Dark Ocean – a #BookReview

Dark Ocean by Nick ElliottTitle: Dark Ocean (The Angus McKinnon thrillers Volume #2) by Nick Elliott

Genre: Currently #2589 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers, Espionage

Publisher: Seaward Publishing

Publication Date: August 16, 2017

Source: Review request by author

Title and Cover: Dark OceanBeautiful cover, sunken vessel subject of recovery

No stranger to the South China Sea or sunken ships, marine claims investigator Angus McKinnon gets a summon to Hong Kong to investigate a WWII wreck that lies in the depths. The claim on the cargo, however, involving a local ship owner, may not be all it’s cracked up to be. Suddenly, an old friend is murdered in Greece and Angus must return to Greece. Continue reading “Dark Ocean – a #BookReview”

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An Engineered Injustice – a #BookReview

An Engineered Injustice by William L Myers, Jr.Title: An Engineered Injustice (Philadelphia Legal #2) by William L. Myers, Jr.

Genre: Currently #31 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers & Suspense, Legal

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: To be released January 23, 2018

Source: Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley

Title and Cover: An Engineered Injustice – Great cover

What’s worst than a plane crash or train wreck that can kill or maim hundreds at a time? In this particular event, a passenger train crashes in North Philadelphia resulting in multiple fatalities with hundreds injured. It’s not long before criminal defense attorney Vaughn Coburn gets a call regarding his cousin Eddy, the engineer, and a survivor. He and his cousin share a shameful secret caused when they were both young and dumb. Vaughn owes Eddy, and both their families–big time, and he is forced to accept his defense. Continue reading “An Engineered Injustice – a #BookReview”

“Secret Writing Rules” and Why to Ignore Them – Reblogged from Chris at TSRA

Reblog

Christopher Graham over at The Story Reading Ape’s Blog has a mission to introduce authors to readers and authors to introduce themselves. The man has a massive following and with good reason, he delivers. He refers to his blog as TSRA and recently guested an article by Anne R. Allen who wrote “Secret Writing Rules” and Why to Ignore Them.

The article posted on January 4, 2018. I loved it, found it most appropriate, had a good laugh, and commented to Chris that I’d be reblogging. (Only one problem–no reblog button! So I’ve resorted to the link below.) He no doubt believes I’d forgotten–but there is no chance–I’m sure you’ll find the article as fun and informative as did I! She leads the article with this quote from Somerset Maugham, “There are three rules for writing. Unfortunately, nobody knows what they are.” Yeah–you gotta read it. BTW, Anne’s latest book is called “Easy Blogging for Busy Authors.”

“It’s good to learn these rules—because it’s way more fun to break them when you know what they are. But then go ahead and smash them with gleeful abandon.”

 

Anne R Allen - author
Anne R Allen Blog with Ruth Harris

 

The Story Reading Ape

©2018 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

 

#ThrowbackThursday – #author Linda McDonald – Book Review

#ThrowbackThursday

Renee began the Throwback Thursday meme on her blog, “It’s Book Talk” to share some of her old favorites as well as sharing books published over a year ago. Sounded like a good reason to join! I’ll be going back over some of my oldies but goodies, my favorite authors, and some of my favorite stories from authors you might not have previously experienced. I hope that you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out.

In the Lion's Mouth by Linda McDonaldThis week I am highlighting Linda McDonald, another terrific author who wrote In the Lion’s Mouth, one of two I reviewed for this author on Goodreads. And of course you know it is a mystery, suspense thriller. This one was published by Pure Gumption Press.

Originally posted March 31, 2014

Book Blurb:

A young couple, a friendly beachcomber, lots of bullets and plenty of death. It all starts innocently enough with Carrie and her new boyfriend driving her father’s RV to south Texas. When they get stuck in the sand on Boca Chica beach, Leo, a seemingly easy-going local, comes to their rescue and pulls them out. But after midnight, a wounded and far more intense Leo returns, now hunted by killers. Gun in hand, he forces the couple to help him escape. Once they’re back on the road, the danger–and the number of enemies–grows. Leo and Carrie, tightly held In the Lion’s Mouth, face a harrowing gauntlet of secrets stretching from Texas to the streets of Matamoros. A fast-paced thriller with colorful characters from both sides of the border.

My Review:

Carrie Jo Murray is not your average 20-something and Linda McDonald is not your average author, spitting out whodunits or suspense novels with the usual list of good and bad characters. There is nothing average in her books. This novel also involves a Winnebago, also not your average get-away vehicle.

I love the character Leo Marvins (nice play on a very well known action hero there) as well as his Viet Nam cronies and Leo proves to be more than a good guy; a great guy with a lot of post-Marine survival smarts, something her boyfriend, Jason, definitely is not. But Leo is complicated, many-faceted and more than your average beach bum from Boca Chica in Texas.

More scenes heat up than the Texas temperatures. Don’t take anyone at face value. No one and nothing is as it seems…lots of interesting characters, plot twists–I didn’t trust any of them. I don’t think I was supposed to!

Here Comes the Night by Linda McDonaldThis is the second McDonald book I’ve had the opportunity to download. I also read “Here Comes the Night” (excellent). See my Goodreads review here. The two can’t really be compared. What stays consistent is the quality of her writing, the depth of the story, and the insight into the characters. You don’t see most of these plot twists coming–and if you can’t predict the storyline–you gotta stay tuned to find out what really happens. I recommend you do!

About the Author: (From the Goodreads Author page)

Linda McDonaldLinda McDonald’s first novel, CRIMES OF REDEMPTION, was awarded the 2013 Oklahoma Book of the Year in Fiction by the Center for the Book. She has also written COLD, IN THE LION’S MOUTH and HERE COMES THE NIGHT, all available as e-books on Amazon. Coming soon – a new mystery set in the Wichita Mountains of Oklahoma, DEATH IN COMANCHE COUNTY.Linda grew up on the western plains of Oklahoma and holds Master’s degrees in Theater from Kansas University and in Creative Writing from the University of Central Oklahoma, where she also taught for many years. Her plays have been produced in Oklahoma City, Dallas, Northampton, MA, and New York City. She still acts and directs with regional theaters. She has also written over a dozen screenplays which have been honored in writing competitions by Fade In magazine, Oklahoma Film Institute, National Broadcasters Association, Austin Film Festival, Best of the West, and Lone Star.

More Throwback Thursday Blogs

Renee at Its Book Talk

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Rebecca at The Book Whisperer

Lynn at Fictionophile

Sam at Clues and Reviews

Holly B at Dressedtoread

©2018 V Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

#NeedtoKnow – a #BookReview

Need to Know by Karen ClevelandTitle: Need to Know by Karen Cleveland

Genre: Currently #98 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers & Suspense, Espionage

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Publication Date: To be released January 23, 2018

Source: Ballantine Books and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Need to Know – Simple cover, but conveys interior

Ms. Cleveland has done a pretty admirable job with her debut novel, Need to Know, or as my hubby, Navy veteran used to say the “NTK.” She has crafted a spell-binding psychological-political espionage plot that gains momentum as the protagonist Vivian Miller gets ever deeper in do-do. (I understand that this book has been optioned for a movie.) Continue reading “#NeedtoKnow – a #BookReview”

#Strangers – a #BookReview

Strangers - by Ursula Archer and Arno StrobelTitle: Strangers by Ursula Archer and Arno Strobel

Genre: Currently # 3042 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, International Mystery & Crime

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Publication Date: To be released January 9, 2018 – Happy Publication Date!

Source: Minotaur Books and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Strangers – Cover conveys plot scene

Set in Germany, Joanna Berrigan confronts a stranger in her home who alleges to be her fiancé. There is only one problem with that–she doesn’t know him, and though he is adamant that he lives with her in the house, has nothing of his in the home to support that claim. Erik Thieben maintains he belongs there and, terrified, she begins the journey to either escape, prove him wrong, or together sort through what has happened. Continue reading “#Strangers – a #BookReview”

#GristMillRoad – a #BookReview

Grist Mill Road by Christopher J YatesTitle: Grist Mill Road by Christopher J Yates

Genre: Currently #188 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers, Crime

Publisher: Picador

Publication Date: To be released January 9, 2018

Source: Picador and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Grist Mill RoadCover has an obvious tie to plot

No, you can’t shift into neutral and let your eyes drift over these pages because they caught your attention immediately. This is no simple plot and not easily told–it requires a reader to fully engage–absorb the flashbacks so you can understand what is happening (and more importantly why) in the present (which is 2008). The setting is the beautiful Swangum Mountains, trails, trees, and rocks. But a brutal act in a clearing in the forest sears forever the three kids involved. In a way, each was blinded by their own perception of the event, remember it differently, but only one lost an eye. Continue reading “#GristMillRoad – a #BookReview”

#AmReading – Grist Mill Road by Christopher J. Yates

#amreading - #GristMillRoad

Welcome to my #AmReading feature! I am highlighting an author and their book currently visible in the “Fair Weather” widget celebrating blue skies, following seas, and my Goodreads (currently reading) list.

This week I am presenting Christopher J. Yates and his book Grist Mill Road. I requested this download from NetGalley. The book will be released on January 9, 2018, by Picador. Amazon classifies the novel as a mystery, thriller & suspense, and crime and is only 352 pages.

I will be presenting my review on Monday, January 8, 2018. Krysten Ritter, whose book Bonfire I read and reviewed last year, had this to say about Yates sophomore novel, “Dark, intense, and disturbing, Christopher Yates’ Grist Mill Road begins with a shock and keeps the suspense burning page after page. A thriller with imagination to spare. Highly recommended.”

It’s beginning to sound pretty scary and the book blurb on Amazon isn’t quelling the nerves. Gulp…but looking again…it’s not supposed to be horror…right?

Book Blurb: Christopher J. Yates’s cult hit Black Chalk introduced that rare writerly talent: a literary writer who could write a plot with the intricacy of a brilliant mental puzzle, and with characters so absorbing that readers are immediately gripped. Yates’s new book does not disappoint.

Grist Mill Road is a dark, twisted, and expertly plotted Rashomon-style tale. The year is 1982; the setting, an Edenic hamlet some ninety miles north of New York City. There, among the craggy rock cliffs and glacial ponds of timeworn mountains, three friends―Patrick, Matthew, and Hannah―are bound together by a terrible and seemingly senseless crime. Twenty-six years later, in New York City, living lives their younger selves never could have predicted, the three meet again―with even more devastating results.

Christopher J Yates - authorAbout the Author:

(From Goodreads author page) Christopher J. Yates was born and raised in Kent and studied law at Oxford University before working as a puzzle editor in London. He now lives in New York City with his wife and dog. ‘Black Chalk’ is his debut novel. You can read his blog posts on his website

Grist Mill Road has been named in Goodreads’ best six books of the month for January 2018. Find the complete list here. ©2018 V Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

The Last Homecoming – a #BookReview

The Last Homecoming by Dan ChabotTitle: The Last Homecoming by Dan Chabot

Genre: Currently #41837 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Contemporary Fiction

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Publication Date: October 12, 2017

Source: Request from author

Title and Cover: The Last Homecoming – Beautiful cover relates story setting

Chabot’s book is divided into sections that tell the story of each of the four families that lived in this 90-year-old house they called home. It’s a heavily nostalgic book mourning innocent times in a quickly changing country set in a rural area of Michigan they call the U.P. (Upper Peninsula). Nettie, the current and last owner, has invited one of each generation who has strong, loving memories of their childhood home to celebrate a last Christmas there before it is demolished for a bridge. Continue reading “The Last Homecoming – a #BookReview”

#NoTurningBack – a #BookReview

No Turning Back by Nancy BushTitle: No Turning Back by Nancy Bush

Genre: Currently #537 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers

Publisher: Penguin Random House Publisher

Publication Date: December 26, 2017

Source: Zebra –  Penguin Random House Publishers and #NetGalley

Title and Cover: No Turning BackCompelling cover, complements title–not so much the content.

No Turning Back was originally released twenty years ago and is now being released with a new cover and some internal revamping. Also, I was a little disappointed to note that there is more on the romance side of the thriller and suspense than I expected from the blurb.

Continue reading “#NoTurningBack – a #BookReview”

My Favorite Reads of 2017-Rosepoint Publishing

My Top 12 Favorite Books for 2017

Welcome to my version of The Bloggers Dozen–twelve of my favorite reads during 2017.

These are laid out in chronological order, and please don’t ask me to narrow it down any further. I didn’t choose these by the rating I gave them, though most came in between 4.5 and 5 stars. They all resonate with me–still. Lest you think they may all be thriller and suspense (since I seem to lean that way), I’ll mention that they were actually all over the board from Literary Fiction to Cozy Mysteries and Animals. I did have a number of other five stars reads–just that these were special for me.

Okay, it’s no secret I’m a sucker for a story that includes (especially) dogs animals. Also, if I had to count–and even I was curious–of the twelve listed here, free BookBub books only accounted for one this year as I discovered NetGalley and got serious about their offerings to the tune of 58.3% of those I downloaded. That doesn’t add up to 100% though, does it? That’s because I devoted 33.3% to author requests and beta-reads.

Follow the link to explore my full review and give you additional links to the books. Perhaps you might find one you missed that looks particularly exciting for you as well–I HOPE SO!

Stone Song by Wil BlevinsStone Song by Wil Blevins

This is the story of the Lakota Sioux warrior, Crazy Horse, a man who lived—and died tragically—on his own terms. HistFic 5/5 Stars

Dining and Driving with Cats by Pat PattersonDining and Driving with Cats-Alice Unplugged by Pat Patterson 

Travelogue from Mexico to the “Boudin Capital of the World” with two kitties loose in the car. (Doncha just love that cover?!) Foodies will love! Travelogue-food 5/5 Stars

Telemachus by Peter GrayTelemachus by Peter Gray

Interpret this anthropomorphic metaphor as a Greek tragedy, engaging all the elements of love, challenge, loss, and triumph as seen through the POV of a protagonist bird and his flock. Literary Fiction 5/5

Hunting Hour by Margaret MizushimaHunting Hour by Margaret Mizushima 

Loved, loved, loved, this Timber Creek K-9 Mystery and K-9 drug-sniffing German shepherd, Robo. Cozy mystery-5/5 Stars

Fender by Brent JonesFender by Brent Jones

This emotionally packed literary saga will have you grabbing for a hankie. (But it is a “good” cry.) Fender is a Beagle, btw. Literary Fiction 5/5 Stars

Snap Judgment by Marcia ClarkSnap Judgment by Marcia Clark

If you thought a novel by an attorney (yes, “that” Marcia Clark) would be stale, dry, and unappealing, then look again. Suspense-crime 4.5/5

Sea of Doubt by Jeremy D. HoldenSea of Doubt-The Greatest Story Ever Sold by Jeremy D. Holden

You know by the title that you are in for an intelligent and socially unacceptable ride and after the hook at the beginning, that’s how this book proceeds. So how would you announce to the world the Second Coming? Mystery-suspense 4.5/5 Stars

Her Last Secret by Barbara CopperthwaiteHer Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite

Loved the way this brilliant author took you to the week prior to the tragic Christmas day event, seamlessly introducing each of the major characters using their own POV. Gripping psychological thriller 5/5 Stars

Bonfire by Krysten RitterBonfire by Krysten Ritter

I’ve said it before, will say it again–how is this fair? Ritter is a successful actress–pretty, intelligent, and now an author? Yes, she can grow, but really, try reading this and visualize Jessica Jones. Psychological thriller 3.5/5

Outside the Wire by Patricia SmileyOutside the Wire by Patricia Smiley

At last–a female protagonist not damaged by an abusive childhood or sporting model-like height and classic features! This lady sounds real. Sympathetic commentary on ex-military. Suspense-thriller 4.5/5 Stars

The Whispering Room by Dean KoontzThe Whispering Room (A Jane Hawk Novel) by Dean Koontz

Jane is the ubiquitous former FBI agent gone rogue. She’s smart, she’s dangerous, and she’s on a mission. Uh oh Suspense-thriller 4.5/5 Stars

The Wild Road to Key West by Michael ReisigThe Wild Road to Key West (The Cave of the Stars) by Michael Reisig

The Hole in the Coral Wall Gang always does the right thing. One of my favorite authors; this book includes some HistFic-Men’s Adventures 5/5 Stars

Which of the above did you read? Did I miss something fantastic this year that you’d love to tell me about? Do you have a suggestion (book or author) for my 2018 reads?

Have a safe and Happy New Year’s Eve and a successful 2018!

Happy New Year!

#AmReading – No Turning Back by Nancy Bush (aka Nancy Kelly)

Welcome to my #AmReading feature! I am highlighting an author and their book currently visible in the “Fair Weather” widget celebrating blue skies, following seas, and my Goodreads (currently reading) list.

#amreading - No Turning Back by Nancy Bush

This week I am presenting Nancy Bush (previously published as Nancy Kelly) and her book No Turning Back. This was a download from the publisher and #NetGalley. The book was released on December 26, 2017 by Zebra as an updated reprint of the original twenty years ago. Amazon classifies the novel as a mystery, thriller & crime, and kidnapping and is only 304 pages.

I will be presenting my review on Tuesday, January 2, 2018, as the last book of 2017. In the meantime (from Amazon), here is the

Book Blurb:

They find the body deep in the woods, lying beneath a carpet of wet leaves, eyes still open in a sightless stare. Three dark stains across his chest, and another bullet hole in his forehead.
Child psychologist Liz Havers made a mistake sixteen years ago, and she’s ready to face it. That means confronting Detective Hawthorne “Hawk” Hart, who’s come back to Woodside, Washington, after a case in LA went tragically wrong. His teenage son, Jesse, is finding it difficult to adjust, and stumbling across a dead man doesn’t help.

Bad things never used to happen in the small town of Woodside. Now no one is safe. And the more Hawk tries to untangle a terrifying web of greed and murder, the more desperate his adversary becomes to hide the truth, even if that means killing again and again . . .

Nancy Bush - authorAbout the Author: (From Amazon)

Nancy Bush is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 30 novels, including The Killing Game, Nowhere to Run, I’ll Find You and Hush. She is the co-author of the Colony series, written with her sister, bestselling author Lisa Jackson, as well as the collaborative novels Sinister and Ominous, written with Lisa Jackson and Rosalind Noonan. A former writer for ABC’s daytime drama “All My Children,” Nancy now lives with her family and pug dog, The Binkster, in the Pacific Northwest. Please visit her online at nancybush.net. ©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!