FALLING IN LOVE ISN’T COMPLICATED…UNLESS IT’S WITH YOUR BEST FRIEND.
A close, easygoing friendship can all change with just one kiss. Seventeen-year-old Remi Beaufort learns this the hard way when she plays a blindfolded kissing game at a party.
She thinks she’s kissing Jeremy, the totally hot basketball player she’s been crushing on. And the kiss…it’s amazing. Heart-stopping, world-changing, toe-curling. The kiss makes her forget about her overbearing mother, the next-door neighbor’s drama, and the probability that she’ll fail her senior year. The best kiss of her life makes all that fall away.
Until her blindfold falls off, and she realizes that instead of kissing her crush, she’s kissing Elijah, her best friend since third grade.
Though she manages to convince Elijah that he was kissing his girlfriend, Remi can’t get the thought of his lips on hers out of her head. As things between them grow more and more complicated—because it turns out her fantasizing about his mouth is more of a problem than it sounds—Remi has to make a choice: does she live the rest of her life loving her best friend in secret? Or does she tell the truth and risk ruining their friendship forever?
Heart-melting and romantic, What Are Friends For? is a swoon-worthy best-friends-to-lovers story that will leave you crushing hard.
Sarah Sutton is a YA Romance author, bringing you stories about teenagers falling in love (sometimes with magic)✨She spends her days dreaming up ideas with her two adorable puppies by her side being cheerleaders (and mega distractions).
There are so many scenes in WHAT ARE FRIENDS FOR? that just make me smile when I think of them. So many that I think about from time to time and just grin like a fool. Which is an awesome thing, because I was so afraid I’d never want to go back and look at anything I published—ever again. There’s that constant fear of finding something that you want to go back and fix, right? But this scene? This scene I will love until the end of time.
Without giving too much away, it’s the inciting incident. Between Chapter Four and Chapter Five, I swoon every time. I don’t think there’s ever been a time that I reread that scene and I didn’t squeal a little. Hands down, my favorite scene. If you want to see it, you’ve got to go check it out. *wink*
But as for a scene I can talk about—there’s a scene between Remi and Elijah where they’re looking at each other. Remi is lost in her thoughts about how amazing of a guy Eli is—totally unaware she’s totally staring and he’s totally staring—and just when you think something is about to happen, Elijah laughs. “You blinked,” he says. “I win.”
While Remi was in her own la-la land about him, he thought they were playing a staring contest. I. Love. It.
There were times between us that felt totally normal—like, almost the entire time we’d been cutting out snowflakes, things had felt normal. I hadn’t been staring at his mouth or imagining his body heat enveloping me into a hug. We joked like normal, laughed like normal. But the quiet moments between us had my heart aching, wanting. “See you tomorrow,” Elijah said, and I saw from the corner of my eye the shadow of him rising to his feet. He pressed his hand once against the spot between my shoulder blades before walking off, his socks silent on the wooden floors. I counted each of my breaths as I waited for the sound of the door to open.
It took seven slow inhales and exhales and then Elijah was gone, leaving me with a torrent of thoughts and a hurting heart.
I will be giving away 1 hardcover and 1 kindle e-book of JQR by Joey Rodriguez!!! Just fill out the entry form below to be entered to win.
The giveaway will run from Tuesday, April 7, 2020 – Thursday, April 30, 2020. I’ll notify the winners via email, so be sure to include your email when you enter!
Author Bio:Joey Rodriguez lives in New York City with his beautiful, supportive wife*, Lauren, and their Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Joon. Join Joey and Lauren each month for Pupcorn And A Movie, a podcast where he tries to convince her to watch the scariest movies of all time! *she suggested I include this very important note.
After their home is destroyed by an atomic blast, an android and his best pup set out to find his human parents and piece together the remnants of a nation-wide invasion. Lost in their own backyard, our heroes must battle unknown forces both foreign and domestic, using the skills, and wit, of their favorite Saturday matinee heroes. Spills, chills, and thrills leap from the page in the explosive saga of “JQR”, an adventure sure to tickle even the bravest of readers!
Hardcover Synopsis: An old enemy has returned. Dormant for only two decades, the rising sun stormed the beaches and the wide avenues to avenge their defeat. Just a boy and his dog; he a nearly obsolete model, her a pure breed. Left to fend for themselves during the invasion, JoJo, as his family affectionately called him, must wrestle with his metal construction, his childish memories, and the fact that he will never become human. His father’s own experiences in the Last Great War, painful and victorious, have bred fear, doubt, and distrust in them all.
But the world has been far from kind, the survivors hoarding their resources, firing blindly into the atomic remains of what they had proudly cultivated. Lost now in a world he thought he knew, his family’s shadows fading quickly, there is much to learn about the hierarchy of man and where a small android and his loyal best friend fit in.
Let’s start by finding out a little bit about you…
What is your name and do you write under a pen name? Joey Rodriguez (no pen name).
Where do you call home? New York City
Obviously, we know you are an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? By day, I work as a Fund Development and Communications Director for an international non-profit.
Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audio-books? I prefer hardcover books, but if I have to travel, an e-book is much easier to take along!
Have you ever read a book just based on its cover? Absolutely! I think we all have this habit. The cover is what draws you in and forces you to turn it over to read the synopsis. I think more importantly, if the back cover provides enough to spark adventure, then it is easier to take a chance!
What is your favorite book genre at the moment? Historical non-fiction.
What books have made it onto your wish list recently? And why? The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson. His research is always very interesting and he manages to weave two seemingly unrelated stories into a thrilling conclusion.
What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format? 1453 by Roger Crowley in paperback.
Let’s shift somewhat and talk about your latest story.
What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say? My new novel is called JQR and it is about an android and his dog searching for his human parents after an atomic bomb destroys his home.
Is the above book part of a series? JQR is a standalone novel.
How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book(s)? I designed the cover myself. In the hardcover version, if you open the dust jacket fully, it reveals the pincer-like hand of the main character. I wanted the cover to invoke the pulpy, dime-store novels of the 50s and 60s that promised spills, chills, and thrills.
Did you listen to any particular songs while writing your book(s)? I actually created a Spotify playlist of music that influenced the writing and the events of the story itself: http://bit.ly/JQRSpotify
How did you come up with the title for your book(s)? The title of the novel is a hint to the main character’s background and the habit we have of naming our electronics with acronyms or unit numbers.
In your latest novel, who is the lead character and can you tell us a little about him/her? The lead character is JoJo, an android programmed with the memories of a little boy. He is precocious and adventurous, influenced highly by his father and the music, television, and cinema of the 50s and 60s. His companion is his dog, Pickles, who acts as a burden of responsibility and a vessel to rest his emotions and fears.
What is your character’s greatest strengths? His wit and quick thinking!
And what are his/her greatest weaknesses? Because his programming limits him to the mind of a child, he is naïve in the many ways in which the world can be cruel. He trusts implicitly in many adults and uses the wisdom of the movies to guide his decisions. He has not yet learned how to compartmentalize and analyze his surroundings to better survive.
What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has? His sincerity and his willingness to step-up. It’s a natural trait inherited from his parents that slowly boils to the surface as he realizes what the world has become without him.
Will readers like or dislike this character, and why? I hope the readers like JoJo! He guides the reader through the entire novel and his coming-of-age and adventurous streak will help to define the rules of the world that he lives in.
What first gave you the idea for your latest book? I have always been interested in the Atomic Age and the exciting twists and turns that design, fashion, music, and movies took since the end of World War II, and I really wanted to explore what a semi-post-apocalyptic world would look like if the mid-1960s suddenly became the entry point for a new order. I had been looking for a way to write a sort of road trip-like story about a boy and his dog, and I thought using a robot and his dog could be a great way to explore artificial intelligence and how memories can be interpreted as well as explore the bonds between humans and animals, and humans and semi-inanimate objects. I am also a big fan of Westerns and Japanese cinema from the 50s and 60s, and to be able to use that as a backdrop was really exciting.
Let’s talk now about your writing process.
What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter? I usually start with the cover image first! I try really hard to make each print version of my books a unique experience. I select the font, the look, the overall design to invoke old paperbacks, or literary classics. It helps set the mood for the entire work. Then, I usually do a bit of research on certain topics that I know I’m going to write about. Then I’ll do a rough outline in bullet form. I usually know how the story will unfold, how many chapters there will be, even before the actual meat of it comes together. I generally only write exactly what I want to say on the page. I know some people write, and write, and write, but I am more selective. What comes up on the page is usually my intended choice, and I rarely deviate except to make sure the character’s voices are unique or if my language is borrowing one or two many phrases or words that sound redundant.
Have you come across any specific challenges in writing or publishing? What would you do differently the next time? Not particularly. Although finding time to write is always difficult! A majority of this book was written on the subway to and from work.
Are you a self-published/Indie author or did you publish through a traditional publishing company? I am self-published, but do it through my own company Not Your Platypus.
If you’re a self-published/Indie author what made you go that route instead of the traditional publishing route? As a graphic designer, I wanted a lot of control over the presentation of the book. A hardcover or paperback helps invokes a certain kind of pastime, and I just remember all these classic covers of books when I was a kid that made me want to pick up a particular work. This way, I could design everything and create the experience that I wanted the reader to have. I had wanted from the outset to be in charge, because I knew how the process worked and knew how to lay out a book, etc.
What advice would you give someone who wants to start writing? I was always inspired by “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote because he found a way to turn a real event into something that read like fiction. I think finding a style or voice first is key when beginning your writing journey. I also read a lot of indie books to research what I did and didn’t like about the genre I was writing in. Trust your voice, because there are so many books out there that read the same exact way!
Where can your readers follow you? Please list links to any applicable websites and/or social media accounts. You can follow me using the links below!
WINNER of Best Horror: Occult novel in the 2019 AMERICAN FICTION AWARDS. HONORABLE MENTION in the 2018 SPR BOOK AWARDS
The lurking shadows feasted on the weak, infecting those who cared little to resist. Their possession drove them to madness, spewing the vitriol of the King. Iconography, scripture, prayer, these proved helpful, driving the demons back with that which they sought to deflect. There were those, though, who sought to raise the clawed hands of evil, to benefit their own pleasures, to steal power, to ensure everlasting life.
Unrelated victims, their numbers erratic, were left empty for others to find. A warning at first. Letters followed; instructions, ingredients. Soon, a trumpet call for the hidden to feast on the carrion, to rise to the mountains and perform the sacred ceremony. In the bowels, past the Gates, they would enter the sanctuary of the rotten mutt, sacrifice the Mistresses, and call upon a dark presence.
The feathered wings of their past had unfurled slowly; three children, running from responsibility, finding solace in justice and servitude, drowning in the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. They too were called, the memories rotten but the sensation still fresh. Back to where it began, now; a truth they wished to ignore. Forced to descend into their own sins, they discovered the truth of their origin, a single moment shaping their whole lives, leading them all back into the familiar embrace of the Devil.
Seven crews had come before her, each one trusted with the same mission. A substance, a source, a beacon of light, growing somewhere in the universe. There were warnings, collateral damage on a massive scale, and the oppression and opposition that came with this new discovery. They had chosen her out of necessity from the dust that had settled after fear and anxiety had run high.
She had lost everything. She was a heathen, an unfit soul, plagued by visions and a violent conscience whose influence stretched beyond the limits of her mind. Now, out here in the void of space, she must fight to survive against the elements, her inexperience, and those who wish to protect the universe from her mission. She must push forward to fulfill her own sense of worth and to appease those that have sent her here to search for an unstable gift that may finally grant her freedom.
The dust had fallen recently, a larger deposit than the prior season. A great indicator of how harsh the winter will be, tales were told that these early flakes were born from spirits who have been allowed to pass on without proper burial, those who ascribed to a life of greed, of thievery, of boiling pitch. The Civil War had ended over two decades’ prior, yet the country’s hunger for new land and new people failed to cease.
Ila had returned home, a native daughter of the North, just west of the border. It had been nearly a decade, but she sought refuge now to clear her mind of the fog-swept bay. The judgment from a pistol deep in the tundra, however, forced her to forsake all that she had chosen to forget about her past: the lessons of her elders, the teachings of the forest. Her loyal pack of eight were split in the haze of the attacking force, barreling upon the mountains, the plains, the rivers of her territory, spilling blood and siphoning the ground of its lucrative plasma.
Alone and without direction, each member of her pack that ventured out into the wilderness that early morning faced the rising tide of the spirits of the forest. Their inner yega, their instinctive souls, were bared to each other, their forms otherworldly. Her purpose, though only an outsider by her own consideration, in their eternal struggle would not reveal itself to her in a simple, feverous dream. For the evil of humans would soon rear its head, obstacles of heritage, of conservation, of belief, of kinship, and of war thrown from its claws, attempting to destroy her very existence.
THE INSTANT #1 BESTSELLER IS NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK!
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“So surprising and moving and true that I became completely unstrung.” – The New York Times
Named a best book of the year by: TheNew York Times, NPR, TIME, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Entertainment Weekly, Southern Living, Publishers Weekly, BookPage,A.V. Club, Bustle, BuzzFeed, Vulture, and many more!
JOHN GREEN, the acclaimed author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, returns with a story of shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.
Aza Holmes never intended to pursuethe disappearance of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Pickett’s son Davis.
Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.
I knew nothing about this book, other than what was stated in the Amazon description, when I started reading it. It was a book club selection and probably one I wouldn’t have picked for myself otherwise. With that said, I am very glad I read it. I enjoyed it way more than I expected to.
STORY (★★★★★): In a nutshell, this story is about Aza Holmes, a young girl who suffers from a mental disorder that keeps her trapped in an inward spiral of her own thoughts, as she struggles to live a normal life. We get to see a glimpse into Aza’s life, watching/reading as she learns new things about herself and life, pushes her best friend away, finds love, looses love, and fights internally to decide what is right and what is wrong.
There is also a secondary storyline weaved throughout Aza’s story, that is of the missing billionaire. Ok, maybe it isn’t so much about him, but more about the two sons he has left behind; Davis and Noah. Davis, a long-lost friend of Aza’s and Noah, his little brother, are living in a mansion alone because their mother abandoned them when they were younger and their father has disappeared.
John Green is a wonderful storyteller. He knows his characters inside and out. The way he writes Aza is so detailed its as if he is literally in her head. Or, maybe it’s the other way around. The way he ties the two storylines together is seamless and beautiful. I think there could have been more about the missing dad, allowing us to relate to that family a bit more, but he gave the reader, and Aza, just enough to understand what the boys were going through and how to react.
WRITING (★★★★★): John Green’s writing style is fluid and easy. His chapters flow from one to the other with little, if any, breaks. Everything feels cohesive and complete. I think I read this one over a five-day period in about three sittings. I have no complaints about his style and would definitely pick up another book. In fact, I have my eyes on Paper Towns next.
CHARACTERS (★★★★): I loved the characters of Davis and Noah, honestly, I wanted to get to know them more. Aza, the lead character, was very well written, but I couldn’t relate to her in any way. Her anxieties and OCD behaviors were so realistic and well developed, but her constant negative self-talk and obsessions with her inner thoughts drove me a little crazy. Maybe that was the plan… maybe the author wanted the reader to feel a little trapped in Aza’s constant thought spiral, trapped so that we could experience what she feels. However, for me, her thought spirals were the reason I’d put the book and take a break. I needed a little time away from the negativity, second guessing, and often disturbing thoughts.
APPEARANCE (★★★★): I have the paperback, and it is a pretty simple cream-colored cover with large black lettering and an orange spiral. Again, I probably wouldn’t have picked this one up and read it, if it hadn’t been for book club, the cover just doesn’t really pull me in. The cover just doesn’t do justice to the story inside.
“Your now is not your forever.”
“Anybody can look at you. It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.”
“No one ever says good-bye unless they want to see you again.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
John Green is the award-winning, #1 bestselling author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with David Levithan), and The Fault in Our Stars.
His many accolades include the Printz Medal, a Printz Honor, and the Edgar Award. John has twice been a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize and was selected by TIME magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.
With his brother, Hank, John is one half of the Vlogbrothers (youtube.com/vlogbrothers) and co-created the online educational series CrashCourse (youtube.com/crashcourse). You can join the millions who follow him on Twitter @johngreen and Instagram @johngreenwritesbooks or visit him online at johngreenbooks.com.
John lives with his family in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Also by John Green
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In this New York Times bestselling thriller from the author of Lock Every Door and Final Girls, a young woman returns to her childhood summer camp to uncover the truth about a tragedy that happened there fifteen years ago.
Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. But the games ended the night Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin into the darkness. The last she–or anyone–saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.
Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings–massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. When the paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale, she implores Emma to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor. Seeing an opportunity to find out what really happened to her friends all those years ago, Emma agrees.
Familiar faces, unchanged cabins, and the same dark lake haunt Nightingale, even though the camp is opening its doors for the first time since the disappearances. Emma is even assigned to the same cabin she slept in as a teenager, but soon discovers a security camera–the only one on the property–pointed directly at its door. Then cryptic clues that Vivian left behind about the camp’s twisted origins begin surfacing. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing mysterious threats in the present. And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale and what really happened to those girls, the more she realizes that closure could come at a deadly price.
recognize the author’s name, Riley Sager. I recently reviewed his book Final
Girls, which I loved. It was the first book in a while that I actually gave a 5
out of 5-star review. Well, he did it again with The Last Time I Lied. It was
STORY (★★★★★): This story follows Emma, who at the age
of 13 goes to summer camp at Camp Nightingale and bunks with three other girls
who end up going missing and the camp is shutdown. This book takes place 15
years after that event and Emma is now an accomplished artist in New York City who
secretly paints the three missing girls into all of her paintings, hidden under
layers of paint. Basically, she suffers
from anxiety because of this tragic event that happened during her childhood
and she uses her art as a form of therapy.
her art show, at the gallery, Franny the owner of the camp shows up and asks
her to return to camp for the camps re-opening. She wants her to come and be an
art instructor at the camp. Emma eventually decides to go hoping for closer,
and also hoping to maybe do a little investigating and find out what happened
to the three girls.
WRITING (★★★★★): The pace of this story is great.
It’s a very fast read, I think I finished it in just a few days.
The structure is
interesting, it jumps back
and forth between the past and present a lot. This allows us to not under
understand what Emma is going through today but also what she experienced 15
years prior and how that colored her world as she grew up.
book was so much fun to read. Sager is great at putting suspicion on so many of
the characters making it hard for the reader to trust anyone. Usually I can figure
out ‘who done it’, but with this one I didn’t know the end until the twist
happened and the answers are given.
really like how Riley Sager writes and I love his vivid settings and
descriptions. He uses a lot of similes in his comparisons that just paint a
wonderful picture for the reader. I love his plot twists and the big reveals –
like in Final Girls, the reveal in this one really surprised me.
love how Riley Sager is able to tie up all the loose endings by the end of the
book. It makes for a very clean story with no plot holes, which I like when it
comes to single story books as opposed to series. In a series, I want to be
left with a cliffhanger until the last book.
CHARACTERS (★★★★★): There are so many characters that I wanted
to trust, but couldn’t. You even find out things about the lead character,
Emma, that make you question whether or not she is the “good guy” or the “bad guy”.
Since this book is told from the perspective
of a female character, there are a number of scenes where the author, being a
man, could have really messed up. However, Sager is really good at writing from
the female perspective and capturing the emotions that come along with the
events that happen throughout the story both in the past as well as present day.
APPEARANCE (★★★★): The cover, designed
by Alex Merto with photograph by Aaron Smith, is beautiful and haunting,
although the photo doesn’t look like the character of Emma.
“Sometimes the only way out is through.”
“My future is quite literally a blank canvas,
waiting for me to fill it.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Riley Sager is the pseudonym of a former journalist, editor and graphic designer. Now a full-time author, Riley’s first thriller, FINAL GIRLS, became a national and international bestseller and was called “the first great thriller of 2017” by Stephen King. Translation rights have been sold in more than two dozen countries. His second book, THE LAST TIME I LIED, was a New York Times bestseller. His latest novel, LOCK EVERY DOOR, which is currently on my TO READ LIST, was an instant New York Times, Publishers Weekly and USA Today bestseller. A television adaptation is being developed by Paramount TV and Anonymous Content.
A native of Pennsylvania, Riley now lives in Princeton, New Jersey. When he’s not working on his next novel, he enjoys reading, cooking and going to the movies as much as possible. His favorite film is “Rear Window.” Or maybe “Jaws.” But probably, if he’s being honest, “Mary Poppins.”
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Soon to be an HBO limited series starring Ben Mendelsohn!
many faces…maybe even yours in this #1 New York Times bestseller from
master storyteller Stephen King.
An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is
discovered in a town park (WARNING – IT IS VERY GRAPHIC). Eyewitnesses and
fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular
citizens—Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and
father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached,
orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and
the district attorney soon have DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and
witnesses. Their case seems iron-clad.
As the investigation expands and horrifying
details begin to emerge, King’s story kicks into high gear, generating strong
tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy,
but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as
only Stephen King can.
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MY 2 CENTS / THE
There has been so
much talk about and praise giving to this book that I just had to read it and
see if it lived up to the hype. In my opinion, yes… YES it does. I’m a huge King
fan, but I’ll be the first to admit that some of his recent work, I’m talking
in the last few years, hasn’t really been my favorite. This one however, I
really loved this book. It is a classic good vs. evil story and yet it is still
completely original and has the natural clearly Stephen King feel.
WRITING (★★★★★): Stephen King can weave words
together like a spider weaves a web. His words are beautiful, haunting, freakishly
terrifying, and they trap the reader like an unsuspecting fly never letting go
until the spider is done with him.
The Outsider has an
uneasy realness quality about it. It’s the same feeling you get when reading
the Mr. Mercedes novels. Its less about the things that go bump in the night
and more about the unexplainable murder mystery and wondering just how much of
it could really happen. It isn’t until late in the novel that King introduces his
signature supernatural twist. I won’t lie, I was waiting for it. I even
predicted who the killer really was. I’ve read enough Stephen King to know
there is always more to his stories than just the reality we live in and if you’re
looking for them, he leaves breadcrumbs – or clues – along the way.
STORY (★★★★): The Outsider is a crime novel with a classic Stephen King supernatural twist. Because it comes in at just 560 pages, this one is rather easy, quick to read. It is well paced and definitely one I would recommend to anyone who loves crime thrillers.
King is great at making you relate to his stories. In The Outsider, he
pulls you in right from the beginning with the introduction of a horrific crime
that has been committed against an eleven year old boy. Immediately it
activates the readers sense of sympathy and compassion for the family involved
and the town in which the boy lived. It makes you biased against the man they
have in custody before you even know if he is guilty or innocent. King makes
you feel like the world he has created could be your own.
most King novels, there were no weak elements in this story.
CHARACTERS (★★★★★): King has put together a great cast of characters
in this one. Like other books, many of his characters are just normal people
experiencing the horrific crime that has taken place and King allows us to
watch through their eyes. There is even a character from the Mr. Mercedes
trilogy that makes an appearance, to help with the investigation. That was
really cool. I love when he ties his novels together showing us exactly what
world or King universe, they are playing in.
APPEARANCE (★★★★): I love the cover! It
“People had the mistaken idea that Poe wrote
fantastic stories about the supernatural, when in fact he wrote realistic
stories about abnormal psychology.”
“Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever
remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”
“Dreams are the way we touch the unseen world,
that’s what I believe. They are a special gift.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His first crime thriller featuring Bill Hodges, MR MERCEDES, won the Edgar Award for best novel and was shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger Award. Both MR MERCEDES and END OF WATCH received the Goodreads Choice Award for the Best Mystery and Thriller of 2014 and 2016 respectively.
King co-wrote the bestselling novel Sleeping Beauties with his son Owen King, and many of King’s books have been turned into celebrated films and television series including The Shawshank Redemption, Gerald’s Game The Shining, It, and the list goes on.
King was the recipient of America’s prestigious 2014 National Medal of Arts and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for distinguished contribution to American Letters. In 2007 he also won the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America. He lives with his wife Tabitha King in Maine.
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Also by Stephen King…
I can’t list them all, but below are a few of my favorites. Just click on the cover photo to read the description and order your copy!
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Secrets. Everyone has one. Some are bigger than others. And when secrets are revealed, Some will heal you … And some will end you.
Kate Sedgwick’s life has been anything but typical. She’s endured hardship and tragedy, but throughout it all she remains happy and optimistic (there’s a reason her best friend Gus calls her Bright Side). Kate is strong-willed, funny, smart, and musically gifted. She’s also never believed in love. So when Kate leaves San Diego to attend college in the small town of Grant, Minnesota, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with Keller Banks.
They both feel it. But they each have a reason to fight it. They each have a secret.
And when secrets are revealed, Some will heal you … And some will end you.
WOW… I ate this book up, binge reading it in just a couple of days. It is a super-fast read with so much amazing detail.
WRITING (★★★★★): Kim Holden draws you right in
with her playful dialogue between life long friends Kate and Gus. Immediately
we feel their connection and realize that these two friends have just been separated
as Kate left for college and Gus is still home in southern California following
his dream of being a Rockstar.
The way Kim tells
the story, each chapter from one character’s perspective, really pulled me into
the book. It makes you, as a reader, feel more involved and it gives the story
an overarching personal feeling that telling it from third person just wouldn’t
STORY (★★★★): This story takes you on a rollercoaster
of emotions. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll get pissed… but, if you’re like
me, you’ll love every minute of it.
little warning though, this one is for mature audiences. Topics covered in
Bright Side include loss, disease, eating disorders, homosexuality, sex,
drinking, and SO MUCH MORE!!!
CHARACTERS (★★★★★): As an author,
Kim Holden understands character development. She has to be one of my top 5
authors for character development. She had me emotionally connected, not only
to the main character Kate but also with Gus, Keller, and everyone else.
Seriously, even Kate’s college roommate, who is kind of a jerk, is written in a
way that makes her misunderstood… I found myself wanting to know more about
her. Who knows, maybe Kim will write a book for her at some point too.
Kate, also known as Bright Side, is a
beautiful person inside and out. She is optimistic in every sense of the word
and sadly, life has just not been kind to her. She has been dealt a terrible
hand, but she doesn’t let it get her down. With every line… even when she is saying
Dude every other word, we get a sense of who she is. That is the magic of good
APPEARANCE (★★★★★): Simple… Intriguing… and totally Bright Side! The
cover made me smile even before I opened the pages to meet Bright Side!
“Today, my life is awesome. I don’t want to
think about tomorrow. Or the day after that. So I repeat to myself: Today, my
life is awesome.”
“Don’t judge each other. We all have our own
shit. Keep your eyes on yours and your nose out of everyone else’s unless you’re
invited in. And when you get the invitation, help, don’t judge.”
“Imagine for a moment that you were free of
all the expectations in your life. What would you do? How would you live your
life with no one watching? What would your future look like?”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kim lives in what she calls the greatest city in the world: Denver, Colorado. Some of her favorite things: reading, writing, her husband and her son, her bicycle, Facebook, iced coffee, and music. She also loves dreaming. Her advice to anyone reading this, or any of her books… follow your dreams. It’s never too late. Get started today … heck get started RIGHT NOW! Make your dreams reality. She loves to hear from fellow readers. So, if you want to reach out, find her on Goodreads at author/show/7445352.Kim_Holden
Check out my YouTube channel and the video
review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.
This is the story of Gus. Losing himself. Finding himself. And healing along the way.
“ … but the honest-to-God truth is I don’t even know how to function anymore. Bright Side wasn’t only my best friend; she was like my other half … the other half of my brain, the other half of my conscience, the other half of my sense of humor, the other half of my creativity, the other half of my heart. How do you go back to doing what you did before, when half of you is gone forever?”
Note from the author: Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is recommended for mature audiences.
FRANCO (Bright Side Book 3)
Franco Genovese is the drummer for world renowned American rock band, Rook. He’s got it all. A killer smile. Tattoos. Talent. Razor sharp wit and humor. And a heart as big, and generous, as they come. Life is good. Steady. Uncomplicated. Just the way he likes things. Until one night at an unassuming L.A. bar changes everything. Enter Gemma Hendricks. She’s a successful young architect from Northern England with an adorable smile, sarcasm for days, and an unparalleled trusting heart. The attraction is instant. So is their friendship. It’s also temporary because they’ll both be heading home, thousands of miles apart from each other, in a few days. Or is it? There’s something Gemma wants more than anything else. And when Franco propositions her to provide what she’s looking for, everything changes. Will it transform friendship into love, or will it be their ruin?
There are two sides to every story.
The surface reality that’s presented to the world…
And then there’s the other side.
The real one.
The one that matters.
Seventeen-year-old, self-proclaimed asshole, Toby
Page, is alone.
He trades maintenance work in exchange for room
Every day he fights demons no one else can see.
Every day he wants to give up.
But he can’t.
When Alice Eliot moves in downstairs, she offers
Toby some light in his dark world.
At a crossroads and barely hanging on, it’s hard
to have perspective.
It’s difficult to see your own worth when you’re
the villain in your story.
Luckily for Toby, Alice brings things out in him
that no one else ever has.
As the two sides of Toby’s story are revealed, and
the full reality comes into view, truth is gained, unlikely heroes emerge, and
improbable alliances prove that kindness is fundamentally human.
The question is, Will it all be enough to save him?
ALL OF IT
Seventeen-year-old VERONICA SMITH has it all: a loving family, a funky car named Jezebel, and a plan to go to college after graduation. On the first day of senior year, she meets DIMITRI GLENN–a mysterious transfer student with gray eyes and a mischievous smile who seems determined to win her heart. But there’s something odd about Dimitri, leading Veronica to wonder if there’s more to him than meets the eye. Before long she finds herself in a whirlwind romance that seems too good to be true–until a series of devastating events leaves her questioning everything. It’s not until she chooses to think with her heart instead of her mind that she can rise from the ashes to learn the truth of their connection.
This is a glimpse into divorce: the lead-up, the aftermath,
and the redemption that follows.
Love is strange. It comes out of nowhere. There’s
no logic to it. It’s not methodical. It’s not scientific. It’s pure emotion and
passion. And emotion and passion can be dangerous because they fuel love…and
I’m now a reluctant connoisseur of both—an expert
through immersion. I know them intimately.
When I fell in love with Miranda, it was swift and
blind. She was the person I’d elevated to mythical status in my head, in my
Here’s the thing about dreams, they’re smoke.
They’re spun as thoughts until they become
something we think we want. Something we think we need.
That was Miranda. She was smoke.
I thought I wanted her. I thought I needed her.
Over time reality crept in and slowly dissected
and disemboweled my dreams like a predator, leaving behind a rotting carcass.
Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and
privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress
fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.
Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often
slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic
medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey
into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her
close to her own sheltered world.
The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister
period photos, will make this #1 New York Times bestselling debut
from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.
always been fascinated with the minds of serial killers. Not in a creepy way,
but in a ‘how could anyone possible do that’ sort of way. My mind tries to
understand that which cannot be understood… With that said, I’ve read a number of
books about Jack the Ripper and I’ve even played his final victim in the play,
The Belles of Whitechapel by Wayne Miller. So, when someone asked me to read and
review this book, I jumped at the opportunity.
WRITING (★★★★): Maniscalco’s writing style is
detailed and fluid. I love how easily I was swept away to the late 1800’s while
Jack the Ripper was roaming the streets. Although, at times, the story seemed
to drag, bogged down by unnecessary scenes, it didn’t distract me from the over
all story. I loved Maniscalco’s style and am eager to read more.
STORY (★★★★): Audrey Rose, our heroine, is a member
of high society expected to attend tea, brunch with the ladies, and accept her
place in society as an uneducated woman. However, Audrey Rose doesn’t accept
that. She has a passion for knowledge and a curiosity for forensic science. Sneaking
behind her father’s back, she studies under the tutelage of her uncle, spending
many days elbow deep in the viscera of the latest cadaver.
author leads us down a few paths, making the reader question who the killer,
Jack the Ripper, really is. I’ll admit, I made a couple wrong guesses, but I
got it right on my third try about half way through the book. If you pay
attention, the clues are there.
CHARACTERS (★★★★): The book has
a small cast of primary characters, the two main characters being Audrey Rose and
Thomas Cresswell. We’re also introduced to Audrey’s Uncle Jonathan, her brother
Nathaniel, her father Lord Edmund Wadsworth, her Aunt Amelia, and her cousin Liza
with a few other thrown in throughout the story.
Audrey Rose isn’t your typical 1800’s lady, but I
found her to be fun, feisty, and all around relatable. Like many teenagers, she
often acts without thinking, she jumps to conclusions, and she puts herself in dangerous
positions. She is strong willed and brave. It’s that bravery and courage that I
enjoyed the most about her character. The way she didn’t care about blending in…
fitting in… she was who she was and she didn’t care what other people thought
Cresswell, who fancies Audrey Rose from just about the moment he spots her is
the devilishly handsome, smooth talking, bad boy. Or at least that’s what he
wants you to believe. I loved the way that he and Audrey play off each other. There
is chemistry between them from the start, but back in the 1800’s it wasn’t
proper to act on emotions so there is also a lot of restraint. That push and pull
of emotions is fun to read.
APPEARANCE (★★★★★): The cover is beautiful. We have a clear image
of what Audrey Rose looks like, although, I’ll admit she isn’t the girl I was
picturing as I read the book. We also get a visual of her world, the dark
streets of Victorian-era London. I think the cover artist did a beautiful job.
“Roses have both petals and thorns, my dark
flower. You needn’t believe something weak because it appears delicate. Show
the world your bravery.”
“Fear is a hungry beast. The more you feed
it, the more it grows.”
“In my spare time I flay open bodies of the
deceased. Two of whom were victims of leather Apron. The scent that hung in the
room would drop a man to his knees, and I aided my uncle during the postmortems
while standing in gelled blood. Whatever you have to show us won’t be too much
for my stomach to handle, I assure you.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats.
Check out my YouTube channel and the video
review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.
Also by Kerri Maniscalco
Becoming the Dark Prince
In this irresistibly-priced short story, catch a glimpse of the inner struggles and triumphs that drive Stalking Jack the Ripper‘s endearing but troubled hero. Enigmatic, brooding, and darkly handsome, Thomas Cresswell has always been the one mystery Audrey Rose has never been able to fully solve. As brilliant partners in crime investigation, they understand each other perfectly…
but as young lovers, their passionate natures have led to both euphoria and heartbreak throughout the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. This novella features a collection of scenes that takes place during and after the pair’s horrifying Atlantic voyage in Escaping From Houdini. Experience new and familiar scenes from Thomas’s unique point of view, including an intensely personal look into his plea for Audrey Rose’s hand in marriage. With a romance for the ages, Audrey Rose and Thomas reach the conclusion to their epic, irresistible partnership in their final adventure, Capturing the Devil.
Hunting Prince Dracula
In this New York Times bestselling thriller, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life? FEATURES BONUS CONTENT EXCLUSIVE TO THIS PAPERBACK EDITION!
Following the grief
and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose
Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the
arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania,
home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another
notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.
But her life’s dream
is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding
castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar
murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.
Escaping From Houdini
Audrey Rose and Thomas Cresswell find themselves aboard a luxurious ocean liner that becomes a floating prison of horror when passengers are murdered one by one…with nowhere to run from the killer.
The #1 bestselling series that started with Stalking Jack the Ripper and Hunting Prince Dracula continues its streak in this third bloody installment…. Embarking on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, Audrey Rose
Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are delighted to discover a traveling troupe of circus performers, fortune tellers, and a certain charismatic young escape artist entertaining the first-class passengers nightly.
But privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. The strange and disturbing influence of the Moonlight Carnival pervades the decks as the murders grow more and more bizarre. It’s up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to piece together the gruesome investigation before more passengers die before reaching their destination. But with clues to the next victim pointing to someone she loves, can Audrey Rose unravel the mystery before the killer’s horrifying finale?
Capturing the Devil
In the shocking finale to the bestselling series that began with Stalking Jack the Ripper, Audrey Rose and Thomas are on the hunt for the depraved, elusive killer known as the White City Devil. A deadly game of cat-and-mouse has them fighting to stay one step ahead of the brilliant serial killer—or see their fateful romance cut short by unspeakable tragedy.
Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell have landed in America, a bold, brash land unlike the genteel streets of London.
But like London, the city of Chicago hides its dark secrets well. When the two attend the spectacular World’s Fair, they find the once-in-a-lifetime event tainted with reports of missing people and unsolved murders.
Determined to help,
Audrey Rose and Thomas begin their investigations, only to find themselves
facing a serial killer unlike any they’ve encountered before. Identifying him
is one thing, but capturing him—and getting dangerously lost in the infamous
Murder Hotel he constructed as a terrifying torture device—is another.
Will Audrey Rose and Thomas see their last mystery to the end—together and in love—or will their fortunes finally run out when their most depraved adversary makes one final, devastating kill?