Friday, May 13, 2016

The Ex Trials on Netgalley


Any Netgalley users out there? You can now request The Ex Trials, my final standalone book in the Falling for Autumn series on the site. For anyone who has read any of the other books in the series, this is Casey's story. Here's the request link: https://s2.netgalley.com/catalog/book/89814




Friday, March 25, 2016

Huge Book Sale and Giveaway Event


Happy Spring All! I don't know about you, but the warmer weather always puts me in the mood for a great romance novel. This is why I'm putting five of my books on sale for the entire weekend of March 25 to March 27. Pick up your copy of the following novels on sale for just $0.99:

Falling for Autumn: http://www.amazon.com/Falling-Autumn-Heather-Topham-Wood-ebook/dp/B00JMHTHV0

The Disappearing Girl: http://www.amazon.com/Disappearing-Girl-Heather-Topham-Wood-ebook/dp/B00CMR7GFQ

The Memory Witch: http://www.amazon.com/Memory-Witch-Heather-Topham-Wood-ebook/dp/B00XNKLLPM

The Dark Dreamer: http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Dreamer-Heather-Topham-Wood-ebook/dp/B00W1R6GYO/


Also, First Visions, the first book in my Second Sight series will be free all weekend long. Grab your copy here: http://www.amazon.com/First-Visions-Second-Sight-Book-ebook/dp/B007YUP4D2

To celebrate the event, I am hosting a giveaway for a $50 Gift Card to Amazon. Enter below and keep in mind that you'll only have three days to take part. I'll announce the winner next week, so good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, March 18, 2016

Review: Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon

Summary:

For fans of Lianne Moriarty, Paula Hawkins, and Tana French, an arresting debut novel of psychological suspense: a young journalist struggles to keep the demons of her alcoholism at bay as she finds her purpose again in tackling the mystery of a shocking headline-making crime, still unsolved after fifteen years.

Amy Stevenson was the biggest news story of 1995. Only fifteen years old, Amy disappeared walking home from school one day and was found in a coma three days later. Her attacker was never identified and her angelic face was plastered across every paper and nightly news segment.

Fifteen years later, Amy lies in the hospital, surrounded by 90’s Britpop posters, forgotten by the world until reporter Alex Dale stumbles across her while researching a routine story on vegetative patients.

Remembering Amy’s story like it was yesterday, she feels compelled to solve the long-cold case.

The only problem is, Alex is just as lost as Amy—her alcoholism has cost her everything including her marriage and her professional reputation.

In the hopes that finding Amy’s attacker will be her own salvation as well, Alex embarks on a dangerous investigation, suspecting someone close to Amy.

Told in the present by an increasingly fragile Alex and in dream-like flashbacks by Amy as she floats in a fog of memories, dreams, and music from 1995, Try Not to Breathe unfolds layer by layer to a breathtaking conclusion

Publication Date: February 23, 2016


Wow, this book was totally different than anything I read before! Talk about two unreliable narrators: an alcoholic reporter and a coma patient. The story is told in two different timelines: fifteen years earlier leading up to Amy’s attack and the present as Alex tries to give Amy a voice while coping with her own major issues.

Alex was a hard character to like at first, but the author wrote her in such a way that I couldn’t help, but feel sympathy for her. As more of her tragic back-story is revealed, I did find myself rooting for her to get help and start to rebuild her life. When she starts to visit Amy in the hospital, the comatose woman has a profound effect on her.

The book was more than just a mystery of who attacked Amy. I also found the topic of what type of awareness coma patients may have and how brain scans could be used to measure their responses. The author admits to taking artistic license regarding Amy’s condition, but I still found the possibilities intriguing.

My one major qualm is that I wasn’t totally thrilled with the big reveal regarding Amy’s attacker. It’s hard to explain why without posting spoilers, but the revelations just didn’t pack enough emotional punch.

The pace was spot on and the writing crisp. This is definitely one of the strongest debuts I’ve read thus far this year. Can’t wait to check out more from this amazing author!

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars


Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel for review!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Review: The Widow by Fiona Barton

For fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, an electrifying thriller that will take you into the dark spaces that exist between a husband and a wife.

When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on, when more bad things began to happen...

But that woman’s husband died last week. And Jean doesn’t have to be her anymore.

There’s a lot Jean hasn’t said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment.

Now there’s no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage.

The truth—that’s all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything…

Publication Date: February 16, 2016
I liked The Widow although it had a much slower pace than other psychological suspense novels I’ve recently read. I thought the dynamic between Jean and Glen was interesting and I found the novel interesting as a character study and how complex marriages can be when one of the partners is accused of a heinous crime.

Jean was an unreliable narrator, but I found her chapters to be a little boring. The author seemed to purposefully make her flat in order to give nothing about the plot away. The chapters from the point of view of the reporter and the detective working the case was much more engaging. However, I did like the flashbacks to Glen and Jean’s courtship and subsequent marriage to get a better understanding of why she stood by him as she saw the signs of the seemingly double life he was living.

There are some disturbing parts of The Widow that were really hard to stomach. As Jean and the police find out more about Glen’s porn addiction and how it relates to a missing child investigation, I felt truly revolted. Jean became increasingly frustrating as a character and I really couldn’t find any sympathy for the situation she finds herself in after Glen’s death.

There were a few twists that I didn’t see coming, but a few reveals were pretty obvious early on. I guess I was waiting for a big shocker to blow me away, but that never really happened. But despite my few issues, I did overall enjoy the book and finished reading the entire book within a couple days.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel for review!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Review: All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

Summary: 

Like the spellbinding psychological suspense in The Girl on the Train and Luckiest Girl Alive, Megan Miranda’s novel is a nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women—a decade apart—told in reverse.

It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.

The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.

Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.

Like nothing you’ve ever read before, All the Missing Girls delivers in all the right ways. With twists and turns that lead down dark alleys and dead ends, you may think you’re walking a familiar path, but then Megan Miranda turns it all upside down and inside out and leaves us wondering just how far we would be willing to go to protect those we love.

Publication Date: June 28, 2016

Wow! This book has left me speechless. I was blown away by how much I absolutely adored All the Missing Girls. Megan Miranda is slowly, but surely working her way up to being one of my favorite contemporary authors.

All the Missing Girls is unique in the way that most of the novel is told backwards. The first chapter introduces us to the characters and sets up the plot nicely before jumping into the backwards narrative. The epilogue takes place three months after the events of the book and ties up any loose ends. I was afraid the narrative structure would be confusing, but it actually worked exceptionally well for the plot.

It’s really hard to post much about the characters or the plot without spoiling the suspense. But pretty on, it was easy to see that none of the characters are trustworthy. They all seem to have secret agendas and complicated pasts that have never been resolved. Readers have to unravel their pasts to find out not only what happened to the missing Annaleise, but also what took place ten years ago when Nic’s best friend Corinne disappeared as well.

This book is impossible to put down, so I recommend readers clear their schedules for the next several hours before picking it up. There were so many twists, most of which I couldn’t guess. If you liked The Girl on the Train, then you will love All the Missing Girls.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel for review!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Review: Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

Summary:

For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home—all because her mother believes that monsters are hunting them. Now these delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. The only saving grace is her best friend, Olivia, who’s coming with them for the summer.

But when Gwen and Olivia are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and taken to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey, Gwen realizes her mom might have been sane all along.

The world Gwen finds herself in is called Neverland, yet it’s nothing like the stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through her fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the roguish young pirate who promises to keep her safe.

With time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But will she be able to save Neverland without losing herself?

Publication Date: February 2, 2016


I’ve had such great luck lately with finding utterly fantastic YA novels. Unhooked was amazing and although this is a standalone, I would love to see the author spin it off into more books in the same world. This was one book I definitely didn’t want to end!

Gwendolyn was a terrific narrator for the fantasy tale: she’s stubborn, logical, and brave. She risks life and limb to travel through the dangerous Neverland to retrieve her best friend Olivia. Things become even more perilous for her when she’s taken aboard pirate Rowan’s ship. Rowan was such a swoon-worthy pirate. He definitely reminded me of the version of Captain Hook from the TV show “Once Upon a Time.” The romance was very gradual and sweet and I loved how Gwen and Rowan brought out different sides of each other’s personalities. 

Although Gwendolyn has a hard time deciding who is good and who is evil on Neverland, the author’s version of Peter Pan had my skin crawling from the very first minute he’s introduced. The shadowy creatures that roam the island also upped the creep factor in the novel.

There was plenty of action in Unhooked without any parts when I grew bored or wanted to skim pages. From the very start, the novel kept me on the edge of my seat. The climax was so exciting and I really had no idea who would survive the final showdown. I was happy with the conclusion and how the author decided to wrap everything up. Highly recommend to fans of retellings or those looking for a fun, romantic YA fantasy.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel for review!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Review: After the Woods by Kim Savage

Summary:

Would you risk your life to save your best friend?

Julia did. When a paroled predator attacked Liv in the woods, Julia fought back and got caught. Liv ran, leaving Julia in the woods for a terrifying 48 hours that she remembers only in flashbacks. One year later, Liv seems bent on self-destruction, starving herself, doing drugs, and hooking up with a violent new boyfriend. A dead girl turns up in those same woods, and Julia’s memories resurface alongside clues unearthed by an ambitious reporter that link the girl to Julia’s abductor. As the devastating truth becomes clear, Julia realizes that after the woods was just the beginning.

Publication Date: February 23, 2016
After the Woods was a surprisingly dark and creepy YA mystery that I ended up devouring very quickly. I’ve read YA mysteries before that come across as silly or with easy to figure out twists, but that wasn’t the case at all in this book. I was surprised by so many of the clues unearthed by Liv and how they tied into her abduction that occurred a year prior. After the Woods is an amazing debut and I can’t wait to read more from the author.

Julia is very likeable and I connected with her character from the very start. She’s brave and smart and although the book isn’t a whodunit, she needs to find out more about the events surrounding her abduction. Readers know from the very beginning who took Julia, but the unique part of the book is the “why” and the “how.”

The secondary characters were well developed, especially Liv and Kellan. I enjoyed the romance between Kellan and Julia because it lacked any sort of cheese factor. Liv and Julia’s friendship is complicated and it was interesting to read about their changing dynamic.

The pace was good although I didn’t feel the tension as much as I would have liked while reading. I guess since the threat to Julia seems neutralized from the very start, the suspense wasn’t as apparent. But the mystery and romance held my interest and kept me reading. Although this book is YA, I think readers of adult mysteries will also enjoy the plot.

Rating: 4/5 Stars


Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel for review!