Book Review: Run Holly Run by: Walter Rouzer


Publication Date: December 21, 2014

Origins:  From Author for Review

Synopsis: How can you convince Holly Atwood to stay clear of danger? You can’t. She runs right for it. Especially when there’s a good mystery to be had. 

After Holly and her parents move into Morgan McGuire's mansion, a grey stone castle overlooking the Mississippi River, they’re swept along an extraordinary adventure with lots of unanswered questions to solve along the way, like:

Who’s responsible for making changes to the paintings in the mansion during the twilight hours to communicate desperate pleas for help?? Who are the mysterious twins appearing and disappearing in the attic window late at night?? Why are the town folk turning up missing one after the other?? Why are they acting like they’re possessed when they show up again?? Why has the surrounding countryside become over run with wild creatures?? Where are they coming from??

Holly and her friend, Charlie, devise a plan they hope will save the town of Kingston and return its citizens back to their former selves.

Review: RUN, HOLLY, RUN is a book which seems to defy easy description. It has mystery, adventure, action, fantasy, sci-fi, and comedic elements. When Holly moves to the McGuire mansion with her parents, mysterious things start happening. Her mother’s paintings are changing with no one touching them, twin ghosts appear in the windows, people in town are going missing, and the animals are acting very strange. Holly and Charlie, her friend from law school, decide to figure out what is going on and fix it before it’s too late for everyone in Kingston. RUN, HOLLY, RUN is fun, silly, very imaginative and has some wild characters. I easily could see this becoming an animated movie at some point. As long as they have a good attention span, I can see even younger readers enjoying RUN, HOLLY, RUN.

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Book Review: Abducted by: Sara Schoen


Publisher: Limitless Publishing

Publication Date: December 30, 2014

Origins:  From Author for Review

Synopsis: Audrey Thomas had been raised by overprotective parents and is sick of it… 

After the kidnapping and recovery of her mother, Anna Cowles, eighteen years ago, parents had a harsh awakening as they realized any child could be taken for any reason. 

New laws were set in place to protect children, but those same children, ignored the rules and went out of their way to get into trouble. 

Audrey has always done what she wanted, no matter what the consequences were… 

But what happens when her choices lead her to being taken by the one man people feared everyday for the last eighteen years, right up to his execution. 

Will she make it out like her mother did? 

Or will she suffer the fate of the previous twelve girls?

Mature Content Warning. Recommended for ages 17+ due to violence and sensitive subject matter.

Review: Audrey Thomas has grown up all her life with the ‘Anna’ laws. What she doesn’t know is they were enacted due to the horrible ordeal her very own mother and father endured. Audrey feels chafed by the laws and decides to continue doing as she pleases, without fear for the consequences. What Audrey doesn’t realize, at first, is her actions led her straight into the arms of the one man who has terrorized parents for the last two decades. Will Audrey escape or will she become the killer’s thirteenth victim? ABDUCTED has the same powerful writing and solid characters as the first book, AMBER ALERT. However, I couldn’t get over how willfully ignorant and disobedient Audrey was. I understand her parents didn’t want to expose her to all of the terrifying details of her parents’ torment, but Audrey was unwilling to listen. Obviously, it’s a “teenager growing up in a sheltered environment” thing but it made me want to shake her many times! While I did enjoy AMBER ALERT more, ABDUCTED is definitely a well-written book in its own right. It’s a credit to the author to make readers feel so much for the characters. Make sure you read AMBER ALERT first and then dive right into ABDUCTED!

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Book Review: Amber Alert by: Sara Schoen


Publisher: Limitless Publishing

Publication Date: December 2, 2014

Origins:  From Author for Review

Synopsis: Anna was taken... 

Taken from her home to live out a sick game that a guy has been playing for the last ten years.

With no certainty that anyone is looking for her, and seemingly hours away from home, she's forced to play housewife with a man that has had twelve other 'wives'.

Each of them now dead... 

With 12 rules and the obvious exits blocked, from the previous girls attempts to flee. Is Anna's only way out to play along and become a 'loving wife'? Or will she die during the chase?

Would anyone even know what happened to her?

Or would she be labeled as a runaway?

And where is she in the first place?

Mature Content Warning. Recommended for ages 17+ due to violence and sensitive subject matter

Review: AMBER ALERT is the story of Anna who was taken from a park by a man who is trying to shape girls into the image of his first wife. Anna’s forced to play house with a man who has had twelve other ‘wives’, not including his first. There are rules she must obey, based on the man’s experience with the other girls, or else she will be punished. Will Anna survive or will she end up just another picture on the man’s wall of his failed wives?

AMBER ALERT is a dark and terrifying novel of suspense. Every time the reader thinks Anna has an opening to escape, it doesn’t end up the way we expected. AMBER ALERT is definitely a wakeup call for everyone to be very careful and pay attention to their surroundings. The author takes readers along on Anna’s terrifying emotional rollercoaster. AMBER ALERT packs an emotional punch which will leave you looking over your shoulder. The writing is very good and the characters are well-developed. I definitely recommend AMBER ALERT to readers who enjoy dark and disturbing drama.

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Book Review: Debt Collector by: Derrick Davis

 

Publisher: Smashwords Edition

Publication Date: December 8, 2014

Origins:  From Author for Review

Synopsis: What if you were gambling and racked up a huge debt?
How would you pay it off?
What if a gambling syndicate employed collectors who killed in order to gather the money you owed them? What would you do if they came after you?

A discharged marine suffers from prophetic dreams about a debt collector killing people. After leaving a nightclub, he soon discovers these dreams are very real. However, destroying the crime organization from the inside is hard, never mind the fact that these scum murdered his father. His only support is a woman who tried to kill him. Digging into the syndicate, they discover an ugly truth that shatters his world.

Review: When Xavier was a little boy he saw his mother murdered in front of him by collectors who were coming to collect on his father’s gambling debts. The debt collectors for the gambling syndicate either collect on the debts in money or in blood. As an adult, Xavier has nightmares about a debt collector killing people to collect on their debts. However, he’s beginning to realize these dreams aren’t strange nightmares, they are happening in real life. Now Xavier must dig deeper into the syndicate to figure out the truth behind his prophetic nightmares.

DEBT COLLECTOR is a good mystery story. I wasn’t too attached to the characters as it felt they could be changed without much difference to the plot itself. I did enjoy the twists and turns the story took as we followed Xavier’s search for the source of his nightmares. Plus, the thought of these types of debt collectors out there was definitely scary. Overall, I enjoyed DEBT COLLECTOR. It was a different type of story which delved into the depths of human nature.

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Book Review: North of Boston by: Elisabeth Elo


Publisher: Penguin Books

Publication Date: December 30, 2014

Origins:  From Publisher for Review

Synopsis: Boston-bred Pirio Kasparov is out on her friend Ned’s fishing boat when a freighter rams into them, dumping them both into the icy waters of the North Atlantic. Somehow, she survives nearly four hours before being rescued. Ned is not so lucky. Pirio can’t shake the feeling that what happened was no accident, a suspicion seconded by her cynical Russian-immigrant father. And when Pirio teams up with the unlikeliest of partners, she begins unraveling a terrifying plot that leads to the frozen reaches of the Canadian arctic, where she confronts her ultimate challenge: to trust herself.

Review: After a boat crash which leaves Pirio Kasparov afloat in the Atlantic and kills her friend, Ned, Pirio is known as The Swimmer. She’s the woman who survived deadly cold waters until her rescue by the Coast Guard. Noah is Pirio’s godson and the son of her best friend, Thomasina and Ned. She’s always looking after them both out of love and a sense of duty. Now Noah’s father is dead and Pirio has no answers for him. However, she’s suspicious of the crash and Ned’s death so she decides to look into the “accident” further. There’s much more than meets the eye to this accident and Pirio’s life may be in danger as she gets closer to the truth.

NORTH OF BOSTON starts out slowly, but picks up the pace as Pirio digs deeper into the boating “accident” which took the life of her friend and nearly her own. The characters were definitely well-developed, complex, and they felt ‘real’, as if you’d meet them on your travels in Massachusetts. The writing itself is superb, but I think the author got caught up in making the villains more movie villain than those you can find in everyday life. I think it would have worked better if the villains were a little more life-like and less over-the-top evil. Overall, NORTH OF BOSTON is a powerful story with a solid heroine.

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