Action/Adventure · Book Review · Cozy Mystery · Crime Mystery · FIction · Mystery

Teaching is Murder

I was gifted this book by Cozy Mystery Review Crew and author Monique Bird in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis

Meet Claire. She has just purchased a home in Fairview, Colorado and loves the life she has. She has also been teaching 7th grade science for 5 years. Although Fariview is a small town that appears to be a tranquil little town, Fairview is anything but tranquil.

Claire is out running one night when she spots a stay kitten run into and empty home. Concerned for his safety, Claire follows the kitten into the empty home and stumbles across the body of a murdered jewelry thief. As if that isn’t enough, the next day Claire receives a cryptic message from a student that she taught last year.

As Claire begins to try and contact the former student to inquire about the strange email, the more dangerous her life becomes. Suddenly someone is after Claire and the missing jewels. As the killer’s attacks escalate, Claire decides to take matters into her own hands. With an old friend who’s now a detective and his handsome older brother, they pursue the murderer. Claire has a plan. It isn’t perfect, but anything is better than becoming the next victim.

Review

This was a nice quick read that I really enjoyed. Monique Bird has a unique way of writing that keeps that story light an airy, while still weaving the scariness of a murder and someone’s life being in danger. In addition, Monique Bird had a way of writing that allowed me to walk along side Claire, and be “a part of her life.” It was so much fun to read and see what kind of trouble Claire got into. Monique Bird also did a fantastic job of keeping me guessing. Every time I thought they had captured the killer and Claire’s life was now safe, there was a twist that Monique through in to push you off the right track. These twists added such fun to the story that you could not help but laugh at Claire and her bad luck. This was a great cozy mystery and I really enjoyed discovering Monique Bird as an author. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series and other books of Monique’s.

Review

About the Author

Monique Bird grew up on an orchard in Utah. She had a favorite spot high in a cherry tree where she would sit, make up stories, and daydream. Now, as a survivor of stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, she is actively pursuing those dreams. She also has two cats, Tod and George, who keep her entertained. 

Adult Fiction · Book Review · Book Tour · Contemporary Romance · FIction · Romance

Cured (Heal Me Series Book 1)

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Book Tour Hosted by Silver Dagger Book Tours

Thank you to Silver Dagger Tours and Stacy Eaton for the gifted copy of Cured (Heal Me Series Book 1). This book was provided to me for an honest review and all opinions are my own.

Synopsis

Meet Ember Greene. Ember and Trudy Parker met during their college years and on the night that they meet at Shot Therapy, a local bar, to reconnect, Embers’s life begins to change. For six years, Ember has closed off her heart, moving from one man to another, trying to feel something other than her own pain and guilt.

Meet Colt Barnes. Colt is a plastic surgeon who strives to give people a better quality of life, especially children. The night he watches Ember leave the bar with another one-night stand, he resolves to offer up a challenge to get her to view herself in a new light.

Little does he know that the challenge will change both their lives, but when Embers’s secret is exposed, will Colt be able to accept it and trust her, or will Ember go back to her old ways and leave Colt broken?

Review

Stacy Eaton is a new to me author and I am so glad that I was given the opportunity to read one of her books as part of this tour!! Stacy Eaton is a wonderful writer who describes the characters in such a way, that you can picture them in your mind’s eye in perfect detail and also feel like they are a real part of your life. This book was definitely not what I expected…and in a really, really good way!!! This book was full of twists and turns in the story that I never saw coming, which made this book all the more enjoyable to read. This book was not some generic romance novel with the same old characters and the same old plot. This book is filled with real life scenarios that the reader can relate to and experience right alongside the characters. This book was real and raw and I was so captured by the story that I read the book in one day! I am so pleased by the experience that I had with Stacy Eaton’s writing, that I will for sure be reading the rest of this series as well as be picking up other books by this author.

Rating

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About the Author

Stacy Eaton is a USA Today Bestselling author and began her writing career in October of 2010. Stacy took an early retirement from law enforcement after over fifteen years of service in 2016, with her last three years in investigations and crime scene investigation to write full time.

Stacy resides in southeastern Pennsylvania with her husband, who works in law enforcement, and her teen daughter. She also has a son who is currently serving in the United States Navy, and two grandchildren.

When Stacy is not writing, she enjoys photography and relaxing on the beach.

Author Links

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Action · Adult Fiction · Book Review · Crime · Novella · Romance · Women's Fiction

Desolation (La Famiglia Book 1)

Thank you to author AJ Alexander for the gifted copy of Desolation. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis

des·o·la·tion
/ˌdesəˈlāSH(ə)n/

noun
1. a state of complete emptiness or destruction.
2.anguished misery or loneliness.

Before La Famiglia gave me purpose, desolation ruled my existence. Pain was my constant companion until I met Francesca Giordano – the Boss’s daughter.

My mission is to protect her, at any cost.

With a price on her head, I will tear down heaven and hell to protect what’s mine.

Review

AJ Alexander is a new to me author and I am SO, SO glad that I discovered her!! In this book, AJ Alexander writes of a mafia princess and the man who is tasked with protecting her. Since this author was a new to me author, I had no idea what to expect walking into this story. However, at 84 pages, this novella did not disappoint. This book started with action and the action continued throughout. AJ Alexander pulled me in from page 1 and didn’t let go until page 84. I enjoyed the characters that AJ Alexander created and their interactions with each other. I also really liked how quickly AJ Alexander explained the the history of the characters and then continued on with the meat of the story. AJ Alexander writes in a way that makes you believe that you are part of the action and adventure of the story and makes you like the characters instantly. I was actually sad that this book was so short, and would have loved for it to go on longer. I am so glad that I discovered AJ Alexander and can’t wait to read more of her books!!!

Rating

Adult Fiction · Book Review · Contemporary Romance · Novella · Romance

I Deserve His Love (A Second Chance Romance)

Thank you Chiquita Dennie and 304 Publishing Company for this gifted copy of I Deserve His Love. All opinions expressed are my own.

Synopsis

Meet Makayla Ramsey. She never imagined her life would turn out this way…loving family and friends and a successful career in fashion. However, after 3 years married to her husband, Makayla has decided to call it quits. She is starting over and will not let anyone stand in her way of achieving her goals. One night, Makayla goes to her 10 year high school reunion and by chance runs into her college sweetheart. Running into him reignites old feelings and sends her into a battle for the love of her life.

Meet Amir Slater. When Makayla walked out of his life 10 years ago and never looked back he was crushed, and maybe even devastated. Their careers took them in different directions. Now, 10 years later he is face-to-face with her again and desperate to keep her close this time, however, his ex-wife isn’t read to let go.

Will their second chance at love be destroyed by past relationships and the fear of having their hearts broken once again?

****Note: This is a Novella with explicit content, and adult language. 

Review

I Deserve His Love by Chiquita Dennie, was a nice quick read. While there was a lot to pack into this novella in the short amount of pages it contained, Chiquita Dennie did a fantastic job of including all the relevant details, while adding in some of the nice “fluff” we all like, which makes a book a book!! Chiquita did a great job of explaining the characters, explaining the plot, and then telling the story all in a succinct fashion. This book spanned several time periods and Chiquita Dennie did a fantastic of keeping the reader in the know of what was happening. I was never confused as to where I was in the timeline. I really enjoyed the story of Makayla and Amir and felt that that the story was very realistic, filled with joy, heartache, and love. I defiantly enjoyed this book and will be picking up more books by Chiquita Dennie in the future!!

Rating

About the Author

Chiquita Dennie is an author, filmmaker, podcast host, and entrepreneur. Born in Memphis, TN, and currently a Los Angeles CA native. Her background in film/tv has taught and shaped her passion for writing with her debut romance novel Antonio and Sabrina Struck In Love. Since its debut, fans have embraced the unconventional love story of Sabrina Washington and Antonio De Luca making Antonio and Sabrina Struck In Love an Amazon Best Seller #5 for Book 1 and #4 for Book 2 on Kindle charts.

Action · Book Review · Crime · FIction · Historical Fiction · Suspense

Shadow Wolves

This month I partnered with The Review Crew and author Jake Kaminski to read and review Shadow Wolves. This book was a gifted copy, and all opinions are my own.

Synopsis

Meet Ethan Crowe, a Lakota Sioux tracker who spent a career with the Delta Forces and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Crowe’s story begins in the hellish nightmare of Bosnia, where as a young scout for a Ranger company, he and two other Native Americans help track down the Skorpions, a Serbian militia committing genocide on the local populace.

The action shifts to the present and the southern border of the United States. Powerful Mexican drug cartels are utilizing vast stretches of the border to send billions of dollars in illegal drugs into the US. Powerful drug lords preside like kings over their empires, secluded and untouchable in their remote mountain fortresses.

Killing fields are being found on both sides of the border. Homeland Security needs a solution. General Darren Evans has been asked to form a special team of Native American trackers to combat the cartels where they are most vulnerable in the Arizona borderlands. The group is to be called the Shadow Wolves, and General Evans knows exactly the man to lead them.

Crowe is lured out of retirement to the Arizona desert. An elite team is born, comprised of tough, dedicated Native Americans from tribes across the United States. Within the team are two remarkable Apache women-fierce warriors who will become the soul of the Shadow Wolves. They will battle the vicious Zetas, moving through the desert landscape like ghosts.

A mysterious figure sits on the throne of the Zeta cartel. Known only as Yaotl, he claims pure Aztec blood. He lives by his own rules in complete disdain for the laws of the West. A gruesome series of murders and the discovery of twenty young girls being sold in the desert set the stage for a confrontation between the feared Zetas and the Shadow Wolves.

The Shadow Wolves will follow a blood trail that takes them all the way to the corridors of power in Washington, DC.

***Synopsis of book taken from Goodreads.

Review

WOW!!! This was a heavy book. There were so many feelings and questions that arose as I read it. Jake Kaminski is an absolutely amazing writer…I think he was made to write this book.  While I don’t generally read historical fiction, when I read the synopsis of this book, there was something that pulled me in, telling me this was an important one to read.  I am so glad that I paid attention to that little voice.  Jake Kaminski writes of the horrors that are seen by those trying to protect the borders of the US and stop the illegal import of drugs and women being sex-trafficked.  This book was eye opener for sure.  There were so many carefully constructed details and back stories that Jake Kaminski crafted to make the book what it was.  Normally when I read historical fiction, I feel like I have no idea what is being talked about, but in this book, Jake Kaminski provided enough details and back story to help me understand exactly what was going on and therefore I felt like I was right there, in on all the action, and part of the team.  Although I am unsure how much of this book is true and how much is fiction, what I do know is this book is reminiscent of what we see today at our US boarders.  The pain and torture of girls and women of all ages being sex-trafficked (an now boys as well).  The duty to protect our boarders at any cost.  And the illegal activity of trying to sneak drugs over the boarder and into the US.  This book was so well written and captivating, that I was sad to see the book end.  That is the one thing I did not like about this book…that it ended too soon.  I wanted more of the story.  I wanted to know what happened to the Zetas and Ethan Crowe and his crew.  I just felt there was so much more to tell and the book wrapped up too quickly with so many unanswered questions. 

I can not say enough how much I enjoyed this book.  I am definitely excited to get my hand on Jake Kaminski’s new book “Ghostwalkers,” a sequel to this story that “will center heavily on Ethan Crowe and some of his team as they take their fight into the highlands of Central Mexico and into the “belly of the beast”.”  To say I am excited for this new book is an understatement!

Rating

About the Author

Jake Kaminski is a pseudonym.  A retired police lieutenant with twenty-eight years of experience, Jake has worked and supervised numerous task forces with the FBI, ATF, and the DEA.   Highly decorated, he spent the majority of his career working undercover and then supervising undercover operations in South Florida, Latin America, Canada and the Caribbean.  His team spent six years combatting both the Medellin and Cali cartels. 

Following his police career, he spent fourteen years as a senior adviser for the U.S. Department of Justice, assigned to post-conflict countries in the Balkans. He was a member of a team tasked with preparing countries in the western Balkans for NATO accession.  He has advised and trained foreign police and prosecutors on the following topics; undercover operations, war crimes, fugitive tracking, organized crime, and human trafficking. 

Present —- He now divides his time between overseas consulting and writing.   He is currently working as an executive producer for a reality police show in development for the Oxygen Channel.  He has traveled extensively, living for fifteen years in Europe, including time spent in the war-torn battlefields of Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo.   He speaks several languages and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in both Spanish and French. Jake holds a black belt in Taekwondo and has trained fighting techniques to undercover agents around the world. 

Book Review · Cozy Mystery · Crime Mystery · FIction · Mystery

A New Place, Another Murder

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Book Tour Hosted by Silver Dagger Book Tours

Thank you to Silver Dagger Tours and Christa Nardi for the gifted copy of A New Place, Another Murder. This book was provided to me for an honest review and all opinions are my own.

Synopsis

Meet Sheridan. She has pretty much every thing she has every wish for. She has recently settled into her new home in Appomattox with her husband Brett and his daughter, but longs for something to help keep her busy. That is, until Maddie, her stepdaughter, and her friend are framed for theft and murder. While this is not quite the distraction she had in mind, Sheridan will do anything she can to prove their innocence. Will the truth come out before the person calling the shots takes Sheridan and Maddie out of the picture?

Review

I was really looking forward to reading this book, as I love a good mystery as much as the next person; however, this book just didn’t live up to my expectations. While the synopsis and the over all story were good, I felt like the build up of this story was really slow for my tastes. It took a long time to learn all the information related to the murder, and for me, the way the information was presented was a bit on the confusing side. I did love the characters that were created and I enjoyed the relationships between the characters.

The one thing that bothered me just a little, was that I had never picked up a Christa Nardi book before, and it without a little back history on the characters, some of the information presented in this book was confusing to me. It took me a long time to figure out how all the characters and their backgrounds fit together. I would have wished for just a bit more information on Brett, his daughter, and their relationship with Sheridan as well as a little background on why she had left her previous teaching position. Although this book is the start of a new series, and you should be able to start a series without reading the author’s previous books, I felt that I should have read the author’s Cold Creek Series books first.

Rating

About the Author

Christa Nardi is an accomplished author of cozy mysteries. Christa’s background is in higher education
and psychology, much as her protagonist, Sheridan Hendley in the Cold Creek mystery series. She has
always loved mysteries – reading them, writing them, and solving them. Christa is a member of Sisters in
Crime.

Author Links

***WEBSITE***FACEBOOK***TWITTER***BOOKBUB***AMAZON***GOODREADS***

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Book Review · FIction · Mystery · Suspense · Thriller

The Apartment

Thank you NetGalley, and K.L. Slater for the gifted copy of The Apartment.

Synopsis

It’s an opportunity she can’t refuse. The woman before her tried…

Meet Freya Miller. She needs a miracle. Her husband betrayed her. She is about to lose her family home. And her 5-year-old daughter, Skye, will lose the security she has always know. Freya doesn’t know what she is going to do, that is until she met Dr. Marsden in a coffee shop. He is looking for a new tenant in a fashionable area of London. But the best part is, the apartment is shockingly affordable. To Freya, the Addler House sounds too good to be true…but Freya really doesn’t have any other choices and plus Dr. Marsden is adamant that she and Skye will be a perfect fit with the other residents in the home.

Meet the Addler House. The Addler House has secrets. And Freya, she feels like she is being watched…even with her door being locked. A short time after moving in, objects begin moving, there are strange, unfamiliar smells in the apartment, and then there is that blinking light of a concealed camera. Is Freya dream home hiding a nightmarish reality? Was it chance that let Freya and Skye to the Addler house or was it something much more sinister and dark?

As pieces start clicking into place, and as the truth slowly comes out about The Addler House, can Freya and Skye get out or will they be locked in The Addler House forever?

Review

K.L. Slater is a new to me author and this is the first book of her’s that I have read. I thought, overall, the story was good. The book was well written and the characters were immediately likable. Honestly for me, it was the characters that kept me reading. While the story was interesting, I felt like the idea of taking an apartment with no questions asked and the idea that the apartment would only cost what you can afford seems too far fetched to me. Once I got past that part of the plot, the psychological part of this book was intriguing. Like Freya, I too could not figure out what was going on and who to trust and who not to trust. The biggest thing that I did not like about the psychological part of the book was that it was wrapped up way to fast for my liking. I did not feel like there was enough suspense, nor was there enough “start and restarts” of trying to figure out the “who done it.” Once things had started to unravel it was like that was the end of the story and it was finished up quick. I wish it would have been a little more drawn out. Over all this book was good and I would choose to pick up another book of K.L. Slater‘s.

Rating

About the Author

My writing journey . . .

After years of trying to get published and never getting further than the slush pile, I went back to university at the age of 40 where I gained  a first-class honours degree in English & Creative Writing and an MA in Creative Writing with distinction.

Although I also had a day job during the five years I studied at university, the courses gave me the time and space to try different writing and increased my confidence and belief in my writing. Before I graduated from my MA, I had secured representation at the Darley Anderson Literacy, TV and Film Agency who got me my first book deal. My literary agent is Camilla Bolton.

My first adult psychological thriller for Bookouture, ‘Safe with Me’,  actually started life as my dissertation on my English & Creative Writing degree in 2010.

The creepy voice of Anna came to me strong and insistent . . . she wanted to be written, she wouldn’t go away. I’m so glad I listened!

I first became published writing Young Adult fiction for Macmillan Children’s Books under the name Kim Slater. My award-winning YA debut, SMART, started life as a short story for my MA in Creative Writing in 2012.

I am now a full-time writer. I have a daughter and two stepsons and live with my husband in Nottingham and Yorkshire.