Friday, January 22, 2021

Blood and Bone by Paula Dombrowiak - Book Excerpt

The first excerpt featuring in 2021 goes to author Paula Dombrowiak and adult romance novel Blood and Bone!

I'd originally planned to post this in late December but I think having it in the start of a new year is a better idea.

 

Book: Blood and Bone

Author: Paula Dombrowiak

Publication Date: 30 October 2020

Number of pages: 329 pages

ASIN: B08DJ82T7S

 

So let me tell you a bit about the book through the Synopsis:

 

Love is complicated, messy, and sometimes painful but oh so worth it. A heartbreaking journey through love, friendship, family, and fame.

Music brought them together, addiction tore them apart, loyalty saved them. It was always Jack and Mia, everyone else was just collateral damage.

Jack O'Donnell's life was teetering on the edge. Forced, as a teenager, to make a decision that would change his life forever, he left his hometown to pursue a music career with collaborator Mia Stone.

Living in a van by the beach was not the glamorous Los Angeles lifestyle they had envisioned but sparked the most creative time of their lives. Making it big was all they ever wanted but when it happened, friendships were tested, hearts were broken, and lives were changed forever.

Erin Langford is a seasoned journalist tasked with writing a feature on Jack O'Donnell. Being at the right place at the right moment puts Erin in a unique position to get the story, but at what cost? 

Having preconceived notions about Jack's rock star image, she learns there is more to a story than just the headlines. The two embark on a journey through Jack's past where he recounts the rise and fall of his band Mogo and the irreplaceable bond between himself and collaborator Mia Stone. The feature she thought she was going to write, turns into so much more.

Blood and Bone is an evocative story told in alternating time periods, from the early '90s to the present day about deep bonds between flawed people whose only outlet of self-expression is through their music.


 

Excerpt from Paula Dombrowiak's Blood and Bone

Chapter 22 – Food Police

 

“Who ate my fucking yogurt!” Cash bellowed through the tour bus.

“Nobody ate your special yogurt, freak.” Jack kicked his feet up on the table.

“Get your feet off the table.” Wade smacked him and his boots landed with a hollow thud against the bus’s floorboards.

“All I want is to just enjoy my yogurt and I can’t because you assholes keep eating my shit.” Cash slammed the tiny refrigerator door closed.

“I kind of agree with him.” Wade crossed his arms. “There was a full jar of pickles in there last week and all I’m saying is that the jar is practically empty now.” He gave them all a skeptical look.

“More important,” Mia interjected, “is why I have to step over dirty underwear on the way to my room?” She gave all of them a disgusted look because no one could tell whose underwear it was anyway and none of them would admit to being the culprit.



“Why does she get the big bedroom, again?” Wade asked, hooking his thumb in the direction of the master suite which was only slightly bigger than their bunks but it had its own bathroom.

Mia gave Wade an incredulous look. “Do I really have to answer that?”

Wade shrugged.

“Can I just make a general statement?” Jack stood up. “Flush.” He made a pointed look at all of them. “All I’m gonna say.” He held his hands up and then sat back down.

“Why are you so worried about it anyway when you’re using Mia’s bathroom.” Cash said to him annoyed. “You practically moved in there anyway.”

“Don’t be jealous.” Jack said to him flippantly.

“Don’t be an asshole.” Cash said back to him.

“As if I haven’t heard that one before.” Jack rolled his eyes and put his boots back on the table. Wade eyed him and he moved them off the table again with a loud sigh.

“This is supposed to be fun.” He got up and moved around the bus. “Instead, I’m living with my grandmother and the food police.” He looked pointedly at Wade and Cash.

“I just ask for a little common courtesy and you call me the food police?” Wade said.

“I think you’re the grandmother and I’m the food police.” Cash corrected Wade.

“Whatever.” Wade shook his head. “The fact is, those,” he pointed on the floor beside the bunk, “are not my underwear.”

“Well, they’re not mine!” Cash said immediately and they both looked at Jack.

“Babies, the two of you.” Jack shook his head and walked over to the underwear. Using a pencil to scoop them up he inspected them. With a broad smile, he said, “Could be mine.” He shrugged. “I was probably in a rush last night.” He raised his eyebrows toward Mia.

“Pig, much?” Mia scrunched up her nose at him.

The bus stopped and the driver opened the door to tell them they had arrived. The Radio City Music Hall lights blared at them as Jack looked out the bus window.



Grab your copy of Blood and Bone by Paula Dombrowiak via Apple, Amazon, B&N, Kobo, or Smashwords.

 

About the Author:

Paula Dombrowiak is the author of Blood and Bone, her first adult romance novel. She grew up in Evanston, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, right on beautiful Lake Michigan but now lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

Paula is a music junkie to the core and loves discovering new bands, just as much as she loves writing. So why not combine the two? That was how Blood and Bone was born. 

Her favorite music genres are Classic Rock, Grunge, and Alternative. She also loves to read and mostly enjoys YA, Fantasy, Romance, and some Non-Fiction.

Her wardrobe consists of band T-shirts and leggings that are perpetually covered in pet hair. Animals are her homies, and she don't eat her homies.

Music is what inspires her storytelling.

 

Connect with author Paula Dombrowiak via her Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and Smashwords.

 

 


Thursday, January 14, 2021

Nadaness In Motion's Top Books of 2020



It's that time of the year again. 2020 has been a stressful year for many.

I was able to beat my original plan of 24 books to expand to 30 then to 36 and finally 40 books. 

I was hoping to read more and write more this year, but 2020 had other plans for me. My freelance writing career took a leap and my reading progress varied and slowed but still I finished over 36 books, with about 3 or 4 more open.

 

So here's my list of the best books I read in 2020, not arranged in any order whatsoever!

 

Trending Topic #Murder by Sarah E. Burr

It's one of those rare occasions where you find the sleuth working in field related to you.

That and I've been going over the idea of making the main character of my cozy mystery novel a social media guru. Then comes Sarah E. Burr and her fashion blogger Coco to serve me a 5-star read.

"Stacy Lockner was killed with an eighty-thousand-dollar teapot."

This is the first book in the Trending Topic series and I can't wait to see what Sarah will do in the coming books.

 

What We Bury by Carolyn Arnold

What We Bury by Carolyn Arnold is the 10th book in the Detective Madison Knight Mystery series and my first read in that series. I loved it.

It's fast-paced, exciting, and kind of like reading a CSI novel.

Madison is hell-bent on bringing a killer to justice. She vows "to protect and serve the city of Stiles meant something to her down to her marrow."

 

Amari and the Night- Brothers by B.B. Alston

I read Amari and the Night Brothers in December but boy did I fall in love with it!

The main character is a black girl, something you don't see often. She's smart, she's flawed, she's funny, she's beautiful; she's amazing.

The author literally throws a ton of trouble in her way but she acts as herself and she flourishes.

"What if I told you that living among us are all the things we've come to pass off as myth? Dwarves and sphinxes, mermaids and oddities you could see with your own eyes and still not believe – these and countless more dwell in our towns and walk our streets. One might be your neighbour or even your favourite teacher."

Amari and the Night Brothers is by all means a 10-star read.

 

The Body Lexicon by Kathy Steinemann

This is book is just WOW. And I'm not saying that because I wrote the foreword. But because it is.

I read another book in this series The Writer's Lexicon in 2018 and loved it.

Here's a quick quote from The Writer's Lexicon:

“A groaning heart paints a different picture than a cartwheeling one. In each case, a single word tells how the protagonist is feeling.” (From examples on replacing “pounding”)

The Body Lexicon offers synonyms, word variations, ideas, writing prompts, colors, and everything you can thing of related to each part of the body.

Currently writing my book review of The Body Lexicon so stay tuned and keep checking my book reviews page.

 

The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips

This middle grade story is literally about three mean characters. And it's surprisingly awesome, hilarious, and a must-read.

"For the first time in his life, Ebenezer was sad that he didn't have a family of his own. It would have saved so much time and energy if he could have just fed one of his children to the beast."

It also includes several fun illustrations, in case you're not visualizing enough.

An absolute 5-star read.

 

The Case of the Broken Doll by Alison Golden

I started the Detective Graham Mystery series one night when I was overwhelmed. Little did I know that I'd fly through three books!

Plus author Alison Golden was doing a one-free-book-a-week to help people stay busy during the early days of the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Case of the Broken Doll was my third read in the series and I couldn't put it down. Unlike the rest, this was more of a cold case from Detective Graham but it was just WOW.

"People don't just vanish into thin air, Marcus. I know the world is a strange and mysterious place, but I'm still a big fan of cause-and-effect when it comes to explaining what people do and why."

Amazing writing, plot, mystery; amazing everything!

A 10-star read.

 

How My Blog Got 1 Million Visits in 7 Months by Patric Morgan

I don't remember where or how I downloaded this short e-book but it was definitely a book I wish I'd read two years ago, when I first started my freelance writing and blogging career.

I've gathered much info in that time but still enjoyed reading How My Blog Got 1 Million Visits in 7 Months. It offers lots of actionable tips and ideas plus Stewart gives examples from his own writing and blog.

I believe it's available for free via the writer's website.

Note: This is a non-fiction read.


Past Deeds by Carolyn Arnold

I'd almost forgotten I'd read this book in 2020. It's been a long year I thought I read it sometime in 2019 but great that it was last year so I can include on this list.

Past Deeds by Carolyn Arnold is a mystery thriller but from the Brandon Fisher series.

Like the Madison Knight book, it's fast paced and both books share a mystery or punned-book-title.

"Humans were much like wild animals, feeding of the carcass of misfortune, sucking it bone dry for their own advantages, whatever those may be."

The Brandon Fisher books are a lot like the TV series Criminal Minds and less about the forensic details in CSI and Madison Knight.

That said, this is a must-read. If I had to pick between Brandon Fisher and Madison Knight, I'd go for Brandon Fisher.

 

Death at the Café by Alison Golden

Another Alison Golden read and another series I started in 2020 was the Reverend Annabelle Dixon Mystery Series.

Death at the Café is the first book in the series, introducing Reverend Annabelle, whose curiosity turns her into a sleuth.

"Where are we going?"

"Baker Street."

"Home of Sherlock Holmes," Mary added, joviality returning to her voice.

"Perhaps he can help us with this confounding turn of events!"

Another 5-star read.

 

On Borrowed Crime by Kate Young

Kate Young is a new author for me. I was expecting a cozy mystery but I got a cozy bordering on thriller and I love every second of it!

When the sleuths are bookworms from a book club, count me in.

Young kept me guessing the whole time and when I finished I was breathless!

"Digging into these types of cases shines a great big spotlight on the one holding the shovel. Those responsible won't like it."

Young has a lot to live up to when she writes other books in this series and I look forward to reading them.

 


It seems I've read way too many mysteries in 2020. But who can blame me when there are so many amazing authors out there and of course blog tours and ARC copies? :D

But I've been enjoying reading mysteries and thrillers lately. I've also been postponing working on my first cozy mystery novel. I have a completed first draft but lots of work that needs to be done.

 

As for what I'm planning to read in 2021, I've compiled a list. It's by no means comprehensive and I still have some leftovers from my 2020 list but new year means new books to read.

What were your favorite books from 2020?

Let me know in the comments below.

 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Crime Scene Connection by Deena Alexander - Book Review & Blog Tour

 

Book: Crime Scene Connection

Author: Deena Alexander

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Christian Literature, Romantic Suspense

Number of pages: 224

Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense

Publication Date: 12 January 2021

ISBN-10: 1335404996

ISBN-13: 978-1335404992



Don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAYS – yes 2 Giveaways – at the end of this blog post.

 

Synopsis:

Her writing was fiction,

until a killer made the danger very real…

A serial killer’s imitating crime scenes from Addison Keller’s bestselling novel, determined to make her the final victim. But with former police officer Jace Montana and his dog at her side, Addison might just be able to unmask the murderer. With time running out as the killer closes in, she must confront her past and unravel long-buried secrets…and hope they can all escape with their lives.

 

Book Review by Nadaness In Motion

 

Crime Scene Connection by Deena Alexander is a mystery and thriller novel with bits of romance and what I expect is a bit of Christian literature.

I loved how the book opens directly with fast-paced action. No introduction. Addison Keller is in her room struggling with the fact that not only has a killer mimicked the crime scene in her new best-selling novel, but also sent her before and after pictures of the victim.

"The same long dark hair as the rest of the victims Addison had conjured up. Guilt hammered her. If she hadn't written that book, the killer might never have chosen these victims."

Then she hears footsteps and has to make a run for it. That's when the pace spirals and we dive deeper into the action. It's also short after that we meet the second main character, Jace.

A former cop, who had to leave the force because of Addison's corrupt-cop-ex-husband, Jace is all about protection. He's forced to help Addison but as the story progresses, he begins to admire her and see the other side of her. The side that says she didn't know her husband was corrupt or "a monster."




Crime Scene Connection is narrated from the third person perspective of the two main characters: Addison and Jace. That said, we don't get a repetition of events, as I've seen in books that offer two viewpoints. Instead, the dual points of view add to the suspense and allow the author to jump between scenes and emotions.

The main characters in Crime Scene Connection are flawed. And Deena Alexander points that out in the end. Flaws make characters stronger and better. Surprisingly, Addison's flaw is selflessness!

You'd think selflessness is a virtue. But with Addison, it isn't. In fact, there were many instances where I felt her selflessness was over-the-top. It wasn't believable and it annoyed the hell out of me.

"Don't you get it? I can't be responsible for another murder. I can't stand the thought of another woman dying because I chose her, because I brought her to the attention of some serial killer."

Addison's character reminded me of Madison Knight from the Madison Knight Mystery Series by Carolyn Arnold.

There is also the multiple references to statements from the Bible, which made me think Crime Scene Connection falls under Christian literature. The reason is the Christian bit was evident in the book compared to other mysteries I've read. And it put me off a bit. Mainly because I wasn't expecting it.

Also part of the characters belief made it appear as if they were too conservative or over-the-top. That's how I felt about it. Like the scene where Addison was three and her mother lied. (You'll have to read it to find out).

I don't have a problem with religion being part of the equation. I've read the Reverend Annabelle Dixon Series by Alison Golden and the Christian bit didn't bother me, even though the main character was a reverend.

In terms of pace, Crime Scene Connection is super-fast-paced and enjoyable. That said, the pace means the book takes place in 2 to 3 days, which hurts the believability of the novel. For almost 3 days, almost none of the main characters gets any sleep. These are my thoughts.



crime-scene-connection-by-Deena-Alexander
My review copy and a nice cup of Earl Grey tea

As for the mystery, it's a powerful and gripping one. From the first chapter, Addison is being targeted by a killer and she doesn't know why. In addition, she has childhood memories that she keeps pushing inwards into her mind.

Add to that, her ex-husband Brandon wants to make her life miserable. Or she's overdoing it in believing anything she does, he'll turn into hell for her.

So, Addison is literally running from everyone and everything in her life. That said, there's strength to her character and a willingness to sacrifice herself so that others don't get hurt.

In addition to the killer getting inspiration from her book, the book itself is part of a series and the first part ends without catching the killer, while the second book hasn't been released. Addison has to try writing more to see if she can uncover the killer's motives in Crime Scene Connection in order to get back to her life.

"Yeah, well there's another problem."

"What's that?"

"It didn't happen until book two."

"I thought you said book two hasn't come out yet."

She held his gaze. "It hasn't."

In the course of Crime Scene Connection, Jace questions the logic of a mystery novel where the killer isn't found. Addison gives a why-not argument, although I'd have to agree with Jace on that one.

There's some romance in Crime Scene Connection. But for me it wasn't believable because of the two-day timeline of the book. It's true Addison and Jace are placed in a terrible situation and have to give comfort to one another. But I felt that falling in love in the span of two days was too much. If it had at least taken a week, I'd have been able to swallow it just a bit.

I also felt that Jace's character developed more than Addison. Addison is a complex character. She gives off strength and weakness at the same time.

Overall, I think Crime Scene Connection is an interesting thriller. I'd been expecting a mystery but the pace combined with the action and mystery turned into an entirely different experience. A good one too.

Overall rating: 4 stars.

Note: I got a free copy of Crime Scene Connection by Deena Alexander as part of a blog tour via Lori Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours.

 

About the Author:

Deena Alexander
Deena grew up in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island, where she met and married her high school sweetheart. She recently relocated to Florida with her husband, three kids, son-in-law, and four dogs.

Now she enjoys long walks in nature all year long, despite the occasional alligator or snake she sometimes encounters. Deena's love for writing developed when her youngest son was born and didn't sleep through the night, and she now works full time as a writer and a freelance editor.

Connect with Deena Alexander via her Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Bookbub.

Purchase Links –

Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Kobo  - Harlequin  - Books-a-Million  - Target

Indiebound - Walmart  - Apple Books  - Google Play

 

GIVEAWAY Time

First, there's an exclusive Giveaway via Nadaness In Motion

Use the Rafflecopter widget or link below to enter.

What do you get? A $10 Amazon gift card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Second, there's a tour-wide giveaway via Lori Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for a $25 Amazon gift card. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Keep up with the rest of the blog tour for Crime Scene Connection by Deena Alexander, including more book reviews, spotlights, guest posts.