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Saturday, June 29, 2019

LSBBT BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: Wildflower Wedding with a Killer Reception by Becki Willis (Cozy Mystery)


WILDFLOWER WEDDING
With a Killer Reception
The Sisters, Texas Book 8 
by
BECKI WILLIS

Genre: Cozy Mystery / Romance / Women Sleuths
Publisher: Clear Creek Publishing
Date of Publication: June 1, 2019
Number of Pages:  284


Scroll down for giveaway!







It’s the most anticipated wedding of the year in The Sisters, when Madison Reynolds and Brash deCordova finally tie the knot!

Wedding preparations are underway, but the aisle to the altar gets rockier by the minute. Their support is humbling, but the community’s enthusiasm soon threatens to hijack the wedding. Squeeze in a suspicious death during a Texas Independence Day celebration, the needy new widow Madison befriends, and an unscrupulous politician trying to unseat Brash as chief of police, and the path seems littered with obstacles. Madison will move mountains, however, to marry the man of her dreams. All they really need is each other, their children by their side, and a preacher to make it official. In an effort to please everyone, the couple opts for a private ceremony followed by a public celebration. It’s the perfect Wildflower Wedding, but who knew it would end in a killer reception? Cantankerous Nigel Barrett hired In a Pinch Professional Services to find his estranged family, but it takes more than a home DNA test to locate his next of kin. Madison suspects he was searching for an heir, but when the wealthy rancher is killed at their reception, she’ll settle for finding someone to attend his funeral.

From the author of Forgotten Boxes, Plain Roots, and the Spirits of Texas Cozy Mysteries, enjoy book eight of the award-winning reader favorite The Sisters, Texas Series. For maximum enjoyment, follow the series from the beginning. Readers say, “It’s like visiting with old friends!”









I received a copy of this book for free and this is my honest and thoughtful review.





This was an absolutely fantastic and enjoyable way to launch into a series that I will definitely be reading more of! Despite jumping in with book 8, I never felt that I was missing anything, and enough information was provided from previous installments to create intrigue and interest to go back and read from the beginning.

Having read and reviewed Tangible Spirits, a previous book by the author, but not a part of this series, I was quite excited for the opportunity to delve into The Sisters. My mom had read many of the books and raved about them to me, so I was definitely looking forward to getting started. 

"Today was Texas Independence Day, and no Texian worth his salt would put his own personal comfort before the most sacred day in their state's illustrious history."

The author's effortless writing style instantly drew me into the story and vividly captured this colorful community with its quirky and eclectic cast of characters. Every character has such a lifelike personality that they each jump off of the page and welcome you as an old friend into this down home and delightful little community. As with any good company, the dialogue was witty, humorous, and realistic, keeping the story moving at break neck speed! Add in the mounting tension from investigating multiple murders, scrutiny on the police chief's job performance, and quite a few suspicious individuals all with their own motives, and the pages could not fly fast enough! The descriptive language is so vivid and perceptive that you feel as though you are either watching it happen on the big screen or you are right there along with them, which only further adds to that familiar charm. From Brash's self-devised "river therapy," Granny Bert's snarky common sense, and Derron's fun-filled shopping trips, I want more and look forward to returning to this group of new found friends!

Maddy's extensive skill set derived from the numerous side jobs she has undertaken throughout her life gave her amateur sleuthing abilities such authenticity. She's a jack of all trades, but a master at finding herself where the dead bodies seem to be! But she's also tenacious, spunky, and likeable, making it an absolute treat to move through the story in her company and draw from her insatiable curiosity as she tries to discover the truth.

Beautifully blending elements of romance and family dynamics showcased the distinctly upbeat and lighthearted nature of cozies, yet the multilayered and well plotted mystery sets it above its more traditional counterparts. Very few clues, some red herrings, and lots of dramatic twists and turns made the ending definitely hard to see coming, but wonderfully satisfying!

Now to go back and start from the beginning to stay awhile at The Sisters this summer reading season!






Becki Willis, best known for her popular The Sisters, Texas Mystery Series and Forgotten Boxes, always dreamed of being an author. In November of '13, that dream became a reality. 

Since that time, she has published numerous books, won first place honors for Best Mystery Series, Best Suspense Fiction, Best Women’s Detective Fiction, and Best Audio Book, won the 2018 RONE Award for Paranormal Fiction, and has introduced her imaginary friends to readers around the world. 

An avid history buff, Becki likes to poke around in old places and learn about the past. Other addictions include reading, writing, junking, unraveling a good mystery, and coffee. She loves to travel but believes coming home to her family and her Texas ranch is the best part of any trip. Becki is a member of the Association of Texas Authors, Writer’s League of Texas, Sisters in Crime, the National Association of Professional Women, and the Brazos Writers organization. She attended Texas A&M University and majored in Journalism.
Connect with Becki below. She loves to hear from readers and encourages feedback!



GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
GRAND PRIZE: Signed Copy of Wildflower Wedding + $20 Amazon Gift Card 2nd Prize: $10 Amazon Gift Card
June 20-30, 2019
(U.S. Only) 


a Rafflecopter giveaway  Best of luck!


Many thanks to Lone Star Book Blog Tours and Becki Willis! It was an absolute pleasure reading, reviewing, and hosting! And be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more opinions this reviewapalooza!

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
6/20/19
Chicken Scratch, #1
6/20/19
When the Stars Fall, #2
6/21/19
Stipulations & Complications, #3
6/22/19
Home Again: Starting Over, #4
6/23/19
Genny’s Ballad, #5
6/24/19
Christmas in The Sisters, #6
6/25/19
The Lilac Code, #7
6/26/19
Wildflower Wedding, #8
6/26/19
Wildflower Wedding, #8
6/27/19
Wildflower Wedding, #8
6/27/19
Wildflower Wedding, #8
6/28/19
Wildflower Wedding, #8
6/28/19
Wildflower Wedding, #8
6/29/19
Wildflower Wedding, #8
6/29/19
Wildflower Wedding, #8

   blog tour services provided by
  

Thursday, June 27, 2019

BOOK REVIEW: Little Girls Sleeping by Jennifer Chase (Thriller)



Little Girls Sleeping
(Detective Katie Scott #1)
by 
Jennifer Chase

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 377
Genre: Thriller/Crime





He looked down at the little girl, sleeping peacefully, her arms wrapped around a teddy bear. He knew he was the only one who could save her. He could let her sleep forever. An eight-year-old girl, Chelsea Compton, is missing in Pine Valley, California and for Detective Katie Scott it’s a cruel reminder of the friend who disappeared from summer camp twenty years ago. Unable to shake the memories, Katie vows she won’t rest until she discovers what happened to Chelsea. But as Katie starts to investigate, the case reveals itself to be much bigger and more shocking than she feared. Hidden deep in the forest she unearths a makeshift cemetery: a row of graves, each with a brightly coloured teddy bear. Katie links the graves to a stack of missing-persons cases involving young girls—finding a pattern no one else has managed to see. Someone in Pine Valley has been taking the town’s daughters for years, and Katie is the only one who can stop them. And then another little girl goes missing, snatched from the park near her home. Katie’s still haunted by the friend she failed to protect, and she’ll do anything to stop the killer striking again—but can she find the little girl before it’s too late? Compulsive and gripping crime fiction for fans of Lisa Regan, Rachel Caine, and Melinda Leigh. Katie Scott’s first case will have you on the edge of your seat and gasping with shock.


PRAISE FOR JENNIFER CHASE:

WHAT A FANTASTIC READ! OMG! I just finished reading this book! It was an absolute thrilling, edge-of-your-seat read!… I couldn't believe who the serial killer was; I thought I knew but was surprised! I could not put it down… BRAVO JENNIFER!!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

GREAT!!! Thoroughly enjoyed!!! Jennifer Chase has become one of my favorite crime thriller authors. She totally captures you from beginning to end!!!!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘Fantastic read! The author kept me hooked from the first page till the last. I truly thought I knew the serial killer… Boy was I wrong. This is a fantastic read, it kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire time. Well done!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Wow!… Such a gripping tale… I couldn't stop reading and found myself daydreaming about it while I was supposed to be working… A gripping thriller with multiple twists and turns. A must read!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Great book. I really liked it! Would like reading more of her books! This book keeps you involved and unable to put it down!! Great!!!!!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘Action-packed… An adrenaline-packed book from start to finish. ’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘Wow… This book will take you for a ride. Have you soaked right in till the end! Absolutely loved it and can't wait to read another from this author!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

This is one of the best books I have read in a while.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars 

From beginning to end this is a non-stop thriller.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘Real page turner. I read this book in two hours. I could not put it down. I never guessed who the killer was until he was revealed. Mind blowing.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Captivating from beginning to the last page. A "who did it" crime mystery that keeps you guessing, and then changing your mind!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘I loved this book and cannot wait for the next one. I could not put this book down. A real page turner full of suspense!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!




This was an absolutely fantastic start to a new series that I can't wait to read more of!

Katie Scott is a young woman who has recently returned to the United States following a deployment to Afghanistan. She had previously served as a patrol officer for the Sacramento Police Department and isn't quite sure if she wants to return to that job or remain in her childhood hometown to work for her uncle in the Pine Valley Sheriff's Office. Katie is an incredibly well developed character. She is likeable, strong-willed, and vulnerable enough to make her even more relatable to readers. Having served in the military myself and dealing with anxiety and PTSD, I greatly appreciated the level of authenticity presented throughout the story. There was never a moment when I didn't believe or empathize with Katie's struggles to cope with her previous experiences. Her emotions are so honestly expressed that readers can't help but relate to her circumstances and condition. Katie's character spoke highly in regards to the author's level of research and the advisers she consulted in creating an authentic work of fiction that could be enjoyed by laymen as well as providing the representation that service members and law enforcement officials greatly appreciate seeing reflected across all media formats.

Fast-paced chapters kept the tension and suspense mounting until the very end. I especially enjoyed the moments when the narrative switched to the killer's perspective. The creep factor was turned way up with this character! These multiple points of view created an enlightening and entertaining way to examine both the good and bad forces surrounding crime. 

Katie's work in the Army as an explosives detection dog handler introduces readers to her dog Cisco, who served alongside her in Afghanistan and is now retired. Their bond is beautiful to read about and highlights the exceptional and important work dogs provide to humans.

I continue to be such a fan of how the author uses her experience in criminology to craft such compelling cases and characters from aspects of both the investigative and criminal sides of law enforcement. The use of forensics and profiling make this a riveting read that will satisfy any fan of true crime or crime thrillers. Her books are completely underrated and an absolute steal for the quality of writing she delivers every time!

High expectations have been set for this series, and I will definitely be waiting with anticipation for the next installment!




Prologue
The oversized tires obliterated the rural roadway before the large truck came to an abrupt stop. The driver stalled the engine. Dust rose in a curious flowering cloud, swirling in front of the vehicle’s hood and creeping toward the back of the camper shell. When the surrounding vicinity finally cleared, a dense forest landscape emerged.
The truck overlooked the sheer cliff and rugged scenery that had become a permanent roadblock. The usual silence of the deserted region was interrupted by the incessant and rhythmic sound of a cooling engine.
Tick… Tick… Tick…
The vehicle remained parked. No one moved inside the cab or got out. The truck stayed immobile as if an unlikely statue in the vast wilderness—a distinct contrast between nature and manufactured steel.
The truck sat at the ideal vantage spot, which was both mesmerizing and terrifying for any spectator; but still the occupant chose to wait. The intense high beams pierced ahead into the picturesque hills, leaving a hazy view of the area above the massed trees.
When the driver’s door finally opened, a man stepped out, his steel-toed leather work boots hitting the dirt. They were well-worn, reflecting the many miles he had walked and the many hours he had labored. Swiftly the door shut as the man, medium build and wearing only a plain dark T-shirt, walked to the back of the truck and, with a loud bang, released the lift gate. He moved with purpose and with a calm assertiveness, as if he had performed this particular task many times before. His weathered hands, calloused from years of working with heavy tools and machinery without the protection of leather gloves, had a certain agility and speed.
He grasped two well-used shovels, a large arching pick, and a bulky utility garbage bag. As he tossed the bag onto the ground, the top burst open and several medium-sized teddy bears spilled out. Their smiling faces accentuated the brightly colored ribbons tied around their necks, contrasting with the muted shades of their surroundings.
The man pushed the floppy bag aside with the toe of his boot. He worked in quiet solitude, no humming, no whistling, and no talk.
He flipped on the flashlight fixed to his baseball cap. Straight ahead and slightly arced, the large beam illuminated his path while he strode steadily toward a particular wooded area.
The surrounding thickets and trees remained still without any wind to rustle the leaves. The only audible sound was the man’s quick footsteps—never with any hesitation. He walked with the gait of a young man, despite his stature of someone older.
He hesitated as if he had forgotten something, standing motionless with his arms down at his sides and his head hung forward as he shone the bright light at the ground and the tops of his boots. He still held firmly to the tools. He mumbled a few inaudible sentences of a memorized prayer, which sounded more like a warning than a passage from the Bible, then he raised his head and continued to walk into the dense forest.
Dropping his tools, he carefully pushed a pine branch aside and secured it with a worn piece of rope that had been left for the purpose. An opening was exposed—a tunnel barely large enough for a man to enter.
He grabbed his digging tools once again and proceeded. The flashlight on the front of his cap brightened the passageway as it veered to the right. He followed, only ducking his head twice before the path opened to an area with several boulders sticking out of the cliff. Clusters of unusual rock shapes, some sharp, some rounded, made the terrain appear more like a movie set or backdrop.
A narrow dirt path of crude, sloping man-made steps dropped fifteen feet to a landing jutting out from the rock formation. A small yellow flag was stuck into the earth, marking a spot. A slight evening breeze picked up, causing the flag to flutter.
The man balanced the shovels and pick against the hillside and pulled a hunting knife from a sheath attached to his belt. Pressing the bone handle tight against his palm, he drew the blade through the packed dirt to mark a rectangular pattern on the ground.
He stared intently at the soil, then retrieved the pick, gripping it tight, and swung it hard against the dry, heavily compacted earth. It dented the surface, spewing chips of dirt in every direction. A few small rocks buried in the soil since the beginning of time hampered his progress, but after several more arced swings, the ground began to crumble, exposing the fresh earth.
The heavy pick was exchanged for one of the shovels. Soon there was a small pile of California soil, comprised of sand, silt, clay, and small rock. The repeated movements of dig, scoop, and deposit continued for more than forty-five minutes at a brisk pace. The hard work of manual labor didn’t deter him. It only made him more determined to create a work of genius—his ultimate masterpiece.
At last he stepped back and admired his handiwork, perspiring heavily through his shirt from the effort. Exhilaration filled his body, keeping his muscles flexed and his heart pumping hard. He leaned against the shovel, a smile forming on his lips as he waited for his pulse to return to normal, and marveled at the unmistakable outline of a freshly dug grave.







 





Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning and best-selling crime fiction author, as well as a 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, and member of the International Thriller Writers.


FACEBOOK  |  TWITTER  |  WEBSITE  

BOOKS:

Compulsion   Dead Game   Dark Mind   Dead Burn  Dark Pursuit   Dead Cold

Scene of the Crime   Silent Partner   Body of the Crime   Screenwriting 




Many thanks to the author and Pump Up Your Book blog tours. It was an absolute pleasure reading, reviewing, and hosting! And be sure to check out the other great blogs on the tour for more opinions and author extras!

Monday, June 3

Book Feature & Tour Kickoff at PUYB Virtual Book Club

Tuesday, June 4

Book Feature at Books Charming

Wednesday, June 5

Book Review at Musings From An Addicted Reader

Thursday, June 6

Book Review at Sefina Hawke’s Books

Book Feature at T’s Stuff

Monday, June 10

Book Feature at Confessions of an Eccentric Bookaholic

Wednesday, June 12

Book Feature at Stacking My Bookshelves

Book Feature at The Bookworm Lodge

Thursday, June 13

Book Review at Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’

Monday, June 17

Book Teaser Feature at PUYB Book Teasers & YouTube

Book Feature at Momma Says: To Read or Not To Read

Wednesday, June 19

Book Feature at The Literary Nook

Thursday, June 20

Character Guest Blogging at Nuttin’ But Books

Friday, June 21

Interview at My Book Launch

Monday, June 24

Interview at The Writer’s Life e-Magazine

Tuesday, June 25

Book Feature at Tales of a Book Addict

Thursday, June 27

Book Review & Guest Blogging at That’s What She’s Reading

Friday, June 28

Book Feature at What The Cat Read

Monday, July 1

Interview at Literarily Speaking

Tuesday, July 2

Book Review at Books for Books

Wednesday, July 3

Book Review at Bookpreneur

Friday, July 5

Interview at Book Bloggin’ Princess

Monday, July 8

Book Review at Lynchburg Mama

Wednesday, July 10

Book Feature at I’m Into Books

Thursday, July 11

Interview at The Pulp and Mystery Shelf

Monday, July 15

Book Teaser Feature at Blogging Authors

Tuesday, July 16

Book Feature at The Literary Nook

Wednesday, July 17

Book Trivia Q&A at As the Page Turns

Thursday, July 18

Book Feature at Jazzy’s Book Reviews

Friday, July 19

Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner

Monday, July 22

Interview at Blogger News Network

Wednesday, July 24

Book Feature at Write and Take Flight

Monday, July 29

Book Feature at A Title Wave

Wednesday, July 31

Book Feature at SheWrites



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