KILLING KATIE by BA Spangler will have you looking at your neighbors with suspicion. A great start to a new thriller series.ย 

Title: KILLING KATIE    

Series: AN AFFAIR WITH MURDER โ€“ BOOK ONE    

Author: B.A. SPANGLER     

Length: 386 PAGES

Type of Book: PAPERBACK

Genre: CRIME FICTION, THRILLER

ISBN: 978-1514663158

PUBLISHER: BRIAN SPANGLER       

RELEASE DATE: 2015

RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

 
Friendship, murder, betrayal, this book has it all. A fast-paced read that will shock and surprise readers with its many twists and turns.

Housewives, mothers, ladies, women of a certain age, (women of any age actually) – we all have fantasies. Some women fantasize about shopping. Others fantasize about looking like a model. Some even fantasize about having an affair. Fantasies are harmless. It is when fantasy crosses the line into reality that problems arise.

But what happens when your fantasies are a little less mundane and a lot more serious. What happens when your obsession is a secret desire to kill someone? I guess that even that fantasy is harmless, as long as it remains in the realm of imagination. This book blurs the line between thought and action and many unintended consequences arise.

The lead character in B.A. Spanglerโ€™s novel is a housewife named Amy. 

Amy fantasizes about murder and has fantasized about killing someone ever since her adolescence. In fact, she even fantasized about killing Katie – her best friend. (Hence the title of this book.)

Now she wants to take that fantasy to the next level. The fact that Amy is married to a cop complicates matters, but Amy is determined to live out her fantasy.

When Amyโ€™s exploits end up as cases assigned to her husband, she has to lie to him. One lie becomes two, and two become four; until she is so deep in the lies that she has no idea how to dig her way back out.


โ€œI dared a little taste. At once my life was filled with seductive thrills, embracing my desires, drawing me in until Iโ€™d lost sight of who I was.โ€ 

I enjoyed this very unusual read. It is different which I really like. I enjoy not knowing what to expect. 

If you too want to read a book that will keep you turning the pages and maintain your interest from start to finish, then this is the book for you.

KILLING KATIE is the first book in the AN AFFAIR WITH MURDER series. Book Two โ€“ A PAINFUL TRUTH is available now.

I rate KILLING KATIE as 4 out of 5 Stars.๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ 

 

* I received a free copy of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program.    


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
(IN HIS OWN WORDS)

Who am I?

I’m a resident of Virginia, living with my wife and children, along with three cats (sometimes more), a mouse, parrot, lizard and the funniest chinchilla on the east coast.

Although I live in Virginia, my heart is still in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where I grew up. And I hope that one day, I’ll be able to call Philadelphia home again.

Growing up, I liked to read short stories, but struggled with the words. You see, I had a secret: a sad little secret. Ashamed and embarrassed, I was the little kid in the back row of the schoolroom, quietly moving my lips along with the class while everyone read aloud. I couldn’t read. I couldn’t write. I hoped nobody would notice, but they did. They always did.

By the time I’d reached the fourth grade, my secret wasn’t a secret anymore. The teachers knew something was wrong. Dyslexia. Maybe that is why I liked science fiction so much? All those crazy looking glyphs on the screen, glowing, flashing.

The fix? Back to the third grade for me, and then special classes three days a week. It worked. Once I started reading, I never stopped. Stephen King, Piers Anthony, Dean Koontz, and even the Judy Blume books my sisters discarded.

I’m still one of the slowest readers I know, but school was never a problem again. I finally graduated the third grade, and then kept on going until I finished my Masters.

These days, I work as an engineer and spend my nights writing, editing and thinking up the next great story.

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DISCORD by Katy Haye is a YA Novel that defies categorization. 4 out of 5 Stars ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸย 

Title: DISCORD    

Series: BOOK ONE OF THE ECHOES OF THE EARTH SERIES

Author: KATY HAYE 
Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION, SCIENCE FICTION

Length: 250 PAGES

Publisher: PLUMSHINE BOOKS

Release Date: DECEMBER 8, 2016

ISBN: 9781540412430

Price: $3.99 USD (EBOOK)

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Seventeen-year-old Beth has brain damage. She lives in a Steptoe House – a hospital in the English countryside that specializes in helping youths recover from brain trauma.
Her life consists of school classes, medical tests and of playing and  listening to therapeutic music.

Some days she feels great and better yet, she feels almost normal. On those days she contemplates going home and returning to her life. But, what kind of life will she be returning to? She has no memories of her family or her friends, in fact, she remembers nothing of her life before waking up at Steptoe House.

Beth’s bad days are REALLY BAD. On those days she sees and hears ghosts and other shadows. On those days she acknowledges that she is NOT ready to go home after all.

When a boy named Toby arrives at the Institute, Beth’s life will never be the same.

Toby encourages Beth to confront her fears instead of hiding from them. But when strange things begin to happen and Beth’s sense of deja vue starts running overtime, both Beth and Toby set out to discover what exactly it is that is wrong with Steptoe House.

I have to admit that I was pretty sure I had this novel completely figured out by the halfway point of the novel. I also haveto admit how very wrong I was.

What starts out as teen romance novel ends up morphing into a completely different book. In fact, this book is hard to classify into a single genre. It is clearly a Young Adult novel, but it is so much more. It is romance. It is horror. It is science fiction. It is mystery. It is drama. It is even speculative fiction. Whatever the official genre, I enjoyed it immensely. 

The cast of characters are diverse and they all seem like ordinary teenagers doing their best to recover from brain injuries so that they can return home to see their families. Families that never visit. According to the doctors, it would be detrimental to their recovery to have visitors. But, it all seems very strange to lead character, Beth. (And to the reader.)

I do not want to include any spoilers in this review, but suffice it to say that if you enjoy books that keep you in suspense and that keep you guessing, then this is a MUST READ.

The author has done a phenomenal job in setting up the story for the next book in the series, and I, for one am excited to read it. Rumour has it that Book Two will be released in March 2017.

I rate DISCORD as 4 out of 5 Stars ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ  

   


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Katy Haye – In Her Own Words:

I spent most of my childhood and adolescence lost in a good book. Even now, and given the tedious necessity to earn a living in order to eat, I spend as much time as possible running around either my own or someone elseโ€™s imaginary world.

Iโ€™m fascinated by what makes books work โ€“ what makes a story so vivid the words themselves melt away and Iโ€™m living the characterโ€™s life with them?

Iโ€™ll be pondering (and very probably ranting) about the nuts and bolts of a good story on my Add More Narrativium blog โ€“ please join in. Also on this website, you can find out more about my books, including extracts and where to buy.

You might also like to check out my video of how I became a writer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o03uWBH7bBE 

5 Roaring Stars for THE LOST GIRL OF ASTOR STREET by Stephanie Morrill – A mystery thriller set in 1920s Chicago – Fashion, Mobsters, Flappers and Speakeasys will enthrall readers.

Title: THE LOST GIRL OF ASTOR STREET

Author: STEPHANIE MORRILL

Genre: FICTION, HISTORICAL FICTION, MYSTERY

Length: 352 PAGES

Publisher: BLINK by HARPER COLLINS   

Release Date: FEBRUARY 7, 2017

ISBN: 9780310758389   

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

SYNOPSIS 

Piper and her best friend Lydia attend the prestigious Presley’s School for Girls located on the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago, Illinois.

The year is 1924 and Piper has  embraced the new freedoms that women are experiencing. “This is 1924, after all. A girl has the right to be heard.”

 

Of the best friends, Lydia is the more reserved of the two. “Lydia is a darling of the Astor Street district. Not just wealthy and well-bred, but sweet too.” 

This photo is similar to what I think Lydia would have looked like.

So, when Lydia goes missing it is a shock to everyone in the neighborhood – in fact, her disappearance shocks the entire city.  The police are called in and do the best they can to find Lydia before the unthinkable happens.

But, Piper knows that the police are not being given all the information. She has grown up on Astor Street and is well aware that the residents will keep secret any information that might damage their reputation – despite the fact that it may mean Lydia is never found.

So, Piper sets out to find Lydia on her own. She does not care that she might be placing herself in danger. All she cares about is finding her best friend – alive. 
MY REVIEW 

This story is superbly researched. The author has included the prejudices of the era, the way people spoke, the fashions of the day and even the social and societal norms of the 1920s and has done so in a way that comes across as completely natural.

With multiple twists and turns and a varied cast of interesting and compelling characters, THE LOST GIRL OF ASTOR STREET is a must read novel.

For anyone who has ever viewed the ‘Roaring Twenties’ as an era of freedom and has thought about it with romanticized notions, this book will both reinforce and shatter those notions. 

The central mystery of this book will have readers guessing who and why Lydia was taken and every time they think they have it all figured out, a new twist or piece of evidence will be discovered and readers will have to rethink their views.

This is literally a page-turner that will not only keep readers guessing but will also be impossible for them to put down. If you decide to read this book (and you really should read it) then you had better set aside an entire afternoon since you will NOT be able to put it down. 

I do not think this book will be the last we hear about Piper and I can’t wait to read more of her adventures.

I rate THE LOST GIRL OF ASTOR STREET as 5 out of 5 Stars ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ  

 

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book. 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 


 

Stephanie Morrill lives in Overland Park, Kansas with her husband and three kids.

She is the author of The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series, Go Teen Writers: How to Turn Your First Draft Into a Published Book, and the Ellie Sweet series.

She enjoys encouraging and teaching teen writers on her blog, www.GoTeenWriters.com 

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

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The Lost Girl of Astor Street hits shelves:February 7th!

Those who pre-order gain access to fun extras, including a bonus chapter that isnโ€™t included in the book! You can get more details aboutpre-order perks by clicking here.


   


A Chicago Speakeasy – Photo obtained from www.timeout.com 

I loved this image of a 1920s flapper with her cigarette looking glamorous so I just had to include it. 

Flapper with smoke

VIRAL by M.A. Barrett is one of the best books of 2016 and is an absolute MUST READ.ย 

Title: VIRAL

Author: M.A. BARRETT

Genre: FICTION, CONTEMPORARY FICTION, LGBTQ, SOCIAL COMMENTARY

Length: 260 PAGES

Publisher: KIN(D) PRESS

Release Date: NOVEMBER 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9983602-5-6

Price: $15.99 USD (SOFTCOVER)

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ 

This may not be a very professional way to start a book review, but HOLY CRAP!!!! This book is AWESOME!!!

Scarlet Battell, an ex-reality television show producer is not only an anti-heroine, but she is a hopelessly flawed and ultimately believable character.

Scarlet, or Scar as she is known may have once been an up and coming hotshot tv producer, but now she lives a hardscrabble life as a waitress – barely making enough money to pay the rent on her crappy little apartment.

Trying to find some way to reclaim her previous persona and her position behind a camera, Scar comes up with the idea to do a bit of investigative reporting. However, when she is confronted with the choice between intervening to save a coworker from a horrific attack or recording the event as evidence, Scar chooses the more cowardly option.

That action (well, inaction actually) begins to haunt Scarlet whose conscience begins to scream at her – eventually leading to an all-out breakdown.

This book flashes between two timelines; Scar’s past life as a story producer on the reality show The Real Real Life and her new reality as a waitress struggling just to pay her re t, which is as far away from her old life as it is possible to get.

VIRAL is one of the best examples of exactly what to do right when using flashbacks in a story. M.A. Barrett has some serious writing chops and they are used to perfection in this book.

My favorite quote from the book is:

 “…there is no truth, unless I tell it.”

 The reason I picked this quote as my favorite is because it speaks not only to the book itself, but also to the way people seem to view the world today.

 The invention of cell phone video, combined with the public’s strange fixation and fascination with reality television is, in my opinion, NOT a good thing. People seem to try to experience their ’15 Minutes of Fame’ through videotaping events (usually they are taping something rather than actually helping the victim). I was raised better than that.

This book touches on so many topics relevant to today’s readers that it is almost eerie in its ability to inspire the desire to talk about it with other readership. If I could pick any book that I have read in the past year as a Book Club selection, VIRAL would be my choice.

There are a multitude of “What would you have done?” scenerios that will bring out lively discussions, as well as many other talking points which include (but are not limited to):

* The videotape everything phenomenon that is sweeping our world

* Money and the fact that those who have a lot of it seem to be able to get away with saying and doing just about anything they want to (just ask Donald Trump if you disagree with me)

* The value of “Spin” and how putting the right spin on a situation can sway public opinion and can even create reality from nothingness

* What would you have done in Scar’s situation? Would you have helped if you knew that it would likely have not done any good and would probably have ended up with you becoming a victim as well?

I could go on and on with more discussion ideas, but I think you get the point.

The character of Scar is brilliantly rendered. She is complex and at times she makes the wrong choices in life. But, this just makes her seem more real. At times readers will find themselves angry with her, but ultimately it is difficult not to cheer her on.

This book should be added to every adult’s TO READ list.

I rate it as 5 out of 5 Stars ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

I will be adding VIRAL to my list of the Top 25 Books of 2016. The fact that this is author M.A. Barrett’s debut novel is astounding and I can’t wait to read her next book.


**Due to scenes and situations of an adult nature, I recommend that VIRAL be read by those 18 and older.**

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

 

 M.A. Barrett is a writer, photographer, screenwriter, and poet. Her works have appeared in the New York International Film Festival, The Academy Awards, and in publications such as the Huffington Post, The April Perennial, Visibilities Magazine and IN OUR OWN WORDS: A Generation Defining Itself. She lives in Boston with her wife and French Bulldog.

Her debut novel, Viral, is now available anywhere books are sold online.

To learn more about this amazing Indie author, you can click on the following links:

GOODREADS 

MEDIUM      

TWITTER      

PICTARAM    

INSTAGRAM      

AMAZON 

BARNES & NOBLE    


5 Stars for a unique work of Historical Fiction by Indie Author Delaney Green – JEM: A FUGITIVE FROM LONDONย 

Click here to purchase JEM: FUGITIVE FROM LONDON now!

Print of London 1750 by Martin Engelbrecht


Title: JEM: A FUGITIVE FROM LONDON

Series: JEM – BOOK TWO

Author: DELANEY GREEN  

Type of Book: SOFTCOVER

Genre: HISTORICAL FICTION

Length: 363 PAGES

Publisher: SELF-PUBLISHED – INDIE AUTHOR through CREATE SPACE   

Release Date: AUGUST 4, 2016

ISBN: 9781533030528 

Price: $14.95 USD / 19.95 CDN

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ   


* I received a free autographed softcover copy of this book from the 
Goodreads Giveaway program.  



FROM THE BACK COVER:


LONDON, 1758

Orphan Jem Connolly, disguised as a boy, works for physician John Abernathy and makes medicine on the side with herbalist Margery Jamison. Life is good, except for Jem’s inborn magic, which forces her to listen to what animals are thinking and to know, by touch, which illnesses hide deep inside Abernathy’s patients.

Lately, Jem’s Second Sight has flung her spirit into birds, leaving her body behind and helpless.

Jem wants to try to control her magic on her own, but Abernathy thinks Jem should study in Cornwall with Margery’s Sighted grandmother.

When Jem’s old enemy, Patch, turns up looking for Jem, she is forced to flee to windswept Bodmin Moor and stay with Granny Kestrel, who lives near an ancient stone circle saturated with Old Magic.

Can Granny teach Jem how to control her Second Sight, or will it continue to control her?


MY REVIEW:

This is the second book in the “JEM” series which I was unaware of when I began reading. Fortunately for me, it did not matter. Author Delaney Green has beautifully woven the pertinent details from the first book into the storyline of Book Two. She does this so seemlessly that readers will be unaware that this information was not new to readers of Book One. By the time I reached the one-third mark, I felt that I had a solid grasp on Jem’s backstory as well as an insight into her psychology.

This book contains details about the way of life in England in the years before the US (or The Colonies as they were known at the time) went to war with England for Independence.

I was fascinated with not only the core story, but also with the way the author wove historical figures such as Benjamin Franklin into the tale in such a way that it seemed not only possible, but also plausible.

Benjamin Franklin

Aside from the incredibly interesting and detailed historical elements of this story are also the powers that Jem has which are also intriguing.

Photo obtained from the Georgian Gentleman Blog


When she flees London and goes to live on the Moor with Granny, she learns how to harness and use her powers.

Then, there is also the mystery of Jem’s genealogy which will draw readers further into Jem’s world.

It is impossible not to be sucked in to this book and it is incredibly hard to put it down once you begin reading.

I rate this historical fiction book as 5 out of 5 stars. ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ 

 I also plan to go back and read the first book in this series and I am very much looking forward to reading more about Jem’s adventures. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Delaney Green lives in the American Midwest with a black cat and a Golden Retriever.

When she’s not writing, you’ll likely find her working in the garden, tinkering in the garage, or tooling around on her bike.

She is the author of “Jem, a Girl of London,” which won a North Street Book Prize in 2015 and of “Tsunami Surprise,” featured in “Murder at the Beach,” a story anthology published for Bouchercon 2014, an annual convention of creators and devotees of mystery and detective fiction.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE  

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FACEBOOK   

AMAZON  

SKITTER by Ezekiel Boone is the second book in THE HATCHING Series and it is even better than Book One. THIS BOOK WILL MAKE YOU REALIZE WHY WE SHOULD BE AFRAID OF SPIDERS.ย 

Title: SKITTER   

Series: THE HATCHING: BOOK TWO

Author: EZEKIEL BOONE 

Type of Book: HARDCOVER

Genre: HORROR, SCIENCE FICTION

Length: 352 PAGES

Publisher: SIMON AND SCHUSTER  

Release Date: MAY 9, 2017

ISBN: 9781501125072

Price:  $26.99 USD

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ 

If you were a bit scared of spiders before reading the first book in this series then you probably now have an extreme case of arachniphobia after reading THE HATCHING. Well, once you read SKITTER, that arachniphobia will morph into a full-blown neurosis. You might even need therapy. Seriously!

I had been waiting (not very patiently) for the sequel to THE HATCHING and I was thrilled when I was able to read an ARC (Advance Review Copy) courtesy of the publisher and Netgalley. The bad news is that if you are not a reviewer like me, you will have to wait until May 2017 for this book to be released. Might I suggest that you spend some of that time re-reading THE HATCHING.

In the first book we learned that a very old spider species has awakened from their slumber and that they were hungry. A group of researchers found an old dried out egg sac and sent it to America for identification and study.

That simple event seemed to trigger a worldwide awakening of spider egg sacs that had lain dormant all over the world for thousands of years. The spiders were unlike any that humans had encountered since the beginning of recorded history. They were bigger, they were meaner and they were much deadlier. 

Worse than finding egg sacs, people discovered (too late) that the spiders often travelled inside people who had no knowledge that they had even been bitten. Thus they spread throughout the world – much as the spread of a viral pandemic.

Los Angeles is deemed lost and it’s residents are quarantined as are many other cities and provinces around the world. Just as it seemed that all was lost, the spiders seemed to have reached the end of their life span and they all died off. However, they did leave thousands if not millions of egg sacs behind.

Now, it seems that all that is left is the clean up and to eradicate any egg sac sites and then all should be ok. Right?

Wrong! In SKITTER we learn that the threat is not over and that, in fact, that first wave of spiders was only the beginning.

Something is coming. Something really bad. The question is: Can mankind survive it?

You will need to read SKITTER to find out.

This book may sound like a typical horror story, but it is anything but. Both THE HATCHING and SKITTER are actually a mixture of multiple genres. Yes, there is definitely a horror element to this story, but it is much more. In fact, I could argue that it fits into every category of adult fiction.

It is a thriller. It is a drama. It is very much a mystery. It is Apocalyptic Fiction as well as Science Fiction. It is literally everything a reader could possibly want in a great book and for that reason I give this book the highest possible rating of 5 out of 5 Stars. ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

I cannot wait to get my hands on the third installment of THE HATCHING SERIES. Ezekiel Boone has a lifetime fan in me!

WATCH THE TRAILERS:

 https://youtu.be/QhaQYliQ6qg

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

image

Photo By Laurie Willick

EZEKIEL BOONE is a Canadian writer who currently lives in upstate New York with his wife and children.

THE HATCHING is Zekeโ€™s first thriller and the first book in the series, with SKITTER coming in 2017.

THE HATCHING series has sold in twelve countries and nine languages, and has been optioned for the screen. When not writing thrillers, Zeke writes acclaimed literary fiction under a different name. Along with a healthy respect for spiders, Zeke has two poorly behaved dogs and enjoys the outdoors.

To find out more about this author visit:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

THE HATCHING OFFICIAL WEBSITE

FACEBOOK
 
TWITTER

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THE SECOND MRS. HOCKADAY by Susan Rivers is one of the best historical fiction books that I have ever read. Coming in January – MARK YOUR CALENDARS or PPRE-ORDER NOW.

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Title: THE SECOND MRS. HOCKADAY    

Author: SUSAN RIVERS  

Type of Book: HARDCOVER

Genre: HISTORICAL FICTION

Length: 272 PAGES

Publisher: ALGONQUIN BOOKS  

Release Date: JANUARY 10, 2017

ISBN: 9781616205812

Price: $25.95 USD

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ   

I love that this book is unique in that the story is told entirely through letters, diary entries and court documents. It lends an intimacy and  believability to the story that would otherwise be impossible to achieve.

This is an actual photo of a civil war letter.

The story is set in South Carolina during and after the American Civil War.

Photo obtained from http://www.civilwar.org

Through letters we learn of how unique a period of history those years were. Marriages were made within days of meeting and men went off to war leaving their young, inexperienced brides at home to tend to properties and farms of which they knew next to nothing as was the case of Major Hockaday and his young bride; Placidia. 

But, those trials were nothing when compared to something that the men who went off to war had barely considered; the vulnerability their wives and children to theives, army deserters and rogues of all kinds.

The choice of crafting an entire novel mostly through letters lends itself to revealing the authentic voices of the charcters in the book. In fact, I found myself so immersed in the story that I felt I had been transported back in time to this dark period in America’s history.

This compelling narrative details a time when slavery was slowly (ever so slowly) disappearing as it became apparent that the South were destined to lose the war and to a time when men felt that it was their patriotic duty to fight for their beliefs. It also follows the gradual change in the belief system of the main character – Placidia and how, over time through the  education of life unsheltered by her father’s influence and money, her beliefs begin to change.

The story also does a credible job of describing the lives of slaves during that time. Readers cannot help but be drawn in to their plight even while understanding the need of their white owners to have them available as labourers in order for their farms to survive.

Photo obtained from Pinterest “Lest We Forget Slavery Museum”


THE SECOND MRS HOCKADAY
is at heart the story of a couple and their desire to create a life together despite the multitude of hardships they each endure. It is a story of resilience and hope despite the fact that their futures often seemed to be in doubt. In fact, I found the book haunting in it’s intensity and I was literally unable to put it down.

This book is exceptionally well researched and was inspired by a true story. Author Susan Rivers deserves every literary accolade that is sure to be coming her way.

I feel both humbled and blessed that the publisher (Algonquin Books) through Netgalley chose me to be an advance reader of this story and I will not be surprised when this book hits the Bestseller lists upon it’s official release. I also believe that this book will receive an abundance of literary awards upon publication.

I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone who loves not only terrific historical fiction, but a truly great read. ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ  

Click on the INDIE BOOKSTORE LOGO BELOW TO PRE-ORDER:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Photo by Tasha Thomas

SUSAN RIVERS says “Language is my life.”

Susan began as a playwright, receiving the Julie Harris Playwriting Award and the New York Drama League Award, working as an NEA Writer-in-Residence in San Francisco, and being named as a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award for British and American Women Playwrights. She is a veteran of the Playwrights Festival at Sundance Institute for the Arts and the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference and has crossed the country working on productions and workshops of her plays.

Fiction became Susan’s focus after starting her family and moving to the Carolinas in 1995.  She holds an MFA in Fiction-writing from Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina and was awarded a Regional Artist Grant from the Arts and Sciences Council there.  Since 2009, she and her husband have made their home in a small town in South Carolina, where stray animals and stories are thick on the ground.  (None are turned away.)  

Susan teaches English at a university in the upstate region of South Carolina and values her daily interactions with bright young men and women.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE      

GOODREADS  
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FRACTURED by Catherine McKenzie is a 5 Star Psychological Thriller that will hook you from the very start.

Title: FRACTURED

Author: CATHERINE McKENZIE

Type of Book: SOFTCOVER – ARC (Advance Reader Copy)

Genre: Fiction, Psychological Thriller

Length: 357 pages

Publisher: LAKE UNION PUBLISHING

ISBN: 9781503937826

ASIN: B01CTY1INW

Cover Price: $14.95 Paperback / $4.99 EBook

Release Date: OCTOBER 4, 2016

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

MY REVIEW:

Only 44 pages into the book and I was hooked.ย  It is on page 44 that one of the main characters in the story says: “We all wear masks. The challenge is keeping them in place.” It gave me shivers of foreshadowing and anticipation and as I kept reading, I was not disappointed. In fact, the book gets better and better and grabbed and held my attention right to the final page.

Upon conclusion of reading FRACTURED my first thought was “Well Done.” It is a twisted maze of plot choices and realistic characters that might just be living on any suburban street in North America.

Catherine McKenzie has crafted a fascinating psychological thriller. The characters in this book are so believable that readers will be forced to wonder if any (or all of them) are based on real people.

It is a rare treat to find a book (in the Thriller genre) that regular people can relate to, but author Catherine McKenzie makes it seem effortless.

The fact that the author is Canadian is another plus for me. Knowing this, it is even more amazing to me that even though she is not from Ohio, that is the setting of this story. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought this is where the author lived since it comes across so flawlessly.

I have not read any of her other books, but after enjoying this engrossing read, I will definitely be adding her books to my ‘To Be Read List.’

FRACTURED was a thrilling read that I did not want to put down. For that reason I am rating it is 5 out of 5 stars. ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸย 

FRACTURED is scheduled for release on October 4, 2016. This book should be added to everyone’s wish list – you will NOT be disappointed.

* I received a free ARC of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program. Reviews are not required, but they are usually appreciated.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

CATHERINE MCKENZIE is a Canadian author based out of Montreal, Quebec.

She is a graduate of McGill University and now practices Civil Law in Montreal where she was born and raised. She is an avid skier and runner.

Catherine’s novels: SPIN,ย  ARRANGED, FORGOTTEN, HIDDEN & SMOKE are all Bestsellers and have been translated into numerous languages.

HIDDEN was a Digital Book World bestseller. SMOKE was an Amazon bestseller, a Goodreads Best Book for October 2015, and an Amazon Top 100 Book of 2015.

ARRANGED has been optioned for film, and SPIN has been optioned for a television series. A short film of ARRANGED was made in 2014 and won a Canadian National Screen Institute Award. Catherine was on set while they filmed it. It was one of the cooler experiences of her life.

To learn more about Catherine McKenzie visit her online by clicking on any or all of the following sites:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

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RELEASE DAY BLITZ: LAST VACATION by Sarah Elle Emm

About the Book:

Seven days have passed since Naples real estate agent Megan MacKenna has heard from her twin sister, Madeline, who was vacationing on the beautiful, Caribbean island of St. Croix. Though authorities are not convinced there is a case to solve, Megan knows with all of her heart something happened to Maddy. When Megan receives a direct warning to leave the island or end up like her sister, she turns to the only person who has taken her seriously since she arrived, Gabe, a breakfast cook at a local diner.ย 

Undercover DEA agent, Gabriel Walker has been building his cover for months, waiting for the opportunity to work his way into the infamous Torrez crime ring. When Megan shows up asking questions and Gabe realizes her twinโ€™s disappearance might be linked to the Torrez men, he has to convince her to go back to Florida before she becomes their next victim.ย 

The closer Megan gets to the truth, the more Gabe begins to suspect he is missing a huge piece of the puzzle. And someone is closing in on Meganโ€ฆ

ย 
Buy Links:
Amazon USAย I Amazon UKย I Amazon Canadaย Iย Amazon Indiaย I Koboย I Smashwords


 

Fun Fact:
11Map of St Croix

Map Image Obtained from http://www.mappery.com

 

I grew up visiting the island of St. Croix with my family.
As an adult, I lived in the U.S. Virgin Islands, on both St. Croix and St.
Thomas. I always wanted to write a fiction story that took place there, but I
never took the time to write it until recently.

 

Excerpt:


Megan peered out at the vast expanse of ocean gleaming in the bright morning sunshine
before her. The turquoise waters seemed to go on forever. From the Caribbean
Airways in flight map, she had noted theislands of Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, and
St. John were in the far off distance. She had been told a faint view of the
densely populated St. Thomas could sometimes be seen on a perfectly clear day,
but no matter how she strained her eyes, she couldnโ€™t quite see it today.

Had Maddy hopped on a sailboat and continued her travels to another island as the police
officer had suggested? It wasnโ€™t like Maddy not to check in. Her cell phone had
been going straight to voice mail since the last photo Maddy had sent, and
according to the cell company, the cell phone was out of service range.
Something had happened to her sibling. The last communication with Maddy had
been an unexplained picture of an iguana. No message, no text, nothing. Just an
enormous, slimy, dragon-resembling lizard. Megan sunk her head to her chest.
Where in the world was her sister?

โ€œEverything okay, Miss?โ€

Startled from her hopeless thoughts, Megan sat upright at the sound of the low voice.
Her eyes scanned the length of the man standing before her, and she pursed her
lips together. She guessed he was probably about six-foot-two.

As she sat silently, observing him, the man repeated his question, โ€œAre you okay?โ€ His
tone bordered on cautious, but concerned.

โ€œEverythingโ€™s fine,โ€ she finally managed with a tight voice.

With a smile, his concern faded away, and he reached behind his back to untie a
grease-spotted apron. He folded the apron up, pulled out a chair at the table
right next to Meganโ€™s, about a foot and a half from her, and sat down.

An internal alarm went off, making Megan feel extremely uncomfortable with his
proximity, and she fidgeted with her hands as he stared at her, finally forcing
them into her lap. How could a voice so soothing go with a gruff-looking
character like him? And what in the world was he doing sitting down so close to
her?

ย 
About the Author:



Sarah Elle Emm is the author of the HARMONY RUN SERIES, a young-adult fantasy and dystopian series, released in May 2012 by Winter Goose Publishing. (PRISMATIC, May 2012, OPALESCENT, February 2013, CHATOYANT, September 2014, NACREOUS, August 2015) Her debut fiction novel, MARRYING MISSY, was published by Bird Brain Publishing in October 2011. Sarah is a graduate of The University of Evansville, she has lived and worked in Mexico, Germany, England, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and has traveled extensively beyond. Sarah lives in Naples, Florida with her family. When sheโ€™s not walking the plank of her daughtersโ€™ imaginary pirate ship or snapping photos of Southwest Florida scenery, she is writing.

Stalk the Author:

Websiteย Iย Facebookย Iย Twitterย Iย Goodreadsย Iย Amazon Author Page

ย 

ย 

 

4 Stars for ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW by Jordan Elizabeth – BOOK REVIEW

  
Title: ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW

Author: JORDAN ELIZABETH (formerly known as Jordan Elizabeth Mierek)

Type of Book: eBook

Length: 200 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fiction, Historical Fiction

Release Date: October 2014

Publisher: CURIOSITY QUILLS PRESS

ISBN: 978-1-62007-746-7

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars โญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธ 

~ I received a free copy of this book from the publisher I n exchange for an honest review. 

The story begins in October of 2001. Honoria just started school at Arnn High School. All her life she has lived in New York City, but after September 11th when both her parents died in the World Trade Center Terrorist Attack her Aunt and Uncle decide to move them out to the country. They now live in what used to be an inn in the tiny town of Arnn. 

Shortly after arriving in town Honoria meets her neighbor Leon who is very interested in researching the history of their town.

The townspeople believe that there is a place in their woods that is home to a witch. They call the place “Witchwood Hollow” and they say that if you enter the hollow, you will never leave. 

This story fits into multiple classifications and genres. It is paranormal fiction, young adult fiction, historical fiction and it also fits into the mystery genre. Essentially this means that the potential numbers of readers for this book are huge. 

The story fluctuates between multiple time periods. While the main story is set in 2001, there are two other important timelines that the writer returns to multiple times. Those periods are the years 1670 and 1850. The author does a good job of including historic events to give the reader a sense of when each event takes place. 

The author does a wonderful job of describing the serenity of the area surrounding the woods that contain Witchwood Hollow. “To her right stretched a hayfield, the weeds swaying like ocean waves. Wildflowers poked their heads through the brown and green stalks. To her left lay a hill dotted with oak trees. The green leaves shifted to crimson and gold, the wind making the branches creak. Beyond the trees lay weedy banks, and beyond that, the woods.” It is little wonder that Albertine felt safe in such an idyllic place. 

I was pleasantly surprised by the multiple twists in this book. It made the reading experience much more enjoyable. I will be looking to read more books by Jordan Elizabeth. 

If you have read any of my reviews in the past, you will know that I take editing and proof-reading seriously. I believe that Indie authors can hold their own with authors who are represented by the major book publishers, but if an Indie author wants to have their talent recognized by a wide audience, then they need to have their work proofread and edited properly. 

This eBook is in dire need of a proof-reading or a going-over by a professional editor. I stopped counting after I noticed 50 errors. Most of these would be simple to fix, such as using the words “as lease” when it should say “at least” or omitting words completely such as in this sentence: “… they sent her postcards from city…” which is missing the word “the” before the word “city”. To me these are simple and easily caught errors. This book was published more than a year ago and there is really no excuse for these errors to still be in the eBook. 

Because of the errors I feel that I must reduce my rating of this book by one star. So, what would have been a 5 star book, now becomes a 4 star book. โญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธ
Find out more about this book at: 

https://curiosityquills.com/books/escape-witchwood-hollow/ 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

  
Jordan Elizabeth, formally Jordan Elizabeth Mierek, writes down her nightmares in order to live her dreams. With an eclectic job history of working as a college professor; historic costumed interpreter at Fort Stanwix, Victorian Leisure Fair, and Mayfaire on the Green; office specialist; sales clerk; election inspector; and trainer, she is now diving into the world of author.It happens to be her favorite one.

When sheโ€™s not creating art or searching for lost history in the woods, sheโ€™s updating her blog, Kissed by Literature. Jordan is the president of the Utica Writers Club and maintains JordanElizabethMierek.com.

She roams Central New York, but she loves to travel. A great deal of time has been spent in a rural town very similar to Arnn, the setting of her novel ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW.

Also visit her Author Page on the Curiosity Quills website: https://curiosityquills.com/authors/jordan-elizabeth/