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

 

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

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

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

 

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!

What I am about to share with you, I would like you to pay full attention to. It’s no big deal, really, when I do book reviews. But this one is different. This one is a huge deal! Why? Because this novel that you’re about to see is hands down one of thee best romance novels that I’ve ever read. And truly believing that, I am so excited to share it with you, and am hoping you’ll also give it a chance. Like me, you’ll see why I highly recommend!

The book is called Her Best Match. It’s Book 1 in The Best Girls Series by Tamie Dearen. Let me stop there for just one minute. If you don’t know who Tamie Dearen is, please do yourself a favor and pick up one of her books. (If you like romance, make it Her Best Match!) Oh…my…goodness. She has talent! She’s not just romance, either. So, seriously, go check her out!

Back to the book. Let me share with you a little bit about it. Here is the blurb, as well as the front cover.

Feisty, stubborn, and bored with life in Texas, Anne Best is about to get more than she bargained for.

The lovely widow heads off to the Big Apple for a job interview, expecting no more than a few days adventure in New York City, only to find herself with a new job working for the most infuriating man she’s ever met.

Billionaire Steven Gherring is one of New York’s Most Eligible Bachelors, and he has every intention of staying that way. But Gram has other ideas. She’s on a not-so-secret campaign to find a wife for her grandson.

As fearless as she is clumsy, Anne tackles every challenge (including her new boss) enthusiastically, with two lone exceptions… public speaking and recognizing her own feelings. Passions rise along with hemlines as Gram joins forces with Anne, a veteran matchmaker, to find the perfect match for Steven.

This book currently has a 4.4 star rating out of 375 reviews!!!! That’s three hundred seventy five!! If you haven’t guessed by now, I rated it 5 stars. Here’s why… Continue reading “The Best Girls”

Can love trump faith?
Seventeen year old, South Floridian Trina Weber has the world at her feet: beautiful, part of the in-crowd, and with almost enough college credits to earn her AA while only a junior at Stonehaven High.
With her whole life planned, all she needs to complete her perfect world is a boyfriend.
But not any guy will do.
This boyfriend must accept her goals to become a family doctor.
When the gorgeous, equally ambitious college freshman Stuart Grant blazes into her world, he fits right in. He’s everything she dreamed of and more…except he doesn’t agree with the most important part of who she is.

 

www.amazon.com/dp/B071F9L2Y3/

 

In Thinking About Love we follow a girl who is crushing badly on a lifeguard. Good news for her is that he likes her, too. We see the relationship blossom. Only one thing is getting in the way, however. It’s the most important thing to Trina, but not even on Stuart’s radar. I’ll let you in on a little secret as to what that “thing” is…it’s faith. In Part 1 of Thinking About Love, we see what happens in regard to this hurdle.

There were many things that I loved about this book. The first was that right at the beginning of it, the scene is set on a beach. I could actually picture myself hanging out with the girls, the wind blowing through our hair, and the sun shining down on us. I could picture the waves. Audrey Rich did such a good job describing each scene that I felt like I was actually there. And I love being at the beach!

Another thing that Audrey did well at was developing each character. Not just the main character, but all the supporting roles as well. And they were believable! It was neat to see how all the personalities came out in each person.

I love that this was a clean, Christian, young adult love story. I would highly recommend it to those who are interested in this genre. And remember, Part 2 is coming so that’ll be something I will watch for.

One slight, slight, slight, slight, teeniest possible downfall, however. So much of the first part of the book is all around the beach and following day or so. Towards the end of the book it seems like much more time passes on. Nothing was confusing. I’m just simply stating that the pacing wasn’t equal from beginning to end. For me, not a problem. For others, maybe.

Overall, 4 stars!!!

 

If you are into books and cats, this is the book for you! Just look at the cute cat on the cover! (There’s also a pic of a cat for each chapter heading!)

In this novel, Jenny Kalahar did a phenomenal job describing different behaviors of cats. There were times I had to laugh because I know all too well just what cats act like. Each cat has their own personality, and it was neat to see some of the different ones in this book.

I also think that the events that took place in Shelve Under C were believable. There was one instance that I had to question (the price of used books), but overall, the story was written in a way I could picture what was going on and it all made sense.

This is a light, easy-to-read book. There is not a lot of depth to it. Basically, you will read the day ins and day outs of the life of bookstore owners and the cats they have roaming in their store. There is a side story of a foster child woven in that I think was cute. How everything ended melted my heart.

Shelve Under C is a book I would recommend to anyone. It’s clean! I think people of all ages would find enjoyment out of it. Just don’t expect anything deep. Overall, I rated this four out of five stars.

Here is the blurb of Shelve Under C by Jenny Kalahar:

A novel for everyone, Shelve Under C is a big, leaning stack of humor, heart, stray cat hairs, old book dust, mystery, family drama, longing and hope.

Used bookshops often have a cat or two roaming the aisles, sleeping on the shelves, or sleeping on the customers. Here is a novel all about one bookshop and its resident cats, Stomper and Buglit; and about Kris, a 12-year-old boy who apprentices in the shop. Kris is a little bit like the cats: he’s a foster child getting used to a new family, and the cats are being fostered in the bookshop for the local shelter. Stomper and Buglit are a little bit like Kris: they get into trouble, have some wild adventures, and find out just what being part of a family really means.

Unlike some novels that have a bookstore setting, Shelve Under C has the real spirit of the store, its owners, its apprentice, its customers, and, especially, its cats as the beating heart of this fuzzy beast. It’s full of wonderful characters, a wild storm, a doggy bucking bronco, catnip capers, an almost-deadly chicken salad sandwich, and . . . books! No need to knock — the door is open. So come on in, grab something to read, and get comfy on the big, red sofa.

Sound good to you? I thought it would! Here is the buy link so you can get your own copy! It’s only $0.99, too!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0089S7M3S

 

I have to laugh a little. Out of all the book reviews I have done, this one is really tough. Not because of the material or anything. Well, in a way it’s because of the material. But really I just can’t figure out what I even want to say.

Let me just break it down between the positives and negatives:

Positives:

  • The author used amazingly descriptive imagery
  • It was easy to read
  • The struggle between the main character and her mind was interesting

Negatives:

  • The ending was just ‘eh’
  • Some scenes were difficult to follow
  • There wasn’t any real depth
  • Personally, I didn’t think there was much to the story, period

Now, having said this, maybe you can see my point. When there isn’t much to a story, there isn’t much to say. Yes, it flowed nice. It’s not like it was boring or difficult to understand. The problem is there was really no story! The main character dares to enter a tower that everyone says to stay away from. She meets the man that lives there. Has a couple of mental issues. Decides it’s best to let it all go and leaves. That is really the basis of the whole book! That’s it! No climax…no huge struggle (just one with self)…no nothing. Because of this I rated it 3 stars.

The Orchid is a clean book for the most part. There are a few questionable words, and one steamy part (but no graphic details).  And it is beautifully written. So the author has real talent, no denying that. Let me give you a pic of the cover and the blurb in case you’d like to check it out. Perhaps you’ll get more out of it than I did!


The Orchid

Sahar Ayachi

“You will bring light to my darkness, you will bring hope to my despair. You will be my knight though you will first be a slave, but I know which spots to hit to make you brave.”

Dreamy, impulsive, but mostly confused—this is Lola.


On a journey where she just tries to live, love, and be loved, Lola is being followed by the one thing she thought she escaped from—a presence that will find her wherever she goes . . . a presence that isn’t happy with her decisions—not happy at all.


Follow Lola through a story where the lines between dreams and reality are blurred, where she will be faced with struggle—emotionally and physically—and where she is trying her best to make sense of the confusing situation she got herself into.


What is this scary unknown that Lola is running away from, and will she eventually be able to face it?

See? It did sound good on paper! The innards just weren’t quite living up to the premise.

As a side note, I think this book is only available in paperback at the moment. But here is the link in case you would like to view more:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1482899884