HITCHHIKERS by Kate Spofford

image

I received a free book version of HITCHHIKERS from the author in exchange for an honest review.

To be honest, I put off reading this book because I was worried that it would be another typical werewolf story. However, I am very glad that I finally decided to read it. Yes, it is a werewolf novel, but it is unique. It is not a typical teen-romance/werewolves are so sexy story. This one is definitely worth reading.

At the age of 13 Daniel did something horrible. Since then he has been on the run. He is homeless and starving. He is tired and lonely and he’s scared.

He has black-outs and when he comes back to consciousness, he is usually covered in blood. Often, there is a dead body nearby. Sometimes the body is that of an animal, but all too often the body is that of a person.

Daniel has no memory of hurting anyone. All he remembers is being excruciatingly hungry, or scared. Daniel hitchhikes and unfortunately for him, he is often picked up by predators or pedophiles. He has developed a sixth sense about a person and has gotten much better at spotting, and thus avoiding the weirdos.

However, he has been on the run for three years and he is starting to wonder if it might be safe for him to return home.

He wants to know what is wrong with him. He wants to know how to stop from killing people. He needs to learn what is happening to him and how he can control it.

Daniel’s journey is one of self-discovery. Even though he is a killer, the reader cannot help but feel bad for him. He is obviously just a scared kid who wants to do the right thing.

Can Daniel ever return home? Will he ever figure out what is happening to him? Will his abusive childhood turn him into a remorseless killer or will his better nature prevail?

This book is one that once you start reading, you will not want to stop.

I was impressed that the author was able to conjure a new werewolf tale that does not follow the typical romantic story line.

I rate this book as 4 out of 5 stars and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

For more information about the author, visit http://katespofford.WordPress.com

Advertisements

CASH KILLS

image

CASH KILLS – An Angelina Bonaparte Mystery
By: Nanci Rathbun

* I received an autographed paperback copy of CASH KILLS through the Goodreads Giveaway program. *

My Review:

The first paragraph of the book immediately grabbed my attention.

“‘ Angie, there’s a woman here complaining that her parents had bank accounts worth millions and she doesn’t want the money.’ Susan leaned across the table, ‘Can you imagine?'”

That’s a good question. No, I can’t imagine. Hasn’t everyone, at some point in their lives, wished for and wondered what it would be like to suddenly be left with a large monetary inheritance? I know I have. And, I know that if someone left me millions of dollars, I certainly wouldn’t be wanting to get rid of it.

Immediately, I was intrigued. What would prompt someone to not want to keep the money? It’s a great hook to the story.

Angelina Bonaparte is a Private Investigator. The woman who is seeking her services is Adriana Johnson.

Adriana and her parents are immigrants from what was once Yugoslavia. They owned a small hardware store on the south side of Milwaukee and it was in that store that they were murdered during a botched robbery attempt.

Throughout her entire life, Adriana and her parents were considered the “working poor.” They never even had cable TV because it was too expensive and despite her desire to become a nurse, Adriana had to put her dream aside due to lack of money for tuition.

Because of this, she is shocked to find that her parents had millions of dollars in the bank when they were brutally murdered.

Adriana is not sure she wants to accept the money. She wants no part of “tainted” or ill-gotten money. This is how Private Investigator Angelina Bonaparte becomes involved. She is hired to find out where the money came from.

What follows is an action-packed mystery that takes on epic proportions. What could have come across as a confusing mess, instead is a mystery that is so well written that it is difficult to put this book down.

Ties to the horrifying Bosnian War and the tragedy that occurred in Sarajevo quickly become apparent. But, are Angelina’s parents the good guys or the bad guys? Where did the money come from? And why, if they had access to so much money, did they live as frugally as they did?

This is a great book and I believe that the research the author put into the Bosnian War was extensive. She handles the delicate topic with just the right mix of information, emotion, horror and drama.

At the back of the book, the author includes a note that states: “Although I am not a historian, I took pains to make the impact of the Bosnian War realistic, especially in regards to Professor Kolar’s memories. Of particular help in that regard is REMEMBER SARAJEVO, an online pamphlet with journalist Roger Richards’ account of his time in Sarajevo in 1992. The photographs and his story are hauntingly real. I encourage you to read this small, but powerful document.”
http://digitaljournalist.org/issue0302/rr_intro.html

Also, when I picture the typical female private investigator, I picture a young, sexy woman whose age is probably late 20’s or early 30’s. I love the fact that Angelina Bonaparte is NOT part of this stereotype. Angelina is actually a grandmother, but is not what you would picture as the typical grandmother. She has two grown up children who have children of their own, but Angelina is still a vibrant woman. She keeps in shape and dresses well. She loves sexy lingerie and revels in wearing sexy things underneath her professional attire. She may be a grandma, but she is nowhere near retiring or being put out to pasture.

I also love the fact that Angelina has an active sex life. It proves that sex and love are not exclusive to the young. It is never too late to find the love of your life. The author does a great job in making Angie & Wukowski’s budding relationship seem genuine and believable.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

This is the second book in the Angelina Bonaparte Mystery Series, but I have not yet read the first book and that fact did not in any way detract from my enjoyment of the story.

CASH KILLS works perfectly as a stand-alone novel. However, with that said, I am looking forward to reading the first book and to reading many more books in the series.

To read more about this author, visit http://nancirathbun.com or on Twitter @nancirathbun

To read more of my reviews, visit my blog at https://amiesbookreviews.wordpress.com

Rings of Passage by Karla Tipton

image

RINGS OF PASSAGE: A Time Travel Novel with Richard III by Karla Tipton

* I received a free ebook copy of RINGS OF PASSAGE from the author in exchange for an honest review. *

Wow! The action starts immediately in this book.

Anise Wynford starts her day at a farmhouse in Massachusetts, then somehow she finds herself in the middle of a medieval battlefield astride a horse and wearing a suit of armor.

“In horror, Anise watched a battleaxe hack into the skull of an unhorsed knight. His blood, bone and brains splattered in all directions…My God, this isn’t some historical reenactment! It’s real.”

The year is 1485. Richard III is King of England. He is haunted by past events. His beloved wife, Anne and their only son, Edward are both dead. Richard is in mourning. He is miserable and sees his own death as an escape. He is not suicidal, but he does not shy away from danger either.

In the present day, Anise is the daughter of a semi-famous actress. She grew up unaware that the man she thought was her father was in fact, not her biological father. She only becomes privy to this information when her biological father leaves her a farmhouse in his will.

Anise moves to Massachusetts to the farmhouse and accepts the role of Anne in a local playhouse production of Richard III. While still in costume, she has a panic attack and runs out of the theatre. Heading home, she somehow ends up back in the past. Richard finds her in distress and carries her back to the castle.

Anise finds herself falling for this King whom history has treated so unfairly. But, she knows he is destined to die and that date is quickly approaching. Also, he is a king and she is no one. How will she save his life? Can she save his life? If she saves him what will happen to history? She could change things and end up wiping herself from existence. Is there any hope for her? How will she ever get home? How will she return to her own time?

This book is a story of time-travel, intrigue and romance with a bit of magic thrown in for good measure.

The author actually travelled to England to learn more about it’s history and about Richard III. This is clearly evident in her work. Her attention to detail makes for an authentic and compelling reading experience.
I cannot help but be impressed with the author’s dedication to authenticity and detail.

To learn more about this author and to view more of her books, visit her website at: http://www.karlatipton.com

To read more of my reviews visit my blog at https://amiesbookreviews.wordpress.com

I rate this book as 4 out of 5 stars.

BOOK TOUR POST: 32 Seconds by Johanna K. Pitcairn

32 SECONDS

By: Johanna K. Pitcairn

32 Seconds Book Cover

To the average onlooker, the city of Los Angeles represents glitz, glamour, and the celebrity lifestyle. But to seventeen-year-old Julie Jones, the city is a vast host of problems she’s longing to get away from. The latest? An unfortunate disagreement with her ex-boyfriend Mark—one that could land her in some serious hot water. So rather than face the troubles that torment her, Julie decides to run away from her old life and start fresh somewhere new. But her parents aren’t on board with the plan, and she soon finds her bank accounts frozen and her wallet empty. With just seventy-five dollars and a full tank of gas, the troubled teen is far too stubborn to turn around and head home. So what’s a girl to do? What Julie doesn’t know is that her travels are about to take her somewhere unexpected—a place where she’ll be forced to come face to face with the ghosts of her past in order to secure her future. A tale of redemption, hope, and freedom lost and found, 32 Seconds is a thought-provoking exploration into the human spirit and the nature of forgiveness. –

See more at: http://b00kr3vi3wtours.blogspot.in/#sthash.9XTomJsz.dpuf

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Johanna K. Pitcairn

Johanna K. Pitcairn has dreamed of becoming a writer since childhood–authoring her first novel at the age of nine, and countless poems, stories, and screenplays by the age of seventeen. Later, rather than pursuing a career as a director and screenwriter, she decided to go to law school, driven by her father’s opinion that “writing does not pay the bills.”

Ten years later, she moved to New York City, which inspired her to go back to the excitement, wonder, and constant change of being a writer. Pitcairn is a huge fan of psychological-thriller novels and movies, and delves into her hopes, fears, friends, enemies, and everything in between in her own writing.

Random Fun Facts:

1) To trigger my inspiration, I binge on Netflix. I pick shows from any genre, and study the dialog and the plot. I also watch video game walkthroughs on YouTube. It’s a great help to develop my characters.

2) I can’t remember the last time I’ve had a bad case of writer’s block. Plotting helps eliminate that issue.

3) My biggest pet peeves: misspellings, grammatical errors, and inconsistent formatting.

4) Julie Jones has named her car “Bubble”, and when she swears, she says things like “shizzle”, “shizzle nizzle” or “crapola in a peanut butter jar”.

5) The original title for the first draft of the story, before it became 32 Seconds, was Death by Chocolate.

6) Julie Jones loves In&Out burgers, and strawberry milkshakes.

7) Julie is also a surfer. Her favorite beach is the one in Oceanside, CA.

8) I’m a cat lover. I have four cats, and they all distract me from writing by taking turns and lying on top of my laptop.

Contact the Author:

Website – http://themanicheans.com/

Blog – http://themanicheans.wordpress.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/themanicheans

Twitter – https://twitter.com/themanicheans

Goodreads –  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6894379.Johanna_K_Pitcairn

The Independent Author Network – http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/jk-pitcairn.html

Tour Stops:

1. Eclectic Moods
2. Sinful Soul
3. Plain Talk BM
4. M.C.Simon Writes
5. b00kr3vi3ws
6. Books I Love To Read and The Wonderful Authors That Wrote Them
7. The Shadow Portal
8. The Phantom Paragrapher
9. TLBC’s Book Blog
10. Norm Hamilton, Writer
11. Carti Cu Colti
12. The Blog of Fantasy Writer A. F. Stewart
13. Lightning Chronicles
14. 4covert2overt ~ A Place In The Spotlight ☼
15. Mythical Books
16. Bound 2 Escape
17. Storeybook Reviews
18. Kathryn Svendsen
19. Monroe Ariel
20. Kristy F.Gillespie
21. Books, Books, and More Books
22. Book Butterfly in Dreamland
23. Confessions Of A Reader
24. 100 Pages a Day
25. Confessions Of A Reader

– See more at: http://b00kr3vi3wtours.blogspot.in/#sthash.9XTomJsz.dpuf

*** This is my first time participating in a Book Tour Blog Hop, so if I have made any errors, they are mine alone and should not reflect on the author or the Book Tour hosts.

WAR OF THE WIVES By: Tamar Cohen

image

WAR OF THE WIVES
By: Tamar Cohen

I received a paperback copy of WAR OF THE WIVES through the Goodreads Giveaway program.

This book is already available in Canada, but the US release date is in February 2015. The copy I received was an ARC of the US version of the paperback with the cover as shown above. The Canadian Cover is different and looks like this:

image

From The Back Cover:

“Think marriage means happily-ever-after? Think again…”

“Selina and Lottie are complete opposites. Where Selina is poised but prudish, Lottie is quirky and emotional. Selina is the dutiful mother of three children and able manager of their stylish suburban home. Lottie lives with her eccentric teenage daughter in a small city apartment fit to bursting with color and happy chaos. But these women also have one shocking similarity: they’re married to the same man… and they’ve just found out he’s dead.”

“Selina has been married to Simon Busfield for twenty-eight years. Lottie for seventeen. Neither knew a thing about the other until the day of Simon’s funeral, where the scandalous truth is revealed in front of everyone they know. Another wife, another family… And they’ve only just scratched the surface of Simon’s incredible betrayal.”

“With dark humor and razor-sharp wit, Cohen expertly unravels a story of deception and betrayal, where two very different families will discover they are entwined in ways that will change them all forever.”

My Review:

Tamar Cohen has written a book that contains such amazing descriptions of what the main characters are going through, that you cannot help but empathize with them.

It would have been so easy to paint Lottie as a conniving, home-wrecker who steals Simon away from his true wife and family. But, Lottie is as much a victim as Selina is.

Potential readers may question how Selina and Lottie were both able to be fooled for seventeen long years, but the author has done an amazing job of making this unlikely scenario come across as entirely plausible. Readers whose husbands travel often for work, or who maintain work residences in other countries may start to wonder about their own husband’s fidelity.

The tragedy in all this is the children. Lottie has the youngest child who is now sixteen years old, while Selena’s three children range in age from seventeen to being in their twenties. Betrayal by a husband can be accepted, but how do you handle being betrayed by the father you worshiped? And what is it like to suddenly realize that you have a half-sister that you knew nothing about?

This story is gripping and emotional and yet I found myself actually laughing out loud a few times.

This is a fascinating look at a seriously dysfunctional situation and one that will keep you reading long into the night. The twist at the end is as surprising as it is satisfying. It is not often that the ending to a story takes me by surprise, but this one did. I say, “Bravo” to that.

This book will make readers thankful that their own lives are nothing like the lives of the Busfields.

My favorite quote from the book:

“I know how you can think you know someone, only to find the person you thought you knew turns out to be a hollow timber structure with someone entirely different inside – a plastic wheelie bin of a someone. I know about love, and I know about loss and how any minute the solid ground can give way beneath your feet, revealing the chasm that’s been there all along, waiting to suck you in.”

I rate this book as 4.5 out of 5 stars.

More information about this book can be found at http://www.MIRABooks.com

To find out more about author, Tamar Cohen visit: https://m.facebook.com/pages/Tamar-Cohen/258157084299835

CURE by Belinda Frisch

image

CURE: A Strandville Zombie Novel # 1 by Belinda S. Frisch

The small town of Strandville was once a safe and quiet place to live. However, several young women have recently gone missing and the only similarities between the cases seems to be their link to the Nixon Medical Center.

A miscarriage and diagnosis of a genetic condition causes the end of Miranda’s marriage. Seeking escape, she accepts a job at The Nixon Center. Her ex-husband, Scott, still loves her and did not want the divorce, but Miranda is convinced that he will have a better life with someone who can give him biological children.

Zach Keller’s young wife is dying from terminal cancer. He signs on as security guard at the Nixon Center in exchange for his wife’s admittance into their experimental cancer treatment program.

Dr. Nixon runs the treatment center. Three patients were brought to him from Haiti who have a rare disease. This disease could be considered “zombieism.” They eat raw flesh and though they are awake, they do not speak or seem to think. They are violent and unpredictable.

Convinced that he can cure cancer with their cells, Dr. Nixon will do anything, no matter how depraved or despicable, in search of his miracle cure.

Curing cancer would be an incredible boon to mankind, and all Zach can think about is saving his wife’s life. However, he begins to question whether his wife’s life is worth turning a blind eye to everything that is happening at The Nixon Center.

Miranda’s new job turns out to be a hoax. She is valuable to Dr. Nixon because of the very genetic condition that ended her marriage. He needs her eggs for his experimental treatment.

How far is too far when searching for a cancer cure? Where do you draw the line? How many lives can be sacrificed for the greater good? What would you do to save the person you love most in the world?

Is it ever justifiable to hurt or imprison unwilling participants if there is a chance that it could save millions of lives?

Exactly when does obsession begin to overtake common sense and decency?

All these questions and more are delved into in this book.

This is NOT your typical zombie novel. However, it does contain enough gore and terror to satisfy those who love that aspect of zombie fiction.

This is the first book in a series and I am looking forward to reading the next installment.

The ending did neatly wrap up this portion of the story, but readers are left wondering what is next for Miranda and Scott, as well as Zach and Allison.

My only criticism of this book lies with the editing. There are words missing in a few spots and some other minor errors. One glaring error that I did notice was that the author referred to the band Lynryd Skynyrd as “Leonard Skynard”. This could have been avoided with a simple Google search.
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Sweet Home Alabama – YouTube
m.youtube.com/watch?v=5MhOZt5-Jl8

Were it not for the editing errors I would have given this 5 stars, however, I rate CURE as 4 out of 5 stars.

To learn more about this author, visit her online at: http://belindaf.blogspot.ca

image

JUST PERFECT by Hanne Arts

image

JUST PERFECT by Hanne Arts

The author of this book is only 18 years old, yet she writes with an honesty and intelligence that is well beyond her years. Her ability to convey emotion and to draw the reader into her world is truly exceptional.

Her mother is dead and her father has fallen into the life of a barely functioning alcoholic. Christina has one good female friend and a boyfriend to whom she can turn for comfort, companionship and solace.

However, when her friend cheats off her test and her boyfriend dumps her, Christina’s life starts a dismal downward spiral.

Bullied and taunted by those she once thought were her friends, having to take care of her alcoholic father, and not liking what she sees in the mirror, Christina starts to starve herself. This leads to cutting and finally to thoughts of suicide.

Can Christina find the strength of will to fight through her horrible situation? Or will she become just another statistic? Will she end up as a teenage suicide victim who gave up all hope of a better future?

The despair she feels is well written and the reader cannot help but empathize with her situation. The reader is drawn into Christina’s downward spiral into despair and I couldn’t help but wish I had known this girl and been able to help her somehow.

This book highlights just how desperate some teenagers can become. Why didn’t her teachers notice her dramatic weight loss? Where were the safeguards that are supposed to be in place for our younger generation?

This book is an important one. It is important that other teenagers who are facing situations similar to the one in this book, know that they are not alone and that there is hope. It may be cliche, but they need to know that there is light at the end of their dark tunnel.

Though this book is targeted at a young adult audience, I think that all parents, especially those who have teenagers, should read this book as well. I realize it is fiction, but it is also too realistic to not have some basis in fact.

This book firmly deserves a 5 star rating. Hanne Arts may be a young author, but she is also a very talented one. I look forward to reading more books by her and I believe she has a long writing career ahead of her.

To learn more about this author, visit her blog at http://hanne-arts.blogspot.ca

image

I received a free eBook of JUST PERFECT from the author in exchange for an honest review.

SHADE by Marilyn Peake

image

SHADE by Marilyn Peake

I received a free eBook copy of SHADE in exchange for an honest review.

Shade’s Mom is weird. This is easily demonstrated by the fact that she named her daughter, Galactic Shade Griffin.

Shade’s mother decides they need to move and rents an old Victorian-style home for them to live in. Shade hates that she has to change schools. No one wants to be the new girl in high school.

As soon as they arrive at the rental house strange things start to happen. Shade is seeing lights turn on and off on their own and she is even hearing voices.

When she discovers that she now shares her home with a ghost, Shade needs to redefine “normal”.

As if dealing with sharing your home with a ghost is not enough to deal with, Shade’s best friend goes missing.

This is a young adult novel with many paranormal elements. It is also a mystery novel.

Many issues that are relevant to today’s youth are touched on in this book. Drug abuse, addiction and cutting are all mentioned. However, this is not a self-help story. This is not about how Shade overcomes her crappy life despite the odds. It is a mystery.

SPOILER ALERT

*Do NOT read the rest of this review if you are not prepared to be made aware of a major plot point.*

I had a couple issues with this book. Firstly, when Shade mentions her drunken mother in front of school officials and police officers, they ignore the comments. This is unrealistic. It is the duty of all police and school officials to report suspected abuse to the appropriate authorities. Children’s Services would have been informed, or those who failed to report it could be held liable.

The second issue I had was that the missing girl’s room were obviously never searched by the police. This is unlikely. If the rooms had been searched, the letters, etc. that were found by Shade and her friends would not have been there for them to find. I realize that this was a necessary part of the plot, but having them hidden better so that the police had missed them would have been more believable.

The third and final issue is the most serious one. This book is just NOT believable. Three teenagers find a basement filled with beds that have handcuffs dangling from them, but they don’t call the police or tell their parents? With three girls missing? Really??? I don’t think so.

To learn more about this author, visit her website at http://www.marilynpeake.com

image

I rate this book as 3 out of 5 stars.

THE LOCKDOWN by Dixon Block

image

Book One of The Next Generation series

Set in a time after the nuclear war of the 21st century decimated civilization, the government set up a program requiring people to obtain a license before being allowed to parent a child. So many prospective parents were rejected that it resulted in orphanages being overfilled. Trying to wipe out diseases, deformities and other undesirable traits, babies were tested and declared either” clean” or “unclean”.

Clean children are placed in the Lockdown where they are treated to good food and clean surroundings. However, there is a catch. Once the ‘clean’ girls have their first menstrual period they are moved to the fourth floor where they are bred with ‘clean’ teenage boys in order to produce genetically pure children. Basically, this is government sanctioned rape.

Lily is seventeen and has yet to have her period. She is thankful for this because she does not want to go to the fourth floor, she hates the very idea of what the girls are forced to endure. But, how does one girl fight the system? Can she figure out a way to avoid the fate that is planned for her?

As she learns more about what is happening in Lockdown she becomes more and more concerned. What exactly is going on? Who can she trust? Can she find a way to escape her fate?;Or is she destined to spend the rest of her life breeding pure babies for the government.

This is a short novella that has great potential. The world that Lily lives in could easily have been made into a full length novel and it has great potential for more stories in the series. It ends on a cliffhanger and I can’t wait for the second story to be published.

It is an interesting and thought provoking read. I give this story 4 stars.

To find out more about this author , visit http://www.twitter.com/dixonblock