Thursday, February 26, 2015

Review: Destroyer Angel (Anna Pigeon #18) by Nevada Barr

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 804 KB
  • Print Length: 351 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (April 1 2014)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English
 Now out in Mass Market Paperback!

 Read an Excerpt:

Book Description

 Anna Pigeon, a ranger for the U.S. Park Services, sets off on vacation—an autumn canoe trip in the to the Iron Range in upstate Minnesota. With Anna is her friend Heath, a paraplegic; Heath’s fifteen-year-old daughter, Elizabeth; Leah, a wealthy designer of outdoor equipment; and her daughter, Katie, who is thirteen. For Heath and Leah, this is a shakedown cruise to test a new cutting edge line of camping equipment. The equipment, designed by Leah, will make camping and canoeing more accessible to disabled outdoorsmen.

On their second night out, Anna goes off on her own for a solo evening float on the Fox River. When she comes back, she finds that four thugs, armed with rifles, pistols, and knives, have taken the two women and their teenaged daughters captive. With limited resources and no access to the outside world, Anna has only two days to rescue them before her friends are either killed or flown out of the country.

About the Author

 Nevada Barr is a mystery fiction author, known for her "Anna Pigeon" series of mysteries, set in National Parks in the United States. Barr has won an Agatha Award for best first novel for Track of the Cat.

Barr was named after the state of her birth. She grew up in Johnstonville, California. She finished college at the University of California, Irvine. Originally, Barr started to pursue a career in theatre, but decided to be a park ranger. In 1984 she published her first novel, Bittersweet, a bleak lesbian historical novel set in the days of the Western frontier.

While working in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Barr created the Anna Pigeon series. Pigeon is a law enforcement officer with the United States National Park Service. Each book in the series takes place in a different National Park, where Pigeon solves a murder mystery, often related to natural resource issues. She is a satirical, witty woman whose icy exterior is broken down in each book by a hunky male to whom she is attracted (such as Rogelio).

Currently, Ms. Barr lives in New Orleans, LA.

My Review

 Destroyer Angel is the eighteen book in the Anna Pigeon series. While I prefer the earlier books in the series, my favorite is Ill Wind, I like keeping in touch with Anna Pigeon and her adventures. She always introduces us to new and fascinating areas of the United States. In Destroyer Angel we visit the Iron Range in upstate Minnesota. 

Anna head to the Iron Range with a small group of friends for a "vacation". Instead Anna's group which includes one disable person is captured by a group of four thugs. Anna Pigeon in Destroyer Angel is a tough broad! She gets the job done! Plenty of action to keep the reader enthralled.

A good addition to the Anna Pigeon series.

Cover Reveal: MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Cover Reveal: MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE by Taylor Jenkins Reid!

We’re dreaming of summer—feet in the sand, soaking up the sun, taking a dip in the pool—but what we’re most excited about this summer is the release of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s third novel, MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE (on sale July 7, 2015). While we (impatiently!) wait for the book, today we’re giving you a first look at the gorgeous cover! Plenty more information below…


At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college, but on the heels of a disastrous breakup, she has finally returned to her hometown of Los Angeles. To celebrate her first night back, her best friend, Gabby, takes Hannah out to a bar—where she meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

It’s just past midnight when Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. Ethan quickly offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay.

Hannah hesitates.

What happens if she leaves with Gabby?

What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into surprisingly different stories with far-reaching consequences for Hannah and the people around her, raising questions like: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.


Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author and essayist from Acton, Massachusetts. She is the author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Do. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Alex, and her dog, Rabbit. You can follow her on Twitter @TJenkinsReid.

MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Atria Books/Washington Square Press Paperback | 352 pages | ISBN:  9781476776880 | July 7, 2015 | $16.00

eBook: Atria Books/Washington Square Press | 352 pages | ISBN: 9781476776897 | July 7, 2015 | $11.99


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Review: Deeper Than the Grave (Tai Randolph Mysteries #4) by Tina Whittle

  • Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (Nov. 4 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1464202648
  • ISBN-13: 978-1464202643

Book Description

 It s taken almost a year, but Tai Randolph has her new life together. She s running a semisuccessful Atlanta gun shop catering to Civil War re-enactors. Her lover, the sexy-if-securityobsessed Trey Seaver, is sorting out his challenges. There s not a single corpse on her horizon, and her previously haphazard existence is finally stable, secure and unsurprising. Then a tornado blows by a Kennesaw Mountain cemetery, scattering the skeletal remains of a Confederate hero. Assisting the bones recovery effort is a job her late Uncle Dexter would have relished, as does Tai. Does she hit the jackpot on discovering a jumble of bones in the underbrush? No. The bones reveal a more recent murder, with her deceased uncle leading the suspect list. As Tai struggles to clear Dexter s name and save the business he left her she uncovers deadly secrets were also buried in the red Georgia clay. And realizes there s a live murderer on the loose, a clever killer who has tried to conceal the crimes of the present in the stories of the past. As she risks her own life to unravel two mysteries one from a previous century, one literally at her doorstep Tai rediscovers her dangerous taste for murder and mayhem."

About the Author

 Tina Whittle’s Tai Randolph/Trey Seaver series — featuring intrepid gunshop owner Tai and her corporate security agent partner Trey — has garnered starred reviews in Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal. Published by Poisoned Pen Press, this Atlanta-based series debuted with The Dangerous Edge of Things, followed by Darker Than Any Shadow (2012) and Blood, Ash and Bone (2013). The fourth book in the series — Deeper Than the Grave — releases in November 2014.

A nominee for Georgia Author of the Year in 2012, Whittle's short fiction has appeared in The Savannah Literary Journal, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, and Gulf Stream, which selected her story “Lost Causes and Other Reasons to Live” as the 2004 winner of their Mystery Fiction contest. When not writing or reading, she enjoys golf, sushi, tarot reading, and spending time with her family (one husband, one daughter, one neurotic Maltese and four chickens).

My Review

Deeper Than the Grave is the fourth book in the Tai Randolph Mystery series by author Tina Whittle. Once again, we are back in Atlanta at the gun shop Tai inherited from her Uncle Dexter. Tai's boyfriend Trey Seaver is back as well. They are both fascinating people and make the Tai Randolph series stand out from others. Their relationship evolves and progresses with each novel in the series.

 Amidst dealing with false alarms at the gun shop, a tornado rips through the area. The tornado churns through the Kennesaw Mountain cemetery exposing bones from the past. But some bones aren't from as far back as the grave marker states. The bones in the grave of Civil War
Private Braxton Amberdecker are not his but from a more recent time. And the evidence points to Uncle Dexter. Can Tai figure out who the real murderer is before she possibly could lose her shop? 

Deeper Than the Grave is filled with twists and turns. The South of the past is intertwined with the modern South. Very interesting read. Always a pleasure to read a well written murder mystery.

Deeper Than the Grave can be read as a stand alone novel however I recommend reading the first three books so that you can fully understand the relationship between Tai and Trey. Already looking forward to Tina Whittle's next book.

You can view Tina's Pinterest board here:

Review: Where All Light Tends to Go by David Joy

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1266 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons (March 3 2015)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group USA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00L9AXYU8

Book Description

"Lyrical, propulsive, dark and compelling. Joy knows well the grit and gravel of his world, the soul and blemishes of the place."--Daniel Woodrell

In the country-noir tradition of Winter's Bone meets 'Breaking Bad,' a savage and beautiful story of a young man seeking redemption.

The area surrounding Cashiers, North Carolina, is home to people of all kinds, but the world that Jacob McNeely lives in is crueler than most. His father runs a methodically organized meth ring, with local authorities on the dime to turn a blind eye to his dealings. Having dropped out of high school and cut himself off from his peers, Jacob has been working for this father for years, all on the promise that his payday will come eventually.  The only joy he finds comes from reuniting with Maggie, his first love, and a girl clearly bound for bigger and better things than their hardscrabble town.

Jacob has always been resigned to play the cards that were dealt him, but when a fatal mistake changes everything, he’s faced with a choice: stay and appease his father, or leave the mountains with the girl he loves. In a place where blood is thicker than water and hope takes a back seat to fate, Jacob wonders if he can muster the strength to rise above the only life he’s ever known.

Praise for Where All Light Tends to Go

“Readers of Southern grit lit in the tradition of Daniel Woodrell and Harry Crews will enjoy this fast-paced debut thriller. Fans of Ron Rash’s novels will appreciate the intricate plot and Joy’s establishment of a strong sense of place in his depiction of rural Appalachia.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“Joy’s first novel is an uncompromising noir, its downward thrust pulling like quicksand on both the characters and the reader. And, yet, there is poetry here, too, as there is in Daniel Woodrell’s novels, the kind of poetry that draws its power from a doomed character’s grit in the face of disaster. . . This is the start of a very promising fiction-writing career.”—Booklist

“Gripping . . . Engaging characters, a well-realized setting, and poetic prose establish Joy as a novelist worth watching.”—Publishers Weekly

“Joy’s debut is about hope as much as it is fate . . . [it] is harrowing.  Joy’s voice is authentic, his prose sparse, his eye for detail minute.  Everything works in this novel to push the reader closer and closer to the cliff’s edge, hoping against hope that what won’t be required is to jump off.”—Mountain Times

Where All Light Tends to Go is lyrical, propulsive, dark and compelling. In this debut novel, David Joy makes it clear that he knows well the grit and gravel of his world, the soul and blemishes of the place. He uses details that put us inside the picture, and lets his narrative move at a graceful but restless pace.”—Daniel Woodrell, author of Winter’s Bone and The Maid’s Version

“David Joy has written a savage and moving account of a young man’s attempt to transcend his family’s legacy of violence. Where All Light Tends to Go is an outstanding debut and a fine addition to the country noir vein of Southern Literature.”—Ron Rash, PEN/Faulkner Finalist and New York Times bestselling author of Serena

Where All Light Tends to Go is deeply rooted in place, written in an assured, authentic voice. David Joy manages to be both lyrical and gritty, loving and horrifyingly violent, funny and grim. His picture of modern Appalachia is rich and evocative, with bold storytelling not often seen in a first novel. This book is an amazing start to a career that could make Joy the Larry Brown of the Appalachians.”—Ace Atkins, New York Times-bestselling author of The Forsaken

“Compelling and authentic . . . a harsh tale of young love’s tender hopes set against the brutal realities of ruined Appalachia. Jacob McNeely’s story is one worth reading.”—Tawni O’Dell, New York Times-bestselling author of Back Roads

“David Joy writes under the auspices of community, heartbreak, and love, and makes use of the warmest color in fiction - gray. What is right and what is wrong and who is to decide? In the North Carolina mountains, these answers don't come easy. Big decisions come with big consequences, and if you second guess, you lose.”—Michael Farris Smith, author of Rivers and The Hands of Strangers

“Running with the dopers, drunks and less fortunate in my youth, those who were doomed by their surroundings, the story that David Joy tells is one of truth, power and circumstance and quite possibly a tour de force in American letters.”—Frank Bill, author of Crimes in Southern Indiana and Donnybrook

Where All Light Tends to Go reads like the whiskey-breath of Harry Crews word-drunk on the lyricism of Daniel Woodrell. It's as brutally beautiful as it is heartbreaking.”—Mark Powell, author of The Dark Corner

“David Joy gives us a world that is equal parts graceful beauty and true grit in this poetic and heart-pounding novel.  Where All Light Tends to Go contains those essential elements for a novel that ‘sticks to the ribs’:  complex and memorable characters, a palpable sense of place, and a plot that is driven as much by suspense as lyricism.  You won't be able to put down this profoundly moving and illuminating look into a mysterious and intricate world where the smell of the southern pines mingles with the scent of cooking meth.”—Silas House, author of Clay's Quilt and Eli the Good

“David Joy's Where All Light Tends to Go will be compared to a handful of grit lit masterpieces, but Joy's his own writer.  It's a double page turner--I couldn't stop reading, but I relished each page twice, mesmerized by the language and plot twists. For every scene of evil personified, there's goodness.  For every horrific act of lawless characters, there's the sublime.  I'll remember—and be haunted by—this novel for a long, long time.”—George Singleton, author of Between Wrecks

About the Author

David Joy is the author of the novels Where All Light Tends to Go (Putnam, 2015) and Waiting On The End Of The World (Putnam, 2016), as well as the memoir Growing Gills: A Fly Fisherman's Journey (Bright Mountain Books, 2011), which was a finalist for the Reed Environmental Writing Award and the Ragan Old North State Award for Creative Nonfiction. His work is represented by Julia Kenny of Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency.

My Review

Southern Grit...Backwoods Noir...Appalachians Noir...however you wish to classify Where All Light Tends to Go, it can be tough to read in parts. It takes this reader into a realm so foreign that it is hard for me to imagine such a harsh life in such a gorgeous setting. I love the area of North Carolina where the novel is set. I've driven some of those roads...with a naive heart I think. Visitors don't always see the harsh reality of the places they travel through. Where I saw a bucolic setting in the Appalachians, for the people who live there the reality is much darker. The introduction of meth and prescription drugs have changed the lives of Americans living on the margins of poverty.

Where All Light Tends To Go is a beautifully written book. It is also incredibly brutal at times. I was spellbound but wanted to put it down and forget what I was reading. The book is filled with fascinating characters and amazing plot twists. It is a dark book. I cannot even imagine such an existence. It took me to a place I hope I never will be.

Light equals Heaven. What does dark equal?

Brilliant debut novel.  Where All Light Tends To Go should be a movie. I'm looking forward to reading David Joy's next book. Yes, I really am.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Review: Galatians for You: For Reading, for Feeding, for Leading (God's Word for You) by Timothy Keller

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: The Good Book Company (January 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908762349
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908762344

Book Description 

 First in a new series of expository guides to the Bible, Timothy Keller' Galatians For You closely examines the text of Galatians in an expositional, engaging and applied way. Tim Keller's trademark gift of clear explanation and compelling insights make this a uniquely flexible resource. This expository guide to Galatians will help Bible teachers, devotional readers and anyone with an interest in the book of Galatians.

"Galatians is all about the gospel - the gospel all of us need throughout all of our lives. It's dynamite, and I pray that its powerful message explodes in your heart as you read this book."
Timothy Keller

About the Author 

 Timothy Keller is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, which he started in 1989 with his wife, Kathy, and three young sons. For over twenty years he has led a diverse congregation of young professionals that has grown to a weekly attendance of over 5,000.

He is also Chairman of Redeemer City to City, which starts new churches in New York and other global cities, and publishes books and resources for faith in an urban culture. In over ten years they have helped to launch over 250 churches in 48 cities. More recently, Dr. Keller’s books, including the New York Times bestselling The Reason for God and The Prodigal God, have sold over 1 million copies and been translated into 15 languages.

Christianity Today has said, “Fifty years from now, if evangelical Christians are widely known for their love of cities, their commitment to mercy and justice, and their love of their neighbors, Tim Keller will be remembered as a pioneer of the new urban Christians.”

Dr. Keller was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and educated at Bucknell University, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Westminster Theological Seminary. He previously served as the pastor of West Hopewell Presbyterian Church in Hopewell, Virginia, Associate Professor of Practical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary, and Director of Mercy Ministries for the Presbyterian Church in America.

My Review 

 I have explored a lot of books by a lot of Christian authors in biblical study pursuits, in groups or by myself, and I have to say that I think Galatians for You is one of the most impressive of the bunch.

Dr. Keller takes the reader through Galatians, verse by verse. And it is brilliant. I don't think there has been a clearer directive on what the gospels is all about. The Apostle Paul comes through loud and clear in the Book of Galatians in regard to what really matters about Christ's teachings. Dr. Keller does an superior job in bringing home this message. Grace not works is what saves.

I studied this book along with others in a bible study setting. While this book can be done as a personal study, I know that personally I find that I learn much more in a group setting. If your bible study is looking for a book to study then Galatians for You is a clear winner.

I am looking forward to reading more of Dr. Keller's works and reading and studying more books in this series.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Review: Hold Me (Fool's Gold #16) by Susan Mallery

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HQN Books (April 28 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00PQGO60S

Book Description

 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery's classic blend of lighthearted humor and intense emotional conflict works its magic on two newcomers to the California town of Fool's Gold, which Library Journal calls "a setting so real and appealing readers will want to start scoping out real estate."

Destiny Mills believes passion has its place—like in the lyrics of the country songs that made her parents famous. After a childhood full of drama and heartache, she wants a life that's calm. Safe. Everything that Kipling Gilmore isn't. Her temporary assignment with the Fool's Gold search and rescue team puts her in delicious proximity to the former world-class skier every day. Part of her aches to let go for once…the rest is terrified what'll happen if she does.

Though an accident ended his career, Kipling still lives for thrills—and a hot fling with a gorgeous redhead like Destiny would be a welcome diversion. Yet beneath his new coworker's cool facade is a woman who needs more than he's ever given. With her, he's ready to take the risk. But love, like skiing, is all about trust—and before you soar, you have to be willing to fall.

Reviews by Others

"Susan Mallery is one of my favorites." -#1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber

"This sweet Christmas treat is a pleasant introduction to Mallery's popular series." -Publishers Weekly on A Fool's Gold Christmas

"Mallery does her usual excellent job of giving readers a funny, warm-hearted story that is edged with cutting emotion!" -RT Book Reviews on All Summer Long

"The wildly popular and prolific Mallery can always be counted on to tell an engaging story of modern romance." -Booklist on Summer Nights

"Mallery infuses her story with eccentricity, gentle humor, and smalltown shenanigans, and readers...will enjoy the connection between Heidi and Rafe." -Publishers Weekly on Summer Days

"Romance novels don't get much better than Mallery's expert blend of emotional nuance, humor and superb storytelling." -Booklist

"A sweet, heartwarming Christmas romance with engaging characters, a family-redemption arc and a winning seasonal charm that will delight." -Kirkus Reviews on A Fool's Gold Christmas
About the Author

 With more than 25 million books sold worldwide, New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery is known for creating characters who feel as real as the folks next door, and for putting them into emotional, often funny situations readers recognize from their own lives. Susan’s books have made Booklist’s Top 10 Romances list in four out of five consecutive years. RT Book Reviews says, “When it comes to heartfelt contemporary romance, Mallery is in a class by herself.” With her popular, ongoing Fool’s Gold series, Susan has reached new heights on the bestsellers lists and has won the hearts of countless new fans.

Susan grew up in southern California, moved so many times that her friends stopped writing her address in pen, and now has settled in Seattle with her husband and the most delightfully spoiled little dog who ever lived. Visit Susan online at

My Review

Another winner from Susan Mallery! The Fool's Gold series is a lovely romance series by one of the genre's best writers. Hold Me is the 16th book in this series that I cannot seem to resist!

I don't know how Mallery comes up with all these characters....and keeps them all straight. Destiny Mills is newly arrived in Fool's Gold..and only plans to be there temporarily. We briefly met Olympic skier Kipling Gilmore in one of the previous books as he received a mysterious visit from the town's illustrious Mayor Marsha. We knew he would be arriving in town soon along with his sister Shelby.

Destiny is the daughter of two divorced country superstars. She is saddled with her younger half-sister, whom she had never met, Starr for the summer. This is as much as a story about siblings as it is a traditional love story. It is heartwarming to see how Destiny and Starr develop their relationship.

But of course the meat of the story is the love story between Kipling and Destiny. After a few twists and turns and misunderstandings you know they'll find their forever ever story.

A well written romance is always a pleasure to read. Hold Me is definitely one!