The Silent Witness: (Detective Amanda Steele Book 3) by Carolyn Arnold – #BookReview – #noircrime

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

It’s 4 a.m. when her mom shakes her awake. “Get up baby, we’re going to play hide and seek.” The little girl presses back into the dark space, holding her breath as she hears the shots ring out. She knows she’s next…

The Silent Witness by Carolyn ArnoldWhen the bodies of a local family are discovered on a quiet street in the small town of Dumfries, Virginia, Detective Amanda Steele takes charge of the case. Brett and Angela Parker were shot three times each, leaving no hope of survival, and their tidy suburban home has been ransacked. But there is no sign of their beloved six-year-old, Zoe.

Zoe is the same age as Amanda’s daughter was when she died, and Amanda can’t bear the thought of another little girl in danger. She’s organizing a search for the child, when she notices something strange about the ottoman at the foot of the Parkers’ bed. She opens it to find Zoe, mute and traumatized, but alive.

With Zoe completely uncommunicative, Amanda must find another way to untangle what destroyed this seemingly perfect family. It’s clear that the killer is searching for something the Parkers had, and until she has this monster behind bars, Amanda fears that he may return for Zoe. When she learns that Brett Parker cut short the family’s recent lakeside vacation, she wonders why. What happened at that lake house, and did it ultimately get them killed?

Amanda heads out to Lake Chesdin on the feeling it might be key to the case, and when she finds a cell phone in the murky waters next to the Parker cabin, she knows she’s made a breakthrough. But then terrible news reaches her from Dumfries; Zoe has been taken from her school playground.

Someone wants to silence the Parker family for good, can Amanda catch them before the little girl she’s desperate to protect pays the price?

His Review:

Brett, Angela and their daughter were in the wrong place at a bad time. How could their first family vacation turn out so wrong? Brett loved to take pictures but the pictures he took that fateful morning should not have happened. Frantically he had the women in his life hide in their master bedroom.

The Silent Witness by Carolyn ArnoldAmanda Steele is a first-rate detective who loves her job. One of the down sides of the job is investigating horrific crimes. Her working relationship with her office is basically great except for her boss. For some unknown reason her boss seems to hate her and puts her down every chance she gets

Investigating the murder scene Amanda notes they are a young couple with a child nearly the age of her own. The couple is killed by apparent professionals and the little girl is nowhere to be found. Was she staying with relatives or had she been away for a weekend with a friend? The child named Zoe is found in a storage ottoman in the dead couples’ bedroom.

The killings had occurred quickly and efficiently, but why? Thankfully her mothers’ last act was to hide the child in the ottoman. Terrified she did not make a sound and stayed totally still. The killers had overlooked her. Can Amanda keep the child safe while investigating the crime?

Ms. Arnold builds a strong case for methodical investigative tactics. Her heroine is hobbled by the responsibility to keep young Zoe safe while investigating the deaths. She is aggravated by the fact that the papers in their zeal to report sensational crimes mentioned that the child was the only one to escape the massacre.

This tale develops at a fast clip and I found it hard to put the book down. The total lack of compassion or sympathy toward the two victims and their daughter raised a deep wish for revenge against the killers. How can someone kill a young mother in the same room as their daughter with no worries about the future of the child?

Amanda had lost her own daughter in a tragic accident in which she also lost her husband! She is torn between placing the child in Child Protective Service and possibly adopting her. Zoe is her daughter’s age.

CE WilliamsThe book is compelling and I applaud the author for her skill in story telling. 5 stars – CE Williams

Certainly not the first book reviewed for this author. I also enjoyed a few of the last, including Book 1 of this series, The Little Grave. 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.

Book Details:

Genre: Noir Crime, Serial Killers, Organized Crime Thrillers
Publisher: Bookouture
ASIN: B09236T3JF
Print Length: 324 pages
Publication Date: September 24, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: The Silent Witness [Amazon]
Barnes and Noble
Kobo

Add to Goodreads

Carolyn Arnold - authorThe Author: CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has several continuing fiction series and has many published books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures. Her crime fiction series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining. This led to her adopting the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives near London, Ontario, Canada with her husband and two beagles.

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

The Long Call: The Two Rivers Series Book 1 by Ann Cleeves – #Audiobook Review – Traditional Detective Mysteries

The Long Call - Ann Cleeves

Book Blurb:

In North Devon, where two rivers converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his estranged father’s funeral takes place. On the day Matthew left the strict evangelical community he grew up in, he lost his family, too.

Now, as he turns and walks away again, he receives a call from one of his team. A body has been found on the beach nearby: a man with a tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death.

The case calls Matthew back to the people and places of his past, as deadly secrets hidden at their hearts are revealed, and his new life is forced into a collision course with the world he thought he’d left behind.

My Review:

The long Call by Ann CleevesBook One of a new series by Ann Cleeves? Oh, yes. Count me in. As it happens, this was originally published as a digital release back in September, 2019. The audiobook was published just this April.

In The Long Call, the reader is introduced to Matthew Venn of the Devon Police. Venn is called out to investigate a body found on the beach at Crow Point.

It is a small village and all knew of the victim, but not actually who he was or his story. Cleeves dives us into the inhabitants, defining, describing the people and the possible relationship, if any, to the victim. The support characters are widely diverse.

During the course of the investigation, we learn more about Venn and his husband, Jonathan. Venn is surrounded by a magnetic group of colleagues, including his partner, DS Jen Rafferty, a dynamo with a chaotic private life and still manages to be extremely effective at her job. The villagers are not entirely onboard with his investigation nor particularly helpful.

It’s a smorgasbord of turmoil, well-developed characters, motives you can’t guess, and a perp who won’t peg as well. But it was a slow burn for me, and perhaps coming from an audiobook delivered in quiet monotone, tended to blur into the background. I had a little problem staying engaged and was only mildly surprised at the conclusion.

It’s sharply character-driven with immersive description into the local countryside. I previously read The Darkest Evening of the Vera Stanhope series and found it to sag somewhat in the middle as well although I may go back to that series as Vera is a “mature” but very competent DCI in Northumberland.

Book Details:

Genre: Traditional Detective Mysteries, International Mystery and Crime
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
ASIN: B091RYVYLK
Listening Length: 11 hrs, 36 mins
Narrator: Ben Aldridge
Publication Date: April 8, 2021
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The Long Call [Amazon]

Add to Goodreads

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

Ann Cleeves - authorThe Author: Ann is the author of the books behind ITV’s VERA, now in it’s third series, and the BBC’s SHETLAND, which will be aired in December 2012. Ann’s DI Vera Stanhope series of books is set in Northumberland and features the well loved detective along with her partner Joe Ashworth. Ann’s Shetland series bring us DI Jimmy Perez, investigating in the mysterious, dark, and beautiful Shetland Islands…

Ann grew up in the country, first in Herefordshire, then in North Devon. Her father was a village school teacher. After dropping out of university she took a number of temporary jobs – child care officer, women’s refuge leader, bird observatory cook, auxiliary coastguard – before going back to college and training to be a probation officer.

While she was cooking in the Bird Observatory on Fair Isle, she met her husband Tim, a visiting ornithologist. She was attracted less by the ornithology than the bottle of malt whisky she saw in his rucksack when she showed him his room. Soon after they married, Tim was appointed as warden of Hilbre, a tiny tidal island nature reserve in the Dee Estuary. They were the only residents, there was no mains electricity or water and access to the mainland was at low tide across the shore. If a person’s not heavily into birds – and Ann isn’t – there’s not much to do on Hilbre and that was when she started writing. Her first series of crime novels features the elderly naturalist, George Palmer-Jones. A couple of these books are seriously dreadful.

In 1987 Tim, Ann and their two daughters moved to Northumberland and the north east provides the inspiration for many of her subsequent titles. The girls have both taken up with Geordie lads. In the autumn of 2006, Ann and Tim finally achieved their ambition of moving back to the North East.

For the National Year of Reading, Ann was made reader-in-residence for three library authorities. It came as a revelation that it was possible to get paid for talking to readers about books! She went on to set up reading groups in prisons as part of the Inside Books project, became Cheltenham Literature Festival’s first reader-in-residence and still enjoys working with libraries.

Ann Cleeves on stage at the Duncan Lawrie Dagger awards ceremony

Ann’s short film for Border TV, Catching Birds, won a Royal Television Society Award. She has twice been short listed for a CWA Dagger Award – once for her short story The Plater, and the following year for the Dagger in the Library award.

In 2006 Ann Cleeves was the first winner of the prestigious Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award of the Crime Writers’ Association for Raven Black, the first volume of her Shetland Quartet. The Duncan Lawrie Dagger replaces the CWA’s Gold Dagger award, and the winner receives £20,000, making it the world’s largest award for crime fiction.

Ann’s success was announced at the 2006 Dagger Awards ceremony at the Waldorf Hilton, in London’s Aldwych, on Thursday 29 June 2006. She said: “I have never won anything before in my life, so it was a complete shock – but lovely of course.. The evening was relatively relaxing because I’d lost my voice and knew that even if the unexpected happened there was physically no way I could utter a word. So I wouldn’t have to give a speech. My editor was deputed to do it!”

The judging panel consisted of Geoff Bradley (non-voting Chair), Lyn Brown MP (a committee member on the London Libraries service), Frances Gray (an academic who writes about and teaches courses on modern crime fiction), Heather O’Donoghue (academic, linguist, crime fiction reviewer for The Times Literary Supplement, and keen reader of all crime fiction) and Barry Forshaw (reviewer and editor of Crime Time magazine).

Ann’s books have been translated into sixteen languages. She’s a bestseller in Scandinavia and Germany. Her novels sell widely and to critical acclaim in the United States. Raven Black was shortlisted for the Martin Beck award for best translated crime novel in Sweden in 200.

Bio and photo from Goodreads.

Ben Aldridge- narratorThe Narrator: Ben Aldridge

Ben Aldridge (actor) – Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Ben_Aldridge_(actor)

Benjamin Charles Aldridge (born 12 November 1985) is an English actor. … He is best known for is portrayal of Thomas Wayne in the crime drama series Pennyworth…

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Dublin Moon (Jack Dillon Dublin Tales Book 10) by Mike Faricy – #BookReview – #InternationalMystery and Crime

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Dublin Moon by Mike FaricyUS Marshal Jack Dillon, assigned to An Garda Síochána, Special Branch is just about to settle into an enjoyable evening with his neighbor Tara when his phone rings. Against his better judgment, he answers… Good thing he does. It’s his boss, Detective Chief Inspector McCabe. There’s been a shooting in Dublin and it’s all hands on deck. Turns out two police officers have been murdered. US Marshal Jack Dillon and Detective Inspector Paddy Suel begin an investigation that seems to be going nowhere— and yet…  It’s bad enough two officers have been murdered, but apparently, that’s just the beginning. The bodies begin to pile up and Dillon and Suel can’t seem to get ahead of the game or find out who is responsible.

The Jack Dillon Dublin Tales series is written by Mike Faricy and was originally released under the pseudonym, Patrick Emmett. Faricy also writes The award-winning Dev Haskell series, the award-winning Corridor Man series, and the Hotshot series. 

His Review:

Someone is killing people in Dublin at random! US Marshal Jack Dillon is called in to assist in the investigation. He has been on loan to the Dublin police for a couple of years. Two of their new officers were brutally killed execution style near the station. Who would do such a thing?

Dublin Moon by Mike FaricyThis is unheard of and a task force is immediately set up. Marshall Dillon and his partner go the crime scene to look for clues. How could two trained police officers be brutally executed in broad daylight? The clues are few and far between and everyone is on edge.

A fairly new forensic specialist finds two shell casings found under part of the tent set up to isolate the crime scene. Dillon’s partner is always putting him down and Dillon is always coming to the specialist’s defense. His partner feels that Marshal Dillon is coddling the investigator. Tension builds within the department due to the partners myopic attitude towards the investigator.

Other people start being found dead and the mystery intensifies. The killer or killers need to be stopped. One of the victims leaves a two-year-old boy who becomes parentless and Marshal Dillon presses harder to solve the crime. One of the leads points to a criminal syndicate which had left Ireland for the Spanish Costa del Sol. Clues indicate they may have come back to Ireland.

CE WilliamsMike Faricy writes an engaging novel which will keep the reader up at night in order to solve the mystery. The clues and methodology keep wrapping the reader up into the story. I enthusiastically recommend his novels. 5 stars – CE Williams

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

Book Details:

Genre: International Mystery & Crime, Cozy Mysteries
ASIN: B095L91293
Print Length: 229 pages
Publication Date: June 17, 2021
Source: Author gift
Title Link: Dublin Moon [Amazon]

Add to Goodreads

Mike Faricy - authorThe Author: Mike Faricy was awarded the 2016 IACM Silver Award for Best Mystery Author.
His books have held the #1 slot in the Kindle Store in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and India.
Mike Faricy was listed as the IACM Author of the Month for April 2018.
His Dev Haskell tale, The Office, was a finalist for the 2018 Minnesota Book Awards and the 2018 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award.
He was awarded the Crime Masters of America Poison Cup Award in January of 2019.
His Dev Haskell tale, Star Struck, was a mystery finalist for the 2019 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award.

The Dirty Lowdown called Mike Faricy America’s hottest new mystery writer.
Robert Carraher referred to him as Minnesota’s Master of the Bizarre.
Crime Scene referred to him as the next Carl Hiaasen.
Crime Capers said; “Open at your own risk, you won’t put him down.”
UnderCover wrote; “This guy is nuts and one hell of a lot of fun.”
The Irish Gazette referred to; “The laugh a minute storylines of Faricy’s deliciously engaging worlds.”

Mike’s Dev Haskell series books are stand-alone, they can be read in any order. His Corridor Man series was initially written under the pseudonym Nick James and should be read in order. His Jack Dillon Dublin Tales series was originally written under the pseudonym, Patrick Emmett. His Hotshot series are standalone tales that can be read in any order. Faricy’s novels are filled with the sort of oddballs we’re all curious about, but wisely prefer to keep at a distance. His characters serve not so much as an example as they do a warning. None of them will be saving the world from terrorism, international banking conspiracies or coups to take over the government. Rather, Faricy’s characters inhabit a world just below the surface of polite society. The circumstances they find themselves in are usually due to their own bad decisions, but then bad decisions make for interesting stories.

Reminiscent of the late Robert B. Parker, Faricy’s tightly woven Dev Haskell series is penned with a delightful sense of humor and even some romance. Entertainment is the name of the game as back-slapping, corner-cutting, babe magnet Dev Haskell interacts with such quirky characters as ice cream mogul Mr. Swirlee, The D’Angelo brothers, local crime lord Tubby Gustafson, ‘Fat Freddie’ Zimmerman, former NFL tight end Luscious Dixon, exotic dancer Swindle Lawless, and gorgeous Heidi Bauer. The Dev Haskell novels can be read in any order.

Faricy’s Corridor Man series was originally released under the pen name Nick James. The series is a bit more gritty than the Dev Haskell series and a lot more violent. Disbarred attorney Bobby Custer makes his way back into the legal game. He’s neurotic, psychotic, psychopathic, narcissistic, greedy, unprincipled and . . . always charming.

Faricy’s Jack Dillon Dublin Tales series was originally released under the pen name Patrick Emmett. US Marshal Jack Dillon is sent to Dublin to escort a prisoner back to the US. Things don’t go exactly as planned and trouble ensues. Dillon becomes permanently stationed in Dublin, just to get him out of his boss’s hair. Things take an entertaining turn from there, think of a cross between Dev Haskell and James Bond.

Faricy’s Hotshot series are zany, delightfully entertaining standalone crime tales.

Enjoy the reads!

Originally from Saint Paul, Minnesota, Faricy still spends six months of the year in the saintly city as well as six months in Dublin, Ireland. Contact information for Mike is listed just after this shameless list of titles. Thanks for taking the time and be sure to tell 2-300 of your closest friends.
[Truncated…]

Jack Dillon Dublin Tales series.
Welcome: Jack Dillon Dublin Tale 1
Sweet Dreams: Jack Dillon Dublin Tale 2
Mirror Mirror: Jack Dillon Dublin Tale 3
Silver Bullet: Jack Dillon Dublin Tale 4
Fair City Blues: Jack Dillon Dublin Tale 5
Spade Work: Jack Dillon Dublin Tale 6
Madeline Missing: Jack Dillon Dublin Tale 7
Mistaken Identity: Jack Dillon Dublin Tale 8

You’re Mine Valentine! Jack Dillon novella

Novella: Irish Dukes (Published in the Fight Card series under the pseudonym Jack Tunney)

Visit Mike on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MikeFaricyBooks
Visit Dev Haskell’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/DevHaskell
Email Mike” mikefaricyauthor@gmail.com
Follow Mike on Twitter @mikefaricybooks
Mike’s web site; www.mikefaricybooks.com

©2021 CE Williams – 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]
Barnes and Noble

Add to Goodreads

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

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

Spotlight-Review to Follow

Currently on pre-order.

Happy 4th!

Book Blurb:

Inspired 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. 

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]
Barnes and Noble

Add to Goodreads

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 V Williams

Spotlight photo attribution: Shutterstock

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

Add to Goodreads

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 –

Keeping Guard (Operation K-9 Brothers Book 2) by Sandra Owens – #BookReview – #Animal Fiction

Book Blurb:

Finding the future they deserve will mean leaving the past behind…

Navy SEAL Noah Alba is on extended leave after a terrible mistake resulted in the loss of his K-9 partner. He arrives in Asheville, North Carolina, hoping to get his head on straight before he returns overseas. When an old friend recruits him to train service dogs for veterans, he doesn’t feel ready. Still, rambunctious rescue dog Lucky is awfully hard to resist—as is the drop-dead stunning bride Noah encounters while hiking.

When she finds out her fiancé is only marrying her to gain control of her family’s brewery, Peyton Sutton’s I do turns into a hard pass real quick. But Peyton’s father and now-jilted ex are determined to force the match at any cost. Running away can only get her so far, until Noah—and his adorably fierce canine companion—step in as an unlikely protector.

Guarding a runaway bride in the close quarters of her downtown loft is no way to avoid a simmering attraction. But Peyton can’t outrun her ex, and Noah can’t outrun his past; they’ll have to find a way to move forward together, or risk making another terrible mistake.

My Review:

Ask anyone who has been following the blog for some time my favorite and they’d probably say, animal stories. The same readers would know the least favorite is romance. So, yes, the cover got me (the old bait and switch) and here I was, stuck in a romance labeled animal fiction.

Rich girl is controlled by an old-fashioned father (the business should go to a son) and, according to an overheard conversation, a fiancé promised the business if he’d marry Peyton. Not like she’s a dog. Actually, very pretty and smart besides being rich. Also, Peyton managed to become a Master Brewer—she’s no slouch when it comes to the business.

Keeping Guard by Sandra OwensPeyton escaped the wedding, grabbed a couple bottles of champagne, and found a lovely spot to sit, contemplate, and toast to having escaped a man with motives other than love. It is there that Noah happens on her. He’s suffering from PTSD and the guilt associated with the loss of a Seal buddy and military service dog—his fault. And actually, I enjoyed the first few chapters. It is cute.

Then the storyline begins to take shape. Actually, Noah is in horrible shape–mentally. Peyton has escaped her ex-fiancé, but Dalton isn’t that easy to shake. Noah, however, really has nothing to lose and Peyton quickly realizes that Noah gives her tingles. Her first experience with tingles and she’s not going to relinquish that real soon. Yeah, tingles.

I am not overly thrilled with either main character. Noah’s belaboring of his experience overwhelms. Peyton’s tingles get tiresome.

Perhaps the plot would have worked better for me if there had been more service dogs, less romance. The dog that is paired with Noah eventually wins him over—sweet boy. But the pacing slowed in the tingle portions and I would have liked more interest, more atmosphere, more tension. Just… more. Less tingle.

There are few surprises, the conclusion as predicted. I am, however, impressed with the author’s experiences, particularly that she’s also a motorcycle rider–a Harley—but I won’t hold that against her. Just that this is not my genre although I’m sure a romance fan would appreciate it. 3 stars

His Review:

Navy Seals are a close brotherhood. Being involved in close combat and losing fellow combatants can isolate and debilitate even the strongest of men. Noah Alba is a Seal who is home after losing some of his men in an operation. He is on medical leave assigned to a K-9 training operation to help him overcome battle fatigue.

Keeping Guard by Sandra OwensJack Daniels is a disabled veteran who heads up the operation. He knows that having the men help train the dogs also helps to reduce their battle trauma. A good service dog can help de-escalate the tension affecting the warrior. Hopefully it will work on Noah.

Payton Sutton is dressed in a very expensive wedding gown. She overhears the groom telling a friend; “the only reason I am marrying her is to get her father’s micro-brewery.” She grabs two bottles of champagne and escapes before the ceremony. The groom, Dalton, is a real piece of work whose first wife died after their wedding leaving him a small fortune.

Fate has Payton meeting Noah down near a river where she is enjoying the champagne and being thankful for realizing the situation in time. Dalton is not so easily put off and intends to complete the marriage no matter what! He will have the brewery and the owner’s daughter. Elk Antler Brewing will be his or else. He doesn’t care that Payton has become a Master Brewer.

Recognizing the bullying tactics of Dalton and Payton’s father, Noah steps in to help her. She is enamored with his physical prowess and like any white knight, he is not about to allow the situation to proceed. Sandra Owens keeps a very energetic dialogue going between herself and this seasoned veteran.  Noah is not looking for a relationship but circumstances dictate otherwise.

I found this read very entertaining; the storyline didn’t lag. I suggest it to any one who wants an easy, enjoyable read. 5 stars – CE Williams

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

Rosepoint Rating: 4 stars 4 stars

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: Animal Fiction, Military Romance
Publisher: Carina Press
ASIN: B08L82T3YM
Print Length: 277 pages
Publication Date: May 25, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo

Sandra Owens - authorThe Author: A best selling, award winning author, Sandra Owens lives in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Her family and friends often question her sanity, but have ceased being surprised by what she might get up to next. She’s jumped out of a plane, flown in an aerobatic plane while the pilot performed death-defying stunts, has flown Air Combat (two fighter planes dogfighting, pretending to shoot at each other with laser guns), and rode a Harley motorcycle for years. She regrets nothing.

A member of Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll, Sandra is a 2013 Golden Heart® Finalist for her contemporary romance, CRAZY FOR HER. In addition to her contemporary romantic suspense novels, she writes Regency stories.

You can connect with Sandra on Twitter @SandyOwens1 and Facebook at SandraOwens.94043. Her website is: http://www.sandra-owens.com

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams The CE and I