GOODNIGHT HOCKEY FANS by Canadian ANDREW LARSEN is a wonderful children’s book – 4 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟 

Title: GOODNIGHT, HOCKEY FANS 

Author: ANDREW LARSEN    

Genre: CHILDREN’S FICTION

Length: 32 PAGES

Publisher: KIDS CAN PRESS    
Type of Book: EBOOK

Received From: NETGALLEY       

Release Date: OCTOBER 3, 2017  

ISBN: 9781771381055

Price: $18.99 CDN – HARDCOVER

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟 
DESCRIPTION:  

A young boy doesn’t want to go to bed. The hockey game is on! “What if I can’t fall asleep?” the boy says. “Don’t worry,” says his dad. “You will.” After his parents have tucked him in and turned out the light, he shines a flashlight on his prized hockey possessions around his room: the posters of his favorite players, the pennant for his favorite team, the puck. Then he decides to listen to the game on his bedside radio, which he places under his pillow. With the familiar drone of the announcer’s voice for company, the boy drifts off to sleep. He dreams he has joined his favorite team on the ice — where he scores the winning goal! And the boy smiles as the announcer exclaims, “What a play! What a goal! What a game!” Award-winning author Andrew Larsen’s simple yet evocative story sets just the right tone for the youngest children, who can relate to the boy’s disappointment about missing the exciting nighttime game and his fears that he won’t be able to fall asleep. Jacqui Lee’s illustrations in soothing greens and blues are done in a wonderful blend of nostalgic and contemporary styles that suit the story’s timelessness. This book provides all of the appeal of the perfect bedtime story: the reassurance of caring parents tucking the boy in and then coming back later to check on him, the bedtime routine, the atmospheric winter night outside while it’s cozy and snug inside, and the promise of dreams come true.   

REVIEW

I have to admit that I have a positive bias toward children’s books that are about hockey. As a proud Canadian who also happens to have male children, hockey was a huge part of our lives for many years.

Anyway, with that said, I enjoyed both the story and the illustrations in this book. I think that kids can never have enough hockey titles in their library. I rate this book as 4 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free e-copy of this book. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Andrew Larsen is the acclaimed author of such books as Goodnight, Hockey Fans, A Squiggly Story, The Not-So-Faraway Adventure, In the Tree House and The Imaginary Garden. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE  

GOODREADS 

TWITTER     

FACEBOOK        

AMAZON  

CHAPTERS  


PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE 


ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR:

JACQUI LEE is a graphic designer and the illustrator of I Am Josephine (And I Am a Living Thing), Taffy Time and the Murilla Gorilla series for young readers. Jacqui currently lives in London, England.

To learn more about this Illustrator, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE  

TWITTER  

TUMBLR

INSTAGRAM 

AMAZON  


AWARDS

– 2014 Canadian Toy Testing Council Recommended Read Murilla Gorilla: Jungle Detective
– 2013 Ontario Library Association Best Bets for Children Murilla Gorilla: Jungle Detective
– 2012 Applied Arts Illustration Awards The 400 Blows
– 2011 Society of Illustrators Student Scholarship Competition Roots General Store (In Show)
– 2011 Applied Arts Student Awards The Jules Verne Collection
– 2011 Applied Arts Student Awards The Jelly Bean
– 2011 Applied Arts Student Awards The Sandwich with Britny Samuelson
– 2011 Applied Arts Student Awards The Story of Joseph-Armand Bombardier


EXHIBITIONS

– 2014 It’s A Jungle Out There ?! The Ledge Gallery, Calgary, AB
– 2012 On The Move Collage Collage, Vancouver, BC
– 2012 SHAPE JAM (with Jenn Kitagawa & Co), Hashtag Gallery, Toronto, ON
– 2011 The Society of Illustrators Student Scholarship Competition Exhibit – Museum of American Illustration, New York, NY

Visit Jacqui’s page on WORKING, NOT WORKING 

ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: 

Kids Can Press is the largest Canadian-owned children’s publisher. Its catalogue includes an award-winning list of over 600 picture books, nonfiction and fiction titles for young readers, including the worldwide bestselling Franklin the Turtle, Scaredy Squirrel and CitizenKid series.

To learn more about this Publisher, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

TWITTER    

FACEBOOK      

INSTAGRAM     

PINTEREST   

YOUTUBE  
  

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FIRST CRUSH, LAST LOVE by Elizabeth McKenna BLOG TOUR, REVIEW and GIVEAWAY!

Book Details:

Book Title: First Crush, Last Love 

Author: Elizabeth McKenna

Category: Adult Fiction

Length: 314 pages     

Genre: Romance – Contemporary

Publisher: Elizabeth McKenna

Release date: Aug 1, 2017

Tour dates: Oct 16 to Nov 3, 2017

Content Rating: PG-13 + M

There are a few short, mild sex scenes – nothing too graphic. There is swearing by certain characters. Mature themes include drinking/alcoholism, verbal abuse with some physical pushing, AIDS (a minor character is gay), stalking, brief descriptions of child abuse by a step parent, and suicide attempt (overdose).

Book Description:  

Remember your first crush? How your heart raced and your cheeks flushed whenever you saw him? Jessie Baxter does, and it’s happening again. Ten years ago, despite her best efforts, Lee Archer wanted to be just friends. Now, he wants more, but Jessie’s still recovering from a psycho ex-husband. Can she learn to trust again and make her first crush into her last love?

​Elizabeth McKenna’s latest novel will have you remembering the angst of high school, the grief of a failed relationship, and the happiness of true love.

To read reviews, please visit Elizabeth McKenna’s page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the Book:

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble


Createspace


Add to Goodreads


Meet the Author:


Elizabeth McKenna works as a full-time technical writer/editor for a large software company. Though her love of books reaches back to her childhood, she had never read romance novels until one Christmas when her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene).

She had always wanted to write fiction, so she combined her love of history, romance and a happy ending to write Cera’s Place and Venice in the Moonlight. Her short story, The Gypsy Casts a Spell, is available for free on her site http://elizabethmckenna.com/. She hopes you will enjoy her first contemporary romance novel, First Crush Last Love, as much as others have enjoyed her historical romances.

​Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a sassy Labrador. When she isn’t writing, working, or being a mom, she’s sleeping.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

Enter the Giveaway by clicking on the link below:   

Ends Nov 11

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MY REVIEW: 

 Have you ever been in an abusive relationship? If so, how horrible did you feel after the relationship finally ended? And, how did that relationship color your view of other possible mates? 
Now go back further in time. Back to your very first crush. Do you remember how ot felt? Jessie Baxter does. Her first crush was Lee Archer and ten years earlier he told her that he just wanted to be friends.

Now, Lee wants Jessie’s heart, but her psychotic ex-husband has really messed up her head. You will have to read this book to find out if Jessie and Lee will have a second chance at love.

Author Elizabeth McKenna has done a great job of character development and by the end of the book, you can’t help but feel invested in the character’s lives.

Readers will also find themselves looking back at their own high school experiences and waxing nostalgic about their own first crush.

This feel good, second chance romance will put a smile on the face of even the most stoic, jaded reader. It is for this reason that I rate FIRST CRUSH, LAST LOVE as 4 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE:

Oct 16 – The World As I See It – review / giveaway
Oct 17 – Working Mommy Journal – review / giveaway
Oct 18 – Books, Dreams, Life – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
YOU ARE HERE ——> Oct 20 – Amie’s Book Reviews – review / giveaway
Oct 23 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – review / giveaway
Oct 24 – Books for Books – review
Oct 25 – My Reading Journeys – review
Oct 25 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – review / giveaway
Oct 26 – Haddie’s Haven – review / giveaway
Oct 26 – Library of Clean Reads – review / giveaway
Oct 27 – 3 Partners in Shopping – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 27 – Tragically Dull Adventures of an Almost Librarian – review
Oct 30 – Svetlana’s Reads and Views – review
Oct 30 – Divas With A Purpose – review
Oct 31 – The Autistic Gamer – book spotlight
Oct 31 – Olio by Marilyn – review / author interview / giveaway
Nov 2 – Jessica Cassidy – review / author interview / giveaway
Nov 2 – The Pen and Muse – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 3 – A Soccer Mom’s Book Blog – review / giveaway
Nov 3 – bookmyopia – review
Nov 3 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book spotlight
Nov 3 – Kristin’s Novel Café – review / giveaway 


4 Stars for the extraordinary tale of a man who spent 27 years alone in the woods – A new book by MICHAEL FINKEL called THE STRANGER IN THE WOODS 🌟🌟🌟🌟  

Title: THE STRANGER IN THE WOODS      

Subtitle: THE EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF THE LAST TRUE HERMIT

Author: MICHAEL FINKEL      
Genre: NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHY

Length: 203 PAGES  

Publisher: PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE

Type of Book: HARDCOVER

Release Date: MARCH 7, 2017   

ISBN: 978-1-101-87568-1  

Price: $25.95 USD / $32.95 CDN

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Photograph of Knight’s camp in the Maine woods. Photo Credit: Maine State Police

DESCRIPTION:  “In 1986, a shy and intelligent twenty-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later, when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even through brutal winters, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store edibles and water, and to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothing, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries.”

Photograph of Knight’s camp in the Maine woods. Photo Credit: Maine State Police

“Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of his secluded life—why did he leave? what did he learn?—as well as the challenges he has faced since returning to the world. It is a gripping story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude, community, and what makes a good life, and a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way, and succeeded.”    

MY REVIEW:  

This book is a New York Times Bestseller, and after reading it, I can understand why. The subject matter will draw you in and you will find yourself developing an opinion on the “hermit.” 

Mugshot of Christopher Knight Photo Credit: Maine State Police

I find it fascinating that anyone could just one day decide to walk into the forest with minimal supplies and not come out again for decades.

I am sure that most of us have had the thought that it would be great to get away from it all, but even so, our idea of that “retreat from the world” almost always has a limited time frame. Humans are just not wired to be completely solitary … at least, most of us aren’t. As proof of this, think about jail. When an inmate severely misbehaves, the punishment is solitary confinement, and even the toughest, meanest, most hardened criminals attempt to avoid it. In fact, in 2015, the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Vienna, Austria adopted revised rules banning solitary confinement as cruel and unusual punishment. The changes are referred to as the “Mandela Rules.”     

Christopher Knight is “the hermit” who this book is about. He is an anomaly to the belief that people need contact with others to survive. 

Christopher stole food and other essential items to help him survive, and created a hidden camp that wasn’t far from civilization and yet, somehow he was able to stay hidden and alone for over twenty years. Author Michael Finkel has done a terrific job of trying to understand the nonunderstandable and readers will be unable to put this book down. 

Photograph of Knight at his camp in the Maine woods. Photo Credit: Maine State Police

This book is very much worth reading, and even though it includes a sketch of Christopher Knight’s camp as well as a sketch of the geographic area of Maine where his camp was located, I was extremely disappointed that the actual photographs taken by police were not included in this book. I would also have liked to have a photograph of Christopher Knight included as well. It is due to the lack of photographs that I am rating THE STRANGER IN THE WOODS as only 4 out of 5 Stars. 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

*** Even though the pictures are not in the physical edition of this book, there are multiple photographs available on Michael Finkel’s website; perhaps they will make it into future editions of this book.***   

Because I was curious as to what Christopher Knight looked like, I searched on YouTube and found this video:    

 

     

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

MICHAEL FINKEL is the author of “The Stranger in the Woods” and “True Story,” which was adapted into a 2015 major motion picture, starring James Franco and Jonah Hill.

He has reported from more than 50 countries and written for National Geographic, GQ, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, and The New York Times Magazine.

His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting, The Best American Science and Nature Writing, The Best American Travel Writing, and The Best American Non-Required Reading.  

Michael lives with his wife and three children in western Montana and southern France.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE        

GOODREADS     

TWITTER   

FACEBOOK        

AMAZON              

CHAPTERS          

GOOGLE BOOKS    
Watch the following video for an author interview:

THE MURDERS OF MOLLY SOUTHBOURNE by Tade Thompson will be available on October 3rd and will scare the heck out of you. 

        🌟🌟🌟🌟 = 4 STARS 


Title: THE MURDERS OF MOLLY SOUTHBOURNE  

Author: TADE THOMPSON

Genre: FICTION, HORROR

Length: 128 PAGES

Publisher: TOR BOOKS              

Received From: NETGALLEY     

Release Date: OCTOBER 3, 2017 

ISBN: 978-0-7653-9713-3 (PAPERBACK)  

ISBN: 978-0-7653-9712-6 (EBOOK)

Price: $1.99 USD – EBOOK

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟 

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION:    

The rule is simple: don’t bleed.

For as long as Molly Southbourne can remember, she’s been watching herself die. Whenever she bleeds, another molly is born, identical to her in every way—and intent on her destruction.

Molly knows every way to kill herself, but she also knows that as long as she survives she’ll be hunted. No matter how well she follows the rules, eventually the mollys will find her. Can Molly find a way to stop the tide of blood, or will she meet her end at the hand of a girl who looks just like her?

MY REVIEW:

Despite only consisting of 128 pages, and officially being considered a “novella” rather than a “novel,” THE MURDERS OF MOLLY SOUTHBOURNE does not lack readability. Yes, it is a quick read, but that is due to the fact that once begun, it is nearly impossible to put down.  

The concept of the “Doppelganger” is not new, even so, author Tade Thompson has taken the concept to places no one ever has before.

This story is all about Molly.

Molly may look normal, but she suffers from a unique genetic quirk, one that makes her the only person alive with her bizarre condition.

It’s all about the blood.

Every time Molly bleeds, another copy of herself grows from that blood and a new molly is created – a perfect physical copy of Molly at the moment in time when her blood was shed.

The problem occurs because the new molly may start out seemingly normal, but inevitably, the new copy turns on the original and attempts to murder her.

Imagine knowing that at least once a month (thanks to her gender,) a new molly will come to life and that you have no choice but to commit murder in order to preserve your own life.

What would that do to your pysche? Could you ever hope to lead a normal life?

You will need to read this novella to find out if Molly ever figures out a way to control her disorder or if she ends up dead at the hands of one of the mollys. 

If you enjoy reading books where the storyline begins with a high degree of suspense which continues to build until it is at a frenzy, then THE MURDERS OF MOLLY SOUTHBOURNE is the perfect book for you.  

The best thing about this book is the totally unexpected and explosive ending which also opens up the potential for a sequel. Personally, I hope Tade Thompson does write an additional book based on this one. I give THE MURDERS OF MOLLY SOUTHBOURNE a rating of 4 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟  

An exciting announcement was just made – THE MURDERS  MOLLY SOUTHBOURNE is being made into a full-length feature film. To read more about the upcoming film’s details, click HERE.

** Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book. 




ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 


TADE THOMPSON
 lives and works in the south of England. His background is in medicine, psychiatry and social anthropology.

His first novel Making Wolf won the Golden Tentacle Award at the 2016 Kitschies.

His second novel Rosewater is on the 2016 Locus Recommended Reading List, and his short story “The Apologists” has been shortlisted for a British Science Fiction Association award.

He enjoys jazz, comics, and baking deformed bread.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE     

GOODREADS   

TWITTER        

AMAZON    

CHAPTERS      

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE     
ABOUT AMIE’S BOOK REVIEWS: 

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VANGUARD by the talented ANN AGUIRE – Book 4 in the Razorland Series 

Title: VANGUARD    

Series: RAZORLAND – BOOK FOUR

Author: ANN AGUIRRE      

Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION, POST-APOCALYPTIC FICTION, DYSTOPIAN FICTION 

Length: 368 PAGES

Publisher: MACMILLAN CHILDREN’S PUBLISHING GROUP      

Type of Book: EBOOK

Received From: NETGALLEY 

Release Date: JULY 25, 2017

ISBN: 9781250089823 (HARDCOVER)

Price: $17.99 USD (HARDCOVER)

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟

  


DESCRIPTION

This book begins ten months after ‘The War of the River.’

Tegan sets out to fulfill her mentor’s last request and to fulfill the wanderlust in her soul. She is accompanied on her journey by Millie Faraday, who is trying to outrun her reputation of being “the kindest girl in the free territories.” 

On her way to the first stop on their  adventure, she encounters Szarok, the Vanguard of the Uroch. Szarok offers to travel with them and Tegan accepts, knowing there is safety in traveling with him.

When Tegan is offered a job as a ‘long-haul ship’s doctor’ Millie, James and Szarok all sign onto the ship as well. Each has a different reason for traveling aboard the ship, but none is more important than Szarok’s reason. He is on a mission to save his people and despite the strange feelings he experiences whenever in Tegan’s presence, he is determined to fulfill his mission.

Tegan’s affection for the strange but somehow beautiful Uroch grows over time and she defends him from the blatant prejudices of other humans.

As their time together lengthens, it is Tegan who, through stormy seas and a variety of strange, new lands, will become stronger than she ever knew possible.


THE MORAL OF THE STORY:  

The very thinly veiled moral of this story is that prejudice is NOT OK. This may seem like a very basic idea to many of us, but unfortunately, there are still many people who have yet to recognize this very basic truth. 



MY REVIEW:

The previous three books in the Razorland saga followed the adventures (and romance) of Deuce and Fade. Tegan was very much part of the story, but she was never the sole focus. In VANGUARD, Tegan steps out of the shadows and takes center stage.

Although this is the fourth book in the series, it also works as a stand-alone novel. Those who have read the first three books in the Razorland saga will be able to connect with the history of the post-apocalyptic world they live in as we as what led Tegan to this point in her life. Author Ann Aguire has included enough detail about the past that new readers will not find their enjoyment diminished in any way. In fact, I believe new readers will be so intrigued by VANGUARD they will want to run out and buy the rest of the Razorland saga immediately.

The story begins once Tegan’s Doctor/Mentor/Father-Figure dies and she decides to head out into the world. Tegan’s skill as a healer affords her the ability to provide for herself wherever she goes.

When she meets up with Szarok at the beginning of her journey. Szarok offers to travel with her and although the peace between his “people” and the regular humans is tenuous, his offer affords Tegan a measure of security that she knew she would be foolish to refuse.

Tegan and Szarok start off their journey as acquaintances who both find each other visually unappealing and dislike each other’s scents and eating habits. They do recognize certain similarities, but their historical and cultural differences and the clear division between their “tribes” are not easily put aside.

When the two end up stranded alone together they learn more about each other and their differences cease to be an issue. This is realistic. Once you spend time with someone, regardless of their race or faith you realize that surface differences no longer matter. This is a lesson that is important. People need to understand that skin color, religion, and other differences are not the entirety of a person – they are just the wrapper. It is what is inside that matters.

This situation reminds me of racial differences  and smacks of ingrained discrimination. Readers should be able to relate Tegan and Szarok’s tale to instances of interracial or interfaith relationships.

This book is an extremely easy read and its length makes it perfect for a weekend at the cottage, the beach, at a campground or for a lazy weekend at home.

Ann Aguirre uses her considerable writing talent to pen a romance between unlikely characters. Readers can view this book as just a wonderful, light-hearted romance, or they can look a little deeper. If readers choose to look deeper, they will realize this book as one that combats racism.

Choosing two different races as her main characters, Ann Aguirre demonstrates a truth that many people have yet to embrace; the fact that just because a person looks different from you on the outside does NOT mean they are different on the inside.

I rate VANGUARD as 4 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

The only reason this book did not receive a 5th Star was that in some ways, the plot was predictable. However, this did not in any way diminish my enjoyment in reading this tale.

To read more of my reviews – Follow me here on my blog as well as on INSTAGRAM and TWITTER   

* A special Thank You to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Author Photograph and description obtained from her website.

Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. She likes books, emo music, and action movies. She writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens.

To learn more about this author visit the following links: 

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

GOODREADS       

FACEBOOK     

TUMBLR     

AMAZON      

CHAPTERS    

TWITTER    
FIERCE READS     

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE     

BARNES & NOBLE  

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WATER MEMORY – A 4 STAR GRAPHIC NOVEL by Mathieu Reynes will thrill all ages. 

Title: WATER MEMORY     

Author:  MATHIEU REYNES   

Illustrator: VALÉRIE VERNAY    

Genre: FICTION, GRAPHIC NOVELS

Publisher: DIAMOND BOOK DISTRIBUTORS     

Type of Book: SOFTCOVER

Received From: NETGALLEY        

Release Date: SEPTEMBER 5, 2017

ISBN: 9781941302439

Price: $14.99 USD

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟    


DESCRIPTION
:

“A new life begins for Marion when her mother inherits an old family house and decides to make it their new home.  With its own private beach and a view of the sea, the house has all the makings of a happy new life. But when Marion discovers strange rock carvings nearby, and learns that a sinister-looking lighthouse watchman may be part of a local legend come to life, it becomes clear that things are not as idyllic as they seemed.”


MY REVIEW:

A gorgeously illustrated graphic novel with a plot that will draw in readers and keep you turning pages.

I did not know just how well an author and illustrator could work together to create characters with as much depth as Marion and her mother exhibit in WATER MEMORY. It is impossible to read this graphic novel and not feel like you know Marion intimately. 

The story and the mystery unravels at the perfect pace and the illustrations add to the air of otherworldlyness and will have readers guessing as to what is happening.

The ending will surprise readers and it  creates the possibility of a sequel. Personally, I hope a sequel is written, as I, for one, will buy it.

With beautifully illustrated pages and a gripping story-line, WATER MEMORY is a wonderful graphic novel that I rate as 4 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟 and I highly recommend it to lovers of mystery and even though it is a graphic novel, I believe that even those who have never read this type of book, will be drawn in and will enjoy it immensely.  

**Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this graphic novel.  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:   

Photo of Author and Illustrator. Click on the photo to be taken to the source website


Mathieu Reynès is a French comic book writer and artist. Since 2002, he has worked with many of Europes’ top comic publishers including Ankama, Dupuis, Paquet and Spirou. He illustrated the successful Alter ego series, wrote Water Memory, and is currently writing and drawing the supernatural graphic novel: Harmony.

Born in 1977 in the western suburbs of Paris, France, Reynès spent much of his childhood near the Basque coast. Initially studying science in Bordeaux, he decided to change course and pursue cartoons and 3D animation at the CNBDI in Angoulême. He released his first album, Banana Fight in 2002, in collaboration with writer Frédéric Brrémaud. The duo went on to create two volumes of Sexy Gun and three volumes of Lola Bogota.

Reynès worked predominately in the field of humour, until 2011, where he embarked on the conspiracy series Alter Ego. Reynès used a more realistic style to tell the complex intertwined story. Written by Denis Lapière and Pierre-Paul Renders, the series spread across 11 albums. This series won the 2011 Saint Michael Award for Best Story.

In 2012, Reynès wrote the two-part story La mémoire de l’eau (Water Memory), which was undoubtedly inspired by his childhood memories of the Basque coast. Beautifully drawn by Valérie Vernay the story balances reality and mystery and is just as good for a pre-teen as for an adult.

To learn more about this terrific author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE    

GOODREADS     

TWITTER      

FACEBOOK           

TUMBLR    

INSTAGRAM           

AMAZON   

CHAPTERS     
ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR: 


VALÉRIE VERNAY trained as an illustrator at the Emile Cohl school. With her illustrator’s diploma under her belt, she published her first children’s book “Le Gardien de la Nuit” (published by Petit à Petit). 

 Over time, she edged her way onto the comic book scene: step by step, a secret dream she never thought would be possible. She started by participating in several collective works, and worked as a colourist on “Sexy Gun,” volumes 1 and 2 (published by Soleil), before creating volume 1 of the comic book adaptation of the “La guerre des Boutons” (published by Petit à Petit).

At the same time, she illustrated another children’s book “Perdus dans la forêt” (published by Magnard). She has now created her very own series “Agathe Saugrenu,” with Vincent Zabus on the script (published by Dupuis), and is continuing to do children’s illustrations for magazines on the side (published by Milan and Normandie Junior.)   

To learn more about this terrific illustrator visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE        

VALÉRIE’S BLOG    

GOODREADS           
FACEBOOK     
LINKEDIN          
  

**Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this graphic novel. 

4 Stars for the Speculative fiction short story LEVIATHAN by SAUL TANPEPPER. 

Title: LEVIATHAN – A SHORT STORY 

Author: SAUL TANPEPPER  

Genre: SPECULATIVE FICTION

Length: 31 PAGES

Publisher: BRINESTONE PRESS

Type of Book: EBOOK

Received From: THE AUTHOR

Release Date: FEBRUARY 11, 2017

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟


OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION:


Earth is dying.

On a barren, windless shore of a dead sea, two people, a father and his child, eke out a meager existence. They eat what little they can find. They are tormented by memories and tales of what the world once was.

Then, on a day no different than the thousands of others they have lived, the child hears the ghostly call of a sea creature presumed extinct for decades. Was it real? Or was it the last gasp of planet nearing death?

Leviathan is a short, dark, and haunting post-apocalyptic story (6500 words) written in stream-of-consciousness. Fans of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, which inspired this story, will recognize similarities.


Appropriate for readers of all ages. 


CHECK OUT THE TRAILER: 


MY REVIEW
:

As the world nears its end, a father and his child are tormented by the ghostly call of a sea creature presumed extinct for decades.

Is it the last gasp of a dying planet? Or a reason to hope?

This is an thought-provoking and extremely interesting story. It may have been short, but it packed a punch. It is worth reading.

I rate LEVIATHAN as 4 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Saul Tanpepper is the speculative fiction pen name for Ken J. Howe, a retired PhD molecular biologist and biotech entrepreneur who writes full time in multiple genres. The pen name honors the memory of his high school buddy, who passed away at age 27. “Salt and Pepper” was a favorite epithet, given the author’s premature graying.

After a childhood in a small town in Upstate New York, he entered the U.S. Army and was trained as a combat medic. He did a tour in West Germany before the wall came down, working as both a medic in an armored infantry unit in Mannheim and a hospital attendant in Frankfurt. After returning Stateside, he did a tour as a trauma specialist in the emergency room at Walter Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, and at Lawrence General Hospital in Massachusetts.

He attended university in Santa Barbara, CA, majoring in biology and creative studies while working as a medical assistant. He studied molecular biology and genetics as a graduate student, then completed his post-doctoral fellowship at Berkeley.
Prior to entering the work force, he and his wife spent six months traveling through the Middle East and Africa, logging over 50,000 miles in a refurbished garbage truck.

He spent 10 years in biotech, working his way from bench scientist to Director of R&D and site manager of a major pharma company. He then formed his own company, Collabria BioSciences, and was VP of R&D of another startup.

He retired from the business in 2011 to write and publish full time. Under his real name, he writes literary young adult, middle grade, and children’s picture books. As Saul Tanpepper, he writes and publishes speculative fiction (scifi, horror, fantasy).

​He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, children, and many pets and farm animals.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE   

FACEBOOK 

PINTEREST     

GOODREADS    

SMASHWORDS    

TWITTER         

AMAZON     

CHAPTERS    


BY EMAIL: Send email to: 
authorsaultanpepper@gmail.com  

MORE BOOKS BY SAUL TANPEPPER: 



LOVE, ISH by Karen Rivers is a unique and engaging middle-grade novel that should be read by all ages. 

Title: LOVE-ISH    

Author: KAREN RIVERS     

Genre: MIDDLE GRADE FICTION

Length: 236 PAGES

Publisher: DANCING CAT BOOKS   

Type of Book: SOFTCOVER

Received From: THE AUTHOR  

Release Date: APRIL 22, 2017 

ISBN: 978-1-77086-492-4   

Price: $12.95 CDN    

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟 
DESCRIPTION:

Mischa “Ish” Love knows she’ll be one of the first settlers on Mars. She’s applied to – and been rejected from – the Mars Now project forty-seven times, but the mission won’t leave for ten years, and Ish hasn’t given up hope. She also hasn’t given up hope that Tig will be her best friend again. 

When Ish collapses on the first day of seventh grade, she gets a diagnosis that threatens all her future plans. As Ish fights cancer, she dreams in vivid detail about the Martian adventures she’s always known she’d have – and makes unexpected discoveries about love, fate, and her place in the world. 


MY REVIEW:

Most Middle-grade books, especially those targeted at female readers, seem to contain little more than what I call “fluff.”

From their stereotypical pink covers to the oh so dreamy boy the main character has a crush on, Middle-Grade books for girls SUCK!!!

I LOVE that LOVE, ISH is different from any other book targeted at Middle-grade readers.

The cover of this book is awesome. It shows off Ish’s long red hair, and the artist’s decision to have her standing on the globe of Earth and looking towards Mars is 100% perfection.

I was not as happy with the description on the back of the book as I was with it’s cover. It does not really do this book justice, but I have the feeling that this was done on purpose to grab the interest of the target age group. Once they begin reading and are pulled into the story, they will realize that this book is truly one of a kind. Readers will discover that even though there are some very serious issues discussed in this book, they will want to keep reading despite the fact that they will be learning in the process.

Parents who do not try to keep their middle-grade children in a bubble and who realize that kids are a lot smarter than most people give them credit for, will want to buy this book for their sons and their daughters. Just because the protagonist is female, does not mean that this is a girl’s book. In fact, both boys and girls will be able to relate to Ish and to her struggle to find her place in the world [or, maybe on Mars instead.]

The writing style of author KAREN RIVERS draws middle-grade readers into the story instantaneously. Her knowledge of what clothing and footwear appeal to this age group is an example of her attention to detail, sibling rivalry and the jealousies that seem petty to adults but feel so very important to tweens and teens are another example.

Ish’s dream is to be the first woman/girl to live on Mars. In pursuit of this goal, she has read anything and everything that she could get her hands on that has to do with Mars and about the difficulties of colonizing a new planet.

I love that this book encourages readers to dream big. Ish found a website where people can apply to be part of the first Mars colony expedition. She is only twelve years old and has already applied more than 40 times. She has received a rejection every time so far, but she will not give up hope. She plans to keep applying until they finally accept her. The message implied by Ish’s actions is twofold. First, young people have dreams and aspirations and should be encouraged to follow those dreams, no matter how unlikely they seem. Secondly, the message to others is to be tenacious, and to not allow setbacks (or the opinions of others) to stop you from pursuing your dreams.

This book deserves a very high rating. There is so much contained in it’s pages that is unlike any other middle-grade book on the market. In fact, even though the target readership is ages 10 through 15, I believe that readers of all ages will fall ìn love with LOVE, ISH and that upon completion, they will recommend it to their friends and families. 

I rate this book as 4 out of 5 Stars in the Middle-grade Fiction category.    🌟🌟🌟🌟

FAVORITE QUOTES:

“Living with Elliott is sort of like coexisting with a talking, breathing shard of broken glass. You never know when it’s going to poke you in the foot and leave you bleeding all over the clean floor.”


“My brain is basically a salad spinner, whirling unrelated ideas.”


“The thing with chemo is that it is the worst and also, it sucks all the energy out of me, leaving me as floppy as a piece of paper. I feel like I’m constantly carrying something heavy, but that heavy thing is me.” 


***** CAUTION *****


*****STOP READING THIS REVIEW NOW IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO KNOW WHAT ISSUES ARE BROUGHT UP IN “LOVE, ISH.” *****

So, if you are reading this, you have decided that you want to know. Good for you! I would have made the same choice.

Some very important social issues are discussed in LOVE, ISH. Some of these are discussed below: 

Ish lives on the shores of a lake in California and, just like in real life, the lake is getting smaller and smaller. 

In fact, the lake pictured below is called Lake Cachuma which is Santa Barbara’s primary water source. According to the New York Times, it is currently only at 7% capacity and is expected to dry up completely by the end of 2017. 

– Above is a picture of Lake Cachuma as it is today.

– Below is a picture of that same lake when it was full of water. The difference is staggering. 


[To learn more about California’s very real and extremely terrifying present-day water crisis, click 
HERE]    

Not only is the lake water disappearing, but before that started happening, a large chemical company located on the opposite side of the lake from Ish’s home, spilled a large amount of toxic waste into the lake. 

Ish even mentions the fact that the water changed to a bright blue color for several weeks after the incident.
Unfortunately, this type of corporate negligence happens way too often in our world today. 

It is an issue that our children will be left to try to remedy when they grow up. Not only that, but the polluted water can (and often does) end up entering into the water that comes from the taps in our homes. Recent news stories regarding the tainted water supply in Michigan prove that this is very much a relevant and legitimate problem. 

 
This will not only affect our children in the future, but it can cause very real, and very scary health problems, right now. 

What happens to Ish (being diagnosed with a brain tumor) could, in fact, have been due to the toxic spillage into the lake behind her house. This possibility is not explicitly mentioned  in the book, but astute readers will pick up on it anyway. 


[To learn more about recent toxic spills into lakes, rivers and oceans click 
HERE

Ish passes out on her first day of middle-school and it is discovered that she has a brain tumor. She undergoes chemotherapy and radiation treatments and the author does not shy away from writing about the aftereffects of those treatments.

“The thing with chemo is that it is the worst and also, it sucks all the energy out of me, leaving me as floppy as a piece of paper. I feel like I’m constantly carrying something heavy, but that heavy thing is me.”

I cannot think of any other middle-grade book that writes so openly and honestly about this topic. In other middle-grade books, if cancer is mentioned at all, the authors usually gloss over the details, and, almost always, the cancer sufferer is an adult, not a child. It is my opinion that by doing this, we are doing a disservice to our children. With the prevalence of cancer in today’s society, it is likely that most children will experience cancer in some way; whether it is a friend, or a family member, or even just the old lady who lives down the street.


[To learn more about childhood cancers click 
HERE]

I give HUGE Kudos to Author KAREN RIVERS for writing such an important and yet entertaining novel. I hope everyone who reads this review runs out and buys her book immediately. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Information was taken directly from the author’s website. 

Q & A About Karen Rivers

Where were you born?

I was born in Nanaimo, BC, on June 12, 1970.  

Where do you live?

I live in a little green house in Victoria, BC with two kids, two dogs, and two birds.  

Where did you go to school?

I did most of my schooling in Victoria.  After I graduated, I went to UVic for a couple of years, then I went to UBC and ended up with a degree in International Relations (‘91) and most of a degree in Physiology, that I never quite finished.  

Why did you become a writer?

I became a writer because I didn’t have any other choice. Every time I tried to stop writing, a new idea would pop into my head.  Sometimes I wish I had a job with regular hours (and a regular paycheque!) but mostly I feel incredibly lucky to be able to tell my stories for a living.

Where do you get your titles?

I don’t know!  Much like writing the books, I think a lot of it is magic.  And sometimes, my editor comes up with a much better title, so we use that one instead!   Writing a book is like being part of a big team.

What were you like when you were a kid?

Karen at age 10

I was a bookworm. I read so many books, it was ridiculous. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of books. I was also really skinny. When I was nine, I got glasses. Big glasses. It was the 1970s and/or 1980s, so that’s what glasses looked like. I had a lot of bad haircuts. I blushed a lot. I never knew how to do a cartwheel. I thought they’d teach us at school but it turned out everyone else knew how to do one before they even got there! I was pretty quiet and very shy. I think I was sometimes funny, too. I was always competitive so I got good grades. I think at different stages of my life, I was a lot like some of my characters.  I still am.  I think we are all always every age that we’ve ever been, like the layers of an onion. 

What’s your favourite book for kids?

For a long time, I avoided reading kids’ books or YA at all because I thought if I read someone else’s book, I might think my own books didn’t measure up and I would be filled with self-doubt.  I hate to think about all the great books that I missed by worrying about that.  Now I read a lot of YA and Middle Grade, so much that I have a hard time picking a favourite, but today I”m going to say that Rebecca Stead’s WHEN YOU REACH ME is topping the list.     

Are you married?

No.

Do you have any pets?

Yes.  I have a dog named Happy and a dog named Augie.  They are rescue dogs.  And I have two birds, named Herbert and Feisty.   

Do you write every day?

Yes.  Even if I don’t actually write it down, I’m always thinking about the book that I’m working on, and trying to unravel all the tangly bits.  

Writing every day is necessary to keep me from panicking.  It makes me feel more sane than when I don’t write every day. But I do take some days off.  That’s life!  You can say, “Oh, every day I will drink 8 glasses of water!”  But the truth is, some days you just aren’t that thirsty.  The same is true for writing. 

What’s your favourite of your books?

I’m so proud of all of them for different reasons, I could never pick a favourite.  Usually my most favourite is the one I’m working on right now.

What’s your favourite colour?

Green.

Lucky numbers?

3. And 14.  And, of course, 42.

Favourite ice cream?

Coconut


To learn more about this amazing Canadian author visit the following links: 

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

GOODREADS      

TWITTER     

FACEBOOK   

INSTAGRAM       

AMAZON       

CHAPTERS    

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE   

Lauren Carr’s Audiobook-a-palooza and Giveaway – Also includes my review of THE MURDERS AT ASTAIRE CASTLE Audiobook and an interview with Narrator Dan Lawson. 

  1. Welcome to Lauren Carr’s Audiobook-a-palooza Blog Tour! To celebrate the release of Lauren Carr’s mysteries in audiobook format, we have 14 books from her three series on tour!


To follow the tour and to read reviews, please visit Lauren Carr’s page on iRead Book Tours.

The Mac Faraday Mystery Series: Book Five


Buy the Audiobook ~ Book


Book Description:   

Never tell Mac Faraday not to do something.


Spencer’s police chief, David O’Callaghan, learns this lesson the hard way when he orders Mac Faraday to stay away from the south end of Spencer’s mountaintop – even though he owns the property. It doesn’t take long for Mac to find out what lies on the other side of the stone wall and locked gate, on which hangs a sign warning visitors to Keep Out!

Topping the list of the 10 top haunted places in America, Astaire Castle is associated with two suicides, three mysterious disappearances, and four murders since it was built almost a century ago – and Mac Faraday owns it!

In spite of David’s warning, Mac can’t resist unlocking the gate to see the castle that supposedly hasn’t seen a living soul since his late mother had ordered it closed up after the double homicide and disappearance of Damian Wagner, a world-famous master of horror novels.

What starts out as a quick tour of a dusty old castle turns into another Mac Faraday adventure when Astaire Castle becomes the scene of even more murders. Mac is going to need to put all of his investigative talents to work to sort out this case that involves the strangest characters he has run into yet – including a wolf man. No, we’re not talking about Gnarly.

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband and three dogs (including the real Gnarly’s klutzy nephew Sterling) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.


MY REVIEW: Listening to the audiobook of THE MURDERS AT ASTAIRE CASTLE was an entertaining treat. 

The narrator for this audiobook is Dan Lawson. His voice is perfect for the Mac Faraday books. He is able to modulate his voice so that there is never a doubt which character is speaking. I am impressed with his enunciation and was able to understand every word he said.

The story itself is a well written mystery that spans several decades. I have not read, or listened to the second, third or fourth book in this series and yet I never felt like I was missing pieces of the story. This audiobook would even work well as a stand-alone thriller.

The only issue I had with THE MURDERS AT ASTAIRE CASTLE was that when the story was nearing its completion, DNA was sent for analysis and seemed to be returned almost immediately. This is a fantasy. In reality, obtaining DNA results can take anywhere from a few days to several months before the results are returned to the investigating officers. It is exceedingly rare for small town police offices to have their own lab and most biological samplesď would have to be outsourced. I understand that the DNA results were important to the plot which is why the author chose to speed up the results, but it did stand out to me as inaccurate and unbelievable.

Despite the minor hiccup I just mentioned, I enjoyed listening to this audiobook. There are so many different threads to this story and yet Lauren Carr was able to weave them all together to create a tapestry that readers will not soon forget.

My favorite character in this book is the “Wolf-Man.

I rate MURDER AT ASTAIRE CASTLE as 4 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

Meet the Author:

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband and three dogs (including the real Gnarly’s klutzy nephew Sterling) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV. 

Connect with Lauren: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook


Meet the Narrators:

​Over the past several years Dan Lawson has appeared in numerous spots for radio, television and the internet. He has worked with All-State, Sprint PCS, Mountain Dew and many more. His unique ability to mimic existing characters and celebrities has landed him diverse voice match work ranging from Charlie Sheen to Morgan Freeman.

In 2008 Dan was cast as the first American voice actor for the Korean video game company, Nexon. Over the next several years Dan was the flagship voice of the company, appearing in such titles as Mabinogi, Maple Story, Vindictus, Dragon Nest, Dungeon Fighter Online and Atlantica. In total he has voiced nearly 100 characters for Nexon.

In late 2012 Dan’s voice over career took an unexpected turn into book narration. His first audition landed him the job of narrating The Psychology of Twilight, a psychological look at the wide-spread obsession of the Twilight saga created by Stephanie Meyer. Eighteen more audiobook narrations have followed and show no signs of slowing down.

Enter the Giveaway!

Ends July 22

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INTERVIEW WITH NARRATOR DAN LAWSON: 

How long have you been narrating audiobooks?

I narrated my first audiobook in 2012. I hadn’t actually auditioned for the audiobook. One of my agents thought that I had a good sound for the material and submitted me. That started a narration spree that continues today.


Do you have a favorite character from any of the books you’ve narrated? 

Robert Cook in Antidote is one of my favorites. I connected to the character almost immediately. He and I are very similar as  far as thought process, humor and how we view the world.  It made the whole narration process very comfortable.


Do you work with the author to select a tone and narration style for the audiobook? 

It varies, but getting a chance to speak with the author is one of my favorite parts of the narrating process.   There are so many different ways to approach an audiobook. Having the authors insight really helps to connect the story to the listener. My goal as a narrator is to fulfill, to the best of my ability, the vision the author has for the book.


How do you keep all the characters voices straight when narrating an audiobook?

Great question! It can be challenging if the cast of characters is large or if there are multiple characters with similar characteristics. for example, if the story centers around a group of young soldiers.   One of my techniques is to model the speaking style of a character after known actors and celebrities.  I have actually printed pictures of actors and written the name of the character from the novel below them. Then aligned the pictures on a piece of cardboard and placed it just beyond my music stand. That way I’m able to reference who is speaking with a quick glance.


If it is not clear from the writing, how much freedom do you have as a narrator in deciding if a character has an accent or a unique way of speaking?

It depends entirely on how much the author is involved. A great many authors are not familiar with audiobooks so they will leave the bulk of the choices up to the narrator. Making the characters unique without detracting from the overall story is one of the greatest thrills about the narration process.

AUDIOBOOK-A-PALOOZA BLOG TOUR, REVIEW & GIVEAWAY 

Welcome to Lauren Carr’s Audiobook-a-palooza Blog Tour! To celebrate the release of Lauren Carr’s mysteries in audiobook format, we have 14 books from her three series on tour!


To follow the tour and to read reviews, please visit Lauren Carr’s page on iRead Book Tours.

The Mac Faraday Mystery Series:

Buy the Audiobook ~ Book

Book Description:
Old loves die hard…and in the worst places.

In Old Loves Die Hard, Lauren Carr continues the rags-to-riches story of Mac Faraday, an underpaid homicide detective who inherits 270 million dollars and an estate on Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, from his birth mother on the day his divorce becomes final.

Mac is settling nicely into his new life at Spencer Manor when his ex-wife Christine shows up-and she wants him back! Before Mac can send her packing, Christine and her estranged lover are murdered in Mac’s private penthouse suite at the Spencer Inn, the five-star resort built by his ancestors.

The investigation leads to the discovery of cases files for some of Mac’s murder cases in the room of the man responsible for destroying his marriage. Why would his ex-wife’s lover come to Spencer to dig into Mac’s old cases?

With the help of his new friends on Deep Creek Lake, Mac must use all of his detective skills to clear his name and the Spencer Inn’s reputation, before its five-stars – and more bodies – start dropping!

MY REVIEW:

I had not read anything by Lauren Carr before listening to OLD LOVES DIE HARD and I have to say that I am now officially a fan. 

Her characters are complex and yet simple, they act like real people rather than characters in a book.

The fact that Mac’s wife cheated on him and then asked for a divorce which then became final on the exact same day that he learned that he was to receive $270 million dollars along with a mansion and a thriving 5 Star Inn, feels like sweet justice.

Mac had been a homicide detective, and he never made much money, but he was good at his job and he loved it. Coming into massive amounts of money, anď quitting his job, he isn’t really sure what to do with his time.

But, ‘Old Habits Die Hard’ and he finds himself once again investigating murders. The difference this time is because of who the victims are as well as where they were killed.

If you choose to purchase this audiobook, and I sincerely hope you do, you will fall in love with Mac Farady (just like I have.)

I rate this book as 4 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

Buy the Audiobook ~ Book

Book Description:

Question: what do you get the man with everything?

Answer: when that man is the heir of the late mystery writer Robin Spencer, retired homicide detective Mac Faraday, you get him a cold case to solve.

In Shades of Murder, Mac Faraday is once again the heir to an unbelievable fortune. This time the benefactor is a collector of stolen art. But this isn’t just any stolen work of art – it’s a masterpiece with a murder attached to it.

Ilysa Ramsay was in the midst of taking the art world by storm with her artistic genius. Hours after unveiling her latest masterpiece, she is found dead in her Deep Creek Lake studio, and her painting is nowhere to be found.

Almost a decade later, the long lost Ilysa Ramsay masterpiece has found its way into Mac Faraday’s hands and he can’t resist the urge to delve into the case.

A world away, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, former JAG lawyer Joshua Thornton agrees to do a favor for the last person he would ever expect – a convicted serial killer.

The favor: solve the one murder wrongly attributed to him.

Joshua finds an unexpected ally in Cameron Gates, a spunky detective who has reason to believe the young woman known to the media only as Jane Doe, victim number four, was the victim of a copycat. Together, Joshua and Cameron set out to light a flame under the cold case only to find that someone behind the scenes wants the case to remain cold, and is willing to kill to keep it that way.

Little do these detectives know that the paths of their respective cases are on a collision course when they follow the clues to bring them together in a showdown with a killer who’s got a talent for murder!

Buy the Audiobook ~ Book





Book Description:


In this fourth mystery on Deep Creek Lake, Mac Faraday finds himself up to his eyeballs in mobsters and federal agents.
After an attempted hit ends badly with two of his men dead, mobster Tommy Cruze arrives in Spencer, Maryland, to personally supervise the execution of the witness responsible for putting him behind bars – Archie Monday!

Mac Faraday believes he has his work cut out for him in protecting his lady love from one of the most dangerous leaders in organized crime; but when bodies start dropping in his lakeshore resort town, things may be hotter than even he can handle.




Buy the Audiobook ~ Book





Book Description:




Never tell Mac Faraday not to do something.

Spencer’s police chief, David O’Callaghan, learns this lesson the hard way when he orders Mac Faraday to stay away from the south end of Spencer’s mountaintop – even though he owns the property. It doesn’t take long for Mac to find out what lies on the other side of the stone wall and locked gate, on which hangs a sign warning visitors to Keep Out!

Topping the list of the 10 top haunted places in America, Astaire Castle is associated with two suicides, three mysterious disappearances, and four murders since it was built almost a century ago – and Mac Faraday owns it!

In spite of David’s warning, Mac can’t resist unlocking the gate to see the castle that supposedly hasn’t seen a living soul since his late mother had ordered it closed up after the double homicide and disappearance of Damian Wagner, a world-famous master of horror novels.

What starts out as a quick tour of a dusty old castle turns into another Mac Faraday adventure when Astaire Castle becomes the scene of even more murders. Mac is going to need to put all of his investigative talents to work to sort out this case that involves the strangest characters he has run into yet – including a wolf man. No, we’re not talking about Gnarly.

Buy the Audiobook ~ Book





Book Description:


Fame comes at a price. Some pay with their privacy. Others pay with their pride. Khloe Everest paid with her life.

Determined to get her pretty face in front of the cameras, Khloe Everest fakes an abduction only to make a grand entrance in the midst of a press conference held by Spencer’s Police Chief David O’Callaghan.

Three years later, after failing to catapult her notoriety into a long-lasting celebrity, Khloe Everest returns to Spencer upon her mother’s sudden death and seemingly finds another weapon to propel herself into the spotlight. Unfortunately, someone kills her before she can make this entrance.

In Lauren Carr’s sixth Mac Faraday Mystery, Mac and his friends come up against reality stars, politicians, has-beens, and wannabes. Mac also finds himself face-to-face with an old foe from his past who had managed to escape arrest during their last encounter. Now, Mac sees that his adversary has only become more powerful, and dangerous, with the passage of time.

Intent to not let this killer escape again, Mac and his friends need to put all of their talents together to put a stop to a cold-blooded lady killer.

Buy the Audiobook ~ Book




Book Description:




Two people are brutally murdered in their summer place on Deep Creek Lake. Suspected of the murders, former child star and one-time teenybopper idol Lenny Frost takes innocent bystanders hostage in a local pub and demands that Mac Faraday find the killer. Can Mac save the hostages and himself from the wrath of the enraged has-been by piecing together the clues in less than twelve hours, or will it be a fatal last call at the stroke of midnight?


Buy the Audiobook ~ Book

Book Description:


With three days left to the year, Deep Creek Lake is hopping with holiday vacationers and wedding guests pouring into the Spencer Inn for Mac Faraday and Archie Monday’s huge wedding ceremony which is being touted as the social event of the year.

But droopy flowers and guests who failed to RSVP are the least of Mac’s and Archie’s problems when a professional hit squad hits Spencer Manor to send the groom, Joshua Thornton, Archie’s mother, and Gnarly running for their lives.

With time running out before the big day, Mac Faraday and Spencer’s small police force have to sort through the clues to figure out not only who has been targeted for assassination, but also who is determined to stop everything…forever!

Buy the Audiobook ~ Book

Book Description:


Spring is in the air. In Deep Creek Lake, the burst of blossoms on the trees has the effect of a starting pistol in the race to get the resort area ready in time for the seasonal residents return to Spencer, Maryland.

This year, the Spencer Inn, Mac Faraday’s five-star resort, has the added duty of preparing for the Diablo Ball, an annual benefit event that used to kick off Deep Creek Lake’s summer season. The exclusive gala has drawn in A-listers from across the country, including suspects and witnesses connected to Ashton Piedmont, a young woman who had disappeared while skinny dipping in Deep Creek Lake five years earlier, days after the last Diablo Ball.

Intrigued by a mysterious phone call from a young woman claiming to be Ashton, retired homicide detective Mac Faraday can’t resist diving head first into the cold case. But he’s not the only one. Someone behind the scenes has gone to a lot of trouble to bring Ashton Piedmont’s friends and enemies to the Diablo Ball, which promises to be a gala event to die for!

Buy the Audiobook ~ Book

Book Description:


Police Chief David O’Callaghan and Chelsea Adams’ wedding day is fast approaching. Unfortunately, at the last minute, David discovers that there is one small problem to be taken care of before he can walk down the aisle – divorce his first wife!

Lauren Carr takes fans of the Mac Faraday mysteries to the Big Apple in this nail-biting adventure. In Cancelled Vows, David, Mac, and Gnarly, too, rush to New York City to dissolve David’s marriage to an old girlfriend – and he’s got five days to get it done. When murder throws up a road block, it is up to David’s best man, Mac Faraday, and Gnarly, K9-in-waiting, to sort through the clues to get David to the church in time!

The Lovers in Crime Mystery Series:



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Book Description:



Spunky Cameron Gates is tasked with solving the murder of Cherry Pickens, a legendary star of pornographic films, whose body turns up in an abandoned freezer. The case has a personal connection to her lover, Joshua Thornton, because the freezer was located in his cousin’s basement. It doesn’t take long for their investigation to reveal that the risqué star’s roots were buried in their rural Ohio Valley community, something that Cherry had kept off her show business bio. She should have kept her hometown off her road map, too – because when this starlet came running home from the mob, it proved to be a fatal homecoming.

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Book Description:


When Homicide Detective Cameron Gates befriends Dolly, the little old lady who lives across the street, she is warned not to get lured into helping the elderly woman by investigating the unsolved murder of one of her girls. “She’s senile,” Cameron is warned. “It’s not a real murder.”

Such is not the case. After Dolly is brutally murdered, Cameron discovers that the sweet blue-haired lady’s “girl” was a call girl who had been killed in a mysterious double homicide.

Meanwhile, Prosecuting Attorney Joshua Thornton is looking for answers to the murder of a childhood friend, a sheriff deputy whose cruiser is found at the bottom of a lake. The deputy had disappeared almost 20 years ago while privately investigating the murder of a local prostitute.

It doesn’t take long for the Lovers in Crime to put their cases together to reveal a long-kept secret that some believe is worth killing to keep undercover.

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Book Description:


Joshua’s eldest son, Joshua Thornton Jr. (J.J.) has graduated at the top of his class from law school and returns home to spend the summer studying for the bar exam. However, to Joshua’s and Cameron’s shock and dismay, J.J. moves into the main house at Russell Ridge Farm and Orchards, the largest dairy farm in the Ohio Valley, in order to rekindle a romance with Suellen Russell, the one-time leader of a rock band who is twice his age. Quickly, they learn that she has a deep dark secret.

The move brings long buried tensions between the father and son to the surface – not the least of which being J.J.’s inexplicable dislike for his stepmother Cameron. But when a brutal killer strikes, the Lovers in Crime must set all differences with Joshua’s son aside to solve the crime before J.J. ends up in the cross-hairs of a murderer.


 

The Thorny Rose Mystery Series:


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Book Description:


Five women with seemingly nothing in common are found brutally murdered in a townhome outside Washington, DC. Among the many questions surrounding the massacre is what had brought these apparent strangers together only to be killed.

Taking on his first official murder case, Lieutenant Murphy Thornton, USN, believes that if he can uncover the thread connecting the victims, then he can find their murderer.

Before long, the case takes an unexpected turn when Murphy discovers that one of the victims has a connection to his stepmother, Homicide Detective Cameron Gates. One wintry night, over a dozen years before, her first husband, a Pennsylvania State trooper, had been run down while working a night shift on the turnpike.

In this first installment of the Thorny Rose Mysteries, Lieutenant Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday sift through a web of lies and cover-ups. Together, can the detectives uncover the truth without falling victim to a cunning killer?

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Book Description:


After 10 months of marital bliss, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are still discovering and adjusting to their life together. Settled in their new home, everything appears to be perfect…except in the middle of the night when, in the darkest shadows of her subconscious, a deep secret from Jessica’s past creeps to the surface to make her strike out at Murphy.

When investigative journalist Dallas Walker tells the couple about her latest case, known as the Pine Bridge Massacre, they realize Jessica may have witnessed the murder of a family while visiting family at the winery near-by, and suppressed the memory.

Determined to uncover the truth and find justice for the murder victims, Jessica and Murphy return to the scene of the crime with Dallas Walker, a spunky bull-headed Texan. Can this family reunion bring closure for a community touched by tragedy or will this prickly get-together bring an end to the Thorny Rose couple?


Content Rating:


All of Lauren Carr’s books are rated PG-13 because they are murder mysteries and will contains murder scenes. Some of the books contain violence associated with military assignments. There are some books that contain sex scenes which are not explicit. There is little profanity, no f-words.

 

Meet the Author:



Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband and three dogs (including the real Gnarly’s klutzy nephew Sterling) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

 

Connect with Lauren: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook


Meet the Narrators:

​Over the past several years Dan Lawson has appeared in numerous spots for radio, television and the internet. He has worked with All-State, Sprint PCS, Mountain Dew and many more. His unique ability to mimic existing characters and celebrities has landed him diverse voice match work ranging from Charlie Sheen to Morgan Freeman.

In 2008 Dan was cast as the first American voice actor for the Korean video game company, Nexon. Over the next several years Dan was the flagship voice of the company, appearing in such titles as Mabinogi, Maple Story, Vindictus, Dragon Nest, Dungeon Fighter Online and Atlantica. In total he has voiced nearly 100 characters for Nexon.

In late 2012 Dan’s voice over career took an unexpected turn into book narration. His first audition landed him the job of narrating The Psychology of Twilight, a psychological look at the wide-spread obsession of the Twilight saga created by Stephanie Meyer. Eighteen more audiobook narrations have followed and show no signs of slowing down.

C.J. McAllister is an Audible Approved Producer — “Audible Approved producers are the best audiobook producers in the business.” Only a small number are awarded this honor.

C.J. has produced best-selling audiobooks in multiple genres/styles, TV commercials/promo teasers, animation projects, interviews (TV and radio), corporate presentations.

Another Audible Approved narrator, voice actor James Lewis has established a solid reputation in fiction as well as non-ficton audiobooks. At latest count, he’s narrated nearly 50.

Although his specialty is noir fiction, James has done several non-fiction books as well on a range of people and subjects: Butch and Sundance, General Custer, Revolutionary War, psychic development, taxes.

James Lewis has been awarded the AudioFile Earphone Award for narration, “The Last Outlaws”. It’s about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

A broadcast veteran of over 30 years, Mike Alger is best known as the award-winning Chief Meteorologist for KTVN-TV in Reno, NV. He is also a successful author, having penned the Mystery-Thriller novel “Snow Storm,” and is the narrator of the audiobook of the same name.

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