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.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Saving Grace by D.M. Barr (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 Saving Grace by author D.M. Barr!

Book Review

Saving Grace by D.M. Barr
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Publication Date: PB - July 29, 2020 / eBook - October 15, 2020
Format: Paperback - 255 pages
               Kindle - 1020 KB
ISBN: 978-1684335565
BNID: 978-1684335565
Genre: Psychological Thriller

Buy The Book:
Amazon (Free On Kindle Unlimited Program)

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:

Grace Pierrepoint Rendell, the only child of an ailing billionaire, has been treated for paranoia since childhood. When she secretly quits her meds, she begins to suspect that once her father passes, her husband will murder her for her inheritance. Realizing that no one will believe the ravings of a supposed psychotic, she devises a creative way to save herself – she will write herself out of danger, authoring a novel with the heroine in exactly the same circumstances, thus subtly exposing her husband’s scheme to the world. She hires acclaimed author Lynn Andrews to help edit her literary insurance policy, but when Lynn is murdered, Grace is discovered standing over the bloody remains. The clock is ticking: can she write and publish her manuscript before she is strapped into a straitjacket, accused of homicide, or lowered six feet under?

With a cast of secondary characters whose challenges mirror Grace’s own, Saving Grace is, at it’s core, an allegory for the struggle of the marginalized to be heard and live life on their own terms.

“A psychological thriller with more than enough twists, turns, and misdirection to keep even the most jaded reader turning pages all night long.” –Lori Robbins, author of the Silver Falchion Award-winning novel, Lesson Plan for Murder

Book Excerpt:

One felony was all it took to convince Andrea Lin she was better suited to committing crime on paper than in person. As renowned mystery author Lynn Andrews, she understood conflict equaled good drama. Like her readers, she should have expected the hiccups, even relished them. What she hadn’t counted on was the accompanying agita, especially while sitting in her Bergen County kitchen, far from the action at the Bitcoin Teller Machine.

Her one job had been to place a single phone call when the money hit and tell the hacker to lift the encryption on Grace’s computer. Trouble was, her dozen calls remained unanswered until a few minutes ago, throwing their meticulous plan off schedule.

Andrea stroked the blue-gray Nebulung purring on her lap and tried to ignore the churning in her stomach. “Denver, the next time I consider helping a sibling with some crazy scheme, you have my permission to use my leg as a scratching post until I come to my senses. Agreed?”

Denver looked up, his green eyes filled with innocence, and answered with a single meow before leaping onto the table toward her plate of shortbread cookies.

“I’ll take that as a yes.” She sipped her tea, willing the sugar to sweeten the acrid taste in her mouth. The phone interrupted her meditation. No doubt a check-in from her brother, the extorter-in-chief.

“I figured you’d have called by now. Everything on track?” Joe’s strained voice conveyed his own jangled nerves. They’d agreed to be vague when communicating. In these days of Siri and Alexa, anyone could be listening.

“Finally. Took forever to get through to our friend, but she said she’d take care of ‘our project’ as soon as her meetings wrapped up. From here on out though, I’m sticking to fiction. Real-life intrigue is too stressful.”

Andrea missed Joe’s response, instead perplexed by her cats’ sudden change of behavior. Denver had tilted his head and leapt from the table; Vail and Aspen sat frozen, ears perked, staring toward the foyer. Then she heard it too, the sound of papers shuffling in the living room. She leaned forward, muscles taut, hackles raised, ready to pounce. “Joe, hold on a sec. I think someone’s in the house. I’ll call you back later.”


“Wait, what? Andrea??” Silence. The connection was dead.

After twenty minutes of weaving in and out of rush-hour traffic to travel one mile, Joe “Hack” Hackford pulled up outside his sister’s Ridgewood home. Adrenaline pumping on overdrive, he jumped from his car and sprinted toward the house. Door wide open—not an encouraging sign. He steeled his nerves and hastened inside. The living room looked like a hurricane’s aftermath, with furniture overturned and papers littering the carpets and floor.

“Andrea? Are you here?” He rushed into the kitchen, which lacked any signs of their celebratory dinner—no spaghetti boiling on the stove, no cake rising in the oven. Only the door to the backyard ajar and a shriek emanating from the next room, piercing the eerie silence. Hair stiffening at the back of his neck, he raced into the dining room where a redheaded woman stood frozen, staring across the room.

“Who the hell are you?” he growled.

The stranger remained wide-eyed and unresponsive. He followed her gaze to the floor, where he witnessed the unthinkable. His beloved sister lay in the corner, surrounded by a pool of blood, a kitchen knife stuck in her chest. Her eyes remained fixed on the ceiling. A trio of feline guards circled her lifeless body.

Hack’s knees turned to jelly, and he grabbed onto a chair for support, forcing back the remains of the snack he’d consumed only minutes earlier. Once the initial shock waned, he reverted his attention back to the intruder. At second glance, she did look somewhat familiar, though the woman he’d met a few weeks back—the missing heiress whose computer they’d just hacked—was brunette. Had she uncovered their con? With a bolt of fury, he reached forward and pulled the wig from her head. A thousand questions zigzagged in his brain, but only one forced its way past his lips:

“Oh my God. Grace. Oh my God. What the hell have you done?”


Excerpt from Saving Grace by D.M. Barr. Copyright 2020 by D.M. Barr. Reproduced with permission from D.M. Barr. All rights reserved.

My Book Review:

In Saving Grace, author D.M. Barr weaves a riveting psychological thriller that follows a woman's determination to save her life from her philandering husband's plans to take her inheritance. 

Grace Rendell has been treated for mental illness for forty years, when at the age of six she began hearing voices, having hallucinations, and was prone to violent outbursts. Grace has had a toxic relationship with her billionaire father, Barrington Pierrepoint, as well as with her husband Eliot and teenage sons Damian and Xander. They all have treated her in a condescending and disrespectful manner over the years. Grace is tired of the dulled/drugged life she leads, and secretly weaned herself off the psychotropic medications. Now with a clear mind, Grace believes that her husband is waiting for her to inherit her father's estate worth billions, and then remove her from his life and take the money. Grace is determined to save her life by writing a novel about a philandering husband who plots the murder of his wife for her inheritance. Grace thinks that the novel will be a literary life insurance that will prevent Eliot from acting out his plan to murder her. But the murder of her literary mentor Lynn Andrews, and the decline of her father's health, has Grace racing against time to write and publish the book in order to save her life!

Saving Grace is an intriguing psychological thriller set in Northern New Jersey, that easily captivates the reader's attention, and draws them into Grace's traumatic story. Grace's determination to write and publish her book is interwoven with helping solve the murder of Grace's literary mentor, mystery author Lynn Andrews, along with Lynn's teenage brother, Joe Hackford and his motley crew of friends. As the dual storyline unfolds, it is told in a clever way, and is interwoven with enough raw emotions, chilling suspense, secrets, treachery, surprising twists and turns, and thought provoking intrigue, that easily keeps the reader engaged and guessing until the surprising conclusion. 

Saving Grace is a cleverly written psychological thriller that takes the reader on one heck of a rollercoaster ride. 


About The Author

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

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

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

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

Contest Giveaway

Win A $25 Amazon Gift Card

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for D.M. Barr. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Gift Card. The giveaway begins on October 12, 2020 and runs through November 15, 2020. Void where prohibited. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour 

Tour Participants:

10/12 Review/showcase @ njbookaholics_anonymous

10/13 Showcase @ Novels Alive

10/14 Review @ The World As I See It

10/15 Showcase @ The Book Divas Reads

10/16 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

10/19 Showcase @ Book Reviews & More by Kathy

10/20 Showcase @ Reading A Page Turner

10/21 Interview @ BooksChatter

10/22 Review @ Robin Loves Reading

10/23 Showcase @ the bookworm lodge

10/24 Interview @ A Blue Million Books

10/25 Showcase @ EienCafe

10/28 Review @ Books with Bircky

10/29 Interview @ CMash Reads

10/30 Interview @ Quiet Fury Books

11/01 Showcase @ nanasbookreviews

11/02 Showcase @ Brooke Blogs

11/03 Review @ Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

11/05 Review @ Lynchburg Mama

11/08 Review @ Nesies Place

11/09 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews

11/10 Review @ Wall-to-wall Books

11/11 Review @ A Room Without Books is Empty

11/12 Review @ Christian Bookshelf Reviews

11/12 Review @ Sylv. net

11/13 Review @ Celticladys Reviews

11/14 Review @ On the Page Pa services

12/10 Podcast @ Blogtalk Radio

12/10 Review @ Just Reviews

1 comment:

  1. I am so jealous. I so wanted to read this book during the tour but am so backlogged on my reading. BUT I will be reading it in the future.