A Dead Man’s Eyes (Lisa Jamison: Book 1) by Lori Duffy Foster

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Publisher: Level Best Books

Date of publication: April 13th, 2021

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Series: Lisa Jamison

A Dead Man’s Eyes—Book 1

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Apple Books

Format Read: ARC

Received From: Author


Goodreads Synopsis:

Lisa Jamison has done well for a single mom who got pregnant at fifteen.
She’s a reporter at a well-respected newspaper and her teenage daughter is both an athlete and honors student. Though their relationship is rocky these days, Lisa has accomplished what she set out to do. She has given her daughter the kind of life she never had.
But all that changes when Lisa sees her daughter in the eyes of a dead man.
The cops call it a drug killing, but Lisa doesn’t believe it. She knows her ex-boyfriend was no drug dealer even though she hadn’t seen him in sixteen years. Lisa ignores warnings from her medical-examiner friend. She fails to heed barely veiled threats from the sheriff of a neighboring county. Instead, she risks her life and the lives of her daughter and their closest friend on a dangerous quest for answers.
The investigation leaves Lisa fighting for her family in a morbid, black market world she never knew existed. She learns that trust is complicated and that she, despite her cynical nature, has been blind. She trusted the wrong people and now she might have to pay with her life.


First Line:

It pays to be friends with the medical examiner.

A Dead Man’s Eyes by Lori Duffy Foster

I was intrigued when I read the plot for A Dead Man’s Eyes. A reporter shows up at the city morgue to view the body of a man she hadn’t seen in 16 years. That man is her ex-boyfriend and the father of her 15-year-old daughter. When told that his death was drug-related, she refuses to believe it. That starts her down a path where she soon finds that trusting the wrong people will kill her and the people she loves. Can she find out why he was killed?

A Dead Man’s Eyes is the first book in the Lisa Jamison series. Since it is the first book in a series, readers can read it as a standalone.

A Dead Man’s Eyes does get off to a somewhat slow start and stays medium pace until a little past halfway through the book. Don’t let the slow start and the pacing fool you; the author packs a lot into those chapters. Once Lisa watches the DVD, and the incident happens at the animal clinic, the book picks up pace. That pace doesn’t let up until the end, and then it explodes into something huge. Something I didn’t see coming and took me 100% by surprise.

I admired Lisa. She had overcome so much in her life to get to where she was now. She was the child of addicts and a teenage mother. She had made a good life for herself as a reporter. But, I wasn’t surprised when she decided to investigate Marty’s death. I mean, he was the father of her child. I would have done the same thing. I also like that while she was tough, she was also vulnerable. While it didn’t show at the beginning of the book, her vulnerability showed in the middle and end.

The mystery angle of the book was well written and gripping. The author did a fantastic job of keeping who killed Marty under wraps until the explosive climax. I couldn’t put the book down; it was that good.

I will warn that there is some gore in the book. There are a couple of scenes that made me shudder while reading them. The author also has in-depth explanations about the black market for human body parts. It was eye-opening and saddening.

The book didn’t end when the killers were caught. Nope. Instead, it amped up for a second, slightly less explosive climax. I figured something would happen with that person; I wasn’t expecting what happened to happen (if you know what I mean).

I am looking forward to reading book 2, even though the author didn’t leave any clue about what it was going to be about.


I would recommend A Dead Man’s Eyes to anyone over the age of 21. There is language. There is violence.

Robin’s Hood: A Tale of Sherwood Forest (HighTower Fairytales: Book ) by Jacque Stevens

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Publisher:

Date of publication: January 1st, 2021

Genre: Young Adult, Fairy Tale Retelling, Fantasy

Series: HighTower Fairytales

Winter Falls: A Tale of the Snow Queen (Review here)

Cry Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 1

Lone Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 2

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 3

Between Dog and Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 4

Wolves at Bay: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 5

Depths—Book 6

Graves: A Tale of the Little Mermaid—Book 7

Storms—Book 8

Robin’s Hood: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 9

Marian’s Man: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 10

Lion’s Heart: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 11

Letters by Cinderlight: A Tale of Cinderella—Book 12

Wishes by Starlight: A Tale of Cinderella—Book 13

Purchase Links: Amazon

Format Read: ARC

Received From: Author


Goodreads Synopsis:

The King of Thieves is dead. Long live the Queen.

Orphaned at five and widowed at sixteen, Marian is the sole heir of Locksley keep and the Earldom of Huntingdon. Her husband, Robin of Locksley, never returned from the crusades, leaving her at the mercy of the sheriff. He chooses her a new husband among his brutal lackeys and taxes her people to rags and starvation.

Marian is sidelined and powerless, but rumors spread of a charismatic thief who could change everything. Clever, brave, and strong, his followers claim that the hooded rogue is Robin’s spirit back from the grave.

Only Marian knows the truth. Her husband is dead, but under his hood, she could be invincible.

ROBIN’S HOOD is the first novella in the High Tower Robin Hood YA medieval fantasy series. If you like strong female characters, friends-to-lovers romance, and non-stop twists and turns, then you’ll love this gender-bent twist on the Legends of Sherwood.


First Line:

I have heard ballads of our adventures already. A few favor the sheriff, saying we’re all cutthroats and devil worshipers, but most speak of the merry outlaws doing clever deeds.

Robin’s Hood: A Tale of Sherwood Forest by Jacque Stevens

Out of all the fairy tale retellings I have read, I don’t think that I have read a retelling of Robin Hood. So, when I saw that Jacque Stevens had written a feminist retelling of Robin Hood, I was intrigued and I decided to read it. I am glad that I did because Robin’s Hood was a homerun for me.

I liked seeing a woman in the role of Robin Hood. It threw an exciting spin on the myth, one that, truthfully, I haven’t bothered to imagine. I was always stuck on Robin Hood being a man. I never thought to imagine a heartbroken woman who was trying to do what she thought was right in the role. The author was able to do that and more.

Robin’s Hood is set in medieval England, and the book reflects that. Women were often viewed as property and treated as such. So, I wasn’t too surprised to learn that Marian’s guardian decided to marry her, at 5, to his eight-year-old son. He did that to secure his son’s claim to her lands. I also wasn’t too surprised when the Sherriff of Nottingham decided to marry her to his cousin (for the same reason). There are also other examples. A woman was sent to a convent for her “confinement” (women were not allowed to be seen during pregnancy). Marian’s maid was beaten when she refused the advances of the Sherriff of Nottingham.

I enjoyed reading about Marian’s exploits as Robin Hood. I loved how she recruited her band of merry men. That one scene with Little John made me laugh, including how she tried to save him after knocking him into the river. The same goes with her scenes with Friar Tuck. I think he had no clue who Marian was because he was toasted 95% of the time.

The last few chapters of Robin’s Hood did send me into a tailspin. Everything happened so fast!!! But I still loved it. The author wrapped up most of the storylines for this book but left them open enough for the next one.


I enjoyed reading Robin’s Hood. This story was an enjoyable retelling of the myth.

I would recommend Robin’s Hood to anyone over the age of 13. There is mild violence.

WWW Wednesday: July 28th 2021

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What I Recently Finished Reading:

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Tessa James has worked and planned tirelessly to open her own millinery shop. All she needs now is a loan from the lord who sired and abandoned her. The only problem is, she doesn’t even know his name. What’s a woman to do to find him but enter the aristocratic world by becoming a governess?

Guy Whitby, the new Duke of Carlin, has returned to London after years abroad to discover that his young daughter Sophy has become a wild-child known for scaring away every governess who’s crossed his doorstep. When Tessa James applies for the job, he hires her in desperation despite his misgivings that she’s too bold and beautiful–and that she might be fibbing about her qualifications.


Their blooming attraction leads them on a completely unexpected path to love that neither wants to deny. But when an old enemy threatens Guy’s family, their forbidden romance goes up in flames. Can they still learn to love and trust each other as forces try to tear them apart?

This was an OK Regency romance. The female main character was way too independent for the era and the male main character was way too trusting. But, the romance was sweet and I loved how Tessa was with Sophy.


What I am currently reading:

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Got a faerie problem? I’m your girl.
Magic gone awry? Not a problem.
But when kids go missing and the search comes up dry, my boss decides I need a partner.
The pain in the ass kind.
Now I have a problem.


As a field agent in the FBI’s ultra-elite Occult Crimes Division…aka the OCD, it’s my job to investigate cases of the magical variety. I’m the best at it, but it seems my employer doesn’t share my confidence when he pairs me up with the bureau’s newest golden boy. Turns out he’s the biggest tool I’ve ever met.

Logan Hawthorne.
Arrogant. Attractive as hell.
Oh yeah–and human.


I don’t have time to teach this smug & straight-laced suit about the shadow realm of faerie that exists below our feet. I’ve got a list of missing kids a mile long and no time to waste in finding the creature who’s snatching them.

Now if only there was an explanation for this talking cat..

I started Wiretaps & Whiskers last night and so far, I am liking it. But, again, I am only a couple of chapters in, so my liking it could change.


What books I think I’ll read next:

The order I will be reading these books are indie author ARC, NetGalley ARC, NetGalley ARC, NetGalley ARC, indie author ARC, indie author ARC.

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I have one rule: Never mix business with pleasure.
I was never much good at following rules.

Alright, so my new partner isn’t the worst. It doesn’t hurt that Logan is big, tall, and smokin’ hot. I started out hating him, but this human hunk is starting to grow on me…when we’re not fighting like cats and dogs. Even our co-worker thinks there’s something going on between us. Is there something between us? Humans like him and faeries like me don’t usually click, but we’re on a case in Arizona and things are getting pretty freakin’ hot. I’m so tempted to break the rules on dating people at work, but there’s a catch —


I’m under review.

Well…that’s not completely true. The entire Occult Crimes Division is under review, as in me, my partner, my boss, Jake from IT…everybody. Evidently, hunting ghosts is kind of expensive, and now the accountants are asking questions. If Logan and I can’t prove to these hard-asses how vital our work is to the FBI, the OCD will cease to exist.

No pressure or anything. I just have to save my entire department from impending doom.
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Eyes aren’t the windows to the soul. Emails are.

Cassie Woodson is adrift. After suffering an epic tumble down the corporate ladder, Cassie finds the only way she can pay her bills is to take a thankless temp job reviewing correspondence for a large-scale fraud suit. The daily drudgery amplifies all that her life is lacking–love, friends, stability–and leaves her with too much time on her hands, which she spends fixating on the mistakes that brought her to this point.

While sorting through a relentless deluge of emails, something catches her eye: the tender (and totally private) exchanges between a partner at the firm, Forest Watts, and his enchanting wife, Annabelle. Cassie knows she shouldn’t read them. But it’s just one look. And once that door opens, she finds she can’t look away.

Every day, twenty floors below Forest’s corner office, Cassie dissects their emails from her dingy workstation. A few clicks of her mouse and she can see every adoring word they write to each other. By peeking into their apparently perfect life, Cassie finds renewed purpose and happiness, reveling in their penchant for vintage wines, morning juice presses, and lavish dinner parties thrown in their stately Westchester home. There are no secrets from her. Or so she thinks.

Her admiration quickly escalates into all-out mimicry, because she wants this life more than anything. Maybe if she plays make-believe long enough, it will become real for her. But when Cassie orchestrates a “chance” meeting with Forest in the real world and sees something that throws the state of his marriage into question, the fantasy she’s been carefully cultivating shatters. Suddenly, she doesn’t simply admire Annabelle–she wants to take her place. And she’s armed with the tools to make that happen.
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Tara Park doesn’t do serious relationships. Neither does she hop into bed with virtual strangers. Especially when that particular stranger is her best friend’s new brother-in-law. It isn’t an easy decision, though. Seth Kim is temptation personified. His unreasonably handsome looks and charming personality makes him easy on the eyes and good for her ego.

When a friendly game of Truth or Dare leads to an uncomplicated four-date arrangement with Seth, Tara can’t say she minds. But their dates, while sweet and sexy, have a tendency to hit roadblocks. Thankfully, their non-dates and chance meetings get frequent and heated.

Seth is leaving for a new job in Paris in a month and a no-strings attached fling seemed like a nice little distraction for both… But soon Seth realizes that Tara Park doesn’t come in a “nice & little” package–she’s funny and bold, sweet and sexy, and everything he ever wanted and never expected to find. Neither of them are ready for something serious and both have past relationship baggage they’ve been ignoring, but with a shot at forever on the line will they follow their hearts and take a chance on happily-ever-after?
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As a child, it was just a game. As an adult, it was a living nightmare.

‘This time it’s different. She’s gone too far now.
She really has.’

When teenage friends Lizzie and Alice decide to head off for a walk in the countryside, they are blissfully unaware that this will be their final day together – and that only Lizzie will come back alive.

Lizzie has no memory of what happened in the moments before Alice died, she only knows that it must have been a tragic accident. But as she tries to cope with her grief, she is shocked to find herself alienated from Alice’s friends and relatives. They are convinced she somehow had a part to play in her friend’s death.

Twelve years later, unpacking boxes in the new home she shares with her fiancé, Lizzie is horrified to find long-buried memories suddenly surfacing. Is the trauma of the accident finally catching up with her, or could someone be trying to threaten her new-found happiness?

Twelve years is a long time to wait, when you’re planning the perfect revenge . . .
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During the eye of a hurricane, evil strikes.

Six strangers get stuck on an island during a roaring hurricane. They have nothing in common, but five of them will have to join forces to survive the night. Meanwhile, the sixth wants nothing more than to kill every single one of them.

Join Annette, Chad, Heather, Spencer, and Kate on the worst night of their lives. Can they survive or will the killer maniacally laugh while eviscerating them? Filled with gore, terror, and the little moments between humans that can make or break their budding friendships.
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Their back! Julian and Rome are taking their show on the road. This time it is to lovely old England in search of Camelot. While there the Knight and Dragon will be trying to solve the mystery of the Talismans, the mystery of their shadowy stalker and the mystery of sibling rivalry. Prepare to meet some new faces and, of course, some new Darkbrands as the two further their adventures across the pond.

The Sinful Live of Trophy Wives by Kristin Miller

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The Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives by Kristin Miller

Publisher: Random House Publishing Books – Ballantine, Ballantine Books

Date of publication: July 20th, 2021

Genre: Thriller, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible | B&N | World Cat

Format Read: Unedited ARC

Got Book From: Publisher

Trigger Warnings: Domestic Violence, Cheating


Goodreads Synopsis:

Mystery writer Brooke Davies is the new wife on the block. Her tech-billionaire husband, Jack, twenty-two years her senior, whisked her to the Bay Area via private jet and purchased a modest mansion on the same day. He demands perfection, and before now, Brooke has had no problem playing the role of a doting housewife. But as she befriends other wives on the street and spends considerable time away from Jack, he worries if he doesn’t control Brooke’s every move, she will reveal the truth behind their “perfect” marriage.

Erin King, famed news anchor and chair of the community board, is no stranger to maintaining an image–though being married to a plastic surgeon helps. But the skyrocketing success of her career has worn her love life thin, and her professional ambitions have pushed Mason away. Quitting her job is a Hail Mary attempt at keeping him interested, to steer him away from finding a young trophy wife. But is it enough, and is Mason truly the man she thought he was?

Georgia St. Claire allegedly cashed in on the deaths of her first two husbands, earning her the nickname “Black Widow”–and the stares and whispers of her curious neighbors. Rumored to have murdered both men for their fortunes, she claims to have found true love in her third marriage, yet her mysterious, captivating allure keeps everyone guessing. Then a tragic accident forces the residents of Presidio Terrace to ask: Has Georgia struck again? And what is she really capable of doing to protect her secrets?


First Line:

Pain is the first thing I remember.

The Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives by Kristin Miller

Review:

I will be the first one to admit this: I judged The Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives by the title of the book. Since Kristin Miller is a new author to me, I assumed that this book would be something like Joan Collins writes. So I wasn’t surprised when I started reading TSLOTW and realized that this book was nothing like Joan Collin’s books. Instead, this was a psychological thriller.

The Sinful Lives of Trophy Lives follows three women: Brooke, Erin, and Georgia. Brooke moves into the gated community with her husband, Jack. Erin is married to Mason and has just quit her job to focus on her marriage. Georgia, also known as “Black Widow” because of the deaths of her previous husbands, is engaged to be married. There are dark secrets that the three women keep. These secrets could destroy lives if revealed. What are they, and will they be revealed?

The plot for The Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives is fast-paced. This book starts with a literal bang and doesn’t stop until the last page. The author was able to keep the pacing of the book up, even with the three separate POVs. I loved it!! I also loved that there was a slight lag too.

I loved Brooke, Erin, and Georgia, and I loved how the author kept me on edge with their characters. Just when I thought I knew those ladies, the author threw a tidbit or had them do something that made me go, “Really!!” It made for a good read because I didn’t know how these characters would end up.

The mystery/thriller angle of the book was well written. There were red herrings all over the place, and nothing was what it seemed. As soon as I thought I figured out what was going on, the author did a 180 and changed things. I loved it!!!

The secondary characters made the book too. Mason, Jack, and so many others. There were ones I loved and ones that I loathed.

There was a secondary storyline that involved Brooke and her past. I did predict what happened, but I didn’t expect what grew out of it. That took me by surprise!!

I wasn’t surprised at what was revealed about the deaths of Georgia’s husbands. I guessed that pretty early in the book. But I was surprised at who was involved and why that person got involved. So that made me look at that character differently.

I am going to warn that domestic violence is discussed at various points. For example, there are scenes where a woman gets beat by her husband in front of a child and another scene of a husband smacking his wife where the bruises couldn’t be seen and covered up with makeup.

The end of The Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives was insane. I almost couldn’t keep up with everything that the book revealed. There was a huge twist that shocked me. I did not see it coming, and it blindsided me. But, once it was announced, it made perfect sense.


I enjoyed reading The Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives. This book hooked me from page one, and I couldn’t put it down.

I would recommend The Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives to anyone over the age of 21. There are trigger warnings, which I discussed above. They are domestic violence and cheating. There are also scenes of pill-popping, sexual harassment (Erin’s male boss told her to get on her knees and beg for her job), and lots of drinking.

The Therapist by B.A. Paris

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Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of Publication: July 13th, 2021

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible | B&N | WorldCat

Format Read: Unedited ARC

Recieved From: Publisher


Goodreads Synopsis:

When Alice and Leo move into a newly renovated house in The Circle, a gated community of exclusive houses, it is everything they’ve dreamed of. But appearances can be deceptive…

As Alice is getting to know her neighbours, she discovers a devastating secret about her new home, and begins to feel a strong connection with Nina, the therapist who lived there before.

Alice becomes obsessed with trying to piece together what happened two years before. But no one wants to talk about it. Her neighbors are keeping secrets and things are not as perfect as they seem…


First Line:

My office is small, perfect and minimalist.

The Therapist by B.A. Paris

B.A. Paris is one of my favorite suspense/psychological thriller writers to read. So, when I got the invite to read/review The Therapist, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I am glad I did because The Therapist was a fantastic book!!

The plotline for The Therapist is simple. Alice and Leo move into a gated community. Alice soon finds out that the previous owner, Nina, was murdered by her husband there a little over a year before. Alice finds herself drawn to Nina’s case and starts investigating it. She discovers that Nina’s murder might not have been so cut and dry. Alice also realizes that there are secrets in this community. What had Alice stumbled upon, and can she prove that Nina’s husband wasn’t the killer?

The Therapist starts slowly. The first few chapters build up Alice’s backstory and the relationships with her neighbors/Leo/other friends. The author also chose to introduce The Therapist right from the beginning, which caught my interest. Once those introductory chapters were over, then the book picked up speed. There was some lag right around when Alice was trying to decide if she would leave or not, but it wasn’t enough to slow the book down. It was more of a speed bump if that makes sense.

I was not too fond of Alice during the first half of the book. While I agreed with her reaction to finding out about Nina’s murder (which was in her house), I didn’t agree with how she dealt with it. She also came across as stalkerish during certain parts of the book (going in Tamzin’s house and eavesdropping was a huge one for me). But, my opinion of her changed after some critical events in the book. I felt terrible for her (considering everything she went and was going through). I also came to like her, which surprised me.

The Therapist was an interesting person. At first, I did think it was Nina meeting with people in her house. But when the locations started changing, I changed my mind on that. I will say that I was surprised at who The Therapist ended up being.

The mystery angle of the book was perfectly written. I couldn’t figure out who The Therapist was and how this person was connected to Alice. The author kept throwing out red herrings, which in turn kept me guessing. I didn’t figure out who this person was and was completely surprised when it was revealed at the end of the book. That was a huge plot twist in itself!!

The end of The Therapist was action-packed and filled with surprises. Not because of who killed Nina and why but because of a huge plot twist involving Alice. Again, I was taken by surprise. I was also a little irritated by it. She kept railing about Leo, but she wasn’t perfect…not by a long shot.


I enjoyed reading The Therapist. I would reread it!! It was a fantastic thriller/mystery that kept me guessing throughout the entire book.

I would recommend The Therapist for anyone over the age of 21. There is violence. There is language.

I Play One On TV by Alan Orloff

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Publisher: Down & Out Books

Date of publication: July 19th, 2021

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Google Play

Format Read: Unedited ARC

Received From: Author


Goodreads Synopsis:

All’s great for sixteen-year-old actor Dalton Black as he portrays a teen killer on a crime reenactment show. That is, until he realizes someone is stalking him. When that someone turns out to be Homer Lee Varney, the man convicted of the murder, things take a dark turn, and Dalton is afraid for his life. What does Varney want? Some sort of twisted revenge? Or something even worse?

Can Dalton and his drama friends discover the truth, before they become the killer’s next victims? Stay tuned to find out!


First Line:

He watched as the teen in a dark hoodie emerged from a storage closet and crept through the empty high school locker room.

I Play One On TV by Alan Orloff

The blurb for I Play One On TV caught my interest when I read it. A teenage actor is compelled to look for the truth when the real-life killer contacts him. He and his friends must figure out if the real-life killer is innocent and, if he is, who killed the victim. That alone made me want to read the book.

The plotline for I Play One On TV was fast-paced. Once the book got going (it did take a chapter for the backstory to be explained), it took off and didn’t slow down. There was a little bit of lag in the middle of the book, but the author was able to get the book back on track.

The characters were well written and fleshed out. What I liked the most about these characters is that they were typical teenagers. Put aside the mystery, and they were typical band/chorus/drama geeks. I LOVED it.

The mystery angle of the book kept me guessing until the end. I thought I had the killer pegged until the author threw in that one last twist at the end of the book.


I Play One On TV is a well-written book that kept me guessing until the end. The characters were fleshed out, and I enjoyed reading it.

I would recommend I Played One On TV to anyone over the age of 13. There is mild violence and some mild language.

The Alchemy Thief by R.A. Denny

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The Alchemy Thief by R.A. Denny

Publisher:

Date of publication: July 16th, 2021

Genre: Historical Fiction, Science Fiction

Purchase Links: Amazon

Format Read: Unedited ARC

Received From: Author


Goodreads Synopsis

When the secrets of the past threaten to destroy the future.

A tale of hope, resilience, and the indomitable spirit of a woman, this sweeping epic spans the Atlantic from New England to Morocco during the Age of Exploration.

2019: A young woman finds a relic engraved with a mysterious symbol off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. Terrorists in Morocco steal a 17th-century book engraved with the same symbol. As the woman struggles to unravel the secrets behind the symbol, her life changes in ways she could never have imagined.

1657: Transported back in time, she meets the alchemist, John Winthrop, Jr. who is plotting to lure the greatest scientific minds to the New World. But the more she learns, the more she fears for the lives of the loved ones she left behind.

In a stunning twist of fate, a modern terrorist has traveled into the past, where he has become a Barbary Corsair. He has plans of his own. And he will stop at nothing to succeed.


First Line:

His parents called him Ismail after the Moroccan Warrior King, but even his new Glock-17 didn’t make Ismail feel like a warrior.

The Alchemy Thief by R.A. Denny

I am not a huge fan of time travel books. I have read a few books out of that genre that soured me on them. So, I was a little hesitant to read The Alchemy Thief. What eventually sold me on the book was the alchemy angle.

I am glad that I decided to read The Alchemy Thief. This book was action-packed and full of interesting facts about Colonial Massachusetts and the Barbary Corsairs (which I have rarely read about).

The Alchemy Thief started slow. Usually, I’m not too fond of it when books start slow. But, in this instance, Peri and Ayoub’s backstories needed it. Once the book explained their backstories, then it picked up speed. It stayed at a medium pace throughout the book. Again, I wasn’t bothered by it. The pace fits the book. If it went slower, the storyline would have dragged. If it went faster, then I feel that I would have missed out on some of the backstories. So, the pacing was perfect.

I felt awful for Ayoub’s character and thought that the author did a fantastic job of portraying him. She captured what war and extremism do to children. Ayoub was 10-11 when he was sent back in time. As a mother, I was horrified by what he was exposed to and what he was forced to do. I wanted to reach through the book, scoop him up, and hug him. But, even though he was sent back in time and became a Barbary Corsair, I think it was better than what he went through in modern times. But, as I said earlier, the damage was done, and it shaped him into the man he became later on in the book.

I was kind of “eh” about Experience when she first made an appearance in the book. She was too nice and very naïve. Oh, and trusting. She was very trusting to the point where I wanted to shake her and tell her to get rid of Liam. However, once she was transported back to Colonial Massachusetts, I felt that her character grew by leaps and bounds. She went from being this one-dimensional character to a fully fleshed-out person. I also liked that she forged friendships and relationships while figuring out how she was getting home.

As I mentioned above, the book’s alchemy angle was the reason I chose to read the book. I find alchemy fascinating, and The Alchemy Thief only added to that fascination. In addition, I enjoyed learning how the bodkins were made and how the main characters used them.

There is a romance angle to The Alchemy Thief. There are two main romances. The first one is Peri and Liam. I was 100% against Peri even looking at Liam. He came across as too smarmy. However, my instincts were right about him (the 100 virgins comment made me want to smack him).

The second romance was Peri and Daniel. Talk about a swoon-worthy romance. I loved the instant connection that they had. I also loved that Peri was able to confide in Daniel about where she had come from and what she was trying to do (go home). I also liked that Peri and Daniel’s romance came naturally. There was no Instalove and no instant sex. Instead, Daniel courted Peri and spent time with her.

The time travel angle of the book (which is tied into the alchemy angle) was very well written. I thought it was interesting how Ayoub and Peri were transported back in time. I liked that it was a one way only type deal. Once the main characters used the bodkin, it was gone. I also liked how the author didn’t have Ayoub or Peri give away the future. Well, Ayoub did, but he was written off as having a djinn. Peri was careful to keep her cellphone hidden and to keep up her Puritan facade.

The author had a glossary at the back that detailed the historical events. She also gave definitions to the Native American terms used. I found it helpful and was grateful that she included it.

The end of The Alchemy Thief was interesting. There is a big twist that I did not see coming, and it stunned me. She didn’t wrap up any of the storylines. Instead, with the way she ended the book, I want to read book 2. I need to find out what happens!!


I enjoyed reading The Alchemy Thief. It was engaging and kept my attention glued to my Kindle!!

I would recommend The Alchemy Thief to anyone over the age of 16. The Alchemy Thief is a clean book (no sex). There are some disturbing scenes of a suicide bombing. Ayoub has PTSD and has flashbacks about killing people as a child (he was forced). There is a scene where Peri is forced naked and has a man forcibly check her vagina (she was accused of being a witch).

Author Celebration: Cate Beauman

NO MORE SECRETS
The Carter Island Trilogy, Book 3

RELEASE DATE: June 22, 2021

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Three Siblings. One Year. Everything Changes.

Aussie billionaire businessman and pilot Cade Paxton has struggled to put his life back together after suffering a tragic loss. With his purchase of Carter Island Air and recent move to the small Massachusetts island, he sees his chance for a fresh start. Cade’s sole focus is on growing his investment and avoiding romantic entanglements at all costs. But then he hires Rebecca Carter
Interiors’ new assistant designer to help him update the aging airport. Cade quickly finds himself fascinated by the sassy beauty who often speaks her mind, talking to him in a way most people
wouldn’t dare.

Single mother Gwenyth Carter has recently been through hell. She’s starting over after several months of nasty surprises. Newly divorced and nearly broke, she’s rebuilding her life one step at a time. Gwen’s certain she has everything she needs: her sweet baby girl, a supportive family, and her dream career. She’s endlessly grateful when the lucrative airport project falls into her lap. But Gwen soon realizes that her new job comes with unforeseen complications, mainly the amount of time she’s forced to spend with her gorgeous client and his sexy accent.

Their mutual attraction is undeniable, yet Gwen tries her best to keep a professional distance, even when she recognizes how wonderful Cade is with her daughter. But it isn’t long before Gwen is dealt
another unexpected blow that she struggles to handle on her own. Gwen will have no choice but to turn to the one man she’s determined not to want or risk losing what she loves most.

BUY LINKS:
Amazon US: http://tiny.cc/NMS_AmazonUS
Amazon UK: http://tiny.cc/NMS_AmazonUK
Amazon AU: http://tiny.cc/NMS_AmazonAU
Amazon CA: http://tiny.cc/NMS_AmazonCA
Apple Books: http://tiny.cc/NMS_iBooks
Kobo: http://tiny.cc/NMS_Kobo
Nook: http://tiny.cc/NMS_Nook
Google Play: http://tiny.cc/NMS_GooglePlay

ABOUT CATE BEAUMAN

Cate Beauman is the multi-award-winning, international bestselling author of The Bodyguards of L.A.County series and the Carter Island Novels. She is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense and contemporary stories.

Cate’s novels have been named Readers’ Favorite Five Star books and have won the Booksellers’ BestAward, Maggie Award for Excellence, the Holt Medallion Award, two-time Aspen Gold Medal, two-time Readers’ Favorite International Gold Medal, three-time Readers’ Favorite International Silver Medal, and the Readers’ Crown Award.

Cate makes her home in New Hampshire with her family and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack.

Website: https://catebeauman.com/
Newsletter: http://www.catebeauman.com/getmyfreebooks
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CateBeaumanAuthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/realcatebeauman/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Cate-Beauman/e/B00A05KHVM
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cate-beauman
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6543858.Cate_Beauman

Win 1 of 3 Amazon Gift Cardshttp://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0735126863/?

WWW Wednesday: July 14th 2021

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What I Recently Finished Reading:

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An aircraft carrier adrift with a crew the size of a small town. A killer in their midst. And the disgraced Navy SEAL who must track him down . . . The high-octane debut thriller from New York Times bestselling writing team Webb & Mann—combat-decorated Navy SEAL Brandon Webb and award-winning author John David Mann.

The moment Navy SEAL sniper Finn sets foot on the USS Abraham Lincoln to hitch a ride home from the Persian Gulf, it’s clear something is deeply wrong. Leadership is weak. Morale is low. And when crew members start disappearing one by one, what at first seems like a random string of suicides soon reveals something far more sinister: There’s a serial killer on board. Suspicion falls on Finn, the newcomer to the ship. After all, he’s being sent home in disgrace, recalled from the field under the dark cloud of a mission gone horribly wrong. He’s also a lone wolf, haunted by gaps in his memory and the elusive sense that something he missed may have contributed to civilian deaths on his last assignment. Finding the killer offers a chance at redemption . . . if he can stay alive long enough to prove it isn’t him.

I DNF’d this book last night. The writing was good but it was very technical and used a lot of Navy jargon that I didn’t understand. I made it to 23% before throwing in the towel on it.

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When Alice and Leo move into a newly renovated house in The Circle, a gated community of exclusive houses, it is everything they’ve dreamed of. But appearances can be deceptive…

As Alice is getting to know her neighbours, she discovers a devastating secret about her new home, and begins to feel a strong connection with Nina, the therapist who lived there before.

Alice becomes obsessed with trying to piece together what happened two years before. But no one wants to talk about it. Her neighbors are keeping secrets and things are not as perfect as they seem…

This book was amazing!!! I was sucked into it right from the beginning and couldn’t put it down.


What I am currently reading:

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The King of Thieves is dead. Long live the Queen.

Orphaned at five and widowed at sixteen, Marian is the sole heir of Locksley keep and the Earldom of Huntingdon. Her husband, Robin of Locksley, never returned from the crusades, leaving her at the mercy of the sheriff. He chooses her a new husband among his brutal lackeys and taxes her people to rags and starvation.

Marian is sidelined and powerless, but rumors spread of a charismatic thief who could change everything. Clever, brave, and strong, his followers claim that the hooded rogue is Robin’s spirit back from the grave.

Only Marian knows the truth. Her husband is dead, but under his hood, she could be invincible.

ROBIN’S HOOD is the first novella in the High Tower Robin Hood YA medieval fantasy series. If you like strong female characters, friends-to-lovers romance, and non-stop twists and turns, then you’ll love this gender-bent twist on the Legends of Sherwood.

So far, I am enjoying this retelling of Robin Hood. I am only 10% into the book but I am 100% team Marian. She had been dealt a tough hand in life. I can’t wait to see how she will be as Robin Hood!!


What books I think I’ll read next:

These are all ARCs. One indie author, one paperback (which I won in a giveaway), and the rest are ARCs I received from NetGalley.

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2017: 19 year old Tallulah is going out on a date, leaving her baby with her mother, Kim.

Kim watches her daughter leave and, as late evening turns into night, which turns into early morning, she waits for her return. And waits.

The next morning, Kim phones Tallulah’s friends who tell her that Tallulah was last seen heading to a party at a house in the nearby woods called Dark Place.

She never returns.

2019: Sophie is walking in the woods near the boarding school where her boyfriend has just started work as a head-teacher when she sees a note fixed to a tree.


‘DIG HERE’ . . .

A cold case, an abandoned mansion, family trauma and dark secrets lie at the heart of Lisa Jewell’s remarkable new novel.
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Lisa Jamison has done well for a single mom who got pregnant at fifteen.
She’s a reporter at a well-respected newspaper and her teenage daughter is both an athlete and honors student. Though their relationship is rocky these days, Lisa has accomplished what she set out to do. She has given her daughter the kind of life she never had.
But all that changes when Lisa sees her daughter in the eyes of a dead man.
The cops call it a drug killing, but Lisa doesn’t believe it. She knows her ex-boyfriend was no drug dealer even though she hadn’t seen him in sixteen years. Lisa ignores warnings from her medical-examiner friend. She fails to heed barely veiled threats from the sheriff of a neighboring county. Instead, she risks her life and the lives of her daughter and their closest friend on a dangerous quest for answers.
The investigation leaves Lisa fighting for her family in a morbid, black market world she never knew existed. She learns that trust is complicated and that she, despite her cynical nature, has been blind. She trusted the wrong people and now she might have to pay with her life.
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Tessa James has worked and planned tirelessly to open her own millinery shop. All she needs now is a loan from the lord who sired and abandoned her. The only problem is, she doesn’t even know his name. What’s a woman to do to find him but enter the aristocratic world by becoming a governess?

Guy Whitby, the new Duke of Carlin, has returned to London after years abroad to discover that his young daughter Sophy has become a wild-child known for scaring away every governess who’s crossed his doorstep. When Tessa James applies for the job, he hires her in desperation despite his misgivings that she’s too bold and beautiful–and that she might be fibbing about her qualifications.


Their blooming attraction leads them on a completely unexpected path to love that neither wants to deny. But when an old enemy threatens Guy’s family, their forbidden romance goes up in flames. Can they still learn to love and trust each other as forces try to tear them apart?
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Eyes aren’t the windows to the soul. Emails are.

Cassie Woodson is adrift. After suffering an epic tumble down the corporate ladder, Cassie finds the only way she can pay her bills is to take a thankless temp job reviewing correspondence for a large-scale fraud suit. The daily drudgery amplifies all that her life is lacking–love, friends, stability–and leaves her with too much time on her hands, which she spends fixating on the mistakes that brought her to this point.

While sorting through a relentless deluge of emails, something catches her eye: the tender (and totally private) exchanges between a partner at the firm, Forest Watts, and his enchanting wife, Annabelle. Cassie knows she shouldn’t read them. But it’s just one look. And once that door opens, she finds she can’t look away.

Every day, twenty floors below Forest’s corner office, Cassie dissects their emails from her dingy workstation. A few clicks of her mouse and she can see every adoring word they write to each other. By peeking into their apparently perfect life, Cassie finds renewed purpose and happiness, reveling in their penchant for vintage wines, morning juice presses, and lavish dinner parties thrown in their stately Westchester home. There are no secrets from her. Or so she thinks.

Her admiration quickly escalates into all-out mimicry, because she wants this life more than anything. Maybe if she plays make-believe long enough, it will become real for her. But when Cassie orchestrates a “chance” meeting with Forest in the real world and sees something that throws the state of his marriage into question, the fantasy she’s been carefully cultivating shatters. Suddenly, she doesn’t simply admire Annabelle–she wants to take her place. And she’s armed with the tools to make that happen.
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Got a faerie problem? I’m your girl.
Magic gone awry? Not a problem.
But when kids go missing and the search comes up dry, my boss decides I need a partner.
The pain in the ass kind.
Now I have a problem.

As a field agent in the FBI’s ultra-elite Occult Crimes Division…aka the OCD, it’s my job to investigate cases of the magical variety. I’m the best at it, but it seems my employer doesn’t share my confidence when he pairs me up with the bureau’s newest golden boy. Turns out he’s the biggest tool I’ve ever met.

Logan Hawthorne.
Arrogant. Attractive as hell.
Oh yeah–and human.


I don’t have time to teach this smug & straight-laced suit about the shadow realm of faerie that exists below our feet. I’ve got a list of missing kids a mile long and no time to waste in finding the creature who’s snatching them.

Now if only there was an explanation for this talking cat…
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I have one rule: Never mix business with pleasure.
I was never much good at following rules.

Alright, so my new partner isn’t the worst. It doesn’t hurt that Logan is big, tall, and smokin’ hot. I started out hating him, but this human hunk is starting to grow on me…when we’re not fighting like cats and dogs. Even our co-worker thinks there’s something going on between us. Is there something between us? Humans like him and faeries like me don’t usually click, but we’re on a case in Arizona and things are getting pretty freakin’ hot. I’m so tempted to break the rules on dating people at work, but there’s a catch —

I’m under review.


Well…that’s not completely true. The entire Occult Crimes Division is under review, as in me, my partner, my boss, Jake from IT…everybody. Evidently, hunting ghosts is kind of expensive, and now the accountants are asking questions. If Logan and I can’t prove to these hard-asses how vital our work is to the FBI, the OCD will cease to exist.

No pressure or anything. I just have to save my entire department from impending doom.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Questions in the Title

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works:

She assigns each Tuesday a topic and then posts her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.


1. What Have You Done by Matthew Farrell

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When a mutilated body is found hanging in a seedy motel in Philadelphia, forensics specialist Liam Dwyer assumes the crime scene will be business as usual. Instead, the victim turns out to be a woman he’d had an affair with before breaking it off to save his marriage. But there’s a bigger problem: Liam has no memory of where he was or what he did on the night of the murder.

Panicked, Liam turns to his brother, Sean, a homicide detective. Sean has his back, but incriminating evidence keeps piling up. From fingerprints to DNA, everything points to Liam, who must race against time and his department to uncover the truth – even if that truth is his own guilt. Yet as he digs deeper, dark secrets come to light, and Liam begins to suspect the killer might actually be Sean …

When the smoke clears in this harrowing family drama, who will be left standing?

2. Am I the Killer? by Dan Petrosini

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Is it really possible not to remember killing someone?
Peter, a brain-injured veteran with a motive, is arrested for murder. The victim bullied Peter throughout his youth, and, on the night of the murder, he discovered the bully stole his fianceé while Peter served overseas.
Detective Luca leads the investigation but believes the marine’s inability to recall events on the fateful night are injury related and not an attempt by Peter to hide the truth.

As political pressure to solve the case rises, Luca pursues other leads but evidence points at Peter. Even his brother, Vinny, who dropped everything to help his injured brother recover, begins to question Peter’s guilt.
Peter’s lawyers, faced with a client either unwilling or unable to assist in his own defense, recommend he cop a plea. Frustrated, Luca attempts to move on but is haunted by an old case that fuels his obsession to determine the truth about what happened that night.

3. Who is Audrey Wickesham? by Sara Shrieves

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I know everything that’s happened is my fault. I try to tell myself that it’s okay, I never wanted a normal life to begin with. But then I think about who’s been hurt, and I wish that I could go back to the beginning. Back to when I was just a nobody wandering the halls of my high school, alone and unnoticed. Back to when I was completely oblivious to what killing somebody felt like.

You have to understand though, I had no choice.

4. Have You Seen Her by Karen Rose

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Special Agent Steven Thatcher has a lot on his hands. Not only is there a serial killer on the loose, stalking area high schools, but Steven’s teenage son Brad is suddenly acting up and failing in school. His schoolteacher, Jenna Marshall, is also worried about Brad. As their conversations about the troubled teen increased and grow more intimate, Jenna and Steven soon find they’re falling for each other, though they tread cautiously as both carry hidden wounds of their own. Their situation turns even more dangerous when Jenna finds herself on the twisted path of the serial killer Steven is investigating.

5. Did You Miss Me? by Karen Rose

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Best be nimble, best be quick, I’m right here and you’re my pick…

The last thing Ford Elkhart remembers is walking his girlfriend back to her university dormitory. Now he’s lying tied and gagged on a cold, dark floor, with only one chance to escape before he ends up like the bones surrounding him…

Assistant State’s Attorney Daphne Montgomery is devastated by her son’s disappearance, and is immediately convinced that his kidnapping is connected to the white supremacist she’s just had jailed for murder.

FBI Special Agent Joseph Carter isn’t so sure – especially when he learns that Ford’s girlfriend is also missing. Is Ford’s abduction payback for Daphne’s courtroom victory? Or is he a pawn in an even more dangerous game?

6. Who’s the Daddy by Taryn Quinn

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He was only supposed to deliver a pizza. And yes, I ordered sausage, but I never expected such a personal…touch.
 
I’m a good girl. I teach little kids, brake for squirrels, and always donate to cookie drives though I so don’t need the extra ten pounds.
 
My sympathetic nature led to me sleeping with my ex after his granny’s funeral. The next day, he dumped me—again—via text, and I decided I needed a fresh start.
 
Luckily, I found a new apartment near my new school. Yay me. I also found myself unexpectedly naked with Dare, the smoking hot, single dad mechanic who works next door.
 
Dare did more than clean my spark plugs that night, let me tell you.
  
Then my worlds collide when Dare shows up at his son’s parent-teacher conference.

Next thing I know, surprise! Pregnant.

Dare knows I’m worried about my job at the Catholic school. And about how I’m going to handle the baby that might be his.
 
Please, God, let it be his.
 
I just never expected Dare to propose marriage. And he wants me to become his wife in all ways.
 
Especially the Biblical ones. 

7. Cop or Killer? by Dan Petrosini

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Breaking the law to protect your family seems reasonable, until its not.

Detective Luca’s life is shattered when he’s accused of a revenge killing.

A corpse turns up and it doesn’t look good for Luca. The body belongs to someone who harassed his precious Mary Ann, and the circumstances of death point a grisly finger at Luca. Suspicion spreads quickly that he has morphed into a killer and he’s black balled.

But Luca’s problems don’t end there. While he scrambles to prove his innocence in the murder case, a mortal enemy is on the loose and has him in his cross hairs. Its a vicious serial killer he once put behind bars, a psychopath hell-bent on revenge.

Luca has nowhere to turn for help. With the department closing in one side and an escaped serial killer on the other, Luca is left on his own to clear his name and capture the escapee before he gets to Luca.

Failure means he loses his freedom – or his life.

8. Mr. Hunt, I Presume by Valerie Bowman

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He never forgot her…

When General Collin Hunt is ordered to take a much-needed holiday, he resigns himself to rest and recreation at his brother’s country estate. But when the only woman he ever loved—and selflessly gave up—shows up as his sister-in-law’s governess, his carefully ordered life is turned inside out.

She’ll never forgive him…


When Erienne Stone defied her family and fled her life of privilege, she never expected to be reunited with the man who’d abandoned her more than a decade before. But Lucy, Duchess of Claringdon, is a hard woman to say no to, even when Erienne’s heart is in danger of breaking all over again.

A meddling matchmaker may be the key to their second chance…

After a decade of pain and heartache, can two star-crossed lovers trust the truth in their own hearts?

9. Where’s My Cow? by Terry Pratchett

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At six o’clock every day, without fail, with no excuses, Sam Vimes must go home to read Where’s My Cow?, with all the right farmyard noises, to his little boy. There are some things you have to do. It is
the most loved and chewed book in the world.

But his father wonders why it is full of moo-cows and baa-lambs when Young Sam will only ever see them cooked on a plate. He can think of a more useful book for a boy who lives in a city.

So Sam Vimes starts adapting the story. A story with streets, not fields. A book with rogues and villains. A book about the place where he’ll grow up.

10 Shall We Dance by Chris Keniston

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Shall We Dance is a short story written after two characters from Dive into You triggered the author’s curiosity.

From Dive into You : Doug grabbed his beer bottle and started to the corner booth Jonathan and his girl had staked out. Halfway there he noticed a sultry couple on the tiny square of a dance floor. For just a moment the intensity of emotions rolling off them in waves stopped him short.

What’s not to love about a bar called the Surf’s Up Saloon?


Shall We Dance

Success in the courtroom comes easily for J.P. Hartley, but not so much in his love life. Tired of superficial pretty faces, after a bitter loss in court all he wants is to unwind with his best friend and colleague Kimberly Anderson. That is, until a snazzy blonde forces him to face what—or who—has always been right in front of him.