Letters to Strabo by David Smith – BOOK SPOTLIGHT 


OVERVIEW 

“An exceptional literary journey through the cultural landscape of the Mediterranean, few novels have captured my imagination like Letters To Strabo.” – D Brent

Adam Finnegan Black, or ‘Finn’, an innocent young American who is insatiably curious about life, made a promise to his mother before she died: To find out what really happened to his father…

His ambition is to be a travel writer, like his heroes: Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway and the ancient Greek ‘father of geography’, Strabo. His journey of discovery takes him through the radiant literary, cultural and picturesque landscape of the Mediterranean.

Following his heart and inspired by Letters to Strabo, written by his long-distance pen-pal Eve, Finn gradually learns more about himself but also about the woman he hopes will one day become his wife.

Funny, provocative, disarmingly honest, Finn’s story captures the excitement and mistakes of youthful energy and proves ultimately life-affirming in the emergence of new hope from personal tragedy.

Quite simply one of the best coming-of-age novels you will ever read: Letters to Strabo will appeal to lovers of literary fiction, good travel writing and the classic works of Ernest Hemingway.

About the Author

Described as an exciting voice in Contemporary Literature, David Smith has published four novels all with strong themes of romance and intrigue. His first novel, Searching For Amber has been described as “a powerful and notably memorable debut” with a review describing it as “masterly and confident”, and another as “extraordinary, poetic, enchanting, sublime”.

His latest novel Letters to Strabo has been described as “rich and intriguing, vivid and gripping”.

David was born in Warwickshire in 1961. He studied Economics at Cambridge and has worked in industry for over 30 years, including periods in Switzerland, the USA and Turkey. He is currently a Chief Financial Officer and lives in West Sussex with his wife and three teenage children.
“I found this a very evocative book full of wonderful vivid colourful accounts of the countries through which Finn travels, and the experiences he has there. The quality of the writing is so high, I felt as if I was going on the journey myself…As I have discovered in earlier books written by this author, there are some truly outstanding passages of lyrical prose” – S Robinson
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It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell  


Overview

Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny. They first met as college roommates and soon became inseparable, even though they are as different as three women can be. Twenty years later, one of them is standing at the edge of a bridge . . and someone else is urging her to jump. 
How did things come to this?
As the novel cuts back and forth between their college years and their adult years, you see the exact reasons why these women love and hate each other—but can feelings that strong lead to murder? Or will everyone assume, as is often the case, that it’s always the husband?

Review

This novel follows three girls, college roommates and best friends for life.   Each one is very different from the other and each one comes from a different background. Kate is a magnet for all things bad….drugs, alcohol, and men! Jenny is the mother hen. She tries to fix everything that goes wrong. And Aubrey, well, she is from the wrong side of the tracks and follows Kate wherever she leads. One of them ends up dead! 

This is a slow read. Well, maybe I should say, it is laying the ground work for the finale, which is a WOW moment. It does pick up about half way through the book and then moves pretty rapidly. I did figure out the murderer.  The author drops several hints and if you are paying attention….YOU GOT IT! 

It is overly dramatic in places but, that could be because you are dealing with young adults through most of this read. It rotates between time periods, the girls college years and around their 40 year old selves. I did not enjoy any of the characters and I do think that was intentional by the author.  I believe this is why the first part of this novel to moved slowly.  I probably would have enjoyed it more if I related to one of the girls. 

This is an interesting mystery that CAN leave you guessing till the end. 
I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A graduate of Harvard University and Stanford Law School, MICHELE CAMPBELL worked at a prestigious Manhattan law firm before spending eight years fighting crime as a federal prosecutor in New York City. 

ITS ALWAYS THE HUSBAND is a triumph. I urge you to consider for feature attention, summer reading coverage, and/or review this Summer 2017. Michele Campbell is available for interview.
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Welcome to the Madhouse Sparks by Dan Cummings-GUEST POST 


GUEST POST

Hello bloggers, boggers and loggers, Reeca has been pretty damn awesome by allowing me to shamelessly pimp my novel Sparks: Welcome to the Madhouse, which I wholeheartedly intend to do. 

So, what are Sparks you might ask, or, all warm welcomes aside, how bad must somebody’s self-esteem be to wander into a place titled the Madhouse? Seems like that person might go to extraordinary lengths for friendship, but who am I to judge? Well, Sparks are the first and last line of defence against all manner of evil monsters who suck, not just with suction-ey suckers, but creatures who just don’t want people to have anything nice. Assholes. Chief amongst these are the Alliance of Nyx, a global order of demon-juiced fanatics who are way too excited about ushering in the return of their dark, world conquering lord, Krakos. Big K has a bone to pick with this world since his grubby hands were swatted away from the buffet by the war-torn Luminaries, galactic do-gooders who are big on life but now, ironically, extremely short on numbers. But long ago, way more than a month, a big magical custerfluk accidentally resulted in Luminary energy being distributed throughout humanity’s genepool, so now the fate of the world rests on the weary shoulders of all the Sparks and their governmental sponsors FUBAR.

I realise that I have basically just dumbed down but lightened up the blurb, so let me tell you who I wrote this book for, and when I say book, it’s really a jumping off point since it is planned as a series of large scope. Like many cool misfits I spent far too much of my childhood, teens and adulthood preferring the friendships, dramas and of course, worlds, of Buffy, Angel and comic books, so Sparks is my love letter to such fare. In addition, I have been a Deadpool junkie since Joe Kelly began writing him back in the 90’s, adoring the character’s polarising nature, but also his irreverent humour and pathos which culminates in acts of great heroism but also questionable buffoonery. I wanted my chief protagonist to possess a similar moral ambiguity (the guy on the cover with the thrifty duds), a hero who must be kept in check and often guided by his team of fellow bad-ass but damaged Sparks. They are more than supernaturally gifted government agents, they are a dysfunctional family, flawed but brave and ultimately human, despite their powers. It’s these qualities which I attribute to my fondness of great pop culture works by countless awesome Marvel Comics writers and Joss Whedon. So if any like-minded readers enjoy action, witty banter, a pretty sweet and eclectic soundtrack, and the grand old ultimate battle between good and evil being fought by a band of roguish heroes who can’t help but make a scene or inappropriate joke, check out Sparks: Welcome to the Madhouse.

*Heads up, the Kindle edition is way cheaper and I don’t earn royalties, so please go for that. I want to spread Sparks, not rake money.

Well, that’s it, I’ve said my piece. Much thanks to any who stuck with my ramblings, to Reeca for this opportunity and also to Sage of Sage’s Blog Tours for putting this tour together.

Take care peeps,

Dan Cummings      

OVERVIEW

  Sparks: Welcome to the Madhouse

By Dan Cummings

Genre: Supernatural/Action & Adventure

Dave Reynolds has grown jaded with his life, locked in a dead end janitorial job at the Ravenswood Institute for Mental Health, he quietly yearns for some excitement to stir up his mundane existence.  

That is until he learns that far below the hospital’s grounds lies the Madhouse, the regional headquarters of the Frontline Unified Battalion of Arcane Resistance (FUBAR), a clandestine government agency tasked with combating supernatural evil. If that wasn’t enough of a surprise, he also learns that he is a Spark, an individual with latent gifts, carrying the residual energy of a nigh extinct race of universal protectors.  

Drafted into service, he is accidentally afflicted with a curse, casting the sensible, rational aspects of his personality into a subconscious prison, unleashing a clownish psychotic who is as deadly as he is irritating.  

A wild card personified, Dave must now lead Whiskey Team, a motley crew of fellow Sparks and freaks including a punk rock witch, a werewolf, a medium and his ghostly best friend, and a female Japanese ninja, against the Alliance of Nyx, an ancient demonic organisation with designs on global conquest.  

Now, if Dave’s reckless antics don’t get his team killed, they may just stand a chance in this war.

  

About the Author

 

Dan Cummings is a self-published author from Liverpool, England. He is also a lowly nerd with a short attention span and shorter fuse (depending on poor sleep), but when he is able to stop ranting with his own internal monologue and focus for a few minutes he enjoys putting the noise in his head on to paper. A lifetime fan of monsters, comic books, sarcasm and casual violence, it is inevitable that these constituents regularly crop up in his books. Heartbreaker is his first foray into horror, whilst Sparks: Welcome to the Madhouse, is the first instalment of an on-going supernatural, action/adventure series.

 

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/dancummings85

Purchase Links:

Amazon http://amzn.to/2pfkTLS

 

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2oFYUL2

 

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33299556-sparks

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Dark Harvest by Chris Patchell – BOOK BLITZ


Dark Harvest

By Chris Patchell

Genre: Thriller, Suspense

  

Becky Kincaid ventures out in the middle of a snowstorm to buy a car seat for her unborn baby and never makes it home. When a second pregnant woman disappears, Marissa Rooney and the team at the Holt Foundation fear a sinister motive lurks behind the crimes.

 

Lead investigator, Seth Crawford, desperately searches for the thread that binds the two cases together, knowing that if he fails, another woman will soon be gone. While Seth searches for clues, a madman has Marissa in his sights and she carries a secret that could tear her whole world apart.

 

Can Seth stop the killer before he reaps his… Dark Harvest

 

About the Author

 

Chris Patchell is the bestselling author of In the Dark and the Indie Reader Discovery Award winning novel Deadly Lies. Having recently given up her career in tech to pursue her passion for writing full-time, Chris resides in the Pacific Northwest with her family and two neurotic Yorkies. To learn more about Chris and her book, visit http://www.chrispatchell.com/. Join her on Facebook for book giveaways and more fun murder mysteries at http://www.facebook.com/authorchrispatchell.

 

ON AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Harvest-Holt-Foundation-Story-ebook/dp/B06XK11GY4/

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The Darkest Corner by Liliana Hart #XOXperts 


Overview 

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Liliana Hart’s first book in her suspenseful Gravediggers series, featuring an elite group of mysterious men who might be dead to the world, but are also tasked with saving it—and no one can ever know.

The Gravediggers aren’t exactly what they seem. They’re the most elite of the world’s fighting forces—and all they have in common is that they’ve been betrayed by the countries they’ve died for. Because they are dead. To their country, their military, and their families.
Sometimes the dead do rise…

Solomon Lange is a dead man walking. A former black ops agent, he was disavowed and stripped of all honor before being recruited as a Gravedigger. But his honor and good name no longer matter, because no one knows he’s alive, and he’ll never get the recognition he deserves. His mission is simple: save the world or die trying. And for God’s sake, don’t ever fall in love. That’s a rule punishable by death. The kind of death a man can’t be brought back from.

Tess Sherman is the only mortician in Last Stop, Texas. She has no idea how Solomon Lange ended up in her funeral home, but she’ll eat her hat if he’s only a funeral home assistant. Solomon is dangerous, deadly, and gorgeous. And she knows her attraction to him can only end in heartache.

Solomon is on a mission to stop the most fatal terror attack the world has ever known—what’s known as The Day of Destiny—a terrorist’s dream. But when he discovers Tess has skills he can use to stop them, he has to decide if he can trust her with secrets worth dying for. And, most important, he has to decide if he can trust her with his heart. 

Review

Tess manages a funeral home…yes she is a mortician! Who writes a book about a mortician???? Liliana Hart did! And she did a pretty good job of it! Of course, it helps that the funeral home has an active amount of good-looking, HOT, black ops agents living and working in it! These good-looking, HOT, black ops agents are gravediggers. You need to read the book to find out exactly what that means! 

Tess lives in a small town of Last Stop, Texas.  No, this place does not exist….I looked. It is the perfect place for these good-looking, HOT, black ops agents to pull off their stunts. (Did I mention they are HOT!)  Tess is not really a happy camper about this. The funeral home was bought out from under her. She was supposed to be the next owner. Then, she is not! This leads to some tense situations, especially between her and Solomon.  And boy oh boy, do things heat up NICELY between these two! 

As most of you already know….romantic suspense is one of my guilty pleasures. This book was more romance and less suspense. I don’t think any action took place till the last quarter of the book. Kudos to the author for keeping me entertained enough to give it 4 stars. This is all because I adored Tess and her friends and family. Her mother is a piece of work..she could have a book devoted to her antics! 

I received this novel from Simon and Schuster as part of XOXPERTS for a honest review.




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Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout 


Overview 

From #1 New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout comes a brilliant latticework of fiction that recalls Olive Kitteridge in its richness, structure, and complexity. Written in tandem with My Name Is Lucy Barton and drawing on the small-town characters evoked there, these pages reverberate with the themes of love, loss, and hope that have drawn millions of readers to Strout’s work.

“As I was writing My Name Is Lucy Barton,” Strout says, “it came to me that all the characters Lucy and her mother talked about had their own stories—of course!—and so the unfolding of their lives became tremendously important to me.” Here, among others, are the “Pretty Nicely Girls,” now adults: One trades self-respect for a wealthy husband, the other finds in the pages of a book a kindred spirit who changes her life. Tommy, the janitor at the local high school, has his faith tested in an encounter with an emotionally isolated man he has come to help; a Vietnam veteran suffering from PTSD discovers unexpected solace in the company of a lonely innkeeper; and Lucy Barton’s sister, Vicky, struggling with feelings of abandonment and jealousy, nonetheless comes to Lucy’s aid, ratifying the deepest bonds of family.

With the stylistic brilliance and subtle power that distinguish the work of this great writer, Elizabeth Strout has created another transcendent work of fiction, with characters who will live in readers’ imaginations long after the final page is turned.

Review

I really don’t know how to do an overview for this read.  This is a tale which is more about a small town and its myriad of people.  There are a good many characters and it is disjointed in places. But the stories surrounding each of these players keep you moving along and wanting to know more. The characters each have their own hang-ups and personal issues. Each one struggling to over come, well, life! The novel doesn’t have a main character unless it is Lucy Barton but, she has a minor role.  

I probably would have enjoyed this book more if I had read My Name is Lucy Barton first. I have it in my TBR pile. Just have not picked it up yet. I did not realize this novel was a sequel, or contained the same characters. However, no one writes a story quite like Elizabeth Strout. I love how she weaves love of friends and family along with pain, loss and sometimes abuse. She creates stories impossible to forget and the tales stay with you long after the book is finished. 

I received this novel from Netgalley for a honest review.

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Burntown by Jennifer McMahon


Overview 

Eva grew up watching her father, Miles, invent strange and wonderful things in the small workshop behind their house on the river that runs through their old mill town. But the most important invention of all was the one that Miles claimed came from the mind of Thomas Edison himself–a machine that allowed one to speak with loved ones long passed. Smuggled out of Edison’s laboratory, the blueprints were passed down to Miles, and he’s been using them to protect Eva, her mother, Lily, and her brother, Errol, ever since.
Then, one night when a storm is raging and the river is threatening to flood, the machine whirrs to life on its own. Danger, it says. You’re in terrible danger. The next thing Eva knows is waking up on the side of the river and seeing her mother’s grim face. Eva’s father and brother are dead, their house has been washed away and an evil man is searching for them both. They need to hide.
Eva changes her name to Necco–a candy she always loved–and tries to put everything in her past behind her as she adapts to her new life off the grid. But when her boyfriend is murdered and her mother disappears, she knows that the past is starting to catch up to her.
What really happened the night of the flood? As Necco searches for the truth, her journey unites her with two women who are on desperate quests of their own. And as the trio follows the clues to solving the mystery of Necco’s past, they discover that sometimes it’s the smallest towns that hold the strangest secrets.
Review

Wow!! What a read. I don’t even know how to classify this book. Horror, murder/suspense, supernatural…it’s all in one. I so enjoyed trying to guess what happens next….I was wrong every. single. time!! 

As a young boy, Miles witnesses his mother’s murder.  His father then killed himself after being accused of the crime. Miles grows up, marries, becomes a professor at a college, has a child named Eva and builds a machine.  The machine can talk to dead people. Miles wants to talk to his mother. There is a story which surround this machine. You need to read the book to find out. It is very intriguing!  Then a flood happens and everything changes. 

Eva, or Necco, as she calls herself now, is a homeless, young girl living in an abandoned car. She has lost everyone, her dad and her brother in “the great flood” and her mom to suicide. But, is that what really occurred ? Her life begins to unravel as the knowledge about what happened starts to reveal itself. 

The story created around Eva is very uncommon. From the “great flood” to the homeless, fire-eating women, Eva becomes a strong, tough young girl living on the streets. Then she is accused of murder and everything changes once again. 

I don’t even know how to describe the suspense which runs throughout this book. Jennifer McMahon knows how to calmly build a story then completely change all expectations. Her characters are all completely different, strong and purposeful. This is a unique and non stop read. 

I received this novel from Netgalley for a honest review.  

                                 
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