Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Blog Tour of THE DRIFTER: Christine Lennon


Inside the Book:

Title: The Drifter
Author: Christine Lennon
Release Date: February 21, 2017
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Thriller/Suspense

Megan Abbott meets M.O. Walsh in Christine Lennon's compelling debut novel about a group of friends on the cusp of graduating from college when their lives are irrevocably changed by a brutal act of violence.

Present Day…

For two decades, Elizabeth has tried to escape the ghosts of her past…tried to erase the painful memories…tried to keep out the terrifying nightmares. But twenty years after graduating from the University of Florida, her carefully curated life begins to unravel, forcing her to confront the past she’s tried so hard to forget.

1990s, Gainesville, Florida…

Elizabeth and her two closest friends, Caroline and Ginny, are having the time of their lives in college—binge watching Oprah, flirting for freebies from Taco Bell, and breaking hearts along the way. But without warning, their world is suddenly shattered when a series of horrific acts of violence ravage the campus, changing their lives forever.

Sweeping readers from the exclusive corners of sorority life in the South to the frontlines of the drug-fueled, slacker culture in Manhattan in the ‘90s and early ‘00s, when Elizabeth is forced to acknowledge her role in the death of a friend in order to mend a broken friendship and save her own life, The Drifter is an unforgettable story about the complexities of friendships and the secrets that can ultimately destroy us.


Meet the Author:

Christine Lennon is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor. Before she moved to the West Coast to start her freelance career, she was an editor at W, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Since then, she has written for publications including T The New York Times style magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Town & Country, W, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Martha Stewart Living, Sunset, C California Style, Marie Claire, Self, Net-a-Porter’s Porter and The Edit online magazine— among others.

Her first novel, THE DRIFTER (formerly GAINESVILLE), will be published February 21, 2017: “Journalist Christine Lennon’s GAINESVILLE, alternating between 1990s Florida and present-day New York, about a group of friends on the cusp of graduating from college, whose innocence is shattered by a brutal act of violence that changes the course of their lives, to Emily Krump at William Morrow, by Brettne Bloom at The Book Group (World). [Publisher’s Weekly]”.

Christine lives in Hancock Park with her husband, Andrew Reich, and their two children.



Tour Schedule

Monday, February 13
Book reviewed at Cheryl's Book Nook
Book reviewed at Books Are Love

Tuesday, February 14
Book featured at Books, Dreams, Life
Book featured at CBY Book Club
Book reviewed at Perfect at Midnight

Wednesday, February 15
Book featured at Warrior Woman Winmill
Book featured at Mello and June
Book featured at What is That Book About

Thursday, February 16
Book featured at The Bookworm Lodge
Book featured at RoloPoloBookBlog

Friday, February 17
Interviewed at The Pulp and Mystery Shelf
Book featured at Authors and Readers Book Corner


Monday, February 20
Book reviewed at Indie Book Reviews

Tuesday, February 21
Book reviewed at Book Reviews and More

Wednesday, February 22
Book featured at A Title Wave

Thursday, February 23
Book featured at A Book Lover

Friday, February 24
Book featured at Voodoo Princess


Monday, February 27
Book featured at The Dark Phantom

Tuesday, February 28
Book featured at Write and Take Flight

Wednesday, March 1
Book featured at Celticlady's Reviews

Thursday, March 2
Book featured at Harmonious Publicity

Friday, March 3
Book reviewed at I'm Shelf-ish


Monday, March 6
Book reviewed at Turning Another Page
Book reviewed at Cover2Cover

Tuesday, March 7
Book reviewed at Turning the Page

Wednesday, March 8
Book featured at Reviews by Crystal
Book reviewed at Curling Up by the Fire

Thursday, March 9
Book reviewed at Svetlana Reads and Views

Friday, March 10
Book reviewed at Brooke Blogs
Book reviewed at Blushing Babes Are Up All Night

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Review of FOLLOW ME BACK: A.V. Geiger

Mystery / Thriller
Date Published: June 6, 2017

"Follow Me Back is the perfect mix of fandom with just the right amount of suspense. An enthralling page turner from beginning to end." —Anna Todd, New York Times bestselling author of the After series
Tessa Hart's world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it's like his speaking directly to her...
Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn't help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.
When a fellow pop star is murder at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast—like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric's plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world's best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn...
Told through tweets, direct messages, and police transcripts, this thriller for the online generation will keep you guessing right up to the shocking end.


A Promising Start – But Disappointing Finish

Tessa Hart. Tessa Hart is a girl with a problem. Although a teenager, a severe trauma has brought on a case of agoraphobia. She can’t leave her room and can’t talk about what caused things to change so drastically—not even to her therapist. Now? Now she makes due by mad crushing on Eric Thorn via Twitter. Eric Thorn. Eric Thorn is a superstar with a problem. Locked into a recording contract that dictates his every move, he might as well be in prison. He yearns for something that’s his to control and begins to resent fans like @TessaHeartsEric. She doesn’t even know him and yet she wrote fan fiction and started hashtag #EricThornObsessed. He just wishes he could talk to her and find out what’s really going on in that mind of hers to imagine she’s in love with someone she’s never met.

I’ll state at the outset that at 20% done, 40% done, 70% done, and at 90% done, I was prepared to give this book five stars. I mean, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that I would. I was #tearingthrupages and assimilating data faster than if caught up in the Matrix. But then I had to go #ruinitall by reading #thefinalpages. Silly me! If I’d only known! But let me start with the #goodstuff.

There’s really so much to love about FOLLOW ME BACK by A.V. Geiger. The story is so well-written and the characters—the characters are likable and intriguing. The structure of this novel is divine. It’s divided up so that a police transcript tells you what happened in real time. You’re then taken back via Tess and Eric to find out how everything got to that point. Of course, the mystery of why the police report was necessitated isn’t revealed. It’s yet another mystery, but there’s a lot of that intentional withholding of pertinent info and the technique works beautifully.

Another big plus plus plus is A.V. Geiger’s knowledge of Twitter and social media. The conversations going back and forth accurately portray what takes place. She even nailed down that primal urge to check on messages. No one can resist! All those details add to the genuineness of one that has been there and done that. The fleshing out of Tessa, Eric, and the other main players is another area where the author excels. She does an excellent job of letting us in on what’s ticking in pretty unstable, dysfunctional heads. But applying the microscope to Tessa and Eric allows the relationship to build organically rather than forcing it in any one direction … which brings me to the ending … yeah, #thatending …

Have no idea what the author was thinking, #none, but that ending did not fit the story. We’re talking at all … in no way …. None! Yes, there was some suspense sprinkled throughout the story, but would you expect the ending of Pride and Prejudice to be Elizabeth Bennett stabbing Mr. Darcy through the heart because she decided that remark he made really was unforgivable? Or how about, Jane Eyre? Would you expect Edward Rochester to go at her with a meat cleaver because she’s turning into that wife he just got rid of and women are all alike? Yeah, no, I wouldn’t either. I wouldn’t appreciate either.

Put bluntly, the ending A.V. Geiger offers us just doesn’t work. Would it ever? Yes, if she changed the genre to something else and added #tonsofsuspense. Right now, the dialogue reads “romantic suspense” and what she would need is to dirty the conversations up and add some paranoia by not having such a light-hearted approach. If that kind of rewrite took place, she could have a solid thriller rather than the oh, so readable YA fluffernutter she has now. The banter just doesn’t fit with the drive off the cliff—the one that is destined to take the reader with it.

As for the climactic scene that precedes this big plot twist? Yeah, that lost me, too. It was too long and I didn’t think Tessa was that much of an idiot, but apparently …. #shewas!!! I’d really tighten up that whole encounter and make it taut and #creepychilling.

In summation, my score for the first 90% is five stars. However, my score for that ending earns 1 star. This averages out to three stars which is a shame.

I think A.V. Geiger is immensely talented and I really do look forward to reading more of her stories. If the ending were different, this would be a slam dunk five star winner.  #nodoubt

For intents and purposes of fair disclosure, I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Monday, February 6, 2017


Mystery / Thriller
Date Published: March 31, 2016

Mousey, overweight Stacey Sullivan would love to trade places with her glamorous socialite BFF, Jessica James—that’s until she discovers Jessica murdered in her own home. Whip-smart detective Rachel Storme is ready to exchange her gun and badge for a gardener’s hat and hoe. But she reluctantly puts her plans on hold when she’s asked to help solve Jessica’s murder. These two strangers from different generations—Stacey a millennial and Rachel a baby boomer—become unlikely friends in their pursuit of JUSTICE FOR JESSICA. But their friendship is put to the test when Stacey insists that her husband, Matt, is innocent in spite of evidence that speaks to the contrary. Rachel, baffled by Stacey’s blind loyalty to Matt, doggedly fights to take Matt down, but with Stacey’s help, he eludes her at every turn. Is Matt the killer or could Grant, Jessica’s husband, be the culprit? Perhaps it was her jealous sister, Georgette or the maid, Rosa? No matter who the killer is, Rachel, by any means necessary, is determined to find her man or woman.


A Suspenseful Mystery That Keeps You Guessing  

Stacey Sullivan needs an escape. Her lousy job and less than ideal marriage are bringing her down. Stacey’s best friend Jessica James comes to the rescue. Jessica is more than happy to share her luxurious home and Stacey takes her glamorous bff up on her offer to spend the night. The expensive surroundings work their magic and allow her to decompress, but all the good is taken away in a flash. Her beautiful friend was murdered. Sometime during the night, someone snuck in and brutally killed Jessica, but who? The clues seem to stack up against Stacey’s unreliable husband Matt, but Jessica’s husband Grant has a few motives of his own. Especially since Jessica was accused of being a golddigger who married him only for the money. Stacey is confused, but Detective Rachel Storme is there to solve the mystery and make sure there’’s JUSTICE FOR JESSICA. 

Author Alretha Thomas has done a great job in writing this compelling mystery. I loved the rich uniqueness that runs through the pages. I also loved the fleshing out of the two lead characters: Stacey Sullivan and Detective Rachel Storme. Both women are complex and richly drawn. The novel is set up so that they work in tandem, telling the story by taking turns in letting you know what is going on. I very much appreciated the approach and enjoyed getting in these character’s heads.

The clues are varied and the story expansive. Secrets and red herrings abound and we’re right there trying to figure out the clues. The only thing that stopped this from being a home run was the ending. While it was a surprise, I didn’t vibe with the outcome. Do I think the author should change it? No, because there will be others that appreciate the shades of grey approach.

But don’t let that stop you from picking this one up. Alretha Thomas is an excellent writer that deserves to be read and appreciated. I very much look forward to seeing where she goes from here.

I’m giving this one a 4.1 and recommend you give it a read.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Review of SINS OF THE FATHER: Emily Organ

Mystery / Thriller / Suspense
Date Published: October 4, 2016

An enemy returns. And this time he has her fooled. If he gets his own way then a little girl will never be seen again.

If you like page turners with absorbing characters and historical detail, then you must read this series by Emily Organ.

Alice de Grey is settling into married life in medieval London, but her world is shattered when her two year old niece, Mary, is kidnapped. As the city searches for the little girl, Alice realises that it was her own mistake which put Mary in danger.

Alice’s adversary, Sir Walter, is back. He has duped her and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Even murder.

Alice is forced to fix her mistake but Mary isn’t the only one to suffer. Sir Walter is one step ahead, and time is running out for Alice and her family.


Thrilling Adventure – Saved the Best for Last!!!

A young girl is kidnapped and bustled through the streets of London. An unexpected bite of a dog causes injury to the toddler’s hand. She cries piteously for her mother, but her abductor ignores the plea and hurries her along in a direction that only takes them farther from the child’s home. After all, someone is waiting, and the person is not someone you disappoint.  

Thus begins the thrilling conclusion of the RUNAWAY GIRL series by Emily S. Organ, one of our most favorite authors. If you’ve been following along with our reviews of this trilogy, you know we loved the first two installments, but what of the third? We’re happy to report that *drum roll* SINS OF THE FATHER IS ABSOLUTELY SENSATIONAL!!!  

The conclusion to this brilliantly crafted saga is all high tension and nerve-racking drama. We’re spirited back into the fourteenth century where the whole original cast awaits. Alice de Grey finds herself in the center of things—especially after her husband Thomas sets off on another quest to return Sir Walter (boo! hiss!) to face justice for his sins. Prudence is beginning to ask questions about the mother that abandoned her at St. Hugh’s, and Elizabeth? Elizabeth is attempting to learn the fine points of how to run a household. Because of her past, she’s given up all hope of finding a husband, so she devotes herself to being a mother to her beautiful daughter Mary. The toddler is the catalyst for Alice to don her detective hat and find out what is going on.

In this outing, Ms. Organ again shows how exceptionally skilled she in delivering a story. It’s always such a pleasure picking up one of her tales. You’re assured reading pleasure and to be thoroughly entertained. With this epic saga, she’s gone above and beyond in researching the time period. She’s strewn these meticulous historical details that breathe life and authenticity into this work with an artist’s hand. While some of the primitive methodologies used make us cringe, the illumination of what lurks in the human heart reminds us that no matter what the century, human nature hasn’t changed all that much. There has always been evil, and someone intent on performing it will carry it out no matter what.

I LOVED this book and this series. It’s going to stay by my bedside so that I can read it again and again. I truly hope Ms. Organ allows Alice and all her wonderful friends and family to come back in another series. I’d love to see where Alice can take all these newfound detective skills!

Definitely 5.0 stars to SINS OF THE FATHER and the RUNAWAY GIRL trilogy! It’s a superb read and one that’ll have you cheering for the good guys to win!!!