August Wrap Up 

Emerald Coast was a super fun beachy read.

At Wave’s End was a great beachy read with depth. 

This is basically a love letter to Karin Slaughter.

Little Gray Dress was a super cute read.

Still Missing was my Throwback Thursday pick, I loved it!

The Girls in the Water is the first book in a new series, it was really good!

Emma in the Night was a great thriller.

If You Could See Me Now was a hilarious and fun read.

Are You Sleeping was a really cool and unique read.

The Address was another stunner from Davis.

Wedding Bells at Butterfly Cove was an adorable read!

My throwback Thursday pick was You, what a unique, original read.

The Room by the Lake was a read about cults which always intrigues me. 

The Silent Girls was a creepy, atmospheric read.

Blind Side was a very different type of thriller. 

I loved The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky it was so fun!

Unraveling Oliver was a unique psychological thriller. 

The Queen of New Beginnings was a really fun read. 

The Goddesses left me wanting more. 

Dark Matter was my TBT pick and I was totally blown away!

Buried Secrets was a different type of thriller. 

The Other Girl was a highly entertaining thriller.

The Cosy Canal Boat Dream was another great read from Barlow.

Dead to Me was a creepy thriller. 

All The Wicked Girls is one of my favorite reads of the year, it’s amazing.

The Big Dreams Beach Hotel was a delightful little book. 

Bolt Action Remedy was a really cool thriller.

Working Fire was a mystery with an emotional component. 

All The Little Children was a good read but I did have some issues.

Find Her was another fabulous read from Gardner.

Despite August being one of my busiest months EVER I still managed to read 30 books! It’s been a huge adjustment for me getting back into the swing of things as far as my kids schedules. They have school, dance, therapy, it’s a constant balancing act. I feel like we’re finally getting a good routine down now so hopefully next month will feel a little smoother and won’t be such a mess! 

I’m starting to put together a Fall reading list so stay tuned..

How was your month? 

Throwback Thursday: Find Her by Lisa Gardner #TBT

Release date: February 9, 2016

Publisher: Dutton

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


Flora Dane is a victim. 

Seven years ago, carefree college student Flora was kidnapped while on spring break. For 472 days, Flora learned just how much one person can endure.

Flora Dane is a survivor.

Miraculously alive after her ordeal, Flora has spent the past five years reacquainting herself with the rhythms of normal life, working with her FBI victim advocate, Samuel Keynes. She has a mother who’s never stopped loving her, a brother who is scared of the person she’s become, and a bedroom wall covered with photos of other girls who’ve never made it home.

Flora Dane is reckless. 

. . . or is she? When Boston detective D. D. Warren is called to the scene of a crime—a dead man and the bound, naked woman who killed him—she learns that Flora has tangled with three other suspects since her return to society. Is Flora a victim or a vigilante? And with her firsthand knowledge of criminal behavior, could she hold the key to rescuing a missing college student whose abduction has rocked Boston? When Flora herself disappears, D.D. realizes a far more sinister predator is out there. One who’s determined that this time, Flora Dane will never escape. And now it is all up to D. D. Warren to find her. 


I’m joining in again with Throwback Thursday which was created by my good friend Renee at It’s Book Talk. She started this weekly feature as a way to highlight old favorites and read books that have already been published. I have so many older books on my TBR that get ignored in favor of review copies and I figure participating in Throwback Thursday will help me to read at a least one older title a week!

It’s a bittersweet feeling now that I’m caught up on this series. Find Her was an absolutely amazing read, but now I have to wait awhile for the next installment (February of next year to be exact) and I’ll truly miss D.D., there really isn’t any other fictional character out there quite like her.

Once again Gardner tackles some heavy, disturbing subject matter this time focusing on abduction. Flora was such a highly complex character, she has literally been through hell and back and I thought Gardner did a fantastic job of portraying a kidnapping victim and their possible mind frame. Flora is very bold in many ways, she chases danger and at times seems unafraid of anything. But then there are times where she is terribly fragile and vulnerable, totally understandable and wholly believable to boot. Her and D.D. clash, but then again who doesn’t tend to butt heads with D.D.? Their dynamic was tense and fascinating, I’m excited to see what happens between them in the next book. 

Gardner uses her trademark graphic, gritty writing style and many parts of this was hard to read. Flora tells her story via flashbacks and seeing as how she was contained in a coffin for most of her time in captivity, things were claustrophobic and stifling. Gardner is a prolific writer with a fluid style that keeps you turning pages long past bedtime. Per usual delving too far into this twisty plot would ruin things, but if you’re a Gardner fan and haven’t read this yet, I highly recommend it. If you’ve never read her before I still highly recommend it, it’s an outstanding read and I feel like every crime fiction fan should have the pleasure of meeting D.D.

Overall rating: 5/5

Review: All The Little Children by Jo Furniss 

Goodreads|Amazon|Author Website
Release date: September 1, 2017

Publisher: Lake Union

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


When a family camping trip takes a dark turn, how far will one mother go to keep her family safe?

Struggling with working-mother guilt, Marlene Greene hopes a camping trip in the forest will provide quality time with her three young children—until they see fires in the distance, columns of smoke distorting the sweeping view. Overnight, all communication with the outside world is lost.

Knowing something terrible has happened, Marlene suspects that the isolation of the remote campsite is all that’s protecting her family. But the arrival of a lost boy reveals they are not alone in the woods, and as the unfolding disaster ravages the land, more youngsters seek refuge under her wing. The lives of her own children aren’t the only ones at stake.

When their sanctuary is threatened, Marlene faces the mother of all dilemmas: Should she save her own kids or try to save them all?


For some reason I didn’t pick up on the fact that this was a dystopian novel based on the blurb so when I started reading it, I was a bit surprised. I don’t mean that in a bad way, I’m not opposed to a post apocalyptic book, I just didn’t catch the hints in the description (duh Amy) and I had to adjust my mindset and expectations right away. But once I did I found this book to be a pacey, compelling read though I did have a few issues by the end.

The entire thing is told from Marlene’s point of view and she was a really difficult character to like. She’s brusque and comes across as cold and unfeeling even when she’s in the role of mama bear protecting her cubs. Despite the fact that I didn’t really relate to her on a personal level I was invested in her story and I could relate to her doing her best to protect her children. Her sister in law Joni wasn’t my favorite either, but again these women were fighting for their lives so I tried not to judge them too harshly. But I was shaking my head in frustration quite a bit and wondering what they hell they were thinking?! 

This would be the perfect book club read as it poses many tough questions that could provide hours of discussion. How far would you go to protect your children? Would you try and keep other children safe at the possible risk of your own family? Are adults duty bound to step up and care for kids in serious times of need? There’s SO much to talk about here! 

This was a page turner that held my attention, there’s something fascinating about seeing ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Furniss is a talented writer who conveyed a strong sense of urgency throughout, I was constantly worried about what would happen next. All was really going great until the ending and honestly, it really disappointed me. I don’t want to say too much but it was a huge cliffhanger and at first I assumed there would be a sequel, then I poked around and it sounds like there isn’t one planned?! It’s a pretty huge letdown and endings are super important to me and without the promise of another book to follow up I’m seriously displeased. Sigh. A cliffhanger is understandable, albeit frustrating, if you know that eventually you’ll get some answers, but never having any resolution always seems like a cop out to me. As annoyed as I am today it wouldn’t stop me from reading another book by Furniss, she really is a good writer so I would definitely give her a second chance!

Overall rating: 3/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy. 

Review: Working Fire by Emily Bleeker

Goodreads|Amazon|Author Website
Release date: August 29, 2017

Publisher: Lake Union

Genre: Contemporary, Mystery


Ellie Brown thought she’d finally escaped her stifling hometown of Broadlands, Illinois; med school was supposed to be her ticket out. But when her father has a stroke, she must return home to share his care with her older sister, Amelia, who’s busy with her own family. Working as a paramedic, Ellie’s days are monotonous, driving an ambulance through streets she’d hoped never to see again.

Until a 911 dispatch changes everything. The address: her sister’s house. Rushing to the scene, Ellie discovers that Amelia and her husband, Steve, have been shot in a home invasion. After Amelia is rushed to the hospital, Ellie tries to make sense of the tragedy. But what really happened inside her sister’s house becomes less and less clear. As Amelia hangs on in critical condition, Ellie uncovers dark revelations about her family’s past that challenge her beliefs about those closest to her…and force her to question where her devotions truly lie. 


Working Fire is told in dual timelines, the first is through Ellie’s eyes starting the day she gets a call that there’s been a shooting at her sister Amelia’s address and the second is from Amelia’s point of view six weeks prior. The alternating chapters each have a clear, distinct voice as the sisters were both well drawn and multidimensional, I had a strong sense of both of them as individuals as well as a firm grasp regarding the dynamic of their relationship with each other. 

While there is definitely a mysterious element at play here, I don’t think it’s the driving force of the book. Yes, I was super curious about exactly what had happened the day Amelia was shot as well as what events sent things into motion, but at its core this is a novel about family relationships and the secrets that can rip them apart. There’s really not much that interests me more than the bond between sisters and some good old fashioned family secrets and Working Fire had plenty of both. While I wouldn’t describe this as twisty, it did keep me guessing and still surprised me a few times. 

There was an emotional component to this, Bleeker has an evocative writing style that makes you care about the characters she creates even if you don’t always understand them. This would be perfect for people who don’t want violence or highly disturbing content in their mysteries, it’s on the lighter side yet still manages to pack a decent punch. The ending especially caught me off guard, it was unexpected and fitting. 

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy. 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly post to share what you recently finished reading, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan on reading this week. It’s hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate

What I Read Last Week: 

Dead to Me was the first in a new series that I really liked. 

All The Wicked Girls was an amazing read.

The Big Dreams Beach Hotel was a super cute, light read. 

I didn’t actually read The Sister last week but I shared my review again as my TBT in honor of its paperback release!

Currently Reading: 

Up Next: 

I only managed to read 3 books last week, I’m struggling a bit lately and I was also on a mini vacation. I did manage to finish two audiobooks though as I did quite a bit of driving so stay tuned for those reviews later this week. I’m hoping to get back into a good groove this week though! Keep your fingers crossed for me that I’m not entering a slump, ugh!! I’m really looking forward to my planned reads though so I’m hopeful! 

How was your week?

Blog Tour: Bolt Action Remedy by J. J. Hensley @Jjhensleyauthor

Goodreads|Amazon|Author Website
Release date: October 2, 2017

Publisher: Down & Out Books

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


Former Pittsburgh narcotics detective Trevor Galloway has been hired to look into the year-old homicide of a prominent businessman who was gunned down on his estate in Central Pennsylvania. When Galloway arrives, he determines the murder could have only been committed by someone extremely skilled in two areas: Skiing and shooting. He believes the assailant should not be too difficult to identify given the great amount of skill and athleticism needed to pull off the attack. When he discovers the victim’s property is next door to a biathlon training camp, the situation becomes significantly more complicated. 

Galloway makes plenty of enemies as he sifts through stories about lucrative land deals, possible drug connections, and uncovers evidence suggesting the homicide may have been elaborate suicide. As he attempts to navigate through an unfamiliar rural landscape, he does his best not to succumb to an old drug addiction, or become confused by one of his occasional hallucinations. Oh, and a Pittsburgh drug gang enforcer known as The Lithuanian—if he’s even real—is tracking Galloway and wants to take his eyes. Galloway would rather keep those. 

In Bolt Action Remedy, the typically quiet streets of Washaway Township, Pennsylvania become the epicenter of a mystery involving elite athletes and old grudges. For Galloway, the problems keep piling up and somebody out there believes problems should be dealt with by employing the most permanent of remedies. 

I’m so excited to be kicking off the blog tour for Bolt Action Remedy


Right from the first page of this one I was hooked, a man is shot amd killed on his property and the tension and setting was so vividly rendered, I felt like I was there, a part of the action myself. Then we flip to a year later and are introduced to Trevor Galloway, a former detective with a harrowing past. His friend Chase has asked him to investigate a cold case, that of the man who was gunned down in the prologue. 

Two things really grabbed me and made me well and truly hooked on this book. First  the assailant had to be a biathlete which is such a unique and interesting premise, I’ve never read a book with anything even remotely close to this setting/idea and nothing makes me happier than reading a crime novel with a fresh perspective. On top of the super intriguing premise, Galloway was the type of lead that makes my heart sing. He’s damaged, flawed and practically broken, but he also has the type of ironic, wry sense of humor that never fails to satisfy me as a reader. He also suffers from occasional hallucinations making his reliability  a constant guessing game that kept me on my toes. 

This was really fast paced with a ton of action and some great scenes that made my heart race. The writing style is sharp and witty and there was enough information about biathlons to keep me engaged but not so much excessive info that I was bored. The mystery itself was taut and I could never quite figure out what would happen next, it really was an entertaining read. If you’re looking for a fresh, remarkable crime novel, give this one a shot. 

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the author for my review copy. 

Excerpt: The Good Mother by Sinead Moriarty @sinead_moriarty @bookouture



Left devastated by her husband’s affair and the break-up of their family, Kate is struggling to keep it together for the sake of her three children. Though times are still tough, she’s finally beginning to move on with her life in Dublin.

But when twelve-year-old Jessica is diagnosed with cancer, Kate’s resilience is put to the ultimate test. She has an eighteen-year-old son consumed with hatred of his father, a seven-year-old who is bewildered and acting up and an ex-husband who won’t face up to his responsibilities. And in the middle of it a beloved child who is trying to be brave but is getting sicker by the day.

Kate knows she must put her own fear and heartbreak to one side and do right by her children, particularly Jessica. But maybe doing the right thing means making a decision that no mother should ever want to make.

An emotionally gripping tearjerker, The Good Mother is perfect for readers of Jodi Picoult, Jojo Moyes and Nicholas Sparks.

I have something’s but different to share today, the first chapter from The Good Mother! This book sounds beautiful, I can’t wait to read it myself. 



by Sinead Moriarty



Chapter 1

Kate stood in the empty hall and looked around. Nothing left but memories. She remembered moving in around ten years ago. Nick had carried her over the threshold, even though it was a long time since she’d been a blushing bride. He’d been like an excited little kid, running around, showing her the fancy fridge that churned out ice cubes, the Jacuzzi and the big garden where the kids could play football.

It was his dream house. Nick felt as if he’d ‘arrived’. Big house, big garden, fancy car. Things were good, really good. Nick was doing well and finally able to have the life he’d always dreamed of living.

They’d been happy then. Luke was eight and Jess was two when they’d moved in. Jess had taken her time to arrive. After three miscarriages and years of disappointment they had almost given up, but then Kate had got pregnant and gone full-term. The longed-for and beloved Jess had arrived, like a ray of sunshine, in their lives. She had been worth the wait. Gazing at her adoringly in the hospital, Nick said they now had the perfect family.

The house had been full of laughter and fun. They’d had lots of birthday celebrations and good times there. Kate had enjoyed it all, every minute.

She knew buying the house had been a stretch for them financially. She just hadn’t realized how much of a stretch. Nick had been vague about the deposit and repayments, and she’d been too wrapped up in the kids and the daily chores, and too naive to ask questions.

Or maybe she hadn’t wanted to know. The truth was, she’d stuck her head in the sand on purpose. Life was good, and Kate hadn’t wanted to know the details. Nick had said he had it under control and she’d gladly left him to it.

When the economic downturn had badly affected the big estate agent Nick worked for, Kate had just hoped for the best. She’d redoubled her efforts to create the perfect home, always having a meal prepared for Nick when he came in at the end of the day. She’d become a regular domestic goddess, trying to smooth over the cracks.

She’d wanted to make their home a haven for Nick, but it hadn’t been enough. And then, instead of bringing them closer, Bobby’s birth had pushed Nick even further away. When Nick had started to work late all the time and come home smelling of someone else’s perfume, Kate had ignored it … until it was too late.

She looked around at her home and bit her lip to prevent herself crying. Everything was so messed up. What the hell would her life be like from now on?

‘Muuuuuuum!’ Bobby shouted from the front door, hands on his hips. ‘I want to go now. It’s hot and sweaty in the car.’

Kate went over and kissed his hot little face. ‘I just need to get Jess. She’s upstairs.’

She found Jess in her bedroom. Her daughter had her back to her. Kate knew by the hunch of her shoulders and the quiet sniffles that she was crying. She went over and put her arms around her. Jess stiffened. ‘I’m sorry, pet.’

‘I’m fine, Mum.’

Kate turned her daughter to face her. Jess wiped away her tears roughly with the sleeve of her shirt. ‘I know this is hard, Jess, but I think living with Granddad will be fun.’ She tried to sound convincing.

Jess nodded. ‘It’s just … it’s just all so final. I thought that maybe Dad would come home, but now I guess I know he won’t. Will he?’

Kate hugged her. Poor Jess. She was the optimist in the family. The boys knew Nick was never coming back. Even at seven years old, Bobby knew. But here was Jess, the middle child, still hoping for the happy ending that could never be. ‘Your dad’s with Jenny now, pet. They have a new baby and a new life, and that’s not going to change. But he still loves you all very much,’ she added hastily.

‘Yeah, which is why he never comes to see us,’ Luke drawled from the doorway.

‘Luke,’ Kate said, in a warning voice. ‘Your sister’s upset.’

Luke came in and put a big muscly arm around his little sister’s shoulders. ‘Come on, Jess. I know Granddad’s house is a lot smaller and he’s a bit mad, but we’ll be fine.’

‘You don’t have to share a room with Bobby,’ Jess reminded him.

Luke grinned. ‘Yeah, it sucks for you. But I have to study for my Leaving Cert so I can’t have Bobby droning on about his facts all day long. Besides, I’ll probably move out next year and live close to whatever university I end up going to, so you can have my room then.’

‘But I don’t want you to move out. I’d miss you.’

Luke kissed the top of her head. ‘You’re too soft, Jess. You need to toughen up.’

‘She’s perfect just the way she is.’ Kate smiled at them.

They both rolled their eyes.

‘You always say that, Mum,’ Jess said, grinning at her brother.

‘It’s true. You three kids are my proudest achievement. And I know the last few months have been awful and I wish … well, I just wish that …’ Kate was choking up.

Luke put his hand on her arm. ‘It’s okay, Mum. You did everything you could. Dad’s just a selfish dickhead.’

‘Luke, don’t speak about your father like that.’

‘Daddy’s a dickhead,’ Bobby shouted from the door, giggling.

Kate glared at Luke.

He shrugged. ‘I speak the truth.’

‘You’re eighteen, Luke. You should know when to zip it. And as for you, Bobby, you’re supposed to be waiting in the car.’

Luke flung his arm around her and pulled her in for a hug. ‘Chill, Mum.’ To Bobby he said, ‘Don’t use bad words. It’s not cool.’

‘But you said it and you’re cool.’ Bobby frowned, trying to make sense of these conflicting statements.

Kate bent down to look her youngest in the eye. ‘Bad language is not okay. You know that and so does Luke. Now, come on, all of you, Granddad’s waiting for us.’ She ushered them downstairs and out of the front door, telling them to get into the car and buckle up.

Once they’d left, she allowed herself a few minutes for a final walkabout. It was stupid: she should just walk out of the door and not look back, but it was so hard to leave the place. You spent all your time creating a home, but you never really knew just how much it meant to you until it was taken away. This had been her sanctuary from the world, the place she most enjoyed being, an extension of herself and her hopes for the future. Now, it wasn’t hers any more, and she had no idea what her future held – stress, loneliness and financial worry, probably. Nick had taken everything from her, home, security and, most of all, her self-esteem. Leaving her for a younger model was so clichéd it should make her laugh. But it wasn’t funny. It hurt like hell. The pain of it kept looping out and around her, drowning her sense of self and self-worth.

Slowly, she forced herself to walk towards the front door. She didn’t want to go. She had a brief, crazy thought of staging a sit-in protest and forcing the bank to let her keep it, but she knew that was daft. Besides, this home and that future were gone now: the place was stripped bare, back to how it was when they’d first bought it. Just like me, Kate thought sadly. Right back to square one.

Her phone pinged and she pulled it out of her pocket. A message from Maggie. She opened it and smiled. Trust Maggie and her perfect timing! Today must be hell for you. Chin up! I’ll be over at the weekend to help you unpack and put manners on George! I’ll bring wine. Lots and lots of wine! You’ll be okay. Love you. M.

She pushed back her shoulders, took a deep breath and stepped outside onto the step. As she pulled the front door shut behind her, the finality of the lock’s click almost made her sink to her knees and cry. Instead, she waved to her waiting children, swallowed her grief and took her place in the driver’s seat.

Kate eased her battered old car down the driveway. She saw Jess’s lip quivering in the rear-view mirror and her heart ached. This was not the life she’d planned for her children. She’d never wanted them to come from a broken home. How had everything gone so wrong?

I’m a forty-two-year-old woman with three kids moving back in with my dad because I’m broke and homeless, she thought. She gripped the steering-wheel and tried to control her breathing. Now that Nick was preoccupied with Jenny and Jaden, the baby, Kate had to be even more mindful of the kids. She had to be more loving and patient and giving … but she was exhausted. All she wanted to do was lie down, pull the duvet over her head and cry.


George was standing at the gate when they arrived, wearing his navy apron with ‘The Village Café’ on it. His cheeks were flushed.

‘Uh-oh, Granddad has a cross face,’ Bobby said.

They climbed out of the car.

‘Lookit, Kate, I’m happy for you to move in, you know I am, but your removal men have left boxes all over the kitchen and I’m trying to run a business here. Besides, Sarah just called to say she’s not coming in today and that she’s found another job. The new French girl, Nathalie, is useless, so I’m pretty much on my own. I need a hand.’

Kate took charge. ‘Right. Luke, you and the others tidy up the boxes while I help Granddad in the café. Put all the boxes upstairs in my bedroom. Pile them up in the corner out of the way and I’ll sort them out later. When you’ve finished, come down and help. We’ll be busy for lunch.’

Kate followed her father through the hall into the big kitchen that served the café.

‘I’ll sort these out if you go and serve coffees,’ George said, as he began firing homemade quiches into the big oven.

Kate went through the kitchen door that led to the café. There were two tables waiting to be served. At the other three occupied tables, people were busy drinking coffee and eating scones. Five tables were empty, but not for long. The lunchtime rush would start soon.

Kate took the orders for the two tables and went back into the kitchen. She inhaled the scent of the fresh coffee beans and closed her eyes. The familiar scent of her childhood always calmed her. Kate knew the place like the back of her hand. She’d grown up behind the counter. As far back as she could remember she’d helped her mum and dad run the Village Café. Her mum had always been more front-of-house while her dad did a lot of the cooking. But after her mother’s death six years ago, that had changed. George had had to engage more with the customers and he had grown used to it. It didn’t come naturally to him, but he was much better at it than he had been.

Throughout her married life Kate had often received urgent calls whenever a staff member had called in sick or a big party was booked in. She liked helping her parents – as an only child she was close to both and the café was her home from home.

After her mother died, she had called in every day to make sure her father was coping. He had been utterly shattered by Nancy’s death, but with Kate’s help and the café needing to be run, he had muddled through. Having to get up and open it every day had kept him going, given him a purpose. Kate often wondered what he would have done if he hadn’t had the business. It had been a life-saver and kept him active and busy.

Her dad had been a rock to Kate when Nick had left her two years ago. He’d stepped in and given her money to get her through, and when the bank had repossessed the house, he had immediately suggested they all move in with him. Kate had wanted to weep with relief.

She knew it wasn’t going to be easy, given that her father was used to living alone, but they’d get through somehow. She’d make it work. She had to – she had nowhere else to go and the kids needed stability. As a new customer came to the counter, Kate put a smile on her face. She willed herself to be positive and hopeful for the future. Things would get better – for sure they couldn’t get worse. This was the lowest she had ever fallen. The only way was up. It was a new beginning.

 About the Author: 

aboutSinead was born and raised in Dublin where she grew up surrounded by books. Her mother is an author of children’s books. Growing up, Sinead says she was inspired by watching her mother writing at the kitchen table and then being published. From that moment on, her childhood dream was to write a novel.
After university, she went to live in Paris and then London. It was at the age of thirty, while working as a journalist in London that she began to write creatively in her spare time – after work, at lunch times … and, truth be told, during work hours.
After a couple of years toying with ideas, she joined a creative writing group and began to write The Baby Trail. The bitter-sweet comedy of a couple struggling to conceive hit a nerve in publishing circles. It was snapped up by Penguin Publishing in the UK and Ireland and has, to date, been translated into twenty-five languages.
Since writing The Baby Trail, Sinead has moved back to Dublin where she lives with her husband and three children and their little black cat, Minnie. Sinead also writes a weekly column for The Irish Independent newspaper.

Saturday Shoutout: Q & A With author S. A. Stovell @GameOverStation

Happy Saturday everyone! Today I have author S. A. Stovall who is the author of Vice City and several others. Read on for more information about the book and an interview. 

Release date: June 20, 2017

Publisher: DSP Publications

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


After twenty years as an enforcer for the Vice family mob, Nicholas Pierce shouldn’t bat an eye at seeing a guy get worked over and tossed in the river. But there’s something about the suspected police mole, Miles, that has Pierce second-guessing himself. The kid is just trying to look out for his brother any way he knows how, and the altruistic motive sparks an uncharacteristic act of mercy that involves Pierce taking Miles under his wing.

Miles wants to repay Pierce for saving his life. Pierce shouldn’t see him as anything but a convenient hookup… and he sure as hell shouldn’t get involved in Miles’s doomed quest to get his brother out of a rival street gang. He shouldn’t do a lot of things, but life on the streets isn’t about following the rules. Besides, he’s sick of being abused by the Vice family, especially Mr. Vice and his power-hungry goon of a son, who treats his underlings like playthings.

So Pierce does the absolute last thing he should do if he wants to keep breathing—he leaves the Vice family in the middle of a turf war. 

Q & A



1. What’s a typical writing day for you look like? Describe your perfect writing environment.


​The first thing I do before I write is re-read the last chapter/couple paragraphs from the day before. Or, if I’m starting a new project, I like to go over my outline or make a basic structure for the novel.

​And the perfect writing environment? I wonder if there is such a thing!

​I do my best writing when I’m passionate about the story, no matter where I’m physically located. Sometimes I’ll be doing something else unrelated, like walking through the grocery store, when I get a good idea and feel the urge to write. I’ll bust out my phone, or my laptop, and get to writing, no matter what my family or friends are doing, no matter the time of day. That’s the best environment—drowning in the passion of storytelling.

2. How did you get started writing? Was it something that you’ve always loved?


​I’ve always loved a good story.

​But I guess it all started when I got into Dungeons and Dragons. It’s a table-top role playing game where one person (the Dungeon Master) creates a campaign for everyone else to play through. The campaign is the story, and the better the campaign the more fun the players have.

​A lot of friends enjoyed my games, my stories, my characters—and their praise fueled my desire to write a novel. Then a wrote a few and everyone got excited, kept asking me for the sequels, or other novels, so I wrote more and more until eventually I realized it was what I was passionate about.

​I actually wrote my debut novel, VICE CITY, for a friend of mine. She’s one of my biggest fans, so I wrote this crime thriller (with a dash of romance) as a personal story for her. To my surprise, several agents loved it, and eventually a publisher scooped it up, so I’ll always be thankful for my friend’s encouragement. (I even dedicated the novel to her!)


3. Who are your favorite writers/inspirations?


​My favorite authors are Robert A. Heinlein, Tom Clancy, Stephen King, and J.K. Rowling. Heinlein’s science fiction is some of my favorite, Tom Clancy has amazing characters, and J.K. Rowling has a fun balance between serious and whimsy that I’ve yet to see matched.

​Stephen King is my biggest inspiration, however. He writes in so many genres, and he writes so many books, that everyone can probably find something of his they like. I want a career akin to his. I want to write in numerous genres and have so many novels that someone, somewhere, will find something they enjoy.


4. Anything you can tell us about upcoming projects?


​I have a WWI fantasy about a girl who joins a special military unit of sorcerers. I also have a speculative fiction/urban fantasy about a world ruled by the undead. And last, but not least, I have a science fiction adventure that deals with manipulating genetics (with an arrogant anti-hero protagonist that makes the whole thing hilarious).

​VICE CITY, my debut novel, already has a sequel slated for April 2018. It’s titled VICE ENFORCER and continues eight months after the first, with the mob enforcer main character getting wrapped up in old business while trying to avoid having his identity discovered by the cops.

​Fun stuff!


5. Normally how do you develop plots/characters? Brief us on your process.


​I usually start with an idea, something simple, and then I imagine the ending. The ending is my favorite part of any good story—the crescendo and climax make or break my enjoyment. If the ending is good, I will usually forgive weird stuff that happened in the middle of the story. If the ending is terrible, I’ll walk away from the story hating it.

​That being said, I think of a good ending first. Then I think of the main character and all the personality traits that would be involved in such a story. Good characters are important to me—they’re what hook me in and plant the seed of desire to see the ending. If the characters are well realized, it’ll take me to end (again, even if the middle is terrible).

​And then I think of the relationship the hero would have with the villain. I love stories where the villain and the hero have history—whether they’re related, or they were once lovers, or if it’s a story of revenge. I want the struggle to be personal at some level, because it adds to the intensity.

​Then I usually start writing and things get changed around from there.


6. Favorite character from one of your own novels?


​My favorite character from my own novels is a young man by the name of Ereziel Tyne. (Fun fact, true fact, you can tell its fantasy character by the ‘z’ and ‘y’ in the name.)

​But seriously—he has a sarcastic and jaded personality, is rarely impressed, but even when he is, he doesn’t like to admit it. Ereziel is intelligent (which is where he gets his arrogance) but not the nicest of individuals. He meets a girl who had a rough life and shares his jaded attitude, and their relationship turns him around—he gets a little nicer and empathizes with new people a little more.

​My second favorite is Nicholas Pierce, the main character of VICE CITY, for similar reasons. Although Pierce isn’t arrogant, he is jaded and sarcastic, and often feels the world is a lot darker than everyone else sees it.

​I just love characters that come to the realization that life can be wonderful, even if some aspects are dark. Pierce and Ereziel definitely have that in common.


7. Preferred method for readers to contact you?


​Probably through Twitter (@GameOverStation) or through my website ( Either method will get to me pretty quick.


8. On average, how long does it take you to write a book?


​It depends on the genre. Science fiction and fantasy typically take me several months (3-6). Thriller or contemporary usually take me a month to a few months (1-2).


10. Which one of your characters do you relate to the most?


​I don’t usually write myself into any novels. Don’t get me wrong, a piece of me makes it into a lot of characters (I’m sarcastic, just not jaded) and I use my law degree and history degree to help build people’s backgrounds, but I don’t think that’s the same as relating to a character.

​So, in that regard, I guess I relate to all my characters at some level.


11. If writing wasn’t your career what would you be doing?


​Teaching. I’ve taught as a professor at two universities, I’ve worked as a personal tutor for LSAT exams and history classes, and I’ve tutored children with autism. I like knowledge, I think it helps and furthers humanity, and I want people to feel the passion as well.


12. What’s the best compliment that you’ve received about your work?


​It was about VICE CITY, actually. Let me quote you what she said:


“The characterization is top-notch. Redemption stories can be a hard sell, especially for a character like Pierce who has been in the business for a long time. But his growth is gradual, hard-won, and very believable. One of the things I respect most about your writing is your ability to hit on a single, often small, detail that captures the essence of a character or setting. You are often able to express in a few words what could take others paragraphs of description. It goes to show that when a detail is perfect, you don’t need a lot of them.”


​She actually wrote me way more than this, but the above paragraph is a good snippet of what she said. The praise really motivates me to write more, write better, and to continue honing my craft for potential fans.





AUTHOR the Author 


S.A. Stovall grew up in California’s central valley with a single mother and little brother. Despite no one in her family having a degree higher than a GED, she put herself through college (earning a BA in History), and then continued on to law school where she obtained her Juris Doctorate.


As a child, Stovall’s favorite novel was Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. The adventure on a deserted island opened her mind to ideas and realities she had never given thought before—and it was the moment Stovall realized that story telling (specifically fiction) became her passion. Anything that told a story, be it a movie, book, video game or comic, she had to experience. Now, as a professor and author, Stovall wants to add her voice to the myriad of stories in the world, and she hopes you enjoy.

You can contact her at the following addresses.


#CoverReveal The Kindred Killers by @GrahamSmith1972 @bloodhoundbook #BoulderUnleashed

I’m so pleased to be helping to reveal the cover for The Kindred Killers today! I’ll be on the tour next month so stay tuned…


Jake Boulder’s help is requested by his best friend, Alfonse, when his cousin is crucified and burned alive along with his wife and children. As Boulder tries to track the heinous killer, a young woman is abducted. Soon her body is discovered and Boulder realises both murders have something unusual in common. 

With virtually no leads for Boulder to follow, he strives to find a way to get a clue as to the killer’s identity. But is he hunting for one killer or more? 

After a young couple are snatched in the middle of the night the case takes a brutal turn. When the FBI are invited to help with the case, Boulder finds himself warned off the investigation. When gruesome, and incendiary, footage from a mobile phone is sent to all the major US News outlets and the pressure to find those responsible for the crimes mounts. But with the authorities against him can Boulder catch the killer before it’s too late?

Sounds like another amazing addition to the Jake Boulder series! 

Here’s the cover, I absolutely love it!

#TBT #TheSister by @Fab_fiction @bookouture @thecrimevault @littlebookcafe

I have a very special pick for my Throwback Thursday read this week! Last summer I was so impressed when I read Louise Jensen’s debut, The Sister and a year later  she’s one of my favorite authors, I loved The Gift as well and can’t wait for her newest book to be released soon. Today The Sister is being released in paperback and in honor of that I’m sharing my review again. 

Goodreads|Amazon|Author Website

Release date: July 7, 2016

Publisher: Bookouture 

Genre: Psychological Thriller 


Grace hasn’t been the same since the death of her best friend Charlie. She is haunted by Charlie’s words, the last time she saw her, and in a bid for answers, opens an old memory box of Charlie’s. It soon becomes clear there was a lot she didn’t know about her best friend. 

When Grace starts a campaign to find Charlie’s father, Anna, a girl claiming to be Charlie’s sister steps forward. For Grace, finding Anna is like finding a new family, and soon Anna has made herself very comfortable in Grace and boyfriend Dan’s home. 

But something isn’t right. Things disappear, Dan’s acting strangely and Grace is sure that someone is following her. Is it all in Grace’s mind? Or as she gets closer to discovering the truth about both Charlie and Anna, is Grace in terrible danger? 

There was nothing she could have done to save Charlie …or was there? 


I’m joining in again with Throwback Thursday which was created by my good friend Renee at It’s Book Talk. She started this weekly feature as a way to highlight old favorites and read books that have already been published. I have so many older books on my TBR that get ignored in favor of review copies and I figure participating in Throwback Thursday will help me to read at a least one older title a week!

This book is not one that instantaneously grabs you and doesn’t let go. No, instead it slowly pulls you in until it has you right where it wants you. And then, BAM! Twists and turns galore. While it’s not a book where you are flying through the pages at warp speed, you are still slowly and methodically pulled in to this fascinatingly concocted novel. Told from two different times; Then and Now, you know that Charlie is dead but you have no idea how she died. Was she murdered? Did she simply vanish? And why is Grace so overwhelmed with guilt? 
Grace thinks she may be going crazy. Or is she? She feels like someone is constantly watching her and she swears she keeps seeing a red car behind her. In her grief stricken state after the devastating loss of her best friend Charlie, Grace isn’t actually sure about anything. She is extremely innocent thinking and naïve, yet I still found myself caring about her. There is a vulnerability and tenderness surrounding Grace that tugged at my heart strings. She has very childlike qualities, especially in the scenes with her absolutely precious grandparents. Her boyfriend Dan, while so annoying to me, was very protective of Grace and I can see why. She has that air about her, as if she’s always a bit of a damsel in distress, moments away from needing to be saved.
Lexie is Charlie’s train wreck of a mother. My god how I loathed this woman throughout many parts of this book. She’s a cruel drunk, but although there were relatively few times I felt sympathy towards her, I admit I did. Her life hasn’t been easy. Then there is Anna, Charlie’s long lost sister. From the minute she was introduced she gave me a single white female vibe. I mentioned Dan earlier, and I really wanted to like him. I can’t. I don’t wanna say much more about these characters as it would spoil the plot twists, however if you’re anything like me you won’t trust any of them for a second.
The suspense in this book is a slow build up and I was playing guessing games the entire time that Grace’s life was torn apart and ruined. I made many incorrect guess along the way but that thrills me! Quite proud of myself for having things all figured out, then whoops totally wrong. Onto the next theory. 
If you like an intense psychological thriller, give this book a try. A few times over the past couple of days while reading this I had to look over my own shoulder to make sure I was not being watched. Always a good sign of a suspenseful thriller if I feel this way! 

Overall rating: 4.5/5