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review 2017-09-19 09:42
Portrait of Vengeance (Gwen Marcey #4) by Carrie Stuart Parks
Portrait of Vengeance (A Gwen Marcey Novel) - Carrie Stuart Parks

Gwen Marcey has done a good job keeping the pain of her past boxed up. But as she investigates the case of a missing child in Lapwai, Idaho, details keep surfacing that are eerily similar to her childhood traumas. She doesn’t believe in coincidences. So what’s going on here? No one knows more about the impact of the past than the Nez Perce people of Lapwai. Gwen finds herself an unwelcome visitor to some, making her investigation even more difficult. The questions keep piling up, but answers are slow in coming—and the clock is ticking for a missing little girl. Meanwhile, Gwen’s ex-husband is threatening to take sole custody of their daughter. As Gwen’s past and present collide, she’s in a desperate race for the truth. Because only truth will ensure she still has a future.





Let me start off by saying that if you haven't read any of the previous Gwen Marcey stories, I'd recommend checking out the earlier books with this particular series. While the cases themselves could technically make for stand-alone works, there are characters and certain details of Gwen's life that are carried through all the books. 


In this fourth installment in the series, forensic artist Gwen Marcey is investigating the murders of a married couple within the Nez Perce tribe (Lapwai community) as well as the whereabouts of the victims' missing (presumed kidnapped) young daughter. Some of the particulars of the case, as far as clues at the scene and specifics regarding the profiling of the killer, appear to echo traumatic events from Gwen's own childhood. As the case / plot progresses, Gwen becomes more and more convinced that finding the answers within this present case will, in turn, answer questions about her own traumas that have plagued her for years.


The journey to the truth proves to be a solidly uphill battle, as Gwen finds that many of the key witnesses she is relying on for information have deep-seated prejudices against Caucasian people. In what's now become a signature mixture within this series as a whole, author Carrie Stuart Parks creates her characters and environments by bringing forth a compelling blend of historical fact, details / inspiration from actual true crime cases, and occasionally details from cases Parks herself worked during her own years as a forensic artist. While working within the Nez Perce tribal lands, our protagonist Gwen gets a crash course in the history of such traumatic events as Wounded Knee / Pine Ridge, as well as the development of AIM (the American Indian Movement). It takes little time for Gwen to see that she will need to tread lightly when working with the descendants of people involved in these painful moments within Native history. Though the years have passed, the hurt has hardly diminished. 


Having followed this series from the beginning, I couldn't help but laugh and shake my head to find 8 pages into this latest book that Gwen is STILL having fights & custody battles with her ex-husband. I couldn't help but think "it's been four books now, that kid can't have too much high school left for this argument to be relevant much longer.." I feel for Gwen there. On the happier side though, I'm loving that the stories within this series seem to be quietly steering toward a "Gwen & Beth Investigate" kind of trend. Beth has a bigger role in this book than in some of the previous ones. She's such a hoot, I love to see her getting more of the spotlight! Keep your dictionary nearby though. Beth loves her some "word of the day" usage and Parks works in some words that definitely had me feel like I was back in SAT prep days! 


The true star for me though has to be Winston, Gwen's Great Pyrenees dog. While Parks always gave him quite the humorously entertaining dog personality, he, like Beth, was more in the background in much of the previous books. In Portrait of Vengeance however, Winston gets solid book "screen" time, scenes that will make dog lovers cheer at the protectiveness of pups over their humans. Go ahead, hug your own pooch after this one. :-)


So far, the very first book in the series, A Cry In The Dust, still proves to be my very favorite. But this one is now in a close second. This book proved to be slightly more gruesome in parts than its predecessors -- in one scene, Gwen likens a crime scene to a Jackson Pollack painting. Yeaaah, I'll just let you art fans visualize that one. But if you're not scared off by a little edge, Parks yet again gives the reader one fun ride full of twists and turns that have you wondering who in this story is to be trusted! 


It was neat to read in Parks' acknowledgements that she wrote this story (at least in part) while participating in a writing retreat at author Colleen Coble's home. She further notes author Frank Peretti as a mentor in the process of developing this series as well. For fellow fans of Gwen's investigations: when asked whether a 5th book was in the works, Parks answered (via Goodreads):


"As of now, book 5 will be a stand-alone about an artist (caught up in a case) in Kodiak Island, Alaska. My publisher wanted me to take a break from Gwen. You'll be meeting Murphy."



I, for one, am looking forward to meeting this Murphy fella! 



FTC Disclaimer: BookLookBloggers kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book with a request that I might check it out and share my thoughts. The opinions above are entirely my own. 



ICYMI -- My reviews for the previous books in the series:


#1 A Cry In The Dust

#2 The Bones Will Speak

#3 When Death Draws Near


* Gwen Marcey also makes a cross-over appearance in Colleen Coble's Mermaid Moon AND Twilight At Blueberry Barrens

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text 2017-08-11 15:59
Finally Found You By Carrie Ann Ryan 99 cents
Finally Found You - Carrie Ann Ryan

The moment Presley Mackenzie walks into her kitchen only to find her boyfriend in a sweaty encounter with another woman on her kitchen counter, she vows to give up men forever. Between her testosterone-heavy day job in the gaming world, her broken heart, and her need to grow into her own shoes, dating just isn't important.

Mason Sutton not only just got dumped by the woman he thought he'd spend the rest of his life with, but now he finds himself healing beside the woman his brother cheated on. He's spent his entire life living in his brother's shadow only to find himself wanting the one woman he can't have.

As Presley and Mason soothe each other's hurts, they find themselves falling for each other even as they fight it. But as they learn to forgive and fall in love, their pasts come back to haunt them and the future they thought they could have starts to crumble before it can take hold.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-08-10 17:56
New York Dairies -Zoe-
New York Diaries - Zoe: Roman - Carrie Price

Klappenbroschur, Knaur TB 


03.07.2017, 336 S.

Diese Ausgabe ist lieferbar





New York Diaries Reihe 
Band 1: Claire von Ally Taylor
Band 2: Sarah von Carrie Price
Band 3: Phoebe von Ally Taylor 
Band 4: Zoe von Carrie Price




Die Erfolgsserie geht weiter - der neue Roman von Carrie Price aus der Reihe "New York Diaries": eine junge Frau zwischen ihrem großen Traum und ihrer großen Liebe.



Zoe Hunter kommt mit zu viel Gepäck, einer pinken Couch und dem großen Traum, Schauspielerin zu werden, aus Idaho nach New York. Doch die Wohnung, die sie beziehen wollte, wurde anderweitig vermietet, und der Übergangsjob in einem Café ist auch weg. Ihre erste Nacht verbringt sie auf ihrer Couch in einer Seitenstraße und lernt dort den schrägen Matt Booker kennen, der ihr eine Wohnung im Knights Building verschafft. Aber in New York hat niemand auf die talentierte Miss Idaho gewartet. Trost findet sie bei Matt, der Zoe mehr und mehr verzaubert. Doch dann fordert ihr neuer Agent von Zoe eine Entscheidung: Karriere oder Liebe?


Chaotisch, sexy und hochromantisch: Das sind die "New York Diaries"!


Meine Meinung:


Ich habe ja auch schon die anderen drei Teile begeistert gelesen. Daher habe ich mich natürlich ebenfalls auf diesen letzten Teil der Reihe sehr gefreut. Freundlicherweise wurde mir das Buch vom Verlag zu Rezensionszwecken zur Verfügung gestellt. 


Der Einstieg in das Buch ist mir wieder sehr leicht gelungen, ich war gleich in der Geschichte drin. Auch der Schreibstil war wie gewohnt sehr flüssig, so dass es schnell zu lesen war. 


Die Hauptprotagonistin Zoe hat mir direkt sehr gut gefallen, ich konnte ihre Not total verstehen und habe Matt daher natürlich auch sofort ins Herz geschlossen, der ihr so völlig selbstverständlich geholfen hat. 


Was ich in diesem Teil besonders toll fand, war, dass die vorherigen Protagonistinnen immer mal zwischendurch eine Rolle gespielt haben. Eigentlich müsste Zoes neuer Freundin auch noch ein Teil gewidmet werden. 


Meiner Meinung nach können bei dieser Reihe aber dennoch alle Teile unabhängig voneinander gelesen werden. 


Mir hat in diesem Buch das Thema Schauspielerei sehr gut gefallen und auch die Entwicklung, die Zoe hier mit gemacht hat. Es gab hier Höhen und Tiefen, mir kam es schon realistisch vor. 


Alles in allem war dieser 4. Teil ein absolut gelungener Abschluss dieser tollen Reihe. Ich könnte gar nicht sagen, welcher Teil mein Favorit war. Mir haben eigentlich alle Bücher gleich gut gefallen. Ich kann hier auf jeden Fall eine Kauf- und Leseempfehlung aussprechen. Von mir bekommt auch dieser Teil der Reihe 4 Sterne. 

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review 2017-08-03 03:21
Review: The Princess Diarist
The Princess Diarist - Carrie Fisher

Definitely do the audiobook if that is an option. I mean, we're all going to read it in her voice anyway, why not get the intended inflections straight from her.


This was up for a Hugo this year for Best Related Work. The voting packet only includes an excerpt, but I happened to fortunately already have the audiobook waiting.


Is it possible to separate this book from Fisher's death? It's interesting and at times quite funny and disturbing, but less so than some of her other works.


She talks about getting the role of Leia, working on the first movie, and about her later interactions with fans. Mostly, though, this book is about her affair with Harrison Ford, as told both from her recollections and excerpts from diaries she wrote while on set. And it's about as far from lurid as possible.


I tend to not rate autobiographies. It just seems weird to give a star rating to the actual events of a persons actual life they've just told me. Fisher's writing here is lovely, even her prose from decades ago, pulled from old diaries is sharp. 


Even though I ended up voting other things higher on the final ballot, I'm really glad I read this book this year. 

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review 2017-07-27 16:33
Wishful Drinking
Wishful Drinking - Carrie Fisher


I Picked Up This Book Because: Celebrity bios are my thing now.

The Story:

Carrie is an interesting lady. In this book she is very open about her life, her family and her struggles.

The Random Thoughts:

The Score Card:


3.5 Stars

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