Wednesday, February 26, 2020

A Conspiracy of Bones by @KathyReichs #Netgalley #Book #Review

Synopsis:
It’s sweltering in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Temperance Brennan, still recovering from neurosurgery following an aneurysm, is battling nightmares, migraines, and what she thinks might be hallucinations when she receives a series of mysterious text messages, each containing a new picture of a corpse that is missing its face and hands. Immediately, she’s anxious to know who the dead man is, and why the images were sent to her.

An identified corpse soon turns up, only partly answering her questions.

To win answers to the others, including the man’s identity, she must go rogue, working mostly outside the system. That’s because Tempe’s new boss holds a fierce grudge against her and is determined to keep her out of the case. Tempe bulls forward anyway, even as she begins questioning her instincts. But the clues she discovers are disturbing and confusing. Was the faceless man a spy? A trafficker? A target for assassination by the government? And why was he carrying the name of a child missing for almost a decade?

With help from a number of law enforcement associates including her Montreal beau Andrew Ryan and the always-ready-with-a-smart-quip, ex-homicide investigator Skinny Slidell, and utilizing new cutting-edge forensic methods, Tempe draws closer to the astonishing truth.

But the more she uncovers, the darker and more twisted the picture becomes...

Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

My Review:
Temperance Brennan is back after being in the hospital with an aneurysm.  Being her usual self, she's ready to get back to work.  But after having words with the new director, she's in exile.  Shockingly someone has sent her classified pictures of a corpse!  She insists on finding out who this corpse is and goes rogue.

Staying true to form Kathy Reichs has written another awesome novel.  You feel every emotional moment.  At one point I was screaming for them to get the guy, and realized I said it out loud (so embarrassing).  I loved that her novel drew me in and even with the technical terms, I was interested and learned quite a bit.  As always, if you loved Bones, you'll absolutely love this!

๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–


About the Author:
Kathy Reichs is a forensic anthropologist for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, State of North Carolina, and for the Laboratoire des Sciences Judiciaires et de Mรฉdecine Lรฉgale for the province of Quebec. She is one of only fifty forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology and is on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. A professor of anthropology at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Dr. Reichs is a native of Chicago, where she received her Ph.D. at Northwestern. She now divides her time between Charlotte and Montreal and is a frequent expert witness in criminal trials.
 Connect with Kathy at http://www.kathyreichs.com/


The River Jewel Book Review #bvbtours


For everyone who hopes to find the perfect match…

1875 Des Moines, Iowa

The novella, The River Jewel, takes readers of the bestselling Letter Series novels back in time, before there was a last letter, before the Arthurs lost everything, before they knew a girl named Pearl.

Meet Tilly Rabel, a proud oyster-woman, and Landon Lockwood, the troubled son of one of the wealthiest men in America. The two could not be less suited for love. But when an old legend draws Landon to a hidden river cove, Tilly and he find each other, are lured by growing attraction, and repelled by competing desires to control Tilly’s waters. The hidden pool is replete with valuable mussel beds and the source of everything that makes Tilly who she is. Landon sees the illustrious treasure as the path to proving to his parents he is worth their love and worthy of the Lockwood name. Can Tilly trust Landon with her heart, with her beloved mussel beds? Can Landon trust that he has truly changed and doesn’t need his parents approval to live the life he wants?

Heartbreak, triumph, and a very special baby weave a tale sure to please readers who’ve read the entire Letter Series and those who are just starting the journey.

Available to buy from the following sites...

My Review:
It's 1875 in De Moines, Iowa...the prequel novella to The Letters series.  This is the love story of Tilly Rabel and Landon Lockwood, the son of one of the wealthiest men in America.  Will Landon go against his parents wishes and have the life he wants with a young woman they disapprove of. Will he be able to prove to Tilly that he no longer has any interest in her beloved cove?

I thought this was a sweet yet short love story.  It was so sad that everyone was after Tilly's tiny parcel of land, that she didn't know who she could trust.  I felt really bad when Landon tried to show her affection or give her gift she would think that he was trying to use her to get her cove.  This was a heartfelt, beautiful, love story.


The Last Letter Series of novels by Kathleen Shoop is set in the Midwest of America in the late 19th and early 20th century. Shoop takes readers on an emotional journey through love, loss and redemption. Inspired by family letters, the novels pull from historical events and places and feature the life and times of the fictional Arthur family as they make their way in the world.

Letter Series Book 1 - The Last Letter

Katherine wouldn't have believed it if she hadn't found the letter...

In the summer of 1905 Katherine Arthur's mother arrives on her doorstep, dying, forcing her to relive a past she wanted to forget. When Katherine was young, the Arthur family had been affluent city dwellers until shame sent them running for the prairie, into the unknown. Taking her family, including young Katherine, to live off the land was the last thing Jeanie Arthur had wanted, but she would do her best to make a go of it. For Jeanie's husband Frank it had been a world of opportunity. Dreaming, lazy Frank. But, it was a society of uncertainty--a domain of natural disasters, temptation, hatred, even death.  

Ten-year-old Katherine had loved her mother fiercely, put her trust in her completely, but when there was no other choice, and Jeanie resorted to extreme measures on the prairie to save her family, she tore Katherine's world apart. Now, seventeen years later, and far from the homestead, Katherine has found the truth – she has discovered the last letter. After years of anger, can Katherine find it in her heart to understand why her mother made the decisions that changed them all? Can she forgive and finally begin to heal before it's too late?  

**Independent Publisher Awards** 
2011 Gold Medal, Best Regional Fiction-Midwest 

**National Indie Excellence Book Awards** 
2011 Finalist Award-Historical Fiction / 2011 Finalist Award-Regional Fiction 

**USA Best Books 2011 Awards** 
Winner, Fiction--Western / Finalist, Fiction--Historical / Finalist, Best New Fiction 

**International Book Awards** 
2011 Finalist Award-Historical Fiction / 2011 Finalist Award-Best New Fiction

Available to buy from.......

Letter Series Book 2 - The Road Home

Find your way home...

1891—Living separately for three years, fourteen-year-old twins, Katherine and Tommy Arthur, have done their best to make each boarding house feel like home. But unrest grows as they are driven to questionable actions just to survive. Meanwhile their desperate mother is confronted with breaking yet another promise to her children. Then a miracle descends. Hope rises on a cold, rainy night and changes everything. If Jeanie could just get word to Katherine and Tommy, she knows she can set their lives right again. Agitators, angels, and dangerous “saviors” illuminate the Arthurs’ unmatched determination and smarts.

1905—Though she tries to forget the awful years that hurt so much, the memories still haunt Katherine. Now, tearful mourners at her mother’s funeral force her to revisit a time in her life that both harmed and saved her in the most unexpected ways. Tommy grieves his mother’s passing as well. He too is thrust backward, compelled to rediscover the events in his life that shaped the man he has become. Will he commit to reconstructing his broken life? The Arthurs come to understand that forgiveness is the only way back to hope, the only way to find all that was good in the misfortune that transformed their lives forever.

Available to buy from.......

Letter Series Book 3 - The Kitchen Mistress
For every woman who’s had to choose between the secrets that protect her and the people she loves the most…

1892—Des Moines

Katherine Arthur and her family are back and it’s time to collect the money Mrs. Mellet left them in her will. The tidy sum will allow the family peace of mind and a future that’s stable and fulfilling. But when things don’t go exactly as planned, Katherine steps up to do more than her share. Hired as a kitchen mistress, her intuition (with the help of a mysterious recipe book), cooking prowess, and work ethic make her the perfect partner for the enigmatic, wealthy woman next door. Then Aleksey Zurchenko arrives.

Violet Pendergrass is a well-heeled, progressive woman with half a fortune in one hand and a plan for enduring prosperity in the other. Resourceful, shrewd, and tough, Violet doesn’t realize her one and only weakness leaves her vulnerable as she attempts to solidify her independence. She sees unparalleled value in Katherine’s gifts and does her best to keep the girl close, to keep her true work secret from her mother and the world.

Katherine’s loyalties to her mother and Violet grow strained and soon her commitment to both frays even further as her feelings for Aleksey grow. Katherine must decide if pursuing her work with the formidable Violet and protecting her family are more important than following love. Can she do it all? Love, hope, joy, secrets buried in walls and hearts; all are threatened by those who claim to care about the Arthurs. Can Katherine separate what’s right and true from what it takes to survive? Are they even different things?
Available to buy from...

Letter Series Book 4 - The The Thief's Heart
For anyone who’s ever needed a second chance, to find love, to find the right path in life…
Des Moines, 1892.

After losing their promised inheritance, the Arthur family’s luck finally changes. An extraordinary woman, Violet Pendergrass, provides refuge for them to rebuild their broken lives. Or has she? Handsome fifteen-year-old Tommy Arthur has one foot in manhood and the other dragging up the rear of his boyhood years. He strives to protect and provide for his family, but turning to booze when scared or worried creates as many problems as solutions. Unsure of who he can trust, fiery redhead Pearl Riverside challenges and excites him at every turn, softening his heart toward the idea that goodness exists in the world.

Tension builds between Tommy and his mother as her affection for a generous man increases. At the same time, distance grows between Tommy and his twin sister, Katherine, as each chooses their secrets over family. Violet Pendergrass demands more from Tommy and he begins to question her motives.

When disaster strikes for Tommy’s little sister, Yale, the actions of a sinister judge, a crooked minister, and the infamous charlatan, Dreama, are revealed. Facing more jailtime as vigilante mobs form, the clock runs down on Tommy’s chance to take responsibility for his own choices. Is it too late for him to save his family, to open his heart and fully love those who need him as much as he needs them?
Available to buy from the following sites...


The Family Letters
      
Luckily for author Kathleen Shoop, her ancestors kept hold of letters that are now between 100 and 120 years old. The first set of letters was handed down to Shoop from her mother. They appear in the collection called My Dear Frank. They are sweet and hopeful love letters written to Frank Arthur from his then-fiancรฉ, Jeanie Scouller, between July 1882 and May 1883. My Dear Frank only contains Jeanie’s letters to Frank, as his were lost or destroyed at some point. However, for readers who love to bask in the past, Jeanie’s letters make it easy to understand much of what Frank had said, as she responds as quickly as she possibly could. (Read more about My Dear Frank.)

Available to buy from...

The second set of letters, Love From Mama, was written in the early 20th century. This collection is larger than the love letters as it contains correspondence by Jeanie, Frank, her children, some friends and also relatives. This non-fiction look into the past is a treasure for anyone who loves history in its raw, but real form! (Coming Soon)


About Kathleen Shoop
Bestselling author, Kathleen Shoop, holds a PhD in reading education and has more than 20 years of experience in the classroom. She writes historical fiction, women’s fiction and romance. Shoop’s novels have garnered various awards in the Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY), Eric Hoffer Book Awards, Indie Excellence Awards, Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Readers’ Favorite and the San Francisco Book Festival. Kathleen has been featured in USA Today and the Writer’s Guide to 2013. Her work has appeared in The Tribune-Review, four Chicken Soup for the Soul books and Pittsburgh Parent magazine. Kathleen coordinates Mindful Writing Retreats and is a regular presenter at conferences for writers.

I adore writing historical fiction (The Letter series, After the Fog and Donora Stories that are coming soon!) but am having a blast writing romance like Home Again, Return to Love and Tending Her Heart (Endless Love series). Thank you so much for the time you take to read.

Follow the author on the following sites...
Website   Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Goodreads   Amazon Author Page   Bookbub

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Saturday, February 22, 2020

A Werewolf in Riverdale #Book #Review



Synopsis:
Everyone knows the characters from Riverdale: popular Archie Andrews, girl-next-door Betty Cooper, angsty Jughead Jones, and the sophisticated Veronica Lodge. But this is not the Riverdale you know and love. Something twisted has awoken in the town with pep. Inspired by the iconic Archie Horror comics, this reimagined universe takes the grittiness of the TV show and adds a paranormal twist.

Someone is killing the citizens of Riverdale. And after a bloody full moon, Jughead realizes he is the killer! Jughead is a werewolf. Can he keep this secret from his friends -- including werewolf-hunting Betty Cooper? Jughead has to get his dark side under control -- before it is controlling him.

The Archie Horror series contains all-new, original stories that fans of horror AND fans of Riverdale will eat up!
Pre-Order: Amazon 



My Review:
Okay, so there's a werewolf or werewolves in Riverdale. Betty Cooper's entire family is trained to kill them. The trick is to kill them and not get bitten. One of their friends is murdered and Archie begins training as well to kill the werewolf in Riverdale. There's just one problem, it could very well be one of their friends.

Now there's just one issue I had, unless in every book the horror changes, Riverdale is going to lose all of it's residents. I mean why kill off characters we all know and love? It made the story difficult to get into. Plus, Betty Cooper with a gun or slicing someone's head off, seriously?

Monday, February 17, 2020

Doctor Sleep by @StephenKing #Book #Review

Synopsis:
Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special 12-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.

On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless - mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky 12-year-old Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the "steam" that children with the "shining" produce when they are slowly tortured to death.

Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father's legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant "shining" power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes "Doctor Sleep."

Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan's own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra's soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted fans of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble 


My Review:
I don't think I quite grasped the concept of the shining fully until Doctor Sleep came around. Regardless, we all wondered what happened to cute little Danny Torrance, so it great to revisit the story. Even though it broke my heart to see he was following his Dad's footsteps, I was thrilled when he cleaned up and actually use his gift for good.

Stephen King has done it again with an absolutely engrossing ang thrilling novel. Oh, and that cat. Oh. My. God! Why, not a dog? Could've been a patient's service dog....just sayin'.
❤❤❤❤❤


View all my reviews

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Kathleen Ayers Wicked's Scandal 99 cents!



Love sexy historical romance? Join Historically Hot group with Kathleen Ayers on March 5th from noon to seven pm to chat about Wicked's Scandal and enter to win some fun prizes.
Wicked's Scandal is on sale February 12 - 15 for only $.99! Also available in Kindle Unlimited!

Alexandra Dunforth didn’t plan on creating a scandal….

She’s more concerned with her family estate and the aged servants left in her care. She’s also avoiding the marriage her uncle has arranged. The last thing she wants is to attract attention - especially from the biggest rake in the ton, Sutton “Satan” Reynolds, the infamous Marquess of Cambourne. Lord Cambourne detests London... The weather is poor. Women are begging for ruination at his hands. And he suspects his stepmother is attempting to have him murdered. All things considered, he’d rather return to the relative safety of the jungles of Macao. A chance meeting…. Alexandra is the most interesting woman Sutton has met in ages. She scoffs at his ridiculous nickname and isn’t impressed with his looks. Sutton isn’t deterred by Alexandra’s opinion of him instead, he’s intrigued. He’s finally found a woman he actually wants to ruin. Alexandra. Wicked’s Scandal is a steamy historical romance set in post-regency London with a guaranteed happily ever after. Book 1 of the Wickeds
https://amzn.to/2uJ6xIG

Beyond the Moon by @cathtaylornovel #Book #Review


Synopsis:
In 1916 1st Lieutenant Robert Lovett is a patient at Coldbrook Hall military hospital in Sussex, England. A gifted artist, he’s been wounded fighting in the Great War. Shell shocked and suffering from hysterical blindness he can no longer see his own face, let alone paint, and life seems increasingly hopeless.

A century later in 2017, medical student Louisa Casson has just lost her beloved grandmother – her only family. Heartbroken, she drowns her sorrows in alcohol on the South Downs cliffs – only to fall accidentally part-way down. Doctors fear she may have attempted suicide, and Louisa finds herself involuntarily admitted to Coldbrook Hall – now a psychiatric hospital, an unfriendly and chaotic place.

Then one day, while secretly exploring the old Victorian hospital’s ruined, abandoned wing, Louisa hears a voice calling for help, and stumbles across a dark, old-fashioned hospital room. Inside, lying on the floor, is a mysterious, sightless young man, who tells her he was hurt at the Battle of the Somme, a WW1 battle a century ago. And that his name is Lieutenant Robert Lovett…

Two people, two battles: one against the invading Germans on the battlefields of 1916 France, the other against a substandard, uncaring mental health facility in modern-day England. Two journeys begun a century apart, but somehow destined to coincide - and become one desperate struggle to be together.

Part WW1 historical fiction, part timeslip love story - and at the same time a meditation on the themes of war, mental illness, identity and art - Beyond The Moon sweeps the reader on an unforgettable journey through time. An intelligent read, perfect for book clubs.

For fans of Diana Gabaldon, Amy Harmon, Beatriz Williams, Kate Quinn, Kristin Hannah, Kate Morton, Susanna Kearsley and Paullina Simons.


My Review:
It's 2016 and Louisa Casson, suspected of attempting suicide, is suddenly thrust into a rundown sanitarium.    Her only solice is exploring the old building where she finds a beautiful old wing that is unused and rumored to be torn down.  Little did she know that going to aid someone she heard behind the old door would take her back in time to 1916 and WWI.

This was a well written novel and quite detailed.  I love time-travel novels, it makes a plausibility  that there's really a thing such as soulmates.  Robert and Louisa's love for each other was amazing and that kind of love is very rare.  If you enjoy time travel romance novels, this will be right up your alley.
๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘


About the Author:
I was born and grew up on the small island of Guernsey, one of the British Channel Islands in the English Channel.

My mother was a professional landscape artist, who spent her life painting the beautiful beaches and countryside of Guernsey. And so I grew up in an environment where it was a very normal thing to want to make a living from your art. Which is just as well, because I’m someone who always knew she wanted to be a writer, and if I’d had parents who’d harboured hopes of me becoming a tax accountant or a corporate lawyer, they’d have been sorely disappointed.

I’ve been obsessed with words and books since the day I first learned to read, and grew up on classic children’s authors like Enid Blyton and Edith Nesbit. As I got older I began to gravitate towards love stories with gripping plots, devouring novels like Jane Eyre, Rebecca, Katharine, Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice, about clever, independent-minded women caught up in passionate affairs with complex, Byronic men. And equally I loved sweeping epics like The Thorn Birds and Gone With The Wind. I have always been a hopeless romantic, and my favourite novels are beautiful, intelligent love stories that combine a gripping plot with gorgeous prose and wonderful historical detail to lose yourself in.

I was also a keen writer myself from an early age, penning copious stories and poems – as well as plays to be performed in the field behind our house, with parts for me and my younger brother and sister, but always with myself in the starring role (of course!).

My love of language developed into an interest in foreign languages, and I went on to study French and German at university, then to live and study in Germany for several years after that. Most recently I worked as a journalist.

Throughout my time at university I studied 1900-1945 European history and culture – a period that continues to fascinate me. I always knew that when I eventually wrote my first novel it would be a novel of historical fiction set during the first half of the twentieth century. And that it would be first and foremost a love story.

Mental health is a subject that has always hugely interested me, and from the very start I knew that Beyond The Moon would be set partly in a psychiatric hospital. As I began to research people’s experiences in mental hospitals I was shocked to find just how common it is for patients to suffer neglect and abuse in such places. I can understand that modern-day Coldbrook Hall might seem far-fetched to some readers, but I assure you, you don’t have to look far on the internet to find some appalling stories. Just recently the following articles appeared in UK newspapers: ‘Firms cash in on psychiatric care crisis’ in The Times, and ‘Care Quality Commission [the UK regulator] places two Priory Group hospitals in special measures’ in The Guardian. If I, in my very small way through Beyond The Moon, can help shine a light on this modern-day scandal, then I am very glad.

I hope you enjoy Beyond The Moon as much as I loved writing it. I love to hear from readers, so please do get in touch at catherine@catherinetaylor.net. Also, on my contact details page, you can sign up for my mailing list and receive occasional (I don’t have the time for anything more frequent!) news about Beyond The Moon and future novels.

My Instagram is @catherine_taylor_author

I’m currently working on a second novel set in 1900s Vienna, when the “imperial city” – as it was known – was at the heart of the enormous, cosmopolitan Austro-Hungarian Empire. It’s another smart historical love story, and I’m very excited about it.

I now live in London with my husband and children - and two very cheeky and active chinchillas.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Where the Crawdads Sing #Book #Review


Synopsis:
For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.

Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble 


My Review:
Poor little Kya Clarke had everyone in her life walk out on her. At the age of 4, she was left to fend for herself.  She quickly learned to be resourceful to earn money to pay for supplies.  The citizens of Barkley Cove call her "Marsh Girl", as if she's some wild untamed animal.  Truth be told she's extremely intelligent and kind hearted.  Then in 1969, Chase Andrews, a young man she was seeing has been found dead.  The only person accused is Kya, because they know nothing about her.

This was one of the most intriguing novels I've read in a very long time.  At the end I spent time looking up details to see if this was nonfiction, and you could imagine my astonishment to find out that it wasn't!  Delia Owens is one of the most creative and innovative writers I've come across, Now I see why book clubs loved it.  I can't wait to read more from her.