Thursday, February 20, 2020

Review of "Where the Crawdads Sing"

Review of audio book by 

This is a strong character-driven story that delves deep into the psyche of the 'Marsh Girl' told from her perspective. Kya is a young girl left to her own devices to survive the environment and the hostility encountered from abuse at home and the local townspeople. (mostly told in her POV).
There were a few places in the story when other character's mindsets were explored. Unfortunately a few spots of head-hopping mishaps as well, but overall I listened to this novel and was impressed with the subtle plot development and the authentic characterizations of all.
The narrator performed superbly, true voices for each of the characters and a very enjoyable tone throughout. The ending was a surprise, the very end, and worth the wait. I recommend this book for those who enjoy heartfelt stories about people overcoming obstacles and personally thriving.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Cutting the Bloodline

by Angeline Trevena is a great novella about a crime-free society and the chaos and repercussions it causes.’

It’s an inventive storyline, set in the future 2052 England, a society that decides that a crime-free environment is worth the segregation of certain types of people, based solely on a DNA test that hasn’t been fully studied in an honest effort. Today as a modern society, we’ve already been exposed to political agendas that have turned out horribly wrong. We’ve seen affected factions of society, who are left in dire consequences because of faulty policy and laws. Think of the leprosy colonies and their segregation from normal society over the centuries, as an example. In this plot, the agenda for power creates a struggle between sides, some calling for a revolution.

The turmoil comes to a head when the protagonist, Journalist Kenton Hicks, decides to write a tell-all book. This story thread, of course, has my full attention at this point.

The author did a great job with the characterizations. Kenton’s personality is fleshed out well, and we experience his struggle as a writer, and his ability (or lack thereof) to accept his work as merited and needed. He interviews the lost generation, those shunned by mainstream society. He questions how far society should be allowed to go—using advanced technology to label babies as criminal before they are even born.

The characters feel authentic, the situation defined. More development and transition in the relationship between Kenton and Amie would have been nice, since both characters are so wonderful. They went from a hostile first interview to Kenton becoming too involved. The growth of the relationship between them is implied, and because it’s a novella, less words available for it to evolve. The reader needs to embellish the love interest a bit. Fair enough, this is not a romance but a Sci-Fi Utopia story, after all.

The plot thickens and as policy makers are challenged, they react as if threatened. Soon Kenton’s life is in danger. The people who follow his cause are also vulnerable.

The scenes are action packed and will keep you reading . . . This is a refreshing plot and begs us to question—that bad things will develop if we are not careful about the policies we back. I enjoyed reading this story and found the characters engaging, and hope to read more about these characters and more stories from Angeline Trevena. Well done!

#dystopian #scifi #thriller #indieauthor

Find Angeline's other great stories here:

Including the series

The Paper Duchess Complete Series Box Set Nov 22, 2017

and her newest story
The Notary of Gotliss Street 

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Review of Book Trilogy by Martin Crosbie

The My Temporary Life Trilogy by Martin Crosbie

My Temporary Life-Book One

A wonderful story with great characters and honest writing.
As a reader, I was easily drawn into the world of a young Scottish boy named Malcolm and stayed with him during his journey to manhood. This is an excellent story that's written in the first person.

It's a story about finding a sense of home, overcoming obstacles in which there is no control and still coming out a good person. We watch young Mal develop his relationships, his struggle against bullies, his confusion as he tries to connect with his father, and the lack of having a real relationship with his mother. We never know what life will deal us, the only thing we can do is our best with a situation and make choices that are true to our own nature.

As an adult, Malcolm goes to the extreme for those he loves, proves to himself who he is and where his loyalties rest, his true home. This novel is a great journey written by Martin Crosbie and I highly recommend it for those who enjoy reading honest characters, and if you are not afraid to face horrible realities.

I also recommend an open heart and a few tissues. On to the next book about Malcolm's friend, Hardly.

My Name Is Hardly-Book Two

Hardly understands the meaning of friendship...
We follow Malcolm's friend, Hardly, and his spiritual growth after he's away from his abusive parents when he moves in with Malcolm's father after Mal leaves for Canada. We readers see his career in the military and his strange assignments.

This is a unique story with lovable characters who grow and become better people as they experience tough situations and survive. Their strong bonds of friendship keep them going.

The plot is unexpected, entertaining, suspenseful, and delivers a rewarding finish - I highly recommend this book.

All Good Men Must Fall-Book Three

The final book in the My Temporary life series brings it all together.

Read them all, these stories won't disappoint. FIVE STARS for them all!

Available at Amazon in Kindle, print and audio format.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

The Missing Ones Book Review

The Missing Ones (Detective Lottie Parker #1)

Review of book one in the series

written by Patricia Gibney 
Michele Moran (Narrator)

Amazon Link for book

Goodreads Link

One of the best stories I’ve experienced in a long time.

I listened to an audiobook as I traveled to visit my daughter. Arriving before the book was finished, I had to pull out my headphones to finish the book, had to know what happened next. The audio version was great, good voice and great pace, I think reading would even be better.

Dark, mysterious, and creepy - this is a riveting story of survivors. Abused as children by the horrors of a monster of the cloth, their story unravels as the threads pull apart and the protagonist, Detective Lottie Parker, is the only person who can pull the clues back into a tapestry that makes sense.

Lottie pushes everything to the max- her work, personal life, and even her health when it comes to doing her job. She is a complex character carrying many crosses but is determined to fix the things she can fix, which is solving crimes.

This storyline is fresh with believable characters who step off the page with heart-wrenching truths, and real-life drama. The crimes are as different as the detective herself and will keep you guessing and glued to the next page.

Definitely worth your reading time.Yes - 5 big stars.

Looking forward to reading or listening to the next in the series.

Keep Reading! Keep Writing!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Mountain Of The Dead

World's Scariest Places Book Five

Obsession about a mysterious past event turns into an unexpected horror.

I could not have predicted the action scenes with the racing for your life kind of momentum, literally the story took me by surprise. As original and unseemly the characters who banded together were, the last few scenes were even more unexpected.

I enjoy and appreciate the writing style of Jeremy Bates, like his descriptive narrative, his casual voice, and I have read most of his novels, but this story leaps ahead of the others in the Scariest Places series due to the intense historical background that was cleverly added as a thread against the current day's story plot.

The true historical event that happened in the Russian mountains back in 1959 that was named the Dyatlov Pass Incident, was well researched and smoothly intertwined that tale (which Bates totally expanded creatively) with the main story of the protagonist's search for answers. It was more than a search though, the protagonist was obsessed with the original mystery, compelled to do the trip.

More important, the old mystery was intriguing by itself, then add the current story of an obsessive man trying to come to grips with demons by throwing his all into a crazy expedition, dragging his BFF along, meeting up with unlikely climbing mates, who of course all have a reason for being there as well, and it makes for a stew of explosive scenes. There were moments I felt sorry for his dearest friend who faithfully followed Whitey and hoped things hadn't turned out the way they did for him, but .... it is a horror story.

There were extra horrors added to the story when the main character and friends stumbled across additional mysterious and deadly places, while on their way to the final peak/pass.

I enjoyed reading this story very much and highly recommend this novel.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Likeness by Tana French

The Likeness: A Novel

byTana French

A Good Story but . . . 

not as good as the first in the series.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first book, 'In The Woods'. The Irish murder squad worked a compelling plot, actually it was more like two plots that intertwine - it was excellent!

Anticipating the same type of plot movement in book two, I started 'The Likeness' and was quickly disappointed. French did a good job with setting and character development, however, the plot wasn't very suspenseful.

It was all based on the nervousness of being undercover and trying to fool the other characters (trick four close friends of the murder victim - unlikely).

The author used the writing style or technique (for lack of other words to use here) that other current authors are doing as of late; French was in the head of the protagonist most of the time. . . not my favorite type of writing POV.

Once in awhile being inside their thoughts in a tense situation is good, but when it's done too often, it takes away from everything else and it makes a poor substitute for a good plot. I was disappointed but will read Tana French again because her first book was excellent. I think this one was just a bit flat, it happens. Still, not a bad read, it will be appreciated by those readers who enjoy psychological thrillers without a lot of action. 

Keep reading!

Monday, January 29, 2018

A Serial Killer's Gruesome Tale

I've mentioned this book in a post when I finished reading it, but never blogged a review for one of the best horror stories I've read in the past few years!

Warning - Only read it if you don't mind getting into the details of one sadistic and twisted serial killer. The book is graphic but also reveals an original plot, as we follow two threads until they meet,  two sides that basically reveal the extremes of good vs. evil.

Mr. Midnight written by Author Allan Leverone 

This story is told from the dark side, a horrific thriller (in a good way) revealing the antagonist's perspective completely. Again - warning - nothing is held back.

It's a winner for horror readers, a tale filled with unexpected twists, some expected suspense, and not withholding any of the gore. Fans of Criminal Minds or the various CSI TV series will enjoy the look deep inside of the killer's psyche.

The paranormal ability shared by the protagonist and the killer is an interesting new perspective, as they both experience 'flickers'. There is not a doubt, he is a  monster, and as I read the story I felt real horror and fear for Caitlyn, the good protagonist turned victim. 

This book is a page turner for sure.
Here's part of the book's description:
 "Given up for adoption just hours after her birth, thirty-year-old Caitlyn Connelly has longed her entire life to uncover her family history. Subject to bizarre and inexplicable visions, Cait is desperate to learn whether her biological mother can provide any insight as to the origin of her unusual ability.
When a local investigator learns Cait was born in a Boston suburb, the Tampa lawyer wastes no time booking a flight to the East Coast. In Boston, with the city under siege by a killer known as "Mr. Midnight," Cait's visions intensify, morphing from merely annoying to graphic and terrifying.
Worse, Cait begins to realize she shares a strange psychic connection with the depraved sociopath; a connection that may just get her killed.
As Cait and the murderer are drawn inexorably toward a violent confrontation, unraveling a decades-old mystery might be the only thing that prevents her from becoming the next victim...of Mr. Midnight."
 The author, Allan Leverone, has penned a few other books in the supernatural/paranormal genre but by far this is the scariest. Leverone has also penned a suspense thriller and spy series starring the character Tracie Tanner, a cold-war time piece.
Look for all his other titles and follow this NY Times best seller's new works.

Keep reading - Keep writing!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Gripping Thriller With Heart: Short Review of A River Is Dark

A heartbreaking thriller book that you should read.

The River Is Dark (A Liam Dempsey Thriller Book 1) will keep you suspended in a web of doubt, have you questioning what is normal, and you might end up shedding a tear or two by the end.

The River Is Dark
- A Thriller - written by Joe Hart

A great book to read, the best plot I've read in awhile, and an excellent thriller. 
The writing is crisp and authentic.

The prologue takes the reader into the scene of a murder and instantly thrown into the story. A confused young boy is traumatized by his witness to the murder of his parents.

Then in chapter one, we meet the protagonist, the haunted Liam Dempsey, who travels to Tallston to find out about his brother's murder only to discover there have been other murders in the small city.

The mystic of the story mounts as we are introduced to an array of interesting characters, all with difficult situations, and some sad circumstances. This well-paced story will keep you turning pages. The more we learn about Liam, his problems and shortcomings, the more we appreciate his strengths. The most revered is his ability to love even after being rejected, perhaps that's why he is able to accept others around him who are far from perfect.

As I have said, this is not only a conspiracy thriller, it also is a heartbreaker. You'll jump in your seat and then later grab the tissues. This book evokes the reader's empathy, you will think. After reading this story you will reconsider the definitions of normal and beauty. You may even re-discover the meaning of true unconditional love.

I highly recommend this book.

Check out the other books by Joe Hart
Sign up to his mailing list at his website.

Keep Reading - Keep writing!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

My Review of ~ The Chemist

Intelligent protagonist evolves into a better person while facing death daily

I gave this book 5 stars.

An excellent story, written with a great pace and the narration was spot on. The female protagonist, Alex, evolves into a better survivor than she thought possible. The character is an original (ex-government operative who worked to retract information via a lab) and she (many aliases at first) kept on developing as the plot evolved.

Alex, her true identity, has unique skills but meets someone who can actually challenge her in ways she never thought possible. After a difficult past, Alex now faces a difficult romance which evolves after some unfortunate events. The characters accept the situation and move past issues, but that's only one side of the novel.

The danger piles on and the characters struggle to survive, both killers and nature. They move from place to place while on the run and meet unusual accomplices. The four-legged assistance is a nice addition to the character list.

This book is packed with twists, unexpected solutions showing off the character's strengths, and has a great ending. I may listen to it again, or perhaps read it this time. I'll be watching for more Alex stories.

If you've read Stephenie Meyer's Twilight books and think that she's only about teenage love, think again. Like in her book, The Host, The Chemist is a solid read, good writing with tension, developed characters, and compelling story. I highly recommend this book.

Add a copy to your library - the audio version was excellent. Available in other formats as well.

The Chemist  Audiobook – Unabridged

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

IN THE WOODS Murder In The North East Kingdom by Zguta

Book Release Today!

I am happy to announce that my novel
IN THE WOODS Murder In The North East Kingdom is now available in eBook format. #MurderMystery #thriller 

I worked on this story for years, it actually started out as a blog post which I abandoned, and later I was inspired to change the location and develop the character into the novel it is today.

The main protagonist is a strong female role model, no fancy fighting and far from perfect, but she does do battle within herself while she investigates a death.

A role-playing game staged in the remote woods of the North East Kingdom, turns into a deadly pastime when a killer uses the game as a means to seize his victims. 

A dead body is discovered in the woods by Samantha Tremblay, a Forest Ranger who works at Maidstone Lake. The locals call her Sam. She swears to bring the killer to justice for the victim but soon finds herself in over her head, as she works alongside New Hampshire Trooper Zachary Gerard assigned to the case. More bodies turn up and motivation to solve the crimes mount. 

Old secrets get in Sam’s way, and she isolates herself from others. Haunted by unanswered questions about the past, she lives with cracked relationships—between herself and her father—her friends. Mourning her mother, Samantha feels a pull toward her heritage, the Abenaki tribe, but is afraid to open that doorway. Could the tribe help discover the answers to her quest for the truth?

Pulled emotionally from all directions, Samantha Tremblay searches for answers to find a killer, and to discover herself.

I hope you grab a Kindle copy HERE and enjoy the book. 

Also available here at Smashwords. For those who prefer a more physical reading experience ⤍ the paperback will be available soon.

Help me spread the word and Thank you for sharing my news! 

Keep Reading - Keep Writing!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Book Review of Island of the Dolls - One Scary Tale

Island of the Dolls

by Jeremy Bates 

If you enjoy horror stories involving creepy places then you'll enjoy this tale and all the other stories written by Jeremy Bates. I am a fan of Bates, and all the books I've read by this author pull the reader into the suspense, drench you into the scene, and keep your heart pumping while emerging into the action that lurks around the next corner. In this story the protagonist is very human, vulnerable and in the end gains something. There is also another story thread that relates to the present story and the switching back and forth was smooth and placed in the appropriate moments on the timeline...

 The setting is the Island, a horrific place where childhood tragedy is glorified, as if that could ever help, and invokes the slanted surreal feeling to everything that happens at that place. The details are creepy. The pace of the action is intense (some fights, some sex) but the characters unfold slowly, peeling away layers of themselves the more you read on, until the deeper troubles and reality surfaces, and the reader will say, "yes, that makes sense". Something different in this story from other books written by Bates is the happy ending. But after the whirlwind of horrific cruelty that some of the characters had to endure, I think it is wise to give the guy a break.
I recommend all the Jeremy Bates books, especially this one. But be forewarned - you'll never look at a doll in the same way again.
Read more thriller and horror stories by award winning Jeremy Bates, a USA TODAY bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and novellas 

Find them here: Books by Jeremy Bates