Tag Archives: suspense

Allow Me To Ruin Your Christmas by Freddy Cruz Review

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

A man descends into rage and vengeance after he discovers the man dating his mother may be involved in the death of his father in author Freddy Cruz’s revenge thriller and suspense holiday novel, “Allow Me To Ruin Your Christmas”.

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The Synopsis

He just discovered why his dad died. Now ‘tis the season for a rampage of revenge…

Beckett needs his eyes bleached. Catching his mom and his favorite podcaster doing things that will get them on Santa’s naked and naughty list is enough to turn his stomach. And after he agrees to officially meet the new boyfriend, his slightly nauseous Yuletide cheer devolves into rage when he learns the guy was involved in his father’s death.

Driven by the need for vengeance, the incensed son sets out to stuff the home-wrecking grinch’s stocking with burning coal—by going after the loser’s wife and daughter. But as Beckett’s gore-trimmed plan descends into chaos, another ghastly secret could send him into murderous overdrive.

Is he about to unwrap a no-holds-barred retribution spree?

Allow Me to Ruin Your Christmas is a perfectly gruesome revenge thriller. If you like characters pushed over the edge, dark acts, and family drama, then you’ll love Freddy Cruz’s bloodstained holiday treat.

Buy Allow Me to Ruin Your Christmas to put the “x” in X-mas today!

The Review

This was a chilling and haunting revenge thriller. The fast-paced and atmospheric nature of the narrative played well into the imagery and tone that the author established in his writing. The shock and awe the author used in the story elevated the mystery of this novel, as the protagonists fought to not only reveal the truth behind their past but wrestle with the growing rage inside them. These themes of rage, vengeance, and family were felt heavily throughout this narrative and kept me invested in these characters.

Yet it was the character development that felt the most gripping and shocking to read, as the author played well into the grating relationship developed between Beckett and Lex, the twisted journey of revenge Beckett went on, and the harsh truths that made his mission flip on its head with a greater impact than he could have ever imagined. The rich dynamics and intensity of the narrative were a great juxtaposition to the holiday settings, keeping readers intrigued as the narrative unfolded before them.

The Verdict

It is often said that when seeking vengeance, be sure to dig two graves. In this twisted, captivating, and entertaining read, that has never been more true. In author Freddy Cruz’s “Allow Me To Ruin Your Christmas”, readers will be shocked and invested in this haunting journey of revenge that gets more and more insane as the story plays out. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy or preorder your book today, as the book releases this November!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Freddy Cruz is a Houston area author and host of Freddy’s Huge ASK Podcast. He’s obsessed with music, books, running, and coffee, and not necessarily in that order.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0B5Y9GWN6/ref=x_gr_w_glide_sin?caller=Goodreads&callerLink=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goodreads.com%2Fbook%2Fshow%2F61492132-allow-me-to-ruin-your-christmas%3Fac%3D1%26from_search%3Dtrue%26qid%3D0lkFMg74eZ%26rank%3D1&tag=x_gr_w_glide_sin-20

Tome of the Vampire by Jason Goss Review

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

An unstable vampire may hold the key to the survival of the human race against an unstoppable plague in a post-apocalyptic world filled with magic and horrors in author Jason Goss’s “Tome of the Vampire”.

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The Synopsis

For over one thousand years after the world was nearly destroyed by the calamity known as Sinfall, the church has helped people recover. The recovery and safety the church gave came at a steep cost. Technology has been lost to the ages and banned by the church.

The land is plagued by a terrible curse that threatens to wipe out all life, and the church has no idea how to stop it. Until a chance encounter with a mentally unstable vampire offers an unlikely solution….

Tome of the Vampire Vol 1 is a dark fantasy story set in a post apocalyptic fantasy world filled with magic, dragons, and mystery surrounding the secrets the church has banned people from knowing, and what caused the calamity.

The Review

This was a brilliant and powerful new direction of the vampire lore and mythos. The action and suspense were brought to life perfectly through the world-building and atmosphere the author developed. The imagery really did an incredible job of capturing the almost otherworldly nature of the setting, as magic and mystery became part of the norm in this post-apocalyptic world.

Yet it was the author’s mythos and character growth that really set it apart from other fantasy and dark gothic fiction. The religious iconography and power that resides over the human population is a stark contrast to the magic and supernatural power that has taken over throughout the world. The humor and wit that the vampire exudes helps cut through the natural tension that keeps the reader glued into the fictional world the author has crafted.

The Verdict

Haunting, entertaining, and wildly inventive, author Jason Goss’s “Tome of the Vampire” is a must read mystery, gothic horror, and fantasy novel! The atmospheric thriller has just the right balance of humor and action to keep readers engaged, and the unique world that comes to life on the pages of this novel boasts some thoughtful and compelling mythology that will have readers clamoring for more. If you haven’t yet be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

I’m Jason M Goss, and I’m a huge nerd 😉

Love anything sci fi or fantasy. I have a million ideas in my head and finally decided to start putting some down on paper.

I hope you like them, and I’m always open to feedback!

Life is about growing and become better than we were previously, and that’s what my goal is!

Hero Haters by Ken MacQueen Review

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

After becoming the prime suspect in the disappearance of the finalists for the nation’s highest medal of valor for civilians, one man must put himself on the line to find and save these heroes from the sinister web they’ve been ensnared within author Ken MacQueen’s “Hero Haters”.

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The Synopsis

Jake Ockham had a dream job, vetting nominees for the Sedgewick Medallion—the nation’s highest civilian award for heroism. His own scarred hands are an indelible reminder of the single mother he failed to pull from a raging house fire; her face haunts him still. Obligations drag him back to his hometown to edit the family newspaper but attempts to embrace small-town life, and the hot new doctor, are thwarted by unknown forces. The heroes Jake vetted go missing and he becomes the prime suspect in the disappearances. Aided by resourceful friends, Jake follows a twisted trail to the Dark Web, where a shadowy group is forcing the kidnapped medalists to perform deadly acts of valor to amuse twisted subscribers to its website. To save his heroes, Jake must swallow his fears and become one himself…or die in the attempt. 

The Review

This brand-new thriller from a brand new author and seasoned journalist was absolutely fantastic. The author immediately showcased the strength of finding the right balance between character growth and suspense building. The atmosphere and tension really elevated the narrative here, capturing the shocking nature of the crimes and the fight for survival that takes place. The focus on “heroes”, and how we treat our heroes in the world is a great central theme to play into this thriller and did a great job of showcasing the humanity within our heroes.

The brilliant character development and escalating suspense were so well delivered. The chemistry between Tina and Jake as the story develops adds a hint of romance into the narrative, but the complexity of the protagonist’s struggle with his brush with heroism and the blend of guilt for those that couldn’t be saved, as well as the human faults all heroes still have in their daily lives that are often ignored in the wake of their heroism, made their development so mesmerizing to read about.

The Verdict

Thought-provoking, atmospheric, and entertaining, author Ken MacQueen’s “Hero Haters” is a must-read suspense thriller of 2022. The gripping blend of haunting dark web crime and the balance of morality with heroism as a whole made this such a rich and dynamic story to dive head first into, and readers will be hard-pressed to put this novel down. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy or preorder by October 5th, 2022!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Before turning to fiction, Ken MacQueen spent 15 years as Vancouver bureau chief for Maclean’s, Canada’s newsmagazine, winning multiple National Magazine Awards and nominations. He travelled the world writing features and breaking news for the magazine, and previously for two national news agencies.

He has written extensively on crime, politics, disasters, both natural and man-made—and, being Canadian, on the shifting fortunes of Queen Elizabeth II and her clan. All of this is potential fodder for future fiction, though the Queen as action hero seems unlikely.

Hero Haters, set in the Pacific Northwest and rural Pennsylvania, is his debut thriller.

MacQueen covered nine Olympic Games and drew the athletic prowess of Jake Ockham, his protagonist, from tracking elite rowers in training and on podiums in Athens, Beijing and London.

He and his wife divide their time between North Vancouver and British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast.

kenmacqueen.com

Firefly Lies by Morgan Matthews Review

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

A young woman hoping to put her past behind her is forced to confront her trauma and even her sanity as dark events and a persistent enemy to her family seek to destroy their family estate in author Morgan Matthews’s “Firefly Lies”.

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The Synopsis

A stately manor, one peculiar groundskeeper, and untimely death set the stage for this thrilling and unexpected tale. As a twenty-nine year old married mother of two, Greer Tipton has spent nearly half her life trying to leave the past behind her. Yet she finds herself faced with reexamining her teenage years after agreeing to be interviewed by a biographer.

Greer’s recollection of events is equally as dark as it is compelling. Her harrowing story is fraught with lies, heartbreaking revelations, and an unknown enemy terrorizing her family’s beloved home – Langley Estates. Young Greer must find the answers she so desperately seeks, while also navigating the emotions of first love, loss, and an inherent mistrust of her own sanity.

The reader will be left wondering who, if anyone, can be trusted. Can we as human beings even trust ourselves?

The Review

This was such an engaging and inviting read. The mystery and suspense of the narrative felt vibrant and alive and delved into themes that felt very relatable and relevant to modern-day true crimes. The twists and turns in the story kept me invested in this narrative, as the author’s writing style kept this mystery feeling very mature yet in a genre that many readers would classify as “clean” mysteries. In that regard, the author crafts a narrative that focuses solely on the mystery and not on any elements of more adult narratives that would make this a heated and passionate read instead. 

Yet what drew me into the narrative was the characters, especially when it came to the storytelling perspective. The author’s choice to not only jump back and forth between the past and the present but from the POV of both the biographer and the protagonist of this mystery was so heartfelt and honest in a way. The way biographer was able to bring an outside perspective to the story while also connecting with their “subject”. At the same time, the protagonist kept readers in suspense and brought an emotional depth to the narrative, making this story such a unique reading experience.

The Verdict

Captivating, thoughtful, and exhilarating, author Morgan Matthews’s “Firefly Lies” is a must-read mystery and suspense read of 2022. The drama, twists, and rich character development will keep readers on the edge of their seats. The final revelations about what happened to this family and the true villain of this tale will shock many readers, while also keeping readers emotionally invested in these characters. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Morgan Matthews is a wife, mother, photographer, lifestyle blogger, and fiction writer. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in psychology, as well as a Master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling.

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instagram.com/morgan_matthews_author/

goodreads.com/author/show/20916893.Morgan_Matthews

Delta by Tom Starita Review

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

Tensions mount in one man’s life when he discovers a young girl locked in his basement soon after the loss of his daughter, claiming to in fact be his daughter, and he must decide if fate has brought his daughter back to him or if he is slowly losing his grip on reality in author Tom Starita’s “Delta”.

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The Synopsis

Jason Carico is a grieving father, desperately trying to come to grips with the loss of his eight-year-old stepdaughter, Delta, who drowned two months ago.

But if she’s dead, then why is there a little girl claiming to be Delta locked up in his basement?

Desperately wanting to believe her, Jason attempts to live a normal life while hiding his nightmare below. His anxiety explodes when his late wife’s sister appears on his doorstep. Can he trust her? Would she believe him? And what will the police think if they ever find out the only African American man in town has a white girl trapped in his basement?

The haunting motto of Mother’s death cult tolls throughout the book, “The Universe has a plan, independent from the wants of man.” 

The Review

This was such a chilling and haunting read. The tension and heart-pounding suspense the novel’s narrative brings to life was the perfect way to marry both the horror and thriller genres that this story needed. The pacing the author set up perfectly allowed readers to develop this compulsive need to understand the circumstances surrounding this strange and troubling situation, as one minute readers see a tale of a man who has captured a young girl in his basement, and in the next a disturbing cult has set their sights on the same girl, and in the next a powerful force of nature threatens to converge on everyone at once.

This book’s narrative was definitely character-driven, and the characters really elevated the tension and atmosphere of this gritty suspense thriller meet horror read. The emotional pull of these characters, from Jason’s fractured psyche and desire to “protect” Delta, to Colleen’s struggle to right a grievous wrong and stop the madness she suspects is happening, really kept me invested in the narrative. 

The Verdict

Haunting, engaging, and thrilling, author Tom Starita’s “Delta” is a must-read horror suspense read of 2022. The chilling atmosphere the author’s use of imagery creates and the shocking twists and turns that leave readers on the edge of their seats, eager for a second book, made this story shine so brightly. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Tom Starita is the author of three novels, “Two Ways to Sunday,” “Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated,” and his latest “Delta.” When asked for her thoughts about him, Oprah Winfrey said, “Who?” Tom Hanks refused to respond to an email asking for a quote, and former Mets great Mookie Wilson once waved to him from a passing taxi.

Originally from Staten Island, NY, Starita has now found a home in Connecticut with his amazing wife Shannon, their beautiful daughter Chloe and their potato of a dog Lola. But, most importantly, he loves the New York Mets.

https://goppygots.com/

Tarja Titan: A Terrian Chronicles Novel by TC Marti Review

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

A young woman seeking to find others like herself discovers the school of elementals she just joined will show her how different she is even among her fellow elementals, and two dark factions will rise in response in author TC Marti’s “Tarja Titan”, the first book in The Terrian Chronicles series. 

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The Synopsis

Abused and neglected for nearly a decade, Tarja Titan always longed for a home…

But she didn’t anticipate the reception she’d receive upon her return to a world she thought only existed in fiction.

Tarja has always been different. And when she enrolls in Celestial University of the Northeast, she’s elated to mingle with other Elementals, a race of supernaturals with the ability to control one of the nine elements.

Problem is, Tarja’s different even among Elemental standards. It was something she neither anticipated nor wanted, but if she refuses to seek out her calling, TWO dark factions will rise.

This isn’t your classic good v. evil; something Tarja learns the hard way.

The Review

Immediately, from the book’s first pages, I was struck by the idea that this book was a cross between Cinderella, The Magicians, and A conspiracy thriller! The unique world-building and mythos were complimented by the author’s ability to capture the heart of the narrative and highlight the complex reality of life, showing that things are not always about good vs evil, but are far more often found in the shades of grey that surround us all. 

The magic, abilities, and setting of the story in this alternative history of our own world were a great vehicle for the author’s incredible character development. Tarja Titan was a brilliant protagonist, becoming the heart and soul of the story and representing the outsider who would become pivotal to a centuries-long battle so ideally. I loved her relationship with Braden Hawk, her godbrother who saves her from the torment she was living in to start of the novel. The mystery surrounding her backstory and the events that brought her such infamy among Elemental society was so fun and engaging to dive into, and the author’s pacing was perfect for bringing this part of her story to life at just the right speed. 

The Verdict

Captivating, entertaining, and mind-blowing, author TC Marti’s “Tarja Titan: A Terrian Chronicles Novel” is the perfect first chapter in a brand new metaphysical and magical realism alt-history series. The mixture of mystery, suspense, magic, school life, and shadowy organizations was amazing to see unfold on the pages of this book, and the shocking twist ending that leaves other character’s fates hanging in the balance will drive readers back into the series and eager to read book two. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

TC Marti has been an avid reader/writer for over three decades. He is the author of the Elementals Universe, a shared speculative fiction universe spanning multiple series. He is also a workout fanatic, and a fan of Arizona sports teams.

The Archivist by V.S. Nelson Review

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

The last Archivist who sells his services as a soul harvester to others in order to preserve their dying loved ones finds himself embroiled in a deadly plot after a teenage boy tricks him into murder, and as a suicidal cult dies at his feet, an ancient power begins to hunt him down in author V.S. Nelson’s “The Archivist”.

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The Synopsis

Death is not the end.

There is no God waiting for you in paradise. No afterlife where friendships severed by death are reformed and families reunited. There is only the Aether, a dimension of insatiable hunger that will possess you no matter the life you led.

Yet there is hope for a lucky few. Archivists, existing between the world of the living and the world of the dead, can offer salvation… for a price. Taking your essence in the final moments before death, they become your afterlife, allowing you to speak with those who remain.

When the last archivist is tricked into murder by troubled teenager, Sun-young Kang, he finds himself the centre of a suicidal cult that die at his feet. But there is more to these deaths than the Archivist realises. Someone is coming for him.

The Archivist may be the closest thing to a god that walks the Earth, but is that enough to keep those he cares about safe?

The Archivist is an incredibly rich novel with a truly original concept. It is cinematic in its scope and details the haunting, but also beautiful, gift an archivist could offer a person in their final moments.

The Review

This was such a brilliant and unique read. The author did an incredible job of crafting a mythos and world that felt both alive and new in its identity. The emotional depth of the narrative was greatly felt, as readers felt the character’s struggles with loss and the concept of death and the afterlife as a whole. The heavy atmosphere and tension that came with that reality were both relatable and original in their delivery. 

The character arcs of this narrative and how they played into the evolving mythos surrounding the Aether and the Archivists were incredible to watch. The complexity of the Archivist itself and how it holds so many other essences within itself while maintaining some sort of autonomy was so thought-provoking and unique. Yet it was the emotional toll of the families and those living within the Archivist in death that really drove the heart of this narrative home.

The Verdict

Heartfelt, engaging, and thoughtful, author V.S. Nelson’s “The Archivist” is a must-read novel o 2022. The growing mythology of the Aether and the Archivists was so creative and unique in its development, and the imagery the author used in their writing was both beautiful and chilling, depending on the moment in the book the reader was reading. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today. 

Rating: 10/10 

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About the Author

V S Nelson writes unconventional middle grade and young adult fantasy, science fiction and supernatural stories for readers who enjoy something a little strange.

Their first story was The Keeper of Portals, a middle grade fantasy/sci-fi with plenty of portal jumping and time slipping. Their second story, The Archivist, is a young adult dark fantasy all about death and what happens after.

V S Nelson loves big ideas, fantastical concepts and stories that unsettle the reader and set them thinking about something new.

V S Nelson lives in Winchester with their other half, two children and three cats. When not writing, they’re either working as a theoretical physicist or building Lego.

https://vsnelson.com/

Suspension (Time Binder) by Andrea Faye Christians Review

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

A young woman finds herself stuck between two worlds as a time travel adventure introduces historical figures, a shocking murder, and a startling discovery about her destiny in author Andrea Faye Christians’s “Suspension”, a Time Binder series novel.

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The Synopsis

An unexpected time travel tale. When Carla Thompson falls asleep and doesn’t wake up, she is shocked to discover what destiny has in store for her. Suspended between two worlds, she meets Isambard Brunel, the legendary eighteenth-century civil engineer, who built the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, England, and who now serves as guardian of its secrets. Historical events intertwine with Carla’s current reality and along the way she discovers a murder, encounters a host of characters including Jamaican psychic, Matilda, and engages in verbal banter with literary legend, Ernest Hemingway. Her adventures lead her to a startling revelation about why she was chosen for her strange new role. In death Carla realises she has never felt more alive.

The Review

This is such a unique and imaginative read. The author does an incredible job of capturing the curiosity, the surreal, and almost magical concept of how life after death works and how the concept of destiny doesn’t always end or even start in life. The imagery and atmosphere the author creates are so mesmerizing, and the layered mythos that the author creates is so engaging for the reader to delve into.

Yet it was the richness of the characters and their backstories that really drew me into the narrative. The shock of the protagonist’s new reality and the explorative nature of her journey as she learns and discovers herself in this world within our own world was amazing to read. It put an all-new spin on the time-travel elements of the story, as well as the more philosophical and spiritual themes the author explored in this read.

The Verdict

Engaging, thought-provoking, and highly creative, author Andrea Faye Christians’ “Suspension (Time Binder)” is a must-read novel for Summer 2022! The surreal reality that Carla finds herself in and the amazing cast of characters she meets along the way showcase the connectivity of our world and those within it, and made for such an intriguing story. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Andrea Faye Christians was born and raised in Swansea, South Wales. Following a successful career in British radio including the BBC, she moved to the southern Mediterranean island of Malta to pursue her dream of becoming a freelance writer. A decade later she bought a farm in the Madonie Mountains of Sicily where a menagerie of rescue animals found their way to her. With a son in Malta and a daughter in Sicily, Andrea has a home and her heart in both places, and she now divides her time between the neighbouring islands. Suspension is her debut novel. She is working on the second book in the Time Binder Series as well as a novel entitled Chemo Club.

https://andreafayechristians.com/

Agapē (Heart’s Compass Book One) by Lisa Cordeau Review

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

A woman scarred by her past must place her trust in 3 detectives after witnessing a murder that could bring down a powerful mob boss in author Lisa Cordeau’s “Agapē”, the first book in the Heart’s Compass series. 

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The Synopsis

Fiercely independent, Cassie settled into an unpredictable, sometimes dangerous life under the park bridge with Janice and Pete. Her heart marred by past betrayals, she found trusting others difficult. But, after witnessing a murder, will she sacrifice her freedoms and place her trust in three unselfish men bent on keeping her, Pete, and Janice safe?

Detectives Alex, Raf, and Ryder Consopolat, brothers raised with a strong sense of family unity, strive to bring down the local mob boss, but their witnesses keep dying. Fate intervenes, providing them one final opportunity to end a tyrant’s reign. Can they keep their reluctant allies alive, or will they all be victims of The Boss?

The Review

This was such a brilliant and captivating read. The adrenaline-fueled thriller takes readers on a wild ride, showcasing a brutal landscape of gangsters and corruption that felt very reminiscent of a noir thriller in a more modern-day era. The world-building and atmosphere played heavily into the narrative, adding tension and sending chills down the reader’s spine as the gangsters of this tale crept ever closer to the cast of characters.

Yet it was the characters themselves that brought such heart to this story. The exploration of life on the streets as a homeless person was such an emotional and powerful change in direction for this type of thriller. The hardships and struggles Cassie, Pete, and Janice undergo on a daily basis and in their backstories only add to the dangers the gangsters bring to their feet, and the balance that the author stuck with the story of the brothers/detectives and how they came to interact with these witnesses over time added a depth to the emotional connection readers will have to this story. 

The Verdict

Heartfelt, entertaining, and delightfully written, author Lisa Cordeau’s “Agapē” is a must-read thriller of 2022. A fantastic balance of emotional storytelling and exhilarating action-packed detective work, the story shines as a stand-alone narrative while also leaving room to grow as a series that examines the personal lives of those involved while also adding deep-seated character studies to a thrill-ride of a suspense story. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Her mother’s love of books inspired Lisa to read and write from an early age. She filled her journals with story ideas and made up towns full of interesting characters. One of their favorite used book stores offered an exchange program, so they spent many weekends perusing the shelves of novels there. After returning the novels they read, they walked away with several bags filled with new stories to explore. Although life took her in other directions, writing has always been her first love. Returning to those pages, she became motivated to accomplish her dream of publishing her debut novel, Agapē. Now, her dream is a reality.