Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Review: Lost Inheritance (Smoky Mountain #11) by Lin Stepp

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1570 KB
  • Print Length: 297 pages
  • Publisher: Mountain Hill Press; 1 edition (April 3 2018)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English

Book Description

It was a comedown for Emily Lamont to arrive at the small mountain gallery in Gatlinburg after running the prestigious Newman Gallery for so many years. Still, it wasn't as though she had many other options. The Newmans never made a clear will leaving her the gallery, although they meant to. With the Newmans' only nephew inheriting their property, and the gallery, Emily felt moving to Gatlinburg to manage the Creekside Gallery her only option. Now she simply needed to make the best of it, including banging heads with the man who felt his mother should have inherited the gallery instead of her.

Garrison Log Homes owner, Cooper Garrison, felt bitter when the Creekside Gallery changed hands without his mother getting an option to buy it. She'd managed the gallery since he was a boy, and now some woman, not even a relative of the Newmans, had inherited it. Grudgingly, Cooper agrees to fix up the apartment above the gallery for the new owner, but when she arrives, she is not at all what Cooper expects. Despite being attracted to her, problems from the past keep Cooper running from a deeper relationship. When an unexpected event sends Emily back to Philadelphia, Cooper is forced, at last, to examine his heart.

About the Author

Dr. Lin Stepp is a New York Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly Best-Selling international author. A native Tennessean, she also works as both a businesswoman and an educator. Although not actively teaching now, she is still on adjunct faculty at Tusculum College where she taught research and a variety of psychology and counseling courses for eighteen years. Her business background includes over twenty-five years in marketing, sales, production art, and regional publishing.

My Review

Lost Inheritance is the eleventh book in the Smoky Mountain series by author Lin Stepp. I have read several books in this series and found them all to be delightful. Stepp lives near the Smoky Mountains and her love of the mountains comes through in her books. Her extensive research of the area adds value and merit to the series. I find that Stepp really captures the nature of the people of the mountains in her novels.

Lost Inheritance tells the story of Emily Lamont, the new owner of a gallery in Gatlinburg. Emily had expected to inherit a gallery in Philadelphia from her unofficially adoptive parents. Instead she inherited a small gallery in Gatlinburg. Enter Cooper Garrison who had always thought his mother should have been given an opportunity to buy the gallery. Before you know it sparks are flying...

Lin Stepp's books are always well written and a pleasure to read. Lost Inheritance is indeed a treat. Pick up a copy to see if Emily and Cooper find their happy ending. It is available in the beginning of April.

Highly recommend Lost Inheritance.

Review: Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1973 KB
  • Print Length: 395 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (March 13 2018)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group USA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07465DNXS

Book Description

The police say it was suicide.
Anna says it was murder.
They're both wrong.

One year ago, Caroline Johnson chose to end her life brutally: a shocking suicide planned to match that of her husband just months before. Their daughter, Anna, has struggled to come to terms with their loss ever since.

Now with a young baby of her own, Anna misses her mother more than ever and starts to question her parents’ deaths. But by digging up their past, she’ll put her future in danger. Sometimes it’s safer to let things lie…

The stunning, twisty new psychological thriller from number one bestseller Clare Mackintosh, author of I Let You Go and I See You.

About the Author

Clare Mackintosh spent twelve years in the police force, including time on CID, and as a public order commander. She left the police in 2011 to work as a freelance journalist and social media consultant now writes full time. She lives in North Wales with her husband and their three children.

Clare's debut novel, I Let You Go, is a Sunday Times bestseller and was the fastest-selling title by a new crime writer in 2015. It was selected for both the Richard and Judy Book Club, and was the winning title of the readers' vote for the summer 2015 selection, and ITV's Loose Women's Loose Books. Her second novel, I See You, is a number 1 Sunday Times bestseller, and a Richard and Judy Book Club pick. Clare's books are translated into more than 30 languages.

Clare is the patron of the Silver Star Society, an Oxford-based charity which supports the work carried out in the John Radcliffe Hospital's Silver Star unit, providing special care for mothers with medical complications during pregnancy.

My Review

Let Me Lie is the first book of Clare Mackintosh's that I have read. It will not be the last. I am thrilled to discover her writings.

Let Me Lie is one of the twistiest novels that I have ever read. You really have no idea about what is going to happen next. It is well written and a pleasure to read.

I really enjoyed Let Me Lie and highly recommend it.

Review: The Far Empty by J. Todd Scott

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1160 KB
  • Print Length: 443 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons (June 7 2016)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group USA
  • Language: English

Book Description

In this gritty crime debut set in the stark Texas borderlands, an unearthed skeleton will throw a small town into violent turmoil.

Seventeen-year-old Caleb Ross is adrift in the wake of the sudden disappearance of his mother more than a year ago, and is struggling to find his way out of the small Texas border town of Murfee. Chris Cherry is a newly minted sheriff's deputy, a high school football hero who has reluctantly returned to his hometown. When skeletal remains are discovered in the surrounding badlands, the two are inexorably drawn together as their efforts to uncover Murfee's darkest secrets lead them to the same terrifying suspect: Caleb's father and Chris's boss, the charismatic and feared Sheriff Standford "Judge" Ross.

Dark, elegiac, and violent, The Far Empty is a modern Western, a story of loss and escape set along the sharp edge of the Texas border. Told by a longtime federal agent who knows the region, it's a debut novel you won't soon forget.

Praise for The Far Empty“[J. Todd Scott] has written a story that smartly captures the vast skies, bleak beauty and unchecked wildness of deepest West frank, unpolished view of life near the border...[The Far Empty] is an impressive debut—a memorable story and a rich portrayal of West Texas, a ‘godforsaken place where there's more blood in the ground than water.’”—Houston Chronicle

“Gritty and raw, steeped in violence, this modern Western explores the black heart of the human soul. Excelling in his portrayal of evil, Scott draws a bleak countryside that hides drug running, deceit and murder.”—RT Book Reviews

“An atmospheric noir about drug runners and crooked West Texas border cops written by an ex–DEA agent who knows the territory, this debut thriller looks like the real deal… Scott juggles his cast of heroic, flawed, and monstrous characters with the skill of a far more experienced writer… Scott is, as they say, one to watch.”—Texas Monthly

“The rough and bloody borderlands of west Texas provide the backdrop for this rousing debut novel, a hybrid of mystery and contemporary western.”—Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“[J. Todd Scott]’s career starts with a bang.”—El Paso Times

“This first-time novelist’s familiarity with his setting and its habitués shines through on every page.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Federal agent Scott’s knowledge of the border country of West Texas is on fine display in his outstanding debut...Scott’s skills as a storyteller are impressive, and his tale of an ambitious young lawman has echoes of the movie Shane and the books of Cormac McCarthy.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“This thriller sprawls like the West Texas land of its setting, and, like all those arid miles, it’s fraught with mystery and echoes of a violent past....Scott tells his story in a style placid on the surface and churning underneath, like water about to boil, and, when it does so, it erupts into a series of fine, violent action scenes.”—Booklist

“Thrilling, suspenseful and psychologically perceptive...Terrific...So well written that you just go with the bloody flow.”—Providence Journal

“J. Todd Scott's Far Empty is so good I wish I’d written it. The poetic and bloody ground of west Texas has given birth to a powerful new voice in contemporary western crime fiction.”—Craig Johnson, New York Times-bestselling author of the Walt Longmire Series

“J. Todd Scott is the real deal. The Far Empty is an astonishing, accomplished debut crime novel worthy of award consideration.”—Michael McGarrity, New York Times bestselling author

“A haunting, gritty novel of modern Texas that brings to mind John Sayles's seminal film, Lone Star. As a real-life federal lawman, Scott not only knows the battered terrain but the wounded people who call it home. I loved the authenticity of this forgotten wasteland and the last breaths of the Code of the West.”—Ace Atkins, New York Times Bestselling author of The Innocents
“Balancing both the brutal and beautiful, J. Todd Scott has delivered a story that hangs around the neck long after the final page. Fearless, searing prose that reeks of honesty, The Far Empty is as gritty and raw as sun-scorched earth.”—David Joy, author of Where All Light Tends to Go 

About the Author

J. Todd Scott was born in rural Kentucky and attended college and law school in Virginia, where he set aside an early ambition to write to pursue a career as a federal agent. His assignments have taken him all over the U.S and the world, but a badge and gun never replaced his passion for books and writing. He now resides in the American Southwest, and when he’s not hunting down very bad men, he’s hard at work on his next book.

His debut novel, THE FAR EMPTY, was published June 2016 by Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

His next book, HIGH WHITE SUN, will be released March 2018.

He is represented by CK Webber of the Fuse Literary Agency, and can be hunted down at JTODDSCOTT.COM.

My Review

The Far Empty is J. Todd Scott's first novel. It is a great novel. I want to read the next book in the series, High White Sun, so I thought I should read The Far Empty first. I am glad that I did.

I need a dark and gritty novel once in a while and The Far Empty definitely is both of those. It is also incredibly well written. And set in an area of the US that I find fascinating for some reason.

I loved the characters and was definitely terrified by some of them. They were portrayed very realistically. I am looking forward to meeting some of the characters again in the next book...that I am waiting for my turn from the library for.

Highly recommend The Far Empty.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Review: NIV, Journal the Word Reference Bible, Hardcover Let Scripture Explain Scripture. Reflect on What You Learn. By Zondervan

  • Hardcover: 1792 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; Special ed. edition (March 13 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310449332
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310449331

Book Description

Let Scripture Explain Scripture.  Reflect on What You Learn.
The NIV Journal the Word™ Reference Bible allows you to capture your thoughts next to treasured verses while cross referencing Scripture in the accurate, readable, and clear New International Version (NIV) translation. This single-column, red-letter edition features thick paper with lightly ruled lines in the extra-wide margins, perfect to reflect on God’s Word and enhance your study.

Expertly designed for the New International Version (NIV) text, Comfort Print® delivers a smooth reading experience that complements the most widely read contemporary-English Bible translation.

Excellent for a gift or for personal use, it can also be a cherished heirloom to pass on to future generations with your personal writings inside!

Features of this treasured Bible include:

Side-column cross-reference system
Lined, wide margins for notes and reflections
Thick paper for enduring note-taking
Complete text of the accurate, readable, and clear New International Version (NIV)
2-color interior
Easy-to-read text
Words of Christ in red
Lays flat in your hand or on your desk
Two ribbon markers
9.3-point print size
Exclusive NIV Comfort Print®

My Review

The NIV, Journal the Word Reference Bible: Let Scripture Explain Scripture. Reflect on What You Learn bible is an amazing bible. I have a collection of bibles and I know that this bible is one that I will always treasure. It can be an incredible treasure when filled with personal notes, thoughts and drawings. There is a large margin on each page where you can draw and write to your heart's content.

The NIV has long been my favorite translation of The Bible. The font size in this bible is easy to read. It also lays flat on your desk so it fulfills it's duty as a reference bible. As a reference bible it is an excellent assistant in understanding The Bible.

The NIV, Journal the Word Reference Bible, is an incredible Bible for those of us who like to do more than passively read The Bible. It is for creative souls who are inspired  by God's word. It is for reflective souls who want to interpret what they are reading with their thoughts and with illustrations from other verses. It will end up being one of your most treasured possessions.

Highly recommend The NIV, Journal the Word Reference Bible.

Review: Death by Dumpling (A Noodle Shop Mystery #1) by Vivien Chien

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3167 KB
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (March 27 2018)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English

Book Description

Welcome to the Ho-Lee Noodle House, where the Chinese food is to die for. . .

The last place Lana Lee thought she would ever end up is back at her family’s restaurant. But after a brutal break-up and a dramatic workplace walk-out, she figures that a return to the Cleveland area to help wait tables is her best option for putting her life back together. Even if that means having to put up with her mother, who is dead-set on finding her a husband.

Lana’s love life soon becomes yesterday’s news once the restaurant’s property manager, Mr. Feng, turns up dead―after a delivery of shrimp dumplings from Ho-Lee. But how could this have happened when everyone on staff knew about Mr. Feng’s severe, life-threatening shellfish allergy? Now, with the whole restaurant under suspicion for murder and the local media in a feeding frenzy―to say nothing of the gorgeous police detective who keeps turning up for take-out―it’s up to Lana to find out who is behind Feng’s killer order. . . before her own number is up.

"A charming debut with plenty of red herrings. The heroine's future looks bright."―Kirkus Reviews
"Thoroughly entertaining... A fun and delicious read!"―RT Book Reviews
"Vivien Chien serves up a delicious mystery with a side order of soy sauce and sass. A tasty start to a new mystery series!" ―Kylie Logan, bestselling author of Gone with the Twins
"Vivien Chien brings a fresh new voice to cozies. Death by Dumpling is a fun and sassy debut with unique flavor, local flair, and heart." ―Amanda Flower, Agatha Award-Winning author of Lethal Licorice
"A cozy mystery with laughs, and a relatable amateur sleuth."―Book Riot
"What a charming book! This will definitely appeal to any cozy mystery. The Asian venue was a fresh and unique setting for the mystery. This isn't your average everyday cozy!"―Mystereity Reviews
"The setting (a shopping plaza dedicated to Asian businesses) and the characters (the various merchants who work in the plaza and their friends and family members) were really well-done."―Read-At-Home Mom

About the Author

Vivien Chien first started writing simple stories about adventures with her classmates when she was in elementary school. As she grew up, her love of books and the written word increased, leading to the attempt of her first novel at age 16. After many struggled beginnings and several different genres, she found her passion in the mystery world.

When she's not writing, she can be found frolicking in the bookstore or searching for her next bowl of noodles. She has a soft spot for doughnuts, a healthy love for coffee, and an extreme need to participate in random acts of crafting.

She currently lives in Cleveland where she is hard at work on the third book in her Noodle Shop series, and writes side-by-side with her toy fox terrier.

My Review

Death by Dumpling is the first book in a new mystery series, A Noodle Shop Mystery, by author Vivien Chien.

Death by Dumpling is centered around a family owned noodle shop in Cleveland. Lana Lee has come back to her family's restaurant to work after leaving her last job abruptly she is ready to get her life back on track. Then the restaurant's property manager is found dead. And it looks like Lana's family noodle shop is responsible.

Death by Dumpling is a well written cozy mystery. There are lots of secrets to help discover who killed the property manager, Mr. Feng.

Great start to a new series. Looking forward to more from Vivien Chien. Highly recommend Death by Dumpling.