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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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text 2016-03-27 00:12
Book Giveaway Contest VULNERABLE Morgans of Nashville #4

 Enter for a Chance to Win!

Mary Burton's Vulnerable 

Contest Dates: Mar 22-29, 2016

E N T E R   H E R E 

Coming March 29, 2016 


Hope you’ll join in the fun by entering for a chance to win 1 of 3 complimentary ARC of Vulnerable. Join me, on Mar 29 to celebrate the upcoming launch of Mary's highly anticipated fourth installment of Morgans of Nashville.


Advance Praise 

“Burton’s latest centers on the youngest Morgan sibling, Georgia, as she delves into a case. Jake and Georgia’s subtle yet heated attraction provides a good layer of tension to an already tense situation involving a cold case. With precision and detail, Burton crafts a suspenseful plot. Her dialogue is crisp and sharp; her characters are distinctive and her villain is off-kilter, psychotic and wholly believable.”  – RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars


Read an Excerpt 




The Smallest Mistake 

Three went in; one came out. For five years, no trace has been found of two high-school friends who went hiking in the woods near Nashville. The third teen, Amber Ryder, was discovered at the bottom of a ravine with a broken arm, head trauma–and zero memory of the horror that put her there.


Will Put You 

What started as a cold case has become a fresh hell for forensic technician Georgia Morgan. Another woman’s body is found in the woods, and it leads to the missing teens’ remains. But while Georgia works with Amber to try and reawaken her memories, her gut tells her the worst is yet to come.


At A Killer’s Mercy 

Homicide Detective Jake Bishop can’t be sure whether Amber is an expert manipulator or the killer’s next target. Either way, he’s determined to protect Georgia. Because the deeper she digs into the past, the deadlier the secrets that emerge, and a nightmare years in the making is about to come to a bloody, terrifying end…Read more




My Review 




By: Mary Burton

ISBN: 9780786039418

Publisher: Kensington

Publication Date: 3/29/2016

Format: Paperback

My Rating: 5 Stars * * * * * 

A special thank you to Kensington and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Talented Mary Burton returns with #4 “Morgans of Nashville” following I’ll Never Let You Go, landing on my Top Books of 2015, and "Best Flawed Law Enforcement Family," with VULNERABLE, another gripping edge-of-your-seat suspense mystery crime thriller, featuring Forensic Specialist, Georgia Morgan, and sexy homicide detective, Jake Bishop.

Two cases collide, a five-year-old cold case. An anniversary of two high school friends who mysteriously disappeared in the forest, and never found. The third, Amber Ryan, was found in the wooded park, with no memory. She story has not changed. 

Four Morgans. Three boys and, Georgia Morgan, the youngest Morgan with a past of her own—her birth mother Annie (we met in earlier books), died tragically and she was raised by the Morgans. Annie left a legacy to her only child—her golden voice. Georgia was only five days old when her late father, homicide detective Buddy Morgan carried her away from the tragic scene. Buddy and his wife, Adele took her in, with open arms to join their family and three other sons. all in law enforcement. 

Big brother, Deke Morgan runs the Nashville Police Homicide Department; Rick Morgan (married to new wife, Jenna, former Baltimore police officer and trained forensic artist) works for the same unit, and third brother, Alex, works for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI).

Dalton Marlow is a rich and powerful man—the father of one of the three teens who went into Percy Warner Park five years earlier. Students from an exclusive high school called St Vincent—the teens went hiking in the park- acres of trails and bike paths. The plan was to collect data for a science project, and return home by dark. 

Amber was found at the bottom of a ravine; however, Bethany Reed and Mike Marlow were never found, until possibly now. Mr. Marlow had been pressing the Missing Persons Unit, and after a sizable donation to the police foundation, the case is reopened.

Amber is back in town from Dallas--spending time with Georgia. She wants to cooperate, she says. However, shortly after arriving back in town, another’s woman’s body (Elisa Spence) is found near the woods—ultimately, unearthing more bodies in the cave.

Are the cases related? A necklace. A cave. Human bones. The killer’s special hiding place that no one had found in the last five years. How many times had the killer returned to this spot to gaze? Wrong place, wrong time? A serial killer? Revenge? 

Is beautiful and sexy, Amber hiding something? What really happened five years ago? Three teens – all different; a popular rich football player, a nerd, a smart girl from the wrong side of town. Mike’s dad blames Amber, since she is alive and his son is gone. Is she a good lair, innocent, or a master manipulator? 

Homicide Detective Jake Bishop from Boston-- (Rick Morgan's partner) is on the case. Working with Georgia, the pressure and tension is high to solve the case, along with romantic suspense between the two. 

Complex deadly secrets from the past. Georgia and Jake begin to dig into the pasts, from parents of the three teens, to where Amber has been the last five years. Collateral damage? The perfect crime? Why would three teens go into the woods and only one out. Three unlikely classmates working on a science project of ecosystems. 

In addition to the pressure to solve the case, Georgia remains in full battle mode, wound tight, always cool, and all business—keeping Jake at arm’s distance. Jake loves hearing Georgia sing at Ruby’s and is extremely attracted. However, he plays it smart. Jake also has a past and Georgia is also attracted to him. She does not want to let her
guard down—a game of cat and mouse.

Georgia thinks Jake is arrogant, brash, a charmer, and a temper when pushed. However, he was a hell of a detective who read people well. The two, an impressive combination. As the two get closer to learning the truth, they are determined to find this monster--Jake wants to keep Georgia safe. 

From twists and turns with every page, Burton delivers top notch police procedures and impressive forensics, with a riveting crime mystery whodunit, and twisted psychological suspense. Hooking you from page one to the ending, a cast of flawed characters you continue to root for, with plenty of hatred, evil, and a web of deceit; with some smoldering romantic suspense, a strong match--to balance the good versus evil.

Burton is quickly becoming one of my leading favorite female crime authors! Fans of Karin Slaughter will enjoy this well-written dynamic series--an explosive plot, and an ending you do not see coming. Her best yet! 


 Meet the Morgans
Nashville’s Preeminent Law Enforcement Family
Read My Morgans of Nashville Reviews



About the Author


Mary's intensive research has led to meetings with key members of law enforcement, to seminars and classes, and to the firing range. She is a graduate of the Henrico County Citizens Police Academy and the Richmond FBI Citizen's Academy, and has attended Sisters in Crime's Forensic University program and the Writers Police Academy in Jamestown, North Carolina. 


A Richmond native whose family roots run as deep as the nation's, Mary has lived there for most of her life. She graduated from Virginia's Hollins University and had a career in marketing before deciding to write full time. Her first manuscript, a historical romance, was published in 2000.  


She is a member of Thriller Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She travels often for signings, speaking engagements and other appearances. She is a frequent speaker regarding writing and genre fiction, and continues to present her "Unraveling Romantic Suspense" workshop and her day-long program "Writing Your Book...The First Step." 


New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Mary Burton has been intrigued by investigative work and the people who do it since Virginia, her home state, was stung by a string of serial killings that spanned more than twenty years. Not surprisingly, many of her suspense novels are fueled by the acts of multiple killers and the people who pursue them, as is I'll Never Let You Go, the third of her novels featuring the Morgans, Nashville's preeminent law enforcement family. Vulnerable, the final book in the quartet, is being published in April 2016. The others in the series, Cover Your Eyes and Be Afraid, both became national bestsellers.  


The author of twenty-seven published novels and five novellas, her earlier, highly praised work includes The Seventh Victim, No Escape and You're Not Safe, all set in Austin and featuring members of the Texas Rangers. Read More 



Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!book-giveaway-vulnerable/ic4h4
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text 2016-03-17 19:54
Book Giveaway Contest Mar 16-21 The Beauty of the End


Enter a Book Giveaway Contest  

E N T E R   H E R E  

March 16-21


 Debbie Howells 
 Coming July 26, 2016  


From the acclaimed author of The Bones of You comes a haunting and heartbreaking new psychological thriller about a man thrust into the middle of a murder investigation, forced to confront the secrets of his ex-lover's past.



Advance Praise“

Debbie Howells is a terrific new talent—she paints with words and takes a scalpel to emotions.”
—New York Times bestselling author Peter James

"A combination of lyrical writing and smart mystery. It's a winner.”
—Sandra Block, author of The Girl Without a Name

​Contest Rules: US Only. 1 of 1 Hardcover. Please include your complete mailing address and email below. No P O Boxes. Book will be shipped to your address by Kensington. Allow 6-8 weeks for delivery.

About the Author

Debbie Howells lives in West Sussex with her family. Having worked as cabin crew and a flying instructor, she spent several years running a very successful wedding flower business.

She started writing as an escape from a busy summer of weddings. Her first books This Your Life and The Impossible Search for the Perfect Man were written under the pen name Susie Martyn and self-published as eBooks on Amazon.

Encouraged by positive feedback, Debbie used her love of flowers and first hand experience to write the contemporary women’s fiction novel Wildflowers, the first book self-published under her own name.


When none of the above secured her an agent, she started writing her first psychological thriller, The Bones of You. Read Debbie’s blog to find out more, but to cut a long story short, Debbie is thrilled to be represented by Juliet Mushens of The Agency Group.

The Bones of You was published in July 2015 by Pan Macmillan in the UK and by Kensington Books in the US. Rights have also been sold in Germany, Holland, Brazil, Greece and Japan. Intrigued to read it?

Debbie’s next book, The Beauty of the End, will be published in 2016.




The Beauty of the End
By: Debbie Howells
ISBN: 9781496705983
Publisher: Kensington
Publication Date: 7/26/2016
Format: Hardcover
My Rating: 4 Stars

From the acclaimed author of The Bones of You comes a haunting and heartbreaking new psychological thriller about a man thrust into the middle of a murder investigation, forced to confront the secrets of his ex-lover's past.

"I was fourteen when I fell in love with a goddess. . ."

So begins the testimony of Noah Calaway, an ex-lawyer with a sideline in armchair criminal psychology. Now living an aimless life in an inherited cottage in the English countryside, Noah is haunted by the memory of the beguiling young woman who left him at the altar sixteen years earlier.

Then one day he receives a troubling phone call. April, the woman he once loved, lies in a coma, the victim of an apparent overdose--and the lead suspect in a brutal murder. Deep in his bones, Noah believes that April is innocent. Then again, he also believed they would spend the rest of their lives together.

While Noah searches for evidence that will clear April's name, a teenager named Ella begins to sift through the secrets of her own painful family history. The same age as April was when Noah first met her, Ella harbors a revelation that could be the key to solving the murder. As the two stories converge, there are shocking consequences when at last, the truth emerges.

Or so everyone believes. . .

Set in a borderland where the past casts its shadow on the present, with a time-shifting narrative that will mesmerize and surprise, The Beauty of the End is both a masterpiece of suspense and a powerful rumination on lost love. 



Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!book-giveaway-the-beauty-of-the-end/xw7o0
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text 2016-02-08 06:41
Enter A Book Giveaway Contest Feb 6-16 THE WIDOW

E N T E R   H E R E   


Enter A Book Giveaway Contest!
Feb 6-16  (US)
Blog Tour Feb 16 

"The Most Talked About Psychological Thriller" 
T H E  W I D O W  
Coming, Feb 16  

F i o n a   B a r t o n


Here’s what people are saying so far:

—Glamour UK called it “The Most Anticipated Book of 2016” and said it will fill the void left by Girl on the Train

—PureWow named it one of “30 Reasons to Get Excited for 2016!,” saying the book is “primed to be this year's Girl on the Train.”

—PopSugar named it in their roundup of “23 Books You Should Read This Winter”

—Sacramento Bee named it in their roundup of winter’s buzziest books

—The Bookseller called it “Next year’s The Girl on the Train”—Publishers Weekly gave it a STARRED review



A Loving Husband or a Heartless Killer
She’d Know, Wouldn’t She?


For fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, an engrossing and thrilling debut novel of psychological suspense from a major new talent.There's a lot Jean hasn't said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing.


She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment. Now her husband is dead, and there's no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage. The truth--that's all anyone wants.


But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything...



Fiona Barton "The Widow"

Fiona Barton The Widow


Dear Reader,


I’ve spent a lot of time watching people. Not just in cafes and railway stations but as a job. As a journalist, I’ve been a professional watcher – a “trained observer” we like to joke – picking up the body language and verbal tics that make us individuals and interesting to others.


Over the years, I’ve interviewed victims, the guilty, the famous, the important and the ordinary people affected by tragedy or good fortune.


But, strangely, it is not always the people in the spotlight that have stayed with me.


It is often those on the periphery, the bit players in the drama, that continue to haunt. In big trials – notorious and terrible crimes that made headlines – I would find myself watching the wife of the man in the dock and wondering what she really knew, or allowed herself to know.


You will have seen her too, on the news. You may have had to look carefully, but she’s there, standing quietly behind her man on the steps of a court. She nods and squeezes his arm as he protests his innocence because she believes in him.


But, what happens when the cameras are packed away and the world stops watching?


I have an enduring image of two people eating Shepherd’s Pie, like any other couple in their street, but unable to speak. The only sound is the scrape of cutlery on china as they struggle with the doubts seeping under their suburban front door.


Because, without witnesses or distractions, masks cannot help but slip.


I wanted – needed - to know how this woman copes with the idea that her husband – the man she chose – may be a monster.


And Jean Taylor emerged. She is the quiet woman I had seen so often on the steps of the court, the wife I had spotted, watching, expressionless, as her husband gave evidence.


In this, my first novel, Jean tells her public and private versions of an adored husband and happy marriage turned upside down when a child vanishes and the police and press arrive on her doorstep.


Her narrative runs alongside the search for the child, told by the detective leading the hunt and the voices of the journalist covering the case and the mother of the victim.


Each has a story to tell but some are more truthful than others.


I hope you enjoy this book. I have loved writing it and can't thank Jean Taylor – and the women who inspired her – enough.


Fiona Barton

UK, Coming Feb 14                   US Coming Feb 16
5 Stars
Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!book-giveaway-the-widow-/hs09n
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text 2016-01-16 18:22
Book Giveaway Contest Summit Lake Jan 16-26



Who Killed Becca Eckersley?




Charlie Donlea 

Blog Tour Date:  Jan 26

Book Release Date:  Jan 26

Book Giveaway Contest:  Jan 16-26

Enter Here




My Review  5 Stars


Charlie Donlea delivers a smashing crime thriller debut!  A gripping murder mystery in North Carolina mountains. An unspeakable crime.


A story of two girls:  

One Murdered.  

One Trying to Find Out Why.  


Advance Praise


"A brilliant, haunting thriller in which The Lovely Bones meets The Silence of the Lambs—with a bit of Twin Peaks thrown in for good measure! Charlie Donlea weaves a unique, spellbinding tale about a bond between two fascinating women—one living, one dead. Full of unexpected twists and turns,Summit Lake is an irresistible page-turner.”

--Kevin O’Brien, New York Times bestselling author


"Gripping! This one kept me up late into the night."
-- Nancy Bush, New York Times bestselling author

“A swift, outstanding debut. Summit Lake engrossed me then knocked me cold. Charlie Donlea is a superb storyteller sure to damage the best seller lists.”
-- Robert Dugoni, New York Times bestselling author


“Summit Lake is a gem of a mystery, fast-paced and suspenseful.”
-- Catherine Coulter, # 1 New York Times bestselling author


“An exciting debut, with all the right touches, captivating from the first page to the last. There’s a bright future ahead for this newcomer to the thriller genre — definitely a talent to watch."
-- Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author


"Charlie Donlea has written a riveting novel, layered with secrets and intrigue. He reveals his story through Becca Eckersley, the young law student who was murdered, and Kelsey Castle, the tenacious reporter working to bring a killer into the light. Donlea weaves his dual narrative together seamlessly for a gripping and tense mystery."
-- Allen Eskens, author of The Life We Bury





No suspects. No persons of interest. Just a girl who was alive one day and dead the next.


Set in a small, picturesque North Carolina town, Charlie Donlea’s suspenseful debut novel tells the haunting story of a murdered law school student, the reporter assigned to her story—and the intimate connection that comes when the living walk in the footsteps of the dead.


Some places seem too beautiful to be touched by horror. Summit Lake, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is that kind of place, with charming stilt houses dotted along the pristine water.


But two weeks ago, Becca Eckersley, a first-year law student, was brutally murdered in one of those houses. Now, while the town reels with grief and shocked residents gather to share their theories, the police are baffled.

At first, investigative reporter Kelsey Castle thinks of the assignment as a fluff piece. But as Kelsey digs deeper, she feels a growing connection to the dead girl.


And the more she learns about Becca’s friendships, her love life, and her secrets, the more convinced she becomes that learning the truth about Becca could be the key to overcoming her own dark past…


Pre-Order Book 




About the Author 


Charlie Donlea lives in Chicago with his wife and two young children. He spends a part of each year fishing with his father in the far reaches of Canada, where the roads end and lakes are accessible only by floatplane.


These majestic trips to “God’s Country” inspired the setting for Summit Lake. With so many choices of entertainment, and countless other books to choose from, he thanks you for spending your time and treasure on his creation.


Summit Lake is his first novel.  Debut pub date Jan 26, 2016.  He is currently under contract for a second suspense novel with Kensington, to be published in 2017.



Follow Charlie:




Photo Credit:
​Carrianne Photography

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!summit-lake/k3vwh
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