I’m so happy to take part in the blog tour for this suspenseful YA novel: The Summer I Drowned by Taylor Hale. This was one I could not put down. You know I love a good YA suspenseful mystery!
Here’s the overview:
Title: The Summer I Drowned
Author: Taylor Hale
Publisher: Wattpad Books
Release Date: May 26, 2020
Genre: Teens & YA
Price: $10.99 (USD)
Five years after almost drowning, Olivia Cathart returns home to Caldwell Beach determined to face her fears and take some risks—not just by swimming, but by opening her heart. Hoping to rekindle her friendships, she’s excited about a carefree summer with her best friends Keely and Miles. But life in the sleepy town has changed, and no one and nothing is as it seems.
When a series of startling crimes threaten Olivia’s fragile state, she is plunged into a terrifying game of cat and mouse. Her only solace from the chaos is West, Miles’s disowned and ruggedly handsome brother, but even he can’t answer the question on everyone’s minds—is Olivia really in danger or is it simply all in her head?
Taylor Hale was born in Southwestern Ontario, and started writing on Wattpad in 2015. When she isn’t writing, she can be found bartending at a live music venue, and thinking up her next idea. The Summer I Drowned is her first novel.
Fun, fun, fun! I always like a book with a strong, female, teen protagonist. If I could have changed anything, I would have had less focus on the romance piece and more on the action. I also had a chuckle in that every character seemed to have a unique “smell” that I really haven’t found in real life, something like “He smelled like balsam and cinnamon”. “She smelled like vanilla and lavender”. “He smelled like ocean breeze and hickory”. Things like that. In real life I’m more inclined to say, “Mmmm – what’s that smell??”
Thank you for my copy and for having me as part of the tour! I would recommend this book for older YA readers due to sexual content and “heavy” content or potential triggers (e.g. drowning, relationship abuse, animal abuse, parental neglect, teen drinking, drinking and driving, sexual assault, etc.).
Author Tom Gabbay sent me a mobi of his new thriller, Access Point. Mr. Gabbay is well-known for his Jack Teller spy series. This was an almost sci-fi story — about a woman accessing her dead roommate’s memories in order to solve her murder. Creepy and suspenseful, I couldn’t help but think how this kind of stuff could be possible within the next 10-20 years!
Here’s the overview:
Wouldn’t we all want a second chance at life?
When young American art student Mia Fraser is brutally murdered steps away from her London house she shares with computer genius Ula Mishkin, it leaves the socially inept scientist heartbroken. When it becomes clear that Detective Sarah Boyd is making no progress in solving the crime using traditional methods, Ula creates a software program that allows her to reach into her dead housemate’s memory in order to reveal the identity of the killer. Entering the dead girl’s life through the echo of her memory, Ula learns that sometimes the past is best left undisturbed.
This was super suspenseful! I liked it but will admit that I sometimes struggled to figure out whose mind I was in – real time or memory time – and the chronology of the story. Chapter headings would have helped me, and it’s possible they are in the final edition (I read an ARC).
Thanks for sending me your new read, Mr. Gabbay!
Recommended to those who like a suspenseful story that borders on science fiction.
I’m here today to share with you a new Christian crime novel: Closer than She Knows by Kelly Irvin as part of the Partners in Crime blog tour!
Here’s the scoop!
Synopsis: A serial killer bent on revenge . . . and striking too close to home. Teagan O’Rourke has always loved murder mysteries. In her job as a court reporter, she has written official records for dozens of real-life murders. She’s slapped evidence stickers on crime scene photos. She’s listened to hours of chilling testimony. But she’s never known the smell of death. And she never thought she might be a victim.Until now.A young police officer is murdered just inches away from her, and then a man calling himself a serial killer starts leaving Teagan notes, signing each with the name of a different murderer from her favorite mystery novels.Panicked, Teagan turns to her friend Max Kennedy. Max longs for more than friendship with Teagan, but he fears she’ll never trust someone with a past like his. He wonders how much of God’s “tough love” he can take before he gives up on love completely. And he wonders if he’ll be able to keep Teagan alive long enough to find out.As Teagan, Max, and Teagan’s police officer father race to track down the elusive killer, they each know they could be the next victim. Desperate to save those she loves, Teagan battles fears that once haunted her in childhood. Nothing seems to stop this obsessed murderer. No matter what she does, he seems to be getting closer.
Book Details:Genre: Romantic Suspense Published by: Thomas Nelson Publication Date: June 9th 2020 Number of Pages: 352 ISBN: 0785231862 (ISBN13: 9780785231868) Purchase Links:Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
This was an interesting and fun read. I will say that it had some “triggers” in it — abduction and murder “off stage” and discussion of substance abuse and suicide — but overall it was what I call a “clean read”. The Christian thread was fairly strong in this story — the characters discussed their faith and prayed often. The main characters boyfriend was a youth minister. And I chuckled at times when just about every character would say things like “How is this affecting your faith?” or “Have you spoken to your pastor?” They were a faith-filled lot in this story! Even though I guessed who the perpetrator was, I still enjoyed the story and I always like an uplifting ending and a mystery that is not gory!!
Thank you for making me part of the tour and for my e-copy!
Author Bio:Kelly Irvin is a bestselling author and two-time Carol Award finalist. She is a former newspaper reporter and retired public relations professional. Kelly lives in Texas with her husband, photographer Tim Irvin. They have two children, three grandchildren, and two cats. Visit her Online: KellyIrvin.com Goodreads BookBub Instagram Twitter Facebook
I’m thrilled to take part in the Harlequin Summer Reads tour with Stranger in the Lake by Kimberly Belle. This was a suspenseful read and just perfect for the summer!
Here’s the overview:
When Charlotte married the wealthy widower Paul, it caused a ripple of gossip in their small lakeside town. They have a charmed life together, despite the cruel whispers about her humble past and his first marriage. But everything starts to unravel when she discovers a young woman’s body floating in the exact same spot where Paul’s first wife tragically drowned. At first, it seems like a horrific coincidence, but the stranger in the lake is no stranger. Charlotte saw Paul talking to her the day before, even though Paul tells the police he’s never met the woman. His lie exposes cracks in their fragile new marriage, cracks Charlotte is determined to keep from breaking them in two. As Charlotte uncovers dark mysteries about the man she married, she doesn’t know what to trust—her heart, which knows Paul to be a good man, or her growing suspicion that there’s something he’s hiding in the water.
Me again! If you follow me, you know I love a good, suspenseful read and I’m always particularly excited if I don’t “figure it all out” in the first half of the book! I did not figure this one out early and I enjoyed Ms. Belle’s writing, pacing, and plot-line.
Highly recommended for a fast, suspenseful read that is great for poolside!
Thank you for my review copy and for making me part of the tour!
About the Author: Kimberly Belle is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of six novels, including the forthcoming Stranger in the Lake (June 2020). Her third novel, The Marriage Lie, was a semifinalist in the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Mystery & Thriller, and a #1 e-book bestseller in the UK and Italy. She’s sold rights to her books in a dozen languages as well as film and television options. A graduate of Agnes Scott College, Belle divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam.
From the Tour (please note that purchasing links are NOT affiliated with BBNB but have been sent from Harlequin):
Before I stopped commuting due to COVID, I had the pleasure of listening to this fun YA murder mystery, written with multiple voices.
Here’s the overview of it via Amazon:
Everyone in Fairview knows the story.
Pretty and popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. It was all anyone could talk about. And five years later, Pip sees how the tragedy still haunts her town.
But she can’t shake the feeling that there was more to what happened that day. She knew Sal when she was a child, and he was always so kind to her. How could he possibly have been a killer?
Now a senior herself, Pip decides to reexamine the closed case for her final project, at first just to cast doubt on the original investigation. But soon she discovers a trail of dark secrets that might actually prove Sal innocent . . . and the line between past and present begins to blur. Someone in Fairview doesn’t want Pip digging around for answers, and now her own life might be in danger.
This is the story of an investigation turned obsession, full of twists and turns and with an ending you’ll never expect.
I enjoyed Pip’s pluckiness in solving this mystery and I also liked all the twists and turns in the plot. It kept my interest while navigating my rather dull commute and I often listened while working at my desk or over lunch.
You don’t have to be a teen to enjoy this one! I got mine with my Audible credit through Amazon.
I’m thrilled to be part of the blog tour for Heather Gudenkauf’s This Is How I Lied, a suspenseful mystery featuring police detective Maggie O’Keefe (I hope it is the start of a series!).
This was a fast-moving and suspenseful read, focusing on the murder of Maggie’s best friend twenty years earlier.
Here’s the overview:
Gudenkauf proves herself the master of the smart, suspenseful small-town thriller that gets right under your skin.” —Gilly Macmillan, New York Times bestselling author of The Nanny
Everyone has a secret they’ll do anything to hide…
Twenty-five years ago, the body of sixteen-year-old Eve Knox was found in the caves near her home in small-town Grotto, Iowa—discovered by her best friend, Maggie, and her sister, Nola. There were a handful of suspects, including her boyfriend, Nick, but without sufficient evidence the case ultimately went cold.
For decades Maggie was haunted by Eve’s death and that horrible night. Now a detective in Grotto, and seven months pregnant, she is thrust back into the past when a new piece of evidence surfaces and the case is reopened. As Maggie investigates and reexamines the clues, secrets about what really happened begin to emerge. But someone in town knows more than they’re letting on, and they’ll stop at nothing to keep the truth buried deep.
Check out these other riveting novels of suspense by bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf:
The Weight of Silence These Things Hidden One Breath Away Little Mercies Missing Pieces Not a Sound Before She Was Found
Me again!! I had not read any of Ms. Gudenkauf’s books before – I need to look them up! I recommend this one to mystery lovers, especially if you like a strong, female protagonist. The pacing was solid and the characters well-developed.
Thank you for making me part of the tour!
Heather Gudenkauf is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of many books, including The Weight of Silence and These Things Hidden. Heather graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in elementary education, has spent her career working with students of all ages. She lives in Iowa with her husband, three children, and a very spoiled German Shorthaired Pointer named Lolo. In her free time, Heather enjoys spending time with her family, reading, hiking, and running.
Buy Links: (provided by Harlequin; NOT affiliated with BBNB)
What a read! It was suspenseful and thrilling and scary but not too graphic or disturbing. I don’t usually read things about missing children as it gives me nightmares, but this was okay for me. I feel that Ms. Hellier (new author to me) did such a great job in describing the main characters feelings and depression while she is caught in a horrific limbo of not knowing what happened to her child.
So glad I picked this one up! Thank you, St. Martin’s Press!
Here’s the overview:
“Unflinching and unforgettable. Little Secrets has everything you want in a thriller” —Riley Sager, New York Times bestselling author of Lock Every Door Overwhelmed by tragedy, a woman desperately tries to save her marriage in award-winning author Jennifer Hillier’s Little Secrets, a riveting novel of psychological suspense.
All it takes to unravel a life is one little secret…
Marin had the perfect life. Married to her college sweetheart, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They’re admired in their community and are a loving family—until their world falls apart the day their son Sebastian is taken.
A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself. The FBI search has gone cold. The publicity has faded. She and her husband rarely speak. She hires a P.I. to pick up where the police left off, but instead of finding Sebastian, she learns that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman. This discovery sparks Marin back to life. She’s lost her son; she’s not about to lose her husband, too. Kenzie is an enemy with a face, which means this is a problem Marin can fix.
I was so happy to be asked to be part of the blog tour for Melinda Leigh’s latest thriller: Cross Her Heart which was published 3/31/20 by Montlake Publishing. This was a thrilling and suspenseful read and I could not put it down! I really liked the main character of Bree, and it looks like this is the first in a series that centers on her – yeah! I always like a mystery that gives a deep look at the main character (e.g. their past, their family, how they keep house, their pets, etc.) so this was a good choice for me.
Here’s the overview:
A homicide detective’s violent family history repeats itself in #1 Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Melinda Leigh’s novel of murder, secrets, and retribution.
For more than twenty-five years, Philadelphia homicide detective Bree Taggert has tucked away the nightmarish childhood memories of her parents’ murder-suicide…Until her younger sister, Erin, is killed in a crime that echoes that tragic night: innocent witnesses and a stormy marriage that ended in gunfire. There’s just one chilling difference. Erin’s husband, Justin, has vanished.
Bree knows how explosive the line between love and hate can be, yet the evidence against her troubled brother-in-law isn’t adding up. Teaming up with Justin’s old friend, former sheriff’s investigator and K-9 handler Matt Flynn, Bree vows to uncover the secrets of her sister’s life and death, as she promised Erin’s children. But as her investigation unfolds, the danger hits close to home. Once again, Bree’s family is caught in a death grip. And this time, it could be fatal for her.
A Note From the Publisher
#1 Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Melinda Leigh is a fully recovered banker. After joining Romance Writers of America, she decided writing was more fun than analyzing financial statements. Melinda’s debut novel, She Can Run, was nominated for Best First Novel by the International Thriller Writers. She’s also garnered Golden Leaf and Silver Falchion Awards, along with two nominations for a RITA and three Daphne du Maurier Awards. Her other novels include She Can Tell, She Can Scream, She Can Hide, She Can Kill, Midnight Exposure, Midnight Sacrifice, Midnight Betrayal, Midnight Obsession, Hour of Need, Minutes to Kill, Seconds to Live, Say You’re Sorry, Her Last Goodbye, Bones Don’t Lie, What I’ve Done, Secrets Never Die, and Save Your Breath. She holds a second-degree black belt in Kenpo karate, has taught women’s self-defense, and lives in a messy house with her family and a small herd of rescue pets. For more information, visit http://www.melindaleigh.com.
I highly recommend this book if you like a well-written mystery!
Thank you for making me part of the tour and for my kindle copy!
She’s the only one who survived…and the only one who can help find the killer.
Another spring, another dead girl pulled from a lake in the Appalachian foothills: the latest victim in a series of murders with few leads. But Detective Geena Brassard and her partner, Parker Reed, finally land a break when they receive a tip about a previously unknown survivor of the so-called Spring Strangler.
The survivor’s reluctant to help with the case for reasons that aren’t all clear. Even so, Geena uncovers a connective thread between the victims, and recently discovered DNA brings her closer to the killer’s identity. But Geena knows the survivor has the most to offer the investigation—if also the most to lose.
Geena is torn between securing the surviving victim’s help and protecting her from further danger. One thing is certain: Geena and Parker must find answers before the killer claims another life—or returns to finish off the one who got away.
Another mystery! I’ve been reading a lot of mysteries during this time of confinement. This was a suspenseful one, as they tried to find the killer before the killer came back for the girl who got away (and who was trying to just keep a low profile and live her life). I find that Thomas & Mercer publishes a lot of these fast thrillers that aren’t too gruesome or violent, so I often pick one of them to read. Thank you for my ARC!
When criminal psychologist Kieran Finnegan was released from her responsibility of counseling the brutal serial killer known as The Fireman, once he was incarcerated, she was relieved to escape the tendrils of his twisted inner world. The chill she received from her sessions with him has stayed with her despite trying to leave him in the past. And when her FBI agent boyfriend Craig is called to a gruesome crime scene that matches The Fireman’s MO, news begins to spread that he’s escaped from prison.
And he remembers Kieran…
Amid a citywide manhunt, Kieran and Craig need to untangle a web of deceit, privilege, and greed. They suspect that those closest to the killer have been drawn into his evil grasp, or else someone is using another man’s madness and cruelty to disguise their crimes. When their investigation brings the danger right to the doorstep of Kieran’s family-owned safe haven, Finnegan’s Pub, Kieran and Craig will have to be smarter and bolder than ever before, because this time it’s personal, and they have everything to lose.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham has written more than a hundred novels. She’s a winner of the RWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Thriller Writers’ Silver Bullet. She is an active member of International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America. For more information, check out her websites: TheOriginalHeatherGraham.com, eHeatherGraham.com, and HeatherGraham.tv. You can also find Heather on Facebook.
The kind folks at Harper Collins invited me to be part of their blog tour for Heather Graham’s latest mystery THE FINAL DECEPTION, and unfortunately I missed signing up in time, but here I am to tell you that this is a great book!
Heather Graham writes lots of really popular mysteries but I had not read many of hers and I hadn’t read the other books in this series. No worries — this title can be read as a stand alone and it’s fine if you haven’t read the other titles in this series. (This is New York Confidential Book 5).
I really enjoyed her fast-paced writing and the complexity of the story line. It was suspenseful but not overly scary/gruesome.
I looked up some info on Ms. Graham and found this bio on Amazon. What an interesting person!
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Heather Graham, majored in theater arts at the University of South Florida. After a stint of several years in dinner theater, back-up vocals, and bartending, she stayed home after the birth of her third child and began to write. Her first book was with Dell, and since then, she has written over two hundred novels and novellas including category, suspense, historical romance, vampire fiction, time travel, occult and Christmas family fare.
She is pleased to have been published in approximately twenty-five languages. She has written over 200 novels and has 60 million books in print. She has been honored with awards from booksellers and writers’ organizations for excellence in her work, and she is also proud to be a recipient of the Silver Bullet from Thriller Writers and was also awarded the prestigious Thriller Master in 2016. She is also a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from RWA. Heather has had books selected for the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Guild, and has been quoted, interviewed, or featured in such publications as The Nation, Redbook, Mystery Book Club, People and USA Today and appeared on many newscasts including Today, Entertainment Tonight and local television.
Heather loves travel and anything that has to do with the water, and is a certified scuba diver. She also loves ballroom dancing. Each year she hosts the Vampire Ball and Dinner theater at the RT convention raising money for the Pediatric Aids Society and in 2006 she hosted the first Writers for New Orleans Workshop to benefit the stricken Gulf Region. She is also the founder of “The Slush Pile Players,” presenting something that’s “almost like entertainment” for various conferences and benefits. Married since high school graduation and the mother of five, her greatest love in life remains her family, but she also believes her career has been an incredible gift, and she is grateful every day to be doing something that she loves so very much for a living.
Thank you for sending me an ARC and offering me a place in the tour!