Jan 072020
 

BREAKFAST WITH THE FBI by Erina Bridget Ring
Genre: White Collar Crime/True Account
Published by CreateSpace
Publication Date: May 1, 2015
ISBN-10: 1511558385
ISBN-13: 978-1511558389
Pages: 114
Review Copy From: Personal purchase
Edition: TPB
My Rating: 4

Synopsis (via GR)

When bank teller Rose Ryan accidentally uncovers a shocking discrepancy in bank finances, she goes to the police, who immediately call in the FBI. From that day forward, she meets at a coffee shop each morning with two FBI agents to report her observed embezzling activity and receive further instructions. Rose continues to collect evidence of the illegal activity at the bank, right under the noses of the criminals, but for her own safety and that of her family, she is warned to “tell no one, not even your husband.” Until now . . .

My Thoughts

I recently read Ms. Ring’s latest book, THE NEIGHBORHOOD, and thoroughly enjoyed it. After connecting on Facebook, she told me about her previous books and a little bit about them. With that, she sent me a signed copy of KNIT 2, PURL 2, KILL 2, which I have yet to read and I purchased BREAKFAST WITH THE FBI because I was intrigued due to what she told me about how this book came to be via a real-life experience.

Rose Ryan embodies what an all-around good person should be. Her family came first, believed in honesty, knew the difference between right and wrong and was active in her community. After being a stay at home Mom until her 2 children were in High School, she went back to work as a bank teller. She loved her job and was held in high esteem by those that went to the bank. Her work ethics was extraordinary and didn’t go unnoticed when she received a promotion and was transferred to another branch.

The first day there, while closing up, she noticed an exorbitant amount of money was missing. She went straight to the President of the bank to inform him of the error. She had done right, at least she thought she did until she overheard the president on the phone telling someone that “Rose was on to them”.

Driving home she knew she could not let this matter go. After much thought, she pulled into the Police Parking Lot and gave a statement. Thinking that an investigation would ensue, she felt that she had done her job. However, due to the amount of money, the police told her that the FBI would need to be brought into it. And from there, her life turned upside down.

She was now an informant for the FBI. She wasn’t allowed to tell her husband, children, no one!!! She was followed, as were her family. Things got worse when she realized that the new Branch Manager carried a gun and was part of the embezzlement circle of employees.

I could feel Rose’s tension, worry and anxiety, not only while she was at work but having to lie to her family to keep them safe. And throughout the read, I kept asking myself what would I have done. The storyline was fluid. There are some surprises as to the outcome of this story and the when and how Rose finally told her story.

This story did resonate with and trigger my own memories of a somewhat similar experience that occurred with my family when I was young and my parents were approached to help the state troopers to be part of a sting. It lasted for 8+ months where we were followed and not allowed to say anything to anyone!

Another great read Ms. Ring!!!!!!

Watch the trailer

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

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.
  • 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 Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
  • Dec 052019
     

    The Neighborhood by Erina Bridget Ring
    Genre: Humerous Fiction
    Published by Erina Bridget Ring
    Publication Date: June 26, 2018
    ISBN-10: 0692141847
    ISBN-13: 978-0692141847
    Pages: 260
    Review Copy From: Author
    Edition: Signed TPB
    My Rating: 5

    Synopsis (via GR

    Gretchen O’Malley thinks her new neighborhood is nice and quiet, as ordinary as any other neighborhood. But this soon changes. Every day a new dilemma arises, pulling her into the chaos, and as she gets to know her neighbors she discovers comedy, cruelty, and even tragedy.

    Do you know what’s going on in your neighborhood?

    My Thoughts

    This year I have been reading mostly Psychological Thrillers but was needing a change so I decided on The Neighborhood, which I was lucky enough, to receive a signed copy from the author. Can I say what a charming delight this book was!!!! The first book that I have read by Ms. Ring but will definitely not be the last.

    Who will honestly say that you have checked out what your neighbors are doing or shaking your heads at them? I know I have.

    Gretchen and Jarrod O’Malley have moved into a house in the quaint Sherwood Forest neighboorhood on a cul de sac where it appears that their neighbors are welcoming and all friendly. The day after their move, Maggie Gaines comes to visit and offers Gretchen help to unpack. However, the kind offer turns into a very uncomfortable feeling in Gretchen since Maggie is telling her where to put the unpacked items.

    Then what Gretchen and Jarrod thought was the ideal neighborhood turns into something that is hard to believe.

    This was an entertaining and quick read. I was chuckling at some of the incidents and then feeling creepy at others. I had to keep reading because I wanted to find out what was going to happen next in this little community. The characters were believable, even though, their antics were at times overpowering, quite intrusive and outlandish.

    I absolutely loved this book and know that I will never look at my neighbors again without thinking of the residents living in the Sherwood Forest area!

    Highly recommend!

    Q&A with Erina Bridget Ring

    Welcome and thank you for stopping by CMash Reads
    What inspired you to write this book?

    I’d like to start by saying it’s truly a pleasure to be a part of this experience, and I thank you Cheryl for the opportunity in order to participate.

    Having moved 21 times in my life, I have lived in different states and communities. I remember various homes and the neighbors within all those different communities. What struck me the most, was every time we moved a person would show up in my new neighborhood that would remind me of a person from my old one.

    What propelled me to write about The Neighborhood? A combination of things. You see, my neighborhood is going through changes, people have moved, the children have grown up and moved away, and unfortunately some have passed away. I was standing in my local grocery store talking with a friend that had some crazy things going on in her neighborhood and the neighbors were in an uproar. I left the store thinking I bet this is more common than I thought, and decided right then and there to investigate the goings on of other peoples neighborhoods.

    I have friends all over the country and I decided to survey them. I asked specific questions about where they lived, and I told them to not sugar coat the answers. I sent over 100 letters to families and when I started to get the surveys back, not only were photos included- the top ten types of people were the common thread within all of them! I remember saying out loud in my office…”We all live in the same Neighborhood!” I have to write about this.

    So, off to the local coffee shop I went. I started to write about a little town in the Midwest, with charming names of streets and my “characters” started to move right in and began to shape the story. I was writing my book and describing things, when all of a sudden a woman dashing around the neighborhood with binoculars and a clip board arrived. Gladys.

    The day Gladys arrived, the tone of my book changed from a sweet story of everyday life in America, to a humorous story of fun and dread within a somewhat fictional neighborhood.

    This was now my fifth novel, and began writing in 2014. I write Contemporary/ memoir /fiction. So basically, I am writing about things I observe in life and how they relate to people in my lifetime. Although my first book was a memoir, I quickly moved away from “Me” within the stories and an interesting thing happened. The people within my community thought I was writing about them! Now that is eye opening in of itself, and opened up a huge conversation about what I was writing about, and how personal it truly can be. Finally, I found myself not speaking about what I was writing so people would not tell others I was writing about them- as though it was a terrible thing! I found this also to be eye opening as people love to be in a book, until the person in the book does something devious, then people are upset and outraged. The reactions I’ve gotten have been mostly positive. The biggest challenge in me writing a novel is taking a deep breath and telling the reader a story, be it happy, sad, exciting, or plain dreadful. I really want my readers to feel and breath-in the emotions of my characters and be able to root for one side or the other.
    I loved Gladys. I so wanted to know what she was writing on her clipboard!!!!

    Give us a glimpse of the research that went into this book.
    Since this was my fifth novel, I just began writing in 2014. I write Contemporary/ memoir /fiction. So basically I am writing about things I observe in life and how they relate to people in my lifetime. Although my first book is a memoir, I quickly moved away from “Me” within the stories and a interesting thing happened. The people within my community thought I was writing about them! Now that is very eye opening and opened up a huge conversation about what I am writing and how personal it really is. I had to finally not talk about what I am writing so people would not tell other people I was writing about them as though it was a terrible thing! I found it eye opening people love to be in a book until the person in the book does something devious, then people are upset and outraged. The reactions I have gotten have been mostly positive. So the biggest challenge in me writing a novel is taking a deep breath and telling the reader a story be it happy, sad, exciting or plain dreadful. I really want my reader to feel, breath the emotions of my characters and root for one side or the other.
    I could definitely feel Gretchen’s emotions but I won’t say who I liked or disliked

    Your routine in writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
    I write at coffee shops and local restaurants. I had my very first interview at a local bakery, and I wrote my first novel and first newspaper article, with photos, at the very same one… and every book since then. My readers get a sense of the community I am writing about and have been so supportive.

    Tell us why we should read your book?
    Why should you read my book? Now that is a very interesting story. Since my first book is about me- my readers truly resonated with me within that story and wanted to hear more. Even though I have moved to fiction, I put a sense of myself within the books for the reader to pull them into the storyline. I speak to many people and have a wealth of stories from my personal life to share. I sell my books hand to hand, and try to connect with the reader on a level of acceptance. My following has now grown online through social media platforms, as I wrote all five novels without social media being present within my writing process. People are just now finding out about my stories and are reading them as I wrote them, as though they are a series. Each one of my books stands alone with different emotional ties, and dilemmas. What each book has within- is a sense of community, one that my reader wants to be a part of and/or can easily see themselves within.

    Are you working on your next novel? If so, can you tell us a little bit about it?
    Am I working on another novel? Yes, I am excited to say another group of people arrived for me to write about. I am doing my research as I write this novel and its been challenging but funny, outrageous, sometimes sad, extremely interesting, and eye opening for me. I have traveled out of town to different places and since I am not completely 100% sure of the title yet…I will need to share that when the title is firmly set.

    Favorite leisure activities/hobbies?
    What do I do for fun? I am a wife and grandmother, an artist. I paint watercolors, and have played the piano since I was 3 years old. I love to walk my dog Ruby everyday. and of course- I love to write. Believe it or not, I had no idea I was a writer until I went through one of the roughest years, personally and emotionally in my life. My husband was writing his first novel which took him 15 years to complete, and he needed an editor. It was through my husband Jack, that I met his editor, Carolyn Woolston. She asked me one question, and my reply left her wanting to know more about “What Happened.” Jack and I drove to the coast to meet Carolyn to discuss Jack’s book, “Red Sky in the Morning.” A historical novel about WWll. She accepted Jack’s book to edit, and sent me home thinking about the possibility of writing a story about what I was going through personally. You see, I thought it would be a journal of sorts…but Knit 2, Purl 2, Kill 2 – A Caretakers Story of Survival, poured right out of me. I found out I was a writer in the process, a process that is still ongoing, and one that continues to surprise me…
    I am looking forward to reading this.

    Your novel will be a movie. You would you cast?
    What if my novel became a movie who would I cast? Well, that is an interesting question. I was at Starbucks writing when I happened to talk to a Sundance film maker….a shear by-chance meeting. We struck up a conversation because I was writing a gripping scene in my second novel, Breakfast with the FBI and I was trying to find a Kleenex. She offered me a napkin and we started talking. She found out I was a very “new” writer, and I told her about my journey, by being interviewed on NPR Radio, highlighted in the newspapers, with that, people were actually reading my books…I was amazed that she was amazed…and yes, I sent my first two novels to a film maker…and that was in the beginning. I had a hard time saying I was a writer. It was just so surreal. Anyway, for The Neighborhood, I would love to have Nicole Kidman as me, Gladys, would be Gladys from Bewitched, my husband Jarrod in the book would be Clint Eastwood. Maggie would be Sarah Jessica Parker, the felons in the book would be the actor from the mask of Zorro- and Larry and Larry, from Bob Newhart. Chip and Joanna Gaines would be the religious couple of the neighborhood- and the new couple that moves in, would be Julia Roberts and Ryan Reynolds. Last but not least, the hunter in the story would be Bill Murray. It would be very interesting and intriguing to see the dynamics of these people unfold. What a fun idea!
    While reading, I was also picturing Gladys from Betwitched and can definitely see those actors in the roles you mentioned

    Favorite foods?
    My favorite foods? Jack and I write very early in the morning…so we take time every day to meet up for a 2-3 hour lunch to discuss our day, what we are working on and any character problems we may be having. Our conversations must be funny to overhear because we can be talking about WWll, Spanish Civil War to Irish History and then on to what the name was of those bikers that we saw on that freeway, or to “what would you think if the neighbor jumped over the fence and put the dogs in the garage on a hot day…would you be mad?”

    We love to eat locally and the restaurant of choice is R&D Kitchen. This is the same luncheon spot we frequented while I was writing The Neighborhood, and now, my newest, untitled book. They serve fish, great chicken, and yummy salads. A place this writer can eat, relax, and enjoy her surroundings.

    Thank you again Cheryl for asking so many wonderful questions. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with you, and I hope you and your followers will enjoy reading the stories I’ve written, ones that are very near and dear to me.

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

    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.
  • 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 Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
  • 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 112019
     

    What She Never Said by Catharine Riggs Banner

     

     

    What She Never Said

    by Catharine Riggs

    on Tour August 19 – September 20, 2019

    Synopsis:

    What She Never Said by Catharine Riggs

    How much would you pay to keep a secret? Ruth Mosby is the VP of operations at Serenity Acres, where the privileged elite go to die. For a hefty fee, wealthy retirees can live the good life in this posh Santa Barbara community—even after they outlive their money. But the savvy new boss has a new rule: if you can’t pay, you can’t stay.

    Guests whisper about an “Angel” who assists with suicides. Ruth has another word for it: murder.

    Ruth enlists her neighbor, an ex-detective named Zach, to discover the Angel’s secret identity. However, the two have a painful history, and Ruth has dark secrets all her own. To solve the mystery, Ruth must descend her golden tower—but can she bear the consequences of revealing her own sinister truths?

    Why Readers LOVE What She Never Said:

    “Riggs keeps the tension high to the dramatic climax.”
    Publishers Weekly

    What She Never Said is a fast-paced, compulsive read—and I speak as a slow-paced, easily distracted reader.”
    —Ashley Dyer, award-winning author of the Lake & Carver series.

    “A compelling read that will keep you awake well into the night.”
    —T.R. Ragan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

    Beneath the weight of metastasizing secrets, idyllic veneers buckle to reveal shocking truths that will haunt readers long after the final page.
    —P. J. Vernon, acclaimed author of the debut thriller, When You Find Me

    MY THOUGHTS/REVIEW

    5 stars

    Where do I begin because there is so much to say?! But I am apologizing in advance because this is going to be a very vague review so I won’t let too much slip.

    This is the second book in the Santa Barbara Suspense series, however, it read well as a stand-alone but I will be reading the first book soon.

    Being a retired RN and having worked within the elderly community, I was instantly drawn in from the first page, as the synopsis states the setting is Shady Acres, an elite geriatric facility where the patients are called guests. But there is someone who is assisting with suicides. Or is it murder? And who is in and what is this group within the complex that are members of “The Goodnight Club”?

    This book was so engrossing that I finished it in one sitting, which is very rare for me. I literally could not put it down as there were so many aspects that I had to know how it ended.

    Shady Acres has just been sold to a huge conglomerate company that their bottom line is first money and second, their image and lastly the patients. Right before the sale, Ruth Mosby, VP of Operations has found pink post-its with a guest’s name and date of their death but hasn’t told anyone about this. She is more concerned about being named the new Director.

    Since the sale, more patients have died especially those that are destitute. Not only are the patients dying, but a nurse has also been found murdered in the parking lot, which it is rumored that he was the complex’s drug dealer.

    Ms. Riggs has created characters that pull the reader into their lives wanting to know what their dark secrets, betrayals, guilt, depression, past traumas, substance abuse, regrets, shame, and more, which is why I just kept turning the pages.

    The suspense did not let up and had me guessing as to who were the leaders of this exclusive group, “The Goodnight Club”. Who was “The Angel” carrying out the passing of the residents? Who was “The Ambassador” or the go-between and who was the “leader” that passed the pink post-it notes getting the word to those above her/him.

    Is The Angel an empath for these aging people that want to die with dignity, or is there a serial killer working amongst them?

    Totally engrossing!! Chilling!! Will have you on the edge of your seat!!!

    Book Details:

    Genre: Psychological Suspense
    Published by: Thomas & Mercer
    Publication Date: September 10, 2019
    Number of Pages: 377
    ISBN: 1542042135 (ISBN13: 9781542042130)
    Series: Santa Barbara Suspense #2
    Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

    Read an excerpt:

    RUTH MOSBY

    ONE

    Monday, May 6

    My goal each day is ten thousand steps. A Fitbit monitors my progress. One. Two. Three. Four. This morning I’ll reach six thousand steps. Only four thousand left after that. It’s nice the days have grown longer. I’ll walk the harbor loop after work. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. I speed up the slope of Orpet Park through the grove of moth-eaten oaks.

    At the summit of the steepest hill, I catch a peek of ocean gray. The islands are invisible today, shrouded in waves of lowering fog. June gloom. That’s what the locals call it, although we’ve barely stepped into May. Locals? I am a local. Or should be after thirty-some years. But oh no. Not in Santa Barbara. You can’t be a local unless you’re born here. Ridiculous but true. Sometimes I wonder why I stay. But at my age, where would I go?

    Cresting the final hill, I catch my first glimpse of the mission bells. They’re a sad reminder of my walks with Carlyn and the chats we had every day. She thought the Queen of the Missions was a sign of God’s blessing on our tony beachside town. I wonder what she thinks of God now. I wonder what she thinks of me.

    I continue past the mission lawn, verging on parched and dry. The agaves look weathered and dusty; they’re wilted at the tips. A handful of elderly tourists snap photos of the iconic scene. Their foreign chatter disrupts the calm, so I cross the street to the rose garden and follow the rutted trail. A lone dog shoots into view, and I slow my rapid gait. The golden Lab jumps, twists, and barks, nabbing a Frisbee in his mouth.

    “Morning,” his master calls to me, a smile gracing his youthful face.

    “Morning.” I lock my gaze on my running shoes. How did he miss the DOGS ON LEASH signs staggered every twenty feet? Or maybe he didn’t but somehow believes he’s above the city’s rules. I make a mental note to call animal control and continue on my way.

    I pick up my pace for the final ten blocks, feeling better than I have in weeks. Turning down my narrow driveway, I cringe at the sight of my neighbor standing on his porch.

    “Morning, Ruth,” he calls.

    “Morning, Zach.”

    Zach limps down his steps and through his drought-stricken garden, a frown rumpling his grizzled face. He’s dressed in board shorts and a tattered T-shirt, mended flip-flops shielding his feet. “You hear those kids partying last night?” he asks.

    “No,” I lie. “Was it loud?”

    “Hell yeah. I can’t believe they allow short-term rentals in our neighborhood. We’ve got to put a stop to that.”

    “Well, kids will be kids.” I fail to mention I called the police at ten sharp. That’s when the noise ordinance kicks in.

    “I’m going to complain at today’s city council meeting. Want to come along?” The breeze shifts, and I catch a whiff of spoiled milk. Zach has taken to strategic bathing, which results in an occasional stench.

    “I would, but I have to work.”

    “Bummer. There’s a better chance if we complain together.”

    I nod, thinking he’d have a better chance if he made an effort to clean himself up. When we moved into the neighborhood decades ago, Zach had been a handsome man with an easy smile and a mop of thick black hair. A homicide detective whose pretty wife, Tina, taught art at the nearby elementary school. The perfect neighbors on a perfect street of tiny Craftsman homes. Then their son died in a tragic accident, and Tina passed soon after that. A broken man, Zach took early retirement and nearly drank himself to death. He’s in recovery now and has replaced the booze with an obsession for neighborhood affairs. “What about my petition?” he asks. “You plan on signing that?”

    I bite my lower lip. “I’m not sure.”

    “Construction begins next week.”

    “I wish I could, but . . .”

    Mumbling under his breath, he eyes me with a frown. He’s also taken to talking to himself. Is dementia creeping up? “But what?” he asks.

    “I don’t think it’s wise for someone in my position to take a political stance.”

    “Your position?” He rolls his eyes. “You work at an old folks’ home.”

    “I work in a life-care community.”

    “Same thing.”

    “No, it’s not.”

    His frown deepens into a crevasse. “So, you’re okay with those homes coming down?” He nods at the four vacant bungalows located directly across the street. They’re slated for demolition, to be replaced by a ten-thousand-square-foot mansion with an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Our future neighbors are a flashy young couple with toddler twins and an army of well-groomed staff. Seems our former middle-class neighborhood is attracting the fashionable Hollywood types.

    “I’m not okay with it,” I say, “but what can we do? The planning commission has made their decision. We’re not going to change their minds.”

    “But if we don’t take action, it won’t be long before people like us can’t live in this town.”

    “At least we’ll make a mint when we sell.”

    “You’re not thinking of moving, are you?”

    “Of course not.” Although I might if the price is right.

    Zach sniffs and takes a swipe at his nose. “I just wish we could stop these assholes. They even complained about my new picket fence.”

    I hold my voice steady. “They did?” Last month, Zach replaced his aging fence with a synthetic version that lists from side to side.

    “Hell yes. City says my fence is four inches too tall, and I’ve got one month to replace the thing.

    Where the hell am I going to get that kind of money? My pension only goes so far.” He searches my face with his electric-blue eyes. They’re the only part of him that haven’t aged.

    “That’s terrible,” I say, dropping my gaze and backpedaling down the driveway. “Got to get to work. Have a nice day.” I hurry through the gate, swimming through waves of guilt. What if Zach finds out I turned him in? He’ll be angrier than a cornered wasp. But by the time I step out of the shower, I’ve pushed away all my self-doubt. Is it my fault his fence is too tall? For God’s sake, rules are rules.

    ***

    Excerpt from What She Never Said by Catharine Riggs. Copyright © 2019 by Catharine Riggs. Reproduced with permission from Catharine Riggs. All rights reserved.

     

     

    Author Bio:

    Catharine Riggs

    Catharine Riggs lives and writes on California’s central coast. Before her dive into thrillers, Riggs worked as a business banker, adjunct college instructor, and a nonprofit executive. What She Never Said is the second novel in her loosely linked Santa Barbara Suspense series. The first, What She Gave Away, was published by Thomas & Mercer in September of 2018.

    Catch Up With Catharine Riggs On:
    www.CatharineRiggs.com, Goodreads, & BookBub, Twitter!

     

     

    Tour Participants:

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



     

     

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    Aug 302019
     

    THE STARTER WIFE by Nina Laurin
    Genre: Psychological Thriller
    Published by Grand Central Publishing
    Publication Date: June 11, 2019
    ISBN-10: 1538715716
    ISBN-13: 978-1538715710
    Pages: 352
    Review Copy From: Author
    Edition: Signed TPB
    My Rating: 4

    Synopsis (via GR)

    Local police have announced that they’re closing the investigation of the suspected drowning of 37-year-old painter Colleen Westcott. She disappeared on April 11, 2010, and her car was found parked near the waterfront in Cleveland two days later, but her body has never been found. The chief of police has stated that no concrete evidence of foul play has been discovered in the probe.

    I close the online search window, annoyed. These articles never have enough detail. They think my husband’s first wife disappeared or they think she is dead. There’s a big difference.

    My phone rings, jarring me away from my thoughts, and when I pick it up, it’s an unknown number. The only answer to my slightly breathless hello is empty static.

    When the voice does finally come, it’s female, low, muffled somehow. “Where is it, Claire? What did you do with it? Tell me where it is.”

    A woman. A real flesh-and-blood woman on the other end of the phone. She’s not just in my head.

    A wave of panic spreads under my skin like ice water. It’s Colleen.

    My Thoughts

    I had added this title to my GR TBR shelf back on May 23, 2019, after seeing many comments about it in some of the Facebook book groups that I am a member of. There was a giveaway for it in another group that I am a member of, Bloom With Tall Poppy Writers and was notified I was a winner. YES!!!!

    Eight years ago, Byron Westcott, Professor of Literature, lost his wife, Colleen to suicide but her body was never found. Even though he was considered a possible suspect at the time, the police announced they were closing the case due to lack of evidence that it was anything other than a suicide. Friends of the couple, right before Colleen’s death, saw that she was not emotionally stable and appeared to be either overindulging with alcohol and/or drugs.

    Claire Greene is touring the college for her MFA and meets Byron and is instantly attracted to him feeling that it is love at first sight, even though there is a 20 year age difference. Six months later they are married and on all accounts, believes she has a perfect life. Until recently things just aren’t the same. She then receives a phone call from a woman, that she believes is Colleen and she is now on a mission to find out what happened to her.

    But soon after, Claire is exhibiting the same delusions and paranoia that resembled what Colleen experienced the last few weeks of her life.

    Reading the entire book felt like a tennis match, I kept going back and forth with my thoughts on who was the victim and who could possibly be a suspect of nefarious acts. At every twist and turn in the book, and there were many, I would change my thinking as to what the real truth was. After reading the 4th page before the ending, I audibly gasped. I still had 3 pages to read!! And those final 3 pages left me stunned.

    Without giving away spoilers, I finished the book with a few unanswered questions, which is why I gave it 4 stars!! I felt that the ending wasn’t satisfying, however, the suspense was so intense that I read this book in 2 sittings.

    I will be checking out Ms. Laurin’s previous novels as I also saw many positive comments on those books.

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

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