Category Archives: Mystery

Book Case #90 – Voices

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Book and Author Details:
Voices on Good Reads
Voices on Amazon
Author’s Website

Description from Author:

Sometimes the ghosts from your past…are real.

Moira Flynn is arrested for attacking a door-to-door solicitor with a knife. She claims a voice told her the man was intent on assaulting her. The trouble is, she was the only one that heard that voice. Moira strikes a plea bargain and is sent to a psychiatric hospital for voluntary treatment. Dr. Richard Cassano is hesitant to treat her as schizophrenic, as she does not show the standard symptoms. As their sessions progress, Moira confesses there are two voices—and they aren’t voices in her head, but the voices of ghosts. Are they imaginary? Or are they actual spirits, attached to her for reasons of their own? As Moira’s doctor uncovers more of her past, he begins to realize that her ghosts are real. And one of them is determined to drag Moira into the afterlife with him.

My Review:
Moira is an intelligent, vibrant protagonist. As children, both her and her younger brother were both wards of the state. Hidden deep within her are stories of traumatic events from her youth; stories that lead to spiritual attachments. Now, she’s a professional architect who is troubled. When a door-to-door religious peddler comes to her door, her life is torn apart.

Moira finds herself committed in a mental hospital. She’s stuck in a tug-o-war with mental health professionals who feel she’s schizophrenic and needs medications, and those who actually believe she may be haunted by something evil. Moira’s brother, Liam, her foster mother Mom Adel and her therapist all push to get her early release and into the care of her brother.

Moira connects with another patient, and with his help, she attempts to purge her attachments.

I really enjoyed this book. It was easy to read, entertaining, and well written. Clarissa is a strong author who weaves a fantastic storyline and creates believable characters. Her stories in the paranormal genre’ never disappoint.

You know it’s wonderful book when you’re still up at 5am reading until you’ve finished. I look forward to more books Clarissa Johal puts out. You will not be disappointed with Voices by Clarissa Johal.

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Book Case #86 – Elysium Dreams

Elysium Dreams

Book and Author Details:
Elysium Dreams on Good Reads
Elysium Dreams on Amazon
Hadena James’ Website
Hadena James Facebook

Description from Author:

In the cold, dark nights of Alaska, a hunter is stalking his prey. Once found, he takes them into the woods and skins them alive, prolonging the experience as much as he can, but the satisfaction always wanes.

Aislinn Cain and the Serial Crimes Unit head for the north to find this brutal and cruel killer. The climate is harsh, the locals are hostile, and each day the unsub moves closer to claiming his next trophy – Aislinn.

My Review:
I have to admit, I am a new fangirl of Hadena James’ Dreams and Reality series. I was sent book two after reviewing book one, and fell even more in love with the characters within the pages. I am addicted to the character development. I am drawn in and eager to know more. 

Aislinn “Ace” Cain and the SCTU head to Alaska to track a methodical serial killer. With her misfit team members and a new team lead, Ace digs deep into the mind of this Hunter styled serial killer. He takes his victims and mutilates them in a fascinating method. But the more they dig, the more they feel it could be one of their very own.

Again, as readers we are left with asking ourselves, “Will he get too close to Ace?

I loved this book so much more than the first one. I’ve been completely pulled into this series. I’m connected to the team, and Ace. I want to know more about their history, what made them this way, and so much more. I am super glad the end we found out about the new Team Lead a bit more.

One more thing that I thoroughly enjoy about these books by author Hadena James, is that she makes me think. She writes about things I am uneducated about, which leads me to the internet researching. I have learned quite a bit between the first and second book on subjects like sociopaths vs. psychopaths, medieval torture devices, and various medications. Anyone who can write a book that leaves me to reach out and search for further answers is outstanding to me.

I cannot wait for book two, “Mercurial Dreams”

 

Book Case #84 – Cut

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Book and Author Details:
Cut on Good Reads
Cut on Amazon
Rob Bliss’ Author Page Good Reads
Rob Bliss on Facebook
Necro Publications

Description from Author:

Dear Diary,

I am a star. I’ve finally found the yellow brick road to fame. I could teach anyone. As long as they are willing to die for it.
———————
A bomb goes off in Buffalo, N.Y. That same day FBI agent, Daryll Peltier, receives the first of many correspondences from a serial killer calling themselves, Sam-I-Am.

The gruesome torture and murders of the killer’s victims are filmed and broadcast on live television. Creating a puzzling masterpiece of blood and torture which the FBI can’t unravel.

Daryll and her partner, Frank Zepano, began a hunt for the killer across the continental United States and into the Caribbean. The hunt involves cryptic messages, a strange and powerful cult, an unstoppable nano virus, the International Space Station, a trailer park psychic, a tabloid newspaper journalist, a computer hacker, the Oscars…and a body count of one victim per state

My Review:
I received this book from Necro Publications/Bedlam Press as an ARC. This was a complete book series from Rob Bliss called, “Necro Psycho Series.” This is a remarkable book for any crime/mystery/cop thriller book lover. Rob Bliss, the author, really knows how to spin a crime story. 

The story opens on an elderly man walking through the streets of New York. He’s going about his daily business, as fast as his old body will allow him; with ice and snow too boot. As he finishes up his morning chores, he crosses a street, and a bomb goes off.

Agents, police entities, paramedics, injured and the dead are spilled out amongst the wreckage, blood and damage after the bomb. As the investigations begin, Agent Daryll Peltier receives her first message from a twisted, horrific serial killer. As the novel plays out, more correspondences cross Daryll’s desk. Victims are mutilated, tortured, and eventually killed.

CONS: 
Although the book was well written and entertaining, it was long and wordy as well. Even in the author’s description, “Daryll and her partner, Frank Zepano, began a hunt for the killer across the continental United States and into the Caribbean. The hunt involves cryptic messages, a strange and powerful cult, an unstoppable nano virus, the International Space Station, a trailer park psychic, a tabloid newspaper journalist, a computer hacker, the Oscars…and a body count of one victim per state” you can see that there is an over abundance of plot lines and information taking place. I think a huge portion of the story could be cut out to make it a more precise, attention grabbing novel. It could easily be cut down. 

The only other aspect of the novel I didn’t enjoy was the gory, bloody descriptions. The gore factor was a bit over the top and I found myself skipping pages just to get through the novel(s). 

All in all, this is a thrill pleasing crime novel for any enthusiast of this genre’. 

Book Case #82 – Parasylum III

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Continuing story from: 
Parasylum
Parasylum II: The Unleashed

Book and Author Details:
Parasylum III: Resurrected on Amazon
Parasylum III: Resurrected on Good Reads
Parasylum Trilogy on Facebook
Robbie Thomas’ Website
Robbie Thomas’ Facebook

Description from Author:

Travel along in the illusion of the mindset that takes you on a vacation to hell. A team of inexperienced paranormal investigators, find themselves entangled in much more than ghost hunting in an old asylum on an island. They become the hunted, within an era pirates and swashbucklers found their fate a little less appealing. They journey into the dangerous, dark side of the unknown, only to find, there is no escape, only torment and vengeance from those who dwell there.
The horror within, takes you beyond the scope of the imagination, leading you down a path of no return. Brave the darkness and what awaits in the shadows, to find the lure that craves your soul.
All are welcome, so, won’t you please, enter your nightmare!

My Review:
This is the third installment of the Parasylum series by Robbie Thomas. This trilogy has been an incredible journey. The trials and tribulations this paranormal team endures really makes a person think about why they really want to step into the unknown and investigate hauntings, paranormal incidents, and the darker side of the supernatural. What has been even more amazing is watching this author grow, expand and gain strength in his writing abilities.

From the first book, Parasylum, we meet an incredible team of investigators who’s current adventure is a known haunted asylum. The incidents that take place leave you guessing what is really happening and what is an illusion. It’s a great introduction into the characters, as well as the mind of the author.

In the second book, Parasylum II, the team venture out to investigate the Rendezvous Hotel. They’re whisked away on an even bigger illusionary paranormal event, that could either tear the team apart, make them stronger, or die trying.

In this last segment of Parasylum, the team is FINALLY heading out to a well earned vacation. They hear of an all inclusive package at a new resort on a fabulous tropical island. From the moment they step onto the plane, things begin to seem not what they appear to be. It appears that each character in these novels have their own agenda, desires and haunted experiences. Will they make it off the island, safe, sound… and alive?

I look forward to anything further that Robbie Thomas puts out. Everything from “Signs from Heaven” to “Parasylum”, his creative, psychic, paranormal experiences help forge and create a wonderful world of creepy,  scary and mind bending realities.

Book Case #80 – In the Light

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Continuing short story from: 
S.P. Miskowski’s “Knock Knock”
&
S.P. Miskowski’s “Astoria”

Book and Author Details:
In the Light on Amazon
In the Light on Good Reads
S.P. Miskowski
Omnium Gatherum Publshing

Description from Author:

While fleeing from neighborhood bullies, a lonely girl uncovers a dark secret buried near the abandoned ruins of a house mired in local legend. Ruth hopes the charred remains that she unearths will bring a bit of magic to her life, but she’s no match for the force that dwells in this place, waiting for a chance to live again.

A displaced child neglected by affluent parents and a former preacher burdened by the tragic and scandalous circumstances of his mother’s death face a final reckoning at the hands of a woman with the power to summon good and evil.

In the Light is the final book of the Skillute Cycle, a chronicle of one fictional town and an abiding horror that lies just beneath the surface. In the woods. In the water. Beneath the ground. The time has arrived. Something evil has come home.

My Review:

This is the third, and final, installment of the Skillute cycle. I’ve become quite attracted to S.P.’s writing style. Her poetic composition is beautifully woven together to create yet another intriguing tale of the creepy history of Skillute.

The child in this story is new to Skillute. Her parents are avid house flippers and moved from Seattle proper to the small, obscure town of Skillute. She doesn’t fit in with peers. She doesn’t fit in at home. She is very displaced and bullied. During a bullying incident, she runs through a field to get away from her aggressors. She stumbles upon a buried  tool box.  What she finds not only intrigues her, but changes the outcome of her life in Skillute.

This short novel was captivating and engaging. I thoroughly enjoyed the series as a whole. S.P. Miskowski is a fantastic author. Everything from plot design to character development. The only thing about this novel that bothered me was the ending. I felt it was like a really good horror movie that leaves an Easter Egg at the end leaving it open for the potential of further stories. If this is truly the case, then I look forward to more! 

Book Case #76 – Blazing Obsession

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Book and Author Details:
Blazing Obsession – Amazon
Blazing Obsession – Good Reads
Blazing Obsession – Matadour Publishing
Dai Henley Website

Description from Author (Shortened to fit blog):

How would you react if your wife, stepson and baby daughter were murdered in an arson attack and the arsonist was tried and acquitted on a technicality? How would you feel if DNA evidence proved the arsonist’s guilt, but the 800-year-old laws of double jeopardy meant that he couldn’t be retried?….

Blazing Obsession shows how powerful the emotions of revenge and obsession are, and how they can result in fatal consequences. The novel, which combines police procedural, legal drama and amateur sleuth genres, will appeal primarily to crime fans.

My Review:
This is a great book to pump blood back into my review blog. I was contacted by Matadour/Troubador  Publishing to read and review Blazing Obsession by Dai Henley. I am really glad I agreed to. This book had my heart pumping, hands trembling and mind reeling.  There’s just so much to take in with this book, and I’m so excited to have finished it, I don’t even know where to begin. I can tell you that my mind was active all night after finishing it. 

Blazing Obsession is broken into three parts. In the first part, we learn about James, the main character, and the courtship he pursues with Lynne. James is a successful, wealthy businessman who falls for the simple woman with a charming smile. Lynne brings to the relationship a child, Georgie, from a previous marriage. We learn about the struggles Lynne has with her ex-husband; the abusive, demanding, controlling Nick Burrows; father of Georgie.

Nick is obsessed with Lynne, determined that they will forever be together. He cannot handle the idea of Lynne dating anyone else. Hell breaks loose after Nick finds out Lynne is pregnant with James’ child. A kidnapping happens. A marriage happens. A birth of a beautiful baby girl happens….. and then the arson happens.

James’ whole family is taken out by an arson at their vacation home. The arsonist is left off on a technicality that sends James into a revengeful spiral. James, with the assistance of a Private Investigator and his wife’s best friend, Alisha, the begin to unravel the reality behind double jeopardy, a broken court system and the truth behind who murdered his family. 

There is such a HUGE TWIST in this book, that I did NOT see coming. Once the literary bomb hit, I could not put the book down. I was totally blindsided, I did not see it coming. But once it was released, and I was reading through the aftermath, so much more that was written in the book began to make sense. There’s a strong story within the story.

The strongest line, for me, in this whole book was near the end. “I realized all three of the men involved in relationships with Lynne were shaped by their attitude to revenge.” Ka-POW!! Right there people, is the book, story and review. Revengeful relationships.

The story is easy to read, and not overly complex. It flows incredibly well and the author did a fantastic job of keeping the reader’s attention. It’s a strong story with a fantastic road map full of rest stops called,  “Revenge”, “Obsession”, “Mystery”, “Anger and frustration”…. Such a fantastic story. 

Published: 28/11/2014
ISBN: 9781784620516
eISBN: 9781784627560
Format: Paperback/eBook

Book Case #75 – Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity

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Book and Author Details:
Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity – Amazon
Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity – Good Reads
Author/Editor Phil Giunta Website
Author/Editor Phil Giunta Facebook
Publisher Website

Description from Author:

In eternity, all stories are timeless. Devastated by war, a young couple finds healing through the intervention of a magical fox… A man obsessed with a burlesque dancer discovers she may not be the beauty she seemed from afar… Desperate to save his dying wife, an exiled scientist makes a discovery that could change the fate of a galaxy… An Irishman finally confronts the specter of death that has tormented him since childhood… An ex-con’s hearing aid picks up a vintage radio show that never aired, leading her to a confrontation with the unexpected… These are but a few of the imaginative tales awaiting you within these pages as chronicled by Daniel Patrick Corcoran, Michael Critzer, Phil Giunta, Amanda Headlee, Susanna Reilly, Stuart S. Roth, Steven H. Wilson and Lance Woods.

My Review:
I received “Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity” from Phil Giunta, author and editor, back in August 2014. It’s an anthology featuring thirteen stories in various genres’; Sci-Fi, Paranormal, Fantasy, Past, Present and Futuristic. One of the great things about anthologies is you’re bound to find a few stories you really connected with and enjoyed. One of the best things about this book is that I found enjoyment from each of the stories.

Each author brings their own unique style to the compilation. Although not all subjects and genres are ones that strike my fancy, I did do the honorable thing and read each one. Authors Phil Giunta, Michael Critzer, and Stuart S. Roth have multiple contributions to the anthology. Each story they contributed are well written, creative and entertaining. I would say they have the stronger stories within the book.

In the story, “Parallax” by Amanda Headlee, I was able to gauge the strength of the author’s writing ability. I would like to read some of her other work; despite the fact this story really didn’t pull me in like a few of the others did.

Overall, it’s a great book filled with various stories and subjects. A reader is bound to find something they enjoy within in. 

The stories that resonated the most with me were:
Form and Substance by Susanna Reilly
Photos from the Attic by Phil Giunta & Don’t Go Fussin’ Over Me
Evelyn by Michael Crizter

Published August 1st 2014 by Firebringer Press
ISBN 0977385167 (ISBN13: 9780977385164)

Book Case #74 – The Flip

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Book and Author Details:
The Hanging Tree: Amazon
The Hanging Tree: Good Reads
Still Well: A Haunting on Long Island: Amazon
Still Well: A Haunting on Long Island: Good Reads
The Flip: Amazon
The Flip: Good Reads
Michael Phillip Cash’s Website
Michael Phillip Cash’s Twitter
Michael Phillip Cash: Good Reads

My Review:
First, I must apologize… again. I have relocated with my son to another state. I am nestled in, finally, and starting to get back into the grind of things. Even though my reviews have been severely lacking, my reading has not. I took the downtime opportunity it read, a lot. So, authors, publishers and friends who have been generous in sending me books to read and review, I have them, I am reading them and I am now starting to get back into reviewing them.

Of the three books listed in this review, this one was by far my favorite. This story is about two main characters, Julie and Brad. They are a newish married couple who flips houses as a side job. They managed to acquire an old mansion (common theme for this author) at a really low price. Brad wants to flip it, Julie is set on turning it into a B&B.

Brad is in a rush to get this project done. Money is tight and Julie finds herself without a job after an inappropriate proposition from her boss. Making it tougher, her boss is the one who helped get their loans for flipping houses through. As Brad is working and rushing through things, spirits of the mansion start causing havoc. They create quite a disturbance, making him and other workers very uncomfortable.

One of the best things about this author is that he does a great job mixing the past with the present. I enjoy that he goes into details as to who and why the spirits are haunting this mansion. We develop a relationship not only with the main characters, but the spirits as well.

Overall, I really enjoy all of his books. He has a strong writing ability, keeps the reader entertained and engaged. The character development, past and present, are really fun to read. I hope to read my by Michael Phillip Cash.

Description from Author:
The Hanging Tree: Seventeen year old Arielle is at a crossroads in her life. Disenchanted with her father, she is testing the boundaries of his trust by dating someone he does not approve. Under the moonlit sky in Long Island, Arielle and her boyfriend meet beneath the infamous hanging tree. The couple’s destiny is rooted to the five spirits in the tree whose lives and deaths are determined by an ancient curse. Will her future be determined by the past or will Arielle’s choices alter the course of her life?

Still Well: Haunting on Long Island: Paul Russo’s wife just died. While trying to get his family’s life back in order, Paul is being tormented by a demon who is holding his wife’s spirit hostage on the other side. His fate is intertwined with an old haunted mansion on the north shore of Long Island called Stillwell Manor. Paul must find clues dating back hundreds of years to set his wife’s soul free.

The Flip: Julie and Brad Evans are house flippers. They buy low, clean out the old occupants’ junk, and try to make a profit. Enter Hemmings House on Bedlam Street in scenic Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island. Too good a deal to pass up, but with an ominous secret. The old Victorian Mansion has dwellers that do not want to be dispossessed. As the house reveals it’s past, will the couple’s marriage survive The Flip?

Book Case #72 – The Hanging Tree

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Book and Author Details:
The Hanging Tree: Amazon
The Hanging Tree: Good Reads
Still Well: A Haunting on Long Island: Amazon
Still Well: A Haunting on Long Island: Good Reads
The Flip: Amazon
The Flip: Good Reads
Michael Phillip Cash’s Website
Michael Phillip Cash’s Twitter
Michael Phillip Cash: Good Reads

My Review:
First, I must apologize… again. I have relocated with my son to another state. I am nestled in, finally, and starting to get back into the grind of things. Even though my reviews have been severely lacking, my reading has not. I took the downtime opportunity it read, a lot. So, authors, publishers and friends who have been generous in sending me books to read and review, I have them, I am reading them and I am now starting to get back into reviewing them.

I received two bundles from the publisher for Mr. Cash. The first bundle were these haunting, paranormal based novels. The second bundle was more of a Sci-Fi genre set. Being such a paranormal enthusiast, I opted to read this set first. I read them in the order listed above; The Hanging Tree, Still Well and The Flip. I am glad I chose this order to read them. For me, it showed the strength and growth in the writer’s writing abilities. Although The Hanging Tree was technically published before Still Well, I believe that Still Well is a bit of a stronger story line.

Of the three books given to me by Red Feather Productions, the novella, “The Hanging Tree” was not my favorite. This is not a reflection of the author, or his abilities. I can honestly say that had I found this book in the library, I most likely would have checked it out. I truly cannot pinpoint the reasons why it didn’t appeal to me as much as his other two did. I just really didn’t connect with it.

It was an entertaining little book, but I really didn’t grip the pages with my teeth and devour through it. Even though it’s only 91 pages long, I found myself pushing myself to finish it.  It’s not a bad book, at all. The subject is entertaining and thought provoking. A teenage girl’s choices, as anyone’s choices at that age, truly define the outcome of the rest of her life. The strongest point of this book are the characters, and the author’s ability to create a solid character development.

As the spirits that haunt The Hanging Tree, their living lives begin to unfold around the reader. Michael Phillip Cash does a strong job of creating each and every character in their own uniqueness. Even though they varied as heavily as their life choices did, they all find themselves attached to the tree in spirit form. While their passing down their tales, the living teenager, “Arielle” is making her own choices below them.

Just as any teen has struggles, the main character is toying with sex, “growing up”, fitting in and over protective parents. Will her choices cause her to fall into an ancient curse, or will her choices change the path of her own life?

This is a great book for a night by the fire, drinking tea on a spooky October Eve.
Free Right Now On Amazon with Prime!!!

Description from Author:
The Hanging Tree: Seventeen year old Arielle is at a crossroads in her life. Disenchanted with her father, she is testing the boundaries of his trust by dating someone he does not approve. Under the moonlit sky in Long Island, Arielle and her boyfriend meet beneath the infamous hanging tree. The couple’s destiny is rooted to the five spirits in the tree whose lives and deaths are determined by an ancient curse. Will her future be determined by the past or will Arielle’s choices alter the course of her life?

Still Well: Haunting on Long Island: Paul Russo’s wife just died. While trying to get his family’s life back in order, Paul is being tormented by a demon who is holding his wife’s spirit hostage on the other side. His fate is intertwined with an old haunted mansion on the north shore of Long Island called Stillwell Manor. Paul must find clues dating back hundreds of years to set his wife’s soul free.

The Flip: Julie and Brad Evans are house flippers. They buy low, clean out the old occupants’ junk, and try to make a profit. Enter Hemmings House on Bedlam Street in scenic Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island. Too good a deal to pass up, but with an ominous secret. The old Victorian Mansion has dwellers that do not want to be dispossessed. As the house reveals it’s past, will the couple’s marriage survive The Flip?

Blessed are the Dead – Excerpt Offer

BlessedAretheDead

Blessed are the Dead Excerpt Download:
BLESSED ARE THE DEAD is out from Witness Impulse on 6/1/2014 in ebook format. Click here for Free 2 Chapters Except.

Description:

Kristi Belcamino relies on her knowledge gained from working as a crime reporter at newspapers in California, specifically in her experience with a serial killer who police and FBI agents liked to several kidnappings and murders. Belcamino’s personal past colors this smart, thrilling novel with a unique new voice.

BLESSED ARE THE DEAD offers chilling, authentic glimpses into the mind of a psychopath while also mining the psyche of an extremely likeable protagonist. The novel sets up a new series featuring Gabriella Giovanni, an Italian-American Bay Area crime reporter. BLESSED ARE THE MEEK, the second book in the series will be published in July.