Review: In Her Wake, by K.A.Tucker

In Her Wake cover (1) Oh my, Trent. You poor broken soul. Let me start out by saying that even though this is a .5, you MUST read Ten Tiny Breaths beforehand. MUST!! If you don’t, you’ll kind of ruin the surprise in TTB, and you don’t want to do that.

Synopsis
Before you knew him as Trent in Ten Tiny Breaths, he was Cole Reynolds—and he had it all. Until one night when he makes a fatal, wrong decision…and loses everything.

When a drunken night out at a Michigan State college party results in the death of six people, Cole must come to terms with his part in the tragedy. Normally, he’d be able to lean on his best friends—the ones who have been in his life since he could barely walk. Only, they’re gone. Worse, there’s the shattered body of a sixteen-year-old girl lying somewhere in a hospital bed, her entire life ripped from her because of a case of beer and a set of keys.

Everyone assures him that they know it wasn’t intentional, and yet he can’t ignore the weight of their gazes, the whispers behind his back. Nor can he shake the all-consuming guilt he feels every time he thinks of that girl who won’t so much as allow him near her hospital room to apologize. As the months go by and the shame and loneliness festers, Cole begins to lose his grip on what once was important—college, his girlfriend, his future. His life. It’s not until Cole hits rock-bottom that he can begin to see another way out of his personal hell: forgiveness.

And there’s only one person who can give that to him…

This was a very fast read, but it still had all the emotions of a full length novel. K.A.Tucker has created a world around these characters that make you feel as though you truly know them. My heart was breaking for what Trent had to go through. I knew he felt guilty, but never on this level.

Trent had everything he wanted, until one mistake changed the rest of his life. Now he must move on and carry on. Easier said than done. Being the one left behind, and having no one to help him, he find that life is way too hard alone. The brokenness he felt, made my heart hurt. He had guilt, the size of mountains. The ‘What ifs” were almost too numerable to count. No amount of them would bring his friends back. So after months of desperation, he finds a way to come out from the fog and to move on.

I have always loved Trent. He was my favorite TTB character. But watching like this, was a bit hard for me. I think guy’s POVs are always a bit more emotional for me. I guess, in some backwards ways, guys are supposed to be strong all the time. But it’s not true. This book shows that perfectly.

~Melpomene

Buy In Her Wake: A Ten Tiny Breaths Novella

Get caught up with the Ten Tiny Breaths series
katucker

Ten Tiny Breaths: A Novel

One Tiny Lie: A Novel

Four Seconds to Lose: A Novel

Five Ways to Fall: A Novel

Review: Amity by Michael Ostow

19141361Did you grow up scared sleepless after watching Amityville Horror? Did you watch it more than once just because you were fascinated yet slightly traumatized by it? Were you interested enough in the true story to do a little bit of research into what really happened in Amityville? If any of the above questions apply to you, this new book by Michael Ostow is definitely a must-read!

This creepy supernatural story plays off the events retold in Amityville Horror. Two horrific tragedies are at play here, separated by a span of ten years. Gwen and her family are the lucky inhabitants of the Amity house ten years after Connor and his family were in residence. And of course, things didn’t end happily ever after for the original inhabitants.

The chapters easily alternate between the two time periods with everything converging at the end. Demonic possession, ghosts, ancient burial grounds, and good old-fashioned human murder all have a starring role. Great for fans of scary good stories, and safe enough for young adult readers. As long as they don’t mind a few sleepless nights, that is!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Amity

Review – Mildred Pierce by James M. Cain.

101205Hi guys and girls! Pegasus is back! I’ve just returned from visiting my home country of England, and have had the opportunity to buy, and read, a great book! In fact, I would even be as bold to say that it may well become a new favourite of mine! No, really, it is that good.
I’ve been in a bit of a book slump for the past month or so, and unfortunately, haven’t really read anything that has particularly related to me. This all changed however, when I was recommended James M. Cain’s Mildred Pierce, by a friend of mine, who just so happens to also be a fellow film/literature fanatic… I mean fan…
Cain’s novel follows the title character, Mildred, and her family as they try and make it in post–depression California after Mildred and her husband separate. Mildred is forced to get a job, and then goes on to build herself up. Without giving too much away, we see Mildred’s trials and tribulations along the way, mostly due to her eldest daughter, Veda.
Being a film fan, I of course had heard of Mildred Pierce (both the Joan Crawford and Kate Winslet versions – being a huge Winslet fan, I own that particular version) and indeed the book by Cain. I knew the story, and knew the characters. When I started reading however, I was immediately brought into Cain’s world – not the world that I had seen on screen. Cain’s ability to accurately detail a scene without including unnecessary language and description is truly a talent. The reader is immediately transported to 1930’s California and into the Pierce household. Cain doesn’t miss a beat, and throws the reader into the middle of a clearly unhappy and withered marriage. What happens in the first few pages would probably shock the average reader of 1941 (the year of publication). Cain continues this kind of forward thinking and does not spare the reader from controversy.
The best and most intriguing aspect about Mildred Pierce are the characters. Not since Thomas Hardy, or perhaps Michael Cunningham, have I experienced such depth and complexity within the main characters, and indeed minor characters. Now bear in mind the novel was published in 1941 when complex female characters were a rarity, and indeed, attitudes towards females left a lot to be desired. Mildred is not your stereotypical 1940’s housewife; she knows what she wants and knows how to get it. Nothing is black and white with Cain – where there is good, there is evil and vice versa. One moment we will be rooting for Mildred, and a chapter later, we will be wondering if she is indeed any different from Veda. Even the minor characters such as Lucy Gessler, or Wally Lamb are well fleshed out and provide pivotal moments throughout the novel.
Reading this novel has opened up a whole new genre to me – Hardboiled fiction may well be my new obsession – and my wallet is not happy! However, I am, so that’s what counts! I shall definitely be reading more of Cain (in fact, I just received a compilation with four of his novels – The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce [already double dipping!]), and Serenade. I will also most likely look into the works of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammet.
Anyway, that’s it until next week, and I shall leave you to go and read Mildred Pierce!
~ Pegasus.
Mildred Pierce

Review: The Shadow of Death (Psalm 23 Mysteries #9) by Debbie Viguie

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If you’ve been reading the Psalm 23 Mysteries, you’ve got to read The Shadow of Death. Right. Now. It’s fast-paced, international, truth-revealing, and the most dangerous book in the series yet. I love when a plot is written so well that you feel like you’re on a thrill ride… no effort, just excitement and fun!

If you haven’t picked up the Psalm 23 Mysteries, I implore you to. Despite the name, they aren’t preachy or hokey or Bible-pushing. They feature a church secretary and a Jewish rabbi who keep tripping over dead bodies. Some of the time it’s coincidental, and some of the time it’s due to Rabbi Jeremiah’s sordid past.

In The Shadow of Death, Jeremiah’s secrets are revealed, he comes clean about his true feelings for Cindy, and he faces his biggest fear.

Read it. Love it. Wait for the next one. Amazing writing and a really fun ride.

-Calliope

It’s on sale today. $7.95 for kindle. Worth every penny.
buy THE SHADOW OF DEATH

Review: The Beautiful Ashes, by Jeaniene Frost

01bea I love Jeaniene Frost. Let me just start out by saying that. I loved her Night Huntress series. Cat and Bones were one of the funnest paranormal series I’ve ever read. I hated to see them end. But when I heard that she was writing a new adult paranormal series, I was super excited, and slightly nervous, to read it. I was so used to adult romances by her, I wasn’t sure how I’d take a NA. But she did it flawlessly.

Synopsis via Goodreads
In a world of shadows, anything is possible. Except escaping your fate.

Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. And the one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who’s bound by an ancient legacy to betray her.

Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn’t mean he can change his fate…no matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn’t: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side and Adrian on the other. And nothing but ashes in between…

The story starts out with a bang. If the first chapter doesn’t grab you, I’m not sure what will.

When we first see 20 yr old Ivy, she is searching for her sister, after the death of her parents, a few days earlier. She has been dealing with hallucinations and is trying to decide what is real and what is not. So searching has been quite difficult, when you never know when visions will pop up and show you a world that seems true, and yet isn’t. Right off the bat she finds herself in a world of trouble, and meeting someone who is destined to be her enemy. Since she has no one to help her, Ivy finds herself going with him, even though she doesn’t trust him.

Adrian wants nothing to do with his “family”. He has chosen a different path. He doesn’t want to believe is his fate, when it comes to Ivy, but he knows you can’t stop fate. It’s going to happen anyways. But when he saves her and finds out who she really is, he has no other choice but to help her. Then he finds himself growing to like her, even though he shouldn’t.

“Nothing but Dark magic had ever felt so powerful, and when I touch you, it’s a thousand times worse. You’re the light I can never have…and I’m the darkness you’ll never succumb to.”

This book had the feel of the Fever series, by Karen Marie Moning, but with a NA atmosphere. Demons, glamour, mystical relics, that sort of thing. But Ivy is your typical 20 yr old and has typical 20 yr old feelings about a very hot Adrian. I was glad to feel the tension, but not have it thrust in my face the whole time. As they go through the many challenges together, they grow slowly closer to each other. Ivy learns about her past and how she is very important for the future. She has powers that only she can, because of her lineage. Adrian learns that it isn’t easy to fight what fate already has destined for you. But, with Ivy, I think he can get past it to prove himself worthy.

I am super excited for this series. I can’t wait to see what happens next!!

~Melpomene

Buy The Beautiful Ashes (A Broken Destiny Novel)

Review: Eyes of the Woods, by Eden Fierce

01eyes What a fantastic debut novel, from this young lady!! I was so very excited to read this. In all honesty, I went in with the notion of finding a young adult book for my daughter. I hoped being written by a 15 yr old, it wouldn’t have some of the stuff many other YA books have. I have struggled with finding true YA books without sex or language. I honestly don’t think they exist. But this book blew me away. It had the perfect amount of action. It was the PERFECT amount of sweet romance. It wasn’t overdone and sappy. It was perfectly innocent. I can’t wait for my daughter to read this!

The funny thing is, when I first started it, and she called her dad Father, I was immediately taken in. There’s something sweet about that. I can’t put my finger on it. Perhaps, deep down, I’m old fashioned.

SYNOPSIS
Eris Helgren knew her life was about to end. A daughter of the Priory–a generations-old family who protected their territories from nightwalkers–Eris was strong and independent. But on her birthday, her father would announce her betrothal. A year later, she would be forced to marry.

What Eris didn’t know was that the very beings she hunted were watching her, and that being tamed wasn’t what would kill her after all.

In a land where the woods were forbidden and the laws meant life, Eris will have to make a decision that could bring peace between enemies, or war among friends.

I was drawn to Eris right away. She loved her family very much, but didn’t like some of the rules they had to follow. But being a good daughter, she was forced to go along with them, until something happened that changed the course of her life. She was then forced to make decisions that could change her entire world.

The action was fantastic! My nerves did get the better of me a few times. I was so very curious to what happening, I couldn’t put it down. There were a couple of sad parts that may be hard to read. But as I thought about what these kids watch on TV or video games, they would be used to things much worse.

As the primary book chooser for my kids it is very refreshing to find a true Young Adult book. Many YA books have sex and that is not needed or necessary in any YA books. This is the transition time. From kid books to teen books. We shouldn’t have to worry about warning our kids or blocking certain pages off. You should be able to pick up a YA book and hand it to any 12-15 yr old without having to worry about them reading about sex. This is a book I will be recommending to all of my fellow moms of tweens/teens.

**ADDITION**
I asked my 12 yr old to read this book, as a favor. I knew she’d like it, but telling her to read, instead of asking, always backfires. But I wanted an honest tween opinion.

At 8pm, she comes out of her room and says, “I’m just on chapter 2 and I know I’m going to like it already.”
At 9pm, “Oh my gosh!! I promise I’ll go to bed not too late, but I have to know what’s going to happen!!”
The next morning, “Good morning, Mom. I got to…….Can I finish before I start school, pleeeeease?” (Homeschool)
Half hour later, “Mom!! Can you order me a signed copy? I love this book!! This ranks right up with Edenbrooke.” Edenbrooke is her FAVORITE book.
After lunch, “You know how I’m not a rereader? Well, I REALLY wanna reread this.” :)

Her thoughts: “I liked the action.” “I was sad at some parts, and almost cried!” “I am so happy to see a girl who was strong and didn’t need help. Katniss needed help, Eris didn’t she knew what she wanted and went and got it.”

Yep, teens will like this. Way to go, Eden!!! I know your mom is proud of you, but this mom is also. You are an example to this young girls, out there, that they can do anything, no matter their age.

~Melpomene

Buy Eyes of the Woods

Review: Harbor Island (Sharpe & Donovan) by Carla Neggers

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I don’t know HOW I missed out on this series until now. Where have I been? Living under a rock?

Harbor Island is a complex, witty, gritty, romantic suspense novel. Emma and Colin are FBI agents. Right there, Neggers has me as a fan. They have a quiet, affectionate banter … refreshing, as it’s not the usual shtick I experience in rom coms. (I love rom coms, but this is a nice change of pace.) And they are bent on solving a crime that spans decades and the globe.

While I mostly appreciated the underlying romance, and just ate up all the knowing glances, smooches, and warm embraces, I also really enjoyed the FBI adventure set on an island near Boston, MA. Gunshots, murder, larceny, con men, artists… Neggers made it so exciting that I’m on the edge of my seat just remembering it.

There were a lot of characters in this novel, and it took a bit to keep them all straight. I would have been better off reading books 1-3 in the series before jumping into this one (#4). But it was totally doable and enjoyable. Neggers took me on such a great ride that I can’t wait for book 5. I’m off to read 1-3 … and then maybe book 4 again!

-calliope

buy HARBOR ISLAND