Friday, August 25, 2017

Best Books of August

Since it's the last Friday of the month, it's time to tell you all about the great books I read this month.

If you like YA romances, you'll love the first book I read this month. Jen Malone can transition from writing as a tween to a teen and back again effortlessly. Her writing voice is incredible.

Imagine being stuck on a sailboat for four months. Now imagine being a teenager stuck on the boat with your mom, who cheated on your dad and caused their recent divorce. That sums up the basic premise of Changes in Latitudes, but there's so much more. We see the world through the point of view of Cassie, who has a lot of issues swirling around in her adolescent brain, but we also have a swoony romantic interest to keep things fun. Jen perfectly captured the complexities of being a child of divorce, while also taking us on yet another great adventure.

I always love reading suspenseful romances, so I jumped at the chance to download Sandra Cox's latest re-release!

Imagine if you had an accessory that could heal. Now imagine if you woke up in the hospital in need of that accessory, only to find it's missing. Boji Stones kicks off with that very scene, setting the stage for the suspense that is to follow. I loved Marnie and Jack and their romance, as well as the mystery as to whether or not Jack could really be trusted. If you enjoy romantic suspense, this is the book for you!

I love anthologies. If you don't like the story you're reading, you simply turn the page and start another. The next book I read this month is a compilation of short stories and poems featuring our very own Tyrean Martinson.

The background of Book Dreams (Brain to Books Anthology 1) is almost as entertaining as the great stories inside! The stories and poems in this book were all featured at the 2017 Brain to Books Cyber Convention and Book Expo. I, of course, had to look that up and I found that it's an online "con" designed to discover new authors. How awesome is that? This compilation includes mostly novellas and short stories. Tyrean's story is Here There Be Dragons, which features two characters battling a mean dragon. It's a short, entertaining read with a great ending!

The next book I read was also an anthology. C.D. Gallant-King's short story is featured in Strangely Funny IV, a book that is intriguingly billed as, "Tales of horror gone wrong. So very wrong." How cool does that sound?!"

At this point in our nation's history, I think we all could use a little comic relief every now and then. Strangely Funny IV delivers on that front, with 19 stories that combine horror and comedy--not a combination you see every day! C.D.'s story was Save or Die, which follows four heroes as they set out on a quest to rescue a princess who has been kidnapped by ogres. It has everything a horror-comedy should--fun heroes, goblins, and snarky humor!

I've always been fascinated by the title of the first book I read this month. Thankfully, Medeia Sharif re-released it with a brand new cover, which gave me a reason to read it and tell you all about it!

Medeia had me at "Madonna mixtape!" Hot Pink in the City is set in the 80s, which will make Gen X-ers like me oh so happy. Asma is a 16-year-old girl who spends the summer in New York City with some relatives. An exciting adventure to find a mixed tape results in all kinds of fun. In addition to getting to go back in time to my favorite decade, this book also gave me the opportunity to learn more about Islamic culture. Definitely recommend!

What are you reading this month?

Monday, August 21, 2017

Mystery Monday: Dave Bocks

It's Monday, which means it's time for another...

In 1984, Fernald Feed Materials Production Center was in trouble. The processing facility was found to be leaking uranium dust into the environment, causing contamination of the surrounding area. That same year, a tragedy occurred on the site that some have linked to the environmental issues the plant was facing at the time.

Dave Bocks was a 39-year-old pipe fitter who had worked at the company for three years. 

On a late Sunday night, June 18, 1984, Dave met a coworker named Harry Easterling at a restaurant. They usually met in the parking lot, where Dave left his car and rode with Harry to the plant. They were two of very few employees working the nightshift there.

Harry Easterling. Image credit: Unsolved Mysteries

Dave reported to work at midnight, where he was assigned to handle a job at Building 8. As was customary, he left his lock and keys on top of his toolbox, which remained in the main building. Harry was assigned to a different area.

Around 4 a.m., a witness reports seeing Dave in his supervisor's truck, having a "serious discussion." Despite the fact that it was a very hot evening, the truck's windows were rolled up.

Recreation courtesy Unsolved Mysteries

That same witness reported seeing Dave an hour later, walking toward Plant 4, which seemed odd since he'd been assigned to Plant 8. It was the last time Dave Bocks was seen alive.

Dave Bocks

At the end of his shift, Harry couldn't find his carpooler, but he saw his toolbox was still open with his lock and keys on top. He assumed he was working late, left a message with the security guard, and left without him.

Recreation courtesy Unsolved Mysteries

Approximately 7:30 that morning, a furnace operator in Plant 6 in told his supervisor there was a sticky residue on his furnace's casings. There was also a strange odor coming from the furnace. After a quick look, the supervisor told the furnace operator to get back to work.

Recreation courtesy Unsolved Mysteries

Harry showed up at the usual meeting spot that night and found his friend's car abandoned. The hood wasn't warm. At the plant, he notified supervisors Dave was missing. After looking into it, plant management noticed that at 5:15 a.m. on the morning Dave disappeared, the temperature in the furnace in question plunged 28 degrees below its constant 1300-degree temperature. This is the same effect they would see if something was dropped into the furnace.

Additionally, a bone fragment was found on the lip of the furnace. The sheriff's department launched an investigation, shutting the furnace down. Once the furnace cooled, investigators found bone fragments, two-way radio pieces, a pair of eyeglasses, and Dave's keys. Harry Easterling swore those keys were in Dave's box at the end of his shift at 7:30 a.m. that morning. So how had they gotten into the furnace at 5:15 a.m.?

Recreation courtesy Unsolved Mysteries

What happened to Dave Bocks? Police ruled it suicide. He left three children and an ex-wife behind who said he wouldn't have taken his own life, although he tried once before, following his 1979 divorce. 

Was he killed for being a whistleblower about safety issues at the plant? The safety issues were already known. Was he murdered for some other reason? What do you think?

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Best. Blog Tour. Ever.: Day Four

It's the last day for the Best. Night. Ever. blog tour. It's also the last day to enter the giveaway. Check out today's blog tour stops:

Jennifer Lane
Ronel Janse van Vuuren

Enter my giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway