Mailbox Monday


Mailbox Monday

According to Marcia, “Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Click on title for synopsis via GoodReads.

Monday: (09/20/21)
The Night Shift by Alex Finlay~ Kindle from St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley

Tuesday: (09/21/21)
Widow Falls by Kiersten Modglin ~ Kindle from Personal purchase

Monday: (09/22/21)
The Magnolia Palace by Fiona Davis~ Kindle from Penguin Group/Dutton via NetGalley

Monday: (09/23/21)
The Pilots Daughter by Meredith Jaeger ~ Kindle from Penguin Group/Dutton via NetGalley


#Review | The Trapped Wife by Samantha Hayes

The Trapped Wife by Samantha Hayes
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Published by Bokouture
Publication Date: September 8, 2021
ASIN: ‎ B0977J5ZBG
Pages: 354
Review Copy From: Bookouture via NetGalley
Edition: Kindle
My Rating: 4

Synopsis (via GR)

My family gathers around the large oak table in our beautifully renovated home. I’ve put on a dress and lit candles, and there’s a wonderful aroma coming from the dinner you’ve so lovingly prepared. I feel your hand squeeze mine as you top up my glass and ask about my day as a doctor in our small town. It’s the perfect domestic scene, except for one tiny fact: I think my husband is dead, and you are just another patient of mine…

I had no choice but to let you in. If I laugh at your jokes and run my fingers through your hair, maybe I can delete the photos on your phone and find the truth about the night I can’t remember, just before my husband left on the trip he never returned from. Perhaps my son and I will have a chance at a normal life again.

But as I carefully piece together the shards of what really happened that fateful night, only one thing can possibly be true: everyone is lying, even me…

My Thoughts

After reading The Liar’s Wife I was excited to see that Ms. Hayes had a new book out and that I had to get my hands on a copy.

I found the first third of the book to be very slow. And I have to be honest that a couple of times, I was thinking of putting this one aside. But my gut told me to keep going, especially after checking out some reviews that had been posted.

Then the second third of the book I felt that I had figured the plot out, but I had to keep reading to see if I was right. Was I?

Then BAM!!! The last third of the book was so suspenseful that I couldn’t read, nor turn the pages fast enough!!! The story continued at breakneck speed that I found myself holding my breath

The conclusion was hair raising that I finished reading it with my mouth wide open because it was so unexpected.

Ms. Hayes has written another great read!!! Now I wait for her next novel!!

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely!!!

Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

I received a complimentary copy from XXX via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.


  • This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
  • I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
  • I do not have any affiliation with or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

    Trace Of Doubt by DiAnn Mills | #Showcase #Interview #Giveaway

    Trace of Doubt

    by DiAnn Mills

    September 1-30, 2021 Tour


    Trace of Doubt by DiAnn Mills

    Bestselling and award-winning author DiAnn Mills delivers a heart-stopping story of dark secrets, desperate enemies, and dangerous lies.

    Fifteen years ago, Shelby Pearce confessed to murdering her brother-in-law and was sent to prison. Now she’s out on parole and looking for a fresh start in the small town of Valleysburg, Texas. But starting over won’t be easy for an ex-con.

    FBI Special Agent Denton McClure was a rookie fresh out of Quantico when he was first assigned the Pearce case. He’s always believed Shelby embezzled five hundred thousand dollars from her brother-in-law’s account. So he’s going undercover to befriend Shelby, track down the missing money, and finally crack this case.

    But as Denton gets closer to Shelby, he begins to have a trace of doubt about her guilt. Someone has Shelby in their crosshairs. It’s up to Denton to stop them before they silence Shelby—and the truth—forever.

    Praise for Trace of Doubt:

    “Well-researched… with some surprising twists along the way. In Trace of Doubt, Mills weaves together a tale of faith, intrigue, and suspense that her fans are sure to enjoy.” – STEVEN JAMES, award-winning author of SYNAPSE and EVERY WICKED MAN

    Trace of Doubt is a suspense reader’s best friend. From page one until the end, the action is intense and the storyline keeps you guessing.” – EVA MARIE EVERSON, bestselling author of FIVE BRIDES and DUST

    “DiAnn Mills serves up a perfect blend of action, grit, and heart… Trace of Doubt takes romantic suspense to a whole new level.” – JAMES R. HANNIBAL, award-winning author of THE PARIS BETRAYAL

    “Filled with high stakes, high emotion, and high intrigue.” – JLYNN H. BLACKBURN, award-winning author of UNKNOWN THREATand ONE FINAL BREATH

    Book Details:

    Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Romance, Romantic Suspense
    Published by: Tyndale House Publishers
    Publication Date: September 7th 2021
    Number of Pages: 432
    ISBN: 1496451856 (ISBN13: 9781496451859)
    Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | | Tyndale | Books-A-Million | Murder By The Book | Goodreads

    Read an excerpt:



    Would I ever learn? I’d spent too many years looking out for someone else, and here I was doing the same thing again. Holly had disappeared after I sent her to the rear pantry for potatoes. She’d been gone long enough to plant and dig them up. I needed to get those potatoes boiling to feed hungry stomachs.

    I left the kitchen to find her. The hallway to the pantry needed better lighting or maybe fewer corners. In any event, uneasiness swirled around me like a dust storm.

    A plea to stop met my ears. I raced to the rear pantry fearing what I’d find.

    Four women circled Holly. One held her arms behind her back, and the other three took turns punching her small body. My stomach tightened. I’d been in her shoes, and I’d do anything to stop the women from beating her.

    “Please, stop,” Holly said through a raspy breath. For one who was eighteen years old, she looked fifteen.

    “Hey, what’s going on?” I forced my voice to rise above my fear of them.

    “Stay out of it, freak.”

    I’d run into this woman before, and she had a mean streak. “What’s she done to you?” I eyed the woman.

    “None of your business unless you want the same.”

    “It’s okay, Shelby. I can handle this.” Holly’s courageous words would only earn her another fist to her battered face.

    And it did.

    “Enough!” I drew my fists and stepped nose to nose with the leader.

    The four turned on me. I’d lived through their beatings before, and I would again. I fell and the kicks to my ribs told me a few would be broken.

    A whistle blew, and prison guards stopped the gang from delivering any more blows to Holly or me. They clamped cuffs on the four and left Holly and me on the floor with reassurance help was on its way.

    I’d been her age once and forced to grow up fast. No one had counseled me but hard knocks, securing an education, and letting Jesus pave the way. I’d vowed to keep my eyes and ears open for others less fortunate.

    Holly’s lip dripped blood and a huge lump formed on the side of her head. I crawled to her. “Are you okay?”

    “Not sure. Thank you for standing up for me. I thought they would kill me. Why do they do this? I’ve never done a thing to them.”

    “Because they can. They want to exert power, control. Stick by me, and I’ll do my best to keep you safe.”


    I tightened my grip on the black trash bag slung over my shoulder containing my personal belongings—parole papers, a denim shoulder bag from high school, a ragged backpack, fifty dollars gate money, my driver’s license at age sixteen, and the clothes I’d worn to prison fifteen years ago.

    The bus slowed to pick me up outside the prison gates, its windshield wipers keeping pace with the downpour. The rain splattered the flat ground in a steady cadence like a drum leading a prisoner to execution. I stepped back to avoid the splash of muddy water from the front tires dipping into a pothole. Air brakes breathed in and out, a massive beast taking respite from its life labors.

    The door hissed open. At the top of the steps, a balding driver took my ticket, no doubt recognizing the prison’s release of a for- mer inmate. He must have been accustomed to weary souls who’d paid their debts to society. The coldness glaring from his graphite eyes told me he wagered I’d be locked up again within a year. Maybe less. I couldn’t blame him. The reoffend stats for female convicts like me soared high.

    For too many years, I imagined the day I left prison would be bathed in sunlight. I’d be enveloped in welcoming arms and hear encouraging words from my family.

    Reality hosted neither.

    I moved to the rear of the bus, past a handful of people, and found a seat by myself. All around me were those engrossed in their devices. My life had been frozen in time, and now that I had permission to thaw, the world had changed. Was I ready for the fear digging its claws into my heart?

    The cloudy view through the water-streaked window added to my doubts about the future. I’d memorized the prison rules, even prayed through them, and now I feared breaking one unknowingly.

    The last time I’d breathed free air, riding the bus was a social gathering—in my case, a school bus. Kids chatted and laughter rose above the hum of tires. Now an eerie silence had descended.

    I hadn’t been alone then.

    My mind drifted back to high school days, when the future rested on maintaining a 4.0 average and planning the next party. Maintaining my grades took a fraction of time, while my mind schemed forbidden fun. I’d dreamed of attending college and exploring the world on my terms.

    Rebellion held bold colors, like a kaleidoscope shrouded in black light. The more I shocked others, the more I plotted something darker. My choices often seemed a means of expressing my creativity. While in my youth I viewed life as a cynic. By the time I was able to see a reflection of my brokenness and vowed to change, no one trusted me.

    All that happened . . .

    Before I took the blame for murdering my brother-in-law. Before I traded my high school diploma and a career in interior design for a locked cell.

    Before I spent years searching for answers.

    Before I found new meaning and purpose.

    How easy it would be to give in to a dismal, gray future when I longed for blue skies. I had to prove the odds against me were wrong.


    Excerpt from Trace of Doubt by DiAnn Mills. Copyright 2021 by DiAnn Mills. Reproduced with permission from DiAnn Mills. All rights reserved.


    Check Out This Fab Trailer for Trace of Doubt:


    Author Bio:

    DiAnn Mills

    DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She is a storyteller and creates action-packed, suspense-filled novels to thrill readers. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests.

    DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is the director of the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, Mountainside Retreats: Marketing, Speakers, Nonfiction, and Novelist with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.

    Q&A with DiAnn Mills

    Welcome and thank you for stopping by CMash Reads
    Reading and Writing:

    What inspired you to write this book?

    My goal was to show how a young girl’s love for her older sister could be manipulated into sacrifice.

    What was the biggest challenge in writing this book?

    I used first person POV for the heroine and hero. I really liked the result, but it had its challenges.

    Give us a glimpse of the research that went into this book.

    1. Interview with an FBI Special Agent friend who specializes in media-assistance.
    2. Hours reading about the penal system for women incarcerated in Texas. How rehabilitation is conducted, the gangs and bullies, what probation means, and the psychological effects in and out of prison.
    3. The psychological effects of allowing a situation or circumstance define a person.
    4. Small town living.
    5. Texas laws and guidelines for operating a café or bakery.
    6. The process of fashioning jewelry.

    How did you come up with the title?

    I didn’t! This was a result of my publisher and the creativity team. Love their choice

    Your routine in writing?

    Any idiosyncrasies? I’m a morning writer who needs lots of dark roasted coffee. I tune out everything around me and find it easy to focus.

    Tell us why we should read your book?

    For the action-packed story of a young woman who spent 15 years in prison for a crime she didn’t commit. Once released, her probation states she cannot contact her family. Yet danger lurks and the source wants her dead.

    Are you working on your next novel? If so, can you tell us a little bit about it?

    I just finished a romantic suspense, and I’m thrilled with the story!

    A young woman’s love for her grandfather is tainted when she fears he killed a man. But running from the truth doesn’t solve a thing. In fact, someone wants her dead.

    Fun Questions:

    Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?

    I answered this on a previous interview, but I’m adding a few new characters.

    Emma Watson – Shelby Pierce
    Hugh Jackman – FBI Special Agent Denton McClure (would need to have white hair).
    Amanda Seyfried – Marissa Stover, Shelby’s Sister
    Kiernan Shipka – Aria Stover, Marissa’s daughter
    Kevin Costner – Clay Pierce, Shelby and Marissa’s father
    Edie Campbell – Jennifer Garner
    Sheriff Wendall – Mark Wahlburg
    Amy-Jo – Judy Dench

    Favorite leisure activities/hobbies?

    Cooking and Baking
    Spending time with the grandkids

    Favorite foods?

    Blueberries, strawberries, bananas, blackberries, raspberries, and apples.
    Whole grains

    Catch Up With Our Author, DiAnn Mills:
    BookBub – @DiAnnMills
    Instagram – @DiAnnMillsAuthor
    Twitter – @DiAnnMills
    Facebook – @DiAnnMills



    Tour Participants:

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



    Join In:

    This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for DiAnn Mills. There will be 2 winners who will each receive one gift card. Winners may select either Amazon or Barnes & Noble. The giveaway runs September 1 through October 3, 2021. Void where prohibited.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway



    Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours


    The Memory Bell by Kat Flannery | #Showcase #Interview #Giveaway

    The Memory Bell

    by Kat Flannery

    September 1-30, 2021 Tour


    The Memory Bell by Kat Flannery

    Grace Penner’s safe haven crumbles when a body is found outside of town.

    Gifted the memory bell, a family heirloom, from her grandfather’s will, Grace’s excitement is soon squashed when the bell gets broken right after she receives it. While gluing the pieces back in place, she discovers three are still missing.

    Determined to find them, she is halted when the new detective, Bennet James, investigates her family. Grace is intent on showing the detective her family isn’t capable of murder, but as the investigation deepens, and pieces of the bell show up with ominous notes, Grace soon realizes the Penners are not what they seem. Amidst the tightly knit family; dark secrets, deception, and possibly even murder unfold.

    Will Grace be able to save the family she loves more than anything without losing herself forever?

    Praise for The Memory Bell:

    “A naïve small-town girl and a disillusioned big-city cop, drawn together by an unsolved crime that is itself only the tip of the iceberg, The Memory Bell serves up the perfect steamy summer read.”
    –Jenny Jaeckel, author of House of Rougeaux

    “The story moves beyond a small town whodunit to probe the underlying bonds of history that connect a family.”
    -Midwest Book Review

    “Wonderful, engaging, and fast-paced! Flannery knows what she’s doing!”
    -Jonas Saul, author of the Sarah Roberts series

    Book Details:

    Genre: Mystery, Suspense
    Published by: Black Rose Writing
    Publication Date: July 1, 2021
    Number of Pages: 288
    ISBN: 1684337089 (ISBN-13:978-1684337088)
    Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

    Read an excerpt:

    “Family is supposed to be our safe haven. Very often, it’s the place where we find the deepest heartache.” ~ Iyanla Vanzant


    Detective Bennet James stood over the remains of a hand dug grave. The morning air was brisk for July, and a foggy cloud permeated the air as he exhaled. He’d woken as the first rays of dawn crept through his hotel window casting sundogs along the planked floor.

    Bones were found by the grain elevators at the mill in Oakville. The sleepy town was an hour’s drive from Chicago and where he’d been stationed for the last two weeks. It was hell, but anything was better than sitting at home waiting to hear his fate. He flexed his shoulders. The muscles ached from the mounting pressure.

    He took a sip of the coffee he’d bought at the local gas station. The bitter blend was cold and old. Probably made the night before and just waiting for some poor soul to drain the last of the dregs from the decanter.

    With no details other than the presence of human remains to work with, Ben made quick work of taping off the area and closing all access in and out of the mill. The trains were halted and all productivity near the tracks was at a standstill. He surveyed the grounds. Three metal silos stood in a row to his left with tracks laid in front of them. Directly behind were wooden buildings with peaked roofs, and a single track led to a dead end.

    He gathered the mill was over fifty years old by the way the boards heaved and sagged. Out of commission for some time, he wondered why no one had torn the dilapidated buildings down. Being that the place was pretty much deserted it’d make things difficult in the investigation. He snorted. It wasn’t his investigation, and if things didn’t work out for him with the state, he’d never see another one again.

    He rubbed his hand across his face. His heart quickened with the familiar feeling of piecing together a puzzle. It was the same feeling he got every time he was dealt a new case. Except this one was different. It wasn’t his, and even though the thought of having something to occupy his mind was appealing, he doubted Sheriff Rhoads would let him take the lead on it, much less be a part of it.

    Ben glanced down at the body. Nothing left but bones and a few fragments of hair which signified the death happened years before. The grave was not shallow, but not deep either. Ben guessed it was four feet into the ground. A blue blanket caught his eye. He fingered the soft cotton with a gloved hand, a crocheted throw that was now pulled from the knots someone delicately placed there. Whoever had wrapped the victim in it did so with pristine care.

    “Where is the witness?” he asked the young deputy standing to his left. He couldn’t remember the boy’s name, or was it he didn’t care? It didn’t really matter. He’d stopped caring about those around him a long time ago.

    The deputy looked a bit flushed, and Ben figured the kid living in the small town had never seen anything like this before. Regret settled in his stomach at making the boy stay with him while he looked over the body and its surroundings. Ben remembered seeing his first body, a young girl, no more than six. Her image still haunted him on nights when sleep wouldn’t come.

    He blinked, collected his thoughts, and faced the young man.

    “You’re no longer needed here,” he said.

    “The men who found the body are over there,” the kid stammered. His hand shook as he pointed to the two silhouettes standing twenty yards away.

    “Thanks.” Ben dismissed him and walked toward the two men sipping coffee from their mugs. A part of him wanted to turn back to his car and leave now that Rhoads was here, but his pride and his duty wouldn’t allow it. He pulled out the small note pad and pen he kept in his pocket.

    “Morning. I need to ask you a few questions.”

    “Ain’t you the new fella?” one of the men asked.


    “You’re that swanky detective from the city.”

    Ben didn’t answer.

    “Why in hell would you want to come out here?”

    He remained silent. It was none of the old man’s business why he’d been placed in this shithole town.

    “Talk is you got into hot water up there.”

    “I need to ask you some questions,” Ben repeated, an edge creeping into his voice. He wasn’t about to discuss his shit with these guys. He shifted from one foot to the other, took a deep calming breath, cleared his throat, and waited.

    “Not much to tell,” the man said. His thick white moustache spanned the whole of his upper lip and the bottoms of his cheeks.

    “Your name?” he asked.

    “Walter Smythe.” The man leaned in to read what Ben wrote and tapped his index finger onto the paper. “That’s Smythe with a Y not an I.”

    Ben nodded.

    “Can you tell me how you came upon the body?”

    “Ol’ Russ was the one who found it.”

    He turned to the other man.

    “I ain’t Russ,” the farmer said.

    “Who is—”

    “That’s my dog.” Walter whistled. A large St. Bernard came loping up from the field behind the buildings.

    “The dog found the body?”

    “That’s right.”

    “What were you doing out here?”

    “I come out from time to time.”

    “Why if the place is closed down?”

    The man shrugged.

    “Have you brought Russ out here before?” Ben asked, still trying to piece together how the remains were found.

    “Sure. I bring him everywhere.”

    “Why was he in the elevators?”

    Walter’s wide shoulders lifted underneath the plaid jacket.

    “Did the dog take anything from the grave, or disturb it in anyway?”

    “Once I seen him diggin’, I called him over.” Walter guffawed. “But the damn mutt just kept on going back. So, I went over to see what the hell he was after.”

    “At what point did you figure out it was a body?”

    “Right away when I saw the bones.”

    “Russ dug up most of the grave?”

    “Nah, maybe a foot of it.” Walter nudged the farmer beside him. “I called Bill and we determined it was best to call the sheriff.”

    “Why didn’t you call the sheriff first?”

    Walter didn’t answer.

    “Did you remove or touch anything?” Ben asked.


    As much as the farmer was rough around the edges, he could tell Walter Smythe spoke the truth.

    “One more question. Has anyone gone missing in the last ten years?”

    “Not around these parts. Most people who go missing leave for the city.”

    “Why is that?”

    “Small towns ain’t for everybody.” Walter’s eyes narrowed. “Stuff like this don’t happen around here.”

    Ben nodded before he walked away and headed back to his car. He opened the door but didn’t get in. Tall silos, train cars and tracks were surrounded by a field. Waist-high stalks of yellow waved in the breeze and from what he knew of farming, it looked to be canola. Why wasn’t the body buried in the field? There must be over a hundred acres of land. Until he received the coroner’s report, he couldn’t begin to guess at anything yet. Before he left, he’d need to talk to Sheriff Rhoads and see about any missing persons reports in the area.

    “Well, that is odd.” Rhoads sauntered toward him, brows furrowed.

    “What is?” Ben asked.

    “A body, here, at the elevators, in Oakville.” His forehead wrinkled, and a perplexed look crossed his face. “Nobody has been here in years.”

    “These things can happen anywhere. There are no rules for death.”

    Rhoads focused on him, but remained quiet for some time before he said, “Not here.”

    “I’d like to take the lead on this,” Ben said. The words surprised him, but he couldn’t take them back now. Besides, he needed something to keep him busy. The minor misdemeanors at the old folk’s home, break-ins, and an occasional kid in trouble wasn’t enough to keep him from going crazy with boredom.

    “Not sure that’s wise, with your probation and all.”

    Ben nodded, figuring that would be the answer.

    “But I don’t see it as more than an unfortunate accident, so go ahead.”

    Ben wasn’t so sure.


    Excerpt from The Memory Bell by Kat Flannery. Copyright 2021 by Kat Flannery. Reproduced with permission from Kat Flannery. All rights reserved.



    Author Bio:

    Kat Flannery

    Kat Flannery’s love of history shows in her novels. She is an avid reader of historical, suspense, paranormal, and romance. A member of many writing Kat enjoys promoting other authors on her blog. When she’s not busy writing, or marketing Kat volunteers her time to other aspiring authors. She has been a keynote speaker, lecturer and guest author inspiring readers and writers at every event she attends. Kat’s been published in numerous periodicals throughout her career, and continues to write for blogs and online magazines. A bestselling author, Kat’s books are available all over the world. The BRANDED TRILOGY is Kat’s award-winning series. With seven books published, Kat continues to plot what story will be next. Creativity is in all aspects of Kat’s career. She does Social Media and Marketing for her own career and businesses, writing ads, and other content.

    Q&A with Kat Flannery

    What was the inspiration for this book?

    Family. We all have family skeletons and it’s when they come to light what you do with them.

    What has been the biggest challenge in your writing career?

    Coming up with different plots. I like to give my readers a story they can relate to in some way.

    What do you absolutely need while writing?

    A candle burning, quiet room and on occasion whiskey. 

    Do you adhere to a strict routine when writing or write when the ideas are flowing?

    I always adhere to a strict routine once the story has come to me and it’s time to write. If I don’t it’d never get done…there are way too many distractions out there.

    Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

    In The Memory Bell I have a few but my favorite is Jules, Grace’s uncle because he is the steady voice of calm and reason when she needs it and he is level headed. He’s the kind of guy you could have a beer with and just hang out.

    Tell us why we should read your book.

    If you love a good mystery but also the tangled web of family relationships, then this is the book for you.

    Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book?

    I never thought I’d write a contemporary book let alone a crime novel. My previous books are all historical western suspense. I love the history and that is why I wrote them, but to delve into the here and now was something I didn’t foresee in my writing career.

    Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

    Thank you! If I didn’t have readers, I wouldn’t be able to do what I love. I am honored to have each one read my books, and I am humbled that they do.

    Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

    I am Italian an American and Canadian citizen and I’ve always loved a good story. I knew at a young age I’d write and to be truthful I wanted to be a journalist. I have three grown sons and have been married to my best friend for 22 years.

    What’s next that we can look forward to?

    Another contemporary mystery and a historical western series.

    Thank you for having me on your blog and featuring The Memory Bell.

    Catch Up With Kat Flannery:
    BookBub – @KatFlannery
    Instagram – @katflannery_
    Twitter – @KatFlannery1
    Facebook – @kat.flannery.5



    Tour Participants:

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




    This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Kat Flannery. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Gift Card (U.S. ONLY). The giveaway runs September 1 through October 3, 2021. Void where prohibited.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway



    Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours


    Mailbox Monday


    Mailbox Monday

    According to Marcia, “Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

    Click on title for synopsis via GoodReads.

    Wednesday: (09/15/21)

    The New Wife by Sue Watson~ Kindle from Bookouture via NetGalley

    Friday: (09/17/21)

    The Night She Went Missing by Kristen Bird ~ Kindle from Harlequin via NetGalley
    This Might Hurt by Stephanie ~ Kindle from Berkley Publishing via NetGalley
    The Memory Bell by Kat Flannery ~ TPB from Margaret Yelton
    All Her Little Secrets by Wanda M. Morris~ Kindle from William Morrow/Scene Of The Crime via NetGalley

    Saturday: (09/18/21)

    Dad by Steven Manchester ~ Signed HC from Author


    Murder Worth The Weight by D.M. Barr | #Showcase #Giveaway

    Murder Worth the Weight by D.M. Barr Banner

    Murder Worth the Weight

    by D.M. Barr

    September 13 – October 8, 2021 Virtual Book Tour


    Murder Worth the Weight by D.M. Barr

    Whenever Terry Mangel’s body acceptance revival meeting rolls into town, local diet execs and “fat shamers” turn up dead, often in grotesque, ironic ways. All single murders in small suburbs, no one’s noticed a pattern, until rookie investigative reporter Camarin Torres takes a closer look.

    Torres is a crusader against discrimination. She reluctantly accepts a job offered by handsome publisher Lyle Fletcher, a man with a vendetta, who sees the recent college grad as salvation for Trend, his fledgling fashion magazine. Torres, however, detests everything the publication stands for, and joins solely to transform its judgmental, objectifying content.

    As an unexpected romance blossoms, the overconfident, justice-hungry reporter defies orders and infiltrates Mangel’s world, only to find herself in the crosshairs of a vigilante group targeting the $60 billion diet industry. To this vindictive mob, murder is definitely worth the weight. But as Torres soon learns, unmasking the killer may save her life but shatter her heart: every clue seems to implicate Fletcher, her mercurial mentor and lover, as the group’s mastermind.

    Previously published as Slashing Mona Lisa

    Book Details:

    Genre: Suspense, Romantic Suspense, Psychological Suspense, Women’s Fiction
    Published by: Punctuated Publishing
    Publication Date: 08/09/2021
    Number of Pages: 340
    ISBN: 978-0-9977118-6-8
    Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

    Read an excerpt:

    Chapter 1

    CAMARIN TORRES PEERED down the tracks again, as if repeated checking would cause her delayed train to magically appear. It was a warm April afternoon, but the unexpected heat did little to lift her spirits. She was heading back to her apartment after yet another unsuccessful interview. If this kept up, she’d be the only one of her NYU friends graduating next month without a job lined up. How ironic not to be able to afford the food she wouldn’t allow herself to eat anyway. She checked her watch a third time. The 5:03 from White Plains to Grand Central was already ten minutes late.

    Camarin heard a voice a few feet behind her softly exclaim, “Dammit!” Curiosity aroused, she spied a girl in her late teens standing by the vending machine, fervently searching through her handbag.

    Camarin stared, mesmerized by what could have been a mirror image of her late twin sister Monaeka. Long, dark hair partially obscured her tanned, pretty face, and despite the temperature, she’d draped her two-hundred-plus pound body in an oversized raincoat. But as Camarin well knew, yards of fabric didn’t really fool anyone. The girl hunched over slightly, a stance her sister Monaeka had perfected, a sign of deference to a world demanding an apology for violating their arbitrary standards.

    Camarin felt a familiar tug of compassion as the girl plunked a few coins into the machine and then searched for more. Looking on, she debated the merits of acquiescing to her own desire for a late-afternoon sweet. What’s really the harm? Cam reached into the pocket of her dress and pulled out three quarters, which she held out toward the stranger as she walked toward her.

    “Want to share something?”

    The girl tensed and gave her a quizzical look, but after a moment her shoulders relaxed. “That’s so nice of you. Thanks.”

    Camarin winked and pushed the quarters into the machine. One click and clunk later, she retrieved their prize—a Kit Kat bar. One of Monaeka’s favorites. As she held it out to the girl, a slim, stylish woman clad in black came out of nowhere and snatched the chocolate bar right out of her hand.

    “You don’t need it,” she said. “You’ll thank me later.”

    The girl’s face turned bright red, but she said nothing, just watched in shock as the thief continued down the platform.

    Camarin felt the blood rush to her temples. No matter how many years and miles she’d put between herself and her past, the critical voices kept seeking her out, today in the form of this interloper. Enough, she decided. She set down the briefcase containing her resume and clips and tore after the woman, grabbing her arm and pulling her around so they stood face-to-face.

    “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” Camarin yelled.

    Heads turned. Conversations ceased.

    “What’s it to you?” the offender shot back.

    Camarin pointed at the girl, whose eyes were wide in disbelief. “That girl happens to be a friend of mine, so I’m asking a second time… what are you doing?”

    “Saving her from herself, that’s what. Your friend is huge, and it’s unhealthy. If she can’t control herself, she needs others to do it for her.”

    “Well, Miss High-and-Mighty, since you know everything about everyone, did you ever consider that my friend…Sabrina’s…size might have nothing to do with self-control? Could it be the result of…the lithium she takes to control her bipolar disorder? Are you a psychiatrist who has a better suggestion for more appropriate meds that don’t put on weight?”

    “Well, no… no,” the woman stammered, as if the rush of passion suddenly drained from her, leaving her feeling exposed.

    “You know what I think?”

    The fat shamer glared back but remained silent, so Camarin summoned her courage and repeated herself, a few decibels louder. “I said, do you know what I think?”

    “No. What?” The woman sneered.

    “I think you should go over to Sabrina and apologize.”

    “Apologize for helping her get thin?” Her voice dripped with indignation.

    “No, apologize for sticking your big nose where it doesn’t belong,” interjected a young, beer-bellied man in overalls a few feet away. A Joe’s Plumbing patch was embroidered on his chest pocket.

    “What exactly do we have to do to be accepted by you people? Why can’t you just leave us alone?” screamed a plump, older woman with perfectly coiffed hair and a fitted suit.

    “Give her back the Kit Kat bar,” hollered a man clad in military garb, who then started chanting, “Kit Kat, Kit Kat, Kit Kat…” Others joined in, and the cacophony grew stronger.

    “You may have grabbed a Kit Kat, but you ended up with Snickers,” said Cam with a smirk. “Maybe you want to just hand over the candy, so we can forget this whole ugly incident?”

    The woman spat at the ground in front of Camarin and defiantly threw the chocolate bar on the tracks, eliciting loud boos from the small but agitated crowd. Then she ran down the platform, heading for the stairs that led to the parking lot.

    “Good riddance,” the plumber called after her.

    Camarin stood for a moment, shaking from the encounter. Then she returned to the now teary-eyed girl. “Sorry I made you bipolar,” she whispered. “I needed to make a point, and it was all I could come up with on the spur of the moment. Hi, I’m Camarin.”

    “I’m Lexie,” the girl said. “No one has ever stood up for me before. Thank you.”

    “Hey, I know what it’s like. I used to deal with jerks like that all the time.”

    The plumber pushed a run of quarters into the vending machine and took out two Kit Kat bars, handing one to each of the women. Others on the platform clapped and cheered. The sound was slowly drowned out by the roar of the oncoming 5:03 PM train.

    As the doors opened, Camarin noticed Lexie and the plumber now chatting animatedly. Not wishing to intrude, she entered the next car over. It was practically empty, not unusual considering most people were traveling in the opposite direction at this hour. A perfect opportunity to relax after an upsetting confrontation. Perhaps savor that chocolate bar. She could always purge later.

    Given the plethora of unoccupied seats, she was surprised when a handsome man in an expensive-looking suit asked if the spot beside her was taken. She guessed he was in his early forties, since his face was too young for the silver in his hair and beard. He spoke with a confidence so lacking in her gawky college-boy contemporaries. She felt a shiver as the silk of his sleeve touched her bare arm as he settled in.

    She wondered what clever icebreaker she could use to engage her attractive new neighbor in conversation. Nice weather, huh? would be too lame. Seconds passed. Other passengers shuffled by. Soon, the moment would be lost.

    Then, to her delight, he leaned in covertly, as if sharing a private confidence. “Nice going. You’d never seen that girl before in your life, had you?”

    She pulled back and studied his expression. Affable or accusatory? His smile assured her of his friendly intentions.

    “What gave me away?”

    “Nothing. Just a hunch. One you just confirmed.”

    Camarin twisted her mouth, irked at having been so easily played.

    “Do you always go around tricking strangers into confessing their secrets?” she asked.

    “Probably as often as you go around defending the underdog.” The man winked. “Nothing to be ashamed of though. Quite the opposite. As I think you’ve already figured out, life is just a series of bluffs.”

    Camarin considered the comment as the train rumbled along the tracks toward Scarsdale.

    “And do you bluff much?”

    “Funny you should ask. These days, it’s all I do.”

    Grateful for such a provocative opening, she pressed forward. “That sounds intriguing. Care to elaborate?”

    “Thought you’d never ask,” he said with a smile. “Up until a few years ago, I’d spent my entire career practicing law. Then my circumstances and interests changed, and I decided to become a redeemer of lost causes. I just purchased a failing magazine, which I intend to make profitable again. If that’s not the bluff of the century, I don’t know what is.”

    Elegant and he owns a magazine? Camarin’s heart skipped a beat.

    “That’s such a coincidence. I’m just coming from an interview with a magazine.”

    “Some might call it a coincidence. I call it kismet,” the man said as he held out his hand. “Lyle Fletcher, fledgling publisher.”

    Chapter 2

    AS THE TRAIN rolled down the tracks toward Manhattan, Camarin sensed her future suddenly lurching ahead as well. “Camarin Torres, journalism and prelaw major. Pleased to make your acquaintance.”

    She reached out to shake his hand, eager to see if his grip would be as firm as she imagined, but the conductor interrupted, asking to punch their tickets. There was no way to try again without looking awkward, so she swallowed her disappointment and returned her hand to her side.

    Fletcher broke the pregnant pause. “So, there must be many professions out there for someone as bold and beautiful as you. Why journalism and law?”

    Camarin’s face grew warm. Had anyone else handed her that line, she would have regarded it as a come-on. But he seemed sincere, so she felt comfortable opening up. “All my life I’ve seen bullying and discrimination. As a child, I felt helpless to stop it. But as an adult, I can make a difference.”

    “Bullying because of your ethnicity? You’re… ”

    “My mother’s side of the family comes from Guam. But no, fortunately, I’ve encountered very little bias because of my roots. Maybe it’s because we live just outside Los Angeles, where I’m part of a large Chamorro community who share an intense sense of cultural pride. In fact, I think my background may have worked in my favor, that push for diversity in colleges and all.”

    “So, discriminated against as a woman?”

    “No again,” she said, reluctant to share too much of her past with a stranger, no matter how charming. “Let’s just say I’ve seen how cruel people can be to those who don’t quite fit in, no matter how hard they try. I’m going to make sure that doesn’t happen to anyone else ever again.”

    “You’re going to personally end intolerance?” Fletcher seemed both dubious and amused.

    “Well, at least make a sizeable dent in it,” she said with a smile. It wasn’t the first time that people had appeared incredulous at her idealism. “You’re speaking to the world’s first female Chamorro anti-discrimination crusader. After graduation anyway. And eventually law school, when I can afford it.”

    “Lofty ambitions. You’ll need them in a world that doesn’t always cooperate with people’s dreams. Again, I’m impressed.”

    “Thank you,” she said, her face growing even hotter. A charismatic publisher thought she was impressive. A once-disappointing day was rapidly metamorphosing into something magical, like a child’s giant, colorful carnival balloon.

    “Have you interviewed at my magazine, Trend?”

    Pop! Camarin did her best not to cringe with contempt. Trend represented everything in the world she’d come to hate: the brainwashing of women to fit into narrow, permissible roles dictated by fashion designers and greedy advertisers. And this man, appealing or not, was one of their leaders. Camarin paused, trying to formulate a polite and diplomatic response.

    “You have heard of it, right?”

    “Yes, of course. But no, I didn’t interview there. No offense, but as you said, it’s failing. As a matter of fact, I turned down an unsolicited offer from one of your competitors, Drift. I’m just interested in more…serious publications.”

    “No offense taken,” he said with a grin. “I realize that up to now Trend has just covered style and gossip—total fluff. That’s what I’m planning to change. In your words, go in a more serious direction.”

    She wondered if the comment was authentic or if he was just another jerk and this was an excuse that allowed him to live with himself. They remained quiet for a bit, and then curiosity got the better of her.

    “I didn’t realize Trend is based in Westchester.”

    Fletcher’s face clouded over. “No, it’s in Manhattan. I was out here today because…my late wife owned a condo in White Plains that we’d been renting out. I was just meeting with the real estate agent I might hire to sell it for me.”

    Cam looked down at her pumps, annoyed at herself for bringing up such a sensitive subject. “I’m so sorry for your loss.”

    “Of my wife or the condo?”

    She glanced back, astonished. He started to laugh, and she felt the earlier harshness of her judgment soften by a smidgen. He really was quite charming—for a body shamer.

    “Are you ever serious?” she asked.

    “Oh, when I am, you’ll definitely know it. Like now. How many years of college do you have left?”

    His tone switched from whimsical to all business, and something about the way he commanded control sent a shiver up her spine. Hot as hell. Dammit. “About a month. Then I’m done.”

    The conductor announced that they would soon be arriving at Grand Central Station, their final destination, and the windows grew dark as they entered the tunnel.

    He reached into his suit pocket and pulled out a business card. It read Trend Magazine, with a fashionable NoHo address, close to her own apartment.

    She held up her hand. “That’s kind of you, but I really don’t think—”

    “Hey, I can see you’re not enamored with our current format. Nevertheless, I’d still like you to come in, show us your work. Allow us to describe the magazine’s revamped editorial direction. I think it may surprise you. I can use someone with your guts and ambition to develop our investigative-reporting beat. That is, if you have any interest.”

    She took the card, slipping it into her jacket pocket. “If you’re really serious about moving away from your current focus, I’ll try to keep an open mind.” After all, a job was a job, and up to now, no one else but Drift had made an offer.

    “Call tomorrow and speak to Rachel. She’ll set everything up. You’re going to be a superstar. Of that, I’m already certain.” He reached out to shake her hand. It felt as forceful as Camarin had imagined earlier. She didn’t try to read anything into the almost imperceptible squeeze he added at the end. Until proven otherwise, he was still the enemy.

    As he rose and headed for the exit, she waited a few beats longer before also joining the crowd jostling toward the platform. By the stairs a newsstand featured the latest issue of Trend. Hating herself, she slapped down her $3.50 for a copy. Magazines like this were part of what had driven her sister over the edge, but she needed to see if there was anything redeemable within its pages. The jury was still out until Lyle Fletcher had proven himself a reformer, and not an enabler.


    Excerpt from Murder Worth the Weight by D.M. Barr. Copyright 2021 by D.M. Barr. Reproduced with permission from D.M. Barr. All rights reserved.



    Author Bio:

    D.M. Barr

    By day, a mild-mannered salesperson, wife, mother, rescuer of senior shelter dogs, competitive trivia player and author groupie, happily living just north of New York City. By night, an author of sex, suspense and satire. My background includes stints in travel marketing, travel journalism, meeting planning, public relations and real estate. I was, for a long and happy time, an award-winning magazine writer and editor. Then kids happened. And I needed to actually make money. Now they’re off doing whatever it is they do (of which I have no idea since they won’t friend me on Facebook) and I can spend my spare time weaving tales of debauchery and whatever else tickles my fancy. The main thing to remember about my work is that I am NOT one of my characters. For example, unlike as a real estate broker, I’ve never played Bondage Bingo in one of my empty listings. As a yo-yo dieter, I’ve never offed anyone at my local diet clinic. While I’m a bit paranoid, I’ve never suspected my husband of wanting to murder me for my inheritance. Well, that’s not entirely true, but let’s go with that for now. And while I’ve volunteered at senior centers, I’ve never mastered the hula hoop. But that’s not to say I haven’t wanted to…

    Catch Up With D.M. Barr:
    BookBub – @DMBarr
    Instagram – @authordmbarr
    Twitter – @authordmbarr
    Facebook – @authordmbarr



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    #Review| Her Perfect Life by Hank Phillippi Ryan

    Her Perfect Life by Hank Phillippi Ryan
    Genre: Psychological Thrillers, Murder Thrillers
    Published by Forge Books
    Publication Date: September 14th
    ASIN: ‎ B08QGKXFQ2
    Pages: 336
    Review Copy From: Publisher via NetGalley
    Edition: Kindle
    My Rating: 5

    Synopsis (via GR)

    Everyone knows Lily Atwood–and that may be her biggest problem. The beloved television reporter has it all–fame, fortune, Emmys, an adorable seven-year-old daughter, and the hashtag her loving fans created: PerfectLily. To keep it all she has to do is protect one life-changing secret.

    Her own.

    Lily has an anonymous source who feeds her story tips–but suddenly, the source begins telling Lily inside information about her own life. How does he–or she–know the truth?

    Lily understands that no one reveals a secret unless they have a reason. Now she’s terrified someone is determined to destroy her world–and with it, everyone and everything she holds dear.

    How much will she risk to keep her perfect life?

    My Thoughts

    YES!! YES!! YES!!! Another ingenious read by the brilliant author of psychological thrillers!! Ms. Ryan is definitely in the top 5 on my “authors to read “list.

    In my review of her previous book, The FIrst To Lie, I recommended that the reader try not to figure the story out but just enjoy the ride. I went into reading Her Perfect Life thinking that’s what I would do, well maybe I might try to figure it out just a little bit. That changed as soon as I was pulled in and became so engrossed that I was soon on a breakneck ride!!! Totally transported into the story!!!

    The suspense was nonstop and palpable. At times I was breathless and other times holding on for dear life. Matter of fact, I was lucky that I had a waterproof Kindle case because I almost dropped it in the pool when the truth came out.

    Talking about the pool, it seems that I have started a tradition. Every summer, I get on my pool float, grab my Hank Phillippi Ryan newest book, and get swept away. No pressure Ms. Ryan, but please allow me to keep the tradition going in 2022!!

    Did I mention that she is one of my top 5 authors??!!

    This book was an exceptional and thrilling read!!! Hated to see it end!!

    Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗


  • This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
  • I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
  • I do not have any affiliation with or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

    Mailbox Monday


    Mailbox Monday

    According to Marcia, “Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

    Click on title for synopsis via GoodReads.

    Sunday: (09/05/21)

    The Perfect Son by Frida McFadden~ Kindle from Amazon Prime
    If You Tell by Gregg Olsen ~ Kindle from Amazon Prime
    A Man Of Honor by Barbara Taylor Bradford~ Kindle from St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley
    The Other Family by Wendy Corsi Staub ~ Kindle from William Morrow/Custom House via NetGalley