Friday, September 18, 2015

ISOLATION by Mary Anna Evans


Mary Anna Evans

on Tour September 2015



Archaeologist Faye Longchamp-Mantooth has dug herself a deep hole and she can’t make her way out of it. As she struggles to recover from a shattering personal loss, she sees that everyone she loves is trying to reach out to her. If only she could reach back. Instead she’s out digging holes all over her home, the Florida island of Joyeuse.

In their old plantation home, Joe Wolf Mantooth is surrounded by family—Faye, the wife he loves; their toddler son he adores; and his father, who hasn’t gotten around to telling him how long he’s been out of prison or how he got there—yet Joe has never felt so helpless or alone.

Then a close friend at the local marina is brutally murdered, the first in a string of crimes against women that rocks Micco County. Joe, desperate to help Faye, realizes she is in danger from both her inner demons and someone who has breached the island’s isolation. Local law and environmental officials say they want to help, but to Faye and Joe they feel more like invaders. A struggling Faye reaches back over a century into her family’s history for clues. And all the while, danger snakes further into their lives, threatening the people they love, their cherished home, even the very ground—some of it poisoned—beneath their feet.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, Women Sleuths
Published by: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: August 4, 2015
Number of Pages: 284
Series: A Faye Longchamp Mystery, 9
ISBN: 9781464204029
Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Chapter One

Fish know which docks are owned by people who are generous with their table scraps. In the evenings, they gather around wooden posts that vibrate with the footsteps of a human carry- ing food. They wait, knowing that potato peels and pork chop bones will soon rain from the sky. They race to skim the surface for floating bread crumbs. They dive, nibbling at each half-eaten hot dog as it sinks. When a restaurant, even a shabby dive where hungry people clean their plates, throws its detritus off one par- ticular dock every night, fish for miles around know all about it.

On this night, the fish wait below a dock that has always offered a nightly feast. Tonight, they feel the vibrations of familiar feet. The food falls into the water, as always, and the sound of a stainless steel spoon scraping the bottom of a stainless steel pot passes from the air above to the water below. Everything is as it has been, until a sharp noise jabs into the water hard enough for the fish to hear it. The spoon falls.

The spoon is large, designed for a commercial kitchen, so it hits the water with a smack that can be heard both above and below the surface. A scream falls into the fishes’ underworld along with the spoon.

A big pot, with food scraps still clinging to its inner surface, hits the water an instant later. Only creatures with the agility of the waiting fish could scatter quickly enough to avoid being hit.

After another heartbeat, something else falls among them, something bigger and softer. Soon there are two somethings, both with arms and legs and feet and hands, one that gurgles and another that leaves when the gurgling stops.

The thing that stays behind is a human body. As it settles in the water, tiny minnows nestle in the long hair that floats around it like seaweed. Catfish explore its ten long fingers with their tentacled mouths. None of them associate its two bare feet with the sprightly vibrations that had always signaled a rain of food.

Before long, predators appear, drawn by the smell of blood.

Chapter Two

Joe Wolf Mantooth was worried about his wife.

Faye was neglecting their business. She was neglecting her health. He wanted to say she was neglecting her children, but it would kill her to think he believed such a thing, so he spent a lot of time telling that part of himself to be quiet. He also wanted to say she was neglecting him, but it would kill him to believe it, so he spent the rest of his time telling that other part of himself to be quiet. Or to shrivel up and die. Because if he ever lost Faye, that’s what Joe intended to do. Shrivel up and die.

The children seemed oblivious to the changes in their mother.

Michael, at two, saw nothing strange about her leaving the house every morning with her archaeological tools. She had always done that.

Amande was away from home, doing an immersion course in Spanish at a camp situated so high in the Appalachians that she’d asked for heavy sweaters long before Halloween. Faye had been too distracted to put them in the mail. Joe had shopped for them, boxed them up, and sent them off. Faye seemed to have forgotten that her daughter had ever said, “I’m cold.”

Amande was perceptive for seventeen. If she hadn’t noticed that Joe had been doing all the talking for the last month, she would notice soon. Lately, when faced with a call from her daughter, Faye murmured a few distracted words before pretending that Michael needed a diaper change. If Faye didn’t come up with another excuse to get off the phone, Amande might soon call 911 and ask the paramedics to go check out her brother’s chronic diarrhea.

Though Joe did speak to Amande when she called, surely she had noticed by now that he said exactly nothing. What was he going to say?

The closest thing to the truth was “Your mother’s heart fell into a deep hole when she miscarried your baby sister, and I’m starting to worry that we may never see it again,” but Joe was keeping his silence. Faye had forbidden him to tell Amande that there wasn’t going to be a baby sister.

Was this rational? Did Faye think that her daughter was never going to fly home to Florida, bubbling with excitement over her Appalachian adventure and the coming baby?

If she did, it was yet more evidence supporting Joe’s fear that Faye’s mind wasn’t right these days. Every morning brought fresh proof of that not-rightness as she walked away from him…to do what? As best he could tell, she was carefully excavating random sites all over their island. If she’d found anything worth the effort, he sure didn’t know about it.

In the meantime, Joe sat in the house, face-to-face with a serious problem. This problem was almost as tall and broad as Joe. His hair had once been as dark. His skin was the same red- brown, only deeper. This was a problem Joe had been trying to outrun since he was eighteen years old.

His father.

“Try this spot.”


Faye Longchamp-Mantooth believed in intuition. It had always guided her work as an archaeologist. After she’d gathered facts about a site’s history, inspected the contours of the land, and scoured old photographs, she always checked her gut response before excavating. Her gut was often right. It was only recently, however, that her gut had begun speaking out loud and in English. Lately, her gut had been urging her to skip the boring research and go straight for the digging.

“Have you ever excavated here before?” its voice asked. Faye’s answer was no.

“Then try this spot.”

Every day, Joyeuse Island sported more shallow pits that had yielded nothing. Of course, they had yielded nothing. Faye had failed to do her homework. But going to the library or sitting at her computer would require her to be still and think. Thinking was painful these days, so she skipped it.

“Okay,” she said, not pleased to see that she’d begun answering the voice out loud, “I’ll give it a shot. But I don’t think there’s anything here.”

Her hand was remarkably steady for the hand of a woman who’d been hearing voices for a month. She used it to guide her trowel, removing a thin layer of soil.

She would have known this old trowel in the dark. Her fingers had rubbed the finish off its wooden handle in a pattern that could match no hand but hers. Since God hadn’t seen fit to let her grow the pointy metal hand she needed for her work, she’d chosen this one tool to mold into a part of herself.

Faye was working in sandy soil as familiar as the trowel. It was her own. She’d been uncovering the secrets of Joyeuse Island since she was old enough to walk, and she would never come to the end of them. As she grew older, she saw the need to mete out her time wisely, but she rebelled against it. The past would keep most of its secrets, and this made her angry.Faye didn’t know where to dig, because she didn’t know what she was trying to find. It would help if the voice ever offered a less hazy rationale for ordering her out of the house. All it said was “You can find the truth. Don’t let this island keep its secrets from you.”

Her frenetic busyness was an antidote for the times the voice tiptoed into ground that shook beneath her feet. It crept into dangerous territory and then beckoned her to follow. It asked her to believe that she was to blame for the baby’s death, for the mute suffering in Joe’s eyes, for every tear Michael shed.

This was craziness. Two-year-olds cried several times a day. Men who had lost babies suffered. And there was rarely any blame to be handed out in the wake of a miscarriage, even late miscarriages that carry away a child who has been bumping around in her mother’s womb long enough for mother and daughter to get to know one another.

Still, the voice said Faye was to blame, so she believed it. And it told her that it was possible to dig up peace, so she dug.

Author Bio:

authorMary Anna Evans is the author of the award-winning Faye Longchamp archaeological mysteries–Artifacts, Relics, Effigies, Findings, Floodgates, Strangers, and Plunder. She has degrees in physics and chemical engineering. Her background includes stints in environmental consulting and university administration, as well as a summer spent working offshore in the oil fields. Writing lets her spend weeks indulging her passion for history, archeology, and architecture, and months making up stories. Mary Anna is preparing to move to Oklahoma since accepting an Associate Professor position with the University of Oklahoma.

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This is a giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Mary Anna Evans & Poisoned Pen Press. There will be one US winner of 1 Box of Poisoned Pen Press books including Unleashed by Eileen Brady. The giveaway begins on September 1st, 2015 and runs through September 31st, 2015. For US residents only. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours


  My thoughts...

Love the Faye Longchamp books...I'm always excited to start reading but hate to see it end. "Isolation" is one of the best yet. Faye's miscarriage causes her to withdraw from her husband but soon things begin to happen that makes her life hectic and frightening. Someone is stalking women...throw in murder, a chemical spill and you have a great mystery full of twists.

Mary Anna Evans is a great storyteller and her characters are so realistic I get lost in the book and lose track of time. That's what reading is all about! I highly recommend this series.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, September 14, 2015


Some families you are born into. Some you choose. And some choose you.

Four women have little in common other than where they live and the joyous complications of having sisters. Cindy waits for her own life to begin as she sees her sister going in and out of hospitals. Lise has made the boldest move of her life, even as her sister spends every day putting herself at risk to improve the lives of others. Diana is an ocean apart from her sister, but worries that her marriage is the relationship separated by the most distance. Sylvia has lost her twin sister to breast cancer, a disease that runs in the family, and fears that she will die without having ever really lived.

When Diana places an ad in the local newsletter, Cindy, Lise, and Sylvia show up thinking they are joining a book club, but what they discover is something far deeper and more profound than any of them ever imagined.

With wit, charm, and pathos, this mesmerizing tale of sisters, both born and built, enthralls on every page.

My thoughts...

A nice story of 4 women who gather to discuss books they're reading. Friendships form and they help each other through difficulties and share joyful times. I enjoy reading novels about a group of women and their friendships, there's nothing like a sister...or a good friend. This is an enjoyable, warm, tale that touched my heart.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Silver Linings: A Rose Harbor Novel by Debbie Macomber

Set in Cedar Cove’s charming Rose Harbor Inn, Debbie Macomber’s captivating new novel follows innkeeper Jo Marie and two new guests as they seek healing and comfort, revealing that every cloud has a silver lining, even when it seems difficult to find.

Since opening the Rose Harbor Inn, Jo Marie Rose has grown close to her handyman, Mark Taylor. Jo Marie and Mark are good friends—and are becoming something more—yet he still won’t reveal anything about his past. When Mark tells her that he’s moving out of town, Jo Marie is baffled. Just when she is starting to open herself up again to love, she feels once more that she is losing the man she cares about. And as she discovers the secret behind Mark’s decision to leave, she welcomes two visitors also seeking their own answers.

Best friends Kellie Crenshaw and Katie Gilroy have returned to Cedar Cove for their ten-year high school reunion, looking to face down old hurts and find a sense of closure. Kellie, known as Coco, wants to finally confront the boy who callously broke her heart. Katie, however, wishes to reconnect with her old boyfriend, James—the man she still loves and the one who got away. As Katie hopes for a second chance, Coco discovers that people can change—and both look to the exciting possibilities ahead.

My thoughts...

Another wonderful Rose Harbor novel. Very well written, Macomber describes situations and her characters feelings in a way that you actually feel what they are going through. Jo Marie Rose had received news that her husband is MIA and presumed dead. Eventually she begins to have feelings for her handyman and finds it difficult to face her emotions. He tells her he loves her and that he is leaving Cedar Cove.

Two guests arrive that will be attending a reunion and are on a mission. Coco and Katie are very likeable and their stories will draw you in. I think you'll enjoy this book.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

A HOUSE DIVIDED by Robert Whitlow

A father's mistakes nearly cost his children everything. Now his children must unite to take on the most important case of their respective careers.

Corbin Gage is slowly drinking himself into the grave while running a small law practice in a small Georgia town. The assistant DA in the same community is his son Ray, poised for a professional breakthrough based on a job offer to work for the best law firm in the area. Roxy is Corbin's daughter, a rising star associate in Atlanta for an international law firm that specializes in high stakes, multi-million-dollar litigation.

Against the advice of everyone in his life, Corbin Gage takes on a toxic tort case on behalf of three boys who have contracted non-Hodgkin's lymphoma due to an alleged chemical exposure. The defendant, a herbicide/pesticide/fertilizerboo company, is the largest employer in the area. Because of the lawsuit, Ray's job offer evaporates, forcing him to go to work with his father. Roxy's expertise in complex litigation draws her into the drama.

As their investigation uncovers an audacious conspiracy to conceal dangers to their community, Corbin, Ray, and Roxy come to a personal treaty in their pursuit of justice. But they soon discover that burying a problem can have explosive results.

My thoughts...

Oh my goodness, how much do I love Robert Whitlow's books? This much...(outstretched arms). "A House Divided" is just as awesome as his others. A long time attorney dealing with alcoholism, the effects it has on his family as well as the family's inner demons will touch your heart. So well written with characters that are so real. Legal issues, relationships jeopardized, make healing difficult. A well written story.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


You Can Help Bring Heaven to Earth

God so loved the world, and he still does. He values his creation too much to destroy it. If you know where to look, you can see that the coming of a new heaven and a new earth already has begun.
Life on earth is renewed every time you live out Jesus’s prayer that God’s ways will be followed on earth. The work of God’s Kingdom involves restoring what has been broken. This includes people, unjust systems, relationships, anything that has been separated from God and needs to be healed, reconciled, and set right.
This is how heaven collides with earth—not following fiery destruction but in the power of restoring to life everything that God created. What you believe about God’s plan for humanity and for his creation determines how you will invest your life. God calls all of us to this renewing work. You can help bring heaven to earth, starting today.

My thoughts...

An eye opening, hope giving, book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Inspiring views on Heaven and how we should bring the power of heaven to earth and effect those we meet. If you have a fear of failure one of the chapters deals with it, very encouraging.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

FLING by Lily Iona MacKenzie

When ninety-year-old Bubbles receives a letter from Mexico City asking her to pick up her mother’s ashes, lost there seventy years earlier and only now surfacing, she hatches a plan. A woman with a mission, Bubbles convinces her hippie daughter Feather to accompany her on the quest. Both women have recently shed husbands and have a secondary agenda: they’d like a little action. And they get it.

Alternating narratives weave together Feather and Bubbles’ odyssey. The two women travel south from Canada to Mexico where Bubbles’ long-dead mother, grandmother, and grandfather turn up, enlivening the narrative with their hilarious antics.

In Mexico, where reality and magic co-exist, Feather gets a new sense of her mother, and Bubbles’ quest for her mother’s ashes—and a new man—increases her zest for life. Unlike most women her age, fun-loving Bubbles takes risks, believing she’s immortal. She doesn’t hold back in any way, eating heartily and lusting after strangers, exulting in her youthful spirit.

Readers will believe they’ve found the fountain of youth themselves in this character. At ninety, Bubbles comes into her own, coming to age, proving it’s never too late to fulfill one’s dreams.

My thoughts...

A totally enjoyable novel with some zany characters that you'll love. Fiesty Bubbles is my favorite! She and her daughter, Feather, journey to Mexico to pick up the ashes of Bubbles' mother. Their trip is enlightening, full of adventure, and getting to know one another better. A perfect novel for a cozy weekend read.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.