Dirty Who? – a #BookReview

Dirty Who? by Jerry KennealyTitle: Dirty Who? (Johnny O’Rorke Book 2)  by Jerry Kennealy

Genre: Currently #11870 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers, Crime

Publisher: Down and Out Books

Publication Date: July 9, 2018 Happy Release Day!

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Dirty Who? Cover perfectly portrays content of book

I’ve touched on the subject of the “hardboiled” genre of mystery-thrillers before, and here is a perfect example–even to the iconic profile of Sinatra. Continue reading “Dirty Who? – a #BookReview”

Murder Made to Order by Lena Gregory #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

Murder Made to Order by Lena Gregory

I am super-excited today to provide a review at my blog stop for Murder Made to Order by Lena Gregory on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. Scroll down to enter your chance at the Giveaway!

Book Details

Murder Made to Order (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Lyrical Underground (June 19, 2018)
Paperback: 196 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1516104666
Digital ASIN: B075WBZH6L  

Book Blurb

To save her cozy Florida diner, Gia Morelli must choke down a heaping helping of murder.

New York native Gia Morelli is just getting used to life in Florida when she gets word that the town government wants to shut down her pride and joy: the charming little diner known as the All-Day Breakfast Café. A forgotten zoning regulation means that the café was opened illegally, and hardboiled council president Marcia Steers refuses to budge. Gia is considering hanging up her apron and going back to New York, but before she gives up on her dream, she discovers something shocking in the local swamp: Marcia Steers, dead in the water. There’s a secret buried in the books at town hall, and someone killed to keep it hidden. To save her café and bring a killer to justice, Gia and her friends will have to figure out a killer’s recipe for murder . . .

My Review

Murder Made to Order by Lena GregoryAnyone knows a New Yorker can’t make grits like a true Southerner would have their grits. Nevertheless, Gia Morelli is making real progress with her All Day Breakfast Cafe and has a growing number of true and loyal diners. That’s one of the things that makes this second installment of her mystery series so appealing, the support characters.

Unfortunately, her success may have spurred the city council to recall an old zoning regulation and now the local council president is spearheading the drive to shut her down.

Gia has been wrestling with the changes to her life anyway, from the bears and alligators to the bugs and snakes, and she’s been freaking out over the differences the small town of Boggy Creek offers compared to her former NYC life. But then, there was a reason she left the big city behind. Still, she can’t believe she’d be forced to close just when it appears to be taking hold and she’d require some additional help.

Her friend Savannah (perfect name, huh?) is there to interpret everything southern and Gia has managed to make a number of friends along with a possible romantic interest in Tall, Dark, and Compelling. But then as she’s taking Thor, a Bernese Mountain dog who doesn’t walk so much as bound through the tick-infested brush, for a walk she stumbles across Marcia Steers, half in, half-out of the swampy bog and it’s obvious she won’t ever move to try to oust Gia from her restaurant again. She was supposed to have met with Marcia to discuss a private matter. Oh well…

I’ve gotta say, I’ve been plunked into Florida before, and it is definitely an eye-opening experience. I’m not sure why a city girl would choose to live at the edge of bear territory instead of closer to her diner, but she does. And then she takes on a mountain of a puppy, who having walked into the brush would definitely come out with more ticks than Gia, but she does. But who doesn’t love a dog in a cozy mystery and Thor definitely is given some appealing traits. I really enjoyed BFF Savannah as well as Earl, the cafe’s early and first very loyal customer. Reading about him and the characters that comprise her patrons, I’m reminded of a welcome breakfast stop we took when moving to Idaho and overheard the conversation of a group of good ole boys in coveralls at the next table:

“Whar’s Homewood?” “Wahl, it’s out aways.” “How far?” “Wahl, if you get to the river, you’ve gone too far.”

(It still cracks us up.) Well, anyway, the author does a great job fleshing out her characters and you quickly learn to appreciate them all–there is a reason they are in the story.

The protagonist, Gia, follows the breadcrumbs from the murder and thankfully doesn’t sit down with possible suspects and skewer them with questions. She does, however, give us a close-in kitchen account for whipping up breakfasts for groups of eight or more (the last thing I’d ever try), and she seems to have a fine handle on being a short-order cook until she can find one.

This series entry could function as a standalone as details carried forward from the debut answer most questions. Strong character-driven book gives an affectionate look into a small southern town with all the flavors of the season. I might have done without all the short-order lessons, but enjoyed the side-trips into the hinterlands, and the sleuthing is very subtle. Red herrings aside, the conclusion is smooth and not wholly unexpected but was fun to see played out. The plot is well-paced and satisfying and is highly recommended. If you enjoy cozies, you will enjoy this one.

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four point Five of Five Stars 4.5 of five stars

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Giveaway

You MUST hurry (like today!) to get in on this one (1) chance to win a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card in the Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Lena Gregory - authorLena lives in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children.

When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories.

Author Links:

Website:  http://www.lenagregory.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lena.gregory.986

Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/Lena.Gregory.Author/?fref=ts

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LenaGregory03

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14956514.Lena_Gregory?from_search=true

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/lenagregoryauth/

Purchase Links:

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!

Tour Participants:

June 20 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

June 20 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 20 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 21 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW

June 21 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

June 22 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

June 22 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

June 22 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

June 23 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

June 23 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 24 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

June 24 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

June 25 – Varietats – REVIEW, GUEST POST

June 25 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

June 26 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

June 27 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – GUEST POST

June 27 – Readeropolis – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 27 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

June 28 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 28 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

June 29 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

June 29 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

June 30 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

June 30 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 1 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

July 1 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 2 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

July 2 – A Blue Million Books –  AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 3 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

July 3 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

Great Escapes Book ToursThanks to Lena Gregory, the publisher, NetGalley AND Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this cozy mystery!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Bad Time To Be In It by David Burnsworth #BlogTour #Spotlight #Giveaway

Bad Time To Be In It by David Burnsworth

I am super-excited today to provide a spotlight at my blog stop for Bad Time To Be In It by David Burnsworth on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour.

Book Details

Bad Time To Be In It (A Blu Carraway Mystery) by David Burnsworth
Mystery
2nd in Series
Henery Press (July 10, 2018)
Paperback 254 Pages
ISBN 9781635113587

ASIN B07C86TY8R

Book Blurb  

Bad Time To Be In It by David BurnsworthThe past is never past. Sometimes it repeats itself. And sometimes it comes back to pay a visit. Blu Carraway, flush with cash and back in business, never had it so good. Or so he thought. The reality is his love life is in shambles, his business partner is spending too much time with women half his age and not enough time on the job, and someone close goes missing. Blu’s business partner goes off the rails, his friends show their true colors, and he realizes that getting closure sometimes means walking away from everything. With a case from the past gone wrong twice, a loved one in trouble, and an unanswered marriage proposal, it’s a bad time to be in it for Blu Carraway Investigations.

 

Add to Goodreads

 Giveaway

The author will be giving away one (1)  autographed print or digital copy–winner’s choice–print copy US only in this Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

David Burnsworth - authorDavid Burnsworth became fascinated with the Deep South at a young age. After a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and fifteen years in the corporate world, he made the decision to write a novel. In It For The Money is his fourth mystery. Having lived in Charleston on Sullivan’s Island for five years, the setting was a foregone conclusion. He and his wife call South Carolina home.

Author Links:

Website   Facebook  Twitter   GoodReads

Purchase on Amazon

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!

Tour Participants:

June 25 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

June 25 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 26 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

June 26 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – SPOTLIGHT

June 27 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – GUEST POST

June 27 – The Book’s the Thing – SPOTLIGHT

June 28 – Readeropolis – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 28 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

June 29 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

June 29 – Rosepoint Publishing – SPOTLIGHT

June 30 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

July 1 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 2 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 2 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 3 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 4 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 5 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

July 6 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 7 – Island Confidential – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 8 – The Montana Bookaholic – CHARACTER GUEST POST Great Escapes Book Tours

I was granted a spotlight date of Bad Time To Be In It by David Burnsworth through tour host Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours–thank you!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

I’ve Been Watching You – a #BookReview

I've Been Watching You by K A Richardson

Title: I’ve Been Watching You by K A Richardson

Genre: Currently #2960 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Police Procedurals

Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Publication Date: June 23, 2016

Source: Bloodhound Books and NetGalley

Title and Cover: I’ve Been Watching You (The Forensic Files Book 1) – Appropriate setting for subject

Ben Cassidy is a CSI with Sunderland City who is raising four-year-old daughter Grace by herself. She lives with Aunt Aoife who took her in as a child when her parents died in an accident. She has moved back home after living in Dunham and brings with her baggage she is yet to completely resolve. She must wrestle with the lingering psychological and physical damage while Aunt Aoife has a secret of her own.

Jacob Tully is ex-military with experience in combat and physical and mental trauma, but is coping by lecturing in Digital Forensics when Ben attends a class as part of her continuing education. He still wrestles with an occasional flashback or bout of PTSD, though has been making progress. The IUD damage to his leg will continue to cause him pain. Both are damaged individuals and seem destined to find each other. Continue reading “I’ve Been Watching You – a #BookReview”

Tail of the Dragon (A Zodiac Mystery) by Connie di Marco #BookTour #BookReview #Giveaway

Tail of the Dragon by Connie di Marco

I am super-excited today to provide a review at my blog stop for Tail of the Dragon by Connie di Marco on her Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour.

Book Details

Tail of the Dragon (A Zodiac Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Midnight Ink (August 8, 2018)
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738751061
Digital ASIN: B075W42GWP

Book Blurb

San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti never thought murder would be part of her practice, but when her former boss and current client asks for help she agrees to go undercover at his law firm. Three people have received death threats and the only common denominator between them is a case long settled–the infamous Bank of San Francisco fire. Julia’s astrological expertise provides clues but no one wants to listen. Before she can solve the mystery, two people are dead and her own life is in danger. Julia must unmask the killer before he, or she, takes another life. Continue reading “Tail of the Dragon (A Zodiac Mystery) by Connie di Marco #BookTour #BookReview #Giveaway”

Confound It by Maggie Toussaint – a #BlogTour #BookReview and #Giveaway

Confound It - a Dreamwalker Mystery by Maggie Toussaint

I am super-excited today to provide a review for my blog stop for Confound It by Maggie Toussaint on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour.

Confound It (Dreamwalker Mystery #5)

Book Details

Cozy Mystery – Paranormal

  • Series: A Dreamwalker Mystery (Book 5)
  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Camel Press (June 1, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10:1603815953
  • ISBN-13:978-1603815956

Book Blurb

Confound It by Maggie ToussaintWhile hosting out-of-town guests at her Georgia home, Dreamwalker Baxley Powell is called upon to help investigate a suspicious fire. One of her guests, close friend and fellow dreamwalker Deputy Sam Mayes, accompanies her to the scene. A meth cook is dead, and when Baxley visits her beyond the Veil of Life, she determines that the woman was murdered. Baxley pities Mandy Patterson, a single mother with aspirations for her teenage son Doodle. Unconcerned about the death of a criminal, the authorities pursue the drug-supply chain angle. Baxley worries about Doodle and vows to find out who killed his mother. As the case grows more baffling, Baxley struggles against her attraction to Sam. Although her husband is missing and declared dead, she does not feel free to love again until she is sure of his fate. Two suspects have the strongest motive, but Baxley has reason to believe they are pawns in a deeper game. And unless she can stop them, the world will never be the same. Book 5 in the Dreamwalker Mystery series. Continue reading “Confound It by Maggie Toussaint – a #BlogTour #BookReview and #Giveaway”

Reading on the #Cozy Side with a Little #Sci-Fi, #K-9, or #HistFic for Spice

#TBR - #Cozies

It’s not true that I’ve gone to the Cozy side, but sometimes it does appear that way, huh.

Take for instance these five on my current #TBR pile. It would appear at least four are cozy, and you’d be part right. Obviously, however, Bad Time to be In It by David Burnsworth is a Blu Carraway mystery, actually classified by Amazon as “hard-boiled.” You may remember I used that term in the discussion on Family Noir.

A Souffle of Suspicion by Daryl Wood GerberThat would leave three with the cozy, women sleuth, and amateur sleuth designation, because (**surprise**) Soufflé of Suspicion by Daryl Wood Gerber has the additional distinction of also being classified as culinary. (Do you see more recipes in my future? The cover even SAYS “Includes Recipes.” But Nope!)

I really do enjoy a cozy mystery or two, particularly between heavier genres, such as the Irish historical fiction I recently reviewed or the sci-fi, or even the hysterically funny, campy, and definitely unique Ray vs the Meaning of Life by Michael F Stewart. If you missed it, see my review here.

At most, there may be a conceived pattern. If you detect the upcoming pattern is filled with food or decadent desserts, it would appear that food or desserts are a necessary ingredient for the genre. But please, no more recipes for me, unless it includes a pleasing classic cocktail.

©2018 V Williams V Williams

A Steep Price – a #BookReview

A Steep Price by Robert Dugoni

Title: A Steep Price (Tracy Crosswhite #6) by Robert Dugoni

Genre: Currently #57 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime Fiction, Murder

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: June 26, 2018

Source: Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley

Title and Cover: A Steep PriceCover hints dark plot

I found Robert Dugoni with number five of the Tracy Crosswhite series, Close to Home, and enjoyed enough that when I saw this offering, jumped on it. Dugoni delivers an intelligent police procedural, explaining certain courses of action that might otherwise give pause. This plot, as well as the last, is multi-layered with parallel investigations dividing the Violent Crimes A-Team, Seattle, Washington.

Tracy is finishing up a trial when she gets a call from a colleague with whom she has previously worked regarding missing person Kavita Mukherjee. While the missing person Detective Katie Pryor referred to her may not appropriately be in her department or jurisdiction, she agrees that the missing student doesn’t fit the normal profile and she calls in her partner, Kinsington Rowe, for some support knowing the window of time with which they are dealing is acutely short. But it is Tracy and Pryor who find Kavita’s body and that investigation escalates with Kins. Continue reading “A Steep Price – a #BookReview”

Rosepoint #Reviews – May Recap

Review Recap

June is heating up here in NWI! (OMG, did it turn hot!–from freezing to frying!) It was a semi-productive May month with books taking a back seat to the yard and garden while I could. News reports Chicago land received record-setting rainfall this year. We must have missed all that as I’ve had to water my slow-growing vegetables. The fairy garden, on the other hand, has been overrun with WEEDS far exceeding any bushes I planted, many of which are unidentifiable. Fortunately (knock on wood) no poison ivy (or ticks), so far. I’ve hit it with shovels, saws, and clippers, but the fairies are winning! Stay tuned…

In May I took part in spotlights, book blasts, and book tours during the month resulting in ten book reviews. 

  

(May) 2 – Micromium-Clean Energy from Mars 4 – Better Off Read 6 – The Mirror Shop 8 – Pick and Chews 13- Go Home, Afton 18-Dying Truth 20-Area 51: Redemption 22- Charlie Mac 27-Ray vs the Meaning of Life 29-Confessions of a Red Herring

My associate, The CE, read several and we accommodated five author requests in addition to Spotlights and #ThrowbackThursdays. Many of the book tours included Giveaways in which I hope you participated! Several of these titles stretched my reading chops and proved absolutely outstanding and will eventually go on a “Favorites” list I’ve yet to begin.

So what book tours can you anticipate coming in the near future? Here’s just a few (in hue compatible colors, of course). Please let me know if you are reading one of these as well! 

Upcoming Blog Tours

And just a little ditty I wrote for one of  my blogger buddies (who’d also spent a busy month):

Grab a cup, corral the pup, and set the puter churning,

then lift the book, correct the specs, and start the pages turning!

As always, I welcome my new followers, and sincerely appreciate the ones who continue to read and comment! Thank you! ©2018 V Williams V Williams

Confessions of a Red Herring by Dana Dratch – a #BlogTour #BookReview and #Giveaway

Confessions of a Red Herring by Dana Dratch

Title: Confessions of a Red Herring (A Red Herring Mystery #1) by Dana Dratch

Genre: Mystery, Cozy, Amateur Sleuths

Publisher: Kensington Books

Publication Date: HAPPY RELEASE DAY – May 29, 2018

Great Escapes Book ToursSource: Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours and NetGalley

Pages: 336 pages

ISBN-13: 978-1496716569

ASIN: B075C8FDT5

I am super-excited today to participate in the Publication Day for Confessions of a Red Herring by Dana Dratch on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour.

Book Blurb:

Alex Vlodnachek has been a reporter for 12 years, a P.R. rep for three months, and a murder suspect for all of 24 hours. When her agency’s double-dealing CEO is stabbed, scheming co-workers cast the new redhead as a compelling red herring. The story is media catnip—especially her salacious nickname: Vlod the Impaler.

Even Alex has to admit she looks guilty.

Out of a job and under suspicion, Alex is running low on cash, when she’s visited by a second disaster: her family. Soon her tiny bungalow is bursting with her nearest and not-so-dearest. To keep herself out of jail—and save what’s left of her sanity—Alex returns to her reporting roots. She goes undercover to reclaim her life, break the story, and unmask a murderer. Pretty much in that order.

What she doesn’t know: The killer also has a to-do list.
And Alex is on it. Continue reading “Confessions of a Red Herring by Dana Dratch – a #BlogTour #BookReview and #Giveaway”

Ray vs the Meaning of Life – a #BookReview

Ray vs the Meaning of LifeTitle: Ray vs the Meaning of Life by Michael F. Stewart

Genre: Currently # 147 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction, Metaphysical

Publisher: The Publishing House

Publication Date: May 15, 2018

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Ray vs the Meaning of Life – Fantastic cover–totally gets the subject

When I read the review by Nicole over at The BookWorm Drinketh for Ray vs the Meaning of Life, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy. (TY, Nicole, you nailed it!) Fortunately, it was still available (now archived) on NetGalley, though it was termed Humor, Teens, and YA. What?! Heaven knows I’ve violated several of my rules recently, why not this one? Well, I’m so glad, once again, that I stepped beyond my own comfortable genres to sample this “YA” novel. But really, YA? Amazon classifies the genre as Metaphysical and Visionary (oh, and Coming of Age).

Too bad.

It should have just stopped at Brilliant Literature. Continue reading “Ray vs the Meaning of Life – a #BookReview”

#ThrowbackThursday – Cold River Resurrection by Enes Smith

#ThrowbackThursday - spring

Renee began the #ThrowbackThursday 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. Hopefully, you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out. And, if you’d like to join the fun, you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic from her website. Just provide the link back to her please).

Cold River Resurrection by Enes SmithThis week I am highlighting Enes Smith, another terrific, prolific author who wrote Cold River Resurrection (Cold River #2), which I reviewed on Goodreads. He has actually written five in this series as well as another series and standalone books. This novel was published on April 11, 2011. He consistently runs approximately 4.4+ stars for any of his books sold on Amazon.

Originally posted October 14, 2014

Book Blurb:

If you love action-packed thrillers, don’t miss this journey with city girl Jennifer Kruger as she trespasses on the Cold River Indian Reservation, searching for a legendary creature. 

On a sunny July day, Jennifer becomes lost in a sacred wilderness area and stumbles upon evidence of terror and murder. As darkness falls, she learns of crimes that modern-day tribal police know only too well – insertion of meth on reservations by cartels, mid-eastern jihadists laundering money in Indian casinos, and the secret creatures in the sacred areas of the reservation that the Indians won’t talk about. A night of terror begins for Siyapu (white girl) Jennifer Kruger. 

Tribal Police Lieutenant Smokey Kukup, a veteran of the Afghanistan war, uses traditional Indian methods to track Jennifer. As they are caught up in a modern war, Smokey tries to keep his precocious daughter, Laurel, as well as those who trespass on the reservation, safe from harm.
Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – Cold River Resurrection by Enes Smith”

Charlie Mac – a #BookReview

Charlie Mac by Maria McDonaldTitle: Charlie Mac: A Story of Ordinary People Who Lived in Extraordinary Times by Maria McDonald

Genre: Currently #37389 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Historical Fiction

Publication Date: March 30, 2018

Source: Direct request by author

Title and Cover: Charlie MacThe chair holds significance but doesn’t wholly convey the tragedy that it included.

This is the fictional account of the life and death of Charlie McMullen, great-grandfather of the author which follows three generations through one of the most tumultuous times in the history of Ireland–specifically in Belfast.

Charlie was born in 1873 and died just after the Irish Home Rule Campaign ended with the establishment of the border dividing Ireland. A city fella, he married a country girl, Mary Jane from County Down. Her life experience was totally opposite his, as was her religion; hers being Catholic. We can’t help who we fall in love with and sometimes that will forever shape our destiny. But neither his Belfast neighbors nor their respective families were happy with the marriage. The couple thought, however, that the strength of their union would overcome objections. It couldn’t and didn’t, resulting in tragedy. Continue reading “Charlie Mac – a #BookReview”

Area 51: Redemption – a #BookReview

Area 51 - Redemption by Bob MayerTitle: Area 51: Redemption (Book 10 of 11) by NY Times Bestseller Bob Mayer

Genre: Currently #174 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, War & Military

Publication Date: April 24, 2018

Source: Won a copy on a Goodreads Giveaway!

Title and Cover: Area 51: Redemption – Cover continues the dynamite series covers

Area 51: Redemption is a continuation of the series regarding alien direction and population on earth and how their presence affected the human race through the millennia, leaving only the most subtle of reminders of their possible existence on the planet. In this, the tenth of the series, Mike Turcotte, is back as the ex-Special Forces officer who helped free the earth of the Airlia while winning WWIII. But Turcotte kept a secret–far worse than that of the Airlia domination.

(From the Amazon book blurb: “The continuation of the series that has sold over 2 million copies, screenplay written by the man who penned Alien, Total Recall and produced Minority Report and is Cool Gus approved. This book will be followed by Area 51: Invasion on 14 July 2018.”)

You would be correct in that if this is a sci-fi, I probably had my associate reviewer read and contribute his review to mine. Also, as always, I’ll post his review here first. Continue reading “Area 51: Redemption – a #BookReview”

Dying Truth – a #BookReview

Dying Truth by Angela MarsonsTitle: Dying Truth (Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller Series Book 8) by Angela Marsons

Genre: Currently #36 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense, Crime, Serial Killers, and #47 in Mystery/Police Procedurals, AND an Amazon Author ranking of #4 in Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Police Procedurals

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication Date: Happy Publication Day – May 18, 2018

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Dying TruthDark, compelling

OMG, maybe it’s good I’ve never been wealthy! In this, the 8th in the DI Kim Stone series, the reader is introduced to life for the super elite school child. These privileged kids go to Heathcrest Academy. Education for uber snobs–maybe, but not all of them–there are some who have not been enrolled in money. And kids can be cruel. But I digress… Continue reading “Dying Truth – a #BookReview”

#ThrowbackThursday – Loose Ends by Terri Reid

#ThrowbackThursday

Renee began the #ThrowbackThursday meme on her blog, It’s Book Talk to share some of her old favorites as well as to share books published over a year ago. Hopefully, you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out. And, if you’d like to join the fun, you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic from her website. (Just provide the link back to her please).

This week I am highlighting Terri Reid, another terrific, prolific author who wrote Loose Ends, Mary O’Reilly Paranormal Mystery series book 1, which I reviewed on Goodreads. She has actually written twenty in this series, but has published additional series. This novel was self-published on August 1, 2010. She consistently runs approximately 4.0+ stars for any of her books sold on Amazon and her story is as fascinating as her books. She released book 20 of this series, Clear Expectations, on November 27, 2017.

Originally posted July 8, 2015

Loose Ends by Terri ReidBook Blurb:

Dying is what changed Mary O’Reilly’s life. Well, actually, coming back from the dead and having the ability to communicate with ghosts is really what did it. 

Now, a private investigator in rural Freeport, Illinois, Mary’s trying to learn how to incorporate her experience as a Chicago cop and new-found talent into a real job. Her challenge is to solve the mysteries, get real evidence (a ghost’s word just doesn’t hold up in court), and be sure the folks in town, especially the handsome new police chief, doesn’t think she’s nuts.

Twenty-four years ago, a young woman drowned in the swimming pool of a newly elected State Senator. It was ruled an accident. But now, as the Senator prepares to move on to higher positions, the ghost of the woman is appearing to the Senator’s wife.
Mary is hired to discover the truth behind the death. She unearths a connection between the murder and the disappearance of five little girls whose cases, twenty-four years later, are still all unsolved. As she digs further she becomes the next target for serial killers’ quest to tie up all his loose ends.

My Review:

Obviously, Terri Reid has a winner in her Mary O’Reilly paranormal series as she’s written 15 of them successfully. I can see why. I greatly enjoyed Mary with her ghostly characters popping in and out on her, although Bradley channeling through her might have stretched the imagination a bit much. Still, it’s a ghost story–who’s to know? (Only thing I didn’t enjoy was the formatting.)

A former crack Chicago cop up for detective, Mary is killed in the line of duty and resuscitated back to life with the ability to see ghosts who are drawn to her looking to help them move into the next dimension. Most are stuck between worlds because of an unnatural death.

Mary moves out of Chicago to small town Freeport to begin anew, where Bradley comes in as Chief of Police who is also creating a new rural life and has a secret of his own. Her best buds, Stanley and Rosie, provide great sub-characters that add dimension to the story as well as police chief Bradley, who is so contrary, he’ll end up a love interest.  Mary is called on to help solve the mystery of the death of a senator’s lover whose ghost is now invading their reconciled lives and discovers it is chronologically related to the disappearance of five little girls.

The dialogue is snappy and sometimes humorous and there is plenty of interaction between characters in a plot that moves along nicely and keeps you reading. I was hooked with book 1 that kept to the paranormal mystery genre, but not so favorably with book 10 where it turned romancy, planning her wedding.

I received the book through a BookBub offer. Love those free BookBub offers, they very seldom disappoint!

Add to goodreads

About the Author

Terri Reid - author(Amazon Author Page) Terri Reid has been telling ghosts stories since she was a toddler. Her mother tells of a time when two-year-old Terri would sit in her highchair, look past her mother into the dark back porch and say, “Look. Man.” When her mother would turn in horror, Terri would laugh delightedly.

Terri lives in the same area of the United States as her Mary O’Reilly character, Northwest Illinois. She lives on five acres of rolling land in a 100-year-old farmhouse, with her husband, children, dogs, cats and several dozen chickens (well, the chickens live in the barn.)

Her background is in marketing and public relations, but she has always enjoyed telling stories. For a while, she worked as a freelance journalist for the local paper and wrote the Halloween feature for many years, collecting as many local ghost stories as she could. She gave her collection of local ghost stories to the local historical society to use as a fundraiser, they are now in their third printing.

(Goodreads Author page) Terri Reid is the author of the Mary O’Reilly Paranormal Mysteries. An Indie author, Reid uploaded her first book “Loose Ends” in August 2010. By the end of 2012, “Loose Ends” had sold over 82,000 copies and, as of the writing of this bio, was the number one bestselling book in Amazon’s ranking of Ghost Stories in the Book/Literature & Fiction/Genre Fiction/Horror/Ghosts section and the number two in the same area in the Kindle eBooks section. She has eight other books in the Mary O’Reilly Series and has enjoyed Top Rated and Hot New Release status for many of them in the Women Sleuths category through Amazon US. Her books have been translated into Spanish and Portuguese and are also now also available through CreateSpace and Amazon in print versions. She is also working on an audiobook for “Loose Ends.”

Reid has been quoted in a number of books about the self-publishing industry including “Let’s Get Digital” by David Gaughran and “Interviews with Indie Authors: Top Tips from Successful Self-Published Authors” by Claire and Tim Ridgway. She was also honored to have some of her works included in A. J. Abbiati’s book “The NORTAV Method for Writers – The Secrets to Constructing Prose Like the Pros.” She has also had the distinct privilege of guest blogging for Joe Konrath.

Reid is from Northwest Illinois, near the town of Freeport, the home of her fictional characters. Her background is in marketing and public relations. She is married, is the mother of seven children and the grandmother of eleven. Her constant writing companions are Riley, a Bernese Mountain Dog-Golden Retriever mix; Hans, a German Shepard mix; and McDuff, a Siamese cat.

Check out the other members of Throwback Thursday to see what classics they are highlighting this week. 

More Throwback Thursday Blogs

Renee at Its Book Talk

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Rebecca at The Book Whisperer

Lynne at Fictionophile

Sam at Clues and Reviews

Holly B at Dressedtoread

Deanna at DeesRadReads and Reviews

Amanda at Literary Weaponry

Annie at The Misstery

Mischenko at Read Rant Rock and Roll

Laurie at Cozy Nook Books

Ann Marie at LItWitWineDine

©2018 V Williams V Williams

#BlogTour Review Stop and #Giveaway–Stinger by Bill Fortin

Stinger Blog Tour by Virtual Author Book Tours

I am thrilled to present today my blog tour stop for Stinger by Bill Fortin presented by my associate reviewer, the CE, on April 6, 2018, and promoted by Premier Virtual Author Book Tours. Read the CE’s full review of this exciting military action-adventure narrative here and please don’t miss your chance for this Super Giveaway–link below!

 Publisher:  Cold War Publications (February 9, 2018)
Category: Action/Adventure, War, Military, Crime
Tour dates: May/June, 2018
ISBN: 978-0996478618
Available in Print and ebook, 432 pages

Book Blurb:

Rick Fontain is back… This Cold War adventure takes the reader inside the classified exploits of Senator Charlie Wilson and CIA’s Task Force Chief, Gust Avrakotos. Strange bedfellows they were… their alliance proved to be one of the most successful partnerships in the history of the CIA. Stinger: Operation Cyclone recounts the outcomes of their efforts.

The adventure begins with the election of Ronald Regan in 1979. This was the same year that the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Early in 1982 POTUS called for a plan of action to arm and finance the Jihadi warriors known as the Mujahideen. Operation Cyclone was the code name assigned to this project.

Rick is reunited with his Redeye instructor, Andy Davis, and together they would design a plan to kill Buku Russian aircraft. The operation stalls until Rick thwarts an assignation attempt on one, Maalouf Torki bin Taisei. Mr. Taisei is a Malaysian government official. He is also the largest arms dealer on the Pacific Rim.

The Russian KGB suspects that President of Pakistan, Zia, and his ISI have aligned themselves with the American’s. Their attacks are fierce, but, the result was not what they expected. President Regan issued a change to the original operation requirements. The gloves were to come off. Rick Fontain is told to do whatever it takes to get Stinger into the hands of the Afghan Freedom Fighters.

American Special Forces, the Green Beret and DELTA, are sent to the ISI’s Ojhri Camp located just outside of Islamabad. CIA operatives LTC Jim Pezlola and CWO Gary Larson, solicit the Mujahideen Command to provide students for the very first class of Stinger shooters.

Rick takes the graduating class into Afghanistan to the Russian airbase at Bagram. The rest… as they say… is history. Operation Cyclone may not have ended the Cold War, but it certainly had weakened the Soviet Union’s resolve. So much so… that in 1993 it financially collapsed.

“Joining is hard, belonging is earned, and committing to those you serve with will define you forever.”

Enjoy this Book Trailer Stinger: Operation Cyclone (Rick Fontain 2) by Bill Fortin

 

About the Author

Bill Fortin - authorBill Fortin served in the United States Army, 3rd Armor Division, from April 1968 to the first part of 1970. In 2012 while transporting Redhawk, a Quarter horse, to a medical facility in Pennsylvania he had a flashback to 1970.  The cause was the turnpike signage that pointed to the VA Hospital at Perryville.   He knew at that moment that the exploits of Cold Warriors of 40 plus years passed had waited long enough to be told. The result was a novel entitled Redeye Fulda Cold.

He had retired from Bell Labs in 2001, and is currently the CEO of IBS, Inc., specializing in systems engineering. He has a Master’s in the Management Sciences from the University of Baltimore. He lives with his wife Judy, a gaggle of Border Collies, and other 4 legged and featured companions in the rolling hills of Westminster, Maryland.

Find Bill Fortin at:

Website: https://booklaunch.io/704732506290559/54bfb1709a8c4222149ddd7e
Blog: http://billfortin.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bill.fortin.104
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BillFortin

Please note, this Rafflecopter giveaway is tour wide. This giveaway is for one print copy or ebook copy of the book.  Print is available to the U.S. only but ebook is available worldwide.  This giveaway ends on June 12, 2018 at midnight Pacific time.  Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only. Unfortunately, since I can’t seem to embed the Rafflecopter code, please follow the host link and scroll down to his Rafflecopter form or click ⇓

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stinger is now available at these retailers:

Amazon
BarnesandNoble
IndieBound
BookDepository

Follow the complete tour here:

Indie Review Behind the Scenes Apr 7 Video Interview

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Apr 30 Interview

Grady Amazon Review May 1 Review

Jay Amazon Review May 2 Review

Robert Amazon Review May 3 Review

The Doctor Amazon Review May 4 Review

Virginia Rosepoint Publishing May 15 Review

Chris Amazon Review May 17 Review

Jas International Book Reviews May 24 Review

Katy Amazon Review May 25 Review

Shannon  Infinite House of Books May 30 Interview

Sherry My Reading Journeys June 7 Review & Excerpt

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus June 11 Review

2018 V Williams V Williams

There is a Difference Between 5 Stars on Amazon vs Goodreads

Goodreads vs Amazon Stars

Back in April 2017, I originally wrote this post regarding the difference in star rating definitions between Goodreads and Amazon. Perhaps little has changed.

There is certainly a difference between most of the major book retailers (and I’ve since taken note of the star rating definitions in Barnes & Noble as well as Kobo). As I’m sure you’ve no doubt noticed if you’ve ever moused over the stars on Amazon and Goodreads–there is a difference in the star ratings between the two. Are you one who thinks the star rating is equivalent to personal perception? Or have you read and understood the star definitions of both? I’ve run up against this before, debating what to do; set my star ratings the same on both websites–or change to more closely indicate my objective opinion on each.

A Goodreads five star indicates you thought the book “amazing.” I don’t consider that the same as, “I love it.” So what is the difference between the two? Note the graphic above.

Goodreads

Star Rating

1  Did not like it

2  It was okay

3  I liked it

4  I really liked it

5  It was amazing

Amazon

Star Rating

1  I hate it

2  I don’t like it

3  It’s okay

4  I like it

5  I love it

Really, neither of the two asks your opinion regarding the plotting, dialogue, characterization, grammar, or level of typos. It’s a matter of how much you liked the book–what did you like–what did you dislike. Perhaps that makes sense considering the reading levels of the average reader.

Does the average reviewer actually use the website assigned stars or simply judge based on the use of their own system?

In a 2015 study by McGill University, it was found that Amazon has higher average ratings compared to Goodreads and Goodreads users gave four stars more often than Amazon users (36.26%). That translation bears exactly how I would interpret the meaning behind the stars of those two websites as well. How many times does a conscientious book reviewer look for a compromise and assign a half point–4.5 stars, but are then forced to round up or down–well, THAT’s subjective then, not objective!

They maintain, therefore, that the Goodreads ratings fall in the range of 3 to 4 stars while Amazon ratings fall between 4 and 5 stars. Their argument extends to a higher average for some genres (i.e., biographies) on Amazon than are found on Goodreads. Makes sense if you consider Goodreads basically shifts one point lower, making only one a negative, one a neutral, and three more positive. That makes your four-star rating on Goodreads equivalent to Amazon five.

Their additional argument extends further in the propensity of Amazon reviewers to help “sell” the book, whereon Goodreads tends to more journalistic attributes, concentrating on the book’s content.

Also surprising, the study found that Amazon reviews tend to be a greater length, which flies in the face of that which I was taught–keep it short on Amazon–expand on the description on Goodreads–and just have fun with it on your own website. Indeed, I’ve been asked to keep my reviews short on Amazon to allow for more visible reviews on the landing page.

Kristen Twardowski in her recent WordPress post, “What to do with Goodreads,” says “Goodreads is the largest book review website on the internet.” She goes on to cite April 2017 statistics that show over 55 million members wrote an astounding 50 million reviews.  (And you thought your book was being buried on Amazon!) A quick search on Amazon shows print title totals vary, although if we use Amazon best sellers rank numbers, there are over 13 million–and over 800,000 ebook titles.

Amazon gobbled up Goodreads in March 2013. There have been a number of arguments regarding the star ratings disparity since then. Wikipedia noted, “Some authors, however, believe the purchase means that the “best place to discuss books is joining up with the best place to buy books.”

The updates to the Kindle app requesting a star rating at the end of the book you are reading begs an additional argument. If you hit the star rating link without consideration of the rating definition differences and the site links to Amazon as well as Goodreads, in my mind, the ratings become skewed.

I like the breakdown that Greg Zimmerman showed on his blog post appearing in June 2011 in which he whittled it down further: 4 and 5 stars==liked it, 3 stars=neutral, and 1 and 2 stars=don’t like it. He then compares Amazon stats to Goodreads stats and in the end concluded there’s a good reason for Goodreads reviews being lower. There continues to be skepticism for Amazon reviews on many of the forums, which agrees with my own perception and that I posted here. Two of my favorite reads this year (reviewed on this blog) with 15 or more ratings in GR’s also reflect McGill’s consensus.

The Fifteenth of JuneThe Fifteenth of June

Amazon – 15 ratings (average 4.7) 94% 4 stars or better

Goodreads – 24 ratings (average 4.0) 80% 4 stars or better

So Much Owed-#1 Amazon BestsellerSo Much Owed

Amazon – 268 ratings (average 4.7) – 94% 4 stars or better

Goodreads – 616 ratings (average 4.29) 86% 4 stars or better

There is credibility with Goodreads reviews. As a reader, have you performed review searches on Goodreads? Did you find they closely followed your own opinions? Did you compare the two? Judging by the number of review requests I receive, it would appear authors are still seeking strong Amazon authentication. I get it–lots of five stars on your Amazon book helps to spread the word (not so much the algorithm, which is based on sales). I hope you feel good about your Goodreads reviews and continue to press for Amazon reviews as well. Do you search for reviews before you purchase?

©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!