Book Reviews (Recently Updated)

Broken (Nevada James, #1)Broken by Matthew Storm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nevada James was a very talented homicide detective but the case of the Laughing Man brought her to her knees. He's still out there somewhere taunting her. In the meantime, Nevada lost her job and now gets most of her sustenance out of a bottle...many many bottles. Three years have passed and Nevada's given an opportunity to get it together, and do what she used to do best...detect! Will Nevada be able to overcome her own demons to help find a missing mother and daughter, or will her demons finish her off on her own path of destruction?

 Tin God (Delta Crossroads Trilogy, #1)Tin God by Stacy Green
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I do not envy Jaymee Ballard or the hand that she was dealt! A teenage pregnancy, a parent who despises her, another who is too timid to stand up for her, it's a wonder Jaymee turned out as well as she did. Now an adult, she is literally living from paycheck to paycheck trying to earn money to survive and earn money to find her baby. The very baby she was forced to give up as a teenage mom. Little did Jaymee know that earning enough money to seek out her child would be the least of her problems. Lana, one of Jaymee's good friends, died and her killer was never found. Now, four years later, other friends of Jaymee's are also killed. Is it just a coincidence, or is there something more sinister going on? The more Jaymee digs, the more she realizes the truth. What she doesn't realize is the truth might just get her killed.

 Someone Else's Daughter (Miranda's Rights, #1)Someone Else's Daughter by Linsey Lanier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The birth of a baby as the result of a rape. An abusive husband. A child surreptitiously put up for adoption, my child. Years have gone by and while I have survived and I am stronger, there is still a missing piece. Where is my daughter?
This is how Miranda Steele's story begins in Someone Else's Daughter, but hopefully not where it will end. Miranda seems to have nerves of steel, but when she meets up with Wade Parker there seems to be a chink in her armor. Attracted to his good looks and detective skills, she ends up working for him. While their goals might not be exactly the same, they share one important focus...finding Miranda's daughter.
I really enjoyed this book and I would have given it another star if it wasn't for the editing.

 Christmas at Copper Mountain (Copper Mountain Christmas, #4; Taming of the Sheenans, #1)Christmas at Copper Mountain by Jane Porter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When tragedy strikes, does life still go on? For Harley Diekerhoff she thought definitely not. She couldn't imagine ever being happy again after the loss of her husband and children, but sometimes life has a way of sneaking up on people when they least expect it. When Harley goes to work for the no nonsense Brock Sheehan, she never imagined how things would turn out. Christmas at Copper Mountain by Jane Porter is a perfect Christmas romance!

 All The Pretty Girls (Taylor Jackson, #1)All The Pretty Girls by J.T. Ellison
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A killer is on the loose and has an eye for All the Pretty Girls... Lieutenant Taylor Jackson and FBI Agent John Baldwin make a great team (and couple) as they work together to bring safety back to the south. There are many twists and turns and to disclose them here would be a disservice to the story, but I must say, J.T. Ellison does a great job of reeling the readers in and keeping them hooked!

 Forbidden RoomForbidden Room by Joanne Lewis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Your life with your family is anything but perfect. Your mother is an alcoholic and,often times, days and nights are spent hiding from your mother and her drunken rages. The cacaphony of sounds that reach the Forbidden Room make you and your little brother tremble, but the silence (when it happens) is almost worse.

One day you come home and find your parents shot to death. It looks like your uncle is seen running away from your house. You shield your little brother and promise to protect him forever.

Meet Sara- now an adult and charged in the death of her uncle. She is being represented by Michael Tucker who has never tried a murder case before. Michael breaks one of the cardinal rules of being a lawyer. He loves the idea of defending someone he whole-heartily believes is innocent and then his heart takes over and he falls head-over heels in love with her.

The story opens as the verdict is about to be read. Follow Sara and Michael as they recount their experiences of how they got to where they are now. Is Sara really innocent? Will the jury find her guilty? Sometimes the truth is more complicated than you think.

 Unseen (Will Trent, #7)Unseen by Karin Slaughter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have been a Karin Slaughter fan for years. When I first started reading Unseen, I found it a bit slow moving compared to Karin's previous novels. But, as the story unfolded, I found myself becoming more involved with the characters, even Lena Adams, (who admittedly I'd love to hate, but just can't).

When Lena ends up being a target and her husband is shot instead, Lena blames herself for all that has gone wrong. Usually, bad things surround Lena, so this seems to be par for the course. As the story unfolds, it turns out that the things Lena learns may not be half as dangerous as the things that are UNSEEN.

 3 a.m. (Henry Bins #1)3 a.m. by Nick Pirog
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found this story line very interesting. How would you spend your life if you had a rare sleeping disorder that only allowed you to stay awake for one hour a day - and that hour was between three and four in the morning?

Well, for Henry Bins that was his new "normal" ever since being diagnosed with this disorder. He had his routine and surprisingly did more in 60 short minutes a day than some people do in 8 or 10 hours of being awake. Life was odd, yet simple in it's own strange way. Then Henry heard a woman scream and his sleeping disorder was the least of his problems. Henry Bins suddenly didn't have a moment to waste!

 UnforeseenUnforeseen by Nick Pirog
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first book I read by Nick Pirog and I liked it well enough to look up other books he wrote. Unforeseen kept me turning the pages while wincing at some of the detailed descriptions of the murders that take place. But, truth is stranger than fiction and if anyone watches the news, stranger things have definitely happened in real life.

 Tahoe Chase (An Owen McKenna Mystery Thriller)Tahoe Chase by Todd Borg
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked the story line and I liked the main characters, but for me, there was just too many details. It seems that the every topic that was brought up was then detailed to the point of losing focus on the story. For example, I could appreciate the intricacies of origami without having to read pages and pages about it and how it works. Again, I thought the story line was a good one, I just think that in this case less detail could have added to the book.

 Never Turn Your Back on an Angus Cow: My Life as a Country VetNever Turn Your Back on an Angus Cow: My Life as a Country Vet by Jan Pol
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I watch The Incredible Dr. Pol show all the time, and I thought it would be interesting to read his story. I learned lots of facts I didn't know about both small and large animals and watching the show helped to understand some of the procedures described in the book. I learned some interesting facts like dogs have many more blood types than humans, and it is rare for cows to have twins. I did sit there making faces when Dr. Pol described having to cut a dead calf into pieces while still inside the mother in order to save the mom's life. And he spends more time inside the back end of animals than I'd like to think about. What I liked most about the book though, was not the animal stories, but the stories about Dr. Pol and his family.

Learning about how Dr. Pol grew up during WWII in Europe was quite interesting. He came here from the Netherlands and followed the American Dream. Dr. Pol came to America as an exchange student and stayed for a lifetime. He got married, started his own business in his garage with his wife, and they've worked side by side ever since. Now over 40 years later, he truly is living the American Dream. Many of his qualities remind me of my grandfather - never be afraid of hard work, never give up, find a job you love, treat others as you want to be treated (even animals), stay grounded, and it's great to be young at heart.

If you are interested in animals or if you like reading about hard working people who came to America and became a success story, this book is worth the read.

 To Kill ForTo Kill For by A.J. Carella
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's no wonder greed is one of the seven deadly sins. Would you let money come between you and your loved ones? Are you willing TO KILL FOR it? Jamie McKay is the daughter of a wealthy, well-to-do family in a small town. Her seemingly perfect life comes to a halt with the death of her fiance, but the more Jamie learns, the more she realizes her life was anything but perfect. Jamie thought the final blow was being attacked and left for dead, but little did she realize, that was a bump in the road.

To Kill For by A.J. Carella is a fast-paced story that will definitely keep you turning the pages. The author leaves us at the end just where she wants us...wanting more!

 Jackpot (Frank Renzi mystery series)Jackpot by Susan Fleet
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My father-in-law used to say he did not play the lottery because with his luck he'd win, die of a heart attack from shock, and never get to enjoy one penny of it. Because of that, this story line caught my eye.

Niles Heath is a gambler who plays the lottery hoping to get out of a financial hole. Little did he know that winning the lottery would not be a means to an end, but bring about the end for all things that really mattered to him.

Winning the lottery can be deadly... especially when there is a killer of the loose! Finding out who the lottery winners are is easy, being a cable repairman gains easy access to the winners' homes. Staying one-step ahead of the police is another matter.

 Storm Season-One Storm, 3 NovellasStorm Season-One Storm, 3 Novellas by J.T. Ellison
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Spindler, Kava, and Ellison blend a combination of suspense, mystery, and intrigue in their novel Storm Season.
One crazy storm brings out many forms of evil across the country:
• A murder in Illinois (Spindler)
• A missing US Senator's family off the coast of Florida (Kava)
• A murder of retribution during a Freedom Conference in Washington DC whose clientele is made up of police officers and spies (Ellison)

These were fast-paced novellas, and I found myself wanting more, which is probably the point!

 Crash and Burn (Moreno & Hart Mysteries, #1)Crash and Burn by Allison Brennan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn't know what to expect when I read about Allison Brennan and Laura Griffin teaming up to write a novel. I have read books by Brennan before, but this was my first Laura Griffin experience. Crash and Burn has two main characters and each author told one of their stories. Scarlet Moreno and Krista Hart started their own PI firm after they both were nearly killed while on the LAPD three years earlier.

Scarlet Moreno's world crashes when her friend's pub comes under siege after the bartender is accused of murder. There is also Alex Bishop, an annoying detective that seems to be investigating more than just the killings. Krista almost gets burned by the very lawyer that hires her to find an important witness. He not only withheld information from Krista, he also hired a R.J. Flynn, a very handsome and obnoxious highly paid private investigator, to find the same witness.

This first book by Brennan and Griffin leave the readers hanging enough to look forward to their next novel about Scarlet Moreno and Krista Hart.

 Cold FearCold Fear by Rick Mofina
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really did like the story-line of Cold Fear by Rick Mofina. A family goes on a camping trip in Glacier National Park and their daughter, Paige, goes missing. Did she wander off and get lost, or did something more sinister take place? I also really liked a handful of characters that were in the story, but I thought there were way too many characters in the book some of which were introduced towards the last part of the novel. I understand when there is a massive manhunt for a missing child that many agencies would be involved, but I thought there were too many minor (very minor) characters and some of the details were just not necessary. That being said, I would give this book 3.5 stars if I could.

 Dark Deeds: Serial killers stalkers and domestic homicides (Book 2)Dark Deeds: Serial killers stalkers and domestic homicides by Susan Fleet
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read lots of mystery, murder, thriller-type fiction stories, so I was quite interested to read Susan Fleet's Dark Deeds, Vol.2 which is a non-fiction book about stalkers, killers, and utterly senseless murders.I heard of a few of these killers before, but I found it a bit disturbing that I hadn't heard of more of them. I watch and read the news and feel generally informed, but it seems that tragedies like these are not so uncommon and may only get a blip of airtime on the news (unless it's a local story).

Susan Fleet did a good job of going through the lives of these deranged people- explaining their background, their state of mind, their heinous deeds,and their punishments. The saying is definitely true...truth is stranger than fiction...and much more dangerous too!

 One O'Clock Hustle: A Rebecca Mayfield Mystery (Rebecca Mayfield Mysteries)One O'Clock Hustle: A Rebecca Mayfield Mystery by Joanne Pence
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first novel I've read by Joanne Pence and I found it quite enjoyable. It's a face-paced story with leading characters who are very interesting: Rebecca Mayfield a homicide inspector and Richie Almafi the leading suspect in her latest case. For Rebecca, all evidence points to Richie, and the case is handed to her like a gift all neatly wrapped up from the start. But when Richie shows up at Rebecca's house with "his side" of the story, she doesn't know if there's any truth to what he's saying. Is the perfect crime coming unwrapped, or is this a well-played hustle by Richie Almafi?

 Hidden Like Anne Frank: 14 True Stories of SurvivalHidden Like Anne Frank: 14 True Stories of Survival by Marcel Prins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The resilience of some people never cease to amaze me! The story of these 14 men and women from WWII show what families did in order to survive. Tremendous sacrifices were made, often times splitting up the family, in hopes that they would be able to reunite after the war. Unfortunately, not all of their family members did survive the war, but each person in Hidden Like Anne Frank tells of his/her own personal journey of survival and freedom. Though each story is unique, they share the common elements of bravery, courage, and stamina. And, like Anne Frank wrote in her diary so long ago, many of these men and women found out, "Despite everything, I believe people are really good at heart."

 The Blue Hour (Merci Rayborn #1)The Blue Hour by T. Jefferson Parker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There is someone in town killing women. These women are targeted, hunted, and then brutally murdered. Enter Tim Hess a retired police officer called back to help with this troubling case, but Tim has problems of his own. At age 67, he is fighting his own battle with lung cancer. He's been married three times, has no kids, and is thinking quite often about his own mortality. With all of this, Tim does what he does best and that is to work this case until the end. His new boss Merci is a young, somewhat sarcastic lady that seems to be trying to prove herself a little too much. Tim and Merci make a great team and the dynamics of their relationship is one of the best parts of the story. They work well together and learn much more from one other than either of them thought possible. Though they are each dealing with personal demons, Tim and Merci work endlessly together to catch the biggest demon of all.

 Redwood VioletRedwood Violet by Robin Mahle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really did get caught up in the story line of this book. Some of the dialogue seemed a little repetitious, but I did enjoy the two main characters. I am not sure if this book follows the correct police procedurals as far as what they would or would not allow in a formal investigation, but I was certainly caught up in the thought of finding the "bad guy" and seeing him pay for his sins. I am now reading the sequel to see if good will truly prevail over evil!

 Brain Like Twain: Improve Your Writing Skills In 30 Days Using Mark Twain's Secret MethodsBrain Like Twain: Improve Your Writing Skills In 30 Days Using Mark Twain's Secret Methods by David Andrew Lloyd
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

David Andrew Lloyd makes writing fun in his book Brain Like Twain - 30 skills in 30 days. He uses Mark Twain's wit, sarcasm, and struggles, to give writers specific exercises to complete to help improve their writing. Because Lloyd includes many fun facts and quotes from Mark Twain, I read through the whole book quickly. Now, I am going to go back, re-read,and complete one writing skill at at time.

 Touch & GoTouch & Go by Lisa Gardner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lisa Gardner has a way of telling stories that keeps readers in their seats. I love the fact that former state trooper, Tessa Leoni, is back as an investigator and does what she does best...seeks out the truth.

The Denbe's disappear without a trace and are taken to a state-of-the-art prison where escaping is not an option. Husband, Justin Denbe, knows this best as his company is the one who built the prison. The story is told by Justin's wife, Libby, who begins to realize their troubled marriage is in much greater turmoil than she thought. Will Libby, their daughter Ashlyn, and Justin work together for their survival or will they grow further apart? Their situation is definitely Touch and Go until the very end!

 A Family AffairA Family Affair by Mary Campisi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Meeting the Blacksworth family made me realize once again that no family is perfect, but some families have way more problems and secrets than others. I found myself feeling sorry for many of the characters in this book. Some brought misfortune on themselves, while others had no control of their position or destination. Normal and acceptable behavior is definitely all relative here.

 Came a ShadowCame a Shadow by Patrick Dakin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Patrick Dakin does a fine job in Came a Shadow of weaving a story of murder and abduction and more murder that lasts a lifetime. As a young boy, Reuben Sykes has to deal with a physically abusive father and when Reuben "takes care of him" I almost felt a twinge of relief for the boy. Then he "takes care of" his little sister and everything changes.

This is a well-written story that has great character development. I felt as if I was there with the characters on their emotional roller coaster especially when they realized that the monster that tormented so many little girls lived among them.

The ending...well, let's just say...the ending will have you wanting more!

 Claus of Death (Myrtle Crumb #3)Claus of Death by Gayle Trent
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Claus of Death by Gayle Trent was a fun quick read especially at Christmastime. The mall Santa is found dead - Would Santa really kill himself in front of the children or is there something more sinister going on at this mall?

The main character, Myrtle Crumb, reminded me a bit of my mother-in-law (if my mother-in-law had a driver's license that is). They both are great cooks, enjoy The Young and the Restless, and love to solve a good mystery!

Join Myrtle Crumb as she investigates the Clause of Death!

 The Sex ClubThe Sex Club by L.J. Sellers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoy L.J. Sellers' novels and I like the character of Detective Jackson. While I didn't agree with Kera's (the main character) beliefs or many of her actions I still found the story interesting. I felt sorry for the children in this book because they were like pawns in a game between society and their parents. Unfortunately, the children were the real losers.

Dreaming in GermanDreaming in German by Claudia Poser
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found Dreaming in German by Claudia Poser to be a very interesting read. Claudia's father moves her family to the USA from Germany before Germany was reunited. In her book, I learned some first hand experiences about East and West Germany that helped to bring history a little closer to reality for me. It was interesting to read about her memories growing up in America as well. Her story also brought back some of my own childhood memories helping me to realize that even though people may be from different places, sometimes their experiences are not that far apart.

 Through the FireThrough the Fire by Shawn Grady
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a firefighter's wife, I really appreciated this story. As a teacher, I appreciated the writing style and word choice. As a Christian, I truly appreciated the message. Thanks Mr. Grady for a well-written story with a positive message.

Endurance: A Novel of TerrorEndurance: A Novel of Terror by Jack Kilborn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm torn with what rating to give this book. If possible I'd give it 2.5 stars, but since I can't, I'm going to round up and give Endurance by Jack Kilborn a 3 star rating. I don't usually read books classified as horror stories, but I did find the premise of this book intriguing...what if you were in a cabin, or bed and breakfast, and you were truly not alone in your room. What if the walls had eyes and people really were under your bed?

That being said, I like to read before bed, and as I fell asleep reading this book, the characters showed up in my dreams. Pretty scary, but also pretty cool. The book is very graphic in its descriptions, and the blood and guts literally are flowing throughout the story. This book is definitely not for the squeamish.

I don't mean to sound negative, but this book could benefit from another round of editing.

 Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and BackHeaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I heard many great things about this book and had to read it for myself. Whether Colton, the little boy in the story, retold accurate details of his experience into seeing heaven or not, one thing is for sure - a miracle did happen. At four years old, Colton suffered from a ruptured appendix and abscesses that almost killed him. By the time he was diagnosed accurately, Colton was at death's door. Even the doctors and nurses weren't holding out any hope. Amazingly, 24 hours later, Colton was sitting up in bed and began a full recovery.

Over the next few years, Colton shared with his family details about being in heaven for a few minutes during that hospital stay. He told his mom and dad details of things that they had never shared with him before. He told them things with all the innocence of a 4 year old, but with the knowledge of a scholar.

I know two things for sure...
There is power in prayer, and God certainly does work in mysterious ways!

 A Reason to LiveA Reason to Live by Matthew Iden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A cop forced to give up his gun in place of chemo sessions. Retired DC police officer, Marty Singer, is just beginning to wrap his head around the idea that he has cancer when the child of a murder victim from years ago tracks Marty down and wants his help. Amanda Lane, now a grad student, believes she is being stalked by the same man that killed her mother. Marty was one of the police officers on her mom's case and Amanda believes he is the only one that can help her now. Marty knows that the murder case years ago ended with a bad verdict and is drawn to the idea of being able to help Amanda out. Now, when faced with his own "bad verdict" from the doctors, Marty finds he has a reason to live!

 Justice for SaraJustice for Sara by Erica Spindler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You yell. You rant. You sneak around. You lie. YOU are a teenager. You wake up one morning and find your sister...DEAD! Not just dead, but beaten to death with a baseball bat. You call 911. You talk to the police. Before you know it, you are in jail for her murder. How did it come to this? You know you are innocent. Lucky for you, by the time the court case is over, the jury finds you innocent too. The townsfolk have their own thoughts though...just because you were found innocent, doesn't mean you're not guilty.

Welcome to Kat McCall's world. Her sister Sara was murdered and the real killer never found. Kat moved away from the small town of Liberty to get a fresh start, but no matter how successful she became, the memory of her sister's murder continued to haunt her.

Ten years have passed, and Kat decides that if she is really going to move on, she has no choice but to go back to Liberty and find true justice for Sara. Little did Kat know that small towns have long memories and some would stop at nothing to keep their secrets hidden.

I have been an Erica Spindler fan for years and Justice for Sara is one of her best books yet!

Fool Me TwiceFool Me Twice by Paul Levine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fool Me Twice by Paul Levine was a good read with a very fitting title. There were characters like Jake Lassiter and Granny who were quite likeable, characters like "Blinky" Baroso that I hated to like and finally a character like JoJo Baroso that I personally loved to hate.

Jake Lassiter is a lawyer in Florida, and is set up for a murder he did not commit. The circumstantial evidence is overwhelming, but Jake knows the most important thing...He is innocent. The problem is he may not live long enough to prove it!

Cruel Justice (A Lorne Simpkins Thriller, #1)Cruel Justice by M.A. Comley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Meet DI Lorne Simpkins as she undertakes her worst case yet. A headless body is discovered only for the head to be delivered later as a piece of a horrible puzzle that needs to be solved. As the body count rises, so do tensions in Lorne's personal life, as well as, those on the job. Will Lorne be able to get the job done and find this killer before her own life falls to pieces? Follow Lorne as she and her partner Pete Childs follow the clues realizing that sometimes justice can be cruel.

 The Stranger Beside YouThe Stranger Beside You by William Casey Moreton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

William Casey Moreton weaves on interesting story about how everyday people can get caught up in society's greed and the price that is paid when things go horribly wrong. The Stranger Beside You is a good thriller with twists and surprises that kept me turning the pages. I gave it three stars because I averaged the story itself ( 4 stars) and the grammar/spelling (which would get about a 2).

 Guts : The True Stories Behind Hatchet and the Brian BooksGuts : The True Stories Behind Hatchet and the Brian Books by Gary Paulsen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In Guts, Gary Paulsen shares his own true life experiences and how those became part of his "Brian" books. I found this book to be quite interesting, but I would have liked more details into some of his experiences. Gary Paulsen seems to have had quite an adventurous, interesting, and sometimes hard life, and I know students like to find out more about the authors who write the books they read.

View all my reviews The 1st VictimThe 1st Victim by Tami Hoag
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tami Hoag gets us all set up in this short story for what promises to be a roller coaster ride in her upcoming book The 9th Victim. In The 1st Victim, veteran homicide detectives, Kovac and Liska get a busy start to the new year when a young girl is found dead on the side of the road. As the investigation gets underway a pattern seems to be forming...young women across the country killed on Halloween, Thanksgiving, and now New Year's. What began as an isolated murder now points to a potential serial killer.

I am looking forward to the release of The 9th Victim hoping that Kovac and Liska get the bad guy and that justice will be served.

Worth Dying For (Jack Reacher, #15)Worth Dying For by Lee Child
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoy books by Lee Child. The character of Jack Reacher reminds me of John from the Person of Interest TV show. The reason I gave this book 4 stars and not 5 is that it was a little slow moving. That being said, I kept wanting to read on to make sure the bad guys got what they deserved. In this case the bad guys were the Duncan family. On the surface, they seemed like a greedy, heavy-handed family who took advantage of the people in their town. This turned out to be the least of their issues. Follow Jack Reacher as he discovers how sinister the Duncan family really is.

 Unintended ConsequencesUnintended Consequences by Marti GreenMy rating: 4 of 5 stars

At what lengths would you go for your child? Would you give up your life? Would you give up your child? Would you be willing to do both? Maybe it's all a lie, and the only person you are trying to save is yourself.

Marti Green tells the compelling story of a man on death row, who after 17 long years finally opens up and wants the truth to be told. However, after 17 years of being incarcerated and just weeks before he is to die, can the words of George Calhoun be trusted? He has always claimed the body of the little girl found dead and burned was not his daughter, but his wife confessed that it is their fault. While George's wife got a sentence of life in prison, George was sentenced to die.

As a final lifeline, George reaches out to Dani Trumbull, a lawyer for the Help Innocent Prisoners Project. Dani decides to take George's case and it is certainly an uphill battle to beat the clock. Will the truth be told before George runs out of time? If George's daughter was not the burned little girl found dead all those years ago, who is she and where is her murderer? Read Marti Green's book to find out why sometimes our actions have UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES.

 Escaping the ArroyoEscaping the Arroyo by Joyce Nance
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Joyce Nance takes a brutal subject and tells the story of two young women who were savagely attacked and beaten in 1981. One young woman was killed and the other, stabbed over 30 times, survived. Her will to live was nothing but amazing. I do not always read true crime novels, but this story captured my attention. I found myself turning pages hoping beyond all hope that when the bad guy was finally caught justice would be served. Unfortunately, this evil man is still alive. Though he is locked up, he has been allowed to marry four times and has as many children. When I finished reading this book, I first cheered for the survivor who had been up against all kinds of odds even after her attacker was caught, and then I scoured the internet to learn more about her attacker.

 The Secret Holocaust Diaries: The Untold Story of Nonna BannisterThe Secret Holocaust Diaries: The Untold Story of Nonna Bannister by Nonna Bannister
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nonna Bannister was certainly an amazing woman. As a child, she lived through the horrors of WWII and the Holocaust, virtually losing her whole family along the way. Her last family contact was a note from her mother. Unfortunately, by the time she received it her mother was already dead. Throughout all of these tragedies, Nonna never gave up hope. She fought to stay alive and to realize her father's dream of coming to America. Years after WWII ended, Nonna made that journey to America where she was married for 53 years and 53 days. It was not until the latter part of her life that she shared her detailed past with her family. Now, her family is sharing that past with us. Nonna kept meticulous notes, journals, and diaries over the years and one message is clear...we must understand history so as not to repeat it.

 Buried Alive (Buried, #1)Buried Alive by Tia Mason
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the first book I've read by Tia Mason. I enjoyed the plot and the twists and turns that were in the story, but the book needs a little work with some of the spelling and punctuation.

I did like the characters and how the interacted. I found Hunter Markum's character believable and I enjoyed how well his relationship with his little girl was portrayed. It's nice to see he met someone who will also be a good mother to his daughter. But,I was a bit disappointed that Hunter's daughter was not brought in at the end, yet he and Kerry spoke about having a baby.

 On IceOn Ice by J.D. Faver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What lengths would you go to to leave an abusive husband? What would you do to protect your children? When faced with these questions, Rene decides the best way to stay safe is to disappear. With the help of her sister, Rene and her children end up in a remote Alaskan town. At first the townspeople reminded me of a group of misfits, but the more I read the more I appreciated the small town feel...when everyone knew their neighbors and would go above and beyond to help them. Rene finds herself falling in love with Brett but knows her husband will search the ends of the earth to find her.

Upon coming home one day, Rene finds herself up against her greatest challenge yet. Her husband figured out where she was and traveled to Alaska for make Rene pay for her misdeed of leaving him. Now the fight for Rene's life and the life of her children are on the line. Is Rene strong enough to go up against her husband, or will Rene and her children end up on ice because her husband will not have it any other way?

 Down the Darkest Road (Oak Knoll #3)Down the Darkest Road by Tami Hoag
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Tami Hoag certainly has another winner with Down the Darkest Road! If asked, what would your darkest road be, your darkest moment in time? For Lauren Lawton, it was when her 16 year old daughter, Leslie, was abducted. If that wasn't terrifying enough, Lauren knows who committed this heinous crime, but there is absolutely no evidence to see justice served. Four years have passed. It seems everyone has given up on the quest for the truth except Lauren herself. In the meantime, her younger daughter Leah is suffering immensely too, but with her mom so wrapped up in Leslie's abduction, Leah feels all alone. Is Lauren willing to risk losing the daughter that is still with her in hopes of finding the one who disappeared? You'll have to go Down the Darkest Road to find out!

Diva (Frank Renzi, #2)Diva by Susan Fleet
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Diva seemed like such a 'fad' title, that I almost didn't read this book because of it. I read Susan Fleet's first book Absolution and really enjoyed it, so I decided to take the chance on reading Diva, and I am certainly glad I did. It turns out Diva is a very fitting title that describes the prima donna flutist Belinda Scully who falls prey to a dangerous stalker that will stop at nothing short of having Belinda all to himself. I wanted to dislike Belinda because of her arrogance, but as the story progressed, she grew on me. Detective Frank Renzi (who is a great character) is in charge of finding Belinda's stalker and keeping her safe. This task turns out to be much more difficult than expected since Belinda is such a...DIVA! Will Frank Renzi outsmart the stalker before the stalker outsmarts Belinda for the very last time? Read Diva to find out for yourself!

 Cry, Laugh, Cook!Cry, Laugh, Cook! by Yvonne Conte
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yvonne Conte's book Cry, Laugh, Cook! is certainly an uplifting read. I recommend this to anyone who wants to celebrate family, fun, and food. When reading this book, I found myself smiling at the stories, because it brought back so many childhood memories of my own. At an early age, I was taught a great lesson from my own grandfather: Be sure to make time for some fun every day. So, Conte's message of always including humor in life certainly rings true for me. The last part of her book is certainly delicious (and not just because I come from an Italian heritage)! Conte shares recipes that will make your mouth water from Antipastos to desserts.

On a personal note, I got a big kick at the end when Yvonne mentioned "agita". It's not often I hear that word outside of my family.

To purchase Cry, Laugh, Cook! Click this link

Dying for Justice (Detective Jackson Mystery #4)Dying for Justice by L.J. Sellers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed L.J. Sellers book Dying for Justice. I especially liked the character of Detective Jackson. He was down to earth and very believable!

Lara Evans, the detective in training, gets assigned to deal with a lady who comes out of a coma after two years claiming someone tried to kill her. Meanwhile, Detective Jackson unofficially reopens the case of his murdered parents. He thought the murderer was in prison but new information has been discovered to make him believe the murderer is still out there. Two detectives, two unrelated cases...until something comes to light that changes everything!

Hide and Seek (Jackson, #2)Hide and Seek by Jenny Hilborne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was pleasantly surprised when I began reading Hide and Seek by Jenny Hilborne. I presumed because it was Halloween and it took place at a mansion that it was going to be about teens at a haunted house. Boy...did I get that wrong and gladly so. Hilborne does a nice job of pulling the reader in and setting the stage for a great "whodunit". I really liked the character of Mac Jackson a San Francisco homicide inspector.

A woman goes missing during a game of Hide and Seek. Was she abducted, attacked or did she use the game of Hide and Seek to stage her own disappearance? Enter homicide detective Mac Jackson. Together with his partner they look at many "persons of interest" and uncover some very revealing facts. At first they have more questions than answers, but Mac Jackson is able to reveal the ugly truth that goes along along with murder, mayhem, and mystery!

This was my first Jenny Hilborne novel, but it definitely won't be my last!

View all my reviews This Time You LoseThis Time You Lose by Chris Stralyn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From page one I was engrossed in the storyline in This Time You Lose! Imagine being awakened from a sound sleep to be eye to eye with not one but four intruders. After being attacked and brutalized it doesn't register until it's too late that the children in your at-home daycare have arrived. Now instead of a terrible home invasion, there's a hostage situation that is terribly out of hand!

Author Chris Stralyn does a great job making the reader feel as if he/she is right alongside Lisa as she struggles for her own survival and that of the children and families that she cares for everyday. A heart-pounding novel that will keep you riveted 'til the end!

View all my reviews Four Years from HomeFour Years from Home by Larry Enright
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Four Years From Home is the first book I've read by Larry Enright.

I was taken in from the very beginning by the character of Tom. I liked his sarcasm and biting wit, but I also liked to hate him when he lied and cheated and manipulated to get what he wanted. I believe that Enright did a good job with character development and that is why Tom is so unlikeable at times. Harry, on the other hand, Tom's youngest sibling, was a very likeable character from the beginning. He seemed to have a good sense of self. He let the things Tom did just roll off his back. When Harry went off to college and wasn't heard from for four years that seemed quite out of character for him. I knew something had to be going on besides studying at college, but the ending certainly surprised me.

When you read this story, be ready for a bumpy ride...sibling rivalry, jealousy, biting sarcasm, humor, pain, and the ultimate show of brotherly love!

View all my reviews The Beholder, a Maddie Richards MysteryThe Beholder, a Maddie Richards Mystery by David Bishop
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You won't want to miss The Beholder by David Bishop!

Maddie Richards is a mother, detective, and friend though not always in that order. While a top-notch detective with an incredible success rate, Maddie's family life doesn't always run as smoothly. Maddie's newly remarried ex-husband is trying to get custody of their son. Maddie's mother also lives with her and is a great help...most of the time.

Suddenly in Phoenix, there is a serial killer on the loose. Maddie is given the job of reeling him in and making sure justice is served. The Beholder, as Maddie's newspaper friend dubs him, seeks out women of a certain proportion and beauty only to tear their beauty away before killing them. While Maddie works tirelessly to find this perpetrator, she becomes leery of those around her. Who are her real friends? Can she trust those in her inner circle? Follow Maddie as she is being followed by The Beholder to see if good can conquer evil one more time!

The Best of Us (The Wayne Brothers #1)The Best of Us by Ursula Gorman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Best of Us by Ursula Gorman is the first book in a series about the Wayne brothers. I am definitely looking forward to the rest of Ursula's series!

Carly and Jenna are the best of friends. Jenna has three brothers and Carly has had her eyes on Daniel for years. Jenna finally convinces Daniel to take Carly to Senior Prom only to have Carly humiliated by another girl.

Eight years later Carly has moved far away from her hometown where she is a successful photographer. However, when Jenna calls asking for her help, Carly drops everything and returns home. What are friends for, right? Unfortunately for Jenna, Carly arrives TOO LATE! Now, not having seen Daniel since prom, Carly finds herself working side by side with him for the most important thing in the world...her life! Will Daniel and Carly be able to come to terms with their past in order to save their future? Read Ursula Gorman's book to find out!

For it seems that when the worst is happening, it brings out The Best of Us!

Mommy May I?Mommy May I? by A.K. Alexander
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mommy May I is the first A.K. Alexander book that I have read and I really enjoyed it. Helena Shea was a teenage mother-to-be who had to make the ultimate decision...Do I keep my child with me, or let the father(who is married) raise the baby as their own? Helena believes she makes "the best" decision for her child and gives her baby up.

This once young mom who was wrapped up in the lifestyle of a supermodel and bottomed out has finally gotten her act together. Now in charge of her own company and using much of her money to help young girls that are a reflection of her former self, Helena has a real shot at having a relationship with her daughter who is now a teenager. But fate seems to have other plans. A killer is on the loose and Helena Shea and all things connected to her seem to have a huge target on their backs. Will Helena be able to handle the stress, the fear, and the torment caused by this evil killer. Will Helena finally be able to have a relationship with her daughter, or will that chance be gone forever once the killer sets his final plan in motion?

The WomanThe Woman by David Bishop
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Woman is the second David Bishop book I have read and I enjoy his style of writing. In this story in particular, I loved that Weed, California was used as part of the setting just like in Of Mice and Men.

The Woman is a suspenseful thriller with twists that will keep you turning the pages. Linda Darby moved to a new town in order to start the next chapter in her life. During this chapter she keeps to herself, has few friends, works from home, and has grown quite comfortable in this new life-style.

Without warning, this chapter of her life abruptly ends when Linda is physically attacked and her closest friend is murdered. Enter Ryan Testler - a mysterious man who has his own philosophy on justice and good vs. evil. Is Testler around to help or hurt? Only time will tell -time, the woman may not have.

Watch Me DieWatch Me Die by Erica Spindler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Erica Spindler does a superb job with her novel Watch Me Die.

After losing her thought-to -be perfect husband during Hurricane Katrina, Mira's life was in a downward spiral. Finally, Mira felt she was gaining control once again until her past comes back to haunt her. Mira, an artist by trade, restored stained-glass windows in a church and now those windows have been ruined, and the priest from the parish murdered. Mira was devastated by this, but it turned out this was only the beginning. Others are dying and it seems Mira has a connection to all of them. While she is certainly a person of interest, a man from her past comes back into town and all eyes turn to him as a potential suspect. Spencer Malone is put on the case to sort everything out. Will he be able to put the pieces together before it is Mira's turn to die?

The Price of TrustThe Price of Trust by Amanda Stephan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Author Amanda Stephan will delight readers with her gripping novel, The Price of Trust!

Carly is on the run...again! She is trying to stay one step ahead of her past but time and time again finds herself in danger and moving on.

She has learned to put her trust in God but very few other people. Now Carly finds herself in a place she'd rather not leave but feels she must in order to keep those around her safe.

What is God's plan for Carly? To find out what The Price of Trust really costs Carly you must read Amanda Stephan's page-turner yourself.

Killing Floor (Jack Reacher, #1)Killing Floor by Lee Child
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I bought my first Lee Child novel because the cover caught my eye and now I'm hooked. His character Jack Reacher is a great addition to the world of fiction. Jack Reacher is a man without a home and he loves it that way. He goes from place to place leaving his mark and moving on.

Killing Floor:
When Jack Reacher chose to get off a bus in Georgia, he had no idea it would be a life changing experience. He is first arrested for a crime he knows he did not commit and that is only the beginning of his very bad luck. In Killing Floor Jack Reacher must use much of his military training to survive in the small town of Margrave and bring justice to those closest to him. If a town seems too good to be true, it usually is!

Until ForeverUntil Forever by Darlene Shortridge
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In “Until Forever” Darlene Shortridge tells a realistic and emotional story that weaves the fabric of one’s life…joy and sorrow, love and loss, the faithful, as well as, those who lost their way. Shortridge shows us that when life slaps us in the face, God is there to soften the blow. I found myself empathizing with the characters and cheering them on as if I knew them personally. A very moving story!

The Hidden Man (Jason Kolarich, #1)The Hidden Man by David Ellis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Truth be told I bought The Hidden Man by David Ellis because a local bookstore was going out of business and they were having a great sale. It is the first book I've read by David Ellis, but it won't be the last. I enjoyed both his writing style and his down-to-earth dialogue.

Action-packed from the beginning, David Ellis tells an intriguing story. Little Audrey Cutler is taken from her bed one summer night and that is the beginning of a downward spiral for her big brother Sammy. Jason Kolarich, Sammy's best friend, remembers that night as any child would. Now over 20 years later, Jason, an attorney, is forced to face the truth about his friend Sammy, the truth about his memories of that horrific night, and the truth about what lengths some people will go to hide a secret. Sometimes, it is a matter of life and death, but who lives and who dies is the question!

Love You More (Detective D.D. Warren #5)Love You More by Lisa Gardner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lisa Gardner outdoes herself in her lastest thriller LOVE YOU MORE! Detective D.D. Warren is the lead detective in what turns out to be anything but an open and shut murder case involving state trooper Tessa Leoni and her daughter who has gone missing. At each turn there is shocking new information that leaves the Boston PD scrambling for the truth and left me wanting to keep turning the pages to see the outcome. In the meantime, Det. D.D. Warren is fighting her own personal issues and this case makes her come face to face with a decision that will change her life. This is a GREAT read!

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