#ThrowbackThursday – Blackout – Tom Barber

#ThrowbackThursday

Renee began the Throwback Thursday meme on her blog, It’s Book Talk to share some of her old favorites as well as sharing books published over a year ago. Sounded like a good reason to join! I’ll be going back over my favorite authors and stories you might not have previously experienced. Most of these early reviews were books gleaned from a freebie on BookBub and this was no exception. If you’d like to join the meme, you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic from her website. Just provide the link back to her please).

Blackout by Tom BarberThis week I am highlighting Tom Barber, another terrific, prolific author who wrote Blackout (Sam Archer book #3), which I reviewed on Goodreads. He has actually written nine in this series–I read the first three. This novel was published on January 16, 2014, as a thriller-suspense. He consistently runs approximately four stars plus for any of his books sold on Amazon.

Originally posted March 26, 2015

Book Blurb:

Young counter-terrorist cop Sam Archer arrives for work at the Armed Response Unit expecting a quiet day. But unbeknownst to him, a storm is coming. 

Three men have already been killed that morning. One committed suicide by the River Thames. Another was strangled in his car in Washington D.C. And the third was shot in the face in his high-rise New York apartment as he slept. The deaths seem random, thousands of miles apart. But they are all connected. By a shocking event fifteen years ago. And this is only the beginning.

Archer, Chalky and the rest of the Unit suddenly find themselves plunged into a ferocious and violent confrontation, fighting for their lives. The enemy they are up against are brutal, highly trained, well-armed and anonymous. No one knows where they have come from. No one seems to know who they are. But they have a vendetta. They will never forgive or forget, or show mercy. And for some reason, they’re hell-bent on killing ten specific people before the end of the day.

As the Unit tries to find out who these killers are and locate the remaining targets so they can protect them, it becomes a race against time to see who can get there first. As the counter-terrorist unit and the vengeful enemy come up against each other all over the city, Archer and the team soon realise two things.

This enemy is more proficient and deadly than any they’ve ever encountered. And one of their own ARU men is on the extermination list. Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – Blackout – Tom Barber”

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Murder at the Mushroom Festival – a #BookReview

Murder at the Mushroom Festival by Janet FinsilverTitle: Murder at the Mushroom Festival (A Kelly Jackson Mystery) by Janet Finsilver

Genre: Currently #4576 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Cozy

Publisher: Kensington Publishing/Lyrical

Publication Date: To be released April 17, 2018 – Happy publication day!

Source: Kensington Publishing/Lyrical and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Murder at the Mushroom Festival – Cute cozy cover

Murder at the Mushroom Festival is the fourth in the Kelly Jackson series and my first experience with the series or the author. In this installment, Kelly Jackson has been named permanent manager of the Redwood Cove B&B and is gearing up for the festivities by bringing in Elise Jenkins to host a cooking class featuring mushrooms. Continue reading “Murder at the Mushroom Festival – a #BookReview”

#AmReading – A Dog’s Way Home by W. Bruce Cameron

#amreading-A Dog's Way Home by W. Bruce Cameron

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

This week I am presenting W. Bruce Cameron and his book A Dog’s Way Home. I received this download from NetGalley. The book was released on May 9, 2017, by Forge Books. Amazon classifies the novel as animal and family life and is only 333 pages.

I will be presenting my review soon! You may recognize that author’s name. He wrote A Dog’s Purpose which was recently released as a major motion picture. In the meantime (from Amazon), here is the

Book Blurb:

Lucas Ray is shocked when an adorable puppy jumps out of an abandoned building and into his arms. Though the apartment he shares with his mother, a disabled veteran, doesn’t allow dogs, Lucas can’t resist taking Bella home.

Bella is inexplicably drawn to Lucas, even if she doesn’t understand the necessity of games like No Barks. As it becomes more difficult to hide her from the neighbors, Lucas begins to sneak Bella into the VA where he works. There, Bella brings joy and comfort where it is needed most.

After Bella is picked up by Animal Control because pit bulls are banned in Denver, Lucas has no choice but to send her to a foster home until he can figure out what to do. But Bella, distraught at the separation, doesn’t plan to wait. With four hundred miles of dangerous Colorado wilderness between her and her person, Bella sets off on a seemingly impossible and completely unforgettable adventure home.

A classic story of unwavering loyalty and incredible devotion, A Dog’s Way Home is a beautifully told, charming tale that explores the unbreakable bond between us and our pets. This fantastic and exhilarating journey of the heart is in the same tradition as the beloved bestseller, A Dog’s Purpose. 

Add to Goodreads

About the Author

(From Amazon Author page)

W. Bruce Cameron - authorBruce Cameron is the New York Times bestselling author of 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, The Dog Master, and the A Dog’s Purpose series. In 2011 he was named Columnist of the Year by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. He lives in California.

(From Goodreads) I’ve always loved dogs, which puts me in a unique category along with what, maybe two or three billion people?

W Bruce Cameron - authorWhat’s not to love about an animal who will sit in your living room all day long, waiting for you to get home, and even if you need to work late and then stop for a stress-relieving beverage on your way home, when you unlock that front door, is absolutely overjoyed to see you? How could you not adore an animal who senses when your day is not going well and tries to cheer you up by dumping a sodden tennis ball in your lap? Read his full Goodreads author story here. ©2018 V Williams V Williams

#ThrowbackThursday – Sign Off – Patricia McLinn

#ThrowbackThursday

Renee began the Throwback Thursday meme on her blog, It’s Book Talk to share some of her old favorites including books published over a year ago. Sounded like a good reason to join! 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).

Sign Off - Caught Dead in Wyoming Book 1 by Patricia McLinnThis week I am highlighting Patricia McLinn, another terrific, prolific author who wrote Sign Off, which I reviewed on Goodreads. She has actually written six in this series. This novel was published by Craig Place Books on July 3, 2015. She consistently runs approximately 4+ stars for any of her books sold on Amazon.

Originally posted March 6, 2016.

Book Blurb:

Divorce a husband, lose a career … grapple with a murder. TV journalist Elizabeth “E.M.” Danniher will tell you she committed two sins — she didn’t stay young, and she made an enemy of a powerful news executive — her ex. She used to break national news. Now her top story as the Helping Out! reporter at dinky KWMT-TV in Sherman, Wyoming is getting a refund for a defective toaster. Tough, funny and determined, Elizabeth wrestles with isolation, keeping a professional edge, and an evolving self-image. Is Wyoming — the land of cattle, cowboys and tumbleweeds — her new home or a road to permanent obscurity? Soon she’s in a battle of wills with ex-football player turned journalist Mike Paycik, who sees her as a handy rung on his career ladder. And there’s the matter of a deputy sheriff—missing or murdered? Elizabeth finds herself investigating at the insistence of a girl who’s set on proving her father’s innocence. Not that enigmatic rancher Tom Burrell makes investigating easy. But Elizabeth won’t fade to black without a fight, no matter how final some might want to make her Sign Off.

My Review:

Sign Off, the first in the Caught Dead in Wyoming series by Patricia McLinn involves E. M. (Elizabeth) Danniher, who is a well-known news reporter from the east. She has been banished by a bitter ex who is a powerful NY TV producer to a small town in Wyoming to be their “Helping Out” reporter for the duration of her contract.

Few at her new station are thrilled she has been plunked into the middle of them and become guarded of their own positions. Feeling impotent to do more than report on defective toasters, she is confronted by a little girl regarding her dad, unfairly accused of murder in the disappearance of a deputy, and inadvertently becomes involves in the investigation.

Among the many characters interacting with her at the station are Mike, a sportscaster, and Diane, camera lady. Elizabeth Danniher butts up against the sheriff almost immediately and manages to lose more support than she gains as she interviews elected officials of the rural town and Mike’s inside contact. Warned off the case by the accused himself, the missing person turns up dead in his truck following the spring thaw obviously the victim of foul play. As events turn deadly, Elizabeth studies the clues and uncovers motives.

There are some interesting insights into the inner workings of a small town TV station, local colorful characters, and small town western US flavor. The antagonist is not one you suspect, and Mike becomes quite the (possibly romantic) attractive ally. The dialogue is clean and believable. The plot moves along at a fairly good clip and I enjoyed the little sub-storyline involving Shadow. All in all, it is engaging and will hold your interest. I received this download from BookBub as a free offering and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review.

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About the Author

Patricia McLinn - authorPatricia McLinn’s books have put her name on bestseller lists and her journalism career took her to the Washington Post for 20-mumble-mumble years. But it all started with secrets.

She learned to read at a tender age as a matter of self-preservation because older siblings spelled words to keep secrets from her. Once Patricia discovered that the magic of written words allowed her to know people she hadn’t met and experience places she hadn’t visited, she was hooked.

She wanted to be a novelist from then on, though there was a detour. She received a BA in English Composition from Northwestern University. (Have you ever seen a job posting for an English Composition major? No. And you never will.) With her parents holding out for more practical pursuits, she added a masters in journalism from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism in her fourth year. (Two degrees for the price of one! It was the precursor of a career in coupon-clipping.)

(From Goodreads author page) USA Today bestselling author Patricia McLinn’s novels—cited by reviewers for warmth, wit, and vivid characterization – have won numerous regional and national awards and been on national bestseller lists.

In addition to her romance and women’s fiction books, Patricia is the author of the Caught Dead in Wyoming mystery series, which adds a touch of humor and romance to figuring out whodunit.

Patricia received BA and MSJ degrees from Northwestern University. She was a sports writer (Rockford, Ill.), assistant sports editor (Charlotte, N.C.) and—for 20-plus years—an editor at the Washington Post.

She has spoken about writing from Melbourne, Australia to Washington, D.C., including being a guest speaker at the Smithsonian Institution. She is now living in northern Kentucky and writing full-time. Patricia loves to hear from readers through her website, Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter.

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

Claws for Concern – a #BookReview

Claws for Concern - a Cat in the Stacks Mystery - by Miranda JamesTitle: Claws for Concern (Cat in the Stacks Mystery)

Genre: Currently # 594 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Cozy, Animals

Publisher: Berkley

Publication Date: February 20, 2018

Source: Berkley and Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

Title and Cover: Claws for Concern – Cover is way too cute cozy typical

OMG, just to look at that beautiful cover you know it’s going to be a cat-lovers kind of novel. Well, I’ve mentioned before that I do love both cats and dogs, though as most of you know, since I have a pretty-extraordinary (cat-sized) dog in the house, my heart is with my adorable puppy.

Still if you lean at all feline, that cover got you. It got me too. And this is the ninth of the series, so you know there are a lot of kitty fans out there, not to mention a NY Times best-selling author. There’s obviously a lot of history here with protagonist Charlie and Diesel, although I’m not sure that the 40 pound Maine Coon isn’t the protagonist. There is definitely some over-the-top anthropomorphizing going on here. A Maine Coon owned my mother and I must admit the cat was definitely a one of a kind kitty. That said… Continue reading “Claws for Concern – a #BookReview”

#ThrowbackThursday – Drifter by M. L. Gardner

#ThrowbackThursday

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. Sounded like a good reason to join! I’ll be looking back at my favorite authors and stories you might not have previously experienced. 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).

Drifter by M. L. GardnerThis week I am highlighting M. L. Gardner, another terrific, prolific author who wrote Drifter, which I reviewed on Goodreads. She has actually written ten novels, including two series, short stories, and a novella. This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services LLC on January 11, 2014. She consistently runs approximately 4+ stars for any of her books sold on Amazon.

Originally posted January 26, 2015

Book Blurb:

In this fourth book of The 1929 Series, we are led into the world of Richard Sloan, a Massachusetts missing person’s detective who seems to be losing his touch. After six months he hasn’t found anyone alive and becomes desperate to redeem his reputation.

Aryl Sullivan, who suffered amnesia in a boating accident, finds himself caught up in a series of events that land him in London. While in the hands of Gina, a secretive and controlling woman, and her boss, Mickey, Aryl is forever changed as he does what he has to in order to survive.

Following leads on a serial cop killer terrorizing Boston, Detective Sloan unwittingly stumbles on information that leads him to Aryl Sullivan, a man everyone in Rockport thinks is dead.

My Review:

It’s amazing who you can become–given the right–or wrong circumstances. Sometimes, you can’t imagine how you’ve ever become this person. And having become a person you revile, can you ever quit and so back? Can you ever really “go home”? Would you want to?

This is the fourth in the 1929 series; the third I’ve read and this is definitely my favorite. Aryl is “found” by Richard Sloan, a missing persons cop who lucks onto Aryl looking for a serial cop killer. Sloan is a disgruntled, discontented Boston P.D. detective with a marriage teetering on the edge for a reason both partners are impotent to remedy. His record hasn’t been that good of late, finding more “missings” dead than alive; a day late, handing the file to homicide. He desperately hoped his last case, a 16-year-old, would be the reverse to the pattern. It wasn’t. Dejected, depressed, he decided he’d concentrate on the serial killer and counted on it to be his saving grace.

In the third of the 1929 series, Aryl Sullivan has been in a horrific explosion aboard his fishing vessel and barely survives with his body intact, never mind his mind. He has sustained major lacerations to his back which leaves him in severe pain in this installment. Unfortunately, he has no recollection what happened–only that he has been rescued and handed off eventually to land in London where he is then rescued by Gina who introduces him to Mickey. His injuries have left him dependent upon Gina who dishes him an elixir that quickly gets him hooked and leaves him no where to turn. Under his newly acquired circumstances, he becomes a man totally alien to his former self–capable of the unimaginable.

The tale unfolds after Sloan has picked him up from the French police where they both board a ship for the states. Together over the course of the cruise, each unloads his personal story as Aryl has slowly regained his memory and narrates the events of his past year. Aryl faces a shaky return. The experience has been life-changing for Sloan, however, and he makes several decisions both affecting his job and his marriage.

While the storyline borders on unique, there are edit problems that should have been addressed and it was a bit difficult to keep up with who was doing the current narrative since it switched back and forth between Sloan and Aryl. However, both have compelling histories or stories to tell (and they share with each other) and unfortunately for Aryl a long row to hoe before he can fully be brought back into the fold or the family. You have to swallow a few inaccuracies but on the whole, an interesting read and you do become sufficiently engaged in the characters to pursue the outcome.

This book was downloaded as a freebie by BookBub. Different in concept, the switch between the narrations garnered my imagination. Recommended reading–embrace the uncommon style.

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About the Author

M. L. Gardner M. L. Gardner is the bestselling author of the 1929 series. Gardner is frugal to a fault, preserving the old ways of living by canning, cooking from scratch, and woodworking. Nostalgic stories from her grandmother’s life during the Great Depression inspired Gardner to write the 1929 series–as well as her own research into the Roarin’ Twenties. She also wrote the Purling Road series and a cookbook. Gardner is married with three kids and four cats. She resides in western Montana. http://www.mlgardnerbooks.com

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

Hatshepsut: The Pharaoh Queen of Egypt – a #BookReview

Hatshepsut: The Pharaoh-Queen of Egypt by in60LearningTitle: Hatshepsut: The Pharaoh Queen of Egypt

Genre: Currently #22 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Biographies & Memoirs, Historical, Middle East (One hour, 58 pages)

Publisher: in60Learning

Publication Date: February 3, 2018

Source: Amazon Digital Services and Direct Request by Tyler of in60Learning

Title and Cover: Hatshepsut: The Pharaoh Queen of Egypt – Cover conveys non-fiction material

We were contacted by Tyler of in60Learning with an inquiry regarding reading and reviewing their new concept non-fiction short stories in a quick and easy read 60-minute format. On their “title listing” page, they appear to have twenty-four titles, three of which are audio, the balance in a mix of Kindle and paperbook format. The titles run from biographies to histories with titles releasing from the middle of January 2018 through March. Many more are expected.

Titles include Marilyn Monroe: The Defiant Broad Disguised as a Dumb Blond (BiographyIn60, six reviews at 4.5 average stars) to Alexander the Great: Student of Aristotle, Descendent of Heroes (BiographyIn60 nineteen reviews at 4.5 average stars). The C.E. chose this one as well as Illinois Native Americans: A 9,000 Year Civilization. See that review here.

In60Learning introduces themselves thusly:

“Get Smarter in just 60  minutes with in60Learning. Concise and elegantly written non-fiction books and audiobooks help you learn the core subject matter in 20% of the time that it takes to read a typical book. Life is short, so explore a multitude of fascinating historical, biographical, scientific, political, and financial topics in only an hour each.”

Book Blurb:

When Pharaoh Thutmose II died, he left an heir far too young to rule Egypt. His widow Hatshepsut stepped up to take his place. For at least the next 20 years, Hatshepsut ruled as Pharaoh King of Egypt in an era of prosperous growth and peace. When she died, her nephew Thutmose III attempted to smear her good name and wipe her memory from history. However, despite his efforts, his aunt Hatshepsut holds the title of most famous native Egyptian woman to ever rule as pharaoh; she also retains a legacy as one of the most successful female leaders in early history. Continue reading “Hatshepsut: The Pharaoh Queen of Egypt – a #BookReview”

Rosepoint #Reviews – March Recap

Yes, we have zinged right into April with Easter Sunday! A beautiful beginning to the month.

Fairy Garden - Easter TimeIf the ground is no longer frozen, you know I’ll be grabbing my shovel and turning some dirt in the hope I can get my garden in before the end of April. I already have a few little seeds sprouting in my indoor starter tray. Hopefully, these will do better than last year. And last year? Remember I started the Fairy Garden that we alternatively call (depending on weather) “the Swamp.” I am currently waiting to see what survived and my heart is beginning to sink–I don’t think any of the ferns or Lilly of the Valley made it through the winter. Butterfly bush? History. But I’ve attained some satisfaction in digging out more reeds, snags, and trunks making way for slightly larger bushes than those $5 budget plants. If it’s sunny, I’ll probably be outdoors, at least until all plants are established.

I’ve confessed before to being a stats watcher (as I’ve set several goals) and was thrilled to announce the coming of my first 1,000th follower. I’ve been steadily building on that number and by Wednesday, the 28th of March had attained 1106 followers, looking forward to 1200. Then Thursday, the big crash happened and now the view counter is showing 999. How do you lose 107 followers overnight? But wait! There’s more..no really! Looking at my monthly totals, the blog achieved 1.0k views for the month of March. Hazzah! In fact, the first quarter of 2018 showed a significant jump in views. So I’m at a loss for the loss.

My February Recap noted that I was going to participate in Cathy‘s “Reading Ireland” Challenge. They were Shadow of a Century by Jean Grainger, Irish author, and another titled For the Love of Ireland by Judy Leslie and you’ll find both of those in the linked list below.

Eight new titles read and reviewed in March:

Deja Moo – a #BookReview

If I Live – a #BookReview

For the Love of Ireland – #BookReview

The True Tales of the Road to Key West – a #BookReview

Shadow of a Century – a #BookReview

Last Night – a #BookReview

Fiction Can Be Murder – a #BookReview

Dark Territory – a #BookReview

That intrepid associate reviewer, the CE, reviewed three titles for me in March.

The Telltale Tattoo – a #BookReview

The Tortilla Curtain by T. C. Boyle – a #BookReview

Illinois Native Americans – a #BookReview

#TBR - Easter

Check out my Easter week #TBR, cozy mysteries. In the meantime, I’ve added a book tour from Sage’s Blog Tours, an author request, and I won a beautiful hardback book titled Claws for Concern by Miranda James from Lori at Escape With Dollycas. Boy does it seem strange to hold a “real” book again! Thank you, Lori!

I so enjoy and appreciate my new followers and the ones who continue to read and comment! ©2018 V Williams V Williams

Dark Territory – a #BookReview

Dark Territory by Leo J MaloneyTitle: Dark Territory (a Dan Morgan Thriller–#6.5) by Leo J. Maloney

Genre: Currently #80 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle Singles, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense and #425 Military

 Publisher: Penguin Random House Publishing Services

Publication Date: April 24, 2018

Source: Penguin Random House Publishing Services and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Dark Territory – Cover depicts military ops

Alex Morgan, the daughter of black ops specialist Dan Morgan, has just come off a sniper hit that took out a North Korean officer in Russia. Now the problem is to exit the country safely and that is determined to be the Trans-Siberian Railway. She is, however, Dan’s daughter, and knows she cannot let down her guard until she is well out of there. But she is not the only one aboard with specialized talents.

Nothing like a thriller that grabs you by the collar and pulls you in and this short story will do just that. Then you better hang on because this plot barrels along and doesn’t give you a chance to catch your breath until the protagonist makes the world safe again. I must admit to reading this black ops veteran author for the first time, although he apparently has a large volume of successful novels to his credit. Continue reading “Dark Territory – a #BookReview”