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

Sunday, August 19, 2018

2018 Book 310: VOX by Christina Dalcher

Vox by Christina Dalcher
ISBN: 9780440000785 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780440000822 (ebook)
ISBN: 9780525643746 (digital audiobook)
ASIN: B079WQK537 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Berkley Books
Release Date: August 21, 2018 



Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, Vox is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.
On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial--this can't happen here. Not in America. Not to her.
This is just the beginning.
Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.
But this is not the end. 
For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice. 

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Imagine waking up one morning, going to work and being told you're no longer eligible to work anymore simply because you're female. Then imagine being told that you're limited to only 100 spoken words a day, you're not allowed to use sign language of any kind, you can't write notes, and you're not allowed access to cell phones, computers, or your bank account. If you're unmarried, you must get married and if you're part of the LGBTQIA population, you will be sent away to special camps and you're children -- biological or adopted, will be taken away from you. No this isn't a world in the distant future, this is America in the near future and the Christian right has taken charge and nothing seems to be standing in their way. Now imagine that something tragic reportedly happens to a member of the President's extended family and the only people that can help are two female scientists and they're expected to come up with a vaccine to treat the problem in an incredibly short period of time. The good news is that their "counters" will be removed and they'll be allowed to freely speak to their families and fellow researchers. The bad news is that the vaccine and the research may well be used for nefarious purposes by the government. The question becomes will they or won't they help? Is there anything they can possibly do to stop the government from continuing to go off half-cocked?

Dr. Jean McClellan is a neurolinguist and has been married for more than 18 years to Patrick, a medical doctor. Patrick is now a high ranking official in the current presidential regime, their eldest son, Steven, is a proud member of the Pure Boys movement that monitors and reports on others in area schools and within their community, and their daughter Sonia is only being taught what is deemed necessary to become a good wife and mother. All Jean wants is for things to go back to normal and she knows that although she hasn't been able to be outspoken in the past, she must do everything possible to force a change...no matter what.

Vox by Christina Dalcher is a powerful and scary book. In some ways, it is reminiscent of both The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood and When She Woke by Hillary Jordan and in others, it is very different. All three books feature dystopian societies where ultraconservative religious groups are in power and forcing their societal and moral visions on others. Adding to the drama within Vox is the notion that females should be seen and not heard and are penalized if they go over their 100 words per day with ever-increasing electric shocks via their "counters" attached to their wrists (yes, even infants and young girls). Obviously, there's a lot more going on in this story than just the societal injustices and the silencing of females, Jean and her husband Patrick are experiencing marital problems, there's an extramarital affair resulting in a pregnancy, and much more. I found Vox to be a fast-paced and highly engrossing read (I woke up very early one morning, began reading it, and simply couldn't stop until the very end). I enjoyed the characters, the dialogue, the settings, and the action. If you enjoy reading about family angst and drama coupled with societal injustice with touches of dystopian science-fiction and a pinch of horror, then Vox is the perfect read for you. (This book has a little bit of something for everyone.) I highly recommend this book to everyone as I feel it is a timely and worthwhile read, hopefully, you'll agree. For now, I'll be setting aside Vox and hope to reread it again in the near future (yes, I enjoy rereading books!). I also look forward to reading more from Ms. Dalcher.

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



Thursday, August 16, 2018

Guest Post: SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE CASE OF THE DISAPPEARING DIVA by Gemma Halliday and Kelly Rey



Hello, my bookish friends. I'm very pleased to welcome the esteemed author Gemma Halliday. Ms. Halliday, along with Kelly Rey, has co-written a new mystery series featuring Marty Hudson and the next book in this series is Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Disappearing Diva. (An appropriate title to be featured on The Book Diva's Reads don't you think?!) Today, Ms. Halliday will be discussing some of the characters featured in this story and series. Thank you, Ms. Halliday, for taking time out of your busy schedule to stop by today. Ladies and gents, I give you Ms. Gemma Halliday.  





Thank you so much for having me! I'm very excited to be here and chat about my brand-new Marty Hudson Mystery, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Disappearing Diva! I have to admit that writing this book has been a lot more fun than some others, largely due in part to working with my co-author for this series, Kelly Rey. Not only is Kelly lovely and talented, but she is also one of the funniest authors I know. Some of my favorite parts in this book are scenes that Kelly has added between our main character, Marty, and some of her eclectic, overly adventurous neighbors in her rundown apartment building. Want to meet a couple of them now?

Directly across the hall from Marty lives 2B. 2B's real name is Ed Something-or-Other, whose last name is 20 letters long with no vowels. He can be seen any day of the week wearing torn jeans and T-shirts featuring wash-worn photos of different classic rock bands or album covers, from back when there were classic rock bands and album covers. His face is long and thin with a scrubby patch of whiskers on the point of his chin and a Jack Nicholson arch to his eyebrows that only serve to add to the devilish leer he's forever shooting Marty's way. Marty is 90% sure he's harmless, but he has a hard time taking no for an answer, asking Marty out at least one a week for the last year. 

Just down the hall lives Isaac Bitterman. At 83 years old, the widower is considered quite a catch by the local retiree set, mostly due to the fact he still has some hair and a healthy railroad pension. Mr. Bitterman's one fatal flaw? His cooking. Okay, so his appalling lack of culinary talent hasn't actually killed anyone yet, but it's come close a few times! His sense of smell seems as blunted as his eyesight; his experiment with Limburger cheese and broccoli lingered in the hallway for over a week. 

Despite his culinary adventures, one of Mr. Bitterman's biggest admirers is Mrs. Frist, the wiry octogenarian package of silver hair and gold jewelry in a velour tracksuit that lives on the same floor. When she's not got her eye firmly to the peephole of her door monitoring the comings and goings of the apartment complex, she's staking her claim on Mr. Bitterman—at the top of her lungs so there's no mistake about it!

As you can see, Marty has plenty of characters to keep her entertained while she's at home in between her moments of danger, intrigue, and investigations in Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Disappearing Diva. I hope you enjoy reading about Marty and all of the wonderfully wacky people in her life as much as Kelly and I enjoyed writing about it. Thanks again for having me!



About the Book


Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Gemma Halliday Publishing (August 14, 2018)
Print Length: 316 pages
ASIN: B07DP3NBH7

From #1 Kindle & New York Times bestselling author Gemma Halliday and USA Today bestselling author Kelly Rey comes a story about Sherlock Holmes, two savvy female detectives, and one chance to catch a killer and the hot Dr. Watson at the same time…
If there's one thing Martha "Marty" Hudson can't say no to, it's her best friend Irene Adler. So when Irene's little white lie about a fake detective named Sherlock Holmes turns into a real case from an actual paying client, Marty is all in. But their simple missing person case takes a deadly turn when the missing "person" ends up being a missing corpse.
Rebecca Lowery was an opera singer in life and, according to her sister, who hires the famous detective to find her, a diva with capital D. When her body goes missing after a supposedly accidental fall, Marty & Irene can think of several people who might want the diva to disappear permanently—especially if her missing body is actually hiding evidence of her murder. Is it the boyfriend with a temper and a shady record, the jealous understudy who's now stealing the show, the creepy undertaker with possible ties to the underworld, or the estranged sister herself who now inherits everything?
Marty and Irene aim to find out, even while trying to keep cool around the hot ME, Dr. Watson, and dodging questions from the Irregulars blogger, Wiggins, about the mysterious man behind the name Sherlock Holmes. Will the ladies be able to pull this one off? Or are they in over their heads…and possibly about to take their own final bows?




About the Author




Gemma Halliday is the New York Times, USA Today & #1 Kindle bestselling author of the High Heels Mysteries, the Hollywood Headlines Mysteries, the Jamie Bond Mysteries, the Tahoe Tessie Mysteries, the Marty Hudson Mysteries, and several other works. Gemma's books have received numerous awards, including a Golden Heart, two National Reader's Choice awards, a RONE award, and three RITA nominations. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her boyfriend, Jackson Stein, who writes vampire thrillers, and their four children, who are adorably distracting on a daily basis.

Author Links

Website http://www.gemmahalliday.com/

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/gemmahallidayauthor




Purchase Links

Amazon     B & N      iBooks     Kobo      Smashwords



TOUR PARTICIPANTS

August 15 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST

August 15 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

August 16 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

August 16 – The Book Diva's Reads – GUEST POST

August 17 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

August 17 – T's Stuff – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 17 – Rosepoint Publishing - SPOTLIGHT

August 18 – Readeropolis - CHARACTER INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY

August 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 19 – A Blue Million Books - CHARACTER INTERVIEW

August 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST

August 20 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW

August 20 – My Reading Journeys - SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

August 21 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews - REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

August 21 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 22 – Socrates' Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 22 – Laura's Interests - REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

August 23 – The Cozy Pages – REVIEW

August 23 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 24 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY

August 24 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews - SPOTLIGHT



Giveaway

Enter to win one (1) of two (2) digital copies of the first book in this series, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Brash Blonde by Gemma Halliday and Kelly Rey. This giveaway begins at 12:01 AM ET on Thursday, 08/16/2018 and runs through 11:59 PM ET on Wednesday, 08/22/2018. The winner will be announced by 10:00 AM ET on Thursday, 08/23/2018. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is limited to residents of the United States and Canada only. Void where prohibited by law. The digital books will be supplied to the winners at the end of the tour by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

2018 Book 290: JANE DOE by Victoria Helen Stone

Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone
ISBN: 9781503900899 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781503901032 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780062676719 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781543682236 (digital audiobook)
ASIN: B076V125RV (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: August 1, 2018 


A double life with a single purpose: revenge.
Jane's days at a Midwest insurance company are perfectly ordinary. She blends in well, unremarkably pretty in her floral-print dresses and extra efficient at her low-level job. She's just the kind of woman middle manager Steven Hepsworth likes—meek, insecure, and willing to defer to a man. No one has any idea who Jane really is. Least of all Steven.
But plain Jane is hiding something. And Steven's bringing out the worst in her.
Nothing can distract Jane from going straight for his heart: allowing herself to be seduced into Steven's bed, to insinuate herself into his career and his family, and to expose all his dirty secrets. It's time for Jane to dig out everything that matters to Steven. So she can take it all away.
Just as he did to her. 

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble


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When we're first introduced to Jane, all we know is that she's working doing data entry at a company in the Midwest. She's taken a sabbatical from her job as a high-powered lawyer in Malaysia to come back to the States. She's toned down her appearance in terms of high-profile clothing, changed the color of her hair, and is doing everything possible to appear demure and weak. We later learn that she's grieving the death of her best friend Meg. Meg has killed herself over a relationship gone bad and it quickly becomes apparent that Jane is out to seek revenge against the man from Meg's past, Steven Hepsworth. The more Jane learns about Steven and his family, the more she desires revenge for her friend and is willing to do almost anything to get it. The only snag in Jane's plan is a chance meeting with an old college boyfriend, Luke. The more she begins to despise Steven, the more she gravitates toward Luke. Will Jane allow her quest for vengeance to override the desire for a relationship with a good man?

Jane Doe is a fast-paced and engaging read. From the very beginning, it is impossible to not know what Jane's intentions are because she verbalizes them quite well and often emphasizes the fact that she is a high-functioning sociopath. Does this make her a bad person when she's only out to get what she deems as justice for her friend? Is it ever right to take the law into your own hands? Is there anything you wouldn't do to right the wrongs of a loved one? Jane may not kill anyone (and that's the only hint I'll provide), but she does hold fast and firm to her intention to seek vengeance no matter the cost. Amazingly enough, Jane doesn't come across as a crazy person and she is somewhat likable in the end. Does she ever get her revenge against Steven Hepsworth? All I can say is read the book and find out for yourself, you won't be disappointed.

Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the author/publisher. 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



About Victoria Helen Stone

Victoria Helen Stone is the nom de plume for USA Today bestselling author Victoria Dahl. After publishing more than twenty-five novels, she is now taking a turn toward the darker side of genre fiction. Born and educated in the Midwest, she finished her first manuscript just after college. In 2016, the American Library Association awarded her the prestigious Reading List Award for outstanding genre fiction. Having escaped the plains of her youth, she now resides with her family in a small town high in the Rocky Mountains, where she enjoys hiking, snowshoeing, and not skiing (too dangerous).

Connect with Victoria on her Website or on Twitter.



Giveaway

Enter to win one (1) print copy of Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone courtesy of TLC Book Tours. To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway runs through 11:59 PM ET on 08/12/2018 and the winner will be announced by 10:00 AM ET on 08/13/2018. This giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada only. Void where prohibited by law.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

2018 Book 286: DAY OF THE DEAD by Nicci French

Day of the Dead by Nicci French
ISBN: 9780062846082 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780062676702 (trade paperback)
ISBN: 9780062676719 (ebook)
ISBN: 9780062858382 (digital audiobook)
ASIN: B072JT5Y8J (Kindle edition)
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Release Date: July 24, 2018 



LOUISE PENNY says the Frieda Klein novels are "fabulous."

JOSEPH FINDER says they're "in the rich vein of Kate Atkinson."

And TAMI HOAG calls them "truly unique."


Now the final book in this extraordinary series is here. And it's an ending you'll never forget.

A decade ago, psychologist Frieda Klein was sucked into the orbit of Dean Reeve — a killer able to impersonate almost anyone, a man who can disappear without a trace, a psychopath obsessed with Frieda herself.
In the years since, Frieda has worked with — and sometimes against — the London police in solving their most baffling cases. But now she's in hiding, driven to isolation by Reeve. When a series of murders announces his return, Frieda must emerge from the shadows to confront her nemesis. And it's a showdown she might not survive.
This gripping cat-and-mouse thriller pits one of the most fascinating characters in contemporary fiction against an enemy like none other. Smart, sophisticated, and spellbinding, it's a novel to leave you breathless. 



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No one knows that Frieda Klein has disappeared until a college student, Lola Haynes, decides to "deconstruct" Frieda's professional life for a dissertation. This student's search for the "truth" about Frieda and her past will rain down chaos and destruction on Lola's life and cause her to seek help from the only person that can protect her, Frieda. Before Lola's quest, Frieda Klein was nowhere to be found in the city of London. Her family and close friends knew that she'd gone into seclusion for no other reason to protect their lives. Now, Frieda must not only protect her friends and family but protect Lola as well from the murderous rampaging of the psychopath Dean Reeve.

Day of the Dead begins with what appears to be a horrific car crash into a restaurant. The police are able to determine only much later that the car crash was a murder masquerading as an accident. Then another murder occurs, then another, and another, all with one purpose in mind to grab the attention of Frieda Klein. Sadly the police don't really believe that's the intention of these murders until it's almost too late. It isn't until Lola's life is touched by one of these murders that the police finally begin to believe there might be some truth to Frieda's theory about Dean Reeve being the murderer behind all of these killings. He's been unstoppable for ten years and it's doubtful if he'll be stopped without fulfilling his end game, killing Frieda Klein.

I have read every book in the Frieda Klein series and each book seemed to get better and better. Day of the Dead may be the final book in this series and it is a bit different from the previous book, but it still packed a powerful punch while tying up loose ends. It was nice to see the familiar cast of characters return, such as Josef and his son Alexei, Frieda's sister-in-law Olivia, as well as her niece Chloe, Frieda's previous protege Jack, her previous mentor Reuben, journalist Liz Barron, police friend Malcolm Karlsson, and more. This story centers around Frieda and Lola and everything else seems to revolve around them, so to speak. The police investigations are a big part of the story but even that takes a back seat to Frieda, Lola, and Dean's stories. Yes, there are people that die and no, I'm not telling you who they are! Day of the Dead provides taut suspense and story twists that kept this reader on edge and turning pages until the very end. Although this may be the end of the Frieda Klein series, I'm looking forward to rereading the entire series again (yes, it is just that good). If you haven't read this series yet and you're into psychological suspense thrillers, you don't know what you're missing. Seriously, start with Blue Monday and read all the way through to Day of the Dead, you can thank me later. If you've already read the previous books in this series then go out and grab yourself a copy of Day of the Dead to read ASAP! This series remains one of my highly recommended series for the psychological-suspense or thriller reader.


Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the publisher via Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."



About Nicci French

Nicci French is the pseudonym of English wife-and-husband team Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. Their acclaimed novels of psychological suspense have sold more than 8 million copies around the world.

Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.



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


Thursday, July 26, 2018

Book Showcase: THE SCENT OF WAIKIKI by Terry Ambrose

The Scent of Waikiki (Trouble in Paradise)


by Terry Ambrose


About the Book





Cozy Mystery

9th in Series

Satori (July 19, 2018)

Print Length: 330 pages

ASIN: B07CZ3B389



Honolulu landlord Wilson McKenna can smell a scam from across the room. So when one of his tenants loses everything in a work-at-home scam involving a new perfume, he's shocked. With his wedding just weeks away, McKenna has to make a tough decision. Does he evict a woman who's down on her luck? Or take time out from wedding planning to help his tenant?
Turning the case over to his PI-in-training friend Chance Logan seems like the perfect solution—until Chance tells McKenna he needs a wingman for a visit to fragrance entrepreneur Skye Pilkington-Winchester. McKenna's sure he can keep everyone happy by helping Chance this one time. But nothing is ever as easy as it seems, and soon McKenna's up to his board shorts in hot water. His tenant's simple fragrance scam might involve industrial espionage, Skye's assistant is murdered, and McKenna's bride-to-be accuses him of having cold feet.
As McKenna and Chance dig deeper, it seems so much of what they're being told doesn't pass the sniff test. And the only way to get his life back is to find the dead girl's missing boyfriend, unmask a killer, and finish up in time for the wedding. Other than that, it's just another day in paradise.


About the Author



Terry Ambrose is a former skip tracer who tracked down deadbeats for a living. He's long since turned his talents to writing mysteries and thrillers. Several of his books have been award finalists and in 2014 his thriller, “Con Game,” won the San Diego Book Awards for Best Action-Thriller. He likes cool photography, funny mysteries, and finding the oddest things while walking on the beach.

Author Links:

Website: http://terryambrose.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/suspense.writer

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6447968.Terry_Ambrose

Purchase Link

Amazon   B&N


Giveaway

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

July 25 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

July 26 – The Book Diva's Reads – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

July 26 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

July 27 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

July 28 – Laura's Interests – CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 29 – T's Stuff – AUTHOR INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY

July 30 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

July 30 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

July 31 - Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 31 - Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews - SPOTLIGHT

July 31 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

August 1 - Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

August 1 - Readeropolis – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

August 2 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

August 2 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY

August 3 – The Book's the Thing – REVIEW

August 3 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

August 3 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 4 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

August 5 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 6 – My Reading Journeys - REVIEW, GUEST POST

August 7 – The Montana Bookaholic – CHARACTER GUEST POST 



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