Featured New Release Of The Week: The Appalachian Trail by Philip D’Anieri

This week we’re looking at an intriguing way of looking at the history of the Appalachian Trail. This week we’re looking at The Appalachian Trail by Philip D’Anieri

Unfortunately my string of being plagued by writer’s block continues, but here is the Goodreads review:

Biography – By Way Of Biographies. This was a very interesting read, if primarily for the narrative structure D’Anieri chose in writing it. Here, the author doesn’t set out to provide a “definitive history” of the Trail or the technical details of how it came to be. Instead, he profiles key players in the development of the Trail as it has come to exist now and shows how their lives and thoughts and actions proved pivotal in how the Trail got to where it is. Overall a fascinating book about a wide range of people and attitudes about the boundary of civilization and wilderness, written in a very approachable style – much like much of the Trail itself. Very much recommended.

#BlogTour: The Falling Woman by Richard Farrell

For this blog tour, we’re looking at a solid debut featuring tough choices in the aftermath of a disaster. For this blog tour, we’re looking at The Falling Woman by Richard Farrell.

First, here’s what I had to say about it on Goodreads:

Tough Choices. Great Debut. This is a solidly written, compelling story that is a tremendous debut book. Farrell manages to use a miracle during a disaster to show that miracles… are not always that… while also showing just how complicated and messy real life is in oh so many ways. The mystery is solid enough to keep the reader invested, and then the action kicks into high gear a bit as things begin to unravel. Finally, a choice is made in an instant that will affect numerous lives – and Farrell shows all of this with remarkable reality. The overall style and tone won’t necessarily be exactly to everyone’s liking, but stick around – the book really is very, very good. Very much recommended.

After the jump, the publisher’s press release about the book followed by some praise for it from a variety of sources:
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Featured New Release Of The Week: These Tangled Vines by Julianne Maclean

This week we’re looking at a remarkable tale of love and family. This week we’re looking at These Tangled Vines by Julianne Maclean.

What A Tangled Web We Weave. This was a strong story of finding yourself, even if that happens a bit later than some would like and creates a bit of a mess. And it was a strong story of ever lasting love, treachery, and forgiveness. All set (mostly) in the idyllic Tuscan countryside. The pacing was solid, the dual timeline worked well – even if a sense of foreboding hung over one of the timelines its entire duration. (We learn early in the book – Chapter 1, IIRC – how that timeline ultimately turns out, so getting there is wonderful, yet also like watching a replay of a momentous event… that you know turns out in disaster.) Overall, the writing here really speaks to the strength of Maclean’s storytelling abilities and shows them to be quite strong indeed. Very much recommended.

#BlogTour: One Week To Claim It All by Adriana Herrera

For this final stop of the Slide Into Summer Romance Blog Tour Series, we’re looking at a great short romance perfect for your July 4th plans, no matter what they may be. For this stop, we’re looking at One Week To Claim It All by Adriana Herrera.

Here’s what I had to say about it on Goodreads:

Solid Short Scintillating Summer Story. This is one of those great vacation reads because of its brevity- at around 150 pages, you’re not committing to too much, so you can enjoy whatever you’re doing on vacation itself and still have a solid escape during downtimes. As to actual trope classification, some might call it enemies to lovers – the couple does in fact start out this book in that form – but others might classify it as second chance – they start out as enemies because of a failed romance years before the events of this tale. Either way, solid mashup of boardroom / entertainment drama as our leads clash over who will take over a multimedia powerhouse, and with our leading lady just as capable as our leading man of taking on any challenge presented. Also features a wider array of Spanish speaking ethnicities and nations than is usually presented in US media, so there is that as well. ๐Ÿ˜€ Very much recommended.

Below the jump, the publisher information, including an excerpt!
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#BlogTour: Second Chance Love Song by Jessica Lemmon

For this penultimate stop on our Slide Into Summer Romance Blog Tour Series, we’re looking at a solid second chance Harlequin romance. For this blog tour, we’re looking at Second Chance Love Song by Jessica Lemmon.

Here’s what I had to say about it on Goodreads:

Solid Harlequin Romance. This is a Harlequin romance of the classic type, though they’re trying to get away from the somewhat infamous cover set apparently. ๐Ÿ˜€

For those that love that style – and there is a very clear business reason why the publisher puts out so many books of exactly the same style – know that you’re getting exactly what you’re after here. Solid romance, a couple of sex scenes, a Hallmarkie type plot and conflict resolution (with a fair amount of angst to boot), etc. This book is perfectly within your comfort zone, and it is a solid, fun, and short-ish book to boot. So go ahead and hand over the money you know you’re going to anyway, and have fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

For those that are more hesitant, perhaps *because* of the infamy, know that if you’re open to the romance genre at all, this one is going to be pretty well exactly what you expect (see above). It is truly enjoyable, but also very much within the conventional bounds of the genre. Some heartstrings pulled, and a fun (if foreseeable due to genre rules, but still interesting in exact manner) resolution that plays on a bit of a darker moment from earlier in the book.

There really isn’t much more to say here. Again, if you’re open to the genre at all, you’re going to have fun with this book. If you’re not, you probably aren’t even reading this review. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Very much recommended.

After the jump, an excerpt and the publisher details. ๐Ÿ™‚
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Featured New Release Of The Week: You Will Remember Me by Hannah Mary McKinnon

This week we’re looking at a fun tale that showed a fairly large set of steel balls in both its writing and its ending. This week we’re looking at You Will Remember Me by Hannah Mary McKinnon.

As always, the Goodreads review:

Misery Loves Company. McKinnon gets bold, trying to tell one cohesive story from three separate primary perspectives – and largely having it work. The ending itself isn’t quite as mind-bending as her 2020 release Sister Dear, and perhaps elements of it are in fact fairly well established much earlier in the text. But it also isn’t *quite* so predictable as some other reviewers make it seem, as many of the actual details aren’t really known until McKinnon actively reveals them. And then that ending. Mind-bending? No. But showing that McKinnon has balls bigger than many male authors? Absolutely. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Very much recommended.

And in quite possibly a first for this blog (which will actually be repeated in about a month… ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), we have a surprise! This week’s Featured New Release is ALSO a Blog Tour! After the jump, an excerpt followed by the publisher information! ๐Ÿ™‚
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#BlogTour: False Allegiance by Nick Thacker

For this blog tour, we’re looking at an explosive action/ mystery that looks into an oft-neglected global topic. For this blog tour, we’re looking at False Allegiance by Nick Thacker.

Here’s what I had to say about it on Goodreads:

False Promise? Let me be extremely clear: As far as “facing constant threat of death from mysterious operators” plot lines go, this one was solid. After what has become a usual opening chapter establishing Jake Parker just trying to live his life, we pretty well immediately go into “constantly running from the bad guys while trying to solve a global mystery” mode, and in this part Thacker is excellent. We even get a bit of real-world discussion on yet another oft-neglected topic, in this case … well, revealing that is a bit of a spoiler. But an interesting one, for sure.

But no, the “False Promise?” question from the title more has to do with the ending of Book 2 and my own expectations for this book based on that. I was expecting a lot more direct involvement from Parker’s dad, leading up to a direct confrontation between father and son where guns would be blazing both directions. That… doesn’t happen here. Though Parker’s dad *does* play a role in most of the tale and there *is* (eventually) a confrontation and even a resolution. It just wasn’t the all encompassing explosive type I for some reason was expecting/ hoping for.

But Thacker does in fact do an excellent job of telling yet another globe trotting Jake Parker tale and both wraps up this current version while allowing for new possibilities down the road. This reader, for one, hopes we eventually get to explore some of those. Very much recommended.

Below the jump, the publisher information, including a book description and buy links. ๐Ÿ™‚
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#BlogTour: Hieroglyphics by Jill McCorkle

For this blog tour, we’re looking at a tale that is an interesting examination of life and death. For this blog tour, we’re looking at Hieroglyphics by Jill McCorkle.

Here’s what I had to say on Goodreads:

Jumbled And Disjointed, Yet Somehow Works. This is one of those books that arguably *shouldn’t* work, given how truly disjointed it is with its time period and character jumps, and yet as more of a meditation/ reflective work on life and death, it really does actually work. As we work through the various streams of consciousness of Fred, Lil, Shelley, and Harvey, we see each of their lives through their own eyes as they struggle with past, present, life, and death. We see the traumas large and small, the regrets and the victories, the confusions and the joys. Admittedly, the particular writing style will be hard to follow for some, and even I found it quite jarring despite my own abilities to largely go with any flow of a book. But in the end it really does work to tell a cohesive yet complex story, and really that is all anyone can ultimately ask of a fiction tale. Thus, there is nothing of the quasi-objective nature that I try to maintain to hang any star reduction on, even as many readers may struggle with this tale. And thus, it is very much recommended.

And here’s the new paperback cover provided by the publisher, as well as a photo of the author. ๐Ÿ™‚

Featured New Release Of The Week: The Truth About Lies by Aja Raden

This week we’re looking at an in-depth look at how and why we lie to each other via scams from history through modern times. This week we’re looking at The Truth About Lies by Aja Raden.

Thought Provoking, But Could Have Used More Documentation. This is a very thought provoking book that looks at lies and how we deceive both ourselves and others, using scams from prehistory all the way through the 2010s. In its examinations of how we deceive both ourselves and each other, it seems to this reader to be very well reasoned, very well thought out, and very well written. Lots of education, a fair degree of humor, and (warning to those “sensitive” to it), a few F-bombs to boot. Indeed, the one main weakness here is the dearth of its bibliography – coming it at just 6% ish of the text rather than the more common 25-30% of well-documented nonfiction texts. Also, the cover – I don’t believe Washington and the (very likely apocryphal, and thus… a lie) story of his childhood cherry tree is ever mentioned in the text. So the cover lies… which may be the point. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Overall a superb book, but the bibliography issue knocks it down a star. Very much recommended.

Featured New Release Of The Week: Six Weeks To Live by Catherine McKenzie

This week, we’re looking at an explosive and twisty mystery with an ending that will leave you breathless. This week we’re looking at Six Weeks To Live by Catherine McKenzie.

Ironic, But Explaining That Is Spoilery. My singular biggest takeaway from this book is just how *HIGHLY* ironic it turns out to be. But explaining that involves discussing specifics of the ending of the book, and thus isn’t something I’m going to do in a review. Just not my style. At all.

What I *can* tell you about this book is that for the most part, you’ve got your expected Catherine McKenzie level mystery here. By which I mean there will be all kinds of twists and turns. Secrets all over the place – including some revealed only in the final pages. Solid pacing. A compelling introduction. And a general sense after reading it of “WOW”/ “WTF”. If you’re looking for that kind of book, I’ve yet to be let down with anything I’ve read from this author… including this very book. Very much recommended.