Book Review: The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

47590265I am shaken after this read. Wow. I feel so lucky to have received a copy of this book for an early review by St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley. Thank you! My heart is still pounding.
There’s nothing more satisfying after a good read than the chills left in the wake of a captivating story. The Night Swim is a contemporary mystery novel that follows Rachel Krall, a famous true crime podcaster known for her superlative ability to crack unsolved and unjustified crimes, where she puts the audience in the jury box. Rachel is summoned as an unbiased jury member to cover a trial in a small town called Neapolis, where a town favorite, golden boy and Olympic prospect name Scott Blair is accused of a sexual crime against a sixteen-year-old girl.
Rachel accepts and travels to Neapolis and decides to dedicate her third season of her highly praised podcast, “Guilty Or Not Guilty” to it.
Rachel encounters more adventure than anticipated upon arriving to Neapolis. Barely hours making it into town, a strange letter appears on her windshield at a truck stop. It’s from a listener named Hannah Stills, desperate for help to solve her older sister’s death from exactly twenty-five years ago to this date. Hannah believes her sister, Jenny, was murdered, but the case was blown off by police and trials, never had a chance to be investigated. Rachel doesn’t scare often, but as hard as she’s worked to maintain her anonymity and privacy, always mindful of never revealing her face or location, she’s slightly shaken by this letter. How has she been found? And to add to that, no one other than her assistant, Pete, knew Rachel would be in Neapolis.
Rachel tries to forget about this letter but Hannah is unrelenting. Rachel wakes up each day to a new letter, left feeling violated as she discovers one by her hotel room door and the likes. One day, Rachel decides to entertain one of the letters, where Hannah requests to meet up with her and talk more, but Hannah is a no-show, only leaving a letter in the meeting place before Rachel has a chance to arrive.
The Scott Blair trial begins shortly after the first couple letters, and while on jury gathering the facts, and Hannah’s further description of the mysterious death of her sister, Rachel begins to feel a little empathy and begins notice similar details in both cases and becomes heavily invested in solving what she believes to be a strong case. Rachel starts digging around town for more information on Jenny and Hannah Stills and the Blair case. And let me tell you, Rachel is relentless in her own aspect. Rachel has the patience of a saint and a steadfast will, and she won’t stop or scare at anything to get confirmation of the answers she knows to be true. She masterfully connects the dots along the way. I thought I knew who killed Jenny Stills by 60% in the book, but dang, was I wrong.
The book is mainly written in third person under Rachel’s POV, but podcast episodes have their own chapters and are written in first person wherein Rachel describes the Blair trial with information she’s allowed to speak of — which is a fun experience for the reader, allowing us the experience to tune in to the show. Then, Hannah’s letters also have their own chapters, written in Hannah’s first person POV, which feels like an interlude from the main story while still appropriately connected to it as well.
Megan Goldin is a master at writing an emotional and mysterious novel and covers a dark yet serious topic that gives you an insight to the heartbreak families are thrown into during a traumatic experience such as the one presented to us in this novel. Lives are ruined, a true tragedy that even once justified, no one can return to the life they once knew. This is a hard review to write because of the lives in our world that have been deeply affected by such a horrendous act. My words can’t give justice to expressing the empathy I feel for those affected. This was a truly gripping and emotional book. Incredibly tense and enlightening.

The Pharaoh and the Curator by Sophia Jones -Naughty Book!-

Can't get any hotter than this... WOW.

Can’t get any hotter than this… WOW.

Some of you by now know that I am completely obsessed with Ancient Egypt mythology. I was ecstatic when a copy of this story was offered to me. Of all the day dreams I’ve ever fantasized of the Ancient Egyptian times with all its art, artifacts, Gods, and architecture, I never once imagined such an exotic and risqué passion of the Gods of those times. Which made this read all the more pleasurable for me.

This is a short story set in Modern day Egypt, Michelle Beaumont works as a curator and has an undying love for Ancient Egypt, and it’s no coincidence. After a thrilling chain of events, she learns that she is not exactly who she thought to be. She is one part of a God’s soul (ka). The one and only, leopard skin bearing, Ra.
The Egyptian Son God is resurrected as Michelle and her team finishes repairs on an ancient and damaged Obelisk. Michelle feels the undeniable and magnetic pull instantly. This is the man of her dreams…literally. More importantly, Michelle learns this encounter with Ra isn’t the first time they’ve been united.

*Cue’s suspenseful music* Read to find out!
(Oh, now come on guys. You know I don’t like spoiling! And this is definitely worth every page to find out for yourself!)

But just as quick as Ra appears below the newly repaired Obelisk, danger is in their sights and to Michelle’s disbelief, the person who is destined to jeopardize Ra’s and Michelle’s relationship, was under her nose all for the last two decades. Will they ever escape the vicious cycle of their perpetual curse?

There is one naughty scene, where the awakening of Michelle’s long lost powers return to her, and man, it was sun-sizzling hot and naughty!
Sophia Jones is absolutely brilliant! The story was riveting, witty and surprisingly hilarious but most notably, a profound sentimental value of undying love. The awesome thing about this book, it has all the key elements to keep the reader on the edge of their seat; mystery, thrill, romance, comical dialogue, and exotic location! My geeky heart is a happy one today.

Get yourself a copy here!
http://www.amazon.com/The-Pharaoh-Curator-Paranormal-ebook/dp/B00CJGB0ZM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1367029283&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Pharaoh+and+the+Curator

See this post for more information on the Author
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Advanced Reading Copy reviews!

Hi there! I am still transferring all my ARC reviews to this blog from my other one, may take a while as I am super busy. But I promise, if you don’t see your book here today, it will be found here under my ARC Reviews link within this week! Thank you for the opportunity to be the first to read your books, all of you! Can’t wait to see those pretties up on the shelves of every bookstore!

Chester Blue- Suzanna Anderson

Chester Blue

Chester Blue

Well, I got this book from the author for a rating and review. The timing of it to arrive in my mailbox couldn’t have been more perfect. I received it by mail the day of my Grandmothers memorial service who passed away sometime in August. This book will always have a special place in my heart.

It’s a cute, fun, happy go lucky story about a bear, who shows up when you need him the most, with a simple reminder: God loves you.

It starts when the bear is lost by its original owner, and each person who finds him, just so happened to be having a bad day. But after seeing the message inside the suitcase it was carrying, they felt it as a sign from God. No matter how bad your day is, you are loved, and good things will come. This poor teddy bear keeps being passed around as it is lost, and torn, and repaired, it always manages to find itself in the arms of a needing person. When the bear is returned to its original owner at last, the gratefulness of giving hope when needed was overwhelming.

If I am feeling down and need a boost, I will think of this little blue bear who brought such good luck to all he met. I will recommend this to anyone I know, pass it on to my children, so they too are reminded, through all the rough times, God loves them.

So L.A. – Bridget Hoida

LOVE IT!

LOVE IT!

Check her page out here! https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Bridget-Hoida/321422317872139

I want to start off by mentioning how much I love this cover. By far, the prettiest on my shelf.It’s a racy, realistic, heart wrenching story about a girl from a quiet California town who made it big with her husband in Hollywood’s favorite bottled water industry. Though, with the loss of her brother, the five stages of mourning drives her into foolishness. She realizes she’s tried so hard to be like everyone else in L.A.-plastic and fake with no morals-  and begins to feel as if she’s undeserving of all her success and great new life. She begins to over-think things, causing her to act out in absurd ways.

This is a first point of view into a womans life who yearns to see the light of who she used to be once again, and shed the superficial-mask she’s been hiding behind for so long.

Through insanity, infidelity, and other events, Magdalena finally breaks free of the obstacles of life, getting a grip on her life and finding happiness in the small things.  The ending, ohhh the ending. I won’t dare spoil it, but she definitely reclaimed herself. A true, realistic, bitter sweet happily ever after-of it’s own magical way, that is –  If you ask me, with all the chaos that stirred in this book, the ending is how any story like this should resolve in real life.

I really enjoyed the main character, for all her flaws, for her honest opinions, for everything she wanted to be, so many layers to this character. Hoida hits  life lessons on the spot. I really did enjoy this book, the author did a fantastic job with a refreshing and creative approach of telling a story. There were times I was laughing, times I teared up, and times I really just wanted to reach through the pages and slap the main character around and yell ” DON’T! STOP! You’re so much better than that!” Hoida really held on to my attention,  got me so wrapped up that I found myself needing to re-adjust to my surroundings a few times and gather myself! I hope to see more work from this talented beauty in the near future! Thank you for such a mesmerizing story!

Prepare Book 1 – Geoffrey Germann

Geoffrey Germann's debut novel

Geoffrey Germann’s debut novel

The author offered me a copy of this book, and I am glad I had the chance to read this!

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Iron man has got new competition! Darren Kiel is an intelligent man who, with a partner, invented a suit of intricate power and protection. Darren moonlight’s a vigilante, mystery man of the shadows.
Darren’s main goal is to decrease and put a stop to gang crimes in the Orchard by interfering without violence. While wearing the suit, he plays a masked  vigilante. But, trouble begins when the corrupted cops grow tired of him interfering with their job and make them look bad, and see his doings as a crime. Darren unintentionally exposes himself when an accident occurs while walking across the street to greet his girlfriend. Traffic cameras finally catch him in the act of the supernatural-like act of saving the pedestrians and drivers. More fun and action starts when they are finally on his tail and he is on the run.
This is one of the best sci-fi novel’s I’ve read in such a long time. Gave me a thrill and rooted for him to kick some butt! I will be recommending this to all my fellow readers! Geoff is a promising author, I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

Hank Quense- Falstaff’s Big Gamble

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This was an advanced copy that the Author gave me to me in exchange for a review. Thank you, Mr.Quense =)

Take a dash of Shakespeare, pour in a teaspoon of fantasy, and add a gallon of comedy, put it on the fryer and there you have it, a sizzling and joyous novel of adventure and fantasy!
This was one of those books I couldn’t put down once I started. The characters jump right out of the page, scenes so well played out that keep the reader giggling, and facepalming. I got wrapped up in the outrageous troll scenes, twisted plots, running my imagination wild! Constant bickering between the trolls, the ludicrous battle plans, and one very confused elf, are just few of the many gems I found in this book. All your favorite Shakespeare characters are portrayed as Dwarves, Elves, Trolls, in this witty, comical, and adventurous tale of a whole other world called Gundarland. I think this could well be another great Shakespeare-tragedy spoof.
I love how the author takes famous quotes and turn them around slightly to fit the scene, for example, Hamlet and the, “To bee, or not to bee,” in regards of his beekeeping business that he is trying to pursue and establish, even though in spite of his mothers and the new king’s wishes. Hamlet is to revenge his father’s death while Othello has been set up by the grand Godmother. This is one you will have to read for yourself with no spoils!
I will most definitely be recommending this book to everyone I know, and especially the people I game with online who are very much into Lord of the Rings, Everquest 2, and World of Warcraft. Mostly because this is how I envisioned the book. It made the book an even more fun read imagining that the characters were people I have gamed with over the years who played as these certain races.

Christa Kinde- The Blue Door

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This was a well written, fantastic Biblical adventurous tale of a girl who encounters a very special situation. Unlike many paranormal books of Angels out right now, this is very unique as far as the Angels being portrayed goes. This focuses more on the actuality of God’s Heaven sent creatures who do good for the world. This was very refreshing.

This is a wonderful tale for all ages of the religious belief of God.
Prissie is a young girl in a small town brought up in a religious family. Taken aback when her innocent older crush reveals who he is, Prissie struggles to find the truth about what is really happening in this town of hers. He’ an Angel sent from Heaven.

This is about a girl discovering who she is, and learns just how much the Bible is true and affects the world, and how much goodness can be done by just believing in yourself. I recommend this to all parents who have been searching for a good read that would motivate, inspire and set a good example for their children.

Emma Donoghue- Astray

My first advanced copy to review =)

My first advanced copy to review =)

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This was one of my first Advanced pre-edited copy to review =)

The fascinating characters that roam across the pages of Emma Donoghue’s stories have all gone astray: they are emigrants, runaways, drifters, lovers old and new. They are gold miners and counterfeiters, attorneys and slaves. They cross other borders too: those of race, law, sex, and sanity. They travel for love or money, incognito or under duress.

Emma Donoghue has taken real historic stories of people on the run or departed for adventure and love, and turned them into a work of art. Her imagination takes us for a spin on the untold stories of beloved documented events of everyday real life people who left an imprint on our history, the last few centuries. She respectively tells their stories in different mannerisms all the while staying true to the era’s use of language, lifestyle, characters and places.

An example being, a documented, real story of love letters between two lovers, Emma has taken what was documented and already known about these people; where they lived, why the letters were being written, and has taken the scribed words and created a back story of how the lovers must have felt being apart for so long, how they were feeling, from their point of view, as they wrote the letter to their S/O, what was happening between each letter when they weren’t writing.
I haven’t read anything like this before, Donoghue has quite a vision and minds eye for adding a depth to layers that unfold seamlessly in each story. I found myself inspired by many of the tales, and wanting more! Definitely a 5 star for me!

Mark Mackey’s Genesis: the Elizabeth Chronicles

Mark Mackey's peice of art

Mark Mackey’s peice of art

A sweet and exciting tale of a young girl named Elizabeth from Planet Tarnex-4 who escaped an invasion to overtake her kingdom, leaving behind her sister and parents whom she believed to be captured by the invaders and killed. She landed on planet earth and was found by a family in Nevada whom decided to adopt her. Elizabeth leads a normal earth life with her new family, until trouble arises when people begin to feel uneasy, there’s something different about Elizabeth. Elizabeth grows into such a herione, would make any girl proud. There are many twists and exciting thrills to this book and I would hate to spoil anything, so I recommend this to anyone who’s very into Sci-Fi Fantasy. A wonderful thrilling book for all ages of YA and up!

There are so many characters in this book, and I love the author’s ability to flow between the different dialogues of each character, and to maintain realistic emotions of each person while staying true to their age, the children, adults and droids. Mark Mackey has a wondrous imagination, superb grammar and editing skills, truly a piece of art.

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