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review 2018-01-19 16:31
Walking the Bones
Walking the Bones (Ryan DeMarco Mystery) - Randall Silvis

Ryan DeMarco Mystery #2

By: Randall Silvis 

ISBN: 9781492646914

Publisher: Sourcebooks 

Publication Date:  1/23/2018 

Format: Paperback 

My Rating: 5 Stars +

Blog Tour Jan 23

Book Giveaway Contest

Jan 15-Feb 1, 2018 

When long-buried secrets come back to the surface..


Ryan DeMarco returns following Two Days Gone landing on my Top Books of 2017 with a gripping follow-up from the acclaimed author, Randall Silvis — WALKING THE BONES. 

Join me Blog Tour Host Jan 23. Enter to Win Book Giveaway Contest Jan 15-Feb 1. 

The continuation of Ryan DeMarco leads Marco and his partner to an unsolved murder case of seven African American girls who went missing from 1998 and 2004. A story of things buried―memories, regrets, secrets, and bodies.

Dark hidden secrets are unraveled and exposed in this gripping psychological suspense crime mystery thriller (procedural) with a strong literary twist. The shocking conclusion will leave you gasping, with thoughts of Vladimir Nabokov’s classic Lolita. 

“The past is never past, she thought. Every second of their pasts lay gathered inside them. Every incident of their pasts had constructed their present, every cell interlocking, layer upon layer. The past is omnipresent." 

Picking up from Two Days Gone, Sergeant (49 yrs. old) Ryan DeMarco of the Pennsylvania State Police is still suffering from the loss of his best friend, Thomas Hutson, his son, Ryan Jr. and the demise of his marriage. Guilt-ridden, he continues to wrestle with his demons spending time at the cemetery. 

They were all gone. Only Jayme remained. He hopes he will not ruin her life. 

Currently, he is dating Jayme Matson (fellow Trooper), and she is quite concerned about his well-being. She has convinced Ryan to take a medical leave of absence for three months rather than retire. She decides to join him. They rent an RV and hit the road to visit her sick grandmother in Kentucky, her hometown. 

However, when they arrive, they become involved in a murder mystery. Seven young females reduced to bone. Seven skeletons found in a four by fourteen by ten-foot space between the walls of a local church. 

Each of the girls — are between fifteen to nineteen years of age. All light-skinned African American girls. Not a single Caucasian. Each cocooned in a clear plastic sheeting and sealed with silver duct tape. Each meticulously, obsessively cleaned and stripped. 

One per year from 1998 to 2004. A fetish for girls of color, or a hatred of them? Cause of death? 

"Sometimes the bones talk, and sometimes they hoard their secrets."

Who was the killer? It had to be someone who knew about the false wall in the church and how to access it. A regular visitor, the pastor, or someone well-known in the community? Later the church was torched. 

Flashing back and forth from Ryan’s childhood to the present –we learn more about his earlier childhood. The one which still haunts him. 

Between Ryan’s internal struggle, his grief and guilt, emotions, insecurities, disturbing dreams, regrets, his troubled ex-wife Laraine, and his current relationship with Jayne – he has his hands full. The tensions and drama run high. Will he screw up his second chance at happiness? 

“Unless you have chaos inside, you cannot give birth to a dancing star.”—Freidrich Nietzche 

Neither Ryan nor Jayne knows where their relationship may be going, but they are along for the rocky ride. (Mixed with a few family members and locals). Plus we learn about both their pasts.

In the midst of their personal affairs, they are drawn into this old mystery. 

From a senior amateur group of six concerned citizens (Da Vinci Cave Irregulars). Determined to solve this case and help in any way they can —to a registered pedophile, minister, Mennonite, a groundskeeper, a foreman, a tarot-car-reading librarian, a retired coroner, a reclusive chiropractor millionaire, among others.

They have folders for the players: Suspects: Chad McGintey (statutory rape), Lucas McGintey (drug possession), Aaron Henry (teacher), Virgil Helm (caretaker), Eli Royce (pastor & narcissist), and the victims. 

Each of the victims had circumstances and were reported missing in the Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri. The all were between five feet and five four. Petite. The cause, date, time, and place of death were undetermined. Runaways. Had their families given up on them long before their bones ended up in Aberdeen? 

In addition to Ryan’s haunted past, afraid he was becoming his father—now the seven girls are starting to haunt him as well. Will the cemetery, a bear cage, or being trapped in the woods give him the answers they are desperately seeking?

"History never really says good-bye. History says, see you later.” — Eduardo Galeano

With rich, evocative language, a twisty plot, and well-developed characters, Silvis once again delivers an extraordinary piece of art. Not only is WALKING THE BONESa phenomenal suspense crime mystery, but it also possesses an intense character study. I loved Two Days Gone; however, the followup further delves into the heart and soul of DeMarco and his tormented childhood as well as adulthood. 

Both parts of the story (Ryan’s) and the (murder mystery) are equally as gripping. The secret behind the girl’s death was unpredictable and a clever twist. Silvis lyrical prose is spellbinding. Beautifully written, and profoundly moving, an emotional and haunting meditation of acceptance, love, trust, and survival. (an intriguing character). 

I enjoyed Jayme’s personality — a strong sassy and witty female counterpart to Ryan’s complicated, moody, emotional, deep, and grief-stricken side, at times. A delicate balance of humor. Enjoying Silvis’ writing and look forward to reading his backlist. 

Highly Recommend both Two Days Gone and WALKING THE BONES. For fans of intelligent well-plotted literary mystery suspense thrillers. Looking forward to seeing what is coming next!

Also, recommend Only the Rain. (2018) 

A special thank you to Sourcebooks and #NetGalley for an early reading copy. 




Enter to win!

A post shared by Judith D Collins (@judithdcollins) on Jan 19, 2018 at 6:10am PST


Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/09/07/Walking-Bones
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review 2016-05-09 14:57
Neat idea, love the execution
Contest of Champions (2015-) #1 - Thomas Labourot,Al Ewing,Paco Medina

 Maybe it's just because they picked some of my favorites, or favorite themes - the retired British Punisher, Iron Man, Gamora amongst others - or maybe not.  I'm liking the second issue, which starts with Ares, who I'm not as fond of in the Marvel-verse.   


That being said, this is a pretty neat - although simple - concept.   Champions are summoned and forced to fight, until there are no team members left on one side.   It may be the confusion, or the inability to escape - while being attacked - that first gets the heroes to fight.   (The less heroic may just fight for fun, and I'd argue that including any version of The Punisher is including the less heroic.)


I haven't read the original, and so I'm just going off this issue.   And this issue is so much fun I'm glad they included issue two in the grab bag. 

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review 2016-01-19 14:33
Book giveaway contest and review!
My Father's Son - Andy Symonds

Now’s your chance to win a copy of this rare, intimate look into the personal lives of SEAL members and their families. Just post a comment below and a winner will be randomly picked on Monday, January 25, 2016.  US residents only, please, as requested by the publicist.  Good luck!


This is a very well written novel about a young boy whose father is a Navy SEAL. The author, Andy Symonds, is the son of a Navy veteran.  He wrote this book with the input of a retired Navy SEAL.  You can be assured with this type of inside knowledge from both the author and the retired Navy SEAL that the book will be true to the lives of a military family.  This book has been endorsed by the Special Operations community.


Nate is only 13 years old when his beloved father, a Navy SEAL, is killed in action. His father’s fellow SEALs step up to be there for Nate and his mother and younger sister and help them as they grieve and struggle to go on.  The book fluctuates between Nate’s life from age 13 to adulthood and also memories of past days that Nate and his father had spent together.  Parts of the book are narrated by Nate’s father during combat, those parts being truly heart wrenching.


The author very movingly writes about the strain and worry that are daily parts of the lives of a SEAL’s family. They dread the ringing of a doorbell and what news it will bring.  They live every day with the knowledge that their loved one may not make it through that day.  And once that dreaded doorbell does ring, the family members must pick up the pieces of their shattered lives.  It was truly beautiful to watch as the other SEALs became family members and did their best to fill the empty space their friend had left in his loved one’s hearts and lives.  I often had to remind myself that this is a novel and not a memoir as it’s so realistic.


The book not only highlights the sacrifices made by SEALs and their families but also talks about PTSD and survivor’s guilt. While the general public may feel they know how hard it is on these men and their families, this book will open many people’s eyes to what the defense of this country costs these men and their loved ones.


I was given a copy of this book by the publicist in return for an honest review.


Author’s website: www.andysymonds.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asymondsmyfatherssonbook?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/fatherssonbook

Medium: https://medium.com/@fatherssonbook

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14138793.Andy_Symonds

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review 2015-12-24 04:29
The View From Prince Street
The View from Prince Street (Alexandria Series) - Mary Ellen Taylor
Alexandria Series #2
ISBN:  9780425278260
Publisher: Penguin 
Publication Date: 1/5/2016
Format: Paperback
My Rating:  4 Stars  
A special thank you to Penguin/Berkley and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Mary Ellen Taylor returns following At The Corner of King Street (Alexandria #1) with a complex multi-generational mystery of the past THE VIEW FROM PRINCE STREET(Alexandria #2) rich in history; with three families crossing two centuries-- mystery, intrigue and some ancient magic to stir the pot.

As the locals read the weekly Lifestyle edition and the online version of the Old Town Alexandria paper, Dr. Rae McDonald is known to have a heart of stone, however, some think she is a matchmaker, trying to help her clients find happiness.

In fact, Rae knows sadness, all too well. It had nearly destroyed her at age sixteen when her old sister had died, and thereafter she had made reckless choices that resulted in a pregnancy. She gave the baby boy away to another mother for adoption. The pain and the loss were crushing. Since that day she knew her survival depended suppressing her feelings. Her detachment had served her well. She can remove herself from her client’s storms, problems, and her own emotions.

We meet up with the MaCrae’s we met in book one—Addie Morgan and Margaret McCrae, owners of Shire Architectural --the contractors who removed her stones six weeks ago. Addie is raising her niece, Carrie, eight weeks old. Addie was saving her family’s business for the brink of ruin. Margaret worked full time with the salvage company but still maintained close ties to the archeology center. She had a PhD in History and was a well- qualified expert in local history, especially Alexandria.

They had read about Rae, the trained clinical psychologist in the paper. They had found a bottle. A witch bottle. An incredible find. Protection spells. They were created hundreds of years ago by people who feared black magic. They were designed to ward off a witch’s spells and evil curses. Most were typically made of wine bottles filled with all kinds of sharp objects. (to cut or slice into the magic). Curses? A witch.

One of the bottles they found belonged to Addie’s family. Sarah Shire Goodwin buried that one. Patience McDonald buried the one they found on Rae’s property and Imogen Smyth made the one they found on the Prince Street Property. All three women lived in Alexandria around 1750.

As the book flashes back from the eighteenth century to the present we find the connections of three Alexandria families. At the beginning of the novel, it opens with a letter in 1751. A bind between these three families. A dangerous barter.

Rae's sister’s best friend Lisa Smyth survived the crash, but never told the truth about it. As long-buried artifacts that link their family histories are unearthed, both women are forced to confront the secrets of the past, before they can have a future.

Secrets. Choices.  A Buried past.

As the book moves along, both Rae and Lisa are at a crossroads in their lives. The ties that bind. Face the past in order to have a future.
“Past, Present, and Future are links in a chain. For a chain to be strong you must have all the links. Not the ones you select. “A thought provoking question: Can you live in the now without acknowledging the problems of the past?

Ultimately, an emotional Heartwarming novel of motherhood, forgiveness, letting go of the past, and second chances. As always you can count on Mary Ellen Taylor to deliver a bold life lesson, a strong takeaway message, and some savory recipes. This time Rachel at The Union Street Bakery offers her Lemon Polenta Cookies and Never Too Much Chocolate Chip Cookies.

An excellent choice for book clubs or further reading group discussions with questions included. If you have not read The Union Street Bakery series, highly recommend!


Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!The-View-From-Prince-Street/cmoa/55f8dd790cf24af6ea3d3ff0
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review 2015-12-15 22:45
I won!
The Warlord and the Nightingale: A steampunk fairy tale (Gunpowder Chronicles) - Jeannie Lin

I won this adorable Japanese steampunk fairy tale book from Yvette's always entertaining blog at Bookworlder

Thank you, Yvette! Now I want to read the rest of The Gunpowder Chronicles series, intriguingly described as "an Opium War steampunk adventure set in the 19th century empires of China and Japan."

Source: jaylia3.wordpress.com/2015/12/15/i-won
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