Saturday, 21 April 2018

Sarah’s Review of Abandoned, A Jennifer Malone Mystery, by John Schlarbaum


 

Jennifer Malone is a hard-working, investigative journalist, looking for her next big story. Abandoned is the second book in the Jennifer Malone Mystery series by author John Schlarbaum, but it can be read as a standalone novel. This is actually the first Jennifer Malone Mystery I have read and I didn’t feel as though I needed any more background information than what the author gave in this book.

In Abandoned, we are introduced to an elderly patient, Helga Klemens, as she is about to undergo emergency hip surgery. Just before she is wheeled in, she says “Don’t let them kill me,” to a hospital porter named Luke. It is Luke’s job to assure her that everything will be fine as he sees a lot of people frightened before surgery. Unbeknownst to Luke, those were her last words.

That afternoon we meet Jennifer Malone, a newspaper reporter who happens upon the hospital morgue while digging into a John Doe case. After speaking with the coroner, Jennifer and Luke cross paths, along with Luke’s girlfriend, Maryanne who works as a security guard at the hospital. Both Luke and Maryanne find Helga’s death shocking though they can’t quite figure out why.

The rest of the story takes place over the course of five days in which Jennifer delves deep into the investigation in order to figure out what happened in the operating room. Then another John Doe washes ashore. Jennifer strives to get to the bottom of it and wonders if these deaths are related or if there is a killer out there.

Throughout this novel, we meet many extraordinary characters. They are introduced in an order that helps all of the clues fall into place at exactly the right time. Even though many of the characters are secondary and aren’t overly represented throughout the whole novel, I still found that I had a great sense of who they are as a person from the descriptions and language Schlarbaum uses. Every character had their own unique personality and voice.

Abandoned is written from may varying points of view. Sometime switching perspectives in the middle of a chapter. In this sense, I found that it was written as though you are watching a television show as the thoughts aren’t only one-sided in the scenes. You get everyone’s perspective so you have all of the information, thoughts and feelings moving forward throughout the book.

It’s extraordinary how intricate and inexplicably woven our lives can be with those around us. This novel shows us that even people we don’t know can have an immense impact on our lives. All of the characters intertwine with each other and everything comes together perfectly in the end.

Schlarbaum uses just the right amount of descriptives in order for the reader to easily envision the story unfolding. The book is fast paced, keeping you turning page after page because you just need to know what happened. Abandoned is a great mystery novel, full of twists and turns.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Sarah’s Review of The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn




This is the debut novel for A.J. Finn. The Woman in theWindow is touted as being a psychological thriller. I have enjoyed these genres of books in the past and couldn’t wait to read this as I had heard only great reviews about it. Essentially, this book is about a woman, Anna Fox, living in New York City, by herself, even though we know early on she has a husband and a daughter. She has agoraphobia and therefore cannot leave her own house. Instead she watches her neighbours, watches old black and white movies, and drinks wine, lots and lots of red wine. The story begins when new neighbours move in across the park. Then one night, Anna sees something disturbing out of her window and this event spins her life out of control. Through a series of page turning events, Anna begins to wonder what is real, what is imagined and what is out of her control.

I have to admit that when I first started reading it, I wasn’t immediately pulled in. The first couple of chapters were a bit hard to get into, to be honest, but very early on things begin to pick up. As soon as the new neighbours move in you know something isn’t quite right. And immediately it becomes a page turner. I definitely did not want to put this book down and found myself trying to read even a page or two if I had a minute or two to spare.

Finn writes through the eyes of the agoraphobic, Anna, and at times it can be confusing as there are moments of time we just don’t have, however, we are meant to be as confused as Anna, so he does do a great job. You really feel like you are pulled into Anna’s world and are experiencing everything with her. And at just the right moments, the author gives us more information into Anna’s life and the reason she is the way she is.

There are a lot of twists and turns and even when you think you have it all figured out, you turn the page and you are proven otherwise. The storyline weaves and twists so much that you are never really sure what is going on until the very end. I love stories like this, that aren’t at all predictable, yet make sense once all is laid out. I can honestly say that I could not have predicted the ending, no matter how many different scenarios I was imagining. He did a great job!

Finn’s writing is catchy and original. I liked the themes and the characters. It was especially intriguing that Anna herself is a psychologist yet she is suffering with a psychological disorder that is threatening to ruin her life. The other characters are well laid out and there is just enough information given about them to make the story work and to make it real. The author sets the scene up well and describes it in just enough detail that you can easily picture her in that huge 5 story house.

This is actually a quick and easy read. Some of the chapters are quite short so you want to keep going. There are a few shocks throughout the storyline and one in particular had me dropping my jaw, but it makes total sense and works so well with the book. Even with all of the twists, the story is woven beautifully together and comes out perfect.

I loved this book and would definitely recommend it, especially if you like psychological thrillers. But it isn’t over the top scary, it just gets you thinking and wondering and gives you the creepy thrill factor just perfect for a novel. I really hope this author continues writing as he obviously has the talent.

On a side note, it does say the book is in production to become a movie. I can’t wait to see what they do with it!

Thursday, 22 February 2018

RELEASE DAY AND GIVEAWAY! Marrying Mr. Valentine

RELEASE DAY & GIVEAWAY!  Marrying Mr Valentine is LIVE!


 
Amazon Bestselling author Laura Barnard brings you the follow on book from Adventurous Proposal, second standalone in the One Month Til I Do series.

Amazon UK - http://amzn.to/2CKUcW
 
Synopsis


Nadine Roberts smiles for everyone, but beneath it she hides a heartbreaking past that only a few know about. Throwing herself into her new career; wedding planner at The Duck & Goose, a property recently purchased by newlyweds Florence and Hugh, has helped distract her from her loneliness.

When a teary bride suddenly cancels her upcoming wedding Nadine looks to the two year waiting list. Clara Blumenkrantz and Hartley Valentine. It’ll have to be a quick turnaround, but what’s the worst that can happen, right?

This should be like every other wedding she plans, but the magnetism she feels towards Mr Valentine disrupts the orderly life she’s worked hard to carve out. 

Can she ignore her intense desires and be a professional? Or will she open up her heart to the one person that has the power to break it? And in doing so endanger not just her job, but her venue’s reputation?
 
 

Amazon UK - http://amzn.to/2CKUcW

With reviews like this what are you waiting for?
'Another great read from Laura full of her usual quick wit and slapstick shenanigans.'

You don't need to have read book one, but if you'd rather read in order you can download Adventurous Proposal:
Amazon Affiliate UK - http://amzn.to/2qxKSAk
Amazon affiliate US - http://amzn.to/2D5IhQK
 
Giveaway

Head on over to Laura's Facebook page (details below) to enter her release day giveaway to be in with a chance of winning a £10 Amazon Gift Card!

 

Stalk Laura






Thursday, 28 September 2017

LOVE UNCOVERED IS LIVE!

 


The second standalone book in the Babes of Brighton series is out now and available to read for FREE via Kindle Unlimited - 
myBook.to/LoveUncovered


Synopsis

Independent woman to her core, Brooke Archer has always been happy to hit it and quit it with the men in her life. But when her beloved Nan suffers from poor health, Brooke realises just how precious life is and decides it’s time to face her daddy issues and seek out her estranged father. Without so much as a name or photo, and a cagey Mum withholding vital information, it’s going to be no easy task. 
Nicholas Parker is a relationship guy and always has been. Abandoned by his mum when he was seven he craves love and security. But finding a woman who can conquer his trust issues is no easy feat. Brooke is exactly the kind of woman he doesn’t need.
Pulled together by some invisible force, can Brooke and Nicholas overcome their differences to uncover true love? 


Read Love Uncovered now - myBook.to/LoveUncovered


 Check out the first book, Excess Baggage (although both can be read as standalones) - myBook.to/ExcessBaggageLB

Stalk Laura

Friday, 15 September 2017

COVER REVEAL!!!


Love Uncovered, the second standalone book in the Babes of Brighton series is now available for pre-order - myBook.to/LoveUncovered
 
Synopsis
Independent woman to her core, Brooke Archer has always been happy to hit it and quit it with the men in her life. But when her beloved Nan suffers from poor health, Brooke realises just how precious life is and decides to it’s time to face her daddy issues and seek out her estranged father. Without so much as a name or photo, and a cagey Mum withholding vital information, it’s going to be no easy task.
 
Nicholas Parker is a relationship guy and always has been. Abandoned by his mum when he was seven he craves love and security. But finding a woman who can conquer his trust issues is no easy feat. Brooke is exactly the kind of woman he doesn’t need.
 
Pulled together by some invisible force, can Brooke and Nicholas overcome their differences to uncover true love?
If you'd like to catch up with book 1, Excess Baggage, read it here - myBook.to/ExcessBaggageLB
The book will be available to read for FREE via Kindle Unlimited from 28th September.
 
Connect with Laura

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Sarah's Review of In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware


In a Dark, Dark Wood, by Ruth Ware, our main character, Nora, hasn't seen her high school best friend, Clare, for ten years. They haven't even spoken since the day Nora walked out of her high school, never to return.

Then, out of nowhere, Nora receives an invitation to Clare's hen do. Wanting to put her past behind her, and vowing to attend with a mutual friend who she has remained in touch with, Nora decides to go.

But right from the start, things seem off. Clare's maid of honour is high strung and almost seemingly obsessed with Clare, even copying the way she dresses. And the guest list is just as absurd.

If Nora was slightly uncomfortable before arriving, she becomes even more so after she meets Clare after those ten long years. Nora realizes that even though time has passed, some secrets can never stay buried.

And then to make matters even more confusing, Nora wakes up in a hospital bed, badly bruised and covered in blood, with only patchy memories of what happened the night before. But one thing she does know for sure is that someone is dead.

This is Ruth Ware's debut novel, however I read it after the Woman in Cabin 10. It was the main reason I picked it up.

In a Dark, Dark Wood was a very good read. It hooked me right from the beginning and the characters were so easy to understand. Also, the plot line was very sequential and everything fit in. At times I had "hunches" as to what was going to happen or what had happened in the past that Nora was hiding, and, even though those hunches were proven correct, the entirety of it was not overly predictable. You think one thought, but then the reasoning behind it or how it comes to be is not what you expected.

Ware's writing is so well laid out and she has the ability to entangle you into her story and the world she has created. The characters were easy to follow and each one had such a unique personality that it was nice to see how they all fit with and interacted with one another. Especially since none of them really knew each other before showing up for the hen (bachelorette) party. You could get a good sense of who they were, and as the story unfolded you saw the profoundness of their personalities take hold.

Ruth Ware's psychological thriller really takes you into the depths of what the human mind at it's darkest is capable of. And that you never really know what people go through or what they are thinking, no matter how well you may know them. You come under the realization that even one decision can have the ability to affect so much more than you could ever imagination. Even years down the road, one little lie has the ability to completely destroy a person's life.

In a Dark, Dark Wood is a page turning, murder mystery, that dives into the deep psyche of what one person could do to create their own reality and how intertwined our lives really are with those we are close to.

I highly recommend this novel, especially if you have read and enjoyed her other books. It is a quick, easy, dark read, that pulls you in right from the beginning. A page turning, murder mystery.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

NEW RELEASE!!!

Letters to Lincoln by Tracie Podger
Blurb:
 What do you do when your husband dies unexpectedly?
You write him a letter, of course.
What do you do when someone answers that letter?
 Dani was mid-thirties when she found herself alone and without her soulmate.
Coming to terms with her loss took all her strength and her voice.
If Dani thought she’d experienced the worst life could throw at her, she was wrong.
Lies, deceit, confusion surround her.
A stranger, a builder, and a priest, comfort her.
 Letters to Lincoln is a contemporary romance about overcoming loss, finding the strength to rebuild a life, and learning to forgive.
 
For readers over the age of 18.
 
 
 
           #NowLive #LTL #LettersToLincoln  #LetLincolnIntoYourHeart
#ItStartedWithABottle #TraciePodger #NewRelease #Romance
 
If you loved A Virtual Affair, then you’ll also love Letters To Lincoln – reviewer.

Excerpt 

I heard noises: beeping, whispered voices. It was the clinical smell assaulting my nose that had me realise I wasn’t at home. I tried to open my eyes, but the light, such a bright light above me, burned my retinas. My body ached, my arm felt heavy as if weighed down.
I drifted back into sleep.
“Dani, can you hear me?”
“Dani, we need you to open your eyes, honey.”
Honey?
I felt a hand on my shoulder, it gently squeezed. Why couldn’t they leave me be? Did they not understand? The minute I opened my eyes, the minute I heard their words, I’d have to remember. I didn’t want to remember.
“Baby girl, it’s time to wake up now.” Not even my dad’s voice could chase the fear of waking up away.
The hand squeezed and eventually, fingertips pried one eyelid open. I moved my head away; it was an invasion. An assault on my desired numbness. I had no choice. I opened my eyes, squinting against the harsh lights above me and turned my head.
My dad sat on a chair beside me. He leant forwards, reached out, and smoothed the hair from my forehead. I winced at the sting as his fingers brushed over the stitches.
“Hey,” he said, gently.
A nurse stood beside him, busying herself with a clipboard and notes. She looked up and smiled softly at me. I didn’t return the smile.
I looked down at the arm that felt heavy and saw the white plaster cast, stretching from hand to elbow. Using my other hand, I placed it on my stomach. I knew.
 
 
About the Author
Tracie Podger currently lives in Kent, UK with her husband and a rather obnoxious cat called George. Shes a Padi Scuba Diving Instructor with a passion for writing. Tracie has been fortunate to have dived some of the wonderful oceans of the world where she can indulge in another hobby, underwater photography. She likes getting up close and personal with sharks.
 
Tracie likes to write in different genres. Her Fallen Angel series and its accompanying books are mafia romance and full of suspense. A Virtual Affair is contemporary romance, and Gabriel and A Deadly Sin are thriller/suspense. The Facilitator is erotic romance.
 
 
Available from Amazon, iBooks, Kobo & Nook
 
Fallen Angel, Part 1
Fallen Angel, Part 2
Fallen Angel, Part 3
Fallen Angel, Part 4
The Fallen Angel Box Set
Evelyn - A Novella To accompany the Fallen Angel Series
Rocco A Novella To accompany the Fallen Angel Series
Robert To accompany the Fallen Angel Series
Travis To accompany the Fallen Angel Series
A Virtual Affair A standalone and available in KindleUnlimited
Gabriel A standalone and available in KindleUnlimited
The Facilitator A standalone and available in KindleUnlimited
A Deadly Sin A standalone and available in KindleUnlimited
Harlot A standalone and available in KindleUnlimited
Letters to Lincoln A standalone
 
Coming soon
 
Allana
A Deadly Mission
Hitchhiker
Jackson
 
Stalker Links
 
Amazon Author Page https://author.to/TraciePodger

Sarah’s Review of Abandoned, A Jennifer Malone Mystery, by John Schlarbaum

  Jennifer Malone is a hard-working, investigative journalist, looking for her next big story. Abandoned is the second book in t...