Mar 182017
 

A DOZEN TRUTHS by Editors Lou Aronica and Aaron Brown
Published by The Story Plant
Publication Date: March 14th, 2017
ISBN-10: 1611882516
ISBN-13: 978-1611882513
Pages: 230
Review Copy From: Author Steven Manchester
Edition: Kindle
My Rating: 5

Synopsis (via GR):

The greatest truths are often revealed in fiction, as exemplified by this stunning anthology of stories that reveal the human condition in bracingly truthful ways. The eternal complexities of sibling relationships are revealed in four-time #1 bestselling author Steven Manchester’s “Lost.” The hope and betrayal that so often underlies love declare themselves in Marcia Gloster’s “Losing Will.” The reality behind a con man’s illusions emerge in Craig Ham’s contest-winning “Tonic and Spirits.” These are three of the dozen truths that will rise from these pages. Side by side with the work of national bestselling novelists like Mary Marcus and Earl Javorsky, A DOZEN TRUTHS features the three winners of the 2016 AuthorsFirst Short Story Contest, providing a bold mix of experienced storytelling and fresh new voices. As entertaining as it is engaging, A DOZEN TRUTHS promises twelve dramatic revelations – and as many powerful reading experiences. CONTRIBUTORS INCLUDE: Eric Andersson Steven Manchester Carmen Siegers Marcia Gloster Craig Ham Lynn Voedisch Mary Marcus Christopher Slater KJ Steele Earl Javorsky Roger Bagg Robert Herzog

My Thoughts and Opinion:

First a couple of caveats.
If you follow my blog/reviews, then you know I am both a fan of The Story Plant and author Steven Manchester. So when Steve asked me to review this book, the answer was to send it on!!!

I rarely read Short Stories in the past, but this year I have been, and have found that I enjoying them for a multiple of reasons. The main one is that I get to sample writings of authors that I haven’t read as of yet.

A DOZEN TRUTHS, as the synopsis states, is an anthology of stories of human behaviors at it’s best and worst, emotions, relationships, and thought processes of both reality and imagined, written by authors that were familiar to me and some that I now have on my “authors to read” list.

In JOIN by Eric Andersson, a High School student is obsessed with thoughts of mortality. Is it due to mental illness or is it a topic that only he thinks about or does everyone?

In TWO O’CLOCK TRAIN by KJ Steele, Mara and Jimmy, two innocent childhood friends enjoy playing by the train tracks. But how innocent is Mara? She compares her home life to Jimmy’s. Is she really innocent and a loyal friend? At two o’clock that is answered.

And my favorite, LOST by Steven Manchester, which is another incident during the car journey of the Prendergast brothers of his latest novel, ASHES. A question in this story, I felt was so compelling and poignant. Are we truly ever lost? Or are we where we should be?

I highly recommend this book, not only for some excellent writings but also to meet the authors behind the stories. I guarantee, like me, you will be adding these authors to your list too.

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REVIEW DISCLAIMER

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.
DISCLAIMER

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.
ADDENDUM

I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

Mar 102017
 

WILDCAT: V. I. Warshawski’s First Case

by Sara Paretsky

on Tour March 7 – April 7, 2017

Synopsis:

WILDCAT: V. I.Warshawski's First Case by Sara Paretsky

Sara Paretsky, one of the most legendary crime writers of all time, presents an exclusive and thrilling short story featuring beloved investigator V.I. Warshawski as a ten-year-old girl on her first investigation.

V.I. Warshawski developed her strength and sense of justice at a very early age. It’s 1966 and on the south side of Chicago racial tensions are at an all-time high. Dr. Martin Luther King is leading marches at Marquette Park and many in the neighborhood are very angry.

With nothing but a bicycle, eighty-two cents in her pocket, and her Brownie camera hanging from her wrist, Victoria sneaks off to Marquette Park alone to protect her father Tony, a police officer who is patrolling the crowds.

What begins as a small adventure and a quest to find her father and make sure he is safe turns into something far more dangerous. As the day goes on and the conflict at the park reaches a fever pitch Victoria realizes she must use her courage and ingenuity if she wants to keep herself and her family members out of harm’s way.

MY REVIEW

4 stars

I can’t believe that this is the first book that I have read by Sara Paretsky. I surely have been missing out!

This novella is the start of it all. Victoria Warshawski’s introduction to crime and justice began when she overheard “the adults” talking, especially when her Uncle says he is going after her father.

Wanting to warn her father, she takes her bike in search of her father, who is a policeman on duty during the racial riots in Chicago, Illinois. She finds herself precariously in a car’s trunk, and even as a young child, escapes.

Reading how it all began, I need to do a lot of catching up with this series. A novella that will leave the reading wanting more!

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Number of Pages: 45
ISBN: 0062689509 (ISBN13: 9780062689504)
Series: V.I. Warshawski
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Author Bio:

Sara Paretsky

Hailed by P.D. James as “the most remarkable” of modern crime writers, SARA PARETSKY is the New York Times-bestselling author of nineteen previous novels, including the renowned V.I. Warshawski series. She is one of only four living writers – alongside John Le Carré, Sue Grafton, and Lawrence Block – to have received both the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America and the Cartier Diamond Dagger from the Crime Writers’ Association of Great Britain. She lives in Chicago with her husband.

Before there was Lisbeth Salander, before there was Stephanie Plum, there was V.I. WARSHAWSKI. She took the mystery world by storm in 1982 with her first appearance in Indemnity Only. A gifted private eye with the grit and smarts to tackle the mean streets, V.I. transformed a genre in which women were typically either vamps or victims. As a “courageous, sexually liberated female investigator,” she “has a humility, a humanity, and a need for human relationships which the male hard-boilers lack” (P.D. James). She lives in Chicago with her dog.

Catch Up With Our Author On:
Website 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great tour hosts for review & more great giveaways!


Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Sara Paretsky and Witness Impulse. There will be 5 winners of one (1) eBook copy of WILDCAT: V. I. Warshawski’s First Case by Sara Paretsky. The giveaway begins on March 4th and runs through April 10th, 2017. The giveaway is open to residents in the US & Canada only.

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REVIEW DISCLAIMER

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.
DISCLAIMER

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.
ADDENDUM

I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

Mar 092017
 

THE FIFTH LETTER by Nicola Moriarity
Published by William Morrow
Publication Date: January 24, 2017
ISBN-10: 0062413562
ISBN-13: 978-0062413567
Pages: 288
Review Copy From: Publisher
Edition: HC
My Rating: 5

Synopsis via GR:

A fun vacation game turns destructive, exposing dark secrets, deeply buried grudges, and a shocking betrayal in Nicola Moriarity’s intriguing debut.

Four friends . . .

Joni, Deb, Eden, and Trina have been best friends since high school, sharing a bond that has seen them through their teenage years and into adulthood. But now, time and circumstance is starting to pull them apart as careers, husbands, and babies get in the way. As their yearly vacation becomes less of a priority—at least for three of the women—how can Joni find a way to draw the four of them back together?

Four secrets . . .

During a laughter and wine-filled night, the women dare one another to write anonymous letters, spilling their deepest, darkest secrets. But the fun game turns devastating, exposing cracks in their lives and the friendships they share. Each letter is a dark confession revealing shocking information. A troubled marriage? A substance abuse problem? A secret pregnancy? A heartbreaking diagnosis?

Five letters . . .

Late on one of their last nights together, after the other three have gone to bed, Joni notices something in the fireplace—a burnt, crumpled, nearly destroyed, sheet of paper that holds the most shattering revelation of all. It is a fifth letter—a hate-filled rant that exposes a vicious, deeply hidden grudge that has festered for decades. But who wrote it? Which one of them has seethed with resentment all these years? What should Joni do?

Best friends are supposed to keep your darkest secrets. But the revelations Joni, Deb, Eden and Trina have shared will ripple through their lives with unforeseen consequences . . . and things will never be the same.

My Thoughts and Opinion:

I absolutely loved this book!

The saying goes…You can pick your friends but not your relatives, and since these 4 young women have been best friends since they were 12 years old, they thought they knew everything about each other….until a little game they played while on their annual getaway.

The characters were very well developed that this reader felt like I personally knew them. Knew their strengths, weaknesses, loves, desires, wants and hopes. That was until they decided to anonymously write their biggest secrets and each night read and discuss one of the letters and maybe even guess who was behind the letter. Until a fifth letter was found with a very violent dark secret, but who wrote it?

I read this book in 2 sittings, being unable to put it down. From the first page, I was hooked. An emotional, mysterious read that I highly recommend. I hope to read more by this author.

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REVIEW DISCLAIMER

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.
DISCLAIMER

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.
ADDENDUM

I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

Mar 012017
 

Lisa Brunette

Cat in the Flock by Lisa Brunette Tour banner

Cat in the Flock

by Lisa Brunette

on Tour March 1-30, 2017

Synopsis:

Cat in the Flock by Lisa BrunetteA sexy murder-mystery with a spiritual edge.

For most people, dreams are a way to escape reality. But for Cat McCormick, they’re a way to get closer to the truth. Cat can ‘slip’ into other people’s dreams.

After graduating college with a degree in criminal justice but little in the way of real-life experience, Cat moves from the Midwest to Seattle to apprentice with her Granny Grace, who shares the ability. Granny uses dreamslipping as a private investigator, and Cat plans to follow in her footsteps.

But forced to take work as a security guard, Cat discovers a mother and daughter on the run. Following the clues, she goes undercover in a Midwestern megachurch, where she finds redemption and goodwill amidst repression, hypocrisy, and murder.

Praise:

“A fascinating tale of mystery, romance, and what one woman’s dreams are made of. Brunette will keep you awake far into the night.” — Mary Daheim, bestselling author of the Bed-and-Breakfast and Emma Lord/Alpine mysteries

“Already hooked, this reader intends further sojourns in Cat’s dreamslipping world. Highly recommended.” — Frances Carden, Readers Lane

“Gripping, sexy and profound, CAT IN THE FLOCK is an excellent first novel. Lisa Brunette is an author to enjoy now and watch for the future.” — Jon Talton, author of the David Mapstone Mysteries, the Cincinnati Casebooks and the thriller Deadline Man

“A little Sue Grafton and a dose of Janet Evanovich… is just the right recipe for a promising new series.” — Rev. Eric O’del

“The launch of an intriguing female detective series… A mystery with an unusual twist and quirky settings; an enjoyable surprise for fans of the genre.” — Kirkus Reviews

MY REVIEW

4 stars

Cat McCormick has the innate ability, as her Grandmother, to “dream slip” into others’ dreams. A recent college graduate, she moves to the West Coast to train under her Grandmother, to help reestablish the family P.I. firm and also learn how to use her gift to her best ability. On the flight to Seattle, she has a dream slipping episode, which throws her into a mystery where she finds herself in an undercover position in an Evangelical Church.

The suspense in this book had me turning the pages. The plot contains spirituality, betrayals, truths, lies, murder, and a rekindled love. The thought of the dream slipping was intriguing. And a shocking ending.

This is the 1st book in the Dream Slipping series and I am looking forward to the next book. Definitely recommend!

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Sky Harbor Press
Publication Date: December 27th 2014
Number of Pages: 197
ISBN: 0986237701 (ISBN13: 9780986237706)
Series: Dreamslippers #1
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Read an excerpt:

Prologue

Sherrie marched into her daughter’s bedroom and dragged a child-sized roller bag suitcase out of the closet. The girl stood in the middle of the room, still in her pajamas. Milk from breakfast had dried around the edges of her lips.

“Ruthie,” the mother said. “I need you to get dressed. We’re going to take a…trip.” Sherrie tried to make her voice sound cheery, but the desperation she felt came through in her tone.

“What’s wrong, Mommy?”

Sherrie set the suitcase on the bed. The bubble- gum pink had once seemed innocent but now looked fleshy and indecent. She glanced at the clock over the bed. He’d been golfing for a good fifteen minutes by now, long enough for her to make sure he didn’t come back for a favorite club or the right gloves. She wanted to be on that morning flight by the time he got home and discovered them gone.

She flung open the chest of drawers and grabbed all of the girl’s socks and underwear, a pair of corduroy pants, black cotton tights, a sweater the color of a Midwestern sky. Nothing pink. Only warm things. Seattle in her memory was cold and wet. It was a grey city; grey clouds over grey buildings. Even the water was grey.

One doll would fit. Made of cloth, it could be folded in on itself and slid down the backside of the suitcase.

“Can I bring the ballerina skirt?”

Any other day, she would have corrected her daughter, who needed to learn the precise names of things. Tutu. There it was in the closet, hanging because it took up too much room in the drawer. She yanked it free, sending the hanger to the floor. Ordinarily, she would pick that up; her house was so clean it hurt her eyes with its spareness—as if theirs were a showroom house, not lived in. She left the hanger there, aware of the thrill this fraction of disobedience gave her. She shoved everything into the little pink case, but with the fluffy tulle taking up so much space, the zipper would not close. The choice was clear. The doll would be a comfort to Ruthie in Seattle, but the tutu would not.

“We’ll come back for this later,” she said, tossing the tutu onto the bed. The zipper closed, the sound of it satisfying.

“No, Mommy!” Ruthie stomped her foot. “I want it now!”

“Then you’re going to have to wear it. Now get dressed while I pack my clothes.” But she felt a pang of guilt for her reprimanding tone, and for having to leave the tutu. Bending down, she used her thumb to wipe some of the milk crust from her daughter’s face. “I’ll let you wear anything you want on this trip, okay, sweetheart? And clean your face with the cloth in the bathroom, like Mommy showed you.”

The girl nodded, as if sensing this was not the time for a tantrum.

Sherrie’s own packing, she did with even less consideration. Under things, shirts. A fleece hoodie. Warm socks. She remembered she needed layers in Seattle. Sometimes it could seem warm even though it rained and the sun had not come out for weeks. Her keepsakes in their tiny, locked chest would not fit. They were the only things she had to remind herself of her life before this, but she would have to leave them behind.

Sherrie kept watch on the clock and glanced out the window twice to make sure his car wasn’t out front even though she knew he wouldn’t be home for another hour. The sun had risen blood-red over the cornfields in the distance, lighting them as if on fire. She’d miss that. And she thought of thunderstorms, which seemed never to occur in Seattle. She’d miss those, too.

Ruthie appeared in the doorway. Her face was clean, but none of her clothes matched. She was wearing pink high-tops that seemed wrong for the city they were going to, the situation, and everything else, but she had apparently decided not to wear the tutu.

“Time to leave.” She took the girl’s hand, promising to herself she’d never let go.

Author Bio:

Lisa BrunetteLisa was born in Santa Rosa, California, but that was only home for a year. A so-called “military brat,” she lived in nine different houses and attended nine different schools by the time she was 14. Through all of the moves, her one constant was books. She read everything, from the entire Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden mystery series to her mother’s books by Daphne DuMaurier and Taylor Caldwell.

A widely published author, game writer, and journalist, Lisa has interviewed homeless women, the designer of the Batmobile, and a sex expert, to name just a few colorful characters. This experience, not to mention her own large, quirky family, led her to create some truly memorable characters in her Dreamslippers Series and other works, whether books or games.

Always a vivid dreamer, not to mention a wannabe psychic, Lisa feels perfectly at home slipping into suspects’ dreams, at least in her imagination. Her husband isn’t so sure she can’t pick up his dreams in real life, though.

With a hefty list of awards and publications to her name, Lisa now lives in a small town in Washington State, but who knows how long that will last…

Lisa publishes a bimonthly newsletter. Sign up and receive a free book!

You can also visit Lisa on her Website 🔗, on Twitter 🔗, & at Facebook 🔗.

Lisa will be back on March 8th….Don’t miss the 2nd installment for Author Of The Month

AUTHOR OF THE MONTH ~ GIVEAWAY EXTRAVAGANZA


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March 2017 Tour Participants:

Don’t miss these great stops on the Cat in the Flock tour!


Don’t Miss Your Chance to WIN!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Lisa Brunette. There will be 3 winners of one (1) $15 Amazon.com Gift Card AND 5 winnders of one (1) eBook copy of Cat in the Flock by Lisa Brunette. The giveaway begins on February 29th and runs through March 2nd, 2017.

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Feb 282017
 

THE EYES OF A WOLF by James LePore
Published by Fiction Studio Books
Publication Date: February 28, 2017
ASIN: B01MUAP86I
Pages: 139
Review Copy From: Author
Edition: Kindle
My Rating: 4

Synopsis (via GR):

In 2007, three years after leaving the military, Zev Evans is a drunk – and a neurotic one at that. Living with his Sicilian mother and running figure eights through Long Island’s dense suburbs, he believes that the weird thoughts that plague him – he calls them tics – might have entered his head while he was undergoing brain surgery three years earlier.

In THE EYES OF A WOLF, Zev narrates, in his own bizarre yet oddly incisive style, his first case as a fixer – the person you call when you have nowhere else to turn. Carol Harris, the Army surgeon who mended Zev’s shrapnel-filled skull in 2004, has abruptly taken sick leave from her neurosurgeon’s duties at a Los Angeles hospital. She manages to make a desperate call to Zev, who flies west into a world he never knew existed, peopled with kidnappers, murderers, corrupt cops, and even more corrupt politicians.

With the help of his new friend Eva Lopez and his old NYPD buddy, the genius hacker Johnny Scoglio, Zev sets out to save and avenge Carol . . . and to find his true calling in the process.

My Thoughts and Opinion:

Amazing! Absolutely amazing! A tense and concise thriller in 139 pages!! The characters well developed, especially the menacing Zev Evans, the action was non-stop, with vivid descriptive writing, all in 139 pages!!!

This novella was a page turner. I hope that Zev Evans will be back in a future full length novel because I didn’t want this story to end!!

If you haven’t read anything by James LePore, this is your chance to see what an extraordinary writer he is. Highly recommend!

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REVIEW DISCLAIMER

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.
DISCLAIMER

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.
ADDENDUM

I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.