Author Dawn Hosmer does an amazing job of building suspense in her thriller, "Bits & Pieces." In this first person account, the reader is submerged into the minds of both a young woman with a special gift, as well as a killer. The deaths of four female college students and a search for their killer, creates tension and mystery throughout. The story will keep you guessing until the very end, where it delivers a surprise twist.
Her main character, Tessa, has a special gift that feels more like a curse, when it drives her to the brink of insanity. A mere touch can give her "bits and pieces" from the lives of others in flashes of color. Relationships become complicated. Compelled to solve four murders, will her gift be a hindrance or an asset along the way?
Little Pretty Things is a compelling mystery with characters everyone can relate to on some level. Lori Rader-Day creatively pulls the reader into the life of Juliet, the main character, and takes them along on her personal journey as she solves a mystery in a small town. Good luck putting this one down!
** spoiler alert **
For Juliet Townsend, her years on the track team in high school were not the way she'd chosen to remember them. When her best friend and former high school track star, Madeleine, tries to reunite with her ten years later, she is forced to face the ugly reality of those years. Maddy's death sends ripples of distrust through the small town, and Juliet finds herself among the list of suspects. As the hunt for a murderer unfolds, Juliet discovers clues about herself tangled within the secrets of those high school years.
I've often been asked, as an avid reader, "Do you like books with a lot of detailed description?" A discussion usually ensues over this point, that partially includes not only the reader's preference for detail, but also the specific book in question.
For example, when a setting is so unique, as in Delia Owens' Where the Crawdads Sing, I relish the beautiful prose that paints the scenery in vivid sensory delights. In this particular novel, it is of special importance to the essence of the story. And therein lies the answer to the question, how much description is too much?
It only makes sense to delve into detail about a marsh teaming with plants and wildlife, when the main character is referred to as "The Marsh Girl." It's intrinsic to the development of Kya. However, should a writer include page after page of setting description in every novel? Probably not. So, it is up to the author to determine if such detail is deemed necessary.
Certain stories demand the author provide a detailed setting for the reader. After all, how difficult would it be to read a fantasy novel, if the other realm was not described with care? Readers crave to easily imagine a place they've never experienced before, which only comes through the author's words.
On the other hand, a novel written with the goal of evoking an emotional response, requires building upon something quite different than a detailed setting. The same would apply to a suspenseful story that builds upon action more so than setting. Not that a certain amount of description isn't necessary in these novels, but the demand for it from the reader is less.
At the risk of frustrating some, I would suggest the amount of description depends on the specific goal of the book. Let that be the general guide. The rest is still personal preference.
When murder enters a small Kansas town, there is a ripple effect that leaves everyone changed, especially the families of the victim and the suspect. Two children, Jody and Collin, from both of these families, experience sympathy and hate overnight as a result. Life somehow goes on until a prison release has town folks scrambling not only for their safety, but for unwanted truths as well.
You will not be able to put this book down, as Nancy Pickard does the artful job of painting the reader into her picture of this small town. She builds suspense like a stack of building blocks, then knocks them over to reveal a surprise twist. A highly recommended read.
If you've ever wanted to know what goes on inside a slaughterhouse, while enjoying a suspenseful novel, then this book is for you. Even though I became somewhat squeamish through details of the industry, I felt compelled to learn the hidden secrets at the Dyersville Packing Plant. Dr. Jessica Bergstrom, employed as a public health veterinarian, finds that her harassment charges against a coworker there lead her to uncover those secrets at her own peril.
Long Grows the Dark is a fantasy novel that took me to a magical place, and introduced me to a tight-knit group of characters who become entwined in a connection between two dimensions in time. Forced into a battle to preserve their land and ruler, their efforts continue to be confounded by past secrets revealed in bits of riddles. Conflicting relationships among the characters, made them feel oh-so-real, causing this reader to wince, moan, and applaud as they struggled to make tough choices. If you enjoy fantasy, adventure, romance, and a roller coaster of emotions, you will definitely enjoy Catherine Labadie's Long Grows the Dark.
A new movement among the #WritingCommunity on Twitter has propelled #IndieAuthors to a new level of acceptance. During the month of April, readers and writers alike have shown their support for indie authors with #IndieApril, posing requests for titles, links, and descriptions of self-published novels. Often selections of one to three books were made from a list of replies, but the mere fact that individuals were perusing titles to make their selections, helped build exposure for a group of writers, who often struggle with the marketing aspect of their novels.
Momentum exploded as the month progressed, and those of us who participated discovered new talented authors that might have otherwise remained unknown. I found it difficult to make a choice among the many intriguing titles and descriptions, but finally purchased several ebooks, and plan to leave reviews for each author.
Perhaps the most pleasant surprise was the level of support from readers and other authors. Suggestions were retweeted, encouraging reviews were posted, and a community of writers began to lift each other up while grappling with their own #WIP (work in progress). Seasoned authors continue to give advice to novice writers, and a shared sense of humor among all eases tensions and frustrations common to the writing process.
In a world where negativity and criticism are abundant, it was refreshing to experience this push-back of positive energy. I want to thank all of my followers @koontz1_ma who have been a part of this journey with me, and hope we can continue to support one another in the future.
What initially begins as a typical day in the life of the nearly perfect Dr. Harlan Alred, soon turns into a tangled web of murder, deceit, and greed, with Harlan stuck in the middle of it all. Frustrated, he is unsure that he will ever find a solution to his crumbling world.
A suspenseful thriller, Dying to Live kept me guessing to the very end. This novel should come with a warning: "once you start it, you won't be able to put it down."
Although this book had been out for nearly twenty years, the politics in this thriller is still current. I enjoyed this fast-paced novel featuring Mark Beamon, a suspended FBI agent, who discovers the death of a grad student is not what it appears.
I had difficulty putting this book down. Stephen L. Smith pulled me into the non-stop action, as the main character, Alex Kontos, fears for his life while constantly trying to outsmart Detroit's Bello gang. What results is a thrilling moment-by-moment game of cat and mouse with an unknown winner until the very end.
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