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Book Review: The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas (Blog Tour Stop)

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Welcome! I’m the final stop today on the blog tour for a new book titled The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas. A few key facts about the book before I share my review and other information about the blog tour:

Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Publication Date: February 12th 2019 by Crooked Lane Books
Genre: Science-Fiction, Mystery
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9781683319443_FC

Perfect for fans of Naomi Alderman’s The Power and Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures comes The Psychology of Time Travel, a mind-bending, time-travel debut.

In 1967, four female scientists worked together to build the world’s first time machine. But just as they are about to debut their creation, one of them suffers a breakdown, putting the whole project—and future of time travel—in jeopardy. To protect their invention, one member is exiled from the team—erasing her contributions from history.

Fifty years later, time travel is a big business. Twenty-something Ruby Rebello knows her beloved grandmother, Granny Bee, was one of the pioneers, though no one will tell her more. But when Bee receives a mysterious newspaper clipping from the future reporting the murder of an unidentified woman, Ruby becomes obsessed: could it be Bee? Who would want her dead? And most importantly of all: can her murder be stopped?

Traversing the decades and told from alternating perspectives, The Psychology of Time Travel introduces a fabulous new voice in fiction and a new must-read for fans of speculative fiction and women’s fiction alike.

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My Review

The Psychology of Time TravelThe Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas

My rating: 4.25 of 5 stars

Time travel is a complex subject. From my childhood days of reading ‘The Time Machine’ by H. G. Wells and watching the movie ‘Back to the Future’ to my adulthood escapes into devouring several new books about the topic, it’s been prevalent all my life. Often the theme focuses on ‘what would you change about the past’ and ‘what happens if you alter reality.’ While those ideas are covered in Mascarenhas’ novel, the Psychology of Time Travel also focuses on exactly what the title implies — the psychological [and physical] impacts on people who have traveled through time. It’s a fascinating topic handled quite adeptly and set against a backdrop of drama in which readers learn very early on, someone has been murdered… yet we don’t know who it is!

I’ll say from the beginning, I enjoyed this story immensely but I also recognized it’s not the kind of book where you’ll understand everything all in one read. Perhaps I’m not smart enough, but there were so many moments where I found myself trying to determine exactly what could’ve happened to lead to the woman’s death. As the layers of this onion peeled away, scenes from a seventy-year period became clues about the murder. But the part that keeps you analyzing every little aspect of the story is not only (1) who is the woman, but (2) what time period is she from! That’s what makes it such a clever and intriguing story. At several points in the book, characters meet themselves in different decades of their lives, and they also live exclusively in another decade rather than the one they should be living in. So… if you’re smart and intuitive, you’ll be totally enthralled no matter what. If you’re like me (whatever that means), forget some of those boundaries and rules… and enjoy the novel as a thoroughly wonderful mystery and a discovery of how people change throughout time.

One of the best parts of the book is the connection I felt with most of the characters. Whether it was the girl who found the body in a museum where she worked, or the determination of a scientist who had a bit of a breakdown trying to force her way back into the time travel program, Mascarenhas offers heavy emotions and painful actions to depict all the ways someone can be hurt. How can one woman be so cold to turn her back on a friend just because it might hurt the time travel program? How can another sabotage science for personal gain? Do you let someone do something you fear just because you know they’ll be hurt even if they don’t? The book tosses out more questions than answers at times, but honestly… some of those answers are probably up to interpretation by a reader and each individual personality. This is where the psychological aspects come into play. We’re all going to read this book differently because we all identify with life experiences differently.

As a mystery, it’s non-traditional. An amateur sleuth or a detective is not trying to solve the murder; this approach is not the forefront of the story. The answers unfold as we see what happens over time to several characters who ask questions in different time periods. It’s a cool concept, and it helps the author focus on many other brilliant parts of these women’s lives. For example, romance… a girl falls in love with one of these women, but they’re nearly 40 years apart in age — except when you travel to different time periods, that’s no longer true. Another example, a woman yearns to help those who are being hurt by time travel, but she doesn’t know how to fix it other than do something illegal. In time, we see how all these events are connected and encourage the dramatic standoff that leads to someone’s death.

The writing is great. The characters are all flawed but you root for them even when they do something wrong. Well… maybe not one of them who just irritated me non-stop once I learned she wasn’t as nice as she appeared to be. A villain is necessary, so it’s not anything negative about the book. It’s actually something well done by Mascarenhas because you love to hate this woman. I wanted to shake her until the truth came out. It’s fantastic when a writer can evoke such emotion from a reader. All this said, I end up giving the book 4.25 stars. So much of it was beautiful and engaging. A few parts were overly complex and left out a few things that might have made the whole story even more connected and immersive. I’d definitely read future works from the author.

View all my reviews

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About the Author

Kate Mascarenhas is a writer.

Born in 1980, she is of mixed heritage (white Irish father, brown British mother) and has family in Ireland and the Republic of Seychelles.

She studied English at Oxford and Applied Psychology at Derby. Her PhD, in literary studies and psychology, was completed at Worcester.

Since 2017 Kate has been a chartered psychologist. Previously she has been an advertising copywriter, bookbinder, and doll’s house maker. She lives in the English midlands with her partner.

Her new novel, The Psychology of Time Travel, will be published by Head of Zeus in August 2018.

Mascarenhas Author Photo Credit Matt Murtagh

What an amazing fabric!

***

Who Else is on the Blog Tour?

The tour has nine (9) stops and you can see the blog names listed below. Stop by to check out everyone’s opinions or to enter the giveaway contest and win a free copy…

PTT Blog Tour

I hope you enjoyed stopping by my blog to be part of this fun tour. Many thanks to Sarah @ Crooked Lane Books for including me in this opportunity. I’ve come to love Crooked Lane as a publisher and read many of their books. It’s been a blast… can’t wait until my next tour with them in early 2019. Tell me what you thought of the blog tour, the review, and whether you’re gonna read this book! Only time will tell, I suppose… right?

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. There are two books: Academic Curveball and Broken Heart Attack. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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Book Review: Murder at Morningside by Sandra Bretting

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Murder at Morningside (Missy DuBois Mystery #1)Murder at Morningside by Sandra Bretting

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Murder at Morningside is the debut book in the Missy DuBois Mystery series written by Sandra Bretting. Missy is a wedding hat designer in Louisiana who is in love with her best friend Ambrose, a wedding dress designer, and who has a penchant for being a little too nosy and finding dead bodies. After I won the third and fourth books in a giveaway contest last year, I read them and thought they were good. I wanted to catch up on the beginning before the fifth one is released in the future, so here we go…

In this caper, Missy and Ambrose are staying at an inn where a couple is being married. They are onsite for final wedding ensemble fittings and preparation but taking advantage of the old southern home’s beautiful buildings and grounds. After overhearing a few odd conversations, they enter a hat contest to see if it will help grow Missy’s start-up business. During the opening ceremony, Missy comforts a distraught woman who can’t find her stepdaughter. She’s later found by a maid, but the girl is dead in a bathroom stall — it’s the bride Missy and Ambrose were working for but had never met! Missy gets to know the staff, family, and friends at the estate and finds herself suspecting a few people of affairs, gaslighting, and intent to harm. But which one really did the bride in? Missy discovers the truth with the help of her high school friend who’s now a detective in the parish.

As far as mysteries, it’s good. There are red herrings, strong clues, misunderstandings, and interesting discoveries. I enjoyed learning about the history of the area during the Civil War and how different kinds of hats are created. Missy is a vivid character with all the typical amateur sleuth personality traits and portrayed as a bold southern woman (maybe a little too much exaggeration, but I’m not from the South, so I can’t be 100% certain). That said, I felt some of the writing and ways in which Missy got her information were a bit forced or stilted. I remember thinking the same thing in the other books I read. It’s not bad, just borders on awkward in certain sections. I still want to read the full series as there’s a lot of dimension and detail in the settings, relationships, and characters which draw you in easily.

Bretting is strong in describing action and culture, and she has a good grasp of when and how to throw in southern slang or common vernacular. A few times it made me cock my head a bit in curiosity, but I’ve actually heard some of these sayings so it’s more just that it’s a difference place than I’m used to. That’s what makes it fun as I feel transported somewhere else while reading her books. The cover is snappy and cute. The series has a good hook. I gotta wonder what’s ultimately gonna happen between Ambrose and Missy, as in books three and four, they seem to be dating. In book one, she’s in love with him and he’s smitten. Maybe when I read book two, I’ll figure it all out. But he’s definitely got something he’s hiding…

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: A High-End Finish by Kate Carlisle

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A High-End Finish (Fixer-Upper Mystery, #1)A High-End Finish by Kate Carlisle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Last month, I finished reading all the cozies I had on my bookshelf or Kindle. I had stopped buying them a while ago because it was getting out of control. Once I caught up, I decided I could start one new series a month… this month, it was Kate Carlisle’s Fixer-Upper Mysteries, and the first book is A High-End Finish. I’d previously heard good things about Carlisle through reviews or recommendations, and it has been a great suggestion. I enjoyed a lot about the book, saw a few things I hope settle in as the series continues, and look forward to the various plots that could come from a contractor being an amateur sleuth.

In this first book, Shannon goes on a bad date. He’s creepy, handsy, and basically crosses that border of anything considered acceptable. Luckily she gets a good kick to his shins to stop the jerk (in front of a crowd no less!), but unfortunately for her, he winds up dead a few days later. The new detective in town immediately thinks she’s guilty, but quickly decides he might’ve made a mistake. As she begins to ask questions around town, Shannon learns other women also experienced the same behavior from the awful man. Which one of them killed him? It doesn’t stop there, though, as another body turns up. And this one is a bigger connection to Shannon, someone she hated almost as much. Is there a killer trying to make her look guilty, or a Casanova from afar trying to make her happy in a psychotic sort of way? Shannon tries to stay out of the case, but she’s drawn back in each time something bad happens. In the end, she sees the killer trying to murder someone else and intervenes (what a good citizen) yet it puts her suddenly in the line of fire.

Carlisle’s writing style is great. It flows well, I like the balance of humor and seriousness, and there is witty dialog and wonderful narrative. Shannon’s relationships are developing nicely, and she has a lot of potential to be a great sleuth. I am thrilled to see a female contractor represented with both supportive and non-supportive men around her; it provides a good balance of different views. I love the decor and architecture being described, I felt like I was in southern California, San Francisco, or the 1920s seaside environments. Kudos to the author for all these wonderful things in a series I expect to love.

I was a little off-put by some of the interactions: some in a good way, some in a confused way. She has an instant connection with Mac (a famous writer), but he comes across too flirty and then too standoffish. I understand writers can be like that (no, not me!), but there wasn’t any explanation from him to her on why he acted so cold in one scene. Another instance was where the sheriff went from thinking she was awful to ‘let’s be friends’ without a smoother transition. In a single mystery with multiple characters and stages to be set, I understand this isn’t always the easiest, but I hope there’s a few less completely-180-degree turns happening. Some are fun to watch with forthcoming clarity, but it can’t become a common theme.

That said, it was minor, and I’m just being a tad picky since I’m on my 725th review at this point and now trying to share all the positives with one or two constructive ideas just in case readers want to know the potential areas of a book they might wonder about. But definitely a high recommendation read from me… I’ll be starting number two later this month.

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. There are two books: Academic Curveball and Broken Heart Attack. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: A Deadly Eclair by Daryl Wood Gerber

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A Deadly Éclair (A French Bistro Mystery, #1)A Deadly Éclair by Daryl Wood Gerber

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

A Deadly Eclair is the debut book in the ‘A French Bistro Mystery’ series written by Daryl Wood Gerber. I read the second book in this series earlier in the year after winning it in a giveaway contest. I enjoyed the characters and setting which led me to starting the series from the beginning. There’s something about the Napa Valley atmosphere full of wine, food, and culture that makes the books easy-to-read, immersive, and charming. I’ve been to many of the places being described or noted which helps ensure an even tighter connection to the story and the characters. It also helps that the books are well-written with the right balance of humor and knowledge (about wine, food, relationships, France).

Mimi’s husband died several years ago leaving her broke. After settling his debt and untying her emotional loss over all his lies, she moved back home to start anew. This book kicks off many months later once she’s decided to open a restaurant with the backing of a new partner, Bryan. He’s a pseudo-father figure for Mimi who lost her dad years ago. Bryan asks her to manager his niece’s wedding as part of her first few events. All goes smoothly until Bryan is found dead with one of Mimi’s famous desserts in his mouth… and, oh yeah, some jewels. Mimi’s surrounded by his family, his niece’s soon-to-be husband’s family, and some interesting friends. Which one of them had a past connection to Bryan that led to murder?

Throw in some wonderful side stories with how Mimi bonds with her new staff, opens her heart to going on a date for the first time, makes new friends, helps her mom overcome some new steps in her life, and tries to earn a living despite a few wondering if she killed Bryan to kick him out of her business. She’s tough, but caring. She’s a little nosy for my tastes, but it’s often typical of these types of series. Mimi has an investment in knowing who killed Bryan since it relates to her new inn, but at times, I felt like she grilled people a bit too much. Especially when they were her guests and she was trying to succeed with her new business. She’d annoy someone in one chapter, then they were friendly with her again in the next one. Maybe I just hold grudges a bit too long!

Now that I’ve devoured two, I can say I’m a series fan and look forward to the third which I assume will be published in mid-2019. I’ll be on the lookout for joining the blog tour or ARC team if possible.

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Death on Windmill Way by Carrie Doyle

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Death on Windmill Way: Volume 1 (Hamptons Murder Mysteries)Death on Windmill Way: Volume 1 by Carrie Doyle

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

There are lots of reasons why I choose a novel. For instance, I won a giveaway last year for the second book in the Hamptons Murder Mystery series written by Carrie Doyle and enjoyed reading it. Given the author doesn’t live too far from me in NYC and I’ve been to the Hamptons where the books take place, it felt like a good match… so I’m reading the series from the beginning starting with the first one, Death on Windmill Way. 4.5 stars to this wonderful gem that helped me jump out of a small reading slump last week where I tried three books and couldn’t get into any of them. This one left me excited to read again, and I’ll soon be picking up the next in series to keep moving forward.

Antonia moved to the Hamptons ~8 months earlier on a whim. She’d been in an awful relationship, lived in California, and needed a fresh start. She purchased an inn (sight unseen) based on a friend’s suggestion and immediately remodeled it. When the book kicks off, she’s just re-opened post-summer season to good reviews but is still struggling to make ends meet. Antonia slowly learns of a curse haunting past owners of the inn which steers her in the direction of researching the history she should’ve learned about before buying the place (she knows she messed up, too!). Unfortunately, she learns the curse is more than just a rumor – someone has been killing them, but why? Between former and new staff at the inn, some residents in the town, a few friends she makes, and the local reporter, Antonia uses her ingenuity to solve the case. The police aren’t even involved until a second murder takes place, but since it looks like an accident at first, they’re not inclined to do much.

My absolute favorite part of the book occurs when Antonia gathers all the suspects together at a dinner party and one by one picks them off… um, I mean… reveals their secrets or explains why they could be the killer. She leaves someone for last, and it’s a doozy! I had two possible culprits in mind, and I was right with one of them. That said, it’s not obvious, and the weaving in and out of everyone’s alibis and motives is truly a great story. Antonia is a strong lead character, very well developed, but with a few personality traits that might irk some. She’s a tad judgmental (equally against all people in an understandable way) but overly honest and dedicated. I really look forward to see how she develops over the series and getting to meet the rest of the regulars in the town.

View all my reviews
About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. There are two books: Academic Curveball and Broken Heart Attack. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Deadly Dram by Melinda Mullet

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Deadly Dram  (Whisky Business Mystery #3)Deadly Dram by Melinda Mullet

My rating: 4.25 of 5 stars

Deadly Dram is the third book in the Whisky Business cozy mystery series written by Melinda Mullet and was published in 2018. The series takes place in Scotland with a focus on Abi Logan who’s returned home from a photojournalism job to address the death of her uncle. In this third book, Abi’s been co-running the distillery and is on a business trip to attend an award ceremony that might earn her company and whisky a valued prize. Members of the judging committee are murdered one by one which leaves Abi worried for her best friend, Patrick, who’s now on the committee to make a final decision.

When I read the first book in the series, I was enamored with the culture, characters, charm, and setting of the books. I got pulled in many directions with other required reads and didn’t catch up until recently on the second and third books, but I’m glad I did. They’re just as wonderful (if not more) and really leave me thirsting for the fourth one which hopefully comes out in mid-2019. You’re immediately transported to Scotland between the language, the background, and the complexity in all the relationships. I would love to read this book while driving around a distillery one day in the future just to feel even more connected.

The mystery is very strong. There are multiple suspects with a variety of motives. Just when you start suspecting someone, they end up dead. The side stories are intricately woven into the main story and ultimately all collide together. The romance angles are downplayed in the book, but there’s a few sparks Abi shares with others. (When’s Patrick gonna get his flirt on?) Liam (the dog) has a huge role and is such a well-fleshed out character, I could feel him running around at the inn. He might have been my favorite. Kudos to Mullet for giving me a fantastic Monday afternoon read and bringing me out of a small reading slump.

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Clouded by Envy by Candace Robinson

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Clouded by EnvyClouded by Envy by Candace Robinson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In my quest to become a more well-read and genre-diverse connoisseur of great literature, I often pick up a book that I think will be one thing yet turns out to be something quite different in a wonderfully shocking and engaging way. I’ve read several novels written or co-written by Candace Robinson in the past, but when the opportunity to read her upcoming release, Clouded by Envy, arose, I had to jump on it — initially from the cover alone. What is that!?! I bet you want to know… it’s gorgeous and captivating and peculiar and oddly sensual, don’t you think? Throw in the always-intriguing concept and deadly sin of envy (I’m Roman Catholic, so my repression requires me to love it) and you’ve got all the makings of a fine book. Guess what? It totally lives up to that hype!

I’d classify it as science-fiction, fantasy, young adult, re-appropriation of a few fairy tales, and life advice. There are two worlds. There are twins who were abandoned by their parents. When they’re magically transported to a human environment, and they only look human at certain points in their lives, there’s bound to be a plethora of page-turning scenes, intense thrills, heart-stopping emotions, and a few eye squints — at least for me because I kept finding myself trying to guess how it could possibly end given the different themes encircling this complex story.

Robinson excels at capturing the young adult voice of someone yearning to escape and find whatever’s missing in their heart or mind. She draws you in based on the sadness of what’s happening to a seemingly kind and lovable character, then tosses you to the wolves with a scene so crazy or shocking, you no longer know what to believe. After being tossed around a bit, you develop your own sense of connection and wait for the next shoe to drop. In this case, the characters often forget to wear shoes, so it’s kinda fun to see how that eventually plays out (just including a little side humor so after you read the book, you’ll get what I am saying here).

If you like something different, or something you know well but that’s been turned upside and written from the perspective of a non-human creature, you’ll enjoy this novel. It’s on the shorter side in page count which makes it easy to get through in a few hours one afternoon or evening. It’s also something you can put down and pick up again without feeling lost. The story is told in alternating perspectives from the twin protagonists, but there’s a few other character POV’s sprinkled from time to time so you see what’s happening in totality. What a ride! I look forward to seeing everyone’s thoughts and reactions when it’s officially released in early 2019. I got lucky and received an ARC (thank you) which made me quite happy… this is the 4th or 5th book I’ve read by the author… always leaves me thirsting for the next one.

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. There are two books: Academic Curveball and Broken Heart Attack. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.