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.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski (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 One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski!

Book Review

One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski
Publisher: Graydon House Books / Harlequin
Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Format: Paperback - 352 pages
               Kindle - 917 KB
               Nook - 835 KB
               Audio Book - 10 Hours 22 Minutes
ISBN: 978-1525832192
ASIN (Kindle): B07KN67XBT
ASIN (Audible Audio Book): B07S1XD2YS
BNID: 978-1488053672
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 book review and particiption in a virtual book tour event hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours.

Book Description:

“A subtly but relentlessly unsettling novel.” —TANA FRENCH, author of The Witch Elm

It was the perfect place to disappear…

One sultry summer, Maureen Haddaway arrives in the wealthy town of Opal Beach to start her life anew—to achieve her destiny. There, she finds herself lured by the promise of friendship, love, starry skies, and wild parties. But Maureen’s new life just might be too good to be true, and before the summer is up, she vanishes.

Decades later, when Allison Simpson is offered the opportunity to house-sit in Opal Beach during the off-season, it seems like the perfect chance to begin fresh after a messy divorce. But when she becomes drawn into the mysterious disappearance of a girl thirty years before, Allison realizes the gorgeous homes of Opal Beach hide dark secrets. And the truth of that long-ago summer is not even the most shocking part of all…

“A heart-wrenching and suspenseful novel of betrayal and revenge. Stunning!” —Carol Goodman, award-winning author of The Night Visitors

“Featuring a brilliantly executed dual timeline with two unforgettable narrators, One Night Gone is a timely and timeless mystery that will keep you obsessively reading well past your bedtime.” —Paul Tremblay, author of The Cabin at the End of the World

Book Excerpt:

Opal Beach was about a two-hour drive without traffic from downtown Philadelphia. It was somewhere halfway between Ocean City and Atlantic City and way less touristy. The beach always reminded me of vacations as a kid, running barefoot on hot sand, creating lopsided sand castles with plastic buckets, breaking crab legs and sucking out the meat. But there was also a sense of slowing down, of taking it all in, and I needed that now. I could feel the air change, the way it clung, coated, opened everything up.
Through the car windows, the Oc¬tober air was shockingly cold but also reviving. The salty air had always bothered my mother and sister, who complained it was too humid and their tongues felt strange, but I loved the way it worked its fingers into my hair and curled around the tendrils. It made me feel a little wild, a little different. Untamed. Like anything could happen.
Was I really doing this? Was I really pressing on this pedal, steering, guiding these four wheels to a stranger’s beach house, where I would live for the next three months alone? It had all happened so fast. A blur, really. Annie’s friend Sharon, with that same nurse-like efficiency that Annie had, set it all up so quickly that I’d barely had time to adjust to the idea before it was actually happening.
But I was used to life messing with me now, used to tripping over a curb or forgetting to eat breakfast or chipping a nail, waking up only to discover that everything I’d known to be true was suddenly different. So in some ways this journey, the picking up and leaving behind, felt like an emerging. Like Rockefeller, the hermit crab I’d bought on our family vacation one year at a boardwalk shack, I was crawling out of a dingy shell and moving into a shinier, larger home. (Unlike Rockefeller, though, I hoped I wouldn’t die from the soap residue that was left inside the new shell when someone tried to clean it too vigorously before setting him inside the cage.)
I drove down a two-lane road just off the ocean, the main drag for all the beachfront houses. I could imagine that on a weekend in July it looked like a parking lot as families navigated in or out of town, canoes and coolers tied up on their roof racks. But now it was eerily vacant, and I had the sense I was the last woman on earth, that in my quiet drive alone the rest of humanity had vanished. I was trying to decide if that was a good thing or not when a giant orange Hummer zoomed into view behind me and passed without slowing down. “Well, so much for that. Asshole,” I said.
The houses were dramatically large and looming, blocking what otherwise would’ve been a magnificent view. You could tell which ones were just rentals—the monstrosities with thirteen bedrooms and a six-car garage that five families could rent out at once. But further down the road, the houses had more style and character. The kind of places—lots of windows, big porches, nice landscaping—that would make your mouth water even without the lush ocean backdrop as icing on the cake.
I slowed as my GPS indicated I was getting close, but even so I almost missed the tiny driveway and its faded, weather-beaten road sign declaring my new mailing address: Piper Sand Road.
I had made it.
The long gravel drive split off halfway up, with one side leading to the Worthington house and the other side to their neighbor’s. When I’d first met the Worthingtons for my “job interview” just a few weeks before, I’d been so nervous about the whole thing that I’d taken the wrong driveway and parked in the neighbor’s lot and stared at it for a good minute before realizing the house number was wrong.
But now, pulling into the correct driveway slowly, it felt like an adventure movie soundtrack should be swelling. And our heroine finds her destiny.
I could imagine Annie’s reaction when she finally saw the house in person. It was stunning. The surrounding homes were propped up on beams, like old ladies hitching up their skirts so they wouldn’t get wet in the surf, but that just gave the Worthingtons’ house an understated effect. It stood confident and modest between them, a beach gingerbread house right out of a fairy tale, with light blue curtains and sweeping eaves.
I parked right at the porch steps and got out, wrapping my cardigan around me to stave off the whipping wind. The front porch was small but quaint, with two wooden rocking chairs and a small white table with flaking paint. I ran my palm along the back of one of the tall chairs, and it creaked from my touch. The chairs seemed to be more for decoration than sitting.
Dolores, Sharon’s sister who lived in town, was supposed to be meeting me to hand over the keys. Yet it seemed I’d arrived first. I’d had to come one week sooner than planned, as Patty and John had been whisked away to her mysterious assignment in Eastern Europe a little earlier than expected. Patty had called me from the airport with the news. I’d pictured her in her white visor and tennis sneakers rushing through the terminals, bags bouncing off her lower back as she breathlessly gave me instructions.
Still, I half expected Patty to appear in the window as I squatted down and peered inside the house. It was hard to see with the bright sun glaring at my back, but I could make out the shadowy silhouette of the large island counter in the middle of the kitchen. Beyond that room, I remembered, was the living room, with doors and stairs leading to all the many nooks of the house.
All empty now, waiting for me. A shiver curled from my spine up to my neck, unwinding inside me. Calm down, you idiot, I told myself. Not everything is a trap. Think positively, and positive things will come.
Excerpt from One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski. Copyright © 2019 by Tara Laskowski. Reproduced with permission from Graydon House Books (Harlequin). All rights reserved.

My Book Review:

In her debut novel, One Night Gone, author Tara Laskowski transports the reader to the seaside town of Opal Beach for an intriguing mystery / suspense / thriller story that will keep the reader guessing and turning the pages.

In June of 1985, Maureen Haddaway came to Opal Beach with a travelling carnival looking to start over. Maureen's dreams of a fresh start in this beautiful seaside town comes to an unexpected end when she suddenly disappears without a trace.

Thirty years later in October of 2015, forty year old disgraced meteorologist Allison Simpson is fired for calling out her cheating husband Dennis "Duke" Shetland while on the air. Now divorced, Allison seeks a fresh start in life, and agrees to house-sit in Opal Beach for a couple working abroad. Allison hears about the missing girl from thirty years ago, and becomes interested in the mystery and finding out what happened to the girl. Will Allison solve the mystery of the missing girl, or will someone do just about anything to keep their dirty little secrets hidden?

Author Tara Laskowski weaves a fast-paced and suspenseful tale written in an alternating first person narrative that follows Maureen's story leading up to her disappearance, and Allison's journey to start her life over while investigating Maureen's disappearance.

I loved reading this action-packed story, it had a little bit of everything that immediately drew me in from the start, and kept me intrigued and guessing. You can't help but become engrossed in the story as the alternating dual storylines / timelines revealed dark pasts, hidden secrets, possible motives, danger, and clues that are uncovered as Allison investigates Maureen's mysterious disappearance.

One Night Gone is an intriguing and suspenseful story that has enough drama, tension, action, dark secrets, betrayals, revenge, and unexpected twists and turns that fans of mystery / suspense stories will surely enjoy!


About The Author

TARA LASKOWSKI is the award-winning author of two short story collections, Modern Manners for Your Inner Demons and Bystanders, which was named a best book of 2017 by Jennifer Egan in The Guardian. She has had stories published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Mid-American Review, and the Norton anthology New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction, among others. Her Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine story, “States of Matter,” was selected by Amy Hempel for the 2017 Best Small Fictions anthology, and her short story “The Case of the Vanishing Professor” is a finalist for the 2019 Agatha Award. Tara was the winner of the 2010 Santa Fe Writers Project’s Literary Awards Prize, has been the editor of the popular online flash fiction journal SmokeLong Quarterly since 2010, and is a member of Sisters in Crime. She earned a BA in English with a minor in writing from Susquehanna University and an MFA in creative writing from George Mason University. Tara grew up in Pennsylvania and lives in Virginia. One Night Gone is her first novel.

Author Website
Amazon Author Page
Barnes & Noble Author Page

Contest Giveaway

Win A Paperback Copy 

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Harlequin and Tara Laskowski. There will be 1 winner of one (1) copy of One Night Gone (print). The giveaway begins on September 23, 2019 and runs through October 6, 2019. Open to U.S. and Canada addresses only. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour Event

Tour Participants:

09/23 Review @ Colloquium

09/23 Review @ The World As I See It

09/24 Review @ Jessica Belmont

09/25 Review @ 5 Minutes for Books

09/25 Showcase @ CMash Reads

09/26 Review @ Novels N Latte

09/26 Showcase @ The Bookworm Lodge

09/27 Review @ Book Club Librarian

09/30 Review @ Booked on a Feeling

10/01 Review @ Cheryls Book Nook

10/01 Review @ Thats What Shes Reading

10/02 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews

10/03 Review @ Brooke Blogs

10/03 Review @ Nesies Place

10/03 Review @ Shalinis Books & Reviews

10/04 Review @ Book Fidelity

10/04 Showcase @ Teatime and Books

Monday, September 30, 2019

Fatal Strike by DiAnn Mills (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 Fatal Strike by DiAnn Mills!

Fatal Strike by DiAnn Mills
Publication Date: September 3, 2019
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Format: Hardcover - 400 pages
               Paperback - 400 pages
               Audio Book - 9 Hours 37 Minutes
               Kindle - 5855 KB
               Nook - 3 MB
ISBN (HC): 978-1496427090
ISBN (PB):  978-1496427106
ASIN (Audible): B07XD5MK1V
ASIN (Kindle): B07PGCCZ4N
BNID (Nook): 978-1496427120
Genre: Christian Fiction / Romantic Suspense 

Buy The Book:

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

Book Description:

There’s a killer on the loose in Galveston, targeting law enforcement officials and using a fatal injection of snake venom to take them down. Authorities have reasons to believe the Veneno gang is behind the hits, and FBI Agents Leah Riesel and Jon Colbert team up to track down those responsible. Their best lead is an eyewitness who identifies a young man dumping the third body on a church doorstep. But their suspect has gone into hiding, and those closest to him are reluctant to reveal anything that might help investigators find him.

As Leah and Jon check connections among the victims and dig deeper into motives, they discover appearances may be deceiving. Someone is desperate to keep their secrets hidden, and Leah and Jon must face their greatest fears in order to stop the next fatal strike.

Book Excerpt:

SPECIAL AGENT LEAH RIESEL scanned the headlines on her phone. A prosecutor from Galveston had been found murdered behind a construction site, the second apparent victim of gang violence in two days. Both deaths were caused by rattlesnake venom injections to the heart. Before she could pull up additional reports on the woman’s untimely death, Leah’s phone
“Riesel, hostage situation in Galveston,” the SWAT commander said. “Grab your gear. The chopper takes off in five.”
“On it.” She took a last lingering look at the half-eaten blueberry donut and coffee on her cubicle’s desk.
Could this have anything to do with the two murders in Galveston?
Before most of the city began the workday, Leah boarded a Little Bird helicopter beneath whirling blades and the pressure of a critical operation. Dressed in full camo and shouldering her sniper gear, she inhaled the rising temps. Feverish Houston. With the familiar air transport sounds ushering in memories of past missions, her adrenaline kicked in.
A pilot from the tactical helicopter unit lifted the chopper into the air for the twenty-minute ride to Galveston. She recognized him from previous assignments involving aircraft used to deliver SWAT and the elite hostage rescue teams to crisis incidents. This morning her focus eliminated any chitchat.
Leah grabbed sound-canceling headphones and contacted the SWAT commander already on the ground. “Riesel here. Special Agent in Charge Thomas briefed me on a home invasion that’s turned violent.”
The SAC would be watching the operation at the Crisis Management Operations Center.
“Negotiations have gotten us nowhere.” The SWAT commander’s voice rose above the chopper’s blade-snap. “Two unidentified men are holding two women and three children at gunpoint. Galveston PD estimates they’ve been inside the home for at least an hour. Demanding we leave the area after giving them five hundred grand and a gassed-up speedboat.
Clock is ticking with forty minutes max. We’ve backed off as far as they know.”
Leah swiped through pics taken with telephoto lenses and sent to her phone. Each ski-masked man held a child as a shield. Leah detested the savagery and the horrific emotions the hostages
must be feeling.
“We’re located on San Luis Pass Road on the western section of the island. Nearest house is five hundred yards away. Owners are in Europe. We’re in contact with the agency managing it.”
She didn’t need a key to access the home.
The SWAT commander continued. “One of the hostages is the owner of the home, Amanda Barton.”
“Is there a Mr. Barton in the picture?”
“Divorced. Lives in California.”
Unlikely the ex-husband was behind this.
“Agent Jon Colbert will be on scene shortly,” the commander said. “He had a deposition early this morning in Texas City and drove on to Galveston. Over the weekend, his SWAT partner had emergency knee surgery. Out for six weeks.”
And Leah’s partner had left the city yesterday on vacation.
The luck of the draw meant she and Jon would be working together. “I’ll contact you as soon as we land.”
Jon Colbert, a sniper who had excellent marksmanship and a stellar reputation, also worked organized crime. But she and Jon had never worked together. The idea of teaming up with an agent she barely knew made her uneasy. If a sniper mission required a partner, she preferred an established relationship where she would know how the person processed information.
Shoving aside her doubts, she narrowed her thoughts on what lay ahead. The precarious situation and local law enforcement’s inability to negotiate added up to why she and Jon had
been assigned to the case.
She grasped her backpack, lighter than usual with only a spotting scope, ammo, water, communication equipment, extra batteries, granola bar, and a handheld radio. Her Glock, as comfortable in her right hand as a toothbrush, found its spot in her back waistband. She touched her H-S Precision heavy tactical rifle.
The sooner she got to Galveston, the sooner she could provide intelligence and help neutralize the circumstances. Her priority was seeing the women and children freed from these ruthless men.
* * *
Jon received a text from Special Agent in Charge Thomas that Leah Riesel had left the Houston FBI office and was en route to Galveston. He’d met her a few times, and they’d qualified
together. Attractive woman—dark-brown hair, light-olive skin, New Yorker with the accent to prove it. Her professionalism in the violent crime division wavered between exceptional and extraordinary. A touch of toughness. Jon had heard not to make her mad—she had earned the nickname Panther for a reason. He remembered her stats—number three in the US for distance shots. Good thing he wasn’t easily intimidated.
Once the chopper landed, Leah would be transported in an unmarked car to a vacant house more than a quarter of a mile away from the Barton home. No point in making the two men more trigger-happy when they’d warned law enforcement to back off.
The SWAT commander spoke through Jon’s radio attached to his collar. “Thermal imaging confirms four adults and three children inside the Barton home. The men claim they’ll kill the
children first. We have fifteen minutes.”
In Galveston, Jon stopped at Broadway and Sixty-First Street. Tourists persisted in the middle of the thoroughfare, pushing strollers, riding surrey bikes, and enjoying the day. Some were dressed for the beach and others clutched what they needed for their excursion. All hindered his turn. Obstacles in his mission. If they knew the situation not far from them, they’d grab their loved ones and speed home. Each moment delayed his shot and shoved the hostages closer to death. A chilling composure took over his emotional, mental, and physical reactions. The busy street finally cleared. Jon turned west onto Seawall Boulevard and drove on to San Luis Pass. The hostage site was four and a half miles beyond there.
Were the two men inside the Barton home wannabes looking to make a name for themselves? Strung out on drugs? Was this a personal vendetta? No matter how this ended—either a surrender or he’d be instructed to take a shot— their moment in history would likely be the lead story on tonight’s news. His phone alerted him to an incoming call. He responded
before the first ring ended. “Colbert.” The chopper’s rhythmic whir reverberated through his phone.
“Riesel here. Landing in five at Galveston Island State Park. SWAT commander has given me a location on the west side of the Barton home.”
“I’ll be on foot by then. Taking a position on the east, beach side.”
“I’ll need seven minutes to get into place,” she said.
“Okay.” No need to remind her of the ticking clock.
He touched End and whipped his truck onto a beach-access road where police officers had instructed residents to shelter in place. He switched off the engine. Grabbing his gear, he bolted
down the beach. A Galveston police officer stopped him, and Jon handed him his ID. Seconds later, he moved toward his site.
A sultry breeze blew across the water, and he recalculated his shot.
Crouching low, he moved past police SWAT standing guard.
FBI SWAT held the position Riesel was headed for. They were racing against time, a commodity that stopped for nothing or no one. At any moment, one of the armed men could pull the
trigger on those inside the Barton home.
Tense muscles relaxed. His heartbeat slowed.
A clear head laid out the steps before the kill shot.
No mistakes.
A chance for the women and children to live another day.
Near a sand dune, he tuned out the occasional seagull and the waves rushing against the shore. After wiping the sweat from his hands on his pants, Jon set up his rifle and scope,
activated his radio, and spoke to the SWAT commander and Leah Riesel.
Excerpt from Fatal Strike by DiAnn Mills. Copyright © 2019 by DiAnn Mills. Reproduced with permission from DiAnn Mills. All rights reserved.

Book Trailer:

My Book Review:

In Fatal Strike, author DiAnn Mills transports the reader to Galveston, Texas for an intriguing Christian Fiction / Romantic Suspense story that will keep the reader guessing and turning the pages.

With the murder of three law enforcement officials in Galveston comes a request for FBI assistance. FBI Agents Leah Riesel and Jon Colbert are partnered together to investigate the murders and the possible ties to the Veneno gang, whose mantra is "reconquista" a returning of Texas to Mexico. Their murderous calling card is killing a person with rattlesnake venom injected into their heart. Can Leah and Jon figure out the motives for these high-profile murders before another fatal strike occurs?

Author DiAnn Mills weaves a fast-paced and suspenseful tale written in the third person narrative that follows FBI Agents Leah Riesel and Jon Colbert's investigative mission to find the murderers and bring them to justice . With a lot of gang activity, investigative methods, and a high stakes pursuit, Leah and Jon are determined to get justice before another fatal strike occurs.

I loved reading this action-packed story. Leah and Jon kept me intrigued as they investigated the murders of the three law enforcement officials. The reader will be easily drawn into this well written story with its richly descriptive plot that will keep them guessing as secrets, possible motives, and clues are uncovered during the investigation. I loved the intertwining of Leah and Jon's methodical procedural investigation with the unexpected attraction that sparked between them, their banter was humorous, and they worked really well as a team.

Fatal Strike has enough drama, tension, action, dark secrets, a touch of romance, and unexpected twists and turns that will take the reader on one heck of a thrilling roller coaster ride.


About The Author

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She weaves memorable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. DiAnn believes every breath of life is someone’s story, so why not capture those moments and create a thrilling adventure?

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is co-director of The Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, Mountainside Marketing Conference, and the Mountainside Novelist Retreat with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.

DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

Author Website
Amazon Author Page
Barnes & Noble Author Page
BookBub Author Page

Contest Giveaway

Win $25 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for DiAnn Mills. There will be 2 winners each winning one (1) Gift Card (choice of Amazon or B&N). The giveaway begins on September 1, 2019 and runs through October 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour Event

Tour Participants:

09/01 Showcase @ Rockspringscrafts

09/02 Interview @ BooksChatter

09/03 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

09/04 Showcase @ The Pulp and Mystery Shelf

09/05 Guest post/showcase @ CMash Reads

09/06 Showcase @ Stacking My Book Shelves!

09/09 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews

09/10 Showcase @ The Bookworm Lodge

09/11 Showcase@ Eclectic Moods

09/12 Interview @ Reading A Page Turner

09/13 Guest post @ A Blue Million Books

09/15 Review @ Forever the Wanderer

09/15 Review @ Shalinis Books & Reviews

09/16 Showcase @ EienCafe

09/18 Interview @ Nesies Place

09/19 Showcase @ Book Reviews & More by Kathy

09/24 Review @ Quiet Fury Books

09/26 Review @ Brooke Blogs

09/26 Review @ By The Book

09/27 Review @ Lynchburg Mama

09/28 Review/showcase @ Cy Wyss -- Author and Artist

09/29 Review @ The World As I See It

09/30 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews

Friday, September 27, 2019

Strands Of Truth by Colleen Coble (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 Strands Of Truth by Colleen Coble!

Strands Of Truth by Colleen Coble
Publisher: Thomas Nelson / HarpersCollins Publishing
Publication Date: September 10, 2019
Format: Hardcover - 336 pages
               Paperback - 336 pages 
               Kindle - 336 pages / 5603 KB
               AudioBook - 8 Hours 9 Minutes
               Nook - 336 pages - 5 MB
ISBN - HC: 978-0718085902
ISBN - PB: 978-0718085889
ASIN - AudioBook: B07KPLZ1DT
ASIN - Kindle: B07KF25NPS
BNID: 978-0718085896
Genre: Christian Fiction / Romantic Suspense

Buy The Book:

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

Book Description:

Strands of Harper Taylor’s childhood are resurfacing—but will the truth save her . . . or pull her under?

Harper Taylor is used to being alone— after all, she grew up in one foster home after another. Oliver Jackson finally took her under his wing when she was a runaway teenager, and now Harper pours her marine biology knowledge into Oliver’s pen shell research. But she’s never stopped wishing for a family of her own.

So when a DNA test reveals a half-sister living just two hours away, Harper is both hopeful and nervous. Over warm cinnamon rolls, Harper and Annabelle find striking similarities in their stories. Is it just a coincidence that both their mothers died tragically, without revealing Harper and Annabelle’s father’s name?

Oliver’s son Ridge still sees Harper as a troubled teen even all these years later. But when Oliver is attacked, Ridge and Harper find themselves working together to uncover dangerous secrets that threaten to destroy them all. They must unravel her past before they can have any hope for the future.

Book Excerpt:


January 1990

St. Petersburg, Florida

Lisa ran to her Datsun Bluebird and jerked open the yellow door. Her pulse strummed in her neck, and she glanced behind her to make sure she wasn’t being followed. She’d tried not to show fear during the confrontation, but it was all she could do not to cry. She couldn’t face life without him.

She’d been on edge ever since yesterday.

Twilight backlit the treetops and highlighted the hanging moss. Instead of finding it beautiful, she saw frightening shadows and shuddered. She slid under the wheel and started the engine, then pulled out of her driveway onto the road.

She turned toward the Gulf. The water always calmed her when she was upset—and she had crossed upset moments ago and swerved into the scared zone.

Her belly barely fit under the wheel, but this baby would be born soon, then she’d have her figure back.

She accelerated away from her home, a dilapidated one-story house with peeling
white paint, and switched on her headlights.

The radio blared full of the news about the Berlin Wall coming down, but Lisa didn’t care about that, not now. She switched channels until she found Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’ ”playing, but even her favorite tune failed to sooth her shattered nerves. Could she seriously be murdered over this? She’d glimpsed madness in those eyes.

She pressed the brakes as she came to a four-way stop, but the brake pedal went clear to the floor. She gasped and pumped the pedal again. No response. The car shot through the intersection, barely missing the tail end of another vehicle that had entered it before her.

Hands gripping the steering wheel, she struggled to keep the car on the road as she frantically thought of a way to bring it to a stop that didn’t involve hitting another car or a tree. The baby in her belly kicked as if he or she knew their lives hung suspended in time.

“We’re going to make it, little one. We have to. I can’t leave you alone.” No one would love her baby if she died. Her mother couldn’t care for her child. She cared more about her drugs than anything else.

Lisa tried to tamp down her rising emotions, but she’d never been so frightened. The car fishtailed on the sandy road as she forced it back from the shoulder. Huge trees lined the pavement in a dense formation.

Where could she drive off into relative safety? A field sprawled over on the right, just past the four-way stop ahead. If she made it through, it seemed the only place where they might survive.

Had the brakes been cut? What else could it be? She’d just had the car serviced.
Lisa approached the stop sign much too fast. The slight downhill slope had only accelerated the speed that hovered at nearly seventy. Her mouth went bone dry.

My Book Review:

In Strands Of Truth, author Colleen Coble transports the reader to Dunedin, Florida for an intriguing Christian Fiction / Romantic Suspense story that will keep the reader guessing and turning the pages.

Marine biologist Harper Taylor is working on pen shell research with her mentor / business partner, Oliver Jackson. But growing up in the foster care system has left her longing for a family. Best friend Sara Kavanagh convinces Harper to submit a DNA test, with a result of a close family match, a half-sister named Annabelle Rice, who lives in Orlando. When Harper and Annabelle meet, they are both searching for their father, and find similarities in their mothers' pasts, especially when both mothers died tragically. As Harper and Annabelle search for the truth behind their mothers' deaths and the identity of their father, accidents and attempted kidnappings start to occur. Harper and Oliver's son Ridge Jackson investigate her and Ananabelle's past, but will they survive the danger around every corner as the strands of truth start to unravel?

Author Colleen Coble weaves a fast-paced and suspenseful tale written in the third person narrative that follows Harper and Ridge's investigative journey in search of the answers to Harper and Annabelle's pasts. When Harper and Annabelle's mothers cold-case murders intertwine with the present attacks, it will take a lot of digging and dangerous situations to find the truth.

The reader will be easily drawn into this well written story with its richly descriptive plot and setting. Strands Of Truth has enough drama, tension, action, flashbacks and clues from the past, romance, and unexpected twists and turns that will take the reader on one heck of a thrilling roller coaster ride.


About The Author

Colleen Coble is a USA TODAY bestselling author and RITA finalist best known for her coastal romantic suspense novels, including The Inn at Ocean’s Edge, Twilight at Blueberry Barrens, and the Lavender Tides, Sunset Cove, Hope Beach, and Rock Harbor series.

Author Website
Amazon Author Page
Barnes & Noble Author Page

Virtual Book Tour Event

Tour Participants

09/09 Guest post @ CMash Reads

09/10 Showcase @ The Pulp and Mystery Shelf

09/11 Review @ Lynchburg Mama

09/12 Review @ Wall-to-wall Books

09/13 Interview @ BooksChatter

09/13 Showcase @ My Reading Life

09/14 Review @ Ruthie Jones: Reading by Moonlight

09/15 Review @ Beths Book-Nook Blog

09/16 Interview @ Just Books

09/16 Review @ sunny island breezes

09/17 Showcase @ Reading A Page Turner

09/18 Review @ Shalinis Books & Reviews

09/19 Review @ Thats What Shes Reading

09/20 Review @ Mystery Suspense Reviews

09/21 Review @ Cassidys Bookshelves

09/22 Showcase @ Read and Review

09/23 Showcase @ EienCafe

09/24 Review @ Lauras Interests

09/25 Review @ Quiet Fury Books

09/25 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews

09/26 Review @ JBronder Book Reviews

09/27 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews

09/27 Showcase @ Eclectic Moods

09/28 Review @ The World As I See It

09/29 Review @ Cy Wyss: Author and Artist

09/30 Showcase @ The Bookworm Lodge

10/01 Review @ Nesies Place

10/01 Showcase @ What Is That Book About

10/02 Review @ Simply Kelina

10/03 Review @ Just Reviews

10/04 Review @ Forever the Wanderer

Monday, September 16, 2019

Eye For Eye by J.K. Franko (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 Eye For Eye by author J.K. Franko!

Eye For Eye by J.K. Franko
Book 1: The Talion Series
Publisher: Talion Publishing
Publication Date: eBook - March 16, 2019 / PB - April 1, 2019
Format: Kindle - 4079 KB
               Paperback - 432 pages 
               Audiobook - 12 Hours 42 Minutes
ISBN: 978-1999318802
ASIN (eBook): B07PM8PM26
ASIN (Audiobook): B07QSB771N
Genre: Crime Thriller

Buy The Book:
Amazon (Free On Kindle Unlimited)

Buy The Series: The Talion Series
Prequel: The Trial Of Joe Harlan Junior (Publication Date: October 2019)
Book 1: Eye For Eye
Book 2: Tooth For Tooth (Publication Date: April 2020)

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 Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours.

Book Description:


Roy and Susie are on a skiing holiday, trying to take a break from the constant reminders of their daughter, tragically killed by a careless driver. Out of the blue they meet Deb and Tom, another couple with a tragic past and a shocking proposal to put things right.

As the bodies accumulate, secrets are revealed and alliances crumble. Ultimate survival depends on following the rules for a perfect murder. And the first rule is… leave no singing bones.

Book Excerpt:

When I try to piece together how this whole mess began, a part of me thinks it may have started over thirty years ago. At least the seeds were planted that far back, in the early 1980s. What happened then, at that summer camp in Texas, set the stage for everything that was to come.

Odd, how something so remote in time and geography continues to impact me here, today.

Sometimes I try to imagine her, how she felt—that eleven year-old girl—as she ran, stumbling and tripping through the woods that night. I try to put myself in her shoes. When I do, I wonder if
she was frightened.

Did she understand the consequences of what she’d gotten herself into? I imagine it felt otherworldly to her, like a dream. But not a good dream. No, one of the bad ones—the ones that make your heart machine-gun as you try to outrun some dark thing that’s chasing you. But the faster you try to run, the slower you go, your legs feeling leaden, clumsy, useless.

Panic sets in. Tears of frustration form. Fear takes hold and won’t let go. You open your mouth to scream but realize, to your horror, that you’re paralyzed. It’s not that you can’t scream; you can’t even breathe. Not a dream—a nightmare.

Then again, all that may simply be my imagination. It could just be me projecting what I might have felt onto Joan. Maybe she wasn’t scared at all.

True, it was dark out. The night smelled of rain, but there was no lightning, only the far-off rumble of thunder hinting at a distant storm. There were no trail lights, no visibility but for the
moon peeking out intermittently from behind a patchwork of clouds. But, Joan had been down this trail before. She was running toward the main cabin.

She had been at Camp Willow for almost two full weeks. She had been up and down that trail at least ten times a day, every day. Of course, that was during the day, and always with her buddy,
or a camp counselor (the children called them troop leaders). Joan had never been on the trail at night. And never alone.

Maybe I imagine Joan was scared because, as an adult, I believe that she should have been. I would have been terrified.

Book Trailer:

My Book Review:

In Eye For Eye, book one in the Talion Series, author J.K. Franko takes the reader behind the scenes of a riveting crime thriller as two couples navigate the slippery slope of pursuing the Law of Talion, seeking revenge for tragedies that have occurred to their families.

Author J.K. Franko asks the reader the following questions: what would you do if someone hurt the one you love? How far would you go to get revenge? For two married couples, the tragedies that befall their respective daughters leads the couples to consider choices of avenging the hurt and injury with a recriprocating punishment when an imperfect justice system fails them. Is seeking an eye for eye justified, or is there something more sinister lurking in the shadows?

Eye For Eye is a riveting story that easily draws the reader in from the start. The readers will be captivated as the author weaves a thoroughly intriguing and complicated story that follows married couples Susie Font and Roy Cruise and Deb and Tom Wise, as they take the law into their own hands with complicated choices and devestating consequences.

The author provides the reader with a fascinating and richly detailed crime thriller set in Miami and Austin. You can't help but get drawn into this complicated, fascinating, and multi-layered story told in an alternating first and third person narrative by an anonymous narrator. It has enough drama, secrets, deception, and tension that keeps the reader guessing as they turn the pages, wondering where the madness would end, but alas ... the author teases the reader with a surprising cliffhanger ending that will leave them wanting more as they await the continuation of the story in Tooth For Tooth, book two in the series.

Eye For Eye is a gripping and chilling crime thriller that is a must read for all crime thriller fans.


About The Author

J.K. FRANKO was born and raised in Texas. His Cuban-American parents agreed there were only three acceptable options for a male child: doctor, lawyer, and architect. After a disastrous first year of college pre-Med, he ended up getting a BA in philosophy (not acceptable), then he went to law school (salvaging the family name) and spent many years climbing the big law firm ladder. After ten years, he decided that law and family life weren’t compatible. He went back to school where he got an MBA and pursued a Ph.D. He left law for corporate America, with long stints in Europe and Asia.

His passion was always to be a writer. After publishing a number of non-fiction works, thousands of hours writing, and seven or eight abandoned fictional works over the course of eighteen years, EYE FOR EYE became his first published novel.

J.K. Franko now lives with his wife and children in Florida.

Author Website
Amazon Author Page

Contest Giveaway

Win A $15 Amazon Gift Card 


Autographed Copy of Eye For Eye

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for JK Franko. There will be 6 winners. Two (2) winners will each win (1) Gift Card. Two (2) winners will each win a signed copy of EYE FOR EYE by JK Franko (Open to U.S. addresses only) and Two (2) winners will each win a Knife set (Open to U.S. addresses only). The giveaway begins on July 22, 2019 and runs through September 22, 2019. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway ;

Virtual Book Tour 

Tour Participants:

07/22 Interview @ BooksChatter

07/23 Showcase @ Stacking My Book Shelves!

07/24 Showcase @ Just Books

07/25 Showcase @ Rocksprings crafts

07/26 Showcase @ The Pulp and Mystery Shelf

07/27 Showcase @ Eclectic Moods

07/29 Interview @ A Blue Million Books

07/31 Review @ Read and Review

07/31 Showcasse @ The Bookworm Lodge

08/01 Review @ The World As I See It

08/02 Review @ Books Direct

08/05 Review @ Shalinis Books & Reviews

08/08 Interview @ Reading A Page Turner

08/15 Guest post @ The Book Divas Reads

08/18 Review @ Cy Wyss -- Author and Artist

08/29 Interview @ CMash Reads

09/02 Review @ Thats What Shes Reading

09/05 Review @ Love My Dane Dolly

09/10 Review @ Quiet Fury Books

09/12 Blog Talk Radio w/Fran Lewis

09/12 Review @ Just Reviews

09/12 Review @ Nesies Place

09/16 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews

09/18 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews

09/20 Review @ Forever the Wanderer

09/20 Review @ fundinmental