Showing posts with label Suspense/Thriller. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Suspense/Thriller. Show all posts

Monday, March 9, 2015

Skeletal by Katherine Hayton



Genre: Young Adult, New Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

From Goodreads:
Three months before she died Daina Harrow faced a bully at school.
Six weeks before she died Daina Harrow suffered an assault in the park.
One week before she died Daina Harrow stole a secret people had killed to hide.

That was ten years ago. Ten long years.

Now, her bones have been found on a building site. A coroner's inquest has been reopened. A parade of witnesses is about to start.
And Daina's here. Watching every day as her mother cries in the courtroom. Watching every day as her friends, and her enemies, and her killers lie about her on the stand.
Watching, and making sure that no matter what the coroner hears, you know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

My Thoughts:
This was a great book.  Because we watch what is happening and go back to learn more about Daina's past we get the whole story.  It is creepy and sad at the same time knowing Daina is listening to the  people lie. Those who mistreated her, or ignored and neglected her are there telling their story.  Daina wants to make sure the reader knows the truth.  I felt so sad that it took so long to learn what had happened to her.  
I felt sorry for the life she had lived.  I loved the ending and the twists that I had not expected.  I would most definitely read more by this author.  I will probably re-read this again and again.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A BRIDGE UNBROKEN Book Tour & Launch Party

 
Welcome to the BlitzKat blog tour for Cathy Bryant’s A Bridge Unbroken. Another Miller’s Creek Novel set in the heart of Texas, A Bridge Unbroken brings two new characters to the forefront while still giving fans a glimpse of their favorite characters from the past, including the old geezers and Mama Beth.

 
http://www.catbryant.com/millers-creek-novels/


===========

About the Book, A BRIDGE UNBROKEN


Letting go to build a bridge…

Dakota Kelly wants her painful past to disappear. A plan to start afresh is derailed when she co-inherits her late grandfather’s farm with the man responsible for the scars on her heart. But Chance Johnson isn’t the only ghost from the past. Someone else is out to get her and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Will Chance and Dakota lay aside their grudges to restore the old farmhouse and bridge, or will evil forces sabotage their attempt at forgiveness?

Click HERE to read a sample chapter of A Bridge Unbroken.



The Other Miller’s Creek Novels


“Miller’s Creek, Texas…where folks are friendly, the iced tea is sweet, and Mama Beth’s front porch beckons…”

============

My Thoughts

This is the fifth book in the Miller Creek Series.  I have enjoyed each one for several reasons.  Overall the message that she carries throughout reaches out and touches you where you are.  This book carries a theme of Forgiveness.  The romances her books have are not the mushy gushy type that I can’t stand. There is  always enough suspense to balance out the romance throughout the entire book.   The message of forgiveness is strong and reaches out to remind us that forgiveness is necessary, but not easy. You must forgive if you are to move forward in life.  We are told we must forgive others.  You can read in Matthew that if we don't forgive others our heavenly Father won't forgive us. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you forget, or you get over the pain the minute you forgive.  I have experience with this one first hand.  The pain can last for years.  But, once you forgive that person and you pray asking God to help you with the pain, it gets easier.  God has definitely given Cathy the ability to write books that reach out and touch your soul.  He has also given her some powerful themes for her books. Sometimes it is a book just like this that is what God uses to speak to, or create a healing in someone.  I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves romances with suspense that speaks to you.  If you haven't read any of Cathy's books I would suggest you do so. You have several to choose from. 
 
============
 

Author Interview

Tell us about yourself.
I’m a Christ-follower, wife, mom, Nana, daughter, musician, teacher, and writer. I enjoy just about anything outdoors, including hiking, canoeing, camping, and gardening. I also enjoy creative activities—home improvement projects, scrap-booking, painting, composing, and of course, writing. I love watching movies and reading books, though since becoming a writer, I can’t stop analyzing what I’m watching and reading. I’m a big reality TV fan, my favorites being Survivor and The Amazing Race–both great material for analyzing human behavior for my books!
Where do you write?
Our mountain cabin has an upstairs sleeping loft. It’s one large open room with the best view in the entire house. My writing desk is there, but I force myself to write in a corner facing a wall to keep myself from being distracted. (It works most of the time…)
What are you writing now?
I’m finishing up A Bridge Unbroken, the fifth book in the popular Miller’s Creek Novels. I had hoped  Future writing plans include a series of Bible studies and more Miller’s Creek Novels.
What inspired you to write A Bridge Unbroken? All of the Miller’s Creek Novels feature a spiritual theme that is relevant to me for different seasons in my life. In Texas Roads it was Christ being our home rather than placing our security in a place or building. A Path Less Traveled was about finding enough faith to follow God even when it doesn’t seem to make sense. (Boy, has He used that lesson in my life, and proven His faithfulness through it all!) The Way of Grace was my spiritual journey of learning how perfectionist tendencies can be a real hindrance to spiritual progress. The spiritual theme of Pilgrimage of Promise followed right along with my hubby and I stepping out in faith in a bad economy and high unemployment rates to do what we sensed God telling us to do, and the resulting joy and peace spurred on by the Lord’s faithfulness.
What do you want readers to take away from this book in particular? In my very humble opinion, forgiveness is one of the least understood tenets of our faith, yet central to the gospel we proclaim. I hope readers come away from the story with a fresh understanding of the gift of forgiveness, what it is and what it isn’t. (As an example: Forgiveness is unconditional. Forgiveness doesn’t mean excusing the offender’s behavior.)
Tell us how you come up with characters. The characters actually introduce themselves to me. (I know, I know, they’re not real. I promise I’m not certifiable…) After they make their appearance, I fill out extensive character charts, including taking online personality tests for them! (Hmm, maybe I am certifiable…) But no matter how much preparation I put into the characters in the pre-writing process, they always reveal another facet of their personality during the actual writing of the book.
Of all the characters you’ve created, which is your favorite and why?
Without a doubt the answer would have to be Mama Beth, the wise woman in all the Miller’s Creek novels and the main character in the fourth book of the series, Pilgrimage of Promise. She is everything I want to be when I grow up—wise, kind, and loving. Just so you know, I’m not alone in choosing her as the favorite character. When I asked this question to the Miller’s Creek Reader’s Group on Facebook, the majority’s answer was Mama Beth.
What do you hope to accomplish through your writing? I want my writing to honor and glorify God. If only one person is touched and moved closer to God as a result of my writing, then the hours of hard labor (and numb backside!) are worth it. One early reader of Texas Roads (the first book in the series) told me the story brought healing to her life. I can think of no higher compliment.

 
 
============

About Cathy

A native daughter of the Lone Star State, Cathy loves spinning tales about life in small town Texas. When she’s not weaving stories about the fine folks in Miller’s Creek, you’ll find her rummaging through thrift stores, feeding her reality TV addiction, or up to her elbows in yet another home improvement project in the mountain cabin she shares with her minister husband of over thirty years. You can find out more about Cathy and her books at www.CatBryant.com.

Here are a few other places to meet up with Cathy in cyberspace:


Reader friends on Facebook may want to visit the following groups, the first for book bargains and the second to discuss all things Miller’s Creek.



=============

About the Blog Tour and Launch Party


Cathy is celebrating the new addition to the Miller’s Creek family by having an  interactive Facebook Launch Party on May 22, 2014.  Come join A Bridge Unbroken Facebook launch party on May 22.

Don’t miss the fun! See you at the party!

Ebook Giveaway!!!
The author has graciously offered an ebook to one of my readers. 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 21, 2014

Time Square Time Shift – S.W. Lothian

Genre: Middle Grade, Science Fiction, Suspense, Humor
Source: I received a review copy from the author

 This is another wonderful series from this author.  In this series we meet Dr. Rex Hudson and his family.  Dr. Hudson and his assistant are in Peru at Machu Pichu looking for something important.  They find a black oblisk and have it shipped back to his home.  Once home he shares the exciting find with two of his three children, twins Eva and Lewis.  While inspecting it the three of them are sucked into it and find themselves in Time Square where all time goes through.  Unfortunately when they are sucked through the youngest son Thomas is left at home with his aunt who had been staying with them while their father is away.  Once in Time Square Dr. Hudson realizes by bringing back the oblisk he has upset time and time travelers everywhere are stuck.  He and the children must find a way to get back home and get the oblisk back to where it belongs.  Unfortunately the oblisk is stolen making their job more difficult.  The children are set to the task of helping to rescue those stuck in time.

Like his previous books in the Quest Series, S.W. Lothian is a master at creating time travel stories. The oher thing I love about his books is that he has the ability to tie adventure, suspense and humor all together in one book.  This is definitely the recipe for hooking a middle grade reader. I am so glad I had the opportunity to read and review this book. It is one I will put on my shelves at school and then sit and wait impatiently for the next book in the series.

Author Bio From Amazon

S.W. Lothian is a funny and cool guy from Australia. His kids call him 'Phil Dunphy', because he reminds them of the dad from Modern Family. He isn't sure whether this is a compliment or not, but he takes it as a compliment.
As an imaginative kid he dreamed of creating exciting worlds and funky characters, and thought he'd be the most famous person to ever do this. He loved to draw and was dux of Art in High School. Top of his dream list was to be an animator. He loved watching all those classic cartoons on TV - Scooby Doo, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Road Runner, Wacky Races, The Simpsons, the list goes on and on.

BOOM! Reality hit. The dreams were parked as the corporate world beckoned. Then, 25 years later, the long-held dream to create erupted like a jam donut in a microwave and S.W. started writing fiction for kids of all ages.

His books can be summed up as fun-action-packed-time-travel-adventures-for-the-kid-in-everyone. He writes stories to excite, inspire, teach and thrill. Stories with awesome edge-of-your-seat fun. Stories that let kids escape to new places, and adults remember the dreams of their own childhood.

His debut novel, The Golden Scarab, was a 2013 READERS' FAVORITE BOOK AWARD FINALIST.

S.W. Lothian can be followed via

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Carvings: A Short Story Anthology by Drake Vaughn

Genre: Horror/Thriller
Source: I received a copy in exchange for my honest review

From Goodreads:
The Carvings Collection: A selection of ten shocking tales from the crinkled mind of Drake Vaughn. The short stories span every arena of horror - from psychological tales of imagination gone wrong (“Dolls” and “Carvings”), to supernatural monsters (“Master Key,” “Sales,” and “Flatheads”), to realistic crime (“In The Chair,” “The Test,” and “Driver’s Seat”), along with a new spin on old tropes (“Trip to V-Town” and “The Garden”). All are bite-sized chunks for fans of horror and dark pulpy fiction.

My Thoughts:
I love short stories.   When I only have a few minutes to read I can sit with a good short story and get my reading fix.  This book is filled with great stories.  I must tell you that some of the language is a little rough in a couple of the stories.  However, if you can just jump over those words you will thoroughly enjoy the book.   The first story “Dolls” held the utmost creep factor.  When I read stories like this it makes me wish I could spend the day getting to know the author, just to see how they really think.  “In the Chair”  reminded me of one of those great movies you see on TV where you think the criminal is going to get caught only to have things spun around in some weird twisted way that catches you by surprise.  I mean this in a good way.  “The Garden” was one of those stories that took me by surprise.  It leads you to think one thing and then you get to the last page only to have it be something completely different than what you thought.  I would have to say my favorite of all of the stories was the one the book was named after, “The Carvings”.  Once again the author leads you down a path only to surprise you at the end.  I have to say that this was one ending that completely surprised me and I completely agreed with.  You really need to read this book to see what I am talking about because I’m not going to say anything more that I have said.


About the Author:
Drake Vaughn is the author of The Zombie Generation, along with many other pieces of dark fiction. His self-proclaimed “crinkled fiction” is a blend of horror, dark fantasy, and speculative fiction with a heavy psychological bent. His tales appear deceptively simple, but transform into a wild spree of suspense, madness, and trauma. He lives in Santa Monica, CA with his wife and a black cat named Shadow (who he is certain has come back from the dead on a number of occasions.)

To discover more of his crinkled tales, please visit his Amazon page.
Likewise, feel free to follow him on Twitter and like his page on Facebook. Or join his mailing list at his website:  www.DrakeVaughn.com


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Student Saturday: Golden Buddha - Clive Cussler


Student Reviewer: Nicolas B.

Do you like action and suspense? If you do, then the book the Golden Buddha by Clive Cussler is for you. IN the book, the Dalai Lama has been over thrown, by the Chinese invading Tibet. Juan Cabrillo (born in California) and his team must help the Dalai lama by getting the golden Buddha from the thieves who stole it. They tracked the Buddha to a billionaire in China.

I really like this book because I like the genre of the book. The ship Juan and his crew sail on is magnificent, because it's painted like an old rusty cargo ship and it's so much more. this is the first in the series, The Oregon Files. the setting of the book is in modern times because of all the technology that Juan uses. Juan is really cool because he can speak five different languages, can steer a ship, knows how to hack most computers, and he's a crack shot. He is amazing even though he is handicapped.
I would recommend this book to whoever likes spies and traps.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Shadow of Darkness - Rashad Freeman

Pages:  264
Source:  I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Genre:  Young Adult, Thriller

From Goodreads

Anthony Dimair isn't your average teenager. Anthony Dimair doesn't have your average teenage problems. Unfortunately, Anthony dimair doesn't know that yet. By most accounts Anthony's been a pretty normal kid his whole life. When he starts what should be a normal year of high school, he suddenly begins to change. There's something dark buried deep inside him, but it wants to get out. As people start disappearing and unknown assailants start following him, Anthony turns to his Uncle for answers. With only the help of his friends he sets off on a quest to discover the truth. But discovering the truth may very well get him killed. Follow Anthony on an epic adventure as he races against time and the darkness inside him. Will he survive to find out the truth? Or will he get himself and his friends killed in the process?

My Thoughts

This was a fabulous book. From the first chapter where you read what seems to be a lab experiment gone terribly wrong the action never stops.  There is a lot of humor built into the book that will definitely grab middle grade kids.  Anthony Dimair has started high school with his best friends.  However, in addition to the normal teenage angst he suddenly sprouts wings and doesn't know why.  The author has created characters that are very believable in their actions.  You get a feel immediately that they are teens.  He has created a plot that will keep you reading from beginning to end.  I read the whole book in just two hours.  I was surprised by the way the book ended.  I didn't want it to end that way.  However, I have to say that since this is the first book in this series that it definitely had a great ending.  I can't wait until the next book comes out.  I am sure this is a book that my students will definitely love.  I can't wait to introduce them to it tomorrow.

You can find his book at:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Student Saturday: The Limit by Kristen Landon'

Today's student review is by Whitney.

The Limit is about a boy who has just started middle school and already he has found out that an eighth grade girl was taken by the government, because her parents went over their spending limits. Up until then they were only kidnapping high school kids. So, Matt (the main character) is starting to think he will be the next one to be taken. But he dismissed the thought because his family members are responsible spenders, and as long as they continue to stay that way he shouldn't have to worry, or should he?

The main character Matt is very smart.  He has a 3.007 GPA and is quite the wiz in math. He enjoys playing with his friends after school and has two younger sisters. I made the connection between me and Matt because we are both in the sixth grade. Personally I think this book is amazing and can relate to tons of people.

Now, I would recommend this book to someone a little on the mature side of reading, but other than that, I think people will enjoy this book. There are two main settings in this book, Matt's house where he goes after school, and usually invites his friends over. The second setting is the warehouse. This is where the government sends the kids to work. I enjoyed this book a lot and if you give it a chance I bet you will too.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Full Day of Reading


Brainrush II, The Enemy of My Enemy – Richard Bard
Publisher:  CreateSpace
Pages:  332
Source:  Received a copy for review
Genre:  Thriller, Action, Adventure


From Goodreads:
Former combat pilot Jake Bronson believed the worst was behind him.  But when a sophisticated terrorist cell shows up in his home town, he’s drawn into a conflict that threatens the heart and soul of every mother in America.  The bonds of love and loyalty are tested as Jake and his friends are swept into a deadly game of good versus evil.

My Thoughts:
I enjoyed this book more than the first one.  This is so action packed I feel like I’m watching a movie in my head as I read.  Hey out there in Hollywood, this would make an excellent movie, hint, hint.
Jake Bronson has a special gift or curse depending on how you look at it, created by an accident.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about you need to read the first book.

Richard Bard has learned how to take a story and make it enough of a roller coaster ride that you are holding on waiting for the next drop.  He has added enough current events to make the story very believable.  It is not only an action roller coaster, but also at times an emotional rollercoaster.  Through this book we get to read about terrorists, drug cartels, gang members, and other unsavory people.  I can travel to places through his books that I will probably never be able to travel to.  I get the thrill of watching Jake come to the rescue once again.  In the end the book leaves us with a satisfying conclusion, yet yearning for the next book.  Hurry please, and thank you.


Rust - Glen Joshpe, M.D.
Publisher:  CreateSpace
Pages:  202
Source:  Review copy from author
Genre:  Adult, Adventure, Scientific Mystery


I'm not really sure how to describe this book.  There was so much medical jargon and description that someone not familiar with it would probably be turned off.  At times I felt as if I was reading a medical book.  Fortunately when my sister was going through nursing school my favorite summer past time was reading her nursing books for fun.  Yes I know that sounds strange, but if it had words I read it.  I enjoyed the scientific material.  I read it straight through at one sitting.  I had to see what happened and how it would end.

Alex Stein is a Cornell University scientist who has discovered how to prolong life.  This is discovered when data from a census taker in a region of Africa comes across the desk at the U.S. Census Bureau in Washington, D.C.  This was so far off the charts that it raised a red flag.  This prompted the CIA to get involved.  The CIA sent Carlton Terry to Alaska to track down Alex's former roommate, Steve Hinton.   Word reaches Alex that the CIA is trying to locate him and he decides he must leave Africa.  Carlton learns all he can from Steve Hinton and is informed of Alex's disappearance.  Their next plan of attack is to locate Alex's grand-daughter Abby.  He goes in undercover.  When Steve Hinton is killed Carlton realizes he must locate Alex and protect him and Abby at all cost.  Read the book to find out who else is after Alex and what they would kill to find out.

I enjoyed the mystery line of the story. I loved the way it ended.  I even enjoyed learning more about the body.  This may be the teacher in me that is always wanting to learn more.  The author has given several resources in the book that are actual working sites.  He himself  graduated from New York Medical College.  He has published three other books.  He currently lives in Bradenton, Florida with his wife Vicki.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Submerged - Dani Pettrey


Publisher:  Bethany House
Pages:  320
Source:  Received a review copy from publisher
Genre: Christian, Romance, Suspense


From the Publisher:

A sabotaged plane.  Two dead deep-water divers. One single clue.

Bailey Craig vowed never to set foot in Yancey, Alaska, again.  She has a past, and a reputation—and Yancey’s a town that doesn’t forget.  She’s returned only to bury a loved one killed in the plane crash, but then dark evidence emerges and Bailey’s own expertise becomes invaluable for the case.

Cole McKenna can face dangerous rescue dives.  He can face the fear a murderer may be threatening his town.  But facing the reality of Bailey’s reappearance is a tougher challenge.  She broke his heart…but doesn’t seem to be the same girl who left Yancey ten years ago.  And he’s not the same guy she left behind.

Racing against the clock and a rising body count, Bailey and Cole must move beyond the hurts of their pasts to work together until the truth of what is hidden in the depths finally surfaces.


My Thoughts:
This sucked me in right from the beginning.  We get a good look at how things we do in our teens can scar us.  It doesn’t matter if we come to the Lord and he takes away our sins, we have a tendency to hold on to things because we thing we don’t deserve forgiveness.  This  is how Bailey feels.  When she has to return to the home of her teen years she believes EVERYONE will remember her the way she was and not see her for the person she has become.  I loved how Cole could see the difference and instead of pushing Bailey to recognize and accept the change in herself he prayed that God would open her eyes. 

The suspense was awesome.  I know this is only the first book in the series.  I can’t wait to find out more about Landon and Jake, and the mysterious missing brother Reef.  We were left with just a small look at their character.  There is so much more to be learned.  If you are looking for a book that will hold you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end, this is it.  If you are looking for a book that has a Godly message but doesn’t preach at you, then this is definitely the book for you.  You will fall in love with Piper who is  one of the kindest, most loving people.  She would do anything for you.  Cole is the very protective brother who runs the business with his siblings. Gage is the bottomless pit who always has Coles back as long as he is well fed. Kayden comes off as tough.  It is almost as if she THINKS she must prove herself to be equal in a man’s world. 
Landon the cop, and Jake the mysterious man who drifted into Yancey and works for Cole leave us wanting to know more of their life.

I must mention one other thing about this book.  I would never have thought I would become interested in Russian History.  This book not only teaches you a lot of Russian History, but if you are like me, you feel you must do more reading on the subject.  I love books that make me want to learn more.  I will definitely recommend this author and look forward to reading more of her books.  Shattered, the second book in her series should be out in February of 2013.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein – Kenneth Oppel

Publisher:  Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Pages:  304
Source:  I received a review copy from the publisher
Genre:  Young Adult, Adventure, Gothic, Suspense, Fantasy

Parent Alert:  Due to some of the subject matter and gore you might want to read this book before giving it to your tween.  Not all tweens are mature enough to handle the material.

Product Description
Victor and Konrad are the twin brothers Frankenstein. They are nearly inseparable. Growing up, their lives are filled with imaginary adventures...until the day their adventures turn all too real.
They stumble upon The Dark Library, and secret books of alchemy and ancient remedies are discovered. Father forbids that they ever enter the room again, but this only peaks Victor's curiosity more. When Konrad falls gravely ill, Victor is not be satisfied with the various doctors his parents have called in to help. He is drawn back to The Dark Library where he uncovers an ancient formula for the Elixir of Life. Elizabeth, Henry, and Victor immediately set out to find assistance in a man who was once known for his alchemical works to help create the formula.

Determination and the unthinkable outcome of losing his brother spur Victor on in the quest for the three ingredients that will save Konrads life. After scaling the highest trees in the Strumwald, diving into the deepest lake caves, and sacrificing one’s own body part, the three fearless friends risk their lives to save another.

My Thoughts:
My first introduction to Frankenstein was the old black and white movie that were on TV in the 1960’s.  I loved spending my Saturdays watching them.  When I hit college and studied Byron, and Shelley I learned how the story of Frankenstein came about.   Percy and Mary Shelley were visiting their friend Lord Byron when a storm came up.  They sat around telling ghost stories when a challenge was thrown out.  They were each to write a scary story and see who could come up with the best.  Enter Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.  For this reason when given the opportunity to read and review this book I jumped at the chance.

Kenneth Oppel  took a few liberties when creating the early years of Victor Frankenstein.  He gave Victor a twin brother.  Victor and Konrad love each other very much.  Where Victor is out for success, doing things that will make a name for himself, no matter what’; his brother Konrad is the opposite.  He is constantly thinking of others and giving credit to others instead of taking it for himself.  This of course draws people to him.   Then we throw in their distant cousin Elizabeth.  Both of the boys are drawn to her.  When we add the jealousy Victor feels towards his brother over Elizabeth and the way Konrad is treated by others we can see trouble brewing. 

When Konrad becomes ill and doctors can do nothing, Victor decides to become the hero here.  He will do what the regular doctors can’t.  HE will find a cure for his brother.  He along with Elizabeth and his best friend Henry search out the old outcast alchemist Julius Polidari.  He then sets out on a quest to retrieve the three main ingredients necessary for “the elixir of life”.  We can see right from the beginning there is a battle raging inside of Victor.  It is the battle of why he is truly taking up this quest.  We see the power of darkness, in all its forms,  and its effect on him. 

This is a book that anyone who loves Frankenstein, or anyone who has never been privileged to read Frankenstein should read.  It diverts from the original a bit but not enough to detract.  In my opinion it enhanced my  reading experience.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tunnel Vision – Susan Shaw


Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry (August 16, 2011)
Pages:  272
Source:
Genre:  Young Adult, Thriller, Realistic Fiction

Product Description
On her way home one evening, Liza has to force her way through a group of men in a train underpass. She doesn’t think anything of it, but when her mom is shot dead moments later, Liza’s world turns upside down. Even worse, Liza was really the target. Only hours after her mother’s death, Liza is nearly killed again and she and her dad are placed in the witness protection program. Leaving everything she's ever known behind, Liza and her dad pick up and move, never staying in one place for long. It's too big of a risk--and Liza's worst fear is realized when she gets recognized. The would-be killer is still on their trail, so all Liza ad her dad can do is keep running. Unsure whom to trust and where to go, they're just trying to stay alive.

 My Thoughts
This book held my attention.  I hated when I had to stop.  You know how it is, someone has to fix dinner. I felt so sorry for the main character in this story.  Her whole life and that of her father’s had been turned upside down.  I just couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be on the run and know you couldn’t trust anyone.  I wondered how they were constantly found by the bad guys.  Part of it is explained but part of it leaves you hanging.  However, that would be the way it would really happen if you were in the witness protection program.  You wouldn’t know how the bad guys found you most of the time, especially if you managed to escape to live another day.  This was a great book and one I definitely want to have on my shelves at school.  This is one I’ll recommend to my students.  The actions just keeps building to the point you can’t put it down and it becomes a very quick read.  I look forward to reading more by this author.

About the Author
Susan Shaw is the author of One of the Survivors, Safe, an ALA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers and a Carolyn W. Field Honor Book, and The Boy From the Basement, a New York Public Library Best Book for the Teen Age. She lives in Wayne, PA, and you can visit her online at susanshaw.org. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 – Richard Paul Evans

Publisher:  Mercury Ink (August 9, 20211)
Pages:  336
Source: electronic copy from publisher
Genre:   Young Adult, Science Fiction, Thriller, Adventure

I received a Kindle edition in exchange for my honest review.

From Goodreads
My name is Michael Vey, and the story I’m about to tell you is strange. Very strange. It’s my story.
To everyone at Meridian High School, Michael Vey is an ordinary fourteen-year-old. In fact, the only thing that seems to set him apart is the fact that he has Tourette’s syndrome. But Michael is anything but ordinary. Michael has special powers. Electric powers.

Michael thinks he's unique until he discovers that a cheerleader named Taylor also has special powers. With the help of Michael’s friend, Ostin, the three of them set out to discover how Michael and Taylor ended up this way, but their investigation brings them to the attention of a powerful group who wants to control the electric children – and through them the world. Michael will have to rely on his wits, powers, and friends if he’s to survive.


My Thoughts
You know how every once in a while you come across one of those book that you just can’t put down?  Well I guarantee you that this is one of those books.  This is the first book in a seven book series about a group of kids with “electrifying powers”, literally.  I loved the way that the author took  a kid with Tourette’s Syndrome, who was constantly bullied, and gave him another set of problems.  I liked the fact that it showed what bullies truly were underneath.   The author has several themes running throughout the story, the love of family and friends, loyalty, good   versus evil.  He has even thrown in a little bit of romance.  In this story the underdog  finds a way to rise above.  The characters in this story show what it is like to follow your conscience for good or evil.  The consequences for doing both are laid out for the reader.  The reader is forced into a position of asking themselves what they would do in a situation like that.  This is such an awesome book that I am afraid that Michael Vey will keep us waiting for the next, and the next….    This is good and clean for everyone from the middle school age kid and up.  For those who don’t usually read young adult novels I believe they will find this thrilling enough  to hold their attention.   I am definitely putting this down as a book I must have on my shelves at school and one that I need to recommend to everyone I know.  Want to know more about Michael Vey and his other books?  Go to his website and check it out.


Friday, July 8, 2011

High Treason - Samuel Oakes


Publisher:  Horizon Books (Oct.1, 2011)
Pages:  320
Source:  I received an ARC for review
Genre:  Amish political thriller

Let me say two things right off the bat.  One, this is not your typical Amish fiction.  Two, this is a must read.  Imagine the world as you know it now.  Suddenly the world finds itself fighting an epidemic.  Vaccines become mandatory.  Without it you will not be treated.  Imagine that rumors surface that the government is behind these problems.  You have now been introduced to the beginning problem of this story.  Now mix in two main characters that are from different worlds.  One is a female pastor, Regina, who feels it is her job to take care of the ill no matter what those in charge say.  She feels inadequate enough to do, what she knows can get her in trouble, secretly help those who need help.  Add in a second main character, Enos, a young Amish man waging a war of his own.  His father has decided they will not accept the Englishe'rs vaccine even as he watches his wife die and his children become sick.  Their bishop has given them the go ahead but he still refuses.  Enos disagrees with his father and takes the vaccine.  His father pretty much disowns him.  When his future plans are ripped from his hands he lets hate take over.  He sees no way back for himself.
This book is different because we usually see Amish fiction as love stories,  feel good stories that always paint the Amish in a good light.  This book paints the Amish in a true light.  This of course is my opinion.  We know the Amish are human like those of us who are not Amish.  They feel anger and hatred, etcetera.  What is different is that often we act on those feelings, and usually they don't.  We are led to believe through Amish fiction that they never get real angry or act on these feelings.  Since their community is closed to most English people we never really know.  This book brought  out several questions about the Amish and made you wonder what would really  happen in a situation like the one in the book. Both of the main characters were well developed.  They were believable in their thoughts, emotions and their beliefs.  I thought it wonderful that we see the way Enos struggles with his beliefs and the way he feels he is lost to God forever.  We all feel that way at times.  It is great to see the message of forgiveness.  This was a wonderful book.  I look forward to reading anything else this author puts out.  It is now in my top 10 favorites of 2011.  There are going to have to be some really great books published to knock it out of that spot.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Nightmare at Camp Forrestwood

Publisher:  Outskirts Press
Pages:  132
Source:  Received copy for review from publisher
Genre:  Young Adult, Thriller

From the Back of the Book
Holly Jenson is the new student at Madison High and she’s never felt so uncomfortable in her life.  She can’t figure out how to get her new classmates to like her.  The senior class camping trip is coming up and she knows that Matt Ifft will be there.  That would be awesome since she has a crush on him.  She promises herself she’ll make the trip fun.  But when the phones stop working and Tricia disappears, Holly knows something is terribly wrong.  Then Rhonda disappears.  There’s a killer among Holly’s classmates.  But who is it?  If Holly can find someone she can really trust maybe they can escape together…if they live long enough.

My Review:
I enjoyed Kelli Sue Landon’s first book Sudden Moves.  I had no reason to believe I wouldn’t like this one.  I was not disappointed.  I have always like scary stories and this fit the bill.  Holly has recently moved to Madison High because her father passed away.  She doesn’t fit in very well.  She is befriended by an even bigger outcast, Erin.  The senior trip comes up and Holly encourages Erin to go with her on the campout.  This is where the jealousy sets in.  Holly talks with another girl, Mindy and Erin gets mad.

Things go from bad to worse right from the beginning.  The first night a counselor and one of the girls go missing.  Then the students and counselors start disappearing one after another.  Holly, Matt, and Mindy must now try to figure out who the killer is and try to avoid being their next victim.  One thing that made this such a tasty read was they set everything up with a rumor about a mentally challenged boy and a murder at the campground.  This was a great book.  I look forward to reading more by this author.  The twists and turns she puts in her books will keep you coming back for more.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sassy by Gloria Mallette

Sassy Davenport is a successful romance novelist who lives her romantic fantasies through the books she writes. While conducting a book signing her world is turned upside down when Norris Yoshito walks up with a bag of books for her to sign. Not only is he good looking, but he is polite and mannerly. Sassy agrees to deliever the signed books to him in the restaurant across the street. Predictably they start seeing each other. We know this is how most romance novels go. This book is different. The prologue starts off with Norris' assistant being brutally murdered. She can't understand while she is slowly dying, why Norris, whom she has secretly been dating, is the one killing her. At this point I began to wonder why the author would give up the killer before chapter one had begun unless she wanted to terrify the reader with gruesome details of other murders that would culminate in the killers capture. I was so glad that I was so off base.

Sassy and Norris develop a relationship whereby they fall in love. To add to this new confusion, Sassy's cousin is dying of aids and want nothing to do with his son or the mother of his son who happens to be one of Sassy's friends. Once again in steps the charming Norris to bring everyone together.
Sassy has become confused by his Jekyll and Hyde personality. It scares her to see his dark side. Norris convinces her it was not him but someone who looked like him.
From this point on things get bizare. More people associated with Norris are murdered and Sassy wants to defend him from the cop who is bent on sending him to jail. His refusal to tell what he knows to the cops has her scared and confused. If he were innocent he would surely defend himself and yet there is no way he would have killed those people. When Sassy finds herself the next victim of the killer all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place.

This is a definate must read. The twists and turns are so quick you don't see them coming at you. It kept me on my toes the entire time. About the time I thought that I had it figured out something else was thrown into my path.

I guess it would be important to say at this point that I don't usually read romance novels. I don't like all of the mushy, fluffy stuff. I will definately check out more of Gloria Mallette's books. I also have a list of friends I know will love this book. It will definately be recommended.

Sassy by Gloria Mallette
312 pages
Gemini Press

Romance, Thriller, murder, illness, family