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

Thursday, August 22, 2019

2019 Book 251: NOTHING TO FEAR by Juno Rushdan

Nothing To Fear Final Hour #2 by Juno Rushdan 
ISBN: 9781492661573 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781492661580 (ebook)
ASIN: B07NRSHHWF (Kindle edition)
Publication date: August 27, 2019 
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca


The clock is ticking

Fearsome Gray Box operative Gideon Stone is devoted to his work and his team. He's never given reason to doubt his loyalty...until he's tasked with investigating Willow Harper, a beguiling cryptologist suspected of selling deadly bio-agents on the black market.

He knows she's innocent. He knows she's being framed. And he knows that without him, Willow will be dead before sunrise.

Thrust into the crossfire of an insidious international conspiracy, Gideon will do anything to keep Willow safe...even if that means waging war against his own. With time running out, an unlikely bond pushes limits―and forges loyalties. Every move they make counts. And the real traitor is always watching...



Purchase Links:  IndieBound  |  Amazon  |  Amazon Kindle  |  Barnes and Noble  |  B&N Nook  |  BookDepository  |  Books-A-Million  |  !ndigo Books  |  Kobo eBook 


We were introduced to the Black Ops group, Gray Box in book one of the Final Hour series, Every Last Breath by Juno Rushdan. This group is comprised of super intelligent, highly skilled, and well trained analysts and operatives. Willow Harper became somewhat suspicious in the last Gray Box mission when she took a break and missed tagging the bad guy at a crucial moment. It didn't seem to matter to some people that she had been working for over 20 hours, hadn't had any sleep, and had only taken a mandated 15 minute break, it was still suspicious. Adding insult to injury, when the suspect was apprehended and brought into custody, Willow's pin code was used in an effort to murder the suspect. Now a million dollars has been found in an off-shore account in her name and it doesn't seem to matter that she was almost killed in a recent car accident. A car accident caused by tampering. Fortunately, one of the Gray Box operatives, Gideon "Reaper" Stone, knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that Willow is innocent and is willing to do whatever it takes to protect her. One key question is will it be enough considering there is a traitor hidden deep at Gray Box? An even bigger question is can he trust his emotions with Willow in this dangerous situation?

Nothing to Fear is the second book in the Final Hour series by Juno Rushdan. This is a fast-paced and engaging thriller that incorporates international intrigue, kidnapping, espionage, murder, romance, and more. I enjoyed the main characters primarily because Willow isn't your average female lead character. Yes, she's smart, intelligent, and pretty, but she's also on the spectrum and used to a highly regimented life. I did have difficulties accepting how well she adjusted to having this regimented life disrupted given the fact she talked (and thought) about needing to adhere to a schedule, etc. It seemed as if she was on the spectrum for a few pages and then all of sudden she wasn't, but that's just my perspective. Gideon initially comes across as the super-strong alpha male, and although he is definitely an alpha-male, he also has his fair share of issues he's dealing with in terms of his first marriage and the death of his first wife. There's a lot of action crammed into Nothing to Fear and if you've read Every Last Breath, I strongly encourage you to grab a copy to read as soon as it releases (even with the issues I had with Willow being on-and-off the autism spectrum). For those of you that haven't read Every Last Breath, if you enjoy reading romantic-suspense, then I encourage you to grab a copy and read that first so you'll understand the story arc, then get yourself a copy of Nothing to Fear. Yes, I had some issues with some facets of this story, but I still found it to be an enjoyable read. How enjoyable? I had a moderately-severe migraine and the story kept me turning the pages! I look forward to reading the next installment in this series.

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."

Monday, August 19, 2019

Guest Post: Elizabeth Crowens - SILENT MERIDIAN

Silent Meridian by Elizabeth Crowens Banner


Hello, book people. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend filled with books and reading. I'm pleased to welcome and introduce you to Elizabeth Crowens, author of The Time Traveler Professor, Book One: Silent Meridian and more. If you're anything like me, you've probably wondered how an author, especially an author writing historical fiction, keeps the written word separate from their reality. Today, Ms. Crowens will be answering that question and a bit more. Grab your beverage of choice, sit back, and hear what this author has to say about writing about time travel.





  • How do you keep your written world from encroaching on your life?
  • What's on your bucket list?



If you asked me how I keep my written world from encroaching on my life, my answer would be that it's next to impossible. In fact, for me, it's a challenge to switch time periods from series to series as well as within my alternate history series. The Time Traveler Professor, Book One: Silent Meridian starts out in 1898 Victorian-era Scotland, London, and Germany and ends at the beginning of World War I in August 1914. The main time travel subplot takes place in feudal Japan in the 17th century. The other series I'm writing is a different genre altogether — Hollywood suspense and takes place in the 1980s and 1990s. Imagine constantly having to switch gears as to how people talk, dress and behave. Visualize being a production designer on a movie set having to make sure all the locations and props are accurate or a costume designer or a hair and makeup artist trying to get everything believable and correct. 

Continuity is a major issue. If items aren't historically accurate or if details get mixed up inside a complicated plot, you'll lose your fans and readers. The last thing an author needs to have is the Starbucks cup left by accident on the Game of Thrones.

I guess the embarrassing thing for me is I can accidentally have a character in my modern novels speak like a Victorian and, on occasion, I've found myself typing up mundane business correspondence in the manner of one of my historical characters. That can be very awkward. My son has also pointed out to me that he's heard me have a slight hint of a British accent from time to time, and he thinks it sounds ridiculous. When I started writing The Time Traveler Professor, Book One: Silent Meridian, sometimes I'd walk over to my grocery store or be out and about doing chores in the neighborhood feeling like I was cosplaying my historical characters in my mind. So far, I haven't backed myself into any corners and embarrassed myself.

One of my favorite parts of the writing process, however, is getting immersed in the research, and I've made several trips overseas to really get the feel of locations. Ironically, I was a professional photographer for years, but I rarely had the opportunity to have my clients send me to interesting or exotic locations — my dream. When I was in my early twenties and fresh out of college, I was even willing to apply for a job as an airline stewardess in order to get a chance to travel the world, but I was too short. I think rules have changed, but an applicant had to be at least 5'3" in their stocking feet without heels and able to reach the overhead bins without assistance. Now, I'm running into short, overweight and much older airline personnel, but it's no longer an option I'm considering.

The bottom line is there are a lot of foreign countries I'd like to visit on my bucket list, Nepal, Tibet, and Machu Picchu being three locations that I had better get to before they become physically too challenging. This year, spoiler alert, I'll be taking the plunge and visiting Moscow and St. Petersburg.

In conclusion, similar to the Harry Potter series, I'd suggest reading The Time Traveler Professor, Book One: Silent Meridian before picking up any of the others in the series, although I agree with many that the sequel is a better book. That's why we're discounting the eBook for only $1.99. Also, if you sign up for my monthly newsletter at elizabethcrowens[dot]com/contact/ you'll get updates on my book tour and free eBooks several times a year exclusive for subscribers.


Author Bio:


Elizabeth Crowens


Elizabeth Crowens has worked in the film and television industry for over twenty years and as a journalist and a photographer. She's a regular contributor of author interviews to an award-winning online speculative fiction magazine, Black Gate. Short stories of hers have been published in the Bram Stoker Awards nominated anthology, A New York State of Fright and Hell's Heart. She's a member of Mystery Writers of America, The Horror Writers Association, the Authors Guild, Broad Universe, Sisters in Crime and a member of several Sherlockian societies. She is also writing a Hollywood suspense series.


Catch Up With Our Author On:

elizabethcrowens.com, Goodreads, BookbubTwitter, & Facebook!






The Time Traveler Professor, Book One:


Silent Meridian


by Elizabeth Crowens


on Tour August 18 - September 21, 2019




Synopsis:


The Time Traveler Professor, Book One: Silent Meridian by Elizabeth Crowens

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is obsessed with a legendary red book. Its peculiar stories have come to life, and rumors claim that it has rewritten its own endings. Convinced that possessing this book will help him write his ever-popular Sherlock Holmes stories, he takes on an unlikely partner, John Patrick Scott, known to most as a concert pianist, but a paranormal investigator and a time traveler professor to a select few.

Like Holmes and Watson trying to solve a mystery, together they explore lost worlds and their friendship is tested to the limits when they go back in time to find it. Both discover that karmic ties and unconscionable crimes have followed them like ghosts from the past, wreaking havoc on the present and possibly the future.

The Time Traveler Professor, Book One: SILENT MERIDIAN reveals the alternate histories of Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, Houdini, Jung and other luminaries in the secret diaries of John Patrick Scott, in an X Files for the 19th century. First Prize winner of Chanticleer Review's Goethe Award for Turn-of-the-Century Historical Fiction and First Prize for Steampunk in the Independent Press Awards. Stay tuned for A POCKETFUL OF LODESTONES; Book Two in the Time Traveler Professor series by Elizabeth Crowens.




Book Details:


Genre: Alternate History, Mystery, Fantasy Noir

Published by: Atomic Alchemist Productions LLC

Publication Date: June 12th 2019

Number of Pages: 384

ISBN: 9781950384 (ISBN13: 9781950384044)

Series: The Time Traveler Professor #1


Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads



Tour Participants:

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

 




Giveaway!!!:



This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Elizabeth Crowens. There will be eight (8) winners. One (1) winner will receive an Amazon.com Gift Card and seven (7) winners will each receive Silent Meridian by Elizabeth Crowens (eBook). The giveaway begins on August 18, 2019, and runs through September 23, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours


Thursday, August 15, 2019

Guest Post: J.K. Franko - EYE FOR EYE

Eye for Eye

by JK Franko

on Tour July 22 - September 20, 2019



Eye for Eye by JK Franko


Good day, book people. Today's another beautiful day and I'm pleased to welcome another wonderful book person to visit with us. Mr. J.K. Franko is a lawyer and author, and he's currently touring online for his recently released book, Eye For Eye. I'm excited for you to hear what Mr. Franko will be discussing with us today as he's talking about violence in fiction, specifically violence against women in fiction. I hope you'll visit with us awhile today, follow the blog tour, grab a copy of Eye for Eye, and enter the tour-wide giveaway. 

Thank you, Mr. Franko, for taking the time to stop by The Book Diva's Reads today. It's a pleasure to have you here and I'll now turn the blog over to you. 



Violence Against Women in Fiction: Sunlight or Ostriches?
By J.K. Franko

I was ready to fire my publicist when her press release for Eye for Eye explained that the book handled violence with "sensitivity."

Cringe... What kind of marketing is that?

Since when does "sensitivity" sell thrillers?

Then we chatted, and I understood.

You see, there has apparently been a growing trend toward graphic violence in writing and film. This has recently become a "thing." As I was not aware of the extent of the issue, I did some research and discovered that there has also been a strong backlash. But, to be effective, that backlash needs to target the crux of the problem—which is gratuitous violence as entertainment.

Some folks are just missing the mark.

For example, I discovered the Staunch Book Prize. It is a book award established in 2018 for the best thriller "in which no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered."

At first blush, I thought, No way in hell I could win that one.

I can tell you this much about <>Eye for Eye
without any spoilers: Two girls die; another gets raped. And this is by the end of Chapter Three. And then, obviously, there's the rest of the book...

So, why did my publicist think Eye for Eye is different and—cringe—"sensitive?"

Well, I didn't find it necessary to use graphic violence as a device to tell the story. There is an audience for that kind of thing. There are also plenty of authors that write it. It's just not me.

But, Eye for EYE is still a crime thriller and features crimes against women and against men. Crimes happen—in the real world. As adults, we have to deal with them. The ones against men, and the ones against women. And to deal with them, we have to discuss them.

A big part of the problem with sexual assault and violence against women in the past was that no one would talk about it. Isn't that what the whole #MeToo movement is about? Bringing this sort of stuff into the light of day?

It's also one of the purposes of fiction—exploring real-world situations to teach a lesson, shine a light on an injustice. As Justice Brandeis said, "Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants."

That can't be done without broaching the subject. But we can address the subject in ways that don't diminish the victims.

I think it would be shameful not to.

To Kill a Mockingbird won a Pulitzer, but could not win the Staunch Book Prize.

Don't get me wrong. Hats off to Bridget Lawless for taking the initiative to create the award. I like the idea behind the Staunch Book Prize. I think it's well-intentioned.

But, I think it misses the point. A crime thriller by definition has to involve a crime. And that's got to be committed against someone. By limiting the award to books that don't commit crimes against women, this award seems to solicit thrillers that only include crimes against men. It seems to be a sort of "ostrich head in the sand" approach to the issue.

But, maybe not. The lawyer in me thinks there might be a loophole.

The webpage for the award states that they seek submissions of "not just thrillers that feature men in jeopardy instead of women, but stories in which female characters don't have to be raped before they can be empowered, or become casual collateral to pump up the plot."

Bingo.

By way of this article, I am letting my publicist know that we submitting Eye for Eye for "The Staunch."

Eye for Eye definitely falls into the category of stories that come after the "but."

None of my female characters qualify as "casual collateral." They would be offended by the label. They are driven, empowered women, in control of their lives (and maybe the lives of others). They don't hide from violence; they tackle it head-on. And, once you read Eye for Eye, you'll agree that it's best not to piss them off.





Eye for Eye

by JK Franko


Eye for Eye by JK Franko


"NEW TWIST ON STRANGERS ON A TRAIN"
~ THE SUNDAY TIMES


Roy and Susie are on a skiing holiday, trying to take a break from the constant reminders of their daughter, tragically killed by a careless driver. Out of the blue, they meet Deb and Tom, another couple with a tragic past and a shocking proposal to put things right.

As the bodies accumulate, secrets are revealed and alliances crumble. Ultimate survival depends on following the rules for a perfect murder. And the first rule is… leave no singing bones.



Book Details:


Genre: Crime & Mystery
 

Published by: Talion Publishing
Publication Date: June 22nd 2019
Number of Pages: 400
ISBN: 1999318803 (ISBN13: 9781999318802)
Series: Talion #1
Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads



Author Bio:


JK Franko

J.K. FRANKO was born and raised in Texas. His Cuban-American parents agreed there were only three acceptable options for a male child: doctor, lawyer, and architect. After a disastrous first year of college pre-Med, he ended up getting a BA in philosophy (not acceptable), then he went to law school (salvaging the family name) and spent many years climbing the big law firm ladder. After ten years, he decided that law and family life weren't compatible. He went back to school where he got an MBA and pursued a Ph.D. He left law for corporate America, with long stints in Europe and Asia.

His passion was always to be a writer. After publishing a number of non-fiction works, thousands of hours writing, and seven or eight abandoned fictional works over the course of eighteen years, Eye For Eye became his first published novel.

J.K. Franko now lives with his wife and children in Florida.

Catch Up With JK Franko On:


jkfranko.com, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!




Tour Participants:


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






Enter The Giveaway!!!:



This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for JK Franko. There will be 6 winners. Two (2) winners will each win (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. Two (2) winners will each win a signed copy of EYE FOR EYE by JK Franko (Open to U.S. addresses only) and Two (2) winners will each win a Knife set (Open to U.S. addresses only).  The giveaway begins on July 22, 2019, and runs through September 22, 2019.  Void where prohibited.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Book Spotlight: SHADES OF JUSTICE by Carolyn Arnold





Shades of Justice, Detective Madison Knight Book #9, by Carolyn Arnold
ISBN: 9781988353807 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781988353784 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781988353791 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781988353777 (ebook)
ASIN: B07P3N6BGG (Kindle edition)
Publisher:  Hibbert & Stiles Publshing Inc.
Release Date: May 7, 2019


The line between good and evil isn't always clear…
 
Detective Madison Knight has risked her badge—and her life—in the pursuit of justice before, and she just might need to do so again. Two victims are found murdered and naked in the home of Steven Malone, who is the largest contributor to the Stiles PD. One victim is his wife. The other victim is a John Doe. This high-profile double homicide immediately pits Madison against her sergeant, who seems more intent on protecting the Malones' reputation and retaining a benefactor than catching a killer. 

Madison will need to pull on her tenacity and courage if she's going to follow the evidence without prejudice. In the process, it becomes clear that finding justice isn't always black and white, and often the shades in between tell the fullest story—and it's not something she will forget anytime soon.






Purchase Links:  IndieBound  |  Amazon  |  Amazon Kindle  |  Barnes and Noble  |  B&N Nook  |  BookDepository  |  Books-A-Million  |  !ndigo Books  |   Kobo eBook


What to expect from the Detective Madison Knight series:

Murder. Investigation. The pursuit of justice.  Do you love trying to figure out whodunit? How about investigating alongside police detectives from the crime scene to the forensics lab and everywhere in between? Do you love a strong female lead? Then I invite you to meet Detective Madison Knight as she solves murders with her male partner, utilizing good old-fashioned investigative work aided by modern technology.


Shades of Justice is a murder mystery with twists and turns that will have readers flipping the pages until the wee hours of the morning. The ninth installment in an internationally bestselling series, it doesn't matter if this is the first book you're reading in the Detective Madison Knight series or not; all the books stand alone!

Buy this book now and join the investigation! Uncover clues, follow leads, and catch a killer like hundreds of thousands of readers in this series have done before you. Perfect for fans of James Patterson, Michael Connelly, and JD Robb. 


Meet the author


CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and beagles and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.


Connect with the author via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, her Website, Blog, and Goodreads.

And don't forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.



Giveaway

This giveaway is hosted by Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours and PR. Enter to win a print copy of Power Struggle by Carolyn Arnold. Void where prohibited by law. Please use the Rafflecopter form to enter.


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This spotlight and giveaway brought to you by Reading Addiction Book Tours and PR




Friday, August 9, 2019

2019 Book 236: THE HOUND OF JUSTICE by Claire O'Dell

The Hound of Justice, The Janet Watson Chronicles #2, by Claire O'Dell
ISBN: 9780062699336 (trade paperback)
ISBN: 9780062699381 (ebook)
ASIN: B07FCJCRYB (Kindle edition)
Publication date: July 30, 2019
Publisher: Harper Voyager



Dr. Janet Watson and former covert agent Sara Holmes, introduced in the acclaimed A Study in Honor, continue their dangerous investigation into the new American Civil War with the help of fresh allies, advanced technology, and brilliant deduction in this superb re-imagining of Sherlock Holmes.


It's been two months since Dr. Janet Watson accepted an offer from Georgetown University Hospital. The training for her new high-tech arm is taking longer than expected, however, leaving her in limbo. Meanwhile, her brilliant friend and compatriot, Sara Holmes, has been placed on leave—punishment for going rogue during their previous adventure. Neither is taking their situation very well.



Then an extremist faction called the Brotherhood of Redemption launches an assassination attempt on the president. The attempt fails but causes mass destruction—fifty dead and hundreds more injured, and Holmes takes on the task of investigating the Brotherhood.



Holmes is making progress when she abruptly disappears. Watson receives a mysterious message from Holmes's cousin Micha and learns that her friend has quit the service and is operating in the shadows, investigating clues that link the Brotherhood to Adler Industries.



She needs a surgeon, Micha tells Watson. She needs you.



Reunited once more, Dr. Watson, Holmes, and Micha embark on a mission through the deep South to clear Holmes's name, thwart the Brotherhood's next move, and most important, bring their nemesis to justice for the atrocities she's committed in the New Civil War.







Purchase Links:  IndieBound  |  Amazon  |  Amazon Kindle  |  Barnes and Noble  |  B&N Nook  |  BookDepository  |  Books-A-Million  |  eBooks  |  !ndigo Books  |  Kobo eBook


Dr. Janet Watson returned to Washington D.C. from the new American Civil War filled with anger, PTSD, and without a home or job. She eventually did find a home with Sarah Holmes, a government agent, and a job with the VA. The job situation didn't last very long and ended with Janet and Sarah uncovering some unsavory connections between Adler Industries and the VA. On a happy note, Janet wound up with a new job at Georgetown University Hospital as a surgeon and a new prosthesis. But all is not right in Dr. Janet Watson's world. People are dying in the hospital of unknown causes, her roommate vanishes mysteriously, her grandmother has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, her deadline to become a practicing surgeon gets pushed back, and she gets roped into doing a presentation at a medical conference where her ex will also be presenting. After Sara disappears, Janet receives a notification from Hudson Realty to vacate the premises, and then receives a mysterious notice from Sara's cousin Micha that Janet should take a leave of absence from her job to help Sara out on a job behind enemy lines. It's bad enough that Sara's disappearance is interfering with Janet's job, but now it's expected that Janet should use her familyher ailing grandmother in the deep Southas an excuse to travel into the New Confederacy. The last adventure Sara became embroiled in involved Nadine Adler, Adler Industries, and ended with Janet being shot. This time, Janet is expected to use her surgical skills (untested skills at that on an unknown subject), behind enemy lines, and she just might be going up against Nadine Adler again along with the Brotherhood of Redemption. Will Janet be able to successfully complete this mission or are Sara and Micha expecting too much from their friend Dr. Watson this time?

I read and thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the Janet Watson Chronicles, A Study in Honor. Sara Holmes is quite unlike the modern Sherlock Holmes characters we've seen in movies and television. She's very intelligent, just like the original fictional Sherlock and somewhat of a recluse, but this Holmes works with the FBI and has an extended family support system by means of her cousins and grandmother. Janet Watson is very similar to Dr. John Watson in that she is a war veteran, a physician, and has an estranged sibling, but the similarities end there. This Dr. Watson and Holmes are strong, Black, females and Dr. Watson is a lesbian. These ladies are residing in a time that is not quite post-apocalyptic but definitely a dystopian world where the United States has experienced a new Civil War and confederate states have successfully seceded from the US and are attempting to stage a coup/assassination of the newly elected president. This Watson and Holmes duo feature a Hudson and Adler, but they are unlike the Hudson and Adler seen in previous iterations of Watson and Holmes' stories. The Hound of Justice made for a nice follow-up to A Study in Honor and was a fast-paced and engaging read. I loved the interaction between Janet Watson and her occupational therapist, her psych therapist, her love interest (a bookstore owner), her colleagues, her family, and, of course, with Holmes and the Holmes family. The Hound of Justice offers mystery, political intrigue, slight romance (although not the overriding theme), self-realization, family angst and drama (on both the part of Watson and even Holmes to a certain extent), along with the overriding theme of friendship and what we're willing to do for the sake of our friends and what is right. Just in case you can't tell, I really enjoyed The Hound of Justice and sincerely hope there will be another installment in the Janet Watson Chronicles because I can't accept that this is where it ends. I strongly encourage you to grab copies of A Study in Honor and The Hound of Justice by Claire O'Dell to read. This is one series you won't want to miss out on. Happy Reading y'all! 📖


Disclaimer: I received a free print review copy from the publisher, Harper Voyager via TLC Book Tours. 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."


 
Photo by Rob Bernobich

About Claire O'Dell

Claire O'Dell grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., in the years of the Vietnam War and the Watergate Scandal. She attended high school just a few miles from the house where Mary Surratt once lived and where John Wilkes Booth planned for Lincoln to die. All this might explain why she spent so much time in the history and political science departments at college. Claire currently lives in Manchester, Connecticut, with her family and two idiosyncratic cats.

Find out more about Claire at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.





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


Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Guest Post: BLIND SIGHT by Tanya R. Taylor


Good day, my fellow book people. I hope you're all having a wonderful summer and that you have plenty of time to spend reading and relaxing. I've often had the pleasure of welcoming authors, fellow book bloggers, and characters as guests on my blog. Today's guest isn't our usual two-legged fictional character, but a four-legged and furry character straight off the pages of Blind Sight by Tanya R. Taylor (no relation). I hope you'll help me give a warm welcome to Vanilla, the lovely Shih Tzu companion to Lucille Pfiffer. 




Hi. I'm Vanilla. I guess my last name is Pfiffer like that of my owner and best friend, Lucille. I'm a cute, little Shih Tzu who loves the toes of one of our tenants named Theodore. He wonders why I bite those toes of his so much, but I can honestly say it's not because I don't like him. It's because I actually love him — as a friend, of course. If I were human, maybe I'd be interested in the guy, especially since he's single and all, and not bad-looking. 

Lucille, Theodore, Anthony and I live in a nice house in a subdivision called Harriet's Cove. I like it there as it's really cozy. However, there was one night in particular that it didn't feel as cozy as it normally feels. That's when pretty, but incredibly annoying Sabrina fell off our balcony and onto the ground in our back yard. Her fall caused me to be involved in the mystery surrounding her death, but I'm only a dog. What part in that could I have possibly played? Guess you'll have to read the book Blind Sight to find out. For now, my lips are sealed. Won't want to get in trouble with Lucille. She's no snitcher and neither am I! 🐾



About Tanya R. Taylor




Tanya R. Taylor has wowed readers with her riveting plots and compelling themes.

She is the author of several #1 bestsellers on Amazon and published her first book titled A Killing Rage as a young adult.

She has worked in the Financial arena and is also a seasoned ghostwriter. Her book Cornelius climbed to #1 in the Teen & Young-adult Multi-generational Family Fiction category. And her supernatural, suspense/thrillers - CARA and INFESTATION: A Small Town Nightmare are multiple times #1 international bestsellers.

Tanya writes in various genres including Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Thrillers, Science-fiction, Mystery and Suspense.

She has a passion for the welfare of children and animals. Her hobbies include reading, writing, and researching.

Author Links
Website: https://tanya-r-taylor.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tanyartaylorbooks/
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/tanya-r-taylor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tanyartay
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8634397.Tanya_R_Taylor


BLIND SIGHT

(Lucille Pfiffer Mystery Series)
by Tanya R. Taylor


About the Book


BLIND SIGHT (Lucille Pfiffer Mystery Series)

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Self Published (July 28, 2019)
Number of Pages: 200
Digital ASIN: B07RVF7W99


Lucille Pfiffer sees, but not with her eyes. She lives with her beloved dog Vanilla ("Nilla" for short) in a cozy neighborhood that is quite "active" due to what occurred in the distant past. Though totally blind, she plays an integral role in helping to solve pressing and puzzling mysteries, one right after the other, which, without her, might remain unsolved.

The question is: How can she do any of that with such a handicap?

Purchase Link
 Amazon 


Giveaway

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

August 7 –The Book's the Thing – REVIEW

August 7 – The Book Diva's Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST

August 8 – I'm All About Books – GUEST POST

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Monday, August 5, 2019

2019 Book 233: A PURE HEART by Rajia Hassib

A Pure Heart by Rajia Hassib  
ISBN: 9780525560050 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780525560067 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781984889621 (audiobook)
ASIN: B07KDYDDY3 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: August 6, 2019 
Publisher: Viking Books



A powerful novel about two Egyptian sisters–their divergent fates and the secrets of one family

Sisters Rose and Gameela Gubran could not have been more different. Rose, an Egyptologist, married an American journalist and immigrated to New York City, where she works in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Gameela, a devout Muslim since her teenage years, stayed in Cairo. During the aftermath of Egypt's revolution, Gameela is killed in a suicide bombing. When Rose returns to Egypt after the bombing, she sifts through the artifacts Gameela left behind, desperate to understand how her sister came to die, and who she truly was. Soon, Rose realizes that Gameela has left many questions unanswered. Why had she quit her job just a few months before her death and not told her family? Who was she romantically involved with? And how did the religious Gameela manage to keep so many secrets?

Rich in depth and feeling, A Pure Heart is a brilliant portrait of two Muslim women in the twenty-first century, and the decisions they make in work and love that determine their destinies. As Rose is struggling to reconcile her identities as an Egyptian and as a new American, she investigates Gameela's devotion to her religion and her country. The more Rose uncovers about her sister's life, the more she must reconcile their two fates, their inextricable bond as sisters, and who should and should not be held responsible for Gameela's death. Rajia Hassib's A Pure Heart is a stirring and deeply textured novel that asks what it means to forgive, and considers how faith, family, and love can unite and divide us.




Purchase Links:  IndieBound  |  Amazon  |  Amazon Kindle  |  Audible  |  Barnes and Noble  |  B&N Nook  |  BookDepository  |  Books-A-Million  |  Downpour Audiobook  |  eBooks  |  !ndigo Books  |  Kobo eBook  |  Kobo Audiobook



Fayrouz "Rose" Gubran has had what many may perceive as an idyllic life. She and her sister, Gameela, were raised by loving parents, Nora and Ahmad. Both daughters have received advanced educational studies, Rose in Egyptology/Archeology and Gameela in Engineering. And then when Rose was in her mid-twenties, she met an American reporter, Mark Hatfield. Mark was different from the other men she had met, they fell in love, he converted to Islam so they could get married (Muslim women aren't allowed to marry non-Muslim men in Egypt), and eventually she was accepted in a doctoral program in the US. She and Mark moved to the States where Rose studied, became a naturalized citizen, changed her name from Fayrouz Gubran to Rose Gubran Hatfield, and eventually became a postdoctoral fellow at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City. Mark became a reporter with assigned articles at the New York Times but longed for the days when he was reporting on social issues from the Middle East. Gameela, several years younger than Rose, lives through Arab Spring, is no longer as idealistic as she once was, and is possibly in a relationship with a man almost 30 years her senior. After a brief return to Egypt to do a series of freelance articles, Mark returns to the States and weeks later the young man he interviewed (Saaber) is jailed for the simple act of being interviewed by a foreign journalist and attacking one of the arresting officers. Several months later, Gameela is killed in a suicide bomber attack and Mark is feeling guilty that he may have inadvertently had a part to play in her death, Rose is angry at Mark because he may have inadvertently had a part to play in her death (Gameela introduced Mark to the man that introduced him to the young interview subject), and their lives are turned upside down. The only thing Rose can think of doing is trying to uncover the secrets, if any, to her sister's life in Egypt. Will the answers she finds to bring her peace or simply cause more pain? 

I had the pleasure of reading In the Language of Miracles by Rajia Hassib a few years ago and was blown away by the storyline and characters. I knew that I had to get my hands on a copy of her latest book, A Pure Heart after hearing about it and I'm incredibly grateful to the publisher for supplying me with a print review copy. A Pure Heart is an amazing story for so many reasons, not just because it is well written (although it is). This story asks and answers what makes a good Muslimah (Muslim female) as well as a good daughter/sister/wife/friend. Is it possible to be good at any of these roles and have secrets or change our opinions on what it means to be righteous or pious without being sanctimonious? Is it possible to love someone and still be angry with them for a prolonged period of time? Can we ever be assured that we know someone when we don't know their deepest, darkest secrets? Do we even need to know those secrets in order to be a good friend/spouse/sibling? There are a lot of issues presented in A Pure Heart and there's no way too many for me to touch on all of them without revealing too much about this wonderful story. This reader enjoyed getting to know all of the characters, especially Rose, Gameela, Mark, Ingrid, Nora, Ahmad, and Fouad, as well as Saaber. I loved reading about the neighborhoods in Egypt and learning about the poverty-stricken neighborhoods that tourists never see or hear about. I'm hard-pressed to find anything that I didn't like about this story. As an American Muslimah, it is refreshing to read stories written by Muslims about Muslims and although Islam isn't front and center in this story, it does play a pivotal role in the lives of the main characters. I encourage you all to grab a copy of A Pure Heart to read, and I'm not just saying that as a Muslim or because the author is a fellow West Virginia resident. I'm recommending this book because it is an outstanding read and one that I think every reader will be able to appreciate. Happy Reading y'all! 



Disclaimer: I received a free print review copy from the publisher, Viking Books. 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."