suspense

365 Challenge: Day 250 – Relentless (Author Alert: Didi Oviatt)

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Relentless: (a) ‘a force to be reckoned with’ or (b) 365 Daily Challenge word for today’s author alert — Didi Oviatt

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If you are new to the ThisIsMyTruthNow blog, the 365 Daily Challenge, or the Author Alert segment, check out the About Site section from the main menu. Below are some key things to know about this author, but at the end of this post, you’ll see the permanent page I’ve added to my blog. You can return to check out more on who she is, what she’s writing and how to buy her future work.

Today is extra special due to an offer from the author to everyone reading this post… read below to find out… and you can thank her yourself by following her!

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Hello there This Is My Truth Now readers (and hi Ryder!).  Allow me to introduce myself before I proceed to barge my way into Jay’s blog for the day. My name is Didi Oviatt, and sometimes I consider myself to be a professional make believer. I write suspense novels and short stories, but to stop myself from getting carried away by talking too much about myself, which I’m good at *wink wink* let me first dive into Jay’s 365 word of the day!!

I think I’ll follow the lead of Chauncey Rogers. In his Author Alert on Jay’s blog last week Chauncey chose the word of the day (chicken), and did all the breaking down of this word rather than letting Jay do it. Now, because this is the big Book Blog Tour banner month for James J. Cudney’s novel Watching Glass Shatter, I feel like he could use the break today. [Alert Interruption from Jay — Yes, totally. I am grateful to you!]

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I’m choosing the word Relentless! I love this word, and for so many great reasons.

The word relentless is really a force to be reckoned with. It’s an adjective and it’s very definition states: oppressively constant; incessant. Some of the official synonyms listed for the word Relentless are: Persistent, constant, unabating, and even never-ending.

See, I told you, it’s quite a powerful word, right?!

Today when I think of this word, the very first thing that comes to mind is Ryder and his relentless love of chasing birds. The second thing that comes to mind is Jay and his relentless dedication to this perfectly executed blog, along with his relentless love for writing and producing such amazing literature and blog posts. Jay, you’re a fantastic human and I couldn’t be any more grateful to be here today. [Alert Interruption from Jay — Shh, I’m just me!]

The third thing that comes to mind with this powerhouse word of the day, is the character is my new release. Her name is Autumn, and the book is called Search For Maylee. You see, Autumn’s niece Maylee vanished. The last time anyone seen her was three years ago right after Autumn dropped her off in the parking lot of her High School. The case file was eventually placed on a dusty old shelf to grow cold and forgotten, yet Autumn refuses to let it go and give up. Autumn is RELENTLESS!

Autumn fights through her fears and anxiety in order to take matters into her own hands. Upon tracking down a current address for an old lead, she sells everything she has and moves across the country to find him…. and watch. Autumn has no intention of confronting this man, but rather to stock him in hopes of finding anything that might lead her to Maylee. What Autumn finds is far beyond anything she could have imagined. And, because of her relentless dedication to finding her niece, she continues to push through no matter what heart wrenching circumstance is wedged in her way.

I’d like to invite you all to read Search For Maylee and find out for yourself just how relentless Autumn and this case truly is. In honor of Jay and his invitation in having me here, I’ve lowered the price of Search For Maylee to 99 cents TODAY ONLY (Kindle edition only) special for the readers of This Is My Truth Now!

[Alert Interruption from Jay — See, I told you she’s awesome and generous and cool! Now follow her site and blog to get more great deals and news in the future!]

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Search For Maylee PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon.com

Amazon Uk

Kobo

Nook Book

Goodreads

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Search For Maylee BLURB:

Since Maylee was abducted from her high school the very month of graduation, her Aunt Autumn has never lost hope in finding her. It’s been three years. Autumn has finally reached inside herself and found the courage to track down an old lead. She moves across the country to find him. Will Autumn be able to pry Maylee’s case back open? More importantly, what will Autumn uncover in the process of searching for Maylee?  It’s a cold dark world we live in, and she is about to find out just how cruel it can be. Strength and determination are on Autumn’s side and she will do whatever it takes to either bring Maylee home, or to deliver the justice she deserves.

Didi Oviatt’s Bio:

Didi Oviatt is an intuitive soul. She’s a wife and mother first, with one son and one daughter. Her  thirst to write was developed at an early age, and she never looked back. After digging down deep and getting in touch with her literary self, she’s writing mystery/thrillers like Search For Maylee, Aggravated Momentum, The Stix, and New Age Lamians(a trilogy to be). Along with a six- piece short story collection called the Time Wasters. She’s also collaborated with Kim Knight in an ongoing interactive short story anthology The Suspenseful Collection. When Didi doesn’t have her nose buried in a book, she can found enjoying a laid back outdoorsy life. Time spent sleeping under the stars, hiking, fishing, and ATVing the back roads of beautiful mountain trails, and sun-bathing in the desert heat plays an important part of her day to day lifestyle.

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Author/Social media Links:

https://didioviatt.wordpress.com/

amazon.com/author/didioviatt

https://www.facebook.com/didioviatt

https://twitter.com/Didi_Oviatt

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7207389.Didi_Oviatt

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DidiO

https://www.instagram.com/didioviatt/

 

[Alert Interruption from Jay — Thank to Didi for making this week’s Author Alert super easy for me. She and I met months ago but have built a great connection among authors and bloggers. You must check her out… there’s books, magazine articles and true depth and courage to build connections across the world. Congratulations to Didi!]

To see more about Didi Oviatt on ThisIsMyTruthNow, check out her dedicated author page where future content and books will added as she publishes them and I review them. You will also see my review at that link — and let me tell you, it was a GREAT Book. You won’t be disappointed and you may just find a new favorite to follow.

Thanks for stopping by this edition of the Author Alert.


 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. 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.

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365 Challenge: Day 245 – Thriller/Suspense (LIST: Fiction Genres )

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Thriller / Suspense: broad genre of literature characterized and defined by the moods they elicit, giving viewers heightened feelings of fear, excitement, surprise, anticipation and anxiety

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Sundays are LIST days and today is no different. For this group of 5 Sundays, I will pick a favorite book genre and discuss all the reasons why I love it. In our third week, it’s all about books in the suspense and thriller genre. It runs the range from psychological to horror, serial killers to a slow and steady burn that pounces in the end. Let’s chat about why I adore this genre:

  • My life is calm and easy-going; reading about something opposite is always fun
  • I have no issues with hearing about or seeing blood and gore (not sure about reality… not been there, thank you!) in books, TV or film
  • They are always highly creative and imaginative
  • I am not easily scared, so I love the fear factor
  • When it’s psychological, I can really analyze the who/what/when/where/why
  • When a novel has me gripping the pages or the device, almost yelling about what’s about to happen, it is GOOD
  • Sometimes, and this is evil to say (please don’t judge), revenge scenarios in books are pretty cool. Although I try to ignore when anyone does something to hurt/harm me, picturing the person who harmed me as the person being killed in the book helps make it a little easier. (See… I am honest on here!)
  • It’s exciting to feel tension that you know you can put down when finished rather than live in reality afterwards
  • Sometimes it has elements of paranormal, science-fiction or fantasy, which make it just a bit more scary and interesting wondering “could this really happen?”

What are my favorite reads in the last few years?

P.S. These are just a few that I have reviews for, but they are not my only or my all-time faves. I do love Dan Brown, Steig Larson, Patricia Cornwell and Stephen King.

P.P.S. I read & reviewed 3 thriller / suspense novels last month; they are worth checking out and will appear as Author Alerts:  Cleaving Souls, The Author and Search for Maylee

What’s next on my list in this genre?

These are the 3 I’ve committed to reading before 12/31/17

How about you? Any favorites or recommendations? Do you not like this genre? Time to share!

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Sunday posts, the end of each week, have become a theme on This-Is-My-Truth-Now, often organized by groups of five (5) focused on interesting things about my life. I’m continuing the trend of the seventh day, ending the week on Sunday, as a list (we know I love them) that provides more in depth knowledge about me. Past weeks included:

  • Weeks 1 – 5: Primary ethnicity groups and nationalities
  • Weeks 6 – 10: A to Z Favorites
  • Weeks 11 – 15: Colors with an important meaning
  • Weeks 16 – 20: Cities I’ve lived
  • Weeks 21 – 25: Jobs I’ve held
  • Weeks 26 – 30: Top 10 entertainment options
  • Week 31: How to follow or contact me across all social media platforms
  • Week 32: How to help an artist with promotion

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. 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.

 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

365 Challenge: Day 243 – Chicken (Author Alert: Chauncey Rogers)

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CHICKEN: (a) type of domesticated fowl (b) a coward; one lacking in courage or (c) 365 Daily Challenge word for today’s author alert — Chauncey Rogers

Author Alert Image

Logo designed by the amazing Chauncey

If you are new to the ThisIsMyTruthNow blog, the 365 Daily Challenge, or the Author Alert segment, check out the About Site section from the main menu. Below are some key things to know about this author, but at the end of this post, you’ll see the permanent page I’ve added to my blog. You can return to check out more on who he is, what he’s writing and how to buy his future work.

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Hello readers! My name is Chauncey Rogers, and Jay’s honored me with the privilege of being the second author alert. I’ve taken the liberty of writing up my own introduction. James is amazing, but I couldn’t let him do everything!

I chose the word chicken for the 365 Daily Challenge word. Hopefully, you’re wondering why, otherwise this will probably be very boring for you.

First, let’s talk about chicken as an insult. Hopefully everybody’s seen the Back to the Future trilogy. If you have, you know that nobody calls Marty McFly chicken. At least, not without Marty immediately buckling to peer pressure and kicking off some action sequence or other. Why? Because Marty really is a coward, whose great fear is to be seen as a coward by others. It reminds me of a quote from one of my favorite books, The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:

“I may have said somewhere in this chronicle that I am too imaginative to be a really courageous man, but that I have an overpowering fear of seeming afraid. This was the power which now carried me onwards.”

I suppose my point is that fear can force us to be brave, to take risks, to dare mighty things. Trepidation and the label of chicken may sometimes force us to play the part of the bold and brave, rather like Anna in The King and I, who whistles at fear until she discovers her courage. And, once forced to play the part, we may learn that it suits us just fine.

But I suppose we’re here to talk about me, not just cowardice and courage. So, how does it tie together?

I began writing professionally out of fear. When I’ve spoken with people about it, some have commended me for my bravery in going after the difficult and oft-unrewarded goal of being a novelist. Others (I assume) have known better than to compliment me on what they deem to be a fool’s mission. And I must admit, the task is daunting and often frightening. It’s scary to invest hundreds of hours and thousands of words into manuscripts, all the while wondering if maybe I really am just wasting my time. I believe anyone who writes in hopes of moving some unknown reader has felt that anxiety.

And yet, it was fear that started me on this path, and a greater fear that keeps me bravely–some would say–moving forwards each day. And that greater fear was this: That I would never try, and thus never know.

When I finished schooling, I, as everyone does, stood at the hub of many different life paths. I knew what I wanted to do–what I’d always wanted to do, since I could hold a pencil and scratch out words onto paper. I wanted to write. I wanted to create characters that readers could care for, and then bring both characters and readers through a perilous forest of danger, twists, cliff-hangers, and words, until both readers and characters arrived at an ending that we had all made together.

But I don’t think that the desire to write would have been enough in and of itself. Fear had its role to play, and it continues to play a part in my writing life, as I’m sure it does in all our lives. I was afraid of being stuck doing something I didn’t love doing. Afraid that I’d live out my life always intending to write, and that here and there I might scribble down a couple hundred words, maybe outlining and beginning stories, but never finishing any of them. Driven by that fear, and empowered by my darling wife’s courage and confidence, I’ve chosen to write full time and try to build a career as a novelist.

So why do I write? Because I’m a chicken, and I was afraid of the uncertainty, regret, and unending what-ifs that would have come with any other choice.

How long I’ll be writing may be another question entirely, and one whose answer I don’t know. Have I made a fortune? Not even close. But I have written two novels, and they’ve both been well received, if not widely received. For now, we’re living very cheaply, working hard, and holding on to the promise of the next sale, the next glowing review, the next novel finished. If our stamina runs out before we catch this dream, then we’ll at least rest easily knowing that we tried, and we’ll have to let that be enough. Until then, we’ve chosen which fears to stand up to and which fears to be pushed along by. And, in that sense, I’m okay being called a chicken.

But that wasn’t my only reason for choosing “Chicken” as today’s word. The other reason is that my debut novel, Home To Roost, is about chickens. It’s a piece of dark literature, based on the true story of a chicken my family owned some ten years ago. I blended the life story of that chicken–a bantam rooster named Brad–with a series of mysterious events that occurred that same time around our small family farm, and told the tale from the perspective of Brad the rooster. As I said, it’s dark literature. On Amazon, I classified it as “Literary Horror.” Readers have compared it to Watership Down blended with Stephen King, or Animal Farm mixed with Lord of the Flies. Both of those claims sound pretentious to make myself, but hopefully you can excuse me for reciting them back to you.

[Alert Interruption from Jay — I’m reading the book in early 2018; maybe I’ll claim it too!]

In keeping with the earlier theme of courage and cowardice, Home To Roost is a story of those same traits. Characters within it are driven by fear of death, fear of loss, and fear of change. Quite a bit of courage is summoned by some characters, but not always with the best results–especially as they permit passions to rule their decisions. But I will say no more! If you’re curious, you can pick up a copy! It’s on sale this week, and I think you’ll find it worth your while, even if it were at its full price.

  •      Do you write full time, no specific other day job?

Yes and no. I spend most days writing, but every now and again I’ll go out as a day laborer. I enjoy it quite a bit. Most of what I do is just spade work–literally digging holes and trenches for people. But it lets me meet new people and see inside their homes, which, creepy as it may be, provides wonderful inspiration and material for my writing. And I get some exercise and a paycheck, both of which make my wife happy.

  • What else makes you ‘distinct’ to mention to everyone?

I suppose I’ll mention two things. First is that I write clean books. I know that some readers really appreciate knowing that there won’t be graphic violence, sexuality, or language. Of course, elements of all three of those things might appear in my stories, but I try to keep the language and sexuality from forcing a blush, and the violence within the PG-13 boundaries.

Second, is that I believe that the reader’s imagination plays an active and important part in the storytelling. That theory allows me to focus my descriptions in a way that some other authors may not. I tend to focus my descriptions on movement and contrasts of light, and not details like character’s facial features or room decor.

I experimented with this in my second novel, Cleaving Souls, where I honestly don’t recall any physical descriptions I made for my characters. Skin, eye, and hair color are left to my reader’s imagination, as are many other aspects of the character’s physiques. Although I don’t mention those things about the characters, readers whom I’ve asked to describe the protagonists all could. They provided detailed descriptions of how the characters looked–descriptions which they’d invented on their own, yet felt certain had been included in the book. Why? Because their own creativity was actively running while reading, and created the physical look of the characters to match the personalities in the book. In that way, I feel my readers get to connect more with the story, because they are helping to create it, even if they don’t know it. (And, as a second shameless plug, Cleaving Souls is also on sale this week. Jay did a great review on it two weeks ago. And for the record, it really isn’t all that scary! Or maybe it is. I can be a poor judge of that sort of thing, I suppose.)

[Alert Interruption from Jay — It’s psychologically scary as you don’t know what might happen, which leads to over-active imaginations… maybe it’s just me. Perhaps a bunch of viewers will take our recommendation to read it, then tell you if it’s scary. Deal?]

That would be fine with me!

  • Home To Roost and Cleaving Souls are both horror novels. Is that your genre? What are you working on next?

At this point in my writing, I’m not ready to commit to a genre. I don’t think I ever will be. Home To Roost is slower and more literary, with a long burn before the ending. Cleaving Souls I crafted to be more of a thriller–shorter, with a faster moving plot. Both have a reasonably strong horror element.

My next book is more of an adventure and romance story than anything else, though. I’d love to give some specific details on it, but I’m still hammering a lot of that stuff out. But the original idea came from my daughter, who wanted me to write a Cinderella story. That’s already been done a million times, but I think I have a new enough take on it to make it worthwhile. And, with how cute my daughter is, I had to at least try.

My initial plot idea for it was that a gang of thieves and con-artists were going to pull of a royal heist–swap out the famous glass slipper for one that the protagonist–a tough, hard-hitting heroine crew member–could fit into, thus fooling the prince, gaining access to the palace, and stealing the “happily ever after” away from the original characters (if their plan worked, that is). The story has changed and evolved since then, but I suppose that gives you the rough idea.

  • What about your role as a blogger? You’ve got some posts to check out…

Yes, I do blog. I think mostly I just see what other bloggers are up to, and which books people are getting excited about. But I do post sometimes. My blog is called “The First Million Words.” The idea is that it takes a million words before a writer is any good. I’ve got a long way to go to reach a million words, and the blog is the chronicle (more or less) of my journey towards that lofty word count. I post (or intend to post) bits about my life, marketing experiments, writing thoughts, creative writing snippets, storytelling principles, and reviews.

  •      You read a lot. Do you have any favorite books, authors, or characters?

Well, our son’s middle name is Samwise, so I suppose you could call me a fan of Tolkein, The Lord of the Rings, and Samwise Gamgee. I would not deny it. We’re also big Star Wars fans (Yes, even the prequels. And, yes, the books, too). In fact, May 5th may be our daughter’s favorite holiday, owing to the fact that it’s when she gets to see the next Star Wars movie–and I don’t mean the latest movie. I mean the next one. We started her on A New Hope and are making her watch them in order, with one year waiting periods.

But I’ll just try and fire off three answers for each of those categories, since I’ve already talked enough.

Favorite Authors: Brandon Sanderson, James M. McPherson, and J.K. Rowling.

Favorite Books: Jurassic ParkA Sand County Almanac, and Lord of the Flies

Favorite Characters: Samwise Gamgee, Hannibal Lecter, and Winnie-the-Pooh

[Alert Interruption from Jay — This is why I like you so much!]

My apologies to all readers for being so long winded. I swear, my books are more streamlined than things I put up on blogs! Thank you, Jay, for giving me some digital space to talk about myself. If anyone ever wants to connect, I try to be very reachable. Drop me a message any time, or just comment on this post!

Chauncey Rogers is also on…

 

[Alert Interruption from Jay — I loved seeing this side of Chauncey, having a chance to be a viewer on my own blog as someone else–someone great–took it over for a day!]

To see more about Chauncey Rogers on ThisIsMyTruthNow, check out his dedicated author page where future content and books will added as he publishes them and I review them. Thanks for stopping by this edition of the Author Alert.


 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. 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: Search for Maylee by Didi Oviatt

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Overview

Didi Oviatt’s novel, Search For Maylee, is a must-read for suspense and thriller fans. I’d seen Didi’s name all over Goodreads and various blogs, finding myself curious to know more about this novelist. When I looked up her author profiles, I was surprised to see she had a few books already out in the market. I read the descriptions and settled on this one being my introduction to her canon; although I haven’t read the others yet (spoiler alert – I will be reading them) I’m confident this is the right one to start with. Wow, what a ride. And the best part, she’s a well-known blogger who you can follow here on WordPress:

https://didioviatt.wordpress.com/

Book Review

The premise seems basic: Autumn’s niece was kidnapped years ago and might be dead, but Autumn won’t let it rest until she knows for sure. Nothing is ever that simple, right? With only one small clue to go on, Autumn moves away from her hometown in search of the potential lead. When she arrives, nothing goes as she expected. The detective on the case follows her. She meets a group of somewhat younger guys who really challenge her to be someone different than she’s ever been before. Then she stumbles upon something far bigger and worse than just what happened to her niece. No one ever told her life would be easy, and this becomes quite clear once she throws caution to the wind and puts herself directly in the middle of a very twisty case.

The novel begins out rather slowly telling the history of Maylee and Autumn. You grow fond of the two women, saddened over the kidnapping and loss. Readers don’t know whether Maylee is still alive or not, and they won’t find out until the very end of the novel. Didi Oviatt takes on this journey inch by inch, pulling us into the story, the search for clues, and the budding romances until somewhere around 33%, you’re suddenly heaved into this huge dramatic arc. You only learn small pieces at a time, but with each layer, you become more invested and concerned over which of Autumn’s new friends might not exactly be trustworthy.

Autumn grows in the journey. I thought she was too quiet and nervous in the beginning, but that’s what happens when someone you love is stolen. By the middle of the book, she’s the kind of person you want to have as your best friend – full of sass, humor and strength. While parts of this story are your typical kidnapping suspense and thriller ride, there are several stronger layers building in the background. When you hit the climactic scenes, which last so much longer than normal (and it’s a really good thing!), you can’t help but speed read. I had to stop myself a few times because I was skipping passages — not because I didn’t want to read them — but because I had to know if Maylee was alive. Luckily, I caught myself after the third time and went back a few pages, forcing myself to read more slowly, searching for little clues in each of Didi’s passages. I felt certain she buried hints in there. Since I won’t include any spoilers here, you’ll just have to read the novel to figure it out for yourself.

When you read this book, and you should if you like suspense, thriller or mystery fiction, sit back and enjoy the words as they are written. Great care was taken and deliberate choices were made to keep the first section of this book a bit more slower paced than a normal novel of this genre; it seems concerning at first, but that build-up is what prepares you for the fantastic explosions as they happen later on.

I am already planning to read another of her books at the end of the year as I want to see the range of her style, tone and story-telling abilities. Get on this coaster and roll with it, Baby!

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I’m hoping she’ll agree to do an author alert in the coming weeks!!!

About Me 
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. 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 also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can 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. Vote in the poll and ratings. 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.

Book Review: The Author by Jordan Antonacci

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Book Review 
I stumbled on this author and his book several months ago via his blog. When I read a synopsis of the plot, it hit all the sweet spots for my love of thriller and suspense novels: serial killers, twists, writers, subtle relationships and cops. After I read the intro chapter he shared with his followers, I was quick to get a copy of The Author once it launched a few weeks ago.

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As a debut novel, it shows great potential for Jordan Antonacci’s writing career. He has built an intricate story with several red herrings and likely suspects, clearly creating several points of suspense where you change your mind on who the culprit is throughout the novel. His descriptions of crime scenes and the emotional state of the detective, who is much closer to the case than you’d expect (not a spoiler, he knows some of the victims), are bountiful and vivid. Jordan’s attention to detail and creativity will take him far as he masters his craft and delivers future novels.

As a story, this has a few twists and turns, woven with the detective’s own interest in writing a novel and meeting his favorite author. Given the title, you know there will be a lot of components and layers to the story – and there are a few which you don’t think are important at first, but slowly come to realize there’s more bubbling under the surface. I couldn’t tell who I was supposed to trust and that’s a good way to keep the tone fresh. The plot of ‘The Author’ is solid and the characters seem real through their suffering.

Some parts of the novel were a strong and a feverish read; others felt a bit slower paced which doesn’t always work to the author’s advantage. I would have liked a few more chapters teasing us about the different potential killers rather than a few of the times we were inside the detective’s head, learning more about his own issues and goals. It was interesting, but it might have popped even more with the extra suspense.

It’s always a good feeling to get in on the early stages of someone’s career. I enjoyed the novel, I like the author’s style and I will read more of his work when he releases it.

About Me 
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. 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 also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can 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. Vote in the poll and ratings. 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.

Book Review: Cleaving Souls by Chauncey Rogers

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Be prepared to shiver a little before bed at night with Cleaving Souls, a psychological suspense and thriller published in 2017 by Chauncey Rogers.

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Why This Book 
I’m a big fan of psychological mysteries and thrillers. When the opportunity popped up to read this one, I jumped on getting a copy last month. I’ve been reading a few lighthearted children’s books and cozy mysteries, which meant I needed something to scare the pants off me (doesn’t happen often)! The other reason I needed to read it – and yes, this is embarrassing but I am nothing if not honest and focused on learning – is that I wasn’t certain I knew what the word ‘cleaving’ meant. Though I’d heard it before, I wanted a clear definition, and so I started reading the book. Wouldn’t you know… the first page provides a few definitions to choose from. And when I got to the end, it was QUITE CLEAR!

Plot, Characters & Setting 
Kate’s expecting a baby with husband Alex, but she’s starting to lose her mind a little more each day. She has absolutely no idea why she’s lost and confused, but her husband tries to be supportive. As a truck driver, he’s unfortunately out of town for several days in a row. It begins to unravel Kate, who by now is hearing her name being called in weird places, sees people outside her window and thinks she’s being followed. She tells Alex, and he tries to be a good husband, but things escalate quickly. Alex takes her to a cabin for a getaway while they wait for her appointment with a psychologist, hopeful the break will calm his wife. But it doesn’t; instead, Kate meets a woman who has visions that indicate someone might bring harm to Kate and Alex. That’s when the drama truly begins and you won’t see this one coming from a mile away. I might stop talking to myself based on what happens to others once you go down that dangerous path!

Approach & Style 
I read the 225 page novel on my iPad through Kindle Readers. Chauncey’s writing is very detailed and descriptive; he goes to great efforts to fully flesh out the specific look-n-feel, setting and thoughts of his characters. While this can be a bit much for some people, it helps amp up the suspense and bring on the fear-factor in this book. The novel is told in third person, switching back and forth between focusing on Alex and Kate for most chapters. One or two chapters are told from the local police’s perspective, helping create some confusion and mystery all throughout the book; you will try to piece together the puzzle before it bursts forth on its own. Don’t try – just let it happen naturally in this book.

Key Thoughts 
If you’re a fan of horror, thriller or suspense stories, you often want it to be as innovative and mysterious as possible; you enjoy the guesswork from start to finish, but you love when the author can surprise and shock you. Chauncey’s work leans in the direction of big surprise. I didn’t care who was causing the trouble in his book, I just wanted to know how and why it was happening. I look at that as a good thing! The build-up is strong. The potential angles are wide. When it finally becomes clear what’s going on, you realize all the possibilities of what could be baked into the finish. It’s a great psychological ride.

Chauncey excels at realistic descriptions and narrative. You will know the location and setting as much as you understand every little aspect of what’s happening in the main characters’ lives. His slow build-up of driving the main character a little batty is quite strong. It was less about “Oh, I like Kate and don’t hurt her” but instead “That poor woman, what on earth is happening to her.” Through some repetition, sound effects and purposely missing moments, you really feel the swift descent of her psyche once the story gets into its climax.

Author & Other Similar Books 
Chauncey Rogers has two other books he released earlier this year, both of which sound interesting. We connected on Goodreads and he’s a genuinely good guy. I enjoy when authors interact with their readers and fans. It’s tough as time goes by and your following grows larger, but when you have the time and choose to make yourself reachable, it’s a big win in my book. Kudos to Chauncey for demonstrating that in both his own books and his interest in reviewing other books on Goodreads.

Summary 
I recommend this book. I do not recommend reading it right before bed. I am normally quite excited by thrillers and suspense, even before getting ready to sleep under most other circumstances. But when the main character in this book is that scared in her bedroom while trying to sleep and there is a noise at the window – Chauncey’s words, imagery, details and timing created quite a stir – I was in my bedroom, getting ready for bed, listening to the rain pellet the window… unable to let myself fall asleep for at least an hour because I kept seeing someone at the window. I’ll find a way to get him back for this!

About Me 
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. 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 also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can 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. Vote in the poll and ratings. 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.

Book Review: Lies She Told by Cate Holahan

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3+ out of 5 stars to Lies She Told, a thriller set to be released on September 12th by Cate Holahan. I enjoyed reading the book and look forward to sharing this review with you.

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Why This Book 
Many thanks to Crooked Lane Books, the publisher, for sending me this copy to read and review in advance as an ARC. They found me on Goodreads based on my reading tastes, reviews and ratings, suggesting this as a potential book I might find engaging. And they were right. I had it sitting on the shelf for a few weeks as I got through other books, but as all my NetGalley reads aren’t due until September, I had some time to squeeze this one in.

Plot, Characters & Setting 
Welcome to the concept of a book within a book… The primary story revolves around Liza Cole, an author living in the NYC metro area who’s had some good books and some not so good books. She’s been given a deadline to get the next one written since she won’t first draft an outline, which prompts her to dive head first into her own thrilling plot. While she’s writing the book, readers learn Liza’s trying to conceive a baby with her husband, David, but they’ve been unsuccessful due to a few issues she’s had in the past with uterine damage. David’s best friend, Nick, is presumed missing, which is setting off a few alarm bells. David starts worrying when they can’t find Nick and he’s being suspected of causing the disappearance. Eventually, his body is found in the East River, dying in a very similar way to the character in Liza’s book. Liza’s supported by her mother, agent Trevor and best friend, Chris.

In Liza’s story, her primary character, Beth, is a new stay-at-home mom who suspects her husband, Jake, is cheating on her. When she secretly monitors his behavior, Beth learns he has been spending a lot of time with a cop named Colleen. When she accuses her husband, he forces her to go to therapy, where Beth meets Tyler, a therapist who attempts to get her to realize she needs to end the marriage. Unfortunately, Beth isn’t ready and soon finds herself stalking Colleen. Next thing she knows, she’s killing Colleen and dumping her body in the East River, then sleeping with Tyler.

As the two stories begin weaving in and out, readers learn there are common things occurring in both, leaving us to question which one is real and which one is a story. Or perhaps… it’s all the same story happening from different perspectives. You don’t really know until the last few chapters when the random clues begin fitting together, revealing what has actually been happening along the path.

Approach & Style 
I read the paperback version sent to me by the publisher. It’s just under 300 pages, broken into three sections and alternating back and forth between the two story lines. There are 19 chapters, each dividing into two sub-chapters: (1) Liza and (2) Beth. As a result, chapters are relatively short, usually under 8 pages each. Both stories are told with first-person narration from the main female character’s point of view, and both are told in the present tense. I read the book over 3 days, about 100 pages each day.

Strengths 
The concept of the book is great. I love trying to solve not only the mystery within the novel, but also determining how the two stories would eventually link together and which was fake. I enjoy seeing parallels between the two lead characters and their families. The emotional aspects of the characters are strong and offer readers an easy connection. You can understand the pain and feel the impact of the actions happening around them. It’s full of suspense, some very descriptive scenes and lots of potential suspects and angles.

Concerns 
It was a hard read, and I’m normally good at keeping story lines separated. A few things that could have worked differently, which would have helped readers retain which characters belong in which section, as well as distinct from one another. Character names were too similar: Beth and Liza. I know this is supposed to help with the parallels, but it left you a tad confused at times. Jake and David. Sound a bit similar. Go with two very different options to help us keep it straighter. Something long, something short. I had to stop and start a lot. I don’t like to re-read the same thing over and over again. But I was OK here as it was a complex story, plotted out in a good way.

The ending came a bit from out of left field. You can guess the connection between reality and the made-up story, but why it happened was very unexpected. There were a few clues, but we needed more to not be fully surprised. I would have liked to be reading it and go “oh, now I understand how it ties all together.” Instead I went “Hmm… there were no clues of this before…” It wasn’t too much of a distraction, but it was enough to make me think the book needed another round of editing before its release. Add in a few more connected pieces of history. Make me impressed with the things I missed along the way.

Author & Other Similar Books 
The author has two other books prior to this one. I might give them a chance, depending on the plot and setting. I’ve read another book in the last few years like this one, but I can’t recall the title. It’s not a common story where there is 1 real story and 1 fake story an author is writing, which makes it a different type of read. You’re sure to be excited and thrilled at parts, but you will also be confused at some parts.

Questions & Final Thoughts 
The author can certainly write. She has a good eye for characters, setting and details. I’m glad the publisher sent this one to me, as I definitely found myself wanting to read it each night. But it was also one where I stopped a lot to check if the story had an error or if it was being written in a vague way on purpose. Overall, good book… lots of complexity in the details… good supporting characters and a treasure of relationship drama that you find quite engaging. Put it through another round of beta readers or editing and it would have been an easy 4 from me.

About Me 
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write 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 also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can 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. Vote in the poll and ratings. 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.