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Monday, July 19, 2021

Woman In Shadow by Carrie Stuart Parks (VBT: Book Review)

In association with Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Woman In Shadow by author Carrie Stuart Parks!





Woman In Shadow by Carrie Stuart Parks
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: July 13, 2021
Format: Paperback - 336 pages
               Audiobook - 6 Hours 22 Minutes
               Kindle - 2928 KB
               Nook - 3 MB
ISBN: 978-0785239840
ASIN (Audiobook): B08QYPKKLZ
ASIN (Kindle): B08NHZPKGT
BNID: 978-0785239826
Genre: Mystery / Suspense / Thriller



Buy The Book:



Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours. 



Book Description:

Carrie Stuart Parks combines her expertise as a forensic artist with her ability to craft a gripping story in this page-turning web of light and shadow.

A woman off the grid.

Darby Graham thinks she’s on a much-needed vacation in remote Idaho to relax. But before she even arrives at the ranch, an earthquake strikes—her first clue that something is amiss. Then when a cabin on the edge of town is engulfed in flames and problems at the ranch escalate, Darby finds herself immersed in a chilling mystery.

A town on fire.

A serial arsonist sends taunting letters to the press after each fire. As a forensic linguist, this is Darby’s area of expertise . . . but the scars it’s caused her also the reason she’s trying to escape from her life.

A growing darkness.

As the shadows continue to move in, the pieces of the town around her come into sharper focus. Can she trust the one man who sees her clearly?


Praise for Woman in Shadow:

“Unique, witty, and hilarious, Carrie’s voice shines throughout Woman in Shadow. The perfect mix of intrigue, mystery and danger, this is most definitely a book for my keeper shelf.”
—Dani Pettrey, bestselling author of the Coastal Guardians series



Book Excerpt:


Chapter 1

Targhee Falls, Idaho

“Why are those dogs barking?” I pointed across the wooden picnic table toward two obviously upset canines yelping nearby.

A man staring at a clipboard didn’t look up. “They’re dogs. That’s what they do. Are you Darby Graham?”

“Yes.”

The man checked something on his clipboard. “Good. You’re all here.” He had to speak up to be heard over the commotion.

Before I could ask about the dogs again, he turned and strolled toward the nearby general store.

Although the man seemed unmoved by the dogs’ distress, the other people seated around me on Adirondack chairs or at picnic tables had stopped speaking to each other and were staring. The dogs—a black Lab cross with hound-length ears, and a huge Great Dane mix—both had their tails tucked between their legs and were howling.

The picnic table trembled.

I lifted my hands off the rough pine surface but could still feel the movement under my body. A flock of birds burst from the treetops. Pinecones dropped to the ground from the towering ponderosas.

Earthquake.

I was seated near the general store, just below a plate-glass window. The glass rippled, then rattled.

Heart thudding, I dove under the table. The ground rolled under me like ocean waves. A low rumbling was followed by car alarms going off from the parking lot on the other side of the store.

The black Lab flew under the table and landed in my lap. I wrapped my arms around the quivering dog, feeling the prominent bones of her spine and rib cage. “It’s okay there, girl. You’re safe. Your big buddy isn’t so scared—”

The second quaking dog joined us, his large body pressing against my back.

The earthquake ended.

“All over.” I reached around and scratched the Dane’s chest, feeling more bones. Didn’t anyone ever feed these dogs?

Both dogs seemed content to stay put, but the weight of the Lab—even though she was too thin—was still more than my leg was used to and it was rapidly going to sleep. “Come on, sweet girl, time to get up,” I whispered.

Both dogs took the hint.

On the other hand, here under the table seemed a nice place to stay. Tucked into the shadows, I didn’t need to worry about anyone staring at me. I had room to stretch out and could smell the cut grass. I’d be prepared should another earthquake come. And my assignment was to maintain a low profile. Sitting on the ground under a table seemed to be as low profile as I could get.

Two legs appeared next to me. “Miss Graham?”

Flapperdoodle. Mr. Clipboard found me.

I crawled between the bench and table, sliding onto the seat, then glanced around. Several other people had taken similar action. Only Clipboard had noticed my reluctance to leave my hiding place.

One by one, the car alarms stopped. The slight breeze stirred the fragrance of fallen pine needles.

Mr. Clipboard stared at me for a moment, then turned toward the others. He was holding a number of fabric bags imprinted with Mule Shoe Ranch. “Don’t be worried, folks. The town of Targhee Falls is less than fifteen miles from Yellowstone. The national park routinely has between one and three thousand quakes a year—”

“Excuse me, but I’ve heard most of those quakes aren’t noticeable,” a gray-haired woman in a denim shirt said.

“Obviously some are.” The man gave her a rueful half smile and started handing out the bags after checking the attached name tags. “I’m Sam, owner of the general store over there.” He nodded toward the building featuring a two-story false front and wooden sidewalk. The peeling sign said Sam’s Mercantile. “I provide Mule Shoe with transportation, supplies, and assistance during team-building exercises. Inside these bags you’ll find a great deal of information about your stay at the ranch. The owner, Roy Zaring, wanted you to have these while you’re waiting for your transportation—”

“When will that be?” asked a handsome teen with flawless olive skin and a thick lock of black hair. “I’m not getting any cell service here.” He held up his phone. An impeccably dressed man and woman sitting at the same table gave each other sideways glances.

Sam finished handing out the bags, turned, and looked at the youth. “Those your folks?” His gaze flickered to the two people sitting with the young man.

“Yeah.”

“And I’m guessing your mom? Dad? Both? Told you they were here to take a team-building—”

“Watercolor workshop.”

“A five-day art class in the wilds of Idaho, right?”

“Yeeeaah.”

“Son, the Mule Shoe Dude Ranch is a primitive facility. No Wi-Fi. No cell reception. No television, radio . . . no electricity. You’ll have a cabin with a fireplace, a composting toilet, and a lantern at night.”

The color drained from the young man’s face. “What?” he whispered.

“That reminds me,” Sam said. “I’ll collect your cell phones and will keep them here and charged for when you return.”

I reached into my purse, took out my phone, and placed it on the table for Sam to collect. Whose brilliant idea was it to send me on assignment to a primitive facility when they know I need my computer and electricity? And five days with all these strangers? I wouldn’t even need to unpack.

“Don’t worry.” An attractive older woman sitting on a wooden Adirondack chair grinned at the boy. “There’s plenty of hot water for showers, courtesy of the natural geothermal environment. The water’s gravity fed and the food is world-class.” She looked around at all of us. “I’ve had an interest in the Mule Shoe and was here last summer, although I have to admit, I prefer to visit this time of year. Late September is perfect. You all are going to love it.”

The young man’s lips compressed into a thin line, and he seemed loath to let go of his cell. Sam kept tugging the phone until the youth relinquished it. “But what is there to do?” he asked no one in particular.

“Most of us are here for the art lessons.” Denim Shirt reached into her bag, pulled out a piece of paper, and held it up. “Listen.” She read from it. “‘You’ll find trail rides, fishing, canoeing, gold panning, mineral collecting, archery, photography, hiking, campfires, swimming—’”

“That’s what I mean.” The young man ran his hand through his hair. “There’s nothing to do.”

I tugged out the same brochure. Welcome, honored guests. We look forward to serving you during your stay with us. Your experiences here will be unforgettable for all the right reasons! You should bring to Mule Shoe your mindset for success.

Yeah, right. I’d like to set my mind on getting in, getting done, and getting home. “Sam, you mentioned transportation . . .”

“Horse and wagon.”

I was afraid of that. “Do you have a regular timetable?”

This time Sam actually focused on me. “No. The horse and wagon are available on an as-needed basis, mostly to transport new groups and supplies.”

From bad to worse. I was stuck. Now would be a good time to find a bathroom. Riding a bumpy, horse-drawn wagon would be uncomfortable enough without a full bladder. Besides, if I left now, no one would notice my slight limp. I normally wanted to be invisible, to disappear into a crowd. When Scott Thomas, my counselor, told me not to stand out, to blend in, he didn’t have to say it twice. Your final assignment before leaving us here in Clan Firinn is to check out Mule Shoe Ranch. We’ve heard rumblings that something’s not right. You’ll be registered as a guest. I’ll tell you more once you get there.

I was irritated at being sent out like this with no idea of what was expected. I now know why. Had I known I wouldn’t be able to use my computer programs or the internet, I would have put my foot down. I was fortunate to have a good memory for words.

I’d heard through the Clan Firinn grapevine that those getting ready to leave—“graduate” as they called it—would have a project that would test their progress toward wholeness. I figured they’d find out soon enough that I wasn’t ready to leave.

I rose, picked up my purse, and made my way to the general store. A cowbell jangled as I entered. “‘I got a fever,’” I muttered. “‘And the only prescription is more cowbell.’” The line made me smile. Why worry about earthquakes, lack of electricity, and the inability to do my work when the world needed more cowbell?

“What?” A young, freckle-faced woman with a smear of dirt on her nose stopped replacing items on the shelf.

“Iconic Saturday Night Live line—more cowbell?”

“Huh?”

“Never mind.” The interior had old oak floors, a tin ceiling, and a long counter with a glass display case. The sun through the window spotlighted twirling dust motes. Various cans still littered the floor, courtesy of the earthquake.

“Just let me know if ya need something.”

“Powder room?”

“Huh?”

“WC?”

“I think we’re sold out.”

“John? Head? Loo? Restroom?”

“Toilet?” She nodded to her right.

Fortunately, the primitive conditions did not include the store bathroom. Returning to the store, I picked up a can of soup that had rolled near me. “Do you know anything about those two dogs?” I handed her the can.

“Why are ya asking?” The woman placed it on the shelf.

“They just seem thin, that’s all.”

“Yeah, well.” She adjusted the display. “Sam’s been feeding ’em, but that’s gonna stop.”

My neck tingled. “I don’t understand.” I gave her a steady gaze.

She paused her work and looked around. We were alone in the store, but she dropped her voice to just above a whisper. “He’s just waitin’ for all of you to leave to the ranch.”

The tingling grew to an itch. My years of training as a forensic linguist kicked in, even though I was rusty. I grew very still and waited, listening for more clues in her language.

She gave up straightening the cans. “It’s like this: The dogs were owned by an old lady. I bet she was, like, at least forty.”

“Positively ancient. One foot in the grave.” I gave her a slight smile.

“Right. Her name was Shadow Woman. That’s what everyone called her. Well, that’s the nice name anyway. She was, like, a hermit, but a pretty good artist.” She jerked her thumb at a drawing on the wall behind the cash register.

Were owned, was. Past tense. I widened my smile to encourage her. “Why did everyone call her Shadow Woman?”

The clerk gnawed on a hangnail for a moment. “I guess ’cause she was weird, ya know, like she lived in the shadows. Creepy. Always showed up here at the store at dusk or when it was dark. Sam said she could sneak right up next to you in the shadows and you’d never see her. And her face was weird.”

“Weird how?”

“Like, really weird.”

“Ah, that clarifies it. Where did she come from?”

“Sam said she ran away from a group home near Smelterville.”

“I can’t imagine why.”

“Right, you know? No one wanted her. Anyway, she owned Holly—that’s the Lab mix—and Maverick, the Anna-toolian sheepdog.”

“Anatolian? From Anatolia in Asia Minor?”

“Yeah, that’s what I said.”

“Of course. I thought the big dog was half Great Dane, half mastiff.”

“Nope. Sam looked it up. Anna-whatevers are super-expensive livestock guard dogs from Turkey or France, I forget which.”

“They are such similar countries,” I murmured.

“Right. So anyway, Sam was surprised that Shadow Woman had one.”

Sam looked it up. Looking for value? Surprised that Shadow Woman had one. Not just a hermit but poor? Broke? “I see.” I leaned slightly against the shelving unit. “You mentioned Shadow . . .”

“Right. Um . . . so Shadow Woman came to town like once a month with her mule, like I said, always after sunset, and bought stuff, like Spam. She’d usually pay her bill about every other month. The dogs always came with her. Six months ago, you know, she stopped coming.”

“Let me guess. She owed Sam a lot of money.”

“Right. Boy-howdy was he steamed about it. Then he, you know, got a check and note from the old woman to pay her bill, but the check bounced higher than a buckin’ bronco.”

“Did anyone follow up, call the police?”

“Not right away ’cause the dogs moved in, first Holly, then Maverick. So, you know, Sam started to feed them. And . . . I think someone changed his mind on what to do with the dogs.”

Cluster of you knows. Sensitive topic. I kept my gaze on her and nodded again.

She glanced down and plucked a piece of lint from her sleeve. “Sam always said he’d get his pound of flesh from her, whatever that means.”

“I’m sure it originated in Turkey or France.”

“Right. Foreign-like. Um . . . Sam finally got close enough to Maverick to see he’d been spayed.”

“Neutered?”

“What?”

“Never mind.” A neutered dog was of zero value, and Sam stopped feeding them. I made an effort to unclench my hands. “How have the dogs survived?”

“You know, folks around town feel sorry for them . . .”

The cowbell jangled.

The clerk straightened and glanced in that direction. Her cheeks flamed and her tongue flickered out to moisten her lips.

I turned.

A sheriff’s deputy charged to the bathroom, disappeared for a few moments, then reappeared and sauntered toward us, replacing fallen items on the shelves. His ordinary brown hair was the only average thing about him. He was otherwise a walking modern-day Adonis, his face chiseled by a master carver. He finally looked up and smiled at the clerk, exposing more teeth than the Osmond family, and seemed to enjoy her reaction to his arrival.

My hand automatically reached to fluff my hair. I stopped and squared my oversized glasses instead.

He looked at me, his eyes widening. “Hello there. I’m Bram White.”

“I’m—”

“Leaving,” the clerk said. “Goin’ to Mule Shoe. She’s a guest.”

“Darby Graham.” I glanced at his holstered pistol, then out the window at the two dogs lying under a tree. Check bounced. Sam’s been feeding ’em, but that’s gonna stop. Pound of flesh.

Deputy Bram glanced at his watch.

My neck was crawling with reasons to scratch it.

“Can I get you a Coke or somethin’?” she asked me. “It shouldn’t be long.” The clerk moved toward an ancient cooler. “I’d bet the wagon got slowed down by the earthquake.”

The two dogs began barking.

“See? I told ya. Betcha that’s the wagon now.” The clerk moved toward the front of the store, brushing past Bram. “Excuse me,” she said. At the window, she glanced out, then looked at the officer. “Yep. The wagon’s here.” Without taking her eyes from Bram, she said to me, “You can go now.”

Sam stuck his head in the door. “Miss Graham? Time to leave.” He spotted Bram and gave the man a quick nod.

I gave in and scratched my neck. This was none of my business. No need to get involved. No reason to draw attention to myself. Low profile. Right. I straightened. “I think I’ll wait here. Catch the next wagon.” The words came out without my thinking, but they seemed right.

Sam moved into the store. “I’m sorry, Miss Graham, there won’t be a next wagon. It’s quite a distance to the ranch and it’s getting late. You’ll need to leave now.” He wiped his hands on his slacks, glanced at the clerk, then at the deputy.

The itch was now a full-scale conviction. “Your clerk here—”

“Julia?” Sam glared at the clerk.

“Was telling me about Shadow Woman. And her dogs.”

Bram folded his arms.

Sam opened the door behind him and waved for me to exit. “Miss Graham, I really see that as none of your business.”

Go now. Run. You have nothing to offer. Well . . . almost nothing. I slowly walked over to the counter. “I know Shadow Woman’s check bounced. How much money did she owe you? And how much to cover all the dog food?” I opened my purse.

“How many times have I warned you to keep your piehole shut!” Sam said to Julia.

“I didn’t say nothin’!” Julia crossed her arms. “She figured it out on her own.”

Sam closed the door and approached me, both hands held out as if to show goodwill. “I don’t know what it is that you figured out, Miss Graham, but—”

“Please don’t try lying to me, Sam.” I pulled out my checkbook. “You figured the Anatolian dog would pay Shadow Woman’s bill, but when you saw he was neutered, he had no more value to you. The minute I leave, you’re going to have Deputy White here shoot both dogs. Your pound of flesh.” I stared into his eyes. “I intend to stop you.”

***

Excerpt from Woman in Shadow by Carrie Stuart Parks. Copyright 2021 by Carrie Stuart Parks. Reproduced with permission from Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.




My Book Review:


In Woman In Shadow, author Carrie Stuart Parks transports the reader to the remote town of Targhee Falls, Idaho, for an intriguing suspense tale that will keep the reader guessing and turning the pages.

The story centers around Darby Graham, a forensic linguist, who has been sent on an undercover assignment at Mule Deer Ranch, a primitive facility in Targhee Falls, Idaho, to test her progress towards getting back to wholeness after being on a long disability stay at Clan Firinn, a privately owned and funded facility located outside of Pullman, Washington, that specializes in offering hope and rehabilitation to law enforcement and first responders suffering from PTSD and other disorders arising from their work. Darby is being sent to Mule Deer Ranch at the request of the ranch owner, Roy Zaring, after a series of incidents that has left him concerned. Darby is to just observe and advise Roy on her findings, and let the authorities take over. But when more incidents begin to occur after her arrival, Darby finds herself teaming up with Sheriff's Deputy Bram White to not only get to the bottom of the incidents at the ranch, but also to find the serial arsonist who has been setting buildings on fire throughout town, and sending taunting letters to the Sheriff after each fire. Can Darby and Bram find out who is trying to run the ranch out of business, while hunting down the serial arsonist, or are both interconnected? 

Author Carrie Stuart Parks weaves a fast-paced and suspenseful tale written in alternating first (Darby) and third person narrative (Bram) that follows Darby and Bram as their investigation into the incidents at the ranch and the fires throughout town reveals an interconnection that has a threat of danger around every corner, and where everyone is considered a suspect. 

The reader is easily drawn into this well written story with its richly descriptive plot and setting. It is filled with enough family drama and secrets, motives, possible suspects, action, a touch of unexpected romance, and intriguing twists and turns that definitely keeps the reader guessing until the surprising conclusion.

This was a really interesting story to read! The author does a wonderful job of providing enough clues to engage the reader, and I found myself so caught up on trying to figure out who is behind all the incidents at the ranch, and who the serial arsonist could be. I loved how Darby used her expertise as a forensic linguist to put all the pieces of the puzzle together, I was absolutely stunned by the conclusion! I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I also loved reading about Darby and Bram's backstory, both are broken people who have to overcome their traumatic pasts and learn to move forward out of the shadows. 

Woman In Shadow will definitely take suspense readers on one heck of a thrilling roller coaster ride.


RATING: 5 STARS 






About The Author







Carrie Stuart Parks is a Christy, multiple Carol, and Inspy Award–winning author. She was a 2019 finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Award for excellence in mainstream mystery/suspense and has won numerous awards for her fine art as well. An internationally known forensic artist, she travels with her husband, Rick, across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law-enforcement professionals. The author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing and painting, Carrie continues to create dramatic watercolors from her studio in the mountains of Idaho.

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Virtual Book Tour 




Tour Participants:


07/12 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

07/12 Review @ Novels Alive

07/13 Review @ I Read What You Write

07/13 Review @ It’s All About the Book

07/14 Review @ Avonna Loves Genres

07/14 Review @ Wall-to-wall Books

07/15 Review @ sunny island breezes

07/15 Review @ The world as I see it

07/16 Review @ curlygrannylovestoread

07/16 Review @ The Book Review Crew

07/18 Review @ Margaret Yelton

07/19 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews

07/20 Review @ Inkwell Inspirations

07/21 Review @ Splashes of Joy

07/22 Review @ A Room Without Books is Empty

07/22 Review @ Author Elena Taylors Blog





Friday, July 16, 2021

The Queen Of Second Chances by D.M. Barr (VBT: Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Providence Book Promotions, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for The Queen Of Second Chances by author D.M. Barr!






Book Review





The Queen Of Second Chances by D.M. Barr
Publisher: Champagne Book Group
Publication Date: Paperback - May 30, 2021 / e-Book - June 7, 2021
Format: Paperback - 204 pages
               Kindle - 1390 KB
               Nook - 1 MB
ISBN: 978-1771554039
ASIN: B094GFWG3K
BNID: 2940165375545
Genre: Romantic Comedy


Buy The Book:



Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Providence Book Promotions.



Book Description:

Carra’s memoir-writing class teaches seniors to resolve the regrets of their past. But to win over elder attorney Jay, will she follow her own advice?

Carraway (Carra) Quinn is a free-spirited English major confronting an unreceptive job market. Desperate for cash, she reluctantly agrees to her realtor stepmother’s marketing scheme: infiltrate a local senior center as a recreational aide, ingratiate herself with the members, and convince them to sell their homes.

Jay Prentiss is a straitlaced, overprotective elder attorney whose beloved but mentally fragile Nana attends that center.

More creative than mercenary, Carra convinces Jay to finance innovations to the Center’s antiquated programming. Her ingenuity injects new enthusiasm among the seniors, inspiring them to confront and reverse the regrets of their past. An unlikely romance develops.

But when Carra’s memoir-writing class prompts Jay’s Nana to skip town in search of a lost love, the two take off on a cross-country, soul-searching chase that will either deepen their relationship or tear them apart forever.


Reviews:

Charming, funny, and heartwarming, The Queen of Second Chances is not just a love story where two people discover each other, it is a story of self-discovery. Like all good romances, this one starts with the two main characters loathing each other before slowly realizing that they are perfect together. But before either Jay or Carra can come to that realization, they have to work through their personal shortcomings. Carra feels like a failure and is unable to get past her mother’s desertion of her as a child. Jay, while his helping people who desperately need rescuing demonstrates his fundamental goodness, puts a little too much emphasis on wealth and status. Helping a group of seniors find fulfillment is the catalyst that allows both the main characters to embrace changing their own lives and then ultimately embrace each other. A joy to read, The Queen of Second Chances is the perfect mood lifter in these stressful times. – S. Lee Manning, author of the critically acclaimed thriller, Trojan Horse - FIVE STARS!

The Queen of Second Chances by D.M. Barr is a beautifully written story of two lost souls brought together by fate. Carra was such a wonderful character, her warmth and kindness towards others were admirable. She also put others’ needs before her own safety and this was highlighted during the car scene outside the Garrison house. She was perfectly matched to Jay. Although he seemed to enjoy a materialistic lifestyle, I feel he had a really good heart and when he met Carra, he found the missing piece in his life. My absolute favorite character was Helen; she was extremely insightful and wise even though she was suffering from the onset of dementia. Her words of wisdom throughout were poignant and powerful, especially her views on looking back in life: “It’s more important to heed the present because that’s what it is, a gift. Nothing lasts long in this life, which is why every moment matters. You can’t take anything or anyone for granted.” I found the relationship between Jay and Carra developed gradually and the dialogue exchanges between them were very realistic. I loved the twist towards the end concerning Jay’s background and the nail-biting ending was brilliant. I feel there are so many underlying messages throughout too. For example, live for the moment, never be afraid to chase your dreams, and forgive yourself for mistakes you have made in your past. I highly recommend this novel. – Lesley Jones, for Readers’ Favorite - FIVE STARS!

The Queen of Second Chances by D.M. Barr is a lovely, deftly written romantic comedy that fans of the genre will love. – Edith Wairimu for Readers’ Favorite



Book Excerpt:


Chapter One


I couldn’t take my eyes off the man. He came barreling into the recreational center at SALAD—Seniors Awaiting Lunch and Dinner, Rock Canyon’s answer to Meals on Wheels—as I sat in the outer office, awaiting my job interview. He was tall, but not too tall. His expensive suit barely concealed an athletic physique that fell just shy of a slavish devotion to muscle mass. Early thirties, I estimated, and monied. Honey-blond curly hair, blue eyes, high cheekbones, chiseled features, gold-rimmed glasses, and of course, dimples. Why did there always have to be dimples? They were my kryptonite, rendering me powerless to resist.


I nicknamed him Adonis, Donny for short, lest anyone accuse me of being pretentious. He was the stuff of every girl’s dreams, especially if that girl was as masochistic as yours truly. Men like that didn’t fall for ordinary girls like me, gals more Cocoa Puff than Coco Chanel, more likely to run their pantyhose than strut the runway. I leaned back on the leather couch, laid down my half-completed application, and prepared to enjoy the view. Then he opened his mouth, and the attraction withered like a popped balloon.


“I want to speak to Judith. Now. Is she here?” The sharpness of his voice put Ginsu knives to shame. It was jagged enough to slash open memories of my mother’s own barely contained temper when refereeing sibling disputes between Nikki and me. Well, at least until she prematurely retired her whistle and skipped town for good.


The attendant working the main desk looked fresh out of nursing school and had obviously missed the lecture on dealing with difficult clients. She sputtered, held up both hands in surrender, and retreated into the administration office, reemerging with an older woman whose guff-be-gone demeanor softened as she got closer. Her name tag read, “Judith Ferester,” the woman scheduled to conduct my interview. She took one look at Donny, sighed as if to say, <i>Here we go again</i>, and plastered on her requisite customer service smile.


“Mr. Prentiss, to what do we owe the honor of this visit?” she asked in a tone sweet enough to make my teeth hurt.


“Judith, I thought we had this discussion before. I trust you to take care of my nana, but day after day, I discover goings-on that are utterly unacceptable. Maybe we shouldn’t have added the senior center, just limited SALAD to meal delivery. Last week you served chips and a roll at lunch? That’s too many carbs. This week, I find someone is duping her out of her pocket change. No one is going to take advantage of her good nature, not under my watch.”


I half-expected him to spit on the ground. Was such venom contagious? I didn’t want my prospective employer in a foul mood when she reviewed my application. I really, really needed this job.


“Mr. Prentiss,” Judith answered, her patronizing smile frozen in place, “I assure you that your championing of our senior center was well founded. The reason your nana isn’t complaining is that she receives the utmost care. She is one of our dearest visitors. Everyone loves her.”


“Tell me then, what is this?” Donny—scratch that, Mr. Prentiss—drew a scrap of paper from his pocket and flung it onto the counter. I leaned forward to make out the object of his disdain. Then, thinking better of it, I relaxed and watched as this melodrama played itself out.


Judith glanced down at the paper. “This? It’s a scoresheet. They play gin for ten cents a hand. We monitor everything that goes on here; your grandmother is not being conned out of her life savings. You have my word.”


Prentiss shook his head so vigorously his gold-rimmed glasses worked their way down to the tip of his perfect nose. He pushed them back with obvious annoyance. Even when he was acting like a jerk, his dimples were captivating. Would they be even more alluring if he smiled? Did he smile…like, ever?


“It’s not the amount that worries me. It’s the act itself. Many seniors here are memory impaired. How can you condone gambling between people who aren’t coherent? Could you please keep a closer eye on things? Otherwise, I’m afraid I’ll have to take my nana—and my support—to the center I’ve heard about across the river.”


Without waiting for Judith’s response, Prentiss departed as brusquely as he’d arrived. Ah, the entitlement of the rich. Walk over everyone, then storm off. He never even noticed my presence. Just as well, considering my purpose for being there. Even if I wasn’t sorry to see the back end of his temper, his rear end was pleasant enough to watch as he exited, I noted with a guilty shudder.


Judith shook her head, rolled her eyes, and let out a huff. Then she noticed me. “I’m so sorry you had to overhear that. I’m the director here. How can I help you?”


“I’m Carraway Quinn. Everyone calls me Carra. I have an appointment for the recreational aide position.”


Judith typed a few keystrokes into the main desk’s computer. “Ah yes, Ms. Quinn. Carraway, like the seed?”


“Something like that,” I said with a smile.


They always guessed, but no one got it right. Some man would, one day. That’s what my mother said a million years ago, when she still lived within earshot. One man would figure it out, and that’s how I’d know he was the one for me. Not that it mattered right now. I had bigger problems than finding a new boyfriend.


“Tell me, would I have to deal with people like that all day?” I tilted my head in the direction of Prentiss’s contrail.


“What can I say? He loves his nana.” Judith shrugged, staring at the door. “Though I’ve never seen him lash out like that before. He’s usually so calm.” She quickly shifted into public relations mode. “Jay Prentiss is one of our biggest contributors. It’s only because of his generosity that we have this senior center and can afford to hire a recreational aide.” She beckoned me into the inner office. “Shall we proceed?”


I followed, but I had my doubts. I belonged in the editorial office of a magazine or on a book tour for my perennially unfinished novel, not at a senior center. This job was my stepmother’s idea, not mine. Calling it an idea was being generous; it was more like a scheme, and the elderly deserved better than someone sent here to deceive them. I was the embodiment of what Jay Prentiss worried about most.


The interview lasted less than ten minutes, as if Judith was going through the formalities but had already decided to hire me. I was to start my orientation the following day. I shook her hand and thanked her, all the while wishing I were anywhere else.


Afterward, I wandered into the recreation area, where I’d be spending most of my time. The room was dingy, teeming with doleful seniors watching television, playing cards, or staring off into space. A few complained among themselves about a jigsaw puzzle they were unable to finish because the last pieces were missing. I wondered how many had lost their spouses and came to the center out of loneliness, their children too busy with their own lives to visit. It was a heartbreaking thought.


Jay Prentiss was complaining about carbs and gambling when he should have been concentrating on ennui. The seniors’ dismal expressions told me they were visiting SALAD more out of desperation than opportunity. It was clear they needed an injection of enthusiasm, not some aide looking to unsettle their lives. It came down to my conscience. Could it triumph against my stepmother’s directives and my plummeting bank account?


---


Excerpt from The Queen of Second Chances by D.M. Barr.  Copyright © 2021 by D.M. Barr. Reproduced with permission from D.M. Barr. All rights reserved.





My Book Review:


In The Queen Of Second Chances, author D.M. Barr weaves a lighthearted romantic tale of friendship, love and second chances.

Set in the Hudson Valley town of Rock Canyon, the reader is easily drawn into this entertaining story as they follow Carra Quinn and Jay Prentiss as they navigate the trials and tribulations of life and second chances.

Carra Quinn is a recent college graduate who wants to be a novelist. While trying to break into the literary profession, money is tight, and she is reluctantly pushed by her step-mother Bea to get her real estate agent license in order to help her score sales at the real estate agency she works at. Bea talks Carra into applying for a recreational aide position at a local senior center, and utilize her marketing scheme to talk the seniors into downsizing and list their homes with the real estate agency. But once Carra starts working at the senior center, she realizes that the senior center recreational program needs to be revitalized, and that some of the seniors really need help in their personal lives as well, and doing her step-mother's scheme is not what she is going to do, earning her the nickname "the queen of second chances" from the seniors. 

Jay Prentiss is a successful elder care attorney who also has political aspirations. Jay's beloved Nana is a senior client at the local senior center, and he is very protective of her since she raised him after his parents died in a car accident when he was eight years old. Jay is one of the senior center's biggest contributors, but he's met his match when he meets Carra, and she shows him that the seniors need to be taken better care of at the senior center, and recruits him to help her make those changes. 

Carra and Jay are both broken souls who have personal issues from their pasts that stymies them from having happiness in their lives, but can working together help them put their traumatic pasts behind them, and give them a second chance at finding love and happiness? 

The Queen Of Second Chances is an enjoyable romantic comedy that easily keeps the reader engaged as they follow Carra and Jay's story. Told in the alternating first person narrative by Carra and third person narrative by Jay, the reader follows along as their unexpected meeting helps them not only help the lifestyles of the seniors at the senior center, but also helps both of them gain a sense of self-discovery, and a second chance at finding love and happiness in their lives. 

There was a great mixture of emotion, drama, angst, humor, and crazy antics mixed in this story. The author does a great job of describing Carra and Jay's lives, especially with the flashbacks to their traumatic childhood memories throughout the story. You can't help but feel compassion for Carra and Jay as they face the ghosts from their pasts, and embrace the changes in their lives that helps them gain self-discovery, and find unexpected love along the way.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention how much I enjoyed reading about the seniors and their hilarious scenes at the senior center. As a retired nursing home administrator, who also ran a senior center (adult day care), I couldn't help but reminisce over the fun time that I had with the senior clients. The senior characters and the description of the recreational program and overall administration of the senior center brought back a lot of memories that made me smile. You can't help but laugh at the crazy antics that Carra and the seniors engage in, and when you add in the the bond that grows between Carra and Jay, you have a lighthearted tale that is so much more special. 

The Queen Of Second Chances is a heartfelt story that has enough emotional depth, drama, romance, comedy, and witty banter, that makes it a delightfully entertaining romantic comedy tale that romance fans will certainly enjoy!


RATING: 5 STARS 




About The Author



By day, author D.M. Barr is a mild-mannered salesperson, wife, mother, rescuer of senior shelter dogs, competitive trivia player and author groupie, happily living just north of New York City. By night, an author of sex, suspense and satire.

My background includes stints in travel marketing, travel journalism, meeting planning, public relations and real estate. I was, for a long and happy time, an award-winning magazine writer and editor. Then kids happened. And I needed to actually make money. Now they’re off doing whatever it is they do (of which I have no idea since they won’t friend me on Facebook) and I can spend my spare time weaving tales of debauchery and whatever else tickles my fancy.

The main thing to remember about my work is that I am NOT one of my characters. For example, as a real estate broker, I’ve never played Bondage Bingo in one of my empty listings or offed anyone at my local diet clinic. And I haven’t run away from home in fear that my husband was planning to off me.

But that’s not to say that I haven’t wanted to…






Contest Giveaway

Win A $10 Amazon Gift Card





This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Providence Book Promotions for D.M. Barr. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (U.S. ONLY). The giveaway runs July 1, 2021 through August 1, 2021. Void where prohibited. 








07/01 Showcase @ The Bookwyrm

07/02 Guest post @ Curlygrannylovestoread

07/03 Interview @ A Blue Million Books

07/05 Guest post @ The Book Divas Reads

07/06 Review @ sunny island breezes

07/08 Review @ Wall-to-wall Books

07/08 Showcase @ Novels Alive

07/09 Review @ Quiet Fury Books

07/10 Interview/showcase @ Author Elena Taylors Blog

07/11 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

07/12 Review @ I Read What You Write

07/15 Guest post @ CMash Reads

07/16 Interview @ B for bookreview

07/16 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews

07/21 Review @ pages_and_pups

07/22 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews

07/23 Review @ Avonna Loves Genres

07/26 Review @ Novels Alive

07/27 Review @ Hott Books

07/28 Review @ Cassidys Bookshelves

07/29 Review @ Margaret Yelton

07/30 Review @ nanasbookreviews







Monday, July 12, 2021

The Question Is Murder by Mark Willen (VBT: Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for The Question Is Murder by author Mark Willen!






Book Review




The Question Is Murder by Mark Willen
Publisher: Pen-L Publishing
Publication Date: May 14, 2021
Format: Paperback - 322 pages 
               Kindle - 2582 Kb / 272 pages 
ISBN: 978-1683132240
ASIN: B091RNCRQ7
BNID: 978-1683132240
Genre: Mystery / Suspense / Thriller


Buy The Book:


Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual bookt our event hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours.


Book Description:

Washington D.C. newspaper columnist Sam Turner, known to his readers as Mr. Ethics, faces his toughest moral dilemma yet: Can murder ever be justified?

That’s the question posed to him by a mysterious young woman who says she is being stalked and harassed by an ex-lover too powerful to be stopped any other way. Sam knows that journalists should never get personally involved in a story, but he finds he is being drawn deeper and deeper into this one whether he wants it or not.

So when Senator Wade Morgan turns up murdered, Sam fears the worst. Worried about his own involvement, the man who normally has all the answers is now the one making questionable decisions.

As his investigation into the Senator’s death begins to spin out of control, Sam finds he can’t let go—even as the case grows more complicated and the threats against his life become more immediate. With the fate of a young woman at stake and his own life in jeopardy, Sam can’t back down until the killer—whoever that may be—is brought to justice.

But this is D.C., and justice can be in short supply.



Book Excerpt:

Dear Mr. Ethics

Sam reads the email a second time, then a third, not sure whether to dismiss it as a prank or call the police. He prints it out and then reads it again, looking for some clue to the sender’s frame of mind.

It’s probably a stunt. Sam gets more than his share of cranks and weirdos. There’s something about writing a newspaper column and calling yourself “Mr. Ethics” that attracts them. Some people just take offense at the notion of a guy sitting behind a computer trying to tell them there’s a right way to behave.

He takes a deep breath and reads the email again, a blue felt-tipped pen in his hand. He studies the words, the grammar, even the sentence structure, looking for oddities or inconsistencies. Nothing jumps out.

He doesn’t need this. Not now.

But then maybe he does. Maybe it’s just what he needs. Something to take his mind off of Lisa, not unlike the migraine that makes you forget the sprained ankle, at least for a while.

He looks up from the sheet of paper in his hand and glances at the poster that hangs in front of him. It’s filled with quotations on writing, and although it’s the kind of thing a college kid would hang in a dorm room, he’s always liked having it near. And he didn’t have much else to stick on the wall two years ago when he was awarded his own office, a privilege he didn’t especially want and still hasn’t adjusted to. He loves the column, both for its intellectual challenge and for the feeling that he may be helping people, albeit in small ways, to make the world a better place.

He turns back to the email. He needs another opinion and knows it should come from his boss, but he doesn’t want to lose control. Brenda would be cautious and call in the executive editor or a lawyer, maybe both, and that would mean days of delay. He’s not going to use the email in his column, so whatever he does shouldn’t come back to hurt the newspaper. He wants to help if he can, and he doesn’t want anyone to get in his way. He’s too old for bureaucratic games.

But he does want another opinion.

He gets up, grabs the printout, and walks down the hall to the newsroom. It’s eerily quiet, nothing like the newsrooms he grew up in. Gone is the chaos of constant motion and loud conversations carried on from opposite ends of the room. Gone too are the ugly metal desks shoved together so close you can smell the whisky on your neighbor’s breath, hear him belch or argue with an official or a source on the phone. Some had hated it, but Sam thrived on the synergy it produced, the bonds it created, the shared excitement of doing something he believed—still believes—is important.

Now, in its place he sees what the younger reporters view as high-tech paradise, with desks crowded with laptops and other electronic devices. The reporters and editors are stuck in a maze of mini-cubicles with three-foot high, sound-absorbing barriers to create a sense of privacy. They need to stand up to see another person.

He’s acutely aware of how much journalism has changed in the thirty years he’s been practicing it. Not that it was ever pure and not that all its practitioners had less than selfish motives. But many did. Now it’s nothing more than a business, a fight for internet clicks or a spot appearance on TV, just when facts and truth matter the most because they’re in such short supply. It’s one of the reasons he was ready to give up reporting and editing to take on the ethics column, but that’s not to say he doesn’t miss the thrill of unraveling an important story.

He walks the maze, heading to Molly’s corner. “Hey,” he says as he comes up behind her.

Her right hand rises in a silencing gesture, and he realizes she’s on the phone. One of those ear things hidden by her hair. How was he supposed to know?

While he waits, he glances up at the silent TV monitors on the wall and tries to guess why the weatherman is moving his arms around in a circle. After a minute or so, Molly ends the call and turns to him.

“What?” she asks, not unfriendly but not friendly either. Busy is the vibe he gets.

Sam was once Molly’s editor and mentor as she learned her way around Congress, which was Sam’s beat for twelve years. She still comes to him for advice, though not often, and he will seek her out when his ethics column needs the perspective of someone younger, or a woman.

He hands her the printout without speaking and watches her read it, biting down on her lower lip, a habit he’s grown used to. He averts his eyes when she looks up and catches him staring at her. He glances around her cubicle while she finishes, then turns back to her, focusing now on her hands, which grip the printout on either side, as if she’s worried he’ll have second thoughts and try to take it back. He’s never noticed how graceful her hands look, with long supple fingers, as though she was born to play the piano. Or type. The thought makes him smile.

Molly hands back the email and frowns. “So what’s the question?” she asks.

“Do you think it’s for real?”

She purses her lips and turns her head slightly. Her blue eyes, accented with eye shadow she doesn’t need, seem to settle on a photograph of her and Kyle, her fiancĂ©. They are wearing hiking gear and standing atop a boulder, Molly’s bleached-blond hair blowing lightly in the wind. Their wedding is set for Memorial Day weekend, less than three months away.

“Look, Sam,” she says finally, picking up her water bottle and taking a swallow, making him wait for what’s coming. “Every woman has some rat-bastard in her past she’d love to blow to kingdom come, but they never actually do it.”

“Some do.”

“Not many. And probably only on the spur of the moment. More passion than planning, and never with advance notice.”

“This is different. He didn’t dump her. He’s stalking her and she’s scared. She doesn’t see any other way out.”

Molly tilts her head slightly and he’s not sure what that means. She reaches for the moisturizer she keeps on her desk. He watches her squirt some in her palm and then rub it carefully on the backs of her hands. He feels himself getting annoyed. Since Lisa asked him to move out, he has less patience for everything and everyone. He reminds himself of that and takes a deep breath.

“I can’t ignore it,” he says.

“But what can you do? It’s vague and anonymous. You can’t use it in the column. Are you thinking of turning it over to the police?”

“No. I have to answer her. Reach out in some way.”

“Tell me why. You always told me not to get involved in the stories I cover.”

“I can’t just let it go.”

“What if you find out she’s serious? Or suicidal?” she asks. “Then you’ll have no choice but to go to the authorities.”

The question annoys him. “Of course. But I don’t have enough to work with now.”

“I don’t disagree, and if it’s not a hoax, I feel sorry for her. But all you can do is tell her to go to the police.”

“She says she can’t,” he says. “I want to find out why. This is a cry for help.”

Molly shrugs, making it clear she doesn’t agree. “If I came to you with this, you’d say reporters shouldn’t get involved. I’d get your lecture on how our job is to shine a light on problems while staying above the fray, not try to make everything okay.”

He doesn’t know what to say. He can’t argue with the journalistic principle she’s quoting, but it doesn’t apply here because he’s not a reporter planning to write a story about the email. “I have to follow it up,” he tells her. “I just do.”

“Why’d you ask my advice if you already had your mind made up?”

He walks away without answering. On the one hand, he sees her point, but he’s disappointed she isn’t more concerned, more helpful. It surprises him that Molly isn’t able to put herself in other people’s shoes more often. Seeing the other side of an issue—any issue—is an important skill for a reporter. Call it empathy.

But maybe he’s just annoyed because she doesn’t agree with him.

Back in his office, he forwards the email to the IT department. He deletes the content, but they can analyze the IP address or whatever they look at to try to determine where it came from. He doesn’t have much hope, but it’s worth a try. Then he turns back to the email and rereads it.

***

Dear Mr. Ethics:

Is murder ever ethical? I hope so because I don’t have a choice. An ex-lover is destroying me. I broke up with him and now he’s ruining my life. He got into my laptop, stole all my data and used it to stalk, embarrass, and almost bankrupt me. Now he’s moved on to even worse stuff. He’s killing my hope for any kind of normal life, so killing him is a form of self-defense. Justifiable homicide, right?

I can’t go to the police for reasons I can’t explain here. And I can’t give you any more details because I can’t risk you figuring out my name.

So can I murder him? And no, I’m not kidding.

Sincerely,

Truly Desperate

***

Sam jots down several notes. The tone strikes him as strangely calm and rational. She’s making a logical argument, not what you’d expect from someone stressed and frantic. Or crazy. Is it a hoax? Maybe a college kid bored with her ethics class and looking for term paper ideas. Or an author concocting a crazy plot for a thriller. Or maybe someone pissed off at Mr. Ethics and hoping to draw him into a discussion that will embarrass him if made public.

But maybe not.

It doesn’t matter. He has to answer her. Keep her talking, try to get more clues so he can stop her on the off chance she really is planning a murder.

He turns to his keyboard and after several false starts comes up with his reply.

***

Dear Truly Desperate,

I’m going to assume this is a not a prank because I have no way of knowing, and I want to give you the benefit of the doubt.

From the little you’ve told me, I can assure you that what you propose is not ethical. Justifiable homicide applies only when your life is in imminent danger, and you haven’t convinced me that this is the case. I don’t think you’ve convinced yourself or you wouldn’t be asking me.

You need to go to the police. If you can’t do it yourself, is there someone who can do it for you? If necessary, I might be willing to do that, depending on the details. And with the newspaper behind me, the police will feel obliged to take it seriously.

If you don’t want my help, I suggest you talk to a mental health professional or a social worker or someone experienced in cases involving domestic partner abuse (which this obviously is).

If you’d like to talk about this more (and I will treat any conversations we have confidentially), you may call me at any time (cellphone number below).

Above all, don’t do anything rash.

Regards,

Sam Turner (a.k.a. Mr. Ethics)

***

He sits back and reads the note again. He considers his offer to go to the police on her behalf, mindful of Molly’s warning not to get involved. He wants to help her, but that’s going too far. He eliminates that sentence.

He also cuts the promise of confidentiality. If she asks for it, he’ll agree, but there’s no need to offer it upfront. And it might tie his hands unnecessarily.

He reads his response one last time and hits the send button.

* * *

***

Excerpt from The Question Is Murder by Mark Willen. Copyright 2021 by Mark Willen. Reproduced with permission from Mark Willen. All rights reserved.




My Book Review:

In his debut mystery novel, The Question Is Murder, author Mark Willen weaves a riveting mystery thriller that will captivate the reader's attention, and keep them sitting on the edge of their seats.

Sam Turner has been in the journalism field for over thirty years, and currently writes an ethics column, Mr. Ethics, for a Washington D.C. newspaper. When Sam receives an anonymous email from a woman who is being stalked and harassed by an ex-lover, she asks Mr. Ethics if murder is ever ethical and justifiable, Sam doesn't know if the email is a prank or a cry for help. This email creates an ethical and moral dilemma for Sam, since the journalistic prinicple calls for journalists to observe and report, and not to get personally involved in a story. So what is Sam to do when he feels the pull to reach out and help protect the young woman, and enagages in an investigation that not only has ethical issues, but also danger around every corner? 

The Question Is Murder transports the reader to Washington D.C. with a fast-paced and masterfully interwoven tale of politics, journalistic ethics, intrigue, secrets, deception and hidden agendas, danger, murder, and enough surprising twists and turns that easily keeps the reader engaged and turning the pages.

Told in an intriguing alternating third person perspective by Sam, and first person perspectives by three persons of interests, the reader follows along as Sam gets caught up in the middle of a dangerous murder investigation that will keep the reader guessing who is the murderer, until all the puzzle pieces are put together, and the explosive truth is unveiled in this dangerous cat and mouse game.

I really enjoyed how the author transports the reader into the fascinating inner workings of the political and journalistic worlds. When you add in the suspense and danger of Sam's murder investigation intermixed with his ethical journalistic dilemma and personal family issues, you get an explosive story that takes you on one heck of a thrill ride. 

The Question Is Murder is a book that you won't be able to put down!


RATING: 5 STARS 





About The Author




Mark Willen was born, raised, and educated in New England, where he developed a special appreciation for the values, humor, and strength of its people, as well as the sense of community that characterizes so many of its small towns. After college, he moved to the Washington, DC area, where he quickly learned how the other half lives.

As a journalist, he has been a reporter, columnist, blogger, producer, and editor at The Voice of America, National Public Radio, Congressional Quarterly, Bloomberg News, and Kiplinger. Though based primarily in Washington, he has reported from datelines as varied as New York, Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, Buenos Aires, and Johannesburg. Having retired from journalism in 2010, Mark now divides his time between writing fiction and volunteer work. As a former graduate-level teacher of journalism ethics, he also tries to help people figure out the right thing to do in difficult situations through his blog, TalkingEthics.com Mark has a Masters of Arts in writing from Johns Hopkins University (2010) and a Bachelor of Arts in government from Dartmouth College.

The Question Is Murder is Mark’s debut mystery, but there is always an element of suspense in his novels. His earlier Jonas Hawke series, three books set in a small but troublesome town in Vermont, were also published by Pen-L. His short stories have appeared in The Rusty Nail, Corner Club Press, and The Boiler Review.

Mark lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his wife, Janet.





Contest Giveaway

Win $15 Amazon Gift Card



This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Mark Willen. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (U.S. ONLY). The giveaway runs July 5 through July 18, 2021. Void where prohibited.

 

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Virtual Book Tour





Tour Schedule:


07/05 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

07/07 Review @ The Book Review Crew

07/08 Review @ Avonna Loves Genres

07/09 Review @ Curlygrannylovestoread

07/10 Review @ I Read What You Write

07/11 Review @ Buried Under Books

07/12 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews

07/13 Review @ Hott Books

07/15 Review @ Reading A Page Turner

07/16 Review @ Novels Alive