My Favorite Reads of 2017-Rosepoint Publishing

My Top 12 Favorite Books for 2017

Welcome to my version of The Bloggers Dozen–twelve of my favorite reads during 2017.

These are laid out in chronological order, and please don’t ask me to narrow it down any further. I didn’t choose these by the rating I gave them, though most came in between 4.5 and 5 stars. They all resonate with me–still. Lest you think they may all be thriller and suspense (since I seem to lean that way), I’ll mention that they were actually all over the board from Literary Fiction to Cozy Mysteries and Animals. I did have a number of other five stars reads–just that these were special for me.

Okay, it’s no secret I’m a sucker for a story that includes (especially) dogs animals. Also, if I had to count–and even I was curious–of the twelve listed here, free BookBub books only accounted for one this year as I discovered NetGalley and got serious about their offerings to the tune of 58.3% of those I downloaded. That doesn’t add up to 100% though, does it? That’s because I devoted 33.3% to author requests and beta-reads.

Follow the link to explore my full review and give you additional links to the books. Perhaps you might find one you missed that looks particularly exciting for you as well–I HOPE SO!

Stone Song by Wil BlevinsStone Song by Wil Blevins

This is the story of the Lakota Sioux warrior, Crazy Horse, a man who lived—and died tragically—on his own terms. HistFic 5/5 Stars

Dining and Driving with Cats by Pat PattersonDining and Driving with Cats-Alice Unplugged by Pat Patterson 

Travelogue from Mexico to the “Boudin Capital of the World” with two kitties loose in the car. (Doncha just love that cover?!) Foodies will love! Travelogue-food 5/5 Stars

Telemachus by Peter GrayTelemachus by Peter Gray

Interpret this anthropomorphic metaphor as a Greek tragedy, engaging all the elements of love, challenge, loss, and triumph as seen through the POV of a protagonist bird and his flock. Literary Fiction 5/5

Hunting Hour by Margaret MizushimaHunting Hour by Margaret Mizushima 

Loved, loved, loved, this Timber Creek K-9 Mystery and K-9 drug-sniffing German shepherd, Robo. Cozy mystery-5/5 Stars

Fender by Brent JonesFender by Brent Jones

This emotionally packed literary saga will have you grabbing for a hankie. (But it is a “good” cry.) Fender is a Beagle, btw. Literary Fiction 5/5 Stars

Snap Judgment by Marcia ClarkSnap Judgment by Marcia Clark

If you thought a novel by an attorney (yes, “that” Marcia Clark) would be stale, dry, and unappealing, then look again. Suspense-crime 4.5/5

Sea of Doubt by Jeremy D. HoldenSea of Doubt-The Greatest Story Ever Sold by Jeremy D. Holden

You know by the title that you are in for an intelligent and socially unacceptable ride and after the hook at the beginning, that’s how this book proceeds. So how would you announce to the world the Second Coming? Mystery-suspense 4.5/5 Stars

Her Last Secret by Barbara CopperthwaiteHer Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite

Loved the way this brilliant author took you to the week prior to the tragic Christmas day event, seamlessly introducing each of the major characters using their own POV. Gripping psychological thriller 5/5 Stars

Bonfire by Krysten RitterBonfire by Krysten Ritter

I’ve said it before, will say it again–how is this fair? Ritter is a successful actress–pretty, intelligent, and now an author? Yes, she can grow, but really, try reading this and visualize Jessica Jones. Psychological thriller 3.5/5

Outside the Wire by Patricia SmileyOutside the Wire by Patricia Smiley

At last–a female protagonist not damaged by an abusive childhood or sporting model-like height and classic features! This lady sounds real. Sympathetic commentary on ex-military. Suspense-thriller 4.5/5 Stars

The Whispering Room by Dean KoontzThe Whispering Room (A Jane Hawk Novel) by Dean Koontz

Jane is the ubiquitous former FBI agent gone rogue. She’s smart, she’s dangerous, and she’s on a mission. Uh oh Suspense-thriller 4.5/5 Stars

The Wild Road to Key West by Michael ReisigThe Wild Road to Key West (The Cave of the Stars) by Michael Reisig

The Hole in the Coral Wall Gang always does the right thing. One of my favorite authors; this book includes some HistFic-Men’s Adventures 5/5 Stars

Which of the above did you read? Did I miss something fantastic this year that you’d love to tell me about? Do you have a suggestion (book or author) for my 2018 reads?

Have a safe and Happy New Year’s Eve and a successful 2018!

Happy New Year!

Snap Judgment – a Book Review

Snap JudgmentTitle: Snap Judgment by Marcia Clark

Genre: Currently #3710 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank for Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime, Murder

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: To be released August 29, 2017

Source: Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Snap Judgment – Cover covers it all

If you thought a novel by an attorney would be stale, dry, and unappealing, then look again. Yes, Snap Judgment is by “that” Marcia Clark and she has a winning title in this third of the Samantha Brinkman series.

In this novel, Samantha, better known as Sam, must come to the aid of her colleague, civil litigator Graham Hutchins. His USC freshman daughter, Alicia Hutchins, has been found with her throat slashed shortly after she tried to end a disastrous affair with a college companion, Roan Sutton. When it appears Roan retaliated by posting “revenge porn,” and is found in a suspicious suicide shortly after, the law naturally looks to Alicia’s father as a person of interest.

Sam is an independent criminal defense attorney in a very small, private office, and would like nothing better than to take on the case of the well-to-do lawyer–she could really use the bucks! I really like her scenario. The staff is composed of Michy, an old childhood chum and office manager, and Alex, an ex-client but brilliant computer hacker. His services, as well as his character is well fleshed out and enormously charismatic.

Sam has been around the block; she is a complex character and not new to the game. She has tread on some pretty thin ice between legal and maybe not so much and tends to push her luck. She’s street smart and edgy, a tireless worker, but she gets what she wants; definitely knows how to play poker.

A crime boss’s knowledge of her maneuvers leads to a sub-plot intended to force her to find a murder witness in a case involving his nephew. The witness against his nephew has disappeared and assumed taken into police protection. Involved in the sub-plot is her police detective formerly estranged father, Dale Pearson, with whom she also has managed a major coup–and far reaching reputation.

Sam manages to devote serious amounts of shoe leather talking to witnesses, gleaning facts and names, alternately managing the murder of Alicia and the syndicate boss’s nephew along with her lesser cases and court appearances.

Clark‘s years in the legal system are obvious in the way her knowledge and terminology seeps into decisions and directions of either major case. Dialogue with her office assistants is down home and real, and stays on a personal and lateral level rather than attorney to personnel. She never talks “down” to them, but seems to genuinely love and appreciate her staff. She is aware she cannot put Alex at legal risk with his recent history. Really, he’s a good guy and excellent computer nerd. Michy is just trying to keep her boss afloat and keeps on her about her “billable hours,” an assignment Sam would rather avoid.

A rather lengthy investigation follows both cases, unraveling more details but only creating more questions. You won’t see the end coming until it hits hard. Talk about twists–they are all at the end!

I’m not a huge fan of the character Sam as much as the premise itself, the thriller outside the courtroom, and the character fit. (Being a lawyer is obviously NOT glamorous.) Language, language, language, hard drinking, and many, many showers. The trend to damaged female protagonists with abuse in their histories seem to be a theme in many of the books I’ve read lately. However, I definitely enjoyed this book and would be interested in reading another in the series. (Don’t stop now, Marcia, they’re getting good!) Sam hasn’t been weakened because of her past–she’s probably wickedly stronger–in spite of it.

Ms. Clark has a wicked sense of humor–and peppers her narrative with little ditties, such as “About as much as I’d like to go skinny-dipping in a swamp” or “…this time he’d been sober as a stopwatch at a swim meet…” And yes, it’s that Marcia Clark; note her twitter addy: @thatmarciaclark. (Told you she had a sense of humor.)

I received this book in exchange for a review by Ms. Clark, Thomas & Mercer, and NetGalley, and I really enjoyed! Recommended for anyone who enjoys an intelligent mystery, thriller.

Bullseye!Rosepoint Publishing:  4.5 of Five Stars

Marcia ClarkThe Author: Marcia Clark is a California native and the author of a number of books, including the Rachel Knight series. She joined the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office in 181 and served as prosecutor for such high-profile cases as Robert Bardo and, of course, O. J. Simpson. She co-wrote a book out of that trial titled Without a Doubt. She is a frequent commentator in shows such as Good Morning America and Oprah Winfrey. She is a legal correspondent for Entertainment Tonight. Divorced from her second husband, Gordon Clark in 1995 with whom she bore two sons, Clark now resides in Calabasas, California. Connect with Ms. Clark on her website. ©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!