Firstborn (Descendants of the House of Bathory #2) by Tosca Lee Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

The truth of Audra Ellison’s past is revealed, and now the fight for not only her life but all of her people can truly begin in author Tosca Lee’s second and final book in the Descendants of the House of Bathory series, Firstborn. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

Face-to-face with her past, Audra Ellison now knows the secret she gave up everything—including her memory—to protect. A secret made vulnerable by her rediscovery, and so powerful neither the Historian nor the traitor Prince Nikola will ever let her live to keep it.

With Luka in the Historian’s custody and the clock ticking down on his life, Audra only has one impossible chance: find and kill the Historian and end the centuries old war between the Progeny and Scions at last—all while running from the law and struggling to control her growing powers.

With the help of a heretic monk and her Progeny friends Claudia, Piotrek, and Jester, Audra will risk all she holds dear in a final bid to save them all and put her powers to the ultimate test.

The Review

This book does what all sequels should do. It builds upon the foundation laid by the first book and ups the ante in big and unexpected ways. Firstborn does an amazing job of seeing Audra fully embrace herself after her long journey to discover who she is. In the series conclusion, we see a more confident and determined Audra emerge, a hero risen from the ashes and set on ending a centuries long war that has claimed too many lives.

The book moves at a fast pace from the first page, keeping readers on the edge of their seat as they race right alongside Audra on her journey. What really drew me into the story was the way the author challenges readers to think about history itself. After reading the book I dug into the history behind Elizabeth Bathory, and some of the details of her case really have me challenging what I thought I knew.

Time and pop culture have made her into a terrifying monster, embellishing the number of her victims and the crimes she was accused of. Did she really kill all those people? Or was she the target of a King’s ambition? After reading this fiction book, I am definitely intrigued enough to look into this case further, and encourage others to do the same. That’s the power this author has over readers. She challenges readers to look at life critically and examine all sides of any situation.

The Verdict

Overall I loved this story. It has a heart pounding journey that leads to a shocking and satisfying conclusion. Readers who love the first book will not be disappointed, and it not only makes you want to delve into the true history of this story but has you feeling connected to Audra and her friends as if you have lived this journey with them, marking a truly captivating story and author. If you haven’t yet, pick up your copy of Firstborn by Tosca Lee today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

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Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of Iscariot, The Legend of Sheba, Demon: A Memoir, Havah: The Story of Eve, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker (Forbidden, Mortal, Sovereign).

A notorious night-owl, she loves watching TV, eating bacon, playing video games with her kids, and sending cheesy texts to her husband. You can find Tosca hanging around the snack table or wherever bacon is served.

Tosca’s highly-anticipated new thriller, The Progeny (May, Simon & Schuster) is available now!

Social Media Links

https://toscalee.com/

https://twitter.com/ToscaLee

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorToscaLee

https://www.instagram.com/toscalee/

Check out the review for book one, The Progeny, here!

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The Fifth To Die (4MK Thriller #2) by J.D. Barker Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Today is a special treat my friends. I was recently sent an advanced copy of the highly anticipated sequel to one of my favorite thrillers in the last few years, The Fourth Monkey by J.D. Barker. This time around the author has published The Fifth To Die, a thrilling ride that explores the continuing hunt for the deadly 4MK. Here’s the synopsis:

In the thrilling sequel to The Fourth Monkey, a new serial killer stalks the streets of Chicago, while Detective Porter delves deeper into the dark past of the Four Monkey Killer.

Detective Porter and the team have been pulled from the hunt for Anson Bishop, the Four Monkey Killer, by the feds. When the body of a young girl is found beneath the frozen waters of Jackson Park Lagoon, she is quickly identified as Ella Reynolds, missing three weeks. But how did she get there? The lagoon froze months earlier. More baffling? She’s found wearing the clothes of another girl, missing less than two days. 

While the detectives of Chicago Metro try to make sense of the quickly developing case, Porter secretly continues his pursuit of 4MK, knowing the best way to find Bishop is to track down his mother. When the captain finds out about Porter’s activities, he’s suspended, leaving his partners Clair and Nash to continue the search for the new killer alone.

Obsessed with catching Bishop, Porter follows a single grainy photograph from Chicago to the streets of New Orleans and stumbles into a world darker than he could have possibly imagined, where he quickly realizes that the only place more frightening than the mind of a serial killer is the mind of the mother from which he came.

This book was incredible. Of course as with all my reviews this will be a spoiler-free review. However I can honestly say that author J.D. Barker has mastered how to write the perfect sequel, upping his game greatly to create an even more intense, thrilling and engaging story than The Fourth Monkey. Delving deeper into the killer’s past, Detective Porter finds himself drawn into the twisted world of 4MK in ways no one can ever imagine, unless of course you’re J.D. Barker.

The way the story takes readers into the minds of everyone involved in the case, from new investigators and the team you came to know and love in the first novel to the killer himself and the newest victims who have to face the very heart of darkness and evil alone. It’s a powerful and explosive story from the first page, showing the way everyone was affected by 4MK’s surprising actions in the first novel and how just when you thought you knew the limits of this killer, he takes things so much further. By the end of the story your heart will be racing and you’ll be on the edge of your seat, gasping for breath because you got so enraptured with the twist ending that you forgot to breath.

Overall I loved this story. It was so fun and thrilling to take part in, and the entire time I was reading it I kept asking myself when someone is going to make a movie or show about this story. The tale of 4MK and those hunting him is the modern day serial killer story we’ve been waiting for, and makes for the perfect summer thriller read. In J.D. Barker we’ve found a spiritual successor to the incredible Stephen King, taking the characters of the everyday man and transforming their lives into one of a kind adventures and thrill rides that only these one of a kind authors could come up with. If you haven’t preordered your copy yet, be sure to do so now. The Fifth To Die by J.D. Barker comes out July 10th, 2018, so grab your copies today!

Rating: 10/10

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ABOUT J.D.

jd_barker_biopic2

Barker was born January 7, 1971 in Lombard, Illinois and spent the first fourteen years of his life in Crystal Lake, Illinois. A staunch introvert, he was rarely seen without a book in hand, devouring both the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series by the age of six before moving on to classics such as the works of Dickens and Twain. The discovery of Shelley, Stoker and Poe fueled a fire and it wasn’t long before he was writing tales of his own which he shared with friends and family. These early stories centered around witches and ghosts thought to inhabit the woods surrounding their home.

At fourteen, Barker’s family relocated to Englewood, Florida, a climate better suited to his father’s profession as a contractor. He attended Lemon Bay High School and graduated in 1989. Knowing he wanted to pursue a career in the arts but unsure of a direction, he enrolled at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale where he later obtained a degree in business. While in college, one of his writing assignment found its way into the hands of Paul Gallotta of Circus Magazine. Gallotta reached out to Barker and asked him to join the staff of 25th Parallel Magazine where he worked alongside the man who would later become Marilyn Manson. Assignments dropped him into the center of pop culture and by 1991 Barker branched out, interviewing celebrities for the likes of Seventeen, TeenBeat, and other national and local publications. In 1992, Barker syndicated a small newspaper column called Revealed which centered around the investigation of haunted places and supernatural occurrences. While he often cites these early endeavors as a crash course in tightening prose, his heart remained with fiction. He began work as a book doctor and ghostwriter shortly thereafter, helping others fine tune their writing for publication. Barker has said this experience proved invaluable, teaching him what works and what doesn’t in today’s popular fiction. He would continue in this profession until 2012 when he wrote a novel of his own, titled Forsaken.

Stephen King read portions of Forsaken prior to publication and granted Barker permission to utilize the character of Leland Gaunt of King’s Needful Things in the novel. Indie-published in late 2014, the book went on to hit several major milestones – #2 on Audible (Harper Lee with Go Set a Watchman held #1), #44 on Amazon U.S., #2 on Amazon Canada, and #22 on Amazon UK. Forsaken was also nominated for a Bram Stoker Award (Best Debut Novel) and won a handful of others including a New Apple Medalist Award. After reading Forsaken, Bram Stoker’s family reached out to Barker and asked him to co-author a prequel to Dracula utilizing Bram’s original notes and journals, much of which has never been made public. The novel, titled Dracul, sold at auction to G.P. Putnam & Sons, with film rights going to Paramount. Andy Muschietti (IT, Mama) is attached to direct.

Barker’s initial indie success drew the attention of traditional agents and publishers and in early 2016 his debut thriller, The Fourth Monkey, sold in a series of pre-empts and auctions worldwide with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt set to publish in the U.S. and HarperCollins in the UK. The book has also sold for both film and television.

Barker splits his time between Englewood, FL, and Pittsburgh, PA, with his wife, Dayna.

http://facebook.com/therealjdbarker

https://twitter.com/jdbarker

https://www.instagram.com/jdbarker_author/

http://jdbarker.com/

Book Cover Reveal: I Was An Evil Teenager Remastered

Hello everyone! I am so proud to announce that my book, I Was An Evil Teenager: Remastered, is now available for preorder. It is available on Amazon for $2.99 and will be available for the same price soon on iBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and more. Here is a little bit about the book:
Killer. Zombie. Demon.
Evil comes in many forms, and Lisa Etron embodies them all in I Was An Evil Teenager, the three novella series that explores evil and the ways in which it appears. Author Anthony Avina brings a unique look at the work of Lisa Etron, a seemingly normal teenage girl who harbors a dark secret that threatens to tear apart not only those closest to her, but an entire town as well.
Lisa Etron is the girl next door. Lisa Etron is the most beautiful and popular girl in her school. Lisa Etron is the girl of Dave Trent’s dreams. Lisa Etron is a demented killer, hellbent on chaos and murder, and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to achieve those two goals. While a seasoned detective works to solve the mystery of a series of brutal murders, Lisa plans a deadly killing spree that threatens to destroy those who have made the mistake of loving her. 
This remastered edition of the book updates the story and brings a deep dive into the battle between good and evil. Showing the lengths in which evil is willing to go to to tear people down, and the way in which people use hope and love to overcome that evil, this novel features the combined novellas of I Was A Teenage Killer, I Was A Teenage Zombie and I Was A Teenage Demon. 
A twisted horror saga like no other, this series follows one group of people who must survive the twisted mind of a killer who refuses to go away and let them live happy lives. In this one of a kind novel, discover whether or not evil ever truly dies…
In honor of the book preorder, I wanted to share with you guys the official book cover reveal. I spent a long time designing this cover and hope it captures the essence of the books. I’d love for you guys to share this book cover on Twitter and Instagram. If you do tag me (@AuthorAAvina on Twitter, @authoranthonyavina on Instagram), and use the hashtag #EvilTeenager or #EvilTeenagerRemastered and I will share your posts on my social media feeds and feature you guys in my upcoming videos on my YouTube channel, Avina Vlogs. Thanks guys, and stay tuned for more information on this book release in the months to come. I Was An Evil Teenager: Remastered is due to release on October 20th, 2017! Preorder your copies today!
http://amzn.to/2vHLlhN

The Wharf Butcher by Michael K. Foster Review

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author and Booklover Catlady Publicity in return for a fair and honest review.
Many thanks!

Have you ever wanted to find a book that perfectly embodied the spirit and format of such great shows as Broadchurch and Sherlock? Then look
no further than author Michael K. Foster’s incredible novel, The Wharf Butcher. An intense crime thriller that does an excellent job of analyzing
character growth and showcasing the deep emotional scars that make a monster in our society, this is a fantastic read!

A serial killer is stalking Tyneside. But there is a pattern to his killings, his choice of victims, his method of slaughter. David Carlisle, a
criminal profiler, is brought in to assist DCI Jack Mason with his task of identifying the killer and stopping him in his tracks. The Wharf
Butcher is a fast-paced thriller that shines a light on the dark forces at work within the corridors of power, in the board room and the police
force itself. The clock is ticking to catch the monster that has been unleashed. But first Carlisle must get inside the killer’s head…

Combining the intrigue of a whodunit with the disturbing nature of serial killers and the emotional core of a great television drama, the first
novel in the building series focused on two intriguing new investigators is a smash hit from the opening pages all the way to the shocking
conclusion. The depth for which the author explores each side of a murder investigation is phenomenal to read, and not only do we get glimpses
into the personal lives of the investigators and how their lives affect their work, but readers will love to get into the gritty dark side of
the mentality of this serial killer. Will the investigators be able to stop this killer before it’s too late? Be sure to pick up your copies of
The Wharf Butcher by Michael K. Foster today to find out!

Hellbound by David McCaffrey Review

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author and Booklover Catlady Publicity in return for a fair and honest review.
Many thanks

Evil has a new face in author David McCaffrey’s sensational novel, “Hellbound.” This book is a thrilling tale that explores both the complex mind
of a serial killer and the effects he has on the world.

The story follows Obadiah Stark, aka “The Tally Man”, a ruthless serial killer who is facing execution at ADX Absolom, a desolate prison similar
to Alcatraz. With the witnesses present and an eager journalist who’s followed The Tally Man’s long career as a killer, Stark is put to death,
but journalist Joe O Connell finds some odd things that make the execution come into question. Soon he begins to uncover secrets while looking
into the mind of the killer that will bring the execution into a whole new light. Meanwhile, Stark awakens to find himself in a whole new world.
Expecting oblivion after his death, he learns he’s back in his childhood hometown, with a wife and child and a whole new life he has no memory
of. After rejecting this life and going on a viscous killing spree, (ending with a police shootout that claimed his life), Stark reawakens to
find the day has reset, and this new life has restarted for Stark again. After the day repeats over and over again, Stark is forced to examine
himself and face the grim reality of the dormant emotions that reside within him.

This is a unique thriller that takes readers on a exciting journey to discover the true meaning of justice, morality, and evil. Part horror
story, part conspiracy thriller, the alternating POV’s between Joe and Obadiah offer a great view on both sides of the story, from both the
eyes of the journalist fighting to learn the truth to the eyes of a demented killer getting in touch with his humanity. The author has created
a fun world that easily conjured up a cinematic feeling, like this was something I could watch on television today. With a twist ending that
leaves readers wanting to delve deeper into the world of this story, Hellbound is a fantastic read that everyone should read today. Be sure to
pick up your copy of David McCaffrey’s “Hellbound” today!

Never Smile At Strangers (Grand Trespass #1) by Jennifer Jaynes Review:

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author and Booklover Catlady Publicity in return for a fair and honest review.
Many thanks!

There is nothing more I as both an author and a reader enjoy more than a compelling first entrance into a riveting thriller series. That’s
exactly what I got when I read the first book in the Grand Trespass series by author Jennifer Jaynes, titled “Never Smile At Strangers”, and the
title says it all as this over 300-page novel takes readers on a heart-pounding journey to discover a chilling truth that runs deep into the
town of Grand Trespass.

This novel takes readers into the lives of several citizens of the town of Grand Trespass, Louisiana, as a young girl suddenly goes missing. Soon
a desperate search is underway, but when more of the townspeople begin to go missing, the citizens begin to question one another, realizing that
they may not know those closest to them as well as they previously thought. Meanwhile an unhinged, demented serial killer is living among them,
and his deep-seated fear and obsession of women is more complicated four years after his mother’s death, in which he has had to take care of
his disturbed sister.

The twists and turns in this novel made it such an intriguing read. The characters were compelling and fully developed while the plot took so
many fascinating paths that it made the final reveal all the more captivating. What was really fascinating was the heavy emphasis on both the
cultural aspects of a small Southern town mixed with the deep psychological issues most people face, from the anxiety and depression that comes
from loss to the more violent and scary tendencies of a killer’s mind. Broaching the subject of mental health is also a great way to get a
conversation started, and made the book that much more enticing. It’s no wonder this book made the USA Today bestseller list, and has made
this a must read series for me. Make sure to check out Never Smile At Strangers (Grand Trespass #1) by Jennifer Jaynes today!