BLOG TOUR | What Took You So Long? – Jessica E. Larsen

Hi everyone!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for What Took You So Long? I had the opportunity to read and review this one. Let me know what you think!


Milky thought she was ready for anything, but is she ready for love?

Ready to take on the world, Milky Valdez moves to Madrid to carve out a life and a career for herself, away from the stifling help of her well-meaning, affluent parents. Still young and inexperienced with men, she is shocked when she meets Luke, her handsome, womanizing neighbor, who leads a hedonistic lifestyle as a music producer.

Despite their differences, the two strike up an unlikely friendship.

Milky’s new world changes when she overhears a conversation that leads her to make a rash decision. Giving up her virginity to a friend seems like the easy option, but when she finds out what Luke has given up for her in return, she realizes just how big a risk she’s taking.

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Review:

I don’t think What Took You So Long? was the book for me. I finished it, and gave it a fair shot, I just think it was a bit too over the top. There were parts I enjoyed and parts I did not.

I’m a really big character development lover. There was some, but I wanted more. I felt like the characters were a bit cookie cutter. One positive here that I did enjoy was Luke and Milky did really seem to love each other.

The plot was over the top and there were moments I was rolling my eyes. I can suspend my belief to a certain extent but I had trouble with this one.

I hate writing reviews like this. There are readers who will love it and there are readers who won’t. My opinion shouldn’t turn you away from this one because I think if you enjoy quick romances, this could be a book you’ll love.

I think if the book was longer, so the author was able to develop the characters and lengthen some of the interesting parts of the plot, this would have been better. I’d still like to read more from Jessica Larsen. I’m not writing her off just because of one book.

Rating:

2.5/5☆


Jessica is a romance author. She writes in both English and Filipino (Taglish) language.

She’s a hopeless romantic, who will forever be young at heart. She enjoys traveling and hours arguing with her characters, and sometimes, she also takes pleasure in playing the villain and give them a taste of hell when they refused to listen to her outrageous demands.

Jessica currently lives in Spain near the Mediterranean coast with her loving husband and adorable son.

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BLOG TOUR | And Every Word Is True – Gary McAvoy

And Every Word Is True by Gary McAvoy BannerAnd Every Word Is True

by Gary McAvoy

on Tour April 1 – May 31, 2019

Synopsis:

And Every Word Is True by Gary McAvoy

Truman Capote’s bestselling book “In Cold Blood” has captivated worldwide audiences for over fifty years. It is a gripping story about the consequences of a trivial robbery gone terribly wrong in a remote village of western Kansas.

But what if robbery was not the motive at all, but something more sinister? And why would the Kansas Bureau of Investigation press the Attorney General to launch a ruthless four-year legal battle to prevent fresh details of the State’s most famous crime from being made public, so many years after the case had been solved?

Based on stunning new details discovered in the personal journals and archives of former KBI Director Harold Nye—and corroborated by letters written by Richard Hickock, one of the killers on Death Row—And Every Word Is True meticulously lays out a vivid and startling new view of the investigation, one that will keep readers on the edge of their seats as they pick up where Capote left off. Even readers new to the story will find themselves drawn into a spellbinding forensic investigation that reads like a thriller, adding new perspectives to the classic tale of an iconic American crime.

Sixty years after news of the 1959 Clutter murders took the world stage, And Every Word Is True pulls back the curtain for a suspenseful encore to the true story of “In Cold Blood.”

Review:

I need to read In Cold Blood. That would have made me more invested in And Every Word Is True. Once I got into this book, I started getting more invested, I just wanted to be that way through the whole thing.

I do like the concept of the novel. It was written in a different way, and I’m not sure I’ve ever read a book like this. The plot was intriguing and the thrills were definitely there.

Overall, I recommend this one. However I want to read the first novel and then re-read this one. I think it will be more impactful.

Rating:

4/5☆

Book Details:

Genre: True Crime, Memoir
Published by: Literati Editions
Publication Date: March 4, 2019
Number of Pages: 310
ISBN: 978-0-9908376-0-2 (HB); 978-0-9908376-1-9 (PB)
Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble iBooks Kobo Goodreads

And Every Word Is True Book Trailer

 

Read an excerpt:

Over a half century ago, Special Agent Harold R. Nye of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI)—who would later become that agency’s third director—was thrust into an investigation to help solve what would eventually become an iconic tale of true crime in America: the brutal slayings of a Kansas wheat farmer, Herbert Clutter, and his wife and two children in November 1959.

A little more than 50 years later—being a dealer of rare collectible letters, photographs, manuscripts, and books—I was contacted by Harold Nye’s son, Ronald, in March 2012, revealing who his father was and what materials he had to offer for sale. As an ardent collector of historical autograph memorabilia since the 1980s, with a particular appetite for literary manuscripts and signed first editions, I felt privileged to be handling the sale of the rarest books and letters by Truman Capote—presentation copies personally given by the author to one of the principal investigators, during the time history was being made.

The books, first editions of both In Cold Blood and Capote’s earlier work Selected Writings, were each warmly inscribed by Truman to Harold Nye and his wife Joyce. That alone would generate solid interest in the sale, but this particular copy of In Cold Blood was also signed by 12 other people, including Logan Sanford, Director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation; the other three principal investigators in the case, among them Special Agent Alvin Dewey (who fared remarkably well in the story); and the director, actors, and crew of the eponymous 1967 movie, which used the Clutter house and other area locations to produce on film a chillingly authentic portrayal of what appeared on the page. As of this writing, only three such books signed by all principal figures are known to exist.

But the two personal letters Truman had written to Agent Nye were the most tantalizing of the lot. Both were sent in 1962 from his villa in Spain, overlooking the Mediterranean on the Costa Brava, where he spent three springs and summers writing much of his book. In one letter, neatly composed on thin pages the color of wheat, Capote laments having to suffer yet another delay in finishing his book, the Kansas Supreme Court having issued a stay of execution for the killers. For the frustrated author, this meant he didn’t yet have an ending—one way or the other—and he was to endure another three years before realizing that goal, with the hanging of Richard Hickock and Perry Smith in April 1965. For a collector, this is the most vivid form of autograph correspondence: handwritten documents richly infused with direct historical impact and solid provenance.

The second letter, also in Capote’s cramped, childlike scrawl but this one on 3-holed, blue-lined composition paper, teasingly informs Nye how often he appears in the book and that “…my editor said: ‘Aren’t you making this Mr. Nye just a little too clever?’

Along with the two signed books, then, these letters were to form the centerpiece of the auction. The rest of the material, though interesting on its own, held little tangible value to serious collectors. But it did contribute historical relevance and an in-person, chronicled authority to the auction as a whole, so we chose to offer all materials to the winning bidder—and only one bidder, since Ron Nye felt the material should stay together for historical continuity.

Sensing the gravity of the task ahead, like an eager historian I began educating myself more deeply in the Capote legacy. As I paged through Harold Nye’s investigative notebooks and copies of actual case reports he had written—not digging deep, just skimming the material—I was reminded of key passages in Capote’s masterwork—but they were hazy, since my first and last reading of it was the year it was published, in 1966. So I reread the book with new vigor—though now every word seemed to have fresh perspective, since I was privy to actual handwritten notes describing Nye’s interviews, his discovery of clues and gathering of evidence, his random thoughts, and a hastily penned transcript gleaned while extracting a confession from one of the killers—all of which made the experience as visceral as being on the scene in 1959.

I watched the indelible 1967 film “In Cold Blood,” as well as the 1996 TV production of the same name, followed by 2005’s film “Capote” and 2006’s “Infamous.” I absorbed Ralph Voss’s skillful examination of Capote’s book, Gerald Clarke’s rich biography, George Plimpton’s interviews with Capote’s “friends, enemies, acquaintances and detractors,” Charles Shields’ portrait of Harper Lee, and anything else I could find that brought objective viewpoints to the table—along with many not so objective.

As prepared as one could be, then, I began assembling the material for an online catalog exhibiting the auction—excluding, ultimately, the crime scene photos, most of which were simply too gruesome to release “into the wild,” realizing well before the auction went live that we would have no control over how they might be used in the future. Not wishing that burden on our shoulders, we removed the photos from the auction, and instead voluntarily sent them to the KBI for archival disposition.

To our surprise and dismay, a few days later we were served with a cease and desist letter from the Kansas Attorney General at the instigation of the KBI, claiming among other things that Harold Nye’s personal journals were state property and were possessed of “highly confidential information.” On the face of it this was a farcical claim at best, since they had never even seen the notebooks, not to mention that it had been well over 50 years since the case was closed and those charged with the crime had been executed, as the Court itself would ultimately point out. Our position, obviously, couldn’t have been more at odds with Kansas’s reckoning, and believing we were on the right side of the law, we took on their challenge. After a grueling legal battle lasting years, it’s clear now that Kansas thought Ron and I would just roll over and be done with it. That was their first mistake.

Over the time we prepared our defense—all the while baffled as to why Kansas was so vigorously mounting an expensive, and unusually high-level campaign of suppression and intimidation—a new thesis emerged that seemed at odds with the State’s declared rationale. And the deeper we looked, the clearer that proposition became. To our thinking—not to mention the views of independent lawyers, journalists, forensic criminologists, and others who in some way touched our case—it looked more and more as if Kansas had something to hide. At the very least there was something more to this story, and I intended to find out what it was.

And therein lies their second mistake and the irony of this cautionary tale: Had the State of Kansas simply avoided such heavy-handed tactics as pressing the lawsuit against us, and publicly tarnishing Harold Nye’s good name, we might never have discovered the sensational “new” details of the Clutter case that time and opportunity revealed as our own investigation deepened. Had they not interfered in our legitimate business—to provide for the Nye family’s medical needs by selling the books, letters, and notes that rightfully belonged to his father—the KBI would not now be suffering under the weight of the embarrassing disclosures being made here.

Throughout his life Truman Capote maintained that his book was “immaculately factual,” as he told George Plimpton in a January 1966 interview. Shortly after In Cold Blood first appeared in print—in September 1965, when the story was serialized in four consecutive issues of The New Yorker magazine—critics, pundits, and others assessing the work were already taking Capote to task for inaccuracies found in his account, or as one reviewer put it, “reaching for pathos rather than realism.”  Not least among these was Harold Nye, who not only lived it, but whose prominent role in the book ultimately ensured a firsthand comparison of the known facts.

But for as much as Capote added to or reshaped the brilliant telling of his story, in analyzing Harold Nye’s notebooks I found that much had been omitted from In Cold Blood, and in many cases there were surprisingly crucial details that, at the time, would have appeared in the eyes of many to be of little value. It was only when other documents came into my possession that we were able to connect the dots, alluding to something very different than was passed on to readers of In Cold Blood.

In a striking coincidence, within a matter of weeks another new client—a grandson of Garden City Undersheriff Wendle Meier, one of the central characters in the story—consigned to me the Death Row diaries, family photos and correspondence, poetry, and a whole passel of riveting memorabilia given to Wendle Meier and his wife, Josephine, by one of the killers, Perry Edward Smith, on his way to the gallows. To be clear, I have no interest dealing in the so-called “murderabilia” market. But this was becoming more of a literary mystery the likes of which few people in my position could resist.

By this point any writer would feel grateful to have such an abundance of material to work with. But later, as a result of the media coverage our case had sparked, synchronicity struck again. I came into possession of copies of handwritten letters by the other killer, Richard Eugene Hickock, which had originally been sent to Wichita Eagle reporter Starling Mack Nations. Hickock had contracted with Nations to write his “life story” while he was on Death Row To the chagrin of both Hickock and Nations, though, no publisher showed interest in the book, High Road to Hell, at the time. But it’s clear from Hickock’s remarkable memory and his command of precise details, which both Capote and case investigators marveled over, that he did have compelling things to say.

As of this writing neither the Smith diaries nor the Hickock letters have been published, and only a handful of people have seen Hickock’s letters to Mack Nations. But at least one thing is clear from putting all this material together—it appears there was a good deal more to the foundations of Capote’s story than was originally told. And if there were any doubt as to whether Ron Nye and I would just give in to the bullying tactics of a well-funded state government—saving ourselves a lot of time and money fighting a senseless battle—the new evidence coming at us from all directions made it unambiguously clear that we were on to something. And we had to believe Kansas suspected it, too.

Presented here, then, are several new hypotheses—undoubtedly bound for controversy, while nonetheless supported by facts—including one in particular that would surely have given authorities in Kansas every reason to fight as hard as it did to keep this material from being published: that robbery may not have been the motive for the death of Herbert Clutter and his family.

Despite an abundance of leads pointing in this darker direction, it appears that the original KBI investigation overlooked this fundamental possibility, one that no responsible law enforcement agency would ever rule out, given the circumstances. Indeed, this was and remained for some time coordinating investigator Alvin Dewey’s strongest opinion, and he personally knew Herb Clutter very well.

Yet despite new information coming out years later, before the killers had even been executed, the Kansas attorney general at the time appears to have adopted a stance of letting sleeping dogs lie, without further investigation. But why? As is often the case with powerful institutions, could their keen drive for self-preservation have overshadowed a full accountability of justice?

Now, nearly six decades later, and with the passing away of nearly every involved character since 1959, it’s unlikely any final determination can be made, short of a “Deep Throat” insider emerging from the shadows of time. But much of what you find here will present compelling new arguments, and I leave it to readers to draw their own conclusions.

***

Excerpt from And Every Word Is True by Gary McAvoy.  Copyright © 2018 by Gary McAvoy. Reproduced with permission from Gary McAvoy. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without written permission from the author.

 

 

Author Bio:

Gary McAvoy

Gary McAvoy is a veteran technology executive, entrepreneur, and lifelong writer. For several years he was also a literary media escort in Seattle, during which time he worked with hundreds of authors promoting their books—most notably Dr. Jane Goodall, with whom Gary later collaborated on “Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating” (Hachette, 2005).

Gary is also a professional collector of rare literary manuscripts and historical letters and books, a passion that sparked the intriguing discoveries leading up to his latest book, And Every Word Is True (Literati Editions, March 2019), a revealing look at startling new disclosures about the investigation surrounding the 1959 Clutter family murders, heinous crimes chillingly portrayed in Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood.” And Every Word Is True pulls back the curtain for a suspenseful encore to Capote’s classic tale, adding new perspectives to an iconic American crime.

Catch Up With Gary McAvoy On:
garymcavoy.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Twitter, & Facebook!

 

 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!


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Enter To Win!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Gary McAvoy. There will be four (4) giveaway winners.  One winner will receive one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card and three (3) winners will receive one (1) print copy of And Every Word Is True by Gary McAvoy (Open to U.S. addresses only). The giveaway begins on April 1, 2019 and runs through June 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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COVER REVEAL | The First Lie – A.J. Park

We’ve all had sleepless nights thinking about it.

You’re home alone. Someone breaks in.

In defending yourself, you end up killing the intruder.

Now you’re the one the police want.

That is the situation that criminal barrister Paul Reeve arrives home to find.

His wife Alice stands in the bedroom, clutching a bloodied letter opener in her shaking hand.

“What have you done, Alice?”
“I didn’t have a choice…”

We would all believe the person we love most.
But would we all make the same choice Paul and Alice make next…?

Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones

After studying literature, linguistics and Spanish at university, AJ Park trained as an English teacher and actor. He has edited magazines and taught English, Media Studies and Drama in secondary schools in England. He was also a competitive fencer for seven years.

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BLOG TOUR | Rough and Deadly – Paula Williams

Hi everyone!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Rough And Deadly! Check out my reivew and let me know if this sounds like something you would read.


Rought and Deadly Cover

Everyone knows Abe Compton’s Headbender cider is as rough as a cider can get. But is it deadly?

When self-styled ‘lady of the manor’, Margot Duckett-Trimble, announces she wouldn’t be seen dead drinking the stuff, who could have foreseen that, only a few days later, she’d be found, face down, in a vat of it?

Kat Latcham’s no stranger to murder. Indeed, the once ‘sleepy’ Somerset village of Much Winchmoor is fast gaining a reputation as the murder capital of the West Country and is ‘as sleepy as a kid on Christmas Eve’ when it’s discovered there’s a murderer running loose in the community again.

Kat has known Abe all her life, and she is sure that, although he had motive, he didn’t kill Margot. But as she investigates, the murderer strikes again. And the closer Kat gets to finding out who the real killer is, the closer to danger she becomes.

This second Much Winchmoor mystery is once again spiked with humour and sprinkled with romance – plus a cast of colourful characters, including a manic little dog called Prescott whose bite is definitely worse than his bark.

Purchase

Review:

Rough and Deadly has it all. Humor, clever twists, a well plotted mystery and fantastic characters. What else could you want in a novel?

I love the quirky, little village where everyone has nothing else to do but gossip. I love the characters, each with their own little bits of clever quirks that added to the overall feel of the novel.

I’ve been reading a lot of serious novels lately, and it was nice to smirk and giggle through Rough and Deadly. Highly recommended and definitely on my favorites of 2019 list!

Rating:

5/5☆


Rough and Deadly Author

Paula Williams is living her dream. She’s written all her life – her earliest efforts involved blackmailing her unfortunate younger brothers into appearing in her plays and pageants. But it’s only in recent years that she discovered to her surprise that people with better judgement than her brothers actually liked what she wrote and were prepared to pay her for it.

Now, she writes every day in a lovely, book-lined study in her home in Somerset, where she lives with her husband and a handsome but not always obedient rescue Dalmatian called Duke. She started out writing fiction for women’s magazines (and still does) but has recently branched out into longer fiction. She also writes a monthly column, Ideas Store, for the writers’ magazines, Writers’ Forum.

But, as with the best of dreams, she worries that one day she’s going to wake up and find she still has to bully her brothers into reading ‘the play what she wrote’.

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BLOG TOUR | When He Vanished – TJ Brearton

Hi everyone!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for When He Vanished by TJ Brearton! Check out my review and let me know if this sounds like something you would read.


A HEART-POUNDING THRILLER WITH A STUNNING TWIST

WHAT IF YOUR HUSBAND DISAPPEARED AND THE POLICE THOUGHT YOU MIGHT HAVE KILLED HIM?

Jane Gable returns from her shift at the hospital one night to find her two children asleep in bed and her husband gone, his phone and wallet left behind.

John has long been a responsible and dependable man, maintaining a predictable schedule. He is a former alcoholic, and so Jane fears he has relapsed and may be in trouble.

An ‘old friend’ of John’s, Bruce Barnes, turned up on their doorstep the day before his disappearance.

Jane’s son Russ had seen a mysterious blonde woman at the house.

An SUV keeps showing up. Jane feels watched and under threat.

Then John’s abandoned car is found with blood on the steering wheel and Jane fears the worst. And there is a revelation that will make her question her own sanity.

Jane desperately begins investigating on her own. Suspects include her ex-husband, her stepbrother, and the mysterious blonde.

Is she being framed? Can she even trust herself?

HOW FAR WILL SHE GO TO SAVE HER FAMILY?

Perfect for fans of Rachel Cain, Harlan Coben, or Julianne MacLean.


Review:

When He Vanished is a slow burn thriller that had some good twists and turns, as well as some really good characters.

TJ Brearton is really fantastic and bringing the twists and turns. I really enjoyed the surprises and the plot kept me invested all the way through.

The only issue I had was that there were points that were just a bit too slow for my liking. That made it difficult to get through those parts. However, overall I really enjoyed this one and recommend it!

Rating:

3.5 rounded to 4/5☆


I started out wanting to make movies. My brother and sister were my first stars. After attending the New York Film Academy, I worked in showbiz for a little while and wrote my own screenplays. I always wrote prose fiction, too, and before I knew it, I had more books than movie gigs. Hey — Ridley Scott says writing novels and directing films are the “same thing”, and this way, I get to stay home.

I’ve had a lot of jobs. Construction, bartending, waiting tables — even weird things like cleaning tombstones and working for a non-profit. I’m fortunate to now write full time. And I’m lucky to have had my books hit the top 30 on Amazon Kindle US.

My fifteen novels are below. More coming soon. Thanks again, and please keep reading because without you I’m just a guy sitting alone in his basement..

ALSO BY BEST-SELLING AUTHOR T.J. BREARTON

Titan Series – HABIT, SURVIVORS, DAYBREAK, BLACK SOUL
Tom Lange – DEAD GONE, TRUTH OR DEAD
Kelly Roth – THE HUSBANDS
North Country Books – DARK WEB, DARK KILLS, GONE

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RELEASE BLITZ | Redemption- Kate L Mary

Titles: Redemption (Moonchild, #3)

Author: Kate L Mary

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Futuristic Steampunk

Publisher: Twisted Press

Editor: Lori Whitwam

Publication Date: May 16th, 2019

Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Blurb:

From an award-winning author and master of world building comes the thrilling third book in the Moonchild series, featuring a future fueled by greed and corruption, where airships rule the skies and coal mines have been turned into prisons…

Nearly a year after Asher Kimura swooped into Athens and saved Scarlett and her friends, the group has settled into a routine that almost feels like a real life. But when an altercation on the street turns deadly, they’re forced to head out west to lay low until things have settled down.

After a lifetime in the polluted world the Luddites have created, Scarlett is looking forward to seeing the sun in all its splendor for the very first time. Too bad the heat, dust, and utter lawlessness of the west leave a lot to be desired. But she’s determined to enjoy both her time with Asher and the break from the constant threat of living in Columbus.

It doesn’t take long for the group to realize that corruption knows no borders. Drugs, slavery, and forced prostitution are only the tip of the iceberg when Asher comes face to face with the demons from his past, leaving Scarlett to wonder if he’ll make it out in one piece.

With new characters and a fresh setting, the past meets the future in the exciting third book in the Moonchild series. Readers rave about the “captivating setting, riveting plot, and heart-pounding action” in the Moonchild series, calling it a “much needed breath of fresh air in the world of YA fantasy.”


Buy Links:

Kate L. Mary is an award-winning author of Adult, New Adult, and Young Adult fiction, ranging from Post-apocalyptic tales of the undead to Speculative Fiction and Contemporary Romance! Her YA book, When We Were Human, was a 2015 Children’s Moonbeam Book Awards Silver Medal winner for Young Adult Fantasy/Sci-Fi Fiction, and a 2016 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal winner for Young Adult Science Fiction. Her book, Outliers, was a Top 10 Finalist in the 2018 Author Academy Awards for Sci-Fi/Fantasy Fiction, and a First Place Winner in the 2018 Kindle Book Awards for Sci-Fi/Fantasy Fiction.

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BLOG TOUR | Foul Deeds Will Rise – Elizabeth Ireland

Hi everyone!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Foul Deeds Will Rise! Check out my review and let me know if this is something you would read.


FoulDeedsWillRiseJAN21_18x27

By 1875, Lillian Nolan believes she has successfully shut off any connection to the spirit world. That winter she is thrilled when she wins the role of Ophelia in a new production of Hamlet in her home town of Chicago. Everything changes when the body of the managing director is found sprawled across the steps of the dress circle and all the investors’ money is missing. Lillian fears, once again, her career is over before it begins.

After her dearest friend is arrested for murder, Lillian commits herself to discovering the truth. Her search is complicated by a strange man who is following her, the romantic overtures of her co-star, and a reunion with an old nemesis. But nothing is what it seems. What she does find puts a member of her own family at risk and leads to the unmasking of the killer with lethal consequences for herself.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review:

Another fantastic read from Elizabeth Ireland’s Backstage Mysteries series. This can be read as a standalone, but I enjoyed it more because I read the first novel. It references the first novel a few times, and if you read the first novel, you’ll have more of a sense of Lillian.

Told as a memoir, I really love the way this novel us written. It’s interesting to see how Lillian evolves over the years. This story is almost more compelling because we get to watch Lillian.

The mystery is once again intriguing. The pace kept me invested. I really liked Foul Deeds Will Rise. I highly recommend checking it out!

Rating:

4/5☆


THE BACKSTAGE MYSTERY SERIES

Tagline: Life upon the wicked stage can be deadly.

Set against the backdrop of the Gilded Age, the Backstage Mystery Series stars Lillian Nolan, an unconventional member of Chicago’s upper class who dreams of a career of fortune and fame in the theater. Talented and ambitious, she possesses a hidden skill which she is extremely reluctant to use—the ability to communicate with those who have died and now live in the world of “The Beyond.”

The series chronicles her adventures in which she continually becomes enmeshed in solving mysteries which often require her accessing the realm of the paranormal. Filled with an incredible cast of characters—factual, fictional, and sometimes non-physical—who either help or hinder her quest for the truth, the stories take place during a a period considered to be the golden age of both acting and spiritualism in America.


Elizabeth Ireland discovered her passion for theater early. After receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in Theater, she accepted a teaching position in a vibrant performing arts department at a college in northern Illinois. For ten years, she taught, directed and ran front-of-house operations. American Theater History—particularly that of the 19th century—has always been of particular interest to her.

She has been a quarter-finalist and a semi-finalist for the Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowship in screenwriting sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Two of her screenplays have been optioned, but remain unproduced. Her nonfiction work, Women of Vision: Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives, was published in 2008. Her work has also been published in a collection of paranormal short stories, Paramourtal: Tales of Undying Love and Loving the Undead. She lives in metro Atlanta with her ever-patient husband, and two quirky dachshunds.

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BLOG TOUR | Beauty’s Curse – C.S. Johnson

Hi everyone!

A big apology to CS Johnson and R&R Book Tours for being late with my post!

Check out my review, an excerpt and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!


Beauty’s Curse (Once Upon a Princess #1)

Publication Date: January 2016

Genre: Fairytale Retelling/ Historical Fantasy/ Romance

For four years, Princess Aurora of Rhone—Rose to her friends—has searched the world for a way to break the curse placed on her by Magdalina, the wicked ruler of the fairies at war with her kingdom. Under the curse, Rose is doomed to die on her eighteenth birthday after pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel. And time is running out.

On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Rose makes the journey home with her friends—Theo, a priest with a penchant for revenge; Mary, a young and talented fairy; and Ethan and Sophia, siblings with a troubled past–as pressure from her father, King Stefanos, leaves her with two equally unsatisfying options: Abdicate the throne, or get married.

Goodreads | Purchase

Review:

Fairytale retellings can be hit or miss with me sometimes. However, I’ve decided that if C.S. Johnson wrote it, it’s probably going to be amazing. And ‘amazing’ is how I would describe Beauty’s Curse.

I love Rose, in all her stubborn glory. She was a great female lead and I really grew attached to her. The supporting cast was great too. C.S. Johnson has a talent for building strong, relatable characters.

Beauty’s Curse starts off a little slow in the beginning and then it takes off, keeping you on the edge. I read this in one sitting…which is typical for me when it comes to C.S. Johnson’s work. Highly recommended start to what will likely be an amazing series.

Rating:

5/5☆


Excerpt:

Rose saves a surprised prince from a fairy attack and while she makes a new friend, Theo grows suspicious of him.

Rose grinned at the power of her sword. Titania had said she was worthy of such a sword, and the sword had come through for her.

“I must thank you. You saved my life.”

The guard behind her stood up as she turned around to face him. He pulled off his own visor.
She nearly gasped.

Rose was glad her own visor was still in place; he was undeniably the most handsome man she had ever seen. His intensely hazel eyes peered out at her through thick lashes, while the wind caressed his copper hair. A beard, a shade darker, was sprouting slowly but stubbornly on his cheeks and chin. She took in the rest of him in a quick second; he was tall, but only a few inches taller than her; his shoulders were wide and capable, obviously built for battle and, in later years, consulting on weighty matters. Rose judged him to be between five and ten years older than herself; at least a couple older than Theo, she decided.

Realizing he could tell she was openly staring, she quickly put her sword away. “No thanks needed,” she assured him.

“I disagree.” The man looked around as only a few of the others began to stir, while the others would never wake again. “All of my guards were overcome, and you were the only person standing between me and certain death.”

“Your guards?” Rose asked.

“Oh. Yes.” The man reached out an empty hand. “Please, allow me to introduce myself. I am Prince Philippos, from the kingdom of Einish.”

Rose shook his hand. “Nice to meet you.” She reached up and pulled off her helmet. “Princess Aurora of Rhone.”

Shock crossed his face, but Rose would never find out what he was most surprised by–her beauty, skill, name, or how he suddenly had a life-debt to an heir of another nation–as two other figures came barreling through the bushes.

“My Lady!” Sophia panted, shining in her own, recently refurbished armor. Her weapon of choice, a large battle axe, parried with the low-hanging branches of the surrounding trees as she came to a halt.

Rose turned to face the other fighter, not even needing to see him to know it was Theo. “You were a bit late,” she greeted him.

He took a moment to look from her to the prince and back again. And then he pushed up his own visor. “You know me, Rosary. I had to say my prayers.”

“A priest and his prayers.” Rose rolled her eyes before turning back to Sophia. “Sophie, run and get the healer’s potions; see if Mary will come to help with the carriage.” As Sophia ran off, Rose turned back to the prince.

“I’d heard tales of the exiled princess of Rhone,” he said carefully, “but I never expected them to be true.”

Rose smirked. “We’ll see what’s true and what’s not. I suppose you headed to the palace as well?”

“Yes.”

“Prince Philippos … one of the suitors my father has been calling for, no doubt,” Rose surmised.

“Yes. Please call me Philip.” His eyes glittered with mirth. “My company and I have been traveling for several days. We had hopes of arriving in time for the princess’ seventeenth birthday–your birthday, My Lady.”

“Don’t worry about the formalities, either, Philip. I saved your life. Call me Rose,” she offered.

“Rose–” Theo interrupted her and then stopped.

“What is it, Theo?” she asked, surprised to see he was wearing a steely expression. Is he sick?

“Uh, please excuse me. I wish to help the others.”
Rose was uncertain about his mood, but knew there was nothing to be done about it. She would have to confront him about it later, she decided. “You’re excused,” she said.

“Thank you,” Theo said brusquely, before he turned and headed over to check the men.

“You might not want to be so informal,” Philip told her as Theo walked away. “Some people would be too shocked by it.”

“I’d wager that’s their own problem, then.”

“I didn’t think princesses were supposed to place bets on anything,” he replied jovially.

She laughed and asked, “Just what do you know about princesses? Weren’t you the one who just told me that you didn’t think the tales about me were true?”

Philip could not resist a grin of his own. “Well, you have me there, My La–Rose.”


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C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family.

Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me

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BOOK BLITZ | Sylvana – Sian Claven

Diana and Robbie are tired of moving their family of five around. When Robbie is offered a great job, and permanent position, they must find somewhere to stay temporarily while they house hunt. Aware of the gruesome murders that happened in the Metz family house, they move in regardless and instantly regret it. With nowhere to go and no one to turn to, Diana and Robbie must face their greatest horror. A copy cat killer starts to strike around their neighbourhood, just like the Butcher once did, and Diana’s family seems to be right in the centre of it.

Where is Sylvana when her tenants need answers?

The Butcher might just strike them where it hurts most before they get the answers they seek.

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Excerpt:

Diana

When Diana saw the flashing blue lights outside her house, she panicked. James was home and Robbie wouldn’t be back until later, so as a mother she assumed the worse. She sped up and held her breath until she realised the cars were parked outside her neighbours’ house and not her own.

The police had marked off the area around their neighbours’ and, as they climbed out, Clinton asked, “What do you think happened? Do you think Lincoln is okay?”

Diana shook her head. “I’m sure he’s fine, baby. Why don’t you take Charlie and go check on your brother while I see what’s going on.”

She walked the short distance between the two houses and saw a nurse standing there, a cardigan wrapped around her shoulders. She had tears streaming down her face, crumpled tissue in her hand, dabbing at her wet nose, and her breaths were coming out short. Diana recognized her as her next door neighbour; she had seen her whenever they took the garbage out. Diana felt quite bad now, not knowing what her name was.

Quickly she made her way towards the woman. She was briefly stopped by a policeman before the nurse waved him away and said it was fine.
“Are you okay, sweetie?” Diana asked, putting an arm around her shoulders.

“Oh … oh … it’s Lincoln,” she sobbed. “He’s dead,” she managed to get out.

“What?” Diana gasped. “How? What happened?” she asked without thinking. “Never mind. I am so sorry …”

“Megan,” she said, hugging Diana and sobbing into her shoulder. “He was murdered in his bed,” she revealed between gasps for air. “I found him … someone cut off his head and cut out his tongue and … oh, my poor baby …” She burst into renewed sobs and Diana couldn’t make out another word after that.

She stayed with Megan until a family member arrived and took over. Diana quietly excused herself and went home to check on her children. She felt nervous; the murder was seriously familiar to those she had heard about when she rented the house.
Once home, however, she found her three children setting the table for dinner. James had a big smile on his face and was telling Clinton stupid jokes. Clinton was half listening, smiling as well, but his mind seemed far away.

“Clinton, honey, we need to talk …” Diana said, taking her son by the hand and leading him to the living room.


Hailing from Johannesburg South Africa, Sian B. Claven has enjoyed stories for all her life, whether she was reading them or making them. She has written for as long as she can remember, but Ensnared is the first book she decided to publish. Moving towards writing more for the horror / paranormal thriller genre, Sian has subsequently published the first two books in The Butcher Books series, Tatum and Kallista. When Sian isn’t thinking of ways to terrify people, she enjoys writing science fiction stories, poetry and rather long and gushy birthday wishes. When she isn’t working on her writing you can find her knitting, scrapbooking, reading, or playing Xbox. Sian previously reviewed for The Blithering Bibliomaniacs and still reviews in her private capacity. She clearly doesn’t know what the words rest and relaxation mean, at least not in the traditional sense.

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RELEASE BLITZ | Drained – G.K. Curry

Title: Title: Drained

Author: G.K. Curry
Genre: Supernatural Crime Thriller
Publication Date: May 15th, 2019

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Blurb:
Six gruesome murders.
Six crime scenes with no evidence.
And a killer who’s more than your typical monster.
When detectives Shaun Hawthorne and Danny Viviani are called to the scene of a homicide, they realize it’s the work of a serial killer. Just like the others, she’s been stabbed in the neck and drained of brain fluid.
To solve the case, they’ll have to peer into the mind of a murderer who is anything but human. As Shaun and Danny dive deeper into the mystery, they discover that there’s a darker side to the world. A side full of magic and monsters.
And now they’ve become the prey.
Can Shaun and Danny survive long enough to catch the killer, or will they become the next victims?

You’ll die over this paranormal crime mystery because of the non-stop action and the jaw dropping twists.

GK Curry is an actuary for health care benefits with his ASA. When he isn’t writing or working full-time, you can find him spending time with his wife, four daughters, and four pets. He enjoys playing and coaching sports and watching crime dramas to spark his imagination. Drained is his first novel.
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