#ThrowbackThursday – A View to Die For by Richard Houston

Throwback Thursday - featuring A View to DIE For

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).

This week I am highlighting Richard Houston, another terrific, prolific author who wrote A View to Die For, #1 in the series, which I reviewed on Goodreads. He has actually written a number of books in the Books To Die For series. I also read #2, A Book to Die For (also downloaded from BookBub). If you’ve been reading this blog for any period of time, you know I’m a sucker for dog pics or doggy stories. Read this for the dog, Fred. (I hoped he lived more than two books. To see why, read the review that follows.) This novel was published on October 8, 2012. Houston consistently runs approximately four stars for any of his books sold on Amazon. Just look at that face!

Originally posted May 29, 2014

Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – A View to Die For by Richard Houston”

The Colonel and the Bee – a #BookReview

The Colonel and the Bee by Patrick CanningTitle: The Colonel and the Bee by Patrick Canning

Genre: Currently #4792 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Literary Fiction, Action & Adventure

Publisher: Evolved Publishing LLC

Publication Date: June 1, 2018

Source: Direct author request

Title and Cover: The Colonel and the Bee-Love that cover

Hoo-boy is this one a douzy! This novel was so much fun I couldn’t keep it to myself and shared with the C.E., whose review will follow mine. The novel hit all my buttons: unique, intriguing, adventurous, historical, surprisingly sharp (and young) female protagonist coupled with the swash-buckling theatrics of a male co-protagonist and absolute non-stop action. First, wrap your head around a  four-story house-sized balloon, and if that doesn’t set your imagination reeling, nothing will. (Think steampunk!)

Beatrix is a barely teenaged female acrobat in a 19th-century European traveling circus held captive owing her age by an abusive ringleader. The dashing and mysterious English Colonel James Bacchus attends the same private showing where she performs and she contrives to join him in a getaway following his ellicit treatise with the wife of their exclusive estate’s host. With the Oxford Starladder (the Ox) the colonel is in pursuit of a heinous criminal as he drifts across the continent in search of a precious jewel, the Blue Star Sphinx, which value in turn has attracted the warring factions of two families. (Think Hatfields and McCoys)

With every additional description of the Ox, I badly wanted to climb aboard and explore each and every crevice, descend the spiral stars, partake of the gourmet meals presented by the colonel, and peak into the horticultural room where the fresh vegetables were grown. What a delightful imaginative fantasy–but one that seemed within grasp it was made so real. The rich nineteenth-century dialogue, $50 words, and formal English prose was a delight but I was many times grateful for the built-in dictionary of my Kindle. Continue reading “The Colonel and the Bee – a #BookReview”

Series Sampler-What’s Your Pleasure? Crime Thriller or Sci-Fi-Fantasy

#AmReading - series

OMG, it’s not often I get in depth in a single series, let alone two!

This time, however, I began The Afton Morrison series with #1 and glad I did! This one is just plain hardcore.  I am now reading #2, See You Soon, Afton by Brent Jones. While there are some series in which the individual novels could function as a standalone, these two series, as widely different as they are, should both begin with numero uno, number one. Fortunately, it’s not too late into this series to start reading number one as the author plans to release number two August 7, 2018.

See You Soon, Afton #2 Afton Morrison series

I will be presenting my review of See You Soon, Afton on Friday, July 27, 2018, and I’ll warn you up front, this series is not for the faint of heart, tender ears, or PG eyes–it is definitely “R” rated. Amazon classifies as mystery, thriller, and suspense. The thing about Brent’s books–despite the delayed gratification is that there is generally a surprising, often shocking, moral to the story–and the reading is worth it. If you missed my review of Go Home, Afton, number one in the series, you can find it here, or see it on Amazon here.

See You Soon, Afton – Book Blurb:

Somebody is watching. Somebody is always watching.

A teenage girl in Wakefield has been abducted, and tracking her down not only tests Afton’s moral limits, but threatens her freedom and her life.

Suspected of murder by local police, and under the watch of a menacing figure in the shadows, Afton’s search and rescue effort unravels dark secrets from her own past. Familial secrets her mother took to the grave, more than a decade ago.

See You Soon, Afton is the second of four parts in a new serial thriller by author Brent Jones. Packed with grit and action, The Afton Morrison Series delves into a world of moral ambiguity, delivering audiences an unlikely heroine in the form of a disturbed vigilante murderess.

Add to Goodreads

Thank heavens I had a little help with this one–the C.E. taking the helm at the sci-fi police procedural techno-thriller, The Invisible Mind – Murder by Munchausen #3 by M.T. Bass . OOH! That’s a mouthful, huh? Seems I have a habit of coming into a series at #3 or even #7–it’s happened before. Amazon classifies it as sci-fi-fantasy and cyberpunk, and I’ll just mention here that it is definitely some hardcore science. Electron Alley plans to release the novel on August 25, 2018.

The Invisible Mind-Murder by Munchausen #3

The C.E. was asked as a condition of the book review for Sage’s Blog Tours that he read number one and two prior to reading number three, which is the subject of the book tour. That was quite the undertaking! I will be presenting the C.E.’s review of The Invisible Mind on Sunday, July 29, 2018.

The Invisible Mind – Book Blurb:

A police procedural thriller ripped from future headlines!

Now unleashed, the “Baron” is resurrecting history’s notorious serial killers, giving them a second life in the bodies of hacked and reprogrammed Personal Assistant Androids, then turning them loose to terrorize the city.  While detectives Jake and Maddie of the police department’s Artificial Crimes Unit scramble to stop the carnage with the Baron’s arrest, the cyberpunk head of the Counter IT Section, Q, struggles to de-encrypt his mad scheme to infect world data centers with a virus that represents a collective consciousness of evil.

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I’ve argued the whole series or standalone novels before, and will just point out that the Afton Morrison series are novellas. You can whip through them–just possibly not late at night, alone, quiet. Or maybe quiet is good–you’ll want to be able to hear.

Tired of reading your same-o-same-o? Look into one of these. They are not one of your average cozy mysteries. You’ll thank me (or not).

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Lion on Fire – a #BookReview

Lion on Fire by Ted Galdi

Title: Lion on Fire: a Casino-Heist Thriller by Ted Galdi

Genre: Currently #13 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle ebooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime Fiction, Heist, and #25 in Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime Fiction, Organized Crime

Publisher: Precipice Books

Publication Date: December 12, 2017

Source: Direct author request

Title and Cover: Lion on FireCover carries the title theme

Little brothers can be a real trial! (Mine kept our entire family hopping.) Brian Rolson, the protagonist/hero in this novel has the same problem that many of us have faced with younger siblings. Brian’s younger brother Kip has gotten himself into a world of trouble–this time selling illegal drugs. Having extra money made him loose and careless and now he is in a world of hurt. Continue reading “Lion on Fire – a #BookReview”

#ThrowbackThursday – The Emperor’s Treasure by Daniel Leston

Throwback Thursday - The Emperor's Treasure

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).

This week I am highlighting Daniel Leston, another terrific, prolific author who wrote The Emperor’s Treasure, which I reviewed on Goodreads. This novel was published on October 27, 2013. He consistently runs approximately four stars for any of his books sold on Amazon.

Originally posted October 1, 2016

The Emperor's Treasure by Daniel LestonBook Blurb:

Upon returning to New England after a long hiatus overseas, Prof. David Manning quickly finds himself involved in yet another extraordinary archaeological adventure—one 500 years in the making. Drawn into an investigation of a mysterious and brutal murder in the desert country of West Texas, his determined effort to find the perpetrators sets him on the hunt for a lost Aztec treasure beyond all imagining.
Both are inextricably entwined.
Pitted against a ruthless, multi-millionaire descendant of one of the original conquistadors—a man who will stop at nothing to gain the prize—Manning finds himself contending at every turn with an array of cold-blooded killers, all equally unwavering in their desire to see him dead.
*3rd Adventure of Professor David Manning

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My Review:

I tend to be a sucker for stories involving the Aztecs or Mayans, fascinating cultures, and sure–we hear the legends about the outrageous riches.

In this clever plot, the treasure is whisked away before the Spanish conquistadors can complete their siege. The flashbacks to the young map maker give us a refreshing peek into the scenario explaining how the current circumstances have evolved. Unfortunately for a young archeological student bent on following his (native) sweetheart’s ancient map, he gets a little too close. Following his brutal murder, his extremely wealthy grandparents enlist the aid of longtime friend and pseudo-son, Prof. David Manning, who promises to look into a death summarily dismissed by the local (crooked) sheriff as a drug deal gone bad.

Prof. Manning proves to be a pit bull, not only in his dogged effort at digging out the truth, but then setting up the dog fight that ends in the rescue of the young man’s lover as well as the recovery of riches. Manning enjoys the help of the interim deputy after the death of the sheriff as the bad guys will stop at nothing to cover their tracks and protect their cache.

I thought the story flowed well enough to keep my attention and turning pages. The deputy was fleshed out well and very empathetic; less so Manning. Dialogue was fairly believable though the language began slipping later into the book making it necessary to step over the ca-ca. The book contains typos and other edit problems and is in need of a better editor, but if you can overlook those problems, the storyline will provide some entertainment.

Received as a free BookBub offering, I enjoyed enough to recommend as a quick escapist read.

Daniel Leston - authorAbout the Author: Daniel Leston was born in Canada, yet spent the majority of his adult years living and traveling throughout the US. Though his working career was spent in the unrelated field of designing and manufacturing complex, industrial machinery, he never lost touch with his lifelong passion for both writing and the study of history, which extends all the way back to his early, student days at the University of Buffalo.

Along with his wife of 40+yrs, he currently resides in southern Ontario, where he now happily works at his chosen vocation of being a full-time author. Following up on the early success of his three ‘Action/Thriller’ novels, The Amun Chamber, The Genghis Tomb, and The Emperor’s Treasure, he just finished working on his 4th exciting adventure around their popular main character, Professor David Manning. Look for The Porus Legacy, available now. [Note: Author has now published the fifth in the series, The Ionian Paradigm (A David Manning Adventure Book 5) released May 13, 2018.]

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

Susan at Susan Loves Books

Cathy at What Cathy Read Next

Cathy at Between the Lines

Amy at Novel Gossip

Diana at A Haven for Booklovers

 

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Shelved Under Murder #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

Shelved Under Murder by Victoria Gilbert

I am super-excited today to provide a review at my blog stop for Shelved Under Murder by Victoria Gilbert on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. Scroll down to enter the Giveaway!

Book Details

Shelved Under Murder: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (July 10, 2018) (Happy Release Day!)
Hardcover: 300 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683315957
Digital: ASIN: B075QJHPR9

Autumn leaves aren’t the only things falling in the historic Virginia village of Taylorsford—so are some cherished memories, and a few bodies.

October in Taylorsford, Virginia means it’s leaf peeping season, with bright colorful foliage and a delightful fresh crew of tourists attending the annual Heritage Festival which celebrates local history and arts and crafts. Library director Amy Webber, though, is slightly dreading having to spend two days running a yard sale fundraiser for her library. But during these preparations, when she and her assistant Sunny stumble across a dead body, Amy finds a real reason to be worried.

The body belonged to a renowned artist who was murdered with her own pallet knife. A search of the artist’s studio uncovers a cache of forged paintings, and when the sheriff’s chief deputy Brad Tucker realizes Amy is skilled in art history research, she’s recruited to aid the investigation. It doesn’t seem to be an easy task, but when the state’s art expert uncovers a possible connection between Amy’s deceased uncle and the murder case, Amy must champion her Aunt Lydia to clear her late husband’s name.

That’s when another killing shakes the quiet town, and danger sweeps in like an autumn wind. Now, with her swoon-inducing neighbor Richard Muir, Amy must scour their resources to once again close the books on murder.

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My Review 

Shelved Under Murder by Victoria GilbertThis is the second of the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series and continues with Amy Webber as the Library Director of the Taylorsford, Virginia library. The library is gearing up for the big annual Heritage Festival which celebrates their local history as well as showcasing residents arts and crafts. Amy is living with her Aunt Lydia and still seeing Richard Muir, who was introduced as a romantic interest in book 1. Richard is a classical dancer, choreographer, and a neighbor, having inherited the house next door.

In conjunction with the upcoming festival, the library will assist in fundraising by offering books as well as local artists’ canvases. Unfortunately, when she and Sunny Fields, her assistant, travels out to the artist’s home to pick up the promised donations, she finds the artist has been murdered and her husband in absentia. As Amy also studied art history, she is recruited to help in the investigation after they discover a hidden cache of forged paintings. Of course, there is a connection–to Amy’s deceased uncle. Now starts a road rutted with misdirection, twists, and turns.

With the exception of the art expert brought in to assess the hidden treasure, most support characters were introduced in book 1 and are not developed more widely in this offering. Amy as a protagonist is not wholly sympathetic, exhibits some insecure issues especially where it concerns Richard and is prone to chewing her “pinkie” nail. The well-plotted story slowly unwinds with Sunny and her beau, Chief Deputy Brad Tucker, the local gendarme charged with investigation. When a second body turns up, all bets are off, and you might be back to guessing the whodidit in the whodunit. Perhaps Kurt Kendrick is of most interest in the plot-driven book, as he cannot be easily pegged. A new addition to the storyline is almost of immediate suspicion.

I felt the original subject, that of the library fundraising took a third chair behind the art history lesson, which quickly took over as the main focus, and the romance. I can definitely do without the romance, and it’s not the first time I’ve found Richard to be a bit creepy. The subject of the art masters and the forgeries they’ve generated is an interesting discussion, however, as well as the formula for divining original artists, paints, and materials.

Still, between the lengthy exploration of forged canvases and the romances, my attention not only sagged somewhat but dropped out completely and I found it difficult to maintain any engagement, making the read longer than it should have. Attention returned somewhat as it progressed to conclusion, but then it waffled again with an unnecessary wrap-up party. Perhaps the plot was just a bit too slow for me.

I was given this ebook download by the publisher and NetGalley through the blog tour and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Recommended for those who enjoy an intelligent cozy mystery sans recipes, women and amateur sleuths.

Giveaway

Don’t forget to enter the Giveaway for your chance to win One (1) signed hardcover copy of Shelved Under Murder “with some swag” on the Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Victoria GilbertVictoria Gilbert, raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, turned her early obsession with reading into a dual career as an author and librarian. She has worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and library director.

When not writing or reading, Victoria likes to spend her time watching films, gardening, or traveling. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers, and is represented by Frances Black at Literary Council, NY, NY.

Victoria lives in North Carolina with her husband and some very spoiled cats. This is her first Blue Ridge Library mystery.

Author Links:

Website/blog: http://victoriagilbertmysteries.com/

Facebook author page:  https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaGilbertMysteryAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VGilbertauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/VictoriaGilbert

Purchase Links:

Amazon     B&N         Books-A-Million      Indie Bound 

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

Tour Participants:

July 9 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW, GUEST POST

July 9 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW

July 9 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 10 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

July 10 – Curling Up by the Fire – REVIEW

July 10 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 11 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

July 11 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST

July 11 – Varietats – SPOTLIGHT

July 12 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

July 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 13 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 14 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

July 14 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

July 15 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

July 15 – 3 Partners in Shopping Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

July 16 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW

July 16 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 16 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

July 17 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

July 17 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 17 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 18 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

July 18 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

July 19 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 19 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 20 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

July 20 – Island Confidential – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 20 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST 

Great Escapes Book ToursThanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this cozy mystery!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Home Is Where the Bark Is – #BookBlitz

I am super-excited today to provide a #BookBlitz stop for Home Is Where the Bark Is by Stella St. Clair on Sage’s Blog Tours blog blitz.

Sage's Blog Tours - Book Blitz

Book Details 

Home Is Where the Bark Is (Paws Fur Play Mysteries Book 1)

Cozy Mystery
First in Series
Published July 2, 2018
Digital ASIN: B07F7KQ7WY  

Purchase Link: http://mybook.to/PawsFurPlay1

Book BlurbHome is Where the Bark is

All Willow Wells wanted was a fresh start. After a divorce that left her a dog trainer with no dogs to train, inheriting her Aunt’s property (complete with a downtrodden dog gym) seemed like the answer to her prayers. That is until the first day of excavation uncovers a dead local real estate mogul, and pins her current contractor as the lead suspect. 

With his funds frozen, and with no way to return Willow’s money, contractor Griffin Maynard has no choice but to join forces with his high school crush who also happens to be his current client—new arrival Willow Wells. Together they must find the real murderer and get construction back underway before both of their businesses go bottom up.

But as they follow the trail of town gossip, Willow and Griffin discover more buried secrets than they first thought, and time is running out to solve this murder before they lose everything.

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About the Author

Stella St. Claire - author(From Goodreads Author page) Stella lives and breathes cozy mysteries! With her head always buried inside these books, it’s no wonder that she would put pen to paper to bring her own cozy mysteries to life. The words flew onto the page, and she’s already teeming with ideas for the next series.

With her trusted canine by her side, it seemed only natural to be inspired by her beautiful beagle Doogle and the many hours they spent walking through scenic New England villages. When Stella’s not reading books, she’s off on road trips, exploring every nook and cranny in neighboring towns, seeking inspiration for her next book.

She’s keen to see what her fellow cozy critics think of her “The Happy Tails Dog Walking Mysteries,” so leave a review and share your thought at http://www.StellaStClaire.com or her Facebook http://www.facebook.com/stellastclaire and her Newsletter: http://stellastclaire.com/newsletter

Thank you for visiting my stop on the Book Blitz! Sage's Blog Tours

And thanks to Sage’s Blog Tours for the opportunity to share the happiness!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

The Perfect Friend – a #BookReview

The Perfect Friend by Barbara CopperthwaiteTitle:  The Perfect Friend by Barbara Copperthwaite

Genre: Currently #185 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Suspense, Psychological

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication Date: July 5, 2018, Happy Release Day!

Source:  Publisher and NetGalley

Title and Cover: The Perfect FriendNot a real fan of the (yellow) cover

“…Still, I’m trying to decide how much truth to tell. This started as little white lies…”

Barbara Copperthwaite is a master of the psychological thriller model. The problem is, if you are like most people, you take on face value what you are told, and the narration is so simple, so natural, you don’t suspect anything is awry. But you’ve been set up immediately with a narrator who tells you up front she is a liar. Continue reading “The Perfect Friend – 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”

As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles by Leslie Budewitz – a #BlogTour #BookReview and #Giveaway

As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles by Leslie Budewitz

As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles (A Food Lovers’ Village Mystery)
Book Details:

Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Midnight Ink (June 8, 2018)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738752419
Digital ASIN: B075W25FNF

I am super-excited today to provide a review at my blog stop for As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles by Leslie Budewitz on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour.

Book Blurb

Erin is one smart cookie, but can she keep the holiday spirit—and herself—alive till Christmas?

In Jewel Bay, all is merry and bright. At Murphy’s Mercantile, AKA the Merc, manager Erin Murphy is ringing in the holiday season with food, drink, and a new friend: Merrily Thornton. A local girl gone wrong, Merrily has turned her life around. But her parents have publicly shunned her, and they nurse a bitterness that chills Erin.

When Merrily goes missing and her boss discovers he’s been robbed, fingers point to Merrily—until she’s found dead, a string of lights around her neck. The clues and danger snowball from there. Can Erin nab the killer—and keep herself in one piece—in time for a special Christmas Eve?

Includes delicious recipes! Continue reading “As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles by Leslie Budewitz – a #BlogTour #BookReview and #Giveaway”

#ThrowbackThursday – Mornings in Two Pan – B. K. Froman

#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).

This week I am highlighting B. K. Froman, another terrific, prolific author who wrote Mornings in Two Pan, which I reviewed on Goodreads. She has actually written three in this series. This novel was published by Morning West Publishing on June 29, 2014. She consistently runs approximately 4.2-5 stars for any of her books sold on Amazon.

Originally posted January 18, 2016

mornings-two-panBook Blurb:

What if everything you know about your family is only half of the truth?

Every small town has its curiosities and conflicts. For Jiggs Woolsey, the most disturbing mystery is the identity of the buried skull he digs up on his Oregon ranch. Warned not to turn it in, he seeks answers about the five generations of his family who’ve previously worked the acres. His father and the cantankerous old-timers of the fizzled-out community of Two Pan will teach him the hard way that they’re not ready to give up their secrets yet.

My Review:

Yes, you got me! Busted!

I downloaded this free offering on BookBub (thank you!) solely based on that fascinating cover, and you’ll be glad to know that the cover perfectly describes the book without saying one word. If you loved the cover, you’ll love this folksy, down-home bit of western Americana. No really, would I lie to you?

Froman couldn’t have just created these characters–they’ve been so completely fleshed out–she must have been a fly on the wall of this family, recording some amazing bits of dialogue. Three generations (all male, two of which are widowers) living in a dusty, gritty, small town of rural eastern Oregon confront a historical family matter that was long since buried. This one grabs you from the beginning with the discovery of the skull in a creek bed on their property. And then in that slow, out west type of tale-weaving, creates the train wreck for which you are drawn like moth to flame. And, amazingly, you’ll like it. (Trust me.)

Unfortunately, Ox (Gramps) has increasing age-related health problems. He is met by his son with the startling discovery of the skull on their five generation cattle ranch that quickly has his son questioning all he’d believed about their family origins. The mystery sets off a powerful character study.

Jiggs doesn’t understand his dad and is bull-headedly trying to get to the truth. Jiggs’ son, Nap, is caught between the warring factions of father and grandfather and seems the most level-headed of the three. Unfortunately, he is too young to have sufficient experience in dealing with family issues he doesn’t understand and was never privy to. The story gradually unfolds the mystery, secondary to the relationship crisis the artifact has created.

The people who make up this little town ring true, the connections between long-time residents and philosophies compelling and telling. The writing is almost too simple, but sometimes less is more. When the conclusion comes and the revelation exposed, it’ll be one you won’t have guessed, satisfying but sorta tragic. (Well, duh, it’s a skull.)

But worth it? Oh yeah…

Take off your boots, find some shade, and enjoy this extremely well-written and emotional piece of old family literature, peppered with humor and satire. This is one of my favorite books in the 2016 Reading Challenge. A solid Five Stars

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About the Author

B. K. Froman - authorB.K. Froman is an award-winning writer, radio/TV talent, and university educator who now lives outside of Portland Oregon after spending several decades in Oklahoma. Her works continue to capture a thoughtful and sensitive look at people in small towns and as she preserves a small slice of Americana that is quickly fading. The 2013 Clackamas Literary award winner in Short Works, Froman uses wry humor and clever dialogue to remind her readers that life is—all about change.

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

#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”

Better Off Read – a #BookReview

Better Off Read by Nora PageTitle: Better Off Read: A Bookmobile Mystery

Genre: Currently #2790 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Amateur Sleuths

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Publication Date: To be Released June 12, 2018

Source: Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Better Off Read – Beautiful cozy cover

Pretty hard to resist any cozy mystery with that cover! Okay, the cover and the premise. The blurb describes a septuagenarian librarian who is forced to race around in a converted school bus now bookmobile after her Catalpa Springs, Georgia library suffers major storm damage. (And she tends to speed. Who pays for her tickets?)  Continue reading “Better Off Read – a #BookReview”

Blog Tour Review Stop and #Giveaway of Micromium-Clean Energy from Mars by David Gittlin

Micromium-Clean Energy from Mars

Title: Micromium: Clean Energy from Mars by David Gittlin

Publication Date: March 6, 2018

Source: Sage Adderley – Sage’s Book Tours

Publisher: Entelligent Entertainment

Genre: Science Fiction

I am thrilled to present today a blog tour review stop by both myself and my associate reviewer, the CE, promoted by Sage Adderley of Sage’s Book Tours. And please don’t miss your chance for this Super Sci-Fi Giveaway!

Book Blurb:

The year is 2038. Earth’s biosphere is on the brink of destruction from the effects of global warming and pollution. The World Energy Council has awarded a lucrative contract to a major US corporation to mine a precious ore discovered by the first manned mission to land on Mars. One kilo of Micromium can power a large city for a year without environmental side effects. Micromium promises to provide clean energy to a thirsty planet far into the future.

When two people die in a mining accident on Mars, the World Energy Council sends Commander Logan Marchant and a crack team of astronaut specialists to investigate.

Confronted with a lack of cooperation from the mining colonists, the investigation is further complicated by Logan’s growing attraction to the team’s beautiful and brainy geologist. While tensions and tempers rise, Logan and the audit team make one shocking discovery after another, until the investigation leads them into mortal danger, and ultimately, to a surprising conclusion.

Because Sci-Fi is more his genre than mine, I am presenting his review first. This is definitely a unique spin on that ole Sci-Fi tale and one you’ll be glad to have discovered!

The CE’s Review

Corporate greed combined with Martian mining makes for a fascinating tale. Four auditors and astronauts are sent to a mining outpost on Mars to investigate the mysterious deaths of a former audit team. Extra-terrestrial events embroil them in a life and death struggle with exceptionally greedy management. Access which should be totally open is suddenly restricted and robotic miners guard areas they do not want investigated.

The team discovers alien space shipwrecks and find that the mining operation is a ruse for a much more sinister endeavor. Management attempts to kill and stifle reports which may restrict their dreams of vast wealth and world domination.

World pollution and degradation of the planet’s atmosphere threaten life on earth. Micromium, a miracle heretofore unknown substance promises many years of totally clean energy and the chance to clean up the damage caused by the burning of fossil fuels and global warming resulting from their use.

The team headed by Logan Marchant include Kate Blackstone geologist, Kaneko Fukui MD and Exo-geologist and Rashawn Livingston navigator and EVA specialist. They all have advanced degrees in their fields. Their personalities are deeply vetted to make sure they fit as an audit team.

Kate studies the mineral deposits on Mars and finds that the concentration of Micromium is much smaller than she had expected. Trying to access the mines results in resistance from the Operations Manager, Oscar Kominsky. His reward for managing this Martian operation is undreamed of wealth. He will not allow anyone to get in his way.

Unexpected twists and turns in this illustrated novella along with the unexpected meeting of aliens make for a very exciting read. There are no lagging parts in this book. The audit team expands communication with them. When mining management tries to destroy the second audit team along with the aliens there is a very surprising result. I highly recommend this book.  (5 stars) C E Williams

Micromium ebook cover by David GittlinMy Review:

I love it when I can find a book that I know will have the CE chomping at the bit to tear into. And he did. And, surprisingly, not a sci-fi fan, so did I. This takes place in 2038, but not much has changed in human behavior. There are still the good and the bad–and the bad can sometimes be very, very bad.

What else is the management team of Martian Mining Interplanetary hiding from the World Energy Council and their U.S. corporate bosses that have been awarded the contract for bringing back the minerals? The mining colonists are not particularly friendly and certainly don’t appreciate the investigatory team, but it definitely goes deeper than that. The death of the early audit team must be investigated.

Although the story starts off a little slow for me, the discoveries feed into an interesting mystery. And the mystery reminded me just a little of some of the old interplanetary thriller movies, as they kept finding clues and developed the cast members.

The search for precious metals or minerals in this case creates the same tension that any mining operation has created since the first was discovered. The idea is a noble one–that of becoming capable of providing the energy to the world that will help turn around the environmental disaster wrought on the earth. Mining the ore becomes technologically feasible and might serve the earth for some time to come, but then something happens when the ore is assessed by the audit team. Something isn’t right.

The little drawings added an extra little tease to the narrative, but unfortunately, there were a few edit misses that diverted my attention as well. Dialogue generally works, and the romance probably served as a slight distraction, unnecessary to the general plot. The protagonist allowed his team to use their individual expertise fleshing most of them out and the team worked well and usually successfully even as events became progressively dangerous.

I was offered this stop on the blog tour by Sage’s Blog Tours and greatly appreciated the offer to read and review, particularly sharing with my sci-fi guru for his opinion. Did it meet his expectation? Yes, and I would recommend as well to sci-fi and mystery fans, intrigue, and action-adventure fans. A mine on Mars? Certainly within the realm of imagination and an appealing concept.

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Check out the spotlights and reviews of this book and don’t forget to sign up for one of the giveaways!

Blog Tour Participants

April 26th Bound 2 Escape ~ BOOK SPOTLIGHT
April 27th Storyteller Alley ~ BOOK REVIEW
April 28th Book Fidelity ~ BOOK SPOTLIGHT
May 1st Bound 2 Escape ~ BOOK SPOTLIGHT
May 2nd Rosepoint Publishing ~ REVIEW
May 2nd Shari Sakurai ~ BOOK SPOTLIGHT

About the Author

David Gittlin - author (From Amazon Author page)

After a career in marketing and business communications, David Gittlin studied screenwriting and novel writing at UCLA. His three feature length screenplays; “Love Will Find You,” “Joshua’s Decision,” and “A Prescription for Happiness” have reached the finals or placed in several major screenplay competitions. His first novel, an urban fantasy thriller, “Three Days to Darkness,” was a recent nominee to the James Kirkwood Prize for creative writing. Entelligent Entertainment recently published Gittlin’s second and third novels, “Scarlet Ambrosia” and “Micromium–Clean Energy from Mars.” I’ve put my heart, soul and guts into these books.  I’d like you to read them.

(From Goodreads Author page)Only one thing stood between me and my dream of becoming a creative writer: I couldn’t do two things at once. Upon retiring from my career in marketing communications, I decided to devote my full attention to writing fiction, thereby solving my multi-tasking challenge. Mr. Gittlin is also a prize-winning citizen journalist and film maker. He lives in Aventura, Florida.

David Gittlin’s purchase and social media links:

On Amazon: http://amzn.to/2FOfg0y
On B&N: http://bit.ly/2G9H2Ea
On Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2GJoubD
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dgittlin 
On Twitter: @DavidGittlin

The author will be giving an ebook copy of Micromium to the first 40 people who contact him with their name and ebook format preference (ePub or Mobi). They can enter here: 

https://www.davidgittlin.com/contact

©2018 V Williams

Sage's Blog Tours

Rosepoint Publishing Book Blast with a Spotlight and #Giveaway

Book Blast banner for Shadow Girl by Gerry Schmitt

Welcome to my stop on the book blast for Shadow Girl, An Afton Tangler Thriller, by Gerry Schmitt.

I am thrilled to present a Spotlight for tour host Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours at Escape With DollyCas. Many thanks to author Gerry Schmitt and Dolly Cas for allowing me to join the book blast today!

Shadow Girl, An Afton Tangler Thriller, by Gerry Schmitt

Shadow Girl (An Afton Tangler Thriller) Book 2

Small Print and Book Details:

Thriller Suspense

Berkley (August 1, 2017

Paperback edition: 320 pages

ISBN-13: 978-0425281789

Kindle Digital ASIN: B01MXHV6CL

Book Blurb:

The brutal murder of a business tycoon leaves Afton Tangler and the Twin Cities reeling, but that’s just the beginning of a gruesome crime spree…

Leland Odin made his fortune launching a home shopping network, but his millions can’t save his life. On the list for a transplant, the ailing businessman sees all hope lost when the helicopter carrying his donor heart is shot out of the sky.

Now with two pilots dead and dozens injured, Afton Tangler, family liaison officer for the Minneapolis Police Department, is drawn into the case. As she and her partner investigate family members and business associates, whoever wants Leland dead strikes again—and succeeds—in a brazen hospital room attack.

The supposedly squeaky clean millionaire has crossed the wrong person—and she’s not finished exacting her revenge. The case explodes into an international conspiracy of unbridled greed and violence. And as Afton gets closer to unearthing the mastermind behind it, she gets closer to becoming collateral damage…

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Shadow Girl by Gerry Schmitt

About the Author
Gerry Schmitt - authorGerry Schmitt is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty-five mysteries, including the Afton Tangler Thrillers, as well as the Tea Shop, Scrapbooking, and the Cackleberry Club mysteries, written under the pen name Laura Childs.

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

She is the former CEO of her own marketing firm, has won dozens of TV and radio awards, produced two reality TV shows, and invests in small businesses. She and her husband, a professor of Chinese art history, enjoy collecting art, traveling, and have two Shar-Peis.

Laura’s Links:

Website – http://www.laurachilds.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/laura.childs.31

Purchase Links:

AmazonAmazon

Barnes & Noble

kobo

 Don’t miss the chance for the Rafflecopter Giveaway!

Find a complete book blast listing here:

Great Escapes Book Tours

2018 V Williams

#ThrowbackThursday – Quinn Checks In – L. H. Thomson

#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’ve read a wide variety of genres and gleaned most early freebies from BookBub. Renee would love you to join the fun, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic from her website. Just provide the link back to her please).

Quinn Checks In by L H ThomsonThis week I am highlighting L H Thomson, another terrific, prolific author who wrote Quinn Checks In, Liam Quinn Mysteries Book 1, which I reviewed on Goodreads. He has actually written eleven books in this series. This novel was published by J I Loome on July 24, 2014. He consistently runs approximately four plus stars for any of his books sold on Amazon.

Originally posted September 7, 2014

Book Blurb:

Warning: this novel contains strong language and violence.

Released after serving four years in a Federal pen for art forgery, former boxing prodigy Liam Quinn returns to Fishtown in Philadelphia, eager to restart his life and make amends. A family friend has arranged a job as an art detective for an insurance company. But a Dutch Master has gone missing, bodies are popping up when least expected, and a mobster  is mighty miffed. It’s a tough job… until Quinn Checks In.

Quinn Checks in combines brutal action with tongue-in-cheek humor, a cast of characters and the kind of family drama that makes you miss your mom’s Sunday dinner! Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – Quinn Checks In – L. H. Thomson”

The Crooked Staircase – a #BookReview

The Crooked Staircase: A Jane Hawk Novel by Dean Koontz

Title: The Crooked Staircase: A Jane Hawk Novel (#3) by Dean Koontz

Genre: Currently #90 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery

Publisher: Random House Publishing, Ballantine – Bantam

Publication Date: To be released May 8, 2018

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title and Cover: The Crooked Staircase – Eerie cover evokes dark evasion

Have you seen that #ForgetSleep hashtag recently? You could easily apply the tag to this book but it wouldn’t completely explain the third book in this series. This is a Koontz suspense meant to keep you on the edge of your seat and leave you hanging there, breathless, until the fourth (and final?) episode is released. That you should have such patience! Continue reading “The Crooked Staircase – 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. 

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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

#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

#ThrowbackThursday – Maids of Misfortune by M. Louisa Locke

#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’ve gathered up some old reads and reviews from Goodreads to share with you–but a good book never gets old. 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).

Maids of Misfortune by M. Louisa LockeThis week I am highlighting M. Louisa Locke, another terrific, prolific author who wrote Maids of Misfortune (A Victorian San Francisco Mystery). She has actually written five in the series with novellas in between. This novel was published by CreateSpace on December 3, 2009. She consistently runs approximately 4.0/5 stars for any of her books sold on Amazon.

Originally posted January 20, 2015

Book Blurb:

It’s the summer of 1879, and Annie Fuller, a young San Francisco widow, is in trouble. Annie’s husband squandered her fortune before committing suicide five years earlier…Annie Fuller also has a secret. She supplements her income by giving domestic and business advice as Madam Sibyl, one of San Francisco’s most exclusive clairvoyants, and one of Madam Sibyl’s clients, Matthew Voss, has died…Nate Dawson has a problem. As the Voss family lawyer, he would love to believe that Matthew Voss didn’t leave his grieving family destitute. But that would mean working with Annie Fuller, a woman who alternatively attracts and infuriates him as she shatters every notion he ever had of proper ladylike behavior…Sparks fly as Anne and Nate pursue the truth about the murder of Matthew Voss in this light-hearted, cozy historical mystery set in the foggy gas-lit world of Victorian San Francisco. 
Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – Maids of Misfortune by M. Louisa Locke”

Define TBR – In Bookish Terms It Means Different Things to Different People

Most generally in Bookish Terms, TBR stands for “To Be Read.” That wildly general term could mean books that at one point or another laid resident in your library or virtual novels on your Excel spreadsheet, shelf, or shelves.

Or your list may be a very detailed spreadsheet of all the books you want to read (not that you yet possess), perhaps in chronological, alphabetical, (color?) or genre order including print, ebook, or audio editions. Then there is a short, specific list of those few next up in your queue. Mine consists of the latter, usually dictated by publishing date and rotated in and out on my Goodreads list, as I discovered it impossible for me to schedule a month out. I never know what gorgeous cover will catch my eye, or that there is a thriller pop up I must have. That said–my #TBR changes weekly–it’s as fickle as the NYT bestseller lists I just wrote about. That said–here are this week’s books–right now:

#TBR end of March

Last Night by Kerry Wilkinson

“It’s the early hours of the morning and Rose Denton wakes up behind the steering wheel of her car. She’s off the road, through a hedge and in a field. What happened last night?” Contemporary English thriller

Add to Goodreads

Dark Territory by Leo J Maloney

“Black Ops veteran Leo J. Maloney delivers a lightning-fast thriller that puts America’s top operatives on a collision course with Russia’s deadliest weapon . . . The Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest rail line in the world. But for Dan Morgan’s daughter Alex, it could be the shortest trip of her life—and the last.” (Amazon) Military, thriller and suspense

Add to Goodreads

Claws for Concern by Miranda James

“Charlie Harris and his Maine Coon cat, Diesel, are embroiled in a new mystery when a cold case suddenly heats up in the latest installment of the New York Times bestselling series.” Cozy mystery

Add to Goodreads

What about you? What is your definition of TBR? Is it totally out of control or this week’s reads? ©2018 V Williams V Williams

Author Spotlight – Brent Jones

When author buddy Brent Jones notified me of his upcoming appearance at the Welland Library Seaway Mall Branch (Canadian side of Niagara) this Saturday, February 24, I was thrilled that he continues to drive hard for the sale of his well received and highly acclaimed sophomore novel, Fender. Author Spotlight-Brent Jones

Then he also mentioned that they interviewed him and quoted a small  blurb of the review I posted here last August. I LOVE the validation! Laura Garzon provided a detailed interview with Brent saying in part:

“Amazon.com describes author Brent Jones as a person who has always been “drawn to writing”.  He changed career paths to become a full-time writer and according to the reviews,  he “has exceeded expectation that his sophomore novel, Fender, might best the debut. This emotionally packed literary saga . . . is powerful and profane and masterfully examines the overwhelming condition of stupefying grief.” –Stanley McShane (Virginia Williams)…Cocos Island Treasure.

“We talked to him about his book and life as a writer. Here is what he had to say…”

(Catch her full interview here.) Jones divulges in the interview that he is currently working on a series of four books that he hopes to begin releasing in the next couple of months. His books and short stories to date land heavily in the literary fiction genre. The new series will feature protagonist Afton Morrison from his recent short story A Book With No Pictures, coincidentally used for my current “Quick Quote” in the widget column to the right and recently reviewed on both Amazon and Goodreads.

In the Author Page on Goodreads, Jones writes, “From bad checks to bathroom graffiti, Brent Jones has always been drawn to writing. He won a national creative writing competition at the age of fourteen, although he can’t recall what the story was about. Seventeen years later, he gave up his freelance career as a social media manager to pursue creative writing full-time. Fender and The Fifteenth of June are his first two novels.
Jones writes from his home in Fort Erie, Canada. He’s happily married, a bearded cyclist, a mediocre guitarist, (sometimes) vegetarian, and the proud owner of two dogs with a God complex. Subscribe to his newsletter (AuthorBrentJones.com) or follow him on social media (@AuthorBrentJ) for updates.”

I’ll continue to watch with interest this up and coming author, urge you to take another look at Fender, and I look forward to the first in his series of thrillers. ©2018 V Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

Reading Challenge

Reading Challenge

Notice how you get braver as you get older? Take on new challenges?

Well, it doesn’t amount to learning to ride a motorcycle at 55 years, but this year I went hunting for reading challenges, and although I did not catch either of these in December or even January, found two I wanted to try this year. I have gathered those books read beginning in 2018 and performed some serious catch-up. I have added a page I’m calling Reading Challenge to collect any new reads posted to either challenge so you can follow my progress during the year. (My Goodreads Challenge is 90 books and progress appears in the widget column to the right.)

The NetGalley and Edelweiss Challenge

In for a penny–in for a pound–and I went straight to the platinum level, which translates to 75 books for the year. Seventy-five books just from these two sources will definitely be a challenge for me. If you’d like to sign up for this challenge, click here. Continue reading “Reading Challenge”

#ThrowbackThursday – author Rick Mofina – Book Review

#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 am touching on some of my oldies but goodies, favorite authors, and favorite stories. 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 Fear by Rick MofinaThis week I am highlighting Rick Mofina, another terrific, prolific author who wrote Cold Fear, which I reviewed on Goodreads. He has actually written a number of other books, including this series. This novel was published by Carrick Publishing on December 8, 2012.

Originally posted July 12, 2014

Book Blurb:

In the remote, rugged corner of Montana’s Glacier National Park known as the Devil’s Grasp, little Paige Baker of San Francisco disappears with her dog, Kobee, while on a camping trip with her family; or so her mother and father have told authorities.
A multi-agency task force launches a massive search as Paige fights to survive in the wilderness. Time hammers against her and soon the nation is gripped by the life-and-death drama.
Secretly, behind the scenes, the FBI grows suspicious of Paige’s parents. Their recent history and disturbing evidence links them to a horrible secret from the past.

My Review:

Little city girl Paige Baker runs into the woods with her dog, Kobee, to find her mother–and gets distracted by a chipmunk who captures the dog’s attention as well. Unfortunately, this was preceded by an unusually loud and emotional fight between her father and mother. The mother shouldn’t have been much farther down the trail, but the chipmunk didn’t go that way and neither did Kobee or the child.

Father Doug thinks mother Emily has the child and vice versa. The San Francisco family is visiting the remote heavily wooded northern area of Glacier Nat’l Park known as Devil’s Grasp to finally put to closure a catastrophic event that happened when Emily was a girl. The disappearance of Paige, however, suddenly opens secrets that will bear on the event that enveloped Emily 22 years ago. Mother and Father must work together to solve their daughter’s disappearance as well as coordinate with authorities who suspect the parents.

While there are a number of scenes that push the curtain of credulity, especially that of a 10-year-old under-prepared child surviving 5 days in grizzly infested mountains (much less with a beagle in tow), to the wild final scenes of antagonist Isaiah Hood, the story becomes complicated and includes a number of twists you don’t see coming.

In between lay some fascinating insights into the wide and varied characters, the very believable dialogue between the characters, as well as the self-talk and recriminations of each of the persons connected to the ever-expanding and eventually world-wide on-going drama lived out in the beautiful Big Sky country of Montana. While I had a little problem believing the parents could be quite that forgiving of Frank Zander, I thought all the loose ends were tied up very neatly and closed out the story well and happily as you kept rooting for Paige to survive.

I received this free download from BookBub and appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Definitely keeps your attention and I can recommend to those who enjoy thrillers.

Rick Mofina - authorAbout the Author:

Rick Mofina is a former journalist and an award-winning author of several acclaimed thrillers. His reporting has put him face-to-face with murderers on death row in Montana and Texas. He has covered a horrific serial-killing case in California and an armored car-heist in Las Vegas, flown over Los Angeles with the LAPD Air Support Division and gone on patrol with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police near the Arctic. He has reported from the Caribbean, Africa and Kuwait’s border with Iraq. His true-crime articles have appeared in the New York Times, Marie Claire, Reader’s Digest and Penthouse. Mofina’s books have been published in 8 languages and 16 countries.

More Throwback Thursday Blogs

Renee at Its Book Talk

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Rebecca at The Book Whisperer

Lynn 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 I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

Dark Ocean – a #BookReview

Dark Ocean by Nick ElliottTitle: Dark Ocean (The Angus McKinnon thrillers Volume #2) by Nick Elliott

Genre: Currently #2589 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers, Espionage

Publisher: Seaward Publishing

Publication Date: August 16, 2017

Source: Review request by author

Title and Cover: Dark OceanBeautiful cover, sunken vessel subject of recovery

No stranger to the South China Sea or sunken ships, marine claims investigator Angus McKinnon gets a summon to Hong Kong to investigate a WWII wreck that lies in the depths. The claim on the cargo, however, involving a local ship owner, may not be all it’s cracked up to be. Suddenly, an old friend is murdered in Greece and Angus must return to Greece. Continue reading “Dark Ocean – a #BookReview”

#AmReading – Grist Mill Road by Christopher J. Yates

#amreading - #GristMillRoad

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 Christopher J. Yates and his book Grist Mill Road. I requested this download from NetGalley. The book will be released on January 9, 2018, by Picador. Amazon classifies the novel as a mystery, thriller & suspense, and crime and is only 352 pages.

I will be presenting my review on Monday, January 8, 2018. Krysten Ritter, whose book Bonfire I read and reviewed last year, had this to say about Yates sophomore novel, “Dark, intense, and disturbing, Christopher Yates’ Grist Mill Road begins with a shock and keeps the suspense burning page after page. A thriller with imagination to spare. Highly recommended.”

It’s beginning to sound pretty scary and the book blurb on Amazon isn’t quelling the nerves. Gulp…but looking again…it’s not supposed to be horror…right?

Book Blurb: Christopher J. Yates’s cult hit Black Chalk introduced that rare writerly talent: a literary writer who could write a plot with the intricacy of a brilliant mental puzzle, and with characters so absorbing that readers are immediately gripped. Yates’s new book does not disappoint.

Grist Mill Road is a dark, twisted, and expertly plotted Rashomon-style tale. The year is 1982; the setting, an Edenic hamlet some ninety miles north of New York City. There, among the craggy rock cliffs and glacial ponds of timeworn mountains, three friends―Patrick, Matthew, and Hannah―are bound together by a terrible and seemingly senseless crime. Twenty-six years later, in New York City, living lives their younger selves never could have predicted, the three meet again―with even more devastating results.

Christopher J Yates - authorAbout the Author:

(From Goodreads author page) Christopher J. Yates was born and raised in Kent and studied law at Oxford University before working as a puzzle editor in London. He now lives in New York City with his wife and dog. ‘Black Chalk’ is his debut novel. You can read his blog posts on his website

Grist Mill Road has been named in Goodreads’ best six books of the month for January 2018. Find the complete list here. ©2018 V Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

Series or Standalone? What Are You Reading?

After I released my grandfather’s books on the world, I started reading and then reviewing in earnest. It wasn’t long before I discovered BookBub, and I absolutely loved it, gleaned free books that for the most part turned out to be exceptional, fun, and compelling books. Shortly after came series–lots of them–and I proceeded to read books from one series or another, sometimes exhausting them and looking for more, which might be considered a “con.” The wait for the next in the series–sometimes up to a year–then will you have to get reacquainted?

When you pick up a new book, do you prefer to start a new series or a standalone?

And, if you are starting a series, do you absolutely have to start with #1?

(Yes, sometimes!)

How can you read this? There's no pictures!

Continue reading “Series or Standalone? What Are You Reading?”

#AmReading – The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz

#AmReading - The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz

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 Dean Koontz and his book The Whispering Room. I received an ARC from the publisher, Bantam, and NetGalley. The book will be released on November 21, 2017. Amazon classifies the novel as literary fiction and a mystery, thriller & suspense, and is 528 pages. Even so, I see where some advanced readers flew through it in one sitting. (I’m not one of those.)

I will be presenting my review shortly, but in the meantime (from Amazon), here is the

Book Blurb:

“No time to delay. Do what you were born to do. Fame will be yours when you do this.” These are the words that ring in the mind of mild-mannered, beloved schoolteacher Cora Gundersun—just before she takes her own life, and many others’, in a shocking act of carnage. When the disturbing contents of her secret journal are discovered, it seems certain that she must have been insane. But Jane Hawk knows better. In the wake of her husband’s inexplicable suicide—and the equally mysterious deaths of scores of other exemplary individuals—Jane picks up the trail of a secret cabal of powerful players who think themselves above the law and beyond punishment. But the ruthless people bent on hijacking America’s future for their own monstrous ends never banked on a highly trained FBI agent willing to go rogue—and become the nation’s most wanted fugitive—in order to derail their insidious plans to gain absolute power with a terrifying technological breakthrough. Driven by love for her lost husband and by fear for the five-year-old son she has sent into hiding, Jane Hawk has become an unstoppable predator. Those she is hunting will have nowhere to run when her shadow falls across them.

Author:

(Amazon) Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirits of their goldens, Trixie and Anna.

I might also note that Goodreads has his average rating pegged at 3.91. Remember Goodreads ratings generally run slightly lower because of their own interpretation of star ratings, which is not the same as those of Amazon. Out of 2,054,464 ratings, he’s garnered 77,801 reviews and his books have been shelved over three million times. I figure that at around 3.8%. It’s difficult even for him to get reviews, huh?!)

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