21 DARES by JC GATLIN

21 Dares

It’s all fun and games until someone dies…

Two months into college, Abbie Reed is about to turn 21. Not expecting a big deal as she really has no friends unless you call her cat, Clem, a friend, which she does. Her roommate is older and although they share an apartment, they haven’t made any attempts to get to know each other.

Daily calls from her father, going to classes and seeing a very odd shrink 2 days a week is pretty much all she’s doing.

Until the day she notices someone following her. Every day. Every where. When her shrink suggests she use her birthday as an opportunity to be more social, she isn’t interested in the least. The day before her birthday, she receives a call from a girl she knew back home. When McKenzie would come to visit her Grandmother, she and Abbie would spend time together, but Abbie does not consider her a friend. Abbie and her father lived with her Grandparents, having moved from Tampa after a traumatic event.

The title 21 Dares, relates to the game that McKenzie and Abbie’s roommate, Susan have set up. But why would someone she barely knows throw her this bizarre birthday party and game. She receives the dares by text and as the night goes on it becomes obvious that this is not a game for one of the participants. It is revenge. Sick and twisted, revenge. But for what? And finally she will come face to face with the mysterious man following her. But can she believe him?

I liked the premise of the story, if some of the characters were a bit lacking in personality and we didn’t know much about any of them except Abbie.

But it was a nice easy read and good for a YA book!

The Girl Before by J.P.Delaney *Release Day*

The Girl Before
A true Psychological Thriller! I wanted it to keep going! Even though I did not see that ending coming. Which is wonderful.
The story of two women, Emma/Then and Jane/Now. Flipping back and forth between the two seamlessly.
Their only connection is a house. One Folgate Street. An odd house with an even odder owner, the architect who designed it to live in with his own family. Now it sits empty, as if waiting for the right tenant.The vetting process is extreme and the house comes with an iron clad list of rules. Think Minimalist, extreme minimalist. The house is built to read and anticipate your needs and moods. The house is almost a character itself in the story. There comes a time when you wonder if the house is guilty!

Emma and her boyfriend, Simon, move into the house after Emma was home alone when there was a break in. Thinking she would feel safe here in this house and that they could learn to live simply.

Jane moves in after her own traumatic experience and soon discovers the previous tenant died in the house. This doesn’t seem to bother her, but it does send her on a quest to find out who killed this girl, and that quest puts her own life in jeopardy.

Edward Monkford, the architect, has some issues, but is he a killer?

I can tell you that no one in this book is who or what they seem. Reading this was like peeling back the layers of an onion, until you finally get to the center of it and realize you really never know anyone.

The twists and turns were fast and shocking. The author’s head must be a very interesting place to be!

There are so many good UK writers out there. I don’t know if they have always been there or maybe I just wasn’t looking in the right place. The past 5 books I’ve read have been by UK writers and I am loving what they are doing!

I will definitely read this again and recommend it! Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read this copy. The Release Date for this book is January of 2017.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
J. P. Delaney is the pseudonym of an an acclaimed crime writer who is also a creative director for the largest advertising agency in the U.K.

The Girl From The Sea by Shalini Boland

The Girl from the Sea

Washed up on the beach at Dorset, half drowned and with no memory of what happened to her or even who she is, Mia James is alone and frightened.

The police aren’t sure either, until a man steps forward to say that Mia is his girlfriend. He’s pretty nice looking, but Mia has no idea who he is. However since the police believe him, she lets him take her home. He seems to want to just pick up where they supposedly left off before her accident and Mia isn’t so sure she’s even the same person as she was before.

When she begins having memories or hallucinations about a blonde woman coming for her meaning to do her harm, she isn’t sure what is real and what isn’t. Was someone trying to kill her? Was it someone she knows?

As Mia tries to put together what her life was like before, things turn ugly. And that is all I am telling you!  Because I didn’t see that ending coming at all! And I’m pretty good at that.

How wonderful to have a new voice in the Psychological Thriller genre!

As soon as I saw this cover, I wanted this book. Thank you Netgalley for a great read!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hello 🙂 I write suspense thrillers for adults, as well as dark YA adventures. I live in Dorset, England with my husband and two noisy boys. Before children, I was signed to Universal Music as a singer songwriter. As well as writing novels, I also run eBookSoda – a place for readers to get FREE and bargain ebooks – yay!

The Gail Force ( A Jake Travis Novel) by Robert Lane

The Gail Force by [Lane, Robert]

Jake Travis is back and once again up to his neck in bad guys!

When Riley Anderson shows up on Jake’s lawn looking for help and telling a fantastic story, we just know he’s going to help her find the man responsible for murdering her husband and return the favor.

Using an art gallery as a front for his wicked little blackmail schemes, Phillip Agatha has thugs as well as politicians and the FBI in his pockets. And the discovery of this sent Riley and her husband, Karl to the FBI, who in turn dropped them in a remote location where Agatha was waiting to get rid of them. Only Riley gets away.

Jake calls in some favors and gets himself involved. Although he can grudgingly admire Agatha’s knowledge and outlook on life, he knows he will need all of his wits to pull this off. Who can he trust at the FBI? Will he be able to rescue the lovely assistant, Christina?

Will he ever get off the Gail Force alive? And keep the people he cares about safe?

Mr. Lane’s writing is clean, crisp, no wasted words here, just edge of your seat suspense and nail biting twists! There wasn’t a pause in the action and I read this in one sitting. I had to know who was behind it all!

Looks as though we have another really good player on the field of Crime Thrillers!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Robert Lane’s debut novel, “The Second Letter,” garnered critical acclaim. It won the Gold Medal in the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) 2015 Benjamin Franklin Awards, for Best New Voice:Fiction.

His second stand-alone Jake Travis novel, “Cooler Than Blood,” was released February 24, 2015. ForeWord Clarion Reviews said “Cooler Than Blood” is “…gripping and highly enjoyable…Jake is at once a classic noir character…a fascinating protagonist.” Adds Kirkus Reviews, “Lane delivers a confident, engaging Florida tale with a cast of intriguing characters. A solid, entertaining mystery.”

Lane’s third novel,The Cardinal’s Sin is a finalist in the 18th annual Foreword Reviews INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards.

Kirkus Reviews proclaims “The Cardinal’s Sin,” released August, 2015, “A cinematic tale…the prose is confident and clear, and the pacing smooth and compelling. Another entertaining mystery from Lane–possibly his best yet.”

“This brilliantly calibrated thriller,” adds Foreword Clarion Review, “bests the leading sellers in its class. Lane’s writing is sharp, evocative, and engaging. Lane, through Jake, wrestles questions of cosmological import with skill, outdoing Dan Brown and writers of his ilk as he juggles theology and mystery.” Five Stars.

Lane’s fourth Jake Travis novel, “The Gail Force” will be released September 21, 2016. In advance praise, Kirkus Reviews states, “The plot crackles with energy and suspense. The writing is crisp…clever. A consistently entertaining crime thriller.” Foreword Clarion gives it Five Stars, and says, “There’s little chance that anyone will turn the page before developing a craving for the next installment.”

Thank you to Netgalley for this copy.  Release Date is Sept. 20, 2016

 

Sigil (A Tom Regan Thriller) by Aidan J. Reid

Sigil by Aidan J. Reid

This book had a lot of the ingredients that I like in a suspense thriller. Set in Ireland with Father Tom Regan, a parish priest with a love of mysteries and the television show starring Detective Bourbon. He fancies himself something of a sleuth. But living in the small village of Ballygorm there isn’t a lot of sleuthing to be done.

Until a local man is found hanging in Joe Boyd’s barn. Officially listed as a suicide but Fr Regan senses something isn’t right about it and begins to emulate Detective Bourbon, asking questions and checking stories as well as the barn. As things heat up he may well be in danger himself.

Somewhere in Ballygorm the citizens are harboring a killer. And it looks like everyone in the village is keeping their own secrets.

Will Fr.Regan figure out who is telling the truth and find out what evil is lurking in the village? When it comes to murder,no one is exempt. Even a priest. It all came together in the end in a way that left me saying What??

Good character in Regan. Looking forward to more from Mr. Reid.

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Aidan J. Reid

AIDAN J. REID is a writer and freelance blogger originally from Northern Ireland.

His debut sci-fi thriller, PATHFINDERS, was released on March 1st 2016.

The theme of lucid dreaming as well as what is hidden in the deep, dark subconscious parts of our mind are explored.

A second book – Sigil – was released on June 23rd 2016. It follows the adventure of a Catholic parish priest in a small village in Ireland who suspects that a local suicide has more sinister elements involved.

His short story, Spectrum, can be downloaded for free from his website where he blogs regularly.

On My List For October

New book releases are plentiful this Fall. Here are the ones I’ll be reading. Take a peek and see if one of your favorite authors is here!

The Orphan Mother: A Novel by [Hicks, Robert] An epic account of one remarkable woman’s quest for justice from the New York Times bestselling author of The Widow of the South and A Separate Country.

In the years following the Civil War, Mariah Reddick, former slave to Carrie McGavock–the “Widow of the South”–has quietly built a new life for herself as a midwife to the women of Franklin, Tennessee. But when her ambitious, politically-minded grown son, Theopolis, is murdered, Mariah–no stranger to loss–finds her world once more breaking apart. How could this happen? Who wanted him dead?

Mariah’s journey to uncover the truth leads her to unexpected people–including George Tole, a recent arrival to town, fleeing a difficult past of his own–and forces her to confront the truths of her own past. Brimming with the vivid prose and historical research that has won Robert Hicks recognition as a “master storyteller” (San Francisco Chronicle). Release Date: 9/13/16
The Trespasser: A Novel by [French, Tana] A brilliant new novel from the New York Times bestselling author, whom Gillian Flynn calls “mesmerizing” and Stephen King calls “incandescent.”

Being on the Murder squad is nothing like Detective Antoinette Conway dreamed it would be. Her partner, Stephen Moran, is the only person who seems glad she’s there. The rest of her working life is a stream of thankless cases, vicious pranks, and harassment. Antoinette is savagely tough, but she’s getting close to the breaking point.

Their new case looks like yet another by-the-numbers lovers’ quarrel gone bad. Aislinn Murray is blond, pretty, groomed to a shine, and dead in her catalogue-perfect living room, next to a table set for a romantic dinner. There’s nothing unusual about her—except that Antoinette’s seen her somewhere before.

And that her death won’t stay in its neat by-numbers box. Other detectives are trying to push Antoinette and Steve into arresting Aislinn’s boyfriend, fast. There’s a shadowy figure at the end of Antoinette’s road. Aislinn’s friend is hinting that she knew Aislinn was in danger. And everything they find out about Aislinn takes her further from the glossy, passive doll she seemed to be.

Antoinette knows the harassment has turned her paranoid, but she can’t tell just how far gone she is. Is this case another step in the campaign to force her off the squad, or are there darker currents flowing beneath its polished surface?  Release Date 10/04/16

Today Will Be Different by [Semple, Maria]  A brilliant novel from the author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette, about a day in the life of Eleanor Flood, forced to abandon her small ambitions and awake to a strange, new future.

Eleanor knows she’s a mess. But today, she will tackle the little things. She will shower and get dressed. She will have her poetry and yoga lessons after dropping off her son, Timby. She won’t swear. She will initiate sex with her husband, Joe. But before she can put her modest plan into action-life happens. Today, it turns out, is the day Timby has decided to fake sick to weasel his way into his mother’s company. It’s also the day Joe has chosen to tell his office-but not Eleanor-that he’s on vacation. Just when it seems like things can’t go more awry, an encounter with a former colleague produces a graphic memoir whose dramatic tale threatens to reveal a buried family secret.

TODAY WILL BE DIFFERENT is a hilarious, heart-filled story about reinvention, sisterhood, and how sometimes it takes facing up to our former selves to truly begin living.  Release Date: 10/04/16

Crimson Death (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter) by [Hamilton, Laurell K.] In her twenty-fifth adventure, vampire hunter and necromancer Anita Blake learns that evil is in the eye of the beholder…
 
Anita has never seen Damian, her vampire servant, in such a state. The rising sun doesn’t usher in the peaceful death that he desperately needs. Instead, he’s being bombarded with violent nightmares and blood sweats.

And now, with Damian at his most vulnerable, Anita needs him the most. The vampire who created him, who subjected him to centuries of torture, might be losing control, allowing rogue vampires to run wild and break one of their kind’s few strict taboos.

Some say love is a great motivator, but hatred gets the job done, too. And when Anita joins forces with her friend Edward to stop the carnage, Damian will be at their side, even if it means traveling back to the land where all his nightmares spring from…a place that couldn’t be less welcoming to a vampire, an assassin, and a necromancer.

Ireland.  Release Date: 10/11/16

All the Little Liars: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery (Aurora Teagarden Mysteries) by [Harris, Charlaine]

Aurora Teagarden is basking in the news of her pregnancy when disaster strikes her small Georgia town: four kids vanish from the school soccer field in an afternoon. Aurora’s 15-year-old brother Phillip is one of them. Also gone are two of his friends, and an 11-year-old girl who was just hoping to get a ride home from soccer practice. And then there’s an even worse discovery—at the kids’ last known destination, a dead body.

While the local police and sheriff’s department comb the county for the missing kids and interview everyone even remotely involved, Aurora and her new husband, true crime writer Robin Crusoe, begin their own investigation. Could the death and kidnappings have anything to do with a group of bullies at the middle school? Is Phillip’s disappearance related to Aurora’s father’s gambling debts? Or is Phillip himself, new to town and an unknown quantity, responsible for taking the other children? But regardless of the reason, as the days go by, the most important questions remain. Are the kids still alive? Who could be concealing them? Where could they be?

With Christmas approaching, Aurora is determined to find her brother…if he’s still alive.

After more than a decade, #1 New York Times bestseller Charlaine Harris finally returns to her fan-favorite Aurora Teagarden series with All the Little Liars, a fabulously fun new mystery.  Release Date:10/04/16

What are you reading this August?

Burying the Honeysuckle Girls by [Carpenter, Emily]

Althea Bell is still heartbroken by her mother’s tragic, premature death—and tormented by the last, frantic words she whispered into young Althea’s ear: Wait for her. For the honeysuckle girl. She’ll find you, I think, but if she doesn’t, you find her.

Adrift ever since, Althea is now fresh out of rehab and returning to her family home in Mobile, Alabama, determined to reconnect with her estranged, ailing father. While Althea doesn’t expect him, or her politically ambitious brother, to welcome her with open arms, she’s not prepared for the chilling revelation of a grim, long-buried family secret. Fragile and desperate, Althea escapes with an old flame to uncover the truth about her lineage. Drawn deeper into her ancestors’ lives, Althea begins to unearth their disturbing history…and the part she’s meant to play in it.

Gripping and visceral, this unforgettable debut delves straight into the heart of dark family secrets and into one woman’s emotional journey to save herself from a sinister inheritance.

The Black Widow (Gabriel Allon Series Book 16) by [Silva, Daniel]

Bestselling author Daniel Silva delivers another spellbinding international thriller—one that finds the legendary Gabriel Allon grappling with an ISIS mastermind.

Gabriel Allon, the art restorer, spy, and assassin described as the most compelling fictional creation “since Ian Fleming put down his martini and invented James Bond” (Rocky Mountain News), is poised to become the chief of Israel’s secret intelligence service. But on the eve of his promotion, events conspire to lure him into the field for one final operation. ISIS has detonated a massive bomb in the Marais district of Paris, and a desperate French government wants Gabriel to eliminate the man responsible before he can strike again.

Acclaimed novelist Daniel Silva has thrilled, entertained and educated readers with eighteen thoughtful and gripping spy novels featuring a diverse cast of compelling characters and ingenious plots that have taken them around the globe and back—from the United States to Europe, Russia to the Middle East. From its shocking opening to its explosive denouement in Washington, D.C., The Black Widow reveals itself as Silva’s most timely and powerful novel yet. Following the success of his smash hit The English Spy, this electrifying thriller showcases Silva’s consummate skill and brilliant imagination, and is sure to be a must read for his multitude of current and future fans.

When you turn an election into a three-ring circus, there’s always a chance that the dancing bear will win,” says Isenberg of the political climate surrounding Sarah Palin. And we recognize how right she is today. Yet the voters boosting Trump have been a permanent part of our American fabric, argues Isenberg.

The wretched and landless poor have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds.

Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over four hundred years, Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. Reconstruction pitted poor white trash against newly freed slaves, which factored in the rise of eugenics–-a widely popular movement embraced by Theodore Roosevelt that targeted poor whites for sterilization. These poor were at the heart of New Deal reforms and LBJ’s Great Society; they haunt us in reality TV shows like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty. Marginalized as a class, white trash have always been at or near the center of major political debates over the character of the American identity.
 
We acknowledge racial injustice as an ugly stain on our nation’s history. With Isenberg’s landmark book, we will have to face the truth about the enduring, malevolent nature of class as well.

When you turn an election into a three-ring circus, there’s always a chance that the dancing bear will win,” says Isenberg of the political climate surrounding Sarah Palin. And we recognize how right she is today. Yet the voters boosting Trump have been a permanent part of our American fabric, argues Isenberg.

The wretched and landless poor have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds.

The Silence Between Moonbeams is about life — not always romantic, and not always easy, but often beautiful.

Everything is a product of the universe, the one thing about life we all share. It binds us together not only on a cellular level, but it’s also quintessential to the human condition. Thoughts, feelings, triumphs, love, loss, and much more are covered throughout these pages.

Discover what it feels like to live.

This last book is available on Smashwords and was written by our friend and fellow blogger, Sarah Doughty. 
What is on your August Reading List?  Share!!!