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Into the Black: Janey McCallister Mystery by Beth Barany (Book Review)

She wanted to make her mark. How hard could it be?

In 2130, at Bijoux de L’Etoile, a high-end casino orbiting Earth, you can get anything you desire.

Newly-hired as an investigator, Janey McCallister wants to solve her first big case—the theft of a priceless gem.

When her case of theft escalates to murder and points to the seedy underbelly of world affairs, Janey has to rely on her new team and trust the mysterious insurance investigator, Orlando Valdez—before a killer escapes into the black.

***

Into The Black is perfect for fans of J.D. Robb’s Eve Dallas books and Killjoys and CSI. It contains a slow-burn romance, enhanced humans, cool high-tech gadgets, a futuristic vision of the Earth, and a tough heroine with secrets.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)

Into the Black had mystery, suspense, deception, murder, and sexual tension. Janey and Orlando’s interactions reminded me of Castle and Beckett, the lovable characters from the hit detective show — Castle. 

In the television show, Richard Castle brings out the fun side of Kate Beckett. He’s handsome, sneaky, flirty, quick to mischief. Hmm, yup, it sounds a great deal like Orlando Valdez. Janey and Beckett have some of the same qualities, too. Tough, intelligent, leaders, goal-driven beauties, but can let their hair down at times as well. Plus, they both seem unable to resist their partner, who was thrust upon them against their firm objections… (Figuratively, not literally, of course) 🙂

 

This story is labeled as science fiction, but I can see certain elements coming to pass as technology grows. 

*Casino in outer space? Sure, why not? Casinos are popular on Earth already. 

*Ocular eyeballs? I’m surprised Elon Musk hasn’t created that already.

*Personal AI assistants? TOTALLY!

*Penal colony on the moon? Alcatraz is known as The Rock, so would that make the moon The Rock 2.0?

 

Joking aside, buy the book. You’ll like it, I’m sure. 


Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 

 

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Award winning author, Beth Barany writes in several genres including young adult adventure fantasy, paranormal romance, and science fiction mysteries. Inspired by living abroad in France and Quebec, she loves creating magical tales of romance, mystery, and adventure that empower women and girls to be the heroes of their own lives.

For fun, Beth enjoys walking her neighborhood, gardening on her patio, and watching movies and traveling with her husband, author Ezra Barany. They live in Oakland, California with a piano and over 1,000 books.

Sign up here to be notified about once a month of book news and special events: http://bethb.net/itbnews.

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Death by Midnight: A Young Adult Spy Thriller (The Secret Life of Anna Goode Book 1) by Nicole Nadeau (Book Review)

 

A teen genius. A Russian terrorist. Can she save her family before time runs out?

Anna is an inventor, but her high school bully causes her to hide her talents. Her best friend, Jake, is the only one she trusts with her secret. But after her parents are taken hostage by a dangerous figure in need of her skills, Anna is forced to carry out his plan in order to save them.

With her inventions and Jake by her side, Anna races against time to complete her mission. She quickly discovers that her parents aren’t the only ones in danger.

Can she save her family and countless others before it’s too late?

 

Death by Midnight is the first book in The Secret Life of Anna Goode series. If you like well-written characters, a strong female lead, suspenseful plots, and unexpected twists, you’ll love Nadeau’s action-packed spy thriller.

Buy Death by Midnight today…the clock is ticking!

 

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)


Death by Midnight can best be described as a high-octane, thrill ride. 

From the opening act, chapter one, readers will be engaged in a car chase, dodge bullets, and stumble upon a dead man. 

From there, things did not slow down one iota. 

Car chases. Crashes. Guns. Bullets. Kidnappings. These five things happen on a loop. What an adrenaline rush! 

Anna and Jake are definitely not experiencing a typical teenage weekend, and speaking of the teens, where the heck did Anna learn to fight? She has some serious moves. She was able to best skilled Russian enforcers, CIA, and the FBI. In reality, I don’t see this as plausible. In the land of fiction, anything is possible. That’s what makes fiction so great! 

I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤❤

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Meet the Author 

Nicole Nadeau grew up in Springboro, Ohio, with her older sister, Paige and younger brother Mark. She also has a dog, Lola and a rescue cat named Penny. 

An avid reader since grade school, she read every action and adventure book she could get her hands on. Eventually, her love of reading developed into a love of writing. She started working on her own book while she was in high school. 

Nicole has a neuromuscular disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) which creates challenges in her daily life. She refuses to let SMA stop her from doing what she loves. Like the lead character in her book, she is determined and overcomes any obstacles that stand in her way. 

She is already busy planning the next book in the Secret Life of Anna Goode series and has plans for many more books in the future.

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By a Thread: Trueborn Heirs Series, Book 1 by Nyna Queen (Book Review)

“I’m a spider, sugar. My shaper kind doesn’t bear that name for nothing.”

 

That’s not something Alexis Harper dares to say very often. If she did, it might just get her killed. Not that she is an easy mark, but even fools get lucky once in a while.

In a world where the magically gifted trueborn rule and the magicless halfborn slog away in the slums, half-blood mongrels like Alex are outcasts—feared and shunned. For most of her life, she has lurked in the shadows, trying to keep her true nature a secret. But the secrecy ends abruptly when she saves two trueborn aristo children from a group of hired killers.

Accused of a crime she didn’t commit, Alex suddenly finds herself running from powerful enemies, with no one around to trust. Or what about the mysterious stranger who has been following her? He is one of Death’s Servants, born and bred to kill at the country’s command. Not the most preferable ally, but then, her choices are limited. Soon she has to decide whether she can trust him or not—it’s a gamble she might not survive either way. And before Alex knows what is happening, her life is hanging by a silken thread…

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

By a Thread is a well-developed story with unique characters and detail-driven battle scenes. Alex’s true self is a spider, but she isn’t like anything you’d see in a Marvel comic. She’ll make you scream, bleed, and beg for mercy. She has a tender side as well. She’s a protector. As you read By a Thread, you’ll discover she’ll go to extremes to help those she cares about. 

There were many other characters in this magical read. Each person had their own particular abilities. Darken intrigued me. He appeared to be a perfect match for Alex. They both have troubling pasts that shaped them into who they are today. Plus, they would give their lives for Max and Josy —  two kids on the run for their lives. 

If I had to give out an award for Best Supporting Character, it would go out to Blayde. Mysterious, powerful, funny, charming… oh yeah, I need me some more of him. 🙂 We only got a glimpse of his power, and it was mesmerizing. 

Special note: By a Thread ends with a cliffhanger. Story continues in book 2, Web of Lies. 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score:  ❤ 

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About Nyna Queen

Nyna started reading fantasy books at the sweet age of six (in fact, as soon as she could read) and never got out of it. After she finished her law degree, she finally decided to commit herself to a career as an author. When she isn’t reading a book or dreaming up another story, she works as a lawyer, indulges in way too much coffee and enjoys long walks in the sun. If you are looking for Nyna, you’ll likely find her behind her laptop, hitting the keys, writing down her latest novel ideas – careful, if you speak to her now, she might not remember later!

 

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White or Black … Grey (From the files of the BAU) by Joseph Melesh (Book Review)

 
Profilers, from the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, uncover the disturbing legacy of a brilliant sociopath.
Agent Christopher Banks must lead his team, as they search for an UnSub, who draws his team into a case unlike any the bureau has ever dealt with.
A troubled teenage girl’s chance encounter with an opportunistic predator force the agents to dig deep, into both their playbook and their souls.
Located on a secluded property outside Evergreen Montana. His team faces a moral dilemma as abhorrent as the crime. Agent Banks and his team employ the latest technology and enter, this UnSub’s dark, twisted world. A world one of them may not escape.
What took decades to develop, the team must race to solve. The UnSub, his victims and a community that will be changed forever.
 
 
 
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
 

White or Black…Grey left me feeling disgusted, appalled, heartbroken, furious, and hopeful. Above all else, I was shocked. 

Shocked at the level of evilness one man possessed. 

Shocked at the horrors the young children faced and the amount of time spent in hell. 

Shocked at the strength demonstrated by victims. How anyone survived that nightmarish environment was mind-boggling. 

Fear. Joseph Melesh, the author, allowed us to experience every second of the prisoners’ fear and pain. I heard the rats, felt their tiny teeth gnawing and pulling on the clothes. I heard the victims scream. My heart broke for them. 

What makes this worse? This scenario is possible. Similar situations have occurred. Remembering this fact makes this story all the more realistic… more devastating. 

This is not a pretty story, but it is a great story. If I could, I would give this story more than five stars (hearts). 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤
(deserves more!)

 

 
 
 
 
Meet the Author
 
Joseph Melesh is an Ontario based crime fiction writer and suspense thriller junkie. His unique writing style will quickly draw you into his world.
Tormented by his dreams, he crafts and shapes his characters. Thrusting his heroes and villains into challenges, they could never dream of. You will cry for and cheer on his victims and find yourself in shock as you find yourself feeling the pain that his villains have lived through.
Joseph’s immersive dialogue and vivid scenery, give his readers the movie theatre experience, right there in the palm of their hands.
Pretzel-like plot twists, that keep his readers guessing and incredible reveals, make his books truly hard to put down.
A true storyteller, Joseph Melesh.
 

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The Battle for Trimera: The Ruling Priestess Book 1 by Tanya SM Kennedy (Book Review)

To give in could mean the loss of everything she holds dear but resisting is tearing her apart.

All Pria wants is to protect her family, but as one of only two high priestesses in all of Reia, everyone has an opinion on her life. But as the stories reach her of the peril of Trimera, there is nothing she will not give to return to the only family she has left, her older brother Janu. Emotion is dangerous for a priestess, something she realizes all to keenly when she thinks about her brother’s friend Mian. 

From the day she was born, Mian knew he would die for Pria. But the woman that returns from the Lorien is a pale shadow of the fiery girl he remembers. Still scarred by the loss of his Prince’s advisor, the previous high priestess, he now has to watch his Pria face the same danger. But the more he tries to protect the high strung Pria, the angrier she gets. The only thing he knows for sure is that Trimera would not survive the loss of Pria; that he would not survive the loss of Pria. 

A mysterious being has gained control of the monstrous grinlo and every second that ticks by only serves to confirm that they are after Pria. With the Lorien watching her every move she can’t afford even the hint of weakness. But the longer she spends with Mian the more addled she finds her thoughts. How will she save Trimera when her very emotions could spell ruin?

The Battle for Trimera is the opening to the epic Ruling Priestess medieval fantasy series. If you like compelling characters, epic battles against savage monsters, and a gripping story, then you will love Tanya SM Kennedy’s tale of a priestess struggling against tradition to save her home. 

Pick up your copy of The Battle for Trimera and join the fight to save Trimera today!

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)

 

At almost 600 pages, The Battle of Trimera is not only a beast in size, but the story is busting out the seams with blood-thirsty creatures. The grinlo are vicious beasts with sharp, black claws. Many men, women, and children have encountered them, yet survivors are few and far between. Ortid, one lone survivor, witnessed their wickedness firsthand. He stumbled up a very gruesome, gory, unforgettable, and stomach-turning scene. The grinlo’s leader, Neram, might be a man, but he was a monster just the same.  

As you are well aware, you can’t have a villain without a hero or heroes. There’re a check and balances in life, real or imaginary. In this scenario, multiple individuals band together to defend their land from the grinlo: Prince Janu, Lord Mian, Priestess Lana, Priestess Pria, Jaren, Liando, and various other soldiers. 

 

At three hundred page mark, Priestess Pria’s mind is troubled. She’s on the hunt for the person pulling the strings of the grinlo, and she’s trying to keep Mian at a safe distance. She wants to be seen as an adult, a powerful High Priestess; however, he makes her feel like a child again. Up to this point, if Pria looked closely, she would see he doesn’t –not entirely. His attraction to her is becoming more apparent for all to see. 

The sexual tension between Pria and Mian is growing with each page. 

 

The next 150 pages were quite active. There were nasty creatures, big and small, being a pain in the neck (literally and figuratively). Emotions also reached the boiling point, and, instead of throwing barbs at each other, Pria and Main let their true feelings show. No, they didn’t shag, but they had some steamy kisses.  

 

From page 450 until the endThe Battle of Trimera kept the same speed as the pages before it. The pace wasn’t too fast or slow. In actuality, Tanya (the author) balanced everything quite well. Overall, I felt she took ample time to develop characters, their relationship to each other, history, plot, etc. She had death scenes, but they weren’t overly detailed. Sure, they were gross but not horror movie gross (if that makes sense). Basically, what I’m saying, Tanya gave us enough visual stimuli to allow the reader to get the picture but not be overwhelmed.

There were some sections I wanted, craved more embellishment on, but I get why Tanya refrained. As I stated in my opening sentence, The Battle of Trimera was almost 600 pages long. 

To sum up, a great book and definitely worth the price tag attached!

 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 

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Tanya SM Kennedy was born in the wilds of West Virginia where she was raised to be strong, independent, and bull-headed. She spends her free time (any she can find) reading, writing, and taking care of her menagerie. She still lives in the wilds of West Virginia with her family enjoying the solitude.

 


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