Monday, 11 December 2017

#BookReview Here and Gone by Haylen Beck @HaylenBeck @vintagebooks

Here and Gone by Haylen Beck
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Here and Gone is a gripping, wonderfully tense suspense thriller about a mother's desperate fight to recover her stolen children from corrupt authorities.

It begins with a woman fleeing through Arizona with her kids in tow, trying to escape an abusive marriage. When she's pulled over by an unsettling local sheriff, things soon go awry and she is taken into custody. Only when she gets to the station, her kids are gone. And then the cops start saying they never saw any kids with her, that if they're gone than she must have done something with them...

Meanwhile, halfway across the country a man hears the frenzied news reports about the missing kids, which are eerily similar to events in his own past. As the clock ticks down on the search for the lost children, he too is drawn into the desperate fight for their return.
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I have to admit that the book turned out to be better than I had expected. I read a lot of thrillers and lately, I felt a too many of them have an unstable woman as the main character, either past traumas, addiction, psychological problems, etc. So, I was hoping that this book would turn out to be better than I had expected when I started to read the book.

Audra has left her abusive husband and travels to the country with her two young children. However, when she is stopped by a cop in a little town her whole life turns into an even worse hell than the one she left. At the police station, the cops claim that she had no children with her when they arrested her and suddenly she is suspected of having killed her own children. As the TV reports start to report this event a man watches the news, and for him is this a chock because five years earlier, his wife went through the same thing...

Here and Gone is a fabulous thriller about a desperate mother hunt to get her children back. First, one doesn't know why they were taken, but then you start to realize the chilling truth. They couldn't have picked a better victim than Audra with her past addiction problem that could be turned against her. Through flashbacks, we get to see how right from the start her husband took control of her life and he together with his mother dominated her life. It took some serious willpower to break free from that life and now she sits in a hotel room, accused of murdering her own children.

The most chilling aspect of this book is the realization about what happened to the children, why they were taken. Through the older child's POV, do we get to know what happens when they were taken and that I think actually gave some home to know what's happening to them. I mean, just leaving out the children's part would probably have added more angst to the situation. To an already angst-ridden situation.    

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review
 

Thursday, 7 December 2017

#CoverCrush Shadowsong S. Jae-Jones @Marablaise

For new visitors do I want to explain that Cover Crush is something that my friend Erin over at Flashlight Commentary came up with and I adopted the idea together with some other friends. And, now we try to put up a Cover Crush every week. You can check below my pick of the week for their choices this week!



Six months after the end of Wintersong, Liesl is working toward furthering both her brother’s and her own musical careers. Although she is determined to look forward and not behind, life in the world above is not as easy as Liesl had hoped. Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her. 

When troubling signs arise that the barrier between worlds is crumbling, Liesl must return to the Underground to unravel the mystery of life, death, and the Goblin King—who he was, who he is, and who he will be. What will it take to break the old laws once and for all? What is the true meaning of sacrifice when the fate of the world—or the ones Liesl loves—is in her hands?

Some thoughts about the cover:

Details, details, details! For me is a good cover a image that are well-done. I loath covers that looks like everyhting has been cut and pasted. As for this cover, well I have to admit that I just love the crushed snow glow with the flowers spilling out.  

Check out what my friends have picked for Cover Crush's this week:

Stephanie @ Layered Pages





#BlogTour There is Always a Tomorrow by Anna Belfrage @abelfrageauthor @hfvbt

There is Always a Tomorrow by Anna Belfrage

Publication Date: November 5, 2017
Timelight Press
eBook & Paperback; ISBN: 9781788039666
Series: Graham Saga, Book #9
Genre: Historical Fiction/Time-Slip
There is Always a Tomorrow is the ninth book in Anna Belfrage’s time slip series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham.

It is 1692 and the Colony of Maryland is still adapting to the consequences of Coode’s Rebellion some years previously. Religious tolerance in the colony is now a thing of the past, but safe in their home, Alex and Matthew Graham have no reason to suspect they will become embroiled in the ongoing religious conflicts—until one of their sons betrays their friend Carlos Muñoz to the authorities.

Matthew Graham does not leave his friends to rot—not even if they’re papist priests—so soon enough most of the Graham family is involved in a rescue attempt, desperate to save Carlos from a sentence that may well kill him.

Meanwhile, in London little Rachel is going through hell. In a matter of months she loses everything, even her surname, as apparently her father is not Master Cooke but one Jacob Graham. Not that her paternity matters when her entire life implodes.

Will Alex and Matthew be able to help their unknown grandchild? More importantly, will Rachel want their help?

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

About the Author

Anna was raised abroad, on a pungent mix of Latin American culture, English history and Swedish traditions. As a result she’s multilingual and most of her reading is historical- both non-fiction and fiction. Possessed of a lively imagination, she has drawers full of potential stories, all of them set in the past. She was always going to be a writer – or a historian, preferably both. Ideally, Anna aspired to becoming a pioneer time traveller, but science has as yet not advanced to the point of making that possible. Instead she ended up with a degree in Business and Finance, with very little time to spare for her most favourite pursuit. Still, one does as one must, and in between juggling a challenging career Anna raised her four children on a potent combination of invented stories, historical debates and masses of good food and homemade cakes. They seem to thrive…

For years she combined a challenging career with four children and the odd snatched moment of writing. Nowadays Anna spends most of her spare time at her writing desk. The children are half grown, the house is at times eerily silent and she slips away into her imaginary world, with her imaginary characters. Every now and then the one and only man in her life pops his head in to ensure she’s still there.

Other than on her website, www.annabelfrage.com, Anna can mostly be found on her blog, http://annabelfrage.wordpress.com – unless, of course, she is submerged in writing her next novel. You can also connect with Anna on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule


Monday, November 27
Review at A Holland Reads

Tuesday, November 28
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Excerpt at Locks, Hooks and Books

Wednesday, November 29
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Thursday, November 30
Feature at WS Momma Readers Nook
Excerpt at What Is That Book About
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Friday, December 1
Review at Just One More Chapter

Sunday, December 3
Feature at T's Stuff

Monday, December 4
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Tuesday, December 5
Excerpt at A Literary Vacation

Wednesday, December 6
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Thursday, December 7
Feature at A Bookaholic Swede

Friday, December 8
Review at A Bookish Affair

Monday, December 11
Feature at View From the Birdhouse
Feature at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

Tuesday, December 12
Review at Beth's Book Nook Blog

Wednesday, December 13
Feature at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Thursday, December 14
Feature at Passages to the Past

Friday, December 15
Review at Book Nerd

Monday, December 18
Feature at A Book Geek

Tuesday, December 19
Review at CelticLady's Reviews

Wednesday, December 20
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Thursday, December 21
Review at Broken Teepee
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 2 eBooks & 2 paperback copies of There is Always a Tomorrow! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 21st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
There is Always a Tomorrow

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

#BookReview Final Girls by Riley Sager @riley_sager @EburyPublishing @Marablaise

Final Girls by Riley Sager
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout's knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media's attempts, they never meet.

Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.

That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy's doorstep. Blowing through Quincy's life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa's death come to light, Quincy's life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam's truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.


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Final Girl, that's what a girl that survives a massacre is called. Quincy, become a Final Girl ten years ago when an escaped patient from a mental hospital killed all her friends and wounded her. There are two other Final Girls; Lisa and Samantha. But, Samantha disappeared years ago and no one knows where she is until she shows up on Quincy's doorstep after Lisa's suicide. But, why is she there?

This is the kind of book where one knows right from the start that there will be a lot of twist and turns, secrets and revelations. And, at the central is, of course, Sam, why is she there? Why does she show up after Lisa has died? You just know that something is off. Not to mention that one can feel that there is something off about Quincy as well. That's what appealed to me about the story. I enjoyed guessing and second guessing myself while I read this book. I quite enjoyed this book, the pacing was good and I loved the whole mystery that surrounded the two Final Girls. The ending is also very good, not at all what I had expected to be honest. Although I have to admit that the final chapter could I have lived without. Felt a bit like over the top, like something from a movie.

Final Girls is a great thriller. I quite enjoyed listening to the audio version of this book and look forward to reading more books by the author.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

#BookReview The Demon Crown by James Rollins (@jamesrollins) @WmMorrowBooks @Marablaise

The Demon Crown by James Rollins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Off the coast of Brazil, a team of scientists discovers a horror like no other, an island where all life has been eradicated, consumed and possessed by a species beyond imagination. Before they can report their discovery, a mysterious agency attacks the group, killing them all, save one, an entomologist, an expert on venomous creatures, Professor Ken Matsui from Cornell University.

Strangest of all, this inexplicable threat traces back to a terrifying secret buried a century ago beneath the National Mall: a cache of bones preserved in amber. The artifact was hidden away by a cabal of scientists—led by Alexander Graham Bell—to protect humankind. But they dared not destroy it, for the object also holds an astonishing promise for the future: the very secret of life after death.

Yet, nothing stays buried forever. An ancient horror—dormant in the marrow of those preserved bones—is free once more, nursed and developed into a weapon of incalculable strength and malignancy, ready to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting world.

To stop its spread, Commander Grayson Pierce of Sigma Force must survive a direct attack on the island of Maui. To be there first has always been the core mission of Sigma Force, a covert team forged to be America’s front line against emerging threats. But this time, even Sigma may not be able to decipher this deadly mystery, one that traces back to the founding of the Smithsonian Institution.

With each new discovery, the menace they hunt is changing, growing, spreading—adapting and surviving every attempt to stop it from reconquering a world it once ruled. And each transformation makes it stronger . . . and smarter.

Running out of time and options, Commander Grayson Pierce will be forced to make an impossible choice. To eradicate this extinction-level threat and expose those involved, he will have to join forces with Sigma’s greatest enemy—the newly resurrected Guild—even it if means sacrificing one of his own.



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The Demon Crown is book thirteen in the Sigma Force series and let me tell you that this is a favorite series of mine and I have read every book published! And, the series keep going strong with its mix of thriller, science fiction, and adventure. One thing I always find so enjoyable with the books is the history lesson you get. Like in this book which started with Alexander Graham Bell traveling to Italy to steal James Smithson (founding donor of the Smithsonian Institution) remains. Yup, true story. Quite a fascinating tale.

But, what has James Smithson remains to do with this story? Well, you see he discovered something that could change the course of history and pretty much unless destruction on earth. And, of course, now someone has managed to release it. And, it's up to the Sigma Force to stop it. Without spoiling the story too much do I just want to say that there is a deadline of three days before everything is too late so they have to hurry to solve the riddle that Smithson left behind and find a "cure".

As usual is the book thrillingly good, and this one is storywise better than the last book. The threat to the life on the planet felt acute especially when the story in detail revealed what could happen to the human body if the threat that has been realized would infect. Trust me, I was like "shoot me" if that would happen to me! Personally, the only drawback was that the story now and then got a bit "scientific". I'm more a history fan than science so I prefer when the characters travel over the world hunting information than stories taking place in a lab. But, that's me. Other than that was the book truly great and I can't wait for the next book to be released!

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through Edelweiss for an honest review!

#BookReview The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen (@slipperywhisper) @StMartinsPress @Marablaise

The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ellery Hathaway knows a thing or two about serial killers, but not through her police training. She's an officer in sleepy Woodbury, MA, where a bicycle theft still makes the newspapers. No one there knows she was once victim number seventeen in the grisly story of serial killer Francis Michael Coben. The only victim who lived.

When three people disappear from her town in three years, all around her birthday—the day she was kidnapped so long ago—Ellery fears someone knows her secret. Someone very dangerous. Her superiors dismiss her concerns, but Ellery knows the vanishing season is coming and anyone could be next. She contacts the one man she knows will believe her: the FBI agent who saved her from a killer’s closet all those years ago.

Agent Reed Markham made his name and fame on the back of the Coben case, but his fortunes have since turned. His marriage is in shambles, his bosses think he's washed up, and worst of all, he blew a major investigation. When Ellery calls him, he can’t help but wonder: sure, he rescued her, but was she ever truly saved? His greatest triumph is Ellery’s waking nightmare, and now both of them are about to be sucked into the past, back to the case that made them...with a killer who can't let go.


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The Vanishing Seasons is a fabulous book! This is the kind of book that I breezed through, and that I felt from the very start that I would love and I was not wrong. The story is engrossing. Officer Ellery Hathaway is a young woman, the only surviving victim of a serial killer, and she is the only one that sees the signs out there that there is a serial killer loose. She tries desperately to get her boss who is also her secret lover to see that and when she fails to do so will she turn to the man who saved her as a child FBI Agent Reed Markham. But, is there really a serial killer out there, or has she imagined that?

This is just my kind of book, intense, intriguing and utterly spellbinding. I loved every second of it and I was both disappointed and amazed that this is a debut book. Disappointed that Joanna Schaffhausen hasn't written more books for me to read and amazed that this debut book is so amazingly good! Honestly, I can't wait to read the next book by Schaffhausen!

Ellery Hathaway is an interesting character, and I loved that she ended up being an officer and that her dog is the only male creature that she allows into her home. She has her demons which one will find out as the story progress. Agent Reed Markham as well has his share of problem, both in his personal life and at work and I quite enjoyed their reunion and hunt for a serial killer.

This is if I haven't been clear enough a pretty awesome book and I recommend it warmly!

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Monday, 4 December 2017

#BookReview The One by John Marrs @johnmarrs1 @EburyPublishing @Marablaise

The One by John Marrs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How far would you go to find THE ONE?

One simple mouth swab is all it takes.

One tiny DNA test to find your perfect partner - the one you're genetically made for.

A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love.

Now, five more people take the test. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking - and deadlier - than others...

A psychological thriller with a difference, this is a truly unique novel which is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.

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The One is a book that I've been sitting on for a while now, but I ended up listening to the audio version instead since I just love listening to thrillers. And, WOW, what a book. This is a book that centers around five different people, they have all taken the Match test and found their true love partner. And, then they lived happily ever after. No, this is a thriller so it's not that simple. Instead, does this test actually give a lot more problems for the people in this book. Yes, I'm being deliberately vague and that's because this is the kind of book that the reader preferably shouldn't know much about when it comes to the different people's stories.

Now the book is labeled a psychological thriller, and yes I agree with it. However, it's so much more than that. Some stories really pull at one's heart-strings. And, there are even funny moments. However, the heart of the story lies in the fact that you may have found your soulmate, but this perfect match can change your life totally, and in some way, it can even be deadly.

The One thrilled me, surprised me and in the end, it stole my heart. I found the idea of the book refreshingly new and I loved all the different life stories.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

#BookReview The Library of Light and Shadow by M.J. Rose @MJRose @Marablaise

The Library of Light and Shadow by M.J. Rose
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the wake of a dark and brutal World War, the glitz and glamour of 1925 Manhattan shine like a beacon for the high society set, which is desperate to keep their gaze firmly fixed to the future. But Delphine Duplessi sees more than most. At a time in her career when she could easily be unknown and penniless, like so many of her classmates from L’École de Beaux Arts, in America she has gained notoriety for her stunning “shadow portraits” that frequently expose her subjects’ most scandalous secrets—for better or for worse. Most nights Delphine doesn’t mind that her gift has become mere entertainment—a party trick—for the fashionable crowd. Though her ancestor La Lune, the legendary sixteenth-century courtesan and—like Delphine—a witch, might have thought differently.

Then, on a snowy night in February, in a penthouse high above Fifth Avenue, Delphine’s mystical talent leads to a tragedy between two brothers. Horrified, she renounces her gift.

Devastated and disconsolate, Delphine returns to her old life in the south of France where Picasso, Matisse, and the Fitzgeralds are summering. There, Delphine is thrust into recapturing the past. First by her charismatic twin brother and business manager Sebastian in his attempts to cajole her back to work and into co-dependence, then by the world famous opera singer Emma Calvé, who is obsessed with the centuries-old Book of Abraham, written by the fourteenth-century alchemist Nicolas Flamel. And finally by her ex-lover Mathieu, who is determined to lure her back into his arms, unaware of the danger that had led Delphine to flee Paris for New York five years before.

Trapped in an ancient chateau where hidden knowledge lurks in the shadows, Delphine questions and in many ways rejects what and who she loves the most—her art, her magick, her family, her brother, and Mathieu—as she tries to finally accept them as the gifts they are and to shed her fear of loving and living with her eyes wide open.


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The Library of Light and Shadow is the best book, so far, in this series. And, I think it's because I just love Delphine Duplessi ability to paint people's deepest secrets. If you have read the previous books do you know about the women in the Duplessi's family have inherited different gifts from their ancestor La Lune, who was a witch. In the first book, The Witch of Painted Sorrows, did we meet Delphine mother Sandrine Salome. And in the sequel, The Secret Language of Stones, is it Opaline, Delphine's sister that takes the center stage.

Delphine ability to paint secrets was triggered by a childhood event when she temporary got blind. That meant that her ability was developed much earlier than usual by the women in the family. She and her twin brother and business manager Sebastian have used her talents at his art gallery. A tragic love story drove her from France to the United Starts. Then, when one of her paintings causes a tragedy between two brothers is she persuaded to come home to France. There her brother tries to get to take a painting job for Emma Calvé, a famous Opera Singer, who wants Delphine to paint the chateau where she lives in a way to get the building to reveal it's secrets. It is said that the Book of Abraham, written by alchemist Nicholas Flamel is hidden there...

I listened to the audio version of this book and the narrator really managed to captivate me. It's the kind of story where you feel you really get pulled into the story and you get caught up in Delphine life. The book has one weakness and it is the love story that failed to impress me. Not that I didn't like the flashbacks, it's more that I never felt totally invested in Delphine and Mathieu's doomed love story. It's the kind of love story that just never interested me and Delphine's pining after him just never pulled my heart-strings. I was more curious to learn more about the chateau and the fascinating caretaker that lives there. But, then I'm at heart more a mystery girl fan than a romance fan. However, I did not dislike the love story. I'm just picky and this one just didn't rock my boat. 

Now, despite my lackluster interested in the love story do I still think that this book is fabulous. The characters are well-developed, the intrigue is fascinating and I love the whole Nicolas Flamel angle. All and all is this a great book!