Month: February 2019

Book Review: Honey Homicide by Vikki Walton

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Honey Homicide: A Backyard Farming MysteryHoney Homicide: A Backyard Farming Mystery by Vikki Walton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Honey Homicide is the third book in Vikki Walton’s ‘A Backyard Farming Mystery’ series. I’ve read the previous two and wanted to read this one, so I stayed current on the series. I enjoy learning all about beekeeping and other farming activities, so it’s a nice change of pace from other books I’ve been reading.

In this caper, Kandi and Anne are trying to help their friends survive a string of burglaries, fires, and corruption occurring somewhere in the town. It takes place in Colorado, and there are some pot growers who may or may not be behaving properly. When the cops get involved, and a few bodies start showing up, something is definitely out of sorts. Anne tries to manage her friendship with the sheriff only to find he’s accused of the crimes this time! Who do you trust? For Anne, she’s slowly falling in love with him, so she’ll do what’s necessary to protect the man.

Walton’s characters are cute. She has a nice balance of dialog and narrative to tell the story. I like getting to see the improvements on the inn. And it’s great how everyone works together to solve the crime and help each other survive in the town. Of the three so far, the second is my favorite, but this has fun elements with the bees and the police corruption. I’m looking forward to the next one.

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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Book Review: Endgame by Patrick Hodges

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Endgame (Wielders of Arantha, #3)

Endgame by Patrick Hodges

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Endgame is the third book in the Wielders of Arantha trilogy written by Patrick Hodges. I read the first two book in late 2018 and had to finish the conclusion while every little detail was fresh in my mind, as these books pack in a tremendous amount of story, characters, and settings. Each is a fantastic component, but when woven together, the series is a definite stand-out with the makings of potential major fandom. And that comes from a non-frequent fantasy reader who’s mostly familiar with works like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings — I got the same feels reading Hodges’ work as I did the others!

Think of it as a cosmic chess game. Two unknown players (until the end, of course) battling for control over millennia, tossing curveballs and misery at one another, until the game concludes. But it’s much more than that… Hodges has created a bevy of memorable characters and intense passions for survival that will keep you glued to the book for hours at end. While the focus is on epic battles to conquer other lands or obtain your freedom, within each major conflict exists the fundamental emotions and goals we all experience in life — love, pain, embarrassment, lust, anger, revenge, friendship, shock, judgment…

At times, I wasn’t sure who would end up winning the war. It could be the good or the bad guys. Then again, I had moments where I was no longer sure which side was good or bad. There is a middle ground where Hodges forces readers to question our loyalty and our connection to certain characters. People make mistakes, can they be forgiven? Others betray you for a necessary reason, can it be forgotten? Power is thrust upon those not ready, should they be punished for inexperience or immaturity? Mothers are forced to abandon, but what if they had the best interests at heart? These are only the basic level of questions readers will evaluate while reading this trilogy. It gets deeper from there.

As a conclusion, it’s strong. There were a few characters I wish had different endings, but that’s only because I feel different things than other readers will. The entire story is wrapped up, but it is not perfect and happy. Just like life. There are losses in war. The bad guys / girls sometimes win a few battles. People will die. Sin will persist. Hodges covers all the remnants of a long-lasting war that will never be forgotten. I found happy endings for some couples and families, but it was a wonderful balance of humility, acceptance, and tolerance.

If you’re a fantasy fan, you’ll undoubtedly enjoy this trilogy. While you could just read this last book, as Hodges does an excellent job of briefly summarizing pertinent history, you’d lose out on all the beautiful emotions and relationships that lead us to this final epic ending. It’s a quick read despite being either ~400 or ~500 pages for each book, which makes it highly worth it, and then even a little sad when it ends! With over 20 key characters, all easily identifiable and visualized, I couldn’t possibly describe everyone here… but I’ll definitely share my favorite: Maeve is a the strongest, the type of person you’d want to be on your side in any battle. She has the nurturing and loving side to make her appeal even more, but it’s her honesty that is the best.

Definitely give this one a chance if you love complex and multi-generational tales that have surprise connections between characters and history you learn as the story unfolds. Congrats on a superb finish, Hodges!



View all my reviews

About Me

For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Strong Leading Female Characters

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I’m excited to share a video about 4 fantastic books I’ve read… all centered around strong female leading characters… check it out!

https://videopress.com/embed/eZlWVDM7

Leading female characters are a force to be reckoned with! They present the kind of strength and dynamics that are both admired and envied. I love to completely bury myself in books where the story lines are driven by headstrong and capable women! It’s empowering, uplifting, and admirable to say the least! Today, a few fellow Creativia authors and I would like to present a sample of our own books that feature STRONG LEADING FEMALE CHARACTERS! Enjoy, and click-through the links for more!

1st Stop: WATCHING GLASS SHATTER, by James J. Cudney

Purchase HERE:

Direct Book Quote:

** As she left the bedroom, Olivia ignored the dirtycup still sitting on Ben’s nightstand, its importance far less than anything else in her life these days. Time had arrived to arrange for her sons’ return home to honor Ben’s memory on what would have been his seventieth birthday, but also so she could rebuild the bonds between brothers. She needed to stop obsessing over the letter and determine how to help her sons fix their problems. The letters had become an unfortunate crux to lean on, a red herring for what loitered among her years of ignorance… a rabbit hole to get lost in… and she was too old to play Alice. **

Find more from James J. Cudney on his Website, Blog, and his Amazon Page!

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2nd Stop: HEIR OF DOOM the Roxanne Fosch Files Book 2, by Jina S. Bazzar

Purchase HERE:

Direct Book Quote:

** Because there was nowhere to run, I waited until the passenger door opened… only to find myself staring at the barrel of Logan’s gun. The little jolt of fear that zinged through me was skillfully hidden under a blank façade.

“Get in,” he snapped tightly. His shoulders were tense, his eyes held annoyance and irritation, but no anger or hints of crazed triumph. Two things I gathered in that instance. One, if he was going to shoot me he would have done it the moment the door opened. Two, the expression on his face told me he didn’t want me dead.

I eyed him and was proud my gaze didn’t waver. My hesitation only seemed to irritate him more, although I guessed his crankiness stemmed from following me around for the past few days. I weighed my options. I had this curious hunch and was tired and aching enough to not think better on it, so I turned my back on him and walked—shuffled—away, despite my body begging for the warm comfort the Range Rover could
provide for a few hours. **

Find more from Jina Bazzar on her Blog and her Amazon Page!

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3rd Stop: KALORAMA ROAD, by E. Denise Billups

Purchase HERE:

Direct Book Quote:

**An invisible threat festers, warning and urging me to recapture lost memories scattered in cerebral crevices. Undaunted’s blog, the mysterious manuscript, and the campus photo of Patrice and Penelope are only frazzles—pieces of a daunting puzzle. There’s a reason Penelope’s resurfaced two years later with her friend’s stolen online identity. I sense a scheme intended to unearth Patrice’s disappearance. She’s providing small clues, guiding me closer to Patrice. Detective Pennington, Senator Murphy, is the PayPal address also evidence?

Penelope didn’t want to publish the novel. It’s a subtle entrapment. She knows something about that party, and if she does, it’s because she was there. God, if only I could remember. I don’t have a choice but to follow the next clue. I dial information for Patrice Jensen’s number at Ninety Windsor Street, Chevy Chase, Maryland. The operator reveals the address belongs to Doctor Mark and Connie Jensen. Another piece of the puzzle fits. I suppose they’re Patrice’s parents or relatives. Hesitantly, I dial the number. A woman answers and warily I ask, “Is this Mrs. Jensen?” **

Find more from E. Denise Billups on her Blog and Amazon Page!

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4th Stop: SEARCH FOR MAYLEE, by Didi Oviatt

Purchase HERE: (FREE Feb. 22-26)

Direct Book Quote:

** The afternoon Maylee’s case was practically declared unsolvable and doomed for a cold shelf life, all hope drained from Autumn. Her car was left in the parking lot, and slow dragging feet carried her home, she moved in a blurry haze. Amidst the draining three mile walk to her front porch, the heat transformed into gloom, and before Autumn knew it she was engulfed in rain. The weather as unforgettably odd.

The door swung open, and she collapsed onto the floor, unable to take in air. Anxiety surged through her body in waves, and salty tears streamed down her face. God only knows how long she lay paralyzed on the floor before she got up and ran out the door. Pushing herself through the stinging oversized drops of rain, she rounded a corner and made her way to the beach. Giant deadly ocean swells had never looked so inviting, but she refused stop, continuing to run faster. Step after painful step in the sand, she pushed forward. **

Find more from Didi Oviatt on her Blog and Amazon Page!

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are three books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, and Flower Power Trip. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie by Tyler Colins

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Can you Hula Like Hilo Hattie?Can you Hula Like Hilo Hattie? by Tyler Colins

Last year, I read the first book, The Connecticut Corpse Caper, in the Triple Threat Mystery series by Tyler Colins. Her second book, Can You Hula Luke Hilo Hattie?, is even better. Colins is one talented author who can weave a complex plot and help readers fully visualize a setting.

In this caper, our three heroines have formed a private eye agency in Hawaii. They’d solved the murders in the first book as regular citizens, so why not make it a full-time job? It was too much work in California or Connecticut to get their licenses, so Hawaii became the new home. Great idea! Fun backdrop. Hilarious characters. First, they need to bring home a runaway, hooked-on-ice teen. Second, they need to prove a man’s wife is cheating. Unfortunately, it isn’t your typical case, and when the wife turns up dead, the mystery is gonna be way more complex than our heroines thought.

Colins has created a bevy of intense and charming characters. I love ‘Cash’ who seems like a very cool dreamboat. Each time I got to know a new character, they end up getting killed off! Maybe it won’t happen this time…. but like in her first book, the body count keeps rising. It’s a fun way to keep readers on our toes. My favorite aspect of the author’s writing style is her descriptions, whether of people or settings. It’s way more than you’d normally see in a book, but it fits very well. I have a beautifully clear picture of who’s talking or moving about the book. I find myself drawn to the action, too, but it’s a very complex plot to keep focused on.

I also see strength in transitions between scenes. It’s rarely over-simplified or brash. It ends in the right place, and I roll into the next scene without worrying what happened in between. I also find the dialog to be rather strong… quick puns, not wordy, direct but full of imagery and thought. I can’t wait to see what third adventure the ladies find themselves embroiled in… no matter what the plot is, I’m sure it will create loads of fun and memories. Great job, Ms. Colins!

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Patch: United States Marshal: Wanted Dead by Russ Towne

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Patch: United States Marshal: Wanted Dead: A Classic New Western Action Adventure From The Author of Patch: United States Marshal: Wanted Dead: A Classic New Western Action Adventure From The Author of “A Bullet In The Neck” by Russ Towne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Russ Towne has found another genre to excel in. I’ve read a few of his books in the past, including one other Western, but this new book–part of a future series about US Marshal Patch Elkins–is a winner. At ~150 pages, it chronicles the US Marshall’s life as he navigates the ‘territory’ to bring in criminals. Unfortunately, there’s a price on more than just the criminals’ heads this time…

My favorite aspect of this book is how much the story tells ‘above and beyond’ the words, for instance… life was insane back in the ‘old days’ of Western adventures. No cars, minimal maps, changing territorial boundaries, it took days to spread the word about outlaw problems via newspapers, it might take a month before someone found a dead body, etc. By reading this book, I actually realized what life was like for a US Marshal during those days. People died in tragedies all the time, just like they do now, but we didn’t hear about it the second it occurred in the days of long ago.

When an author can push you to think beyond ‘what you know,’ you’ve found someone fantastic. Towne’s style is easy-to-read, informative, and reflective. While being an outlaw and traveling by horseback across a territory can be intense, the book is not a totally dark and instructional take on this type of life. It’s not light and fluffy either. There’s a balanced equilibrium where we see love, blood, fighting, anger, death, and hope. Towne shows us how two strangers can bond, how a young teen needs a role model, how what’s fair doesn’t always occur, and how a man with an injury can still protect himself and the country.

I’m excited to see how this series develops. Kudos on an excellent book for a non-typical reader. View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Where There’s a Will by Amy K. Rognlie

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Where There's a Will (Short Creek Mystery Series, #2)Where There’s a Will by Amy K. Rognlie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Where There’s a Will is the second book in Amy K. Rognlie’s ‘Short Creek Mystery Series.’ Who wouldn’t enjoy a book about a missing will and a town called Short Creek? I stumbled upon this author and her series via a cozy mystery group I belong to. Although I won the second book, the author was kind of enough to also send the first book, so I could catch up. I wrote that review last week, which means today I’m ready for the second one. Kudos to Rognlie for creating a Christian cozy mystery series with diversity and a focus on living a better life through faith.

In this book, Callie gets a call in the wee hours of the morning from her aunt noting that a friend is in trouble. When Callie checks on the friend, she’s okay. But she’s not the next day! As the story progresses, we learn about a missing family, a ruthless real estate agent, a couple of cases of hidden identities, and a much sought after will. Who inherits? Who really knows what happened years ago when the family disappeared? Who is in cahoots with whom to find the proverbial gold at the end of this rainbow? The mystery is strong, almost too strong! It took a lot to keep track of of few merging story-lines, but I like the complexity.

Rognlie has created a wonderful setting with a very strong religious theme. If you enjoy mysteries but also reading bible verses, learning how to be a better / kinder person, relying on Jesus to help protect and support you, and share prayers, this is the book for you. The author weaves together a collection of Short Creek inhabitants who rely on their religious beliefs to get them through each day, even when it includes murder. Just like other cozies with themes, you need to have an interest in Christianity and prayer to fully understand and absorb this book. It goes to show how faith can help people get through a tough situation.

I haven’t read many books in this sub-genre / theme, but it seems to be a good example of it. The characters are well-drawn and the writing is good. It should find a great audience. Thanks for sharing it!

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. There are two books: Academic Curveball and Broken Heart Attack. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Eclairs, Scares and Haunted Home Repairs by Erin Johnson (Blog Tour Stop)

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Welcome! I’m the next stop today on the blog tour for a new novel titled Eclairs, Scares and Haunted Home Repairs, the 9th book in the Spells & Caramels cozy witch series by Erin Johnson. A few key facts about the book before I share my review and other information about the blog tour:

Cozy Mystery – 9th in Series
Self Published (February 15, 2019)
Print Length: 298 pages
ASIN: B07NLJS93J

Book 9 Ebook Cover

DESCRIPTION OF BOOK

A bakehouse in the making. A dangerous ghost in the tower. Will their welcome to the neighborhood be short-lived?

Imogen wants nothing more than to complete her sweet dream. With her adoring fiancé Hank at her side, the witch and her friends dive into renovations for their new home and soon-to-be bakery. But all their efforts seem futile when they wake to find the house eerily ripped apart all over again…

As Imogen examines her humble abode’s shady history, she discovers evidence for a malevolent spirit living inside. But with less-than-welcoming neighbors keeping a close, suspicious watch, she wonders if it’s not the dead but the living who pose the biggest threat…

Will Imogen root out the culprit, or will her culinary future collapse under the weight of an unsolved murder?

Eclairs, Scares & Haunted Home Repairs is the ninth book in the charming Spells & Caramels paranormal cozy mystery series. If you like lovable characters, chilling twists, and enchanting adventures, then you’ll love Erin Johnson’s marvelous tale.

READ ALL MY PAST REVIEWS OF THE FIRST EIGHT BOOKS HERE

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My Review

Eclairs, Scares & Haunted Home Repairs: A Cozy Witch Mystery (Spells & Caramels Book 9)Eclairs, Scares & Haunted Home Repairs: A Cozy Witch Mystery by Erin Johnson

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I still find it difficult to believe Erin Johnson has already published nine books in this series over an eighteen-month period. What’s even more surprising is how amazing the entire set of stories have been to date. It’s rare an author can keep your interest for such a lengthy period of time, but Johnson has definitely accomplished that task with the Spells & Caramels Cozy Witch Mysteries. Today, I’m reviewing the ninth one–Eclairs, Scares & Haunted Home Repairs–for a blog tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours.

If you’ve never read the series, here’s what you need to know: Imogen is an American baker who accidentally causes a fire and is visited by someone telling her she’s a witch. From that point on, she’s magically whisked away to a foreign land where her entire world changes. Over each book, she learns more about her magical relatives, the different types of kingdoms, and the trouble brewing for the future. After leaving her fiance’s kingdom mid-series, Imogen and her friends begin remodeling a house only to find out it’s haunted. A dead body in the form of a ghost appears, and neighbors don’t want her to renovate. Who killed the guy years ago? What does a kooky witch in the woods really want from Imogen? When will they get back home?

All these questions are answered in this story because there is only one more left to close the chapter on an amazing series of books. Although it might be a disappointment to see it end, I’m confident the author will pen another brilliant series. If you’ve not read any of these books, please read them in order. It will be worth it. I love the cross between fantasy and realism, magic and reality, mystery and romance. There is a bit of everything with lots to enjoy. Congrats on another successful book!

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About the Author

Erin Johnson is a native of Tempe, Arizona, Erin spends her time crafting mysterious, magical, romance-filled stories that’ll hopefully make you laugh. In between, she’s traveling, napping with her dogs, eating with her friends and family, and teaching Pilates (to allow her to eat more).

erin johnson

Websitewww.erinjohnsonwrites.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/EJohnsonWrites

Twitter: @EJohnsonWrites

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Who Else is on the Blog Tour?

The tour has eleven days of stops and you can see the blog names listed below. Stop by to check out everyone’s opinions or to enter the giveaway contest and win a free copy…

ECLAIRS SCARES AND HAUNTED HOME REPAIRS BANNER 540.jpg

Link to Dollycas / Great Escapes Tour Page

February 18 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

February 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

February 19 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

February 19 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT

February 20 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW

February 20 – This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW

February 21 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

February 21 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW

February 22 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

February 22 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

February 23 – CelticLady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

February 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

February 24 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT

February 24 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

February 25 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT

February 25 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

February 26 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – SPOTLIGHT

February 27 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

February 27 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

February 28 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

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I hope you enjoyed stopping by my blog to be part of this fun tour. Many thanks to Erin Johnson and Lori Caswell @ Great Escapes Virtual Tours for including me in this opportunity. Tell me what you thought of the blog tour, the review, and whether you’re gonna read this book! Only time will tell, I suppose… right?
image001

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. There are two books: Academic Curveball and Broken Heart Attack. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.