Archive for March, 2014

the murder bag

Detective Max Wolfe has just been assigned to the Homicide division of London’s police force and assigned to a gruesome yet puzzling homicide. The victim, a rich, privileged banker, has had his throat skilfully slit open and there are no fingerprints or glove prints left by the killer at the scene. The homicide team are searching for leads when another body is found with its throat expertly slit, this time a homeless, heroin addict. Max discovers how they were connected – part of a group of rich, privileged students at an exclusive private school, Potter’s Field. Now the rest of the group is terrified, someone is killing them one by one.

There’s a person on the internet claiming responsibility – Bob the Butcher – and he’s gaining a lot of admirers for slaughtering the elite. Max isn’t convinced he’s the killer though, as the team trawl through the murky corners of the internet to track him down. Meanwhile the killer lurks in the shadows, waiting to finish the job of gaining vengeance on the group.

Wow! I couldn’t put this book down, finishing it in a day at the expense of my study. A very clever plot, I saw some things coming while others surprised me. The story unfold at a quick pace, though never feeling rushed. The characters are very real and likeable, with Max sharing just enough of his home life you can see he’s flawed but does his best. I wasn’t thrilled with the ending and felt for the serial killer – but draw your own conclusions.

I was hooked from the first page and am looking forward to reading more of Max Wolfe’s adventures. A thrilling read I highly recommend.

Century
Supplied by Random House New Zealand
Reviewed by Jan

Comment on this post by Thursday 3 April to recieve an unread ARC of The Murder Bag

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 Gabby Revealed Cover copy

Gabby James didn’t have the idyllic childhood many in her little hometown of Renlend, Kansas had. High school was a living hell, but when she graduated she couldn’t bring herself to leave Renlend. The town was her prison, but her family’s bookstore, The Looking Glass, was her one true love. It was the place she could run to, and escape the prying eyes of the ones who taunted her.

Shane Compton was a literary agent in one of the most prestigious publishing houses in New York City. He found no greater rush than finding the next big talent, someone who could take the written word and turn it into an art form. In the span of one rude phone call Shane was drawn into the mystery of just who the fiery new author from Kansas was. When everyone else in the office refused to deal with her, Shane willingly accepted the challenge. There was no logic to the madness, but every time he had contact with her, she drove him wild.

Gabby tried every trick in the book to keep Shane at arm’s length, but he had made good on his promise to come to Kansas. He wanted to pull her out of anonymity, he wanted her in the public eye. Now here he stood, on the sidewalk in front her bookstore, and one look told her he was everything she was afraid he’d be. Too bad she was anything but who he thought she was.

Gabby quickly discovers Shane has more on his mind than just books and with a little help from an ornery matchmaker, he shows her a whole new life through her looking glass.

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Steeling herself, she pushed off the bench and spun to open the heavy glass door. She startled, and stepped back, not expecting to see a man with his arm outstretched, his hand already gripping the door handle.
“Shit!” Her palm flew to her heart and she narrowed her eyes at the stranger while waiting for her pulse to even back out. Gabby wasn’t going to open the store for another twenty minutes at least, and she had been looking forward to a little peace before then. “Can I help you?” she snapped.
“Gabrielle James?”
His voice flowed smoothly over her—too smoothly. Her chin rose in time with her eyebrow. She knew that voice, but only the voice. His black dress slacks hung off his hips, fitting him so perfectly, they appeared to be tailor-made. His pale lavender dress shirt was crisp, and even though the sleeves were rolled up, he wasn’t able to feign casual. A purple shirt, even a light one like his, wouldn’t be found here around her neck of the woods. His light brown hair puzzled her, it was contradictory to his ensemble. The cut was short, but the hint of curl gave him a boyish charm his clothing couldn’t cover up, even if he was going for the consummate professional.
“Yes? Do I know you?” she bit back, but she did.
Oh…no, no, no. Why God? Why the hell does this guy have to be him? With her brow furrowing, sadness bloomed in her heart. She had so much to be grateful for in her life, despite her younger years and the occasional run-in with the bitches of Renlend. “Well, that depends on how you define ‘know’.”
His smartass retort interrupted and his impish grin deflated the stiffness running through her. “Great. You’re early.”
“How could I be early when you would never tell me when was a good time to be here?”
“I did.”
“No you didn’t.”
“Yes. I. Did. I said never.” She rolled her eyes and turned to open the door. His hand was already on the handle, but it was too late. Twenty-some years of the same move had her already reaching for the handle, her hand landing on his before she could stop it. The bite of electricity at the contact made her jerk back instantly.
Her elbow landed hard against a six-pack.
“Ah. Damn, Gabby,” Shane said with a grunt. “Do you always try to beat up your customers upon entering your store? Isn’t that bad for business?”
She dropped her hand from the tarnished brass handle and turned once again. An almost sincere apology was poised on the tip of her tongue, but she found herself too close to him to speak.
Gabby drew in a sharp breath, his scent encircled her, clouding her judgment. Eye-to-eye with the second button on his shirt, her gaze traveled upward. As he swallowed, his Adam’s apple fell back into place. His jaw was smooth, the stubble gone for the day. She was too close. He was too close. It was too hard not to take in his strong features, his light brown eyes, and the way his mouth slowly tipped as she drank in the sight of him.
Letting out a huff, she twisted away for a second time. “Screw you, Shane.”
“Okay.”
She growled as she pushed at his arm, trying to knock him out of the way. “Oh my God, that was not an offer! You’re impossibly frustrating, did you know that?”
“Darling, I do believe you are the first woman to ever to tell me that.”
“I am not. Your. Darling.” Her hand flew to her hip and she glared at him. His smile widened and there was no way to mistake the twinkle in his eyes. Gritting her teeth, she snarled again, “I cannot even believe you haven’t pissed off at least one woman in this world.” The man was enjoying himself immensely, if the twitching of his lips was anything to judge by.
“No…I would have to say, I think I’m pretty good company.”
“Well then—”She twirled her finger around in a circle. “—Whoop-de-do-fucking-da. I get to be the first. Lucky me.” Gabby turned, reaching out again to open the door, but drew her fingers away seeing his hand still possessing the knob. “Are you going to open the door, or what?”
“Or what.”
“What?”
“Or what.”
“Oh my God. Just open the damn door, Shane. Why do you have to be so damn irritating?”
“Are you always this lovable…or is it just me?” he teased back.

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About the Author

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When asked ‘when do you have time to write’, Amy Gregory simply laughs.  The real answer is, “in bits and pieces”.  She and her husband live in Kansas City with their three fantastic kids that keep them running in three very different directions.  Because she sits so much, she always carries a notebook with her at all times.

She has an off the wall, snarky, off the cuff sense of humor that often shocks even those who’ve known her for years.  And she loves that her children have all been blessed that ability to make others laugh as well.  At least she’s grateful most of the time!  Her husband often teases her about how she “makes this stuff up” when he’s reading a piece of her work. … The answer—“it just comes to me when I’m typing”. Scary thought, huh!

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She thought she was stepping into fame:
Meeting Drezden Halifax should have been a dream. But dreams are supposed to be sweet, fragile things that whisk you away. Not monsters crafted from hard fingers, gritty vocal cords and a voice so powerful it could tear my guts right out.
Maybe my heart, too.
Becoming the guitarist for Four and a Half Headstones was everything I needed.
Too bad the band’s lead singer is doing his best to ruin everything I am.
He thought she would solve his troubles:
Lola Cooper, god damn Lola Cooper. She was the perfect guitarist, fingers that could summon a sweet song or punch a chord. She’s supposed to save my band, make us come out of this tour in one piece…
But I just want to tear HER to pieces.
No one should make me feel this way. One look at her, one smell, and I knew I’d have to have her. She does things to me that scare the shit out of me. Make me want to slam her on a wall and listen to her cries: eager or fearful, it doesn’t matter.
I’m a monster…
And I don’t even care.

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Excerpt:

Her pick came down, fingers spinning over the wires to produce the first note from Tuesday Left Behind. It was clear, hanging in the air with the perfect amount of anticipation.
Then, Lola began to play.
Her eyes were closed, hiding away her deep sapphires from my seeking gaze. With perfect ease, she played the song that I had asked. She played it as good as Johnny ever had.
Better than he’d been playing lately, really.
Lola’s hands embraced her guitar’s neck, gliding along to coerce it to make bits of music that sank into my ears. They burrowed in, grinding through my skin and to my very bone.
She was good. She was god damn good.
I realized I was squeezing my thighs under the table. Shifting in place, I saw Colt and Porter both staring at me. Those were pointed looks, looks that said ‘holy shit, are you hearing this?’
I am, I’m hearing it, but I want more than just a mimic. Waving at her to stop hurt me in a funny way. “That’s enough, alright.”
She faltered, concern showing like a shadow on her soft jaw. The song still reverberated in my flesh. “Sorry, did I do something wrong?” she asked.
The rest of the band was watching me. They were pissed I’d cut the kid off, but I didn’t care. There was more that I wanted here. I was desperate to know if Lola was what I’d been hoping for. Impatience clawed at me to find out fast. “You know our music, good. I want you to play something else.”
“I—something else?”
Porter pushed his lower jaw out. Him, Colt, they had already decided this girl was what we needed. It wasn’t so simple, though. Not to me. “I want you to play anything you want. Just go for it, show me what makes you want to create music in the first place.”
It made me sound fucking insane, I was sure of that. I was ready for the kid to open her mouth and fumble. Maybe she’d even turn and walk out the door.
I had my reasons, though. This was what would separate those who played from those who played. Johnny had been good, I’d never say otherwise. When I needed someone for our first big show, when playing guitar myself while singing wasn’t cutting it, he’d come forward. He’d killed that audition, it’d been the start of something real for all of us.
He just never had the drive. It was what kept him from performing as best as he could at every single show. He didn’t care about creating music.
Fucker just wanted to be on stage. Let’s see if this girl is different.
Lola was watching me. Not with the deer in headlights look I expected, no. Her eyes were shining like new frost, the face of a woman who was excited.
It was contagious.
Before she started, I noticed I was hunching forward and holding my breath.
Her fingers came down, tickling the strings. It was a sharp movement, sound bursting in my brain like a fresh orange. Just as I was feeling my pulse quicken, adjusting to the intensity of her strums, Lola came to life.
Deep curls, the song she played tugged at the very roots of my hair. Lower and lower it went, drilling so hard into my body that I had to shift on my chair.
She was good. So fucking good, I was falling into the trap of her music. It wrapped me tight, tempting me to sink in and let her keep going.
Lola’s eyes were closed, lower lip tucked just slightly in her teeth. She was living in that moment like it was her last. I knew that look. The body language of someone in their own creative trance.
Every small movement she made was intentional. She traveled across the guitar, a land she’d been living in all her life. There was no part of the instrument, the song, that was a mystery to her.
Who is this girl? I wondered, noting I was gripping the edge of the table hard enough to turn my finger tips white. Her poise was distracting, back arched into a high speed curve. The muscles on her lower arms flexing deliciously with each note. A dark, intricate tattoo writhed on her right one.
I was fantasizing about how her limbs would flex in other situations. Perhaps the dark corner of an alley, head tilted back and breath steaming in the night air.
Fuck, calm down, I told myself. Shaking my head, I snapped my fingers and broke the spell Lola had put on us all.

About the Author

nora Author Picture
A USA Today Bestselling Author, Nora Flite loves to write new adult romance (especially the dramatic, gritty kind! Inspired by the complicated events and wild experiences of her own life, she wants to share those stories with her audience.
Born in the tiniest state, coming from what was essentially dirt, she’s learned to embrace and appreciate every opportunity the world gives her.
She’s also, possibly, addicted to coffee and sushi.
Not at the same time, of course.

Check out her blog or email her at noraflite@gmail.com if you just have some questions!

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Giveaway

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When Detective Michael Bennet arrested Manuel Perrine, he thought he’d bought an end to his drug cartel. But Manuel escaped during a bloody shootout that saw Michael killing Perrine’s wife. Now his family is in hiding, yanked from the streets of New York City to the rural pastures of California. The psychotic drug lord has now started a brutal turf war, unleashing a reign of terror and seeking vengeance.

Lots of action had the plot moving on at a cracking pace. Not having read previous books, the story was easy to jump into and quickly realise what was going on. I did wonder how Michael could afford 11 kids and a nanny on a cop’s salary though. This was a fun read that didn’t require much thought to follow and was fun to read. Recommended for thriller/action fans.

Century
Supplied by Random House New Zealand
Reviewed by Jan

BT Amazon GR SW
While watching her brothers find their happily ever afters, Abbey dreams of falling in love. Smart, fun, and sexy, Abbey is also independent and works hard alongside her brother, Kyle. When Kyle joins his business ventures with his wife’s cousins, Jason and Damon, Abbey struggles with keeping things professional.
Jason is instantly enamored with Abbey, and he becomes determined to win her over. Although she does not want to mix business with pleasure, he uses his good looks and sweet charm to work his way into her heart. All the while, Abbey begins building a friendship with a neighborhood child, Pearl. Abbey’s heart warms to Pearl, and their friendship quickly blossoms into a loving relationship.
Can Abbey find a way balance her growing feelings for Jason and her need to take care of Pearl? Or will Abbey need to sacrifice one relationship for the sake of the other?

Beautiful Ties on Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Ties-The-Series-ebook/dp/B00J86QJ3Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395746851&sr=8-1&keywords=beautiful+ties+alicia+rae

Beautiful Chances is FREE on Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Chances-Alicia-Rae-ebook/dp/B00F31FRKO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395746976&sr=8-1&keywords=Alicia+Rae

About the Author

Author picbd
Alicia Rae is a Contemporary Romance Author who lives in Dekalb, Illinois, with her husband and three beautiful boys. Alicia has a passion for reading all types of romance, writing to bring a story to life, and photography.
Thank you to my dear sister, Kels, who showed me a few years ago how much I truly missed reading. And to my loving husband, for not throwing away my Nook, and planting the seed of writing into my mind. I am forever grateful. Xo
Readers, words cannot thank you enough for supporting me along this incredible journey. I hope you enjoy my novels as much as I do writing them. I thank each and every one of you.
Believe in yourself and follow your dreams…

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starship

Starship is the first purpose-built children’s hospital in New Zealand and combines all the specialised treatments and complex care a sick child may need.  Situated in Auckland, around 75% of its patients are from other parts of New Zealand and train most of New Zealand’s paediatricians and other staff in specialist paediatric healthcare.  This book details the struggles to get funding to build it, and the negative attitudes the board struggled against.  Each department is described and what they do, and all the services Starship provides are explained.

Starship has always been there, as far as I was aware, never having family or friends that used it. I was really surprised to hear of the battles to get it built and how public support for it wasn’t there.  Times have definitely changed and it was awesome to read of what support is available for families, like volunteer grandparents.  I didn’t realise there were so many different departments covering so many fields.   The personal stories of Starship patients were tough to read at times but inspiring, showing the resilient spirit of people.

I’m really glad this book was written, it’s a great look at behind-the-scenes of how the hospital was born and life there now.

Random House New Zealand

Supplied by Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan

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Enoch is tested.

His brother is human, the thing he hates. He watches as the brother he knew is stripped away by his love for Clara. He’s never hated someone as much as he hated her…but the bond forced him to not only want to protect her, but feel things he never had before.

When a girl needs his help, that split second decision changes his whole world in one instant. 
A Devourer’s Fate…

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Devour

Devour (Devoured #1)

Clara has it all. A wrestling star boyfriend, popular friends, all the right school activities…pretty much a perfect life…up until her parents died. Now she lives with the Pastor and his family and though they take good care of her, she feels alone. Then her boyfriend, Tate, starts to show signs of trouble when a new guy, Eli, comes to town. Clara is fascinated with him but hides it until something happens. Eli confesses to her that she gives him something he’s never had before…something he needs. Everything is about to change for this normal pretty popular girl in a supernatural way.

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Consume

Consume (Devoured #2)

Eli and Clara’s story continues as she tries to finish high school. Eli is as over protective as ever and Tate and his group of friends are no help. They wait for the Horde, always looking over their shoulder. But the ever annoying but strangely prophetic bird begins to become more of a chatter box and Eli learns something that could change some things. Not just for him and Clara, but Devourers everywhere.

Then an unexpectedness guest comes forcing Eli to flee with Clara, leaving her temporary family behind. She is thrown into his world of underground ‘traitors’ and learns much of his past. They meet many new people and creatures along the way to freedom. But when tragedy strikes the two, will Clara see the monster in Eli? Can she handle his strange world and awful past? Will one of them lose their life forever…

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Excerpt One

“It’s cold,” I lied. It was cold, but that was absolutely not the reason for the goose flesh. He knew it and I knew it. And I hated it. I didn’t like for people to get under my skin. It made me feel too vulnerable, like they had power over me. When they had power, they could hurt you, leave you, die and leave you destroyed. I wasn’t up for any more of that. Except for Clara; she was already attached to me and I owed it to her.

He looked over. Even in the dark with barely any light being provided from the streetlamps, I could see his purple eyes searching mine. “Just help me and then you never have to see me again.”

It was almost like he could tell what I’d been thinking about.

Excerpt Two

I fed on her terror and fright and it tasted like heaven in my mouth. But as I looked down at that woman who had just given herself to me, and I hadn’t even had to persuade her to, it washed over me all at once how I didn’t really want to hurt her. That I wanted to hurt people, but not her. Not really. I had gotten everything I needed from her without doing that, hadn’t I? I was full and sated. Now I was just letting my true nature take over, letting the Devourer in me take over.

But wasn’t that what I was supposed to do? I looked down at that woman and was so confused. I cursed Clara and Eli and all their love and human bullcrap for turning me into the thing that I was now.

No. I realized then that this was my turning point. That if I let this girl go, that I would be just like my brother one day and that wasn’t what I wanted. I was not going to be some human. I was a Devourer. My chin ached from clenching it so tightly. I turned my glare fully on her and knew that honestly it wasn’t her fault, but she was about to pay the price for my brother’s mistake.

“I’m sorry, love.” I lifted her by her arms and then leaned into her, pressing her to the wall.

“For what?” her small voice asked, falsely reassured by my about-face. “What are you doing to me?”

“I’m sorry that our night is just beginning.”

She seemed to understand and her face crumpled. “Please. I’m sorry for whatever I said to—”

“It’s not you,” I grinned as evilly as I could muster, “it’s me.”


~ About the Author ~

Shelly Crane ~ Author Picture

Shelly is a NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY bestselling YA author from a small town in Georgia and loves everything about the south. She is wife to a fantastical husband and stay at home mom to two boisterous and mischievous boys who keep her on her toes. She loves paperbacks, coffee, and candy corn, and to spend time with her family and friends, go out to eat at new restaurants and site see in the new areas they travel to, listen to music and also LOVES to read.
Her own books happen by accident and she revels in the writing and imagination process. She doesn’t go anywhere without her notepad for fear of an idea creeping up and not being able to write it down immediately, even in the middle of the night, where her best ideas are born.

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