Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Karen Harper Broken Bonds Blog Tour with Spotlight and Giveaway

I am so excited to have Karen Harper here Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Giveaway and Spotlight.

Thanks Karen and Pump Up Your Book Promotions for allowing me to join your Broken Bonds Blog Tour!

Please take it away, Karen!

About the Author

A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Karen Harper is a former college English instructor (The Ohio State University) and high school literature and writing teacher. A lifelong Ohioan, Karen and her husband Don divide their time between the midwest and the southeast, both locations she has used in her books. Besides her American settings, Karen loves the British Isles, where her Scottish and English roots run deep, and where she has set many of her historical Tudor-era mysteries and her historical novels about real and dynamic British women. Karen's books have been published in many foreign languages and she won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for 2005. Karen has given numerous talks to readers and writers across the county.

Her latest book is the romantic suspense, Broken Bonds, the third book in the Cold Creek Trilogy.

For More Information
Visit Karen Harper’s website.
Find out more about Karen at Goodreads.

Cold Creek is a place with a dark history, especially for the Lockwoods. Now adults, the three Lockwood sisters are still recovering from the events that led to the destruction of their family when they were children. Determined to move forward, Tess and Kate are making fresh starts, ready to put bad — even deadly — memories to rest and settle happily in the small but booming town. And they're hoping their older sister, Charlene, can do the same.

Char is back in town seeking comfort as she figures out her next move. A social worker used to difficult situations, she soon runs afoul of some locals who think she's sticking her nose where it doesn't belong. She's certain something sinister is being covered up, and when she witnesses Matt Rowan being run off the road, she knows she's right.

Working together, Matt and Char figure uncovering the truth will be dangerous, but living in Cold Creek won't be safe for any of them until its secrets are revealed.

For More Information
Broken Bonds is available at Amazon.
Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
Broken Bonds is also available at Indiebound.
Add Broken Bonds to your to be read list at Goodreads.
Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Other books in the trilogy include:

Shattered Secrets:

ISBN-13: 9780778316473
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: MIRA
Publication date: 8/26/2014
Series: Cold Creek Series , #1
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 400

Book Excerpt:

She started to get out until she saw the driver of the truck was really covered up for the weather. She could see through his windshield that he wore a ski mask, leaving only his eyes visible. He climbed down and started toward her truck, holding up his hands as if to apologize.

Could this be the man who nearly ran Matt off the cliff?

She turned the ignition back on, put the truck in Reverse, yanked the steering wheel and tried to back up to get some maneuvering room, but she was held tight by the tree, and her wheels spun. She laid on her horn, but saw no other vehicle on the road.

The man went back to his truck and returned, holding a metal carjack, the kind needed to change a flat tire. He walked now with swift, strong strides. She knew he was going to use it to smash her window. Was this guy desperate or crazy? They were on a public road in broad daylight.

She waited until he came close and raised the car jack. He hit the glass of the driver’s-side window, which only cracked on the first blow. She had to do the unexpected and fast, run for help. She’d seen a car parked at her childhood home if she could make it there. She dug in her big purse for her phone. Too much in here — couldn’t feel it. She had to go now or he’d have her!

In an instant, she unlocked her doors, tried to grab her heavy purse, but he reached for it, too, yanked it and tipped her toward him. She slid away from the steering wheel and clambered out the other side, forced to leave the purse, the phone. She had no illusions he just wanted the purse. She slipped to her knees in the ice-crusted snow, then clawed her way up and raced toward the trees.


Karen is giving away 10 sets of the Broken Bonds trilogy.

<h3 align="center">Karen Harper is giving away 10 SETS OF THE COLD CREEK TRILOGY!</h3>

<a class="rcptr" href="" rel="nofollow" data-raflid="4a6581ad2" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_xql7qx44">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Deserves To Die (Selena Alvarez/Regan Pescoli)

I've finished "Deserves To Die" the 6th book in her Alvarez and Pescoli series by Lisa Jackson.

As he watches, her body drifts below the water's surface, forever altered. Before he disposes of each victim, he takes a trophy. It's a sign of his power, and a warning - to the one destined to suffer most of all.  In Grizzly Falls, Montana, Detectives Selena Alvarez and Regan Pescoli are struggling with a new commander and a department in the midst of upheaval. It's the worst possible time for a homicide. A body has been found, missing a finger. Alvarez hopes this means a murderer with a personal grudge, not a madman. But then a second body turns up.  As the clues begin pointing towards a suspect, Pescoli's unease grows. She senses there's more to this case than others believe. A killer has made his way to Grizzly Falls, ready to fulfil a vengeance years in the making. And Pescoli must find the target of his wrath - or die trying.

Product Details
Series: Selena Alvarez/Regan Pescoli
Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Zebra; Reprint edition (July 29, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1420118528
ISBN-13: 978-1420118520

My Review:


New Release 2014 (Dec 16)

A brand new finger-lickin’ good mystery featuring small-town Georgia spice shop owner Piper Prescott, a smart and spunky amateur sleuth.

Spices are flying off the shelves of Spice It Up!, and Piper Prescott couldn’t be happier. It’s that time of year again—time for the annual Brandywine Creek Barbecue Festival. Soon contestants and BBQ aficionados from all over the Southeast will converge on the town. Many of Brandywine Creek’s citizens plan to participate in the week-long festivities and are busily concocting savory rubs and sassy sauces. Among the locals vying for the grand prize are Becca Dapkins and Maybelle Humphries. The women have been arch enemies ever since Buzz Oliver dumped Maybelle after a thirteen-year courtship and started seeing Becca.

When Becca’s body is found near one of the festival booths, bludgeoned by a brisket, Maybelle becomes one of Chief Wyatt McBride’s top suspects. Determined to help clear her friend’s name, Piper begins her own investigation, much to McBride’s consternation. As the festival draws closer, will Piper and Reba Mae be able to find the real killer and clear Maybelle’s name? Will Piper make it to the annual shag contest with Doug Winters, the mild-mannered vet she’s been seeing? And, who will win the BBQ cook-off?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Weekly Cozy, Mystery Thriller and Romantic Suspense Reads (Dec 15)

 Weekly Cozy, Mystery Thriller and Romantic Suspense Reads

Weekly Cozy, Mystery Thriller and Romantic Suspense Reads is a weekly Monday Meme that is hosted by Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews:

Post the books you read last week and books being read this week.

Read Last Week:

1.  Haunted - Kay Hooper
2.  Cheap Shot - Robert B. Parker
3.  Festive in Death - J.D. Robb 

Weekly Read:

1.  Deserves To Die - Lisa Jackson
2.  Her Last Whisper - Karen Robards

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Library Haul 2014 (Dec 14 - 20)

Here's the list of books I picked up from the library this week:


1.  Deadline - John Sandford

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Robert B. Parker's Cheap Shot (Hardcover)

I've finished "Cheap Shot" the 43rd book in Robert B. Parker's Spencer series by Ace Atkins.

The iconic, tough-but-tender Boston PI Spenser returns in an outstanding new addition to the New York Times-bestselling series from author Ace Atkins.

Kinjo Heywood is one of the New England Patriots’ marquee players — a hard-nosed linebacker who’s earned his reputation as one of the toughest guys in the league. When off-field violence repeatedly lands Heywood in the news, his slick agent hires Spenser to find the men who he says have been harassing his client.

Heywood’s troubles seem to be tied to a nightclub shooting from two years earlier. But when Heywood’s nine-year-old son, Akira, is kidnapped, ransom demands are given, and a winding trail through Boston’s underworld begins, Spenser puts together his own all-star team of toughs. It will take both Hawk and Spenser’s protégé, Zebulon Sixkill, to watch Spenser’s back and return the child to the football star’s sprawling Chestnut Hill mansion. A controversial decision from Heywood only ups the ante as the clock winds down on Akira’s future.

Product Details
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Putnam Adult (May 6 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0399161589
ISBN-13: 978-0399161582

My Review:


Cozy, Mystery Thriller and Romantic Suspense Mail (Dec 13)

Cozy, Mystery Thriller and Romantic Suspense Mail is hosted every Saturday at Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews.

I received these in the mail this week.

For Review:

From the internationally bestselling author of Eye of the Storm comes a new novel introducing the fiery Alexandra “Hemi” Hemingway as she tracks down a serial killer cutting a swathe across New York City.

A stifling heat wave rolls into New York City, amplifying the already critical level of tension in the fragile concrete ecosystem. Recently recovered from a shoot-out that nearly killed her, homicide detective Alexandra “Hemi” Hemingway is already on edge. But then, on the morning Hemi discovers she is pregnant, a twisted serial killer makes his debut. And the heat goes up.

Soon, Hemi is besieged on all fronts as she struggles to catch up to a killer who always seems one step ahead. And as she pieces together the clues along the trail, it isn’t long before tensions boil over and Hemi finds herself a target in the deadly competition.

Not for the faint of heart, Harvest is a relentless ride that takes you through the fractured world of a nascent killer. And you will never feel safe again.

With a deft touch and piercing insight, Susan Philpott delivers a thriller guaranteed to get your pulse pounding.

Like a runaway train, Signy Shepherd has been blowing through danger signals all her life.

Recruited to the Line, a shadowy underground railroad dedicated to helping women in peril, Signy has no idea that her first solo case will set her on a collision course with a renowned photographer concealing a murderous past; a relentless tracker with an explosive secret; and her own violent demons.

Set during the height of a brutal heat wave, the pressure mounts as Signy and her young passenger race across the country toward a sanctuary that proves to be a deadly illusion.


For the first time in nearly thirty years of marriage, Art McElroy Sr. buys his headstrong, disapproving wife a dozen yellow roses. Hours later he discovers her lifeless body seated on the toilet. Mae Rose McElroy's sudden death leaves a void in her family and in the entire Midwestern farming community of Fairview. It's a void Mae Rose will attempt to fill, herself, from the hereafter by meddling directly in earthly affairs.

Mae Rose's meddling leads to her spiritual expulsion from heaven, and she winds up in the body of Mary Lee Broadmoor (Scary Mary), a crusty writer and director of exquisite horror movies. Mary Lee refuses to succumb to stage-4 pancreatic cancer until she gets one final shot at an elusive Oscar. Like Mae Rose, who argues with God for a return to earth, Mary Lee pleads, from her Hollywood deathbed, for more time to complete her work, as her hospice nurse, Gertie Morgan, looks on.

The two women's spirits work together, and Mae Rose provides her host with a new script idea: a love story, based on her life! The script earns Mary Lee her coveted Academy Award, but the movie's release shocks and disturbs Mae Rose's family. They set out to find, and confront, the woman who has somehow co-opted, and publicly revealed, their personal tragedy.

Along the way, new love emerges as the reader meets a caste of crazy, eccentric, but highly memorable characters. Death by Roses suggests that relationships don't end at death, but continue until their ultimate purpose is achieved. The universe has every resource at its disposal to get the job done. It also has an amazing sense of humor.

A decades old mystery and a deadly game of cat and mouse will change Charlotte Marshall forever. Charlotte has a good life: friends, family, a successful career. Her perfect life is destroyed when research for a book and a connection from her past plunges her into the middle of her worst nightmare. On the run, with no one to trust, Charlotte begins to unravel the work of a sadistic murderer. Afraid and alone, she will learn the meaning of trust and just when to run.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

John Perich Too Late to Run Blog Tour with Spotlight

I am so excited to have John Perich here Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a  Spotlight.

Thanks John and Pump Up Your Book Promotions for allowing me to join your Too Late to Run Blog Tour!

Please take it away, John!

While working in a variety of Boston-area tech startups, John Perich has still found time to write and publish several gritty crime thrillers, particularly the Mara Cunningham series (Too Close To Miss in 2011; Too Hard to Handle in 2012).

His latest book is the mystery/thriller, Too Late to Run.

For More Information
Visit John Perich’s website.
Connect with John on Facebook and Twitter.
Find out more about John at Goodreads.
Visit John’s blog.
More books by John Perich.
Contact John.

Title: Too Late to Run
Author: John Perich
Publisher: John Perich
Pages: 402
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Format: Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

Too Late to Run is the third book in a series of gritty mystery novels starring Boston photojournalist Mara Cunningham. This time, Mara reluctantly aids a crooked real estate developer from her past who's been detained on trumped-up charges. But each clue she uncovers turns up more enemies - backwoods militias, corrupt bankers, and a mysterious pyromaniac - and raises doubts as to her friend's innocence.

 Book Excerpt:

When the feds came for Mickey Scanlon, they came hard: guns out, blue windbreakers with big yellow letters, “ON THE GROUND, ON THE GROUND NOW.” They shouldered their way through the lobby of Greenfield Development Associates, the largest of Scanlon's several fronts, just after twelve noon. The receptionist, a twenty-two-year-old intern chosen for her cup size, had the sense to hit the panic button beneath her desk before an agent whipped around the counter and cuffed her. The cuffs were too tight, she whined.

Mickey Scanlon — just past fifty, tan as a baseball glove — saw the pulsing light in the alarm panel above his office door: three quick strobes, pause, another three. He reacted with accomplished haste, executing perfectly a routine he had only drilled once. Standing, he tugged his laptop free of its docking and dropped it into the bottom drawer of his desk. It adhered to the inside of the drawer with a dull thump. Leaving the drawer open, he crossed to two small filing cabinets opposite his desk. A black metal box sat atop each one. He pulled the tab on the first, waited for the hiss he'd been warned to expect, then did the same for the other. All this in less than ten seconds.

Scanlon had his cell phone out when the agents kicked in the door. They dropped him on his stomach, cuffed his hands behind his back, patted him down for weapons, then hoisted him to his feet. They marched him out of his office, ignoring the smoke coming out of his filing cabinet and his remarkably bare desk. They walked him past a dozen witnesses: some inside associates, aware of the full extent of his real estate rackets; some innocent employees, tenuously aware of Scanlon's two previous arrests. An SUV with tinted windows waited in the parking lot, surrounded by armored vehicles and men with dogs.

They pushed him into the back seat of the SUV, keeping his head free of the roof by yanking on his suit collar. He turned to say something to the offending agent. The words were lost in the chaos, but the look in Scanlon's eyes was obvious: too wide and hesitant to match the bluster in his voice. The agent slammed the door and the SUV drove off.

I knew none of this at the time; I wasn't there. I had to piece together details from multiple sources hours after the fact. At the time I was at a corner table in the window lounge of Top of the Hub, fifty stories above the Back Bay, trying to swallow my pounding heart.

Across from me sat Jeremy Brandt, a man from whom Mickey Scanlon might have learned about roguish charm. Brandt wore his silver hair and blue eyes like honors from the Queen. He had on a navy blazer over a tight T-shirt and chinos. He was sifting through a large leather portfolio with one hand, flicking by glossy blowups of the best photographs I'd taken over the last six years. I took another sip of ice water, wondering if I might swap out for something stronger.

Jeremy Brandt made headlines two years ago when he quit Control Center at CNN. Four months later, he surfaced as the owner of Flashpoint, a high-volume news blog. Most of America knew Flashpoint for its list articles and eye-catching photos. “Seven Things You Never Knew About the Human Brain”; “Eighteen Extreme Sports Stunts You Won't Believe Are Real”; and so forth. But the blog's ad revenue also financed a small but dedicated team of freelance journalists. Brandt poached hip young voices and distinguished veterans from The Atlantic, The Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere, trying to do with a staff of twelve what the media had fumbled with for the last twenty years: break meaningful stories to a mass audience.

And here he was, looking through my photos, hence my pulse pounding in my throat. Well, that and our occasional eye contact across the top of my portfolio. I'd told myself that morning, as I zipped up my pantsuit, that most of Brandt's legendary looks came from makeup artistry and TV magic. I hadn't been prepared for how good he'd look in a casual outfit. Or how good his voice would sound when it was pitched low enough for just the two of us. Or how good he'd smell.

Easy there, Mara.

Brandt closed the portfolio carefully, as if shutting the door on a sleeping child's room, and rested the binding on the edge of the table. He drummed the fingers of his left hand (no ring) on the leather and pursed his lips.

"These are good," he said.

I nodded, deflating into my comfortable Chiavari chair and resting my hand against my ice water. I could see it in the way he held his breath at the end of the sentence. Better luck next time. Thanks but no thanks.

"This isn't what I had in mind, though," he said.

I nodded again, tucking my hair behind my ears. "I tried to select as broad a variety as possible to showcase my range. But I've mostly been doing crime scene photography for the Tribune for the last four years. I do believe most of those skills would translate into any other field, so I'd …"

He smiled, letting me speak. I could see he wanted to say something but was too polite to interrupt, so I trailed off and let him jump in.

"I don't doubt it," he said. His voice hit that baritone register that soothed my nerves like warm oil. "But this isn't what I'm looking for. I know plenty of photographers already."

I looked away, my face warm. Of course he did. Brandt came up as a war correspondent in the Persian Gulf and Kosovo. He wouldn't need a freelancer from Boston who'd snapped a few car crashes. Realizing that, however, left me more confused than embarrassed.

He saw my brows knit and continued, both hands up. "This was my fault. I must not have been very clear in my first email. Of course this is what you'd think I meant."

Still nothing. My stomach climbed halfway up my throat. Spit it out, handsome.

"I wanted to see a portfolio of your writing."

The room seemed to grow still. I drew my hand off the table and clasped it in my lap, hoping he wouldn't see me shaking.

The waiter chose that moment to reappear. "Another of those, sir?" He gave a short bow toward Brandt's empty beer glass in that way waiters have.

Brandt nodded. "And you, ma'am?"

I found my voice somehow. "Manhattan."

"Any preference for your whiskey?"

"Yes. No. I don't care. Whatever you … you know."

The waiter gave another short bow, as if he received these orders every day, and sidled off, leaving me alone with Jeremy Brandt's gentle grin. "Not the answer you were expecting?" he asked.

"Not hardly," I said. I had covered the State House beat for the Boston Tribune up until five years ago, when I'd pulled a stunt that the paper had threatened to fire me over. The union and the owners had reached a compromise: I could keep working for the paper, but I would never write another word. Gary, the metro desk editor, had kept me on as a photographer. But the work had been drying up over the last four years: more freelancers, fewer pages per issue, less money to go around. All of which led to this midday interview with Jeremy Brandt.

But no, not the sort of interview I'd been expecting at all. "I hate to talk you out of your brilliant idea," I said, "but you know I haven't written for the Tribune for some time."

He nodded. "And I heard about why. That's what inspired me to take a look at you. I need writers with that sort of initiative. Writers with the stones to point out the obvious, no matter who it might embarrass."

"I didn't realize the story had traveled that far." I felt the blush flowing down to my collarbone again. The encouragement in Brandt's eyes didn't help any.

"I heard it from Saul Kirkadian, actually." My mentor at the Tribune, he'd left last August after more than forty years on the beat. "In full disclosure, he was my first choice. But he gave me your name instead and told me why I should give you a look. I trust his judgment."

"And I trust yours."

My Manhattan arrived on a literal silver platter, next to Brandt's beer. We took our drinks and toasted. Every moment of eye contact between us ended in mutual smiles, as if we were in on some private joke.

"I'm recruiting feature writers in all the big metros," he said. "Boston, Atlanta, LA, Chicago. People with experience and a viewpoint, not just content mills."

"So you're not looking for 'Twenty Reasons Boston is Better Than New York'?"

"There aren't any." He grinned. "But no, I want feature copy. The sort of articles you'd write for the Tribune, if you had your way. And more of them too. Ours is still a high-volume business."

"You'll get them."

"Good. The hours might get crazy."

"That's fine." I kept nodding, then checked my head. My hours didn't entirely belong to me; the class I taught in Cambridge at Sandy's self-defense school was another obligation. "There are a couple of evenings —"

Brandt held a hand up. "You set your own schedule. So long as copy gets to the editors on time, I don't care what else you do."

"Really?" The release of tension had left me feeling playful. "You don't want me signing a morals clause?"

Another moment of lingering eye contact. "I don't think either of us would last very long with a morals clause."

I lowered my eyes to my drink and stomped on the brakes in my head. Pleasant enough to dwell on what Brandt was doing to my imagination—and what he might do to other parts of me — but that was as far as it could go. This man was, potentially, my future boss. I'd screwed my life up in the past by going after the wrong older man.

My cell phone vibrated in my purse, trembling against my leg. I kicked it aside. Whoever it was could wait.

The check came; Brandt paid it. We stood, gathered our things, and went for the exit. I overheard murmurs and saw a few heads snap up as we passed: is that? Do you think? And who's she? I smirked at the notion of appearing in the celebrity pages, before remembering I didn't want anyone knowing about my job hunt. Shit. Hopefully no one recognized me.

"Do you have a writing portfolio?" Brandt asked as we reached the street.


"Send it to me, and we'll do this once more."

We set a follow-up for the day after next. As a metro photographer, I was notionally on call throughout my entire shift. In practice, the Tribune needed me less and less every day. I could spare the time for another date with a silver fox. Interview, Mara. Not a date, an interview.

"I'll see you then." We shook hands, his fingers warm against my palm. Then I jogged to where I'd parked my car, heels clacking on the pavement.

While the maverick captain of new media had been flattering me over drinks, I'd missed one text and one call. I didn't recognize the phone number on the call, so I left it alone. The text was from Gary, an assignment he wanted me to cover. Three-alarm fire, Vassall Street in Quincy.

And like that, the pleasant flush of the afternoon vanished. My brain queued up a list of items to consider: traffic at this time of day, crowds gawking at the fire, who I knew among South Shore first responders.

Playtime's over; back to business.