Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Justice at Cardwell Ranch by B.J. Daniels - Review and Interview!

Happy Tuesday!

I am so honored and excited today! I have a million-co​py selling romance mystery writer B.J. Daniels visiting my blog today! I got a chance to read her new release - Justice at Cardwell Ranch - and can post my review on the release day! Besides that, B.J. Daniels had time to answer all my many interview questions and you can see the result below!

So, here we go! Let's start with the review!

Author: B.J. Daniels
Title: Justice at Cardwell Ranch
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: Harlequin Intrigue
Genre: Adult: Suspense, Romance
Release date: 2nd of October 2012
Pages: 217 pages
Source: From Little Bird Publicity for reviewing


When Dana Cardwell found her mother’s revised will in a cookbook six years ago, it did more than make her sole owner of Cardwell Ranch in Big Sky, Montana. It also prevented her siblings, Jordan, Stacy and Clay, from selling off their mother’s beloved homestead. The siblings took off and Dana hasn't heard from them since.

When Dana finds her sister, Stacy, waiting at her door with a baby, she welcomes them in. Still, there’s something suspicious about Stacy’s story. She’s not telling Dana the whole truth and it has something to do with that baby. Does her return have anything to do with their brother Jordan who has been seen in town, too? Or is his reappearance tied to the mysterious death of a friend years ago? And how is their other brother Clay involved? As deadly forces once more threaten this clan of cowboys and cowgirls from all sides, do they still have what it takes to survive?

My review:

Justice at Cardwell Ranch is a part of Cardwell Ranch series, but can easily read as standalone. It was my first book written by B.J. Daniels and I enjoyed it a lot. After finishing Justice at Cardwell Ranch, I actually decided to read the first book in the series, too.

Justice at Cardwell Ranch is well written, the writing is smooth and professional, it is filled with thrilling suspense and mystery and fascinating settings of Montana. It is easy to read and the novel captures you from the very beginning and keeps your attention until the last page is turned.


Meet Jordan Cardwell, who is coming back to his home town to attend his high school get together and to find out if and why his best friend killed himself at high school. Besides that, he has not been seeing his family for several years and lot of things have changed in his life and also in his personality. Especially after his divorce. Jordan needs and wants to face his sister Dana, but before that happens, he is involved in a murder case.

He has agreed to meet Alex, another friend from his high school time. Alex is sure, that their common friend Tanner did not commit suicide, but was killed. When Jordan is appearing to their agreed meeting place, Alex is shot on the spot and since Jordan is on site while it happens, he becomes the suspect number one. At least for a while. Then the body count starts to increase and you quickly find out that what might seem obvious, is not.

During the investigation Jordan gets closer to his family and to Deputy Marshal Liza. At the same time, the other members of the Cardwells are added to the story and you will quickly start asking questions - why are they all suddenly appearing in the ranch? What are their motives?

The suspense part of the story was very intrigued and very well plotted. Besides that, there is romance woven to the story, romance between Jordan and Liza which is in my opinion staying little too much in the background.


Let me start with telling you, that there are many characters in Justice at Cardwell Ranch. It was quite confusing for me in the beginning and hence the reason why I decided to read the prequel. As said, it is not necessary, but it will make it easier for you to understand the background of the characters.

The amount of characters does not damage the quality of them though. I think the author did an excellent job with creating characters who are catching your attention and who intrigue you. You will find out that you can easily love some characters as much as you can dislike few others. There is a nice balance between the likes and dislikes. Characters are definitely supporting the plot!


Justice at Cardwell Ranch by B.J. Daniels is a solid and interesting suspense spiced up with some romance and seasoned with fascinating characters. I would definitely recommend it!

5 Flowers!
4 stars.

Thanks goes to Little Bird Publicity for the review copy!

Buy links:
amazon UK
Barnes and Noble

B.J. Daniels agreed to answer Me and Reading's interview questions. Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to B.J. Daniels, the author of Justice at Cardwell Ranch!

The interview is divided into several sections. First section is about the author, second section is about her book, writing it, about characters etc, third part is about her favorites.

Part I

MR: Please describe yourself with few sentences. Who are you?

BJD: Anyone who knows me would say I am crazy. :) I’m a writer and that makes me a little crazy to begin with. I spend my days with pretend characters, I research death and murder and weapons. I try to come up with twisted plots to fool my readers. Add lots of deadlines and you can see what makes me crazy. :)

MR: What inspired you to want to become writer?

BJD: I think I was born with it. Really. I grew up in a family of storytellers so it is all I ever wanted to be.

MR: Who did you want to become when you were a kid? What did you dream about?

BJD: Davy Crockett. I even had the coon-skin cap and the rifle. :) I dream western suspense. My first home in Montana was a cabin near a wilderness. My brother and I roamed the mountains, played in the creeks, climbed big rocks and made up our own stories.

MR: What do you do when you are not writing? Do you have any hobbies?

BJD: I love to boat, waterski, fish, camp, play tennis and snowboard. My latest creative enterprise is quilting. I’m totally hooked! And I love how much fun quilters are.

MR: If you wouldn’t be a writer, what would you be and do?

BJD: I think I would own a junk shop. I love scrounging around antique and junk shops looking for cool furniture.

MR: Who or what is your Muse?

BJD: My father told me I could be and do anything I wanted. I took it to heart. I have a lot of fun, but I work hard too – just like him.

Part II

Let’s talk about your book!

MR: How do you write? Do you sketch a plot first, create characters first and then starting to write?

BJD: I am what is known as a “seat of the pants” writer. I haven’t a clue basically. I just start writing and let the characters (as they show up) tell me what the story is about. Fortunately my characters always know what is going on. They surprise me every time.

MR: What do you think is the most important thing while writing?

BJD: Never bore your reader. I think pacing is the most important thing. Tell the story in a way that the reader doesn’t want to put down your book.

MR: Would you briefly give us an overview what Justice at Cardwell Ranch is about?

BJD: After I wrote Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch, readers wanted to know what happened to bad-boy, big brother Jordan Cardwell and back-stabbing big sis Stacy Cardwell.

I had no idea, but I was wondering myself. Had they changed?

I realized that Jordan’s best friend in high school had committed suicide (which explained somewhat why he was the way he was). What if he came back for his 20-year-high school reunion because of the suicide and there was another murder of a classmate and Jordan was right in the middle of it? Bring in Deputy Marshal Liza Turner and I was off.
MR: Where did you get the idea for Justice at Cardwell Ranch from? How was it born?

BJD: I got to wondering how much any of us had changed since high school. The graduating class out of Big Sky would be small. Were there mean girls? Popular boys who lorded it over others? What happened to them? And what about old grudges. (I do love old grudges. :))

And my plot was born.

MR: There are lots of captivating characters in Justice at Cardwell Ranch. Which character can you mostly relate to in Justice at Cardwell Ranch? Why?

BJD: LOL. I can relate to Deputy Marshal Liza Turner because I was horribly shy until about my junior year in high school. I can also relate to Shelby because I think sometimes I was way too much once I came out of my shell. I hope I wasn’t one of the mean girls, but it is interesting how other classmates might have seen us. I know I was tired of being shy. 

MR: How many books have you planned in Cardwell Ranch series?

BJD: Right now there are four more after Justice at Cardwell Ranch. A favorite, CARDWELL RANCH TRESPASSER, comes out in February. I had a ball writing that book because the villain is so wonderful. She just kept surprising me. I am finishing up CARDWELL RANCH CHRISTMAS that comes out in 2013. There is nothing like as snowy Christmas in Big Sky!! Except if you are out Christmas tree hunting and stumble across a body.

MR: Please give 3 reasons why readers should read Justice at Cardwell Ranch?

BJD: 1) It’s fast paced. 2) There are surprises. 3) And you get to visit Montana for a few hours.

MR: I have to ask you about other upcoming releases. Anything specific you are working on now?

BJD: I’m always working on something. :)

UNFORGIVEN (out in December) and REDEMPTION (out in February) are part of my new single-title on-going series for HQN. They are set in the fictional town of Beartooth, Montana in the shadow of the Crazy Mountains. I always wondered about the people who live in such remote and wild country. The land shapes them and the isolation causes them to have all kinds of secrets. :) I fell in love with these characters, some of them ongoing in the continuing series.

I am now working on the third book in this series. It will be out next fall.

Meanwhile back at Cardwell Ranch, CARDWELL RANCH TRESPASSER comes out in February with CARDWELL RANCH CHRISTMAS out next Christmas.

Part III – Favorites

Who is your favorite author? I really could not pick just one. Right now it is Gillian Flynn because I love her book GONE GIRL.
What is your favorite book or series? I am crazy excited about my single title series Beartooth, Montana that comes out starting in December.
What is your favorite song? Amazing Grace
What is your favorite season? Summer in Montana
What is your favorite food? Mexican
What is your favorite car? FJ Cruiser by Toyota
What is your favorite color? Yellow
What is your favorite movie? American Dreamer – the one with JoBeth Williams and Tom Conti (I wish I’d written it)
What is your favorite time of the day? Mornings (it’s when I write)
What is your favorite weather? Warm.

Thank you so much for your interest in me and my books. It was a pleasure.


Thanks BJ for coming by! I highly appreciate the time you took for answering to my interview questions!

Happy reading!


  1. Inga, thank you so much for having me on your site. And thank you for the wonderful review!!
    It has been a pleasure,

    1. You are welcome, BJ! Thanks for coming by and commenting!

  2. Thanks so much for the review and interview. I've already read Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch so I will definitely be checking this one out. :)

  3. Thanks for coming by Ashley! I am sure, that you will enjoy Justice at Cardwell Ranch!