Sep 202019
 

Silent Voices

by Fran Lewis

on Tour September 1-30, 2019

Synopsis:

Silent Voices by Fran Lewis

Driving down a rocky road I saw the overgrown grass, weeds, and poison ivy overtaking the outer perimeter of the bushes. The smell of mildew permeated the air, along with the stench of animals killed by cars coming up from the ground along this dirt road. I could see the sadness on the faces in the cars behind me; I could feel the pain and sorrow. As I looked inside the cars and saw the faces of the drivers, I began to wonder what they were thinking, their thoughts and feelings as they traveled down life’s highway, maybe for the very last time.

What stories lay behind the faces behind the wheel of each oncoming car?

What stories were hidden?

Whose voices are now silenced?

 

Reviews:

“Unique, haunting, terrifying, incredibly moving: Fran Lewis’ SILENT VOICES is all that and more as people tell spell-binding stories of their lives – and their deaths – from beyond the grave. You won’t forget this one!” – R.G. Belsky, award-winning author of the Clare Carlson mystery series.

“Silent Voices is a shrewd, sensitive and scintillating collection of short stories that make us feel and think. Noted talk show host Fran Lewis proves herself to be as skilled a storyteller as she is a listener, adept at both tugging on our heart strings and exposing the raw emotion between the lines. Her tales reach beyond the grave in fashioning rich tapestries drawn on a sprawling landscape at once both rich in color and gray-toned. A can’t miss effort certain to live with you far beyond the turn of the final page.” -Jon Land, USA Today bestselling author

“Once again, Fran Lewis knocks it out of the park with the latest in the Silent Voices series. At once chilling, but also inspirational, these stories do not fail to entertain. They will also raise the goosebumps on your skin. Prepare to be thrilled.” Vincent Zandri, New Your Times bestselling Thriller Award winning author of The Remains and The Caretaker’s Wife

Check out my Review HERE

Book Details:

Genre: Horror, Suspense
Published by: Southern Owl Publications, LLC
Publication Date: June 10th 2019
Number of Pages: 51
ASIN: B07S75JPQW
Series: Silent Voices
Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads

 

Author Bio:

Fran Lewis

Fran Lewis taught for 36 years as a staff developer in reading and writing and a dean. She is the author of the Bertha and Tillie series and the author of the Faces behind the stones series as well as her books for caregivers on Alzheimer’s and mj magazine and mj network.

Q&A with Fran Lewis

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

What inspired you to write this book?
Walking the cemetery after my sister died I wondered what really happened to her and I asked her as I looked at her headstone what she would tell me if she could about that day she had the massive heart attack and what she think caused her to fall over and hit her head. Then I looked at the other stones and wondered if each person was put there because of a bad deed and deserved to be there or someone caused them to be there.

What was the biggest challenge in writing this book?
Deciding which characters or main protagonists to write about and creating their back stories.

Give us a glimpse of the research that went into this book.
The first two stories are based on real life experiences and I did do some research about Polish serialization camps and my cousins did help me with the story about Bertha and her past.

How did you come up with the title?
After visiting the cemetery, I decided that some of these people needed to be heard and their voices should no longer remain silent while others deserved their fate.

Your routine in writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
I can start at five in the morning or anytime during the day. At times I just pick up my phone and write notes on my notepad and email them to myself.

Tell us why we should read your book?
The concept of voices and faces behind a gravestone is original I think, and my stories teach lessons to those that need to understand what happens when you do something to hurt someone else.

Are you working on your next novel? If so, can you tell us a little bit about it?
I did start Faces 6 and I have added a new twist; The Bodies will still be behind smaller stones but in a forest, what is desolate, isolated and the trees are practically bare. I did start some, but I won’t give away who will be behind the stones and in this forest.

Fun Questions:
Your novel will be a movie. You would you cast?

I would need many actors or actresses that have been in science fiction movies or horror.

Favorite leisure activities/hobbies?
Walking, reading, love doing hook rugs and color by numbers of coloring books

Favorite foods?
Pizza and nondairy vanilla cupcakes with nondairy whipped cream.

Catch Up With Fran Lewis On:
tillie49.wordpress.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Twitter, & Facebook!

 

 

Tour Participants:

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



 

 

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 

Sep 202019
 


Hosted by McGruffy’s Reader and 15 and Meowing

This week’s Fill-Ins:

  1. Never have I ever ____________________.
  2. I won’t ________________ again.
  3. I believe I have good knowledge of _________.
  4. _________ is my worst enemy.

My answers:

  1. Never have I ever will jump from a plane.
  2. I won’t trust my husband again when he says that a roller coaster ride isn’t bad again.
  3. I believe I have good knowledge of medical info from being a retired RN.
  4. Ice cream is my worst enemy.
Sep 182019
 

SILENT VOICES by Fran Lewis
Genre: Horror, Suspense
Published by: Southern Owl Publications, LLC
Publication Date: June 10th 2019
Number of Pages: 51
ASIN: B07S75JPQW
Series: Silent Voices
Review Copy From: Author
Edition: TPB
My Rating: 5

Synopsis

Driving down a rocky road I saw the overgrown grass, weeds, and poison ivy overtaking the outer perimeter of the bushes. The smell of mildew permeated the air, along with the stench of animals killed by cars coming up from the ground along this dirt road. I could see the sadness on the faces in the cars behind me; I could feel the pain and sorrow. As I looked inside the cars and saw the faces of the drivers, I began to wonder what they were thinking, their thoughts and feelings as they traveled down life’s highway, maybe for the very last time.

What stories lay behind the faces behind the wheel of each oncoming car?

What stories were hidden?

Whose voices are now silenced?

 

Reviews:

“Unique, haunting, terrifying, incredibly moving: Fran Lewis’ SILENT VOICES is all that and more as people tell spell-binding stories of their lives – and their deaths – from beyond the grave. You won’t forget this one!” – R.G. Belsky, award-winning author of the Clare Carlson mystery series.

“Silent Voices is a shrewd, sensitive and scintillating collection of short stories that make us feel and think. Noted talk show host Fran Lewis proves herself to be as skilled a storyteller as she is a listener, adept at both tugging on our heart strings and exposing the raw emotion between the lines. Her tales reach beyond the grave in fashioning rich tapestries drawn on a sprawling landscape at once both rich in color and gray-toned. A can’t miss effort certain to live with you far beyond the turn of the final page.” -Jon Land, USA Today bestselling author

“Once again, Fran Lewis knocks it out of the park with the latest in the Silent Voices series. At once chilling, but also inspirational, these stories do not fail to entertain. They will also raise the goosebumps on your skin. Prepare to be thrilled.” Vincent Zandri, New Your Times bestselling Thriller Award winning author of The Remains and The Caretaker’s Wife

My Thoughts

I have read previous books by this author so was looking forward for reading her latest, SILENT VOICES.

You can check out my reviews for HIDDEN TRUTHS AND LIES and A DAUGHTER’S PROMISE.

Having attended too many funerals for loved ones and making the somber drive through the cemetery to their final resting place, I too have looked at all the headstones and wondered who lies beneath those stones, who they are, how did they live and die? What are their stories?

This book consists of seven (7) short stories of those that have passed and their voices silenced. However, they get their chance to speak one final time from the grave in this book. Fran Lewis, in her descriptive writing, gives us a peek into just that and allows the reader to envision those that are of subjects of each story.

Two (2) of the stories were personal to the author, the voices of her grandmothers, which I felt so very sorry for with the kind of life they had and had to deal with.

Some of the stories are sad, some eerily chilling and some that their past caught up with them and now face their ultimate judgment.

A haunting read!! I guarantee, after reading this book, you will also wonder who lies below the headstones and what they would say if they hadn’t been silenced!

**Stop by Friday for Q&A with Fran Lewis**

Sep 172019
 

Strangers She Knows

by Christina Dodd

September 17, 2019

on Tour September 17 – October 1, 2019

Synopsis:

Strangers She Knows by Christina Dodd

Perfect for fans of Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Linda Howard, and Jayne Ann Krentz, New York Times bestselling author Christina Dodd returns with the chilling finale to the Cape Charade trilogy.

I have three deadly problems:

  1. I’ve seriously offended a maniacal killer.
  2. I just had a bullet removed from my brain.
  3. My new daughter is growing up too fast—and she’s in the line of fire.
  4. Living on an obscure, technology-free island off California means safety from the murderer who hunts Kellen Adams and her new family…or does it? Family time becomes terror time, until Kellen finds herself alone and facing an all-too-familiar psychopath. Only one can survive, and Kellen knows who must win…and who must die.

    Be sure to also check-out the rest of the Cape Charade series, starting with DEAD GIRL RUNNING and WHAT DOESN’T KILL HER, available now wherever books are sold.

    Series STARRED reviews from Booklist

    “From the unforgettable heroine with a past to the incisively etched cast of secondary characters to the brilliantly imaginative plot, Dodd is at her most wildly entertaining, wickedly witty best.” -Booklist STARRED review on DEAD GIRL RUNNING

    “Featuring an unforgettable protagonist…who makes Jack Reacher look like a slacker when it comes to dispatching trouble, and an ingenious plot that includes plenty of white-knuckle twists and turns as well as some touching moments of mother-daughter bonding.” -Booklist STARRED review on WHAT DOESN’T KILL HER

    “Dodd continues her addictively readable Cape Charade series featuring Kellen Adams with another white-knuckle tale that simply begs to be inhaled in one sitting. With a fascinating island setting that includes a spooky old mansion, a secondary storyline involving World War II, and an antagonist who could give Villanelle from Killing Eve a pointer or two, this is Dodd at her brilliant best.” -Booklist STARRED review on STRANGERS SHE KNOWS

    Book Details:

    Genre: Mystery/Suspense
    Published by: HQN Books
    Publication Date: September 17, 2019
    Number of Pages: 352
    ISBN: 1335468331 (ISBN13: 9781335468338)
    Series: Cape Charade #3
    Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

    Read an excerpt:

    Yearning Sands Resort Washington’s Pacific Coast This Spring

    Rae Di Luca stacked up her Level Three lesson books, opened the piano bench and put them away. She got out the Adult Course Level 1A book, opened it to “Silver Bells,” and put it on the music rack. “Mom, you have to practice.”

    Kellen didn’t look up from her book. “I know.”

    “When?”

    “When what?”

    “When are you going to do it?”

    “I’m at the good part. Let me finish this chapter.”

    “No, you have to practice now. You know it helps with your finger dexterity.”

    When had their roles reversed, Kellen wondered? When had ten-year-old Rae become the sensible adult and Kellen become the balky child?

    Oh yeah. When she had the brain surgery, her right hand refused to regain its former abilities, and the physical therapist suggested learning the piano. But there was a reason Kellen hadn’t learned to play the piano earlier in her life. She loved music—and she had no musical talent. That, added to the terrible atrophy that afflicted her fingers, made her lessons and practices an unsurpassed agony…for everyone.

    She looked up, saw Rae standing, poised between coaxing and impatience, and the Rolodex in Kellen’s punctured, operated-on and much-abused brain clicked in:

    RAE DI LUCA:

    FEMALE, 10YO, 5‘0″, 95LBS. KELLEN’S DAUGHTER. HER MIRACLE. IN TRANSITION: GIRL TO WOMAN, BLOND HAIR TO BROWN, BROWN EYES LIGHTENING TO HAZEL. LONG LEGS; GAWKY. SKIN A COMBINATION OF HER ITALIAN HERITAGE FROM HER FATHER AND THE NATIVE AMERICAN BLOOD FROM KELLEN; FIRST PIMPLE ON HER CHIN. NEVER TEMPERAMENTAL. KIND, STRONG, INDEPENDENT.

    Kellen loved this kid. The feeling was more than human. It was feral, too, and Kellen would do anything to protect Rae from threat—and had. “I know. I’m coming. It’s so much more fun to listen to you play than practice myself. You’re good and I’m…awful.”

    “I’m not good. I’m just better than you.” Rae came over and wrapped her arms around Kellen’s neck, hugged and laughed. “But Luna is better than you.”

    “Don’t talk to me about that dog. She howls every time I sit down at the piano. Sometimes she doesn’t even wait until I start playing. The traitor.” Kellen glared at the dog, and once again her brain—which had developed this ability after that shot to the head—sorted through the files of identity cards to read:

    LUNA:

    FEMALE, FULL-SIZED POODLE/AUSTRALIAN CATTLE DOG/AT LEAST ONE OTHER BREED, 50LBS, RED COAT, BROWN EYES, STRONGLY MUSCLED. RESCUED BY RAE AND MAX WHILE KELLEN RECOVERED FROM SURGERY. FAMILY MEMBER. RAE’S FRIEND, COMPANION, PROTECTOR. MUSIC LOVER.

    Luna watched Kellen in return, head resting on her paws, waiting for her chance to sing a solo protest to Kellen’s inept rendition of “Silver Bells.”

    “Everybody’s a critic.” Rae set the timer. “Come on. Ten minutes of scales, then you only have to practice for thirty minutes.”

    “Why do I have to practice ‘Silver Bells’? Christmas isn’t for seven months.”

    “So you’ll have mastered it by the time the season rolls around.”

    “I used to like that song.”

    “We all used to like that song.” Rae took Kellen’s left hand and tugged. “Mom, come on. You know you feel better afterward.”

    Kellen allowed herself to be brought to her feet. “I’m going to do something wild and crazy. I’m going to start learning ‘When the Saints Go Marching In.’ It’s the next song in the book, and I like it.”

    “You can learn anything you want after you practice your scales and work on ‘Silver Bells’ for fifteen minutes.”

    No one wanted to be inside today, certainly not Rae Di Luca, certainly not Kellen Adams Di Luca, certainly not upstairs in their private quarters in the Yearning Sands Resort. Not when spring had come to the Washington state Pacific Coast. April and May’s drenching rains turned the world a soggy brown. Then, on the first of June, one day of blazing sunshine created green that spread across the coastal plain.

    Kellen made her way through the ten minutes of scales—the dog remained quiescent for those—then began plunking out “Silver Bells.” 

    As she struggled with the same passage, her right hand fingers responding only sporadically, Luna started with a slight whine that grew in intensity. At the first high howl, Kellen turned to the dog. 

    “Look, this isn’t easy for me, either.”

    Luna sat, head cocked, one ear up, one ear down, brown eyes pleading with her.

    “I would love to stop,” Kellen told her and turned back to the piano. “How about a different tune? Let’s try ‘When the Saints Go Marching In.’”

    She played the first few notes and out of the corner of her eye, she saw the dog subside. Then, as she worked on a tricky passage, made the same mistake, time after time, the dog sat up again, lifted her nose and howled in mourning for the slaughter of the song.

    Rae giggled, and when her mother glowered, the child controlled herself. “Come on, Luna, I’ll take you outside.”

    The dog didn’t budge.

    “She thinks she’s helping you,” Rae explained. “Come on, Luna. Come on!” She coaxed her out the door, turned back to Kellen and said sternly, “Twenty more minutes!”

    “Yeah, yeah.” Kellen struggled on, trying to make her recalcitrant fingers do her bidding. Even when she finally got the notes right, it wasn’t a piano tune so much as jack-in-the-box music. When at last the timer went off, she slumped over the keyboard and stared at the fingers of her right hand.

    They were trying to atrophy, to curl in and refuse to do her bidding ever again. But the physical therapists assured her she could combat this. She had to create new nerve ways, train another part of her brain to handle the work, and since two hands were better than one and her right hand was her dominant hand, the battle was worth fighting. But every day, the forty minutes at the keyboard left her drained and discouraged. 

    Behind her, Max said, “Turn around and let me rub your hands.”

    She noticed he did not say, That was good. Or even, That was better.

    Max didn’t tell lies.

    Kellen sighed and swiveled on the piano bench. Again that Rolodex in her brain clicked in:

    MAX DI LUCA:

    MALE, 38YO, 6’5″, 220LBS, ITALIAN-AMERICAN, FORMER FOOTBALL PLAYER. HANDSOME, TANNED, CURLY BLACK HAIR, BROWN EYES SURROUNDED BY LONG BLACK LASHES. ONCE HIGH UP IN THE DI LUCA FAMILY CORPORATION, STEPPED DOWN TO RAISE HIS DAUGHTER, NOW DIRECTOR OF THE FAMILY’S YEARNING SANDS RESORT ON THE WASHINGTON COAST. KIND, GENEROUS, RESPONSIBLE, LOVING. A STICKLER FOR DUTY. FAR TOO MUCH WILLPOWER, WHICH WAS IRRITATING TO KELLEN IN MATTERS RELATING TO THEIR MARITAL STATE.

    He took her right hand gently in both of his and, starting at the wrist, he massaged her palm, her thumb, her fingers. He used a lavender-scented oil, and stretched and worked the muscles and bones while she moaned with pleasure.

    He listened with a slight smile, and when she looked into his face, she realized his lips looked fuller, he had a dark flush over his cheekbones and his nostrils flared as he breathed. She looked down at his jeans, leaned close and whispered, “Max, I’m done with practice. Why don’t we wander up to our bedroom and I’ll rub your…hand, too.”

    He met her eyes. He stopped his massage. Except for the rise and fall of his chest, he was frozen in that pose of incipient passion.

    Then he sat back and sighed. “Doctor says no.”

    “Doctor said be careful.” 

    “Woman, if I could be careful, I would. As it is, nothing is best.”

    “I am torn between being flattered and frustrated.” She thought about it. “Mostly frustrated.”

    I’m just fine.” Max didn’t usually resort to sarcasm, so that told her a lot. Married almost two years and no sex. He was a good man, but he was coming to the end of his patience.

    “If we’re refraining because we’re worried I’m going to pop a blood vessel while in the throes of passion, I’d like to point out there are solutions that you might enjoy.”

    “That isn’t fair to you.”

    “You’re massaging my hand. That’s pretty wonderful.”

    “Not the same.” Again he took her tired hand and went to work.

    Bitterly she said, “Kellen’s Brain. It’s like a bad sci-fi fantasy.”

    He laughed. “It’s improving all the time.” When he had made her hand relax and Kellen relax with it, he said, “I’ve been thinking—the Di Luca family owns Isla Paraíso off the coast of Northern California. The family bought the island seventy years ago with the idea of placing a resort on the island, but now that doesn’t seem likely. Someone needs to go there, look things over, make decisions about its fate.”

    Kellen nodded. “You want to go there? See what you think?”

    “Actually, I thought we should all go there.”

    He was still working her hand, but with a little too much forcefulness and concentration.

    “Ouch,” she said softly.

    He pulled away, horrified. “Did I hurt you?”

    “Not at all. Except that you’re treating me like a child.”

    “What do you mean?”

    “You’re not telling me what’s really going on. Why do you want to go to this island?”

    “I told you—”

    “I don’t doubt that what you told me is the truth. But it’s not all the truth. Max, what’s wrong?”

    Max sighed, an understatement of a sigh, as if he dreaded what he was about to say. “You’re not going to like it.”

    “I gathered that.”

    “Mitch Nyugen.”

    “What about him? He’s dead.” She remembered she couldn’t always trust Kellen’s Brain. “Isn’t he?”

    “Yes. He was buried in the Cape Charade cemetery.”

    Was buried?” Unease stirred in her belly.

    “This week, his widow arrived from Wyoming.”

    “He wasn’t married.” That brain thing. “Was he?”

    “No.” Max was as sure as Kellen was not. “Yet the woman who claimed to be his widow had all the necessary paperwork to have his body exhumed.”

    “Oh, no.”

    “She had the coffin placed in the chapel. Last night, the undertaker, Arthur Earthman, found her there, with the coffin open. She murdered him, and almost killed his wife, Cynthia. The widow escaped ahead of the sheriff, and she left her calling card.”

    Kellen knew. She knew what Max was going to say. “She cut off Mitch’s hands.”

    “And took them.” Max looked up at her, his brown eyes wretched with fear. “Mara Philippi is back. And she’s here.”

    ***

    Excerpt from Strangers She Knows by Christina Dodd. Copyright 2019 by Christina Dodd. Reproduced with permission from HQN Books. All rights reserved.

     

     

    Author Bio:

    Christina Dodd

    New York Times bestselling author Christina Dodd writes “edge-of-the-seat suspense” (Iris Johansen) with “brilliantly etched characters, polished writing, and unexpected flashes of sharp humor that are pure Dodd” (ALA Booklist). Her fifty-eight books have been called “scary, sexy, and smartly written” by Booklist and, much to her mother’s delight, Dodd was once a clue in the Los Angeles Times crossword puzzle.

    Enter Christina’s worlds and join her mailing list at:
    christinadodd.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook!

     

    Book Blast Participants:



     

     

    Book Blast Giveaway:

    This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Christina Dodd and HQN Books. There will be one (1) winner. The winner will receive an Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on September 17, 2019 and runs through September 26, 2019. Void where prohibited.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

     

     

     

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Sep 162019
 

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.

Tuesday:
STRANGERS SHE KNOWS by Christina Dodd ~ eBook from Harlequin via NetGalley
STRANGERS SHE KNOWS by Christina Dodd ~ eBook from Harlequin via NetGalley
Wednesday:
THE NEIGHBORHOOD by Erina Bridget Ring ~ Signed TPB from Author
Wednesday:
A BITTER FEAST by Deborah Crombie ~ HC from William Morrow
Friday:
ALL ABOUT EVIE by Cathy Lamb ~ eBook from Kensinton Books via NetGalley
Saturday:
BIG LIES IN A SMALL TOWN by Diane Chamberlain ~ eBook from St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley