Category: iread

Road to the Breaking Book Review

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Nothing survived “The Breaking” unchanged; lives and fortunes, love and hate, freedom and slavery.

About Road to the Breaking

It’s early 1860, and war hero Captain Nathaniel Chambers, commander U.S. Army Fort Davis in the west Texas wilderness, has received shocking news – his father is dead.  He must return home to Virginia and claim his inheritance before a maniacal neighbor can murder his widowed mother and seize the family plantation.

But he’s torn by a terrible dilemma – to stay in the army and turn his back on his fortune, his mother and his beloved childhood home, or become the thing he despises; a slave master!  Is there no other choice? 

An epic journey across a young nation seething with debauchery, brutality, corruption, and political intrigue, unwittingly on the brink of an unimaginable disaster; the American Civil War.  Nathan Chambers has left the violent army life behind in Texas, never imaging he’s on the very Road to The Breaking.

My Thoughts

In Road to the Breaking, we are introduced to Captain Nathaniel Chambers – a stubborn man with quite the past who also struggles with his own demons and keeping them at bay.

Nathaniel struggled with an anger inside of him most of his life – when he allowed his anger to get the best of him, he could not hold it back. But he wasn’t a mean person – this was always in retaliating to others bullying or hurting him or others around him. He never appeared to get along with his Father or have much of a relationship with him (keeping in mind that this was during a time period when those relationships were not strong, instead children were taught more to fear a parent). His Mother sensed this and sent him away to boarding school and from here he never returned home to a place that he felt he does not belong. His Father had a successful family farm but this success came on the backs of slaves, something Nathaniel despises.

Near the beginning of the story, Nathaniel receives a telegram from his Mother notifying him of the death of his Father. It is followed up by two more telegrams requesting him to return home with what appears to be secret messages contained within that something is not quite right at home. Is his Mother being taken advantage of being a widow on a farm all on her own? As Nathaniel sets on his journey to return home after choosing his family over the army, we are introduced to a bit of his history through a series of flashbacks to various stages.

This is a well written story following the story of a young man during a very troubling time. The story jumps through several time periods but it did not make it hard to follow as the story flowed well. It covers a time period in American history that was marked with slavery, plantations, war and the fight for freedom and what is right. A great read from start to finish.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, B&N and Bookshop.

Rating: 4/5

About the Author

Chris A. Bennett grew up on the shores of Klamath Lake in southeastern Oregon. For a young boy it was a dream world of water, hills, forests, and abundant wildlife. His love for action and adventure morphed into a lifelong love for books when his Mom read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to the family on a long road trip.

Chris’s thirst for adventure never faded and he began to live out his love of history onto the pages of his first book, Road to the Breaking. Once he started writing he just couldn’t stop and the result is The Road to the Breaking series; an epic journey across a young nation seething with debauchery, brutality, corruption, and political intrigue, unwittingly on the brink of an unimaginable disaster: the American Civil War.

Chris currently lives near Seattle with his wife Patricia. His three adult children Nick, Rachel, and Josh also live in the Puget Sound area.​

You can connect with him on his website.

The Giveaway

You can enter to win the giveaway here.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review, all opinions expressed are my own.

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Taking Notes on Murder Book Review

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Can Fiona crack this cold case, and what will it take to get Detective Landry involved? Don’t miss taking notes on this murder! 

About Taking Notes on Murder

Mysterious notes are showing up in Fiona’s kindergarten classroom, claiming a suicide from 2005 was actually a homicide. Detective Landry maintains the messages are too vague, possess no integrity, and do not warrant a review of the old case.

Fiona’s not convinced. She’s determined to find the author of the enigmatic notes and uncover the truth about a man who had many secrets and countless enemies, including Fiona’s mother and former suspect Nancy Quinn!

Can Fiona crack this cold case, and what will it take to get Detective Landry involved? Don’t miss taking notes on this murder! 

My Thoughts

Taking Notes on Murder is a whirlwind murder mystery that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Fiona is back at it again in this novel, this time the case is an old cold case that was deemed a suicide but had the makings of murder written all over it. Fiona is receiving mysterious notes in her kindergarten classroom eluding to the possibility that James Arnold did not commit suicide but was murdered instead. At first, the notes are not enough to open the case but when someone physically threatens Fiona, Nate quickly steps in to ensure the case is opened and investigated fully. The only problem? James Arnold was quite the hated man – with so many potential murder suspects, how will they solve the case in time?

I enjoyed every moment of this novel – it keep me constantly guessing who the murder suspect could possibly be and I loved how each story was connected. James’ life crossed many pathways with others in this novel in very different ways (and so many times in a negative manner). He was very much a hated man at the time of his death (to the point his wife was celebrating his death instead of mourning him!). So many of those people are still around when the case reopens and the bigger question is who disliked him the most and who could have murdered him. And why were they going to Fiona for help?

This is a well written novel, whose characters I have grown to love (Fiona is just the kindest, funniest and clever young woman that you can’t help but love). The plot, while serious, has flares of humour that make the story a bit lighter. This was a great read, I kept reading right through the night as I had to know who was the murderer and why they committed the crime (I have to admit, I was a bit shocked at the end and I did not see that coming and the reason why he committed the crime). This is a definite must read novel!

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon and Audible.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. Classically trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School, The Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, and many others, she became a professional dancer and choreographer. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, she writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. In 2016 she added the Fiona Quinn Mysteries. Presently, the Fiona Quinn Mysteries has nine books.

Cindy’s newest venture is The Owl’s Nest Mysteries. Once again, she has set her cozy mystery in Pittsburgh. The Owl’s Next Mysteries has a little grit, a little time travel, a little romance, and a whole lot of cozy!

Cindy resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Bill, and her poorly behaved Cocker Spaniel, Allister.

You can connect with her on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Bon Voyage to Murder: A Fiona Quinn Mystery #8

iRead Book Tours

It isn’t long before they discover a boatload of suspects, who have motives deeper than the ocean for wanting the victim out of their lives.

About Bon Voyage to Murder:  A Fiona Quinn Mystery #8

Hooray! Fiona has finally convinced her boyfriend detective Nathan Landry to go on a romantic Caribbean cruise. Unfortunately, their fun on the high seas is interrupted by murder. It isn’t long before they discover a boatload of suspects, who have motives deeper than the ocean for wanting the victim out of their lives.

My Thoughts

This was a fun and adventurous novel with a twist of murder and years of grudges and hate.

Fiona is a kind, loving school teacher who has a flare for uncovering secrets. Her boyfriend is a detective and the two of them together are quite the pair at solving mysteries. She convinces him to go on a cruise even though he is terribly sea sick and not a fan of cruises. What should be a relaxing vacation for them, full of laughter and drinks, quickly turns in to a case. Especially when you throw in two previous country superstars who both hold grudges against each other. First it looks just like mischief is at hand but this quickly changes to murder. The problem? The victim has quite a few enemies, and they are also on the cruise! The two are working against time, lost murder weapons and a plot to silence possible witnesses.

I loved this fun novel and while it contained some serious topics (murder and dementia), I found the read was light and humourous. It made for a great summer time read – it had twists and I loved learning about the characters history, but it never left you feeling lost or having to re-read chapters to better understand the history between the characters.

If you are looking to add to your summer time reading list, this is the book that you want to keep on your radar.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon and Audible.

Rating: 4/5

About the Author

For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. Classically trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School, The Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, and many others, she became a professional dancer and choreographer. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, she writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. In 2016 she added the Fiona Quinn Mysteries. Presently, the Fiona Quinn Mysteries has nine books.

Cindy’s newest venture is The Owl’s Nest Mysteries. Once again, she has set her cozy mystery in Pittsburgh. The Owl’s Next Mysteries has a little grit, a little time travel, a little romance, and a whole lot of cozy!

Cindy resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Bill, and her poorly behaved Cocker Spaniel, Allister.

You can connect with her on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Grace in Hollywood Book Review

iRead Book Tours

Grace in Hollywood is the second book in the riveting A Grace Michelle Mystery historical series. If you like fiercely loyal heroines, thrilling whodunits, and the magic of old cinema, then you’ll love Kari Bovee’s enthralling tale.​

About Grace in Hollywood

All that glitters… is sometimes blood. With her golden ticket buried in the ground, can she save a wrongly accused teen from the gallows?

Hollywood, 1924. Promoted to lead costume designer of a star-studded film, Grace Michelle should be on top of the world. But between her husband’s debt, her sister’s recent death, and the troubled teenaged girl she’s fostering, she’s struggling to please everyone and still keep a smile on her face. And when a Tinseltown shindig turns deadly, Grace is horrified to discover her young charge unconscious alongside the director’s grisly corpse.

Determined to prove the girl’s innocence, Grace’s own haunted past fills her sleep with prophetic nightmares. And no sooner has she sought clarity from a medium than a second body lands the scared teenager in the slammer.

Can Grace turn the camera on the real culprit before another victim ends up on the cutting room floor?

Grace in Hollywood is the second book in the riveting A Grace Michelle Mystery historical series. If you like fiercely loyal heroines, thrilling whodunits, and the magic of old cinema, then you’ll love Kari Bovee’s enthralling tale.​

My Thoughts

The glamour of Hollywood mixed in with the quiet, country life of a kind, brave woman who fosters troubled youth and you have quite the plot on your hands!

Grace is a lead costume designer for top Hollywood productions but she is a laid back, quiet woman who is not drawn into the glitz and glamour. Some of this is from being tied to her own tragic past and the nightmares that still haunt her to this date. She reluctantly agrees to host a party at her home (how can she protect the young lives she has been entrusted with and keep them away from the glitz and pain that is Hollywood) and the plot quickly escalates from here. One of the guests (also a major director who has made many enemies in his life) is found dead and the teen she is fostering is found unconscious beside him. It is a race against time as Grace must find the real killer before the young girl’s whole life is ruined.

This was an excellent, well written novel that kept you on the edge of your seat. While it was a second book in the series, it can be read on its own. Kari gives enough information about the characters that you do not feel lost in the story but also that it doesn’t take over the plot. I loved that our main character is the fierce, loyal and determined heroine that loves her foster children with her whole heart. The plot is a bit slower in the beginning but it lays the groundwork for the twists to come and I loved every moment (I couldn’t put this novel down and read it in one sitting!). This novel makes for a great summer time read sitting on the porch with a glass of wine and watching the kids play – it does not disappoint!

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 4/5

About the Author

When she’s not on a horse, or walking along the beautiful cottonwood-laden acequias of Corrales, New Mexico; or basking on white sand beaches under the Big Island Hawaiian sun, Kari Bovee is escaping into the past—scheming murder and mayhem for her characters both real and imagined, and helping them to find order in the chaos of her action-packed novels.

An award-winning author, Bovée was honored with the 2019 NM/AZ Book Awards Hillerman Award for Southwestern Fiction for her novel Girl with a Gun. The novel also received First Place in the 2019 NM/AZ Book Awards in the Mystery/Crime category, and won First in Category in the International Chanticleer Murder & Mayhem Awards. It was also a finalist in the 2019 Next Generation Indie Awards. Her novel Grace in the Wings won First in Category for the 2019 International Chanticleer Chatelaine Awards. Peccadillo at the Palace won Grand Prize in the 2019 Goethe Awards, and was a finalist in the 2019 Best Book Awards Historical Fiction category.

Bovée has worked as a technical writer for a Fortune 500 Company, has written non-fiction for magazines and newsletters, and has worked in the education field as a teacher and educational consultant.

You can connect with her on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

The Giveaway!

You can enter the giveaway here.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Kip the Letter X Spotlight

iRead Book Tours

Kip the Letter X searches far and wide trying to find his purpose.

About Kip the Letter X

Kip the Letter X searches far and wide trying to find his purpose.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon and Full Cycle Publications.

Book Trailer

About the Author

Kim Patrick was born in England, raised in Britain and South Africa, and now lives in the United States. She loves animals, books, films, the letter X, and much of the rest of the alphabet.

You can connect with her on her website and Twitter.

The Giveaway!

Enter to win a signed copy of Kip the Letter X and Spartan and the Green Egg here.

Disclosure: This is a spotlight tour, I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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