Book Blitz & Excerpts: Dark Falls By Lori Ryan & Savannah Kade

Book Blitz & Excerpts: Dark Falls By Lori Ryan & Savannah Kade

Titles: Dark Falls; Dark Secrets
Author(s): Lori Ryan and Savannah Kade
Series: Dark Falls series
Release Date: October 9th, 2018

Available:
Dark Falls
Amazon/B&N/iBooks/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

Dark Secrets
Amazon/B&N/iBooks/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

inn - about the book

Dark Falls

A cop hunting a violent thrill seeker. A woman from his past. Will their history and heated attraction put his case on ice?

Detective John Sevier never wanted to be anything but a cop. When a string of jewelry store heists threatens the woman he let get away years before, he’ll stop at nothing to bring the adrenaline junkie gang leader to justice.

Ava McNair never looked at her life as a sacrifice. She loves taking care of her dad and running her family’s jewelry store with her special needs sister. So what if that meant dropping out of college and leaving behind a man who just might have been the one? When fate gives her and the detective who got away a second shot at love, will she step up and take it or will life tear them apart again?

With Ava in the path of a killer, will John be able to move fast enough to take down a violent man set on wreaking as much damage as he can before he goes down?

Dark Secrets

When Grace Lee storms into the Dark Falls Police Department, heads turn. But she only has eyes for Detective Nate Ryder—the officer who closed her brother Jimmy’s case too quickly, declaring his death a suicide rather than a murder. As a forensic scientist, Grace thinks the signs are obvious, the trick is convincing Nate.

Nate has to admit Grace’s argument makes a lot of sense, and he feels obligated to revisit the case. The problem is, while he’s following the old evidence, she’s collecting new samples—and putting herself in danger from the same organization that killed her brother. Jimmy was definitely onto something before he was murdered. Now, Nate has another worry: some of the new evidence Grace has found points back to members of the Dark Falls PD. 

As strange coincidences turn deadly, Nate has to become Grace’s protector. They don’t know who they can trust and who they can’t. Will Grace and Nate be the next victims in a massive cover-up? Or can they figure out which cops are dirty fast enough to stay alive? 

inn- about the author
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Savannah Kade grew up in East Tennessee and started writing when she was only 8 years old. It was a romance for the ages, but it will never see the light of day. She’s been writing ever since and fighting for heroines who are quirky but not dumb, heroes who are real men, and for love stories that are more than just a cute trope. She now lives outside of Nashville with her amazing husband and 2 kids. She can usually be found working on her next novel.

Contact

Website/Facebook/Twitter

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Lori Ryan is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance with steamy love scenes and characters you won’t want to leave in the pages when the story is over.

Lori published her first novel in April of 2013 and ​has fallen in love with writing. ​She is the author of the Sutton Capital Series; the Heroes of Evers, Texas; and the Triple Play Curse Novellas, a set of novellas with sexy baseball players at their core as part of Bella Andre’s Game For Love Kindle World. She has also published in Melanie Shawn’s Hope Falls Kindle World and in Robyn Peterman’s Magic and Mayhem Kindle World.

She lives with an extremely understanding husband, three wonderful children, and two mostly well-behaved dogs in Austin, Texas. It’s a bit of a zoo, but she wouldn’t change a thing. She loves to connect with her readers. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter or subscribe to her blog.

Contact

Website/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads

 

gb- excerpt

Dark Falls

Ava McNair smiled as she watched the couple leave her store. She loved seeing couples find the perfect engagement ring to start their lives together. These two were young, but she could see the devotion in the way they looked at each other.

He’d come in ahead of time to choose a ring, then told his girlfriend he needed to swing by and pick up a watch his mom left to be repaired. The look on her face was priceless when he dropped to one knee after Ava passed him the ring box.

“Nice,” Kirsten James said, winking at Ava from her spot by the door. The woman might look harsh in her guard uniform, but she was as much of a softy when it came to that kind of thing as Ava was.

Ava grinned and turned to go to the back to check on her sister, but the door chimed again. What she saw when she looked back was anything but expected.

The man entering her familys jewelry store had filled out. His face was different, worn in a way, but in a good way. At least, she thought it looked good on him. His eyes were the same, though.

John Seviers eyes trapped and held her, his light brown gaze doing things to her just like they had years before when shed been stupid enough to walk away from him.

To say he was the one who got away was an understatement. Shed been so naïve and focused on all the wrong things at that time in her life. She never realized what she was losing until it was far too late for her to do anything about it.

Not that she would have been able to hold on to him anyway. Halfway through college, her life had changed drastically, and she’d had to drop out to help her dad and sister. She would have lost John then, anyway. Still, an eighties rock ballad was playing in the back of her head somewhere as she thought about not knowing what you had ’til it was gone.

Kirsten stiffened and looked ready to move into action if Ava didn’t say anything. It was no wonder. A six-foot-one man who looked like he could eat glass for breakfast if he got the craving, was standing frozen in their showroom. And Ava probably looked like a deer in headlights.

“John.” Ava breathed the word out, then shook herself to clear the fog. She waved a hand at Kirsten. Its all right. Johns an old friend.

She thought she saw something flicker in his eyes at the words, but if it had been anything more than her imagination, it was gone.

Um…” Ava looked around the showroom. One of her salespeople was on the other side of the store helping an older gentleman pick out a bracelet for his granddaughter. Kirsten was still staring at her and John.

Ava swung a hand in the direction of the workshop and offices at the back of the store. We could, um…”

Thankfully, John nodded, seemingly unconcerned at the fact she couldn’t seem to get a sentence out that didn’t include “um.” Scratch that, she hadn’t actually gotten a complete sentence out, period.

She went to the back, hoping to pass right through the workshop where her sister, Janna, designed most of the jewelry they carried. They had other artisans who worked for them, repairing jewelry and watches and such, but Janna was their only bench jeweler. Anything in their cases that her sister didn’t make was ordered from jewelry wholesalers or outside artisans.

Janna stood at her bench, the spotlights that surrounded her all aimed at a four-inch square space in front of her as her hands worked with small samplings of metals and gems. Janna had a habit of getting lost in her work, but today when Ava hoped she might do just that, her sister looked up.

Janna’s eyes went from Ava to John and back to Ava in a comic demonstration of her surprise at seeing a man with Ava.

Yeah, it was somewhat of a shock to Ava, too.

John, this is my sister, Janna. Janna, John and I were friends in college.Ava watched as Jannas eyes went wide.

John smiled and nodded. Whether he remembered Ava mentioning Jannas issues with anxiety when they dated, or he just read people really well, she didn’t know. But for whatever reason, he didn’t offer his hand to Janna to shake. That was good. It was what Janna was more comfortable with.

Janna looked to Ava. Big John?

Oh Lord.

Ava’s cheeks flamed hot, and she knew they must be red. She and Janna shared everything, which meant Janna knew all about the John Ava had dated in college. She just hadn’t expected Janna to put the man standing before her together with their conversations about John in college. And yes, Janna had truly nicknamed him Big Johnin college, but it wasn’t for the reasons one might think.

Not that he couldn’t have earned the nickname that way. Back in the day, one of Ava’s friends had described John’s body as “call him if you need your house moved over a few inches” kind of big. She wasn’t wrong.

Ava put her hands to her cheeks, and a small semblance of a laugh slipped from her lips. She dodged Johns smiling eyes and Jannas impish grin without answering and led the way back to her office.

She could try to explain to John that Janna had given him the nickname because that was how hed seemed to her at the time. Ava had talked about John so much when they were dating that Janna had labeled him big” in Ava’s world.

She didn’t know how to say all that without making the whole situation worse, though, so she clamped down on her lips, imprisoning them between her teeth as she shut the door behind them.

The look he gave her told her he was enjoying this far too much.

For your information,she said, crossing her arms, Big John is another John. Not you. It’s…” she didn’t have any ideas… “someone else.

Uhhuh.” He matched her crossed arms and let a smile cross his face.

 

Dark Secrets

Grace didn’t usually spray luminol and pull out her black light when she entered a motel room. But today she held the light up and frowned at the blood revealed by the generously applied chemiluminescent.

Old blood was everywhere. Small spots peeked out from under the edge of the bed where the old polyester blanket touched the carpeting. It looked to Grace as though something had happened in that spot and the bed had simply been moved.

In one corner, another streak of luminol glowed cautiously, the remnant of a merely passable scrubbing. Some of the luminescent spots revealed that her suspicions had been correct about the old carpeting, about this motel room, and about the stains.

Crap. This was the last thing she needed. She’d requested this room specifically. She didn’t always spray Luminol and pull out her black light when she rented a room. Then again, she couldn’t recall ever renting a room this awful in her life. She could imagine Jimmy here, though. If he was on one of his serious benders this would be nothing. Unfortunately, that meant there was nothing obvious here that supported her theory about her brother. She’d have to wait for lab results.

“Oh, Jimmy,” she lamented out loud to the dark room. “What did you get yourself into?”

The way her heart clenched couldn’t be stopped. No matter what the room looked like, no matter what she might be able to prove, none of it would change the facts. Jimmy was dead. Gone, after a life that had been a struggle from the beginning and continued to be one well into adulthood. Grace blinked back the tears that threatened.

Many people didn’t know what it was like having an addict in their lives. They were lucky. Addicts stole, they lied, they betrayed. And they often left you with only one option—completely cutting yourself off. She hadn’t been able to do it. Neither had her parents. So they’d all suffered alongside her little brother.

But, dammit, she’d really thought these last five years had seen a turnaround. He’d been clean and four months shy of his five-year chip. But the Dark Falls Police Department had written of Jimmy’s death as just another junkie overdose. Case closed.

Grace wasn’t buying it. Jimmy wasn’t using again. She knew it. She’d spoken to him just a few days before he died.

No one would believe her. No one did. Even her parents were skeptical, but she believed. She’d lived with Jimmy, and watched him turn to alcohol at age ten, then cocaine at thirteen, she’d gotten good at spotting the signs. Lots of siblings did. Sometimes parents tried to deny it. They turned their kids away, or they made up excuses and always believed the best. But siblings of addicts had a radar for it. Their investment was entirely different from a parental bond.

Grace knew. She’d talked about it in Al-Anon meetings. She’d gone steadily for almost two years, then off and on for another handful. The siblings of addicts all had similar stories. They knew. They could tell when their brothers or sisters were using again. Grace couldn’t count the number of times someone had showed up at a meeting with a suspicion, then even several months later said, “I was right.”

She’d had that feeling about Jimmy before. It happened the first time he’d gotten clean. He’d stayed clean for six months before relapsing. The second time—after their parents had paid to put him through an expensive rehab program—he’d stayed clean a year and a half. But Grace knew that his eighteen-month chip was an excuse to celebrate, to think he’d been cured only to have him slide back. But she didn’t have that feeling. Not this time. The third time seemed to have stuck.

Jimmy had moved to Dark Falls, something their mother had protested with every fiber of her being. He should be close to home. Part Vietnamese, part Chinese, and gay as the day was long, Jimmy wanted to get out of the South. Grace understood. She’d supported him. They texted daily, and she talked to him just a few days before he died. She did not believe he was using again.

She’d even demanded a full autopsy. She checked off her mental list as she looked around the room at the various splotches her quick test had revealed. She’d want samples of them all. Jimmy’s death was listed as an overdose. Had there been fresh blood, the police wouldn’t have been able to write it off so easily.

Grace had only pulled out the Luminol on a whim when she’d seen the dark patches in the carpeting. It could have been wine or cheap beer, but her senses told her to test it. Shit. She looked around behind her, holding the light up. A lot of it was faint, old, but she needed to know what it was.

She had her work cut out for her.

After gathering samples from at least five spots around the room—samples that she highly suspected would be all different—she turned off her black light and clicked the regular light back on.

Surveying the horrible room she didn’t want to be in, she pulled out her phone and called her oftentimes partner, Brad, back home. “Brad, I was right.”

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Book Blitz & Giveaway: A Pilgrimage to Death By Alexa Padgett

Book Blitz & Giveaway: A Pilgrimage to Death By Alexa Padgett

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Title: A Pilgrimage to Death
Author: Alexa Padgett
Seires: Reverend Cici Gurule Mystery
Release Date: August 14th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/iBooks/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

They murdered her sister. They threatened her church. But their day of reckoning will cost her everything…

When Cici Gurule finds the dead body of a parishioner in the nearby Santa Fe National Forest, she’s horrified to realize the victim bears the same stab wounds that ended her twin sister’s life one year earlier.

Now, as a freewheeling, progressive reverend who’ll stop at nothing to protect her flock, she’ll need to join forces with her detective friend and loyal pair of Great Pyrenees to hunt down the killer before she’s forced to officiate another funeral.

Soon, however, Cici discovers her sister was on the trail of a deep-rooted criminal operation, and her death was no random act of violence. With the criminals out for Cici’s blood, she needs to catch the wolf by the tail…before it goes in for the kill.

Fans of Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, and Stacy Claflin will love Alexa’s Padgett’s new edge-of-your-seat novel! Scroll up and click to start this fast-paced, high-octane mystery thriller.

About the Author

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With a degree in international marketing and a varied career path that includes content management for a web firm, marketing direction for a high-profile sports agency, and a two-year stint with a renowned literary agency, award-winning author Alexa Padgett has returned to her first love: writing fiction.

Alexa spent a good part of her youth traveling. From Budapest to Belize, Calgary to Coober Pedy, she soaked in the myriad smells, sounds, and feels of these gorgeous places, wishing she could live in them all—at least for a while. And she does in her books.

She lives in New Mexico with her husband, children, and Great Pyrenees pup, Ash. When not writing, schlepping, or volunteering, she can be found in her tiny kitchen, channeling her inner Barefoot Contessa.

Contact

Website/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads

Giveaway

Want to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card?

Enter Here!

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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UPDATED: MOVIE VS. BOOK – I Know What You Did Last Summer!

UPDATED: MOVIE VS. BOOK – I Know What You Did Last Summer!

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Originally posted: 6/29/2016

Back in the seventies, author Lois Duncan penned a novel detailing the events surrounding a group of teenagers from a small town who hid a dirty secret entailing a hit and run and the discarding of a body. The events following the crime caused readers to look over their shoulder and teach them to always come clean. When you hear the words, I Know What You Did Last Summer, nine times out of ten, people will immediately think of the classic 1997 slasher film starring Jennifer Love Hewitt.

I got my hands on a revised copy of the novel and I was quite surprised with the vast difference between the novel and the book. Granted, the novel was originally written in ’73, but I thought the film would be at least more similar than it had been.

Original Premise

Teens Julie, Ray, Barry, and Helen hit a child on his bicycle in the middle of the night while joyriding, drinking, and smoking pot. A year passes by and they all have changed. Julie, once the top cheerleader who had the lowest grades, is now accepted into an Ivy League school with a high GPA. Ray ran off to California to be a fisherman not long after the incident. Barry is now one of the star players on his college football team. Helen quit high school her Junior year in order to be Channel 5’s new Golden Girl personality. 

The morning of Julie’s good news of learning she will be going to an Ivy League School, another letter arrives for her. Only this letter is different from the rest. It’s smaller than the other. The moment she opens it, her heart drops at the sight of the words, “I Know What You Did Last Summer”. 

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Film’s Premise(Taken From Wikepedia)

“Four high-school seniors – Julie, boyfriend Ray, best friend Helen and Helen’s boyfriend Barry – drive home from a party. While driving, Ray becomes distracted, hitting a pedestrian. Another teenager, Max, stops nearby. Julie convinces him everything is okay; he drives off. The group decides to dispose of the body. At the docks the man revives, attacking them before falling into the water.

A year later, Julie is home from college for the summer. She receives a letter stating, “I know what you did last summer.”

The film mildly draws inspiration from the book while constructing a solid story all on it’s own instead of being a complete adaption. No one died in the original book nor was the victim a grown man. The fact the original victim was a little boy struck a deep chord with me more so than the movie. The death of a child is devastating in my eyes because it’s the innocence of that child and for these characters to keep going, made me understand the antagonists wrath and course for revenge all the more.

Lois Duncan understood the formula on stirring up the reader’s emotions through the consequences the child’s death had on the family. Trauma can be taken in any way, shape, or form. In this boys case, their family took the worst of it and took matters into their own hands. The “Great Reveal” in the end is not all surprising.

tumblr_o3qhpmJbhW1qj7u8ao1_500.gifThe movie, though, ties in inspiration from the urban legend “The Hook” in order it to strike up deeper fears into the heart of the audience than merely focusing on a hit-and-run. The family of the victim did not seem to suffer as much as the family in the novel. The murders were gruesome, for 90s slasher standards, and the great reveal in the end is not expected.

All in all, I consider both the film and book to be separate entities. By comparison, they are extremely different in delivery, middle, and climax. The novel is a good short, little read while the movie is perfect to add to your horror collection. The characters in the book have a voice all their own that when compared to the actors, they are completely different. I don’t see Jennifer Love Hewitt as Julie or Freddie Prince Jr. as Ray. I see the novel characters the opposite of their portrayers. The actors are good for the film adaption of the characters maybe because they weren’t like their original inspirations.

Did I enjoy the novel? Yes, I did. The film? Oh yeah! Would I recommend fans of the film to read the book? I would caution them before they read because the book is by no means a slasher book. I remember reading it and waiting for it. When no murders came, I felt jilted because I grew up with the film version.

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In the end, I’d probably choose (don’t kill me) the film version. Hear me out, to me, it was better. I blame the delivery and the surprise ending compared to the book’s not so subtle ending. But like I said earlier, they should be considered separate entities. Plus, the film spawned a pretty good sequel.

 

My Rating

Rating 6

 

Film: This isn’t a Book so I’ll use Film Reels. 7 out of 10 Film Reels

 

What would you choose? Film or Movie?

 

Happy Reading and Watching!

 

~C.C.

 

 

C.B.H. ARC Review – Emma In the Night By: Wendy Walker

C.B.H. ARC Review – Emma In the Night By: Wendy Walker

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Emma In the Night

**Disclaimer: I received this courtesy of SheSpeaks and St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.**

Available: Amazon/B&N/Goodreads
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: August 8th, 2017

“What Happened To Emma?”

On a dark night three years ago, sisters Emma and Cass disappeared without a trace from their home in Maine. Through endless searches, interviews, and an investigation leading nowhere – the police practically give up hope on finding the missing girls. That is until Cass turns up on her mother’s doorstep, wildly asking where her sister is and that the police must find her before it’s too late.

The narrative is told from the perspective of Cass and forensic psychologist Abby Winter’s perspective. The more I read and attempted to predict how the story unfolded, Cass’s internal dialogue would take over in the story and change it’s course. To the world, they knew Cass and her family as a happy one, but behind closed doors we discover secrets, rampant narcissism, affairs, and darker motives than meet the eye.

This past weekend, I spent pouring over this book from cover to cover and couldn’t seem to peel my attention away from it. It triggers suspense and endless questions your inner detective will beg to be answered. It’s truly a novel to add to your Suspense/Thriller TBR List!

 

Rating 8

Happy Reading,

~C.C.

 

Quick ARC Review: “Quinsey Wolf’s Glass Vault” By Candace Robinson

Quick ARC Review: “Quinsey Wolf’s Glass Vault” By Candace Robinson

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Available: Amazon/B&N/Goodreads

 

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. This does not effect my review whatsoever.*

 

Goodreads Description

People in the town of Deer Park, Texas are vanishing. There is a strange museum, known as Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault, that appears overnight. Perrie Madeline’s best friend and ex-boyfriend are among the missing. Perrie, along with her friend August, go on a pursuit to search for them in the mysterious museum. Could the elusive Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault have anything to do with their disappearances?”

 

My Review

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This book, where to begin, it felt like a mashup of quite a few things I’m nostalgic about. It felt like it could have been an addition to R.L. Stine’s Fear Street series despite having nothing to do with the street mashed up with one of my favorite 80s horror films, Waxworks, starring Zach Galligan from Gremlins. It follows a similar plot as to if you go into a mysterious museum, no one hears from you ever again.

Unlike other reviewers, I actually had an issue with the way the main character, Perrie, point of view. Many of her sentences were slight, quips, and often short in a way that made no sense to the plot and there were times where they were often not needed. The writing structure in general needed work. It maybe since the copy I was sent was un unpolished draft, but the writing was weird at times and I’m not even discussing the plot.

The plot itself is genius and executed in such a way, you can’t help but keep reading. The thing is, you have to get past Perrie’s delivery. The images, other characters, and even the secrets hiding in the dark gave me chills as I continued to read on. It kept me hooked to say the least and the twist was very unexpected.

If you are a horror fan or looking for a quick thriller that will leave you on the edge of your seat, then this is the book for you. I would be happy to read a sequel to this, but I’m strongly hoping Candace Robinson puts more work into how her characters speak and describe settings.

 

My Rating

Rating 7

 

Happy Reading,

 

~C.C.

C.B.H. ARC Reviews: Ill Will By Dan Chaon

C.B.H. ARC Reviews: Ill Will By Dan Chaon

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Release Date: March 7, 2017
Available: Amazon/B&N/Goodreads

**Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy courtesy of NetGalley and Penguin House in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review whatsoever.**

Goodreads Description

‘“We are always telling a story to ourselves, about ourselves,” Dustin Tillman likes to say. It’s one of the little mantras he shares with his patients, and it’s meant to be reassuring. But what if that story is a lie?

A psychologist in suburban Cleveland, Dustin is drifting through his forties when he hears the news: His adopted brother, Rusty, is being released from prison. Thirty years ago, Rusty received a life sentence for the massacre of Dustin’s parents, aunt, and uncle. The trial came to symbolize the 1980s hysteria over Satanic cults; despite the lack of physical evidence, the jury believed the outlandish accusations Dustin and his cousin made against Rusty. Now, after DNA analysis has overturned the conviction, Dustin braces for a reckoning.

Meanwhile, one of Dustin’s patients gets him deeply engaged in a string of drowning deaths involving drunk college boys. At first Dustin dismisses talk of a serial killer as paranoid thinking, but as he gets wrapped up in their amateur investigation, Dustin starts to believe that there’s more to the deaths than coincidence. Soon he becomes obsessed, crossing all professional boundaries—and putting his own family in harm’s way.

From one of today’s most renowned practitioners of literary suspense, Ill Will is an intimate thriller about the failures of memory and the perils of self-deception. In Dan Chaon’s nimble, chilling prose, the past looms over the present, turning each into a haunted place.’

My Review

Ok. This book reminds me of another twisted version of another book I recently read by Gillian Flynn called Dark Places. Especially the piece where the main character has a brother who was acused of murder and later exonerated. Only, in Gillian Flynn’s case, the brother was not. Both stories bounce from the 80s to somewhat present date and they also bring in the satanic cult hysteria from back in the 80s as well. Besides that, Dan Choan takes over from there.

I don’t like predictable books, in fact, I despise predictable books. When I read, I want to the author to make me think. To show, not tell. Dan does just that. He gives you these realistic characters in surroundings that reach outside the fictional world and grab you by the hand and will not let go till their mission is complete.

Are there rough spots? Absolutely, but the author rebounds and makes up with his suspenseful turns. Be prepared to open your mind and be taken on a wild ride!

 

My Rating: 7 out of 10 Book Charms

 

Happy Reading,

~C.C.

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Thriller Review: The American Girl By: Kate Horsley

Thriller Review: The American Girl By: Kate Horsley

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Title: The American Girl
Author: Kate Horsley
Released: August 2, 2016
Available: Amazon; Goodreads

Goodreads Description

“A riveting psychological thriller about an American exchange student in France involved in a suspicious accident and the dark secrets a small town is hiding. . .

On a quiet summer morning seventeen-year-old American exchange student Quinn Perkins stumbles out of the woods near the small French town of St. Roch, barefoot, bloodied, and unable to say what has happened to her.

Quinn’s appearance creates a stir, especially since her host family, the Blavettes, has mysteriously disappeared. Now the media, and everyone in the idyllic village, are wondering if the American girl has anything to do with the missing family.

A Boston reporter named Molly Swift travels to St. Roch, prepared to do anything to learn the truth and score the ultimate scoop. After Quinn is arrested and a trial by media ensues, she finds an unlikely ally in the young journalist. Molly unravels the disturbing secrets of the town’s past in an effort to clear Quinn’s name, but even she is forced to admit that the American girl makes a compelling suspect.

Is Quinn truly an innocent abroad, or is she a cunning, diabolical killer intent on getting away with murder?”This is one of those books that follows along the lives of Gone Girl. It makes you question what you are reading and the characters in play. This book, though, involves blogging, podcasts, and takes us overseas to a village in France where even the most innocent scenery holds dark secrets.

Quinn Perkins, an exchange student from the United States, wakes up from a coma wondering what is happening around her. A mysterious woman who claims to be her aunt lingers while doctors flood her with questions about where her missing “house” family, the Blavetts. Given a video camera, Quinn records her emotions, what she does remember, and we as readers experience a transformation like no other.

Molly Smith traveled to France in order to unwind from her busy life as a reporter for a news podcast where they expose the ugly truths behind crimes and the government. Molly soon discovers Quinn’s story in the midst of a flurry of reporters from all over the world beginning to arrive at the village hospital. Under the guise of a concerned “aunt”, Molly infiltrates the hospital and begins her journey into the mystery of Quinn Perkins.

Development

tumblr_nkvbgzwhzh1s4jr0no1_500.gifMolly is a misunderstood individual aside from being a reporter. She strangely reminds me of Lana Winters from American Horror Story: Asylum, including the constant need for a cigarette.

We flashback and forth with Quinn’s past blog posts from before the accident and it lays down the groundwork for what is to come in the future. Quinn is this teenager who came from a family where her father marries his young pregnant secretary right after Quinn’s mother died and drops Quinn. Because of her mother’s death, she has psychological problems which makes you question what she posts in her blog.

We come to the future and watch as Molly tries to uncover the life of the Blavetts and discovers a dark past involving the mob, drugs, and death. Quinn, on the other hand, begins to slowly transform from an innocent amnesia-ridden girl into a mouthy brat with secrets she’s not willing to reveal. It all goes downhill from there.

The development of the story became predictable after I hit the mid-way mark. I blame the countless mystery novels and crime shows for spoiling it a bit for me.

It’s a good novel but it needed a stronger ending! The fact Quinn began showing her true colors gave it away that she did do something. No, it didn’t spoil the complete truth, but you knew she did something as soon as she began to snap. Molly is too gullible to the wrong people. I admired her courage though. Other than that, it is a great story!

 

My Rating

7 out of 10 Book Charms

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

C.H.B. Reviews “Jane Steele” By: Lyndsay Faye

C.H.B. Reviews “Jane Steele” By: Lyndsay Faye

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It’s Octover 1st, Bookies!. The first day of my favorite month of the WHOLE year! I’m not a huge fan of Christmas or many other holidays, to be honest, but Halloween is above all my favorite holoday that I look forward to all year. The candy, the haunted attractions throughout the state, the costumes-all of it could not have come any faster.

Since I’ve been “missing” for pretty much all of September, I have planned a treat for you. For each day of October, I’ll be reviewing books which center around this spooky season! All of these range from thrillers, horror, mystery, paranormal – I honestly can’t wait to show you my goodies. I even have a new “Movie Vs. Book” post planned that’ll center around the novel Practical Magic

 

Available: Amazon/Goodreads

To start off, I recently finished Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye. I came acrossed it on another reviewer’s page a few months ago and quickly added it to my TBR pile and while going through it to find books to go with the season, it seemed to fit perfectly.

Release Date: March 22, 2016

Goodreads Description:  “Like the heroine of the novel she adores, Jane Steele suffers cruelly at the hands of her aunt and schoolmaster. And like Jane Eyre, they call her wicked – but in her case, she fears the accusation is true. When she flees, she leaves behind the corpses of her tormentors.

A fugitive navigating London’s underbelly, Jane rights wrongs on behalf of the have-nots whilst avoiding the noose. Until an advertisement catches her eye. Her aunt has died and the new master at Highgate House, Mr Thornfield, seeks a governess. Anxious to know if she is Highgate’s true heir, Jane takes the position and is soon caught up in the household’s strange spell. When she falls in love with the mysterious Charles Thornfield, she faces a terrible dilemma: can she possess him – body, soul and secrets – and what if he discovers her murderous past?”

Review: This isn’t a retelling of Jane Eyre, per say, but is similar where Jane Steele, the main character, narrates her story. She states in the beginning of her adoration for Charlotte Bronte’s famous novel and points out similarities in her life verses Jane Eyre in various places. Only, this Jane is explaining her story of how she rid her life of the antagonists in her life through murdering them then quickly running away to escape possible capture.

I’d like to point out the contradiction that Jane often mentions how she observes human nature in the way people interact and react to certain situations whereas she is not a normal human with human emotions. But Jane actually proves she is human despite her refusal of such a thing. She shows despite she murdering those who wrong her and others, she still fears being caught along with her lover not fully accepting her if he knew of her true nature.

It’s a well-written novel and Lyndsay Faye did an excellent job mirroring the language of the day, bringing the imagery of London’s booming transformation in the 1800s back to life, and the struggles independent women faced in the day. I was thrown off and reminded how controlling the church was back in those days. I have read about it in many books including Jane Eyre, but Lyndsay Faye went even deeper.  The boarding school Jane is sent to in the beginning of the novel, is ran by a tyrannical leader who insists upon punishing his students by robbing them of their meals until they “learn their lesson” or falsely accuse one of the other students of folly in order for them to be able to eat again. It still angers me that regardless of a “pastoral leaders” questionable habits and overall terrible maneuvers within the walls of a educational institution, as long as they are giving to the poor and speak of God’s Word, then they are held up high as a role model. He reminded me of the leader of Jane Eyre‘s boarding school, only this one in my mind is worse and he deserved his end in this novel.

I guess you can say the majority of the bad characters you wished had a devastating end in Jane Eyre, you see it take place in a different incarnation in this book. However, there are certain aspects such as blackmail, involvement of a war, and a few twists mixed in which make Jane Steele it’s own book and deserves to be seen as such.

My only negative issues were that Jane isn’t truly the vicious killer she claims to be nor are there a tremendous amount of murders. Her victims were tyrants, abusers, and rapists. The way she portrays herself is as if she expects you to think she’s wicked only I wouldn’t call her that at all. I don’t know if that was the author’s intention or she truly wanted us to believe her character was a cold blooded killer. Either way, it puzzled me nonetheless.

If you enjoy Jane Eyre or seek to add a new addition to your Victorian Era thriller novels, this is the book for you!

My Rating: 8 of 10 Book Charms

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

C.H.B. Reviews: “Frightfully Ever After” By Nick DeWolf

C.H.B. Reviews: “Frightfully Ever After” By Nick DeWolf

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Available: Amazon

Am I the only person who has wondered how fairy godmothers received their powers? Obviously, there are stories where fairies are born with their powers. But what if they were not fairies to begin with? Or why it seems, almost always, royalty who end up with the magical curses and eventually end up receiving the magical loopholes where they survive?

Author Nick DeWolf sent me a signed copy of his book in exchange for my honest review. In all honesty, this book is an example of an author who goes through fairy tales and pens a story filled with a raw, magical power only they can evoke into a set of characters who answer all those complicated questions you may have like I did.

Fairy Tale creatures (Godmothers, Goblins, Fairies, etc.) work under Grimm Incorporated (homage to Brothers Grimm). Fairy Godmothers, Mary and Gayl, are sick of being given assignments for “princess” cases where the girls contain a mere sliver of royal blood coursing through their veins. Royal Blood is said to contain a certain brand of magical power. With their being too far and few in between actual “royal blood” assignments, they finally discover a new assignment they have awaited for ages.

 This modern “princess” is Anastasia, a young woman who is trapped in a slavery-like condition with a drug cartel. However, Anastasia has a large amount of magical juice her captor is using to keep her captive and his empire afloat. Unbeknownst to Mary and Gayl, their new charge is far more valuable than originally anticipated, bringing old sins to the forefront and a battle between good and evil.

This modern take on fairy tales and creatures deserves to be read. Although it is dark and contains a few explicit scenes, it adds on to the fact evil can corrupt even the most innocent of souls.

My Rating: 8 out of 10 Book Charms!

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

C.H.B. ARC Reviews: “Lost In Wonderland (The Twisted and the Brave B.1) By Nicky Peacock

C.H.B. ARC Reviews: “Lost In Wonderland (The Twisted and the Brave B.1) By Nicky Peacock

cover93717-mediumTitle: Lost In Wonderland (The Twisted and the Brave B.1)
Author: Nicky Peacock
Publisher: Evernight Teen
Publishing Date: April 14, 2016
Available: Amazon

NetGalley Description: “Monsters, serial killers, and imaginary friends—being a Wonderlander can be murder…

Once upon a time, Kayla was lost. Then she found Wonderland, but not the one you know. Run by ex-government agents and funded by an eccentric Silicon Valley billionaire, this Wonderland is the name of a collective of highly trained vigilantes who hunt serial killers. Now Kayla, aka Mouse, works tirelessly alongside her fellow Wonderlanders, Rabbit and Cheshire, baiting dangerous murderers. But even her extensive training hasn’t prepared her for the return of her older brother…

Shilo has spent most of his life in an insane asylum, convinced his mother was abducted by a sinister Alaskan monster who lures the lost away to feast upon their flesh. And now he’s certain that his sister is in the same monster’s crosshairs. But if Shilo is going to save what’s left of his family, he’ll have to convince his sister that maybe, just maybe, we’re all a little mad.”

My Review

I have been a huge lover of the Alice In Wonderland tale since I was a little girl. It was one of my favorite Disney Film adaptions, both the cartoon and Tim Burton’s take, and I have watched almost all of the live action film adaptions separate from Disney. The story of a young girl chasing a white rabbit carrying a pocket watch, trips and falls down a rabbit hole into a world filled with mind boggling characters speaking in riddles and poems that send you into a quizzical frame of mind any time you read the story.

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In Lost In Wonderland, it’s a much different take on the story. It’s not a different adaption, but it takes elements of the classic and transforms it into a  darker, mystery narrative.

Kayla and Shilo witnessed the murder of their mother and their fathers suicide at a young age. Shilo is institutionalized, driven mad by memory of the murder and the idea that their mother was murdered by an ancient monster called the Kushtaka. Kayla, on the other hand, gets a completely different fate. She is adopted by two ex-government agents who now train and send out children to hunt down serial killers.

The Wonderland aspect comes into play with her new living situation. Her adoptive parents, along with her other two adopted siblings, are re-named after Alice In Wonderland characters and they frequently quote lines from the story. Even her adoptive parent’s daughter who had been murdered was named “Alice” and the man who started their operative is called “Hatter”.

Now, they receive a new case about women and girls disappearing up in Alaska. The main territory coincidently is where Kayla and Shilo used to live when they were children. This sparks events to begin unravelling that makes Kayla wonder if Shilo was telling the truth about the Kushtaka after all.

I enjoyed hearing the story from both Shilo and Kayla’s perspective. I will mention, though, that there were times I wanted to throttle Shilo. He began to annoy me at times. Yes, I understand he’s troubled because of the past but there are certain things he does continuously that make me wonder if he truly wanted to save his sister or not from the monster that killed their mother.

Other than that, enjoyed the book and recommend it to all of you Wonderlanders out there!

 

*Disclaimer* I received a free ARC copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

 

My Rating: 7 1/2 out of 10 Book Charms

Happy Reading!

~C.C.