Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Two of a Kind by Susan Mallery

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • 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 and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser:
Considering all the variables, it was somewhat surprising that men and women ever got together in the first place. A testament to tenacity, or a higher power with a wicked sense of humor? To be honest, she wasn't sure which.
This week my teaser comes from Two of a Kind by Susan Mallery. I got this book for review from Amazon Vine. It is the 11th book in the Fool's Gold series of which I have read only book 1. Here is the description:
New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery welcomes readers back to Fool's Gold, where a onetime fling could become the real thing.…

Felicia Swift never dreamed she'd hear a deep, sexy voice from her past in tiny Fool's Gold, California. The last time Gideon Boylan whispered in her ear was half a world away…on the morning after the hottest night of her life. Her freaky smarts have limited her close friendships, and romance, but she came to Fool's Gold looking for ordinary. Gorgeous, brooding Gideon is anything but that.

Black Ops taught Gideon that love could be deadly. Now he pretends to fit in while keeping everyone at arm's length. Felicia wants more than he can give—a home, family, love—but she has a lot to learn about men…and Gideon needs to be the man to teach her.

As these two misfits discover that passion isn't the only thing they have in common, they just might figure out that two of a kind should never be split apart.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Book Review: Rock Courtship by Nalini Singh

Rock Courtship: A Rock Kiss Novella
Author: Nalini Singh
Publication: TKA Distribution (September 30, 2014)

Description: What happens when the Gentleman of Rock decides to play dirty?

A drummer for the hottest rock band on the planet, David has a single, powerful weakness: Thea, the band’s publicist and the woman who steals his breath away with her every move.

Only problem is, Thea doesn’t date clients—or musicians. Emotionally scarred by a cheating ex, she’s not about to risk her heart with a man who has groupies buzzing around him like flies. Even if his sexy smile ties her up in knots.

What she doesn't know is that David is a one-woman man...and he’s madly in love with her. David’s determined to prove he’s worth the risk, and willing to court her, step by exquisite step. Thea’s about to discover just how long and hard this handsome drummer can play.

My Thoughts: This Rock Kiss novella tells the story of David and Thea. David is the drummer for the hit rock group Schoolboy Choir. He and his band mates can have all the girls they want but the only one he wants is Thea. Thea is the band's publicist. She has a long standing rule of not dating clients or musicians.

David is getting his heart broken by Thea's perceived indifference until Thea's sister Molly encourages him to lay out his feeling in a memo. She knows that her sister won't be able to resist responding. Through memos David gets Thea to see him in a new way.

But Thea is still dealing with the betrayal of her former fiance and is not eager to trust her heart to the beautiful musician. David needs both patience and perseverance to win Thea's heart. And, just when things are finally going well, he gets hit with a paternity suit from a young woman who is looking to score big.

This was another spicy entry into the Rock Kiss series. I liked both characters very much and ached for them to have their happy ending.

Favorite Quote:
When you suffer such a big hurt, the longer you permit it to live in you, the bigger it grows, until it seeks to devour your soul.
I got this eARC from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Sept. 29, 2014)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

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.

This week was a mixed bag for me. It was Homecoming week at school which meant my students were in a variety of costumes each day and there was all sorts of excitement. The weather was marvelous. I walked between schools each day which added to my step totals. But I'm still not very close to 10,000 a day.

I had to cancel my trip to Eleanor Glewwe's book signing on Friday night because I had a car tire that was losing air and couldn't get it in to be checked until Saturday morning. That was probably a good thing because I came home after the parade on Friday with a very sore throat and runny nose. I've been dosing myself with cold remedies all weekend and lazing about on my couch.

Sunday morning, my clothes washer decided to quit working with my first load of laundry in it. I called for a repair person from the Yellow Pages who advertised that he worked after hours and had flexible hours but I'm still waiting to hear from him. Since I gave my home phone number as the call back number, I really can't run down to the local laundromat to finish my laundry.

See, a real mixed bag this week. I hope next week is less exciting.

Read Last Week
Rock Courtship by Nalini Singh was a novella in her new, very spicy contemporary romance series. I'll be posting my review on Sept. 29 later in the day.

Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker was her debut YA novel. It was very atmospheric and spooky and had a fascinating main character. My review will be posted on October 23.
The Gift of Darkness by V. M. Giambanca took up most of my reading time this week. It was a long but engaging police procedural that somehow made a murderer a sympathetic character. I enjoyed the story and look forward to more about the main character. My review will be posted on Oct. 25.

Get Happy by Mary Amato was a YA contemporary story about a young woman who learns that her mother has been keeping her from forming any sort of relationship with her father by telling her that he abandoned them. When she learns that her father has been trying to keep in touch, she is very conflicted. She works out her emotions in songs that end many of the chapters. My review will be posted on Oct. 25.

Currently
I am currently reading Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger. This is the third in her Finishing School series. Sophronia and crew are up to all their old tricks with the added complications that come with growing up - boyfriends and future plans. 

Next Week
The next books on my adult stack are all mysteries. 

Path of Needles by Alison Littlewood
Caught Dead by Andrew Lanh
Here are the next two on my YA stack.

Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
True Fire by Gary Meehan

Reviews Posted
Want to See What I Added to My Stack Last Week?
How was your week? Leave me a link and I'll come visit.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (Sept. 28, 2014)

Tynga of Team Tynga's Reviews has a meme to spotlight the books we receive each week. Visit her site to check out the linky and see what everyone gets. I guarantee that your TBR pile will grow.

I only added one book to my TBR mountain this week.
I am a fan of Iris Johansen's romantic suspense novels and had to have Live to See Tomorrow even though I still have others by Johansen on the mountain. I promise to get caught up soon (maybe).

What did you add to your stack this week?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Book Review: The Man From Stone Creek by Linda Lael Miller

The Man from Stone Creek
Author: Linda Lael Miller
Series: A Stone Creek Novel
Publication: Harlequin HQN; Reprint edition (February 26, 2013)

Description: #1 New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller presents the Stone Creek story that started it all…

When trouble strikes in Haven, Arizona, Ranger Sam O'Ballivan is determined to sort it out. Badge and gun hidden, he arrives posing as the new schoolteacher, and discovers his first task: bringing the ranchers' children under control. So he starts with a call on Maddie Chancelor, the local postmistress and older sister of a boy in need of discipline.

But far from the spinster Sam expects, Maddie turns out to be a graceful woman whose prim and proper demeanor is belied by the fire in her eyes. Working undercover to capture rustlers and train robbers has always kept Sam isolated and his heart firmly in check—until now. But something about the spirited postmistress tempts him to start down a path he swore he'd never travel….

My Thoughts: This was another excellent Western romance from a master of the genre. Sam O'Ballivan comes to town where he takes a job as the newest school master. He is actually an Arizona Ranger looking for a gang of robbers. When he first arrives, he has to rescue the current school master from the well where his students have put him. Sam catches one of the kids and decides he has to talk to his sister about the kid's behavior.

Maddie Chancelor runs the local general store and can't believe her brother is a troublemaker. However, she is attracted to the new school master and he is attracted to her too. Only problem - he has a girlfriend at home that he is planning to marry. He hasn't actually proposed but the expectation is there and he is an honorable man.

It doesn't take long for Sam to get involved in the town and meet the local rancher, his much younger and flirtatious wife, and his three older and one younger son. Sam suspects that at least some of the older sons are involved in the robberies. Maddie has her own reasons to stay away from them all. The rancher owns the General Store and has courted her in the past. She is also very cautious around his sons since she doesn't trust them at all.

I liked the setting of this one and the things that made it Western. We have the local madam who actually does have a heart of gold. We have saloon girls who didn't have any other career options. We have a poor widow-woman and her young daughter.

Sam is a great hero. He is honest, honorable, and has an overwhelming need to rescue anyone who needs rescuing from stray puppies to old horses to young kids.

This was a very enjoyable romance which also was a good mystery with some dangerous and exciting scenes.

Favorite Quote:
One of these days he was going to stop wanting to save worn-out horses and misguided girls and a whole lot of other things. It would be pure, blessed relief when that day came.
I got this book through Amazon Vine. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Memes: The Man from Stone Creek by Linda Lael Miller

Happy Friday everybody!
Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City Reader. The 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.


This week I am spotlighting The Man from Stone Creek by Linda Lael Miller. I got this book through the Amazon Vine program. Here is the description:
#1 New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller presents the Stone Creek story that started it all…

When trouble strikes in Haven, Arizona, Ranger Sam O'Ballivan is determined to sort it out. Badge and gun hidden, he arrives posing as the new schoolteacher, and discovers his first task: bringing the ranchers' children under control. So he starts with a call on Maddie Chancelor, the local postmistress and older sister of a boy in need of discipline.

But far from the spinster Sam expects, Maddie turns out to be a graceful woman whose prim and proper demeanor is belied by the fire in her eyes. Working undercover to capture rustlers and train robbers has always kept Sam isolated and his heart firmly in check—until now. But something about the spirited postmistress tempts him to start down a path he swore he'd never travel….
Beginning:
The pint-size culprits, heretofore gathered around the well, scattered for the brush as soon as Sam O'Ballivan rode into the schoolyard on his nameless horse, but he'd seen enough to know they were up to no good.
Friday 56:
She followed him down the stone steps and he made a point of tucking his shirttail back in as soon as he was visible to the patrons of the cantina. He smoothed his hair, crossed to the table and reclaimed his hat. As an afterthought, he downed the whiskey, and it burned its way to his stomach.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Blog Tour Review: Harbor Island by Carla Neggers

Harbor Island
Author: Carla Neggers
Series: Sharpe & Donovan Novels
Publication: Harlequin MIRA (August 26, 2014)

Description: In this vivid and suspenseful addition to her widely acclaimed Sharpe & Donovan series, New York Times bestselling author Carla Neggers takes readers on a heart-stopping journey from Boston to Ireland to the rocky coast of Maine

Emma Sharpe, granddaughter of world-renowned art detective Wendell Sharpe, is a handpicked member of a small Boston-based FBI team. For the past decade Emma and her grandfather have been trailing an elusive serial art thief. The first heist was in Ireland, where an ancient Celtic cross was stolen. Now the Sharpes receive a replica of the cross after every new theft—reminding them of their continued failure to capture their prey.

When Emma receives a message that leads her to the body of a woman on a small island in Boston Harbor, she finds the victim holding a small, cross-inscribed stone—one she recognizes all too well. Emma's fiancĂ©, FBI deep-cover agent Colin Donovan, is troubled that she's gone off to the island alone, especially given the deadly turn the thief has taken. But as they dig deeper they are certain there is more to this murder than meets the eye.

As the danger escalates, Emma and Colin must also face do-or-die questions about their relationship. While there's no doubt they are in love, can they give their hearts and souls to their work and have anything left for each other? There's one thing Emma and Colin definitely agree on: before they can focus on their future, they must outwit one of the smartest, most ruthless killers they've ever encountered.

My Thoughts: HARBOR ISLAND is the fourth book in the Sharpe & Donovan series and manages to tie up quite a few loose ends from earlier books in this series. Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan are the main characters but a number of other characters have substantial roles in this story too.

Emma and Colin's boss Yank and his wife Lucy are in Ireland. Yank is investigating the thefts and Lucy almost becomes a victim.

Major roles also go to Father Fin Bracken and Aiofe O'Byrne. Fin has recently become a priest after tragically losing his wife and young daughters in a sailing accident. After their deaths and before he found his vocation, he was dealing with his grief by drinking too much. During that time he also had a brief relationship with Aiofe who was the niece of the man who was the first victim of the elusive thief that Emma's grandfather has been tracking for over ten years. Aoife is a well-known artist and she is still carrying a torch for Fin.

While the story is a great mystery, I was equally intrigued by the relationships in the story. Yank and his wife have been married for years but have somehow stopped communicating. This story gives them a chance to reconcile and decide what is important in each of their lives. Colin and Emma's relationship is new. He just asked her to marry him at the end of the last book and they haven't told their families yet. Since Colin is a deep cover agent for the FBI, their relationship has a number of hurdles that have to be worked out. Then there is Fin's relationship with his lost family and coming to terms with his loss and settling into his new vocation.

Along the way the characters are involved in a murder investigation when Rachel Bristol is murdered after calling Emma to meet with her. Rachel had been busy investigating the same case that has preoccupied Emma and her family. Her goal is to create a film inspired by those events. Also involved in film making are her ex-husband Travis and Travis's daughter Maisie who is the most successful of the three. Fears are that that thief is now escalating to murder.

Mystery fans who like long story arcs will enjoy this series. The characters are well-drawn and interesting people and we learn a lot about them through the course of these four novels. I enjoyed getting to know Emma, Colin and their friends and colleagues and can't wait to read more about them.

Favorite Quote:
"I think I should stay and hear what Miss O'Byrne has to say."

"You can think what you want, but you're not staying. Come on. I'll let you push the buttons in the elevator. I thought that was the best thing when I was a kid."

Palladino glowered. "An FBI agent who thinks he's funny. Just what I need."
I got this book from Meryl Moss Media Relations. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Book Review: The Hot Zone by Jayne Castle

The Hot Zone
Author: Jayne Castle
Series: Rainshadow (Book 3)
Publication: Jove (August 26, 2014)

Description: The world of Harmony has its wonders, one of them being Rainshadow Island. Just beneath its surface, a maze of catacombs hides a dangerous secret…

Halloween—with its tricks and treats—is a dust bunny’s dream come true. Just ask Lyle, Sedona Snow’s faithful sidekick. But for Sedona, it’s a nightmare. Though her new job managing a small hotel and tavern on Rainshadow is helping her move on from her tragic past, a bizarre disaster down in the catacombs has brought a pack of rowdy ghost hunters to her inn.

And now, Sedona’s ex has arrived on the island, claiming he wants to get back together, just as a newcomer appears to have a strong interest in her. Cyrus Jones is the new Guild boss in town. He has his own agenda when it comes to Sedona, but even the best-laid plans are no match for the passion that springs up on Rainshadow…

My Thoughts: This story takes place on Rainshadow Island - the place where misfits go. Sedona Snow has escaped from people who were doing scientific experiments on her. She is a stronger gatekeeper and has developed a talent for fire. She is concerned that she might be unstable because many multi-talents are. She is also concerned that those who kidnapped her will try to capture her again. She was adopted by a dustbunny she named Lyle while she was in captivity. In fact, without Lyle she would not have been about to find her way out of the Underworld.

She is settling in on Rainshadow and getting ready for Halloween when a new Guild boss arrives to take over the island. Cyrus Jones is concerned about the protection of the island but he also has been trying to find Sedona. He's afraid that the long lost formula discovered by one of his ancestors has made another appearance. However, no matter how many times it reappears, there are always the same problems with the side effects. The formula is addictive and missing a dose means madness and death. Cyrus wonders how Sedona has escaped those side effects.

Cyrus and Sedona are meant for each other. Both have off-the-charts psi talents. But keeping Sedona safe and convincing her that he is one Guild boss who can be trusted isn't an easy job for Cyrus. It is complicated by an ex-husband who wants her back and the family that disowned her because she was illegitimate now wanting to rekindle their relationship.

This was a fun romance and a great entry into this series.

Favorite Quote:
Like the fierce mix of emotions he was feeling for the woman who was sleeping so soundly, so trustingly, at his side. He tried to come up with a description of their current relationship.

For now Sedona was his responsibility. His contract employee. A member of the team. His partner in surviving this strange new country in the Underworld.

All of the labels were correct but none of them felt right.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Harbor Island by Carla Neggers

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • 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 and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser:
When he and Emma walked back to the marina, he'd had her toss him her keys. She hadn't argued. She ached from tension, jet lag, her run—from the searing reality that she had come upon a woman who had just been shot to death.
This week my teaser comes from Harbor Island by Carla Neggers. This is the 4th book in the Sharpe & Donovan series and is romantic suspense. I got this book because I am part of the blog tour for this August 26 release. Here is the description:
In this vivid and suspenseful addition to her widely acclaimed Sharpe & Donovan series, New York Times bestselling author Carla Neggers takes readers on a heart-stopping journey from Boston to Ireland to the rocky coast of Maine

Emma Sharpe, granddaughter of world-renowned art detective Wendell Sharpe, is a handpicked member of a small Boston-based FBI team. For the past decade Emma and her grandfather have been trailing an elusive serial art thief. The first heist was in Ireland, where an ancient Celtic cross was stolen. Now the Sharpes receive a replica of the cross after every new theft—reminding them of their continued failure to capture their prey.

When Emma receives a message that leads her to the body of a woman on a small island in Boston Harbor, she finds the victim holding a small, cross-inscribed stone—one she recognizes all too well. Emma's fiancĂ©, FBI deep-cover agent Colin Donovan, is troubled that she's gone off to the island alone, especially given the deadly turn the thief has taken. But as they dig deeper they are certain there is more to this murder than meets the eye.

As the danger escalates, Emma and Colin must also face do-or-die questions about their relationship. While there's no doubt they are in love, can they give their hearts and souls to their work and have anything left for each other? There's one thing Emma and Colin definitely agree on: before they can focus on their future, they must outwit one of the smartest, most ruthless killers they've ever encountered.

Monday, September 22, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Sept. 22, 2014)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

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 had a productive week. I had a nice trip up to the Cities to meet Kelly Barnhill and get her books autographed. Her newest book went right to school. I'm not even going to pretend that I will have time to read it for the foreseeable future. (38 review books on my stack makes that very unlikely.)
Since I didn't have other meetings or things on my calendar, I got a lot of reading done. With the baseball season winding down for me, I expect to have even more time to read. Of course, The Voice is starting which will increase the amount of television I watch.

This coming week looks pretty open too. I do have a book signing to attend on Friday night in the Cities but, otherwise, my calendar is clear.

Read Last Week
Atlantia by Ally Condie was an interesting dystopia that included an underwater city, people who live there who develop the power of sirens, political intrigue and a romance. I liked it. My review will be posted on Oct. 22. I have already reviewed it at LibraryThing and GoodReads.

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch is a debut novel that is an epic fantasy about a group of refugees who have to reclaim a magical object in order to free their kingdom. It has political intrigue and romance and was a fast-paced read. My review will be posted on October 16.
Chasing Power by Sarah Beth Durst was a great contemporary story with adventure, magic and romance. My review will be posted on October 20.

Centaur Rising by Jane Yolen was historical (it takes place from 1964-1966) fantasy and tells the story of a centaur born on a horse farm and how the birth changes lives. It was a delightful story. My review will be posted on October 18.
Shifting Shadows: Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs gathered all the various short stories and novellas in this world. I enjoyed revisiting the ones I had already read and reading the new stories too. My review will be posted on October 16.

Nick and Tesla's Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove by Bob Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith was the fourth adventure in this middle grade scientific mystery series. It was a fun romp. Middle graders will enjoy the series. My review will be posted on Sept. 22 for this Oct. 7 release.
Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh is a contemporary romance. I liked the characters very much and loved that love managed to triumph despite the damage each main character had suffered in the past. This one is for romance readers who like their stories spicy. My review will be posted on October 18.

Currently

I am now reading Rock Courtship by Nalini Singh which is a novella in the same series as Rock Addiction. I got this eARC from NetGalley. It will be released on September 30.

Next Week

This week's books are all Kindle and all Review. I'll be finishing up my October books and beginning the twelve I have that are being released in November.
Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker
Get Happy by Mary Amato
The Gift of Darkness by Valentina Giambanca
Caught Dead by Andrew Lanh

Reviews Posted
  1. Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan (Sept. 15)
  2. Adrenaline Crush by Laurie Boyle Crompton (Sept. 17)
  3. Midnight Betrayal by Melinda Leigh (Sept. 17)
  4. Blackbird by Anna Carey (Sept. 18)
  5. Bones Never Lie by Kathy Reichs (Sept. 18)
  6. The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry (Sept. 20)
  7. Silent Murders by Mary Miley (Sept. 20)
Want to See What I Added to My Stack Last Week?
What do you have planned for the coming week?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

ARC Review: Silent Murders (A Roaring Twenties Mystery) by Mary Miley

Silent Murders
Author: Mary Miley
Series: A Roaring Twenties Mystery (Book 2)
Publication: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (September 23, 2014)

Description: Vaudeville actress Leah Randall took on her most daring role ever when she impersonated missing heiress Jessie Carr in order to claim Jessie’s inheritance in The Impersonator. Now that the dust has settled around that tumultuous time in her life, Leah has adopted Jessie’s name as her own and moved to Hollywood, where she's taken a modest but steady job in the silent film industry.

Jessie’s thrilled when Bruno Heilmann, a movie studio bigwig, invites her to a party. She’s even more delighted to run into a face from her past at that party. But the following day, Jessie learns that sometime in the wee hours of the morning both her old friend and Bruno Heilmann were brutally murdered. She’s devastated, but with her skill as an actress, access to the wardrobes and resources of a film studio, and a face not yet famous enough to be recognized, Jessie is uniquely positioned to dig into the circumstances surrounding these deaths. But will doing so put her own life directly in the path of a murderer?

With Silent Murders, MB/MWA First Crime Novel Competition winner Mary Miley has crafted another terrifically fun mystery, this time set in the dizzying, dazzling heart of jazz-age Hollywood.

My Thoughts: Jessie Beckett has left vaudeville, and a stint impersonating a lost heiress, behind and is building a new life and career in Hollywood. She is working as an assistant script girl on a Douglas Fairbanks movie. She and one her roommates, now named Myrna Loy, are invited to a party at the home of a famous director. There Jessie meets a woman who knew her mother and traveled the same vaudeville circuit Jessie and her mother traveled. The woman made an appointment for the next day to share memories of Jessie's mother and to give her some playbills with her mother's picture.

When Jessie arrives at Esther's apartment, she finds Esther dead from a blow to the head. Jessie has avoided the police all her life. Most vaudevillians do because, as strangers in town, it is easy to blame them for crimes. After packing up the playbills and sending them to herself, she does call the police which leads to her being interrogated. She meets a policeman named Delaney who seems smarter and more honest than the usual cop.

She gets a call from Douglas Fairbanks when she gets home. He tells her about a murder and asks for a favor. It seems that the famous director was murdered after the party and now Fairbanks wants Jessie to go to his home and retrieve articles left by Lottie Pickford, Mary's sister, who was having an affair with him.

Because the threat of one more scandal might bring down the fledgling movie industry, Fairbanks asks Jessie to investigate and try to preserve reputations. Jessie meets an old friend from the first book who is now financing movies and says he has left his bootlegging past behind and his presence complicates her investigation.

This mystery had it all. The 1920s Hollywood setting came to life with its different customs. It's Prohibition but that doesn't stop Hollywood elite from drinking and doing drugs. I liked the way the author worked in Hollywood celebrities - Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, and rising stars Myrna Loy and Gary Cooper. I liked the information about the time before movies were in color or had sound. I especially enjoyed Jessie's encounter with the Gainaday clothes washing machine and all her driving around in a Flivver.

I recommend this historical mystery for movie buffs and fans of intrepid heroines.

Favorite Quote:
"You're smart. You notice things others miss.  And you have a way of sensing things, almost like a mind reader."

I thought about that. After a lifetime on stage watching for subtle clues, making decisions based on someone's tone of voice, picking up pn a raised eyebrow or the lift of a chin, and absorbing the audience's mood through my skin, it was probably inevitable that I would become sensitive to details, especially the human kind. "I think maybe I read people, not minds."
I received this ARC from NetGalley after getting an email invitation. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Memes: Silent Murders by Mary Miley

Happy Friday everybody!
Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City Reader. The 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.

This week I am spotlighting Silent Murders by Mary Miley. I got this eARC at NetGalley after receiving an email invitation. The book will be released on September 23. Here is the description:
Vaudeville actress Leah Randall took on her most daring role ever when she impersonated missing heiress Jessie Carr in order to claim Jessie’s inheritance in >The Impersonator. Now that the dust has settled around that tumultuous time in her life, Leah has adopted Jessie’s name as her own and moved to Hollywood, where she's taken a modest but steady job in the silent film industry.

Jessie’s thrilled when Bruno Heilmann, a movie studio bigwig, invites her to a party. She’s even more delighted to run into a face from her past at that party. But the following day, Jessie learns that sometime in the wee hours of the morning both her old friend and Bruno Heilmann were brutally murdered. She’s devastated, but with her skill as an actress, access to the wardrobes and resources of a film studio, and a face not yet famous enough to be recognized, Jessie is uniquely positioned to dig into the circumstances surrounding these deaths. But will doing so put her own life directly in the path of a murderer?"Dea

With Silent Murders, MB/MWA First Crime Novel Competition winner Mary Miley has crafted another terrifically fun mystery, this time set in the dizzying, dazzling heart of jazz-age Hollywood.
Beginning:
Turns out vaudeville doesn't prepare you for Hollywood.
Friday 56:
"Death caused by a blunt instrument," he told the policeman. I rolled my eyes. Brilliant deduction, Sherlock, with the bloodied horse statue lying beside the body. "About nine or ten hours ago, I'd estimate."

Thursday, September 18, 2014

ARC Review: Bones Never Lie by Kathy Reichs

Bones Never Lie
Author: Kathy Reichs
Series: Temperance Brennan (Book 17)
Publication: Bantam (September 23, 2014)

Description: The evidence is irrefutable: In sixteen New York Times bestsellers over the course of as many years, Kathy Reichs has proven herself “a genius at building suspense” (New York Daily News). In forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan, Reichs has created a detective fiction heroine who’s brilliant to the bone. “Every minute in the morgue with Tempe is golden,” says The New York Times Book Review In the acclaimed author’s thrilling new novel, Brennan is at the top of her game in a battle of wits against the most monstrous adversary she has ever encountered.

Unexpectedly called in to the Charlotte PD’s Cold Case Unit, Dr. Temperance Brennan wonders why she’s been asked to meet with a homicide cop who’s a long way from his own jurisdiction. The shocking answer: Two child murders, separated by thousands of miles, have one thing in common—the killer. Years ago, Anique Pomerleau kidnapped and murdered a string of girls in Canada, then narrowly eluded capture. It was a devastating defeat for her pursuers, Brennan and police detective Andrew Ryan. Now, as if summoned from their nightmares, Pomerleau has resurfaced in the United States, linked to victims in Vermont and North Carolina. When another child is snatched, the reign of terror promises to continue—unless Brennan can rise to the challenge and make good on her second chance to stop a psychopath.

But Brennan will have to draw her bitter ex-partner out of exile, keep the local police and feds from one another’s throats, and face more than just her own demons as she stalks the deadliest of predators into the darkest depths of madness.

In Bones Never Lie, Kathy Reichs never fails to satisfy readers looking for psychological suspense that’s more than skin-deep.

My Thoughts: The seventeenth in the Temperance Brennan was a "couldn't-put-it-down" hit for me. It had all the elements - police procedural, murdered children, and smart and dogged cops. Temperance is surprised to be called in on a cold case in Charlotte but soon understands why when she is presented with evidence that connects the murdered children with an old enemy of hers. Despite Ryan's and her work, Anique Pomerlau managed to get away. Now Charlotte police want Ryan and Brennan to get involved in this case. Only thing is, Ryan has disappeared after the drug-related death of his daughter. The first thing Temperance has to do is track him down.

Soon Brennan, Ryan and Slidell are deeply involved in reading old case files and trying to connect a current child disappearance and murder to the other cases. Reichs is very good at showing the amount of detail that needs to be studied and remembered when police are investigating a crime. And, of course, the autopsy scenes are very accurately done. I also like the relationships between Brennan, Slidell, and Ryan.

Temperance is also dealing with her mother's health issues. Her mother is in a health facility for the wealthy in the mountains to deal with her various mental issues. But now she also has cancer and refuses to have chemotherapy. Her mother is an internet marvel and is instrumental in helping Temperance solve the case.

Reichs has a way with words, choosing the perfect descriptions, to make the characters come to life. The prose is not flowery but is completely engaging. I will say that I had a pretty good idea who the criminal was about half way through the book but then was certain I was wrong as I got further into the book.

Fans of this series will certainly not want to miss this episode. It would also be a possible starting place for newcomers to the series since it stands alone quite well. I know that I have missed some of the earlier books and was still swept into this one with no problem.

Favorite Quote:

Reichs has a way with descriptions - short, apt, and pointed.
I glanced over at Slidell. His gaze was up now, aimed at Tinker with the kind of expressions normally reserved for pedophiles and mold.
I got this ARC from Amazon Vine. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Book Review: Midnight Betrayal by Melinda Leigh

Midnight Betrayal
Author: Melinda Leigh
Publication: Montlake Romance (September 2, 2014)

Description: Curator Dr. Louisa Hancock left behind Maine and her troubled past for Philadelphia and a job at a prominent museum. Just when it seems that Louisa’s new life is safe from her dark secrets, the body of a museum intern is found—the victim of a brutal and baffling murder.

Louisa realizes this is no random crime. And when another intern goes missing, the abduction is linked to the only man who has ever tempted Louisa’s heart—Conor Sullivan, the sexy owner of a Philly sports bar. Louisa’s past has taught her to be wary, but her heart refuses to believe Conor is guilty.

Now Conor and Louisa must dodge a police investigation—and their growing desire—as they race to find the real killer before another girl turns up dead. But trusting Conor could be deadly, especially as the evidence against him mounts…and as a merciless killer targets Louisa as the next victim.

My Thoughts: Doctor Louisa Hancock thought that she had left her problems behind in Maine when she moved to Philadelphia but it looks like someone is killing young interns at this museum too. When another intern goes missing and Conor Sullivan is implicated, Louisa knows he didn't do it. They had met in Maine but it was a "wrong time, wrong place" relationship. Now that they are together in Philadelphia, it is the right time but being involved in a murder investigation isn't an ideal time to start a romance.

Both Louisa and Conor are wary of romance because of incidents in their past. Trust and open communication doesn't come easy to either of them. I did like watching love overcome their problems.

The mystery was well-done with lots of possible suspects for me to ponder. The chapters from the villain's point of view were quite chilling. The story had lots of suspenseful scenes and some quite humorous ones too.

I was a big fan of Conor's tough exterior and marshmallow interior. His need to help those who are helpless - from the college girl with the drunken boyfriend to the pit bull that had been abused - really showed his character. The abused dog and the problems surrounding her added depth and more danger to the story.

This was a great romance and wonderful thriller too.

Favorite Quote:
He stood and held out a hand. She took it and let him help her to her feet. Wrapping an arm around her, he took some of her weight as she hobbled to the bedroom. Her knees must have stiffened as she sat. "But I'm warning you now. I get hot. I'll probably end up taking off my shirt."

Her body shook in a silent laugh. "I'll try to control myself."

Kirra beat them to the bed, curling up in the exact center of the duvet.

Conor stretched out on the bed and picked up the remote. "If you get too warm, feel free to take yours off. I won't be offended."

"That's kind of you to offer." She chuckled, easing onto the mattress.
I got this book from the author in exchange for my review. You can buy your copy here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Bones Never Lie by Kathy Reichs

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • 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 and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser:
"I'm sorry." Ryan wagged his head. "I'm done with cracked skulls and slit throats and cigarette burns. No more dead kids?"

"What about live ones?"
This week my teaser comes from Bones Never Lie by Kathy Reichs. This is the most recent in the Temperance Brennan series. Here is the description of this Sept. 23 release:
The evidence is irrefutable: In sixteen New York Times bestsellers over the course of as many years, Kathy Reichs has proven herself “a genius at building suspense” (New York Daily News). In forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan, Reichs has created a detective fiction heroine who’s brilliant to the bone. “Every minute in the morgue with Tempe is golden,” says The New York Times Book Review. In the acclaimed author’s thrilling new novel, Brennan is at the top of her game in a battle of wits against the most monstrous adversary she has ever encountered.

Unexpectedly called in to the Charlotte PD’s Cold Case Unit, Dr. Temperance Brennan wonders why she’s been asked to meet with a homicide cop who’s a long way from his own jurisdiction. The shocking answer: Two child murders, separated by thousands of miles, have one thing in common—the killer. Years ago, Anique Pomerleau kidnapped and murdered a string of girls in Canada, then narrowly eluded capture. It was a devastating defeat for her pursuers, Brennan and police detective Andrew Ryan. Now, as if summoned from their nightmares, Pomerleau has resurfaced in the United States, linked to victims in Vermont and North Carolina. When another child is snatched, the reign of terror promises to continue—unless Brennan can rise to the challenge and make good on her second chance to stop a psychopath.

But Brennan will have to draw her bitter ex-partner out of exile, keep the local police and feds from one another’s throats, and face more than just her own demons as she stalks the deadliest of predators into the darkest depths of madness.

In Bones Never Lie, Kathy Reichs never fails to satisfy readers looking for psychological suspense that’s more than skin-deep.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Sept. 15, 2014)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

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.

The Renaissance Festival was fun. I did lots of walking and lots of eating. The weather was gorgeous with sunny skies but a nice breeze to keep it from being too hot. It was great to see all the people in costume and to see all the different crafters. I managed to walk 10000 steps which made it a very unusual Sunday.

My Driver's Improvement class was interesting. There really wasn't any new information. But it is good to be reminded every few years about how to be a safer driver.

Our weather has turned very fall-like. We have had chilly days and really cool nights. Great sleeping weather but I wouldn't have needed to pull out the fall jackets quite so soon. This coming week doesn't look much warmer. Temperatures are supposed to be in the 60s all week here.

This coming week I have a road trip up to the Red Balloon Bookstore on Tuesday after work. Kelly Barnhill will be there signing her newest book. I just read Iron Hearted Violet this summer which had been on my TBR mountain for a while and enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to meeting her and getting her newest book for our library.

After that, my week should be quiet. I hope to fit in lots of reading time.

Read Last Week
I got the novella prequel to Suzanne and Melanie Brockmann's YA debut - Dangerous Destiny - this week and read it right away. I have already read the novel. This was a good introduction to the novel and would give the reader a flavor for the writing and characters in the story. I reviewed this one at Amazon and GoodReads but not on my blog.

Stitching Snow by R. C. Lewis was a science fiction story about a princess in hiding until she is dug out by a young man who wants her to lead a revolution. I enjoyed both the epic science fiction plot and the romance. My review will be posted on October 15.
The Midnight Queen by Sylvia Izzo Hunter was an entertaining historical fantasy about a young scholar who inadvertently gets swept up in a plot to kill the king. It was well-done. My review will be posted on October 9.

Midnight Betrayal by Melinda Leigh was an excellent romantic suspense title that I got from the author for review. The book was released on Sept. 2 and my review will be posted on September 17.

Festive in Death by J. D. Robb is the 39th book in a very entertaining futuristic mystery/romance series. I always look forward to each new book and really enjoyed this one. My review will be posted on October 22. My GoodReads, LibraryThing and Amazon reviews have already been posted. 

Currently
I am currently reading Atlantia by Ally Condie. It won't be released until Oct. 28 but I got the eARC from Penguin's First to Read program as a file on Adobe Digital Editions and it will be expiring in just a couple days. 

Next Week
These three young adult review books are next on my stack.

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch came to me via Edelweiss.

Chasing Power by Sarah Beth Durst came to me via the author and NetGalley.

Centaur Rising by Jane Yolen came to me as a print ARC from Macmillan.

Reviews Posted
Want to See What I Added to My Stack Last Week?
What is in the plans for your week? Leave me a link and I'll be glad to visit your blog and see.