4/5, A, AUTHOR, Book Review, Nonfiction, RATING, Read in 2014, READING CHALLENGES 2014

2014.53 REVIEW – These Few Precious Days by Christopher Andersen

These Few Precious Days: The Final Year of Jack with Jackie
by Christopher Andersen

Copyright: 2013
Pages: 308
Rating: 4/5
Read: Dec. 20 – Dec. 31, 2014
Challenge: What’s in a Name
Yearly count: 53
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy – Purchased new
Series: N/A

These Few Precious daysBlurb: They were the original power couple – outlandishly rich,impossibly attractive, and endlessly fascinating. Now, in this rare, behind-the-scenes portrait of the Kennedys in their final year together, #1 New York Times bestselling biographer Christopher Andersen shows us a side of JFK and Jackie we’ve never seen before. Tender, intimate, complex, and, at times, explosive, theirs is a love story unlike any other – filled with secrets, scandals, and bombshells that could never be fully revealed … until now. Including:

  • Stunning new details about the Kennedys’ rumored affairs – hers as well as his – and how they ultimately overcame all odds to save their marriage.
  • The president’s many premonitions of his own death, and how he repeatedly tried to pull out of his last fateful trip to Dallas.
  • Shocking revelations about how the couple, unaware of the dangers, became dependent on amphetamine injections, the real reason – according to his longtime personal physician – for JFK’s notorious libido, and how the White House hid his many serious medical problems from the public.
  • How the tragic death of their infant son Patrick led to an emotional outpouring from the president that surprised even their closest friends – and brought JFK and Jackie closer than they had ever been.
  • Touching, firsthand accounts of the family’s most private moments, before and after the assassination.

Drawing on hundreds of interviews conducted with the Kennedys’ inner circle – from family members and lifelong friends to key advisors and political confidants – Andersen takes us deeper inside the world of the president and his first lady than ever before. Unsparing yet sympathetic, bigger than life but all too real, These Few Precious Days captures the ups and downs of a marriage, a man, and a woman, the memories of which will continue to fascinate and inspire for generations to come.


Review: This is the fourth book I’ve read by Christopher Andersen, having previously read After Diana, Diana’s Boysand William & Kate. Overall, I thoroughly enjoy Mr. Andersen’s books and this one was no exception!

It’s really no surprise that I picked this book up. I am a little Kennedy obsessed, after all. But for the most part, everything I’ve ever read about JFK has been entirely related to his assassination. So to say I learned a lot of things while reading this book would be an understatement. There was a ton of information in this book that I had no idea about. I really enjoyed it.

I can’t imagine the tragedy that Jackie went through during her lifetime. To have all that heartbreak with her child-bearing issues, suffering one miscarriage, one stillbirth and losing Patrick just a day or so after he was born (all while having to watch RFK’s wife pop baby after baby out).  And then to lose her husband while she was still grieving the loss of Patrick. I can’t even begin to imagine. Talk about a woman who suffered endlessly it seems.

For all that I know about JFK, there is so much that I don’t know about Jackie. It was fascinating to get a more intimate peek into who Jackie Kennedy was. It definitely makes me want to read more about her in the future.

It’s really amazing what the Kennedys were able to hide from the press and general public. If the world had known then what we know now … “Camelot” probably would have been over before it began. I think it’s just so shocking to me because we are so used to knowing everything about everyone immediately in our culture. JFK’s staff and aides, along with the Secret Service, really protected him in more ways than just physically. It’s amazing, really, what he got away with, so to speak.

Overall, this was a really interesting book to me. I think what draws me to Mr. Andersen’s books so much is that while being non-fiction, they are so easy to read. It reads like fiction, to be honest. It just flows so well and I never found any “dry” spots in this book. I would definitely recommend this author and this book.

 

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3/5, A, AUTHOR, Book Review, E-Book, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2014, Review Book, TLC Book Tours

2014.51 REVIEW – Duke City Hit by Max Austin

Duke City Hit
by Max Austin

Copyright: 2014
Pages: 150
Rating: 3/5
Read: Dec. 12 – Dec. 18, 2014
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 51
Format: E-Book
Source: TLC Book Tour
Series: N/A

Duke City Hit

Blurb: Max Austin takes readers back to Albuquerque for another action-packed thrill ride in Duke City Hit, as an elite assassin takes aim at—well, everyone.

According to Vic Walters, the secret to happiness is low overhead and few demands. Living rent-free in a modest bachelor pad behind his boss’s house, he has no debts, no entanglements, and no expensive relationships. He works just a few days a month, but his bank accounts keep growing.

Vic is a high-priced hitman with a legendary record of success. That is, until someone starts eliminating his marks before he can get to them . . . until his manager puts him in the middle of a vicious drug-cartel feud . . . and until a young man walks into his life with a big .45 and a startling revelation.

For Vic Walters, it’s time to step out of the shadows. Which means it’s killing time in Duke City.


Review: I received a copy of this book for free in conjunction with a TLC Book tour, all opinions expressed below are my own.

You may remember that earlier this year I had the pleasure of reading Mr. Austin’s book Duke City Split. I enjoyed that one and was pleased to be offered the chance to read more from Mr. Austin.

I knew going into this book that it was a short read – only 150 pages. Sometimes that is exactly what you need! And I definitely needed it!

For me this book was a fun read. It was just plain fun. There wasn’t a lot of thinking involved, it was just a mindless, quick read. Perfect for around the holidays (and when you’re in the middle of moving and unpacking a gazillion boxes).

Don’t worry if you pick this one up without reading Duke City Split. It’s a whole new cast of characters. And just as fun.

Recommended!!


Max AustinAbout the Author: Max Austin is the pseudonym of writer Steve Brewer. He lives in Duke City (Albuquerque), New Mexico.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

GIVEAWAY! There is also a giveaway available in conjunction with this tour. The winner will receive a $25.00 gift card to the e-book retailer of their choice and one copy of Duke City Split. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE GIVEAWAY PAGE. 

Please be sure to check out all the other stops on the tour:

Tuesday, December 9th: Nightly Reading
Wednesday, December 10th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Thursday, December 11th: Reading Reality
Thursday, December 11th: Rhodes Review
Friday, December 12th: Mom in Love with Fiction
Monday, December 15th: Omnimystery News – author guest post
Monday, December 15th: Bell, Book & Candle
Tuesday, December 16th: CiCi’s Theories
Wednesday, December 17th: Reading to Distraction
Thursday, December 18th: Teena in Toronto
Monday, December 22nd: Book Nerd
Monday, December 22nd: The Book Diva’s Reads
Tuesday, December 23rd:  No More Grumpy Bookseller
Monday, December 29th:  From the TBR Pile
Monday, December 29th: FictionZeal
Tuesday, December 30th:  Tales of a Book Addict

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3.5/5, AUTHOR, Author Debut, Blogging for Books, Book Review, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2014, Review Book, S

2014.51 REVIEW – The Execution of Noa P. Singleton by Elizabeth L. Silver

The Execution of Noa P. Singleton
by Elizabeth L. Silver

Copyright: 2013, 2014
Pages: 308
Rating: 3.5/5
Read: Dec. 12 – Dec. 21, 2014
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 51
Format: Print
Source: Blogging for Books
Series: N/A

The Execution of Noa P. SingletonBlurb: Noa P. Singleton never spoke a word in her own defense throughout a brief trial that ended with a jury finding her guilty of first-degree murder. Ten years later, she sits on death row in a maximum-security penitentiary, just six months away from her execution date.

Meanwhile, Marlene Dixon, a high-powered Philadelphia attorney who is also the mother of the woman Noa was imprisoned for killing, shows up for a visit. She claims to have changed her mind about the death penalty and will do everything in her considerable power to convince the governor to commute Noa’s sentence in return for the one thing Noa can trade: her story. Marlene wants to understand the events that led to her daughter’s death -e vents that only Noa knows of and has never shared. Inextricably linked by murder but with very different goals, Noa and Marlene wrestle with the sentences life itself can impose while they confront the best and worst of what makes us human.


Review: I received a copy of this book for free from Blogging for Books, all opinions expressed below are my own.

I requested this book months ago from Blogging for Books. For whatever reason, I never got around to it until now. And I have to say that I’m mixed on my feelings of this book.

Here’s the deal. You’ve got Noa – a 35-year-old woman on death row for killing Sarah Dixon. Then you’ve got Marlene, Sarah’s mother, an attorney who comes to Noa six months before her execution date to get the real story of what happened that New Year’s Day when Sarah was murdered. You’ve also got some supporting characters mentioned throughout, Noa’s mother, Noa’s best friend from childhood, Noa’s father whom she reconnected with after high school, and Oliver, an attorney assisting Marlene.

And through all those characters, you the reader has to figure out what really happened the night that Sarah Dixon was murdered. And let me tell you, it’s a wild and crazy web to unweave. As a reader, I didn’t know who to believe. I didn’t know who to trust. I didn’t know which way was up at certain times. This part was the interesting part.

But then there were some issues that ultimately dragged this book down for me. The writing … so over-the-top descriptive and unnecessarily so … it really didn’t work for me. When I went into this book I was expecting it to be a really fast, exciting read. Not even close. Ms. Silver definitely has a way with words … just not one that is to my taste. I’d like to think I’m relatively intelligent, and I am college educated, but there were entire sections of the book that was completely over my head just because of the way they were worded.

Overall, I liked the premise of this book. And really it had a lot of potential. But the writing really took some of my enjoyment away from this one.

So, bottom line … it was an okay book that I don’t regret reading, but it’s not one that I would necessarily recommend to everyone I know.

4/5, AUTHOR, Author Debut, Book Review, C, E-Book, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2014, Review Book, TLC Book Tours

2014.50 REVIEW – The Kill List by Nichole Christoff

The Kill List
by Nichole Christoff

Copyright: 2014
Pages: 270
Rating: 4/5
Read: Dec. 7 – Dec. 12, 2014
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 50
Format: E-Book
Source: TLC Book Tour
Series: Jamie Sinclair #1

The Kill ListBlurb: In this taut debut thriller, Nichole Christoff introduces a savvy private investigator with nerves of steel—and a shattered heart.

As a top private eye turned security specialist, Jamie Sinclair has worked hard to put her broken marriage behind her. But when her lying, cheating ex-husband, army colonel Tim Thorp, calls with the news that his three-year-old daughter has been kidnapped, he begs Jamie to come find her. For the sake of the child, Jamie knows she can’t refuse. Now, despite the past, she’ll do everything in her power to bring little Brooke Thorp home alive.

Soon Jamie is back at Fort Leeds—the army base in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens where she grew up, the only child of a two-star general—chasing down leads and forging an uneasy alliance with the stern military police commander and the exacting FBI agent working Brooke’s case. But because Jamie’s father is now a U.S. senator, her recent run-in with a disturbed stalker is all over the news, and when she starts receiving gruesome threats echoing the stalker’s last words, she can’t shake the feeling that her investigation may be about more than a missing girl—and that someone very powerful is hiding something very significant . . . and very sinister.


Review: I received a copy of this book for free in conjunction with a TLC Book tour, all opinions expressed below are my own.

What a fun, solid book! I didn’t know what to really expect going into this one, but I sure got more out of it than I was expecting!! Let me just tell you that the book starts off with a pretty intense scene that really sets the tone for what’s to come. I was so wrapped up in everything going on in this book that I could barely stand to put it down!

I liked Jamie, but I also liked what she had going on with Barrett. It was a very gradual growing relationship and I liked that a lot. And I can’t wait to see how much more it unfolds in future books!

I have to say that I was amazed at how much I learned about military life through this book. I don’t know have any family or close friends in the military, so it was definitely a learning experience to me. And very enlightening to see it portrayed in such a respectful way. I also liked that Jamie was really able to succeed in such a male-centered world (military/government). I have read a few military-ish books in the past, and very few of them have women in any sort of leading/successful role. Definitely a fresh aspect on things!

Overall, the storyline was extremely interesting. There were a lot of twists and turns. Things were not as they appeared. And it really was a fun story! Definitely a book that I think will appeal to all mystery lovers!

Highly recommended.


About the Author: Nichole Christoff is a writer, broadcaster, and military spouse who has worked on air and behind the scenes producing and promoting content for radio, television news, and the public relations industry across the United States and Canada. Christoff is a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime and the Jane Austen Society of North America. She also belongs to the Private Eye Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and three of RWA’s local chapters where she’s served as an officer and a member of the board. In Christoff’s first year as a member of RWA, her first manuscript won the Golden Heart for Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements. Her second manuscript won a 2011 Helen McCloy Scholarship from the Mystery Writers of America. Her latest work, The Kill List, is a 2014 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense nominee.

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Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Please be sure to check out all the other stops on the tour:

Tuesday, November 25th: The Book Binder’s Daughter
Friday, November 28th: Nightly Reading
Monday, December 1st: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, December 2nd: Bell, Book & Candle
Wednesday, December 3rd: Omnimystery News – guest post
Thursday, December 4th: CiCi’s Theories
Friday, December 5th: Reading to Distraction
Monday, December 8th: Read and Shelved
Tuesday, December 9th: Mom in Love with Fiction
Wednesday, December 10th: Book Nerd
Thursday, December 11th: Back Porchervations
Monday, December 15th: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, December 16th: Booked on a Feeling
Wednesday, December 17th: A Fantastical Librarian
Friday, December 19th: Tales of a Book Addict
TBD: Queen of All She Reads
TBD: Annabel and Alice

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4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, G, RATING, Read in 2014

2014.49 REVIEW – These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf

These Things Hidden
by Heather Gudenkauf

Copyright: 2011
Pages: 337
Rating: 4/5
Read: Nov. 23 – Dec. 7, 2014
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 49
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy
Series: N/A


These Things HiddenBlurb:
 When teenager Allison Glenn is sent to prison for a heinous crime, she leaves behind her reputation as Linden Falls’ golden girl forever. Her parents deny the existence of their once-perfect child. Her former friends exult in her downfall. Her sister, Brynn, faces whispered rumors every day in the hallways of their small Iowa high school. It’s Brynn – shy, quiet Brynn – who carries the burden of what really happened that night. All she wants is to forget Allison and the past that haunts her.

But then Allison is released to a halfway house, and is more determined than ever to speak with her estranged sister.

Now their legacy of secrets is focused on one little boy. And if the truth is revealed, the consequences will be unimaginable for the adoptive mother who loves him, the girl who tried to protect him and the two sisters who hold the key to all that is hidden.


Review: So after I finished the book that I had been reading when we moved out, I realized that I had failed to hold out any other books to read until we moved into our new house and the movers brought all our stuff back. The horror! So of course I had to go to the bookstore and buy something to read! This is what I happened to come across. I had seen this book mentioned in (I believe) a Paperbackswap newsletter. I don’t know how I missed it when it was released in 2011, but somehow I did.

I had no preconceived notions going into this book. I had seen no buzz about it online. I had not read review after review of it from various bloggers. I did something the old-fashioned way. I chose a book in a bookstore that intrigued me and I read it. I cannot tell you how long it had been since I had done that. My reading has been so structured and scheduled for so long that it was really strange to do something so out of the ordinary for me.

I was just glad that the book was a great read and not a dud! Ha!

Overall I liked it. I had no idea really what was coming when it finally happened. But really thinking back on the way things unfolded, it really should not have been as much of a surprise as it was for me. I liked that the book was told from multiple character viewpoints. I felt like it really made everything come together so much better. You got all of the innermost thoughts and feelings of so many characters. It was an interesting way of setting up the book in my opinion.

Some of the characters in this book are doozies, to say the least. You’ve got a wide variety – the one fresh out of prison, the sister who has some obvious mental issues, the parents who pretty much checked out when their kids were found to be imperfect. And that’s just all in one family. There are plenty other dysfunctional characters within the book!

The storyline was interesting. I felt like the author did a really good job with it to be honest. Because it could have been pretty dull … teenage girl gets pregnant, gets rid of baby and *thinks* life will go on as normal. It doesn’t. Girl gets out of jail 5 years later and tries to reconnect with her family and society in general. But all is not as it seems. And that’s what makes this story so much more interesting as it unfolds before your very eyes. I liked it. A lot.

So I guess I found a gem in this one. I would definitely recommend it!

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, Lucas Davenport, RATING, Read in 2014, S, SERIES

2014.48 REVIEW – Eyes of Prey by John Sandford

Eyes of Prey
by John Sandford

Copyright: 1991
Pages: 358
Rating: 4/5
Read: Nov. 16 – Nov. 23, 2014
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 48
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy
Series: Lucas Davenport #3

Eyes of PreyBlurb: Lieutenant Davenport’s sanity was nearly shattered by two murder investigations. Now he faces something worse … Two killers. One hideously scarred. The other strikingly handsome, a master manipulator fascinated with all aspects of death. The dark mirror of Davenport’s soul … This is the case that will bring Davenport back to life. Or push him over the edge.


Review: This is the 3rd book in the Lucas Davenport series. After loving the first book, Rules of Prey, I was excited to get into the second one, Shadow Prey. Unfortunately Shadow didn’t really work for me, so I was a little apprehensive to pick up the next one.

Stupid move, Tara.

I loved this book! Bekker is one creepy dude! And the ending … well, I don’t want to say too much, but I have a feeling that Bekker could possibly turn up in a future book! And whew, would that be interesting!!

I liked Lucas a lot better in this particular installment than I did in Shadow. My issue with that book was the womanizing … when he had a newborn and a woman he kept trying to propose marriage to. In this installment, he’s come back down to reality. He’s obviously spent some time in a serious depression. And this case somewhat snaps him out of it. I liked that we got to see Lucas a little bit vulnerable. And then we get to see him pulling himself back up and getting back on the right track.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. And I would highly recommend it. I think this series is just one that might be hit or miss. All series are like that to a point, some books are better than others. This particular book is better than the second in the series. But I’m definitely looking forward to getting to the fourth book.

And I’m kicking myself for letting the movers pack it up with all my other books! Boo!

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, D, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2014, Review Book, TLC Book Tours

2014.47 REVIEW – My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni

My Sister’s Grave
by Robert Dugoni

Copyright: 2014
Pages: 408
Rating: 4/5
Read: Oct. 22 – Nov. 2, 2014
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 47
Format: Print
Source: TLC Book Tour
Series: N/A

My Sister's GraveBlurb: Tracy Crosswhite has spent twenty years questioning the facts surrounding her sister Sarah’s disappearance and the murder trial that followed. She doesn’t believe that Edmund House – a convicted rapist and the man condemned for Sarah’s murder – is the guilty party. Motivated by the opportunity to obtain real justice, Tracy became a homicide detective with the Seattle PD and dedicated her life to tracking down killers.

When Sarah’s remains are finally discovered near their hometown in the northern Cascade mountains of Washington State, Tracy is determined to get the answers she’s been seeking. As she searches for the real killer, she unearths dark, long-kept secrets that will forever change her relationship to her past – and open the door to deadly danger.


Review: I received a copy of this book for free in conjunction with a TLC Book tour, all opinions expressed below are my own.

What a fun, thrilling read! This book really sucked me in from the very beginning and didn’t spit me back out until I had finished with it. I was so engrossed by the characters and the story that I never wanted to put it down.

I liked Tracy’s character. She’s strong. And likable. I find that to be a difficult combination for female lead characters. But Mr. Dugoni makes it work with Tracy. I hope we get to see more of her in the future!

The writing was excellent. The plot line was exciting. I think I may have found a new-to-me must-read author! I don’t know why I’ve never read anything by Mr. Dugoni before, but I’m definitely not going to let him get past me any longer.

The flashbacks really helped us get to know Sarah. And in my opinion without knowing Sarah, we wouldn’t understand who Tracy is. I thought it all flowed seamlessly. Sometimes flashbacks don’t work for me, but it was very well executed in this book.

I went back and forth trying to figure out the truth behind everything. And in the end I didn’t have it right. But all the guessing and back and forth kept me reading and practically dying to know what happened! I love books that keep me guessing until the very end!

Overall I can’t recommend this book enough. I thoroughly enjoyed it.


unnamedAbout the Author: Robert Dugoni is the critically acclaimed and New York Times-bestselling author of the David Sloane series: The Jury Master, Wrongful Death, Bodily Harm, Murder, and The ConvictionMurder One was a finalist for the Harper Lee Award for literary excellence. He is also the author of the bestselling standalone novel Damage Control, and the nonfiction work The Cyanide Canary.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Please be sure to check out the other stops on the tour:

Tuesday, November 4th: Crime Book Club

Tuesday, November 4th: Read Love Blog

Friday, November 7th: Not in Jersey

Monday, November 10th: Mockingbird Hill Cottage

Monday, November 10th: Psychotic State Book Reviews

Tuesday, November 11th: Mary’s Cup of Tea

Thursday, November 13th: Inside of a Dog

Thursday, November 13th: Lesa’s Book Critiques

Thursday, November 13th: Bibliotica

Monday, November 17th: Mystery Playground

Monday, November 17th: Red Headed Book Child

Tuesday, November 18th: Words by Webb

Wednesday, November 19th: Tales of a Book Addict

Friday, November 21st: Brooke Blogs

Monday, November 24th: A Bookworm’s World

Wednesday, November 26th: Patricia’s Wisdom

Date TBD: Simply Stacie

TBD: My Bookshelf

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4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, H, RATING, Read in 2014, READING CHALLENGES 2014, Review Book, TLC Book Tours

2014.46 REVIEW – Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris

Dead to the World
by Charlaine Harris

Copyright: 2004
Pages: 291
Rating: 4/5
Read: Oct. 25 – Nov. 1, 2014
Challenge: RIP IX
Yearly count: 46
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy
Series: Sookie Stackhouse #4

Dead to the WorldBlurb: It’s not every day that you come across a naked man on the side of the road. That’s why cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse doesn’t just drive on by. Turns out the poor thing hasn’t a clue who he is, but Sookie does. It’s Eric the vampire – but now he’s a kinder, gentler Eric. And a scared Eric, because whoever took his memory now wants his life. Sookie’s investigation into who and why leads straight into a dangerous battle among witches, vampires, and werewolves. But a greater danger could be to Sookie’s heart – because this version of Eric is very difficult to resist…


Review: Paranormal is not normally my cup of tea, but for some reason I really enjoy the Sookie Stackhouse series. This book is another good installment, in my opinion.

What gets me every single time is just how much trouble Sookie manages to find herself in. And how she gets out of it is even more remarkable!

There’s not much that I could possibly say about this book that hasn’t been mentioned a gazillion times before.

I enjoyed it. And I would recommend this series to just about anyone.

4/5, AUTHOR, Author Debut, Book Review, Fiction, M, RATING, Read in 2014, READING CHALLENGES 2014, Review Book, TLC Book Tours

2014.45 REVIEW – Angel Killer by Andrew Mayne

Angel Killer
by Andrew Mayne

Copyright: 2012, 2014
Pages: 353
Rating: 4/5
Read: Sept. 29 – Oct. 10, 2014
Challenge: RIP IX
Yearly count: 45
Format: Print
Source: TLC Book Tour
Series: Jessica Blackwood # 1

Angel KillerBlurb: FBI agent Jessica Blackwood believes she’s left her complicated life as a gifted magician behind her . . . until a killer with seemingly supernatural powers puts her talents to the ultimate test.

A hacker who identifies himself only as “Warlock” brings down the FBI’s website and posts a code in its place that leads to a Michigan cemetery, where a dead girl is discovered rising from the ground . . . as if she tried to crawl out of her own grave.

Born into a dynasty of illusionists, Jessica Blackwood is destined to become its next star—until she turns her back on her troubled family to begin a new life in law enforcement. But FBI consultant Dr. Jeffrey Ailes’s discovery of an old magic magazine will turn Jessica’s world upside down. Faced with a crime that appears beyond explanation, Ailes has nothing to lose—and everything to gain—by taking a chance on an agent raised in a world devoted to achieving the seemingly impossible.

The body in the cemetery is only the first in the Warlock’s series of dark miracles. Thrust into the media spotlight, with time ticking away until the next crime, can Jessica confront her past to stop a depraved killer? If she can’t, she may become his next victim.


Review: I received a copy of this book for free in conjunction with a TLC Book tour, all opinions expressed below are my own.

I accepted this book for review with the reservation that I am not generally into magic. It just stretches my boundaries of what is believable. But there was something about the description that really drew me in … probably just the FBI aspect, to be honest.

Either way, I am so glad that I was given the opportunity to try this book. It worked. Really, really well, in my opinion. I found myself flying through the pages. There were a lot of twists and turns throughout the book that kept me guessing until the very end – and I never did have things figured out!

Jessica is a great character, but her self-doubting trait kind of got a little irritating at times. I like a little more confidence personally. And Damian – what a character! I don’t really know what else to say about that…

Overall, I definitely think this is the great start of a new series that I think will attract a very wide audience … magic lovers, mystery lovers, it’s just an all-around good book that I would definitely recommend!


Andrew MayneAbout the author: Andrew Mayne is the star of A&E’s magic reality show Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne, and has worked for David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, and David Blaine. He lives in Los Angeles.

Connect with him through his website, Facebook or follow him on Twitter.

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 Purchase Links

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Other tour stops:

Tuesday, September 23rd: Always With a Book

Wednesday, September 24th: Living in the Kitchen with Puppies

Thursday, September 25th: Priscilla and Her Books

Thursday, September 25th: Mysteries and My Musings – spotlight

Thursday, September 25th: Why Girls Are Weird

Monday, September 29th: From the TBR Pile

Monday, September 29th: Mysteries and My Musings – review

Wednesday, October 1st: The Road to Here

Friday, October 3rd: Not in Jersey

Monday, October 6th: BoundbyWords

Tuesday, October 7th: Ace and Hoser Blook

Wednesday, October 8th: Book Loving Hippo

Thursday, October 9th: Open Book Society

Monday, October 13th: Tales of a Book Addict

Tuesday, October 14th: No More Grumpy Bookseller

Wednesday, October 15th: Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

Wednesday, October 15th: A Bookworm’s World

Thursday, October 16th: Book Marks the Spot

Friday, October 17th: Girl Lost in a Book

Friday, October 24th: A Dream Within a Dream

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3.5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, E-Book, Fiction, NetGalley, P, RATING, Read in 2014, READING CHALLENGES 2014, Review Book, TLC Book Tours

2014.44 REVIEW – Ryder by Nick Pengelley

Ryder
by Nick Pengelley

Copyright: 2013, 2014
Pages: 280
Rating: 3.5/5
Read: Sept. 23 – 28, 2014
Challenge: RIP IX
Yearly count: 44
Format: E-Book
Source: NetGalley via TLC Book Tour
Series: Ayesha Ryder #1

RyderBlurb: As Israeli and Palestinian leaders prepare to make a joint announcement at the Tower of London, an influential scholar is tortured and murdered in his well-appointed home in St. John’s Wood. Academic researcher Ayesha Ryder believes the killing is no coincidence. Sir Evelyn Montagu had unearthed shocking revelations about T. E. Lawrence—the famed Lawrence of Arabia. Could Montagu have been targeted because of his discoveries?

Ryder’s search for answers takes her back to her old life in the Middle East and into a lion’s den of killers and traitors. As she draws the attention of agents from both sides of the conflict, including detectives from Scotland Yard and MI5, Ryder stumbles deeper into Lawrence’s secrets, an astounding case of royal blackmail, even the search for the Bible’s lost Ark of the Covenant.

Every step of the way, the endgame grows more terrifying. But when an attack rocks London, the real players show their hand—and Ayesha Ryder is left holding the final piece of the puzzle.


Review: I received a copy of this book for free via NetGalley in conjunction with a TLC Book tour, all opinions expressed below are my own.

When I was first pitched this book I was immediately intrigued. I love a good action adventure novel. What I didn’t realize was that this book would have a lot of references to the Middle East. I am not a very political person. In all honesty, I know very little about what goes on in that side of the world. So for me, this book was a little over my head in regards to everything Middle Eastern.

That being said, I still liked the book. Because I liked Ayesha’s character. I wanted her to succeed. There came a point in the book when someone who I thought was trustworthy did a total 360 on Ayesha. I actually gasped out loud. And from then on I was hooked. It was at that point when I went from being slightly intrigued by this book to being full-on, Ayesha-has-to-succeed-no-matter-what. There were so many twists and turns, but it was that one revelation that really turned the whole book around for me.

The writing was very good. The action was extremely well written. The storyline, while I personally found it somewhat hard to follow just because of my lack of Middle Eastern knowledge, was still easy enough to follow that I wasn’t completely lost. The characters were interesting (Lady Madrigal Carey! What. A. Character!)

Overall it’s definitely a good book, but not necessarily the easiest book to read just because of the Middle Eastern slant. But I’d definitely like to revisit Ayesha again in the future.

Recommended.


There is a GIVEAWAY included in this tour. For a chance to win a $25 gift card to the e-retailer of your choice AND a copy of Ryder, please CLICK HERE.


About the author: Nick Pengelley is the author of the political thriller Ryder. Australian by birth, he’s had careers in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom as a law professor, legal consultant, and analyst on Middle East politics, which is his passion. Pengelley lives in Toronto with his wife, Pamela.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-a-Million | Barnes & Noble

Other tour stops:

Monday, September 22nd: Bell, Book & Candle

Monday, September 22nd: Omnimystery News – guest post

Tuesday, September 23rd: No More Grumpy Bookseller

Wednesday, September 24th: D. L. Kamstra | Writing about Stories

Thursday, September 25th: From the TBR Pile

Monday, September 29th: Reading Reality

Tuesday, September 30th: Tales of a Book Addict

Wednesday, October 1st: Patricia’s Wisdom

Monday, October 6th: Crime Book Club

Tuesday, October 7th: Read Love Blog

Wednesday, October 8th: 2 Kids and Tired Books

Thursday, October 9th: Queen of All She Reads

Friday, October 10th: A Fantastical Librarian

Friday, October 10th: Mystery Playground – Drinks with Reads guest post

Monday, October 13th: By the Book Reviews

Tuesday, October 14th: the smitten word

Wednesday, October 15th: Dwell in Possibility

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