Sunday, August 21, 2016

On the Reading Table








WHAT’S ON MY READING TABLE

I want to share what’s on my reading table. I hope you’ll want to play along with me and share what’s on your reading table with me .

The Templar's Code by C. M. Palov

The greatest secret in the history of mankind is a secret worth killing for...

During the Middle Ages a rumor was born about a mysterious and sacred Ancient Egyptian text. Known as the Emerald Tablet, it was said to contain the secret of creation.

But the greatest secret of all is who wrote it...

Every Day is an Atheist Holiday!: More Magical Tales from the author of God,No! by Penn Jillette

Let's be honest - nobody has more fun than atheists. Don't believe it? Well, consider this: For non-believers, every day you're alive is a day to celebrate! And no one celebrates life to the fullest like Penn Jillette - the larger, louder half of legendary magic duo Penn & Teller - whose spectacularly witty and sharply observant essays in Every Day Is an Atheist Holiday! will entertain zealots and skeptics alike. Whether he's contemplating the possibility of life after death, deconstructing popular Christmas carols, or just calling bullsh*t on Donald Trump's apprentice training, Jillette does not fail to shock and delight his readers. And as ever, underneath these rollicking rants lie a deeply personal philosophy and a generous spirit, which find joy and meaning in family, and peace in the simple beauty of the everyday. Every Day Is an Atheist Holiday! is a hysterical affirmation of life's magic from one of the most distinctly perceptive and provocative humorists writing today.


That's what's on my table, how about yours? What's on your reading table.
Happy Reading!

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Insidious Review






Insidious (An FBI Thriller)  by Catherine Coulter

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Gallery Books

Source: Sent by publisher for review

Book Description:

Insidious is the twentieth thriller in #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter's FBI series. FBI agents Savich and Sherlock must discover who is trying to murder Venus Rasmussen, a powerful, wealthy society icon. They soon find out that the danger may be closer than expected.

Venus Rasmussen, a powerful woman who runs the international conglomerate Rasmussen Industries, believes someone is poisoning her. After Savich and Sherlock visit with her, someone attempts to shoot her in broad daylight. Who’s trying to kill her and why? A member of her rapacious family, or her grandson who’s been missing for ten years and suddenly reappears? Savich and Sherlock must peel away the layers to uncover the incredible truth about who would target Venus.

Meanwhile, Special Agent Cam Wittier leaves Washington for Los Angeles to work with local Detective Daniel Montoya to lead the hunt for the Starlet Slasher, a serial killer who has cut the throats of five young actresses. When a sixth young actress is murdered, Cam comes to realize the truth might be closer than she’d ever want to believe.

With breakneck speed and unexpected twists and turns, Coulter’s Insidious will leave you breathless until the shocking conclusion.

Review:

I loved this thrilling book. I hadn't read from this series in years, but still enjoyed it. There are two story lines, but you are able to keep them straight and both are exciting and will keep you guessing until the end.

If you enjoy FBI thrillers, then you'll love this book, even if you've never read any of the other books in the series this one will make you want to read the others in the series.

The characters are believable and the story is well developed and exciting. This would be a perfect beach read or in the colder months sitting in front of a fire.

Happy Reading!
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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Taking a break



Hello,

  I've been receiving a lot of review books that I'm overwhelmed. I'm taking a break for a while to read some of my TBR list. I'll still post reviews, but taking a break from accepting requests from indie authors. I applaud what you're doing and wish you luck. You might want to check out the Book Blogger List for other bloggers accepting books.

Happy Reading!
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Guest Post of Parallel Lines

Today I want to welcome Jane McCulloch to As the Page Turns to talk about her books.




JANE McCULLOCH

PARALLEL LINES
Book 1 of the THREE LIVES TRILOGY

What led me to writing this book?

For most of my adult life and professional career I have worked a writer and director in the theatre. Inevitably this meant I was often on long tours with plenty of spare time. It was in those hotel rooms that I began to form an idea for writing a novel and I started making notes.
Turning to writing fiction was something of a risk, demanding a very different technique from writing for the theatre. However, because of my theatre work and the travel involved, I had met and observed many fascinating people and been in some interesting situations, which gave me a great deal of material to draw on. 
I had always been interested in exploring issues of loneliness and isolation within a closed society and I decided to start from there.

Why ‘Parallel Lines’?

Again, drawing on my own life, I noticed that parallel events were always occurring.  Things that had happened in my mother’s life were now happening to me.  It was more than just a series of coincidences it became like a pattern, so that my life was almost predictable.
Now I have noticed the same parallel events happening to my daughters as well.  It seemed a good theme to use and explore.

Why start the book in the 50’s?

It was a decade I knew well as I grew up in it.  It also seemed that the 50’s were a neglected time in fiction. It was far more likely for people to read about the swinging 60’s and more contemporary times.
It was fascinating to delve into my memory and explore those post-war days.
The trilogy moves on through several decades and finished in the 90’s.

Why choose Celia as your heroine?

To me Celia represents so many women of that time. It was still a male dominated society and women were considered domestic creatures unable to have careers of their own, but were confined to the home. Celia is one such woman, with a controlling husband, unable to make a bid for freedom because she has no financial means of supporting herself and she is frightened she will lose her child if she leaves.
Celia becomes lonely, sad and starts to suffer from depression. After taking an overdose she is sent to see a famous psychiatrist and embarks on a journey of self realisation where she recounts a bleak and unloved childhood, with neglect from her parents and constant bullying both at school and home. 
This unburdening finally helps her to make the bid for freedom.

Why use the sessions with the psychiatrist?

I wanted a device where Celia could delve into her past, explaining the parallel events that happen to her and the reason she feels so trapped in her present life. Her account of the sessions gave me the means of doing this.

 Why did this turn into a Trilogy?

As I started to write and explore the character of Celia, it seemed that this was going to be longer than one book as it became a story about three inter-twined people.
In the middle of ‘Parallel Lines’ Celia falls passionately in love and the development of this affair leads into a second story and then that story leads into a third.  All the books stand on their own, but there is a link between each and the dramatic events at the end of books one and two lead on to the final one.
The trilogy is a family saga and I hope the situations and the genuine, flawed characters will be ones with which readers can easily identify and enjoy the journey.


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Catherine Coulter's next book in the FBI series launches today

Synopsis: 
Insidious is the twentieth thriller in #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter's FBI series. FBI agents Savich and Sherlock must discover who is trying to murder Venus Rasmussen, a powerful, wealthy society icon. They soon find out that the danger may be closer than expected.

Venus Rasmussen, a powerful woman who runs the international conglomerate Rasmussen Industries, believes someone is poisoning her. After Savich and Sherlock visit with her, someone attempts to shoot her in broad daylight. Who’s trying to kill her and why? A member of her rapacious family, or her grandson who’s been missing for ten years and suddenly reappears? Savich and Sherlock must peel away the layers to uncover the incredible truth about who would target Venus.

Meanwhile, Special Agent Cam Wittier leaves Washington for Los Angeles to work with local Detective Daniel Montoya to lead the hunt for the Starlet Slasher, a serial killer who has cut the throats of five young actresses. When a sixth young actress is murdered, Cam comes to realize the truth might be closer than she’d ever want to believe.

With breakneck speed and unexpected twists and turns, Coulter’s Insidious will leave you breathless until the shocking conclusion.

Buy Links:

Author Bio: Catherine Coulter is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over seventy-five novels, including the FBI Thriller series and the Brit in the FBI series, which she co-writes with J.T. Ellison. Coulter lives in Marin County, California.

Catherine Coulter's Social Links:


Las Vegas, Nevada
Saturday night
Marty Sallas moved quiet as a thief, which is what he was, to one of the side windows of the small pastel blue house, his glass cutter in his hand. It was a good fifteen minutes from the Strip in a quiet middling residential neighborhood. Perfect, really, for what he had planned. He’d kept his eyes on his princess, called Legs by everyone in the cast of the Beatles Retrospective, for the past two days, ever since he’d noticed a rich guy coming on to her.  Last night he’d seen the dude give her an expensive emerald and diamond bracelet from Laszlo’s, a not-so-subtle inducement to hit the sheets. Tonight the rich guy wasn’t with her, he was playing high-stakes poker again at the Mandalay, where he’d seen her singing and dancing in her show. Molly Harbinger was her name, but to Marty, she was his princess who would give him her crowned jewels. He looked at his watch, lit a cigarette. Of course, he’d stick the butt in his pocket. Soon now, Molly should fall into bed exhausted after her three-hour workout in the show.
Marty used the time to think about how he’d spend the money he’d get from this job. He was considering the San Juan Islands off the coast of Seattle, perfect weather this time of year, not like this hell hole, and who cared there’d be no hot girls hanging out drinking beers? He’d buy himself a wet suit and swim in Puget sound. He had to pay off Alf, a security guard at Laszlo’s, who’d texted him about the bracelet. The rich dude had shelled out fifteen big ones. So one thousand to Alf. It always paid to keep his boys happy.    
Marty froze when the kitchen light came on at the rear of the house. He moved around so he could see into the kitchen, crouched behind the bushes. Why wasn’t she in bed, getting her beauty sleep? He’d seen her caress the rich guy’s hand just that afternoon over two glasses of chardonnay, the bracelet sparkling in the dim bar light, and heard her thank him again, tell him she had two shows tomorrow, and she needed to get to bed early, but -– lovely pause -- she was off Sunday. The guy had bowed out gracefully, no doubt he’d wet-dream his night away. Marty hoped he would win big at poker and give her more bling. The princess deserved that.
It was after midnight and there she stood, wearing a pink pajama boxers and a tank top, drinking water over the kitchen sink. Back to bed, Princess, back to bed, time’s a-wastin’. Come on, honey, it don’t pay to hang around in one place too long.
He heard a man’s wheedling voice, but couldn’t make out the words, then the princess yelled, “I told you to get out of here, Tommy! What you did this time tears it. You gambled away all the money I’ve saved. Get out now, you loser, I don’t want to see your stupid face again.”
Marty had thought she’d already drop-kicked Tommy, a car salesman she’d been seeing over on Marian Avenue. No loss, the jerk. The fact is, he’d believed she was alone. Where was Tommy’s car? Marty didn’t like this, didn’t like it at all. He had to be more careful.
Whatever, boot the jerk out, Princess. Get your beautiful self back into bed and into dreamland and I’ll give you something to guarantee a good night’s sleep.
Marty eased back toward the front of the house, eased down into a mess of red bougainvillea. He waited patiently for Tommy to come trooping out the front door when he heard a motorcycle coming down the quiet street. It was moving slow, as if the driver was looking for an address. At this hour? What was wrong with people? Even in Las Vegas regular people slept at night. It was only delusional brainless yahoos flying in here from who-knew-where who stayed up all night. 
The motorcycle stopped out in front of the house, idled. What was this crap? Had Tommy called a friend to pick him up? Or was it someone else sniffing on Marty’s turf? Nah, another thief wouldn’t be cruising around on a loud-ass motorcycle. He’d be hiding, like Marty, biding his time. Marty cursed low. All he wanted was to get in, lay a chloroform mask over his princess’s nose, watch her snap awake, then breathe in and pass out, ten seconds, tops. He’d find that bracelet and get out with no one the wiser, but no, he couldn’t catch a break. First a boyfriend and now this motorcycle, and who was this guy? He heard the front door slam. So Tommy had called a buddy to come get him. Everything was all right. Tommy climbed aboard and the motorcycle revved and rocketed down the street. No more drama. Neither idiot was wearing a helmet.
Marty would give her another twenty minutes at least. If she was mad at the boyfriend, it’d take her longer to calm herself and float off to dreamland. He waited, listening, and now there was only the sounds of crickets, a coyote in the distance, but nothing else except a light desert breeze.       
Finally Marty pulled the glass cutter out of his pocket, and walked quietly toward the second bedroom window.  
Then he heard something, like a door opening real quiet, like someone sneaking around who didn’t want to be heard. No, impossible, it couldn’t have come from the princess’s house. She was alone. But his heart still pounded. Maybe he was getting too old for the business. He waited, the glass cutter poised in his hand.
Marty pressed the button on the side of his watch, lit up the face. Nine minutes after one o’clock now. He hadn’t survived this long by being stupid. He waited another five minutes. Nothing, no light, no sound. Everything was as it should be. The neighbors were all tucked in, pets snoozing, Tommy and his motorcycle buddy watching a late movie, guzzling beer.
Marty carefully carved a small circle in the glass, gently lifted it out with tape, and eased his hand through the opening to unlock the window. He hoisted himself up and carefully eased inside the second bedroom, more an office, he thought, seeing the small desk, the laptop, a chair. He quietly closed the window, no sense taking a chance that a sudden noise outside would awaken her. He stood a moment in the darkness, listening, then pulled out the cloth wrapped around a small bottle of chloroform from his jacket pocket, and soaked it good. He walked silently to the door, opened it, looked out into the darkened hallway. There wasn’t a sound, not even an air conditioner, and that was good, it meant the princess was fast asleep. Would she have the bracelet on the nightstand next to her? That would make things easy. In his line of work, though, Marty had learned early on that something that easy happened maybe once in a decade.
He crept toward her bedroom at the end of the hall, his sneakers not making a sound. The bedroom door was open. He slowly looked around the edge of the door.
And nearly fainted. He managed to keep his shriek in his throat, but the figure bending over his princess sensed his presence, turned, and Marty saw his face in the shaft of moonlight coming in the bedroom window. He was wearing goggles smeared with blood and had a bloody knife in his hand. As the man jerked away from the bed, Marty saw his princess covered with blood, saw her head bent at an impossible angle, saw blood still oozing from her neck, all in a millisecond. And he could smell the blood, thick and hot and coppery. Marty ran back down the hall, threw a bookshelf down behind him. He heard the killer’s shoes hitting the wood floor in the hall behind him as he ran back into the small office. Marty dove out the window headfirst, cutting his hand on his way through, but he didn’t slow. He rolled to his feet, clutched his hand to his chest, and ran to where his car was parked three streets away. Only when he was driving away did he look back. He didn’t see anyone. Had the man seen his face? Would he be able to find him? 
Marty’s heart pounded and he was still panting from his run and from stark terror. He’d never been so afraid in his life. He felt the pain in his cut hand only then, smelled his own blood, only not nearly as thick and fetid as the smell in her bedroom.   
It wasn’t until later, after his hand had been stitched in the ER across town, and he was cruising on morphine, did he feel rage at what the monster had done.  He’d stuck that knife into the princess -- his princess – he’d slit her throat. And then he’d come after Marty.


Happy Reading!

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Order of the Blood review






Order of the Blood: The Unofficial Chronicles of John Grissom  by Page Zaplendam

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Source: Sent by author for review

Book Description:

When a vampire’s abilities and defects never fully develop, taking on the head of England’s biggest vampire sect could be a bad idea.

Ever since he was turned, John Grissom, bacteriologist, has worked to find a cure for the disease. A powerful peer of the realm approaches him about research into the immunological properties of vampire blood, but Grissom discovers a far more gruesome scheme at play. He, his newly acquired assistant Henrietta, and the Prussian Van Helsing, a veteran vampire hunter in the employ of the Foreign Service, must seek out the elusive vampire lord before he succeeds in dramatically influencing the outcome of the war.

Review:

This is not your typical vampire novel. John is a good vampire and wants to help cure the disease. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes gothic type stories, but without the violence.

Page weaves a simple tale that will amaze you and excite you. It's refreshing to read a vampire with a conscience. He's also a gentleman and is respectful of his female assistant.

Thanks to Page for sharing John's story with us.

Happy Reading!
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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Dark Canvas review






Dark Canvas  by Jody Summers

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: JS Books Publishing

Source: Sent by author for review

Book Description:

When artist, Kira McGovern mixes paints with the ashes of the dead, she discovers her extraordinary gift, but it also leads her to some horrifying crimes in this psychological thriller of a novel.


It seems innocent enough at first, thought Kira McGovern--mixing her dead mother's ashes with paint to produce a tribute painting. What a way to personalize and immortalize her mom's memory! The idea so ensnares her that she forms a new business, Canvas of Life, to do just that for others. As she begins with her first clients, something inexplicable occurs: Kira experiences segments of the dead person's life. In dreams and visions she begins to receive images. Some are gratifying, some are unpleasant and some are downright deadly.

Sean Easton is a Kansas farm boy with a special talent he is just beginning to understand. His father, too, has recently died, but something sinister still lingers on the farm. When he takes his father's ashes to Kira as a pretense to meet her, he not only falls in love but makes some startling discoveries about his own life as well, and as Kira begins to paint with Sean's father's ashes the real terror begins...

In DARK CANVAS, join Kira and Sean as they realize they must quickly find the meaning and source of her dreams before both their love and their lives are destroyed.

Review:

This is a great romantic suspense thriller along with its sequel Mask MakerI liked how the characters developed and the writing. The ideas are new and refreshing. I would recommend this for anyone who enjoys romantic suspense with a mystery thrown it as well.

If you like a story where the characters have flaws and overcome special abilities, then you'll enjoy these books. Thanks to Jody for sharing these books with us.

Happy Reading!
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Friday, August 5, 2016

Beautiful Something Else Review






Beautiful Something Else by Sheila Hageman

Publisher: 48fourteen

Genre: Fiction

Description:

Beautiful Something Else is a contemporary romance with smarts and humor.

Lizbeth, an outwardly-confident but overly self-conscious thirty-year-old, is spurred on by her New Age friend, Janet, to trust the Universe and ask for what she wants in life—to land a starring role, lose five pounds and find herself naked with a man. The stars seem to be aligning for her, but not exactly in the way she meant.

A chance encounter with a film director at Grand Central Station may be her lucky break, but the New York City actress is blindsided when she is fired from her bill-paying waitress job, and she must decide where her true values lie. Should she take a position as a “pretend secretary” for a handsome, but holier-than-though chiropractor and healer with questionable morals to pay her rent?

While Chip Duncan woos a potential investor for his new healing center, he fights his romantic urges for Lizbeth. She finds herself falling in love with Chip’s caring, healing heart, but she’s equally frustrated by his greed and dishonesty.
Can Lizbeth resolve her body image issues and find a clear path to satisfaction in career and relationship? And will Chip realize in time that Lizbeth is the woman for him before he blows off her love?


Review:

I enjoyed this romance. It is a great beach read. It isn't full of sex, but lots of sexual tension and innuendo. If you want a clean read and enjoy stories where love doesn't always go smooth, then you'll enjoy this book.

Thanks to Sheila for sending this book my way.

Happy Reading!

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15 Apps for Book Lovers

I was reading on the Bustle website and came across this list of bookish apps you might want to download.

Happy Reading!
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15 Awesome Book Apps Every Book Lover Needs To Download ASAP

As a book lover, it's difficult to keep up with all the new books being released — but these book-related apps certainly make it a lot easier. Even though I'll always be a traditional hardcover book lover, I do read books on my e-reader and listen to audiobooks from time to time on my phone. In my mind, it seems that real books will never go out of style, but that doesn't mean we can't keep up with technology that makes it easier and more convenient to read.
My phone is full of downloaded books, and I have my ever-growing TBR list jotted down in multiple places. Not to mention, I've taken screenshots of so many pictures of books that I just find pretty (don't judge me). Needless to say, my phone has become my go-to resource for finding out new reads. I can keep track of my reading on Goodreads, look for new books on Instagram or Litsy, or even get a suggestion with the Bustle app!
If you're also equally in love with all the different sorts of ways you can show your love for books — reviewing them online, keeping track of what you've read, and even showing off your cute bookshelf, you most definitely need these 15 apps:

  1. List
Book-lovers, Litsy is about to become your new BFF. This app allows you to track which books you've read, want to read, and are currently reading, while also allowing you to update your page with pictures, thoughts, and quotes from your current read. It's a beautiful, simple app that lets you share your love for books in a fresh new way.


2. Goodreads


Goodreads is the best place to share your book reviews, learn about new books, stay up-to-date on your favorite authors, and track all the books you've read in your lifetime.

3. Shelfie

Shelfie is pretty much what it sounds like — take a photo of your bookshelf and the app will digitize your library for you. If that doesn't sound completely amazing, the app also lets you know which books are available in ebook and audiobook form. You can also browse other book-lovers' bookshelves for recommendations, and it gives you a chance to show off your incredible collection.


4. Libib

Similar to Shelfie, Libib is a library catalogue that allows you to scan in your books, along with your movies, music, and video games. If you need an easy and reliable place to keep all of your media, this is the app for you.

5. Serial Box

If you adore podcasts and books, Serial Box is a must-have. Week after week, new episodes of drama stories are released, and you have the option to listen or read (or do both). Just like your favorite TV shows, there's around 10-16 episodes — each around 40 minutes long — and there's a new season every year.
Subscription fee: $1.59 per episode

6. We Read Too

This book resource app showcases hundreds upon hundreds of books written by authors of color that all include characters of color. This is a must for anyone who supports the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement.

7. Scribd

Scribd is simply one of the best book apps on the market. While it does come with a monthly price tag (though it is less than one paperback book), the cost is well worth it if you're an avid e-reader and audiobook lover. You can also read comics, sheet music, and other documents with the app.
Membership: $8.99 per month

8. OverDrive

If you can't afford a monthly subscription service, you're in luck: OverDrive is a free app that allows you to borrow ebooks, audiobooks, and streamed video from your local libraries. There's no late fees since the books are returned automatically. Plus, you can create your own wish list and place certain books on hold.

9. Free Books

Is there anything better than free books? If you've been meaning to catch up on some classics, check out this app.

10. Wattpad

Whether you've been introduced to the growing world of self-publishing or not, Wattpad is here to show you the way. It's a community of writers and readers, and a place to share thoughts, read something new, or take a crack at writing something yourself.

11. Gerty

Like jotting down notes while you're reading? Consider downloading Gerty, a place to keep track of the books you've read, are currently reading, and want to read. This app makes it easy to take notes as you read — a great resource for those who read for work (like me!).

12. Downpour

I'm a big fan of Audible, and when I found Downpour, an app that takes your audiobook experience to new levels, I was stoked. You can set sleep timers (this was super helpful for me since I usually listen to books when I'm too tired to read), and it allows you to bookmark certain spots that you loved or wanted to go back to at some point.

13. Reco

Do you love recommending books to your friends and family? Are you constantly trying to find the next best book to read? Reco is all about sharing and recommending books within a book-loving community.

14. BookShout

Bookshout makes reading faster. The app is integrated with Spritz speed-reading technology, which helps break down text and allow you to read it more quickly. The app will be able to pinpoint how fast you read, and it can even give you an estimate for how long it will take you to read a certain book. Oh, and it also comes with over 100,000 free e-books to choose from. So, what are you waiting for?

15. Audible

Audiobooks are perfect for times when you can't physically look at a book — like when you're cleaning or booking or running. The service is $14.95 per month, and it includes one audiobook per month plus 30% off additional books.


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Enigmatologist Review





The Enigmatologist  by Ben Adams

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Ravenswood Publishing

Source: Sent by author for review

Book Description:

Twenty-something, John Abernathy is disillusioned. His job as a private investigator is unfulfilling, and he can’t find work in his chosen field, Enigmatology, the study and design of puzzles. He is about to quit when the National Enquirer calls. A woman in Las Vegas, New Mexico sent them a photo of someone who’s supposed to have died 35 years ago—Elvis Aaron Presley. And they need John to investigate it. When the Elvis impersonator, Al Leadbelly, is murdered, John investigates, finding Air Force colonel, Alvin Hollister—convinced Leadbelly has information regarding Elvis's death—at the crime scene conducting his own investigation. John discovers great-great-great grandfather's journal—unearthing a conspiracy entwining Elvis, shape-shifting aliens, and Mary Todd Lincoln. When John finds Leadbelly, alive and wearing a sequined jumpsuit, John must help him escape before Colonel Hollister finds him, and discover if Leadbelly is really Elvis, an obsessed fan, or something more.

Review:

If you like quirky stories, then you'll enjoy this book. I loved the way John slowing begins to find himself and discover things about himself he never knew. I love how he is unsure of what to do, but attempts things anyway.

When he's sent to investigate whether a photo of Elvis is real, little does he realize how this one incident will change his life and he'll discover who he really is and why he's always felt different.

Thanks to Ben for sharing the first book of a trilogy.

Happy Reading!
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