#BlogTour: Beach House Summer by Sarah Morgan

For this blog tour, we’re looking at a book that is a solid introduction to this author’s ability to showcase her chosen settings so beautifully. For this blog tour, we’re looking at Beach House Summer by Sarah Morgan.

Interestingly, NOT A Beach Read. For my own tastes, “beach reads” are light and breezy that don’t really have much (if any) drama. Maybe action, yes, but no dusty room kind of stuff. Which actually makes this tale *not* a beach read, as there is quite a bit of drama and a few dusty rooms to be had in this tale.

But don’t get me wrong, it really is a strong tale and beautifully set in a small beach town in California, and the story itself is excellently told. If you haven’t read this author before, this is actually a great tale to introduce yourself to her with, as it shows her ability to both pull heartstrings and capture the beauty and charm of wherever she chooses to place her tale. Very much recommended.

After the jump, an excerpt from the book followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, and social media and buy links.
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#BlogTour: The Wrong Victim by Allison Brennan

For this blog tour, we’re looking at a solid new entrant deep in a series and this new entrant happens to be set in the tranquil and beautiful San Juan Islands of Washington State. For this blog tour, we’re looking at The Wrong Victim by Allison Brennan.

Solid Mystery Deep In Series. While this is only book 3 in the series, as heavily as the first two are referenced it actually feels much deeper in. So up front, my recommendation is actually to go back to the beginning of this series and start there, if you haven’t already. But once you get here… this is a solid mystery with a lot going on both within the mystery and town it is placed in – this band of FBI cops travels the country, and this particular mystery is set in Washington’s San Juan Islands, familiar to many from Discovery Channel’s long running Island Life show (which I watched – for months, over meals – on Discovery+, for those that may have missed it and want to get a feel for the real islands here). Both the islanders and the FBI team prove interesting characters, but the series depth *really* shows through in the interactions between the FBI team. The choice to almost go Disaster Movie-esque and show the victims of the murder first was actually quite bold and refreshing, and overall this book simply worked so much better than Brennan’s previous effort I reviewed, The Sorority Murder – which worked well enough for what it was and had some unique things going for it, this was simply a better executed story here to my own mind. Overall a great story, and perfect for any fans of long running police procedurals. Very much recommended.

After the jump, an excerpt from the book followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, and social media and buy links.
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#BlogTour: Summer At The Cape by RaeAnne Thayne

For this blog tour, we’re looking at a book that is all about second chances and the hope they can bring. For this blog tour, we’re looking at Summer At The Cape by RaeAnne Thayne.

Second Chances. Sometimes… sometimes life *does* give you a second chance. A chance to re-evaluate what you thought you knew, and perhaps a chance to reconnect with those you had massive misunderstandings with previously. And Summer At The Cape? Well… it is all about those second chances… and the ones that will never happen. Beautifully written and heart felt, this is one that will pull your heartstrings in so many directions. The *one* negative, for me, was that the epilogue felt tacked on. I personally would have been perfectly fine without it – the story didn’t actually need it, and the things it adds are for me superfluous tropes that added nothing and somewhat detracted even. But hey, read the story for yourself and see what you think of the epilogue. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Very much recommended.

After the jump, an excerpt from the book followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, and social and buy links.
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#BlogTour: 214 Palmer Street by Karen McQuestion

For this blog tour, we’re looking at a fun, quick thriller that shows the range of the author without going into her horror alter-ego territory. For this blog tour, we’re looking at 214 Palmer Street by Karen McQuestion.

Fun, Quick Thriller That Could Have Used Better Editing. This was a book that starts slow – nowhere near as slow as The Great Gatsby, but definitely on that end of the speed spectrum. But like Gatsby, the writing and pacing eventually get much stronger and towards the back of this already shortish (280 ish page) book, the pace very much picks up into a quick sprint to the finish, followed by perhaps too much epilogue after the climax – but any runner will tell you that cool down is important, and such an extended epilogue does that well and likely reduces any book hangover here. Indeed, the only real complaint I have here is that particularly early, the transitions between character perspectives could use a LOT more clarity – one of the things that helps the back parts of the book is that these become more clear by that point, and it is much easier to see who we are following along with at any given moment in these later sections. Still, not enough of a problem for me to drop a star, though I could see others doing so and it is at minimum worthy of mentioning. Overall still a good book that provides a nice brief escape from reality, perfect for those times when you need something to occupy 3-4 hours or so. Such as maybe when a kid or spouse is at some sports practice or some such? Very much recommended.

Below the jump, the media pack including book description, author bio, and a buy link ๐Ÿ™‚
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#BlogTour: Summer On The Island by Brenda Novak

For this blog tour, we’re looking at a strong summer/ beach tale that is marred by pervasive references to COVID. For this blog tour, we’re looking at Summer On The Island by Brenda Novak.

Strong Summer Beach Romance / Women’s Fiction Tale Marred By Referencing COVID. If one takes away the pervasive references to COVID, this is a strong summer island getaway beach romance/ women’s fiction tale of three women escaping to the far coast from where they currently live in order to get a break and maybe even heal or find themselves in the process. At it absolutely works in those elements, particularly as our central character unpacks her history and uncovers an astonishing family secret. Truly the only reason for the star deduction is because I DO NOT WANT TO READ ABOUT COVID. PERIOD. And thus I’m waging a one man Crusade against any book that mentions it via an automatic star deduction. So if you feel as I do, know that this book does reference COVID quite a bit, but at least in this case it is more backstory/ explanatory than something the characters are actively living through within the text of this tale. Truly a strong, fun summer/ beach type read, great for those who have been stuck inside for two years and are just now beginning to venture out again. Though one final note: For those that want their books “clean” or “sweet”… this isn’t that. Hell, there are some XXX scenes here – as is typical in many romances. Closed door, this ain’t. So know that going in too. ๐Ÿ˜€ Very much recommended.

After the jump, an excerpt from the book followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, and social and buy links.
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#BlogTour: Crimson Summer by Heather Graham

For this blog tour we’re looking at the second book in a series that has an interesting take on the Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse as cover for murder. For this blog tour we’re looking at Crimson Summer by Heather Graham.

Here’s what I had to say on Goodreads:

Strong Police Procedural With Overarching Mythology. Read Book 1 First. Upfront, I’m disagreeing with most other reviews currently on Goodreads for this book. Yes, technically it *can* be read as a standalone, as there are more than enough spoilers from Book 1 to give you what you need to follow along here. But with this being an overarching mythology involving the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and who each horseman is and who is controlling them… this is absolutely a series that is best started with Book 1. And then, of course, you’ll want the next book and the next and the next, until you’ve finished the series – no matter how long Graham keeps it going. (Presumably no more than 6 or 7 books or so, with a potential Book 5 revealing the mastermind, Book 6 unveiling the mastermind’s true plot, and a final showdown in Book 7. Though all three of those last things could be done in a single epic tale.) Great for those who love at minimum nation-trotting creepy action tales that span the US. This reader in particular is a sucker for such tales, and is looking forward to seeing where this series goes from here. Very much recommended.

After the jump, the prologue of the book followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, and social media and buy links.
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Featured New Release Of The Week: The Lying Club by Annie Ward

This week we’re looking at a book that has a slow start and a LOT of moving parts that ultimately all ties together into a satisfyingly suspenseful tale. This week we’re looking at The Lying Club by Annie Ward.

Here’s what I had to say on Goodreads:

Slow Start Yet Overall Satisfying. This is one of those books that starts a bit slow and has a LOT of moving parts and thus can be a touch difficult to keep track of at times, even for those of us who like this type of setup. One where there is little action and it seems a touch pointless at times… until the back parts of the book where the action truly finally picks up steam and gets fairly suspenseful. And yet, by the end all is tied up neatly – perhaps a bit too neatly, and the epilogue is perhaps unneeded as well. Ultimately a strong book that arguably tries to do a bit too much – but still largely succeeds in telling its tale its way. Very much recommended.

After the jump, an excerpt from the book followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, social and buy links.
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#BlogTour: Killing Time by Brenna Ehrlich

For this blog tour, we’re looking at a workable yet promising debut featuring a pair of murders in a small college town separated by several years. For this blog tour, we’re looking at Killing Time by Brenna Ehrlich.

Here’s what I had to say on Goodreads:

Compelling Mystery. Could Have Used A Bit Better Editing. This is one of those debuts where the author clearly shows quite a bit of promise – even if trying to wrap in as many tropes as remotely plausible within the story – yet could clearly still use some polish. The mystery (ies!) is actually quite compelling, and the reader finds themselves *wanting* to know who the murderer (s!) is. That noted, using third person to tell the stories of both timelines makes them a bit harder to distinguish – particularly without any kind of time reference at the beginning of the chapters. Very much recommended.

After the jump, an excerpt from Chapter 2 of the book followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, and social media and buy links.
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#BlogTour: The Girl With The Scarlet Ribbon by Suzanne Goldring

For this blog tour we’re looking at a moving portrait of a loving daughter trying to understand her tortured artist father… and a protective sister trying to prevent her artist brother from becoming too haunted by the war they are living through. For this blog tour we’re looking at The Girl With The Scarlet Ribbon by Suzanne Goldring.

Moving Portrait Of Tortured Artist And Loving Daughter. This is an interesting dual timeline historical, one in which a man is at the center of both timelines… and yet his own perspective is never once actually included in the narrative. And yet despite this, the book does *not* come across as misandristic at all, as the two perspectives we *do* get – the man’s older sister in WWII Florence and his daughter in 2019 – are both seeking to understand him in their own ways. Thus, this book actually becomes an interesting look at how the experience of war ultimately shapes lives in so many divergent ways. While little of the horrors are shown “on screen”, some are, including a few murders, torture with a cigarette, general abuse, and a rape attempt (that may or may not be successful). Also discussed is how the Jews of the area are rounded up, gang rapes (alluded to but not directly shown), and how a citizenry can live with themselves not stopping either. So truly a lot of horrific stuff – and even after the Allies “liberate” the city, at least a few pages are devoted to the continued deprivations. Truly a well rounded look at a difficult and trying period – and the modern story of a daughter trying to understand the messages her tortured father left behind are solid as well, without having quite the horrific impact of the WWII scenes. Very much recommended.

After the jump, the “publisher details”, including book description, author bio, and social media and buy links.
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#BlogTour: The Paris Network by Siobhan Curham

For this blog tour we’re looking at an incredibly relevant book that happens to take place nearly a century ago. For this blog tour we’re looking at The Paris Network by Siobhan Curham.

Despite Being Set Nearly A Century Ago, Still All Too Relevant. This is one of those books that makes a lot of solid political points… without ever actually coming across as preachy, as they are completely couched within the story being told and the period it is being told within. Specifically as it relates to resistance of tyranny not always needing to be violent and that the mind is the only thing the tyrants can never take, as well as a war-born form of “cancel culture” to boot. But again, the tale makes all of these points in a moving tale of a 1990s era 50 yr old woman trying to find her origins in 1943 France – and of a young woman in 1939 France destined to become the mother of the 50 year old. Kudos to the author as well not only for the points I’ve already mentioned but also in not being afraid to take what is a … less conventional… path that makes the tale all the more realistic for it. This is absolutely one of those books that truly takes you to the era and brings out *all* of the emotions therein… leaving you breathless by the end, and maybe sitting in a room that suddenly becomes quite dusty. Very much recommended.

After the jump, the “publisher details”, including book description, author bio, and social media and buy links.
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