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

Friday, March 16, 2018

Book Showcase: THE SILENT GAMES by Alex Gray

The Silent Games

by Alex Gray

on Tour March 12 - April 14, 2018


The Silent Games by Alex Gray

Alex Gray's stunning new Lorimer novel, set against the backdrop of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, brings the vibrant city to life in a race to stop the greatest threat the city has ever known.

2014: The Commonwealth Games are coming to Glasgow and security is extra tight, particularly after a mysterious bomb explodes in nearby rural Stirlingshire. As the opening ceremony for the Games draws ever closer, the police desperately seek the culprits. But Detective Superintendent Lorimer has other concerns on his mind. One is a beautiful red-haired woman from his past whose husband dies suddenly on his watch. Then there is the body of a young woman found dumped in countryside just south of the city who is proving impossible to identify.
Elsewhere in Glasgow people prepare for the events in their own way, whether for financial gain or to welcome home visitors from overseas. And, hiding behind false identities, are those who pose a terrible threat not just to the Games but to the very fabric of society.

Critical Praise:

"An excellent procedural in which Gray ... does for Glasgow what Ian Rankin did for Edinburgh in the annals of crime fiction."  — Kirkus Reviews on The Silent Games

"Gray has no equal when it comes to unmasking killers and she has excelled herself here . . . Gray is the new master of Scottish crime writing." — Scottish Daily Express

"Brings Glasgow to life in the same way Ian Rankin evokes Edinburgh." — Daily Mail (UK)

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: March 13th 2018
Number of Pages: 368
ISBN: 9780062659262
Series: A DCI Lorimer Novel, #11 (Stand Alone)

Get Your Copy of The Silent Games from  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, & HarperCollins.

Don't forget to add it to your Goodreads!!

Read an excerpt:

From Chapter 2
It was worse than he could ever have imagined.
Even from the roadside, where a line of police cars was parked, Lorimer could see the devastation. Plumes of smoke and flames still rose from the heaps of broken trees, and as he emerged from the Lexus, his skin was immediately touched by flakes of ash drifting in the air. The smell of burning wood was overpowering, and he could hear the occasional crackle and hiss of fire beneath the whooshing sound from the firemen's hoses as arcs of water were trained into the heart of the inferno. His eyes took in the gap in the hedge where the fire engines had broken through to reach the narrow walkers' path, and the tyre marks on the verge. It would be replanted, no doubt, but the burning trees would leave a scar that would take far longer to heal.
'Detective Superintendent Lorimer? Martin Pinder.' The uniformed chief inspector was suddenly at his side, hand outstretched. Lorimer took it, feeling the firm once up and down as the officer motioned them to turn away from the direction of the cinders. 'Sorry to call you out, but as I said, we needed someone to front this. And your name came up.'
'But isn't this a local matter?' Lorimer asked. 'We're in the district of Stirling, surely?'
Pinder shook his head. 'It's bigger than you might imagine,' he began. Walking Lorimer a few paces away from the line of cars, he dropped his voice. 'And there is intelligence to suggest that it may have a much wider remit.'

'Oh?' Lorimer was suddenly curious. The telephone call had mentioned an explosion, the immediate need for a senior officer from Police Scotland and a request to keep the lid on things, but nothing more.
'You said intelligence.' He frowned. 'You mean Special Branch?'
Pinder nodded. 'I've been charged with giving you this information, sir. And doubtless your counter terrorism unit will already be involved.' He licked his lips, hesitating, and Lorimer could see the anxiety in the man's grey eyes.
'We are given to believe that this is just a trial run.' Pinder motioned to the fire behind them.
'A trial run,' Lorimer said slowly. 'A trial run for what?'
Pinder gave a sigh and raised his eyebrows.
'The Glasgow Commonwealth Games.'
Lorimer looked at the man in disbelief, but Pinder's face was all seriousness.
'That's almost a year away. Why do they think. . .?'
'Haven't been told that. Someone further up the chain of command will know.' Pinder shrugged. Perhaps you'll be told once you liaise with Counter Terrorism.'
Lorimer turned to take in the scene of the explosion once more, seeing for the first time the enormous area of burning countryside and trying to transfer it in his mind's eye to the newly built village and arenas in Glasgow's East End. He blinked suddenly at the very notion of carnage on such a vast scale.
'We can't let it happen,' Pinder said quietly, watching the tall man's face.
Lorimer gazed across the fields to the line of rounded hills that were the Campsies. Glasgow lay beyond, snug in the Clyde valley; on this Sunday morning its citizens remained oblivious to the danger posed by whatever fanatic had ruined this bit of tranquil landscape. He had asked why the local cops hadn't taken this one on, and now he understood: the threat to next year's Commonwealth Games was something too big for that. And since the various police forces in Scotland had merged into one national force, Detective Superintendent William Lorimer might be called to any part of the country.
'The press will want statements,' Pinder said, breaking into Lorimer's thoughts. 'It's still an ongoing investigation. Don't we just love that phrase!' He gave a short, hard laugh. 'And there is no loss of life, so we can try for a positive slant on that, at least.'
'They'll speculate,' Lorimer told him. 'You know that's what they do.'
Pinder touched the detective superintendent's arm, nodding towards the figures milling around on the fringes of the fire. 'Apart from you and me, there is not a single person here who has been told about the background to this event. So unless the press leap to that conclusion by dint of their own imagination, any leak can only come from us.'
When Lorimer turned to face him, the uniformed officer was struck by the taller man's penetrating blue gaze. Fora long moment they stared at one another, until Pinder looked away, feeling a sense of discomfort mixed with the certainty that he would follow this man wherever he might lead.
Wouldn't like to be across the table from him in an interview room, he was to tell his wife later that day. But there on that lonely stretch of country road, Martin Pinder had an inkling why it was that the powers on high had called on Detective Superintendent William Lorimer to oversee this particular incident.
Excerpt from The Silent Games by Alex Gray. Copyright © 2018 by Alex Gray. Reprinted by permission of Witness Impulse, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Alex Gray
Alex Gray was born and educated in Glasgow. After studying English and Philosophy at the University of Strathclyde, she worked as a visiting officer for the Department of Health, a time she looks upon as postgraduate education since it proved a rich source of character studies. She then trained as a secondary school teacher of English. Alex began writing professionally in 1993 and had immediate success with short stories, articles, and commissions for BBC radio programs. She has been awarded the Scottish Association of Writers' Constable and Pitlochry trophies for her crime writing. A regular on the Scottish bestseller lists, she is the author of thirteen DCI Lorimer novels. She is the co-founder of the international Scottish crime writing festival, Bloody Scotland, which had its inaugural year in 2012.

Catch Up With Alex Gray On alex-gray.com, Goodreads, & Twitter!

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!


This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Alex Gray and Witness Impulse. There will be 3 winners of one (1) Print copy of Alex Gray's The Swedish Girl. The giveaway begins on March 12, 2018, and runs through April 15, 2018.

Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

2018 Book 93: THE LONGEST SILENCE by Debra Webb

The Longest Silence (Shades of Death #4) by Debra Webb
ISBN: 9780778330752 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781488023545 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781488204159 (audiobook)
ASIN: B072582J4F (Kindle edition)
Publisher: MIRA
Release Date: March 6, 2018

"The twists and turns in this dark, taut drama make it both creepy and compelling." --New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry

A killer stole her voice. Now she's ready to take it back. Don't miss the chilling Shades of Death series from USA TODAY bestselling author Debra Webb. Joanna Guthrie was free. She had been for eighteen years--or so she needed everyone to believe. What really happened during the longest fourteen days of her life, when she and two other women were held captive by a dangerous serial killer, wasn't something she could talk about. Not after what they had to do to survive. But when more women go missing in an eerily similar manner, Jo knows her prolonged silence will only seal their fates. She's finally ready to talk; she just needs someone to listen. FBI special agent Tony LeDoux can't deny he finds Jo compelling--he's just not sure he believes her story. But with the clock ticking, Jo will do anything to convince him, even if it means unearthing long-buried secrets that will land them squarely in the crosshairs of the killer...

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Joanna Guthrie has been living her life on the run for the past eighteen years. But you can never truly run from your past and that's what she has been trying to do. Now that the only other person that knew what had happened all those years ago has died and it appears circumstances might be repeating themselves with another abduction, Joanna knows she has to confront the past once and for all. It is upon her return to Georgia that Joanna connects with former FBI agent Tony LeDoux. Tony is in town because his niece, a college student, is missing and initially no one takes her absence seriously. Tony's sister knows that her daughter wouldn't disappear without her cellphone, purse, or any clothes, but the local authorities aren't so sure until another student goes missing. It is now a case of beat the clock because Joanna knows that although two girls have been reported missing, there are actually three girls that have been abducted and only two will walk away. The good thing about Joanna's return to Georgia is that she is beginning to remember things from those days in captivity. The bad thing about Joanna's return is that she has recognized several key players in her abduction and they just might be willing to do anything to ensure her silence. Can Joanna recall enough to save Tony's niece and the others before it is too late?

I've had the pleasure of reading several books in the Shades of Death series in the past, so I was already familiar with and enjoyed Ms. Webb's ability to pull me into a story as a reader. She has repeated that ability with The Longest Silence. I sat down and began reading this book and with the exception of a brief break to take migraine pain medication (another weather-induced migraine), I did not stop. I liked Joanna and Tony and sincerely hope there will be more from these two in the future (hint, hint). Joanna's captivity backstory from eighteen years ago is nicely interwoven with the current abductees story. Ms. Webb provides hints of romance and undertones of horror in this taut suspense-thriller. There were also several surprise twists thrown in towards the end but it all worked quite nicely towards the end (no, I won't tell you what the surprises where or how it ends, read the book!). If you've read anything by Ms. Webb, then I probably don't have to tell you to read The Longest Silence (but I will just in case). If you've never read anything by Ms. Webb and enjoy suspense thrillers, then grab yourself a copy of The Longest Silence to read. If you're not sure about suspense thrillers but are looking for something a bit different to read, then grab a copy of The Longest Silence to read. I hope to read more from Ms. Webb and the Shades of Death series in the future.

Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book 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."

Meet the Author

DEBRA WEBB is the award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of more than 130 novels, including reader favorites the Faces of Evil, the Colby Agency, and the Shades of Death series. With more than four million books sold in numerous languages and countries, Debra's love of storytelling goes back to her childhood on a farm in Alabama.

Connect with Debra:     Website    |    Facebook    |    Twitter 

This review and blog tour brought to you by TLC Book Tours 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Book Showcase: WE OWN THE SKY by Luke Allnutt

We Own the Sky by Luke Allnutt
ISBN: 9780778314738 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781488078712 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781488204289 (audiobook)
ASIN: B07257295R (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Park Row Books
Release Date: April 3, 2018

"We looked down at the cliff jutting into the sea, a rubber boat full of kids going under the arch, and then you started running and jumping through the grass, dodging the rabbit holes, shouting at the top of your voice, so I started chasing you, trying to catch you, and we were laughing so hard as we ran and ran, kicking up rainbow showers in the leaves." 
Rob Coates feels like he's won the lottery of life. There is Anna, his incredible wife, their London town house and, most precious of all, Jack, their son, who makes every day an extraordinary adventure. But when a devastating illness befalls his family, Rob's world begins to unravel. Suddenly finding himself alone, Rob seeks solace in photographing the skyscrapers and clifftops he and his son Jack used to visit. And just when it seems that all hope is lost, Rob embarks on the most unforgettable of journeys to find his way back to life, and forgiveness. 
We Own the Sky is a tender, heartrending, but ultimately life-affirming novel that will resonate deeply with anyone who has suffered loss or experienced great love. With stunning eloquence and acumen, Luke Allnutt has penned a soaring debut and a true testament to the power of love, showing how even the most thoroughly broken heart can learn to beat again.

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Read an excerpt (follow the excerpt tour to read more):



She read up a storm before she left. In her favorite hard-backed chair; in bed, propped up on a mound of pillows. The books spilled over from the bedside table, piling up on the floor. She preferred foreign detective novels and she plowed through them, her lips chastely pursed, her face rigid, unmoving.
Sometimes I would wake in the night and see the lamp was still on: Anna, a harsh, unmoving silhouette, sat with a straight back, just how she was always taught. She did not acknowledge that I had woken, even though I turned toward her, but stared down into her book, flicking through the pages as if she was cramming for a test.
At first, it was just the usual suspects from Scandinavia—Henning Mankell, Stieg Larsson—but then she moved on: German noir from the 1940s, a Thai series set in 1960s Phuket. The covers were familiar at first—recognizable fonts and designs from major publishers—but soon they became more esoteric, with foreign typesetting and different bindings.
And then, one day, she was gone. I don't know where those books are now. I have looked for them since, to see if a few of them have snuck onto my shelves, but I have never found any. I imagine she took them all with her, packed them up in one of her color-coded trash bags.
The days after she left are a haze. A memory of anesthetic. Drawn curtains and neat vodka. An unsettling quietness, like the birds going silent before an eclipse. I remember sitting in the living room and staring at a crystal tumbler and wondering whether fingers of vodka were horizontal or vertical.
There was a draft that blew through the house. Under the doors, through the cracks in the walls. I think I knew where it was coming from. But I couldn't go there. I couldn't go upstairs. Because it wasn't our house anymore. Those rooms did not exist, as if adults with secrets had declared them out of bounds. So I just sat downstairs, in that old, dead house, the cold wind chilling my neck. They had gone, and the silence bled into everything.
Oh, I'm sure she'd love to see me now, tucked into this gloomy alcove in a grubby little pub—just me, a flickering TV, some guy pretending to be deaf selling Disney key rings that glow in the dark. The front door of the pub has a hole in it, as if someone has tried to kick it down, and through the flapping clear plastic I can see some kids hanging around in the car park, smoking and doing tricks on an old BMX.
"I told you so." She wouldn't say it out loud—she had too much class for that—but it would be there on her face, the almost imperceptible raising of an eyebrow, the foreshadowing of a smile.
Anna always thought I was a bit rough, could never quite shake off the housing project. I remember what she said when I told her my dad used to spend his Saturday afternoons in the bookie. Polite bemusement, that smug little smile. Because no one in her family even went to pubs. Not even at Christmas? I asked once. No, she said. They might have a glass of sherry after lunch, but that would be it, nothing more. They went bell-ringing instead.
It is dark now, and I cannot remember the sun going down. A car revs outside, and headlights sweep around the pub like a prison searchlight. I go back to the bar and order another pint. Heads turn toward me but I don't make eye contact, avoiding the stares, the inscrutable nods.
A burly fisherman is perched on a stool, facing toward the door as if the pub is his audience. He is telling a racist joke about a woman having an affair and the plucking of a lone pube, and I remember hearing it once after school, in an East London alleyway where people dumped porn mags and empty cans of Coke. The regulars laugh at the punch line, but the barmaid is silent, turns away from them. On the wall behind her, there are pinups of topless models and framed newspapers from the day after 9/11.
"Four pound 10, darling," the barmaid says, putting the beer down. My hands are shaking and I fumble around in my wallet, spilling my change out onto the bar.
"Sorry," I say, "cold hands."
"I know," she says, "it's freezing out. Here, let me." She picks up the coins from the bar and then, as if I am a frail pensioner, counts out the rest of the money from my open hand.
"There you go," she says. "Four pound 10."
"Thank you," I say, a little ashamed, and she smiles. She has a kind face, the type you don't often see in places like this.
As she bends down to unpack the dishwasher, I take a long swig of vodka from my hip flask. It is easier than ordering a shot with every pint. It marks you as a drinker, and they keep their eyes on you then.
I go back to my table and I notice a young woman sitting at the far end of the bar. Before, she was sitting with one of the men, one of the fisherman's friends, but now he has gone, screeched away in a souped-up hatchback. She looks like she is dressed for a night out, in a short skirt, a skimpy, glittery top, her eyelashes spiky and dark.
I watch the barmaid, checking I cannot be seen, and then take another swig of vodka and I can feel that familiar buzz, that sad, little bliss. I look at the woman sitting at the bar. She is doing shots now, shouting at the barmaid, who I think is her friend. As she laughs, she nearly topples off her stool, only just catching her balance, her breath.
I will go over to her soon. Just a couple more drinks.

Excerpt From We Own The Sky by Luke Allnutt, to be released
on April 3, 2018, by Park Row Books. 
Copyright © 2018 by Luke Allnutt.

Meet the Author

Luke Allnutt grew up in the U.K. and lives and works in Prague.

Connect with Luke
Website  | Twitter

This excerpt and tour brought to you by TLC Book Tours 

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Book Giveaway: THE CHILD by Fiona Barton

Good morning my bookish peeps. There have been a lot of great books released so far this year and today we're going to celebrate the paperback release on The Child by Fiona Barton. Some of you might recall, I reviewed this book last year upon its hardcover release and it was a recommended read. How are we going to celebrate the paperback release of this recommended read? With a book giveaway courtesy of the publisher, Berkley - Penguin Random House.

The Child by Fiona Barton 

An NPR Best Book of the YearA Bustle Best Thriller Novel of the Year 
"The Child is a perfect blend of beach read and book club selection. It's a fascinating and fitting follow-up to [Barton's] best-selling debut novel, The Widow. . . .[A] page-turning whodunit...A novel that is both fast-paced and thought-provoking, it keeps the reader guessing right to the end."--USA Today
"Fiona Barton brings back reporter Kate Waters from the best-selling The Widow and delivers another winner with The Child....A truly engaging tale. Those who enjoyed The Widow will discover that Barton has only gotten better."--The Associated Press
"An engrossing, irresistible story about the coming to light of a long-buried secret and an absolutely fabulous read--I loved it!"--Shari Lapena, New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door
"Tense, tantalizing, and ultimately very satisfying...definitely one of the year's must-reads."--Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author

The author of the stunning New York Times bestseller The Widow returns with a brand-new novel of twisting psychological suspense, now in paperback.
As an old house is demolished in a gentrifying section of London, a workman discovers human remains, buried for years. For journalist Kate Waters, it's a story that deserves attention. She cobbles together a piece for her newspaper, but she's at a loss for answers. As Kate investigates, she unearths connections to a crime that rocked the city decades earlier. A newborn baby was stolen from the maternity ward in a local hospital and was never found.
But there is more to the story, and Kate is drawn--house by house--into the pasts of the people who once lived in this neighborhood that has given up its greatest mystery. She soon finds herself the keeper of unexpected secrets that erupt in the lives of three women--and torn between what she can and cannot tell...

The author:

Fiona Barton, the New York Times bestselling author of The Widow and The Child, trains and works with journalists all over the world. Previously, she was a senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at the Mail on Sunday, where she won Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards. Visit her online at fionabartonauthor.com and on Twitter @figbarton. Join the conversation using #TheChild.


To enter this giveaway, use the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway ends on Friday, March 16, 2018, at 11:59 PM ET and the winner will be announced on Saturday, March 17, 2018, by 10:00 AM ET. Please note that this giveaway is limited to US residents only, all non-US entrants will be disqualified. The book will be shipped to the winner by the publisher, Berkley.

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Friday, March 9, 2018

2018 Book 76: SPEAK NO EVIL by Uzodinma Iweala

Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala
ISBN: 9780061284922 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780062199096 (ebook)
ISBN: 9780062798961 (audiobook)
ASIN: B071YRW88J (Kindle edition)
Publication date: March 6, 2018 
Publisher: Harper Books

In the long-anticipated novel from the author of the critically acclaimed Beasts of No Nation, a revelation shared between two privileged teenagers from very different backgrounds sets off a chain of events with devastating consequences
On the surface, Niru leads a charmed life. Raised by two attentive parents in Washington, D.C., he's a top student and a track star at his prestigious private high school. Bound for Harvard in the fall, his prospects are bright. But Niru has a painful secret: he is queer—an abominable sin to his conservative Nigerian parents. No one knows except Meredith, his best friend, the daughter of prominent Washington insiders—and the one person who seems not to judge him.
When his father accidentally discovers Niru is gay, the fallout is brutal and swift. Coping with troubles of her own, however, Meredith finds that she has little left emotionally to offer him. As the two friends struggle to reconcile their desires against the expectations and institutions that seek to define them, they find themselves speeding toward a future more violent and senseless than they can imagine. Neither will escape unscathed.
In the tradition of Junot Diaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah, Speak No Evil explores what it means to be different in a fundamentally conformist society and how that difference plays out in our inner and outer struggles. It is a novel about the power of words and self-identification, about who gets to speak and who has the power to speak for other people. As heart-wrenching and timely as his breakout debut, Beasts of No Nation, Uzodinma Iweala's new novel cuts to the core of our humanity and leaves us reeling in its wake.

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Being a teenager is difficult enough without being the child of immigrant parents with high expectations, being one of the few minorities in an exclusive school, following behind a popular and over-achieving sibling, and being gay. These are exactly the circumstances that Niru finds himself in and he's unsure of how to handle it all. Niru is introverted whereas his older brother was extroverted and quite popular. Niru is a better athlete, but his brother was captain of his team. Niru has received an early acceptance to Harvard University so his post-high school academic career is set. The only problems are that Niru is attracted to boys and that is taboo in Nigerian culture. When his parents learn of his so-called aberrant predilections, his father beats him, takes him to church for counseling, then takes him back to Nigerian for intensive prayer. Niru knows that he's a disappointment to his family, so he tries really hard to be what they want when he returns to the US, but it just doesn't feel right. The only friend he had, Meredith, he pushed away and he's struggling to find where he belongs. Just when it seems like all hope is lost for Niru, he rekindles his friendship with Meredith. And then tragedy strikes. Meredith is the only true witness to what happened in that alley that horrible night, but will she be allowed to tell the truth? Will it make a difference if she does?

Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala is an amazing read and one that I finished in just a few short hours. The author pulled me into the story after only a few pages and I refused to get up until I finished the story. Although I read this story a few days ago, it took me awhile to sit down and write this review. Not because this wasn't a good story, but because it was an amazing story and one that packed a powerful punch. It's been many, many years since I was a teenager, but I empathized with Niru and Meredith's pain and angst of being a teen. Niru had to deal with impossible cultural standards to live up to and Meredith had to deal with being an only child that was left to her own devices by her parents all too often. The first half of the book is told from the teenage Niru's perspective and the second half is told from Meredith's adult perspective. Both stories are emotionally powerful. Speak No Evil touches on current topics that seem to never have any resolution such as #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo. There are a lot of things happening in this story and if I touched on them all, I'd be revealing too much. What I can say is that this is a phenomenal story and one that I strongly encourage everyone to read. It isn't often that a book takes my breath away and leaves me speechless, but Speak No Evil is definitely in that category, so I once again simply say read this book.

Read an excerpt from Speak No Evil here.

Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book 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."