Book Review: Leave no Trace by Mindy Mejia

There is a place in Minnesota with hundreds of miles of glacial lakes and untouched forests called the Boundary Waters. Ten years ago a man and his son trekked into this wilderness and never returned.

Search teams found their campsite ravaged by what looked like a bear. They were presumed dead until a decade later…the son appeared. Discovered while ransacking an outfitter store, he was violent and uncommunicative and sent to a psychiatric facility. Maya Stark, the assistant language therapist, is charged with making a connection with their high-profile patient. No matter how she tries, however, he refuses to answer questions about his father or the last ten years of his life

But Maya, who was abandoned by her own mother, has secrets, too. And as she’s drawn closer to this enigmatic boy who is no longer a boy, she’ll risk everything to reunite him with his father who has disappeared from the known world.

My Review

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

Maya had her share of problems as a teen, but she has turned her life around and is working as a speech therapist in the same psychiatric facility that she was treated in. But when her boss (and therapist) assigns her to work with Lucas, her world is turned upside down.

Lucas won’t communicate with anyone but Maya because he thinks he remembers her from sometime in the past. He just can’t quite remember when. Because she’s the only one he’ll communicate with, she’s asked to get as much info from him as she can even though he doesn’t seem to need speech therapy. To have her, a speech therapist, as his only therapist seemed a bit unrealistic to me, even if he wouldn’t communicate with anyone else. It makes for a good story, though.

I like these characters. Maya and Lucas are both psychologically damaged, but they’re still good people trying to do the right thing. As their bond grows stronger, Maya is determined to help Lucas get out of the facility and find his father.

Once I started reading this book, I couldn’t put it down. I love books in which the characters are this well developed. It makes me need to keep reading, although I did have to stop once or twice to cry.

Toward the end of Leave No Trace there is suspense added to the already good story. There are also a couple of twists. This is definitely a book I recommend, and I’m going to have to read Everything You Want Me to Be, Mindy Mejia’s last book, soon.

About the Author

My name is Mindy Mejia and I’m a writer. I write because, ever since I was six years old, my favorite game has been pretend. My life doesn’t have symmetry, theme, symbolism, or meditated beauty and I gravitate toward these things like a houseplant to the sun. I love the perfect words; I love how “fierce” and “confounded” and “swagger” look on the page and how my chest expands when I read them. I write because I believe in the reality of my fantasies, the truth in my fabrications. I’ve always had stories sneaking around my head, thrillers like THE DRAGON KEEPER and EVERYTHING YOU WANT ME TO BE, and sometimes I inhabit those stories more than my own life. (Best not to mention that last part to my husband, kids, or boss).

Website https://www.MindyMejia.com
Twitter MejiaWrites

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Audiobook Review & Giveaway: Killer in the Band by Lauren Carr

Summer of Love & Murder

Joshua’s eldest son, Joshua “J.J.” Thornton Jr., has graduated at the top of his class from law school and returns home to spend the summer studying for the bar exam. However, to Joshua’s and Cameron’s shock and dismay, J.J. moves into the main house at Russell Ridge Farm, the largest dairy farm in the Ohio Valley, to rekindle a romance with Suellen Russell, a onetime leader of a rock group who’s twice his age. Quickly, they learn that she has been keeping a deep dark secret.

The move brings long-buried tensions between the father and son to the surface. But when a brutal killer strikes, the Lovers in Crime must set all differences aside to solve the crime before J.J. ends up in the cross hairs of a murderer.

Praise for Lauren Carr’s Mysteries:

“Lauren Carr could give Agatha Christie a run for her money!”

– Charlene Mabie-Gamble, Literary R&R

“As always, Lauren Carr brings an action-packed story that is almost impossible to put down. Her mystery plots have so many twists and turns that I didn’t know if I was coming or going. And the action just didn’t stop from the very beginning till the very end.” – Melina Mason, Melina’s Book Reviews

Buy the Book:

Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble

Add to Goodreads

My Review

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

I had read this book about Cameron Gates and Joshua Thornton and was happy to listen to the audiobook, since I liked it the first time. Even though this is the third book in the series, it definitely stands on its own.

Killer in the Band is about Detective Cameron Gates solving some cold cases that affect members of the Thornton family. There are several stories occurring at the same time about the different members of the Thortons: murder mysteries, family discord, new friendships, and a May-December romance.

The characters are complex and, as usual in Lauren Carr’s books, there are many of them. She always makes it easy to keep them separate, though.

I like that the characters are all flawed in some way just like “real” people and that they try to overcome those flaws as the story progresses. My favorite characters, however, are the animals. From the horse who opens stalls to the rooster who attacks almost everyone, they bring humor to an otherwise suspenseful story.

I’ve listened to enough of Lauren Carr’s books that the narrator seems like an old friend. He does a great job narrating the stories, and I hope he continues to be the narrator in the future.

I definitely recommend Killer in the Band, whether you read it or listen to it, and look forward to reading more of Lauren Carr’s books.

Author’s Bio

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!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, 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, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with Lauren: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

Giveaway

Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card courtesy of Lauren Carr, author of The Root of Murder (open to wherever Amazon.com delivers)

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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/

Book Review: The Circle by Mario Escobar

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: Dead Gold by Hawk MacKinney

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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Audiobook Review: City of Gold by Carolyn Arnold

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Finding the Inca’s lost City of Gold would be the discovery of a lifetime. But failing could mean her death…

Archaeologist Matthew Connor and his friends Cal and Robyn are finally home after a dangerous retrieval expedition in India. While they succeeded in obtaining the priceless Pandu artifact they sought, it almost cost them their lives. Still, Matthew is ready for the next adventure. Yet when new intel surfaces indicating the possible location of the legendary City of Gold, Matthew is hesitant to embark on the quest.

Not only is the evidence questionable but it means looking for the lost city of Paititi far away from where other explorers have concentrated their efforts. As appealing as making the discovery would be, it’s just too risky. But when Cal’s girlfriend, Sophie, is abducted by Matthew’s old nemesis who is dead-set on acquiring the Pandu statue, Matthew may be forced into action. Saving Sophie’s life means either breaking into the Royal Ontario Museum to steal the relic or offering up something no one in his or her right mind can refuse–the City of Gold.

Now Matthew and his two closest friends have to find a city and a treasure that have been lost for centuries. And they only have seven days to do it. As they race against the clock, they quickly discover that the streets they seek aren’t actually paved with gold, but with blood.

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Available to buy from the following sites…
Amazon   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes & Noble   Apple iBooks   GPlay   Kobo  Audible

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Action-adventure books for the mystery lover
Does treasure hunting excite you? 
What about the thought of traveling the globe and exploring remote regions to uncover legends that the world has all but forgotten? 
If so, strap yourself in for an adventure with modern-day archaeologist Matthew Connor and his two closest friends. Indiana Jones meets the twenty-first century. 

 This is the perfect book series for fans of Indiana JonesLara CroftNational Treasure, and The Relic Hunter.

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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 am a Carolyn Arnold fan and City of Gold is one of my favorites so I was happy to listen to it. 

I like Carolyn Arnold’s writing style. The dialogue is enjoyable, witty, and her descriptions make things come alive. They can be a little lengthy occasionally but that’s just my personal preference. There are a couple of twists which make the book even more exciting. 

The characters are engaging and their relationships are complex. Matthew’s relationships seem to be the most complex, not only with his father but with the women in his life.

City of Gold is full of adventure and suspense. It definitely reminds me of Indiana Jones and I love those movies. Along with the adventure, though, back home is a detective doing solid police work. 

The narrator, Garrett M. Brown, did a great job. He has a good voice for narration and his timing and pace are good.

I definitely recommend City of Gold for anyone who enjoys adventure and suspense.

 

 

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… 
Newsletter   Website   Facebook   Twitter    Google+   Pinterest   Goodreads   Amazon Author Page

 

 

Book Review: Thicker Than Water by Rachel McLean

 

Six years after floods made her family homeless, Jess Dyer has found safety on the wild North Yorkshire coast. Her sister-in-law Ruth is forging a role as doctor to their community of refugees and the rock around which the family revolves.

But the family is haunted by memories of the journey north and the loss of their mother Sonia. And their community is under attack from the local population.

When Jess answers a distress call at sea, she brings strangers to their village and puts Ruth in jeopardy. Jess must calm the community, mount a rescue mission and keep her brother Ben from tipping into insanity.
Will she succeed? And will she find Ruth before it’s too late?

‘Thicker Than Water’ is a gripping thriller about family, belonging and revenge.

Purchase Links:
UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Thicker-Than-Water-gripping-belonging-ebook/dp/B07CVKXGRD
UShttps://www.amazon.com/Thicker-Than-Water-gripping-belonging-ebook/dp/B07CVKXGRD

 

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 read The Division Bell trilogy and liked it, so I was happy to read Thicker Than Water. It took me quite a while to get into A House Divided (the first Division Bell book), and when I started this book, I was afraid it was going to be the same. Thankfully, I was wrong!

A community on the North Yorkshire coast has worked hard to survive after floods that wiped out their homes six years ago. They’re self-sufficient but on edge because they know there is danger lurking outside their community, and they always need to be on guard. At the same time, though, many believe they should help others in need. But how do they know when they can trust strangers?

Even with all of their precautions, they rescue strangers who are actually predators and they kidnap four of the women. Jess, the new leader of the community, heads a rescue party to save the women. Her sister-in-law, Ruth, is one of those kidnapped, and her brother is not dealing with it well. 

Meanwhile, Ruth is a strong woman and is determined to find a way to escape. The tension is intense as she makes her plans and deals with a man who she knows is going to rape her soon. Can she put him off long enough? She also knows there’s at least one other woman being kept captive. How can she save her? Or can she?

Thicker Than Water is filled with suspense as well as the complications of the relationships between characters who are realistic. I enjoy Rachel McLean’s writing and the more I read, the better it gets! I can’t wait to read Sea of Lies.  

 

 

Author Bio

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 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/