Book Review: One of Us by Rachel McLean

‘Leave, or die.’

Jess Dyer has won safety for her sister-in-law Ruth and proved her worth as the leader of her refugee community.

Sarah Evans has stood up to her parents and discovered who she can trust.

But the villagers still aren’t welcome. When the local population expresses its anger, can Jess keep everyone safe? And can she hold it together as Steward when someone she loves dies?

And how will Sarah react when her new fiance Martin receives death threats, telling him he must leave her, and their village?

One Of Us is a gripping thriller about belonging and acceptance. It’s the third book in the Village trilogy and the sequel to Sea Of Lies.

Purchase Link:

https://books2read.com/one-of-us

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 had read Thicker Than Water and Sea of Lies, the first two books in this trilogy, and was looking forward to reading the last one.

Six months ago, several women were kidnapped from the refugee community but the women are still trying to deal with the abduction. A couple of them are dealing in healthy ways and a couple aren’t dealing with it very well.

At the same time, the nearby town of Filey has had an explosion and a lot of the citizens have lost their homes. They’re now expecting the refugee community to share their housing even though they’re not welcome in town.

It seems like all hell has broken loose, and the steward of the refugee community, Jess, is having trouble keeping up. Not only does she have a lot to take care of but her brother fights her at every turn. It’s quite annoying because it doesn’t matter what the subject is, he disagrees with Jess.

There is a wide array of characters. I like how the author portrays most of them as all good or all bad at the beginning but by the end, the reader learns that not everything is as it seems. I was surprised at how much a couple of the characters had changed since the first book.

The end of the trilogy was a little unexpected but it was a good ending.

About the Author

My name’s Rachel McLean and I write thrillers that make you think.

What does that mean?

In short, I want my stories to make your pulse race and your brain tick.

Do you often get through a thriller at a breakneck pace but are left with little sense of what the book was really about? Do you sometimes read literary fiction but just wish something would damn well happen?

My books aim to fill that gap.

If you’d like to know more about my books and receive extra bonus content, please join my book club at rachelmclean.com/bookclub. I’ll send you a weekly email with news about my writing research and progress, stories and bonus content for each book. And I’ll let you know when my books are on offer.

Social Media Links –

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rachelmcwrites

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rachelmcleanwrites/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachelmcwrites/

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Book Review: Two Mothers by K. Kris Loomis

A mother’s depression. A ghost’s obsession. A baby caught in the crosshairs.

Anna Jenkins is a new mother suffering from postpartum fatigue. While her husband is finishing up his Army duties before retirement, she travels to South Carolina to set up their house, an old farmhouse her husband bought sight unseen.

It’s not long before Anna realizes there is something eerie about her new home. Although it’s the dog days of summer, the house is unusually cool even without the A/C running. And her baby, who usually screams nonstop, is mysteriously soothed whenever placed in the antique crib that came with the house.

When she uncovers a long-buried secret, Anna must claw her way out of her despondency to save her baby from the clutches of the dead. Will she find the strength to save her child? Or will a disturbed spirit get what it came for?

A psychological slow burn perfect for anyone who likes things that go bump in the night.

 
 
 

 

 

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.

Two Mothers is a novella about a mother in the 1960s and a mother in the present.  Two women connected by a home, both new mothers, and both depressed. Knowing that the house was haunted before Anna did made me wary every time she left the baby in the antique crib. I didn’t think any harm would come to the baby though, would it?

I like how the author is able to make the characters seem like “normal” people. I’ve read several of her short stories and she was able to do that in those as well. Her writing is also easy to follow. This was a quick and enjoyable read and even had a twist. I’m looking forward to reading more by Kris Loomis.

 

 

About the Author

K. Kris Loomis is an eclectic author who writes both fiction and nonfiction books. She is the author of the novel, The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane, as well as the short story collection, The Monster in the Closet and Other Stories. Kris has also written several books about yoga and meditation and a humorous travelogue about the time she, her husband and their handicapped cat moved to South America called Thirty Days In Quito: Two Gringos and a Three-Legged Cat Move to Ecuador!

When Kris isn’t at her standing desk writing, you will find her playing chess, folding an origami crane, or practicing a Beethoven sonata on the piano. She lives in Rock Hill, SC with her husband and two cats.

https://www.facebook.com/kkrisloomis

https://www.instagram.com/kkrisloomis/

https://www.kkrisloomis.com/

https://www.twitter.com/kkrisloomis

 

Book Review & Giveaway: Psycho in Paradise by Deborah Brown

NEW RELEASE!

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In the Florida Keys, you have to take the shady with the sunny. And Tarpon Cove has more than fifty shades of shady going on.

Shady No. 1: When Brad is caught with the dead body of his crazy ex-girlfriend—a body he swears was planted—the Westin family gathers to plan a strategy. That family now including Fab, Didier, and Creole by default.

Shady No. 2: Fab is having a hard time keeping her promise to go legit. It’s not her fault she tends to attract clients who want their problems solved without getting the cops involved. Trying to keep her reined in is a full-time job, and a thankless one, since Madison keeps getting roped in on “easy” jobs that wind up getting the kind of messy that require specialized cleanup.

Shady No. 3: Ferreting out the info needed to save Brad means using sources so deep in the friend-of-a-friend network they’re anonymous.

The only thing not shady is Creole’s love. Madison’s kept her promise never to lie to him. Mostly. But when the killer wafts like smoke through the cracks in the investigation, it reminds her she should’ve eaten dessert first more often.


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!”

Available to buy from…..

Amazon.com Amazon UK Paperback Barnes & Noble

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My Review

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

I’ve read most of the books in this series and I’ve fallen in love with the 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 are just trying to stay away from the more dangerous cases. Somehow, though, that doesn’t always work out.

Brad, Madison’s brother, is caught with the body of his dead crazy ex-girlfriend in his new SUV. Although his family knows that he’s innocent, it’s going to be difficult to keep him out of prison unless they can figure out who killed her. The police are investigating, but Fab and Madison feel the need to get involved, which has both good and bad consequences.

Both Madison and Fab are engaged and I’ve been waiting for a wedding. It looks like one is finally on the horizon. And there a couple new family members! The Paradise books are fun to read but they also tend to tug at your heartstrings. What more could you want from a book when it can make you laugh and cry, sometimes on the same page?

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. 

 

 



South Florida author Deborah Brown books are infectious.

 

“My love for these quirky characters grows with every book! Hope they never end!”

 

“Deborah Brown has done it again. I don’t think I could ever get tired of Madison, Fab, and the rest of the gang. These books are always laugh out loud funny and this one is no different. Psycho in Paradise has plenty of twists and turns that kept me turning pages. It’s filled with adventure, suspense, thrills, and fun characters. It’s impossible to put down.”

Above reviews from Amazon

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Read an excerpt HERE

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Also available in the Paradise Series

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Christmas in Paradise (Florida Keys Mystery Series Book 13)

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About the Author


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 Google+ Goodreads Amazon Author page Bookbub

Continue reading

Book Review & Giveaway: Boy on the Beach by R.D. Maddux

Book Title: Boy on the Beach by R.D. Maddux
Category: Adult Fiction; 304 pages
Genre: Mystery / Thriller
Publisher: Ezekiel 12 Publications
Release date: March 11, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (There are implied sex scenes but no graphic descriptions of lovemaking. There is one scene with some violence.)

 

Book Description

Andrew Foster, a real estate developer in San Diego, is a man suddenly haunted by his past. Memories, like specters from his former life of sex, drugs and rock and roll have come crashing into his current world of business in this sunny coastal city. The ominous, repeated appearance of a black SUV at the beach where he meets his sister each week, has triggered fears that it’s payback time for a bad choice he made years ago.

To add to his frustrations, his hopes of a big breakthrough in the San Diego real estate market haven’t come to pass. He’s starting to wonder if his visions of success will ever come true when an investor offers to finance his dream project. Soon things start to fall into place for Andrew in business, life, and even love. He starts dating the beautiful and business-savvy Nicole but even with her at his side he can’t seem to shake the ghosts of his past. As the relationship with Nicole deepens, Andrew opens up to her about the many loves and adventures that have taken him from the crazy days of living in Big Sur and Joshua Tree to business success in San Diego. Her wise insights help him face the character flaws that have caused him to fail in his past relationships.

Rounding out his social life is his once-a-week task of assisting his sister with her nanny job watching a young boy named Chandler. They build sand castles on the beach and enjoy the beauty of nature together. But the now ominous weekly appearance of a strange car at the beach has awakened Andrew’s fears. Is the boy in danger? Or worse, has an enemy from Andrew’s past come seeking revenge and now Chandler’s caught in the middle?

A strange twist of events threatens to destroy Andrew’s dreams, but as he searches for answers, a sudden revelation offers hope of a future he never imagined.

To follow the tour and read reviews, please visit R.D. Maddux’s page on iRead Book Tours.

 

Buy the Book:
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My Review

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

Andrew Foster is a complicated character. I wanted to like him and he has some good characteristics but when he was young he was self-centered and even cruel at times. Now that he’s older, he realizes that he made some mistakes but he doesn’t really seem to regret those mistakes. He believes he may finally have a chance to make enough money to be well off and not have to worry about paying the bills that he’s never been able to keep up with. He’s also met a woman and after all of his failed relationships, he may have learned enough to make this one work. He’s never had children, but his sister is a nanny for a young boy who comes to think of Andrew as a good friend. Everything seems to be coming together…

I knew that some twist had to be coming as I read but I had to keep reading to find out exactly what it was. I guessed a couple of the twists but not all of them. Boy on the Beach kept my attention most of the time. Sometimes Andrew’s thoughts and feelings were a bit repetitive. I think it would be much better with a good edit, not only because of the repetition but there were quite a few punctuation mistakes.

 

 
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Meet the Author

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R.D. Maddux has story telling in his blood. Since he was young he’s always loved a good tale. He’s been writing seriously since he was in high school and college. His novels range from Mystery and Intrigue to Sci-fi/fantasy. With Boy On The Beach he’s set the story in modern America, to be exact, on the West Coast of California. He’s a native of the golden state and has been a resident of San Diego since 1987. Before that he grew up in northern California and lived in the Sacramento Valley and Bay Area with sojourns in some of the beautiful parts of our state.

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Living in California for over 60 years he couldn’t help but watch the way things have changed in our culture and the impact this coast makes on the rest of America and the world. So even though Boy On The Beach is fiction, like most serious novels, it is not without a context and comment on issues we all face in our changing world. It takes place in real locations that are very familiar to him and its characters, which are fictional, no doubt have their counterparts in the real world. Boy On The Beach is a story of intrigue, suspense, revenge, love and redemption with flashbacks to the era when sex, drugs and rock and roll set our culture on it’s inevitable journey to our present day. This idea has been rattling around in his heart and mind for a decade and it’s finally coming to the page.

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

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Enter the Giveaway!

Ends Aug 25, 2018

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Book Review & Giveaway: Path of Lucas: The Journey He Endured by Susanne Bellefeuille

Book Title: Path of Lucas: The Journey He Endured

by Susanne Bellefeuille
Category: Adult Fiction, 350 pages
Genre: Fiction, Based on a True Story, Romance, Drama
Publisher: Balboa Press
Release date: December 26, 2015
Tour dates: August 21 to Sept 1, 2017
Content Rating: PG (for words Oh God, damn and there is kissing)

 

Description

Path of Lucas follows Lucas Clarkson who is a simple man, a family man, and a hard working farmer’s son. From a small town in Eastern Ontario, the author, Susanne Bellefeuille, brings us on Lucas’s journey through the trials and tribulations of his life.

Lucas’s path is not as simple as the man he’s portrayed to be. From the days spent working on his dad’s farm to becoming a successful mechanic, with a genuine heart and his incredible strength, Lucas faces many difficult decisions. The choices he makes may be the difference between realizing his dreams and keeping his family together.

Based on true events, this is Susanne Bellefeuille’s first novel.

Buy the Book: 

Amazon.ca ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble


Watch the Trailer:
 

 

My Review

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

Path of Lucas is based on a true story which I didn’t realize until the end of the book. I enjoyed the story and the fact that it was based on the story of the author’s father made it even more interesting.

Lucas Clarkson is a hard worker and works for his father on his farm even though he hates the work (although he never complains). He finally gets the chance to go after his dream of being a mechanic but when his parents ask him to come back home because of their finances and circumstances beyond their control, he can’t say no. Although Lucas doesn’t want to return home, he goes back because they’re his family and they need him. Such a good son!

As far as Lucas’s own family, he falls in love with Isabelle, a poor neighbor girl who doesn’t speak English when they meet. Her sister acts as interpreter and they each learn enough of the other’s language to be able to start dating. I found Isabelle’s dedication to her family as inspiring as Lucas’s dedication to his. She didn’t want to marry right away because she had to help support her poor family. When she becomes pregnant, however, they end up marrying sooner than planned.

I liked this book but it would have been so much better if it had been edited. The one thing that really stood out was the dialogue. It seemed stilted and characters said each other’s names several times during one conversation which was distracting.

Path of Lucas has love, tragedy, drama, and family loyalty and tells the story of someone whose path is not the one he chooses, but he makes the best of it and his life is still happy and full of love. This is a good book that could be a great book with some editing and work on making the dialogue sound natural.

 

Meet the Author

 
Susanne Bellefeuille is a sister, mother, grandmother, and an inspirational mentor to many people. Graduating from the social service worker program at St. Lawrence College in Cornwall, Ontario, Susanne spends countless hours offering her professional aid, guidance, and most importantly, her friendship to people with intellectual disabilities.
 
Susanne’s life changed remarkably after the realization that her desires would require her to complete college and set a better example for her children and grandchildren. From being a high school dropout and a mother at the young age of seventeen, Susanne has journeyed a considerable distance to become the successful person she is today. Her journey is not only to write books but also to help people reach their full potential, as she truly believes that everyone deserves the opportunity to shine in life.
 
Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

 

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Sept 9

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The Amazon purchase link in this post is an affiliate link. Purchasing through it helps sustain Bound 4 Escape.

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Red-tailed Hawk by Nancy Schoellkopf

When Mariah Easter encounters a large hawk in her urban midtown neighborhood, her father Charlie is concerned. He can see a wild and mystical path opening before his daughter, a path he himself would never be able to resist. The hawk soon reappears: engraved with its twin on a golden thimble that has been an Easter family heirloom for generations. After the thimble is stolen at a funeral reception, Mariah and her mother Samantha set off on a road trip to find it, a journey that will bring healing to the grieving family and change Mariah’s life forever.

Red-tailed Hawk is a coming of age story, the tale of a young woman’s quest to discover the source of her own longing and to understand the mystical legacy of her family.

 

Buy the Book: Amazon  ~  Add to Goodreads

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I previously read Yellow-billed Magpie and was happily surprised to realize that Red-tailed Hawk has the same characters several years later.

Yellow-billed Magpie was about Samantha’s journey and Red-tailed Hawk is about her daughter Mariah’s journey when she is 17 years old.

Samantha was married to Mariah’s father, Charlie, and when Charlie dies, the family has to learn how to deal with his death. They each have their own way of coping but Mariah ends up on a journey and learns a lot about herself. I don’t like how inconsiderate she is, though, of her mother’s feelings.

The characters are interesting and Nancy Schoellkopf does a good job at portraying them like real people, each with flaws and each with strengths. I especially liked how all of the relationships grew in such a short time while everyone was grieving.

I definitely recommend Red-tailed Hawk if you like women’s fiction with a touch of fantasy. It’s the second book about this family but can easily be read as a stand alone.

 

 

 

 

Author’s Bio:

Nancy Schoellkopf is the author of Yellow-billed Magpie, the first in her Easter Family series. Nancy has been telling stories and writing poems for many lifetimes. It goes without saying that she’d need a second income, so this time around she has happily taught amazing children in special education classes in two urban school districts in Sacramento, California. A full time writer now, she enjoys lavishing attention on her cats, her garden, and her intriguing circle of family and friends.

 

Connect with the author:    Website  ~   Twitter  ~   Facebook

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Giveaway

Win a signed copy of Red-tailed Hawk. One winner will also get a $20 Amazon gift card (3 winners total, open to USA & Canada)

Ends May 6

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Book Review: Jenna’s Journey by Julie Ryan

Jenna's Journey Front Cover SMTitle: Jenna’s Journey

Author: Julie Ryan

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Mystery

Publication Date: September 8, 2015

About the Book

Leaving town, heading to the Greek Isles without telling husband or friends, is heady medicine for a failing marriage. Seduced by Grecian sun and sky, Jenna innocently buys a bewitching urn that tangles her into the web of a criminal world more sinister than she ever imagined. Romance is always afoot in the Greek Isles and Jenna gets a large helping with the seductive Nikos. Family is important in Greece, and Nikos helps Jenna learn all the richness it brings, and pass it on to the next generation.

Twenty-five years later, Allie takes this same journey, and a little time travel, a big “what if” dream, a fated meeting with a taxi driver and a sprinkle of paranormal intrigue intertwine in a story that spans the lives of a mother and daughter. Twisty as the streets in a Greek island village, full of unexpected characters found on a faraway vacation along with frightening threats from nasty villains, Jenna’s Journey will keep you turning pages far into the night.

Working out a lifetime of secrets, imagining what might have been, eluding nasty antiquities thieves, exploring a new love—how would you have managed? Follow Jenna’s adventure and see how she changed her life in one journey!

 

My Review

I received a free ecopy of this book for an honest review.

This is a difficult book to review because it has some really good elements, some not so good, and some I still haven’t decided on.

After 5 years, Jenna decides on the spur of the moment that she needs to get away from her husband, Greg, for a while to think after she realizes that he doesn’t want children. She goes to Greece without telling anyone where she is going, and she has quite an adventure, including romance and being followed by criminals.

I enjoyed the author’s writing style for the most part. I did do some skipping of paragraphs at times when Jenna was thinking about her relationship with Greg. She decided over and over that the best thing would be to leave him. Although that’s actually how many of us come to a decision, going over and over it in our heads, it was a bit too much to read over and over. I enjoyed the descriptions of Greece. They were well done but not over done.

There were some questions left unanswered which I would have liked resolved. There were also some inconsistencies that confused me. I liked that Jenna had a choice to make and we get to see the results of both choices. The end, however, had me flabbergasted. I can’t say that I like how it ended, but because of the end I did think about this book for a couple of days trying to figure out exactly what the author was trying to convey.

 

Available on Amazon.

 

About the Author 

Julie Ryan Preferred Author pic 03 600x400 300dpiJulie Ryan’s roots are in a small mining village in South Yorkshire. After a degree in French Language and Literature, wanderlust kicked in and she lived and worked in France, Poland, Thailand and Greece. Her spirit enriched, her imagination fired, Julie started a series of mystery romances, thrillers set in the Greek Isles.

Jenna’s Journey is the first novel in Julie Ryan’s Greek Islands Series, a series she did not set out to create but which took on its own life and grew, rich and fascinating. This is the first of three published so far, and now as a newly released edition in the USA from Booktrope, it promises to delight readers looking for the hidden dark sides of dream vacations in the Greek Isles.

A prolific and well-known book review blogger, Julie does her writing and reviewing from rural Gloucestershire, where she lives with her husband, son and dippy cat with half a tail.

Social Media Links for Julie Ryan

Website/blog for the Greek Isles series:   https://thegreekurn.wordpress.com/

Book review websitehttp://www.allthingsbookie.com/

Blog: http://juliesworldofbooks.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/julie.ryan.3114

Twitter: @julieryan18

 

Background for the Book 

Jenna’s Journey is the first novel in the Greek Islands Series series. The story was inspired by the time I lived in Greece during the 1980s. Some thirty years later I was looking out of the window of my home in Gloucestershire on a wintry morning, idly wondering how my life would have been different if I’d stayed in Greece. I hadn’t intended to write a novel. Jenna’s Journey started life as a short story and thanks to a timely encounter with a fellow writer who persuaded me to turn it into a novel, it took on a life of its own and became the start of the Greek Island mystery series.

I’ve always been interested in fate or destiny, whatever you wish to call it, and this book is about all the ‘what ifs’ in life. It’s also about grabbing a chance of happiness with both hands when it’s offered – life really is too short!