[#BookReview] The Christmas Tale of Elaine Gale by Daniel Thompson, Illustrated by Connor Edwards #ChildrensFiction #IllustratedBooks #ChristmasStories

** I’d like to thank the author for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest review **

Genre: Children’s Fiction

Publication Date: Oct 31, 2017

My Rating: 🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤

My Thoughts

I’m always up for a story that involves an evil queen or witch, so I was all-in when I was given the opportunity to read this.  I would love to use my kids as an excuse as to why I wanted to read it, but who am I kidding?! If you didn’t already know, I’m a fan of children’s..ahem..ILLUSTRATED books.  Lol.

And might I say, the illustrations in this cute story were a nice addition! It had a Dr.Seuss kinda feel, with a hint of darkness to it.  

It tells a tale of 3 children who build an evil snow queen (rather than a snowman), who comes to life and casts an evil spell on all children to turn them naughty.

Elaine Gale totally reminded me of the witch in The Lion, the witch & the wardrobe by C.S Lewis making her my favourite character.

I especially liked that this story appeals to a broad age group and wasn’t too kiddie (if you know what I mean). If there was one thing I had to critique, it would be that even if this story was not in rhyme, it would equally have been just as good.

Whether you love a good Christmas story, or story of good vs. evil, I highly recommend this book for those ages 3 and up.

For more info: CLICK HERE

Book Blurb

In this book that you hold, a true story unfolds,

Of a Christmas not too long ago.

Where I’m lead to believe, on a cold Christmas eve,

Three Siblings played out in the snow.

As all children do, when the snow bustles through,

They built an acquaintance to scale.

But not a snow man, as suggested by Dan,

They built a snow queen, Elaine Gale

And they started to tell, how she’d cast an old spell,

For every child to be cruel.

For if no names exist, on Santa’s nice list,

There would be no Christmas at all.

But little did they know, as they played in the snow,

Before the night was through.

That story they told, would find life in the cold.

And every word would come true.

Daniel Thompson

Danny is a Poet/film maker/musician and all round creative human from Birmingham.

He wrote this book because he loves Christmas and wanted to create something to add to the already rich tapestry of the Christmas festivities. He felt it was really important to tell an original Christmas story that a new generation of readers can claim as their own. He is really proud of what hr and Connor have created with this book and hopes you enjoy their work.
ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR

Connor Edwards

Connor is a graphic design student and illustrator from Birmingham.

The book was an exciting project to work on because its quirky story and writing style really inspired his imagination. As a Christmas story it was unlike anything already available, this refreshing look at the Christmas story gave him a lot to work with. He hopes you enjoy reading the book as much as he loved making it.

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[#BookReview] Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

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Genre: Mystery, Crime Fiction

Publication Date: 1933

Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers

My Rating: 💙💙💙💙💙

Book Blurb

Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. One of his fellow passengers must be the murderer.

Isolated by the storm and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer amongst a dozen of the dead man’s enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again…

My Thoughts

The murder is with us – on the train now…

Can you believe I’ve had this book on my shelf foCan you believe I’ve had this book on my shelf for 13 years and only read it now?

I’m so glad I decided to read this gem because it was SO good, even though I figured out whodunnit by Part 2, Chapter 3.  I felt like I was playing a game of Clue (which is one of my favourite games).

I love how each chapter was labeled, giving it the feel of reading a case file.  Hercule Poirot was by far my favourite character:

“If you will forgive me for being personal – I do not like your face M. Rachett

He reminded me of the intelligent Professor Plum.

This is such a gush-worthy novel, that I really don’t want to ruin it for those who have yet to read it.

I can’t wait to watch the movie! Have you read this book? Seen the movie yet? Let me know in the comment section 😊

[#TVSeries] #ThisIsUs

Image result for this is us

Let me just start by saying, that I seriously DID NOT picture myself ever watching this show.  In fact, I was that person that would roll my eyes whenever someone mentioned it.  However, I found myself with nothing else to watch and decided to see what they hype was about…

OMG..is this not a beautiful show or what?! I take my eye rolling back!

I haven’t seen the second season yet, so it’s possible my list of fav characters may change.  But I really like Kate, Randall & Jack.  Oh, and Toby (he’s so sweet).

Who’s your favourite character? Do you watch the show?  Tell me your thoughts!

[#BookReview] The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware @RuthWareWriter @simonschuster @goodreads #TheWomanInCabin10 #bookofthemonth

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Suspense

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: July 19, 2016

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤ 1/2 (4.5)

Book Blurb

In this tightly wound story, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…

My Thoughts

Well no wonder this book was so good!  It was published on my birthday 😊 LOL.  Just kidding.  Seriously though..OMG..This was WAAY better than In a Dark, Dark Wood (sorry Ruth! It wasn’t my cuppa tea).  I really love how Ware includes a passage from another story before her book begins.  It really sets the tone.

The only reason I deducted 1/2 a star was because I felt the ending was a bit rushed.  But other than that, there were moments I felt like biting my nails cause it was so intense, and I’m not a nail biter.

There was a sound at the door and I stopped.  Stopped everything-stopped breathing, thinking, panicking – I sat, frozen, my back against the bunk.  Should I pounce? Attack?

Whenever I read mysteries/thrillers, I have this tendency to start formulating in my head how things are gonna go down or who I think ‘dunnit’.  Ruth did an excellent job of convincing me that Lo was crazy.  At one point, I even thought Lo may possibly have pulled off a Keyser Soze stint.  For those who don’t know who Keyser Soze is, he’s a character from the movie The Usual Suspects.  If you haven’t seen it, WATCH IT! Great movie!  

There were so many possibilities that I didn’t really anticipate the ending.  The kind of ending I LOVE! 

Have you read this yet? What did you think?

[#BookBlitz] A Marchioness Below Stairs by Alyssa Baxter @alissa_baxter #Romance

A Marchioness Below Stairs

By Alissa Baxter

Genre: Regency Romance

Escaping from Bath and the news that her former love is about to marry another, Isabel, the young widowed Marchioness of Axbridge, accepts an invitation to her cousin’s house party. Yet, instead of finding respite, she stumbles into a domestic crisis of majestic proportions: The kitchen staff has succumbed to the influenza.
If that weren’t bad enough, her former sweetheart arrives with his fiancée, seeking shelter from the increasingly hazardous snow storm. Trapped inside Chernock Hall with a volatile mix of house guests, including abolitionists and slave owners, Isabel wishes she could hide below stairs for the duration. But, alas, she cannot. While helping in the kitchen, Isabel is cornered by her cousin’s disreputable friend, Marcus Bateman, who challenges and provokes her at every turn.

At last, the storm subsides. However, the avalanche of repercussions cannot be undone. Caught in the grip of the terrible winter of 1813, will Isabel’s greatest threat come from the weather, her abolitionist views, or from falling in love again?

If you love traditional Regency romances, you’ll adore A Marchioness Below Stairs.

About the Author

Alissa Baxter wrote her first Regency romance, The Dashing Debutante, during her long university holidays. After travelling the world, she settled down to write her second Regency romance, Lord Fenmore’s Wager, which was inspired by her time living on a country estate in England. Also the author of two contemporary romances, Send and Receive and The Blog Affair, Alissa currently lives in Johannesburg with her husband and two sons.

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Amazon


The author is giving away TWO Regency Romance Ebooks; Lord Fenmore’s Wager & A Marchioness Below Stairs & a $15 Amazon GC!
➡️ CLICK HERE ⬅️

[#BookReview] The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda @simonschuster @goodreads

** Spoiler free review **

Genre: Mystery/Thriller, Suspense

Publication Date: April 11, 2017

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

My Rating: ❤❤ 1/2 (2.5)-DNF

Book Blurb

Confronted by a restraining order and the threat of a lawsuit, failed journalist Leah Stevens needs to get out of Boston when she runs into an old friend, Emmy Grey, who has just left a troubled relationship. Emmy proposes they move to rural Pennsylvania, where Leah can get a teaching position and both women can start again. But their new start is threatened when a woman with an eerie resemblance to Leah is assaulted by the lake, and Emmy disappears days later.

Determined to find Emmy, Leah cooperates with Kyle Donovan, a handsome young police officer on the case. As they investigate her friend’s life for clues, Leah begins to wonder: did she ever really know Emmy at all? With no friends, family, or a digital footprint, the police begin to suspect that there is no Emmy Grey. Soon Leah’s credibility is at stake, and she is forced to revisit her past: the article that ruined her career. To save herself, Leah must uncover the truth about Emmy Grey—and along the way, confront her old demons, find out who she can really trust, and clear her own name.

Everyone in this rural Pennsylvanian town has something to hide—including Leah herself. How do you uncover the truth when you are busy hiding your own?

My Thoughts

My God, Leah, what did you do?

My thoughts exactly! What DID Leah do that caused her to skip town and start over somewhere else?

As always, I like to go on Goodreads and read the reviews before I purchase a book.  HOWEVER, I also take it with a grain of salt so to speak.  Almost all the reviews said the same thing: They loved All the Missing Girls (myself included) , and had high expectations but was disappointed.  I hate when that happens, and has happened ALOT!  So to be fair, I took a wee break from reading and decided to walk into this with no expectations..as if I’ve never read Miranda’s work.

Maybe it’s the way the story starts..slow.  But then by Chapter 2, things start to pick up.

-a smear of dried blood in the weeds beside the cop, marked off with an orange flag.  The gnats settling over it in the morning light.

Now wait for it..wait for it..by chapter 5, nothing.  That moment is gone.  *Sigh*  I tried to stick with it, but just couldn’t.

I feel like I’ve hit a wall, cause this is the second book in a row I’ve struggled to get into!!  I think this book would’ve been better if it was written in alternating points of view and started at the crime scene.

Have you read it? What did you think?

 

[#TVSeries] Stranger Things 2 #StrangerThings

** Spoiler Free**


I love that my 5 year old drew this for me.

OMG..who’s watched Season 2 of Stranger Things? I totally tried to space it out but instead of going to bed after work at 1am, I ended up binge watching it till 6am over the span of 3 days. Hello, Caffeine please!

To be perfectly honest, I had reservations as to how this one would play out.  With the ways things ended in the first season, I thought: How can this one possibly beat that one? Or better yet, what can they possibly write about that would hold the viewers attention?

Clearly, I was not disappointed.  I think I loved this season as much as the first, maybe even a tad more.  If there was anything to criticize, was where Max & Billy fit into the picture.  I get the whole new kid on the block thing, but I feel like there were pieces to the puzzle missing.  As far as Billy goes, he’s just that guy that everyone hates.  But the real question looming is: Was it just me? Or was he a racist SOB? Maybe he had a secret crush on his step-sister? I don’t know,  it wasn’t quite clear to me.  Regardless, I thought Dacre Montgomery did a great job playing his character.  I really love it when an actor/actress can play a character you despise really well.

What did you think of this new season? Did you watch it yet? (If not, What the heck are you waiting for? Go watch it already!)

 

[#BlogTour] The Kitchen Mistress by Kathleen Shoop

NEW RELEASE…

For every woman who’s had to choose between the secrets that protect her and the people she loves the most…

1892—Des Moines

Katherine Arthur and her family are back and it’s time to collect the money Mrs. Mellet left them in her will. The tidy sum will allow the family peace of mind and a future that’s stable and fulfilling. But when things don’t go exactly as planned, Katherine steps up to do more than her share. Hired as a kitchen mistress, her intuition (with the help of a mysterious recipe book), cooking prowess, and work ethic make her the perfect partner for the enigmatic, wealthy woman next door. Then Aleksey Zurchenko arrives.

Violet Pendergrass is a well-heeled, progressive woman with half a fortune in one hand and a plan for enduring prosperity in the other. Resourceful, shrewd, and tough, Violet doesn’t realize her one and only weakness leaves her vulnerable as she attempts to solidify her independence. She sees unparalleled value in Katherine’s gifts and does her best to keep the girl close, to keep her true work secret from her mother and the world.

Katherine’s loyalties to her mother and Violet grow strained and soon her commitment to both frays even further as her feelings for Aleksey grow. Katherine must decide if pursuing her work with the formidable Violet and protecting her family are more important than following love. Can she do it all? Love, hope, joy, secrets buried in walls and hearts; all are threatened by those who claim to care about the Arthurs. Can Katherine separate what’s right and true from what it takes to survive? Are they even different things?

The Last Letter Series of novels by Kathleen Shoop is set in the Midwest of America in the late 19th and early 20th century. Shoop takes readers on an emotional journey through love, loss and redemption. Inspired by family letters, the novels pull from historical events and places and feature the life and times of the fictional Arthur family as they make their way in the world.

Available to buy from the following sites…

Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk / Barnes and Noble/  Kobo / iBooks

“Kathleen Shoop is a master of emotional depth and creativity.” – K.C.Finn, Readers’ Favorite Reviewer

“The Kitchen Mistress is a beautiful story beautifully told. Kathleen Shoop is a master storyteller with a great gift for the first-person narrative, a voice she harnesses so well to create a dramatic effect on readers… One of the things I enjoyed about Shoop’s writing is her mastery of the conflict. It is introduced very early in the narrative and it escalates pretty fast. I read the story nonstop, waiting eagerly for the satisfying denouement.” — Romuald Dzemo for Readers’ Favorite

“The Kitchen Mistress is a beguiling story, with characters that feel so real the reader could almost believe they walk the same road with them. The protagonist has a complex world to navigate and it is interesting to see how she deals with her secrets, faces the challenges of her relationships and her work, and how she connects to herself. The Kitchen Mistress is delicately written, with a beautifully imagined plot, great prose, and memorable characters. I was seduced by the expert writing and could not stop reading until the last page.” — Arya Fomonyuy for Readers’ Favorite

Letter Series Book 1 – The Last Letter

Katherine wouldn’t have believed it if she hadn’t found the letter…

In the summer of 1905 Katherine Arthur’s mother arrives on her doorstep, dying, forcing her to relive a past she wanted to forget. When Katherine was young, the Arthur family had been affluent city dwellers until shame sent them running for the prairie, into the unknown. Taking her family, including young Katherine, to live off the land was the last thing Jeanie Arthur had wanted, but she would do her best to make a go of it. For Jeanie’s husband Frank it had been a world of opportunity. Dreaming, lazy Frank. But, it was a society of uncertainty–a domain of natural disasters, temptation, hatred, even death.

Ten-year-old Katherine had loved her mother fiercely, put her trust in her completely, but when there was no other choice, and Jeanie resorted to extreme measures on the prairie to save her family, she tore Katherine’s world apart. Now, seventeen years later, and far from the homestead, Katherine has found the truth – she has discovered the last letter. After years of anger, can Katherine find it in her heart to understand why her mother made the decisions that changed them all? Can she forgive and finally begin to heal before it’s too late?

**Independent Publisher Awards**

2011 Gold Medal, Best Regional Fiction-Midwest

**National Indie Excellence Book Awards**

2011 Finalist Award-Historical Fiction

2011 Finalist Award-Regional Fiction

**USA Best Books 2011 Awards**

Winner, Fiction–Western

Finalist, Fiction–Historical

Finalist, Best New Fiction

**International Book Awards**

2011 Finalist Award-Historical Fiction

2011 Finalist Award-Best New Fiction

Available to buy from…….

Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk Barnes and Noble Kobo iBooks Audible

Letter Series Book 2 – The Road Home

Find your way home…

1891—Living separately for three years, fourteen-year-old twins, Katherine and Tommy Arthur, have done their best to make each boarding house feel like home. But unrest grows as they are driven to questionable actions just to survive. Meanwhile their desperate mother is confronted with breaking yet another promise to her children. Then a miracle descends. Hope rises on a cold, rainy night and changes everything. If Jeanie could just get word to Katherine and Tommy, she knows she can set their lives right again. Agitators, angels, and dangerous “saviors” illuminate the Arthurs’ unmatched determination and smarts.

1905—Though she tries to forget the awful years that hurt so much, the memories still haunt Katherine. Now, tearful mourners at her mother’s funeral force her to revisit a time in her life that both harmed and saved her in the most unexpected ways. Tommy grieves his mother’s passing as well. He too is thrust backward, compelled to rediscover the events in his life that shaped the man he has become. Will he commit to reconstructing his broken life? The Arthurs come to understand that forgiveness is the only way back to hope, the only way to find all that was good in the misfortune that transformed their lives forever.

Available to buy from…….

Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk Barnes and Noble Kobo iBooks

The Family Letters

Luckily for author Kathleen Shoop, her ancestors kept hold of letters that are now between 100 and 120 years old. The first set of letters was handed down to Shoop from her mother. They appear in the collection called My Dear Frank. They are sweet and hopeful love letters written to Frank Arthur from his then-fiancé, Jeanie Scouller. My Dear Frank only contains Jeanie’s letters to Frank, as his were lost or destroyed at some point. However, for readers who love to bask in the past, Jeanie’s letters make it easy to understand much of what Frank had said, as she responds as quickly as she possibly could. (Read more about My Dear Frank.)

Available to buy from…

Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk

The second set of letters, Love From Mama, was written in the early 20th century. This collection is larger than the love letters as it contains correspondence by Jeanie, Frank, her children, some friends and also relatives. This non-fiction look into the past is a treasure for anyone who loves history in its raw, but real form! (Coming Soon)

About Kathleen Shoop

Bestselling author, Kathleen Shoop, holds a PhD in reading education and has more than 20 years of experience in the classroom. She writes historical fiction, women’s fiction and romance. Shoop’s novels have garnered various awards in the Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY), Eric Hoffer Book Awards, Indie Excellence Awards, Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Readers’ Favorite and the San Francisco Book Festival. Kathleen has been featured in USA Today and the Writer’s Guide to 2013. Her work has appeared in The Tribune-Review, four Chicken Soup for the Soul books and Pittsburgh Parent magazine. Kathleen coordinates Mindful Writing Retreats and is a regular presenter at conferences for writers.

I adore writing historical fiction (The Letter series, After the Fog and Donora Stories that are coming soon!) but am having a blast writing romance like Home Again, Return to Love and Tending Her Heart (Endless Love series). Thank you so much for the time you take to read.

Follow the author on the following sites…

Website Facebook Twitter Pinterest Google+ Goodreads Amazon

Follow the tour

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NOW FOR THE AUTHOR’S GIVEAWAY !!

 

 

Win $50 Amazon.com Gift Card or Paypal Cash (winners choice) PLUS 3 runner up prizes of an autographed book! Ending on Sunday 5th November at 11.59pm EST

 

Open Worldwide

 

Enter Below & Good Luck !!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

[#BlogTour] Late Bite by John Matsui @johnmatsui99 #Vampire #Fiction #CanadianAuthors


Late Bite: Vampire On Trial

The Toronto Vampire Chronicles, Book 1

By John Matsui

Genre: Dark Fantasy, Horror, Action Thriller

About the Book:

Police capture Dragul Mangorian in Toronto’s sewers on a series of blood-sucking assaults. Media worldwide and local citizens and politicians buzz with news the perp is ‘a real vampire.’

Mangorian’s blazing yellow eyes, cadaverous 6’-6” frame, three-inch fangs, taste for human blood and near takedown of a heavily-armed SWAT team persuades the usual public defenders to contract the flu. It falls to down-on-his-luck lawyer Al Hamblyn not just to defend this fearsome creature on the charges but to ensure he beats down a crack prosecution team’s efforts to deny Mangorian his legal rights on the basis that he’s not quite human.

Hamblyn learns Mangorian is the sole-surviving member of the Homo Sanguinus, a sub-species of Homo Sapiens that through evolution evolved to feed on human blood.

The lawyer seizes the opportunity to revive a disastrous career and win back his former wife and family. First, however, he must overcome his fears in mounting a defence for a client who appears to have stepped out of a nightmare.

Late Bite has been described as “A Path Breaking Novel” that’s “Fast and Fun” and gives an entirely “Fresh Take On Vampires.” The main character Dragul Mangorian is a non-sparkly blood sucker who both charms readers and keeps them guessing until the final page.

About the Author


John Matsui is a former daily newspaper writer, turned public relations guy, turned business consultant, turned Internet entrepreneur, and finally author of thriller mashups that stick to a single genre like confetti in a hurricane.

His storylines and characters, like his work life, rush everywhere at once and still arrive at the finish line with all plot threads neatly and satisfyingly knotted or so readers have told us. Unless you have a habit of reading the last pages of a book first, you clearly enjoy this form of topsy-turvy, jigsaw mystery. That or you decided to see how far from the beaten path John could go.

People who [enjoyed] [hated] [laughed] [cried] [got sick over] [have no idea what to think about] John’s writing are invited to visit https://johnmatsui.com/ or email the author at: john@johnmatsui.com and tell him they [loved] [despised] [shared] [ripped apart] [borrowed a copy of] [bought a copy of] his books and that they plan to [buy his other books] [recommend him] [start a bonfire with it] [spread it as fake news].

John’s other novels, Lycanthrope Rising: The True Story Behind The Vampire-Werewolf Wars — The Toronto Vampire Chronicles, Book 2 and Gravity Games, A Nathan Sherlock Foodie Thriller, are available as eBooks through most popular online vendors. The paperback version can be ordered on Amazon.com or clicking the link on John’s Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/John-Matsui/e/B00L8GIQ2E

John and wife Judy live in Wortley Village, a quaint neighbourhood in London, Ontario, far from Toronto’s clash of vampires, werewolves, superheroes and high housing prices.

Facebook.com/jmatsuiauthor Twitter: @johnmatsui99 Twitter: @DragulMangorian

JohnMatsui.com

https://www.amazon.com/Late-Bite-Vampire-Toronto-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00JPYDE8W/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22035362-late-bite https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/late-bite

An Excerpt

Lawyer Al Hamblyn listens to radio reports en route to meet his new client. Excerpt begins:

“You’re hearing this first on Rock 1060. Confidential sources in Toronto’s police department confirm the suspect in the stalker attacks is a vampire. And we can confirm victims had blood sucked out of them.”

I switch stations.

“Police are rumoured to have the suspect in a special cell that has no bars so he can’t change into a bat and escape.”

Next station.

“We have breaking news from our reporter Melissa Doig at 52 Division,” says Dee-Jay Brad G.

“Thanks Brad. Detective Buddy Ferino just held a news conference. He’s identified the suspect as Dragul Mangorian, age unknown, address unknown.”

“Did Det. Ferino confirm the suspect, this Magurry, is a vampire?”

“Not quite, but the next best thing, Det. Ferino will not deny that he is a vampire. Listen for yourself.”

“Is it true that he’s a vampire?” Doig asks.

“I have no comment.”

“So you are not denying he is a vampire,” she persists.

“I have no comment.”

“So,” says Doig, “There you have it, no denial.”

“Hey folks, you heard it here first on AM 960, Detective Buddy Ferino is not denying they have arrested a vampire.”

I switch stations to the usually calmer CBC. The publicly funded broadcaster doesn’t rely on hype and ratings.

“Reporter Janice Chakrabarti’s on the scene for a sensational development in the Toronto Stalker investigation. Janice?”

“Hi Peter, I’m here at Police Division 52 where the lead investigator into the Stalker Attacks is concluding a news conference.”

“We’re hearing some wild reports about vampires, giants, you name it.”

“I think you should make that decision for yourself. The voice you’re about to hear is Det. Ferino.”

“At approximately 9:10 p.m., police received a report of an incident. Officers found a 32-year-old female had been physically assaulted. Canine units were dispatched and they tracked a suspect to a storm sewer outlet in the Don River Valley. It appears the suspect had been living in the sewers.

“A suspect was found and arrested after a three-hour search. The suspect resisted arrest. Two officers were injured and are reported in good condition in Hospital. The suspect is being held and will face numerous charges in court this morning.”

A dozen voices shout out questions.

“Det. Ferino, is this case linked with the other stalker cases?”

“Yes, we believe all of the stalker crimes are linked.”

“Can you elaborate?”

“The method of attack is the same.”

“And that method is?”

“The victim last night, and eight previous victims, all had two puncture wounds on the neck and all were missing a quantity of blood.”

I flip the station.

“… Like Dracula. We have an unconfirmed report the suspect changed into a giant bat.”

A hulking, 40ish cop with three chevrons on his sleeve greets me at the front desk of 52 Division. His nametag identifies him as ‘P. Crampton.’

“You Hamburger?” the sergeant says, revealing a set of huge teeth.

“Hamblyn,” I correct.

“If you’re that vampire Mangorian’s lawyer, you’re Hamburger,” he says, unveiling his choppers in a smile that stretches from one cauliflower ear to the other.

Half-muffled guffaws erupt from cubicles behind the front desk. It does nothing to ease my feeling of foreboding.

“May I see my client, sergeant?”

“Sure, but you may wanna see Detective Ferino first.

I nod okay and he waves at a guy in a hat.

A tall, wiry guy with a long, thin nose and horn-rimmed glasses approaches. He’s about 30 but is dressed in a trenchcoat and fedora like he walked out of a 1950s pulp crime novel.

“So, you’re the lawyer assigned to represent Dragul Mangorian. Detective Buddy Ferino,” he says offering me his hand to shake.

He gives my hand two quick pumps. “I’m sure we’re going to see a lot of each other.”

“Uhh, Al Hamblyn. Nice to meet you.”

“I asked the sergeant to direct you to me,” he says, drawing conspiratorially close.

Almost whispering in my ear, he says, “I shouldn’t be saying this to a suspect’s lawyer but I got to tell you … Be careful. I don’t know if he’s a vampire or what he is, but he’s not normal.

“We Tasered him. Flat on his back, he still took out two of our guys.”

I feel my blood run cold.

“He sucked blood from two officers?”

“No, he threw them against a wall. They’re banged up but they’ll live.”

“Oh good,” I say with relief for me, not the injured cops.

[#BookReview] Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker @RaincoastBooks @StMartinsPress

I’d like to thank Raincoast Books for my copy of Emma in the Night.

Genre: Suspense/Thriller, Fiction

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publication Date: August 8, 2017

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤

Book Blurb:

One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn’t add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister’s return might just be the beginning of the crime.

My Thoughts

I have to admit, this isn’t quite the review I thought I would end up writing.  The story started off at full speed:

They found Emma’s car at the beach.  They found her purse inside, on the driver’s seat.  They found the keys in the purse.  They found her shoes in the surf.  Some people believed she had gone there to find a party or meet a friend who never showed.  They believed that she’d gone for a swim.  They believed that she’d drowned.  Maybe by accident.  Maybe a suicide.

Everyone believed Emma was dead.

However, it just wasn’t quite the page turner I anticipated.  I had difficulty getting into it after the second chapter.  There were multiple times I wanted to give up, but I was hooked on wanting to know what happened to Emma: Was she alive? Was she dead? Why did she go missing? Why were Cass and Emma gone for so long?  I had all these questions I couldn’t leave unanswered.

The story was told in alternate points of view between Cass & Dr. Winter.  Now normally I love reading books that are told by different characters, but somewhere throughout this one, the two voices started to sound the same making it hard to remember who was telling the story.

I didn’t particularly like Mrs. Martin and hated that she wanted to be referred to as such.  But on the same note, I applaud the author for creating such a despicable and believable character.  I’m not sure why I didn’t love this more to tell you the truth.  The storyline and ending were brilliant.  Perhaps I wasn’t in the mood to read? Or maybe the were bits of information that really weren’t necessary, making it a slower read.

Despite some of the hurdles, I’m glad I stuck with it cause it was an ending worth reading..one that I didn’t quite see coming.  As a result, I decided to give it a 4 out of 5.

A story is more than the recounting of events.  The events are the sketch, the outline, but it is the colors and the landscape and the medium and the artist’s hand that make it what it is in the end.

Have you read it?  What did you think? Let me know!