Maisy and the Mystery Manor, from Elizabeth Woodrum (The Maisy Files #3)

Hello, lovelies! I’m back with another really late review from happier days, before my break down and all the emo music I’ve been listening to. One would think teenage angst couldn’t be a deal after our twenties, but oh well.

Despite the teen phase, I’m here today to talk about a middle grade book, which proves that I’m never going to truly grow up – middle grade books can be the sweetest thing ever ❤ I present you the third volume in The Maisy Files series, from Elizabeth Woodrum: Maisy and the Mystery Manor! I’ve won my copy from Lola’s Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review, so here we are! Thanks, guys ❤

As miracles do happen, we have reviews for all the books in the series so far! If you want to take a look at them before reading this one, please, be my guest!

Maisy and the Missing Mice (The Maisy Files #1)

Maisy and the Money Marauder (The Maisy Files #2)

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summary

Super sleuths will be thrilled to know that everyone’s favorite fourth-grade detective is back with a double dose of mystery adventure! As Maisy participates in a mystery weekend event for junior detectives, she uncovers a real case. Could a ghost be haunting Mystery Manor? Find out in the exciting third installment of The Maisy Files!

the analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

I was so sad to know this was the last book in the series and even sadder to not know if there will be more volumes to it! =( Especially given that Maisy and The Mystery Manor is the best volume – full standalone, so you don’t need to read books one and two to meet Maisy and understand why she is on the Mystery Manor – and also the cleverest of them all! ❤ I finished it with an I-want-more taste on my mouth and it was a five stars read from beginning to end!

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The narrative follows the style from the previous books: third person from Maisy’s view. It’s amazing to see how skilled Maisy becomes through the books, using her logic better and better with each mystery solved. Woodrum also had the care of always making the next mystery slightly more challenging than the last, so that’s also amazing. I confess I got lost trying to solve the main mystery, so more points to the author! ❤ Annelise, dear, don’t talk like your mental age was above 12.

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Mea culpa, as I have the sinking feeling that it’s not just my face that is stuck in time since I became a vampire, at the age of 14. Seriously, a high-schooler hit on me on the mall the other day and I not-so-kindly told him I had the age to be his mother, as I’m 22 and already finished college. Kids those days! Still, it’s amazing to see how Woodrum built a good mystery without resorting to anything too complicated. I can’t even tell you how refreshing this was!

…And I already talked about the plot, haha! I don’t want to say much more, because a good mystery doesn’t ask for spoilers 😉

The interesting thing to see about the characters is their evolution. Maisy may be the leading character, but her best friend Veronica also got much better at being a detective and both girls grow up a little, but never losing their childish shine ❤

I truly only have good things to say about this book and this series, so I’m afraid this review will be shorter than my usual ones.

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Please, do try to disguise your relief a little bit, yes? Thank you! Hahahaha!

As I say my goodbyes for this delightful series (for now! I still have hopes for a new The Maisy Files book and re-reads are always a thing), I’d like to share the biggest lesson I took from Maisy:

“Never mess with a girl’s lollipops” – SAWYER, Maisy.

5star

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Thank you for reading yet another review and many thanks again to Lola’s Blog Tours for my review copy! =) See you around and love you, guys!

assinatura

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Black Water Tales: The Unwanted, from JeanNicole Rivers (Black Water Tales #2)

(Alternative title: HOLLY F*, THE CREEPS. ALL. OVER. THE. PLACE! =OOOOOO)

Hello to you that decided it was a good time to seat and read a review! Or not sit, but happily scroll down through your phone. Oh, well. Welcome to you, no matter if you are seated, on your feet or laid down. My only piece of advice before cutting the crap and start talking about today’s book is: do not read this with the lights off. You know, safety matters and all. Thanks!

Without further ado, today I took the day to review a DELICIOUS book that I received from the author in exchange for an honest review: Black Water Tales: The Unwated, from JeanNicole Rivers! Technically, this is the second book in the series, but they are totally unrelated to each other, so I will just treat is as a standalone 🙂 Thanks so much for sending me your book, JeanNicole! I don’t have the words to describe what it meant to me! Actually I kind of do, as I am writing all about my feels for the book as we speak, but never mind that.

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the story

Blaire Baker is one of those people who is in a serious need to find a purpose in life. Which better way than to volunteer herself to teach special children at a poor orphanage in eastern Europe? St. Sebastian sounds like the perfect place to escape her problems and make herself useful, maybe even changing some lives for good. Paired up with Travis, a funny and easy-going nurse on the same mission as her, Blaire heads to Borslav to start her life.

She knew not to expect a nice looking place or even healthy children, but nothing prepared Blaire to the eerie creeps that St. Sebastian gave her. She also wasn’t prepared to deal with emotionless and stoic children that couldn’t care less what happened around them. Or even to hear so many whispers about the basement.

As if caring for those lost children wasn’t already a big deal, Blaire also started to be haunted by her own past. She would have to fight her own demons before trying to dig up the mysteries around the night noises and voices of St. Sebastian.

The only question is… Will she survive long enough for that?

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the analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

DEAR HEAVENS, WHERE DO I BEGIN?! This book scared me on a whole new level. I admit not being an avid reader of terror books so far in my life, but NOT A SINGLE BOOK THAT CAME BEFORE THIS ONE WRACKED ME SO HARD! Nearing the end, I would shiver in broad daylight, with the sun on my back and many people around me, feeling utterly alone in the world. As I finished it on a very crowded subway station, I kept looking over my shoulder, being sure that ~something~ was watching for me, if you know what I mean. I only avoided a panic attack because I managed to run home and burn my energy. And when I say run, I mean it. I must have looked absolutely crazy, because I only stopped to cross streets and to enter my building… Oh well, it happens to the best of us. For all those sensations, that are priceless on their own twisted way, A MILLION STARTS FOR THIS BOOK!

The narrative had to be my favorite style: third person with switching points of view between Blaire and Travis. As both them are oblivious to the things that really happen at the orphanage, the narrative choice fit as a glove. Even when one of them discovered something else, we all kept in the dark (quite literally) about what was real and what was paranoid delusion. In the end of the book, I truly didn’t know any more if things were actually happening of if it was a glitch from one of their minds. Rivers plays with your mind that hard.

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The plot was all kinds of brilliant. I admit that the story starts off a little slow with Blaire going to Borslav with Travis, but as soon as they step on St. Sebastian for the first time, you are doomed. It’s a mix of morbid curiosity with pure agony that makes you go on. You want to see these poor children winning in life after so many problems. I have to also admit that I was actually cool in the scary side while I thought things were supernatural. While I thought that ghosts were behind the bad things and that was a simple matter of calling Sam and Dean, you know?

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I thought it would be the case of involving the Impala brothers 😛

 

However, Rivers played me like a puppet and laughed (metaphorically) at my face. No Sam and Dean were required and just like that my biggest fears came alive: REAL PEOPLE DOING NASTY THINGS. This is what truly scared the shit out of me and Rivers had me at my fear of real people. Well played, Rivers. Well played indeed.

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Ok, focus. Now we have characters. Oh, the characters. I was soooo in love with Blaire and Travis once that I got to know them! What I really liked about this book is that the author didn’t push the romance – no, it’s all about the mystery and remaining true to yourself. Despite some facts, it would have been really easy to turn Travis and Blaire into a couple and I am so proud of Rivers for not falling into that trap ❤ From the bottom of my heart: THANK YOU!

What I really love about Black Water Tales: The Unwanted is that every character has a shady edge, even the children and St. Sebastian building. By the way, the building pulses with life, which is so freaking odd and creepy. I love decadent places, but I doubt I would have the courage to enter St. Sebastian.

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The only complaint that I have is that I ended the book without many vital details. I felt more tying up right before the end and I doubt that the next instalment of this series will also be in Borslav, so it is a bit disappointing. I only overlooked this on my rating because all the rest is SO FREAKING AMAZING that I could deal with some plot holes, haha!

I think I have already went on too much today, so let me just wrap things up by saying that if you love mystery and terror, you simply have to read this book asap. After that, message me for us to fangirl about it together, please! =D

5star

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Thanks for reading another unnecessary long and fangirling review, you rock if you reached the bottom of my post! Also, another round of thank-yous for JeanNicole herself for being incredible in both writing this masterpiece and sending it my way ❤ ❤ I loved this experience! But of course you couldn’t tell by this review. #sarcasm

Love you all and see you again any other time,

assinatura

Maisy and the Money Marauder, from Elizabeth Woodrum (The Maisy Files #2)

(Alternative title: oh dear, how I love clever children’s books <3)

Hello, hello 🙂 How’s everyone weekend went? Mine was really lazy, full of Ever After High, cleaning, laundry and reading. Not that you need to know any of that, oops 😛 Sorry, haha! Anyway, continuing on that plan of reviewing all the books I’ve read so far, today I’ll talk about one that I received from Lola’s Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review 🙂 Thanks a lot!

Without anymore suspense, let’s talk about Maisy and the Money Marauder, the second volume of The Maisy File series, from Elizabeth Woodrum =D Oh, if you would like to read my review for the first book before starting this one, be our guest!

Maisy and the Missing Mice (The Maisy Files #1)

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summary

Everyone’s favorite fourth-grade detective is back!

Maisy steps back into her black and white mystery world when someone begins stealing lunch money at West Valley Elementary. With her fedora hat, notebook, and a little help from her best friend, Maisy follows the clues to catch the thief, whom she names The Money Marauder. But, as the case develops, Maisy is stumped by the ever growing list of suspects. With a cherry lollipop in hand, Maisy is determined to solve the case. Follow Maisy into her world of mystery and discover the identity of The Money Marauder.

the analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

The Maisy Files is one of those series in which each book gets better than the last. I enjoyed this volume way better than the last, as Maisy is even more clever and good humored. Also, we get to know the people around her more and her best friend, Veronica, starts working on cases with her. It was really good and entertaining, a perfect read not only for preteens, but for everyone 🙂 Five stars!

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Maisy and the Money Marauder follows the narrative style from the last volume: third person styled, from Maisy’s point of view. Woodrum’s writing style improved a lot without losing its appeal to children. With a simple vocabulary and cute lessons, it stole my heart, haha!

The plot is still very simple, don’t start reading it expecting a clever mystery, but it was nice to see Maisy asking Veronica for help and to lead an investigation with the help of her friends. Also, Woodrum never writes a book with only one problem for Maisy to solve, which is awesome.

On characters’ matters, it was good to see how Maisy got better as a detective and to know more about the people around her. I liked the time we pass with Veronica, as she is really a child in the good sense of that: she makes jokes, she gets nervous for no reason while investigating, everything. She balances Maisy’s mature nature 🙂

On a bonus point, I learned the meaning of the word “marauder”, which I didn’t know before reading this book, haha! The perks of not being a native English speaker is to still be amazed at some word or another as you read =D

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me reading and finding unknown words

 

Anyway, if you are searching for a good children’s book for any reason, pick up this series. It’s perfect ❤

5star

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And yes, you are not delirious, this is the end of this review 🙂 Pretty short by my standards, I know, but I’m trying to be more objective on reviews, haha! Which totally didn’t work on my last ones, but I won’t give up. Thanks to you for reading this review and following the blog, always supporting me, no matter how erratic or annoying I am and thanks again to Lola’s Blog Tours for my copies of The Maisy Files series! ❤ I loved reading it!

Love you all and see you on the other side,

assinatura

BLOG TOUR: Welcome to Sortilege Falls, by Libby Heily

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Hello, there! It’s time for another piece of bookish news – Mondays are usually so busy, haha! YA Bound Book Tours prepared a tour for Welcome to Sortilege Falls, by Libby Heily 🙂

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Welcome to Sortilege Falls
by Libby Heily
Genre: YA Magical Mystery
Release Date: June 12th, 2016
Fire & Ice Young Adult Books

summary

Sixteen-year-old Grape Merriweather has just moved to Sortilege Falls and already she knows something isn’t right. A small pack of teenage models, too beautiful for words, holds the town in their sway. The models have no plans on making Grape’s life easy. But no matter how cruel they are to Grape and the other “Normals”, no one can stay angry with them for long.

Grape’s life changes for the better, or so she thinks, when Mandy, the only “nice” model, befriends her. But that’s when the trouble truly begins. Mandy’s friendship places Grape smack in the middle of a medical mystery that has the entire town on edge. One by one, the models fall ill from an incurable disease. Grape quickly realizes that the models’ parents are hiding a secret, even as they watch their children die. To save her only friend, Grape will have to find the truth–and that means putting her life in danger.

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purchase links

You can find Welcome to Sortilege Falls in ebook only 🙂

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excerpt

“Gross.” Books, notebooks, trash, and candy wrappers littered the lower half of the locker.

A wet, bored voice said from behind her, “Your rose is dripping on my books.”

Grape turned to find a pudgy girl with a loose brown ponytail standing mere inches away. The girl blinked at Grape through pink, plastic framed glasses as she continued sucking on her candy necklace.

“Sorry,” Grape said, not exactly sure what the girl was talking about. “I guess you’re my locker-mate?”

The girl slurped on her necklace, her bland expression not changing. “Guess so.”

“I’m Grape Merriweather.”

Grape extended her hand to her new locker-mate, but the girl only looked back at her suspiciously.

“Is that a stage name?”

“No. Why do people keep asking me that? It’s just my name.”

“Good. Not sure I’d want to be locker-mates with a Model.”

“Do you think I could be a model?” Grape asked, running her hand over her flat tummy. She knew she didn’t need to lose weight.

The girl shrugged. “Sure, but what do I know?”

“Sorry, I didn’t catch your name.” She’d heard her mother use that line tons of times when she met someone new.

“Patience.”

“My bad. I didn’t know I was rushing anything.”

The girl slipped another piece of necklace into her mouth. “No, that’s my name,” she said, smacking her lips around the candy.

“Oh. Well, nice to meet you.”

“Did you read the note yet?”

“What note?” Grape looked back at the locker, and sure enough, a blood-drenched rose sat on the top shelf of the locker, red goop dripping onto the books below. Just when she thought the locker couldn’t get any worse. “Ewwww. Is that yours?”

Patience snorted. “Why would I have a blood-soaked rose?”Why would anyone?

“The note has your name on it,” Patience said, loading another piece of candy necklace into her mouth.

So it did.

“Sorry about this.” Great, now her locker-mate would think she was a freak. No one in this school was ever going to like her.

Grape reached into her book bag and ripped a few sheets out of her notebook. She bunched the pages up in her hand and used the paper glove to grab the rose. Drops of ruby-red blood splashed on the ground as she pulled out the flower. Grape stared down at the note attached to it but didn’t want to pull it off without some sort of protection, and she’d only made one paper glove.

“What are you waiting for?” Patience grabbed the note. “It’s probably just pig’s blood.” Her words came out slurred around the mouthful of necklace.

Grape’s stomach lurched as her locker-mate peeled apart the sticky pages, little strings of blood spreading and breaking as she did so.

The girl gave a crooked smile, revealing teeth that were too white for someone who ate so much candy. “It’s from Graeson. He says sorry about last night.”

“Thanks.” Grape tried to offer Patience a smile, even though looking at her blood-covered hands left her nauseated. “Can I see?”

Patience held the note out to Grape. Thick black curlicues covered the page between red, gooey splotches.

“Grape Merriweather, so sorry about last night. Will you be my Queen of Darkness? Yours Darkly, Graeson.”

Grape dodged across the hall to throw the rose and paper glove away. Her breakfast threatened to come up when she returned to find Patience licking the blood off her fingertips.

“Hey, don’t do that.” She grabbed for her locker-mate’s hands. A list of blood-borne pathogens, mostly made up, ran through her head.

Patience sidestepped with surprising speed. Grape lost her balance and nearly fell into her locker, catching herself at the last second.

“Not pig’s blood.” Patience sounded bored, as if she licked blood from her fingers every day. “It’s corn syrup. Good stuff, but I’m not a fan of red dye.” She turned back to the locker and began digging out a notebook that lay buried under a mound of trash.

“Corn syrup?”

“Yep, super sweet. Want some?” Patience turned to offer Grape an unlicked portion of her hand.

“I’m good. Thanks.”

the author

I was born during a blizzard. I’m told it was pretty cool, but I have no memory of that time. I grew up in two tiny towns in Virginia and spent most of my twenties moving around the US. I’ve lived in Virginia, Florida, Missouri, and Washington. I’ve settled down, for now, in Raleigh, North Carolina.

I’m a writer and improviser. I studied acting in college but spent more time rewriting lines than memorizing them. My first play, Fourth Wall, was produced my junior year. Since then, I’ve written several full length plays, one acts, and screenplays. I started writing fiction in my late twenties. Now, I focus mainly on novels but still dabble in theater.
Fun facts about me: There are none. I’m sorry to disappoint you so soon. But, I do love to read, write, and run. My hubby is my favorite person on earth. Dogs are my second favorite. All dogs. Know that. I love orange juice, especially when it’s mixed with club soda. Carbonation is better than alcohol. Jaws is my favorite movie. Everything I’ve said so far is true.

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

 giveaway

One lucky INTERNATIONAL winner will take home a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

To enter, just click here and good luck: GIVEAWAY!

That’s it, thanks for reading!

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 YA Bounk Tour Button

Threshold, from Jordan L. Hawk (Whyborne & Griffin #2)

Hello, good night! Once upon a time, in last April, Jess, from the Mud and Stars, I read Threshold, the second book in the Whyborne & Griffin series, by brilliant Jordan L. Hawk and only now I realized that I never posted my review for it. I’m a lost cause, seriously, haha! Anyway, better late than never, so here we go!

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the story

Whyborne has all the reasons to be happy. He’s been living with his lover, Griffin, for a while now in blissful peace. That is, until his fox of a father hires Griffin to investigate strange events on one of his coal mines, located at Threshold Mountain.

As strange happenings have been reported with a high frequency lately, Whyborne decides to accompany Griffin on the investigation and his best friend, Christine, decides to just the same. After a huge finding at Egypt, the archeologist has a great deal of paperwork and any excuse to avoid it sounds great.

As if fatal accidents, disappearances and hushed secrets weren’t enough to creep Whyborne out, he finds out that a former work colleague of Griffin is also working on the city. Elliot wasn’t simply beautiful, good humored and smart: he also had to be Griffin’s ex-lover.

Things are looking great already.

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the analysis

Just remembering that those are my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

As if it was possible to not like anything that Jordan writes, haha! I loved Threshold even more that the first book! It was darker, funnier, sexier and totally swoon worth *–* Whyborne once again made his way into my heart and the mystery always drove me nuts! Seriously, just five stars aren’t enough!

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The narrative was once again first person styled, from Whyborne’s point of view. I really love his as a narrator, so I didn’t even bat an eyelash to this aspect, haha! Also, I really think that first person works well in mystery books – assuming that everything will be revealed in the end to the reader, of course!

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The plot was complex and had many mysteries to keep the reader guessing. From the moment that Whyborne, Griffin and Christine left Widdershins, the roller coaster had only one way: down. I was surprised to find a way more darker and creepier atmosphere in Threshold than on the previous book. Hawk’s writing also was fantastic and somehow even better ❤ Seriously, this whole book is too good!

The characters were once again so lively and real that I wanted to hug them! Whyborne grew up so much in this book, even more than he did in the last. Griffin also evolved a lot and now I’m more sure that he loves Whyborne just as much as Whyborne loves him. I often felt like it was a one sided relationship, but it was awesome to be wrong, haha!

Also, Christine was seriously badass and made all the males in this book – Whyborne and Griffin included – look like whining slackers, haha! The woman can shoot like a damn soldier =O And was the reason behind many of my our loud laughs while reading Threshold, haha!

Once again, I can’t say a thing about villains and culprits as to not spoiler the book, but know this: YOU WON’T SEE IT COMING AND EVEN AFTER IT DOES COME, YOU WILL KEEP WONDERING HOW IT WAS POSSIBLE!

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Now let’s get serious for a moment. I need to highlight the amazing historical research behind this book. Hawk describe the life on the mines in the end of the 19th century so vividly and accurately that my heart clenched. Being a History nuts, I had already made some previous research on miners lives in that time and it is not pretty. Hawk didn’t glamour up anything in the experience, but also didn’t bet on the melodramatic. Her tone is one of conformity while facing one more awful thing engraved on Human’s History and I thought it very appropriated. We can’t deny it happened, we don’t need to make a scene because it happened. We acknowledge and keep going.

Another highlight were the sex scenes. OMG IT WAS HOT! I loved every second of them and I love how Hawk doesn’t abuse on hot scenes to keep her reader interested 🙂

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Oh, and I brought some of the best quotes of the book for you to understand why you NEED this series on your life:

“A great deal of whiskey had been consumed, and I wondered what Father would think if he knew how his money was being spent. Actually, never mind. If he knew I’d spent the night surrounded by female prostitutes, he’d probably consider it a sign of improvement.” – Whyborne

~*~

“If you find you need anyone shot, send word and I’ll come at once.” – Christine

~*~

“Please stop reading the licentious affairs of others and return to the task at hand.” – Griffin

~*~

“I’d managed to disappoint everyone among the living, so I might as well start adding the dead to the list.” – Whyborne

~*~

And this killer dialogue:

Whyborne: “My dearest pudding pie,” I read aloud.

Griffin: Yes, my little turnip?

Whyborne: Hilarious. If you ever call me anything of the sort again, we shall have words.

~*~

I told you that you needed Whyborne & Griffin in your life ❤

Overall, if you like paranormal, mystery, historical and gay romance, stop sitting or standing there reading this review and come join me on the fandom army of Whyborne & Griffin!

5star

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Thanks for reading my review and a special thanks to Jess for indulging me on book club and bearing with me on diet-coke-drunk nights and a high amount of fangirling over those boys, haha! Love you, Jess!

assinatura

Keeper of Pleas, by Annelie Wendeberg

Hi, there! Good afternoon, hope you’re having a wonderful Saturday so far! I’m here today to talk about my last finished book: Keeper of Pleas, by wonderful Annelie Wendeberg. She was awesome and great and sent me a review copy, but my cold got me a week later in finishing it 😦 Anyway, better late than never, right? Haha! Thanks again, Annelie!! What a mystery!!

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from my Instagram 🙂

the story

December, 1880.

Coroner Sévère gets himself into one of the most macabre cases of his career when nine corpses are discovered by chance in England. The macabre part? All are newborns with obvious signs of violent deaths.

The mystery gets bigger when the mortician responsible for the bodies goes missing and it’s found dead in the Thames. What at first seemed two very distinct cases without any relation between themselves soon get trickier.

To be exact, everything gets set into motion in the second Sévère steps on Miss Mary’s room. Both found their fighting matches. Who shall be the winner? Who shall solve the mystery?

Who shall be the surviviour?

the analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

I was beyond excited when Annelie send me her new book. I already explained how her work was a key piece for me to pick up more books for reading in this post, so I’ll skip that part, haha! But seriously, she never seizes to stop impressing me. Even though I had some problems with this book – especially in the beginning, as it all sounded so confusing – but as soon as I got my mind together, I flew through it. Who did it? Why? Will it happen again?

I found myself lost in a very vivid and alive London in the 19th century, running along Sévère and Mary to find answers and see who would win their private social war. This was a first class mystery that made me grab my seat and have a very intense ride. I only took a star off because of the confusing beginning and because I was bothered by most of the sex scenes. I understand what Annelie did, animalizing things on purpose and I think it was necessary in many points, but I shivered a lot, haha! Four proud stars 🙂

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The narrative style was third person with alternating points of view between several characters and that was what made me so confused in the beginning. You see, I have a very shitty memory and am particular awful with names. Sometimes, I finish books without being sure of the characters’ names, especially if they are first person narrated. However, in Keeper of Pleas’ case, it went beyond that. The mystery dominates the pages since the first line and we didn’t know whose point of view we were reading until the middle or end of it :/

I have to say that, after my brain was able to process the beginning and understand who were the protagonists (yes, you read it right, unfortunately), I dived head first in this 19th century London. Every corner hid more mystery and every answer raised even more questions. IT WAS SO COOL AND AWESOME!

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Wendeberg writing style is impeccable. She makes everything so human, so real that I felt like being physically sucked to my iPad’s insides were starting to sound like a possibility. Several times I had to force my eyes out of the screen and take a deep breath, study my surroundings and make sure I was still on 21th century before resuming my read. Wendeberg truly wraps her reader into the story.

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The plot was complex, intricate and I didn’t know who had done it until the last second, always second guessing every witness, every clue, every evidence. I JUST NEEDED TO KNOW WHO DID IT! And even after it was revealed, I didn’t know if I could trust if it was the real deal or not, haha! Seriously, I was a goner for Keeper of Pleas. The elements entwined won me over – London, 19th century, mystery, thriller, the macabre, the action, the romance. I’m pretty sure this simply wasn’t that perfect for me because Sévère was straight, haha!

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Anyway, let’s talk a bit about characters now. Wendeberg’s construction was impeccable, I haven’t a word against her. Every character was remarkable in a subtle way, all so painfully human in their qualities and faults. The relationships were also built very well and she makes a point of expressing how it was all about the lust between Sévère and Mary at first and how they took their time building trust. To be honest, I still don’t know if they ever really loved each other and the end of the book doesn’t help matters, haha! Don’t worry, I wont’t spoil anything, but brace yourself for several bombs to fall off your head, haha!

Keeper of Pleas left me breathless, confused and in a severe (haha) need of a hug, so I think it’s safe to say that Wendeberg slayed it once again 🙂 If you enjoy good mystery, thrillers, intellectual wars and face-slapping ends, you need to stop everything and get yourself a copy of Keeper of Pleas *–*

4star

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Thanks so much for reading my review! Also, thanks again for the book, Annelie! I’m delighted to have read another book from you and Keeper of Pleas was SUCH A RIDE, haha! ❤

Do you guys like books that make you second guess everything all the time? 🙂

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NEW BOOK ALERT: Keeper of Pleas, by A. Wendeberg

Hi, there! Welcome to one of those serendipity moments that I have here and there to discover new book birthdays all by myself, haha!

Today is the release day of Keeper of Pleas, by Annelie Wendeberg, also credited as A. Wendeberg! ❤

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from my Instagram 🙂

summary

On December 10, 1880, Coroner Sévère makes a gruesome discovery: nine newborns, buried in flowerpots, and hidden in plain sight in Whitechapel. A mortician receives the bodies and vanishes. Clues for the two seemingly unconnected cases are scarce.

When police and coroner learn that the missing mortician might have spent his last moments at the bosom of the infamous prostitute Miss Mary, a series of events is nudged into motion. Lies are unearthed, rumours spread. Yet, the killer remains a faceless phantom.

His secret seems buried forever.

Until the night Sévère requests Miss Mary’s services…

Warning: Post-mortems and prostitution are shown unprettified.

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You must be wondering why is this book relevant to me, right? Well played, dear friend. Well played. You may want to sit, it’s story time.

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As soon as I started my Journalism major in 2012, I started to read ebooks. One of my first ebooks was this freebie that I got at iBooks called The Devil’s Grin, first in the Anna Kronberg Thriller series. It was a Sherlock Holmes adaptation and IT WAS AWESOME! I loved it to the core and that was one of the books that made me really take an interest in ebooks – before that, I’d only buy or download an ebook on my phone if it was a gay romance, haha! Annelise, dear, you are a lost cause.

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Anyway, the time has passed and I unfortunately never had the opportunity of finishing the Anna Kronberg Thriller series, but I did find Annelie again online and started to follow her on Instagram and subscribed to her newsletter. AND GUESS WHAT?! Some days ago, she sent me Keeper of Pleas in exchange for an honest review!!! *—*

No need to say how incredible happy I was, right? Thanks again for the honor, Annelie!!

[Update: you can read my review for Keeper of Pleas here! 🙂 ]

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Story time is over, thanks for your audience, haha!

purchase links

You can find Keeper of Pleas in both ebook and paperback formats! If you look for the paperback, go to Barnes & Noble 🙂

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes Store

the author

Way back then: Grew up at butt-end of the World, also called “small East German village”, total loser at school, then went out with little hammer & little chisel to help tear down the Berlin wall. End of communism resulted in beginning of creative freedom. Best thing ever, even learned something in school. Somehow ended up at university, studied biology, graduated, went with ship across the Atlantic (marine biology, yay!), chucked 20.000€ worth of sampling equipment into deep sea (hauled it up again, phew!), got some price fellowship from Caltech without realising they hand out only one per year, returned to Germany two years later.

Some time in the middle: Adjunct professor in environmental microbiology; blogger for Nature and Spektrum der Wissenschaft.

Right now: Scribbler of Things (which somehow resulted in an award and 4 countries picking up my work for translation), workshop giver on Creative Science Writing, editor (e.g  “The Remedy” by Thomas Goetz, Penguin/Gotham), cover designer, mentor for the Afghan Women Writing Project, house-fixer-upper, veggie-grower, cheese-maker, and typo-producer.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

That’s it, guys! I hope I haven’t bored you too much 🙂 If you like Victorian era, mystery and thrillers, you need Annelie’s books in your book shelves, whether they are physical or digital ❤

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Murder Madness Such Sweet Sadness, from Jamie Blair & Dawn Rae Miller (Kiss Kill Love Him Still #2)

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Hi, there! Today I bring you a review for the second book in the Kiss Kill Love Him Still series, from goddesses Jamie Blair & Dawn Rae Miller, Murder Madness Such Sweet Sadness 😀 After a lot of begging on my part (I’m just kidding), YA Bound Book Tours was awesome enough to give me a copy in exchange for an honest review, haha! After my undying love for the first, I knew the second would be just as a blast and I wasn’t disappointed, haha!

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from my Instagram 🙂

the story

Reggie, Haddie, Livie and Val. Four girls with only one thing in common: the desire to uncover Jackson Landis’ murderer.

Jackson Landis had dirt on all of them, but apparently, he wasn’t the only one. Someone that calls themselves The Fifth leaked Val’s secret to her parents with awful consequences.

Now the four girls have to find a way to trust each other and work together for the sake of the case, as the police is getting nowhere with official investigations. Val has nothing else to loose, but her best friend is still dead. Reggie is determinate to forget that she once loved Jackson and to be a new person. Haddie needs to know what happened to the only boy she truly loved to this day. Livie is hell bent on going until the bottle of Jackson’s lies and find out who really was her childhood boyfriend.

The game keeps going, the clock keeps ticking. Will they find out the culprit before The Fifth leaks any more secrets?

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the analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

I WAS SO GRATEFUL THAT I HAD BOOK TWO WITH ME WHEN I FINISHED KISS KILL LOVE HIM STILL! But I never thought I’d be left hanging and dying once again at its end… And I did. Now I have to wait until OCTOBER for book 3, omg!! I could seriously cry… I may have seriously cried at that information, haha!

Just as the first, Murder Madness Such Sweet Sadness had an explosive plot (almost literally), awesome characters, a mind-blowing end, a beautiful cover and a killer (haha) title! It would be impossible for me to rate it anything less than 5 stars!

The narrative followed the previous book pattern: it was first person with switching points of view between the four girls. And, once again, despite the whole extra insight and info to work with, I STILL AM NOT SURE OF THE IDENTITY OF THE KILLER! =O I NEED TO KNOW, OMG!

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I really like Blair and Miller’s writing style, they make each character sound unique and necessary each time they are in scene ❤ We got to see more of old characters, we met new ones… It was a rollercoaster from page 1 to 246, haha!

The plot was once again perfectly planned and executed, with the right amount of solved and new mysteries + twists for good and bad. I’m not a big fan of cliff hanger ends, but I made an exception to Murder Madness Such Sweet Sadness, haha! Once again, it was the strongest asset of the book. Plus, this title is amazing ❤

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The characters had a wonderful development, especially Reggie and Val. Reggie changed her life completely and Val was forced to face several of her fears, which left a huge impact on her. Haddie also grew up, but not as much as I’d have liked. But maybe on the next book, right? Haha! Now, Livie… Livie was a disappointment. She still only cares about herself and her life, so no growing up was felt here 😦 It is still hard for me to like her as I do the other three girls, but she’s not completely awful yet, haha!

This equation is still true in my head:

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Also, can I just say how afraid I am of Haddie’s father and Livie’s mom? Because THEY FREAK THE HELL OUT OF ME, OMG! And they are included on my suspects’ list, as they don’t help themselves, hunf.

Blair and Miller once again nailed the art of showing the daily life and transition of people leaving teenage and entering adulthood. They portray all the feelings, insecurities and problems we have on such age and add a murder to the mix. I still think it sounds a lot like Pretty Little Liars, but not in a bad way or completely copy cat way. Just in an essence way?

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Overall, if you like mystery, YA, awesome characters and writing and macabre stories, you have to start reading Kiss Kill Love Him Still series and start the countdown to October with me, haha!

5star

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Thanks so much for reading my review and thanks once again to YA Bound Book Tours for sending me a review copy!

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Hexbreaker, by Jordan L. Hawk (Hexworld #1)

Good night and hello again! As I promised earlier, I’m back with another gay book review, haha! This time, is another marvelous work from one of my favorite authors ever: Jordan L. Hawk! She was awesome and kind enough to send me a copy of Hexbreaker, first book in the Hexworld series and her newest release that hit stores as we speak, in exchange for an honest review ❤ As soon as I discovered the existence of Hexbreaker, I was already fangirling like crazy, so it is no wonder it took me only a day to finish it. It could have been less, but the house insisted on throwing a tantrum and not cleaning itself alone, forcing me to stop my reading in the middle to tend to it, ugh!

But the moment has arrived, so let’s talk about my new sweet darling Hexbreaker 😀

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the story

19th century, New York City. But not quite as you know it…

In a world full of magic, shifters – mostly called familiars – and witches, Cicero is a cat working under the Metropolitan Witch Police. As most of familiars, Cicero had yet to find his witch and forge a magic bond, so he stayed under the Magic Police’s protection along several other shifters.

As his animal form may suggest, Cicero is all grace, ego, beauty and sassiness. A true intellectual with passion for any kind of art, a bohemian at heart. A liberal lover, an independent creature that dreaded and fantasized about the moment in which he would encounter his witch (haha). He knew his time was running and he would have to pick someone in case his witch didn’t show up, but what if his witch turned to be a beast in permanent human form? What if his witch would be some random bully with only muscles and no brains at all? Cicero wouldn’t put up with the abuse – but also didn’t want to deal with the rejection, that hit so close to home.

A literal opening of door proved all his fears true in the wardrobe-sized person of Tom Halloran, a bulky ogre. A copper. A man with no brains and zero magic ability… According to tests.

His witch.

Tom Halloran is one of the last honorable coppers left in the regular Metropolitan Police Department. After an awful episode under his watch, he gathered his courage and got his superior’s permission to report to the Metropolitan Witch Police. Tom is a man of many secrets with a terrible stained past, but he never gave up standing for those who needed him. He wouldn’t allow something that awful to happen on his watch and neighborhood again.

And if solving the case meant he would have to put up with some weird and moody fellow and his tantrums, so be it. Tom was sick of seeing blood being spilled by his family’s mistakes. He was sure that he and the cat Cicero could make their forced partnership work if Cicero looked past Tom’s simple ways and appearance.

The only thing both men agreed on was that they would never think of losing their hearts along the way.

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the analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

First things first: I am sorry for the giant blurb, but this is the kind of story that you feel like asking your friends to gather around a fire while you tell it, haha! Second, I’m so not impartial regarding Jordan’s work BECAUSE SHE RULEZ! Hexbreaker was my fitfth book by her and I loved every single one of them ❤ If Ava March is my queen for gay sugared historical romances, Jordan is my queen for gay paranormal historical romances *–*

I had great expectations for Hexbreaker and Hawk managed to surpass them all and still leave me gapping at the final twist. I kind of guessed the culprit pretty fast, but the motives and who really pulled the strings remained a mystery for me until the last second. AND IT WAS GREAT! I loved every minute of this book and now I just need to grab the prequel too or I will have an attack or something! (Yes, there is a prequel, more info here, haha!) Once again, Jordan got my heart, squeezed tight, threw it to the wall and said goodbye with a blown kiss. Results? FIVE BEAUTIFUL STARS!

The narrative style was third person ( ❤ ), with switching points of view between Cicero and Tom. I loved how much sentiment, feelings and depth Hawk manage to put through Hexbreaker’s pages, sucking the reader in and refusing to let go while you were away from the book. Not for the first time when it comes to her work, I found myself vacuuming my apartment and thinking so hard that you could see steam coming from my ears. Who? Why? What am I missing on this picture? Who is safe to trust, who can I blame?

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This was my level of concentration on what my body was actually doing lol

I find amazing the amount of power that Hawk has over my mind each time I pick one of her books to read. I can’t disconnect, I can’t let it go, I need to get to the very bottom of the mystery or the problem in order to start breathing again. You may want to grab a chair, it’s reflection time.

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Being a book blogger, it’s normal for me to read quite a lot. I already read quite a lot before becoming a blogger, but since then, I’ve been breaking personal record after personal record in reading matters. And despite being lucky enough to enjoy a big part of what I read, there are a handful of books that seem to work some kind of black magic on me. As I read them, I feel like I’m not into my body anymore. There are no pages, paper, screens, hands, eyes. Nothing. Just a wild swirl of emotions that once was me and the story unfolding in my head. And if I’m interrupted, I feel physically difficult to move my body. To get my legs working, my eyes adjusting to the world. And it feels so… Wrong. My own body feels out of place. I feel like I could just detach myself from it and walk away. Fly, I don’t know. I feel like I have to fight to remain in my reality and not fall back into the book’s one. Like my reality was the fictional one, the hard place to get into, and not the other way around.

Hexbreaker was one of the books that stripped me from my own body. To the point that I didn’t hear my phone ringing right next to me, that my dad had to poke me hard in the forehead to let me know about dinner and that my mom had to throw a blanket over me because I was under dressed to the weather and wouldn’t hear her commands to put on a hoodie and socks.

And when I get back and realize what has happened, how hard I fell for the book, I feel in my bones why reading can be the best experience of one’s life. The best moment of one’s  day. That breath of fresh air into a dull existence without any real excitement. When I open a book, I become Bilbo Baggins going out on an adventure. And nothing else matters outside of the pages in my hands, no matter if they are literal or digital.

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Sorry for the major reflection, haha! My whole point is that I suffered from lured mind into book pages in all my Hawk’s reads so far, just with variation of stages in its seriousness. Hexbreaker for sure is the champion so far on the list, haha!

Back to the story. As you may have guessed, the plot is brilliant, with a nice degree of complexity to it and a perfect mix of elements. Romance, mystery, humor, thriller, drama, action, paranormal… It all entwined in such harmony in Hawk’s writing that I felt like that New York was real and in front of me. Hawk’s combines very well obvious events with jaw-dropping twists and doesn’t waste a single scene over her chapters. Every small thing has a purpose, a catch to it. We still have some questions, but this is a series and I know that Hawk won’t leave us in the dark 🙂 No pressure, haha!

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The characters were bewitching and surprised me a lot. I knew I’d like Tom since the moment he appeared, but liking Cicero too was unexpected. I usually prefer my gay protagonists all males that happen to like other all males and Cicero was clearly a diva. But he grew on me so quickly that I didn’t even noticed when I started pinning for him too =O Only Tom made it to My Bookish Boyfriends list, but I’d love to have Cicero as a Bookish Bff. I’m sure we would laugh a lot together, haha!

I loved how perfect Tom was in his imperfections. He isn’t your typical dashing knight in a shining armor or the prince charming. He’s a regular poor guy, built for hard labor, too big, with the minimal scholarship and no fashion sense whatsoever. And, just like Cicero, I found him to be quite refreshing. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the classical handsome and perfect princes and knights, but sometimes is nice to see new scenarios, haha!

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I’m also now very interested in Dominique and Rook’s story. They are the main couple in the prequel novella mentioned on the beginning of this review and I am ashamed to confess that I still hadn’t the opportunity to buy it, oops! So poor of me.

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I really need to fix that, ugh!

Oh, and can we just stop for a moment just to appreciate this cover? It is so delicate, classy, sexy and colorful! *—*

Also, I’d like to highlight how well Hawk handed the sex scenes on the book. They are few and all have a very distinct purpose: to show how Cicero and Tom’s relationship was growing stronger with time and how they slowly fell in love with each other behind the lust. Dear Jordan…

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Overall, Hexbreaker is a swoon-worthy romance packed with surprised and magic. If you like historical romances, paranormal books, shifters and seat-grabbing books, just drop my blog and go get your copy, haha!

5star

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Thanks so much for reading my review! Sorry for the size and the thoughts in the middle of it, haha! Also, an enormous thank you to the Queen Jordan, that sent me her book in the first place ❤ CAN YOU TELL I’M IN LOVE WITH THE HEX WORLD?!

Bellow, you’ll find the purchase links for Hexbreaker, my post talking about its release (there are insights of Jordan herself on it) and the other books by Jordan that I already reviewed 😀

purchase links

You can find Hexbreaker in both paperback and ebook formats!!

Amazon | Amazon UK | ARe | Smashwords | Kobo | iBooks | Nook

You can see my previous post about Hexbreaker and The 13th Hex here 🙂

And here we have my full list of reviews for Jordan’s books so far:

HAWK, Jordan L.Dangerous Spirits, Spirits #2 (review here!)

HAWK, Jordan L.Widdershins, Whyborne & Griffin #1 (review here!)

Another one is already in the oven, so stay tuned! 😀

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BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: Checkmate, by Blair Howard (The Henry Starke Novels #4)

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Good morning! Welcome to the book tour for Checkmate, fourth standalone novel in The Harry Starke Novels series, by Blair Howard! This tour is being host by Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours!
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Checkmate

The Henry Starke Novels #4

By Blair Howard

Genre: Mystery

Date Published: February 16th, 2016

summary

Checkmate is the fourth standalone novel in the Harry Starke series of mysteries.

Angela Hartwell lay dead in the shallow waters beside the golf course. There was not a mark on her, yet she had been strangled. How could that be?

Once again, it’s up to Harry Starke to find out. The investigation takes him into a world he’s very familiar with, a world of affluence, privilege, and corruption.

To solve the mystery, he must deal with three murders, a beautiful used car dealer, her lovely twin sisters, and a crooked banker.  Not to mention Burke and Hare, two crazy repo men who will stop at nothing to protect their employer’s interests. There’s also the matter of an ingenious, sadistic killer. But nothing is ever quite what it seems….

Harry Starke is a hard-boiled private detective, an ex-cop, a tough guy from the right side of the tracks with finely tuned senses, good instincts, and friends in high places. He’s single, successful, well educated, and yes, he will hurt you if he needs to.

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I really like mystery books and Checkmate caught my eye, as sounds like one of those striking ones, haha!

purchase links

You can find Checkmate only at Amazon, but in ebook, paperback and audiobook formats!

AMAZON

excerpt

She walked around the desk, sat down, reached over and punched a number into the intercom, “Max. If you wouldn’t mind. Please come in here.”

A few seconds later, the door opened and in walked what could only be described as the Terminator. Max Tully was about as tall as me, but there the similarity ended. He must have weighed at least 250 pounds, but his body fat was probably less than five percent. He was a body builder, a powerhouse, probably on steroids. He was so muscled his arms wouldn’t hang by his sides.

“Mr. Starke is leaving now, Max,” Ruth said. “Please show him out.”

I stayed where I was. “I have a few more questions, if you don’t mind,” I said, reasonably.

“I do mind. Max?”

He took a step toward me. “You heard the lady,”

“Back off, Fatso,” I said, even more reasonably than before, so I thought, as I got to my feet and turned to face him. “Fatso,” probably wasn’t what I should have called him, but I learned a long time ago that the best way to handle a tough guy was to throw him off his game before he got started. Anyway, he went for it. He growled, and took another step forward. I took a step backward.

“I said, back off.”

He grinned, exposing a set of white but crooked teeth, and raised his right hand to grab my shoulder. That’s the trouble with big strong guys like him. They think their size and strength are all they need. This one, by the self-satisfied look on his face also thought he was better than me.

Fat chance, Blutto.

He didn’t even see it coming. I grabbed two of his outstretched fingers—the pinky and the one next to it—and bent them back. He howled in pain. His knees bent. His arm crooked upward toward his shoulder. His eyes closed. His head went back. Ruth sat staring, wide-eyed and open-mouthed.

“Down, boy,” I said, as I slowly forced him to his knees. I sighed and shook my head as I increased the pressure until he was down on his back.

“All you had to do was ask nicely, and I would have left,” I said quietly. “You didn’t need to bring in the heavy—and that’s all he is, Ruth: heavy.”

I pulled on Max’s fingers and he rose into sitting position. I bent down, put my mouth close to his ear.

“Max, I’ll say this just once, so listen up. I’m going to let you go now. When I do, you’ll stand up and go back to whatever hole in the wall you crawled out of. If you don’t—if you decide you think you can ambush me—I’ll blow away one of your kneecaps. I’ll put you on sticks for the rest of your days. Understand?”

He nodded. He was in too much pain to even speak. I let him go and stepped back, and pushed my jacket back to expose the grip of the MP9 under my left arm. He got up and staggered out of the office, his right hand clasped in his left, close to his chest.

the author

Blair Howard is from a small town in England, near Stratford-upon-Avon, on the edge of the English Cotswolds. He is Kentucky Colonel, an honor bestowed upon him in 2008 by the then Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Steven L. Beshear. Until 2015, he wrote sweeping historical epics, and is the author of five historical novels. In July of 2015 he decided to try his hand at writing mystery novels, thus we have Harry Starke. The first in the series, Harry Starke, was released in mid-September 2015. The second novel, Two for the Money, was released October 19 the same year, Hill House, in mid-December 2015, and Checkmate in February 2016, and there are more to come.

Blair is the author of more than 40 books and more than 4,500 magazine, newspaper, and web articles. His work has appeared in many national and international publications, including Delta’s Sky Magazine, PHOTOgraphic magazine, The Mail on Sunday, The Walking Magazine, Petersen’s Hunting Magazine, The Boston Herald, The Detroit Free-Press, The Anchorage Times and many more.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Amazon Author Page

giveaway

Two lucky winners will take home a SIGNED copy of Harry Starke (The Henry Starke Novels #1) each!

To join me on this chance, just click the link here and good luck: GIVEAWAY!

That’s it, thanks so much for reading! And thanks to Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours for my spot in this tour 🙂

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