Sunday, March 31, 2024

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Spotlight of The Lock Box by Parker Adams


When an army-vet-turned-safecracker is forcibly recruited to be part of a dangerous heist, she’ll need all her skills to get out alive in this fast-paced thriller perfect for fans of Jeffery Deaver and P. J. Tracy.


Pub Date:  March 19



“This taut, page-turner debut from Adams is perfect for fans of James Patterson and Jonathan Kellerman.”

“A safecracking heroine, a devilish stew of villains, and a fiendishly deadly heist—
The Lock Box has everything I love in a thriller. I couldn’t put it down.”—Meg Gardiner, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Wow! A cinematic total immersion thriller, 
The Lock Box is instantly propulsive and lightning fast, with nonstop action and a riveting plot. But the brilliant safecracker Monna Locke is the star—she's my new favorite kick-ass character, with her mad skills and her tender heart. Attention Hollywood, Monna Locke is your next big-screen icon! I could not turn the pages fast enough.”—Hank Phillippi Ryan, USA Today bestselling author of One Wrong Word

“Fascinating and riveting, Adams’ 
The Lock Box introduces safecracking specialist Monna Locke. Forced to crack the ultimate “Iron Chest” safe or die, you’ll sweat along with Locke reading this fast paced thriller filled with twists, tradecraft and written by a new master of suspense.”—Jamie Freveletti, award-winning and internationally bestselling author of Running from the Devil and Robert Ludlum's The Janus Reprisal

“I dare you to try not to read
 The Lock Box in a couple of sittings because this immaculate thriller will make your heart pound and your palms sweat.  It’s a furiously paced adrenaline rush of a book with a gusty safe-cracking protagonist I can’t wait to read more of!”
—Hannah Mary McKinnon, internationally bestselling author of The Revenge List

“Monna Locke’s life as a single mother and top safecracker is far from standard fare, but when her skills make her a target and she’s forced to join a team of criminals, the stakes reach new heights. Prepare to meet one of the most memorable female leads in recent history. Exhilarating and expertly plotted, 
The Lock Box is ace entertainment.” —Tessa Wegert, author of The Kind to Kill



Nearly a decade after getting chased out of the Army for fighting back against abuse, Monna Locke’s skill and discretion have made her the go-to safecracker for Los Angeles clients who need vaults opened and no questions asked.

When a lawyer hires her to retrieve a box from his client’s mansion, it seems like an easy payday—until she opens the safe and is immediately attacked by heavily-armed men.

Locke barely escapes and returns to her isolated cabin only to find the client waiting in her home, threatening what she holds most dear: her son, Evan.

After being knocked unconscious, she wakes up across the country, trapped in her own personal nightmare: she and Evan will be held captive until she helps a seedy crew pull off a seemingly impossible heist.

Forced to practice breaking into the most impenetrable safe ever designed, Locke bides her time and eyes her escape routes.

She knows there’s no way to finish the job she’s been forced into, but it’s either crack the lock, or lose everything.



The son of a navy helicopter pilot, Parker Adams chased great white sharks as a marine biologist before becoming a patent lawyer who litigates multimillion-dollar cases for high-tech clients. 

In his spare time, he writes high-stakes thrillers that feature travel and technology, including the best-selling Seth Walker series.

A graduate of Duke University and the University of Notre Dame, he lives in San Diego with his wife and children.



Friday, March 29, 2024

A Letter From Italy by Rose Alexander


Set in Italy during and after WWII.

Who are my parents?

Sadie thought the people that raised her were her parents, but as she was cleaning out her parents' home, she found a paper saying she was adopted.

Her search began even though people told her to just forget about it.

We follow Sadie in 1972 as she goes on her search and go back to 1943 and follow Betty as she leaves England and the man she loves to be part of the cypher/decoding team for the British.

Will Sadie be successful in her quest?

Will she find things that will be worth the journey?

An excellent, engaging, heartbreaking, heartwarming read that brings us straight into both lives of the characters hoping for the best and wanting to be there with both Sadie and Betty.

You will fall in love with both characters and the storyline as you read of the beauty of Italy and want to get on the next plane. 

LOVED this book​...anything about Italy has to be good.  5/5

Thank you to the publisher for a copy of this book.  All opinions are my own.


Rose Alexander has had more careers than she cares to mention and is currently a secondary school English teacher.

She writes in the holidays, weekends and evenings, whenever she has a chance, although with three children, a husband, a lodger and a cat, this isn't always as often as she'd like.

She's a keen sewist and is on a mission to make all her own clothes.

Sign up to be the first to hear about new releases from Rose Alexander here.





Book Blogger Hop - 3/29 - 4/4


Question of the Week:

Which has more power over readers: a book blogger or a professional critic? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)

My Answer:

A book blogger has more power over me than a professional review.

I think fellow readers give a more honest opinion.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Spotlight of Childless Mother by Tracy Mayo




Mother reconnects with son years after forced adoption.

Debut author Tracy Mayo had a successful career, but one choice from her past continued to haunt her: forcibly giving up her baby at the age of fifteen.

Now she’s sharing the inspiring story of her impossible journey to find him during the pre-Internet era in her memoir.

March 28, 2024
Vanguard Press

Tracy Mayo breaks ranks with the institutionalized secrecy, shame, and silencing that shattered countless pregnant girls and young women prior to legalized abortion and open adoption.” - Kate Moses, author of “Wintering, Cakewalk: A Memoir, and Mothers Who Think”

"Mayo creates a compelling nonfiction narrative that effectively conveys her feelings as a child and as an adult dealing with the fallout of choices her parents made…examines the complexities of reuniting with children given up for adoption—including birth parents’ acceptance of, and by, the families that raised their children—in a nuanced and insightful manner." - Kirkus Reviews



Before Roe v. Wade, Tracy Mayo found herself pregnant at the age of fourteen and exiled to a maternity home.

There, she bore not only a child but also the weight of the culture’s shame.

She was required to surrender her newborn baby boy – the only child she would ever have. “You’ll forget it ever happened,” she was told. 

She didn’t.

Twenty-two years later,  her longing undiminished, with no internet, DNA testing, and not even knowing his adoptive name, Tracy set out to find him – and in her search she finds more than just her son, but herself.

In a world drifting back to where women have no agency, Tracy’s story of one frightened, grief-stricken young mother who was ‘ordered to forget’ is more important to remember than ever. 



TRACY MAYO has two degrees from Duke University. After a homesteading experiment, she embarked on a thirty-year career in commercial construction management, as a trailblazing woman in a man’s world.

She is a 2020/2021 artist-in-residence at Craigardan and an alumnus of the Bookgardan writing program.

Her writing has appeared at Aspen Summer Words’ juried workshops, in Heimat Review, and in The Ocotillo Review.

Tracy lives in Boulder, Colorado, with her husband and Flat-Coated Retriever.



Instagram: @TracyMayoAuthor

LinkedIn: @TracyMayo

Facebook: @TracyMayoAuthor



1.  In your writing, you discuss the military culture that you grew up in? How did this experience affect your life as you became pregnant? 

I think in part, the experience helps explain why I became pregnant. The constant moves, the ever-changing landscape (eight moves in my thirteen short years) made me long to have friends, to feel rooted. When I met Ken Locke, a kindred navy spirit, I found someone who understood what it feels like to pack up and start one’s life over every year or two. Additionally, the military culture – in which we were expected to appreciate protocol, conformance, obedience, and discipline – was a prime target for adolescent rebellion, especially for an only child like myself, long the focus of my parents’ intense


2.  During your search for David, what aspects did you find the most challenging?

The simple answer to this question is a question itself: How do you find someone whenyou don’t know who  you are looking for? All I had to go on was his place of birth and his birth date. His real birth certificate (with his given name at birth) was in a sealed file in the state capitol and an “amended” one issued with his new name and his adoptive parents’ names. Birth parents have no rights to information in Virginia, other than the very rudimentary “non-identifying information” I was provided at relinquishment.

Because I had been told  that he was adopted by a military family, I assumed he had moved around like I had. Where might he be and who might he be? It was a daunting


3.  When you and David first met, you discovered that the two of you had many similarities despite being raised very differently. Did this surprise you?

Upon exchanging photos, we realized we looked very much alike. But I think both of us were surprised to discover our many common interests: bird-watching, in-line skating, tastes in music, and an abiding interest in wildlife and the natural world. I learned that my university would have been his first choice if money had been no object. And when younger he was interested in becoming a naval aviator, like the birth grandfather he hadn’t yet met. The synchronicities kept crashing down. Does this mean there is a genetic component to personal preferences?

4.  You discuss a lot of heavy topics when recalling your past experiences. What effect did writing this story have on you? 

I did a lot of healthy grieving while unearthing long-buried painful memories. And in taking charge of my own search, I felt empowered for the first time in decades. On a few occasions during my search when I came across written documentation of what had

happened, I had this flush of feeling that I hadn’t imagined my son, hadn’t dreamed him up. After being instructed “To Forget,” and not allowed to speak of his birth around my own parents, I finally was receiving validation – which for so long, in almost every context, I had not. Recounting this process in writing has proved to be healing.

5.  In terms of your son, his adoptive parents, as well as your own parents, did you find yourself taking risks while recounting your story?

It’s difficult to write about people who are still alive. I waited to start this memoir until my parents had died, as I knew I would struggle to speak my raw truth if they were hereto read it. But observing the close  relationship that David had developed with them, I felt

a great measure of forgiveness and compassion. I took a risk re my son – would he view his upbringing differently from my perception of it? How would he view my take on our relationship? And on behalf of his adoptive parents, who passed away before this memoir was published, did I properly reveal the depth of my gratitude to them, for loving him as they so fully did?