I’m in the process of writing my first thriller novel, which I’m totally excited about. To do so, I want to prepare myself the best way possible. How do I do that? By reading thriller novels, of course! My sister recommended one, and upon reading the book’s blurb, I was hooked, and wanted to get my hands on a copy pronto. Thank goodness for libraries! (I say that because a book by a best-selling author costs more than I’m willing to spend right now.)

Let me first share with you a little bit about the book, including the cover and blurb, and then I’ll go into what my thoughts are.

Velocity

By Dean Koontz

If you don’t take this note to the police . . . I will kill a lovely blond schoolteacher. . . . If you do . . . I will instead kill an elderly woman active in charity work. You have six hours to decide. The choice is yours.
 
The typewritten note under his windshield seems like just a sick joke. But in less than twenty-four hours, Billy Wiles, an ordinary, hardworking guy, is about to see his life take on the speed of a nightmare. Because a young blond schoolteacher is murdered—and now Billy has another note. And another deadline. This time he knows it’s no joke. He’s racing a killer faster than evil itself. And Billy must accept his terrifying challenge: The choice is yours.
 
Think fast. Fear never slows down. . . .

 

Sound goods, right? It did to me! And after reading it, I thought that it was amazing. That’s why I rated it four stars! Let me elaborate.

Dean Koontz did a wonderful job describing the story. There was never a dull moment. I thought it all came together rather nicely. Throughout, I was left wondering who could be the culprit. I also think that the whole premise is crazy! With these hard choices, there’s no way I could make a decision. What a creative thinker Mr. Koontz is. I applaud him for that.

If I liked it so much, why just four stars? Why not a perfect five? There are three reasons why I took this book off from the perfect throne:

  1. Some descriptions were too many, in my opinion. I thought there was information we just didn’t need.
  2. I felt the ending was too easy. Once we figure out things and the victim works his way to victory, it all just goes too quickly. There was barely a fight.
  3. I also didn’t like how the character was too “at ease” with everything. There is no way a person, going through what this character did, would handle it the way he did.

But overall, I liked the book. I’m glad my sister recommended it. I would recommend it as well. To warn you, though, it isn’t clean. But that shouldn’t really come as a surprise, seeing as it’s Dean Koontz and all.

Here is the link to the book’s Amazon page for you to check it out some more:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0345533461

 

I know that Thanksgiving hasn’t even come yet, but what I am going to share with you today needs to be put out there well in advance. I’d like to introduce to you a different kind of devotional that the whole family can do, and it’s something geared toward Christmas. Without further ado, have a look at this:

 

The 25 Days of Christmas Family Devotional: Making Christmas More Meaningful

Many of us get caught up in the commercialization of Christmas. One way to prevent that is to focus on the reason for the season. Taking a few minutes each day with this different kind of devotional book will help your family think of others. Each day focuses on one word and includes a story from Daniel and Holly’s family, a Scripture reading with the devotional, the YouTube link to a Christmas Carol, and an activity that the entire family can be involved in.

Reviews

“We love it! You posted it just the right time. God’s providence!”

“My kids love it! Especially the song and the activity.”

“The kids like to read the verses during the devotional part. It has been a good way to get the whole family involved.”

Excerpt

Advent

Story

“I have a surprise for you kids,” Mom said as soon as Daniel and Holly walked in the door after school.

“What?” They both wanted to know.

“Follow me,” Mom requested as she walked toward the family room.

Two-year-old Evie followed along behind, clapping her hands and giggling.

“She must know what the secret is,” Daniel commented to Holly.

Holly laughed when Evie shouted, “Sec-et! Sec-et!”

Mom smiled as well. “That’s her new word for the day.”

Then Mom Continue reading “A Christmas Devotional”

Reluctantly Married is the second installment of the Married Series by best-selling author Victorine E. Lieske. This is also the second book from this series that I have read. You can find my post about Mistakenly Married HERE.

Because these are all standalone novels, you can read them in any order. That explains why I have yet to read the first, lol! Someday, though!

Anyway, back to the review. Let me share with you the cover to this book, as well as its blurb, before filling you in on what I liked, didn’t like, and my overall rating.

 

Megan Holloway can’t stand her local morning show co-host, Adam Warner, even though he’s a total hunk. He goads her on-air until she says things she regrets. But since ratings increase each time they have an on-air fight, the producer encourages his behavior.

When a relationship specialist comes onto the show purporting that Adam has hidden feelings for her, she reluctantly agrees to go out with him—on camera. What starts out as one date turns into a viral dating show with Megan and Adam alternating between locking lips and knocking heads.

As Megan fights her growing attraction to Adam, their popularity increases and ABC takes notice, offering them their own program. Not a morning show like Megan is hoping, but a dating show in which she and Adam must marry at the end. With the promise of a hundred thousand dollars and the possibility of scoring what she really wants, her own national program, she signs on.

What she doesn’t know is that Adam has fallen in love with her, and his objective is to get her to do the same.

 

MY REVIEW

This book reminded me of two TV shows. One was Full House. There is an episode where Danny Tanner and Vicki Larson bicker on set. Maybe not exactly bicker, but you can tell there’s tension. Later in the season you see they end up dating and so forth. This is exactly the type of atmosphere you’ll find in Reluctantly Married. The two main characters are co-hosts. You can tell there’s tension. At first it’s for ratings, but things eventually get real.

Another show it reminded me of was The Bachelorette. The climax of this story is the two main characters doing a show pretty much exactly the way The Bachelorette goes. There’s more than one man trying to win the female’s heart. In the end they get engaged.

So having said that, I thought it was kind of cool to relate to some things I have seen before.

The storyline is clean and well written, and started out fun at first. I liked having the “war” between the two characters. There’s even this one date night activity I’d like to try with my husband. If I do, I’ll blog it so you can all know!

There were a couple of things I didn’t like. I didn’t think this was a comedy, even though that’s what the book’s page on Amazon stated. However, that’s just my opinion. I also thought that the storyline got old. Like I said, started out fun at first. After that, though, I just wanted them to move on with it. The whole dating dragged on.

One final thing was how it ended. For most of the book, we see the female’s view. She’s falling for the male. Occasionally you get a small idea that the male is falling for the female, but not enough to warrant the ending. Basically, at the end, it’s the male character declaring his “love”, but I just didn’t feel it. I would have thought the female would have.

All that said, the ending was still great. I always like happy endings!

I have rated this book 4 stars! If you’d like to read for yourself, please go to:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QEE7MHA

October Banner

Yesterday we began a countdown. To what? The release of J. Grace Pennington’s new book, October. Yep, she named her book after the month we are in. Check out the great giveaway, and the other posts in this countdown!

About the Book

CoverFor Emily Baxter, life is simple. Her world is made up completely of school, church, and the community in the small farming town she calls home. All that changes one fateful Sunday, when a new girl shows up at Pleasanton Baptist—a girl unlike anyone Emily has ever seen. A girl with long red hair, crystal green eyes, and style and posture like royalty.

A girl named October.

The months that follow are filled with magic—the magic of ordinary things, of finding pictures in the stars, of imagination and a new sense of beauty. But as time goes by, Emily begins to sense that her enchanting new friend may have secrets that could break the spell. Is October really all she seems to be?

About the Author

Author photoGrace Pennington has been telling stories since she could talk and writing them down since age five. Now she lives in the great state of Texas, where she writes as much as adult life permits. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading good books, having adventures with her husband, and looking up at the stars.

Preorder here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076JMZCYX/

Excerpt

We laid in silence for awhile, watching the stars appear one by one, adjusting slowly to the cooling temperature of the summer air.

            “What should we do tomorrow?” I asked at last.

            “Whatever we want.”

            I giggled. “What will we want?”

            She poked my shoulder. “We can’t decide now, silly. That messes up the magic.”

            “Magic?”

            My question had been in the most teasing tone possible, but her reply was as serious as I had been silly. “Whenever a decision is made in the heat of the moment—when we allow ourselves to be carried on joy or sorrow or mere simplicity and quiet—whatever it is, a moment of magic is created. Not always good magic, of course. But magic, nonetheless.”

            From anyone else, it would have been the most absurd thing imaginable. I would have laughed. But here, under the stars, with that hint of wonder I had never heard in anyone else her age—I believed it.

            “Then let’s have a magical day tomorrow,” I said.

            It was dark, but I could feel her smile.

Giveaway

Grace has generously offered a paperback book of her new book as her giveaway prize. You can enter at this link.

Tour Schedule

October 25, 2017
Bookish Orchestrations – Introductory post
God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae – Character Spotlight
Letters from Annie Douglass Lima – Character Spotlight
Lisa Swinton – Queen of Random – Book Spotlight
Audrey Rich – Book Spotlight

October 26, 2017
Frances Hoelsema – Excerpt
Jaye L. Knight – Character Spotlight and Excerpt
Morgan Elizabeth Huneke – Review

October 27, 2017
Liv K. Fisher – Author Interview and Excerpt
Opinions, Thoughts, and General Rambling – Character Spotlight and Excerpt
Leila’s Bookshelf – Book Spotlight
Britbear’s Book Reviews – Guest Post

October 28, 2017
Rebekah Lyn Books – Excerpt
In the Bookcase – Review
Roxbury Books – Character Spotlight and Excerpt
Grace Pennington – Special author’s post

October 29, 2017
Bookish Orchestrations – Giveaway Winner

Save

When most people say the phrase “water under the bridge,” it’s to mean events or situations that are in the past, and therefore, are no longer important or needed to be concerned about. I’m not about to rehash any water under any of my bridges, but I do want to fill you in on a book that goes by this phrase. I’m talking about Water Under the Bridge by Britney King. Take a look:

 

As a woman who feels her clock ticking every single moment of the day, former bad girl Kate Anderson is desperate to reinvent herself. So when she sees a handsome stranger walking toward her, she feels it in her bones, there’s no time like the present. He’s the one.

 
Kate vows to do whatever it takes to have what she wants, even if that something is becoming someone else. Now, ten pounds thinner, armed with a new name, and a plan, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s created in her mind.

But Kate has secrets. 

And too bad for her, that handsome stranger has a few of his own.
With twists and turns you won’t see coming, Water Under The Bridge examines the pressure that many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a protagonist whose hard edges and cutthroat ambition will leave you questioning your judgment and straddling the line between what’s right and wrong.

 

First off, I want to warn you that this is a slightly dark fiction. Having said that, it’s not clean. As with many thrillers, there is some language. There is also very brief talk of sex, but nothing too graphic mentioned in that department. And there is quite a bit of violence. After all, the two main characters are murders for various reasons.

What I found fascinating about this novel is that it was laid out different than I have ever seen before. Each chapter went back and forth between the female’s point of view and the male’s. You’d think that would make for some possible confusion, but the author did a great job keeping things straight, having the stories match up, and keeping the dialogue flowing nicely so that the reader doesn’t miss out on anything.

I believe the author also did a fantastic job with details. How the characters connected, the chemistry and commitment they had for one another, was well woven in, and made for a great domestic/psychological thriller.

Although I enjoyed the book, I rated it one star shy of perfect…in other words, just four stars. I don’t think there are twists and turns as the book’s blurb indicated, at least nothing that caught me off guard. I also didn’t think there was a lot of depth. It was more following along with how the characters met, got married, and moved on from a possible divorce.

Before I go, I want to mention that this book is FREE. It’s also the first in the Water Trilogy series so there is even more to the story than just this book. To find out more, please visit here:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M98YZWL

There is a new release I would like to share with you all! It’s the final book in the Secret Keeper series by Angela Carling! Take a look at this…

 

It all started with one little secret….

New to the series? To celebrate the release of Under The Broken Sky, you can pick up the first book, The Secret Keeper, for FREE!  Yep, you can discover the series, risk free.
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
I-books

Here’s the condensed version of the reviews:)
 

If you are already a fan of the Secret Keeper Series, you’ve been waiting for the final installment in the series!  

Wait no more! Under The Broken Sky is here! Winter, Liam, and Belakane’s story is complete! Binge away my reader friends, but know this….

Winter and Liam’s story takes some unimaginable turns. Belakane (the creator of the curse) takes center stage, and new characters bring more depth, joy, and pain into the lives of the characters we already love! 

Here are the cover and blurb for Under The Broken Sky:

 

 

Here’s where you can pick it up:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
I-books
Kobo

So check it out, grab your free copy of The Secret Keeper, or get that final book you’ve been waiting for. I know I’m excited to share the last chapter in Winter, Liam, and Belakane’s story. Love to you all, and may you never need a Secret Keeper!

************************************************
Come and find me!

 

Angela Carling was raised in Palm Springs California, but lives in Arizona with her husband, three kids and five felines.  After years of denial, she finally admitted that she is a hopeless romantic, which led her to write her first Young Adult book, Unbreakable Love. Since then she’s published Shackled, Becoming Bryn and The complete Secret Keeper series. Shackled won the silver IBPA award in 2012 and has been optioned as a screenplay and the Secret Keeper series picked up first place in the paranormal romance reviewers choice awards! Angela always eats the frosting off her cake first, and can be caught singing pretty much anywhere.  When she’s not writing YA novels, she’s mentoring teen writers, making pizza with her family or dreaming of taking a nap, not necessarily in that order.
 
Links to connect with Angela:

This book is a thriller you won’t want to miss out on! The author did an amazing job, and I would definitely recommend. Let me share more with you…

Serial killer or avenging angel?

Lucy tracks down killers to deliver vigilante justice. But a missing child will pull her into a case that’s darker and more complicated than anything she’s ever faced.
Lucy quickly discovers the link to a predator she’s faced before–a man the state of Pennsylvania decided to turn loose on the streets. Determined to find the little girl and put a criminal behind bars for good, Lucy forces her way onto the case.
As the search pulls Lucy into a web of evil beyond her darkest imagination, she’ll have to face her own dark truths to save the little girl–and herself.

Not only did the premise of the story sound good, but boy did the author deliver big time. From page one until the very end, Stacy Green kept me on my toes, trying to figure out who is the culprit behind the missing child case. Just when I thought I knew who it was, I was quickly proven wrong. It’s not until the final chapter that the real answer is given. I love it when a story can do that!

There are a lot of positives to this book. First being that it’s FREE! Other positives include that it’s well-written, characters are well-developed, there’s never a dull moment, it’s hard to put down, and the fact that Stacy Green incorporated all the characters so well that anyone (and I mean anyone!) could be the ‘bad guy’. All of this together means that I gave it 5 stars!! I highly recommend!

Two things to note, however. It’s not a clean novel due to occasional language. Also, it does deal with a tough subject so it’s not for the faint of heart. If these things don’t bother you then please get your copy now! You can do so here:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MUZMDYY

One more thing before I go. This novel brought up an interesting question for me. I’d like to know what you think. If someone kills the ‘bad guys’, do you think that makes them good? Or are they evil themselves because they’re killing?

I bring to you a FREE psychological suspense novella! Introducing…

 

 

For those who may not know, novella means short novel. In other words, this is not a full-length novel. That doesn’t mean it won’t pack a good punch, though! With around 26,000 words, this makes the perfect book to read for those short on time. And with a lot of storyline and plot twists, it’s perfect for those still wanting depth. Plus, you can’t beat FREE!

Before going into my review, let me share with you the book’s blurb:

Matthew Stanyer fears the worst when he reports his parents missing.  His father, Joseph Stanyer, has been struggling to cope with his wife Evie, whose dementia is rapidly worsening. When their bodies are found close to Blackwater Lake, a local beauty spot, the inquest rules the deaths as a murder-suicide. A conclusion that’s supported by the note Joseph leaves for his son.

Grief-stricken, Matthew begins to clear his parents’ house of decades of compulsive hoarding, only to discover the dark enigmas hidden within its walls. Ones that lead Matthew to ask: why did his father choose Blackwater Lake to end his life? What other secrets do its waters conceal?

A short (26,000 words) novella, Blackwater Lake examines one man’s determination to uncover his family’s troubled past.

In my opinion, this was a very intriguing psychological suspense. It held my attention from the first page through to the end. The characters and scenes were well-written, and the storyline was amazing! What I think I loved most about this short book is that there were a few twists and turns that I didn’t expect! And on top of that, the author did a fabulous job piecing all loose ends together towards the end without giving away too much information throughout the middle.

There were two things that I didn’t like. The first thing was that one of the twists the author wove into this novella was not something I appreciated. It was an interesting take on what the author was trying to get across, but it wasn’t something I enjoyed. I will not share what it is because I don’t want to spoil anything for potential readers, but let’s just say it’s an iffy topic. The book as a whole isn’t clean, either, so tread lightly.

The second thing was that some of the scenes were not needed. They don’t throw you off, it’s just they really didn’t need to be added. And some of those moments were a tiny confusing so I had to reread some parts just to be sure I knew what was being said.

Overall, I really liked the novella. I like psychological storylines, and this one fit the mold quite well. Because of the couple issues, I am only rating this one four stars!

If you’d like to read this for FREE yourself, check it out here:

 

www.amazon.com/dp/B015WYIQ4K

 

Introducing my newest release…

 

 

I am so excited to share this with you! In this collection of short stories, you’ll get a mixture of just about every genre out there. Plus, it’s a clean read! I like to think of this as our worst fears realized or perhaps even worst case scenarios because each story has a little bit of creepiness to it. This is NOT horror, though! Just entertaining 🙂

Let me share with you the book’s blurb…

Life is often unpredictable. Many times, bad things happen that no one would ever see coming, not even ourselves. And such is the case for the people in each of these stories. Some will be attacked by vicious animals, while others navigate through wild weather. The rest will find themselves in freak accidents, coming face to face with the supernatural, being a part of something out of this world, and many other situations that can only be described as unfortunate.

With traces of romance, adventure, humor, thrill, and mystery woven in, there is a story for anyone looking for an entertaining read while being short on time. And with just the right blend of horror and tragedy, this collection will leave you dreading the possible.

Unfortunate Events: 31 Short Stories is available in paperback and eBook format. Paperback can be found on Amazon or CreateSpace for just $9.99. The eBook can be found on Amazon for just $1.99 by clicking HERE! It’s also available on Kindle Unlimited for FREE!

Great news, though!! To celebrate this release, it will be FREE for ALL for two days next week! Can’t beat FREE, right!?!? All you have to do is click HERE between Monday, September 11, and Tuesday, September 12!

Enjoy! Now on to my next novel….

How can a book be big and small at the same time? Big and small are opposites of one another so it surely can’t be real, can it? I’m so glad you asked these questions because I am willing to explain what I mean in this book review.

Yes, this book is big and small at the same time. When I say small, I mean that it’s technically a short story. I was able to read it within 20 minutes. This would be a perfect read for those on break, waiting in line, and/or just short on time.

Now, when I say big, I mean that even though it’s such a short story, it packs a big message. Actually, there are two big themes present in this book that are relevant to today’s day and age, making for an excellent read.

What is this book, you ask? Here it is!

It’s called Faith is the Victory, and it’s by Faith Blum. That name shows up a lot within my blog posts, mostly because she orchestrates blog tours that I participate in.

This, however, is the first time I got a taste of her writing. I was not disappointed! And for FREE, you can also get a taste of her writing! This short story is permanently FREE – you can find it HERE!

To give you an idea of what makes this book pack such a big punch, here is the blurb, and then following that will be my own little remarks that share what I rated it and why.

BLURB

I don’t like change. I know most people get used to it, but I have never been able to. When Dad announced their move and I couldn’t go with them, I didn’t handle it well. Would I ever find the faith to be victorious?

REVIEW

That’s not a lot information to know if you want to read it or not, is it? Let me give you a little bit more. This short story is about a teen who is going through a rough time in life. What makes it so much worse is the constant bullying he gets from school. We all know that bullying is a huge problem in today’s schools, right? Totally not cool.

The second big topic discussed in this short story is suicide. The main character, with all his struggles and bullying, feels he isn’t worth going on. He takes it upon himself to end his life, or at least try to. Attempted suicide and successful suicide is no laughing matter. But it’s very real. It affects many, and not just those actually trying to go through it.

In comes faith. Just at the brink of committing suicide, memory verses flood the teen’s mind, reminding him God is there. Slowly, but surely, he decides to live and becomes victorious over his life situations.

I gave this short read four stars. Here’s why. I love the reality behind it. I love how faith was the victor here. I love how memory verses popped up, and I love how it was written in first person point of view. It was excellently written. It held my attention.

I think the issue of why I didn’t give it all five stars, though, is two-fold. First, I don’t have a lot of experience with suicide. I do have experience with being bullied, though. Never fun. But it was a different type of bullying so with not fully connecting on those two big topics, I felt overall my connection to the story was not as deep. And these two topics can be a little tough to read in general. And second, being as short as it is, there’s just not much of a chance to get much out of it. And really I don’t mean any of this negatively. I’d recommend the book for sure. And who doesn’t like a book where faith reigns?!? That message is crucial!

For FREE, you can’t go wrong. So give it a try! Maybe it’ll be the type of book that can help you or someone you love!

And as a side note, if you or someone you know is dealing with bullying or suicide, please seek the appropriate help you need!