Tuesday, May 31, 2016

HOT COWBOY NIGHTS + Giveaway


Title: Hot Cowboy Nights
Author: Carolyn Brown
Series: Lucky Penny Ranch, #2
On Sale: May 31, 2016
Formats: Mass Market & eBook
Price: $7.99 USD
 
Let’s give ‘em something to talk about…
 
If gossip is the lifeblood of a small town, then Lizzy Logan has been its beating heart. After being dumped by her fiancé for another woman, she could have decided to crawl under a rock. But no, she'd rather really set tongues wagging by "moving on" with one of the hottest cowboys in Texas, who happens to live next door at the Lucky Penny Ranch. Those busybodies don't have to know it's actually all pretend. And just because Lizzy has no aim to tame her wild, blue-eyed neighbor doesn't mean she can't enjoy the ride of her life.
 
Toby Dawson never was and never will be the settling-down type. But what harm could there be in agreeing to be Lizzy's pretend boyfriend? They'll put on a show for a few weeks and be done. Yet the more he gets to know Lizzy-really know her-the harder it is for him to keep his hands off of her in private. Soon this rough-and-ready cowboy is hoping to heal Lizzy's bruised heart and turn their fake affair into a true romance…
 


Hot Cowboy Nights – RWB Excerpt

 


Lizzy let herself into the house quietly and went straight to her room. She heard the rattle of glass as her mother unloaded the dishwasher, but Lizzy didnt want to talk to or see anyone that night. Especially her mother. Mama wouldve immediately sniffed out the lie, and the house would have exploded if Lizzy had admitted that shed been screwing around with Toby Dawson almost every day for three weeks.

It was nothing short of a miracle that they hadnt gotten caught.

Already the rumors were hovering like buzzards waiting for roadkill. From day one the Lucky Penny couldnt buy an ounce of good luck, and everything that happened on the ranch was fodder for the gossip mill. Half the folks in Dry Creek, Texas, were hoping that Blake and his family joined the long list of owners who failed at trying to make the Lucky Penny a profitable ranch. The other half was rooting for the three Dawsons—Blake, Toby, and their cousin, Jud, who would be joining them in the fall.

Lizzy pulled off her boots, kicked them somewhere close to the closet door, and changed into a faded nightshirt that she pulled from last weeks laundry still tossed in the rocking chair in the corner. Cleanliness was a virtue, according to the Good Book, but neatness was not mentioned. Unlike her sisters, Allie and Fiona, Lizzy must have been out chasing butterflies or playing with baby lambs when they passed out neatness be- cause she didnt get a bit of it.

She fell back on the bed, legs dangling off the side and her head nowhere near a pillow. Staring at the ceiling with nothing but the small bedside lamp to light the room, she let the past run through her mind again for the hundredth time since Mitch had called to tell her he loved another woman. He and the preachers daughter had decided to become missionaries, and he would preach at the little church theyd gone to Mexico to build.

Her world had shattered. And then Toby had taken her in his arms at Blake and Allies wedding and she realized maybe all wasnt over for her after all. Hed charmed her and made her feel alive again—like a woman to be desired. It hadnt ended with the dance but theyd talked on the phone, exchanged text messages, and when he moved to town they were both primed and ready for a hot little affair. But that night when Allie told them she was having a girl, Lizzy knew it was time to end the secretive, wild nights.

 

Lizzy crawled under the covers and turned out the light.

So which was she? A sweet little preachers-wife type who would let her husband lead her around by his every whim, like shed been with Mitch? Or a brazen hussy, like the loose women whod founded Audreys Place, who took what she wanted from life and didnt have any regrets?

Shed far rather be the latter if she had to choose. Shed come out of the Mitch experience a stronger woman than ever, and shed been honest when she told Toby that it hadnt made her shy away from guys in general. And it damn sure hadnt made her feel sorry for herself. It had taught her to be brutally honest and not let anyone try to change her into something she wasnt.

She picked up her phone to check for a sexy text message from Toby, but there was nothing. Nada. Nil. Zilch. Not a single missed message. Finally she wrote one to him: Changed my mind. See you tomorrow at six at Mamas store.

                With one thumb on the delete button and the other on the send button, she sat there in the darkness, her body telling her to send the message and her heart telling her that she was in for misery if she didnt press delete.

 
My Review

I am a sucker for cowboys. I am familiar with this author's books. While I thought that Toby and Lizzy were both great, I felt that their chemistry was more friendship than dating. For example, half way through the book and there was barely any kissing or touching except for the brief mention in the beginning of the story about Toby and Lizzy having slept together. Yet I thought and felt that as friends they were good together. Which I am a fan of the getting to know you before jumping into bed; after a while I craved a kiss or some sparks way sooner then it actually happened in the story.

Having not read the first book I do not know anything about Lizzy's former boyfriend but the way that her former boyfriend's mother treated Lizzy was all I needed to know about him. It seems that mother and son are alike. Thus the reason that I am glad that Lizzy found Toby. As far as sweet cowboy reads go this is a charming read. 




 
THE LUCKY PENNY RANCH SERIES
 
Wild Cowboy Ways, #1
Hot Cowboy Nights, #2
Merry Cowboy Christmas, #3 (September 2016)
Wicked Cowboy Charm, #4 (January 2017)
 
 

 
AUTHOR INFORMATION
 
New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author and RITA® Finalist, Carolyn Brown, has published more than sixty books. Brown presently writes both women's fiction and cowboy romance. She has also written historical single title, historical series, contemporary single title and contemporary series. She lives in southern Oklahoma with her husband, a former English teacher, who is not allowed to read her books until they are published. They have three children and enough grandchildren to keep them young. For a complete listing of her books (series in order) check out her website at www.carolynlbrown.com
 
 

ABOUT FOREVER
 



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Every Bride Has Her Day

Katie's determined to make it down the aisle this time--but it may be easier said than done
Katie Fisher is ecstatic. Pro basketball star Brady James has proposed, and she can't wait to start planning their life together. But it's hard to focus on her own happily ever after when her calendar is filling up with celebrations for friends and family. Beyond that, it seems everyone around her has an opinion--and a strong one at that--on what Katie's special day should look like. Will she ever manage to settle all of the details for her storybook wedding? Or will her overzealous friends and relations make a mess of everything?

Review by Blanche Mancuso

I really and truly enjoyed this book. It is a fun, charming read. Of course I should not be surprised as every book I have read by this author I have enjoyed a lot. This series is great. Each book within this series can be read as stand alone novels. However I can guarantee that once you read this book you will want to read all of the books in this series as I have.

When Katie Fisher's boyfriend, Brady proposes to her, this is when the fun begins. There is lots of laughter and joy to be found within the pages of this book. Plus a few raised eyebrows as friends attempt to get a bit too "helpful" in helping Katie to plan the big important wedding day. Overall this book has tons of humor, inspiration and funny moments.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Mockingbird, Watchman, and Harper Lee

Introduction
Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, published in 1960, became one of the most beloved novels of the twentieth century. Lee’s fellow Southerner and contemporary Flannery O’Connor was mystified by its success. “It’s interesting that all the folks that are buying it don’t know they are buying a children’s book.” O’Connor, one of the finest short-story writers in American literature, failed to appreciate Lee’s caustic sense of humor and subversive social criticism. In the same category is another classic often mistaken for a children’s book, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
There will always be a place on library shelves for good stories, and To Kill a Mockingbird certainly is one. It draws the reader into a deep fictional landscape. Readers return to To Kill a Mockingbird because they want to walk the dusty streets of 1930s Maycomb, run madly through Boo Radley’s backyard at night, or watch the trial of Tom Robinson play out to its disastrous end. Lee’s storytelling voice is strong.
 
 
My Review
 
I read both the book and watched the movie, How to Kill a Mockingbird. The book and movie are a classic and rightly so. For a child actor, Harper Lee I thought she delivered just as a powerful performance as Gregory Lee did in the movie. Although this is really about the extent of my knowledge about Harper Lee. I am familiar with hearing and seeing the release of Harper's book, Go Set a Watchman but I have not read the book. Having admiration for Harper Lee I was looking forward to reading this book and learning who Harper Lee was from Scout to Go Set a Watchman. I thought that for the task that Mr. Shields had in front of him with not being able to interview his subject matter for this book, he did a fine job of gathering as much information as he could from others close to Harper Lee. Yet as I was reading this book not a lot of the details were sticking with me. It was like just reading fact cards which are fine but not that exciting. Despite my feelings about this book, I still will be a fan of Harper Lee.

 

Operation Babylift



When Florence Kensington gives up her coveted spot at ReVisions Retirement Residence to newcomers Roy and Linh Jackson, she unknowingly awakens Kira Callaghan’s Vietnam memories—and her PTSD. However, Kira’s “inner retired journalist” has no choice but to investigate when Florence is found dead.

With help from the Flower Pots and her boyfriend Charles, Kira travels from Chit Creek to Burlington, Vermont, and exposes the secrets surrounding an Operation Bablylift plane crash from forty years ago. Discouraged by the lack of progress on the case, she returns to Triple R with her team of aging acolytes.

Little do they know that a killer has followed them home

My Review

This is the second book in this series. However this is my first time reading a book by this author. If you are like me and just trying out this author, than you don't have to worry as this book can be read as a stand alone story. The residents of ReVisions Retirement Residence are quirky but in a good way. I did not feel like any of them where there to just grow old. In fact, they kind of remind me of the characters from the board game Clue. Despite this fun fact, I was impartial to the story as a whole and how Kira solved it. It was not all bad as there were moments where I was focused on the story and liked what I read. Although I was not a fan of this book, readers who like cozy mysteries may like this book due to the characters and the fact that it does read like a cozy mystery.


About Catherine Astolfo

Catherine Astolfo retired in 2002 after a very successful 34 years in education.

Catherine is a past President of Crime Writers of Canada and a Derrick Murdoch Award winner (2012). She was a Zonta Club 2012 Nominee for Women of Achievement.

Writing is Catherine’s passion. She can recall inventing fantasy stories for her classmates in Grade Three. Her short stories and poems have been published in a number of literary Canadian presses. In 2005, she won a Brampton Arts Award. Her short stories won the Bloody Words Short Story Award (second and first) in 2009 and 2010. She won the prestigious Arthur Ellis Best Short Crime Story Award in 2012.

Catherine’s novel series, The Emily Taylor Mysteries, are published by Imajin Books. Sweet Karoline is the newest, standalone novel from Catherine and Imajin Books. All the novels are optioned for film by Sisbro & Co. Inc. Visit Catherine at www.catherineastolfo.com.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Average Girl




Olivia Fowler, helper of the star-struck, runs a successful business helping average people meet celebrities in everyday ways. Flawless at what she does, the celebrities don’t have a clue they’re part of a pre-planned meeting. Business is booming and Olivia knows everything there is to know about Hollywood’s famous and their behavior. Her clients trust her because she is just like them, not famous.

But when Olivia accidentally meets the super-famous Alexander Young at the grocery store, her world is flipped upside-down. She can’t possibly resist those charming eyes and sexy arms. As their romance blossoms, Olivia learns she may not know as much as she thought she did about celebrities and their ways.

Then Olivia’s most important and loyal client requests to meet Alexander. Suddenly, Olivia is forced to choose between her love and her business.

Will Olivia be able to keep her booming business a secret from her soon-to-be boyfriend? Will her clients still trust her if she is no longer the average girl?

My Review

What a fun, charming, witty read. I honestly had an enjoyable time reading this book. Olivia is really a professional when it comes to pairing her star struck clients with their celebrity crush for an accidental "meeting". Although I have to say that Olivia's chance meeting with Alexander Young was very funny. Talk about falling head over heels. Olivia was like Cinderella losing her shoe. Alexander is such a sweet heart and gentleman. It was easy to see why Olivia fell for him. He was so "normal" that I almost forgot that he was a celebrity. This book is a quick read that after you finish it you will be a little sad that it has ended. Which speaking of the ending was a good one. I will be keeping my eyes on this author and more books to come.

Deep Dark



The moment detective Reed Novak steps onto the crime scene, he knows the case is going to rock his world. A beautiful young woman murdered at home. No sign of forced entry. No motive. She’s obviously not the killer’s first victim, and Reed’s instincts tell him she won’t be his last. Reed’s first clue comes via a mysterious text that links to a dating profile, but even more intriguing than the clue is the person who sent it.

As a white-hat hacker in the Delphi Center’s cyber investigation unit, Laney Knox sneaks into some of the deepest, darkest corners of the Internet looking for predators. Laney would prefer to stay away from Austin PD’s most recent murder case, but she can’t ignore the chilling similarities between that crime and her own brutal attack years ago. Laney offers to help the sexy lead detective, but he wants more from her than just a promising tip—Reed wants her trust. Laney resists, but as their relationship deepens she’s tempted to reveal the closely guarded secrets that could make her a key witness…or the killer’s next victim.
  


My Review

I like this series. Every book that I have read I have enjoyed. Which this book is no exception, except, that I did feel like this book was more heavy on the romance then the crime. Yet, I was ok with this as I was feeling the romance between Reed and Laney. The way that they interacted with each other I did not notice the age difference between them. At the same time they worked well together and they were smart about the case and putting it together. Just like the other books, this one was a quick read. The pacing of the story was steady with no down time and a good ending.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Desire After Dark



Tobias “Slim” Jackson has the perfect life as a pilot on Gansett Island in the summer and in Florida in the winter. He’s happiest when he’s in the air, or at least that was the case before last summer when he met Erin Barton, Gansett Island’s newest lighthouse keeper. Now he can’t seem to find his usual enthusiasm for flying, winter in the sunny South or anything that doesn’t include her.

Erin has been stuck on pause since she lost her twin brother. She’ll tell you herself that her life has been a hot mess since Toby died. After dropping out of law school, she’s flitted from one pointless job to another, existing rather than truly living. Then she comes to Gansett Island to take over as the new lighthouse keeper and meets Slim, who happens to share her beloved brother’s first name. That small coincidence is enough to convince Erin that she needs to spend more time with the dashing pilot—except for the fact that he’s spending the winter more than a thousand miles from her.

Now Slim’s come home to Gansett for the holidays and to hopefully pick up where he left off with Erin. He’s got twelve days before he’s due back in Florida to finish out the remainder of his winter obligations. A lot can happen in twelve days, but will it be enough to convince Erin that it’s time to start truly living again? Read Slim and Erin’s story and catch up with the rest of the Gansett Island cast in Desire After Dark!


My Review

I have read a few books by this author but this is the first one I have read in this series. I was not quite sure if I would be able to jump right into this book due to the beginning introduction by the author mentioning that "sometimes we have to go back to go forward". So seeing as to the fact that this is book fifteen in this series, I did not have a lot of hopes that I would be able to fully enjoy this book. Plus, the fact that the other books I have read by this author were more romantic suspense novels.

At first it did take me about four chapters into the story to actually warm up to not just Slim and Erin but the rest of the Gansett Island cast. Everyone I was introduced to I liked. They are a fun crowd to hang out with and very inviting. I shared laughs with everyone. No one played second string in this book. I am going to go back and start at the beginning of this series as I had an enjoyable time reading this book. I can't wait to read Mallory story.

Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance, including the Gansett Island Series, which has sold more than 2.2 million books, and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books, which has sold more than 1 million books. In addition, she is the author of the Green Mountain Series from Berkley Publishing as well as the new erotic romance Quantum Series, written under the slightly modified name of M.S. Force.
Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news.
Join Marie’s mailing list for news about new books and upcoming appearances in your area. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter @marieforce and on Instagram. Join one of Marie’s many reader groups.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Quieting



It was a well-laid plan--but it wasn't her plan . . . It's all her grandmother's fault. For the last few months, Abigail Stoltzfus has helped her father with his genealogical research, hoping that breaking through a client's brick wall would also break his melancholy. But now her intrusive grandmother has set her sights on marrying off Abigail and insists she come to Stoney Ridge, where there is a plethora of eligible bachelors.

Except that Mammi is mistaken. There are no eligible bachelors in Stoney Ridge, barring one, and he's all wrong. Dane Glick has the wrong last name and the wrong relatives--including the bishop who is at odds over a church matter with Abigail's uncle, minister David Stoltzfus.

As the conflict grows, setting family against family, it's becoming clear that the path to a solution may lead to a Quieting--a removal of a church leader. But for which one? And when Abigail stumbles onto a curious connection during her genealogical research, it could help David solve one problem--but will it create another?

Review by Blanche Mancuso

I have read several of these books by author, Suzanne Woods Fisher and absolutely love this author's books. The author keeps you turning the pages while she unfolds a story unlike any other Amish novel.

This is the second book in this series and once again David Stoltzfus and Brother Glick are at odds due to some information David has found in old Bibles and books. In the Amish community the Bishop is to be obeyed. Abigail Stoltzfus is sent to help sort things out but will she become involved with the "wrong" side?

You need to read this fascinating story of David Stoltzfus and Brother Glick to discover if the problems they are faced with will be solved or if it will create more problems. Since I have read several books by this author I can officially state that I am a huge fan of Amish stories. As well as the people of Stoney Ridge. You need to check this author's books out as you will not regret it.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Assistants




A wry and astute debut about a young Manhattanite whose embezzlement scam turns her into an unlikely advocate for the leagues of overeducated and underpaid assistants across the city.

Tina Fontana is the hapless but brazen thirty-year-old executive assistant to Robert Barlow, the all-powerful and commanding CEO of Titan Corp., a multinational media conglomerate. She’s excellent at her job and beloved by her famous boss—but after six years of making his reservations for restaurants she’d never get into on her own and pouring his drinks from bottles that cost more than her rent, she’s bored, broke, and just a bit over it all.

When a technical error with Robert’s travel-and-expenses report presents Tina with the opportunity to pay off the entire balance of her student loan debt with what would essentially be pocket change for her boss, she struggles with the decision: She’s always played by the rules. But it’s such a relatively small amount of money for the Titan Corporation—and for her it would be a life-changer . . .

The Assistants speaks directly to a new generation of women who feel stuck and unable to get ahead playing by the rules. It will appeal to all of those who have ever asked themselves, “How is it that after all these years, we are still assistants?”


My Review

The Assistants is a quick, light-hearted read. Having said this I liked the story but the characters themselves were just alright. Because I thought that Tina's boss, Robert deserved everything that he had happen to him, I was not sorry how the story ended. Yet, my biggest issue was not Robert but actually Tina and her merry band of assistants. They were catty and came off like marshmallow fluff. I wanted more substance from the women. However I instantly pictured Tina and the women like Kirsten Durst's character, Betsy Jobs and her friends from the 2001 movie, Sugar and Spice. So luckily for this factor and that I was able to just read this book as a light-hearted read I kept reading until the end.

Summer Reading Challenge

Friday, May 20, 2016

Appetite



When Jenn Adler returns from a year in India, she has a surprise for her parents: a young guru from Bangalore whom she intends to marry. Her father, Paul, is wary of this beggar Jenn has brought home who, he suspects, is conning his much-loved daughter while her mother, Maggie, is frightened that this alien stranger will steal away her only child, her focus in life. In the months leading up to the backyard wedding, Maggie is forced to reevaluate her virtues as she casts about for support, and Paul faces an unexpected threat at work one that Maggie could help him meet, if he would only ask. But even with these distractions, the two parents are focused on one primary question: Can they convince their daughter she is making a terrible mistake before the wedding takes place?"

My Review

I was not too sure about this book when I read the premise. However this actually turned out to be a pretty good book. My only issues were that I could not find a strong emotional connection to the Adler family. In fact, I thought the one that was going to be way out there and would be a turn off would be Jenn's fiancé, Arun. It turns out that he was the nice one. He was very practical and I felt horrible for him that Jenn's parents treated him so badly.

I could never like Paul. For the things he did and the clinical and mean ways he came off towards people, there was not a moment where he was likable. Maggie was a different story. She give in too much and her voice was small and sometimes a whisper in the story. Jenn was fine but nothing too exciting about her. My favorite was Arun. From the first moment that I met him I felt a warmth about him that made him a people person. This book was an alright read.

Summer Reading Challenge

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Secrets of Flight




This captivating, breakout novel—told in alternating viewpoints—brings readers from the skies of World War II to the present day, where a woman is prepared to tell her secrets at last.

Estranged from her family since just after World War II, Mary Browning has spent her entire adult life hiding from her past. Now eighty-seven years old and a widow, she is still haunted by secrets and fading memories of the family she left behind. Her one outlet is the writing group she’s presided over for a decade, though she’s never written a word herself. When a new member walks in—a fifteen-year-old girl who reminds her so much of her beloved sister Sarah—Mary is certain fate delivered Elyse Strickler to her for a reason.

Mary hires the serious-eyed teenager to type her story about a daring female pilot who, during World War II, left home for the sky and gambled everything for her dreams—including her own identity. 

As they begin to unravel the web of Mary’s past, Mary and Elyse form an unlikely friendship. Together they discover it’s never too late for second chances and that sometimes forgiveness is all it takes for life to take flight in the most unexpected ways.


My Review

Another wonderful read about the WWII era. What I really thoroughly enjoyed about this book is that the strong will and character of Mary. I instantly fell in love with her. I am an avid fan of aviation and so as I was reading this book I could easily put myself in her shoes for her love of flying as well. The switch back and forth from past to present was so smooth that I never missed a beat. Although, the past was my favorite part of this story. The vivid descriptions of the wide open sky, the planes, and the friendship Mary made were lovely. I was so lost in this book that the pages just flew by. A quick read. I look forward to reading more books by this author.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Reverse of Perfection




Dylan Royce, ex-child pop star, needs a sexy image makeover. His first adult solo album came out under his perfect, white-washed persona and tanked. Joining a band equally famous for their music and their between-the-sheets escapades is only the start. He needs to get raunchy. Sleep with a different girl every night. But there’s only one woman he wants, and she still sees him as a goody two-shoes boy-bander.

Ariel Watson is the publicist in charge of turning Dylan into the sex-god every woman dreams of doing. Frankly, she doesn’t see the appeal. Until one hot kiss changes her mind. Now she wants to keep him for herself–without losing her job. Or losing Dylan the legions of drooling fans she’s supposed to be building for him.

Turning bad got Dylan the woman of his dreams. But how will he choose between her…and his career catapulting him back to superstar status?

Bad Decisions Trilogy

My Review

I have read several books by this author now. All of them good. Although this book is the second one in this series, it can be read as a stand alone novel. There is all kinds of goodness about Dylan. He is the type of "bad" boy that women desire. Bad when it comes to the bedroom but with a good guy persona and heart of gold. The chemistry between Dylan and Ariel was sexy. It was no school girl crush. Another thing I liked about this book is that it was not all about the sex but this story also showcased Dylan's talent as an artist and singer. I was memorized by his song "Naked" as well. You have to pick up a copy of this book as it is a perfect weekend read.

Check out author Christi Barth

Don't You Cry



In downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate Quinn Collins to wonder where Esther is and whether or not she's the person Quinn thought she knew.

Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where eighteen-year-old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her charm and beauty, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more dark and sinister than he ever expected.

As Quinn searches for answers about Esther, and Alex is drawn further under Pearl's spell, master of suspense Mary Kubica takes readers on a taut and twisted thrill ride that builds to a stunning conclusion and shows that no matter how fast and far we run, the past always catches up with us in the end.  


My Review

I liked this book. I did finish it in one afternoon. Although, I must admit that I found Quinn's side of the story much more interesting than Alex. It seemed that what Quinn was finding out about just what happened to Esther was happening much more quickly on Quinn's side. Yet it all came together in the end on both sides. However I can't say that I am fully surprised by the events that lead up to the conclusion as there were some clues that long time readers of these types of books would be able to pick up on. This does not matter as it is all in the execution of the story. Which I felt that the author did a good job of executing. My only real complaint is that I wished that everyone would have had a louder voice in the story. They were almost too nice like Esther. Another good read by Mary Kubica.

Summer Reading Challenge

Give me Mercy




After a terrible accident lands Dr. Julie Devereux’s fiancé paralyzed and in the hospital, he begs his wife for relief.  An outspoken advocate for the right to die, Dr. Devereux has a change of heart when the patient in question hits so close to home.  But after Sam dies under suspicious circumstances, Dr. Devereux becomes the key suspect, in the latest thriller by bestselling author Michael Palmer, co-authored with his son Daniel Palmer.
 
After a motorcycle accident leaves Dr. Devereux’s fiancé, Sam Talbot, a quadriplegic, he begs to die.  But Julie, otherwise an advocate for the right to die, sees hope in a life together. With the help of an organization that opposes physician-assisted suicide, Julie has Sam coming around to her point of view when he suddenly dies from an unexpected heart attack. An autopsy reveals that Sam died of an unusual heart defect, one seen only in those under extreme stress - in fact, it appears that Sam had been literally scared to death. As Julie investigates similar cases, threats begin to confront her. The more cases Julie discovers, the more the threats escalate until she finds herself accused of a mercy killing of her own. To clear her name and save her career, she must track down who is behind these mysterious deaths... but someone has decided that killing Julie is the only way to stop her.

My Review

This is bittersweet to write this review. While the last book I was not so much a fan of, this time around I could not read this book fast enough. Which I have been a fan of Mr. Palmer's since his first book. It is sad that I won't get to read another book by Mr. Palmer since it seems that he had found his stride again when it came to me and his books. Yet, I am glad that his son helped finish this book for him. At the same time I was introduced to a new author in Mr. Daniel Palmer.

Everything from the setting to the characters, pacing of the story, the plot, and the ending was on point. Dr. Julie was a great, strong female lead. Also very smart and determined. Even when confronted by danger, she for the most part stayed calm under pressure. The only "Mercy" I had with this book was when I finished it. Again, however I am sad that I am done reading it.

Just call him the Fireman


No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.

Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she’s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: they would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakob’s dismay, Harper wants to live—at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine too. . . if she can live long enough to deliver the child.

Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged, and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads—armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isn’t as alone as she fears: a mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter’s jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted . . . and as a weapon to avenge the wronged.

In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman's secrets before her life—and that of her unborn child—goes up in smoke.
  




My Review

I was able to snag an early copy of this book for which I was very excited to pick up and read. Sitting at an impressive 768 pages this is not a book but a tome. While I own several of Mr. Hill's books, I have only read the Heart Shaped Box. It was this book that hooked me and left me wanting to read more but Mr. Hill. He is making his own path in the writing world without the name of his father, which I applaud.

The beginning of this book started out great. I was memorized by the Dragonscale and its effect on people. I could just picture the image that Harper saw from her school window as she watched the man ignite and burn up into a pile of ash. Then there is the "Fireman". He brings an intriguing element to the story. I would call him a wild card. Although I liked this tome and the concept, I found that the beginning was great and the ending but the middle was just a lot of talking and not as much action. So at times reading this tome you experience the long length of the 768 pages. Yet, I am inspired to go back and read the other books I own by Mr. Hill.

Orchard




This much is true. It's 1899. Harry Orchard is a member of the fire-breathing Western Federation of Miners. While other members labor underground to harvest the riches of the earth, Orchard is paid to kill men who are a problem for the union. He's an interesting killer, well-liked by his peers and by the ladies.

After years of cat-and-mouse pursuit by legendary Pinkerton, Charles Siringo, when he's arrested in 1906 for the murder of Idaho's former Governor, Frank Steunenberg, he's killed nineteen men in Idaho and Colorado. Even today, in the silver mining towns of northern Idaho, his name is spoken in whispers by those familiar with his deeds.


My Review

After reading this book I am saddened to learn of this author's death. I had never heard of this author prior. I am sad because this was a wonderful, well written novel. I am calling this a novel because that is what it deserves to be called and not a book.

Harry is one of those characters that at times you love to hate. He is not much of a people person. In fact you could say he is rough around the edges. Yet I found him likable at the same time. This novel had the markings of a good western. Mr. Bailey knew how to bring life to the characters and the locations. To be honest, I liked the Colorado setting the best as I live in Colorado myself. After finishing this book I will have to check out Mr. Bailey's prior novels.


Jack H. Bailey, author of Orchard, descended from gold miners and grew up in and around the locales frequented by Harry Orchard. It was while living in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho that his fascination with Orchard began. Jack joined the navy at seventeen and served in WWII aboard the aircraft carrier USS Lexington until she was sunk in the Battle of the Coral Sea. He graduated from USC with a BA in English and spent sixteen years in aerospace during which time he wrote two critically praised novels, The Number Two Man and The Icarus Complex. Jack wrote prolifically until his death in 2010. Most notably, Jack was an annual participant in the prestigious Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and was one of only a handful of writers to have advanced in the competition seven times.

For more information, view Jack H. Bailey's Facebook page.