Book Review · FIction · Mystery · Thriller

Travels of Quinn

This month, I had the pleasure of working with the Cozy Mystery Review Crew to read and review the book Travels of Quinn by Sasscer Hill.

Synopsis

Meet Quinn who was born an Irish American Traveller gypsy. Raised by her father and step-family, Quinn was trained from an early age to be a con artist. During one of her cons, things go awry and Quinn is arrested for attempted robbery. Quinn is sentenced to pay restitution working on a horse farm, which Quinn surprisingly loves as she falls in love with each of the horses.

Then one day, the farm’s owner is brutally murdered and Quinn becomes the prime suspect in that murder. Quinn goes on the run and uses every scam and con she knows to not only save herself but prove her innocence. Can Quinn figure out the real murder before she goes to prison for life for a murder she did not commit or will she be murdered herself because she knows too much?

Review

For some reason, I have always had a fascination with gypsies. I am not sure if it is because of all the stories that I have heard about them or if it is because there are so many different types of gypsies with their own life styles and customs. Whatever the reason, when I read the synopsis of this book, I knew I just had to read it! And let me tell you, Sasscer Hill’s book did not disappoint!!

From page one, Sasscer Hill’s writing pulled me right in! The descriptions of Quinn and her family had me turning pages to see what kind of con they would pull next!! Then, Quinn is caught in the act of stealing and the story completely changed. It captured me into a murder mystery that kept me guessing at every page! I thought I had figured out what had happened early on, but each time I thought I had the entire mystery figured out, a new piece of the story was introduced and all my theories about what had happened went POOF! I enjoyed every minute of this book, and had a hard time putting it down, which is probably why I finished the book in 2 days!!!

I must admit that I a so glad that I found this book and author, however I am disappointed that there is not another book about Quinn. I am hoping that Sasscer Hill writes more books about Quinn, but for now, I will settle reading some of her other books (which I am sure will be just as good as this one)!! I am so glad to have discovered this author.

Rating

Adult Fiction · Book Review · Book Spotlight · FIction · Historical Fiction · Romance · Women's Fiction

Book Spotlight and Partial Review: A Woman of Substance

I was alerted to this book, A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford, after Suzy, from Suzy Approved Book Tours sent out an email about the 40th anniversary of this book. I honestly had never heard of this author or the book. I am so glad that Suzy told me about this book!!!

Synopsis

Meet Emma Harte – the iron-willed force behind a thriving international enterprise. Growing up, Emma lived in poverty until she honed her skills, learned to survive, became a woman, and vowed to make her mark on the world.

As one of the richest women in the world, Emma has everything that she could ever want…except, the one man she could never have. Emma’s life has taken her through 2 marriages, 2 wars, and generations of secrets as well as numerous successes. As Emma gets older, greed and envy consume those who are the closest to her. Now Emma finds herself in the position of needing to outwit her enemies and face her past in the same way she built her empire. Will Emma be able to do it or will everything Emma has built come crashing down around her?

Review

While I did not have a chance to finish the entire book before this post was due, what I did read was wonderful. Barbara Taylor Bradford does a fantastic job of introducing the characters of the book in a wonderfully descriptive way – in a way that lets you picture them in your mind’s eye perfectly. In addition, while this story jumps time periods, Barbara does a good job letting you know exactly what time period you are in. Finally, I really enjoyed the style of writing Barbara Taylor Bradford has. Her writing style pulls you into the story and allows you to see the the story from each of the characters point of views.

While I did not have time to finish this book, I will for sure continue to read it as I can’t wait to see what happens!!

Book Review · Contemporary Romance · FIction · Romance · Women's Fiction

The Unexpected Wedding

This month I had the opportunity of partnering with Goddess Fish Promotions to review the book “The Unexpected Wedding” by Debra Elizabeth.

Synopsis

Meet Lady Elizabeth. She may be a partner in a booming wedding business at Barrett Castle in Northern England, but she has had nothing but bad dates lately. Elizabeth can’t figure out if the bad dates are because she likes to share her opinions and business sense, or if she is just in a rut. But then her brother and sister in law invite her to travel to San Diego. While Elizabeth isn’t excited by the idea, she decides there is nothing to lose as she is having no success in England finding a boyfriend.

Meet Jackson “Jack” Stanfield. As a computer programmer, he does not date much as he believes computers are far more simple than complicated people. Then one day, Jack’s college buddy invites him to a BBQ, which he reluctantly agrees to attend. But then he meets Lady Elizabeth and is suprised by the immediate reaction he has to her.

Will Elizabeth finally find love? Will Elizabeth pull Jack out of his shell? Make sure to pick up “The Unexpected Wedding” to find out!

Review

This was a cute book. I am not sure there is any other way to describe it. It was shorter than most books I read, but it didn’t matter as the story was quick to pull you in and keep you interested throughout the book. I was pleasantly surprised by the way Debra Elizabeth presented and described the characters of Elizabeth and Jack. Instead of the female character being the one talking about all the feelings she was having and “mooning” over the male character, Debra provided a platform where each of the characters had a chance to express the feelings they were having for each other. This was so, so wonderfully refreshing!

While I thought the story was going to be about Elizabeth and Jack’s romance, Debra Elizabeth threw a bit of a curve ball into the story! While it was a minor part of the story, compared to the love story, the curve ball was a great addition to the story and added wonderful, descriptive writing about the characters as well as the story line.

Like I said, this book was cute and I enjoyed every minute of this story! For sure worth the read!!

Excerpt

Jack walked toward the back door. When he was almost there, he saw a vision—a stunning young woman with blonde curls cascading down her back. When she turned at his approach, the last rays of the sun enveloped her silhouette, giving her an ethereal dreamy quality. She was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, and he felt the breath leave his body as he stood staring open-mouthed. He’d never had such a reaction to a woman before. It was new and an unnerving experience.

“Did you want something?” she asked.

Jack continued to stare, totally captivated by this woman and her beautiful cornflower blue eyes. He knew she was talking, but he didn’t hear a word, just a lyrical melody.

The young woman waved her hand in front of his face. “Hello, can I get you something?”

That broke his trance and Jack felt heat climb up his neck. “Huh? Oh god. I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to stare,” he stammered.

“It’s quite all right. Now do you want something, a beer perhaps?” she asked.

“You’re British?”

The young woman’s eyes traveled down to her feet and back up again before she looked at him. “Last time I looked, yes,” she chuckled.

What an asinine thing to say!

 “Shall we start again?” she asked. “I’m Elizabeth and you are?”

Jack gave himself a mental shake. “Oh, please forgive me. I’m not used to making a complete fool of myself before I’ve even uttered a single word. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Elizabeth. I’m Jackson, um Jack, that is.”

“Well, Jackson um Jack, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Now, would you like a beer?”

He chuckled. “Yes, please. That would be good.”

Rating

GIVEAWAY

Debra Elizabeth will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click the link HERE to enter!!!

Adult Fiction · Book Review · FIction · Historical Fiction · Mystery

The Six-Week Solution

For this book, I had the pleasure of partnering with the Cozy Mystery Review Crew to review the book “The Six-Week Solution” by Paula Darnell. This was my first time working with this group and I have to say, they were fantastic and will for sure be working with them again!!!

Synopsis

Reno, Nevada – a place where people can come get a quickie divorce in 1955 by moving there for just six-weeks. By moving to a ranch in Reno and establishing residency by living there for six-weeks, well-to-do women are granted a quickie divorce for a variety of reasons.

Enter the Circle E Ranch run by Carol and Chuck Ellis. One nigh a guest of the ranch dies unexpectedly when her Cadillac suddenly runs off the Mount Rose Highway, a road that travels between Reno and Lake Tahoe. Deputy Sheriff Ben Cameron is assigned to investigate the accident. As Ben is investigating the accident, which leads to more questions than answers, he meets Mary who has just moved into the Circle E ranch from New York. While spending time questioning the ranch’s guests, Ben finds out that Mary has been involved in an accident, while shopping in Reno with another one of the guests at the Circe E Ranch. Mary brushes the accident off as just that – an accident. However, when Mary has a second accident, so close to the first, Ben quickly determines someone is out to get her.

What happened to cause the guest at the Circle E Ranch to drive off the cliff?

Who is targeting Mary and will she be alive long enough to get her divorce?

Ben must figure out the answers to these questions as well as many others in order to solve these cases before someone else dies. Will he be able to do it in time? Read The Six-Week Solution by Paula Darnell to find out!! 

Review

While I don’t usually read historical fiction, the synopsis intrigued me enough to bring me out of my comfort zone to read this book, and I was glad that I did. I had never heard of the six-week solution before reading this book, and was surprised to learn that hundreds of thousands of people came to Nevada to get a divorce in the 1900’s. While I learned this fact after reading the book, the book did a really great job in cluing me into what the six-week solution actually was, without having to do any research outside of reading the book. I felt that the author included facts in a way that were part of the story-line and you did not feel like you were reading a history book, but you still knew what was going on in history at this time. This was a great aspect of Paula Darnell‘s writing.

Throughout the book, I sometimes felt a slight struggle to continue reading, as I felt the story became slower paced, however Paula Darnell then through me a curveball that kept me reading to find out what was going to happen to Mary and why the black Cadillac drove off the Mount Rose Highway. While there were two separate mysteries going on, Paula Darnell did a great job separating them, while at the same time weaving them together. In addition, when I thought I had figured out each of the mysteries, Paula Darnell through a curveball that put me back at square one in figuring out what had happened and “who done it.”

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I am glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone and read historical fiction. This book introduced me to author Paula Darnell and I will for sure be adding her to my list of authors to read!! In fact, I can’t wait to jump into her DIY Diva Mystery Series!

Rating

Adult Fiction · Book Review · Crime Thriller · FIction · Mystery · Thriller

You Kill Me

I again had the pleasure of partnering with Goddess Fish Promotions for a book review of You Kill Me by Holly LeRoy. I, as much as the next person love a good “police solving a crime” book and this one did not disappoint.

Synopsis

Eve Sharpe is a Lieutenant for the Chicago Police Department. During her time on the force she has been known for her toughness. While investigating a case, Eve takes a lot of hits that begin to make her second guess her toughness and that also make her lose her edge. With her career crashing down around her, Eve begins to wonder if the press and politicians are right…that she is a cold blooded killer or if she is just losing her mind. As Eve is put on administrative leave, she continues to wonder if this is an officer involved shooting that was a “good shoot” gone wrong and therefore an honest mistake or if it is something much more terrible.

Review

I must say, Holly LeRoy did not disappoint with this book!! From page 1, I was hooked!! Holly LeRoy wrote a suspenseful, intriguing book with surprises at every turn. For me, I never knew what was going to happen in the story or to Eve next! This book really kept me guessing! This book was full of excitement and suspense which kept me on my toes throughout the pages. While Eve is a fictional character, the way Holly LeRoy wrote about her really made me feel for her and with every blow that she took, I felt I was taking the blow with her. I questioned her sanity with her. I felt her disappointment and her frustration. And I was really mad, with Eve, at all the people who knew her for so long and did not believe in her as a cop. I must say I was really angry for Eve throughout most of the book! Overall I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to pick up another book about Eve Sharp!!

Excerpt

It only took a couple of minutes to get to the scene. The Chicago Grand Hotel sat half a block from the Mag Mile near the museum. Built in the 1890’s it was restored in 2001, covered in glitzy looking polished brass and white marble. Even though it usually gleamed in the daytime, the sleet sweeping in off the lake made it looked gray and blocky, more like a Soviet prison. In front, a garish, fully involved crime scene revealed itself in stark contrast.   Flashing blue lights, yellow tape, a couple of cruisers. Uniforms directing traffic. Battery operated lights blasted through the snow swirls, lighting up the scene like a movie set.

I headed over to the body while Walt went to talk to the first on the scene. The ME, a photographer, and a tech crouched over the dead girl while a couple of other uniforms erected a blue plastic tent in an effort to shelter the body from gawkers. I touched the ME on the shoulder and Harold Slezak glanced up at me. “One of yours?” he said and turned the girl’s face to the light.

I knelt and felt my stomach lurch as I looked down. A deep, bloody skull depression on her forehead, her arms were twisted around the wrong way and zip-tied at the wrist. Yellow bile stained her pink sweatshirt.

“Yes. It’s Debi Miller.”

Her blue eyes open, flecks of snow had begun to stick to her face. She was already starting to freeze.

Rating

Book Review · Self-Help

Life Is A Four Letter Word

I had the pleasure this month of partnering with Suzy Approved Book Tours, Mango Publishing and David Levy to read the book “Life is A Four Letter Word.” When I read the description of this book, I had this feeling that it was going to offer life lessons as well as true life and humor and so I quickly signed up for this tour. SPOILER ALLERT: This book did not disappoint.

Synopsis

In this book, David Levy takes a look back at his life through 40 different essays about events that happened throughout his life that taught him life lessons. Written in chronological order, the reader is able to follow David’s life from a young child and through adulthood and learn those valuable lessons through the reflections he has about his life as well as wisdom that he can provide from those experiences.

Review

As I stated above, when I chose to be part of this tour, I had this feeling that this self-help books was going to be different and let me tell you I was totally right!!! David Levy presents a fantastic sequence of short essays about his life that provided me with valuable life lessons to thinks about. This book did not lecture me or give me advice at every turn, but made me relate to and think about the story David told as well as the life lesson being presented. Some of the life lessons hit home closer than others, but all of the life lessons really made me think. I must admit that some of them were so good that I committed the ultimate sin while reading a book of folding down the page corner!!! I know, I am terrible and should probably go to book jail, however the lessons were so good that I know I will go back to them for years to come. David’s writing style and stories about his life have a way of capturing you and making you think about things in a quiet manner, which I really enjoyed. There was no pointing fingers or “yelling” through the pages of a book…it was just quiet, wise advice. I really hope David Levy comes out with more books like this in the future, because I would definitely pick them up and get lost in those books, just as I did in this book!

Rating

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

The Power of Love

This month I had the pleasure of working with Goddess Fish Promotions to review The Power of Love by Kemberlee Shortland. I had never heard of this author, but with the synopsis that I read, I was excited to give this new author a chance!

Synopsis

Meet Elaine and Ethan. They are newly weds, married at Christmas, and their plan is to wait to start a family until they are ready. However, Elaine discovers she is pregnant and is hesitant to tell Ethan as she is not sure how he will react. Ethan however surprises Elaine by accepting the pregnancy and soon to be parenthood with open arms and excitement.

At a prenatal exam, Elaine and Ethan find out devastating news that will change their lives as they know them. Their charmed relationship and lives are about to crash down around them.

With Christmas coming soon and Elaine due to give birth right around that time, will a Christmas wish come true for the couple or will everything they built end up as rubble?

Review

I have to be honest, I was really sad that this was a short story, as I loved the writing style and the story line. Kemberlee Shortland has a writing style that pulls you in at the first page and leaves you wanting more at the last. I immediately felt the emotions that Elaine and Ethan were feeling and found myself pulling for them as a couple as their world crashed around them. The descriptions of the characters and situations the characters were in were written so well that you felt like you where right in the book with them. My only complaint for this book was that it was not long enough and I wanted to know more about what happened to Elaine and Ethan. I can’t wait to explore more of Kemberlee Shortland’s books and get lost in her writing again!!

Excerpt

His strong hand grasped hers and brought it to lips framed with dark stubble, kissing the backs of her fingers. “Please, love. I can barely move.”

Elaine glanced down the solid length of him to the twitch beneath the sheet just covering his hips. “Could have fooled me.”

Leaning over, he propped himself up on an elbow and looked down at her. He nestled her head in the crook of his arm.

“Isn’t it enough you kept me up all night,” winking at the double meaning, “but you want to make me late for work, as well?”

You weren’t complaining an hour ago.”

His lips against hers echoed the passion they had shared through the night.

When he leaned away, his deep voice was soft, his blue-eyed gaze intense. “And I never will, Lany. I love you to the depths of my soul and will always be here for you.”

Tears welled and threatened to spill down her cheeks. “Will you?”

Nodding, he said, “Aye. Always.”

You truly want this baby.” It wasn’t a question. She rubbed her belly without breaking her gaze with him. When he nodded again, his grin answering more than his voice could.

Rating

Giveaway

Kemberlee Shortland will be awarding a House of Tirgearryen t-shirt (Worldwide shipping, except in restricted regions as per An Post) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click HERE to enter this giveaway!!!