House of Ashes by Loretta Marion – Blog Tour & Guest Post

Synopsis:

A family patriarch’s dying proclamation, an enigmatic disappearance, and a century-old curse converge in the shadows of a majestic home on Cape Cod’s craggy coast.

Thirty-seven-year-old painter Cassandra Mitchell is fourth-generation to live in the majestic Battersea Bluffs, a brooding Queen Anne home originally built by her great-grandparents, Percy and Celeste Mitchell, and still standing despite tragedies that have swept the generations. Local lore has it that there was a curse placed on the family and the house is haunted, though opinions are divided on whether it’s by malicious or benevolent spirits. Cassie believes the latter―but now she stands to lose her beloved home to mounting debt and the machinations of her dream-weaving ex-husband.

Salvation seems to arrive when a nomadic young couple wanders onto the property with the promise of companionship and much-needed help―until they vanish without a trace, leaving behind no clue to their identities. Cassie is devastated, but determined to discover what’s happened to the young couple…even as digging into their disappearance starts to uncover family secrets of her own. Despite warnings from her childhood friend, now the local Chief of Police―as well as an FBI agent who pushes the boundaries of professionalism―Cassie can’t help following the trail of clues (and eerie signals from the old house itself) to unravel the mystery. But can she do so before her family’s dark curse destroys everything in its path?

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Yesterday’s Tears by Sam Cheever – Blog Tour and Giveaway

Synopsis:

It might be a murder from decades ago, but it still has its claws in the present…and someone seems determined to drag Anna into it.

It’s way too soon to be returning to a haunted mansion, and Anna’s favorite cowboy ghost does his best to talk her out of it. But the opportunity to pick from the beautiful antiques left to her in a Crocker resident’s will is just too tempting for Anna and Pratt to pass up. So they’re going in…

They’re prepared to deal with a few cold spots. Maybe the occasional flickering light. But what Anna and the boys weren’t counting on was bumping up against the ghost of Josiah Bumgartner, a contemporary of Joss’ from the 1800s. And when Josiah claims the old woman who lived in the house hid his bones around the place, Anna agrees to help him find them. But something much darker is at work there. And, unfortunately for our happy little gang of antique hunters…Anna seems to have unwittingly stepped right into the middle of it.

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Review – Deadly Payload by Karen Randau

Deadly Payload (Rim Country Mysteries #4)Synopsis:  Dead birds raining from the sky. Poison in the water supply. Spies on the back porch.

A lifeless crow shatters the windshield as Rita Avery, her daughter-in-law, and her granddaughter arrive at Arizona’s Rim Vista Park. Rita dodges bird carcasses on the road home, where she finds her husband Cliff and son Travis gravely ill from a mysterious pathogen with no cure. 

The CDC assembles a team to create a cure, but Rita doubts it will arrive in time to rescue Cliff, Travis, and dozens of her friends and neighbors.

In a race to save her family, her community, and potentially thousands more Americans, Rita launches her own investigation. She partners with a certified herbalist and a homeless war veteran dubbed Crazy Mary. 

But the more clues Rita uncovers, the deeper she finds herself in the middle of a ruthless plot that could unleash a wide-ranging American disaster. And the culprits aim to stop her at any cost.

Before it’s too late for her loved ones, Rita must thwart the next attack on innocent civilians.

Murder, spine-tingling trips through Arizona’s rugged wilderness, and callous spies determined to spread havoc – this isn’t your average family outing!

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Review – The Space Between by Dete Meserve

The Space BetweenThe truth isn’t what it seems in this stirring novel of suspense.

SYNOPSIS: After presenting a major scientific breakthrough to a rapt audience across the country, renowned astronomer Sarah Mayfield returns home to a disturbing discovery. Her husband, Ben, a Los Angeles restaurateur, has disappeared, leaving behind an unexplained bank deposit of a million dollars, a loaded Glock in the nightstand, and a video security system that’s been wiped clean. The only answers their son, Zack, can offer are the last words his father said to him: keep the doors locked and set the alarm.

Sarah’s marriage was more troubled than anyone suspected, but now she is afraid that her husband’s recent past could be darker than she dares to admit. Suspecting that nothing about Ben’s vanishing is what it seems, Sarah must delve into the space between old memories, newfound fears, and misleading clues to piece together the mystery of her husband’s disappearance—and find what she hopes in her heart is the truth.

 

Genre: Mystery / Thriller
My Rating: *** (3 of 5 stars)

The Space Between was a good mystery/thriller, but not a great one. I did enjoy the story and the astronomy tidbits thrown in here and there were interesting and fit in well. The characters fell a little flat for me, however, and I had a hard time relating to Sarah for some reason. Overall it was a quick and enjoyable read though, so I would definitely give Dete Meserve another try.

 

Review – The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by [Turton, Stuart]

The Rules of Blackheath
Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 p.m. 

There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit. 
We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer. 
Understood? Then let’s begin…

***

Evelyn Hardcastle will die. Every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others…

The most inventive debut of the year twists together a mystery of such unexpected creativity it will leave readers guessing until the very last page.

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The Scent of Waikiki by Terry Ambrose

Honolulu landlord Wilson McKenna can smell a scam from across the room. So when one of his tenants loses everything in a work-at-home scam involving a new perfume, he’s shocked. With his wedding just weeks away, McKenna has to make a tough decision. Does he evict a woman who’s down on her luck? Or take time out from wedding planning to help his tenant?

Turning the case over to his PI-in-training friend Chance Logan seems like the perfect solution—until Chance tells McKenna he needs a wingman for a visit to fragrance entrepreneur Skye Pilkington-Winchester. McKenna’s sure he can keep everyone happy by helping Chance this one time. But nothing is ever as easy as it seems, and soon McKenna’s up to his board shorts in hot water. His tenant’s simple fragrance scam might involve industrial espionage, Skye’s assistant is murdered, and McKenna’s bride-to-be accuses him of having cold feet.

As McKenna and Chance dig deeper, it seems so much of what they’re being told doesn’t pass the sniff test. And the only way to get his life back is to find the dead girl’s missing boyfriend, unmask a killer, and finish up in time for the wedding. Other than that, it’s just another day in paradise.

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Review – The Pharaoh Key by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

The Pharaoh Key (Gideon Crew #5)Effective Engineering Solutions has been inexplicably shut down and the head of the company, Eli Glinn, has all but vanished. Fresh off a diagnosis that gives him only months to live, Gideon Crew is contacted by one of his coworkers at EES, Manuel Garza, who tells him the two have mere hours to collect their belongings before the office closes forever. After years of dedicated service and several high-risk missions, theirs seems like the most ignoble of terminations-until Gideon and Garza happen upon an incredible discovery. After centuries of silence, a code-breaking machine at EES has cracked the long-awaited translation of a centuries-old stone tablet, the Phaistos Disc, that dates back to an otherwise completely unknown, ancient civilization. The mysteries of the message itself hint at incredible treasures, and perhaps even a world-altering secret. No one remains at EES to take on this most remarkable mission but Gideon and Garza. The two agree to solve the mystery of the disc’s message and split the spoils: the perfect parting gift their employer doesn’t know he has given. What lies at the end of the trail may save Gideon’s life-or bring it to a sudden, shocking close. As Gideon and Garza soon discover, some missions are more dangerous than others. But as Gideon has proved again and again, there’s no such thing as too great a risk when you’re living on borrowed time.

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