Book Review: Black Water by Whitney Skoreyko

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Black Water by Whitney Skoreyko
Reading Level: Thriller

Publication Date: September 5, 2018
Pages: 214

Book Summary: About a year has passed since Hannah lost her twin brother. Unable to cope with the loss of her best friend, she buries herself in her work at the hospital. When her friends drag her out for her birthday, it seems like she might finally be ready to put her life back on track. And then she meets the man with the green eyes . . . She is warned about him, but she cannot stay away. Strange events start occurring, causing the truth about her brother’s accident to unravel. Something isn’t right about his cause of death, and she no longer knows who she can trust. Her parents? Her friends? How deep are the lies buried? She needs to uncover the truth before it’s too late.

Book Review: Who loves a good, mysterious plot that keeps you on your toes until the very end? I do, I do! The narrative starts off with Hannah, a likable character who lost her brother unexpectedly. Her grief and search for her brother’s mysterious death was emotionally moving throughout the chapters.

While she continued to roll through the motions of life, she met a stranger who swept her off her feet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s quite possible to find undeniable chemistry, it just all seemed a bit fast for my taste. Her naive choices drove me nuts at times. But, hey everyone is different! The man with the green eyes, did however surprise me. I don’t want to say too much as to not ruin the fun in getting to know these characters.

As the plot unraveled, the twists and turns were quite entertaining. By the conclusion, I was not expecting that outcome at all! It definitely blindsided me. Whitney sure knew how to deliver the shock value we all yearn for as thriller readers. Overall, Black Water was an easy read, that I breezed right through. I look forward to reading more of Whitney’s works in the future!

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

About The Author

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Whitney Skoreyko is a first-time author. She lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband and two dogs. When she’s not writing, she works as a certified occupational therapist specializing in chronic pain.

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Book Review: For Better And Worse by Margot Hunt

81Y0hdZfPrLFor Better And Worse by Margot Hunt
Reading Level: Thriller
Publisher: Mira
Publication Date: December 11, 2018
Pages: 336

Book Summary: On their first date back in law school, Natalie and Will Clarke bonded over drinks, dinner and whether they could get away with murder. Now married, they’ll put the latter to the test when an unchecked danger in their community places their son in jeopardy. Working as a criminal defense attorney, Nat refuses to rely on the broken legal system to keep her family safe. She knows that if you want justice…you have to get it yourself.

Shocked to discover Nat’s taken matters into her own hands, Will has no choice but to dirty his, also. His family is in way too deep to back down now. He’s just not sure he recognizes the woman he married. Nat’s always been fiercely protective, but never this ruthless or calculating. With the police poking holes in their airtight plan, what will be the first to fall apart: their scandalous secret—or their marriage?

Book Review: What would do if your child was put into harm’s way? Would you choose the ethical choice or take matters into your own hands? In Margot Hunt’s psychological thriller, For Better and Worse, Natalie and Will were put to the test to decide between these two alternatives. As a parent, I emotionally connected with the story from start to finish. I was curious to see how it was all going to end.

Margot’s duo narrative, created an opening for the reader to tap into each character’s mind. Each personality, right down to the behavioral traits, were well developed. I have to say, I was not a big fan of Will. He just seemed like such a lost, kitty cat. At times, I wanted to yell, “snap out of it you man child!” While, Natalie was a strong, and high strung female who would do anything to protect her child. As a mother, I resonated a lot with her decisions, even if they could be morally wrong in the eyes of others.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel, and the ending left me smirking like a sociopath. 😂 Even though, Margot’s flow of writing is fluid, the dark undertone of the plot is what got me. Sometimes you have to read in between the lines and really see the characters for who they really are. I’m looking forward to reading more works by this author!

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

About The Author

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Margot Hunt is the pseudonym of a bestselling writer of twelve previous novels. Her work has been praised by Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist and Kirkus Reviews. BEST FRIENDS FOREVER is her first psychological thriller.

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Book Review: Seed by Ania Ahlborn

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Seed by Ania Ahlborn

Reading Level: Horror
Publisher: 47North – Amazon Publishing
Publication Date: July 17, 2012
Pages: 250

Book Summary: With nothing but the clothes on his back—and something horrific snapping at his heels—Jack Winter fled his rural Georgia home when he was still just a boy. Watching the world he knew vanish in a trucker’s rearview mirror, he thought he was leaving an unspeakable nightmare behind forever. But years later, the bright new future he’s built suddenly turns pitch black, as something fiendishly familiar looms dead ahead.

When Jack, his wife Aimee, and their two small children survive a violent car crash, it seems like a miracle. But Jack knows what he saw on the road that night, and it wasn’t divine intervention. The profound evil from his past won’t let them die…at least not quickly. It’s back, and it’s hungry; ready to make Jack pay for running, to work its malignant magic on his angelic youngest daughter, and to whisper a chilling promise: I’ve always been here, and I’ll never leave.

Country comfort is no match for spine-tingling Southern gothic suspense in Ania Ahlborn’s tale of an ordinary man with a demon on his back. Seed plants its page-turning terror deep in your soul, and lets it grow wild.

Book Review: Gritty, dark, and demonically delicious, Seed is yet another example of Ania’s notable artistic capability as a horror writer. Reading this creeptastic story late at night, I possessively became entranced at the darkness that lived within the pages.

Jack, ran away from his life in Georgia as a young child. He started fresh and created his pride and joy of a family with his wife and two beautiful girls. One day, his youngest, Charlie, started to portray erratic behavior. Jack started to remember his nightmarish experiences through his daughter’s unforseeable wickedness. From that point on, this family’s future would be changed forever. I don’t want to give away too much because the narrative speaks for itself.

The chill that ran up my spine as I read throughout the chapters undeniably surprised me. It takes a lot for an actual book to get under my skin, the way Seed did. And as for the finale! Oh my goodness. The ending had just the right shock factor and I couldn’t help wonder if maybe a sequel was underway?

All in all, Seed would appeal to any horror reader or for anyone looking to step away from the infamous Stephen King and try a female horror writer for a change. In my eyes, Ania is the queen of horror, no ifs, ands or buts! The woman is such a masterful storyteller that formulates each and every grain of a book. The intense plot, and well-developed characters devised a perfectly executed horror! I will continue to storm through all her works until she releases fresh material.

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

About The Author

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Born in Ciechanow Poland, Ania has always been drawn to the darker, mysterious, and sometimes morbid sides of life. Her earliest childhood memory is of crawling through a hole in the chain link fence that separated her family home from the large wooded cemetery. She’d spend hours among the headstones, breaking up bouquets of silk flowers so that everyone had their equal share.

Ania’s first novel, SEED, was self-published. It clawed its way up the Amazon charts to the number one horror spot, earning her a multi-book deal and a key to the kingdom of the macabre. Seven years later, her work has been lauded by the likes of Publishers Weekly, New York Daily News, and the New York Times.

She hopes to one day be invited to dinner at Stephen King’s place, where she will immediately be crushed beneath the weight of her imposter syndrome.

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Book Blitz Blog Tour: Freefall by Jana Williams

About the Book:

The deep-space transport ship, the Vera Rubin, is light years from Earth when botanist Elle Silver begins to question the use of their space-travel drug, HCH.  Elle notices a growing number of her friends and  fellow colonists awaken from their 90-day sleep cycles exhibiting a variety of negative side-effects and she begins to believe the drug is the culprit.  Some of the effects are minor, dry eyes and lack of appetite. Other symptoms are a bigger concern on a tiny ship packed with colonists.  With each sleep cycle completed, more and more colonists awaken both confused and barely concealing a simmering rage – rage that could be a catastrophe on a ship as crowded as the Vera Rubin.  Elle needs proof, but she also needs a plan. If the drug that allows them to travel deep-space is at fault, what then?  Elle and her friends Ashok, Achebe and Jin-Hai are pressed to their limits to find a solution to their problem before the ship erupts into chaos… with light years left to travel.

Find FREEFALL on Amazon.Com & Amazon.In

Guest Post:

As a guest writer for a post on books – I thought that rather than talk about my novel, FREEFALL per se…. readers like yourself might be interested in how the book came to be written. I think when we discover a book that really engages us, we begin to believe that writers are some mythical beings with a special ‘secret’ ingredient that allows them to write.

This could not be further from reality in my case and in many other writers’ lives too. The only ‘secret’ ingredient I might possess is a dogged determination to get my story onto the page. I learned determination and persistence from my mother. My mother also seeded in all her daughters an absolute love of reading and storytelling. Although, I continue to be the only writer in our immediate family, my sisters actively read books and even lead book club discussion groups too.

Growing up in a household of females (my father deserted us) was pivotal to my central attitude about life. I believe that there is very little that a determined girl or woman cannot accomplish. As a child, there was no one to tell me ‘girls can’t do that’ OR if my sisters did say it – I immediately set out to prove them wrong. This attitude is woven into the story of FREEFALL throughout the book.

The other tenant of the book is the importance of curiosity. I spent a fair bit of time alone as a child, poking into things, exercising my curiosity about how things worked, why they worked and even sometimes dismantling things to find out if I could make them work again. My single mother had very little extra money to fix toys that were broken or even buy new ones. So all of us girls became adept at putting dolls back together, or gluing tea sets that got broken or putting wheels back on wagons to get them working again.

In the book Elle reminds herself that curiosity is a good thing, it can lead to new ideas and discoveries of importance that might have gone unnoticed by others who never asked the question ‘Why?’ Asking yourself why and then setting out to find the answer can lead to amazing things. As you will see, Freefall reflects core values that I hold that women are smart, capable and caring – and can do almost anything if they try.

My own sense of adventure stems from my curiosity about life here, on this planet – which led to speculation about life – out there in another corner of the universe. Another core belief of mine is that you don’t have to have a degree from a university to write and write well. What you do need is the desire to tell an engaging story. The best place to learn how to do that is from inside a book where you can read, read, and read.

Once you’ve read a fair number of books, start mentally sorting them out into the ones you liked and the ones that were just okay – but not spellbinding. And finally, what about the books you didn’t like? Stack them up, and then start thinking about the ones you liked – What did they have in common? Do the same mental exercise with the books you didn’t like – What did they have in common? You will learn as much about writing from what you didn’t like – as from what you did. Once you know what you like in a book, you’re ready to start writing your own story.

It’s important to write something you would enjoy reading yourself, because if you’re writing a novel you’ll be spending days and weeks and months in the world you’re creating. So it better be a place that you look forward to visiting – you owe it to yourself to make it so. I truly loved every minute of writing Freefall. The editing portion was a challenge for me – because it is a bit like cleaning the house; necessary and important but certainly not thrilling to do.

Freefall came into being because I love good Science Fiction and Fantasy – and I hoped to write a story worthy of some that I have read. Also Freefall came into being because I was persistent enough to sit down every morning before going to work (and sometimes after work too) to continue writing Elle’s adventures with her friends. I would spend hours thinking about what would happen next, so that I would have a focus for the next days writing. And then, when I was done with the first draft, I willingly put in more time to fix the things that needed fixing to make the story more clear and uncluttered.

And of course you must be wondering, ‘Have I started the sequel?” Of course I have! I can’t wait to see what happens next in the Amalie Noether Chronicles. I hope you will join me in reading FREEFALL. Be assured – Elle’s adventures will continue in space in the next volume of the series.

About the Author:

Jana Williams is certain that fiction can change people’s lives – especially women and girls.  Her own life is testimony to that fact.  One of five daughters, she was raised by a single-mom who placed a high value on reading and storytelling.

The ability to read, coupled with a child’s innate curiosity about the world, and access to books to satisfy that curiosity can offer significant opportunity to a child. Like most writers Jana has bounced from job to job, absorbing stories, cultures and customs as she worked.  She has been a high-speed motion picture photographer, a VFX coordinator, worked in the film industry, and the publishing trade as a book seller – a publisher’s rep and now an author.

But her first love is reading…. and with each book of the Freefall trilogy sold Jana will donate funds to Literacy agencies around the world whose work is to bring the joy of reading to others.

Enjoy a good adventure story and help others learn to read at the same time !

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Book Review: The Neighbors by Hannah Mary McKinnon

 

91VGCna5NwLThe Neighbors by Hannah Mary McKinnon
Reading Level: Thriller
Publisher: Mira Books/Harlequin
Publication Date: March 13, 2018
Pages: 384

Book Summary: After a night of fun back in 1992, Abby is responsible for a car crash that kills her beloved brother. It’s a mistake she can never forgive, so she pushes away Liam, the man she loves most, knowing that he would eventually hate her for what she’s done, the same way she hates herself.

Twenty years later, Abby’s husband, Nate, is also living with a deep sense of guilt. He was the driver who first came upon the scene of Abby’s accident, the man who pulled her to safety before the car erupted in flames—the man who could not save her brother in time. It’s this guilt, this regret, that binds them together. They understand each other. Or so Nate believes.

In a strange twist of fate, Liam moves into the neighborhood with his own family, releasing a flood of memories that Abby has been trying to keep buried all these years. Abby and Liam, in a complicit agreement, pretend never to have met, yet cannot resist the pull of the past—nor the repercussions of the terrible secrets they’ve both been carrying…

My Review: Dear Hannah Mary McKinnon, where have you been all of my life? My thriller lovin’ readers, The Neighbors is a must buy! Words cannot express, the emotional rollercoaster I just experienced. I literally read 250 pages straight. Yes, 250 pages! I just couldn’t put the book down, it was attached to my hand everywhere I went.

Long story short, Abby lost her brother in a tragic accident, that changed her world forever. Because she blamed herself for his death, she pushed everyone away, except for Nate. He was the only guy who seemed to understand her the most, especially since he saved her from the accident. Fast forward many years later, guess who Nate and Abby’s new neighbors are? Liam, her ex soulmate and his wife, Nancy. Mmhmm, once they moved in, the whirlwind of drama engulfed me and didn’t let go. My eyes couldn’t keep up fast enough. I was so obsessed with finding out the truth behind all the secrets and betrayals unraveling throughout the chapters.

I loved how each individual had its own narrative in the story. Hannah did a superb job in grasping the persona behind each character. The development was so well written, that I resonated with every one of them. By the conclusion, I lost my mind. I literally had to put the book down so I could grasp the outcome. And as I continued, I couldn’t help but gasp in shock. At one point, I actually teared, which is rare for me as I read. I cannot stress enough how stimulating this book was! I highly recommend The Neighbors, if you’re looking for a book with an unforgettable story. It’s not a typical thriller, it’s more of a twisted story full of family secrets and an everlasting love that could turn everyone’s world upside down. 2019 has to hurry up so, I could read more of Hannah’s new releases coming out!

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

About The Author

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I was born in the UK, grew up in Switzerland and moved to Canada in 2010. After a long and successful career in recruitment, I quit the corporate world in favor of writing. My first novel, Time After Time (a lighthearted rom-com) was published in June 2016. My second, the domestic suspense story The Neighbors, arrived March 2018. My third, Her Secret Son, will follow in May 2019, my fourth in 2020. 🙂 I live in Oakville, Ontario, with my husband and three sons, and I’m delighted by my twenty second commute.

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Book Review: The Last Night Out by Catherine O’Connell

Untitled.jpgThe Last Night Out by Catherine O’Connell
Reading Level: Thriller
Photo Credit: Taken by me
Publisher: Severn House

Book Summary: After drinking too much at her bachelorette party, Maggie Trueheart wakes to find a stranger in her bed. To make matters worse, a phone call brings the devastating news that her friend Angie was murdered some time after they parted ways the night before.

Kelly Delaney, who left the party early, is the first of Maggie’s friends to face questions from Chicago homicide detective Ron O’Reilly. After taking a closer look at the other women who attended the party, O’Reilly concludes that at least some of them are lying.

As the clock ticks down to the wedding day and more shocking secrets are revealed, the murderer zeros in on another one of the girls. Can the killer be stopped before there is another victim?

My Review: A group of girl friends are out celebrating Maggie’s bachelorette party. It’s all fun and games until one of them ends up dead in the woods the next morning. My immediate thought was, who did it!? I had to know what happened to Angie so, I started reading like a mad woman.

Catherine’s fluidity of words created a smooth ride until the last chapter. The beautifully detailed narrative, helped me play out every scene in my mind. Each word felt like I was biting into a fresh donut. Sounds tasty right? Now think of it in a literary sense, it was so satisfying that I never lost sight of the storyline or characterization of each individual.

Even though this novel had a decent amount of different personalities, I had the chance to understand each and every one. Even the characters with small roles had a voice. I appreciated the fact that her development didn’t falter. It kept a steady pace until the climax. And boy what a climax! I would have never guessed the outcome. Angie’s killer will keep you guessing no matter how hard you’ll try to piece it all together.

Overall, a thrilling read that’ll suck you into a world filled with betrayals, secrets and an unforgivable murder. The Last Night Out will not be the last book I read by Catherine. She’s a fantastic author and I can only imagine what’s in store for us next!

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5

About The Author:

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Chicago native Catherine O’Connell is the author of two novels, Well Bred and Dead, and Well Read and Dead. After graduating from the University of Colorado School of Journalism, she worked at a variety of jobs including hotel maid, bar manager, floor runner at the Chicago Board of Trade, sommelier, and as a sales executive for fine wine company Kobrand Corp – providing her with insight into many different walks of life that she is able to incorporate into her writing.

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Author Chit Chat: Amina Akhtar (#Fashionvictim)

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Did you ever want to get to know the author behind these amazing books we read? Well, look no further! On today’s Author Chit Chat, it’s an honor to have Amina Akhtar, author of Fashion Victim. For those of you not familiar with her debut, two words, it’s hysterically killer. No pun intended!

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1) Congrats on your thrilling debut! What inspired you to write #Fashionvictim?

Thank you! I wanted to combine my fashion background with my intense love of all things scary and horrifying. Seriously, I love horror so much. And Anya is that perfect mix of chic and creepy. I also really love the idea of a woman character just being unapologetically insane and homicidal.

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2) When you first saw the cover for #Fashionvictim what were your initial thoughts?

I laughed! I’m a few hours behind my publishers out here in AZ so I was in bed when I saw it. I thought it was hilarious.

3) If you could re-name your book title, what would you choose?

I can’t! When I came up with the idea and sat down to write the book, the title was already in my head. I feel it’s too much a part of the book to rename it.

4) In your past careers in the fashion industry, can you relate to your main character Anya in some ways?

Yes! I think we can all relate to wanting to get ahead, wanting to be liked. Or even just wanting something so badly you can taste it. And I always felt awkward and not really part of the fashion world which I wanted Anya to feel as well.

5) If you could hang out with one of your fictional characters in #Fashionvictim, who would it be and why?

Jack, hands down. He may be shady, but he’s so much fun. I’d hang with Anya if she promises to not kill me.

6) Do you have any quirks or rituals during the writing phase of a novel?

I take notes on my phone constantly. There are probably 50 current notes of random thoughts I have about a book that I don’t want to lose. So if you see me typing on my phone, I could be plotting how to kill you.

7) Last but not least, do you have anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?

I hope they enjoy the book! I’m a big fan of reading whatever you want whenever you want. I don’t care if it’s a vampire romance novel or literary fiction: Read what makes you happy. And I hope #FashionVictim does just that.

Thank you Amina for taking the time out to do this amazing interview! I cannot wait to read all your future books.
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Amina Akhtar is a former fashion writer and editor. She’s worked at Vogue, Elle.com, Style.com, NYTimes.com, and NYMag.com where she was the founding editor of The Cut blog.  She’s written for numerous publications, including Yahoo Style, Fashionista, xoJane, Refinery29, Billboard, and for brands like Bergdorf Goodman and H&M’s 10 Years of Style tome. After toiling in the fashion ranks for over fifteen years, she now writes full time in the desert mountains, where she’s detoxing from her once glam life. #FashionVictim is Amina’s first novel.

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