Thursday, October 31, 2013

Book Review: Dangerous Impulses by F. M. Meredith

Officer Gordon Butler is thrilled to learn he is being partnered with the drop-dead gorgeous new hire, Lizette Gibbs, but happenings in Rocky Bluff are going to keep them too busy for much socializing.

Detectives Doug Milligan and Frank Marshall are called in to investigate the murder of a mother and her teenage son. They have trouble narrowing down the suspects to one likely candidate. Meanwhile, Doug's wife, Vice Officer Stacey Milligan, is looking into a party where numerous teenagers were sickened by a recreational drug, and none of the kids will talk about what happened that night.

The latest installment in F. M. Meredith's Rocky Bluff P.D. series is more proof of why the author has carved out a lengthy and prosperous writing career. In Dangerous Impulses, Meredith brings back favorite characters and introduces new ones, always blending the elements of the characters' personal lives and their jobs. Perfect as a stand-alone novel, new readers will enjoy this murder mystery, and longtime fans of the series will be thrilled to see how everyone in Rocky Bluff is getting along. 

Meredith weaves in numerous sub-plots around the larger plot of the murder investigation and Stacey's questioning of the kids at the party. This gives readers a true sense of community inside and outside of the department. 

Dangerous Impulses is a quick, enjoyable read. I dusted it off in two nights. It only took me that long because I was working on deadline. It was hard to stay away. 

Lovers of police novels and murder mysteries will like this one.

Paperback: 202 pages
Publisher: Dark Oak Mysteries (December 24, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1610090608
ISBN-13: 978-1610090605

I received a free copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I have not been compensated in any way.

This post first appeared at The Book Connection.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

First Chapter Review: Tangled to Death by J.M. Griffin

Tangled to Death by J. M Griffin is a cozy mystery where the main character is an artist who teaches Zentangle art from her New Hampshire studio.

BLURB:  Danger lurks at every turn for Katie Greer.

Having escaped death in the past, Katie Greer has taken residence in a New Hampshire town where life appears idyllic, but is far from it. Teaching tangled doodling classes in her art studio allows Katie to reach out to people who require a semblance of peace and tranquility in their lives. If only she could maintain those two things for herself, Katie would be completely happy.

After finding the dead body of the town’s infamous, and most mean spirited, gossip frozen on the bench outside her Tangled Wings Studio, Katie realizes her efforts to hide her true identity and live a normal life are for naught. As the prime suspect of ruggedly handsome Detective Jonah Kilbride, Katie searches for the killer in order to prove her own innocence. Much to her dismay, Katie’s attraction for the relentless detective steadily grows, despite their continuous battles.

Past events threaten Katie at every turn, catching her unaware, and creating havoc in a life she’s desperately tried to establish in the town where she’d briefly found happiness. Can she survive or will she become the next victim on the killer’s list?

COVER: The color scheme on this one is different, but I like it. The cover captures not only the type of artwork Katie teaches, but depicts the type of pet she owns. The blue adds just the right amount of contrasting color.

FIRST CHAPTER: Katie wakes from a dream shaking and dripping with sweat. After a quick shower, she starts her day. Snow had fallen the night before, which meant she had to shovel a path out to get her newspaper. That's when she discovers a body frozen on the bench outside her studio. Detective Jonah Kilbride shows up to investigate, and he's got several questions for her.

KEEP READING: I'm eager to continue with this one. Griffin quickly creates an atmosphere of something sinister in an idyllic town. Definitely not anything new in the mystery genre. But we have the unique work of Katie Greer and the discovery of the town's obnoxious busy-body frozen to death on a bench outside her studio. The addition of a ruggedly handsome detective means the reader will also be treated to a hint of romance while Katie works to find her killer.

Tangled to Death captured me from the first page. Griffin drops the reader right into the action and keeps the pace steady. By limiting the characters to only three humans and an almost black cat, the reader can focus on the events unfolding in the beautifully described setting. In addition, the first person narrative connects the reader to Katie quickly. I hope I get a chance to finish this one sooner rather than later.

Paperback: 188 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 8, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1480270830
ISBN-13: 978-1480270831
Also available for Kindle.

·         Website  under construction
·         Blog
·         Facebook J.m. Griffin (yes, it is a lower case m here)
·         Twitter #mycozymystery
·         Goodreads J.M. Griffin

With her books sold worldwide, J.M. Griffin is one of today's popular women sleuth’s authors.

J.M. is known best for her Vinnie Esposito series. The series, set in Rhode Island, the smallest state in the USA, is brought to life by a colorful cast of characters. Every novel has a blend of humor, mystery, and romance. J.M.'s latest novel in the series, Cold Moon Dead, is the fourth in the Esposito series.

Stepping away from Rhode Island's scenery, J.M. set Faerie Cake Dead on the coast of Maine. Filled with humor, faeries, sweet cupcakes, murder and a yummy hero, the villain is someone you’ll least expect.

J.M.'s release, Murder on Spyglass Lane, takes place on the west coast of Florida in the Sarasota area. This cozy mystery has a unique and hilarious blend of characters, a sexy hero, and a psychic heroine.

Tangled to Death was a mystery inspired by J.M.’s favorite art style, Zentangle. She set the story in New Hampshire with an unexpected corpse in the first scene. Wit and fun fill the pages of this novel.

J.M., her husband, and two wacky cats reside in a countryside village in western Rhode Island, where life is anything but mundane.

This post first appeared at The Book Connection.

Friday, October 25, 2013

First Chapter Review: Iced Chiffon by Duffy Brown

Iced Chiffon is the first book in Duffy Brown's Consignment Shop Mystery series. The second book in this series, Killer in Crinolines, will be released in May. The author sent me a copy of Iced Chiffon as a thank you gift for hosting her in May.

BLURB:  There’s always something to gossip about in Savannah, Georgia, and Reagan Summerside always seems to be in the middle of it. She’s busy enough running her consignment shop, The Prissy Fox, with her vivacious Auntie KiKi, but now the gossip—and the sales—are about to pick up after a gruesome discovery…

Reagan’s messy divorce has left her with nothing but a run-down Victorian and a bunch of designer clothes. Strapped for cash, Reagan makes use of the two things she has left, turning the first floor of her home into a consignment shop and filling it with the remnants of her rich-wife wardrobe.

Thanks to his cunning lawyer Walker Boone, her ex got everything else, including the Lexus—not to mention a young blond cupcake. When Reagan finds the cupcake dead in the Lexus, she’s determined to beat Boone to finding the murderer. As it turns out, the gossip fiends flooding Reagan’s shop will give her a lot more than just their unwanted clothes—they have information more precious than a vintage Louis Vuitton…

COVER: This is a fabulous cover. You have to see it up close to appreciate it. The grandfather clock is tied into something from the first chapter--you'll have to read to find out what--and what the reader is looking at is the new first floor of Reagan's Victorian that has been turned into a consignment shop. Love the series logo with the orange hat. It also appears on the spine and on the back cover right above the author's website URL.

FIRST CHAPTER: It's only morning when Reagan dishes herself up a heavy helping of self-pity and the last of the pinot. Her lousy ex-husband has left her with a run-down house and a mountain of bills. He even took the Lexus she made the initial payment on. She should have listened to her mother and never married Hollis Beaumont. Reagan is stuck selling her furniture and her designer clothes to make ends meet. Snooty Raylene Carter paying a surprise visit early the next day might be the final straw.

KEEP READING:  Oh yes. Brown has created a zany cast of characters centered around a down-on-her-luck woman coping with the aftermath of her messy divorce. Between her mother, Guillotine Gloria, a judge who doesn't get pushed around, her UPS driver and friend, Chantilly, quirky Aunt KiKi, and an uncle named Putter for his love of golf, you know you're bound to have some mischief.

You can't help but feel sorry for Reagan, kindly named after a certain conservative president. Her ex-husband has left her for a woman twenty years his junior and he's taken just about everything. Reagan is left to put her life back together and try to find some way to pay the bills.

Even if Savannah wasn't mentioned, you could quickly tell by the characters and the details the author provides that the story is set in the south. It's got charm. It's got food. It's got history. I can't wait to see what happens next. Based upon the synopsis, I know it's going to get interesting right quick.

Reading level: Ages 18 and up
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley; Original edition (October 2, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425251608
ISBN-13: 978-0425251607

I received a free copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I have not been compensated in any way.

This post first appeared at The Book Connection.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

First Chapter Review: January Justice by Athol Dickson

I heard about this book recently and downloaded a free sample from Amazon. January Justice is a murder mystery novel, part of Athol Dickson's Malcolm Cutter memoirs.

BLURB:  Reeling from his wife's unsolved murder, Malcolm Cutter is just going through the motions as a chauffeur and bodyguard for Hollywood's rich and famous. Then a pair of Guatemalan tough guys offer him a job. It's an open question whether they're patriotic revolutionaries or vicious terrorists. Either way, Cutter doesn't much care until he gets a bomb through his window, a gangland beating on the streets of L.A., and three bullets in the chest. Now there's another murder on Cutter's Mind. His own.

COVER: Perfect. Seems odd at first, but once you read the opening chapter you'll know why it is a great cover. I'm also drawn to water scenes, so that is appealing to me too.

FIRST CHAPTER: Malcolm Cutter first appears to the reader as he contemplates his wife's death. Revenge is definitely on his mind. The only thing keeping him alive is that he's determined to pay back his wife's murderer.

The next day, he has his first chauffeur job since the murder. He soon discovers that the mysterious Mr. Brown knows more about him than he's comfortable with. Who is this guy? And what does he want?

KEEP READING: This one definitely captured me right away. Dickson quickly paints the scene around Cutter as he stands at the same cliff that claimed the life of his wife, Haley. Even though the first few pages are all narrative, as Cutter is alone, it doesn't drag. Cutter is an excellent narrator, as no one but he could describe his loss, his confusion, his desire for revenge. Though the opening narrative slowly unfolds, the tension created by the murder increases the pace. And as soon as Mr. Brown enters the picture, you're flying through the pages.

The sample I downloaded includes more than five chapters. I didn't read further, but only because I wanted to keep just the first chapter in my mind as I reviewed it. January Justice looks like it will be a fabulous, exciting read. I look forward to reading more.

File Size: 701 KB
Print Length: 307 pages
Publisher: Author Author (November 30, 2012)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English

I downloaded a sample of this book to my Kindle from Amazon. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

This post first appeared at The Book Connection.

Friday, October 18, 2013

First Chapter Review: Irregardless of Murder by E.E. Kennedy

I purchased a copy of Irregardless of Murder by E.E. Kennedy after receiving a recent newsletter from Sheaf House Publishers. This is a cozy mystery--one of my favorite genres.

BLURB:  Amelia Prentice, fortyish high school English teacher, trips over a corpse in the safest of places, the public library. Now, nothing of her cozy small town life in the Adirondacks will be the same.

Amelia (whose pet peeve is the non-word ‘irregardless’) returns to school, but soon she must deal with the facts: this death was no accident and she’s a murder suspect. The victim’s mother disappears; friend Lily is thrown overboard from the Lake Champlain ferryboat, a mysterious millionaire wants to buy Amelia’s house, the school nurse is viciously attacked and Amelia’s old beau Gil seems interested again.

And, of course, there’s the Lake Champlain monster.

It will take all Amelia’s wisdom, humor and faith to figure out what’s going on.

If she survives…

COVER: Love it. Appropriate for the genre and has a tie-in to Chapter One. The Adirondack chair hails to the author's location in northern New York and the setting of the story.

FIRST CHAPTER: Miss Prentice is found unconscious in the public library after spending her typical Thursday night correcting English papers. Muddled, she finds herself surrounded by the head librarian, a paramedic and Police Detective Dennis O'Brien; the last two former students.

She quickly learns from her neighbor, who also happens to be at the library, that library worker Marguerite LeBow has been found dead in the copy room.

KEEP READING: Definitely. I was attracted by the interesting setting of this novel--a public library. What makes me want to continue, however, is the engaging cast of characters we meet in the Prologue and the first chapter. In the Prologue, the reader gets a glimpse of Ms. LeBow, but it's really the first chapter that sets this whole thing into play. Though there are several characters introduced, Kennedy does a fabulous job of keeping the reader on track. Some characters appear only briefly with a line or two. Others, like Miss Prentice, the paramedic, and the detective interact more, focusing the reader's attention on their conversation. Some characters, we merely know are there by actions that are mentioned, like the flashing of a camera.

Mysteries lend themselves to wanting to turn the pages, but Kennedy has put together a strong first chapter that encourages the reader to continue. Since Sheaf House is a Christian publisher, I'm guessing faith will also be part of this story. The second book in this series is due out in September.

Paperback: 338 pages
Publisher: Sheaf House (August 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1936438186
ISBN-13: 978-1936438181

I purchased an electronic copy of this book from Amazon for my Kindle. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I have not been compensated in any way.

This post first appeared at The Book Connection.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Book Spotlight: Summer Spirit by G. Jay

Ryan Kinkaid, a successful gay Manhattan antique dealer, has had it with life in New York City, especially his random love life. Ryan has what most New Yorkers want — his own successful business, and a mortgage-free brownstone on West 71st Street. However, at age forty-one he discovers he is lacking one very important thing in his life: a meaningful and loving relationship. With summer just around the corner, the approaching heat and his restlessness are reasons for his escape from the city. A four-month rental in historic and picturesque Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with his best friend Lauren was the answer.

Renting a house built in 1810, kindred spirit Nicholas reaches out for contact, and Ryan finds himself wanting to know about the past. However, Nicholas is not the only one wanting Ryan’s attention. Ty, a handsome local man, also has strong desires for Ryan.

The stark contrast of the past collides with the present in this tale of lost and betrayed love, and irrational and undying prejudice.

In the end, all that is left is the affirmation of the value of honesty and commitment in love.

Link to Summer Spirit excerpts:

A Look at Ryan Kinkaid
by G. Jay

The main character in Summer Spirit is 41-year-old Ryan Kinkaid. A New York City antique dealer who, throughout his adult life, has looked for that certain someone with whom he could have a loving, committed, and monogamous relationship. Some may ask, “So what’s the problem?” The problem is that in the gay world this is not as common as one may think.

As a gay man in my mid-50s, I have observed many gay “couples” who call someone their “partner.” Usually it’s the person whom they live with and share living expenses. However, their sexual lives are not exclusive. I’ve seen advances made at parties by someone in a relationship toward someone not their partner, or hear how when at a conference or the gym they hook up with someone. It is when hearing those individuals say, or do, such things I want to correct them by saying, “Don’t call him, or her, your partner. They are your roommate who you have sex with occasionally, nothing more. You’re shopping, and are only with him, or her, until you find someone better. Besides, it is demeaning to the other person to know they are not good enough.”

I’ve been chastised and criticized for this opinion. However, I certainly know I am not alone in my view, as I have met many couples who are in loving, exclusive relationships. However, if the truth be known, I think we are in the minority.

After 32 years, in 2010, my partner and I married in the state of New Hampshire. For the years prior, I did not need to have a piece of paper to prove my commitment to him. I have always loved and wanted him. It is also safe to say that during those 32 years we had been through everything there is. Thereby, if you can stand up in front of family and friends and say vows of commitment to one another you mean them, because you’ve lived them, proven them.

At this time in our nation’s development, with the religious right trying so hard to shove homosexuality back into the closet and take away what few rights we have achieved over the years, gays have to work hard to promote positive relationships and dispel negative stereotypes. That piece of paper I mentioned above means everything to me.

I have written the character of Ryan Kinkaid to hold the same values as myself. He is not perfect or saintly; he has had his share of experiences. He is looking for someone who makes daily living worthwhile, someone to share life with and not be alone.

As a writer, I would like readers to be able to connect with my characters. I try hard to have them be realistic. I welcome any comments from readers on my book, your views on my characters and the relationships I portray. You can contact me through my website,

Format/Price: $3.99 ebook
Pages: 132
mobi ISBN: 9781938008665
ePub ISBN: 9781938008672
Publisher: Publish Green
Release: October 15, 2012

Kindle buy link ($3.99):

Nook buy link ($3.99):

iBookstore buy link ($3.99): buy link ($3.99):

A communications graduate of the City Universities of New York, and after twenty-nine years as a human resources administrator, Jay decided to apply his understanding of the complexities and foibles of the human character in a more creative way.

Like the main character, Ryan Kinkaid, Jay is a gay man who believes in love and commitment. He and his husband have been together for over thirty years and live on the West coast of Florida with their two cats. A transplant from New York, Jay continues to travel regularly to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to connect with the New England life which he so loves.

G. Jay's web site:

Tribute Books Blog Tours Facebook:

Summer Spirit blog tour site:

This post first appeared at The Book Connection.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Guest Bloggers: Larry and Lorna Collins, Authors of Murder in Paradise

On an early morning paddle, Agapé Jones' outrigger team finds a body in the water off Maui, thrusting him into unexpected danger.

Agapé Jones, retired NYPD detective, is asked to act as special investigator in the murder of famous surfer Philip Fowler, the son of Hawaii State Senator Thomas Fowler. The assignment takes Agapé to the North Shore of Oahu where he discovers that he’s investigating more than just a murder. The young man had no enemies, and Agapé is frustrated by little evidence and few possible suspects.

Agapé enjoys exercising his old skills, but he misses his wife, Gerry. He encounters several people who become more than acquaintances, and in the end, discovers the truth. Murder in Paradise allows readers to discover the answers along with the detective while experiencing a virtual trip to the real Paradise that is Hawaii.

Murder…We Wrote?
by Larry and Lorna Collins

We never intended to write mysteries. In fact, we only meant to finish our memoir about living in Osaka, Japan to build the Universal Studios Japan theme park, 31 Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park.

On Labor Day weekend of 2005, the year our book was published, we attended the now-defunct Maui Writers Conference. We learned a lot there, but we were also launched on the adventure of mystery writing.

Lorna had already started her still-incomplete romance novel, but Larry wasn’t writing anything. We attended a workshop called “You’re Published, Now What?” The first question asked by the speaker was, “So now that you have your first book published, what’s your next one?” He went on to explain that publishing your first book is like giving your teenager the keys to the car and watching them pull out of the driveway. They’re now on their own. Your job as a writer is done.

At the end of the same session, the conference director announced that the poet had fallen on the stairs, and although he’d be fine, his classes had been cancelled. Larry suddenly thought, What if the poet was found dead at the bottom of the stairs? During the weekend, we’d met quite a few quirky authors, so there was plenty of fodder for suspects. He had the idea for his next book.

The next day, we met a man we’d seen managing security for the conference. We stopped to chat with him for about ten minutes. As we walked away, Lorna turned to Larry and said, “We have to write that guy.” Thus Agapé Jones, retired NYPD detective, and our mystery collaboration were born.

After the third rewrite of our memoir, we’d figured out how to work together as a team. But this was a whole new venture.

The nice thing about two authors is that the characters can also have separate and distinct voices. Larry writes the macho hero types. But he also writes most of the little old ladies. He covers the factual stuff, and Lorna handles the emotions. Somehow, it works.

We’ve always loved to read cozy mysteries, but we discovered writing them was a huge challenge. Your suspects have to be credible with believable motives. They also have to appear to have opportunity. And all the red herrings and false storylines must be wrapped up by the end.

When we finished the first book, Murder…They Wrote, set at a fictional writers’ conference on Maui, we asked our proofreader to have a look at the manuscript before we submitted it. When she’d finished, we asked if she’d figured it out. She said she had. Then we asked her when. She replied, “At the same time as the protagonist.” That’s the best answer we could have received.

Even though we left no question about the solution, at least three people have told us, “I know the answer, but I still wonder if [character X] wasn’t involved.” Each of them named a different character!

We thought we were finished with mysteries, but our protagonist just wouldn’t stay retired. So we wrote Murder in Paradise to pull him out of retirement. And he keeps telling us he has at least two more stories to tell.

By the way, the fellow who inspired Agapé Jones is now a good friend. Strangely enough, when we’ve talked to him about what we’ve written, we quite often discover he is doing the same things as Agapé! We must have a telepathic connection.

The best thing about writing the series is that we have to visit Hawaii from time to time for ‘research.’ We were in Oahu at the time we received the edits for Murder in Paradise. Fortunately we’d discovered that a restaurant we’d mentioned in the manuscript had moved. We were able to change the manuscript before it was published to include its current location.

After our most recent trip to Maui, we’re back to work on the next one, Murder on Maui. We already know the basic plotline. Now if we can just decide what our perpetrator can add to a glass of wine to imitate a heart attack…

Lorna Lund and Larry Collins were both raised in Alhambra, California. They attended grammar and high school together. Larry went to California Polytechnic College in Pomona, and Lorna attended California State College at Los Angeles. They have been married for over forty-seven years.

Larry’s job as an engineer involved him in various projects throughout the United States and around the world. Lorna was employed in Document Control, Data Management, IT Change Management, Editing, and Technical Writing.

They both worked in Osaka on the Universal Studios Japan theme park. Larry was a Project Engineer, responsible for the Jurassic Park, JAWS and WaterWorld attractions. Lorna was the Document Control Supervisor in Osaka.

Their memoir of that experience, 31 Months in Japan: TheBuilding of a Theme Park was a 2006 EPPIE finalist and named as one of Rebeccas Reads Best Nonfiction books of 2005.

Their mysteries, Murder…They Wrote and Murder in Paradise were published by Whiskey Creek Press in ebook and paperback formats. They plan several more in this series.

In addition, Lorna has written four romance anthologies and a fantasy/mystery/romance called Ghost Writer. Larry has also published a collection of short stories entitled Lakeview Park.

All their books are available from the publishers, on Amazon, Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Nook, their website (, and other online book outlets. Follow Lorna’s blog at And follow her on Twitter @LornaCollins.

Lorna and Larry now reside in Dana Point, CA where Larry enjoys surfing nearly every day and Lorna spends time with family and friends. They have several more books in the queue.

This post first appeared at The Book Connection.

Monday, October 7, 2013

First Chapter Review: Death of a Clown by Heather Haven

I had the opportunity to help Heather Haven promote the first book in her humorous P.I. novel, Murder is a Family Business, Book One of the Alvarez Family Murder Mystery series. I also wrote a First Chapter Review of her seasonal mystery, Persephone Cole and the Christmas Killings Conundrum. When she mentioned she had a new book coming out at the end of January, I was eager to take a peek at it. Death of a Clown is a stand alone noir mystery novel set in the early 1940s.

BLURB:  Up and coming performer, Jeri Deane, finds a young clown strangled inside a beloved lion's cage. The town sheriff's threat to close down the Big Top won't stop her from finding his killer. Beneath the spangles and sawdust of the canvas sky, Jeri uncovers deceit, treachery, and secrets more dangerous than any death-defying trick in the circus. Even she has much to hide. If the Big Top survives the season, will she be able to face her own hidden past?

Written by the daughter of real-life circus performers, former Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey trapeze artist and elephant trainer, Heather Haven brings the daily existence of the circus during World War II to life, embellished by her own murderous imagination.

COVER:  I love historical photos, so it was a given this one would catch my eye. This is actually a picture of the author's mother. I love how Haven is using her family history for this novel, so this cover photo is an extra treat.

FIRST CHAPTER: Jeri Deane is practicing her trapeze act when a blood-curdling scream fills the air. She and another circus perfomer approach the lion's cage to find Catalena, a sixteen-year-old assistant knife thrower leaning over the body of Eddie Connors. The youngest of the clowns, Eddie had felt the circus was his new home. A quick view of the surroundings tells Jeri this wasn't an accident.

KEEP READING: Oh my gosh, yes! I love when an author or artist can show her versatility, which is what Haven has done here. Her earlier books are light and humorous with witty, smart female leads. From the opening lines of Death of a Clown, Haven's voice is there, but the climate, the tone, even the manner of description is decidedly different. And it's more than just a sub-genre change. Haven has gotten into this character's head and dissected everything she feels, so that it comes out in a powerful, gripping manner. I was hooked with the first sentence, and wanted to immediately push aside everything else I was reading to continue.

Strong female characters are Haven's trademark. While this novel is unlike what she has written in the past, she does not abandon her brand. Readers of her previous books will find much to enjoy in Death of a Clown. I am going to go out on a limb here and say this is her best work yet. I must find a way to make room for this in my reading schedule. I'm totally hooked!

Coming Soon from The Wives of Bath Press

I received the first chapter of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I have not been compensated in any way.

This post first appeared at The Book Connection. You can purchase this book at Amazon. Here are more details:

Paperback: 296 pages
Publisher: The Wives of Bath Press (February 13, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0988408635
ISBN-13: 978-0988408630

Also available for Kindle.

Friday, October 4, 2013

First Chapter Review: Saving Grace by Pamela Fagan Hutchins

The first chapter of Saving Grace comes to us from author Pamela Fagan Hutchins.

BLURB:  If you're at all inclined to be swept away to the islands to fall in love with a rainforest jumbie house and a Texas attorney who is as much a danger to herself as the island bad guys, then dive headfirst with Katie Connell into Saving Grace.

Katie escapes professional humiliation, a broken heart, and her Bloody Mary-habit when she runs to the island of St. Marcos to investigate the suspicious deaths of her parents. But she trades one set of problems for another when she is bewitched by the voodoo spirit Annalise in an abandoned rainforest house and, as worlds collide, finds herself reluctantly donning her lawyer clothes again to defend her new friend Ava, who is accused of stabbing her very married Senator-boyfriend.

COVER: I love the color scheme of this cover. The flash of blowing red hair and the yellow-orange dress works well against the green-blue of the water and that stunning sky filled with puffy clouds.

FIRST CHAPTER: After a tough win and an even tougher year, Katie Connell and her paralegal, Emily, head to Louisiana to join the rest of their law firm at a company retreat. While there, Katie hopes she might get a shot at spending some extra time with Nick, a co-worker she thinks has designs on her.

KEEP READING: Yes. At first I didn't really care for Katie. I mean, what attorney uses the word "suck" twice in five paragraphs? But as the chapter flowed, I discovered she might be rough around the edges, but she is definitely worth getting to know. She's had a difficult time dealing with the sudden death of her parents who died in an "accident" on their Caribbean vacation, but hasn't had the time to deal with it because of this major case she was working on. Now that the case is won, she can wind down.

Nick and Katie have this playful relationship and it looks like it could be leading somewhere. I found Nick funny and sexy; two very good traits in a man.

While the opening didn't have much to do with the overall plot stated in the synopsis, it is a great way to share Katie and her world with the reader. It allows the reader to get invested in what might happen to her in the future.

Paperback: 278 pages
Publisher: Skipjack Publishing (September 24, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0988234807
ISBN-13: 978-0988234802

Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes award-winning mysterious women’s fiction and relationship humor books, and holds nothing back. She is known for “having it all” which really means she has a little too much of everything, but loves it: writer, mediocre endurance athlete (triathlon, marathons), wife, mom of an ADHD & Asperger’s son, five kids/step-kids, business owner, recovering employment attorney and human resources executive, investigator, consultant, and musician. Pamela lives with her husband Eric and two high school-aged kids, plus 200 pounds of pets in Houston. Their hearts are still in St. Croix, USVI, along with those of their three oldest offspring.


This post first appeared at The Book Connection.