Say No More by Hank Phillippi Ryan

say-no-more

Photo Credit: Forge Books

This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration.

Say No More

Summary: When Boston reporter Jane Ryland reports a hit and run, she soon learns she saw more than a car crash—she witnessed the collapse of an alibi. Working on an expose of sexual assaults on college campuses for the station’s new documentary unit, Jane’s just convinced a date rape victim to reveal her heartbreaking experience on camera. However, a disturbing anonymous message—SAY NO MORE—has Jane really and truly scared.

Homicide detective Jake Brogan is on the hunt for the murderer of Avery Morgan, a hot-shot Hollywood screenwriter. Her year as a college guest lecturer just ended at the bottom of her swimming pool in the tight-knit and tight-lipped Boston community called The Reserve. As Jake chips his way through a code of silence as shatterproof as any street gang, he’ll learn that one newcomer to the neighborhood may have a secret of her own.

A young woman faces a life-changing decision—should she go public about her assault? Jane and Jake—now semi-secretly engaged and beginning to reveal their relationship to the world—are both on a quest for answers as they try to balance the consequences of the truth. Continue reading

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Guest Post: Laurel Osterkamp discusses how jury duty inspired The Holdout (CLP Blog Tours)

holdout cover

Photo Credit: CLP

 

Traveling With T is a stop on The Holdout by Laurel Osterkamp blog tour sponsored by Chick Lit Plus. This tour consists of excerpts, guest posts and reviews- to see what other bloggers are saying about The Holdout (or to read an excerpt), please visit Chick Lit Plus‘s tour page.

 

Laurel Osterkamp Guest Post

I really wanted jury duty.

 

For one, I would get out of teaching for a week or two. It was close to the end of the school year and my seniors were super squirrely. But there was more to it than just that. I’ve seen my fair share of legal dramas, and I thought it would be cool to sit in that box and decide the outcome of a court case. So when I got my summons I felt like I’d been awarded something cool.

 

But that was nothing compared to actually getting picked. The lawyers interviewed us, not individually, but as a group. And we all had to state where we were from, our marital status, age, and profession. I was one of two people who wasn’t a native Minnesotan, and the other guy couldn’t speak English. I believe that for that reason, the defense wanted me. It was a court case between a famous and successful Minnesotan businessman and a Turkish boating company. Of course the defense would want someone, anyone, who was from out of town. That person was me.

 

And like Robin in The Holdout, I did become one of two people who spoke up for the defense during deliberations. Actually, there are a lot of similarities between my jury experience and Robin’s. More similarities include:

 

· The jurors. I made their personalities a little more extreme in the book, especially in Four’s case. Hopefully the real-life Four will never read The Holdout, because she’ll probably hate me if she does. But other than that, I borrowed a lot from real-life.

 

· The case. It was actually about yachts, and I learned a lot about cold-molding epoxy, which is a method of boat construction.

 

· The routine. We did get prox-cards, which were keys to our very own jury room. We did get treats all the time, and we also took stretching breaks and had our own screens in front of our own cushy chairs. But my favorite part was that the bailiff always said, “All rise for the jury” every time we entered the room.

 

· The deliberations. It was basically ten to two in the end, and the guy who agreed with me was the foreman of the jury. He was also worthless. I also wound up arguing with the juror who inspired Nick/Ten but it was also him who I respected the most out of all the jurors.

 

· The verdict. But you’ll have to read The Holdout to find out more about that.

 

· The best part was walking away at the end. Knowing that I’d be able to walk away made me more willing to speak out than I’d ever been before.

 

· Nick/Ten really had been on three juries in two years – one county, one state, and one federal. So if you think that’s not possible, think again!

 

But there were differences too:

 

· There was no romance. There were some single twenty-somethings on the jury, but I never picked up on any sort of spark between them.

 

· There was no real-life handsome bad-boy who inspired Silas Smythe. Too bad. The trial would have been more interesting if he had been around.

 

· I did eventually learn most of the juror’s names.

 

In the end, jury duty was a great experience, if for no other reason that it inspired The Holdout. I recommend it even for people who aren’t geeks like me. You’ll learn a lot, and in the end, you’ll have an interesting story to tell.

 

 

 

Want to buy The Holdout? Visit Amazon!

 

laurel o

Photo Credit: CLP

Laurel Osterkamp’s award winning novels have been hailed as funny, intelligent, snarky and poignant. She is the author of four novels and two novellas, including the November Surprise series, which, like The Holdout, features the Bricker family. Laurel was recently on a federal jury, and she loves watching Survivor.

Want to connect with Laurel? Visit Twitter, website, Goodreads or  blog!

 

 

 

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Speak of the Devil by Allison Leotta

speak of the devil

Photo Credit: Amazon

Sex, drugs, and crime. Just another day in the life for Anna Curtis, sex-crimes prosecutor. Until a case hits too close to home………

Anna Curtis, sex-crimes prosecutor, is at a professional high-point. Helping in the organization of a raid of a brothel that will hopefully lead to some serious jail time- she feels confident by the end of the night she’ll have at least 1 piece of good news. Her second piece of good news happens shortly after she arrives at the restaurant in the form of a proposal from Jack. Little does Anna know- that what happens at the brothel will change her life and everyone she loves lives as well.

During the raid, the MS-13, a deadly gang, is at the brothel. A blood-bath ensues- and the clues left behind at the scene pose more questions than answers. One of the police officers kills a gang member- but did he kill in self-defense? Or for his own personal reasons?

As Anna delves further into this case- she soon finds that not all is as it appears. When Anna is greenlighted by the MS-13, she’s afraid- but will not back down. She wants these men brought to justice. She just did not realize that in her search for justice- it was going to open doors to questions that she’s not sure if she wants the answer about.

Traveling With T’s Thoughts:

This is my first Allison Leotta book- and I really enjoyed it. Fiction writing with a true crime-ish twist, this story is a reminder of the types of real-life crimes. Allison dances the line between writing a great fiction story and educating people about crime, police procedures and trials. The plot was action-packed and engaging- and as each twist was revealed- I was surprised. If you enjoy crime books- I recommend this one.

The Lake House by Marci Nault

The Lake House final cover

Marci Nault’s The Lake House is a tale of love, forgiveness, being true to yourself, and finding peace.

Victoria- one of the original Nagog residents. She and her girlfriends make the pact to never leave Nagog and live life there forever- with husbands, children, grandchildren. Then the war comes, the ladies sweethearts leave, and Victoria gets restless. She longs to experience life beyond the area of Nagog. Victoria breaks the pact and leaves- creating a rift with her friends. A rift, that for some, may never be able to be repaired.

Heather- from the outside she has everything. A career that she’s proud of, a man that cares for her, and a diamond engagement ring- Heather appears to be set for life. Except, she’s not. She doesn’t feel content or safe- and she longs to have a place, a life that is hers- a place where she won’t feel if she makes a mistake, life is over. Heather finds a place in Nagog and feels the stirrings of safety- so she buys the place.

Nagog, though, does not welcome either Heather or Victoria with open arms. Resentment burns through some of the community toward Victoria for past differences, misunderstandings and hurt feelings. For Heather, the residents do not want young people moving in the area- so they do everything to make the place least welcoming as possible.

Heather and Victoria strike up a friendship- and although neither are aware- both fill a need in each other’s life. As their friendship grows, secrets and advice are shared- and the bond deepens.

Can Victoria make amends to the community and people she left behind? Can Heather find the safety and happiness she has been craving? Read The Lake House to find out!

Traveling With T’s Thoughts:

Enjoyable read. Well thought out characters. Great setting. Wonderful storyline. A perfect read for pool-side or lake/beach-side. Victoria and Heather- characters that have had sadness- but deserve some happiness. You, as the reader, root for them to find their happy ending. Recommended.

 

The Wishing Tree by Marybeth Whalen

the wishing treeIvy Marshall’s life is falling to pieces the same day she learns her younger sister’s life is coming together with a marriage proposal from her boyfriend. Ivy, while happy for her sister, cannot help wonder “what if” about her own life. What if she’d married the man her family wanted her to marry instead of Elliot? “What if” is a dangerous question, at times……

Ivy leaves Elliot to head back to Sunset Beach. Partly to help with her sister’s wedding, partly to get away from Elliot, and partly to think about life. Back in Sunset Beach, she does not want her family to know about Elliot- since they did not want her to marry him- they wanted her to marry Michael. Ivy figures she’ll see Michael at the wedding since his cousin is marrying her sister- but is surprised (and secretly pleased) to see that Michael is around for the summer.

Elliot is not taking Ivy leaving lightly- he takes to Twitter, one of her favorite social media sites, and begins tweeting to get Ivy’s attention. As the weeks go by, Ivy begins to see that Elliot is trying- he’s paying more attention- but what broke between them; she is unsure if can ever be fixed.

Ivy also has some hard truths of her own to deal with- her role in what lead to her family being hurt about her broken engagement, Michael, and the others she hurt in her past.

The Wishing Tree deals with hard issues with sensitivity and lightness: cheating, breaking hearts, growing up, disappointing family and finding yourself. Well-written, enjoyable, a story-line that is interesting and very readable.

Recommended.

Traveling With T’s Thoughts:

Marybeth Whalen has done it again. Written a book that is light, funny; yet poignant and thoughtful. Themes of love, forgiveness, and moving on are discussed and weaved in and out of the story of Ivy and her life. Thought-provoking. Read- you will not be sorry.

 

*The author provided me with a review copy in exchange for a fair and honest review. All above opinions are mine alone.

A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams

a hundred summersIn 1931, we have no idea at all what lies ahead.

Love. Intrigue. Friendships. Family secrets. And a hurricane like no other.    A Hundred Summers has all that plus a beach backdrop with sun and sand.

It’s 1931.  Budgie and Lily are headed to watch Budgie’s boyfriend, Graham Pendleton play football. At this football game, Lily sees Nick Greenwald, a tall, good-looking Jewish man. A man that Lily finds attractive and has no idea how much Nick will come to mean to her- and what it’ll cost her.

It’s 1938. Lily Dane is back at Seaview, Rhode Island. Spending the summer, with her mother, Aunt Julie and little sister, Kiki. Lily is looking forward to the summer- and then she hears the news. Budgie and Nick Greenwald will also be spending the summer at Seaview.

As Lily spends the summer in Seaview, her interactions with Budgie and Nick shine a light back on events in 1931- and cause Lily to question almost everything she knows.

Traveling With T’s Thoughts:

Looking for a summer read? This is it. A Hundred Summers has everything that a reader needs- a great setting, characters that are real, characters that the reader can love, characters that the reader can despise- a storyline that is revealed bit by bit as it’s told in alternating tales of life in 1931 and current life in 1938. Family secrets, drama, intrigue and so much more. Take the time to read A Hundred Summers and the saga of Lily, Nick and Budgie- your book-loving heart will be glad.

Thank you to Putnam Books for providing this book for review. The opinions expressed above are mine alone.

Never Say Never by Victoria Christopher Murray

never say neverWould you or wouldn’t you?

That is the question that is asked in Never Say Never. It’s an interesting question because most people have very definite views on cheating. However, Victoria Christopher Murray takes this question and runs with it. She writes a story- told from the viewpoints of Miriam and Emily- and writes a tale that is emotional. It’s not an easy story to read- Never Say Never can make you question everything or reaffirm your beliefs.

The Red, White and Blue- Michellelee, Miriam, and Emily, have been friends since college. Each of them have a connection that they never thought would fail. Until the day of the fire- and the aftermath that followed. The ladies are having a get together that day- then Michellelee gets a phone call about a fire. Miriam and Emily are immediately worried as both of their husbands are firefighters. Shortly, they hear the news- Miriam’s husband, Chauncey, died in the fire.

All of the ladies, plus Jamal, Emily’s husband, are devastated. Jamal and Chauncey are close friends- and Jamal is taking it very hard. Emily keeps telling Miriam that she and Jamal will help Miriam with everything- the funeral, being there for her, the children. However, Emily is a child psychologist- and in the aftermath of the fire, she finds herself having to devote time to a child who becomes a client. Jamal makes good on his word, though. He visits, hangs out with the kids, and tells Miriam stories about Chauncey from days past.

During their time of grief, Miriam and Jamal begin sleeping together. And slowly, each person finds out- and the world that the Red, White and Blue had- the world of sister-friends begins crumbling.

Told from viewpoints of Emily and Miriam, the tale begins with Miriam telling the readers about her affair with Jamal. The rest of the book is the lead-up to the affair and the aftermath. Forgiveness, faith, fidelity, love, and more are themes of this book. After reading Never Say Never– I had very definite feelings and ideas about Miriam and Emily- however, this is a book that could lead to an excellent discussion amongst book clubs or even just girlfriends.

 

This book was provided by Touchstone Publishing in exchange for an honest review. All opinions above expressed are mine alone.