The Marijuana Murders by Mark S. Bacon | Blog Tour 

@baconauthor @GoddessFish #TheMarijuanaMurders

I am delighted to join the blog tour for The Marijuana Murders by Mark S. Bacon today! My thanks to Marianne & Judy at Goddess Fish Promotions for the chance to join and the wonderful review copy!

Book Summary

Nostalgia City executive Kate Sorensen finds the body of a mechanic crushed under an automobile hoist in the theme park’s garage. Accident or murder? Will it impact Kate’s decision to become an advisor for one of two competing campaigns to legalize marijuana in Arizona?

When the death is ruled a homicide and the DEA stages a surprise raid, park cab driver Lyle Deming is recruited to help solve the murder and find out if the park’s garage is being used to smuggle drugs. The anxiety-ridden ex-cop is soon poking around a Mexican border town looking for a park contractor who might be a drug mule. Or he might be dead.

Meanwhile, Kate, a 6-2 former college basketball star, is in the middle of a heated clash between potential corporate control of pot marketing and a laid-back, grow-your-own approach. As Kate wonders whether she should mediate or advocate, she’s forced to dash for her life. Amid setbacks and threats, she and Lyle must sort through interwoven crimes, a tangle of evidence, and dark suspects.

Then there’s another murder.

The Marijuana Murders is the third novel in this mystery series set in Nostalgia City, a theme park that re-creates—in every detail—a small town from the 1970s.

Buy Links:

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Print

I Thought…

What a mind-blowing and exciting read!

Even though The Marijuana Murders was book three in a series I found that this novel still suited my tastes as a lover of the mystery genre and it held its own as a single read. During a great, solid opening chapter, the tension built and the action really started to happen.

The setting of a 1970’s theme park was highly original, for me anyway. The characters created by the author, Mark S. Bacon, were fascinating in themselves and the pacing was perfect for the story. With an effortlessly transitioning plot-line, the suspense just built and built as the story progressed, right up until the exciting and nail-biting conclusion. I just had to keep turning those pages and I didn’t guess the identity of the perpetrators in this fantastic mystery.

This multi-layered mystery was most intriguing, especially with the inclusion of some of the interesting links, including the political and current events which complemented the setting of the theme park, Nostalgia City and the current desire to make marijuana legal for all adults.

I loved the chemistry and tenderness between the main characters, Kate Sorensen and Lyle Deming. I liked Kate’s unwavering loyalty, fearlessness and determination. For his part, theme park cab driver and ex-cop Lyle, though anxiety-ridden, was tireless in his dogged pursuit of the truth.

If you’re looking for a truly explosive read, then I heartily recommend The Marijuana Murders. I will be looking out for more by this fabulous author, Mark S. Bacon.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my own request from Goddess Fish Promotions. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Mark S. Bacon began his career as a Southern California newspaper police reporter, one of his crime stories becoming key evidence in a murder case that spanned decades.

After working for two newspapers, he moved to advertising and marketing when he became a copywriter for Knott’s Berry Farm, the large theme park down the road from Disneyland.  Experience working at Knott’s formed part of the inspiration for his creation of Nostalgia City theme park.  

Before turning to fiction, Bacon wrote business books including Do-It-Yourself Direct Marketing, printed in four languages and three editions, named best business book of the year by the Library Journal, and selected by the Book of the Month Club and two other book clubs.  His articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Cleveland Plain Dealer, San Antonio Express News, Orange County (Calif.) Register, and many other publications.  Most recently he was a correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Marijuana Murders is the third book in the Nostalgia City mystery series that began with Death in Nostalgia City.  The first book introduced ex-cop turned cab driver Lyle Deming and PR executive Kate Sorensen, a former college basketball star.  Death in Nostalgia City was recommended in February for book clubs by the American Library Association.

Bacon is the author of flash fiction mystery books including, Cops, Crooks and Other Stories in 100 Words.  He taught journalism as a member of the adjunct faculty at Cal Poly University – Pomona, the University of Nevada – Reno, and the University of Redlands.  He earned an MA in mass media from UNLV and a BA in journalism from Fresno State.   He gets many of his ideas while walking his golden retriever, Willow.

Website: https://baconsmysteries.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/baconauthor

FB: https://www.facebook.com/markbaconmysteries/

Mark S. Bacon will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

July 10: Brianne’s Book Reviews
July 10: Enchanting Reviews
July 17: Our Town Book Reviews
July 17: JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder
July 24: The Avid Reader
July 24: Cassidy’s Bookshelves
July 31: Sharing Links and Wisdom
July 31: Enchanting Reviews

Until Next Time, 

Featured

What We Do For Love by Anne Pfeffer | Blog Tour 

@AnnePfeffer1 @XpressoTours #WhatWeDoForLove

I am delighted to join the blog tour for What We Do For Love by Anne Pfeffer today! My thanks to Giselle at Xpresso Tours for the chance to join and the wonderful review copy!

What We Do For Love
Anne Pfeffer
Publication date: May 21st 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary

Thirty-eight year old Nicole Adams has given up on finding love. Instead, the single mother focuses on the things she cherishes most—her sixteen-year old son Justin, her friends, and her art.

When she convinces a prominent Los Angeles museum to feature a piece of her work, a large-scale installation, she thinks her life has finally turned a corner.

Then Justin brings a girl, Daniela, home to live with them. Daniela’s angry parents have thrown her out of the house, because she’s pregnant with Justin’s child. Shattered, Nicole takes Daniela in and, in so doing, is drawn into the inner circle of Daniela’s family—a frightening world of deceit and violence.

Nicole struggles to keep life going as normal. Forced to deal with people she doesn’t trust or like, fearful for the future of both her son and the grandchild they’re expecting, Nicole wonders if she can do what she tells Justin to do: always have faith in yourself and do the right thing.

What We Do for Love won the Chick Lit category of the 2019 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and finalist for Best Cover Design/Fiction!

Goodreads / Amazon

I Thought…

Once again, I indulged my love for gorgeous front covers when I chose to read What We Do for Love by Anne Pfeffer! I did find, however, that as soon as I started reading this contemporary romance, I was totally and completely hooked.

The author worked miracles with this fascinating plot-line. I was totally absorbed with the story and (nearly) all of the characters.

I really felt Justin’s pain and confusion and it was interesting to read about his feelings and thoughts regarding the situation in which he had got himself.

For me, Anne Pfeffer’s writing skills were admirable as she managed to pack so much into a relatively short book, without ever feeling that the pace was rushed.

I loved the main protagonist, Nicole, and I completely understood many of her misgivings about love. For a woman who was, for most of the time, so level-headed, fair and caring, she also made me want to scream and I did so on several occasions!

I couldn’t possibly finish this without mentioning the ending. It was very fulfilling even though I had partly guessed the outcome.

I highly recommend What We Do For Love and it is a very well deserved five stars from me!

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel at my own request and this review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

Author Bio:

Hi! I grew up in the desert around Phoenix, Arizona, where I had a bay quarter horse named Dolly. If I wasn’t riding, I was holed up somewhere reading Laura Ingalls Wilder or the Oz books or, later on, Jane Eyre and The Grapes of Wrath. Horses eventually faded as an interest, but I ended up with a lifelong love of books and reading.

After college and eight years of living in cold places like Chicago and New York, I escaped back to the land of sunshine. I now live in California, one mile from the Pacific Ocean, with my dachshund Taco. I have worked in banking and as a pro bono attorney, doing adoptions and guardianships for abandoned children.

As a writer, I’d always been interested in children’s books, since they had meant so much to me as a kid. I’ve found I especially like writing books about teens and twenty-somethings, an age where you make so many decisions about who you are and how you want to spend your life.

I love hearing from readers, so please write to me any time at my website http://www.annepfeffer.com.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

THE TOUR

June 10th
Sassy Southern Book Blog 
Embrace the Chaos
Set a Spell Book Blog
crazykalm
Midwest Romantic

June 11th
Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile
Julius Thompson Writer
gwendalyn_books_

June 12th
Reading, Willing & Able
We Do What We Want Book Reviews & More
Book Butterfly in Dreamland

June 13th
Incidental Inspiration 
The Crafty Engineer’s Bookshelf

June 14th
Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm
Brianne’s Book Reviews

June 15th
My Life Loves and Passion
Het leven van een boekenworm
Once Upon a Page
Books Direct
Cranky TBC

Until Next Time, 

The Summer Nanny by Audrey J. Cole | Blog Tour 

@Audrey J Cole @GoddessFish #TheSummerNanny

I am delighted to join the blog tour for The Summer Nanny by Audrey J. Cole today! My thanks to Marianne Judy at Goddess Fish Promotions for the chance to join and the wonderful review copy!

Book Summary

It was the perfect summer job—until it turned into her worst nightmare.

Bridgett is enjoying an idyllic summer as the nanny for Leo, the son of Paul and Emily Cooper—a famous actor and renowned charity founder. Not only is she generously compensated to care for Leo at the couple’s Seattle waterfront estate, she develops a special bond with the little boy. In addition to the financial perks of the job, Bridgett has fallen into a summer love affair with Chris, a landscaper who works at the property.

It’s the Fourth of July. Leo’s parents are holding a major event for their charity at the top of the Space Needle. When a masked intruder breaks into the home and takes Leo hostage, Bridgett will do anything to save the boy’s life. She complies with the burglar’s demands to retrieve a multi-million-dollar heirloom necklace from the home, yet she quickly discovers that he hasn’t come for the necklace at all…

Detectives Blake Stephenson and Tess Richards are celebrating the Fourth at the Cooper’s charity gala where Tess is being honored for her volunteer work. However, their evening is dampened when Tess’s younger brother, Chris, fails to show up for the event. As they leave the event early, hoping to find answers, they learn the security system is down at the Cooper’s mansion…and that Chris isn’t the only one missing from the party.

Get ready for chills and thrills in this Emerald City Thriller Novella!

Purchase links:

Amazon.co.uk:

I Thought…

What an explosive and exciting read!

I’m not actually a huge fan of novellas as I generally find them a little too short for my taste but The Summer Nanny was definitely worth making an exception for. After a good, solid opening chapter, the tension built and the action really started to happen.

The characters created by the author, Audrey J Cole, were fascinating in themselves and the pacing was perfect for the story. With an effortlessly transitioning plot-line, the suspense just built and built as the story progressed, right up until the exciting and nail-biting conclusion. I just had to keep turning those pages and I didn’t guess the identity of the perpetrator in this fantastic thriller.

If you’re looking for a quick read in between your full-length novels, then I heartily recommend The Summer Nanny. I will be looking out for more by this fabulous author, Audrey J Cole.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my own request. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About The Author

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Audrey J. Cole is a registered nurse and a writer of thrillers set in Seattle. After living in Australia for the last five years, Audrey has returned to the Pacific Northwest where she resides with her husband and two children.

Website: https://www.audreyjcole.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AudreyJCole

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Audrey-J.-Cole/e/B071GFZMLT

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/audrey-j-cole

The book is on sale for $0.99.

Audrey J. Cole will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $15 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

Until Next Time, 

No Angels for Christmas by Petie McCarty | Blog Tour 

@Petie McCarty @GoddessFish #NoAngelsForChristmas

I am delighted to join the blog tour for No Angels for Christmas by Petie McCarty today! My thanks to Marianne Judy at Goddess Fish Promotions for the chance to join and the wonderful review copy!

Book Summary

No Angels for Christmas . . . a cozy romantic mystery with suspense from The Mystery Angel Romances series. An angel hidden in every book waiting for you to figure who . . .

Child psychologist Rachel Kelly isn’t quite sure how to handle the situation with her newest client — a six-year-old boy who says he can talk to angels and one is coming to help Rachel. She already has her hands full of trouble this Christmas season, and things quickly take a turn for the worse when a stalker crashes Rachel’s Christmas party and takes her young clients hostage.

Police negotiator, Lt. Jake Dillon, walked away from his fiancée Rachel when she suddenly balked at having kids. His kids. Yet when the hostage crisis erupts, Rachel calls Jake first. Now he has a choice to make — stand back and wait for the cavalry to save Rachel or step in and try to save her himself. Time is running out, and Jake may be their only chance for rescue.

Unless Rachel’s little angel-spying client is telling the truth…

Purchase links:

Amazon.co.uk:

I Thought…

This book is the latest in The Mystery Angel Romance Series, No Angels for Christmas (The Mystery Angel Romance Series Book 2) by Petie McCarty.

It was an interesting read spanning a large variation of themes. From friendship, love and romance to abuse, violence and mental health issues, there was something in it for everyone.

The author’s character development was outstanding, especially given the number of characters that were in the book and their diversity. I didn’t really have a favourite, but, if pushed, I would say that I grew rather fond of Jake for his charm, caring nature and perseverance. Also worth a mention is Emily as I loved her friendliness and calming attitude.

The story and plot were fascinating and well-written, however, I found the pacing rather slow, especially around the middle of the novel where developments and events were being repeated and seemed laboured and drawn out.

I loved the dramatic ending and I would definitely recommend No Angels for Christmas as overall, it was a great read.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my own request. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Four Stars

About The Author

Petie spent a large part of her career working at Walt Disney World—”The  Most Magical Place on Earth”—where she enjoyed working in the land of fairy tales by day and creating her own romantic fairy tales by night, including her new series, The Cinderella Romances. She eventually said good-bye to her “day” job to write her stories full-time. These days Petie spends her time writing sequels to her regency time-travel series, Lords in Time, and her cozy-mystery-with-romantic-suspense series, the Mystery Angel Romances.

Petie shares her home on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee with her horticulturist husband and a noisy Nanday conure named Sassy who made a cameo appearance in No Angels for Christmas

Visit Petie’s web site online at http://www.petiemccarty.com or her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/petie.mccarty.

Social Media Links –

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest * Amazon * Goodreads

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:

Enter to win a $10 Amazon/BN GC or a copy of a book – a Rafflecopter giveaway.

Until Next Time, 

Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton | Review

Book Synopsis

An utterly wonderful début novel of love, crime, magic, fate and a boy’s coming of age, set in 1980’s Australia and infused with the originality, charm, pathos, and heart of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

The mind can take you anywhere you want to go.

Eli Bell’s life is complicated. His father is lost, his mother is in jail, and his step-dad is a heroin dealer. The most steadfast adult in Eli’s life is Slim – a notorious felon and national record-holder for successful prison escapes – who watches over Eli and August, his silent genius of an older brother.

Exiled far from the rest of the world in Darra, a seedy suburb populated by Polish and Vietnamese refugees, this twelve-year-old boy with an old soul and an adult mind is just trying to follow his heart, learn what it takes to be a good man, and train for a glamorous career in journalism. Life, however, insists on throwing obstacles in Eli’s path – most notably Tytus Broz, Brisbane’s legendary drug dealer.

But the real trouble lies ahead. Eli is about to fall in love, face off against truly bad guys, and fight to save his mother from a certain doom – all before starting high school.

A story of brotherhood, true love, family, and the most unlikely of friendships, Boy Swallows Universe is the tale of an adolescent boy on the cusp of discovering the man he will be. Powerful and kinetic, Trent Dalton’s début is sure to be one of the most heartbreaking, joyous and exhilarating novels you will experience. 

My Thoughts

If I had to describe this novel in three words they would be emotional, effortful and impactful in more or less equal measures.

After having read “Boy Swallows Universe” I feel that I am completely indebted to Trent Dalton! This book has all the components that make a really fantastic story: from the mood and undercurrents to the very clever writing and the experience of love and friendship, not forgetting the feelings of hope, desperation and failure. Trent Dalton has drawn a remarkable young narrator to adore in Eli, growing up in his vastly dysfunctional family. 

There were instances where this was a very difficult read for me, being as it was a little like sitting on a roller-coaster, however, it was extremely worthwhile even though, by my standards, it was a fairly lengthy novel. 

 I enjoyed “Boy Swallows Universe” so much and I’m hoping to read more by Trent Dalton soon…

[Thanks to Edelweiss, HarperCollins UK and the author, Trent Dalton, for my free ARC of #BoySwallowsUniverse in exchange for an honest review.]

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

Happy Reading!

The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor | Review

Book Synopsis

What if the people we trust are the ones we should fear? 

Zaffre’s biggest breakout thriller of 2019.

One in 100 of us is what the police call a ‘potentially dangerous person’ – someone likely to commit a violent crime. These people hide in plain sight, they can be teachers, doctors, holding positions of trust, of power.

Jessamine Gooch makes a living tracking the 1 in 100. Each week she broadcasts a radio show that examines brutal offences, asking if more could have been done to identify and prevent their perpetrators.

But when she agrees to investigate a missing person case involving a young mother, she is drawn into a web of danger that will ultimately lead to the upper echelons of power, and threaten the safety of her own family. 

Set over a long, dark winter in London and perfect for fans of HE SAID/SHE SAID and Belinda Bauer, THE DANGEROUS KIND is at once a gripping thriller and a stunning portrayal of the monsters that live among us.

Advance Praise

‘Searingly relevant’ Gillian McAllister

‘An absolute triumph’ Holly Seddon

‘Originality oozing off every page’ Eva Dolan

‘Clever, unpredictable and beautifully done’ Liz Loves Books

‘Absolutely brilliant . . . a sophisticated, smart engaging thriller’ Jo Spain

‘Dark, disturbing, devilishly plotted’ Chris Whitaker

‘Urgent, relevant and completely unputdownable’ Martyn Waites

‘Dark and unpredictable’ Jenny Quintana

‘Brilliantly compelling’  T. M. Logan

‘A powerful, timely and unnerving thriller’ David Jackson 

Pages: Approx. 448

Publishers: Bonnier Zaffre

Date Published: 11th April 2019

Buy your copy now from:

Amazon | Waterstones

My Review

If I had to describe The Dangerous Kind in three words they would be harrowing, disturbing and frightening in more or less equal measures. It’s pretty much what I would expect from a thriller set in today’s modern society. But wow, what stunning, well-thought-out masterpiece!

After having read The Dangerous Kind, I feel that I am completely indebted to Deborah O’Connor! This book has all the components that make a really fantastic story: from the mood and undercurrents to the very clever writing and the experience of love and friendship, not forgetting the feelings of hope, the fear, the utter desperation and failure.

The title of the book is derived from a police classification of a ‘Potentially Dangerous Person’ (PDP) who is someone that has not been convicted of an offence but whose behaviour indicates that they are likely to commit one.

Set during the winter-time and spanning a period of ten-plus years, the book is told from different time periods and aspects, the first one being Jessamine Gooch, as well as Rowena and also Jitesh. Deborah O’Connor has drawn a great character in Jessamine, a former journalist now working at the BBC and hosting a long-running true crime radio series, ‘Potentially Dangerous People’. In addition, she volunteers at a helpline for victims of domestic violence and is the mother of her teenage daughter, all the while trying to cope with the various difficulties she has going on in her life.

Equally noteworthy is Deborah O’Connor’s portrayal of Rowena. Her heart-breaking story is told as sensitively as possible but her vulnerability and the level of her abuse she suffered, though implicit, is nevertheless exceptionally sorrowful to read and plays a central role to the unfolding drama.

Jitesh’s character has also been brilliantly drawn by the author, Deborah. A student who has been given an unconditional offer to join Cambridge University, he has decided to take a year out and work as an IT intern. However, even as a young adult, he has already suffered many of life’s difficulties, although he possesses a moral strength that left me no choice but to feel an enormous amount of empathy with him.

There were instances where this was a very difficult read for me and it was a little like being on a roller-coaster, with someone shouting “Do you want to go faster?” However, it was extremely worthwhile even though many of the subjects touched upon are so abhorrent. 

Deborah O’Connor was very brave to write about such a disturbing and unsettling subject matter like child prostitution. She impressively managed to do so with great sensitivity, thus making the story a little more palatable than it could have been. The story-line was masterfully crafted and showed originality. The separate stories were so superbly interconnected, making the novel fantastically compelling, all culminating in a thrilling and fulfilling ending.  

I cannot recommend this book enough and I feel so inspired enough by Deborah O’Connor’s writing ability to order another of her novels – ‘My Husband’s Son.’ 

Thanks to NetGalley, Bonnier Zaffire Publishing and the author, Deborah O’Connor, for my free ARC of The Dangerous Kind in exchange for an honest review.

My thanks also to Pigeonhole as I participated in their group read which was in stave format and was able to share my thoughts and comments with other readers.

#NetGalley #TheDangerousKind

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

Happy Reading!