Friday, October 30, 2015

Depraved Heart by Patricia Cornwell Book Review




Title: Depraved Heart
Date Published: October 27, 2015
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 480
Format: Paperback
Source: TLC Book Tours

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Patricia Cornwell delivers the newest engrossing thriller in her high-stakes series starring medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta.

Depraved Heart: “Void of social duty and fatally bent on mischief.”

—Mayes v. People, 806 III. 306 (1883)

Dr. Kay Scarpetta is working a suspicious death scene in Cambridge, Massachusetts when an emergency alert sounds on her phone. A video link lands in her text messages and seems to be from her computer genius niece Lucy. But how can it be? It’s clearly a surveillance film of Lucy taken almost twenty years ago.

As Scarpetta watches she begins to learn frightening secrets about her niece, whom she has loved and raised like a daughter. That film clip and then others sent soon after raise dangerous legal implications that increasingly isolate Scarpetta and leave her confused, worried, and not knowing where to turn. She doesn’t know whom she can tell—not her FBI husband Benton Wesley or her investigative partner Pete Marino. Not even Lucy.

In this new novel, Cornwell launches these unforgettable characters on an intensely psychological odyssey that includes the mysterious death of a Hollywood mogul’s daughter, aircraft wreckage on the bottom of the sea in the Bermuda Triangle, a grisly gift left in the back of a crime scene truck, and videos from the past that threaten to destroy Scarpetta’s entire world and everyone she loves. The diabolical presence behind what unfolds seems obvious—but strangely, not to the FBI. Certainly that’s the message they send when they raid Lucy’s estate and begin building a case that could send her to prison for the rest of her life.

In the latest novel in her bestselling series featuring chief medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta, Cornwell will captivate readers with the shocking twists, high-wire tension, and cutting-edge forensic detail that she is famous for, proving yet again why she’s the world’s #1 bestselling crime writer.


Crime books have been one of my favorite genres for as long as I can remember. But, my TBR pile topples at the mere suggestion of another book, so when I was contacted about this book I decided enough was enough. Having not read a Patricia Cornwell book before (even though I have more than a few on my bookshelves) I decided it was time to take the plunge. And she does not disappoint.

This is another book featuring Dr. Kay Scarpetta, one of Cornwell's repeat characters. Not to worry, no need to read other books as she does a great job of fleshing out the character so you can grasp her depth. 

After seeing a surveillance film of her niece Lucy (who is like a daughter to her) secrets are revealed, secrets that Kay doesn't know what to do with. She certainly can't tell her husband, or Lucy either for that matter. There is A LOT that goes on in this book, and part of the reason I didn't give it five stars is you really have to be on your toes as multiple story lines work together. The only down side I see is that the focus stays mainly on Kay and the rest of the characters play minor roles, while I felt some deserved a little more time.

A very talented writer, I feel like I need to go back to the beginning of this series, just so I can see what Kay was like then to now. There is so much I could give away, so I will keep this review masked for now. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys crime or thriller novels.




Patricia Cornwell

Patricia Cornwell is recognized as one of the world s top bestselling crime authors with novels translated into thirty-six languages in more than 120 countries. Her novels have won numerous prestigious awards including the Edgar, the Creasey, the Anthony, the Macavity, and the Prix du Roman d Aventure. Beyond the Scarpetta series, she has written a definitive book about Jack the Ripper, a biography, and two more fiction series. Cornwell, a licensed helicopter pilot and scuba diver, actively researches the cutting-edge forensic technologies that inform her work. She was born in Miami, grew up in Montreat, North Carolina, and now lives and works in Boston.

Find out more about Patricia at her website, and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Interview with Viola Carr, author of The Devious Dr. Jekyll - Win a $25 GC!





Title: The Devious Dr. Jekyll
Author: Viola Carr
Release Date: October 27, 2015
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy/Steampunk
Format: Ebook/Paperback/Audible

 Dr. Eliza Jekyll, heroine of the electrifying The Diabolical Miss Hyde—an edgy steampunk retelling of the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde—investigates a bizarre murder case in an alternate Victorian London while battling her treacherous secret half: Lizzie Hyde.

Solving the infamous Chopper case has helped crime scene physician Dr. Eliza Jekyll establish her fledgling career in the chauvinistic world of Victorian law enforcement. But the scrutiny that comes with her newfound fame is unwelcome for a woman with a diabolical secret. And there is the mercurial Royal Society agent and wolf man Remy Lafayette. Does he want to marry her, eat her, or burn her at the stake? Though Eliza is uncertain about Remy, her dark and jealous shadow self, Lizzie, wants to steal the magnetic and persistent agent, and usurp Eliza’s life.

It’s impossible to push Remy away when he tempts her with the one thing she can’t resist: a bizarre crime. The search for a bloodthirsty ritual torturer dubbed the Pentacle Killer draws them into a terrifying world of spies, art thieves, and evil alchemy, where the price of immortality is madness—or damnation—and only Lizzie’s dark ingenuity can help Eliza survive. As Eliza and Remy race to thwart a foul conspiracy involving the sorcerous French, they must also overcome a sinister enemy who is all too close: the vengeful Lizzie, determined to dispose of Eliza for good.

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What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?
I've learned a lot of things, been a lot of places. I get satisfaction from doing creative things, so I'm proud of all my novels and the work I've put into learning musical instruments and the like. But there's always more to do!
How has your upbringing influenced your writing?
I've had a pretty easy life. I'm middle-class, white, educated, and the people around me are supportive of my choices. So I suppose my writing reflects that, in that my books tend to address problems that are a bit higher up the scale of human needs. My Electric Empire series is set in quasi-Victorian times, but my characters still have what you might call 'first-world problems'! My heroine, Eliza, isn't worried about finding her next meal. She's fighting for her career, for gender equality, for justice for murder victims. She's in a place where she's concerned about happiness and fulfillment, not raw survival – at least, not to begin with.
When and why did you begin writing?
At school, for something to do. I've always liked writing stories!
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
English class was something I was good at as a kid, as opposed to the more sporty things, at which I really sucked. So I got thrown on the 'clever kid' pile. Which meant I tended to self-select those things. Vicious circle, etc.  Was I pigeonholed? Sure. But I wasn't unhappy about it.
When did you first know you could be a writer? 
I wonder what that means: 'be a writer'. As in, write? Anyone can do that. Writing for publication takes another level of dedication. I started doing that in my late twenties. So yeah, don't believe anyone who says that if you didn't start when you're a teen, it's too late. It's never too late.
What inspires you to write and why?
Panic, mostly. At deadlines. Ha! No, I think I'd still be writing even if I'd never landed a contract. It puts me in my happy place. I read an article once about something called 'creative flow', and how getting immersed in a task to the exclusion of all else – even if it’s a menial task, like doing the ironing – makes you happy. That's me, at my computer :)
What genre are you most comfortable writing?
Fantasy and sci-fi first and foremost. I love historical fiction, but I'm at best an amateur historian. Which is one reason why Victorian steampunk is so much fun for me – it's the speculative kind of history that I enjoy.
What inspired you to write your first book?
The first ever iteration of my first ever novel came from a high-school creative writing project. I started this horrible high fantasy story, complete with quests and magical plot-driving items and insufferable main characters. I had no idea where it was going. Needless to say, those chapters ended up in the bin (yeah, this was so long ago that I hand-wrote it!) but that idea was the genesis of a slightly better novel manuscript that I eventually finished. And no, you can't read it :)
Who or what influenced your writing once you began?
For a while I wanted to be Anne Rice. I loved her lush descriptions and courageous characterizations. I learned a lot from 80s-style epic fantasy – yeah, it's kind of cringe-worthy now! But devouring authors like Weis and Hickman (they of the Dragonlance books) taught me a lot about plot structure and how to play a scene for drama. Also about what not to do :)
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
Two things. Being able to step back and see the big picture is difficult, especially when you're first starting out and focused on the minutiae of craft. At least, it was for me. You see and hear about a lot of writers – especially indie writers – for whom making up a story is easy, but writing craft is, shall we say, problematic :) I'm the opposite of that. Writing was innate for me. Story came harder.
The other is motivation. Starting is easy. Finishing – and keeping going when it's not progressing well! – is a lot harder.
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?
I guess it reinforced what my other books have taught me: every book is different. Some well-known author (I forget who?) said that you never learn how to write a novel – you only ever learn how to write this novel.
Do you intend to make writing a career?
I'm working at that! I write full-time, and my family is very supportive.
Have you developed a specific writing style?
Yes and no. I publish books under two author names and they're very different. I have lush, dark, erotic, highly descriptive books, and slam-bam action-focused books. But like a poker player's tells, there are certain elements – turns of phrase, character types, technical aspects – that will always give me away.
Of course, character voices will always be different. The Diabolical Miss Hyde and The Devious Dr. Jekyll have 2 points of view: Eliza's and Lizzie's. They're two halves of the same person, so I deliberately tried to make their voices 'the same but different'. They influence each other, and occasionally there's bleedover. It's how I imagine a 'split personality' in the style of Jekyll/Hyde would work!
What is your greatest strength as a writer? 
I have special blood that doesn't stain the keyboard when I bang my head. Washes right off. It's awesome. Oh, and I can eat comfort chocolate by the ton. The ton, people.
No, seriously, I think the best quality for a writer is to make sure you're always learning, and I try to do that, whether it's research or craft or just reading other authors.
What is your favorite quality about yourself?
Apart from wit, charm and dashing good looks? Er. Nope. Got nothing.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself?
I'm getting older. Y'know. Wrinkles and stuff. How is this possible?
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?
One writers' quote that I always remember was from Hilary Mantel, who won 2 Booker Prizes for her historical fiction books Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies. She said (and I'm paraphrasing here) that when she's writing, she'll invent the contents of a man's heart, but never the colour of his wallpaper. In other words, research the parts that can be researched, and get them right – but hidden motives will always be fair game. Excellent advice for historical fiction, which is really entertainment first and history a distant second.





Viola Carr was born in Australia, but wandered into darkest London one foggy October evening and never found her way out. She now devours countless history books and dictates fantastical novels by gaslight, accompanied by classical music and the snoring of her slumbering cat. She loves history, and pops down to London’s many historical sites whenever she gets the chance.  She likes steampunk, and thought it would be cool to investigate wacky crimes with crazy gadgets…just so long as her heroine was the creator of said wacky gadgets: a tinkerer, edgy, with a dash of mad scientist.

Readers can follow her on twitter at @viola_carr  and online at http://www.violacarr.com.

For More Information
Visit Viola’s website.
Connect with Viola on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest   PUYB Giveaway

Viola is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins October 26 and ends on November 13.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on November 1.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

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Snowflake Bay, Just Want Somebody to Love and Seeking Carolina Book Feature


Snowflake Bay Title: Snowflake Bay
Author: Donna Kauffman
Release Date: September 29, 2015
Publisher: Zebra
Genre: Holiday Fiction
Format: Ebook/Paperback

There's no place like seaside Blueberry Cove, Maine, at Christmas--and there's nothing like a wedding, the warmth of the holidays, and an old crush, to create the perfect new start...  

Interior designer Fiona McCrae has left fast-paced Manhattan to move back home to peaceful Blueberry Cove. But she's barely arrived before she's hooked into planning her big sister Hannah's Christmas wedding--in less than seven weeks. The last thing she needs is for her first love, Ben Campbell, to return to neighboring Snowflake Bay...

As kids, Fiona was the bratty little sister Ben mercilessly teased--while pining after Hannah. But Fi never once thought of Ben like a brother. And that hasn't changed. Except Fi is all grown up. Will Ben notice her now?  More importantly, with her life in a jumble, should he? Or might the romance of the occasion, the spirit of the season, and the gifts of time ignite a long-held flame for many Christmases to come...

Something old might just become something new...  

Includes a wedding cake recipe!  
ORDER INFORMATION
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Donna KaufmannUSA Today bestselling author of the Bachelors of Blueberry Cove series, Donna Kauffman has been gratified to see her books get rave reviews in venues ranging from Kirkus Reviews and Library Journal to Entertainment Weekly and Cosmopolitan. She lives in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in western Virginia, where she is presently applying her crafty DIY skills to decorating her new mountainside abode. Well, when she isn't busy trying to keep the bears from hanging out in her flower and vegetable garden all day and night! With her new Brides of Blueberry Cove series, Donna's been having a blast applying those same restoration and design skills to doing some fictional wedding planning. Of course, if that means haunting all those lovely antique shops and flea markets that are so plentiful in her new neck of the woods, well, it's a sacrifice she's willing to make. When she's not finding ways to take her love of all things rustic and vintage and give them a fabulous seaside, coastal Maine wedding party twist, she loves to hear from readers! You can contact her through her website at www.donnakauffman.com.
 
For More Information Visit Donna’s website. Connect with Donna on Facebook  and Twitter.


Just Want Somebody to LoveTitle: Just Want Somebody to Love
Author: Keri Ford
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Ebook/Paperback

Swept off her feet by a charming restaurateur, Whitney Chester envisions a delicious happily ever after—until her prince turns into a total toad. There’s no way she’ll agree to another date with Justin Rawlings, despite their unforgettable night together. But when Justin insists on helping out on her family-run farm in exchange for another chance, it’s an offer Whitney can’t refuse…if only to get revenge on her sweet-talking suitor. Justin needs a girlfriend to prove to his business partner that he isn’t all work and no play. Romancing Whitney should have been pure pleasure, if a work conflict hadn’t caused him to stand her up. Now he’s determined to win her back—and win his partner’s approval of their restaurant expansion. Keeping Whitney by his side until the deal closes should be easy—if he doesn’t do something foolish. Like fall in love with the small town beauty…

ORDER INFORMATION
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Keri Ford  Keri Ford brings sexy contemporary romance to the American South. With a sprinkling of men in suits and women in high heels, you’ll most likely find four-wheeler riding, ball cap wearing fellas trying to sweet-talk sundress wearing ladies in Keri’s books. Raised in the country in South Arkansas, Keri shares this flavor of life in her books. Glass of sweet tea at your elbow while you read is not required, but strongly recommended. Keri is represented by Louise Fury and Victoria Lowes of The Bent Agency. She’s multi-published, including the popular Through The Wall from An Apple Trail Novella Series. Her full length series in Bella Warren, Arkansas continues in 2015 from Lyrical Press. Be on the lookout for a new town—Turtle Pine, Alabama, coming soon! To keep up with this busy author, join her newsletter to catch all her new releases.

For More Information Visit Keri’s website. Connect with Keri on Facebook and Twitter

Seeking Carolina Title: Seeking Carolina
Author: Terri-Lynne Defino
Release Date: October 27, 2015
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Ebook/Paperback

 Johanna Coco is finally home in Bitterly, Connecticut, to attend her beloved grandmother's funeral—only to be confronted by the very reason she's stayed away to begin with--Charlie McCallan. Her high school sweetheart is now divorced, and no longer the skinny boy Johanna once loved. Hometown handsome and dependable as always, Charlie is the kind of man she needs to lean on as she and her sisters grapple with their grief—as well as the mystery of their long-missing mother, Carolina. But Johanna’s heart isn't only haunted by her ghosts; it’s haunted by what happened between her and Charlie…

 Charlie is determined to do things right this time, and he has to do it before Johanna vanishes from his life again. First he needs to prove to her that the past is past, and they can overcome it--no easy task when he’s up against the ghosts lingering in her life, trying to convince her that happily-ever-after is not in the cards for any of the catastrophe-prone Coco sisters, least of all Johanna. But her fearless first love is ready to do whatever it takes to win her back—ghosts be damned.
ORDER INFORMATION
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TeriLynne definoWriter, cat-wrangler, sparklequeen. My first fantasy novel, Finder, was published by Hadley Rille Books in October, 2010, followed by: A Time Never Lived in 2012, Jingle in 2013, and Beyond the Gate in 2013. October 2015 will see the release of Seeking Carolina (first in The Bitterly Suite) from Lyrical, an imprint of Kensington Publishing, my first step into contemporary romantic fiction. 

For More Information Visit Teri-Lynn’s website.
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His Work of Art, Racing Hearts and A Taste of Sake Book Feature






Title: His Work of Art
Author: Shannyn Schroeder
Release Date: October 27, 2015
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Ebook

 Reese Carter is definitely not your average college girl. She’d prefer to spend Saturday nights playing Hero’s Crusade than attending a wild frat party on campus. When she bands together with Adam, fellow comic enthusiast and illustrator, it appears that Reese has formed a dream team sure to propel her writing into the comic hall of fame. Adam Hayes has never met a girl like Reese. She’s sassy, smart, and loves talking comics, although he can’t see why she’d choose DC over Marvel. He’s thrilled to finally put his artistic chops to use in their upcoming comic project. But. this relationship is strictly professional. Or so he tells himself. When the two combine forces, they churn out magic in more ways than they had planned; they never expected to develop a steamy romantic sub-plot of their own…  

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Shannyn is a former English teacher, who now works as a part-time editor while raising her three kids. Even though she wrote from high school through college (mostly poetry), she’d never considered a career as an author.

Writing fell by the wayside as she focused her energy on creating lesson plans and new and fabulous ways to torment her teen students. One group in particular dubbed her “The Torture Master,” a title she carried into motherhood. After the birth of baby number two, Shannyn resigned from teaching and fell in love with reading romance novels. She read so many books so quickly that her husband teased, “If you’re going to read so many damn books, why don’t you just write one?” So she did. That first book is safely buried on her hard drive, but the process set Shannyn on the path to where she is today—agented with a debut ebook coming out with Kensington in late 2012.

She is recovering from her Diet Coke addiction, fears putting her foot in her mouth on social media, and has a renewed appreciation for the bad girls of the world. Shannyn is represented by Frances Black and Jennifer Mishler of Literary Counsel.

For More Information

Visit Shannyn’s website.
Connect with Shannyn on Twitter , Goodreads and Facebook

Title: Racing Hearts
Author: Melissa West
Release Date: October 27, 2015
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Ebook

 In the lush heart of Kentucky, the Hamiltons are horse racing royalty, born to produce champions. To win takes heart and soul—and to love takes the wild spirit of the land itself…

The oldest of three headstrong brothers, Trip Hamilton is considered the best horse trainer in the world. But he learned long ago to keep his focus on the horses and away from the riders. He’s seen the way heartbreak can waylay a career, and he’s determined not to risk it—until a stubborn, sexy rider thunders into his life, breaks his resolve, along with several of his rules, and takes his heart right out of the gate…

 Emery Carlisle has a point to prove. She’ll be the first woman to win the prestigious Kentucky Derby, if only Trip will hire her, and let her ride the spirited colt she fell for at first sight. He won’t—unless she agrees to train with the horse at Hamilton Stables, under his guidance. It’s supposed to be strictly business, but as the race approaches, and their undeniable chemistry builds, Trip and Emery may be headed for the greatest win of all—as long as the losses of the past don’t gain on them…

ORDER INFORMATION
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Melissa West writes heartfelt Southern romance and teen sci-fi romance, all with lots of kissing. Because who doesn't like kissing? She lives outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction. Connect with Melissa at www.melissawestauthor.com or on Twitter @MB_West. Visit Melissa’s  website.













Title: A Taste of Sake
Author: Heather Heyford
Release Date: October 27, 2015
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Ebook

As author Heather Heyford pours a final glass in her series following three Napa wine heiresses, a newcomer must work her way into a tightly-knit family whose bond has been fermenting for years…

Though they each have their own ambitions and are known to be competitive—even with each other—the St. Pierre sisters are fiercely loyal. Chardonnay and Merlot are thrilled about Sauvignon’s wedding day, and it’s slated to be the soirĂ©e of the decade among Napa’s most elite residents. Given the family’s notoriety, it almost stands to reason that their eccentric father, Xavier, would arrive by helicopter. But no one could have anticipated the wedding surprise he’d brought along with him…

The product of one of Xavier’s many affairs, Sake is introduced as the half-Japanese sister the St. Pierre girls never knew they had. She struggles to break into clique-ish Napa society—and getting in with her sisters is proving more difficult than nabbing a ’74 Cabernet. It seems only high-end realtor Bill Diamond can tell there’s more to Sake than meets the eye. Afraid of repeating her mother’s mistakes, Sake just hopes that getting drunk on love won’t leave her with a hangover of rejection…

ORDER INFORMATION
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Born in the Northeast, Heather Heyford learned to walk and talk in Texas, and then moved to England. “Ya’ll want some scones?” While in Europe, Heather was forced by her cruel parents to spend Saturdays in the leopard vinyl back seat of their Peugeot, motoring from one medieval pile to the next for the lame purpose of ‘learning something.’ What she soon learned was how to allay the boredom by stashing a Cosmo under the seat. Now a recovering teacher, Heather writes love stories, feeds hardboiled eggs to suburban foxes, and makes art in the Mid-Atlantic. She is represented by the Nancy Yost Literary Agency (NYLA, @nyliterary) in New York City.

For More Information
Visit Heather’s website.
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