Saturday, 29 July 2017

#BlogTour 66 Metres by J F Kirwan (@kirwanjf) @partnersincr1me

66 Metres by J F Kirwan tour Banner


66 Metres

by J F Kirwan

on Tour July 17-31, 2017

Synopsis:


A chilling and utterly compelling thriller that you won’t be able to put down!

The only thing worth killing for is family.

Everyone said she had her father’s eyes. A killer’s eyes. Nadia knew that on the bitterly cold streets of Moscow, she could never escape her past – but in just a few days, she would finally be free.
Bound to work for Kadinsky for five years, she has just one last mission to complete. Yet when she is instructed to capture The Rose, a military weapon shrouded in secrecy, Nadia finds herself trapped in a deadly game of global espionage.
And the only man she can trust is the one sent to spy on her…

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller
Published by: Carina
Publication Date: August 25th 2016
Number of Pages: 232
ISBN: 9780008207748
Series: Nadia Laksheva Spy Thriller #1

Read an excerpt:

‘Let’s see if you can really shoot. Give her your pistol,’ Kadinsky said to one of the henchmen, the one with a pockmarked face – Pox, Nadia named him – who immediately lost his sense of humour.
She took the weapon from his outstretched hand, weighed it in her palm. An old-style Smith & Wesson. God knows why the guy had it. Most blatnye preferred semi-autos, Makarovs or the older but higher-velocity Tokarevs. She checked that it was loaded, all six bullets nestling in their chambers. She glanced at Kadinsky, thought about killing him. But the other henchman, the fat one with slicked black hair – hence, Slick – had his Glock trained on her, his lopsided leer daring her.
Kadinsky waved a hand towards Katya, five metres away. He tilted his head left and right, then settled back against the soft leather, took a gulp of whiskey, and smacked his lips. ‘The red rose in the bowl of flowers behind her left ear. Shoot it. From where you stand.’
Slick’s eyes flicked toward Katya, gauging the angles. His leer faded.
Nadia stared at her sister and the rose. Most of it was behind her head. Only one leaf of the scarlet blossom was exposed. She swallowed, then lifted the revolver, and took up a shooting stance like her father had taught her. Right arm firm, elbow not fully locked, left hand under the fist, prepared for the recoil. She had to do it before anger built and disrupted her concentration. She cocked the hammer, lined up the shot, then spoke to Katya’s serene, trusting face: ‘Love you,’ she said. Then she breathed out slowly, as if through a straw, and squeezed the trigger.
Masonry exploded behind Katya. The crack was so loud that three other men burst into the room, weapons drawn. Kadinsky waved them back as Pox peeled the revolver from Nadia’s stiff fingers. Petals fluttered to the floor amidst a plume of white powder from the impact crater in the wall. Katya sat immobile, pale, the hair on the left side of her head ruffled as if by a gust of wind. A trickle of blood oozed from her left temple, and ran down her cheek.
Katya, lips trembling, beamed at Nadia. ‘Still alive,’ she said, her voice hoarse. She touched the graze with an unsteady forefinger.
Nadia began to shake. She folded her arms, refusing to give Kadinsky the satisfaction.

Excerpt from 66 Metres by J F Kirwan. Copyright © 2017 by J F Kirwan. Reproduced with permission from J F Kirwan. All rights reserved.
J F Kirwan

Author Bio:

Barry (JF) works by day in aviation safety, and writes at night. He is also a diving instructor and has dived all over the world. He got hooked on writing when people started arguing about his characters as if they were real people. He is married and lives in Paris, because the coffee is better there, and he needs coffee to write.

Catch Up With Our Author On: Website  Goodreads  Twitter  Facebook 


Tour Participants:

Visit our amazing hosts throughout the tour for great reviews, excerpts, & giveaways!

Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for J F Kirwan. There will be 4 winners of one (1) $10 Amazon.com Gift Card! The giveaway begins on July 16 and runs through August 2, 2017.
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Friday, 28 July 2017

#BlogTour Bad Blood by Brian McGilloway (@BrianMcGilloway) @partnersincr1me

Bad Blood: A Lucy Black Thriller by Brian McGilloway
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bad Blood

by Brian McGilloway

on Tour June 26 - July 31, 2017

Synopsis:

Bad Blood by Brian McGilloway
A young man is found in a riverside park, his head bashed in with a rock. One clue is left behind to uncover his identity—an admission stamp for the local gay club.

DS Lucy Black is called in to investigate. As Lucy delves into the community, tensions begin to rise as the man’s death draws the attention of the local Gay Rights group to a hate-speech Pastor who, days earlier, had advocated the stoning of gay people and who refuses to retract his statement.

Things become further complicated with the emergence of a far-right group targeting immigrants in a local working-class estate. As their attacks escalate, Lucy and her boss, Tom Fleming, must also deal with the building power struggle between an old paramilitary commander and his deputy that threatens to further enflame an already volatile situation.

Hatred and complicity abound in McGilloway’s new Lucy Black thriller. Compelling and current, Bad Blood is an expertly crafted and acutely observed page-turner, delivering the punch that readers of Little Lost Girl have grown to expect.

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: June 13th 2017
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 0062684558 (ISBN13: 9780062684554)
Series: DS Lucy Black #4

BOOK REVIEW 

Bad Blood hooked me from the start. I had before I read this book only read one book previous in this series (The Forgotten Ones), and that book's story was not as thrilling as in this book, but I came to like Lucy very much and I wanted to read this book to see if this story would interest me more. Now, I'm really glad that I did that and I'm looking forward to reading the first two books in the series that I own.

Bad Blood starts off with a young man being found murdered in a park. It is soon revealed that the man is gay and this could be a hate crime. At the same time, has a new pastor arrived in town and he is speaking out against the gay community and this causes a lot of problems in the town. Then, another man is found murdered...

Bad Blood is a book that highlights some major issues we have in today's society, racism and hate crimes and I found the story intriguing and sad. DS Lucy Black and another female cop also had to deal with some verbal attacks from a fellow officer who used his own shortcomings as an officer to call them things. This side of the story is very interesting, it highlights problems women have to deal with at workplaces. I like Lucy Black a lot, she has an interesting family history with a father who has Alzheimer's and a mother that walked out of them when Lucy was little (and who is also her boss) and now are they trying to reach out to each other again, to once again be mother and daughter. 

Bad Blood is a great book that can be read as a stand-alone!

Read an excerpt:

The hall was already packed by the time Detective Inspector Tom Fleming arrived. The air was sweet with perfume and talc and, beneath that, from the farmers still wearing their work clothes, the scent of sweat and the smell of the earth.
The congregation were on their feet, being led in the opening hymn by Pastor James Nixon. Fleming smiled apologetically at those he squeezed past to get to a free seat in the third row from the back. The hymn finished, the assembly took their seats just as Fleming reached his, and settled to listen to the words of Pastor Nixon.
‘My brothers and sisters, it is a great honour to be here with you this evening and to see so many of you have taken the time to come and pray with me.’ His voice was strong despite his age, a rich baritone still carrying the inflections of his native Ballymena accent.
‘But it is a time of great challenge for us all. Daily, all good people face an assault on their morality with the rampant homosexual agenda that assails us and belittles everything we hold to be true and dear. Men of conscience are tried for refusing to make a cake celebrating homosexuality or print leaflets and posters furthering that agenda. And on the other side of the border, the Irish Republic has voted to allow homosexuals to marry, as if two women playing house is no different to the consummated union of a man and a woman. As if it is not a perversion which shames us all.
A few voices appended his comment with ‘Amen’.
Nixon raised his hands, acknowledging their support. ‘There are those who would silence me, silence us. They tell us we must accept homosexuals in our town, our shops, allow homosexual bars and public houses to operate on our streets. We must allow sodomites to teach our children and to corrupt our young. We must stay silent while a new Gomorrah is built next to our homes and farms, our shops and schools. They say I am dangerous. They say I preach hatred. They say I should be silent. But I say this: I say that there is no danger in truth. I say that there is no hatred in goodness. And I say that I will not be silent.’
Another chorus of ‘Amens’ greeted his proclamation, accompanied by a smattering of applause which began at the front and rippled its way through the hall.
‘I will not stand idly by as our families are exposed to sin and depravity. I will not countenance the laws of the land being used to protect profane persons, allowing them to indulge their lustful practices, forcing those of us with consciences to humour this lifestyle. It is an abomination. The people who practise it are abominations and, like those before them, they will end in fire and brimstone.’
Fleming glanced around at the others in the congregation. While one or two shifted uncomfortably in their seats, for the most part the listeners sat intently waiting for Nixon to continue.
‘Friends, only last week, I read of an African nation – a heathen nation, a Godless nation – who arrested two men for homosexual acts. One of these men was sixteen. Sixteen! And do you know what they did to the pair of them? They stoned them. They took them out of the town and they threw rocks at them until the pair of them were dead. And do you know what I thought? Shall I tell you?’
An elderly lady in the front row called out ‘Yes’, to the amusement of those around her. Nixon smiled mildly at her, as if indulging her.
‘Stoning was too good for those men. Every rock that struck them was a just reward for their sinfulness, their immorality, their ungodly behaviour. Every drop of their blood that stained the ground was a reminder that they deserved to die. It was the wages of their sin!’
***
Excerpt from Bad Blood by Brian McGilloway. Copyright © 2017 by Brian McGilloway. Reproduced with permission from Witness Impulse. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Brian McGilloway
Brian McGilloway was born in Derry, Northern Ireland. After studying English at Queen’s University, Belfast, he took up a teaching position in St Columb’s College in Derry, where he was Head of English. He is the author of the New York Times bestselling Lucy Black series, all to be published by Witness. Brian lives near the Irish borderlands with his wife and their four children.

Catch Up With Our Author On: Website , Goodreads , Twitter , & Facebook !


Tour Participants:

Visit the other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

Join In for a Chance to Win!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Brian McGilloway and WitnessImpulse. There will be 3 winners of one (1) non-Kindle eBook coupon for a copy of THE FORGOTTEN ONES by Brian McGilloway. The giveaway begins on June 24 and runs through August 1, 2017.
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Thursday, 27 July 2017

#CoverCrush Before I Let You Go Kelly Rimmer

For new visitors do I want to explain that Cover Crush is something that my friend Erin over at Flashlight Commentary came up with and I adopted the idea together with some other friends. And, now we try to put up a Cover Crush every week. You can check below my pick of the week for their choices this week!




In her print debut, USA TODAY and international bestselling author Kelly Rimmer delivers a powerful and poignant read about how much a woman will sacrifice to protect her self-destructive sister from addiction when there’s a baby involved. Fans of Jodi Picoult and Lisa Genova’s issue-driven women's fiction will love BEFORE I LET YOU GO’s ripped-from-the-headlines themes, which force the characters to make difficult moral decisions which are often in conflict with the "right thing to do," and the ripple effect these decisions have on real life.

Despite having endured a disturbing childhood together, as adults sisters Lexie and Annie are worlds apart. Lexie is a doctor, successful and happily engaged to Sam. Annie is addicted to heroin—a thief, a liar, and unable to remain clean despite the fact that she is pregnant. After being estranged for two years, Annie returns to Lexie’s life desperate for help. She is critically ill, but afraid to seek medical treatment, knowing that under Alabama law illegal drug use during pregnancy is a felony.

To prevent the baby from being placed in foster care, Lexie agrees to assume responsibility for her niece. While Annie struggles in court-ordered rehab, Lexie finds her carefully ordered life coming undone, as she desperately tries to support and re-connect with her sister while not enabling Annie’s destructive habits. Both sisters are forced to confront the echoes of pain that linger from their difficult childhood, and forge a new—stronger—bond, while ensuring the demons from their past have no place in the future.

Some thoughts about the cover:

I quite like the simplicity of this cover with only the flowers. But, it's the colors that really makes me love this cover. The purple and white flowers around the title and the dirty white background. 

Check out what my friends have picked for Cover Crush's this week:

Stephanie @ Layered Pages






indieBRAG

#BlogTour All Signs Point to Murder by Connie di Marco (@askzodia) @partnersincr1me

All Signs Point to Murder by Connie di Marco

All Signs Point to Murder

by Connie di Marco

on Tour July 23 - August 23, 2017

Synopsis:

All Signs Point to Murder by Connie di Marco
Rob Ramer was the perfect husband until he committed the ultimate family faux pas — he shot his sister-in-law to death. Believing himself under attack by an intruder in his home, he fired back. But when evidence is discovered that Rob’s wife, Brooke, was plotting his murder, Brooke is charged with conspiracy in her sister’s death. Geneva, a third sister, is desperate for answers and seeks the help of her friend, San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti. Geneva’s lost one sister and now it seems she’ll lose the other. Was this a murder plot or just a terrible accident? Julia vows to find the answer in the stars.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, Paranormal
Published by: Midnight Ink
Publication Date: August 2017
Number of Pages:336
ISBN: 0738751073 (ISBN13: 9780738751078)
Series: A Zodiac Mystery, 2 | Each is a Stand Alone Mystery
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | IndieBound  | Goodreads 

Read an excerpt:

The building on Guerrero was a once proud Victorian with bow front windows. It had since been broken up into six small units and fallen into disrepair. I drove around the block several times before I managed to find a parking spot a few doors down. The shops on the main street were long closed and the streets deserted. I shivered and let the car heater run another minute to warm up before I left the comfort of my little metal box. There was something about this chore that made my stomach go into knots. Rummaging through a dead woman’s possessions was bad enough, but what if I found something that implicated Moira in a crime? Should I remove it and risk the police finding out?
I climbed out of the car, careful to lock it and approached the long stairway leading to the front door. The wind had died down and now fog danced around the streetlights. It was eerily quiet. No lights shone from any of the windows. I hoped all the residents were safely tucked up in their beds by now. I climbed the cracked granite stairs to the entrance. The weathered door stood ajar, listing slightly on its hinges. I grasped the handle and twisted it, but the lock mechanism was out of commission. Inside, a bare overhead light bulb hung from a chain. It cast a meager glow down the long corridor, cannibalized from a once grand entryway. The hallway smelled of dirty cat litter, moldy vegetables and cigarette smoke. I followed the corridor to the end, and stopped at the last door on the right.
I slipped the key into the lock. It offered no resistance. The door opened immediately. Had it not been locked? I caught a slight scuffling sound and cringed. I hoped no furry long-tailed creatures were waiting inside for me. I reached around the doorway and felt along the wall. My fingers hit the switch. A rusting chandelier with two bulbs missing illuminated the one large room that was both Moira’s living room and bedroom. I tested the key with the door open, locking and then unlocking it. Now I felt the resistance. The door had definitely been unlocked. I stepped inside and shut it behind me, making sure the lock was secure. Was it possible someone had been here before me and left without locking the door? Or had Moira simply been careless?
I had to make sure I was alone in the apartment. There were no hiding places in this sparsely furnished room. I checked under the bed just to be sure and opened the closet, terrified that someone or something might jump out at me. The closet was narrow, filled with a jumble of clothing, half on the floor. I walked into the kitchenette and spotted a doorway that led to the back stairs and the yard. I tested the handle on the door. Locked. I checked the space between the refrigerator and the wall, and then the shower stall in the bathroom. I was alone. I had been holding my breath and finally let it out in a great sigh.
I started with the drawers in the kitchen and checked the counter, looking for any notes with names or phone numbers. There was nothing. The kitchen was surprisingly clean, as if Moira had never used the room. Inside the refrigerator were a few condiments, a half-eaten unwrapped apple and a loaf of whole wheat bread. I quickly rummaged through the drawers and the freezer to make sure there were no bundles of cash disguised as frozen meat.
The main room housed a collection of hand-me-downs and broken furniture, ripped curtains and piles of clothing in various spots around the floor. Had she really lived like this? I heaved up the mattress, first on one side and then the other, making sure nothing was hidden between it and the box spring. Under the bed, I spotted only dust bunnies. I pulled open each of the bureau drawers, checked their contents and pulled them all the way out to make sure nothing was behind them. I opened a small drawer in the bedside stand. Amid a loose pile of clutter was a dark blue velvet box embossed with the letter “R” in cursive gold script. Could this be from Rochecault? I was fairly certain it was. Rochecault is an infamously expensive jeweler on Maiden Lane downtown. How could Moira have shopped there? Was this what Geneva had meant when she said her sister seemed to have a lot of money to spend?
I opened the box and gasped. An amazing bracelet heavy with blue stones in varying colors rested inside. The setting had the slightly matte industrial sheen of platinum. Moira couldn’t possibly have afforded this. Shoving the box into a side pocket of my purse, I decided I was definitely not leaving this for the police to find, and slid the drawer shut.
I scanned the room. Moira hadn’t been much of a housekeeper and it didn’t appear as if there were many hiding spots. I headed for the desk, a rickety affair with two drawers and a monitor on top. I clicked on the hard drive and waited a moment. The monitor came to life and asked for a password. It would take someone much more talented than I to unearth its secrets. Under a jumble of papers and unopened bills, my eye caught a small black notebook. This looked promising. Perhaps it was an address book that would give us all of Moira’s contacts. I dropped my purse on the floor and reached for the book. A searing pain shot through my skull. Blinded, I fell to the floor.
***
Excerpt from All Signs Point to Murder by Connie di Marco. Copyright © 2017 by Connie di Marco. Reproduced with permission from Connie di Marco. All rights reserved.
Connie di Marco

Author Bio:

Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries from Midnight Ink, featuring San Francisco astrologer, Julia Bonatti. The first in the series, The Madness of Mercury, was released in June 2016 and the second, All Signs Point to Murder, available for pre-order now, will be released on August 8, 2017.
Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the national bestselling author of the Soup Lover’s Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime. Some of her favorite recipes can be found in The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. Connie is a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Catch Up With Connie di Marco On: Website , Goodreads , Twitter , & Facebook !


Tour Participants:


Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Connie di Marco. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card AND 2 winners of one (1) eBook copy of All Signs Point to Murder. The giveaway begins on July 21 and runs through August 24, 2017.
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#BookReview The Upstairs Room by Kate Murray-Browne @panmacmillan

The Upstairs Room by Kate Murray-Browne
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Eleanor, Richard and their two young daughters recently stretched themselves to the limit to buy their dream home, a four-bedroom Victorian townhouse in East London. But the cracks are already starting to show. Eleanor is unnerved by the eerie atmosphere in the house and becomes convinced it is making her ill. Whilst Richard remains preoccupied with Zoe, their mercurial twenty-seven-year-old lodger, Eleanor becomes determined to unravel the mystery of the house’s previous owners – including Emily, whose name is written hundreds of times on the walls of the upstairs room.

**********

I think my high expectation contributed a bit to my disappointment with this book. Also, I thought that this would be a modern ghost story, but it turned out to be a relationship drama with a hint of a ghost story. Now the book isn't badly written, but it was not what I was after. If I wanted to read about problems in a relationship or finding the right man to love would have chosen a book that dealt with that. I wanted a creepy ghost story. This book is neither creepy nor chilling.

Most of the books "haunting" are about Eleanor thinking the house making her sick. She tries to spend most of her time away from the house while trying to make Richard, her husband, believe her. But, he's busy sneaking down into the basement when their lodger Zoe isn't there. I kept on reading the book wanting for something to happen. But, it never did. There was a scene towards the end when I finally thought "this is it, now the story will get more intense," but it was just a false alarm.

The Upstairs Room is a ghost story for people that can't handle a book that really deals with ghosts. It showed promise in the beginning, but in the end, it was a letdown. I mean there was a moment in the book when Eleanor was thinking back to when Richard proposed to her in Venice and all I could think of is this all the book is about, recollections of the past?

I was not the right reader for this book. However, if this feels like a book for you go ahead, but don't expect to be frighted.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

#Wishlist July: Paris

I have chosen books with Paris in the title this month! Because you know Paris. Love books set in Paris! ;)

**********


From Edward Rutherfurd, the grand master of the historical novel, comes a dazzling epic about the magnificent city of Paris. 

Moving back and forth in time, the story unfolds through intimate and thrilling tales of self-discovery, divided loyalty, and long-kept secrets. As various characters come of age, seek their fortunes, and fall in and out of love, the novel follows nobles who claim descent from the hero of the celebrated poem The Song of Roland; a humble family that embodies the ideals of the French Revolution; a pair of brothers from the slums behind Montmartre, one of whom works on the Eiffel Tower as the other joins the underworld near the Moulin Rouge; and merchants who lose everything during the reign of Louis XV, rise again in the age of Napoleon, and help establish Paris as the great center of art and culture that it is today. With Rutherfurd’s unrivaled blend of impeccable research and narrative verve, this bold novel brings the sights, scents, and tastes of the City of Light to brilliant life.

**********


Paris, 1862. A young girl in a threadbare dress and green boots, hungry for experience, meets the mysterious and wealthy artist Édouard Manet. The encounter will change her—and the art world—forever.

At seventeen, Victorine Meurent abandons her old life to become immersed in the Parisian society of dance halls and cafés, meeting writers and artists like Baudelaire and Alfred Stevens. As Manet’s model, Victorine explores a world of new possibilities and stirs the artist to push the boundaries of painting in his infamous portrait Olympia, which scandalizes even the most cosmopolitan city.

Manet becomes himself because of Victorine. But who does she become, that figure on the divan?




The City of Light hides a dark past...

When talented young violinist Fay Knox arrives in Paris from England, the city feels familiar to her. But not because Fay has visited Paris before. Back home, she finds an old canvas bag with a mysterious luggage tag hidden in her mother's old trunk, and soon starts to realize her connection with the streets of Paris runs deeper than she ever imagined. As Fay traces the past, she is taken back to 1937 Paris - and the eve of a war that changed her mother's life forever. When she discovers a dark secret buried years ago, Fay begins to question who she really is and where she belongs.

Filled with romance, family secrets, and the allure of Paris, A Week in Paris is the compelling story of two women living in two very different worlds who share far more than a passion for music.



Late nights at the office... Hotel rooms and secret rendezvous... Lingering perfume... Sizzling texts...

What takes place in Paris when husbands and wives tangle with infidelity?

In this compulsively readable collection, Tatiana de Rosnay paints a portrait of forbidden loves in many shades - sometimes tragic, sometimes humorous, sometimes heartfelt, always with a dry wit and unflinching authenticity. A PARIS AFFAIR will take you on a vacation overseas, into the hidden lives of husbands, wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, where illicit desire wars with duty, and where a French take on romance will surprise you every t
ime.

New York Times bestselling author Laurie R. King, beloved for her acclaimed Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series, consistently writes richly detailed and thoroughly suspenseful novels that bring a distant time and place to brilliant life. Now, in this thrilling new book, King leads readers into the vibrant and sensual Paris of the Jazz Age—and reveals the darkest secrets of its denizens.

Paris, France: September 1929. For Harris Stuyvesant, the assignment is a private investigator’s dream—he’s getting paid to prowl the cafés and bars of Montparnasse, looking for a pretty young woman. The American agent has a healthy appreciation for la vie de bohème, despite having worked for years at the U.S. Bureau of Investigation. The missing person in question is Philippa Crosby, a twenty-two year old from Boston who has been living in Paris, modeling and acting. Her family became alarmed when she stopped all communications, and Stuyvesant agreed to track her down. He wholly expects to find her in the arms of some up-and-coming artist, perhaps experimenting with the decadent lifestyle that is suddenly available on every rue and boulevard.

As Stuyvesant follows Philippa’s trail through the expatriate community of artists and writers, he finds that she is known to many of its famous—and infamous—inhabitants, from Shakespeare and Company’s Sylvia Beach to Ernest Hemingway to the Surrealist photographer Man Ray. But when the evidence leads Stuyvesant to the Théâtre du Grand-Guignol in Montmartre, his investigation takes a sharp, disturbing turn. At the Grand-Guignol, murder, insanity, and sexual perversion are all staged to shocking, brutal effect: depravity as art, savage human nature on stage.

Soon it becomes clear that one missing girl is a drop in the bucket. Here, amid the glittering lights of the cabarets, hides a monster whose artistic coup de grâce is to be rendered in blood. And Stuyvesant will have to descend into the darkest depths of perversion to find a killer . . . sifting through The Bones of Paris.



Stephanie at Layered Pages
Heather at The Maiden's Court

#BlogTour Casanova's Secret Wife by Barbara Lynn-Davis @hfvbt @KensingtonBooks

Casanova's Secret Wife by Barbara Lynn-Davis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Casanova's Secret Wife by Barbara Lynn-Davis
Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Kensington Books
eBook & Paperback; 304 Pages
Genre: Fiction/Historical/Biographical

Set in eighteenth-century Venice and based on an actual account by Giacomo Casanova—here is a lush tale of desire and risk.

Caterina Capreta was an innocent girl of fourteen when she caught the attention of the world’s most infamous chronicler of seduction: Giacomo Casanova. Intoxicated by a fierce love, she wed Casanova in secret. But his shocking betrayal inspired her to commit an act that would mark her forever …

Now twenty years later on the island of Murano, the woman in possession of Caterina’s most devastating secret has appeared with a request she cannot refuse: to take in a noble-born girl whose scandalous love affair resembles her own. But the girl’s presence stirs up unwelcome memories of Caterina’s turbulent past. Tested like never before, she reveals the story of the man she will never forget.

Bringing to life a fascinating chapter in the history of Venice, Casanova’s Secret Wife is a tour de force that charts one woman’s journey through love and loss to redemption.


Book Review

The books blurb really intrigued me and I was quite looking forward to reading this book. I have to admit that, despite recognizing Casanova's name and his reputation did I not know much about the man himself more than he has written books about his female conquests. With that in mind did I set out to read this book. Which when I look back probably made me a bit cynical when it came to his courtship of Caterina Capreta. Actually, with a bit, I mean quite a lot...

Yes, I had a hard time taking their romance serious because I kept on waiting for Caterina to realize that Casanova is a cad. Now, I don't say that he didn't love her, it was easy to see looking back and see that his love burned brightly for a short moment until he moved on to the next woman. The problem is for the woman or in this case the girl was it not that easy to move on. I came to like very much the grown up Caterina who is looking back to her history with Casanova while taking care of a young girl that was in the same situation as Caterina was in 20 years ago. She didn't have an easy life, was very sheltered and then Casanova showed up and swept her off her feet. It's understandable that this fourteen-year-old girl would fall head over heel in love with him. Now, it may be hard to read a love story with a girl so young with an older man, but I never had a problem with that since one has to see to the context of the story. Although I have to admit that she now and then seemed much older than fourteen, but back then girls at that age probably were more mature than today's teenagers.

Casanova's Secret Wife is a book that I'm glad to have read. Yes, I had a hard time with the romance part because I pretty much knew that this would not end good, but the writing is good and I loved that Barbara Lynn-Davis added towards the end some notes about Casanova books and the mentions of woman that could be Caterina Capreta. I always like knowing more about a real life person after reading a book.

Praise for Casanova's Secret Wife


“Lynn-Davis admirably incorporates historical detail into this page-turning drama of mystery, love, and loss….Yet the standout is her depiction of Casanova – Lynn-Davis clearly enjoys crafting a real-life character who stands apart from the legend, making him the book’s most enduring character.” - Publishers Weekly

“Lynn-Davis debuts with a fascinating story based on the notorious lover Giacomo Casanova’s writings. With Venice as the romantic backdrop and young love as its focus, this stunning tale of passion, betrayal and redemption is a richly woven tapestry of Casanova’s early life. By bringing little known history to life, Lynn-Davis delivers an unforgettable love story, centering not only on Casanova, but two women who share the beauty of love and the pain of loss; one will find salvation and the other true happiness.”- RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

“Full of passion and rich historical detail . . . an enthralling read, impossible to put down.” --Phyllis T. Smith, bestselling author

“This is Venice beneath the mask: A dark and fascinating love story hiding in the shadows of the golden city.” --Marina Fiorato, bestselling author of The Glassblower of Murano

“Seductive and unforgettable” –Harmony Verna, author of Daughter of Australia

“Breathtaking, beautiful . . . will mesmerize readers." –Rosanna Chiofalo, author of Stella Mia

About the Author


Barbara Lynn-Davis graduated from Brown University with a degree in art history. She then worked at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice and later spent a year there while completing her Ph.D. in Renaissance art at Princeton University.

She currently teaches art history and writing at Wellesley College, and lives outside Boston with her family.

For more information please visit Barbara Lynn-Davis' website. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Goodreads.


Blog Tour Schedule


Tuesday, July 25
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Spotlight at The Lit Bitch

Wednesday, July 26

Thursday, July 27

Friday, July 28

Monday, July 31
Review at A Bookish Affair
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Tuesday, August 1

Wednesday, August 2
Review & Guest Post at Books of All Kinds

Thursday, August 3
Interview at Let Them Read Books

Friday, August 4
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Monday, August 7

Tuesday, August 8

Wednesday, August 9

Thursday, August 10
Spotlight at Queen Bee Books

Friday, August 11

Monday, August 14
Spotlight at Books, Dreams, Life

Tuesday, August 15

Wednesday, August 16
Guest Post at Creating Herstory

Thursday, August 17

Friday, August 18

Monday, August 21
Review at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, August 22
Review at Bookramblings

Giveaway


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a paperback copy of Casanova's Secret Wife! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.
Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US & Canada only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
Casanova's Secret Wife

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

#CoverReveal Cold Blood by Robert Bryndza (@RobertBryndza) @bookouture


COLD BLOOD by ROBERT BRYNDZA 

(Detective Erika Foster Book 5)
Out on 20th September




The suitcase was badly rusted, and took Erika several attempts, but it yielded and sagged open as she unzipped it. Nothing could prepare her for what she would find inside…

When a battered suitcase containing the dismembered body of a young man washes up on the shore of the river Thames, Detective Erika Foster is shocked. She’s worked on some terrifying cases but never seen anything like this before.

As Erika and her team set to work, she makes the link with another victim – the body of a young woman dumped in an identical suitcase two weeks ago. 

Erika quickly realises she’s on the trail of a serial killer who’s already made their next move. Yet just as Erika starts to make headway with the investigation, she is the victim of a brutal attack. 

But nothing will stop Erika. As the body count rises, the twin daughters of her colleague Commander Marsh are abducted, and the stakes are higher than ever before. Can Erika save the lives of two innocent children before it’s too late? She’s running out of time and about to make a disturbing discovery…there’s more than one killer.

Brilliantly gripping, Cold Blood will have you hooked from the first page and holding your breath to the heart-stopping and shocking ending.

#CoverReveal: House of Lies by by E.V. Seymour @KillerReads


‘A wicked twist and a killer ending’ Publishers Weekly

A sudden disappearance…

When Roz Outlaw's partner Tom mysteriously vanishes, she knows his life is in danger. Tom has been distracted lately, afraid, as though he is being hunted…

A desperate search…

With the police showing little interest Roz knows it falls to her to find Tom. But as Tom's secrets are uncovered nothing can prepare Roz for the dark lies and twisted truths she finds. She thought she loved Tom, but quickly realises she has been living with a stranger – a man with murder in his past.

A house of evil.

The key to unlocking Tom's past lies in his childhood home – Vixenhead. A house of wickedness that keeps its secrets well hidden. Can Roz find Tom before it's too late or will the evil within Vixenhead claim her too…

#BookReview The Wildling Sisters by Eve Chase (@evepchase) @PutnamBooks

The Wildling Sisters by Eve Chase
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nineteen fifty-nine. The four Wilde sisters, Isla, Violet, Maggie and Dot, are spending the summer in the Cotswolds, at Applecote Manor. Affectionately called the Wildlings, the sisters are exceptionally close, yet this year there's a sense of nostalgia. Things are changing.

Except for Applecote itself, a house that seems frozen in time. The sisters haven't been there in five years; not since their cousin Audrey mysteriously vanished.

But as they discover Applecote's dark secrets and new temptations, the sisters begin to grow apart. Until the night everything spirals out of control and the Wildlings form a bond far thicker than blood...


**********

I read Eve Chase debut book, Black Rabbit Hall last year and it was such a great book! So, when The Wildling Sisters showed up on NetGalley didn't I hesitate to request the book. Now, I have to admit that this book's cover isn't really a favorite of mine and if not the name of the author had been familiar had I perhaps not have been interested in the book. I just think that the three faces on the cover so oddly placed, like why are the third girls face under the other two's? It's puzzling!

However, the cover is the only thing that I have to complain about for the story is superb. Even better than Black Rabbit Hall's and that book was really good. I was instantly pulled into the story and I loved both timelines. Eve Chase has an ability to write that makes it hard to stop reading the book, it feels like you just breeze through the pages, and loved both the story in 1959 about the sisters who are living with the aunt and uncle on the Applecote Manor during the summer after their mother has decided to work abroad. The time has practically stood still in the house since the day five years before when their cousin Audrey disappeared. What happened to her? In the present story has a Jessie and her family moved into the house. For Jessie is this a dream house and a chance to start over fresh after they have lived in a house where her husband lived with his first wife who tragically died. But, soon she wonders if they made a mistake when her stepdaughter tells her that 50 years before a young girl disappeared from the house and was never seen again...

I love books with two timelines, and The Wildling Sisters is a fabulous story. I liked both the story in the past and the present and I found the ending very emotional. It's such a beautifully written story, filled with both happiness and sadness.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

#BookReview Gotham Academy: Second Semester, Vol. 1 by Brenden Fletcher

Gotham Academy: Second Semester, Vol. 1: Welcome Back by Brenden Fletcher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

GOTHAM ACADEMY is back for its second semester!

When you're Gotham Academy student Olive Silverlock, winter holidays can be a drag. Luckily, when a new student shows up at Gotham Academy to keep her company while the other students are away, Olive finds what could be a brand new friend...or a whole lot of trouble. And when Maps, Kyle, Colton, Pomeline and the rest of the students of Gotham's #1 prep school return for a new semester, the adventures are twice as mysterious and twice as dangerous!

Collects GOTHAM ACADEMY: SECOND SEMESTER #1-3, 5-8.

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Gotham Academy is a fabulous series that can be read both by kids and grown-ups. This is the second volume I've read in this series and I totally loved it. Honestly, I could sit down and re-read it, both for the stories and for the wonderful art.

For those of you that don't know anything about Gotham Academy will I tell you this: It's a school with strange teachers, secret passengers, kids with abilities (not all of them, but some) and now and then a guy called Bruce Wayne shows up.

My favorite character is Maps, she is a young Asian girl that reminds me of Jubilee from Marvel and she loves adventures and mysteries. Of course, I like the rest of the characters to Silverlock, Kyle, etc. But, it's just something about this spunky kid that makes me truly love this series.

The art is marvelous, this is the kind of art that I really, really love and I've added some screen caps for you all to see:






I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

#BookReview Deadfall by Linda Fairstein @DuttonBooks

Deadfall by Linda Fairstein
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hunting a killer within New York's urban jungle becomes the biggest case of Alexandra Cooper's career in New York Times bestselling author Linda Fairstein's latest riveting thriller.

A wild heart beats within New York City. Amid concrete and skyscrapers, the Wildlife Conservation Society works to preserve and protect the animal kingdom both within and beyond the borders of the five boroughs. But dangerous creatures don't always have claws and fangs, as Assistant DA Alexandra Cooper and NYPD detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace know all too well. Predators lurk close to home, and in the aftermath of the shocking assassination of an iconic public figure—someone Alex has worked with for years—the trio must unravel the motive behind the shooting to discover who is the bigger snake: the killer or the victim.

The murder investigation provides more questions than answers, as a tangled mess of secrets slowly comes to light. From street gangs to secret societies, from big-game hunting to the illegal animal trade, from New York City zoos to the highest offices in city government, Alex has her work cut out for her—especially since the task force, led by the US Attorney, seems to be more against her than with her. As tensions rise between Alex and the feds, she must determine just how far she is willing to go to uncover the truth—and uphold the integrity of the office she has so proudly served.


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OBS this review spoilers the ending of the previous book!

Entombed, book seven in the Alexandra Cooper series was the first book I read by Fairstein and I loved it. Since then have I read two other books in the series before I read this one. One of them was the book previous (and the other is the first book in the series) and that one ended with a cliffhanger, which I remembered when I started this book. And, the beginning was very strong, with Alex saying goodbye to Paul Battaglia, her mentor who in her eyes has lately fallen from the pedestal, but he had such a great impact on her life that it's still hard to grasp for her that he has been murdered. It doesn't get better when she starts to be seen as a suspect, despite being the one that was with him as he was shot. The question is, who really shot Battaglia and why?

The Alexandra Cooper series is one of my favorites. I have a couple of unread books waiting to be read at home and I was thrilled to get the chance to read this book. Now, you don't have had to read the previous book to read this book. The events that happened in the last book is mentioned, but it will not make this story confusing, despite the fact that Battaglia was killed in the end of the last book.

What this book, unfortunately, lack that the previous books I have read are an interesting villain and a thrilling plot. Don't take me wrong, the beginning was strong and I liked reading the book. But, the plot ended to be a lot wordier than I liked, the kind of book when one tends to zone out a bit while reading. As much as I like to read Fairstein's usual history lesson about New York, this time Bronx Zoo and its past were there just so much dialog that I found myself a bit bored, to be honest. And, the whom the villain turned out to be, well that was hardly a surprise.

So, Deadfall was not as engrossing as the previous books I have read, it's still a good book, but not the one I would recommend starting with if you want to read the series (go for Entombed, they find a body entombed in a house where Edgar Allan Poe once lived).

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review.

#BookReview Army of Darkness / Xena, Warrior Princess: Forever and a Day by Scott Lobdell

Army of Darkness / Xena, Warrior Princess: Forever and a Day by Scott Lobdell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Xena, Warrior Princess, has toppled nations through the force of her will. She's captained the most deadly pirate crew ever to sail the seas. She even turned her back on her past, seeking redemption for her darker acts alongside her partner Gabrielle. And yet, despite her propensity for defeating all odds, her thousand-strong army has fallen to an implacable and ancient evil. Her only recourse? To use the dreaded Necronomicon to summon Ash Williams - the wise-ass, butt-kicking, smooth-talkin' demon-killer from the future - for aid! But how can Xena save the world when that chainsaw-wielding knucklehead's every temporal mishap threatens to unravel time itself?

Cult favorite media sensations Army of Darkness and Xena, Warrior Princess collide in a wildly hilarious adventure written by Scott Lobdell (Red Hood and the Outlaws, Uncanny X-Men) and featuring artwork by Elliot Fernandez and Diego Galindo!

**********

I have to admit that I was a bit unsure about this Army of Darkness and Xena collaboration. Mostly because I have never really been a fan of the Army of Darkness movies. All I saw when I found this volume to read on NetGalley was Xena and well the Army of Darkness part did I realize soon after.

However, this volume Forever and a Day is quite a nice story with Ash trying to get back in time to help Xena and Gabrielle, but he keeps on getting back to the wrong time. Or is he? It's a fast read and I quite enjoyed it. A plus that the art is really good. So, despite not being 100% sure about this volume from the beginning do I have to admit that it was great fun to read it and I wouldn't mind reading more Ash and Xena adventures.


I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Saturday, 22 July 2017

#BookReview Freud's Mistress by Karen Mac

Freud's Mistress by Karen Mack
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Minna Bernays is an overeducated woman with limited options. Fired yet again for speaking her mind, she finds herself out on the street and out of options. In 1895 Vienna, even though the city is aswirl with avant-garde artists and writers and revolutionary are still very few options for women besides marriage. And settling is not something Minna has ever done.

Out of desperation, Minna turns to her older sister, Martha, for help. But Martha has her own problems — six young children, a host of physical ailments, a household run with military precision, and an absent, overworked, disinterested husband who happens to be Sigmund Freud. Freud is a struggling professor, all but shunned by his peers and under attack for his theories, most of which center around sexual impulses, urges, and perversions. While Martha is shocked and repulsed by her husband’s "pornographic" work, Minna is fascinated.

Minna is everything Martha is not—intellectually curious, an avid reader, stunning. But while she and Freud embark on what is at first simply an intellectual courtship, something deeper is brewing beneath the surface, something Minna cannot escape.


**********

I will start off this review by noting two things, first, it's pretty weird reading a historical (romance) with Freud as the man in the leading role and secondly, Freud is a bit of an ashole. Now, the picture I have in my head is of the older Freud, but he is quite young in this book, but I still had a hard time seeing The Father of Psychoanalysis seducing his sisters-in-law.

However, despite that was this book quite good. I liked getting a closer look into Freud's own marriage and his close relationship with Martha. It's not proven that they had an affair although there is some documented evidence of it. Still, it was fascinating to read this book, not just for the romance between Freud and Martha, but for the historical setting and how hard it is for Freud to win favor for his ideas.

It's also interesting to read how Freud seems to be obsessed with a person for a time and then move on. At one point is it Martha that captivated him, and in the next moment is there someone else and it's not always sexually, he just finds someone ideas utterly captivating. I do feel sorry for Martha, but then again, the woman that should have most sympathy is Minna. But, she seems to know her husband quite well by then and doesn't seem to care so much about his for the moment passion for Martha. As I wrote above, Freud is an ashole!

Anyway, I quite liked this book, and if you like historical fiction do I recommend this book warmly!

#BookReview Prayer for the Dead by James Oswald @crookedlanebks

Prayer for the Dead by James Oswald
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Detective Inspector Tony McLean is on the case when the search for a missing journalist uncovers the scene of a carefully staged murder. In a sealed chamber, deep in the heart of Gilmerton Cove, a mysterious network of caves and passages sprawling beneath Edinburgh, the body is discovered in a seemingly macabre ritual of purification. But McLean knew the dead man and can't shake off the suspicion that there is far more to this case than meets the eye.

For one thing, the baffling lack of forensics at the crime scene seems impossible. But that's just the first in a series of revelations about this case that seems beyond belief. Teamed with the most unlikely and unwelcome of allies, McLean must track down a killer--driven by the darkest compulsions and who will answer only to a higher power--until it's his own blood on the altar.

Shocking and suspenseful, Prayer for the Dead, the fifth installment in James Oswald's internationally bestselling series, plunges readers into the bone-chilling darkness of an underground world filled with ancient secrets.


**********

As much as I enjoyed listening to the fifth book in this series was I'm not really pleased with the narrator choice to whisper the killer's thoughts. It just sounded like he was mumbling and I was lucky if I could hear a word or two and understand what the heck the killer was doing.

Now, I like Tony McLean, and I like the paranormal angle to the books in this series. But, this was not the strongest book in the series. The best part was towards the end when the story finally started to make sense. But, for the most part, the book did feel a bit slow, more bodies are found and they are trying to figure out the link between the bodies and discover who the killer is. Personally, would I loved the book to be more thrilling to read. To be honest, the story just didn't feel very memorable. It's an OK book, but it felt like 2/3 of the book just plodded along in a slow pace and BAM then the ending happened (which I liked) and then the book was over. On a side now, I loved Madame Rose and her cats.

Despite my lackluster opinion of the book, I do look forward to reading the next book, and the one before that I've missed to read.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through Netgalley for an honest review!

#BookReview Hide and Seek by M.J. Arlidge @MichaelJBooks

Hide and Seek by M.J. Arlidge
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Prison is no place for a detective
Helen Grace was one of the country's best police investigators.
Now she's behind bars with the killers she caught.

Framed for murder
She knows there is only way out:
stay alive until her trial and somehow prove her innocence.

Locked up with a killer
But when a mutilated body is found in the cell next door,
Helen fears her days are numbered.

A murderer is on the loose.
And she must find them.
Before she's next . . .

*********

I have spent this week listening to the last three books in this series and it was marvelous. I love these books, and it was quite nice to just pick the next book when one was done. The book before this one ended with a cliffhanger which made me quite happy that I could start listening to this one directly.

A Warning, don't read this review if you don't want to know the ending of the last book!

Helen Grace is in prison, framed for murders she didn't commit and now she has to find a way to prove that she is innocent. Thankfully outside if prison is her fellow colleague and friend Charlie on the hunt for the real killer. However, Grace has a bigger problem at the moment, there is a killer in prison. Well, it's a prison so there are probably quite a lot of killers. However, this one is killing fellow inmates...

This book, just like the previous books thrilling from the beginning until the end. I love the short chapters that make me just wanna listen to one more chapter and suddenly you're halfway through the book. I found both storylines intriguing. Charlie has to find the real killer and at the same time trying to convince her new boss Sanderson that Grace is innocent. And, Grace has to try to figure out who the killer is that is roaming the prison. Is it a fellow inmate or guard? 

Hide and Seek is a great book. I was surprised over the identity of the killer and it's nice to not see the ending coming now and then...

Thursday, 20 July 2017

#CoverCrush: Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

For new visitors do I want to explain that Cover Crush is something that my friend Erin over at Flashlight Commentary came up with and I adopted the idea together with some other friends. And, now we try to put up a Cover Crush every week. You can check below my pick of the week for their choices this week!



A stand-alone fantasy tale from Seanan McGuire's Alex award-winning Wayward Children series, which began in the Hugo and Nebula finalist Every Heart a Doorway

Beneath the Sugar Sky, the third book in McGuire's Wayward Children series, returns to Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children in a stand-alone contemporary fantasy for fans of all ages. At this magical boarding school, children who have experienced fantasy adventures are reintroduced to the "real" world.

Sumi died years before her prophesied daughter Rini could be born. Rini was born anyway, and now she’s trying to bring her mother back from a world without magic.



Some thoughts about the cover:

This series has some of the best covers I've ever seen and I simply adore this the third books cover. Isn't this cover simply gorgeous? The colors in the sky, the red ocean and of course the tantalizing open door...

Check out what my friends have picked for Cover Crush's this week:

Stephanie @ Layered Pages






indieBRAG