Blog Tour: The Darkness We Hide

In the thrilling conclusion to The Undertaker’s Daughter series, THE DARKNESS WE HIDE, Doctor Rowan Dupont has been staring death in the face for so long, she’s willing to meet it for the secrets it holds. Death has followed her back to her hometown of Winchester, Tennessee, ten months ago, cloaking the walls of her family’s Victorian funeral home like a shroud. In investigating the mysterious deaths of her loved ones, Rowan has unearthed enough family secrets to bury everything she’d previously thought true. But each shocking discovery has only led to more bodies and more questions; the rabbit hole is deeper than she ever imagined.

Despite settling into a comfortable life with Police Chief Billy Brannigan, Rowan knows dangerous serial killer Julian Addington is still out there. She can’t let her guard down now. Not when she’s this close to ending it once and for all. But with a storm brewing on the horizon, she’ll get only one shot before the impending darkness takes hold, threatening to wipe away every truth she’s uncovered—and everything she holds dear.

Buy Links: Harlequin  Amazon Barnes & Noble Books-A-Million Powell’s

Oh boy, this one was full of twists and turns that I didn’t expect. I had not read the other books in the series and kind of wish I had read them first. I may go back and read them even though I’ve already read this one, just so I can better understand all the nuances of the characters and story.

That being said, it was still a really enjoyable and thrilling story. There were a number of points where I was both scared to find out what was going to happen and also eagerly needing to know. I’ve only read a few of Debra Webb’s books so far, but she is quickly becoming an author whose writing I really enjoy.

I would definitely say read the rest of the series first, but I would recommend picking them up for sure!

Debra Webb is the award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of more than 130 novels, including reader favorites the Faces of Evil, the Colby Agency, and the Shades of Death series. With more than four million books sold in numerous languages and countries, Debra’s love of storytelling goes back to her childhood on a farm in Alabama. Visit Debra at www.DebraWebb.com or write to her at PO Box 176, Madison, AL 35758.

Social Links:
Author Website
Twitter: @DebraWebbAuthor
Instagram: @DebraEWebb
Facebook: @DebraWebbAuthor
Goodreads

Happy reading!

Review: Through the Woods

Discover a terrifying world in the woods in this collection of five hauntingly beautiful graphic stories that includes the online webcomic sensation “His Face All Red,” in print for the first time.

Journey through the woods in this sinister, compellingly spooky collection that features four brand-new stories and one phenomenally popular tale in print for the first time. These are fairy tales gone seriously wrong, where you can travel to “Our Neighbor’s House”—though coming back might be a problem. Or find yourself a young bride in a house that holds a terrible secret in “A Lady’s Hands Are Cold.” You might try to figure out what is haunting “My Friend Janna,” or discover that your brother’s fiancée may not be what she seems in “The Nesting Place.” And of course you must revisit the horror of “His Face All Red,” the breakout webcomic hit that has been gorgeously translated to the printed page.

Already revered for her work online, award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll’s stunning visual style and impeccable pacing is on grand display in this entrancing anthology, her print debut.

I think this book suffered slightly because it wasn’t as creepy as I was expecting. The artwork perfectly suited the scary stories, and the start vibrant colors (or lack there of) made it very dynamic. I felt like I was just wanting it to go a little farther and be a little more in the scary department.

Still, there were some stories that I felt were amazing, specifically A Lady’s Hands Are Cold and The Nesting Place. Those were real stand outs in the collection. I would definitely pick up other works by Emily Carroll, I just wished there had been a little more.

Happy reading!

Review: The Cheerleaders

First there was the car accident—two girls gone after hitting a tree on a rainy night. Not long after, the murders happened. Those two girls were killed by the man next door. The police shot him, so no one will ever know why he did it. Monica’s sister was the last cheerleader to die. After her suicide, Sunnybrook High disbanded the cheer squad. No one wanted to be reminded of the girls they lost.

That was five years ago. Now the faculty and students at Sunnybrook High want to remember the lost cheerleaders. But for Monica, it’s not that easy. She just wants to forget. Only, Monica’s world is starting to unravel. There are the letters in her stepdad’s desk, an unearthed, years-old cell phone, a strange new friend at school. . . . Whatever happened five years ago isn’t over. Some people in town know more than they’re saying. And somehow Monica is at the center of it all.

There are no more cheerleaders in Sunnybrook, but that doesn’t mean anyone else is safe.

I found this book to be a fun mystery that was definitely full of twists and turns, but it didn’t quite hit the mark for me. There were a number of plot elements that I felt were unnecessary and didn’t really add anything to the story, but rather detracted from it. Also I kind of felt like the Monica at the beginning of the book was a completely different person to the Monica at the end of the book, and not just because she grew as a character.

I did definitely enjoy the twists and turns, as well as the constructing of the puzzle as more and more of the mystery regarding the deaths of the cheerleaders was revealed. Everything was resolved at the end in a satisfying way and I did feel like everything was answered. The writing was easy to read and engaging. Overall I think a lot of people will enjoy this book, but it just wasn’t entirely for me.

Happy reading!

Blog Tour: First Cut

Wife and husband duo Dr. Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell first enthralled the book world with their runaway bestselling memoir Working Stiff—a fearless account of a young forensic pathologist’s “rookie season” as a NYC medical examiner. This winter, Dr. Melinek, now a prominent forensic pathologist in the Bay Area, once again joins forces with writer T.J. Mitchell to take their first stab at fiction. 

The result: FIRST CUT—a gritty and compelling crime debut about a hard-nosed San Francisco medical examiner who uncovers a dangerous conspiracy connecting the seedy underbelly of the city’s nefarious opioid traffickers and its ever-shifting terrain of tech startups.

Dr. Jessie Teska has made a chilling discovery. A suspected overdose case contains hints of something more sinister: a drug lord’s attempt at a murderous cover up. As more bodies land on her autopsy table, Jessie uncovers a constellation of deaths that point to an elaborate network of powerful criminals—on both sides of the law—that will do anything to keep things buried. But autopsy means “see for yourself,” and Jessie Teska won’t stop until she’s seen it all—even if it means the next corpse on the slab could be her own.

BUY LINKS: Harlequin Indiebound Amazon Barnes & Noble Books-A-Million
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I won’t lie, part of the reason I was drawn to this book was because it is set in the Bay Area and that is one of my favorite settings for a book, but I was also really interested in the plot. I have not read from the M.E.’s point of view before, especially one that dives into cases and tries to unravel the mysteries of them. Needless to say I was intrigued.

This story was full of twists and turns, sometimes due to Dr. Teska’s decisions and assumptions, sometimes because of the actual crimes and criminals. I really enjoyed how things starts falling into place throughout the story. I also loved the personal touches such as Teska’s propensity to curse in Polish, her interactions with her brother and the hijinks of her dog.

I would keep in mind that this is told from the point of view of a M.E. so there are autopsy descriptions that are graphic, though matter of fact. If that kind of thing makes you squirmish please be aware of that.

Judy Melinek was an assistant medical examiner in San Francisco for nine years, and today works as a forensic pathologist in Oakland and as CEO of PathologyExpert Inc. She and T.J. Mitchell met as undergraduates at Harvard, after which she studied medicine and practiced pathology at UCLA. Her training in forensics at the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner is the subject of their first book, the memoir Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner.

T.J. Mitchell is a writer with an English degree from Harvard, and worked in the film industry before becoming a full-time stay-at-home dad. He is the New York Times bestselling co-author of Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner with his wife, Judy Melinek.

Social Links:
Twitter: Judy: @drjudymelinek TJ: @TJMitchellWS FB: @DrWorkingStiff

Instagram: Judy: @drjudymelinek

Goodreads:
Judy: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7382113.Judy_Melinek
TJ: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1899585.T_J_Mitchell

Happy reading!

Blog Tour: Good Girls Lie

Perched atop a hill in the tiny town of Marchburg, Virginia, The Goode School is a prestigious prep school known as a Silent Ivy. The boarding school of choice for daughters of the rich and influential, it accepts only the best and the brightest. Its elite status, long-held traditions and honor code are ideal for preparing exceptional young women for brilliant futures at Ivy League universities and beyond. But a stranger has come to Goode, and this ivy has turned poisonous.

In a world where appearances are everything, as long as students pretend to follow the rules, no one questions the cruelties of the secret societies or the dubious behavior of the privileged young women who expect to get away with murder. But when a popular student is found dead, the truth cannot be ignored. Rumors suggest she was struggling with a secret that drove her to suicide.

But look closely…because there are truths and there are lies, and then there is everything that really happened.

Buy Links: Harlequin  Indiebound Amazon Barnes & Noble 
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Good Girls Lie is set at an all girls boarding school, which already has me taking interest. Boarding school stories, especially those with secret societies or similar aspects are typically must reads for me. This one did not disappoint. It had a lot of twists and turns, some that I predicted but also some that threw me for a loop.

I did really enjoy the format with the flashbacks that suitably built up the backstory. It was like puzzle pieces falling into place as each different perspective and scene was revealed. The suspense and pacing of this book was also really good as it was a relatively fast read for me.

This was definitely a win when it came to suspense and creepiness, a lot of the time you are left wondering just who certain people are and what they have as motivations. And there are definitely moments of misdirection that I loved.

J.T. Ellison is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 20 novels, and the EMMY-award winning co-host of A WORD ON WORDS, Nashville’s premier literary show. With millions of books in print, her work has won critical acclaim, prestigious awards, and has been published in 26 countries. Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens.

Social Links: Author Website Twitter: @thrillerchick
Facebook: @JTEllison14 Instagram: @thrillerchick Goodreads BookBub

Happy reading!

Review: Dark Carousel

A balmy summer night in 1994. Four teenagers out for an evening of fun on the boardwalk take a ride on the “Wild Wheel” – an antique carousel with a shadowy past – and learn too late that decisions made in an instant can have deadly consequences. What begins as a night of innocent end-of-summer revelry, young love, and (a few too many) beers among friends soon descends into chaos, as the ancient carousel’s parade of beasts comes chillingly to life to deliver the ultimate judgment for their misdeeds.

After reading this I may never look at a carousel the same way. This was my first foray into Hill’s writing and I was not disappointed. It was the right mix of descriptive language, dark subject matter and a good dose of lingering fear for the narrator.

Since this is a short story I don’t want to say too much as almost anything beyond the blurb would be a spoiler, but it’s an interesting look at what a cursed carousel and its animals may do to those it feels has wronged it.

If you’re looking for a dark story that is a quick read, pick this one up.

Happy reading!

Review: Provocation

Doctor Victoria Ward has been killing men for over thirty years. Her victims all have one thing in common: they’re abusive. Righteousness is a close companion—it helps her sleep at night—and she holds the virtue closely as she defends the innocent, upholding the law when it won’t rise to protect those who need it most. When she meets a young girl named Kelly, and follows her down a twisted path of deception, Doc Ward finds herself face-to-face with a ghost from her past. Never before has she wavered in her resolve—but can she defend another against someone she loves?

This book was definitely a wild ride and not what I expected. It was far more gritty and dark than I expected, so keep in mind that this includes murder, torture, abuse and assault of all kinds. I enjoyed the switching back and forth between the past and present as it really explained Victoria’s psyche and motivation for her actions.

Though the content is darker and there are a lot of heavy subjects, it could be an important discussion regarding domestic abuse in some ways, but the actions portrayed probably shouldn’t be used as the model of behavior. I did feel that the ending was very abrupt and wished it had been drawn out just a little bit more, a deeper look into the motivations of others besides Victoria.

If you’re a fan of Dexter or serial killer stories this would probably be right up your alley. Happy reading!