Sunday, January 31, 2016

Review: Orphan X by Orphan X (Evan Smoak #1) by Gregg Hurwitz

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1068 KB
  • Print Length: 367 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (Jan. 19 2016)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B010M4T5C2

Book Description

 "Orphan X is the most gripping, high-octane thriller I've read in a long, long time. Hang onto your seat because Gregg Hurwitz will take you on a dizzying ride you'll not soon forget!" -Tess Gerritsen

The Nowhere Man is a legendary figure spoken about only in whispers. It's said that when he's reached by the truly desperate and deserving, the Nowhere Man can and will do anything to protect and save them.

But he's no legend.

Evan Smoak is a man with skills, resources, and a personal mission to help those with nowhere else to turn. He's also a man with a dangerous past. Chosen as a child, he was raised and trained as part of the off-the-books black box Orphan program, designed to create the perfect deniable intelligence assets—i.e. assassins. He was Orphan X. Evan broke with the program, using everything he learned to disappear.

Now, however, someone is on his tail. Someone with similar skills and training. Someone who knows Orphan X. Someone who is getting closer and closer. And will exploit Evan's weakness—his work as The Nowhere Man—to find him and eliminate him. Grabbing the reader from the very first page, Orphan X is a masterful thriller, the first in Gregg Hurwitz's electrifying new series featuring Evan Smoak.

About the Author

 Gregg Hurwitz is the New York Times bestselling author of 15 thrillers, including the upcoming ORPHAN X. His novels have been shortlisted for numerous literary awards, graced top ten lists, and have been translated into 26 languages.

He is also a New York Times Bestselling comic book writer, having penned stories for Marvel (Wolverine, Punisher) and DC (Batman, Penguin). Additionally, he’s written screenplays for or sold spec scripts to many of the major studios, and written, developed, and produced television for various networks. Gregg resides in Los Angeles.

My Review

 Orphan X is the first book in the Evan Smoak series and first book written by Gregg Hurwitz that i have read. I had read great reviews of this book. They were all is a compelling read.

Orphan X is thrill filled ride you won't want to end. There were so many twists and turns that my head was reeling and my heart was pounding. I enjoyed the main character Evan Smoak and I enjoyed his interactions with neighbours as well as the interactions with the fascinating characters he came in contact with. The characters were all intriguing and well written.

Orphan X is a treat to read because it is a tight, well-written tale. I loved the settings of Los Angeles and Las Vegas...both familiar to me though I'm Canadian...I could picture where the action was taking place at all times.
Loved loved loved this book. I highly recommend the thriller Orphan X. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series.

Review, Excerpt and Contest: He Will Be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker

He Will Be My Ruin -tour teaser 2   

  He Will Be My Ruin -cover

He Will Be My Ruin -tour banner 



We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Review & Excerpt Tour for K.A. Tucker’s HE WILL BE MY RUIN! HE WILL BE MY RUIN is an adult suspense novel, published by Atria books, an Imprint of Simon & Schuster, and is set to be released February 2, 2016!



Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

IndieBound | Book Depository | Audible

K.A. Tucker’s HE WILL BE MY RUIN – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

January 25th
Wrapped Up In Reading – Review & Excerpt
Bookaholics Reading Haven – Review & Excerpt
For The Love of Fictional Worlds – Review & Excerpt
Krista's Dust Jacket – Review & Excerpt
Lost in Literature – Review & Excerpt
Myriad Inklings – Review & Excerpt
TSK TSK What to Read – Review & Excerpt

January 26th
thebookdragon – Review & Excerpt
The Book Hookup – Review & Excerpt
Reading Addict – Review & Excerpt
No BS Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Book Angel Booktopia – Review & Excerpt
Latte Nights Reviews – Review & Excerpt

January 27th
Dark Faerie Tales – Review & Excerpt
Ficwishes – Review & Excerpt
Reviews by Tammy and Kim – Review & Excerpt
Smut Book Junkie Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
The Review Loft – Review & Excerpt
Three Girls and a Book Obsession – Review & Excerpt

January 28th
Reading is Sexy – Review & Excerpt
Novel Ink – Review & Excerpt
Four Chicks Flipping Pages – Review & Excerpt
Desert Divas Book Addiction – Review & Excerpt
Curled Up and Cozy – Review & Excerpt
Obsessive Book Nerd – Review & Excerpt

January 29th
All Romance Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Grownupfangirl – Review & Excerpt
Love Affair With Fiction – Review & Excerpt
Typical Distractions – Review & Excerpt
Up All Night Book Addict – Review & Excerpt

January 30th
Art, Books, & Coffee – Review & Excerpt
Book Baristas – Review & Excerpt
Girl Plus Books – Review & Excerpt
The Phantom Paragrapher – Review & Excerpt
Stormy Nights Reviewing &Bloggin' – Review & Excerpt
Cocktails and Books – Review & Excerpt

January 31st
Vera is Reading – Review & Excerpt
A Bookish Escape – Review & Excerpt
Her Book Thoughts – Review & Excerpt
Naughty and Nice Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
PBC – Review & Excerpt
MysteriesEtc – Review & Excerpt

February 1st
Rock Hard Romance – Review & Excerpt
Book Bitches Blog – Review & Excerpt
Four Brits and a Book – Review & Excerpt
Red Cheeks Reads – Review & Excerpt
Short and Sassy Book Blurbs – Review & Excerpt
The Reading Date – Review & Excerpt

February 2nd
Oh The Book Feels – Excerpt
Books to Breathe – Excerpt
Vi3tbabe – Review & Excerpt
Read Love Blog – Review & Excerpt
Mean Girls Luv Books – Review & Excerpt
Literati Literature Lovers – Review & Excerpt

February 3rd
I Read Indie – Review & Excerpt
2 girls who love books – Review & Excerpt
BFD Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
The Book Bellas – Review & Excerpt
Summer's Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Sanaa's Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Brandie is a Book Junkie – Review & Excerpt
Got More Books – Review & Excerpt

February 4th
Book Lovers Hangout – Review & Excerpt
Author Groupies – Review & Excerpt
Books I Think You Should Read – Review & Excerpt
Bridger Bitches Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Collector of book boyfriends – Review & Excerpt
The Book Avenue – Review & Excerpt
Shayna Renee's Spicy Reads – Review & Excerpt
Book Babes Unite – Review & Excerpt

February 5th
The Book Hoarders – Review & Excerpt
Once Upon a Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Itching for Books – Review & Excerpt
Liezel's Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Have Book Will Read – Review & Excerpt
Our Kindle Konfessions – Review & Excerpt
In Between The Pages – Review & Excerpt
LuLo Fangirl – Review & Excerpt
Nose Stuck In A Book – Review & Excerpt

He Will Be My Ruin -tour teaser 1

Book Description

About HE WILL BE MY RUIN: The USA TODAY bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series makes her suspense debut with this sexy, heartpounding story of a young woman determined to find justice after her best friend’s death, a story pulsing with the “intense, hot, emotional” (Colleen Hoover) writing that exhilarates her legions of fans. A woman who almost had it all . . . On the surface, Celine Gonzalez had everything a twenty-eight-year-old woman could want: a one-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a job that (mostly) paid the bills, and an acceptance letter to the prestigious Hollingsworth Institute of Art, where she would finally live out her dream of becoming an antiques appraiser for a major auction house. All she had worked so hard to achieve was finally within her reach. So why would she kill herself? A man who was supposed to be her salvation . . . Maggie Sparkes arrives in New York City to pack up what’s left of her best friend’s belongings after a suicide that has left everyone stunned. The police have deemed the evidence conclusive: Celine got into bed, downed a lethal cocktail of pills and vodka, and never woke up. But when Maggie discovers a scandalous photograph in a lock box hidden in Celine’s apartment, she begins asking questions. Questions about the man Celine fell in love with. The man she never told anyone about, not even Maggie. The man Celine believed would change her life. Until he became her ruin. On the hunt for evidence that will force the police to reopen the case, Maggie uncovers more than she bargained for about Celine’s private life—and inadvertently puts herself on the radar of a killer. A killer who will stop at nothing to keep his crimes undiscovered.  

Author Photo 

About the Author

About K.A. Tucker: Born in small-town Ontario, K.A. Tucker published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.          

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook **Novel Goodreads ** Author Goodreads ** YouTube ** Pinterest ** Instagram



“I need some advice, Grady, and I have no one else to ask.”
               “If you needed answers and the only person to give those to you was a person you didn’t know, had never met, and who might not like the questions you have to ask, what would you do?”
               He twists his lips in thought. “I’d create a situation to meet this person, and make it hard for them to refuse me.”
               Simple in theory…”But how?”
               He exhales heavily, his warm breath grazing my cheek telling me that he’s facing me. “Find common ground. A location, a purpose, an acquaintance. Force the meet and then work your questions around the real ones that you want to ask. You can get a lot of information out of a person just by treading too close to what they don’t want to talk about. The look in their eye, their facial expressions, the way they react to the mention of a name, or a place.”
               Grady seems more intelligent than what I’d expect of a pot-smoking building super. “You sound like you’ve been in my situation before.”
               “Once or twice. Maybe.” I hear the smile in his voice.
               Find common ground. Force the meet. The only common ground I have with this guy is now six feet underground in a San Diego cemetery.
               There is something that we’re both very familiar with.
               I pull out my phone and scroll through my emails to find the one with her phone number. I know this is beyond inappropriate, but once I get something in my head, there’s no dislodging it. Plus, I’m high.
               “Hey Dani. It’s Maggie Sparkes.”
               “Hi…Is everything okay?” She definitely sounds shocked to hear from me.
               Grady watches me quietly. “I’m sorry to be calling so late. You know how you offered help with anything I needed? Well, I need a favor.”

My Review

He Will Be My Ruin is the first book that I have read by author K.A. Tucker and I really enjoyed it.

Maggie knows that her old friend Celine would not commit suicide. Maggie sets out to learn the truth and reader is taken on quite the ride. The twists and turns in He Will Be Ruin will keep you riveted to the pages.

Great read! Hard to put down! Highly recommend.

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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Review: NIV, God's Justice Bible, Hardcover The Flourishing of Creation and the Destruction of Evil By Tim Stafford

  • Hardcover: 1792 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (Feb. 23 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031043713X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310437130

Book Description

Poverty, human trafficking, abuse…all forms of injustice stir the heart of God. Throughout every book of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, we see God’s plan to set the world right. NIV God's Justice: The Holy Bible, will engage your mind and heart, and give you a solid plan to act as God's hands and feet in a world filled with injustice.

God's justice—his "setting things right”—is a foundational principle of the Bible. His plan for justice to triumph is traced from Genesis to Revelation, and as a theme it forms the backbone of Scripture.

Designed to inform and inspire, NIV God's Justice: The Holy Bible carefully addresses the timeless and universal issues around injustice. Written by a team of international writers who bring a global perspective to these issues, NIV God's Justice: The Holy Bible is designed to fire readers’ passion for social justice and take positive steps to bring justice issues to light in their own circle of influence. The writers come from every continent, representing organizations such as the International Justice Mission, Compassion and World Vision. Well-Known UK and US contributors include Kirsh Kandiah, Tim Stafford, Andy Crouch, Ron Sider, and Joel Edwards.

About the Author

 Tim Stafford is a senior writer for Christianity Today. Among his many books are Knowing the Face of God; As Our Years Increase; The Student Bible (with Philip Yancey); Love, Sex and the Whole Person; a trilogy of historical fiction (The Stamp of Glory; Sisters; The Law of Love), and Never Mind the Joneses. He and his wife, Popie, live in Santa Rosa, California.

My Review

The features of NIV, God's Justice Bible, Hardcover The Flourishing of Creation and the Destruction of Evil By Tim Stafford  include:
  • The complete text of the NIV Bible, the world’s most-read and most-trusted modern-English translation
  • Book Introductions for every book in the Bible highlight how the theme of God’s justice is addressed throughout the entire Bible
  • Study notes on passages that speak to the problems of injustice in the world (governmental oppression, human trafficking, slavery, financial inequality, and more) and how God’s overall plan is to restore his creation
  • Prayers and questions for reflection at the end of each book of the Bible
  • World Christian perspective on God’s justice brought through a portfolio of 57 international scholars and writers
  • Full-color interior design with wood-carving images of trees from around the world
The NIV, God's Justice Bible hardcover version, which is the version I have, is beautifully illustrated and well laid out. Each book of this bible has an in depth introduction highlighting the theme of God's justice that is very insightful and inspiring. I just love that each book has questions for reflection at the end as well as a prayer based upon the book. I am very impressed.

The print of the bible is easy to read...not too small. The pages are bright. This bible is designed to help the reader find their place in the story of God's justice:

  1. Begin to learn the story
  2. Commit to following Jesus
  3. Live a life of justice
  4. Find others who are acting out the story of God's justice
The NIV, God's Justice Bible also divides the books of the bible into the following sections:

  • Beginings
  • History
  • Poetry and Song 
  • Prophets
  • Life of Jesus
  • Letters
  • Apocalypse
I am very pleased with NIV, God's Justice Bible that focuses on God's plan for setting things right. It is very encouraging to study the bible with the focus on this theme which is the backbone of scripture.

Be sure to check out:  for further insight. You can read a sample here:

I highly recommend the NIV, God's Justice Bible, Hardcover The Flourishing of Creation and the Destruction of Evil by Tim Stafford.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Review: Welcome Back (A Smoky Mountain Novel Book 4) by Lin Stepp

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington (Feb. 23 2016)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00Y6RB43K

Book Description

"Lin Stepp paints a charming portrait of the Smokies, their people, and a wonderful way of life." --Deborah Smith, New York Times bestselling author

Set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains, Lin Stepp's sweet and touching story follows one woman's journey back to the home--and the husband--she left behind…

When Lydia Cunningham left her husband and moved to Atlanta ten years ago, it was with equal parts sadness and certainty. She loved her home in North Carolina, with its lush green hills and crisp, clean air. And in truth, she still loved John, too. But she could no longer live with her mother-in-law's constant criticism and the distance it created in her marriage.

Now, thanks to a job offer at her alma mater, Lydia is moving back, renting the old country house where she and John lived as newlyweds. She hopes to strengthen the frayed ties with her daughter, Mary Beth, and build a relationship with her grandsons. As for John--it's clear from the moment Lydia sees him standing in her doorway that he hopes they might rekindle their bond. The spark between them hasn't dimmed--but neither have Lydia's memories of past hurts. Yet in this magnificent landscape that's always felt like home, she might find a way to forgive and begin again…

Praise for Lin Stepp and her Smoky Mountain Novels

"I've finally come across someone that believes in all the things that I do…love, family, faith, intrigue, mystery, loyalty, romance, and a great love for our beloved Smoky Mountains." --Dolly Parton

"An amazing storyteller...The romance exhibited is pure, natural and heartwarming." --RT Book Reviews

"A lovely sense of place…capturing the sights and sounds of Tennessee's breathtaking Great Smoky Mountains." --Booklist

About the Author

Dr. Lin Stepp is a native Tennessean, a businesswoman, and an educator. She is on adjunct faculty at Tusculum College where she teaches research and has taught a wide variety of psychology and counseling courses for over 16 years. Her business background includes over 25 years in marketing, sales, production art, and regional publishing. She has editorial and writing experience in regional magazines and in the academic field. Stepp has nine published novels each set in different locations around the Smoky Mountains. Her novels published by Kensington Publishing include Down by the River (June 2014), Makin’ Miracles (January 2015), Saving Laurel Springs (October 2015) and Welcome Back (February  2016) as well as a short novella A Smoky Mountain Gift included in the 2014 Christmas anthology, featuring Fern Michaels, and titled When the Snow Falls. Previous titles include: Second Hand Rose, Delia’s Place, For Six Good Reasons, Tell Me About Orchard Hollow, and The Foster Girls. Stepp and her husband have published a Smokies hiking guide titled The Afternoon Hiker (2014).

My Review

Welcome Back is the fourth book in the Smoky Mountain series by author Lin Stepp. I love this series. The novels are heartwarming and you know there is going to be a happy ending.

Lydia Cunningham had very good reasons for leaving her home in the Maggie Valley in the beautiful North Carolina mountains. Maggie Valley is near the charming town of Waynesville in western North Carolina near Smoky Mountain National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

But now Lydia is back after ten years away. The cruel mother-in-law that drove her away is gone but can she work out her differences with her husband John. In the ten years that she has been gone will her husband understand why she left? And will be able to convince her to stay and try again?

What I really liked about Welcome Back was the central theme of forgiveness. Forgiveness between a husband and wife and forgiveness between parents and their children. This is a story of a family that had been torn apart but with faith, forgiveness and and trusting in God, they are brought back together.

Welcome Back is a Christian romance novel. It is well written and filled with interesting characters. I really enjoyed it and I know you will too.

I am looking forward to the next book already. Could it possibly be set in Bryson City? There were a few hints at the end...I've actually eaten lunch there and driven through the town.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours: Thread and Gone by Lea Wait

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 563 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington (Dec 29 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English

Tour Participants

January 11 – Back Porchervations – Review
January 11 – Island Confidential – Interview
January 12 – Christa Reads and Writes – Review
January 13 – Babs Book Bistro – Review
January 14 – Laura’s Interests – Review
January 15 – A Blue Million Books – Interview
January 15 – Book Babble – Review
January 16 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review
January 17 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review
January 18 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – Review
January 19 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – Spotlight
January 19 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – Review
January 20 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review
January 20 – MysteriesEtc – Review

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Book Description

When a priceless antique is stolen, murder unravels the peaceful seaside town of Haven Harbor, Maine…

Angie Curtis and her fellow Mainely Needlepointers know how to enjoy their holidays. But nothing grabs their attention like tying up loose threads. So when Mary Clough drops in on the group’s Fourth of July supper with a question about antique needlepoint she’s discovered in her family Colonial-era home, Angie and her ravelers are happy to look into the matter.

Their best guess is that the mystery piece may have been stitched by Mary, Queen of Scots, famous not just for losing her head, but also for her needlepointing. If they’re right, the piece would be extremely valuable. For safekeeping, Angie turns the piece over to her family lawyer, who places it in her office safe. But when the lawyer is found dead with the safe and ransacked, the real mystery begins. .

About the Author

 Lea Wait lives on the coast of Maine. A fourth generation antique dealer, and author of the Agatha-nominated Shadows Antique Print mystery series, she loves all things antiques and Maine, and she’s learning to do needlepoint. She also writes historical novels for young people set in (where else?) nineteenth-century Maine. Lea adopted her four daughters when she was single; she’s now the grandmother of eight, and married to artist Bob Thomas.

 Webpage –
GoodReads –
Purchase Links
Amazon –
IndieBound –
B&N –

My Review

Thread and Gone is the latest book in the Mainely Needlepoint Mystery series by author Lea Wait. I have read earlier books in the series and I have really enjoyed them. Thread and Gone is a great addition to the series.

Angie Curtis is settling into her new, lonelier life now that her grandmother has married the local pastor and moved into his home. She does not have much time to ponder her living situation as a murder and mysterious ancient needlepoint take up her time.

Young Mary Clough has found an ancient needlepoint in her ancestral home that she asks Angie and the Mainely Needlepointers to examine. Concerned that it may be valuable, Angie leaves it with a local lawyer for safekeeping in her safe. When the lawyer is found murdered and the safe robbed, Angie cannot help but get involved.

Lea Wait is a good writer and Thread and Gone is a good, fast, cozy mystery read. Young Mary's fiance drove me crazy...such a self absorbed controlling young twit! I hate when women are manipulated and controlled by their partners....anyways it added spark to the tale!

Good mystery! I had a hard time figuring it out. Looking forward to the next book in the series.


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Review: Death of a Nurse (Hamish Macbeth #31) by M.C. Beaton

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (Feb. 23 2016)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group Digital, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00Z7J7BCE

Book Description

M. C. Beaton's New York Times bestselling Hamish Macbeth series continues with a new mystery featuring Scotland's most quick-witted but unambitious policeman.
James Harrison has recently moved to a restored hunting lodge in Sutherland with his gorgeous private nurse Gloria Dainty. When Hamish visits Mr. Harrison to welcome him to the neighborhood, the old man treats him very rudely. Gloria apologizes for her employer's behavior, and Hamish takes the plunge and invites her out for dinner. On the appointed evening, Hamish waits for Gloria at the restaurant. And waits. Gloria never shows up. Four days later, Gloria's body washes up on the beach near Braikie. Now without a date and without his former policeman Dick Fraser (who left the force to buy a bakery), Hamish must find out who killed the beautiful new resident of Sutherland, and why, before the murderer strikes again....

About the Author

Marion Chesney was born on 1936 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, and started her first job as a bookseller in charge of the fiction department in John Smith & Sons Ltd. While bookselling, by chance, she got an offer from the Scottish Daily Mail to review variety shows and quickly rose to be their theatre critic. She left Smith’s to join Scottish Field magazine as a secretary in the advertising department, without any shorthand or typing, but quickly got the job of fashion editor instead. She then moved to the Scottish Daily Express where she reported mostly on crime. This was followed by a move to Fleet Street to the Daily Express where she became chief woman reporter. After marrying Harry Scott Gibbons and having a son, Charles, Marion went to the United States where Harry had been offered the job of editor of the Oyster Bay Guardian. When that didn’t work out, they went to Virginia and Marion worked as a waitress in a greasy spoon on the Jefferson Davies in Alexandria while Harry washed the dishes. Both then got jobs on Rupert Murdoch’s new tabloid, The Star, and moved to New York.

Anxious to spend more time at home with her small son, Marion, urged by her husband, started to write historical romances in 1977. After she had written over 100 of them under her maiden name, Marion Chesney, and under the pseudonyms: Ann Fairfax, Jennie Tremaine, Helen Crampton, Charlotte Ward, and Sarah Chester, she getting fed up with 1714 to 1910, she began to write detectives stories in 1985 under the pseudonym of M. C. Beaton. On a trip from the States to Sutherland on holiday, a course at a fishing school inspired the first Constable Hamish Macbeth story. They returned to Britain and bought a croft house and croft in Sutherland where Harry reared a flock of black sheep. But Charles was at school, in London so when he finished and both tired of the long commute to the north of Scotland, they moved to the Cotswolds where Agatha Raisin was created.

My Review

Death of a Nurse is the 31st book in the Hamish Macbeth mystery series by author M.C. Beaton. It is a very entertaining series and Death of a Nurse is a great addition.

All the usual suspects are back...Hamish and his dog and wild cat, his new partner Charlie, Daviot, Blair, Pricilla, her father...Dick and Anya have settled into life as bakery owners and partners...much to Hamish's horror. But Hamish does a lot of growing in Death of a Nurse. You'll be proud of him.

Rich landowner James Harrison is new to the is his beautiful nurse. Gloria Dainty, the nurse, has caught the eye of all the men in Lochdubh including Hamish. He invites her out to dinner and she never shows. Until of course her body is found...and the mystery begins.

Great tale that moves along at a brisk pace. Enjoyable read. Highly recommend.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Review: The Ex by Alafair Burke

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1005 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (Jan. 26 2016)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00X3N8S96

Book Description

 Twenty years ago she ruined his life.

Now she has the chance to save it.

Olivia Randall is one of New York City’s best criminal defense lawyers. When she hears that her former fiancé, Jack Harris, has been arrested for a triple homicide—and that one of the victims was connected to his wife’s murder three years earlier—there is no doubt in her mind as to his innocence. The only question is, who would go to such great lengths to frame him—and why?

For Olivia, representing Jack is a way to make up for past regrets and absolve herself of guilt from a tragic decision, a secret she has held for twenty years. But as the evidence against him mounts, she is forced to confront her doubts. The man she knew could not have done this. But what if she never really knew him?

“With an all-too-real mass shooting in a richly-observed Manhattan as its springboard, The Ex is an expertly crafted, intricately woven novel that is as emotionally complex as it is riveting.” (Kimberly McCreight, New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia and Where They Found Her)

“Intriguing, suspenseful, compelling, insightful, surprising, and thoroughly satisfying — The Ex is a great read.” (Chris Pavone, The Accident and The Expats)

“Strong characters and a plot that’s handled deftly, despite its complexities, show Burke at the top of her game here. This is a compelling legal thriller with a strong emotional component grounded in a solid rational base, with a final twist to boot.” (Library Journal, starred review)

“Features smooth, engaging writing; a sharp, funny edge; and characters worth investing in. Burke has created some memorable female protagonists over the years, but Olivia might be the cream of the crop.” (Kirkus)

“Gripping…. Olivia makes an appealingly bold protagonist…. Burke keeps the suspense high throughout, prying open mysteries of relationships and perception.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Burke’s female characters are always very involving, with big, strong voices.” (Gillian Flynn)

“A major talent.” (Harlan Coben)

“Burke’s novels always deliver and constantly surprise. They’re both addictive and utterly rewarding.” (Megan Abbott) 

About the Author

 Alafair Burke is the New York Times bestselling author of "two power house series" (Sun-Sentinel) that have earned her a reputation for creating strong, believable, and eminently likable female characters, such as NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher and Portland Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid. Alafair's novels grow out of her experience as a prosecutor in America's police precincts and criminal courtrooms, and have been featured by The Today Show, People Magazine, The New York Times, MSNBC, The Washington Post, USA Today, and The Chicago Sun-Times. According to Entertainment Weekly, Alafair "is a terrific web spinner" who "knows when and how to drop clues to keep readers at her mercy."

A graduate of Stanford Law School and a former Deputy District Attorney in Portland, Oregon, Alafair is now a Professor of Law at Hofstra Law School, where she teaches criminal law and procedure. Her books have been translated into 12 languages.

Alafair's work has been praised by some of the world's most respected crime writers, including Gillian Flynn, Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Karin Slaughter, Harlan Coben, Lisa Scottoline, Lisa Unger, and Nelson DeMille.

Learn more about Alafair at

My Review

 Alafair Burke continues to impress me with her stand alone novels. The Ex is another brilliant suspense filled novel that reflects Burke's first hand knowledge of the legal field.

Olivia Randall, a New York City defense attorney, is contacted by the daughter of her former fiance. A man whose life she destroyed two decades ago. Now his teen aged daughter is pleading for her assistance...her father has been arrested. Can Olivia and her former fiance Jack put their pasts behind them so she can help him?

The Ex is a story that is ripped from today's headlines...mass shootings in the United States have been ridiculously commonplace. Jack's first wife was randomly killed by a mass shooter. He is a hero....

As the story moves along, Olivia starts to wonder if she ever really Jack. Author Burke is able to take the reader on a ride as the twists and turns keep coming. The Ex is hard to put down as the reader wants to know what is going to happen next. What is the truth...

The Ex is a well written suspense filled thriller that keep the reader riveted to the pages. Highly recommend.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Review: On Thin Icing (A Bakeshop Mystery #3) by Ellie Alexander

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1162 KB
  • Print Length: 305 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250054257
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (Dec 29 2015)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00Z637EIM

Book Description

 Welcome to Torte-a small-town family bakeshop where the treats are killer good.

It's the dead of winter in the sleepy town of Ashland, which means no tourists-and fewer customers-for Jules Capshaw and her bakery. But when she's asked to cater an off-season retreat for the directors of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, business starts heating up...until Jules finds a dead body in the freezer.

"An intriguing new series."-Reader to Reader

Someone at the retreat has apparently iced the bartender, a well-known flirt with a legendary temper-that is, before a killer beat him to the punch. Then, from out of nowhere, Jules's own ex-husband shows up at the shop-and soon becomes a suspect. With accusations piling up higher than the snow-and thicker than a chocolate mousse cake-Jules has to think outside the (recipe) box to find the real culprit...and make sure he gets his just desserts.

"A delectable tale of murder and intrigue."-Portland Book Review on Meet Your Baker

About the Author

Ellie Alexander, author of the Bakeshop Mystery Series (St. Martin's Press), is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

Find out more about Ellie and her books by visiting her blog at or following her on Facebook:

My Review

 On Thin Icing is the third book in the Bakeshop Mystery series by Ellie Alexander. This is the first book of Alexander's that I have read. It definitely won't be my last!

I love the setting of Ashland, Oregon which is a small city in southern Oregon that is renowned for its annual Shakespeare festival. My father lived just south of there in northern California so I am very familiar with the area. Author Alexander presents it very realistically. I looked up the area on the map and I've actually been on roads very close to Lake of the Woods. Beautiful area.

I love baking and love cozies about baking and cooking. I found the descriptions about the baking and cooking process to be very interesting and very realistic.

Ellie Alexander is a good writer and I enjoyed the flow of the book. Very enjoyable.  On Thin Icing also had a fascinating mystery that had me guessing until the end. There was also a bit of romance and questions about the future as Ellie's husband showed up...six months after she left him on the cruise ship they both worked for.

Perfect mystery to read in the winter as On Thin Icing is set in the midst of a snow storm. Great read! I highly recommend On Thin Icing.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Review: God Is With You Every Day By Max Lucado

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 6126 KB
  • Print Length: 394 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0718034635
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (Dec 21 2015)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Canada Limited
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00ZRP74ZM

Book Description

It’s easier to face the day when you know God is with you.

God Is With You Every Day is a brand-new 365-day devotional from Max Lucado, and his first new devotional since the creation of the Grace for the Moment® line. Max’s signature reassuring and encouraging voice, paired with the practical, relevant, and personal message that God is with you every day, makes a great way to start each day of the year.

This devotional begins each week with a prayer and scripture, followed by six days of devotions and scripture for reflection. Weaving messages of comfort, grace, and encouragement, this book is wonderful for anyone who wants a fresh infusion of faith to start each day, as well as those walking through difficult seasons of life such as loneliness, grief, or change.

You can face each day with courage – because God is with you.

About the Author

 Max Lucado has touched millions with his signature storytelling writing style. Awards and accolades follow Max with each book he writes. Max is the first author to win the Gold Medallion Christian Book of the Year three times—1999 for Just Like Jesus, 1997 for In the Grip of Grace and 1995 for When God Whispers Your Name. In 2005, Reader’s Digest dubbed him “America’s Best Preacher.” In addition, he has been an ECPA Gold Medallion finalist with more titles than any other author in the industry.

In 1994, he became the only author to have 11 of his twelve books in print simultaneously appear on paperback, hardcover and children's CBA bestseller lists. Lucado set a new industry record by concurrently placing nine different Word Publishing titles on the CBA Hardcover Bestseller List in both March and April 1997. Max Lucado is a fixture on the national bestseller lists – a Max Lucado title has appeared on the CBA hardcover bestseller list every month for the past dozen years. He has appeared on the Publishers Weekly, USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists. He has won eight ECPA Gold Medallion awards.

In addition to his nonfiction books, Lucado has authored several award-winning children's titles including, Just In Case You Ever Wonder, The Crippled Lamb, Alabaster's Song and the award-winning You Are Special. Max is also the author of Hermie: A Common Caterpillar, and the Max Lucado’s Hermie and Friends collection of books and DVD’s are quickly becoming a fixture on bestseller lists. He also served as the general editor for the best-selling Lucado Study Bible and God's Inspirational Promise Book.

In the Fall of 2006, he released Facing Your Giants, followed by Every Day Deserves a Chance in April of the 2007.

For over twenty years, Max has served as the Senior Pastor of the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas. But he says his greatest accomplishment is finding a one-in-a-million wife in Denalyn and having three unbelievable daughters: Jenna, Andrea, and Sara.

My Review

 God is With You Every Day is a new devotional by acclaimed Christian author Max Lucado. I have enjoyed Lucado's books in the past and knew that I would enjoy this new devotional.

I am reviewing the hardcover edition. It is a compact size that is solid and looks like it can endure daily readings. Each day is one page and consists of a bible passage and a devotion. I have challenged myself to read each day's devotion this year.

Lucado wants to remind the reader that we are not alone. This devotional helps with the lonely, anxious and struggling days. God is always with us, is available and cares for us. I can easily get carried away with anxious thoughts and need to be reined in. This is very helpful.

Today is January 2nd and I find that today's devotional is very enlightening.  The bible reading is from Ephesians 5:15-16. It is about being careful and wise. The devotional is about controlling your thoughts. It is important to have happy and hopeful thoughts as a person is a product of their thoughts. And it is about making a difference. Face the day with joy. Don't be haunted by past failures. It is about spending quality time with those you love.

God is With You Every Day is encouraging and directing my prayer life. I am looking forward to spending time each morning this devotional.

I recommend this insightful and encouraging devotional, God is With You Every Day, by Max Lucado.