Somewhere in San Diego (Somewhere, #2) by Dennis Macaraeg #BookReview @DennisMac2015

Cover: Somewhere in San Diego
(Somewhere, #2)
by Dennis Macaraeg

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

A thriller about best friends, scientific data, hired guns and a harrowing race with a past lover to stay alive.

Marine biologist Danny Maglaya must meet with his best friend and fellow scientist Blake Mason to upload the data demanded as ransom by the kidnappers of Blake’s fiancée. The task might have been simple, but every time the two scientists try to rendezvous, two contract assassins show up. With Danny and Blake’s phones hacked and each move they make monitored, the only way to survive is to outwit the men wanting to eliminate them. With an ingenious but risky solution, Danny teams up with his ex-lover to piece together secrets that only she, Danny and Blake know. A series of perilous events follows as Danny and his old flame, Valerie, race through San Diego County, solving clues about Blake’s whereabouts and about their possible future together. Will their love for each other be the catalyst for success or will the bitter pain of their breakup be a recipe for disaster?

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Genre(s): Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction
> Action & Adventure > Travel
> Action & Adventure > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thriller
Books > Literature & Fiction
> Action & Adventure > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thriller & Suspense
Series: Somewhere, #2
Length: 227 pages
Release date: 2017-04-21

 

Teaser


“Where are you?” Danny asked, worried for his friend’s safety.

“I left downtown and am hiding somewhere I hope is safe. I can’t tell you where for now. I don’t trust our phones.”

“Who are these men trying to kill us?”

“I really don’t know. It seems they won’t stop until they’ve got the thumb drive and the laptop,” Blake declared in a rapid voice.


My Opinion

This book re-introduces you to Danny and Blake. This time, they are trying to rescue Blake’s kidnapped fiancée Elizabeth.

With “Somewhere in San Diego”, Dennis Macaraeg has created a light fast-paced thriller with a touch of romance. The story has the characters criss-crossing San Diego and its outskirts, trying to avoid being killed before they can upload data requested as ransom and get Elizabeth back unharmed. It is a quite entertaining read with thrilling moments. Dennis Macaraeg lets the reader in on what Danny, Valerie, and Blake have to go through – even from a distance I just had to cheer them on. Danny has become a complex character; Blake and Valerie are also quite likeable and of sufficient depth.

This is a book for you if you like light and fast-paced thrillers with touches of romance.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (three stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (three stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Mood Hopeful
Pace Fast
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence 😳  (some violence)
Sexual content 😳  (mostly decent, a little steamy on occasions)

 

About the author

I attended San Diego State University and earned a degree in teaching. I thought I’d be spending my working career in a classroom but life had different plans for me.

When I turned 40—not a spring chicken at that time—I remember asking myself what else is out there in my life. The answer came in the stories I’ve been reading.

I was listening to a thriller on an audio book or maybe it was a love story while driving to the beach. I liked both of them—the hero gets the girl, the money and lives to tell the tale—and right then, I had a serendipitous moment. Naively, I told myself, I could write a novel.

Storytelling is easy. All that’s needed is a beginning, a middle and an end, and about 53,000 words. Not true. There is nothing more difficult than inventing a story. With nothing but bits and pieces of inspiration here and there, I began writing stories in my spare time. I joined writing groups and enrolled in a creative writing class at a local college.

Not really knowing what to write, I thought of my trip to the Philippines in 1993. I went backpacking throughout the country just a few years after graduating from college, visiting the country’s three main islands of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The seed for writing this novel was born.

Since I love reading thrillers, love stories, history and travel books, I decided to combine all categories and turn them into a novel. Words became sentences, then paragraphs. Finally, the compiled chapters turned into a book!

I hope you enjoy reading my novel just as I enjoyed writing it.

Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you? What did you think about Somewhere in San Diego”? Or – if you did not yet read Somewhere in San Diego” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

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Finders, Not Keepers (The Not So Reluctant Detectives, #1) by D.E. Haggerty #BookReview #RBRT @dehaggerty

Cover: Finders, Not Keepers
(The Not So Reluctant Detectives, #1)
by D.E. Haggerty

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review (member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

What do you do with a diamond no one wants? You can’t keep it. Or can you?

While cleaning her ex-husband’s effects out of the attic, Terri finds an exquisite diamond pendant necklace. She’s determined to return the necklace to its proper owner, but the owner was brutally killed, a murder which remains unsolved, and her heirs want nothing to do with the diamond. Terri embarks upon a journey researching charities to which she can donate the diamond. When her research becomes dangerous, Terri contemplates solving the murder herself. Her best friend, Melanie, jumps feet first into investigating the murder, but her neighbor, Ryder, doesn’t want Terri exposed to any danger. Ryder, to Terri’s surprise, also wants to be more than neighbors with Terri. Luckily, he’s prepared to take any measure necessary to keep her safe because someone is determined to stop her inquiries.

Join Terri on her quest to find a home for the diamond, which may result in the unveiling of a murderer – if she survives long enough.

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks
> Romance > Mystery & Suspense > Mystery
> Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery > Cozy
Books
> Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery > Cozy
Series: The Not So Reluctant Detectives, #1
Length: 244 pages
Release date: 2018-08-20

Teaser


“I’m sure you’re curious about Jessica.” Terri nodded but didn’t dare speak for fear her curiosity would come across as excitement, which was morbid considering the poor woman was dead. “Phil?”

Mr. Collins cleared his throat. “Our niece Jessica was only twenty-five when she was killed.”


My Opinion

This book focuses on Terri, recently divorced. Finding a diamond pendant necklace in her attic, and trying to get it back to its rightful owner gets her in some unanticipated situations.

With “Finders, Not Keepers”, D. E. Haggerty has created an expertly worded and very funny suspense story with a romantic touch. The story comprises a broad variety of believable characters with sufficient depth, hilarious moments, and interesting interactions to solve the case of the diamond pendant necklace. I had a great time reading “Finders, Not Keepers” – it is a very fun read. I was drawn into the story right away, chuckling about the cute yet stubborn protagonist and her complexes, her best friend Melanie – even more determined, and Terri’s rather protective neighbour, Ryder.

This is for you if you like female amateur sleuths, stubborn and determined women, hilarious situations as well as a great combination of cosy suspense, humour, and romance.

A funny and suspenseful book to read again; it is the very promising first in a new series.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (5 stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (appropriate)
Violence :mrgreen:  (some mentions)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (decent enough)

 

About the author

I grew-up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on from my mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to “Little Women”. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.

Connect with the author:

Website:  http://dehaggerty.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/denaehaggerty
Amazon:  D. E. Haggerty
Buy links:  books2read.com/u/mBPnJA


Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about “Finders, Not Keepers”?  Or – if you did not yet read “Finders, Not Keepers” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


 

 

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Scathed (Grafton County Series, #3) by Sue Coletta #RBRT #BookReview @SueColetta1

Cover: Scathed
(Grafton County series, #3)
by Sue Coletta

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review (member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

On a picturesque fall morning in Grafton County, New Hampshire, a brutal murder rocks the small town of Alexandria. In the backyard of a weekend getaway cabin, a dead woman is posed in red-satin, with two full-bloomed roses in place of eyes.

In her hand, a mysterious envelope addressed to Sheriff Niko Quintano. Inside, Paradox vows to kill again if his riddle isn’t solved within 24 hours.

With so little time and not enough manpower, Niko asks his wife for help. But Crime Writer Sage Quintano is dealing with her own private nightmare. Not only did she find massive amounts of blood on the mountain where she and her family reside, but a phone call from the past threatens her future—the creepy mechanical voice of John Doe, the serial killer who murdered her twin sister.

Together, can Niko and Sage solve the riddle in time to save the next victim? Or will the killer win this deadly game of survival?

Genre(s): Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
> Thrillers & Suspense > Crime > Kidnapping
> Thrillers & Suspense > Crime > Serial Killers
> Thrillers & Suspense > Crime > Murder
Series: Grafton County, #3
Length: 260 pages
Release date: 2018-07-25

 

Teaser


Stopping her midstream, he flashed a flat hand. “Thank you, Deputy Campanelli. A simple yes or no will suffice.”

“For your information, I was gonna say corvette. Geez. And you say my mind never leaves the gutter.”


My Opinion

This third book in the Grafton County series re-introduces you to best-selling author Sage Quintano, her husband Niko, Grafton County Sheriff, their son Noah, and to their canine kids Colt and Ruger.

With Scathed, Sue Coletta has created another extraordinary and fast-paced thriller about a woman who once again is confronted with a serial killer – close to her own home. Who has moved up to the mountain? Who kills and leaves envelopes for Sheriff Niko Quintano? The story comprises a variety of interesting characters with sufficient depth and cleverly elaborated and fast-paced interactions. Be prepared to accompany Niko and his team to some grisly crime scenes; even if the descriptions are not too stretched, you clearly see that Sue Coletta is serious about her research. I had a thrilling time reading Scathed – it is a very compelling read; it takes you close to Sage, Niko and his partner Frankie, and to ‘the kids’. I was drawn into the story right away, very close to the protagonists. Sage and Frankie are complex and intense characters, their ways of thinking and their actions – as unusual as they may be – fit these women perfectly. The story has a great flow with some surprising (nicely integrated) turns.

This is for you if you like thrillers on serial killers, psychology, likeable and interesting characters, authors who did their homework (well-researched topics), do not shy away from gory scenes.

A very compelling read.

Highly recommended!

 

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV First person – past tense
Language :mrgreen: – 😳  (scattered mild swearwords)
Violence 😡  (violent)
Sexual content 😳  (some mentions and scenes)

 

About the author:

Proud member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers, Sue Coletta is always looking for new ways to commit murder…on the page. Her forensic articles have been published in InSinC magazine and a four-thousand-word excerpt of Marred scored first placement in Murder, USA, an upcoming anthology.

She runs a popular crime website and blog, where she shares crime tips, police jargon, and anything and everything in between. If you search her achieves, you’ll find posts from guests that work in law enforcement, forensics, coroner, undercover operatives, firearm experts…crime, crime, and more crime. If you’re a writer with murder in your plot, pick up a free copy of 60 Ways To Murder Your Fictional Characters.

For readers, she has the Crime Lover’s Lounge, where subscribers will be the first to know about free giveaways, contests, and have inside access to deleted scenes. As an added bonus, members will get to play in the lounge. Your secret code will unlock the virtual door. Inside, like-minded folks can discuss their favorite crime novels, solve mindbender puzzles, and/or relax and chat. Most importantly, have fun.

Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about Scathed?  Or – if you did not yet read Scathed – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

Karen_RBRT

rosies-book-review-team-1

 

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An Auspicious Day in Derbyshire (From Longbourn to Pemberley, #7) by Margaret Lynette Sharp #BookReview @MargaretLynett1

Cover:
An Auspicious Day in Derbyshire
(From Longbourn to Pemberley, #7)
by Margaret Lynette Sharp

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

When news of the approach of Georgiana’s wedding reaches the ears of the all-condemning Lady Catherine de Bourgh, the latter instantly resolves to set off to Pemberley on a mission with two objectives. First, to dissuade her niece from entering into a marriage with someone of inadmissibly inferior social status. Second, should her best efforts at shock and awe (and the release of her flying monkeys) somehow fail to terrify her naive and feckless niece, to issue a stark ultimatum to the Darcys: they must either refuse to issue an invitation to Anne (and, most particularly, one to her husband,) or they must face the wrath of Lady Catherine, herself, in the form of a merciless boycott. What will Georgiana decide? Will she bow to intimidation? Will the would-be dowager despot, Catherine, find reason to change her attitude?

Genre(s): Fan Fiction
Kindle eBooks
> Kindle Short Reads > 45 minutes (22-32 pages) > Romance
> Literature & Fiction > Short Stories > Single Authors
> Romance > Historical Romance > Regency
Series: From Longbourn to Pemberley, #7
Length: 25 pages
Release date: 2017-09-25

 

Teaser


“My feeling is that Georgiana should make herself unavailable to speak with my aunt,” said Darcy. “I am unsure of how this is best achieved.”

“Has Lady Catherine announced her intention of staying overnight at Pemberley?”


My Opinion

As this book is a work of fan fiction, it takes you back to the places and characters of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

With An Auspicious Day in Derbyshire, Margaret Lynette Sharp has created another nice piece of fan fiction. If you have read Pride and Prejudice or even watched the remarkable TV mini series (1980), you recognize the world of Elizabeth Darcy, née Bennet. The From Longbourn to Pemberley series is centred on Elizabeth, whose warmth and intelligence also made Pride and Prejudice special. Her husband, Fitzwilliam Darcy, develops nicely – a tendency the readers could assume at the end of Pride and Prejudice. It is a short read, taking you back to Longbourn and Pemberley to further extend your Pride and Prejudice and/or Longbourn/Pemberley experiences. Lady Catherine de Bourgh is her usual traditional self, as we know her from our previous encounters be it in the book or in the already mentioned mini series. Margaret Lynette Sharp again took up the hard challenge of writing fan fiction on a classic by Jane Austen, aptly enhancing the story without changing the characters’ ways. If you loved Pride and Prejudice, you will appreciate the additional stories this courageous author has to offer.

This is a book for you if you like Pride and Prejudice, fan fiction, classic reads, and classic reads’ aptly written fan fiction.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (3 stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Mood Hopeful, nostalgic
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent, no swearwords)
Violence :mrgreen:  (none)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (none)

 

About the author

My name is Margaret Lynette Sharp, and I’m the wife of the creator of the Grand Organ in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House, Ronald Sharp B.E.M. I’m proud to say that I’ve won two literary awards – one each at the 2014 and 2015 Short Story Writing Competition held as part of the Hurstville ( in suburban Sydney, Australia) Discovery Festival of Community Arts.
These stories have been published in prizewinners’ anthologies, ‘Write Out Loud’ and ‘The Art of Writing’.

My first venture into Jane Austen fan fiction resulted in the best-selling ‘Longbourn Revisited’.
Next came the well-reviewed title, ‘An Encounter at Longbourn’, followed by ‘A Party at Longbourn’, ‘And from Longbourn, A Wedding Comes,’ and ‘Much Ado at Longbourn’. Recently, these five stories were combined, forming the novel-length ‘From Longbourn, With Love’. To date, I have forty published eBooks, and some of these are also available as paperbacks.

I grew up in an inner city suburb of Sydney, moving to a pleasant, tree-filled outer suburb at the age of ten. Ron and I currently live in this same house, a small Federation brick and tile home.

I’m thankful that we live near a river that has a large, netted swimming baths. I love to swim, and I’ve been a member of the local swimming club for well over thirty years. Our little white rescue dog, Chicki, comes with me and waits patiently while I enjoy the water. Afterwards comes her reward – a walk beside the river, and a chance to play on a little, sandy beach. Who knows what doggy friends she’ll find there…

Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you? What did you think about An Auspicious Day in Derbyshire? Or – if you did not yet read An Auspicious Day in Derbyshire – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

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The Curse of Time (Bloodstone, #1) by M. J. Mallon #BookReview @Marjorie_Mallon

Cover: The Curse of Time
(Bloodstone, #1)
by M. J. Mallon

The author sent me an ARC of this book (epub format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (5 stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who’s imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house. When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden pathway where she encounters Ryder, a charismatic, but perplexing stranger.

With the help of a magical paint set, and some crystal wizard stones she discovers the truth about a shocking curse that has destroyed her family’s happiness.

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks > Children’s eBooks
> Science Fiction, Fantasy & Scary Stories > Fantasy & Magic > Coming of Age
> Science Fiction, Fantasy & Scary Stories > Fantasy & Magic > Paranormal, Occult & Supernatural
Books > Teens
> Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Coming of Age
Series: Bloodstone, #1
Length: 242 pages
Release date: 2017-08-26

 

Teaser


I couldn’t help but wonder if whatever was happening to my family had reached beyond us and touched others.

Esme answered when she’d got over the shock of seeing me. ‘I can’t tell you how I got here. I’m compelled to keep that a secret. All I can say is that I’m trapped and can’t get out. Whereas you can walk out the door, but you won’t be free until you find the cottage.’ Esme smiled. Her blonde hair caught the reflections from the morning light hitting the mirror leaving a shiny spot on the wall behind me. I gazed at her face and saw that her eyes held the truth: in the sadness, she couldn’t hide.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to 15-year-old Amelina Scott, living in a rather unusal home.

With The Curse of Time, M. J. Mallon has created a well-crafted paranormal teen story that made me follow Amelina as an invisible ally; inwardly cheering her on as she tried to find a solution for her family’s issues. It is a very compelling read that draws you close to Amelina and her quest. M. J. Mallon introduces Amelina with utmost care, she is a complex and believable teenager, and you want to find a possibility to support her. The story has a steady yet fast-paced flow, still leaving you sufficient opportunity to grasp the situations. Even if I am way past my teenage times – I had a great time reading this first book in the Bloodstone series. I am looking forward to reading the next books in the series.

This is a book for you if you like paranormal and occult stories with believable characters, mysteries, the young adult genre per se, and if you appreciate great story-telling.

Highly recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (5 stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (5 stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (5 stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Fast, steady
POV First person – past tense
Language :mrgreen: – 😳  (decent enough)
Violence 😳  (scenes of violence)
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳  (decent enough)

 

About the author

I am a debut author who has been blogging for three years: https://mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, and middle grade fiction as well as micropoetry – haiku and tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 reviews: https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-z-o

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit,) second child and only daughter to my proud parents Paula and Ronald. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong with my elder brother Donald. My parents dragged me away from my exotic childhood and my much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. In bonnie Edinburgh I mastered Scottish country dancing, and a whole new Och Aye lingo.

As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations to visit my abacus wielding wayfarer dad. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and my two enchanted daughters.

After such an upbringing my author’s mind has taken total leave of its senses! When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practise Tai Chi. If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.

Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about The Curse of Time?  Or – if you did not yet read The Curse of Time – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂