Monday, September 26, 2022

BOOK SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY for HENRIETTA AND INSPECTOR HOWARD NOVELS by Michelle Cox


 


Join us for this tour from Sep 26 to Oct 21, 2022!

Book Series Details:

Book Series:  The Henrietta and Inspector Howard Novels by Michelle Cox
Category:  Adult fiction (18+), 200-400 pages each
Genre:  Historical Fiction, Historical Mysteries
Publisher:  She Writes Press
Release date:  April 2016; April 2017; April 2018; April 2019; April 2020, Oct 2022
Tour dates:  Sep 26 to Oct 21, 2022
Content Rating: This book series is rated R. Books 1 - 2 do not have sex scenes, but they are implied and the content is mature (prostitution, gambling, alcohol, murder, serial killer). Book 3 introduces tasteful sex scenes between a married couple and there is one rape (not graphic at all). Books 4 - 6 usually have 2 tasteful sex scenes in each Swearing is present in all 6 books, but is minimal. ​ 
“Downton Abbey meets Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries!”

“Henrietta and Clive are a sexy, endearing, and downright fun pair of sleuths. Readers will not see the final twist coming.” 
Library Journal, starred review

“Fans of spunky, historical heroines will love Henrietta Von Harmon.” Booklist, starred review

“Henrietta and Inspector Howard are the best pair of sleuths I’ve come across in ages. A fantastic start to what is sure to be a long running series.” ―Tasha Alexander, New York Times bestselling author ​
Book Series Description:
A GIRL LIKE YOU: Beautiful Henrietta Von Harmon works as a 26 girl at a corner bar, Poor Pete’s, on Chicago’s northwest side. It’s 1935, but things still aren’t looking up since the big crash and her father’s subsequent suicide. Left to care for her antagonistic mother and seven younger siblings, Henrietta is persuaded to take a job as a taxi dancer at a local dance hall. Henrietta is just beginning to enjoy herself, dancing with men for ten cents a dance, when the floor matron suddenly turns up murdered. The aloof Inspector Clive Howard then appears on the scene, and Henrietta unwittingly finds herself involved in unraveling the mystery when she agrees to go undercover for him in a burlesque theater where he believes the killer lurks.

Even as Henrietta is plunged into Chicago’s grittier underworld, she struggles to still play the mother “hen” to her younger siblings and even to the pesky neighborhood boy, Stanley, who believes himself in love with her and continues to pop up in the most unlikely places, determined, ironically, to keep Henrietta safe, even from the Inspector if needs be. Despite his efforts, however, and his penchant for messing up the Inspector’s investigation, the lovely Henrietta and the impenetrable Inspector find themselves drawn to each other in most unsuitable ways. 

Buy the Book:
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add to goodreads

Showcase & Giveaway for "THE PERFECT BROTHER" by Chris Patchell

The Perfect Brother by Chris Patchell Banner

The Perfect Brother

by Chris Patchell

September 26 - October 21, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

Synopsis:

The Perfect Brother by Chris Patchell

A scandalous liaison. A killer on the loose. Can a young woman save her sibling from going down for murder?

Vancouver, Canada. Software engineer Indira Saraf refuses to march to her traditionalist parents’ old-world drum. Resentful of her brother’s golden-boy acceptance but still a devoted sister, she encourages him to confess his secret affair before he ends up married to a woman he doesn’t want. So she’s horrified when his student and lover is slain and he’s arrested for the gruesome crime.

Repurposing her own AI technology to prove his innocence, the unorthodox rebel scours the dead college girl's life for clues. But when Indira discovers another missing co-ed and the suspects pile up, she learns the hard way that her digging has drawn deadly attention…

Can she hunt down the culprit before she takes a fatal fall?

The Perfect Brother is a chilling standalone suspense thriller. If you like dogged heroines, complex family relationships, and dangerous twists, then you’ll adore USA Today bestselling author Chris Patchell’s riveting tale.

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense
Published by: Indie Pub
Publication Date: September 27th 2022
Number of Pages: 421
ISBN: 978-1-7335452-4-2
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Prologue

Katie Lord knew her fiancé Tim couldn’t possibly mean what he’d said when he’d stormed out of her apartment last night. They weren’t over. It was just a stupid argument. But for the hundredth time that morning, she picked up her phone, hoping to see a message. Nothing. Despite the dozens of texts she’d sent him, she hadn’t received a single response. She checked her reception. It wouldn’t be the first time she missed a message because the cellular network was crap.

Four bars.

Dammit.

Katie slammed down the phone, no longer able to deny the ugly truth. He was ignoring her, treating her as if everything was her fault.

Hell yes, she’d been angry. Any girl in her situation with a brain in her head would be. They were engaged, and yet he was getting text messages from a girl at work—a girl he claimed was “just a friend.”

Just a friend, her ass. That damned girl was always sniffing around him. Whenever a group from work went out for beers, she was eager to join, and when the guys had planned an overnight camping trip, guess who wanted to tag along? Then when everyone else had dropped out... Well, it should have been obvious to Tim that the right thing to do would have been to cancel the trip. But no. They’d had to fight about it instead.

“Don’t you trust me?” Tim had snapped, hands on his hips, glaring at Katie as if she was in the wrong.

“This isn’t about you. It’s about her.”

“If you trusted me, we wouldn’t be arguing about this.”

Tim was dead wrong. If he wanted to act naïve and treat Katie like she was a jealous lunatic, then so be it, but Katie wasn’t fooled. She knew how girls operated and this one didn’t give a damn that Tim was engaged. She was trying to drive a wedge between Katie and Tim, and it was working.

Katie wrenched the engagement ring off her finger and stared at the ugly white tan line left behind. She tried to imagine what her life would be like without him, but she couldn’t. Just the thought of it made her ache as if half of her soul had been stripped away. Shoving the ring back into place, Katie shook off her fears.

She was being ridiculous. Dramatic. Didn’t Tim always say so? Once he’d had time to cool off, he’d call her, and they’d make up, the same way they always did.

Until then, she’d lose her mind if she spent another minute obsessing. Grabbing her phone, Katie plugged in her earbuds and headed outside. A run would be just the thing to get Tim off her mind and quiet the drumbeat of panic steadily building inside her.

The morning had started out rainy, but now the sun had pierced a hole in the angry clouds and set the maple leaves ablaze. Stunning shades of crimson and gold adorned the trees that bordered the twisty trail through the woods to the park.

Katie didn’t bother stretching. Surely the steep uphill walk from her apartment to the trail would be enough of a warm-up. Jamming her favorite playlist, she broke into a lumbering jog, losing herself in Meghan Trainor’s rendition of “Me Too.” It was just the right song to shake off her dour mood.

A quarter mile into her run, Katie was already panting. With her chest heaving and heart pounding, she slowed. Damn, this is hard. It had been months since her last run. She didn’t expect to feel winded quite so soon. Katie promised herself she would only walk long enough to catch her breath, then she’d hit it again. If she needed more motivation to get back into shape, her pathetic lack of cardio would be enough.

Besides, just last week Tim made a crack about the five pounds she’d gained since they’d gotten engaged. Five lousy pounds.

He was the one who insisted they swing by the coffee shop every morning before he dropped her off at school instead of going for a run. She would have suggested he go alone, but Katie didn’t like the way the barista at the coffee shop flirted with him. Tim didn’t seem to notice, and when she’d finally worked up the nerve to mention it, he’d accused her of being paranoid.

Easy for him to say. He wouldn’t much like it if some strange guy was hitting on her. And why wouldn’t someone hit on her? Despite the extra weight she was carrying, she still looked cute.

A burst of anger at Tim’s thoughtlessness spurred her into another sprint. She’d get back into shape and then she’d be the one going on hiking trips with her friends instead of wasting hours waiting for a message that might never come. The thought of Tim waiting on her for a change cheered Katie.

By the time she made it to the center of the park, her heart rate crested one hundred fifty beats per minute. Half a mile. Not bad for her first run.

Katie flattened her palm against her chest and waited for her breath to slow, and that’s when she felt it. The first pea-sized pellet of hail streaked down from an angry sky. Charcoal clouds gathered overhead and choked out the sun. The first strike was quickly followed by a second, and then…

Katie uttered an indignant squeal. Desperately scanning the trail, she searched for a place to take shelter and spied a white gazebo. She hurtled across the slippery grass as fast as her neon green Nikes would carry her and pounded up the steps. Katie slid to a sudden halt when she realized that she wasn’t the only runner seeking shelter from the storm.

Tim.

Just the sight of him standing in the gazebo with his back turned sent an electric pulse of relief surging through her. Her hungry gaze devoured his broad shoulders and lean waist. She yanked out her earbuds and rushed toward him when he turned.

Tim’s name died on her lips. Katie’s hopes plummeted as she took in the man’s face. It wasn’t Tim, but there was something familiar about the handsome stranger. She studied his bronze complexion and ebony eyes, trying to place him. She’d seen him before, she was sure of it, but where? As if sensing her confusion, his mouth curved into a grin that made Katie’s heart stop.

“Hell of a storm,” he said.

Katie’s breath sped up, forming dewy clouds in the cooling air. He had a killer smile.

“Sure is.”

“You were running too?” he asked.

With a self-conscious grin, Katie glanced down at her bare legs, which she hadn’t shaved in a few days, and shrugged.

“If you could call it that. I used to run every day, but it’s been a while.”

She was lying. Even back when she did run, she’d be lucky to make it out twice a week, but that sounded pathetic. From the way his rain-streaked hoodie clung to his well-toned torso, he looked in shape. His buff frame showed no hint of the slight paunch that Tim’s belly was starting to form.

“Nice shoes,” he said.

A glimmer of admiration flashed in his dark eyes as his gaze swept over her, from her flushed cheeks, all the way down to her size nine Nikes. She warmed under his lingering appraisal, wondering how long it had been since Tim had looked at her that way.

“The trail over by the reservoir is my favorite,” he said. “What’s yours?”

“I like the one through the woods.”

God, could she sound any more lame? Hailstones struck the gazebo’s tin roof in an atonal symphony that filled the silence between them.

“You’re Katie, right?”

An unexpected thrill raced through her.

“Do I know you?”

He flashed an amused grin. “From school. Business ethics class.”

Something clicked inside Katie’s mind and her mouth dropped open.

“Oh my god, of course. You know how it is when you see someone out of context.”

“Yeah.”

He gave a quick laugh and shifted his gaze beyond her, watching the ice pellets bounce off the tin roof onto the grass. Goosebumps rippled across Katie’s arms and she shivered, wishing she’d brought a jacket. As if reading her mind, he stripped off his sweatshirt and draped it around her shoulders. The soft fabric still held the warmth from his body. Katie hugged it close.

“Thank you.”

“Seeing as how my run’s pretty much shot for the day, want to grab some coffee? I know a place close by…”

Her pulse leapt at the unexpected question. It was dangerous. She was engaged. What would Tim say?

Nestled in the armband strapped around her bicep, Katie’s phone buzzed. In that moment, a sudden realization struck her. She didn’t give a damn what Tim thought. He was the one who had walked out on her. He was the one who saw no harm in flirting with the girl from work. And the barista. And god only knew who else.

It was just coffee. Nothing more.

Besides, a little harmless flirtation never killed anyone, right?

Chapter 1

One hundred seventy-two days until graduation, and then she’d get a real job. One that didn’t start so damned early. Even god wasn’t up yet, Mallory Riggins thought as she eased out of the apartment, locking the door behind her. The wind hissed through the towering pines, sending a damp chill racing through her. Deep shadows fell across the lawn, and not for the first time, she wished the security light mounted to the edge of the house still worked.

It was spooky out here alone. Normally, she parked her car in the garage, one of the few luxuries the small apartment carved out of the sprawling duplex offered, but the landlord’s son had arrived home last night for an unexpected visit and had parked in her spot, which meant that she had to park her rust bucket on the side of the road.

The sound of the closing door triggered the landlord’s dog. From somewhere up above, JoJo erupted into a barking fit. Mallory cringed.

“Hush, JoJo,” she muttered, hoping the dog wouldn’t rouse her roommate. Shelby was already annoyed that after two years, the dog still greeted them as if they were armed intruders.

The barking dog had jarred her awake last night too. Mallory hadn’t bothered to see what was causing all the racket. Between her heavy class load, late-night study sessions, and her new boyfriend, she needed all the sleep she could get. As much as she would have preferred calling in sick and getting some extra rest, the meager funds in her bank account were already dangerously low, and somehow, she still had to make it through the end of the school year.

Then all she had to do was find a job that paid more than minimum wage to cover the rent, the utilities, and still have enough money left over to buy food. In a city as expensive as Vancouver, how hard could that be?

Mallory scrambled up the steep hill toward the roadside, her feet sliding in the wet earth. It had stormed overnight. Pine cones and downed branches lay scattered across the narrow road, shaken free from the fierce wind.

By the time she reached her car, Mallory was shivering, and her day, which already wasn’t winning any awards, got a whole lot worse.

Pebbles of glass crunched beneath her feet. She stared at her car in dismay. The driver’s side window was shattered.

The universe was definitely sending her a message, and if she had an ounce of common sense, she’d crawl back beneath the covers and start over. But that wasn’t an option. With a broken window to fix, she needed the money from her job even more. Sheathing her hand with the sleeve of her coat, she swept the chunks of glass from the seat and climbed inside the car.

Rain had blown in through the broken window. The wet seat soaked through her jeans and Mallory groaned. She cranked the key and the sputtering engine coughed to life. Lights from the neighboring houses flickered on. The sleepy residential neighborhood was just beginning to stir to life as Mallory drove off.

The Daily Grind, with its brick walls, metal stools, and wooden tables, had a homey feel. The earthy scent of freshly roasted beans welcomed her as she pushed through the doors. For the next three hours, this place would be the first stop for every caffeine junkie in a five-mile radius starting out on their morning commute.

No sooner had she entered the shop when she locked gazes with her boss. There was no denying the fact that she was late. Rather than belabor the point, Mallory muttered an apology, strapped on her apron, and went to work.

Nothing about the morning had gone smoothly so far, so it should have come as no surprise when Mallory fumbled a hot cup of tea. It struck the edge of the countertop, spun around in a cartwheel, and sent a plume of hot water flying. Mallory jumped back, avoiding the worst of the spill, but a few stray drops scalded her forearm. She breathed in a painful hiss and grabbed a rag.

Meanwhile, the line tripled in size.

Ignoring the painful burn, she pinned on a frozen smile and greeted the next customer. Mr. Quad Grande Breve. He was cute with dark hair and kind eyes.

“The usual?” she asked.

“You always remember,” he said with a grin. “Toss in an extra shot this morning, please. God knows, I could use it.”

Puffy bags shadowed his dark eyes, and Mallory noticed that the poor guy looked as tired as she felt.

“A quad grande breve with an extra shot of love for Tim,” she called to her boss, Jenn, who was working the machines. “That will be four dollars and ten cents.”

Uncapping a black Sharpie, Mallory jotted down the drink order, and winced at the sting of the red welt forming on her arm.

“Are you okay?” Tim asked, gesturing toward the angry burn. “You really should get that under some cold water.”

If it wasn’t so damned busy, she would do just that, but with the lineup curving out the door, she didn’t have time.

“‘Tis but a flesh wound,” Mallory quipped, making light of the pain.

“Kind of early for Monty Python, don’t you think?”

Mallory grinned in surprise at his quick pick-up on the line. “Well, what can I say? So far, it’s been a shitty day. My car was broken into last night.”

“The Toyota?”

Mallory nodded. “They smashed the window.”

“That sucks. What did they steal?”

She shrugged. “Not sure. I might need to sacrifice a chicken, or an eggplant, or whatever the universe deems necessary to get back into karma’s good graces.”

Tim chuckled, handing her a stack of one-dollar coins. Loonies. Mallory made change, which Tim dropped into the tip jar. The coins rang against the glass and she thanked him with a smile. The next customer in line uttered an impatient sigh. Mallory took the hint.

“Have a good one,” she said to Tim.

“Hope your day gets better. If you need someone to fix your glass, or find a live chicken, I know a guy. He does good work.”

“With the window or the chicken?” Mallory smirked.

“Both.”

With a friendly wave, Tim was gone, and Mallory took the next order. Dozens of customers later, when the line finally began to subside, something he’d said stuck inside Mallory’s mind.

“Wait. How does he know I drive a Toyota?”

She’d muttered the question under her breath. Both Tim and his drink were long gone.

“Who? Mr. Quad Grande Breve?” Jenn asked. “Any fool with eyes could see he’s got a thing for you.”

“Nah, he’s got a girlfriend.”

Jenn snorted. “That bitter pill? She wasn’t with him this morning. Besides, you know how men are. My ex was onto his third girlfriend before I found out.”

A single mother with two exes, Jenn never had a nice word to say about anyone.

“Maybe he’s a stalker,” Joe the dishwasher said.

Joe was an acting student. He was always mimicking someone, and this morning, it was Arnold Schwarzenegger, adapting a line from the movie Kindergarten Cop.

“Not you too,” she groaned.

Joe chuckled and slid behind the counter, carrying a tray of freshly washed mugs. Mallory shook her head and took the next order. They were both paranoid. Mr. Quad Grande Breve…Tim…was a nice guy. He always asked how her day was going, and unlike most people she met, he seemed to care about the answer. And he always bought his girlfriend’s drinks. Few guys she met at the shop were that considerate.

By ten o’clock the rush had slowed to a trickle. Mallory tallied her tips and grabbed her purse.

“Leaving?”

“Gotta run. Class awaits.”

“Do it. Do it now,” Joe called after her, still using the ridiculous Schwarzenegger voice.

Mallory rolled her eyes. “Hate to break it to you, Joe, but you’re a foot and a half too short to make a convincing Arnie.”

Even with his chest puffed out and stretched to his full height, Joe was still an inch or two shorter than she was.

“If Tom Cruise can play Jack Reacher, why can’t I be the Terminator?”

“Point taken,” she said with a laugh.

By the time Mallory left the shop, she’d forgotten all about the burn on her arm and Tim, and pretty much everything but school. Sheets of rain blew across the busy street. Mallory pulled her hood up and waited for a break in traffic. Why couldn’t her car have been broken into on a day when it wasn’t so blustery? By now, with the rain blowing through the busted window, the driver’s seat would feel like a wet sponge.

The stream of traffic slowed, and Mallory dashed across the street. She didn’t see the car that streaked around the corner until its headlights hit her square in the eyes. A burst of panic exploded inside her chest as she dodged out of the way. Tripping over a storm drain, she crashed to the ground beside her car, landing on all fours.

And that was when Mallory’s phone broke.

***

Excerpt from The Perfect Brother by Chris Patchell. Copyright 2022 by Chris Patchell. Reproduced with permission from Chris Patchell. All rights reserved.

 

 

Author Bio:

Chris Patchell

Chris Patchell is an award-winning USA Today Bestselling Author who started writing to curb the homicidal tendencies she experienced during her daily Seattle commute. She writes gripping suspense thrillers with romantic elements set in the Pacific Northwest and believes good fiction combines a magical mix of complex characters, compelling plots, and well-crafted stories.

Over the years, she has written numerous popular books and series, including bestsellers Deadly Lies, In the Dark, and her most recent collection of small-town crime novellas, the Lacey James Series. Along the way, her writing has won several awards, including a 2022 Next Generation Indie Book Award, an IndieReader Discovery Award, and a Pacific Northwest Literary Award.

When she’s not writing, you can find Chris reading books, hanging out with her family, watching football, and struggling to keep up with her workout regime, all while shushing her incessantly yapping Yorkies. She lives in Oregon with her husband and two kids.

Connect with Chris:
www.ChrisPatchell.com
Goodreads
BookBub - @chrispatchellauthor
Instagram - @chrispatchellauthor
Twitter - @chris_patchell
Facebook - @authorchrispatchell

 

 

Tour Participants:

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

 

 

ENTER TO WIN:

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Tours for Chris Patchell. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.

 

 

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Mailbox Monday

 

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists!!
Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia @ A Girl and Her Books, has a permanent home now at Mailbox Monday.
 ************

Here’s a shout out to the administrators:
Leslie @ Under My Apple Tree 
Serena @ Savvy Verse And Wit
Martha @ Reviews By Martha's Bookshelf 
Velvet @ vvb32reads
************
                THANKS to everyone for keeping Mailbox Monday alive. 
************

 Received this week:

1: WHAT HAVE WE DONE by Alex Finlay
courtesy of publisher via NetGalley
2: GONE AGAIN by Minka Kent
courtesy of publisher via NetGalley
3: I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE by Gregg Olsen
courtesy of publisher via NetGalley
4: A CRY IN THE DARK by Jessica R. Patch
courtesy of publisher via NetGalley
5: THE GOLDEN DOVES by Martha Hall Kelly
courtesy of publisher via NetGalley


Thursday, September 22, 2022

THE ITALIAN DAUGHTER by Soraya Lane

 

MY THOUGHTS

This is a book you don't want to miss. If you love reading you will love this one. 

This book is so good. It's a dual timeline which I typically love. It's a double love story. I don't tend to read love stories but this one was great. It was much more than just a love story. It had so many emotions going on. 

It starts out with a woman telling a man to wait. Wait and ask her when he is truly free. He wants to marry her. It's 1946. Estee and Felix are young and mad about each other. But he's promised to another. Since he was a young child he has been promised in marriage to another. His family is wealthy. Estee is an up and coming ballerina. She will be famous one day. But his family does not think she is good enough. 

Life gives them plans that they may not like. It takes a turn that Estee does not expect. Never saw coming. How can she be expected to go on after all she's been through. Will they ever find their way back. Will they ever be the happy couple they were meant to be. Estee has a huge secret. How can they ever be happy. 

Present day we meet Lily and then Antonio. Lily found a letter from a lawyer that sets her on a path to solve a mystery. The mystery of her grandmother's adoption. She meets Antonio and they sort of get together. He has some things from his past that make him stand back from a relationship. But he helps Lily find what she's looking for. She has two clues that will lead her hopefully to find out who her grandmother's family were. 

The timelines are intersecting through the story but not in a way that you think. When they do come together it made me actually have tears flowing. Some in a good way and some in a bittersweet sad way. Things have a way of going there own way even if we think they should be different. This author did a fantastic job with this book. She pulls you in and keeps you hanging on for dear life. Keeps you wanting to know more. Rooting for a these couples to find happiness. For a child to be happy. Content and well loved. How these two couples are related was beautiful. This book is beautiful. It's a sad story in many places but full of a deep love that transcends all the odds too. 

Would you walk away from your family and money for love? That would be hard but doable. In my opinion it would be doable. I loved this book from start to finish and I look forward to more from this author. 

Thank you #NetGalley, #SorayaMLane, #Bookouture for this ARC. This is my own true thoughts about this book.

5 huge stars and you have to read this one. It's so good.

SYNOPSIS

Italy, 1946. “Estee, I bought this ring years ago and have kept it safe ever since. You’re the only woman I’ve ever loved.” She reached for Felix’s hand and gently closed it over the box. “No,” she whispered. “I want you to propose only when you’re truly free.”

Estee always believed that she would spend her life with her childhood sweetheart Felix. But when her incredible gift for dance gave her the opportunity to move to a big city and provide for her mother, she knew she had to sacrifice her happiness for her family’s future and a chance at a better life.

But years later, in a city of over a million people, Felix finds Estee. Due to marry the daughter of a prominent family, he is prepared to sacrifice everything to be with the love of his life. But Estee knows what is at stake: his family’s love and his livelihood could be lost forever if she says yes. 
Can she really follow her heart if it means him losing everything?

London, present day: Lily clutches a faded piece of paper in her hands, knowing that her life will never be the same again. Whilst grieving for her late father, she is told that her grandmother was born in a home for unmarried mothers, the only clues to her past contained on a handwritten Italian recipe and an old theatre programme.

Desperate for answers, Lily accepts a job on an Italian vineyard – a dream her father once shared. Lily receives a warm welcome from the owner’s charming son 
Antonio and as they chat long into the night, Antonio offers to help her discover her family’s heritage.

But arriving in Estee and Felix’s village, Lily unearths a tragic love story which has the power to change her future. As she unravels the truth of her own legacy, she begins to fall for Italy and for Antonio. Can Lily give up everything she has ever known to rebuild her life or will the risk of heartbreak force her home?



Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Spotlight for "THREE SMALL BONES" by Jennifer Chase

 


Extract from the PROLOGUE

FOUR YEARS AGO

The heat was even more scorching than usual. It wasn’t a
surprise to the special army team whose mission it was to find
bombs and insurgents in Afghanistan while keeping civilians
safe. It was late afternoon, barely 1700 hours. Still, the tempera‐
ture raged at one hundred ten degrees and wasn’t showing any
remorse.
The assignment was to enter a small village, search it, and
maintain a presence while waiting for further orders. They had
intelligence information that the enemy had possibly used the
village for storing bomb-making paraphernalia. The inhabitants
were not known hostiles, merely farmers, and would not pose
any type of danger.
Katie Scott took point, which meant she was holding the
most exposed position leading her unit. She trudged forward,
feeling every muscle ache in her body. Her gear seemed heavier
than it had only two hours ago. She adjusted her helmet and,
keeping her weapon poised and ready, watched the black
German shepherd pad along the roadway. The dog’s posture
was almost regal and he was on high alert, ears perked forward
as his head moved from side to side catching scents from the
open area. Cisco was Katie’s constant companion and partner,
one who had alerted her team to danger on several occasions.
The dog was invaluable in so many ways, thwarting multiple
potential dangers and keeping the team safe.
They finally entered the village. A couple of elderly towns‐
people acknowledged the American soldiers with a subtle nod
but stopped what they were doing immediately to take refuge in
their small, makeshift homes. There were supposed to be fami‐
lies with children in the village, but now Katie could only see
two young men out and about.
It seemed strange.
Something was out of place.
Katie slowed her pace and her sergeant caught up with her.
“What’s up, Scotty?” he said quietly, still keeping his eyes
on any movement around the village.
“I don’t know…” she said softly. “But something is wrong.”
They stopped.
The rest of the team spread out and kept a watchful eye
around them.
Cisco stopped too. He stood completely still, taking in the
sights and sounds as the hot breeze ruffled his black fur. He
growled and turned his attention ahead toward a group of
buildings.
“He senses something,” she whispered to her sergeant.
The sergeant gestured for the rest to follow in that
direction.
The company moved out. Each soldier had their position,
watching for any movement as they covered each other’s backs.
Katie could feel her heart beating hard. She shivered even
though the temperature was blistering. Moving cautiously in
the direction that Cisco had headed, she brought the dog close
by her side. She was ready to return fire or take cover. She took
a deep breath to steady her nerves and keep focus. They
continued to advance.

 SYNOPSIS 

Smoke curls from what’s left of the beautiful family home on the edge of the woods. The heat is unbearable as she descends the stairs to the basement, past a set of bicycles––two big, one small. That’s when she sees three little white bones in the cracked earth at her feet, turning her blood to ice…

When firefighters tackling a blazing house in a quiet suburb of 
Pine ValleyCalifornia discover human remains, Detective Katie Scott races to 717 Maple Street. She calls a halt to the excavations the moment she sees the full number and size of the bones; someone has buried a whole family down here.

Working night and day, it’s up to Katie to prove her theory that the fire was no accident, that someone wanted to expose the secret in the basement. Tiny traces of explosives residue found at the scene is all the proof she needs. But the Cross family have been missing for months––leaving friends and loved ones in agonizing pain––what twisted soul would do this now? And why?

The case takes another heart-shattering turn when Katie’s suspicions over recent renovation work on the house leads to the discovery of more bodies in the back yard: two little girls, buried years apart. What other devastating secrets are hidden in this perfect family home? It’s a dead end at every turn as Katie tracks down anyone who knew the family. Just when it looks like all hope is lost, reports of the Cross’s landlord harassing the family before they went missing gives Katie a crucial lead. With a menacing grey sedan following her every move, how many more innocent lives will be lost before Katie can dig up the truth?

An absolutely gripping and totally addictive thriller from a USA Today and Amazon bestselling author. It will keep you racing through the pages all night long––fans of Lisa Regan, Rachel Caine and Melinda Leigh will devour in one sitting!

Author Bio:

Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning and best-selling crime fiction author, as well as a consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent psychopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells.


In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists, and member of the International Thriller Writers.

https://www.instagram.com/jenchaseauthor/

https://twitter.com/JChaseNovelist


Sign up to be the first to hear about new releases from Jennifer Chase here: https://geni.us/B097H5XLDVsocial


Buy Link:
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Monday, September 19, 2022

THE FATHER by John Nicholl

 

MY THOUGHTS

What if the person you are suppose to trust hurts you. Hurts you in a way that people may not believe. What if this person is a doctor? A psychiatrist? What would you do? Who can you trust? This story is set in England. Wales. A family just like any other family. Until it isn't.

This book is a very touchy subject matter. It's about child abuse. Abuse rings run by a doctor and many other people. They hurt children. Both girls and boys. This book is about one boy. A little boy who was only seven years old when he was taken to this doctor because he needed help after his parents split up. He needed his father but that father was never there. He was acting out and his mother needed help. This is told from the man's point of view from start to finish. It's not explicit in any way but you know what happened. You know that this psychiatrist is horrible. He's despicable in every way. He's got away with this for years. He grooms these children. He groomed his wife. He needed her to make him look good. He has no conscience. No soul. No morals. No heart. He's evil to the very core. 

My heart broke for this man. The last chapter was maybe the worse of all. Knowing that after all he had been through this was his life. I think he should have been given a medal myself. But that's not how the world works is it? The bad get away with things and the innocent all to often have to pay the price. How sad is that? 

This book is very interesting in that it's based on actual events. It's written by an ex police officer and child protection social worker. Based on things he's seen. It's horrible to believe these things happen yet they do. Every day they do. People get away with these horrible things too. Lives are ruined because of these things. Children are forced to grow up way too fast. It's truly beyond sad. 

This may be the hardest review I have ever written. It's definitely one of the hardest books I've read. Even though it does not go into any big detail, you know. You just know. The horrors that happened to these children. To this man. To his mother. To the doctors wife. Everyone that man touched was messed up once he let go. Not that he actually let go. He would do anything to get what he wanted. I do mean anything too. Evil to the very depths of his soul. But it's still written in a way that you are reading a book that is being written by a victim. The main character is trying to find closure so he's writing a book about his life. He interviews everyone involved with this case. But does he actually find that closure? That peace of mind? Does he make it. Can he save his marriage and his own little girl? 

Thank you #NetGalley, #JohnNicholl, #BoldwoodBooks for this ARC. This is my own true thoughts about this book.

5 stars. It's a very dark book but you should read it if you can. Hear this man's story.

SYNOPSIS

What you don’t know can hurt you.

Thirty years ago Anthony Mailer was a seven-year-old boy trapped in Dr Galbraith’s basement. Now he’s a journalist, a husband and a father. But no matter how far he’s come, at times he’s still that scared little boy.

In order to save his marriage, he has to stop hiding from what happened and deal with it once and for all.

But digging into the past holds dangers Anthony never imagined . . .

A note from the author: While fictional, this book was inspired by true events. It draws on the author’s experiences as a police officer and child protection social worker. The story contains content that some readers may find upsetting. It is dedicated to survivors everywhere.



Mailbox Monday

 

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists!!
Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia @ A Girl and Her Books, has a permanent home now at Mailbox Monday.
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Here’s a shout out to the administrators:
Leslie @ Under My Apple Tree 
Serena @ Savvy Verse And Wit
Martha @ Reviews By Martha's Bookshelf 
Velvet @ vvb32reads
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                THANKS to everyone for keeping Mailbox Monday alive. 
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1: WITHOUT A TRACE by Danielle Steel
courtesy of publisher via NetGalley


BOOK SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY for HENRIETTA AND INSPECTOR HOWARD NOVELS by Michelle Cox

  Join us for this tour from  Sep 26 to Oct 21 , 2022 ! Book Series Details: Book  Series :  The Henrietta and Inspector Howard Novels by Mi...