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Book Review: Initiation in Paradise (Book 17) by Deborah Brown

18 Jun

Margaritas, mangroves, murder. Just another day at the office. 

One minute, Madison Weston and her bestie, Fab, are tailing Creole and Didier to figure out what they’re hiding. The next, a hail of bullets sends them swamp slogging for their lives. So much for cute shoes. 

Eventually, Creole and Didier come clean: Bodies are turning up in shallow graves, and they didn’t want their women catching wind of it. Too bad, boys, this mystery is too juicy to pass up.

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My Review

I chose to review this book after requesting a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I’ve read most of the books in this series and I love these characters. They’ve become like good friends, and I’m always looking forward to their next story or adventure. Madison and Fab are best friends and although they’ve calmed down over the years, they’re still good private investigators. They’ve also both gotten married recently and have great relationships with their men.

Although Madison and Fab are trying to stay away from the more dangerous cases, danger seems to seek them out whether they’re on a case or not.

Initiation in Paradise has several cases that the girls take from serving divorce papers to a welfare check. None of their cases are simple no matter how easy they sound which results in danger, humor, or both. I can always count on a good laugh when I’m reading a Paradise book.

As with all of the Paradise books, Initiation in Paradise was a quick and enjoyable read. Deborah Brown has a good sense of humor and you never know what’s going to happen. I especially liked the ending although it was not what I expected, and I’m looking forward to Madison and Fab’s next adventure.

Although this series is best read in order, all of the books stand alone. I definitely recommend them if you like independent women who are loyal and passionate about family, life and love. 

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About the Author

The Paradise series, are Florida Keys mysteries, “great as stand-alone reads, but they’re like chips…you won’t be able to devour just one!”

I’ve been writing, in one way or another for as long as I can remember; poetry, sappy short stories (my best friend made me swear that I’d never show anyone until I changed the names), and a romance novel shoved under my bed.

I wanted to create books with a wide-range of unforgettable characters, with heat and romance, and lots of guns. It wouldn’t be complete without a slice of humor and charm.

I live with my family and demon children aka rescue cats in South Florida.

Find the author on the following sites…

Website  Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest  Goodreads  Amazon Author page  Bookbub

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Book Review & Giveaway: Swann’s Down by Charles Salzberg

5 Jun

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 | BN.com | 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, fortunetellers, 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?

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Even though this is the fifth book in the Henry Swann series, it stands on its own. In fact, I didn’t know there were other books in the series until I was done and getting ready to write my review. Just what I need…more books to add to my TBR list!

Henry Swann has two mysteries to solve at once. Neither is a run of the mill missing person, and he finds himself doing more investigating than he normally would. It’s too bad he’s not a PI since he’s good at figuring things out.

Swann’s Down is a fast-paced mystery that kept my interest throughout. It’s one of those books that I didn’t get attached to the characters, but they were quite unique! This is a light and fun read. I look forward to reading the first four books in the series.

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 Zahradnik, Lights Out Summer, winner of the 2018 Shamus Award for Best Paperback Private Eye Novel

Henry Swann dives in where others fear to tread in Swann’s Down: Fast. Funny. And Smart. This time out, Swann crosses paths with a psycho hitman, a phony psychic and Swann’s mysterious partner, a disbarred lawyer. Who could ask for more? I hope we’ll see a lot more of Swann in the future and that this isn’t Swann’s swan song.
— Paul D. Marks, Shamus Award-winning Author of White Heat and Broken Windows.

Read an excerpt:

1
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?”

“Yeah.”

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?”

“Desperately.”

***

Excerpt from Swann’s Down by Charles Salzberg. Copyright 2019 by Charles Salzberg. Reproduced with permission from Charles Salzberg. All rights reserved.

 

About the Author

Charles 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:
Charlessalzberg.comGoodreadsTwitter, & Facebook!

Giveaway

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) Amazon.com Gift Card. There will be 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.
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Audiobook Review & Giveaway: Crimes Past by Lauren Carr

3 Jun
 

Book Title: Crimes Past by Lauren Carr
Series:  A Mac Faraday Mystery (Volume 13)
Category:  Adult fiction, 322 pages
Genre:  Murder Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:  October 16, 2018
Format available for review:  ebook (mobi, ePub) & Audible
Tour dates:  May 1 – June 28, 2019
Content Rating: PG (mild violence and sexual suggestion)

 

 

It’s a bittersweet reunion for Mac Faraday when members of his former homicide squad arrive at the Spencer Inn. While it is sweet to attend the wedding of a former colleague’s daughter, it is a bitter reminder that the mother of the bride had been the victim of a double homicide on her own wedding night.

The brutal slaying weighing heavy on his mind, Mac is anxious to explore every possibility for a break in the cold case—even a suggestion from disgraced former detective Louis Gannon that one of their former friends was the killer.

When the investigator is brutally slain, Mac Faraday rips open the cold case with a ruthless determination to reveal which of his friends was a cold-blooded murderer.

Buy Crimes Past:
Amazon ~ Audible
Add to Goodreads
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My Review

I chose to listen to this book after receiving a free audio copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.
 

I have read several books in the Mac Faraday series. They all stand alone and they’re all good mysteries. Crimes Past is full of mystery with a little humor on the side. It is the thirteenth book in the series.

As usual, Mac is dealing with more than one mystery at a time. The primary case he’s working on has several twists and multiple murders before it’s solved.

I like Lauren Carr’s writing style because it’s easy to follow and she doesn’t get bogged down with lengthy descriptions. 

The characters are great, and I feel like I know most of them. Gnarly, Mac’s dog, is definitely my favorite character. He’s even the mayor even though it’s well-known he’s a thief!

I like the narrator. I’ve come to associate his voice with Lauren Carr’s books/characters. He has good timing and a pleasant voice.

 

 

 

Meet the Author

 

 

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!Now, Lauren has added one more hit series to her list with the Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries. Set in the quaint West Virginia town of Harpers Ferry, Ice introduces Chris Matheson, a retired FBI agent, who joins forces with other law enforcement retirees to heat up those cold cases that keep them up at night.Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

 

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with the author:Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

 

 

 

Giveaway

Ends July 6, 2019
 
 

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Book Review: The Circle by Mario Escobar

30 May

The famous psychiatrist Solomon Lewin has left his humanitarian work in India to serve as the chief psychiatrist at the Center for Psychological Illness located in London’s Square Mile financial district. Though well paid, the job is monotonous, and Solomon is also going through a rough patch in his marriage with Margaret. He begins scrutinizing the more mysterious cases of the center’s long-term residents hoping to find something worth his time. When he comes across the chart of Maryam Batool, a young broker from London who has lived in the center for seven years, his life will change forever. 
Maryam Batool is an orphan from Pakistan who became one of the most promising female employees of the financial institution General Society, but in the summer of 2007, at the start of the financial crisis, the young broker loses her mind and tries to kill herself. Since then she has been stuck, able only to draw circles yet unable to understand their meaning. 
A snow storm looms over the city at the start of the Christmas holidays. Before Christmas Eve dinner, Solomon receives an urgent call from the center to come at once: Maryam has attacked a nurse and seems to be awakening from her long stupor. 
Solomon heads downtown in the snow, clueless that this will be the most difficult night of his life. The psychiatrist does not trust his patient, the police are after them, and his family seems to be in danger. The only way to protect himself and those he loves is to discover what “The Circle” is and why everyone seems to want his patient dead. It’s a surprise ending and a mystery you won’t believe. 

What is hiding in the City of London? Who is behind the biggest business center in the world? What is the truth behind “The Circle”? Can Solomon save his family? 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Solomon has had a rewarding career as a psychiatrist but has now settled in London with his family and is the head of a psychiatric facility. He’s afraid that he’s going to be bored, and his wife Margaret is already bored. She loves her children with all her heart but she wants more. Their marriage is suffering but they both want it to work and are starting to take steps to improve it.

Suddenly, everything changes on Christmas Eve when a patient suddenly awakens from a stupor of 7 years. Solomon is called into the hospital when this happens but when he arrives, he finds a couple of the employees murdered and the patient awake but confused.

From this point on, I had to read the rest of the book in one sitting. It’s confusing at times but everything falls into place by the end of the book. There’s a lot of action and suspense. The ending was unexpected and one that I’ll remember for quite a while.

About the Author

Mario Escobar Golderos has a degree in History, with an advanced studies diploma in Modern History. He has written numerous books and articles about the Inquisition, the Protestant Reformation, and religious sects. He is the executive director of an NGO and directs the magazine Nueva historia para el debate, in addition to being a contributing columnist in various publications. Passionate about history and its mysteries, Escobar has delved into the depths of church history, the different sectarian groups that have struggled therein, and the discovery and colonization of the Americas. He specializes in the lives of unorthodox Spaniards and Americans. 

Book Review & Giveaway: And Every Word is True by Gary McAvoy

29 May

Genre: True Crime, Memoir
Published by: Literati Editions
Publication Date: March 4, 2019 
Number of Pages: 310
ISBN: 978-0-9908376-0-2 (HB); 978-0-9908376-1-9 (PB) 
Purchase Links:Amazon Barnes & Noble iBooks Kobo Goodreads

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Truman Capote’s bestselling book “In Cold Blood” has captivated worldwide audiences for over fifty years. It is a gripping story about the consequences of a trivial robbery gone terribly wrong in a remote village of western Kansas.

But what if robbery was not the motive at all, but something more sinister? And why would the Kansas Bureau of Investigation press the Attorney General to launch a ruthless four-year legal battle to prevent fresh details of the State’s most famous crime from being made public, so many years after the case had been solved?

Based on stunning new details discovered in the personal journals and archives of former KBI Director Harold Nye—and corroborated by letters written by Richard Hickock, one of the killers on Death Row—And Every Word Is Truemeticulously lays out a vivid and startling new view of the investigation, one that will keep readers on the edge of their seats as they pick up where Capote left off. Even readers new to the story will find themselves drawn into a spellbinding forensic investigation that reads like a thriller, adding new perspectives to the classic tale of an iconic American crime.

Sixty years after news of the 1959 Clutter murders took the world stage, And Every Word Is True pulls back the curtain for a suspenseful encore to the true story of “In Cold Blood.”

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I was excited to read And Every Word is True because In Cold Blood always intrigued me for some reason. It wasn’t just the story of the murders, but Truman Capote was such a unique person and it’s always been difficult for me to picture him investigating this story.

There are actually two different stories in this book. One is the evidence that Gary McAvoy “found” which possibly changes much of what we thought we knew about these murders. Also, Kansas didn’t seem to want this information to be made public. Why?

The second story is about the author and his case and fighting the state of Kansas in court to keep the documents. This part of the story was rather cumbersome partly because of repetition.

Even though And Every Word is True was a little difficult to get through, I’d still recommend it to anyone who’s interested in true crime, especially the murders of the Clutter family.

About the Author

Gary McAvoy is a veteran technology executive, entrepreneur, and lifelong writer. For several years he was also a literary media escort in Seattle, during which time he worked with hundreds of authors promoting their books—most notably Dr. Jane Goodall, with whom Gary later collaborated on “Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating” (Hachette, 2005).

Gary is also a professional collector of rare literary manuscripts and historical letters and books, a passion that sparked the intriguing discoveries leading up to his latest book, And Every Word Is True(Literati Editions, March 2019), a revealing look at startling new disclosures about the investigation surrounding the 1959 Clutter family murders, heinous crimes chillingly portrayed in Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood.” And Every Word Is True pulls back the curtain for a suspenseful encore to Capote’s classic tale, adding new perspectives to an iconic American crime.

Catch Up With Gary McAvoy On:
garymcavoy.comGoodreadsBookBubTwitter, & Facebook!

Tour Participants

04/01 Review/Showcase @ Feather Stone – Author of Romance & Suspense
04/02 Review @ The World As I See It
04/03 Review @ Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!
04/04 Guest post @ Loris Reading Corner
04/05 Interview @ BooksChatter
04/06 Interview @ A Blue Million Books
04/08 Review @ Nesies Place
04/09 Guest post @ Mythical Books
04/10 Review @ Life at 17
04/11 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
04/12 Review @ Cheryls Book Nook
04/13 Guest post @ Cover To Cover Cafe
04/14 Review @ It’s All About the Book
04/15 Showcase @ Just Books
04/19 Guest post @ Read and Review
04/22 Showcase @ Eclectic Moods
04/23 Showcase @ The Bookworm Lodge
04/24 Interview @ CMash Reads
05/04 Review @ sunny island breezes
05/06 Review @ everywhere and nowhere
05/07 Review @ Thats What Shes Reading
05/10 Guest post @ The Book Divas Reads
05/19 Review @ Jessica Rachow, Author & Blogger
05/20 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews
05/21 Review @ Quiet Fury Books
05/24 Review @ Cozy Up WIth Kathy
05/28 Review @ Book Babble
05/29 Review @ Bound 4 Escape
05/30 Review @ A Room Without Books is Empty

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Giveaway

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Gary McAvoy. There will be four (4) giveaway winners.  One winner will receive one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card and three (3) winners will receive one (1) print copy of And Every Word Is True by Gary McAvoy (Open to U.S. addresses only). The giveaway begins on April 1, 2019 and runs through June 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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Book Review & Giveaway: Becoming Dr. Seuss by Brian Jay Jones

24 May

Dr. Seuss is a classic American icon. Whimsical and wonderful, his work has defined our childhoods and the childhoods of our own children. The silly, simple rhymes are a bottomless well of magic, his illustrations timeless favorites because, quite simply, he makes us laugh. The Grinch, the Cat in the Hat, Horton, and so many more, are his troupe of beloved, and uniquely Seussian, creations.

Theodor Geisel, however, had a second, more radical side. It is there that the allure and fascination of his Dr. Seuss alter ego begins. He had a successful career as an advertising man and then as a political cartoonist, his personal convictions appearing, not always subtly, throughout his books—remember the environmentalist of The Lorax? Geisel was a complicated man on an important mission. He introduced generations to the wonders of reading while teaching young people about empathy and how to treat others well. 

Agonizing over word choices and rhymes, touching up drawings sometimes for years, he upheld a rigorous standard of perfection for his work. Geisel took his responsibility as a writer for children seriously, talking down to no reader, no matter how small. And with classics like Green Eggs and Ham, and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, Geisel delighted them while they learned. Suddenly, reading became fun.  

 

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I knew very little about Theodor Geisel before reading this fascinating biography. I think it would be almost impossible to find someone who hasn’t heard of Dr. Seuss. His books have helped millions of children to learn to love reading. I remember my mom reading his books to me, and I loved reading Green Eggs and Ham to my son. I have a stack of his books waiting to read to my grandson who is just a couple of weeks old.

Besides writing children’s books, Geisel was also a political cartoonist and worked in advertising. He wrote the lyrics the to the song “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” in the movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas. He was also one of the producers and wrote the lyrics to the songs in the 1970 TV special “Horton Hears a Who.”

Geisel had his ups and downs like we all do, and I was surprised that he had an affair with the wife of a good friend. In 1967, his wife Helen committed suicide because she couldn’t bear to lose him. The fact that he married his lover a year or so later didn’t set well with me. However, no one is perfect and no matter what he did in his personal life, his work speaks for itself. 

Although I don’t read much nonfiction, I enjoyed reading Becoming Dr. Seuss. I did think there were parts that gave a little too much information, especially at the beginning. Overall, though, it’s a book that’s an interesting read for anyone because we all know who Dr. Seuss was! Or at least we all know his works.

 

 

 

About the Author

Brian Jay Jones is the critically-acclaimed, bestselling biographer of some of the world’s most iconic creative geniuses. His most recent biography, Becoming Dr. Seuss: Theodor Geisel and the Making of An American Imagination (Dutton, 2019) will be published in May 2019.

His 2016 biography of filmmaker George Lucas was the first comprehensive biography of the influential creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones in nearly two decades. George Lucas: A Life (Little, Brown, 2016) was praised as “definitive” (New York Times), “whiz-bang” (People), “must-read” (Parade) and deemed by Rolling Stone as “the one biography for casual and die-hard [Star Wars] fans alike.”

Brian’s second book, Jim Henson: The Biography (Ballantine, 2013) was a New York Times bestseller, and chosen as the Best Biography of 2013 by Goodreads, as well as one of the year’s Top Ten books by CNN viewers. The first full-length biography of the iconic creator of the Muppets, Jim Henson: The Biography was celebrated as “illuminating” (The Atlantic), “insightful” (Parade), “masterful” (Kirkus) and “compulsively readable” (The AV Club).

Praised by the Washington Post as a biographer of “slightly off-center American geniuses,” Brian’s biography of Washington Irving (Arcade, 2008), was hailed as the definitive biography of American literature’s first popular author and pop culture icon. The Associated Press deemed it “authoritative,” the Washington Post called it, “engaging,” while the New York Times summed it up simply as “charming.” Which pretty much made his year.

Born in the Midwest and raised in the Southwest, Brian has a degree in English from the University of New Mexico, which he immediately parlayed into a brief career as a manager of a comic book store before getting into politics and speechwriting. He spent more than two decades as a public policy analyst and speechwriter for elected officials at all levels of government, including nearly ten years in the U.S. Senate.

He lives in Virginia with his wife and a very excitable dog who refuses to stay off the furniture.

 

 

Giveaway – today only!

Audiobook Review & Giveaway: It’s Murder, My Son by Lauren Carr

21 May

Book Title: It’s Murder My Son by Lauren Carr
Series: A Mac Faraday Mystery (Book 1)
Category: Adult fiction, 288 pages
Genre: Murder Mystery
Publisher: Lauren Carr
Release date: June 23, 2010
Tour dates: May 1 – June 28, 2019
Content Rating: PG (It’s a murder mystery and there is mild violence. Very mild swearing no F-bombs. No on-stage sex scenes.)

 

 

What started out as the worst day of Mac Faraday’s life would end up being a new beginning. After a messy divorce hearing, the last person that Mac wanted to see was another lawyer. Yet, this lawyer wore the expression of a child bursting to tell his secret. This confidence would reveal Mac as heir to undreamed of fortunes, and lead him to the birthplace of America’s Queen of Mystery and an investigation that will unfold like one of her famous mystery novels.

Soon after she moves to Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, Katrina Singleton learns that life in an exclusive community is not all good. For some unknown reason, a strange man calling himself “Pay Back” begins stalking her. When Katrina is found strangled all evidence points to her terrorist, who is nowhere to be found.

Three months later, the file on her murder is still open when Mac Faraday, sole heir to his unknown birth mother’s home and fortune, moves into the estate next door. Little does he know as he drives up to Spencer Manor that he is driving into a closed gate community that is hiding more suspicious deaths than his DC workload as a homicide detective. With the help of his late mother’s journal, this retired cop puts all his detective skills to work to pick up where the local investigators have left off to follow the clues to Katrina’s executer.

To read reviews, please visitLauren Carr’s page on iRead Book Tours.
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Buy It’s Murder My Son:

 

 

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My Review

I chose to listen to this book after receiving a free audio copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I’ve read several of Lauren Carr’s books about Mac Faraday and his family and they’re always a good read. I was thrilled to listen to the first Mac Faraday book. I knew his story from reading later books but it was nice reading how his life of wealth began as well as the start of his relationships with Gnarly, Archie, and his brother.

Mac started his new life in Deep Creek Lake helping to solve a murder mystery. He just thought he was going to be retired! There’s also a thief that the town is looking for…will he be able to figure out the murder and the thief? It almost seems like one of his mother’s novels come to life. There’s never a dull moment in Deep Creek Lake!

The characters are great, and I feel like I know most of them already. I also like the narrator. I’ve come to associate his voice with Lauren Carr’s books/characters. Now that I’ve finished this book, I’m going to listen to #13 in the Mac Faraday series.

 

 

 

Meet the Author

 

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!Now, Lauren has added one more hit series to her list with the Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries. Set in the quaint West Virginia town of Harpers Ferry, Ice introduces Chris Matheson, a retired FBI agent, who joins forces with other law enforcement retirees to heat up those cold cases that keep them up at night.Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with the author:Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

 

 

 

Giveaway

Ends July 6, 2019

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

Book Review & Giveaway: Dead Gold by Hawk MacKinney

20 May

Book Title: Dead Gold by Hawk MacKinney
Category: Adult Fiction, 221 pages
Genre: Mystery / Suspense
Publisher: Sage Words Publishing
Release date: February 2019
Tour dates: May 20 – 31, 2019
Content Rating: R (for language and graphic murder scenes)

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The dazzling lure of Olympic gold fame is a spotlight glare hotter than any fifteen minutes of fame. During plans for a cross-country ski vacation, Aspen Police Department Criminal Investigation Division Detective David “Spinner” Krespinak and SEAL-bud Craige Ingram are ensnared by glamour, upmarket glitz and bling, and greed in the deadly champagne powder world of a money-gets-you-anything high-country ski-mecca. Body parts start turning up in the most unlikely places. As the two friends start their investigation, A hornet’s nest of the local elite do not want the publicity. For good reason it seems, they may be part of the mystery of bodies and body parts piling up at the morgue.The closer they get to the killer, the more confused they become. Who is behind the murders and mutilation? The list of suspects grows as they close the net on the killer. The tender underbelly of Aspen is not what it seems. It is a raw open sore that oozes blood, drugs, and murder.
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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I read the first three books in The Moccasin Hollow Series so I was happy to read the next book about Craige Ingram and his good friend Spinner Krespinak. It did not disappoint.

Craige finally takes a vacation from Moccasin Hollow to spend some time with his buddy Spinner in Aspen, Colorado. Instead of a typical vacation, though, murders are piling up and Spinner, a detective with the police department, has his hands full. He ends up accepting Craige’s offer of assistance with the murders.

Like the other books in The Moccasin Hollow Series, it took me a while to get into the book, I think partly because the author includes a lot of back story at the beginning so it does stand alone if you haven’t read the other books. Once I got into Dead Gold it was difficult to put down. There’s so much going on, and I had to keep reading to learn how all of the pieces would fit.

If you like a good mystery with some twists and strong characters, I definitely recommend Dead Gold.

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Meet the Author

 

Hawk MacKinney served in the US Navy for over 20 years. While serving as a Navy Commander, he also had a career as a full-time faculty member at several major state medical facilities. He earned two postgraduate degrees with studies in languages and history. He has taught postgraduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem, Israel.

In addition to professional articles and texts on chordate neuroembryology, Hawk has authored several works of fiction—historical love stories, science fiction and mystery-thrillers. His titles are not genre-centered, but plot-character driven. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award, details the family bloodlines of his serial protagonist in the Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series—murder and mayhem with a touch of romance. Hidden Chamber of Death, the first book in the mystery series, was followed by Book 2, Westobou Gold and his latest, Book 3, Curse of the Ancients. All have received national attention. The Bleikovat Event was Vol I in The Cairns of Sainctuarie Science Fiction Series followed by Vol II, The Missing Planets. Vol III, Inanna Phantom is in final galleys.

Connect with the author: Website

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Giveaway!

Ends June 7, 2019

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Book Review: Shades of Justice by Carolyn Arnold

17 May

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NEW RELEASE…

Detective Madison Knight has risked her badge—and her life—in the pursuit of justice before, and she just might need to do so again. Two victims are found murdered and naked in the home of Steven Malone, who is the largest contributor to the Stiles PD.

 

 

 

 

Available to buy from…

      google-play-badge-25   kobo_logo_20   barnes_and_noble_logo_20   smashwords-40-high   
indigo-20        bam-20-high   Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

 

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

This is the ninth book in the series but it’s the just the second one I’ve read. I read the eighth book, Power Struggle, so I already know the characters a little. Shades of Justice does stand on its own though. When things from the past come up, enough backstory is given so that the story is easy to follow.

Detective Madison Knight is assigned to solve the double homicide of the wife of a wealthy businessman and a man that no one can identify. Of course her boss wants Madison to walk on egg shells when around the family because he doesn’t want the police department to lose the family’s contributions. This just adds to the conflict between the two because Madison is determined to do her job no matter what.

Madison is also having a journalist look into some cops who she thinks may be dirty. She can’t do it on her own because she can’t be found investigating these people, especially since they could be tied to the mafia.

On top of everything else that’s going on, Madison’s best friend is getting married in just a few days. She has a lot on her plate and even though she’s focusing on the case and doesn’t spend any time with her boyfriend, he’s still supportive when she needs him. And she needs support because even the wedding is a major source of stress for poor Madison.

Shades of Justice is a detective murder mystery with a lot of suspects, a cold case, a few twists, and a touch of romance. What else can you ask for? I look forward to reading the next Madison Knight book whether I go back and read the 1st one or go on to read #10.

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WHAT TO EXPECT FROM
THE DETECTIVE MADISON KNIGHT SERIES

Murder. Investigation. The pursuit of justice. Do you love trying to figure out whodunit? How about investigating alongside police detectives from the crime scene to the forensics lab and everywhere in between? Do you love a strong female lead? Then I invite you to meet Detective Madison Knight as she solves murders with her male partner, utilizing good old-fashioned investigative work aided by modern technology.

This is the perfect book series for fans of Law & Order, CSI,
Blue Bloods, Rizzoli & Isles, Women’s Murder Club,
and Hawaii Five-O.

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Read in any order or follow the series from the beginning: Ties That Bind, Justified, Sacrifice, Found Innocent, Just Cause, Deadly Impulse, In the Line of Duty, Power Struggle, Life Sentence (Bonus Prequel).

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About the Author

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™. Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada.

Find the author on the following sites…
Website  Facebook  Twitter  Google+  Pinterest  Goodreads  Amazon Author Page

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Audiobook Review & Giveaway: Winter Frost by Lauren Carr

10 May

 

Book Title: Winter Frost (A Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery Book 2) by Lauren Carr
Category: Adult fiction, 290 pages
Genre: Mystery, Crime Fiction, Police Procedural, Cozy
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Release date: January 28, 2019
Tour dates: May 1 – June 28, 2019
Content Rating: PG (It’s a murder mystery and there is mild violence. Very mild swearing no F-bombs. No on-stage sex scenes.)

 

Book Description

It all started with a chance encounter in the city with Blair, his late wife.

Chris Matheson and the Geezer Squad, working under the guise of a book club, dig into the events surrounding his late wife’s supposed death halfway around the globe. A state department employee shoots himself in the back three times. A CIA operative goes missing. A woman is targeted by an international assassin three years after being declared dead in a terrorist attack overseas.

Nothing is as it seems.

In his most personal cold case, Chris fights to uncover why the state department told him that Blair, the mother of his children, had been killed when she was alive. What had she uncovered that has made her a target? Who terrified her so much that she had gone into hiding and why are they now after him?

To read reviews, please visit Lauren Carr’s page on iRead Book Tours.
Buy Winter Frost:

 

 

 

My Review

I chose to listen to this book after receiving a free copy of the audiobook. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I’ve read several of Lauren Carr’s books including the first Chris Matheson novel, ICE. I enjoy her books and I like how the characters from different series are intertwined.

 

Chris Matheson’s wife Blair died overseas, and he has moved on and is dating his childhood sweetheart, Helen. On what is supposed to be a special date night, Chris sees his dead wife! He follows her but instead of catching up to her, he kills a hitman who was after Blair. Now Chris and the Geezer Squad are on the case along with Murphy, a character from another of Lauren Carr’s series.

 

Winter Frost is fast-paced and full of action and mystery. The characters are great, especially Chris’s mom, Doris, and his dog, Sterling. Doris is one of a kind and takes matters into her own hands when she needs to, sometimes with hilarious results. Sterling is a smart dog and can even change radio channels and win at card games.

 
I like the narrator. He’s narrated a lot of these books (if not all). He’s got a good voice and has good pace and timing.

If you like a good mystery with unique characters, a lot of action, humor, and a touch of romance, you’ll enjoy this book. Even though it’s the second book in a series, it stands on its own.
 

 

About the Author

 

 

  Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!Now, Lauren has added one more hit series to her list with the Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries. Set in the quaint West Virginia town of Harpers Ferry, Ice introduces Chris Matheson, a retired FBI agent, who joins forces with other law enforcement retirees to heat up those cold cases that keep them up at night.

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with the author:Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

 

 

 

Giveaway!

Ends July 6, 2019

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

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