Beck Valley Book Tours had some really great books to review this year for our book tours. As reviewers, were able to vote for our favorites. Here are the results of Beck Valley Books Reviewers Choice Awards for 2014!
REVIEWERS TOP 10 FAVORITE READS
IN FIRST PLACE
A Nurse’s Obligation
A Town’s Demise
A Mother’s Regret
A Son’s Calling
A Daughter’s Mistake
A Time to Forgive
For every woman who thinks she left her past behind…Historic, environmental drama wrapped in a love story…
It’s 1948 in the steel town of Donora, Pennsylvania, site of the infamous “killing smog.” Public health nurse, Rose Pavlesic, has risen above her orphaned upbringing and created a life that reflects everything she missed as a child. She’s even managed to keep her painful secrets hidden from her doting husband, loving children, and large extended family.
When a stagnant weather pattern traps poisonous mill gasses in the valley, neighbors grow sicker and Rose’s nursing obligations thrust her into conflict she never could have fathomed. Consequences from her past collide with her present life, making her once clear decisions as gray as the suffocating smog. As pressure mounts, Rose finds she’s not the only one harboring lies. When the deadly fog finally clears, the loss of trust and faith leaves the Pavlesic family—and the whole town—splintered and shocked. With her new perspective, can Rose finally forgive herself and let her family’s healing begin?
Read my review of After the Fog.
***2013 Eric Hoffer Award Finalist***
***Independent Publisher Awards: 2012 Silver, Best Regional Fiction–Mid-Atlantic***
***National Indie Excellence Awards: 2012 WINNER– Literary Fiction***
A Father’s Deceit
A Husband’s Betrayal
A Loved One’s Death
A Mother’s Choice
A Daughter’s Resentment
A Time to Forgive
For every daughter who thinks she knows her mother’s story…
Katherine wouldn’t have believed it if she hadn’t found the last letter…
Katherine Arthur’s dying mother arrives on her doorstep, forcing her to relive a past she wanted to forget. When Katherine was young, the Arthur family had been affluent city dwellers until shame sent them running for the prairie, into the unknown. Taking her family, including young Katherine, to live off the land was the last thing Jeanie Arthur had wanted, but she would do her best to make a go of it. For Jeanie’s husband Frank it had been a world of opportunity. Dreaming, lazy Frank. But, it was a society of uncertainty — a domain of natural disasters, temptation, hatred, even death.
Ten-year-old Katherine had loved her mother fiercely, put her trust in her completely, but when there was no other choice, and Jeanie resorted to extreme measures on the prairie to save her family, she tore Katherine’s world apart. Now, seventeen years later, Katherine has found the truth — she has discovered the last letter. After years of anger, can Katherine find it in her heart to understand why her mother made the decisions that changed them all? Can she forgive and finally begin to heal before it’s too late?
Read my review of The Last Letter.
Cache a Predator is a geocaching thriller about a father’s love, justice, and the unhinged game of hide-the-cache.
Officer Brett Reed will do anything to gain custody of his five-year-old daughter, Quinn. But when a judge grants Brett’s drug-addicted ex-wife custody and slaps him with a protective order for losing his temper, he fears for Quinn’s safety. Who will protect her now?
When Quinn is found abandoned on the streets, she’s placed in a temporary foster home until Child Protective Services can complete an assessment. It should only take a few days.
But a lot can happen in a few days.
Especially when there’s a deranged psychopath on the loose, someone who’s attacking pedophiles, someone who wants to protect children like Quinn, and someone who’s planting body parts in geocaching sites.
This book is hidden in cache sites all over the US and Canada with the goal for it to travel to all 50 states. It’s mission is to spread awareness of child abuse and how it harms victims, families, and communities.
Cache a Predator was definitely on my favorites list for 2014. You can see my review here.
The newest addition to the LOVE IN BLOOM series, featuring a group of fun, sexy, and emotional friends who gather each summer at their Cape Cod cottages. They’re funny, flawed, and will have you begging to enter their circle of friends. You met them in READ, WRITE, LOVE, (The Remingtons, Book 5), follow these friends on their search for forever love in the Seaside Summers series.
Jenna Ward is vivacious, spontaneous, and confident—except when she’s around the man who stole her heart years earlier, strikingly handsome, quiet, and reliable Pete Lacroux. After years of trying to get his attention and overwhelmed from dealing with her mother’s new cougar lifestyle, Jenna’s giving up on Peter—and is ready to explore other men.
As the eldest of five siblings, with an alcoholic father to care for, boat craftsman Pete Lacroux always does the right thing and has no time for a real relationship. He’s looking forward to seeing his friend Jenna, a welcome distraction who’s so damn sexy and so painfully shy that she equally entertains and confuses him.
When Jenna picks up a hard-bodied construction worker, jealousy ignites Pete’s true feelings, and he’s powerless to ignore the desires for Jenna he never realized he had. But Pete’s not the quiet guy he appears to be, and his life is anything but conducive to a relationship. Can Jenna handle the real Pete Lacroux—the sexiest, most passionate alpha male she’s ever seen—or will she crack under pressure? And can Pete reclaim the life he once had without tearing apart his family?
Frankly, there is not a Melissa Foster book I don’t like! Read my review of Seaside Hearts.
Elisabeth Nash has spent years dreaming of returning to the small town of Trusty, Colorado, where she spent summers with her favorite aunt. When she inherits her aunt’s farmette, she closes her Los Angeles pet bakery and pampering business, sure that life in Trusty will be as peaceful and as welcoming as she remembers. But being an outsider in the close-knit town proves to be very different from the happy summers she remembers from her childhood—and falling for Trusty’s hot, wealthy, and sinfully irresistible veterinarian, Ross Braden, sends the rumor mill into a frenzy.
Ross Braden learned long ago that gossip spreads faster than weeds in his small hometown, and Ross loves nothing more than his privacy. For that reason, he doesn’t date women who live in Trusty. But that was before blond, beautiful, and refreshingly honest Elisabeth Nash flew into his vet clinic seeking help for her panicked piglet and turned his comfortable life—and his heart—inside out.
Despite rumors about Elisabeth’s motives toward her aunt’s property, passion brews between Elisabeth and Ross. Every steamy kiss and every sensual touch brings the pair closer together, and when Ross helps Elisabeth try to fit into the town he adores, it makes their bond even stronger. But even Elisabeth’s efforts toward reaching the community, and the love she and Ross so desperately believe in, might not be enough for the protective small town to offer them a future.
Another Melissa Foster book for the win! Read my review of Flirting with Love.
A mystery set in wine country pitting financial exec Brynn Bancroft against a determined stalker, a troubled love interest, and career clashes.
Brynn Bancroft learns that a former employee who beat her nearly to death has returned to stalk her and her friend, Jillian Hillcrest, also a former victim.
Recently divorced, Brynn turns to a new love interest only to encounter additional unwelcome issues. Meanwhile, short-timer Brynn, who has resigned from her Silicon Valley company, becomes bored fulfilling her remaining responsibilities there. She begins to prefer supporting the launch of her ex-husband’s new hilltop winery while waiting to move to her next position. Between her stalker and her new love interest, Brynn faces a series of life-changing events.
Read my review of Hilltop Sunset.
When Officer Bud the PR face of the Boston Police Department is gunned down, his brother, Bogie McGruder, returns from Palm Beach for the funeral. Since the BPD is investigating the death of one of their own, Bogie believes his trip to Boston will be a short condolence visit and a chance to meet his secret love child.
But interacting with a family fueled by alcohol and mired in scandals, Bogie is reminded why he does investigations for his Boston based company from a computer in Florida. Although Bogie wants to contact his ex-lover, Bailey Hampfield, he’s reluctant to do so since Bailey dumped him four years earlier. Knowing that Bailey had his child after she cut him loose, Bogie ponders how he can establish a relationship with the three year old daughter he’s never met. While he thinks about it, Bailey gets in touch with him and asks for protection. Someone is trying to kill her.
By the time Bogie meets Isabella, it’s apparent that he still loves the mother and adores the child. Bogie tells himself that he’s not interested in the BPD investigation into Bud’s death, but he continues to be drawn into it while trying to discover who is attempting to kill Bailey. The investigations seem to parallel each other, then intersect and become intertwined. As the story develops, Isabella, a precocious child obsessed with martial arts, slowly becomes the focus.
The underlying theme of this mystery is lies. Everyone seems to be running on lies and half truths. The only pure and true character is The Girl in White Pajamas.
If you remember correctly, I started a little twitter request asking for more of the girl in pajamas! Definitely a favorite of 2014! Read my review of The Girl in White Pajamas.
After months of caring for her terminally ill mother, Rebecca Rivera is left all alone in a world she doesn’t trust—but she’s determined not to let her mother’s death define her. Losing her job, having to pummel some jerk for being too handsy, and living in her car are just temporary setbacks to an otherwise solid plan in finding her footing. Full of pride and used to being in control of her life, she’s certain she can make it on her own. The last thing Rebecca needs is a man to fix her troubles—even if that man is strikingly handsome, wealthy, and charismatic Pierce Braden.
Pierce is a powerful real estate investor on the verge of a major acquisition. As the eldest of six siblings raised by a single mother, he’s spent his life protecting those he loves. He’s used to being in charge and making things right, and although he’d give his life for his family, he treats the women he dates as expendable—until he meets sexy and stubborn Rebecca Rivera, a woman who is as strong as she is vulnerable.
Passion ignites between them, and the two share their most intimate thoughts and desires. It doesn’t take long for Pierce to realize that Rebecca is as determined not to be saved as he is to find a way into her heart. As their love grows, Rebecca must face fears she didn’t even realize she had—and Pierce must learn the hard truth that sometimes less really is more. Is the power of true love enough for Rebecca and Pierce to learn to give up control and allow their hearts to take over?
Have I mentioned my love for Melissa? Oh. I have? Well, you can read my review of Romancing my Love here.
DRAWN IN 9TH/10TH PLACES
R&B Investigations is under attack. Their employee is shot in the back as he enters the building, and a hacker is trying to compromise their secure network. While the Boston police investigate the shooting, Bogie McGruder needs to find the culprit who is trying to put them out of business.
Bogie and his partner Rose Jones can’t disclose their internet problems to the cops since Bogie is a hacker himself.
Bogie McGruder returns to Boston with his four- year-old daughter Isabella. He joins up with Rose Jones’ uncle Walter who is fresh for Lompoc Prison. Bogie and Walter strengthen their firewalls while they try to determine who is behind the invasion. As the R&B team hones in on the culprit, they uncover several murders and discover a plot to wipe out the financial institutions in Boston.
While Bogie is in Boston, his extended family in Palm Beach becomes enmeshed in a sex scandal that threatens to ruin lives and careers in the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office.
Feeling like a wishbone about to snap, Bogie tries to handle problems in both cities while Isabella continues her quest for someone to teach her the Five-Point-Palm-Exploding-Heart technique as seen in Kill Bill Volume 2.
This tale of murder, revenge and greed takes the reader on a whirlwind trip from Boston to Palm Beach and back. Buckle your seatbelt!
Installment #2 of my favorite girl in pajama series – The Girl in Black Pajamas.
Samantha Clark meets with a monthly group to delve into subjects of interest. They dabble in meditation, dream work, and hypnosis — just friends having fun. But lately Sammi is feeling off-kilter and plagued with poor sleep. Searching for a natural solution, she discovers a bitter herb known to induce slumber, whips up a concoction to sweeten the herb, and imbibes. Unbeknownst to her, these areas of experimentation are whirling together to form the perfect storm, one that will blow open an entrance in Sammi’s mind that leads to another world, a door that can never again be closed.
She becomes enmeshed with two friends in a tug of war between life and death: Melissa is dealing with a complicated pregnancy and Julie is wrestling with cancer. Adding to this turmoil is Sammi’s disconnect with her career as a psychotherapist; her life doesn’t seem to fit any longer. Into the drama walks Todd, a handsome, laid-back guy who lightens up her days. Trouble is, Sammi is having a hard time getting close, and a nagging sense of doubt and fear. Like so many times in the past…
But the topper to all this is the dreams. They begin innocuously…but quickly morph into mind-blowing spiritual adventures. The crazy nocturnal activity appears to be related to a soulful character trying to make himself known. In a quest to uncover the truth, Sammi researches clues discovered during her nighttime romps. What she finds is another facet of herself…all wrapped up in post-colonial 18th-century clothes.
Sammi flies off to New England, and with the aid of the Rev. Clark, her skeptical father, she embarks on an adventure, revealing a tragic, centuries-old mystery. One only Sammi can solve.
Read my review of The Resurrection of Hannah.
When Kristen is sentenced to seventeen years for committing a white collar crime, she’s forced to leave her husband and two sons behind.
Life in prison is a shock. She discovers that people aren’t always what they seem, love wears many faces, and friendship can make life worth living.
But as she struggles to survive on the inside, Kristen must face something even more frightening than her fellow inmates…herself.
On the Inside is based on true events, written from the authors own family tragedy.
Review for On The Inside…..
This book will hook you from the very first paragraph, as you meet Lakeisha, a mail scanner for a women’s prison. She reads the prisoner’s correspondence, checks it for drugs and dangerous devices, and delivers the mail.Lakeisha is drawn into the correspondence Kristen has with her husband. And in this way, the reader is also drawn into the story about life inside a correctional facility for women. Kristen is the main character. She’s in jail for bilking her employer out of a huge sum of money. In the process, she lost the trust of her husband and children and virtually bankrupted them. They are bitter and wary of her, but she continues to send letters to her husband telling him how sorry she is. The only family member to write back is her sister-in-law, Olivia, who extends a lifeline to her with family pictures and events.We also meet a panoply of colorful characters from the flashy inmate, Lupe, to the prison psychiatrist, Megan, the warden, Laura, Kristen’s antagonist, Jess, and many others. Each person has their story, their trials, and triumphs, and you’ll find yourself rooting for all of them.
Ms. Cano expertly weaves in multiple points of view to make you understand and empathize with all of these people. Each has his or her own pain and sorrow as well as aspirations for a better future. Necessarily, some of the stories end tragically whereas others move on as best they can. But Kristen and the others learn to take happiness in small places and to accept what can’t be changed.
The story is uplifting and poignant. You won’t want to miss this. I read this in a single evening because I not just wanted to find out what happened to the characters, but I felt for them and laughed and cried and wished so much for them to be victorious in their lives.
Everything was resolved and there were no loose ends. Even though there was sadness leavened into the book, the overall message is joyful and shows the power of love, devotion, and forgiveness. You won’t be disappointed with this wonderful story. ~ Clare Chu
I can say this was on my favorites list too – a great read from 2014! Read my review of On the Inside.
Welcome to Tarpon Cove.
Dying in the Middle of Summer is Sweaty Business…
If you ever put yourself in trouble by picking up someone else’s past, you have to meet Madison Westin, an honorary Trouble Queen.
Madison is a quirky motel owner, who recently inherited her aunt’s beachfront motel in the Florida Keys. But that is NOT all she inherited, as the motel houses a slew of colorful tenant’s – drunks, ex-cons, fugitives, and whatever bad guy you can think of.
How to solve this mess…? That is really not that difficult if you are Madison Westin.
Step 1: Take back control of YOUR motel
Step 2: Learn the ins and outs of blackmail, murder, and drugs
Step 3: If all fails, hope for the best…
Deborah Brown’s Crazy in Paradise is packed with Action, Romance, Intrigue, Mystery and Suspense. Oh… did I forget to mention the humor makes for a fast and enjoyable read? This book will be difficult to put down!
GIVVER GO…… but ONLY if you want to be Crazy in Paradise!
Definitely another on the favorite list – this entire Paradise series is a win! I am certain you will find more of the Paradise series on the 2015 favorite list too! Read my review of Crazy in Paradise.
“Experience the long anticipated sequel to The Mirror of the Moon.
In the fantastical lands of the Great Realms, Angelica, Jovian, and Joya are on the search for their older sister Amber, who has been kidnapped by the villain, Porillon. But Amber has slipped away from all of them, and where she has gone is as big a mystery as why she was taken. While they are searching for their sister, Porillon strikes a staggering blow to the entire land.
The Well of Wyrding, a mythic well which contains the magic and fate of every creature in the Great Realms, has been poisoned creating havoc as the magic power of wyrd becomes toxic.
While Grace, Rosalee, and Dalah seek a way to purify the Well of Wyrding, wyrd is going haywire, buildings fashioned with wyrd are turning to pinnacles of terror; wyrd is working against its casters; and people are taking up arms against the threat sorcerers and their kind pose.
But the toxic wyrd is causing a new problem to arise. They are called caustics: those wyrders who have been completely taken over by their chaotic wyrd. Husks of what they once were, they are now a vessel for Chaos in the realms.”
Read my review of Well of Wyrding.