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Friday, March 16, 2018

You Are Invited

On Facebook.  Go to the event page for information - show up on the event page for the launch party.

Share with a mystery-loving friend or two!

Friday MAR 30
Book Launch Party for Nailed

4:40 Pm - 6:30 PM Pacific
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM Mountain
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM Eastern

Book Launch for Nailed: Resort to Murder Mystery II. Join us for games, party favors, Q&A with the author, and general fun.  Held on the Facebook Event page

I am looking forward to seeing you all there!

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Review - Rumor of Bones

Today I review the first in an older series.  I have reviewed books by the Beverly Connor for her Diane Fallon Forensics series before:  One Grave Less #9 (click here) and The Night Killer #8 (click here).  But this was my introduction to the Lindsay Chamberlain series that Ms. Connor also pens.  Let's join an archaeology dig in Georgia that turns deadly.

Author: Beverly Connor

Copyright: March 2001 (Cumberland House) 320 pgs

Series: 1st in Lindsay Chamberlain Mystery series

Sensuality: Mild - clinical descriptions of death, serial killer of children

Mystery Sub-genre: Amateur Sleuth

Main Character: Lindsay Chamberlain, Forensic anthropologist 

Setting: Modern day, Georgia

Obtained Through: Personal purchase

From book cover: "Lindsay Chamberlain has a problem. People keep finding bodies in shallow graves and bringing the bones to her. It's not that she doesn't know what to do with the remains. An anthropologist who specializes in archaeology, she is an expert in the forensic analysis of bones.

It's the bones of missing children, however, that disturb her, and lately she's had more than her share of them. Someone has been abducting young girls in the area for several years, and their remains have recently been found in shallow graves in a nearby wooded area. And Lindsay is asked to identify them.

A lot of strange things have happened since Lindsay and her colleagues from the Anthropology Department at the University of Georgia first began excavating the Indian settlement at Jasper Creek. First came the grave robbers and pot hunters, then the mysterious opposition that jeopardizes their work. After the shady lawyer who has orchestrated some of the trouble is murdered and someone attempts to abduct a nine-year-old girl, Lindsay finds herself in the middle of a crime that took place sixty years earlier. Because so much time has passed, it looks as if the murderer will get away with the crime. Can Lindsay provide the proof needed to bring the killer to justice?"

Lindsay Chamberlain, a forensic anthropology expert, flawed and extremely independent who has trouble asking for help.  I enjoyed her character and look forward to reading more of her.  Derrick is an old friend from college and colleege on the dig. He and Lindsay also partner for dance competitions.  I loved the dance aspect.  Frank is the director of the dig and he seems conflicted in his desire for Lindsay or Marsha from the nearby town.  Sheriff Duggan relies on Lindsay to identify the bones of children, victims of an apparent serial killer.  He is a great character, layered, tough as nails, but reasonable.

The dig site, among trees and near a river, is used to create an atmospheric setting.  I felt like I was camped out and part of the dig crew.  The plot begins simply and gets progressively more complicated.  The unfolding picture of a small town hiding a terrible secret is punctuated with the drama on the dig itself and sub plots of the character interactions.  

There are several scenes that are tense or gripping, the climax was more a police search and confrontation with the killer.  Although I tend to like exciting killer reveals, this fit the tone of the story and worked well.  The wrap up answers the final pieces to the puzzle and offers more closure. 

I like how Lindsay "time trips" and sees what the areas must have been like in the past in her mind's eye. This ability is useful in the investigation too.  The correlation of archaeology and criminal forensics is explained and demonstrated.  Characters are finely fleshed out with emotional depth.  The overall story remains as a memory you lived for a few hours.  I appreciate Ms. Connor's writing style and skill.  

Rating:  Excellent - Loved it, it had a good grip on me! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list.

Newsletter / Website  / Facebook / Twitter BookBub / Goodreads

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Monday, March 12, 2018

Author Guest Post - Pamela Beason

Please welcome the author of the exciting Sam Westin Mystery series that I have reviewed each and every book thus far (click here.)  Pamela Beason is sharing her YA thriller trilogy, Run For Your Life with us today.  So grab a drink (coffee, wine, or water), sit back, and enjoy this brief introduction to this young adult series.  I think you'll want to buy the first book right away like I do.

Finding Inspiration in Gutsy Young Women

Did you like The Hunger Games trilogy? I absolutely fell in love with Katniss Everdeen, the amazing young heroine, and I think Jennifer Lawrence played her character perfectly in the movies. Katniss is athletic and skillful, selfless, smart and brave, everything we all want to be. But she’s not fearless, and that’s what makes her so courageous, because the definition of courage is not to fear nothing, but to do the right thing when you’re absolutely terrified. I am also inspired by all the bold young female athletes that compete in every sport nowadays. Did you see Chloe Kim in the Olympics? OMG! Talk about giving it your all! So when I set out to write my young adult Run for Your Life series, I wanted to create a character as wonderful as Katniss, and as inspirational as all those real female athletes.

I created Tanzania Grey, a champion runner who competes in ultramarathons around the world. These incredible contests do exist, and many of them are multi-day events where competitors must cross deserts, climb mountains, slog through jungles, swim rivers, pick off leeches, you name it. A few are team events, so all teammates have to cross the finish line. What better way to add a lot of adventure to a novel than to have your characters race through exotic locales? So I made Tanzania an amazing cross- country running athlete.

But, like Katniss, Tanzania (Tana for short) needed to be independent and she needed a dramatic backstory. She was born Amelia Robinson, but while she was out breaking her curfew one evening at the age of 14, her parents were murdered. She arrived back at her house just in time to see the masked killers drag her 9-year- old brother out of his bedroom. The murderers saw Amelia and gave chase, but she managed to elude them. When she returned the next day, she found that her home had been emptied, and everyone was told the Robinsons moved to Zimbabwe, the birthplace of Amelia’s brilliant biochemist mother. Amelia’s whole past had been erased. She was on her own at 14, with killers searching for her. She had to reinvent herself and find a way to live under the radar. So, with the assistance of a kind Hispanic family, she became Tanzania Grey, got her GED, gained some sponsors, and made a name for herself in the world of extreme sports.

I’ve had a lot of fun living vicariously in this world of extreme sports. Anything can happen when you’re running through the jungle and sliding down volcanoes (Race with Danger), doing multiple sports in one race (Race to Truth, which contains an extreme version of a race dear to my heart, the Ski to Sea Relay in Bellingham, WA, where I live, and running across Zimbabwe, where the wildlife includes a lot of dangerous humans (Race for Justice). In each book, Tana is plagued by spy drones and scary strangers trying to figure out just who she really is, and in each book she gets a few more clues about who murdered her parents. And they get a few more clues about her. It was a fun, scary trilogy to write. And it’s my salute to all those gutsy young women out there. May they ever be strong and outspoken and brave!

Each book of the The Run for Your Life trilogy is available in both print and ebook form, and the Run for Your Life trilogy is available in ebook form in a box set at a reduced price (click here.)

My website is (you can always find out what I’m up to there) plus Goodreads page and Facebook.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
THANK You Pamela.
I am getting my copy pronto.  It sounds like a great trilogy and an exciting run!

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Monday, March 5, 2018

Review - A Treacherous Curse

I read and reviewed the first in the series, A Curious Beginning (click here).  You may be familiar with this author.  Ms. Raybourn is the author of the amazing Julia Grey historical mysteries.  This series is strikingly different in the main characters.  See what you think as I review the third in the series.

Author: Deanna Raybourn

Copyright: Jan 2018 (Berkley) 313 pgs

Series: 3rd in Veronica Speedwell Mystery series

Sensuality: Innuendo and frank mature discussion within period language.  Nothing crude.

Mystery Sub-genre: Historical Amateur Sleuth

Main Characters: Veronica Speedwell, an amatuer entomologist raised by "aunts" - now in an uneasy partnership with a black sheep explorer

Setting: 1888 London

Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review, Netgalley

From the book blurb:
"London, 1888. As colorful and unfettered as the butterflies she collects, Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell can’t resist the allure of an exotic mystery—particularly one involving her enigmatic colleague, Stoker. His former expedition partner [who left him for dead- he bears scars on his face from that disastrous expedition in the Amazon] has vanished from an archaeological dig with a priceless diadem unearthed from the newly discovered tomb of an Egyptian princess. This disappearance is just the latest in a string of unfortunate events that have plagued the controversial expedition, and rumors abound that the curse of the vengeful princess has been unleashed as the shadowy figure of Anubis himself stalks the streets of London.
But the perils of an ancient curse are not the only challenges Veronica must face as sordid details and malevolent enemies emerge from Stoker’s past. Caught in a tangle of conspiracies and threats—and thrust into the public eye by an enterprising new foe—Veronica must separate facts from fantasy to unravel a web of duplicity that threatens to cost Stoker everything..."
Veronica is larger-than-life, incredibly ahead of her time, stubborn, and highly intelligent with a sharp tongue and wit.  Stoker (Mr. Ravelstoke Templeton-Vane) is cranky and reclusive, a little bitter and struggling with the growing relationship between he and Veronica.  Stoker's ex-wife, who told harsh lies that damaged his reputation to get a divorce, is back and Stoker must face her in this book.  Stoker's brother, a Viscount, makes a few short appearances, too.  Their benefactor who employs and houses them makes a slight appearance.  Both their benefactor and the Viscount are enjoyable supporting cast.

The setting is London during an Egyptian craze.  The backdrop of a museum display of Egyptian artifacts and an ominous life-size specter of Anubis appearing around town set the eerie tone for this outing.  The countryside is used effectively during the climatic events.

The plot begins as a simple robbery of priceless artifacts from an Egyptian dig and a missing persons case.  But, complications ensue with a murder and the personal aspects of the missing person in question.  The pace of the story keeps the interest with the myriad personal conflicts in addition to the investigation and personal peril to Veronica and Stoker.
The climax includes an unconventional chase scene and a nail biting showdown.  The series is making big cinematic-style killer confrontations a regular feature and I love it.  The wrap up throws in some interaction with her estranged and distant father. 
I like how we learn a little more about Stoker and what has happened to make him who we see on the pages.  Veronica shows her teeth toward those who treated him so badly, exhibiting her loyalty to Stoker.  Veronica's showdown with the ex-wife is worth the read alone.  Veronica isn't your period woman, she fights the conventions and is her own woman.  This may bother some, but I love it.  The dialog is great.
Rating:  Excellent - Loved it, it had a good grip on me! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list 

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Thursday, March 1, 2018

NAILED Book Release

I am proud to announce the second book in the Resort to Murder mystery series, NAILED, released today.  Yahoo!  Here is a spotlight and information on the glistening new novel still smoking hot off the press.  Don't you just LOVE the cover!

Julienne is snow bound in the middle of the Rocky Mountains with a killer striking at will.  This wasn't covered in Resort Management training.

Julienne LaMere gets to attend a Resort Management conference at a prestigious ski resort in the Colorado Mountains.  What should be an enjoyable getaway attending workshops by day and shopping and enjoying the resort by night comes to a screeching halt when a loud-mouthed guest is murdered plus the roads and town shut down for an epic blizzard.

In addition to attending the conference, dodging a smitten teen boy, and seeking clues among the gossiping - and increasingly tense - guests, her best friend’s heart has warmed to an unlikely man and may get broken.  As if her mind isn’t already fully occupied, Julienne and her new boyfriend Mason are skiing down troubled slopes in their relationship.  Will Julienne put the scant clues together and unveil the culprit before a murderer gets away?

Praise for ICED: 
Avery Daniels’ Iced: A Resort to Murder is a great beginning to what I hope is several books.  The story was very entertaining with twists and turns that I couldn’t hazard a guess because another motive or clue would be revealed leading to a crescendo ending of “Oh, my!  The story was engaging, the characters entertaining, and I love the idea that there will be more at another resort…Her world travels begin!”  King's River Life Magazine

Available in eBook format now, print in a few days, and audio is in the works.
Barnes & Noble

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If you were wondering why you haven't heard much from me, this is why!

Here is the short book trailer for your viewing entertainment!

Seeking book bloggers!

Do you write a book blog?  I am putting together a blog tour, so please leave a comment if you would be interested in featuring this book, a guest blog, or an author interview.

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