn the price of both.

Thoughts:

I don't read much YA nor romance, but hell this cover is so striking that I could perhaps make an exception. That's what I like to see a cover that makes you wanna read genres you usually don't read...

Check out what my friends have picked for Cover Crush's this week:

Stephanie @ Layered Pages





Friday, 18 May 2018

#BookReview Ike and Kay by James MacManus @jamesmac1x @FreshFiction @overlookpress #FFreview

Ike and Kay: A Novel by James MacManus
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In his latest historical novel Ike and Kay, acclaimed author James MacManus brings to life an unbelievably true and controversial romance and the poignant characters and personalities that shaped the course of world history.

In 1942, Kay Summersby’s life is changed forever when she is conscripted to drive General Eisenhower on his fact-finding visit to wartime London. Despite Eisenhower’s marriage to Mamie, the pair takes an immediate liking to each other and he buys Kay a rare wartime luxury: a box of chocolates.

So begins a tumultuous relationship that, against all military regulation, sees Kay traveling with Eisenhower on missions to far-flung places before the final assault on Nazi Germany. The general does dangerously little to conceal his affair with the woman widely known as “Ike’s shadow,” and in letters Mamie bemoans his new obsession with “Ireland.” That does not stop him from using his influence to grant Kay citizenship and rank in the US army, drawing her closer still when he returns to America. When officials discover Eisenhower’s plans to divorce from his wife they threaten the fragile but passionate affair, and Kay is forced to take desperate measures to hold onto the man she loves . . .

Based on the scandalous true story of General Eisenhower’s secret World War II love affair, Ike and Kay is a compelling story of love, duty, sacrifice, and heartbreak, set against the backdrop of the most tumultuous period of the twentieth century.


**********

I thought I would start this review by mentioning that I previously read THE GENERAL'S WOMEN by Susan Wittig Albert, which deals with the same subject as this book, although Mamie Eisenhowever plays a larger role in that book. Nevertheless, in my opinion, one can't get enough books if the subjects interest you. So it was with eagerness I looked forward to reading this book.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Thursday, 17 May 2018

#CoverCrush: Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley

For new visitors do I want to explain that Cover Crush is something that my friend Erin over at Flashlight Commentary came up with and I adopted the idea together with some other friends. And, now we try to put up a Cover Crush every week. You can check below my pick of the week for their choices this week!

A magical new masterpiece from New York Times bestselling author Susanna Kearsley! A rich, haunting tale that will draw you in and never let you go 

"The house, when I first saw it, seemed intent on guarding what it knew; but we all learned, by the end of it, that secrets aren't such easy things to keep."

It's the summer of 1759, and the world is at war. Times are complicated, as are the loyalties of many in New York who have secretly been playing a treacherous game of cat-and-mouse with their British rulers. In this world of conflict and secrecy, a young captured French Canadian lieutenant is billeted with a Long Island family, only to find himself drawn more and more to the daughter of the house. He cannot speak her language, but he can see into her soul. Legend has it that their love ended tragically, but centuries later, a young historian discovers that the clues they left behind might slowly unveil the true story.
Thoughts:

I find this cover to be very magical. I love the tree that reflects in what I assume to be water and looking closer now do I see that there is a woman standing by the tree. This is the first time I've seen the woman. That is what I love with covers, that you can discover new things.  

Check out what my friends have picked for Cover Crush's this week:

Stephanie @ Layered Pages





#BlogTour: The Tudor Trilogy by Tony Riches @hfvbt @TonyRiches

Owen (The Tudor Trilogy #1) by Tony Riches

Publication Date: July 26, 2015
Preseli Press
eBook & Paperback; 318 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Based on the true story of a forgotten hero, OWEN is the epic tale of one young man’s incredible courage and resilience as he changes the course of English history. 

England 1422: Owen Tudor, a Welsh servant, waits in Windsor Castle to meet his new mistress, the beautiful and lonely Queen Catherine of Valois, widow of the warrior king, Henry V. Her infant son is crowned King of England and France, and while the country simmers on the brink of civil war, Owen becomes her protector. 

They fall in love, risking Owen’s life and Queen Catherine’s reputation—but how do they found the dynasty which changes British history – the Tudors? 

This is the first historical novel to fully explore the amazing life of Owen Tudor, grandfather of King Henry VII and the great-grandfather of King Henry VIII. Set against a background of the conflict between the Houses of Lancaster and York, which develops into what have become known as the Wars of the Roses, Owen’s story deserves to be told. 

Owen - Book One of the Tudor Trilogy is a new addition to story of the Tudors in the historical fiction tradition of C J Sansom, Conn Iggulden, Philippa Gregory and Hilary Mantel.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble

Jasper (The Tudor Trilogy #2) by Tony Riches

Publication Date: March 22, 2016
Preseli Press
eBook & Paperback; 360 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Following the best-selling historical fiction novel OWEN – Book One of The Tudor Trilogy, this is the story, based on actual events, of Owen’s son Jasper Tudor, who changes the history of England forever. 

England 1461: The young King Edward of York has taken the country by force from King Henry VI of Lancaster. Sir Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke, flees the massacre of his Welsh army at the Battle of Mortimer’s Cross and plans a rebellion to return his half-brother King Henry to the throne. 

When King Henry is imprisoned by Edward in the Tower of London and murdered, Jasper escapes to Brittany with his young nephew, Henry Tudor. Then after the sudden death of King Edward and the mysterious disappearance of his sons, a new king, Edward’s brother Richard III takes the English Throne. With nothing but his wits and charm, Jasper sees his chance to make young Henry Tudor king with a daring and reckless invasion of England. 

Set in the often brutal world of fifteenth century England, Wales, Scotland, France, Burgundy and Brittany, during the Wars of the Roses, this fast-paced story is one of courage and adventure, love and belief in the destiny of the Tudors.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble

Henry (The Tudor Trilogy #3) by Tony Riches

Publication Date: May 17, 2017
Preseli Press
eBook & Paperback; 320 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Finalist for the Amazon Storyteller Award 2017 

Bosworth 1485: After victory against King Richard III, Henry Tudor becomes King of England. Rebels and pretenders plot to seize his throne. The barons resent his plans to curb their power and he wonders who he can trust. He hopes to unite Lancaster and York through marriage to the beautiful Elizabeth of York. 

With help from his mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, he learns to keep a fragile peace. He chooses a Spanish Princess, Catherine of Aragon, as a wife for his son Prince Arthur. His daughters will marry the King of Scotland and the son of the Emperor of Rome. It seems his prayers are answered, then disaster strikes and Henry must ensure the future of the Tudors.

"A fine end to a superbly researched and well-written trilogy, one I would recommend to anyone with an interest in this period of history." Best-selling author Terry Tyler

"Henry was a hazy, cold impression in my mind, but Tony Riches fills him out, gives him intelligence, compassion, human frailty, and a consuming love of country, and I ended the book with great admiration for this man." Author Noelle Granger

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble

About the Author

Tony Riches is a full-time writer and lives with his wife in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. After several successful non-fiction books, Tony turned to novel writing and wrote 'Queen Sacrifice', set in 10th century Wales, followed by 'The Shell', a thriller set in present day Kenya. A specialist in the history of the early Tudors, he is best known for his Tudor Trilogy. Tony’s other international best sellers include 'Warwick ~ The Man Behind the Wars of the Roses' and 'The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham'.

For more information please visit Tony's website and his blog The Writing Desk. He can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule


Monday, May 14 
Review at 100 Pages a Day (Owen) 

Tuesday, May 15 
Review at Pursuing Stacie (Owen) 

Wednesday, May 16 
Guest Post at On the Tudor Trail 

Thursday, May 17 
Feature at A Bookaholic Swede 

Friday, May 18 
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit (Jasper) 

Monday, May 21 
Review at Just One More Chapter (Owen) 

Tuesday, May 22 
Review at Pursuing Stacie (Jasper) 

Thursday, May 24 
Guest Post at Short Book and Scribes 

Friday, May 25 
Review at Donna's Book Blog (Owen) 

Monday, May 28 
Review at A Darn Good Read (Owen) 
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit (Henry) 

Tuesday, May 29 
Review at Pursuing Stacie (Henry) 
Review at A Darn Good Read (Jasper) 

Wednesday, May 30 
Review at Jaffa Reads Too (Owen) 

Thursday, May 31 
Review at A Darn Good Read (Henry) 
Review at Donna's Book Blog (Jasper) 

Friday, June 1 
Review at Hoover Book Reviews (Owen) 

Monday, June 4 
Review at Donna's Book Blog (Henry) 

Tuesday, June 5 
Feature at Passages to the Past 

Thursday, June 7 
Review at Maiden of the Pages (All 3 Books)

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away an eBook & Signed Paperback of each book! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on June 7th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
  Tudor Trilogy

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

#BookReview The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths @HMHbooks

The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s not every day that you’re summoned to the Italian countryside on business, so when archaeologist Angelo Morelli asks for Ruth Galloway’s help identifying bones found in the tiny hilltop town of Fontana Liri, she jumps at the chance to go, bringing her daughter along with her for a working vacation. Upon arriving, she begins to hear murmurs of Fontana Liri’s strong resistance movement during World War II and senses the townspeople are dancing around a deeply buried secret. But how could that be connected to the ancient remains she’s been studying?

Ruth is just beginning to get her footing in the dig when she’s thrown off-guard by the appearance of DCI Nelson. And when Ruth’s findings lead them to a modern-day murder, their holidays are both turned upside down, and they race to find out what darkness is lurking in this seemingly picturesque town.

**********

If there were an award for the most annoying characters in a book series (that you keep reading, despite the fact) would I award it to Ruth Galloway & DCI Harry Nelson. Sorry, to everyone that loves the series, but Ruth inner monologue about how fat she is and how religion sucks, etc. just rubs me the wrong way. Nelson's thoughts aren't much better. So, when you look at it do they fit very well together. To bad that Nelson is married and his wife is pregnant, although the father of the baby could be Nelson or Michelle's lover. Yeah, it's like a soap opera. The personal stuff is probably why I keep reading the books, it's so melodramatic.

I found The Dark Angel to be OK. To set most of the story in Italy was a nice move and I came to enjoy most of the book, yes, there were too much ranting inner monologues, but part of me has gotten used to it and I have started to look forward to seeing how many times Ruth can think that she is fat or that all the other women are so beautiful. As for the case, I have to admit that I was wrong about the ending, I had my mind set on a different conclusion on the storyline in Italy. I quite like the fact that I was wrong, kudos to the author.

Back in England is a man released from prison that swore to get revenge on DCI Nelson, but the man in question has found God, or so he claims. Nelson isn't sure, and he's worried the man would do something to him or any of the other's involved with the case. But, then he learns that an earthquake has occurred in Italy where Ruth and his daughter are staying and he leaves his pregnant wife and daughter behind to go to Italy. Leaving them all alone...

The Dark Angel is better than the previous book. I told myself that I would give this series one more chance and I'm actually glad that I read the book, and yes I will read the next. Especially since the book ended with a cliffhanger...

I want to thank Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing me with a free copy through Edelweiss for an honest review!

Sunday, 13 May 2018

#BookReview Black Fall by Andrew Mayne @AndrewMayne @HarperCollins

Black Fall by Andrew Mayne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In Black Fall, the third book in the ITW Award-nominated series that began with self-published eBook phenomenon Angel Killer, magician-turned-FBI agent Jessica Blackwood investigates a series of seemingly unrelated, but equally bizarre and sinister, crimes that lead her to the Colorado desert and a town that has, simply, disappeared.

With two big cases under her belt, FBI Agent Jessica Blackwood is learning to embrace her unconventional past as the rising star in a family dynasty of illusionists. Her talent and experience endow her with a unique understanding of the power and potential of deception, and a gift for knowing when things are not always as they appear to be. Once resenting her eccentric grandfather, a brilliant magician in his own right, Jessica now sees him as a mentor and regularly seeks his advice about her work.

But Jessica’s routine surveillance operation becomes a fight for survival when a disturbed young woman, clutching a baby, shows up at the stake-out location and threatens to kill her child. On the same day, an hour after a severe earthquake rocks the eastern seaboard, a strange video goes viral. Nobel Prize-winning physicist Peter Devon has been dead for eight years, yet here he is on camera, predicting the location and date of the earthquake. Jessica is put on the case by her boss, Dr. Ailes, but when Detective Aileen Lewis reports that they’ve found a Jane Doe who matches her description of her attacker, she’s torn between professional duty and a personal desire to find out who the woman was, and why she was killed.

The investigations pull her in very different directions—until they start to converge, leading Jessica to confront something darker, and more powerful, than anyone expected. Something so twisted, only one person could be behind it…the Warlock.


**********

I actually just finished reading book 1 (Angel Killer) in this series (Why read in order?) and now I'm kind of bummed that I have no more Jessica Blackwood books to read since this series have become a personal favorite of mine. Each book has stories that it will take ex-magician now FBI agent Jessica Blackwood to solve since the bureau needs someone that can think outside the box and that she can.

Black Fall has the best opening of all the three books I have read, with the missing town in Colorado. I mean WOW, what happened here? And, then the story shifts focus as Jessica is pulled into a new case when a young woman turns up at her doorstep clutching a baby and threatens to kill it. If that is not bad, long time dead physicist Peter Devon seems to be able to predict upcoming natural disasters in videos that go viral. Could this have something to do with Warlock? However, he's behind bars, not could even he mastermind this...?

This book is great, really really great. I love everything from the opening to the mystery of the dead physicist professor to the town that disappeared. And, Damian, Jessica oh so secret "boyfriend", who is wanted by the FBI, but is always there when Jessica needs him (even if she always alert FBI about it). Jessica Blackwood has become a favorite character of mine and this book is so engrossing. 

I really, really hope there will be more books in this series!

[Updated] May Schedule & Upcoming Readathon!

It's May 13 and so far have I managed to read some books from my May Schedule and other books (check out my Goodreads page). 

I'm actually impressed by myself out of the 9 I picked to read for this month have I now read 5 and some of them are already reviewed and up like The Crooked Staircase and The Retreat. And, The Dark Angel and Dying Truth will go live soon!

 

As for the Readathon (Bout of Books that starts 14 May) will I go for a lot of audiobooks since I'm working and of course eARCs! 

So, here are some books that I plan to read, which are the rest of the books I had earmarked for May! I've already started Wicked River, so I plan to finish that one soon. I have also added some older eARCs like The Marriage Pact (because I have the audiobook) and Wilde Lake that I also have as both eARC and audiobook (and that I've started to listen to) 



I will probably deviate from my list of books to read, and I've not added that many audiobooks since I tend to go with what I feel at the moment...

Friday, 11 May 2018

#BookReview Hämnaren (The Avenger) by Jan-Erik Fjell SWE/ENG

Hämnaren by Jan-Erik Fjell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

I 1960-talets San Francisco döms den norskättade sextonåringen Danny till livstid för väpnat rån och mordförsök på en polis. Han hamnar på det ökända fängelset Alcatraz. Drygt trettio år senare besöker ett norskt par det nu nedlagda fängelset och får höra den makalösa historien om den unga norrmannen.

I nutidens Fredrikstad hittas en tonårsmamma mördad. Anton Brekke, som degraderats till patrullerande polis, är en av de första som kommer till mordplatsen och han tar till alla medel för att få komma tillbaka som kriminalkommissarie och kunna lösa fallet.

Allt eftersom Brekke på egen hand nystar i trådarna inser han att fler offer står på tur, dessutom upptäcker han oroväckande kopplingar till historien om Danny.

Hämnaren är den tredje fristående boken om den självsäkra och oförskämda kriminalkommissarien Anton Brekke.


**********

Alcatraz. Jag måste erkänna att jag bara älskade att delar av berättelsen utsplades där. Jag menar Alcatraz, finns det det något mer berömt fängelse? Det skulle väl vara djävulsön då (se Dreyfusaffären), men personligen så är det något speciallt med Alcatraz. Vilket gjorde att jag fann denna bok alldeles fantastisk bra.

Nu är det två föregående böckerna också bra, så jag är väl inte så förvånad att denna bok även den var lysnade. Det är jättekul att läsa om Anton Brekke igen, nu delegerad pga av sitt pokerspelande. Och fallet med tonårsmamman som hittas mördad är egentligen inte hans fall, han är ju patrullerande  polis nu. Men Anton kan inte låta bli att undersöka fallet som växer och som blir allt större när fler dödas. Men vad är kopplingen och vad har Alcatraz med saken att göra? 

Hämnaren är nog min favoritboken i serien (än så länge). Båda historierna i boken var bra, den nutida om morden som Anton försöker lösa (trots att han inte egentligen ska göra det) samt bättelsen från 60-talet som utspelad på Alcatraz. Det är en kopplingen, men den får du själv lista ut! 

Tack HarperCollins Nordic för recensionsexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

San Francisco 1960s. Norwegian-born sixteen-year-old Danny is sentenced to a lifetime in prison for armed robbery and assassination of a police. He ends up at the infamous Alcatraz prison. Over thirty years later, a Norwegian couple is visiting the now closed prison and a man tells them the remarkable story of the young Norwegians.

In today's Fredrikstad, the single mother of a teenager is found murdered. Anton Brekke, who has been demoted to patrol, is one of the first to come to the murder scene and he takes all the means to get back as a detective inspector and be able to solve the case.

Brekke realizes that more people are going to die, and he also detects worrying links to the story of Danny.

The Revenge is the third stand-alone book about the confident and rude detective inspector Anton Brekke.

**********

Alcatraz. I have to admit that I loved the fact that part of the story took place in the famous prison. I mean Alcatraz, is there any more famous prison? It would be Devil's Island (see Dreyfus affair), but personally, I find that there it's something special with Alcatraz and that made me really appreciate this story.

The previous two books are really good so I wasn't surprised that this book turned out pt be really good as well. I had a blast reading this book and returning to Anton Brekke's world. I especially enjoyed that he has been degraded because of his poker obsession. The murder case is nothing that he should be working on, but he just can't stop himself from investigating it. And, the case keeps on getting more complicated as more people turn up dead and there seem to be something that connects the people that are killed, but what is the connection and what has Alcatraz to do with the killings?

I think that so far The Avenger is my favorite book about Brekke. I liked both the present murder case as well as the story from Alcatraz. And the great fun is to try to figure out what's the connection.

Thanks HarperCollins Nordic for the review copy!

Thursday, 10 May 2018

#CoverCrush In the Vines by Shannon Kirk

For new visitors do I want to explain that Cover Crush is something that my friend Erin over at Flashlight Commentary came up with and I adopted the idea together with some other friends. And, now we try to put up a Cover Crush every week. You can check below my pick of the week for their choices this week!

Family ties so strong you can’t escape…


Mary Olivia Pentecost, known as Mop, was born into one of the wealthiest families in the country—and one of the most guarded. Now, two years after her mother’s mysterious death, Mop is seeking closure on the disquieting tragedy by returning to the New England seaside estate of her cloistered Aunty Liv—once her closest relative and confidante.

But behind the walls of the isolated estate, the shadows of the past are darker than Mop imagined. The puzzles of the family history are not to be shared, but unearthed. With each revelation comes a new, foreboding threat—and for Mop, the grave suspicion that to discover Aunty Liv’s secrets is to become a prisoner of them.

How well do we know the people we love? How well do we want to know them? The answers are as twisted as a tangle of vines in this throat-clutching novel of psychological suspense.


Thoughts:

Doesn't this cover look deliciously...evil? The withered flowers, the dark colors, from the wallpapers to the flowers and to add to the touch the small drops of blood on the title font. It pretty much screams murder!

Check out what my friends have picked for Cover Crush's this week:

Stephanie @ Layered Pages





#BlogTour Everything That Follows by Meg Little Reilly @meglittlereilly @HarperCollins @InkSlingerPR

 

From Meg Little Reilly, comes a stunning thriller that will keep readers up turning pages long into the night, EVERYTHING THAT FOLLOWS! Grab your copy of EVERYTHING THAT FOLLOWS today!

 

CAUGHT IN THE BACKWASH, THEY HAVE LOST CONTROL OF THEIR LIVES…

For fans of Megan Abbott and Chris Bohjalian comes a novel of moral complexity about friends who must choose between self-preservation and doing the right thing in the wake of a fatal boating accident. Set in the moody off-season of Martha’s Vineyard, Everything That Follows is a plunge into the dark waters of secrets and flexible morals. The truth becomes whatever we say it is…

Around midnight, three friends take their partying from bar to boat on a misty fall evening. Just as the weather deteriorates, one of them suddenly and confusingly goes overboard. Is it an accident? The result of an unwanted advance? His body disappears quickly, silently, into the dark water. The circumstances are murky, but what is clear is that the other two need to notify the authorities. Minutes become hours become days as they hesitate, caught up in their guilt and hope that their friend has somehow made it safely to shore. As valuable time passes, they find themselves deep in a moral morass with huge implications as they struggle to move forward and live with their dark secret.

Read an excerpt from the book: 


Hunter kissed Ashley’s naked legs, knees and thighs, working his way up her body and through his A-game stuff. But she intercepted his advances with her own moves and eventually he was out of his head and totally in the act. They were both drunk, but it didn’t feel like drunk sex in the out-of-body way he usually settled for. She was energized and athletic, a real go-getter. It was almost comical. She insisted on reading the expiration date of the condom, which struck him as hilarious. Ashley was above him, and then below. It was exhausting, but also a relief to have someone really running the show. He was happy to follow.

Ten minutes later, the entire episode concluded in a conventional but thoroughly satisfying missionary position.

And it was exactly three seconds after ejaculation that Hunter remembered all the horrible things he’d been trying to forget. The investigation of Kyle’s death was still open. The boat was still banging against the dock posts. This little adventure had changed nothing. Hunter’s body was calm but his mind wasted no time getting back to its baseline of panic. He needed a drink. He needed Ashley to leave so he could pour himself something tall. He liked her and hoped for an encore one day, but wanted her to get the fuck out at that moment.

“That was fun. I suppose I should go,” she said, moving not a muscle in her body. She was splayed out under the down comforter with her eyes closed.

Hunter got out of bed and walked toward the bathroom. “Yeah, it was fun. Can I call you again?”

If she answered, he didn’t hear her before the bathroom door closed. He peed and splashed water on his face. When he returned to the room, Ashley was halfway dressed, watching local news on a small TV that sat on a dresser.

“Why do they think he was swimming in Katama Bay?” she said, one sock in hand at the edge of the bed.

“What?”

“This guy who died—Kyle Billings. Why do they think he was swimming in Katama Bay?”

Hunter turned his back to her and rifled through drawers. What was going on? Why was she asking these questions?

“Oh, I don’t know,” he said. “I haven’t been paying much attention. Do you want me to call you a car?”

“No, I’m fine to walk.” Ashley continued to watch from the edge of the bed. “I just know for a fact that a Katama Bay swimmer would have been carried further south by the current, if that’s actually where he started from. It doesn’t make any sense.” She pulled her sweater over her head.

Hunter walked to the doorway. “I heard he was on oxy or something, so who knows.”

Ashley considered this information. “Still, the current…it wouldn’t matter. He had to have been further north if it took two days for the body to wash ashore in that place. That’s what the coroner said, that it had been about two days.”

Hunter crossed his arms over his chest. “Kind of a morbid thing to be hung up on, don’t you think? You’re like some kind of citizen investigator. You sure you don’t want a car?”

Grab your copy of EVERYTHING THAT FOLLOWS here!


Amazon | Barnes & Noble Google PlayiBooks | Kobo | IndieBound | Audible

         

“Taut with moral complexity and a subtly building tension, this is the kind of story that punishes you if you dare to put it down. ”— Kim Cross, New York Times best selling author of WHAT STANDS IN A STORM   


Add it to your Goodreads Now!   


“[a] skillfully wrought tale of atonement in a frame of psychological suspense.”— Booklist

 
Meg Little Reilly’s EVERYTHING THAT FOLLOWS – Tour Schedule:

May 2nd
Mythical Books – Excerpt

May 3rd

May 4th

May 5th
Suey Library – Review & Excerpt

May 6th
Bookishly Yours – Excerpt
Linz Readz – Review & Excerpt

May 7th
Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

May 8th

May 9th
4TLOReading – Review & Excerpt
Brittany's Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Literary misfit – Excerpt
TEXTTEASER BOOK BLOG – Review & Excerpt

May 10th
A Bookaholic Swede – Excerpt
Jax's Book Magic – Excerpt
Miss Riki – Review & Excerpt

May 11th
Books A-Brewin' – Excerpt
Jen in Bookland – Review & Excerpt
Literature Goals – Review & Excerpt
The Book Addict's Reviews – Review & Excerpt

May 12th
Crazy Chaotic Book Babes – Review & Excerpt
I am a Book Hoarder – Review & Excerpt
Margaux – Excerpt


 About Meg Little Reilly: Meg Little Reilly is the author of the novels EVERYTHING THAT FOLLOWS and WE ARE UNPREPARED. She's a public radio commentator, essayist, and outdoors enthusiast. Prior to writing novels, Meg worked in national politics and the White House. She holds a B.A. from the University of Vermont and an M.A. from the George Washington University. These days, she lives in rural Vermont with her husband and two daughters.      

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

   

#BookReview The Retreat by Mark Edwards @amazonpub

The Retreat by Mark Edwards
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A missing child. A desperate mother. And a house full of secrets.

Two years ago, Julia lost her family in a tragic accident. Her husband drowned trying to save their daughter, Lily, in the river near their rural home. But the little girl’s body was never found—and Julia believes Lily is somehow still alive.

Alone and broke, Julia opens her house as a writers’ retreat. One of the first guests is Lucas, a horror novelist, who becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Lily. But within days of his arrival, the peace of the retreat is shattered by a series of eerie events.

When Lucas’s investigation leads him and Julia into the woods, they discover a dark secret—a secret that someone will do anything to protect…

What really happened that day by the river? Why was Lily never found? And who, or what, is haunting the retreat?


**********

After reading the fabulous The Devil's Work and The Lucky Ones was I really looking forward to reading The Retreat. The creepy cover and blurb added to my eagerness. A missing child and an old house with secrets? Count me in!

The Retreat is one of those books that have all the ingredients I like when it comes to thrillers, a mystery, a group of people that don't know each other and a place with a history of troublesome events. Unfortunately, the story never got more than OK for me which trust me bothered me quite a lot since it has everything I usually like. However, I found myself not really engrossed in the story. Yes, I wanted to know the truth and the characters were not bad. I just never felt that heart-pounding intensity that the previous two books had, especially The Devil's Work. It never got creepy or even truly surprising. It's just OK. I liked the book, but I did not love it. If you are easily scared is this book perhaps more of a hit.

However, the writing is good as usual. The story has a flow to it, and the present story with a connection to past events was interesting and the very last part is good and I will even say that the epilogue is great. The epilogue felt so deviously good that I did feel like the book at least ended on a high note!

I want to thank Thomas and Mercer for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!