Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Book Review: Kill a Spy (House of Killers #3) by Samantha Lee Howe


Title: Kill a Spy (House of Killers #3) 

Author: Samantha Lee Howe 

Stars: 4


This is not a stand alone novel at least it wasn't for this reader and review.  It was hard to understand all the different characters and the romance didn't really make any since. That being said Samantha Lee Howe is a must read author. The authors ability to story to tell a spy story will have fan of Jason Borne, and James Bond head over heel in love with her.

The story moves along quickly meeting characters from other books who are in the spy and double spy world.  Each chapter is told though a different character in the book which will take some times getting used (at least for this reader). 

Kill A spy kills in back story that will fill in any questions readers have. The author is at the top of the game with her writing, story telling I can't wait to read book 1 and 2 of the House of Killers series.

Thank you to Netgalley for the advance copy of Samantha Lee Howe Kill A Spy


The house of killers always had one objective: to train a class of warriors that would elevate the Network from the national to the international – the amateur to the elite. It was the perfect poison… Radicalisation by virtue of not knowing any different.

They never expected their most notorious child to claw his way back to the beating heart of MI5. Consumed by hurt and rage, Michael Kensington has his own objective: Neva.

But as the body count rises like a tide that will sweep them all into oblivion, Neva will stop at nothing to make him understand that everything is at stake.

Because there’s only one way to push back against the tide… Together.

Kindle Edition
Published July 23rd 2021

About The Author:

USA TODAY bestselling author and screenwriter Samantha Lee Howe began her professional writing career in 2007 and has been working as a freelance writer for small, medium and large publishers, predominately writing horror and fantasy.

Samantha’s breakaway debut psychological thriller, 'The Stranger In Our Bed', was released on 14th February 2020 (digital) and 16th April 2020 (Paperback) with Harper Collins imprint, One More Chapter. The book rapidly became a USA TODAY bestseller.

In June 2020, Samantha signed a three-book deal with One More Chapter for her explosive spy thriller series, 'The House of Killers'. The first three books will be published in March, May and July of 2021. Pitched as 'Killing Eve' meets Jason Bourne this is a nerve shredding, enemies to lovers tale that is simmering with obsession and espionage.

To date, Samantha has written 20 novels, 3 novellas, 3 collections, over 40 short stories, an audio drama and a 'Doctor Who' spin-off drama that went to DVD.

In August 2020, Samantha signed a deal with production company Buffalo Dragon for the option and screenplay for The Stranger in Our Bed. The feature film went into production in November 2020 and is due for release in Summer 2021.

A former high school English and Drama teacher, Samantha has a BA (Hons) in English and Writing for Performance, an MA in Creative Writing and a PGCE in English.

Samantha lives in Lincolnshire with her husband David and their two cats Leeloo and Skye. She is the proud mother of a lovely daughter called Linzi.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Book Review: Unfinished Business (Ali Reynolds #16) by J.A. Jance


Title: Unfinished Business (Ali Reynolds #16)

Author: J.A. Jance 

Stars: 4


I haven't read a lot of the Ali Reynolds series but the author does a  job of wonderful job of keeping readers well informed without slowing down the story.

J.A. Jance has the ability to bring readers into her world holding on to the point readers feel a personal connection to the characters at every turn of the page. The story is well paced and readers will be able to put down the book but drawn back quickly to see what is happening with the characters.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of J.A. Jance Unfinished Business.


Mateo Vega, a one-time employee of Ali Reynold’s husband, B. Simpson, has spent the last sixteen years of his life behind bars. According to the courts, he murdered his girlfriend. But Mateo knows that her real killer is still on the loose, and the first thing he’s going to do when he gets a taste of freedom is track him down.

After being granted parole, a wary Mateo approaches Stu Ramey of High Noon Enterprises for a reference letter for a job application, but to his surprise, Stu gives him one better: He asks him to come on board and work for B. once again. Just as Mateo starts his new job, though, chaos breaks out at High Noon—a deadbeat tenant who is in arrears has just fled, and tech expert Cami Lee has gone missing.

As Ali races to both find a connection between the two disappearances and help Mateo clear his name with the help of PI J.P. Beaumont, tragedy strikes in her personal life, and with lives hanging in the balance, she must thread the needle between good and evil before it’s too late.

About The Author:

Judith Ann Jance is the top 10 New York Times bestselling author of the Joanna Brady series; the J. P. Beaumont series; three interrelated thrillers featuring the Walker family; and Edge of Evil, the first in a series featuring Ali Reynolds. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, Jance lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Book Review: Home to Texas (Brides of Rough Creek Texas #2) by Kaki Warner


Title: Home to Texas (Brides of Rough Creek Texas #2)

Author: Kaki Warner

Stars: 4


This is a difficult book to place into a specific catagory. Is it a romance story and the answer has to be yes. Is it a war story and the answer is yes as that is the premise for the story. Is it a crime novel and the answer is yes as that is how the heroine and hero initially meet. Is it an action adventure story and the answer has to be yes in the finale. I enjoy all of the above and was not disappointed in any of the genres I have mentioned. My attention was grabbed in the first chapter and never waivered. 

I consider this to be a well told story and have rated it 4.5 stars. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a book where the good guys win.


Lieutenant KD Whitcomb had mapped out her career from West Point to the Pentagon. But when an injury under questionable circumstances forces her to leave the army, her dreams fall dead at her feet. Feeling lost and needing to rediscover the tough woman beneath the uniform, she heads back to the family ranch in Rough Creek. Only two things get her through the nightmares and sleepless nights: the support of her family and the CID officer investigating the incident in Afghanistan. He infuriates her. Makes her laugh. Gives her hope.

Richard Murdock is struggling, too. There’s something fishy about this last case…and the threats coming from Afghanistan aimed at both him and KD. He’s ready to leave the army and make a new start. But how will he protect KD? And what should he do about the growing attraction between them? He’s been burned before. But there's something about KD's vulnerability and strength that calls to him, and he'll do whatever it takes to protect her and give her a chance to build new dreams…including helping her start a PTSD equine therapy program at the Texas ranch.

If they can overcome the threats against them and heal old wounds, this second chance might be better than they ever dreamed.

About The Author:

Kaki Warner is an award-winning author and long time resident of the Pacific Northwest. Although she now lives on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State, Kaki actually grew up in the Southwest and is a proud graduate of the University of Texas. Her years spent riding horses and enjoying the expansive views of Texas became the Historical Romance Author, Kaki Warner inspiration for the backdrop of her novels - the wide-open spaces of historic New Mexico Territory.

Several years ago after their two children had left for college, Kaki and her husband, Joe, moved from the city to their hilltop cabin overlooking the scenic Methow Valley. Kaki now spends her time gardening, hiking, reading, writing, and soaking in the view from the deck with her husband and floppy-eared hound dog.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Book Review: The Whitby Murders (Yorkshire Murder Mysteries #6) by J.R. Ellis

Title: The Whitby Murders (Yorkshire Murder Mysteries #6) 

Author: J.R. Ellis 

Stars: 4 


The author utilizes his extensive knowledge of Yorkshire to transport the reader to Whitby where an apparent murder and suicide has taken place. Our main character, Detective Chief Inspector Oldroyd is not the principal investigating officer and is there because his daughter was a witness and friend of both victims. Neither are satisfied with the apparent straight forward details. The investigating DI is a former DS under him and welcomes his non interfering input. His keen observations soon have them rethinking the event with successful results.

This is the second book by this author I have read and I have not been disappointed by either. I recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a British police procedural mystery. I have rated it 4 stars.

I received an ARC from Netgalley for my unbiased review.


A murder with three witnesses. But one of them doesn’t believe what she saw…

Halloween, Whitby. DCI Jim Oldroyd’s daughter Louise is in town with friends for a goth festival. But their visit to an escape room ends in bloody murder when one of the group stabs his girlfriend and flees the scene. It’s a crime with three witnesses—but Louise refuses to take what she saw at face value.

Oldroyd and DS Carter are called in to solve the case, assisted from the sidelines by Louise. But the closer they investigate, the more complex the web of deceit appears. This is no straightforward crime of passion.

With a violent murderer on the loose, it’s only a matter of time before they strike again. And this time it’s personal. Oldroyd must expose the truth, protect his daughter and stop the horror before it’s too late.

May 27th 2021 by Thomas & Mercer

About The Author: 

During a long career teaching English, I wrote plays for children and occasional ghost stories. I have always been fascinated by the paranormal and by mysteries, conspiracy theories and unexplained crimes.
My love of my native county is deep and the settings of my Yorkshire Murder Mysteries within Yorkshire's varied landscapes are important. I have made a study of the sub-genre of the Locked Room Mystery during the height of its popularity between 1930 - 1960 in the stories of writers such as John Dickson Carr, Clayton Rawson and Ellery Queen. I was an avid watcher of BBC's "Jonathan Creek" in its heyday. I believe the element of puzzle is essential to crime fiction and my novels contain a double mystery: the standard "who dunnit?" but also "how dunnit?!"
I avoid the dark and gruesome in my writing and I strive to include some humour and elegance in style, a vivid sense of place and a compelling mystery! My characters both innocent and guilty are mostly ordinary people.
I am a member of a writers' group in Otley which has inspired me to write poetry and various forms of short fiction.

Friday, July 9, 2021

Book Review: Fallen (Kate Burkholder #13) by Linda Castillo

Title:  Fallen (Kate Burkholder #13) 

Author: Linda Castillo

Stars: 4

This being the 13th book in a series I assume it should have read at least one other book in this series before grabbing book 13.  I was impressed how as a new readers the author kept readers updates quickly and just the right amount to keep from slowing down the story.
I found the Fallen to be a interesting look in to the Amish community.  
The story goes between Kate past and childhood to the present giving readers a better understanding of why the Chief of Police Kate Burkholder choose to stay in her home town and why she choose to protect it.
The characters are different in the best way. The mystery will pull readers in never letting go until the very last page.
Thank you to Netgalley for the advance copy of Linda Castillo Fallen.

When a young woman is found murdered in a Painters Mill motel, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is shocked to discover she once knew the victim. Rachael Schwartz was a charming but troubled Amish girl who left the fold years ago and fled Painters Mill. Why was she back in town? And who would kill her so brutally?

Kate remembers Rachael as the only girl who was as bad at being Amish as Kate was—and those parallels dog her. But the more Kate learns about Rachael's life, the more she's convinced that her dubious reputation was deserved. As a child, Rachael was a rowdy rulebreaker whose decision to leave devastated her parents and best friend. As an adult, she was charismatic and beautiful, a rabble-rouser with a keen eye for opportunity no matter who got in her way. Her no-holds-barred lifestyle earned her a lot of love and enemies aplenty—both English and Amish.

As the case heats to a fever pitch and long-buried secrets resurface, a killer haunts Painters Mill. Someone doesn’t want Rachael’s past—or the mysteries she took with her to the grave—coming to light. As Kate digs deeper, violence strikes again, this time hitting close to home. Will Kate uncover the truth and bring a murderer to justice? Or will a killer bent on protecting a terrible past stop her once and for all—and let the fallen be forgotten?

Hardcover320 pages
Published July 6th 2021 by Minotaur Books

About The Author:
Linda Castillo is the New York Times bestselling author of the Kate Burkholder series, including Sworn to Silence and Gone Missing, crime thrillers set in Amish country. Sworn to Silence was recently adapted into a Lifetime original movie titled An Amish Murder starring Neve Campbell as Kate Burkholder.

Castillo is the recipient of numerous industry awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence and the Holt Medallion, and she received a nomination for the Rita. In addition to writing, Castillo’s other passion is horses, particularly her appaloosa George. She lives in Texas with her husband and is currently at work on her next novel.

Monday, July 5, 2021

Book Review: Forged in the Fallout (Rimduum Book 1) by Ben Green


Title: Forged in the Fallout (Rimduum Book 1) 

Author: Ben Green 

Stars: 5


Forged in the Fallout - A bit about me - skip to the next paragraph for the review. I teach 9th grade ELA and I love to read young adult books regularly. I am always looking for new books to read so I can suggest them to my students and especially my more reluctant readers. We have a book walk at the beginning of each semester where I introduce my favorite books to the class as they each need an independent novel to read. I cannot keep introducing the same books, so I read a lot of young adult books. I also was a book review blogger for many years. With that out of the way here is my review.

I was not sure what to expect from this book, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much the story drew me in.

The book moves quickly about ½ way through chapter 1 and I did not once get bored thinking it was too long or slow.

Clayson, the main character, is confused and a bit scared as his father has not told him about his real family or who he is. Instead, he is thrust into a world of danger he never imagined or dreamed of. Rugnus, a young friend of Clayson’s father, has to be one of my favorite characters as he is down to Earth and real about his life and his job to protect Clayson. He takes his responsibility very seriously and yet he can let himself and Clayson enjoy a bit of life along the way.

Family drama is strong as Clayson is meeting his mother and sister for the first time in this book.

His sister, Andalynn, is a feisty character who wants to be the boss, but still would like some guidance along the way. She is strong and yet a bit scared when things do not go as planned.

His mother plays a small part in this book and I hope to find out more about her in the next book. You will meet her in this book, but she is not a main character yet. Clayson’s father is someone I would like to know in real life. He was reluctant to tell Clayson who he was as he wanted him to become who he was meant to be not someone he had to be. Also, he wanted to protect his son as long as he could thinking he had more time than he did. He makes the best of life even with the struggles he has and puts his son first along with his commitments. He is heard whistling as he is about to embark on a dangerous mission allowing the reader a glimpse into who he is and how life is what you make of it in the end.

This is a young adult book as the characters are young 14-18 and the story revolves around them and how they plan on making things better in this world. Clayson tries to fit in with the people he meets, as he does not want anyone to know he is from the surface. Clayson is learning as he goes along and finding his strengths and his weaknesses. He is not a perfect character with all the bells and whistles, but instead, he is flawed and ‘normal’. He is on a hero’s journey with the help of those he meets and befriends. Along the way, you meet other characters that can either help or hinder Clayson on his quest. Life for him is a surprise around every corner and behind each smiling face.

Ben Green has created a whole new world for his readers to explore. One of fantasy and reality along with life choices and consequences some good some bad. A dystopian world where past wars have wreaked havoc and changed people forever. This book is imaginative with so many things to easily visualize with the vivid descriptions the author writes so well. A full-fledged movie was playing in my head as I read this book. Green’s descriptions make this world come to life even in the dark spaces. Shadow and light fight in this book for control. Who will ultimately prevail? I hope the light where Clayson and his friends’ dwell most of the time.

Take the time to read this book as you will not be disappointed. Especially if this is your genre of choice.


This genre-bending series takes you deep under the Rocky Mountains into the sci-fantasy kingdom of RIMDUUM. A world filled with neon dreams and nuclear magic. A coming-of-age dystopia centered around dungeons, family, and dangerous secrets—with all the young adult cyberpunk feels and plenty of action-adventure to keep you turning the pages.

Clayson Spangler turned fourteen a couple of days ago—maybe. His father keeps the exact date under a mountain of secrets. But secrets have a way of getting out.

On a tranquil evening in the Appalachians, Clayson's solitary life crashes into his family's impossible past: a kingdom under the Rocky Mountains; his mother enchanted to forget her own son; strange metal objects filled with magic; and his father’s most dangerous secret—mithrium—a metal strong enough to level cities.

Now, Clayson’s father is on the run, his mother is on trial for treason, and Clayson is ordered to hide in the last remaining safehold—Tungsten City. To stay out of danger, he’ll need help from his new friend, Rugnus, a master of elemental magic, and Andalynn, the sister his father had kept hidden from him.

But after years of secrets, Clayson won’t stand by as a world of enemies—both known and unknown—threatens to eradicate his family and ignite a war between the last two cities deep under the Rockies in the Kingdom of Rimduum.

About The Author:

BEN GREEN has always been a storyteller. When he was a kid, he would tear apart his coloring books and assemble them into crossover stories with lots of drama and lots of glue. Then he discovered action figures and took to burning Cobra agents at the stake and writing whole episodes of Star Trek the Next Generation. As a teen, he wrote Star Wars fanfiction and began creating his own worlds on a Brother word processor with a tiny screen and floppy disks. Meaning he’s also very old.

Though he grew up in Arizona and Nevada, Ben now lives in southern Minnesota where he puts his degrees in teaching, history, and technology to use as a social studies teacher for non-traditional students. He is passionate about teen issues and at-risk youth. This may be why he spends so much time with his four children, telling stories, working in the garden, and encouraging them to find something to be passionate about.

Disclaimer for all reviews sent by the publisher, publicist or author for review.