Instincts: Savannah PD Series by Rachel Renee #bookreview #thriller #suspense #TuesdayBookBlog @AuthorRachelRM

Instincts: A way of thinking or feeling that is not learned. 
Instincts: Drivers of behaviors.
Instincts: Help us to survive.

An abandoned factory in the dead of night—urine and decay permeating the air, setting the scene for the most recent horror film—only this isn’t the movies. The silhouette of the person hanging from the rafters is real life and the beginning of a case.
I’m detective Eliza Sheppard and it’s my job to determine what has happened to someone at the end of their journey here on earth. It’s my job to catch the guys or gals who felt it was in them to end that person’s journey. And it’s my job to put those criminals behind bars. Armed with my team of detectives, and most importantly my instincts, I set out to find what happened to respected Savannah business woman, Loretta Michaels. With little evidence and doubts from others, I am driven to follow a lead that many others suspect could be a wild goose chase. Will my instincts lead me to a killer? And how far am I willing to go to bring the killer to justice?  –

This is the first book I’ve read in this series – and it wastes no time tossing the reader into the midst of a puzzling murder.  Eliza has worked hard to get where she is; the drive to put criminals behind bars is in her blood, being passed down from her father.  She’s a flawed, charismatic protagonist with a strong affinity for margaritas, a determined, match-making mother, a best friend who may or may not want to be more, and little time for a personal life.  In short – someone most readers can identify with in some way.

With several characters seemingly having motive and opportunity, it’s not immediately clear who the murderer is, and I suspected nearly everyone at some point.  That’s what makes an engaging crime thriller, right?

If you’re a fan of intriguing crime fiction that keeps you guessing, this is a series to look into.


House of Dusk, House of Dawn: The House of Crimson and Clover by Sarah M. Cradit #bookreview #paranormal

Dive into the secret, ancient, powerful world of two New Orleans families, the Deschanels and the Sullivans…

From USA Today bestselling paranormal author Sarah M. Cradit comes House of Dusk, House of Dawn, the final installment in the bestselling witches family saga, The House of Crimson & Clover. Not a standalone story, this novel’s plot makes the most sense only after having the prior volumes.

This is the end.

This is the beginning.

The stage is set. The players, ready.

A midnight dynasty, cursed to fall. An empire of shadows, determined to rise once more.

Here they are, at the end of everything.

One wrong move spells irreversible defeat.

But, ah, what if they win? –

Saying goodbye to some of these characters was bittersweet.  After spending so much time with them throughout this series, they seem almost real, but it was satisfying to see them reach a natural conclusion to their storylines – some with their happily ever after, some with the potential for one, and others… spoilers here, folks.  A few of them will show up in the author’s new series (I was thrilled to read my fav character is one of them), so it’s not a final farewell for all.

This is a gratifying ending to a fabulous paranormal series that did justice to its characters.  Don’t try diving into this series in the middle, you’ll drown in confusion – instead, start at the beginning and let these characters tell you their story.

I received an ARC of this book from the author.


#IndieAuthor Friday Genevieve Jordayne #Romance #History @GenJordayne

Today’s indie author’s story most likely developed from her ‘daytime job’ and the life experiences of her grandfathers.  Welcome, Genevieve Jordayne!

Frontline Angel takes its readers from 1940s Wisconsin to the Philippine Islands just prior to World War 2 and through the Japanese occupation and liberation. It tells the tale of Eliza-a small-town Midwestern girl with dreams of travel and adventure who enlists with the United States Army Nurse Corps despite her parents’ protests. Eliza will find the fun and adventure she desired as well as an unexpected romance with a handsome soldier. Yet all changes overnight as war destroys her tropical paradise. Our heroine must quickly adapt in order to survive the harsh, unforgiving jungle climate, and become a skilled combat nurse on the frontline. The story will take you from the fall of the islands through the terrible conditions endured by those placed in internment camps and their struggle for liberation. Can Eliza find the strength and courage needed to survive such horror and still emerge with her spirit unbroken?

Frontline Angel was recently named the Winner in the FIRST NOVEL (60,000-90,000 words) Category of the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards (NGIBA).

What do you wish you’d known before you were published?

I wish I would have had a list of great, reliable editors and would have understood that not all editors actually do the same type of editing. I didn’t realize there were content editors, line editors and probably more that I still don’t know about. Editing is so important but even when you cough up several hundred dollars it doesn’t mean the editor you chose is actually all that good.  There are so many of them when you do an online search!  So, from now on, I’m reaching out to other authors that I feel have well edited works and getting recommendations from them.

How did publishing your first book change your writing process?

With my first novel, I didn’t have much for structure or timeline in my writing. I was just so happy to finally get the story down on paper that had been running free in my mind for so many years.  Since then I’ve started to work on being more focused, creating outlines, and sticking more to a timeline for completing tasks.

What is something memorable you’ve heard from your readers/fans?

What has been most memorable for me is when I meet a reader who has personally been alive and affected by events in my work (I write historical fiction) and shares with me the emotions that my stories brought out, the memories they evoked, and the gratitude they express in having someone share these stories with the world. That’s what it’s all about for me.

What’s your favorite kind of cookie and why?

Salted caramel stuffed chocolate chip cookies. My entire life my favorite cookie has been good old dependable, delicious chocolate chip cookies.  But now I discovered they come stuffed with this amazing sea salt concoction and after all these years I’ve had to upgrade my cookie choice.

What’s the last thing you watched on TV/Netflix?

I’m currently part way through the Breaking Bad series. It has a plot based around very illegal business happenings but it is so fascinating watching the character development throughout.

Book you’d want with you if you were stranded on a desert island?

It would be so hard to only have one book with me so hopefully they rescue me soon. But if I had to have a book to read over and over for a while I think it would have to be The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. It’s long enough to help pass some time and has such fascinating historical references as well as a fast paced, intriguing plot.

Author Bio

Genevieve Jordayne has proudly worked in the field of nursing for nearly a decade.  In addition to writing her novels, she is a practicing Family Nurse Practitioner and nursing history aficionado. Genevieve lives in rural Minnesota with her husband, three little boys, and two rambunctious boxers.

Genevieve became interested in war history from her beloved grandfathers–Don who was an avid reader and Richard who served in WW2 in Pearl Harbor. In nursing school she was challenged by a professor to learn about the roots of the nursing profession.  Through this exploration Jordayne was able to gain a larger appreciation for the struggles and triumphs of nurses throughout time.

Jordayne is currently working on her second novel.

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Sanctuary (Immortal Soulless #2) by Tanith Frost #bookreview #urbanfantasy @TanithFrost

Pushing papers at a werewolf sanctuary is the last assignment Aviva would have wished for. It’s the bottom rung of the career ladder for a vampire, a job that will leave her isolated from most of her kind as she watches over members of a species whose very existence threatens the secrecy of the supernatural world. Her only consolation is the promise of peace and quiet. After all, the werewolves may be troublesome, but they’ve kept their own secrets for a century.

But the situation at the sanctuary is not all it appeared to be when Aviva received her assignment. Age-old tensions between vampires and werewolves come to a head when a human in a nearby village is found brutally murdered and suspicion lands squarely on the sanctuary’s supernatural inhabitants.

When the pack leaders refuse to turn the killer in to face justice, Aviva knows her elders will do anything to keep their world safe from humans, even if it means wiping out the werewolves for good. With the help of a mistrustful female and a relentlessly tempting alpha male, it will be up to Aviva to overcome the instinctive hatred between their species and catch a murderer before the human world takes notice—and before the sanctuary turns into a battleground. –

As with the first book in this series, the author continues to portray vampires, and now werewolves in an original way.

Aviva knows what’s expected of her from her vampire clan, Maelstrom, but still struggles with unacceptable human traits in her new ‘life’.  The clash between clan expectations and her own values creates ongoing, dangerous conflict and several times I wondered how, or even if, she’d find her way out of predicaments she’d gotten into.  Daniel again maintains a frustrating distance, and has secrets yet to be revealed.  Several new characters are introduced in this book, and one in particular didn’t turn out as I’d expected.

The vampire books I’ve read far outnumber those with werewolves, but I’ve never come across anything like Frost’s interpretation.  Female readers in particular will enjoy this version.

Sanctuary kept me riveted, and I finished the book in two days.  For vamp/werewolf fans who’ve grown weary of repetitive storylines, give the Immortal Soulless Series a try – you won’t be disappointed.

I received a digital copy of this book from the author.

Kind Nepenthe by Matthew V. Brockmeyer #bookreview #horror

Rebecca thought she’d find a hippie paradise when she moved to the desolate back hills of Humboldt County. A place to commune with nature and teach her five-year-old daughter how to live off the land. Instead she discovered a nightmare.

Coyote is a washed-up pot grower. Strung out on pills and dealing with dropping prices and looming legalization, he wonders if it’s even worth it anymore.

Diesel Dan abandoned his son for a life of methamphetamine and prison. Now he wants to make amends. He’s going to be a grandfather. But his son is on the same dark road of drugs and violence that once consumed him.

These characters will come together in an explosive ending that will leave you stunned and breathless. But more than just a gripping horror novel, Kind Nepenthe is a deep examination into the nature of love and greed, lost ideals, and the essence of evil in one of the last frontiers of the American West. –

Kind Nepenthe is more of a slow burn horror story, and while reading, it reminded me of what they say about putting frogs in tepid water and bringing it to a boil.  These characters aren’t quite aware of what’s happening to them until it’s too late.  Several reviews I’ve seen have commented on the lack of connection with the characters because they’re so unlikable.  While it’s true they don’t possess many redeeming qualities, I didn’t miss that connection to enjoy this grim tale.  Although a slow burn initially, it heats to a rapid boil at the end.



The Angel Killer by April Taylor #bookreview #suspense #thriller #RBRT #TuesdayBookBlog

Deryn Steele has an unwanted psychic gift leftover from a near-death experience. He can read people just by touching them. His friend, DCI Harry Curzon pulls him into the hunt for the killer of blonde, blue-eyed 12-year-old girls in the Lincolnshire seaside town of Thorpe St David, the Angel Killer..
Deryn meets Terri Fordham, aunt of the latest victim, who has survived an attack. It is a shock when he cannot read Terri, but this feeds his growing feelings for her making him determined to catch the predator. It soon becomes clear, however, that this killer won’t stop and is not only still targeting Terri’s niece, but also Terri. Can Deryn keep the girl and her aunt safe and unmask the murderer? – Goodreads.

It’s been a little while since I’ve read a suspense/thriller, and with the main character having a psychic gift allowing him to ‘read’ people, this one grabbed my attention.

Deryn Steele is a likable MC, and I have a soft spot for anyone who loves their pet as much as he does.  I enjoyed the spin his gift/curse put on the story, sometimes giving him an advantage.  He’s had somewhat of a rough life, but his problems aren’t yet behind him.

This is a well-written novel offering a number of characters with varying motives for the reader to eliminate as suspects.  I have to admit, I figured out ‘who dunnit’, but the reason was somewhat of a surprise.  The author does a wonderful job at characterization, making even the supporting cast well-rounded.

Something I didn’t care for, and this is just a personal preference, is the amount of romance (insta-love) in the novel.  There was such an emphasis on the romantic aspect, I felt it overshadowed the urgency of tracking down a serial killer/rapist of 12-year-old girls.  I’d even consider classifying this as more of a romantic suspense novel.

If thrillers and romance with a dash of paranormal is your preferred brand, I’d definitely recommend The Angel Killer.

I received a digital copy of this book through Rosie’s Book Review Team.

#IndieAuthor Friday Allen Long #Memoirs

It’s Friday!!!!!  Today’s indie author is Allen Long, here with his memoir, Less Than Human.  It’s received positive reviews, with one Amazon reviewer stating the ‘….writing style is unique in that in draws the reader in, tells of sadness experienced by the author, but has an undertone of triumph and joy.’

“In Less than Human,” Allen Long tells the story of his often nightmarish childhood in the wealthy suburbs of D.C., the wonders and mysteries of teenage love, his ill-advised journeys into corporate America and a hellish marriage, and ultimate breakdown. And yet, his story is mostly one of triumph. He draws strength from the joys of fatherhood, he finds true love in his second marriage, and through working with psychotherapists and leading a life rich in self-examination, he overcomes both child abuse and the resulting PTSD, finally learning that instead of being less than… he is, indeed… human.

“Less than Human” follows an unconventional path, arranged as much by theme and association as by chronology. These stories take many forms, from driving narrative to lyrical reverie, at times evoking mythic overtones, and this variety, along with an unflinching confrontation with the conditions and consequences of childhood abuse, creates its own form of suspense-in what direction will this book take us next?

What are your favorite books in your genre?

My favorite memoir books include:

  • This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff
  • Townie by Andre Dubus III
  • Into Thin Air by John Krakauer
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Wherever I Wind Up by R.A. Dickey
  • Fortunate Son by John Fogerty
  • A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett
  • Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
  • Clapton by Eric Clapton

What is something memorable you’ve heard from your readers/fans?

One reviewer said she enjoyed the high number of surprises in the book and not knowing what was going to happen next.  My book is about how I overcame child abuse, PTSD, and a nightmarish marriage before finally finding true love and happiness.  Several readers have commented that the narrator’s triumphant and joyful voice assures the reader that everything will turn out all right. I divorced my first wife because she cheated on me several times and was verbally abusive to our three sons and me. When my oldest son read my book, he thanked me for making his mom a well-rounded sympathetic character, despite her bad behavior. This is my favorite comment.

What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?

My book is populated by a number of villains, the three worst being my parents and my ex-wife.  While I’ve made peace with my parents, my ex-wife has been hostile toward me since we split up in 1992, despite the fact that I was the wronged party. My ex-wife’s family and I believe she has a chemical imbalance in her brain that she has never attempted to correct by working with a psychiatrist. I wish her good luck in fighting this affliction.

What’s your favorite kind of cookie and why?

Chocolate chip.  In general, I’m not crazy about cookies.  I find them too sweet without satisfying flavor, but chocolate chip cookies really hit the spot.

Any unusual talents or hobbies?

I’ve been swimming ever since I was five.  Swimming was a great comfort to me as I was growing up in an abusive household. I actually became addicted to swimming as an adult. My book contains the story of my swimming addiction and cure.

What’s the last thing you watched on TV/Netflix?

Current favorite TV shows include The Walking Dead, Black Sails, Game of Thrones, and The Magicians. Also, just watched the movie Arrival.

Author Bio

Allen Long was born in New York City and grew up in Arlington, Virginia. He holds a B.A. in journalism from Virginia Tech, an M.A. in fiction writing from Hollins University, and an M.F.A. in fiction writing from the University of Arizona. He has been an assistant editor at Narrative Magazine since 2007, and his fiction and memoirs have appeared in a wide variety of literary magazines. He lives with his wife near San Francisco.

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