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Review: The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler – Beautiful

23014670“But the heaviest things, I think, are the secrets. They can drown you if you let them.”
Ally Carter

“Let them think what they liked, but I didn’t mean to drown myself. I meant to swim till I sank — but that’s not the same thing.”
― Joseph Conrad, The Secret Sharer and other stories

“There’s a sucker born every minute.”
― P.T. Barnum

Tragedy and loss are sounds. The slip of waves across rock. The cry of a loon across a dark lake. The patter of rain against midnight windows.

They are water, streaming from here to there, giving life. And taking it away.

His mother, Paulina, circus performer, fortune-teller, magician’s assistant, and mermaid, walked into the water when he was seven. His father soon followed, destroyed by grief. And only Simon, and his baby sister Enola, remain. Simon, a lonely young librarian, who clings to the home he grew up in, which itself clings desperately to the edge of the cliff above the sea, falling to wrack and ruin, a mere memory, a ghost of the warm family home it once was. Simon, who lives alone while his sister, like her mother before her, lives the life of the circus, the carnival, reading the fortunes of the lonely, the lovelorn, the lost.

But then, the book arrives. And time begins to waver, back and forth through time, the past melding with the present through the words of yet another “walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more.”* A poor player indeed, who struts and frets across a traveling carnival stage. There is magic here. Magic and pain and loss and death.

And drowning.
Always drowning.

Simon’s tale reaches back, back to Hermelius H. Peabody’s Portable Magic and Miracles Traveling Show. Hermelius H. Peabody, self-proclaimed visionary in entertainment and education. Hermelius H. Peabody, who one day comes upon a real Wild Boy – a Wild Boy who was left in the woods to die, and instead lives – lives, and learns to listen to the water. Learns to vanish.

“The Book of Speculation”
is a small miracle. History and mystery, mysticism and the water. Always, always the water. A lost book, a lost soul. A lost history found, beliefs crumpled.

And the water sings, its quiet song of death.

I received “The Book of Speculation” from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

Highly recommended.

  • Shakespeare, Hamlet
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Review: Into The Fire by Jodi McIsaac

intothefireCedar McLeod had a quiet life before the action in Through the Door, the first book in The Thin Veil series. A tired, overworked single mother, Cedar and her daughter Eden still manage to have a happy life. But one day, things change drastically. For Eden is more than she seems. So very, very much more. A single open door sends Eden and Cedar on a terrifying slide into horror and despair, as the teachings of Cedar’s mother, to not ever tell Eden of her father, pushes a child to make a devastating error – an error which cost lives, and lead to the kidnapping and terrorizing of Eden, and a trip across space and time to the land of Tír na nÓg, and a battle to save two worlds.

As Into the Fire, the second in The Thin Veil series, begins Eden and Cedar, and their newly found family, including Eden’s father Finn, have returned to Tír na nÓg. Destined for the throne, Cedar finds instead that Nuala, Eden’s kidnapper and the partner of the destroyer of Tír na nÓg, has entranced the Council, and is making a strong bid for the throne herself. Though Cedar’s parents were the King and Queen before their deaths and baby Cedar’s banishment to Earth, she finds that she must fight for her position, and for the protection of her family – and to save Tír na nÓg from the evil Nuala. It won’t be easy, and she will have to fight against the very people who should be working to help her, but in order to save her world, it must be done. Filled with Celtic myth, mystery, suspense and adventure, this second installment of The Thin Veil series is as good, if not better than, the first – and I great look forward to the third!

I received this book from the publisher in return for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

Review: Cheating Justice by Misty Evans and Adrienne Giordano

cheating justicePolitics have no relation to morals. -Niccolo Machiavelli
There is a point at which the law becomes immoral and unethical. That point is reached when it becomes a cloak for the cowardice that dares not stand up against blatant violations of justice. -Kurt Huber

Title: Cheating Justice
Series: The Justice Team (#2)
Authors: Misty Evans and Adrienne Giordan0
Release Date: July 21, 2014
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Book Summary:

~ The second novel in the exciting and bestselling Justice Team romantic suspense series!! ~While investigating a government cover-up, former FBI agent Mitch Monroe is framed for murder. A wanted man, Mitch has no choice but to stay off the grid, and he needs Special Agent Caroline Foster—the FBI’s top sniper and a woman who wants nothing to do with him—to clear his name.After sharing a single night of simmering passion with Mitch a year ago, Caroline hasn’t been able to get him out of her head. Or her heart. He’s jeopardized her job once…helping him now could end her career. But a friend has been murdered, and no matter how Caroline feels about Mitch, he’s not the killer. She needs answers, and she needs Mitch Monroe out of her life once and for all.On the run and with no one to turn to, Mitch and Caroline can’t fight the reigniting passion between them. She’ll lose her career if she proves Mitch is innocent…he’ll lose his life if she doesn’t.

Review:

What do you do when everything you thought you knew about truth, about justice, about the very people tasked with protecting what is good and just in the world . . . is wrong. Deeply and irreparably wrong. When everything is falling apart, and good people are dying – all for the sake of hiding a horrendous political cluster fuck.

This is the second in the Justice Team series. In the first, Stealing Justice Justice “Grey” Greystone was fired from the FBI for insubordination. We learn a bit more about Grey in this second volume, but this one actually revolves around two different characters from that book, Mitch Monroe, former FBI golden boy now turned fugitive from the law, and Caroline Foster, FBI agent and FBI SWAT team sharpshooter

Monroe is trying desperately to find out who set up his best friend and fellow FBI agent, Tommy Nusco. Nusco, seconded to the ATF in New Mexico has ended up dead in the street, and upper management seems determined to brand Tommy as a traitor to his country, a rouge agent selling automatic weapons to drug dealers and Mexican gunrunners. When Monroe’s other best friend, Kemp Rodgers, winds up dead after a secret meeting with Monroe in Rock Creek Park, the situation becomes even more dire.

Along with Grey and Monroe’s former partner, Caroline, Monroe and his scruffy yet loyal band of misfits find themselves embroiled in political intrigue and a vast coverup which reaches to the very top levels of the government. Who to turn to, who to trust, is entirely unknown as the depth and breadth of the coverup leads to more murders and deeper levels of governmental malfeasance.

Evans and Giordano have crafted an exceptional political thriller. Yes, yes, I know they call it “Romantic Suspense” and there is some romance in there, as what appears to be a long time attraction between Mitch and Caroline comes to a head. but I was much more impressed by the political story that Monroe, Grey, Caroline and ex-ATF agent Brice Brennan are faced with. Suspenseful, thrilling, and with an exceptional degree of political knowledge <em>Cheating Justice </em>is very much a novel for our times, pointing out the corruption inherent in the modern political system.Highly recommended. i will be downloading the first in the series, and will be watching for a possible third.

Excerpt:

“I always said you had the best ass in the FBI.”

Her body froze. Eleven months, five days and—she did the math—twelve hours had passed since she’d heard that voice. The one she’d thought about time and again after his last brief visit to her apartment, and she still managed to be equal parts pissed off, concerned and flat-out heartbroken. That voice could only belong to one person. Thus the remark about her ass and—wow—she always knew he had a set of stones, but this was too much even for Mitch Monroe. The man she’d spent all these months trying to forget. Months of burying herself in cases, months of begging her boss for every available opportunity to keep her mind occupied, months of a busy life that didn’t allow for downtime.

Or thoughts of Mitch.

Without turning, she picked up her weapon. “Well, look what the cat dragged in. A girl puts her career on the line for you and you don’t call, you don’t write, nothing. To say the least, your technique needs work.”

And then he laughed. She’d waited months to hit him with that line and he laughed. Classic Mitch. She closed her eyes and—forget that he was a federal fugitive now wanted for murder—she’d kill him herself and be done with the whole affair.

Mitch, a murderer? She couldn’t believe it. No matter what the White House was spinning about Kemp Rodgers’ death, Mitch wouldn’t kill his friend.

Then, again, she’d been Mitch’s friend once…

Finally, she turned, bracing herself for whatever disguise might greet her, but found none. Brave.

As usual.

She took in his long brown hair pulled back in a low ponytail, his dark eyes and ripped jeans, and shook her head. “You’re insane for coming here.”

He shrugged. “It’s a private range. Not like I walked into Quantico.”

It wasn’t enough that he’d almost destroyed her career when he’d first started working The Lion case, now he wanted to have a second go at it. He was a fugitive wanted for murder and she was an FBI agent. She should arrest him.

Yet, she stood waiting for him to say something that would make a damned difference. I’m sorry? I didn’t do it? Anything that would erase the idea that he could have murdered his friend.

She set her rifle on the table behind her, slid the bolt open. Not loaded. She knew it wasn’t, but she checked anyway. Always.

Mitch shuffled behind her.

Too bad. He could wait like she’d waited for him all these months.

Her canvas carry case sat on the bench seat. Like many people, she preferred canvas over hard plastic because the softer material didn’t make the rifle sweat. She dug through the case for her lens covers, popped them on, set the rifle into the case—bolt upward—and zipped it.

She’d clean the rifle later. For her, keeping a weapon in top working order meant cleaning it after every use. Even if only one shot had been fired, her weapons got cleaned. Every time.

She sensed Mitch moving closer, stirring the air around her, upsetting the energy, letting her know he was near. He had that way about him. Sometimes good, sometimes not.

“I need your help.”

Of course he did. Should have known. Radio silence for eleven months and now he wanted her help. “I should shoot you and dump your body in the Reflecting Pool.”

“Yeah, you should.”

She spun and—crack!—smacked him, sending his head sideways and making her hand sting. She’d never physically attacked anyone before and she couldn’t say it felt right or just, but unleashing it felt good. To let him know he’d hurt her. “We were friends. I helped you and you disregarded me.”

Disregarded you?” Mitch slid a hand over his cheek. “I’ve stayed away and I’m sorry. But what, Caroline? You want to do lunch or hit the shooting range with me? A guy wanted for assaulting your boss and now a federal fugitive?” Gently, he knocked on her head. “Think about it. I was protecting you.”

She didn’t need his protection. “I’m mad at you.”

“Atta girl.”

God, he was annoying. “You had a good reason to take a swing at Donaldson when he threatened you during The Lion case, but honest to God, Mitch, I think he should have swung back and ended it right there instead of trying to throw you in jail. But you should have manned up and never run from the charges, so whatever this is, I can’t help you.”

“Tommy Nusco.”

“You murdered him, too?”

Surprisingly, he blanched. “I didn’t kill anyone. I need to know what went down with Tommy.”

Oh, please. He really had lost his mind if he thought she’d touch that subject. That involved ATF and the State of New Mexico and she wasn’t about to step into that snake pit. “You better worry about what went down with Kemp Rodgers and why the White House is after you. Turn yourself in, Mitch.”

“Kemp told me the White House is buzzing about Executive Privilege being invoked on Tommy’s case. A few hours later, he’s dead. Put two and two together, Caroline. There’s a cover-up in the works and what happened to Tommy is at the heart of it.”

She faced him, still hating that he stood a good six inches taller and managed to make her feel small. She folded her arms and stepped forward, got right into his space. “No.”

“Whatever they’re concocting about Tommy is bullshit.”

“I don’t know that.”

“Yeah, you do. When we all worked together, we hung out. You knew him.”

“Not that well.”

He rolled his eyes in that typical I’m-Mitch-Monroe-and-I’m-bored way of his. “He was not dirty. Whatever he was doing, the government is letting a dead agent take the heat. Why not? He’s dead anyway. Doesn’t matter that he was a decorated officer. The government obviouslyneeds to clean up a mess and—” he inched closer, tilted his head and stared right into her eyes “—I know all about how the government cleans up a mess.”

Back away. She should, but that would play into what he wanted. He wanted to control this conversation. His looming presence used to be enough that she’d give him that control.

Not this time.

She tilted her head the opposite direction, eased out a half-smile. “Mitch?”

“Yes?”

“Screw you.”

She turned her back to him and scooped up her rifle case. Right now, she needed to walk away and not let him talk her into something that would wreck her career.

Buy Links: 

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Facebook Party

Misty and Adrienne will be hosting a week-long Facebook Party on the Justice Team Series page which will include several giveaways each day! Details will be announced on page as they are available.

Link to Justice Team Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JusticeTeamSeries?ref_type=bookmark.

About the Authors:

Misty Evans:Misty Evans Photo

USA Today bestselling Author Misty Evans has published over twenty novels and writes romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. As a writing coach, she helps other authors bring their books – and their dreams of being published – to life.

The books in her Super Agent series have won a CataNetwork Reviewers’ Choice Award, CAPA nominations, the New England Reader’s Choice Bean Pot Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2010 and the ACRA Heart of Excellence Reader’s Choice Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2011.

Her Witches Anonymous series was dubbed a Fallen Angel Reviews Recommended Read. The Super Agent Series, Witches Anonymous Series, and the Kali Sweet Series have been on multiple Amazon Kindle bestsellers lists. Her culinary romantic mystery, THE SECRET INGREDIENT, and the first book in her Deadly series, DEADLY PURSUIT, are both USA TODAY bestsellers.

Misty likes her coffee black, her conspiracy stories juicy, and her wicked characters dressed in couture. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, movies, and hanging out with her husband, twin sons, and two spoiled puppies.

Connect with Misty: Website / NewsletterFacebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Pinterest

***

Adrienne Giordano:Adrienne Giordano Headshot

USA Today bestselling author Adrienne Giordano writes romantic suspense and mystery.  She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier). She is a co-founder of Romance University blog and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, a reading series dedicated to romantic fiction.

Connect with Adrienne:  Website / Newsletter / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Street Team

Giveaway:

There will be a tour-wide giveaway of a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card and a Justice Team Series Swag Bag

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Follow the tour!

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Review: Through The Door by Jodi McIsaac – Highly Recommended

In Flanders fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

~John McCrae

What connects two thousand years of genocide? Too much power in too few hands. – Simon Wiesenthal

…the Tuatha De Danann or Sidhe, the ‘Gentry’, the ‘Good People’, and the ‘People of Peace’ are described as a race of invisible divine beings eternally young and unfading. They inhabit fairy palaces, enjoy rare feasts and love-making, and have their own music and minstrelsy. They are essentially majestic in their nature…Mythologically they are gods of light and good, able to control natural phenomena so as to make harvests come forth abundantly or not at all. — W. Y. Evans-Wentz; The Faerie Faith in Celtic Countries, 1911 (quoted by Michael Tsarion)

throughthedoor
Click to purchase the book, and to learn more about Jodi McIsaac. Highly Recommended!

Millennia. Millennia beyond counting, the Tuatha De Danann graced the lands of Tír na nÓg. Tír na nÓg, where fields of flowers . . . caress those who walked past, waterfalls of crystal nectar, trees that sang and danced and hung heavy with fruit. . . And yet, though they despise the humans that drove them from Ériu and back to the lands of Tuatha De Danann, the lands of plenty and peace.

Click this link to visit the beautiful land of Ériu

And yet, even the Tuatha De Danann are not immune to war. And war there is, a war of hatred and greed, a war led by a psychopath. For sometimes, living forever is dangerous in the extreme. Long years of thought, of jealousy and avarice, and bitter blackness of the heart. Those who are undying can be killed – and the slaughter is beyond comprehension.

Many years later, we meet Cedar McLeod as she enjoys a busker fair with her beloved Finn, her boyfriend of two years, and the love of her life. Having a wonderful time with Finn, she is also excited for another reason – for she has a secret, of the baby sort, and she is trying to find the right moment to tell him during this wonderful day. Just as she begins to impart her news, however, Finn suddenly tenses up, then rushes Cedar to her apartment and leaves. The next morning, Cedar walks into Finn’s apartment only to discover it empty and he is gone without a trace . . .

Forward seven years, and though Cedar is an exhausted, overworked single mother, she has her own mother for support and a deep and abiding love for her daughter, Eden. Oh, yes, it is hard to look upon her sweet face at times, for Eden is the spitting image of her father. But her great love for her child lays all those pains aside, to be pulled out only in the dark of the night, alone in her bed. Life isn’t wonderful, but with Eden’s presence, life is good.

But things are about to change. For Eden is more than she seems. So very, very much more. A single open door will send Eden and Cedar on a terrifying slide into horror and despair, as the teachings of Cedar’s mother, to not ever tell Eden of her father, push a child to make a devastating error – an error which will cost lives, and lead Cedar and Eden on a trip across seas, and across time and space, in a desperate bid to return Eden home.

Through the Door is a modern day urban fantasy of the very best kind. Filled with fantasy creatures, of course, this isn’t just a fantasy. It has deeply embedded strands of thriller and suspense, mystery and terror that step this up from just fantasy to something so much more. War and death, psychopathy and greed, power and politics play a strong role, for even the gods themselves are not perfect. Add to that the fact that Jodi McIsaac has done a stunning job of research into the world of Tír na nÓg and the Tuatha De Danann, and the writing itself is beautifully done, and this is a highly recommended read. And don’t forget – the final book of the trilogy is out! That means that you can sit down and read all three straight through – how awesome is THAT?

Into The Fire (The Thin Veil Book 2)
Beyond the Pale: A Thin Veil Novella (The Thin Veil 2.5)
Among The Unseen (The Thin Veil Book 3)

jodi
Click to go to Jodi’s site!

 About Jodi:

I grew up in New Brunswick, Canada. After stints as a short-track speed skater, a speechwriter, and fundraising and marketing executive in the nonprofit sector, I started a boutique copywriting agency and began writing novels in the wee hours of the morning. I currently live with my husband and two feisty daughters in Calgary, Alberta.

I love to connect with readers, so come say hello on FacebookTwitter, or Goodreads!

_______________________________________________

I received this book from the publisher, 47North, in return for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own and are not influenced by this fact. If you enjoyed my review, please click “This review was helpful” at Amazon.com. Thank you!

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