After Beth’s husband leaves her and her father dies, she heads for the family cabin at Stutter Creek. She can’t stop thinking about John, the eighteen...more After Beth’s husband leaves her and her father dies, she heads for the family cabin at Stutter Creek. She can’t stop thinking about John, the eighteen-year-old boy she was crazy about when she was a mere fourteen. She’s got a lot on her mind, but what she doesn’t know is that there’s a sociopath on the loose, just released from prison, who is has quickly become a serial killer as payback to the DA who put him away. Having obsessed about murder for years, he’s eager to kill all of the women on his list and anyone else who gets in his way.
The author does a fantastic job of introducing us to the various and disparate characters in her book, then skillfully piecing all of their stories together as a suspenseful, nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat story unfolds. Ann Swann’s ability to paint vivid imagery coupled with the heart and soul of her characters, make Stutter Creek a fantastic read. Can’t wait to read Lilac Lane. (less)
Christine Davis, who had survived childhood abuse at the hands of her father, was watching a TV show called Merlin one day when a miraculous epiphany...moreChristine Davis, who had survived childhood abuse at the hands of her father, was watching a TV show called Merlin one day when a miraculous epiphany occurred that transformed her life and gave her clarity in a way she couldn’t have imagined. And I don’t use the word “miraculous” lightly; this is an enlightening and amazing story.
Beautifully written, Breathing Fire is a thought-provoking, uplifting, and empowering book that describes how an abused young girl who felt unworthy grew into a woman who felt the same way, down to the baggy, shapeless clothing she wore. Then everything changed—in a very extraordinary way. I can’t recommend this book highly enough, especially for people (women or men) who have lost or never had the gift of self-esteem for any reason at all.
Without being preachy, Christine Davis helps the reader learn how to create a new reality. This is a very special read. (less)
Friends and strangers alike comprise the group of people gathered at the Sunset Villa in Jamaica. Among them is Matthew Kane, a travel reviewer whose...moreFriends and strangers alike comprise the group of people gathered at the Sunset Villa in Jamaica. Among them is Matthew Kane, a travel reviewer whose previous bad review of the resort had seriously damaged its credibility. Several cancellations later, complicated by Hurricane Sandy, the resort is struggling. The owners invite Kane back hoping that a good stay will bring forth a better review and renewed business.
Co-owner Anna Pearson contacts Dr. Kate Hampton, a respected psychiatrist and friend, for her professional opinion. Has Anna made a mistake in inviting Kane back? Anna is filled with a powerful and confusing sense of rage just reading about this man and in order to help her friend, she needs to observe his behavior in person.
In Jamaica, Kate and others of disparate backgrounds arrive for the week. Eden Baylee’s characters are real, vibrant, quirky, enigmatic creatures. While reading, I felt like an invisible guest among the lot, watching, wondering, and not quite trusting anyone.
The author is very careful with words. She does not litter the page with them. As a wise person once told me, “Write as if every word costs you a dollar.” That is how Baylee crafts her prose. She adeptly builds suspense at every turn.
If I’d had the time, I would have read this novel in one sitting. For me, it was that engaging. I’m a big fan of literary fiction, psychological drama, and realistic, multi-faceted characters. Stranger at Sunset had me on edge from beginning to end. I’m very much looking forward to reading the next book in the series. Kudos to Eden Baylee for an extraordinary debut into a new genre. (less)
When I was in the tenth grade, my English teacher assigned this book to my class. I didn't think I would like it, and so I was bad and didn't read it....moreWhen I was in the tenth grade, my English teacher assigned this book to my class. I didn't think I would like it, and so I was bad and didn't read it. Walking into class, I asked a friend what it was about and then managed to BS my way to a B on the test.
So, I thought perhaps I should give it a try all of these years later. The three stars I'm giving this book have nothing to do with William Golding's work or the powerful statements he was making. I'm just not a fan of books that take place on islands with savage school boys and pig hunts. (less)
There’s a reason that rich foods are served in small portions. They’re delicacies intended for savoring. Eating slowly enables one to taste the ingred...moreThere’s a reason that rich foods are served in small portions. They’re delicacies intended for savoring. Eating slowly enables one to taste the ingredients, to appreciate the way that they are put together. Gourmet foods are intended for the discerning palate … and Don’t Tease The Elephants is short fiction for the discerning reader.
Jen Knox’s collection of short fiction deftly peeks behind life’s curtains, exposing the raw, the gritty, the real and the fake. Read too quickly, one is likely to miss the nuances that make each story so delicious in its authenticity. Don’t Tease The Elephants is beautifully written literary fiction for word connoisseurs.
I cannot even count the number of people I know who have suffered horrific child sexual abuse. I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t read one chil...moreI cannot even count the number of people I know who have suffered horrific child sexual abuse. I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t read one chilling account after another in the news—and those are cases where the abusers were caught. And even in many of those cases, justice does not always prevail. Worse, a staggering number of abuse cases stay hidden in the shadows and way too many people who work hard to keep them there.
Taylor Evan Fulks isn’t one of them. My Prison Without Bars is a novel based on a true story of child sexual abuse. The little girl in this story, brutally abused by her stepfather while her mother turned a blind eye, grew up to be a courageous woman who wants the world to know what it’s really like to be abused. Why? So that people will see the horror of this abuse for what it really is and the perpetrators of this abuse for the monsters they are. Too many cases are swept under the rug, whitewashed, forgiven, forgotten, and excused because people do not understand the true horror experienced by the survivors or because they simply wish to deny it happened. To understand the true purpose of this book is to understand why the incidents in the book are described so graphically. While the book is a fictionalized account of a true story, the abuse is all too real.
This is not a book one can read passively. The story doesn’t allow it. Ms. Fulks has written a raw, gripping, descriptive, powerful, and sadly, believable story. On every page of this book, I could feel the author’s anger, her fear, her sadness, her hurt, her rage, and her love.
My Prison Without Bars isn’t an easy read. Be forewarned. But it is a story that needed to be told and a story that many should read. (less)
Sadly, as stories of mass killings become more frequent in our headlines, I was curious to read this book simply to give myself a beginner’s lesson in...moreSadly, as stories of mass killings become more frequent in our headlines, I was curious to read this book simply to give myself a beginner’s lesson in identifying and assessing those who present a threat to society. After reading this book, I couldn’t help but wish that a far greater percentage of the population knew the information contained within the pages.
The content was presented clearly for consumption by the general public. In no way did it read like a textbook for law enforcement professionals only. Throughout the entire book, the author discussed many of the major cases that most of us who follow the news are well acquainted. Author Roche offered a lot of interesting background and commentary. I found it to be quite an absorbing read and learned quite a bit. I highly recommend it.
An older woman, Leah, leaves her home at night and ventures without fear into the forest. The creatures who await her presence are not only able to co...moreAn older woman, Leah, leaves her home at night and ventures without fear into the forest. The creatures who await her presence are not only able to communicate with her, but they bring her to a sacred place while simultaneously managing throw off the four people who are tracking her.
This story was beautifully and fluidly told by author Doreen Cox and her descriptions so vivid that it was like watching a short film, one with stunning mystical elements that seemed so right and so natural. Because I was able to visualize Leah’s journey so well, I read this story in one sitting, not wanting to interrupt the magic created by the author.
Cox’s writing offers much food for thought and in this I found myself contemplating our transition from life to death, its mysteries, and its possibilities. How much do we really understand? (less)
I’m simply having the best time reading Jennifer Lane’s Conduct Series. My reading time is so limited and for me to commit to an entire series, it has...more I’m simply having the best time reading Jennifer Lane’s Conduct Series. My reading time is so limited and for me to commit to an entire series, it has got to be a great read.
I loved the first book in this series, With Good Behavior. The two main characters, Sophie Taylor (a psychologist) and Grant Madsen (a Navy man), are both paroled from prison. They’re two good people who should have never been in prison, but for two very different reasons, both courtesy of the Barbieri crime family (Grant’s family), they each served time. They meet in their parole officer’s waiting room and the story takes off from there.
Lane has done a terrific job in moving seamlessly from With Good Behavior to Bad Behavior. In this second novel, she writes just enough to remind the reader what they read in the first novel or to initiate a reader who hasn’t read the first book. As in most series, they’re better enjoyed if you read all books, but this book would be very readable on its own.
The characters are well defined, and the story is well paced and always on the move from one place to another. Something is always happening both with the emotional growth of the characters as well as the action. I’m quite interested in psychology, so I was not only pulled in by the story, but I learned more about the psychology via the two characters who are clinical practitioners.
And yes, I already have a copy of the last book in the series! (less)
This was my first book ever in the romantic suspense genre. I’m definitely not a fan of the romance genre by itself, but this book reeled me in from p...moreThis was my first book ever in the romantic suspense genre. I’m definitely not a fan of the romance genre by itself, but this book reeled me in from page one. Very briefly, the story is about two ex-cons, Grant Madsen and Sophie Taylor, both who have just been released from prison and neither who really deserved to be there. They meet outside their mutual parole officer’s door and the story begins. They’re flawed, likeable, endearing and immediately attracted to one another. And they have a major connection that neither one knows about, and as a reader, I couldn’t help but wonder who was going to discover what first and what would happen next. Romantic suspense indeed!
Nobody really needs a review with an extended synopsis, so I’m just going to tell you why I’m such a fan of this book. First, the characters were well drawn and distinctive and there was always something happening, but the action was not so overwhelming that I couldn’t follow it. Author Jennifer Lane balanced the different elements of the plot quite well, and offered a satisfying ending while simultaneously offering a beginning to the next book in the series.
I’d heard great things about this book and was just going to read one, but now I have every intention of reading the whole series. I really want to see where life takes Grant and Sophie. (less)
This was an engaging story that centers on a group of friends going to college in Boston. The author’s firsthand knowledge of the city made both the a...moreThis was an engaging story that centers on a group of friends going to college in Boston. The author’s firsthand knowledge of the city made both the atmosphere and the dynamics/interactions between the students believable.
What I appreciated about the two main characters in the book, Emily and Mitch, is the very real-to-life fact that the timing and circumstances, even in the greatest love stories, isn’t always right. Sometimes it’s so wrong that it seems like anything but love.
The Smartest Girl in the Room offers some important life lessons about relationships, friendships, life, and love. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this series. (less)