Blog Tour: Coded for Murder

CODED FOR MURDER

by
DIANNE SMITHWICK-BRADEN
Genre: Murder Mystery / Amateur Sleuth
Publisher: DSB Mysteries
Publication Date: September 26, 2019
Number of Pages: 358 pages

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Jade O’Neal is a senior at West Texas A & M University in Canyon, Texas. She’s on track to graduate with highest honors and a degree in history until she is accused of murder. She juggles her busy school and work schedule around taking care of an overgrown Rottweiler and being questioned by police until she finds a series of clues hidden in puzzle form. Time is against her as she follows the clues to find the true identity of the murderer while avoiding arrest and her own murder.
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Review

 

Rating :★★★★.5

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from Lone Star Literary Life partner in exchange for my honest review.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copies used in this review are finalized copies sent to me in exchange for my honest review.  #partner #LSBBT

 

Have you ever lost a loved one? Have you tried to move on with your life but unable to do so because of the memory? Jade and her Uncle Erik have restarted their lives after the loss of her Father. Erik O’Neal tries to do everything he can to work to solve the mystery of the murder of his brother all while trying to protect his niece. The more time he spends trying to look for facts and clues surrounding his brother’s death, the more at risk he puts his family. Will Erik solve the mystery surrounding his brother’s death or will he die trying.

This murder mystery is written in a diary-style format with the chapters including the dates. It is a unique approach to incorporating the time aspect into the storytelling. I’ve never seen a novel written in this style and third person. While reading I was able to fully be aware of the concept of time and the connection it has with the development of the story. I gave this book four and a half stars mostly because I felt it began a little slow. Although I enjoyed the beginning with the glimpse inside Jade and her Uncle Erik’s life I felt it would have been more suited later in the novel. On the contrary, the beginning did provide a great look at how some families move on after the death of a loved one and focus on the future. The author does a great job working to ensure the reader fully understand the full dynamic of each character and its role in the storyline. The plot twist will have you on the edge of your seat as the novel works to pick up speed. I laughed out loud at Teddy one of my absolute favorite characters in this novel. Throughout this novel, the reader gets to hear every thought, engage in every interaction, and feel every emotion the characters feel. This allowed for a more in-depth reading experience where I felt transported into the novel.

My question is where can I get me a Teddy? It is such a wonderful reading experience when the author is able to write a mystery novel that isn’t littered with foul language. I thoroughly enjoyed the modesty of the character Jade and the morality of Uncle Erik. Also, loved the Christian influence.

If you are interested in a well written, humorous, and engaging adult murder mystery novel then this book is for you!! I recommend this book to young adult and adult readers mostly due to the life lessons spread throughout this tale. Special thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of this edge-of-your-seat murder mystery tale.

Click the link above to purchase this item or scroll towards the bottom of this review try your luck at the giveaway. Either way, get your hands on a copy of this book!


Dianne Smithwick-Braden is a native Texan raised on the family farm near Vernon, Texas. She seasons her mysteries with a little romance, a dash of adventure, and a touch of humor. She currently resides in Amarillo, Texas with her husband, Richard. 

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GRAND PRIZE:
Signed copy of Coded for Murder, hot chocolate mix, mug, crossword puzzle book, mini-notepads, M&Ms, clip-on book light
TWO WINNERS: 
Signed copies of Coded for Murder
February 25-March 5, 2020
(US Addresses Only)

 

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Blog Tour: Covey and JayJay Get Educated

COVEY AND JAYJAY
GET EDUCATED
by
Shelton L. Williams
Genre: Murder Mystery / Social Thriller / Amateur Sleuth
Publication Date: September 1, 2019
Number of Pages: 209 pages

 

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Amateur detectives, Covey Jencks and JayJay Qualls, are drawn into a triple murder on the campus of Baker College in West Waverly in the Texas Hill Country. Both end up taking positions at the college: Covey as an adjunct instructor and JayJay as a visiting actor. 


Initially they believe that money is the motive for the murders, but over time they learn that the college is a cauldron of political and social intrigue. The college’s new president and his beautiful wife, various staff members, a prominent trustee, and parties not associated with the college have the motives, opportunities, and wacky agendas that might implicate them in the murders. It turns out that a white nationalist group may be using a college house for its nefarious activities, but are they more talk than action? 

The West Waverly police are little to no help in the investigation, and Covey himself has to depart the college to deal with his father’s death. JayJay takes over and makes a critical breakthrough. Upon Covey’s return, the couple must rely on deception, a bit of luck, and martial arts skills to solve the crimes and to try to prevent a high-profile assassination.


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Rating :★★★★

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from Lone Star Literary Life partner in exchange for my honest review.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copies used in those are finalized copies sent to me in exchange for my honest review.  #partner #LSBBT

This book can be read as a standalone but is the second book in the Covey Jencks mystery series. Covey and JayJay are two friends who serve as amateur detectives in this West Texas mystery novel. As they work to solve the unexpected murder of three individuals at Baker College and clear the name of a friend, they uncover more than just the suspect.

As they work to uncover the mystery behind the murders they uncover a white nationalist movement at the same time. The author does a phenomenal job diving into the social issues and discovering major discriminatory acts that occurred in the area. You can tell the author spent time conducting research and digging deep to understand the make up of the area during the time this fiction novel was set in.

I enjoyed the dialogue between the main characters and the way the writing flowed. The author spent a great deal of time working on the layout, writing style, and character development. The character interaction felt real and personal. I also enjoyed the uniqueness associated with the chapter style. I have not seen a novel written with the chapters from a main perspective and from a character specific perspective. It allowed for the novel to be conveyed using two methods and gave insight into the mind of the main character. This book is filled with twists, turns , and interrogations. There were numerous occasions where I gasped out loud while reading and laughed at the interactions between the main characters and supporting characters. How far will you go to prove your friend’s innocence? Throughout the whole novel I thought I had a pretty good idea of why the murders occurred until closer towards the end and I noticed there was a bigger issue at hand than the murders.

I highly recommend this novel if you are looking for a thought-provoking adult mystery novel that focuses on social issues written from two perspectives; one from a person of color and one from a narrative perspective. Click the link above to purchase this item or try your luck at the giveaway. Either way, get your hands on this book!


Shelton L. Williams (Shelly) is founder and president of the Osgood Center for International Studies in Washington, DC. He holds a PhD from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and he taught for nearly 40 years at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. He has served in the US Government on 4 occasions and he has written books and articles on nuclear proliferation. In 2004 he began a new career of writing books on crime and society. Those books are Washed in the Blood, Summer of 66, and now Covey Jencks. All firmly prove that he is still a Texan at heart.
 
 Amazon Author Page  



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FOUR WINNERS!GRAND PRIZE: signed copy of each of the author’s books
SECOND PRIZE: signed copy of both Covey Jencks and Covey and JayJay Get Educated
THIRD PRIZE: Audio book of Covey and JayJay Get Educated
FOURTH PRIZE: Kindle version of Covey and JayJay Get Educated
DECEMBER 10-20, 2019
(U.S. Only)
 

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