Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Blog Tour: Review: The Beautician's Notebook by Anne Clinard Barnhill




02_The Beautician's Notebook
Publication Date: April 12, 2017
Moonshine Cove Publishing, LLC
eBook & Print; 304 Pages
Genre: Mystery/Romance/Contemporary
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WHEN WILLA JO TEMPLE IS FOUND STABBED THROUGH THE HEART ON THE FLOOR OF HER BEAUTY SHOP, THE GOOD FOLK OF SUMMERSET, NC ARE SENT INTO A TIZZY.
It’s up to her ex-husband, Sheriff Tal Hicks, to investigate. Evidence points to four possible suspects: Willa Jo’s business partner; a town socialite; a preacher’s wife; and Willa Jo’s live-in lover.
Willa Jo kept a notebook containing all the secrets she’s learned while doing hair. Rumor has it Willa Jo is going to write a book, exposing everything. But now, Willa Jo is dead and the incriminating notebook is missing, leaving the sheriff with very little to go on. As he interrogates the suspects, he finds himself attracted to newcomer, Clarissa Myers. He delves into her past only to discover she has deeper ties to Summerset than anyone imagined. Before the sheriff can complete his interrogations, however, another suspect, Avenelle Young, confesses.
The sheriff is skeptical about Avenelle Young’s guilt because she refuses to discuss what happened with Willa Jo. Her statement is a terse declaration of guilt, with neither motive nor method explained. The sheriff has no choice but to incarcerate Mrs. Young.
During the investigations, as the secrets of Summerset are slowly revealed, each family touched by Willa Jo’s death must come to terms with the new information being unearthed. The repercussions are far-reaching, and forgiveness hard to come by. However, at the heart of the book is the possibility of reconciliation among the town folk as they learn the real ‘truth’ about one another.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Chapters | IndieBound


Praise for The Beautician’s Notebook

“…a great who-done-it” that will keep you reading until the very last page.—Brenda Bevan Remmes, author of The Quaker Cafe and Home to Cedar Branch.
“What a treat! Anne Clinard Barnhill has penned a mystery with heart and soul. Her characters are so likeable—even lovable—that I hated to think of any of them guilty of a heinous crime . . . despite their many motives. An intriguing and heartwarming novel.”—Diane Chamberlain, NYT bestselling author of The Silent Sister.
“More red herrings than in a fishmonger’s wheelbarrow.”—Molly Weston, Mystery Writers of America Raven Award Winner.

About the Author

Anne Clinard Barnhill is an award-winning, internationally published writer who has published two historical novels (AT THE MERCY OF THE QUEEN and QUEEN ELIZABETH’S DAUGHTER), a short story collection (WHAT YOU LONG FOR), a memoir (AT HOME IN THE LAND OF OZ: Autism, My Sister and Me) and a poetry chapbook (COAL, BABY). She has also written hundreds of articles, features, book reviews and essays published in a variety of newspapers, magazines and blogs. Ms. Barnhill has received four regional artist grants, one writer’s residency and has taught writing and creativity workshops in various places across North Carolina, West Virginia, South Carolina and Mississippi. She has three grown sons and lives on the NC coast with her husband and a very energetic dog.

For more information please visit Anne’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.




My Review:

The Beautician's Notebook is quite different from the other books I usually read. To be honest, the language in the beginning made me not want to continue on. (Which is a personal preference for me and many others probably would not be too bothered by it.) It was a little excessive at first but it did tone down a bit. I am so glad I kept on reading. I would have missed out on a great story! I was intrigued by what secrets were going to be revealed next in Willa Jo's notebook. It was fascinating to find out what twist was going to pop up next. I did not expect how it all came out in the end. Not at all predictable. Other than the language and a sex scene I did not care for (again, a personal preference for me), I liked the book and would give it 3 1/2 stars.

I received the book from the author. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.




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Book Tour: Review, Excerpt, and Giveaway: Requiem in Yquem by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noel Balen

Jean-Pierre ALAUX and Noël BALEN

on Tour September 11-22 with REQUIEM-IN-YQUEM cover

Requiem in Yquem

(mystery) Release date: September 12, 2017 at Le French Book 215 pages ISBN: 9781943998104 Website | Goodreads


SYNOPSIS

The intricate taste of greed and remorse. The “addictive” Winemaker Detective series returns with a French mystery set in Sauternes, home of one of the world’s finest dessert wines, Yquem, known to some as liquid gold. In the mist-covered hills of Sauternes, where the wine is luscious and the landscape beguiling, the brutal murder of an elderly couple intrigues the wine expert Benjamin Cooker and awakens memories for his dashing assistant Virgile Lanssien. Drawn into the investigation, the two journey through the storied Sauternes countryside, where the Château d’Yquem has reigned for centuries. Will the murder go unexplained and the killer remain free? The Winemaker Detective’s discernment and incessant curiosity pushes investigators to look deeper, while Virgile rekindles memories of his days at school and questions the meaning of his life. In another satisfying wine novel with a French flair, authors Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen give readers a perfectly intoxicating combination French wine, gourmet meals, and mystery in the gloriously described Sauternes wine region with all the scenery, scents, and sounds of France. This light, fun mystery combines amateur sleuths, food, and wine in a wonderfully French mystery novel that doubles as a travel guide. It is a new kind read on the international mystery and crime scene: a pitch-perfect, wine-infused, French-style cozy mystery.

EXCERPT

“What’s your name?” the young woman asked spontaneously, as if crossing in the same pitiful boat granted them some sort of intimacy.
“Virgile, and yours?”
“Virgile? What a funny name! I’m Camille,” she answered. Virgile was struck by the natural color of her lips.
Fishing cabins on stilts, which announced the end of the crossing, were already visible on the shore. But instead of gliding into the Lamarque dock, the ferry slammed into it, jolting them. Camille grabbed Virgile’s wrist. Once everything stopped moving and the Médocain was moored, Virgile pulled away and gave her hand a soft squeeze. The student seemed sorry to let him go.
Virgile started walking toward his car. “I can drop you off at Saint-Estèphe,” he said, knowing full well that this would make him late for lunch, but he couldn’t help himself. “I happen to know the cellar master at Calon-Ségur.”
Camille appeared disturbed to hear this. “No, don’t bother. Drop me off on the road to Bordeaux.”
“You’re not going to Calon?”
“No, I’m not going to…” She sighed. “Okay, I lied. I’m not a student. I don’t live in Marseille, and my name isn’t Camille. I liked your smile, that’s all. So you can leave me alone now. I’ll take care of myself.”
“But, Camille, listen…”
Virgile didn’t know what to make of the situation. Already the stranger had her backpack slung over her shoulder and was heading for the road to Lamarque. Virgile rushed to his car and drove off the ferry. He sped up to reach her, and when he did, he lowered the window.
“Really, just forget we ever met.” she said. “Have a nice life.”
Her lower lip was quivering. Virgile wasn’t sure of the color of her eyes anymore. Disappointed, he left the beautiful and strange young woman on the highway.
The sky suddenly turned dark, and the wind began whipping the leaves on the plane trees. A few seconds later, the clouds unleashed a heavy rain. Virgile turned on his windshield wipers. In the rearview mirror, the intriguing passenger from the ferry was no more than a frail figure. Finally, she disappeared under the downpour.


ABOUT THE AUTHORS

©David Nakache
Alaux-Balen  Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen, the authors of the Winemaker Detective series are epicures. Jean-Pierre Alaux is a magazine, radio and TV journalist when he is not writing novels in southwestern France. | He is the grandson of a winemaker and exhibits a real passion for wine and winemaking. For him, there is no greater common denominator than wine. He gets a sparkle in his eye when he talks about the Winemaker Detective mystery series, which he coauthors with Noël Balen. Noël lives in Paris, where he shares his time between writing, making records, and lecturing on music. He plays bass, is a music critic, and has authored a number of books about musicians in addition to his prolific novel and short-story writing.
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ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR

Sally Pane studied French at State University of New York Oswego and the Sorbonne before receiving her Masters Degree in French Literature from the University of Colorado where she wrote Camus and the Americas: A Thematic Analysis of Three Works Based on His Journaux de Voyage. Her career includes more than twenty years of translating and teaching French and Italian at Berlitz and at University of Colorado Boulder. She has worked in scientific, legal and literary translation; her literary translations include Operatic Arias; Singers Edition, and Reality and the Untheorizable by Clément Rosset, along with a number of titles in the Winemaker Detective series. She also served as the interpreter for the government cabinet of Rwanda and translated for Dian Fossey’s Digit Fund. In addition to her passion for French, she has studied Italian at Colorado University, in Rome and in Siena. She lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband.
 

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GIVEAWAY

Visit each blogger on the tour: tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time! [just follow the directions on the entry-form]
Global giveaway open to all 2 winners

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CLICK ON THE BANNER TO READ REVIEWS AND EXCERPTS

Requiem in Yquem banner Requiem in


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MY REVIEW


Yquem is the thirteenth installment from the Winemaker Detective series. It is my first introduction to the Winemaker Detective series, as well as, to the writings of Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noel Balen. This book is not very long at just a little over 200 pages long. But do not let that fool you, because it is packed full of suspense and mystery. I was hooked from page one and I did not want to put the book down until I read all the way to the last page. The "who done it" was not obvious to me and I was completely surprised at how it all played out in the end.

I found the book to be a delightful and compelling read. I can not wait to get my hands on more of these stories and look forward to reading more of the Winemaker Detective series.

I recommend this book for those who love good, suspense-filled mysteries.

4 1/2 stars.

I received this book from France Book Tours. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.


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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway: Where Danger Lies by Donna Del Oro




Where Danger Lies
by Donna Del Oro

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GENRE: Romantic suspense

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BLURB:

Based on actual circumstances, two cases prove that truth is indeed stranger than fiction as FBI Special agent, Jake Bernstein, is pulled into two apparently unrelated cases while on medical leave in San Diego.  A female officer assigned to Naval Base Coronado is killed and a Muslim woman is viciously beaten and left for dead. Jake knows about seeking truth and justice amid lies and deception. He suspects something else is at work, two very different evils overlapping as two different worlds violently collide.

Meg Larsen has come to terms with Jake’s role in her beloved grandmother’s death, accepts that he has a dangerous job, and is proud of his role in thwarting terrorists who threatened countless lives. She’s willing to aid him in his investigations but not so accepting of his refusal to commit to her and give her a reason to alter her career plans.

Even as Jake arrives at a crossroads in his relationship with Meg, he must stay alert and strive to keep both of them safe.  Although San Diego is sunny and picture-perfect, you never know...WHERE DANGER LIES.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT:

“NCIs? What’s the crime, Admiral Snider?”

“Murder. One of the officers on my ship. I think an objective look is needed.”

“What happened to him?”

“Her. Lieutenant Samantha Carlton was found dead in the trunk of her car three days ago. The preliminary tox screen showed nothing, but the lab did an advanced analysis. She’d been poisoned with ketamine. Made her heart stop. She was forty-one and in excellent physical condition. Also, someone crushed her larynx and windpipe.”

“Sounds like a case of overkill.” Jake rubbed the underside of his chin from force of habit. Intriguing case but he really didn’t want to get involved. "Perhaps premeditated, but made to look like a crime of passion or rage? That’d be my off-the-cuff assessment.”

"Good, now we’re getting somewhere,” Rear Admiral Snider said. “The local cops are pushing the NCI team in one direction. Their theory doesn’t hold water, that it was a hate crime. Lieutenant Carlton was gay, but more importantly, she had access to classified guided missile codes.”

"Understood," Jake said, shaking his head. National security was at issue here. Even unofficially, he was already involved.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Donna Del Oro's dream since childhood (when she used to create her own comic books and share them with her friends) has been to write fiction. Escaping the humdrum of ordinary life always seemed to her an ideal form of self-entertainment. Better than TV and even better than some books! As soon as she retired from high school teaching (which was a suspenseful adventure in itself), Donna turned to fiction writing. Becoming a member of the RWA and Sisters in Crime has helped her to learn the craft and focus on what she needed to do to get published.

Besides writing Chica Lit, she writes romantic suspense and thrillers. Her two latest SMART ROMANTIC THRILLERS are: A BODYGUARD OF LIES, LIES IN WAIT (Book Two) and a paranormal thriller, THE DELPHI BLOODLINE. A BODYGUARD OF LIES takes place in present-day England, Ireland and Germany with echoes back to WW II. A Jewish-American FBI agent, who's fluent in German, goes undercover to investigate an elderly, naturalized American grandmother, suspected of being a Nazi spy and war criminal. LIES IN WAIT follows FBI agent, Jake Bernstein (now a member of a CounterTerrorism Task Force), to Silicon Valley. Working undercover as a Muslim biotech scientist, he is recruited to join a sleeper cell intent on terrorist activities. All three of her published thrillers remain on Musa Publishing's mystery imprint's Top Twenty Bestselling books.

http://www.donnadeloro.com/
http://www.catalog.thewildrosepress.com/Donna%20Del%20Oro
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100013281128112
https://www.amazon.com/Where-Danger-Lies-Jake-Bernstein-ebook/dp/B0728LXRFL/

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GIVEAWAY:

Donna Del Oroi will be awarding two autographed print copies (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure you follow the other stops of the tour.
The more you comment the more chances of winning
!



MY REVIEW:

Where Danger Lives is the third installment from The Jake Bernstein FBI series. It is the first book from Donna Del Oro I have read. I found it to be a good read. I enjoyed the characters Meg and Jake together. They were so much fun. I look forward to going back to see what happened in the first two books in the series and hope there will be a book four in the future.
I think Where Danger Lives is worth a read and I recommend it.

4 stars.

I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.



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Monday, September 18, 2017

Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway: The Frenchman by Lise McClendon

Lise McClendon

on Tour September 8-21 with Frenchman-ebook-cover

The Frenchman

(mystery) Release date: September 8, 2017 at Thalia Press 278 pages
   


SYNOPSIS

In this 5th installment of the Bennett Sisters Mysteries (beginning with Blackbird Fly), attorney Merle Bennett goes to France for an extended stay to drink in the essence of ‘la France Profonde’ and write her own novel. But the countryside is not as tranquil as she hoped. A missing Frenchman, a sinister one, an elderly one, a thieving one, and a vandalizing one: all conspire to turn Merle’s sojourn of reflection into a nightmare of worry. Where is Pascal, her French boyfriend? Who is the man with the terrible scar? Why is someone spray-painting her little stone house in the Dordogne? And will her novel about the French Revolution – snippets of which are included – give her a soupçon of delight or a frisson of danger?
Works fine as a stand-alone


EXCERPT

The Frenchman
a Bennett Sisters Mystery
by
Lise McClendon


CHAPTER 1

New York
The headlines were ridiculously easy to spot by now, on the newsstands around Manhattan. The Power of Sisterhood, the magazine blared. Merle Bennett paid for five copies of the inane rag and rolled them under her arm. She was getting good at this. Over the last two weeks she’d disposed of at least seventy-five copies of Society NYC. Her sisters wouldn’t be happy. But that article about the five Bennett sisters had to go.
She dropped the magazines into the trash bin on the corner, near the Greenwich Village offices where she worked for Legal Aid for at least one more day. Inside she got to work, cleaning out her desk. She dropped the chipped white vase into the box on the floor. Two years ago she’d brought it home from France. Should she take it back, set it on the mantle, add a pink rose from the garden? That seemed cheesy. Merle was not the sentimental type and yet here she was, planning her getaway with roses and nostalgia, while cleaning her desk for her replacement.
Six months wasn’t long. She’d be back here kissing up to high-powered lawyers for pro bono money in the new year.
If everything goes as planned.
The words popped into her head. She frowned. As if her planning was soft, unformed, and unreliable. It was not. It was firm, credible, and solid. That was who she was.
Two months earlier Merle told her boss she was taking half a year off. While unhappy, Lillian Warshowski took less than a week to find a young attorney willing and able to hold her job in the interim. Lawyers were always looking for something to break the tedium of desk work, brief-writing, research, and stale coffee. Her job, wining and dining white-shoe firms for services for indigent clients, might look glamorous from the outside, like one big party, but Merle had had enough rich food and drunken lechery for a lifetime. She needed a break. France in all its simplicity, in its golden light and slow days, was calling.
Her bags were packed. But Tristan was dragging his feet. She texted her son quickly to begin, definitely, today. In three days they would fly to France and there were hundreds of details she had to attend to. The one thing he could do was pack his own suitcase.
Of course, Tristan would rather spend his last bit of summer partying with his friends before heading off to college than traipsing around a musty old French village with his mother. What 17-year-old wouldn’t? He was driven, very much his mother’s son, but lately — since his college acceptance — he’d disappeared into a social world she didn’t even know he had, full of cute young things and who knows what. It worried her, but so far, he’d kept himself out of trouble. Three more days, Tristan. Hold on.
This summer trip to France would probably be their last together. She hoped not but knew better. She would return in late August to get him moved into his dorm then back she’d go, footloose in France for months and months. The open time caused a knot in her stomach even though she had a very detailed plan of renovation, cavorting with Pascal, her French boyfriend, and — yes — writing.

She would write her novel. No big deal. Everybody was writing novels these days, and lawyers who wrote novels were a dime a dozen. It was a vanity project, no doubt about that, but it had grown into a slight obsession since her last, short visit to France. There it had come in a dream of sorts. No, it was a dream — call it what it was. A dream about a goat herder, a young woman during the time of the French Revolution.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Frenchman - Lise McClendon
Lise McClendon is the author of fifteen novels of mystery, suspense, and general mayhem plus short stories. Her bestselling Bennett Sisters mystery series began with ‘Blackbird Fly.’ She also writes thrillers as Rory Tate, the latest of which is ‘PLAN X.’ Her short story is included in this fall’s noir anthology, ‘The Obama Inheritance.’ She lives in Montana.
Visit her website
Subscribe to her mailing list
Follow her on Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Buy the book: on Amazon

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GIVEAWAY

Visit each blogger on the tour: tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time! [just follow the directions on the entry-form]

Global giveaway open to all 7 winners

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CLICK ON THE BANNER TO READ REVIEWS, EXCERPTS, AND GUEST-POST

Frenchman - banner  


MY REVIEW

The Frenchman is the fifth book from Lise McClendon’s series, Bennett Sisters Mysteries. I have not read the first four books in the series, but I did not feel like I was missing anything or felt lost. I do hope I will soon go back and read those to see what had happened prior to this book.

I found The Frenchman to be a delightful, intriguing, and fun story. I enjoyed the main character, Merle Bennett, as she travels to France. She definitely finds herself to have more excitement than she was planning for, that is for sure! The mystery she gets involved in kept me interested throughout the book. I never knew what was going to happen next. It was quite interesting at how it all ended.

I give The Frenchman four stars. In my opinion, it is one other readers should add to their wish list. I look forward to more of this series and more books by Lise McClendon in the future.
I received this book from the author. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.



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Friday, September 15, 2017

Review: An Amish Christmas Love by Beth Wiseman / Amy Clipston / Kely Irving / Ruth Reid




An Amish Christmas Love is a collection of four Amish stories at the most wonderful time of the year. The stories include:

Winter Kisses by Beth Wiseman. Spinster Naomi lives with her mother, Barbara, and grandmother, Ruth. Barbara and Ruth are widows, while Naomi has never been married and does not believe she ever will. Suddenly, their worlds will be turned upside down during a storm on Christmas Eve.

The Christmas Cat by Amy Clipston. Emma is facing her first Christmas alone in 45 years after her husband, Henry, passes away. She is surprised to be invaded by a cat that won't go away and is visited by young visitors. How will her new houseguests show her love, faith, and hope?

Snow Angels by Kelly Irvin. Going through Rumspringa, David falls for an Englisher, Bobbie. He realizes he does not want to leave his faith and decides to stay Amish. He, then, falls for Molly and is ready to make a commitment of marriage. That is, until Bobbie shows back up. Will he break Molly's heart?


Home for Christmas by Ruth Reid. Depending on a faulty GPS, Ellie is sent to the wrong address and start breaking into Ezra's home! Does this really take her to the right turn she's been looking for in life?

I enjoyed An Amish Christmas Love. All four of these stories were so sweet and clean. I just love Christmas time, just love Amish Fiction and combining the two makes for a perfect read.

Great Christmas read! 5 plus stars.

I received this book from the publisher, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.




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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Review: All She Left Behind by Jane Kirkpatrick


Blurb (from Amazon):

Already well-versed in the natural healing properties of herbs and oils, Jennie Pickett longs to become a doctor. But the Oregon frontier of the 1870s doesn't approve of such innovations as women attending medical school. To leave grief and guilt behind, as well as support herself and her challenging young son, Jennie cares for an elderly woman using skills she's developed on her own. When her patient dies, Jennie discovers that her heart has become entangled with the woman's widowed husband, a man many years her senior. Their unlikely romance may lead her to her ultimate goal--but the road will be winding and the way forward will not always be clear. Will Jennie find shelter in life's storms? Will she discover where healing truly lives?

Through her award-winning, layered storytelling, New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick invites readers to leave behind their preconceived notions about love and life as they, along with Jennie, discover that dreams may be deferred--but they never really die. Based on a true story.



My Review: 

All She Left Behind is my new favorite novel written by Jane Kirkpatrick. I just love this story. This book is based on real events involving Jennie Pickett. I loved Jennie and loved that she refused to allow the times to keep her from following her dream. She was an extraordinary woman that went through so much to keep her dream alive. Such a beautiful story full of hope, faith, determination, and redemption.

All She Left Behind is most definitely a must read and I highly recommend it.

5 plus stars.

I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.



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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Review: The Unquiet Grave by Sharyn McCrumb





The Unquiet Grave is about the Greenbrier Ghost legend in West Virginia. The story tells about a ghost of a young woman, Zona Heaster Shue, who visits her mother and tells her how she had died. Mary Jane is determined to prove that Zona was murdered. She goes to town to tell the prosecutor that Zona ghost appear to her and knows she was murdered. Zona's body is then exhumed and everyone was shocked to find that Mary Jane was right!

The Unquiet Grave is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I have never heard of the Greenbrier Ghost before but I want to know more about it. I enjoyed how Sharyn McCrumb's vivid storytelling brings this legend to life. My heart aches for Mary Jane when her precious Zona died and was fascinated how she found the strength to go to the authorities to tell them about how Zona appeared to her. Which brought on a fascinating trial. How many trials in history that were brought on by ghost? I was completely caught off guard at the ending of the book and was especially interested by the Authors Notes. 

Great read!

100 stars. 

Even though I received this book from the publisher, I was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own opinion. I like this book so much, I plan to purchase a printed copy to put onto my keeper shelf. 



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