book series

TITLE REVEAL: Book 4 in the Braxton Campus Mysteries

Posted on Updated on

It’s an exciting week on the Braxton College campus! We have two great promotions going on: (1) the 2nd book in the series, Broken Heart Attack, available for .99 cents from 3/28 thru 4/1 and (2) the 3rd book in the series, Flower Power Trip, had its launch day on 3/30. But that’s not all… today, we reveal the title for the upcoming 4th book in the series which will be published in June 2019. We’ll also share the official cover in a few weeks…

MISTAKEN IDENTITY CRISIS

A clever thief with a sinister calling card has invaded Braxton campus. A string of jewelry thefts continues to puzzle the sheriff given they’re remarkably similar to an unsolved eight-year-old case from shortly before Gabriel vanished one stormy night. When a missing ruby is discovered near an electrified dead body during the campus cable car redesign project, Kellan must investigate the real killer in order to protect his brother. Amidst sorority hazing practices and the victim’s connections to several prominent Wharton County citizens, a malicious motive becomes more obvious and trickier to prove.

As if the latest murder isn’t enough to keep him busy, Kellan partners with April to end the Castigliano and Vargas crime family feud. What really happened to Francesca while all those postcards showed up in Braxton? The mafia world is more calculating than Kellan realized, and if he wants to move forward, he’ll have to make a few ruthless sacrifices.

Election Day is over, and the new mayor takes office. Nana D celebrates her 75th birthday with an adventure. A double wedding occurs at Crilly Lake on Independence Day. And Kellan receives a few more surprises as the summer heat begins to settle in Wharton County.

All Books in the Series

Academic Curveball (#1) – 10/15/18

Broken Heart Attack (#2) – 11/25/18

Flower Power Trip (#3) – 3/30/19

***

Visit the blog tour for Academic Curveball to read reviews, author interviews, and character guest posts
Visit the blog tour for Broken Heart Attack to read reviews, author interviews, and character guest posts
Visit the blog tour for Flower Power Trip to read reviews, author interviews, and character guest posts
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Book Review: File M for Murder by Miranda James

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File M for Murder (Cat in the Stacks, #3)File M for Murder by Miranda James
My rating: 4+ of 5 stars

After finishing the ‘Southern Ladies’ mystery series by Miranda James, it was time to catch up on the ‘Cat in the Stacks’ mystery series, beginning with the 3rd of eleven books to date, File M for Murder. Miranda James is a pseudonym for the author who has several other series under a couple of names. I haven’t gotten to those yet, but I will in time. I really enjoy the author’s writing style, tone, and voice, so I’m apt to pick up any novels that have been written.

The ‘Cat in the Stacks’ books focus on Charlie Harris, a college librarian in Athena, Mississippi (among other roles too), and Diesel, his Maine coon cat. Charlie has two adult children in their 20s, and in File M for Murder, his daughter, Laura, comes home from Hollywood to teach at the college for a semester. Unfortunately, her ex, a famous writer, looms over her and then ends up dead. Charlie has to protect his daughter, which means going up against ruthless Deputy Kanesha Berry, also his housekeeper’s daughter. Laura protests her innocence, but which member of the college or town of Athena had it in for the famous writer? We learn he lived there once before, he’d been having an affair with someone else, and he was researching a past death. Just how did it all catch up to him finally?

A few reasons why you might love this series: (1) a southern setting with charm and true heritage, (2) a cat who takes over everywhere he goes, (3) a rivalry between the key cop and the amateur sleuth, (4) an older male protagonist in a cozy, and (5) a strong cast of characters who will keep you guessing for many pages. James always packs a nice punch with the reason why the killer murders someone. When it’s related to Charlie’s past, it’s even better. Knowing the author lives in a town probably not too unlike the main village in his books makes it feel even more authentic.

I already have books 4 and 5, but once I get through those, I’ll order the next group, as I intend to finish them all by this summer. Anyone want to join in?

View all my reviews

Braxton Campus Mysteries – Be a Beta Reader for Broken Heart Attack (Book 2)

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Broken Heart Attack, the second book in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, a light investigative / cozy mystery series, is ready for a beta read. I’m looking for readers in this sub-genre who’ve read the first book or are interested in reading the first book (for free) and then being a beta reader on the second book over the next few weeks. It will be available on Fri 10/12 and I’d want to collect all feedback on Broken Heart Attack by Fri 10/26 so that I can revise and edit by November 1st for the next review round. If you’re interested, message me at jamesjcudney4@gmail.com. A description of the book’s plot is below as well as details on the first book which is available for purchase starting 10/15.

Broken Heart Attack

When an extra ticket becomes available to attend the dress rehearsal of Braxton’s King Lear production, Kellan tags along with Nana D and her buddies, sisters-in-law Eustacia and Gwendolyn Paddington, to show support for the rest of the Paddington family. When one of them appears to have a heart attack in the middle of the second act, Nana D raises her suspicions and asks Kellan to investigate who killed her friend. Amidst family members suddenly in debt, a potential long-lost relative, and a secret rendezvous between an unlikely pair, Kellan learns the Paddingtons might not be as clean-cut as everyone thinks. But did one of them commit murder for an inheritance? Kellan is back in his second adventure since returning home to Pennsylvania. With his personal life in upheaval and his new boss, Myriam, making life exorbitantly difficult, will he be able to find a killer or will he get caught up in his own complicated version of stage fright?

Academic-Curve-Ball-Main-File
***

I’m excited to reveal the cover for the debut novel in my new Braxton Campus Mysteries series. The first book is called Academic Curveball and is available for pre-sale on Amazon as of today. The official publication date when you can download to Kindle is October 15th followed soon after by the physical printed copy. Stay tuned in the coming days for opportunities to get an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) to help with early reviews.  I’ll share quotes, samples, giveaways, and character bios. This is one cast of characters you won’t want to miss. Please share this post and news wherever you’d like… and tell me what you think of the cover and the story description!

Academic-Curve-Ball-Promo-Hardback-Ereader

Add to Goodreads                                                  Amazon Pre-Sale

***

Description of Book

When Kellan Ayrwick, a thirty-two-year-old single father, is forced to return home for his father’s retirement from Braxton College, he finds the dead body of a professor in Diamond Hall’s stairwell. Unfortunately, Kellan has a connection to the victim, and so do several members of his family. Could one of them be guilty of murder? Then he finds a second body after discovering mysterious donations to the college’s athletic program, a nasty blog denouncing his father, and a criminal attempting to change student grades so the star baseball pitcher isn’t expelled.

Someone is playing games on campus, but none of the facts add up. With the help of his eccentric and trouble-making nana weeding through the clues, Kellan tries to stay out of the sheriff’s way. Fate has other plans. Kellan is close to discovering the killer’s identity just as someone he loves is put in grave danger of becoming victim number three. And if that’s not enough to wreak havoc on his family, everything comes crashing to a halt when his own past comes spiraling back to change his life forever.

In this debut novel in the Braxton Campus Mystery Series, readers discover a cozy, secluded Pennsylvania village full of quirky, sarcastic, and nosy residents. Among the daily workings of Braxton College and the charming Ayrwick family, Kellan weighs his investigative talents against an opportunity to achieve a much sought-after dream. When this first book ends, the drama is set for the next adventure in Kellan’s future… and it’s one you won’t want to miss.

*** Below was also sent last week ***

As a quick teaser… here’s a little snapshot of a scene between the main character, Kellan, and his septuagenarian grandmother, Nana D. There’s a fine line between respect and fun banter in everything they do… but you’ll adore their charming relationship.

The sun disappeared as I pulled up to my parents’ house, parked the Jeep, and walked toward the trunk to get my bags. Given the temperature had slipped to single digits, and the icy snow wildly pelted my body, I tried my best to hurry to the front door. I’d left all my winter clothes in Braxton which didn’t help at the moment since they were inside the house. Unfortunately, fate opted for revenge over some past indiscretion to come back with the vengeance of a thousand plagues. Before long, I skated across a sheet of ice like an awkward ballerina wearing clown shoes and fell flat on my back.

I snapped a selfie while laughing on the frosty ground to let Nana D know I’d arrived. She loved getting pictures and seeing me make a fool of myself. I couldn’t decipher her immediate reply given my glasses had fogged over, and my vision was worse than that of a secret lovechild of Mr. Magoo’s. I searched for a piece of a flannel shirt untouched by the falling sleet or the embarrassing crash to the ground and wiped them dry. A glance at the picture I’d sent caused the loudest and most absurd guffaw to erupt from my throat. My usually clean-cut dark blond hair was littered with leaves, and the four days of stubble on my cheeks and chin was covered in mounds of white snow. I dusted myself off and rushed under the protection of a covered porch to read her text.

Nana D: Is that a dirty wet mop on your head? You’re dressed like a hooligan. Put on a coat, it’s cold out.

Me: Thanks, Captain Obvious. I fell on the walkway. You think I’m normally this much of a disaster?

Nana D: And you’re supposed to be the brilliant one? Have you given up on life, or did it give up on you?

Me: Keep it up, and I won’t visit this weekend. You’re supposed to be a sweet and loving grandma.

Nana D: If that’s what you want, go down to the old folks’ home and rent yourself a little biddy. Maybe you two can share some smashed peas, green Jell-O, and a tasty glass of Ovaltine. I’ll even pay.

Academic Curveball (Braxton Campus Mysteries #1)

Author news coming week of September 24th with the full cover reveal, launch date, and opportunities for joining the early release reading team. Stay tuned!

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.

Academic Curveball: ARC – Read/Review Series Debut

Posted on Updated on

Hi. I have the electronic formats available if anyone is interested in reading and reviewing the debut book in my new series by launch week 10/15. Please email me at jamesjcudney4@gmail.com to coordinate getting a copy. Thanks!
Academic-Curve-Ball-Promo-Hardback-Ereader
***

I’m excited to reveal the cover for the debut novel in my new Braxton Campus Mysteries series. The first book is called Academic Curveball and is available for pre-sale on Amazon as of today. The official publication date when you can download to Kindle is October 15th followed soon after by the physical printed copy. Stay tuned in the coming days for opportunities to get an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) to help with early reviews.  I’ll share quotes, samples, giveaways, and character bios. This is one cast of characters you won’t want to miss. Please share this post and news wherever you’d like… and tell me what you think of the cover and the story description!

Academic-Curve-Ball-Promo-Hardback-Ereader

Add to Goodreads                                                  Amazon Pre-Sale

***

Description of Book

When Kellan Ayrwick, a thirty-two-year-old single father, is forced to return home for his father’s retirement from Braxton College, he finds the dead body of a professor in Diamond Hall’s stairwell. Unfortunately, Kellan has a connection to the victim, and so do several members of his family. Could one of them be guilty of murder? Then he finds a second body after discovering mysterious donations to the college’s athletic program, a nasty blog denouncing his father, and a criminal attempting to change student grades so the star baseball pitcher isn’t expelled.

Someone is playing games on campus, but none of the facts add up. With the help of his eccentric and trouble-making nana weeding through the clues, Kellan tries to stay out of the sheriff’s way. Fate has other plans. Kellan is close to discovering the killer’s identity just as someone he loves is put in grave danger of becoming victim number three. And if that’s not enough to wreak havoc on his family, everything comes crashing to a halt when his own past comes spiraling back to change his life forever.

In this debut novel in the Braxton Campus Mystery Series, readers discover a cozy, secluded Pennsylvania village full of quirky, sarcastic, and nosy residents. Among the daily workings of Braxton College and the charming Ayrwick family, Kellan weighs his investigative talents against an opportunity to achieve a much sought-after dream. When this first book ends, the drama is set for the next adventure in Kellan’s future… and it’s one you won’t want to miss.

*** Below was also sent last week ***

As a quick teaser… here’s a little snapshot of a scene between the main character, Kellan, and his septuagenarian grandmother, Nana D. There’s a fine line between respect and fun banter in everything they do… but you’ll adore their charming relationship.

The sun disappeared as I pulled up to my parents’ house, parked the Jeep, and walked toward the trunk to get my bags. Given the temperature had slipped to single digits, and the icy snow wildly pelted my body, I tried my best to hurry to the front door. I’d left all my winter clothes in Braxton which didn’t help at the moment since they were inside the house. Unfortunately, fate opted for revenge over some past indiscretion to come back with the vengeance of a thousand plagues. Before long, I skated across a sheet of ice like an awkward ballerina wearing clown shoes and fell flat on my back.

I snapped a selfie while laughing on the frosty ground to let Nana D know I’d arrived. She loved getting pictures and seeing me make a fool of myself. I couldn’t decipher her immediate reply given my glasses had fogged over, and my vision was worse than that of a secret lovechild of Mr. Magoo’s. I searched for a piece of a flannel shirt untouched by the falling sleet or the embarrassing crash to the ground and wiped them dry. A glance at the picture I’d sent caused the loudest and most absurd guffaw to erupt from my throat. My usually clean-cut dark blond hair was littered with leaves, and the four days of stubble on my cheeks and chin was covered in mounds of white snow. I dusted myself off and rushed under the protection of a covered porch to read her text.

Nana D: Is that a dirty wet mop on your head? You’re dressed like a hooligan. Put on a coat, it’s cold out.

Me: Thanks, Captain Obvious. I fell on the walkway. You think I’m normally this much of a disaster?

Nana D: And you’re supposed to be the brilliant one? Have you given up on life, or did it give up on you?

Me: Keep it up, and I won’t visit this weekend. You’re supposed to be a sweet and loving grandma.

Nana D: If that’s what you want, go down to the old folks’ home and rent yourself a little biddy. Maybe you two can share some smashed peas, green Jell-O, and a tasty glass of Ovaltine. I’ll even pay.

Academic Curveball (Braxton Campus Mysteries #1)

Author news coming week of September 24th with the full cover reveal, launch date, and opportunities for joining the early release reading team. Stay tuned!

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.

Academic Curveball: Cover Reveal & Pre-Sale Alert

Posted on

I’m excited to reveal the cover for the debut novel in my new Braxton Campus Mysteries series. The first book is called Academic Curveball and is available for pre-sale on Amazon as of today. The official publication date when you can download to Kindle is October 15th followed soon after by the physical printed copy. Stay tuned in the coming days for opportunities to get an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) to help with early reviews.  I’ll share quotes, samples, giveaways, and character bios. This is one cast of characters you won’t want to miss. Please share this post and news wherever you’d like… and tell me what you think of the cover and the story description!

Academic-Curve-Ball-Promo-Hardback-Ereader

 
Add to Goodreads                                                  Amazon Pre-Sale

***

Description of Book

When Kellan Ayrwick, a thirty-two-year-old single father, is forced to return home for his father’s retirement from Braxton College, he finds the dead body of a professor in Diamond Hall’s stairwell. Unfortunately, Kellan has a connection to the victim, and so do several members of his family. Could one of them be guilty of murder? Then he finds a second body after discovering mysterious donations to the college’s athletic program, a nasty blog denouncing his father, and a criminal attempting to change student grades so the star baseball pitcher isn’t expelled.

Someone is playing games on campus, but none of the facts add up. With the help of his eccentric and trouble-making nana weeding through the clues, Kellan tries to stay out of the sheriff’s way. Fate has other plans. Kellan is close to discovering the killer’s identity just as someone he loves is put in grave danger of becoming victim number three. And if that’s not enough to wreak havoc on his family, everything comes crashing to a halt when his own past comes spiraling back to change his life forever.

In this debut novel in the Braxton Campus Mystery Series, readers discover a cozy, secluded Pennsylvania village full of quirky, sarcastic, and nosy residents. Among the daily workings of Braxton College and the charming Ayrwick family, Kellan weighs his investigative talents against an opportunity to achieve a much sought-after dream. When this first book ends, the drama is set for the next adventure in Kellan’s future… and it’s one you won’t want to miss.

*** Below was also sent last week ***

As a quick teaser… here’s a little snapshot of a scene between the main character, Kellan, and his septuagenarian grandmother, Nana D. There’s a fine line between respect and fun banter in everything they do… but you’ll adore their charming relationship.

The sun disappeared as I pulled up to my parents’ house, parked the Jeep, and walked toward the trunk to get my bags. Given the temperature had slipped to single digits, and the icy snow wildly pelted my body, I tried my best to hurry to the front door. I’d left all my winter clothes in Braxton which didn’t help at the moment since they were inside the house. Unfortunately, fate opted for revenge over some past indiscretion to come back with the vengeance of a thousand plagues. Before long, I skated across a sheet of ice like an awkward ballerina wearing clown shoes and fell flat on my back.

I snapped a selfie while laughing on the frosty ground to let Nana D know I’d arrived. She loved getting pictures and seeing me make a fool of myself. I couldn’t decipher her immediate reply given my glasses had fogged over, and my vision was worse than that of a secret lovechild of Mr. Magoo’s. I searched for a piece of a flannel shirt untouched by the falling sleet or the embarrassing crash to the ground and wiped them dry. A glance at the picture I’d sent caused the loudest and most absurd guffaw to erupt from my throat. My usually clean-cut dark blond hair was littered with leaves, and the four days of stubble on my cheeks and chin was covered in mounds of white snow. I dusted myself off and rushed under the protection of a covered porch to read her text.

Nana D: Is that a dirty wet mop on your head? You’re dressed like a hooligan. Put on a coat, it’s cold out.

Me: Thanks, Captain Obvious. I fell on the walkway. You think I’m normally this much of a disaster?

Nana D: And you’re supposed to be the brilliant one? Have you given up on life, or did it give up on you?

Me: Keep it up, and I won’t visit this weekend. You’re supposed to be a sweet and loving grandma.

Nana D: If that’s what you want, go down to the old folks’ home and rent yourself a little biddy. Maybe you two can share some smashed peas, green Jell-O, and a tasty glass of Ovaltine. I’ll even pay.

Academic Curveball (Braxton Campus Mysteries #1)

Author news coming week of September 24th with the full cover reveal, launch date, and opportunities for joining the early release reading team. Stay tuned!

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.

My New Book Series: Braxton Campus Mysteries

Posted on

I’m excited to share a brief peek at part of the cover for the debut novel in my new Braxton Campus mystery series. The first book is called Academic Curveball and will be available for sale in October 2018. The full cover reveal will occur during the week of September 24th… as we get close to launch date, I’ll share quotes, samples, giveaways, and character bios. This is one cast of characters you won’t want to miss. As a quick teaser… here’s a little snapshot of a scene between the main character, Kellan, and his septuagenarian grandmother, Nana D. There’s a fine line between respect and fun banter in everything they do… but you’ll adore their charming relationship.

Academic Curveball Cover Reveal Promo

***

The sun disappeared as I pulled up to my parents’ house, parked the Jeep, and walked toward the trunk to get my bags. Given the temperature had slipped to single digits, and the icy snow wildly pelted my body, I tried my best to hurry to the front door. I’d left all my winter clothes in Braxton which didn’t help at the moment since they were inside the house. Unfortunately, fate opted for revenge over some past indiscretion to come back with the vengeance of a thousand plagues. Before long, I skated across a sheet of ice like an awkward ballerina wearing clown shoes and fell flat on my back.

I snapped a selfie while laughing on the frosty ground to let Nana D know I’d arrived. She loved getting pictures and seeing me make a fool of myself. I couldn’t decipher her immediate reply given my glasses had fogged over, and my vision was worse than that of a secret lovechild of Mr. Magoo’s. I searched for a piece of a flannel shirt untouched by the falling sleet or the embarrassing crash to the ground and wiped them dry. A glance at the picture I’d sent caused the loudest and most absurd guffaw to erupt from my throat. My usually clean-cut dark blond hair was littered with leaves, and the four days of stubble on my cheeks and chin was covered in mounds of white snow. I dusted myself off and rushed under the protection of a covered porch to read her text.

Nana D: Is that a dirty wet mop on your head? You’re dressed like a hooligan. Put on a coat, it’s cold out.

Me: Thanks, Captain Obvious. I fell on the walkway. You think I’m normally this much of a disaster?

Nana D: And you’re supposed to be the brilliant one? Have you given up on life, or did it give up on you?

Me: Keep it up, and I won’t visit this weekend. You’re supposed to be a sweet and loving grandma.

Nana D: If that’s what you want, go down to the old folks’ home and rent yourself a little biddy. Maybe you two can share some smashed peas, green Jell-O, and a tasty glass of Ovaltine. I’ll even pay.

***

Description of Book

When Kellan Ayrwick, a thirty-two-year-old single father, is forced to return home for his father’s retirement from Braxton College, he finds the dead body of a professor in Diamond Hall’s stairwell. Unfortunately, Kellan has a connection to the victim, and so do several members of his family. Could one of them be guilty of murder? Then he finds a second body after discovering mysterious donations to the college’s athletic program, a nasty blog denouncing his father, and a criminal attempting to change student grades so the star baseball pitcher isn’t expelled.

Someone is playing games on campus, but none of the facts add up. With the help of his eccentric and trouble-making nana weeding through the clues, Kellan tries to stay out of the sheriff’s way. Fate has other plans. Kellan is close to discovering the killer’s identity just as someone he loves is put in grave danger of becoming victim number three. And if that’s not enough to wreak havoc on his family, everything comes crashing to a halt when his own past comes spiraling back to change his life forever.

In this debut novel in the Braxton Campus Mystery Series, readers discover a cozy, secluded Pennsylvania village full of quirky, sarcastic, and nosy residents. Among the daily workings of Braxton College and the charming Ayrwick family, Kellan weighs his investigative talents against an opportunity to achieve a much sought-after dream. When this first book ends, the drama is set for the next adventure in Kellan’s future… and it’s one you won’t want to miss.

Academic Curveball (Braxton Campus Mysteries #1)

Author news coming week of September 24th with the full cover reveal, launch date, and opportunities for joining the early release reading team. Stay tuned!

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.

Book Review: Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

Posted on

4.5 stars right off the top! I got hooked on the Outlander series last year when I read the first book in this series by Diana Gabaldon. I knew I wanted to try another one, and now that I’ve devoured the second novel, Dragonfly in Amber, in this historical fiction and fantasy series, I have added the rest and even started watching the television drama. I’m a major fan, especially because followers on my blog selected this as my ‘Book Bucket List’ read for May 2018. I’m so glad they pushed me to take on this ~950 behemoth despite everything else on my TBR. Now I’m trying to add in the next one in June… and to think these were written nearly 30 years ago in the early 1990s.

dragonfly

Where do I begin? My normal review format won’t do as I really just want to gush about the book, as my friend Noriko would say. Yes, there’s the time travel, the Scottish setting, and Jamie / Claire, but it’s so much more. The sheer brilliance in the relationships, complexities in the plot, and historical facts and embellishments (in a good way) is phenomenal. It’s like I’m absorbed into a life I wish I could live for a few hours… no different than when I read Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter or Pillars of the Earth. I adore these giant tomes because of the author’s ability to build realistic worlds with just a touch of disbelief to give me something to deeply ponder.

Gabaldon’s attention to details is quite strong. I’m a history buff and love learning about new characters, then looking up to see if they’re based on real people. All the clans of Scotland shine through. I was especially pleased when they visited the Kilmarnock villages, as my ancestors lived there in the early 1800s before emigrating to America. I can’t wait to visit the town to see how it compares to the novel, family stories and everything in between. This is a true genealogy lover’s book because it combines all the analytical and historical aspects of discovering your past and your supposed family. Then learning the wicked secrets, and oh, are they wicked.

The only things I’d say that stopped me from giving this 5 stars fall into two categories. There are some sections that are overly detailed to the point you begin skimming a paragraph here and there. When that happens, the action and plot (usually my most important element in a book) feels pushed to the side. It happened once every 100 pages or so… not for more than a page or two, but enough that maybe it needed to be a ~900 page book instead of a ~950 page book. Ha! The other area was something that felt a bit different from Outlander. It’s almost as if Gabaldon took a few too many “pun” liberties in this one, covering bathing or bathroom habits all too frequently. I love when it’s brought up in books, but it was done in a too-humorous way which forced me to step out of the book instead of stay connected to true 18th century life. Even in the 1940s which is where Claire is from before she time travels, they still lacked some of the things we consider necessary today. I like when it’s brought up once or twice, but not for pages where she laughs about it and then says “but it is what it is” essentially.

All that said, the plot is smart and charming. The introduction of a good side to one of the formerly bad characters is interesting, but I know it’s long from over. The travel between France and Scotland is compelling. I just finished Follett’s Column of Fire and saw a strong and tight connection here. If you love a touch of fantasy and historical fiction, and don’t mind strong sexual content, then you need to give this a chance, even if the entire series is around 8k pages at this point. I’ll be in a book daze all week long, so I’m gonna have to select something very different to draw me out of it.

Thanks for picking this book, This Is My Truth Now voters. New poll to be setup today for June’s Book Bucket List read.

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.