Monday, September 12, 2022

Crescent Moon Crossing Review Spotlight

 Welcome to the book tour for Crescent Moon Crossing by Sandy Wright. Read on for more!

 Crescent Moon Crossing is a mystery/suspense novel by Sandy Wright. This is the author’s second novel, and for lovers of suspense novels you are not going to want miss out on this book.

A murder is being plotted, and while there is one intended target – anyone who gets in this killer’s way is going to be seen as fair game.

Staff Sgt. Jace Merrick has some secrets that are coming to light. The opportunity has come to join the Army Intelligence Unit, but his affair could derail all of that. An affair that his wife has recently discovered, and she’s obviously none to happy about. Jace plots to end her life and make it look like the Cartel’s handywork, but someone else has other plans. Piecing together who has an ax to grind against Abby and/or Jace won’t be easy, but it’s something that Sheriff Coop is intent on finding out.

Crescent Moon Crossing is one of those books that will grab you right from the beginning. Taking place in the southern reaches of Arizona this book follows a cast of characters as they simply attempt to live their lives. Each one has their own personal story to tell and background that makes them each distinctly unique.

The author is going to pull you in deeper with page you turn to find out what is going to happen next. You’ll dig deeper into the crime with the Sheriff, and then you’ll cross the border with Alberto, a drug runner for the cartel, and a young man just looking for a way out. You’ll traverse the desert in the dark with Rumor and Abby, and give safe haven to those in need with Senorita G. This book really covers the various aspects of this small rural community and it’s surrounding areas.

On the one hand, you may frown at Rumor’s activities and side with the law and order aspect of things. While on the other hand, you’ll understand her desire to be humane and help those making these dangerous treks. This book blurs the lines that so many attempt to paint as black and white. I don’t say that lightly, especially as someone who also lives in a border state.

While your stint crossing the desolate desert will be brief, you’ll appreciate how the author highlights the dangers that lay therein. There might be some elements in this book that you won’t fully understand, but if you read the acknowledgments at the end you’ll get some clarification. I would have appreciate the clarification a little earlier in the story (around the scene it happens in), but I appreciate it nonetheless because I couldn’t fully fathom the fear that the characters felt coming across a particular tree.

When it comes to the characters, you’re going to appreciate how well constructed Jace is in particular. He’s going to be your least favorite, but you are going to have to applaud how the author fleshes him out. He’s a real bastard, and while you’ll root for him to get what’s coming to him, you’ll also want justice to be served, too. The mystery killer, he won’t remain a mystery for too long, you’re going to despise him. That’s just facts. Period. I personally felt a more detached sense of despising of him though. As you read this book, you’ll lean towards that as well. Honestly, some people just refuse to take responsibility for their actions, and that’s how you’re going to view this character.

There will be some sparks of romance in this story. It helps keep this book from being too dark since it appears that death touches just about everyone in this story. Sadie, Sheriff Coop’s daughter, is really going to be a favorite character of this story. She’s such a sweet little girl, and her strength and bravery are truly going to be showcased as well.

From beginning to end this book will capture your attention and really keep you on the edge of your seat. You’re going to get more than just Abby’s murder, but the struggles of some of the characters as they deal with difficult decisions/situations.

The author seeks to highlight the struggles of those who come to this country illegally. You don’t necessarily have to agree with how they choose to do it, but the author hopes you can understand why some choose to do it. Read the acknowledgments and you’ll see and understand that the author is looking to spark a conversation.

I applaud the author’s hardwork concerning this novel. This book could easily be pulled from the headlines/newscast with how it all pans out. With the amount of and attention to detail you will see how the author put a lot of time and energy into this novel. For this being her second novel, the author has done an excellent job. I am looking forward to what she writes next, and I know that you will be, too.

I’m rating this book 4.75 out of 5 stars. There will be some questions that are left unanswered which are a bit unfortunate. I’m sure that the author encourages us to use our imagination as to what happened, but I’d personally prefer to just know. All in all, I enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading more by this author in the future.

Thank you to the author, Sandy Wright, and R&R Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this book. Be sure to read on for an excerpt from this novel and check out the reviews of my fellow bloggers throughout this tour.

Crescent Moon Crossing

Publication Date: August 22nd, 2022

Genre: Thriller

Staff Sgt. Jace Merrick’s two short-term goals: Join the Army Intelligence Unit, and kill his wife.

When his bleeding-heart spouse, Abby, begins volunteering at Hope House, a group that leaves supplies in the Arizona desert for illegals crossing the border, he hatches a plan to make her murder look like a coyote smuggling gone wrong.
But before he can carry out his plan, Abby is murdered—and he’s the prime suspect.

Rumor Vargas is first on the witness list of Deputy Sheriff Cooper “Coop” Jones who’s investigating her friend’s murder. Rumor finds his methodical mind attractive and she’s curious about his battle-weary eyes. But when he turns that inquiring mind on her big brother as a prime suspect, Rumor has a reason besides attraction to keep Coop close.

The Sheriff suspects Alberto Vargas has Cartel ties, and this certainly looks like the Sinoloan gang’s work. On the other hand, Abby’s husband—and his lover–have their own motives for murder.

The further Coop digs into the case, the less the facts add up for any of his known suspects.
Someone has a grudge against Jace Merrick. A life and death grudge. And it’s time for pay back.

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Staff Sergeant Jace Merrick was still enjoying the limp-limbed afterglow of his third orgasm when his lover flipped back the covers and stood up. "Hey, where do you think you're going?" He stretched like a contented cat and scratched the line of blonde hair running from his chest to navel, remembering his lover’s lips following that path an hour earlier.

Rise and shine soldier.” First Lieutenant Kendra Clark’s bare feet slapped the cheap linoleum in the motel bathroom. "We report at oh-eight-hundred tomorrow. Lots of loose ends to tie up before then."

Jace rolled onto his back and listened to the clank and whoosh of the shower. One more day until he began training for his new assignment, and the seventeen-week base restriction that came with it. Although he would miss the daily sex, this transfer to Fort Huachuca was the culmination of a dream he'd been working toward for years. Military Intelligence. Pretty damned good for a guy who'd lost his ROTC scholarship and come up the hard way, straight leg infantry, 11-Bravo.

He left the bed and stepped into the steamy shower behind Kendra, slipping his arms around her bare waist. 

She glanced over one sleek shoulder. "Miss me already?"

"What can I say?" He lathered her arms, working his way down to run a soapy finger in slow circles around one nipple, pleased to feel it harden at his touch.  He'd always trusted his instincts, and those instincts told him she'd wait for him. After all, she'd followed him from fort to fort for the last two years, finagling matching assignments. She'd wait seventeen weeks. Absence makes the cock grow harder, said member twitched in reply.

Move it, mister.” Kendra stepped out of the shower and dried off with brisk efficiency. “Quit daydreaming.”

Just one last thing, Jace thought as he stepped out of the shower. "One little detail to handle," he told his reflection, wiping the steam from the motel mirror. 

After he completed training, he'd change his marital status. Then he’d finally be free of his do-gooder, bleeding-heart wife. How, he wasn't sure yet. The tricky part was getting rid of Abby while keeping her recent inheritance.

Kendra stood in front of Jace so he could fasten her bra. “What are you thinking about so intently?”

I’m thinking about Abby,” he replied, finishing the clasps. “I’m thinking it’s convenient that the Army doesn’t pay for a family transfer until my next deployment.”

Kendra frowned. “Yes. But we have to deal with her eventually. I hate sneaking around.”

He leaned over to scoop his shirt from the floor and kiss the dimpled spot just above her lacy panties. “Be patient. I’m working on a plan to be rid of her. Permanently.”

* * *

Outside the motel, a silver Honda Accord sat in the shade of an overgrown mesquite tree, the front window rolled up despite the stifling Arizona heat.

The man in the driver’s seat removed his baseball cap and rubbed his sweaty head with a bandanna. He hated this monochrome desert landscape and its searing heat. It reminded him of Iraq. Made him feel exposed and twitchy. The glare brought back his blinding headaches, and the nightmares too. The ones that jerked him awake in a cold sweat, reaching for his rifle. 

But he had a job to do.

When Jace came out, the man put down his black coffee and raised binoculars to his eyes.  He watched Jace unlock his metallic blue Mustang. The son-of-a-gun was whistling as he slid behind the wheel. That smug face, seemingly right in front of him, thanks to the magnified lens, made his breath catch and stomach acid bubble up and burn his throat. He squeezed the binoculars until his fingers ached. Breathing hard, he imagined his hands around Jace's neck, squeezing, squeezing, until that cocky smile disappeared, replaced by terror.

He wasn't worried about being seen. Chances were Jace wouldn't remember him, especially dressed as a civilian in a dark ball cap and a Black Sabbath logo t-shirt.

His old squad leader hadn’t changed a bit. Still slim, buff and full of himself. Still the lady’s man.

He shut his eyes as his nostrils filled with the old-penny scent of blood. The car, the heat, the sleazy motel faded away. Instead, he imagined his wife on the operating table, her belly clamped open, blood filling the cavity faster than the nurses could suction it out. He could just make out the tiny body of Baby Emily, still attached inside, while the surgeon worked frantically to get the baby out and save mother. As he watched, the still form disappeared, the face submerged in blood.

No. No. No.” He trembled as terror seared his guts and the flashback engulfed him. His arms, of their own volition, reached out to touch his wife, to help lift his baby daughter’s head above the blood, to clean out her nose and throat and force her to breathe. Please, Emmy. Breathe.

The rumbling of Jace’s turbo-charged Mustang brought the stranger back to the motel. He unclamped his cramped hands from the steering wheel and gingerly massaged his chest. Just my luck to have a heart attack in this dusty, shit hole parking lot. His face was wet with tears. They ran down his chin to soak the neck of his tee shirt. 

I should have been there. I could have kept her healthier. Stronger. At least I could have held her hand at…at the end.

Anger scorched away his tears, as he thought about Jace Merrick, the self-involved asshole who made him miss his wife’s delivery. She lost her life. He lost his career. And Jace? Nothing. A night in the stockade for starting a bar fight. That’s all.

Soon after Barb and Em’s death, he’d suffered a psychotic breakdown during a night patrol. He was convinced people were trying to kill him.

Of course they are, you jackass,” Jace told him. “We’re in the middle of a war zone.” He slapped him on the helmet and sent him back out on patrol the next night.

But who wants a marksman with the shakes? He looked down at his trembling hands in disgust.

His CO had no choice but to remove him from active duty. He recommended a medical discharge. “His sense of reality is fragile in the extreme,” the officer said in his report. “For his own sake, and for the safety of his squad mates, he needs rest and psychiatric care.”

He disagreed. What he really needed was revenge.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Sandy Wright resides in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, a rescued Australian Shepherd named Teak, and a black panther cat born during a full eclipse and named Shadow Moon.

She fell in love with the southwest desert, including its Native American influences, when she relocated from the Midwest.

CRESCENT MOON CROSSING, released August 2022, features a murder that could be ripped from today’s tension-laden border conflict headlines.

Staff Sergeant Jace Merrick has two short-term goals–join the Army Intelligence unit, and kill his wife. He hatches a scheme to make her death look like a Mexican cartel smuggling operation gone wrong. But before he can carry out his plan, she is shot, and he becomes the prime murder suspect.

SONG OF THE ANCIENTS, the first novel in the Ancient Magic paranormal suspense series, introduces readers to witchcraft and shamanism, seen through the eyes of an ordinary woman.

Readers interested in witchcraft—or just a dark, spooky tale—will enjoy this paranormal suspense, written by a real-life Wiccan High Priestess.

Visit Sandy at

Book Tour Schedule

September 12th

R&R Book Tours (Kick-Off)

Bunny’s Reviews (Review)

@amber.bunch_author (Spotlight)

@itsabookthing2021 (Spotlight)

September 13th

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight)

Reads & Reels (Spotlight)

Rambling Mads (Spotlight)

September 14th

Riss Reviews (Review)

The Faerie Review (Spotlight)

Latisha’s Low-Key Life (Spotlight)

Book Reviews by Taylor (Spotlight)

September 15th

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Review)

@gryffindorbookishnerd (Review)

Stine Writing (Review)

September 16th

@brandidanielledavis (Review)

@readitandsteep_ (Review)

@bookswithstacie (Review)

On the Shelf Reviews (Spotlight)

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