May 112019
 

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This year, one of the Challenges I signed up for is Blog All About It, hosted by The Herd Presents. The guideline is basically a blogging prompt challenge. Each month there’s a different prompt that you can interpret as you’d like then create a blog post around it. The 2019 list of prompts can be seen here on my Challenge Page. I will be posting for this Challenge on the 2nd Saturday of each month.

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This month’s prompt is: BLOOM

It’s been a very rainy and dreary Spring here in RI and flowers are a bit late in blooming. I have been waiting patiently to get outside, clean up my flower beds and plant. So no actual pictures of my gardens.

I have perennials planted along a wall on one side of our backyard and in May add some annuals. In a corner of our backyard, I have a statue of the Blessed Virgin with an angel on each side, which I also plant annuals. In another corner, we have a hydrangea bush, with perennials and again, will add annuals for more color. My favorite blooms in this area are the Star Gazer Lilys. The fragrance is beautiful but the actual flowers do not last long.

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I also have 4 large pots located in each corner of where our pool is that I plant annuals, usually Impatiens.

Wednesday of this week, the sun finally made an appearance, so I took advantage of the day and planted these seeds and fingers crossed, they will be blooming in a few weeks.

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What I am really hoping that will bloom, which I had never seen before, was a seed paper that includes multiple wildflower blends in the shape of a butterfly. Recently, my son’s girlfriend’s Mom passed away and after the funeral, guests were given these packets in her memory.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this year I have a backyard full of color and beautiful blooms.

May 092019
 

Strong As Steel

by Jon Land

on Tour April 22 – May 25, 2019

Synopsis:

Strong As Steel by Jon Land

Tough-as-nails Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong returns in this electrifying ninth installment of the series, by USA Today bestselling author Jon Land

1994: Texas Ranger Jim Strong investigates a mass murder on a dusty freight train linked to a mysterious, missing cargo for which no record exists.

The Present: His daughter, fifth generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong, finds herself on the trail of that same cargo when skeletal remains are found near an excavation site in the Texas desert. She’s also dealing with the aftermath of a massacre that claimed the lives of all the workers at a private intelligence company on her watch.

These two cases are connected by a long buried secret, one that men have killed and died to protect. Caitlin and her outlaw lover Cort Wesley Masters must prove themselves to be as strong as steel to overcome a bloody tide that has been rising for centuries.

**Read my review HERE and enter the giveaway**

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller
Published by: Forge Books
Publication Date: April 23rd 2019
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 0765384671 (ISBN13: 9780765384676)
Series: Caitlin Strong #10
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Author Bio:

Jon Land

Jon Land is the award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of 50 books, including ten titles in the critically acclaimed Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong series, the last of which, STRONG TO THE BONE, won both the 2017 American Book Fest and 2018 International Book Award for Best Mystery. The next title in the series, STRONG AS STEEL, will be published in April. MANUSCRIPT FOR marked his second effort writing as Jessica Fletcher for the MURDER, SHE WROTE series, and he has also teamed with Heather Graham for a new sci-fi series starting with THE RISING. He is a 1979 graduate of Brown University, lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

12 THINGS THE READER

DOESN’T KNOW ABOUT CAITLIN

She was inspired to follow the Strong family tradition by becoming a Texas Ranger, only after she was sexually assaulted as a college student and the man who did it was never caught.

Her legendary father and grandfather, Jim and Earl Strong, worked on only a single case together as Texas Rangers, tracking killers who were after the legendary lost treasure of the pirate Jean Lafitte who really did base his operations off Texas’ Galveston Island, as told in STRONG VENGEANCE.

In the next book in the series, STRONG FROM THE HEART, she develops an addiction to opioids she’s being treated with for something that happens at the end of STRONG AS STEEL.

She actually left the Rangers for a time after tracking down and executing the cartel soldiers who killed her Texas Ranger partner Charlie Banks.

She was married for a brief stretch and her husband was thought to have died while serving as a contractor in Iraq. But the first book in the series, STRONG ENOUGH TO DIE, brings him back into her life as an amnesiac with no memory of her or what happened to him. This proved to tbe the impetus for her return to the Rangers.

Her grandfather taught her how to shoot at the age of six or seven and she could handle the likes of a 1911 Springfield model .45 by the time she was nine when she won her first shooting competition.

At the age of four, she witnessed the murder of her mother by drug mules but has no memory of that to this day, though she believes a lot of her more violent tendencies, and gunfighter mentality, stem from that day.

Caitlin also believes that incident is to blame for the fact that she never married or had children of her own. But it also explains her attachment to the sons of her outlaw lover Cort Wesley Masters for whom she becomes a surrogate mother.

When she was thirteen she witnessed her father gunning down a villain who’d escaped the law. Years later, as told in STRONG AT THE BREAK, she comes up against the man’s son, who also bore witness to Caitlin’s father Jim Strong killing his father.

Caitlin’s giant, deadly protector and guardian angel Guillermo Paz, the former head of the Venezuelan Secret Police, was actually hired to kill her in STRONG ENOUGH TO DIE. But she turned the tables in classic Caitlin form.

Caitlin is a quarter Mexican, thanks to an affair her grandfather, and fellow Texas Ranger, Earl Strong had with a woman he rescued from an early form of human trafficking in 1934 Texas.

Staying on the family theme, Caitlin also has a half-sister thanks to an affair her father Jim Strong had with a Mexican crime boss whose life he saved in STRONG AS STEEL, the most recent, and just released, book in the series

Catch Up With Our Jon Land at:
jonlandbooks.com, Goodreads, Twitter @jondland, & Facebook!

Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

Dallas, Texas

“You want to tell me what I’m doing here again?” Caitlin Strong said to Captain Bub McNelly of the Texas Criminal Investigations Division.

McNelly, who favored string ties and shiny cowboy boots, turned to the quartet of figures in equally shiny windbreakers milling behind him in the makeshift staging area, who looked more like businessmen. Caitlin had heard he was a descendant of the famed Texas Ranger captain Leander McNeely, a man who’d once told the whole of the U.S. government to go to hell, but wasn’t too keen on the freedom with which Rangers still operated today.

“Special Response Teams hang their hat on being multi-jurisdictional,” McNelly told her. “Consider yourself the representative Ranger.”

“Since when does an SRT look more comfortable holding briefcases than firearms?”

“I need to tell you that computers are the real weapons these days?” McNelly asked her. “And those boys accompanying us are forensic experts who know how to fire back.”

“Just two guns, yours and mine, backing them up,” Caitlin noted.

“I don’t need a computer to do the math, Ranger,” McNelly said, while the four techs wearing windbreakers hovered behind them in front of the elevator. “You and I serve the warrant on the geek squad upstairs and let the experts do their thing with brains instead of bullets. How hard can it be?”

They were about to serve a search warrant on an information technology firm on the 42nd floor of the Chase Tower, the city’s tallest building. Caitlin had served plenty of more “traditional” search warrants in her time on the likes of biker gangs, drug dealers, and various other suspects. The kind of service that found her backed up by guns and plenty of them, instead of briefcases and backpacks.

A chime sounded ahead of the elevator door sliding open.

“In my experience,” Caitlin said, stepping in first to position herself so the door didn’t close again before the SRT computer forensics techs were inside, “it pays to have brains and bullets.”

McNelly smiled thinly. “That’s why you’re here, Ranger. You were specifically requested for the job.”

“By who?”

“I don’t know. Orders came from the top down.

The cab began its ascent. If this were a Ranger operation, as opposed to CID, Caitlin would have insisted on securing the space in question prior to bringing up the civilians. Because that was clearly what these personnel in ill-fitting windbreakers pulled from a rack were. Civilians.

“Get your warrant ready, Captain,” she told McNelly, as the cab whisked past the floors between “L” and “42.”

He flapped the tri-folded document I the air between them. “Got it right here.”

“What’s CTP stand for again?” Caitlin asked, referring to the acronym of the company on which they were about to serve the warrant.

“Communications Technology Providers. I thought I told you that.”

“Maybe you did, but you never told me what the company did to get on the Criminal Investigation Division’s radar. I’m guessing that’s because somebody ordered you to take me along for the ride. All well and good in this political world we live in, until something goes bad.”

McNelly flashed Caitlin a smirk, as a chime sounded to indicate the elevator had reached its desired floor. “I can tell you this much, Ranger. The suspects we’re after here don’t know a gun from their own assholes. Worst thing they can do is infect us with a computer virus.”

He led the way through the open cab door, without waiting for Caitlin to respond. She exited next, followed in a tight bunch by those four computer techs in their windbreakers which made it look like they’d stuck their arms through Hefty bags.

The doors along the hall were uniformly glass, sleek and modern, some frosted. According to the building layout Caitlin had studied, Communications Technology Providers occupied a pair of adjoining office suites adding up to nearly five thousand square feet in total. One was a corner office, meaning at least a portion of those suites would enjoy wraparound windows and plenty of natural light.

Caitlin had just reflexively shoved her jacket back behind the holster housing her SIG Sauer P-226 nine-millimeter pistol, when the glass double-door entrance to Communications Technology Providers ruptured behind a fusillade of gunfire.

***

Excerpt from Strong As Steel by Jon Land. Copyright © 2019 by Jon Land. Reproduced with permission from Jon Land. All rights reserved.

Tour Participants:

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



Enter To Win!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jon Land. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on April 22, 2019 and runs through May 24, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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May 082019
 

STRONG AS STEEL by Jon Land
Genre: Thriller
Published by: Forge Books
Publication Date:
ISBN: 0765384671
ISBN13: 9780765384676
Pages: 336
Review Copy from: Author
Edition: Signed ARC
My Rating: 5

**Stop by tomorrow for a Guest Post by Jon Land**

Synopsis (via PICT)


Tough-as-nails Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong returns in this electrifying ninth installment of the series, by USA Today bestselling author Jon Land

1994: Texas Ranger Jim Strong investigates a mass murder on a dusty freight train linked to a mysterious, missing cargo for which no record exists.

The Present: His daughter, fifth generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong, finds herself on the trail of that same cargo when skeletal remains are found near an excavation site in the Texas desert. She’s also dealing with the aftermath of a massacre that claimed the lives of all the workers at a private intelligence company on her watch.

These two cases are connected by a long buried secret, one that men have killed and died to protect. Caitlin and her outlaw lover Cort Wesley Masters must prove themselves to be as strong as steel to overcome a bloody tide that has been rising for centuries.

My Thoughts

Hold on to your hats, bad ass Caitlin Strong, Texas Ranger, is taking the reader on another wild ride!!!

Twenty-five years ago, Caitin’s father, Jim Strong, was on a case that wasn’t resolved and now Caitlin finds herself dealing with the same case.

Some people want what was buried 25 years ago, which has eluded them, but Caitlin has to figure out who these people are and what are in the buried ossuaries. And bodies are also piling up.

This book is the 10th book in this series but reads as a stand alone.

What I enjoy in this series is the profound and immense research that goes into the books interweaving historical facts into the story. It is not only a thrilling read but I always learn new facts.

For me, this was a page turner, trying to keep up with the action and to see what really was in those ossuaries. The action is nonstop!

I highly recommend that you pick up a copy and I guarantee you will be hooked!

Check out my reviews for previous books in this series: Strong To The Bone, Strong Cold Dead

Purchase Links:Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jon Land. There will be 1 winner of a $20. Amazon GC. The giveaway begins on April 22, 2019 and runs through May 24, 2019.

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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.
  • 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.
  • May 072019
     

    EMILY GONE by Bette Lee Crosby
    Genre: Southern Fiction, Domestic Thriller
    Published by Lake Union Publishing
    Publication Date: April 30, 2019
    ISBN: 1542044928 (ISBN13: 9781542044929)
    Pages: 394
    Review Copy From: Lake Union via NetGalley
    Edition: eBook
    My Rating: 5

    Synopsis (via GR)

    A missing child sets the lives of three women on a collision course in this powerful and compelling novel by USA Today bestselling author Bette Lee Crosby.

    1971.

    When a music festival rolls through the sleepy town of Hesterville, Georgia, the Dixon family’s lives are forever changed. On the final night, a storm muffles the sound of the blaring music, and Rachel tucks her baby into bed before falling into a deep sleep. So deep, she doesn’t hear the kitchen door opening. When she and her husband wake up in the morning, the crib is empty. Emily is gone.

    Vicki Robart is one of the thousands at the festival, but she’s not feeling the music. She’s feeling the emptiness over the loss of her own baby several months before. When she leaves the festival and is faced with an opportunity to fill that void, she is driven to an act of desperation that will forever bind the lives of three women.

    When the truth of what actually happened that fateful night is finally exposed, shattering the lives they’ve built, will they be able to pick up the pieces to put their families back together again?

    My Thoughts

    How can this be? Where have I been? Thinking under a rock since this is the first book that I read by this author. I am a member of multiple Facebook book groups and according to so many positive comments about her books, this is her 21st book, and many rave reviews for this book, which was the reason I chose to read it.

    As the synopsis states the final day of a music festival, Emily Dixon, 6 months old, was kidnapped, taken from her crib while her parents slept. Vicki Robart, attended the festival, but due to drugs and depression of losing her own child, a stillborn, months before, she believes Emily is her Lara.

    Emily’s parents, Rachel and George, never gave up hope that someday she would be returned to them but as each year passed that possibility seemed it was not to be. Every day, the “what ifs” were torturous to this couple.

    In the beginning, Rachel is so broken that getting up each day is a feat in itself. Her mother-in-law, Helen a bitter lady due to the loss of her own husband and her son getting married and leaving their home, suddenly has a change of heart, and becomes a loving and influential person in Rachel’s life.

    The characters were lifelike to the point that I felt that I was also a participant in their lives. The story and writing style flowed so smoothly that I felt I was transported to Hesterville, GA. I felt every emotion of the characters, the profound grief of losing a child, the anger, grief, despair, sadness, guilt, despondency Most of all, the love of a mother and the hope that Emily was being loved by the person who took her. And what surprised me was the emotions I felt towards the kidnapper (vague to not include spoiler).

    Do wishes come true? What about fate? Is there anything stronger than a mother’s love? And would one be able to forgive after such a horrific act?

    Do I recommend this book? I say that you HAVE and NEED to read this book!!! But have a box or 2 of tissues nearby!

    And I have a lot of Bette Lee Crosby reading to do!!!!!!

    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.
  • May 062019
     


    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:
    A NEARLY NORMAL FAMILY by Rachel Willson-Broyles ~ ARC TPB from Celadon Books
    THE LAST WIDOW by Karin Slaughter ~ eBook from Harper Collins via NetGalley
    LADY IN THE LAKE by Laura Lippman ~ eBook from William Morrow via NetGalley
    GOOD GIRLS LIE by J.T. Ellison ~ eBook from Mira Books via NetGalley
    Tuesday:
    WHISPER NETWORK by Chandler Baker ~ ARC TPB from Flatiron Books
    THE BODY IN THE WAKE by Katherine Hall Page ~ HC from William Morrow
    Wednesday:
    TURN OF THE KEY by Ruth Ware ~ eBook from Gallery Books via NetGalley
    Thursday:
    THE CHESTNUT MAN by Søren Sveistrup ~ ARC TPB from Harper Collins
    THIN AIR by Lisa Gray ~ eBook via Prime