#FridayBookShare The Venetian by @Shani_Struthers #FridayReads

#FridayBookShare was created by Shelley Wilson for book lovers to share what they’re reading. The idea is to answer a few simple questions about the novel and post on Fridays.

Today, I’d like to share The Venetian, by Shani Struthers. It’s a paranormal mystery set in Venice.

First line of the book.

Touching down on Venetian soil, Louise grabbed her husband’s arm.

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb.

From the author of the bestselling Psychic Surveys series, comes a brand new series of STANDALONE books, set in and around the world’s most haunted places and blending fact with fiction. In Book One discover Venice, ‘the world’s most haunted city’ and Poveglia, in the Venetian Lagoon, ‘the world’s most haunted island’ – if you dare! Perfect for fans of Dennis Lehane’s Shutter Island, Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black and du Maurier’s Don’t Look Now.

‘Welcome to the asylum…’

2015
Their troubled past behind them, married couple, Rob and Louise, visit Venice for the first time together, looking forward to a relaxing weekend. Not just a romantic destination, it’s also the ‘most haunted city in the world’ and soon, Louise finds herself the focus of an entity she can’t quite get to grips with – a ‘veiled lady’ who stalks her.

1938
After marrying young Venetian doctor, Enrico Sanuto, Charlotte moves from England to Venice, full of hope for the future. Home though is not in the city; it’s on Poveglia, in the Venetian lagoon, where she is set to work in an asylum, tending to those that society shuns. As the true horror of her surroundings reveals itself, hope turns to dust.

From the labyrinthine alleys of Venice to the twisting, turning corridors of Poveglia, their fates intertwine. Vengeance only waits for so long…

Introduce the main character using only three words.

Louise is sensitive, insecure, and troubled.

Delightful design (add the cover image of the book).

Audience appeal (who would enjoy reading this book?)

Readers who have an open mind regarding paranormal happenings, and enjoy reading chilling mysteries including ghosts will love The Venetian. It’s also suitable for people who love Venice, and historical fiction, because part of the novel deals with events which happened on a Venetian island in the 19th century. 

Your favourite line/scene.

It all starts with a painting in the hotel where Louise and Rob are staying. There is something about it that haunts Louise… 

Buy link Amazon US

Buy link Amazon UK

Read my full review here

By the way, check out Shani’s other fabulous and haunting novels such as Psychic Surveys Book One, The Haunting of Highdown Hall:

****

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#Fridaybookshare ‘Bayou My Love’, by Lauren Faulkenberry #amreading #amreviewing @firebrandpress

#FridayBookShare was created by Shelley Wilson for book lovers to share what they’re reading. The idea is to answer a few simple questions about the novel and post on Fridays.

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Today, I’d like to share Bayou My Love, by Lauren Faulkenberry. It’s a suspenseful family drama and romance set in present-day Louisiana.

First line of the book.

I knew when I strode into my father’s office _ before he’d had time to drink his two cups of coffee_ that I was asking for trouble.

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Escape to the beautiful bayous of Louisiana in this tale of romance, secrets and suspense from Family Circle Award Winning Author Lauren Faulkenberry.

Thirty-year-old Enza Parker is at a crossroads. To prove to her overbearing father she can flip a house on her own, she takes on an ambitious project that brings back painful memories—and puts her in the path of the most alluring man she’s ever met.

Enza plans to flip the house she inherited from her estranged grandmother in Bayou Sabine, Louisiana. As a child, she spent summers there until the day her mother inexplicably left. Since then, Enza hasn’t let anyone get close to her.

Arriving in Bayou Sabine, Enza finds her house occupied by bedeviling firefighter Jack Mayronne. Enza wants to kick him out, but Jack convinces her to let him stay in exchange for helping with repairs. With only six weeks to fix the house and sell, she’s determined to prove her father wrong, but she didn’t count on Bayou Sabine and Jack capturing her heart.

When Enza’s fling with Jack intensifies, she finds herself entangled with a vengeful arsonist from Jack’s past. As she reaches her breaking point, she must decide: Should she sell the house and leave her past in Bayou Sabine behind for good, or can she overcome her fears and build a new life there with Jack?

If you like the heart and story of novels by Emily Giffin such as The One & Only and enjoy the romance in books by Robyn Carr, this exciting new voice in Southern fiction is for you!

Introduce the main character using only three words.

Enza is hard-working, independent, and brave.

Delightful design (add the cover image of the book).

bayou-my-love

Audience appeal (who would enjoy reading this book?)

Readers who enjoy reading contemporary romance with some suspense, action, and a family mystery, in a breathtaking setting. 

Your favourite line/scene.

Enza has just arrived at her estranged grandmother, Vergie’s, house, which she has inherited on her death.

****

Now, standing in this room that both was and was not Vergie’s, it made me wonder: Had Vergie ever tried to see me, or had she quietly given in to my father’s wishes? He could be cruel. He could sniff out people’s weaknesses and drive them away, and he could have easily done that to Vergie. I felt the pang that comes when you know you’ve done something terrible, and there’s no real way to fix it.

I traced my fingers over a patchwork quilt that Vergie had almost certainly made. It was mostly blue and green, the log cabin pattern. The floorboards creaked when I walked across the room to the closet, where a half a dozen dresses still clung to wire hangers.

“This seemed bigger when I was a kid,” I said.

“Things always do.” Jack opened the drawer of the nightstand and handed me a key. His fingers brushed over my palm as he placed it there. “In case you want to lock yourself in.”

“Thanks.” I slipped the key into my pocket.”

****

Buy link on Amazon US

Buy Link on Amazon UK

Read my complete review on amazon

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#FridayBookShare ‘Baron’ by @JoannaShupe #amreading #amreviewing

#FridayBookShare was created by Shelley Wilson for book lovers to share what they’re reading. The idea is to answer a few simple questions about the novel and post on Fridays.

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Today, I’d like to share Baron, by Joanna Shupe. It’s a fabulous historical romance set in New York City’s Gilded Age.

First line of the book.

William Sloane did not believe in the ability to commute with the spirit world.

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New York City’s Gilded Age shines as bright as the power-wielding men of the Knickerbocker Club. And one pragmatic industrialist is about to learn that a man may make his own destiny, but love is a matter of fortune . . .

Born into one of New York’s most respected families, William Sloane is a railroad baron who has all the right friends in all the right places. But no matter how much success he achieves, he always wants more. Having secured his place atop the city’s highest echelons of society, he’s now setting his sights on a political run. Nothing can distract him from his next pursuit–except, perhaps, the enchanting con artist he never saw coming . . .

Ava Jones has eked out a living the only way she knows how. As “Madam Zolikoff,” she hoodwinks gullible audiences into believing she can communicate with the spirit world. But her carefully crafted persona is nearly destroyed when Will Sloane walks into her life–and lays bare her latest scheme. The charlatan is certain she can seduce the handsome millionaire into keeping her secret and using her skills for his campaign–unless he’s the one who’s already put a spell on her . . .

Introduce the main character using only three words.

Ava is resourceful, intuitive and generous.

Delightful design (add the cover image of the book).

baron

 

Audience appeal (who would enjoy reading this book?)

Anyone who likes historical novels, with a gripping plot, plenty of suspense, compelling characters and a steamy romance.

Your favourite line/scene.

Ava works as a psychic in 19th century New York in order to look after her three orphaned siblings. Sloane is a politically ambitious  millionaire, who wants Ava as far away from his political partner as possible. He’s a man who believes that everyone has a price, which he is prepared to pay to get his own way. This is the scene in which he tries to buy Ava’s cooperation.

****

The tip of her tongue burned with an offer to take him to the match factory to show him cases of phossy jaw. Had he seen the young girls with their rotting faces, jawbones glowing in the dark, all because they’d needed to put food on their table? Those were hardships. Not the fact that his friend and political partner paid her five dollars a week to read tea leaves and pass on bits of “news” from the great beyond.

“How much will it take?” Sloane asked her. “How much do you need to walk away?”

Oh, so tempting. Ava could throw out a high number and see if railroad man would bite. If he did, her siblings could quit their factory jobs. She would have enough to buy that piece of property and they could all be together. Finally.

****

Buy link US 

Buy link UK 

See my full review here on amazon.  

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#FridayBookShare ‘The Ladies’ Room’ by Carolyn Brown

#FridayBookShare was created by Shelley Wilson for book lovers to share what they’re reading. The idea is to answer a few simple questions about the novel and post on Fridays.

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Today, I’d like to share The Ladies’ Room by Carolyn Brown.

I can’t remember how I came across this book, but I was impressed when I saw it had over 8,000 reviews on amazon.com, and after reading it, I can understand why. It’s a fabulous novel.  

First line of the book.

If I wiggled again, Great-aunt Gert was going to sit straight up in that pale pin coffin and give me an evil glare the way she used to when I was a child and couldn’t sit still in church.

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Secrets told in the church ladies’ room are supposed to stay in the ladies’ room. But that doesn’t mean that what Trudy overhears there during her great-aunt Gertrude’s funeral won’t change the rest of her life.

Trudy has a daughter in the middle of a major rebellion, a two-timing husband who has been cheating for their entire married life, and a mother with Alzheimer’s residing in the local nursing home. She doesn’t really need a crumbling old house about to fall into nothing but a pile of memories and broken knickknacks.

Billy Lee Tucker, resident oddball in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, lived next door to Gert, and in her will she leaves him the funds to help Trudy remodel the old house. That’s fine with Billy Lee, because he’s been in love with Trudy since before they started school. And just spending time with her is something he’d never ever allowed himself to dream about.

A beautiful home rises up from the old house on Broadway, and right along with it rises up a relationship. But is Trudy too scarred from what she heard in the ladies’ room to see a lovely future with Billy Lee?

Introduce the main character using only three words.

I’m afraid I need six words today! Trudy starts off by being gullible, good natured,  and submissive, but as the novel progresses, she becomes assertive, brutally honest, and courageous.

Delightful design (add the cover image of the book).

ladies-room

 

Audience appeal (who would enjoy reading this book?)

Anyone who likes a contemporary family drama with plenty of heartache, which is also humorous, romantic and uplifting.

Your favourite line/scene.

Everything happens as a result of Trudy accidentally overhearing a conversation by two of her spiteful cousins, while she’s in the ladies’ room. This is what happens after she leaves.

****

I walked out of the ladies’ room with my shoulders straight and a fake smile on my face. A lady kept up appearances and never lost her dignity—even when her world had just shattered around her in the stall of the women’s bathroom.

Marty, Betsy, and I were required to ride together in the limousine to the cemetery for the final bit of the service. They were whispering when I crawled inside. At least the fat escaping through the hole in my panty hose reminded me that I had a murder weapon at hand. I could strangle them and then shove half my Snickers bar into each of their mouths after they were dead and swear they’d both choked to death while weeping for Great-aunt Gert. No one would doubt frumpy old Trudy’s word.

“How you holdin’ up?” Marty asked.

“I’m just fine,” I told her.

“Well, you look like warmed-over sin,” Betsy said.

“And you look absolutely beautiful,” I said sarcastically.

****

See my full review here on amazon.

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#FridayBookShare ‘The Seer’s Daughter’ by Athena Daniels @AthenaDaniels11

#FridayBookShare was created by Shelley Wilson for book lovers to share what they’re reading. The idea is to answer a few simple questions about the novel and post on Fridays.

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Today, I’d like to share The Seer’s Daughter by Athena Daniels

I found this book quite by chance on Story Cartel and thought I’d give it a go. I’m so glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed it.  By the way it will be there to download in exchange for a review for another eight days!

First line of the book.

Sage Mathews hugged herself as the raging storm flung rain against the windows.

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb.

For her, he’ll break all the rules…

Upon returning to her hometown for her grandmother’s funeral, Sage Matthews is terrorized by a series of strange events. She dismisses each eerie occurrence as a by-product of her overwrought emotional state, until it becomes chillingly clear that something not of this world is desperate to get a message–or is it a warning?–through to her…

Detective Sergeant Ethan Blade comes to Cryton, South Australia, to catch a serial killer. When Ethan meets Sage–the latest victim’s beautiful granddaughter–his attraction to her is explosive and inconvenient. He knows she’s not crazy, but Sage’s theory about the murders is unbelievable.

With the handsome detective rejecting her ideas, Sage embarks on the supernatural journey that her grandmother started. What she discovers shatters everything Sage ever knew about herself–and who she really is.

Ethan’s routine case quickly turns personal when he discovers Sage is the killer’s next target. For her, he’ll break all the rules and cross every line. But how can he protect Sage from an evil he cannot even conceive of?

To save her, he must let go of everything he ever believed.

Introduce the main character using only three words.

Sage is psychic, brave, and determined.

Delightful design (add the cover image of the book).

seers-daughter

Audience appeal (who would enjoy reading this book?)

Anyone who likes paranormal, romantic, suspense in a thrilling story set in rural Australia.

Your favourite line/scene.

Sage is psychic and Ethan is a detective who searches for facts and proof, although he trusts his ‘gut instinct’. Sage has to convince him that his gut instinct is not so different to her psychic abilities as he imagines:

“And what about anger, can you touch that?”

“No.”

“Fear, grief, sadness?”

“No, but you’re now talking about feelings.”

“Yes, but if you can trust your feelings, if those are real, even though you cannot see or touch them, it’s not too much of a stretch to say that we can feel other things too. Use the same senses we use unconsciously every day to become aware of more than we’re used to.”

“I suppose so.”He frowned, considering. “But since it’s never happened to me, it’s difficult for me to believe, that’s all.”

“But it does happen to you, Ethan. All the time. You say you rely on your senses for work. You sense when someone is watching you even when you can’t see them. You sense when something is ‘off.’You somehow just know when someone is lying to you or not telling you the whole truth.”

He opened his mouth to refute what she was saying, then closed it again. Could she be right? Was he not the man of hard evidence he’d always believed himself to be? What she said was true. He did rely on those very senses more than the other guys on the force did. That’s why he was so good at his job. Perhaps he had more in common with the ghost buster than he’d thought. His stomach roiled.

“I still think there’s a rational explanation for all of this. How did something without a body cut out black circles of material and place them over empty eye sockets?”

She slumped against him. “I almost thought you were going to understand. Tell me, Mr. Detective Extraordinaire. Give me the oh-so-rational explanation for all of this. And don’t forget to explain how it is that we’re trapped in this car with a dashboard flashing ‘Sage,’my name, Ethan, when I would bet my last dollar that word was never programmed into its computer. And while you’re at it, you might explain why the streetlights are going out one by one.”

He glanced out the window. Sure enough, the whole street was now in a blackout. The sky was clear, the moon bright, and he could still see clearly without the streetlight.

See my full review here on amazon.

There’s a second book in the series, The Alchemist’s Son, which I’ve already started reading, because although ‘The Seer’s Daughter’ doesn’t end in a cliffhanger, there are some important loose ends, which are tied up in book two.

the-alchemists-son

Happy weekend reading! Check out some of the other reading suggestions on twitter on  #FridayBookShare 

 

#FridayBookShare ‘And Then She Was Gone’ by Christopher Greyson @Chris_Greyson

#FridayBookShare was created by Shelley Wilson for book lovers to share what they’re reading. The idea is to answer a few simple questions about the novel and post on Fridays.

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Today, I’d like to share And Then She Was Gone by Christopher Greyson

First line of the book.

“Help me!” The old woman’s desperate plea rose above the din of the afternoon traffic.

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb.

Stacy Shaw has her whole life ahead of her. New job, new house and now a baby on the way—everything she’s ever hoped for is finally coming true. But on a warm summer night on the way home from work, she vanishes. The police race to find her, but the clues don’t add up. Conflicting facts emerge as her story twists and turns, sending the trail spiraling in all directions.

A hometown hero with a heart of gold, Jack Stratton was raised in a whorehouse by his prostitute mother. Jack seemed destined to become another statistic, but now his life has taken a turn for the better. Determined to escape his past, he’s headed for a career in law enforcement. When his foster mother asks him to look into the girl’s disappearance, Jack quickly gets drawn into a baffling mystery. As Jack digs deeper, everyone becomes a suspect—including himself. Caught between the criminals and the cops, can Jack discover the truth in time to save the girl? Or will he become the next victim?

And Then She Was Gone is part of the Detective Jack Stratton Mystery Series, which has more than 2,000+ five-star reviews and over half-a-million readers and counting. If you love a page-turning thriller with mystery, humor, and romance, pick up And Then She Was Gone today.

Introduce the main character using only three words.

Jack is impulsive, big-hearted, perceptive.

Delightful design (add the cover image of the book).

gone

Audience appeal (who would enjoy reading this book?)

Especially for readers who like contemporary crime fiction, with lots of action and engaging and controversial characters.

Your favourite line/scene.

Jack and Chandler are two best friends who have met through the foster care system they’ve both been part of. Chandler is more sensible and helps Jack control his headstrong character. Their friendship and witty banter is one of the best parts of the novel.  

****

 The pull of hate and anger inside Jack was strong, and he found himself frequently drawn to the darkness. But Chandler always had a way of coaxing Jack back from the edge. The thought of what Jack would have become without all those years of his friend’s help made Jack’s stomach churn.

He shoved Chandler’s shoulder, and his big friend laughed. Jack had never understood how Chandler and Michelle had turned out so normal. They’d lost their parents when they were both little, yet they didn’t seem to bear the scars Jack did. He felt like a jigsaw puzzle with a bunch of pieces missing. But them? They seemed happy all the time.

As they neared the end of the street, Chandler asked, “Are we cutting through?”

****

And Then She Was Gone is the first book in the Detective Jack Stratton crime thrillers. Jack is an underprivileged youth, living in foster care, who is eager to join the army before his life long dream to being a detective. Book two, Girl Jacked, jumps ahead nine years, and we meet Jack Stratton, the man who has finally become a police officer.

girl-jacked

Link to my complete review on amazon

#FridayBookShare Death by Pumpkin by N. A. Granger @rhebrewster

#FridayBookShare was created by Shelley Wilson for book lovers to share what they’re reading. The idea is to answer a few simple questions about the novel and post on Fridays. Anyone can join in!

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Today, I’d like to share Death by Pumpkin by N. A. Granger

Death by Pumpkin is the third novel in the Rhe Brewster Mysteries, set in Pequod, a fictional town located in the coast of Maine. It can be read as a standalone, but the main characters are so engaging you’ll enjoy the series more if you start reading from book one, Death on a Red Canvas Chair reviewed here. And book two, Death on a Dacron Sail, review here.

death-by-pumpkin

First line of the book.

“Come on, mom! We’re going to be late and miss everything!”

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb.

At the annual Pumpkin Festival in the coastal town of Pequod, Maine, Rhe Brewster, an ER nurse and Police Department consultant, responds to screams at the site of the Pumpkin Drop. Racing to the scene, where a one-ton pumpkin was dropped from a crane to crush an old car, Rhe and her brother-in-law, Sam, Pequod’s Chief of Police, discover the car contains the smashed remains of a man’s body. After the police confirm the death as a homicide, Rhe embarks on a statewide search to identify the victim and find the killer. During the course of the emotional investigation, she survives an attempt on her life at 10,000 feet, endures the trauma of witnessing the murder of an old flame, and escapes an arson attack on her family’s home. There is clearly a sociopath on the loose who is gunning for Rhe and leaving bodies behind. With Sam unable to offer his usual support due to an election recall and a needy new girlfriend, Rhe realizes that the only way to stop the insanity is to risk it all and play the killer’s game. Maine’s most tenacious sleuth is back, this time to confront a menace that threatens to destroy her life and those closest to her. The latest installment of the Rhe Brewster Mystery Series, Death by Pumpkin, is a murder mystery and thriller that tests the limits of Rhe’s strength and resolve like never before.

Introduce the main character using only three words.

Rhe is intelligent, resourceful, and loving

(if I could add more than three, I’d also say brave, adventurous, and generous, determined, and resilient. Her only negative quality is that she’s a terrible cook, although she’s learning!)

Delightful design (add the cover image of the book).

death-by-pumpkin

Audience appeal (who would enjoy reading this book?)

Anyone who likes crime fiction set in an American small town with engaging characters and a great plot.

Your favourite line/scene.

Rhe is very brave and adventurous as a police department consultant, but sometimes dangerous events come her way, such as this near accident on a plane, as a result of being stalked by a deranged killer who has born a grudge against her since childhood.

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She finally manages to land the plane with instructions from the control tower. Of course, she would!

Anybody for a cosy mystery this weekend?

See my complete review on amazon.