Review: Splintered Silence by Susan Furlong @Furlong_Sue


Release date: December 26, 2017

Publisher: Kensington

Genre: Mystery


Among the Irish Travellers living in the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee, no one forgets and no one forgives. And as former Marine MP Brynn Callahan finds out when she returns home, it’s hard to bury the past when bodies keep turning up…

After an IED explosion abruptly ends her tour of duty, Brynn arrives stateside with PTSD and her canine partner Wilco—both of them bearing the scars of battle. With a mix of affection, curiosity, and misgivings, she goes back to Bone Gap, Tennessee, and the insular culture she’d hoped to escape by enlisting in the Marine Corps.

Marginalized and wary of outsiders, the Irish Travellers keep to themselves in a secluded mountain community, maintaining an uneasy coexistence with the “settled” townspeople of McCreary. When Wilco’s training as a cadaver dog leads Brynn to discover a body in the woods, the two worlds collide. Soon it’s clear that and Brynn and Wilco are in danger – and they’re not the only ones.

After the police identify the dead woman, Brynn is shocked to learn she has a personal connection—and everything she’s been told about her past is called into question.

Forming a reluctant alliance with local sheriff Frank Pusser, Brynn must dig up secrets that not only will rattle her close-knit clan to its core, but may forever change her perception of who she is…and put her back in the line of fire.


Every once in awhile I have the pleasure of reading a book with a wholly unique premise that’s unlike anything I’ve read before and honestly, not much makes me happier! Splintered Silence was one of those rare books, it was original, exciting and extremely well written and had a lead duo that not only stole my heart, but left me dying to find out more!

I have never heard of Irish Travellers before but from the moment I started this I was so fascinated. These “clans” are often compared to gypsies and there is an us versus them mentality between them and what they call settled folk. This lent to some amazing tension and there was a very strong sense of culture that was endlessly intriguing for me. Brynn’s family is part of the IT and she left at eighteen and joined the military. She really doesn’t fit in with her family or the settled folk, she feels like an outsider and only really trusts her faithful partner, Wilco. Their bond was amazing and heartbreaking as they both suffer from PTSD. Furlong did a fantastic job sharing information about PTSD in a respectful and educational way.

The mystery itself has personal ties for Brynn and that’s always one of my favorite plot lines, I love when the protagonist is personally invested in a case. There was enough revealed about Brynn’s history to pique my interest but enough left open to carry the series further. The best way I can describe this is that it reminded me of a Nora Roberts book with and edge, it’s much darker and has way more depth but something about the cultural vibe and the writing was similar.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the author for my review copy.

Review: The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen


Release date: December 5, 2017

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Genre: Mystery


Ellery Hathaway knows a thing or two about serial killers, but not through her police training. She’s an officer in sleepy Woodbury, MA, where a bicycle theft still makes the newspapers. No one there knows she was once victim number seventeen in the grisly story of serial killer Francis Michael Coben. The only victim who lived.

When three people disappear from her town in three years, all around her birthday—the day she was kidnapped so long ago—Ellery fears someone knows her secret. Someone very dangerous. Her superiors dismiss her concerns, but Ellery knows the vanishing season is coming and anyone could be next. She contacts the one man she knows will believe her: the FBI agent who saved her from a killer’s closet all those years ago.

Agent Reed Markham made his name and fame on the back of the Coben case, but his fortunes have since turned. His marriage is in shambles, his bosses think he’s washed up, and worst of all, he blew a major investigation. When Ellery calls him, he can’t help but wonder: sure, he rescued her, but was she ever truly saved? His greatest triumph is Ellery’s waking nightmare, and now both of them are about to be sucked into the past, back to the case that made them…with a killer who can’t let go.


This opens with a bang that grabbed my attention right away, fourteen years ago a young woman was kidnapped and tortured by a twisted serial killer and she’s the only victim to make it out alive. Someone saw Ellery the day she was taken, but they’ve remained silent all of these years, creepy right?! As much as the beginning sucked me in, the pacing throughout the bulk lagged a bit and left me wanting more, it didn’t match the initial intensity and felt sort of drawn out.

This felt more like a police procedural than a true thriller, the beginning and ending had some tense parts but the majority was pretty mild. The chapters were long, I prefer shorter, fast paced chapters in a mystery/thriller and I think the more sedate pacing left me feeling underwhelmed and wanting more. The plot itself was interesting, there was a lot going on and it was pretty well executed but I did figure out the who well before the big reveal. I mean, it’s bound to happen though, I read so much that I can’t always be fooled, but I think it was fairly obvious.

This is one of those middle of the road reads for me, plenty I liked such as the writing style and the characterization, Ellery and Reed both intrigued me. What lost me was the pacing and the lack of true tension coupled with me guessing whodunnit. Still, it’s a solid debut and I can see why it’s garnering so much praise, it just wasn’t as amazing as I had hoped.

Overall rating: 3/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Throwback Thursday: Finding It by Leah Marie Brown @leahmariebrown #TBT


Release date: September 29, 2015

Publisher: Lyrical Shine

Genre: Chick Lit


Falling in love is the ultimate faux pas.

Anything can happen in a year! Unemployed, homeless, and left at the altar, Vivia Perpetua Grant could see her future as a flannel pajama wearing spinster—or worse, a bag lady shuffling around Golden Gate Park. But for a girl obsessed with rock music, Chinese take-out, and the color pink, misfortune is another word for opportunity. Vivia has found her niche as an international travel writer and the long-distance lover of Jean-Luc de Caumont, an über-hot French literature professor and competitive cyclist.

Still, even with so much going right, Vivia can’t help but wonder if something isn’t missing. The long distance thing is taking its toll on a girl who didn’t have that many tokens to begin with. And fate seems to be tempting her at every turn, first with a hunky Scottish helicopter pilot, and then with a British celebrity bad boy… Will Vivia continue to keep it real or will she discover some old habits die hard?


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!

Last week I read Faking It, the first book in this series and adored it! This book picks up a year after the first one ends and again (much to my delight) focuses on Vivia. I seriously love her, she was even more outrageous and fun in this book than the last and she just cracks me up! She’s the type of character that you wish was real because you know a night out with her would be amazingly fun and totally unforgettable. I liked that’s she grown and matured since the first book, but her transformation hasn’t completely changed her and she still has issues even though she has come so far. Brown doesn’t try and make her life easy and unrealistic, I appreciate that because no ones life is and often times in CL you get a HEA that’s just a little too perfect and unbelievable.

Two solid books in a row from Brown put her firmly on my short list of must read CL authors, her books are way too witty and entertaining to miss. I’m starting book three ASAP and am so excited it follows Vivia’s BFF Fanny, should be another sassy, sexy read!

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the author for my review copy.

Guest Post: Counting Down The Days Until Christmas? by B.J. Daniels

Hey everyone! I have an extra special treat today, author B. J. Daniels has written a guest post as part of a really fun tour called Winter Holiday Traditions and Reads with Harlequin. There are some amazing authors participating so be sure and check out the other stops, the schedule can be found on TLC Book Tours.

Daniels latest book is called Cowboy’s Legacy, here’s some more information about that before the guest post.



Nothing will stop a Cahill cowboy from protecting what’s his

After a rocky marriage and even rockier divorce, Sheriff Flint Cahill finally has something good in his life again. Maggie Thompson’s down-to-earth charm and beautiful smile hooked him from the start. When she disappears on the day they plan to start their lives together, all signs point to abduction—and his ex-wife.

Functioning on adrenaline and instinct, Flint must call on his every resource to bring Maggie home before it’s too late. His past and future are blurred. Maggie’s only chance at surviving her abductor and a raging winter storm depends on an old vendetta that could destroy it all. But the Cahills don’t give up easily, and Flint’s love will have to be strong enough to conquer anything, including the unimaginable.

Guest Post:

Counting down the days until Christmas? You and a lot of children.

My stepdaughter had an inexpensive way to make counting down the days more fun. She took construction paper in red, green and white and cut the paper horizontally into inch and a half strips.

Next, she got the children to help put the strips together in loops to form a chain – like we used to do as kindergarteners to make garland for the tree.

If there were 30 days until Christmas, she had the children make thirty loops out of the strips, connecting them with either tape or staples.

Once done, the chain is hung up. Each day, the kids get to take turns ripping off one of the loops as Christmas approaches.

She said she’d tried other things involving candy and little presents but found they were unnecessary. Also she has eight children.

Her “Countdown to Christmas” was so popular that other mothers liked the idea and so did they children because they got to make the chains.

And when Christmas arrives, the last loop of paper goes in the trash. There is nothing to store.

I too am counting down the days until the holidays. We will be going up into the mountains to get a tree. Decorating the tree is something my husband and I do together. Our ornaments have been collected during our 25 years together so there are a lot memories attached to each.

I will also be baking. The holidays are a perfect time to try all those recipes I’ve been saving.

Mostly I will be counting down the days at my computer writing my next book. Like Santa, this is a busy time of the year for me. My latest book, COWBOY’S LEGACY (HQN) is on the shelves already, but with the New Year there is the need for more books.

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday filled with love, laughter, good food and of course, something fun to read curled up in front of the fire waiting for the big day to finally get here.

What a fun way to countdown, I’ll have to try that with my kids next year!

About the Author:

twitter: @bjdanielsauthor

Review: The Last Friend by Harvey Church


Release date: January 9, 2018

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


Fifteen years after Donovan’s daughter is abducted, Monica Russell knocks on his door. She claims she knew his daughter while in captivity. She claims she knows where his daughter’s remains are buried. She claims she knows the man who abducted, assaulted, and murdered his princess. She claims she can show him all of these things, but what price is Donovan willing to pay the young lady who claims to be the last friend to know his daughter?


Oohh I love the premise for this one, imagine thinking you may finally have answers about your missing child fifteen years later, crazy, right?! Donovan doesn’t know what to think when Monica shows up on his doorstep with all sorts of claims about his daughter, but she knows things that no one should know. He really wants to believe her, he would love to know the truth about what happened to her but can he trust Monica?

I love some unreliability and this was full of questions, Monica seemed legit but there was something niggling in the back of my mind the entire time, a feeling that she wasn’t being entirely honest. Donovan is a good guy, I really felt for him, I can’t imagine losing a child and not knowing what happened makes it all the more painful. I was wary of Monica and didn’t want her to take advantage of Donovan, he’s a desperate man who has nothing to lose and that’s always dangerous. The short chapters and fast pacing coupled with an intriguing storyline made this a page turner that I could not put down.

This was dark, twisty and well written with great characterization and a strong storyline. It wasn’t your typical missing child story since the child in question disappeared such a long time ago, it was about a fathers quest for answers at any cost. I think any parent could relate to Donovan’s need for the truth and wouldn’t find fault with his sometimes questionable decision making, I know I would do anything to find my own kids.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the author for my review copy.

Review: Strange Weather by Joe Hill


Release date: October 24, 2017

Publisher: William Morrow

Genre: Horror/Sci Fi/Fantasy


A collection of four chilling novels, ingeniously wrought gems of terror from the brilliantly imaginative, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fireman, Joe Hill

“Snapshot” is the disturbing story of a Silicon Valley adolescent who finds himself threatened by “The Phoenician,” a tattooed thug who possesses a Polaroid Instant Camera that erases memories, snap by snap.

A young man takes to the skies to experience his first parachute jump. . . and winds up a castaway on an impossibly solid cloud, a Prospero’s island of roiling vapor that seems animated by a mind of its own in “Aloft.”

On a seemingly ordinary day in Boulder, Colorado, the clouds open up in a downpour of nails—splinters of bright crystal that shred the skin of anyone not safely under cover. “Rain” explores this escalating apocalyptic event, as the deluge of nails spreads out across the country and around the world.

In “Loaded,” a mall security guard in a coastal Florida town courageously stops a mass shooting and becomes a hero to the modern gun rights movement. But under the glare of the spotlights, his story begins to unravel, taking his sanity with it. When an out-of-control summer blaze approaches the town, he will reach for the gun again and embark on one last day of reckoning.


This book would not be something that I would normally read, but after having heard from SO many people that Hill is a fantastic author I knew I had to give him a try. A collection of short stories seemed like the perfect way for me to acquainted with his work and overall I’m pretty impressed even though I didn’t love every single story.

I’m going to start with my least favorite and end with my favorite so I can end on a positive note! Snapshot had some parts that I really liked, Michael is an adult and is recounting a series of incidents from when he was twelve in the eighties. I love books set in this era so that was really cool and I liked the conversational style it had. I felt like a friend was telling me a crazy story from their past. I was pretty underwhelmed in the end, I found it predictable and the resolution was meh.

Aloft follows Audrey, an early twenties man who goes skydiving with some friends after one of them passes away to honor her memory. He is the sole focus and I found him to be well drawn for such a short amount of time spent with him. This had such a weird premise, it was pretty out there for me and while I liked it, I didn’t love it.

Rain focuses on an end of days type of event in Colorado and is told by a woman named Honeysuckle. I love a good apocalypse novel and haven’t read one in forever, so I was pretty into this bizarre tale of crystal spikes falling from the sky. This was dark and atmospheric and I really liked Honeysuckle and was invested in her. The ending left a bit to be desired but overall an entertaining read.

Loaded was the strongest in my opinion, maybe because it was so timely, but I thought it was extremely well done. It had a brief period with different timelines, present day, then back to the early nineties and I was impressed by how well this worked in a story that’s only a bit over one hundred pages, I’ve read full length novels that can’t pull this off as well! There are several characters in this story and they’re all linked by a mall shooting and the way things were plotted was smart and came together smoothly in the end.

If you like short story collections and don’t mind supernatural elements in your thrillers, give this a shot. I liked that I could easily read each section in a single setting and appreciated the great sense of place and atmosphere in each story, they were all highly original and engrossing.

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:

Little Broken Things was a gentle suspense with gorgeous writing.

I’ve jumped in and out of this series and Crossing the Line was my favorite so far!

Moonlight Over Manhattan was fabulous and I found a new author!

Follow the Snowflakes was a sweet novella.

Faking It was such a fun read with a sassy heroine.

I just adore this series, Broken Bones was amazing.

Currently Reading:

Up Next:

I don’t have a firm schedule this week with Christmas approaching. I have SO much to do still and my personal life has been super stressful as well. We’ve been building a house for the last year and have been planning to move in right after Christmas. Saturday night someone broke into the house and stole a ton of stuff from the brand new TVs we were surprising our kids with for Christmas, my daughters new bunk bed and bedding, my washer and dryer, a bunch of tools and so much more. It’s devastating to say the least and it breaks my heart for my poor husband. He has worked tirelessly to make this house our dream home and while we’re so grateful this happened before we were living there, we’re heartbroken and beyond frustrating. It’s putting a damper on what should be a joyful time of year, but we’re staying positive and hoping the jerks who did this will be caught.

All of that to say, I don’t know how much I’ll be around. I’m still reading because it truly keeps me sane, but I have so many other demands on my time so I’m not able to read as much as I usually do. On top of the house stuff my kids have had a spate of minor illnesses and have been home more than usual and I haven’t even started packing for our eventual move. If I don’t get a chance to check back in before Christmas I want to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday! I’ll be working on my top reads list ASAP and will have it up soon.

Review: Before I Knew by Jamie Beck


Release date: August 22, 2017

Publisher: Montlake

Genre: Contemporary Romance


On the second anniversary of her husband’s suicide, Colby Cabot-Baxter is ready to let go of her grief and the mistakes made during her turbulent marriage. Her fresh start comes in the form of A CertainTea, the restaurant she’s set to open along Lake Sandy, Oregon, with help from her family. But when her executive chef quits just weeks before the grand opening, Colby is pressured to hire old family friend Alec Morgan. His award-winning reputation could generate buzz, but their friendship has withered since her husband’s reckless dare cost Alec’s brother his life.

Distracted by guilty secrets concerning the tragedy that changed his and Colby’s lives, Alec self-destructed and lost his famed restaurant. With his career in tatters, he’s determined to use this opportunity to redeem his reputation and to help the woman he’s loved from afar find happiness again.

But secrets have a way of coming out. When Alec’s do, they might destroy the new life he and Colby have rebuilt together.


Before I Knew is the first in a new series following the Cabot family. It’s billed as a romance and it most certainly is, but this wasn’t the lighthearted read I was expecting it to be and unfortunately I didn’t love it as much as I had hoped because of this. I like to escape with a romance as a break from the dark thrillers that make up the majority of my TBR and since much of this one deals with heavy, depressing topics it wasn’t quite the break I was expecting. Don’t get me wrong, it was well written and overall an enjoyable read, I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind when I started it.

This focuses on Colby as she’s grieving the loss of her husband Mark and trying to move on with her life. I did like Colby and found her to be relatable and interesting, but everything she’s been through was so heartbreakingly sad I felt emotionally drained myself. This isn’t inherently a bad thing as anytime an author makes me feel something I’m impressed because that’s one of the main reasons I read a book in the first place. Alec had a similarly devastating history as well so there wasn’t much levity to break up the angst they were both experiencing.

Overall this was a well thought out and well written story that was on the darker side compared to most romances I read. I was interested in the characters but not overly invested in them which is a shame. I don’t know that I’ll be continuing with this series as I prefer to keep my romances light and my thrillers dark, but if you want a romance that has depth and darkness without violence and gore try this!

Overall rating: 3/5

Thanks to Booksparks for my review copy.

Dark Minds: A Collection of Short Stories for Charity @Bloodhoundbook

Happy Saturday everyone! Last year I had the pleasure of reviewing Dark Minds for the blog tour and this year they’re running a fantastic giveaway! I’ll be sharing my review again, but first here’s some details about the book and how to enter the giveaway.


A collection of short stories from some of your favourite authors

You think you know darkness? Think again.

Bloodhound Books presents Dark Minds – a collection of stories by authors who have come together to produce an anthology that will lure, tantalise and shock its readers.

What took place By the Water?

What goes on behind A Stranger’s Eyes?

And what is so special about Slow Roast Pork?

From master authors such as Lisa Hall, Steven Dunne, Louise Jensen and Anita Waller, readers can expect a one hell of a ride…

Dark Minds is a collection of 40 crime and thriller short stories from authors including; Louise Jensen, L.J. Ross, Lisa Hall, Steven Dunne, Betsy Reavley, M.A. Comley, Alex Walters and Anita Waller plus many more.

Sounds great, right?! Here’s the giveaway details.


I have to start by saying that the proceeds from the sale of this brilliant collection go to two very worthy causes, Sophie’s Appeal and Hospice UK. I’m honored to be one of the stops for the blog tour today and can’t wait to tell you all about this phenomenal compilation. Check out the book trailer as well.

Since there are forty stories in this collection I won’t review every single one separately, but I do want to mention that as a whole they are fantastic. There were none I actively disliked, I really enjoyed something about each of them. I’ll highlight my favorite ones, but there really is something for everyone here, especially if you’re a thriller fan. I haven’t read many short stories but this experience opened up my eyes and made me realize how enjoyable it can be. Who knew a few pages could pack such a huge punch?

The Shoes Maketh the Man by Louise Jensen 

Being a huge Jensen fan I was ecstatic to see she was one of the participating authors for Dark Minds. Her story is about an elderly man named Bill who’s wife Maureen has passed leaving him a widow.  Pensioners are being murdered in his area, is he next? It was creepy and pulled off quite a twist within a few pages.

Never Tell a Lie by Tara Lyons 

This is about an un named man who has an obsession with a beautiful woman named Fiona who he meets when she visits the coffee shop where he works. It’s obsessive, dark and menacing.

By The Water by Betsy Reavley 

Christine wakes up in a mental institution and has no idea why or what happened to land her there. Freaks me out just thinking about it! This was very chilling.

Slow Roast Pork by S. E. Lynes 

An un named woman this time who’s husband, Peter disappears. She seems distraught but does she know where he is? Or is she just a good actress? This was chilling in its intensity.

Sticky Fingers by J. T. Lawrence 

Nikki is a kleptomaniac, she’s not hurting for money she’s actually a wealthy housewife. She just can’t help herself, but is her time finally up? I loved the glimpse into her twisted mind and thought processes.

Hidden by K. A. Richardson 

Don’t want to say anything besides it is extremely creepy and graphic but excellent in its depravity.

I’ve Gone by Anita Waller

Laura’s husband Kevin is missing all that’s left is a note that says I’ve gone. This one was heartbreaking and shocking.

Be Careful What You Wish for by Peter Best

Sammy has found herself unwittingly entangled with the mafia in NYC. This is very action packed and there are twists until the very last sentence.

Dangerous Actions by M. A. Comley 

Joanne and Beth  are two best friends who meet a new guy on Facebook but social media can be deadly… I can’t say much more than that, but I was thoroughly impressed!

Captive by Stephen Edger

Daisy is kidnapped by Tim when she’s 6. There is quite a lot of action and intensity for a short story. My pulse was pounding as waited to see what her fate would be.

That’s just a taste of what this amazing collection has to offer, there are so many excellent stories that you have to read for yourself! It’s SUCH a good cause, grab your copy, you won’t be disappointed.

Overall rating: 5/5

You can grab a copy on Amazon US and Amazon UK.

#Audiobook Review: Broken Bones by Angela Marson @writeangie @bookouture


Release date: November 3, 2017

Publisher: Bookouture

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Narrator: Jan Cramer


They thought they were safe. They were wrong.

The murder of a young prostitute and a baby found abandoned on the same winter night signals the start of a disturbing investigation for Detective Kim Stone – one which brings her face to face with someone from her own horrific childhood.

As three more sex workers are murdered in quick succession, each death more violent than the last, Kim and her team realise that the initial killing was no one-off frenzied attack, but a twisted serial killer preying on the vulnerable.

At the same time, the search begins for the desperate woman who left her newborn baby at the station – but what looks like a tragic abandonment turns even more sinister when a case of modern slavery is uncovered.

The two investigations bring the team into a terrifying world of human exploitation and cruelty – and a showdown that puts Kim’s life at risk as shocking secrets from her own past come to light.


This book has been out for more than a month now and despite my excitement about a new Kim Stone book, I held off on reading it as soon as I got my hands on it. I know that sounds weird, especially since this is one of my favorite series, but I knew as soon as I finished I would be desperate for the next book anyway so I decided to show some restraint for once in my life. My patience paid off because I ended up having the opportunity to listen to the audio version and it was outstanding, it definitely enhanced my experience, I absolutely loved it.

I think everyone has heard me rave about this series and Marsons talent as a writer several times before, so I’ll try and spare you and won’t repeat myself too much and just say that these books honestly just get better, sharper, and darker in each installment and are always intricately plotted and shocking.

Two things make this series standout among a hundred other police procedurals for me. First, Marsons always seems to have her finger on the pulse of society and addresses current issues in a compassionate and educational way while still managing to be exciting and fresh. This time Kim and team are dealing with immigration issues, prostitution and even slavery. Using extremely important issues in her novels lends an authenticity that is unmatched, it serves to bring a human connection to an otherwise grim plot. Secondly, she keeps her characters constantly evolving, she reveals new things about their pasts and who they are in each book and oftentimes surprises me with said revelations, which is difficult to do.

Cramer is the perfect narrator for this one, her voice is soothing and so easy to listen to. I know many people say that their mind wanders anytime they try and listen to an audiobook and my attention never strayed throughout this for a minute. Between Marsons riveting story and Cramer’s fluid voice I was utterly absorbed. It doesn’t hurt that I could listen to an English accent all day long either, but seriously read this book. Even better, listen to this book, I don’t think you’ll regret it.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.