THE VANISHING SEASON by Debut Author Joanna Schaffhausen is full of unexpected twists. Check it out…

Title: THE VANISHING SEASON

Author: JOANNA SCHAFFHAUSEN

Genre: FICTION, THRILLER, MYSTERY

Length: 288 PAGES

Publisher: MINOTAUR BOOKS – ST. MARTIN’S PRESS

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: DECEMBER 5, 2017

ISBN: 9781250126047

Price: $24.99 USD

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

Winner of the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition, Joanna Schaffhausen’s accomplished debut The Vanishing Season will grip readers from the opening page to the stunning conclusion.

Ellery Hathaway knows a thing or two about serial killers, but not through her police training. She’s an officer in sleepy Woodbury, MA, where a bicycle theft still makes the newspapers. No one there knows she was once victim number seventeen in the grisly story of serial killer Francis Michael Coben. The only one who lived.

When three people disappear from her town in three years—all around her birthday—Ellery fears someone knows her secret. Someone very dangerous. Her superiors dismiss her concerns, but Ellery knows the vanishing season is coming and anyone could be next. She contacts the one man she knows will believe her: the FBI agent who saved her from a killer all those years ago.

Agent Reed Markham made his name and fame on the back of the Coben case, but his fortunes have since turned. His marriage is in shambles, his bosses think he’s washed up, and worst of all, he blew a major investigation. When Ellery calls him, he can’t help but wonder: sure, he rescued her, but was she ever truly saved? His greatest triumph is Ellery’s waking nightmare, and now both of them are about to be sucked into the past, back to the case that made them…with a killer who can’t let go.

MY REVIEW:

THE VANISHING SEASON by Joanna Schaffhausen is a spectacular thriller that will have readers on the edge of their seats.

Imagine narrowly escaping being the victim of a serial killer as a tween, then getting your life together, changing your name and even becoming a police officer only to become the Target of yet another serial killer. Talk about bad luck!

A story with multiple twists and turns and captivating characters, this book exceeded my expectations and I will definitely be adding Joanna Schaffhausen to my “Authors To Watch” list.

I rate this book as 4 out of 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐ and recommend it to those who enjoy a bit of fear in their thrillers. The reason this book received 4 out of 5 Stars rather than 5 Stars is that I figured out who the killer was before the reveal, but I did have moments where I doubted myself, so….

Anyway, this book by a debut author is well worth reading. Check it out and come back to my blog and let me know if you figured out the killer early or not. I would love to know.

Thank you to #NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of #TheVanishingSeason

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

JOANNA SCHAFFHAUSEN is a scientific editor who spends her days immersed in research on potential new therapies for cancer, addiction, and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Previously, she worked as an editorial producer for ABC News, where she advised and wrote for programs such as World News Tonight, Good Morning America and 20/20.

She holds a doctorate in psychology, which reflects her long-standing interest in the brain–how it develops and the many ways it can go wrong.

She lives in the Boston area with her husband and daughter. The Vanishing Season is her first novel.

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I am participating in GingermomReads Blog #2018AtoZChallenge and I have now graduated from Turtle 🐢 to Iguana since this is my sixth book of 2018.

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2018 Reading / Reviewing Challenge

One of my fellow Book Bloggers has decided to run a great challenge for 2018 and I have decided to join her. For more information, check out Gingermom’s Blog.

THE CHALLENGE:

To read a book whose title starts with each letter of the alphabet.

I even have a few books ready to be read:

A – AIRWOMAN by Zara Quentin

B –

C –

D – DEGREES OF LOVE by Lisa Slabach

E –

F –

G –

H –

I –

J –

K –

L –

M –

N –

O –

P –

Q –

R –

S –

T –

U –

V –

W –

X –

Y –

Z –

Want to join in?

Are you an author who would like to have your book included in the challenge?

Send your book by mail to:

Amie’s Book Reviews

17 Gordon Drive

Alliston, Ontario

L9R 0J1

Canada

I can’t wait for 2018 and all the amazing new books that are being released.

DADDY DARKEST by ELLERY KANE is a dark & twisted YA thriller worthy of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Title: DADDY DARKEST

Series: BOOK ONE OF THE DOCTORS OF DARKNESS SERIES

Author: ELLERY KANE

Genre: FICTION, YOUNG ADULT, PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER

Length: 358 PAGES

Publisher: SELF-PUBLISHED

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: JUNE 1, 2018

ISBN: 9780692880968

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“I wish my first plane ride had ended in a crash. An unforeseen plunge to Earth. A few minutes of white-hot terror, followed by a rising ball of fire. And no survivors.”

Samantha is a small town girl who just graduated from high school. She has her entire future ahead of her and she can’t wait. Her best friend, Ginny surprises her with a weekend in San Francisco.

Samantha knows her Mom would not approve so she waits until she is already on the plane before answering her mother’s texts and calls.

Samantha and Ginny may be best friends, but they are polar opposites of each other (except in physical appearance since they look so much alike, they could be sisters.

Samantha is quiet. Ginny is loud. Samantha does not like to flirt. Ginny seems to have learned to flirt in the womb. Samantha is careful, Ginny is not. Ginny likes to go with the flow, Samantha would rather have a plan. But, despite their differences, or maybe because of them, they compliment each other and their trust in each other is complete.

What neither of the girls know is that the amazing and fun weekend they’d planned is about to turn into a nightmare. One in which Samantha will discover that everything she thought she knew about her life, has been a lie.

Fast paced, heart-thumping action that will appeal to her new target readership of Young Adults and will not disappoint her adult fanbase.

This book, however, should come with a warning and could be a trigger for survivors of violent crime; including, but not limited to, stalking, mugging, domestic violence and especially to survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

I enjoyed most every part of this book and am glad author Ellery Kane has chosen to bring the issue of childhood sexual abuse into the light. She has included a description of one of the ways that pedophiles groom their victims. I believe this is important. The more information that is distributed to people, the less likely they or their loved ones will fall victim to this type of crime.

Tackling a sensitive subject while crafting an unforgettable thriller could not have been easy, but Ellery Kane has done exactly that. It is for that reason that I chose to rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Forensic psychologist by day, novelist by night, Ellery Kane has been writing–professionally and creatively–for as long as she can remember. Just like many of her main characters, Ellery loves to ask why, which is the reason she became a psychologist in the first place. Real life really is stranger than fiction, and Ellery’s writing is often inspired by her day job. Evaluating violent criminals and treating trauma victims, she has gained a unique perspective on the past and its indelible influence on the individual. And she’s heard her fair share of real life thrillers. An avid short story writer as a teenager, Ellery recently began writing for enjoyment again, and she hasn’t stopped since.

Ellery’s debut novel, Legacy, has received several awards, including winning the Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, young adult, e-book category, and the Gold Medal in the Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards, teenage category. In 2016, Ellery was selected as one of ten semifinalists in the MasterClass James Patterson Co-Author Competition.

To learn more about Ellery Kane, visit the following links:

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More titles by this author, click HERE

NEW RELEASE – THE UNREMEMBERED GIRL by Eliza Maxwell earns every one of the 5 Stars and then some. THIS IS A MUST READ. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

Title: THE UNREMEMBERED GIRL     

Author: ELIZA MAXWELL   

Genre: FICTION, WOMEN’S FICTION

Length: 332 PAGES  

Publisher: LAKE UNION PUBLISHING

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: NOVEMBER 1, 2017

ISBN: 9781542045858  

Price: $14.95 USD (PAPERBACK)

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟     

DESCRIPTION:

In the deep woods of East Texas, Henry supports his family by selling bootleg liquor. It’s all he can do to keep his compassionate but ailing mother and his stepfather—a fanatical grassroots minister with a bruising rhetoric—from ruin. But they have no idea they’ve become the obsession of the girl in the woods.

Abandoned and nearly feral, Eve has been watching them, seduced by the notion of family—something she’s known only in the most brutal sense. Soon she can’t resist the temptation to get close. Where Henry’s mother sees a poor girl in need, his father sees only wickedness. When Henry forges an unexpected bond with Eve, he believes he might be able to save her. He doesn’t know how wrong he is.

Eve is about to take charge of her own destiny—and that of Henry’s family. As both their worlds spin violently out of control, Henry must make an impossible choice: protect the broken young woman who’s claimed a piece of his soul, or put everyone he loves at risk in order to do the right thing.

MY REVIEW:

“In this place, it was easy to forget that the world had turned the corner into the twenty-first century. Time was different here, as if a spell had been cast that slowed the revolution of the earth. Those who lived and died nearby were touched by it, carrying the traces on their fingertips, in their lungs, woven through their hair. It was inescapable.”

It is here, in the deep forests of East Texas that Henry lives with his parents. They live in the cabin where he grew up. The  difference is that he and his parents have switched roles and Henry is now the breadwinner. His bootlegging business won’t make them rich, but they have enough to scrape by.

When a ragged, dirty young woman emerges from the woods, Henry isn’t sure what to think, but his mother immediately senses something about the girl and takes her in.

That one simple act of kindness has a profound effect on Henry’s entire family, and after that day, he knows, their lives will never be the same.

Rife with tragedy, both past and present, and filled with more secrets than the entire US Government, this book will draw and hold your attention for its entirety.

Author Eliza Maxwell’s descriptions are so wonderfully vivid that I felt as though I was immersed in each and every scene. I was entranced, and despite the fact that it was 3am, I couldn’t put the book down even though I knew I would suffer from lack of sleep the next morning.

Don’t believe me? Read the following:

“The tall, stately pines that grew in drier soils soon gave way to the curving, dripping beauty of the cypress that thrived in the swamp. The ground sloped downward, giving a body the subtle sense of being pulled into the bottomlands that waited patiently just around the corners, where the dark heart of the marsh beat with a symphony of life. Stinging, singing, ancient, and deadly life, where the alligators were king, the snakes and snapping turtles were barons, and the woodpeckers were court jesters jangling their bells from the tops of the trees.”

Eliza Maxwell clearly has a gift for descriptive setting and, as if this were not enough, she also has the talent of perfect pacing. Filled with moments of heart-breaking tenderness, and others of extreme terror, this book is impossible to put down.

With realistic characters and so many surprising twists and turns that readers will be thinking about this book long after turning the final page.

I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars    🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟    

I would like to thank NETGALLEY for providing me with a free copy of this book. 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  

ELIZA MAXWELL lives in Texas with a patient man, two impatient children and a bird named Sarah.

There’s also a bird dog. She lives a tortured existence.

A writer, painter, and a British television addict, Eliza loves nothing more than the quiet parts of the world, a good cup of coffee, and sitting on the front porch.

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ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:  

Lake Union Publishing offers absorbing works of contemporary and historical fiction that make perfect book club picks. From lush sagas to laugh-out-loud fare, Lake Union Publishing has a story for every taste, season, and mood, from bestselling and debut authors alike, including Allison Winn Scotch, Camille Pagán, Rhys Bowen, Catherine Ryan Hyde, Helen Bryan, Catherine McKenzie, Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke, Emily Bleeker, Elizabeth LaBan, and Steena Holmes.

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QUOTES FROM THE BOOK THAT I JUST HAD TO COPY:

…he had enough on his own plate to keep from eyeing what was on his neighbors’.” 
“[Henry] didn’t drink because he’d seen every kind of reason for diving into a bottle, seen them up close and personal. But he’d never seen a solitary soul come out of the back end of a bottle any better off thanthey had gone in.”

Maybe God did live here … But if that were true, there was no denying God had a cruel side.”

“It was late. The part of the deep night when it’s impractical to do anything useful, but sleep won’t come, so the mind swirls around in the dark, skirting past old memories and bumping against unvoiced desires.” 

 “A stray thought occurred to him that if it weren’t for women, in all their cloaks of unfathomed mysteries, men would lead very boring lives.” 

“I’ve found that most people are generally a danger only to themselves.”  

Some places hold on to death the way used fireworks hopd on to the stench of gunpowder and flames.”

“Yeah, you got that look on you too. Like trouble done got your number down by heart.”

“But I gotta tell you, friend. You’ll never appreciate the daylight till you’ve walked on the dark side of the night, without even the stars to show you the way.”   

“Nothing on God’s green earth can make a man feel as alive as the love of a bad woman.”

There’s no shaking loose of that. Doesn’t matter where you go, once she’s in you, that’s where she’s gonna stay. It’s like a virus. Nothing to do about it but hope you’re still kicking once it runs its course.”

“Grief had melted away most of the humanity that Livingston had possessed, leaving little behind. A mechanical man with a suit of skin hanging off him, powered by a smoking, burning passion.”

NEW RELEASE – HUNTING THE FIVE POINT KILLER by C.M. WENDELBOE is a thriller that will keep you guessing. 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟     

Title: HUNTING THE FIVE POINT KILLER           

Series: A BITTER WIND MYSTERY BOOK ONE       

Author: C. M. WENDELBOE          

Genre: FICTION, THRILLER, MYSTERY 

Length: 456 PAGES

Publisher: MIDNIGHT INK BOOKS      

Received From: NETGALLEY    

Release Date: OCTOBER 8, 2017   

ISBN: 978-0-7387-5320-1    

Price: $15.99 USD (PAPERBACK) 

Rating:   5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟    


DESCRIPTION:    

Former Denver homicide detective Arn Anderson never thought he’d be broke enough to take on a cold murder case. Or desperate enough to do it with a TV reporter. Or pathetic enough to go back to his rundown childhood home, after he swore he’d left Cheyenne for good.

But here he is, hunting a serial killer who also appears to have come out of retirement.

On the eve of the tenth anniversary of the murders, the Five Point Killer is back for blood—and Arn could be next.


MY REVIEW:

Do you enjoy thrilling mysteries with head-shaking twists that you won’t see coming? If you do, HUNTING THE FIVE POINT KILLER is the book for you.

This is the first book in a new series following a retired former Denver Policeman named Arn Anderson.

Arn left Cheyenne many years ago and had planned never to return. That was before he lost both his beloved wife and his mother. After their deaths he became the sole owner of the now dilapidated, but once regal home built by his great-grandfather.

After leaving the house boarded up for almost a decade, Arn has decided to renovate and to bring it back to its former glory. However, renovations are more expensive and much more difficult  than Arn had anticipated. So, when an old friend, a reporter for the local news channel, offers Arn a job helping her to investigate a cold case, Arn reluctantly agrees.

Thinking that he may rattle a few feathers, but not caring in the slightest, Arn puts his investigative talents to work.

What happens next will put lives in danger as the serial killer becomes active once again.

Author C.M. Wendelboe has mastered the art of character believability. Arn Anderson may be a brilliant detective, but he is also human. He has flaws, and is due to these flaws that he comes across as so “real.” As readers learn more about Arn’s past, the reasons behind some of his actions and behaviors become clear, exactly as it is in everyday life.

The Five Point Killer is unlike any other serial killer I have read about in the past few years and everytime I thought I had pinned down his (or her) identity, something else would happen to change my guess. Even the ending was unexpected and as far as I am concerned, this is the earmark of a truly great mystery. I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟  
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

C.M. WENDELBOE entered the law enforcement profession when he was discharged from the Marines as the Vietnam war was winding down. In the 1970s, his career included assisting federal and tribal law enforcement agencies embroiled in conflicts with American Indian Movement activists in South Dakota.

He moved to Gillette, Wyoming, and found his niche, where he remained a sheriff’s deputy for more than 25 years. In addition, he was a longtime firearms instructor at the local college and within the community.

During his 38-year career in law enforcement he served successful stints as police chief, policy adviser, and other supervisory roles for several agencies. Yet he always has felt most proud of “working the street.”

He was a patrol supervisor when he retired to pursue his true vocation as a fiction writer.

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ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: 

Celebrating ten years of the very best in mystery fiction, Midnight Ink publishes everything from quirky cozies to chilling thrillers.

From the outset, Midnight Ink has been dedicated to sleuthing out and fostering new talent, from their longest standing series by Jess Lourey, Sue Ann Jaffarian and Karen MacInerney to award-winning mysteries by G.M. Malliet and Catriona McPherson.

Prepare to burn the midnight oil with a Midnight Ink mystery.

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THE VISITORS by Catherine Burns is one of the creepiest books I have ever read. 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟    

Title: THE VISITORS

Author: CATHERINE BURNS

Genre: FICTION, THRILLERS, HORROR 

Publisher: LEGEND PRESS    

Type of Book: EBOOK     

Received From: NETGALLEY   

Release Date: OCTOBER 3, 2017

ISBN: 9781785079160     

Price: $14.99 AUD     

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟   

MY REVIEW:

THE VISITORS by author Catherine Burns is creepy with a capital “C.”

This tale will have readers questioning the lives of their neighbors and possibly their own family members.

Freaky, eerie, and terrifying are all appropriate adjectives to describe this realistic psychological thriller. THE VISITORS is equal parts thriller and horror. In fact, I believe this book should (and probably will) be turned into a movie. If that happens, I will be at the front of the line.

Catherine Burns has created two of the most horrifyingly realistic characters I have ever encountered.

Marion Zetland is the kind of middle-age woman that is times past would have been labelled a spinster or even a hermit. However, she fails to fit those molds exactly since she doesn’t live alone. Her older brother lives in the house as well. Marion’s brother John is continuously verbally abusive to her and she seeks solace in a bed full of her teddy bear “friends.”

Their family had money once and the siblimgs grew up in the same Georgian townhouse that they still occupy. Once a grand home, the siblings have allowed the house to fall into disrepair. In fact, even Marion, who seems to have stopped growing both physically and emotionally around the age of twelve, realizes that if she ever had a visitor, they would think that she and John were hoarders.  

Though Marion is odd, John is not only strange, he is also creepy and often sadistic toward anyone who crosses him. The worst thing about John is his secret in the cellar. Marion knows very little about what goes on down there. She just knows that is where he spends most of his time and she tries to put it out of her mind.

When John suffers a sudden heart attack, Marion realizes that she will have to go to basement. It is there that she has to face John’s secret, and she will be forced to decide what to do about it.  

As readers delve deeper into the pysches  of both Marion and John, what they find will astonish, disgust and horrify them.   

As a reader this is a book that really is ‘impossible to put down.’ I suggest that once you are ready to read this book, that you set aside an entire weekend. Tell the kids to order pizza ’cause Mom is too busy reading. 

I rate THE VISITOR as 5 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Captivating and astonishingly readable, THE VISITORS is one of the creepiest books I have ever read. There are no police chases or secret service agents trying to save the world in this book. It doesn’t need any of that. Instead, it focuses on the characters and does this so well that it deserves it’s 5 Star rating.


**Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book. My review was not required and is completely voluntary.

                                      One of the book’s alternate covers    

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 


CATHERINE BURNS was born in Manchester.

She is a graduate of Trinity College, University of Cambridge and worked as a bond trader in London before studying at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography and teaching film theory at the University of Salford.


The Visitors is her debut novel.

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ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: 



Legend Press was set up in 2005 and is focused primarily on publishing mainstream literary and commercial fiction. We are based in London, UK.

Legend Press is now the most successful independent in 30 years to start up with no capital and runs a range of successful across-industry initiatives and joint-ventures. Legend Press is part of the Legend Times Group.

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THE MURDERS OF MOLLY SOUTHBOURNE by Tade Thompson will be available on October 3rd and will scare the heck out of you. 

        🌟🌟🌟🌟 = 4 STARS 


Title: THE MURDERS OF MOLLY SOUTHBOURNE  

Author: TADE THOMPSON

Genre: FICTION, HORROR

Length: 128 PAGES

Publisher: TOR BOOKS              

Received From: NETGALLEY     

Release Date: OCTOBER 3, 2017 

ISBN: 978-0-7653-9713-3 (PAPERBACK)  

ISBN: 978-0-7653-9712-6 (EBOOK)

Price: $1.99 USD – EBOOK

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟 

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION:    

The rule is simple: don’t bleed.

For as long as Molly Southbourne can remember, she’s been watching herself die. Whenever she bleeds, another molly is born, identical to her in every way—and intent on her destruction.

Molly knows every way to kill herself, but she also knows that as long as she survives she’ll be hunted. No matter how well she follows the rules, eventually the mollys will find her. Can Molly find a way to stop the tide of blood, or will she meet her end at the hand of a girl who looks just like her?

MY REVIEW:

Despite only consisting of 128 pages, and officially being considered a “novella” rather than a “novel,” THE MURDERS OF MOLLY SOUTHBOURNE does not lack readability. Yes, it is a quick read, but that is due to the fact that once begun, it is nearly impossible to put down.  

The concept of the “Doppelganger” is not new, even so, author Tade Thompson has taken the concept to places no one ever has before.

This story is all about Molly.

Molly may look normal, but she suffers from a unique genetic quirk, one that makes her the only person alive with her bizarre condition.

It’s all about the blood.

Every time Molly bleeds, another copy of herself grows from that blood and a new molly is created – a perfect physical copy of Molly at the moment in time when her blood was shed.

The problem occurs because the new molly may start out seemingly normal, but inevitably, the new copy turns on the original and attempts to murder her.

Imagine knowing that at least once a month (thanks to her gender,) a new molly will come to life and that you have no choice but to commit murder in order to preserve your own life.

What would that do to your pysche? Could you ever hope to lead a normal life?

You will need to read this novella to find out if Molly ever figures out a way to control her disorder or if she ends up dead at the hands of one of the mollys. 

If you enjoy reading books where the storyline begins with a high degree of suspense which continues to build until it is at a frenzy, then THE MURDERS OF MOLLY SOUTHBOURNE is the perfect book for you.  

The best thing about this book is the totally unexpected and explosive ending which also opens up the potential for a sequel. Personally, I hope Tade Thompson does write an additional book based on this one. I give THE MURDERS OF MOLLY SOUTHBOURNE a rating of 4 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟  

An exciting announcement was just made – THE MURDERS  MOLLY SOUTHBOURNE is being made into a full-length feature film. To read more about the upcoming film’s details, click HERE.

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




ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 


TADE THOMPSON
 lives and works in the south of England. His background is in medicine, psychiatry and social anthropology.

His first novel Making Wolf won the Golden Tentacle Award at the 2016 Kitschies.

His second novel Rosewater is on the 2016 Locus Recommended Reading List, and his short story “The Apologists” has been shortlisted for a British Science Fiction Association award.

He enjoys jazz, comics, and baking deformed bread.

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LIAR’S GIRL by Catherine Ryan Howard releases in February. Mark your calendars and be sure to grab a copy of this engrossing thriller on release day.

Title: THE LIAR’S GIRL

Author: CATHERINE RYAN HOWARD   

Genre: FICTION, MYSTERIES & THRILLERS

Length: 322 PAGES

Publisher: BLACKSTONE PUBLISHING  

Type of Book: HARDCOVER

Received From: NETGALLEY        

Release Date: FEBRUARY 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5047-8254-8

Price: $24.99 USD (HARDCOVER)

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 


DESCRIPTION
:

Will Hurley was an attractive, charming, and impressive student at Dublin’s elite St. John’s College—and Ireland’s most prolific serial killer. Having stalked his four young victims, he drowned them in the muddy waters of the Grand Canal. Sentenced to life imprisonment when he was just nineteen, Will is locked away in the city’s Central Psychiatric Hospital.

Freshman Sally-Anne Smith moved to the Big Smoke to enroll in St. John’s and soon fell hard for Will Hurley. Her world bloomed … and then imploded when Liz, her best friend, became the latest victim of the Canal Killer—and the Canal Killer turned out to be the boy who’d been sleeping in her bed. Sally-Anne fled to the Netherlands, changed her name, and, in ten years, has never once looked back.

When a young woman’s body is found in the Grand Canal, Garda detectives visit Will to see if he can assist them in solving what looks like a copycat killing. Instead, Will tells them he has something new to confess—but there’s only one person he’s prepared to confess it to.

The last thing Sally-Anne wants is to be pulled back into the past she’s worked so hard to leave behind. Reluctantly, she returns to the city she hasn’t set foot in for more than a decade to face the man who murdered the woman she was supposed to become.

Only to discover that, until now, Will has left out the worst part of all …  


MY REVIEW
:

The fear brought about by the “Canal Killer” will infect readers of this psychological thriller. It will have you constantly looking over your shoulder when walking alone at night.

Despite the fact that it has been ten years since Will was arrested and convicted of the four murders, Sally-Anne wants to know why. Why kill anyone, and especially why would her boyfriend kill her best friend? It is with those questions in mind that she agrees to talk to Will and find out what he has to say to the police about the latest murder.

From that point until the very last page, readers will find themselves engrossed in this fast-paced, mind boggling mystery/thriller.

I thought I had the book all figured out early in the story, but I was wrong. This tale has so many twists and turns that readers will never be bored and will be unable to put this book down.

The author has a knack for character building and for making those characters come to life. It is inevitable that readers become invested in Sally-Anne’s life.

Secrets, murder, friendship, romance, terror, security, love, hate, jealousy, happiness, chills and thrills all abound in this psychological thriller that I rate as 4.5 out of 5 Stars.🌟🌟🌟🌟 I am very much looking forward to reading more books by author Catherine Ryan Howard.


**A special Thank You to Netgalley for providing me with a free ARC (Advance Review Copy) of this book.**    


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 


Catherine Ryan Howard was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1982.   

Prior to writing full time, Catherine worked as a campsite courier in France and a front-desk agent in a hotel in Walt Disney World, Florida, and most recently as a social media marketer for a major publisher.

She is currently studying for a BA in English at Trinity College in Dublin.

To learn more about this Bestselling Author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE     

GOODREADS        

TWITTER        

FACEBOOK          

INSTAGRAM    

AMAZON    

CHAPTERS    

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE   

To Sign up for Catherine’s Email Newsletter click
 HERE.
   




ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: 

Oregon-based audiobook publisher Blackstone has expanded into print with the launch of Blackstone Publishing, which releases classic and original contemporary titles in both print and e-book.   

To learn more about this Publisher, visit the following links: 

OFFICIAL WEBSITE      

TWITTER       

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FACEBOOK     

INSTAGRAM    
  

To follow my reviews, click on the “FOLLOW” link on my blog. 

You can also follow me on INSTAGRAM @Amiesbookreviews  

Or on TWITTER @Amiesbookreview  


THE MASK OF SANITY by Indie Author JACOB APPEL will have readers on the edge of their seats. A 5 Star Must Read Psychological Thriller!!!

Title: THE MASK OF SANITY        

Author: JACOB APPEL    
Genre: FICTION, THRILLER, PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER

Length: 256 PAGES

Publisher: THE PERMANENT PRESS  
Type of Book: HARDCOVER   

Received From: FREE FROM THE AUTHOR    

Release Date: MARCH 31, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-57962-495-8 

Price: $28 USD (Hardcover)

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION:

On the outside, Dr. Jeremy Balint is a pillar of the community: the youngest division chief poorly, he reveals the depths of his cold-blooded depravity.

At a cultural moment when the media bombards us with images of so-called sociopaths who strive for good and criminals redeemed by repentance,The Mask of Sanityoffers an antidote to implausible tales of evil gone right. In contrast to fictional predecessors like Dostoyevesky’s Raskolnikov and Camus’ Mersault, Dr. Balint is a man who already has it all –and will do everything in his power, no matter how immoral, to keep what he has.

MY REVIEW: 

Jacob Appel has a true gift. His vivid descriptions of place are minimal in length but are still somehow able to paint an exact picture in the reader’s mind. His genius shines through mostly with his uncanny ability to get inside the heads of his characters and to take his readers with him. His writing makes each character seem less fictional and more real.

Jacob’s vast educational and life experience and his background in the medical field make this book even nore scary. I can’t help but wonder if this book is based on a past patient or maybe even one of Jacob Appel’s  colleagues. I really hope not.

In this book the protagonist is a respected physician. A married father of two adorable girls, Jeremy Balint seems to lead the perfect life.

However, when he discovers that his wife is cheating on him with a colleague, one he had considered to be a friend, Jeremy does not react out of anger. Instead, he calmly decides that his marriage must be saved at all costs. Instead of confronting his wife, he hatches a diabolical plan. That plan, and his execution of it will both shock readers and have them glued to the book’s pages.

Psychopaths and sociopaths have historically been portrayed as loners. They seemed easy to identify since they were seen to be “creepy” and no one was all that surprised when they found out that he (and it was ALWAYS a he) murdered someone. This gave people a sense of relief. If they stayed away from creepy men, they were safe. The reality is much more terrifying. As author Jacob Appel is aware, true sociopaths do not fit that description at all.

In fact, since sociopaths are masters of both manipulation and of adaptation, it is quite likely that all of us know or live close to at least one of them. This book brings that fact home unlike any other.

If you are a fan of psychological fiction you will LOVE this book. It is a MUST READ and I rate it enthusiastically as 5 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jacob M. Appel is the author of the following novels:

Wedding Wipeout (Cozy Cat Press)

The Biology of Luck (Elephant Rock Books)

The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up  (Cargo Publishing)

And

The short-story collections:

The Topless Widow of Herkimer Street (Howling Bird Press)

Coulrophobia & Fatana Morgana

Scouting For The Reaper (both Black Lawrence Press)  

and

The essay collection Phoning Home (University of South Carolina Press)

His short fiction has appeared in numerous literary magazines, including:

– Literal Latte

 The Colorado Review       

– The Nebraska Review

– The Boston Review     

– The Greensboro Review

Jacob has taught at Brown University, Columbia University, and the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.

He holds a BA and MA from Brown University, an MA and an MPhil from Columbia University, a JD from Harvard, and an MFA in Creative Writing from NYU.

(In other words, this is one incredibly  intelligent and extremely well-educated individual.)    

Jacob Appel teaches writing classes at Gotham Writer’s Workshop which hosts classes both in New York City and online.

All these “jobs” as an author and a teacher would be more than enough to keep a regular person extremely busy, but these are all second (and third, and fourth, etc.) jobs for Jacob.

In a way he is like Superman.

Jacob Appel is a mild-mannered, well-respected Lawyer, Doctor and Bio-Ethicist by Day and he turns into SuperWriterMan whenever and wherever he is needed. (As far as I know, he doesn’t own a cape or do quick-changes in phone booths which is probably a good thing since I am not sure if there are any phone booths left. 

Jacob holds Graduate Degrees from Brown University, Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, Harvard Law School, New York University’s MFA program in Fiction and Albany Medical College’s Alden March Institute of Bioethics.

He taught for many years at Brown University and currently teaches at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE   

GOODREADS      

AMAZON    

CHAPTERS          

To read my review of Jacob Appel’s fantastic short story collection “MIRACLES AND CONUNDRUMS OF THE SECONDARY PLANETS” Click on the cover below:

To read another of my reviews for Jacob Appel’s Literary Masterpiece and short story collection EINSTEIN’S BEACH HOUSE,” Click on the book cover below:   

This is one of the best short story collections I have ever had the privilege of reading. 

I am a fan of Jacob Appel’s and after reading this book I guarantee you will be too.    


* I received a free copy of this book from the author, however,  this did not effect my review or my rating in any way. 

AUDIOBOOK-A-PALOOZA BLOG TOUR, REVIEW & GIVEAWAY 

Welcome to Lauren Carr’s Audiobook-a-palooza Blog Tour! To celebrate the release of Lauren Carr’s mysteries in audiobook format, we have 14 books from her three series on tour!


To follow the tour and to read reviews, please visit Lauren Carr’s page on iRead Book Tours.

The Mac Faraday Mystery Series:

Buy the Audiobook ~ Book

Book Description:
Old loves die hard…and in the worst places.

In Old Loves Die Hard, Lauren Carr continues the rags-to-riches story of Mac Faraday, an underpaid homicide detective who inherits 270 million dollars and an estate on Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, from his birth mother on the day his divorce becomes final.

Mac is settling nicely into his new life at Spencer Manor when his ex-wife Christine shows up-and she wants him back! Before Mac can send her packing, Christine and her estranged lover are murdered in Mac’s private penthouse suite at the Spencer Inn, the five-star resort built by his ancestors.

The investigation leads to the discovery of cases files for some of Mac’s murder cases in the room of the man responsible for destroying his marriage. Why would his ex-wife’s lover come to Spencer to dig into Mac’s old cases?

With the help of his new friends on Deep Creek Lake, Mac must use all of his detective skills to clear his name and the Spencer Inn’s reputation, before its five-stars – and more bodies – start dropping!

MY REVIEW:

I had not read anything by Lauren Carr before listening to OLD LOVES DIE HARD and I have to say that I am now officially a fan. 

Her characters are complex and yet simple, they act like real people rather than characters in a book.

The fact that Mac’s wife cheated on him and then asked for a divorce which then became final on the exact same day that he learned that he was to receive $270 million dollars along with a mansion and a thriving 5 Star Inn, feels like sweet justice.

Mac had been a homicide detective, and he never made much money, but he was good at his job and he loved it. Coming into massive amounts of money, anď quitting his job, he isn’t really sure what to do with his time.

But, ‘Old Habits Die Hard’ and he finds himself once again investigating murders. The difference this time is because of who the victims are as well as where they were killed.

If you choose to purchase this audiobook, and I sincerely hope you do, you will fall in love with Mac Farady (just like I have.)

I rate this book as 4 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

Buy the Audiobook ~ Book

Book Description:

Question: what do you get the man with everything?

Answer: when that man is the heir of the late mystery writer Robin Spencer, retired homicide detective Mac Faraday, you get him a cold case to solve.

In Shades of Murder, Mac Faraday is once again the heir to an unbelievable fortune. This time the benefactor is a collector of stolen art. But this isn’t just any stolen work of art – it’s a masterpiece with a murder attached to it.

Ilysa Ramsay was in the midst of taking the art world by storm with her artistic genius. Hours after unveiling her latest masterpiece, she is found dead in her Deep Creek Lake studio, and her painting is nowhere to be found.

Almost a decade later, the long lost Ilysa Ramsay masterpiece has found its way into Mac Faraday’s hands and he can’t resist the urge to delve into the case.

A world away, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, former JAG lawyer Joshua Thornton agrees to do a favor for the last person he would ever expect – a convicted serial killer.

The favor: solve the one murder wrongly attributed to him.

Joshua finds an unexpected ally in Cameron Gates, a spunky detective who has reason to believe the young woman known to the media only as Jane Doe, victim number four, was the victim of a copycat. Together, Joshua and Cameron set out to light a flame under the cold case only to find that someone behind the scenes wants the case to remain cold, and is willing to kill to keep it that way.

Little do these detectives know that the paths of their respective cases are on a collision course when they follow the clues to bring them together in a showdown with a killer who’s got a talent for murder!

Buy the Audiobook ~ Book





Book Description:


In this fourth mystery on Deep Creek Lake, Mac Faraday finds himself up to his eyeballs in mobsters and federal agents.
After an attempted hit ends badly with two of his men dead, mobster Tommy Cruze arrives in Spencer, Maryland, to personally supervise the execution of the witness responsible for putting him behind bars – Archie Monday!

Mac Faraday believes he has his work cut out for him in protecting his lady love from one of the most dangerous leaders in organized crime; but when bodies start dropping in his lakeshore resort town, things may be hotter than even he can handle.




Buy the Audiobook ~ Book





Book Description:




Never tell Mac Faraday not to do something.

Spencer’s police chief, David O’Callaghan, learns this lesson the hard way when he orders Mac Faraday to stay away from the south end of Spencer’s mountaintop – even though he owns the property. It doesn’t take long for Mac to find out what lies on the other side of the stone wall and locked gate, on which hangs a sign warning visitors to Keep Out!

Topping the list of the 10 top haunted places in America, Astaire Castle is associated with two suicides, three mysterious disappearances, and four murders since it was built almost a century ago – and Mac Faraday owns it!

In spite of David’s warning, Mac can’t resist unlocking the gate to see the castle that supposedly hasn’t seen a living soul since his late mother had ordered it closed up after the double homicide and disappearance of Damian Wagner, a world-famous master of horror novels.

What starts out as a quick tour of a dusty old castle turns into another Mac Faraday adventure when Astaire Castle becomes the scene of even more murders. Mac is going to need to put all of his investigative talents to work to sort out this case that involves the strangest characters he has run into yet – including a wolf man. No, we’re not talking about Gnarly.

Buy the Audiobook ~ Book





Book Description:


Fame comes at a price. Some pay with their privacy. Others pay with their pride. Khloe Everest paid with her life.

Determined to get her pretty face in front of the cameras, Khloe Everest fakes an abduction only to make a grand entrance in the midst of a press conference held by Spencer’s Police Chief David O’Callaghan.

Three years later, after failing to catapult her notoriety into a long-lasting celebrity, Khloe Everest returns to Spencer upon her mother’s sudden death and seemingly finds another weapon to propel herself into the spotlight. Unfortunately, someone kills her before she can make this entrance.

In Lauren Carr’s sixth Mac Faraday Mystery, Mac and his friends come up against reality stars, politicians, has-beens, and wannabes. Mac also finds himself face-to-face with an old foe from his past who had managed to escape arrest during their last encounter. Now, Mac sees that his adversary has only become more powerful, and dangerous, with the passage of time.

Intent to not let this killer escape again, Mac and his friends need to put all of their talents together to put a stop to a cold-blooded lady killer.

Buy the Audiobook ~ Book




Book Description:




Two people are brutally murdered in their summer place on Deep Creek Lake. Suspected of the murders, former child star and one-time teenybopper idol Lenny Frost takes innocent bystanders hostage in a local pub and demands that Mac Faraday find the killer. Can Mac save the hostages and himself from the wrath of the enraged has-been by piecing together the clues in less than twelve hours, or will it be a fatal last call at the stroke of midnight?


Buy the Audiobook ~ Book

Book Description:


With three days left to the year, Deep Creek Lake is hopping with holiday vacationers and wedding guests pouring into the Spencer Inn for Mac Faraday and Archie Monday’s huge wedding ceremony which is being touted as the social event of the year.

But droopy flowers and guests who failed to RSVP are the least of Mac’s and Archie’s problems when a professional hit squad hits Spencer Manor to send the groom, Joshua Thornton, Archie’s mother, and Gnarly running for their lives.

With time running out before the big day, Mac Faraday and Spencer’s small police force have to sort through the clues to figure out not only who has been targeted for assassination, but also who is determined to stop everything…forever!

Buy the Audiobook ~ Book

Book Description:


Spring is in the air. In Deep Creek Lake, the burst of blossoms on the trees has the effect of a starting pistol in the race to get the resort area ready in time for the seasonal residents return to Spencer, Maryland.

This year, the Spencer Inn, Mac Faraday’s five-star resort, has the added duty of preparing for the Diablo Ball, an annual benefit event that used to kick off Deep Creek Lake’s summer season. The exclusive gala has drawn in A-listers from across the country, including suspects and witnesses connected to Ashton Piedmont, a young woman who had disappeared while skinny dipping in Deep Creek Lake five years earlier, days after the last Diablo Ball.

Intrigued by a mysterious phone call from a young woman claiming to be Ashton, retired homicide detective Mac Faraday can’t resist diving head first into the cold case. But he’s not the only one. Someone behind the scenes has gone to a lot of trouble to bring Ashton Piedmont’s friends and enemies to the Diablo Ball, which promises to be a gala event to die for!

Buy the Audiobook ~ Book

Book Description:


Police Chief David O’Callaghan and Chelsea Adams’ wedding day is fast approaching. Unfortunately, at the last minute, David discovers that there is one small problem to be taken care of before he can walk down the aisle – divorce his first wife!

Lauren Carr takes fans of the Mac Faraday mysteries to the Big Apple in this nail-biting adventure. In Cancelled Vows, David, Mac, and Gnarly, too, rush to New York City to dissolve David’s marriage to an old girlfriend – and he’s got five days to get it done. When murder throws up a road block, it is up to David’s best man, Mac Faraday, and Gnarly, K9-in-waiting, to sort through the clues to get David to the church in time!

The Lovers in Crime Mystery Series:



Buy the Audiobook ~ Book

Book Description:



Spunky Cameron Gates is tasked with solving the murder of Cherry Pickens, a legendary star of pornographic films, whose body turns up in an abandoned freezer. The case has a personal connection to her lover, Joshua Thornton, because the freezer was located in his cousin’s basement. It doesn’t take long for their investigation to reveal that the risqué star’s roots were buried in their rural Ohio Valley community, something that Cherry had kept off her show business bio. She should have kept her hometown off her road map, too – because when this starlet came running home from the mob, it proved to be a fatal homecoming.

Buy the Audiobook ~ Book

Book Description:


When Homicide Detective Cameron Gates befriends Dolly, the little old lady who lives across the street, she is warned not to get lured into helping the elderly woman by investigating the unsolved murder of one of her girls. “She’s senile,” Cameron is warned. “It’s not a real murder.”

Such is not the case. After Dolly is brutally murdered, Cameron discovers that the sweet blue-haired lady’s “girl” was a call girl who had been killed in a mysterious double homicide.

Meanwhile, Prosecuting Attorney Joshua Thornton is looking for answers to the murder of a childhood friend, a sheriff deputy whose cruiser is found at the bottom of a lake. The deputy had disappeared almost 20 years ago while privately investigating the murder of a local prostitute.

It doesn’t take long for the Lovers in Crime to put their cases together to reveal a long-kept secret that some believe is worth killing to keep undercover.

Buy the Audiobook ~ Book

Book Description:


Joshua’s eldest son, Joshua Thornton Jr. (J.J.) has graduated at the top of his class from law school and returns home to spend the summer studying for the bar exam. However, to Joshua’s and Cameron’s shock and dismay, J.J. moves into the main house at Russell Ridge Farm and Orchards, the largest dairy farm in the Ohio Valley, in order to rekindle a romance with Suellen Russell, the one-time leader of a rock band who is twice his age. Quickly, they learn that she has a deep dark secret.

The move brings long buried tensions between the father and son to the surface – not the least of which being J.J.’s inexplicable dislike for his stepmother Cameron. But when a brutal killer strikes, the Lovers in Crime must set all differences with Joshua’s son aside to solve the crime before J.J. ends up in the cross-hairs of a murderer.


 

The Thorny Rose Mystery Series:


Buy the Audiobook ~ Book

Book Description:


Five women with seemingly nothing in common are found brutally murdered in a townhome outside Washington, DC. Among the many questions surrounding the massacre is what had brought these apparent strangers together only to be killed.

Taking on his first official murder case, Lieutenant Murphy Thornton, USN, believes that if he can uncover the thread connecting the victims, then he can find their murderer.

Before long, the case takes an unexpected turn when Murphy discovers that one of the victims has a connection to his stepmother, Homicide Detective Cameron Gates. One wintry night, over a dozen years before, her first husband, a Pennsylvania State trooper, had been run down while working a night shift on the turnpike.

In this first installment of the Thorny Rose Mysteries, Lieutenant Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday sift through a web of lies and cover-ups. Together, can the detectives uncover the truth without falling victim to a cunning killer?

Buy the Audiobook ~ Book

Book Description:


After 10 months of marital bliss, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are still discovering and adjusting to their life together. Settled in their new home, everything appears to be perfect…except in the middle of the night when, in the darkest shadows of her subconscious, a deep secret from Jessica’s past creeps to the surface to make her strike out at Murphy.

When investigative journalist Dallas Walker tells the couple about her latest case, known as the Pine Bridge Massacre, they realize Jessica may have witnessed the murder of a family while visiting family at the winery near-by, and suppressed the memory.

Determined to uncover the truth and find justice for the murder victims, Jessica and Murphy return to the scene of the crime with Dallas Walker, a spunky bull-headed Texan. Can this family reunion bring closure for a community touched by tragedy or will this prickly get-together bring an end to the Thorny Rose couple?


Content Rating:


All of Lauren Carr’s books are rated PG-13 because they are murder mysteries and will contains murder scenes. Some of the books contain violence associated with military assignments. There are some books that contain sex scenes which are not explicit. There is little profanity, no f-words.

 

Meet the Author:



Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband and three dogs (including the real Gnarly’s klutzy nephew Sterling) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

 

Connect with Lauren: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook


Meet the Narrators:

​Over the past several years Dan Lawson has appeared in numerous spots for radio, television and the internet. He has worked with All-State, Sprint PCS, Mountain Dew and many more. His unique ability to mimic existing characters and celebrities has landed him diverse voice match work ranging from Charlie Sheen to Morgan Freeman.

In 2008 Dan was cast as the first American voice actor for the Korean video game company, Nexon. Over the next several years Dan was the flagship voice of the company, appearing in such titles as Mabinogi, Maple Story, Vindictus, Dragon Nest, Dungeon Fighter Online and Atlantica. In total he has voiced nearly 100 characters for Nexon.

In late 2012 Dan’s voice over career took an unexpected turn into book narration. His first audition landed him the job of narrating The Psychology of Twilight, a psychological look at the wide-spread obsession of the Twilight saga created by Stephanie Meyer. Eighteen more audiobook narrations have followed and show no signs of slowing down.

C.J. McAllister is an Audible Approved Producer — “Audible Approved producers are the best audiobook producers in the business.” Only a small number are awarded this honor.

C.J. has produced best-selling audiobooks in multiple genres/styles, TV commercials/promo teasers, animation projects, interviews (TV and radio), corporate presentations.

Another Audible Approved narrator, voice actor James Lewis has established a solid reputation in fiction as well as non-ficton audiobooks. At latest count, he’s narrated nearly 50.

Although his specialty is noir fiction, James has done several non-fiction books as well on a range of people and subjects: Butch and Sundance, General Custer, Revolutionary War, psychic development, taxes.

James Lewis has been awarded the AudioFile Earphone Award for narration, “The Last Outlaws”. It’s about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

A broadcast veteran of over 30 years, Mike Alger is best known as the award-winning Chief Meteorologist for KTVN-TV in Reno, NV. He is also a successful author, having penned the Mystery-Thriller novel “Snow Storm,” and is the narrator of the audiobook of the same name.

Enter the Giveaway!

Ends July 22

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