Posts Tagged ‘review’

Two Heads Are Deader Than One
by Elena Hartwell

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…the author does a great job of weaving details and people together making a ‘Who Dun It’ that mystery lovers will want to read!
~The Journey Back

Eddie’s witty no-nonsense personality and Hartwell’s well-paced writing style make the chapters fly by. This book is a buy.
~Readeropolis

Don’t miss this intense story that grabs your attention from the very beginning .
~Texas Book-aholic


Two Heads are Deader Than One (Eddie Shoes Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Camel Press (April 15, 2017)
Paperback: 286 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1603813136

My Review

This is the second book in the series. It’s easy to jump in here if you haven’t read the first book. The author fills in the important details easily and in the right places so as not to slow down the story.

Things have been good for Eddie Shoes. While her P.I. business isn’t booming, it’s keeping a roof over her head. And she’s now got two roommates. Her mother, Chava, and Franklin, the Irish Wolfhound/Tibetan Mastiff dog that had adopted Eddie after saving her from drowning. Keeps things interesting.

Eddie’s past comes back to haunt her when her best friend from highschool, Dakota Fontaine, enters her life once again, needing to be bailed out of jail. Why she’s calling Eddie and what shes’ doing in Bellingham is a mystery soon to be revealed. As bodies start popping up and someone is pointing the finger at Eddie, she scrambles to clear her name and get to the truth. The thing is, when Dakota’s lips are moving, she’s usually lying or trying to make herself look better, so Eddie will have to do some serious sleuthing.

The more I read about Eddie, the more I like her. She’s strong willed and confident in most things, but she has a soft spot for those she’s loyal to and that makes her vulnerable. She also seems to always find trouble, which makes her stories funny and exciting.

Her old flame , Detective Chance Parker is still around, stirring up those butterflies in Eddie’s stomach. I keep hoping one of them will get brave enough to show their feelings and make a move to mend fences. I feel they are a good fit.

Chava is a force unto herself. A little bitty thing but packing tons of energy, Eddie’s mother lends humor to this series. They are something to experience, whether just getting through the day or working on a new case.

Snappy dialogue, plenty of mayhem, and genuine character’s with all of their flaws, makes Elena’s detective series a must read.

5 Stars

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Synopsis

Private Investigator Eddie Shoes is enjoying a rare period of calm. She’s less lonely now that Chava, her card-counting mom from Vegas, is sharing her home. She also has a new companion, Franklin, a giant dog of curious ancestry.

Hoping for a lucrative new case, Eddie instead finds herself taking on a less promising client: her best friend from her childhood in Spokane. Dakota has turned up in Bellingham in jail, where she is being held on a weapons charge. Eddie reluctantly agrees not only to lend her friend money for bail but to also investigate who is stalking her. Soon after Dakota is freed, she disappears again, leaving Eddie to answer to the local cops, including her ex-boyfriend Chance Parker. Has Dakota been kidnapped? If not, why did she jump bail? What are Eddie’s business cards doing on the bodies of two murder victims?

Author Elena Hartwell

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After twenty years in the theater, Elena Hartwell turned her dramatic skills to fiction. Her first novel, One Dead, Two to Go introduces Eddie Shoes, private eye. Called “the most fun detective since Richard Castle stumbled into the 12th precinct,” by author Peter Clines, I’DTale Magazine stated, “this quirky combination of a mother-daughter reunion turned crime-fighting duo will captivate readers.”

In addition to her work as a novelist, Elena teaches playwriting at Bellevue College and tours the country to lead writing workshops.

When she’s not writing or teaching, her favorite place to be is at the farm with her horses, Jasper and Radar, or at her home, on the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River in North Bend, Washington, with her husband, their dog, Polar, and their trio of cats, Jackson, Coal Train, and Luna, aka, “the other cat upstairs.” Elena holds a B.A. from the University of San Diego, a M.Ed. from the University of Washington, Tacoma, and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.

Webpage / Facebook / Twitter / Blog / Goodreads / Pinterest

Purchase Links:

Amazon   B&N 

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I have one Print Copy (US Only) to give away.

To enter, please leave an email address so I can contact you if you win and answer this question:

Many books have four-legged characters in them. Which is your favorite, a cat or a dog or something else?

Giveaway ends April 29th.

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Tour Participants

April 14 – My Journey Back and My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

April 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY

April 16 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

April 17 – Readeropolis – REVIEW

April 18 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

April 19 – Books Direct – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

April 20 – Omnimystery News – INTERVIEW  

April 21- Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

April 22 – Lori’s Reading Corner – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

April 23 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW

April 24 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

April 25 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

April 26 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

April 27 – Community Bookstop –  REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

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I’m so excited to share this book with you.  Check out my 5 Star review of Mama’s Knight. And enjoy the interview with Author Aurora Whittet.

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

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Interview with Aurora Whittet, author of

Mama’s Knight: A Cancer Story of Love

 

There are many books out there about cancer. What makes yours different?

The big difference with Mama’s Knight, is that it is personalizable. No matter what type of cancer you have, breast, brain, thyroid, this book can help your children understand what is happening. Mom can write in her diagnosis and symptoms. Put in photos of her child and find activities based on mom’s energy level. Most books are concentrated on one type of cancer, but I wanted to create something that any mom with any cancer could find hope and help.

 

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing stories since I was about eleven or twelve years old. Naturally those ones were terrible, but my friends enjoyed them at the time. I continued writing, and one day when my mom was diagnosed with cancer, I realized I needed to start pursuing publishing now, because tomorrow wasn’t a guarantee. I published my first novel in 2013, and have since finished the entire Bloodmark Saga series, followed by Mama’s Knight: A Cancer Story of Love. It has been an amazing and creative journey. I’m currently in edit for a new novel, illustrating the daddy version of the cancer book, and writing and illustrating a children’s picture book about monsters. I am endlessly creating something. Keep an eye on my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for updates and Cover Reveals.

 

Is there a specific ritualistic thing you do during your writing time?

I like to listen to the same song on repeat every time I write on a book. Sometimes with longer novels, that can be three or four different songs based on the mood of that section of the book, but whichever song it is, that one is on repeat. It helps me set the tone, return me to where I was the day before, and drown out any distractions, while not becoming a distraction itself.

 

If you could go back in time, where would you go?

I would go back to the moment that the doctors told my mom she had cancer again and I would buy us tickets for a week in somewhere amazing and take that moment. I would take her on a trip. I would help her see all the things she dreamed. I kept saying when she’s healthier we’ll go, but she never got better. Sometimes you truly must live in the moment, because tomorrow is never a promise. I would go back to that moment and I would help hug her. What I wouldn’t give for one more hug from my mom.

 

If there is one thing you want readers to remember about you, what would it be?

You know I don’t think it’s about me. I’m just a mom who writes books. What I want readers to remember is to always love, forgive, find grace, make time, be kind. Be there. Be present. Take the photo of your kids, but also put the phone down and just play. Make the wonderful homemade meal, and make the dinner from a bag. Don’t live by someone else’s standards, make your own rules and find happiness. Life is unexpected and chaotic and there is an ever-present unknown expiration date, so don’t put off the fun and hugs and life for tomorrow, because tomorrow may never come, so love hard every day. And one must always hold the door for the next guy.

Mama's Knight

Genre: Children’s Book / Interactive / Non Fiction

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My Review

Families coping with cancer will find this book invaluable. It’s an interactive book designed to be personalized with children’s names and family pictures, and includes activity plans, and cute, colorful pictures to help a mother with cancer explain treatments and symptoms with their young ones.

I especially liked the idea of coupons the kids can fill out choosing who will help them with an activity when mother is too tired or ill to participate. This is just one of many helpful ideas.

I can honestly say I’ve never come across a book like this before. Very helpful and one of a kind.

5 Stars

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Synopsis

Once upon a time . . . It’s how all heroes begin their story, and you’re a hero, too! Your mama has cancer, and it’s a scary journey, but you can help your mama just by being you—special, wonderful, YOU. Your mama loves you just the way you are. You are your mama’s knight.

Mama’s Knight: A Cancer Story of Love is an emotional toolbox that can help kids and parents communicate about what it means for Mama to have cancer. The book is filled with tools and activities designed to make coping with illness easier on both parent and child, and can be personalized for each child.

Buy the Book:  Author’s Website

Author Aurora Whittet

Aurora Whittet

Aurora Whittet started out as a wild red-haired girl in Minnesota dreaming up stories for her friends to read. Today, she has completed Bloodmark, Bloodrealms, and Bloodmoon of the Bloodmark Saga trilogy and started her journey into children’s books with Mama’s Knight in honor of her own mother who lost her battle with cancer. She’s a national award-winning graphic designer and birth doula in her day jobs. Aurora lives with her family in Minnesota.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Follow The Tour

April 3 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway

April 4 – Working Mommy Journal – review / giveaway

April 5 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – review / author interview / giveaway

April 6 – Books, Dreams, Life – review / author interview / giveaway

April 7 – 100 pages a day – review / guest post / giveaway

April 10 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – review / giveaway

April 11 – Heidi’s Wanderings – review / giveaway

April 12 – Fantastic Feathers – review

April 13 – ReadingBifrost – review / giveaway

April 14 – T’s Stuff – review / guest post / giveaway

April 17 – Svetlana’s Reads and Views – review

April 18 – Deal Sharing Aunt – review / giveaway

April 19 – FUONLYKNEW – review / author interview / giveaway

April 20 – Book Room Reviews – review / guest post

April 21 – Kristin’s Novel Cafe – review

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

Welcome to The Kid’s Korner.

I decided to do this feature as I have so many great children’s books to share. From picture books, to books for beginning readers, to middle graders, I have plenty of fun ones.

Today’s I have some very different books to share with you.

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Breakfast Doodles #1

Written & Illustrated by Donovan Scherer

27726561

Age Range: 9 – 12  years / Grades: 4 – 8

Genre: Children’s Picture Book / Art

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My Review

I couldn’t resist when I read the blurb for this book. I wish there had been ones like this when I was a youngster. Being a kid at heart, I had a crackin good time.

Lots of fun ghoulish illustrations are followed by short captions, kind of one or two sentence stories to go along with the pictures.

Some of my favorites are Workin’ Cats about Area 51 and Monster Monday and the Black Lagoon.

It’s all in fun and this ghoul wanted to grab a sketch pad and pencil and try some of my own. The author should make this a coloring book. Now, that would be even more fun.

3 Stars

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Synopsis

Breakfast Doodles are the daily drawings of Donovan Scherer, author and illustrator of the Fear & Sunshine series and more. Created as a reason to get out of bed and make some art before heading off to the day job, this morning routine has quickly become a horrible addiction of our dear artist, leading to strange creatures and cats with workplace depression. Join him as reality spirals out of control in this first collection of artwork and stories.

This work is originally published daily online but collected here for convenience and because he thinks it would be cool to say he publishes a book every month. And since you ought to know just what you’re getting into, here’s your Breakfast Doodle Menu:
Monday – Monsters
Tuesday – The Art of Fear & Sunshine
Wednesday – Childhood Adventures
Thursday – The Rise of the Deadish
Friday – Free for All
Saturday – Workin’ Cats
Sunday – Adventure Quest Land

As an added bonus, Volume 1 was created during October 2015 while Inktober and Drawlloween were happening. Inktober is an annual event where artists around the world work to create a new inked illustration each day of October. Drawlloween offers Halloween-themed suggestions for artists to choose from. This month’s Breakfast Doodles combines them both (along with the regular menu).

Hope you like it!

Amazon

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Be sure to hop over and check out my review of Mama’s Knight, A Cancer Story Of Love. It’s such a unique book and there’s also a giveaway for a chance to win a signed copy! Click on the cover below to read my review and enter.

Mama's Knight

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

Partners In Crime Tours

Bone White

Genre: Thriller/Suspense
Published by: William Morrow Mass Market
Publication Date: March 28, 2017
Number of Pages: 384
ISBN: 0062349775 (ISBN13: 9780062349774)
Series: Mundy’s Landing #3 (Stand Alone)

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My Review

It starts with a note, “We Shall Never Tell.” Emerson, a Mundy family descendant, travels to Mundy’s Landing to discover what terrible secret from the families past has come back to haunt her and her relatives.

It’s been a year since the Sleeping Beauty murders were solved and Sully has changed places, now working as a detective on Mundy’s Landing’s police force. She’s looking forward to quieter times, but it isn’t long before she’s smack dab in the middle of another murder investigation. Someone’s determined to killed the Mundy family, one by one.

On top of that, Sully’s old partner, Stockton Barnes, shows up on her doorstep looking for a place to crash. He’s evasive about why he’s there and Sully can tell he’s in trouble.

And something weird is happening with Ora Abrams, curator of the Mundy’s Landing Historical Society. It gave me some eerie vibes.

As much as I enjoyed the other books in the series, this one is my favorite. From the 1600’s to the present, and from the West coast to the East, it’s a convoluted series of events and crimes. There are some new characters to contend with along with some favorites. The author fleshes them out and tangles their lives together. It’s up to you to sort out who did what, and she doesn’t make it easy.

Numerous plots abound in this mystery and it’s a race to the finish line, with no easy answers and plenty of intrigue. And you won’t see the end coming. I couldn’t read this fast enough and wished it were longer.

5 Stars

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Synopsis

In Mundy’s Landing, bygone bloodshed has become a big business. During the rigorous winter of 1666, all but five colonists in the small Hudson Valley settlement died of starvation. Accused of unimaginable crimes, James and Elizabeth Mundy and their three children survived, but the couple were later accused of murder and executed. Left to fend for themselves in a hostile community, their offspring lived out exemplary lives in a town that would bear the family name. They never reveal the secret that died with their parents on the gallows… or did they?

“We Shall Never Tell.” Spurred by the cryptic phrase in a centuries-old letter, Emerson Mundy has flown cross-country to her ancestral hometown in hopes of tracing her ancestral past—and perhaps building a future. In Mundy’s Landing, she discovers long lost relatives, a welcoming ancestral home… and a closet full of skeletons.

A year has passed since former NYPD Detective Sullivan Leary solved the historic Sleeping Beauty Murders, apprehended a copycat killer, and made a fresh start in the Hudson Valley. Banking on an uneventful future in a village that’s seen more than its share of bloodshed, Sully is in for an unpleasant surprise when a historic skull reveals a notorious truth. Now she’s on the trail of a murky predator determined to destroy the Mundy family tree, branch by branch.

Amazon / B&N / Goodreads

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Enjoy this glimpse inside

Chapter 1

 

July 20, 2016

Los Angeles, CA

 

We shall never tell.

Strange, the thoughts that go through your head when you’re standing at an open grave.

Not that Emerson Mundy knew anything about open graves before today. Her father’s funeral is the first she’s ever attended, and she’s the sole mourner.

Ah, at last, a perk to living a life without many—any—loved ones; you don’t spend much time grieving, unless you count the pervasive ache for the things you never had.

The minister, who came with the cemetery package and never even met Jerry Mundy, is rambling on about souls and salvation. Emerson hears only We shall never tell—the closing line in an old letter she found yesterday in the crawl space of her childhood home. It had been written in 1676 by a young woman named Priscilla Mundy, addressed to her brother, Jeremiah.

The Mundys were among the seventeenth-century English colonists who settled on the eastern bank of the Hudson River, about a hundred miles north of New York City. Their first winter was so harsh the river froze, stranding their supply ship and additional colonists in the New York harbor. When the ship arrived after the thaw, all but five settlers had starved to death.

Jeremiah; Priscilla; their sister, Charity; and their parents had eaten human flesh to stay alive. James and Elizabeth Mundy swore they’d only cannibalized those who’d already died, but the God-fearing, well-fed newcomers couldn’t fathom such wretched butchery. A Puritan justice committee tortured the couple until they confessed to murder, then swiftly tried, convicted, and hanged them.

“Do you think we’re related?” Emerson asked her father after learning about the Mundys back in elementary school.

“Nope.” Curt answers were typical when she brought up anything Jerry Mundy didn’t want to discuss. The past was high on the list.

“That’s it? Just nope?”

“What else do you want me to say?”

“How about yes?”

“That wouldn’t be the truth,” he said with a shrug.

“Sometimes the truth isn’t very interesting.”

She had no one else to ask about her family history. Dad was an only child, and his parents, Donald and Inez Mundy, had passed away before she was born. Their headstone is adjacent to the gaping rectangle about to swallow her father’s casket. Staring that the inscription, she notices her grandfather’s unusual middle initial.

 

Donald X. Mundy, Born 1900, Died 1972.

X marks the spot.

 

Thanks to her passion for history and Robert Louis Stevenson, Emerson’s bookworm childhood included a phase when she searched obsessively for buried treasure. Money was short in their household after two heart attacks left Jerry Mundy on permanent disability.

X marks the spot…

    No gold doubloon treasure chest buried here. Just dusty old bones of people she never knew.

And now, her father.

The service concludes with a prayer as the coffin is lowered into the ground. The minister clasps her hand and tells her how sorry he is for her loss, then leaves her to sit on a bench and stare at the hillside as the undertakers finish the job.

The sun is beginning to burn through the thick marine layer that swaddles most June and July mornings. Having grown up in Southern California, she knows the sky will be bright blue by mid-afternoon. Tomorrow will be more of the same. By then, she’ll be on her way back up the coast, back to her life in Oakland, where the fog rolls in and stays for days, weeks at a time. Funny, but there she welcomes the gray, a soothing shield from real world glare and sharp edges.

Here the seasonal gloom has felt oppressive and depressing.

Emerson watches the undertakers finish the job and load their equipment into a van. After they drive off, she makes her way between neat rows of tombstones to inspect the raked dirt rectangle.

When something is over, you move on, her father told her when she left home nearly two decades ago. She attended Cal State Fullerton with scholarships and maximum financial aid, got her master’s at Berkeley, and landed a teaching job in the Bay Area.

But she didn’t necessarily move on.

Every holiday, many weekends, and for two whole months every summer, she makes the six-hour drive down to stay with her father. She cooks and cleans for him, and at night they sit together and watch Wheel of Fortune reruns.

It used to be because she craved a connection to the only family she had in the world. Lately, though, it was as much because Jerry Mundy needed her.

He pretended that he didn’t, that he was taking care of himself and the house, too proud to admit he was failing. He was a shadow of his former self when he died at seventy-six, leaving Emerson alone in the world.

Throughout her motherless childhood, Emerson was obsessed with novels about orphans. Treasure Island shared coveted space on her bookshelf with Anne of Green Gables, The Secret Garden, The Witch of Blackbird Pond

She always wondered what would happen to her if her father died. Would she wind up in an orphanage? Would a kindly stranger take her in? Would she live on the streets?

Now that it’s happened he’s down there, in the dirt … moving on?

She’ll never again hear his voice. She’ll never see the face so like her own that she can’t imagine she inherited any physical characteristics from her mother, Didi—though she can’t be certain.

Years ago, she asked her father for a picture—preferably one that showed her mother holding her as a baby, or of her parents together. Maybe she wanted evidence that she and her father had been loved; that the woman who’d abandoned them had once been normal—a proud new mother, a happy bride.

Or was it the opposite? Was she hoping to glimpse a hint that Didi Mundy was never normal? Did she expect to confirm that people—normal people—don’t just wake up one morning and choose to walk out on a husband and child? That there was always something off about her mother: a telltale gleam in the eye, or a faraway expression—some warning sign her father had overlooked. A sign Emerson herself would be able to recognize, should she ever be tempted to marry.

But there were no images of Didi that she could slip into a frame, or deface with angry black ink, or simply commit to memory.

Exhibit A: Untrustworthy.

Sure, there had been plenty of photos, her father admitted unapologetically. He’d gotten rid of everything.

There were plenty of pictures of her and Dad, though.

Exhibit B: Trustworthy.

Dad holding her hand on her first day of kindergarten, Dad leading her in an awkward waltz at a father-daughter middle school dance, Dad posing with her at high school graduation.

“Two peas in a pod,” he liked to say. “If I weren’t me, I’d think you were.”

She has his thick, wavy hair, the same dimple on her right cheek, same angular nose and bristly slashes of brow. Even her wide-set, prominent, upturned eyes are the same as his, with one notable exception.

Jerry Mundy’s eyes were a piercing blue.

Only one of Emerson’s is that shade; the other, a chalky gray.

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Author Wendy Corsi Staub

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New York Times bestseller Wendy Corsi Staub is the award-winning author of more than seventy novels.

Wendy now lives in the New York City suburbs with her husband and their two children.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Click here to view the Bone White by Wendy Corsi Staub Book Tour Participants

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

Welcome to My Monday Minis where I share short reviews about books I’ve read.

I decided it was time to read some more science fiction. I won My Delicate Destruction by Jillian Ashe in a giveaway. Actually, I won the first two books and will share my review of Book Two, Riding On Whispers, on next weeks Monday Minis Reviews.

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My Delicate Destruction

The Wolfegang Series #1

by Jillian Ashe

31280291

Genre: Science Fiction

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My Review

Katerina and her twin brother, Kris, both have a fatal type of cancer. With a new drug called Hope, they just might have found the cure. Only drawback, they will have to sleep, frozen, for two years. They jump at the chance. The year is 2016.

Over 500 years later, Kat awakens to a strange new world. It appears they were assumed dead after a great earthquake, but signs show Kris awoke and was now gone. As she navigates the new world, she discovers Kris made some enemies and fled to another planet. Hiding her past, she manages to get a ride on a ship and sets off to find him.

I was surprised how quickly I fell into this story. Kat won me over with her sense of adventure and her fierce dedication to finding her brother. As I learned more about why her brother fled, the story deepened.

While categorized as science fiction, the world building isn’t bogged down in detail. You easily get the picture. The pace is fast. The characters drive the story and those that enter the story as Kat finds her way are varied and interesting. And there’s secrets demanding answers that keep you anticipating what comes next.

I should warn you though. The ending is rather abrupt and it’s obvious you’ll have to read more of the series to wrap things up. I look forward to that.

4  Stars

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Synopsis

They Promised her Hope…

My name is Katerina Anderson. In 2016, a drug called Hope was created. Administered during suspended animation, the drug was supposed to cure the cancer my twin brother and I had. When an earthquake leveled Los Angeles, we were presumed dead.

Forgotten, we slept.

The day I woke up, I realized everything had changed. My brother was missing, and everyone else I knew was dead. I booked passage on a ship to find Kris. The government thinks I’m a criminal and the cure did more than just cure my cancer. My brother is the only one who might have the answers I need, but that drug and all its false hope set me on a path I’m not sure I can follow.

Will I find my twin and learn exactly what they did to me before it’s too late?

Amazon

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

Southern Fried

by Tonya Kappes

With a fantastic cast of characters and a story filled with humor and murder you won’t be able to put it down.
~Shelley’s Book Case

Tonya Kappes had me laughing from the opening pages of Southern Fried…
~fundinmental

I love these books because the whodunit isn’t all that obvious. Just when I think I’ve figured it out, a new wrench is thrown into the mix and I’m back to square one.
~Reading Is My SuperPower

Full of Tonya’s sass and spirit, this series keeps up a strong pace and keeps Sheriff Kenni on her toes.
~Laura’s Interests

This is an engaging story full of misdirection and undercurrents…
~ Jemima Pett, Author

It was a good solid mystery, the author kept me guessing and I like that.
~Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my!

 


Southern Fried (A Kenni Lowry Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Henery Press (April 4, 2017)
Paperback: 252 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635111873
Kindle ASIN: B01N212SJ8

Synopsis

In the South, it’s better when the food is fried and the secrets kept buried…

After the dead body of a beloved Cottonwood resident is found tangled up in an electric fence, Sheriff Kenni Lowry has a hunch that somethin’ ain’t right. Her investigation heats up with a fierce cook-off competition, a euchre game where the intel is sweeter than the brownies, and a decades old family recipe that may just be the proof in the pudding.

The icing on the cake: Kenni is fighting an attraction to her recently sworn-in deputy sheriff, and election season is hot on her tail. When the killer comes after who she holds most dear, even her poppa’s ghostly guidance might not be enough to keep her and her own out of the frying pan.

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My Review

Having read Fixin To Die and enjoyed it, I was expecting more fun shenanigans with these colorful characters. And I got it.

It’s two years until the next election, but zany events leave Sherriff Kenni Lowry with no choice but to start campaigning early. She has a lot to overcome being the first female in office. And she needs to solve this murder case swiftly so the people will put their trust in her again.

When one of the towns residents is found lying on some prize tomatoes, it’s a juicy case of murder. Kenni is hard on the case, along with her poppa’s ghost, a former Sheriff and quite handy for solving cases. As with the first book, it tickled me how these two worked together and that Kenni had to be careful not to be caught looking like she was crazy and talking to herself.

And I’ve got to hand it to Kenni. She’s juggling campaigning to keep her job while trying to solve this case quickly, and fighting her attraction to the new handsome deputy.  The possible romance isn’t the focal point of the story, but sure makes things interesting.

There’s lots of suspects and I had fun following Kenni as she eliminated them one by one until the culprit was revealed.

In a nut shell, if you like mysteries with a dash or two of southern charm and humor, you’ll enjoy this one.

4 Stars

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Author Tonya Kappes

Tonya-5

For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been self-publishing her numerous mystery and romance titles with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plotlines and quirky characters, but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans. Be sure to check out Tonya’s website for upcoming events and news and to sign up for her newsletter! Tonyakappes.com

 

Kenni Lowry Mystery Series

Fixin’ To Die

Southern Fried

Also by Tonya Kappes

Olivia Davis Paranormal Mystery Series

SPLITSVILLE.COM

COLOR ME LOVE (novella)

COLOR ME A CRIME

Magical Cures Mystery Series

A CHARMING CRIME

A CHARMING CURE

A CHARMING POTION (novella)

A CHARMING WISH

A CHARMING SPELL

A CHARMING MAGIC

A CHARMING SECRET

A CHARMING CHRISTMAS (novella)

A CHARMING FATALITY

A CHARMING DEATH

A CHARMING GHOST

Grandberry Falls Series

THE LADYBUG JINX

HAPPY NEW LIFE

A SUPERSTITIOUS CHRISTMAS (novella)

NEVER TELL YOUR DREAMS

A Laurel London Mystery Series

CHECKERED CRIME

CHECKERED PAST

CHECKERED THIEF

A Divorced Diva Beading Mystery Series

A BREAD OF DOUBT SHORT STORY

STRUNG OUT TO DIE

CRIMPED TO DEATH

Bluegrass Romance Series

GROOMING MR. RIGHT

TAMING MR. RIGHT

Women’s Fiction

CARPE BREAD ’EM

Young Adult

TAG YOU’RE IT

A Ghostly Southern Mystery Series

A GHOSTLY UNDERTAKING

A GHOSTLY GRAVE

A GHOSTLY DEMISE

A GHOSTLY MURDER

A GHOSTLY REUNION

A GHOSTLY MORTALITY

Enjoy a free ebook from Tonya when you sign up for her newsletter by clicking here.

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 Purchase Links

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I have one eBook copy of Southern Fried to giveaway.

To enter, please leave your email address so I can contact you if you win and answer this question:

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Giveaway ends April 20th.

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Tour Participants

April 4 – The Book Diva’s Reads – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

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April 6 – fundinmental – REVIEW

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Partners In Crime Tours

Genre: Suspense, Thriller, Crime
Published by: Jill Amy Rosenblatt
Publication Date: November 28, 2016
Number of Pages: 348
ISBN: 1539839443 (ISBN13: 9781539839446)
Series: Fixer – Katerina Mills Series

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My Review

Being into character driven plots, boy did I get some interesting ones in this book. And the funny thing is, none of them are what you would classify as good guys. Well, maybe the cop is, but not the others, not even Katerina. Strong characterization by the author made them quite likeable.

Kat’s got her hands full trying to attend college and keep up with the demands of her assignments from MJM. Stubborn and independent, she has no choice but to seek assistance, and beggars can’t be choosers. Most of them aren’t what you would call good guys either. But they’ll do in a pinch if Kat wants to come out of this alive.

I haven’t read the first book, The Naked Man, and wish I had before starting this one. The author did clue me in on past events but I stumbled a bit and had to fill in some blanks myself.

One of those blanks was how Kat got into a job like a fixer. She’s just a young woman going to college and her assignments as a fixer usually fall on the other side of legal. And I’d like to know more about how she met Alex Winter. also known as Bob. a professional thief. They sure have chemistry when they’re together and I’m hoping the next book gives them a chance to explore that.

I still had quite the adventure and several nail biting moments of suspense. Rosenblatt is a new author for me and there are some writers who don’t blink about knocking off their characters. Hence the nail biting.

While some assignments get wrapped up in the end, there’s still a lot going on and you’re in for a bit of a cliff hanger. I didn’t mind as I plan to grab the first book and get caught up while waiting for the third one to come out. I’m glad for the chance to read this story but would recommend you read them in order.

4 Stars

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Synopsis

Kat’s back and in over her head with crooks, cops… and killers.

Christmas is around the corner but professional “fixer” Katerina Mills isn’t feeling the holiday spirit, juggling college classes, a lovesick cop, and demanding clients.

Obnoxious hedge fund manager Simon Marcus wants his prized Porsche back from his vengeful wife. The job is hard enough until wise guy Anthony DeSucci shows up and orders her to bring the car to him.

Rock star writer, Paul Patel needs something “special” to finish his next bestseller, something that will get Katerina a “Go Straight to Jail” card if she gets caught.

And what about mysterious Thomas Gallagher? His jobs are simple and easy. Is he just a bored billionaire, or is he watching Kat’s every move, making his own plans for her?

As the jobs heat up, handsome, elusive thief Alexander Winter re-enters Kat’s life to tutor her in all things criminal. But can she trust him?

Katerina Mills is still haunted by her first assignment…and her first assignment is about to come back to haunt her…a deadly enemy who’s closer than she thinks…

Amazon / B&N / Goodreads

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Enjoy the excerpt

“Again?” Katerina asked as a whipping wind whistled around the parked car. “This is the fourth time.”

“There’s been a delay,” Jasmine said.

A few weeks earlier, Jasmine, MJM Consulting’s “Iron Maiden” gatekeeper, had called late at night. Thomas Gallagher, one of New York’s billionaire one percent, needed an assistant. Except he probably didn’t. Katerina Mills had already learned the first rule of a fixer. The job is never the job.

“Does he want a consultant or not?” Kat asked, her mouth overruling her mind. Careful Katerina. Don’t antagonize. You have to stay in. It’s too dangerous to be on the outside on your own. Not after the last assignment…

“Yes,” Jasmine said. “Any other questions?”

Katerina answered by clicking off the cell phone. Burrowing deeper into her coat, the heavy bangs of her short blond wig brushed her eyebrows as she focused on the apartment building diagonally across the street.

“Bad news?” came a voice behind her.

Katerina didn’t bother turning around. On the floor of the backseat, her current client, Lester Callahan, rearranged himself, kicking the back of Kat’s seat. She sighed.

“I hear you,” Lester said. “It’s tough. People are no good, you know? They give their word, it don’t mean shit.”

Katerina assumed Lester spoke from experience.

A pretty woman, swathed in a fur coat, exited the building and hustled to the corner, her hand in the air to hail a cab.

“Is that her?” Kat asked.

Rustling from the back seat. “Nope.”

Katerina crushed herself further into her coat. She didn’t want the work but she had to keep her hand in this world, to protect herself. And I need the money. But instead of a steady windfall of cash, the jobs had been few and far between. Lester needed an item retrieved; but she didn’t know what the item was. From his babbled tale of rambling half-truths, Kat pieced together a picture: Lester had dangerous connections, something had gone wrong, and he needed to disappear. He was about to board a Greyhound bus when he realized he had forgotten something.

“You know it’s not easy to get lost.”

“So you said,” Kat answered.

“Yeah, people don’t understand how big their digital footprint is, you know? Take you for instance. You’re a young girl. You on social media?”

“No.”

“Dating sites? Not that you need one.”

“No.”

Lester shifted again; Kat’s seat lurched forward. She sighed.

“You’re smart, you know. There’s a lot involved. I hired a professional to help me. Rebel One.”

“Yup,” Kat said, glossing over the sound of Lester’s voice. Am I smart or did it just work out that way? she thought, reflecting on her training by her first boss, shady lawyer and ex-lover, Philip Castle. Stay away from the computer unless it can’t be helped. Never leave a trail. Katerina realized Lester was still talking.

“It’s a stupid name but I didn’t say that. I didn’t want to hurt the kid’s feelings. Anyway, Rebel One can make you disappear. You don’t realize you do a thousand things every day and leave clues how to find you: the phone, the credit card, the bank account, your magazine subscription to Cosmo… everything.”

“I don’t read Cosmo.” My college transcript. My library card. Could I get away clean if I needed to?

They sat in silence.

“You have a family?” Kat asked.

“Yeah.”

“Yeah? And you’re just taking off?”

“It’s okay, I made arrangements, you know? I left some cash, told the wife we’d get a condo when I got settled.”

“Is that what you told your girlfriend?” Kat mumbled.

“I’m sensing judgment coming from the front seat. I don’t think you’re supposed to do that.”

“Sorry,” Kat said.

As they fell back into silence, Kat’s thoughts turned to her father, William Mills. She had plenty of judgment for him. After walking out on her mother weeks earlier and breezing through the Big Apple with his new bimbo, where was he now? Had he left a digital footprint? Could he be found?

Her father wasn’t the only one to pull a Houdini. Where was Lisa, who had brought Kat into this life as a “fixer”? Where had she vanished to? And then there was Alexander Winter. If it hadn’t been for him…

She relived the robbery in her mind; Winter taking her by the hand, leading her through the break-in to retrieve the client’s requested item. He had schooled her, protected her, and brought her home safe. Kat realized that not a day passed without her thinking of him. Except for a post-robbery “all clear” text, he had disappeared. Where is he now?

A young woman, rock star groupie attractive, wearing leopard Ugg boots and a winter-white fur coat over black pants exited the apartment building.

“Is that her?” Kat asked.

Rustling from the back seat. “Yeah, yeah, that’s her.”

Katerina shook her head. This anemic, two-bit hustler is hooked up with the jailbait leaving the building. “Let me guess. You bonded over shared interests.”

“You know, sarcasm is not attractive in a woman. It shows a lack of self-esteem.”

Said the man hiding on the floor of the back seat. “Uh-huh.”

“You got the code, the key, and the phone, right?”

“Yes,” Kat said, her heart racing like she was on the track waiting for the flag to come down. She slipped on her sunglasses, fussed over the wig hiding her long, chestnut-colored hair, and shrugged a large black bag onto her shoulder.

“Call me as soon as you’re in the apartment,” Lester said.

Katerina cracked the car door, checking for oncoming traffic. Getting out, she slammed the door and crossed the street. Punching the numbers on the keypad, she slipped into the building.

Remember, keep your head down. There are cameras everywhere. She made a mental note to change out her coat afterwards. The elevator chimed, the doors opened, and Kat ducked inside.

***

Getting out on the fifth floor, Kat stole down the hall. Apartment 512. She slipped the key out of her coat pocket, letting herself in. Taking the phone from the bag, she punched in the number. After two rings, Lester picked up.

“I’m here,” Kat said. “What am I getting?”

“Go into the bedroom,” he said.

Kat entered a room drowning in feminine pinks. “Okay, what?”

“You don’t see it?”

“Obviously not,” she said. “Is it a bill, a laptop, a deed to the apartment?”

“Go back into the living room.”

Katerina retraced her steps and froze in her tracks. A West Highland white terrier stared at her, its head cocked to one side.

Don’t bark. For the love of God and all that’s holy, do not bark.

“You didn’t tell me there was a dog in the apartment,” she whispered. What I wouldn’t give for a Snausage right now.

“Okay, good. You got it.”

“I wouldn’t say that—wait … what? I’m here for the dog? You’re leaving—and you want the dog?”

“No, no,” Lester said. “The dog has a microchip in it. I need the chip.”

“Why?”

“Because if the dog is scanned, the chip has my information. They’ll find my wife and then, you know—they find me. Digital footprint.”

Katerina blew out a mouthful of air. Still staring, the dog sat down.

“The chip is implanted by the right shoulder blade,” he said. “It’s the size of a grain of rice. It’s nothing to take it out.”

“I left my veterinary degree in my other purse.” Moron. “And what do you suggest I use for a scalpel, a Ginsu knife?”

“If you think that’s best. I’m not really attached to the animal. I don’t think she is either, truthfully. I mean, look, she doesn’t even take it with her when she goes out. I paid a shitload of money for that thing.”

Katerina clamped her eyes shut.

“I was told you agency girls are up for anything. Anything. I need the chip. Get the chip.”

Katerina clicked off the phone. She stared at the dog. It raised a paw as a greeting, then lay down on its back, baring its belly for a scratch.

Unbelievable.

***

Katerina hustled into the car, depositing the bag on the passenger seat. She revved the engine and took off.

“Did you get it?” Lester asked.

“Yup,” Katerina answered.

***

Katerina dropped Lester Callahan off at the Greyhound bus terminal. Then, she parked the car and sent a text.

Done. W. 42nd. 8th Ave. Thanks

She got out of the car and walked away. The text had gone to Luther, an entrepreneur with his own limousine service. Luther’s clients paid in cash. Luther saw nothing, heard nothing, and asked no questions. Luther had a lot of clients. He had gotten the car through Moose, a man Katerina had yet to meet. The car would disappear and turn up somewhere else: different state, different plates, different color. Five thousand of Kat’s take had already gone for payment for the service. Contacts liked to be paid up front. That was a problem; she didn’t get paid until the job was done.

Kat passed the Plaza and entered an elegant, gleaming office building. A few minutes later, she was standing in the empty, dark paneled anteroom of MJM Consultants.

“Come in, Katerina,” she heard Jasmine’s hard-edged voice call out.

With her bag slung over her shoulder, Kat entered the small, immaculate office. Jasmine, wearing her signature black Chanel and pearl teardrop earrings, glanced up from her laptop; she didn’t bat an eye at the wig on Kat’s head.

“The job is finished,” Kat said.

“The client called.”

I know. I was there. Right before he got on a bus.

“And then he called back again.”

Shit.

“You never showed him the item he wanted retrieved.”

Katerina caught the hint of a smirk on Jasmine’s lips. Is this part of the ‘probation’ test? You are not cheating me out of my money. Think fast, Katerina.

“The client never said he wanted to see the item. He just said retrieve it. I retrieved it.”

Jasmine was about to speak when Kat’s bag moved, a sliver of fur peeking through the top. The smirk vanished. “Is that a dog in that bag?”

“You’re not a pet person?” Katerina asked.

“Is that the item?”

“It’s the item that contains the item.”

Opening a desk drawer, Jasmine removed two rubber banded packets of bills. She held them out to Katerina. “Get it out of here.”

Katerina took the money, turned on her heel, and left.

Stepping out of the building into the bright, chilly day, she placed a call.

“Whatever it is, it’s gonna cost you a lot of money,” the raspy voice said through the line.

“Morning, Doc. I need something removed,” Kat said. “But the patient isn’t human.”

The raspy voice broke out into a low gutteral laugh.

***

Katerina watched over the sleeping Westie. A clean-cut man, wearing surgical gloves and a gown, used a feather touch to perform the procedure. He held up the forceps, showing Kat the tiny chip. Moving to the microwave on the counter, he placed the chip inside, closed the door, and hit a few buttons. Kat watched the plate rotate. A few sparks later, the chip was cooked.

Kat turned to Doc, perched on a stool, his frame struggling under the weight of his bulging stomach. Between wheezes, he puffed on a cigarette.

“Thanks, Doc,” she said.

“Don’t bother. You still have to pay me.”

Kat nodded. At least he’s honest. This little act of benevolent kindness is about to take another healthy bite of my take-home pay.

A woman entered the room without knocking. Dressed to the nines, she looked to be in her late sixties, a cross between a gracefully aging Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O., complete with swing coat and pillbox hat.

“Miss Kitty, this is Gertie. She provides pet relocation.”

“Charmed, I’m sure,” Gertie said with a flourish of her hand. “Now darling, time is money. You want a major city or you prefer something rural?”

Thousands of criminals in the city and I get the Dolly Levi of pet theft.

“What do you have?”

“Oh, honey, it’s carte blanche. I always have a waiting list for Westies; very popular breed. Lucky you came along. People are so careful these days. Owners almost never leave them unattended.”

“You steal to order?”

Gertie’s eyes opened wide. “Steal? I beg your pardon,” she said. “Darling, I connect pets with loving families. I provide a service. You think Social Security pays enough to live on? A girl’s gotta get by. I used to be in the garment business—before they moved everything to China—no disrespect.” She gave Kat the once-over. “I can get you a coat at cost. You’d look to die for in a Saint Laurent Chesterfield. You want a coat?”

Kat shook her head. “No thank you. Any location far away from here will be fine.” She wanted to apologize. It wasn’t judgment. Kat didn’t know why, but she never quite felt prepared for the world she found. Even after what she had seen so far, she could be surprised. Maybe I’m not up for anything. Maybe I just don’t have what it takes.

The man finished scrubbing at the sink. Drying his hands, he turned to Kat.

“How long have you been a veterinarian?” Kat asked.

The man smiled.

Oh shit. Kat turned to Gertie.

“Meet my nephew,” she said.

The family that steals together… that’s one my father missed.

“Still lots to learn, Miss Kitty,” Doc said. “Lots to learn.”

Katerina glanced over at the sleeping dog. Pulling out the packets of money, she counted out fifteen thousand, half of her cut.

A girl’s gotta get by.

She certainly does, Kat thought, watching Gertie and Doc divvy up the cash. And not for the first time, she wondered how she would get by.

~~~~~

Author Jill Amy Rosenblatt

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Jill Amy Rosenblatt is the author of Project Jennifer and For Better or Worse, published by Kensington Press. She has a Masters Degree in Creative Writing and Literature from Burlington College.

“The Fixer” mystery/suspense series is Jill’s first adventure in self-publishing. The Fixer: The Naked Man (Katerina Mills, Book 1) is available in e-book and paperback formats. The second book in the series, The Fixer: The Killing Kind, released on November 28, 2016. She is currently at work on the third book of the series, The Fixer: The Last Romanov (when she’s not watching NY Rangers hockey).

She lives on Long Island.

Find Jill Amy Rosenblatt: Website / Twitter / Facebook

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Click here to view the The Fixer: The Killing Kind by Jill Amy Rosenblatt Book Tour Participants

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE