Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Freebie Books and Giveaway Event

My two bestsellers are absolutely free today and tomorrow on Amazon! Don't miss out on downloading the series starters: First Visions and Falling for Autumn. To celebrate the event, I'm hosting a giveaway for a $50 Gift Card to either Amazon or Barnes & Noble (winner's choice).


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Part Two of Deadly Prophecy on Wattpad


The second part of Deadly Prophecy is up on Wattpad. If you haven't yet read the story, this book is a spinoff from my Second Sight series and can be read as a standalone. It's told from Declan's point of view and features the first case he works on with Kate for their psychic investigation firm KD Psychic Investigations. I'll be posting a chapter each week until it's fully written and ready for full edits and release.

After you check it out, come back and enter my giveaway for a $50 Amazon gift card and signed copies of all four books in the Second Sight series.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Book Freebie: The Dark Dreamer and $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

The Dark Dreamer is free this week! Pick up your copy from Amazon and then enter the giveaway I posted below. Winners will receive a $50 Amazon gift card and signed copies of all my Second Sight series of books. The Dark Dreamer is the first in a two-part series with the conclusion coming as soon as humanly possible.

Summary:

For as long as she can remember, Rebekah Clayton’s life has been dictated by her dreams. As a dream interpreter, she has become privy to her clients’ deepest and darkest secrets. Affairs, financial ruin, even murder—nothing shocks her anymore. But Grant Raskin’s dreams are unlike any she has heard before.

If Rebekah’s interpretation is right, Grant has foreseen the end of the world. A plague is coming and everyone Rebekah cares about will succumb to the illness. And Grant can trace the origin of the disease back to two men: Dr. Mark Holman and his son Drew.

Grant enlists Rebekah to track down the Holmans and determine their connection to the viral outbreak. But uncovering Drew Holman’s secrets will lead her down a dangerous path—unearthing a deadly conspiracy she never could have predicted.


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


Excerpt:

I was in the middle of a cyclone, in the dead center of the eye of the deadliest storm I'd ever witnessed. The world was a blur as the wind picked up pieces of the earth and flung them in the air around me.
I felt claustrophobic as the tunnel of wind closed in around me, tightening the eye and whipping chunks of earth ever-closer to my face. I couldn’t see out and I imagined no one could see in. The storm trapped me and I doubted it would ever let me go.
“Ezekiel.” The name was a whisper—a soft breath into my ear, but loud enough to make out clearly despite the raging storm.
My body swung to the sound and I stood before a powerfully built man. I took him in in one full look—dark eyes, dark hair and dark stubble surrounding his full lips. He towered over me, hunching down to reach my ears and whisper his secrets. He was the younger man from Grant’s illustration brought to life.
“Is that your name?” The storm faded in importance. The earth trembled below our feet, but my full focus stayed on the man next to me.
He laughed. “No, but Ezekiel has my secrets.”
“The prophet from the Bible? The one who had to teach the world a lesson because of false shepherds?”
He didn’t answer, but instead took a step closer to me. I stared farther up at him and found myself caught in his intense gaze. His eyes were full of too many emotions I recognized from my own life: drowning pain coupled with a desperation to be understood.
Would the root of his evil be borne from his need for understanding? Did I empathize with a man who possibly viewed annihilation as a freedom from unbearable pain?
His fingertips grazed over my lips in a leisurely way. Exploring the dip, circling over the creases. He leaned down and I found myself trapped in place. I couldn’t look away. I couldn’t move. I only could wait for him to kiss me.
Instead, he pressed his forehead against mine and squeezed his eyes shut tightly. I let go of the breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding in. He inhaled shakily, taking in the breath I released.
The familiar way he held me wasn’t alarming. I felt like I belonged there, as if he and I was one and the same. I didn’t feel fear or revulsion, only the strangest sensation of two magnets being pulled together by forces unseen.
I’d been so enthralled in the moment, captivated by his nearness, I didn’t notice the way his shirt had begun to change color. The burgundy color deepened and the fabric clung to his chest. My hands reached out and touched the spot over his heart. Pulling back, my fingers were dripping with fresh blood.
He looked down at his chest and frowned as if the stream of blood were merely an inconvenience. “It’s happening,” he murmured. Without warning, he began to claw at his chest. Ripping through the blood-drenched cotton, digging his nails into the flesh.
I scrambled away from him—screaming in horror as he ripped himself open. He didn’t flinch as his flesh fell in clumps to the dirt floor in front of him. He just kept at the self-mutilation—tossing aside muscle and tendons as if he were a corpse who felt nothing.
His hand disappeared inside his chest cavity and I wrenched my head away. I dry-heaved and fell onto my hands and knees. The storm intensified once again as if its destruction were somehow equal to the obliteration I just witnessed. I wished for the moment to end, for the storm to finally come and tear me to pieces so I no longer had to stay trapped with the nameless man.
A thud in front of me forced my head up again. A silent gasp escaped my lips as I gaped at the bloody object the man had thrown before me. I tried to process what I was seeing, but my brain couldn’t seem to keep up with what was happening around me. After my shock wore off, I realized beneath the blood and gore wasn’t a heart constructed from human flesh. Beneath the surface stained with crimson slashes was a heart made out of stone.
“You can have this now.” His voice, deep and rich, drew my sight away from the horror and back to his beautiful, unblemished face. Despite his chest being dissected by his own hand, he still was standing and seemingly unaffected. “I won’t be needing it anymore.”
“Who are you?” I asked again, but this time with more urgency. He shook his head in reply and I pounded the ground in frustration. I had to know him. I had to find a man who could display so much raw emotion, but hid a heart of stone. Although the vision receded and I could feel him slipping away, I still refused to accept he would be a mystery I’d never solve.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Deadly Prophecy (Second Sight Spinoff) on Wattpad

I'm taking my first foray onto Wattpad, people! Check out a sneak peek of Declan's upcoming book! I'll post at least a chapter a week (slightly unedited) up until the release. Here's the link: https://www.wattpad.com/story/81008423

Summary:
Psychic Declan Brayden is through chasing women who have given their hearts to others. He had thought Kate Edwards would be his partner in work and life, but while she remains a steadfast friend and psychic business partner, her heart will never be his. 

News of Kate's engagement shakes Declan up much more than he'd ever admit. He tries to distract himself with a string of one-night stands, but nothing seems to help him get his head on straight. Finally, a new case seems to be just the thing he needs to forget all about his convoluted relationship with Kate. 

Jenna Carnavale has come to Declan with a rare request: instead of hiring him for a missing persons case, Jenna asks him to solve the murder of her brother. With very few clues to go on, Jenna is convinced Declan's psychic abilities are her only hope of getting justice for her brother's brutal slaying. 

Declan believes finding the murderer will help jumpstart his newly founded psychic investigation firm. The only problem he has is not violating Kate's one rule for their business: hands off the clients. Declan has to find a way not only to reveal the killer, but also to stop himself from falling for the beautiful nursing student.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Review: A Dark Lure by Loreth Anne White

Twelve years ago, Sarah Baker was abducted by the Watt Lake Killer and sexually assaulted for months before managing to escape. The killer was caught, but Sarah lost everything: her marriage, her child, and the life she loved.

Struggling with PTSD, Sarah changes her name to Olivia West and finds sanctuary working on Broken Bar Ranch. But as her scars finally begin to heal, a cop involved with her horrific case remains convinced the Watt Lake Killer is still out there. He sets a lure for the murderer, and a fresh body is discovered. Now Olivia must face the impossible—could the butcher be back, this time to finish the job?

As a frigid winter isolates the ranch, only one person can help Olivia: Cole McDonough, a writer, adventurer, and ranch heir who stirs long-dormant feelings in her. But this time, Olivia’s determination to shut out her past may destroy more than her chance at love. It could cost her her life.

Publication Date: July 1, 2015

A Dark Lure is perfect for anyone who’s looking to turn off their brains for a few hours and just enjoy the ride. The plot was somewhat predictable, but I still found myself getting lost in the story.

The setting was perfect for a romantic suspense read: an isolated ranch where Olivia has relocated to start over after a horrific ordeal. Olivia is being stalked while also starting to develop feelings for ranch heir Cole. Cole also has his baggage and I was absorbed in finding out what his back story was. It was really sweet to see how these two broken characters could help each other heal.

I love novels with the killer’s point of view included. Freaking creepy as anything! I had to leave all the lights on while reading. There was a great buildup to the complex and I found my heart racing as Olivia finally faced her tormentor.

Fans of thrillers will find A Dark Lure to be the ultimate beach book for the summer!

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Friday, July 8, 2016

Review: Moth Girls by Anne Cassidy

Helplessly drawn like moths to the light, two girls go missing in an evocative and gripping tale . . .

They called them the Moth Girls because they were attracted to the house. They were drawn to it. Or at least that is what is written in the newspapers that Mandy reads on the anniversary of when her two best friends went missing. Five years have passed since Petra and Tina were determined to explore the dilapidated house on Princess Street. But what started off as a dare ended with the two girls vanishing. As Mandy's memories of the disappearance of her two friends are ignited once again, disturbing details will resurface in her mind.

Publication Date: January 7, 2016

Moth Girls had a good premise, but not my favorite execution. I found Mandy’s day-to-day life a little boring to read about. I liked the chapters that delved into the past friendship Mandy had with the two missing girls: Petra and Tina. The mystery about what happened to the girls is what kept me reading.

The characters were mostly all interesting except for Mandy. For some reason, I couldn’t relate to her or find myself invested in her character. I liked Petra’s chapters, but a lot of the younger versions of the characters didn’t really sound or act like authentic twelve year olds.

The mystery is a very slow boil and it wasn’t until probably the last quarter of the novel that the plot took off. I didn’t guess what had happened to Petra and Tina, but I think that was because the reveal seemed a little far fetched for what I was expecting. Although most of the mystery is resolved, the ending does leave the reader hanging somewhat.

Although I didn’t love Moth Girls, the mystery was appealing enough that I would look for another title from the author.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Review: The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

The Darkest Corners is a psychological thriller about the lies little girls tell, and the deadly truths those lies become.

There are ghosts around every corner in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Tessa left when she was nine and has been trying ever since not to think about it after what happened there that last summer. Memories of things so dark will burn themselves into your mind if you let them.

Callie never left. She moved to another house, so she doesn’t have to walk those same halls, but then Callie always was the stronger one. She can handle staring into the faces of her demons—and if she parties hard enough, maybe one day they’ll disappear for good.

Tessa and Callie have never talked about what they saw that night. After the trial, Callie drifted and Tessa moved, and childhood friends just have a way of losing touch.

But ever since she left, Tessa has had questions. Things have never quite added up. And now she has to go back to Fayette—to Wyatt Stokes, sitting on death row; to Lori Cawley, Callie’s dead cousin; and to the one other person who may be hiding the truth.

Only the closer Tessa gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a killer—and this time, it won’t be so easy to run away.

Publication Date: April 19, 2016


I feel like it’s so hard to come across a good psychological suspense book. This was the reason I was so excited to get my hands on a copy of The Darkest Corners. The Darkest Corners didn’t disappoint and kept me guessing up until the very last pages. Although YA, this is definitely on the mature side.

Although the book is a murder mystery, the story is also a close examination about the complexities of friendship and family. Tessa and Callie have a strained friendship with more downs than ups. They both handle their emotions differently, which has caused friction between them. I was just as eager to have them work out their issues as I was to find out who killed Lori.

I felt for Tessa, because her family was a train wreck. And the more we learned about them, the darker and more heartbreaking the story became. The Darkest Corners is definitely a book you should vow to stick with, the plot only gets better the more you read.

I can’t say much else without spoiling, but this is a marathon read for sure. The climax is exciting with a twist I never saw coming. Pick this book up ASAP! 


Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Monday, July 4, 2016

Review: The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude

Stay on the roads. Don’t enter the woods. Never go out at night.

Those are the rules in Rowan’s Glen, a remote farming community in the Missouri Ozarks where Ivy Templeton’s family has lived for centuries. It’s an old-fashioned way of life, full of superstition and traditions, and sixteen-year-old Ivy loves it. The other kids at school may think the Glen kids are weird, but Ivy doesn’t care—she has her cousin Heather as her best friend. The two girls share everything with each other—or so Ivy thinks. When Heather goes missing after a May Day celebration, Ivy discovers that both her best friend and her beloved hometown are as full of secrets as the woods that surround them.

Publication Date: May 3, 2016

The May Queen Murders was a very okay book for me. I actually expected to like it a whole lot more than I did. The setup was fantastic and the setting eerie. Despite all the makings of a perfect creepy YA novel, I found myself putting it down more often than I anticipated.

The setting felt much like a retelling of The Village to me. The community where Ivy resides is isolated and has a superstitious way of life. The beginning chapter drew me in as I felt eager to find out who was behind the murders occurring in the settlement.

Ivy is a very naïve character, but she still felt believable. Instead of thinking of her as too stupid to live, I actually could understand why she acted so sheltered. The second characters were interesting too, especially her cousin Heather.

The writing was the strongest aspect of the novel. Beautiful. Atmospheric. I’d love to read more from the author.

The pacing was probably the biggest issue I had. After the excitement of the beginning, everything slowed down dramatically and then sped up again at the end. There seemed to be no middle ground. Also, I love a few twists, but the consistent reveals were a little over the top.

Final thoughts: Good book from an author with lots of potential!

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Friday, July 1, 2016

Review: Please Don't Tell by Laura Tims

Joy killed Adam Gordon—at least, that’s what she thinks. The night of the party is hazy at best. But she knows what Adam did to her twin sister, Grace, and she knows he had to pay for it.

What Joy doesn’t expect is that someone else saw what happened. And one night a note is shoved through her open window, threatening Joy that all will be revealed. Now the anonymous blackmailer starts using Joy to expose the secrets of their placid hometown. And as the demands escalate, Joy must somehow uncover the blackmailer’s identity before Joy is forced to make a terrible choice.

In this darkly compelling narrative, debut author Laura Tims explores the complicated relationship between two sisters, and what one will do for the other. It’s a story that will keep readers turning pages and questioning their own sense of right and wrong.


Publication Date: May 24, 2016

This was a YA book that had wonderful crossover appeal. Sometimes when I read YA, I start thinking to myself, “Wow, I’m way too old to be reading this.” However, this wasn’t the case with Please Don’t Tell and I loved the themes the author presented over the course of the story.

Please Don’t Tell is told in alternating points of view, hopping between Joy and Grace. On the surface, Joy is the wild and carefree twin while Grace is the do-gooder, overachiever. But there’s so much going on with the characters beneath the surface. I especially loved Grace’s chapters as she narrates the events that lead up to a character’s death.

There was a lot of darkness in the book and I loved the complexity of the characters. The author made each character three-dimensional, even minor ones. There is a hint of romance in the book, but it was realistically done. All the characters felt so real to me and I rarely find that quality.

The mystery wasn’t the strongest and I figured out the twist early on. However, I still enjoyed how everything came together as past and present collided. The resolution had the same realism as the rest of the novel. Highly recommend this book!


Rating: 4/5 Stars

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Free Book Alert: The Disappearing Girl Plus Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

The Disappearing Girl is very rarely on sale so don't miss out on picking it up as a freebie! This standalone novel is one of my most beloved by readers and the book I get the most emails about! I won't lie, it's a tough read, especially for anyone has struggled not only with an eating disorder, but any type of body image issue. I've included an excerpt below and I'm hosting a giveaway for a $30 Amazon Gift Card.



Kayla Marlowe is slowly vanishing…

Last year, Kayla’s world imploded. Her beloved father died, leaving her alone with a narcissistic mother who is quick to criticize her daughter’s appearance. During her winter break from college, Kayla’s dangerous obsession with losing weight begins.

Kayla feels like her world changes for the better overnight. Being skinny seems to be the key to the happiness she has desperately been seeking. Her mother and friends shower her with compliments, telling her how fantastic she looks. Kayla is starving, but no one knows it.

Cameron Bennett explodes into Kayla’s life. He’s sexy and kind—he has every quality she has been looking for in a guy. As Cameron grows closer to Kayla and learns of how far she’s willing to go to stay thin, he becomes desperate to save her.

Kayla’s struggles with anorexia and bulimia reach a breaking point and she is forced to confront her body image issues in order to survive. She wonders if Cameron could be the one to help heal her from the pain of her past.

New Adult Contemporary-Ages 17+ due to language and sexual situations.


Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/Disappearing-Girl-Heather-Topham-Wood-ebook/dp/B00CMR7GFQ
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Disappearing-Girl-Heather-Topham-Wood-ebook/dp/B00CMR7GFQ

Excerpt:
Cameron’s temper was building. I could feel the tension in the air. He was showing restraint when all he probably wanted to do was to scream at me for my irrational behavior. His voice was strained. “Kayla, you’ve been here all day and you haven’t eaten a thing …”
My expression was deadly as we locked gazes. “When the hell did it become everyone’s business whether or not I eat? Last time I checked, it was my body.”
I could tell what he was thinking by the way his features twisted. This wasn’t me. This wasn’t the quiet and meek girl he’d been dating. This girl was bitter and wanted to unleash her rage on those around her.
“Lila called me, Kayla,” Cameron said in a resigned tone. I hadn’t successfully incited his anger. He refused to be pushed away. I could play chicken with him endlessly—he’d still never be the first one to yield.
“Why would my sister call you?”
“She told me she heard you throwing up in the bathroom. She found a stockpile of snacks and thinks you’ve been forcing yourself to get sick for a while now to lose weight…”
“Lila is sixteen years old. She’s a child and has no right to make accusations and go behind my back and call my boyfriend.”
“Kayla, she’s scared. And so am I,” he admitted. “You never want to do anything because you’re tired all the time. You’re constantly canceling our plans because you claim you’re not feeling well …”
“I don’t want to hear this. You and Lila had no right to talk about me behind my back.” I jumped up from the table, knocking over my chair in the process.
“Kayla, you have to start eating better. These habits aren’t healthy,” he insisted. Getting out of his chair, he took careful, measured steps across the room.
“You said Scarlett does crazy diets all the time. It’s not that big of a deal to try different things to lose weight,” I countered.
“That’s not what you’re doing. Your diet has turned into something else entirely,” he said softly.
“Fine! You want me to eat, then I’ll eat.” I shoved past him roughly and headed to his cupboards. Opening one of the cabinets, I blindly grabbed at packages of food. After ripping into a box of cookies, I shoved a handful in my mouth. Crumbs tumbled out of my mouth as I demanded, “Is this what you want? Does it make you happy? Because I’m sure I won’t be hearing from you once I become fat again.”
“Cut it out.”
I removed a box of cereal from his cabinet. I shoveled fistful after fistful of the sugary flakes into my mouth. Rummaging through his other cabinets, I found a half-empty box of doughnuts. I devoured them in quick bites, powder caking over my lips.
“This is fucking crazy, Kayla.” Cameron was planted in the center of the kitchen. I saw the suffering on his face after I polished off a third donut. He appeared unsure if he should stop me since I was actually eating or if he should protest my binging in his presence.
“What, Cameron?” I taunted. “You don’t like to see the fat girl inside of me eat? Or you don’t like the realization that this disgusts you and deep down you’re actually a hypocrite?”
“That’s not it and you know me better than that.” I could hear a quiet rage in his voice. “You need help and you refuse to do anything about it. You’re better than this, Kayla. Your dad would hate to know his death was doing this to you.”
I stopped guzzling down a can of soda at his words. “Don’t you dare bring my father into this.” I darted away from him, heading toward the bathroom. Three feet from the door, Cameron’s strong arms encircled me from behind. “What are you doing?” I cried.
“You’re not going into the bathroom and throwing that food up,” he said fiercely to my back.
I tried to squirm out of his hold, but he only tightened his grip. “You’re the one with the problem,” I said. “Does it make you feel like a big strong man to be able to hold down your one-hundred-and-five-pound girlfriend?”
“I know you probably hate me right now, but I can’t watch you hurt yourself anymore. We’re going to get you help,” he said, clearly agonized.
“Cameron, let me go!” I screamed.
My thoughts were irrational. I couldn’t think of anything else except getting the food out of me. The more seconds that passed, the more time the food would have to digest and be stuck inside me forever.
I swung around and pelted his chests with my fists. “Why are you doing this to me? Can’t you see what kind of pain I’m in? Just let me go to the bathroom. Please!”
“Kayla, please, we can get through this together. Why can’t you see that you’re so fucking beautiful? It wouldn’t matter to me if you were three hundred pounds …” he choked out. His eyes flooded, and I turned my face away in horror. I bucked wildly against him and his hold slipped enough to permit me to free myself from his arms and sprint into the bathroom.
Slamming the door shut and locking it, I desired nothing more than to collapse onto the floor and disappear into oblivion. Instead, I shoved my finger down my throat and vomited. By the time I was finished, my cheeks were soaked with tears. With a sob, I clutched at the edge of the porcelain sink.
How could I leave the sanctity of the bathroom? Once my body had been purged of every last morsel of food, lucidity returned. I’d just screamed at and assaulted the kindest, most honest person in my life. What kind of sane person could deal with my baggage? It was over. I suspected I’d finally pushed Cameron to the point where he’d no longer want anything to do with me.
Cameron’s eyes were red-rimmed when I slunk out of the bathroom ten minutes later. My plan was to leave; to grab my things and disappear wordlessly, an attempt to give him an easy out.
“I’ll just leave …” Docile Kayla was back. My enraged other half fled the scene of the crime, leaving behind tears and recriminations in her wake.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Review: What Would Lizzy Bennet Do? by Katie Oliver

Summary:

When your name is Lizzy Bennet, and the object of your affections just happens to have the surname Darcy, it seems fitting that life should imitate art, and you should end up together – right?
So when a film crew arrive to shoot Pride and Prejudice’ at the Darcy estate next door to the Bennet home, and Hugh Darcy arrives home after 8 years away, Lizzy knows that their time has finally come. Until, that is, he introduces her to Holly – his fiancée…

What is Lizzy to do? It can’t hurt that Holly knows nothing about country life, and that her ex-boyfriend and film star Ciaran Duncan just happens to be the main star of the new movie. And it’s clear that Lady Darcy does not approve of Holly either. Lizzy knows Holly isn’t right for Hugh, but can she make him see that and get her Austen ending after all?
Publication Date: January 15, 1016
Sometimes I just need a book that leaves me with lots of warm and fuzzy feelings. I picked up What Would Lizzy Bennet Do? because I wanted to turn my brain off for the night and just go along with a sweet, silly romance. Although the book worked for me on some levels, I didn’t love it as much as I had hoped.

I adore anything and everything Pride & Prejudice related. Although the setup for this novel was a little corny, I still went with it. I immediately liked the two Darcy brothers and Lizzy provided a lot of comic relief. I would have preferred that most of the story focused on the love triangle between Holly, Lizzy, and Hugh, but the book became riddled with subplots. If the novel was more focused and didn’t seem to throw in strange and unnecessary plot twists, I would have loved it so much more.

If you’re looking for chick lit that is funny and sweet, then I suggest you pick up What Would Lizzy Bennet Do?

Rating: 3/5 Stars

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

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Billionaire's Touch Blog Tour and Giveaway

The Sinclair Most Likely Blog Tour 


In J.S. Scott's contemporary romance series, the Sinclairs were born into one of Boston’s richest families, the siblings separate and leave their troubled childhoods behind…until life pulls them back together in the sleepy coastal village of Amesport, Maine. 

There they meet their matches, discovering that the satisfaction of having billions in the bank pales in comparison to the passionate love affairs that are shaking up—and righting—their worlds. 

Get to know each of the Sinclairs as J.S. gives readers a glimpse into each hero...

Which Sinclair is most likely to…

1)  … spontaneously fly a date to Italy to show her his favorite restaurant?

Dante, from No Ordinary Billionaire, will go far and beyond to show the woman he loves how much he adores her and a spontaneous dinner in another country might do just that.

2) … go on an extreme sports vacation?

Jared, from The Forbidden Billionaire, as we all know is the daredevil of the Sinclair brothers so it is natural to think he would think of an extreme sport vacation as a type of holiday!

3) … forget an important birthday because they were working on a million dollar merger?

Evan, from The Billionaire's Touch, has always been focused in his work. Being the eldest and the one responsible to take the role of the head of the family, makes it hard for him to let the business responsibilities to fall on someone else.

4) … write a romantic poem to their significant other? 

Evan. However regardless of being 99.9% business focused he will still indulge in something as romantic as writing a poem for his significant other.

5)  … take a ballroom dance class? 

Aww Grady, from The Billionaire's Christmas, known to the residents of Amesport as “the eccentric beast” he still has a soft side and will take pleasure in learning to ballroom in order to see Emily happy and have an excuse to be close to her.

6) … have the most children? 

Grady (but they all have a bet running on who will succeed).

This one was a tough one as all the Sinclair men love nothing but to show their women their Alpha and possessive side, however we thought Grady after discovering the miracle of Christmas and being surrounded by children in the youth center would love to see Emily carrying his babies.

***

And now get to know the Evan, the newest Sinclair hero, better with an excerpt from The Billionaire's Touch:

“Can I ask you a question?”

She lifted a brow before asking, “What?”

“Does Beatrice give out these stones to everyone?” Evan pulled the crystal from his pocket and held it out to her.

Hesitantly, Randi reached out and took the rock into her own hand. She turned it over and over a few times before handing it back with a perplexed look on her face.

“Hardly ever,” she admitted. “You got one, too?”

“She mailed it to me with a letter a few months ago, telling me I was going to be married within six months,” he answered reluctantly, slipping the Apache tear back into his coat pocket. “I think she might be demented.”

Randi laughed, and a bolt of pleasure raced through Evan’s body at the husky, sultry sound.

“She’s not crazy. She’s just a little eccentric. Sometimes her predictions actually do come true.”

Evan shook his head. “She’s destined for disappointment with me.”

“I was thinking the same thing,” Randi admitted, reaching for the door of her rapidly defrosting vehicle. It was a deep-purple SUV that somehow suited her bold personality. Evan could finally see the make and model clearly.

“Randi?” he questioned huskily.

“Yes?” She turned and looked at him, her expression no longer hostile.

“Don’t worry about my coat. I have another one.”

It wasn’t what he really wanted to say, but he couldn’t exactly tell her what he was thinking. She was likely to apply a knee to his balls, and he rather liked them intact.

“I told you to send me a bill if the stain doesn’t come out. You might try the dry cleaners here. They’ve done miracles with some of my clothes. Stains are a job hazard for teachers,” she told him amiably.

It was her smile that made Evan snap. Her eyes were warm and happy, her lips curving into a beautiful expression of joy when she talked about her profession. But the grin was aimed at him, and Evan couldn’t possibly resist seizing the moment. He’d never made an impulsive move in his entire life, but he couldn’t seem to control his mind or body when she smiled at him this way.

He stepped forward without debating his options first, pinned her body against her vehicle, and without a cautionary thought in his head, he kissed her.

Evan groaned as his lips crashed down on hers, knowing that he’d just made a mistake that would probably cost him his sanity. Her body stiffened as he wrapped his arms around her, one hand threading through her hair to protect her head and keep it exactly in a position that allowed him complete access to her mouth. An unfamiliar sense of male satisfaction moved deep in his gut as the clip holding her hair fell to the ground and the dark strands tumbled around her shoulders.

***

About the Book

Title: The Billionaire's Touch
Author: J.S. Scott
Publishing Date: February 2, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Montlake Romance

Summary

After a troubling childhood, wealthy Evan Sinclair likes his life orderly and controlled. He rarely gives in to spontaneous urges—until he begins a chance correspondence with a mystery woman who sounds like his complete opposite. She intrigues and amuses him, and the interest seems mutual…which is more than he can say for his current obsession, Miranda Tyler, the tough-as-nails, sexy schoolteacher who’s made it clear she’s not impressed—or interested.

Miranda finally has it all: a good job, friends, and the security of living in the quaint coastal town of Amesport, Maine. She even has an anonymous pen pal—a man she’s never met yet has bonded with almost effortlessly. The only thing unsettling her life is Evan Sinclair. The handsome billionaire is arrogant, pompous, and far too used to getting his way. Miranda tries her best to avoid him, until Evan’s steamy kiss turns her world upside down.


Soon their red-hot desire is scorching the sheets and has them both spinning out of control. But when secrets are revealed, will their insatiable attraction keep them together or force them apart? In J.S. Scott’s The Billionaire’s Touch, the eldest Sinclair just might have met his match.

Buy Link


About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author J.S. Scott is an avid reader. While she loves all types of books and literature, romance has always been her genre of choice. Because she writes what she loves to read, she excels at both contemporary and paranormal romances. Most of her books are steamy and generally feature a to-die-for alpha male, and all have a satisfying happily-ever-after ending. She just can’t seem to write them any other way!

Social Media Links



Rafflecopter Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 1, 2016

Review: No One Knows by J.T. Ellison

Summary:

In an obsessive mystery as thrilling as The Girl on the Train andThe Husband’s Secret, New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison will make you question every twist in her page-turning novel—and wonder which of her vividly drawn characters you should trust.

The day Aubrey Hamilton’s husband is declared dead by the state of Tennessee should bring closure so she can move on with her life. But Aubrey doesn’t want to move on; she wants Josh back. It’s been five years since he disappeared, since their blissfully happy marriage—they were happy, weren’t they?—screeched to a halt and Aubrey became the prime suspect in his disappearance. Five years of emptiness, solitude, loneliness, questions. Why didn’t Josh show up at his friend’s bachelor party? Was he murdered? Did he run away? And now, all this time later, who is the mysterious yet strangely familiar figure suddenly haunting her new life?

In No One Knows, the New York Times bestselling coauthor of the Nicholas Drummond series expertly peels back the layers of a complex woman who is hiding dark secrets beneath her unassuming exterior. This masterful thriller for fans of Gillian Flynn, Liane Moriarty, and Paula Hawkins will pull readers into a you’ll-never-guess merry-go-round of danger and deception. Round and round and round it goes, where it stops…no one knows.

Publication Date: March 16, 2016
I loved the twisty No One Knows! The author totally kept me guessing and I was definitely surprised by the big reveal. The suspense was spot on and I couldn’t wait to find out what had happened to Josh the night he disappeared.

This is certainly the kind of book that the reader can’t trust anyone. The book is full of unreliable narrators and until the end, it was hard to decide who was telling the truth when relaying the events that led up to the night Josh disappeared. None of the characters were particularly likable, but I felt from the author’s writing that I really was able to understand their mindsets and motivations.

The story jumps around a lot from different points of view and hops between the past and present. The author did a superior job of teasing out the mystery, just leaving enough breadcrumbs to make me eager to get to the end. This is unquestionably an all-night read!

No One Knows was a five-star book all the way through, but I did take away a half of star because I didn’t love the end. I wish the epilogue was left out altogether because it just didn’t work for me.

By the looks of it, the author has a ton of books out. Yay! Can’t wait to dig into the rest of her catalog and see what other dark and twisty thrillers she has available. This is a top recommendation for fans of mysteries and psychological suspense.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

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

Friday, January 29, 2016

Review: Behold the Bones by Natalie C. Parker

Summary:

Candace “Candy” Pickens has been obsessed with the swamp lore of her tiny Louisiana town for . . . forever. Name any ghostly swamp figure and Candy will recite the entire tale in a way that will curl your toes and send chills up your spine.

That doesn’t mean Candy’s a believer, however. Even though she and her friends entered the swamp at the start of summer and left it changed, Candy’s the only one who can’t see or feel the magical swamp Shine. She’s also the only one who can’t see the ghosts that have been showing up and spooking everyone in town ever since. So Candy concentrates on other things—real things. Like fighting with her mother and plotting her escape from her crazy town.

But ghosts aren’t the only newcomers in Sticks, Louisiana. The King family arrives like a hurricane: in a blur and unwanted—at least by Candy. Mr. King is intent on filming the rumored ghostly activity for his hit TV show, Local Haunts. And while Candy can’t ignore how attracted she is to eighteen-year-old Gage King and how much his sister, Nova, wants to be friends, she’s still suspicious of the King family.

As Candy tries to figure out why the Kings are really in town and why the swamp that had previously cast her aside now seems to be invading every crack in her logical, cynical mind, she stumbles across the one piece of swamp lore she didn’t know. It’s a tale that’s more truth than myth, and may have all the answers . . . and its roots are in Candy’s own family tree.

Publication Date: February 23, 2016
Natalie C. Parker can definitely write great, atmospheric YA novels. I loved her first outing in the series, Beware the Wild, so I was stoked to get my hands on the sequel Behold the Bones. Although the gothic feel was still there and the writing was amazing, I didn’t have as much love for book two as the first in the series.

My main complaint with Behold the Bones? I just didn’t care for the main character Candy as much. Candy was well developed, but I just found her too abrasive for me. I didn’t mind that she was tough, I liked that about her, but she could be rude and obnoxious to the people who loved her. I liked her friends much more than Candy and would have rather read a book from Abigail’s POV.

The beginning was exciting and I was interested in the “curse” affecting Candy and her family. But there was a major slowdown after the beginning and I found my interest waning. Luckily, the plot picked up again about two-thirds of the way through and I was able to finish the rest of the book quickly.

The swamp setting is by far the star of the book and the chapters that highlighted the haunted Louisiana swamp were the most riveting. Although the hauntings start affecting other areas of the town, the creep factor went away up anytime the swamp came into play.

Although Behold the Bones wasn’t my favorite book, I still would read more from the author and look forward to checking out her future novels.

Rating: 3/5 Stars


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