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Wednesday 31 December 2014

✍ The Day It Happened: A Miranda's Rights Mystery Book [0] - Linsey Lanier

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Published by Felicity Books
Number of pages: 11
My rating: ★ ★  It was OK

Extended Prologue to the Miranda's Rights Mystery Series

A woman can never make herself too tough, too strong or too street smart.

What happened to Miranda Steele shouldn't happen to anyone. This short extended prologue introduces the Miranda's Rights Mystery series--novels featuring Miranda Steele, a woman with a miserable past who fights her way to happiness and finds it where she least expects it.

Miranda Groth awakens one morning to find her life changed forever--for the worse."

The Day It Happened (A Miranda's Rights Mystery

✍ Hotspot: Auto Series [6] - David Wailing

Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Published by David Wailing
Number of pages: 24
My rating: ★ ★ ★  I liked it

"Siobhan O’Donnell’s holiday in London wouldn’t be complete without a night at Choon – the hottest club in town!

Like all young clubbers in 2022, Siobhan and her girlfriends rely on their autos to help them enjoy an exciting night out. Especially when it comes to meeting boys. Without your auto to match profiles and calculate compatibility, how else can you find out if someone’s Hot/Not?

But there are some things, and some people, an auto can’t deal with. Siobhan discovers that when the online world is ripped away, reality can burn."

Hotspot is another excellent instalment in David Wailing's Auto Series.

✍ The Last Ride - Eva Hudson

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers,
Published by Two Pies Press
Number of pages: 14
My rating: ★ ★ ★  I liked it

"Dave Morrison has been driving round London all day, picking up passengers in his black cab, praying they can distract him from the terrible thing he has to confront tomorrow morning.

When he finally parks up for the night and is approached by two men in a dark backstreet, his prayers are answered. Unfortunately for Dave, their brand of distraction could prove fatal."

True to its title, "The Last Ride" is a gritty short story, with good pace and suspense.

The story itself is only 14 pages long, the remainder of the book contains am excerpt of "The Deadly Silence (formerly The Third Estate): A Dark London Crime Thriller (Angela Tate Investigations Book 2)"

Tuesday 30 December 2014

✍ In a New York Minute - Eleanor Moran

Genre: Chick-Lit
Published by Quercus
Number of pages: 18
My rating: ★ ★  It was OK

"An exclusive Christmas short story from the author or The Last Time I Saw You.

Amy is on a film set in New York, trying very hard to wrap the advertisement she's filming in time to catch the last flight home for Christmas. But the actors are squabbling, the star of the piece, a cat, won't play ball and, truthfully, Amy's heart isn't in it anyway - she'd escaped to the Big Apple to try to forget her broken heart. But as snow begins to fall on Christmas Eve, someone on set with Amy makes her realise fairytales really do happen in New York..."

In a New York Minute is a very short (18 pages) feel-good story which follows a few hours, from 11:30 am to 07:50 pm on Christmas Eve 2011, in the life of Amy, who is in New York filming a cat food commercial, having just broken up with her boyfriend back in the UK.

✍ Madeline - Craig McGray

Genre: Horror
Published by Gray Skies Publishing
Number of pages: 11
My rating: ★ ★ ★  I liked it

"A shed full of macabre secrets...  A wife gone crazy... A nine-year-old girl that must die.

Jonah fights for his life while trying to stop his deranged wife from killing their daughter in the name of the Lord. 

Sometimes, the Devil truly is in the details.
**Warning: Madeline is a short HORROR story not intended for anyone who may be offended by graphic language or scenes of violence.  Please, don’t read this story if you are squeamish or easily offended.

Madeline (A Short Horror Story) [2nd revised edition] is a lightning fast read (11 pages), with really good pace.

✍ The Basement - Chad P. Brown

Genre: Horror
Published by Three Crows Books
Number of pages: 13
My rating: ★ ★ ★  I liked it

"On a dare from her best friends, Heather goes inside the town's haunted house, where Frank Blackwell killed his wife and then hung himself in the basement. But while in the house, Heather is confronted by a ghost from her past, her mother who died accidentally one year ago. Now, Heather must not only escape from the evil lurking inside the house, but from the demons of her own past.

The Basement is a nice short creepy tale (suspenseful, not gory) that plays on people's common fears - with the familiar.

Although we do get to know Heather, the main teenage character, and about her demons, we are left pondering over her mother and her motivations.

✍ Doctor Who: Into the Nowhere: Time Trips [2] - Jenny Colgan

Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Published by Random House UK, Ebury Publishing
Number of pages: 49
My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★  I really liked it

"Time Trips – groundbreaking Doctor Who adventures by some of the most respected writers in the Universe. Short stories that are bigger on the inside…

The Eleventh Doctor and Clara land on an unknown alien planet. To the Doctor’s delight and Clara’s astonishment, it really is unknown. It’s a planet the Doctor has never seen. It’s not on any maps, it’s not referenced on any star charts or in the TARDIS data banks. It doesn’t even have a name. What could be so terrible that its existence has been erased?"

Doctor Who: Into the Nowhere is part of the "Time Trips" series of novellas, and it is my very first Doctor Who read.

Monday 29 December 2014

✍ Dangerous Dream: A Beautiful Creatures Story [0.5] - K. Garcia & M. Stohl

Genre: Teens & YA,
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Number of pages: 46
My rating: ★  I did not liked it

"The #1 New York Times bestselling Beautiful Creatures series continues in this brand-new digital-exclusive story.

Catch up with Ethan, Lena, and Link as they finally graduate from high school and get ready to leave the small Southern town of Gatlin. But when Dark Caster Ridley makes an appearance, the sometime bad girl can't resist picking a fight with her sometime boyfriend, Link. Angry and rebellious as ever, Ridley ends up alone in New York City and becomes entangled in the dangerous underground Caster club scene, where the stakes are high and losers pay the ultimate price.

Where's a Linkubus when you need him?"

Dangerous Dream is a novella intended to introduce readers to the Dangerous Creatures series, without having to have read the popular Beautiful Creatures series.

Monday 22 December 2014

✍ Five: Beatrice Kaspary [1] - Ursula P. Archer

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Published by St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books
Number of pages: 333
Original Title: Fünf
Originally Published 16 February 2012
Translated by Jamie Lee Searle
My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆  It was memorable

"A woman’s corpse is discovered in a meadow. A strange combination of letters and numbers has been tattooed on the soles of her feet. Detective inspector Beatrice Kaspary from the local murder squad quickly identifies the digits as map coordinates. These lead to a series of gruesome discoveries as she and her colleague Florin Wenninger embark on a bloody trail – a modern-day scavenger hunt using GPS navigation devices to locate hidden caches. The "owner" of these unofficial, unpublished geocaches is a highly calculating and elusive fiend who leaves his victims’ body-parts sealed in plastic bags, complete with riddles that culminate in a five-stage plot. Kaspary herself becomes an unwilling pawn in the perpetrator’s game of cat and mouse as she risks all to uncover the motives behind the murderer’s actions. Five is definitely not a book for the faint-hearted, but it delivers great suspense, unexpected plot twists, and multi-dimensional characters."

Sunday 21 December 2014

✍ The Blacksmith: Tales From The Graveyard [1] - Susan Shultz

Genre: Horror
d Published by Full Fathom Five
Number of pages: 57
My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★  I really liked it

"My name is Ainsley. I live among the dead.

Meet Ainsley. Ainsley lives alone, and she likes it that way. Ainsley has some secrets. Dark secrets.

Sometimes, Ainsley feels like the Blacksmith is the only one who will ever understand her. The Blacksmith resides in the graveyard in her garden. You see, Ainsley’s heart was broken long ago, and now it’s dead. As dead as the Blacksmith’s. They belong together.

Then there’s Sam: sweet, loving Sam. Ainsley was abandoned by anyone she ever loved, but Sam has always been there. If her heart weren’t already dead, Ainsley might even say she loved him.

Not even Sam knows the depth’s of Ainsley’s darkness…and lately, she’s come very, very close to revealing it to him.

Monday 15 December 2014

Reading List [15-01] - January 2015

These are the titles that are due for publication in January 2015 which have caught our eye.

Rewire Your Anxious Brain: How to Use the Neuroscience of Fear to End Anxiety, Panic, and Worry
The Three Sisters: A Whispers Story
Blood of the Faithful
Greens 24/7: More Than 100 Quick, Easy, and Delicious Recipes for Eating Leafy Greens and Other Green Vegetables at Every Meal, Every Day
Healing with Raw Foods: Your Guide to Unlocking Vibrant Health Through Living Cuisine
The Crooked House
The Deep
The Ice Queen
The Magician's Lie
DIY Nut Milks, Nut Butters, and More: From Almonds to Walnuts
The Girl on the Train
Inside Alcatraz: My Time on the Rock
Three Amazing Things About You
Head In The Sand
Fear the Darkness: A Thriller
Disarming Detective
Death Falls

Thursday 11 December 2014

✍ Is It Still Murder Even If She Was A Bitch - Robin Leemann Donovan

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Published by Boutique of Quality Books Publishing
Number of pages: 284
My rating: ★ ★ ★  I liked it

"Sardonic and menopausal Donna Leigh owns an Omaha ad agency. When a former colleague is murdered, Donna becomes the chief amateur sleuth so her toxic relationship with the victim doesn't land her at the top of the suspect list. As Donna and her colorful colleagues work feverishly to solve the case, they leave a trail of unintentional destruction in their wake; from injured police officers to collapsed buildings. Donna and her team stir things up enough to make the murderer nervous. After Donna receives a threat to "back off" things take on a more serious turn for her, but not for her ever vigilant colleagues who continue to animatedly bungle their way through the investigation until the murderer is behind bars."

A quick light fun read.

Tuesday 9 December 2014

✍ The Forgotten Addiction - Michael Lion

Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Published by New Pulp Press
Number of pages: 302
My rating: ★ ★ ★  I liked it

"Los Angeles, 1993. The City is burning itself down. Murder is king.  And Bird is back, right in the middle of the blaze.
Still blaming himself for the death of the Butcher’s Granddaughter, Bird is holed up in his girlfriend’s apartment and trying to keep the demons at bay. But the City won’t leave him alone, won’t let him grieve. When the desperate father of a missing UCLA co-ed finds Bird and pleads with him to help find his daughter, Bird sees a path to personal redemption and takes it. It may be the last mistake he ever makes.
From penthouse office suites to strip club poker games, Bird soon learns that the girl’s disappearance may have been of her own making. But somewhere along the way she drew the interest of L.A.’s darkest corners, and in them Bird will have to choose between his own life and that of a woman he has never met."

The Forgotten Addiction is the second book by Michael Lion, following on from The Butcher's Granddaughter.

Friday 21 November 2014

✍ Underwater - Julia McDermott

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Published by Thomas & Mercer
Number of pages: 308
My rating: ★ ★  It was OK

"After years of guilt over a long-ago tragedy, Candace Morgan is finally poised for success. The CEO of her own women’s shapewear company, she’s about to launch a new swimsuit line—and make a fortune. When she is guilted into loaning her brother a huge sum of money for real estate, she believes she’s simply fulfilling a family promise. In reality, she’s enabling a devious sociopath…and now, she’s roped into the renovation from hell.

For years, Monty Carawan has envied his sister’s wealth. Spiteful and self-centered, he’s convinced that her success came at the expense of his own future. But when the housing market plunges and Candace attempts to disentangle herself from Monty’s mess, her brother’s malicious streak brings the family tension to a dangerous boiling point.
Revised edition: This edition of Underwater includes editorial revisions."

Saturday 15 November 2014

Reading List [14-12] -December 2014

These are the titles that are due for publication in December 2014 which have caught our eye.

But I Could Never Go Vegan!: 125 Recipes That Prove You Can Live Without Cheese, It's Not All Rabbit Food, and Your Friends Will Still Come Over for Dinner
The Whispers: A Whispers Story
The Snow Garden
Snow Woman
The Bodyguard
The Blacksmith
One Among Us
The Aeschylus
Sparrow 59
Die Again
Whole Body Reboot: The Peruvian Superfoods Diet to Detoxify, Energize, and Supercharge Fat Loss
Meet Your Baker

Friday 14 November 2014

✍ The Burning Girl: A Hollows Short Story [2] - Lisa Unger

Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Published by Gallery Books
Number of pages: 73
My rating: ★ ★ ★  I liked it

"From New York Times bestselling author Lisa Unger comes the second of three e-shorts about a psychic medium and the strange secrets she begins to uncover—for better or for worse.

Ten years after Eloise Montgomery discovers her psychic abilities, she is a full-fledged working psychic, with a partner and a business. Now, in The Burning Girl, she’s discovering some disturbing things: secrets about her genealogy that are, perhaps, best left in the past; that her granddaughter Finley has powers of her own; and that not all of Eloise’s visitors actually want to be helped. Some of them are just looking for trouble…

Writing with the same taut prose that earned her critical acclaim for her explosive thriller Beautiful Lies, Lisa Unger delivers a spellbinding story that will leave you wanting more."

Thursday 13 November 2014

✍ The Whispers: A Hollows Short Story [1] - Lisa Unger

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Published by Gallery Books
Number of pages: 64
My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★   I really liked it

"Eloise Montgomery discovers her amazing gift in the wake of tragedy in this first of three captivating e-shorts from award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Lisa Unger.

It’s a day like any other for Eloise Montgomery—until tragedy strikes. While she is recovering from a horrible accident that takes the lives of her husband and oldest daughter, and as she works to help her younger daughter move forward, Eloise experiences her first psychic vision. Though she struggles to understand her newfound gifts, Eloise finds a way use them to save lost women and girls—for whom her help may be the only way out…

From an author whose “gripping narrative and evocative, muscular prose” (Associated Press) have won her critical acclaim comes The Whispers: a story that delves deep into the human psyche and the mind of one unforgettable heroine."

Monday 10 November 2014

✍ Among the Dead and Dying: Among the Masses [1] - A.R. Wise

Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Published by A.R. Wise
Number of pages: 208
My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★  I really liked it

"Game of Thrones meets The Walking Dead in this post-apocalyptic zombie series.

Thousands of years after a zombie apocalypse wiped out the majority of humans, the world is a very different and harsh place. It's safest to live behind the fortified walls of the Kingdom of Golden Rock, or it least it had been. Rumors of an army of dead led by a man calling himself The Scholar have proven true, and even the most secure cities are no match for his undead soldiers. The Scholar's goal is to crush the world of the living, but he also wants to capture a simple baker named Saffi, though no one seems to know why.

Saffi's father vows to protect his daughter, and flees The Scholar's path, only to fall prey to other evils of the world outside the walls. In just one day's time, Ward and Saffi's lives will be forever altered, and

Monday 20 October 2014

✍ The Invitation: The Invitation [1] - Roxy Sloane

Genre: Erotic Romance
Published by Roxy Sloane Books
Number of pages: 50
My rating: ★ ★ ★   I liked it

"A woman's orgasm is an art. It takes finesse. And I'm the world-class master of making women come."

Hot, English businessman Ashton made a pact not to screw up his friendship with Justine 'JJ' Jenkins over a cheap one-night stand. Now, two years later, he's going out of his mind with wanting her -- but she's still off-limits. Now school is over, and his control is wearing thin. They've got one last night together, and he's determined to make it an experience she'll never forget.

The one girl he swore off is going to have the night of her life. And with a sexy game of dare on the table, it won't take long..."

I do not generally read erotica (I am very much into crime, supernatural and horror, with a good dose of