Tag Archives: thriller

On a Quiet Street by Seraphina Nova Glass Review

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

A woman fearing her husband may be cheating, she turns to a friend who lost her son the year before, and together they hope to catch the husband in the act. However, this plan turns down a dark and deadly road as more secrets are unearthed that neither of them could have imagined in author Seraphina Nova Glass’s “On a Quiet Street”.

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The Synopsis

A simple arrangement. A web of deceit with shocking consequences.

Welcome to Brighton Hills: an exclusive, gated community set against the stunning backdrop of the Oregon coast. Home to doctors, lawyers, judges–all the most upstanding members of society. Nothing ever goes wrong here. Right?

Cora’s husband, Finn, is a cheater. She knows it; she just needs to prove it. She’s tired of being the nagging, suspicious wife who analyzes her husband’s every move. She needs to catch him in the act. And what better way to do that than to set him up for a fall?

Paige has nothing to lose. After she lost her only child in a hit-and-run last year, her life fell apart: her marriage has imploded, she finds herself screaming at baristas and mail carriers, and she’s so convinced Caleb’s death wasn’t an accident that she’s secretly spying on all everyone in Brighton Hills so she can find the murderer. So it’s easy for her to entrap Finn and prove what kind of man he really is.

But Paige and Cora are about to discover far more than a cheating husband. What starts as a little agreement between friends sets into motion a series of events neither of them could have ever predicted, and that exposes the deep fault lines in Brighton Hills. Especially concerning their mysterious new neighbor, Georgia, a beautiful recluse who has deep, dark secrets of her own…

The Review

The author continues to do a phenomenal job of pushing the domestic thriller genre to its limits and beyond in the best way possible! The world-building and character growth early on in the book did a great job of layering the mystery of both the fidelity of Cora’s marriage to her husband and the circumstances of Paige’s son and his untimely demise. The shocking twists and turns that this small community takes on, as well as the secrets that these households harbor, really add both an engaging plotline and yet an eerily realistic touch to the narrative, as the shocking developments are not necessarily out of the realm of possibility in this day and age, making this even more of a haunting read. 

For, as a longtime fan of mystery reads, the suspense aspect of this mystery thriller and the theme that it explores were the biggest draws for me. The exploration of this multi-layered mystery and how each character’s struggles early on in the novel inadvertently stack up against one another’s until all three protagonists and narrators of this novel find themselves coming together. The theme of toxic masculinity and how it impacts marriages and relationships was a major theme throughout the novel. Often seen in our world, men will go to extreme lengths to be dismissive of women, mansplain to women things they already have an understanding of, and manipulate the women in their lives to fulfill their own personal needs. This toxic behavior is explored in several of the characters’ lives, and the shocking twists that toxicity takes add to the depth of character development and the mystery that unravels as a result of those developments.

The Verdict

Haunting, shocking, and entertaining, author Seraphina Nova Glass’s “On A Quiet Street” is a must-read novel of 2022 and one of the top domestic thrillers of the year. The chilling twists this narrative takes and the emotional pull of these characters’ struggles will have readers on the edge of their seats as the climactic second half of this novel takes off! This is one of the best authors to come through in this genre in years and I cannot wait to read more of her work. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Seraphina Nova Glass is a professor and playwright-in-residence at the University of Texas, Arlington, where she teaches film studies and playwriting. She holds an MFA in playwriting from Smith College, and she’s also a screenwriter and award-winning playwright. Seraphina has traveled the world using theatre and film as a teaching tool, living in South Africa, Guam and Kenya as a volunteer teacher, AIDS relief worker, and documentary filmmaker.

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Here is an excerpt from “On a Quiet Street”

ONE

Paige

Paige stands, watering her marigolds in the front yard and marvels at how ugly they are. The sweet-potato-orange flowers remind her of a couch from the 1970s, and she suddenly hates them. She crouches down, ready to rip them from their roots, wondering why she ever planted such an ugly thing next to her pristine Russian sage, and then the memory steals her breath. The church Mother’s Day picnic when Caleb was in the sixth grade. Some moron had let the potato salad sit too long in the sun, and Caleb got food poisoning. All the kids got to pick a flower plant to give to their moms, and even though Caleb was puking mayonnaise, he insisted on going over to pick his flower to give her. He was so proud to hand it to her in its little plastic pot, and she said they’d plant it in the yard and they’d always have his special marigolds to look at. How could she have forgotten?

She feels tears rise in her throat but swallows them down. Her dachshund, Christopher, waddles over and noses her arm: he always senses when she’s going to cry, which is almost all the time since Caleb died. She kisses his head and looks at her now-beautiful marigolds. She’s interrupted by the kid who de-livers the newspaper as he rides his bike into the cul-de-sac and tosses a rolled-up paper, hitting little Christopher on his back.

“Are you a fucking psychopath?” Paige screams, jumping to her feet and hurling the paper back at the kid, which hits him in the head and knocks him off his bike.

“What the hell is wrong with you, lady?” he yells back, scrambling to gather himself and pick up his bike.

“What’s wrong with me? You tried to kill my dog. Why don’t you watch what the fuck you’re doing?”

His face contorts, and he tries to pedal away, but Paige grabs the garden hose and sprays him down until he’s out of reach. “Little monster!” she yells after him.

Thirty minutes later, the police ring her doorbell, but Paige doesn’t answer. She sits in the back garden, drinking coffee out of a lopsided clay mug with the word Mom carved into it by little fingers. She strokes Christopher’s head and examines the ivy climbing up the brick of the garage and wonders if it’s bad for the foundation. When she hears the ring again, she hollers at them.

“I’m not getting up for you people. If you need to talk to me, I’m back here.” She enjoys making them squeeze around the side of the house and hopes they rub up against the poi-son oak on their way.

“Morning, Mrs. Moretti,” one of the officers says. It’s the girl cop, Hernandez. Then the white guy chimes in. She hates him. Miller. Of course they sent Miller with his creepy mustache. He looks more like a child molester than a cop, she thinks. How does anyone take him seriously?

“We received a complaint,” he says.

“Oh, ya did, did ya? You guys actually looking into cases these days? Actually following up on shit?” Paige says, still petting the dog and not looking at them.

“You assaulted a fifteen-year-old? Come on.”

“Oh, I did no such thing,” she snaps.

Hernandez sits across from Paige. “You wanna tell us what d id happen, then?”

“Are you planning on arresting me if I don’t?” she asks, and the two officers give each other a silent look she can’t read.

“His parents don’t want to press charges so…”

Paige doesn’t say anything. They don’t have to tell her it’s because they pity her.

“But, Paige,” Miller says, “we can’t keep coming out here for this sort of thing.”

“Good,” Paige says firmly. “Maybe it will free you up to do your real job and find out who killed my son.” Hernandez stands.

“Again, you know we aren’t the detectives on the—” But before Hernandez can finish, Paige interrupts, not wanting to hear the excuses.

“And maybe go charge the idiot kid for trying to kill my dog. How about that?”

Paige stands and goes inside, not waiting for a response. She hears them mumble something to one another and make their way out. She can’t restrain herself or force herself to be kind. She used to be kind, but now, it’s as though her brain has been rewired. Defensiveness inhabits the place where empathy used to live. The uniforms of the cops trigger her, too; it reminds her of that night, the red, flashing lights a nightmarish strobe from a movie scene. A horror movie, not real life. It can’t be her real life. She still can’t accept that.

The uniforms spoke, saying condescending things, pulling her away, calling her ma’am, and asking stupid questions. Now, when she sees them, it brings up regrets. She doesn’t know why this happens, but the uniforms bring her back to that night, and it makes her long for the chance to do all the things she never did with Caleb and mourn over the times they did have. It forces fragments of memories to materialize, like when he was six, he wanted a My Little Pony named Star Prancer. It was pink with purple flowers in its mane, and she didn’t let him have it because she thought she was protecting him from being made fun of at school. Now, the memory fills her with self-reproach.

She tries not to think about the time she fell asleep on the couch watching Rugrats with him when he was just a toddler and woke up to his screaming because he’d fallen off the couch and hit his head on the coffee table. He was okay, but it could have been worse. He could have put his finger in an outlet, pushed on the window screen and fallen to his death from the second floor, drunk the bleach under the sink! When this memory comes, she has to quickly stand up and busy herself, push out a heavy breath, and shake off the shame it brings. He could have died from her negligence that afternoon. She never told Grant. She told Cora once, who said every parent has a moment like that, it’s life. People fall asleep. But Paige has never forgiven herself. She loved Caleb more than life, and now the doubt and little moments of regret push into her thoughts and render her miserable and anxious all the time.

She didn’t stay home like Cora, she practically lived at the restaurant. She ran it for years. Caleb grew up doing his homework in the kitchen break room and helping wipe down tables and hand out menus. He seemed to love it. He didn’t watch TV all afternoon after school, he talked to new people, learned skills. But did she only tell herself that to alleviate the guilt? Would he have thrived more if he had had a more nor mal day-to-day? When he clung to her leg that first day of preschool, should she have forced him to go? Should he have let him change his college major so many times? Had he been happy? Had she done right by him?

And why was there a gun at the scene? Was he in trouble, and she didn’t know? Did he have friends she didn’t know about? He’d told her everything, she thought. They were close. Weren’t they?

As she approaches the kitchen window to put her mug down, she sees Grant pulling up outside. She can see him shaking his head at the sight of the cops before he even gets out of the car.

He doesn’t mention the police when he comes in. He silently pours himself a cup of coffee and finds Paige back out in the garden, where she has scurried to upon seeing him. He hands her a copy of the Times after removing the crossword puzzle for himself and then peers at it over his glasses.

He doesn’t speak until Christopher comes to greet him, and then he says, “Who wants a pocket cookie?” and takes a small dog biscuit from his shirt pocket and smiles down at little Christopher, who devours it.

This is how it’s been for the many months since Grant and Paige suffered insurmountable loss. It might be possible to get through it to the other side, but maybe not together, Paige said to Grant one night after one of many arguments about how they should cope. Grant wanted to sit in his old, leather recliner in the downstairs family room and stare into the wood-burning fireplace, Christopher at his feet, drinking a scotch and absorbing the quiet and stillness.

Paige, on the other hand, wanted to scream at everyone she met. She wanted to abuse the police for not finding who was responsible for the hit-and-run. She wanted to spend her days posting flyers offering a reward to anyone with information, even though she knew only eight percent of hit-and-runs are ever solved. When the world didn’t respond the way she needed, she stopped helping run the small restaurant they owned so she could just hole up at home and shout at Jeopardy! and paper boys. She needed to take up space and be loud. They each couldn’t stand how the other was mourning, so finally, Grant moved into the small apartment above their little Italian place, Moretti’s, and gave Paige the space she needed to take up.

Now—almost a year since the tragic day—Grant still comes over every Sunday to make sure the take-out boxes are picked up and the trash is taken out, that she’s taking care of herself and the house isn’t falling apart. And to kiss her on the cheek before he leaves and tell her he loves her. He doesn’t make observations or suggestions, just benign comments about the recent news headlines or the new baked mostaccioli special at the restaurant.

She sees him spot the pair of binoculars on the small table next to her Adirondack chair. She doesn’t need to lie and say she’s bird-watching or some nonsense. He knows she thinks one of the neighbors killed her son. She’s sure of it. It’s a gated community, and very few people come in and out who don’t live here. Especially that late at night. The entrance camera was conveniently disabled that night, so that makes her think it wasn’t an accident but planned. There was a gun next to Caleb’s body, but it wasn’t fired, and there was no gunshot wound. Something was very wrong with this scenario, and if the po-lice won’t prove homicide, she’s going to uncover which of her bastard neighbors had a motive.

She has repeated all of this to Grant a thousand times, and he used to implore her to try to focus on work or take a vacation—anything but obsess—and to warn her that she was destroying her health and their relationship, but he stopped responding to this sort of conspiracy-theory talk months ago.

“What’s the latest?” is all he asks, looking away from the binoculars and back to his crossword. She gives a dismissive wave of her hand, a sort of I know you don’t really want to hear about it gesture. Then, after a few moments, she says, “Danny Howell at 6758. He hasn’t driven his Mercedes in months.” She gives Grant a triumphant look, but he doesn’t appear to be following.

“Okay,” he says, filling in the word ostrich.

“So I broke into his garage to see what the deal was, and there’s a dent in his bumper.”

“You broke in?” he asks, concerned. She knows the How-ells have five vehicles, and the dent could be from a myriad of causes over the last year, but she won’t let it go.

“Yes, and it’s a good thing I did. I’m gonna go back and take photos. See if the police can tell if it looks like he might have hit a person.” She knows there is a sad desperation in her voice as she works herself up. “You think they can tell that? Like if the dent were a pole from a drive-through, they could see paint or the scratches or something, right? I bet they can tell.”

“It’s worth a shot,” he says, and she knows what he wants to say, also knows he won’t waste words telling her not to break into the garage a second time for photos. He changes the subject.

“I’m looking for someone to help out at the restaurant a few days a week—mostly just a piano player for the dinner crowd—but I could use a little bookkeeping and scheduling, too,” he says, and Paige knows it’s a soft attempt to distract her, but she doesn’t bite.

“Oh, well, good luck. I hope you find someone,” she says, and they stare off into the backyard trees.

“The ivy is looking robust,” he comments after a few minutes of silence.

“You think it’s hurting the foundation?” she asks.

“Nah,” he says, and he reaches over and places his hand over hers on the arm of her chair for a few moments before getting up to go. On his way out, he kisses her on the cheek, tells her he loves her. Then he loads the dishwasher and takes out the trash before heading to his car. She watches him reluctantly leaving, knowing that he wishes he could stay, that things were different.

When Paige hears the sound of Grant’s motor fade as he turns out of the front gate, she imagines herself calling him on his cell and telling him to come back and pick her up, that she’ll come to Moretti’s with him and do all the scheduling and books, that she’ll learn to play the piano just so she can make him happy. And, after all the patrons leave for the night, they’ll share bottles of Chianti on checkered tablecloths in a dimly lit back booth. They’ll eat linguini and clams and have a Lady and the Tramp moment, and they will be happy again.

Paige does not do this. She goes into the living room and closes the drapes Grant opened, blocking out the sunlight, then she crawls under a bunched-up duvet on the couch that smells like sour milk, and she begs for sleep.

Excerpted from On A Quiet Street by Seraphina Nova Glass, Copyright © 2022 by Seraphina Nova Glass. Published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.

One Of Us Is Dead by Jeneva Rose Review

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

The owner of a local beauty salon and spa must put her knowledge and relationships with a group of women to the test to help the police capture the culprit behind a gruesome murder in author Jeneva Rose’s “One Of Us Is Dead”. 

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The Synopsis 

The highly anticipated new thriller from the bestselling author of The Perfect Marriage.

Opulence. Sex. Betrayal … Sometimes friendship can be deadly.

Meet the women of Buckhead—a place of expensive cars, huge houses, and competitive friendships.

Shannon was once the queen bee of Buckhead. But she’s been unceremoniously dumped by Bryce, her politician husband. When Bryce replaces her with a much younger woman, Shannon sets out to take revenge …

Crystal has stepped into Shannon’s old shoes. A young, innocent Texan girl, she simply has no idea what she’s up against …

Olivia has waited years to take Shannon’s crown as the unofficial queen of Buckhead. Finally, her moment has come. But to take her rightful place, she will need to use every backstabbing, manipulative, underhand trick in the book …

Jenny owns Glow, the most exclusive salon in town. Jenny knows all her clients’ secrets and darkest desires. But will she ever tell?

Who amongst these women will be clever enough to survive Buckhead—and who will wind up dead? They say that friendships can be complex, but no one said it could ever be this deadly. 

The Review

This is one of the best thrillers I’ve read so far this year. The dialogue and multiple POVs of this read have driven forward a mystery that feels both authentic and surprising all at once. The ways in which these women interact with one another, and the choice to focus solely on the women’s POV and leave the male characters as wildcards was an inspired and satisfying choice for the story. Getting the chance to see the shocking twists and turns not only in the story, but in the shocking bonds these characters form with one another was such a great hook for readers to get invested in the narrative. 

Honestly, this is one of the first books in years in which I was totally surprised by the book’s ending. I love stories like this that make me guess the killer’s identity early on, only to change my opinion several times over the course of the narrative. I had thought I’d figured out the twist until the final few pages when everything flipped on top of its head. What helped this mystery was the identity of the victim, which was kept hidden until the final few chapters of the book. Not knowing this kept the motivations and agendas presented from each of these characters’ POVs so captivating that the real identity of both victim and killer will leave readers reeling. 

The Verdict

Haunting, entertaining, and yet charming in its writing and delivery, author Jeneva Rose’s “One of Us Is Dead” is a must-read novel of 2022, and one of my top picks for the best thriller of 2022. The descriptive nature of the author’s writing style really painted an image of these characters and this small-town setting to life perfectly, and the twists and turns will keep readers hanging off of the author’s every word. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today and be on the lookout for more amazing books from this up-and-coming author!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Jeneva Rose is the Amazon Charts, Apple Books, and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of The Perfect Marriage and One of Us is Dead. Her works has been translated into more than a dozen languages and optioned for film/tv. Originally from Wisconsin, she currently lives in Chicago with her husband, Drew, and her English bulldog, Winston.

https://www.jenevarose.com/

Misadventure Memoirs Book Three: The Ties That Blind by Al E. Boy and F. Carod Review

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

As the hunt to find a missing friend wages on for the Hernandez family, the final few individuals who took part in the criminal syndicate’s sick crimes hunt for the device that still holds their darkest secrets in author Al E. Boy and F. Carod’s “Misadventure Memoirs Book Three: The Ties That Blind”.

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The Synopsis

The Tie That Blinds, the exciting, suspenseful third installment of Misadventures Memoirs, takes up where The Tiger’s Tears left off. Though not a trace of Dale Mathis has been found since the Learjet he was on crashed into the sea, Sofia Hernández and her family haven’t given up hope he is alive and will be found.

Many notable figures are on the run because of the information the tiger USB revealed. Former cohorts of the evil, sadistic Senator Rafael Medina are desperately fleeing not only the long arm of the law, but also the country’s criminal element who have suffered greatly because of their ill-advised vendetta against Chief Ricardo and the Hernández family. Yet, while most have wisely abandoned this vengeful undertaking, a handful of determined characters seem hell-bent on finishing the job.

Surprisingly, the tiger USB did not disclose all of its secrets. Still hidden within is vital information with the potential to easily destroy individuals far more important than the Senator ever was. For those most threatened by its secrets, time is running out to locate the troublesome device before their world of evil comes crashing down. 

The Review

A truly gripping and engaging final chapter in the author’s harrowing action and horror-thriller series. The story does a great job of building upon the suspense and mystery of the last book’s ending. From the fate of Mathis to the state of his relationship with Sofia and their role in the ongoing threads being pulled were all very personal and intimate storytelling at his best, while the action and thrilling moments of organized crime violence and the horrors that occur within them added the creepy and harrowing stakes that this narrative needed.

What stood out was both the way the authors were able to wrap up the narrative and how the new cast of characters really added to the overall story being told. As the final threads of this disturbing crime syndicate being to unravel, the new players are introduced to add new depths of violence and rage to the dangers presented to the protagonists, while the climactic final chapters leave readers hanging on the author’s every word as the dangers to become overwhelming and the losses begin to pile up one on top of the other.

The Verdict

Shocking, action-packed, and brilliantly written, authors Al E. Boy and F. Carod’s “Misadventure Memoirs Book Three: The Ties That Blinds” is a must-read novel and a great conclusion to a captivating action and horror-thriller series! The high stakes of the narrative as lives continue to be put at risk, new criminals emerge, and the story’s heroes must navigate treacherous waters both in the world around them and in their complex relationships made this story shine, and the epic conclusion will have readers thrilled to have stuck with this series from the get-go. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Through almost 40 years as a Santa Claus, Al E. Boy developed quite a repertoire of tales to explain and answer the many questions children ask about Santa, the North Pole, his reindeer, and his friends, the elves.

It was this collection of tales which prompted him to begin writing The Adventures of Fawn. Through the young daughter of legendary reindeer Comet and Vixen, he’s been able to weave an exciting, colorful, imaginative world which will delight readers of all ages!

Mr. Boy not only hopes you enjoy these tales, but make reading them part of your Christmas traditions, as well.

https://aleboysnowflake.wixsite.com/fawn

Misadventure Memoirs Book Two: The Tiger’s Tears by Al E. Boy and F. Carod Review

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

The scattered remnants of a disturbed man’s criminal ring turns their sights on the people responsible for his demise in authors Al E. Boy and F. Carod’s “Misadventure Memoirs Book Two: The Tiger’s Tears”. 

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The Synopsis

Misadventures Memoirs’ second installment, The Tiger’s Tears, finds Sofia Hernández and her friend Dale Mathis in Guadalajara, building new lives and new homes with the generous rewards they were given by Tiara Tillman. The dangers and uncertainties of Cancun seem far away. But trouble is brewing. The aggressive nationwide investigations into Martin Tillman’s network of deviants, rapists, and murders results in many old homicide cases being re-opened and re-examined. Not a few careers and lives are ruined in the process. Before the long arm of the law can reach them, very powerful people deem it necessary to seek retribution and revenge on those they hold responsible for Tillman’s death, and the unraveling of their web of evil. Sofia, Mathis, and her family suddenly find themselves the target of the remnants of Tillman’s blackhearted, vengeful gang of miscreants. 

The Review

The authors really elevate the action and tension in this novel. Building upon the horrors and chills of the first book, the author does a great job of balancing the terrifying criminals hunting down the main cast of characters with an abundance of action and suspense that evoked a sense of cinematic imagery in the author’s writing. The character growth was great in this book and did a wonderful job of naturally developing the bonds and relationships the protagonists had with the rest of the cast of characters, both allies and foes alike. 

Yet what really stands out about this book and the whole series from these authors is the tension and atmosphere that they build. The reality of this narrative and how twisted criminal networks like this can, have and will operate around the world is a truly chilling thought, and the author’s ability to dive into this mentality while also providing an entertaining read was nothing short of masterful storytelling.

The Verdict

Haunting, adrenaline-fueled, and engaging, authors Al E. Boy and F. Carod’s “Misadventure Memoirs: The Tiger’s Tears” is a must-read book and a great sequel to one terrifying first adult thriller. With a cliffhanger ending that leaves one character’s fate up in the air and a shocking series of twists and turns that test the protagonists’ resolve time and again, the creepy murders and terrors that arise out of reality make this a gripping criminal thriller to behold. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Through almost 40 years as a Santa Claus, Al E. Boy developed quite a repertoire of tales to explain and answer the many questions children ask about Santa, the North Pole, his reindeer, and his friends, the elves.

It was this collection of tales which prompted him to begin writing The Adventures of Fawn. Through the young daughter of legendary reindeer Comet and Vixen, he’s been able to weave an exciting, colorful, imaginative world which will delight readers of all ages!

Mr. Boy not only hopes you enjoy these tales, but make reading them part of your Christmas traditions, as well.

https://aleboysnowflake.wixsite.com/fawn

Misadventure Memoirs Book One: Little Girl Scream by Al E. Boy and F. Carod Review

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

The young woman running her family’s best hotel finds herself immersed in police investigations as a series of deaths and murders hits the hotel, and with the help of an English professor she must thwart the sinister forces behind these crimes before its too late in the authors F. Carod and Al E. Boy’s “Misadventure Memoirs Book One: Little Girl Scream”.

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The Synopsis

Absolutely nothing can compare to the Hotel Amatista, Cancun’s premier luxury resort. The jewel in her family’s chain of 5 star hotels, Sofia Hernández is in charge, and the young woman takes great pride when she hears guests remark the hotel makes them feel like they’ve died and gone to heaven. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what’s been happening lately, Young guests vanish, only to turn up the next day…abused, tortured…and dead. Sofia suddenly has her hands full dealing with police investigations, trying to ease her guests’ fears, and doing her best to save the Amatista’s reputation. And, with no way of knowing if the sadistic culprit is a hotel employee or a guest, stopping the killings will be no easy task. With the help of Dale Mathis, a visiting English professor, she is able to thwart further abductions and murders, but her interference draw the ire of the sinister mastermind who decides Sofia must pay for her boldness. To make matters even worse, her new friend becomes the number one suspect of the Cancun police.

The Review

The author really did an incredible job of creating a captivating and creepy murder mystery and thriller. For personal context, my first introduction to Al E. Boy was through a children’s Christmas series of books, and so when I got this request to review his new adult thriller series, I was shocked. The chilling cover of the book immediately put me in a creepy vibes type of mood when starting the read, and the chilling opening chapter set the tone for this thriller.

I loved the balance the author found between the more disturbing and shocking horror/serial killer moments of this thriller with the more personal and heartfelt character development, especially between Sofia and Dale, whose friendship develops into something truly inspiring by the book’s end. The mystery is well developed over time and the detailed descriptions brought about a haunting imagery to the writing that will instantly draw horror fans into this thriller.

The Verdict

Gripping, mind-blowing, and entertaining, author Al E. Boy and F. Carod’s “Misadventures Memoirs: Little Girl Scream” is a must-read action/horror thriller and the perfect start to a captivating series. The imagery and haunting tone of the narrative, along with a brilliant narrative that twisted and turned with shocking developments that readers wouldn’t see coming, made for a story that is not to be missed.  Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Through almost 40 years as a Santa Claus, Al E. Boy developed quite a repertoire of tales to explain and answer the many questions children ask about Santa, the North Pole, his reindeer, and his friends, the elves.

It was this collection of tales which prompted him to begin writing The Adventures of Fawn. Through the young daughter of legendary reindeer Comet and Vixen, he’s been able to weave an exciting, colorful, imaginative world which will delight readers of all ages!

Mr. Boy not only hopes you enjoy these tales, but make reading them part of your Christmas traditions, as well.

https://aleboysnowflake.wixsite.com/fawn

Wings of Prey (The Gift Legacy Book 6) by J.P. McLean Review

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

A woman must put everything on the line when the mystery of her father’s disappearance finally takes center stage in author J.P. McLean’s “Wings of Prey”, the sixth book in The Gift Legacy series.

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The Synopsis

A dead man’s warning. A lost plane wreck. A buried truth.

A dire warning from beyond the grave leaves Emelynn Taylor questioning her loyalties. Did someone she loves commit an unforgivable act of treachery? In her quest for answers, Emelynn opens a painful cold case knowing its resolution could destroy two families.

What she finds tests Emelynn’s integrity as the leadership changes hands within the Tribunal Novem, the powerful body that rules her kind. When confronted with betrayal and lies, Emelynn must follow her moral compass, even if it means losing the man she loves and alienating her Flier friends.

And when the terrible truth is unearthed, Emelynn is set on a collision course with two titans and a battle she can’t possibly win.

The sixth book in The Gift Legacy series, Wings of Prey is a thriller that skirts the edges of reality in a world within our own. Hold on tight and escape the ordinary: take flight with Emelynn Taylor.

The Review

Having followed this series for a few months now, I have been so curious to see how the author would finally address the main character’s backstory with her father’s mysterious plane crash. After several books dealing with the politics of the secret society of Fliers, and the human organization that discovered their identity, it was so refreshing to see the author bring a more personal narrative to balance out the politics and conspiracy that the main character has been facing for so long. It felt like a very “full-circle” moment in the series, and the shocking twists and turns the narrative takes will put everyone Emelynn has come into contact within the hot seat. 

The intense personal journey that Emelynn goes on really stands out to me as a reader. The passion and emotions that she goes through s friendships, relationships, and love interests all come into play in this investigation, and learning the truth behind her father’s disappearance will blow open this entire series. The tension and atmosphere are so well executed as a result of this, and the action feels much more intense and important as each revelation is made.

The Verdict

Harrowing, gripping, and heart-pounding thriller meet fantasy, author J.P. McLean’s “Wings of Prey” is a must-read novel! While the author has crafted a truly brilliant world that fans would love to see visited time and time again, the narrative told here was so perfectly told that if need be this would serve as a great series ending. The twists and turns in this truly personal tale of seeking the truth and the delicate balance between revenge and justice made this one story no one will be able to put down. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

JP (Jo-Anne) McLean writes contemporary fantasy thrillers with a provocative edge. She is best known for The Gift Legacy series. The first book of the series received Honorable Mention at the WhistlerIndependent Book Awards. Reviewers call the series addictive, smart and fun.

Her books include endorsements from Ethel Wilson fiction prize winner, Jennifer Manuel, and Globe and Mail bestselling author,Elinor Florence, among others. The series has been described as fantasy light and is a good introduction to the genre for the uninitiated.

Jo-Anne neglects the gardens and housework to write full time from her home on Denman Island, off of Canada’s west coast. She writes best when she’s within sight and sound of water, even if it’s just a fountain, and hopes never to stop reading, writing or imagining the impossible.

Assassin: A Roberto Duran Novel by Ramon del Villar Review

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

A Houston-based lawyer going about his life helping his clients when he discovers his life is in danger from a cold-blooded killer as a result of his last big case in author Ramon del Villar’s “Assassin: A Roberto Duran Novel”.

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The Synopsis

Roberto’s life is in danger. His role in the acquittal of Manolo has earned him the wrath of the mysterious Cesar. As the intrepid attorney goes about his mundane life, helping his clients and reconnecting with old friends, he must guard against attack. Will Roberto survive this cold blooded killer’s vendetta? Join Roberto in this second installment of the Roberto Duran series. Discover his earlier exploits in Payback.

The Review

The author continues to inject life and a thriller genre feel into a high-octane drama. The exploration of the legal system in such brilliant detail added such depth and realism to the character evolution and the mystery narrative. The way the author was able to show the main character’s work as a lawyer in court for cases while also alluding to a larger narrative working in the shadows that was much more personal to the main character struck just the right amount of balance in this novel.

The other balance came from the main character himself. The ability to give both Roberto’s professional life and personality their own time to shine in this narrative as well as his personal life was amazing to watch unfold on the page, and the passion for which the character fought for both his family and his clients was what made him such a fun character to invest in.

The Verdict

Gripping, entertaining, and fast-paced, author Ramon del Villar’s “Assassin” is a must-read legal and global thriller! The changing settings and the look into how the legal system works in different countries (and how each country’s system works as borders are crossed), made this such a fascinating read, and the mystery finale will have readers eager for more amazing thrillers from this author. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today! 

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Ramón del Villar is a lawyer, a black belt in karate, a teacher, a private pilot and an author. He recently retired from his day job as Senior Interpreter in Houston for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. His nonfiction text, An Interpreters Anatomy of a Civil Lawsuit, is available as a bilingual resource and he is working on the next adventure of Roberto Duran, intrepid attorney. 

Mrs. Varman by Sanjeeta Behera Review

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

A loving and hard-working wife struggling to connect with her husband finds her world turned upside down after a chance meeting in author Sanjeeta Behera’s “Mrs. Varman”. 

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The Synopsis 

Julia is a versatile wife. She could relish a chicken burger with ease or lick her fingers off spicy chicken curry accompanied by frequent gulps of water when having them along with her husband Sachin. She loved to add variety to her cooking as well be it American, Chinese or Indian. She could acclimatize in a different cultural background, though not very different since Sachin was born and brought up in America with roots in India.

She could travel to anyplace with him as well, but not just because of her love for him, she loves to travel and explore herself. If all this doesn’t make you feel that she is versatile then wait till you reach the end of the Novel and explore the ups and downs in her life, her experiences and multiple characters that come to life in your way.

She travelled all the way to India along with Sachin. On the sweaty, tiring days of summer and on days that she would hanker for her husbands love she did feel low and discouraged. But she was able to get out of it. She couldn’t keep her hair on though at times during her highs or lows. She didn’t want to. She wanted to express it when happy and burst out in tears when not.

Vijay, especially notorious and ignorant what Lalbagh Colony would describe him as, got flattered by grace or sophistication. Within a shanty dwelling, he thought cutlery of silver was not out of reach, still he could fumble when his fake branded t-shirt just welcomed a real one.

He had a dramatic past and thinks that Julia can help him get what he was missing in his life.

Julia travels, explores, adjusts to different environments, learns a lot and this story will take you through her fascinating journey that includes a thrilling experience.

The Review

This was an incredibly well-balanced novel. The author did a great job of balancing out the intrigue and mystery of the narrative with the romance and the family drama of the character development. The rich atmosphere and setting the author crafted were expertly brought to life through the perfect combination of imagery and tone, conjuring up the varying settings in a way that made them almost a characters unto themselves.

The character development was truly the highlight of this narrative, mainly due to the great emphasis on culture and the cultural clashes and similarities that we all share. The back and forth travel between the U.S and India, as well as the backstories and cultures of the cast of characters, made situations experienced by many the world over feel fresh and unique, and drew me in as a reader. This also helped elevate the main mystery as it was revealed and became the glue that held the structural balance between this mystery and the humor and drama of the main characters.

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The Verdict

A memorable, heartfelt, and entertaining read, author Sanjeeta Behera’s “Mrs. Varman” is a must-read romance thriller of 2022. The unique cultural perspective and the fast-paced family drama and mystery help elevate this story of love, marriage, and what happens when relationships feel the strain of life and we struggle to find our true identity in life. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

https://www.facebook.com/Sanjeetas-Hub-102569265741908/?ref=pages_you_manage

The Conned Lady (Wild Blue Mysteries Book 5) by Diane Bator Review 

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

A mystery surrounding an eccentric writer’s late husband and his untimely demise sends Katie and her detective boyfriend Danny on a dark and dangerous path, where everyone is a suspect and everyone is equally in danger, in author Diane Bator’s “The Conned Lady”, the fifth book in the Wild blue Mysteries series.

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The Synopsis

Eccentric romance novelist Mimsy Lexington has a secret.

When she approaches Katie Mullins to help find details around her late husband’s death, Katie and her boyfriend Danny Walker are drawn into a web of lies and deceit. The deeper they dig, the more they realize the biggest dangers may lurk close to home and need to suspect everyone—including Mimsy.

The Review

A truly brilliant and inviting cozy mystery meets an adrenaline-fueled crime thriller! The novel does an excellent job of balancing out nods and characters from previous entries in the series with the new narrative that both new and returning readers will be able to dive head-first into. The atmosphere smoothly dips into humorous character dialogue between friends to tense and heart-pounding terror as threats begin to emerge all around the cast of characters. The focus on the cold-case narrative was so fun and relevant to read, as so many cold cases tend to go unnoticed or fade into obscurity, but hold as much mystery as more high-profile cases. 

The character development in this narrative was superb. Getting to see the intimate moments of Katie and Danny’s relationship and the impact of their pasts coming back to haunt them in the midst of this investigation, as well as the mystery surrounding Mimsy and her late husband’s shady dealings, drew me in as a reader and kept me invested throughout this novel. The small-town setting and quick pace of the narrative kept the plot moving at an even pace, and made the characters feel real and relatable all at once. 

The Verdict

An entertaining, mysterious, and intriguing read, author Diane Bator’s “The Conned Lady” is the perfect next entry into the Wild Blue Mysteries series. The harmony found between the character growth and the suspense of this case the protagonists find themselves in made this story shine so brightly, and the twists and turns the narrative takes will keep readers on the edge of their seats as the climax finally plays out. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Diane Bator is a prolific writer published by BWL Publishing. She is a member of WCYR, Sisters in Crime, and a board member for the Crime Writers of Canada. She is the author of several mystery series and a budding playwright.

https://dianebator.ca/