Tag Archives: suspense

Review of “The Rebound Effect” – Linda Griffin

In the small town of Cougar, struggling single mother and veterinary assistant Teresa Lansing is still bruised from a failed relationship when Frank McAllister sweeps her off her feet.

Frank is a big-city SWAT officer who moved to Cougar only four months ago. He’s handsome, charming, forceful, very sexy, and a bit mysterious. He had his eye on Teresa even before they met and is pushing for a serious relationship right away.

Teresa finds his intense courtship flattering, and the sex is fabulous, but she doesn’t want her deaf six-year-old son to be hurt again. Her former fiancé cheated on her when he got drunk after being unjustly fired, but he loves her and her son, and the whirlwind romance is complicated by his efforts to win Teresa back.

And then there’s the matter of the bodies buried at Big Devil Creek…

 

Kindle Purchase Link

Print Purchase Link

 

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

Warning: Spoilers included!

Frank McAllister was a controlling a-hole!

He proclaimed he didn’t want to push Teresa but that’s exactly what he kept on doing.

Date 1: He asked to meet her son and kept asking even though she said it was too early. He repeatedly brought up her exes despite how uncomfortable she was regarding the topic. He also offered to help her financially because money means nothing to him since he had a lot of it.

Date 2: He paid the babysitter despite Teresa stating firmly “No — that’s my job!” He tried to convince her to have sex with him and again brought up her ex when she repeatedly declined his advances. 

Date 3: He asked to take her and Aiden away from the weekend. She said no. He then said just the two of them could go. As a parent, I would never leave my child with a sitter for the entire weekend. Maybe some single parents would if they were dating a person for a long while but definitely not after only a few dates.

Weekend trip: Again, Frank was a pushy a-hole. She didn’t want a new cell phone. Teresa didn’t want Aiden to have a cell phone since he was only 6 but her protests meant nothing to Frank. He also insulted her best friend Alix and  Alix’s daughter. 


I could’ve expressed my feelings regarding the other dates but it’s obvious I am not a fan of Frank. Really, I can’t fathom why Teresa agreed to a second date or a third date, etcetera, etcetera. 
Seriously, it doesn’t take a genius to realize Frank is unhinged, mentally unstable. However, it did take a lot of willpower to continue reading this book. Sadly to say, I didn’t find it entertaining and I wasn’t surprised by what became of Frank.

The only bright spot of The Rebound Effect was Aiden, Teresa’s son. He was adorable and proved extremely helpful when it mattered most.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤

Kindle Purchase Link

Print Purchase Link

 

 

Linda Griffin is a native of San Diego and has a BA in English from San Diego State University and an MLS from UCLA. She retired from a position as the fiction librarian for the San Diego Public Library in order to spend more time on her writing. Her stories have been published in numerous journals, including The Binnacle , EclecticaOrbis, and The Nassau Review. The Rebound Effect is her second novel from The Wild Rose Press. Seventeen Days was published in October 2018. She enjoys Scrabble, movies, and travel, as well as the three R’s—reading, writing, and research.

Amazon Author Page LinkGoodreads LinkFacebook Link

Twitter Link Website Link

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Review of “Touch of Smoke” – Karissa Laurel

Three years ago, Rikki Albemarle watched her best friend die at the hands of a supernatural evil. Certain she was slated to be the next victim, Rikki fled her small Smoky Mountain hometown, vowing to never come back. Plagued by nightmares and knowing she’s the only one who believes Mina’s death was no accident, Rikki returns with hopes of finding answers and holding the killer accountable.

Rikki is convinced the key to unlocking the secret of Mina’s death lies with Owen Amir, the alluring young army vet who once claimed her heart. But the deeper Rikki digs into Owen’s past, the more she’s torn between the urgings of her heart and her memories of him on the night Mina died.

After falling further into the rabbit hole, Rikki lands at the feet of an ancient and powerful evil determined to finish what it started years before. To survive, she’ll have to make a decision: believe Owen is the monster she always feared he might be or trust him enough to stay and fight for a second chance at love.

 

Kindle Purchase Link

Print Purchase Link

Barnes and Noble Purchase Link

Kobo Purchase Link

iTunes Purchase Link

Google Play Purchase Link

Goodreads Link

 

 

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

 

About ½ way through Touch of Smoke and my mind was teeming with questions.

How did Nina die?

What was Owen’s part in Nina’s death?

What’s up with Rikki’s nightmares?

How can Owen afford everything he’s buying?

Who’s the mystery man in the black ball cap, polo shirt and khaki shorts?

I had many more questions and I needed answers. I wanted to know more about Rikki’s life — past, present and future. And it wasn’t just Rikki’s story that I wanted to know more about. Was Owen a good guy or was he a sheep in wolf’s clothing. I pressed on to the 2nd half of Touch of Smoke, looking forward to getting some answers.

 

In the 2nd half of Touch of Smoke, I got most of my answers. Owen finally opened up and told Rikki his deep, dark secret. A secret I won’t share because it would reveal too much about the plot.

I will admit that Rikki did annoy me at times except during the battle scene. During that section, she impressed me and then I thought…. Maybe this chick is all right after all.

As for Owen: I loved him, from first introduction to the very last page. As the legendary Salt-N-Pepa would say…

 

What a man, what a man, what a man,
What a mighty good man
Gotta say it again now
What a man, what a man, what a man,
What a mighty good man
He’s a mighty mighty good man

 

Technically, Owen is more than just a man BUT to learn more you must purchase a copy and find out for yourself!

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

 

Kindle Purchase Link

Print Purchase Link

Barnes and Noble Purchase Link

Kobo Purchase Link

iTunes Purchase Link

Google Play Purchase Link

Goodreads Link

 

 

Karissa lives in North Carolina with her kid, her husband, the occasional in-law, and a very hairy husky named Bonnie. Some of her favorite things are coffee, dark chocolate, super heroes and Star Wars. She can quote Princess Bride verbatim. In the summer she’s camping, kayaking, and boating at the lake, and in the winter, she’s curled up with a good book.

 

Twitter Link  / Website Link

Pinterest Link / Facebook Link / Instagram Link

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Review of “Into the Crossfire (First Force Book 1)” – Cindy McDonald

Jack Haliday has a score to settle. 

It has been four years since ex-Navy SEAL Jack Haliday, had an explosive run-in with a biker gang, wounding their leader, Gunner. During those years, Jack had acquired everything he ever wanted: a beautiful wife, daughter, and a lovely home in the suburbs–everything was just about as perfect as it could get, until Gunner returned to twist Jack’s world inside-out with a vengeance that he could never have prepared for. 

Now Jack has a score to settle and he’s got some friends to help him do it.

 

 

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

Starting from the end of chapter three, Into the Crossfire was non-stop action. There were kidnappings, gun battles, a knife fight, and a house fire. Basically, Cindy McDonald threw everything at us but the kitchen sink and that’s a good thing.

Honestly, there wasn’t too much I would change. I adored Lil, the 4-year-old cutie pie. Every time she entered a scene she cut the tension drastically and this book definitely needed it. It was an intense read.

 

Other positive things to note:

Cindy McDonald integrated the flashbacks moments featuring Dr. Rayne Lee very nicely into the storyline. She also didn’t overwhelm us with a bunch of team members. She introduced us to only a handful, which means many more books in the series. All in all, a good read.

Recommend: YES!

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

 

Kindle Purchase Link (US)

Print Purchase Link (US)

Audiobook – Unabridged Link (US)

Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

Print Purchase Link (UK)

Audiobook – Unabridged Link (UK)

 

 

For 26 years Cindy’s life whirled around a song and a dance–she was a professional choreographer. She taught ballet, jazz, and tap. During that time she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. Most recently, she has retired to write her novels. She resides with her husband and Cocker Spaniel, Allister, on their Thoroughbred farm know as Fly By Night Stables near Pittsburgh.

You can also find out about her cozy mystery series, Fiona Quinn Mysteries, and her children’s books under her pen name, C.S. McDonald. 

Website Link

Facebook Link

Twitter Link 

Amazon Author Page

 

Into the Crossfire: Amazon Purchase Link
To The Breaking Pointe: Amazon Purchase Link
Into the Dark: Amazon Purchase Link
To the Brink: Amazon Purchase Link
Into the Dawn: Amazon Purchase Link
Complete series: Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Author Showcase – Kelley Kaye (Death by Diploma: Chalkboard Outlines Book 1)

Emma Lovett leaves her philandering husband and crosses the country to begin her teaching career at a high school in Pinewood, Colorado.There, she meets Leslie Parker, a fellow teacher given to quoting Shakespeare to fit all situations, and the two become fast friends.

Arriving at work early one morning, Emma discovers the body of the school custodian, a man who reminds her of her late father. When the police struggle to find the killer, the ladies decide to help solve the murder. Their efforts lead them to a myriad of suspects: the schizophrenic librarian, the crude football coach, the mysterious social studies teacher, and even Emma’s new love interest.

As Emma Lovett discovers the perils of teaching high school, she and Leslie learn more than they ever wanted to know about the reasons people kill.

 

 

 

 

You shall not know by what strange accident I chanced on this letter.

—The Merchant of Venice V.I.278–9

 

Prologue Wednesday, August 26
 

Dearest Mickey,

Please, please write me back. Oh, I’m so worried these letters aren’t finding their way to you. Our love deserves a chance to flourish. I know you think so too. You might want to give me one of your favorite quotes: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened,” but you don’t really feel that way. I don’t believe we’re over, not yet.

Never forget how much I love you—let the colors remind you. Your Airborne Raquel Welch is thinking of you.

Love, Marlena
 
 

Melvin McManus ran his fingers over the letter again. The paper was worn until almost transparent, and the care with which he folded it and inserted it back into its envelope made it seem as though he held a priceless jewel. He picked up his silver flask and stared at it. His left hand started to raise the flask to his lips, but then he flung it against the wall of the narrow room. He stood.

Melvin closed the small hidden doorway and routed the pipe maze to get to the basement. He stumbled through the basement door and lurched up the stairs, his bulky form weaving as if he weren’t sure of finding the next step. Covering his mouth to muffle a hacking cough, Melvin stopped and listened. He really shouldn’t be there after midnight—his shift only went from three to ten. But sometimes the work took much longer than that, because he hoped the care he took with the building might help the students stop taking this important time in their lives for granted. Many of them did take it for granted, though, and might end up like Melvin, navigating the world without any education or any real options. Those students didn’t make any kind of connection between now and later.

He opened the door at the top of the stairs and continued through the gymnasium and into the hallway. The brown tile on the commons floor gleamed, and he thought of Adam and when he’d found the poor kid splayed out on the now-shiny floor. Melvin had been thrown out into the world so young, he’d never had to deal with schoolyard bullies as Adam had. Poor kid. Melvin ran a hand through his sparse gray hair, pondering.

As Melvin paced through the commons, steadying himself briefly against some lockers and again on a wall painted with a fierce-looking blue cat, he stopped to look at the sign above the main office: “Wildcats: Producing Proud and Productive Future Citizens.” He’d seen that sign many times, but tonight, it made him long to become, finally, the future citizen he wished to be. He didn’t know how much longer he could stand the waiting, even with his helpful hideout in the basement. He knew he was close, though—close to achieving his goal. Edward had said as much last week, and the closer Melvin got, the less he drank and the better he felt. He allowed the moment of anticipation to swell, forgot about the Wildcats sign, and almost ran back to the basement for the letters.

He sighed, an explosive whoosh that flattened his belly and whispered his nose hairs. Almost there, almost there. He looked at his hands, dirty and greasy from work but still strong. He thought of those hands in his younger years, how she’d kissed each of his fingertips as if they were precious. He remembered what those hands had felt like when they held her, and the dirt fell away like magic.

A muffled thump startled him out of his reverie. Crap. Melvin knew he was a little tipsy, not done with his work, and in the wrong part of the building to boot. He walked nonchalantly in the other direction, but he heard the thump again, followed by a tinkling noise like breaking glass. Damn. Maybe he should look. It could be a cat or other animal, and he’d hate to trap one in the school for the whole night.

He peeked through the windows of the main office and looked at the front desk, where the computer monitor flashed and he saw someone sitting. Melvin checked his watch: half past midnight. Oh, he hoped it wasn’t who he thought, but he had to check. After unlocking the doors, he curved around the front counter to approach the left desk and stiffened when he saw who it was.

“Oh, I can see you didn’t listen!” he exclaimed. “We have to make this stop. That’s it; I don’t care what happens. I’m gonna…”

Melvin heard a whoosh followed by a crack, and he felt his body fall as it slammed hard onto the shiny brown tiles.

 

Kindle Purchase Link (US)

Print Purchase Link (US)

Audiobook – Unabridged Link (US)

Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

Print Purchase Link (UK)

Audiobook – Unabridged Link (UK)

 

Ready for book 2 in the Chalkboard Outlines’ series?

Good, then click HERE! 

 

Save time and purchase both today with one link.

 Click On Me!

 

 

Kelley Bowles Gusich writes young adult novels under the pen name Kelley Kay Bowles and cozy mysteries under Kelley Kaye. Her debut novel, cozy mystery Death by Diploma, was released by Red Adept Publishing on February 2016, and is first in her Chalkboard Outlines® series. Book 2, Poison by Punctuation, was released April 2018 and is available now.

Kelley’s new young adult novel, Down in the Belly of the Whale, was released May 5th, 2018 and is now available. Look for it in Kindle, paper, hardcover, and audio book–with Kelley, the author, as narrator! (She used to teach drama and direct plays. She’s a ham.)

Kelley taught high school English and drama for twenty years in Colorado and California, but a 1994 diagnosis of multiple sclerosis has (circuitously and finally) brought her to the life of writer and mother, both occupations she adores and dreamed about way back when she was making up stories revolving around her Barbie and Ken dolls. 

Kelley has two wonderful and funny sons and an amazing husband who cooks for her. She lives in Southern California.

You can learn more about Kelley and contact her through her website and blog at www.kelleykaybowles.com. She wants to hear from you, so don’t be shy about emailing her at kelkay1202(at)yahoo.com, and follow her on social media @KelKay1202. #HarpersPower

Kelley remains ever grateful to her readers for sharing their reviews, comments, and insights!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Review of “Waves of Murder: A Fiona Quinn Mystery: Fiona Quinn Mysteries, Book 3” – C.S. McDonald

School’s out for the summer!

Kindergarten teacher Fiona Quinn is looking forward to spending some quality time in her yard and with her boyfriend, Detective Nathan Landry. However, Fiona’s plans get squelched when her mother volunteers her to edit a manuscript for famous romance author Wyla Parkes.

What’s so bad about that? The author insists Fiona must work on the manuscript at her beach cottage on Presque Isle – three hours away from her yard and Nathan. Spending six weeks in an adorable cottage on a private beach doesn’t really seem all that bad until people start turning up dead – beginning with the author! Fiona’s summer of sun and sand is instantly transformed into a murder investigation. Can Fiona and Nathan crack the case or will the murderer getaway on a wave of deceit?

Join Fiona and the gang for a hot whodunit on the sandy beaches of Presque Isle, Pennsylvania!

Kindle Purchase Link (US)

Print Purchase Link (US)

Audiobook – Unabridged Link (US)

Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

Print Purchase Link (UK)

Audiobook – Unabridged Link (UK)

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

You ever meet a character and just know they are shady and guilty of something? Well, that’s exactly what I experienced in Waves of Murder.

There were three murders and I was only surprised by one revelation. This revelation (keeping things vague on purpose) wrapped up all three murders into a nice little package.

I do love stories that have a complete ending!

Now even though this book dealt in death, C.S. McDonald added a fair amount of humor to keep the story light and flowing at a nice pace. What else did she add that fans might adore? Chocolate….. many, many, many mentions of chocolate. I can definitely tell C.S. has a sweet tooth.

 

Now onto the big questions….

Would I recommend this book to others? Yes!

Would I recommend having a stash of chocolate nearby incase C.S. McDonald’s mentioning of candy bars activates your own sweet tooth? ABSOLUTELY! Just be sure and not smear any chocolate on the pages because you won’t want to miss a single moment of Waves of Murder.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

Kindle Purchase Link (US)

Print Purchase Link (US)

Audiobook – Unabridged Link (US)

Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

Print Purchase Link (UK)

Audiobook – Unabridged Link (UK)

 

 

For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. She was a professional dancer and choreographer. During that time she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. Now she adds the Fiona Quinn Mysteries to that expansion. She decided to write the cozy mystery series for her young granddaughters.

Ms. McDonald resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband, Bill, and her Cocker Spaniel, Allister.

Facebook Link

Twitter Link 

Website Link

Amazon Author Page

Murder On Pointe, book one: Amazon Purchase Link

Merry Murder, book two: Amazon Purchase Link

Waves of Murder, book three: Amazon Purchase Link

Tastes Like Murder, book four: Amazon Purchase Link

Good Luck to Murder, book five: Amazon Purchase Link

Mambo and Murder, book six: Amazon Purchase Link

 

Short stories

Banking on a Murder: Amazon Purchase Link

Harriet’s Heist: Amazon Purchase Link

 

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized