Review: Presidents’ Day by Seth Margolis

Presidents’ Day
by Seth Margolis

Presidents Day

Copyright: 2017

Pages: 356

Read: July 13 – 16, 2017

Rating: 4/5

Source: TLC Book Tours
Blurb: Julian Mellow has spent his life amassing a fortune out of low-risk / high-reward investments. Now, Mellow has an even greater ambition – and to make that man do his bidding, in business and beyond.

His motivations are mysterious to everyone – from the puppet candidate he’s running to his own wife – everyone except for one man who lost everything when he took the fall for Julian Mellow’s dirty financial dealings, and has been looking for a way to strike back ever since. He’s the only person standing between the American people and a rigged election, between democracy and a new American tyrant.

Marigolds spans the globe to weave together a brilliant story of politics at its most venal, where blackmail and murder are part of the political process, where anyone’s life is up for sale, and where one man could bring the whole kingdom toppling.


Review: I enjoy a good political thriller every now and then, so I was excited to see this one come through my email. I was immediately intrigued by the concept – a rich man wanting to essentially “buy” the presidency …. hmmm… 😉 Moving on….

I found this book to be extremely fast paced from the beginning, that’s a must with any political thriller in my opinion. I felt like the storyline was incredibly relevant. Let’s be honest, American politics have been the butt of all jokes since Trump announced his candidacy. So the whole idea that a very rich man could buy the presidency doesn’t seem so impossible after all….

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a really good, solid political thriller. It’s timely and enjoyable. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one and will be anxiously looking forward to future books by Mr. Margolis.

I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions stated are my own.

2015.29 REVIEW – Coercion by Tim Tigner

Coercion
by Tim Tigner

Copyright: 2013, 2015
Pages: 304
Rating: 4/5
Read: Aug. 24-31, 2015
Challenge: No Challenge
Yearly count: 29
Format: Print
Source: TLC Book Tour
Series: N/A

CoercionBlurb:
After 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, his 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.


Review: I received a copy of this book for free as part of a TLC Book Tour in exchange for an honest review. All opinions below are my own.

When I was originally pitched this book something about it really caught my eye. I’ve been trying to stay away from taking on too many review commitments because my reading has been severely limited since welcoming our second child in May. But this was one that I couldn’t seem to pass up on.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I found it to be fast paced and interesting. It held my attention throughout the whole book (something I struggle with these days). I came to really like Alex’s character – even if I did have a hard time believing that he was able to survive so much.

I’m always a little nervous when there’s a “Cast of Characters” list at the beginning of the book. It usually means I will have a hard time keeping up with things. However, once I got through the few first chapters, I had no trouble at all keeping things straight and didn’t even need to refer back to the list.

If I had to make a complaint, it was that I felt the ending was a little flat. There was no real big “show down” which I was hoping for. Endings are a very difficult thing – you can’t please everyone. But it didn’t affect my overall opinion of this book, so it obviously didn’t bother me too much. I am excited that there is a door open for Mr. Tigner to bring Alex back in a future book …. and I hope he does! I’d love to read more!

If you want a book that is fast-paced, interesting and a lot of fun, I would definitely recommend this one. The characters are extremely well-developed. The storyline is interesting. The whole idea of the Peitho implants is scarily realistic in this technological age, which kept things relevant in my opinion.

This one will attract a lot of political thriller fans, mystery fans, and historical fiction fans alike. Highly recommended.


About the Author:

unnamed-3Tim began his career in Soviet Counterintelligence with the US Army Special forces, the Green Berets. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, Tim switched from espionage to arbitrage. Armed with a Wharton MA rather than a Colt M16, he moved to Moscow in the midst of Perestroika. There he lead prominent multinational medical companies, worked with cosmonauts on the MIR Space Station (from Earth, alas), chaired the Association of International Pharmaceutical Manufacturers, and helped write Russia’s first law on healthcare.

Moving to Brussels during the formation of the EU, Tim ran Europe, Middle East, and Africa for a Johnson & Johnson company and traveled like a character in a Robert Ludlum book. He eventually landed in Silicon Valley, where like minds with wild ideas come to congregate around the creation of (nightmares and) dreams. Now he launches new medical technologies as a startup CEO, and devises devious devices for fictional characters who aim to change the world.

Tim grew up in the Midwest and Europe, earning a BA from Hanover College and then a MBA in Finance and a MA in International Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. He now lives with his wife Elena and their two daughters in Northern California.

Connect:

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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

Monday, August 31st: BookBub Blog – author guest post – “Eleven Thrillers We’d Kill to See on the Silver Screen”
Wednesday, September 2ndIt’s a Mad Mad World
Thursday, September 3rdMallory Heart Reviews
Tuesday, September 8thBuilding Bookshelves
Wednesday, September 9thBooksChatter – author Q&A
Thursday, September 10thPatricia’s Wisdom
Friday, September 11thMockingbird Hill Cottage
Monday, September 14thTales of a Book Addict
Tuesday, September 15thFictionophile
Thursday, September 17thLife is Story
Friday, September 18thThe World As I See It
Monday, September 21stSJ2B House of Books Blog
Thursday, September 24thLazy Day Books
Friday, September 25thBooksChatter
Monday, September 28thA Book Geek
Monday, September 28th5 Minutes for Books
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2015.3 REVIEW – City of Liars and Thieves by Eve Karlin

City of Liar and Thieves
by Eve Karlin

Copyright: 2014
Pages: 266
Rating: 3/5
Read: Jan. 14 – Jan. 20, 2015
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 3
Format: E-Book
Source: TLC Book Tours
Series: N/A

City of Liar and ThievesBlurb: A crime that rocked a city. A case that stunned a nation. Based on the United States’ first recorded murder trial, Eve Karlin’s spellbinding debut novel re-creates early nineteenth-century New York City, where a love affair ends in a brutal murder and a conspiracy involving Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr erupts in shattering violence.

It is high time to tell the truth. Time for justice. . . . How she was murdered and why she haunts me. It is not only Elma’s story, it’s mine.

On the bustling docks of the Hudson River, Catherine Ring waits with her husband and children for the ship carrying her cousin, Elma Sands. Their Greenwich Street boardinghouse becomes a haven for Elma, who has at last escaped the stifling confines of her small hometown and the shameful circumstances of her birth. But in the summer of 1799, Manhattan remains a teeming cesspool of stagnant swamps and polluted rivers. The city is desperate for clean water as fires wreak devastation and the death toll from yellow fever surges.

Political tensions are rising, too. It’s an election year, and Alexander Hamilton is hungry for power. So is his rival, Aaron Burr, who has announced the formation of the Manhattan Water Company. But their private struggle becomes very public when the body of Elma Sands is found at the bottom of a city well built by Burr’s company.

Resolved to see justice done, Catherine becomes both witness and avenger. She soon finds, however, that the shocking truth behind this trial has nothing to do with guilt or innocence.


Review: I received a copy of this book for free 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 historical fiction novel based on a true crime story from the past. It takes two of my favorite things – true crime/mysteries and history – and blends them together in a way that I love to read about! So I was really excited to read this book!

Overall, it wasn’t necessarily a bad book. But I felt like the blurb might have been a little bit misleading. I expected more Hamilton/Burr than I got out of this book. I also wasn’t quite prepared for the sheer amount of political references.

But I will say this, I loved the scene that was portrayed by Ms. Karlin. She really brought nineteenth-century New York City to life for me. And definitely made me appreciate the modern conveniences we have and take for granted!

So while this story was a little more politically involved than I had been prepared for, I still enjoyed it quite a lot. I learned about a murder trial I had never heard about before. I felt like I was walking the streets of New York City in 1799. And it was just an overall entertaining read.

Recommended!


About the Author: Eve Karlin was born and raised in New York City. She is a graduate of Colgate University, where she studied literature and creative writing with Frederick Busch. Karlin worked in publishing for more than a decade in marketing, at Random House, Newsweek, and, later, as a foreign book scout with clients in the United Kingdom, Italy, Holland, Brazil, and Japan. She has had several short stories published in The East Hampton Star and has been a contributing writer for Patch.com. She lives in East Hampton, New York, with her husband and their sixteen-year-old triplets. City of Liars and Thieves is her first book.

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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 City of Liars and ThievesPLEASE CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE GIVEAWAY PAGE. 

As always, I hope you take the time to visit the other stops on the tour:

Tuesday, January 6th: Mystery Playground
Wednesday, January 7th: Bibliophilia, Please
Friday, January 9th: Fiction Zeal
Monday, January 12th: Omnimystery News – author guest post
Tuesday, January 13th: Dwell in Possibility
Tuesday, January 13th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Wednesday, January 14th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Friday, January 16th: Reading Reality
Monday, January 19th: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, January 20th: Sarah’s Book Shelves
Wednesday, January 21st: A Fantastical Librarian
Thursday, January 22nd: Chew & Digest Books
Monday, January 26th: History from a Woman’s Perspective
Tuesday, January 27th: Tales of a Book Addict
Wednesday, January 28th: Staircase Wit
Thursday, January 29th: 100 Pages a Day… Stephanie’s Book Reviews
Friday, January 30th: Books in the Burbs
TBD: Back Porchervations

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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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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Purchase Links

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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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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Purchase Links

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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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.