Roses & Thorns

Roses & Thorns

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Hold Your Breath by Katie Ruggle


In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder…

As the captain of Field County’s ice rescue dive team, Callum Cook is driven to perfection. But when he meets new diver Louise “Lou” Sparks, all that hard-won order is obliterated in an instant. Lou is a hurricane. A walking disaster. And with her, he’s never felt more alive—even if keeping her safe may just kill him.

Lou’s new to the Rockies, intent on escaping her controlling ex, and she’s determined to make it on her own terms—no matter how tempting Callum may be. But when a routine training exercise unearths a body, Lou and Callum find themselves thrust into a deadly game of cat and mouse with a killer who will stop at nothing to silence Lou—and prove that not even her new Search and Rescue family can keep her safe forever.

About the Author:

A fan of the old adage "write what you know," Katie Ruggle lived in an off-grid, solar- and wind-powered house in the Rocky Mountains until her family lured her back to Minnesota. When she's not writing, Katie rides horses, shoots guns (not while riding, although that would be awesome), cross-country skis (badly), and travels to warm places where she can scuba dive. A graduate of the Police Academy, Katie received her ice-rescue certification and can attest that the reservoirs in the Colorado mountains really are that cold. A fan of anything that makes her feel like a bad-ass, she has trained in Krav Maga, boxing, and gymnastics.

You can connect with Katie at,, or on Twitter @KatieRuggle.

Review by Rochelle:

Hold Your Breath is a fast-paced book with well-drawn characters, and a heroine who is no fainting flower. Louise “Lou” Sparks can hold her own with or without the guys on the ice rescue team she’s joined in her new home, Field County, Colorado—both in and out of the icy waters of Colorado’s reservoirs.

During a routine training exercise, Lou has difficulty orienting herself with the unfamiliar gear, and kicks something loose under the ice. That something turns out to be a headless corpse. Feeling responsible for “HDG” (Headless Dead Guy), Lou sets out to find out who he was, who killed him, and why. Team leader Callum Cook, in an effort to keep her out of trouble, decides to help. But, they get sidetracked—someone’s stalking Lou, trying to kill her, and the stalking started before she dislodged HDG.

So why am I only giving Hold Your Breath two roses? It was a five-rose book right up to the very last page. Hold Your Breath isn’t just a cliff-hanger. Ms. Ruggle never solves the mystery of who killed HDG or why. Leaving room for a sequel is one thing. Even ending on a cliff-hanger would have only lost a book this good one rose. In fact, I’d have given Ms. Ruggle thorns if Lou hadn’t been such a strong heroine.

I’m really torn about recommending this book, because the original mystery has no resolution. That's not good marketing; it's bad writing, and as an editor I would never let an author get away with it. Ms. Ruggle had 386 pages in which to solve the mystery. I knew who Lou's stalker was right away. I'm not telling, in case anyone reading this review actually wants to buy a book with no ending. But I still don't know who killed HDG, and it makes me angry.

Author Website:
Heat Rating:  R
Length:  386 Pages
Print:  $5.99
Digital:  $3.99

You’ll notice we always include the publisher’s buy link. That’s because authors usually receive 40-50% of the net proceeds from the publisher. Editors and cover artists usually receive about 5%. When you buy a book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or another third-party vendor, they take a hefty cut and the author, editors and cover artists receive their cuts from what is left. So, if a book costs $5.99 at E-Book and you buy from there, the author will receive about $2.40-$2.99. If you buy the book at Amazon, the author will receive about $1.70-$2.10.

Download the file from the publisher onto your computer as you would any other file. I’ve created a folder for books on my computer, with subfolders by source (Marketing for Romance Writers, Net Galley, Authors who find me on Kindle lists, etc.). That way, if there’s a glitch with your Kindle, the books are on your computer. Some publishers send books in all digital formats. If my Kindle breaks and my kids buy me a Nook, I won’t have to replace all of my books. If you have a Kindle and your hubby has a Nook, you won’t have to buy separate copies, so buying directly from the publisher can save you money.

Moving the file from your computer to your e-reader is as easy as transferring any file from your computer to a USB flash drive. Plug the larger USB end of your e-reader charging chord into a USB port on your computer and simply move the file from the folder into which you’ve downloaded the book to Documents/Books directory on your e-reader. You can move the file by highlighting it and dragging it to the documents directory in you Kindle you want to move it to. Or right click on it, and then left click copy or move. Or hit Control/C for copy, Control/X for cut, and Control/V for paste.

Your author will be happy you did when he/she sees his/her royalty statement.

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