Guest Post: Cara Reinard – SWEET WATER

sweet-wate-by-cara-reinard-coverGood day, my bookish people and welcome to 2021! It’s a new day, a new year, and I’m starting off with a new blog company. Please bear with me as I learn how to use WordPress (recently transferred over from Blogger).

I’m incredibly pleased to be starting off the year with a visit by Cara Reinard, author of the newly released crime thriller Sweet Water. I hope you’ll help me welcome Ms. Reinard to The Book Diva’s Reads as she shares with us where her idea for this novel came from. Thank you, Ms. Reinard for stopping by and sharing with us today. The blog is yours.

Where did the idea for Sweet Water come from?

For me, plot ideas for stories come from everywhere and nowhere—an article read online, a conversation had with an interesting person, or something much more random; a moment where I’m rinsing shampoo out of my hair and suddenly a plot jumps into my head (why do life’s most profound thoughts happen in the shower??).

For Sweet Water, the idea started with a short story that I recently published in an anthology of short stories, poems and essays titled Into the Woods. The collection was published through a Mindful Writers group led by authors, Kathie Shoop and Larry Schardt. My story featured two college-aged kids who messed around with narcotics in a wooded area outside of Manhattan, but only one of them left the woods alive. It was a story that stuck with me long after the anthology was published.

Short story here: https://www.amazon.com/Into-Woods-Stories-Mindful-Writers-ebook/dp/B07CZMJQDY

I started thinking about affluent wooded areas closer to where I live in the Pittsburgh area that might be appropriate for a similar premise, and played around with a chapter or two basing the story in my favorite tree-lined suburb, Sewickley. Like a lot of writing projects, I started on a whim and before I knew it I had fifty or so pages and the start of a full-length novel that I really wanted to finish.

I’d also just read Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. She does a beautiful job weaving her setting, Shaker Heights, Ohio, into her novel. I wanted to do something similar with my story. As I started writing Sweet Water the setting began to take on a life of its own, especially as I researched Sewickley and learned more about the executives who once owned estates there, most notably, B.F. Jones, a steel tycoon whose party home I used as inspiration for the residence of my main character. The home still stands today. I’m friends with the family of the previous owner, and have been inside the house which helped me create the immersive atmosphere I was striving for. Sewickley is the Native American translation for sweet water, and with all the water references in the book, it made for a perfect title as well.

sweet-wate-by-cara-reinard-cover

Sweet Water

by Cara Reinard

January 1-31, 2021 Tour

Synopsis:

 

What did her son do in the woods last night? Does a mother really want to know?

It’s what Sarah Ellsworth dreamed of. Marriage to her childhood sweetheart, Martin. Living in a historic mansion in Pennsylvania’s most exclusive borough. And Finn, a teenage son with so much promise. Until…A call for help in the middle of the night leads Sarah and Martin to the woods, where they find Finn, injured, dazed, and weeping near his girlfriend’s dead body. Convinced he’s innocent, Sarah and Martin agree to protect their son at any cost and not report the crime.

But there are things Sarah finds hard to reconcile: a cover-up by Martin’s family that’s so unnervingly cold-blooded. Finn’s lies to the authorities are too comfortable, too proficient, not to arouse her suspicions. Even the secrets of the old house she lives in seem to be connected to the incident. As each troubling event unfolds, Sarah must decide how far she’ll go to save her perfect life.

Sweet Water Reviews:

“An unsparing account of ‘rich people problems’ that goes on forever, like all the best nightmares.” —Kirkus Reviews

Book Details:

Genre: Domestic Thriller, Crime Fiction
Published by: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: January 1st 2021
Number of Pages: 364
ISBN: 1542024935 (ISBN13: 978-1542024938)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

 

Author Bio:

Author - Cara Reinard

Cara Reinard is an author of women’s fiction and domestic. She currently lives north of Pittsburgh with her husband, two children, and Bernese mountain dog.

For more information, visit:
www.carareinard.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @CaraReinard
Twitter – @carareinard
Instagram – @carareinard
Facebook – Cara Reinard, Author

 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!


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Enter To Win!!:

This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Cara Reinard. There will be two (2) winners each receiving one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on January 1, 2021 and runs through February 2, 2021. Void where prohibited.

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Book Spotlight: DON’T MAKE A SOUND by T.R. Ragan


Don’t Make a Sound (Sawyer Brooks)

by T.R. Ragan


About Don’t Make A Sound



Don’t Make a Sound (Sawyer Brooks)
Psychological Thriller
1st in Series
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (June 1, 2020)
Paperback: 287 pages
ISBN-10: 1542093872
ISBN-13: 978-1542093873
Digital ASIN: B07S4MFSFG


Her own past could be a reporter’s biggest story in this twisting thriller about murder and family secrets by the New York Times bestselling author T.R. Ragan.



Plagued by traumatic childhood memories, crime reporter Sawyer Brooks still struggles to gain control of her rage, her paranoia, and her life. Now, after finally getting promoted at work, she is forced to return home and face her past.



River Rock is where she’d been abandoned by her two older sisters to suffer alone, and in silence, the unspeakable abuses of her family. It’s also where Sawyer’s best friend disappeared and two teenage girls were murdered. Three cold cases dead and buried with the rest of the town’s secrets.



When another girl is slain in a familiar grisly fashion, Sawyer is determined to put an end to the crimes. Pulled back into the horrors of her family history, Sawyer must reconcile with her estranged sisters, who both have shattering memories of their own. As Sawyer’s investigation leads to River Rock’s darkest corners, what will prove more dangerous—what she knows of the past or what she has yet to discover?


Purchase Links   – Amazon  – B&N  –


About T.R. Ragan



New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA TODAY bestselling author T.R. Ragan has sold more than three million books since her debut novel appeared in 2011. She is the author of the Faith McMann trilogy (Furious, Outrage, and Wrath); the Lizzy Gardner series (Abducted, Dead Weight, A Dark Mind, Obsessed, Almost Dead, and Evil Never Dies) ; and the Jessie Cole novels (Her Last Day, Deadly Recall, Deranged, and Buried Deep). In addition to thrillers, she writes medieval time-travel tales, contemporary romance, and romantic suspense as Theresa Ragan. An avid traveler, her wanderings have led her to China, Thailand, and Nepal. Theresa and her husband, Joe, have four children and live in Sacramento, California. To learn more, visit her website at theresaragan.com.


Author Links
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/TRRaganAuthor/ Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/trraganauthor/ Twitter – https://twitter.com/TRRaganAuthor



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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

May 26 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 26 – Booked on a Feeling – REVIEW

May 27 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

May 28 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

May 29 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

May 30 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

May 31 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 1 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

June 1 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 2 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW 

June 3 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

June 4 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

June 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

June 6 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

June 7 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT

June 8 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW



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Book Spotlight: THE MISSING SISTER by Elle Marr


The Missing Sister

by Elle Marr



About The Missing Sister


THE MISSING SISTER


The Missing Sister
Thriller
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (April 1, 2020)
Paperback: 299 pages
ISBN-10: 1542006058
ISBN-13: 978-1542006057
Digital ASIN: B07QYMXX41


In Paris, her twin sister has vanished, leaving behind three chilling words: Trust no one.

Shayna Darby is finally coming to terms with her parents’ deaths when she’s delivered another blow. The body of her estranged twin sister, Angela—the possible victim of a serial killer—has been pulled from the Seine. Putting what’s left of her life on hold, Shayna heads to Paris. But while cleaning out Angela’s apartment, Shayna makes a startling discovery: a coded message meant for her alone…

Alive. Trust no one.

Taking the warning to heart, Shayna maintains the lie. She makes a positive ID on the remains and works to find out where—and why—her missing sister is hiding. Shayna retraces her sister’s footsteps, and they lead her down into Paris’s underbelly.

As she gets closer to the truth—and to the killer—Shayna’s own life may now be in the balance…


Purchase Links – AmazonB&NIndieBound



About Elle Marr



elle marr

Originally from Sacramento, Elle Marr explored the urban wilderness of Southern California before spending three wine-and-cheese-filled years in France. There she earned a master’s degree from the Sorbonne University in Paris. Now she lives and writes outside Portland, Oregon, with her husband and one very demanding feline. When she’s not busy writing her next novel, she’s most likely thinking about it. Connect with her online at ellemarr.com, or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.



Author Links
Website – ellemarr.com

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ellemarr1/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ellemarrauthor/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ellemarr_



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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

March 25 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

March 26 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

March 26 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT

March 27 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

March 27 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

March 28 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – SPOTLIGHT

March 28 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

March 29 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 30 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

March 30 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

March 31 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 31 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

April 1 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW

April 1 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

April 2 – eBook addicts – REVIEW

April 3 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

April 3 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW

April 4 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

April 5 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

April 6 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW

April 7 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT



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Book Blast: Santa Barbara Suspense Series by Catharine Riggs

Santa Barbara Suspense Series Banner

Santa Barbara Suspense


What She Gave Away


What She Never Said


by Catharine Riggs


March 10, 2020 Book Blast



What She Gave Away

Santa Barbara Suspense #1

What She Gave Away

Revenge is anything but sweet in this twisty thriller about two women with very different lives locked in the same deadly game.
Imagining the best way to destroy a person’s happiness is Crystal Love’s favorite game. Devious and unpolished, the plus-sized loan analyst couldn’t be more out of place in her new town of Santa Barbara, where the beautifully manicured women never age and the ocean views stretch farther than the million-dollar lawns. And yet her eye for the power dynamics at play in this tony community is dead accurate.
Kathi Wright, on the other hand, has made it her life’s work to fit in with the plastic people who surround her. But when her husband—a wealthy bank president—dies suddenly, she’s left with nothing. Then the FBI shows up, asking questions she can’t answer and freezing assets she once took for granted.
While Kathi struggles to outrun the mess caused by her husband’s mysterious death, Crystal seems focused on her game. But why? And who are her targets?
Spanning two years and told in Crystal’s and Kathi’s alternating voices, this tautly plotted novel reveals the power of choice and the price of revenge.



Book Details:


Genre: Psychological Suspense

Published by: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: September 4th 2018

Number of Pages: 348

ISBN: 1503901890 (ISBN13: 9781503901896)

Series: Santa Barbara Suspense #1

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

I’ve targeted the sperm donor. I blame him for the fat. Not the six-hundred-pound kind that shows up on TV. Or the curvy kind that’s trending in magazines. I’m talking about the basic kind that makes me invisible. Just fat enough that girls don’t hang with me and boys won’t take a second look. Just fat enough to get the glare when I climb onto an airplane or a crowded bus.

I try to avoid mirrors, but they’ve seated me in an office with a mirror directly behind the desk. It has a weird curve to it, warped on the sides and in the middle. It makes me look fatter than I am. I mean, why is the office designed this way? Do they want their clients to feel insecure? Will it make them deposit more money? Help them to choose a bigger loan? I paste on a smile. That usually lifts my fat pads so my cheekbones show through. But smiling in this mirror only makes me look crazy. The door squeals open, and I stand.

“Ms. Love?”

“Yes?”

“I’m George Taylor. The bank’s chief lending officer.”

I hold out my hand to an aging hipster dressed in a tight black suit and pink satin tie. Dirty-blond hair, nicely textured. Blow-dryer and curling iron at work. That and a little gel. Stinky gel, the kind that wrinkles my nose. Should I tell him about the bit of salad stuck between his teeth?

“Please take a seat.” He picks up my résumé and gets right to business. “You’ve had five years’ experience as a loan analyst?”

“Six if you count a year of training.” He’s disappointed, I know. I have the qualifications but not the look.

“Why move to Santa Barbara?”

“I’m tired of the Bakersfield heat.”

“You have family here?”

“A few friends.”

He glances at my belly with a question in his eyes. I know what he’s thinking. I carry a lot of weight in my gut. But he’s taken his HR classes. He knows the rules. That’s a lawsuit waiting to happen. I do my best to sound earnest.

“I’m one of those rare people who grew up wanting to be a banker. I love working with numbers. They mean everything to me.”

“So you’ve taken accounting?”

“I was an accounting major at Bakersfield College. Got my AA degree six years ago and went right to work at the local bank. I’ve never looked back.”

He nods, staring hard at my résumé. Time to nudge him in the right direction.

“I’m not looking for a job. I’m looking for a career. I’m a hard worker. I’m focused. I’m single. No children. I’m the most efficient person I know. I believe Pacific Ocean Bank is the right fit for me. Only five branches and ten years in business, but you’re the top-performing bank in the region. Impressive.”

He forces a smile. “Our president’s an industrious man.”

“So I’ve heard.”

George taps his pencil on the table. “We prefer four-year degrees.”

“My accounting major and years of experience should more than make up for that.”

“And we have a strict dress code . . .”

“Which I will follow.”

“No casual Fridays.”

“I’ve never been a fan.”

“The other analysts are men. Any problem with that?”

“None at all.” Fish on the hook. Now reel him in slow.

“Do you work well in high-pressure situations?”

“I prefer them.”

“Weekends?”

“No problem.”

“Team player?”

“Absolutely.”

“What about references?” He points to my résumé. “May we contact your most recent supervisor?”

“I wish.” I make a sad face. “My ex-boss passed away a few months ago from a horrific accident. A terrible situation. He was a mentor to me. The head of Human Resources said to call her with any questions. She understands my need to move on.”

He scribbles something before looking up. “When can you start?”

“Next week.” There’s something wrong with his left eye. I’m guessing it’s made of glass. I bet it’s a flaw that bugs him. I file away the thought.































***


Excerpt from What She Gave AwayWhat She Never Said by Catharine Riggs. Copyright © 2020 by Catharine Riggs. Reproduced with permission from Catharine Riggs. All rights reserved.

What She Never Said


Santa Barbara Suspense #2


What She Never Said

People are dying at a luxury retirement community . . . and not from natural causes.
Ruth Mosby is the VP of operations at Serenity Acres, where the privileged elite go to die. For a hefty fee, wealthy retirees can live the good life in this posh Santa Barbara community—even after they outlive their money. Ruth thinks this is a fine arrangement, but the savvy new boss has a new rule: if you can’t pay, you can’t stay.
Ruth is deeply disturbed when destitute residents start dying at an alarming rate, as if on cue. Even more troubling, a macabre note accompanies each departed guest. Surviving guests whisper about an “Angel” who assists with suicides. Ruth has another word for it: murder.
Ruth enlists her neighbor, an ex-detective named Zach, to discover the Angel’s secret identity. However, the two have a painful history, and Ruth has dark secrets all her own. To solve the mystery, Ruth must descend from her golden tower—but can she bear the consequences of revealing her own sinister truths?



Book Details:


Genre: Psychological Suspense

Published by: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: September 10th 2019

Number of Pages: 362

ISBN: 1542042135 (ISBN13: 9781542042130)

Series: Santa Barbara Suspense #2

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

THE ANGEL



 

Some might call me a cold-blooded killer. I beg to disagree. I’m more like a kindly saint. A patron saint of crossings. One part Saint Christopher, two parts angel of mercy. Add a dash of Mother Teresa, and the recipe is getting close. I have a calling, and I’m good at it. I’ll keep it up until I’m stopped.
 

“Will it hurt?” The bedside candle casts a shivering shadow across Loretta’s sunken face. Tracing my fingers along the glass syringe, I gaze into her liquid eyes.

“Not for long.” I’ve administered a few insulin overdoses. It doesn’t seem like a bad way to go. But I never lie to my disciples. That would be morally wrong.
 

“It won’t be worse than the bone cancer?”
 

“It won’t be worse than that.”
 

“Then I’m ready.”
 

I tug her pink slip from my pocket and set it on the nightstand. “First, I need your secret.”

Tears slip along the folds of Loretta’s crumpled cheeks. “I don’t have one.”
 

I fight off a quiver of irritation. “You’re forgetting our agreement?”

“Of course not. But I can’t think of a single thing.”
 
“Oh, Loretta. I’m disappointed. I can see the secret in your eyes.”
 

She plucks at her satin bedcovers until a lavender scent blooms. “What kind of secret do you want?”
 

I shrug. “Your choice. It can be happy or sad. Scandalous or glorious. I’m not picky. It’s totally up to you. But it must be something you’ve never revealed. A defining moment in your life.”
 

Loretta is quiet for so long I wonder if she might back out of the crossing. But then she speaks with a trembling voice. “All right then. It’s something that happened on my fourteenth birthday. I’ve never told anyone—not even my husband. I’m still so terribly ashamed.”
 

“Go ahead,” I say, nearly drooling. This side of me isn’t quite so noble. Less like a saint and more like a tick.
 

“It was a hot summer day in Michigan.” Her voice cracks as she speaks. “My friends were busy with chores, so I walked to the lake on my own. When I entered the forest, I heard a rustling behind me, and . . .” Her words drone on from there.
 

Closing my eyes, I sip on her secret. Her words are like a melody—the mournful notes of a dove. When she finishes, I have tears in my eyes. “Thank you,” I say. “That was beautiful.”
 

“Beautiful? But it was such a terrible moment. So unspeakably dark.”
 

“There are times when dark can be beautiful.”
 

Loretta takes a choking breath. “Yes, I suppose you’re right. And I do feel better somehow. You promise you’ll never tell?”
 

“I promise.”
 

“Good.” She lifts an arthritic hand and swats vaguely at the air. “You’ll stay with me?”
 

“Until you cross.”
 

“Then let’s get moving. I’m ready to see my Charles.” Loretta folds her hands across her chest and takes a quivering breath.
 

“Peace be with you,” I whisper, and then I inject the fatal dose. A half-hour later, I head to my office, where I retrieve my crossing journal and write the seventh entry in my book.

***


 

Excerpt from What She Gave AwayWhat She Never Said by Catharine Riggs. Copyright ©2020 by Catharine Riggs. Reproduced with permission from Catharine Riggs. All rights reserved.


Author Bio:


Catharine Riggs


Catharine Riggs lives and writes on California’s central coast. She is the author of the twin thrillers What She Gave Away and What She Never Said, both set in Santa Barbara, California. Riggs has worked as a business banker, adjunct college instructor, and a nonprofit executive.

Get caught up on the progress of her Santa Barbara Suspense series by visiting the author online at:

www.CatharineRiggs.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, & Twitter!

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

GIVEAWAY!!!:

This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Catharine Riggs. There will be three (3) winners. One (1) winner will receive an Amazon.com Gift Card, One (1) US ONLY winner will receive the series (print) and one (1) Worldwide winner will receive the series (audio). The giveaway begins on March 10, 2020, and runs through March 18, 2020. Void where prohibited.



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2019 Book 277: WHAT SHE NEVER SAID by Catharine Riggs

What She Never Said by Catharine Riggs Banner



What She Never Said, Santa Barbara Suspense #2, by Catharine Riggs 
ISBN: 9781542042130 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781721356669 (audiobook)
ISBN: B07VZND54P (Audible audiobook)
ASIN: B07GDG2BT5 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: September 10, 2019 
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer


People are dying at a luxury retirement community . . . and not from natural causes.

Ruth Mosby is the VP of operations at Serenity Acres, where the privileged elite go to die. For a hefty fee, wealthy retirees can live the good life in this posh Santa Barbara community—even after they outlive their money. Ruth thinks this is a fine arrangement, but the savvy new boss has a new rule: if you can’t pay, you can’t stay.

Ruth is deeply disturbed when destitute residents start dying at an alarming rate, as if on cue. Even more troubling, a macabre note accompanies each departed guest. Surviving guests whisper about an “Angel” who assists with suicides. Ruth has another word for it: murder.

Ruth enlists her neighbor, an ex-detective named Zach, to discover the Angel’s secret identity. However, the two have a painful history, and Ruth has dark secrets all her own. To solve the mystery, Ruth must descend from her golden tower—but can she bear the consequences of revealing her own sinister truths?





Purchase Links:  IndieBound  |  Amazon  |  Amazon Audible  |  Amazon Kindle  |  Audiobooks  |  AudiobooksNow  |  Barnes and Noble  |  B&N Audiobook  |  BookDepository  |  Books-A-Million  |  Downpour Audiobook  |  !ndigo Books   |  !ndigo Audiobook 



Ruth Mosby and Zach Richards have been friends and neighbors for more than 30 years. Zach bore witness to Ruth’s divorce, her son’s gradual decline into depression and drugs, and the tenuous relationship Ruth has had with her adult children. Ruth witnessed the tragic loss of Zach’s only child, the death of his wife by suicide, his battle with alcoholism, and the eventual loss of his job with the local police department. The years have impacted them both in very different ways. Zach is relatively laid back and able to see all sides of an issue without prejudice. Ruth has become very rigid and structured in her life, adhering to the rules above all else. The one shining light in Ruth’s life is her job at Serenity Acres, but now that seems to be in jeopardy when her boss retires, a coworker is promoted above her, the company is sold, and the elderly that were put in the company’s care appear to be murdered by an “angel of mercy.” Ruth is at a loss at how to deal with her new boss, the new company and their new rules, her son’s reappearance in her life. Then Zach gets hired as security at Serenity and then talks her into getting her son, Adam, hired on to work in the kitchens. All seems well until another murder takes place and both Adam and Zach have something to hide. Can their secrets be any worse than the secret that Ruth and Zach have been hiding for years? Can Ruth and Zach protect their secrets, protect Adam, and uncover the identity of the “angel of mercy” before it’s too late for them all?

I initially found What She Never Said by Catharine Riggs to be a bit of slow read or at least slow-paced read for me simply because it took me quite some time to get invested in the action and characters. Of course, I was also dealing with a series of migraine headaches at the time and my sleep patterns where completely out-of-whack, so I don’t know if that had anything to do with it or not (we’ll presume it did). This story is presented from the perspective of Ruth Mosby, Zach Richards, and the Angel. I rather enjoyed the chapters dealing with Zach and the Angel’s perspectives but struggled with Ruth simply because I found her to be hyper-critical, judgmental, and not a very likable character. Normally that doesn’t bother me, but for some reason, I had issues with Ruth. However, once I hit about the halfway point in the story, my reading seemed to pick up the pace and I began to empathize a bit with Ruth. She isn’t a mean-spirited person, simply someone that’s struggling with guilt and it manifests in a strange way – her rigidly adhering to the rules (trust me when you read the book, this will all make sense). There are so many themes discussed in this story, elder care, assisted suicide, drug addiction, the many facets and presentations of depression, family drama, workplace drama, and, of course, murder and suspense. After reading What She Never Said, which can be read as a stand-alone although it is part of a series, I’ve added What She Gave Away to my TBR list. I encourage you to add What She Never Said by Catharine Riggs to your TBR list, especially if you’re a fan of suspense stories featuring family angst and drama. 



Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



Author Bio:


Catharine Riggs

Catharine Riggs lives and writes on California’s central coast. Before her dive into thrillers, Riggs worked as a business banker, adjunct college instructor, and a nonprofit executive. What She Never Said is the second novel in her loosely linked Santa Barbara Suspense series. The first, What She Gave Away, was published by Thomas & Mercer in September of 2018.


Catch Up With Catharine Riggs On:


www.CatharineRiggs.com, Goodreads, & BookBub, Twitter!



Tour Participants:


Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!






Enter To Win!:



This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Catharine Riggs. There will be 4 winners. Two (2) winners will each receive one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card and Two (2) winners will each receive one (1) print copy of What She Never Said by Catharine Riggs. The giveaway begins on August 18, 2019, and runs through September 22, 2019. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.


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2016 Book 419: WALK INTO SILENCE by Susan McBride

Walk Into Silence (Detective Jo Larsen #1) by Susan McBride 
ISBN: 9781503937628 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781522690030 (audiobook)
ASIN: B01BVD40GE (Kindle edition)
Publication date: December 1, 2016 
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer | Amazon


A woman vanishes from a Texas town. Did she simply run off, or is something darker at play?

When Patrick Dielman shows up at Detective Jo Larsen’s desk insisting that his wife, Jenny, is missing, Jo wonders if it’s a case of a bored housewife running away.

But as she digs deeper into Jenny’s life, Jo learns that Dielman keeps a stranglehold on the family finances, down to the last nickel, and that Jenny’s first marriage dissolved following the death of her young son. By all accounts—including her doctor’s—she never recovered from the loss. Between a controlling husband, a tragic past, and a callous ex-husband, Jo can’t be sure if she should suspect foul play or accept that the woman may have wanted to disappear.

For Jo, whose own demons are shadowing her every step, finding Jenny becomes more than the typical protect-and-serve.



Jo Larsen, a detective with the Plainfield police department, presumes that Jennifer Dielman is a runaway housewife. She quickly discovers that although Jennifer may have had a good reason to leave her husband, she most likely didn’t run away from her home and marriage in Susan McBride’s newest book, Walk Into Silence.

Jo Larsen is a thirty-something-year-old police detective on a small town police department. She transferred there after working on the Dallas police department. Initially, Jo presumes that the missing Jennifer Dielman is nothing more than a wife that’s run away from home. However, the more she learns about Jennifer the more she realizes that this woman didn’t leave voluntarily. Just as the investigation is starting to take off, Jennifer’s body is discovered in a local quarry. The autopsy reveals that she was murdered. Was Jennifer still stricken with grief from the tragic death of her young son years earlier? Yes. Was Jennifer dealing with an inordinate amount of stress related to her grief? Yes. Was Jennifer the type of person to walk away from her marriage? No. Jo isn’t happy with the answers she’s receiving from Patrick Dielman – Jennifer’s current husband, Dr. Kevin Harrison – Jennifer’s ex-husband, or Lisa Barton – the Dielmans neighbor.

Walk Into Silence is the first book in the Jo Larsen series by Ms. McBride. The reader is given a glimpse into Jo’s backstory (an abusive childhood at the hands of her stepfather and neglectful mother) as well as the mindset of deceased, Jennifer Dielman. Although Jennifer is still grieving her son’s death, she is also seeking answers about his death and feels that her ex-husband is lying about what happened the night their son died. Jennifer also knows that someone is playing games with her mind in an attempt to make her look unhinged (just because she’s paranoid doesn’t mean someone isn’t watching her). Bit by bit, Jo discovers the truth about Jennifer Dielman’s life and death while also dealing with the trauma from her own childhood. I found the beginning of Walk Into Silence a bit slow, but it quickly picked up the pace and sucked me in. I enjoyed the characters and action in this story and am looking forward to reading more about Jo Larsen in the future.

Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of this book for review purposes via NetGalley. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



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Book Showcase: SOMEONE MUST DIE by Sharon Potts

Someone Must Die by Sharon Potts
ISBN: 9781503936676 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781522639381 (audio CD)
ISBN: 9781522639398 (audiobook)
ASIN: B01AUH9N46 (Kindle version)
Publication Date: June 28, 2016 
Publisher: Thomas and Mercer


When her six-year-old nephew vanishes from a neighborhood carnival, Aubrey Lynd’s safe, snow-globe world fractures; it shatters when the FBI’s investigation raises questions about her own family that Aubrey can’t answer.

Aubrey picks apart the inconsistencies to expose the first of many lies: a ransom note—concealed from the FBI—with a terrifying and impossible ultimatum. Aubrey doesn’t know what to believe or whom to trust. The abduction is clearly personal—but why would someone play a high-stakes game with the life of a child? The more she presses for answers, the more Aubrey is convinced that her mother is hiding something.

Desperate to save her young nephew, Aubrey must face harsh truths and choose between loyalty to her family and doing the right thing. And she’d better hurry, because vengeance sets its own schedule, and time is running out.



Praise for Someone Must Die:

“Resourceful and emotionally strong characters boost this satisfying domestic thriller from Potts (The Devil’s Madonna). At an amusement park in Miami, Fla., Diana Lynd, a retired physician, and her six-year-old grandson, Ethan, enter a fun house, but when Diana emerges from the dark building, there’s no sign of Ethan. Diana soon finds herself at the center of the investigation into the boy’s disappearance, surrounded by unfriendly FBI agents, Ethan’s aloof and very rich maternal grandparents, an angry ex-husband, an unforgiving son (Ethan’s father), and relentless, terrifying memories. The point of view alternates between Diana and her daughter, Aubrey, a Ph.D. candidate in social psychology at Brown, who recently broke up with her unfaithful poet boyfriend. Audrey flies to Miami, where she realizes that the only way to save her nephew is to uncover the truth about her parents’ past. In the end, Aubrey faces a tough ethical decision. Readers will applaud her courage.” — Publishers Weekly


“Diana Lynd is delighting in her first visit with her six-year-old grandson, Ethan—after an eight-year estrangement with her son, Kevin, the boy’s father—when Ethan goes missing at a church carnival. Then a note arrives, with a warning not to notify authorities: Ethan will be returned unharmed if Diana kills her fiancé, U.S. Supreme Court nominee Jonathan Woodward. The kidnapping seems intended to break Diana, by forcing her to choose between two people she loves, and she confides only in Aubrey, her daughter and sole ally in the situation. With hints of a possibly related incident 45 years in the past, Aubrey—a doctoral candidate in social psychology—delves into the previously undisclosed backgrounds of her mother and father, who left Diana years earlier for another woman. Potts vividly portrays the atmosphere of student protest in 1969-70 in a narrative in which secrets are buried and the desire for revenge festers over decades and turns pathological. Some contrivances aside, Potts provides a relentlessly readable plot featuring flawed, sympathetic characters, with retired physician Diana tops among them; readers will wish her well.” — Michele Leber, Booklist


“The family dynamics that threaten irreparable harm to people who are supposed to love each other enhance the gripping plot of Miami author Sharon Potts’ fourth novel. Someone Must Die is populated by strong, realistic characters who, for the most part, also are quite unlikable. But unpleasant characters have found a niche in mystery fiction—the key is that the author has to make them interesting enough for the readers to care what happens to them. And Potts more than succeeds in that aspect with the Lynd family of Miami.” — Oline H. Cogdill, southflorida.com

 


Meet the author:


Sharon Potts is the award-winning, critically acclaimed author of five psychological thrillers, including In Their Blood—winner of the Benjamin Franklin Award and recipient of a starred review in Publishers Weekly. A former CPA, corporate executive, and entrepreneur, Sharon has served as treasurer of the national board of Mystery Writers of America, as well as president of that organization’s Florida chapter. She has also co-chaired SleuthFest, a national writers’ conference. Sharon lives in Miami Beach with her husband and a spirited Australian shepherd named Gidget.



Connect with the author:     Website     |     Goodreads 



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Book Showcase and Giveaway: BAGGAGE by SG Redling

Baggage by S.G. Redling 
ISBN: 9781503950603 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781511324052 (audio CD)
ASIN: B00ZINSL00 (Kindle version)
Publication Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Over the years, terrible things keep happening to Anna Ray on February 17. First, there was the childhood trauma she’s never been able to speak about. Then, to her horror, her husband killed himself on that date.

A year later and a thousand miles away, Anna tries to find solace in the fresh start of a new job in a new place. She takes comfort in her outspoken cousin Jeannie, the confidant and best friend who’s there whenever she needs help. On the day of the dreaded anniversary, Anna and Jeannie hit the town, planning to ease the pain with an alcohol-induced stupor and then sleep…

When Anna awakes the next morning, she thinks she can put one more February 17 behind her, but fate is about to intervene in the form of two gruesome murders with eerie similarities to her violent past. This time, however, she won’t be an abandoned daughter or a grieving widow. This time, she’ll be a suspect. 



Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE

I would already be home if I would stop turning around to stare. Cold drizzle soaks through my jeans and my ponytail has taken on so much water it whips like a sprinkler when I turn my head but I keep turning to look. I’ve seen it nearly every day for six months and I still try to take it all in. After all, the world ends tomorrow. Again.

I’m standing on a hunk of slate that juts out over the culvert on the hairpin turn on Everly Road. From here I can see most of the campus—the glassed-in wing of the library, the dome of the student center, and through the bare branches of the oaks and sycamores that line the wide green, I see the Jenkins Building where I work.

When I took the job in September, this vista exploded with reds and yellows. My boss said my walk home would get a lot less interesting come winter. Well, it’s February 16 and I can’t think of a thing I’d rather stare at or anywhere I’d rather be. I’m in no hurry at all to get back to my dark apartment and rental furniture. I’m certainly in no hurry to get home to my neighbors.

Mostly I’m not in a hurry to see what’s waiting for me.

Messages on my answering machine. Letters in my mailbox. No matter where I go, they find me. No matter how often they find me, I won’t hear or read any of them.

Unfortunately, I can’t stand here forever and I continue my trek home. When I cut across the road to Everly Place, the ugly, sprawling complex cuts off my view of the town below. Here it’s just a parking lot and dumpsters surrounding the squat two-story collection of inexpensive college housing.

My mailbox fights me again, like it does every day. I’m tempted to not struggle with the sticky lock, to leave the envelopes and flyers to build up until the mailman has no choice but refuse to deliver any more. Would they do that? Would that work? If you ignore your mail long enough, does it stop coming? Tempting, but I don’t put a lot of faith in that plan. The thing about messages you don’t want is that they are stunningly persistent. I don’t read the writing on the envelopes I pull out. I’m not careful and a few of them catch and tear on the inside lip of the box.

I climb the outside stairs to the second floor, my ears peeled as always for signs that my nightmare neighbors are home. At the landing, I pause. Silence. Thank God. At least I’ll be lucky for a little while. At least I’ll be able to face today’s messages with a little less aggravation. Purse down, shoes off, mail tossed onto the coffee table. I head to the kitchen and see the message light flashing on my answering machine. Maybe it’s just telemarketers. I bargain with myself: If it’s just telemarketers, well have a salad and hot tea. We’ll treat ourselves to something healthy and spend the rest of the evening in soft pajamas with one of those good books we’ve been meaning to read. I push the button and listen.

“You are receiving a call from an inmate at the Jefferson City Correctional Center. Press one to continue this—”

I hit delete and reach for the corkscrew.

***

There’s no point in putting it off now. I flop down on the couch, trying not to think about how much I hate this furniture. Seriously, I need to get a new couch. Just because I’m broke and this is a rental doesn’t mean I don’t deserve a couch that doesn’t feel like burlap and smell like a German shepherd. Let’s not even discuss the hard wooden arms, covered in drink rings and cigarette burns from the fabric to the uncomfortably sharp edges. The good news is the couch matches the scuffed and scarred coffee table that completes my living room suite. I have no easy chair, and there’s a TV in the corner I’ve never turned on. My “dining room” consists of a faux-brick breakfast bar and two stools. The only window at this end of the apartment sits over the sink, and it does little to illuminate the space. A mercy, considering the space.

The wine surprises me. I didn’t look at the label—it’s the second of the six bottles I picked up at Kroger over the weekend. Buying six bottles at a time gets me a discount and, more importantly, saves me a couple trips. Some part of me argues that it should save me a lot more trips than it does, but the rest of me shuts that little bitch down. The monsters trolling my brain today squash any fear of alcoholism like the ninety-eight-pound weakling it is.

Another sip of the wine—Merlot? Pinot? Who knows. Alone, I don’t have to pretend I can distinguish them. Hell, another glass and I won’t even be tasting it, but I let myself toy with the idea of getting up to read the label. Kidding myself, of course. I don’t care what kind of wine it is; I probably wouldn’t remember on my next trip to town anyway. The only reason to get the bottle would be to keep it beside me to make pouring easier. And to put off looking at the mail.

Just do it. It’s not like you’re going to read it.





Meet the author:


S.G. Redling, a graduate of Georgetown University, has spent fifteen years waking up the good folks of Huntington WV and its environs on the WKEE-FM morning radio show. She recently wound up her headphones for the last time and is focusing on thrillers, mysteries, and urban fantasy. When S.G. isn’t writing (don’t tell Christine Witthohn!) she loves to paint, travel and embarrass herself by speaking wretched Italian.



Connect with the author:     Website     |      Facebook      |      Twitter



Giveaway:

Enter to win one print copy of Baggage by S.G. Redling. The giveaway ends at 11:59 PM ET on Sunday, February 14th and the winner will be announced on Monday, February 15th. This giveaway sponsored by Wunderkind PR and is open to US residents only (sorry). 


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Baggage

Baggage

2016 Book 35: A CURE FOR MADNESS by Jodi McIsaac

A Cure for Madness by Jodi McIsaac 
ISBN: 9781503951624 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781511358965 (audiobook)
ASIN: B013WTKH08 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: January 19, 2016 
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer



Clare Campbell has worked hard to create distance between herself and her troubled family. But when she receives news of her parents’ murder, she’s forced to return to the quiet town of Clarkeston, Maine, to arrange their funeral and take legal guardianship of her unpredictable and mentally ill brother, Wes.

While Clare struggles to come to grips with the death of her parents, a terrifying pathogen outbreak overtakes the town. She is all too familiar with the resulting symptoms, which resemble those of her brother’s schizophrenia: hallucinations, paranoia, and bizarre, even violent, behavior. Before long, the government steps in—and one agent takes a special interest in Wes. Clare must make a horrifying decision: save her brother or save the world.  


Claire Campbell is making a life for herself on the West Coast, as far removed from her family in Maine as possible. She maintains phone contact with her parents and brother, but hardly ever goes back to Maine to visit. Claire’s life will never be the same after receiving a phone call telling her that her parents have been murdered and she’s now the legal guardian for her older brother in A Cure for Madness by Jodi McIsaac.

Claire left Maine shortly after her graduation from college. The exact reasons for her departure aren’t clear, but she’s kept herself apart from her family for years, maintaining contact via phone calls only. With the murder of her parents, she has no choice but to return to Maine and straighten out her brother’s care, as well as make arrangements for her parent’s bodies. All Claire knows about her parents’ murder is that the act was committed by a fellow church member before the murderer killed himself. Little does she know, but that one reportedly random act of violence is the beginning of a health care crisis for the town of Clarkeston, Maine. When the CDC, USAMRID, and the National Guard arrive, the town becomes quarantined and it appears that Claire’s brother may hold the key to a cure. Claire is forced to choose between her brother’s health and welfare and that of her hometown and possibly the society as a whole.

I found A Cure for Madness to be a fast-paced, engaging, and enjoyable read. Ms. McIsaac has crafted a nightmare scenario that sounds slightly absurd but isn’t too farfetched to be unbelievable. Added into the mix of a bizarre healthcare crisis, a family with conservative Christian values, mental health issues, public safety versus personal freedoms, government surveillance, man-made diseases, conspiracies, and more. Claire has to deal with the notion that Wes has been in-and-out of mental institutions for most of his adult life, but he is her beloved older brother and his decline began with an incident involving Wes avenging her virtue (I know it sounds old-fashioned, but trust me and read the book to find out more). A Cure for Madness provides a lot of thrills and chills, as well as a touch of romance. I wish I could tell you more about this amazing story, but you’ll just have to read it for yourself. Seriously, you need to add A Cure for Madness to your TBR list and set aside a weekend to read this book. I’m looking forward to reading more from Ms. McIsaac in the future.


Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”




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A Cure for Madness


A Cure for Madness



2015 Book #292: SHE’S NOT THERE by P.J. Parrish

She’s Not There by P.J. Parrish
ISBN: 9781503945043 (paperback)
ASIN: B00U0N5GDI (Kindle edition)
Publication date: September 8, 2015 
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer


They say it’s better to battle the devil you know. But what if you don’t recognize him before it’s too late?

She knows her name is Amelia, but after waking up in a hospital battered and bruised with just the clothes on her back, it’s all she knows. Unable to piece together her shattered memory, she’s haunted by a vision: menacing faces and voices implying her nightmare is far from over.

Relying only on her wits and her will to live, Amelia becomes a fugitive from a mysterious man, and a life she can’t even remember. But the past she’s fleeing has no intention of letting her go.  



Amelia Tobias wakes up in the hospital with no real memory of where she is, who she is, or what happened to her. All she can remember is a dark-haired man and an overwhelming sense of fear. When her husband arrives at the hospital all she can think to do is run. Alex Tobias is a well-known lawyer in Fort Lauderdale and when his wife runs away from her hospital bed his only concern is finding her and getting her the help she needs. Alex and his business partner hire Clay Buchanan, a well-regarded skip tracer, to track down Amelia in She’s Not There by P.J. Parrish.

Amelia Tobias awakens in a hospital. She’s suffered a severe head injury, possibly due to a car accident and has no memories of who she is or what has happened. Some memories return after she awakens and she knows that her name is Amelia and that she’s in danger. When she leaves the hospital in Florida, she pawns her engagement ring and hops on a bus. Amelia stays a few days in Georgia before running away again. She has vague memories of her family and her life, but she isn’t sure of anything except she needs to run. She stops in Iowa before being tracked down again by Buchanan. The confrontation with Buchanan ends with her shooting him and she runs again, landing in California. The only family she has is her husband who she’s afraid of, and her grandmother who’s suffering from dementia. While Amelia is being chased by her demons and seeking to regain her memories, Buchanan is running away from his demons and trying to forget his past. Can either of them outrun their pasts? 

I found She’s Not There to be a fast-paced and enjoyable read. The main storyline is Amelia running away from her husband, but there’s a lot more going on. As Amelia recovers memories, the reader is given her backstory as a ballet dancer, the deaths of her parents and brother, and even her marriage to Alex. Clay Buchanan is a well-known skip tracer, but the disappearance of his wife and infant son continue to haunt him. His in-laws obtained custody of his young daughter after his wife and son’s disappearance, so he no longer has “family” just his career. Clay’s past and current circumstances become a minor storyline that is continued until the very end of the story. Of course there’s a lot more going on that just Amelia running away and Buchanan looking for her, but if I told you everything you wouldn’t need to read the book. She’s Not There is a great choice for mystery-suspense readers or those simply looking for a good story to read. She’s Not There is the first book I’ve read by P.J. Parrish, but it definitely won’t be my last.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”




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