Another Exciting Thriller – Two Nights by Kathy Reichs @KathyReichs

I would like to thank Kathy Reichs and Random House for the opportunity to share my thoughts on Two Nights.

I am a huge fan of the Temperance Brennan novels and the Bones TV show, so any time I get a chance to read a Kathy Reichs story, I am all over it. She has never let me down when it comes to a thriller that keeps on giving and I am eager to meet a new character.

Two Nights

Amazon  /  Goodreads

 

MY REVIEW

I love Kathy Reichs and she has never let me down when it comes to a great read. She continues to keep me enthralled in Two Nights. I am eager to meet a new character, Sunday Night.

We begin on Goat Island, which is like Mackinac Island, but more rustic, consisting of shacks with no power or septic…the mosquitoes run rampant. It made me think of a visit to Chappaquiddick, where I thought they would carry me away.

I couldn’t help but chuckle when Gus is hiding things before letting Bean, the  cop into his home. Gus had been a cop too, but quit after a justified shooting could have cost him his life. Now, the only way to reach him is by boat or carrier pigeon.

Sunnie is now on the search for a missing teen that may have been taken by a cult. Sunday Night, what a name. I like her, her solitude and enjoyment of the thrill of the hunt. She has a sarcastic attitude, some would consider rude and I can relate to that.

I love a damaged heroine and we have one here. Headstrong, determined, dangerous, she can hold her own, but she knows when to call in help. She needs someone covering her back.

Stella was calling to her and she would find her.

Cults, some seriously creepy people and things happen. When I think of cults, the first thing that pops into my mind is Jim Jones and the horrifying deaths in Guyana. I can never understand giving up everything, putting your life entirely in someone else’s hands.

The clock is ticking…Time is running out. If she’s alive, what kind of shape will she be in? What have they done to her, both mentally and physically?

State by state, clue by clue, step by step, her and Gus search for Stella and the one that holds her.

I don’t want to spoil Stella’s story but how she endures, I do not know. STRONG is a weak word in describing how very determined she is to survive. The terror and torture would be the end of some of the strongest men and women.

Stella tells some of her story in short chapters that had my emotions and respect for her….one eyed, kickass, take no prisoners, been through hell and back but never quits fight to survive.

Cults, terrorism, damaged heroes, and characters that will tug at your heartstrings and scare the hell out of you. You think you know what’s going on and how the story will end, but think again.

Kathy Reichs had me shaking my head, picking my jaw up off the floor and congratulating her on one hell of a ride in the life and soul of Sunny Nights. This ain’t no BONES you’re reading about.

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of Two Nights by Kathy Reichs.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 4 Stars

GOODREADS BLURB

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs steps beyond her classic Temperance Brennan series in a new standalone thriller featuring a smart, tough, talented heroine whose thirst for justice stems from her own dark past.

Meet Sunday Night, a woman with physical and psychological scars, and a killer instinct. . . .

Sunnie has spent years running from her past, burying secrets and building a life in which she needs no one and feels nothing. But a girl has gone missing, lost in the chaos of a bomb explosion, and the family needs Sunnie’s help.

Is the girl dead? Did someone take her? If she is out there, why doesn’t she want to be found? It’s time for Sunnie to face her own demons because they just might lead her to the truth about what really happened all those years ago.

ABOUT KATHY REICHS

Kathy ReichsKathy Reichs is a forensic anthropologist for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, State of North Carolina, and for the Laboratoire des Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Quebec. She is one of only fifty forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology and is on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. A professor of anthropology at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Dr. Reichs is a native of Chicago, where she received her Ph.D. at Northwestern. She now divides her time between Charlotte and Montreal and is a frequent expert witness in criminal trials.

Website Twitter  /  Facebook

MY REVIEWS FOR KATHY REICHS

Speaking in Bones

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Giveaway – Slivers by Fiona J R Titchenell & Matt Carter @FJR_Titchenell @MCarterAuthor @YABoundToursPR

 

Slivers (The Prospero Chronicles #3)
by Fiona J.R. Titchenell & Matt Carter
Genre: YAHorror/Scifi
Release date: June 20th 2017

Summary:

Ben

Growing up is hard, and growing up in Prospero is even harder, but I think we manage. I mean, yeah, my friends and I spend more of our time fighting a race of shapeshifting aliens than we do hanging out, but we have our fun. We go to parties, help each other with our classes, maybe even fall in love…

I’ve no illusions that we live ordinary lives, but they’re our lives, and I’m going to make sure we make the most of them whether the Splinters want us to or not.

Mina

The truce is temporary. We will not humor the Splinters forever. It’s only until the Slivers can be stopped, until the army of Shards being planted among our classmates can be disassembled, until we get our hands on the thing I’d almost given up believing in.

The humanity test.

For the chance to know, once and for all, who can be trusted, some dealings with monsters must be excusable. Inevitable. Just like this feeling between Ben and me.

And that has to be temporary too.

 
 
Buy links: AmazonBarnes & Noble (Nook) | iBooks | Kobo | Smashwords | Indigo

Excerpt:
1. Sabotage
 
 
Ben
At the time, my instincts told me that jumping onto the hood of a moving SUV was a brilliant idea.
After half a second of trying to find something to hold onto, I told myself I’d reconsider my instincts when I got out of this.
If I got out of this.
A voice in my ear—I hadn’t lost my Bluetooth after all. Haley’s voice, by the angry sound of it.
“Ben, what the hell are you doing?”
“I have no idea!” I yelled back, finally grabbing the roof rack with both hands and holding on for dear life, doing my best to block the windshield. The driver accelerated down the empty suburban street, jerking the wheel back and forth, trying to shake me off. I knew behind the tinted glass of this anonymous, plateless SUV were the gray faces of Slivers. Today they were supposed to be kidnapping one of Prospero High School’s nicest teachers from her home, and we were going to stop them. It wasn’t exactly a piece of cake, but we’d done it before and should’ve been able to do it again.
I looked to the sidewalks, trying to spot any other members of the Network.
There was a heavy blow against the windshield near my chest. The tinted glass spiderwebbed beneath me. The Slivers were trying to break through.
Not for the first time, I cursed The Owl.
“Everybody close on the house! They’re still on the move!” Courtney called over the party line.
“Where’s that spike strip?” Haley asked.
“About twenty feet behind Ben before he decided to go Shatner on us,” Greg answered.
The spiderweb of glass expanded as the Sliver continued to force its way through.
The next voice was impossibly calm. “If we can stop this vehicle, there’s every chance we can capture multiple Slivers at once in addition to preventing Ms. Craven’s abduction. Ben, do you think you can slow them down?”
Mina Todd.
She always asked for the impossible so reasonably.
The windshield broke open in front of me, safety glass exploding outward as a long, muscular arm with a seven-fingered, clawed hand burst through. It raked back and forth, opening up a large gash in the glass that allowed me to see the three Slivers inside. They were of slight frame with gray, hairless heads and bulging black eyes, and they had begun sprouting extra limbs and tentacles to better mangle me.
“I’ll try,” I said, diving into the jagged hole where the windshield used to be.
Their brief, startled pause before attacking was all I needed.
I reached into my pocket and pulled out one of the cheap stun guns Mina loved to make out of disposable cameras and jammed it into the driver’s chest. The creature shuddered violently, jerking the wheel to the side and stomping on the gas reflexively.
I forced the gearshift into neutral and pulled on the parking brake. The SUV lurched to a violent stop in the middle of the street.
So far so good.
Less good was the sound of snapping wood that came from the passenger seat as its occupant’s body began to shift. Its rib cage broke open into a giant, vertical mouth full of jagged teeth and swirling tentacles. The tentacles lashed out at me, wrapping around my arms and neck, and squeezed. The Sliver in the backseat joined in, grabbing the leg I tried to anchor myself with against the dashboard and forcing me closer to that terrible maw.
The passenger door flew open. The Sliver let out a howl of pain as Julie buried a large meat hook in its back and began pulling it from the car. Courtney wrapped her hands around Julie’s on the hook, throwing her track team muscles into the effort and hardly wincing when the gelatinous Splinter blood began to soil her neatly pressed blouse. The tentacles released me, and soon enough the two girls wrestled the Sliver from the vehicle and tased it.
One down.
The driver’s mutated arm reached across my chest and pulled the door shut. It looked deep into my eyes with those empty, black orbs. Its narrow mouth curled into the faintest of smiles as it held me pinned to the seat with that monstrous arm. Though its face was formless, its flesh waxy, I couldn’t help but feel something familiar in that smile and those soulless eyes.
“Soon,” it whispered to me in its chittering, popping voice.
A new arm burst from its shoulder, splitting into two insectoid hands that allowed it to shift gears and disengage the parking break simultaneously. I watched helplessly as Greg and Kevin finally caught up to us with the jury-rigged spike strip we’d built for just this occasion, tossing it uselessly to the ground just as the driver swerved out of the way.
I didn’t know if the Slivers were still going to try for Ms. Craven or if they would content themselves with taking me instead. Would they try to drag me to their Warehouse (assuming the Slivers had a Warehouse) and replace me, or would they kill me as soon as they found a nice, quiet place to pull over?
They weren’t slowing down. If anything, they seemed to be speeding up. They swerved down the street, aiming for the side of an old duplex. Ms. Craven’s duplex.
I took advantage of the driver’s focus to pull one arm free, fasten a seatbelt around me, and brace myself.
The SUV slammed through the duplex’s wall with a crushing impact that knocked the wind out of me and whipped my neck forward. The unsecured driver flew through the jagged remnants of the windshield and landed in what used to be Ms. Craven’s living room. The passenger from the backseat climbed over me with spindly spider’s legs, following the driver out the windshield.
A woman screamed inside.
Slowly, painfully, I undid my seatbelt and crawled through the windshield, landing on the floor in a dazed heap.
Somehow I stumbled to my feet and pulled the mini flamethrower from my back. It wasn’t much—just a kitchen lighter duct-taped to one of those recalled aerosol fire extinguishers that Mina had stocked up on, but it did the job. Flicking the lighter on, I lifted it high.
The driver had Ms. Craven wrapped in a set of tentacles and interlocking claws, lifting her off the ground. Ms. Craven looked at me fearfully, trying to cry out through the tentacle lashed across her mouth. The flamethrower wouldn’t do much good at this range, standing as much a chance of burning Ms. Craven. I was going to have to wait for backup.
“Let her go,” I said shakily. All of my experiences with Slivers so far had proved that they loved to talk. I only had to stall them long enough for Mina and the rest to get here.
The driver looked to the passenger, exchanging a low series of pops and clicks. The passenger nodded, calmly raising one of its three arms and pointing the hand at me, flat. Just like the driver, a small, frightening smile crossed its face.
I lost all feeling beneath my waist, my legs giving out beneath me. Then I could feel again—too well. It felt like every nerve in my body had burst into flames. Violent waves of nausea hit me, and my muscles no longer seemed to be my own.
Two realizations hit me at once.
First: they had a Shard we hadn’t documented yet.
Second: this Shard had remote control of human bodies.
There was shouting, and then Kevin and Greg slid through the massive hole in the wall, brandishing their flamethrowers and Tasers. Less than a second later, a sliding glass door opened in the next room, and Mina and Haley ran in to join us.
Only Aldo, Julie, and Courtney had yet to catch up.
The two Slivers looked at each other, then at us. They could have taken me easily, maybe even two of us. But five of us, well-armed as we were—that gave them a moment of pause. The driver dropped Ms. Craven roughly to the floor. Both of the Slivers raised their arms, and the driver looked at me, curling its lips into that faint, unpleasant smile.
“Soon,” it said again.
Long spikes of bone erupted from each of their chests and backs. They both began to laugh—a raspy, choking sound—as the base of each spike began to pulsate.
“DUCK!” Mina blurted, falling to the floor.
Everyone dropped, dozens of bony spikes narrowly missing us as they erupted from the Slivers’ bodies, lodging in the walls and shattering windows.
By the time we regained our feet, the Slivers were gone.
“Is everybody all right?” Mina asked.
There were murmurs of assent. Ms. Craven was on the floor, sobbing.
Finding out about Splinters is never easy for people to deal with under the best of circumstances, much less while being kidnapped by the extreme anti-human cult of Splinters that we’d taken to calling “Slivers” last fall.
Not that getting kidnapped by regular, garden-variety Splinters was all that much better.
I was confident that Ms. Craven would come out of her shock soon—she’d always struck me as pretty tough. Once this wore off, we’d be able to tell her the truth. Maybe even make her a part of the team.
Assuming, of course, she was really human.
Haley examined my scratches and scrapes. Content that I must have been okay, she smiled and threw her arms around my neck, hugging me close. I don’t know what was more uncomfortable, Haley’s weight against my aching ribs or the look of annoyance on Mina’s face.
“I’m fine,” I assured Haley, pulling away, “though that Shard they have sure did a number on me.”
“One of the ones The Owl showed you?” Haley asked.
“No, this one’s new,” I said.
“Dammit, I hate Shards,” Greg said, shuddering. I didn’t blame him; the last time we’d gone up against a Shard, it had made him feel a swarm of spiders crawling beneath his skin.
“Tell me about it,” I said.
“Hey, guys?” Aldo said over the group line.
“Did you secure the other Sliver?” Mina asked.
“Yeah, we got her. No problems there. What about yours?” Aldo asked.
“They’ve retreated. They haven’t doubled back your way?” Mina asked.
“No, we’re clear,” Aldo said. There was something held back in his voice I didn’t like.
“What’s wrong, Aldo?” I asked.
“Uh, I think you need to see this one for yourselves.”
“We’re on our way,” Mina said. “Haley, Greg, keep an eye on Ms. Craven.”
“I got some stuff that might calm her down,” Greg said, patting a pocket on his old army jacket.
“Don’t,” I said.
Greg shrugged. “More for me then.”
I followed Kevin and Mina out the front door. By force of habit, I looked up and down the street, hoping by some miracle that we hadn’t been spotted—or heard, for that matter. It was early Sunday morning, so the streets were mostly deserted. Typical abduction timing. The cops would be here eventually—a vehicle crashed through the side of a house has a way of summoning them sooner or later—but given the Prospero Police Department’s closeness with the main Splinter Council, this would all no doubt be hushed up pretty quickly.
“You’re gonna have to spend some quality time with Mina’s first-aid kit, brother,” Kevin observed.
“I’ve looked worse,” I said.
“You’ve looked better, too,” Mina interjected coldly.
“What’d I do?” I complained.
“You nearly ruined the operation. This didn’t go half as smoothly as our other interceptions,” Mina shot back.
I didn’t have a good defense for that. Ever since she’d started receiving those messages from the Owl, giving us the Slivers’ plans for abductions, we’d had a pretty good (though not perfect) track record of intercepting and stopping the Slivers before they could take their intended targets. Over the previous month and a half, we had managed to save the mayor’s son, Sheriff Diaz’s wife, and the head of the PTA from being taken without their ever knowing anything was going on. Things could have gone better this time, I knew that, but they also could have gone a lot worse.
“I didn’t have a choice. They know what we’ve been doing, and they’re being more careful. I did what I had to do,” I said.
“You could’ve been killed.”
“But I wasn’t!”
Kevin squeezed his way between us and put an arm around each of our shoulders.
“Let us not forget, my friends, that we did stop them from replacing Ms. Craven. It may have been sloppy, and she may have been needlessly introduced to our world, but we saved her. We did a good thing; the forces of evil are in check for another day. We should be celebrating!” Kevin said, smiling that easy smile he always used to defuse tense situations.
Mina sighed. “Please try to avoid unnecessary risks in the future.”
“Will do,” I said.
“There, isn’t that better than fighting like a couple o’ freshmen?” Kevin said.
“So says the senior commencement speaker,” I replied, punching him in the ribs softly.
“Hey, I’m as surprised as you guys are that I actually got the gig,” Kevin said, grinning.
“Right… so how long have you had that speech written?” I asked.
“Seventh grade, give or take a month.” Kevin laughed. “Come on, it’ll be my last chance to try to change a few minds here before I move on to the real world.”
“Freshmen don’t fight any appreciably more or less than any other students,” Mina said as if she’d missed half the conversation, looking a bit lost in thought.
“Really? Maybe we should ask Aldo,” Kevin joked.
Tall tales about Aldo’s secret second life, or third life in our case, had become something of a running joke among the Network, given his habit of accumulating even more scrapes and bruises than the rest of us in spite of spending most of his time behind the scenes, digging for information or tinkering with the equipment.
Underground cage fighting and undercover spy operations were common speculations.
This conversation did lead to one topic that had been eating at me lately: the passage of time. Of the eight members of the Network, Kevin and Courtney were both seniors and were going to be moving on from Prospero within the next six months. I didn’t know how we were going to keep the fight going without them. We would find a way to manage, Mina always had in the past, but it would be rough without Courtney’s organizational skills and Kevin’s ability to put things in perspective.
Julie, Courtney, and Aldo had dragged their captive Sliver to the privacy of Courtney’s backyard, a good five blocks from Ms. Craven’s, and by the time we caught up with them, they already had it tied up in copper wire and were threatening to touch the wire to a car battery. As usual, Julie (her jet black hair streaked with hot pink and red for Valentine’s Day coming up) smiled at us perkily beneath her thick goth makeup.
“Ya all right, Ben?” she asked, eying the scratches on my face.
“I’m fine.”
Aldo’s concerned expression was unsettling. Ever since our fight with Robbie, Aldo had assumed a bravura I’d never known he had in him. He was the first to cheer any victory lately. If he wasn’t smiling…
“What is it?” Mina asked, looking down at the Sliver, which looked more human now despite the few extra limbs it still possessed.
Courtney held the end of the copper wire above the car battery with a plastic pair of tongs. “Show them again.”
The Sliver hissed something in its chittering language that must not have been kind. Courtney and Mina exchanged a glance. Mina nodded. Courtney dropped the wire onto the battery’s contact.
The Sliver screamed too humanly as it shuddered and arched what could best be approximated as its back, and the wire sparked violently. When Courtney took the wire away, it reluctantly took the face of its true, human form with a look of pure spite.
It was the face of Ms. Claudette Velasquez, my calculus teacher. That she was a Splinter was not news; we had known this for a few months.
That she was working with the Slivers was a surprise. The last time we had seen her, she had a seat on the Splinter Council.
“What are you waiting for? Kill me. That’s what you want, isn’t it?” she challenged.
“We’re not that stupid,” I said.
Ms. Velasquez looked at the battery with a mix of anger and fear. “Then what is your plan for me?”
“You’re going to tell us everything you know about the Slivers’ plans,” Mina said simply, taking the tongs from Courtney and holding them a little closer to the battery. “And when we’re convinced you’re not holding out, we’ll hand you over to the Splinter Council.”
Ms. Velasquez’s eyes went wide with genuine fear. “And if you’re never convinced?”
“We turn you over to them anyway, only we don’t tell them how remorseful and cooperative you were.”
Ms. Velasquez’s eyes scanned us, probably trying to gauge whether or not Mina was telling the truth. She must have believed her, because her body visibly slumped.
“Fine. I will cooperate. Just don’t—”
She let out an ear-splitting scream, her eyes bulging—then fell still with mouth agape. We stared, trying to figure out if it was a trick, when the flesh began to melt from her bones in thick gray rivers.
“What the… no, no…” Aldo muttered, trying to scoop bits of dissolving Splinter into one of his specially rigged containment boxes, watching with confusion as the liquid continued to evaporate after the box was sealed.
The entire Splinter corpse down to the bones was deteriorating into nothingness as the raw Splinter matter became incompatible with our world.
“What the hell just happened?” Courtney asked. “She was going to talk!”
“Was she?” Mina asked doubtfully.
“Well she sure as hell wasn’t going to die!” said Aldo, staring at the last vanishing remnants of the body. “Splinters just don’t do that spontaneously.”
“They might if they got one of those in ’em, brother,” Kevin said as he pointed to what was left of Ms. Velasquez’s deteriorating bones.
What looked like a foot-long, white caterpillar made of tumors and small air sacs disentwined itself from around her spine. Slowly, it walked away from the dissolving remains of my math teacher, shaking off bits of gray slime.
Then it started to glow a faint, pulsing white, lifting off the ground and beginning to float away like a plastic bag in the breeze. Mina grabbed it with her tongs.
“That a Splinter?” Kevin asked.
“No, I don’t think so,” Mina said.
“Then what is it?” Aldo asked.
The answer hit me before Mina could say it out loud.
“A game changer,” I said. “If they’ve got themselves some sort of alien suicide pill hiding inside them to keep them compliant, we might have to reconsider our capture strategy.”
Capturing a Sliver for information had been one of our dreams ever since we started receiving information from The Owl.
Just when we thought we had the Slivers figured out, they had to come up with something like this.
I would’ve laughed if it weren’t so damn depressing.
 
Previous Books in the Series (click on image for Goodreads link):

 

 
About the Authors
Fiona J.R. TITCHENELL is an author of young adult, sci-fi, and horror fiction, including Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know of). She graduated from Cal State University Los Angeles with a B. A. in English in 2009 at the age of twenty. She currently lives in San Gabriel, California, with her husband, coauthor, and amazing partner in all things, Matt Carter, and their pet king snake, Mica.
Connect with Fiona J.R. Titchenell on:
Her blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

MATT CARTER is an author of horror, sci-fi, and yes, even a little bit of young adult fiction. He earned his degree in history from Cal State University Los Angeles, and lives in the usually sunny town of San Gabriel, California, with his wife, best friend, and awesome co-writer, F.J.R. Titchenell. Check out his first solo novel, Almost Infamous, or connect with him on:
His blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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The Bodyguards of LA County Hotties – Hailey’s Truth by Cate Beauman @CateBeauman

Hi fellow bloggers. I am so happy to share another romantic suspense novel by Cate Beauman, Hailey’s Truth.

Her books have such fabulous covers, I would grab them for that reason alone!

What do you think of this beauty?

Hailey's Truth (The Bodyguards Of L.A. County, #3)Amazon  /  Goodreads

MY REVIEW

 I’m excited to be back with the hotties from Ethan Security and the sexy vixens they can’t resist in Hailey’s Truth by Cate Beauman. Cate is able to grab me from the beginning to very end, so I am very wager to get started.

If this is what social workers are like, I fear for the children in the system. I fear for Hailey and her ‘brother’ Jeremy.

Hailey was a foster child, hugely independent, reliable, loyal, giving, loving, strong and proud. She had found her forever home, even a little brother, until..

It wasn’t bad enough they lost their ‘parents’ now they’re losing each other. I feel bad things coming and it makes me sad.

Jeremy…What can I say? Sometimes nothing makes a difference. A bad penny is a bad penny. Would it have been different if they had stayed together? We will never know. Pisses me off that lies flow from him like water from a faucet, but that just shows how great Cate Beauman’s writing is, so real I feel like it is happening to me.

It’s very interesting that two people, who had to work so hard just to survive, can turn out so different. Some people are givers, some takers and the takers can suck the life right out of you.

Such a sweet moment when Austin is teaching Hailey to swim, innocent and sensual.

Love this line:  “She was swimming with the next thing to a mythical sea god, and she sure as heck wasn’t a mermaid.” The water had always called to her, but that didn’t mean she was any good in it. I feel the same way. I love the water, like Hailey, so it helps me relate to her.

Drugs…Austin will be meeting the Mexican Mafia and I have a feeling Hailey will too. It’s a good thing Austin’s a badass because he’s gonna need to be. As the danger rises, so does Austin.

Hailey is committed to family, naive as to what’s right in front of her face. When or what constitutes crossing the line of trust? When do you just say no and set them free, to sink or swim on their own?

The Zulas, Mexican Mafia, are savages, brutal when betrayed. Not afraid of anything or anyone. To say they are dangerous is putting it mildly. Once in, only death gets you out. If a cop won’t work with them, not only with they callously take his life, but spread his body parts around to family and fellow officers.

I got all soft and gooey at the birthday party.

I love sexual tension between the characters as they get to know each other…the sensual glances and touches full of innuendo, from desire and denial, to push and pull, yes and no, keeping them on edge. Something as simple as washing dishes…he can look soooo sexy. I was laughing at the cake fiasco…until…Oh man, that’s so wrong.

“Mean are completely stupid..sometimes…most of the time.”

I do not like the word suckle when they are having sex. Makes me think of piglets. Numerous authors use it, but it’s just a little quirk of mine…don’t like it.

Additional touches with complex characters add the spice to the romance and suspense. The ladies console and talk things out. The men eat, step on their dicks and apologize profusely. Now that’s some hilarious and honest writing. LOL

Romantic suspense is pretty predictable, but it’s what the author twists and turns along the way that makes the story so interesting. I am most eager for the action and danger, and my emotions running hot. We have a good supply of all that, but I wanted more.

In Hailey’s Truth by Cate Beauman, I loved the story and the journey, but I didn’t quite get to shocked, and left gasping for breath. Never fear, we have more coming from Ethan Security and I will be looking for that in future books by Cate Beauman, because I have started and I will not stop…

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of Hailey’s Truth by Cate Beauman.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 4 Stars

GOODREADS BLURB

Hailey Roberts has never had it easy. Despite the scars of a tragic childhood, she’s made a life for herself. As a part-time student and loving nanny, she yearns for a family of her own and reluctant Austin Casey, Ethan Cooke Security’s best close protection agent.

Hailey’s past comes back to haunt her when her long lost brother tracks her down, bringing his dangerous secrets with him. At an emotional crossroads, Hailey accepts a humanitarian opportunity that throws her together with Austin, taking her hundreds of miles from her troubles, or so she thinks.

What starts out as a dream come true quickly becomes a nightmare as violence erupts on the island of Cozumel. Young women are disappearing, community members are dying—and the carnage links back to her brother.

As Austin struggles to keep Hailey’s past from destroying her future, he’s forced to make a decision that could turn her against him, or worse cost them both their lives.

ABOUT CATE BEAUMAN

 
International bestselling author Cate Beauman is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Her novels have been nominated for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, National Indie Excellence Award, Golden Quill Award, Writers Touch Award, and have been named Readers Favorite Five Star books. In 2015, JUSTICE FOR ABBY was selected as the Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Gold Medalist, while SAVING SOPHIE took the Silver Medal. SAVING SOPHIE was also selected as the 2015 Readers Crown Award winner for Romantic Suspense and FALLING FOR SARAH received the silver medal for the 2014 Readers’ Favorite Awards.

Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. Currently Cate is working on Deceiving Bella, the eleventh novel in her popular Bodyguards series.

For information on Cate’s new releases, monthly giveaways, and upcoming events, sign up for her newsletter at: http://www.catebeauman.com/author/home.html#!newsletter-sign-up/c9td

Contact Cate:  Amazon Author Page  /  BookBub

Social links:  Twitter  /  Website  /  Facebook  /  Goodreads  /  Instagram

MY REVIEWS FOR CATE BEAUMAN

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Killing Is My Business by Adam Christopher Giveaway @ghostfinder @JeanBookNerd

Synopsis 
 

A blend of science fiction and stylish mystery noir featuring a robot detective: the stand alone sequel to Made to Kill

Another golden morning in a seedy town, and a new memory tape for intrepid PI-turned-hitman–and last robot left in working order– Raymond Electromatic. When his comrade-in-electronic-arms, Ada, assigns a new morning roster of clientele, Ray heads out into the LA sun, only to find that his skills might be a bit rustier than he expected….

Killing is My Business is the latest in Christopher’s noir oeuvre, hot on the heels of the acclaimed Made to Kill.

 
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EXCERPT

Killing is My Business
Chapter 1

Listen to this:

Vaughan Delaney was a planner for the city of Los Angeles. He occupied a position high enough up the ladder that it entitled him to an office at an equally high altitude in a tall building downtown that was home to a number of other local government desks. The office came with a salary that was high for a city employee but nothing to write a favorite uncle about, and a view that was simply to die for.

Vaughan Delaney was forty-two years old and he liked suits that were a light blue-gray in color. He carried a buckskin briefcase that wasn’t so much battered as nicely worn in. On his head he liked to position a fedora that was several shades darker than his suit. The hat had a brim that looked at first glance to be a little wide for the kind of hat that a city planner would wear, but Vaughan Delaney did not break the rules, neither in his job nor in his private life. He had a position a lot of people envied, along with the life that went along with it, and he stuck rigidly within the boundaries of both.

Actually, that wasn’t quite true. Because the one thing that didn’t fit Vaughan Delaney was his car.

His car was 1957 Plymouth Fury, a mobile work of art in red and white with enough chrome to blind oncoming traffic on the bright and sunny mornings that were not uncommon in this part of California. The machine had fins like you wouldn’t believe and when the brake lights lit you’d think they were rocket motors. It was the kind of car you could fly to the moon in, only when you got to the moon you’d cast one eye on the fuel gauge and you’d pat the wheel with your kidskin-gloved hand, admiring the fuel economy as you pointed the scarlet hood off somewhere toward ******* and pressed the loud pedal.

It was a great car and it was in perfect shape. Factory fresh. It was getting on for ten years old but Vaughan Delaney had looked after it well.

And, I had to admit, that car caught my optics. It wasn’t jealousy—I liked my own car well enough, a Buick that was a satisfying ride, functional and elegant and with a few optional extras you wouldn’t find outside a science laboratory.

No, what I had for the red Plymouth Fury was something else. Admiration, and admiration for Vaughan Delaney too. He was every element the city man but that car was a jack-rabbit. Perhaps it was his mid-life crisis. Perhaps he was telling the city to go take a jump while he sat shuffling papers in his nice office with his sensible suit and practical hat. Look what I get to drive to the office in the morning, he said. Look at what I get to drive out to lunch every Wednesday. Look what I get to drive home in the evening. It was the kind of car that people would lean out of the office windows to take a look at, and Vaughan Delaney did every bit to help, the way he parked the red-and-white lightning bolt right outside the office door.

Because Vaughan Delaney had reached a certain level within the city hierarchy that allowed him to pick his own secretary based on the color of her hair and the length of her skirt and he was not a man who had to walk very far from his car to his desk.

He was also a family man. When the Plymouth Fury wasn’t outside the office or being driven to lunch on Wednesdays it lived in a two-car garage that sat next to a modest but modern bungalow in Gray Lake. Next to the Fury was commonly parked a yellow vehicle that General Motors had shooed out the door without much of a fuss, a rectangular lozenge on wheels with whitewall tires shining and seat belt tight and the sense of humor removed for safety reasons.

This was not a car to take much of an interest in. It belonged to Vaughan Delaney’s wife. Her name was Cindy Delaney.

Cindy Delaney loved her husband and let him know by kissing him on the cheek each and every morning before her husband went to work. The children loved him too. There were two of those, a boy and a girl, and both of them had blond hair like their mother and they were both a decade shy of joining the army and both of them kissed their father on the cheek each and every morning like their mother did, the only difference being that Vaughan Delaney had to go down on one knee so they could smell his aftershave. Then he blasted off in the Plymouth Fury and the quiet street in Gray Lake was quiet once more until Cindy Delaney took the children to school in the yellow boat and then came back again twenty minutes later. Then she put on a housecoat to keep her dress clean and she drove a vacuum over the bungalow while her husband drove a desk down in the city.

They were a nice family. Middle class, middle income, middle ambition. The children would grow up and the boy would play football at high school with his parents watching and the girl would play flute in the school orchestra with her parents watching and all was right with the world.

I knew all of this because I’d been watching Vaughan Delaney for three weeks. I’d been to the street in Gray Lake and had sat in my car and I’d watched life in and around the bungalow. I’d been to the office building downtown and had sat in my car and watched the Plymouth Fury come in for landing and Vaughan Delaney hop, skip, and jump up the stairs into the building and then waltz down the same steps some eight hours later.

Vaughan Delaney looked like a swell guy with a good job and a nice car and a happy family.

It was just a shame that he had to die.

Excerpted from Killing is My Business © Adam Christopher, 2017
Keep an eye out for another excerpt from Killing is My Business appearing on Tor.com this June!

 

Praise for KILLING IS MY BUSINESS

“Hits hard, spins your head around, and leaves you stunned. The Ray Electromatic mysteries are so freakin’ perfect you’d think robot hitmen and retro supercomputers had always been part of noir fiction.”—Peter Clines, author of Paradox Bound and The Fold

“Humor, action, and heart: everything I’ve come to expect from an Adam Christopher book, and then some. A marvelous read!”—New York Times bestseller Jason M. Hough, author of Zero World

“Delivers like a punch from a two-ton robot in a zoot suit.”—Delilah Dawson

“Atmospheric and charming as hell. Adam Christopher has an extraordinary talent for scooping you up and dropping you into an alternative LA that feels just as real as the street outside your house.”—Emma Newman

Praise for the RAY ELECTROMATIC MYSTERIES

“Robot noir in 60s Los Angeles? You had me at ‘Hello.'”—John Scalzi, New York Times bestselling novelist

“Gripping, funny, deadly and suspenseful.”—Boing Boing

“Delivers like a punch from a two-ton robot in a zoot suit.”—Lila Bowen (aka Delilah Dawson)

“The dialogue is effortlessly swift and clever, and even the B-movie climax is a spectacle to behold. Above that, though, Ray sparks to live, and his antiheroic slant only makes him that much more compelling and and sympathetic. Knowing that there are only two more Raymond Electromatic mysteries to come is the book’s only disappointment.”—NPR

“Genre mash-ups don’t always succeed, but this one will please fans of both gumshoes and laser beams.”—Publishers Weekly

“A fun, fast read for anyone willing to take the speculative leap–a must-add for most fiction collections.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Made to Kill is yet more proof that we should all be thankful for Adam Christopher and his imagination. This tale of robot noir is unlike anything I’ve ever read—Adam’s is a weird and wonderful voice and we are lucky to have it.”—Chuck Wendig, New York Times bestselling author of Aftermath

“Adam Christopher has brilliantly deduced what should have been obvious all along: Classic noir and robots are a perfect match. Part Chandler, part Asimov, and part Philip K. Dick, Made to Kill is a rip-roaring cocktail of smart, sharp, twisty, cyber-pulp awesomeness.”—Adam Sternbaugh, author of Shovel Ready

“Made to Kill is just the sort of exciting genre collision that marks out Adam Christopher as one of the hottest new young SF writers.”—Paul Cornell, author of The Severed Streets

“A smart, rollicking noir/SF mashup. One of the best books I’ve read all year.”—Kelly Braffet, author of Save Yourself

 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 

Adam Christopher’s debut novel EMPIRE STATE was SciFiNow’s Book of the Year and a Financial Times Book of the Year. The author of MADE TO KILL, STANDARD HOLLYWOOD DEPRAVITY, and KILLING IS MY BUSINESS, Adam’s other novels include SEVEN WONDERS, THE AGE ATOMIC, and THE BURNING DARK.

Adam has also written the official tie-in novels for the hit CBS television show ELEMENTARY, and the award-winning DISHONORED video game franchise, and with Chuck Wendig, wrote THE SHIELD for Dark Circle/Archie Comics. Adam is also a contributor to the STAR WARS: FROM A CERTAIN POINT OF VIEW 40th anniversary anthology.

Born in New Zealand, Adam has lived in Great Britain since 2006.

Photo Credit: Lou Abercrombie 

 
GIVEAWAY

– 10 Winners will receive a Copy of Killing is My Business by Adam Christopher

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Christmas In July – Trimmed With Murder by Sally Goldenbaum @sallygoldenbaum

 

Welcome to Christmas in July.

Today I will be sharing Trimmed With Murder, Seaside Knitters Mystery #10, by Sally Goldenbaum.

Trimmed With Murder (Seaside Knitters Mystery, #10)

Amazon  /  Goodreads

MY REVIEW

Seaside Harbor is home of the fighting Cool Cods.

Just knowing that makes makes me think Trimmed With Murder will be a fun cozy mystery to curl up with on a cold winter’s night…or on the sunny beach and celebrate Christmas in July.

It all starts when Charlie picks Izzy up on the side of the road. Neither one of them wanted to be here, because we all know, in a small town there are no secrets.

Most of the characters are warm and giving…once you get to know them, but there are some with secrets to hide and will cross the line to keep them buried.

I feel bad for Charlie and wonder about the missing years in his life. Where has he been and why is he so different from the person they knew before?

And the murderer…

I know who I feel it could be, but there is also a deeper mystery to be solved…

The Knitting Club knows everyone and everything happening in town, so they figure they should be the ones to find the answers and put the town’s fears to rest, so they began to “walk the road.”  I love when a group of small town ladies get it in their heads to investigate a murder.  Some times it can be fun, other times…

I love stories located by the seaside. They lend an extra element to the story that makes me want to walk along the shore with this “tight knit” group of friends who care about their town and the people in it.

Trimmed With Murder by Sally Goldenbaum shows us that you can go home again.

Sally Goldenbaum has also included knitting instructions for a sailboat ornament and a recipe for pork tenderloin in Trimmed With Murder

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  3 Stars

GOODREADS BLURB

All Izzy Chambers Perry wants for Christmas is to keep her brother out of jail—in this holiday yarn from the national bestselling author of A Finely Knit Murder

In Sea Harbor the holidays mean cozy fires, festive carols, and soft skeins of yarn waiting to become hats and sweaters and scarves.  And this year Izzy and the other Seaside Knitters are also knitting tiny ornaments to decorate a tree for the first annual tree-trimming contest.

Their holiday cheer is multiplied when Izzy’s younger brother, Charlie Chambers, unexpectedly arrives to volunteer at a local clinic.  He brings with him outspoken hitchhiker Amber Hanson, who is returning to Sea Harbor to claim an inheritance.  She quickly reacquaints herself with the area–and forms an unlikely friendship with Charlie.  But their bond is shattered when her body is found beneath the undecorated trees on the Harbor Green.

With Charlie a suspect in the murder, Izzy and her fellow knitters step in to uncover the truth.  It’s only by peeling away long-buried secrets that they can hope to restore joy to the season, and enjoy the shining lights of the newly decorated trees.

ABOUT SALLY GOLDENBAUM

Sally Goldenbaum is a philosophy teacher, knitter, editor, and the author of more than two-dozen novels.

Series:  * A Seaside Knitters Mystery

Website  / Twitter  /  Facebook

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