Tag Archive | Suspense

Valentine Countdown Blitz – Day 9

Val18

 

Seeing Red by Alison Clifford

 

 

Seeing Red - Front Cover-Web Version V2Redhead Nell, a civilian psychologist with the US Navy, takes her dream job at a submarine base to escape a protective family and build a life of her own. Meeting James, the handsome skipper of the submarine Scottsdale, is a bonus she hadn’t expected.

When Nell is attacked after a body is pulled from the local river, two investigations swing into motion, with no obvious link between them. The killer plots to keep the cases separate and conceal the damning secrets from his past that would lead to a connection, and his demise.

As his attempts to complete the cover-up fail, his frustration and rage turn toward the person who stands in his way.

The redhead shrink.

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Snippet:

James climbed up through the sail of Scottsdale, emerging into daylight. The salty air filled his lungs as he looked towards the looming shoreline. For the first time in a long while, the regret at the end of a voyage in his beloved boat was alleviated by what he knew was waiting for him on shore.

Nell. Her green eyes and flaming hair had haunted him during those quiet times spent in his stateroom. Her smile had greeted him from the photo he had stuck to the wall next to his pillow, warming his heart every time he looked at it. For the first time in his life he had a love that rivalled his passion for the Navy.

 

 

ACliffordAlison is the author of the White Rose series and the New London books, and is a member of the Australian Crime Writers Association.

She has served in both the Australian Army Reserve and the Royal Australian Air Force, and now lives in Tasmania with her family.

Alison is a self-confessed stationery junkie, loves forests, and drinks too much tea. 

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Valentine Countdown Blitz – Day 3

Val18

 

Baker’s Dozen by Amey Zeigler

 

 

BakersDozen_w11960_750Twenty-three year-old investigative journalist, Andy Miller is armed with her many disguises and creativity to take down the riff-raff of Saint Louis. When her stepbrother is murdered by the mob, Andy soon discovers she’s out of her depth.

Enter Hugh Donaldson who has reasons of his own for discovering the murderer. He’ll use everything in his power to achieve that, including lying to Andy about his past. Dangerous as he is attractive, his martial arts skills and his quirky ways raise Andy’s suspicions.

Although Andy balks at his lies, Hugh’s charms, twenty-inch biceps, and electrifying blue eyes are difficult to resist. Striking out on their own, Hugh and Andy try to outwit each other as they traverse North America tracking down people connected to the case.

As clues disappear and the body count climbs, Andy and Hugh must trust each other and use their combined skills to bring the murderer to justice.

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Snippet:

 Andy’s eyes blazed with fiery light. Her voice transformed into a growl. “I work alone. I don’t need back up. I don’t need you. Brad”—the name choked in her throat as she said it—“asked me to help him. I am doing it for him. He didn’t ask you and certainly not the FBI. If it is indeed the FBI you work for.”

“Andy.” Maybe he’d said too much.

“Lies, lies, lies. All men lie.”

He didn’t want to hurt her. Then again, maybe he did. Maybe he wanted to take her down a notch. “And so do women.” A shiver shot through her. But he couldn’t stop. “You should let us handle it. Leave, go someplace safe. Just give me the entry code so we retrieve the jump drive. If not, you might get hurt.”

Her eyes flattened to little slits. “Are you threatening me?”

“What? No.”

Tyler stepped forward. Andy slipped her hand into her bag, whipping out a Sig Sauer. Tyler scoffed.

Andy aimed the gun straight at him, picked up her bag and slung it over her shoulder. “Goodbye Hugh or Tyler. Nice knowing you.”

He couldn’t let her leave. Not now. And quite frankly using the gun pissed him off.

He stepped closer. “What if I don’t let you go. You’re going to shoot me? And then what?”

Andy held her steely gaze. Beautiful rage.

“Can’t you understand?” he asked, growing impatient. “It’s naïve to think you can waltz in there with a few disguises and a bag full of tricks and be invincible.” As soon as he said it, he instantly regretted it. He might have gone too far. Whatever cool Andy had been harboring just blew away. Anger, shock, a full flush covered her face. She headed again toward the door. His arm flew out to stop her. Her gun raised again. They were close now. Close enough he could breathe her scent.

“You want to spar again?” she asked, anger flashing in her eyes, her face inches from his. He had to admit, it turned him on. A feisty, fiery girl—just how he liked them. “This time, it won’t end the same as the last.”

He didn’t want to have to do this, but it might be the only way she’d listen to him. He seized her gun hand, twisted it around, wresting away the gun, dropping it to the mat. He kicked it away and pinned her in a joint lock against the door with his body.

She kicked, she elbow-jabbed, but he was relentless. Sheer muscle and weight gave him the advantage, all combined against her. “I’m not saying you can’t do it, but I’m saying leave it to the professionals or join with us. Don’t try to do this alone. Brad would want you to be safe.” He had to invoke his name. He had to evoke whatever emotional sway Brad had over her. Her gaze scorched him with burning intensity, her chest heaving into his with such passion. Conner was a fool to have let such a creature go.

“Let go of me.” She scrambled around powerless against his strength.

“Are you still resisting?” He bent his head to whisper in her ear, his face lost its kindness. “If you work alone, then I will use you as bait. You will go bumbling around in the dark and I will capitalize on your bumbling and stumbling. I will get what I want. With or without you.”

Andy finally relaxed her body. Tyler hated taking the spirit out of her. But it was the only way to keep her from getting killed.

“Okay, I concede,” she said. He smiled inwardly, the rush of victory, conquering a well-matched foe.

“I knew I could persuade you.”

Her smile warmed him, he released his body from hers. In a flash, her leg flew up and hit him square in the nads, she then opened the door behind her, and slipped out by saying, “Brad asked me to do this. So I will do this.”

Through the purple haze of pain, he called out, “Where will you go Andy Baker?” The front door opened. “They’re hunting you,” he called.

The door slammed shut again. He smiled despite the throbbing. He liked her.

 

 

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Amey Zeigler wrote her first mystery with her best friend in fourth grade. She wrote, the friend illustrated. It also had a cute boy in it with spiky hair (because that was the style back then). Not much has changed. She loves mysteries. She loves romance. She loves suspense. She loves action, adventure and comedy. But she wants it to have a happy ending.

Because she grew up moving all around the United States, Amey loves writing about different places. In her books, she explores the whole world.

Growing up, Amey was always trying new things. She played violin, drums, flute, piano, all before she was sixteen. She also discovered she didn’t have much talent for music.

When people asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, she was afraid to tell them she wanted to be a writer because she didn’t know how to write.

She is so grateful for her Sophomore year Honor’s English teacher who gave her a star and five points (out of five!) for Voice on her personal essay. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have had enough courage to pursue writing.

In her spare time, she adopts stray furniture left on the side of the road, fixes it up and gives it a new look and home. Amey lives with her husband and three children near Austin, TX.

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Five on Friday

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Five Books – Five Authors – Five Genres

Looking for a new book to read this weekend? Try one of these 5 reads!

 

Dead NormalTitle: Dead Normal
Author: D M Singh
Genre: Humour, Paranormal

“My name is Amanda and at the ripe age of 23 I’m dead. I got the biggest shock of my after-life, when I discovered that what I thought was a near-death experience was just…death. What could be weirder than that you say? I just met death and his name is Derek.”

Amanda discovers that in order to move on, she must experience the things she never did while alive, Accompanied by her very own Grim Reaper

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My review:

I loved this book!

I enjoyed the wonderfully quirky multi-faceted characters and the sweet, yet awkward romance between Amanda and Derek.

I giggled at the humour, the banter between friends and the situations they find themselves in.

I was surprised at the unexpected plot twists and the fantastic ending.

 

RiddleTitle: Riddle
Author: Elizabeth Horton-Newton
Genre: Thriller, Suspense

Seven years ago Kort Eriksen went to prison for killing his girlfriend Desiree. Now he’s back in Riddle and some people think he got off easy. Others, including long time friend Norma, think he was railroaded because he’s the only Native American in town. Grace Donahue is running away from her past. Trapped in Riddle until her car is repaired she develops a friendship with Kort. Suddenly accidents are happening and people are dying. Is Kort adding to his list of victims or has someone else taken the reins? As mysteries from the past rise to the surface, more questions will be raised. The suspect file grows as victims fall. Is Desiree’s killer back for more or is someone trying to avenge her death? The riddle of Riddle will be solved, but how many bodies will it take to find the answers?

Amazon

My review:

A well-written book, with an intriguing storyline and a great cast of fleshed-out characters.

The book has believable romance and unpredictable mystery.

A true riddle with many twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end.

 

The GuardiansTitle: The Guardians
Author: Gina Moray
Genre: Horror

There’s something in the fields…

Hank Smithson has been battling bad crops, sabotage, and the bank for the last few years, and has decided to do something about it. A talk with a mysterious stranger named LaReux leads him to build a special scarecrow, a Guardian, for the field. Hank is skeptical of its power, but one scarecrow becomes three and the fields prosper. But there’s a problem – people are dying and success always comes at a price.

A determined cop…

Carlos Higgins and his partner are sent from the Wichita Police Department to investigate an unusual murder in the sleepy town of Runner’s Mill. While on the case, several more die and they all have one thing in common – Hank Smithson.
While Higgins and Landley believe they know the killer, they learn that the real culprit is deadlier and more terrifying than they could have imagined.

Amazon

My review:

I enjoy a good horror story and having read Gina Moray’s short story, Cemetery at Devil’s Bend, I knew I had to read her debut novel, The Guardians, and I wasn’t disappointed… it was everything I hoped it would be!

With this descriptive and wonderfully scary story, Gina had me gripped from the start and kept me on the edge of my seat as the gory body count rose and had me wondering who, if anyone, would survive the terrifying evil.

Not for the faint hearted, but if, like me, you like a good scary book, The Guardians is well worth reading.

 

Illusional RealityTitle: Illusional Reality
Author: Karina Kantas
Genre: Fantasy

Nobody expects to stare death in the face only to find out your entire life is a lie. Rescued by Salco, marketing executive Becky finds herself in an unknown magical world filled with happy people that try to forget their land is on the brink of destruction.

Becky will soon learn that her arrival is no accident. If learning that she is Thya, the heir of the enchanting land isn’t enough, she’s then told that an Oracle prophesied that she will save the gentle Tsinians from slavery and domination by Darthorn, the Warlord of Senx.

It is at a festival where she is introduced to the Tsinian council and her kinsmen, that she learns the whole truth. The council are so certain that a union between Darthorn’s son, Kovon and Thya will create peace between the two lands. However, Darthorn has plans for Tsinia as does Kovon for Thya and neither are good.

Although her future has been planned and if she is to save Tsinia she must marry Kovon, Thya gives her heart to another. A love that is forbidden and dangerous.

Illusional Reality is a story about hope, courage, love and sacrifice.

Amazon

My review:

An interesting and enjoyable read from Karina Kantas.

This well-written story clipped along at a good and steady pace.

The detailed descriptions let me see the magical land of Tsinia, with it’s tree-top dwellings and it’s friendly and peaceful inhabitants. Senx, the home of her ‘intended’, Kovon and his father, Darthorn, is a much darker and gloomier place.

The main characters are well fleshed out, and Thya/Becky runs through the whole spectrum of emotions, from disbelief to acceptance, anger to peace, and love to heartbreak, and I felt them along with her.

I am hopeful that Illusional Reality is the first book of a series!

 

The WastelandersTitle: The Wastelanders
Author: Tim Hemlin
Genre: Dystopian

When water is scarce, a drop is more precious than gold. In this post- apocalyptic world, America is controlled by a corporate oligarchy known as the Water Cartel, and warrior-priest Joey Hawke finds himself trapped between a mysterious geneticist amassing a clone army and a group of political fanatics convinced that a dead president will rise from his tomb to lead them to salvation.

Caught outside his spiritual haven when the Cartel moves against the Wastelanders, Joey is aided by Bear, an enigmatic weapons runner, a lovesick Scrapwoman, and Bernie Hawke, his estranged father. But against the Cartel’s military strength, led by the power hungry Rex Fielder, Joey’s only hope may be Si-Ting, a young woman with prescient abilities—a woman who not only holds the key to his heart but also to an American conspiracy to crown its future with the withered laurels of the past.

Amazon

My review:

Reading A Friend in Need inspired me to read Tim Hemlin’s Wastelanders.
I was fascinated by the brief introduction to the world and its characters and needed to know more.

The story starts with a bang and had me hooked from page one, with it’s unique and strange world filled with interesting and believable characters.

The plot is intelligently thought out and well written, with surprising twists that add to the complexity of the story

Marvellous!

 

If you do pick up one of these books and read it, please leave a review.
It doesn’t have to be long and detailed, a few words will do 🙂

 

Saturday Spotlight

Recall

 

Recall by Connie Cockrell

 
41NNEc-VjqLHardworking biologist Dr Elaine Sparks knows Dr. Alan Briggs stole the idea for LeanderAll from one of the other doctors in the lab.

Elaine’s grandmother has died because of this drug and Elaine wants it off the market. The drug is very profitable so management refuses to issue a recall.

With support from his old fraternity brother, the company CEO, Briggs begins a private program of mental and sexual abuse, driving Elaine to the edge of insanity. Can she fight her abuser and get the drug off the market?

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My Review:

I enjoyed this interesting, and well thought out book.

Elaine Sparks is a strong and determined lady, despite her circumstances. Although I got quite frustrated with her actions at times!

Abandoned, alone and attacked on two fronts, she fights back against the misery and harassment caused by her boss and the estrangement from her family.

All in all, an entertaining read. I’m sure I’ll be reading more from Connie Cockrell in the future.

 

The Author:

81EPrCqpUKL._UX250_A 20-year Air Force career, time as a manager at a computer operations company, wife, mother, sister and volunteer, provides a rich background for Connie Cockrell’s story-telling.

Cockrell grew up in upstate NY, just outside of Gloversville, NY before she joined the military at age 18. Having lived in Europe, Great Britain, and several places around the United States, she now lives in Payson, AZ with her husband: hiking, gardening, and playing bunko. She writes about whatever comes into her head so her books could be in any genre. She’s published fourteen books so far, has been included in five different anthologies and been published on EveryDayStories.com. Connie’s always on the lookout for a good story idea. Beware, you may be the next one.

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12 Days of Christmas Book Buying Event

 

Saturday Spotlight

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The Red Rider by Randall Allen Dunn

Book 1 of the Red Rider saga!

Little Red Riding Hood is heading back into the woods to meet the big bad wolves…
But she’s not little anymore.

18297728When she was seven years old, Helena Basque was attacked by a savage wolf that killed her Grand’Mere. Helena survived with triple scars that disfigured her face, and strange tales of a wolf that stood upright and spoke to her.

Now at age sixteen, she knows it was no wolf. And it was not alone. A pack of similar animals banded together to kill Francois, the woodcutter who saved her from the first wolf. These creatures now threaten Helena’s family and everyone in the French province of La Rue Sauvage. To stop them, Helena must do things she never planned to do, and become something she never planned to become. Donning a red hood and cloak like the one she was forbidden to wear after the first attack, she arms herself with a repeating crossbow and other assorted weapons. She then wages a private war against the wolves, refusing to stop or slow down until she wipes them out. She only hopes she can somehow defeat the monsters when she confronts them… whatever they actually are.

Amazon

My Review

Very loosely based on the fairy tale, Little Red Riding Hood.

In this story, Red (Helena) grows up and takes revenge on the wolves who scarred her, killed her Grand’Mere, and then the rest of her family.

The Red Rider is dark, action-packed, and suspenseful. It has many twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat.

Red is a strong and determined character, but she also has an innocent and vulnerable side. I was rooting for her from the beginning of the book right up to the last page, and am looking forward to reading book 2 of the Red Rider saga, Red Rider Revolution.

 

The Author

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Randall Allen Dunn was raised on a steady diet of James Bond, Batman, Star Trek and Indiana Jones. He writes stories of action, adventure, and infinite possibility, as well as instructional books about writing.

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12 Days of Christmas Book Buying Event

Saturday Spotlight

spotlight

The Caging at Deadwater Manor by Sandie Will

If you saw yesterdays post, you will know that the first book I bought during 12 Days of Christmas Book Buying Event was The Caging at Deadwater Manor by Sandie Will. As I have now read and enjoyed this book, I thought it would be appropriate for it to be the subject of my first Saturday Spotlight of the year.

SHE KNEW HER DAD WAS ANGRY, BUT SHE NEVER EXPECTED THIS!

A dad with a vendetta. An unsuspecting daughter. A psychiatric hospital known for questionable acts. And staff who keep secrets in the attic.

2017 READERS’ FAVORITE BOOK AWARD – HONORABLE MENTION – YA HORROR

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On a cold, January evening, fourteen-year-old Jeannie Kynde is told that her beloved mother drowned in the murky waters along Florida’s Gulf Coast. Her distraught father turns on Jeannie, no longer the caring father she once knew. Four years later, Jeannie is finally old enough to escape her father’s clutches, but he has different plans. He imprisons her at Deadwater Manor, a psychiatric hospital with an unscrupulous past. Between endless psychiatric treatments and a hospital staff up to no good, Jeannie faces insurmountable odds as each day ticks away. Will she be locked away forever? Or can she fight against the nightmare that has now become her world?

If you like suspenseful shockers, you’re sure to love this psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat and stay with you long afterward. Check out the great reviews on this novel that debuted on the #1 Hot New Releases bestseller list.

Note: This book is intended for mature young adult, new adult, and older audiences due to profanity and sensual content.

BACKGROUND:

The inspiration for the story came from Sandie’s beloved father who worked in various psychiatric hospitals during short periods of his career. In the attic of one such hospital, he made a disturbing discovery – one that bothered Sandie so much, she had to create a story around it. Though fiction, many parts of the book intertwine the patient routines, treatments and outbursts that she learned from her father and other research in a way that makes the story vivid through Jeannie’s perspective.

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My Review:

An intense thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat, rooting for the protagonist to make it safely through to the end, and what an ending!! I didn’t see that coming!

Jeannie’s dad hates her and after years of mentally abusing her, contrives with the staff at Deadwater Manor, psychiatric hospital, to have her locked away.

What she suffers at their hands is harrowing, and almost breaks her, but she doesn’t give up hope, and with the help of another ‘patient’ they plan their escape.

This debut novel from Sandie Will is well written and engaging. It draws the reader in to share in Jeannie’s terror and frustration.

Knowing that this is a fictional story doesn’t stop the feeling that this has possibly happened, or could happen, to someone, somewhere!

The Author:

16370245Sandie Will is an award-winning young adult novelist who lives in Tampa Bay, Florida and works as a manager and geologist by day. She has written two novels and is currently working on her third. Her first novel, The Caging at Deadwater Manor, is a young adult psychological thriller/horror that was the recipient of a 2017 Readers’ Favorite Book Award in YA Horror. Her second is a YA historical time travel series called Time Lands. The first book of the series is titled, The Hunger, and will be released in 2018. She has been married to her husband, Charlie, for 30 years and they have two sons. Her favorite place to write is in her back room “treehouse” in the arms of an old oak.

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12 Days of Christmas Book Buying Event

She Asked For It by Willow Winters

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 Title: She Asked For It
Author: Willow Winters
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Cover Design: Coverluv
Photo: James Critchley
Model: Martin Williams
Release Date: January 23, 2018

 
DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER.
You’ll tell me you don’t… but you already think you know what my story’s about.

You have no idea.
Just like the people sitting in this courtroom.
She asked for it.  That’s what they keep saying.

And no, it’s not because my skirt was too short or I was drunk at a party.
It’s nothing like that.  It’s because of what I like and how I like it.

They’re judging me as I sit in the front row, my eyes drawn to the man on trial.
If I’d known it was going to end like this, I never would have gone home with him.
But he’s the type of man I just can’t say no to.

I wanted to feel his lips kiss down my neck.
I dreamed of running my fingers along the rough stubble on his jaw.
I craved his hands on me, pinning me down.
I needed to whisper his name in the dark, late at night.

You still think you know what happened? You don’t.
He’s innocent and I enjoyed every second I was with him.

Let me tell you my story … all about how I asked for it.

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She Asked For It Ebook Cover
 

Also available:

Too Easy Ebook Cover

Too Easy

(a prequel to She Asked For It) – FREE!

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Author Bio:

Willow WintersWillow Winters is so happy to be a USA Today, Wall Street Journal and #1 Contemporary Bestselling Romance Author. She likes her action hot and her bad boys hotter. She certainly doesn’t hold back on either one in her writing!

Willow started writing after having her little girl, Evie, December 2015. All during her pregnancy with Evie she continued to read and she only wanted to read romance. She was reading a book a day — sometimes two.

In January 2016 Willow was staying up late with Evie and just thinking of all these stories. They came to her constantly so she finally sat down and just started writing. She always wanted to do it so she figured, why not? Today Willow cannot be happier for making that decision!

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