Treasure by Thomas Holladay


Treasure by Thomas Holladay

Genre: Adventure Thriller

Maj. Michael Crooke, USMC-R, takes leave from combat and heads to the white sand beaches of a remote Caribbean island. While exploring, Michael uncovers an ancient map and joins Jacob Hatch, a veteran salvage captain hiding from his past on a treacherous treasure hunt.

After recovering a vast fortune from the deep laden with arcane artifacts, Hatch’s enemies seize the treasure, kidnap Michael’s wife and flee to a mountaintop temple in Brazil, believing they have killed both Hatch and Michael.

Michael must now find a way to turn Hatch’s lust for revenge into a rescue mission. But head-hunters, poison darts, deadly snakes and demonic monsters all stand in their way.

From the depths of the ocean to the savage jungles of the Amazon Treasure is a non-stop terrifying thrill ride.

**Get it FREE on June 15, 16, 26, 27, & 28!!!**

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Thomas Holladay studied creative writing at the prestigious American Film Institute and has completed more than a dozen feature length screenplays.  His original ideas and movie moments have appeared in feature films and on television.  He has now completed four novels and is working on a fifth.  Treasure: Temple of the  Crystal Skull is his published work.  He is proud to be among some very fine authors at Severed Press. 

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I’m excited to be one of many tour hosts sharing Treasure by Thomas Holladay.

Where the Truth Hides by Liane Carmen


Where the Truth Hides by Liane Carmen (Genre: Suspense, Thriller)

Buried secrets can be deadly.

Becky Morgan has a life most women would envy until a car accident lands her in the hospital. She insists she’s fine, but it quickly becomes clear she’s changed. She’s forgetful, paranoid, short-tempered. Her husband wants to write off her change in personality to the IVF hormones she’s taking in an attempt to get pregnant.

Becky’s best friend, Jules Dalton, is a gorgeous, single woman, with a habit of sabotaging relationships. When Jules loses the man who could have been “the one,” she confronts the realization that being adopted at birth is contributing to her trust issues. She’s obsessed with finding out why she was given up and turns to DNA testing in hopes her matches will lead to her birth parents.

As Jules dives into her DNA results, Becky’s life soon becomes one she doesn’t recognize. Those closest to her are accusing her of things she simply can’t explain or remember. She’s terrified of losing everything: her career, her marriage, and her dream of becoming a mother.

Desperate to put the pieces of her shattered life back together, Becky needs her best friend more than ever. What she doesn’t realize is that Jules knows something that could explain everything away.

Becky has a dark past she’s unaware of. A darkness that’s coming for her.

It could also get her killed.

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I’ve always been an avid reader and a fan of the suspense/thriller genre. Several years ago, we decided to solve a family mystery using DNA and my obsession was born. My love of writing and my new addiction led to my first novel, “Where the Truth Hides”, newly released in May of 2020. It will kick off a series of books delving into the mysteries that DNA can reveal.

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What did you enjoy most about writing and publishing this book? 

Seeing my book evolve from the earliest draft (which was way too long) into the version readers have today has been a labor of love.

I felt like the first draft gave away the twist too early, and I hated that. As a suspense reader, I always try to figure out what’s going on throughout the book, but I don’t REALLY want to be right! When I started circulating the revised draft to beta readers, I felt this tingle when they told me they didn’t guess the ending. But those were people I knew. Were they just being nice?

When I put advance review copies out there, I held my breath. When time and again, reviewers said they loved it and were shocked by the ending. I let out a sigh of relief. One of the reviewers wrote, “You probably shouldn’t try to guess the ending. If you do, good luck getting it right.” I loved that! There is nothing more gratifying than knowing something you put your heart and soul into has been enjoyed.

Do you feel connected to your characters?

It might sound odd, but Becky and Jules feel like friends of mine. When I have to go a little bit without writing about them, I kind of miss them! I feel like we should be scheduling a happy hour or some girl time to catch up.

Even as I wrote about their individual struggles, I wanted so much for them to find what they were looking for, but I also had to be realistic as a writer. There’s not much suspense if everything goes perfectly.

In Jules’s hunt for her birth parents, I wanted to show the reality of what could happen. Some reunions are welcome and heart-felt, and sometimes an adoptee doesn’t get the reaction they’re hoping to get. I wanted Jules to have a little of both. In the next book, The Inheritance, Jules will get some resolution with her birth mother. She just needs to have a little patience.

Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?

What I love about Becky and Jules is they’re a little like all of us. They’re not perfect and maybe even a little crazy sometimes. I mean, who hasn’t stalked an ex-boyfriend just a little, right?

Becky moved away when she was young, and never found the kind of friendship she had with Jules. When she moved back, the first place she wanted to go was to reconnect with Jules. She has a loving husband, but Jules is definitely her “person.”

Jules is the fiercely loyal friend every woman wants to have. She may be single, but she believes women can have friends who are soulmates, and Becky is hers. She needs the connection the two of them have like she needs air to breathe. Becky is the one relationship in her life she trusts completely.

The two best friends both want something they feel is life-changing. I always envision Glinda the Good Witch from The Wizard of Us. Dorothy thinks she needs the ruby slippers to get what she wants most of all but is shocked when Glinda tells her she actually had the power all along. Becky and Jules travel parallel paths toward different goals, but ultimately learn some powerful lessons about appreciating what they already had.

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

They say write what you know, right?  A good portion of Becky is me, right down to her parking deck phobia. We don’t look alike at all though. As I wrote her, I pictured Jennifer Love Hewitt (ala Ghost Whisperer timing) or perhaps Tiffany Amber-Thiessen (post Beverly Hills 90210 – the first 90210 for people younger than me!)

Although the DNA obsession is all me, Jules is mostly based on my best friend Stacy, right down to her red and black cowboy boots and huge smile. While she wasn’t adopted, she is still single which I will never understand. Just like Jules, she’s quite fabulous! Her younger self was always what I pictured as Jules started to take shape, although Stacy does spend her spare time trying to figure out who she wants to play her in the movie. I think currently Jessica Biel is in the lead …

Tonya was based on a running buddy, and Becky’s husband Bryan is loosely based on my boyfriend. Yes, there are men that love to cook, and I’m lucky enough to have one of them!

I didn’t know my boyfriend when he was Bryan’s age, so his visual was different. I actually work full-time for Coca-Cola in Sports Marketing. (Right now you’re probably thinking, Aha, now I know why her characters only drink Coke products.) It was the beginning of football season, and I was at the coach’s table for a UCF kickoff luncheon. As I looked across the table at my coach crush, Scott Frost, I thought, well, damn, he’s the living breathing version of Bryan. (He coaches for Nebraska now which made me really sad, but look him up and see what you think.)

What did you edit out of this book?

Too much to mention! I lost a good deal of the flashbacks: how Becky and Bryan met, Tonya and Becky meeting in college and becoming business partners, the day Becky found Sherlock and tried to sneak him into the house before she told Bryan about him.

I streamlined a good deal of the IVF information. While it was important that the process resonated with authenticity, I understood (or was convinced, however you want to look at it …) that too much information bogged down the story. I didn’t want to lose readers that weren’t as intrigued by all the elements of egg retrieval, so I took a good deal of the minutia out while hopefully leaving enough so that the storyline made sense.

I also had a great scene (again, I liked it, but perhaps my editor thought it wasn’t quite necessary) that really told the story of the IVF hormones wreaking havoc with Becky’s emotions. What woman can’t understand a little bit of crazy that goes with being a girl sometimes? And to Bryan’s credit, he was able to understand it was the hormones talking, so he was able to dismiss a little bit of Becky’s stress that she had unloaded on him. Just another reason Becky is so lucky to have him.

Advice you would give new authors? 

As a new author myself, it’s hard to think I could give worthy advice. I will share the advice I found most valuable, and it came from a fellow author and backed up the way I already felt.

When I started working with Jonas Saul, a fabulous author who also helps fellow writers with editing, he gave me some great insight. He told me that when a book is poorly edited, the reader is let down. They don’t feel the author felt they were important enough to spend the money to properly edit and proofread their book. You only get one chance to make a first impression.

It’s so important your book is professional so your reader can lose themselves in the story instead of the fact that it’s not edited well. There may be writers who disagree, but I don’t really think you can do a final edit of your own material. No matter how many times you read it, there are things that are going to slip by you. I had a small typo that an early reviewer pointed out, and even after the told me, I still couldn’t see it when I read and reread that sentence. I thought I was going crazy!

How do you feel about reviews?

I never gave much thought to reviews until I became an author. I remember the first one I got on the book for an advance reader copy I had sent out. I keep reading it and rereading it. She loved it! That is the most incredible validation for something you have put your heart and soul (and time and money!) into. Reviews really are important to an author. Good reviews help the author sell more books.

It’s important to have a thick skin though. Even the most well-known authors don’t always get five stars on their books. Not every book is for every person, and that’s okay. But, the ones you do touch – there’s no better feeling.


I’m excited to be one of the many tour hosts sharing information about Where the Truth Hides by Liane Carmen.

Never Walk Alone by Willow Rose

Never Walk Alone (Harry Hunter Mysteries Book 4) by Willow Rose
Genre: Thriller Suspense

The world is on lockdown due to a virus that originated in Miami.

A woman is kidnapped from her apartment, and Detective Harry Hunter is on the case.

At the same time, his sister shows up after they have not seen each other in a year.

As it turns out, Harry’s sister knows more about the virus than she lets on. Soon, he wonders if the virus is connected to the missing woman.

As he digs deeper into the strange mystery, he realizes his sister’s life is in great danger, and so is his.

NEVER WALK ALONE is the fourth book in the Harry Hunter Mystery Series.

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No Other Way (Harry Hunter Mysteries Book 3) by Willow Rose
Genre: Thriller Suspense

Shocking evidence hits close to home for Miami PD’s Detective Harry Hunter as Willow Rose’s bestselling series continues.

Three women went on a road trip to Key West. Only two returned. When asked what happened, their stories don’t completely match.

Who is telling the truth?

What are they hiding?

Detective Harry Hunter of the Miami PD is in church on a peaceful Sunday morning when a young teenager pulls out a gun and shoots his own father.

Once the shock is gone, Harry starts to ask himself the question no one else seems to care about: What makes a young boy want to kill his own father?

When more blood is shed, Harry suspects there’s a secret buried in this town that no one wants unearthed. What are the people around him not telling him?

NO OTHER WAY is the third book in the bestselling Harry Hunter Mystery Series.

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Run Girl Run (Harry Hunter Mysteries Book 2) by Willow Rose
Genre: Thriller Suspense

Willow Rose’s beloved detective, Harry Hunter is back in this thrilling second installment of the bestselling series.

When a mother and her child are pulled out of the harbor in their car, the case seems pretty straightforward for Miami PD and Detective Harry Hunter.

Everything points to a murder-suicide.

They were homeless, living in their car, and the mother decided to end it all for them both by driving into the water.

But the case is not what it looks like, Detective Harry Hunter soon realizes.

Harry’s daughter is carrying devastating knowledge about their deaths, and soon she becomes the killer’s next target.

As Harry races to protect her, he is betrayed by someone he thought he knew, leaving him terrified of trusting anyone in a town filled with liars.

RUN GIRL RUN is the second book in the Harry Hunter Mystery Series.

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All the Good Girls (Harry Hunter Mysteries Book 1) by Willow Rose
Genre: Thriller Suspense

This novel is the first book in Willow Rose’s electrifying new Harry Hunter series.

Detective Harry Hunter of Miami PD’s homicide squad throws himself into a case no one asked him to solve.

Four teenagers from one of Miami’s affluent neighborhoods are murdered on a boat. Another is found in a dumpster. All five of them go to the same school and are on a list of witnesses to another crime.

Because he’s in bad standing with his boss, Harry is given the task of protecting a possible future victim, but Harry isn’t always known to follow his boss’s orders.

Soon, he’ll risk everything while racing to stop a killer who has left everyone else in the homicide squad shaking in terror.

ALL THE GOOD GIRLS is the first book in the Harry Hunter Mystery Series and can be read as a standalone.

**Only 99 cents!**

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Would you like a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!


The Queen of Scream aka Willow Rose is a #1 Amazon Best-selling Author and an Amazon ALL-star Author of more than 60 novels.

She writes Mystery, Thriller, Paranormal, Romance, Suspense, Horror, Supernatural thrillers, and Fantasy.

Willow’s books are fast-paced, nail-biting page turners with twists you won’t see coming. Several of her books have reached the Kindle top 10 of ALL books in the US, UK, and Canada. She has sold more than three million books.

Willow lives on Florida’s Space Coast with her husband and two daughters. When she is not writing or reading, you will find her surfing and watch the dolphins play in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.

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I’m excited to be one of many hosts sharing information about Never Walk Alone (Harry Hunter Mysteries Book 4) by Willow Rose.

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager #BookReview

Would you prefer to watch the video, instead of reading the review? CLICK HERE

TITLE:      The Last Time I Lied

Paperback Release Date: April 2, 2019

AUTHOR:               Riley Sager

GENRE:                 Thriller

PAGE COUNT:       370

RATING OVERVIEW ★★★★.75
Story: ★★★★★
Writing: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Appearance: ★★★★


AMAZON DESCRIPTION:

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.

BOOK TRAILER:

MY 2 CENTS / THE CRITICAL POINTS:

You probably 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 amazing.

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.

During 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.

This 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.

I 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.

I 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.

FAVORITE QUOTES:

“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.”

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

ALSO BY RILEY SAGER:

Disclosure: When you purchase a book using a link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, marketing, author events, etc.


JOKER (2019) ~ Movie Review

Would you prefer to watch the video review, instead of reading it? CLICK HERE

Comment below and tell me what you thought of Joaquin Phoenix as THE JOKER!!!


SHOW RATING OVERVIEW ★★★★★ (5 Stars)
Writing/Story: ★★★★★ | Cinematography:  ★★★★★ Character(s)/Acting: ★★★★★


IMDB STORY LINE:

In Gotham City, mentally-troubled comedian Arthur Fleck embarks on a downward-spiral of social revolution and bloody crime. This path brings him face-to-face with his infamous alter-ego: “The Joker”.

WARNER BROTHERS STORY LINE:

Joker centers around an origin of the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. Todd Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck, played by Joaquin Phoenix, a man disregarded by society, is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.

MY 2 CENTS:

This film is fantastic. It probably isn’t for everyone. I know it received a lot of negative reviews and a bunch of criticism for the amount of violence. However, it I feel that it also deserved some praise – both for the writing and the acting. I think the risks taken by writers Todd Phillips and Scott Silver were great. Before seeing the film, I was a bit concerned. I had heard that there was talk about extreme unnecessary violence. I had no idea what to expect. However, after seeing the film, I can honestly say that wasn’t the case at all. After watching the John Wick movies, which are just riddled with violence to the point that it is hard to remember a scene without violence, this film is more drama than violence. In fact, the first time Arthur Fleck ever kills anyone, it is in self-defense. Sure, it is clear in that moment you can tell he is enjoying it… and that is where you start to see the typical evil of The Joker come through.  

Writing/Story: ★★★★★

WOW! The origin story for The Joker has always been a bit confusing for me. I never really understood it and it has always seemed a bit unrealistic and contrived. However, writers Todd Phillips and Scott Silver really developed a believable, heart wrenching backstory that allows the audience not only to understand why and how Arthur Fleck becomes The Joker, but to also sympathize with his situation and even root for him at times.

This film really forces the audience to think about mental illness, how we as a society often fail to give the appropriate care, attention, and medical treatment to those that really need it. Arthur Fleck is functioning in society, it’s a struggle but he is doing it. Then, when the funding for his state funded therapy is cancelled and he can no longer talk to his therapist and get his medications he spirals downhill.

Cinematography ★★★★★

The camera angles used during some of the scenes were truly beautiful and helped to pull the right emotional strings of the audience. One scene in particular was when Arthur was dancing down the steps and the camera is lower down, staring up at him. The joy he is portraying is both frightening and delightful at the same time.

Another case would be when Arthur has been beaten down and the camera is low on the ground with him. As an audience member, being down there on the ground with him, you feel his pain, his fear, his anger, and just a complete rush of helplessness.

The way this movie was filmed really made me feel like I was watching a Martin Scorsese film, such as Taxi Driver, The King of Comedy, or even Raging Bull. After seeing the film, I read some reviews that said this same thing. However, were other people complained about this, I really liked it. I’ve always really liked Martin Scorsese’s film style.

Character(s)/Acting: ★★★★★

Joaquin Phoenix was brilliant in this film. I can’t think of another actor that could have played this role in quiet the same way or with the same amount of emotional connection. There are so many moments throughout the film where I was just swept away emotionally, and brought to tears even, because of what Arthur was going through. It isn’t because I agree with the violence and the killing, but its in the moments, such as the first time he attempts standup comedy, or when he is beaten down in the street (more than once) where as an audience member feel his fear, his pain, and his torment.

In an interview, Phoenix stated that perfecting the Joker’s laugh was the toughest part of playing the character and I can completely see why. Laughter is usually associated with joy and delight and comedy, however, when he laughs you see his struggle with pain, depression, and anxiety. It is in complete conflict with the act of laughing. He stated that he watched videos of people who suffered from pathological laughter in order to get it just right.

Joaquin Phoenix stated that he had been “interested in the light of Arthur for lack of a better word. It wasn’t just the torment, it was the joy, his struggle to find happiness and to feel connected. To have warmth and love. I don’t think of a character as tormented.” Ultimately, I feel that Phoenix was able to bring out all of Arthur’s deepest emotions and make him a character that audience members can both related to and sympathize with.

FUN FACT:

Robert De Niro‘s role as Murray Franklin, the talk-show host who gives Arthur Fleck his big break, and even the name The Joker, is an ironic role reversal from De Niro’s role in The King of Comedy (1982). In that film, De Niro played Rupert Pupkin, an unsuccessful, mentally-unstable comedian who stalked and kidnapped his favorite talk-show host, Jerry Langford (played by Jerry Lewis).

MY FAVORITE QUOTES:

“The worst part of having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don’t.”

“I used to think that my life was a tragedy, but now I realize, it’s a comedy.”

TO SUM IT UP:

This film is a dark, terrifying, gritty, raw, and often uncomfortable character study of a man who has been mistreated, abused (both emotionally and physically), and overlooked by everyone in his life. This film dives into how the circumstances of life and long-term abuse have affected Arthur Fleck physically, emotionally, and mentally. I highly recommend seeing it on the big screen so you can get the full effect of the amazing camera angles and larger than life closeups.

Have you seen JOKER? If not, you should. If you have, let me know your thoughts, in the comments below. As always, I recommend seeing this film for yourself and forming your own opinion.

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

JOKER (2019) Trailer:


John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019) ~ Review

Would you prefer to watch the video review, instead of reading it? CLICK HERE

Title:                                 John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)

Director:                           Chad Stahelski

Writers:                            Derek Kolstad, Shay Hatten, Chris Collins, & Marc Abrams 

Stars:                               Keanu Reeves (John Wick), Halle Berry (Sofia), Ian McShane (Winston), Laurence Fishburne (Bowery King), Asia Kate Dillon (The Adjudicator), Lance Reddick (Charon), & Randall Duk Kim (Doctor)

Genre(s):                          Action / Crime / Thriller

Length:                            2 hours and 11 minutes

SHOW RATING OVERVIEW†

  • Writing ★★★
  • Cinematography ★★★★★
  • Story ★★★★
  • Acting ★★★★
  • OVERALL RATING: ★★★★ (4)

STORYLINE:

In this third installment of the adrenaline-fueled action franchise, skilled assassin John Wick (Keanu Reeves) returns with a $14 million price tag on his head and an army of bounty-hunting killers on his trail. After killing a member of the shadowy international assassin’s guild, the High Table, John Wick is excommunicado, but the world’s most ruthless hit men and women await his every turn.

MY 2 CENTS:

Let’s start with this… Keanu Reeves is going to be 55 years old later this year, September 2nd to be exact. Now, I’m not saying 55 is old, because it isn’t. However, I’m not even close to 55 yet and there is no way I’d have the energy it must have taken to do that role. Nor do I have the amazing abs that Keanu has… I’d love to know his workout routine because come on, it is bikini season after all.

I joked with my husband, as we left the theatre. I said, I bet if you took everything except the dialog out of the script, you’d be left with about 5 pages. There was virtually no dialogue in this movie. Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t bother me. You don’t really go to a Keanu Reeves movie to hear him talk… he is eye candy, plain and simple. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t dive into his characters, he does. He gave 110% to the role of John Wick and I can’t wait to see the next one. Chapter 3 left the story open for another sequel and I’m sure fans of all ages, like me, will be lining up to see it.

This movie will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time. The action starts the moment the lights go out and doesn’t stop until the credits start rolling. Seriously, the fighting is insane… Its raw, with the grit of the Jason Bourne movies and the improvisation of real life. I love how they didn’t pretend that their guns had an endless supply of bullets; numerous times throughout the movies the characters had to stop fighting to change out their magazines. No more bullets, that’s ok just throw the gun at his head. Can’t find a weapon, no problem just run to the nearest antiquities shop and start tossing around daggers and hatchets.

Probably the best action film series I’ve seen in a while. No, there isn’t much there in terms of story…

His wife dies… he gets a dog… the dog gets killed… he goes on a killing spree

Yup, that pretty much sums up all three stories.

I’m not going to tell you who gets hurt, who dies, who disappears, or who gets excommunicado, you’ll have to watch the movie to get all the gruesome details. Trust me, it is worth the watch!

Don’t wait until you can rent this one at home – See it on the big screen!

CHARACTERS

I’m not going to talk about John Wick… If you’re going to see the film you already love his character. I want to talk about two of the characters that I felt really stole the screen whenever they were on.

Lance Reddick who played Charon – the man who worked the front desk at the Continental Hotel. He was fantastic!!!

Randall Duk Kim the actor who played the doctor that helped John sew up his shoulder five minutes before his status of excommunicado was in effect. When he pulled out his gun and handed it to Wick so that he could shoot him it was powerful… emotional… and a sign of the honest friend he was. I thought his role, although small, was extremely well written. That had to be one of my favorite scenes in the whole movie.

MY FAVORITE QUOTES:

“If you want peace, prepare for war.” ~ Winston

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John Wick (Chapter 3 (2019) Official Trailer


John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) Official Trailer


John Wick (2014) Official Trailer

My 2 Cents… Room (2015)

Would you prefer to watch the video review, instead of reading it? CLICK HERE

RoomTitle: Room (2015) 
Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Writers: Emma Donoghue (novel and screenplay) 
Stars: Brie Larson (Ma), Jacob Tremblay (Jack), and Sean Bridgers (Old Nick)
Genre(s): Drama/Thriller

SHOW RATING OVERVIEW
Writing: ★★★★★
Cinematography: ★★★★★
Story: ★★★★★
Acting: ★★★★★
Overall: ★★★★★ (5)

Buy it HERE!

BLURB:
Held captive for 7 years in an enclosed space, a woman and her young son finally gain their freedom, allowing the boy to experience the outside world for the first time.

STORYLINE:
ROOM tells the extraordinary story of Jack, a spirited 5-year-old who is looked after by his loving and devoted mother. Like any good mother, Ma dedicates herself to keeping Jack happy and safe, nurturing him with warmth and love and doing typical things like playing games and telling stories. Their life, however, is anything but typical–they are trapped–confined to a 10-by-10-foot space that Ma has euphemistically named Room. Ma has created a whole universe for Jack within Room, and she will stop at nothing to ensure that, even in this treacherous environment, Jack is able to live a complete and fulfilling life. But as Jack’s curiosity about their situation grows, and Ma’s resilience reaches its breaking point, they enact a risky plan to escape, ultimately bringing them face-to-face with what may turn out to be the scariest thing yet: the real world. Written by A24 (IMBD)

MY 2 CENTS:
WOW! Back when this movie first came out, I remember seeing the previews and thinking it looked pretty good. I just never got around to actually watching it. Then, when the academy award nominations were announced and Room was up for Best Actress, Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay I was even more intrigued.

I still didn’t find time to watch it.

Now, four years after the theatre premier, I’ve finally watching it… Thank you Netflix.

Actress Brie Larson won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Room. I can tell you this… it was well deserved.

As a mother, I can’t imagine losing my child to an obduction. Nor, could I imagine being abducted and raising a baby in a confined space like the one depicted in this film. This film, pulled at my heartstrings in so many ways. I hated Old Nick, played by Sean Bridgers. That’s the sign of a great performance. You’re not supposed to like his character.

With the first half of this film taking place in a single 10’x10’ space, you wouldn’t think that the cinematography would be much to talk about. However, the way the camera makes the view feel claustrophobic and the actors (Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay) make you feel hopeful forces the viewer to really take in everything that is happening. The acting and the cinematography, together, pull the whole story together.

This movie will make you think… question reality… question the world in ways that might make you uncomfortable… and even question your own beliefs.

There’s a saying, “No matter how much you think you do, you can never really know someone.” This movie made me realize how true that is. Your next-door neighbor, the postman, the person running the cash register at your local grocery store… You can’t really know them. Isn’t there a change – no matter how small – that they could be hiding an abducted woman or child in their home? You can’t know, and that is my point.

This film brings out the paranoid in all of us. It certainly brought out the paranoid mother in me. I would do anything to protect my kids… this movie shows us that sometimes, no matter what we do, we can’t protect them from the evils of the world.

Have you seen Room? If so, what did you think. If you haven’t, what is stopping you?

MY FAVORITE QUOTES:
“There’s so much of ‘place’ in the world. There’s less time because the time has to be spread extra thin over all the places, like butter. So, all the persons say ‘Hurry up! Let’s get going! Pick up the pace! Finish up now!’.” ~ Jack

“When I was small, I only knew small things. But now I’m five, I know everything!” ~ Jack

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

You can watch the official trailer here:

Look For Her by Emily Winslow

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Look for herTITLE: Look For Her
AUTHOR: Emily Winslow

RATING OVERVIEW
Writing: ★★★★
Story: ★★★★
Characters: ★★★★
Appearance: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★★ (4)

AMAZON DESCRIPTION:
Everyone loves a beautiful missing girl…

Look For Her ratchets up the tension while also offering moments of sheer grace.”-Riley Sager, bestselling author of Final Girls

“Beautifully written with an expertly twisty, surprising story, this is a must-read!”
— Chevy Stevens, New York Times bestselling author of Never Let You Go

Lilling might seem like an idyllic English village, but it’s home to a dark history. In 1976, a teenage girl named Annalise Wood disappeared, and though her body was later discovered, the culprit was never found. Decades later, Annalise maintains a perverse kind of celebrity, and is still the focus of grief, speculation, and for one young woman, a disturbing, escalating jealousy.

When DNA linked to the Annalise murder unexpectedly surfaces, cold case detective Morris Keene and his former partner, Chloe Frohmann, hope to finally bring closure to this traumatized community. But the new evidence instead undoes the case’s only certainty: the buried body that had long ago been confidently identified as Annalise may be someone else entirely, and instead of answers, the investigators face only new puzzles.

Whose body was unearthed all those years ago, and what happened to the real Annalise? Is someone interfering with the investigation? And is there a link to a present-day drowning with eerie connections? With piercing insight and shocking twists, Emily Winslow explores the dark side of sensationalized crime in this haunting psychological thriller.

Buy the book HERE

MY 2 CENTS:
WRITING (★★★★): I’m not going to lie, when I started this book the writing style threw me off. The first chapter starts with a therapy session transcript. It’s all dialogue, but instead of reading both sides of the conversation you only read one; Annalise Williams, the patients. It makes for a very strange, jarring read. It didn’t flow.

With that said, it does grow on you.

With each chapter, you meet new characters and hear (or rather read) the story through their perspective. When all is said and done, we get to learn about what is happening through the words of four different characters; Annalise Williams, Dr. Laurie Ambrose, Morris Keene, and Chloe Frohmann.

Once I got into the flow of Winslow’s writing style, this was a fast paced, exciting read. I loved the twist at the end, no I won’t give it away, but definitely worth the read to find out.

STORY (★★★★): Look for Her is the 4th book in the Keene and Frohmann series… which would have been nice to know when I started reading it, but I had no idea and I hadn’t read any of the Keene and Frohmann series before picking up Look For Her (Solely based on the cover) and reading it.

Honestly, the story stands on its own. I’m not sure what the first three books were about, but I think this one is easily enjoyable as a stand-alone book. That doesn’t mean I don’t intend to pick up the first three books in the series, because I most certainly do. If this one was this good, why should I expect the others to be any less entertaining?

Look For Her is a murder mystery/thriller… not horror, like the cover and title might make it sound. It takes the reader on a journey to solving a cold case when new DNA evidence is discovered. I love reading stories where the criminals think they’ve gotten away with something only to find that new evidence, years later, links them to the crime… I’m not going to say that’s what happened in this novel, but the idea of a cold case being reopened is very intriguing and Winslow delivered a great story.

CHARACTERS (★★★★): This story takes the reader on twists and turns, not only in plot but also in the character development and how Winslow weaves the characters lives together in unsuspecting ways.

Although I didn’t have the benefit of reading the first 3 books in the series, I didn’t feel like I was at a disadvantage when it came to understanding the characters. Winslow does a beautiful job of feeding the reader bits of backstory throughout the book without it sounding preachy or overdone.

I’m excited that there are more books in the Keene and Frohmann series so I can get to know the characters even more.

APPEARANCE (★★★★): The cover is beautiful, simple, and draws you in with an almost mysterious nature. You can make out woods and the reflection of a lake, but not much more. It doesn’t give away anything about the story, but does make you wonder where the “HER” in the title ‘Look For Her’ may have gone or where she may be.

EmilyAUTHOR:
Emily Winslow is an American writer living in Cambridge, England. She’s the author of the novels The Whole World, The Start of Everything, and The Red House, and the memoir Jane Doe January (HarperCollins, May 2016).

FAVORITE QUOTES:
“You can’t control what other people do, Morris. You can only control whether you deserve respect, not whether he gives it to you.” Chloe Frohmann to Morris Keene.

“She only became the important ‘Annalise’ in the eyes of others, once she was gone. She became a kind of symbol, a kind of idol, to strangers, and to me, but she didn’t get to experience being that herself. I don’t think anyone ever gets to experience being that, even if they’re alive and award that it’s happening in other people’s minds. That’s something you can think about others, but you can’t ever be inside of it. When you’re inside yourself, you know better.” Anna Williams during her last therapy session.

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

Bonus Features at the end of the book:

  • About the Author
    • Meet Emily Winslow
    • Neighbours in Crime: A Conversation with Sophie Hannah
  • About the Book
    • Questions for Discussion
  • Read on…
    • Have You Read? (More from Emily Winslow)

OTHER BOOKS BY EMILY WINSLOW:

The Red HouseThe Red House: A Keene and Frohmann Mystery
Maxwell’s fiancée, Imogen, is obsessed with her idyllic childhood in Cambridge, England, which was cut short by her parents’ deaths at a young age, causing her and her siblings to be adopted by different families. With plans to move back there, the young couple travel to the city together, where Imogen’s excitement is offset by Max’s deeply unsettling déjà vu: despite having no history there, something about Cambridge is all too familiar. As the wedding planning begins and Imogen’s preoccupation with her lost younger brother intensifies, Maxwell is forced to consider that he may actually be Imogen’s missing brother. Worse, he fears that she may already know that he is, and be marrying him anyway.

Meanwhile, Detective Chief Inspector Morris Keene languishes at home, struggling with a debilitating injury and post-traumatic stress, and his former partner, Detective Inspector Chloe Frohmann, investigates a suicide case in which Morris’ daughter is suspected of having a hand. When buried skeletons are discovered next to an old barn, the suicide is linked back to Imogen’s childhood, revealing horrors of the past and triggering new dangers in the present.

The third book by talented author Emily Winslow and featuring Cambridgeshire detectives Morris Keene and Chloe Frohmann, The Red House is a suspenseful and skillfully written mystery, twisting and unraveling in deft and unusual ways as the simultaneous investigations raise the question: for how long can you call your findings pure coincidence?

The Whole WorldThe Whole World: A Keene and Frohmann Mystery
Set in the richly evoked pathways and environs of Cambridge, England, The Whole World unearths the desperate secrets kept by its many complex characters—students, professors, detectives, husbands, and mothers—that lead to deadly consequences.
Two Americans studying at Cambridge University, Polly and Liv, who are both strangers to their new home and both running away from painful memories, become quick friends. They find a common interest in Nick, a handsome, charming, seemingly guileless graduate student. For a time, the three engage in harmless flirtation, growing closer while doing research for Professor Gretchen Paul, the blind and devoted daughter of a semi-famous novelist. But a betrayal, followed by Nick’s inexplicable disappearance, brings long-buried histories to the surface.

The investigation, helmed by Detective Chief Inspector Morris Keene and his partner, Detective Sergeant Chloe Frohmann, raises countless questions—from the crime that scars Polly’s past to the searing truths concealed in family photographs which Gretchen cannot see. Soon the three young lovers will discover how little they know about one another, and how devastating the ripples of long-ago actions can be.

At once a sensual and irresistible mystery and a haunting work of penetrating insight and emotional depth, The Whole World marks the beginning of Emily Winslow’s series of psychological suspense.

The StartThe Start of Everything: A Keene and Frohmann Mystery
Outside the city of Cambridge, England, the badly decomposed body of a young woman has washed up in the flooded fens. Detective Inspector Chloe Frohmann and her partner, Detective Chief Inspector Morris Keene, must identify the victim and uncover what malice hid her there.

Across the hallowed paths and storied squares of Cambridge University, the detectives follow scant clues toward the identity of the dead girl. Eventually, their search leads them to Deeping House, an imposing country manor where, over the course of one Christmas holiday, three families, two nannies, and one young writer were snowed in together. Chloe begins to unravel a tangled web of passions and secrets, of long-buried crimes and freshly committed horrors. But in order to reveal the truth—about mysterious letters, devastating liaisons, and murder—she may have to betray her partner.

In this stunning psychological thriller, Emily Winslow has crafted a literary prism. With uncommon perceptiveness, she tells her story through the eyes of many intricately drawn characters: a troubled young woman in the University’s dead-letter office, an astronomy professor full of regret, an anxious man willing to kill to keep his past hidden. As their beautifully rendered stories coalesce, a piercing and haunting truth emerges. Masterful and memorizing, The Start of Everything will captivate to the very last page.

Jane DoeJane Doe January
On the morning of September 12, 2013, a fugitive task force arrested Arthur Fryar at his apartment in Brooklyn. His DNA, entered in the FBI’s criminal database after a drug conviction, had been matched to evidence from a rape in Pennsylvania years earlier. Over the next year, Fryar and his lawyer fought his extradition and prosecution for the rape—and another like it—which occurred in 1992. The victims—one from January of that year, the other from November—were kept anonymous in the media. This is the story of Jane Doe January.

Emily Winslow was a young drama student at Carnegie Mellon University’s elite conservatory in Pittsburgh when a man brutally attacked and raped her in January 1992. While the police’s search for her rapist proved futile, Emily reclaimed her life. Over the course of the next two decades, she fell in love, married, had two children, and began writing mystery novels set in her new hometown of Cambridge, England. Then, in fall 2013, she received shocking news—the police had found her rapist.

This is her intimate memoir—the story of a woman’s traumatic past catching up with her, in a country far from home, surrounded by people who have no idea what she’s endured. Caught between past and present, and between two very different cultures, the inquisitive and restless crime novelist searches for clarity. Beginning her own investigation, she delves into Fryar’s family and past, reconnects with the detectives of her case, and works with prosecutors in the months leading to trial.

As she recounts her long-term quest for closure, Winslow offers a heartbreakingly honest look at a vicious crime—and offers invaluable insights into the mind and heart of a victim.

Beginnings ~ a Blood Angel novel

Beginnings ~ a Blood Angel novel by Nina Soden Coming soon to e-readers everywhere!

Beginnings ~ a Blood Angel novel by Nina Soden
Coming soon to e-readers everywhere!

BEGINNINGS ~ a Blood Angel novel

by Nina Soden

 Surrounded by a new world where the horror films she grew up watching have become reality Alee finds that the most unlikely characters have become her lifeline. If she thought hunting in the wild and drinking blood was bad, what will she think when she becomes the hunted? Newly armed with the knowledge of being half witch and half vampire Alee, the only surviving Dhampir in history, is forced to learn to control a lifetime of magic and vampire powers if she wants to survive.

 Part horror thriller – part tender romance, Beginnings will leave readers wanting more!

 E-BOOK COMING SOON!

Haven't checked out the Blood Angel series on Facebook yet? Well, you should!

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