Beneath the Skin: The Sam Hunter Case Files

Beneath the Skin cover

Author: Jonathan Maberry

Series: Sam Hunter

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: JournalStone

Pages: 412


Sam Hunter is an ex-cop, who was written up for excessive force one too many times. He now makes his living as a PI. When he takes on a client, he takes them in to his family, and protects them like one of his pack. He means that literally, because Sam Hunter is a werewolf. A benandanti, to be more precise. He takes on a wide range of cases that others wouldn’t touch, but that is his job, and he is damned good at it.

Jonathan Maberry has been on my tbr list for a while, and when I saw this book of short stories, I could not pass it up. Short stories are my favorite thing, and he did not disappoint (unless you count my being disappointed in myself that I have put off picking up Maberry’s work until now!). The characters all had great depth, which is sometimes tricky in short stories. The world building was very well done, as you could picture the gritty neighborhoods, seedy bars, etc, as well as the world with these “others” in it. Maberry’s writing is phenomenal. He knows how to easily break up a desolate situation with a bit of humor (wonderfully dry humor in this case), how to give enough back story and detail in a short timeframe to really get the reader invested in the characters, how to draw the reader in to a world that they do not want to leave. Sam Hunter is, I believe, one of my favorite new characters. I desperately hope that this was just an introduction to him, and that there will be more to follow. Now, you’ll excuse me while I go download the Pine Deep books….

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo

The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo cover

Author: Amy Schumer

Genre: Memoir/Humor

Publisher: Gallery Books

Pages: 336


Amy Schumer has built her career on being honest- hilariously, brutally, honest- and I, and so many others, love her for that. She says the things that many think and won’t say, and she doesn’t sugarcoat it. This book is that, and so very much more. It had everything that I was hoping for out of a book written by Schumer. It had the stories of sex, drugs, drinking, and family drama delivered with her signature humor, sarcasm, and wit. What it had that I wasn’t expecting, though, was her being honest in a very different way about the subjects that have touched and affected her life: date rape, domestic violence, gun violence, body shaming, and her father’s MS diagnosis. It was very touching, and humanizing, to see her speak out on these topics in such an authentic way. This book was well written, in that it balanced the serious topics out with humor, so it didn’t become too heavy to read. It was very interesting to learn more about Schumer and her life, up to this point. I was a fan before, and I am even more so of one now!

Love, Murder, & Mayhem Release

~ Book Blitz ~
Love, Murder & Mayhem

About the Book

Love science fiction stories that all include
elements ofLove, Murder & Mayhem?

Then welcome to the latest anthology from Crazy
8 Press! This amazing collection from 15 all-star authors will delight you with
superheros and supervillains. AIs, off-worlders, and space cruisers. We’ve also
got private eyes, sleep surrogates, time travelers, aliens and monsters—and one

With tales ranging from wild and wacky to dark
and gritty to heartbreaking and fun, take the deadly leap with authors Meriah
Crawford, Paige Daniels, Peter David, Mary Fan, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert
Greenberger, Glenn Hauman Paul Kupperberg, Karissa Laurel, Kelly Meding, Aaron
Rosenberg, Hildy Silverman, Lois Spangler, Patrick Thomas, and editor Russ

You’ll never look at Love,
Murder & Mayhem
same way again—and that’s just the way we like it.

About the Editor
Russ Colchamiro is the author of
the rollicking space adventure, Crossline, the hilarious sci-fi backpacking
comedy series, Finders Keepers, Genius de Milo, and Astropalooza, and is editor
of the new anthology, Love, Murder & Mayhem, all with Crazy 8 Press.
Russ lives in New Jersey with his
wife, two children, and crazy dog, Simon, who may in fact be an alien himself.
Russ has also contributed to several other anthologies, including Tales of the
Crimson Keep, Pangaea, and Altered States of the Union, and TV Gods 2. He is
now at work on a top-secret project, and a Finders Keepers spin-off.
As a matter of full disclosure,
readers should not be surprised if Russ spontaneously teleports in a blast of
white light followed by screaming fluorescent color and the feeling of being
sucked through a tornado. It’s just how he gets around — windier than the bus,
for sure, but much quicker.

The Nest

the nest cover

Author: Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Genre: General Fiction

Publisher: Ecco

Pages: 368


The Plumb family takes family drama to a different level! They have each spent their early adulthood watching their trust fund, which they lovingly call “The Nest”, continually grow and have come to count on it. As they are on the brink of finally receiving it, their irresponsible brother gets behind the wheel, inebriated, with a nineteen-year-old passenger. The accident that follows puts them all in danger of losing The Nest. After confronting their brother, he promises to make things right. Will he follow through on his word, or leave them all and their lives, in circumstances that they never foresaw?

This is another novel that I have been looking forward to making my way to since I heard about it. I was very excited to finally get to it. Sadly, again, I was a bit disappointed. The characters were all, mostly, well developed. There were a couple that could have, possibly, been a bit more rounded out, but overall, they were fleshed out. The storyline was decent, and well thought out. I have no real qualms with that. The book just fell a little bit flat for me. I can’t exactly put my finger on what the issue was with it, I just wanted a little bit more from it. I certainly wouldn’t discourage anyone from reading it, though. It just didn’t quite deliver for me, personally.

The Widow

The Widow cover

Author: Fiona Barton

Genre: Psych Thriller

Publisher: Berkley

Pages: 336


Jean has people coming to talk to her from all directions. Everyone wants to know the truth, the truth about the crime that her husband was accused of committing. She has kept quiet up until this point, being the good wife. The wife who stands by her husband, no matter what, and defends him to everyone. The wife who does as her husband asks. Her husband is dead now, though, and Jean doesn’t have to keep her silence. She can say whatever she wants to say. What truth is she going to tell everyone, though?

This is a book that I was really looking forward to, from the time that I read the description and picked it up. Sadly, for me, it did not live up to my expectations. Told in alternating points of view, it gives the reader the story from the perspective of three different players: the widow, the reporter, and the detective. The characters could have been a bit better developed. They seemed to be lacking sound depth. The plot line was pretty good, and had great potential. I just had a hard time getting in to the story. It never quite grabbed me in the way that I want a psych thriller to. My expectations may have been a bit high going in to it, as it was compared to a couple of my favorite psych thrillers, but I was honestly ready for I to wrap up by the end. However, it has some great reviews on other sites, so don’t let me deter you if it sounds fantastic to you!

Knights of Stone: Calum (Highland Gargoyles, Book 5)

Knights of Stone Calum cover

Author: Lisa Carlisle

Series: Highland Gargoyles

Genre: PNR

Pages: 185


Calum is the thrill-seeking lead singer of the Knights of Stone. While on a flight one night, he sees a dragon attacking a Pegasus who wandered too far from her herd, and jumps in to help. The Pegasus turns out to be a shifter named Arielle, and he decides that he must help her, no matter what. Their adventure finds them lost in another realm, wondering if they will ever make it home. It also finds them turning in to more than they thought that they would. Will Calum help her find her way home, or will he convince her to stay?

It was a lot of fun to return to the Isle of Stone, and hang out with the Gargoyles again. This time a dragon and a Pegasus were added to the mix! The wonderful world building continued, with added realms. The character development also continued, adding more of Calum, and Arielle to the group. This turned out to be a lovely love story, but it definitely had enough action to keep me interested and entertained. I love that these stories are all a part of the same world and series, but each can stand alone with no problem. I jumped from book one to book five with no issue. This is a great addition to the series, and I’ll enjoy going back and catching up with the others!