Surprise Review for The Scarlet Ribbon…

This beautifully written review from James J Cudney better known as Jay was a lovely surprise this morning. I hope this is not too confusing as my name is Jaye too!

You can find Jay, Author, Inspirational Blogger, Book Reviewer & Promoter at This Is My Truth Now

Jay’s Review for The Scarlet Ribbon

Scarlet Ribbons, also known as The Scarlet Ribbon, by Anita Dawes is a contemporary fiction novel that focuses on the afterlife and how one woman deals with the tragedy of a single moment in time, a moment she couldn’t prevent from occurring. I became familiar with the book after following the author’s blog and learning more about her collaboration with Jaye Marie on a variety of a projects.

In this tale, Maggie Haynes is hit by a car. Her husband witnesses the accident and is forced to watch his beloved wife put on life support when she falls into a coma. When Maggie goes under, her life seems to separate into reality and another world. In one path, she recovers and finds herself heading down a certain troubling existence… and in another, she’s somewhere beyond the Earth… not quite heaven or hell… not even clear of the specifics, but this new world can be quite scary. She’s able to ‘cross over’ to see some things happening back home, and it’s not always a good thing.

Can you imagine being able to watch your loved ones grieve? What if they decided to move on? Are you aware of how long you are in the coma? When Maggie discovers various connections with new people she meets in her confusing new life, she can’t help but think about how much is real and how much might be a dream. Is she trapped somewhere? Will she wake up paralyzed from the accident? Is she secretly already dead? What does her family think has happened? So many amazing questions to ponder while reading this book…

I enjoyed the writing style. At times, the author whisks you away into a dreamy state; even I was uncertain which world Maggie resided in during these moments. It’s a tough and scary topic, but Dawes pushes you to consider all the options and angles. What if you were meant to disappear for a while so that you could save someone else? A child who desperately needs your help deserves unselfish reactions, right? Maggie and her husband chose not to have kids but was this a reality check? When she visits previous periods in her family’s life, learning what it was like for them to grow up, it destabilizes her core… Maggie can’t be sure which life she wants to hold on to – new or old. And can she change her mind?

In the end, she dives deep into understanding her new world, with the help of some friends and possible a foe or two, and she comes out stronger. But it is the shocking surprise finale that left me wondering… how much of this could really happen in our future? Dawes pushes me to think about past lives, reincarnation, soul therapy, and so much more. I enjoyed the writing style and development on the worlds most of all. If you’ve got an open mind and a love of ethereal and other worldly existences, this is a good one to read. I’m left wondering what additional themes the author explores in her other books now! Must check one out in the near future…

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About Jay: For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, a contemporary fiction, family drama, and mystery author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novel, Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My family drama series, Perceptions of Glass, has two books: (1) Watching Glass Shatter and (2) Hiding Cracked Glass. My clever and cozy mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are six books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart AttackFlower Power TripMistaken Identity CrisisHaunted House Ghost, and Frozen Stiff Drink. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. I also launch new features all the time, including Tips & Advice, Spotlights & Alerts, Book Bucket Lists, and the 365 Daily Challenge. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

James is my given name; most call me Jay. I grew up on Long Island and currently live in New York City, but I’ve traveled all across the US (and various parts of the world). Since college, I’ve spent ~20 years working in technology and business operations in the retail, sports, entertainment and media industries. In 2016, I focused again on my passions: telling stories and connecting people through words. My debut novel is Watching Glass Shatter, a contemporary fiction family drama with elements of mystery, suspense, humor and romance. My second novel is Father Figure, a contemporary drama about two young women’s journeys on a college campus filled with secrets and tragedy. My third through eighth novels are a mystery series focusing on Braxton Campus. To see samples or receive news from my current and upcoming books, please subscribe with your email address at my website: https://jamesjcudney.com and you can buy the books via Amazon.

Our review for Watching Glass Shatter can be found HERE

#Tuesday Book Blog ~ The Beast Within by Jacquie Biggar ~ #SuspenseActionThriller @JacqieBiggar

The Beast Within: A Gripping Psychological Thriller (Mended Souls- Book 2) Kindle Edition

When Julie Crenshaw is offered a news reporter’s job on beautiful Vancouver Island she didn’t expect to land in the crosshairs of a serial killer.
Connor O’Rourke has seen his share of human depravities during his fourteen years as a homicide detective, but is still sickened by the murderer terrorizing his island shores.
And threatening his key witness.
As the stakes rise, can two people get a second chance at love?
Or will a killer become the winner?

From USA Today Bestselling Author Jacquie Biggar, Can two displaced angels save a woman from the clutches of a vicious psychopath?

The twists and turns in this story are amazing. Just when you think you know where the adventure is going, it switches to the unexpected. Definitely kept me entertained and on my toes!
Jacqui Nelson

THE BEAST WITHIN by Jacquie Biggar did not disappoint! These books are a great blend of contemporary romance with added suspense and the paranormal element of guardian angels that have ties to the main characters.
Avonna

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01MQEVI55/

Our Review

I found the opening paragraph of The Beast Within painful to read, but it did set the tone for the rest of the book very well.

I love a good mystery thriller, and the premise for this book promised to tick all of my boxes. It has a strong emotional  and romantic element, warring guardian angels and an evil serial killer, all combining into one of the best suspense novels I have read in a while.

Add to all of that, an unrelenting pace, beautifully descriptive writing and multiple storylines, in short, a book that will not allow you to stop reading.

The Beast Within is the first of Jacquie Biggar’s books I have read, and it didn’t take me long to realise I would have benefitted from reading the first book in the Mended Souls trilogy. The story itself stands alone, I just felt the need to know the characters a little better.

I will be reading the first book in this trilogy while I await the conclusion to this amazing series…

Excerpt from The Beast Within

Mike sank into the chair his wife had recently vacated in the conference room at the police station. He stared at the door and pictured the cop holding Jules pressed up against its smooth surface while he locked lips with her like she was in need of CPR.

And she’d let him.

His head fell back, and he closed his eyes, desperately trying to erase the preceding minutes from existence. Moisture leaked down his cheeks and into his ears. The heart that he’d thought was frozen in time, cracked. Great fissures of agony and sorrow spilled into his chest, filling his soul with darkness and rage. Why was this happening to him? Why was he being tortured this way? Wasn’t it enough that he’d lost his family and then was given the task of teaching his enemy repentance? How was he supposed to stand by and watch the love of his life move on with another man? Maybe even raise his children?

No.

Mike erupted from his seat, and the chair flew against the wall before bouncing to the floor. He strode for the door, determined to bust the cop’s face and then grab his wife, throw her over his shoulder, and head for home where she belonged. Then the memory of what he was drew him up short. A freaking angel. It didn’t matter how much he ached to stake his claim, it wouldn’t do any good, would it? Unless they were going to re-enact that sappy chick flick Jules used to pick every other month for their date night, it wasn’t going to work. He was a ghost—and she wasn’t.

His stomach sank. That meant he was going to have to learn to accept other men entering her life, and maybe even staying.

She deserved happiness.

About the Author

JACQUIE BIGGAR is a USA Today bestselling author of Romantic Suspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males who know what they want, that is until they’re gob-smacked by heroines who are strong, contemporary women willing to show them what they really need is love. She is the author of the popular Wounded Hearts series and has just started a new series in paranormal suspense, Mended Souls. She has been blessed with a long, happy marriage and enjoys writing romance novels that end with happily-ever-afters. Jacquie lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her family and loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. She swears she can’t function without coffee, preferably at the beach with her sweetheart. 🙂

#Friday Review ~ Watching Glass Shatter by James J Cudney ~ #Fiction

Watching Glass Shatter (Perceptions Of Glass Book 1) Kindle Edition

After 40 years of marriage, Olivia’s husband unexpectedly passes away. But when Ben’s will reveals a life-altering secret, she suffers a blow no widow should ever experience.Olivia learns that she gave birth to a baby who later died in the nursery. Instead of telling his wife what happened, Ben switched the child with another. And as if that’s not enough, Ben’s will doesn’t reveal which of their five sons is truly not hers.Olivia visits each of her sons to share a final connection before facing the truth that will change their family, and discovers that each of them has been harboring a painful secret, just like their father. But will the secrets destroy their family, or bring them closer together?

Review

Getting to know the Glass family and all their many secrets made fascinating reading. The more I discovered about their lives convinced me that the author had chosen the perfect title for this first book in the series.

The unrelenting tension begins on the first page and builds, chapter by chapter into a complicated web of mysteries that eventually shatter, almost destroying the family.

The saddest part of this story was that this family seemed like normal happy people until the father dies in an accident. Then, like peeling an onion, each of their secret problems is revealed, setting the scene for some major showdowns.

I applaud this author for such an interesting, beautifully plotted, and well-written story, leaving me wondering if we shall hear more about the Glass family in the next of the series…

© Jaye Marie 2020

#Throwback Thursday ~ Our Review for Silent Mayhem by Sue Coletta @SueColetta1 #SuspenseThriller

Silent Mayhem: The Mayhem Series: #3 Kindle Edition

Some things in life defy comprehension, but that doesn’t make them any less real. Or deadly.

When a familiar crow drops a cryptic scroll at Shawnee Daniels’ feet, she’s compelled to open it, even though everything in her power warns her not to. Mr. Mayhem—the most prolific serial killer the North Shore has ever known—claims her life is in danger. He “claims” he wants to help her, but just last year he threatened to murder everyone she loves.

While Mayhem taunts her with oddly-placed feathers, like The Creator left at his crime scenes, an interstate killing spree rocks Massachusetts and New Hampshire. A madman is decapitating men and women, dumping their headless corpses on two area beaches. But what Shawnee soon uncovers shatters all she’s ever known, her memories shredded, the whispers of the past in shambles on the ground.

Can she find the strength to move forward, or will the truth destroy her?

Our Review

Another remarkable story in the Mayhem series and the main character, Mr Mayhem gets even better!

Infuriatingly enigmatic as always, I love the way he adores his crows, his wife, and even Shawnee Daniels in his own inimitable way.

I loved reading the fascinating history about the Navajo Indians and the importance of the eagle feathers.

They say that all good writing should leave you wanting answers, and Silent Mayhem, the third book in the series is chock full of questions as it gears up for the next instalment.

In the meantime, I have a few of my own…

How, exactly, can a cold-blooded killer be so kind, and believe that Shawnee had killed anyone?

How did he cure her mysterious illness and why did he want to keep her safe?

And who is this Navajo skinwalker?

I can thoroughly recommend Silent Mayhem, the pace might give you a coronary though, so you have been warned!

#Throwback Thursday ~ Review for A Thousand Yesteryears by Mae Clair #ParanormalSuspense @MaeClair1

“Masterful, bone-chilling fiction…one intense thriller. A Thousand Yesteryears will keep you guessing, gasping and turning the pages for more.” —New York Times bestselling author Kevin O’Brien



Behind a legend lies the truth…

As a child, Eve Parrish lost her father and her best friend, Maggie Flynn, in a tragic bridge collapse. Fifteen years later, she returns to Point Pleasant to settle her deceased aunt’s estate. Though much has changed about the once thriving river community, the ghost of tragedy still weighs heavily on the town, as do rumors and sightings of the Mothman, a local legend. When Eve uncovers startling information about her aunt’s death, that legend is in danger of becoming all too real . . .

Caden Flynn is one of the few lucky survivors of the bridge collapse but blames himself for coercing his younger sister out that night. He’s carried that guilt for fifteen years, unaware of darker currents haunting the town. It isn’t long before Eve’s arrival unravels an old secret—one that places her and Caden in the crosshairs of a deadly killer . . .

Our Review

A Thousand Yesteryears – the first book in the Point Pleasant Series.

The opening prologue begins easily enough, schoolchildren discussing their missing friend and the rumours of a strange creature living in the swamps just outside of town.

What happened next ramps up the tension to full blast, setting the theme for the rest of the story.

Fifteen years later, Eve Parrish, one of these children, returns to Point Pleasant after inheriting her family home. Will she be able to settle the property and go back home, away from the past and its memories?

Walking back into the past is not usually a good idea, especially when such pain and sorrow is there is waiting for you. Things are never quite as you remember them, and that goes for the people too.

Eve has a job to do, settling her aunt’s estate and making it fit to be sold, but someone or something doesn’t want her there.

A Thousand Yesteryears is a fantastic story. A murder mystery, romance and a psychological thriller that will set your nerves on edge while doing its level best to scare you to death!

Beautifully written and full of tension, I enjoyed reading this story and will remember it for some time, looking forward to reading the rest of the Point Pleasant Series…

#ThrowbackThursday ~ Review for Tales from an Irish Garden by Sally Cronin #FantasyRomance @sgc58

Tales From the Irish Garden

The queen of Magia and her court have fled their sun filled Spanish homeland and the palace beneath the magnolia tree.

Arriving on the backs of geese and swans, they seek sanctuary in the magic garden of The Storyteller who welcomes them to the Emerald Island, a place where rain is almost a daily feature.

Grateful for their safe haven and the generosity of their host, the queen and her courtiers embrace their new surroundings with delight.
As the seasons change throughout the year, they come into contact with many of the human and animal inhabitants of the garden and the surrounding forest, all of whom have a story to tell.

This is a magical fairy story infused with fantasy and romance, as well as opportunities for mischief in the company of goblins, witches and Lerpersians.

(Lerpersian, I have discovered, is another name for a Leprechaun.)

Our Review

Tales from an Irish Garden begins at Christmas time in the magical Spanish garden. Queen Filigree was looking forward to the festivities, but bad news arrived first.

The Queen and all her subjects could no longer stay in Spain and would have to leave their beautiful home and find another with the help of the Storyteller.

At the eleventh hour, another location was found in Ireland, where they will need to adapt to the new surroundings and very different weather.

How this was achieved was beautifully described in perfect detail in a series of magical stories. I loved all these stories, but will always remember one, The Kindness of Mice…

#Throwback Thursday ~ Review for Voyage of the Lanternfish by C S Boyack #Action&Adventure @coldhandboyack

Voyage of the Lanternfish Kindle Edition

An honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he’s pushed into a political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms. James Cuttler’s fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes through with the plan.
He soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those who disrupted his simple life. He can’t do it alone, so he recruits a band of cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually, they’re going to have to engage the enemy.
James’ goals aren’t necessarily the same as his crew. It’s a delicate balancing act to collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue the girl.
Voyage of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.

Our Review

The Voyage of the Lanternfish is altogether a far more complicated and serious work than the author’s previous stories. Kidnapping and talk of starting a war had me thinking I had picked up the wrong book.

The solid sense of humour, wonderful storyline and intriguing characters kept me turning the pages and I almost read it all in one sitting.

This story has everything.

Adventure, magic, romance and an incredible cast of some of the strangest creatures I have ever read about. I couldn’t decide which character I like the most, as they all bring something special to the story.

I have read most of C S Boyack’s books and enjoyed them all, but I will remember The Voyage of the Lanternfish for some time.

If you like magical fantasy with a strong sense of realism, this brilliant book is for you…

Review for Night Train by Martin Amis #Contemporary Fiction

Night Train Kindle Edition

A sharp twist on the noir genre from one of England’s finest fiction writers

‘I worked one hundred murders,’ says Detective Mike Hoolihan, an American policewoman. ‘In my time I have come in on the aftermath of maybe a thousand suspicious deaths, most of which turned out to be suicides, accidentals or plain unattendeds. So I’ve seen them all: jumpers, stumpers, dumpers, dunkers, bleeders, floaters, poppers, bursters. But of all the bodies I have ever seen none has stayed with me, in my gut, like the body of Jennifer Rockwell. I say all this because I am part of the story I am going to tell, and I feel the need to give you some idea of where I’m coming from.’

Night Train is a mystery story which lingers in the reader’s mind even after Mike Hoolihan declares the case closed.

Night Train is both delicate and bruising – a long drawn-out blue note. The book hangs around in the mind like smoke in a jazz club’ Telegraph Magazine

Our Review

The Night Train – a euphemism for suicide and also the train that thunders past the detectives window every night…

I love murder mysteries, and have even written some, but never anything like The Night Train by Martin Amis.

This, without doubt, is the most unusual and riveting story, complete with the most unusual detective. Mike Hoolihan is a woman and like no one I have ever met, in real life or fiction. Her life is raw and brutal and has left its mark, but she gets the job done and better than most.

I loved her no nonsense attitude in what must be a nightmare of a job. Her sense of humour and way of talking were both refreshing and entertaining, and I will remember Mike Hoolihan and her determination for a long time…

Our Review for The Attic Room by Linda Huber #Kidnapping Crime Fiction @LindaHuber19

A father’s secret… a mother’s lie… a family mystery.
An unexpected phone call – and Nina’s life takes a disturbing twist. Who is John Moore? And how does he know her name?
Nina travels south to see the house she inherited, but sinister letters arrive and she finds herself in the middle of a police investigation. With her identity called into question, Nina uncovers a shocking crime. But what, exactly, happened in the attic room, all those years ago? The answer could lie close to home.

A fast-moving, chilling suspense novel by the author of The Cold Cold Sea, The Paradise Trees , Chosen Child, and others.

Our Review

The Attic Room is the first book I have read by Linda Huber, although most of her books are on my reading list as I love psychological thrillers, and this is one of the best!

Just weeks after her mother dies, Nina is told of another death, only this man is a stranger. A stranger who had left her his house, a large depressing building that might reveal a clue as to who he was, and why he knew her.

This was where the tension began to grow into a strangle hold, as the mysterious secrets begin to unfold. The atmosphere of the house, leaking it’s evil memories of the past came through strongly and chilled me to the bone.

Beautifully written and superbly plotted, I thoroughly enjoyed The Attic Room…

© Jaye Marie 2020


Amazon Review

4.0 out of 5 stars

Murky pasts and unpleasant family histories

The Attic Room is mostly told from the point of view of Nina who is struggling with having just lost her mother, Claire, and who lives with her daughter Naomi on the beautiful Isle of Arran. She gets a telephone call which turns her world upside down and has to head off to Bedford to try and uncover what appears to be a family secret, the truth of which has died along with her mother.

Nina knows nothing of any extended family she may have and is keen to find out more but when she does she is in for an unpleasant discovery. It is a surprise that Claire never told her the truth however unpalatable but I can understand how that can happen. You always think one day I shall tell them then something can happen which snatches that chance away from you. I liked the chapters told from Claire’s point of view which filled in some of the gaps for the readers, if not for Nina.

I enjoyed the settings in this book. I love the thought of Arran, and while I intend on making it there one day I already know the second setting, Bedford, very well. Not as idyllic perhaps but I liked picturing the locations and knew just where the house that Nina inherits is located.


#Book of the Week! Himself by Jess Kidd #Greco-Roman Myth & Legend Fantasy eBooks

A charming ne’er-do-well returns to his haunted Irish hometown to uncover the truth about his mother in this “supernaturally skilled debut” (Vanity Fair) and turns the town–and his life–upside down.

Having been abandoned at an orphanage as a baby, Mahony assumed all his life that his mother wanted nothing to do with him. That is, until one night in 1976 while drinking a pint at a Dublin pub, he receives an anonymous note implying that she may have been forced to give him up. Determined to find out what really happened, Mahony embarks on a pilgrimage back to his hometown, the rural village of Mulderrig. Neither he nor Mulderrig can possibly prepare for what’s in store…

From the moment he arrives, Mahony’s presence completely changes the village. Women fall all over themselves. The real and the fantastic are blurred. Chatty ghosts rise from their graves with secrets to tell, and local preacher Father Quinn will do anything to get rid of the slippery young man who is threatening the moral purity of his parish.

A spectacular new addition to the grand Irish storytelling tradition, Himself “is a darkly comic tale of murder, intrigue, haunting and illegitimacy…wickedly funny” (Daily Express).

Our Review

From the first word of the powerfully written prologue, I couldn’t stop reading Himself.

I fell completely under the spell of this mysterious story, all about the living and the dead and the search for truth in a quaint Irish village.

The star of Himself is Mahony, a young Irishman searching for the truth about his birth, assisted by the colourful characters and ghosts in Mulderrig, a place with more secrets and mysteries than most.

I loved the way the people in this story speak, such wonderful vocabulary and fascinating insight into the minds of Irish people. What at first seems light-hearted banter, soon changes into dark, menacing humour and a terrifying journey as Mahony uncovers the truth he seeks…

©Jaye Marie 2020