#BlogTour: Our Sister’s Grave by B.R. Spangler

For this blog tour, we’re looking at the latest pulse pounding thriller in BR Spangler’s Detective Casey White series that introduces a new idea into the series for the first time. For this blog tour, we’re looking at Our Sister’s Grave by B.R. Spangler.

Here’s what I had to say on the review sites (Hardcover.app, TheStoryGraph, BookHype, Goodreads):

Pulse Pounding Thriller In And Out Of The Water. This is one of those coastal murder tales where there is actually quite a bit happening both in and out of the water – and our team is right in the thick of all of it, after a diver dies underwater. With this tenth entry into the series – written loosely enough that if one doesn’t mind spoilers about the team’s relationships, nothing about (most) of the prior mysteries is spoiled here, meaning it is mostly ok for new fans to start here and work their way back, should they so choose – Spangler actually manages to incorporate a few things not seen in prior books in this series, including a few particular cultural touchstones that it is genuinely surprising that it took him this long to use, given the region he has chosen to set this particular series. And man, when he *does* incorporate them… he almost makes me want to drive up I-95 a few hrs and get to the Outer Banks this weekend myself. Even though I am in no way, shape, or form a diver of any sense involving diving underwater. ๐Ÿ˜€

Overall another solid entry in this series, one where yet again the stakes are raised in so very many ways. 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.
Continue reading “#BlogTour: Our Sister’s Grave by B.R. Spangler”

#BookReview: The Haven by Nicola Marsh

Sold Short Sychological Sequel. (Yes, the alliteration didn’t work with “psychological”, so I had to misspell it. :D) This is one of those sequels where you actually really need to read its prior book, in this case The Retreat, first. But since both are actually perfect for when you want a spooky read (such as during Halloween, when this book releases)… that is actually a great thing in this case.

This one is perhaps a bit less gothic, though it certainly has the creepy old mansion. It also has an even deeper tangle of secrets, as characters from the first book come back to play roles in this book as well – though certainly not all of them, and even in nearly every horror tale out there, at least one person survives. So the prior bit isn’t really a spoiler of anything. ๐Ÿ˜€ But *does* point to *why* you need to read The Retreat first.

In both cases though, you get quite a bit of tale packed into relatively short (here, 260 ish pages) books – making them a bigger bang for your buck than longer, slower tales. And making them overall better for when life is busy and/ or you are doing other things, but also want to read some books.

And as explosive as the ending was in The Retreat… here, while the explosions are of a different type… they may be even bigger and more devastating…

Very much recommended.

This review of The Haven by Nicola Marsh was originally written on October 11, 2023.

#BlogTour: Two Little Souls by B.R. Spangler

For this blog tour, we’re looking at an explosive tale that is an immediate sequel to the events of the book before it. For this blog tour, we’re looking at Two Little Souls by B.R. Spangler.

Here’s what I had to say on Goodreads:

Explosive Tale But Make Sure You Read Book 8, Their Resting Place, First. Without revealing any actual details, all I’m going to say here is that this book picks up immediately after the prior book in this series – and because of that, you really need to make it a point to read that book first.

Here, our team has several problems to work through – both professionally and personally. The case they find themselves involved in is even more time sensitive than most of their prior cases, and yet the team’s personal priorities are also in a state of flux. Spangler manages both sides of the police procedural format masterfully here, combining both to excellent effect to create quite possibly one of the best complete books of this series to date.

Overall truly a compelling tale that won’t quite leave you with that “I NEED THE NEXT BOOK RIGHT THIS SECOND” feeling from the prior book, but will still leave you satisfied and waiting anxiously for the next book to come out anyway, as you want to learn what happens next in the lives of our investigators. Very much recommended.

After the jump, the “publisher details”, including book description, author bio, and social media and buy links.
Continue reading “#BlogTour: Two Little Souls by B.R. Spangler”

#BookReview: The Broken Hearts Club by Susan Bishop Crispell

Interesting Take On High School Love Angles. This book is quirky enough to make everything work, and yet has a lot of things about it that will throw various groups off – often having some element that may be popular with one group, yet having another element that will be off-putting to that same group. For example, you’ve got the aura-reading ability where our main character sees emotions as colors and you’ve got the nonbinary side character – and yet the book’s very premise is that our main character is openly catfishing, gets caught doing so, and yet things somehow still work out for her. You’ve got some good, hard work ethic going with both our main character and her best friend, and yet the best friend openly chooses the boy over her best friend. You’ve got the seemingly rural small town North Carolina vibe going on – and you’ve got the aforementioned nonbinary character that seems mostly tacked in just to have an excuse to go off on “small minded Republicans” and to be able to promote that the book has a queer character. It could be argued that doing this character in this manner isn’t inclusive, but exploitive – and off putting to at least some potential readers anyway. And yet, despite all of its contradictions and issues… the book truly does work. If you’re into young adult/ high school romance at all, this book is going to scratch most every itch you have there, and it does in fact have the interesting wrinkles of the auras and how to *use* that ability to set it apart from the field naturally, without needing all of the other aspects. In the end, despite coming close to seeming to try too hard, this really is a mostly benign and fairly interesting tale within its genre, and a very easy and mostly inoffensive summer/ beach read that won’t get the pulse pounding too much, but will instead be a more charming and breezy read while sitting poolside or oceanside soaking up some sun. Recommended.

PS: There is no such thing as a love triangle without at least two of the three people involved being bisexual. Thus, while some describe this book as featuring a love “triangle”, as all three involved are never described as bisexual, it is most accurately described as a love “angle”, with three points and two line segments, the segments meeting at a common point. But this could well be the former math teacher and Autistic in me coming out. I admittedly tend to be a bit pedantic on this particular point. ๐Ÿ™‚

This review of The Broken Hearts Club by Susan Bishop Crispell was originally written on May 26, 2023.

Featured New Release Of The Week: When We Let Go by Rochelle B Weinstein

This week we’re looking at a staggering tale of loss and recovery. This week we’re looking at When We Let Go by Rochelle B Weinstein.

Emotional Tale Of Loss And Recovery. This is one of those tales where you know up front that it is dark… and then it gets darker. And darker. And darker. With just enough humor to lighten things up a bit… and then a gut-punch of a form that may be used a bit often (as another reviewer claimed), but which works within the tale being told here. Similarly, as this is ultimately a tale of *recovery* from such devastation, one element of the epilogue that I’ve panned as unnecessary and even detracting from other books in other reviews actually works in this particular tale. And it works *specifically because* of the tale told up to that point. Truly an excellent work, and very much recommended.

#BookReview: A Barefoot Tide by Grace Greene

Sometimes All It Takes Is A Break. This was a remarkable tale of a woman who was down on her luck being given a chance to take a break… who comes to realize all that she does have, and, perhaps, all that she needs to change. The book-within-a-book was a great technique that is sure to grab the attention of the literati types, but overall Lilliane’s story was a great crossover between Greene’s mountain based Cub Creek series and beach based Emerald Isle series, one full of heart and… well, grace. ๐Ÿ˜€ The ending left this particular reader hoping for at least one more book with these characters, though the two sentence description of that book is quite clear of where it needs to go. So y’all need to go buy this book and give Greene a reason to come back to these particular characters. ๐Ÿ˜€ Very much recommended.

This review of A Barefoot Tide by Grace Greene was originally written on January 11, 2021.