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July 15, 2017

#BookReview: Our Only Chance by Ray Else

by MK French


Manaka Yagami is the first female tech millionaire, and she had started as a grad student interested in imprinting memories onto brains. One of her supervisors drafted her into his project, and soon the world's first AI was born. Einna is like Manaka's daughter, and she wants to make sure that the Yakuza can't use her tech for untoward purposes. Einna, however, has plans to better mankind and be more human.

Amazon affiliate links are used in this post. A free book was provided for an honest review.

March 2017; ELSE; 978-0996507134
ebook, print (300 pages); science fiction
The themes in the novel are very poetic, but I found it hard to get past the language style. Sentences are broken up and choppy, often fragmented thoughts, and it was difficult to get a feel for any of the main characters.

Perhaps Manaka is supposed to be more standoffish, but it was difficult to care about her struggles. The background characters and Einna were more engaging, and their sections of the novel did seem to flow a lot better.

There isn't a neat ending to the novel, so it almost feels like a let down at the end. All of the characters had their own agendas, even Einna, though her naivete means that she has good intentions behind them. She doesn't explain herself, and the very dry tone of the book is a stark contrast to the sudden chaos at the end. On top of that, it all came to an abrupt stop. I'm not sure if this is meant to have a sequel, but I don't find the story engaging enough to read a follow-up.

 Buy Our Only Chance at Amazon


Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.

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July 14, 2017

Fantastic! In This Moment by Karma Brown

by Susan Roberts

I loved Karma Brown's first two books and was excited to find her new book was as fantastic as the first two. Karma's books show how one event can take even the best life off track and create a ripple effect that resonates through the family.

Amazon affiliate links are used in this post. A free book was provided for an honest review.

In This Moment
May 2017; Park Row Books; 978-0778329916
ebook, audio, print (304 pages); women's fiction
The characters in this novel - especially Meg - are so well written that many of us can identify with them. Meg works as a full-time realtor while trying to be the perfect wife and mother. She is stressed and takes care of everyone but herself. When an accident happens at her daughter's school, she is consumed with guilt even though the accident wasn't technically her fault. The accident brings back the unresolved guilt from an accident that happened when she was 16 that she had never forgiven herself for. As her guilt begins to alienate her from her husband and daughter, she sees her family life slipping away.

This is a wonderful novel by a fantastic author who is able to create characters that the reader identifies with and cares about. Be sure you clear your calendar before you start In This Moment because you won't want to put it down until the last page.

Buy In This Moment at Amazon

About the book

Meg Pepper has a fulfilling career and a happy family. Most days she's able to keep it all together and glide through life. But then, in one unalterable moment, everything changes.

At after school pick up one day, she stops her car to wave a teenage boy across the street…just as another car comes hurtling down the road and slams into him.

Meg can't help but blame herself for her role in this horrific disaster. Full of remorse, she throws herself into helping the boy's family as he rehabs from his injuries. But the more Meg tries to absolve herself, the more she alienates her own family—and the more she finds herself being drawn to the boy's father, Andrew.

Soon Meg's picture-perfect life is unraveling before her eyes. As the painful secrets she's been burying bubble dangerously close to the surface, she will have to decide: Can she forgive herself, or will she risk losing everything she holds dear to her heart?


Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling.  She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends.  She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with her on Facebook.


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July 13, 2017

#YourLegacy Blog Tour: Rasputin's Legacy by Lee Jackson


We are so excited to bring you a preview of Rasputin's Legacy set to be released on the 28th of July! But don't wait for the release, pre-order and get FOUR Bonus Prizes!

Amazon affiliate links are used in this post.


Rasputin's LegacyWhen Ronald Reagan sends West Point graduate and covert operator Atcho to execute a deadly mission, he finds himself deep in Siberia with no support. His foe is a Soviet general bent on a coup and gaining control of the USSR’s nuclear weaponry. At the back of Atcho’s mind is that the country he is sent to save is the same Superpower that helped enslave Cuba, his beloved birthplace.

Out of the gloom surrounding the murders of the brooding mystic Rasputin and the Russian royal family, emerges the evil that survived World War II. It fomented the Cold War and propelled their effects into the modern age. Atcho must avert their horrors, yet to be imagined on a global scale.

In a style reflective of Vince Flynn, Robert Ludlum, and Tom Clancy, Book 2 of this Cold War series is sure to thrill, and if you have not read Curse The Moon, check out the back of this book for a sneak-peek of the story of how Atcho became Atcho.



BOOKS ON FIRE TOURS REVIEW:  

They don't write books like this anymore, and though it took an agonizing wait of 3 years for me, it all paid off! I savored every word, as Lee Jackson's meticulous research, well developed plot, realistic characters, exact locations and plausible events took hold of me. Though this work of art is pure Historical fiction, Lee Jackson executed his story so well, it was hard to distinguish fiction from fact. Far from being just Histfic, the plot lines flowed effortlessly from one action packed scene into another, with ample twists, nerve wrecking suspense, intrigue and rich dialogue. One of the few books in my opinion that not only served as entertainment, but it was thought provoking and educational too. When the last page is turned you are left with a jaw-dropping ending and yet Lee Jackson left room for book three in the series too. The best part is that you don't have to read Book 1 in the Cold War Series to enjoy this book, but you wouldn't want to miss out on a beautiful father/ daughter story, now would you?

So go on and splurge on an electrifying action packed emotional journey about a man who has to save the very country that betrayed him, all whilst staying one step ahead of his stubborn girlfriend and a relentless reporter.

WHAT SOME LEGENDS HAD TO SAY ABOUT THE BOOK: 

Carmine Zozzora, Producer of Die Hard with a Vengeance and Color of Night. "Pure Gold! Atcho grabs you at the beginning, and won't let go."

Bill Thompson, Editor of Stephen King's Carrie and John Grisham's The Firm. "With this page-turning thriller, Lee connects the brooding mystic Rasputin to the Cold War, traces his dark influence into the present, and makes it relevant to today's churning world events. Stunning!"

Lieutenant-General Rick Lynch (Retired), former Commanding General, 3rd Infantry Division during the Surge in Iraq. "Clearly one of the best books of historical fiction I have ever read. Extremely entertaining and educational at the same time."

Joe Galloway, NYT Bestselling Author of We Were Soldiers Once...and Young (adapted to a Mel Gibson movie) and We Are Soldiers Still. "Wow! The story is gripping and plausible, the warning real. A must read."

Kris "Tanto" Paronto, Hero of Benghazi, Bestselling Author of The Ranger Way. "Riveting! Lee Jackson takes you on a thrilling ride through the intrigue of the Soviet Union as it races toward its final days. Feel the fight of those reaching for freedom against the chaos brought on by Rasputin. Couldn't put it down."

D. Donovan, Midwest Book Review. "It takes a deft hand and clear mind to weave past and present events together in such a manner that several possible future paths become crystal clear, but the main strength of Rasputin's Legacy lies in its ability to introduce a cast of characters that swirl around Presidential politics and dangers without becoming confusing or overly complicated. Thriller readers who enjoy stories of espionage, subterfuge ... will find high-octane action throughout Rasputin's Legacy, with the special note that its exceptionally swift pace does not translate to an iota of confusion, and its conclusion is absolutely stunning.... (It) will keep readers guessing and on edge ... from start to finish.

EXCERPT


Burly thrust his hands deep into his pockets. “That’s right. You never spoke to either of them. They will both disavow you.” He studied Atcho’s face as if to discern whether he fully understood.

Atcho’s eyes narrowed.

“Got it. Has Yermolov made contact inside the Soviet Union?”

“Don’t know. A good bet is that he has. He’ll move cautiously. The CIA guy in Paris was monitoring a group with a lot of money. They might provide Yermolov safe haven until he’s built a base of support inside the Soviet Union, and then finance his return.”

“What’s their skin in the game?”

Burly seemed reluctant to go into depth. “C’mon,” Atcho urged.

“I need to know this stuff.”

The big man spoke deliberately. “Elections are coming up in the Soviet Union in four months. They’re the first that resemble free elections since the Russian Revolution. Any disruption of voting could set up a return to a Stalin-like dictatorship, and you know what that could mean for US-Soviet relations.”

“None of that explains why a group in Paris would help Yermolov.”

Burly arched his eyebrows. He sat back as if reluctant to proceed.

“We’ve known each other a long time, buddy. Stay with me. What I’m going to tell you is way out there.”

“Get on with it.”

Burly leaned toward Atcho. “Do you know anything about the fall of the tsar, or a Russian mystic called Rasputin?”

“I’ve heard of that Rasputin guy; and I know that the tsar’s family was executed. What does that have to do with now?”

Burly told him, in detail. Atcho listened, stunned. “Yermolov,” he whispered. “I suppose they want me to make sure he stays dead.”

As he spoke, visions swirled in his head, of unspeakably small torture boxes in dank, dark dungeons; of an impossible escape attempt under the unforgiving glare of an accursed full moon; of coerced training in a non-existent camp outside of Moscow; of years lost while separated from his beloved daughter. Would I risk that again?

Burly exhaled slowly. “I’m your friend. Believe that, even if I’m the guy sending you into harm’s way.” His reluctance to say more was palpable. “Reagan wants him alive.”

Atcho’s disbelief showed. “You can’t be serious. Reagan wants me to bring Yermolov back to Washington?”

Burly shrugged. “We need to know the damage he’s done, and we can’t allow him to pass more military secrets to the Soviets. But if you can’t catch him, kill him. Your call.”

Atcho closed his eyes and leaned his head back. “Does Gorbachev know about that part of the mission?”

“No.”

Atcho sat back in his chair, deep in thought. After some moments, he lifted his head and looked at Burly. “Anything on the burglary at my house?”

“Yeah.” Burly was somber. He reached into his pocket, pulled out several small objects, and held them in his open palm. “The cops think it was a burglary, but my guys did a sweep of your apartment.

Whoever it was planted these bugs there.”

Atcho stared at the listening devices. “So, someone is already on to this mission,” he said slowly.

“Maybe. The cops don’t know about the bugs. I’ll get them to downplay the burglary. Maybe that’ll keep Collins from going down that rabbit hole.”

Atcho stood. He felt fatigue seeping into his bones. “We can talk about this again tomorrow. I’ll give you my answer then.”


THAT"S RIGHT!!! Pre-Order purchasers will receive these 4 BONUSES FREE!

  • Bonus 1:  The True Story Behind Atcho
  • Bonus 2:  SMACKDOWN - An Excerpt From a Work in Progress
  • Bonus 3:  Aleksey’s Account of Rasputin’s Murder
  • Bonus 4:  A Complimentary eBook of CURSE THE MOON*

* To receive your CURSE THE MOON eBook, email a copy of your purchase receipt to GetDigitalCurseTheMoon@gmail.com.

For those who purchase paperbacks during the Pre-Order period, email a copy of your purchase receipt to GetDigitalCurseTheMoon@gmail.com. You’ll receive back all the bonuses in eBook form.

If you would like your book autographed, tell us that in your email. We’ll provide back an address to which to send your copy. When sending, be sure to include pre-paid shipment materials to send the autographed book back to you.

Pre-order Rasputin's Legacy at Amazon


Lee Jackson is a bestselling, award-winning thriller author. He was an Infantry officer with a front row seat on world affairs, and spent 38 months in Iraq and Afghanistan. Book 1 of his Cold War Series, Curse The Moon was published in 5 countries. Book 2, Rasputin’s Legacy, is due to go on pre-order on June 28, and will be fully released by July 28. Curse The Moon follows Atcho, a counter-revolutionary leader in Cuba turned unwilling spy in the U.S. The odds he faces seem overwhelming as he must choose between saving the world from nuclear holocaust – or his daughter. In Rasputin’s Legacy, he faces a surreal challenge: he must save the country that enslaved his own, or deliver control his personal desire for revenge? Lee Jackson lives and works with his wife in Texas.
Connect with Lee Jackson: Facebook  *  Twitter  *  website  *  Google+  *  LinkedIn  *  Goodreads


Curse the Moon
The Cold War. A backdrop to betrayal. A playground to power. When his daughter is kidnapped, Cuban-born, West Point Graduate Atcho must be a sleeper agent to men he'd rather kill. Atcho's rise opens doors into US National Defense even as a seemingly omniscient KGB officer holds unflinching sway over his actions. His public life clashes with secrets that only he and his tormentor share, isolating him in a world of intrigue among people whom he is determined not to betray. His choice: save his daughter, or save he world from nuclear holocaust. 

When the darkness of night is your only camouflage, you learn to Curse the Moon. Get your copy here now. 

Curse The Moon is the first book in Lee Jackson’s Cold War Series. The sequel, Rasputin's Legacy, will be released in late-April 2017.

In the tradition of Robert Ludlum’s page-turner, The Bourne Identity, Atcho fights against overwhelming odds, bleeds when hurt, and won’t back down. Think: Jason Bourne meets Dr. Zhivago.

To experience the violent intrigue of Cold War Cuba and Russia vs. the United States, get Curse The Moon today.

Book &Press Guild Reviewer: Natasha Johnstone
Curse The Moon: Cold War Rising
ISBN: 978-0-9898025-0-5
Lee Jackson
Stonewall Publishers, LLC

RATED 4 GUILD STARS
Atcho is known by many names but his only goal is to find his daughter who was kidnapped by a Russian General called Govorov. All he wants to do is find her and flee to the US where he was a former student at West Point when he was younger. His friend Juan convinces him to go to a secret meeting with members of the CIA who wanted their help to rise up against Castro and might help him find her.

In a cruel twist of fate, just as he hears of her release, he is thrown into the middle of the Cuban Revolution where actual events are true and based on fact. He leads the revolutionaries through the battle of the Bay of Pigs, but things don’t go as planned and he gets caught where he spends fourteen years in the Boniato prison. He is sent to the Isle of Pines prison for another five years. He goes from planning and training men for revolution to planning and training men to escape out of prison. Though, he did not escape it was not in vain as years later one of the prisoners he helped escape is responsible for his release. Just when he reunites with his daughter, who’s own story is gripping, he finds himself working for the very same General Govorov and the Soviet Union to once again keep his daughter safe.

Curse The Moon is an action-packed, deeply moving story about a man’s desperate struggle to reunite with his daughter amid political, social and personal change. It grips the reader from the starts as depicted in this excerpt from the first paragraph: ‘Atcho slouched against a wall, alone in a small plaza illuminated by the dim yellow light of a single streetlamp. His eyes probed the surrounding darkness. His fine, aristocratic features were hidden behind a week’s growth of unkempt beard, while his normally well-groomed hair fell in shaggy brown locks below his ears. Since state Security Police, commonly referred to as G-2, had never seen Atcho, at least not as himself, they knew him only by reputation. Tonight, they would be looking for his messenger. Atcho’s ears strained for the sounds of approach. His powerful frame ached to be released from its tense stance. “For Isabel,” he muttered.

From there, the mystery and intrigue incorporated into this action packed book by the ever present General Govorov in Atcho’s life ensures that the pages turn themselves!

But, there is more to this book than a thrilling personal story with a political backdrop. This remarkable book with very deep rooted plot lines portrays a very emotional story, which had a huge impact on me. The book integrates both the history of a country and a man, in an intelligent and gripping manner as well. In this beautifully written book, and in the ever-changing landscape that is Atcho’s life, the only constant remains the moon as taken from this excerpt,  “You’re always there,” Atcho murmured to the moon. “It seems you are the only benign constant in my life.” His mind drifted. (sic)

The book is available at the following online stores: Amazon and Barnes & Noble 






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July 12, 2017

Summer Salad and a Book: #HomemadeCaesarSalad and #BirdBoxReview

by Alison DeLuca


“How about homemade Caesar Salad?”

fresh salad greens
image courtesy of Pixabay

We just made our annual trip to Lake of the Ozarks, where we stay with lots of cousins and uncles and aunts. Since it’s such a large group, we trade off cooking one meal for the everyone. And each year, I spend weeks trolling Pinterest for recipes that will feed a huge crew.

Amazon affiliate links are used in this post.

This summer I was clueless. Should I make lasagna? (Too hot.) Chili? (Too blah.) My brilliant idea was homemade pizzas until our host ordered pizza for everyone the night before I had to cook. That ended that.

At a loss, I considered PB&J’s or cold cereal until I had a brainwave. “How about homemade Caesar Salad?” I asked the host. “With side toppings everyone can add to create a personal entrée?”

This idea got an enthusiastic thumbs’ up. I made my own dressing and croutons. A dish of shrimp and one of roast chicken flanked the display to turn it into a do-it-yourself bar.

Not only did the family eat up every scrap, one person told me the dressing was the best he’d ever eaten. And – guess what?

The recipe is super easy, and there are no raw eggs in the dressing.

Here it is so you can offer a fresh take on summer with your family and friends:

Caesar Salad Bar

4 cloves garlic, peeled
¼ cup + extra olive oil
At least 4 cups bread cubes cut from an Italian loaf
Salt
Fresh-ground pepper
Finely grated Parmesan, as fresh as possible
1 lemon
Worcestershire sauce
Good-quality mayonnaise (I used 8 ounces of Sir Kensington’s classic)
At least 3 hearts of romaine (no matter how much lettuce you prep, they will eat it)
Shrimp (I used 2 bags of 16-20 cooked and frozen)
Rotisserie chicken

Process the 4 cloves of garlic; as the machine is running, add the ¼ cup of olive oil. Run the processor for at least a minute. Set aside to allow the garlic to soak into the oil for another 5 minutes. 

Strain oil with fine-mesh strainer, reserving the processed garlic.

Prep lettuce. Tear into bite-size pieces, wash well in a spinner, and put into a large salad bowl. Store in the fridge under a damp paper towel to keep it fresh.

Prep the dressing: squeeze the lemon into a small container. Whisk 1 cup of mayonnaise, at least 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, ½ teaspoon of Worcestershire, half the reserved minced garlic, one tablespoon Parmesan, and a touch of salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings (I suggest you try a little dressing on one leaf of the lettuce you just prepped.)

Cut up the rotisserie chicken into small pieces and place on a platter.

Prep the croutons. Put the cubes of bread into a large bowl and shake half the garlic-infused olive oil over them. Stir, repeat.

Prep two frying pans. Coat them with 1 tablespoon olive oil in each pan and put over medium-high heat. Add the rest of the garlic to one and thaw the shrimp in the mix. Stir repeatedly until the shrimp is warmed through.

Put the coated bread cubes in the other. Stir repeatedly until the bread cubes are browned on all sides.
Serve the salad with the dressing on the side, the chicken and shrimp on platters, and the croutons in the big bowl for your guests to add. 

You can also put out extra cheese, the pepper shaker, and lemon wedges so they can personalize as they wish. Dishes of fresh parsley, sliced cucumbers, walnuts, and fresh summer tomatoes are all nice touches as well.

Enjoy!

*****
 
cover of Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

After all that slicing and dicing, you definitely deserve some Me Time. How about a novel filled with thrills, tension, and constant emotion?

I loaded up the Kindle before our plane ride, but Bird Box stood out as a novel I Could. Not. Put. Down.

This post-apocalyptic novel is set inside a house, where several survivors cower with a diminishing supply of canned food. One of them, Malorie, is pregnant when she arrives at the house – a perilous journey, since going outside with your eyes open makes you insane.

In order to get to a safer place, Malorie has to escape with her two children, known as Boy and Girl. They must travel twenty miles in a boat on the river behind the house – all while being blindfolded.

The unseen menace creates a rising sense of danger that never degrades when the monsters come out of the shadows – because they can’t. One sight of them, so the theory goes, drives humans into a murderous and suicidal frenzy.

In order to reach safety without killing herself or her children, Malorie cannot lift her blindfold.
No matter what happens.

The author, Josh Malerman, is the lead singer for The High Strung. His writing style is simple, not overblown at all. I found it perfect for the devastating story he tells. In fact, Malorie’s POV is told so well I was convinced the book had been written by a female.

Not only is the book exciting, it also touches some very interesting themes, including trust and, more importantly, what it means to be a parent. Motherhood, Malorie discovers, quickly changes in the face of disaster.

Enjoy the dinner and the book, but you might want to leave the lights on.

Buy Bird Box at Amazon

What are you reading this summer?




Alison DeLuca is the author of several steampunk and urban fantasy books.  She was born in Arizona and has also lived in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Mexico, Ireland, and Spain. Currently, she wrestles words and laundry in New Jersey.




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July 11, 2017

Two Fantastic Books to Read in July

by Susan Roberts


July is filled with blockbusters, don't miss these two fantastic books!

Amazon affiliate links are used in this post. Free advance reader copies were provided for an honest review.

Everything We Left Behind by Kerry Lonsdale

Everything We Left Behind
July 2017; Lake Union Publishing;
978-1477823972; ebook, audio, print (318 pages)
women's fiction
I have been anxious to read this book since I finished the last page of Everything We Keep last summer.

Everything We Left Behind was all I hoped for and more. Once I started it, and I was back in the lives of these characters, I didn't want to put it down until the end.

Warning: you really need to read Everything We Keep (buy at Amazon) BEFORE you read Everything We Left Behind.

This book was mainly about James/Carlos life and how he coped after waking up from a fugue state and found out that he had basically lost over 6 years of his life. After 6 years living in Mexico as Carlos, an artist with 2 young sons, he had no idea that he was really James a rich young American who had been engaged to be married. When he woke up from his fugue state, he had no memory of his life as Carlos and didn't even remember his sons. As he struggles to connect his lives, James has to learn who he can trust and who it is safe to love.

This novel is told in alternating chapters with one chapter being present day James and the next chapter being 6 years earlier with him as Carlos. The author handles this very well and it fills in all of the information in the story line.

I definitely enjoyed this book and will read anything that Kerry Lonsdale writes in the future.

You can read my review of Everything We Keep which is included in 10 Books for Fans of Chick-Lit, Women's Fiction, and Family Sagas.

Buy Everything we Left Behind at Amazon


The Breakdown by B.A. Paris

The Breakdown
July 2017; St. Martin's Press; 978-1250122469
ebook, audio, print (336 pages); suspense  
Before you start reading this book I advise you to clear your calendar and find a comfortable place to read because you aren't going to stop reading until you get to the end. This book literally had me so interested that I couldn't do anything at all until the last page because I was so absorbed by the story and anxious about the outcome.

Cass is a high school teacher with a loving and devoted husband, Matthew. One night returning from a school get together, she takes a short cut through the woods during a blinding thunderstorm. When she sees a car stopped along the road, she decides to stop but she is reluctant to go to the car in case it might someone who wanted to harm her. She decides to go home and is shocked the next morning to find out that the woman in the car had been brutally murdered. She is consumed with guilt and remorse once she realizes that she knew the woman who has murdered and starts struggling to remember things. Knowing that her mother had been diagnosed with early onset dementia made all of her forgetfulness convince her that she too had the disease. As her life spirals further out of control, the tension in the book continues to build as no one has been charged with the murder in the woods.

I am reluctant to tell you any more about the plot because I don't want to give anything away. What I will tell you is that I had the culprit figured out by the middle of the book and then changed my mind another fifty pages later only to be totally surprised for the last 40 pages of the book.

This is the second book by B.A. Paris and even though I loved her first book (read my review), I thought that this one was even better. Can't wait for her next book!

Buy The Breakdown at Amazon  


Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling. She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with her on Facebook.


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July 10, 2017

Fast-Paced Book: The Devil's Muse by Bill Loehfelm #MondayBlogs

by MK French


Maureen Coughlin is a New Orleans police officer working part of the Mardi Gras parade route. It's a tough job because of the locals and the sheer number of tourists. The job becomes even more complicated when a shooter harms three people, a fellow officer starts to emotionally unravel, a camera crew tries to capture video for their YouTube channel, and possible gang activity could make everything spiral out of control.

Amazon affiliate links are used in this post. A free advance reader copy was provided for an honest review.

The Devil's Muse
July 2017; Sarah Crichton Books;
978-0374279776; ebook, audio, print (272 pages)
hard-boiled mystery
This is a very fast paced book. Even so, I was surprised to realize that the bulk of the book took place in one night of the Mardi Gras parades.

I didn't understand the title of the book, but there are streets in New Orleans named after the Greek Muses, and there are a number of Krewes named after Greek gods and goddesses. The afterward specifically names the Krewe of Muses, who likely helped give Bill Loehfelm background into the parade route and all of the little ways that criminals could take advantage of the madness that is Mardi Gras.

This book gives a great feel for what it's like to be in the city with the police, and even the characters that are meant to be background ones sparkle and crackle with life.

Buy The Devil's Muse at Amazon


Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.



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July 9, 2017

Fantastic Debut: The Good Widow by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke

by Susan Roberts

I have read all of Liz's and Lisa's previous books and loved them all. This is their debut suspense novel and WOW is it fantastic. Clear your calendar before you open this book because you won't want to put it down until you read the last page.

Amazon affiliate links are used in this post. A free ARC was provided for an honest review.

The Good Widow
June 2017; Lake Union Publishing;
9781503943445; ebook, audio, print (300 pages)
suspense, women's fiction
Jacks and her husband have been married for 8 years - it's an ok marriage with what she thinks are normal problems that most people have. He travels as part of his job and is gone most of every week. Her life is pretty calm until the police show up at her door to tell her that her husband has died in a car accident in Hawaii. The problem is that he was supposed to be in Kansas, and he was with another woman when the accident occurred. The woman that he was with left behind her fiancé- Nick - who was also stunned at what happened. To try to find out what happened in Hawaii, Jacks and Nick travel to Hawaii to trace the dead couple's last days. To say that things are never what they seem is putting it mildly!

I don't want to say any more about the plot because I don't want to give anything away but I will tell you that you are in for one fantastic read, and the last 25 pages will provide you with an ending that I never saw coming. Fantastic book by two wonderful authors!

Buy The Good Widow at Amazon

About the book

Elementary school teacher Jacqueline “Jacks” Morales’s marriage was far from perfect, but even in its ups and downs it was predictable, familiar. Or at least she thought it was…until two police officers showed up at her door with devastating news. Her husband of eight years, the one who should have been on a business trip to Kansas, had suffered a fatal car accident in Hawaii. And he wasn’t alone.

For Jacks, laying her husband to rest was hard. But it was even harder to think that his final moments belonged to another woman—one who had left behind her own grieving and bewildered fiancé. Nick, just as blindsided by the affair, wants answers. So he suggests that he and Jacks search for the truth together, retracing the doomed lovers’ last days in paradise.

Now, following the twisting path of that fateful road, Jacks is learning that nothing is ever as it seems. Not her marriage. Not her husband. And most certainly not his death…


Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling.  She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends.  She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with her on Facebook.



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