Friday, September 28, 2018

Book Blitz: Lonesome Song by Elliott D. Light

I am truly excited to participate in my first Book Blitz! Thank you Sage's Blog Tours for the opportunity! So let's get to it...

**Lonesome Song can be downloaded for FREE right HERE!

Lonesome Song
By Elliott D. Light
Genre: Mystery


Imagine you’re in your late twenties. School is behind you.  You have money, a beautiful wife, lots of friends.  Everything you ever wanted is at your fingertips.

And then suddenly, it’s all taken from you.

Shep Harrington was a young, prosperous and happy lawyer, his bright future shining on the horizon like a beacon.  But things that shine are not always what they seem.  Contentment can be intoxicating, dulling the senses to the signs of change.

He and wife Anna were living their dream—together.  And then they weren’t.

​Shep was convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and sent to prison.  Anna, believing him guilty, divorced him. Both were victims of a system created and operated by an older generation who valued power and money over fairness.

Out of prison, Shep must again contend with people who see truth in practical terms as he probes the death of a man whom he loved and who loved him.  A classic murder mystery, Lonesome Song explores the challenges of surviving injustice and of doing the right thing.
Lonesome Song is the first book in the Shep Harrington SmallTown® Mystery Series.

About the Author

I am a retired patent attorney living in Florida with my wife, Sonya, and our feline, Tsuki.  I spent most of my life in the Washington, D.C. area.  I grew up in McLean, Virginia before the beltway was constructed.  Some of my classmates in grade school lived on nearby farms.  ​McLean had a small town feel to it.  Gossip spread without the Internet.  Party lines were common.  Secrets were hard to keep.

​When I was in my early thirties, my life pivoted when I was accused of a crime I didn't commit.  My defense counsel and I discussed plans for my likely indictment and possible imprisonment.  I could expect to be handcuffed and paraded in front of the media.  This experience with the so-called justice system ended after a two year ordeal without an indictment and without going to trial. Even so, it could have ended differently. 

Sadly, I will never fully believe that prosecutors, investigators, or the government are as interested in the truth as they are in getting a conviction, an attitude that I share with the semi-fictional Shep Harrington. 

Twitter: @elliott_light

Excerpt from Chapter 10

Friday, August 17, 2018

Review: Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage


TitleBaby Teeth
Author: Zoje Stage - Check out her blog here!
Genre: Thriller; Horror

I was lucky enough to meet Zoje in-person at my local indie bookstore, Riverstone Books, for a signing of and discussion on Baby Teeth! It was wonderful to hear the author speak about all the little tidbits she had to offer!

Summary (from Goodreads):

"Meet Hanna.

She’s the sweet-but-silent angel in the adoring eyes of her Daddy. He’s the only person who understands her, and all Hanna wants is to live happily ever after with him. But Mommy stands in her way, and she’ll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good. 

Meet Suzette. 

She loves her daughter, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly sophisticated, and Suzette's husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all."

My thoughts:

Ooooooooohhhh this one was creeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepy! Loved it. Loved It. LOVED IT! Reading this book, I had more audible gasps, wide-eyed looks, and shocked faces than with anything I think I have ever read. 

IMPORTANT! There are 3 very specific reasons why this book was one I had to have:

  1. Zoje Stage is a local Pittsburgh author (where I live), and the book is based in my wonderful city.
  2. The whole mother vs. daughter struggle - I have a 1-year-old daughter, so anything about this subject intrigues me.
  3. Suzette suffers from Crohn's disease - I suffer from ulcerative colitis, which was diagnosed during my pregnancy and I came disturbingly close to dying because of it. Colitis is quite similar to Crohn's, so I identified with this very strongly.

Hanna is by far one of the most disturbing little characters I have ever been introduced to. What a little mental case! She's way too smart for her own good, cunning, extremely creative, manipulative, and just plain evil. (The ending of the book truly seals the deal about her, but I am giving no spoilers away on this one!)

Suzette...I love her and I think she's a creep, too. On one hand, her 7-year-old daughter is literally attempting to kill her throughout the entire book, so I feel for her. She's afraid of and resentful towards her daughter, and rightfully so. But, she also has these weird, creepy mommy moments where she just screams and swears at Hanna, but totally out of context. I dunno, that was my take on some of those moments.

ALSO, Suzette describes her Crohn's in painful detail, and I ate up every word of it. (At the book discussion, Zoje confirmed that she suffers from Crohn's, and Suzette's Crohn's story is, in fact, her Crohn's story - except for the "during pregnancy" part). The specific points that resonated deeply with me: she talked about how much worse the condition got while she was pregnant; the fear of leaving the house for too long because of a flare-up or sudden need for a bathroom in an unfamiliar place; how it makes her feel weak, damaged, and less capable of being a strong mother, wife, career woman, and person in general. I'm there, girl. Totally with you. LOVED this part of the book, weird and graphic as it is.

Without revealing a single word more, I leave you with this: Go buy this damn book and devour it/let it devour you - because yes, both happen! It's creepy, twisted, haunting, and yet somehow plausible. And it is now a personal treasure of mine, because my copy is signed by the author woo woo!!

☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️ = Phenomenal! Highly recommended!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Check It Out! Unboxing: August

August Check It out! Unboxing

I was lucky enough to receive an individually-curated August box from Check It Out! to unbox and review on my blog! The amount of thought that goes into this box, plus the killer items, make it a new favorite for me!

You do get to pick your genre with this box (a must for me, as I am somewhat picky about genre), so of course I picked Mystery 😊.

To sign up for a subscription to Check It Out, please click HERE (this box is available for subscription via CrateJoy). It is only available in the U.S. at this time.

Each item comes individually wrapped, which meant way more fun opening up! I felt like a kid on Christmas!
**Each gift corresponds to one of the books in some way, so the packages are labeled for what gift goes with which book - even cooler!

The Goods:
  1. THE BOOKS: This awesome box comes with not 1, not 2, but 3 books! They are described as "gently used", and to be honest, my copies are barely that. I truly think they may have been read once, maybe twice. And I shop at discount book stores a lot, so this doesn't bother me in the slightest. (If you are only interested in new-release, hardcover, brand-new copies, this is NOT the box for you, but it is for me!) The 3 books are: 
  2. Sornean beach bag to accompany The Beach House Mystery. Heavy-duty, sturdy, waterproof, rope handles, and has a great pineapple design on it. LOVE IT!
  3. AMAZING pink boots to accompany Girl Last Seen. I have an obsession with boots, and these are amazing. I am unsure of how the curator would determine size for the individual subscriber, but I imagine if you are a paying customer, this is a question that would be asked of you previous to apparel being sent. Lucky for me, these are a size 7 (I wear a 6, but with some boot socks, I'll be good!) Very interested to see how this ties in to the plot of the book! 
  4. Teacup, saucer, and spoon to accompany The Silver Needle Murder (my teacup, though packaged very well, did show up cracked. However, I let the curator know and, even though I was sent this box at no cost, she is sending me a new teacup! Wonderful customer service. I can attest personally that, if you should ever encounter an issue with your items, the curator will fix the problem!)
Truthfully, this is probably going to be my new gift to myself. Loved this box 100%. I think the beach bag and teacup gifts are somewhat obvious for how they tie into the stories (which is fine!), but I am very intrigued about the boots with Girl Last Seen. All gifts are new, and each box is different per subscriber, as they are individually-curated. Truly is a one-of-a-kind gift. And only $24.95/month for great quality gifts AND 3 books?! Sorry, but that is a no-brainer, friends!

Thank you again to Check It Out! for providing me with a box at no cost to unbox and review here!