Tag Archives: suspense

Kris & The Pirates: The Adventures of Kris by Art Blegen (Book Review)

It was supposed to be a fun day at the beach.

In the middle of the ocean, Kris finds an island with beautiful, sandy beaches. The ideal place to go swimming! Once she can teach the biggest, strongest sailor not to be afraid of the water, that is.
The perfect day is interrupted when a bunch of pirates appear out of the jungle. They capture the crew and chase Kris through the jungle. Now the pirates are trying to steal the ship and leave Kris and the crew stranded on the island.

Can Kris escape the Pirates?
Can she rescue the crew?
Can they steal their own ship back and get home?

Kris & The Pirates is the next installment of The Adventures of Kris, where imagination and friendship can overcome any obstacle.

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

Have you been so engrossed in a book that you felt like living it? Could you picture the characters and the locations or even hear a foreign accent as dialogue is exchanged? Kris, the heroine, gave new meaning to being immersed in a good book! In the real world, she was a typical kid, complaining about not wanting to do something a parent, her dad, asked her to do. In this case, that would be attending a costume party in March. She understood dressing up for Halloween, but a costume party in March was stupid, according to her. Kris would rather get lost in a good book. Me too! 

When Kris cracked open her current read, she found herself smack dab in the thick of things. She felt the breeze on her face, watched in amazement as dolphins played, and moved around the ship as easily as she did her bedroom in the real world. Kris’s biggest problem was the captain’s annoying son, James. That soon quickly changed when they went ashore, and they were given an unfriendly welcome by several stranded pirates who were ready to leave.

As Kris searched for food, her path crossed with several talking animals. Stevie, the sloth, spoke as slowly as he moved. Sam, the snake, stretched out every “s” and gave kisses. Kris met Michael, king of monkeys, who was always in the mood to play a game. Other animals were present on the island—some who aided Kris and one particular animal that was just plain mean, like those awful pirates. 

Kris and The Pirates was two stories in one. In the pirate world, Kris seeks help from the multiple talking jungle animals she met while searching for food and a hiding spot! The real world was not as exciting as the island, but one encounter did cause her to scream in fright. How and why will only be unveiled if you read the book, and I highly recommend you read the book!

After I finished the story, I wondered if Kris’s time as a sailor was real or if it was just a person’s imagination gone wild. Whatever the answer is, I (again) recommend you read the book. Why? Because it’s that good! It has action, suspense, humor, and (let’s not forget) talking animals! 

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

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Meet the Author

Art Blegen is the author of imaginative chapter books for readers from 6 to 10 years old. He is an advocate for children to ensure they have a balance of positive examples in their lives. Wholesome stories and a healthy imagination can lay the foundation they will use for the rest of their lives.

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Waiting For Christmas: A Hot Holiday Romance by Cynthia Eden (Book Spotlight)


Unwrap a hot holiday romance.

How long has he been waiting?

His whole life. That’s how long Wyatt Roth feels like he has been waiting for Christmas “Christy” Sharpe to realize she’s meant to be with him. But gorgeous and vivacious Christy has always seen him as just her little brother’s best friend. One ridiculous year—he’s only younger than her by one year—and doesn’t she get that he’s grown up? He’s a doctor, part of an elite special operations surgical team—a team that has been trained in medicine and in military battle. There is no fight he can’t win. He won’t give up on her.

She’s home for the holidays…but running scared.

The last thing he expects is to find a terrified Christy on his doorstep just days before Christmas. But a stalker has sent her running to the only place she has a safe haven. Wyatt takes her in and vows to protect her. No one will be hurting Christy on his watch. And with her finally under his roof—finally staying close 24/7—he can show Christy that he’s been there for her all along.

Right. There. Waiting.

When did Wyatt Roth get so big? So dangerous? So…insanely sexy with all of his muscles and that tempting grin? Christy can’t believe it when the tall, hot doc answers the door and immediately vows to protect her. She has an ex who won’t let go, and the guy has been scaring her so badly that she had to rush away in the middle of the night. But now Wyatt is promising to keep her safe, the magic of the holiday season is surrounding her, and when she finds herself sharing a passionate kiss with Wyatt under the mistletoe Christy realizes…

Maybe what she’s wanted her whole life has been right in front of her.

What happens when the boy you knew grows into a rugged, too sexy to be true man? A man who has deadly skills, wicked wit, and an amazing kissing ability? During the magic of the holidays, anything can happen. But you have to be careful, because danger is always close, and the thing you want most in the world…just might be lost in the blink of an eye.

Time for some holly, jolly romance…with a side dose of suspense. WAITING FOR CHRISTMAS is a hot holiday novella (33,000 words) designed to get you in the ho-ho-ho spirit. Fall in love, get your heart racing, and prepare to be both naughty and nice as you sink into the story.

 

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CLICK HERE TO READ A STEAMY SCENE!!

 

 

Meet the Author

Cynthia Eden is a New York Times, USA Today, Digital Book World, and IndieReader best-seller. Cynthia writes sexy tales of contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal romance. Since she began writing full-time in 2005, Cynthia has written over one hundred novels and novellas.

Cynthia is a “hybrid” author. She has published extensively with New York (her New York publishers include Avon, Kensington, Grand Central, and Harlequin), and she has also enjoyed success in her indie writing career.

Cynthia lives along the Alabama Gulf Coast. She loves romance novels, horror movies, and chocolate.  Her favorite hobbies include hiking in the mountains (searching for waterfalls) and spelunking.

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Happy Holidays!

 

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Garbage Can Drive You Crazy: A World Patrol Kids Adventure Story and Activity Book by Ben Goldstein (Book Review)

THE EARTH IS CALLING – WILL YOU ANSWER?

Join the World Patrol Kids: a multi-ethnic daring ensemble of crime-solving young detectives in a gripping tale of adventure, action, and suspense.

A garbage monster the size of Godzilla pursues Thoreau, the youngest member of the World Patrol Kids, through the streets of his hometown. He wakes to find it is only a dream. But is it? The World Patrol Kids are on the case!

The graphic novel-style adventure is followed by 8 pages of fun facts, puzzles, experiments, and more. Garbage Can Drive You Crazy serves up a blend of mystery, tantalizing thrills, and soul-stirring life lessons, perfectly brewed for middle-grade readers and beyond.

The World Patrol Kids – “Inviting kids everywhere to become environmental champions.”
Start your mission to make a difference today with the World Patrol Kids empowering eco-adventures for young readers.
Titles include: Save Our Animal Friends, Garbage Can Drive You Crazy and Kids Can Change the World.

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

 

The World Patrol Kids are back, tackling a new problem: trash. 

Garbage and pollution is a global issue. It dirties our waters, causes a real stink on the streets, and is dangerous to this planet. The comic book’s title, “Garbage Can Drive You Crazy!” is spot-on. Watching our landfills grow taller and broader, witnessing the litter scattered along streets and grass, discovering animals held captive by what we toss out, and understanding how Earth is suffering from overuse does take its toll on each of us. 

Debates occur every day on how to curb the waste. A popular solution is recycling, but that comes with obstacles. For one, recycling comes at a hefty price. It’s not cost-effective…for now. Second, it’s easier for residents and businesses to toss everything into one bin rather than clean out containers and bottles and sort trash from recyclables. BOSS MACKAN suggested a big incinerator, but as the skateboard’s father stated accurately, burning trash fouls the air. 

Townspeople argue over how to handle the mounting problem. Voices are raised, but that tends to happen when money is involved. The World Patrol Kids visit the town landfill and tour the recycling center. A quiet trip turns dangerous as sabotage strikes, leading to a fiery situation. Danger doesn’t just lurk at the recycling center. The driver of a black sports car aims to run down an innocent bystander. 

They saw that money is the root of all evil, and that’s the case in this comic book. BOSS MACKAN wants to make a buck and is willing to cross any line to do it. 

The World Patrol Kids believe in justice, and again, their investigations lead them into some sticky situations. Will the kids survive the flames and gunshots, or have they met their match? You know the answer, but read the story anyway to find out how it all plays out! 

Be sure to check out the recycling games, puzzles, and hands-on projects!

This comic is educational, entertaining, and perfect for elementary students and beyond. 

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

 

Meet the Author

 

 
Ben has written, illustrated, produced, and directed books, films, plays, and songs, for Sesame Street, 3-2-1 Contact, Columbia Records, and many others. He has written for such licensed characters as Clifford the Dog, Snuggle the Bear, Rainbow Brite, Sweet Pickles, and more. Ben has an early childhood teacher’s license and has taught grades K-6. He also taught film courses at Western Connecticut State College. His children’s songs have sold millions of copies and his films have appeared at the Museum of Modern Art and on television stations around the world. Other books and plays by Benjamin Goldstein include: The Adventures of the World Patrol Kids, Kids, Kids Can Change the World, Garbage Can Drive You Crazy, Save Our Animal Friends, Looice, Been Dere?, Looice in the Stargarden, Looice Walks for President, Guess Again, Tales of the Baal Shem Tov, The Storyteller, An Evening with Jack and Charmian London, Jack London: The Musical.
 

 

 

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The Scalp Collector by Suzanne Smith (Book Review)

Detective Sammy Stone stared at the blood soaked corpse tied to the La-Z-Boy recliner. The body was that of twenty one year old Marci Levelle. Like Barbara Tony in Lake County last month and Abigail May in DuPage County the month before, Marci has been scalped and gutted. Sammy’s sixth sense tells him that this sadistic killer, aptly named the Scalp Collector by the press, hasn’t finished his murderous rampage yet. It’s just a matter of time before he takes the life of another innocent girl. Determined to put an end to the senseless slaughter as quickly as possible, Sammy relentlessly follows the bizarre pattern of clues that begin to emerge in the aftermath of the crime. It isn’t long before he realizes that the prime suspect in his murder investigation is an intimate acquaintance of his. Will Sammy act on his suspicions in time to save the next victim, and himself?

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

Do you love watching crime shows? Do you scrutinize every piece of evidence, attempting to solve the case before the fictional cops do? Have you ever doubted your sleuthing instincts? Have you ever flip-flopped whether a character is guilty because the evidence was so overwhelming, which made them the obvious choice? If you answered yes to even one of these questions, you must read The Scalp Collector by Suzanne Smith.

The short story begins with a crime scene that would turn anyone’s stomach. Marci Levelle, twenty-one, was discovered tied to her La-Z-Boy: gagged, gutted, and scalped. I can’t imagine being a police officer or coroner working on this case; worse, she’s not the first victim. Three women dead. Three different jurisdictions. Will Detective Sammy Stone stop the serial killer before he or she targets victim number 4?

The evidence was overwhelming, pointing at one character. Sammy didn’t want to believe someone close to him was a murderer; however, he had an obligation to follow the evidence. Sammy didn’t follow police procedures, which came back to haunt him. He should’ve contacted his partner (Will) and the other precinct detectives about his suspicions or the frantic help me phone call.

His investigation did reveal painful memories and brought to light scars that someone would’ve preferred to stay hidden. (I’m staying vague to avoid spoilers.)

When the investigation leads to one suspect, you must ask yourself, Is it too obvious? Are they the killer, or are they being setup quite beautifully? That was the case with this case. (No pun intended) I had the nagging feeling it was all too easy, but then again, I wondered if the author played it that way. 

When Sammy and the serial killer come face-to-face, he realizes they do not fit the profile. Their reasoning for these horrific acts proved the villain required psychiatric care for many years. 

Did Sammy catch the killer before their blade took scalp number 4?

Did the scalp collector escape? 

Read the book and find out! 

 

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

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Meet the Author

I grew up in Bucktown, a bustling community on the northwest side of Chicago. From an early age, I was attracted to the dark side of human nature, truly fascinated by what motivated good people to behave in bad ways. My books touch on both the grace and brutality of life.

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Cruel Lessons (Lessons in Peril Book 1) by Randy Overbeck (Book Review)

On a school camping trip, fifth graders experiment with a dangerous new hallucinogen and die in a horrific accident, their deaths shattering the quiet town. Assistant Superintendent Ken Parks, hoping to redeem a fatal mistake from his past, grasps the opportunity to conduct the district investigation of how students are getting the drugs. Almost before he begins, the cops make a stunning arrest. But Parks battles on, convinced the real pusher is still out there, poisoning more kids until he receives an anonymous threat: if he continues, those close to him will pay. Is Parks willing to risk those he loves for a chance at redemption?

Preorder now: Amazon Purchase Link

 

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

 

Cruel Lessons was a 457-page novel (print edition) that touched on a sensitive real-life issue: drugs in school. It’s common for young adults to experiment with pot, cigarettes, or alcohol. The age bracket partaking in illegal drugs exists well before high school. Cruel Lessons features the effects of drug use among 11 to 13-year-olds. Drugs are entering Foster Middle School, mainly a hallucinogen-inducing wolf tattoo. Once the young buyer presses the drug to their skin, their time is almost up. 

Cops witness numerous horrific crime scenes through their time on the force; the death of 4 young boys close to the science camp will haunt their dreams for a long time, maybe forever. 

The school board asked Ken to take point and find out how the kids got a hold of the drugs and discover if the school was liable for their deaths. The board seemed more interested if they would get sued or not. I wasn’t surprised people valued the bottom line over the loss of 4 lives. 

Ken, not a trained investigator, began to work the case. He interviewed staff members and students and enlisted the help of Bart (resource officer). His “meddling” was not appreciated by the dealer, “the doctor.” Lives were lost in the pursuit of justice. A popular teacher was fighting to prove her innocence. Through all the school drama, readers also watched love triangles unfold in the background. Wow, the cheating spouses drama could be its own soap opera. While I understand each purpose in the story, I wanted their faithful spouses to discover their misdeeds. I wanted more drama! 

The list of suspects was long. Who brought the tattoos into the school and how they did it might stun you. As you work the case with Ken and Bart, do not write off a suspect so quickly. At the end of the story, I had 75% of the resolution figured out. I was wrong about one prime suspect, which falls in the 25% category. 

Cruel Lessons will keep you guessing. When you think you figured it out, the author throws you a curveball. The uncertainty, the twists, kept me going back for more. Even though I loved the book, it left me with many unanswered questions. To avoid giving out spoilers, I will refrain from elaborating on what puzzled me. 

If you like crime stories that take time to solve, this book is for you! 

 

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

Releases 10/11/23: Preorder (Amazon) Link

 

 

Meet the Author

Dr. Randy Overbeck is an award-winning educator, author and speaker. As an educator, he served children for more than three decades in a range of roles captured in his novels, from teacher and coach to principal and superintendent. His thriller, LEAVE NO CHILD BEHIND (2012) and his recent mysteries, the Amazon No. 1 Best Seller, BLOOD ON THE CHESAPEAKE (2019), CRIMSON AT CAPE MAY (2020) and SCARLET AT CRYSTAL RIVER (2021) have earned five star reviews and garnered national awards including “Thriller of the Year”—ReadersFavorite.com, “Gold Award”—Literary Titan, “Mystery of the Year”—ReadersView.com and “Crowned Heart of Excellence”—InD’Tale Magazine.

As a member of the Mystery Writers of America, Dr. Overbeck is an active member of the literary community, contributing to a writers’ critique group, serving as a mentor to emerging writers and participating in writing conferences such as Sleuthfest, Killer Nashville and the Midwest Writers Workshop. When he’s not writing or researching his next exciting novel or sharing his presentation “Things Still Go Bump in the Night,” he’s spending time with his incredible family of wife, three children (and their spouses) and seven wonderful grandchildren.

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