Monday, July 31, 2017

The Other Girl Review

Title:  The Other Girl
Author:  Erica Spindler
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Release Date:  Aug. 22, 2017
Buy/Order Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  4.5 Fantastic 's

*Many thanks to St. Martin's Press, Netgally, and the author for an arc copy of this book.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Justice for Sara and The First Wife Erica Spindler comes The Other Girl, a chilling new thriller about a ritualistic murder of a college professor that sends a small town cop back into the trauma she thought she’d put behind her.
A horrific crime. One witness—a fifteen year old girl from the wrong side of the tracks, one known for lying and her own brushes with the law.
Is it any surprise no one believed her?
Officer Miranda Rader of the Harmony, Louisiana PD is known for her honesty, integrity, and steady hand in a crisis—but that wasn’t always so. Miranda comes from the town of Jasper, a place about the size of a good spit on a hot day, and her side of the tracks was the wrong one. She’s worked hard to earn the respect of her coworkers and the community.
When Miranda and her partner are called to investigate the murder of one of the town’s most beloved college professors, they’re unprepared for the brutality of the scene. This murder is unlike any they’ve ever investigated, and just when Miranda thinks she’s seen the worst of it, she finds a piece of evidence that chills her to the core: a faded newspaper clipping about that terrible night fifteen years ago. The night she’d buried, along with her past and the girl she’d been back then. Until now that grave had stayed sealed…except for those times, in the deepest part of the night, when the nightmares came: of a crime no one believed happened and the screams of the girl they believed didn’t exist.
Then another man turns up dead, this one a retired cop. Not just any cop—the one who took her statement that night. Two murders, two very different men, two killings that on the surface had nothing in common—except Miranda.
What a fantastic, chilling read!  Be prepared to be totally immersed in this story as Spindler weaves the past and present into one heart-racing thriller.  I read this book in mostly one sitting, simply unable to put it down.  This is my second book by Erica Spindler and all the proof I need that she deserves a spot on my "go-to" author list.  I look forward to exploring more of her books. 
Detective Miranda Rader is a respected, ten year veteran of the Harmony, La. police force.  She has earned the respect of fellow officers and her commander through years of hard work and dedication to her job.  But it hasn't always been so as witnessed in her sordid past of lies, wild parties, drugs, and alcohol.  How many times can a young girl yell "wolf" before everyone stops believing her?   Fifteen-year-old Miranda found out one dark, rainy night and ended up branded a liar and a slut.  The resulting chaos and devastation led her to flee town, leaving behind the family who turned their backs on her.  Miranda made her own second chance and is a different person now, keeping her old life buried.  That is until the day she's called out to investigate the brutal, ritualistic murder of a beloved college professor and finds a piece of evidence tying her to the murder scene and linking to her buried past.  Things quickly escalate out of control when a cop also turns up dead with evidence pointing an accusing finger at Miranda.  It seems her past has finally caught up with her, placing her in imminent danger as her new life is torn apart.  Is someone seeking revenge by setting her up?  Or is Miranda finally seeking vengeance against the ghosts of her past?
Intense, fast-paced action kept me burning through the pages of The Other Girl.  The detail-oriented plot is enhanced by an atmospheric setting, lending a dark, ominous tone of impending gloom and doom to the story.  The characterizations are spot-on, beautifully crafted, leaving me questioning who I could really trust and whose loyalty is a mask.  There are some twisted surprises in this story . . . some I figured out ahead of the reveal and some I didn't.  Either way, they don't deter from the reading pleasure of this intriguing, mesmerizing suspense thriller.  A Must Read!
My Rating:  4.5 Fantastic, Thrilling 's . . . And that's the truth!
Cross My Heart . . . xxx

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Seeing Red Review

Title:  Seeing Red
Author:  Sandra Brown
Publisher:  Grand Central Publishing
Genre:  Romance/Suspense
Buy Link:  Amazon
Release Date:  August 15, 2017

My Rating:  4 Secret 's

*Many thanks to the publisher, Netgally, and Sandra Brown for an arc of this book.

Kerra Bailey is a television journalist on the rise, and she's hot on the trail of a story guaranteed to skyrocket her career to even greater heights: an interview with the legendary Major Trapper. Twenty-five years ago, the Major emerged a hero from the bombing of the Pegasus Hotel in downtown Dallas when he was photographed leading a handful of survivors out of the collapsing building. The iconic picture transformed him into a beloved national icon, in constant demand for speeches and interviews--until he suddenly dropped out of the public eye, shunning all members of the media. However, Kerra is willing to use any means necessary to get to the Major--even if she has to wrangle an introduction from his estranged son, former ATF agent John Trapper. 

Still seething over his break with both the ATF and his father, John Trapper wants no association with the hotel bombing or his hero father, and spurns the meddling reporters determined to drag them back into the limelight. Yet Kerra's sheer audacity and tantalizing hints that there's more to the story rouse Trapper's interest despite himself. And when her interview of a lifetime goes catastrophically awry--with unknown assailants targeting not only the Major, but also Kerra--Trapper realizes he needs her under wraps if he's going to track down the gunmen before they strike again . . . as well as discover, finally, who was responsible for the Pegasus bombing. 

Kerra is wary of a man so charming one moment and dangerous the next, and she knows Trapper is withholding evidence collected during his ATF investigation into the bombing. But having no one else to trust and enemies lurking closer than they know, Kerra and Trapper join forces and risk their very lives to expose a sinuous network of lies and conspiracy running deep through Texas--and uncover who would want a national hero dead.

Most readers have a list of "go-to" authors they can count on to delivery an amazing read every single time.  Sandra Brown places very high on my author "go-to" list.  And once again, she delivers an intriguing read in Seeing Red - complete with flawed characters, sexual tension, and a plot laden with lies, secrets, and conspiracies that kept me guessing until the end.

Kerra Baily is a smart, tenacious, by-the-book, rising television journalist on the trail of the story that will make her career.  It's the 25th anniversary of the bombing of the Pegasus Hotel, and she is determined to score an interview with national hero Major Franklin Trapper.  The major became a hero 25 years ago when he emerged from a burning, bombed hotel, guiding a group of people to safety including the five-year-old girl he carried in his arms.  His fame was headline news for years afterwards as he made appearances and accepted awards, but he later dropped out of sight refusing all interviews.  His regrettable choice of fame over family cost him the loss of a relationship with his son, John.  

John Trapper is a proud, intelligent, wary, sometimes hot-headed ex-ATF agent turned private detective who can often be found at the bottom of a bottle.  He deeply resents his father's past neglect and remains convinced the truth of the bombing and aftermath has never been revealed.  Shunned by his colleagues, John continues his off-the-record investigation determined to find the real bombing mastermind and redeem himself and his derailed career.  He's sloppy drunk the day Kerra approaches him for help securing an interview with his now hermit-like dad, the Major.  He refuses her, but she leaves him with an intriguing picture and a directive to get a magnifying glass and take a closer look.  And so their journey begins.

Family dynamics, secrets, conspiracy, murder, and a taut underlying current of sexual tension drive this fast-paced story.  Readers will need to buckle up and hang on as they race through some classic Brown twists and turns to reach another satisfying conclusion served up with a cherry on top - a surprise, of course.  The detail-oriented plot line reeks of danger and sets a tone of tense anticipation with flawed characters fighting for survival (and against their undeniable attraction), making Seeing Red a hard book to put down before reaching the end. Intense Suspense + Sizzling Romance = A Page Burning Must Read!

My Rating:  4 Secret 's . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx


The Grave Tender Review

Title:  The Grave Tender
Author:  Eliza Maxwell
Publisher:  Lake Union Publishing
Release Date:  April 11, 2017 (Revised Edition)
Buy Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  5 Raw, Heart-Racing 's

A chilling psychological suspense novel, The Grave Tender explores the dark boundaries people cross to save loved ones, and the limits of family bonds tested by the deepest of betrayals.

Note:  Revised edition: This edition of The Grave Tender includes editorial revisions.

Endless questions from a shadow-filled East Texas childhood haunt Hadley Dixon. People said her mother, Winnie, was never quite right, but with one single, irreparable act, life as Hadley knew it was shattered. The aftershocks of that moonlit night left her reeling, but the secrets and lies had started long before.

When a widowed and pregnant Hadley returns years later, it’s not the safe harbor she expects. The mysteries surrounding a local boy’s disappearance remain, and the townspeople still whisper about Hadley’s strange and reclusive Uncle Eli—whispers about a monster in their midst.

But Hadley’s father and grandmother, the cornerstones of everything safe in her world, avoid her questions. If Hadley stays here, will she be giving her children the family they need, or putting their lives in danger?

The hunt for answers takes a determined Hadley deep into the pine forests, in search of sunlight that will break through the canopy of lies long enough to reveal the truth.


Wow! What a heartbreaker! My tears were falling way before I reached the end. I knew it was going to be a dark read, touching on some sensitive subjects, but I didn’t know it would rip my heart out and leave me feeling so raw and exposed. This is my first book by Eliza Maxwell, but I’m now highly motivated to seek out and read more. The strong voice and tone of her writing carried this story and these characters through hell and high water, and her expert descriptive manipulation of setting authenticates the plot. The subject matter is dark, touching on rape, incest, domestic abuse, molestation, lies, betrayal and murder – all of which gives readers a first-hand view at the depravity some characters are/were subjected to . . . events that scar/scarred them for life while sealing their fate. I maneuvered the twists and turns of this story while holding my breath with heart racing much of the time. Every time I thought I had things figured out, another shocking revelation would prove me wrong. The characters are an odd bunch at best – and you can never be sure if you’re looking at the real deal or a person hidden by the mask of humanity they wear. At times, I felt like I was in a spook house filled with smoke and mirrors – could I trust who and what I was seeing? Or was it an elaborate illusion – a monster in disguise?

Raw, dark, and gritty, The Grave Tender is a disturbing read that I could not put down until I read the final page. I didn’t come close to guessing the villain as his/her mask never slipped until the big reveal. I won’t say more (you can read the synopsis) because this book needs to be a first-hand reading experience. It isn’t sweet. It isn’t nice. It isn’t for the faint of heart. It features some damaged, broken characters stumbling down a path toward a destiny of ultimate betrayal and devastation – all brought about by the tears of their past. An intense, haunting, beautifully written story that draws attention to some hardcore subjects. A Page Turning Must Read!

My Rating:  5 Raw, Heart-Stopping 's . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx


Friday, July 21, 2017

Trunk Music Review...

Title:  Trunk Music
Series:  Harry Bosch #5
Author:  Michael Connelly
Publisher:  Little, Brown and Company
Buy Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  4 Tenacious 's

Back on the job after an involuntary leave of absence, LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch is ready for a challenge. But his first case is a little more than he bargained for. 

It starts with the body of a Hollywood producer in the trunk of a Rolls-Royce, shot twice in the head at close range - what looks like "trunk music," a Mafia hit. But the LAPD's organized crime unit is curiously uninterested, and when Harry follows a trail of gambling debts to Las Vegas, the case suddenly becomes more complex - and much more personal. 

A rekindled romance with an old girlfriend opens new perspectives on the murder, and he begins to glimpse a shocking triangle of corruption and collusion. Yanked off the case, Harry himself is soon the one being investigated. But only a bullet can stop Harry when he's searching for the truth . . .

LAPD Homicide Detective Harry Bosch returns with a bang from another forced leave in Trunk Music.  His first day back in homicide, and he's called out to investigate a body found stuffed in a car trunk.  The investigation gets off to a bad start and quickly deteriorates when Harry realizes the scene has been compromised by the investigating officer.  The murder appears to be an organized crime hit and should be turned over to the Organized Crime Investigation Unit, but Harry is reluctant to do so as he has a bad feeling about this case and wants to see it through.  When OCI turns the case down, Harry calls in his team consisting of Jerry Edgar and new member Kizmin Rider and together, they roll up their sleeves and get to work.

I found the first half of Trunk Music to be a little slow moving as a lot of page time was devoted to the organized crime aspect of the story. I think it succeeded in diverting readers and Harry off the right trail.  The pace picks up in the second half and I suddenly found myself burning through the pages trying to solve the case.  Through a series of twists and turns and several dead-ends, Harry pursues the truth at all costs and once again finds his credibility and job in question.  The difference this time is that he has support from new commander Billets and his partners.  Tough and tenacious as a junk-yard dog, Harry's high morals and integrity will not allow him to back down.  A trail of lies, blackmail, corruption, and murder leads him back and forth between LA and Vegas - where he runs into an old flame...and things suddenly get very personal.  

As always, the police procedural's are strong in Trunk Music.  It's always intriguing to follow Harry's thought process as he works through the evidence.  Character development is also huge, and I found that I like this more confident, more content Harry.  New and returning cast members add support and interesting possibilities for future stories.  All in all, another great read in this intriguing series.  A Must Read!

My Rating:  4 Tenacious 's . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Silent Review

Title:  The Silent
Series:  Irin Chronicles #5
Author:  Elizabeth Hunter
Release Date:  July 28, 2017

My Rating:  4 Epic Hearts

*Many thanks to the author for an arc of The Silent.


They are called kareshta, the silent ones.
But the silent are waking.

Kyra has lived her life in the shadow of a powerful Grigori brother. She’s ignored her own desires for the good of her family, but an unexpected request from Thailand sends her on a mission that could change her life and alter the fate of free Grigori all over the world. Sons of the Fallen hidden in the mountains of Thailand have adapted an ancient human magic for their own purposes. Will this practice bring peace or lead to even greater danger for the Irin race?

A simple diplomatic mission sends Leo to Bangkok, but he didn’t expect to see a familiar face in surveillance photographs. He’s tried everything to drive Kyra from his mind, since he was convinced the gentle kareshta wanted to hide from the world. How did she turn up halfway across the globe, living with Grigori who may or may not be Irin allies?

Leo has bided his time. He’s given Kyra her space.

But this scribe is ready to hear a kareshta sing.

THE SILENT is a romantic fantasy, and the fifth book in the Irin Chronicles series.


Elizabeth Hunter is a master at creating an IMAX type experience in each of her books. The sights, sounds, feels, and smells of each setting/region are brought to life by her beautiful writing, surrounding the reader and transporting them into the heart of her story, characters, and world through scenes vibrating with life.  I find myself completely immersed in her stories, surrounded by characters that entice me to laugh, cry, love, explore, and battle by their side.  And after finishing each book, just like leaving a movie theatre after a great movie, I relish the satisfaction of having just finished another spellbinding read that leaves me begging for the next one.

The Silent is a story of hope, a story of a future ripe with possibilities for so many - the Irin, the Kareshta, and yes, even the Grigori.  Their past is intertwined and laden with betrayal and mistrust, but if they are to prosper and grow, they must learn to co-exist peacefully - to trust, to accept, to have the courage to let the past go and move forward together to defeat their common enemy.  Is it possible?

At long last, readers get Leo and Kyra's story.  A relationship that seems impossible - a kareshta and an Irin warrior?  No way it will ever be accepted.  But sometimes, fate steps in to lend a helping hand.  Once again, this couple finds themselves in the same place at the same time - each on a mission for their people, each surprised to see the other.  There's no denying the attraction sizzling between them, even as danger and evil rears its ugly head.  Leo is an Irin warrior in every sense of the word, and yet there is an air of innocence about him that I adore.  He radiates goodness even as he steams full speed ahead to claim the woman who stars in his erotic dreams.  Kyra emerges from her cocoon much like a butterfly, spreading her wings to fly solo for the first time - laying claim to her independence as she accepts and embraces the full extent of her magic.  In the beginning, they reminded me of awkward, inexperienced, lovesick teenagers but awkwardness soon disappears as passion takes over.  Whew!  Suffice it to say, this may be the most erotic Irin Chronicles book yet!

The Silent is an intriguing, heart-felt story that focuses a great deal on character/relationship development, in turn enhancing an intense plot line that carries the series story arc ahead by leaps and bounds.  A strong, unique support cast introduces some new, promising characters along with a few from the past.  An epic story, The Silent would play out in an explosion of color across an IMAX screen complete with surround sound.  One can only hope!  Another great addition to the series!  A must read!

My Rating:  4 Epic Hearts . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx


Friday, July 7, 2017

The Red Collector Card Set Giveaway ~ Sinning Has Never Felt So Good!

The Red Collector Card Set Giveaway!  
July 8 - 20
Paintings play a major role in The Red, the new erotic fantasy from international bestseller Tiffany Reisz.

Now you can win a set of collector's cards featuring artwork from the novel. Every set includes a signed card!

I'm stoked to have the opportunity to offer one set of Tiffany Reisz's The Red Collector Cards to one lucky winner here on my blog!  You can enter the giveaway through my Rafflecopter Giveaway below. 
Contest open to U.S. addresses only. No purchase necessary. Odds of winning depend upon number of entries. 1 winner will be drawn at random. Contest closes at 11:59pm ET on July 20, 2017.

Title: The Red
Subtitle: An Erotic Fantasy
Author: Tiffany Reisz
Publisher: 8th Circle Press (eBook and Trade Paperback) • Tantor Audio (Audiobook CD and Download)
On-Sale Date: July 11, 2017 (Worldwide)
Genre: Erotica/Paranormal Erotica
Page Count: 248 pages
Retail Links: Amazon | Amazon Australia | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | iBooks Australia | iBooks UK | iBooks Canada | Kobo
Pre-order links not available for the trade paperback or audiobook at this time. Details about signed print copies will be available after release.
Goodreads Link: Goodreads

Never make a promise you don’t intend to keep…
Mona Lisa St. James made a deathbed promise that she would do anything to save her mother's art gallery. Unfortunately, not only is The Red painted red, but it's in the red.
Just as she realizes she has no choice but to sell it, a mysterious man comes in after closing time and makes her an offer: He will save The Red if she agrees to submit to him for the period of one year.
The man is handsome, English, and terribly tempting...but surely her mother didn't mean for Mona to sell herself to a stranger. Then again, she did promise to do anything to save The Red...
The Red is a standalone novel of erotic fantasy from Tiffany Reisz, international bestselling author of The Bourbon Thief and the Original Sinners series.

My Review of The Red ~ Sinfully Shocking & Taboo! A Page Scorching Must Read!  So hot it should come with a warning...

About Tiffany Reisz
Tiffany Reisz is the international bestselling author of the Original Sinners series for Mira Books and Mills & Boon, including the RT Book Reviews Best Erotic Romance 2012 winner The Siren and the LAMBDA Literary Award-winning The King. Her novel The Saint won the Romance Writers of America RITA® for best Erotic Romance in 2015.

Follow Tiffany on Social Media: Facebook • Twitter • Instagram
About 8th Circle Press:  8th Circle Press is a Lexington, Kentucky-based publisher of literary friction. For more information, visit our website at

Enter for a chance to win your own set of The Red Trading Cards...
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest open to U.S. addresses only. No purchase necessary. Odds of winning depend upon number of entries. 1 winner will be drawn at random. Contest closes at 11:59pm ET on July 20, 2017.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

IWSG: The Perils of Procrastination...

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a community of writers who share ideas and encourage other writers. It's a great place to express doubts and concerns as well as offer and receive tribulations and guidance from other writers. IWSG posts the first Wednesday of every month. I think you'll find it to be a great writer's resource that's well worth your time. Be sure to stop by and visit with some of the other IWSG writers/bloggers at IWSG Members.

A great big thank you to July's awesome co-hosts:

July's dog days of summer are making their presence known in the south.  Temperatures are rising and the humidity is showing no mercy.  How hot is it?  Sweat-dripping-hot even when sitting in the shade sipping a glass of iced sweet tea.  And it's just started.  Busy time of year around here with a lot of gardening, canning, and freezing going on.  It really cuts into this girl's writing (and reading) time and brings to mind this month's IWSG question:  What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing? 

There are so many things I could say here, but a valuable lesson I've learned the "hard way" and the one that has been driven home to me time and time again is "don't
procrastinate!"  The time to write is now, not later.  Don't assume you have tomorrow.  I can't count the times I've been caught unprepared the night before a deadline and found myself in the middle of a full-fledged, deer-in-the-headlight panic attack and the resulting late night writing push to get everything done.  I wish I could say it never happens anymore, and I'm always prepared but let's face it . . . life happens.  What I can say is I've lived with the perils of procrastination a few times too many and will do whatever it takes to avoid them in the future.  Lesson learned:  Don't put off until an illusive "tomorrow" what I should be writing "today".

So - are you a procrastinator?  Or are you one of the envied ones . . . always prepared with posts ahead of time?  If so, please share any tips, hints, or advice on how you manage it all with everything else life throws at you.