Showing posts with label Book Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Book Reviews. Show all posts

Friday, February 12, 2016

Interview with author Sara Foster



My interview with Sara Foster is here: https://youtu.be/Bf_peCW6tDA



I recently enjoyed the company of Sara Foster who happens to be another Perth author. She's a smart woman, very busy, and knows how to weave a mystery. She joined me as part of the ’11 ways to read a book’ blog tour to celebrate the publication of All That is Lost Between Us. 

Enjoy our twenty minute chat on her inspirations, how she manages to juggle the demands
of the busiest life you can possibly imagine, and what film, book, and recipe she would take with her if aliens spirited her away, but allowed her a few favourite things.

I'll be posting our chat on Apple iTunes as a podcast on my Films & Book Stuff Podcast, but until it wangles its way through Apple's systems for approval, you can listen to it by CLICKING HEREAnd for those who haven't yet heard about All That Is Lost Between Us, (where have you been, seriously?) you can read my review below. Then go straight out and buy the book.

ALL THAT IS LOST BETWEEN US

In recent years, the rise and rise of the cleverly named domestic noir has taken us inside the households of what appear, on the surface, to be normal homes populated by very normal people. Superstars of the publishing world have emerged writing these tales: Australian author Liane Moriarty with The Husband’s Secret, Gillian Flynn’s with Gone Girl, and  most recently Paula Dawkins’ and her mega-selling debut Girl On The Train.

Sara Foster joins these ranks with her latest release All That Is Lost Between Us. This story takes us to the beautiful and, as it turns out, dangerous Lake District in England, where we meet teenager Georgia and her family. The opening chapter of the book dramatically finds Georgia and her friend injured in a hit and run accident. Later we begin to wonder was this a random event or was the car purposely driven toward the group of friends.

Told in multiple perspectives, slowly and carefully Foster reels us into the lives of these characters who all carry heavy secrets. A wife who worries about the solidity of her marriage, a husband whose loyalty is tested, a daughter who has made some life-changing bad decisions with a secret that might ruin everything, and a brother who bears the burden of newly found knowledge about his sister which he doesn't know what to do with or, if in fact, he should do anything.

This is a book that takes its time revealing its character’s lives and the decisions they have made that bring them to this moment. Domestic Noir style stories fascinate us because we see part of ourselves and the consequences of certain life choices within the story. All That Is Lost Between Us is a worthy entry into this landscape of page-turning novels where secrets are the currency and unforeseen reveals are the reward.

My review copy of this book was kindly supplied by Simon & Schuster Australia in exchange for an unbiased review. 

For more information on this book or its author, please visit Sara Foster's website:



Friday, October 30, 2015

Split Second by Douglas E. Richards

If you enjoy these musings, you might enjoy my latest book DEADLY MESSENGERS which readers are calling the most terrifying, impossible-to-put-down thriller of 2015.

Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Prime members read it for FREE!  (and all my other books and stories). CLICK HERE: http://buff.ly/1FU3MTV


My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Split Second
I'm trialling Kindle Unlimited. Actually, I'll tell the truth, my book Deadly Messengers is gathering quite a few page reads via Kindle Unlimited, and I wanted to have a nosy around what was on offer and why it was being read so much.

This book Split Second by Douglas E. Richards kept being recommended to me by Amazon's algorithms and it sounded intriguing. I love techno thrillers, and since Michael Crichton's untimely death I haven't found anyone who can write a cracking adventure and throw in credible techno elements. So Douglas E. Richards, I thought, show me what ya got!

He's got a lot, good readers. This book starts off with a bang, with one of the main characters being murdered before his girlfriend's eyes. I love the 'how' and 'why' of this book. It isn't about whodunit, it's a whydunit.

Poor Jenna and her brilliant live-in lover Nathan Wexler are captured one night by a military group and Nathan is killed when the kidnappers are ambushed. Jenna is left fleeing for her life and alone, until she contracts and ex-ranger now private investigator to help her. What follows is a cat and mouse chase, while the two of them try to figure out why the time travel project Nathan was working on is so important.
He'd created time travel, but it can only send you back in time for less than a second? What is the point of that? You can't change anything in less than a second.

The answer is intriguing and a real mind-bender. I love time mindbenders and Richards sure knows how to spin one. I'm going to read more of his books now. If you like your thrillers, taut, terrific, and filled with mind-blowing twists, then this is the book for you. I don't often give 5 stars, but this was a standout for me and a unique plot.

I also loved at the end that the author explained what was real science and what was fiction. He actually had me believing time travel like this is possible. Is it? You'll need to read the book. It's available in Kindle Unlimited, too. Well worth the monthly fee.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Cartel by Lili St Germain

If you enjoy these musings, do hop over and join my newsletter. Immediately you will receive two fantastic short stories FREE. You'll also be the first to know when I have exciting news to share like free books (international) and film ticket giveaways (Australia). Plus, I share my film, book, and theatre reviews there, so you won't miss out.
It only takes a few seconds at: http://eepurl.com/3P-Wz

DEADLY MESSENGERS my latest book that readers are calling the most terrifying, impossible-to-put-down thriller of 2015 is on sale for 99c. 
Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Prime members can read it for FREE! 


Cartel (Cartel, #1)Cartel by Lili St. Germain
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don't read this kind of book. I've never read this kind of book. Look at the cover, for Pete's sake. This is not me. I'm hard core dark thriller, science fiction, occasional mystery. So when my friend at Harper Collins handed me the sample of this book, which was about 150 pages of 300, I asked her what she expected me to do with it? Use it as a coaster.

So I designated it to read-in-between-television-shows in the commercials, so that I didn't waste any time. I wanted to see what readers liked about these books. You could have heard me guffaw for several blocks as I read the first fifty pages. I even read some to my husband. "Can you believe this stuff?" I said. "How cliched."


Here's the type of dialogue in the book:

description

Somewhere around page 100, I stopped watching the shows and started reading the book. Darn, I kind of fell for the male character Dornan, who was the tormentor and saviour of our heroine Mariana Rodriguez. He's a bad biker guy.

By the time I had finished the sampler, I had to sheepishly ask my friend for the full book. I needed to know what happened. Then, thank you, Lili St. Germain, the book ends on a cliffhanger. Now I have to beg the next book when it comes out in 2016.

I'm still not a romance reader, but this is dark romance, and there is blood, plenty of blood, so maybe I haven't totally gone over to the side of light. I gave this four stars. It was a fun, quick and very enjoyable read once you remove it from your read-during-commercials pile. Definitely give it a go, if the plot interests you.

Given to me by Harper Collins in return for an honest review ... the only kind I give.

Author's Website:      http://www.lilisaintgermain.com 
Publisher's Website:  Harper Collins


View all my reviews

Saturday, October 10, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: CLOSE YOUR EYES by Michael Robotham

BOOK BLURB

I close my eyes and feel my heart begin racing
Someone is coming
They're going to find me


A mother and her teenage daughter are found brutally murdered in a remote farmhouse, one defiled by multiple stab wounds and the other left lying like Sleeping Beauty waiting for her Prince. Reluctantly, clinical psychologist Joe O'Loughlin is drawn into the investigation when a former student, calling himself the 'Mindhunter', trading on Joe's name, has jeopardised the police inquiry by leaking details to the media and stirring up public anger.

With no shortage of suspects and tempers beginning to fray, Joe discover links between these murders to a series of brutal attacks where the men and women are choked unconscious and the letter 'A' is carved into their foreheads.

As the case becomes ever more complex, nothing is quite what it seems and soon Joe's fate, and that of those closest to him, become intertwined with a merciless, unpredictable killer . . .
 

Close Your Eyes (Joseph O’Loughlin, #8)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Michael Robotham is one of the top thriller writers in Australia, and he's appreciated all around the world, even by the likes of Stephen King

I was lucky enough to interview him a few years ago when he released Say You're Sorry, a book that you just cannot put down once you read the first page. He's a lovely guy and very entertaining to listen to if you ever get a chance to hear him speak.

I don't normally go to writers' talks, but on Sept 10 2013, Michael was talking at a local library, so I grabbed the book-crazy neighbor and off we went. Michael was brilliant. And guess what? He walks in & recognizes me from my reviews & the interview from the year before, walks straight up to me & gives me a kiss & a hug. He gets 5/5 for being a great guy.

In the interview we did a few years ago, Michael mentioned his wife wouldn't allow him to finish writing about his criminal psychologist Joseph O’Loughlin until he had resolved O'Loughlin's relationship with his estranged wife. In this, his eighth novel with his unusual protagonist, he finally does bring their relationship to a surprising resolution. You'll have to read to the very end, though, to discover what it is.


In between you will read a very strong thriller with a mystery that I doubt you'll solve until the author wants you to know. If you enjoy thrillers that keep you guessing right until the end, but with strong characters who feel like real people, then this is the book for you. Even if you haven't read Michael's previous O'Loughlin novels, you will still enjoy this. However, why don't you treat yourself and start at the beginning. You'll lose a lot of sleep and your fingers will be burning as you turn pages, but that will be a good thing.

Here's a link to the interview: http://www.susanmaywriter.com/2015/09... I've moved it over to my current website from its previous home, which I don't update anymore.

The book was given to me by Hachette Australia for an honest review.


If you enjoy these musings, do hop over and join my newsletter. Immediately you will receive two fantastic short stories FREE. You'll also be the first to know when I have exciting news to share like free books (international) and film ticket giveaways (Australia). Plus, I share my film, book, and theatre reviews there, so you won't miss out.
It only takes a few seconds at: http://eepurl.com/3P-Wz

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Close Your Eyes by Michael Robotham Book Review

Close Your Eyes (Joseph O’Loughlin, #8)


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Michael Robotham is one of the top thriller writers in Australia and he's appreciated all around the world, even by the likes of Stephen King.

I was lucky enough to interview him a few years ago when he released Say You're Sorry, a book that you just cannot put down once you read the first page. He's a lovely guy and very entertaining to listen to if you ever get a chance to hear him speak.

I don't normally go to writers' talks, but on Sept 10 2013, Michael was talking at a local library, so I grabbed the book crazy neighbor and off we went. Michael was brilliant. And guess what? He walks in & recognizes me from my reviews & the interview from the year before, walks straight up to me & gives me a kiss & a hug. He gets 5/5 for being a great guy.

In the interview we did a few years ago, Michael mentioned his wife wouldn't allow him to finish writing about his criminal psychologist Joseph O’Loughlin until he had resolved O'Loughlin's relationship with his estranged wife. In this, his eighth novel with his unusual protagonist, he finally does bring their relationship to a surprising resolution. You'll have to read to the very end, though, to discover what it is.

In between you will read a very strong thriller  in Close Your Eyes, with a mystery that I doubt you'll solve until the author wants you to know. If you enjoy thrillers that keep you guessing right until the end, but with strong characters who feel like real people, then Close Your Eyes is the book for you. Even if you haven't read Michael's previous O'Loughlin novels, you will still enjoy this. However, why don't you treat yourself and start at the beginning. You'll lose a lot of sleep and your fingers will be burning as you turn pages, but that will be a good thing.

Here's a link to the interview: http://www.susanmaywriter.com/2015/09... I've moved it over to my current website from its previous home, which I don't update anymore.

The book was given to me by Hachette Australia in exchange for an honest review.



Saturday, August 15, 2015

A Quiet End by Nelson DeMille



A Quiet End (John Corey Book 7)My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I loved Nelson DeMille's earlier books. I've read all his books in the eighties. I can still remember scenes from the Charm School and that would be thirty years ago that I read that one. Then I lost touch with his work, until this book arrived in the mail from a publisher for review.

I wish I could say that I loved it, but it's too uneven and slow in pace for me. There's one part of the book that is exciting with the terrorist's perspective, and I thought, "oh yay, here is DeMille kicking in". Then the next section was back with the John Corey character, who I do like. However there was too much talk with him and not enough action.

There was also a lot of repetition of information from the two different perspectives. You also know from about 70 pages in who the baddies are and what they're up to. So it's up to DeMille to then keep the action happening to discover how they are going to thwart the terrorist attack. I don't think he managed to do this.

I would still give another of his books a go, base on how much respect I have for his earlier work. I do see that this is #7 in the series, so maybe the earlier books are better. Sometimes I think when you get to #7 of anything you start to lose the freshness.

However, I see a lot of people thoroughly enjoyed this book, so it could be my tolerance for the slower pace and lack of mystery that colors my view. In the end, far too quiet a story and a very quiet end (as the title suggests). It's called something else in other countries, but Australia/UK it's A Quiet End.


View all my reviews on Good Reads

Friday, July 31, 2015

YOU by Caroline Kepnes


King quote
I've brought this review over from my old Book Review site, so that I can share it with those people who have only followed my main site. This is one of the best thrillers you will read in years. Stephen King said "Hypnotic and scary ... like nothing I've ever read." I agree.  Simon & Schuster even grabbed a couple of my quotes and published them online and in the UK copy of the book. I feel a kindred spirit with this book. Just wish I could write like Caroline. She's a brilliant new star in thriller writing.


   Rating: ✪✪✪✪✪ out of 5 Stars
     Release Date:                  January 2015 
     Author’s Website:           Caroline Kepnes on Facebook
     Publisher’s Website:          Simon & Schuster 
     AMAZON:                       CLICK HERE


     I’ve a new obsession that I need to share. I read a lot, but so few books go beyond "pretty good." Maybe once or twice a year I find a book that is a real thrill to discover. Discovering a debut author who has also written the best book I’ve read all year is very exciting. You know the type of book I’m talking about, where you pick it up and flip to the first few pages, thinking: Yeah, what’s so good about you that everyone is talking? Then out of curiosity you unsuspectingly read the first few pages just before you think you’re going to turn out the light. Two hours later you’re thinking: I need to go to sleep—but I can’t. I’m sucked in. Then the next day, the thought of getting back inside that world sends a little tingle up your spine. That’s Caroline Kepnes’ YOU.
     Stephen King’s 1987 Misery was one of those novels, too, that had everyone talking. The insanity and obsession of Annie Wilkes was both mesmerizing and horrifying in equal quantity. In the same year, the film Fatal Attraction gave us the iconic portrayal of obsession with Glen Close aiming her crazy desire at Michael Douglas. They were visceral experiences. Misery and Fatal Attraction spawned a myriad of copycat plots, but I personally don’t think anything has come close to creating their claustrophobic feeling of obsession. That is, until I recently read YOU, debut novel from talented (very talented) U.S. author, Caroline Kepnes.
My quote 
    YOU is simply brilliant. From the first chapter, you’re sucked into the world of bookstore manager Joe Goldberg, whose instant attraction to a random customer, Guinevere Beck, takes obsession and love to a whole new level. She has a boyfriend, but that’s no problem for Joe. She has a demanding girlfriend who keeps getting in the way. No problem either for Joe. These problems have a way of working themselves out when Joe is around. He tracks the love of his life via social media. (Note, this is, also, a cautionary tale on not revealing too much on your Facebook and Twitter accounts.) Things head down a very dark and dangerous rabbit hole and some people are not coming out alive. That’s love, and Joe will do anything for love.

My quote second from the bottom!
   Guinevere is a complex, fabulous character, too. She’s not a perfect girl. In fact, she’s self-indulgent, obsessive,  and insecure, but Joe still loves her. It’s his amusing commentary on her and her friend’s failings that make this book so special. Written in second person, we are right inside Joe’s head as he speaks directly in his thoughts to Guinevere, her boyfriend, and anyone else he encounters. This style of writing is unusual, yet it works perfectly in creating the feel for a story that is all about mind games. Now you might think being inside the head of an obsessive narcissist with murderous tendencies wouldn’t be the most pleasant of visits, but thanks to Kepnes's witty prose, you actually come to like Joe—he’s kind of cool. Each time you open the pages you are both excited and terrified to discover what he will do next.  I don’t ever want to meet someone like Joe, but boy I sure do love him.
    YOU is one of the most exciting and thrilling reads released this year. A book about obsession will obsess you. When they talk about guilty obsessions this book is it! Great news is that a sequel is on its way. Hidden Bodies will be out early 2016.

P.S. Since writing this review in September last year for the Australian release, it's been announced that Showtime will be producing a series from YOU. Also, the next in the series will be released as HIDDEN BODIES in January 2016. Stephen King has also added his name to being a fan of YOU, tweeting Caroline that her book was "hypnotic and scary" and having "never read anything like it before." Wow!

Thank you to the awesome people at Simon & Schuster Australia for my review copy.

BOOK BLURB
     When aspiring writer Guinevere Beck strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe works, he’s instantly smitten. Beck is everything Joe has ever wanted: She’s gorgeous, tough, razor-smart, and as sexy as his wildest dreams.
     Beck doesn’t know it yet, but she’s perfect for him, and soon she can’t resist her feelings for a guy who seems custom made for her. But there’s more to Joe than Beck realizes, and much more to Beck than her oh-so-perfect fa├žade. Their mutual obsession quickly spirals into a whirlwind of deadly consequences...

  A chilling account of unrelenting passion, Caroline Kepnes’s You is a perversely romantic thriller that’s more dangerously clever than any you’ve read before.

About the author:

Caroline Kepnes is a native of Cape Cod and the author of many published short stories. She has covered pop culture for Entertainment Weekly, Tiger Beat, E! Online and Yahoo. She wrote episodes of 7th Heaven and The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Her directorial debut short film Miles Away premiered at the Woods Hole Film Festival and took third place in the Audience Award for Comedy Short. Caroline is a Brown University graduate who splits her time between Los Angeles and Cape Cod. Her favorite beverages are vanilla latte and root beer flavored vodka. She doesn't do well with flies, needles or freeways.