Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hilltop Sunset Tour and Giveaway

A mystery set in wine country pitting financial exec Brynn Bancroft against a determined stalker, a troubled love interest, and career clashes.

Brynn Bancroft learns that a former employee who beat her nearly to death has returned to stalk her and her friend, Jillian Hillcrest, also a former victim.

Recently divorced, Brynn turns to a new love interest only to encounter additional unwelcome issues. Meanwhile, short-timer Brynn, who has resigned from her Silicon Valley company, becomes bored fulfilling her remaining responsibilities there. She begins to prefer supporting the launch of her ex-husband’s new hilltop winery while waiting to move to her next position. Between her stalker and her new love interest, Brynn faces a series of life-changing events.

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About Brynn Bancroft
Brynn Bancroft evolved from the Jillian Hillcrest mysteries where she served as Jillian’s manager while Chief Financial Officer of Harmonia Therapeutics in Silicon Valley. A shapely blonde with a MENSA IQ, she had an affair with the CEO of the company. Unfortunately for Brynn, the CEO’s wife figured out that the two were involved and asked Brynn to leave the company, which she agreed to do. In the meantime, her husband, Liam—not unfamiliar with extramarital affairs himself but also understanding that Brynn grew up in an abusive household- grew tired of waiting for Brynn to commit to their relationship and asked for a divorce. At the same time, he solicited her assistance in developing his new winery in Sonoma County, Calif. Much like Jillian--who does appear in the Brynn Bancroft mysteries--Brynn, too, attracts mystery and murders as she grows to enjoy life at her ex-husband’s Hilltop Sunset Winery.

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While recuperating from a brutal attack from coworker Isabel, Brynn receives word that she has been spotted back in California. Brynn is in the process of leaving the company and starting a new job in Alabama. Around the same time, her ex-husband Liam has bought a winery that Brynn agreed to manage until she moves. And on top of all this, Brynn starts a relationship with Todd, an acquaintance she met at a conference. When Isabel attacks Brynn, Liam, and Todd at the winery, the police and FBI step up their security for opening day. But what they find out on opening day will shock them all.

The action starts at the beginning and continues to the end. There is so much going on.. It’s a whirlwind in the few weeks that the book covers, and I love that. It was fun watching Brynn grow throughout the story. But I felt cheated the way the story abruptly ended. Of course I appreciate the author’s note after the end but that didn’t satisfy my need to have some type of closure, before continuing into another book. 

My review can also be found at:

About the Author

Joyce Strand, much like her fictional character Jillian Hillcrest, served as head of corporate communications at several biotech and high-tech companies in Silicon Valley for more than 25 years. Unlike Jillian, however, she did not encounter murder in her career. She focused on writing articles and press releases and delivering presentations to publicize her companies.

Joyce has been a mystery fan since she read her first Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy stories as a teen-ager. She has always enjoyed the challenge of following clues to solve a mystery before it is revealed. Therefore Joyce relished the transition from writing press releases to writing fiction.

Joyce received her Ph.D. from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. and her B.A. from Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA.   She lives with her two cats in Southern California near San Diego.

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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.


Two lucky winners will win either a $50 Amazon.com Giftcard or Paypal Cash
(winners choice)
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Ending on Sunday 21st December at 11.59pm EST

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  1. I hope you managed to take a breath during your whirlwind read.

  2. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review Hilltop Sunset. I cannot tell you enough how much it means to me (and all authors, I suspect). Also, I will try to end the next Brynn Bancroft mystery less abruptly!

    1. Oh, thank you so much for stopping by. It was my pleasure.