Thursday, 23 March 2017

Cover Crush: The Women in the Castle Jessica Shattuck


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!


Set at the end of World War II, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society, a powerful and propulsive story of three widows whose lives and fates become intertwined—an affecting, shocking, and ultimately redemptive novel from the author of the New York Times Notable Book The Hazards of Good Breeding

Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany’s defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once grand castle of her husband’s ancestors, an imposing stone fortress now fallen into ruin following years of war. The widow of a resistor murdered in the failed July, 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband’s brave conspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows. 

First, Marianne rescues six-year-old Martin, the son of her dearest childhood friend, from a Nazi reeducation home. Together, they make their way across the smoldering wreckage of their homeland to Berlin, where Martin’s mother, the beautiful and naïve Benita, has fallen into the hands of occupying Red Army soldiers. Then she locates Ania, another resistor’s wife, and her two boys, now refugees languishing in one of the many camps that house the millions displaced by the war. 

As Marianne assembles this makeshift family from the ruins of her husband’s resistance movement, she is certain their shared pain and circumstances will hold them together. But she quickly discovers that the black-and-white, highly principled world of her privileged past has become infinitely more complicated, filled with secrets and dark passions that threaten to tear them apart. Eventually, all three women must come to terms with the choices that have defined their lives before, during, and after the war—each with their own unique share of challenges. 

Written with the devastating emotional power of The Nightingale, Sarah’s Key, and The Light Between Oceans, Jessica Shattuck’s evocative and utterly enthralling novel offers a fresh perspective on one of the most tumultuous periods in history. Combining piercing social insight and vivid historical atmosphere, The Women in the Castle is a dramatic yet nuanced portrait of war and its repercussions that explores what it means to survive, love, and, ultimately, to forgive in the wake of unimaginable hardship.

Some thoughts about the cover:

This is not the cover I had in mind for this week. However, I was approved for this book today and I just thought "perfect"! I will use this one because it's so lovely! I mean just look at it, the airplane, the castle you can hardly see and the bushes at the front of the cover. It's such a lovely cover, and I can't wait to read the book!
Check out what my friends have picked for Cover Crush's this week:

2 Kids and Tired Books
Layered Pages

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The Enemies of Versailles by Sally Christie Blog Tour

enemies-of-versailles

Sally Christie

on Tour March 20-31 with

The Enemies of Versailles

(historical fiction)
Release date: March 21, 2017 at 
416 pages 
ISBN: 978-1501103025 

SYNOPSIS

In the final installment of Sally Christie’s “tantalizing” (New York Daily News) Mistresses of Versailles trilogy, Jeanne Becu, a woman of astounding beauty but humble birth, works her way from the grimy back streets of Paris to the palace of Versailles, where the aging King Louis XV has become a jaded and bitter old philanderer. Jeanne bursts into his life and, as the Comtesse du Barry, quickly becomes his official mistress. 

“That beastly bourgeois Pompadour was one thing; a common prostitute is quite another kettle of fish.” After decades of suffering the King’s endless stream of Royal Favorites, the princesses of the Court have reached a breaking point. Horrified that he would bring the lowborn Comtesse du Barry into the hallowed halls of Versailles, Louis XV’s daughters, led by the indomitable Madame Adelaide, vow eternal enmity and enlist the young dauphiness Marie Antoinette in their fight against the new mistress. But as tensions rise and the French Revolution draws closer, a prostitute in the palace soon becomes the least of the nobility’s concerns. 

Told in Christie’s witty and engaging style, the final book in The Mistresses of Versailles trilogy will delight and entrance fans as it once again brings to life the sumptuous and cruel world of eighteenth century Versailles, and France as it approaches irrevocable change.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sisters of Versailles - Sally Christie Sally Christie is the author of The Sisters of Versailles and The Rivals of Versailles. She was born in England and grew up around the world, attending eight schools in three different languages. She spent most of her career working in international development and currently lives in Toronto.

Learn more her Versailles trilogy on her website Become a fan to hear about her next novels!

Visit her Facebook Page Check her Pinterest page

Follow Simon & Schuster on Twitter and Facebook

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You can enter the global giveaway here or on any other book blogs participating in this tour. Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook, they are listed in the entry form below.

ENTER HERE

Visit each blogger on the tour: tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time! [just follow the directions on the entry-form] Global giveaway - for US residents 5nly 5 winners of a print copy

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CLICK ON THE BANNER TO READ REVIEWS, EXCERPTS, GUEST-POSTS

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Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Girl in Disguise by Greer Macallister

Girl in Disguise by Greer Macallister
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

For the first female Pinkerton detective, respect is hard to come by. Danger, however, is not.

In the tumultuous years of the Civil War, the streets of Chicago offer a woman mostly danger and ruin-unless that woman is Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton detective and a desperate widow with a knack for manipulation.

Descending into undercover operations, Kate is able to infiltrate the seedy side of the city in ways her fellow detectives can't. She's a seductress, an exotic foreign medium, or a rich train passenger, all depending on the day and the robber, thief, or murderer she's been assigned to nab.

Inspired by the real story of Kate Warne, this spirited novel follows the detective's rise during one of the nation's greatest times of crisis, bringing to life a fiercely independent woman whose forgotten triumphs helped sway the fate of the country.


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Girl in Disguise, a book about the first the first female Pinkerton detective did sound like a fantastic book idea and I was thrilled to read it. I especially liked that the book is inspired by the real life on Kate Warne, a female Pinkerton detective who sadly we don't know much about.

I think the book started off good, with Kate Warne getting a chance at Pinkerton to prove that she has what it takes to be a Pinkerton detective. Her trials and tribulations you could say to prove that, despite being a woman, or actually because she is a woman that she could be a detective since she clearly demonstrated that some roles, well sometimes it takes a woman to do some jobs. However, I saw right from the start the obvious romance that would without any doubt occur later on in the book and to be totally honest that made me not that happy. I'm not against romance in books, well, not always, but in this case, it just didn't rub me the right way. Probably because I've seen it so many time before, man meets a woman, they dislike each other, but then they feel that they can't deny their growing attraction and wham bam thank you, mam!

Girl in Disguise is just not my kind of book, I even took a month long break from it and had a hard time getting inspired to return to it. It was not totally bad, I just felt that the characters never really came to life and that the storyline was too predictable in certain aspects. When the obvious romance part happened towards the end did my interested in the book fizzle out. I mean it's Civil War going on, and it should be a dangerous and intensive time for Kate and the rest of the Pinkerton, but I never felt that. Even when the story did take a surprise turn towards the end of the book did I feel anything for the characters. I was just bored.

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

Sunday, 19 March 2017

The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman

The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Librarian-spy Irene is working undercover in an alternative London when her assistant Kai goes missing. She discovers he's been kidnapped by the fae faction and the repercussions could be fatal. Not just for Kai, but for whole worlds.

Kai's dragon heritage means he has powerful allies, but also powerful enemies in the form of the fae. With this act of aggression, the fae are determined to trigger a war between their people - and the forces of order and chaos themselves.

Irene's mission to save Kai and avert Armageddon will take her to a dark, alternate Venice where it's always Carnival. Here Irene will be forced to blackmail, fast talk, and fight. Or face death.


***********

After reading and loving the first and third book in this series was I thrilled to get my hands on book two. After reading book three, The Burning Page, did I know the outcome of this book, but I still really wanted to read more about the kidnapping of Kai. And, yes, this book was good, but I also felt that I had some serious problem with really getting into the story. The whole, it's not you, it's me kind of situation that one can have with books now and then. I really wanted to love this book, but I just couldn't. It's not a badly written book, it's just that the story was not to my liking completely.

Now, this can be because I knew the storyline and some of the things that happened in the book in advance. However, I do not think that the whole problem because I have read books in different order before and that has been OK. I'm pretty sure that the story in this book just didn't work out for in the same way as the other because the villains in this book just didn't rock my boat. I loved to once again read about Irene, Vale, and Kai, but my heart wasn't really in this story. But, I often felt that I lost the focus while I read, it got a bit better when Vale was introduced into the story again after being left behind when Irene traveled to Venice to find Kai.

I do think the best part of the book was in the beginning when Irene wasn't sure of whom had kidnapped Kai and had to visit his (very dangerous) relatives. Also, the other books I have read in this series was funnier (and more engrossing) than this was. The whole Venice part of the story, well it just didn't really work for me. I didn't feel it interested me, and as I wrote before did I missed Vale and thankfully the story got better when I showed up, at least a little better...

Still, The Masked City is not a bad book, it has its moments. I especially liked the last chapter where Irene listed her five favorite book-heist tales.

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

Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan (SWE/ENG)

Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

Det är snart jul i Mount Polbearne, det lilla ö-samhället strax utanför Cornwalls kust.

När Polly inte är upptagen med att skapa läckerheter i det lilla bageriet på strandpromenaden myser hon med sin underbara pojkvän, Huckle. Hans honungsaffärer går dock inte så bra som de hoppats, kanske borde de lägga sina bröllopsplanerna på is ett tag? Ingen problem för Polly, men Huckles barnlängtan blir inte lika lätt för henne att hantera. Det visar sig också att Pollys vän Kerensa undanhåller något. Något som riskerar att splittra vännerna.

Men nu nalkas julen, en tid för familj, vänner och - inte minst - tid för julmarknaden, årets höjdpunkt! Men mitt i förberedelserna får Polly ett telefonsamtal som vänder upp och ner på allt. Hur ska hon ens kunna tänka på julen när hennes eget liv är ett enda stort kaos?

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Vilken härlig bok. Jag har inte läst de två tidigare böckerna om Polly Waterfords äventyr i Mount Polbearne, men jag längtar efter att göra det. Jag blev faktiskt förvånad över hur allvarlig bokens tema var, självklart fanns det en hel del roliga stunder, men boken tog upp allvarliga frågor som Kerensas STORA hemlighet, samt Pollys egna problem angående en person från hennes förflutna, eller rättare sagt hennes mammas förflutna.

Men det är blandning av humor och allvar som gjorde att jag älskade att läsa boken. Det och de vackra omgivningarna i Mount Polbearne. Ärligt talat, en del av mig undrar varför i hela friden har jag inte läst någon av Jenny Colgan böcker innan?

Jul i det lilla bageriet på strandpromenaden är en lätt bok att läsa, ena sekunden har du börjat läsa boken och helt plötsligt är du halvvägs igenom den. Men det är inte alls en bok man läser och sedan glömmer bort. Karaktärerna kommer till liv och berättelsen är rörande att läsa. Allvarligt, jag ville bara packa mina saker och resa till Mount Polbearne pronto! Förövrigt, jag bara avgudar lunnefågeln Neil. Han är en sådan underbar liten varelse. Jag vill ha en lunnefågel!

Den bästa av allt är att min mamma har den första boken i serien, så jag antar att jag vet vad jag kommer att läsa snart...

Tack till Massolit Förlag för recensionsexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

Welcome back to Mount Polbearne! The new book from Top Ten bestseller Jenny Colgan is full of festive joy, warmth and the best hot chocolate you can imagine...

It's Christmas in the Cornish coastal village of Mount Polbearne - a time for family, friends and feasting.

Polly Waterford loves running the Little Beach Street Bakery. She's at her happiest when she's creating delicious treats and the festive season always inspires her to bake and knead something extra special for the village residents. In fact, the only thing she loves more than her bakery is curling up with her gorgeous boyfriend, Huckle. She's determined that this Christmas is going to be their best one yet, but life doesn't always work out as planned...

When Polly's best friend Kerensa turns up with a secret that threatens the life Polly and Huckle have built together, the future begins to look uncertain. And then a face from Polly's past reappears and things become even more complicated. Polly can usually find solace in baking but she has a feeling that's not going to be enough this time. Can she get things back on track so that everyone has a merry Christmas?


**********

What a delightful book. I've not read the two previous book about Polly Waterford adventure in Mount Polbearne, but I'm dying to do so. I was surprised to discover how serious the book theme was, sure there was a lot of funny moments, but the book also had a lot of serious things going, like Kerensa's BIG secret, or things concerning a person from Polly's past or rather her mother's past. 

But, it's just the mix of humor and seriousness that made me love reading the book. That and the wonderful setting of Mount Polbearne. Honestly, a part of me wonders why on earth haven't I read any of Jenny Colgan's books before?

Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery is an easy book to read, it's the kind that you just breeze through, but it's not at all an easy book to forget. The characters come alive, and the story is touching to read. Seriously, I just wanted to back my things and travel to Mount Polbearne pronto! Also, I just adore Neil, the puffin. He's such a darling. I want a puffin for my own.

The best part of it all is that my mother has the first book in this series, so I guess I know what I will read soon...

Thanks to Massolit Förlag for the review copy!

Mystery of Maplemead Castle by Kitty French Blog Tour

Mystery at Maplemead Castle by Kitty French
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Welcome to Chapelwick, a leafy English town in the hills of Shropshire, where chocolate pecan cookies come with a helping of sabotage.

Maplemead Castle is crawling with ghosts, and the new owners need them gone. When Melody Bittersweet and the Girls’ Ghostbusting Agency arrive on scene, they quickly identify the troublemakers swinging from the chandeliers… literally.

A century ago, stunning trapeze artist Britannia Lovell plunged to her death, and has done every night since. But did she really just fall, or was there something more to her demise?

Forced to work with Leo Dark, her scoundrel ex, and infuriating, irresistible reporter Fletcher Gunn, Melody’s investigative powers are under strain (i.e. lost in a pink mist of lust and confusion). She needs her team on top form, but best friend Marina’s cake pipeline goes AWOL, assistant Artie’s distracted by a giant sausage roll, and the pug is scared witless by a lion.

Somewhere, hidden in the castle, is a heart-breaking secret, but what will it take to find it? And is there a chance it could set Britannia free, or is she doomed to repeat her last fateful act forever?

An utterly hilarious, gripping, spooktastic read for fans of HY Hanna, MC Beaton, Gina LaManna and Jana DeLeon.

BOOK REVIEW

Let's see I need to write this review as a normal book blogger and not a crazy Melody Bittersweet fan. Seriously, I do wonder how Kitty French manages to write this book without sitting and laughing at the dialog herself, or perhaps she does break down it laughter, who knows? All, I know is that this book is just as fun as the first book in the series!

Melody Bittersweet and the Girls' GhostbustingGhostbusting Agency is back to fight ghosts, thou fight them is the wrong word, rather trying to figure out their tragic past so that they can move on. In this book, Melody, Marina, and Artie have to try to figure out what happened all those years ago when trapeze artist Britannia Lovell plunged to her death. Was it really an accident? Besides this, she also has to deal with her ex Leo Dark who also is there, but Leo does seem to have a hard time separating work from pleasure, and work time romance is a bit hard when one of you are dead. Then, there is journalist Fletcher Gunn, the non-believer when it comes to ghosts, who is there to follow Melody for a reportage. He may not believe that she sees ghosts, but that doesn't stop them from getting a bit carried away when they are alone together. Then, there is the ghost lion...

Mystery of Maplemead Castle is a fabulous book. I loved the first book, but darn it, I think this one is even better. But, I think that's because of all the Fletcher and Melody action all through the book. Yes, the book is so much more than just Fletcher and Melody making out, but Leo has a tendency do stumble over them when they are..busy, and that often leads to hilarious moments. Seriously, the book has so many hilarious moments, witty dialog that I'm sitting here just smiling when I think of some of them. It's such a wonderful book, and I can't wait for the next to come out!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kitty French lives in the Black Country with her husband, two young sons and two crazy cats. She’s a lover of all things romantic – songs, music, and most of all, books. Her USA Today best-selling Lucien Knight series topped the erotic chart on both sides of the pond, and she also writes romantic comedy as Kat French for Avon, HarperCollins.

She’s over the moon to join Bookouture with her brand new paranormal romantic comedy series, Melody Bittersweet and the Girls Ghostbusting Agency.


BUY THE BOOK: 

UK 🇬🇧 
US 🇺🇸 


Friday, 17 March 2017

A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys

A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

1939, Europe on the brink of war. Lily Shepherd leaves England on an ocean liner for Australia, escaping her life of drudgery for new horizons. She is instantly seduced by the world onboard: cocktails, black-tie balls and beautiful sunsets. Suddenly, Lily finds herself mingling with people who would otherwise never give her the time of day.

But soon she realizes her glamorous new friends are not what they seem. The rich and hedonistic Max and Eliza Campbell, mysterious and flirtatious Edward, and fascist George are all running away from tragedy and scandal even greater than her own.

By the time the ship docks, two passengers are dead, war has been declared, and life will never be the same again.


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I think that A Dangerous Crossing is the kind of book that just not completely works for me. I prefer reading thrillers rather than drama when it comes to a book. And, this book contained way too much drama for my taste. I did spend much of the time waiting for someone to die so that something would happen beside reading about Lily's interactions with the rest of the passengers. And, one of the biggest problems I had were that I grew sick and tired of Eliza Campbell, she is the kind of bombastic character that in the end is just too much. Always showing up and dominating everyone around her. it just got to be too much for me.

Now this book is not all bad, I enjoyed reading about the trip to Australia with its stop along the way. Unfortunately, Lily is just the kind of meek character that I have a hard time connect to. I would have preferred a more independent and head-strong woman to read about. Not in the pompous Eliza kind of way of course, but a woman with a mind of her own.

However, the ending I have to admit was both surprising and good. I did know that the passengers had secrets, but I did not expect it would end as it did. And, I loved the end chapter, with a look at what happened next for the passengers onboard the ship.

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

Thursday, 16 March 2017

The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves

The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three very different women come together to complete an environmental survey. Three women who, in some way or another, know the meaning of betrayal....For team leader Rachael Lambert the project is the perfect opportunity to rebuild her confidence after a double-betrayal by her lover and boss, Peter Kemp. Botanist Anne Preece, on the other hand, sees it as a chance to indulge in a little deception of her own. And then there is Grace Fulwell, a strange, uncommunicative young woman with plenty of her own secrets to hide...

When Rachael arrives at the cottage, however, she is horrified to discover the body of her friend Bella Furness. Bella, it appears, has committed suicide--a verdict Rachael finds impossible to accept.

Only when the next death occurs does a fourth woman enter the picture--the unconventional Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope, who must piece together the truth from these women's tangled lives...


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As a long time fan of Ann Cleeves Shetland series does it feel a bit odd to admit that it has taken me this long time to read a book from her Vera Stanhope series. Especially since I have seen the TV series and like it very much. But, I'm a bit grateful for waiting for this gave me the opportunity to read the first book in the series.

I found THE CROW TRAP to be a bit different from the usual crime novels. Of course, I'm used to books with several different points of views, but this book starts off and keeps going for almost half the book before Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope is properly introduced into the story and she will take the center stage first at the end of the book with her own point of view.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW ON FRESH FICTION!

Cover Crush: Devastation Road Jason Hewitt


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 deeply compelling and poignant story about the tragic lessons of war and the endurance of memory.

In the last months of World War II, a man wakes in a field in a country he does not know. Injured and with only flashes of memory coming back to him, he pulls himself to his feet and starts to walk, setting out on an extraordinary journey in search of his home, his past, and himself.

His name is Owen. A war he has only a vague recollection of joining is in its dying days, and as he tries to get back to England, he becomes caught up in the flood of rootless people pouring through Europe. Among them is a teenage boy, and together they form an unlikely alliance as they cross battle-worn Germany.

When they meet a troubled young woman, tempers flare and scars are revealed as Owen gathers up the shattered pieces of his life. No one is as he remembers, not even himself. How can he truly return home when he hardly recalls what home is?


Some thoughts about the cover:

I had a bit of a problem finding a really good cover for this week. Nothing really inspired me today and I loath last minutes post, but I didn't want to miss putting up a Cover Crush since I've been doing it for some time now. Then I saw this one, not a new cover for me, but one that I find is very fetching with the dandelions and the men jumping from the plan. The cover is interesting with the red on the top of the cover (blood red symbol of the war?) and that the men are out of focus and that dandelion in the left corner is more in focus. Could be just a nice touch, but it's interesting to wonder if there are some reasons for the motives on the cover...

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

Flashlight Commentary
2 Kids and Tired Books
Layered Pages
The Maidens Court

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Jeopardy Surface by Sheri Leigh Horn Blog Tour

Jeopardy Surface by Sheri Leigh Horn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

JEOPARDY SURFACE marks the debut of a compelling new crime series featuring a one-of-kind protagonist and cutting-edge investigative techniques that will have you turning pages late into the night.

It’s the witching hour and Special Agent Regan Ross is having a WTF kind of night. Morning? How the hell did she get from her bed to her front yard? And why is she holding a loaded firearm? Sleepwalking doesn’t bode well for the rising star in the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, but whatever is causing her recent weight loss and bizarre nocturnal activities will have to wait. The phone is ringing. It’s probably her sister Erin, the surgeon who knows best, demanding to know her plans for the holidays. Why would this year be any different? They’ll spend the somber anniversary and Christmas like always—drinking too much, watching Turner Classic Movies, and not talking about their dead parents. Caller ID provides yet another surprise.

Hearing Special Agent Robert Haskins’ voice for the first time in six months has Regan reeling. The mention of Maryland’s Eastern Shore conjures images of Jennifer Abbott, the student-athlete whose disappearance from a small campus is national news. There are complications. For starters, her areas of expertise—geographic profiling and predictive analysis—require a lot of information from a series of crimes. Single murders typically aren’t her purview and involving herself in an investigation to which she has not been officially assigned will send the BAU chief’s blood pressure through the roof. She should say no, but she won’t. There’s too much residual guilt where Rob Haskins is concerned.

Regan Ross knows bad, and this one is BAD. The killer has left the mutilated body and a cache of troubling clues at a remote farm and posted the coordinates of the cache on a popular geocaching website. Is he taunting investigators? Expediting the discovery of his work? Both? The calculated modus operandi and uniquely sadistic signatures are not the work of a novice, and Regan is sure of one thing: he will kill again.

When visiting forensic psychologist Dr. Sheridan Rourke presents a lecture at Quantico featuring closed cases from Northern Ireland, Regan makes a shocking connection between an older series of murders and the Maryland case. Despite the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s insistence to the contrary, Regan and Rourke are convinced the killer of five women in Belfast two years ago is hunting women on the Chesapeake Bay. As the two become unlikely partners, Regan learns the psychologist’s past may be as haunted as her own.


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Jeopardy Surface is one of those books that I instantly like. Right from the start did I feel that Special Agent Regan Ross is just the kind of characters I love to rad about. A tough woman, with scars (both physical and psychical), a tragic background and a very interesting job. This is the first time I ever heard of geographic profiling and predictive analysis (jeopardy surface), which is used to find patterns in crime scenes and by doing so can one locate the most probable location for where the killer is. As a big fan of books with profilers is it perhaps not surprising that the geographic profiling method would be a hit for me.

I found the storyline intriguing, Special Agent Regan Ross is called in to investigate a case. A dead woman has been found and even though she usually don't work one single murder cases is this one bad and the evidence left on the site hints that the killer is taunting the police and his doesn't feel like it's his firs time, and worse of all, he will probably do it again, and again until he is stopped. But, Regan Ross also has to deal with family trouble, an obnoxious journalist, her "relationship" with Special Agent Robert Haskins and her own health problems. Personally, I just loved everything, and I especially love the fact that this is the first book in a series.

Jeopardy Surface is a compelling thriller, with a fascinating case and complexed characters. I especially liked reading about Regan's past and her sisters and niece. Reagan is such an interesting character, strong and solid and I felt that I really liked her and that made this book so much more interesting. The case in itself is interesting, and I loved the end twist. But, I think the strength of the book lies in that Sheri Leigh Horn has created so many fascinating characters. I was pulled into their lives and it was with a bit of sadness that I read the last page and had to say goodbye to them for now!


Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Siberia 56 by Christophe Bec

Siberia 56 by Christophe Bec
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Trapped on a planet millions of light years away from Earth, five scientists must survive sub-zero temperatures and horrific alien creatures as they make their way across the dead, frozen landscape to their base in this action-packed graphic novel.

It is the age of space exploration, and five scientists travel 80 million light years from home to study the planet of Siberia, the location of Earth’s 56th colony. Completely covered with dense snow and steep mountains, Siberia’s poles reach temperatures of -300° F with icy winds of close to 200 mph.

After their shuttle crashes, the surviving scientists must walk across hundreds of miles of frozen wasteland to find the terrain basecamp. Between the biting cold, devastating snow storms, and horrific alien creatures, their chances of survival are close to absolute zero. In Siberia 56, author Christophe Bec imagines a hostile and fascinating world that harkens to the very best of the science fiction and horror genres. Superbly illustrated by Alexis Sentenac, this stunning work offers a chilling tale of survival in the vast recesses of a dying planet.


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Stunning art and a fascinating story!

As a big sci-fi fan did I truly enjoy reading this graphic novel. I did get Prometheus vibe now and then while I read it. Which was only nice since I liked the movie.

The Siberia is Earth’s 56th colony and the volume includes three stories which are all connected with each other. I did think that the first story was the best with the shuttle crashing on the planet and the surviving members having to trek over the plane to safety. A trek through a frozen world with dangerous alien creatures. The next two stories both show past expeditions and the continuation the storyline in the first story.

Siberia 56 is really great and will without a doubt appeal to sci-fi fans!

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

Origins by AD Starrling Book Blast

Origins by AD Starrling Banner

Origins

by AD Starrling

Book Blast is March 14, 2017

Synopsis:

Origins by AD Starrling
The gifts bestowed by One not of this world, to the Man who had lived longer than most.

The Empire ruled by a King who would swallow the world in his madness.

The Warrior who chose to rise against her own kind in order to defeat him.

Discover the extraordinary beginnings of the Immortals and the unforgettable story of the Princess who would become a Legend.
In a time when sickness covers the world in shadows, Romerus, descendant of the first man and woman to walk the Earth, ventures into the desert to find a cure for his dying sons. The gifts he receives from the mysterious stranger he meets on his crusade turn his children into beings who can defeat death itself, carving a destiny that makes them Immortal kings of an empire spanning hundreds of years and thousands of leagues.

Mila, third daughter of Crovir and last-born grandchild of Romerus, knows the evil that resides in the heart of her father. When she dares challenge his increasing tyranny by sparing the life of a human governor, his twisted fear of her grows, triggering a chain of events that culminates in her witnessing his final, unforgivable sin. Accused of a crime she did not commit and forced to flee the empire of her birth, her path collides with that of an enigmatic captain who proves to be more than he claims.
As the promise of war darkens the lands, the most powerful and fearless of all the Immortals must shatter old alliances and create fresh ones in order to forge a new destiny for her kin and mankind.
Origins is the compelling fifth installment and genesis story of AD Starrling’s multi-award-winning, action thriller series Seventeen. If you like high-octane adventures that combine intrigue, history, and a dose of the paranormal, then you’ll love the world of Seventeen.

Book Details:

Genre: Action Thriller, Supernatural Suspense
Published by: AD Starrling
Publication Date: February 21st 2017
Number of Pages: 324
ISBN: 0995501327 (ISBN13: 9780995501324)
Series: A Seventeen Series Thriller, #5
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | iTunes  | Goodreads 

Read an excerpt:

3156 BC

It came on the wind, the wild, shrill call of a hawk. In the valley below, soldiers paused, weapons aloft, hands crimson with the blood of their enemies, their own bodies weeping from stabs and slashes. The sounds of war abated for a frozen moment.
Heads rose. As one, the men stared at the peak of the ridge to the east. Hearts that already raced from combat accelerated with fear and awe as they beheld the figure on a large, black horse clad in plates of armor. A murmur ran through the troops gathered on the bloodied battleground.
‘The Red Queen! The Red Queen is here!’
Slowly, it grew, until it became a chant, a frenetic chorus that energized one army even as it sapped the other of its remaining strength.
The figure on the horse raised her arm in the air. The broadsword in her hand glimmered, impossibly big in her grip, the metal catching the sun at her back and casting sparkling jets onto her gilded battle suit and chainmail tunic. On her shoulders, a cape fluttered in the wind, blood red under the golden light. On her head and limbs, polished bronze gleamed. The soldiers held their breath.
She brought her sword down and pointed it at the battlefield, heels digging sharply into the flanks of the fearsome beast beneath her. The horse neighed wildly and reared up on its hind legs before bolting down the hill toward the soldiers.
The rest of the Red Queen’s army came behind her, weapons glinting, the beats of their horses’ hooves making the ground tremble, their cries darkening the sky. Above them, an armor-clad hawk hovered, a silhouette against the dazzling orb. It shrieked once more before diving after its mistress.
Excerpt from Origins by AD Starrling. Copyright © 2017 by AD Starrling. Reproduced with permission from AD Starrling. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

AD Starrling
AD Starrling’s multi-award-winning thriller series Seventeen combines action, adventure, science, and a dose of the supernatural to make each book an explosive, adrenaline-fueled read.
When she’s not busy writing and reading, AD can be found looking up exciting international locations and cool science and technology to put in her books, eating Thai food, being tortured by her back therapists, drooling over gadgets, working part-time as a doctor on a Neonatal Intensive Care unit somewhere in the UK, reading manga, and watching action and sci-fi flicks. She has occasionally been accused of committing art with a charcoal stick and some drawing paper.
Find out more about AD on her website www.adstarrling.com where you can also sign up for her awesome newsletter and never miss her latest release. You’ll also get a chance to read advance copies of her forthcoming novels, have access to sneak previews of her work, participate in exclusive giveaways, and get special promotional offers.

Catch Up With Ms Starrling On Her: Website , Goodreads , Twitter , & Facebook !


Tour Participants:


Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for AD Starrling. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on March 13th and runs through March 21st, 2017.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 

Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens

Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship. Her ex-husband was sent to jail and she started over with a new life. Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When her ex-husband is finally released, Lindsey believes she’s cut all ties. But she gets the sense that someone is watching her. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded, and her daughter is shadowed. Lindsey is convinced it’s her ex-husband, even though he claims he’s a different person. But can he really change? Is the one who wants her dead closer to home than she thought?

Chevy Stevens targets her readership with a novel that hits all the notes they come to expect from her—and ratchets up the stakes even more in a novel that explores the darkest heart of love and obsession.


**********

Reading this book made me wonder if I have read too many thrillers lately or if this book was too easy to figure out. I guess a bit of both, to be honest. I'm not saying that I did not enjoy the book, however, when everything in a thriller points to one thing (or in this case to one person being behind something, that's when I often grew suspicious.

Never Let You Go is a thriller that is not groundbreaking or even really thrilling, to be honest. It does have an interesting story and the main characters, Lindsey and her daughter Sophie, are easy to like. But, what the story really lacks is some great twist. There is just no shocking twist to the story. I was suspicions towards one character that turned out to be good, but looking back I see that he was just a red herring. But, the ending was just not surprising enough to raise my pulse. It was so ... logical. Even the reason for everything was something that was easy to figure out.

The book's strength lies in that both Lindsey and Sophie were so likable. Especially, Sophie. I fully understood her wanting her father to have repented. To be a good man, despite everything pointing to the contrary. I do admit that I was at first not really appreciating Lindsey. I do have a very black and white view of abuse and don't see why anyone would stay in such a relationship. However, love and fear can make people do all sorts of crazy things.

Never Let You Go may not have been so thrilling for me, but I enjoyed reading the book. While the twist may have lacked the shocking punches I was after did the characters impress me. This was the first book I have read by Chevy Stevens and I wouldn't mind reading more books from her.

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

Monday, 13 March 2017

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Uprooted by Naomi Novik
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.


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Uprooted is a book that, despite seeming so interesting did it take me a long time to get to it, mostly because it seemed so thick and time-consuming. And, when I finally started to read it did I read it during one day. I'm actually a bit impressed by that myself since the book is 435 page long. But, then again I did start it after (or around can't really remember) midnight, slept and then read all through Saturday. A perfect day!

What I like about Uprooted is that the blurb doesn't give away the story, it only gives a hint to the beginning of the book, there are just not any spoilers to what will happen. And, that's pretty much how I'm going to do with my review. Try to spoil as little as possible because the story is so good, and the best is going in blind and just discover everything for yourself. What I can tell you is that Agnieszka starts off in this book as very clumsy, seriously, she drives the Dragon nuts. However, she will evolve through the books progress, and the person that we get to know at the beginning is, but a memory towards the end of the book. Speaking of the Dragon, I liked how Agnieszka and his relationship evolved through the book as well. They really start off on the wrong foot and it will take some time (and clumsy accidents) for them to be more of a team.

Also, the setting of the book, the worldbuilding, and the history of the land is a strong point with this book. I could easily image the world and its characters. One of my favorite moments is towards the end of the book when we get an explanation for what went wrong in the past, why the Wood is corrupted. It's a sad and very moving tale.

Uprooted is a great fantasy book. I liked it very much. However, I did not love it enough to give it a higher rating. It was not hard to read, but I had moments when the story felt a bit sluggish. Not that it was boring, I just didn't feel captivated all the way through the book. That said, it's still a fabulous book, and I recommend it warmly.

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

Sunday, 12 March 2017

In a Dark, Dark Wood (I en mörk, mörk skog) by Ruth Ware (SWE/ENG)

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

En oväntad inbjudan dyker upp i den tillbakadragna författaren Noras mejl – det är barndomsvännen Clare som ska gifta sig. En av Clares väninnor håller på och organiserar en möhippa, och vill gärna att Nora kommer trots att det var åratal sedan Nora och Clare hade någon kontakt.

Väl på plats, långt ute i skogen, för en helg med sprit och lekar, gör alla sitt bästa för att bjuda till, men snart uppstår spänningar mellan både nya och gamla bekantskaper. Är alla verkligen där på samma premisser? Varför är Nora bara bjuden på möhippan men inte på bröllopet? Och vem är det egentligen Clare ska gifta sig med?

Kontakten med omvärlden är i det närmaste obefintlig i det isolerade huset. Mobiltäckningen är usel och den fasta telefonen fungerar inte. Inom loppet av ett dygn går möhippan från krystad och märklig till våldsam och katastrofal – och Nora hamnar på sjukhus.


Frågan är bara vad som hänt från det att hon och de andra lämnade huset tills det att hon vaknade upp i en sjukhussäng. Hur har hon fått alla skador? Var är de andra? Och varför sitter det poliser på vakt utanför rummet där hon ligger?


Och framför allt – varför minns hon inte vad det är som har hänt?


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I en mörk, mörk skog är en intressant psykologisk thriller om en ung kvinna, Nora, som vaknar upp på ett sjukhus, skadad, och utan minnen av vad som hände med henne. Nu måste hon pussla ihop allt som hände från det ögonblick hon fick ett e-postmeddelande om en möhippa för Clare, en vän att hon inte har sett på tio år. För Nora är denna inbjudan ganska förvånande, särskilt eftersom hon inte är inbjuden till bröllopet, och hon vet inte ens vem Clare ska gifta sig med...

Jag måste erkänna att i början tyckte jag inte att berättelsen vara särskilt engagerande. Lätt att läsa ja, men jag hade bara svårt att riktigt gilla karaktärerna eller historien. Jag menar att det var ganska lätt att se att någon kommer att dö och någon kommer att vara mördaren. Skulle den stora twisten vara att Nora själv skulle vara mördaren? Vem vet. Men det kom en punkt när jag plötsligt fann mig väldigt engagerad i vad som hände. Karaktärerna började avslöja saker om sig själva och jag fick en känsla av att svaren på allt låg i det förflutna...

I en mörk, mörk skog visade sig vara en riktigt bra bok. I början, kunde jag som sagt inte riktigt se vad som gjorde boken så speciell, men historien visade sig vara riktigt bra och det fanns några oväntade ögonblick i boken. Kanske inte den mest överraskande slut, men den passade historien. Allt och alla en riktigt bra bok!

Tack till Lind & Co för recensionexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

What should be a cozy and fun-filled weekend deep in the English countryside takes a sinister turn in Ruth Ware’s suspenseful, compulsive, and darkly twisted psychological thriller.

Leonora, known to some as Lee and others as Nora, is a reclusive crime writer, unwilling to leave her “nest” of an apartment unless it is absolutely necessary. When a friend she hasn’t seen or spoken to in years unexpectedly invites Nora (Lee?) to a weekend away in an eerie glass house deep in the English countryside, she reluctantly agrees to make the trip. Forty-eight hours later, she wakes up in a hospital bed injured but alive, with the knowledge that someone is dead. Wondering not “what happened?” but “what have I done?”, Nora (Lee?) tries to piece together the events of the past weekend. Working to uncover secrets, reveal motives, and find answers, Nora (Lee?) must revisit parts of herself that she would much rather leave buried where they belong: in the past.


**********

In a Dark, Dark Wood is an interesting psychological thriller about a young woman, Nora, who wakes up in a hospital, injured, but with no memories of what happened to her. Now, she has to piece together everything that happened from the moment she got an email about a bachelorette party for Clares, a friend that she hasn't seen in ten years. For Nora is this invitation quite surprising, especially since she isn't invited to the wedding, and she doesn't even know who Clare is marrying...

For the first part of the book did I not think the book to be especially engaging. Easy to read yes, but I just had a hard time warming up to the characters and the story. I mean it was quite easy to see that someone is going to die and someone will be the killer. Would the great twist be that Nora herself would be the killer? Who knows. But, there came a point when I just found myself quite caught up with the story. The characters started to reveal things about themselves and I got the feeling that the answers to it all lie in the past.

In a Dark, Dark Wood turned out to be a pretty good book. Yes, in the beginning, I failed to see the big deal about the book, but the story turned out to be really good and there were some unexpected moments in the book. Perhaps not the most surprising ending, but it fitted the story. All, and all a really good book!

Thanks to Lind & Co for the review copy!

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.


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WINTERSONG is a book I have wanted to read since the first time I laid eyes on the cover and read the blurb. Yes, even, despite the fact that it's young adult, a genre that I don't often read, did I feel the need to read this book. I found the description of the book, about a young girl that has to save her sister from the Goblin King fascinating and I was very happy to get the chance to read the book.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Friday, 10 March 2017

Spotlight Down City by Leah Carroll + Giveaway

Down City A Daughter's Story of Love, Memory, and Murder by Leah Carroll

Like James Ellroy's, My Dark Places, DOWN CITY is a gripping narrative built of memory and reportage, and Leah Carroll's portrait of Rhode Island is sure to take a place next Mary Karr's portrayal of her childhood in East Texas and David Simon's gritty Baltimore.

Leah Carroll's mother, a gifted amateur photographer, was murdered by two drug dealers with Mafia connections when Leah was four years old. Her father, a charming alcoholic who hurtled between depression and mania, was dead by the time she was eighteen. Why did her mother have to die? Why did the man who killed her receive such a light sentence? What darkness did Leah inherit from her parents? Leah was left to put together her own future and, now in her memoir, she explores the mystery of her parents' lives, through interviews, photos, and police records.

DOWN CITY is a raw, wrenching memoir of a broken family and an indelible portrait of Rhode Island- a tiny state where the ghosts of mafia kingpins live alongside the feisty, stubborn people working hard just to get by. Heartbreaking, and mesmerizing, it's the story of a resilient young woman's determination to discover the truth about a mother she never knew and the deeply troubled father who raised her-a man who was, Leah writes, "both my greatest champion and biggest obstacle."

HARDCOVER BOOK - 1455563315 / 978145556331
ELECTRONIC BOOK - 1455563307 / 9781455563302
Available everywhere March 07

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Leah Carroll lives in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from Emerson College, and received an MFA in fiction from the University of Florida. She is the recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the MacDowell Colony.

WEBSITE: https://www.leahcarrollwriter.com

TWITTER: @leahcarroll

EARLY PRAISE

"Leah Carroll's DOWN CITY drops us into a family story heavy with secrets and crackling with regret. Hers is a portrait of two parents straining desperately to find their better angels, and a daughter whose resilience is tested again and again. The fact that she proves herself both survivor and frank and generous curator of their story is a great gift, both to their memory and to readers alike.” —Megan Abbott, bestselling author of The Fever and You Will Know Me

"Leah Carroll's writing is vivid and honest, and DOWN CITY is a clear-eyed act of regaining a father by artfully cataloging his loss.” —Charles Graeber, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder

"Quick and clear as glass, evocative and engaging, DOWN CITY is a story of a daughter's moving search for the truth about the parents whose dark complexities have left a mystery at the center of her existence.” — George Hodgman, author of Bettyville

"Leah Carroll's Rhode Island is seedy, charismatic, broke-down, and irresistible: so much like the characters in her gripping heartbreak of a memoir. Only a writer as brave in her heart as she is on the page could make us love the ghosts she chases through police reports, memory, and the desolate landmarks of her own tragedy. Leah Carroll is that writer, proving that no matter who haunts you or for how long, only forgiveness can set you free.” —Melissa Febos, author of Whip Smart and Abandon Me

"Driven by a ferocious demand for justice, Leah Carroll takes us with her as she extricates herself from layer after layer of lies, determined not only to find but to understand the truth about her parents' tragic lives. DOWN CITY is a riveting and heartbreaking inquiry, born of inner necessity, and written in a deceptively simple and deeply affecting prose that elevates its storytelling to art.” —Richard Hoffman, author of Half the House and Love & Fury

"Carroll's understated prose complements this daunting material, and her struggles as an unhappy, rebellious teen seem almost idyllic in contrast to the dysfunction and tragedy that shadow her... Carroll's determined grappling with the burden of her past is honestly and skillfully done.” —Publisher's Weekly (Starred Review)

Carroll's quietly powerful story offers a courageous, cleareyed vision of a broken family while exploring the meaning of forgiveness. An honest and probing memoir of coming to terms with family. —Kirkus


Down City by Leah Carroll

Interview with B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Lynne Kennedy

I’d like to welcome B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Lynne Kennedy to A Bookaholic Swede to talk with me about her story, Time Exposure: Civil War. With a Masters’ Degree in Science and more than 28 years as a science museum director, Lynne Kennedy has had the opportunity to study history and forensic science, both of which play significant roles in her novels. She has written five historical mysteries, each solved by modern technology.

Time Exposure: Civil War photography meets digital photography to solve a series of murders in two centuries.

The Triangle Murders was the winner of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Mystery Category, 2011, and was awarded the B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Award for independent books of high standards.

Deadly Provenance has also been awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion and was a finalist for the San Diego Book Awards. With the release of Deadly Provenance, Lynne has launched a "hunt for a missing Van Gogh," the painting which features prominently in the book. "Still Life: Vase with Oleanders" has, in actuality, been missing since WWII.

Her fourth book, Pure Lies, won the 2014 “Best Published Mystery” award by the San Diego Book Awards, and was a finalist in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award.

Time Lapse, her fifth and latest mystery, premiered at the end of 2016 to all 5-star reviews. She blogs regularly and has many loyal readers and fans. Visit her website at www.lynnekennedymysteries.com

Hi Lynne, it's so nice to have you stop by. Can you tell me how did you discover indieBRAG?

I’ve actually won Indie BRAG awards for two of my other books: The Triangle Murders and Deadly Provenance.

Can you tell me what Time Exposure is about?

Briefly: In present day Washington, D.C., renowned digital photographer Maggie Thornhill discovers a mummified corpse in her basement. She believes it to be her ancestor, famed Civil War photographer Joseph Thornhill. The truth she uncovers, however, will change written history as we know it.

Can you tell me more about Maggie Thornhill?

Tim Exposure is the first of the Maggie Thornhill series. Maggie is 30-year old digital photographer who heads up a lab at Georgetown University, Washington DC. She often works with law enforcement to help cases in which photography can be used. She is bright, does not suffer fools and, essentially, wants to rid the world of bad guys.

Why is Maggie Thornhill convinced that it’s Joseph Thornhill that she has found in the basement?

Maggie’s great, great grandfather was a famous Civil War photographer (and the reason she pursued a career in photography.) Through his diaries and photographs, she learns that he had taken photographs of a mysterious civilian on the battlefield, whom he believed was a killer. Maggie assumes that this killer found out about Joseph, murdered him, and buried him in his own basement, now her basement.

Who is Joseph Thornhill’s mentor Alexander Gardner?

In all my novels, I try to make the historical parts of the story as authentic as possible, both in real events and real characters. Alexander Gardner was, in fact, a famous Civil War photographer who began working under Mathew Brady, but then became famous in his own right. Many of the well-known Civil War photographs, and those of Abraham Lincoln, were taken by Gardner. He is an important character in Time Exposure, because my fictional character, photographer Joseph Thornhill, works with Gardner on the battlefields.

Can you tell me more about photography during the Civil War?

The Civil War was the first major “conflict” to be photographed extensively. Besides the portraits of soldiers, etc., done as tintypes and ambrotypes (replacing daguerrotypes, for the most part), photographers who ventured onto the battlefield had a difficult task. They used wagons for their supplies, often called “Whatizit” wagons since they looked odd. The newest technology at the time was the “wet-collodion” process, where an image was captured on chemically coated pieces of plate glass, a time-consuming venture. Also the cameras themselves were big, bulky, and heavy and took time to set up. One interesting note: photographers often set up the scene after a battle to get the best shot. Sad to say, but yes, the photos were often staged.

What inspired you to write this story?

When I was a museum director in San Diego, we hosted a Smithsonian Lecture Series. One program from the National Museum of American History was about Civil War photography. I was hooked. That, combined with my love of history plus my experience in science and technology, inspired me to write mysteries that took place in the past, around real historical events, but solve them today with modern technology.

Any author’s that have inspired you in your writing?

I think the book that launched my writing adventure is Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. A western, can you believe? The reason I found this book so special was its characters. They are so real and rich you cannot possibly forget them. Any of them. The plot, the setting, the atmosphere, dialogue, etc. all work too. But the characters are simply unforgettable.

What are you reading now?


I read many types of books: mysteries, historical fiction, literary fiction. I also read a lot of non-fiction, particularly in researching my books. My favorite author these days is Kristin Hannah. She has a lovely style and characters that resonate and remain with you long after the book is finished. Unfortunately, when I try to think of a favorite mystery, none really come to mind. They all blend together. I write mysteries, so what does that say? At the moment I’m reading David Baldacci’s The Last Mile, and, frankly, am disappointed. The good news? There are so many books to choose from. The bad news? There are so many books to choose from.

How did you come up with the title for your book?

Since my book goes back in time and is about photography in two centuries, Time Exposure seemed like a fitting title.

Who designed your book cover?

Based on an idea from a friend and colleague, also a writer, the concept of looking through a digital camera screen at a scene back in time to the Civil War was a perfect fit. The artists at BookBaby Publishers did the execution.

A Message from indieBRAG:

We are delighted that Magdalena has chosen to interview Lynne Kennedy who is the author of, Time Exposure: Civil War, our medallion honoree at indieBRAG. To be awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion ®, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, Time Exposure: Civil War, merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman by Mindy Mejia

The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman by Mindy Mejia
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Seventeen-year-old Hattie Hoffman is a talented actress, loved by everyone in her Minnesotan hometown. So when she's found stabbed to death on the opening night of her school play, the tragedy rips through the fabric of the community.

Local sheriff Del Goodman, a good friend of Hattie's dad, vows to find her killer, but the investigation yields more secrets than answers; it turns out Hattie played as many parts offstage as on. Told from three perspectives: Del's, Hattie's high school English teacher and Hattie herself, The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman tells the story of the real Hattie, and what happened that final year of school when she dreamed of leaving her small town behind . . .

Wonderfully evocative of its Midwestern setting and with a cast of unforgettable characters, this is a book about manipulation of relationships and identity, about the line between innocence and culpability, about the hope love offers and the tragedies that occur when it spins out of control.


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The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman is such a bittersweet story. I found the hardest thing about reading this book was that I liked Hattie so much. She was such a likable character, such a sweet girl, full of life and with the whole life ahead of her. And, then she was brutally murdered. Someone took her life, but why?

For sheriff Del Goodman is this case especially hard, he has known Hattie all her life, her father is a good friend to him and now he must find her killer. I loved that the story is told through three different perspectives, Del's, Hattie's and Peter, Hattie's English teacher. By giving Hattie a voice does the story come to life, this is not an anonymous dead girl, this is a girl that dreamed about Broadway, about becoming a star. It's the saddest thing reading this book, knowing that she will never ever fulfill her dreams.

I have to admit that the ending took me by surprise, I had the killer all figured out when the truth came out and I was astonished. It was not at all whom I had thought it would be.

Mindy Mejia has written a heartbreaking thriller with strong characters and a great ending. I look forward to reading more from Mejia in the future! PS. Love the cover for the book!

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

The Kept Woman (De fångade) by Karin Slaughter (SWE/ENG)

The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

Män och fruar. Mödrar och döttrar.

Hemligheter binder dem samman. Hemligheter som kan bli deras död.

En före detta polis med tvivelaktigt rykte hittas mördad. Blodiga spår på brottsplatsen avslöjar att det finns ytterligare ett offer: en kvinna. Men nu är hon försvunnen. När Will Trent börjar nysta i fallet leder frågorna till hans eget förflutna. Snart inser Will att hans tillvaro är ett korthus som kan fall sönder vilken sekund som helst.

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Jag var lite osäker på om jag skulle läsa De fångade utan att ha läst någon av de tidigare Will Trent böckerna. Jag har läst bokrecensioner som varnat för att det är svårt att förstå boken utan att ha läst de tidigare böckerna och jag ville inte att läsa denna och känna att jag inte förstod hälften av vad som hände. Lyckligtvis tog jag risken  och jag måste säga att boken är fullständigt lysande.

De fångade anspelar på tidigare händelser, men jag kände aldrig att jag inte hängde med när jag läste boken. I stället sögs jag in i historien och det är en bok som jag knappt kunde lägga ner. Jag fann berättelsen redan från början mycket spännande. Boken började starkt med fyndet av den döda kroppen och hur allting ledde till Angie, Wills hustru. Boken har sådan fantastiska vändningar och det var svårt att räknade ut vart allting skulle leda till. Vem är den döda mannen, vad har han med Angie att göra? Vad är det som pågår?  Det är en fantastisk bok och jag gillar verkligen Will Trent, denna trasiga karaktärer som Angie inte kan sluta plåga.

På tal om Angie. Hon är en intressant kvinna, en av de värsta karaktärer jag någonsin har stött på. Hon är den typ av kvinna som går genom livet och förstör allt som är bra. Och Will, på grund av deras förflutna, tyvärr, den som får ta den värsta stöten av det. Jag är nyfiken på Will och Angie och det ska blir intressant att gå tillbaka och läsa tidigare böcker i serien.

Tack till HarperCollins Nordic för recensionexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

Husbands and wives. Mothers and daughters. The past and the future.

Secrets bind them. And secrets can destroy them.


The author of the acclaimed standalone Pretty Girls returns with this long-awaited new novel in her bestselling Will Trent series—an electrifying, emotionally complex thriller that plunges the Georgia detective into the darkest depths of a case that just might destroy him.

With the discovery of a murder at an abandoned construction site, Will Trent and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are brought in on a case that becomes much more dangerous when the dead man is identified as an ex-cop.

Studying the body, Sara Linton—the GBI’s newest medical examiner and Will’s lover—realizes that the extensive blood loss didn't belong to the corpse. Sure enough, bloody footprints leading away from the scene indicate there is another victim—a woman—who has vanished . . . and who will die soon if she isn’t found. 

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I was a bit unsure whether I should read The Kept Woman without having read any of the previous Will Trent books. I've seen reviewers warn that it's hard to get the book without having read the previous books and I did not want to be reading this one and feel that I didn't understand half of what's going on. Fortunately, did I risk it and I have to say that the book is bloody brilliant.

The Kept Woman may allude to past events, but I never felt that I was lost when I read the book. Instead, was I sucked into the story and it's a book that I hardly could put down. I found the story to be very engrossing, with the finding of the dead body and Angie, Will Trent's wife role in it and all the twist and turns kept my interest up until the end. Who is the dead man, what has he to do with Angie? What is going on? It's just such a marvelous book and I really came to like Will Trent, this broken characters that Angie keep tormenting.

Now, speaking of Angie. She is an interesting woman, one of the worst character I have ever encountered. She is the kind of woman that goes through life destroying everything that's good. And, Will is because of their past, unfortunately, the one that has to take the brunt of it. It will be interesting going back and read the previous books to get to know Will more and learn more about his past.

Thanks to HarperCollins Nordic for the review copy!