Book Review: Rough Way to the High Way by Kelly Mack McCoy

Pastor turned long-haul trucker, Mack, struggles with grief and perceived failures as a minister while he is confronted with a mysterious hitchhiker, smugglers, and a determined killer. After an unbearable tragedy strikes his life, he sells everything he owns and buys a new Peterbilt truck, returning to the trade he learned decades earlier.

Hoping for some windshield therapy and peace of mind behind the wheel of his new rig, Mack gets neither after God nudges him to pick up a hitchhiker near the Jordan State Prison outside Mack’s childhood home of Pampa, Texas.

When his world is ripped apart, he seeks to run away from it all, going as far as to cut off communication with all but a handful of people. But he is pursued by God, who will not let him go. Unbeknownst to Mack, God is equipping His servant with tools to handle events his past education and experience could never have prepared him for.

The story unfolds as the hitchhiker enters Mack’s Peterbilt. The man reminds Mack of his father, a hard living, hard drinking oilfield roughneck who died in prison. God begins to do a work in Mack’s heart while Mack seeks to minister to his new passenger. But Mack soon rues the day he let the hitchhiker into his truck.

His old life in ruins now, Mack learns he has angered a new enemy who threatens to destroy his life on the road as well. Mack suspects he is being followed and is in the sights of a killer who plots a revenge no one could have seen coming.

God works His mysterious way in Mack’s life steamroller-style all the way to an ending that will leave the reader thinking about it long after reading The End at the bottom of the last page.

Rough Way to the High Way is the first of a series of novels about Mack’s adventures on the road as lives are transformed through his new ministry. The first life to be transformed as Rough Way to the High Way develops appears to be that of the hitchhiker. But God is working in Mack’s life all along, preparing him for a new ministry that will transform lives across the country.

Amazon

My Review

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

Mack has decided he needs some “windshield time” after he loses his wife. He’s told it was suicide, but he’s convinced it was murder. The former pastor still lets God guide him through life, which is more than evident throughout his story. No matter what curve ball is thrown at him, Mack is able to handle it through faith and determination. He’s able to analyze events and is often one stop ahead of the authorities. It’s a good thing he’s working with them.

I enjoyed the names that Mack gives various people he comes across: Officer Pipe Cleaner, G-man, Officer Smiley, Mr. Tire Man, etc. I also liked the author’s writing style. It was fast reading with constant action. The one thing that irritated me was that everyone called him “driver.”

If you’re looking for a book that is good for your soul, look no further. This is a good first novel by the author, and I look forward to reading more of his work.

About the Author

Kelly Mack McCoy is a semi (pun intended) retired truck driver turned author. He spent most of his career behind the wheel of an eighteen-wheeler traveling extensively through forty-eight states gathering a lifetime of material for his books. Rough Way to the High Way is his first novel and the first in a series of novels about the adventures of trucker turned pastor turned trucker Mack McClain.

Book Review: Justice Gone by N. Lombardi Jr.

When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down. A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran’s counselor, is caught up in the chase. Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa’s patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers get there first, leading to Darfield’s dramatic capture. Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge? Justice Gone is the first in a series of psychological thrillers involving Dr Tessa Thorpe, wrapped in the divisive issues of modern American society including police brutality and disenfranchised returning war veterans. N Lombardi Jr. is the author of compelling and heartfelt novel The Plain of Jars.

Amazon

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.

It’s not often that I cry at the beginning of a book but with all that is going on in our country right now, the beating of the vet really hit home. While I’m not one to believe all claims of police brutality, I do know it happens and this time, although fictional, was definitely such a case.

Tessa is a counselor for veterans, and she can’t help but care for the men she counsels. When a man she’s been counseling is killed by the police, she and his father seek justice, since the city is obviously going to try to sweep this under the rug. And when another man she counsels is arrested for killing cops, she has her work cut out for her.

I like Tessa although I never felt a real connection to her. It’s obvious that she cares about people and wants to do all she can to make things right. Most of the other characters are realistic and unique in their own way.

After the shocking beginning, I felt that it was slow going at times. Other times it was a page-turner. I found the ending a surprise, so it definitely has a good beginning and a good ending.

Justice Gone is a good legal thriller that I definitely recommend if you can handle the beginning with the beating that is described so well.

About the Author

N. Lombardi Jr, the N for Nicholas, has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, working as a groundwater geologist. Nick can speak five languages: Swahili, Thai, Lao, Chinese, and Khmer (Cambodian).

In 1997, while visiting Lao People’s Democratic Republic, he witnessed the remnants of a secret war that had been waged for nine years, among which were children wounded from leftover cluster bombs. Driven by what he saw, he worked on The Plain of Jars for the next eight years.
Nick maintains a website with content that spans most aspects of the novel: The Secret War, Laotian culture, Buddhism etc.

http://www.plainofjars.net

His second novel, Journey Towards a Falling Sun, is set in the wild frontier of northern Kenya.

His latest novel, Justice Gone, was inspired by the fatal beating of a homeless man by police.

Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Audiobook Review & Giveaway: A Death in Vegas by Christopher Meeks

A Death In Vegas by Christopher Meeks (Now in Audiobook!)

Publisher: White Whisker Books (October, 2019)
Category: Murder Mystery, Crime Thriller, Las Vegas
ISBN: 9781499124551
Tour Date: Mid October-November, 2019
Available in: Audio Book & ebook, 176 PagesDeath in Vegas

 

Book Description:

First published in 2014, in A Death in Vegas, the president of BenBugs, a company that specializes in beneficial bugs for organic gardening, discovers a young woman dead in his Las Vegas hotel suite. She had worked as a sexy lady bug at his convention booth—and he had nothing to do with her death.

While that’s being investigated, the FBI raids his booth on a money-laundering scam that he knows nothing about, either. Soon, the coroner doesn’t have good news. The police and FBI are against him—and his wife cannot be found. He flees to find the answers.

Highly acclaimed, Death In Vegas is being released as an audio book in October, 2019!

 

My Review:

I chose to listen to this book after receiving a free copy. I had read A Death in Vegas 5 years ago and I liked it, so I was happy to listen to it. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I have always liked mystery/suspense novels but I enjoyed this one even more than usual. Christoper Meeks’s writing tells a good story and he gets right to the point. You have to listen to every word or you’ll miss something important.

The main character, Patton Burch, is a regular nice guy with a big heart in a stagnant marriage. When he’s accused of murder by the police and cheating by his wife. He’s an innocent man so he sets out to find out the truth. Suddenly, this bug man has to become a super sleuth. He made me a nervous wreck!

At first, I didn’t care for Patton’s wife but that was just because she reacts to the fact that she thought he cheated on her. Will she ever believe he didn’t cheat on her? 

The narrator did a good job with timing and enunciation. The only issue was a small one with the audio and it was technical.

A Death in Vegas is a fast read full of mystery and suspense. It has a few twists which is always fun. I highly recommend it.

 

 

 

Praise for Death In Vegas 

“Patton is easy to like right from the start. I felt myself feeling sorry for him. In a sense I started routing for him with all of his luck not going his way. I found this mystery to not only be a mystery but a mystery dosed with a bit of comedy and a love story.”-Becky Willis, What You Talking Bout Willis

“DEATH IN VEGAS he reaffirms the fact that Christopher Meeks can take the most quirky combinations of crime and humor and mold them with his magic pen into a novel that simply defies criticism. He has the gift to mold characters with such extensive backstories that after only a few pages as each new character is introduced they become part of the surround-sound family into whose story we have wandered. Meeks is a thorough-going Pro! “-Grady Harp, Amazon Hall of Fame

“The only certainty about a Christopher Meeks novel is that the readers’ senses will be delighted with his originality, superb writing, warmly sympathetic characters and clever plotting. A Death in Vegas neatly fits in the cozy mystery genre and becomes literary fiction in the hands of this deft wordsmith.” –Linda Hitchcock, Midwest Book Review

“A suspenseful story that culminates in a life-or-death situation. Five Stars!” – Jim Chambers, Amazon Top-10 Reviewer

“You can always count on Christopher Meeks for a well written novel; this time Meeks excels at bringing almost a farcical edge to the humor in A Death in Vegas.” – Lori LutesShe Treads Softly

 

About the Author

Award winning author, Christopher Meeks has had stories published in several literary journals, and he has two collections of stories, Months and Seasons and The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea. He also has a new short story collection coming soon.

His novel The Brightest Moon of the Century made the list of three book critics’ Ten Best Books of 2009. His novel Love at Absolute Zero, also made three Best Books lists of 2011, as well as earning a ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Finalist award.

Chris’s two crime novels, Blood Drama and A Death in Vegas have earned much acclaim. He has had three full-length plays mounted, and one, Who Lives? had been nominated for five Ovation Awards, Los Angeles’ top theatre prize. Mr. Meeks teaches English and fiction writing at Santa Monica College, and Children’s Literature at the Art Center College of Design. To read more of his books.

Mr. Meeks teaches English and fiction writing at Santa Monica College, and Children’s Literature at the Art Center College of Design.

Website at: www.chrismeeks.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Christopher-Meeks-212382392140974/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christopher.meeks1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MeeksChris

Buy the Book

Amazon-ebook and paperback
Audible-Coming soon
Barnes&Noble
IndieBound

 

Giveaway 

This giveaway is for the winner’s choice of one print or ebook copy of the book. Print is open to the U.S. only and ebook is available worldwide. There will be 3 winners. This giveaway ends November 1, 2019, midnight pacific time.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Continue reading

Book Review: Uncovering Justice by Angela Kay

Harper Matthews’ life changed forever after encountering a strange passenger on the red-eye. She soon finds herself deep undercover to reveal the hidden truth behind one of the largest human trafficking rings in the world. But Harper learns that the truth doesn’t come without cost.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to RescuingHope.com

Although this book is purely fictional, the subject matter is not. This book deals with triggers such as difficult sexual situations and human trafficking. This is not intended for those under 21 years of age. Please be cautious reading and seek help for PTSD, anxiety, and depression caused by such situations.

Pre-order on Amazon

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.

I have read Angela Kay’s books and Uncovering Justice is a little different from her usual genre. I like her writing, and this book is my favorite so far; however, it’s not for the faint of heart.

Harper Matthews finds herself deep undercover in a trafficking ring. She’s not a cop but she does have some experience as one. She soon realizes that even though she was scared going in, she had no idea what she was getting into. One important thing she did learn was what an undercover cop told her: “You can’t trust anyone.”

This book made me a nervous wreck! Harper is brave and is one of those people who can’t stand by and watch someone hurting, physically or emotionally. She has to do something about it. She also tends to put herself into situations though without thinking through the possible consequences.

Uncovering Justice brings human trafficking to the forefront. We all think of it occurring in third world countries, but it’s a problem here as well. That should be obvious after Jeffrey Epstein being in the news recently. Something needs to be done!

I definitely recommend Uncovering Justice to adults who can handle reading about physical and sexual abuse.

About the Author

Equipped with a professional writing degree from Augusta State University, Angela Kay is a southern lady who spends her days and nights dreaming up new ways to solve dark murders of normal people.

Angela Kay was one of 23 across the United States to win a 2009 playwright contest for her one-act entitled “Digging Deeper.” Because of this, she was able to spend a week in Atlanta at the Horizon Theater Company.

She lives in Augusta, Georgia with her crazy calico, Maggie.

site: www.angelakay.org

email: angelakaysbooks@gmail.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/angelakaysbooks

Book Review & Giveaway: Real Murder by Lauren Carr

When Homicide Detective Cameron Gates befriends Dolly, the little old lady who lives across the street, she is warned not to get lured into helping the elderly woman by investigating the unsolved murder of one of her girls. “She’s senile,” Cameron is warned. “It’s not a real murder.”
Such is not the case. After Dolly is brutally murdered, Cameron discovers that the sweet blue-haired lady’s “girl” was a call girl, who had been killed in a mysterious double homicide.

Meanwhile, Prosecuting Attorney Joshua Thornton is looking for answers to the murder of a childhood friend, a sheriff deputy whose cruiser is found at the bottom of a lake. The deputy had disappeared almost twenty years ago while privately investigating the murder of a local prostitute.

It doesn’t take long for the Lovers in Crime to put their cases together to reveal a long-kept secret that some believe is worth killing to keep undercover.

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.

I have read quite a few of Lauren Carr’s books, and I’m never disappointed. Although she writes several different series, most of the characters are related in some way. So, even when I start a new series, I usually know a little bit about one or more of the characters.

Real Murder is the second book in the Lovers in Crime series. I recently read the first book, Dead on Ice, and I like reading series in order when I can, so I was looking forward to reading this one.

Joshua Thornton and his new wife Cameron are once again involved in a case. An old friend of Joshua’s disappeared several years ago, and his body is finally found. Joshua makes it his mission to find answers. At the same time, Cameron is working on another case involving the murder of a sweet old neighbor. The way these cases end up being intertwined is clever.

The murder mysteries are interesting, but the relationship between Joshua and Cameron is also an important part of Real Murder. They’re newlyweds but they do have their moments. They got married without a big wedding which is causing some friction with Joshua’s adult children. Joshua and Cameron do a good job at making things work even if sometimes it takes them a little while to figure things out. Lauren Carr does a great job of making the characters “real.”

I definitely recommend Real Murder. Along with the mystery and drama there is a little suspense and humor. I’m looking forward to reading the next Lovers in Crime book.

About the Author

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Thorny Rose, Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries—over twenty titles across four fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr 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. 

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors.  

She lives with her husband, and two spoiled rotten German shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV. 

Amazon * iBook * Audible * Barnes & Noble * Kobo Smashwords

Goodreads * Website

Giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/518e72841/

Book Review & Giveaway: Dead on Ice by Lauren Carr

Dead on Ice is the first installment of Lauren Carr’s new series (Lovers in Crime) featuring Hancock County Prosecuting Attorney Joshua Thornton and Pennsylvania State Police homicide detective Cameron Gates.

Spunky Cameron Gates is tasked with solving the murder of Cherry Pickens, a legendary star of pornographic films, whose body turns up in an abandoned freezer. The case has a personal connection to her lover, Joshua Thornton, because the freezer was located in his cousin’s basement. It doesn’t take long for their investigation to reveal that the risqué star’s roots were buried in their rural Ohio Valley community, something that Cherry had kept off her show business bio. She should have kept her hometown off her road map, too—because when this starlet came running home from the mob, it proved to be a fatal homecoming.

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.

I have read quite a few of Lauren Carr’s books, and I’m never disappointed. Although she writes several different series, most of the characters are related in some way. So, even when I start a new series, I usually know a little bit about one or more of the characters.

In Dead on Ice, a body is found in an old freezer in the basement of the cousin of Joshua Thornton. Cameron, Joshua’s girlfriend, is the investigating officer. She has to delve into the town’s past which some find awkward and uncomfortable. But Cameron is a strong woman and up to the task.

I not only like the murder mysteries in this book (yes, mysteries), but I like the relationship that is budding between Joshua and Cameron. And since there are kids involved, it can be complicated. Joshua and Cameron do a good job at making things work even if sometimes it takes them a little while to figure things out.

I definitely recommend Dead on Ice. Along with the mystery and drama there is a little suspense and humor. I’m looking forward to reading the next Lovers in Crime book.

About the Author

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Thorny Rose, Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries—over twenty titles across four fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr 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. 

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors.  

She lives with her husband, and two spoiled rotten German shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV. 

Amazon * iBook * Audible * Barnes & Noble * Kobo Smashwords

Goodreads * Website

Giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/518e72841/

Book Review: The Shape of Night by Tess Gerritsen

A woman trying to outrun her past is drawn to a quiet coastal town in Maine–and to a string of unsolved murders–in this haunting tale of romantic suspense from New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen.

Ava Collette is punishing herself for an unspeakable tragedy. So she flees Boston and rents an old home named Brodie’s Watch on a remote coastal peninsula of Maine, hoping to work on a cookbook inspired by New England cuisine that she’s been trying to finish for months. She immediately feels at peace in the isolated house–until she starts to hear strange noises.

Rumor has it that a sea captain named Brodie has haunted the house for decades. Then, one night, Ava is awakened to find herself face to face with an apparition who looks–and feels–all too real. Meanwhile, there’s been a series of accidental deaths nearby that don’t add up. And as Ava starts to check into the previous renter’s mysterious disappearance, she starts to realize that there’s a disturbing secret some in town are desperate to keep hidden.

Soon all of Ava’s waking hours are consumed by her investigation, and her nights are ignited by Captain Brodie’s ghostly visits. But even as she questions her own sanity, she knows she must uncover the truth before a killer strikes again.

Pre-order on Amazon

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 sold a lot of Tess Gerritsen books when I owned a bookstore, and I enjoyed Rizzoli & Isles on TV, so I was looking forward to reading this book.

Shape of Night is a paranormal psychological thriller. It’s not what I expected, but after a few pages I was hooked.

Ava is full of guilt because of something that happened in Boston, so she moves into Brodie’s Watch for a few months to get away. It’s a big old house that was once owned by Captain Brody who died at sea many years ago. Because they’re doing some construction on it, the rent is affordable and she relishes the time alone to write her newest cookbook.

Ava drinks a lot to help ease the pain of her guilt, so when she sees the ghost of Captain Brody, she’s not sure if he’s real or a figment of her imagination. As she learns more about the house’s past, she realizes that Captain Brody isn’t only real, but that she may be in danger.

The characters in Shape of Night are realistic and flawed just like real people. Ava has a drinking problem, hasn’t had a decent relationship with a man, and is holding a big secret that is tearing her apart. Even though she’s a mess, I liked he. Just like in any small town, the townsfolk are gossips and there are secrets that are kept from outsiders. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes not.

I enjoyed this book more than I expected to when I started it. It kept my interest throughout, I like Tess Gerritsen’s writing style, and there was more than one twist which is always great. It also has a good ending.

About the Author

Internationally bestselling author Tess Gerritsen took an unusual route to a writing career. A graduate of Stanford University, Tess went on to medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, where she was awarded her M.D.

While on maternity leave from her work as a physician, she began to write fiction. In 1987, her first novel was published. Call After Midnight, a romantic thriller, was followed by eight more romantic suspense novels. She also wrote a screenplay, “Adrift”, which aired as a 1993 CBS Movie of the Week starring Kate Jackson.

Tess’s first medical thriller, Harvest, was released in hardcover in 1996, and it marked her debut on the New York Times bestseller list. Her suspense novels since then have been: Life Support (1997), Bloodstream (1998), Gravity (1999), The Surgeon (2001), The Apprentice (2002), The Sinner (2003), Body Double (2004), Vanish (2005), The Mephisto Club (2006), and The Bone Garden (2007). Her books have been translated into 31 languages, and more than 15 million copies have been sold around the world.

As well as being a New York Times bestselling author, she has also been a #1 bestseller in both Germany and the UK. She has won both the Nero Wolfe Award (for Vanish) and the Rita Award (for The Surgeon.) Critics around the world have praised her novels as “Pulse-pounding fun” (Philadelphia Inquirer), “Scary and brilliant” (Toronto Globe and Mail), and “Polished, riveting prose” (Chicago Tribune). Publisher Weekly has dubbed her the “medical suspense queen”.

Now retired from medicine, she writes full time. She lives in Maine. 

Website http://www.tessgerritsen.com/