Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

My Journey Through Eldercare: The Search For Peace And Meaning by Bonnie Atwood (Book Review)




My Journey Through Eldercare: The Search For Peace And Meaning by Bonnie Atwood
Publisher: PathBinder Publishing
Publication Date: PB - April 24, 2018 / eBook - May 11, 2018
Format: Paperback - 124 pages
               Kindle - 2527 KB
ISBN: 978-1717395047
ASIN: B07CNBDNRJ
BNID: 978-1717395047
Genre: Non Fiction / Eldercare


Buy The Book:



Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.



Book Description:

“Most of us will have the responsibility at some point of knowing and loving an older person — a grandparent, a parent or a sibling — and will relate to Bonnie’s experience of being a caregiver for her mother. But few of us will be able to find the poignant words to capture the moments of tender interchange between us and the elder loved one as does Bonnie. Her words are the love story of a daughter for her mother, as the mother’s capacity to live in the present day evaporates, and all that is left are the fragile memories of people and places long gone. Bonnie treats those memories as sacred treasures and offers them up to the reader as jewels of insight.” 
~ Gail Kent 

"My Journey Through Eldercare provides a poignant glimpse into the intimate and often blurred bonds of love between a mother and daughter. Written with heartfelt candor and depth, Atwood captures the essence of unconditional acceptance, humanity and the special ties of family relationships in the complicated circle of life and loving." 
- Kimberly Loehr 
Virginia Press Women Foundation board member 

"Engaging, witty and personal! If caring for an aging loved one is in your past, present or future, Bonnie's insights will bring a knowing smile, a friendly hug, and gentle encouragement." 
- Janet Loeser, family caregiver 

"My Journey Through Eldercare. The Search for Peace and Meaning reveals the difficult life when caring for a loved one who is losing her memory. Bonnie Atwood, a well-known highly acclaimed writer, reveals poetic and poignant highs and lows when depicting the multiple roles she assumes with her aging mother. I was moved to tears, smiles and even laugher when journeying with them. It’s a good read, a great story, and it may become a guide for everyone who does it all for love." 
- David Bailey, Pastor 



My Book Review:

In My Journey Through Eldercare: The Search For Peace And Meaning, author Bonnie Atwood provides the reader with a compelling and poignant memoir of her experience as a caregiver for her mother Dee.

Through her experience as a caregiver, Bonnie provides the reader with a lot of food for thought when it comes to providing eldercare for their loved one. There are a lot of caregiver choices and decisions available: adult day care, assisted living, nursing home, and home care (private duty and/or family care). With all these choices, the caregiver needs to consider all options while keeping the best interest of their loved one in mind. Bonnie suggests that you empower yourself when considering all the options, follow your instincts, don't be easily swayed, and be prepared for the trials and tribulations that come with the eldercare journey.

As a retired NJ Licensed Nursing Home Administrator who also ran Adult Day Care Centers, I applaud Bonnie for sharing her experience and the knowledge that she gained as a caregiver for her mother. The eldercare options vary on many levels, and the best interest of the elderly loved one along with the family must be carefully considered. It is a difficult decision-making process when it comes to providing care for your elderly loved one, and every eldercare journey is an individual one, but from this wonderful memoir, the reader can gain some very valuable information that could help them with their own journey. The journey of providing eldercare will have the caregiver experiencing the full gamut of emotions, but it is so worth helping your loved one come full circle in their life journey.

I think Bonnie eloquently stated it best: "caring for people is a blessing and a gift. You are helping your loved one move gently to the next part of life's journey - the completion." "The greatest gift a caregiver can get is you'll know you did the right thing; you gave love and were there for your loved one's exit; you made memories celebrating their life, and made their end of life meaningful."

I would highly recommend reading My Journey Through Eldercare: The Search For Peace And Meaning if you are considering providing eldercare for your loved one.


RATING: 5 Stars 






About The Author




Bonnie Atwood is a Writer, Legislative Consultant, and Human Rights Advocate, who resides in Richmond, Virginia.










Wednesday, August 8, 2018

In It For The Money by David Burnsworth (Book Review)



In It For The Money by David Burnsworth
Book 1: A Blu Carraway Mystery Series
Publisher: Henery Press 
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Format: Hardcover / Paperback  - 286 pages
               Kindle - 766 KB 
               Nook - 349 KB
ISBN: 978-1635112436
ASIN:  B072N5TVLG
BNID: 2940157287535
Genre: Mystery / Suspense / Thriller / Southern Noir Fiction



Buy The Book:


Buy The Series: A Blu Carraway Mystery Series
Novella: Blu Heat 
Book 1: In It For The Money
Book 2: Bad Time To Be In It
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iTunes
Kobo
Goodreads



Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.



Book Description:

Lowcountry Private Investigator Blu Carraway needs a new client. He’s broke and the tax man is coming for his little slice of paradise. But not everyone appreciates his skills. Some call him a loose cannon. Others say he’s a liability. All the ex-Desert Storm Ranger knows is his phone hasn’t rung in quite a while. Of course, that could be because it was cut off due to delinquent payments.

Lucky for him, a client does show up at his doorstep—a distraught mother with a wayward son. She’s rich and her boy’s in danger. Sounds like just the case for Blu. Except nothing about the case is as it seems. The jigsaw pieces—a ransom note, a beat-up minivan, dead strippers, and a missing briefcase filled with money and cocaine—do not make a complete puzzle. The first real case for Blu Carraway Investigations in three years goes off the rails.

And that’s the way he prefers it to be.



Book Excerpt:



Chapter One

Lowcountry, South Carolina, early June, Thursday morning
The old rotary phone sitting on the desk refused to ring. No matter how much Blu Carraway wanted it to. He looked out the window of his makeshift office at the surrounding marsh and sighed. Crumpled up in his right hand was the latest tax assessment, in his left was an electronic cigarette. Without thinking, he took a hit off the vaporizer, which replaced Camels as his only vice. Well, that and pirated satellite TV.
And still the receiver remained silent.
One more good job.
It was all he needed.
Then Charleston County would be happy for another year, and he’d get to keep his little island home. Just. One. Good. Job.
The hula girl on his desk a Desert Storm buddy had given him when he first hung out his PI shingle bobbled at him as if to say, “How long did you think you could keep this up, tough guy?”
He swatted her off the desk with the tax bill. “At least another year, Dollie.”
As the plastic figure skittered across the old plank flooring, Blu heard the sound of tires on his crushed shell drive. With the sole air-conditioning being a ceiling fan and open windows, he heard everything happening on his little slice of paradise. But he suspected his tenure there was on borrowed time. The house and land, which had been in the family for next to forever, were his free and clear. Except nothing was free and clear. He still had his yearly rent payment to the county, which seemed to think nine acres of mostly sand and marsh with a small herd of free-roaming scraggly horses was worth one helluva lot. Even though they neglected to consider it relevant enough to route the mosquito sprayers anywhere near the place.
A black Mercedes, the new big one, sliced between two live oaks and rolled to a stop beside his ancient Land Cruiser. Blu watched as the driver’s door opened and a man in a suit and tie exited the car. Just as Blu was about to run outside to greet him, he noticed the man walk around the expensive German machine, open the rear door, and extend a hand to assist whomever was in the backseat.
A pale white hand grasped the driver’s. After a moment, a woman with shoulder-length gray hair and sunglasses stood beside the car as the driver shut her door. She was not unattractive—in a wealthy, snobby kind of way. Her pose accentuated thin, but not frail, limbs and a torso hinting at personal trainer visits. Her crème-colored sleeveless blouse, tailored slacks, and shoes his daughter had once told him were called wedges exuded confidence. The woman held what looked like an expensive pocketbook.
Blu walked outside and approached the pair. “Can I help you?”
The woman, who was more attractive up close with high cheekbones, a small nose Blu guessed was natural, and a perfectly- proportioned neck adorned with modest pearls, said, “I’m looking for a Mr. Carraway.”
“You found him.”
“Good.” She turned to the driver, who upon closer inspection had an athletic build with a slightly visible shoulder rig beneath his suit coat. “Told you this was the place.”
He said, “Yes, ma’am.”
It didn’t sound like the man was convinced.
Two of Blu’s horses, at least he called them his because they wouldn’t leave his property even though there was no fencing, clomped around the house and approached. These were the curious ones from the herd, and not the brightest. He’d named them Dink and Doofus.
The woman’s mouth opened in surprise.
Her driver, apparently startled, reached inside his jacket where the shoulder rig was.
Blu said, “Don’t mind these two. They’re harmless. But if you see a black stud, best keep your distance.”
The woman watched the horses approach. Dink, the brown male with a tangled mane, lowered his head and sniffed. Doofus, his coat best described as dirty snow, lumbered up to the woman. In a past life, these two must have been canines.
Blu said, “Come on, guys.”
As if the horses just noticed he was there, they both raised their heads and snorted. Doofus gave his mane a quick shake.
The woman reached out and touched Dink on his nose.
The horse granted her hand a big lick before she could retract it.
Dink and Doofus didn’t approach just anybody. Blu had recognized this trait in them a long time ago. They liked this woman. Or else they just thought she had a treat for them.
Blu said, “What can I do for you fine folks?”
“Mr. Carraway,” the woman said, maneuvering around Dink and offering a business card. “I’m Cynthia Rhodes.”
Blu held the card. “That’s exactly what this says.” It also gave a Charleston, South Carolina address. South Battery, no less. Big money.
Real big money.
She said, “Yes, well, I’d like to talk to you about employing your services.”
Tapping the card on his open palm, he said, “I appreciate your effort to get here, Ms. Rhodes. I would have gladly met you somewhere closer to Charleston. Saved you the forty-minute trip.”
The driver stepped forward and the horses retreated to the other side of the vehicles. “There must be something wrong with your phone.”
An image of a stack of unpaid bills came to mind, specifically the one marked “third and final notice.” Blu didn’t reply.
Cynthia Rhodes said, “Is there someplace we can sit and talk?”
Coming to his senses, Blu said, “Of course. I’m sorry. I don’t normally receive clients out here. Please come this way.” He ran through a mental checklist: the office was one chair short for this group, the desk was a mess, the hula girl was on the floor, and the bathroom hadn’t been cleaned in, well, he couldn’t remember when.
Ms. Rhodes and her driver followed him, all of them crunching on the shell drive, up the porch stairs, and into the office he’d created out of the living room of the one-story bungalow his great- great-grandfather had built.
His guests didn’t comment on the disheveled appearance.
The driver pulled out the single client chair in front of Blu’s desk and Cynthia Rhodes sat.
Blu made an assumption the man would prefer to remain standing seeing as how his role could best be described as armed chauffer. Walking around his desk, being sure to step over the hula girl on the floor, and noticing the crumpled tax bill flittering in the wind of the ceiling fan, Blu sat on the ripped cushion of his ancient captain’s chair. It gave a long, un-oiled squeak. “Okay, Ms. Rhodes, tell me why you think you need my services.”
Cynthia Rhodes removed her sunglasses and held them in her lap.
She looked at him with deep blue eyes. “Mr. Carraway, I have a situation I’m not sure how to handle.”
The horses’ intuition and this woman’s bold and transparent acknowledgement of uncertainty regarding her situation had him trusting her almost immediately. Well, those reasons and the big tax bill he had to pay.
“Can I get either of you something to drink?” he asked. “I’ve got tap water or cold—I mean iced—coffee.” Cold was a more accurate statement, but he didn’t think it sounded sophisticated enough.
Cynthia Rhodes said, “No, thank you.”
Meeting her deep blue gaze, he guessed she was mid-fifties, about ten years his senior. He asked, “How can I help?”
“I was told you could be trusted.”
“By whom?” he asked.
“Adam Kincaid.”
With the name, Blu immediately understood the depth of her need, if not the specifics.
She continued. “He said you got his daughter back for him when those awful men took her.”
“More or less.” Kincaid’s daughter was returned to her father intact, physically if not emotionally, without paying any ransom. And the world had lost a half-dozen kidnappers. “Has your daughter been kidnapped?”
With a tight-lipped smile and a slight headshake, she said, “I have a son.”
He said, “What is it you think I can do for you?”
“He’s missing.”
“How do you know?”
She looked down. “My son and I have a strained relationship, to say the least. The only way I know he’s okay is because he makes withdrawals from his trust fund.”
Blu said, “He hasn’t made any in a while?”
“Two weeks.” She looked at him. “I was told you handle unique situations. That they were your specialty.”
Her driver smirked.
Blu said, “You don’t want the police involved?”
“No,” she said. “I mean, not yet.”
He sat back. “What would you like me to do?”
“Isn’t it obvious?” she asked, her voice breaking for the first time.
“You’d like me to find him?”
“Yes.”
It sounded more like a question.
He said, “I can do that.”
“My son is a sweet boy. He likes art—painting. If something’s happened to him, I’m not sure what I’d do.”
Blu had a hunch the real reason she was here was about to surface.
She said, “Mr. Kincaid told me you made the men who took his daughter pay for their sins.”
“You think someone did something to your son?”
Folding her arms across her chest, she said, “I hope not.”
Blu shook his head. “Anything that may or may not have happened in Mexico was a by-product of the goal of the job, which was to get his daughter back.” It was a true statement, but not really the truth.
Cynthia Rhodes reached into her pocketbook, removed a check, and handed it to Blu.

Chapter Two

The amount written in neat, precise cursive would do a lot more than just pay his property tax for the year. He handed the check back, trying hard not to show any reluctance to do so. “I don’t take on blood jobs.” Another true statement which wasn’t the truth.
Sometimes they ended up that way—bloody.
Her eyes were wide. “But you’re my last hope.”
Blu laced his fingers together and placed his hands on the desk. “That makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.” With a slight head jerk, he motioned to her driver. “Why not send trigger-happy Rick, here?”
Blu already knew the answer. The man was mostly show. He appeared to be in shape. But he did not have a killer’s gaze.
She looked at her driver who shifted his weight between his feet as if he were nervous.
Holding a hand up, Blu said, “You don’t want to have things too close to home. I understand. Better to hire some schmuck and make him do the heavy lifting.”
“You’re mistaken,” she said. “I heard you were the best.”
“I am the best,” he said. “Can’t you tell by the crowds of folks lining up for my services?”
With a smile breaking the tension in the lines of her face, she said, “Adam also said you had an odd sense of humor.”
Blu didn’t know what to say, so he kept quiet. Filling voids in conversation only gave away too much.
Cynthia Rhodes filled in the void for him. “If it isn’t enough money, I’ll double it.”
The Kincaid job had netted enough to keep Carraway Investigations solvent for three years, with only a modest contribution from an insurance or surveillance job here and there. And lately, some day laboring. The offer in front of him was eerily similar. Of course, Blu and his partner, a biker and fellow Ranger named Mick Crome, had barely made it out of Mexico alive with Jennifer Kincaid. Blu was three years wiser now, and he enjoyed the cliché “getting older by the minute” more than the one about “being worm food.”
He ignored one of his golden rules: Decisions made under duress were usually tainted. “Okay. I’ll look into it. But if all you want is a trigger puller, I’m out.”
And then he lied to himself about it not being because he needed the money.

After Cynthia Rhodes signed a standard, boiler-plate contract, which had jammed Blu’s ancient printer twice in the process, and gave him a picture of her son, she and her driver left. Happy to be working again, Blu headed into town, taking the decade-old photo of Jeremy Rhodes with him, the most recent one his mother had. It showed a good-looking, normal kid with clear eyes and a boyish smile and dimples.
The drive into Charleston gave Blu time to think. A few things about this new job already bothered him. First: Cynthia Rhodes, the kid’s supposed mother, didn’t have a current picture of her son. Second: For all he knew, Jeremy could be trying to run away from dear old mom.
Cynthia Rhodes had no idea where her son was and couldn’t remember the last time she’d seen or spoken with him. When Blu asked about drug use, she seemed flippant. All she knew was Jeremy had gone to the College of Charleston and majored in Liberal Arts, graduating two years ago.
Frankly, if it weren’t for the money and his lack of it, Blu wouldn’t have been so eager to take the job. The fact she’d doubled the offer erased any hesitation he might have had.
When he turned onto King Street, he found a parking spot at a meter in front of Willie’s Music Shop. He put some change in the meter and walked inside. His friend Willie Day had owned and run the place since the eighties, weathering Hurricane Hugo and urban blight. Willie always seemed to know what was going on no matter what Blu asked about. After Willie had passed on to the other side not too long after 9/11, his daughter took over, running the store during the city’s current rejuvenation. And, like her father, she had connections all over town.
Billie Day stood beside a wall display of Fender guitars, talking to a very early twenty-something white male. A black tank top and a short crop of hair exposed Billie’s light brown arms and neck. Her jeans accentuated curves that always put Blu in a good mood. She gave him a slight nod but kept her main focus on the customer.
Blu rotated his sunglasses to the top of his head and pretended to browse while he waited for Billie to make the sale. Desert Storm had done a number on his hearing, but he distinctly heard the sum “thousand even” and silently congratulated Billie.
After the kid had paid and walked out with his purchase protected in a nice case she’d talked him into buying, Billie walked over to Blu.
With hands on nice hips, she said, “What can I help you with?”
What she said was a little more formal than Blu had been looking for in a greeting. Apparently, Billie was more than a little pissed at him for not calling. It had been six months, right about the time his tax situation derailed him.
He said, “Hi, Billie.”
“Hi, Billie? Is that what you’re going with?”
“Um—”
She put a finger to his lips. “Don’t even try to dig yourself out of this one, Blu.”
He looked into powerful, deep brown eyes and almost winced.
Her gaze lightened. “Why didn’t you just tell me your tax troubles?”
Blu looked down. He should have assumed she knew.
She lifted his chin. “Friends help each other. They don’t shut each other out.”
“It’s my problem to fix,” he said.
“But it doesn’t have to be, baby. You made it so.”
A lot of thoughts ran through his stubborn head. Like how someone five years his junior had it so much more together than he did. And how someone could care about him so much after all these years.
He said, “I’ve got another job now. A good one. Hell, the retainer alone is enough to pay off Charleston County and then some.”
“You’ve got a job now, huh? Is that why you’re here?”
“Not the only reason.”
She patted his chest. “Before we get to that, you’ve got to make this up to me.”
“I—”
With a nudge from her hip, she said, “I don’t want to hear excuses. I want you to take me out and treat me proper. Everything has a price. My price for being ignored is a date. Take it or leave it.”
He’d always loved this woman. The timing was never right. He’d come back from the war all screwed up and she’d just turned eighteen—bad timing.
By the time he’d gotten his head screwed back on straight, she was twenty. And he married someone else—bad timing.
When he’d been about to get a divorce, his wife turned up pregnant. They stuck it out another five years before ending it just in time for Billie to marry someone—bad timing.
And then Billie divorced, she and Blu were set to be together, and his money problems started—bad timing.
But now he had this new job, his money problems abated, and she was still available. He just hoped he wouldn’t mess it up this time. So, in answer to her request for a date as restitution for him being a complete moron, he said, “Okay. I’ll take it.”
“Good,” she said. “Pick me up at eight.”
He thought about going ahead and asking her if she knew Jeremy Rhodes, but he decided not to push his luck. She wasn’t his only source, just his favorite.
He smiled and gave her a peck on the cheek.
She said, “Are you going to call Crome?”

Chapter Three

Blu stepped out of the music store and onto the broken sidewalk of upper King Street. The nice shops had been encroaching this direction for some time and had almost made it. Willie’s Music had always been a novelty. Now it was a novelty on prime real estate. And Billie had politely turned down several decent offers to sell. Blu couldn’t blame her. The business held its own, and she liked what she did.
Her asking if he was going to call Crome meant she was more than a little concerned about the job.
Mick Crome, his sometime business partner, had vanished with his half of what was left of the fee after expenses from the payout of the Kincaid job. The last Blu heard, Crome had ridden his Harley all the way down to Key West and hadn’t come up for air since. And not a day went by that Blu didn’t think about his friend.
He’d give Crome a day or two. The guy had a knack for showing up at the right time. If he hadn’t returned to Charleston by then and things got out of hand, Blu would make a few calls.
The picture Cynthia Rhodes gave him of her son didn’t help as he would have to assimilate what Jeremy looked like now, most likely factoring in extensive drug use as an age agent.
What he needed was a current picture, at least one more current than ten years. Because he’d let his cell phone plan expire when he ran out of money, he bought a prepaid “burner” phone at a drug store. The teenage girl who rang up his purchase helped him set it up and he gave her a five-dollar tip.
Using the cigarette lighter in the Land Cruiser to power the phone, he dialed a number from memory.
It went to voicemail.
When prompted to leave a message, he said, “Gladys, this is Blu Carraway. I know it’s been a while, but I could use a favor. Call me when you can.” He left the burner’s number and closed the phone.
With that accomplished, some theme music was required. He selected a cassette and loaded it in the Land Cruiser’s tape deck. After a moment, the bass riff from “The Waiting Room” by the punk band Fugazi played through the speakers—what a band.
The phone vibrated on his leg. He turned down the music volume and answered the call.
Gladys said, “Certainly has been a while, Mr. Blu Carraway. What lowlife are you after now?”
Ten years ago, about the same time the picture of Jeremy Rhodes was taken, Blu intervened in a domestic abuse situation. Gladys found him through a friend and tried to hire him. Apparently, none of the other local private investigators would bother to talk with her, much less take her job. At the time, her husband was taking out his frustrations for being a bakery delivery man on Gladys. When Blu found out she worked at the DMV, he handled the job pro bono, figuring the connection was worth it. In the end, a police investigation confirmed her husband had died while trying to beat her again—a clear case of self-defense as far as anyone was concerned. Blu didn’t lose any sleep over it when the police found the knife sticking out of the man’s neck with Gladys’ prints on it. In Blu’s mind, any man who struck a woman in anger deserved no less. Gladys had done the deed, but only after Blu suggested she already had enough evidence to prove self-defense. He’d been a stone’s throw away when it happened, which most likely also encouraged and empowered the woman to take action.
And Gladys, with her connection to every licensed driver and registered vehicle in the state of South Carolina, had indeed proved helpful. The Driver’s Privacy Protection Act of ’92 protected a driver’s information from getting outside the appropriate government agencies. But it didn’t apply to licensed PI’s like Blu who had a wide range of access. Through experience, Blu found an inside source usually trumped his own sleuthing skills. With her abusive husband gone, Gladys’ life had changed dramatically for the better. He knew she would happily keep returning the favor.
He said, “I need a photo of someone.”
“Let me get something to write with.” A pause, then, “Okay, shoot.”
He gave the name and approximate age of Jeremy Rhodes.
She said, “I get off work in two hours. Buy me a milkshake at the Chick-fil-A down the street.”
“You got it.” He ended the call.
With time to kill, Blu had two things in mind. One was to research exactly who Cynthia Rhodes was. And the second was to squeeze in a workout at the gym. His first stop was the local library where he signed onto a computer and looked up his new client. Normally he would have done this before accepting the job, but her check was awfully big.
Cynthia Rhodes was indeed a Charleston socialite. She managed a charitable organization named Lowcountry Second Chances and booked fundraisers all year long. A major benefactor for the charity was a shelter in North Charleston.
Once divorced, her ex-husband being one Jack Rhodes who had passed away five years ago from a heart attack, Jeremy was their only child. Jack had been a big deal in lowcountry real estate up until his passing.
Jeremy Rhodes, unlike his mother, had done a good job of flying under the radar. There was quite a bit on both of his parents on the web, but nothing about him except a few notifications of past showings of his artwork at some of the local coffee shops.
Being a private investigator wasn’t in and of itself difficult work. Blu felt he had to keep his mind sharp and be able to think on his feet. And he had sources providing a lot of what kept him ahead of things. But it was also physical—he had to stay in shape. Quitting smoking, or at least switching to vapor, had several benefits, one being he could no longer afford it anymore anyway. And it also helped him breathe better during workouts.
With the preliminary research complete, Blu went to the gym. He kept a bag of gym clothes and gear in his truck, because he never knew when he’d get the opportunity. While his cardio had gotten a lot better since he switched to vapor, he still preferred the weights and got a good hour set in. Even with his money troubles, the gym membership would have been one of the last things to go.

Gladys faced a pink-colored milkshake in a booth in the restaurant when Blu sat across from her. A lot of people spent a lot of money to fight against looking their age. Gladys was not one of them. Past fifty, she had thick strawberry-framed glasses, gray hair, and a healthy dose of paunch. She had a few more years before she’d have her time in with the state and she could retire on a full ride. When that happened, Blu would need another source. Gladys made it easier than having to deal with a lot of red tape, even though he also knew a lot of cops.
She sipped from the straw and slid a nine-by-twelve-inch envelope to him. Her short, plump body was mostly hidden by the table. “They know me here. I told them you’d be paying. You gotta go to the counter.”
Blu stood, went to the counter, ordered a sweet tea, and paid for their drinks. He got his tea, sat across from Gladys again, picked up the envelope, and slipped out two sheets of paper, one an enlarged driver’s license picture and the other a vehicle registration for a late model Volkswagen Jetta. Listed was the South Battery address on the business card his mother had given Blu.
Gladys remained quiet.
Unlike the clean-cut boy in the photo Cynthia had given him, in this picture Jeremy Rhodes had black hair shaved on one side of his head with the length on top combed over to the other like an upside down mop. It contrasted with pale white skin like his mother’s—obviously not a beach dweller. He also had quite a few piercings: ears, nose, eyebrows, and both cheeks.
Blu pushed the photo back into the envelope. “Thanks.”
“Kid looks like a degenerate, you ask me.”
He hadn’t asked her, but let it go. “How’s your mom?” Last time he spoke with her, she was in the hospital.
“Dead.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
Gladys nodded but didn’t reply. Aside from the results of her lethargic and static lifestyle, she really did look much different from when she first walked into his office. Her usual grumpy demeanor aside, he knew she’d become a new woman, quite content with who she was. With her newfound freedom from the abusive husband came what he’d observed to be inner strength.
She said, “One more thing. I checked around. The car’s in impound. Been there a week.”
“Thanks,” he said, “Anything I can do for you?”
She finished another round of slurping, licked her lips, and swallowed. “Nah. I’m good.”
Blu slid out of the booth and was ready to roll when she said, “They got good sandwiches here.”
His first thought was she didn’t want to eat alone. Even though he wanted to get back to the job, he said, “Why don’t we get something to eat? I’m buying.”
She smiled for the first time. “Okay by me.”
After they ate chicken sandwiches and waffle fries, and he listened to her complain about her sister, Blu left the ray of sunshine that was Gladys and drove back into the city.
He wanted to check out the kid’s car, and he knew someone who would give him access, but it was too late in the day. First thing in the morning, he’d make a call.
The feeling Cynthia Rhodes wasn’t telling him everything weighed heavy on him. Gladys had said Jeremy Rhodes looked like a degenerate. It wasn’t his call to make, but Blu wouldn’t hire the kid to pick shells on the beach, much less do anything requiring responsibility. If he was alive, what was the kid doing for money? It wasn’t as if he’d ever had to work for anything.

At suppertime, still an hour before he had to leave to meet Billie, Blu filled the water trough for the horses with a garden hose. His grandfather had made the first mistake a long time ago when he gave one of the animals an apple. Since then, the herd of Carolina Marsh Tackeys, a breed indigenous to the lowcountry, had slowly become family, and caring for them had grown from a novelty to a chore. His father and Cuban mother had continued the practice while they lived there as well. The horses still fed mostly on the vegetation of the property and took care of themselves, the exception being when it froze. During the one week a year it got frigid in the lowcountry, Blu bought a few bales of hay to carry them through. Trying to get them into a barn would be a waste of time. They’d sooner trample him than be corralled.
By the time he finished and put the water hose away, he heard tires on the crushed shell drive.
“Twice in one day,” he said to no one in particular.
He didn’t know how prophetic the statement really was until he watched Cynthia Rhodes’ shiny black Mercedes cut between the trees and pull up next to his old Land Cruiser, as before.
The driver got out of the Mercedes but didn’t open the rear door. Instead, he marched toward Blu. Same dark suit and tie and bright white shirt. He wore sunglasses, just like Blu. It looked like Trigger Rick had come alone this time.
Dink and Doofus kept their distance.
When Trigger Rick got close, Blu said, “Howdy.”
The man didn’t look happy. But then again, he didn’t look happy the first time Blu had met him either. “Howdy yourself, Carraway.” He thumb-pointed to himself. “I could do the job. I’m not sure why Cynthia thought she needed the help of some washed- up dick who hasn’t had a real job in three years.”
Blu didn’t reply. What was there to say?
Trigger Rick continued. “The reason I’m here is because Cynthia wanted a way to be in contact with you.” He reached into his jacket pocket and handed over a smartphone.
“I don’t like those things,” Blu lied. More like he couldn’t afford a smartphone. The service plans required monthly payments, something he hadn’t been in a financial position to commit to in a while.
“Like I care.’”
Blu held it out for the driver to take back. “Still, I can’t accept it.”
“You can and you will.” He retreated to the car. “You think I’m going to go back and tell Cynthia I didn’t give it to you?”
Blu watched the man start the car, turn around, and drive away. Then he looked down at the phone in his hand. It was a nice iPhone.
While he was examining it, the device vibrated in his hands. He almost dropped it.
The name “Cynthia Rhodes” displayed on the screen.
Blu touched the green answer button and held it up to his ear.
“Mr. Carraway?” It was her voice.
“Yes.”
“Good. I hope you don’t think me presumptuous, but I wanted to make sure we had a way of communicating.”
Blu watched as Dink, Doofus, and a mare named Molly Mae drank from the trough. He said, “I appreciate the gesture, but I can’t accept this.”
“I insist.”
“What I mean is I need to get myself one for my business anyway.”
“Consider it a part of our deal and a bonus afterward. It’s unlocked, and I’ve paid forward enough to last the rest of the year.”
He realized he wouldn’t have to worry about getting the landline reconnected. It showed several bars of coverage even on his own slice of paradise located forty minutes away from anywhere else.
She said, “I also managed to get the last four digits to spell out ‘blue.’”
“Oh.”
“That’s okay, isn’t it?” she asked. “I mean, you can use it as a marketing gimmick if you want. You know, like ‘don’t feel blue, call Blue.’”
He wondered how long she’d worked on that one. Hopefully not too long. He decided not to correct her spelling of his name. “I really appreciate the gesture, Ms. Rhodes.”
“Call me Cynthia.”
Her driver had called her Cynthia. How close were they?
He didn’t mention that either. Instead, he said, “Okay. And you can call me Blu.”
“Good.”
“Cynthia?”
“Yes?”
“How long has your driver been working for you?”
“Rick? Around two years. Why?”
If Blu handled this poorly, it could jeopardize being able to continue calling her Cynthia. He said, “Why isn’t he looking for your son? I can tell he believes he’s capable.”
After a pause, she said, “Mr. Carraway. That is precisely why I hired you.”
The call ended.
And Blu wondered if he could still call her Cynthia.
***
Excerpt from In It For The Money by David Burnsworth. Copyright © 2017 by David Burnsworth. Reproduced with permission from David Burnsworth. All rights reserved.



My Book Review:


In It For The Money, is the first book in the Blu Carraway Mystery Series by author David Burnsworth. 

Set in the sultry lowcountry setting of Charleston, SC, the reader follows ex-Desert Storm Army Ranger turned Private Investigator Blu Carraway as he embarks on a Southern noir/mystery investigative adventure. 

Three years have passed since Blu Carraway's last paying investigative case, and the bills are piling up including the outstanding taxes on Carraway Island, his private 9-acre family-owned island paradise. With no phone or means to get his investigative agency any business, Cynthia Rhodes, a wealthy Charleston socialite tracks Blu down at his island home and requests his services to find her missing son, Jeremy. Cynthia and Jeremy have an estranged relationship, and when Cynthia notices that Jeremy hasn't made any recent withdrawals from his trust account for the past two weeks, she becomes worried. Blu takes the case thinking it will be a quick high money paying job, but he quickly realizes that Cynthia hasn't told him everything, especially when the investigation suddenly turns into something more than just a missing twenty-something son, there are missing drugs and money, contract hits, and dead bodies added into the mix! Blu's investigation gets ramped up when his MIA best friend/business partner Mick Crome comes riding in on his Harley, so they team up with a motley crew of friends and engage in a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a son who apparently doesn't want to be found. 

Author David Burnsworth weaves a fast-paced and suspenseful tale that follows Blu and Mick's investigative journey as it takes them all over Charleston in search of Jeremy Rhodes. The reader is easily drawn into this well-written story with its richly descriptive plot and setting, it is filled with enough action and unsuspecting twists and turns that takes the reader on one hell of a thrilling roller coaster ride.

As a fan of Southern fiction, I loved the richly descriptive Charleston setting and the surrounding lowcountry SC areas, especially Blu's private Carraway Island that features a free-roaming herd of Carolina Marsh Tackey horses that include the lovable Dink and Doofus. 

With an intriguing cast of characters; witty dialogue and dramatic interactions; a complicated romantic relationship; and a richly descriptive setting that makes a person want to visit the picturesque city of Charleston, its historic landmarks, and the surrounding lowcountry areas; In It For The Money is an intriguing tale that will entice fans of classic Southern noir mysteries to follow along on Blu's investigative adventures! 



RATING: 5 STARS 






About The Author



David Burnsworth became fascinated with the Deep South at a young age. After a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and fifteen years in the corporate world, he made the decision to write a novel. He is the author of both the Brack Pelton and the Blu Carraway Mystery Series. Having lived in Charleston on Sullivan’s Island for five years, the setting was a foregone conclusion. He and his wife call South Carolina home.


Author Website
Amazon Author Page
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads



Monday, August 6, 2018

Bad Time To Be In It by David Burnsworth (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 Bad Time To Be In It by David Burnsworth!




Bad Time To Be In It by David Burnsworth
Book 2: A Blu Carraway Mystery Series
Publisher: Henery Press 
Publication Date: July 10, 2018
Format: Hardcover / Paperback  - 254 pages
               Kindle - 488 KB - 218 pages
               Nook - 1 MB
ISBN: 978-1635113587
ASIN: B07C86TY8R
BNID: 2940159040176
Genre: Mystery / Suspense / Thriller / Southern Noir Fiction



Buy The Book:


Buy The Series: A Blu Carraway Mystery Series
Novella: Blu Heat 
Book 1: In It For The Money
Book 2: Bad Time To Be In It
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iTunes
Kobo
Goodreads



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:

The past is never past. Sometimes it repeats itself. And sometimes it comes back to pay a visit. Blu Carraway, flush with cash and back in business, never had it so good. Or so he thought. The reality is his love life is in shambles, his business partner is spending too much time with women half his age and not enough time on the job, and someone close goes missing. Blu’s business partner goes off the rails, his friends show their true colors, and he realizes that getting closure sometimes means walking away from everything. With a case from the past gone wrong twice, a loved one in trouble, and an unanswered marriage proposal, it’s a bad time to be in it for Blu Carraway Investigations.



Book Excerpt:




Chapter One


Belize City, Belize, August, mid-Monday

Paco squinted as he stared out over the courtyard, the afternoon sun a brilliant blaze. Sounds of local women selling vegetables, cheap pottery, and trinkets to tourists filled the air. The clinking of dishware. Some of the vendors were lucky enough to have an umbrella or canopy to shield them from the burning heat. Most weren’t.
The pavement baked Paco’s feet through his cowboy boots.
He lifted his straw hat, one with an orange band he’d bought from a local Mennonite child, and wiped his brow. The air tasted of salt, dust, and tamalito grease.
His two partners, a Belizean Creole called Lin and a Jamaican named Peter, were already in position. Lin nodded at him from the other side of the square. Paco checked on Peter and found him fifty meters due east scoping out the three young women they’d come for.
Well, really it was just one of them they wanted. The other two women were going to be a bonus. The contract was to grab the woman with the family name of Kincaid, make a phone call when they had her at their hideout, and then do whatever they wanted with the other two. And eliminate any resistance.
The stupid chicas had only one guard with them. Some tall, middle-aged Bufon Paco guessed was half-Cuban, half-gringo, who wore sunglasses and dressed in light-colored fatigues and military style boots. He looked fit but was most likely nothing but an easy target. In the three days Peter, Lin, and Paco had tracked the women, the man with the sunglasses always kept watch from behind.
The past two nights Paco had dreamt of shooting the man through those sunglasses.
Using the sleeve of his shirt, Paco wiped his forehead one more time and then replaced his hat. He watched Peter wait until the women and the man passed and then fell in behind them.
God, the women were beautiful. Suntanned white girls in their early twenties. Perfect teeth. Curled, long hair. Linen blouses, short shorts, and sandals. After he shot their protector, his dreams ended with tying each of them to a bed, the fear in their eyes giving him immense pleasure.
And today was the day his dream would come true.
Paco watched the group pass through a crowd of old people in bright clothes unloading from a tour bus.
Except Peter didn’t emerge behind them when the women came through the other side of the gray-haired mass.
Neither did the sunglass-wearing guard.
Paco smiled and thought, good, Peter took him out already.
He nodded at Lin who gave him a thumbs-up.
The women perused another row of vendors.
He and Lin followed, coming from opposite ends.
The women were just ahead. Paco caught sight of their toned caderas and thanked his god again for tight American shorts. He picked up his pace as he threaded through the crowd.
After about forty meters, something didn’t seem right anymore. He should have caught up to them by now. And Lin should have joined him.
Paco stopped, checked his phone. No messages.
Looking around, he thought he spotted the women turn down an alley.
Where were Peter and Lin?
It didn’t matter.
He had to get the woman now. Especially with the guard out of the picture.
Paco knew he could handle her by himself, even if the other two females had to die to make things easier. He sprinted after them, cut down the alley, and found himself alone with nothing but a dead end. The only noise he heard was the market from which he’d come.
An abandoned car on blocks with its hood open mocked him. Dust kicked up from his boots as he skidded to a stop. Paco turned around. No one had followed him.
He turned back and looked straight down the barrel of a revolver.
His eyes would not—could not—keep from staring at the black hole in front of him that brought death. Where in the hell did this come from? There had been no sound.
A man’s voice said, “Esto es donde dar la Vuelta y a pie.” (This is where you turn around and walk away.)
Thinking fast, Paco said, “Que buscaba para mi hija.” (I was looking for my daughter.)
The thumb of the hand holding the revolver cocked the hammer back.
Anyone else would have soiled his pants at this. But Paco knew the man had made a very big mistake. Other peoples’ mistakes, and Paco’s awareness of them, were how he had survived this long. The cocked pistol an arm’s reach from his face had caught him off guard. If it had been five feet away, the perfect distance for control, he would have had a problem.
But this close—
Paco swung an arm at the hand with the pistol and ducked the other way, all in one motion just like he’d done before.
Except another gun fired.
Paco felt an inferno of heat and lead tear through his leg. He screamed and crashed to the ground.
A large, military boot kicked him in the face. It jolted his focus off the pain in his leg for a second and onto the sunglasses of the man from his dreams. Paco spotted a second pistol in the man’s other hand. He hadn’t seen the second gun because he couldn’t tear his eyes away from the first. The man had outsmarted him.
The man smiled down at him and said, in Spanish, “Who hired you?”
The pain flooded back. Paco seethed out a “Piss off.”
The man with the sunglasses put his large boot on Paco’s injured leg and stepped down hard.
Paco had never felt pain so great in his thirty-three years on this earth. He tried to scream, but nothing came out. He swam in a horizon of white noise.
The pressure on his leg let up. The boot kicked him in the ribs, ripping his concentration away from his leg once more, long enough for him to breathe.
“Your two friends won’t be joining us. Tell me who hired you. Do it now. I won’t ask again.” Paco’s mind recovered enough from the pain to formulate a last desperate plan. He slipped a hand behind his back and pulled out a derringer.
Before he could aim it, the man standing over him blasted his hand from two feet away. And Paco felt a different twinge of pain that almost matched the firestorm in his leg. He lifted his hand to where he could look at it. Two of his fingers were missing.
Then he saw nothing.



Chapter Two


Charleston County, South Carolina, August, mid-Monday


DAY ONE

Mick Crome sat on a stool at the inside bar of the Pirate’s Cove on the Isle of Palms. He finished off a second pint while staring at all the liquor bottles lined up on the shelves in front of him. They had a habit of staring back. Maureen, his sometimes girlfriend and bartender a hundred miles north up in Myrtle Beach, was pissed off at him. He couldn’t chill and watch her tight rear end as she poured drinks tonight. Maybe not tomorrow night, either.
The current bartender serving the beers, a friend named Brack Pelton, wasn’t exactly his type. At six feet and with a perpetual suntanned complexion, Brack looked like he should be tending bar in the Bahamas, not owning two watering holes in the South Carolina lowcountry.
Pelton asked, “You want another one, Mick?”
Even inside the place, the smell of the Atlantic Ocean directly behind him cleaned out his sinuses. The song streaming on the bar’s sound system, “Paradise City” by Guns and Roses, was a real classic.
Crome nodded, hooked a boot heel on the bottom rung of his stool, and pulled a vape pen out of the breast pocket of his weathered leather vest.
He couldn’t figure out what exactly he’d done wrong with Maureen but was sure it might have something to do with the two women he traded vodka shots with the night before. Mainly because neither of them was Maureen. Maureen hadn’t taken too kindly to him canceling their date so he could follow a lead only to end up getting drunk and crashing at another woman’s pad. She didn’t believe him when he’d tried to explain that nothing had happened. The lead was legit, but even he knew he should have just gotten the information over the phone.
What did people say in times like this? C’est la vie?
Whatever.
Pelton set a fresh pint of draft down in front of Crome. “Haven’t seen you or Blu around in a while. How’s it going?”
The kid, Pelton, meant well. If Crome hadn’t taken a liking to him, and if he hadn’t watched a video of the kid, empty-handed, take on an armed giant of a man and win, he might have picked a fight with him just for fun. But the kid had saved his best friend’s daughter and was an unofficial partner in the private investigation firm Crome co-owned. Unofficial because just about everything Crome did was unofficial. The official side was handled by his main partner, Blu Carraway.
Crome said, “Blu’s on a security job. In Belize, the lucky bastard. Should be back in a day or two.”
A voice from behind him said, “Hi, Crome.”
It was female and familiar. Damn.
Anyone else would have been a welcome change to his wandering thoughts, a defense mechanism he used to avoid thinking about Maureen.
Hell, Maureen in her most pissed-off state would have been a welcome companion compared to—
The female voice interrupted his thought. “Aren’t you going to invite me to sit down?”
Crome saw the smirk form on his own face reflected in the mirror behind the bar. He also saw the strawberry-blond curls, red lipstick, and tight dress of his newest problem. “It’s a free country.”
Harmony Childs pulled out the stool next to him and sat. “That bad-ass biker routine won’t work on me, Sugar. You’ve seen me in my underwear.”
Twenty years his junior, nuttier than a pecan tree, driven, and drop-dead gorgeous, Harmony was the very cliché of Kryptonite for him. She was also one of the two women he’d traded shots with last night.
It was true; he had seen her in her underwear. But not out of her underwear, thank God, or he and Maureen wouldn’t have lasted this long.
Harmony said, “Don’t tell me you’ve still got a hangover. I’d hate to think you couldn’t hang with us, given your propensity for bars and liquor.”
She really was beautiful. And she’d matched him shot for shot, unless the bartender was feeding her and her friend water instead of Citron. But that couldn’t be because he’d watched all their shot glasses get refilled from the same bottle.
“Not on your life, Dolly,” he said.
Pelton came over, grinned at the young woman, and said, “What’ll it be, Ms. Harmony?”
If Pelton’s wife caught him doing anything more than casual flirting, she’d string him up by his testicles. Especially if it was with Harmony. Or her cohort, Tess Ray. Which reminded Crome, when there was one, the other wasn’t far behind.
Tess pulled out the stool on the other side of Crome and sat. “Sorry I’m late. There was another double homicide in North Charleston.”
Shorter than Harmony, with shoulder length blonde hair that fell in layers, Tess wore dark-rimmed glasses, a business dress with no sleeves, and medium heels.
She’d been the second woman from the night before. Two women to one man, a bottle of vodka, and all he had to show for it was a nasty headache, a stiff back from the couch he’d crashed on alone, and a pissed off girlfriend. Must be his lucky day.
Crome opened his mouth to say “howdy” but got cut off before he could start.
“It would be nice if your partner was around,” Harmony said.
“You guys make good copy. Maybe you all could give us something besides gang violence to report on.”
Harmony and Tess were eager-beaver news correspondents who’d recently gone independent.
Tess asked, “So when is Blu due back in town? Soon, right?”
Every damn woman who’d ever laid eyes on Blu Carraway fell in love with the bastard.
Again, Crome opened his mouth to speak, and again got interrupted. This time by the other local lady killer, Pelton’s dog, Shelby.
At the sight of the chow-collie mix, Harmony and Tess both slid off their stools and swarmed the mutt. The damned canine seemed to be eating it all up, dancing around between them, his wagging tail high in the air.
The song ended, and in the lull before the next one began, Crome checked his iPhone, the one that felt like an old-fashioned pair of handcuffs restraining him from freedom. The one that came with the business of running a private investigation firm. The one that his partner had made him take.
He’d missed a call.
The number wasn’t familiar, but whoever had called left a voicemail. He listened.
It sounded like Maureen. “Mick? I’m in trouble. Please help—”
A man’s voice cut her off. “Listen Crome, it’s payback time. You took from me so I’m taking from you. I’ll be in touch.”
His phone showed a text message. He tapped to open it up and stared at a picture of a scared Maureen with a gun to her head.
Billy Idol’s “Eyes Without a Face” started playing, blowing a hole through the world.
***
Excerpt from Bad Time To Be In It by David Burnsworth. Copyright © 2018 by David Burnsworth. Reproduced with permission from David Burnsworth. All rights reserved.




My Book Review:


In Bad Time To Be In It, the second book in the Blu Carraway Mystery Series, author David Burnsworth transports the reader back to the sultry lowcountry setting of Charleston, SC for another intriguing Blu Carraway Southern noir/mystery adventure. 

A year has passed since Blu Carraway and best friend/business partner Mick Crome's last investigative case. But all hell breaks loose when Mick's girlfriend Maureen has been kidnapped! Mick is determined to find Maureen on his own, but Blu and the rest of their team are determined to join in to find Maureen, so they team up and engage in a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a person who is seeking revenge for a past case investigated by Mick and Blu. And if that isn't enough, Harmony, one of their news correspondent pals, goes missing after spending time with the mayor on his boat, and whose dead body washes up on shore. It sure does seem to be a Bad Time To Be In It for Blu Carraway Investigations!

Author David Burnsworth weaves a fast-paced and suspenseful tale that follows Blu and Mick's investigative journey as it takes them all over Charleston in search of Maureen and Harmony. The reader is easily drawn into this well-written story with its richly descriptive plot and setting, it is filled with enough action and unsuspecting twists and turns that takes the reader on one hell of a thrilling roller coaster ride.

As a fan of Southern fiction, I loved the richly descriptive Charleston setting and the surrounding lowcountry SC areas. I was intrigued by the author's creativity of intertwining his previous Brack Pelton Mystery Series featuring Brack Pelton with the new Blu Carraway Mystery Series featuring low country PI Blu Carraway. The author masterly weaves one hell of a new explosive mystery series, where Blu, Mick, and their team embark on another dangerous investigative adventure!

With an intriguing cast of characters; witty dialogue and dramatic interactions; and a richly descriptive setting that makes a person want to visit the picturesque city of Charleston, its historic landmarks, and the surrounding lowcountry areas; Bad Time To Be In It is an intriguing tale that has the true essence of a classic Southern noir mystery, but beware it does have a cliffhanger ending that will surely leave the reader wanting more!



RATING: 5 STARS 






About The Author



David Burnsworth became fascinated with the Deep South at a young age. After a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and fifteen years in the corporate world, he made the decision to write a novel. He is the author of both the Brack Pelton and the Blu Carraway Mystery Series. Having lived in Charleston on Sullivan’s Island for five years, the setting was a foregone conclusion. He and his wife call South Carolina home.


Author Website
Amazon Author Page
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads




Contest Giveaway

Win A $20 Amazon Gift Card
or
Print/eBook Copy of 
Bad Time To Be In It




This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for David Burnsworth. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card and 4 winners of one (1) print OR eBook copy of David Burnsworth’s Bad Time To Be In It. The giveaway begins on July 9, 2018 and runs through August 11, 2018. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.


a Rafflecopter giveaway




Virtual Book Tour



Tour Schedule:

07/09 Showcase @ Mythical Books

07/10 Review @ The World As I See It

07/10 Showcase @ Bound 2 Escape

07/11 Review @ CMash Reads

07/12 Guest post @ Writers and Authors

07/13 showcase @ Cheryl's Book Nook

07/14 Showcase @ Brooke Blogs

07/16 Review @ Lynchburg Mama

07/17 Interview @ A Blue Million Books

07/17 Review @ Sunny Island Breezes

07/18 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

07/19 Guest post @ BooksChatter

07/20 Showcase @ Cassidy's Bookshelves

07/21 Showcase @ Loris Reading Corner

07/23 Interview @ Quiet Fury Books

07/24 Showcase @ Stacking My Book Shelves!

08/02 Showcase @ The Reading Frenzy

08/06 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews

08/09 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews