Favorite Quotes on Books and Reading

"A book is a gift you can open again and again." Garrison Keillor

Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.” Jane Yolen

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." Oscar Wilde

"Books have furnished, burnished, and enabled my life." Julia Keller

Saturday, September 24, 2016

2016 Book 335: THE KEPT WOMAN by Karin Slaughter



The Kept Woman (Will Trent #8) by Karin Slaughter 
ISBN: 9780062430212 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780062430236 (eBook)
ISBN: 9781504733175 (audiobook)
ASIN: B019WVPSUO (Kindle edition)
Publication date: September 20, 2016 
Publisher: William Morrow



Husbands and wives. Mothers and daughters. The past and the future.
Secrets bind them. And secrets can destroy them. 

The author of the acclaimed standalone Pretty Girls returns with this long-awaited new novel in her bestselling Will Trent series—an electrifying, emotionally complex thriller that plunges the Georgia detective into the darkest depths of a case that just might destroy him.
With the discovery of a murder at an abandoned construction site, Will Trent and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are brought in on a case that becomes much more dangerous when the dead man is identified as an ex-cop.
Studying the body, Sara Linton—the GBI's newest medical examiner and Will's lover—realizes that the extensive blood loss didn't belong to the corpse. Sure enough, bloody footprints leading away from the scene indicate there is another victim—a woman—who has vanished...and who will die soon if she isn't found. 
Will is already compromised, because the site belongs to the city's most popular citizen: a wealthy, powerful, and politically connected athlete protected by the world's most expensive lawyers—a man who's already gotten away with rape, despite Will's exhaustive efforts to put him away.
But the worst is yet to come. Evidence soon links Will's troubled past to the case . . . and the consequences will tear through his life with the force of a tornado, wreaking havoc for Will and everyone around him, including his colleagues, family, friends—and even the suspects he pursues.
Relentlessly suspenseful and furiously paced, peopled with conflicted, fallible characters who leap from the page, The Kept Woman is a searing novel of love, loss, and redemption. A seamless blend of twisty police procedural and ingenious psychological thriller, it marks Karin Slaughter's triumphant return to her most popular series, sure to please new and diehard fans alike. 


Will Trent is an agent for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). He finally is in a relationship with a good woman, has a good relationship with his GBI partner, and is dealing with the strange supervisory/surrogate-mother deal with his boss. The only problem Will continues to have is his estranged wife, Angie Polaski...well, that and a rape case that seemed to disintegrate before his eyes in Karin Slaughter's latest, The Kept Woman.

Will Trent has overcome many obstacles in his life. He was abused as a child and foster-child. He married at a young age to a woman that was and continues to be a bully and emotionally abusive towards him and everyone else. He has a good career and has learned to cope with his untreated dyslexia. He has a stable relationship with a mature and loving woman, Sara Linton. The only major obstacles to his happiness are finding and divorcing his estranged wife and getting the rape charges to stick against a prominent and wealthy Atlanta professional athlete. Just when Will doesn't think his life could get any better, or worse, he's called to a crime scene with a dead retired police officer and evidence that his estranged wife has been seriously injured, if not murdered, at the same location. Now Will, his GBI partner Faith Mitchell, his lover and newly-hired GBI pathologist Sara Linton, and his boss, Amanda Wagner, must all work around the clock to uncover why the retired police officer was murdered and where is Angie. Will they be able to find her before it's too late or is this just another game that Angie's playing to mess with Will's head?

I found The Kept Woman to be a rather fast-paced and engrossing read. The only reason I put this book down was due to rapidly worsening migraine headache. Ms. Slaughter has the ability to pull me into each of stories from the first page and keep my attention to the last line on the last page. Did I like The Kept Woman? YES! This story has a lot of dark themes: physical child abuse, sexual child abuse, child prostitution, drug abuse, prostitution, rape, incest, marital abuse, dirty police officers, and murder. Added into this mix is the elite world of professional athletes and their ability to get anything covered up with the right amount of money. There are plenty of bad guys in this story, Angie Polaski, a group of professional athletes, some bad/dirty police officers, and everyone professionally associated with the professional athletes and cover-ups of their misdeeds. The Kept Woman provides stories within stories within stories and they all seemed to be tied to events in the past, some over 30 years in the making. I could go on and on about this book but I'll simply end with Read This Book! Seriously, if you enjoy reading mystery thrillers or psychological thrillers then this is definitely a book you'll want to read. Although this is the eighth book (tenth if you count the novellas) in the Will Trent series, it is possible to read this book and not feel as if you've missed out on the backstory and at the same time make you want to go back and read all of the previous books. I look forward to the next installment in this series, but while I'm waiting I'll just have to reread the entire Will Trent series. (Yes, this series is just that good.)

Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of this book for review purposes from the publisher via Edelweiss. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."



Monday, September 19, 2016

2016 Book 328: WHO'S THAT GIRL? by Mhairi McFarlane

Who's That Girl? by Mhairi McFarlane 
ISBN: 9780008184797 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780008184803 (ebook)
ASIN: B01CY4SU2O (Kindle edition)
Publication date: September 6, 2016 
Publisher: Harper


When Edie is caught in a compromising position at her colleagues' wedding, all the blame falls on her – turns out that personal popularity in the office is not that different from your schooldays. Shamed online and ostracized by everyone she knows, Edie's forced to take an extended sabbatical – ghostwriting an autobiography for hot new acting talent, Elliot Owen. Easy, right?
Wrong. Banished back to her hometown of Nottingham, Edie is not only dealing with a man who probably hasn't heard the word 'no' in a decade, but also suffering an excruciating regression to her teenage years as she moves back in with her widowed father and judgy, layabout sister.
When the world is asking who you are, it's hard not to question yourself. Who's that girl? Edie is ready to find out.


Edie Thompson thought she was doing the right thing by attending the wedding of two coworkers. Then she's caught off-guard by the newly wedded husband in a kiss that's witnessed by his new bride. Edie quickly becomes the pariah in her office and on social media. Unfortunately, her boss is reluctant to allow her to resign and gives her the opportunity ghostwrite an autobiography for actor Elliot Owen. Edie is now forced to deal with the continuing fallout from the kiss at the wedding, an actor that's reluctant to participate in the autobiography, and her family in Who's That Girl? by Mhairi McFarlane.

Edie thought she was participating in a harmless flirtation and just being friendly with her male coworker. She thought attending the wedding of her coworkers was supportive. She had no intention of causing any problems for the newlyweds, but problems arise when the groom kisses her and they are caught by his bride. Edie quickly becomes "the other woman" and is targeted by the bride's friends and family. In an effort to "do the right thing", Edie attempts to resign, but her boss thinks it will all blow over. He strongly suggests that Edie take some time away from the office, go to Nottingham (Edie's hometown), and ghostwrite an autobiography for an actor. Edie accepts, thinking things can't possibly get any worse (she's wrong). She's hounded on social media to the point that she closes all of her online accounts. To say that Edie has a tempestuous relationship with her younger sister Meg is a bit of an understatement and the two siblings constantly rub each other the wrong way. After a bit of a rocky start with the ghost writing job, Edie becomes friendly with Elliot and encourages him to use a different slant with this autobiography. Edie befriends an elderly neighbor and even reconnects with old school friends. Just when it seems that things are on an even keel, Edie is caught up in another controversy and this one goes public with the cry of "who's that girl?" in the tabloids. 

I found Who's That Girl? to be a rather fast-paced and engaging read, although it did take me awhile to get into the story. I felt sympathy towards Edie as a result of the onslaught of bullying she had to deal with from so-called friends, coworkers, and people she doesn't even know. I found the characters to be fully developed, all-too-flawed and realistic, and the action plausible. This was the first book I've read by Ms. McFarlane and I wasn't quite sure what to expect; but this is a story that provides a little bit of everything: personal drama, family drama, angst, self-awareness, grief, bullying, romance, and humor. This isn't a typical romance or ChickLit read, so I feel safe in saying that if you enjoy a well-written story filled with realism and touches of humor then Who's That Girl? may be just the book for you. This may have been my first Mhairi McFarlane read, but I'm looking forward to reading all of her previous books while waiting for a new release. 

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Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of this book for review purposes. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


About Mhairi McFarlane


Mhairi was born in Scotland in 1976 and has been explaining how to pronounce her name ever since. (With a 'V', not an 'M'. Yes, that's us crazy Celts for you).

She is based in Nottingham where she used to be a local journalist and now she's a freelance writer and sometime-blogger, which we all know is code for messing about on Twitter.

She likes drinking wine, eating food and obtaining clothes; all the impressive hobbies. Her best anecdotes involve dislocating her elbow tripping over a briefcase and a very bad flight to New York. She lives with a man and a cat.


You can follow her on Twitter: @MhairiMcF.





Friday, September 16, 2016

Guest Post: Anna del Mar - THE STRANGER

The Book Diva's Reads is pleased to host a visit by Anna del Mar, author of The Stranger (Wounded Warrior #2), The Asset (Wounded Warrior #1),  and At the Brink. Ms. del Mar will be introducing us to the characters in her newly released romantic suspense novel, The Stranger. After reading this introduction I'm sure you'll be running out to grab a copy of The Stranger to read...I did!



When Ice Meets Fire

Introducing The Stranger





I'm delighted to introduce to you the characters of The Stranger, my newest romantic suspense and the second book of my Wounded Warrior Series, following on the heels of the Amazon bestseller, The Asset. One very cool fact about the series is that you don't have to read the books in any particular order. Each novel stands on its own. 

Like The Asset, The Stranger is also about a strong heroine trying to find her place in the world and a brave, hot alpha fighting his own demons who will stop at nothing to protect the woman he loves. But it's also a very different novel. The Stranger takes place in beautiful, spectacular Alaska, an unforgettable adventure that showcases one of the most magnificent places on earth. 

So meet Seth Erickson and Summer Silva. Seth Erickson is a powerful Alaskan tycoon dealing with a quarreling family and a hostile takeover attempt. He's also a helicopter pilot, a wounded warrior struggling to recover from injuries he sustained while serving in Afghanistan, a man haunted by his past and fighting his own demons. Seth is blunt, systematic and precise, always cool and in command, a man who despises emotion and sticks to his icy logic… most of the time.

When Seth comes across a beautiful stranger stranded on a desolate Alaskan road, he's aggravated. He's got no time for a lady in distress and he suspects she's a trap from his ruthless enemies. Imagine his surprise as he realizes she really does need his help. Imagine how he feels when he meets fire in the flesh, Summer Silva.

Summer Silva is a warmth-loving Miami architect who has come to Alaska chasing after her reckless sibling, who ran away with a guy she met on the internet. Summer is bright, curious, hard-working and dutiful. She's essentially a tropical being with a fiery attitude and a heart of gold. Alaska had never been on her list of places to visit, but here she is, off-grid, having just survived an inexplicable murder attempt, with a Bering Sea superstorm bearing down on her. Because of her past, she doesn't trust anyone outside her family and that includes the cantankerous, irritating stranger who is also her only hope for rescue.

Seth has no choice. He can't very well leave the woman behind to freeze in the Alaskan wilderness. So he takes Summer to his high-tech cabin for the night. But Summer has a secret. Dream chasing, the Native Athabaskans call it. I'm afraid I can't give up the twist here—you know me and my twists—but you'll find out what that’s all about when you read the story. ☺ 

Suffice is to say that when Summer's secret acts up, she ends up in Seth's bed, where he embraces her sweet seduction and discovers the heat of Summer's flame. Entwined in her arms, Summer becomes the superstorm of Seth's lifetime.

As you may suspect, the morning after is quite a mess. Ice and fire meet and sparks fly. Seth is determined to keep Summer safe from danger, but also from her nightmares. And now two strangers from different worlds and opposite spectrums of the thermometer are caught in a vortex of passion that defies their differences and enrages their enemies. To survive, they must unravel the intrigues that threaten their lives and chase after a new dream in spectacular Alaska. 


Anna del Mar





Here's a first review of The Stranger. And it's an awesome one!




Meet the author:



Anna del Mar writes hot, smart romances that soothe the soul, challenge the mind, and satisfy the heart. Her stories focus on strong heroines struggling to find their place in the world and the brave, sexy, kickass, military heroes who defy the limits of their broken bodies to protect the women they love. Anna enjoys traveling, hiking, skiing, and the sea. Writing is her addiction, her drug of choice, and what she wants to do all the time. The extraordinary men and women she met during her years as a Navy wife inspire the fabulous heroes and heroines at the center of her stories. When she stays put—which doesn't happen very often—she lives in Florida with her indulgent husband and two very opinionated cats.



Connect with the author











About the book:


The Stranger (Wounded Warrior #2) by Anna del Mar 

ISBN: 9781459294301 eBook
ASIN: B01EF3MHSU Kindle edition
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: August 22, 2016



When a mysterious stranger is your only hope…
The scars of the past have left their mark, both physical and emotional, on former military pilot Seth Erickson. Off-grid in the far reaches of the bitter Alaskan wilderness, he wants only to be left alone with his ghosts. But he can't ignore a woman in need—beautiful, stranded and nearly frozen with fear.
Summer Silva never imagined that the search for her missing sister would leave her abandoned on a wintry back road, barely escaping with her life from a cold-blooded killer for hire. Now, hiding out in the isolated cabin of the secretive wounded warrior who saved her, Summer knows she must do what she fears most. Putting her trust in a stranger is all she has left.
All defenses are down
After a fiery first night together, Seth and Summer are bound by a need as powerful as a Bering Sea superstorm—and vulnerable to enemies just as fierce. For Seth, reawakened by desire, there is no sacrifice too great, no memory too dark, to keep Summer safe. But murder and treason lurk everywhere and Summer may not survive Alaska's ruthless winter.



Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Book Showcase: THE HISTORY MAJOR by Michael Phillip Cash

The History Major banner

The History Major

By: Michael Phillip Cash


The History MajorBlurb

After a vicious fight with her boyfriend followed by a night of heavy partying, college freshman Amanda Greene wakes up in her dorm room to find things are not the same as they were yesterday. She can't quite put her finger on it. She's sharing her room with a peculiar stranger. Amanda discovers she's registered for classes she would never choose with people that are oddly familiar. An ominous shadow is stalking her. Uncomfortable memories are bubbling dangerously close to her fracturing world, propelling her to an inevitable collision between fantasy and reality. Is this the mother of all hangovers or is something bigger happening?




Goodreads

PURCHASE
Amazon  / B&N


Read an excerpt:

She walked slowly to the window and rested her hands on the filthy sill, her face pressed against the glass. It was so familiar, yet it had a strangeness, as if she'd never seen it before. It was different. Amanda let her eyes roam over the vista before her, trying to put her finger on the change. It seemed like yesterday that the landscape had been filled with lush, verdant leaves. The Indian summer refused to move on, the maples, hickories, and birches filling branches abundantly in varied shades of restful green, so that the school looked crisp, fresh, and inviting. Overnight, autumn painted a new picture, fading the landscape, ushering in the next season; the leaves withering, curling, setting the branches on fire with vivid oranges, yellows, and reds; the bases covered with the remains of dead leaves, shriveled and brown. It was too early; Amanda was puzzled by the change. A dark shape raced across the lawn, too fast for her to discern, but the feeling of unease returned. The shadow disappeared quickly behind one of the great gnarled tree trunks that Patrick had told her were the entrances for the goblins that terrorized the campus. She smiled, wishing Patrick were there so she could point it out to him. She squinted hard, trying to figure out what exactly had caught her attention, but the bleak landscape offered nothing. She laughed for the first time, her ribs protesting, missing Patrick so hard that it hurt more than her bones.
Amanda's brow furrowed, and the hammer clanging behind her eyes filled her skull, but the memory of how she had gotten there eluded her.


Author InfoMPC_Photo_bethpage


Michael Phillip Cash is an award-winning novelist and screenwriter. His novels are best-sellers on Amazon under their genres – Young Adult, Thriller, Suspense, Ghost, Action Adventure, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror.

Michael writes full-time and lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wonderful wife and screaming children. You can follow him @michaelpcash.



Author Links:  Website | Blog | Twitter |Facebook | Goodreads





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Monday, September 12, 2016

Book Showcase: THE CONISTON CASE by Rebecca Tope


The Coniston Case


by Rebecca Tope


on Tour September 2016





cover

Valentine's Day is fast approaching and business at Persimmon 'Simmy' Brown's flower shop is booming. But when Simmy fulfills a string of anonymous delivery orders, she is startled to realize that each contains a secretly menacing message for the recipients. When one of the people who receives a bouquet disappears, it seems that her worst fears have been confirmed.

As if that isn't enough, Simmy's friend Kathy turns up, on the trail of her wayward daughter Joanna, who she fears has grown too close to one of her university tutors. When Kathy attempts to reason with her daughter she finds that Joanna's older lover may be even more dangerous than she had imagined. With both Kathy and Joanna in peril, Simmy and her friends find themselves caught up in a web of deception, blackmail and murder…


Book Details:


Genre:  Cozy Mystery & Detective
Published by:  Harper Collins/Witness Impulse
Publication Date:  August 12, 2016
Number of Pages:  384
ISBN:  9780062567420
Series:  Lake District Mysteries #2

Purchase The Coniston Case on Amazon & Barnes & Noble. Or Learn More at Goodreads.


Read an excerpt:



'It's not the same,' Melanie argued. 'She can do some shopping when she comes here. Nobody wants to shop in Coniston, do they? Making a delivery over there really is a waste of time and petrol. And you’re not supposed to do too much driving, remember.' Melanie’s protectiveness had become a habit since Simmy had suffered an injury, shortly before Christmas, and been forbidden to drive until early in February. She had used crutches throughout most of January. Damage to her head had necessitated a shaven area, which prompted her to have a very short all-over haircut that still felt strange.

'Well it's too late now. I just hope it doesn't go mad tomorrow or I'll be turning orders away. You know you'll be doing all the local ones, don't you?' 'Yeah, yeah. My feet'll be worn away to nothing by the time I've done them all.' There had been a degree of discord about how Melanie might best make the deliveries of flowers in the streets of Windermere and Bowness. Her battered car was deemed by Simmy to be bad for the image of the business, but she had compromised slightly, and agreed that it could be left full of flowers in the Bowness car park, and again at the northern end of Windermere, for increased efficiency. She had also, as a major concession, permitted Melanie to use the van while she herself had been unable to drive. As a resident of an area renowned for walking, the girl was almost a freak in her reluctance to use her own legs as a means of transport.


Rebecca Tope

Author Bio:


Rebecca Tope is the author of four murder mystery series, featuring Den Cooper, Devon police detective, Drew Slocombe, Undertaker; Thea Osborne, house sitter in the Cotswolds and now Persimmon Brown, Lake District florist. She is also a "ghost writer" of the novels based on the ITV series Rosemary and Thyme.

Catch Up with Rebecca Tope on her Website or on Twitter.



Tour Participants:







Don't miss the giveaway!



This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Rebecca Tope & Harper Collins - Witness/Impulse. There will be ONE (1) Winner for this tour. The winner will receive 1 Free link to download the 'The Coniston Case by Rebecca Tope' e-book. This is subject to change without notification. The giveaway begins on August 29th and runs through September 30th, 2016.


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Friday, September 9, 2016

Book Spotlight: THE CABIN by Natasha Preston

The Cabin by Natasha Preston 
ISBN: 9781492618553 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781492618560 (eBook)
ASIN: B01ENNQ2C4 (Kindle version)
Publication Date: September 6, 2016 
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire


There may only be one killer, but no one is innocent in this new thriller from Natasha Preston, author of The Cellar and Awake.
They think they're invincible.They think they can do and say whatever they want.They think there are no consequences.They've left me no choice.It's time for them to pay for their sins.
A weekend partying at a remote cabin is just what Mackenzie needs. She can't wait to let loose with her friends. But a crazy night of fun leaves two of them dead-murdered.
With no signs of a forced entry or struggle, suspicion turns to the five survivors. Someone isn't telling the truth. And Mackenzie's first mistake? Assuming the killing is over... 



Read an excerpt:

Saturday, August 8
I cracked my eyes open and they were immediately stung by the evil morning light. It didn't help that the room was a bright yellow. Groaning, I ran my hands over my face. I felt like I'd been hit by a bus. My head throbbed, and every time I swallowed, I felt as if I were downing sawdust. To make matters worse, this time Blake wasn't waking me up. My hangovers weren't usually this bad. Last night, I had drunk a lot, but nowhere near enough to feel as awful as I did. When had I become such a humongous lightweight? Blake lay on his side, with one arm and one leg thrown over me. He looked peaceful. Whatever weighed on his mind during the day didn't trouble him while he slept.
Biting my lip, I watched him sleep, feeling a bit like a creeper. I had never had a one-night stand, so my experience with the morning after was nonexistent. I knew the general idea was to leave ASAP, but in this situation, that was impossible. We were spending the weekend in the same secluded place, and it's not like I had my own car.
Oh God. I had a one-night stand! I tried to calm myself. It's fine. You're an adult, remember? Adults do this all the time. But I didn't. Why had I allowed myself to sleep with Blake when I hadn't even known him twenty-four hours?
Shut up, it's fine. You're allowed to be into a guy, to have a good time.
I had to get a grip. There was nothing I could do to change what had happened. But neither of us needed to freak out or make this awkward—and by neither of us, I meant me. We were attracted to each other and acted on it. We were both into it, both consenting adults. It'd be fine. Besides, I felt too ill to worry much anyway.
Pushing myself up, I flopped and fell back against the mattress. My heavy stomach rolled. Oh God. I had no energy. I needed water, aspirin, and to throw up the remaining alcohol that was still sloshing around in my system.
Never again. Never ever, ever, ever again.
My movements woke Blake. He removed his hand from my stomach and rubbed his face. "I feel like death," he groaned.
Blushing because of the situation we were in, I replied, "Join the club."
He smiled at me. "How do you not look like hell in the morning? I mean, you've got that stunning, post-sex glow that's turning me on."
Seriously? "How can you feel like crap and still want sex?"
He replied, "Have you ever seen yourself, Mackenzie?"
His comment made me bite my lip. I didn't think I was that pretty, but I kind of loved how he saw me. Everyone wanted someone to think they were special, and my ex never had. Blake made me feel sexy and appreciated, which was nice, even if I broke my own rules.
"I…" I what? What did I want to say?
Chuckling quietly, he shoved himself up and reached for his jeans. "I need food and strong coffee. Do you know what everyone has planned for today?"
Following his lead, I grabbed my clothes and started to get dressed. I flicked my gaze at him to make sure he wasn't looking at me. He was. "We're going down to the lake to swim. Aaron wants to feed everyone barbecue food all day; then we're making a bonfire in the evening."
Blake stilled. "You're making a fire in the middle of the forest?"
"A small bonfire. We're not setting trees alight."
"At least not purposefully," he muttered. "I'm overseeing that."
"Oversee away. I'm sure Aaron would love the help."
"It's not Aaron I want to hang out with."
Holy
I bit my lip. "Well, good."
He lifted an eyebrow while staring into my eyes. "Yes, it is."
If he kept looking at me like that, I was going to explode. I already felt too hot.


Excerpt provided by the publisher. Copyright © Natasha Preston 2016



Monday, September 5, 2016

Book Showcase: DOWNFALL by J.A. Jance

Downfall (Joanna Brady #17) by J.A. Jance 
ISBN: 9780062297716 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780062496645 (paperback - large print)
ISBN: 9780062297730 (eBook)
ISBN: 9780062561749 (audiobook CD)
ASIN: B017R4JVOC (Kindle version)
Publication Date: September 6, 2016 
Publisher: William Morrow


Arizona sheriff Joanna Brady returns in this outstanding new mystery set in the beautiful desert country of the Southwest.
With a baby on the way, her mother and stepfather recently slain, a re-election campaign looming, and a daughter heading off for college, Cochise County Sheriff Joanna Brady has her hands full when a puzzling new case hits her department, demanding every resource she has at her disposal.
Two women have fallen to their deaths from a small nearby peak, referred to by Bisbee locals as Geronimo. What's the connection between these two women? Is this a case of murder/suicide or is it a double homicide? And if someone else is responsible, is it possible that the perpetrator may, even now, be on the hunt for another victim?


Read an excerpt:

It came home to her then, in a visceral way, that faced with that kind of turn of events, she could do far worse than to follow in Eleanor's footsteps—by soldiering on, by facing down the gossips, by doing what needed to be done, and by helping a pair of scared young people make the best decisions for their lives, their futures, and their baby's future as well.
Joanna realized that she would have to stand very tall and stretch very high to live up to her mother's example in terms of steadfastness and strength. When it came to kindness? Well, maybe not that so much. And perhaps, considering her own hurtful past with her mother, Joanna would be able to help Jenny while avoiding being as unwaveringly judgmental as Eleanor had always been. Maybe.
Sudden tears clouded Joanna's eyes, eventually dripping off her chin and onto the keyboard. "Sorry, mom," she murmured aloud. "I'm so sorry for everything."
Once her tears abated, Joanna took a deep breath and returned to the keyboard:
My mother never really approved of my father's entry into law enforcement—or mine, either, for that matter. I think her objections in both instances were founded on a very real fear of losing us. 
My mom was left to raise me on her own, and it wasn't easy. The other kids I knew all had two parents. I had only one. I was angry about that, and I'm afraid I took it out on her—blaming my mother for my father's absence, because she was alive and my father was dead. That wasn't fair of me. If I could take any of that back now, I would, but what I can tell you is this—when whenever the chips were really down, Eleanor Lathrop Winfield was always there for me and always in my corner—whether or not I appreciated it or even noticed it at the time.
George and Eleanor died together last week when a troubled youngster decided to try out his sniper skills by shooting at moving vehicles on I-17 south of Sedona. They died as result of injuries suffered in the incident. Subsequently the shooter died as well.
But standing here before you today, I can tell you straight out that having them go together, almost in an instant, was and is a blessing. It spared them both the longtime pain and grief that accompanied the losses of their first spouses. 
Neither of them had to endure the long goodbye of a terminal cancer diagnosis or spend years alone after the loss of their beloved. At the time of the attack, George and my mother were together, doing exactly what they wanted, and traveling the country in that humongous RV of theirs. They were hurrying home to help host a barbecue planned as a send-off celebration for their granddaughter, Jenny, as she headed out for her freshman year of college. 
Jenny is here today, and we've decided as a family that a barbecue is still the order of the day. It won't be at all the same kind of send-off party any of us wanted, but we're having it anyway. It'll be later on this afternoon and evening out at High Lonesome Ranch. You're all welcome to drop by, and I hope you will. Butch and Bob have assured me that there’ll be plenty of food to go around.
When Dennis, my son, heard we were having a party in honor of his Grandpa George and Grandma Eleanor, he wanted to know if there would be balloons. We told him, yes. We're bringing lots of balloons, and you're welcome to do the same. 
I think both George and my mother would approve.
A ringing phone—her private landline—startled Joanna out of her fugue of concentration. Looking around she was surprised to see that the sun was down and the desert landscape outside her window had gone dark. The lights were off in the reception room which meant Kristin had left for the day without interrupting her. 
"Do you know what time it is?" Butch demanded. "As of right now, you're officially late for dinner. Again."
"I'm sorry," she said hurriedly. "I finally had a quiet moment to work on the eulogies, and I completely lost track of time."
"Come home now," Butch said. "Everybody else is already here, but they won't mind waiting a few minutes longer."
"I'm on my way," she said, hurriedly saving the document, closing the laptop, and reaching for her briefcase. "I'll be right there."
Once the laptop was stowed and the briefcase closed, she grabbed her purse and shut out the lights before stepping outside. She turned and started toward her car. She never got that far. When the Taser darts hit her in the back of the shoulder, Joanna had a split second in which she recognized what they were. She along with all her officers had been hit with Taser darts as part of their training.
So she knew what it was as it happened, but that was all she knew. She had no remembrance of her purse and briefcase flying out of her hands and into the air; of falling flat on her back; or of cracking the back of her head on the sidewalk. That's when everything went dark.

Excerpt provided by the publisher. Copyright © J.A. Jance 2016



Meet the author:


J. A. Jance is the New York Times bestselling author of the J. P. Beaumont series, the Joanna Brady series, the Ali Reynolds series, and five interrelated thrillers about the Walker Family as well as a volume of poetry. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, Jance lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona.


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