Monday 28 June 2021

The Insiders (The Insiders Trilogy #1) by Tijan (2021)

The Insiders is the first in a brand new, page-turning romance trilogy from New York Times bestseller, Tijan!

Bailey is as normal as could be, with a genius IQ and a photographic memory. But still, normal for her. Then, things happen—a guy breaks into her house in the middle of the night to take her hostage. She finds out her father is actually billionaire tech genius Peter Francis, the same guy she’s idolized all her life. She learns all this when she meets dark, mysterious, and electrifying Kashton Colello. He’s an associate of her father’s, and he gives Bailey two choices—go with him and meet her father or survive on her own because those kidnappers are going to try again. It’s a no-brainer.

After this, three things become clear for Bailey:

1. She’s living at her father’s sprawling estate, complete with bodyguards and the best security that money can buy.

2. She’s no longer an only child. She has three siblings and has no idea what to do with them and vice versa.

3. She is being guarded by Kash himself. Personally guarded. And there is a lot of guarding going on there and some of it is going to drive her crazy.

A complete outsider in a world of wealth and decadence, Bailey has to find her way within a family that has more secrets than she could have imagined. One of these secrets could be deadly…

This book starts off with a bang and goes at a breakneck speed. I found myself slightly confused as I couldn't quite make out who the characters were- who was the kidnapper who tried to help her and why? The scene rapidly fades to black and it jumps ahead to where she is safe. I would have liked to have been privy to actual fight scenes and rescues in this book but we don't really get to see any of that.

However, I enjoyed the tension and the build-up of suspense. There is quite a lot of mystery surrounding the people in Bailey's life and it was intriguing to puzzle it all out along with her. I didn't really understand Kash as he had very much a cloak and dagger kind of persona. It was clear that he cared for Bailey but I would have liked a prequel chapter where it shows him keeping tabs on Bailey and thwarting the previous kidnapping attempts so it would show a progression of feelings for her rather than the insta love/attraction that is presented to us.

The parts that really stood out for me were the scenes involving Bailey's brothers and sister. I loved watching her get to know them. Matt was a complex character, wild but harmless enough and I enjoyed all his crazy shenanigans. I'm hoping he will still cause some havoc and drive everyone mad in the next book. I'm also curious as to what lies in store for Bailey's parents. Will they have a second chance together? I'm quite intrigued by Kash's grandfather as well so I'm looking forward to following the rest of the series.

The Insiders is out now and it's also available in audio. Amazon

Saturday 26 June 2021

Dreaming Wide Awake, Charles R. Hinckley (2021)

"A grounded, riveting murder mystery with supernatural touches." Kirkus Reviews

P.I. August Chase isn't feeling quite like himself. His precognitive dreams have been disrupted by a series of strange lines and rectangles. As comforting as it is not dreaming murders, it's also worrisome, because he doesn't want to lose his special powers. Gus is approached by the sympathetic sister of a convicted murderer to collect evidence and secure a new trial.  As soon as he takes on the case, Gus is recruited by a strange man who claims to be from the original Stargate Project, a government-sponsored program devoted to remote viewing, and who is now part of a group dedicated to destroying a sinister psychic program designed to control the minds of world leaders. As Gus unravels a web of police cover-ups, a string of murders, and an old connection between his stalker and his client, he realizes he may also be on the trail of a government-protected serial killer.

Having enjoyed the first book in the series I was very intrigued to find out what would happen next with Gus and his strange ability.
I was expecting more of a detective story with a paranormal twist but the paranormal element in this book is really the main story. The book starts off very thrilling and gory which I loved. It then moved at a very quick pace and I found it difficult to keep up with all the strange events, the interviewing of suspects and the shady FBI characters following Gus around. It was a quite strange story but enjoyable nonetheless. It will be interesting to see what Gus does next and maybe see more character development. I feel like I know Mill better than I do Gus. He's a funny character and I'm really glad he survived this adventure.

Thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy.

Thursday 3 June 2021

Author Spotlight Linda Weaver Clarke


I'd like to welcome Linda Weaver Clarke to the blog today. I have read and enjoyed many of Linda's mysteries and historical romances so I am delighted that she has chosen Just Book Talk to tell us more about her latest series.

Linda has also very kindly offered to give a digital copy of One Last Dance to commenters on this page. So, get commenting after you read Linda's guest post below.

Never Too Late To Dream

I believe it’s never too late to accomplish one’s dreams. Some people have a bucket list that

has daring things to do or something they longed to do for years. It is never too late and you

are never too old to do something you have longed to do.

After raising six daughters and believing it is never too late to dream, I decided to go back to

college. It was a scary thing to do and I don’t know why I was so worried. At the age of 50, I

graduated from college with a Theatre and Arts Degree. After that, I performed for a

concert series. It was unbelievably fun and enjoyable until I got reflux and lost my voice.

Feeling discouraged, I didn’t know what to do with my life. But . . . when one door is closed,

God opens another door for you to walk through. And that was exactly what He did for me.

An interest in writing engulfed me. So I went to the library and studied every book available

about writing. I wanted to write family friendly stories for all ages. So I sat down and wrote a

few books until I was brave enough to send one to a publisher. At the age of 56, I became a

published author and won an award for my first book, which surprised and delighted me.

After writing five historical romances, I wrote 12 cozy mysteries and then wrote three

swashbuckling romances. Since I was a fan of Robin Hood, Zorro, and the Scarlet

Pimpernel, I couldn’t help it. I even wrote some non-fiction and a children’s book. Being an

author has been an interesting path to travel. The most recent series that I just completed is

a historical mystery romance series set in the 1830s. It is called A Willow Valley Historical

Romance. Each romance has a mystery to solve.

One Last Dance is the first book in this series, which will keep you guessing until the end of

the book. When Felicity meets their charming new neighbor, she soon discovers that he is

hiding his true identity. Nicholas Adams is on a quest. When she finds out that someone is

after a valuable heirloom, a precious treasure found in her attic, her life takes a new turn.

“This book has my favorite genres: historical, romance and mystery. Although I enjoyed the

romance, what I liked most was the mystery. Intrigue and suspense kept me hooked and I

loved the air of mystery behind a few of the characters. It kept me guessing to the end, and

of course, it had a sweet, happy ending. This is one of my favourite books by Linda Weaver

Clarke.” –Inishowen CailĂ­n, Book Reviewer

 Book Trailer

Angel’s Serenade is the second book in this series. Each day as Emmeline practices the piano,

she doesn’t know the new doctor in town secretly sits on his porch to listen to her music. As

Emmeline gets to know the charming doctor, they become intrigued by her neighbor’s

mysterious behavior. Will they discover his secret? And who is the leader of the River

Pirates, who is causing so much havoc?

“Clarke has created a sweet romance that will warm the heart, and it’s wrapped up in

fascinating yesteryear details of courting, medical practice and river pirates. I highly

recommend the book to those who enjoy sweet romance with a bit of mystery.” –Author

Gail Pallotta

Book trailer:

In A Pleasant Rivalry, Angelica is surprised when she finds out that an old school chum has

returned to Willow Valley. Since she writes articles for the Chronicle and Simon owns the

Willow Valley News, they just happen to be rivals. The competition is on. Who will be the

first to discover the identity of the jewel thief or the arsonist? To her surprise, Angelica

realizes she is losing her heart to her rival.

“I loved this book!  It was a great historical read and full of surprises.  I totally didn't expect

what happened… to happen.  The time period was an interesting one and I love how the

author intertwines historical events into the story.  It was a new and refreshing tale.” –Sunnie


Book Trailer:

Holidays in Willow Valley is full of surprises. This book is a collection of six holiday stories,

something that I hadn’t done before. What were the holidays like at Willow Valley in 1840?

While writing this book, I learned to appreciate our holidays.

“This book contains six short stories of different holidays celebrated in the 1840 time

period. These are enjoyable stories to read any time of year, not just in holiday times. The

characters and the book carry Christian values, which I love. These are very entertaining

stories!” --Sunnie Reviews

Book Trailer:

I soon realized that writing short stories was a pleasure and quite fun. So I decided to try it

once again. So I wrote the fifth and last book in this series called Tales of Willow Valley. It is a

collection of five “Love Stories.”

“If you are in the mood for some sweet, clean, historical, romantic short stories then look no

further. I enjoyed each story and how the women are not sitting back waiting on a man, but

are take-charge women that start their own businesses, aren’t afraid to face ruffians, and

encourage women to fight for their rights. It is amazing what you can learn when an author

does research into events in the past to make sure their works are as authentic as possible.”

–Story Book Reviews

As of today, I am the author of 32 books and 28 Audible audiobooks. You can order any of

my books from Amazon and Audible Audiobooks at my websites below.

My Book Blog:

Audiobook Blog:

Cozy Mystery Blog:

Historical Romance Blog:

Linda’s Website:

Don't forget to comment for a chance to win a digital copy of 

                                  One Last Dance.