Tuesday, June 19, 2018

First Paragraph/Teaser Tuesday: Foolproof by Barbara D'Amato, Jeanne M. Dams & Mark Zubro

Every Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posted the first paragraph of a book she is reading or planning to read. In 2018, Vicki from I'd Rather Be at the Beach is taking over this meme.

Here's mine:
"One decaf mochacchino with a sprinkle of cinnamon," Daniel said.

Brenda said, "That's pitiful. The only decent coffee is fully leaded espresso with just a dash of caramel. Total bliss. Trust me."
 
Link up here. It is very easy to play along:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.
Here's mine:
"We have a companion in every bus, besides the driver, and seat belts for every child --"

Sighing at the thought that he might go through the company's entire brochure, she interrupted. "That's very good. I am appalled that most school buses don't have seat belts. But they won't keep terrorists or kidnappers away. They won't stop a hijacking."
This week I am reading Foolproof by Barbara D'Amato, Jeanne M. Dams, and Mark Richard Zubro. This one has been on my TBR mountain since Dec. 3, 2010 because I liked Zubro's gay mysteries and was looking for more books he wrote. Here is the description from Amazon:
The morning of 9/11 Brenda Grant and Daniel Henderson met for coffee before going to their software firm in the World Trade Center.  That casual act saved them from the Twin Towers' collapse, even as their friends and Brenda’s fiancé were killed and their company obliterated.

Founding their own software security firm, they never forgot that morning of horror.  Grant and Henderson then establish a clandestine division inside their company committed to covertly tracking down global terrorists. In a search involving Washington DC, Egypt, Italy and Turkey, they expose a plot to hijack a US presidential election, rig voting machines, and topple democracies worldwide.

Foolproof is a global thriller in the tradition of Tess Gerritson, Catherine Coulter, and Linda Howard.

Monday, June 18, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (June 18, 2018)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

I will be combining my YA and adult reading and purchases on this one weekly roundup. YA and middle grade reviews will still be posted on  Ms. Martin Teaches Media - my other blog.

Other Than Reading...

This has been a quiet week at my house. Duluth has been pretty busy gearing up for Grandma's Marathon which attracts thousands of visitors each year. Friday was really nasty weather with strong thunderstorms and there were also thunderstorms forecast for the race time too. Fortunately, there were no storms during the actual race. I don't think it even rained.

I've been keeping busy reading the many July releases on my review pile. I've also been able to get a couple of books off TBR mountain. Unfortunately, I enjoyed them and added to TBR mountain so that I have the complete series for Glimmerglass and The Agency.

Read Last Week

If you can't wait until the review shows up on my blog, reviews are posted to LibraryThing and Goodreads as soon as I write them (usually right after I finish reading a book.)
  • The Anatomist's Wife by Anna Lee Huber - Historical mystery that was a recent arrival on TBR mountain. My review will be posted on July 5.
  • Glimmerglass by Jenna Black - YA fantasy that has been on my Kindle since May 8, 2011. My review will be posted on July 4.
  • Hullmetal Girls by Emily Skrutskie - YA science fiction from my review stack. Review will be posted on July 6.
  • Shelved Under Murder by Victoria Gilbert - Cozy mystery from my review stack. My review will be posted on July 7.
  • The Agency: A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee - YA historical mystery that has been on my Kindle since Sept. 16, 2012. My review will be posted on July 9.
  • Lovers and Ladies by Jo Beverly - Two Regency romances that have been on TBR mountain since at least May 8, 2008. My review will be posted on July 11,
Currently
When Life Gives You Demons by Jennifer Honeybourn - YA from my review stack. Publication date is July 17.

Next Week

These are all July releases from my review stack.
Reviews Posted

On Inside of a Dog:
On Ms. Martin Teaches Media:
Want to See What I Added to My Stack Last Week?

Bought
New Review
What was your week like?



Saturday, June 16, 2018

ARC Review: Girl with a Gun by Kari Bovee

Girl With a Gun
Author: Kari Bovee
Publication: SparkPress (June 19, 2018)

Description: Fifteen-year-old Annie Oakley is the sole supporter of her widowed mother and two siblings. An expert markswoman and independent spirit, she hunts game to sell to the local mercantile to make ends meet instead of accepting a marriage proposal that could solve all her problems.

After a stunning performance in a shooting contest against the handsome and famous sharpshooter Frank Butler, Annie is offered a position in the renowned Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Finally, she has a chance to save the nearly foreclosed family farm and make her dreams come true. But then her Indian assistant is found dead in her tent, and Annie is dubious when the local coroner claims the death was due to natural causes. When another innocent is murdered, Annie begins to fear the deaths are related to her. And to make matters worse, her prized horse, Buck, a major part of her act, is stolen.

Annie soon discovers that the solution to her problems lies buried in a padlocked Civil War trunk belonging to the show’s manager, Derence LeFleur. And so, with the help of a sassy, blue-blooded reporter, Annie sets out to find her horse, solve the murders, and clear her name.

My Thoughts: This novel stars a young Annie Oakley when she first joins Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show as a fifteen-year-old sharpshooter. She needs to money to support her mother and two younger siblings since the mother seems to only make bad choices in men since she became a widow. The current candidate is a drinker who has brought the family home near foreclosure.

The Show is a hotbed of secrets and jealousies. Annie's new and sudden popularity with the public has made for former star Frank Butler jealous. Also jealous is Twila who happens to be Bill's long-time lover. Twila brings her surrogate daughter Lillie Smith who is another sharpshooter. Lillie hates Indians, drinks too much whiskey, and seems to bring a new cowboy to their shared tent every night which makes her very different from Quaker Annie.

When Kimi, Annie's dresser and Native American, is found dead leaving behind a half-breed baby, Annie is sure she was murdered though the investigations says she died of natural causes. While Annie investigates, she is also being courted by Frank Butler and Derence LeFleur who is an older, married man who was influential in getting Annie the job with the Show.

Frank is having some issues with his shooting and so is Lillie since alcohol really doesn't help accuracy but Annie hasn't lost her touch except when someone sabotages her rifle. She and her horse Buck are stars. But then Buck becomes ill and listless. After some time, she becomes convinced that someone is trying to hurt him too.

This was an entertaining story set in 1885. I liked the variety of characters from Buffalo Bill to Sitting Bull. I liked the intrepid girl reporter who encourages Annie to participate in the budding Women's Suffrage Movement. I liked Annie even though I think she jumped to conclusions rather too quickly. I had identified the villain early in the story because of his general smarminess but there were still some plot twists that I didn't see coming.

Fans of historical mysteries will enjoy this story and look forward to more of Annie's adventures.

Favorite Quote:
Annie paced in the small area next to her bed and raised hand to her throat in exasperation, her pulse thudding faster and faster. Everything will be fine, she tried to tell herself, but why did she feel so helpless? Her family's suffering, her tainted reputation, and her uncertainty about Kimi's death felt like an anvil settling on her chest. Her hands went cold.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Friday Memes: Girl with a Gun by Kari Bovee

Happy Friday everybody!
Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City ReaderThe Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Beginning:
Kimi sat at the campfire waiting for the water to boil. She winced as her baby, Winona, latched onto her breast with the greediness of a newborn bird.
Friday 56:
Annie, suddenly self-conscious at the attention Emma had inadvertently called toward the two of them, felt heat rush to her face and her palms grew clammy.
This week I am reading Girl With a Gun by Kari Bovee. I saw this on Edelweiss when browsing and chose it because I like historical mysteries. Here is the description from Amazon:
Fifteen-year-old Annie Oakley is the sole supporter of her widowed mother and two siblings. An expert markswoman and independent spirit, she hunts game to sell to the local mercantile to make ends meet instead of accepting a marriage proposal that could solve all her problems.

After a stunning performance in a shooting contest against the handsome and famous sharpshooter Frank Butler, Annie is offered a position in the renowned Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Finally, she has a chance to save the nearly foreclosed family farm and make her dreams come true. But then her Indian assistant is found dead in her tent, and Annie is dubious when the local coroner claims the death was due to natural causes. When another innocent is murdered, Annie begins to fear the deaths are related to her. And to make matters worse, her prized horse, Buck, a major part of her act, is stolen.

Annie soon discovers that the solution to her problems lies buried in a padlocked Civil War trunk belonging to the show’s manager, Derence LeFleur. And so, with the help of a sassy, blue-blooded reporter, Annie sets out to find her horse, solve the murders, and clear her name.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

ARC Review: A Merciful Silence by Kendra Elliot

A Merciful Silence
Author: Kendra Elliot
Series: Mercy Kilpatrick (Book 4)
Publication: Montlake Romance (June 19, 2018)

Description: In the fourth book of the Wall Street Journal bestselling series, FBI agent Mercy Kilpatrick must unlock the mystery of a mass murder, and the secrets of its silent witness…

For Mercy Kilpatrick, returning to rural Oregon has meant coming to terms with her roots. Raised as a prepper, Mercy is now relying on her survivalist instincts to defend her town from the people the law can’t reach. But this time, an investigation calling up a dark past for her and police chief Truman Daly may be hitting too close to home.

A rainstorm has uncovered the remains of five people—a reprise of the distinctive slaughter of two families twenty years ago. Except the convicted killer is in prison. Is this the case of a sick copycat, or is the wrong man behind bars? One person might have the answer. The lone survivor of the decades-old crimes has returned to town still claiming that she can’t remember a thing about the night she was left for dead. As the search for the truth becomes more dangerous, Mercy fears that the traumatized woman may not have buried her memories at all. She might be keeping them a secret. And there’s a price to be paid for revealing them.

My Thoughts: As this fourth Mercy Kilpatrick books begins, Mercy is recovering from being shot in the thigh. She is also dealing with the anxiety she feels since her hidden cabin and many of her supplies were destroyed in a fire. As a person raised as a prepper, the loss of her place is making her uneasy. She is also having some difficulty letting her boyfriend Truman help with the decisions about the new cabin that is being built. Neither she nor Truman are used to sharing decisions but need to come to terms with it if they want their new relationship to prosper.

Both Mercy as a FBI Agent and Truman as the Chief of Police in Eagle's Bend are busy with their various cases. Mercy is called to a scene where the bones of five people have been discovered having been bludgeoned to death and had their teeth knocked out. This brings to mind a similar case from twenty years earlier where two families were found in their homes murdered the same way. The only problem is that the man convicted of those crimes has been and still is in prison.

As Mercy is looking into those old crimes and tracking down the single survivor who has returned to Eagle's Bend for the first time since the crimes were committed, Truman is dealing with the more ordinary tasks of his day from a traffic stop of a Sovereign Citizen using false ID and illegal license plates to the man who gathers bunches of traffic tickets for parking in front of a fire hydrant by his house to breaking up a bar fight between drunken brothers.

As Mercy struggles to identify the family represented by the bones and wondering why no one has reported them missing, a second family is found in their home killed the same way. Meanwhile, a reporter who has been harassing Mercy turns his eyes to the survivor and opens her up to attacks on social media.

Mercy's and Truman's cases overlap and the tension really builds when Truman goes missing. Mercy realizes how much she has let Truman into her life. After being rejected by her family fifteen years earlier and only now becoming reconciled with them, Mercy isn't good at opening herself up to others. Meanwhile, Truman is in a very dangerous situation.

This was another excellent entry into the Mercy Kilpatrick series. Fans of the series won't want to miss this one.

Favorite Quote:
"It's five o'clock somewhere. Say, I wanted to ask you if you've ever received a letter from a sovereign citizen claiming you owe them money for tramping on their rights?"

Mercy grinned. "Not me personally, but I saw a few when i worked in the Portland office. We had a few judges get them."

"I got one from the guy I pulled over with the fake ID and plates yesterday."

"Awesome! How much money does he want?"

"Three million."

"You just made my day," she stated. The letters had been a big source of amusement at her old office. "Did he use a funky signature?"

"Yep."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Book Review: The Dark Inquiry by Deanna Raybourn

The Dark Inquiry
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Series: Lady Julia Grey Mysteries (Book 5)
Publication: MIRA (September 14, 2015)

Description: Partners now in marriage and in trade, Lady Julia and Nicholas Brisbane have finally returned from abroad to set up housekeeping in London. But merging their respective collections of gadgets, pets and servants leaves little room for the harried newlyweds themselves, let alone Brisbane's private enquiry business.

Among the more unlikely clients: Julia's very proper brother, Lord Bellmont, who swears Brisbane to secrecy about his case. Not about to be left out of anything concerning her beloved—if eccentric—family, spirited Julia soon picks up the trail of the investigation.

It leads to the exclusive Ghost Club, where the alluring Madame Séraphine holds evening séances…and not a few powerful gentlemen in thrall. From this eerie enclave unfolds a lurid tangle of dark deeds, whose tendrils crush reputations and throttle trust.

Shocked to find their investigation spun into salacious newspaper headlines, bristling at the tension it causes between them, the Brisbanes find they must unite or fall. For Bellmont's sake—and more—they'll face myriad dangers born of dark secrets, the kind men kill to keep….

My Thoughts: Back in London, Julia and Brisbane get involved with spiritualists and spies when they try to recover evidence of her older brother Bellmont's affair with a spiritualist. At first, things seem rather simple. All they have to do is confront the spiritualist and convince her to return Bellmont's letters. Before they can confront her, someone kills her with aconite leaving the letters still missing.

Julia visits the other people who were at the seance she attended and eliminates a couple of them and also meets the intriguing Sir Morgan Fielding who turns out to be an illegitimate cousin of hers. She immediately takes a liking to him which is often a clue in this series that he is up to no good. She soon learns some of his secrets and how they connect to her mysterious husband. We also get a chance to meet more of Brisbane's gypsy relatives when they take shelter in a gypsy camp run by his grandmother.

This book is packed with action and danger for both Julia and Brisbane. Through the course of this story the reader can just see the relationship deepen between Julia and Brisbane as he finally lets loose of some of the secrets in his life now that he is confident that nothing is going to change Julia's love for him.

I love the setting of this story and the touches of humor. Julia's eccentric family and her own eccentricities are often quite funny. I love her growing assortment of pets.

Favorite Quote:
It was not the first itme I had pushed my way into his world, and not the first time I had made him shatteringly angry in doing so. The trouble, I believed, had its roots in our respective pasts. I came from a family too much in each other's pockets. We Marches were forthright, emotional, feckless and impulsive. We also loved to talk. There was not a thought or deed that wen unremarked amongst us. Secrets were short-lived in our family. We made a life's work of interfering in each other's business, and then telling the others about it, and with ten children, there was always much to tell.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

First Paragraph/Teaser Tuesday: A Merciful Silence by Kendra Elliot

Every Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posted the first paragraph of a book she is reading or planning to read. In 2018, Vicki from I'd Rather Be at the Beach is taking over this meme.

Here's mine:
There it is.

Eagle's Nest police officer Ben Cooley hit his brakes, thankful he'd been driving a cautious thirty miles an hour. He squinted, trying to see through the smears created by his windshield wipers. Ahead of his car, one-third of the road was gone, washed down the steep side of the hill. It looked as if a monster had bitten a ten-foot-wide chunk out of the remote road.
 

Link up here. It is very easy to play along:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.
Here's mine:
Both Victoria and Lacey frowned. "We were just talking about that," said Victoria. "It could be from a few things. Possibly it was buried longer than the others or the dirt right around it was a different composition, staining it darker."
This week I am reading A Merciful Silence by Kendra Elliot. I got this eARC from NetGalley. It is the fourth book in the series. Here is the description from Amazon:
In the fourth book of the Wall Street Journal bestselling series, FBI agent Mercy Kilpatrick must unlock the mystery of a mass murder, and the secrets of its silent witness…

For Mercy Kilpatrick, returning to rural Oregon has meant coming to terms with her roots. Raised as a prepper, Mercy is now relying on her survivalist instincts to defend her town from the people the law can’t reach. But this time, an investigation calling up a dark past for her and police chief Truman Daly may be hitting too close to home.

A rainstorm has uncovered the remains of five people—a reprise of the distinctive slaughter of two families twenty years ago. Except the convicted killer is in prison. Is this the case of a sick copycat, or is the wrong man behind bars? One person might have the answer. The lone survivor of the decades-old crimes has returned to town still claiming that she can’t remember a thing about the night she was left for dead. As the search for the truth becomes more dangerous, Mercy fears that the traumatized woman may not have buried her memories at all. She might be keeping them a secret. And there’s a price to be paid for revealing them.