What You Hide by Natalie D. Richards #TuesdayBookBlog #bookreview #YA #thriller

Spencer volunteers at the library. Sure, it’s community service, but he likes his work. Especially if it means getting to see Mallory.

Mallory spends a lot of time keeping her head down. When you’re sixteen and homeless, nothing matters more than being anonymous. But Spencer’s charm makes her want to be noticed.

Then sinister things start happening at the library. Mysterious symbols and terrifying warnings begin to appear, and management grows suspicious. Spencer and Mallory know a homeless teenager makes an easy target, and if they can’t find the real culprit soon, they could lose more than just their safe haven…

As a total book nerd, a library setting is what drew me to this novel initially.  Not only are there strange happenings afoot in the library, this book portrays teens dealing with devastating real-life issues such as emotional abuse, homelessness, and unsafe home environments.

In the first couple of pages, I met Spencer and immediately loved his voice.  He possesses a wicked sense of humor, is a bit mischievous, and, as a senior in high school, is trying to figure out his future and where he fits in the world.  Mallory’s situation is heartbreaking.  With a controlling and emotionally abusive stepfather who’s made Mallory’s mother practically a prisoner in her own home, Mallory chooses homelessness over staying in an unsafe environment.  It’s obvious the author performed extensive research into available resources for people in these dangerous situations, and includes a hotline number in the author’s note.

Something I particularly admire is the way the parent-child relationships are portrayed.  In Mallory’s case, the roles are nearly reversed.  As a level-headed teen with a talent for problem-solving, she senses the danger at home, researches options, and tries to convince her mother to leave.  With Spencer, he’s dealing with his own issues in addition to helping Mallory, but eventually realizes he needs his parents’ help, and is even encouraged by a friend to talk to them.  When Spencer’s future plans don’t line up with his parents’ expectations, they keep an open mind and listen to his ideas.

What You Hide is billed as a YA romantic thriller, but I’d describe it as more of a YA thriller/contemporary/coming of age story.  Maybe there’s a bit of insta-love, but the romance is adorable, and not the primary focus of the story.  Add this to your TBR today.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the digital ARC.

 

 

The House Always Wins by Tom Minder #bookreview #thriller #TuesdayBookBlog

Someone is shooting up Dirty Sam’s.

Will the Long Harbor police get their man, or woman, before a casino heist, a slots player who disappears in a puff of smoke, a crossbow-toting florist, and an undercover agent who makes a mean goulash, complicate the investigation.

Oh, for the simpler days of illegal gambling.

The quirky character descriptions alone intrigued me before I even knew what this book was about.  A cross-bow toting florist?  I needed to know more about this person.

Long Harbor is filled with some unsavory characters, and it’s difficult to figure out who’s trustworthy – but that’s part of the charm of this book.  There’s no shortage of suspicious characters, and they’ll keep the reader guessing where their loyalties lie, and who did what.

Character development is a strength for this author, and I could easily envision each character, along with their good traits, flaws, and weaknesses.  I also snickered several times over things they did or said, and imagined an Ocean’s Eleven-type soundtrack playing in the background.

Although the author wrote another book set in Long Harbor with several of the same characters, both are considered standalones.  I struggled with the extensive character list – remembering who was who, but that could be because I didn’t read the first book.  I wouldn’t say reading it is a necessity, but it may help with the confusion.

If you enjoy quirky, well-written characters, a briskly paced plot, and a good heist story, I highly recommend The House Always Wins.  

I received an ARC from the author.

The Fox, the Dog, and the King (Cassie Tam Files #2) by Matt Doyle #bookreview #LBGT #thriller

New Hopeland City may have been built to be the centerpiece of the technological age, but some remnants of the old world still linger. The tools of the trade have changed, but the corruption remains the same, even in the criminal underworld …

When PI Cassie Tam and her girlfriend Lori try to make up for their recent busy schedules with a night out at the theatre to watch the Tech Shift performer Kitsune, the last thing they expected was for Cassie to get a job offer. But some people are never off the clock, and by the end of the evening, Cassie has been drawn into a mundane but highly paid missing pet case. Unfortunately, in New Hopeland City, even something as simple as little lost dog can lead you down some dark paths.

Until now, Cassie wasn’t aware that there even was a rabbit hole, let alone how far down it goes. 

I read the first book in this series earlier this year, and immediately became a fan of Cassie Tam.  She’s a confident, successful woman in her PI business, but when it comes to romantic relationships – that’s where she’s challenged.

In this book, Cassie is struggling to find her footing with new girlfriend, Lori, and  balance their relationship with her workload.  She’s still charmingly awkward, and while she may not say exactly the right things, she honestly means well.  With encouragement from Lori, she’s also learning to be friends with her ex-girlfriend.

Upon realizing Cassie’s new case involves dog fighting, as an animal lover, I was a bit leery of how much detail would be given and wondered if I might have to skip some pages.  No worries – the fighting happens ‘off-screen’, and my heart was spared.

While the first book in this series focuses more on the fascinating tech and world-building, I felt like I got to know Cassie better in this new novel, and her snark is still one of my favorite qualities.  Action, mystery, twists, and a touch of romance make The Fox the Dog, and the King another intriguing addition to this light sci-fi series.  I wouldn’t saying reading the books in order is a necessity, but it would help with understanding more about the world-building and Cassie’s backstory.

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

#BadMoonRising: The Rigel Affair by L.M. Hedrick #thriller

Werewolves?  No, thanks.  Intruder in the house?  This author takes a more practical approach.  Welcome L.M. Hedrick!

Vampires, ghosts, werewolves, or zombies – which would you least want to meet in a dark alley?

Werewolves – I don’t mind being scared, but being eaten and turned into a rabid creature is not my idea of a good dinner.

Have you ever played with a Ouija board?

Yes, and like to believe they work J

You’re home alone, but you hear footsteps in your house–what do you do? 

Grab my Walther PPK and confront.

How do you develop your plots and characters? 

Put myself in the scene and into the minds of the character… become the character and see the world through their eyes.

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers? 

A Top quality desk and chair, great computer, pleasant surroundings – so that you can transport yourself into the story without local interference.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? 

I am an expressionist Artist – so painting and being with my wonderful husband Bud.

What are you working on now? 

The sequel to The Rigel Affair.

Abandoned by his part-Cherokee Ma, Charlie Kincaid escapes servitude with his uncle. He jumps a boxcar, accompanied by his schoolmate Roxy, who is escaping troubles of her own. Charlie becomes a US Navy Diver.

Mattie Blanc is from a genteel New Zealand family. But when her brother’s friend persuades her to take a ride, it all goes horribly wrong. Desperate, she flees her family’s stifling expectations for a new life in Auckland.

After the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack, Charlie sets sail for Auckland aboard the USS Rigel. And there she is, the girl of his dreams. Mattie is everything that Roxy isn’t—sophisticated, tender, and patient. But the war intervenes… Rigel embarks for the Pacific war zones.

Charlie’s letters are sporadic. Mattie is tormented by doubts; did he truly love her, or was it only a dream?

The Rigel Affair produces a rip-roaring wartime romance and chilling danger unknown to most.

Pre-order Link

The Rigel Affair is available for Pre-Order at a 15% Discount prior to Dec 27,2018, using Promo Code PREORDER2018 only at:  http://www.blackrosewriting.com/historical-fiction/therigelaffair

It is also available for Pre-Order at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and GoodReads, but no coupons apply.

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-rigel-affair-l-m-hedrick/1129687245

https://www.amazon.com/Rigel-Affair-L-M-Hedrick/dp/1684331625/ref=sr_1_1

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42079571-the-rigel-affair

Author Bio

Lynette grew up listening to her mother Mattie’s stories about her WW2 love for US Navy Diver Charlie. She used Mattie’s 30 letters from Charlie, and together with her insightful editor/advisor husband, Bud, they completed extensive research to give reality to The Rigel Affair. Lynette has published multiple short stories for NZ magazines. Both Lynette and Bud have completed numerous Creative Writing courses at Auckland University. Lynette is an accomplished expressionist Artist, with works sold internationally.

Social Media

Website:  https://lmhedrick.com/
YouTube Video:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCD6z_DVDYSgKUWptAfjp2DQ
Twitter page:  https://twitter.com/lmhedrick
Author Blog:  https://lmhedrick.com/category/blog/
Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/lmhedrick/
Instagram Page:  https://www.instagram.com/lmhedrick/
Pinterest Page:  https://www.pinterest.nz/lynette5567/pins/
LinkedIn Page:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/l-m-hedrick-88b822124/
Google Plus Page:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/101171457191732133324

#BadMoonRising: End It By The Gun by Kenechukwu Obi #thriller

Today’s author has a unique weapon of choice when faced with the zombie apocalypse.  Welcome Kenechukwu Obi!

Creepiest thing that’s ever happened while you were alone?

The feeling that the dead were about to descend on my head.

You’re home alone, but you hear footsteps in your house–what do you do?

I will take a walk around to try to figure out where they could be coming from.

In a zombie apocalypse, what is your weapon of choice?

I will put on zombie costumes, hit the streets, blend with the zombies, act like blood-tasty zombies too.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?

There are many of them. I would say Harlan Coben, Sandra Brown, J. K. Rowling, Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka and William Shakespeare to mention just a few. These authors and many more like them have inspired me to push the boundaries, do away with conventions in unapologetic manner, and to be very ambitious and not to be ever afraid of inventing my own writing styles that may not be popular.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Sometimes I relax by hanging out, playing some music, seeing a movie or a play, reading fun magazines and books by other writers.

What are you working on now?

I am currently working on having my next novel published. I have also completed the first draft of another novel.

Strong ambition drives Beck Blades, an aspiring writer from rural Nebraska, to become obsessed with having big Hollywood studios make movies based on his fiction stories. Taking a heavy toll on his marriage, Beck’s writing ambition soon proves hard to achieve. However, he is not a man to give up, even as rejections trail his efforts. He continues to write one fiction story after another with no breakthrough, until he writes his eleventh one, the unusual one, which grabs headlines through an unexpected route. Success begins for Beck, but little does he know his female literary agent has an extra plan way beyond representation.

Buy Link

Amazon

Author Bio

Kenechukwu Obi (Ken Obi) is a Canadian writer. On the literary side of things, in which there is more in him to come, he loves to put ideas and imagination to work, creating novels, short stories, articles, plays, poetry, and song lyrics. He is a business administration student of the University of Regina in Canada.

Social Media

https://www.facebook.com/enditbythegun/
https://www.facebook.com/kenechukwu.obi.7
https://twitter.com/raskenko

#BadMoonRising: Defined (Price MacCann Assassin Series #1) by Mary Ellen Quire #thriller

It’s the weekend!  And mine is fantastic, because we have family here for the next few days – and Halloween is just around the corner.  Today’s featured author knows the part she’d play in a horror movie – and has even written a mini scene about it.  Welcome Mary Ellen Quire!

You’re in a horror movie.  Are you the final person, the first to die, the comic relief, the skeptic, the smart one, or the killer?

I think it would be a tie between skeptic and the first to die.  My character would be like “Oh, come on!  There is nothing hiding in the closet.  It’s just your imagination.”  Character opens closet door to reveal an axe murderer.  One swing.  Yep, first to die.

Vampires, ghosts, werewolves, or zombies – which would you least want to meet in a dark alley?

I’d have to say zombies.  In fact, out of all monsters of lore they are my least favorite.  There’s just something about a mobile rotting corpse that sends chills up my spine.

If you were paid to spend the night in a haunted house, would you do it?

Of course but I wouldn’t want to do it alone.  Someone needs to be there to dial 911.

What is the hardest part of writing?

Straight up for me is just doing it.  When I first started writing, it was easy as pie to stay focused.  As the years have gone by though, there are more and more distractions pulling me away from the computer screen.  The struggle is real folks.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?

If I were to be honest, I’d have to say Stephen King.  I love the way he uses his character’s thoughts to develop them and give them life.  When I first started reading his work I found this style annoying, thinking it was more like mental word vomit, but reading on through many of his books I came to love it.  The style helped me get to know more about the character and even though I couldn’t always relate to him/her it created a bond and made the tale even more entertaining.

With that in mind, I have been putting more and more of this creative style into my own work.  Character development is truly one of my favorite things about writing.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Well, reading of course.  I also am a documentary junkie; astrology and history are my favorites.

Price MacCann grew up in a family of vigilantes. Trained as an assassin, her kill rate was matched only by the Reaper himself until she witnesses a death which hits too close to home. After a year of trying to put it all behind her and live a nine to five life, she soon finds it may be more difficult than she realized. With her family pushing her to return to the fold, a tall, dark and handsome stranger coming to town and a series of mysterious notes demanding her expertise, Price is faced with the decision to define normal for herself.

Buy links:

Defined Print Version:  https://www.amazon.com/Defined-Price-MacCann-Assassin-1/dp/1948374013/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Defined Kindle Version:  https://www.amazon.com/Defined-Price-MacCann-Assassin-Book-ebook/dp/B0794CJX3B/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Author Bio

Born and raised in Kentucky, Mary Ellen Quire has been dabbling in the craft for nearly three decades. As a child, she found a love for reading and a fascination for anyone with the ability to tell a good story. Wanting to be just like the grownups who would sit around the kitchen table to swap all kinds of tales, she began creating her own to read in front of family and friends just for fun. When she took Mrs. Wallace’s creative writing class at Henry County High School, the childhood interest kindled a tiny spark. However, it would be another four years after graduating from Kentucky State University with a degree in psychology that this slight fancy could morph into a passion.

After Mary’s fourth and last daughter was born, she started writing short stories and bits of poetry which she kept to herself until the secret hobby was discovered by a family member who urged her to pursue it further. In 2005 her first novel, Link Detonator, was published under the name Mary E. Rose, with the sequel Detonator Time’s Up following a year later. Her vampire novel, Dark Deliverance, was released under the name Mary Ellen Quire in 2010 and in 2014 Sheldon’s Diary was published with tales of two knighted felines that are members of a secret animal society known as The Paws for the Imminent Cause. If you’re interested in sneaking peeks at these crazy animal adventures, you can find them on her blog page http://www.facebook.com/pawsfortheimminentcause. Back Home Magazine printed her article Choosing Your Veterinarian in their July/August 2014 issue and in January of 2018, the first book in the Assassin Series, Defined, was released by Enigma House Press.

At the present time, she resides in the quiet town of Crestwood with various animal squatters who have somehow managed to hitch a ride to the Quire abode.

Social Media

Author Website: http://www.maryellenquire.net
Facebook Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/authormaryellenquire
Goodreads Author Page:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5267103.Mary_Ellen_Quire

#BadMoonRising: Jack the Ripper Live and Uncut by Matt Leyshon #thriller #TuesdayBookBlog

Mention the name Jack the Ripper, and it conjures images of blood, death, and mutilated bodies.  Most of us have read books about him, or novels with characters based on Jack.  Today’s featured author is here with his version of this unidentified serial killer.  Welcome Matt Leyshon!

You’re in a horror movie.  Are you the final person, the first to die, the comic relief, the skeptic, the smart one, or the killer?

I think I could be any one of these, but I’ll go with the smart one. Skeptic and killer are definitely not me.

Vampires, ghosts, werewolves, or zombies – which would you least want to meet in a dark alley?

Werewolves I think. Vampires, I could make crosses out of anything, ghosts can scare, but not hurt, and zombies I feel I could out run or climb.

Creepiest thing that’s ever happened while you were alone?

When I was twenty I had a dream in which I was combing my hair. When I went to the bathroom in the morning my hair was neatly combed.

How do you develop your plots and characters?

I usually establish an outline to for the backbone to work on. I will remove some thing and add others as I write the story but I usually want to have a foundation in place. For my stories, research is essential so preparing before writing is basically mandated.

For characters I create a profile of them and determine a description of them physically as well as pretending to be somebody who knows them best and was asked to describe them in 10 words. That lays the ground work for what persona they are going to have and it also defines their action in the story.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?

Many things, but if I had to describe my literary idols it would be Martin Cruz Smith, Edgar Allan Poe, Ben Elton, James Patterson and Dan Brown.

I would say my writing is a hybrid of all of these authors. Cruz Smith (character development), Poe (writing that is creepy/eerie, focus is on turning the creep factor up to 11, not the gore), Elton (humor, even in a crisis), Patterson (cliff hanger chapters that urge the reader to continue) and Brown (braiding historical lore with fiction as well as giving readers puzzles to solve).

What are you working on now?

A sequel to Live and UnCut, expanding on the Carl Axford mysteries, using time travel to solve famous cold cases.

The latest/second installment presents the notion that half a dozen famous musician deaths, (that have been ruled accidental or suspicious), are connected and there is potentially a present day target. The working title is “Cult Following: A Carl Axford Mystery”/ I am 200 pages in at this point and am enjoying it a lot. My proof readers have given it a very enthusiastic thumbs up as well, which definitely fuels me to write more.

When you want to solve the greatest cold cases of all time, you don’t find the witnesses, you become the witness.”

Investigative Reporter Carl Axford is offered the story of a lifetime. When recruited by Limbo, (a covert group that uses unique technology to solve cold cases), Axford is presented the chance to crack the greatest cold case in existence. Catch Jack The Ripper!

The opportunity of a front row seat to the Jack The Ripper murders seems too good to be true. What will Axford discover in 1888? Will he be able to identify history’s greatest criminal and bring him to justice? Or does Victorian Whitechapel hold further secrets that influence events of the past as well as the present?

Jack The Ripper may not be the only mystery Axford has to solve.

Buy Link:  https://matt-leyshon.com/store/

Author Bio

I was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, before moving to the USA and have been here for the last 14 years. I am a humble Solutions Architect for a software company by day before morphing into a fervent writer at night.

Since the age of six I received my first encouragement to write from my 1st Grade teacher and have always enjoyed writing. I like to tell stories, but the promise made to Ms Gooch way back when has taken me nearly 4 decades to fulfill that promise.

My family, friends and colleagues will be the first to tell you I am not short of a word.

“Jack the Ripper: Live and UnCut” is my first published novel. I plan to grow this book into a series featuring many of the core characters from Live and UnCut. Other great unsolved cold cases will be subject to investigation through the use of time travel. Carl Axford has other adventures ahead.

I have also appeared as a panelist on Rippercast and at Rippercon, to discuss Live and UnCut as well as Jack the Ripper in fiction. I have appeared in several episodes of the Star Chamber podcasts and featured at the New Author Breakfast at Bouchercon.

I currently live in Tampa, Florida, with my wonderful wife Susan and my gorgeous children Reece and Charlotte.

Social Media

Website
http://www.matt-leyshon.com
FaceBook
Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100018687133566
Live and UnCut Page – https://www.facebook.com/JTRLiveAndUnCut/

Twitter
@mleyshonauth

Instagram
mattlleyshonauth9

Represented by
Victress Literary
@victresslit