The Bad Ones (The Bad Ones, #1) by Rachel Barker #BookReview

Cover: The Bad Ones
(The Bad Ones, #1)
by Rachel Barker

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (pdf format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐   (3 stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

When Jenna is forced to become a murderer and is sent to prison, she finds that this prison has a secret. With escape on her mind and boys after her heart, can she escape the tangle of danger she’s gotten into? Or will the supernatural world she’s intruded in kill her?

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks
> Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Crime Fiction > Murder
> Literature & Fiction > Horror > Occult
Books
> Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Horror > Occult
Series: The Bad Ones, #1
Length: 185 pages
Release date: 2017-08-13

 

Teaser


“So, this is Sanguis Prison. The bad ones come here, I guess like you. You don’t look particularly insane or like a serial killer though. Anyway, you’ll live in your room alone mostly, roommates generally aren’t safe. We want everyone alive…” There was that weird grin again. “Just do as you’re told and stay calm, and you’ll be fine.”

She opened a heavily guarded door that led into a dark, dirty hall full of barred doors. Most of the doors had people behind them, people that looked terrified as the woman and I walked in. Why terrified?


My Opinion

This book introduces you to 17-year-old Jenna Richardson, ordered to kill people in order to save her family from harm. She is caught and sent to prison.

With The Bad Ones, Rachel Barker has created the beginning of a compelling young adult story of a young woman whose life takes a surprising turn in Sanguis Prison. Strange things are happening, she wants to break out, unsure whom to trust. It is a quite compelling read with funny streaks, drawing you close to Jenna and the sometimes gory events. Rachel Barker wrote an easy-to-read and quite intriguing story; the main characters are of sufficient depth. The story comprises a hint of slapstick, has an odd touch, interesting turns, and has a good flow. It is the promising first book in a series and I am interested in reading the next book as well.

This is a book for you if you like young adult paranormal series with occult aspects, characters who might turn out every which way, and a subtle creepiness. And it is for you if you do not mind occasional gore.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (3 stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (3 stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (3 stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (3 stars)
Mood Suspenseful, dark
Pace Steady
POV First person – past tense
Language :mrgreen: – 😳  (harmless: a few mild swearwords)
Violence 😳 – 😡  (fight scenes with a little gore)
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳  (kissing, mention of activities)

 

About the author

I’m Rachel Barker, I’m a young but committed and excited writer who also loves reading of all kinds. I plan to be a writer and aerialist, and I’m starting now! I love animals, especially fluffy ones, and coffee. I also like anything creepy, and tend to make some of my writing creepy too. My favorite interests are psychology, ghosts, and writing both helpful and entertaining books. Oh, and chocolate strawberries are more important than math!

Connect with the author:

Amazon:  Rachel Barker

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about The Bad Ones?  Or – if you did not yet read The Bad Ones – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

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Seekers (Mud, Rocks, and Trees, #2) by R. A. Denny #RBRT #BookReview

Cover: Seekers
(Mud, Rocks, and Trees, #2)
by R. A. Denny

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (epub format) in exchange for an honest review (member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Bring the seals together in Tzoladia and you will learn their secrets.” An intriguing, yet simple quest. But nothing is ever that easy.

Killer monkeys lurk in the woods. Treacherous watchers skulk the underground tunnels. An evil emperor’s minions control the archipelago city.

Brina is proficient in archery. Moshoi skillfully wields the swords he crafts. Amanki has mastered sailing. But those skills aren’t enough. The three young adventurers must make choices. Choices that mean life or death. Choices with no safe answer.

The Society of the Word has given them tools: wise sayings, moral stories, mysterious prophecies. But their faith will be tested. Will the star guide them to their destiny or lead them to their doom? Who will survive?

 

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks
> Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Metaphysical & Visionary
> Teen & Young Adult > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Coming of Age
> Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Coming of Age
Series: Mud, Rock, and Trees, #2
File size: 238 pages
Release date: 2017-04-11

 

Teaser


“That is a merchant ship,” exclaimed Baskrod, “and she appears to be laden with a smorgasbord of goods. They may even be carrying some cloth from the Mesmeringa Forest from the look of some of their clothing.”

Baskrod had instructed me that when I reached Tzoladia I was to find a Glider girl named Brina who was from the Mesmeringa Forest. She would have a cylinder seal like the one that I wore. We must bring the seals together to save our people. …


My Opinion

In this second book you meet again with Baskrod, the three young people who have to fulfill the prophecy, and the cat rider. As the story continues, there is even more danger for them to face.

With Seekers, R. A. Denny has created the second book of a captivating, sometimes a little gory story with plot lines for Amanki, Moshoi, Brina, and Metlan. As the first book introduced the main characters and the circumstances pretty well, I go into the story right away, already familiar with the different characters and their plot lines. The characters are well elaborated; you can see them grow with their tasks. R. A. Denny created a quite intriguing adventure with individual plot lines which are getting closer on a steady basis. The story has a good flow that carries you through.

This is a book for you if you like young adult fantasy series, intriguing suspense, believable characters, and young heroes-to-be on a quest.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Alternating persons – past tense (first person – if chapters are on Amanki, Moshoi, or Brina, otherwise third person)
Language :mrgreen:
Violence 😳
Sexual content :mrgreen:

 

About the author

R.A. Denny is an ancient history buff with a law degree from Duke University. While working as a criminal prosecutor by day, she escaped by night to create the fantasy world of her Mud, Rocks, and Trees series.

R.A. Denny loves adventure, animals and history. She has travelled to the ancient rock city of Petra on horseback, flown through the jungles of Costa Rica on zip lines and visited the Great Pyramid on a camel. She lives in Delaware. As a child, she had two pet flying squirrels.

Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about Seekers?  Or – if you did not yet read Seekers – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

Karen_RBRT

rosies-book-review-team-1

 

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Connectedness by Sandra Danby – The Picasso Link

My second novel Connectedness tells the story of an English art student studying for a year in Spain, and how what happens to her influences the rest of her life. In truth the choice of Málaga, in southern Andalucía, was a pragmatic one. We spend part of our year in the countryside west of Málaga, which made research easy and gave me a reason for frequent visits to its museums and beaches. From there it was a short leap to making Pablo Picasso, who was born in the city, an artistic inspiration for Justine Tree.

Justine arrives in the city in 1982 during the transition from dictatorship. General Franco had died seven years earlier and democratic elections were taking place. It was a time of huge change and opportunity, but still of poverty and tradition. The city today is transformed, now an art destination with museums including the Museo Picasso, Museo Casa Natal [Picasso’s Birthplace and gallery], Centre Pompidou, CAC [Centro de Arte Contemporáneo], Museo Ruso, Museo de Málaga, Museo Carmen Thyssen, Museo Jorge Rando, Museo Revello de Toro and the Museo del Vidrio y Cristal. The city has popular walking tours visiting landmarks in Picasso’s life and historic locations such as the Alcazaba fortress and Castle of Gibralfaro. Not to be missed is the Tapas Route around the best bars.

Living an hour’s drive away from the city gave me the opportunity to visit throughout the year, gauging the climate as experienced by Justine. I walked the streets and beaches she walked, I watched the people and ate the food. She arrives in September when temperatures can reach 28°C/82°F. The coldest month is January when it can still be as warm as 17°C/63°F; very different from her childhood in Northern England when in January it is more likely to be 4°C/39°F. Throughout the novel I used my experience of living in Spain to inform Justine’s story and add realistic detail; speaking the language, exploring the food, the customs, the culture. You can read more about my life in Spain at my ‘Notes on a Spanish Valley’ blog.

 

About ‘Connectedness’

TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD, ARTIST JUSTINE TREE HAS IT ALL… BUT SHE ALWAYS HAS A SECRET THAT THREATENS TO DESTROY EVERYTHING

Justine’s art sells around the world, but does anyone truly know her? When her mother dies, she returns to her childhood home in Yorkshire where she decides to confront her past. She asks journalist Rose Haldane to find the baby she gave away when she was an art student, but only when Rose starts to ask difficult questions does Justine truly understand what she must face.

Is Justine strong enough to admit the secrets and lies of her past? To speak aloud the deeds she has hidden for 27 years, the real inspiration for her work that sells for millions of pounds. Could the truth trash her artistic reputation? Does Justine care more about her daughter, or her art? And what will she do if her daughter hates her?

This tale of art, adoption, romance and loss moves between now and the Eighties, from London’s art world to the bleak isolated cliffs of East Yorkshire and the hot orange blossom streets of Málaga, Spain.

A family mystery for fans of Maggie O’Farrell, Lucinda Riley, Tracy Rees and Rachel Hore.

 

About the ‘Identity Detective’ series

Rose Haldane reunites the people lost through adoption. The stories you don’t see on television shows. The difficult cases. The people who cannot be found, who are thought lost forever. Each book in the ‘Identity Detective’ series considers the viewpoint of one person trapped in this horrible dilemma. In the first book of the series, Ignoring Gravity, it is Rose’s experience we follow as an adult discovering she was adopted as a baby. Connectedness is the story of a birth mother and her longing to see her baby again. Sweet Joy, the third novel, will tell the story of a baby abandoned during The Blitz.

 

Author Bio

Sandra Danby is a proud Yorkshire woman, tennis nut and tea drinker. She believes a walk on the beach will cure most ills. Unlike Rose Haldane, the identity detective in her two novels, Ignoring Gravity and Connectedness, Sandra is not adopted.

 

Author Links

Connectedness’ at Amazon:  https://amzn.to/2q6qy5Z

Ignoring Gravity’ at Amazon:  http://amzn.to/1oCrxHd

Author website:  http://www.sandradanby.com/

Notes on a Spanish Valley blog:  https://notesonaspanishvalley.com

Twitter:  @SandraDanby

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/sandradanbyauthor

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6563021.Sandra_Danby

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/sandradan1/

Photos [all © Sandra Danby]:

Book cover:  Connectedness by Sandra Danby

 

Photo:  Sandra Danby, author
© Sandra Danby

 

Photo:  Málaga – Picasso’s birthplace
© Sandra Danby

 

Photo:  Málaga – Centre Pompidou
© Sandra Danby

 

Photo:  Málaga – Museo Picasso, entrance
© Sandra Danby

 

Photo:  Málaga – view from the Alcazaba
© Sandra Danby

 

My Sweet Friend by H. A. Leuschel #BookReview @HALeuschel

Cover: My Sweet Friend
by author H. A. Leuschel

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plot
(by Goodreads)

A stand-alone novella from the author of Manipulated Lives.

A perfect friend … or a perfect impostor?

Alexa is an energetic and charismatic professional and the new member of a Parisian PR company where she quickly befriends her colleagues Rosie and Jack. She brings a much-needed breath of fresh air into the office and ambitiously throws herself into her new job and friendships.

But is Alexa all she claims to be?

As her life intertwines with Rosie and Jack’s, they must all decide what separates truth from fiction. Will the stories that unfold unite or divide them? Can first impressions ever be trusted?

In this original novella, H.A. Leuschel evokes the powerful hold of appearances and what a person is prepared to do to keep up the façade. If you like thought-provoking and compelling reads with intriguing characters, My Sweet Friend is for you.

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks
> Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Suspense > Psychological
> Kindle Short Reads > Two hours + (65-100 pages) > Literature & Fiction
Books
> Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers & Suspense > Psychological Thrillers
Series: n.a.
Length: 92 pages
Release date: 2017-12-06

 

Teaser


‘Oh, don’t tell me she’s already wanting to give you a make-over.’ She eyed me suspiciously. ‘Don’t trust her,’ she said, leaning closer to my ear, so that no one else could hear. ‘There’s something about her I don’t like,’ she added, her eyes a steady, calm stare.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Alexa, new employee at a Parisian PR company.

With My Sweet Friend, H. A. Leuschel has created an intense and thought-provoking story that kept me glued to my Kindle. Helene Leuschel introduces her characters as the story proceeds; I suddenly realised that I knew them quite well. The main characters are of sufficient depth – as well as believable. The story has a good flow; it certainly will not leave you unaffected.

This is a book for you if you like compelling stories, psychology, shorter reads, and food for thought.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:
Violence :mrgreen:
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳

 

About the author

Helene grew up in Belgium where she gained a Licentiate in Journalism & Communication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh.

She now lives with her husband and two children in Portugal and recently acquired a Master of Philosophy with the OU, deepening her passion for the study of the mind. When she is not writing, Helene works as a freelance journalist and teaches Yoga.

Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about My Sweet Friend?  Or – if you did not yet read My Sweet Friend – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

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Shifting Sands – Tradecraft: Phase One (Tradecraft, #2) by Michael Shusko

Cover: Shifting Sands – Tradecraft: Phase One
(Tradecraft series, #2)
by Michael Shusko

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Iranian physicist Dr. Sara Qaderi has been leaking intelligence to the UN detailing her deadly work at a nuclear facility in Iran for months—but her time is running out. Colonel Mostafa Sabri is on the hunt for the traitors who have been compromising Iran’s national security. And he always finds his prey.

Since birth, Sara has been taught that Americans aren’t to be trusted. Now her life is in the hands of Nick Shane, an American Marine whose mission is to get her and the vital information she carries to Afghanistan before Israel drops the first bombs of the next world war. He has his own reservations about this Iranian physicist and her motives. But he also has his orders, and will carry out his mission at all costs.

Will they make it in time to save the world from erupting into a violent global conflict—or die in the unforgiving Iranian desert?

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks
> Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Suspense > Political
> Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers > Military
Books
> Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers & Suspense > Spies & Politics > Political
Series: Tradecraft, #2
Length: 354 pages
Release date: 2017-04-26

 

Teaser


Jean-Pierre stepped forward. “I am Jean-Pierre LaSatre, chief engineer and inspector with the IAEA. We are here to fulfill multiple UN mandates to search for evidence of weapons of mass destruction. We have been cleared by your government to inspect Habdan today. Here are our papers from Tehran.”

“I am aware of your clearance,” replied the colonel without looking at the papers in Jean-Pierre’s outstretched hand. He was as tall as the Frenchman but had thirty pounds on him. “I am Colonel Mostafa Sabri. I am the new director of Habdan, and I have just come from Tehran. I am sorry, Mr. LaSatre, but there will be no further inspections.”


My Opinion

This book introduces Dr. Sara Qaderi, an Iranian physisict, and to Nick Shane, an American Marine.

With Shifting Sands, Michael Shusko has created an action-packed thriller centred on Nick Shane, his brothers, and Dr. Sara Qaderi. It is a compelling read that drew me in after a few pages into the story. Michael Shusko paints a clear picture of the characters’ minds while the story evolves, making them real(istic) persons. The main characters – good guys and bad guys alike – are complex, the other characters are described as required; you learn enough about them as well. The story comprises interesting turns, and has a good flow.

This is a book for you if you like fast-paced military thrillers, chilling moments, insights in criminal minds, and if you like believable characters with a mission.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Fast
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:
Violence 😡
Sexual content :mrgreen:

 

About the author

Michael Shusko, MD, MPH, FAAFP, FACOEM, is an author, medical doctor and decorated Marine and Naval officer who has worked on intelligence and medical missions across the globe. Fluent in Arabic, he holds a bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern studies from Rutgers University. Post-undergrad, Dr. Shusko transferred from the Marines to the Navy Medical Corps and attended medical school at Wake Forest University.

Dr. Shusko’s Middle Eastern experience and language skills coupled with his background in special operations and intelligence keep him busy deploying around the world. He has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia. Dr. Shusko has been awarded the Bronze Star twice for service in Iraq and Afghanistan. He currently lives in Japan with his wife and 16-year-old triplet boys.

Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about Shifting Sands?  Or – if you did not yet read Shifting Sands – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

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