Nov 122018
 

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:
WHEN NEVER COMES by Barbara Davis ~ signed TPB with swag from Author
Tuesday:
THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER by Kaira Rouda ~ Harlequin via NetGalley
Wednesday:
25 TO LIFE by John Lansing ~ 1st draft for beta reading from Author
Thursday:
THE COLLECTOR by Fiona Cummins ~ from Kensington via GR win
Saturday:
DEAD IN A WEEK by Andrea Kane ~ Signed ARC from Author
A FATAL OBSESSION by James Hayman ~ TPB from Harper Collins/Witness Impulse

Aug 222018
 

JAR OF HEARTS by Jennifer Hillier
Genre: Thriller/Suspense
Published by Minotaur Books
Publication Date: June 12, 2018
ISBN-10: 1250154197
ISBN-13: 978-1250154194
Pages: 320
Review Copy From: Library
Edition: HC
My Rating: 4

Synopsis (via GR)

This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who’s been searching for the truth all these years . . .

When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school.

But fourteen years later, Angela Wong’s remains are discovered in the woods near Geo’s childhood home. And Kaiser—now a detective with Seattle PD—finally learns the truth: Angela was a victim of Calvin James. The same Calvin James who murdered at least three other women.

To the authorities, Calvin is a serial killer. But to Geo, he’s something else entirely. Back in high school, Calvin was Geo’s first love. Turbulent and often volatile, their relationship bordered on obsession from the moment they met right up until the night Angela was killed.

For fourteen years, Geo knew what happened to Angela and told no one. For fourteen years, she carried the secret of Angela’s death until Geo was arrested and sent to prison.

While everyone thinks they finally know the truth, there are dark secrets buried deep. And what happened that fateful night is more complex and more chilling than anyone really knows. Now the obsessive past catches up with the deadly present when new bodies begin to turn up, killed in the exact same manner as Angela Wong.

How far will someone go to bury her secrets and hide her grief? How long can you get away with a lie? How long can you live with it?

My Thoughts

This story alternates between that fateful night of Angela’s death, Geo’s time in prison and the days after her release. Geo has done her time but still holds some very dark secrets.

As the synopsis states, right before her release, murders are being committed that has the same M.O. of Angela’s from so many years ago but with a twist. Is it Calvin or a copycat killer? Is Calvin sending Geo a message? Or is it something far more sinister, which a friend once said, “you see what you want to see, not what’s there”.

This story is extremely intense, and at times very disturbing. The characters are well developed along with all of their shortcomings and criminal behaviors.

For me, there were 2 endings. The one where Geo finally accepts her role in the murder of Angela and another secret that has not been shared other than with her father many years ago. This ending was shocking. But the actual ending of the book was a little disappointing for me and felt unfinished.

Overall, it was a thrilling and chilling read.

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.
  • Aug 142018
     

    MIAMI SNOW by Darcia Helle
    Genre: Mystery
    Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
    Publication Date: Jan. 6, 2015
    ISBN: 144991165X (ISBN13: 9781449911652)
    Pages: 283
    Review Copy From: Author
    Edition: eBook
    My Rating: 5

     

    Synopsis (via GR)


     

    One day, Nick Donovan had it all; a beautiful, pregnant wife, a nice house, a great job. The next day he is on his own, starting from scratch with nothing but a few suitcases and his old truck. Nick flees to the opposite coast of Florida, trying to leave his ex-wife and the memories behind. But that couldn’t happen. Soon Nick finds that he is tied to Shelley in a way that he hadn’t expected. And, in her bitterness, she does everything she can to ensure his misery. Brandy is Shelley’s opposite; wild, sensual, free-spirited. With Brandy, Nick is able to rebel against all that Shelley stands for. Brandy quickly leads Nick into a world of sex, drugs, and cash. And now Nick finds himself caught between the two worlds, desperate to stay afloat.

     

    My Thoughts


     

    Is there such a thing as Karma?

    As the synopsis states, Nick Donovan had it all until he walked into his house to find his wife and best friend in his bed. Devastated, he packs up, leaves and moves 2 1/2 hours away. Having limited funds, since his wife got everything, he rents an apartment and meets Brandy and her friends that also live in the building. There is a strong physical connection to Brandy but he soon finds out that his new friends are into drugs, especially cocaine.

    He learns his ex-wife is pregnant and the baby is his, but how can he take care of a baby with no money? The first weekend he has his daughter, he falls in love with her but limited funds is making it difficult to give her the necessities. Brandy suggests maybe making some quick cash by selling the cocaine. He now has a dilemma. Make some fast cash or stick with his morals and beliefs?

    This was the first book I read by this author but instantly knew it wouldn’t be the last. I enjoyed her writing style because it allowed me, to not only picture the characters, but also feel their emotions. The story’s pace was nonstop, which had me wanting to read “just one more chapter” and finding I had read many because I had to know how this would end.

    Captivating and realistic. Betrayal, murder, love, deception and more filled this book with an ending that was incredible and surprising.

    An outstanding riveting read!

    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.
    Jul 022018
     

    Three Shoeboxes

    by Steven Manchester

    July 1-August 31, 2018 Tour

     

    Three Shoeboxes by Steven Manchester

    Synopsis:

    Mac Anderson holds life in the palm of his hand. He has a beautiful wife, three loving children, a comfortable home, and a successful career. Everything is perfect—or so it seems. Tragically, Mac is destined to learn that any sense of security can quickly prove false. Because an invisible enemy called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has invaded Mac’s fragile mind and it is about to drop him to his knees. He does all he can to conceal his inner chaos, but to no avail. Left to contend with ignorance, an insensitive justice system, and the struggles of an invisible disease, he loses everything—most importantly his family.

    One shoebox might store an old pair of sneakers. Two shoeboxes might contain a lifetime of photographs. But in Three Shoeboxes, a father’s undying love may be just enough to make things right again.

     

    Details

    Genre: Women’s Fiction

    Published by: The Story Plant

    Publication Date: June 12th 2018

    Number of Pages: 285

    ISBN: 1611882605 (ISBN13: 9781611882605)

    Purchase Links:   AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks, & Goodreads

     

    Check out my review HERE and enter the giveaway!

     

    Author Bio:

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    div class=”download”>Steven Manchester

    Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestsellers Twelve Months, The Rockin’ Chair, Pressed Pennies, and Gooseberry Island, the national bestseller Ashes, and the novels Goodnight, Brian and The Changing Season. His work has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning, and BET’s Nightly News. Recently, three of Manchester’s short stories were selected “101 Best” for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

     

    Q&A with Steven Manchester

    Welcome!
    Thanks so much for having me. I really appreciate it!

    Writing and Reading:
    Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?

    The vast majority of the time, the ideas for my books come from real-life. My books are normally about relationships and the challenges that we all must overcome. The underlying theme for each is that “none of us is ever alone.”

    Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?

    I begin with a storyboard, starting at the beginning. Once the plot is fleshed out (mostly), I begin with character development and this is where I spend a lot of time and effort. Once the characters are well-developed, it’s a much easier journey to take—as I now know how they’ll act, recat, speak, etc.. There have been times when the characters will surprise me. Usually, I know exactly where we’re going to end and how (thanks to the storyboard).

    Are any of your characters based on you or people that you know?

    I draw from real-life, co my characters are a mix of real people. I change names, identities and mix characteristics of different people in a blender until I have exactly what I’m looking for. In the end, these fictional characters are as real to me as anyone else…because they started that way.

    Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?

    The greatest challenge for me has been time. First and foremost, I am a dad and my children come first. After that, there are other responsibilities that need my attention. Yet, my passion to write has constantly gnawed at my soul. To overcome the obstacle of time, I made writing a priority over watching TV and sometimes even sleeping. Once my family is taken care of and the world closes its eyes, I’m up for a few more hours each day—chasing my dreams on paper.

    Funny is it may sound, I usually write in the dining room because it’s at the end of the house and there are little to no distractions there. We only walk through the dining room to take the dog out to do her business. And—I’m usually the guy letting her out.

    Tell us why we should read this book.

    I am known as an author who pens “feel good tear-jerkers that celebrate the strength of the human spirit.” I honestly can’t tell you how much Three Shoeboxes—and the depth of its message—means to me.

    Synopsis: Mac Anderson holds life in the palm of his hand. He has a beautiful wife, three loving children, a comfortable home and successful career. Everything is perfect—or so it seems. Tragically, Mac is destined to learn that any sense of security can quickly prove false. After a horrific auto accident, an invisible enemy called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D.) invades Mac’s fragile mind and drops him to his knees. He does all he can to conceal his inner-chaos, but to no avail. Left to contend with ignorance, an insensitive justice system and the struggles of an invisible disease, his family is taken from him.

    One shoebox might store an old pair of sneakers. Two shoeboxes could contain a lifetime of photographs. But in Three Shoeboxes, a father’s undying love may be just enough to make things right again.

    I suffered from PTSD for five solid years after my service in the first Gulf War. I’m also a dad who loves his children more than anything else in the world. When you put them together, you get a story that’s sure to emotionally move you.

    Who are some of your favorite authors?

    There are too many to list. Stephen King, Mitch Albom, most of the classics (from Harper Lee to John Steinbeck). Lou Aronica and the work published by The Story Plant. Each one has been a teacher of mine.

    What are you reading now?

    Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs (again).

    Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?

    I’ve been at full speed ahead for 10 solid years, releasing one novel after the next. The sponge has been wrung out pretty good. I plan to take the summer to allow that sponge to absorb more ideas and energy. I’ll be back at it in the fall (I could never stay away too long).

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

    David Morse as the father; Michelle Williams as the mother. And for the three kids—whoever Disney sends our way. 

    Favorite leisure activity/hobby?

    Reading, exercising, fine dining—and most importantly, spending time with my family.

    Favorite meal?

    Pasta with clams in a white wine sauce.

    Thank you for stopping by CMash Reads and spending time with us.

    THANK YOU!!!

    Connect with Steven at: stevenmanchester.com | Twitter – @AuthorSteveM | Facebook – @AuthorStevenManchester

    Dec 112017
     

    Mailbox Monday

    Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia of A girl and her books and is now hosted on its own blog.

    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: THE GOOD WIDOW by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke ~ eBook Personal Purchase
    Sunday: GIA IN THE CITY OF THE DEAD by Kristi Belcamino ~ eBook Amazon free
    Thursday: BETWEEN THE LIES by Joy E. DeKok ~ eBook from Author
    Thursday: THE SILENT GAMES by Alex Gray ~ Bound galley from Harper Collins
    Friday: THE BOOK REVIEWER YELLOW PAGES by Partner Press ~ eBook