Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Infamy



A Butch Karp-Marlene Ciampi Thriller

The "rock-solid" (Kirkus Reviews) prosecutor Butch Karp and his wife, Marlene Ciampi, return to solve the suspicious murder of a US Army colonel and battle corruption at the highest levels of the United States government in this novel by New York Times bestselling author Robert K. Tanenbaum.
Intrigue, murder, corruption, and dramatic courtroom battles combine to make Infamy another must-read in Robert K. Tanenbaum’s “tightly-written” (Booklist) legal thrillers. When a former Army veteran suddenly murders a colonel in New York, he claims that he had to do it because he was being used in mind control experiments. Surprisingly, a top Wall Street criminal defense lawyer, one with ties to the White House, decides to defend the killer, arguing that his client suffered from post-traumatic stress from his tours in Afghanistan and that it’s his patriotic duty to assist him.

As New York District Attorney Roger "Butch" Karp prepares a murder case against the veteran, he meets with investigative reporter Ariadne Stupenagel, who suspects that one of her sources for a story on high-level government corruption was a victim in the shooting. This points not to a random act of violence, but a hired killing that goes to the top levels of our nation.

In this fast-paced thriller, Karp goes up against corruption so powerful that he, his family, and his friends are in danger if he intends to prosecute those responsible for the murder of an FBI whistle-blower. Filled with edge-of-your-seat action, stunning plot twists, and, "solid courtroom scenes" (Kirkus Reviews), Infamy will keep you guessing until the very end.

My Review

When I was checking if I have read prior books by this author, I saw that I had read Outrage, book 23 in this series. I really enjoyed that book as well. After finishing this book, I can guarantee you that I will not like years past again between books by this author. I really like this character, Butch.
As far as attorneys are concerned he is one of the best ones I have liked in books. He gets to the point and knows his stuff. I don't ever want to meet him in court.

Although, he was not the only one that I enjoyed seeing in action in this book. The other person was journalist Ariadne Stupenagel. It was easy to see why she got top stories. Everything from the military aspect of this story, to the characters, the court room drama, and the ending was great. If you have never tried this author out now is the perfect time.

Lost in Thought

This event takes place August 22 – 29, 2016
luminis facebook banner (2) Welcome to another exciting tour with Novel Publicity. This time with author Cara Bertrand and her series The Sententia & the release of the third book in the series, Tangled Thoughts! This tour is classic Novel Publicity event, featuring a rafflecopter with special swag, paperbacks from the author and an Amazon gift card as well as spotlight posts, reviews from bloggers and more! Since this book is a series, we’ve recruited bloggers and readers from around the web to read and review all the Sententia books & help the author celebrate the release of Book 3, Tangled Thoughts!

 

Book 1: Lost in Thought lost in thoughtLainey Young has a secret: she’s going crazy. Everyone else thinks she has severe migraines from stress and exhaustion. What she really has are visions of how people died—or are going to die. Not that she tells anyone that. At age 16, she prefers keeping her crazy to herself. When doctors insist she needs a new and stable environment to recover, Lainey’s game to spend two years at a private New England boarding school. She doesn’t really think it will cure her problem, and she’s half right. There is no cure, but as she discovers, she’s not actually crazy. Almost everyone at Northbrook Academy has a secret too. Half the students and nearly all the staff are members of the Sententia, a hidden society of the psychically gifted. A vision of another student’s impending death confirms Lainey is one of them. She’d like to return the crappy gift of divining deaths with only a touch, but enjoys spending time with Carter Penrose—recent Academy graduate and resident school crush—while learning to control it. Lainey’s finally getting comfortable with her ability, and with Carter, when they uncover her true Sententia heritage. Now she has a real secret. Once it’s spilled, she’ll be forced to forget protecting secrets and start protecting herself.

My Review

I was drawn to check this book out by this fabulous promotion of the book "Perfect for readers who love books and series such as Vampire Academy, Spellbound, and Sweet Peril, Lost in Thought is a sure winner for young adult readers interested in the paranormal, romance, and action-packed twists."

This book did start out fine. I was very intrigued by Lainey's abilities as a sentenia. Yet, I got a glimpse of her abilities before the story went on to just conversation. I kept reading hoping that the story were get better for me as I was rooting for it. Sadly, it did not as did the other characters. There was no emotional connection towards any of them. I did skip ahead towards the last third of the book and started reading. This is what I was looking for at the beginning of this story...action. I understand that this being the first book in this series that the author may have felt that she really needed to bring out the history of the sentenias, the school, and all of the characters. However, if you can stick with the book for a while, then you may enjoy this series.

Book 2: Second Thoughts

second thoughts
The continuing adventures of an ordinary teenage girl with extraordinary mental abilities, perfect for readers who love books and series such as Vampire Academy, Spellbound, and Sweet Peril. Secrets, lies, and looming deaths—all things Lainey Young deals with in a typical day of high school. In her senior year at Northbrook Academy—a New England boarding school where the majority of the students and nearly all the staff are members of the Sententia, a hidden society of the psychically gifted—Lainey has even more to worry about. Things like classes, college, her boyfriend, and, of course, the vision she glimpsed of her impending death. But to her surprise, Lainey finds one worry she can cross off her list, namely Senator Daniel Astor, the leader of the Sententia. After a shocking discovery when they finally meet, Lainey realizes maybe she was wrong to distrust the Senator. She relaxes even further when he seems to accept her refusal to work for him after graduation. But with her secrets mounting and the time to solve them running out, there’s a final enigma Lainey hasn’t yet encountered: Daniel Astor doesn’t take no for an answer. Ever.

Book 3: Tangled Thoughts


tangled 
thoughts
High school graduation is a time for goodbyes, new beginnings, and if you’re Lainey Young, narrowly escaping with your life. Forced to leave behind both Northbrook Academy and Carter Penrose, Lainey believes she’s earned her freedom— from the eyes of the Perceptum and Daniel Astor’s schemes. Meeting handsome and very persistent Teaching Assistant Jack Kensington the first week of college complicates everything, including her feelings. College and flirtations with Jack help Lainey put all things Sententia behind her. But when her aunt arrives for a visit, with an unexpected guest and even more unexpected news, Lainey’s tenuous control over her life snaps. Once again, she’s linked to everything she thought she left behind. And this time, there’s no escape. Growing up, Carter Penrose thought he knew a thing or two about heartbreak—namely that it sucks—but he never knew exactly how much until losing Lainey. His life moves in a totally unplanned direction and he finds himself with a new home, new job, and even a surprising new girlfriend, all thanks to Daniel Astor. But just when Carter feels settled in the DC world of politics, a visit home to Northbrook brings up unexpected questions—about what happened at graduation and everything he believed about his Uncle Dan. When tragedy brings Lainey and Carter face to face for the first time since summer, their lives have never felt more separate. Lies drove them apart. Will the truth bring them together?

Love the books and can’t wait for more? Did you know about these two extras? Click the book covers below to find out more!
afterhtoughtthougths 
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This event takes place August 22 – 29, 2016

About the Author

CB headshotCara is a former middle school literacy teacher who now lives in the woods outside Boston with: one awesome husband, two large dogs, one small daughter and lots of words. Lost in Thought is her first novel and was one of three finalists for the 2011 Amazon/Penguin Breakthrough Novel Award in the Young Adult category. Connect with Cara on her website and at Luminis Books.

Get all Cara’s books on Amazon by visiting her author page.

Enter the Rafflecopter for your chance at great prizes!

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Girl Who Slept with God


An entrancing debut about two sisters exiled by their parents when the eldest becomes pregnant

Set in Arco, Idaho, in 1970, Val Brelinski’s powerfully affecting first novel tells the story of three sisters: young Frances, gregarious and strong-willed Jory, and moral-minded Grace. Their father, Oren, is a respected member of the community and science professor at the local college. Yet their mother’s depression and Grace’s religious fervor threaten the seemingly perfect family, whose world is upended when Grace returns from a missionary trip to Mexico and discovers she’s pregnant with—she believes—the child of God.

Distraught, Oren sends Jory and Grace to an isolated home at the edge of the town. There, they prepare for the much-awaited arrival of the baby while building a makeshift family that includes an elderly eccentric neighbor and a tattooed social outcast who drives an ice cream truck.

The Girl Who Slept with God is a literary achievement about a family’s desperate need for truth, love, purity, and redemption.


My Review

I had a bit of a reservation about reading this book. I was not sure what I was going to get. Would it be too preachy and way out there to almost unbelievable or somewhere in the middle? Well let me tell you that after reading this book it was in the middle. Which was just fine with me. I don't like when stories are too preachy.

Although I must comment by saying that I thought the author gave an insightful look into what a truly devout evangelical Christian family life must be like. I am a Christian but my family was not like this. In a way I found the three sisters to be more disjointed then close knit. Out of the three sisters I found Jory to be the strongest of them all. I had mixed emotions about the ending of the story. Not to give anything away. It was just because of how all of the events lead to the ending. This book is a pretty good read.

Brain Storm

The ultrawealthy families of Chouteau Forest may look down on a woman like death investigator Angela Richman, but they also rely on her. When a horrific car crash kills a Forest teenager, Angela is among the first on the scene. Her investigation is hardly underway, however, when she suffers a series of crippling strokes. Misdiagnosed by the resident neurologist, Dr. Gravois, and mended by gauche yet brilliant neurosurgeon Dr. Jeb Travis Tritt, Angela faces a harrowing recovery.

It’s a drug-addled, hallucinating Angela who learns that Dr. Gravois has been murdered…and the chief suspect is the surgeon who saved her life. Angela doesn’t believe it, but can she trust her instincts? Her brain trauma brings doubts that she’ll ever recover her investigative skills. But she’s determined to save Dr. Tritt from a death-row sentence—even if her progress is thwarted at every turn by a powerful and insular community poised to protect its own.

My Review

Another new to me author. I am actually glad that Angela had to cope with her situation. It brought me closer to her and made me see her as a real person and not just a character in a story. There were a few stumbling blocks along the way with Angela as she did not always come off as confident in her skills and knowledge. Yet, she is able to keep a clear head. I expect that in the next book I will see Angela grow stronger.

If you like a good mystery story with good characters and writing than you should check this book and series out. Plus, the blood and gore count is low. So even cozy mystery readers would enjoy this book. I am so glad that the author survived her own experience with her strokes. Because the author gave these same experiences to Angela, it brought more life to her. I look forward to checking out the next book in this series.

The One Man is Andrew Gross!





1944. Physics professor Alfred Mendl is separated from his family and sent to the men’s camp, where all of his belongings are tossed on a roaring fire. His books, his papers, his life’s work. The Nazis have no idea what they have just destroyed. And without that physical record, Alfred is one of only two people in the world with his particular knowledge.

Knowledge that could start a war, or end it.
Nathan Blum works behind a desk at an intelligence office in Washington, DC, but he longs to contribute to the war effort in a more meaningful way, and he has a particular skill set the U.S. suddenly needs. Nathan is fluent in German and Polish, he is Semitic looking, and he proved his scrappiness at a young age when he escaped from the Polish ghetto. Now, the government wants him to take on the most dangerous assignment of his life: Nathan must sneak into Auschwitz, on a mission to find and escape with one man.

The One Man, a historical thriller from New York Times bestseller Andrew Gross, is a deeply affecting, unputdownable series of twists and turns through a landscape at times horrifyingly familiar but still completely compelling.


My Review

It has been a few books since I have read anything by this author. Yet, Mr. Gross is still one of my favorites to read. In fact, just the other day I was talking books and authors with one of my friends and I told her to check out this author. This book is a slight departure from the typical books that I have read by Mr. Gross with his mystery/suspense thrillers. I like this side of Mr. Gross. In addition, this book takes place in one of my favorite time periods. Instantly, I was captivated by both Mendl and Nat's stories and how they intertwined with each other. Nat's bravery to risk his life for a man he does not know is inspiring. Mendl also carried strength in the way that he carried himself and the way that he cared for the ours in Auschwitz. Reading this book I was transported back in time and the camp. It was like I could smell death lurking around the prisoners, feel and hear the beatings, and the sirens. If you have never read a book by Mr. Gross, now is the perfect time. The One Man is a must, must, treasure of a read!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Someone Must Die


When her six-year-old nephew vanishes from a neighborhood carnival, Aubrey Lynd’s safe, snow-globe world fractures; it shatters when the FBI’s investigation raises questions about her own family that Aubrey can’t answer.

Aubrey picks apart the inconsistencies to expose the first of many lies: a ransom note—concealed from the FBI—with a terrifying and impossible ultimatum. Aubrey doesn’t know what to believe or whom to trust. The abduction is clearly personal—but why would someone play a high-stakes game with the life of a child? The more she presses for answers, the more Aubrey is convinced that her mother is hiding something.

Desperate to save her young nephew, Aubrey must face harsh truths and choose between loyalty to her family and doing the right thing. And she’d better hurry, because vengeance sets its own schedule, and time is running out.
  

My Review

This book is my very first introduction to this author. They always say the best impressions are the first impressions. After reading this book, you can say that I am impressed. I will be looking for more books to read by this author.

Aubrey really helped solve the case. She picked up on clues that most of the others did not and kept a level head throughout the whole situation. Although, I must say that Special Agent Smolleck was no dummy. He kept cool under pressure as well. This could translate to being some what off-putting but once you got to know Agent Smolleck, you had respect for him. I really had no idea the motive behind the kidnapping until the backstory started unfolding. I was hooked every moment of the way. If you are a fan of a great mystery story then you should check this book out.

Paris Runaway




Inside the Book

Title: Paris Runaway
Author: Paulita Kincer
Publisher: Oblique Press
Pages: 256
Genre: Women’s Fiction
When divorced mom Sadie Ford realizes her 17-year-old daughter Scarlett has run away to Paris all she can imagine are terrorist bombings and sex slaves. After learning her daughter chased a French exchange student home, Sadie hops on the next plane in pursuit. She joins forces with the boy’s father, Auguste, and the two attempt to find the missing teens. The chase takes Sadie and Auguste to the seedier side of Marseille, where their own connection is ignited. Since the divorce, Sadie has devoted herself to raising kids and putting her dreams on hold, but when her daughter needs her most, Sadie finds that concrete barrier to life beginning to crack. In her journey, she learns the difference between watching the hours pass and living.

For More Information

My Review

I really like how reading this story had a gritty feel to it. It made the whole reading experience as real feeling as it could be. Sadie had a very valid reason to go chasing after her daughter. terrorist bombings and sex slaves are not things to be taken lightly. In fact, the more I read and educate myself on human trafficking it needs to be brought more into the spotlight and stopped.

While I have never been to Paris, it was like I could see the city both the beauty and the dangerous sides as Sadie and Auguste were traveling from location to location. Although, I have to say that if it was not for Sadie, then Auguste would be lost and would have let the police try to find the children. Sadie impressed me more and more with each passing moment. The romance between she and Auguste was good. It did not feel like the author forced it in the story. In addition, I really like that it did not distract from the story. I look forward to reading more books by this author.

Meet the Author

 
 
Paulita Kincer has an M.A. in journalism from American University. She has traveled to France 11 times, and still finds more to lure her back.
She currently teaches college English and lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her three children, two cats and one husband.
Her latest book is the women’s fiction, Paris Runaway.
For More Information



Book Excerpt:

I knocked on one apartment door that had a wreath hanging on it. It could still be his door, I justified. Maybe Monsieur Rollande liked to decorate. Avoiding the wreath, I rapped my knuckles against the worn wood. Maybe Monsieur Rollande remarried and his new wife chose the wreath of dark-green leaves topped by lily of the valley with its tiny white, bell-shaped flowers. When I got no response, I walked to the door opposite. No wreath and no sounds from within. I knocked three sharp thumps and waited, but heard no squeaking of the floor as someone moved toward the door. I sighed. No one home again.

There are worse places to wait, I thought as I heard a louder crack of thunder from outside. The sky had been threatening rain all morning, and apparently the clouds now delivered on their threat. I imagined myself standing outside the gate without buttons to push as the rain soaked me through the t-shirt, jeans and thin cardigan.

I assessed the landing where I could be waiting for most of the day. A thick wool rug covered the floor and a small table fit flush against the wall with a flat back. The other half curled out in a semi-circle. On the table sat a round fishbowl with aqua-colored rocks in the bottom. A goldfish swished back and forth in the dim light. How strange, I thought, as I became entranced watching the fish make his circles, pausing to open and close his mouth in my direction a few seconds before swimming around again.

I sank to the floor with my back against the wall, like the little table. I would be able to hear or see either door if it should open. I might as well rest my tired feet. I debated undoing those ankle straps. But I decided to simply rub at the sore spots while leaving the sandals buckled. Who knew when I’d have to make a dash to catch someone?

I sat where I could gaze at the fish, and his endless rounds made me feel calm. I could feel my breath becoming slower and deeper. I knew I’d find Scarlett today; I just needed to be patient. Slow and steady, I told myself as I became more mesmerized with the striking orange fish.

Suddenly the fish ducked inside one of his faux coral hiding spots. I hadn’t moved or startled him. I glanced around, moving only my eyes, and I saw the reason for the fish’s abrupt disappearance.  A handsome black-and-white cat crawled stealthily up the stairs. His front paws perched on the top step, and his nose and eyes just peeked between the paws. The rest of his body must be poised on the stairs below, ready to pounce on the table and snatch up the fish.

The cat moved only his eyes too, but they found me, and he froze. I was going to ruin his attempt at breakfast. I smiled. I missed my own cat Puck. His warmth on my lap, the way his purring could put me into a trance of well-being. This cat on the stairs seemed to have accepted the fact that an actual person sat in the stairwell. His eyes locked with mine, and I saw his body relax. He would not need to pounce after all. He turned to look at the fish bowl, but the wise goldfish remained hidden.

“It’s okay,” I said. I held out my hand, palm up, toward the cat. “Here, kitty. Come see me.” I didn’t have anything to offer him, but if he smelled my hand, he might let me pet him, rub my hand over his soft fur, gain some sort of relief from contact with another living creature.

“Come on, boy,” I said, making an assumption about his gender. It didn’t matter because the cat probably didn’t understand English anyway. My voice was soft and soothing as I tried to coax him. Suddenly, a desire overwhelmed me to hold a cat on my lap, stroke his soft back, and feel his purr kick in and vibrate against me. Even a cat that didn’t understand English must sense distress and want to comfort a human. To feel some sort of release from the past two days would be such a respite.

“It’s okay; you’re safe,” I said. “Come on.” I had moved from sitting on the floor to perching on my knees as I held my hand closer to the cat. Suddenly, the cat streaked past me. I expected it to stop abruptly at the closed door of the apartment, but it continued to zoom through the legs of a man and down the hallway beyond. The door stood open now when it had definitely been closed the whole time I waited.

I looked up from the floor, drinking in the man whose brown leather Lacoste shoes stood before me. The little alligator near the heel marked them as Lacoste, and I couldn’t decide if I would adore or detest the pomposity of the shoes.

Brown jeans encased the man’s long legs, and he wore a white broadcloth shirt unbuttoned at the top. A loose cotton scarf with blue and gold draped loosely around his neck.

“Are you trying to seduce my cat?” The timbre of his deep voice, still thick with sleep, mixed with the French accent on the English words sent a quiver through me. His words sounded like a promise and a warning.

“Seduce?” My voice rose at the end of the word and came out like an irritating crow’s caw, in comparison to his smooth accent.

I jumped to my feet, feeling the blush rise from the v of my t-shirt up my neck to my face. “Bonjour,” I mumbled, not quite meeting his eyes. I couldn’t believe he’d seen me talking to the cat – so naked and vulnerable. This man observed me being, well, me.

I remembered why I sat on his doorstep as I turned toward him. “I’m looking for Monsieur Rollande.”

“That is me,” he said, in his slight French accent. A little thrill and relief suddenly washed over me.

“Oh, Monsieur Rollande, I’m so pleased to meet you. I’m looking for your son, Luc. I think my daughter Scarlett is with him, at least, I hope she is. She ran away from home. In Florida … in the United States. She said she was going to stay with her dad, but then he called, and he hadn’t seen her, and she had these strange charges on her credit card, and we found out she had flown to Paris to follow Luc, and I hadn’t even ever met Luc, so I had no idea. I just got on a plane and came right here, but I couldn’t find anyone at your wife’s apartment, I mean, your ex-wife, I guess, and I’ve been so afraid.”

Monsieur Rollande reached a hand forward and put it on my arm to stop my ramble. His firm hand against my bicep steadied me, like the vibrating cat purr I had imagined. I took a deep breath. I couldn’t collapse. 

“Come inside,” he said. And if the situation were reversed, I didn’t know if I would have invited this crazy lady in, the one talking to cats and watching goldfish and then chattering a mile a minute about sons and flights and runaway daughters.

But he led me into his apartment. We stood just inside the entrance in a hallway that had doors to the left and right.

“It will be okay,” he said. And his words buoyed me, making me think that maybe it all would be fine, as if I had shifted part of my worry about Scarlett somewhere else. And then, before I could blink them away, tears started to drip from my eyes faster than I could keep up with them.

“I’m so sorry,” I said mopping at my face. “I don’t know why I’m crying. I’ve just been so worried, and I haven’t had anyone to help me find her.” I took a deep, shuddering breath and resolved to both stop talking and stop crying.

“Come. Here is the toilet. Go refresh yourself, then we will talk.”

And his description was literal. The long narrow room held a toilet and a sink along with a mirror on the wall. No windows. No decorative pictures. No ornamental doilies on the toilet tank. I blew my nose into some toilet paper and dabbed at the tracks of tears along my face.

I inhaled deeply to get control. “I am getting closer to finding Scarlett,” I told myself in the mirror.