July Rosepoint Reviews Recap—It’s the Dog Days of August

Our daughter arrived early July and the hunt for the house kicked into high gear. As she has her mind set on Missouri, we’ve been through a number of trips to check out houses—few looking like the pictures. My reading/reviewing schedule has run well off the rails and will continue to do so until she is settled, now appearing to be early September. In the meantime, posting reviews will be erratic and apologies ahead of time if I’ve missed release dates. I’m getting there, albeit slowly.

We posted fourteen book reviews for July that included ARCs from NetGalley, author requests, and audiobooks from our local library.  

Cajun Kiss of Death by Ellen Byron When Heroes Flew: The Shangri-La Raiders One Little Lie by Christopher Greyson The Making of Outlander Man On Fire by Humphrey Hawksley Dublin Moon by Mike Faricy Seven-Year Witch by Angela M Sanders His and Hers by Alice Feeney The Vineyard Victims by Ellen Crosby Murder in Connemara by Carlene O'Connor The Perfect Ending by Rob Kaufman This Much Huxley Knows by Gail Aldwin Vortex by Catherine Coulter Bad Medicine by James B Cohoon

Cajun Kiss of Death: A Cajun Country Mystery by Ellen Byron
When Heroes Flew: The Shangri-La Raiders by H W “Buzz” Bernard
One Little Lie: A Thrilling Suspense Novel by Christopher Greyson
TV Netflix Series Outlander vs #Audiobook by Diana Gabaldon (Author) and Davina Porter (Narrator)
Man On Fire (A Rake Ozenna Thriller Book 3) by Humphrey Hawksley
Dublin Moon (Jack Dillon Dublin Tales Book 10) by Mike Faricy
Seven-Year Witch (Witch Way Librarian Mysteries) by Angela M Sanders
His & Hers: A Novel by Alice Feeney
The Vineyard Victims by Ellen Crosby
Murder in Connemara (A Home to Ireland Mystery Book 2) by Carlene O’Connor
The Perfect Ending by Rob Kaufman
This Much Huxley Knows: A Story of Innocence, Misunderstandings and Acceptance by Gail Aldwin
Vortex: An FBI Thriller by Catherine Coulter (Book 25)
Bad Medicine (The Medical Students Book 2) by James B Cohoon

I haven’t been able to keep up with my challenges, so will try and get that updated during the month as I believe we’ll be away from the computer the first week of September. You can check out my challenges progress by clicking on my Reading Challenges page.

Welcome to my new followers and thank you again to all my active followers. Hang in with me, please. Hopefully your August won’t still be facing Covid or its variants. Have a happy and peaceful Sunday!

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Bad Medicine (The Medical Students Book 2) by James B Cohoon–#BookReview – #medicalthrillers

“Another nocebo effect in Room 12.”

Book Blurb:

Bad Medicine by James B CohoonFrom busy hospitals in San Diego to the barren deserts of Arizona, this tension-filled thriller, the second installment of The Medical Students series, follows the life and death challenges, the surprising twists and turns, and the ethical dilemmas of two young doctors in their quest to rid the profession of bad doctors who practice bad medicine resulting in bad outcomes.

Book One, Do No Harm, introduced Torrey Jamison and Matthew Preston. Torrey, with her genius IQ, gained acceptance to Stanford Medical School to pursue her dream of becoming a pediatric neurosurgeon in honor of her little sister, Leia, who died of brain cancer. At Stanford, she met her future husband, Matthew, who pursued medical school for the sole purpose of becoming a prison doctor in order to gain access to—and kill—his father’s murderer who was incarcerated in San Quentin. As their relationship deepened, Torrey was forced to confront the potential value and moral ambiguity of vigilantism.

In this page-turning, stand-alone suspense sequel, Bad Medicine, newlyweds Torrey and Matthew have graduated from medical school and are now new doctors at Kaiser hospital in San Diego. While there, they learn of a friend’s young niece who has fallen victim to a doctor who is running a phony cancer treatment center. Putting their careers and marriage in jeopardy, Dr. Jamison and Dr. Preston agree to help their friend’s family seek the ultimate revenge.

My Review:

While I greatly enjoy medical thrillers, particularly those that impart tidbits of knowledge of the medical field, I must admit to more than once scoffing at scenes in this narrative.

Bad Medicine by James B CohoonTorrey Jamison and Matthew Preston are newlyweds who have taken positions at Kaiser Hospital in San Diego. So far, so good (as my assumption with Kaiser doctors is that they are not particularly well seasoned). Torrey appears to be the brilliant pediatric neurosurgeon in the making, while Matthew is the hard-working nose to the grindstone GP. Matthew measures his responses while Torrey is the brilliant knee-jerk fireball and they both have issues, specifically Matthew who goes totally against his persona to work at San Quentin for the sole purpose of revenge.

However, having fulfilled that act of personal justice, now the wheels have flipped for Torrey and she is head and shoulders into stopping (forever) a doctor who is pulling in major bucks on a phony cancer treatment for children with terminal brain tumors.

I just wasn’t able to swallow that these two medical  residents would risk everything to devote any “extra” time they had to investigating the doctor and his phony practice. The author went for dramatic effect but pushed too unrealistic. The “nocebo effect” wasn’t something I was familiar with and the lack of medical attention afforded the casualty was callous. I couldn’t understand the flip in their moral codes or the choices made as persons of the profession to “do no harm” and found the writing style a bit awkward.

I didn’t read Book 1, but found this standalone a little too improbable. The pacing was a bit slow for me. There will be those who enjoy medical thrillers with twists and they will enjoy but perhaps it just wasn’t the book for me.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley and these are my honest thoughts.

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

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Book Details:

Genre: Medical Thrillers, Vigilante Justice
Publisher: TouchPoint Press
ASIN: B097S4ZFK2
Print Length: 248 pages
Publication Date: June 30, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble 

 

James B Cohoon - authorThe Author: James Cohoon was the president of a Los Angeles based law firm until his early retirement in 2014. As a civil litigation lawyer for over 30 years, he frequently lectured and published legal articles. His daily work included writing legal briefs for judges and other lawyers which were, in essence, ‘stories’ to fit the facts of his hundreds of legal cases. He resides in California with his high-school sweetheart, Rozanne, with whom he has two children–Kristin, a lawyer who is presently a stay-at-home mother, and Travis, a doctor who is just starting a cardiology fellowship.

Besides playing with his grandsons–Everett and Beckett–James enjoys sighting Orca whales from the San Juan Islands shoreline, playing bridge, and mowing the lawn.

Do No Harm (The Medical Students, Book 1) is his debut novel. Book 2 in the series is in the works.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Vortex: An FBI Thriller by Catherine Coulter (Book 25) – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

#1 Best Seller in Psychic Suspense

Book Blurb:

#1 New York Times bestselling Catherine Coulter returns with a brilliant new novel in her FBI thriller series, in which agents Sherlock and Savich find themselves dealing with very powerful figures from the past who could wreak havoc in the present.

Vortex by Catherine CoulterSeven years ago, Mia Briscoe was at a college frat rave with her best friend, Serena, when a fire broke out. Everyone was accounted for except Serena, who was never seen nor heard from again. Now an investigative journalist covering the political scene in New York City, Mia discovers old photos taken the night of Serena’s disappearance and begins to uncover a sinister string of events going all the way back to that disastrous party. Working with Sherlock, the secrets begin to unravel. But some very powerful—and very dangerous—people will do anything to keep them from learning the truth.

CIA Operative Olivia Hildebrandt is a team leader on a mission in Iran to exfiltrate a betrayed undercover operative. She’s nearly killed by an exploding grenade and saved by a team member. But by the time Olivia is released from Walter Reed Hospital, that team member and a critical flash drive he was carrying have disappeared. When Olivia is attacked on her first night home, Savich suspects that the strike is a direct result of the compromised mission and the missing team member and flash drive. But what intelligence was at stake and who betrayed them?

His Review:

A young gamer is killed by an accidental punch in the face by Snake, a master gamer. They had been having a great time but things got out of hand. Snake claims it was an accident and her death was not intentional. Wrapped in an old tarp she is being forever lost to her family and friends.

Vortex by Catherine CoulterMia and her friend Serena are on their way to a rave. Mia is miffed at Serena because she seems to want to forego the party. Mia is angry because the rules for men and women are entirely unfair. How did things get so messed up?

Fraternity brothers were offering a drink called a “Crazy Mary,” guaranteed to make even the most virginal woman put out. Serena begins to act strangely and then winds up missing. How could this be? She did not even want to come to this party.

Seven years later Mia still wonders what could have happened to Serena. She currently has a position as investigative reporter for Guardian Magazine. Her current assignment is a political candidate.

Alexander Talbot Harrington is a very rich society climber who does as he wishes with women. He is tall and handsome and has no problem having opportunities. He is running for the mayor of New York City. Most of the population feels he is a shoo-in for the job. His “wing man” is his social equal but lacking in self-confidence. He is a possible candidate for weakest link in the crime and investigation.

Ms. Coulter is a master story teller with multiple plots happening simultaneously. The result is a continuously intriguing tale which is difficult to put down. With three police agencies working to solve this and other crimes, the criminals are quickly in their cross-hairs. Alex and his wing-man feel they are smarter than anyone and will not be caught. The writer puts them into their proper place.

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: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Details:

Genre: Psychic Thrillers, Psychic Suspense, Historical Thrillers
Publisher: William Morrow
ASIN: B08N18WD7Q
Print Length: 400 pages
Publication Date: August 10, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Vortex [Amazon] 
Barnes and Noble
Kobo

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Catherine Couler - authorThe Author: Catherine Coulter is the New York Times bestselling author of 87 books. Her numerous historical romances established her as an icon in the genre and a must-read for readers world wide. Coulter’s readership has also grown exponentially with her hugely popular “unputdownable” FBI thriller series, starring the husband and wife team FBI agents Savich and Sherlock. Her FBI thrillers have expanded to include a new international thriller series — A Brit in the FBI — co-written with popular thriller writer JT Ellison. This six-book series has also captured a dedicated readership with high-stakes, fast-paced international cases involving new characters Nicholas and Mike. Coulter has also added a new novella series, starring Grayson Sherbrooke (from the Sherbrooke historical romance series), titled The Grayson Sherbrooke Otherworldly Adventures. Currently there are four novellas — the 5th installment will be released later this summer. (The Grayson books are available only in ebook.)

Upcoming new release! The 25th book in her FBI thriller series, VORTEX, will be released on August 10th, 2021. Coulter lives in northern California with her thriller cat Eli and her thriller husband. She enjoys hearing from readers and posts on her Facebook page daily. Please visit her at her website http://www.catherinecoulter.com for more information.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

This Much Huxley Knows: A Story of Innocence, Misunderstandings and Acceptance by Gail Aldwin – #BookReview – Friendship Fiction

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

This Much Huxley Knows by Gail AldwinI’m seven years old and I’ve never had a best mate. Trouble is, no one gets my jokes. And Breaks-it isn’t helping. Ha! You get it, don’t you? Brexit means everyone’s falling out and breaking up.

Huxley is growing up in the suburbs of London at a time of community tensions. To make matters worse, a gang of youths is targeting isolated residents. When Leonard, an elderly newcomer chats with Huxley, his parents are suspicious. But Huxley is lonely and thinks Leonard is too. Can they become friends?

Funny and compassionate, this contemporary novel for adults explores issues of belonging, friendship and what it means to trust. 

His Review:

Huxley is a very precocious young boy. His forté is understanding words by re-spelling them in his head. The fun in the story is his occasional misunderstanding of the meaning and the resultant chaos resulting from this error. His vocabulary is very advanced for his age group. However, in school he is often corrected by his teacher who recognizes his attempted faux pas, and he wonders why his jokes are curtailed.

This Much Huxley Knows by Gail AldwinHe has difficulty making friends. One of his friends is Leonard, a senior invalid in a wheelchair. Leonard understands his jokes and is often good for a small piece of chocolate. The adults in the school community take umbrage to his hanging around the school yard and giving candy to the children. Huxley cannot understand why he is restricted from seeing and visiting with Leonard.

The innocence of youth runs headlong into the wisdom of parents. He is told not to talk to Leonard or go near him. He is confounded by this directive and is hurt by his fathers’ lack of understanding about his friend. Many of the other parents, especially the fathers, take it upon themselves to correct the situation.

The story is replete with suspicion and innuendo. The ending is satisfied when the situation with Leonard is fully understood. Huxley is asked to curtail his visits with Leonard but still has the ability for an occasional visit. The author visits the situation from both the innocence of youth and the suspicion of the parents involved.

CE WilliamsThe manipulation of words by this young wordsmith make the reading fun and amusing. I highly recommend it. 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.

Book Details:

Genre: British Contemporary Literature, Friendship Fiction, Coming of Age Fiction
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
ASIN: B0944Q8SGV
Print Length: 217 pages
Publication Date: July 8, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: This Much Huxley Knows [Amazon]
Barnes and Noble

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Gail Aldwin - authorThe Author: Gail Aldwin is a British writer who has lived and worked in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Uganda and Spain. As well as novels, short fiction and poetry, Gail co-writes short plays and comedy sketches with 3-She, a collaborative group of three women writers. Their shows have been staged at theatres and arts centres in South West England. Follow Gail on social media – she loves to interact with readers and writers.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/gailaldwin
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gailaldwinwriter/
Blog: https://gailaldwin.com

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

The Perfect Ending by Rob Kaufman–#BookReview – #psychologicalthriller

Rosepoint Rating: Five stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

The Perfect Ending by Rob KaufmanParalyzed by writer’s block, Scott Atwood’s career is over, and so, he’s decided, is his life. He just has to figure out the perfect ending befitting a popular, award-winning thriller-suspense author who always gives his fans a mind-blowing finale.

But just as Scott resolves to jump in front of a train, he conceives the ideal plot for his next bestseller — a writer of psychological thrillers who decides to wreak havoc in other people’s lives in order to help him come up with ideas for his next book.

Looking for inspiration, he exposes his neighbor’s affair with devastating and far-reaching repercussions, and his plan soon begins to spiral wildly out of control. But what is fiction? And what is reality? The lines blur in this twisted and masterful Hitchcockian thriller with the perfect ending. The question is… to what?

My Review:

Wow! I love it when I stumble on a psychological thriller totally unique in concept, twisty plot, amazing characters and then delivers on an equally delicious conclusion catching the reader in a stunning twist you’ll never see coming.

You think you get a good concept of the plot by the Prologue. You are sooo having the wool pulled over your eyes and then you get into the story.

The Perfect Ending by Rob KaufmanThen you are introduced to Scott Atwood, a famous award-winning author. He’s just short of loathsome. This is the main character? I didn’t like him from the beginning. He’s hit the wall with the famous writer’s block for months. His agent, his publisher is breathing down his neck. He’s promised them another bestseller and can’t figure out anything to write about and is missing deadlines. He needs something spectacular. What to do?

One last ditch effort: he’ll take his laptop to the train station.
Write his next book or jump in front of a train.

Perfect ending in view of those thrillers he’s written. Nothing mundane for him!

Then he sees something that sparks an idea. It’s brilliant! He’s thrilled. And with a little encouragement, a slight push, he can force the story from his neighbors and watch them as they literally unfold his new bestselling thriller in front of him.

This storyline fires the imagination from the get-go. Hook, line, and you must finish the book. Can he really create this much misery? This much havoc? His neighbors all have stories and he paints them in full color realism. My heart ached for Brad, weeped for Joel. They are so well-fleshed. You believe it all.

It’s dark, delightfully deceiving, and emotionally wringing. The author tweaks his main character with just a slight amount of humor and moral justification. It’s so wrong. Twisted mystery, suspense. I released more than one audible groan…omg. This one is a must read!

I received a complimentary review ARC of this book from the publisher and NetGalley and these are my honest thoughts. I loved this one. It’s short but powerful and highly recommended.

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Book Details:

Genre: Suspense, Thrillers, Suspense Thrillers

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B097LVL54P

Print Length: 238 pages
Publication Date: June 19, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble 

 

Rob Kaufman - authorThe Author: Rob‘s Psychology degree has helped him create characters with whom people can relate, while at the same time bringing them on a journey from which most would crumble. Making sure he keeps his readers in suspense from the very start, Rob’s three books have made him a 5-star contender in the psychological thriller genre. His fourth book, “The Perfect Ending” will be released in July of 2021.

Catch Rob at http://AuthorRobKaufman.com/.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Murder in Connemara (A Home to Ireland Mystery Book 2) by Carlene O’Connor – #sundayselfie

#sundayselfie

Yes! I’m a winner! I recently won this beautiful book on Goodreads. Murder in Connemara by Carlene O’Connor. Thank you to the author and the publisher, Kensington Books!

Book Blurb

The bestselling author of the Irish Village mysteries sets her new series in Galway County, where former New York interior designer Tara Meehan finds murder in the ruins. 

Murder in Connemara by Carlene O'ConnorFormer New Yorker and interior designer Tara Meehan is eagerly anticipating the grand opening of her architectural salvage shop Renewals in her newly adopted home of Galway. She’s in the midst of preparations when heiress Veronica O’Farrell bursts in to announce she’s ready for some renewal of her own. To celebrate one year of sobriety, she’s invited seven people she wronged in her drinking days to historic Ballynahinch Castle Hotel in neighboring Connemara to make amends in style.

But perhaps one among them is not so eager to pardon her past misdeeds. Veronica is found lying in the ruins of manor house Clifden Castle with an antique Tara Brooch buried in her heart—the same brooch Tara Meehan admired in her shop the day before, posting a photo with the caption: #Killerbrooch. Now she’s a prime suspect, along with Veronica’s guests, all of whom had motives to stab the heiress. It’s up to Tara to pin down the guilty party . . .

AUTHOR LINKS

Website

Goodreads

About the Author

Carlene O'Connor - authorCarlene O’Connor comes from a long line of Irish storytellers. Her great-grandmother emigrated from Ireland to America during the Troubles, and the stories have been flowing ever since. Of all the places across the pond she’s wandered, she fell most in love with a walled town in County Limerick and was inspired to create the town of Kilbane, County Cork. Carlene currently divides her time between New York and the Emerald Isle.

Book Details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08MBF7RJQ
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kensington Books
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ July 27, 2021
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 283 pages
  • Genre: International Mystery & Crime, Amateur Sleuth Mysteries

Buy Links

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

I haven’t read from Book 1 but enjoyed several others in the series, including Murder in an Irish Cottage, Murder in an Irish Pub, Murder in an Irish Bookshop, and Murder in an Irish Christmas and have enjoyed them all. If you’ve missed this atmospheric series, now is the time to check them out. This novel currently on pre-order. My review on Tuesday, July 20.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

The Vineyard Victims by Ellen Crosby – #Audiobook Review

The Vineyard Victims by Ellen Crosby

Book Blurb:

The death of a former presidential candidate in a fiery car crash at her Virginia vineyard has ties to a 30-year-old murder, as well as to Lucie Montgomery’s own near-fatal accident 10 years ago, as she searches for a killer who now may be stalking her.

When Jamison Vaughn – billionaire real estate mogul, Virginia vineyard owner, and unsuccessful US presidential candidate – drives his gold SUV into a stone pillar at the entrance to Montgomery Estate Vineyard, Lucie Montgomery is certain the crash was deliberate. But everyone else in Atoka, Virginia, is equally sure that Jamie must have lost control of his car on a rain-slicked country road. In spite of being saddled with massive campaign debts from the recent election, Jamie is seemingly the man with the perfect life. What possible reason could he have for committing suicide? Or was it murder?

Before long, Lucie uncovers a connection between Jamie and some of his old friends, an elite group of academics, and the brutal murder 30 years ago of a brilliant PhD student. Although a handyman is on death row for the crime, Lucie soon suspects someone else is guilty. But the investigation into the two deaths throws Lucie a curve ball when someone from her own past becomes involved, forcing her to confront old demons. Now the race to solve the mystery behind the two deaths becomes intensely personal as Lucie realizes someone wants her silenced – for good. 

My Review:

Book 8 in the Wine Country Mystery series, I reached back aways for this one. I’ve enjoyed the Wine Country series and the aura, mystique, and history of the Virginia vineyards and countryside. There is always more to learn about the craft of wine making.

The Vineyard Victims by Ellen CrosbyIn this installment, Lucie Montgomery witnesses a horrific accident at the same location she experienced the accident that resulted in her permanent disability. She tries to rescue billionaire and unsuccessful US presidential candidate Jamison Vaughn but was driven back by the flames. The accident—or was it an accident?—starts an investigation into his death that ultimately reaches back thirty years. Something he said to her before Jamie died—and she’s promised to deliver the message.

This particular entry became multi-layered, tying not only the former presidential candidate, but her own past. She has never forgiven her ex-boyfriend for the accident and her injuries and it still weighs heavily on her.

When she gets closer to the secrets held so long, people told her to back off. But she wouldn’t and didn’t and with the help of her fiancé Quinn, discovers the shocking truth. In so doing, she may have found, at long last, the way to ease her burden as well.

This entry just didn’t grab me as well of two previous reads, The Angels’ Share and Harvest of Secrets. I suspect because of the complexity involved in the plot, the normal share of history and wine making secrets devolved well into the background and concentrated instead on the mystery.

I’ve tended to jump around and borrowed whatever I could and each have been interesting though obviously I have my favorites. It’s a series I’ll continue reading or listening to.

Book Details:

Genre: Amateur Sleuth Mysteries, Cozy Mysteries, Women Sleuth Mysteries
Publisher:  Blackstone Audio
ASIN: B0778Z14SP
Listening Length: 7 hrs 57 mins
Narrator: Christine Marshall
Publication Date: November 14, 2017
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The Vineyard Victims [Amazon]

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

Ellen Crosby - authorThe Author: Ellen Crosby is the author of the Virginia wine country mysteries, two mysteries featuring international photojournalist Sophie Medina and MOSCOW NIGHTS, a standalone. THE FRENCH PARADOX, the 11th book in the wine country series will be out 1/29/21 in the UK, 4/6/21 in the US and 3/1/21 as an ebook. Before writing fiction, Crosby–who has lived in England, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the former Soviet Union–worked as a freelance reporter for The Washington Post, an economist at the US Senate, and Moscow reporter for ABC Radio News. Visit her website at http://www.ellencrosby.com and follow her (very) occasionally on Facebook at EllenCrosbyBooks, sometimes on Twitter at @ellencrosby–but mostly on Instagram at ellencrosbyauthor. She also writes an erratic (but interesting) newsletter.

 

Christine Marshall - narratorThe Narrator:  Christine Marshall is an actress, director, and designer who makes her home in Maine. She is a member of the Mad Horse Theatre Company and the Maine State Ballet, works on many independent Maine theater projects and films, and appears regularly on local commercial television. As a narrator, she recently won her first Earphones Award from AudioFile magazine for her work on Dancer.

©2021 V Williams V Williams