Saturday, November 18, 2017

Mary Kubica: Every Last Lie

Mary Kubica show how far a woman will go to prove that her husband's accident was anything but:

Clara's world was shattered when her husband, Nick, and their four year old daughter, Maisie, were involved in a deadly car crash. Maisie was unharmed in the crash but her Nick succumbed to his injuries. The crash is ruled as an accident, probably speed related, but Clara cannot believe that Nick would drive the winding road fast with their daughter in the back seat. When Maisie begins to have nightmares about the crash, Clara has determined that Nick's death was much more than an accident. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And, more important, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out and the truth is only the beginning of secrets and deceit she is going to uncover. 

This is the second book that I have read by Kubica and while it may follow a similar format to tell the story, it is nothing like The Good Girl, which I appreciated. The format that Kubica chooses to use is a before and after the main event, in this case a deadly accident that kills Nick. The voice of before and after is also not the same person, her husband Nick is the before voice and Clara is the after voice. This allows you to get to know and care about both characters even though you know that Nick's is going to end in tragedy.

Kubica puts real emotion in to this book and I can honestly say that I there are times within the book that I do not know if I would have acted differently from Clara. From not wanting to tell her daughter about her daddy's death, to trying to deal with what actually happened during the accident and setting out to find herself, Kubica puts a very real elemetn behind Clara's thoughts, choices, grief and actions. The need to know what actually happened and that your loved one would not be so reckless not just with their life but that of her child.

I enjoyed going along the journey with Clara as she tries to discover what truly happened that day and Kubica does a great job of introducing new facts and possible along the way that there are many factors and people to consider as to what caused the crash. I think that Kubica chose a bit of an unconventional ending to her book which I think you will either love or hate. I personally loved it.

Two books down by Kubica and I have enjoyed both of them. I think she has mastered the way that she likes to tell the story and uses it to her advantage. I'm off to find another book by her.

Enjoy!!!
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Sunday, November 12, 2017

K. L Slater: Blink

K. L. Slater takes a reader on every parent's worse nightmare with the disappearance of their child:

Toni's life was turned upside down when her husband was killed in action. It has caused her to make some drastic changes in her life, some good and many bad ones. With her daughter Evie by her side she makes a move to a new city to try to start a new life but people notice there is something not right with Toni and question her ability to take care of Evie. When Evie disappears there are many suspects but everyone sees it as Toni's fault. Will she ever see her child again? As more time passes she tries to stay positive but everyone knows as more time passes the likelihood of Evie coming back alive gets smaller and smaller.

This book had everything that I was looking for in a psychological thriller, and as the premise on Goodreads says it actually does have a twist that you will not see coming. Trust me that does not happen very often and there are times when I question where the big twist was. Honestly, half way through this book I was like I have it all figured out and how it was going to play out but I was totally wrong. Slater does a great job of not only surprising you having so many possibilities that you're not sure which one is right.

Slater has a strong story telling aspect in this book and I really enjoyed they way she decided to tell the story with the present, Toni before and the teacher before. It can take a bit to lead to the actual abduction of Evie so it was maybe a bit drawn out but Slater needed to lay the groundwork. It also gives you a great overview of what led up to Evie's disappearance as well as the list of suspects for taking Evie and they all seem to have a motive that they would act on that sends your brain spinning in so many different scenarios.

Toni is very real character who is suffering from the loss of her husband and everything psychological and financial burdens that comes with that. The only Light in her life is Evie and as much as she tries to be a good mother, she struggles throughout the past portions of the book. The choices that Toni does make does make her hard to like at times but at the still time you feel so sorry for her that you understand her in a way.

This is the first book that I have read by Slater and it will not be the last. Slater has a great story telling ability that has set the bar really high with this book, so I'm really looking forward to finding another book by her.

Enjoy!!!
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Friday, November 3, 2017

Interview: S. J. Kincaid

A little late for my Blogoversary this year, but that is okay, as this author was new to me and her novel The Diabolic was a great read. It melded together so many aspects that I enjoy in books, darkness, political power plays and a ruthless main character. I mean what is there not to love. Additionally, her second book in her Diabolic series, Empress, was just released this week so make sure you check that out as well. Please welcome to Blood Rose Books today:
S.J. Kincaid

My Grandma was instrumental in me turning out to be a reader. Was there a book or person who first influenced you in to becoming an author?
My Sister was the number one influence in this. She was older than me by four years, and I wasnt to be just like her. I used to follow her around and annoy her when she was playing with her friends. When she decided as a third grader that she loved writing, I decided to start writing too. It became my primary hobby from then onward.

If there was one author you could co-write a novel with (they can be alive or dead) who would you choose and why?
Actually, it would be an unpublished but extremely talented writer I've already co-written a novel with, on of my two best friends, Jamie. Thanks to her, I co-wrote the first ever manuscript I finished, and realized writing was a possible career for me. I've hoped ever since for a chance to write something with her one day. It was so much fun.

What appeals to you writing in the YA genre?
I don't have to write about mortgages or wrangling with taxes, for one. It's an interesting period of life when there's still so much possibility, so many decisions not yet made, and a teenager is simultaneously and adult in so many ways but lacking all the autonomy and power over fate an adult has.

Many adults have taken to reading novels that have been classified with the YA designation. Why do you think YA novels are appealing to adults more? Do you think that this may change some of the overall content of the YA genre? Hoave you seen changes within the genre since you started writing in it?
I think adults appreciate - as I do - the pacing of a typical YA novel. Although there are certainly exceptions, adult fiction often seems much more rumination or lingering than a YA novel, where the emphasis focuses upon driving the story forward.

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
I would say straight-up romance. My sister writes romance as Meredith Duran, and she's incredibly talented, but I don't think I could simultaneously keep to the pretty strict genre guileless and expectations and manage to produce something compelling and fascinating the way she does. I really am in awe of her.

The Diabolic was originally supposed to be a standalone novel; Why did you decide to make it into a series?
There were a variety of reasons, but mostly it was because there was just too much story left to tell! I really had this plot idea that nagged me so I felt compelled to write onward.

As The Diabolic wrapped up the story by the end of the book did you find it hard to create a new storyline and where these characters would go next?
Not in this case, mostly because it was the storyline for where it would go next that compelled me to write onward, rather than contract for three books from the start. I just had this idea and I couldn't resist pursuing it.

You wanted to make The Diabolic older and darker from your previous series, what appealed to you about writing the darker side of human nature; As Nemesis is cold, lacks empathy and is ruthless.
I felt like INSIGNIA began with a main character who was fourteen, and although some readers will grow older as Tom does, other will pick up all three books after they're out. To write for middle grade or the younger end of YA, one has to be respectful of not just the readers, but the parents and librarians who are sharing the book. I want people to know from the beginning of the first book just what they'll be exposing their kid or student to if they read this series, rather than surprise them with shocking or dark stuff they're not ready to read. For that reason, there's a lot of pretty dark stuff they're not ready to read. For that reason, there's a lot of pretty dark stuff in INSIGNIA, but it never goes too far , and yet I couldn't help but notice the parts that readers really connected with were some of the darker moments. With The Diabolic, I laid it out pretty explicitly in the first chapter of the first book just how dark the story could get, so if it doesn't work for a reader, then someone knows in the bookstore.

Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share?
Yes! I should preface this and say I had the awesome and enormous par of The Diabolic wings made, so anyone who wants a selfie with them, come see me! These are my events:

November 4th, I'll be at the Colorado Teen BookCon with Scott Reinten, Veronica Rossi, Emily Suvada, Len Vlahos, and moderated by Scott Bergstorm.
November 6th: I'll be at Third Place Books in Seattle.
November 7th and 8th: I'll have two events with Tommy Wallach at Barnes and Noble and Chevalier's Books
November 18th: Miami Book Fair 

What is one book (Other than one of your own) that you think should be a must read for everyone)
The Gift of Fear. Not fiction, but honestly it'll save your life. That book has given me so many useful tips as a woman who travels alone often.

I want to thank Kincaid once again for taking the time to answer these questions. Honestly, if I was able to go to one of her upcoming events I would totally take a self with those wings, they sound amazing and I am really looking forward to reading Empress, the second book in her Diabolic series.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Layton Green: The Brothers Three

Layton Green takes readers on an adventitious quest for power, friendship and save a loved one:

The Blackwood brothers from New Orleans are very different but are always there for each other. Will dreams of a fantasy world and believes he was meant to be a hero, if only he get over his panic attacks. Middle brother Caleb tries to live his life to fullest and take a laid back way of life using his charm to survive. Oldest brother Val who has been caring for his brothers since their father died and mother became ill is hiding a secret from both of them. All three are about to be put to a test that none of them ever dreamed of (though Will wished for something similar). Enter in to a world where wizards rain supreme, religion is crushed down and a perilous journey must be taken not only to save their own lives but find out the truth about their father and save a long time family friend who help raise them.

Honestly, this is one of the best fantasy quest books that I have read in a long time. I may not dip in to this genre that often but I know what I like and Green delivered on so many levels. From start to finish with his writing, plot, characters and pacing of the book everything was right.

Green is known for the amount of research and detail that he has put in to his Dominic Grey series (which is one of my favourites) and it was interesting to see him put these type of skills towards a fantasy based book. You can tell that he pulled from different folklore and cultures to creates the monsters (and trust me some of these creature not not only unique but scary as hell) as well as the puzzle aspects to the quest that the brothers are forced on. You can also see it in the world building between the parallel dimensions which was one of my favorite aspects of the book.

The parallel dimensions or portal between two worlds is not something that I have read a lot of, but I find I really enjoy the idea of it. It was an interesting twist between the two dimensions to show what would have happened if religion was stamped out like witches or magic ideals. I actually want to know more about this world, the magic, the culture and the hierarchy system that is in place. All of these aspects are just touched upon in the first book as this book was Quest based, but I are really interested in knowing more.

Having the three brothers was an interesting choice and there were times when I questioned the need for all three. I am sure that they all have their roles to play, as they are very different in personality as well as strengths and weaknesses but there was times that the middle brother Caleb was more of a secondary character than a primary one (perhaps this will change in the next book). Trust me you do not want to be a secondary character in this book as well they get hurt a lot and not everyone is going to make it to the end of this book, which I am glad that Green is willing to take risks with his characters, all of them.

Fantastic start to a new series, this book really had everything that I was looking for when I read this genre with it's mix of fantasy and adventure.If you're looking for a new fantasy read and series to start you should pick up this book. I'm really looking forward to the second book, especially how this book ended. I need to start the second book really soon.

Enjoy!!!
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Friday, October 27, 2017

Nicholas Sansbury Smith: Orbs

Nicholas Sansbury Smith takes the reader on the journey of an Alien invasion where no place is safe:

 2061: Earth is dying. Cataclysmic solar storms has eaten away at the atmosphere and has caused leaders from around the world to finally acknowledge that the fate of the human race lies on the colonization of Mars. Dr. Sophie Winston is hired by New Tech Corporation to test a biosphere deep within the heart of Cheyenne Mountain; a mission she believes will help prepare the company for the three-year flight to the red planet as well as ensure spots for her team members on those ships. There job is to stay in the biosphere and not leave no matter what, however, days in to the assignment things begin to go extremely wrong and they are unable to contact the outside world. The mission abandoned, the blast doors are opened and the enter in to a barren world that appears to be void of life and water. But not all life is gone, and the team is about to find out that they hold a very precious resources that the invaders need.

I discovered Sansbury Smith earlier this year with Hell Divers and when I found out he had other series, I knew I had to check them out. Orbs is so different from Hell Divers it is shocking, there are very few common threads (really the main on is the survival of the human race) between the two books that they could have been written by different authors. I mean this completely as a compliment as it shows the creativity that Sansbury Smith has in that brain of his. 

From start to finish I was drawn in to this book and the concept that he presented. While an Alien race invading our planet is not knew by any stretch Sansbury Smith's take on it was extremely unique to me. The Alien's need for our water and we're not just talking bodies of water, we're talking every last drop they can squeeze from every living thing on Earth. Enter some of the creepiest and scary Aliens that I have ever been introduced to and lets just say that how living creatures die seems far from a quick and pleasant experience.

I found the characters were not quite as well developed as I would have liked them to be, but I think that it is due to the fact we start off with many and are slowly weeding them out (Yes that is right Sansbury Smith is not afraid to kill off a character or two or more). I think in the next books we will get to know some of the characters better rather than some of the stereotype ones that we got in this book. As I said everyone does not make it to the end here, so there is hope for less point of views next time around and to really get to know some of the characters.

This book will make you appreciate the next time you go for a swim in any body of water or even take a shower or bath. Our most precious resources is our water, we cannot be the only lifeforms out there that relies on it, so maybe Sansbury Smith is a little bit of a prophet. I'm Really looking forward to the next book.

Enjoy!!!
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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Peter Swanson: Her Every Fear

Peter Swanson shows the readers that you can never really hide from your past:

Kate Priddy always had bouts of anxiety, but things are taken to the next level when her ex-boyfriend kidnapped her and left her to die after killing himself. Kate never thought that she would recover both mentally and physically after what happened to her but she wants to try. When she is accepted in to an art program in Boston, her distant cousin Corbin Dell suggests a flat switch for 6 months. kate really cannot say no. What Kate does not know is the Corbin is trying to fell Boston as she is London and when Kate/Corbin's Boston neighbour turns up dead, Kate has all these questions of who Corbin really is.

I really wanted to LOVE this book. It had such an interesting premise and I really enjoy when a main character has a flaw that is very real life and affects so many people out there but overall I found this book fell flat. This mainly had to do with how the story was told and which characters Swanson chose to have points of view from.

I liked the back and forth between the characters' points of view as well as the shifts from the past and present, but I think that this was also a major flaw in the book as it gave too much away as to what was occurring in the present. This made the book predictable and the major punch line about what was occurring not happen, as you're like "yep figured that out about half way through the book." And trust me it is really obvious.

Kate was the most interesting character in tis book. The paranoia and basically agoraphobia (not wanting to leave the house) that she has was a really interesting aspect to her character. I also liked the incorporation of having her as an artist to try and overcome these issues but they also contribute to them as well in this book. However, I wish that she was a more developed character and these aspects seem to get lost in the second half of the book and it is not due to her suddenly recovering.


Overall, Swanson's book was a miss for me. It had a great premise and great potential and I think executed in a different way I would have enjoyed it. This does not mean I will not read another book by Swanson, I can tell he has something there as an author, but as this is the first book I have read by him I am disappointed.

Cheers!!!

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