Iron Canuck

Sharing my love of reading and hope to help authors by promoting books I enjoy.

Secrets, danger, and friendship made this a good story

Diamond in the Rough - Jane Goodger

Secrets almost destroy Clara's HEA. Nathaniel was not what he seemed, but he was want Clara wanted. A friendship grew into more, but the secret kept it from becoming more. I loved Clara's willingness to make her mother happy no matter what she had to put up with, showing how much she could love. I smiled as Nathaniel's single-mindedness shifted focus as he got to know Clara. The ending seemed a bit rushed to wrap everything up but left no loose ends. The story was good, and it was nice to see some secondary characters find their happiness as well.

I received an ARC of this story through Netgalley, and this is my unsolicited review.

Fun start to a new hockey series. Loved the characters!

Bishop - Sawyer Bennett

I enjoyed meeting this new team. Brooke and Bishop had great chemistry from the start. The natural way their feelings grew between all the pretend feelings kept me interested in how this story would play out. There were moments that were sigh worthy and sniffle worthy, and I look forward to more in this series as some of the secondary characters were fun to read about, and some need their comeuppance and others need that person to help them move on.

I received a copy of this ARC through Netgalley, and this is my unsolicited review.

Book Tour: Tail of the Dragon by Connie di Marco


Tail of the Dragon
by Connie di Marco




GENRE: Mystery






San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti never thought murder would be part of her practice, but now, Julia’s former boss and current client has asked for help. He has serious problems at his law firm. Three people have received death threats and the only common denominator between them is a case long settled -- the infamous Bank of San Francisco fire. Julia’s convinced a woman is behind the threats, perhaps even the widow of the man who died in that same fire, but no one wants to believe that astrology could provide a clue. Before Julia can help her client, two lawyers are dead and her own life is threatened. Can she unmask the killer before he (or she) takes another life?







I followed the curve from Sutro Heights down to the Great Highway. Here, the road runs parallel to Ocean Beach. Sheets of sand had blown across the highway and formed dunes every so often high enough to block the ocean view. Waves crashed against the concrete abutment sending salt water spray across my windshield. I turned east on Ulloa away from the roiling Pacific and spotted Sarah Larkin’s address on the opposite side of the street. The wind off the ocean picked up, blowing east. Particles of dust and beach sand hit my face as I climbed out of the car. Keeping my head down for protection, I hurried across the street.


I climbed the long stairway to the front doors where a sign indicated 3102-3104. At least here, in the shelter of the entryway, there was respite from the wind. I pressed the buzzer to the door on the right. After a moment, a woman called out. “Who is it?”


“Hi. My name is Julia Bonatti. I’ve come from Meyers Dade & Schultz.”


The door was quickly yanked open by a woman in her late forties. Her face was round and slightly puffy. She wore no makeup and was dressed in a nondescript brown jumper over a black sweatshirt. Her long hair, streaked with gray, was combed back behind her ears.

She peered at me. “For God’s sake. What now? I told him I didn’t want anything from him or his damn law firm.” Her eyes were thin puffy slits.


“I . . . I’d just like to talk to you about your brother. I was hoping maybe you could help us in finding his murderer.”


“His murderer . . . I’d give his murderer a prize if I knew who he was,” she sneered. She looked me up and down and finally decided she’d talk to me even if it was only because I offered a sounding board for her bitterness. “Come on in,” she said resignedly.


“I gather you and your brother weren’t close, but I am sorry for your loss.”


“Don’t be. Wasn’t a loss. Believe me. I haven’t talked to Jack for years. Since my son died.”


“Oh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t know.” A familiar pain flickered in my chest. My loss seemed small in comparison.


“Nicky was sixteen when he died. He had a drug problem. He got mixed up with the wrong kids and they were into some heavy stuff. I was sure if he had one more chance . . . a good chance, he might make it.” Her voice trailed off. “I begged Jack for the money. I never asked him for a thing in my life. Never. But I begged for that.”


“He refused?”


“Said he didn’t see why he should pay for rehab or counseling. The other places hadn’t done Nick any good, so what difference did it make?” She looked at me, her eyes betraying a deep well of pain. “Jack never really loved anyone in his life. How could he possibly understand what it’s like to love a child? I didn’t have anyone else to ask. My husband was killed in a car accident when Nick was seven. Our parents are dead, and Jack had plenty of money. Big, successful lawyer . . . but he didn’t give a damn about me or Nick. Yeah, I hated him. I still hate his guts. I don’t care if he’s dead, I only wish he had suffered more.”






AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries from Midnight Ink featuring San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti. The Tail of the Dragon, third in the series, will be released on August 8, 2018. You can visit her at, at di Marco Author or Twitter @askzodia.


Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the author of the national bestselling Soup Lover’s Mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime. You can find her excerpts and recipes in The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. Connie is a member of MWA, Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers.


Tail of the Dragon



Barnes & Noble:




Mysterious Galaxy:







Connie di Marco will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.




Sweet read, historical with a touch of paranormal.

The Highlander's Untamed Lady - Madeline Martin

I enjoyed this story. It was a quick and fun read. I loved Diana's pets and her strong facade. It took the caring from Evander to break it down and for her to find true happiness and love. The touches of myth and legend brought a little of the paranormal to their romance. I recommend this story.

I received an ARC of this story as a gift, and this is my unsolicited review.

Dark side of life, emotional read for me.

The Vixen - Christi Caldwell

For me, this story was like a snowball rolling down a hill. At the beginning, I liked Ophelia and Connor. The farther down the hill, the more their story pulled me in, heart and mind. The last third of the story had me riveted, in tears, biting my nails, and turning pages. Thank you for a wonderful story that went from the baser side of people to the honest, loyal, and goodness in others. I loved how Connor taught Ophelia to change how she looked at herself as well as others in order to let go of the past. Ophelia's mind showed her how to survive and to help others survive, but could not see past her fears to open her heart completely. I highly recommend this story.

I received an ARC of this story through Netgalley, and this is my unsolicited review.

Book Tour: Rescued by the Captain by Laura A Barnes


Rescued by the Captain
by Laura A. Barnes




GENRE: Historical Romance






Abandoned at sea

When Ivy Mallory awakens; she finds herself on the ship of the man who rejected her love years earlier. While he was away working for the Crown, she embraced the London Seasons trying to forget him. Caught in the middle of a treason plot; she must help save her brother. To do so she needs to put her trust in the one man who can protect her. But can she protect her heart from loving him again?


Found at sea

Captain Marcus Thornhill never imagined he would find a lady floating unconscious in a lifeboat out in the middle of the open sea. But it wasn’t any lady, it was Ivy. Seven years earlier he rejected her love for a life at sea. As he rescues her he gets involved in a treason plot that will bring the war to their beloved shores of England. As he unravels the plot he is unable to deny his desire for her. Is he too late in saving her and the love he has for her?







As she was digging through the trunk her hand brushed across a book. Ivy pulled it out and realized that it was a book of poems that she had lost around the time Marcus left. She opened the first page and saw her name written across the page as she always did with her books. Flipping through the book, she noticed the pages that she had turned down at the corners of her favorite poems. The pages were worn and had been handled many times. Marcus must have read the book a lot. She came to the back cover of the book where a red rose lay resting against a poem that was handwritten in. The poem was written in Marcus’s handwriting inside the back cover. The title of the poem was:


Ivy My Love
Your love is like a vine
Forever clinging to my heart
It tangles up in between my jagged thorns
I try to break apart
To free myself from your love
But you have grown so heavy in my thoughts
I will let you go for now
For you need to grow wild and free
But I will return to you with my love
And our love will cling forever between the ivy and the


A tear slowly slid down Ivy’s face, followed by more. Ivy glided her fingers across the words on the page, feeling the power of them down to her soul. She wanted to ask Marcus about the poem but knew that she couldn’t.






I have always dreamed of being an aspiring author. I am making my dreams come true, one word at a time. When I am not writing, I am spending time with my family. I love reading books on lazy afternoons, and late into the night. Anytime really. Married 28 years to the love of my life and we have three wonderful children and two sweet grandbabies. Besides writing, I have always wanted to travel. In the last few years we have gotten our passport stamped in England and Scotland. We are hoping to add Italy to the list soon.








Book+Main Bites:



Buy links:


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Barnes & Noble:


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Laura A. Barnes will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.




Preorder: The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrigan Byrne. Coming August 28th.


Preorder links:









Love always finds a way despite outside forces.

The Highland Chieftain - Amy Jarecki

Another great story from Amy Jarecki! I loved the pace of the story and had to keep turning pages to see where this tale would take me. Danger, misunderstandings, a father who lost his path, and a love so strong it touched me deep, all of this combined to make a story worth reading and sharing. Mairi and Dunn made a great couple with the strength of their love and commitment to each other. I highly recommend this story.

I received a copy of this story through Netgalley, and this is my unsolicited review.

Book Blitz: Murder Gone Missing by Lida Sideris


Murder Gone Missing
by Lida Sideris




GENRE: Mystery (light-hearted)






Newly minted lawyer Corrie Locke has taken a vow of abstinence. From PI work, that is. Until her best friend Michael finds his bully of a boss stabbed in the back after confronting him earlier that day. Michael panics, accidentally tampering with the crime scene...which could lead the cops to Michael instead of the real culprit. He turns to Corrie to track down the killer. She doesn't need much coaxing. Her late great PI dad taught her the ropes...and left her his cache of illegal weaponry.


They return to the scene of the crime, but the body's missing. Racing against time, Corrie dredges a prestigious Los Angeles college in pursuit of clues. All she finds are false leads. Armed with attitude and romantic feelings toward Michael, Corrie dives into a school of suspects to find the slippery fugitive. Will she clear Michael's name before he's arrested for murder?





I moved toward the pick-up and stopped behind Squalley’s Honda. The flat had been fixed, but the dent in the bumper hadn’t been touched. So why was the car still hitched to Ian’s truck? “Veera, keep a sharp eye out.”


“I only do sharp.” She scanned the grounds. “You think the body’s still in that trunk?”


I pulled out an extra slim screwdriver and paperclip from my purse. “No, but there should be some sign that the body was in there.” I hoped. I shoved the ends of the paperclip and screwdriver into the keyhole.


After a good amount of twisting and pumping, the trunk clicked and lifted slightly.

“Bingo.” I peered inside.


“What do you see?” Veera edged toward me. She leaned in to peek in the trunk. “Oh my.”






Lida Sideris is the author of the Southern California Mystery series, the latest of which, MURDER GONE MISSING, was published by Level Best Books. She writes soft-boiled mysteries and was one of two national winners of the Helen McCloy Mystery Writers of America scholarship award. To learn more about Lida, please visit


Twitter: @lidasideris










Lida Sideris will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.






Link to my review:


Fun cozy mystery.

Murder Gone Missing - Lida Sideris

This was a fun read. It is the second in the series, but the first I have read. The mystery had plenty of surprises. The characters were varied and a lot of fun. I giggled as I read, rolled my eyes a couple of times, and did not want to stop reading. I recommend this read.

I received a copy of this ARC through Goddessfish Promotions, and this is my unsolicited review.

Contemporary fairy tale, enjoyed the characters.

Rescuing Red - Susan  Hayes

A short read along the lines of Little Red Riding Hood. I loved the instant chemistry between Luke and Ronnie. Luke's complete acceptance of how Ronnie will fit in his life was great. He did not care about their differences. Ronnie had some reservations but I loved her natural kindness and big heart for those less fortunate. With the danger that was lurking about, this was an enjoyable story.

This was a free book at one point, and this is my unsolicited review.

Very hot story, a moment in their lives

Pleasuring Lady Pennington - Georgette Brown

Hot, steamy story! Georgeanna knew what she wanted from Cedman. This was a moment in their lives. The heat was high, and the characters were intriguing. I would like to have read more as this was more of an encounter rather than their story. I could have used more.

I received a copy of this story as a gift, and this is my unsolicited review

Steamy erotic romance, friends to lovers plus one

Rigged - Vanessa North

A quick steamy story. Friends, Kait and Gordon, realize they care about each other but not until they meet Sean. The emotions all three went through made this a good read. Once they fully communicated with each other, it was a happy ending. As the title implies, there is bondage but it is not overpowering. 

I received a copy of this story through Candid Book Reviews, and this is my unsolicited review.

Determined to help others leads to finding her future

To Madden a Marquess - Tamara Gill
This was a fun story. I loved Cecelia's strength of character, her independence, and her big heart. Hunter's willingness to try to change how he behaved as well as thought about his lifestyle made me root for his success. There were times my heart was breaking for both of these wonderful characters, and I enjoyed the entire story. I recommend this book.

I received an ARC of this story as a gift, and this is my unsolicited review.


Book Blast: The Clock Flower by Barbara Casey


The Clock Flower
by Barbara Casey




GENRE: Mystery/Suspense






Mackenzie Yarborough, one of the three FIGs—Females of Intellectual Genius—finds herself facing a terrifying death of an ancient evil dragon while in China working on a secret research project and trying to discover the truth of her birth parents.







Carolina Lovel tearfully watched the plane carrying her girls away as it nosed into take-off position. She slowly lowered the sign she had made for the occasion—SEE YOU IN 108 DAYS.


Her girls—


Dara Roux, abandoned when she was seven years old by her mother. Exceptionally gifted in foreign languages. Orphan.


Mackenzie Yarborough, no record of her parents or where she was born. Exceptionally gifted in math and problem-solving. Orphan.


Jennifer Torres, both parents killed in an automobile accident when she was sixteen. Exceptionally gifted in music and art. Orphan.


The three FIGs—Females of Intellectual Genius—as they were called at Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women, probably couldn’t even see the sign, but holding it made Carolina feel slightly better about everything. It kept them connected just a little while longer.


As the plane began picking up speed down the runway, Larry squeezed her hand, sensing how she must be feeling. “They will be fine,” he reassured her for the umpteenth time since early that morning. Even though it meant getting one of his teacher’s aides to take over his morning classes at the university in Chapel Hill, he had volunteered to take Carolina and her three students to the Raleigh-Durham airport and be with Carolina to see them off. She had been completely stressed out for days thinking about the FIGs leaving Wood Rose and each going her separate way—to different universities, in different states, and beyond her protective eye. He knew the FIGs were just as stressed out for the same reason.


Carolina watched the plane lift off the ground and point toward the sky. On an impulse, she waved and once again held up her sign until the plane disappeared from view. Then she burst into sobs. Larry knew it was coming. He wrapped his strong arms around this woman he loved, his soul mate that destiny had brought into his life, and held her, realizing that was all he could do. As the son of a Gypsy King, he knew that words simply wouldn’t help.


The past year had been an unbelievably strange journey for them beginning when Carolina was hired to be totally responsible for three “incorrigible,” as the headmaster described them, teenage girls their final year at Wood Rose, all three orphans with intelligence quotients in the genius range. FIGs they called themselves, along with everyone else at Wood Rose—Females of Intellectual Genius. Being only a few years older, however, Carolina immediately filled the role that was more than a mentor and teacher; she became a big sister and friend to the incorrigibles, not finding them that way at all, even if they did occasionally need to express themselves creatively in the middle of the night.


As far as the FIGs were concerned, she was their Carolina; she was one of them—a kindred spirit. And with everything that they had experienced in that brief time they had been together, a permanent bond of love had been forged between them that would intertwine their lives forever.


It all started with Carolina learning that she had been adopted, and then later discovering her birth mother in Italy—a gypsy. Then there was the deadly curse that was placed on Carolina, which eventually led to the connection between a letter she had inherited from her biological father and the most mysterious document in the world—the Voynich Manuscript.


And then, only a few weeks later, they located Dara’s mother in New York City, hiding underground beneath Grand Central Terminal where she lived in some sort of secret subculture with three homeless men. It was remarkable, really, and something that only the FIGs, with their genius and special talents, and Carolina, with the blood of a choovihni—a wise woman who possessed the knowledge of all things through all times running through her veins, could have accomplished. Through it all, Larry had been there for them, offering his support and using his innate instincts as the Gypsy King’s son to gather information that would help them.


Larry held Carolina tighter as her sobs quieted. He would tell her later what Mackenzie had asked him to do just before boarding the plane. After he had a chance to see what he could find out. Meanwhile, Carolina pulled out her phone, thinking about the pact she and the FIGs had made the night before. If any one of them got into serious trouble, they would text the word “Thurgood”—the given name of Wood Rose’s headmaster—to all of the others. That meant no matter what, they would all return to Carolina at Wood Rose, because whatever was going on, Carolina and the FIGs would be able to straighten it out. Together.


Leaving the protective walls of Wood Rose and uncertain about how they could function in any other environment had created a tremendous amount of anxiety for Carolina and the FIGs. So much so that even their creative expressions in the middle of the night had brought little relief to the FIGs in spite of the fact they had caused serious havoc by completely upsetting the natural rhythm of the entire orphanage, not to mention the order of things.


The whole idea of having a pact before leaving Wood Rose and going their separate ways had started out as a silly game to help relieve some of that anxiety—at first.

Deciding on the so-called secret code word they would use, however, became a challenge. Dara suggested using a word from Sanskrit, which Mackenzie simply could not pronounce. Mackenzie wanted to use a mathematical term, which Jennifer said she would never remember. And Jennifer wanted to use an obscure musical notation which Dara said sounded more than a little vulgar. It was Carolina who came up with the idea of using the headmaster’s given name “Thurgood.” After all, it was a name none of them could ever forget. With the secret word chosen, the seriousness of what the pact actually meant became more evident and more real; a desperate attempt to keep them connected even when they were apart. And when the three FIGs left Carolina’s bungalow and returned to their dormitory suite that night, knowing what was facing them the next day when they left

Wood Rose and would no longer be considered student-residents there, they were glad Carolina had come up with the idea.


As the plane reached cruising altitude, shoulder bags placed under the seats in front of them within easy reach, Dara, seated between Mackenzie and Jennifer, as usual was the first to say out loud what each of them was thinking.


“OK, this is what I think we ought to do.” Arching her right eyebrow, she glanced at her two best friends to make sure she had their attention. “We will give this so-called pursuit of advanced studies a try, even though it means being separated. “But if things don’t work out by winter break—for any one of us—then I say we come up with another plan.

A plan where we can be together. Deal?”



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Originally from Carrollton, Illinois, author/agent/publisher Barbara Casey attended the University of North Carolina, N.C. State University, and N.C. Wesleyan College where she received a BA degree, summa cum laude, with a double major in English and history. In 1978 she left her position as Director of Public Relations and Vice President of Development at North Carolina Wesleyan College to write full time and develop her own manuscript evaluation and editorial service. In 1995 she established the Barbara Casey Agency and since that time has represented authors from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. In 2014, she became a partner with Strategic Media Books where she is involved in acquisitions and day-to-day operations and oversees book production.

Ms. Casey's two middle-grade/young adult novels, Leilani Zan and Grandma Jock and Christabelle (James C. Winston Publishing Co., Trade Division) were both nominated for awards of excellence by the SCBWI Golden Kite Award, the National Association of University Women Literary Award and the Sir Walter Raleigh Literary Award. Shyla's Initiative (Crossquarter Publishing Group), a contemporary adult novel (occult romance/mystery), received a 2003 Independent Publisher Book Award and also an award of special literary recognition by the Palm Beach County Cultural Council. The Coach's Wife (ArcheBooks Publishing), also a novel for adults (contemporary/mystery), was semi-finalist for the 2005 Dana Award for Outstanding Novel and listed on the Publisher’s Best Seller List. The House of Kane (ArcheBooks Publishing), released in 2007, was considered for a Pulitzer nomination. Another contemporary novel for adults, Just Like Family, was released at Christmas 2009 when it received “Special Recognition from the 7-Eleven Corporation,” and The Gospel According to Prissy, also a contemporary novel written for adults, received a 2013 Independent Publishers Book Award for Best Book in Regional Fiction.


The Cadence of Gypsies, a novel written for young/new adults, was released in 2011 and was reviewed by the Smithsonian Institute for its List of Most Notable Books. In 2012, The Cadence of Gypsies was expanded into a four-book mystery series called THE FIG MYSTERIES: The Wish Rider (2016), The Clock Flower (2018), and The Nightjar’s Promise (to be released in 2019).


Ms. Casey also writes book-length nonfiction for adults. Kathryn Kelly: The Moll behind Machine Gun Kelly was released in 2016 and has been optioned for a major movie. In 2018 her book Assata Shakur: A 20th Century Escaped Slave was released and it has been signed for a major movie.


Ms. Casey's award-winning science fiction short stories for adults are featured in The Cosmic Unicorn and CrossTime science fiction anthologies. Ms. Casey's essays and other works appear in The Chrysalis Reader, the international literary journal of the Swedenborg Foundation, 221 One-Minute Monologues from Literature (Smith and Kraus Publishers), and A Cup of Comfort (Adams Media Corporation). Other award-winning articles, short stories, and poetry for adults have appeared in both national and international publications including the North Carolina Christian Advocate Magazine, The New East Magazine, the Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer, the Rocky Mount (N.C.) Sunday Telegram, Dog Fancy, ByLine, The Christian Record, Skirt! Magazine, and True Story. A thirty-minute television special which Ms. Casey wrote and coordinated was broadcast on WRAL, Channel 5, in Raleigh, North Carolina. She also received special recognition for her editorial work on the English translations of Albanian children’s stories.


Ms. Casey is a former director of BookFest of the Palm Beaches, Florida, where she served as guest author and panelist. She has served as judge for the Pathfinder Literary Awards in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Florida, and was the Florida Regional Advisor for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators from 1991 through 2003. She is a frequent guest lecturer at universities and writers’ conferences around the country including the SCBWI Regional Conference, the Harriett Austin Writers Conference in Athens, SIBA (Southeastern Independent Book Sellers Association), Florida Writers Association, and the University of Auburn, Montgomery.


In 2018, Ms. Casey received the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award for her extensive experience and notable accomplishments in the field of publishing and other areas. She makes her home on the top of a mountain in northwest Georgia with her husband and Benton, a hound mix who adopted her.











Barbara Casey will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.



On the run for their lives, danger and love find them in the woods.

Under the Radar - Dee J. Adams
This began a bit slow for me but turned into a page turner. It was full of danger and romance with some hot steamy scenes. There were two romances in this book, brothers Eric and Danny finally getting what they needed. The women, Zoe and Vic, were strong and independent although this foursome came to rely on each other for survival. I held my breath at times, smiled as well as had tears at other times. I got pulled into the story after a bit and could not let go.

I received a copy of this story through Goddessfish Promotions, and this is my unsolicited review.


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