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Sunday, December 31, 2017

THE YEAR AHEAD: 2018 Wishlist


Greetings Friends!

As we wave goodbye to 2017 and welcome the new year, I wanted to take a moment to spotlight some of the books that I am highly anticipating! These are all from authors that I have read before and can't wait to see what they have come up with now!

Click on the image or title to preorder your copy on Amazon!



Beneath the Sugar Sky

January 9, 2018


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0765393581/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=thatswhatsh00-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0765393581&linkId=793015a83a3f61e81dbe6e95767433b4

This is the third book in McGuire's Wayward Children series and returns to Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children in a standalone contemporary fantasy for fans of all ages. At this magical boarding school, children who have experienced fantasy adventures are reintroduced to the "real" world. 
When Rini lands with a literal splash in the pond behind Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children, the last thing she expects to find is that her mother, Sumi, died years before Rini was even conceived. But Rini can’t let Reality get in the way of her quest – not when she has an entire world to save! (Much more common than one would suppose.) 
If she can't find a way to restore her mother, Rini will have more than a world to save: she will never have been born in the first place. And in a world without magic, she doesn’t have long before Reality notices her existence and washes her away. Good thing the student body is well-acquainted with quests... 
A tale of friendship, baking, and derring-do. 
Warning: May contain nuts.



Daughter of the Siren Queen

February 27, 2018


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1250096014/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=thatswhatsh00-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=1250096014&linkId=dc7868ae86b8bcb748d8b834f2ddb43e

Alosa's mission is finally complete. Not only has she recovered all three pieces of the map to a legendary hidden treasure, but the pirates who originally took her captive are now prisoners on her ship. Still unfairly attractive and unexpectedly loyal, first mate Riden is a constant distraction, but now he's under her orders. And she takes great comfort in knowing that the villainous Vordan will soon be facing her father's justice. 
When Vordan exposes a secret her father has kept for years, Alosa and her crew find themselves in a deadly race with the feared Pirate King. Despite the danger, Alosa knows they will recover the treasure first . . . after all, she is the daughter of the Siren Queen.



Bring Me Back

March 8, 2018


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1250151333/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=thatswhatsh00-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=1250151333&linkId=851d30b9a956b1037596d44e28a05ee2

A young British couple are driving through France on vacation when they stop at a service station. He runs in to use the restroom, she stays in the car. When he returns, her car door has been left open, but she's not inside. No one ever sees her again.
Ten years later he's engaged to be married; he's happy, and his past is only a tiny part of his life now. Until he comes home from work one day and finds his new fiancĂ©e sitting on their sofa turning something over in her fingers, holding it up to the light. Something that would have no worth to anyone else, something only he and she would know about, because his wife-to-be is the sister of his missing first love. 
As more and more questions are raised, their relationship becomes strained. Has his first love somehow come back to him after all this time? Or is the person who took her playing games with his mind?


All the Beautiful Lies

April 3, 2018



Harry Ackerson has always considered his stepmother Alice to be sexy and beautiful, in an "otherworldly" way. She has always been kind and attentive, if a little aloof in the last few years.
Days before his college graduation, Alice calls with shocking news. His father is dead and the police think it’s suicide. Devastated, Harry returns to his father’s home in Maine. There, he and Alice will help each other pick up of the pieces of their lives and uncover what happened to his father. 
Shortly after he arrives, Harry meets a mysterious young woman named Grace McGowan. Though she claims to be new to the area, Harry begins to suspect that Grace may not be a complete stranger to his family. But she isn’t the only attractive woman taking an interest in Harry. The sensual Alice is also growing closer, coming on to him in an enticing, clearly sexual way. 
Mesmerized by these two women, Harry finds himself falling deeper under their spell. Yet the closer he gets to them, the more isolated he feels, disoriented by a growing fear that both women are hiding dangerous—even deadly—secrets . . . and that neither one is telling the truth.


Unbury Carol

April 10, 2018


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0399180168/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=thatswhatsh00-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0399180168&linkId=dc35ece75d120ad3e5c74814c3100196

Carol Evers is a woman with a dark secret. She has died many times . . . but her many deaths are not final: They are comas, a waking slumber indistinguishable from death, each lasting days. 
Only two people know of Carol’s eerie condition. One is her husband, Dwight, who married Carol for her fortune, and—when she lapses into another coma—plots to seize it by proclaiming her dead and quickly burying her . . . alive. The other is her lost love, the infamous outlaw James Moxie. When word of Carol’s dreadful fate reaches him, Moxie rides the Trail again to save his beloved from an early, unnatural grave. 
And all the while, awake and aware, Carol fights to free herself from the crippling darkness that binds her—summoning her own fierce will to survive. As the players in this drama of life and death fight to decide her fate, Carol must in the end battle to save herself. 
The haunting story of a woman literally bringing herself back from the dead, Unbury Carol is a twisted take on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page.


A Court of Frost and Starlight

May 2018



Narrated by Feyre and Rhysand, this bridges the events in A Court of Wings and Ruin and the upcoming novels in the series.
Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can't keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated--scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.



So those a few of the books that I am looking forward to in 2018. Do you have any anticipated reads? Let me know in the comments because I love adding to my TBR?

 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

END OF THE YEAR IN REVIEW: Most Surprising Books of 2017


Greetings Friends,

Continuing on with my end of year review, it's time to look at the most SURPRISING books of 2017. These are the books that I went into with very little expectation, but ended up being pleasantly surprised!

In no particular order, here are my selections:


Big Little Lies



This was my book club's first pick for the year. We had read Moriarty's The Hypnotist's Love Story last year as our inaugural read and really liked it. Plus the show was going to premiere on HBO and we had wanted to have a watch party. This one was exactly as Stephen King blurbs on the cover, "a hell of a good book." The book and show are really great in their own merits, but the book obviously offers much more character development, including the child characters who you ultimately feel are just as relatable as the adults. Definitely highly recommended and made me a huge fan of Liane Moriarty!





This was another book club selection where the synopsis drew me in immediately. It was so hard putting this one down and the ending was classic for lovers of psychological thrillers. Kimberly Belle is now an instabuy author as one of her previous books, The Ones We Trust, was a favorite for the year.




I signed up to review this book earlier in the year as part of a blog tour and had accidentally thought it was a cozy mystery. When it arrived and I realized it was actually a light romance, I wasn't sure what to think. This ultimately turned into sweet, light read that I truly enjoyed. I went on to purchase the previous books in the series and have been working my way through them ever since. You can check out my full review for more.



Dead Cold


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073PNM22F/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=thatswhatsh00-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B073PNM22F&linkId=09a7e69fdcc7eb40c719d230cc8ef8e9

This was another one that I signed up to review as part of a blog tour. The synopsis sounded fantastic and right up my alley. Additionally, I was on the hunt for another thriller series like the Reilly Steel series and I was crossing my fingers that this would be it. While this was the sixth book in the series, I never felt disconnected from the characters and absolutely LOVED this book. You can check out my full review for more. I am going to start from the beginning with the hope that it holds up in comparison to this one.



A Stranger in the House



Last year, I read and reviewed Shari Lapena's debut, The Couple Next Door, which you can check out HERE for more. While I liked it, it was definitely one of those cases where I got the sense that her talent was undeniable and that it would only get better as she wrote more. This book proved my point. Some people find it a miss, but I was pleasantly surprised and definitely recommend this for fans of suspense, mystery, and psychological thrillers. I'm working on my review for this book, so stay tuned!




So those are the books that surprised me this year. Did you read any that surprised you? Let me know in the comments!

Friday, December 29, 2017

END OF THE YEAR IN REVIEW: Most Disappointing Books of 2017


Greetings Friends!

Continuing on with my end of the year in review series, I'm reflecting on some of the most DISAPPOINTING books I read in 2017. These books are by no means bad or not worth your time investment to read, rather I was simply underwhelmed with the end result after being so excited. For me, these books just didn't live up to the hype that I had built up for them.

In no particular order, here are my selections:

A Court of Wings and Ruin


Before the hate mail ensues, I am a huge fan of this series; however, after the intense love affair I had with A Court of Mist and Fury, I was expecting absolute perfection with this one, especially since it was originally supposed to be the end of the series. Ultimately, for me, it was still a good book, but by no means was it what I had anticipated. I was left feeling just meh about the whole thing. Some questions still remain, which is why companion books are being developed. Nothing in young adult literature can be without a series franchise anymore. I would have liked it to wrap up on its own merits and not so conveniently for a lot of characters. Definitely still a recommended series, but no longer mind-blowing in my opinion.



Still Life


Again, before the hate mail starts, don't get me wrong, this is a really good book! I'm looking forward to continuing on with the series; however, I can't escape from how many people recommend this book/series or absolutely swoon over it every time they talk about it! So when my book club decided to read it this year, I was super excited. Perhaps because of all the hype surrounding it and how much love people have for Inspector Gamache, I again went into this with the idea that I would be blown away and find my new favorite mystery series of all time. Ultimately though, something was just missing for me. While I still enjoyed the book and will read more in the series, my expectations were so much higher and it just never lived up to what I had set myself up for.



Hidden


This is the third book in the Reilly Steel series that was the first thing I marathoned through after coming out of a really bad reading slump early in the year. I came upon the first book by accident while at my local library one day and absolutely LOVED it. I quickly got my hands on the rest, which were hard to find at the time unless you read them on Kindle. They were absolute hidden gems in the serial killer fiction world and I was hooked. Then I got to this one and was so disappointed! It was like someone else was writing this entire book. The tone and pacing had slowed way down and it took me much longer to get through. The mystery aspect wasn't very interesting either. These books are total steals on Kindle, but at the time, I wasn't reading a lot on that device and chose to spend the extra money on the paperback copy which was fairly expensive given that it's not edited very well and one of those hard editions that is super stiff and inflexible, so it ended up being disappointing on a multitude of levels! Luckily, the series picks right back up to awesome levels by the next book. 


The Summer That Made Us


Earlier in the year, I reviewed Robyn Carr's Any Day Now and really loved it, which you can check out HERE. I had never read anything by her before nor am I typically drawn to light romance. When I was contacted to review this one before it came out, I was ecstatic! This one however didn't work out as well. It was still a good read, but again, my expectations were way too high. You can read my full review for more.



It's Always the Husband


This book was one that was billed as more of a thriller, and while it had some elements of that, it read more as literary fiction that was so much slower and underwhelming in its end result. It was still a good read, but not something that I was left feeling amazed by nor will I read again.


So those are my picks. Were there any books that disappointed you? Let me know in the comments because I love hearing about those misses!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

END OF THE YEAR IN REVIEW: Worst Books of 2017


Greetings Friends!

Continuing on with my end of the year in review series, I'm reflecting on some of the LEAST FAVORITE books I read in 2017. This can be a controversial topic, so if any of these happen to be your favorites, that's great and I mean no disrespect to you or your tastes. But we all have opinions and these are mine.

While these books are by no means the WORST books ever, I just wasn't a fan, or in relation to the others I read, they just didn't fair well. Some of them were ones I read for review, so I will link to my post for a more critical analysis if you're interested.

In no particular order, here are my selections:


The Azrael Initiative



This was the first book that an author contacted me to review, and while it was definitely out of my comfort zone, as I'm generally not one to grab action/adventure novels, I wanted to give it a try. Ultimately, I should have listened to my instincts and stayed away. It was so outrageous and over the top with a heavy handed approach to the military aspects and being a veteran myself, I couldn't suspend my disbelief any longer. I became much more discerning in author solicited reviews after this one. You can check out my full review for more info.


The Ashes



I thought this one would be more of a thriller; however, it turned into quite a creepy horror that was just a little too freaky for me. Here's my full review for more.


Real Murders



This one was a reread for me, as I had originally read the first three books in the series in 2012 and really enjoyed them. I love mysteries featuring librarians and found out that these had been made into Hallmark movies featuring Candace Cameron Bure as Aurora Teagarden! Then a spark of creative content struck me with the idea to review both the book and the movie; however, these books just didn't hold up well during reread. I wasn't a fan any more and highly suggest that you do yourself a favor and watch the movies instead (GASP!).


The Arrangement



This one is all about personal preference. There's really nothing wrong with this book, it just wasn't want I thought it would be nor did I really enjoy reading it. Curiosity got the better of me in this tale of a couple attempting to try out the swinging lifestyle, but it turns out to be more of an open relationship than anything else. No surprise that it doesn't go very well. This was way more literary fiction than I wanted it to be and didn't ultimately provide me with any new perspectives.


Ava Moss

Ava Moss by [Landry, Joss]

This was another book that I read for review, but just didn't like in the end. While it started out fairly adorably, it quickly dovetailed relatively early when the main love interest appeared and the relationship was something I just never bought into. You can check out my review on Amazon for more.


So those are my picks. Perhaps I should just stay away from books with titles that start with the letter A! What were some of your WORST or LEAST FAVORITE books of the year? Let me know because I love hearing about those unfortunate misses!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

END OF THE YEAR IN REVIEW: Top Books of 2017


Greetings Friends!

As we move forward into the new year, I thought it would be fun using the week before to reflect on all the books we read.

If you track your reading on Goodreads, then you've probably seen your year in review, and it was with that in mind, that I wanted to chat about the top books I read this year. This year I ended up reading 57 books. I don't always get a chance to publish a written review of a book that I read, but I will definitely share it should I have one in case you want a more critical look at the book.

While the year as a whole provided an abundance of really good reading material, these books stood out when I looked at all of them together. Some of these authors are now new favorites and instabuys for future releases!

In no particular order, here are my favorites:





I was completely blown away by this one. I'm a huge fan of psychological thrillers and this one was my book club's pick for April. This story is genre-bending and won't be for everyone, but it has an unforgettable ending that you will never see coming! This became a new life long favorite and I look forward to reading Pinborough's next book. Here is my review if you're interested.


The Ones We Trust



In February, my book club selected Kimberly Belle's The Marriage Lie, which I absolutely loved! I really enjoyed Belle's writing and wanted to check out her other books and discovered that I loved this one even more. These characters had so much depth that they truly came to life for me. The story was stunning yet heartbreaking, and Belle is now an instabuy author when she releases future books.


Lies She Told



I loved the book within a book concept and would definitely like to read more of this type of trope, especially given that it was a psychological thriller, so I got two thrillers in one! I'm also working on reading Holahan's other books as well. I have a full review of this one if you'd like to read more of my thoughts.


The Hate U Give 



Immediately after reading this one, I posted a picture of it on Instagram with the statement "If there is only one book, you read this year, make it this one" and I definitely still believe that! This book was so hyped, but it deserves every bit of that. There are so many conversations that can be started from the ideas presented along with some of the greatest family dynamics I have ever read in young adult literature. I can definitely see this one as a modern classic that will speak volumes to future audiences.


Daughter of the Pirate King



I received this one in the March OwlCrate box and loved every minute of this thrilling ride. The next book, Daughter of the Siren Queen, is on my highly anticipated list for next year. I'm so excited for whatever adventure awaits next! Here is a link to my full review if you want more information.


So these were the cream of the crop for me this year. What were some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments because I love adding new titles to my TBR!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

REVIEW: The Solicitor by Sean Keefer (Mystery)


Greetings Friends!

Today I have a review of the mystery The Solicitor by Sean Keefer, the second book in the Noah Parks mystery series.

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


RATING:


Genre:  Mystery
Publication Date:  July 2017


SYNOPSIS:

When you make your living fighting for justice, the last place you expect to wake up is behind bars.
Attorney Noah Parks has spent his life keeping people out of jail. When he's charged with the murder of a candidate for Charleston County Solicitor he finds himself on the wrong side of the law for a crime he says he didn't commit.
No longer fighting for others and now relying on the help of the few people he does trust, Noah must fight to clear his name and find the real killer before it's too late.
His search will lead him through a maze of deceptions, lies, family turmoil and treachery that spans generations.
You can order your copy on Amazon HERE.


BOOK EXCERPT:


Prologue:  
The sun’s arrival just as it cleared the horizon had always marked my favorite time of day. It wasn’t unusual to find me at dawn on the Carolina shore gazing to the east in anticipation, the ocean breeze softly brushing my face. The fleeting moments when the first rays of sunlight painted an explosion of color were more than enough to leave me knowing I was fortunate having witnessed it. Those, those were my favorite mornings and anything that followed was a bit less complicated, easier to handle.

I found myself in desperate need of such a morning.

But today there would be only cold concrete.

For the past five days, my sunrise had been a sliver of light crawling across the floor of my jail cell.
At first, I’d looked forward to it, but on the third day I realized I’d need a lot more to get me through the day, otherwise, that mere slice of sun would soon be pushing me into the icy grip of depression.

I’d quickly learned jail had a way of ushering in melancholy, even for the most optimistic. Most everyone inside, even the guards, were simply miserable.

My bail hearing had been a waste of everyone’s time. Accused murders don’t get bail with their first request, sometimes not on the second, if at all. The fact I’m a lawyer wasn’t helping. The last thing a judge wants to do is give the impression that a lawyer, particularly a criminal attorney like me, is entitled to special treatment.

Things change fast. Days earlier, my life, while not perfect, had been good.

I’d taken my girlfriend to the airport to catch a late-night flight to Chicago. She’d recently relocated to Charleston, but was wrapping up her ties to Chicago.
After returning from the airport, I turned on ESPN, eager to hear what the talking heads had to say about the South Carolina Gamecock’s next football game. As was the case for most Gamecock fans, their football season sanity ebbed or flowed with the team’s weekly performance.

It was a cool fall night and the windows were open as I watched TV from bed, my dog at my feet. Both he and I looked up as we heard a car outside–odd for that time of night in our quiet neighborhood.

The sound of the doorbell was even more unexpected, so much so I didn’t immediately get up. Rarely did anyone just drop by, especially near midnight. The second ring was immediately followed by a knock. I got out of bed, pulled on jeans and a T-shirt and went down the stairs. Austin, my Australian Shepherd, was barking and jumping beside me as I unlocked the door. He sat on my command.
I opened the door to the sight of a tall black man in plainclothes with a Charleston Police Department badge on his belt. Three uniformed Charleston County deputy sheriffs flanked him. Three police cars occupied my drive. An unmarked cruiser in the cul-de-sac completed the scene. Thankfully none had their lights on. I shifted my gaze back to the officers. Not a smile among them.

This couldn’t be good, I remember thinking.

“Noah, how about I come in?” Emmett Gabriel said. He looked me straight in the eyes. We were the same height, just under six feet tall, but the lack of a smile, his badge, and the deputies that flanked him made him feel bigger and much stronger than me.

I’d heard his voice many times before. At the police station, in his backyard, over a meal, on my back deck, other times through the years but never near midnight with other police officers standing on my front porch.

“Since when have you ever asked permission to come in the house?  What’s wrong?”

“Noah, let’s talk inside?”

I just stood in the doorway. Silent and motionless.

One of the officers behind him coughed, jarring me back to reality.

I stepped to the side. “Sorry, certainly, come in.”

“Wait outside,” Gabriel said to the deputies.
We walked down the short hallway into my living room in silence.

“Where’s Anna Beth?”

A feeling of panic ran through me as he asked about my girlfriend.

“Is she okay?”  
“As far as I know. She not here?” 
“No. Chicago trip.”

The feeling of panic faded to one of wonder, wondering why at midnight a detective I knew was standing, unannounced, in my living room while three other anxious officers were staged on my front porch. I asked why he was here. Wonder quickly faded with the next words I heard.

“The officers outside have a warrant for your arrest.”

Having never been one to miss the obvious, I remember uttering my insightful reply, “A warrant?”
“Yes, for the murder of Andrew Stephens.


REVIEW:


While this is technically the second book in the Noah Parks mystery series, it can definitely be read as a standalone without the feeling that you are missing anything. It will be interesting to now go back and read the first book to perhaps gain just a little more insight into Noah's character and his motivations. 

One of the highlights for me about this story was getting the opportunity to revisit Charleston through the author's descriptive writing of the landscape. Each new location was beautifully written with just enough insider information to create a well crafted tour and historic adventure through the city. 

I think that we've all read or watched a case where a person gets tangled up in a crime that they vehemently deny perpetrating, but somehow the evidence suggests or is steered towards that person's guilt. This book does a fantastic job of depicting just that and how easy it can be for someone's entire life to so quickly and inconceivably change. We like to think that justice is always on our side, but it doesn't take much for innuendo and misunderstandings to quickly shape into versions of the truth. It was so fascinating to watch Noah, a lawyer himself, have such misgivings about the law, and ultimately, his own future, especially given that he wasn't exactly a political or legal cutthroat much less even involved in what many would consider the seedy underbelly of those organizations.

The story is extremely fast-paced, expressing the almost exact frenetic energy Noah demonstrates as he runs around trying to figure out what happened to his friend in order to prove his innocence. Many of his interactions with professionals lacked professionalism and credibility in my opinion; however, this didn't detract from an otherwise entertaining story. There are just enough characters to create enough tension and suspense without becoming convoluted as well as showcasing just how under the radar the antagonist was all along. 

Overall, this was a solid mystery with small nods to fans of legal and political thrillers. 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Sean Keefer was born and raised in the Carolinas. As far back as he can remember he has always enjoyed the written word. From roaming the stacks of any library he could find to burning the midnight oil crafting his own writing, Sean was never far away from the printed page.

Through the years he has worked in restaurants, tobacco fields and warehouses, renting boats, as a photographer, as a musician, as a salesman and as an attorney. From his collective experience he has honed his ability to observe and create. That is to say observe that which is around him to allow him to create his fiction.


While Sean has experimented in a number of styles and genres through the years, he has focused on mystery and suspense generally involving the legal profession given his experience in the field.


His first novel, The Trust, is a tale of mystery and suspense set in Charleston, South Carolina. Recently The Trust has been recognized with two national awards for excellence in fiction. 


Sean lives and works on the coast of South Carolina.



Many thanks to Pump Up Your Book and Sean Keefer for the opportunity to read and review this book. It was an absolute pleasure!

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



Tuesday, December 19, 2017

BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: Unnatural Causes by Dawn Eastman (Mystery)

Greetings Friends!

Today I have a review of the mystery Unnatural Causes by Dawn Eastman, which is the debut book in the Dr. Katie LeClair series!

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


RATING:


Genre:  Mystery
Publication Date:  December 2017


SYNOPSIS:

Katie LeClair has finally settled down as the new doctor in Baxter, MI. After years of moving, schooling, and training, she wants nothing more than to find a place she can call home, and a small town outside of Ann Arbor seemed perfect. 

Katie quickly gets to work in building a life for herself in Baxter, and beyond reviving her love life, she also finds a pair of business partners in a team of father and son family practitioners. But that idyllic dream is immediately shattered when one of her patients is found dead. That wouldn't be the worst thing, except the death is ruled a suicide, and as evidence has it, the suicide was a result of the medication Katie had prescribed. But she doesn't remember writing it. 

When a closer investigation reveals it was murder, Katie is catapulted into an off-the-books investigation that leads her down a dark path of past secrets. But someone is willing to kill to keep part of the town's history in the shadows, and Katie must race to find out who before it's too late.
Order your copy on Amazon HERE.



REVIEW:


While I went into this story with the impression that it was going to be darker, it was ultimately a good, solid mystery that set the stage for a series that I am very much looking forward to continuing on with! It's light-hearted and low key enough for any mystery lover, but filled with more suspense and tension to set it above more traditional cozys. 

I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing the small town atmosphere through the eyes of a doctor, and because Katie is relatively new to the community, you get to form your opinion about a lot of these characters right along with her. It was also quite interesting to watch her approach her sleuthing in much the same way that she would diagnose a patient, taking all the parts as a whole rather than trying to make each piece fit. In the end, there is a lot of doubt to cast on a considerable amount of shady individuals and I was kept guessing until the very end as the culprit was someone I never saw coming!

Additionally, Katie is such an extremely likeable and relatable character that along with the connection she has with her brother will make for great fodder as the stories continue. This was such a fast-paced and engrossing start to a series that I will definitely be on the look out for as more books come out.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



National bestselling author Dawn Eastman was a family medicine physician in Michigan. Now she lives in Iowa with her husband, son, and daughter. When not writing, she keeps busy catering to the whims of a bossy bichon-shih tzu mix who wants to rule the world. This is her first Dr. Katie LeClair mystery. She is also the author of The Family Fortune mystery series.

You can connect with her on:

FACEBOOK  |  TWITTER  |  WEBSITE


GIVEAWAY INFO!


Enter for your chance to win a print copy of the book!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Many thanks to Great Escapes Book Tours, Crooked Lane Books, and especially Dawn Eastman 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!

Friday, December 15, 2017

BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: A Murder for the Books by Victoria Gilbert (Cozy Mystery)

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Greetings Friends!

Today I have a review of the new cozy mystery A Murder for the Books, the first book in the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series.

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


RATING:


Genre:  Cozy Mystery 
Publication Date:  December 2017


SYNOPSIS:

Fleeing a disastrous love affair, university librarian Amy Webber moves in with her aunt in a quiet, historic mountain town in Virginia. She quickly busies herself with managing a charming public library that requires all her attention with its severe lack of funds and overabundance of eccentric patrons. The last thing she needs is a new, available neighbor whose charm lures her into trouble.

Dancer-turned-teacher and choreographer Richard Muir inherited the farmhouse next door from his great-uncle, Paul Dassin. But town folklore claims the house’s original owner was poisoned by his wife, who was an outsider. It quickly became water under the bridge, until she vanished after her sensational 1925 murder trial. Determined to clear the name of the woman his great-uncle loved, Richard implores Amy to help him investigate the case. Amy is skeptical until their research raises questions about the culpability of the town’s leading families... including her own.

When inexplicable murders plunge the quiet town into chaos, Amy and Richard must crack open the books to reveal a cruel conspiracy and lay a turbulent past to rest

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REVIEW:


If you've been reading my blog for even a minute, you are more than likely aware that I love cozy mysteries featuring books, librarians, and libraries, so with that in mind, I was highly anticipating this read.

There are several mysteries and multiple story lines going on as everything unfolds with not much of it having to do with the library, but I did enjoy the aspect of the town's archives being used as a means of finding out information to help solve much of what is going on, especially in regards to a very cold case. Secrets run deep in this small town, and while this particular story had more to do with family history and legacies, the large cast of shady characters will prove interesting to watch as the series progresses.

The pacing was somewhat slow as the story starts, but gradually picks up to an almost breakneck speed at its conclusion. I honestly started to wonder just how much more danger Amy, the main character, could get into before the end and the hits just kept coming! Amy's ability to find herself in so many predicaments will definitely prove good fodder for future stories.

This is definitely something for fans of bibliophile cozys and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens to Amy next!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Victoria Gilbert, raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, turned her early obsession with reading into a dual career as an author and librarian. She has worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and library director.

When not writing or reading, Victoria likes to spend her time watching films, gardening, or traveling. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers, and is represented by Frances Black at Literary Council, NY, NY.

Victoria lives in North Carolina with her husband and some very spoiled cats. This is her first Blue Ridge Library mystery.

You can connect with her on:

FACEBOOK  |  TWITTER  |  WEBSITE


GIVEAWAY INFO!


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Many thanks to Great Escapes Book Tours, Crooked Lane Books, and especially Victoria Gilbert! It was a pleasure providing a review!

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

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