2015.22 REVIEW – Those Wild, Wild Kennedy Boys by Stephen Dunleavy & Peter Brennan

Those Wild, Wild Kennedy Boys
by Stephen Dunleavy & Peter Brennan

Copyright: 1976
Pages: 211
Rating: 2/5
Read: July 10 – 18, 2015
Challenge: No Challenge
Yearly count: 22
Format: Print
Source: Paperbackswap
Series: N/A

Those Wild, Wild Kennedy BoysBlurb:
 There have been many words used to describe the Kennedy boys … handsome, aggressive, charismatic, charming, volatile, red-blooded, and sexy. This book investigates the latter descriptions, an in-depth probe into the more sensual aspects of the Kennedy mystique.

Here are Jack and Bob and Ted and all the girls you’ve ever heard whispered or gossiped about, a few you never heard of, and, too, those gals who somehow fell onto the front pages … Judy and Marilyn and Lee and Angie and Kim and Rita and Page and Jayne and Janet and Mary and Candy and Mariella and Rhonda and Amanda and Joan and Maria and more girls than anyone would have thought possible…


Review:This was an impulse PBS order. I don’t know what caught my eye about it but something did.

Unfortunately I ended up reading it in order to fulfill a Goodreads challenge that required me to read a book rated the lowest on my TBR. This one was the “winner” of that requirement.

And I have to admit … it’s not the greatest book. It was too gossipy for my taste. It was one of those books that just kind of left a bad taste in my mouth.

Mailbox Monday, July 27, 2015

Mailbox MondaysA slim mailbox this week (which is a good thing). For a blog tour at the end of August:

Flesh and BloodDr. Kay Scarpetta is about to head to Miami for a vacation when she notices seven pennies on a wall behind their home. Is this a kids’ game? If so, why are all of the coins dated 1981 and so shiny they could be newly minted? Then she learns there’s been a homicide five minutes away. A high school teacher was shot with uncanny precision as he unloaded groceries from his car. Yet no one heard or saw a thing.

Soon more victims surface. The shots seem impossible to achieve, yet they are so perfect they cause death in an instant. There is no pattern to indicate where the killer will strike next. First it was New Jersey, then Massachusetts, and then the murky depths off the coast. There she comes face to face with shocking news that implicates her niece, Lucy – Scarpetta’s own flesh and blood.


Also, as part of this blog tour, I received a copy of Karin Slaughter’s Blindsighted. However, I read this one back in 2013 and would be happy to send this brand new copy to the first person to request it in the comments (leave your email).

BlindsightedA small Georgia town erupts in panic when a young college professor is found brutally mutilated in the local diner. But it’s only when town pediatrician and coroner Sara Linton does the autopsy that the full extent of the killer’s twisted work becomes clear.

Sara’s ex-husband, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, leads the investigation – a trail of terror that grows increasingly macabre when another local woman is found crucified a few days later. But he’s got more than a sadistic serial killer on his hands, for the country’s sole female detective, Lena Adams – the first victim’s sister – wants to serve her own justice.

Yet it is Sara who holds the key to finding the killer. A secret from her past could unmask the brilliantly malevolent psychopath … or mean her death.


And for review in September:

CoercionAfter the Iron Curtain’s collapse, Russia appears to be finished as a superpower. But KGB general Vasily Karpov is working behind the scenes to restore Russia’s status by forcing Americans into traitorous acts of espionage and sabotage, with the aid of a new secret weapon. Meanwhile, the biggest target is within Russia, where Karpov is plotting to capture the Kremlin for himself.

Former US soldier and spy Alex Ferris becomes the first to fathom Karpov’s grand plans. Racing from San Francisco to Siberia, Alex must elude ambushes, assassins, and death from exposure as he wages a one-man war against a growing global threat and the resurgence of the Soviets.

2015.21 REVIEW – Stand Down: A Novella by J.A. Jance

Stand Down: A Novella
by J.A. Jance

Copyright: 2015
Pages: 112
Rating: 4/5
Read: July 17, 2015
Challenge: No Challenge
Yearly count: 21
Format: E-Book
Source: Edelweiss via Publicist
Series: J.P. Beaumont #21.5

Stand DownBlurb:
 Life has shifted for J. P. Beaumont. After a tragic accident that devastated—and ultimately disbanded—his Special Homicide Investigation Team, he accepts that he has left homicide detection behind at this point, but he has a lot of unanticipated free time on his hands. He’s keeping busy with renovations on the new house that he and his wife Mel Soames, the newly appointed Chief of Police in Bellingham, Washington, have bought. But new fixtures and paint palettes can occupy only so much of Beau’s daily life, and Mel is encouraging him to return to where he is needed: investigating crimes.

In the meantime, she is struggling to gain control of her new situation, cast into a department where some are welcoming—and some are not. It’s been a few months, and the tension in the police department is rising, but Beau realizes Mel has to tackle things in her own way, so he refrains from advising. But when Beau shows up one afternoon to survey the construction at their new house and finds Mel’s car there but no sign of her, his investigative instincts kick in. Suddenly he’s back in the game—except this time, his heart is on the line as well as his professional dignity.


Review: I was contacted about this novella a while ago and had kind of filed it away thinking it sounded interesting, but I wasn’t really sold on it. But when I got a second email reminding me about it because the release date was near, I thought I’d give it a try. What’s to lose when there’s only112 pages?

Part of my reluctance is that I’ve actually only read one book in the J.P. Beaumont series and it was many, many years ago. So I figured I would be completely lost jumping into this series at book 21.5! But fear not … I had no trouble sliding right in with Beau and Mel. There was just enough background that I wasn’t scratching my head trying to figure out who was who and what was going on. Actually it made me want to read some of the previous books to really know more of the backstory (BAD Tara! The last thing you need is another book series……).

I was a little more than bummed when I reached the end of this novella. I was definitely left wanting more. I found this slim installment to be a lot of fun. It was fast paced and entertaining. I’m glad I gave this one a shot; I would definitely recommend it.

Book Blast: A Killer Past by Maris Soule

1436973632

ABOUT THE BOOK:

1436975822A Killer Past
by Maris Soule
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Books | Books-A-Million
Genre: Mystery / Suspense
Published by: Robert Hale / Hale Books
Release Date: June 1, 2015
Length: 224 Pages

Most people in the town of Rivershore, Michigan view Mary Harrington as a quiet widow whose only oddity is that she spends a lot of time at the gym. Her son thinks it’s time for her to move into a retirement home. Two gang members think she’ll be an easy target. No one in Rivershore knows what Mary did in her younger years—really did—but the two gang members discover they’ve underestimated their victim . . . and Mary fears reverting to old habits may have jeopardized her future.

EXCERPT:

Mary limped into her living room and sagged into Harry’s Lazyboy. Her heart hadn’t stopped pounding since she’d left the two boys. Even though pain radiated up her leg, the adrenalin racing through her body overrode the sensation. Excitement clashed with fear. My God, what had she done?

The boys hadn’t been content to simply take her purse and run. Oh no, they wouldn’t leave it at that. The short one blocked her escape while the tall one looked inside her purse. He said a twenty wasn’t enough, wanted to know where she’d put her credit cards, where she lived. They’d threatened her.

When the tall one grabbed her arm and reached for the lapel of her jacket, she didn’t even think before she reacted. Forty-four years might have passed, but her body automatically responded with ingrained moves. A shift of position, one step back, and she had her assailant off balance. She used her cell phone as a weapon, jamming the edge hard against the bone of his forearm. As she applied pressure, a sweep of her foot, along with a twist to her side, had him falling forward. The moment he hit the ground, she dropped down and slammed her knees into his back and ribs. Before he could react, she used the edge of the cell phone to cuff his ear, then grabbed his arm and gave a violent twist. He started screaming right after she heard his shoulder pop.

A quick roll to the side put her on her back. The short one stared down at her, his mouth open and his eyes glazed with confusion. She knew she didn’t have much time, but springing to her feet was not an option. Her joints might remember the moves, but age had robbed her body of its elasticity. What once had taken a single maneuver now required three stages, but she was on her feet before Shorty truly understood what was happening.

She used the cell phone in her hand to deliver the blow to his face, a side kick took out his knee, and a chop to his neck put him down on the ground. In the past, she would have finished him off then, finished both of them off. She knew the killing points. Two strategically placed jabs, and both of the boys would be eliminated, no more threatening old ladies.

But that was in the past.

“You stay where you are,” she demanded over their whimpering.

She retrieved her purse from where the tall one had dropped it, gave the pair one last glance, and turned away. Breathing hard, she hoped she wouldn’t have a heart attack before she reached her house.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

1437228391Writer, teacher, artist, wife, mother, dog trainer, horse rider, boater. Maris Soule can list an array of occupations and avocations. Even as a writer her 29 published books span a variety of genres and subgenres, ranging from short stories to romances, romantic suspense, and mystery. A two-time RITA finalist, Soule has placed in and won several writing contests. Born and raised in California, Soule and her husband now spend their summers in Michigan and their winters in Florida.

Connect: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Newsletter | Amazon Author Page

GIVEAWAY: Please click HERE to go to the Rafflecopter page for a chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card.

As always, I hope you will visit the other stops on the blog tour:

Monday, July 20, 2015
A Blue Million Books – Author Interview
Christine’s Words – Author Interview
3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – Spotlight
Fundinmental – Book Review

Tuesday, July 21, 2015
The Book Diva’s Reads – Guest Post
Sexy Between the Covers-Melissa Keir – Spotlight
Tales of a Book Addict – Spotlight

Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Cathie Dunn writes… – Guest Post
Authors’ Cafe – Book Review
Lora Lee – Spotlight

Thursday, July 23, 2015
Christa Reads and Writes – Spotlight
Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf – Book Review

Friday, July 24, 2015
What Readers Want – Spotlight
Finding Fantastical Books – Spotlight
Margo Hoornstra – Writing Inside & Out – Spotlight

Saturday, July 25, 2015
Diane Burton – Adventure and Romance…in this world and beyond – Guest Post & Book Review

Novel Book Tours

Mailbox Monday, July 20, 2015

Mailbox MondaysSo I was having a really bad day and while browsing Target, I came across this one:

Eeny MeenyTwo people are abducted, imprisoned, and left with a gun. As hunger and thirst set in, only one walks away alive.

It’s a game more twisted than any Detective Inspector Helen Grace has ever seen. If she hadn’t spoken with the shattered survivors herself, she almost wouldn’t believe them.

Helen is familiar with the dark sides of human nature, including her own, but this case – with its seemingly random victims – has her baffled. But as more people go missing, nothing will be more terrifying than when it all starts making sense…

 

 

 

My latest addiction….

Back when I started book blogging in 2008, reading challenges were all. the. rage. Now, they’re obviously still around, but most people I know have really fallen off the challenge wagon. Even I had seriously backed off the last few years, only committing to a few a year. And this year I signed up for not a single, solitary book-blog hosted challenge.

But sometime late last year I stumbled across a Goodreads group dedicated to reading challenges. And I’ve been hooked ever since.

Now for the most part, I started out small. I participated in the ones that required you to read 3 books a month or ones that tracked the number of pages you read in a month. That sort of thing. Then I branched out into the quarterly ones. I especially like the ones that are meant to clear your TBR.

But here’s where the problem is….

Now I want to sign up for the no-time limit, ridiculous challenges. You know, the ones that require you to read something like 400 books if you finish every single task of the challenge. Think about that when you only average 50 books or less a year…..

Say what?! Why yes, I have lost my entire mind. But I can’t help it. They’re addicting. It’s so much fun to pick out books that I already have on my shelves that will work for certain challenge. But the problem is that I’m spending more time finding books and picking what will fit into what category for a certain challenge than I am actually reading…

I can’t help myself. I need a Goodreads reading challenges intervention.

What about you …. have you found these challenges? How do you say NO!????

Congratulations to….

SAMANTHA!!!

Samantha won my 30th birthday giveaway! I thank all of you who entered and “celebrated” with me. So far 30 isn’t as bad as I thought it would be (… in other words, the world did not end, ha).