Jane in St. Pete (Jane in St. Pete Mystery, #1) by Cynthia Harrison #BookReview #RBRT @cynthiaharriso1

Cover: Jane in St. Pete
(Jane in St. Pete, #1)
by Cynthia Harrison

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)

Plot
(by Amazon)

Widowed art lecturer Jane Chasen is not an impulsive woman. Why, then, does the formerly methodical workaholic quit her job, sell her house, and move from Detroit to Florida? Instead of pondering her atypical behavior, she takes a closer look at a neighbor’s intriguing outdoor art installation. Days later, Detective Jesse Singer discovers the murdered artist in his studio. With Jane’s help, Singer finds the victim’s bloody shirt, inexplicably located within Jane’s gated community. Singer knows nothing about art, and as he closely questions Jane, she offers to help with the art angle of the case. Singer soon takes Jane up on her offer. Then, Jane begins to receive anonymous threats. Singer, determined to protect Jane, keeps her closer to his side than ever—she’s not complaining.

Genre(s): > Mystery Romance
> Women Sleuths (Kindle Store)
> Amateur Sleuths
Series: A Jane in St. Pete Mystery Book, #1
Length: 153 pages
Release date: 2020-11-02

Teaser


Jane didn’t press him, further. At one time in her life, she might have done so. Not now. Not here. The Florida air changed a person. It had changed Jane. There were days she didn’t recognize herself. Today was one of them.

“I thought we’d start with the house; just walk with me and see what you notice. I’ll record your observations for the record.” He handed Jane gloves and shoe covers.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Jane Chasen, art lecturer, recently widowed. Still trying to get her social footing in the Winding Bayou community, Jane and her friend Kim stop by an artist’s house; an artist who later turns up dead. Jane teams up with police detective Jesse Singer who needs her expertise.

With “Jane in St. Pete”, Cynthia Harrison has created an entertaining mystery with a hint of romance. Jane Chasen is complex; it took me a while to warm up to her as her life choices differed vastly from what I would have done. As I learned more about her, I understood and started to like her. The story comprises a variety of craftily elaborated characters with sufficient depth and interesting interactions until the last page. After warming up to Jane, I had a great time reading “Jane in St. Pete” – it is an intriguing and enjoyable read. I was soon drawn into the story, eager to solve the case. For me, it is more mystery than romance which is good for me; the romantic part enhances the story nicely, though. A story to read again.

This is for you if you like mysteries with well-elaborated twists, interesting and complex characters, a touch of romance, and if you think something like “I would not mind reading more of this”.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (three stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Fast, steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough; some mild swearwords)
Violence :mrgreen:  (a little violence)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (decent enough)

About the author

Reader, writer, and former professional book critic for RT Book Reviews and Publishers Weekly. This is why I only give 3, 4 or 5 star reviews. I do not finish reading books that fall below that level. Life is too short to read bad books!

 

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 “Jane in St. Pete”? Or – if you did not yet read “Jane in St. Pete” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


Ghost (The Justice Chronicles, #1) by Michael Jack Webb #RBRT #BookReview @mjwebbbooks

Cover: Ghost
(The Justice Chronicles, #1)
by Michael Jack Webb

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4  stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Best-selling, award-winning author and master storyteller Michael Jack Webb weaves a Supernatural Serial Killer tale like none you’ve ever read.

Enter a world where nothing is what it appears to be, and every clue leads an extraordinary young woman deep into the heart of darkness and beyond.
Kate Justice, FBI’s youngest Profiler, is assigned to find a serial killer with supernatural abilities.
The killer is elusive, cunning, and seemingly invincible.

Kate races against time to discover who or what is behind the gruesome murders and prevent another brutal killing.
She soon fears she’s in over her head as stunning revelations about her mysterious ancestry surface.
Hunter becomes the prey as the Ghost in the Darkness killer plays a vicious cat and mouse game, drawing Kate into a deadly confrontation.
Uncovering the truth will challenge her beliefs about the world around her and her understanding of what is real, what is a myth, and what is something in between.

Book 1 of The Justice Chronicles will leave you breathless, wanting more…

Genre(s): > Christian Fantasy (Kindle Store)
> Religious Biblical Fiction
> Religious Science Fiction & Fantasy (Kindle Store)
Series: The Justice Chronicles, #1
Length: 376 pages
Release date: 2020-10-22

Teaser


“Okay, so what are we looking for?”

“A potential connection between Carrington, my parent’s disappearance, the ritual murder of a young half-Navajo child, and the elusive, some might say, ethereal Ghost in the Darkness killer.” A minute later, she asked, “Can I touch today?”

“Go ahead. This is still a crime scene. Forensics spent several hours in here and in the house. They have everything they need. Just try not to disturb anything too much.”


My Opinion

The story starts in a hospital; Kate Justice wondering about the latest victim of the Ghost in the Darkness killer – a victim that looks familiar and does not fit the usual prey.

With Ghost”, Michael Jack Webb has created an expertly woven plot, an intriguing story of investigators chasing an unusual serial killer. “Ghost” comprises authentic main characters with sufficient depth – they gain complexity throughout the story. I had a great time reading – this is a very compelling read; I was drawn into the story after the first chapter, close to Kate, FBI profiler and her detective partner Chris. The plot offers food for thought, still keeps me thinking. I truly liked Kate’s thoroughness and mindfulness, the in-depth knowledge both she and Chris apply. I was surprised by the amount of biblical reference throughout this first book in a series – given the circumstances, this is pretty suitable. I consider “Ghost” a fantabulous mixture of thriller, urban fantasy, and biblical fiction. Having read the final page, I felt exhausted; exhausted because I felt close to Kate.

Reading this book made me want to watch a movie mentioned throughout the book; in addition it made me read one of my favourite classics for the umpteenth time.

I could imagine this a perfect plot for the “Fantasy Film Festivals” (they are known for unusual stories).

The cover is great – perfect for this story.

This is for you if you like thought-provoking stories and psychological as well as biblical fiction.

A remarkable story that requires reading the next in the series as well.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence 😳 – 😡  (some is not for the faint of heart)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (the focus is clearly elsewhere)

About the author

Michael Jack Webb has loved reading books ever since he can remember. Now he’s writing them. He has always been and will continue to be an eclectic reader. He enjoys reading about such diverse topics as quantum physics, forbidden history, angels and demons, palaeontology and archaeology, science fiction, and fantasy.

One of his passions is history, and he incorporates both ancient and modern history into his thrillers.

Since he was twelve and took his first solo train ride, he’s loved to travel. Many of the locations in his novels are places he’s visited personally. Some of the rest are places he’d love to see. He went to Europe with two buddies right out of high school, then went back as an exchange student in Holland a couple of years later, which fueled his desire for seeing the world. He’s climbed mountains in the Rockies and the Alps, swam in both the Dead and the Red Seas, scuba-dived in the Florida Keys and the Cayman Islands, snorkeled the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, and hiked extensively throughout the United States, Canada, and Israel.

After graduating summa cum laude with a BA in History from the University of Florida, Michael went to law school and obtained his J.D. at the same university. Then he went into the business world, where he’s been ever since.

Michael and his wife live in North Carolina with their parrot, where they are planning their next adventures.

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 Ghost”?  Or – if you did not yet read Ghost”  – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

rosies-book-review-team-1

 

The Boy on the Bridge by Effrosyni Moschoudi #BookReview @FrostieMoss

Cover: The Boy on the Bridge
by Effrosyni Moschoudi

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

A young man determined to protect his girl… A teenage boy offering prophecies… and a series of unexplained events.

Lefteris and his darling girl, Evgenia, live a quiet and happy life together in a mountain village in Zagori, Greece. One day, as Lefteris crosses an old stone bridge, he meets a teenage boy who warns him that Evgenia is in danger.

What follows is a series of astounding events as the boy’s prophecies of mortal danger continue, and Lefteris does his best to protect his girl. Now, he considers reverting to his old ways of solving all differences with his fists… Will he allow himself to resort to violence? Who is the mysterious boy on the bridge and why does he refuse to meet Evgenia?

Note: This is an extended version of the story of the same name published in “Facets of Love”. It has more scenes and a new ending!

Genre(s): > Greek & Roman Literature
> World Literature Short Stories
> Ghost Fiction
Series: n.a.
Length: 74 pages
Release date: 2020-12-14

 

Teaser


The work was tough, but I didn’t mind. I was used to heavy manual work. I was dismissed about five in the afternoon, and I took the road home, whistling a happy tune.

A special treat awaited me on the bridge – Alexandro’s wide grin. Like a permanent extension of his hand, he was holding his pipe, smoke rising from it like a tame grey snake that danced in the gentle breeze.

“Hey, Alexandros!” I said, rushing to him as I mirrored his expression.

I squeezed him by the shoulders and shook him excitedly, and he nodded knowingly, obviously guessing why I had greeted him like this.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Lefteris who meets a strange boy on a bridge.

With The Boy on the Bridge”, Effrosyni Moschoudi has created a highly enjoyable story of a man who is warm-hearted and a like-minded boy who also wants the best for Evgenia. It is a very captivating read, keeping you glued to Lefteris and Alexandros’ story. They are believable and of sufficient depth; this also applies to the other characters according to their respective roles. Effrosyni Moschoudi’s story develops at a steady pace, drawing you closer to Lefteris, Alexandros, Evgenia, and everything that happens. This heart-warming story is thought-provoking and has a great flow. I had a great time reading this memorable book, thoroughly enjoying it from beginning to end.

This is a book for you if you like excellent story-telling i.e. well-told and thoughtful stories with more than a little paranormal touch.

Highly recommended!

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Thoughtful
Pace Steady
POV First person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence :mrgreen:  (a little fighting, harmless enough)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (some kissing)

 

About the author

Effrosyni Moschoudi was born and raised in Athens, Greece. As a child, she loved to sit alone in her garden scribbling rhymes about flowers, butterflies and ants. Today, she writes stories for the romantic at heart.

Her debut novel, The Necklace of Goddess Athena, has won a silver medal in the 2017 book awards of Readers’ Favorite. Her historical romance, The Ebb, is an ABNA Q-Finalist.
Effrosyni’s novels are Amazon bestsellers, having hit #1 several times.

She lives in a quaint seaside town near Athens with her husband Andy and a ridiculous amount of books and DVDs.

Connect with the author:

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about The Boy on the Bridge”?  Or – if you did not yet read The Boy on the Bridge” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

 

 

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Hinterland by L. M. Brown #BookReview @BrownLornab

Cover: Hinterland
by L. M. Brown

 

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Nicholas Giovanni’s life revolves around his five-year old daughter Kate. When he isn’t driving his taxi, he is taking care of her and her mother Kathleen, whose last involuntary admission to hospital was before Kate was born. When his childhood best friend, Ina, returns next door, tensions rise in the house. Already unstable, Kathleen suspicions of Ina and Nicholas grow until a day of violence ensues and Kathleen disappears.

Kate’s life is shattered by her mother’s disappearance. No-one will tell her where Kathleen is. Although Ina helps to take care of Kate, Nicholas keeps her at arm’s length. He cannot bring himself to tell the truth about Kathleen’s last day, until Kate runs away, and he realizes his silence has torn everyone apart. To find Kate and to keep Ina in his life, there are truths he must face, if it’s not too late.

 

Genre(s): > Family Life Fiction
> Literary Fiction
Series: n.a.
File size: 239 pages
Release date: 2020-10-13

 

Teaser


Ina came out of the house the moment Nicholas pulled up in the morning. A drizzle fell, and silver drops caught on her hair. The car door closed behind him and she stood with her arms crossed. He saw the anger in her eyes before she said, “Kathleen better not come near me again.” Nicholas felt as if she’d hit him in the stomach.

“I don’t care what you told her, or what the fuck is going on, but the next time she comes to my house, I’ll phone the cops.”

“What happened?” he asked.

She shook her head as though she hadn’t heard him and said, “I feel so bad for Kate.”


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Nicholas Giovanni and his daughter Kate.

With “Hinterland”, L. M. Brown has created a story with incredibly authentic characters. Each chapter takes you closer to the protagonists, their agonies, and their actions. L. M. Brown presents an intense and well-elaborated story which is intriguing, occasionally disturbing, and that offers food for thought at the same time. The protagonists are believable, complex; their behaviour might not always be reasonable – yet quite understandable in their motives. There are some insights into the human behaviour that will make you wonder which different types of ‘doing the right thing’ exist. It is a pretty absorbing read with authentic characters, interesting turns, and a good flow. The ending left me wondering if there might be a continuation someday; the book lost one star from me there.

This is a book for you if you like intriguing contemporary fiction including mental illness, believable and torn characters, and food for thought.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (three stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language 😳  (some mild and medium swearwords spread throughout)
Violence :mrgreen:  (harmless enough, even with mentions)
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳  (several mentions)

 

About the author

L. M Brown grew up in Ireland but now resides in Massachusetts with her husband and three daughters. She has a master’s in Creative Writing from Emerson College and is the author of the novel Debris. Her stories have been published in over a dozen literary magazines.

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 “Hinterland”?  Or – if you did not yet read Hinterland” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

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Familiar by T. J. Blake #BookReview @tjblake93

Cover: Familiar
by T. J. Blake

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

For as long as she can remember, Arabella has communicated with those who exist only in memory.

Being the centre of attention growing up was uncomfortable, and now, as a renowned psychic medium, it is becoming more of a struggle. Arabella’s ability and reputation always made it impossible to hold onto lasting relationships, but with those who no longer walk this earth, that’s not the case.

Arabella returns to where it all began fifteen-years before – on the very same stage. After an evening reconnecting loved ones and exposing untold stories, Arabella can’t help but wonder about the one unclaimed ‘friend’, and their cryptic message.

In an unexpected turn of events, Arabella finds herself the subject of morning headlines and at the centre of Detective Barnes’ investigation.

Can Arabella use her ability to prove her innocence and uncover the truth about the past?

Genre(s): > Contemporary British & Irish Literature
> Horror Fiction Classics
> Horror Suspense
Series: n.a.
Length: 502 pages
Release date: 2020-08-17

Teaser


Arabella focused back on the laptop, ready to conduct her social media duties, replying to fans, liking posts, retweeting and posting inspirational quotes.

The friend was not satisfied. Arabella’s skin pimpled, her hair charged with static, then a tingling sensation on her lower back, as though something touched her. Arabella’s upper body straightened as a shudder ran down from the crown of her head to the backs of her legs. She guessed a fingertip had traced a chilling path down her spine.

Stay calm. This is your space, not theirs. Don’t show your emotion.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Arabella who communicates with ghosts.

With Familiar”, T. J. Blake has created a page-turner, the story of a woman who is rarely lonely – yet pretty alone. A friend‘s cryptic message triggers her curiosity and she finds herself at Detective Barnes’ centre of attention. It is a very captivating read, keeping you glued to Arabella’s story. Arabella is believable, complex, and mysterious; the other characters are of sufficient depth for their respective impact. T. J. Blake’s story develops at a steady pace – in the present and in the past, drawing you closer to Arabella, her friends, and everything that happens. This suspenseful and sometimes creepy story is thought-provoking and has a great flow. I had a great time reading this memorable book, thoroughly enjoying it from beginning to end.

This is a book for you if you like well-elaborated stories, horror suspense, supernatural stories with more than a little creepy touch, and a stubborn and highly likeable heroine.

Highly recommended!

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence 😳  (some violence)
Sexual content 😳  (some mentions)

About the author

Living in Surrey, UK, T. J. Blake by day is a Content Marketer. By night, he could be any one of his uniquely disturbing characters…

Blake is also the author of the 2016 five-star psychological thriller, ‘DECEPTION – A Love of Lies’.

Blake on his writing process – “When I go over my plot, I critique as a harsh reader. I don’t want a reader to guess what is going to happen before it happens, that just ruins the fun, right?”

Connect with the author:

Amazon:  T. J. Blake

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 Familiar”?  Or – if you did not yet read Familiar” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

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