Thursday, March 31, 2011

Review (ARC) ~ Inside By Brenda Novak

Author ~ Brenda Novak
Publisher ~ Mira
Pages ~ 400
Publication Date ~ June 28, 2011
Source ~ NetGalley

About the book ~ 

Dangerous to know...

Virgil Skinner served fourteen years for a murder he didn’t commit. He’s finally been exonerated, but he can’t escape the gang he joined in order to survive. They’ll do anything to keep him from telling what he knows. And if they can’t get to Virgil they’ll go after his sister and her kids.

The California Department of Corrections needs someone to infiltrate another gang, one that’s taking control of the state’s most notorious supermax. Virgil agrees to do it under an alias—in exchange for his sister’s protection.

Chief Deputy Warden Peyton Adams is opposed to having Virgil in her prison. How will she protect him if things go bad? Besides, she’s far too attracted to him; she might even be falling in love with him. That makes her all the more desperate to keep him safe—and it gives him someone else to lose.

My thoughts ~ 

Peyton Adams steps into a world filled with drugs, violence, gangs, and mayhem every single day as Deputy Chief Warden of the Pelican Bay Prison. And she loves it. But she knows that things aren’t perfect and that changes need to be made. She strongly believes that she is going to be the one to make those changes, especially the perception that Pelican Bay is one of the headquarters for gang violence. Peyton has a vested interest in implementing changes in the prison system. Years ago, just a few weeks shy of his release date, her father was stabbed to death in prison. It was a murder that should never have happened. Since then, she has made it her mission to correct what is wrong with the prison system.

Gangs in prison are like snow in February; you know it exists, yet you hope they’ll disappear. These gangs rule with an iron fist, they take no prisoners (no pun intended), and they are extremely violent. Two of the largest gangs at Pelican Bay are The Neustra Family and Hell’s Fury. Hell’s Fury is rumored to be behind the hit on a judge. The only way to bring down this gang is to try and put someone in the inside. 

Rick Wallace, an associate director with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has his eyes on the big prize, the top job. And he doesn’t particularly care who he steps on to get there. He has devised a plan, Operation Inside, where he will put, (what prisons officials believe to be) an undercover operative into the system in order to ferret out the person who ordered the hit on the judge. Peyton is far from thrilled with this plan, but Rick doesn’t care all that much what she thinks. He knows that the success of this operation will bring the accolades he believes he so rightfully deserves. 

Simeon Bennett (real name Virgil Skinner) is the man that Rick Wallace is placing inside Peyton’s prison. Believed to be an operative of Department 6 (see the Hired Gun series), he himself was in a prison many years ago, and Rick feels he has the “prisoner mentality” needed to infiltrate Hell’s Fury. But when Peyton doesn’t buy his cover story, she does some digging and finds out that Virgil has just spent the past 14 years in a prison for a murder he didn’t commit. However, he did commit certain acts that could keep him in prison if he doesn’t help Rick out. He is also is hoping that this job will help him break free of his ties to the gang, The Crew, that he had to join when he was incarcerated in order to keep himself protected and safe. Since The Crew hasn’t heard from Virgil since his release, they firmly believe he is going to turn on them and begin to hunt him down so that they can take him out before he spills their secrets. What they don’t realize is that even though he is working with the DOC, and despises being part of a gang, he still sees them as family. Family would never turn on family. Now Virgil must do whatever it takes to keep his real family (sister, Laurel, niece, Mia, and nephew, Jake) alive and away from the deadly clutches of The Crew.

From the second that Peyton and Virgil meet the attraction is white hot. You can feel the pheromones coming off their skin. There is no denying the desire they feel for each other. But a prisoner/warden relationship, no matter what the circumstances the prisoner is incarcerated for, is a major no-no. Additionally, is the challenge that they come from two different worlds, and once this case is over he will disappear into the Witness Protection Program with his sister and her family, and she will still be the Deputy Chief Warden. But as the preparations for him to enter the prison get under way the death toll also rises and the stakes get higher, and Virgil and Peyton can no longer fight their attraction to one another. The soon realize they must work together, both inside and outside the prison walls, in order to save themselves and those they love. 

I LOVED Inside. It has the perfect combination of drama, intensity, love, mystery, and sex. The characters are likeable, and you’ll find yourself cheering for them right from the start. Despite only knowing each other for such a short time, Peyton and Virgil will have you rooting for them to get together, to find each other, and to give into their passion. If you’re the type that finds the whole meet, fall-in-love, and be-together-forever in a three-day-time-period impossible, than this book is not for you. But if you’re a fan of the intense, white-hot, know-from-the-second-you-meet-someone passion that is true to the romantic suspense genre, than make sure to pick up a copy of Inside, because this book defines it to a T.

Click the title to pre-order your copy TODAY ~ Inside

About the author ~ 

It was a shocking experience that jump-started Brenda Novak’s bestselling author career.
“I caught my day-care provider drugging my children with cough syrup and Tylenol to get them to sleep while I was away,” Brenda says. “It was then that I decided that I needed to do something from home.”

However, writing was the last profession she expected to undertake. In fact, Brenda swears she didn’t have a creative bone in her body. In school, math and science were her best subjects, and when it came time to pick a major in college, she chose business.
Abandoning her academic scholarship to Brigham Young University at the age of 20 in order to get married and start a family, Brenda dabbled in commercial real estate, then became a loan officer. 
“When I first got the idea to become a novelist, it took me five years to teach myself the craft and finish my first book,” Brenda admits. “I learned how to write by reading what others have written. The best advice for any would-be author: read, read, read….”

Brenda sold her first book, and the rest is history. Many of her novels have won or placed in contests such as the National Reader's Choice, the Bookseller's Best, the Write Touch, the Award of Excellence and the Beacon Award for Published Authors. 

Brenda and her husband, Ted, live in Sacramento and are the proud parents of five children—three girls and two boys. She juggles her writing career with her children’s softball and soccer games, field trips, carpool runs and homework sessions.

When she’s not spending time with her family or writing, Brenda is usually working on her annual fundraiser for diabetes research—an on-line auction held at her website May 1st – May 31st. Her youngest son, Thad, has diabetes, and Brenda is determined to help him and others like him. She also enjoys traveling, watching sporting events and biking--she rides an amazing 20 miles every day!

Visit Brenda at her website
Find Brenda on Facebook
Follow Brenda on Twitter
Click HERE to sign up for her newsletter

Brenda's Other Books ~

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Review ~ Friendship Bread by Darien Gee

Friendship Bread: A NovelFriendship Bread: A Novel
Author ~ Darien Gee
Publisher ~ Ballantine Books
Publication Date ~ April 5, 2011

About the book ~

An anonymous gift sends a woman on a journey she never could have anticipated.

One afternoon, Julia Evarts and her five-year-old daughter, Gracie, arrive home to find an unexpected gift on the front porch: a homemade loaf of Amish Friendship Bread and a simple note: I hope you enjoy it. Also included are a bag of starter, instructions on how to make the bread herself, and a request to share it with others.

Still reeling from a personal tragedy that left her estranged from the sister who was once her best friend, Julia remains at a loss as to how to move on with her life. She’d just as soon toss the anonymous gift, but to make Gracie happy, she agrees to bake the bread.

When Julia meets two newcomers to the small town of Avalon, Illinois, she sparks a connection by offering them her extra bread starter. Widow Madeline Davis is laboring to keep her tea salon afloat while Hannah Wang de Brisay, a famed concert cellist, is at a crossroads, her career and marriage having come to an abrupt end. In the warm kitchen of Madeline’s tea salon, the three women forge a friendship that will change their lives forever.

In no time, everyone in Avalon is baking Amish Friendship Bread. But even as the town unites for a benevolent cause and Julia becomes ever closer to her new friends, she realizes the profound necessity of confronting the painful past she shares with her sister.

About life and loss, friendship and community, food and family, Friendship Bread tells the uplifting story of what endures when even the unthinkable happens.

My thoughts ~ 

Julia &  Mark ~ A young couple with a beautiful five-year-old daughter, Gracie. But the joy of having this adorable, spunky, bright, energetic child is masked by the pain they still feel, five years later for the loss of their adored ten-year-old son, Josh. Julia continues to struggle with day-to-day living, finding it difficult to move past the death of her son. She barely has enough energy to get out of bed and get Gracie to and from school, never mind make any effort when it comes to the rest of her family, her friends, or her marriage. Mark hasn’t been able to fully mourn as he should for his son as he has spent all his focus on helping Julia through their loss and worrying about her. Will he give in to the temptation of the beautiful new woman working for him, or will his love for his wife - despite the lack of affection and attention - be enough to keep him faithful?

Hannah & Philippe ~ They have just bought a sweet bungalow in this small town looking to settle down. Hannah was a cellist & Philippe a violinist with the Symphony. As a child prodigy, Hannah has been playing the cello since she was six. All of those years have caused her to have terrible back pains and have forced her to retire. However, Philippe has no desire or need to stop playing, or for that matter, to be with Hannah. Now Hannah must decide if she wants to fight for the man she thought she loved, or if she’s strong enough, for the first time in her life, to be on her own.

Livvy & Tom ~ Having lived large, they are now experiencing the pitfalls of the declining economy. First Tom’s car is repossessed, and then he loses his job. Just about the same time as when their journey into parenthood is about to begin. BUT, even though Livvy wants nothing more to be a mother, a tragic accident in her past leaves her with feelings of guilt and doubt. If she couldn’t save one of the things that meant the most to her in this world, how could she protect her own child? Can she move past these feelings of guilt and embrace what should be the happiest time of her life?

Madeline Davis ~ She is a widow without a family of her own. She never really loved Chicago. Not the cold weather or the people. But something draws her to this quaint little town, and the next thing she knows, she is signing on the dotted line, buying a Bed & Breakfast. She turns it into Madeline’s Tea Salon. Things are quiet and slow, and Madeline wonders if she’s made a mistake in opening it. Could this be another mistake in her life that she may live to regret? Or will she be able to find the strength to reach out and make amends with someone in her past?

Edie & Richard ~ She is a journalist who writes feel-good stories for the local paper, with dreams of that “big” story that will get her name out there. She has moved to this small town to be with her boyfriend, Richard, the local GP. Will she be happy here in small town America, or does she need the bright lights of the big city?

Avalon, Illinois is typical small-town America. Everyone knows everyone. While life is simple and somewhat uncomplicated, there are still secrets, hopes, regret, and pain. Sometimes with little hope of ever moving on. Until one day when a plate is left on the porch of Julia and her family. A plate with a few slices of bread, something that looks like mush in a bag, and instructions on how to make the Amish Friendship Bread (you have to mix/squish the bread for X amount of days, add ingredients in on day X and then mix/squish for a few more days – baking on the 10th day. Then you take and separate three cups and keep the fourth for yourself – always having a starter). Julia wants nothing to do with it, but Gracie begs her to make the bread, and so sets in motion a chain of events that will affect not only these main characters, but everyone in their entire community. Can this little bag of mush bring together these women as friends and confidants? Will this act of baking and sharing be the prompt that all of these women and their families need to move forward in their lives, to accept the tragedies of the past and find hope in their future?

The main characters in the book are Julia, Hannah, Livvy, Madeline, and Edie. But throughout the book are chapters about other members in the community, like Mark the therapist, Clinton the copy machine tech, Clyde the pharmacist, and A.A. the bike shop owner. While some readers may find these chapters unnecessary and detracting away from the central characters and their stories, I enjoyed them. They showed us not only what the concept of the Friendship Bread stood for, how it affected not only Julia, Hannah, Livvy, Madeline, and Edie, but how it affected the community as a whole. And when another tragedy befalls a neighboring community, we see how this one simple act of kindness, of sharing your Amish Friendship Bread starter, can bring everyone together to pay it forward and change the lives of many. Friendship Bread is a beautiful story of old loves, new friends, and the repairing of tattered relationships. It should be read slowly ~ savored like your favorite desert.

Click HERE to read an excerpt


Darien Gee divides her time between Hawaii and the West Coast. She lives with her husband and their three children. Her next novel set in Avalon will be available in 2012.

Like Darien on Facebook
Visit the Friendship Bread Kitchen website
Follow Darien on Twittetr


Show Me The Money Monday (week of 3/21) ~ TammiGirl

The winners have been notified and have 48 hrs to respond. If I don't hear from them in 48 hrs I will choose another winner.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Review & Tour ~ The Provence Cure For The Brokenhearted by Bridget Asher

The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted: A NovelThe Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted: A Novel
Author ~ Bridget Asher
Publisher ~ Bantam Dell
Publication date ~ March 29, 2011

Brokenhearted and still mourning the loss of her husband, Heidi travels with Abbott, her obsessive-compulsive seven-year-old son, and Charlotte, her jaded sixteen-year-old niece, to the small village of Puyloubier in the south of France, where a crumbling stone house may be responsible for mending hearts since before World War II.

There, Charlotte confesses a shocking secret, and Heidi learns the truth about her mother’s “lost summer” when Heidi was a child. As three generations collide with one another, with the neighbor who seems to know all of their family skeletons, and with an enigmatic Frenchman, Heidi, Charlotte, and Abbot journey through love, loss, and healing amid the vineyards, warm winds and delicious food of Provence. Can the magic of the house heal Heidi’s heart, too?

My thoughts ~ 

Heidi has a gift for making beautiful pieces of art in her bakery. She is a well-known, talented pastry chef. But she has lost her desire to create. Along with her car keys, lids to the toothpaste and jelly, friends, checkbooks - and the most important thing in her life, her husband. It’s been two years since Henry died in a car accident, and Heidi still hasn’t found her way back to the land of the living. She’s not sure if she ever will, or even if she wants to. But she knows that she needs to, if not for herself, than for her son Abbott. A little boy who loves to hear “Henry stories”, worries a great deal about his mom, and has developed some OCD tendencies in the wake of his father’s death. 

Up until her teens, Heidi would spend each summer at her family home in Provence, along with her mother and sister. There they would laugh, play with the boys next door, enjoy the simple life, and hear the stories of the home. They heard of the magic wonders that occur in this beautiful spot, the love that is found, and the miraculous healing of the heart. They hear of the great fire that literally stopped at their doorstep, and of their great grandparents, who could never have children - that is until they visited this beloved spot and were then blessed with the family they dreamed of, yet had given up on. Then one summer, Heidi’s mom went to Provence alone, needing time to sort through some personal issues of her own and hoping the magic healing powers of the house will soothe her aching heart. 

Despite the joy of her sister’s wedding, Heidi still cannot get passed her grief. She tries to put her pain aside to celebrate with her sister, but arriving late for the bridesmaid’s toast doesn’t help matters. However, she does feel useful when helping to deal with Charlotte, her sister’s soon-to-be step-daughter. A sixteen-year-old young woman struggling with being a teen, her father getting remarried, finding her own identity, and keeping a secret of her own. When a fire occurs at the Provence house Heidi’s mother is beside herself. That house means so much to her. But not as much as her daughter and grandson’s happiness. So along with Heidi’s sister, they concoct a plan for Heidi, Abbott, and Charlotte to go to France to oversee the renovations from the fire, and to maybe find some of the magic that the house possesses.

Heidi arrives in Provence and immediately gets off to a rocky start. Not only is their rental car broken into and all their possessions stolen, but then it breaks down. Julien, the son of their neighbor and one of the boys Heidi played with as a child comes to their rescue. There definitely seems to be an attraction between the two, but both are dealing with tremendous amounts of pain, and neither one is looking for love. Can either one move past their hurt and move on with their lives, experiencing love, friendship, tears, and laughter for the first time in a long time? Will the secrets that are revealed bring this family closer or tear them apart? Will anyone experience the magic this house presumes to possess?

The Provence Cure For The Brokenhearted is a story full o f hope, promise, and the love one feels for someone even after they are gone. It’s about families finding each other, about secrets being told, and about coming home again. It’s a story about believing in oneself, hope for the future, coming together, and dealing with the past. The Provence Cure For The Brokenhearted is a tender-hearted love story that tackles moving on from grief and opening up to love again.


About the author ~ 

Critically acclaimed, bestselling author Julianna Baggott also writes under the pen names Bridget Asher and N.E. Bode. She has published sixteen books over the last ten years.

Her latest novel, The Pretend Wife, written under the pen name Bridget Asher, was published in June 2009. Her first Bridget Asher novel, My Husband’s Sweethearts has sixteen overseas editions. In spring 2011, Random House will publish The Provence Cure for the Broken-Hearted, with another Asher novel under contract.

She lives in Florida with her husband writer David G.W. Scott and their four kids, and is an associate professor at Florida State University’s Creative Writing Program.

In 2006, Baggott and her husband co-founded the nonprofit organization Kids in Need – Books in Deed, that focuses on literacy and getting free books to underprivileged children in the state of Florida.

Connect with Bridget on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and on her blog.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Show Me the Money Monday ~ March 28th - April 1st

About Show Me The $$$$ Monday ~

Welcome back to Show Me The $$$ Monday.  Each week I'll be giving away either a $10 Amazon Gift Card (if you're a resident of the US) or a book worth up to $10 from the Book Depository (if you live outside of the US).  

The contest will run from Monday ~ Friday each week with the winner announced on Saturday.  Then the following Monday a new contest will start.

The RULE for entering is simple ~ 

Enter your name & email address in the form below.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Blogger Review Request ~ Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park

My amazing friend Jessica Park is about to publish her new book Flat-Out Love and she's looking for some bloggers, who review on a consistent basis, to read and review this amazing book and help us get some buzz out there for it. The book should be released in about two weeks.

The Charles River in Cambridge, MA
(Not the actual book cover, but has significance to the book)

Something is seriously off in the Watkins home.  And Julie Seagle, college freshman, small-town Ohio transplant, and the newest resident of this Boston house, is determined to get to the bottom of it.

When Julie’s off-campus housing falls through, her mother’s old college roommate, Erin Watkins, invites her to move in. The parents, Erin and Roger, are welcoming, but emotionally distant and academically driven to eccentric extremes. The middle child, Matt, is an MIT tech geek with a sweet side … and the social skills of a spool of USB cable. The youngest, Celeste, is a frighteningly bright but freakishly fastidious 13-year-old who hauls around a life-sized cardboard cutout of her oldest brother almost everywhere she goes.

And there’s that oldest brother, Finn: funny, gorgeous, smart, sensitive, almost emotionally available. Geographically? Definitely unavailable. That’s because Finn is traveling the world and surfacing only for random Facebook chats, e-mails, and status updates. Before long, through late-night exchanges of disembodied text, he begins to stir something tender and silly and maybe even a little bit sexy in Julie’s suddenly lonesome soul.

To Julie, the emotionally scrambled members of the Watkins family add up to something that … well … doesn’t quite add up. Not until she forces a buried secret to the surface, eliciting a dramatic confrontation that threatens to tear the fragile Watkins family apart, does she get her answer.

Flat-Out Love is a warm and witty novel of family love and dysfunction, deep heartache and raw vulnerability, with a bit of mystery and one whopping, knock-you-to-your-knees romance. 

Click HERE to read a sample of Flat-Out Love

About the author ~ 

Jessica Park is the author of the young adult novel RELATIVELY FAMOUS, five Gourmet Girl mysteries (written as Jessica Conant-Park) and the e-shorts FACEBOOKING RICK SPRINGFIELD and WHAT THE KID SAYS (Parts 1 & 2). She grew up in the Boston area and then went to Macalester College in frigid St. Paul, Minnesota. During her freshman year, there was a blizzard on Halloween, and she decided that she was not cut out for such torture. So she moved back to the east coast where, she'd forgotten, it still snows. Oops. She now lives in New Hampshire with her husband, son, bananas dog named Fritzy, and two selfish cats. When not writing, she is probably on Facebook , pining over 80s rock stars, or engaging in "Glee" activities. Or some combination of the three. Probably with a coffee in hand. 

Visit the Flat-Out Love website 
Visit the Relatively Famous website 
Visit the Gourmet Girls website 
Friend Jessica on Facebook 
Follow Jessica on Twitter 
Check out her What the Kid Says blog 
 Become a fan on Goodreads

If you're a blogger (who reviews on a consistent basis) and you are interested in receiving a PDF copy of this book to review, please email either myself ~ lori AT frandanbolt DOT com or Jessica ~ jumby107 AT comcast DOT net

Friday, March 25, 2011

Review ~ Eyes Wide Open by Andrew Gross

Eyes Wide Open: A NovelEyes Wide Open: A Novel
Author ~ Andrew Gross
Publisher ~ Harper Collins
Publication date ~ July 1, 2011

About the book ~ 

Jay Erlich is a successful and respected surgeon and dad enjoying a romantic twentieth wedding anniversary on the beach when a call comes with the shocking news that his twenty-one year old nephew has been found dead at the bottom of a famed landmark cliff, ruled a suicide. Years before, Jay’s older brother Charlie, a wayward child of the Sixties, set out for California, where he fell under the sway of a charismatic, but deeply disturbed cult figure. A horrible tragedy ensued, lives were destroyed, but as the decades passed, Charlie married and raised a family, living a quiet, secluded life in a Central California beach town, under the radar. But the demons from his past have never completely disappeared.

When Jay, to help his grieving brother, heads out West, he begins to suspect that his nephew’s suicide may not have been what it appeared at all. At first against his will, and then determinedly, Jay delves into his brother’s dark past—a labyrinth of secrets, terror, and lies buried in the Sixties, with sons fighting against fathers, broken music dreams, mental illness, and a thirty year old vendetta from an infamous killer as real today was it was back then. With eyes wide open, Jay puts his “happy” life at risk to uncover the truth, a quest that goes beyond the edge of madness and a family brought to the edge. . . straight into the depths of evil.

Drawing on two, real-life experiences from his own life, the tragic suicide of his young nephew and an encounter years ago with a cult-killer who’s name has become synonymous with terror, Gross has crafted a richly personal, yet utterly terrifying tale of two brothers, one successful, the other wayward, trying to bridge the gap that has torn them apart.

My thoughts ~ 

There is nothing more tragic, more heart-wrenching than the death of a child. Nothing.

There is no doubt that Evan Erlich is sick. The signs are certainly there. After a particularly violent outburst where Evan tries to kill those he loves, he is admitted to the psych ward. But just three short days later he is deemed better, no longer a threat to himself or others, and after stating he doesn’t want to return home, he is released to what is supposed to be a state-funded residential treatment facility. Not long after his release, Evan’s body is found on the rocks at Morro Bay. It appears that he took his own life by jumping from the top of the big rock.

Charlie & Gabriella are Evan’s parents and deeply mourning his death. They realize that Evan was sick, and apparently took his own life, but they are still looking to place blame somewhere. Whether it be the hospital who let him go too soon, the inappropriate facility the state put him in, or even themselves for passing on their mental health issues on to their only child.

Dr. Jay Erlich lives in New York with his wife, Kathy, his son, Max, and his daughter, Sophie. Charlie is his younger brother, and Evan was his nephew. When he gets the call about Evan’s death he rushes out to California to be with his brother and sister-in-law, and to give them all the support he can. While he has always been financially supportive of Charlie, he hasn’t necessarily always been emotionally there for him. He’s hoping now he can make that up to him. He soon realizes that things aren’t necessarily what they appear to be, and vows to help his brother get to the bottom of things.

When you think of Russell Houvnanian and the Riorden Ranch, think of Charlie Manson and Helter Skelter. The Riorden Ranch was owned by the ex-husband of a woman Russell became involved with. It became a place where drifters, druggies, and the like hung out. A place for those with no other real place to go. Years ago, Charlie actually lived at the ranch. A time he won’t speak about. After being involved in a mass killing, similar to the one Charlie Manson organized, Russell and his followers are locked up. Some for the rest of their lives, and some not long enough. 

The more Jay digs into the death of his nephew, the more things don’t make sense. Who was the woman seen walking up the rocks with Evan that fateful night? Where is his missing sneaker? What does the infinity keychain found among his belongings have to do with anything? What is the connection between Evan and a retired police detective he was seen with, who was recently murdered? He tries to convince Don Sherwood, the coroner’s detective assigned to the case to see that this may be something other than a suicide, but he feels like he’s talking to a brick wall. And the more Jay digs, the more he puts both his life and his family’s at risk. There is definitely someone out there who wants him to back off. And just when you think the book has come to its stunning conclusion, the author teases you with enough information to think that just maybe, it’s not quite over yet.

Eyes Wide Open is full of murder, mystery, sadness, family, and forgiveness. But what truly makes this book stand out is that Andrew Gross has written an amazing, and extremely personal novel with Eyes Wide Open. The emotions that pour out of Jay, Charlie, and Gabriella are so raw, so real, that you can actually feel them coming off the pages of the book. You can literally feel how much each of those affected by Evan’s loss are truly hurting, because the author felt this hurt himself. Eyes Wide Open is not your typical Andrew Gross book. This is a very personal story for him. He took the basis of his own family tragedy and turned it into a remarkable story that will make you hold your loved ones closer, think about what is most important in your life, and be more compassionate for those that may not be as perfect as you are. This story will stay with you for a long time to come.

Instead of a bio (from Andrew's website)


Who was? I actually did major in English at Middlebury, but after an MBA from Columbia, and a stint at the Leslie Fay Companies, a women's clothing firm started by my grandfather, I went into the sports apparel field. I ended up president of HEAD Ski and Tennis (to brag: we grew to #1 in America in both businesses while I was there) and later, le coq sportif, a French sports fashion line. It was one-too-many turnaround situations or more precisely--one that didn't turn around, that hastened my writing career.


Truth is, he called. Out of nowhere. An editor had given him the manuscript of a novel I was hoping to publish, HYDRA. At that point, I would have been elated if my gate guard (we live in a gated community) dialed in with a little praise. Jim said he had read the book and asked if we could meet for breakfast. He said he had several projects he wanted to write and not enough time to do them. I had the incredible foresight to say yes.


It was like a combination MFA and MBA rolled into one. He knows what kind of stories he wants to tell, has a keen sense of what will appeal to his readers, especially women, what's vital in a scene for it to succeed, knows exactly when the scene needs more--or generally, less! And he's an even better editor than he is a writer. Hopefully, I've learned a few things from him along the way.


I figured we'd do one book. It led to six in seven years. The Women's Murder Club Series became one of the leading crime series of all time! My personal favorite was The Jester set in the thirteenth century in France. If you missed it, I really recommend you go back and take a read. Lifeguard had a great, likeable hero with the odds all stacked against him. Judge & Jury, our last together, is coming out July 31, 2006.


We alternate every word.

(Jim's line, actually.) To be honest, we always began with a concept and an outline that came from him, which we fleshed out into a detailed chapter- by-chapter outline. (Some chapters longer than in the actual book!) No writer's block here, the roadmap was always there. Every day, I knew exactly where I was going. That call from Jim changed my writing life!


A supportive wife!

And I have one, in Lynn. Never once did she tell me I was out of my mind. (At least, not to my face!)

We live in Westchester County, New York. We have three terrific kids. Kristen's out of college, in the apparel biz, a natural. Matt's in college in D.C. And Nick, a squash player, goes to school in Connecticut. We share our house with a couple of Westies too.

By the way, having a Mom who believes in you all the way is good too!


If I had to start with a couple of writerly things... Dog Soldiers, by Robert Stone, All the King's Men, by Robert Penn Warren, (Read it as a search for one's father, not as politics.) Blood Meridian, by Cormac McCarthy & Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates.


Sorry, Jim anything by Alan Furst or Robert Wilson. They both deserve much wider acclaim. When it comes to classic thrillers, The Wind-Chill Factor by Thomas Gifford and Tears of Autumn by Charles McCarry are my favorites.


"Some people think they can and some think they can't and they're probably both right!" Henry Ford

"You can do anything you want in life, anything, if you want to badly enough."
Fred P. Pomerantz. My grandfather.


A hell of a lot easier commute.

Visit Andrew's website
Friend Andrew on Facebook
Follow Andrew on Twitter

Andrew's other books ~

FTC full disclosure ~ I received an ARC of this book in hopes I would review it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Crazy Cozy Box Giveaway 3

It's a CrAzY CoZy Box giveaway.
 The box will be filled with all of the book listed below for one lucky winner to claim!

GIVEAWAY - Rules for entering: 

This contest is open to residents of USA residents only!

 You MUST complete the form below - do not leave information in the comments - it will not count!
Duplicate entries will be deleted

 The contest will end on April 6th at 11:59PM EST; 1 winner will be selected and contacted thereafter.

Once the winner is contacted, they will have 48 hours to respond to my e-mail or another winner will be selected.  Make sure you check your spam filters!

 Book will be shipped directly from me (via UPS).
  No PO Boxes - UPS will not deliver to PO Box 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Author Spotlight ~ Lisa Gardner


IAbout Lisa ~ 
About Lisa ~

First time I meet someone in person, they almost always say, “How does such a nice girl like you write such dark books?”

The answer: Beats me. I was raised in suburbia by two accountants. Normal childhood, normal house, normal family. Maybe this is simply what so much normalcy does to a kid.

I’ve always loved to read and I’ve always loved to write. At eighteen I got the bright idea to write a romance novel. I needed something to do during the day before I went to my summer job as a waitress. God knows waitressing wasn’t going well. We had this appetizer called flaming saganaki-basically flaming cheese. You’re supposed to serve the sizzling cheese with grand flourish, dousing it in brandy, then tossing a match. Mostly I caught my hair on fire. Then there was the time I flipped the flaming appetizer onto the floor and had to beat it out with a serving tray. Let’s just say my days in food service were numbered, so it was a good thing I was working on a novel.

A funny thing happened my junior year of college. The novel-rewritten several times now-actually sold to Silhouette Intimate Moments. They gave the book the title, WALKING AFTER MIDNIGHT, and me the name Alicia Scott. It was pretty exciting. Then I got the check in the mail. Three thousand dollars. Not much for three years of work. I bought a computer for my new nom de plume, then went out to get a real job.

I became a management consultant. And frankly, that was the best decision for my writing career I ever made.

I absolutely loathed being a consultant. Morning commutes, claustrophobic cubicles, unsympathetic bosses, and worst of all, pantyhose. The only good things were my coworkers and a fresh appreciation of Dilbert cartoons. Basically, I worked as a consultant for twelve hours each day, then wrote romance novels during the odd hours of the night. I ended up producing thirteen romance novels, earning one TV-movie-AT THE MIDNIGHT HOUR (CBS 1995)-and becoming one very tired girl. I needed a change. So I wrote a suspense novel. One where I could kill lots of people, some of whom may or may not bear the same name as various vice presidents who made me work all weekend.

The end result was THE PERFECT HUSBAND. One psychopathic ex-husband, a good half a dozen murders. Bantam scooped up the manuscript, launched it in a huge way, and next thing I knew, I was throwing out all my pantyhose and discovering the delights of daytime TV.

I have to say, being a self-supporting writer is one of the best gigs around. Now, when I have business trips, instead of visiting Manufacturing City, USA, I go to fascinating places like the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. I also haven’t caught anyone on fire with flaming cheese in a very long time. 

These days I live in New Hampshire with my wonderful husband who loves auto-racing and black-diamond skiing. I work out of the loft with two barky shelties guarding my feet, and one hostile, three-legged cat banging her head against my leg. Our little girl now frequents the office copying her mom “working”. Sometimes it takes days to find what she typed into the manuscripts.

Life is never quiet. No one around here gets much sleep, but we’re all having fun.

Visit Lisa's website
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Her latest book ~ 

 Love You More: A Novel


One question, a split-second decision, and Brian Darby lies dead on the kitchen floor. His wife, state police trooper Tessa Leoni, claims to have shot him in self-defense, and bears the bruises to back up her tale. For veteran detective D. D. Warren it should be an open-and-shut case. But where is their six-year-old daughter?


As the homicide investigation ratchets into a frantic statewide search for a missing child, D. D. Warren must partner with former lover Bobby Dodge to break through the blue wall of police brotherhood, seeking to understand the inner workings of a trooper’s mind while also unearthing family secrets. Would a trained police officer truly shoot her own husband? And would a mother harm her own child?

. . . TO SAVE HER?

For Tessa Leoni, the worst has not yet happened. She is walking a tightrope, with nowhere to turn, no one to trust, as the clock ticks down to a terrifying deadline. She has one goal in sight, and she will use every ounce of her training, every trick at her disposal, to do what must be done. No sacrifice is too great, no action unthinkable. A mother knows who she loves. And all others will be made to pay.

Read an excerpt ~ 

Sergeant Detective D. D. Warren prided herself on her excellent investigative skills. Having served over a dozen years with the Boston PD, she believed working a homicide scene wasn’t simply a matter of walking the walk or talking the talk, but rather of total sensory immersion. She felt the smooth hole bored into Sheetrock by a hot spiraling twenty-two. She listened for the sound of neighbors gossiping on the other side of thin walls because if she could hear them, then they’d definitely heard the big bad that had just happened here.
D.D. always noted how a body had fallen, whether it was forward or backward or slightly to one side. She tasted the air for the acrid flavor of gunpowder, which could linger for a good twenty to thirty minutes after the final shot. And, on more than one occasion, she had estimated time of death based on the scent of blood–which, like fresh meat, started out relatively mild but took on heavier, earthier tones with each passing hour.
Today, however, she wasn’t going to do any of those things. Today, she was spending a lazy Sunday morning dressed in gray sweats and Alex’s oversized red flannel shirt. She was camped at his kitchen table, clutching a thick clay coffee mug while counting slowly to twenty.
She’d hit thirteen. Alex had finally made it to the front door. Now he paused to wind a deep blue scarf around his neck.
She counted to fifteen.
He finished with the scarf. Moved on to a black wool hat and lined leather gloves. The temperature outside had just crept above twenty. Eight inches of snow on the ground and six more forecasted to arrive by end of the week. March didn’t mean spring in New England.
Alex taught crime-scene analysis, among other things, at the Police Academy. Today was a full slate of classes. Tomorrow, they both had the day off, which didn’t happen much and warranted some kind of fun activity yet to be determined. Maybe ice skating in the Boston Commons. Or a trip to the Isabelle Stewart Gardner Museum. Or a lazy day where they snuggled on the sofa and watched old movies with a big bowl of buttered popcorn.
D.D.’s hands spasmed on the coffee mug. Okay, no popcorn.
D.D. counted to eighteen, nineteen, twent–
Alex finished with his gloves, picked up his battered black leather tote, and crossed to her.
“Don’t miss me too much,” he said.
He kissed her on the forehead. D.D. closed her eyes, mentally recited the number twenty, then started counting back down to zero.
“I’ll write you love letters all day, with little hearts over the ‘i’s,” she said.
“In your high school binder?”
“Something like that.”
Alex stepped back. D.D. hit fourteen. Her mug trembled, but Alex didn’t seem to notice. She took a deep breath and soldiered on. Thirteen, twelve, eleven . . .
She and Alex had been dating a little over six months. At that point where she had a whole drawer to call her own in his tiny ranch, and he had a sliver of closet space in her North End condo. When he was teaching, it was easier for them to be here. When she was working, it was easier to be in Boston. They didn’t have a set schedule. That would imply planning and further solidify a relationship they were both careful to not overly define.
They enjoyed each other’s company. Alex respected her crazy schedule as a homicide detective. She respected his culinary skills as a third-generation Italian. From what she could tell, they looked forward to the nights when they could get together, but survived the nights when they didn’t. They were two independent-minded adults. She’d just hit forty, Alex had crossed that line a few years back. Hardly blushing teens whose every waking moment was consumed with thoughts of each other. Alex had been married before. D.D. simply knew better.
She lived to work, which other people found unhealthy, but what the hell. It had gotten her this far.
Nine, eight, seven . . .
Alex opened the front door, squaring his shoulders against the bitter morning. A blast of chilled air shot across the small foyer, hitting D.D.’s cheeks. She shivered, clutched the mug more tightly.
“Love you,” Alex said, stepping across the threshold.
“Love you, too.”
Alex closed the door. D.D. made it down the hall just in time to vomit.
Ten minutes later, she remained sprawled on the bathroom floor. The decorative tiles were from the seventies, dozens and dozens of tiny beige, brown, and harvest gold squares. Looking at them made her want to puke all over again. Counting them, however, was a pretty decent meditative exercise. She inventoried tiles while she waited for her flushed cheeks to cool and her cramped stomach to untangle.
Her cellphone rang. She eyed it on the floor, not terribly interested, given the circumstances. But then she noted the caller and decided to take pity on him.
“What?” she demanded, her usual greeting for former lover and currently married Massachusetts State Police Detective Bobby Dodge.
“I don’t have much time. Listen sharp.”
“I’m not on deck,” she said automatically. “New cases go to Jim Dunwell. Pester him.” Then she frowned. Bobby couldn’t be calling her about a case. As a city cop, she took her orders from the Boston turret, not state police detectives.
Bobby continued as if she’d never spoken: “It’s a fuckup, but I’m pretty sure it’s our fuckup, so I need you to listen. Stars and stripes are next door, media across the street. Come in from the back street. Take your time, notice everything. I’ve already lost vantage point, and trust me, D.D., on this one, you and I can’t afford to miss a thing.”
D.D.’s frown deepened. “What the hell, Bobby? I have no idea what you’re talking about, not to mention it’s my day off.”
“Not anymore. BPD is gonna want a woman to front this one, while the state is gonna demand their own skin in the game, preferably a former trooper. The brass’s call, our heads on the block.”
She heard a fresh noise now, from the bedroom. Her pager, chiming away. Crap. She was being called in, meaning whatever Bobby was babbling about had merit. She pulled herself to standing, though her legs trembled and she thought she might puke again. She took the first step through sheer force of will and the rest was easier after that. She headed for the bedroom, a detective who’d lost days off before and would again.
“What do I need to know?” she asked, voice crisper now, phone tucked against her shoulder.
“Snow,” Bobby muttered. “On the ground, trees, windows . . . hell. We got cops tramping everywhere–”
“Get ‘em out! If it’s my fucking scene, get ‘em all out.”
She found her pager on the bedside table–yep, call out from Boston operations–and began shucking her gray sweatpants.
“They’re out of the house. Trust me, even the bosses know better than to contaminate a homicide scene. But we didn’t know the girl was missing. The uniforms sealed off the house, but left the yard fair play. And now the grounds are trampled, and I can’t get vantage point. We need vantage point.”
D.D. had sweats off, went to work on Alex’s flannel shirt.
“Who’s dead?”
“Forty-two-year-old white male.”
“Who’s missing?”
“Six-year-old white female.”
“Got a suspect?”
Long, long pause now.
“Get here,” Bobby said curtly. “You and me, D.D. Our case. Our headache. We gotta work this one quick.”
He clicked off. D.D. scowled at the phone, then tossed it on the bed to finish pulling on her white dress shirt.
Okay. Homicide with a missing child. State police already on-site, but Boston jurisdiction. Why the hell would the state police–
Then, fine detective that she was, D.D. finally connected the dots.
“Ah shit!”
D.D. wasn’t nauseous anymore. She was pissed off.
She grabbed her pager, her creds, and her winter jacket. Then, Bobby’s instructions ringing in her head, she prepared to ambush her own crime scene.

 Lisa talks about Love You More ~ 

Lisa's other books ~ 


Show Me the Money Monday ~ Anita Y
Lucky Leprechaun Hop ~ Angela P

The winners have been notified. They have 48 hrs to respond to my email or another winner will be chosen.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mailbox Monday ~ March 21

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.
We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week.

Night of the Living Dandelion: A Flower Shop MysteryNight of the Living Dandelion: A Flower Shop Mystery by Kate Collins (review) ~ Flower shop owner Abby Knight does not believe rumors that Vlad Serban, friend and employee of Abby's fiancé Marco, is a vampire. But how to explain that Vlad is from Romania, has prominent canines, likes bizarre plants such as bloodwort and Dracula orchid, and dresses entirely in black? When a local woman is found dead, her body drained of blood, the stakes become life and death. With Vlad the #1 suspect, Abby and Marco race to find the real killer, before Vlad's life really starts to suck. Release date ~ April 5th
Sweet Revenge: A Lady Arianna Regency MysterySweet Revenge: A Lady Arianna Regency Mystery (Lady Arianna Hadley Mystery)  by Andrea Penrose (review) ~  England, 1813: Lady Arianna Hadley acts the part of a French chef in one of London's aristocratic households to find her father's murderer. But when the Prince Regent falls ill after consuming Arianna's special chocolate dessert, she finds herself at the center of a scandal. It soon becomes clear that someone is looking to plunge England into chaos-and Arianna to the bottom of the Thames... Release date ~ April 5th
The Cat, the Lady and the Liar: A Cats in Trouble MysteryThe Cat, the Lady and the Liar: A Cats in Trouble Mystery  by Leann Sweeny (review) ~ Cat quilter Jillian Hart finds a gorgeous stray cat belonging to the fabulously wealthy Ritaestelle Longworth, who believes she's being drugged. Before Jillian can get to those charges, a body turns up in the lake-and her cat Chablis finds Ritaestelle nearby. Can Jillian's cats aid her in solving a mystery with decades old roots? Release date ~ April 5th
The Busy Woman's Guide to Murder (A Charlotte Adams Mystery)The Busy Woman's Guide to Murder (A Charlotte Adams Mystery)  by Mary Jane Maffini (review) ~ Mona Pringle, the local 911 operator, is calling Charlotte Adams with her own emergency: Serena Redding, a high school "mean girl" who used to torment Mona, is coming back for a reunion. When Mona talks about how good it would feel to kill Serena, Charlotte doesn't believe she means it. But when a woman who looks like Serena is killed in a hit- and-run, and another former mean girl is also run down, Charlotte realizes she needs to look both ways for the now-missing Mona. Release date ~ April 5th
Deadly Notions (A Southern Sewing Circle Myste)Deadly Notions (A Southern Sewing Circle Mystery)  by Elizabeth Lynn Casey (review) ~ Librarian Tori Sinclair would do anything for her new circle of friends-including throw a birthday bash for a fellow sewer's daughter. While the party is a hit, self-important pageant mom Ashley Lawson leaves the ladies wanting to permanently shut her high maintenance mouth. But when Ashley turns up dead, Tori and the girls need to figure out who really murdered the monster mom, before the finger-pointing causes their friendship to unravel. Release date ~ April 5th
A Hard Day's Fright (A Pepper Martin Mystery)A Hard Day's Fright (A Pepper Martin Mystery)  by Casey Daniels (review) ~ What happened to a teenager named Lucy one night in 1966 after a Beatles concert? She rushed the stage, kissed Paul, started home with her friends, and was never seen again-until cemetery guide and unintentional PI to the dead Pepper Martin sees her as a ghost. Lucy's spirit can't rest in peace until her body is found and buried. But how will Pepper track down a missing corpse after forty-five years? Release date ~ April 5th
Cookie Dough or Die (A Cookie Cutter Shop Mystery)Cookie Dough or Die (A Cookie Cutter Shop Mystery)  by Virginia Lowell (review) ~ Olivia Greyson is the proud owner of The Gingerbread House-a quaint shop that specializes in all things cookie-and her best friend, Maddie, is her sidekick, baking up scrumptious treats for their cookie-themed parties. But now they must take a break from baking and find a killer, or else their reputation-and quite possibly their lives-will be battered for good.  Release date ~ April 5th
An Uninvited Ghost (A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery) An Uninvited Ghost (A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery) by E.J. Cooperman (review) ~ Alison and her resident gumshoe ghost are on their next case when the deceased Scott MacFarlane floats in worried that he accidentally killed a prominent local woman. Turns out she's still alive...that is, of course, until she's murdered-in Alison's house. Now, between the demands of her guests and the arrival of a reality television crew, Alison must find the killer before she sees reality from the other side. Release date ~ April 5th
I'll Walk Alone: A NovelI'll Walk Alone: A Novel  by Mary Higgins Clark (ARC) ~ Who has not read about—or experienced—with a sinking feeling the fear that someone else out there may be using your credit cards, accessing your bank account, even stealing your identity. In I ll Walk Alone, Alexandra “Zan” Moreland, a gifted, beautiful interior designer on the threshold of a successful Manhattan career, is terrified to discover that somebody is not only using her credit cards and manipulating her financial accounts to bankrupt her and destroy her reputation, but may also be impersonating her in a scheme that may involve the much more brutal crimes of kidnapping and murder. Zan is already haunted by the disappearance of her own son, Matthew, kidnapped in broad daylight two years ago in Central Park—a tragedy that has left her torn between hope and despair. Now, on what would be Matthew’s fifth birthday, photos surface that seem to show Zan kidnapping her own child, followed by a chain of events that suggests somebody—but who? Zan asks herself desperately, and why?—has stolen her identity. Hounded by the press, under investigation by the police, attacked by both her angry ex-husband and a vindictive business rival, Zan, wracked by fear and pain and sustained only by her belief, which nobody else shares, that Matthew is still alive, sets out to discover who is behind this cruel hoax.What she does not realize is that with every step she takes toward the truth, she is putting herself— and those she loves most—in mortal danger from the person who has ingeniously plotted out her destruction. Even Zan’s supporters, who include Alvirah Meehan, the lottery winner and amateur detective, and Father Aiden O’Brien, who thinks that Zan may have confessed to him a secret he cannot reveal, believe she may have kidnapped little Matthew. Zan herself begins to doubt her own sanity, until, in the kind of fast-paced explosive ending that is Mary Higgins Clark’s trademark, the pieces of the puzzle fall into place with an unexpected and shocking revelation. Release date ~ April 5th
Eyes Wide Open: A NovelEyes Wide Open: A Novel  by Andrew Gross (ARC) ~ Jay Erlich is a successful and respected surgeon and dad enjoying a romantic twentieth wedding anniversary on the beach when a call comes with the shocking news that his twenty-one year old nephew has been found dead at the bottom of a famed landmark cliff, ruled a suicide. Years before, Jay’s older brother Charlie, a wayward child of the Sixties, set out for California, where he fell under the sway of a charismatic, but deeply disturbed cult figure. A horrible tragedy ensued, lives were destroyed, but as the decades passed, Charlie married and raised a family, living a quiet, secluded life in a Central California beach town, under the radar. But the demons from his past have never completely disappeared.  When Jay, to help his grieving brother, heads out West, he begins to suspect that his nephew’s suicide may not have been what it appeared at all. At first against his will, and then determinedly, Jay delves into his brother’s dark past—a labyrinth of secrets, terror, and lies buried in the Sixties, with sons fighting against fathers, broken music dreams, mental illness, and a thirty year old vendetta from an infamous killer as real today was it was back then. With eyes wide open, Jay puts his “happy” life at risk to uncover the truth, a quest that goes beyond the edge of madness and a family brought to the edge. . . straight into the depths of evil. Drawing on two, real-life experiences from his own life, the tragic suicide of his young nephew and an encounter years ago with a cult-killer who’s name has become synonymous with terror, Gross has crafted a richly personal, yet utterly terrifying tale of two brothers, one successful, the other wayward, trying to bridge the gap that has torn them apart. Release date ~ July 1
The Ghost In Steven Lee (The Steven Lee Trilogy)The Ghost In Steven Lee (The Steven Lee Trilogy)  by Jim Luscinski (review) ~ In this constantly twisting mystery, thirteenof New England’s richest and most influential people have died in just a three month period and there is not a shred of evidence to make anyone suspect foul play. The two billion dollars in death benefits
create a feeding frenzy for Boston’s investment community and crisis for Coastal Insurance and its unethical General Agent David Carter. The only people who know the truth are you and The Ghost. Murder. When the only link connecting the victims is intentionally leaked to the press, the Commissioner calls on his best man. Can Police Homicide Detective John Gallagher and his unit figure out what devious mind is behind this fiendish plan fueled by greed and lust? With tremendous pressure from above and very little to go on Boston’s finest are on the move. But where do they start? The Ghost - Follow a young Chinese boy on his tragic journey from Shanghi China to the United States. His family has been slaughtered, his deep religious beliefs shattered, so what is he to do? Author James Luscinski bursts onto the literary scene with his first in the Steven Lee series, a clever, fast paced thriller that is sure to leave you satisfied but hungry for more.
The Girl Who Disappeared Twice by Andrea Kane (NetGalley) ~ SHE COULDN’T STOP IT. NOT THEN. NOT NOW. Despite all her years determining the fates of families, veteran family court judge Hope Willis couldn’t save her own. If only she’d turned her head, she would have seen the car containing her daughter, struggling to get out. Now she’s frantically grasping at any hope for Krissy’s rescue. Her husband dead-set against it, she calls Casey Woods and her team of renegade investigators, Forensic Instincts. A behaviorist. A techno-wizard. An intuitive. A former Navy SEAL. Unconventional operatives. All with unique talents, skills and personal reasons for being part of Casey’s team, they’ll do whatever it takes. Able to accurately read people after the briefest of encounters, Casey leads her team to Krissy’s home. There she picks up the signs of a nervous spouse, a guilty conscience, a nanny that hides on her cell. She watches as secrets beg to creep into the open. Forensic Instincts will dig through each tiny clue and eliminate the clutter. But time is running out, and even working around the clock, the authorities are bound by the legal system. Not so Casey’s team. For they know that the difference between bringing Krissy back alive and disappearing forever could be as small as a suspect’s rapid breathing, or as deep as Hope’s dark family history.Release date ~ May 31