The Language of Hoofbeats by Catherine Ryan Hyde


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Paperback: 342 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (December 9, 2014)

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New to a small town, Jackie and Paula envision a quiet life for their kids: a young adopted son and two teenage foster children, including the troubled Star. However, they quickly butt heads with their neighbor, Clementine, who disapproves of their lifestyle and is incensed when Star befriends her spirited horse, Comet. Haunted by past tragedy and unable to properly care for Comet, Clem nevertheless resents the bond Star soon shares with the horse. When Star disappears with Comet, the neighbors are thrown together—far too close together. But as the search for the pair wears on, both families must learn to put aside their animosity and confront the choices they’ve made and the scars they carry.

The story is told by two very different women, Jackie and Clementine and their individual perspectives. Characterization of these two women is outstanding as well as the development of other significant characters. Hyde allows the characters to slowly unfold, their thoughts, emotions and feelings on full display. You understand their flaws and qualities, fears and confidence, scars and strengths. Well sketched driving the story along with multiple themes.

Hyde touches on attitudes and consequences battling diversity and negativity. She doesn’t ‘change’ her characters, rather she allows them to evolve, become self aware striving to improve. Delicately she molds awareness and acceptance in a constructive manner. The way Jackie and Paula ‘deal/dealt’ with issues along with parenting was well done demonstrating their characters flexibility in thinking given alternative mindsets. Both ladies complimented each other wonderfully.

My only qualm, highly predictable, nonetheless enjoyable.

A profoundly gentle story of love, loss, grief and acceptance, each characters story unraveling a colorful tapestry of varying and affecting circumstances touching the reader. A wonderful read for all ages.

About Catherine Ryan Hyde
Catherine Ryan Hyde is the bestselling author of twenty-four novels, including the 1999 smash hit Pay It author.photo_.Hyde_.08.20.12-221x300Forward,which has been translated into more than two dozen languages, and was made into a major motion picture starring Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, and Haley Joel Osment. In addition to her novels, Hyde is the author of more than fifty short stories and is founder and former president (2000–2009) of the Pay It Forward Foundation. During her years as a professional public speaker, she addressed the National Conference on Education, met with AmeriCorps members at the White House, and shared a dais with President Bill Clinton.

Connect with Catherine Ryan Hyde  Website | Facebook | Twitter

Thrilled to be participating in the tour for Catherine Ryan Hyde’s The Language of Hoofbeats, be sure to check out the entire tour schedule here, it runs through 23 December. Thank you TLC tlc tour hostmal

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13 Hollywood Apes: A Layla Remington Mystery by Gil Reavill


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Pages: 310
Published by : Alibi

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As a wildfire rages outside the Odalon Animal Sanctuary in the rugged Santa Monica foothills, the retired Hollywood movie chimpanzees housed there are shot and left for dead. When Malibu detective Layla Remington reaches the grisly scene the next morning, she’s deeply disturbed—and even more confused. The victims are not human, so the attack cannot be classified as homicide. Yet someone clearly wanted these animals dead, and executed them with ruthless efficiency. Miraculously, there is one survivor: a juvenile male named Angle.

This is not a cute cuddly story of apes. In fact it’s downright heartbreaking and provoking. The question of animal rights will linger long after you have completed the book. The evolutionary chain will be questioned, at least I gave it deep thought after I finished the book.

Layla is challenged with this case but her determination and professionalism causes her to forge ahead and she does indeed. Layla and her father have a wonderful relationship. A relationship built on trust, she knows her father is there for her no matter what comes her way. Her warmth is evident with her father as opposed to her frosty professional persona.

Reavill does a great job intermingling interesting information regarding chimpanzees, classic movies and of course Hollywood as the story unfolds. Opinions regarding animals are peppered throughout the book only increasing the narrative and leaving the reader lost in thought. The narrative moves quickly leaving you questioning what will transpire next.

In the end you will be questioning the right of animals. Interesting book, way more than I bargained for in a good way.

About Gil Reavill
Gil Reavill is a journalist, screenwriter, and playwright. Widely featured in magazines, Reavill is the author of Mafia Summit: J. Edgar Hoover, the Kennedy Brothers, and the Meeting That Unmasked the Mob, as well as Aftermath, Inc.: Cleaning Up After CSI Goes Home and the screenplay that became the 2006 film Dirty, starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. He lives in New York with his wife, Jean Zimmerman, and their daughter.

Thrilled to be participating in the tour for Gil Reavill’s 13 Hollywood Apes, be sure to check out the entire tour schedule here, it runs through 30 December. Thank you TLC tlc tour host
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Duke City Hit (Duke City Trilogy #2) by Max Austin


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Ebook, 150 pages
Expected publication: December 16th 2014 by Alibi
ISBN13: 9780553390315

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Vic is a high-priced hitman with a legendary record of success. That is, until someone starts eliminating his marks before he can get to them . . . until his manager puts him in the middle of a vicious drug-cartel feud . . . and until a young man walks into his life with a big .45 and a startling revelation.

Very entertaining story, fast paced, smooth writing, well done for a novella.

I like Vic, however I wish we were more familiar with him, as is, we are privy to a rough sketch of this hitman, potential to elaborate on him without a doubt. Given his occupation, perhaps this was the authors intent – keeping Vic mysterious, enigma like sure teases the reader craving for more of this gritty man besides his idiosyncrasies.

The narrative was a thrill up to the end where there was a surprise adding even more action and excitement to an already jammed pack plot.

The area I had difficulty with – the instant bond between father and son, no way, too many loopholes in their instantaneous relationship. Felt contrived, implausible given the details. Not sure how I felt about Penny’s change towards the end, but it certainly seems plausible due to greed.

A fun novella, not to be taken seriously but made to be enjoyed. Fans of action with a hitman at the apex will be turning the pages furiously.

About Max AustinSteve-Brewer-100x152
Max Austin is the pseudonym of writer Steve Brewer. He lives in Duke City (Albuquerque), New Mexico.

Thrilled to be participating in the tour for Max Austin’s Duke City Hit, be sure to check out the entire tour schedule here, it runs through 30 December. Thank you TLC tlc tour host

Glimpsing Heaven by Judy Bachrach


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• Paperback: 256 pages
• Publisher: National Geographic (September 2, 2014)

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What happens when we die? A question I ask myself often, always curious and a topic I enjoy exploring through various writings.

I was completely captivated by this book, a subject matter I continually question and read extensively. Bachrach demonstrates her keen journalistic skills with various interviews from people sharing their near death experiences. Varying backgrounds, occupations adding interest – actress, doctors, neuroscientists.

Each chapter reveals information both unfamiliar and familiar with near death experiences. One point mentioned time and time by interviewees – death is not to be feared. The people interviewed openly share their stories and their background pre/post experience. There were similarities as well as differences as to what exactly each person faced. Both stories and participants are fascinating as well as gripping.

If you’re interested in probing as to what happens when you die, give this book a read, you’ll have difficulty putting it down, finding yourself riveted and well educated on a interesting subject matter surely to have crossed your mind on occasion.

About Judy Bachrach
JUDY BACHRACH is a veteran journalist, having worked at the imageWashington Post, the Washington Star, and Vanity Fair, for which she covered stories on Sylvio Berlusconi, Amanda Knox, and Stephen Hawking. She was educated at Chatham College, the University of Brussels, and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. In the course of volunteering as a hospice worker, a path she initially chose to conquer her fear of death, she met numerous nurses, doctors, and scientists who have helped her with this book.
Follow Judy on Twitter.

Thrilled to be participating in the tour for Judy Bachrach’s Glimpsing  Heaven,  be sure to check out the entire tour schedule here, it runs through 5 December. Thank you TLC tlc tour host
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BOOK TOUR: The Kill List by Nichole Christoff


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Pages: 270
Published by : Alibi

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As a top private eye turned security specialist, Jamie Sinclair has worked hard to put her broken marriage behind her. But when her lying, cheating ex-husband, army colonel Tim Thorp, calls with the news that his three-year-old daughter has been kidnapped, he begs Jamie to come find her. For the sake of the child, Jamie knows she can’t refuse. Now, despite the past, she’ll do everything in her power to bring little Brooke Thorp home alive.

The Kill List is a fast read with plenty of action. There’s a lot going on creating suspense, mystery in the packed narrative. You’ve got the FBI, MP’s, a hired private investigator hunting down a kidnapper and the child abducted along with a stalker seeking his prey in Jamie Sinclair. Needless to say there is much to entertain the reader.

I have mixed feelings towards Jamie. I’m thrilled she is a competent PI, a woman in a sea of men but I found her weak regarding her emotional and mental capacity towards men. She clashed with her described persona. Her distraction for romance both past and present, grated on my nerves after a while. The past and the present dominated the romance angle which lead the peruser and the narrative away from the meat of the plot. The plot is exciting and there are loads of twists and turns, admittedly it felt contrived and I did lose interest after some time. At first I was lost as to who the bad guys were until pieces started falling together and I managed to solve the crime, image that, a mere civilian breaking the case.

If you’re a fan of police procedural dramas with non stop action, a little romance in a big way, you will thoroughly enjoy The Kill List with the capable Jamie Sinclair entertaining and interesting you. Super fast read.

About Nichole Christoff
Nichole Christoff is a writer, broadcaster, and military spouse who has worked on air and behind the scenes producing and promoting content for radio, television news, and the public relations industry across the United States and Canada. Christoff is a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime and the Jane Austen Society of North America. She also belongs to the Private Eye Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and three of RWA’s local chapters where she’s served as an officer and a member of the board. In Christoff’s first year as a member of RWA, her first manuscript won the Golden Heart for Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements. Her second manuscript won a 2011 Helen McCloy Scholarship from the Mystery Writers of America. Her latest work, The Kill List, is a 2014 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense nominee.

Thrilled to be participating in the tour for Nichole Christoff’s The Kill Lost, be sure to check out the entire tour schedule here, it runs through 19 December. Thank you TLC tlc tour host
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BOOK TOUR: Certainty by Victor Bevine


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Paperback, 358 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (October 21, 2014)
A copy provided in exchange for an honest review

“God. Justice. The rule of law. And do you never find those to be in conflict?”

As World War I closes, sailors at the Naval Training Station in Newport, Rhode Island accuse a beloved clergyman of “sexual impropriety”, ensuing a controversial trial. Based on the true event Newport Navy Vice Scandal of 1919

Social injustices infuriate me, I know this event occurred in the early 1900’s nonetheless, I found the ignorance, and lack of acceptance of diversity difficult to bear and comprehend. This event could repeat itself today in any manner, which caused further angst. Imagine being publicly accused, witch hunted and having to defend yourself with questions forever lingering on your ‘behavior,’ guilt or innocence.

I found the trial aspect with its many twists and turns extremely interesting along with the many characters. You are left questioning man’s actions, morality, behavior and thoughts along with the questionable lengths people will go.

This provoking novel explores the fine line between right and wrong, good and evil. An unflattering event marring our nations history, fingers crossed we learned from our mistakes failing to repeat such a monumental grievance again. You seriously ask yourself post Great War our politicians had nothing better to remedy or investigate but rather instigate THIS travesty? Leaves you scratching your head in disgust.

About Victor Bevine

For over thirty years, Victor Bevine has worked as an actor, screenwriter, audio book narrator, director, and more. A graduate of Yale University,Victor-Bevine-_c-Amy-Thompson-Avishai_300dpi-300x200 his acting credits include many prestigious roles onstage as well as roles in the film version of A Separate Peace and countless television shows. He has read over one hundred and eighty titles as an audiobook narrator; in 2010, he received an Audiophone Award for his narration of the Pulitzer Prize–winning book The Beak of the Finch. He has written several screenplays, including Certainty, which was chosen for two prestigious writers’ conferences and which served as the basis for his first novel. His thirty-minute short film Desert Cross, which he wrote and directed, won accolades at the Athens International Film Festival. Currently, he serves as CEO of the World Freerunning Parkour Federation (WFPF), of which he is co-founder. He resides in New York City.

Connect with him through him Facebook or follow him on Twitter.

Thrilled to be participating in the tour for Victor Bevine’s Certainty, be sure to check out the entire tour schedule here, it runs through 21 November. Thank you TLC

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BOOK TOUR: Us: A Novel by David Nicholls


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Us

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• Hardcover: 416 pages
• Publisher: Harper (October 28, 2014)
A copy provided in exchange for an honest review

An intimate dissection into a 25 year marriage and family on the brink of dissolution.

Characterization pilots this story without a doubt. You have a clueless, intelligent male facing an awkward turning point in his marriage as well as mending a distant and fractured relationship with his burgeoning son. Narrated in the first person, Douglas tells the backstory of meeting his wife and their collective history complete with defeats and successes, as we revisit the past we learn Douglas is steady, honest, flawed and a reliable revealing voice.

Douglas captures your attention from the start possessing warmth and humor, he is a welcoming presence. Developed fully, you forget you’re reading, rather you feel apart of Douglas or at the very least an intimate confidant. Nicholls provides the reader with Douglas’s intricate ways and unique personality, you learn all and gain insight from his perspective, grasp his flaws as you comprehend his motives and missteps. His character is plausible and extremely realistic impacting the narrative and frankly making the story.

Despite Douglas narrating, you’re provided crumbs from Connie and Albie as well, gaining their viewpoint on Douglas. As each mindset is unleashed you realize the lack of communication, misunderstandings and assumptions causing the tears in the fabric of this marriage and family. With each truth and reality acknowledge, Douglas wholeheartedly attempts to salvage his family, vulnerable, naked as he desperately tries to correct his parental errors. As compelling as Douglas is, you are left questioning and disappointed in many of his actions. He’s a combination of misunderstood, unawares, and borderline complex by his own hand.

This is a story of more than a marriage on the precipice of ending, it’s about human interactions, lack of communication, being present but not really being there, a father seeking validation – always missing the mark with his son. the danger of a marriage of opposites, it’s an incredible story. Impeccable characterization, with a voice engaging the reader, definitely worth reading, well sketched in total.

About David Nicholls
David Nicholls’s most recent novel, the New York Times bestseller One Day, has sold over 2 million copies and been translated into thirty-David Nichollsseven languages; he also wrote the screenplay for the 2010 film adaptation starring Jim Sturgess and Anne Hathaway. Trained as an actor before making the switch to writing, Nicholls’s previous novels include Starter for Ten (originally published in the U.S. as A Question of Attraction), adapted into a film starring James McAvoy, for which Nicholls also wrote the screenplay; and The Understudy. He continues to write for film and TV as well as writing novels and adapting them for the screen, and has twice been nominated for the BAFTA awards. He lives in London with his wife and two children.

Find out more about David at his website and connect with him on Facebook.

Thrilled to be participating in the tour for David Nicholls’ Us, be sure to check out the entire tour schedule here, it runs through 26 November. Thank you TLC

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BOOK TOUR: This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash


 

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This Dark Road to Mercy

 

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• Paperback: 256 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (September 23, 2014)
A copy provided in exchange for an honest review

After their mother unexpectedly dies, twelve-year-old Easter Quillby and her six-year-old sister, Ruby, aren’t expecting to see their errant father, Wade, ever again. But the ex–minor league baseball player who’s been gone for years has suddenly appeared at their foster home to steal them away in the middle of the night.

Cash has a way of capturing the South with his detailed writing style. His Southern roots are exhibited, clearly the reason he describes the South so well. As you turn the pages you feel the humidity, the hospitality, you are carried to the South in every way immersing yourself in the environs.

Aside from the setting along with the writing, characterization makes the narrative stand out. Easter is a precocious young girl, evoking empathy and an unmistakable warmth. Her viewpoint is interesting especially with the other voices chiming in. Multiple narrators add dimension to the story, a compelling voice is of the state appointed guardian dedicated to the girls well being. Cash excels at fully developing the characters. The emotion, the depth of all the players will remain with the reader, understated yet powerful, Easter causing a lingering impact.

The momentum Cash creates is another plus, seamlessly tying everything together, thus the plot is another area of achievement. There’s a feel of volatility, anything can change at any moment. As layers are peeled away, unraveling continues, you find yourself at odds, conflicted with sides. There’s a grey area, nothing Cash crafts is limited to black and white, he presents thought provoking questions, leaving you with much to weigh and consider.

An incredibly absorbing story, quick, with plenty for the peruser to ponder well after the close of the cover. Highly recommend. Tons of questions regarding parental rights, parent-child relationship and more.

About Wiley CashWiley Cash
Wiley Cash is the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of A Land More Kind Than Home. A native of North Carolina, he has held residency positions at Yaddo and The MacDowell Colony and teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Southern New Hampshire University. He and his wife live in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Find out more about Wiley on his website, connect with him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter.

Thrilled to be participating in the tour for Wiley Cash’s This Dark Road to Mercy, be sure to check out the entire tour schedule here, it runs through 6 November. Thank you TLC

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BOOK TOUR: Village of Secrets by Caroline Morehead


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Village of Secrets

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• Hardcover: 384 pages
• Publisher: Harper (October 28, 2014)
A copy provided in exchange for an honest review

Nazi opposition succeeds surrounding the small eastern French village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon in the mountains of Adèche.

Village of Secrets tells of the large number of French who resisted in some form involving themselves to save Jews, particularly the children from transportation to death camps. Many feigned ignorance and looked the other way, mainly law enforcement, risking their freedom. Religious intolerance set aside, as varying groups forgiving their differences in saving as many Jews as possible. One standout, Pastor Andre Trocmé, a man urging nonviolence resistance to oppressors, hid many Jews, as well as his parishioners with the utmost of secrecy, thus saving many from certain peril.

The blot forever staining French history is the fact thousands of French people sadly collaborated with Germans, many actively aiding in the herding of Jews. Vichy government attitude towards Jews permanently mars French history. A sobering fact, heartbreaking to comprehend, painful to revisit.

The atrocities of the Holocaust are described as expected, however the courage demonstrated by remarkable people willing to put their lives in great danger to save others creates for a well researched memorable read.

Moorehead’s clean writing and extensive research provides a brutal yet beautiful story of the harshness of some and the imperious kindness of others.

About Caroline MoreheadCaroline Morehead
Caroline Moorehead is the New York Times bestselling author of A Train in Winterand Human Cargo: A Journey Among Refugees, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. An acclaimed biographer of Martha Gellhorn, Bertrand Russell, and Lucie de la Tour du Pin, among others, Moorehead has also written for the Telegraph, the Times, and the Independent. She lives in London and Italy.

 

Thrilled to be participating in the tour for Caroline Morehead’s Village of Secrets, be sure to check out the entire tour schedule here, it runs through 7 November. Thank you TLC

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BOOK TOUR: How to Bake a Man by Jessica Barksdale Inclán


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Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Ghostwoods Books (October 21, 2014)
A copy provided in exchange for an honest review

A cute quasi coming of age story involving Becca Munchmore, a 27 year old finally finding her footing in life and love. She’s on the precipice of sheltered, controlled by critical mother and emotionally immature. Finally she takes a leap on her own and pursues her passion of baking. She’s a charming character, endearing narrative as the reader follows her on her path of self discovery and love. Bonus, the book contains delicious recipes.

Becca is a warm character and I like the whole baking concept, very clever and added a distinct charm to both character and narrative. The approach the author took was sentimental plausible and enjoyable. I’m sure the younger audience will understand Becca’s situation in some capacity if not all. She comes across as weak but as you read on it isn’t a matter of lacking strength it’s a matter of truly not knowing border lining on fear/naivety/innocence,  not knowing in the sense of what you want or who you are exactly. All around read of claiming adulthood and your place, discovering love as well.

A cute story with an absolutely lovable character living life her way as she discovers who she is and what’s right in front of her. She controls her destiny without parental control. Fast paced enjoyable story.

About Jessica Barksdale InclánJB018a-200x300
JESSICA BARKSDALE INCLAN is the author of twelve traditionally published novels, including the best-selling Her Daughter’s Eyes, The Matter of Grace, and When You Believe. She has also published several ebooks and a women’s studies textbook, Diverse Voices of Women. Her work has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, and Czech.
Inclán teaches composition, creative writing, mythology, and women’s literature at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California, and online novel writing courses for UCLA Extension.

Find out more about Jessica at her website, jessicabarksdaleinclan.com.

Thrilled to be participating in the tour for Jessica Barksdale Inclán’s How to Bake a Man, be sure to check out the entire tour schedule here, it runs through 7 November. Thank you TLC

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