#BookReview “Blood Loss” by Kerena Swan

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5/5 stars!

Blood Loss is a page-turner from the beginning, and the suspense never eases up.

Sarah is running, trying to get away from something. Her fear leaps off the page! She’s bruised, battered, and covered in blood, and someone is dead.

Jenna wants to run, but in a different way for a different reason. Having recently lost her father, Jenna has a mother who isn’t dealing well with the loss and a controlling sister. All she wants to do is travel the world and take care of animals, but her low-paying jobs and disapproving, unsupportive family keep her dreams out of reach.

DI Dave Paton is a capable investigator with aspirations of rising in rank. With a wife plagued by depression and a teenage son with Downs Syndrome, Paton’s familial obligations hinder him from focusing on his career. He’s not bitter, though he wishes his bosses would take notice and acknowledge the good work he does do.

Paton will get his wish though, as he sorts out a murder with an unidentified victim. Lives will collide as a murderer tries to hide and long-buried secrets come to light in this well-written read of suspense and mystery.

Enjoy!

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SYNOPSIS

Sarah

With one eye on the rear view mirror and the other on the road ahead, Sarah is desperate to get as far away from the remote Scottish cabin as she can without attracting attention. But being inconspicuous isn’t easy with a black eye and clothes soaked in blood…

… and now the fuel tank is empty.

DI Paton

When a body is discovered in a remote cabin in Scotland, DI Paton feels a pang of guilt as he wonders if this is the career break he has been waiting for. But the victim is unidentifiable and the killer has left few clues.

Jenna

With the death of her father and her mother’s failing health, Jenna accepts her future plans must change but nothing can prepare her for the trauma yet to come.

Fleeing south to rebuild her life Sarah uncovers long-hidden family secrets. Determined to get back what she believes is rightfully hers, Sarah thinks her future looks brighter. But Paton is still pursuing her…

… and he’s getting closer.

Kerena Swan’s brilliant novel explores how honest mistakes and human frailty can have terrifying and long-reaching consequences. It’s a tale of family ties and loyalty, revenge and redemption that you won’t want to put down.

Purchase Links

Amazon US  

Amazon UK  

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#BookReview “Murder: It’s All in Your Head” by Cynthia Hilston

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4/5 Stars!

Emotionally and physically beaten and abused as a child, Helen Hawkins “blacks out” to avoid the horrors. What she at first believes to be daydreams, she realizes are the minds/bodies of other people.  Others who have easier lives where they’re loved and wanted.

Unlike her.

The death of the mother she loved, yet despised for not protecting her, and rejection from the only person she ever fell in love with leave Helen alone with her abuser… her minister father. She also has a new ability. She no longer suffers blackouts, but instead can possess the minds/bodies of others. Furious at never having the love and compassion so many take for granted, Helen will use her “gift” to “escape” and exact revenge on her father… and many others over the next one hundred years.

When two of her victims meet up in a mental hospital, they struggle to come to grips with who they are, especially when no one believes them, but their biggest obstacle is stopping Helen. Is it even possible?

Reminiscent of Denzel Washington’s Fallen, instead of possession by an ageless demon, this mind-bending thriller uses the endless abuses a young girl suffers to not only take her from her own mind (and body) but also make her the villain who wants others to suffer as she did. But could taking over the life of another teenage girl give Helen back her humanity or lead to her own personal hell… again?

Cassie/Randy/Jimmy are some of the well-written characters Helen interacts with who give this read its heart, along with a special mention for nurse Nora.

Enjoy!

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Someone has been getting away with murder for over 100 years in the small town of Hurston, Ohio. But the wrong person has been convicted of those murders every time. In 2018, Cassie Meadows is on her way to school when a bright flash comes out of nowhere, and she wakes in millionaire Randy Davis’s body with blood on her hands…the blood of Randy’s wife, who lies in a pool of crimson in the bathtub with her throat slit. Meanwhile, an old man everyone calls Jimmy Williams raves that he’s the real Randy Davis as he lives out his days in a ward for the criminally insane. In 1914, young Helen Hawkins is unloved and repetitively abused by her father, who is also the town’s pastor. Her only escape is in her dreams, where she wakes in others’ bodies, living other lives, but when her dreams turn out to be reality, the tables are turned on her father. In a story where no one is who they seem, how can Cassie, the latest victim accused of a murder she didn’t commit, end the cycle?

Purchase Links

KINDLE UNLIMITED

Amazon US  

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#BookReview “Hit Or Miss” by Jeff Markowitz

April 1-30, 2021 Tour

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4/5 Stars!

Amidst the controversy of the war in Vietnam, anti-war demonstrations, the growing fight for women’s rights, and a generational divide, a woman is murdered in her bed. Her death is believed to have happened in a burglary gone wrong and is on its way to becoming a closed case.

Things don’t seem so open and shut when Detective Stanley Miller finds out of the cause of death and the investigation heads in a new direction. Miller has his hands full not just with sorting the case without stepping on toes, but also the dead woman, Rosalie Bayard, was the mother of his son’s girlfriend, Emily.

He and his son, Ben, aren’t getting along right now and he believes Emily and her liberal ideals are partly to blame.

However, the Miller family issues pale in comparison to the Bayard’s when the investigation points to Emily’s father being involved in her mother’s death.

I figured out the details because actions speak louder than words, but it was also easy to see how a killer could go undetected.

Favorite character was Ben’s mom. While not high-profile in the story, when she got her fifteen minutes of fame, she was all, “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille,” and ran with it! HA!

Nice twisty read with well-developed characters in a time when society was trying to hold on to… or find its identity.

Enjoy!

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Synopsis:

 

When you’re twenty-one years old, it can be hard, under the best of circumstances, to balance the expectations of your father and the desires of your girlfriend. For Ben Miller and his girlfriend Emily Bayard, circumstances are far from perfect.

Emily’s mother has been murdered. Ben’s father, a detective in Dutch Neck, catches the case. It’s not long before evidence suggests that Emily’s father may be responsible for the death of his wife.

Set against the backdrop of the cultural and political unrest associated with the war in Viet Nam, Emily and Ben find themselves attracted by the politics and lifestyle of the counter-culture.

As Detective Miller conducts the homicide investigation and Dr. Bayard attempts to keep an affair with his secretary secret, everyone else in the town of Dutch Neck that summer of 1970 has the same question.

Who is responsible for the death of Rosalie Bayard?

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery

Published by: WiDo Publishing

Publication Date: December 29, 2020

Number of Pages: 278

ISBN: 9781947966482

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

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Tour Participants:

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

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#BookReview “The Hoax” by Paul Clayton

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4/5 Stars!

Played out in dual timelines, this tale of psychological suspense revolves around a friendship borne from trauma and tragedy.

Frankie Baxter is always running from her past of bad decisions and abuse. Her one saving grace is her determination to be a good mother to her three children. Though she goes to extreme lengths to care for her family, Frankie never thinks things through, which keeps her in low-paying jobs, barely scraping by. It’s also the reason she was ripe for the hoax.

Little Girl isn’t running, but she is hiding, trying to forget her past of a different kind of abuse and betrayal.

When a kind stranger brings Frankie’s missing son home, she believes she’s made a new friend and for the first time in her adult life, Frankie has someone to trust and depend on. But her trust is misplaced and will result in upending her life, and murder.

Told in two POVs—Frankie’s and Little Girl’s—the timelines are well-paced and balanced. It’s not difficult to see how the lives of two young girls were shaped or that they never outgrew those girls who solved problems with anger and violence.

Though predictable in places, the ending of this read had me looking around, wondering what happened. Didn’t see that coming. This is one of those stories where I’d love to sit down and chat with the characters!

Enjoy!

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 SYNOPSIS

Meet Frankie Baxter. She’s trying to make ends meet and keep the boat afloat for her three kids. She’s harassed, sometimes impatient. but she’s a fabulous mum. So, imagine her distress when Henry, her youngest child, goes missing …

Henry returns safety accompanied by a stranger, Cora, a fairy godmother who starts to change the Baxter family’s lives in the best of ways. So, why do things suddenly start going wrong? Is Cora fulfilling their dreams• or is she the start of a nightmare?

Funny, terrifying and a real page-turner, The Hoax puts a whole new slant on psychological thrillers.

Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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Author BioPaul Clayton

Best known to audiences for five series of the BAFTA award-winning Channel 4 sitcom “Peep Show” and for two series of the BAFTA winning comedy “Him and Her” from BBC 3. He has enjoyed stints as regular characters in soaps “Hollyoaks”, “Coronation Street” “Doctors” is well known to viewers from a considerable volume of the television. Most recently appearances in series 2 of “The Crown”, “Black Earth Rising”, “Wolf Hall”, “The Split”, “Holby”, “ This Time with Alan Partridge” “Shakespeare and Hathaway” “Breeders”. He is currently well known and loved by thousands of sci fi fans for his role as “Mr Colchester – terminator in a cardigan”- the leader of the Torchwood team, in the Big Finish ‘Torchwood’ audio dramas.

He recently filmed “Danny Boy” for the BBC.

He is the author of “So You Want to Be a Corporate Actor?” and “The Working Actor” and is a regular columnist and feature writer for The Stage.

He is patron of the children’s literacy charity Grimm and Co (www.grimmandco.co.uk) based in Yorkshire for whom he has staged young authors live dramas and facilitated six independent films written by 9 – 11 year olds.

His first novel “The Punishment” met with great reviews when it was published in 2019.

“I LOVED this book. It’s funny, dark, sexy and sharp as a knife. A brilliant story with three intricately woven strands that keep you hooked all the way through. Definitely recommend!”

Social Media Links

Twitter     Instagram

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Giveaway

Win one of 3 paperback copies of The Hoax (Open to UK Only)

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*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfillment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

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#BookReview “Unwitting Accomplice” by Sid Meltzer

March 1-31, 2021 Tour

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4.5/5 Stars

A sharp, smart thriller, this read not only pulled me in but also made me feel I was part of the story.

When reporter Kim Barbieri receives an anonymous note, she’s not sure if she’s being pranked or if there is something to it.  Even after brainstorming over who would send such a note with work partner, Pete Delaney, Kim has no idea of the journey—or risks—she will take before she comes to face to face with a killer.

This read is told from two points of view, Kim’s and the crazy person’s. LOL!

Okay, I call him the crazy person because he declares himself sane, yet continues to question his sanity. He rejects all comparisons to psychopaths or sociopaths, considering himself normal.  I was amused he was more worried about upsetting his wife than taking a life.

Barbieri is a well-written, strong character who I wasn’t able to connect with. I didn’t always agree with her choices but gave her the benefit of the doubt. However, TO ME, she did not feel genuine, but more like a character portraying a character.

But my issue with Kim doesn’t take away from the story or dull the suspense. She had to deal with some nasty characters on BOTH sides of the law and make compromising decisions that had her second-guessing herself, and me wondering how I would have handled it.

With the quirky plot twists and open ending (NOT a cliffhanger), I’d read another Kim Barbieri Thriller.

Enjoy!

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Synopsis:

 

How can a homicide be prevented when it’s still only in some stranger’s head?

Kim Barbieri, a tough, street-smart New York City crime reporter unfazed by male egos and mangled bodies, is sent an anonymous note with a sinister message:

I intend to commit a murder

She doesn’t know who the killer is.

She doesn’t know who his victim will be.

She doesn’t know where, when and how he will strike.

But there is one thing she does know: If she doesn’t learn to think like a killer, someone’s going to get away with murder.

Kudos for Unwitting Accomplice:

“The tension builds page after page, chapter after chapter, between the psycho driven to kill and the reporter determined to stop him—ending with a surprise twist I just didn’t see coming. And I’m a thriller writer!” ~ Steven Pressfield, bestselling author of Gates of Fire and A Man at Arms

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller
Published by: Rogue Phoenix Press
Publication Date: December 7, 2020
Number of Pages: 313
ISBN: 978-1-62420-579-8
Series: A Kim Barbieri Thriller
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

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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 Sid Meltzer. There will be 2 winners each receiving one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on March 1, 2021 and runs through April 2, 2021. Void where prohibited.

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#BookReview “Nighthawks: An Art Crime Thriller (A Stephen Connor Mystery Book 2)” by Lambert Nagle

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4/5 Stars!

Not especially adept at his job, DS Stephen Connor dreads the meeting with his boss. He fears he’s about to be made redundant, but at least hopes he gets a good deal out it.

After he learns he’s being sent to Rome to assist with a case involving stolen art and antiquities, he’s sorry he didn’t get the redundancy deal.

While a slow starter for me, the story soon picks as Stephen and his Rome partner, Elisabetta di Mascio have more clues than time.

Though most of the setting is in Italy, this is an international story of suspense with players from all over the world.

I didn’t read book one and am not familiar with Stephen Connor’s backstory, but here, he began as the weakest link for me, afraid to speak up or assert himself. His latest assignment in Rome will mean his upcoming, mostly paid for wedding will have to be canceled. Ginny, his fiancée will be boiling mad, and her father will hate him more than he already does. If that’s possible.

But going to Rome is the best thing to happen to Stephen. As he pieces together clues to find stolen art, he transforms from a bumbling Clouseau to one of Scotland Yard’s shining stars and becomes my favorite character! It’s not nearly as easy as it sounds, however, as he and di Mascio have to contend with her budget-conscious boss, the rich and arrogant, the mob, and a mole in their investigation.

Oh, and they’re trying to stay alive.

A good read that entertains and educates, and for me proves you never know what you’re capable of until you’re thrown from the frying pan into the fire.

Enjoy!

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SYNOPSIS

When art, money and power collide…

A Mafia boss addicted to beautiful art. A Catholic priest who knows too much. A modern-day Jay Gatsby.

And a woman on the run.

Disgraced London detective Stephen Connor is given an ultimatum: take a transfer to Rome or kiss his career goodbye.

With his love life in tatters and his confidence at an all-time low, can Stephen find the world’s most valuable painting before it disappears forever?

Purchase Link

Kindle Unlimited

https://books2read.com/u/4NXA1W

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#BookReview “I Love You Very Muchly: The Story of the Brave Little Girl (The Stories of the Brave Little Girl, Book 1)” by Rick Marino

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5/5 Stars!

Families with or without furrbabies will enjoy this warm short story told through the eyes of a Shih-Tzu pup named Nika.

We follow the rambunctious Nika to her new home with Mom and Dad and Great Dane big brother and sister, to the vet for a life-saving kidney operation, and home again.

Nika doesn’t speak human well, but she’s still a great storyteller.

The large, bold print is ideal for beginner or intermediate readers, or children will enjoy the colorful illustrations as the book is read to them.

Whether for storytime, quiet time, or bedtime, families will fall in love with Nika and her story.

Enjoy!

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Children’s Nonfiction

Date Published: November 14, 2019

I Love You Very Muchly is a true story about Nika, a Shih-Tzu puppy who was abandoned in a crate with no one to take care of her. Her new mommy and daddy found her and decided to adopt her. They did not know how it would work out because they had two large golden retrievers, but they wanted to try anyway. This the heartwarming story of a beautiful, fun, sweet, (and sometimes bossy) puppy who needed the love of her parents and the skills of the surgeons to save her life.

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About the Author


Rick Marino and his wife, Teresa have been raising rescue dogs and cats for decades. They share their time between their home in Ohio and New Jersey. Nika inspired Rick with her personality and braveness to write the two books about her, her bother Marco and her sister Penelope Purr.

Contact Links

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Purchase Link

Amazon

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#BookReview “A Prescription for Madness” by Linda Fawke

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4/5 Stars!

A Prescription for Madness touches on several timely themes to deliver a well-written, emotional read.

The fact I couldn’t stand the lead character is neither here nor there. HA!

The revenge hook-up with Jonathan, the guy who broke her heart, backfires when Kate finds herself pregnant three months after attending a class reunion. This is not good, not good at all because Kate is married, her husband, Neil, has a low sperm count, Jonathan wants her back, oh, and she’s 51 years old.

As she reaches out to friends and family for advice, it becomes obvious Kate isn’t close to anyone and doesn’t keep in touch. Not even with her own mum. Hard to have sympathy for someone so self-absorbed.

While Kate contemplates her options, the true narcissist in her comes out. She considers herself confident and independent when she’s actually arrogant and rude. For someone who considers herself intelligent, her thought processes and decisions were skewed… and self-serving, and her madness is of her own making.

I had sympathy for Neil and her mum for the way she treated them, but finding out he was no choirboy and hearing Kate’s mum call her behavior “sluttish” made me cackle and realize everyone in this story had a date with Karma.

The story has great balance on the topic of late-in-life pregnancies and has several great teaching moments on Down’s Syndrome. Kudos to the author on her research!

Great characters dealing with real-world issues help this read to prove one can never escape the consequences of their actions.

Enjoy!

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When successful business-owner Kate Shaw realises she is pregnant, after a fling with a previous lover, she has life-changing decisions to make. She needs to be in control of her life. Pregnancy in her fifties was never part of the plan. It becomes her secret.

The risks of having a baby at her age are clear but she struggles with the idea of an abortion. No-one understands her increasingly erratic behaviour as the preoccupation takes over her life.

Her marriage is precarious; the relationship with her former lover uncertain.
Is this the way to madness?

This is a gripping story about dark choices, gnawing discontent and the uncertainties of love.

Purchase Link

Amazon UK  

Amazon US  

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#BookReview “Up the Creek” by Alissa Grosso

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January 11 – March 12, 2021 Tour

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4/5 Stars!

The nineteen-year-old unsolved murder of a child connects most of the characters in this read though they don’t know it.

Caitlin Walker doesn’t dream thanks to the sleeping pills she takes and she’s okay with that. The pills block out the violent psychic premonitions that fill her dreams. One of those dreams is of a then-ten-year-old Caitlin dreaming of a girl younger than her being murdered near a riverbank.

Lance Walker is part of a successful startup and doing well. He adores his wife and son and would do anything for them… except tell them about the secret he’s been hiding for a lifetime.

Preschooler Adam’s childhood is marred by the violent nightmares he has. The nightmares Caitlin and Lance try to minimize in importance, each for different reasons.

Sage Dorian is the newest member of the Culver Creek Police Department. A detective who walked away from a promising career in the big city, Sage also has secrets of his own as he becomes obsessed with solving a murder almost two decades old.

When Adam is kidnapped, secrets are revealed and a murderer is exposed, and not everyone makes it out alive.

The suspense is high in this thriller as I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. All roads lead to Culver Creek, and even though I figured out why, I was still engrossed in the climax. Good writing!

My only issue with the story is Caitlin and Lance, or rather, their marriage. For two people who loved each other and were committed to their life together, they hid too many things from each other out of shame. While their secrets were not dinner party conversation, they were something you would share with your spouse, the person who’s supposed to have your back.

The lack of trust was also evident as Caitlin and Lance each made their way to Culver Creek, they suspected each other of harming Adam.

However, their faithless moments didn’t distract me from the brisk, methodical pace of this read. The bittersweet ending is satisfying but open enough to continue on to book two without missing a beat!

Enjoy!

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Synopsis:

 

An unsolved murder. Disturbing dreams. A missing child.

Caitlin Walker hasn’t had a dream in nine years. But now nightmares torture her son Adam and awaken in Caitlin buried memories and a dark secret. Her husband Lance has a secret of his own, one that his son’s nightmares threaten to reveal.

In Culver Creek newly hired detective Sage Dorian works to unravel the small town’s notorious cold case, the grisly murder of a young girl.

How are Caitlin and Lance connected to the horrific crime? And how far will they go to make sure their secrets stay hidden? Find out in this riveting thriller.

Book Details

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Published by: Glitter Pigeon Press

Publication Date: January 12, 2021

Number of Pages: 356

ISBN: 9781949852080

Series: Culver Creek Series, Book 1

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

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Read an excerpt:

Caitlin emerged from a black, dreamless sleep to screams. Adam’s tortured cries sounded almost otherworldly. They turned her blood to ice and made her heart race. She sat straight up, then bolted from bed, blinking sleep from her eyes as she raced toward the door, banging her shin on the dresser as she went. She yanked on the doorknob and almost toppled over when it didn’t yield as she expected. Goddammit. Lance had locked the door again.

She spared a glance toward the bed, but her husband wasn’t there. Instead he was standing, looking out the window. For a moment she thought she was mistaken. Were the screams coming from outside?

“Lance?” she asked.

He turned to her, but his eyes looked past her at some point on the wall.

“What’s going on?” he mumbled, barely awake.

“Adam’s having a nightmare,” she said.

“Again?” he asked. “Maybe we should just let him sleep it off.”

The screams had subsided now, but she could still hear her son’s whimpers from down the hall. Sleep it off? Could Lance really be that clueless? She unlocked the door and flung it open. It bounced almost silently off the rubber doorstopper, which didn’t really give her the dramatic exit she was hoping for.

She still couldn’t quite wrap her head around her husband just standing there looking out the window while Adam cried for them. Usually Lance was the one who woke up first. Maybe he had already gone to comfort Adam and came back to their bedroom by the time she awoke. He seemed so out of it, though. Well, that’s what a lack of sleep could do to a person.

Adam sat on his bed in a nest of tangled sheets. His face was damp with tears and sweat, his dark hair plastered to his forehead. The hippo nightlight cast large, ominous shadows when she stepped into his room. He looked up with a start, then relaxed when he saw it was her.

She sat down beside him and pulled his small body to her, wrapping her arms around him and rocking him gently back and forth. The tears subsided, but he still felt tense.

“Mommy, I’m scared of the bad boy,” he said. “The bad boy’s going to hurt me.”

“Nobody’s going to hurt you,” she assured him. “You’re safe. It was just a dream. Look, you’re safe in your bedroom.”

At this, Adam pulled away from her a little to study the dimly lit bedroom. Maybe they should get a different nightlight. She had never realized how spooky that hippo light made everything look.

“There were trees,” Adam said, “and a river. She was playing in the river.”

Caitlin stiffened. Adam noticed it and looked up at her. She smiled at him.

“It was just a dream,” she said, as much to reassure herself as him. “It wasn’t real.”

There were lots of rivers out there, and wasn’t Adam just watching a cartoon show with cute animals that had to get across a river? That was probably where that detail came from. Plus, she reminded herself, it hadn’t been a river. It had been a creek. She wasn’t sure Adam knew the difference between a river and a creek, though. But a little girl playing in a river? No, wait, was that what he had said? He said only “she.” For all Caitlin knew, this she could have been a girl river otter. Maybe he had been having a cute dream about river creatures.

And a “bad boy,” she reminded herself. She remembered his bloodcurdling screams. There was nothing cute about the dream he had. Still, she clung to the “bad boy” detail. Was he talking about a child? If so, then the river was just a coincidence. She wanted to ask him more about the bad boy, but this was the worst thing she could do. He was already starting to calm down, starting to forget the details of his nightmare. She couldn’t go dredging things back up again.

“Mommy, can I sleep in your room?” Adam asked.

#

Lance was fully awake and in bed when Caitlin returned with Adam in her arms.

“Hey there, champ,” Lance said. “Have a bad dream?”

“Daddy, he hurt her,” Adam said. “He hurt her head. She was bleeding.”

Her son’s tiny body stiffened again in Caitlin’s arms, and she gave Lance an exasperated look as she set Adam down in the middle of the bed.

“We’d already gotten past that,” she said in a whispered hiss.

“Obviously,” Lance said with a roll of his eyes, “which is why he’s sleeping in our bed. Again.”

She slid into the bed beside Adam and adjusted the covers, ignoring her husband. She petted Adam’s head and made soft, soothing noises.

“Remember, that wasn’t real, just make believe, like a movie.” She didn’t want him to get himself worked up again talking about the dream, but it wasn’t just that. She didn’t want to hear any more details from the nightmare because the bit about the bad boy hurting the girl’s head and the blood felt a touch too familiar.

She stroked his face, and his eyelids slowly drooped closed. He looked so calm and peaceful when he slept.

“I thought we said we weren’t going to do this anymore,” Lance said. Even whispering, his voice was too loud. She held her finger to her lips. He continued more quietly, “I’m just saying, I think it would be better for him if he sleeps in his own bed.”

“It’s already after three,” she said. “It’s only for a few hours.”

“That’s not the point,” Lance said. “He’s nearly five years old. We can’t keep babying him.”

It was like the school argument all over again, and Caitlin didn’t want to get into it. Not now. She was still tired and groggy and needed more sleep.

“I want to get him a new nightlight,” she said to change the subject. “The one he has makes these creepy shadows.”

“A new nightlight,” Lance repeated in a skeptical voice. “Sure, that will solve everything.”

“The important thing,” she said, “is that we have to remind him that his dreams are not real. That they’re make believe. We have to be united on this.”

Lance made a dismissive noise and lay back down on his pillow, turning his body away from her and Adam. He muttered something, but his voice was muffled by the pillow.

“Lance, this is important,” she said. “We have to make it clear that his dreams are not real. He has to know they aren’t true.”

He sighed. “What kind of moron do you think I am? Do you really think I’m going to start telling him his dreams about boogeymen are real?” He squirmed around and pulled the covers up in an attempt to get comfortable. She thought he was done, but he stopped shifting around long enough to add, “It’s not exactly like you’re the foremost expert in dreams.”

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Excerpt from Up the Creek by Alissa Grosso. Copyright 2021 by Alissa Grosso. Reproduced with permission from Alissa Grosso. All rights reserved.

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Tour Participants:

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

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Giveaway!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Alyssa Grosso. There will be two (2) winners each receiving one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on January 11, 2021 and runs through March 14, 2021. Void where prohibited.

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#BookReview “Her Every Move” by Kelly Irvin

February 8 – March 5, 2021 Tour

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5/5 Stars!

Only Kelly Irvin could pen a novel that delivers a high body count AND a serious case of the feels!

When a bomb explodes near the end of a climate debate organized by librarian and event planner, Jackie Santoro, she tops the lists of possible suspects. Not because she’s an outspoken activist, but as retaliation for her disgraced father who committed suicide.

Though a local group claims responsibility for the bombing, Detective Avery Wick keeps Jackie as a prime suspect because of her motives. However, he isn’t completely convinced the attractive librarian is responsible for the devastation that took the life of one of her closest friends. When there’s another bombing, Wick is sure Jackie is innocent and tries to keep her close while giving her the room he shouldn’t to clear her name.

But does Jackie have him fooled?

Time is running out as more lives are lost and the library’s biggest annual event nears. Will there be more bombs?

Fantastic writing takes an ordinary plot and turns it into a maze with plenty of obstacles and false exits.

Wick is a by-the-book detective who’s perfectly flawed. His growing attraction and feelings for Jackie cause him to stumble a time or two, but keeps his focus to solve his case and keep Jackie safe.

I was annoyed with Jackie several times because I didn’t feel she took the overall situation serious enough. However, her strength and confidence kept me in her corner. Her father’s death has left her once close-knit family in disarray and she needs to find the person who targeted him as well as clear her name… possibly.

I also enjoyed how the author nails Jackie’s character as a woman of faith. Her beliefs and principles are part of who she is and woven through the story without being showcased, over-the-top, preachy, or judgmental. She’s a dedicated librarian, a top-notch event planner, and a Christian. Period.

The city of San Antonio, Texas and its diverse culture and history are almost as much a character as the setting of this page-turner that will satisfy readers of suspense and romance.

Enjoy!

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Synopsis:

 

He’s a cop trying to stop a serial bomber. And she’ll stop at nothing to clear her own name.

When a deadly bomb goes off during a climate change debate, librarian and event coordinator Jackie Santoro becomes the prime suspect. Her motive, according to Detective Avery Wick: to avenge the suicide of her prominent father, who was accused of crimes by a city councilman attending the event.

Though Avery has doubts about Jackie’s guilt, he can’t exonerate her even after an extremist group takes responsibility for the bombing and continues to attack San Antonio’s treasured public spaces.

As Jackie tries to hold her shattered family together, she has no choice but to proceed with plans for the Caterina Ball, the library system’s biggest annual fundraiser. But she also fears the event provides the perfect opportunity for the bomber to strike again.

Despite their mistrust, Jackie and Avery join forces to unmask the truth—before the death toll mounts even higher.

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense
Published by: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: February 9, 2021
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 0785231900 (ISBN13: 9780785231905)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook | Goodreads

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Tour Participants:

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Giveaway!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Kelly Irvin. There will be 3 winners. Each inner will receive (1) physical copy of Her Every Move by Kelly Irwin (U.S. addresses only). The giveaway begins on February 8, 2021 and runs through March 7, 2021. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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