Tag Archive | Saturday spotlight

Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

 

The Botanist by L.K. Hill​

The BotanistIn the heat of the desert, Detective Cody Oliver inadvertently stumbles upon a strange garden adorned with exotic flowers. Upon closer inspection, he finds the garden is but a cover for the scores of bodies buried below. Soon, the small town of Mt. Dessicate plunges into chaos as journalists, reporters, and cameramen from across the nation descend upon the tiny, desert town to get a piece of the action.

Along with the media, a mysterious woman appears. She may be the only person who has come face to face with the killer, dubbed the Botanist, and lived to tell the tale. If Cody can’t piece together a timeline of the land the crime scene is located on, decipher how the woman’s mysterious past is connected to the killer, and bring the Botanist to justice, he may lose the people he values most.

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My Review:

A well written, captivating and nail-biting story from L. K. Hill.

Detective Cody Oliver stumbles across a burial site in the desert. From that moment the small town in which he lives descends into a mass of journalists and extra policemen as Cody and his colleagues attempt to track down the serial killer.

Having escaped the clutches of the killer previously, Alex Thompson returns to Mt. Dessicate to remind the investigators of her experience, and finds herself, once again, targeted by the murderer.

Although I guessed early on who the killer was, the twists and turns the author took me through to get there kept me turning the pages. The slow-burning romance between the two main characters was somewhat predictable but added another dimension to the story.

The book held my attention throughout. It was dark and thrilling, and with some descriptions of the brutal torture inflicted by the killer, probably not for the faint-hearted, but I will be adding more books by L.K. Hill to my to-read list.

 

The Author:

L.K. HillL.K. Hill is a pen name for author Liesel K Hill. She writes across three genres. Her historical romance is written under the pen name K.L. Conger. She writes scifi and fantasy, including dystopian, under her full name, Liesel K. Hill. Her crime fiction is written under her initials, L.K. Hill.

She comes from a large, tight-knit family and resides in Northern Utah. She loved to read and write at a young age, and her earliest memories consist of her father sitting in the doorway of her room at night, relating stories of Frodo, Gandalf, and the One Ring. Her mother also read to her every afternoon as a child, sometimes for several hours a day.

Today she is an award-winning author. She plans to keep writing until they nail her coffin shut. Or the Second Coming happens. Whichever comes first. ;D

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

 

The Fourth Victim by John Mead​

the2bfourth2bvictimcoverWhitechapel is being gentrified. The many green spaces of the area, which typify London as a capital city, give the illusion of tranquility and clean air but are also places to find drug dealers, sexual encounters and murder…

Detective Sergeant Julie Lukula doesn’t dislike Inspector Matthew Merry but he has hardly set the world of the Murder Investigation Team East alight. And, it looks as if the inspector is already putting the death of the young female jogger, found in the park with fatal head injuries, down to a mugging gone wrong. The victim deserves more. However, the inspector isn’t ruling anything out – the evidence will, eventually, lead him to an answer.

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My Review:

I found this police procedural crime thriller both captivating and thrilling. It kept me turning the pages to discover more clues and try to figure out who the killer was.

The main characters, Inspector Matthew Merry and Detective Sergeant Julie Lukula were as different as chalk and cheese, but they worked well together to solve the case and catch the murderer.

It was a well-paced exciting story with twists and turns aplenty.

A small niggle for me, in what was otherwise a well-written and enthralling book, was that the DS was sometimes referred to as Julie and at other times as Lukula. There seemed to be no consistency or reason for it, and to start with I thought they were two different people which was somewhat confusing for a while.

 

The Author:
the2bfourth2b-author2bphotoJohn was born in the mid-fifties in East London, on part of the largest council estate ever built, and was the first pupil from his local secondary modern school to attend university. He has now taken early retirement to write, having spent the first part of his life working in education and the public sector. He was the director of a college, a senior school inspector for a local authority, and was head of a unit for young people with physical and mental health needs.

He has travelled extensively, from America to Tibet, and he enjoys visiting the theatre, reading and going to the pub. It is, perhaps, no surprise that he is an avid ‘people watcher’ and loves to find out about people, their lives, culture and history. When he is not travelling, going to the theatre or the pub; he writes.

Many of the occurrences recounted and the characters found in his novels are based on real incidents and people he has come across. Although he has allowed himself a wide degree of poetic licence in writing about the main characters, their motivations and the killings that are depicted.

John is currently working on a series of novels set in modern day London. These police procedurals examine the darker side of modern life in the East End of the city.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

The Gordon Place by Isaac Thorne

 
The Gordon PlaceLost Hollow constable Graham Gordon just walked into his abandoned childhood home for the first time in twenty years. Local teenagers have been spreading rumors about disembodied screams coming from inside. Now, thanks to a rickety set of cellar stairs and the hateful spirit of his dead father, he might never escape.

Meanwhile, Channel 6 News feature reporter Afia Afton—whose father is the victim of a local decades-old hate crime—is meeting with town administrator Patsy Blankenship. Her mission is to develop a ghost story feature for a special to air on the station’s Halloween broadcast. When Patsy tells her about the screams at the Gordon place, the past and the present are set on a collision course with potentially catastrophic results.

Can Graham come to terms with his father’s past and redeem his own future? Can the murder mystery that has haunted Afia for most of her life finally be solved?

It’s a fight for the future and the past when spirit and flesh wage war at the Gordon place.

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My Review:

The Gordon Place is a chilling paranormal tale that kept me turning the pages. The writing switches between the past and modern day, and presents a tense and creepy story.

Duty calls and, as the only constable in the small town of Lost Hollow, Graham Gordon has returned to his childhood home. A place where his mother left him to be beaten and abused by his alcoholic father, who has now been dead for many years. Graham has an accident and because of the run-down state of the house, he can’t get out.

Meanwhile, reporter, Afia Afton and cameraman, Joe ‘Staff’ Stafford are on their way to Lost Hollow to film a ghost story feature. B&B owner, Patsy, has a tale to tell them about the local entity, The Black Bitch, a dog with a human face.

Afia left Lost Hollow as a child, after someone murdered her father, a few years after her mother had disappeared, and she’s never been back until now.

Graham and Afia’s fathers had bad blood between them, but no-one knew, or cared, about how deep the hostility ran, or the extent of Lee Gordon’s hatred, until the events in the book run their course.

An intriguing and creepy, haunted house story with ghosts, spirits and possession. Not for the easily offended as the antagonist is a vile and abusive racist.

 

About The Author:

Isaac ThorneIsaac Thorne is a nice man who has, over the course of his life, developed a modest ability to spin a good yarn. Really. He promises. Just don’t push him down a flight of stairs.

You can find Isaac on Twitter or on Facebook.

Isaac reviews films for TNHorror.com and TheHorrorcist.com. He is the host of Thorne’s Theater of Terror and Classic Cuts on 24/7/365 horror-themed SCRM Radio.

More of Isaac’s work is available at isaacthorne.com and wherever books are sold.

 

Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

The Sentinel’s Reign by Suzanne Rogerson

(Silent Sea Chronicles – Book 2)

 
40167510The Sentinel’s reign is doomed to failure unless Tei can prevent the Kalayan people from plunging into war.

With the new Sentinel initiated and the magic restored on Kalaya, life is flourishing for Tei and the exiles. But Rathnor’s plans for war soon escalate and thwart any chance of peace.

Brogan’s position on the Assembly is uncertain as rumours circulate that he is an exile spy.

After an attempt on his life, Farrell is more determined than ever to build a home for his people on Stone Haven. But the council have their sights set on Kalaya and Farrell struggles to steer them from war.

As trouble brews within and outside forces gather against them, can the exiles keep their hold on the magic, or will this spell the end of Kalaya and its people?

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My Review:

The second book of the trilogy continues the story of life on Kalaya, and is another great book from Suzanne Rogerson.

The Sentinel’s Reign moves at a slower pace than The Lost Sentinel, but still has plenty of action.

The characters we met previously continue to develop, grow, and adjust to their new circumstances.

Suzanne Rogersons world building and descriptive writing ensured that, once again, I could always see where in the world I and the characters were.

I have become attached to many of the characters within the pages of the Silent Sea Chronicles and am looking forward to reading the final instalment.

 

About The Author:

Suzanne RogersonSuzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her hugely encouraging husband and two children.

She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave her the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.

Suzanne loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.

She collects books, loves going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them her love of nature and photography.

Suzanne is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of all she likes to escape with a great film, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

 

Injections of Insanity by Lorraine Mace

(D.I. Sterling Book 3)

 
Injections of Insanity

 

Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling has just six weeks to solve a series of murders by insulin injection, with nothing to connect the victims except the manner of death and a note left at each crime scene.

The murderer, determined to avenge a wrong from many years earlier, gets close to his prey by assuming various identities.

Can Paolo win in his race against the pretender?

 

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My Review:

The third book in the D. I. Sterling Series has the same gripping and gritty style as the previous two.

We rejoin Paolo and the rest of the cast as they attempt to track down a murderer who is out for revenge.

Paolo is a well fleshed out and realistic character. I like the way he deals with his complicated home life and his work colleagues, as well as investigating a series of murders, where the victims seem to have no connection to each other.

The case has plenty of twists to keep Paolo (and the reader) busy trying to figure it out before someone else is killed.

This series is now a firm favourite of mine and I’m looking forward to the next one.

 

About The Author:

Retriever of Souls - Lorraine MaceWhen not working on her crime novels, Lorraine Mace is engaged in many writing-related activities. She is a columnist for both Writing Magazine and Writers’ Forum and is head judge for Writers’ Forum monthly fiction competitions.

A tutor for Writers Bureau, she also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service.

She is co-author, with Maureen Vincent-Northam, of The Writer’s Abc Checklist (Accent Press). Other books include children’s novel Vlad The Inhaler – Hero In The Making, and Notes From The Margin, a compilation of her Writing Magazine humour column.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

Cry Standing Up by Valarie Savage Kinney

Cry Standing Up“We had a crowd at the house that night, and even though I was careful about the frailty of my glass; even though I remembered to hold it just tightly enough to keep my grasp, but not so tightly I caused it any more harm; even though I was cautious about the perspiration dripping down the sides… even so, my glass still broke. It broke in the darkness, the deep of the night so black the stars were barely visible. Just before 1 a.m., when the rest of the world had the audacity to be sleeping, that’s when it happened. And the world continued to slumber, just as it always had, just as if my glass, my special, perfect glass, had not just shattered all over the floor.”

My soul had gone to sleep the day my sister died, and I wasn’t keen on the idea of waking it up. Being numb is a whole lot easier to handle than raw, screaming agony.

And then I found out my brother had terminal lung cancer. What follows is my journey through the grief of losing my siblings. I wrote a lot during these years of aching loss and grief, and most of it is not pretty, but it is honest and real. My hope with this book is that others who are mourning might realize they are not alone in the way they feel. Deep grief changes people, that’s just a fact. It’s not an experience one can just “get over.” We can learn to live with it, though, accepting the waves of emotion that sometimes strike us out of nowhere. And in time, laughter will come again.

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My Review:

Cry Standing Up is a book about grief, depression, and anxiety. It’s poignant, and it’s emotional.

I have had depression and anxiety for a long time, and having lost a few people close to me over the past few months, I found many of the author’s thoughts very familiar. Although some parts weren’t easy to read, and I read a lot of the book through my tears, it was reassuring to realise that I’m not alone in my feelings.

Of all the thoughts in this book that struck a chord with me, this one resonated the most:

“If the people around me could stop dropping dead for like five minutes, I might be able to get my head screwed back on straight. But obviously that’s not going to happen”

 
Cry Standing Up also offered a comforting beacon in the dark and an assurance that it was ok to be tired all the time, to cry, to be me, and to grieve.

Thank you, Valarie!

 

About The Author:

Valarie Savage KinneyValarie Savage Kinney is a writer, fiber artist, and Renaissance festival junkie with a wicked caffeine addiction. She resides in Michigan with her husband, grown children, two slightly hysterical dogs, and eight (yes, eight) guinea pigs.

She is the author of Slither, Heckled, Consumption and The Secrets of Windy Springs Series. She puts the “I” in weird.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

The Haunting of Room 909 by Michael James

(Junior Paranormal Investigators Book 1)

The Haunting of Room 909Summer is usually a time of fun and games for most children, but Hanna and Ben Littleton are not your average eleven and twelve-year-old. Their father is Percy Littleton, a famous paranormal investigator, and this summer they are traveling to different locations to investigate unexplained phenomena. Things are rather boring until they stop at Castleridge Hotel.

Though warned by their father not to meddle in his investigation, the brother and sister are convinced they can prove their worth as true investigators. Their eagerness soon turns to terror when Hanna begins having visions about a certain former employee of the hotel, the elevator takes them to the ninth floor on its own, and ghosts interact with them. The building seems to have a mind of its own as Hanna and Ben are forced to figure out what really happened one hundred years ago at Castleridge Hotel, before the spirits trapped inside decide to make them permanent residents.

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My Review:

A wonderfully spooky book for youngsters

After their mother disappeared in unusual circumstances, Hanna and Ben’s dad became a paranormal investigator. His latest case is the haunting of a hotel, and although their dad doesn’t want them anywhere near the centre of the paranormal events on the ninth floor, the hotel has other ideas. As Hannah is sensitive to some of the ghosts and Ben is excited to help investigate, the two youngsters are drawn into the events.

This was an enjoyable, fast-paced book with a great mix of supernatural creepiness and humour. Just right for youngsters 8/9 and above.

 

About The Author:

Michael JamesMichael James is an author from the prairie province of Alberta, Canada. He is an avid golfer, cyclist, mountain climber, and astronomy enthusiast.

Junior Paranormal Investigators: The Haunting of Room 909 is Michael’s debut novel for middle grade readers. After absorbing all things paranormal while growing up, he knew he had to share his fascination with ghosts and other-worldly-creatures with the next generation of kids.

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