Meme’s Much? Book Beginnings and The Friday 56–HELLO Friday!

Today I am participating in two memes, the first called Book Beginnings who is hosted by Gillian at Rose City Readers. Every Friday you have the opportunity to share the first sentence of the book you are #currentlyreading. And as with The Friday 56, include the title of the book and the author’s name. You may wish to share your impression of the book to date as well. Also please share your post with Mister Linky on her blog site. See below for further details.

Book Beginnings on Fridays

“It was two in the morning on a late September Thursday when the Father waited in the dark parking lot of a former convenience store on Rosedale.”

Because there is a natural tie-in to The Friday 56, it common to combine the two.

The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice

The only rules are for participation in The Friday 56 is to grab a book, any book or the one you are #currentlyreading, turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader,  and find a sentence (or a few, but don’t spoil it!), post it, then add your post URL to the Linky on the host site Freda’s Voice – and there yah go! This week I am spotlighting:

The Friday 56

“…I aimed for the People of Peace compound. As usual, I stopped at the top of the hill and pulled out my binoculars to take a peek.”

Add to Goodreads

Goodreads Book Blurb:

One night, while on duty with her four-legged crime-fighting companion, Meg gets an urgent call from her boyfriend Seth, who works for the Fort Worth fire department. A baby girl has turned up at the station with only two clues to her identity: One is a peace-sign symbol stitched into her blanket. The other is a word, written in string: help.

Megan follows every loose thread and, along with Brigit, ends up on a twisted path that leads to the People of Peace compound, the site of a religious sect on the outskirts of the city. Its leader, Father Emmanuel, keeps his followers on a short leash—and his enemies even closer. Could this be the abandoned baby’s original home? And if so, why was she cast out? Now that Megan and Brigit are on the case, the secrets of this reclusive cult are bound to be dug up. . .

The Long Paw of the Law is the seventh installment in her drool-worthy Paw Enforcement series.

So what am I thinking?

Loving it so far! (How could you not? Just look at that cover!) Enjoying the author’s sense of humor and her jumps inside the head of her shepherd, Brigit. Megan is a very capable Fort Worth K-9 handler and on the road to becoming a detective. In the meantime, she has an amazing appreciation and understanding of her partner. This is a series I can follow with fervor.

©2018 V Williams V Williams

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Rosepoint #BookReviews – August Recap

dog days header

50th Anniversary QuiltSo great to welcome our Navy buddies in August and must admit Northwest Indiana was exceedingly cooperative with beautiful, comfortable temps. As always, Kitra was a dynamo, bundle of energy who helped me get in and FINALLY put together the 50th Anniversary quilt that sister-in-law Ann’et made for us in 2012. Yes! Can you say “winter project?” Ted made his world-class ceviche (yum!) and he and the CE shared their old Navy stories (again) and quite a number of new ones! I posted a pic of the two of them trying to sink a sub at the Science Museum in Chicago. Kitra baked a new favorite–biscotti–and the boys put together a couple flower boxes for the fairy garden!

Catching up has taken the better part of a week; the blog, reading and reviews, social media, my veggie and fairy garden. Oh my goodness! The tomatoes!! Kitra got in and froze a bunch of them for me–they’ll make a great addition to stews and soups. (Never tried freezing them before, so we HOPE they’ll work well!) When the fairy garden doesn’t look quite so desolate, I’ll take another pic to share (discovered another downed snag today).

SO!  What I read before they arrived is pretty much it for August, although I was able to get in some great reads.

Aug 3 – Knot My Sister’s Keeper by Mary Marks

Aug 7 – Death Over Easy (A Country Store Mystery #5) by Maddie Day 

Aug 12 – Midnight Snacks are Murder by Libby Klein

Aug 14 – Death on the Menu by Lucy Burdette

Aug 21 – Burning Ridge – a #BookReview by Margaret Mizushima

Aug 28 – Samhain Secrets – a #BookReview by Jennifer David Hesse

The Forbidden Door by Dean KoontzNice Try, AftonAll of the above were downloaded from NetGalley and/or were book tours. In the meantime, I #AmReading The Forbidden Door by Dean Koontz (number 4 of 5) and will be posting my review this Sunday, September 2nd. I read and reviewed The Crooked Staircase (#3) here and The Whispering Room (2) here. Following on Tuesday, the 4th, my review of Nice Try, Afton by Brent Jones. That is the third of four in his Afton Morrison series and will release September 17th. Be aware that this gritty series profiles protagonist Afton Morrison in a frank assault of adult situations and language. Author Brent Jones paints an abstract of “moral ambiguity.” Dark and disturbing, crime fiction, vigilante justice–Afton style. I reviewed the second in the series, See You Soon, Afton in July and Go Home, Afton (#1) here.

I have a line up of cozies scheduled for September (book tours), as well as my fav (thrillers), and as always Throwback Thursdays, Cee’s Fun Fotos, or other features as captures my attention.

Hope this summer is going well for all of you: Blue Skies, Easy Breezes, Green Gardens, and nothing but GOOD books coming your way!

A big thank to all my new followers and as always so appreciate you who continue to read and comment! Thank you!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

#ThrowbackThursday – Loose Ends by Terri Reid

#ThrowbackThursday

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

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

Originally posted July 8, 2015

Loose Ends by Terri ReidBook Blurb:

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

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

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

My Review:

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

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

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

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

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

Add to goodreads

About the Author

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More Throwback Thursday Blogs

Renee at Its Book Talk

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Rebecca at The Book Whisperer

Lynne at Fictionophile

Sam at Clues and Reviews

Holly B at Dressedtoread

Deanna at DeesRadReads and Reviews

Amanda at Literary Weaponry

Annie at The Misstery

Mischenko at Read Rant Rock and Roll

Laurie at Cozy Nook Books

Ann Marie at LItWitWineDine

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Go Home, Afton – a #BookReview

Go Home, Afton by Brent JonesTitle: Go Home, Afton: Afton Morrison, Book 1 (The Afton Morrison Series) by Brent Jones

Genre: Currently #3470 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Suspense

Publication Date: To be released June 25, 2018

Source: Direct author request

Title and Cover: Go Home, AftonGorgeous cover totally reflecting tension-filled thriller

Animus: basic attitude or governing spirit: disposition, intention. 3: an inner masculine part of the female personality in the analytic psychology of C. G. Jung – https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/animus (including an outrageous motivation to do…something).

The title reflects a mantra within this periodically socially unacceptable protagonist. Afton Morrison is an educated, competent small town children’s librarian, more than capable of presenting an intelligent and patient twenty-six-year-old woman within the pseudo-academic life of Wakefield. She has quashed the animus within her successfully (whom she has named, quite appropriately Animus)…until now…when the demand to kill meets reason and she’s found the perfect victim. Afton can both satisfy that persistently deranged alter-ego while ridding the public of a vicious sexual predator. Continue reading “Go Home, Afton – a #BookReview”

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.

Add to Goodreads

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 #Reviews – April Recap

Review Recap

My name in Gallifreyan--hint--starts with a "V".In defense of my obvious decrease in reviews this month, I’ll mention I was inexplicably inspired to write several articles regarding bookish (Family Noir) conundrums or publishing algorithms (the 1200 lb Gorilla), the last post of which included Sunday’s hesitant but fascinating introduction into Circular Gallifreyan. Before you protest that it is not a “constructed language,” I’ll agree that it probably isn’t as I couldn’t find any classification linked to the character-driven concept in any of the pages or websites I read. Remember this?

I waited all month to get my struggling seedings out and then almost immediately had frost. As always, too anxious. What can I say? I’m from California where we started seeds directly outdoors in February. Checking my fairy garden daily for any indication my plants made it through the winter–they didn’t–although I’ve been told it’s still a little early. It’s MAY! Having chopped down snags and trunks took advantage of the sunny, warm and beautiful weather today, and got out the old saw and put the fire pit to work. I have high hopes for the vegetable and flower bed this year. And bonus–both the rose bush and forsythia made it through the winter, thank heaven as DH (Dear Hubby) covered the other plants and they will apparently remain buried (I can’t find them).

 

the-bean
The Bean – Chicago IL

 

We had a week-long visit from our grandchildren and together with our son who works and knows Chicago very well took us on a whirlwind sightseeing experience that crammed as much as we could in a week. We walked ten miles one day to include the Navy Pier, the Bean (see above), the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower). On other days we toured the Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium each requiring most of the day. (Yes, I’m exhausted.)

Absolutely outstanding world-class museum and the Art Institute houses an impressive number of masters including Van Gogh, Monet, El Greco, Picasso, Warhol and every imaginable form of art from early medieval and renaissance to impressionism. Love the Monet’s!

So, life happens along with reading and reviewing and sometimes it is the latter that takes the hit–only five reviews in April–with more read but due for review in May. (These links will take you to my review.)

The Advice Column Murders

Claws for Concern

Murder at the Mushroom Festival

A Dog’s Way Home

The Crooked Staircase

The CE reviewed three titles as well, one of which is due for a blog blast the middle of May. Additionally, I’ll be participating in blog tours, spotlights, and giveaways in May. I’m thrilled and excited to be participating in giveaways and I’m eager to see the response.

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

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”

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”

#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.

Add to Goodreads

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.

Add to Goodreads

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

Illinois Native Americans – a #BookReview

Illinois Native Americans - A 9,000 Year CivilizationTitle: Illinois Native Americans: A 9,000 Year Civilization

Genre: Currently #14 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle Short Reads, One hour (33-43 pages), History

Publisher: in60Learning

Publication Date: February 3, 2018

Source: Amazon Digital Services and Direct Request by publisher

Title and Cover: Illinois Native Americans – Cover denotes non-fiction material (uh oh–are you up for that?)

We were contacted by Tyler of in60Learning with an inquiry regarding reading and reviewing their new concept non-fiction novels in a down and dirty read and learn in a 60 minutes format. On their “title listing” page, they appear to have twenty-four titles, three of which are audio, the balance in Kindle format. The titles run from biographies to histories with titles releasing from the middle of January 2018 through March

Titles include Alexander the Great: Student of Aristotle, Descendant of Heroes (with 19 reviews and 4.5 average stars and apparently contains footnotes) to The Mexican-American War: A Divisive Expansion (with six reviews and 4.4 average stars). The C.E. chose this one as well as Hatshepsut The Pharaoh Queen of Egypt, which will be reviewed tomorrow.

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.” Continue reading “Illinois Native Americans – a #BookReview”

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”

Last Night – a #BookReview

Last Night by Kerry WilkinsonTitle: Last Night by Kerry Wilkinson

Genre: Currently #806 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Suspense, Psychological

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication Date: March 28, 2018

Source: Bookouture and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Last NightCover hints at remote field

Apparently not an English author new on the scene, my first read in one of his standalone books due out the end of this month. Rose Denton wakes behind the wheel, it’s two-something and she is apparently in the middle of a field with blood on her windshield and hood. She is confused, has no memory for how she might have gotten there, and after an inspection of her own body (nothing sore or broken), then around the car can find no apparent victim, animal or human. She has no explanation for her careen through the hedge or why she is here. Continue reading “Last Night – a #BookReview”

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

The Tortilla Curtain by T C Boyle-eBook coverTitle: The Tortilla Curtain by T. C. Boyle

Genre: Currently #27 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Literary Fiction, Satire, and #62 in Contemporary Fiction, Urban

Publisher: Penguin Books

Publication Date: September 1, 1996

Source: Free download BookBub

Title and Cover: The Tortilla CurtaineBook cover attracted my attention (prefer it to the paperback version below)–thought it would interest hubby–this is his review.

This book has been around more than twenty years and certainly long enough that there are more than sufficient synopses. So at this point, I must assume the literary crowd is familiar with the setting in the beautiful but fragile ecology of the Topanga Canyon of Southern California. This scenario situates two couples on a course designed to slap your senses into a new mindset. The classic style Greek pathos novel grasps the very soul of society and squeezes so tightly I came close to declaring a DNF more than once. No getting around it–this is a very difficult book. Continue reading “The Tortilla Curtain by T. C. Boyle – a #BookReview”

Five Reasons Why Books Release on Tuesday–Does That Include Indie Authors?

Five Reasons Why Books Release on Tuesday

Because it’s always been done this way. (?)

Oh really?! Why? Retailers call it Super Tuesday.

But Tuesday…Maybe it is just not as hectic as the first day of the week. Nor is it Friday when everyone is ready to flee to weekend outings. Tuesday is not yet Hump Day, not generally a payday, and very rarely a holiday. So why is it that I started having a problem with overlapping release dates–Tuesday–after I started receiving books from NetGalley?

Most sources, including Bob Mayer (one of my favorite authors), speculated it might be (1) because of the NY Times best-seller lists (and this seems to be a generally accepted opinion). “The NYT bestseller list is based on sales from Tuesday to Monday, tallied on Wednesday. The list for the following Sunday is actually compiled by the prior Wednesday evening.”

So what else are we looking at? Spy icon by Colourbox Continue reading “Five Reasons Why Books Release on Tuesday–Does That Include Indie Authors?”

The Telltale Tattoo – a #BookReview

the-telltale-tattoo-cell-smTitle: The Telltale Tattoo by John L. DeBoer

Genre: Currently #9027 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers, Crime

Publisher: Solstice Publishing

Publication Date: January 29, 2018

Source: Author Request

Title and Cover: The Telltale Tattoo – Cover depicts jungle terrain

John L. DeBoer writes in the legendary style of Mickie Spillane. The plot is pocked with quick action that includes a contrast between law enforcement and gangsters and the hero or protagonist is a gumshoe named Clay Archer. Continue reading “The Telltale Tattoo – a #BookReview”