#BookReview: The Good Neighbors by Kiersten Modglin

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: June 23, 2019

Summary:

Good neighbors invite you over for dinner, bring you baked goods to welcome you to the neighborhood, and wave hello at the mailbox.

Good neighbors do not destroy your life.

When Bryant and Harper Page move to Lancaster Mills, their first encounter with their new neighbors—Jason and Tori Fuller: beautiful, strange, and terrifying—is anything but a warm welcome. Despite their hesitations, the Pages are intrigued by the people they now share a street with. As their curiosity gets the best of them, they discover that there’s much more to the Fullers than meets the eye. Their new neighbors have secrets, that much is obvious, but just how dangerous could they be?

With two haunting shadows lingering over their house and lives, the Pages’ relationship is tested in every way. What exactly makes a good neighbor? And what makes a good neighbor bad?

Review:

Kiersten Modglin definitely nails down the unexpected!

“The Good Neighbors” was a shocking, impassioned, nail-biting story told about neighbors that will totally make you question yours for a hot second!!

I was never sure who to trust! It was crazy!

Page Flipping! Second Guessing! Mind boggling….Kiersten Modglining!! 😉

4 Stars.

#BookReview: Behind Every Lie by Christina McDonald

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: February 4, 2020

Summary:

If you can’t remember it, how do you prove you didn’t do it?

Eva Hansen wakes in the hospital after being struck by lightning and discovers her mother, Kat, has been murdered. Eva was found unconscious down the street. She can’t remember what happened but the police are highly suspicious of her.

Determined to clear her name, Eva heads from Seattle to London—Kat’s former home—for answers. But as she unravels her mother’s carefully held secrets, Eva soon realizes that someone doesn’t want her to know the truth. And with violent memories beginning to emerge, Eva doesn’t know who to trust. Least of all herself.

Told in alternating perspectives from Eva’s search for answers and Kat’s mysterious past, Christina McDonald has crafted another “complex, emotionally intense” (Publishers Weekly) domestic thriller. Behind Every Lie explores the complicated nature of mother-daughter relationships, family trauma, and the danger behind long-held secrets.

Review:

Christina McDonald tests the levels of trauma someone can handle in one lifetime without splitting at their very core in her novel “Behind Every Lie”.

A magnificently complex, gripping and unexpected family story that left me breathless.

Stunning at every turn because of the thrill ride I was on!

With such flawless storytelling!

….waiting patiently for Christina McDonald’s next book announcing proudly I’m an über fan!!

5 Stars. (wishing I could give more)

#BookReview: Every Thing You Are by Kerry Anne King

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: October 1, 2019

Summary:

From the bestselling author of Whisper Me This comes a haunting and lyrical novel about the promises we make and the forgiveness we need when we break them.

One tragic twist of fate destroyed Braden Healey’s hands, his musical career, and his family. Now, unable to play, adrift in an alcoholic daze, and with only fragmented memories of his past, Braden wants desperately to escape the darkness of the last eleven years.

When his ex-wife and son are killed in a car accident, Braden returns home, hoping to forge a relationship with his troubled seventeen-year-old daughter, Allie. But how can he hope to rescue her from the curse that seems to shadow his family?

Ophelia “Phee” MacPhee, granddaughter of the eccentric old man who sold Braden his cello, believes the curse is real. She swore an oath to her dying grandfather that she would ensure Braden plays the cello as long as he lives. But he can’t play, and as the shadows deepen and Phee finds herself falling for Braden, she’ll do anything to save him. It will take a miracle of forgiveness and love to bring all three of them back to the healing power of music.

Review:

Kerry Anne King wrote a haunting story with a fable feel to it. The magical essence was so delightful and engaging, it kept me turning the pages. Full of colorful characters, including a cello that felt alive, “Everything You Are” is touched with whimsical charm and an enticing mystery.

I was absolutely in love with Kerry Anne King’s story-telling! She had me enraptured with her lyrical nature! Mesmerizing!

Read this book and enjoy all it’s brilliance!

5 Stars.

 

#BookReview: Happy To Meet Me: 201+ Self-discovery secrets to power up your self-esteem and recognize your self-worth. A guided journal for Women & Men by Calista J. McBride

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: January 16, 2020

Summary:

If you truly want to LOVE yourself, then keep reading…

 

What if you could find the key to living your life joyfully and free of self-doubt?

How different your life would be? Happy relationships? Abundance? Inner Peace? Joy and love?

Happy to meet Me is a writing prompts Journal for self-discovery created to explore all areas of your life.

It’s simply designed to fire up your creativity and challenge your thinking with a variety of unique writing prompts, self-discovery questions and uplifting quotes.

Each prompts support each other to create a progressive experience.

 

In this journal, you’ll discover:

Unique and engaging self-discovery writing prompts
Irresistible questions that will make you stop and think… deeply
Daily inspiration to challenge your imagination
Rare uplifting quotes

More than that, these are the Ultimate Benefits you will get from this Journal:

You’ll discover how to better accept and love your true self.
You’ll feel clear-minded, decisive, and confident.
You’ll feel naturally happier throughout your day.
You’ll gradually become more optimistic and experience positive momentum
You’ll naturally find yourself back on track with your writing habit even after a
journaling rut
You’ll feel self-empowered and find yourself free to explore life like you’ve never dared before

And much, much more!

Review:

I have been using Calista McBride’s “Happy to Meet Me” Journal every morning or evening for about 30 days now and I have to say I am completely sure it is a wonderful asset to my day. I see the changes already within myself.
I find myself looking forward to the next quote and question Calista has lined up. The thoughts flow throughout the day, too. I feel my self-awareness becoming so much more clear. My self-esteem is absolutely going to benefit from the practices in the book!
I am beyond excited to have found this journal.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

#AuthorInterview, #Excerpt, #BookReview – Julie Strier

Julie StrieInterview with author Julie Strier and Review of her novelette, “The Woman in the Woods”.

“The Woman in the Woods” is offered FREE when you sign up for Julie Strier’s Newsletter at http://www.JulieStrier.com

Reviewer: Serena Soape

Summary:

The Woman in the Woods is a short novelette about a long-distance hiker who takes an immobilizing fall and has to rely on the kindness of a begrudging old woman living deep within the woods. She seems harmless enough, but he quickly learns that looks can be deceiving. Be careful who you trust.

julie Strier1Review:

Julie Strier has written a page turning novelette with “The Woman in the Woods”.

It was thrilling and haunting yet mysterious.

I was curious to learn more about this woman in the woods as she had a creepy sense right from the beginning.

This is exclusive to her newsletter subscribers so be sure to sign up so that you can read it.

I received a copy of this story from the author in exchange for fair and honest review.

4 Stars.

The Woman in the Woods Excerpt

I turned and placed my hand on the knob, but before I opened it, I knew what was behind the door. I could smell it – that savory aroma of sweet peppery spiced I had never smelled before today. Without hesitation, I threw the door open. Before me stood a mountain of dried meats, the shelves full of jerky. Jerky stood upright in open mason jars, some large jagged chunks, others think little sticks, organized by thickness and size. The shelves filled half the closet. The other half was a drying rack. Rib meat hung from a rod, seasoned and drying until it was ready to be processed. Whatever animal she caught wasn’t too big, the rib cage was about the size of my own. A small deer, maybe? Or a young bear?
While my brain rattled off the possibilities, my hand shot forward and grabbed a stick of jerky and before I knew it, that sweet, savory flavor filled my mouth again. My stomach rumbled, and I moaned, the taste unlike anything I had eaten before. When Connie found me, I was still too out of it to appreciate the complexities of the meat. I gobbled down half a stick of jerky, my hand reaching for another piece when I heard a loud thump behind me. I jumped, spilling a container of jerky onto the shelf, and turned to find the source of the noise. Connie stood at the threshold of the kitchen, her fist upon the counter. She lifted her hand up and slammed her fist back down, rattling the cabinets above. The bowl I had been using for peels jumped off the counter and fell to the floor with a clang, peels spilling everywhere.
“I told you not to touch anything. I turn my back for one minute and I find you stealing food. After all, I’ve done for you.” Her face fell.
“It’s not what it looks like.” The jerky bobbed in my mouth.
Her mouth twisted into a scowl and she glared at me.
“I was looking for the trash,” I continued, feeling like I owed her an explanation, “the bowl was full, and I was looking for the trash so I could empty it and keep working.”
“Which is how you ended up in the meat pantry eating my jerky?” A strange, faint tap accompanied her words. I looked down to find an ax hanging from her hand, the flat part of the blade thumping softly against her work boots. “That’s my food, my supplies to get me through the winter. You hikers are all the same, taking things that aren’t yours. I told you not to touch anything. I told you not to make a mess.”

Julie Strier Interview

Q: What first sparked your interest in writing your first book?

A: I’ve always been interested in writing books. I’m one of those writers who grew up always wanting to be a writer. But then, life, and work, and being an adult got in the way. Eventually, despite wanting desperately to be a writer, I was doing everything but writing. On the rare occasion I did write, I couldn’t finish anything. Every project I tried, I abandoned.

Then, in my late 30’s, my daughter came along. I adored everything about being pregnant, morning sickness aside, but with the highs come the lows. After my daughter was born I left with some pretty heavy postpartum depression. On the outside I may have looked okay, but inside I was falling apart. I felt like I was losing my identity. I didn’t know who I was anymore.

Then a curious thing started happening. My sleep schedule was torn apart, held hostage by the demands of a newborn and soon, I found myself awake morning after morning at 5 am, when the rest of the house slept. For two glorious hours, sometimes longer, it was just me and a delicious cup of hot coffee.

At first, I used that time to knit and watch youtube videos. That quickly got old and after a week I decided to try to use the time to write. I had always wanted to write, and there I was with a little spare time, so why not?

Initially, I didn’t know what to write. I just played with voices in my head, or explored thoughts that sounded interesting. Then I found an old slush folder on my hard drive, full of pieces and starts and stops.

I came across a few hundred words, a rough sketch of an idea I had picked up from a writing podcast. In one episode, they mentioned a writing website called WriteOrDie.com. It’s basically one big textbox that you type into, except if you stop typing for long enough, it erases your work. It’s supposed to help motivate writers to write.

But my writer brain wondered what if it were real — what if there were a website where you could contract to do something, like write a story or finish some big project, and if you didn’t do it in a certain amount of time, a hitman would come and kill you.

Something about that old piece spoke to me, and I decided to pick it up again. So, in those quiet early morning hours, I went to work on that idea, fleshing it out. The premise changed quite a bit, but somewhere along the way the piece grew legs and I started wondering if I could turn it into a book. (And I did! This later went on to become Dangerous Contracts 1.)

Every morning I got up early and wrote. I just put one word in front of the other until it was done. Once it was finished, I realized that writing a novel didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it would – it only took a few months to write the first draft (editing is another matter). Instantly, I had the bug to write more. But more importantly, I started to feel like myself again. Writing saved me.

Q: You now have 4 works for us to read:
julie strier31. One is with The Crimson Falls Novellas, called “Returned Home”, Did you enjoy writing this?

A: Very much so. Crimson Falls was a collaborative project set in a shared world created by seven other mystery, thriller, and suspense writers. While our novellas are our own works, there are many aspects in each story that were influenced by the other authors.

I really enjoyed the constraints of the project. While most people think that constraints can affect creativity, I found the opposite to be true — there was so much possibility within the limitations. As soon as we started talking about the project in our group, a story came to mind and I knew what I wanted to write. I knew what the big twist in the story would be right away — that came to mind almost immediately. I also think Returned Home is some of my finest writing to date.

Julie Strier42. Two are the Dangerous Contract Series! What is your favorite part of this? Will there be a #3?

A: I really like the action and fast-paced nature of book 1. In book 2, I enjoyed playing with dual point of views (POVs), flipping between the main character, Thomas Butcher, and his wife, Sonia. I really like multiple POVs in books that I read, and it was a lot of fun writing from two different perspectives. I also think having multiple POVs gives the reader greater insight into the Create or Die universe as a whole, and Thomas and Sonia’s marriage and life together.

Dangerous Contracts was designed as a duology, so as of right now I don’t foresee adding a third book to it, but you never know. There is a little bit of wiggle room in how it ends for me to open the world back up if I wanted. But as of right now, I’m eager to explore other worlds.julie Strier2

3. Now, this novelette! What a cool idea! Can people leave reviews anywhere?

A: Thanks! The Woman in the Woods was my first attempt at writing psychological horror. I’ve been exploring different aspects of my work, and this genre is one I’ve always loved. I remember adoring stories like The Lottery, or Lord of the Flies, or The Yellow Wallpaper when I had to read them in school, so I decided to try my hand at the genre. The Woman in the Woods is a result of that exploration, and I really like how it turned out.

It’s short, clocking in under just 10,000 words, which makes it a quick read, but I’ve been told the story lingers in your head long after you’re done. Readers can leave reviews for The Woman in the Woods on Goodreads. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51098048-the-woman-in-the-woods

Q: Is there any truth to your stories?

A: Yes, tucked away in characters and themes. For example, in Dangerous Contracts, a large part of Thomas and Sonia’s relationship mirrors my marriage. There’s a scene early on in book one where Sonia kisses Thomas’ bald spot on the back of his head. I do the same thing to my husband.

Also, a large part of both Dangerous Contracts books is about parents losing their children. For my day job, I’ve worked for the same couple for 17 years, and when I was pregnant, they found out their youngest died while traveling abroad. He passed away from a pulmonary embolism at 19 years old. In a way, I think Dangerous Contracts helped me process some of my feelings about Dale and what his family was going through.

Q: Do you have a favorite character? Why?

A: I like Lilith in Returned Home, because she’s tough. In real life I’m a big softie, but inside there’s this hidden tough rocker-chick side of me. Mostly she exists in my head, and sometimes in my clothing choices.

I also like Bradley Barnes in The Woman in the Woods. Even though it’s a short piece, you learn a lot about him and get a real sense of who he is. I also have a bit of wanderlust, and while I wouldn’t necessarily go long distance thru-hiking like he does, I understand the feeling and longing to wander, to get off the grid and get lost somewhere remote from time to time.

Q: How long did it take you to write this Novelette?

A: The first draft? Not long. A few weeks? Maybe a month? But I’m starting to find that the process takes longer than that to finish a story. The first draft is just the tip of the iceberg. I’m a lean writer, so once a piece is written I go back in and add depth and detail through various editing passes. Taking editing into consideration, overall it took me maybe four months until The Woman In The Woods was at a place where I felt happy with it.

Q: When did you realize you were a novelist?

A: Not until Returned Home came out. There was something about the joy of having three books published and out into the world that filled me with a sense of pride. All the hard work, the hours, and years, and early mornings I spent at the keyboard, took physical form. It made me realize that I wanted to keep writing, and more importantly, that I could, if I just kept at it.

Q: With this being your third release, do you think you will always explore suspense, thrillers and horrors?

A: I think there will always be some aspect of my work that has suspense, thriller, and horror elements, though I don’t know if I will always stay true to those genres. There are a lot of stories I still want to explore. Some of the stories in my head have a science fiction bent, or a romance leaning, or something else entirely. The genre I write in is dictated by the larger story I’m trying to tell.

Julie StrierQ: When do you typically write? Where do you write? Set this up for us…

A: I still write first thing in the morning when the house is quiet, though I no longer get up at 5 am. I get up around 6, which gives me about an hour of writing time before I have to get ready for work. My office is next to my daughter’s room, so I listen to the swoosh of her sound machine (we keep it on ocean sounds) while I write. A cup of coffee steams next to me as I work. I keep the lights in my office low, so I’m still kind of in that sleepy in between state of not quiet being conscious. And then I get to work on my computer. While I love the *idea* of handwriting drafts, the reality is I’m much faster on a keyboard.

Q: May I ask who your favorite authors are? Books?

A: I love almost anything written by Neil Gaiman, David Mitchell, Poppy Z. Brite, and Stephen King. I’m also a big fan of Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishigro, and The Box Man by Kōbō Abe. Really, I’m a fan of strange, interesting stories.

Q: What is your favorite part of being a published author?

A: I enjoy interacting with my fans and hearing about what they enjoyed about the crazy worlds I’ve created. It’s always interesting to see the deeper meaning that people find in my work.

And of course, I enjoy just getting my stories out there in general. It’s fun to get these characters and stories out of my head and into the real world where they can have other lives. It’s also the only way I’ve found to get them to shut up. 😉

Q: Any hobbies you’d like to share with us?

A: These days, most of my hobbies include chasing toddler around and keeping her from climbing the world. But I’m also an avid knitter, and can be found with my knitting needles in hand most days. I’m also really into houseplants and fishkeeping, two hobbies I recently got into in 2019.

Q: Do you have another book on the horizon? If you do, would you like to tell us a little bit about it?

A: I have two different stories in the works right now – one is a suspense-thriller that follows a serial killer and his descent into madness. The other is a futuristic sci-fi thriller that makes social commentary on how eager we are to call out people on social media, circumventing our due process in the United States. They’re both still in raw form, but I’m hoping one or both will develop into my next full length novel.

Lastly, Do you prefer Print Book or eBook?? Audible?

A: Both print and ebook are fine with me. I can’t do audio books. At least, not for fiction. There’s something about how my head works where I need to see the words on the page with fiction. I need to take in the world by reading about it, instead of having someone read it to me. Nonfiction is another matter though. I can easily listen to audiobooks if they are nonfiction. I think part of this also has to do with *where* I consume audio. Typically, I listen when I’m driving, and since I have to focus on the road, I can’t get into fiction like I’d like. Instead, I listen to a lot of podcasts and nonfiction so that I can learn during my commute.

_____________________________________________________

Here’s where people can find Julie:

The Woman in the Woods – Is a newsletter exclusive. Readers can get a copy for signing up for my newsletter at http://www.JulieStrier.com.

Website: http://www.JulieStrier.com
Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/AuthorJulieStrier
Instagram: http://www.Instagram.com/AuthorJulieStrier
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/julie-strier
Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18007005.Julie_Strier

The Woman in the Woods on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51098048-the-woman-in-the-woods

Thank you so much for taking the time to learn more about Julie and her new release!!

#BookReview: A Dog’s Hope by Casey Wilson

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Book Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: March 6, 2020

Summary:

There are some things in life that only a dog can teach you.

A poignant, heart-wrenching, but ultimately uplifting novel about the unbreakable bond between a boy and his dog. Perfect for fans of A Dog’s Purpose, The Art of Racing in the Rain and Marley and Me.

In the farming town of Riverside in Washington, Toby Fuller is feeling more alone than ever. Nothing Toby did was ever good enough for his father, but he never expected his father to leave, to abandon him and his mother forever. He loses hope, until a scruffy golden retriever called Buddy follows him home from school.

Though he’s struggling to walk, Buddy matches Toby step for step, never taking his eyes off him, as if Toby is all he needs in the world. And from that day on Buddy never leaves Toby’s side.

Buddy shows Toby a loyalty that he has never known. But then disaster strikes and Toby’s life is changed forever. Will Buddy be able to give Toby the strength he needs to carry on?

A tale of how unconditional love can bound into your life when you least expect it, giving you hope in the darkest of times.

Review:

Ahhhhh- Not only was this a beautiful cover, but a truly poignant story written on the pages between……so moving and emotionally stirring!

Casey Wilson has written a totally heart and gut wrenching novel with “A Dog’s Hope”.

Buddy was such a loyal companion to Toby and is with him through it all. I loved watching their relationship grow.

I read the last couple chapters through tears as it touched me very deeply.

I absolutely recommend this page turner! You will not want to put it down!

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

#BookReview: Words for Anna: A Second Chance at First Love by Lara Russell

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: November 11, 2018

Summary:

In that moment, I understood why I had not been able to give up on finding her. We were not two people who travelled the world aimlessly, and we hadn’t been the whole time since we first said goodbye, when we left our birth country empty-handedly. We were a single entity, torn apart, little by little.

Set in Australia, England and South Africa in the early 2000s, Words for Anna is the heart-warming story of first love. Twelve years earlier, Anna and Daniel faced the cruelty of being forced apart as a result of one senseless letter. What happens when they are reunited and given a second chance at love?

Striving to establish a new identity, working in the Australian wine industry, Anna has had no choice but to create the best life she can for herself and her son, Mattie, in Sydney, Australia.

Meanwhile, Daniel, who has been pushing his father’s corporate agenda in the UK for years, as a means to an end, hopes that he may someday see Anna, his lost love, again.

But when they find each other in a chance meeting in Sydney, they are compelled to revisit the past. Forced to work together every day, the secrets Anna has kept for so long are gradually revealed. This, together with the separation they endured and the strange situation they now find themselves in, raises the question – Do they have any chance of rekindling their love?

Words for Anna is a moving novel about hope, resilience and rediscovery.

Review:

Lara Russell has written a captivating romance with “Words for Anna”.

Anna and Daniel’s relationship was powerful yet complex.

It was an entertaining sequence of events in this novel bringing it full circle.

I enjoyed this novel and would definitely recommend this book.

I received a copy of this book by the author in exchange for fair and honest review.

4 Stars.

 

#BookReview: I Said Yes by Kiersten Modglin

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: February 18, 2020

Summary:

Yes. The word that brought me such great joy and, eventually, such heartbreak.

When Mark asked me out for the first time, I didn’t have to think twice.
I said, “Yes.”

When he asked me to marry him just a year later, the answer came as easily as the breath that followed it.
“Yes.”

When he asked me to keep his secret, my response came too quickly.
“Yes.”

Now, in front of a judge and jury, I’ll be asked the question I never anticipated.
“Did you know who the killer is?”

The answer is second nature by now.
“Yes.”

Review:

Kiersten Modglin is well known for twists and “what just happened?” And “no way”……

“I Said Yes” is another prime example of a suspenseful page turning novel!

Early on, I thought I had it all figured out. OK – well sort of figured out, but then realized I was wrong and totally, of course! Never saw it coming!!

Full of thrilling suspense, this is another must read book!!!

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for fair and honest review.

4.5 Stars.

#BookReview: Been There, Married That by Gigi Levangie

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Reviewer: Phyllis Jones Pisanelli

Date of Release: February 11, 2020

Summary:

A hilarious new novel full of Hollywood glitz, glamour, and scandal.

When he changes the locks, she changes the rules.

Agnes Murphy Nash is the perfect Hollywood wife – she has the right friends, the right clothes, and even a side career of her own as a writer. Her husband Trevor is a bigshot producer, and from the outside it looks like they’re living a picture-perfect celebrity life, complete with tennis tournaments and lavish parties.

But the job description of a Hollywood wife doesn’t cover divorce, which is the way Agnes’ life is headed after she comes home one day to find her credit cards cancelled and the security passwords to get into her enormous LA home changed. Oh, and there’s a guy there whose job it is to tase her if she tries to enter…which she does. Needless to say, Agnes’ husband is dead set on making sure she loses big time, but Agnes isn’t the type to just lie down and take it. In a world of fremenies and hot nannies, personal psychics and “skinny” jello shots, Agnes may be losing her husband, but could that mean getting her own life back?

Been There, Married That is a drop-dead hilarious battle of wills that will make you laugh out loud, cringe, and keep turning the pages to see what crazy disaster will happen to Agnes next…and how she’ll rise from the ashes.

Review:

If you love new, modern, hip books with today’s language and the Hollywood scene, you’re gonna love “Been There, Married That” by Gigi Lavangie. Agnes is the main character who thinks she is happily married to a big name Hollywood producer. That is until he locks her out of the house and changes all the security codes! 

I enjoyed being along for the ride. These days I am not keeping up with Hollywood and I didn’t catch onto the slang. I’m old! It did, however, hold my interest and I enjoyed some of the happenings between Agnes and her husband Trevor. She has a sister that is always getting in trouble, a father who dates questionable women and a daughter that is going through being embarrassed by her mom. The characters are delightful. 

In the story Agnes is a writer who coincidently has a book or two named the same as Gigi Lavangie’s books! 

This was my first book by her and I am sure I will be reading more. This book is definitely worth your time to read and I recommend it.

4 Stars.

#BookReview: Dead Before Dying (Shadow Valley Manor #1) by Kerry Schafer

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: February 9, 2016

Summary:

Twisting and eerie, sharp and unforgettable, DEAD BEFORE DYING brings a heroine worthy of Sue Grafton to a terror worthy of Dean Koontz.

In this supernatural thriller, shot through with biting wit, Maureen Keslyn checks herself in to Shadow Valley Manor to recuperate and rehabilitate from her last job. There, she runs afoul of the stern director and makes friends with some of the other residents, mostly older, all harboring either a secret or a grudge. With secrets of her own, like why she has her own Federal Agent checking up on her, and how she injured herself in the first place, Maureen fits right in, even as she sticks out like a thorn.
But Shadow Valley isn’t just for rest–Maureen is working undercover, seeking to find and eradicate whatever forces are picking off the residents (and staff) at a grisly clip. With her resources dwindling one death at a time, and unnatural forces seething to rise up once more, Maureen’s experience fighting the supernatural will be her only hope to destroy a clever and powerful evil–and her only chance at surviving it. She’ll need people as paranoid as she is–from the sheriff, to the undertaker’s daughter, to a cook whose knife skills in the kitchen could prove deadly out of it–if she is going to bring rest to the weary, and peace to the dead…

Review:

I met the most colorful cast of characters while reading Kerry Schafer’s “Dead Before Dying”, and it was so exciting!

This was a paranormal murder mystery unlike any other! It was set in a Nursing Home called “Shadow Valley Manor”, where FBI Agent Maureen Keslyn works both diligently and humorously to solve a crime. I appreciated Maureen because she was in her 50’s! It was cool to have an older kick-a&& heroine!

Other stories are told about each elderly paranormal being living there; and I was (dare I say) enamored with the story of the 90 year old vampire. I also love how the cat warns Maureen of ghoulish things in the night! (And me…Yes, I was known to jump while reading!..lol)

There is this overall sense of creepiness, which I thought Schafer wrote wonderfully. I was totally drawn in because this story is intriguing, enticing, dark, and smoldering with the sense of need to know!!

I moved urgently through the story because I always had to know what was around the next corner!!

I highly recommend Kerry Schafer! She is so very talented at this paranormal mystery stuff! Wow! Her audible was fabulous, too!

I received a copy of this book on audible from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

4.5 Stars.