Friday, July 26, 2019

July's Book Reviews

For your possible reading pleasure:
  • A true crime story from the Jazz Age in the United States (The Ghosts of Eden Park);
  • A tale of compelling psychological suspense (A Girl Named Anna); and
  • A true story of murder inside a cult (Without a Prayer).
Hope you find something for your library,

The Ghosts of Eden Park: The Bootleg King, the Women Who Pursued Him, and the Murder That Shocked Jazz-Age America by Karen Abbott

A Tale of Bootlegging, Betrayal, and Murder Diluted in the Telling

The Ghosts of Eden Park is set in the Jazz Age in the United States. It was a time of great change—women received the right to vote; fashion, music, and social norms were being transformed; and alcohol became illegal. Into this setting, insert George Remus, a lawyer turned bootlegger who quickly amassed a vast fortune by finding loopholes in the new Prohibition laws. Opposing Remus was Mabel Walker Willebrandt, appointed as US Assistant Attorney General with responsibility for enforcing Prohibition. Fresh out of law school, few expected her to upset the benign indifference shown by most politicians; they were wrong. Remus was convicted and sentenced to prison. His second wife, Imogene, betrayed him with one of Willebrandt’s agents, Franklin Dodge, and they stole much of his fortune. And then, the histrionics Remus showed in the courtroom became more prevalent and much more violent. But was it insanity, or just a ruse to defend himself in his own trial for killing Imogene? Find the complete review on Amazon:

A Girl Named Anna by Lizzy Barber

Lives Forever Changed by Experience and Held Constant by Blood

If you’re looking for a whodunit, this book isn’t it. The author’s synopsis pretty much answers that question and even the culprit’s name is known halfway through the tale. But if you want your heart in your throat from compelling, psychological suspense fiction, then read on.

A Girl Named Anna is the story of a British girl’s abduction from an American theme park some fifteen years prior to the events in the book. Anna, kidnapped at the age of three, has been raised in America by a woman with extreme religious beliefs, obsessive in her pursuit of physical cleanliness and spiritual purity. While the characterization is a bit stereotypic, author Barber paints the figure well. Chapters told from Anna’s perspective alternate with one’s from her sister’s point of view. That sister, Rosie, lives what seems a more ‘normal’ life in London with their parents and a brother. Find the complete review on Amazon:

Without a Prayer by Susan Ashline.

A Difficult Read for a Couple of Reasons.

Without a Prayer is a difficult read. I recognize that there are different interpretations of that sentence and at least two of them apply.

First, it’s difficult because it’s disturbing to read about the level of toxicity that existed in the Word of Life Christian Church (WLCC) and the brutal and callous beatings that occurred there. It’s made even more difficult because the story is true, or at least as accurate as a meticulous author reviewing massive amounts of data can make it. The followers were religious, often submissive, and generally at a point in their life when options were limited, e.g., they had been kicked out of their home. So, they fled to the WLCC, only to suffer worse there. The message of the church was that they were surrounded by evil—demons, witchcraft, impure thoughts. Everyday actions were questioned—could two brothers playfully wrestle or was that sexual perversion? No one outside the church could be trusted, but even inside, parents couldn’t trust children, sisters couldn’t trust brothers. Who knew if a spouse was being himself/herself or if a demon was in control? Given such a threatening world, the followers became paralyzed, unable to act until it was sanctioned by the church. It was, simply put, an environment that led a father to participate in a fatal beating of his son because the church called for it. Find the complete review on Amazon:

Monday, July 15, 2019

July's Deals - 2

(Please verify all prices before purchase.)

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 7/18
Catch A Falling Star (An Eden Mystery)
By Laurel Heidtman
Crime Thrillers
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99
Missing treasure, criminals, cops, co-worker hostility, and the surprise appearance of an ex-lover — definitely not what mystery novelist Kate Rawlings expects when she accepts a summer teaching position at her alma mater in the peaceful college town of Eden, Kentucky.

Michael Mabry was Kate’s lover in college, but did she ever really know him? Thirty years later, he’s on the run from his partners in a Chicago museum heist in which a valuable ancient Indian artifact called the Shooting Star was stolen and two people killed. Michael escaped with the Star and his life, but he needs money to get out of the country. After so long, Eden should be the last place anyone would think to look for him, but his partners and an insurance investigator with his own agenda are hot on his trail. Kate finds herself suspected of involvement in the heist, but when a murder occurs in Eden, she also finds herself suspected of murder.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 7/19
Starbreak (Rise to Omniscience Book 2)
By Aaron Oster
Young Adult Fantasy
Usual Price: $3.99  Sale: $1.99
With a war now raging in the Central Kingdom, Morgan and Sarah flee east, in an attempt to escape the growing conflict. However, there are many forces conspiring to stop them. Princess Katherine of the North sends mercenaries to capture them. Lord Simon, tired of waiting, hires the most notorious hit squad in all the Five Kingdoms to end Morgan, once and for all.

With threats looming around every corner, and time running out, Morgan and Sarah will be forced to make several drastic decisions in order to survive. Especially, after they receive a very dire warning, from an all-powerful being...

Warning: This book contains some profanity, gore, and content that may not be suitable for children. This book also contains GameLit elements, such as stat sheets, and a form of leveling, and experience gain.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 7/19
The Sail
By Landon Beach
Usual Price: $4.99  Sale: $0.99
As a picturesque and perfect summer arrives in Michigan, a dying father and his son set sail for one last trip together. Their goal is to sail around Lake Superior, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. They hope to reconnect, forgive, and heal.

Meanwhile, a strong-willed and spirited young woman is abducted, disappearing without a trace.

As Robin and Tristian Norris cast off for their adventure, they know that Superior's water is deep and the sunsets are sublime. What they don't know is the peril that awaits them on the remote coastline. When you are far away from home and help, you only have yourself to count on.

What they find will be a nightmare.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 7/20
The Fire Prophecy (Hidden Legends: Academy of Magical Creatures Book 1)
By Megan Linski
Young Adult Fantasy
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99

I’m Sophia Henley, your typical college freshman. I never expected a lion to be stalking me, nor for fire to come shooting out of my hands to protect my sister. Next thing I know, a drop-dead gorgeous guy shows up on my doorstep to sweep me away to a magical school, where I’ll learn to control my element and bond with a powerful creature called a Familiar. 

I don’t believe I’m the savior of an ancient tribe, or the missing piece of a prophecy that’s more myth than reality. Worst of all, I’m forced to enter the Elemental Cup, where I’ll either earn my place in this society… or die trying.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 7/19
The Day John Died
By Christopher Andersen
U.S. History
Usual Price: $4.99  Sale: $1.99
Now, in the manner of his other No. 1 NEW YORK TIMES bestseller THE DAY DIANA DIED, respected Kennedy family biographer Christopher Andersen makes THE DAY JOHN DIED available for the first time as an ebook. Andersen draws on important sources—many talking here for the first time—to recreate in vivid and startling detail the events leading up to that fateful night off the coast of Martha's Vineyard.
An inspiring, sympathetic, and compelling look at one of the most remarkable young men of our time, THE DAY JOHN DIED is more than just the definitive biography of JFK Jr. It is a bittersweet saga of triumph, love, loss, fate—and promise unfulfilled. It is the story of America's son.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 7/19
The Blackmail Murders: A Western Frontier Adventure (A Cullen Tindall Western Mystery Book 1)
By Robert Peecher
Western Adventure
Usual Price: $3.49  Sale: $0.99
A killer is loose in a small Texas town. And the sheriff's badge is so new it still has a shine.

Cullen Tindall is the new sheriff in Buffalo Gap, and the trouble that's come to town is more than a cow puncher sheriff can handle.

Jane Gooch is a schoolmarm with a past she doesn't want exposed. But she's not the only one in Buffalo Gap with secrets to hide.

If Sheriff Tindall can save his job, he'll have to rely on instincts and friends. But before it's over he may find that something more important to him than his job is at risk.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 7/19
The Wreck
By Landon Beach
Action Adventure
Usual Price: $4.99  Sale: $0.99
Nate and Brooke Martin arrive at their summer cottage ready to relax and rekindle their relationship. The beach is warm, the water is cool, and the sea breeze is blissful--just another perfect summer in Hampstead, Michigan filled with wine, bonfires, and beach reading.

Then, on a morning stroll along the beach, Nate finds something half-buried in the sand that turns their quiet vacation into a dangerous unraveling of the past. And the key to solving the mystery may lie within Abner Hutch, a retired Coast Guard Officer and Great Lakes master of the deep--a flawed man with a complicated past and a core wound that will not heal.

As Nate and Hutch search for answers on a remote peninsula, they begin to realize what the mega-rich residents up the coast already know: you can only keep a secret for so long.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 7/19
I Never Left: a compelling psychological suspense mystery
By McGarvey Black
Women's Crime Fiction
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99
Quinn Roberts is dead and she wants to know how it happened. She’s angry, confused and disappointed that her life is over. Most of her friends have moved on and it seems like no one cares who was responsible. Her adult children are in shock but their mother’s death is too painful, so they do nothing.

Soon after her murder, Quinn’s husband, Alec, acquires a new wife and Quinn becomes a distant memory. Only her sister, Erin, and Detective John McQuillan continue to search for answers.

But as the case stalls, the formal investigation is moved to the Cold Case division and Quinn’s family loses hope that there will ever be an arrest. Can Quinn get the justice she deserves? And, is discovering the truth always worth it?

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 7/20
Hidden Company: A Dark Psychological Thriller
By Sarah England
Psychic Thriller
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99
1893, and nineteen year old Flora George is admitted to a remote asylum with no idea why she is there, what happened to her child, or how her wealthy family could have abandoned her to such a fate. However, within a short space of time it becomes apparent she must save herself from something far worse than that of a harsh regime.

2018, and forty-one year old Isobel Lee moves into the gatehouse of what was once the old asylum. A reluctant medium, it is with dismay she realises there is a terrible secret here - one desperate to be heard. Angry and upset, Isobel baulks at what she must now face. But with the help of local dark arts practitioner, Branwen, face it she must.

This is a dark story of human cruelty, folklore and superstition. But the human spirit can and will prevail...unless of course, the wrath of the fae is incited... Warning - contains highly disturbing material.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 7/20
The Road to Hell: Sidney's Way (A Five Roads to Texas Novel Book 6)
By Brian Parker
Military Thriller
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99
Sidney Bannister has been lucky so far. With no survival training and no real skills besides her street smarts, she realizes that she must learn to fight so she can protect her newborn baby from the infected that plague the United States.

Enemies from her former life arise to bring the AWOL Lieutenant Jake Murphy to justice. The hunt intensifies as the remnants of Jake’s old unit close in around him and his group of survivors.

In the middle of the chaos, Iranian aircraft fill the skies of Kansas, forcing the Americans to make decisions that will impact all of their lives. How much is Sidney’s small group willing to sacrifice to stay together?

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 7/20
As the Ash Fell
By AJ Powers
Dystopian SciFi
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99
Life in the frozen wastelands of Texas is unforgiving.

It's been seven years since the ash billowed into the atmosphere, triggering some of the harshest winters mankind has ever faced. 

Clay and his sister Megan have taken a handful of orphaned children into their home--a home soaring sixteen stories into the sky. With roughly six short months a year to gather enough food and supplies to last the long, brutal winter, Clay spends much of his time away from his family to scavenge, hunt, and barter.

But when Clay disrupts the grisly execution of a young woman by a group of Screamers, his life is catapulted into a new direction, forcing him to make choices he never thought he would have to make.

(Prices change constantly. Please verify all prices before purchase.)

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

July's Deals

(Please verify all prices before purchase.)

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 7/12
The Blue
By Nancy Bilyeau
Historical Thriller
Usual Price: 3.99  Sale: 0.99

For Genevieve Planché, an English-born descendant of Huguenot refugees, porcelain holds far less allure; she wants to be an artist, a painter of international repute, but nobody takes the idea of a female artist seriously in London. If only she could reach Venice. 

When Genevieve meets the charming Sir Gabriel Courtenay, he offers her an opportunity she can’t refuse; if she learns the secrets of porcelain, he will send her to Venice. But in particular, she must learn the secrets of the colour blue. The ensuing events take Genevieve deep into England’s emerging industrial heartlands, where not only does she learn about porcelain, but also about the art of industrial espionage. 

With the heart and spirit of her Huguenot ancestors, Genevieve faces her challenges head on, but how much is she willing to suffer in pursuit and protection of the colour blue?

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 7/15
Wicked on the Beach: June Bride and Mermaid's Fury (Paranormal in Manhattan Mystery: A Cozy Mystery Book 20)
By Lotta Smith
Vampire Mystery
Usual Price: 2.99  Sale: 0.99

The island wedding of Mandy’s BFF Fiona and famous exorcist Brian Powers becomes the backdrop for a murder investigation when the body of a notorious loan shark is found in the dunes. But how did a man drown so far from the water?

An angry mermaid threatens to wreak havoc if the killer isn’t caught, but with no spirits to question, does Mandy stand a ghost of a chance to solve the case? Find out in this wet and wild 20th installment of the Manhattan Mystery Series.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 7/14
The Mental Case: A Legal Thriller (Thaddeus Murfee Legal Thriller Series Book 6)
By John Ellsworth
Financial Thriller
Usual Price: 4.99  Sale: 0.99

Something is wrong with Ansel and two women close to him are missing.

Ansel Largent is a respected Chicago attorney; ferocious in the courtroom but a winner with the jury. Happy at home with wife Libby, a stroke victim. Happy at the office with Melinda, a married woman with a special interest in him. When everything unravels in one night, Ansel's life is put under the microscope, and his plastic character brings his sanity into question. Thaddeus Murfee is hired to defend his most complicated trial yet, but when all the chips are down, even he is struck speechless at the outcome. He'll do whatever it takes to defend the innocent, but will he be able to live with himself?

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 7/14
Supermage (Rise to Omniscience Book 1)
By Aaron Oster
Fairy Tale Fantasy
Usual Price: 3.99  Sale: 0.99

Morgan's life is not easy. Growing up on the streets of City Four, he is constantly shunned by the other citizens. Morgan doesn't mind being ignored. What he does mind, though, are the constant beatings from the city guards due to his friendship with Sarah, the city lord's only daughter. Lord Simon wants him dead, but the laws of the kingdom are on Morgan’s side and even the guards won't kill him, just for being seen near his manor.

Morgan’s time is running out, though. Lord Simon has deep pockets and his last visit to the manor may just have put him over the edge. Worse, he is nearing his sixteenth birthday, and has yet to awaken any abilities. In a world where might makes right, he has never been one of the mighty. What will he do when faced with a life altering decision and just how will his decision impact those around him?

Warning: This book contains some profanity, gore and content that may not be suitable for children. This book also contains GameLit elements such as stat sheets, and a form of leveling and experience gain.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 7/12
The Butcher's Daughter: a tense psychological thriller
By Jane E. James
Women's Crime Fiction
Usual Price: 2.99  Sale: 0.99

When Natalie Powers returns home for the first time in thirteen years, she must convince everyone she has fully recovered from the mental illness, which has seen her institutionalised for most of her young life. But instead of being welcomed back, Natalie enters a baffling world of deception. She must fight her way through the lies in order to discover the truth about her mother’s sudden disappearance sixteen years earlier. To do this, Natalie must also try to make sense of the hazy memories from the past that continue to haunt her.

In the village of Little Downey, everybody appears to harbour a mysterious secret, including her father, Frank, the village butcher, who refuses to discuss the circumstances surrounding Natalie’s mother's disappearance, but who can Natalie trust if not her own father? Especially when it becomes clear her protector and confidante, Dr Moses, is not all he appears.

Meanwhile, a spate of unexplained clifftop suicides has seen the seaside resort go into decline. Are the villagers somehow involved or is something more sinister at work? Determined to find out what happened to her mother, Natalie must make sure her own frailty and self-doubt does not catapult her back to the mental institution before she can uncover the truth…

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 7/12
Fatemarked (The Fatemarked Epic Book 1)
By David Estes
Military Fantasy
Usual Price: 3.99  Sale: 0.99

They are the fatemarked. Misunderstood. Worshipped. Hated. Murdered at birth. Their time to step into the light has come.

An ancient prophecy foretold their coming, the chosen few who will bring peace to a land embroiled in a century of mistrust and war. When kings start dying, that hope and belief swiftly turns to fear. Roan Loren is one of the fatemarked, but has hidden his mark of power his entire life, fearing the damage it might cause to those around him.

A great evil is coming. He can't hide anymore.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 7/12
Every Breath You Take (Bayou Devils MC Book 3)
By A.M. Myers
Romantic Suspense
Usual Price: 4.99  Sale: 0.99

Tatum Carter is a warrior. She hasn’t lived an easy life but any obstacle that is thrown in her path, she perseveres. When her mother, Sarah, is killed in a car accident, Tatum is presented with a whole new challenge and this time, she’s struggling to keep her head above water.

When he was fifteen years old, Lincoln Archer lost his father and shouldered the burden of taking care of his mother and two younger sisters. He’s a rock – always there when someone he loves needs him, but it has taken its toll on him and now he’s drowning under his mistakes. 

Sarah’s death unearths long buried secrets, thrusting Tatum and Lincoln together as Tatum wonders if she ever really knew her mother at all. They bring each other peace but danger surrounds them and what looks like salvation may very well be their demise.

Can Tatum face the ghosts of her mother’s past or will they take her down with them, stealing away the only serenity Lincoln has ever known?

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 7/12
Anne and Charles: Passion and Politics in Late Medieval France: The Story of Anne of Brittany's Marriage to Charles VIII (Anne of Brittany Series Book 1)
By Rozsa Gaston
Medieval Historical Romance
Usual Price: 2.99  Sale: 0.99

When Anne of Brittany's father dies in 1488, she becomes Duchess of Brittany, her country's ruler at age eleven. For the next three years, the unmarried, orphaned duchess is pursued by suitors while Brittany is invaded by its larger, more powerful neighbor of France. With no other way out, at age fourteen she agrees to marry Charles VIII, King of France, to save her country. Better to be a queen than a prisoner...

Unexpectedly, a passionate relationship ensues. Yet Charles cannot shake off bad habits he has brought into their marriage, and Anne cannot help him in his darkest area of struggle. Together, they introduce the wonders of the Italian Renaissance to France, building one of Europe’s most glorious 15th century courts at their royal residence in Amboise, in the heart of the Loire Valley. 

But year after year they fail to achieve the one most important aim they must accomplish to secure the future of their kingdom. As they desperately attempt to make their shared dream come true, an unexpected twist of fate irrevocably changes the fortunes of both Anne and Charles.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 7/14
The Normandy Privateer: A thrilling naval adventure with Lieutenant Oliver Anson
By David McDine
Historical Thriller
Usual Price: 2.99  Sale: 0.99

England. 1800s. The family of a young Royal Navy officer killed in action on a mission to capture a French privateer in 1798 install a memorial tablet in their church to commemorate his life and service to King and country.

Lieutenant Oliver Anson led the raid bidding to capture the gun brig Égalité hiding in a small Normandy harbour. But when it all goes wrong, Anson is felled by a musket ball in the head and is listed among the dead. Only the less-than-god-fearing Anson turns out not to be dead at all but very much alive, and stuns even fellow seamen with his miraculous resurrection. It is, however, far from plain sailing for the prisoners to escape from behind enemy lines and get back across the Channel. 

And the resourceful and ambitious Anson is then dealt a blow by the admiralty when he is later denied a new sea-going appointment. Instead his future is to be with the Sea Fencibles – tasked with foiling any potential French invasion attempt along the Kent coastline. Perhaps worse, sea rover Anson finds himself falling into the clutches of a local bigwig’s voluptuous and determined daughter who is desperate to find a husband…

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 7/13
The Stone House Secret, A Romantic Mystery Novel (A Jenessa Jones Mystery Book 2)
By Debra Burroughs
Mystery Romance
Usual Price: 3.99  Sale: 0.99

Since reporter Jenessa Jones' return to her hometown, her romance with Detective Michael Baxter has begun to heat up, which helps when a scandalous murder is uncovered on the local college campus and Jenessa is assigned the front-page story.
Her aunt is named as a prime suspect, compelling Jenessa to find the real killer in order to keep her family member from going to prison. As she follows the trail of clues, Jenessa's investigation puts her life in grave danger. Can Detective Baxter capture the murderer and save the woman he loves? Or will Jenessa have to save herself?

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 7/12
Boy Made of Dawn (A Navajo Nation Mystery Book 2)
By R. Allen Chappell
Native American Literature
Usual Price: 2.99  Sale: 0.99

Boy Made of Dawn is the stand alone sequel to the highly acclaimed Navajo Autumn - second in the Navajo Nation Mystery Series. Follow Charlie Yazzi and Thomas Begay as they again meet danger and intrigue on the nations largest Indian reservation. 


Man has always felt most vulnerable in that lonely, netherworld between darkness and dawn. Often it is then death takes the sick and weak, they give up finally, unable to bear the weight of another day. A person may - not knowing why - suddenly awaken, if only for an instant, to assure himself all is well. 

Charlie woke that morning, in the darkness, with just such a feeling. It was now late afternoon and hunger was finally getting the best of him. In old Navajo, when one was hungry he said, “hunger is hurting me.” Hunger was hurting Charlie now.

(Please verify all prices before purchase.)