Jagged Feathers ~ Book Two of The White Rune Series ~ #Military Romance @JanSikes3

Vann Noble did his duty. He served his country and returned a shell of a man, wounded inside and out. With a missing limb and battling PTSD, he seeks healing in an isolated cabin outside a small Texas town with a stray dog that sees beyond his master’s scars. If only the white rune’s magic could bring a happily ever after to a man as broken as Vann.

On the run from hired killers and struggling to make sense of her unexplained deadly mission, Nakina Bird seeks refuge in Vann’s cabin. She has secrets. Secrets that can get them all killed.

A ticking clock and long odds of living or dying, create jarring risks.
Will these two not only survive but find unexpected love along the way? Or will evil forces win and destroy them both?

Our Review

I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series, Ghostly Interference, so I knew I would love Jagged Feathers.

Vann Noble is a wounded ex-service man, doing his best to adjust to a life he didn’t think he would come home to. A life he wasn’t sure he wanted anymore.

But life hadn’t quite finished with him.

What follows is one of the best many-layered love stories I have ever read. Heartwarming and affirming, reminding me that love can always find a way, one way or another.

The two leading characters, Vann Noble and Nakina Bird, are both damaged and hampered by past experiences. They were not looking for love, just a little peace and time to heal. Add an adorable dog to the mix, one who also needs time to heal, and you have a very good combination…

The Scarlet Ribbon ~ Excerpt and Review #Fiction #UrbanFantasy

what do you think of the new cover?

Book Description

When a dirty blue car mows Maggie down outside her local supermarket, she becomes trapped in the nightmare world of a coma patient. She manages to rescue an abused and neglected child in this very different world.

But when it looks like she will finally wake up, she cannot bear the thought of leaving the child behind.

But is this other world real, or was she just dreaming? And if it is real, can she help this child?

“Maggie is a likeable character who is easy to engage with, and I found myself willing her to find the courage to embrace happiness. If you like a story that is more than just your average romance then I thoroughly recommend this one…” Amazon Reviewer

“Excellent reading, excellent writing with several unexpected twists that lead to…well, that is for others to find out too. A heart-wrenching and gripping story. Well done, Anita Dawes!” Amazon Reviewer

Excerpt from The Scarlet Ribbon

I felt the sheets being straightened, and deft fingers checked my tubes and wiring. I still seemed connected to the real world, but for how long? How long would I be allowed for goodbyes, even though I couldn’t say them?

It was childish, but if I couldn’t say goodbye, maybe it couldn’t make me go. I held on to that thought, hoping it would somehow make it true.

I heard the sound of rubber soles crossing the floor, then the metallic click of the door latch. I hoped Doctor Marsden hadn’t left the hospital. I would be very interested in his explanation.

Jack smoothed the hair from my face, and his lips touched my cheek. He whispered in my ear, ‘Where are you, Maggie? If you can hear me, please come back. I love you so much. Whatever it is, Maggie, fight it. Don’t let go. I’m not leaving this hospital without you.’

As I listened to him, wondering if he meant it, I drifted away again.

I had no idea how long I’d been lying beside Annie. Days and nights here seemed normal, but back in my world, I knew time seemed to be faster. I was so confused. I didn’t understand why I was incapable of touching Annie, yet the arm I wrapped around her hadn’t fallen through the mattress the way it did everything else. I couldn’t catch the belt, yet it had marked my skin. Why didn’t any of it make any sense?

All I could think of was that some inanimate objects were different.

Annie’s arms and legs looked sore, but the skin wasn’t broken. Her mother hadn’t even come to see if she was all right. God knows how long she would be left on her own. I could hear muffled voices from below, another fight brewing. Why on earth did some people have kids? If they were so capable of hurting them, they must have known beforehand, had some little clue that they didn’t really want them.

Annie had relaxed a little. Her breathing was easier, hardly punctuated by the remnants of the sobbing, although a shudder would disturb her every now and then. One small, grubby hand lay open while the other was closed in a tight fist. I could see a piece of red ribbon sticking out between her first finger and thumb. I reached for it but couldn’t move it. The determined way she held on to it even in her sleep, I knew it meant something special. I wondered if somebody had given it to her. I doubted if those things downstairs masquerading as parents had anything to do with it. It had to be someone nice by the way she clung to it.

I wondered if she had built up some false hope that the giver might come back and save her from the misery she lived in. I knew it was possible. It was also possible that the accident had damaged my mind, that this was all a dream. Whatever the truth was, I had no choice but to go with what I was being shown…

Latest Review

D.L. Finn

4.0 out of 5 stars Seeking answers on the other side

Reviewed in the United States on 17 May 2022

“Scarlet Ribbon” is a story that made me wonder about the afterlife and what is in between. Maggie was out with her husband when she was run down by a car. She ended up in a coma for two long years, but her time became relative as she found herself in a strange place. Her body was in the hospital, but her mind or soul was experiencing a different reality.

While she was under, she could see what her husband was doing and was taken to other worlds and the past. She wanted to help, especially a young girl. There was cruelty and a blissful existence that coincided in the different places. As she seeks answers to her dilemma, she finds out more than she wanted to about how sheltered a life she had and people’s true side.

I have always wondered what goes on when people are in a coma, and this was a fascinating idea of what could happen. There never seems to be one simple answer or outcome to Maggie’s desires. I love her determination to do what is right, but within her new world, I felt her confusion as she bounced from one situation to another. I was rooting for the person she connected with on the other side.

The story picked up the pace when she emerged from the coma, and work began for her to heal and try to remember. The ending was a surprise but didn’t feel done just yet. I hope there are more versions of her life to come and I will be reading them.


Many thanks to Denise for her wonderful review!

My absolute favourite story of Anita’s, The Scarlet Ribbon is 2.99 for the next two weeks, and can be found HERE

Best Way to Start the week! A Wonderful Review from John Howell… #Bad Moon #Coming of age @HowellWave

http://myBook.to/BadMoonx

What a wonderful way to start the week!

This post is to show our appreciation to JOHN HOWELL, our kind friend and fellow writer/blogger, who has just published his fabulous review for Anita’s book, Bad Moon.

We have always found this to be a hard story to promote. Powerful, disturbing, and set in Virginia at the turn of the last century. Not one for the faint-hearted, for sure, although those who have been brave enough to read it have sung its praises!

We thank you, John, for adding your voice to Bad Moon’s journey…

John Howell’s Review

John W. Howell

4.0 out of 5 stars An Unusual Story Not to be Missed. Reviewed in the United States on 8 July 2022

After reading the book’s blurb, I picked Bad Moon by Anita Dawes. The part that got me was. “Young Annie’s life was perfect until she uncovers a nasty family secret, something her parents have been doing for years.”
I was intrigued by the idea of a story about someone coming of age in a family with some dark secrets. I expected maybe some unusual sexual activities or maybe abuse. These would be bad enough, but it turned out undoubtedly mild compared to what Annie had to discover and overcome.
The story is told in the first person by Annie herself. Although not unique in point of view, the author crafts the narrative so the reader not only sees the world from Annie’s perspective but identifies with the struggles Annie must overcome. Even when Annie is at her worst, I was always rooting that she would find her way to happiness.
Although the setting is the backcountry, the emotional turmoil and the depth of character development give the reader the feeling that this story could have taken place anywhere. This fact is where the quality of the author’s storytelling skills shine. Using the backcountry setting as an excuse for what transpires in the plot would be easy. However, that would be a disservice to the story since the action gets down to fundamental human issues and predispositions that are not necessarily only the purview of uneducated backcountry folks.
There are examples that I would like to cite, but each would be a spoiler. So I guess I will leave it at this. Once you start reading Bad Moon, you won’t be able to stop. The story is well crafted and moves at just the right pace. If you like well-written human drama stories with a lot of action, this one is for you.

From both of us!

Soul Gatherings

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Dead of Winter: Journey 14 ~ The Veil ~ #Teen & Young Adult Ghost Stories eBooks @teagangeneviene

Book Description

From the very beginning, a prophecy from a creepy voice threaded throughout this story. “Winter is coming!” it warned. As the Journeys progressed, we became aware of additional related prophesies like one of the “lost white brother” and “the frozen sands.” Both of those are touched on in this concluding novella.
Other threads from the previous thirteen Journeys also come together in this volume, which concludes Dead of Winter.
.As many readers said they don’t want these Journeys to end, in the final chapter, I added hints about potential future adventures for many of the characters. These are food for the imagination of readers, so that the story can continue in the mind.
.This has been as much of a “journey” for me as it was for Emlyn. I’ve seen truths about myself along the way. Perhaps the same applies to you.
.“Who can say? What is true for us? That with which we are born? Or that which is the manifestation of our heart and soul? I like who and what I am, as well as the way I see the world I see around me, when I am a dragon.”
.Thank you for being an important part of the Journeys of Dead of Winter.
Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Out Thoughts for Dead of Winter 14

The penultimate episode set even more questions.

So many problems to be resolved

So much truth to be discovered

The final episode has been a long time coming…

###

As this episode begins, the land seems to be holding its breath.

Mist travels down the mountain and through the trees, reinforcing the belief that the forest is haunted.

When the veil separating the Realms of the Living and the Dead from the Realm of the Dead was broken, life had become unbearable. Something had to be done, but who was strong enough to defeat Arawn, the King of Hell?

Warriors are preparing themselves, and in the calm, before the storm Emlyn is visited by her late mother, Eriu, who explains what happened all those years ago, and why she must help Boabhan and rescue her from Arawn.

My favourite part of this series was the developing story of Emlyn and Lucetius, although I was left wanting more. Maybe another story?

The author has excelled with this series. Every scene is worthy of the silver screen. Heartbreaking moments and devastating losses come thick and fast as one by one the obstacles are met and then defeated, leaving just the veil to be rebuilt.

Can Emlyn, a twelve-year-old child succeed where all else has failed?

###

An amazing epitaph for the series. Vividly dramatic, remarkably tense, an amazing, well-written story…

Teagan Riordain Geneviene

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene is the acclaimed author of the epic high fantasy series, “Dead of Winter.”

Teagan lives in a “high desert” town in the Southwest of the USA. She had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is coloured by her experiences from living in the southern states and the desert southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes cosy mysteries. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy. That element is also present in “Dead of Winter” but the whimsy is presented in a serious way.

Founder of the Three Things method of storytelling, her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories spontaneously written according to “things” from viewers. http://www.teagansbooks.com Some of those serials have been rewritten into books, like “Hullaba Lulu,” “Brother Love, a Crossroad,” and the series “Pip’s Three Things.”

Major influences include Roger Zelazny, Agatha Christie, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris.

See book trailer videos here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q?disable_polymer=true

Ghost of a Chance… just what I need!

Work in Progress!

For the past few days, I have shut myself in the office with that timeless excuse, I simply cannot put this book down!

Seriously, for the first time in a long time, I am really committed to finishing this book. Where I can generally put my writing aside to do all the normal, everyday jobs, I suddenly can’t do it. This book has to come first…

I cannot stop until I can no longer hold a pen, and I even eat at my desk. I hope this won’t just be a flash in the pan as the word count is rising!

I hope!

A New Week Begins… with a Wordle…

I wasn’t ready for the week to start, as still immersed in my WIP. I have made amazing progress, (some of Anita’s alchemy) over the weekend, so it does seem a shame to switch off that part of my brain,

So, I won’t.

Luckily, Anita has been busy too. A new poem, I Cannot Live and The Sunday Whirl Wordle, so I hope you won’t miss me today!

The Sunday Whirl Wordle

Love is a kind of alchemy
It leaves you feeling 
as though you have drunk too much
It teases your mind, 
searching for that silver lining
Your eyes blinded by the sparkle 
of the gold ring on your finger
The dirt crumbles beneath your feet
Fools say they will never fall in love
They sit alone at the bar, 
drowning their sorrows
Sometimes I want to shake them 
by the back of the neck
Tell them there is alchemy waiting out there…

©AnitaDawes2022

Two Brilliant Reviews for Let it Go! #Fiction #Cornwall

I was reminded today of just how far we have come with our writing and all that is involved with it and wanted to share our pride in our accomplishments.

Still, a long way to go, but loving what you do is a lovely way to do it!

(we didn’t do it all by ourselves, so we thank everyone who helped us along the way!)

About the Book

You read about families where everyone is happy, and life is wonderful.
That wasn’t my family.
My mother coped patiently with a drunken, obsessive gambler of a husband and a daughter with an insatiable sexual appetite. I loved my father, but he kept us one step away from the poor house. Loving my sister was harder because she hated me and constantly brought trouble to our door.
Me? I couldn’t wait to grow up and live my own life.
Then everything changed. Dad won a guest house in a card game, and suddenly we were off to a new life in Cornwall. A beautiful place steeped in legend and mystery.
Would trouble leave us alone now, or was it merely biding its time?

Excerpt from Let it Go

We hadn’t seen dad for nearly a week, and that was a long time, even for him.

Mum was going spare, ranting on about what she’d do to him when he finally came home. Poor dad, it could mean another black eye or a nose which wouldn’t stop bleeding for hours after mum lands one of her punches. This is pretty normal behaviour for my parents and had been going on for years. Considering my mother’s temper, you would think he would stop rolling home drunk and penniless, but he never did.

It was late Friday night when he finally came home. We knew it was him, even though it sounded as if something had been thrown at the front door. We listened to him fumbling with the key for ages, mum with arms folded, waiting for him to fall through it. How she controlled her temper and didn’t rush at the door and tear it from its hinges, I will never know. I think I would have done; it would have been quicker.

I heard the lock turn and dad swung in like a gust of wind, holding on to the key that was stuck in the lock. His dark, shaggy hair hadn’t seen a comb in days, and his clothes appeared to have been slept in. He stood there swaying, grinning at mum like an idiot.

She slapped his hand from the key, sending him flying across the hall, skidding on the mat that never seemed to want to stay in one place. I had a ringside seat at the top of the stairs and watched as she calmly removed the key and slammed the door.

Sally, my older sister by two years, came out of her room to see what was happening. At seventeen, she thought she’d been around the block and knew everything. As for the block, she’d been around it all right. There was no good way to describe my sister other than to call her a tart. She looked the part, too, with her smeared makeup and messy hair. Hanging over the bannister in her underwear, she told mum to kick his no good arse back out the door. Mum looked up at us with rage in her eyes and we both fled, creeping back when we felt it safe, even sliding down a few stairs to hear better.

They were in the kitchen now and something wasn’t right. Mum’s voice sounded cold, as though talking through ice cubes. We heard her say she was leaving him. After twenty years of going nowhere she’d had enough. Then silence. Why weren’t they speaking, shouting or smashing things like they normally did?

I sat there wishing I could see through the walls. I wanted to go in and say something, remind her that dad wasn’t a bad man. Stupid and unlucky, maybe, but it wasn’t his fault all his schemes and dreams came to nothing.

The silence frightened me. Mum couldn’t possibly leave him. She loved him, had stood by his crazy ideas all this time. Turning to Sally, I whispered, ‘We’ve got to do something. Put some clothes on, hurry, before Dad passes out and mum goes to sleep on the thoughts in her head.’

Sally stopped me from standing up, pulling me backwards, knocking the lower part of my back against the stairs. ‘We can’t, Mary. He’ll say something stupid in a minute, then she’ll go for him. You know what happened last time. You got mum’s elbow in your face, couldn’t see for a week.’

I looked at her, seeing her differently for a moment. Unable to stop the words from coming out of my mouth, I said, ‘I didn’t know you cared.’

‘Of course, I care, you stupid cow. You’re my kid sister.’

Was that a hurt look I saw or another of her acting games? I tried again to stand. Feeling her hand on my shoulder, I moved faster, not wanting to be pulled down again. My foot slipped forward on the edge of the carpet and gravity did the rest, pulling me headlong down the rest of the steps. I heard Sally yell, and then a chair scrape against the kitchen floor. My head hurt. I tried to move, and then someone turned out the lights.

I woke up on our living room sofa with dad holding my hand. Mum was putting a cold flannel on my head. Trying to move shot pain through the top of my head, much as I imagined dad must feel when mum slaps him with whatever comes to hand.

‘Lie still, Mary.’ Dad said. ‘Everything’s all right. Hard heads run in the family.’

From somewhere in the room, I heard Sally scoff. I struggled to sit up and could see her leaning against the doorframe, picking at her nails.

Looking dad square in the face, I said, ‘It’s not all right. Didn’t you hear mum say she’s leaving you? Couldn’t you hear the difference in her voice?’

Dad put the palm of his hand on my cheek and smiled. The smile made you believe in angels and held mum to him all these years.

‘Not to worry, Mary. I have something here that will put the warmth back in her voice.’ Taking some legal papers and a bunch of keys from his pocket, he gave them to mum and said, ‘Read it, Margaret.’

Waiting for mum to say something, to let us in on what could only be another of dad’s get-rich-schemes, seemed like waiting for hell to freeze over.

She read them once, and knowing dad of old, read them again. ‘Cornwall,’ she said finally. ‘A broken down guesthouse.’ She waved the paper at dad. ‘How did you get this with no money?’

‘Playing cards.’ Dad said. ‘I won it from old Tom. That’s where I’ve been, Cornwall, to look at the place. Margaret, it’s beautiful. Overlooks the ocean – a lick of paint, and it’ll be good as new.’

‘So, Michael Flanagan. How long has this place been closed, did you think to ask?’

‘A year or so.’

‘Right. So with eyes full of beer, you managed to figure out it’s a lick of paint we’ll be needing, nothing more?’ The temper still showed on her face and her words had thorns. It was no accident she had been born with red hair.

‘Don’t start, Margaret. Can’t you see that luck has finally found us? It’s what you’ve always wanted, to run our own place. And the money we get from this house will get us started. The girls can help out, even get paid for the work they do around the place.’

‘I don’t see myself as a chambermaid.’ Sally moaned, folding her arms across her chest like mum. She straightened her back, trying to look tough.

Dad spun on her. ‘Better than lying on your back with God knows who, whenever the mood takes you!’

Sally stormed off, and I heard the bedroom door slam shut as dad went on about her going the same way as his sister, Aunt Vivian, known hereabouts as the local bike.

Mum said he should hold his tongue.

‘Can’t do it, woman. I won’t see one of my own daughters end up on the same road. I’ll be putting the house on the market first thing in the morning. We’ve talked about nothing else for the past ten years. Now, it’s been handed to us on a plate.’

From the look on mum’s face, I could tell she was beginning to think it might be a good idea. After all, we had nothing to lose. It had plenty of rooms and hadn’t cost dad a penny, and this house would give them the money to do it up. But what on earth did they know about running a guest house? I decided that now wasn’t a good time to ask…


Two Wonderful Reviews!

4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for fans of family dramas and coming-of-age stories

Fifteen-year-old Mary’s life is turned upside down when her father wins a large house in Cornwall in a card game, and her parents decide to up sticks from South West London, move down to Cornwall,  and run a bed & breakfast boarding house.  Mary does not have a good relationship with her sister Sally but is particularly close to her elderly and infirm grandmother (Nan).  Nan decides to make the biggest change of all and move with the family to live in a caravan at the end of the garden.
Mary finds an old diary written by a girl her own age who used to live in the house.   She reads of a particular event in the diary that happened years before, which she cannot get out of her mind.  Mary has a need to follow up the event and finds a new friend, Mark, who has knowledge of the local area and all its mysteries to help her in her quest.
The author has an obvious love of Cornwall, and this is evident throughout the book.   I enjoyed reading about the shifting family dynamics, Mary’s relationship with her sister, and the new life experiences that she had to learn to cope with.  I can recommend this four star read for fans of women’s fiction, family dramas, and coming-of-age stories.  There are a few grammatical errors, but they did not distract me from the story.  Well done!

 5 stars A fantastic look at family relationships

A fantastic look at family dynamics through the eyes of Mary, a fifteen-year-old who is older and wiser than her years. When her father wins a guest house in a card game, Mary’s has to adjust to a new life in Cornwall. In addition to her parents and sister, Mary also has her beloved grandmother, Nan, to aid in that adjustment.

This book is filled with wonderful characters and effortless writing. I adored the relationship between Mary and Nan. As narrator, Mary does an excellent job in allowing us to see the world through her eyes. From the vivid place descriptions to the strengths and weakness in the people around her, including her own family, the reader sees scars, faults and triumphs.

The plot thread with Mary’s sister Sally, and how the family rallies around her when she runs afoul of three local women is especially strong. I also liked the thread with Spike, an unexpected “lodger” and how his storyline turned out. The author has a great style and hooked me immediately. I plan to seek out more of her books. Consider me a fan!

These reviews for Anita’s book really thrilled us and made our writing life so much more rewarding. Everyone should review the books they read. It is easy to do and brings so much joy to writers everywhere!


I loved editing and reading Let it Go, which was probably inspired by the many holidays we have spent in Cornwall…Jaye Marie

The Midnight Library~ Best book of 2021 ~ #Fiction ~ #Review

THE SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLING WORLDWIDE PHENOMENON
READERS’ MOST LOVED BOOK OF 2021
WINNER OF THE GOODREADS CHOICE AWARD FOR FICTION

‘BEAUTIFUL’ Jodi Picoult, ‘UPLIFTING’ i, ‘BRILLIANT’ Daily Mail, ‘AMAZING’ Joanna Cannon, ‘ABSORBING’ New York Times, ‘THOUGHT-PROVOKING’ Independent

Nora’s life has been going from bad to worse. Then at the stroke of midnight on her last day on earth she finds herself transported to a library. There she is given the chance to undo her regrets and try out each of the other lives she might have lived. Which raises the ultimate question: with infinite choices, what is the best way to live?

Our Review

This book really made me think of my own choices, raising so many questions. Like, what would happen if we could choose our lives. Given this opportunity, would we choose wisely?

This quickly led to a fantasy world in my head, where I imagined what my life would have been like if I had the power to change things.

In the Midnight Library, Nora is given the opportunity to try different lifetimes to find one she liked. As I read on, I could tell that none of them were perfect. There are always parts that we must live with, isn’t there?

Maybe there is no such thing as a perfect life, seeing that humans are not perfect anyway.

This story made me appreciate all the perfect things in my own life, and I read on, hoping Nora would find something worth living for.

The Midnight Library is a beautifully written story and definitely thought-provoking.

I will remember Nora and her mission for a long time…

Dead of Winter ~ Journey 13 ~ The Harbour ~ #Review @teagangeneviene #Horror Fantasy

“Journey 13, The Harbor” is the penultimate installment of the epic fantasy series “Dead of Winter.” Action abounds as many threads are drawn together. Arawn has amassed overwhelming legions of the dead. Another unexpected but powerful foe comes into the battle. All of Emlyn’s companions and friends are in grave danger as they face insurmountable odds. Two goddesses could even the odds, but gods and goddesses are known to be unreliable. Will they help?
.
Meanwhile the goal of the Society of Deae Matres is to re-create the Binding to again trap Arawn and any other nightwalkers in the Realm of the Dead. Yet, what about Boabhan and Lucetius? Boabhan is at least half nightwalker. Lucetius, her son, was conceived when Arawn violated her while attempting to turn her. Will they be trapped in a new Binding along with their worst enemy? This is revealed in Journey 13.

Our Review

The penultimate instalment… the story of the Dead of Winter is nearly complete!

This is where the threads of this story get rather complicated and intense…

So many elements are gathering for the final showdown

The odds seem uneven, what with Arawn drawing the Legions of the Dead to his bidding. Surely, he must win with such an army at his disposal?

Away from the battle, Emlyn seems safe. But as she is an integral part of winning or losing, maybe she isn’t safe at all.

I worry that the Goddess Deae Matres will prove unreliable.

Is the Goddess trying to steal power from Emlyn and Lucetius for her own purpose? Emlyn seems worried too and that cannot be a good sign, although I do trust her to see the truth.

The new face in this journey is the small but mighty Goddess Coventina. She has arrived to exact revenge on Arawn but her alliance is not clear.

Could she do more harm than good?

An enchanting, yet frustrating episode, despite the upcoming battle.

Will they be able to make The Binding hold this time, and keep Arawn and the Nightwalkers in the Realm of the Dead?

Such a cliff-hanger at the end of this chapter, priming us for the final episode?

#Throwback Thursday~ A Conspiracy of Bones by Kathy Reichs #Review #Thriller @KathyReichs

Number One New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs returns with her nineteenth riveting novel featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan, who must use all her tradecraft to discover the identity of a faceless corpse, its connection to a decade-old missing child case, and the reason the dead man had her phone number.

It’s sweltering in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Temperance Brennan, still recovering from neurosurgery following an aneurysm, is battling nightmares, migraines, and what she thinks might be hallucinations when she receives a series of mysterious text messages, each containing a new picture of a corpse that is missing its face and hands. Immediately, she’s anxious to know who the dead man is, and why the images were sent to her.
 
An identified corpse soon turns up, only partly answering her questions.
 
To win answers to the others, including the man’s identity, she must go rogue. With help from a number of law enforcement associates including her Montreal beau Andrew Ryan and the always-ready-with-a-smart-quip, ex-homicide investigator Skinny Slidell, and utilizing new cutting-edge forensic methods, Tempe draws closer to the astonishing truth.
 
But the more she uncovers, the darker and more twisted the picture becomes …

 

Our Review

Temperance Brennan is back, but not in the pink if you know what I mean.

In this story, she has all kinds of problems, most she doesn’t have a dog’s chance of overcoming.

But you just know she will find the way.

This is the first story by Kathy Reichs I have read, but I have long been a fan of the popular tv series based on these books. It has been a real eye-opener to meet the real character.

She may not be the person I thought I knew, but she is someone I recognise. The same attention to detail and overwhelming need to know the truth.

It took me a while to accustom myself to this totally different Bones compared to the one I have been watching for years, but my first impression was favourable. The Bones in this book is a sensible, technically minded, deep thinking woman, one with a shocking sense of humour and the ability to swear like a trooper. Definitely, my kind of role model!

In A Conspiracy of Bones, Temperance is exhausted and confused, trying to come to terms with losing her job and her recent life-threatening brain trauma. She becomes involved in a nasty and mysterious crime through anonymous images and messages sent to her phone.

Written in the first person, I could feel the alienation with her circumstances, and be inside her head to know how her brain works. Frustrated with being incapacitated and unemployed, she desperately wants to discredit the one person who conspired to steal her job. Trying to solve a case long-distance tries her weakened capabilities to their limit, but fascinating to watch.

I loved the scene where she finally managed to fall asleep while looking at a tiny statue of Ganesh. I wondered if she was praying for him to solve some of her problems…

Biography

Kathy Reichs

Kathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead catapulted her to fame when it became a New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. Her other Temperance Brennan novels include Death du Jour, Deadly Décisions, Fatal Voyage, Grave Secrets, Bare Bones, Monday Mourning, Cross Bones, Break No Bones, Bones to Ashes, Devil Bones, 206 Bones, Spider Bones, Flash and Bones, Bones Are Forever, Bones of the Lost, Bones Never Lie, Speaking in Bones and the Temperance Brennan short story collection, The Bone Collection. In addition, Kathy co-authors the Virals young adult series with her son, Brendan Reichs. The best-selling titles are: Virals, Seizure, Code, Exposure, and Terminal along with two Virals e-novellas, Shift and Swipe. These books follow the adventures of Temperance Brennan’s great niece, Tory Brennan. Dr. Reichs is also a producer of the hit Fox TV series, Bones, which is based on her work and her novels.

From teaching FBI agents how to detect and recover human remains, to separating and identifying commingled body parts in her Montreal lab, as a forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs has brought her own dramatic work experience to her mesmerizing forensic thrillers. For years she consulted to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina, and continues to do so for the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Québec. Dr. Reichs has travelled to Rwanda to testify at the UN Tribunal on Genocide, and helped exhume a mass grave in Guatemala. As part of her work at JPAC (Formerly CILHI) she aided in the identification of war dead from World War II, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Dr. Reichs also assisted with identifying remains found at ground zero of the World Trade Center following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Dr. Reichs is one of only 100 forensic anthropologists ever certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. She served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President of both the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, and is currently a member of the National Police Services Advisory Council in Canada. She is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

Dr. Reichs is a native of Chicago, where she received her Ph.D. at Northwestern. She now divides her time between Charlotte, NC and Montreal, Québec.