Beth's Book-Nook Blog

Reviews of What I've Been Reading….

WAIT FOR THE RAIN by Maria Murnane

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The very lovely Maria Murnane sent me an e-copy of her novel, WAIT FOR THE RAIN, along with her novel BRIDGES (reviewed here earlier). I chose to end my summer with it.

This is a realistic but feel-good story about a young woman getting herself back on her feet after going through a divorce:

From the author of the bestselling Waverly Bryson series.

Daphne White is staring down the barrel of forty—and is distraught at what she sees. Her ex-husband is getting remarried, her teenage daughter hardly needs her anymore, and the career she once dreamed about has somehow slipped from her grasp. She’s almost lost sight of the spirited and optimistic young woman she used to be.

As she heads off to a Caribbean island to mark the new decade with her best friends from college, Daphne’s in anything but the mood to celebrate. But when she meets Clay Hanson, a much younger man, she ignores her inner voice warning her that she’s too old for a fling. In fact, this tropical getaway might be the perfect opportunity to picture her future in a new sun-drenched light.

With the help of her friends, Daphne rediscovers her enthusiasm for life, as well as her love for herself—and realizes that her best years are still ahead.

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I think just about anyone can find something in common with one of these characters, who are quite believable. I couldn’t help but root for Daphne, and believe me – I know what she was going through.

Easy to read with a realistic but fun plot and likable characters, both WAIT FOR THE RAIN and BRIDGES are winners for me.

Thank you, Maria, for sharing your novels with me!

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THE CLUE IN THE TREES by Marji Preus

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THE GOOD WIDOW by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

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Oh, Summer! The days of the thrilling page-turner! I love to read crazy, fast-paced, suspenseful mysteries over the summer (while lying around). This book was no exception. I missed getting it to review so I got it for my kindle through Amazon for a deal. Here’s the description:

Amazon Charts bestselling authors Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke make their suspense debut in this twisty, emotional thriller.

Elementary school teacher Jacqueline “Jacks” Morales’s marriage was far from perfect, but even in its ups and downs it was predictable, familiar. Or at least she thought it was…until two police officers showed up at her door with devastating news. Her husband of eight years, the one who should have been on a business trip to Kansas, had suffered a fatal car accident in Hawaii. And he wasn’t alone.

For Jacks, laying her husband to rest was hard. But it was even harder to think that his final moments belonged to another woman—one who had left behind her own grieving and bewildered fiancé. Nick, just as blindsided by the affair, wants answers. So he suggests that he and Jacks search for the truth together, retracing the doomed lovers’ last days in paradise.

Now, following the twisting path of that fateful road, Jacks is learning that nothing is ever as it seems. Not her marriage. Not her husband. And most certainly not his death…

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There was definitely some craziness in this story. I mean who wants to ferret out the details of their husband’s death with the help of the fiance of the gal he was having an affair with? Not me! Even if it involved a trip to Hawaii! However, I liked these characters, especially Jacks, and I wanted to find out what happened.

Having two authors often leads to a choppy feel in books (especially when they take turns with chapters, or when it’s the dreaded “famous author sharing writing responsibilities with adult child who wants to be famous author, too”). However, this book did NOT have this feel. It was seamless!

Well-written and fast-paced right up the end, this was a great summer read!

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BENEATH A SCARLET SKY by Mark Sullivan

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A Note From the Publisher

So – now I think: “this reminds me of a Mark Sullivan novel!”
I think this novel would appeal to many, and I particularly liked the afterword where Sullivan follows up on Pino and the other characters in how they lived the rest of their lives.
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LIARS, INC. by Paula Stokes

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So – this one popped up in my sale of the day for Kindle a while ago. It’s one of those thrilling and suspenseful reads, aimed at YA but I think for older readers, too. I read it in one day just to see what would happen. Here’s the overview from Amazon:

A dark and twisted psychological tale, which Kirkus Reviews called “captivating to the very end” in a starred review—perfect for fans of I Hunt Killers and Gone Girl.

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money. So with the help of his friend Preston and his girlfriend, Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something, and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about it. But then Preston never comes home. And the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead to Preston’s body.

Terrifying clues that point to Max as the killer….

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So – here’s the thing. This is the kind of book that you need to suspend disbelief to read, and that can work with YA books. However, due to the amount of sex in this novel, I would recommend it for older YA readers (I find that kids are choosing YA when they aren’t even in middle school yet, and that concerns me. But that is a story for another day!). I couldn’t stop reading as I wanted to see what happened, etc. I did not figure out the ending (kudos to the author!). I’d love to read another by her!

Recommended to those who enjoy a fast, thrilling read that involves older teens.

 

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FIVE WAYS TO KILL A MAN by Alex Gray

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My friends at Harper-Collins Publishing asked me if I’d like a kindle copy of Alex Gray’s FIVE WAYS TO KILL A MAN, her latest DCI Lorimer novel. I like this crime series, which is set in Scotland and has a “BBC” feel to it. I had read several, though not all, of the DCI Lorimer novels and enjoyed them all. They are fast-paced and well-plotted, but not overly graphic or gruesome.

Here’s the overview from Amazon:

DCI Lorimer must track down a malicious cutthroat inching closer to his own family in this atmospheric mystery from international bestselling author Alex Gray

An unpredictable killer is loose on the streets of Glasgow, experimenting with death. Beginning with brute force, the murderer moves on to poison and drowning, greedy for new and better ways to kill. Faced with a string of unconnected victims, DCI Lorimer turns to psychologist and friend Solomon Brightman for his insights. When Lorimer is also assigned to review the case of a fatal house fire, his suspicions are raised by shocking omissions in the original investigation. Some uncomfortable questions have been buried, but Lorimer is the man to find the answers.

As the serial killer gets closer to Lorimer’s family, can the DCI unmask the volatile murderer before the next victim is found too close to home?

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A lot of the same characters appear in this series, so they start to feel like old friends. Life goes on and people get married, babies are born, people die, all while Lorimer keeps solving crimes!

Highly recommended if you like crime novels!

Thank you for my review copy!

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Book Blast and Giveaway! Partners in Crime Tours…

Murder Unrenovated & Rehearsal For Murder

by P.M. Carlson

Book Blast on August 29, 2017

Murder Unrenovated by P.M. Carlson

Murder Unrenovated

Realtor Len Trager is anxious to sell the lovely old brownstone in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood, and Maggie and Nick think it looks like a dream house for a young couple expecting their first child. But problems show up. It needs renovation– okay. There’s a stubborn tenant who refuses to move out– not so okay.

And then there’s the nasty surprise on the top floor….

“Terrific characters, funny incidents, genuine suspense, and an absolutely right sense of period and place.”–– Tom and Enid Schantz, THE PURLOINED LETTER

Book Details:

Genre: Traditional Mystery
Published by: The Mystery Company / Crum Creek Press
Publication Date: June 2013
Number of Pages: 239
ISBN: 193232528X (ISBN13: 9781932325287)
Series: Maggie Ryan and Nick O’Connor #4
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Smashwords 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Book Trailer:

“Murder Unrenovated” by P.M. Carlson Maggie Ryan Series #4
https://www.youtube.com/embed/wp_yC3FMtDY

Rehearsal for Murder by P.M. Carlson

Rehearsal for Murder

As REHEARSAL FOR MURDER begins, Maggie is a partner in a statistical consulting business, and her actor husband Nick O’Connor has been cast in a wonderful new role. He’s rehearsing an off-Broadway musical, playing Gladstone to the famous Ramona Ricci’s Queen Victoria. But Nick is worried by Ramona’s diva-like behavior, which enrages the cast members. And the home front is even tougher. He and Maggie adore their five-month-old daughter Sarah, but she exhausts them and leaves them no time for each other.

Then they’re slammed with two more problems. Maggie, doing a favor for another frazzled parent, gets wind of a plot against that child. And someone guns down the bitchy Ramona.

“A tightly woven thriller, warm and beautifully paced with a bittersweet finale. This show must go on!”–– Dorothy Salisbury Davis, MWA Grand Master

Book Details:

Genre: Traditional Mystery
Published by: The Mystery Company / Crum Creek Press
Publication Date: July 2013
Number of Pages: 220
ISBN: 1932325336 (ISBN13: 9781932325331
Series: Maggie Ryan and Nick O’Connor #5
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Smashwords 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Book Trailer:

Rehearsal for Murder by P.M. Carlson Maggie Ryan Mystery Series #5
https://www.youtube.com/embed/16GauwMHeqc

P.M. Carlson

Author Bio:

P.M. Carlson taught psychology and statistics at Cornell University before deciding that mystery writing was more fun. She has published twelve mystery novels and over a dozen short stories. Her novels have been nominated for an Edgar Award, a Macavity Award, and twice for Anthony Awards. Two short stories were finalists for Agatha Awards. She edited the Mystery Writers Annual for Mystery Writers of America for several years, and served as president of Sisters in Crime.

Catch Up With Our Author On: Website 🔗Goodreads 🔗Smashwords, & Twitter 🔗!

Giveaway

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for P.M. Carlson. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on August 29 and runs through September 5, 2017.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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GIRL IN SNOW by Danya Kukafka

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Yet another “I can’t stop reading!” book for me this summer! I love these suspenseful mysteries. I actually figure this one out, but it wasn’t obvious. If you like these type of mysteries, pick this one up today!
Thank you for my review copy!
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THE PARIS SPY by Susan Elia MacNeal

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If you know me, you know I LOVE the Maggie Hope books! I always thought of them as cozy mysteries, but really that does not do them justice. I always learn something from reading them and they are serious, but not gory. They remind me of something I’d watch on PBS or the BBC — thoughtful and historically accurate, but entertaining. This latest is no exception. The war (WWII) is progressing, and Maggie is still hard at work for the Allies. Planning for the D-Day Invasion is the storyline behind this novel, and Maggie is trying to get top secret information through to those who need it. As always Susan Elia MacNeal has done her research and presents loads of historically accurate details to make her story come alive. I do love the strong character of Maggie, and I never get tired of reading these books!
Thank you for my review e-copy!
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HFVBTour for BLOOD MOON by Ruth Hull Chatlien with Giveaway!

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I haven’t done many book tours this summer as my tbr pile was huge and I was catching up, but I couldn’t say no to this novel – based on a true story of a woman held by Native Americans in Minnesota during the 1860’s. I enjoyed this story and found it so interesting. I particularly liked how Chatlien portrays the mixed feelings Sarah has and is faced with when she returns to her community. Her relationship with her husband is complex as is her relationship with her “captors” – whom she never feels are captors, but are her protectors. This was one of those books that I could not put down!

Here’s the scoop on it:

Blood Moon: A Captive’s Tale by Ruth Hull Chatlien

Publication Date: June 14, 2017
Amika Press
Paperback & eBook; 424 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

READ AN EXCERPT.

Southern Minnesota, August 1862. Smoke fills the horizon and blood soaks the prairie as the Sioux fight to drive white settlers from their ancestral homeland. Sarah Wakefield and her young son and baby daughter are fleeing for their lives when two warriors capture them. One is Hapa, who intends to murder them. The other is Chaska, an old acquaintance who promises to protect the family. Chaska shelters them in his mother’s tepee, but with emotions running so high among both Indians and whites, the danger only intensifies. As she struggles to protect herself and those she loves, Sarah is forced to choose between doing what others expect of her and following her own deep beliefs.

“Chatlien’s mastery of the historical period—especially the life and culture of the Sioux—is notable and creates a fictional atmosphere of authenticity. A subtle dramatization of the conflict between white settlers and Native Americans in the 19th century.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Richly detailed, Blood Moon is an intrepid tale of bravery and adventure in America’s western frontiers. Perfect for fans of immersive historical fiction.” – Stephanie Thornton, author of The Tiger Queens and The Conqueror’s Wife

“An engrossing tale of struggle and justice-of friendship, mercy, and a rare, moving love. Ruth Hull Chatlien writes with great sensitivity and vivid yet subtle prose. Blood Moon is a must-read for fans of western novels, as well as women’s historical fiction.” -Libbie Hawker, author of Tidewater

Amazon | Amika Press | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the Author

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Ruth Hull Chatlien has been a writer and editor of educational materials for nearly thirty years, specializing in U.S. and world history. She is the author of Modern American Indian Leaders for middle-grade readers. Her award-winning first novel, The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte, portrays the tumultuous life of Elizabeth “Betsy” Patterson Bonaparte. Her latest novel, Blood Moon: A Captive’s Tale, is now available for pre-order.

She lives in northeastern Illinois with her husband, Michael, and a very pampered dog named Smokey. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found gardening, knitting, drawing, painting, or watching football.

For more information please visit Ruth’s website. You can also connect with her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads. Sign up for Ruth’s newsletter here.

Blog Tour Schedule

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Monday, August 7
Review at A Bookish Affair

Tuesday, August 8
Excerpt at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, August 9
Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Monday, August 14
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Tuesday, August 15
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Wednesday, August 16
Spotlight at Cafinated Reads

Thursday, August 17
Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog

Monday, August 21
Review at Must Read Faster

Friday, August 25
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Monday, August 28
Review at Book Nerd

Tuesday, August 29
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Thursday, August 31
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Friday, September 1
Review at Broken Teepee
Interview & Excerpt at Jorie Loves a Story

Thursday, September 7
Review at Locks, Hooks, and Books

Friday, September 8
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 5 copies of Blood Moon: A Captive’s Tale and two $25 Amazon Gift Cards! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on September 8th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US & Canada only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

 

DIRECT LINK: https://gleam.io/y5vPi/bloodmoon

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