Christine (C.A.) Verstraete enjoys putting a bit of a “scare” in her writing. Her stories have appeared in various anthologies and publications including Mystery Weekly, Happy Homicides 3: Summertime Crime, Siren’s Call Magazine, and more.
Vanessa Gray Bartal is an avid reader who also loves to write. After a few years working as a 911 dispatcher, she quit her job and began writing full time. She has written over fifty novels. While she considers herself primarily a romance author, she also likes to dabble in other genres, including mystery and fantasy.
by Jaime Johnesee
Great opening line!!
The shifter issue is quickly dealt with by JJ who leaves no suspension there, but allows all the tension and mystery to remain in the main story. However, I found her “turning” story somewhat disjointed and would if possibly been better as a novelette on its own? That said, I enjoyed how open it all was.
This is a rewrite of an old story by JJ, the first version of which I loved and introduced me to this author, and whilst I think this is a definite upgrade she is clearly still honing her skills as I feel there is so much more and I can feel it coming in every book she writes or contributes too. This saga alone has huge potential as her character construct is well thought out.
This was such a great and unique read I loved how she introduces and includes all her other novel characters, seamlessly binding their worlds.
When you think about reading a book or story on shape shifters you usually think of werewolves or a person who can change into many different animals but JJ has a different view on this theme and makes it her own, I like her spin on things.
The main theme of any JJ story is love, overcoming adversity and intrigue. Not only do you get a great shape shifting story but within these pages you get a wonderful in depth investigation of a serial killer who needs to be captured. There are some gory moments, some amazing descriptions of yuck and an overall well thought out whodunit.
The main character, Samantha Reese, is someone I was able to relate too and I wanted her to be in MY life! I was able to feel the emotions from Sam as she fights for the “innocents” all the while feeling conflicted about wanting to find her origins and understand who she is.
I highly recommend this book to everyone who loves a great mystery with a bit of a spin and a touch of horror.
My only complaint would be that some phrases are repetitive, almost as though the reader is an idiot who must be reminded constantly, but I think that is a fault of the beta readers (hangs head in shame) for not being forceful enough in feedback. This IS a definite author to watch.
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Rose Pressey is a USA TODAY bestselling author. She enjoys writing quirky and fun novels with a paranormal twist. The paranormal has always captured her interest. The thought of finding answers to the unexplained fascinates her.
by Aaron Paul Lazar
I was concerned to find that I had picked up book 10 in the series, but this works well as a standalone novel. There is a slew of characters that are obviously well established but quick comments on their relationships soon bring a novice up to speed. Although even in the opening paragraphs I did find this a bit repetitive so imagine if you read all the series this would start to grate.
The time line seemed a bit off in the first few chapters as they were out jogging, then rescuing, driving home, eating supper then bed all within what appeared to be only an hour or so.
Between music and food making interludes this story meanders through Gus’ life, lots of family, extended family and friends. The affection and love becomes a bit overwhelming at times and whilst they have suffered loss etc I was starting to feel that their lives were a little too perfect; however, if you are invested in this series, to be on no.10 book, then I should think you feel part of the family by now.
There is a dramatic start to the book which then takes a long and windy way to get to the meat of the story and the crux of the mystery.
There is some intrigue, tension and a hint of threat, but Professor Gus is calm and comforting, so the real edge is never felt IMO. When you don’t actually fear for any of the characters’ lives it’s hard to be all that concerned. For me this is very much a lazy Sunday afternoon read.
The two main mysteries to solve are siblings Thom and Lily and the secrets they hide. Then there is the Music Man at the Nursing home, a lost man who remembers is lost love, Bella, when music is playing, with an added little twist, both are very emotive stories.
Am I intrigued enough to read from the beginning, maybe, as mysteries are not really my thing but I did enjoy the beautiful descriptions of landscape, music and food.
Just a Few more by Paul Lazar
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