My Musing ~ Every Body on Deck by G.A. McKevett

Every Body on Deck by G.A. McKevett is the 22nd book in the “Savannah Reid” mystery series. Publisher: Kensington, April 25, 2017

Plus-sized P.I. Savannah Reid has no problem mixing business with pleasure—especially if that means a free trip while on the job. But when a gruesome murder rocks the boat, Savannah may finally be in over her head. . .

Nothing satisfies Savannah’s soul like nabbing bad guys—except maybe indulging in a juicy novel. So when famed mystery writer Natasha Van Cleef invites the Moonlight Magnolia Detective Agency on an Alaskan cruise in exchange for some personal protection, Savannah is instantly onboard with the idea. The voyage goes smoothly—at least, until Natasha and her husband flee the ship without explanation and get killed in a suspiciously explosive crash . . .

Awash in regret, Savannah and the MM crew won’t return home to San Carmelita until they expose whoever caused the fatal “accident.” But Savannah and her team have their work cut out for them when they discover that Natasha’s life was far more dramatic than any of her bestsellers. Not only was her marriage and literary career splattered with bad blood, but the author also had a crazed fan tracking her every move. With suspects and clues flooding in by the boatful, it’s all hands on deck as Savannah rushes to seize the murderer before she lands herself in hot water next . . .

I love this series. G.A. continually delivers an engaging and entertaining drama that I devour from the moment I turn the first page. True to form, Savannah is on a hunt for the murderer of her favorite author and Alaska won’t know what hit them until the killer is apprehended.

The comfortable tone and writing style made it easy to follow the drama unfolding as each chapter took me deeper into the story with earned insights and the added bonus of comedic verbiage. The suspect list was small, but what the author did was create a plethora of scenarios that kept me wanting to know what happened next and boy was I rewarded with each turn of the page, especially that twist that enhanced the telling of this tale. The visually appealing narrative put me in the middle of all the action with the team and I enjoyed watching it all played out as each character’s role was pivotal in the outcome of this brilliantly executed whodunit. This is by far, the best and my favorite story in this most endearing series and I look forward to more adventures with Savannah, Dirk and the gang.

FTC Full Disclosure – I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.

My Musing ~ Golden Prey by John Sandford

Golden Prey by John Sandford is the 27th book in the “Prey” suspense series. Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, April 25, 2017

The man was smart and he didn’t mind killing people. Welcome to the big leagues, Davenport. Lucas Davenport’s first case as a U.S. Marshal sends him into uncharted territory, in the thrilling new novel in the #1 New York Times-bestselling series.

Thanks to some very influential people whose lives he saved, Lucas is no longer working for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, but for the U.S. Marshals Service, and with unusual scope. He gets to pick his own cases, whatever they are, wherever they lead him.

And where they’ve led him this time is into real trouble. A Biloxi, Mississippi, drug-cartel counting house gets robbed, and suitcases full of cash disappear, leaving behind five bodies, including that of a six-year-old girl. Davenport takes the case, which quickly spirals out of control, as cartel assassins, including a torturer known as the “Queen of home-improvement tools” compete with Davenport to find the Dixie Hicks shooters who knocked over the counting house. Things get ugly real fast, and neither the cartel killers nor the holdup men give a damn about whose lives Davenport might have saved; to them, he’s just another large target.

John Sandford knows how to keep me occupied while reading the latest exploits of Lucas Davenport by taking him out of his usual situation and expanding his world in his new job as a U.S. Marshal. This story pulled me in immediately and I fell in love once again with Lucas as he took on this new role with doing what he does best and that is “hunt.” There’s a little give and take in his new assignment and the author does a great job of letting it percolate with narrative that had me sitting closely by the bodies and calamity rears its ugly head. The fast-paced, action-packed, and riveting drama kept me involved in all that was happening and the warning at the end. . .pure Lucas influenced. Love this book and look forward to more good times with Lucas and his associates.

FTC Full Disclosure – I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.

My Musing ~ Day of Secrets by Daryl Gerber Wood

Day of Secrets by Daryl Gerber Wood is the author’s second suspense novel. Publisher: Chucklin Inc, April 28, 2017

Can Chase Day discover why his family is a target before an unknown enemy destroys him?

At the age of five, Chase Day became an orphan. For thirty-one years, after a rebellious youth, he did his best to build a normal life—first as a Naval Officer and then as a history professor at a boutique Bay Area college. But now all that changes when he finds his mother, whom he thought had died in a fire, dying from a gunshot wound. In her last breath, she urges him to locate and protect the father he never knew. Where has his father been? Why has he never made contact? And, most critically, why does he need protection? In his search for the truth, Chase will learn the meaning of friendship and family and suffer the heart-wrenching pain of betrayal.

This is a suspense driven, non-stop action from beginning to end. The frenetic pacing kept me enthralled in all facets as the narrative gently ripped how well each scene took me to another plane where I couldn’t put this book down until I knew who was doing what to whom. With strategically placed twists and turns, this nail biter of a plot all came to screeching junction when the facts played out and our hero was granted his answers. This is a roller coaster of a ride that had my heart palpitating with each turn bringing me to a complete stop that I didn’t want to get off.

FTC Full Disclosure – I received a digital ARC of this book from the author.

Alexa Williams takes us on a home tour by Sherry Knowlton

dead-of-springHi. I’m Alexa Williams. Can you believe that Penn’s Woods Style wants to feature my house in their Spring issue? It is a lovely old cabin – more than one hundred years old. My parents put a lot of work into it a few years back to upgrade the kitchens and the bathrooms. And, when I bought the place, I enlarged the deck. But basically, it’s still just a log cabin.

I was surprised when the magazine called me. But, I’ve been in the news quite a bit over the past few years. First, there were those shootings at the family planning clinic where I volunteered. Then, I exposed a sex trafficking ring. Who would have thought we’d have human trafficking here in rural Pennsylvania? And, this Spring, I was in the State Capitol when a Senator, make that former Senator, sailed off an upper floor balcony and ended his life at my feet. I didn’t think that being a magnet for dead bodies would enhance an attorney’s reputation. But, now my notoriety has attracted a home design magazine. Who would’ve thought?

Can I preview my house tour for you? I’ll start with the history. The original cabin has been standing for more than a century. It’s constructed in the traditional style of logs with white chinking. The living room, dining room and kitchen all have exposed log walls. My parents added the two big front windows to bring in more light. I had to replace the living room window after an incident with group of angry militia types. They shattered the window when they broke into the house. Luckily, I escaped through a back window.

I spend most of my time in the living room during the winter. It’s very cozy with big leather couches, a woodstove, and an antique oriental rug. I had to replace the previous rug after another incident. Shooting someone, even in self-defense, is a pretty traumatic experience. Replacing the rug can’t erase the trauma, but it helps a bit. That giant pillow over there in the corner is Scout’s bed. An English Mastiff, Scout is very large and loves to settle in near the woodstove in the winter.

The “new” addition to the house is up those stairs. The architect followed the slope of the mountain and elevated this bedroom wing. I love the fact that my bedroom windows look out into the tree tops. It makes me feel like I’m living in a treehouse. The previous owners did a good job of harmonizing the outside of the addition with the old cabin. This part is covered in rough hewn lumber with a live edge. Very rustic.

The best part of this cabin is the forest outside. The deck spans the entire front of the cabin and wraps around the far side. That’s where my new hot tub sits, screened from the lane. Not that privacy is a big concern. The cabin sits in the middle of many acres of uninhabited land, including a wonderful grove of old growth pines. The nearest home is miles away. So, Scout and I have the woods almost entirely to ourselves. I love to sit on the deck and listen to the sounds of the forest. Soon tiny frogs, called peepers, will begin their nightly chorus. I’ll also be moving my yoga practice and meditation out onto the deck as soon as it gets a little warmer.

I live here alone. My last boyfriend wanted to move in, but I just wasn’t ready for that commitment. He’s gone now. But Scout and I are just fine. After this last adventure in Dead of Spring, I need some time to just chill. And, this cabin is my retreat. Maybe that’s what I’ll tell the magazine: that the décor of my cabin is less important than its healing properties. Despite the incidents of violence that the cabin and I have weathered, nothing will permanently destroy the peace of mind my forest home brings me.


You can read more about Alexa’s new adventure in DEAD OF SPRING, the third book in the Alexa Williams suspense series.

When a beloved state senator plunges to his death at Alexa Williams’ feet in the Capitol Rotunda, the authorities suspect suicide. Although the powerful chair of the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee was at the center of a controversial new bill to expand hydraulic fracturing, he was also rumored to be ill. Shaken, Alexa tries to move past the disturbing incident by concentrating on work. She’s leading a senate commission on sex trafficking. Plus, she’s helping an old college roommate sue a natural gas company for their role in causing her daughter’s rare cancer.

In researching the lawsuit, Alexa becomes embroiled in the high-stakes politics of fracking. As the relationship with her state trooper boyfriend drifts onto the rocks, Alexa is drawn to a charismatic state legislator who’s leading an anti-fracking crusade. Then, the police shock Alexa with the news that she could be in danger; she’s a witness to the senator’s murder, not his suicide.

When Alexa narrowly escapes a sniper’s bullet, she must discover why she’s a target and who she can trust–before the next shot hits its mark.

With Sherry Knowlton’s trademark mix of feminism, history, romance, and fast-paced thrills, Dead of Spring skyrockets from the fracking fields of the Marcellus Shale to the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster of 1979 to the rolling hills of Tuscany to the halls of Pennsylvania state government. In this suspenseful tale of corruption and runaway greed, Alexa Williams proves, once again, that she’s a formidable heroine. The twists and turns will keep you on the edge of your seat.

“A sassy alpha-female heroine” – Steve Berry

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Meet the author
Sherry Knowlton is the author of the successful Alexa Williams series of suspense novels: Dead of Autumn, Dead of Summer and Dead of Spring. When not writing the next Alexa Williams thriller, Knowlton works on her health care consulting business or travels around the world. She and her husband live in the mountains of South Central Pennsylvania. Connect with Sherry at www.sherryknowlton.com

All comments are welcomed.

Dead of Spring is available at retail and online booksellers on April 22, 2017.

Vacationing with RCMP Sgt Ray Robertson by Vicki Delany

Vacation time!

I’m in Turks and Caicos for two weeks of vacation. And, boy do I need it.

I love my job, working with the UN, trying to introduce modern policing methods to fragile states. But it can be tough work, both physically and emotionally. First I was stationed in South Sudan and then in Haiti. I loved being in both those places, but sometimes a man needs a hot bath and a cold drink.

I loved the people (most of them) that I met there, but a man defiantly needs his family. My wife Jenny isn’t able to come on posting with me. Too dangerous for families.

She’s not too happy about that. And I understand. She’s stuck at home in Canada, managing the fort, dealing with the kids, running the details of our lives. I’m worried that she’s going to issue an ultimatum one of these days. I give up either UN policing or my marriage.

This vacation is a treat for her. Frankly, I’ve had enough of heat and sun, thank you very much. At my place in Haiti, I even have a pool (and a pool “boy” to look after it for me). Nothing I’d have loved more for my vacation than to head for the mountains of British Columbia for some good powder skiing. Feel the cold clear air on my face, hear the snow crunch beneath my boots.

But Jenny’s had enough of winter, and I knew she wouldn’t exactly jump at the idea of more of it.

So here we are. Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean. It’s a fabulous island, with great hotels, top-class restaurants, nice people, a low crime rate. Grace Bay has many times been voted the world’s best beach. Did I mention expensive? Gulp. But I figure my marriage is worth it.

Somehow, much as I try,  it seems that the job can’t leave me alone. I found that man’s body on the beach this morning, while I was out for my jog. The police are handling it. They seem like a competent lot (they should be, they were trained by Canadians!)

Maybe I’ll just give them a quick call. Check in and see what they’ve learned. Jenny’s out. If I do it now, she’ll never know.

Blood and Belonging is the third Sgt Ray Robertson novella published by Orca Press. Rapid Reads novellas are written for adults with literacy difficulties, ESL students, reluctant readers, and those just wanting a quick, fast-paced read.

RCMP Sergeant Ray Robertson is in the Turks and Caicos Islands, enjoying two weeks of leave from his job training police in Haiti with the UN. On an early-morning jog along famed Grace Bay Beach he discovers a dead man in the surf. Ray is shocked to recognize the body as that of one of his Haitian police recruits. To his wife’s increasing dismay, Ray is compelled to follow the dead man’s trail and finds himself plunged into the world of human trafficking and the problems of a tiny country struggling to cope with a desperate wave washing up on its shores.

The first Ray Robertson book, Juba Good, was nominated for an Arthur Ellis Award, A Derringer Award and a Silver Oak award from the Ontario Library Association.

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About the author
Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers. She is the author of twenty-four published crime novels, including standalone Gothic thrillers, the Constable Molly Smith series, the Year Round Christmas Mysteries, and books for adult literacy. Under the pen name of Eva Gates she is the national bestselling author of the Lighthouse Library cozy series. Her newest novel is Elementary, She Read, the first in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series.

Vicki lives and writes in Prince Edward County, Ontario. She is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada.

Connect with Vicki at www.vickidelany.com, on Facebook, and Twitter at @vickidelany and @evagatesauthor.

All comments are welcomed.

Blood and Belonging is available at retail and online booksellers or you can ask your local library to get it for you.