BLOG TOUR – Etched in Tears – REVIEW

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4.5 out of 5 stars.

Welcome! Today I’m hosting another blog tour stop via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. Today’s post is about Cheryl Hollon’s newest book, Etched in Tears. I really enjoyed this book. I feel like the series is just getting better and better.


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Celebrated glass artist Dennis Lansing is returning to St. Petersburg, Florida, for an exhibit at the world-renowned Salvador Dali Museum. His unique style of embedding document images in his art is at the vanguard of contemporary glasswork. But as Savannah’s first boyfriend and a former apprentice to her father, Dennis’s return home has her reflecting on the past–a trip down memory lane that takes a dark turn when Dennis is found murdered at the museum with an old reference letter from her father in his pocket. A search through her father’s records sheds new light on Dennis’s history, but it seems his present life wasn’t so transparent either. Now, with a gallery of suspects to consider, it’s up to Savannah to figure out who fits the mold of a murderer.



I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I love Savannah and Edward and all the other characters in these books. They’re well-rounded, developed, complex characters who are just a lot of fun.

The plot in this one was fascinating. I wondered about the villain but I never settled on him until just before Savannah figured it out. The information about the Dali museum was interesting and added to the story line quite nicely.

I’m also happy to see Savannah and Edward’s relationship moving forward. I’m having a hard time finding words to express how much I enjoyed this book without spoilers, so I’m just going to say – read it and enjoy it too!


Thanks for joining me today! To visit other spots on the tour, click on the banner below!

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Jamie Quinn Mysteries #1-3 – REVIEWS

First of all, my sincere apologies to the author, Barbara Venkataraman, for taking so long to read these three books in the Jamie Quinn series and get the reviews written. I’m so sorry it has taken me so long.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Book Box Set Cover - Jamie Quinn Mystery Collection, Box set Books 1-3: Death by Didgeridoo; The Case of the Killer Divorce; Peril in the Park; all written by Barbara Venkataraman - background is black with the three book covers and orange writing.

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Photo of a didgeridoo - an Australian aboriginal instrument - wooden with a beaded pattern along the center of the instrument

Book #1 – Death by Didgeridoo – 4 out of 5 stars


Reluctant lawyer, Jamie Quinn, still reeling from the death of her mother, is pulled into a game of deception, jealousy, and vengeance when her cousin, Adam, is wrongfully accused of murder. It’s up to Jamie to find the real murderer before it’s too late. It doesn’t help that the victim is a former rock star with more enemies than friends, or that Adam confessed to a murder he didn’t commit.


This book was a good introduction to the series. It’s fairly short, almost more of a novella than a novel, but it moved along at a steady pace and gave us a good introduction to the main characters of the series.

So far, I really enjoy the characters. Jamie’s great and reminds me a lot of myself. Duke is over-the-top but in a totally believable, realistic way and I love him. All of the main characters seem to be well-developed. They’re perhaps not complex yet, but that’s mostly because we’re just now meeting them. I imagine the more books there are in the series, the more we’ll see them develop.

All in all, it’s a good start to the series!

line of books - some stacked, some standing, some leaning - books are blue, brown, red, green, and yellow
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Book #2 – The Case of the Killer Divorce – 3.5 out of 5 stars


Reluctant lawyer, Jamie Quinn, has returned to her family law practice after a hiatus due to the death of her mother. It’s business as usual until a bitter divorce case turns into a murder investigation, and Jamie’s client becomes the prime suspect. When she can’t untangle truth from lies, Jamie enlists the help of Duke Broussard, her favorite private investigator, to try to clear her client’s name. And she’s hoping that, in his spare time, he can help her find her long-lost father.


I didn’t enjoy this second book as much as I did the first. I felt like the pace was almost too fast. It was hard for me to keep up with what was going on. This is another shorter book, more of a novella than a novel.

It’s not a horrible book. The mystery plot line is interesting and so is the sub-plot of Jamie trying to find her father. However, I’m glad this one was sandwiched in between two much better stories. If this was the only story I had read of the series, I may not have continued with it.

However, the sub-plot of Jamie trying to find her father is important to the overall story arc, so I do recommend that you read this book, even tho’ it’s not as good as the first or third.

Park scene with people walking dogs, sitting on benches, walking with children or as couples.

Book #3 – Peril in the Park – 4.5 out of 5 stars


There’s big trouble in the park system. Someone is making life difficult for Jamie Quinn’s boyfriend, Kip Simons, the new director of Broward County parks. Was it the angry supervisor passed over for promotion? The disgruntled employee Kip recently fired? Or someone with a bigger ax to grind? If Jamie can’t figure it out soon, she may be looking for a new boyfriend because there’s a dead guy in the park and Kip has gone missing! With the help of her favorite P.I., Duke Broussard, Jamie must race the clock to find Kip before it’s too late.


In my opinion, this is the best out of all three books. It feels as though Ms. Venkataraman has finally found the “groove” and the writing is flowing more smoothly. This book was more a full-length novel instead of the shorter novella length of the first two.

In this book, we see lots of the interpersonal relationships between the main characters grow and change. The mystery is fascinating and while I had some idea of the villain before the end of the book, I wasn’t certain until it was revealed.

I really enjoyed this third book and I’m looking forward to the fourth in the series, which I have on my Kindle, but it may be some time before I can get to it. June and July are already pretty full with books to read for review. 🙂

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*** Many thanks to Barbara Venkataraman for providing me with an e-copy of these books. I was not compensated for my review. All opinions and conclusions are my own. ***

When We Were Sisters – REVIEW

4 out of 5 stars


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As children in foster care, Cecilia and Robin vowed they would be the sisters each had never had. Thirty years later their bond remains strong. International pop star Cecilia lives life on the edge, but when Robin is nearly killed in an accident, she drops everything to be with her.

Robin set aside her career as a successful photojournalist to create the loving family she always yearned for. But now, as she realizes how close she’s come to losing everything, she questions what she really has. Gazing through a wide-angle lens at both past and future she sees that her marriage is disintegrating. Her attorney husband is rarely home, leaving Robin to be both mother and father. She and the children need Kris’s love and attention, but does Kris need them?

When Cecilia asks Robin to be the still photographer for a documentary on foster care, Robin agrees, even though Kris will be forced to take charge for the months she’s away. She gambles that he’ll prove to them both that their children—and their marriage—are a priority in his life.

Cecilia herself needs more than time with her sister. A lifetime of lies has finally caught up with her. She wants a chance to tell the real story of their childhood and free herself from the nightmares that still color her nights.

As the documentary unfolds, memories will be tested and the meaning of family redefined, but the love two young girls forged into bonds of sisterhood will help them move forward as the women they were always meant to be.

Long tree branch with cluster of two pinecones and evergreen stems at the right end of the line
©Graphic Garden


I recently finished reading “When We Were Sisters” by Emilie Richards, a very powerful novel about sisters, family, childhood secrets, forgiveness and love. Powerful enough that I had to take this novel a little slower than most novels.

When I first started this book, I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. Looking back at that, I think it was my own battles with depression and anxiety that made me feel like that. I get extra anxious when there’s a lot of conflict in my life. There’s a decent amount of conflict at the beginning of the book, especially passive-aggressive conflict which is my least favorite and combining with the anxiety I was already experiencing at that time, it was a little too much for me.

I took a breather for a few weeks, read more, took another breather for a week, and carried that pattern for the rest of the book. It really helped me keep things in perspective and enjoy the book a LOT more.

The characters in this book were fairly well-rounded. At first, they seemed a little chaotic to me. By that I mean that it wasn’t until we got further into the back story that I finally understood some of why Robin and Cecilia (and Kris to a lighter degree) reacted the ways they did, but it wasn’t a necessarily a bad chaotic. I enjoyed seeing the changes that each character underwent as things from the past were revealed and new connections & understandings were made.

The plot moved along at a steady pace. There were a couple of times I felt it was a little slow-moving, but the majority of the book moved at a good rate.

The setting descriptions were the perfect type for me, not too wordy but enough detail so I can see them in my head, from Kris & Robin’s house in Virginia to Cecilia’s early childhood home to the dusty old barn in Florida.

There were several parts of the book that made me tear up and some that made me laugh out loud. There were things that made me angry, really angry and things that made me so happy for the characters.

The only thing that I really didn’t like is that Cecilia goes by CeCe. I absolutely loved “Beaches”, both the book and the movie. I’ve read the book numerous times and I’ve seen the movie even more. To have this CeCe be a singer and actress made it hard for me to keep the two characters separate in my mind. If you’re not a “Beaches” fan (or have never even heard of it!), this little factor won’t color your opinion like it did mine and probably won’t even phase you.

All in all, for the most part, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it highly. I’m happy to see my library has bought a few copies and they’re checked out. But, word to the wise, read it with a box of tissues!

[I received a free copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review. My review was not influenced by this, nor was I compensated for my review. All opinions and conclusions are my own.]

Long tree branch with cluster of two pinecones and evergreen stems at the right end of the line
©Graphic Garden