“A superb suspense writer…Brava, Ruth Ware. I daresay even Henry James would be impressed.” —Maureen Corrigan, author of So We Read On
“This appropriately twisty Turn of the Screw update finds the Woman in Cabin 10 author in her most menacing mode, unfurling a shocking saga of murder and deception.” —Entertainment Weekly
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Lying Game and The Death of Mrs. Westaway comes this thrilling novel that explores the dark side of technology.
When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.
What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.
Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the home’s cameras, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman.
It was everything.
She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder—but somebody is.
Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, The Turn of the Key is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.
This is the first book I’ve read by Ruth Ware, but I will definately keep my eyes open for other titles by her.
I don’t often give a 5-star review, but loved this story. It was unique and just really engaging. From chapter one all the way until the end, I was sucked in and wanted to keep reading. Its a ghost story with so many twists that your constantly second guessing what you think you know is happening.
The entire book is a letter to Mr. Wrexham, a lawyer who the main character is hoping can get her out of prison for a murder she says she didn’t commit. The letter goes into great detail, pulling you into the world as if you were there with her the whole time.
Ruth Ware is a wonderful author with a skill for painting a picture with her words. If you aren’t a fan of ghost stories but you like thriller, you might not want to read this one late at night, but you’ll still want to read it! I have absolutely nothing negative to say about the writing. I even loved the first few chapters which were her throwaway letters…
Rowan is easily relatable and written with such realistic characteristics that she seems real.
Mrs. Elincourt is the tired wife/mother who you feel sorry for and yet there is something about her that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
Mr. Elincourt… There is nothing good that can be said about this man. He is very well written, but as a reader, you are given more reasons to dislike him than to like him.
I love this cover. Whenever I read a book, I’m always looking for the moment the book cover and the story connect. It took a while with this one, but when it did, it was a great moment. I hope you’ll read the story to find out what ‘the turn of the key’ means.
“People do go mad, you know, if you stop them from sleeping for long enough…”
“The ghosts, she had sobbed. The ghosts wouldn’t like it.”
Ruth Ware is an international number one bestseller. Her thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, The Lying Game and The Death of Mrs Westaway have appeared on bestseller lists around the world, including the Sunday Times and New York Times, and she is published in more than 40 languages. She lives on the south coast of England, with her family.
A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease. We owe our good health to a humble parasite — a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the Intestinal Bodyguard worm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system — even secretes designer drugs. It’s been successful beyond the scientists’ wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them. But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives . . . and will do anything to get them.
Parasite is the first book in the three book Parasitology series by Mira Grant.
Overall, this was a pretty good read. The story moved along at a good pace, the characters were interesting enough, the concept – although not completely original – was fascinating. I think there was a lot of potential with this story, but there were some holes that I do hope the second and third books in the series clear up.
The book started out really good. I loved the idea of the story/plot. The characters were interesting. The world she was building was different enough that I wanted to learn more. Then, something happened… we discover a character who was supposed to be dead is really alive. That is when the plot went off course and the character development took a turn. That was the moment Mira lost me. Don’t get me wrong, I kept reading, but I didn’t really enjoy the book after that. Not as much as I could have – should have.
Sal – Right from the beginning, I suspected that there was something different about her. I’m not going to lie, the big reveal wasn’t that big of a surprise, but I still enjoyed it.
Tansy and Adam – What?!?! I still don’t understand what the author was trying to do with these two. No, I do understand, but it was just so far fetched that it the concept (which I don’t really want to spoil) wasn’t believable.
Nathan – I liked him, right up until we meet his mother, who is supposed to be dead, and he is just ‘whatever’ about it. He acts as if this is the most normal thing in the world. WHAT?! No one – NO ONE – would react that way after finding out their parent was alive after 10 or 15 years. NO ONE!!! That moment changed my opinion of Nathan and the writing; for the rest of the book, I sort of checked out.
The cover is intriguing. It feels medical, which is appropriate. The 5 blue circles draw you in and the 6th circle… red and almost liquified makes you wonder what’s happened. I like it.
“No one wants to set out to be a hero, and discover that they’ve been a villain all along.”
“Sometimes humanity is the reason we can’t have nice things.”
“Both my parents were Irish, and the Irish word for “suntan” is “burn.”
Mira Grant lives in California, sleeps with a machete under her bed, and highly suggests you do the same. Mira Grant is the pseudonym of Seanan McGuire – winner of the 2010 John W. Campbell Award for best new writer. Find out more about the author at http://www.miragrant.com or follow her on twitter @seananmcguire.
THE BLOCKBUSTER HIT—Over two million copies sold! A New York Times, USA Today,Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly Bestseller
“Poignant, engrossing.”—People • “Lisa Wingate takes an almost unthinkable chapter in our nation’s history and weaves a tale of enduring power.”—Paula McLain Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.
Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.
Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.
Publishers Weekly’s #3 Longest-Running Bestseller of 2017 • Winner of the Southern Book Prize • If All Arkansas Read the Same Book Selection
“Sure to be one of the most compelling books you pick up this year. . . . Wingate is a master-storyteller, and you’ll find yourself pulled along as she reveals the wake of terror and heartache that is Georgia Tann’s legacy.”—Parade
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MY 2 CENTS / THE
I didn’t know
anything about this book when I started reading it. It was a book club selection,
so I didn’t need to read the back – I knew I was going to read it. I had a
feeling it was going to be emotional, and it was. It isn’t the typical genre I
like reading, but I am so glad I read it. It has opened my eyes to a piece of U.S.
history that I never knew about. Not all history is good, in fact most isn’t, this
included. Yet, not knowing, doesn’t make it any better. The families that supported
and participated in this “legalized” child trading should be ashamed of
themselves. It was disgusting and unforgivable. No child should have to suffer
the way these kids did. No child should be ripped away from their family for no
reason. There is a difference between children being put into the system when
there is abuse, drug use, or the families are just unable to care for the
children properly. But to have a child kidnapped off their front porch or sold
into the system, its not right.
Lisa Wingate’s writing style is simple and elegant storytelling. The pages are painted with descriptive text that make you feel like you’re there in the world she’s seeing in her mind. Talk of magnolias smelling like freedom, children wrapped in bedsheets like caterpillars, and the way the boat moans beneath their feet…all of it allows you to hear, smell, even taste exactly what the characters are experiencing.
This book tells two stories, the first centers around Rill Foss and her siblings and the second centers around Avery Stafford a woman who comes from a well-known political family. The stories take place about 70 years apart, but are weaved into each other for the purposes of the novel. The first story, that of Rill Foss and her siblings, covers their time and experiences within the Tennessee Home for Children, and is both intriguing and devastating. The second story, that of Avery Stafford and the Stafford family as Avery is digging up her grandmother’s history and past secrets was a little less intriguing. In fact, at times, it was quite boring.
The Tennessee Home for Children portion of the story takes the unthinkable facts, based on the recounted stories told by children who survived the Tennessee Children’s Homes Society orphanage and who later were able to locate their lost family members after the documents were unsealed in 1995, 45 years after the home was closed. Lisa Wingate has created a family of believable siblings, using an all to likely storyline, caught up in this terrible scheme of child trafficking. It is heart-breaking and takes you on an emotional rollercoaster. When you consider these things actually happened, and may still be happening in some areas of the world, it is sickening.
As a mother, this was a rather hard book to
read. The subject matter is disturbing and unforgettable. I kept picturing my
children going through what Rill and her siblings when through and it made me
sick. Having a story like this be based on something that really happened makes
it all the much worse. That being said, I felt like it was extremely well-written
and hard to put down. I needed to get to the end. I needed to find out if
everything worked out for them in the end, even though I knew that for many of
the children in the care of the Tennessee Home for Children, things didn’t work
Character development is one of Lisa Wingate’s strongest tools. She weaves two stories; then and now, into this book and the only thing holding them together is the strong characters she has created. Rill Foss (aka May Crandall) and her siblings has such a tight bond that the entire book your hoping and praying that there will be a happy ending and everyone will find each other again. Avery Stafford, the great granddaughter of Rill’s sister is a truly honorable woman, set on finding out the truth even if the buried secrets could hurt her family politically.
The cover is beautiful. It speaks to the heart without giving anything away.
the best things a father can do for his daughter is let her know that she has
met his expectations. My father did that for me, and no amount of effort on my
part can fully repay the debt.”
past need not predict her future. She can dance to new music if she chooses.
Her own music. To hear the tune, she must only stop talking. To herself,
I mean. We’re always trying to persuade ourselves of things.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Selected among BOOKLIST’S Top 10 for two years running, Lisa Wingate writes novels that Publisher’s Weekly calls “Masterful” and ForeWord Magazine refers to as “Filled with lyrical prose, hope, and healing.” Lisa is a journalist, an inspirational speaker, and the author of a host of literary works. Her novels have garnered or been short-listed for many awards, including the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize, the Oklahoma Book Award, the Utah Library Award, the LORIES Best Fiction Award, The Carol Award, the Christy Award, Family Fiction’s Top 10, RT Booklover’s Reviewer’s Choice Award, and others. The group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with six others for the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who promote greater kindness and civility in American life. She’s been a writer since Mrs. Krackhardt’s first-grade class and still believes that stories have the power to change the world.
IN THE WRITER’S OWN WORDS: A special first grade teacher, Mrs. Krackhardt, made a writer out of me. That may sound unlikely, but it’s true. It’s possible to find a calling when you’re still in pigtails and Mary Jane shoes, and to know it’s your calling. I was halfway through the first grade when I landed in Mrs. Krackhardt’s classroom. I was fairly convinced there wasn’t anything all that special about me… and then, Mrs. Krackhardt stood over my desk and read a story I was writing. She said things like, “This is a great story! I wonder what happens next?”
It isn’t every day a shy new kid gets that kind of attention. I rushed to finish the story, and when I wrote the last word, the teacher took the pages, straightened them on the desk, looked at me over the top, and said, “You are a wonderful writer!”
A dream was born. Over the years, other dreams bloomed and died tragic, untimely deaths. I planned to become an Olympic gymnast or win the National Finals Rodeo, but there was this matter of back flips on the balance beam and these parents who stubbornly refused to buy me a pony. Yet the writer dream remained. I always believed I could do it because… well… my first grade teacher told me so, and first grade teachers don’t lie.
So, that is my story, and if you are a teacher, or know a teacher, or ever loved a special teacher, I salute you from afar and wish you days be filled with stories worth telling and stories worth reading.
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Also by Lisa Wingate:
Click on the book cover images below to read the descriptions and order your copy!As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
or fans of The Haunting of Hill House comes
a dark tale of a mansion haunted by a legacy of tragedy and a family trapped by
Margot and Myron Spielman move to a new town,
looking for a fresh start and an escape from the long shadow of their past. But
soon after they buy Rawlingswood, a foreclosed mansion rumored to be haunted,
they realize they’re in for more of the same…or worse.
After a renovation fraught with injuries and
setbacks, the Spielmans move in to the century-old house, and their problems
quickly escalate. The home’s beautiful facade begins to crumble around them
when their teenage son uncovers disturbing details of Rawlingswood’s history—a
history of murder, betrayal, and financial ruin. The Spielmans’ own shameful
secrets and lies become harder to hide as someone or something inside the house
watches their every move.
As tensions build
between the family members, the home’s dark history threatens to repeat itself.
Margot and Myron must confront their own ghosts and Rawlingswood’s buried past
before the house becomes their undoing.
MY 2 CENTS / THE
No One’s Home has been compared to The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, which I’ve read… It’s scary. This book, although good, does not compare. It just didn’t live up to the hype.
WRITING (★★★★): Pulley is a great writer. Her descriptive
text is beautiful and she does a great job of pulling you into a scene. However,
this book covers the story of five different families, at five different
periods in time; the Rawlings family 1922-1931, the Bell family 1936-1972, the
Klussman Family 1972-1990, the Martin Family, and the Spielman family – present
day. Although the writing is good and the stories are interesting, going back
and forth between the different time periods only pulled me out of the story.
Each time the story shifted, I had to take a moment to think back, figure out
who these characters were and what their story was. That was a huge distraction
for me. Although I can see this story working really well as a movie, shifting
from one period to the next with lighting changes, appropriate set dressing, and
costumes for each time period, it just didn’t work for me as a novel. I see the
film done in a similar manor as American Horror Story, which actors playing
multiple roles within the time period – almost a reincarnation of spirit sort
STORY (★★★★): The story is well thought out although
maybe could have been structured a little better. I think this could have
worked really well as a series of short stories… a collection of stories that
take place over the years all centered around this one house in Shaker Heights.
CHARACTERS (★★★★): I wasn’t really sure who the main
character was. The back of the book reads as if Margot and Myron Spielman are
the main focus, but then their son, Hunter pulls more of the focus when
reading. Then, you have to consider all of the other families you’re learning
about. The Spielman family isn’t given any more “screen time” or “ink” than any
of the other families. So, what family did Pulley really want this story to be
about? I think we could have learned so much about the history of the story and
been drawn in more to each of the stories if this were a collection of short
APPEARANCE (★★★★★): The cover is beautiful. It even has the
feel of the cover from The Haunting of Hill House although this one is set in
blues were as The Haunting of Hill House is more oranges and Yellows. Whoever
designed the cover, I give them credit. The creepy old house with the single
light in the attic really does draw you in. I noticed this one on the shelf the
instant I walked past and even before reading the back, I knew I was going to
read the book. That to me, is the sign of a really good cover.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
D.M. Pulley lives in northeast Ohio with her husband, her two children, and a dog named Hobo. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked as a Professional Engineer rehabbing historic structures and conducting forensic investigations of building failures. Pulley’s structural survey of a vacant building in Cleveland inspired her debut novel, The Dead Key, the winner of the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Since then, Pulley has sold over a half a million books worldwide, and her work has been translated into eight different languages.
Pulley’s historical mysteries shine a light into the darker side of life in the Midwest during the twentieth century, when cities like Detroit and Cleveland struggled to survive. Her latest novel, No One’s Home, unravels the disturbing history of an old mansion haunted by family secrets, financial ruin, and murder. The abandoned buildings, haunted houses, and buried past of the Rust Belt continue to inspire her work. Learn more at www.dmpulley.com.
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review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.
Also by D. M. Pulley
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What if the last
victim of Cleveland’s infamous Torso Killer got away?
In 1938, a serial
killer terrorizes Cleveland, Ohio, leaving a trail of bodies along the rails
and riverbeds. Ethel, a street-hardened woman who’s lost everything, takes refuge
inside a city mission only to find that its righteous facade conceals the
darkest of secrets. As she wanders the twisting corridors, it becomes clear she
may never leave the mission alive.
Sixty years later, the
police discover the body of Alfred Wiley, dismembered in a disturbingly
familiar way. His daughter, Kris, finds herself pulled into Cleveland’s
haunting past as things he never told her begin to surface. Stolen books about
the unsolved Torso Murders, missing archives, serial killer chat rooms, and an
abandoned city mission are all somehow connected to his disappearance. The more
she learns of her father’s obsession with the Torso Killer, the further she
stumbles into a madman’s sights.
by decades but trapped in the same killer’s web, Ethel and Kris must unravel
the truth behind the city’s most notorious unsolved murders . . . or die
2014 Winner — Amazon
Breakthrough Novel Award — Grand Prize and Mystery & Thriller Fiction
It’s 1998, and for
years the old First Bank of Cleveland has sat abandoned, perfectly preserved,
its secrets only speculated on by the outside world.
Twenty years before,
amid strange staff disappearances and allegations of fraud, panicked investors
sold Cleveland’s largest bank in the middle of the night, locking out customers
and employees, and thwarting a looming federal investigation. In the confusion
that followed, the keys to the vault’s safe-deposit boxes were lost.
the years since, Cleveland’s wealthy businessmen kept the truth buried in the abandoned
high-rise. The ransacked offices and forgotten safe-deposit boxes remain locked
in time, until young engineer Iris Latch stumbles upon them during a renovation
survey. What begins as a welcome break from her cubicle becomes an obsession as
Iris unravels the bank’s sordid past. With each haunting revelation, Iris
follows the looming shadow of the past deeper into the vault—and soon realizes
that the key to the mystery comes at an astonishing price.
When Althea Leary
abandons her nine-year-old son, Jasper, he’s left on his uncle’s farm with
nothing but a change of clothes and a Bible.
It’s 1952, and Jasper
isn’t allowed to ask questions or make a fuss. He’s lucky to even have a home
and must keep his mouth shut and his ears open to stay in his uncle’s good
graces. No one knows where his mother went or whether she’s coming back.
Desperate to see her again, he must take matters into his own hands. From the
farm, he embarks on a treacherous search that will take him to the squalid
hideaways of Detroit and back again, through tawdry taverns, peep shows, and
As he’s drawn deeper into an adult world of corruption, scandal, and murder, Jasper uncovers the shocking past still chasing his mother—and now it’s chasing him too.
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
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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?
One thing I love to do is interview other authors. Not only does it introduce me to potential books I can add to my ‘to read’ list, but it also helps spread the indie-author love to other readers. Marketing is hard and if I can help a fellow author, I’m happy to do it. With that in mind, I’d like to welcome Matt Nagin, author of Feast of Sapphires, to my blog.
What is your name and do you write under a pen name? My name is Matt Nagin. I do not use a pen name, but I do have a comedy alter ego, a standup comedy character, if you will, named Bart Schumacher.
Where do you call home? I live in New York City.
Obviously, we know you are an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? Do you believe you’re any good at it? Do you like what you do? I am an actor, a comedian, and, when I can find the work, a college professor. Yes. I believe I became a better actor and educator over time. I enjoy very much the areas in which I work since I am passionate about them and they are connected to my overall artistic orientation.
What is your family like? I have a large family; four brothers, a nephew, thirteen cousins, many uncles and aunts etc. In addition to my parents, I’m fortunate enough to have a 99 year old grandma who turns 100 in January.
Do you have any hobbies, other than writing? What do you enjoy doing? I love watching films, particularly classic films and/or films that in some way tell an innovative story. I also enjoy traveling, since it expands your understanding of your own little area of residence, helps you get a better grasp of your particular social and cultural predilections, and occasionally even inspires creative work.
What is your greatest dream? To make a living as a writer by completing works others find meaningful.
What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you? I would like to be working creatively at a higher level than I am now. By this I mean I would, ideally, like to be more productive. What is stopping me, I suppose, is I get distracted easily and I have a million little obligations that keep me from focusing and completing work. I’m also a bit of a perfectionist, which, at times, can be a hindrance.
Not to pry too much, but do you remember your first love? Yes. Lasted a year and a half. Unfortunately, she became a lesbian. It broke my heart at the time. Now it seems vaguely humorous.
What is the most terrible thing that ever happened to you? Getting hit by a speeding car while walking across the street in a construction zone with an obstructed view was one of the worst things that ever happened to me. More than twenty stitches in my wrist. Glass in my arm. Ten herniated discs in my back. A number of ongoing issues with my knees. There have been a few others. A plane nearly crashing–the gas masks coming down. A boat nearly going under during a storm. Three surgeries for Crohn’s disease. The point is it has been a struggle, at times, just to persevere.
And how long have you been writing? I have been writing around 25 years, but the first five years I did not work with any level of seriousness. There have been periods where I didn’t write at all, but, eventually, I always came back to it. Of late I’ve been trying to maintain a regular schedule.
What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not? To be a writer/actor/filmmaker etc. To a certain extent, I achieved my dream. This is because in pretty much all the fields I’ve pursued I’ve had at least a few accomplishments. All that being said, I still feel I have a long way to go.
Who is your role model? Most of my role models are artists with an uncompromising yet powerful vision. Examples include Stanley Kubrick, Charles Bukowski, Phillip K. Dick, Emily Dickinson, William Blake and Salvador Dali.
Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audio-books? Paperbacks. The presentation is generally the best. I also think the idea of a book as something really special and unique is lost when you read it on a Kindle.
What is your opinion of novellas? Novellas are a great form. I enjoy the unusual length very much. I also think it is a great way to develop characters, setting, and a compelling plot without dragging a story on endlessly. Finally, in the age of social media, where readers have very little free time, novellas make a whole lot of sense.
What is your favorite film based on a book? Barry Lyndon. It’s based on a Thackeray novel.
What is your favorite book genre at the moment? Satire/Humor.
What books have made it onto your wish list recently? And why? Stephen King’s “The Stand.” I have read many King books, but never actually got to “The Stand.” I’m looking forward to reading this classic.
What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format? I’m reading the book of a friend, David Voice, “The Can Man: My Five Cents Worth,” that I’m enjoying. Kindle format. I generally don’t read much on my Kindle, but, since this is a relatively short book, it made sense.
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 book is ‘Feast of Sapphires.’ It is a poetry collection that aims to be illuminating in a variety of ways. I take daily experiences, or interesting phrases, or magnetic ideas, and use them as a springboard for poetic exploration.
“Feast of Sapphires,” is a compendium of poems covering topics both timely and universal. There are poems of psychic revolution, poems on social media and gun control, poems about MRI’s, gambling, and mystical storms of all varieties; then, too, on a deeper level, more than a few of these poems are about the desire to surmount the collective facade in search of a kind of truth that cannot be hyperlinked.
Located from Costa Rica to the LIRR, this metaphysical cartography of anticipation and despair is perfect for those seeking answers in the bottom of the tea, in the resonance of a thunder storm, or, even, in the ethereal high of a linguistic flight of fancy. From comedic monologues to existential reflections, from angry rants to countercultural analysis, from wily narratives to verbal pyrotechnics, this is a book that strives, in new ways, to be illuminating… CONTINUE READING
Is the above book part of a series? No. That said, it is a follow-up to my first poetry book, “Butterflies Lost Within The Crooked Moonlight,” which did fairly well on Amazon.
This highly-accessible, dynamic collection offers existential ponderings, comic situations, poetic meditations on death, musical riffs, political commentary, striking imagery and more. The 45 poems in this collection represent a range of styles and subject matter. 18 of these poems were previously published in such journals as Antigonish Review, Grain Magazine, Arsenic Lobster, Dash, Spillway, The Charles Carter, Downtown Brooklyn, and many, many more. This debut collection of poetry from Matt Nagin is sure to, as the title suggests, comment on the way even the most delicate and majestic of us tend to be drawn, willy-nilly, towards the crooked moonlight.
How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book(s)?Julia Noel Goodman designed the cover. We reviewed the concept together and went through a number of iterations of it till we settled on one we thought best.
How did you come up with the title for your book(s)? I pick a bunch of different possible titles and go with what sounds best. I also ask friends/associates for input.
Do you have a book trailer? If so, where can we watch it? I created a trailer for my first book, ‘Butterflies Lost Within The Crooked Moonlight.’ Watch it below:
Also, I have videos of readings of individual poems from ‘Feast of Sapphires,’ set to imagery. One of these, ‘Regret,’ is available below:
Let’s talk now about your writing process.
What is your writing style like? Are you a pantser or a plotter? I am a pantser. I go with what inspires me–allowing it to lead the way. Then I go back and edit. At times this editing is extensive. At others very little is required. It totally depends on the state of the first draft. I sometimes edit immediately after I complete the writing portion. At other times, I like to wait a few weeks till I return to the work, since I often can then see it much more clearly.
Have you come across any specific challenges in writing or publishing? What would you do differently the next time? The biggest challenge I’ve encountered with publishing is properly formatting poetry for Kindle on KDP…something that sounds easier than it is. The second biggest challenge is acquiring new readers in an oversaturated marketplace.
What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing? Not sure if I was ever specifically given this advice, but it is what I always tell others: keep at it! This is the key to success in any field, but particularly with writing a high level of self-discipline is required.
Where can your readers follow you? Please list links to any applicable websites and/or social media accounts.
Where do you see yourself in five years? I hope to have several other books published by then. Right now I have a humor book coming out in the next few months with an indie publisher, and, after that, I am looking to publish a short story collection. There are a few more books, as well, I’m at work on, so I am really hoping to get a lot of work out into the world soon.
Any last thoughts about your overall journey? It’s been a wild ride–these last few years–and I have really enjoyed expressing myself creatively and reaching out to others with my creative ideas. I’m also grateful to be doing something I’m passionate about, something that fills me with a sense of purpose. What can I say? I’m very lucky!
CALL TO ACTION: If you have questions for Matt that weren’t addressed in this interview, I invite you to comment below and he will respond here!