Posted in Book Review, Crime, Murder Mystery, Mystery

Taken To The Grave M.M. Chouinard 4* #Review @bookouture @m_m_chouinard #MurderMystery #policeprocedural #CrimeFiction #USA #DetectiveJoFournier #BookReview #bookblogger

In a town full of secrets, the truth won’t stay buried

When a girl’s body is discovered in a park in the sleepy Massachusetts town of Oakhurst, local detective Jo is shocked to the core. Because the girl is the second innocent victim to turn up dead in three days. And just like the first, a tarot card has been left by the body. The meaning of the card: betrayal.

After uncovering a series of threatening messages targeting the girl, a student at the university, and the first victim, her teacher, Jo thinks she’s locked the killer in her cross-hairs. The primary suspect is a volatile ex-military student with an axe to grind for failing grades, and the frightened town is out for his blood. But the next day, a much-loved member of the community is found dead in her home, a tarot card in her mail. There’s no clear motive to link her death to the others, and the message on the card this time is even stranger: domestic bliss.

With a fourth body and card appearing the following day, Jo knows she’s running out of time to crack the code and bring the killer to justice. And the pressure only gets worse with heart-breaking news about Jo’s father forcing her to choose between helping her family heal or the victims’ families get justice. Can Jo find the twisted murderer sending the town into a panic before another life is lost? Or this time, will the dangerous killer find her first?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Bookouture via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Set in Massachusetts USA, this is a well-paced police procedural , featuring Detective Josette Fournier and her partner Bob Arnett. The second in the series, it reads perfectly as a standalone,with sufficient back story on the main protagonist, cleverly interwoven into the story as a subplot. Jo is a committed, career woman, with a tragic past that makes the job her life. She doesn’t have relationships, only occasional lovers, and the reasons for this become clearer as the story progresses. She has a tense relationship with her younger sister that is forced into focus, when their father has health issues. This causes her additional problems, as she is the middle of a murder case.

The noir murder mystery is told from the detective’s point of view, and also the antagonist’s. Even with this additional view point, because of the numerous suspects, it is difficult to pinpoint the culprit. The police procedural element of the story is authentic. The murders are shocking, but not unduly, there is just enough detail to illustrate how driven the murderer is.

Jo Fournier is a good character, she is complex, and her emotional damage makes her interesting, and easy to empathise. The mystery is well-plotted with lots of suspects, and clues, I did solve part, but not all of the mystery, which engages the reader. The characters are believable and easy to imagine, and I look forward to reading their next case.

Posted in Author Blog Challenge, Friday Read

My Top 5 Books and Why? Author Blog Challenge: #LifeBooksWriting

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So like many writers, I am an avid reader too. I would never have become a writer, if I hadn’t read books, I’d like to have written and these are a few of them.

 The Donovan Legacy – Nora Roberts

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I loved these romantic paranormal stories about  a supernatural  family. If you enjoyed the 1990’s witchy  TV series Charmed you’ll love these stories too. The romance is easy, the characters believable and the magic is the perfect escapism.

I wanted to write stories with the same mix of paranormal romance and fantasy . I decided to write  a paranormal romance after reading this series but it was over ten years later, when I wrote my first paranormal romance; The Dragon Legacy series.
 

Ashes to Ashes –   Tami Hoag

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 I also  love reading mysteries and thrillers, especially those that get inside the mind of the antagonist. Tami Hoag, does this perfectly, especially in my favourite story of hers.

The female lead in this story is perfectly flawed but so easy to empathise with. The  villain is pure evil  and the suspense to die for.  I read this in the late nineties but its still one of my favourite suspense thrillers.

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In my current release, The  Dangerous Gift, I tried to create the same suspenseful ethos with elements of romance and mystery intertwined. 

The Cat Who… Lilian Jackson Braun

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My mum loved, what is now termed cosy mysteries and she introduced me to Lilian Jackson Braun and ‘The Cat Who….’ mysteries. These feature a quirky private detective and his two Siamese cats, who are really the stars of the book; Koko  and Yum Yum. The stories are simple but full of interesting characters and they remind me of happy times with my mum.

Tangled Reins and Four in Hand – Stephanie Laurens

I have always loved reading Regency Romance  and  Stephanie Laurens’, ‘Four in Hand’ and ‘Tangled Reins’ are two of my all  time favourites Arrogant, sexy heroes. Feisty , intelligent yet vulnerable heroines and a glamorous settings make them great to read.

 Past Shadows Cover 2My love of Regency romance,mystery, suspense and the paranormal, inspired me to write my latest story ‘Past Shadows’ . which I  hope to release later this year. Excerpts are on Wattpad under my user name  JaneHunt5.

Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe  Debbie Johnson

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As a book reviewer, I am lucky enough to read stories from many different authors. One of my  favourites because her stories never fail to make me laugh out loud is Debbie Johnson. Her latest book ‘ Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe’ is her most memorable tale to date, full  of fun, poignancy and some many delightfully, real characters. Definitely a must read this summer.

 So that’s my top five books, what are yours and why? Comment  below or on Twitter using the hashtag #LifeBooksWriting.

 

Posted in Cover Reveal

The Beautiful People – Jonathan Yanek – Cover Reveal

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ALL THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE by Jonathan Yanez

Release Date: July 12, 2016

Publisher: Limitless Publishing

Cover Designer: Deranged Doctor Designs

Taylor Hart has one job—she’s a cleaner for the largest pharmaceutical company in the world. But cleaning doesn’t mean mopping floors… 

Taylor cleans up illegal messes Lazarus Pharmaceuticals creates, making sure their atrocities are never discovered by the public. But when their latest multi-trillion-dollar drug goes terribly wrong, not even Taylor can keep the fallout in check. 

Vanidrum was supposed to be a miracle drug to drive away mankind’s inner demons—but it’s managed to achieve the opposite effect… 

Paid to look the other way, Taylor can’t ignore the spreading epidemic. Rather than cure anxiety and depression, Vanidrum has caused the very darkest part of human nature to push though to the surface. 

While infected maniacs spread the virus, Taylor and her team fight for survival… 

Forced to a secluded lab hidden in the tundra of Alaska, an elite group of scientists works to find a cure. In a world infested with violent creatures spreading humanity’s darkness, no one is safe. 

It isn’t until Taylor herself falls victim to the threat that she discovers her connection to this darkness runs far deeper than she’d ever imagined. 

Can Taylor and the surviving scientists bring humanity back from the edge of extinction? Or will they be forced to watch as the darkness inside mankind consumes… 

All The Beautiful People.

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Author BioJonathan Yanez spent five years after graduating from college in sales and management before he realized life is too short to be doing anything but what you love. He lives in Southern California with his wife where he writes everyday, grateful for the opportunity.

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Posted in Book Review, Book Spotlight, Giveaway

Amber Alert Series – Sara Schoen – Blog Tour – 4* Review

Amber Alert Series Banner

I’ve reviewed the three books in the Amber Alert Series , here’s what the books are about.

AmberAlertSaraSchoen

Mystery Thriller Blurb

Anna was taken…

Taken from her home to live out a sick game that a guy has been playing for the last ten years.

With no certainty that anyone is looking for her, and seemingly hours away from home, she’s forced to play housewife with a man that has had twelve other ‘wives’.

Each of them now dead…

With 12 rules and the obvious exits blocked, from the previous girls attempts to flee. Is Anna’s only way out to play along and become a ‘loving wife’? Or will she die during the chase?

Would anyone even know what happened to her?

Or would she be labeled as a runaway?

And where is she in the first place?

Mature Content Warning. Recommended for ages 17+ due to violence and sensitive subject matter.

Goodreads

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AbductedSaraSchoen

Mystery Thriller Blurb

Audrey Thomas had been raised by overprotective parents and is sick of it…

After the kidnapping and recovery of her mother, Anna Cowles, eighteen years ago, parents had a harsh awakening as they realized any child could be taken for any reason.

New laws were set in place to protect children, but those same children, ignored the rules and went out of their way to get into trouble.

Audrey has always done what she wanted, no matter what the consequences were…

But what happens when her choices lead her to being taken by the one man people feared everyday for the last eighteen years, right up to his execution.

Will she make it out like her mother did?

Or will she suffer the fate of the previous twelve girls?

Mature Content Warning. Recommended for ages 17+ due to violence and sensitive subject matter.

Goodreads

Mystery Thriller Buy Links

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Amazon

ApprehendedSaraSchoen

Mystery Thriller Blurb

There’s a copycat on the loose, and he’s playing the part of the notorious Steve Bennett, a serial kidnapper and killer.

Twelve known girls have already been taken from over the country, but none have returned. With the orignial house of the mass kidnapper and murderer destroyed, where is he hiding the girls?

Are any of them still alive or is he living up to Steve Bennett’s MO and killing them off before getting a new girl?

Are these girls his wives or are they something much worse? Jessi Sparks is about to find out for herself.

This is the case she has been waiting for, and she won’t let it slip through her fingers. She will risk everything to finally put an end to mass kidnappings, but will she risk her own life just to finally finish this?

Goodreads

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Excerpt - 1

“No! Andy…please!”
I was roughly shoved into the back of a black car. The door slammed shut, the front door opened soon after and he got in. There was a click, as the car was locked. He threw the car into forward, and took off at an insane speed leaving everyone I knew and cared for behind.
I watched in terror as trees whizzed by, leaving the familiar surroundings behind as the road went from pavement to dirt and the buildings were replaced with large trees and fallen branches. I didn’t know where we were going, but I wanted to go home. The locks wouldn’t budge; the child safety lock prevented my escape the moment he had locked me in this god-forsaken car. I had lost my phone in the struggle, and I was stuck in here.
There were scratch marks and dark spots on the seat. It looked as though someone had tried to claw their way out and I couldn’t blame them. Every hair on my neck were standing on end with fear blazing through me. My throat was sore from the screaming, but all the drivers had ignored my pleas for help. They simply kept driving without another sideways glance in my direction.
“Where are you taking me?” I asked again, my voice hoarse from the screams and crying. It was answered the same way, with silence that slowly crept in and made me shudder.
“Shut up!’
“Where are we going?”
“Be a good girl and take orders. Now shut up!”
I wished more than anything to be back at home and under my bed, away from him. The road turned to gravel as we came upon a rundown house, its shudders were falling of the hinges, but what caught me was the windows were boarded up. To prevent escape, I felt a shiver travel up my spine as the car came to a slow stop.
He got out of the car and didn’t unlock the doors until he was at the door. That small click would have brought me relief at any point in the car ride other than now. I pushed against the other side of the car as he reached one long hand in and grabbed me by my ankle and roughly yank me out of the car on to the gravel. A scream ripped through my throat as the gravel cut into my skin and my head hit the side of the car.
“Get up!” he ordered. My head was spinning from everything that had happened, but when I didn’t move, he moved me.
His hand grabbed take a large chunk of my hair before he lifted me out of the car, ignoring my cries of pain. He roughly dragged me to the house, I couldn’t get my feet to walk and fell often.
The door was solid, he had to slam his body against the wooden blockade and force it open. There was a creak as it slowly opened from his blows, and he threw me inside onto the hardwood floor. There was no carpet, anywhere It would be possible to hear every step from anywhere in the home. The house was bare to the bones, the walls held no photos or phones, rooms remained empty of furniture unless it was bolted to the ground. A new wave of fear ripped through me in realization that he had done this before, he had taken precautions for it.

Mystery Thriller My Review

Amber Alert
Written from a first person point of view, the reader immediately experiences all the emotions of Anna, the lead character in this suspenseful story. There is a naivety to the writing, which is in stark contrast the horrors revealed as the plot progresses. Anna is a courageous character and from her vivid description and reactions it’s easy to imagine her terror. This is peek through your fingers suspense as Anna realises few people can be trusted. There are some lovely relationships formed in this story between unlikely individuals thrown together by circumstance. The ending is thrilling and makes you want to see what happens next.

Abducted
This story is set many years after the conclusion of Amber Alert; it deals with similar themes but doesn’t have the menace of the first book in the series, although there is plenty of mystery and suspense. The story is complete but reading the first book in the series ‘Amber Alert’ is essential to appreciate the danger faced by the heroine. Again full of unusual relationships this book provides a steady link between the ‘Amber Alert’ and ‘Apprehended’ the last book in the series.

Apprehended
The final book of the ‘Amber Alert series’ completes the story started twenty years previously. Another serial kidnapper and possibly murderer is taking young women. Whilst there are similarities with the antagonist in the first book, the copycat has subtle differences. There is a suspenseful twist that takes the story in an unexpected direction. The characters’ emotions convey the horrors of their abduction and avoid the need for overly graphic descriptions. The ‘love at first sight’ theme continues in ‘Apprehended’. The ending completes the series in a satisfying way.
I received copies of the books in this series from the author in return for honest reviews.

Author Bio -1

 

9790618 (1)Sara Schoen began writing in middle school, but did not officially dedicate herself to writing until high school when encouraged by her writing partner. Before then, Sara had not thought about trying to publish her works because it seemed unlikely that anyone would take a chance on someone so young. Despite her previous thoughts, she published her first book, Amber Alert, at the age of nineteen, and began rewriting and editing a spy series that she spent years writing when she was younger. With a lot of hard work and determination, now that same series, which is close to her heart, is a bestseller.
Sara is a Biology Major with a minor in Environmental Science and a minor in Spanish at James Madison University, and spends her time writing, studying, and ghost hunting. While writing is a great hobby that turned into a passion to share with others, school is her priority.
Throughout her publishing journey, Sara has had an amazing support system from her family, friends, and significant other, who were with her every step of the way. She hopes to continue to write, and wants to inspire others to reach for their dreams no matter how far they may seem. She truly believes that dreams can come true at any age, if you put in effort and chase after what you want.

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Other Books by Sara Schoen

Guarded Secrets Series:

Suicide Mission (FREE)

Covert Operations 

Left for Dead 

Waking Up Blank  

 

Books by Sara Schoen and Taylor Henderson

The Dying Game 

 Deadly Hallows 

Bad Publicity  

Posted in My Books, Release Day Blitz, The Dangerous Gift - Blog Tour, Writing Journey

The Dangerous Gift – Release Day Spotlight -Jane Hunt

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Today 9 February 2016 is release day for The Dangerous Gift,

my first romantic suspense story and my first title with

Limitless Publishing. 

I hope you will take a chance on my new book and escape to Texas with me.

 

The Dangerous Gift FRONT COVER

 

Blurb 2016- 2

 

After a tragic plane crash kills Jennie Taylor’s guardians, she returns to her childhood home—and her first love, Jared Stewart.

At just eighteen years old, Jennie had left the Unicorn Ranch in Texas to seek a life in the outside world. But she wasn’t just running toward independence. Heartbroken and confused, Jennie fled her home after Jared harshly rejected her on the eve of her birthday.

Now she must choose between making a new life on the ranch she has grown to love, or returning to her simple but empty life in England. The choice seems obvious at first, but nothing in life is simple…

Jared is forced to share control of his beloved ranch with the woman he wants but can’t have.

When Jennie receives an anonymous note, she goes to Jared for support. But what she finds is more than she was prepared for, driving the two further apart than ever. When an old friend is murdered and suspicious accidents escalate, endangering Jennie’s safety, Jared becomes her reluctant protector.

Jennie knows Jared is hiding something, but does he really want her gone from the ranch? And if so, could he be the one behind the ominous threats?

Determined to prove Jared isn’t involved, Jennie turns detective. Can she succeed in her courageous but reckless investigation…or is the truth a dangerous gift she won’t survive?

 

Buy Links 2016 -2

Amazon

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The Dangerous Gift- Teaser 3

 

Author Bio 2016- 2

 

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 ‘Writing has touched my life in every decade. At fifty, I took a risk and made writing my career, fulfilling a lifetime ambition.’
I enjoy writing blogs, book reviews and especially stories. Vivid imagery, atmospheric settings, strong females and sensual males are essential for my stories. Everyday life and ordinary people inspire me. How would someone react, if faced with something extraordinary? A thread of romance runs through my all my books, whether they be suspense, fantasy or historical.
I want to let my readers escape their lives for a while, experience new places, new people and most importantly, new emotional lows and highs My favorite parts of the writing process are; finding a person, event or place that makes me want to write a story about it and the writing itself; when your fingers cannot type fast enough, to transcribe your thoughts.
Family is very important to me. My two children are my greatest achievement to date.
I am an animal welfare supporter and regularly use social media to promote animal welfare issues.

 

 

The Dangerous Gift - Teaser 2

Links 2016-2

Website Blog Facebook Twitter

Goodreads  Pinterest Google+

 Linked In Tumblr Wattpad

 

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Posted in Book Review, New Books

3* Review: The Last Clinic Gary Gusick

The Last Clinic: A Darla Cavannah MysteryThis story didn’t pull me in straightaway but I persevered and enjoyed it when I familiarized myself with the characters. The plot is political and covers the sensitive issue of abortion. There were no surprises everyone reacted as I expected.

Darla Cavannah is an interesting female detective with a tragic past. She moved to Jackson with her husband a pro-footballer forced to retire through injury. When he dies she stays even though much of the area’s culture and population are alien to her.

The cast of support characters are well-developed and often irritating but memorable. I felt some of the minor characters came across as stereotypical. As I am unfamiliar with this part of the U.S.A. I’m not sure if the characterizations and prejudices portrayed are realistic.

The romance between Stephen the gynaecologist at the centre of the anti-abortionists hate campaign and Darla is sweet with a happy ever after. As this is the first book in the series I think the romance reached its happy ever after too soon, I wonder where it will go in the next book.

There was a predictability about the plot and twists which may have been intentional I felt like I was reading an episode of ‘Murder She Wrote’ or ‘Castle’. They were no real surprises but a reassuring familiarity.

That said it was an easy quick read and I would read another to see how Darla develops as a character.

I received an ARC from Random House Publishing Group – Alibi via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The Last Clinic: A Darla Cavannah Mystery by Gary Gusick

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The Last Clinic  A Darla Cavannah Mystery

Gary Gusick

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