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Monday, February 19, 2018

COVER REVEAL: Dead as a Doornail by Tonya Kappes (Cozy Mystery)

Greetings Friends!

Today's feature is a cover reveal for the newest book in a cozy mystery series coming out in May!  DEAD AS A DOORNAIL is the sixth book in the Kenni Lowry series.


Beauty is skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone. And doesn’t our Sheriff Kenni Lowry know that? Well, she knows a lot of things. 
Lucy Lowell takes great pride in writing negative reviews in the local newspaper for anything that does not go her way. When Lucy is found dead, it appears to be from natural causes. 
But Sheriff Kenni Lowry knows there is more to it because the ghost of her grandfather, the ex-sheriff, is standing over the body. 
His presence can only mean one thing: Murder! 
Since Kenni’s relationship with Deputy Finn Vincent has heated up, Kenni is having trouble conducting the investigation without Finn questioning her every move. 
Can Kenni unravel the mystery on her own or will she have to tell Finn the real reason she knows it was murder—the ghost of her poppa? 
It’s blowin’ up a storm and only Kenni knows how it’ll end.






Coming May 15, 2018 from Henery Press!

You can PREORDER your copy on Amazon HERE today!


Tonya Kappes

For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been publishing numerous mysteries with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plot lines and quirky characters, but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans.

You can connect with her on:


I hope you enjoyed today's feature and I look forward to hearing if you will be adding this book and series to your TBR!

Friday, February 16, 2018

GUEST POST: Dead Cold by Jennifer Chase (Thriller)

Greetings Friends!

Today, I have a guest post from Jennifer Chase, author of DEAD COLD, the sixth book in the Emily Stone mystery series, in which she discusses how she develops her characters!

I also reviewed this book in December, which you can check out HERE. I absolutely loved this one and am starting from the very beginning. Plus, it's an absolute steal on Kindle at 99 cents!


What happens when one California community has a disturbing spike in homicides? It catapults cops into a deadly game of murder. Frozen human body parts hideously displayed at the crime scenes offers a horrifying interpretation that only a sadistic serial killer could design—and execute. 

On the hunt for a complex serial killer, vigilante detective Emily Stone must face her most daring case yet. Stone’s proven top-notch profiling skills and forensic expertise may not be enough this time. 

Young and ambitious, Detective Danny Starr, catches the homicide cases and discovers that it will test everything he knows about police work and the criminal mind. Can he handle these escalating cases or will the police department have to call in reinforcements—the FBI.

Emily Stone’s covert team pushes with extreme urgency to unravel the grisly clues, while keeping their identities hidden from the police. With one last-ditch effort, Stone dangles someone she loves as bait to draw out the killer. She then forces the killer out of their comfort zone with her partner Rick Lopez, and with help from a longtime friend Jordan Smith. A revelation of the serial killer’s identity leaves the team with volatile emotions that could destroy them. 

The killer continues to taunt and expertly manipulate the police, as well as Stone’s team, and as they run out of time—they leave behind everyone and everything—in Dead Cold.
Order your copy on Amazon HERE.


ESCAPE WAS IMPOSSIBLE. TEARS STREAMED down her face as she sat in the darkness and waited for the man to return. There was no other choice—but to wait.
She hadn’t eaten anything in three days and had only a limited amount of water—her strength continued to fade with every hour. With her wrists and ankles secured with duct tape, her skin stung with pain every time she struggled to move. At least the man had peeled the tape from her eyes and mouth so that she could see something besides pitch-blackness.
Even if she could escape, the only way to safety was jumping into the frigid water, but she could not swim and would drown before ever reaching the shore.
The only thing thirteen-year-old Kayla Swanson thought about was home. Fond memories flashed through her mind of her parents, her little brother, and her dog Charlie. She was never going to see them again. Their smiling faces were forever etched in Kayla’s mind, and she constantly held them close to her heart.
The boat rocked, and seemed to sway more violently as the tide flooded in and out of the harbor. Kayla could hear a consistent clanking noise above her as the boat rolled back and forth. The sound had a hypnotic quality, and kept her mind on something else besides when the man would return and what he would do next.
Her lips were dry and cracked as she bordered on dehydration. Even her tears dried on her cheeks, leaving her skin stiff and drawn. Her body began to shake, not only from fear, but also because of the extreme exhaustion and the constant dampness all around her.
The boat rocked more, but this time it shifted from the opposite sides. Kayla heard soft footsteps above, which she knew wasn’t her captor’s heavy walk. She strained her eyes in the darkness and thought she saw a thin shadow stealthily move along the upper deck. 
Was it a ghost?  
Kayla remembered a television series where a team of people hunted ghosts and they had said that ghosts could occupy any type of space, house, property, and even a boat.
She blinked her eyes several times and hoped that she could catch a glimpse of the ghost again. With every ounce of declining strength, Kayla scooted her body closer to the narrow stairs leading to the upper deck.
Painfully craning her neck, she strained to see something up in the darkness.
The dark shadowed areas played tricks on her eyes—it was there, then it wasn’t.
She waited for several minutes.
Nothing appeared.
The only sounds she heard were the usual boat noises she had grown accustomed to hearing. Whatever she thought she heard was gone now. It was most likely her imagination trying to give her some hope and a few moments break from her dire circumstances.
As she relaxed her shoulders and leaned back against the wall, the reality of her world pressing down hard. Tears streamed down her face. She tasted the saltiness that settled around her mouth. Her last moments were approaching, and there was nothing she could do.


A Day In the Life of Jennifer Chase

I write in one hour or two hour increments during the day and evening. This allows me to be able to complete other things such as household chores, promotion, exercise, and errands. One of my favorite things is when I begin one of my new thriller projects, I love creating the bad guys. I work out my Big Three: Physical, Background, and Psychological. 

When I outline the bad guys for my novels, it often reads like a police rap sheet and a psychological profile. I cannot overstate the effectiveness for research and outlining in fiction writing. There are those little pieces of nuggets that you can weave into the story that gives it the added realism and authenticity. These nuggets are like pieces of gold for me, and I love hunting for them. 

Research into creating new characters works well for me because I love learning new things that I didn’t know yesterday, but it can be a daunting task if you don’t enjoy the process. I’ve managed to streamline my development a bit, so that I don’t get overwhelmed with too much information and avoid a major time void sucking the life out of me. 

This is where I create the actual physical qualities of the character, what he/she looks like, mannerisms, specific characteristics, how he/she dresses, and even habits. I begin to get a real picture in my mind how this person looks, walks, and talks. It’s a writer’s character rap sheet with an added dimension.

Now it’s getting to be fun. This is where I begin to develop who they are with a history, life experiences, family, work environment, criminal activity, relationships, living conditions, education, and anything that wasn’t addressed with the physical area.

Now, I have an actual image of the character and some background information.  It’s endless in creating the mind of a bad guy, and you can have so much fun with this area of writing. This is no doubt my favorite step to creating a bad guy. I like to have these characters answer a few questions for me, like what they would do if confronted with certain situations. This also includes their internal and external conflicts. Many of my bad guys are serial killers, so they are skewed with distorted perceptions, beliefs, and lack of impulse control. How fun is that?


Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning crime fiction author and consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master's degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling.  She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.

You can connect with her on:


And be sure to check out other blog tour participants HERE for more author extras!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: The Sloppy Okapi by Keith Bosco (Children's)

Greetings Friends!

Today I have a REVIEW of the children's book THE SLOPPY OKAPI by Keith Bosco and illustrated by Taylor Patterson.


Charlie is a young okapi who wants to be a detective, but his one big flaw causes a big, big problem........ he's a very sloppy okapi!
Join Charlie as he learns the importance of being neat while discovering that his weakness doesn't determine his destiny.
You can order your copy from Yellow Light Publishing HERE.


Genre:  Children's
Publication Date:  January 2018


I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

This is a gorgeously illustrated story with a fantastic and meaningful message for children that they can truly understand! If it feels like your kids are constantly misplacing their things and coming to you for help finding them, you're not alone! THE SLOPPY OKAPI is a fantastic way to introduce the concept of tidiness and how that value shows respect and care for beloved personal items.  Additionally, by seeing Charlie's struggles, readers begin to realize that it is our efforts towards improvement that define who we are and not our individual faults and weaknesses.

I couldn't begin talking about the beautiful artwork from this book without sharing a few of my favorites!

The illustrations throughout the story are simply stunning and bring fresh and inviting perspectives that work to further pull readers into Charlie's world. There is a certain dream-like quality to them that captures both the magic and nostalgia of childhood that will definitely captivate both young and older readers alike!

I was and still am a huge fan of children's detective stories, and this was such an incredibly adorable way to introduce a character that I hope we'll see more of! Now that Charlie has figured out where all of his tools are, I would love to see him out and about solving cases for his community or helping others to discover who they really are as well.


Keith Bosco is an author, musician, songwriter, husband and father of four.
Born and raised in the state of Delaware his creative nature was noticeable at a very young age. Through years of songwriting and performing Keith began to hone his knack for storytelling.
Before leaving his job to pursue his dream of publishing his own children’s illustrated book, Keith was the Assistant Director of a non-profit that helped individuals with disabilities obtain and maintain employment. Keith and his family packed up their home and have been traveling in an RV across the country to promote his book THE SLOPPY OKAPI, which is published through his own publishing company, Yellow Light Publishing.  
You can connect with him on:



Taylor Patterson grew up in the small state of Delaware. With a degree in Visual Communications from The University of Delaware, he landed a job at a graphic design firm in Los Angeles, CA in early 2015. He is currently a Lead Designer at  Conssol, LLC and a Designer at BLT Communications, LLC.

I hope that you'll add this book your own library and help support self-published and independent authors and illustrators!

Many thanks to Keith, Taylor, and Yellow Light Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book! It was an absolute pleasure!

Friday, February 2, 2018

BOOK REVEW: Watch Me by Jody Gehrman (Psychological Thriller)

Greetings Friends!

Today I have a REVIEW of the new psychological thriller Watch Me by Jody Gerhman, a terrifying look into an obsessive mind and his victim.

Kate Youngblood is disappearing. Muddling through her late 30s as a creative writing professor at Blackwood college, she’s dangerously close to never being noticed again. The follow-up novel to her successful debut tanked. Her husband left her for a woman ten years younger. She’s always been bright, beautiful, independent and a little wild, but now her glow is starting to vanish. She’s heading into an age where her eyes are less blue, her charm worn out, and soon no one will ever truly look at her, want to know her, again.
Except one.
Sam Grist is Kate’s most promising student. An unflinching writer with razor-sharp clarity who gravitates towards dark themes and twisted plots, his raw talent is something Kate wants to nurture into literary success. But he’s not there solely to be the best writer. He’s been watching her. Wanting her. Working his way to her for years.
As Sam slowly makes his way into Kate’s life, they enter a deadly web of dangerous lies and forbidden desire. But how far will his fixation go? And how far will she allow it?
A gripping novel exploring intense obsession and illicit attraction, Jody Gehrman introduces a world where what you desire most may be the most dangerous thing of all.

You can order your copy on Amazon HERE.


Genre:  Psychological Thriller
Publication Date:  January 2018


I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Told in seamless dual narratives, this is a dark, compelling, and twisted thriller that will really begin to creep you out especially each time Sam's point of view is shared. These two perspectives allow you to see both the obsessive mind of the stalker and the conflicting emotions of the victim given that Kate doesn't immediately know anything untoward is going on. Gehrman skillfully crafted a conversation exploring the power of illicit attention and intense infatuation. Because of the dual narration, you know Kate derives pleasure from Sam's interest in her, but you also know how demented his fixation really is. She ignores some early indicators of his abnormal behavior, doubting her intuition because after all he's charming, attractive, and attracted to her. But he's also patient, possessive, and a psychopath.

Neither of these characters is at all likeable, but it ultimately made this story all the more believable and realistic. It would have been so easy to paint Kate as "good" and Sam as "evil," but there are these broad strokes of gray that ultimately took this story to the next sinister level.

This won't be the book for everyone, but I was truly captivated by the unfolding of a deeply disturbing and dysfunctional relationship. By the end, it was hard to escape the feeling that I wasn't being watched as well!


Jody Gehrman

Jody Gehrman has authored eleven published novels and numerous plays for stage and screen. Her debut suspense novel, Watch Me, is published by St. Martin's Press. Her Young Adult novel, Babe in Boyland, won the International Reading Association’s Teen Choice Award and was optioned by the Disney Channel. Jody’s plays have been produced or had staged readings in Ashland, New York, SanFrancisco, Chicago, and L.A. Her newest full-length, TribalLife in America, won the Ebell Playwrights Prize and will receive a staged reading at the historic Ebell Theater in Los Angeles. She and her partner David Wolf won the New Generation Playwrights Award for their one-act, Jake Savage, Jungle P.I. She holds a Masters Degree in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California and is a professor of Communications at Mendocino College in Northern California.

You can connect with her on:


Many thanks to St. Martin's, NetGalley, and especially Jody Gehrman for the opportunity to read and review this book! It was an absolute pleasure!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Hidden Gems within the Thriller Genre

Greetings Fellow Book Dragons!

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme within the book community that was created by Lainey of GingerReadsLainey, but is now hosted by Sam of Thoughts on Tomes.  If you're interested in participating, you can find out more on the Goodreads group.

This week's topic is HIDDEN GEMS within your FAVORITE GENRE! My favorite reads are thrillers, and this genre is infamous for proclaiming every newly released title as the next Gone Girl without actually delivering on that promise. Most of us are burnt out on that proclamation and just want good stories, but often that even becomes hard as well. Here are some standouts within a genre that seems intent on telling the same story over and over again. 

In no particular order, these are my selections:


This is the first book in the CSI Reilly Steel series and I talk A LOT about these books on my blog. I discovered this book by chance in 2016 at my local library and binge read the entire series in a few months. The mysteries become more gripping and gritty with each book (except #3, which I explain HERE if you're interested in checking that out) and the writing crafts amazingly relatable characters that truly come alive on the page so that you are racing right along with them to solve the cases.  Taboo is actually FREE right now on Kindle, so download it and start reading today!

Now You See Me

This is the first book in the Lacey Flint series, featuring a young detective constable from London on the hunt for a Jack the Ripper copycat. It's compelling, fast-paced, and will keep you guessing until the very end.


This is the first book in the Archie Sheridan/Gretchen Lowell series, featuring a female serial killer and the troubled detective that almost died at her hands. Gretchen is beautiful, cunning, and pure evil. It's definitely tragic to watch the relationship dynamics between these two, but it makes for an incredible reading experience. 

Dead Cold (An Emily Stone Thriller) by [Chase, Jennifer]

Dead Cold

This is the sixth book in the Emily Stone series. I discovered this one through a review campaign and absolutely LOVED it! Plus it's an incredible steal on Kindle at 99 cents! 

Featuring a covert, vigilante detective, this story gave you insight into the killer's mind as well as how the investigation proceeded along both the procedural and more secretive side. This one is extremely fast-paced, much more action oriented, and places more of an emphasis and spotlight on the importance of profiling serial criminals, especially given the author's own extensive background and expertise with forensics.

The Weight of Blood: A Novel by [McHugh, Laura]

The Weight of Blood

While the other books are all part of a series, this is the only standalone and much more character driven and atmospheric.

Spanning across decades, Lucy is haunted by the disappearance of her mother, a woman she never knew, and the murder of her friend, a girl she couldn't save. The bucolic community turns macabre as dark secrets are revealed within this secluded, protective, and insular small town. It was definitely hard to forget this stunning debut novel!

So those are my picks! What are some hidden gems in your favorite genre? Let me know in the comments because I'm always looking to expand my TBR!

Monday, January 29, 2018

BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: Survival of the Fritters by Ginger Bolton (Cozy Mystery)

Greetings Friends!

Today I have a REVIEW and GIVEAWAY for the new cozy mystery Survival of the Fritters by Ginger Bolton! This is the first book in the Deputy Donut mystery series.


Emily Westhill runs the best donut shop in Fallingbrook, Wisconsin, alongside her retired police chief father-in-law and her tabby Deputy Donut. But after murder claims a favorite customer, Emily can’t rely on a sidekick to solve the crime—or stay alive. 
If Emily has learned anything from her past as a 911 operator, it’s to stay calm during stressful situations. But that’s a tall order when one of her regulars, Georgia Treetor, goes missing. Georgia never skips morning cappuccinos with her knitting circle. Her pals fear the worst—especially Lois, a close friend who recently moved to town. As evening creeps in, Emily and the ladies search for Georgia at home. And they find her—murdered among a scattering of stale donuts. 
Disturbingly, Georgia’s demise coincides with the five-year anniversary of her son’s murder, a case Emily’s late detective husband failed to solve before his own sudden death. With Lois hiding secrets and an innocent man’s life at stake, Emily’s forced to revisit painful memories on her quest for answers. Though someone’s alibi is full of holes, only a sprinkling of clues have been left behind. And if Emily can’t trace them back to a killer in time, her donut shop will end up permanently closed for business.
Order your copy on Amazon HERE.


Ginger Bolton writes the Deputy Donut mystery series – cops, crime, coffee, donuts and one curious cat. When Ginger isn’t writing or reading, she’s crocheting, knitting, sewing, walking her two rescue dogs and generally causing trouble. She’s also fond of donuts, coffee, and cafes were folks gather to enjoy those tasty treats and one another’s company.

You can connect with her on:



Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publication Date:  January 2018


I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

This was such a delightful and solid debut for any fan of cozy culinary mysteries that you will definitely want to look for! And it would also make a great choice for those who haven't discovered the world of cozies before and are simply looking for a place to start.

Between the community and the cast of characters (I'm looking at those Knitpickers), this story provides the potential for much hijinx to ensue as the series progresses.   The writing is well done and keeps you guessing right along with Emily as she tries to figure out what happened to her friend. I enjoyed that Emily's character was intriguing enough to keep you drawn to the mystery, but never annoying enough that you felt drug through the story. If you've read enough cozy mysteries, you are fully aware that sometimes the lead can come on a bit too strong, especially in terms of her amateur sleuthing abilities. Emily wasn't like that at all, and in fact, turned to her police associates many times without hesitation as she learned new information that could assist them in their efforts to solve the case.

Many times in these cozy mystery settings, you can be instantly and continuously inundated with the minutia of the niche, but I thoroughly appreciated how the story focused more on the mystery while the bakery remained in the periphery. This may not remain the case as the series continues, but for the opening story, it was really well done. The moments that included scenes from the bakery will leave your mouth watering, so be sure to have snacks available, preferably your favorite pastry or you can make your own using the provided recipes!

I look forward to picking up the second book coming out in August entitled Goodbye Cruller World!


Enter for your chance to win a prize package!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Many thanks to Great Escapes Book Tours, Kensington Publishing, and especially Ginger Bolton for the opportunity to read and review this book! It was an absolute pleasure!

Be sure to check out the other blogs on the tour for more opinions and author extras!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Copycat by Alex Lake (Psychological Thriller)

Greetings Friends!

Today, I have a review of the new psychological thriller Copycat by Alex Lake.


Genre:  Psychological Thriller
Publication Date:  September 2017


Your stalker is everywhere.
Your stalker knows everything.
But the real problem is that your stalker is you.

Sarah Havenant discovers–when an old friend points it out–that there are two Facebook profiles in her name.

One, she recognizes: it is hers. The other, she has never seen. But everything in it is accurate. Recent photos of her and her friends, her and her husband, her and her kids. Even of her new kitchen. A photo taken inside her house.

She is bemused, angry, and worried. Who was able to do this? Any why?

But this, it soon turns out, is just the beginning. It is only now–almost as though someone has been watching, waiting for her to find the profile–that her problems really start…
You can order your copy on Amazon HERE.


Alex Lake is a British novelist who was born in the North West of England. After Anna is the first book to be written under the author’s pseudonym, and it has been a No.1 bestselling ebook sensation. The author now lives in the US, in Brunswick, Maine.

You can connect with the author through social media on:


A few years ago when the author's first book After Anna was released, I was inundated on social media about how much I would love that book. I never got a chance to read it, but it was with that curiousity that I was able to get an advanced reader copy last year of Killing Kate, which we choose to read in my book club and you can check out my full review here. While it started out extremely slow, around the middle, it took off and never stopped! Becoming quite outlandish in its intensity, I was taken aback at some of the violence that occurred towards the end that seemed slightly gratuitous for this type of thriller. In the end, I wasn't completely sold; however, I knew I was interested to see what Lake would write next.

I never heard much from anyone about either After Anna or Killing Kate nor was I privy to any information about another book coming out, so it was quite surprising when a few days after Christmas, while perusing the book section at Target of all places, I found Copycat. The premise intrigued me that I couldn't believe I hadn't heard ANYTHING about this new book! This may have certainly drummed up the intrigue, but after a few sittings of reading that stole time from my life that I will never get back, it has already made the worst of the year two weeks into 2018!

Many of the same problems I had with Killing Kate exist with Copycat, but the extreme violence has been ratcheted up even more and into levels that I think would definitely stun if not disturb a more casual thriller reader. Don't get me wrong. I'm a huge fan of stories about serial killers which can run the gamut, but you always know to some extent what you're getting into when you pick one up. What I thought I was getting with this book was nothing that ended up being delivered to me.

The pacing is extremely slow in the beginning even in order to set up the situation the main character is facing, and that doesn't even prepare you for what is coming. Nothing can. The day to day minutia drags on for way too long and then suddenly everything spirals out of control like a balloon losing air and just flying haphazardly around a room from one direction to another. But by far the biggest disappointment for me was anticipating a thriller that was billed as something profoundly realistic (stolen identity and stalking) and resulted in the most ludicrously and laughable scenario that you couldn't even suspend your disbelief for. While I had my suspicions about the antagonist early on, I couldn't begin to tell you why this person was exacting so much vengeance; however, no one would ever figure it out unless you slog through to the end and listen to the dialogue heavy info-dump that spells it all out. As I stated in my review of Killing Kate, I "like seeing the steady unraveling as characters discover clues that lead them towards the horrible understanding of what is going on," but this one hits you right in the face at the same time that the main character figures it out as well.

This is grade A hyperbolic Lifetime movie shock and awe, and there in lies the rub. It's the worst junk food you could get your hands on, and while you know you have to put it down because it's just going to cause problems, you keep shoveling it in, or in this case, reading. I can't deny that the story was addictive. I continued coming back wanting to know what was going to happen and how this whole thing was going to end, and needless to say, it wasn't good. As ridiculous as this sounds, everything was neatly wrapped up with a little bow, yet open-ended enough to suggest a sequel.

Overall, I wasn't impressed. While I'm intrigued to check out After Anna to see if it was at all any different than these last two, I'm not sure I will continue with any future books. In the end, it's all personal preference and it does actually receive fairly high ratings on both Goodreads and Amazon, although I wonder if we all read the same book! If you decide to read this one, please let me know your thoughts because I'm apparently in very small company with this one.