BLOG TOUR - BOOK REVIEWS

Lies Like Wildfire by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez

Category : Fiction

Genre : YA Thriller

No. of Pages : 384 Pages

Format : E-Book

Expected Publication Date : September 07, 2021

Read Date : September 01, 2021

⭐

Rating : 4/5⭐

Recommendation : Yes

Wildfires: What do you know about them? Honestly, I didn’t know much except for the loss of flora & fauna as well as the pollution they cause. So this is the first reason to read the book.

Second of all, it’s a thriller – Wildfire mingled with a murder mystery. Now, that’s a combination that I’ve never encountered.

Hannah, Drummer, Mo, Luke & Violet decide to spend their last summer before college, together at the Gap Mountain, a small town in California. A mountain range with a lake & surrounded by woods. Everything’s going smoothly, until one of them accidentally starts a fire – a wildfire.

As the investigation into arresting the person responsible for the wildfire continues, one of the five friends is killed. The lie that began as a cover-up for the wildfire continues to inflate and spread. Was the secret that tied them all together, now the cause of the death of one of their own? Was all their lying worth it?

The part of the book that describes the wildfire, the destruction it causes and its investigation is so well researched. I found that part of the book very informative. The second part that focuses on the murder investigation was equally compelling to me.

The plot develops at a decent speed in the first half gaining momentum in the latter. The characters are perfectly suited for the young-adult genre in terms of their thought process. The language is lucid & easy to understand.

All in all, I enjoyed it!


Thank you @TheWriteReads & @penguinplatform for having me onboard for this blog tour.


About the Author

Jennifer Lynn Alvarez earned her B.A. in English Literature from the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of two middle-grade fantasy series, The Guardian Herd and Riders of the Realm, and she’s the Sonoma County Coordinator for SCBWI. Jennifer also supports public libraries by volunteering for her county’s Library Advisory Board. Lies Like Wildfire is her debut young adult novel and her first thriller. Jennifer lives on a small ranch in Northern California with her family, horses, and more than her fair share of pets.

BOOK BLITZ

Keepers Of The Gate by E. Denise Billups

Genre : Historical Fiction

BLURB

In 1779 Kanadasaga, Sullivan’s Expedition torches a Seneca village and many others, destroying the Iroquois Confederacy. Awakened from sleep, Pilan and Teka flee their blazing longhouse into the woodlands. After a soldier’s bullet thwarts their escape, Pilan vows to meet his beloved Teka again in another life.


Two hundred years later in present-day Geneva, New York, historical relics rise. Twilight Ends, a grand Victorian bed-and-breakfast run by the Newhouse family, sits on the property the Iroquois village used to thrive on.

After Twilight Ends’ long-standing matriarch Tessa Newhouse dies, her daughter and granddaughter, Skylar and Twyla, discover two artifacts under the maple tree in the backyard, and an ancient mystery as old as time begins to unravel.

But will they have the courage to follow the path their ancestors did? 

BOOK LINKS

AMAZON USA: https://amzn.to/3fqadU5

AMAZON UK: https://amzn.to/3zXjXNg

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

E. Denise Billups is an author with a rare mixture of southern and northern charm. She was born in Monroeville, Alabama, and raised in New York City, where she has worked in finance and as a freelance columnist and currently resides. A multi-genre author of fiction, she has published four novels—Keepers of the Gate: Twilight Ends (Book 1), Kalorama Road, Chasing Victoria, and By Chance. She has also written several supernatural short stories, including Off the Grid, Ravine Lereux: Unearthing A Family Curse, The Playground, and Rebound. As an avid reader of magical realism, mystery, suspense, and supernatural novels, she was greatly influenced by authors in these genres.

Currently, she is working on book two of her trilogy, Twilight Ends, a paranormal historical fiction, and book two of Simone Doucet Series to be released in 2022.

AUTHOR SOCIAL MEDIA

Website: https://edenisebillups.com/

Next Chapter Publishing: https://www.nextchapter.pub

Facebook: @E. Denise Billups

Twitter: @DeniseBillups

BLOG TOUR - BOOK REVIEWS

Wicked Little Deeds by Kat Ellis

Category : Fiction

Genre : Paranormal Thriller

No. of Pages : 400 Pages

Format : E-Book

Publication Date : August 05, 2021

Read Date : August 06, 2021

Rating : 4/5⭐

Recommendation : Yes

“I guess in any relationship, each person brings out something unique in the other. Sometimes that’s a really bad thing.”

Burden Falls, a small town with its own beliefs, one being about “Dead-Eyed Sadie” – a 100 years old ghost of a girl. There are those who claim to have seen her, but the others dismiss her as just fiction.

Ava Thorn, witnessed a terrible accident a year ago, one that turned her life upside down. While she calls the incident an accident, she is still skeptic about the legend of Sadie.She’s still recovering from that trauma, and things get worse for her when one of her classmates is found dead by her, making her a prime suspect. Her quest for answers is prompted by the discovery of another body & she’s now compelled to unearth the truth about Sadie.

Is this all the doing of Sadie – the ghost, or is it the work of a killer on loose, with a vendetta against Ava?

It took me a while to get engrossed in everything that was happening in Burden Falls, but once I was there I could not stop reading. The book has the right amount of horror and suspense to spook you, but you can’t stop reading for the need to find out the truth. If you read this book before bedtime, ensure you’ve not only shut your windows but also drawn the curtains; you wouldn’t want to get delusional, seeing similar reflections.

The characters seem all real with their flaws. Ava definitely reaches out to the reader with all her grief & struggles. And we all need a “no beating around the bush” friend like Carla. Sadie is one character whose story I was looking forward to a lot & the author did not disappoint me a tad bit. Her becoming a ghost really felt convincing, but was she really one or was she just a convincing illusion?

The suspense was pulled of really well, it took me sometime to build my theory on certain aspects, but I definitely didn’t guess it all. The entire revelation left me with a sense of “What..? Why…?”. The way the revelation was conveyed was so cinematographic that I could visualize what was happening. I thought the ending was the most engaging, since the author kept a sense of humour even in the most difficult situations, which was such an essential aspect of the characters throughout the novel.

I loved that in spite of a proper closure of the plot, the ending leaves a dangling feeling.

There was some repetition in the book, and I found the police procedural portion a bit weak. But that’s me, you may not find the former & thoroughly enjoy the latter.

This is a book you would not want to miss out on, if you love thrillers with paranormal elements.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thank you @TheWriteReads & @penguinplatform for having me onboard for this blog tour.

About the Author

Kat Ellis is a young adult author whose novels include Wicked Little Deeds/Burden Falls (August 2021), Harrow Lake (July 2020), Purge (September 2016), Breaker (May 2016), and Blackfin Sky (May 2014). She is a fan of all things horror and sci-fi, and a keen explorer of ruins, castles and cemeteries – all of which are plentiful in North Wales, where Kat lives with her husband.

You can find out more about Kat at http://www.katelliswrites.com or connect with her on social media. 

Email: katelliswrites@gmail.com

Website: katelliswrites.com

Facebook: facebook.com/katelliswrites

Instagram: @katelliswrites

Twitter: @el_kat

FICTION

China Room by Sunjeev Sahota

(Longlisted in the #2021BookerPrize)

Category : Fiction

Genre : Historical Fiction

No. of Pages : 182 Pages

Format : E-Book

Publication Date : May 06, 2021

Read Date : July 30, 2021

Rating : 4/5⭐

Recommendation : Yes

⭐

“A scandal, that was all these people wanted, some easy story that they could loop around a person’s neck, and lynch them with.”

Ever heard your grandmother or great-grandmother tell “Our wedding was fixed by our parents, we met directly at the shadi ka mandap (wedding ceremony spot) & never before that”? Now imagine not seeing the husband even then.

Punjab, India 1929 – Mehar Kaur is married & sent away to her husband’s place in her early teens. Three brothers, three wives & a mother-in-law. The wives are in oblivion about which of the three brothers is their husband. And all that’s expected of these teen girls is to spend their day doing daily chores & live in the small China Room until their husbands want to spend the night with them in a separate rare-end room in which darkness is the only permanent resident.

Mehar can’t put her heart to rest & is always observing, taking clues & making her own calculations to guess which one his her husband. And one fine day in the broad daylight her path crosses that of Suraj, who without wasting many words expresses his desire for her. Mehar gives in assuming he’s the husband.

What follows is a chain reaction, until one day when the truth is out. On the crossroads of life what direction will Mehar choose when at stake lies many lives & the honour of her family & most importantly that which her heart craves for?

Punjab India, 1999 – A young Indian lad from England who is addicted to drugs visits his uncle’s place with the hope to get clean. Circumstances lead him to stay alone at his ancestral house, where with each passing day & with the on & off company of two strangers he tries to battle his fears. The trauma of racism for being a person of colour in a foreign land, the humiliation of his parents, his father’s struggles all of which he has lived, he needs to let go. The discovery of the stories related to this home, will they help him or haunt him?

A story of suppression, inequality, power games, mind games, opportunism, love, lust & self discovery & realization. A room that confined one can liberate another for it is one’s mind that’s into confinement. Love, a feeling you can’t force anyone to have for you, you may well have the person with you with their heart belonging to someone else. And, you can love a person & not have them & still find a happy life for yourself.

I totally loved Mehar’s story it was heart breaking yet compelling & made me want to know her next move, her next fall. The state of women in that era isn’t going to leave me for sometime now.

The 1999 story kept me going on, out of my curiosity to know the connection. This part was comparatively slow paced, with things rushed towards the ending & a few things left to the readers imagination. I wanted to know more about the characters in this part.

This book is part fiction & partly inspired by the author’s family history. Keep the box of tissues handy, if you plan to read this book. It’s not a book for everyone so please check for trigger warnings before you pick it up.

FICTION

His & Hers by Alice Feeney

Category : Fiction

Genre : Psychological Thriller

No. of Pages : 304 Pages

Format : E-Book

Publication Date : July 28, 2020

Read Date : July 19, 2021

Rating : 5/5⭐

Recommendation : Yes

We are a species capable of horrific acts, and incapable of learning from the lessons our own history tries to teach us.”

A woman is murdered in the woods of Blackdown village, London. The investigation is being led by DCI Jack Harper & Anna Andrews from BBC is the 1st person to cover this news. Blackdown is a village with no murder cases. The initial murder has now become a prelude to gruesome serial killings. While Jack is busy suspecting Anna, things start falling apart for him when he becomes a suspect in his own investigation. What is it that has got a DCI & a reporter entangled in serial killings?

The narration is done in three POVs – Anna, Jack & the killer. What’s interesting is that the killer’s POV sometimes matches with that of Anna & at other times that of Jack.

One hell of a thrilling, gripping, edge-of-seat ride. From the moment the 1st murder happens, the book becomes unputdownable. I’d like to call it an intelligent weaving of the plot as it keeps the reader’s suspicions oscillating between Jack & Anna after every chapter.

The book is as dark as it can get. The readers mind is always kept occupied with the investigation & with the anticipation to get a glimpse into the past lives of our characters, which is the reason our characters are the way they are. The two timelines are kept in perfect sync. One of the characters has such so much of darkness & is so devious & guileful that the moment their behavior starts unraveling, you can’t help but despise that person. And, still it’s this very character that made me think how did the idea of creating this character occur to Feeney? Everytime you read about that person it’s going to leave your heart heavy. You will end up pondering on the fact that humans are actually capable of possessing such horrific natures.

This was my first read of Alice Feeney’s works & I absolutely loved it. It’s one of the books you can’t put down until you reach the end. If thrillers are your genre do not miss this one. It’s also the kind that will pull you out of your reading slump. Looking forward to reading her other works.

Happy Reading until next time!


Read this book as a part of buddy read & book discussion for @feelthereadbookclub ‘s #July2021 #bookclubpick. Do check out the page to know the #August2021 #BOTM.