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.

Blurb:

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.

Review:

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.

Department Q Series by Jussi Adler-Olsen overview AND a #giveaway

I have something a little bit different to share today that I’m super excited about! Jussi Adler-Olsen’s seventh book, The Scarred Woman in the highly acclaimed Department Q series is out next month and to celebrate this, I have an entire series overview to get you caught up before it’s September release! I know we all have huge TBR piles so hopefully this will enable you to get a feel for the series and allow you to jump in with the newest installment OR pique your curiosity enough to entice you to catch up on this fantastic series. 
I’ve also partnered up with the amazing and generous team at Dutton Books to host a giveaway where one lucky person will win the entire series!! The link to enter will be at the end of this post, for now let’s get into the overview.

Book 1: THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES

 

Case No: 9780525952480

Date: 8/23/2011

Reporting Officer: Carl Mørck

Incident: A famous politician vanishes during a ferry ride without a trace. Was she pushed or did she jump? Sole witness is her brother and only family member, who lost his ability to speak during a traumatic accident as a child. Politician is assumed dead.

Background Information: Carl Mørck used to be one of Denmark’s best homicide detectives. Then a hail of bullets destroyed the lives of two fellow cops, and Carl—who didn’t draw his weapon—blames himself. So a promotion is the last thing he expects. But Department Q is a department of one, and Carl’s got only a stack of cold cases for company. His colleagues snicker, but Carl may have the last laugh, because one file keeps nagging at him: a liberal politician vanished five years earlier and is presumed dead. But she isn’t dead…yet.


Goodreads|Amazon


Book 2: THE ABSENT ONE

 

Case No: 9780525952893

Date: 8/21/2012

Reporting Officer: Carl Mørck

Additional Team Members: Hafez el-Assad

Incident: Brutal murder of teenage brother and sister in 1987. A suspect has already confessed and has been serving time. But it becomes evident that former classmates from their boarding school were somehow involved in the double murder. The same former classmates are now all prominent figures in Denmark.

Background Information: Carl Mørck has settled into Department Q and is ready to take on another cold case. This time, it’s the brutal double-murder of a brother and sister two decades earlier. One of the suspects confessed and is serving time, but it’s clear to Mørck that all is not what it seems. Kimmie, a homeless woman with secrets involving certain powerful individuals, could hold the key—if Mørck can track her down before they do…


Goodreads|Amazon

Book 3: A CONSPIRACY OF FAITH

 

Case No: 9780525954002

Date: 5/28/2013

Reporting Officer: Carl Mørck

Additional Team Members: Hafez el-Assad and Rose Knudsen

Incident: A bottle is found at sea that contains an old and decaying message written in blood, and one of the first words it says is “HELP.” The authors of the message are two young brothers who were never reported missing. Who are these boys? Where are they located? Are they still alive?

Background Information: Carl Mørck holds in his hands a bottle that contains an old and decayed message, written in blood. It is a cry for help from two young brothers, tied and bound in a boathouse by the sea. Could it be real? Who are these boys, and why weren’t they reported missing? Could they possibly still be alive?

 

Carl’s investigation will force him to cross paths with a woman stuck in a desperate marriage—her husband refuses to tell her where he goes, what he does, how long he will be away. For days on end she waits, and when he returns she must endure his wants, his moods, his threats. But enough is enough. She will find out the truth, no matter the cost to her husband—or to herself…


Goodreads|Amazon

Book 4: THE PURITY OF VENGEANCE

 

Case No: 9780525954019

Date: 12/13/2013

Reporting Officer: Carl Mørck

Additional Team Members: Hafez el-Assad and Rose Knudsen

Incident: Between 1923 and 1959, Danish women deemed pathologically promiscuous were sent away to the island of Sprogø. They were imprisoned and sometimes sterilized against their will. Nearly thirty years later, a brothel owner named Rita disappears, along with several other people. While sifting through the clues from the disappearances, the only connection appears to be Curt Wad, a man with a vision for evil.

Background Information: In 1987, Nete Hermansen plans revenge on those who abused her—especially Curt Wad, a surgeon who was part of a movement to sterilize wayward girls in the 1950s. More than twenty years later, Detective Carl Mørck already has plenty on his mind when he is presented with the case of a brothel owner, a woman named Rita, who went missing in the eighties: New evidence has emerged in the case that sent Carl to Department Q.

 

But when Carl’s assistants, Assad and Rose, learn that numerous other people disappeared around the same weekend as Rita, Carl takes notice. Sifting through the evidence, they inch closer to Curt Wad, who is still committed to his twisted beliefs, and whose treatment of Nete only hints at his capacity for evil.

 

Goodreads|Amazon

Book 5: THE MARCO EFFECT

 

Case No: 9780525954026

Date: 9/9/2014

Reporting Officer: Carl Mørck

Additional Team Members: Hafez el-Assad and Rose Knudsen

Incident: Marco Jameson, teenager, is a member of a former gypsy clan ruled by his powerful uncle Zola. The whole family participates in petty crime and begging. When Marco stumbles across a dead body near his family’s complex, he knocks over the first in a series of deadly dominos that have him running for his life.

Background Information: Fifteen-year-old Marco Jameson longs to become a Danish citizen and go to school like a normal teenager. Unfortunately, his Uncle Zola forces the children of their former gypsy clan to beg and steal for his personal gain. When Marco discovers a dead body that proves the true extent of Zola’s criminal activities, he goes on the run. But it turns out his family members aren’t the only ones who want to keep Marco silent…forever.

 

Detective Carl Mørck wants to save the boy, but Marco’s trail leads him to a case that extends from Denmark to Africa, from embezzlers to child soldiers, from seemingly petty crime rings to the very darkest of cover-ups.


Goodreads|Amazon

Book 6: THE HANGING GIRL

Case No: 9780525954941

Date: 9/8/2015

Reporting Officer: Carl Mørck

Additional Team Members: Hafez el-Assad, Rose Knudsen, Gordon Taylor

Incident: Teenage girl disappeared from local school – later found dead, hanging from a tree. Connection to folklore? Possible cult tie.

Background Information: In the middle of his usual hard-won morning nap in the basement of police headquarters, Carl Mørck, head of Department Q, receives a call from a colleague working on the Danish island of Bornholm. Carl is dismissive when he realizes that a new case is being foisted on him, but a few hours later, he receives some shocking news that leaves his headstrong assistant Rose more furious than usual. Carl has no choice but to lead Department Q into the tragic cold case of a vivacious seventeen-year-old girl who vanished from school, only to be found dead hanging high up in a tree. The investigation will take them from the remote island of Bornholm to a strange sun-worshipping cult, where Carl, Assad, Rose, and newcomer Gordon attempt to stop a string of new murders and a skilled manipulator who refuses to let anything—or anyone—get in the way.


Goodreads|Amazon

Book 7: THE SCARRED WOMAN

Case No: 9780525954958

Date: 9/19/2017

Reporting Officer: Carl Mørck

Additional Team Members: Hafez el-Assad, Rose Knudsen, Gordon Taylor

Incident: Body found in Copenhagen park – similar to previous unsolved homicide. Young women being targeted across Copenhagen. Could the deaths be connected? Something is going on with Rose Knudsen – can Dept. Q solve the case and save their colleague?

Background Information: Detective Carl Mørck of Department Q, Copenhagen’s cold cases division, meets his toughest challenge yet when the dark, troubled past of one of his own team members collides with a sinister unsolved murder.
In a Copenhagen park the body of an elderly woman is discovered. The case bears a striking resemblance to another unsolved homicide investigation from over a decade ago, but the connection between the two victims confounds the police. Across town a group of young women are being hunted. The attacks seem random, but could these brutal acts of violence be related? Detective Carl Mørck of Department Q is charged with solving the mystery.

 

Back at headquarters, Carl and his team are under pressure to deliver results: failure to meet his superiors’ expectations will mean the end of Department Q. Solving the case, however, is not their only concern. After an earlier breakdown, their colleague Rose is still struggling to deal with the reemergence of her past—a past in which a terrible crime may have been committed. It is up to Carl, Assad, and Gordon to uncover the dark and violent truth at the heart of Rose’s childhood before it is too late.

 

Goodreads|Amazon
I can’t wait to read The Scarred Woman, stay tuned for my review very soon.

Enter the giveaway here (US only) and if you want to increase your chances I’m hosting an additional giveaway on my Instagram. Good luck! 

Blog Tour: Lift And Separate by Marilyn Simon Rothstein @NounsandVerbs1 @TLCBookTours


Goodreads|Amazon
Release date: December 1, 2016

Publisher: Lake Union

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Blurb: 

Marcy Hammer’s life has been turned upside down. Her husband, the head of a global brassiere empire, didn’t think twice about leaving her after thirty-three years of marriage for a 32DD lingerie model. Now Harvey the Home-Wrecker is missing in action, but Marcy’s through thinking about what a cliché he is. What she needs now is a party-size bag of potato chips, a good support system, and a new dress.


Striking out on her own is difficult at first, but Marcy manages to find traces of humor in her heartbreak. Even while devastated by Harvey’s departure, she still has her indomitable spirit and her self-respect. She has no intention of falling apart, either, even when her adult children drop a few bombshells of their own and she discovers a secret about her new, once-in-a-lifetime friend. Life may be full of setbacks, but by lifting herself up by her own lacy straps, Marcy just may be able to handle them all. 

I’m thrilled to be kicking off the blog tour for Lift And Separate. If you would like to follow the rest of the tour here is the schedule! 

Monday, July 17th: Novel Gossip

Wednesday, July 19th: West Metro Mommy Reads

Monday, July 24th: Bookchickdi

Wednesday, July 26th: A. Holland Reads

Monday, July 31st: Girl Who Reads

Tuesday, August 1st: Why Girls are Weird

Wednesday, August 2nd: From the TBR Pile

Thursday, August 3rd: Readaholic Zone – author guest post

Friday, August 4th: BookNAround

Monday, August 7th: Must Read Faster

Tuesday, August 8th: Just One More Chapter

Wednesday, August 9th: Jathan & Heather

Date TBD: Writer Unboxed

Date TBD: BookBub Blog

Review: 

The vast majority of women’s fiction (or chick lit, whatever label you want to put on it works) features a lead character in her thirties, at the oldest. Nothing wrong with that, I’m in my thirties and can usually relate to these types but it does get a bit stale sometimes. In Lift And Separate Marcy is in her late fifties and I really loved reading things from the perspective of a woman with more life experience than me. She was wickedly funny, resilient and totally genuine, exactly the type of heroine that you want to root for. She finds herself in a bit of a cliched situation when her husband of thirty three years cheats on her with a much younger woman. But this book is far from cliched, it was authentic and sharply funny. 

I really enjoyed the authors writing style, there was so much humor in the storyline despite the fact that Marcy was experiencing the hardest time in her life. She’s extremely vulnerable and she protects herself by being sarcastic which is something I do myself, so clearly I loved that! I also loved watching her growth throughout the story, even though life threw her several curveballs in a short amount of time she handled herself with humor and grace, a total class act. 

This was a highly entertaining read, perfect to read on a weekend afternoon. There was something really satisfying about the authors style, a fluidity that had me turning the pages quickly. I can definitely recommend this one to fans of women’s fiction, especially anyone looking for a fresh spin on the genre. 

Overall rating: 4/5

My last blogiversary #giveaway!

It’s time for the final giveaway to celebrate my blog turning one, I guess I’ve stretched out the celebrations for as long as possible 😂 

This time I’m hosting it on Instagram but I wanted to make sure everyone knew about it! All the rules and details are there, but it’s another Book Depository one so hurry over and throw your name in the hat! 

#Giveaway and it’s open internationally this time!!

This is the one I’ve been waiting for y’all! I’m so excited to be hosting a giveaway that’s not just for my US followers, this time it’s open internationally, as long as Book Depository ships to you! If you’re not sure, you can check on their site. 

Back when I started this journey I never would’ve dreamed that I had more than five followers in the States,  much less people from all over the world!! I’m not big on checking my stats, but I do occasionally check out where people are from and every single time I do, it blows my mind! I have visitors from all over and it’s just so cool to me, so thank you, each and every one of you, wherever you live. 

Now, onto the fun stuff! One person will win 25 dollars to Book Depository. You can change the currency easily on their site to make it easy when you shop. I don’t care what books you choose but you will need to send me your choices if you win. The easiest way for me to do this is for me to just place the order myself sending as a gift to the winners address. So as long as you’re comfortable sending me your book choices and your shipping address, please enter and good luck!!

Enter here. (Must be 18 or older)

Happy Blogiversary to me!! #giveaway

I’m so excited that June is finally here as I have some really fun giveaways planned that will last all month long! Yes, that’s right I’m planning on hosting four separate giveaways, one for every Tuesday in June. 

Three of these will be open US only but one will be open internationally, more on that one later this month. 

I honestly cannot believe that I’ve already been blogging for a full year, time has absolutely flown by and I’ve had a BLAST! I have met so many amazing people this past year and I appreciate every single blogger, author and publisher that has taken a chance on little old me. I still can’t believe that I’ve interacted with some of my favorite authors and publishers, I don’t know if I’ll ever stop fangirling when one of them responds to one of my tweets or thanks ME for reviewing their book! Like seriously, thanking me for reading?! Still crazy to me, it never gets old. 

I don’t want to turn this into an Academy Award type speech, but I’m going to anyway 😂😂😂 I do want to thank the blogging community in general for the support, encouragement and laughs. I don’t want to miss anyone or hurt any feelings, but I do have to specifically mention ChelseaBentleyAnnieSam and Renee as you guys have become such great friends and I appreciate you all so much. Also Sarah and Noelle have been invaluable in terms of being not only super helpful, but also are the type of bloggers that I so admire. The rest of you are all amazing as well, I have to stop name dropping because everyone is most definitely nodding off by now. 

I can’t say thanks without mentioning the publishers who I just adore, Karen and Anne at Orenda Books, Kim at Bookouture and Sarah at Bloodhound Books. All of you ladies are amazing and I’m honored every single time one of you invites me on a tour! 

I’ll stop now, but not before I thank each and everyone of you who follows me here and on various social media. I’m still dumbstruck that people actual care about what I have to say, it’s truly humbling and I’m so grateful! I hope these little giveaways show just a small part of my gratitude. 
Finally onto the fun stuff! This weeks giveaway is awesome if I do say so myself. One person will win two books, both of which I have been eagerly waiting for. 

A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena


Why would you run scared from a happy home?
You’re waiting for your beloved husband to get home from work. You’re making dinner, looking forward to hearing about his day.
That’s the last thing you remember.
You wake up in hospital, with no idea how you got there. They tell you that you were in an accident; you lost control of your car whilst driving in a dangerous part of town.
The police suspect you were up to no good. But your husband refuses to believe it. Your best friend isn’t so sure. And even you don’t know what to believe . . .

Everything We Left Behind by Kerry Lonsdale


From the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Everything We Keep comes the highly anticipated sequel. Told from one man’s two perspectives, Everything We Left Behind effortlessly blends suspense, mystery, and romance in an exploration of loss, resilience, and the compelling need to protect the ones we love at all cost.
Two months before his wedding, financial executive James Donato chased his trade-laundering brother Phil to Mexico, only to be lost at sea and presumed dead. Six and a half years later, he emerges from a dissociative fugue state to find he’s been living in Oaxaca as artist Carlos Dominguez, widower and father of two sons, with his sister-in-law Natalya Hayes, a retired professional surfer, helping to keep his life afloat. But his fiancée, Aimee Tierney, the love of his life, has moved on. She’s married and has a child of her own.
Devastated, James and his sons return to California. But Phil is scheduled for release from prison, and he’s determined to find James, who witnessed something in Mexico that could land Phil back in confinement. Under mounting family pressure, James flees with his sons to Kauai, seeking refuge with Natalya. As James begins to unravel the mystery of his fractured identity, danger is never far behind, and Natalya may be the only person he can trust.

You can enter the giveaway here! Good luck. (US only) 

Monday Matinee Giveaway #MondayMatinee


Last month I read The Last Chance Matinee and loved it and now I’ve partnered up with Gallery Books and have a copy to giveaway! Giveaway is open to US only and for a chance to win, tell me what your favorite book about sisters is in the comment section. That’s it, easy peasy! I’ll choose a winner with random.org on Friday, April 28 at 8 am MST. 
Good luck! 

Monday Matinee Giveaway:
Follow XOXO After Dark on Twitter (@xoxoafterdark) Mondays in April to see which blogs on the blog tour will host a giveaway for The Last Chance Matinee: April 3, 10, 17, 24! #MondayMatinee
 
 
Monday, April 3rd
Suzy Approved
Lit Loving Mom
Collectors of Book Boyfriends
Hardly A Goddess
The Librarian
Staircase Wit
 
Monday, April 10th
The Book Nympho
Reviews By Crystal
PNW Bookworm
Abigail Books Addiction
Sour Puss
Lorelei’s Lit Lair
 
Monday, April 17th
Lovey Dovey Books
Dawn’s Reading Nook
My Novelesque Life
Books According to Abby
I Wish I Lived In A Library
 
Monday, April 24th
Novel Gossip
Blonde Bookworm
Up ‘Til Dawn
Devilishly

Giveaway: All The Breaking Waves by Kerry Lonsdale @kerrylonsdale #giveaway


So I received TWO copies of this beauty in the mail yesterday, don’t ask me how I’m just super grateful to even get my hands on ONE copy. Obviously, my first thought was that I would host a giveaway for one copy to one of my lucky readers. You guys want this one, I loved Everything We Keep and just look at the cover for this one! 😍 

Blurb: 

From the bestselling author of Everything We Keep comes a gripping tale of long-buried secrets, the strength of forgiveness, and the healing power of returning home for good.


After a harrowing accident tore her family apart, Molly Brennan fled from the man she loved and the tragic mistake she made.


Twelve years later, Molly has created a new life for herself and her eight-year-old daughter, Cassie. The art history professor crafts jewelry as unique and weathered as the surf-tumbled sea glass she collects, while raising her daughter in a safe and loving environment—something Molly never had. But when Cassie is plagued by horrific visions and debilitating nightmares, Molly is forced to return to the one place she swore she’d never move back to—home to Pacific Grove.


A riveting exploration of love, secrets, and motherhood, All the Breaking Waves is the poignant story of a woman who discovers she must confront her past, let go of her guilt, and summon everything in her power to save her daughter. 

This one is US only and you must be 18 to enter. Good luck! 

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Giveaway: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Some of you may have read my passionate review of It Ends With Us. I truly feel like I need to help get this book into the hands of as many people as possible so it’s giveaway time! 

One lucky person will receive a copy of this powerful novel. If the winner is in the US it will be a paperback copy and if the winner is international I will send an ebook copy OR if Book Depository ships to your country I’ll send it that way! 

Good luck! 
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