Tag Archives: suspense

Federico Exaggerated by Hazel Pacheco (Book Review)

Federico enjoys exaggerating. Especially when it means all eyes are on him! One day his inflated story of his bravery on the Rio Grande is interrupted by the announcement of ripe hackberries. Left without an audience, Federico stomps off and accidentally stumbles onto a way to recapture his friends’ attention—well maybe. What he finds might teach him that truth can be incredible without exaggeration.

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

There were a few challenging words for young readers to decipher: covey, arroyo, bosque. There were also animals listed that might be unfamiliar to them: sagebrush sparrow and yellow-bellied sapsucker. I was happy to discover that Hazel Pacheco included a glossary after the story ended. 

I plan to use single words in spelling and vocabulary lessons in my classroom. I’ll also allow my class to explore the Rio Grande and look up real-life images of hackberry, roadrunners, sagebrush sparrow, and the yellow-bellied sapsucker. 

As a parent, I like to share the stories I get the privilege of reading with my child. She loved the suspense, the action, and the drawings. She pointed out that the feathers on the top of their heads resemble question marks. You know what, they do. Not all the time, but definitely in several spots. I don’t know if the artist (Kim Sponaugle) would be thrilled by the comparison, but I’m happy my daughter noticed a grammar mark. That means she’s retaining what she’s learning in school. She also said that the red on their head and fluffy white trim looked like Santa’s hat. What an observant child! I can also see what she’s talking about. Federico also had white feathers circling his head, giving him a Saint Nick appearance. I joked he must be Santa’s bird. That explanation delighted her. This whole story delighted her. 

Federico Exaggerated by Hazel Pacheco had action, suspense, and yummy watermelon. Not only did this story entertain my youngster, but it also made her ask for a slice of watermelon. She wanted one with seeds to eat like the birds in the story. She settled for seedless. 

Federico Exaggerated is perfect for school-age children who understand how to use a glossary. If you read this book to children six and under, explain the difficult words or substitute them for words they’ll understand. You can always define the more challenging words when they are a bit older. 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

 

About the Author

After retiring, Hazel Pacheco discovered a new passion–writing. Since her home is in New Mexico, you won’t find her taking long walks along the beach, but she does have plenty of sandy paths to walk in her native Land of Enchantment. That is how she became acquainted with the gambel quail.

Reedsy Author Link

 

 

 

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The Dirty Martini Club (A Tess Kincaid Novel) by Jude Randazzo (Book Review / Author Interview)

THE DIRTY MARTINI CLUB (a Tess Kinkaid Novel) by Jude Randazzo

 
Tess Kincaid, celebrity golf professional, decides to visit and meet, for the first time, her presumptive fiancé Eddie Spinozza’s family in Albany, New York for Thanksgiving, in anticipation of the next step in their relationship. The Spinozza and Cuchinelli families have been entrenched in Albany for two generations, but Eddie has assured Tess that he is not involved in his family’s “business”. However, on the first night of her visit, sitting in The Dirty Martini Club watching Eddie perform with his band, she witnesses the brazen shooting of one of the band members. Almost simultaneously, and without much warning, an epic, once-in-a-lifetime snowstorm suffocates Albany, preventing Tess from leaving town. 

She subsequently becomes a material witness to a series of events, which the police are only reluctantly investigating. What happens next is a daring, and life-altering event that brings Eddie and Tess to a do or die scenario amid mob warfare. The results are quite unpredictable.

 
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book ToursI voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Tess Kincaid, a professional golfer, went to meet her fiancé’s family, but everything didn’t go as planned. Dealing with a less than welcoming embrace from her future mother-in-law was the least of her worries. On the same night she met Connie (MIL), a rival mob family struck The Dirty Martini Club.

Tess soon discovered what type of family she was marrying into, and she wasn’t a fan. I can’t blame her. As things went from bad to worse, we met Ari, who runs an Army surplus store. Once I met him, I was Team Ari all the way. I wish he had more screen time because I liked him, not Eddie (Tess’s fiancé).

We also met a fireman named Stone. He wasn’t present for long but left a lasting impression on me.

Okay back to Tess…

Tess has big cajones! She took it upon herself to save a damsel in distress. Her feat even impressed Ari (ex-military). She showed readers her strength of body and mind.

Tess also took on Grandpa Spinozza in a checkers match that shouldn’t require an opponent to have a big set of (you guessed it) cajones, but it did. Tess proved time, and again she was no pushover. She’s too good for that family. Too good for Eddie (IMHO).

The finale was not the end for Eddie and Tess. Hopefully, we will see Ari and Stone in future installments. A girl can only hope!

Side note: I’ve never tasted a martini before. Also, I love the club’s music choices. 🙂

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:

Do you have another profession besides writing?

Jude: Yes, I’m a financial advisor and have been since I retired the first time in 1997 to Maui.

 

How long have you been writing? Do you ever get writer’s block?

Jude: I wrote my first story when I was seven years old. I had been flitting around the house annoying my siblings until my mother told me to sit down and write a story instead of being obnoxious. I wrote The Door Knob which is about a boy who becomes a door knob and sees and hears all on both sides of the opened and closed doors. It didn’t help with being obnoxious which six decades later I have perfected to an art, but it did get me started. I’ve been writing novels since I first got inspired on a beach in Maui twenty-five years ago. I wrote The Golden Cocoon on a dozen yellow legal tablets. I do not suffer writer’s block and never have been afflicted with same, but I do have arthritis in my thumbs and cure that temporarily with copious amounts of Scotch.

 

What is your next project?

Jude: The continuance of Tess’s adventures. Oh, and maybe a little more of Eddie.

 

What genre do you write and why?

Jude: I like the idea of a suspenseful thriller to keep readers entertained and engaged but I like a little romance thrown in for spice maybe because I’m Italian. The Omen of the Crow is in the same genre as Rear Window which I found incredible.

 

 What is the last great book you’ve read?

Jude: Stuart Little! Who doesn’t like a story about a mouse against the world who is debonair, adventurous, and romantic? It’s the greatest story ever told.

 

connect with the author: 
website twitter facebook instagram ~ goodreads

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Wrong Side of Murder by Lauren Carr (Book Review)

THE WRONG SIDE OF MURDER (a Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery) by Lauren Carr

 

One spring morning, Jodi Gibbons got up and went to school as she did every day. Her young life went sideways though when the police found that her mother had been brutally killed during the night.

Twenty years later, many in Pine Grove believe Jodi got away with murder. After all, how could she have possibly slept through her mother’s violent death in the very next room?

After decades of silence, Jodi accepts investigative journalist Nikki Bryant’s invitation to tell her side of the story. However, before the interview can take place, someone silences Jodi permanently.

Now it is up to Nikki Bryant and her friends to uncover the secret that Jodi Gibbons has been protecting—a secret someone believes it is worth killing to keep from being revealed.

 
 
 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

 
The Wrong Side of Murder had multiple murder cases to solve – past and present crimes. I was impressed at how well Lauren Carr connected the crimes. That’s no easy feat and demonstrates her skill as a storyteller.

 

Not all the murders were quick to solve. Not every motive popped off the pages in a clear picture, which was fantastic. Oh, how I love a mystery that isn’t wrapped up in the book’s first half. I will say that I solved 50% of the cases: suspects and motive. The other 50% left me guessing. I’m sure other readers will be baffled about who killed who and why. 

Even though The Wrong Side of Murder revolved around a not-so-funny topic, Lauren did sneak in some comedic scenes. For instance, Kathleen grounding her 36-year-old daughter. Another example is Elmo’s need to tidy up a messy home. Yup, the dog has OCD. Oh, and the flashback image of Harrison and Kathleen at their kids’ dance and doing the infamous lift from Dirty Dancing from the song, “Time of your Life.” If that had been my mom or dad, I would’ve switched schools the following day. 

 

Special Note: Like with Killer Deadline (A Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery Book 1), The Wrong Side of Murder is rated G for everyone! Nikki and Ryan are still together, but there’s only a smooch here and there. No hanky panky at all. The death scenes are not graphic; however, they do vary in causes. One involves a staged suicide. 

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:

Author Lauren Carr and Sterling

​Selling over half a million books worldwide, Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Thorny Rose, Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries, and Nikki Bryant Cozy Mysteries—thirty titles across five fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

 
Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.
The owner of Acorn Book Services and iRead Book Tours, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, and virtual book tour coordinator for independent authors.  

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. 
She lives with her husband, and two spoiled rotten German shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV. 

connect with the author: 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Killer Deadline (A Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery Book 1) by Lauren Carr (Book Review)

KILLER DEADLINE (a Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery) by Lauren Carr
Folks in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, claim that where Nikki Bryant goes, trouble is not far behind. Her refusal to back down from a challenge has made Nikki Bryant a top investigative journalist.

When an online friend nudges her to join him in a pact to reconnect with their first loves, Nikki and her boxer dog Elmo leave the bright lights of Las Vegas for the charming town of Pine Grove. There, she must face the biggest challenges in her career and life—the first love she had left behind and her father’s unsolved murder.

But before she has time to unpack her car, Nikki stumbles upon the dead body of local news anchor, Ashleigh Addison, her childhood rival. Could Ashleigh’s death be connected to an explosive news story that she had teased about airing live? Did that explosive story have anything to do with the murder of Nikki’s father?

With the clues in her father’s cold case hot again, Nikki intends to chase down the story of her life until she catches his killer—no matter what it takes. 

Buy the Book:
Amazon.com ~ Audible ~ BookBub
Add to Goodreads
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Move over Scooby-Doo, Elmo has now been crowned the coolest canine in town! Elmo, a canine influencer, can complete many chores with great precision: making a bed, running a vacuum, putting laundry in the wash, and loading a dishwasher. If only he could do windows…


Elmo is not here just to do stunts for our amusement; he is a vital character in the book from start to finish. 


Killer Deadline had three deaths being investigated simultaneously. Was their one murderer? Two? Three? Oh, I can’t tell you that. You must read the story to find how who did what and why. I think you’ll love being an amateur detective and trying to solve these mysteries before Nikki and Ryan do. 


Speaking of the dynamic duo, they are into each other—big time. Yes, they are step-siblings, but they are not blood-related, so it’s not that creepy. I mean, I wouldn’t date my step-sibling, but many would. There’s a genre surrounding this sort of coupling, and it makes bank for many authors.
 

Ryan and Nikki were a fun duo, past and present. I loved their childhood reminiscing stories. Some of their exchanges reminded me of one of my favorite comedic movies, You’ve Got Mail. Both Nikki and  Kathleen Kelly (from the movie) were a bit slow on the uptake, but everything worked out for them in the end. 


Special note: Killer Deadline (A Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery Book 1) is rated G for everyone! So, share this book with your teen and see who can solve the mysteries first. You or your teen!

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:

Author Lauren Carr and Sterling

​Selling over half a million books worldwide, Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Thorny Rose, Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries, and Nikki Bryant Cozy Mysteries—thirty titles across five fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor. 

The owner of Acorn Book Services and iRead Book Tours, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, and virtual book tour coordinator for independent authors.  
 
Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. 
She lives with her husband, and two spoiled rotten German shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV. 
 
connect with the author: 

 
 
 
 
 
 

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Lies at Her Door: A Psychological Thriller by A.A. Abbott (Book Review)

LIES AT HER DOOR (a psychological thriller) by A.A. Abbott

 
She forgot about her childhood friend… until his body is found under her garden. Can she prove she didn’t commit the decades-old murder?

Lucy Freeman struggles to find satisfaction in life. Trapped in the shadow of her rock star brother, the thirty-two-year-old craves more than her days at home caring for her terminally ill mother. But her routine takes a turn for the horrifying when a giant sinkhole collapses the earth outside their house and reveals a skeleton.

Shocked to discover the bones belong to a former member of her sibling’s band, Lucy’s worst nightmare comes alive when police suspect her of the killing. And as she turns to her dying parent’s diaries in a desperate search for vindication, she’s entangled in a dark and complicated truth.
 
Will unearthing long-buried wrongs prove lethal?
 
Lies at Her Door is a heavy-hitting psychological thriller novel. If you like strong character growth, overcoming dysfunctional relationships, and revealing unexpected secrets, then you’ll love AA Abbott’s chilling whodunnit.

 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
Lies at Her Door: A Psychological Thriller by A.A. Abbott lived up to its name. Many people stretched the truth to serve their purposes or to protect someone close to them. 


There was also a psychopath whose evil actions stretched farther than I anticipated. There were thrilling life and death moments. Shocking truths were disclosed, and I mean SHOCKING! Family drama and loss of life. It was a story full of drama of varying degrees. 


Lies at Her Door: A Psychological Thriller pointed out cops are sometimes close-minded to other possible suspects when their mind is set on a specific individual. I think Detective Neil learned a valuable lesson after this case closed. 


I want to mention that since I live in the states, some British jargon was lost on me. I had to look up bubble and squeak and gendarmes. There were also phrases that we don’t use in America, such as we don’t end a sentence with “my lover” unless referring to someone you’re having coitus with. I looked that up and found out it’s a common term of endearment or greeting. 


Despite the random language barrier, I was able to follow the plot well. The crime and its resolution were planned and carried out beautifully. 


I encourage everyone reading this review to buy or download Lies at Her Door: A Psychological Thriller by A.A. Abbott using your kindle unlimited subscription. See if you can solve the mystery before all is revealed. FYI: I had most of the puzzle figured out, but not all. 🙂
 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Author A.A. Abbott

 
British crime thriller writer A.A. Abbott (also known as Helen Blenkinsop) enjoys escaping with an exciting and emotional read, and that’s what she aims to write too. Based in the city of Bristol in England’s beautiful West Country, she’s shared her love for the city by writing about it in her latest psychological thriller.

Lies at Her Door is Helen’s ninth book. She’s had help from readers on subjects as varied as police procedure, philosophy and music. She’s grateful to them and to editor Katharine D’Souza for making huge improvements to the story.

Like 10% of us, many of Helen’s family are dyslexic. While she is not, she wants her books to be enjoyed by readers with dyslexia and visual impairment too. She publishes her thrillers in a Large Print dyslexia-friendly edition as well as standard paperback and ebook versions. (You can also adjust the font on your electronic device to suit your needs.)

A member of the Alliance of Independent Authors, Helen likes speaking to book groups, business networks and social circles. She also has fun reading thrillers and short stories at live fiction events and on Zoom. If you’re a book blogger, litfest organiser, reviewer or simply adore books, she’d love to hear from you.

connect with the author: 

 
 

 

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