TV Netflix Series Outlander vs #Audiobook by Diana Gabaldon (Author) and Davina Porter (Narrator) – Time Travel Romances

“This romantic odyssey earned three Golden Globe nods and won “Most Bingeworthy Show” at the Critics’ Choice TV Awards.”

TV Netflix Series Outlander vs Audiobook

Once again, trust the CE to find a series we carefully parceled out (depending on the last episode watched) to make this series last longer and still burned through it quickly. I never was really able to see the sparks between Jamie and Claire (always viewing her as so much more mature than he), but the stories were riveting and kept us glued. Those who have followed me for some time know I’m not a big fan of romance—but these stories—getting past the romance part—put you back in time, the beauty and barbarism, the daily struggle of life. And I do so enjoy that historical aspect. 

Netflix Series

Currently, there are five seasons (67 episodes) on Netflix. Season six possibly May of 2022 and strong hope of a seventh season—some time. It was developed by Ronald D Moore.

It’s a historical drama, so you know it got my attention. Basically, a married WWII nurse is transported back to 1743 during the Jacobite rising. There she meets Jamie Fraser, a Highland warrior. But Jamie is just the start of a roster of stellar characters, manly men in kilts. They set the scene of the people, the time, the country, and their fierce loyalty to the clan they belong. First the clan—then the country—and they have a common enemy, the English.

There are eight books in the Outlander series with Outlander: Book 1, kicking it off. Many of the seasons storylines can be traced directly back to the original books:

  1. Outlander
  2. Dragonfly in Amber
  3. Voyager
  4. The Drums of Autumn
  5. The Fiery Cross
  6. A Breath of Snow and Ashes
  7. An Echo in the Bone\Written in My Own Heart’s Blood

The Making of Outlander

I listened to Audiobook 1 in its entirety and then couldn’t find either Book 2 or 3 and started Audiobook 4, The Drums of Autumn. Within Season 1 are sixteen episodes.

The male lead, Sam Roland Heughan was born April 30, 1980 in Balmaclellan, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. He’s 6’2” and owns that Highlander part right now to his tricorn. He is a co-founder of My Peak Challenge, a charitable community-based organization.

The female lead, Caitriona Balfe was born in Dublin, Ireland and grew up in County Monaghan. She worked as a model (she is 5’9”) and was studying drama at the Dublin Institute of Technology hoping to become an actress when she was scouted.

 

My Thoughts

I absolutely loved the swoon-worthy Jamie and still not sure Claire “fits” him, although looking at Hepburn and Bogie you’d not think they’d fit any better. I feel she’s a little light on chemistry, but, hey, that’s just me. Otherwise, these storylines move so fast, appear so authentic you’d swear you took that stone journey right along with Claire, a delightful fantasy in itself. I appreciate the inclusion of the Scottish Gaelic, the speech patterns, from sassenach to bhalaich and glimpses of the countryside. It’s a series that bombards the senses with sight and sound and teleports the imagination. Escapism when we truly needed it. 5 stars

Audiobook

This stunning blend of historical romance and time traveling adventure has captured the hearts of millions of readers around the world and catapulted author Diana Gabaldon to the top of the New York Times best seller list. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love.

In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. Their blissful reunion is shattered when she touches a boulder in an ancient stone ruin and is instantly transported to 1743 Scotland, a place torn by war and raiding border clans. Will Claire find her way back to her own time, or is her destiny forever linked with Clan MacKenzie and the gallant James Fraser?

My Thoughts

Oh, ouch! Here I go again! Watched a G-rated Netflix series thinking I’d get the same rating from the audiobook. Nope. Reminds me a great deal of the experience I had with another well received and popular Netflix series only to find out that the author wrote a sexually laden series—not the toned down small town fiction series we got on the home screen.

While much of the action-adventure, spirit of the eighteenth century works a strong background, the romance between the two main characters take front and center stage, sometimes getting more graphic than I’m comfortable with. Claire, not a nurse but a practiced surgeon, falls for a warring Highlander with little romantic experience. She becomes the teacher.

Otherwise, it would appear most of the support characters echo those presented in the TV version with various degrees of debauchery. Claire becomes a strong presence among the men, owing to her medical prowess, while still clinging to the secret of having been plunked into their midst from another time. Wincing narrative scenes are easier to read (or listen to) than broadcast in full sight to a general audience? Torn between 3 ½ and 4 stars, perhaps I’ll settle at 3 ¾ stars.

Overall Impression

Hazzah to those who created and went with a romantic time-travel adventure! More about the people, the time, the culture than the two love interests. I loved the costumes, the authentic touches of the Netflix series and the plot that continually builds into another period journey and I didn’t have to hide my eyes or block my ears once. This is one VERY long series and in either printed or audiobook form may constitute an epoch undertaking. I found my own quota after completing Book 1 and sampling Book 4. Probably no different for those who follow long running series well into the double digits. Some never get old and some just wear you out. I’ll happily watch another season on Netflix, but think I’ll move on to other audiobooks now.

Book Details

Outlander: Book 1

Genre: Time Travel Romances, Scottish Historical Romance, Historical Fantasy
Publisher:  Recorded Books
ASIN: B000GW8NVA
Listening Length: 32 hrs and 38 mins
Narrator: Davina Porter
Audible Release: July 13, 2006
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Outlander: Book 1 [Amazon]

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Diana Gabaldon - author
Photo by Gage Skidmore

The Author: Diana Gabaldon is the internationally bestselling author of many historical novels including Cross Stitch, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross and A Breath of Snow Ashes. She lives with her family in Scottsdale, Arizona. She is a New York Time bestselling author.

Find her at https://www.dianagabaldon.com/

Davina Porter-narrator
Photo by Jo Anna Perrin

The Narrator: Golden Voice narrator Davina Porter has performed not only the entire Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, but also other fantasy classics including many of Marion Zimmer Bradley Avalon audiobooks, and Erika Johansen’s widely praised THE INVASION OF THE TEARLING.  Davina’s audiobook work includes titles ranging from classics to mystery to philosophy, with an enduring thread of splendid fantasy audiobooks.

“I was born and raised in England, my father was English, a true “Londoner” (read Cockney!), and my mother was born in St. Andrews, Scotland. Two accents under my belt! I am married to a Glasgow-born Scot, more diversity. Being a product of my background, I am very familiar with the English and Scottish way of life, and all its foibles!”

©2021 V Williams V Williams

One Little Lie: A Thrilling Suspense Novel by Christopher Greyson – #BookReview – #mysteryromance

“…don’t let the day rule you.” 

Book Blurb:

A LIE IS A WELCOME MAT FOR THE DEVIL…

One Little Lie by Christopher GreysonKate had high hopes when she moved to her husband‘s hometown, but her domestic bliss was short-lived. Blindsided by her spouse’s public affair with his high school sweetheart, Kate’s determined to hold onto custody of her kids and pull herself together. When Kate’s struck in the head by a drone at her son’s soccer game and face-plants in the grass, it’s more than her self-esteem that’s shattered. The drone’s footage reveals that someone is stalking her. And though the handsome detective she’s falling for vows to protect her, Kate knows to be wary of any man making vows.

With things spiraling out of control, she tells a lie. It was only One Little Lie, but her grandmother always said, a lie is a welcome mat for the devil, and with the one she told, Kate just rolled out the red carpet. Everything she worked for begins to unravel, along with her sanity. Confused, alone, and afraid, can Kate untangle the web of lies and unmask her stalker, or will she lose everything—including her life?

My Review:

Kate is a mess. She’s carrying major baggage and not doing well with it. Her attorney husband broke up the marriage to go live with a mistress. He may marry her and in the meantime they want the kids. She is still in mourning over her sister. Her finances are in ruin and she is woefully short on her resume owing to her marketing promo concentration for her ex. Her self-confidence is somewhere in the minus level. Now she has a stalker. She is seeing a therapist (mostly for the meds, although they seem to be doing little to relieve her anxiety).

One Little Lie by Christopher GreysonWhat else could go wrong?! Unfortunately, she tells one little lie—she’s too embarrassed to admit a little accident was of her making. UGH! Well, now she can’t go back and tell the police she lied, right? You know what happens when you tell a lie. And it does. Fortunately, she finds an ally in one of the detectives investigating the stalking.

Okay, the meds are jerking her around. She is beginning to have nightmares, sleepwalking, loss of memories—or are they just being manipulated?

I just couldn’t muster up engagement in Kate. She’s a bit clumsy, addled brained (again, the meds?), and she always seemed a bit unreal to me, an arm’s length MC. I enjoyed the character of Donna, although at one point she, too, fell short of expectation. However, the charismatic detective is a great support character.

The author presents a twisted tale of lies and how they can escalate. It works as entertainment, but I wouldn’t classify as a cozy mystery or women sleuths. Kate is incapable of manning up, although near the end she tries. Still, the reader knows, or certainly suspects, the perp all along and in the conclusion the big reveal adds an extra little zinger whose motive just didn’t work for me.

I read Jack of Hearts (Detective Jack Stratton Mystery Thriller Series) years ago and think I prefer that writing style.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Four stars 4 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Mysteries, Mystery Romance, Women Sleuths
Publisher: Greyson Media

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0957SKGRJ

Print Length: 254 page
Publication Date: June 16, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble

Christopher Greyson - authorThe Author: Christopher Greyson is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author of mystery, action, and thriller novels. His acclaimed Detective Jack Stratton Series has been read by over a million readers and counting. This action-packed series has a broad appeal, finding favor with mystery, thriller, and romance readers alike. The series includes And Then She Was Gone, Girl Jacked, Jack Knifed, Jacks Are Wild, Jack and the Giant Killer, Data Jack, Jack of Hearts, Jack Frost, with Jack of Diamonds to come. Christopher Greyson has also penned the bestselling psychological thriller, The Girl Who Lived, a young adult fantasy, Pure of Heart, and a special collection of mysteries, The Adventures of Finn and Annie.

Greyson’s love of mystery and adventure began with his grandfather, a World War I decorated hero. He will never forget being introduced to his grandfather’s friend, a WWI pilot who flew across the skies at the same time as the feared legendary Red Baron. Since he was a little boy, Christopher Greyson dreamt of what mystery was around the next corner, or quest lay over the hill. If he couldn’t find an adventure, one usually found him! Now he weaves those tales into his stories.

Christopher Greyson’s educational background is an eclectic mix of degrees in Computer Science, Theatre and Communications. He resides in Massachusetts with his lovely wife, Katherine Greyson, author of the bestselling romance-mystery series Everyone Keeps Secrets and their two wonderful children, Laura and Christopher.

Christopher Greyson enjoys hearing from his readers. Please visit ChristopherGreyson.com, where you can become a preferred reader and enjoy advanced notifications of book releases, enter the giveaways and win prizes like an HD Kindle Fire Tablet! Follow Detective Jack Stratton on Twitter @chris_greyson and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ChristopherGreysonAuthor.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

When Heroes Flew: The Shangri-La Raiders by H W “Buzz” Bernard – #BookReview – Military Fiction

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

“Freedom is not free” is credited to retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Walter Hitchcock.

Book Blurb:

When Heroes Flew: The Shangri-La RaidersInspired by the true story of Colonel Jimmy Doolittle’s raid on Japan in 1942, The Shangri-La Raiders is the next stunning installment of the When Heroes Flew WWII historical fiction series.

This gripping novel follows an American bomber crew through their secretive training, a harrowing raid on Japan, and on their desperate journey through occupied China to Chungking, the seat of the country’s wartime government.

The crew, along with an American missionaries’ daughter whom they’ve rescued, must evade the Japanese occupiers every step of the way. And amidst all the horror and turmoil of war, a romance blossoms between the rescued woman and the crew’s pilot.

When Heroes Flew: The Shangri-La Raiders is a captivating tale of bravery, determination and an unlikely love that will leave you hooked until the very end.

His Review:

A tale of love during a time of war mixed with historical fact! Lt. Colonel Jimmie Doolittle and a squadron of sixteen, B25 Mitchell bombers took off from the deck of the USS Hornet to bomb the Japanese mainland in WW II. The takeoff of a heavy bomb-loaded aircraft from the carrier deck was unheard of! They usually needed well over a thousand feet of runway to get airborne. These planes only had 360 feet. The first plane off the flight deck was Doolittle himself!

When Heroes Flew: The Shangri-La Raiders by H W BernardThe training and heroics of the young crews cannot be overstated. Training was done at numerous bases in the United States and then actual carrier training was done at Pensacola, Florida. The crews were selected from among the best B25 bomber crews in the Army Air Force.  Colonel Doolittle did not ask them to do anything that he didn’t do. He also led the attack on the Japanese islands. The United States needed a victory after the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, HI.

After the bombing of Tokyo and other Japanese cities, the planes flew to mainland China, as they had no way of getting back to the USS Hornet. The flight took off nearly 600 miles from the Japanese coastline. The worry was that the planes would not be able to get to China after the bombing run. All of the crews were volunteers who knew that they may need to ditch in the ocean! Some of the flight crew were unable to swim and the planes carried only one life raft!

After bailing out over mainland China, the crews were frantically searched for by the Japanese. They were considered war criminals and would surely be executed upon capture. The narrative spells out some of the heroic efforts made to evade capture and return to the U.S. for further military deployment. A fictional officer named Lieutenant Raymond “Boss” Howser was the flight leader of one of these planes. His was the seventh bomber that took off from the deck of the Hornet. As his plane was running out of fuel he had his flight crew bail out of the coughing plane.

CE WilliamsThe assistance of the Chinese people who were being brutalized by the Japanese military was at great personal risk. Thousands of Chinese men, women and children were brutally murdered if suspected of assisting the American devils. Lt. Howser and his crew are aided by a missionary, his wife and daughter. The assistance was found out and the parents were savagely tortured and executed. The crews escape back to U.S. held lines included hiding in the jungles of central China and getting aide along the way from the Chinese people who hated the Japanese. The story is a compelling read and heartwarming in the execution of the tale. 5 stars – CE Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions. Now on pre-order.

Book Details:

Genre: Historical World War II Fiction, Sea Adventures Fiction, Military Thrillers
Publisher: Severn River Publishing
ASIN: B08GKX9SVK
Print Length: 303 pages
Publication Date: July 13, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: When Heroes Flew: The Shangri-La Raiders [Amazon]
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Harold W Bernard - authorThe Author: H. W. “Buzz” Bernard is a best-selling, award-winning novelist.

His debut novel, EYEWALL, which one reviewer called a “perfect summer beach read,” was released in May 2011 and went on to become a number-one best seller in Amazon’s Kindle Store.

PLAGUE (“One of the best thrillers of 2012″–novelist Al Leverone) came out in September 2012, and won the 2014 EPIC (Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition) eBook Award in the suspense/thriller category.

SUPERCELL (“Races along with the speed of a twister”–novelist Michael Wallace) was published in late 2013 and became a best seller on Kindle as well as the winner of the 2015 EPIC eBook Award in the suspense/thriller category.

Buzz’s fourth novel and third in his “weather trilogy,” BLIZZARD (“A terrific book”–novelist Deborah Smith) was released in February 2015. It led to his nomination for a 2016 Georgia Author of the Year award.

CASCADIA (“heart pounding”–Reed Farrel Coleman, NYT best-selling author WHERE IT HURTS) hit the market in July 2016 and went on to garner the 2018 EPIC eBook Award in the suspense/thriller category, making Buzz a three-time “Eppie” winner.

Buzz’s newest novel, WHEN HEROES FLEW (“vivid, unforgettable”–P. T. Deutermann, author of award-winning PACIFIC GLORY), was released in April 2020.

Before becoming a novelist, Buzz worked at The Weather Channel as a senior meteorologist for 13 years. Prior to that, he served as a weather officer in the U.S. Air Force for over three decades.  He attained the rank of colonel and received, among other awards, the Legion of Merit.

His “airborne” experiences include a mission with the Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters, air drops over the Arctic Ocean and Turkey, and a stint as a weather officer aboard a Tactical Air Command airborne command post (C-135).

In the past, he’s provided field support to forest fire fighting operations in the Pacific Northwest, spent a summer working on Alaska’s arctic slope, and served two tours in Vietnam. Various other jobs, both civilian and military, have taken him to Germany, Saudi Arabia and Panama.

He’s a native Oregonian and attended the University of Washington in Seattle where he earned a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science; he also studied creative writing.

Buzz is a past president of the Southeastern Writers Association. He’s a member of International Thriller Writers, the Atlanta Writers Club, Willamette Writers, and Military Writers Society of America.

He and his special needs adult grandson live in Roswell, Georgia, along with a fuzzy and strangely docile Shih-Tzu, Stormy . . . probably misnamed.

Buzz’s Website can be found at www.buzzbernard.com.

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams – V Williams

Cajun Kiss of Death: A Cajun Country Mystery by Ellen Byron – #BookReview – #cozymystery

“Try is a fail word…Because it gives you an out.”

 Book Blurb:

The next shot from Cupid’s bow may be fatal in USA Today bestselling, Agatha Award-winning author Ellen Byron’s hearty and delightful seventh Cajun Country mystery.

Cajun Kiss of Death by Ellen ByronIn Pelican, Louisiana, Valentine’s Day has a way of warming the heart, despite the February chill. But the air at Crozat Plantation B&B turns decidedly frigid when celebrity chef Phillippe Chanson checks in. And when the arrogant Phillippe–in town to open his newest Cajun-themed restaurant–perishes in a fiery boat crash, Maggie Crozat’s dear friend JJ lands in very cold water.

Did JJ, proprietor of Junie’s Oyster Bar and Dance Hall, murder Phillippe because he feared the competition? Might Maggie’s mother, Ninette, have bumped off the chef for stealing one of her cherished recipes? Or was the culprit a local seafood vendor, miffed because Phillippe was somehow able to sell oysters for a remarkably reasonable price, despite an oyster shortage?

Maggie had planned to devote her February to art lessons in New Orleans, a present from her sweetheart, Bo. But now she has to focus on helping her friend and her mother cross a murder charge off the menu. Meanwhile, Maggie receives a series of anonymous gifts that begin as charming but grow increasingly disturbing. Does Maggie have an admirer–or a stalker? And are these mysterious gifts somehow related to Phillippe’s murder?

Blood may be thicker than water, but this case is thicker than gumbo. And solving it will determine whether Maggie gets hearts and roses–or hearse and lilies–this Valentine’s Day.

My Review:

Book 7, rumored to be the last in the series, begins a multi-layered plot with plans for Valentine’s Day. It’s Pelican, Louisiana, near New Orleans and Pelican has a new Cajun themed restaurant to celebrate—until it’s arrogant owner dies in a fiery boat crash. Well, come on, the man was stealing old family recipes and he made more enemies than friends, so the suspect list isn’t short.

Cajun Kiss of Death by Ellen ByronGran got married about the same time Maggie Crozant married her policeman beau, Bo and she is knee deep in fundraising plans that includes a lively senior participation. Bo got her art lessons in New Orleans—she is an artist or thought she was—but is this really going to work? The teacher doesn’t really appreciate any of her stuff.

And then there is her stalker. Shopping for gowns. And another death. Good grief—so many issues.

I enjoy the atmospheric description that puts you right into the middle of the culture. She has her family and the business, Bo is a detective, and there are a lot of peripheral characters, names swapped back and forth. The author infuses her narratives with a sense of humor and the delicious fragrances of the local dishes.

“Like the saying goes, worry is paying interest on a debt you may not owe.”

So I’m not sure why this one didn’t quite click with me. It was slow moving and filled with the minutia of daily life, the struggles, the southern philosophies of life. The mystery was there, just not quite at the forefront, suspense was lacking, and the ending was an obvious wrap. I’ve read two others in this series, Murder in the Bayou Boneyard and Fatal Cajun Festival and loved both but this one fell short for me.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Three point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Southern United States Fiction, Southern Fiction, Cozy Culinary Mystery
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08N6SMX1J

Print Length: 329 pages
Publication Date: August 10, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo


Ellen Byron - authorThe Author
:
Ellen writes the USA Today bestselling Cajun Country Mysteries and Catering Hall Mysteries (under the pen name Maria DiRico). MARDI GRAS MURDER won the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel and was nominated for a Best Humorous Mystery Lefty Award by Left Coast Crime. A CAJUN CHRISTMAS KILLING and BODY ON THE BAYOU, both won the Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery, and were nominated for Agatha Awards in the category of Best Contemporary Novel. PLANTATION SHUDDERS, the first book in the series, was nominated for Agatha, Lefty, and Daphne awards. Cajun Country Mysteries offer “everything a cozy reader could want,” according to Publishers Weekly, while Library Journal says, “Diane Mott Davidson and Lou Jane Temple fans will line up for this series.” HERE COMES THE BODY, the first book in her Catering Hall Mysteries, is inspired by her real life. LONG ISLAND ICED TINA, the second in the series, recently launched, with both books in the series garnering great reviews.

Ellen’s TV credits include Wings and Just Shoot Me; she’s written over 200 magazine articles; her published plays include the award-winning Graceland and Asleep on the Wind. She is a native New Yorker who lives in Los Angeles and attributes her fascination with Louisiana to her college years at New Orleans’ Tulane University. She also worked as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart, a credit she never tires of sharing. Have an early copy of Martha’s first book, ENTERTAINING? Ellen’s standing right next to her in the group shot.

©2021 V Williams –

Net Force: Kill Chain by Jerome Preisler – #BookReview – #technothriller – #TuesdayBookBlog

Book Blurb:

Net Force: Kill Chain by Jerome PreislerA remote Maine island becomes the setting for a deadly game of cat-and-mouse in the all-new Net Force novella KILL CHAIN.

Natasha Mori and Bryan Ferrago work for the Net Force Cyber Squad, an elite government agency created to lead the charge against America’s online enemies. They’ve traveled to Maine’s coast for a project to study extreme weather forecasting–and hopefully enjoy a little vacation.

But someone from Natasha’s past has followed them and, as a hurricane approaches, sees a chance to take her out of commission permanently. A team of elite biotech-enhanced mercenaries has been assigned to eliminate her and any witnesses on the island.

Stranded in the storm of the century, cut off from all help, Natasha and Bryan must now find a way to escape her hunters–or become part of their murderous kill chain.

His Review:

War would be much simpler if trees and foliage could disclose who or what is hidden within them. Natasha is a beautiful albino woman with enhanced mental abilities that recognize dangers through changes in color and taste which seem discordant. Her mental abilities were enhanced as a child for Mother Russia’s use in espionage. Placed in the United States after rigorous training she will be invoked when the time is right.

Net Force: Kill Chain by Jerome PreislerShe is currently working with a group of entertainers who run a late-night dance rage in downtown New York City. Her government has decided that she is not necessary and needs to be eliminated rather than their enemies discover her talents. The team sent to kill her leave an acrid taste in her mouth and exhibit dark colors.

Jerome Preisler has developed a very scary scenario in the near future. Recognizing she is in real danger, Natasha leaves New York with her good friend Bryan. They decide to go to a deserted island in Maine to get away from danger. The problem is that the pair sent to find her has enhanced mental capabilities as well. Her mind acts as a homing beacon to them and they are intent on eliminating her.

This tale has a very well-developed plot and will keep you reading from cover to cover. The killers sent to kill her are twins and are identical. They are relentless and totally cold blooded. They have no compassion for anyone and do their job with efficiency. They set about their tasks like hunters during hunting season. Natasha and Bryan must be eliminated.

CE WilliamsI read this book in two days and did not want to put it down. The conclusion is frightening and exposes the underbelly of Russia’s espionage services. Enjoy! 4.5 stars – CE Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars 

Book Details:

Genre: Technothrillers, Terrorism Thrillers, Military Thrillers
Publisher: Hanover Square Press
ASIN: B08JV9H9CT
Print Length: 169 pages
Publication Date: May 25, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Links:  Net Force: Kill Chain [Amazon]
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Kobo

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Jerome Preisler - authorThe Author: Jerome is the prolific author of almost forty books of fiction and narrative nonfiction, including all eight novels in the New York Times bestselling TOM CLANCY’S POWER PLAYS series.

His latest book is NET FORCE:ATTACK PROTOCOL (December 2020), his second novel in a relaunch of the New York Times bestselling series co-created by Tom Clancy. Forthcoming in May 2020 is the enovella NET FORCE: KILL CHAIN

Among Jerome’s recent works of narrative history are CODE NAME CAESAR: The Secret Hunt for U-boat 864 During World War Two, and FIRST TO JUMP: How the Band of Brothers Was Aided by the Brave Paratroopers of Pathfinders Company. His latest is CIVIL WAR COMMANDO: William Cushing’s Daring Raid to Sink the Invincible Ironclad C.S.S. Albemarle.

Jerome lives in New York City and coastal Maine.

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams

Draw and Order (A Paint & Shine Mystery Book 2) by Cheryl Hollon – #BookReview – Cozy Craft & Hobbies Mystery

Book Blurb:

Draw and Order by Cheryl HollonAppalachian artist and local guide Miranda Trent opens a new murder investigation after her Paint & Shine tour group discovers the remains of a missing hiker along an ancient trail . . .
 
For her latest excursion, Miranda is thrilled to take a close-knit group of rock climbers, the Risky Business Adventurers, up the challenging Battleship Rock Trail to paint and sample moonshine. But the outing is cut short when they discover a skeleton near the trailhead. Even more startling, the bones belong to Howard Cable, Miranda’s cousin…and a former classmate of the Risky Business group.

The sheriff chalks it up to a hiking accident, but Miranda isn’t convinced that Howard, an experienced woodsman, died within sight of a well-marked trail. So, with the help of Ranger Austin Morgan, Miranda sets out on her own investigation and discovers that the Risky Business group is keeping plenty of secrets. But is one of them hiding the truth about Howard’s death?

My Review:

Miranda Trent is a local guide who owns a business she calls Paint & Shine. She enjoys her tour groups and takes them out for scenic hikes where they are free to either paint or use a medium of their choice for landscapes. Now she is hoping to expand her business into brewing moonshine, a special family recipe that had quite the rep in its day.

Draw and Order by Cheryl HollonThis tour, however, of the Risky Business Adventures climbers gets cut short when they discover a skeleton shortly after the climb. Turns out the bones are that of a distant cousin and her aunt would like Miranda to find out what happened as this was clearly no accident.

I enjoyed the descriptions of the climb and scenic area of the Daniel Boone National Forest, although few of the climbers were fleshed. Also nice to get a “timeline” of the narrative with chapters giving the reader the progressive days, but it seemed a bit slow to get off the ground and then rather muddled in the investigation, doing an individual Google search of the Adventurers.

Miranda struggles with improvements to receive the equipment for the moonshine side of the business and Austin appears to be growing on her, although we don’t get enough development of Austin to complete his picture quite yet.

The conclusion rather side-swipes in catching the reader off-guard. Twists along the way derails thinking about the perp, but then he really wasn’t at the forefront anyway. Interesting insight into the business of moonshine and recipes at the back of the book.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Three point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Craft & Hobby Mysteries, Amateur Sleuth Mysteries
Publisher: Kensington Books
ASIN: B08KKMYPCT
Print Length: 281 pages
Publication Date: June 29, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo

Cheryl Hollon - authorCheryl Hollon writes full time after she left an engineering career of designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and India.

Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art. In the small glass studio behind their St. Petersburg, FL, 1920’s craftsman bungalow, Cheryl and her husband design, create, and produce fused glass, stained glass and painted glass artworks and jewelry.

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©2021 V Williams

Dog Eat Dog: An Andy Carpenter Mystery (Andy Carpenter Novel Book 23) by David Carpenter – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Rosepoint Rating: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Dog Eat Dog by David RosenfeltLawyer Andy Carpenter and his golden retriever, Tara, work to free a man who risked it all to help a dog in need

Lawyer Andy Carpenter and his wife, Laurie, enjoy walking their dogs, Tara and Sebastian. By this point in their marriage, it’s routine. When out for one of their strolls, their simple ritual isn’t so simple anymore. Across the street, a man is mistreating his dog. Three things happen at once: Andy yells, Laurie runs to stop the abuse, and so does a closer passerby, who so thoroughly beats the owner that both are arrested when the cops arrive.

Andy scoops up the dog and takes him to the Tara Foundation, the dog rescue organization that’s always been his true passion. Meanwhile, at the police station, the passerby is identified as Matthew Jantzen, and he’s wanted for murder. Andy and Laurie are struck by the fact that Jantzen, a man on the run, would nevertheless intervene to help a dog, and decide to find out more.

Dog Eat Dog, the twenty-second installment in the Andy Carpenter series, features the charming cast of characters – old and new – that David Rosenfelt is known for and the dogs that accompany them.

My Review:

Yes! I was overdue for my Andy Carpenter fix and this is just the book to do it! Although most any in the 23 of the series would do it. Usually I go the audiobook route as the narrator, Grover Cleveland, IS Andy Carpenter—sells it completely. This time I was able to get an ARC from the publisher. And you know—it’s just as good. Must be the writing style.

Dog Eat Dog by David RosenfeltFor those of you who haven’t seen any of my previous reviews, Rosenfelt has created an attorney who, having the benefit of a substantial inheritance, has quit, or tried to several times. (He runs a dog rescue he and a partner call the Tara Foundation. He loves dogs.) But these cases just keep popping up. This one in defense of a man who came to the rescue of a man who was saving a dog from being beaten. Having been arrested, it was discovered he was wanted in Maine for a double homicide. He didn’t do it.

No, really. He didn’t do it. No clue who the victims were and two years ago? Can’t remember that specific night.

These books are just plain fun. Fast, witty, often sarcastic humor coupled with deeply layered well-plotted novels. These are never simple, open and shut cases. And yet—in this case, his DNA was found on the victim. How do you fight that?

Extradited to Maine, Andy will leave his safe haven in New Jersey where he is constantly mistaken as a New Yorker amid the happy discovery of lobster rolls. GEES! Just talking about them got me thinking—lobster rolls—YUM!

Of course he is going his get his team involved, his wife (ex-cop and private investigator) and her partners (part of the Carpenter K-Team spin-off) that includes Marcus who keeps his dialogue minimal (silent and deadly). She brings the (three) dogs, including the one newly rescued and they tie up some suites at the local hotel. He also has a computer guru genius (shhh, don’t tell me how you got this information).

Andy’s self-deprecating sense bounces between that and confirmation of his brilliance and in the meantime uses his wit to keep him safely investigating. Failing that—there’s always Marcus who has his back, not to mention his wife—she legally packs.

I always love it when they get to the courtroom—there are teachable moments, intelligent and full of fancy footwork, maneuvering, not to mention some memorable acting scenes.

I started reading (or listening to) this series back in 2016 and got thoroughly hooked. My last three were Silent Bite, Muzzled, and Dachshund Through the Snow. You can’t go wrong with either the print or audiobook. Thank you Minotaur Books and NetGalley for my ARC review copy. These are (always) my own opinions. Currently on pre-order.

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Book Details:

Genre: Animal Fiction, Traditional Detective Mysteries
Publisher: Minotaur Books

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08FZ8RV1W

Print Length: 304 pages
Publication Date: July 6, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo

David Rosenfelt - authorThe Author: David Rosenfelt, a native of Paterson, New Jersey, is a graduate of NYU. He was the former marketing president for Tri-Star Pictures before becoming a writer of novels and screenplays. “Open And Shut” was his first novel; “First Degree,” his second novel, was named a best book of 2003 by Publishers Weekly. He currently lives in Southern California with his wife and 35 dogs.

©2021 V Williams