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The Knife Thrower’s Wife

Picture the setting of a peaceful suburban neighborhood with the perfect family, the perfect house with the perfect neighbors. A mirage for the American dream. Julia Green is in a marital rut. As she struggles to put the pieces of her happy life back together, she finds things are not as picture-perfect as they may seem. Oblivious to her husband’s true nature, she starts to unintendingly dig up the dirt on a life she thought was full of love and bliss. To cope with her failed marriage, Julia starts painting scenes from her daydreams that unexpectedly turn her into the prime suspect in her husband’s death.

Author Sheila McGraw takes us through an unconventional murder mystery in The Knife Thrower’s Wife. We follow an average American family whose life turns upside-down when plots of murderous intent and scandalous affairs come to light. This inventive story takes off when Julia is arrested, and her trial begins. This twist in the plot is a beautiful example of the nail-biting anticipation McGraw expertly executes all the way to the climax of this mystery. The author builds suspense for readers as the story races towards the finale. McGraw leaves readers second-guessing Julia’s innocence, and the much-anticipated climax reveals who the killer really is. The story’s rising action created an opportunity for the author to completely surprise her readers.

This psychological thriller is a character study in Julia’s personality. Who she is at the beginning of this complex novel is a complete 180 from where she ends up. Readers will cheer for her as she finds her voice and stops being overlooked and walked over.

The Knife Thrower’s Wife is a riveting murder mystery that will keep you on your toes and have you wondering just what will happen next. The action and suspense are thrilling and make for a page-turning experience readers can not put down till the end.

Pages: 346 | ASIN : B08FHBKPH9

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Duskborn Radiance: A Mother’s Question

Duskborn Radiance: A Mother’s Question is the first volume in the epic fantasy trilogy by Pasquale di Falco. It follows the story of three young people, Dominic, Caterina, and Amadeus, who live in a village of people who once wielded magical powers that disappeared long ago. However, they can’t ignore the magical powers that grow within them. As they learn more about themselves and come to terms with this growing energy, they are being observed from afar by a stranger, the Sorceress, who is keeping tabs on every single move that these three make and definitely has much bigger plans in mind for them. This spellbinding story keeps the reader gripped, figuring out how far the Sorceress will go to achieve what she wants.

Pasquale di Falco is immensely talented and does a great job of getting the reader involved in the fantasy world that they have created. The unique blend of fantasy and science fiction will make readers think beyond the traditional assumptions that go with these genres. The book has a combination of larger plot events and smaller character developments and sub-plots that are all equally intriguing. This book is a beautiful amalgamation of coming-of-age and epic fantasy with plenty of action and adventure thrown in while maintaining an emotionally charged storyline.

The beginning of this complex novel is thought-provoking and detail-oriented. All the characters are introduced and described in-depth right in the beginning, allowing readers to get to know them and understand their personalities. As they come into their magical abilities they must learn things their people have long forgotten and rely on each other to get through things. The bond they form is strong and readers will find their story stimulating and stirring.

Duskborn Radiance: A Mother’s Question is a riveting novel that will appeal to sword and sorcery fans looking for an epic adventure story that focuses on character development and never forgets to entertain the reader.

Pages: 352 | ASIN : B09BLKF78W

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The Inquisition and Other Stories

The Inquisition and Other Stories is the second volume of short stories written by Michael Tabor. This collection includes an eclectic mix of thirteen exceptional stories. Each of these fascinating stories has a separate setting and cast of characters so each one can be read on its own. The genres for each original story range from historical dramas to love stories and even mysteries. This varied collection will give readers plenty to look forward to.

Readers of this collection will find the gripping stories varied and well written making it hard to pick a favorite. Catherine Lescault is a historical drama that heavily features Nicolas Poussin. Bright Stars on the other hand is a clever little mystery story for any literature nerds out there. Without giving away spoilers it is a story in which Keats shadow looms large. It’s a clever story and really demonstrates Tabor’s love of literature as an academic. This love of literature is evident in Tabor’s writing. Tabor plays with literary devices constantly.

The collection could almost be used as a textbook for creative writing classes. However, Tabor never forgets that a story should be entertaining first. Each of these gripping stories is a fun and often challenging read. The pacing is excellent. Each story is given its own time to breathe without feeling rushed. Some of them could most definitely be turned into full novels, but they do not suffer from being in the short story format either.

The Inquisition and Other Stories is a riveting and through-provoking collection of short stories. With Tabor’s imaginative and suspenseful writing style readers of all kinds will find something they enjoy in this collection. Anyone can pick it up and enjoy it but there’s even more for history and literature fans to enjoy here.

Pages: 264 | ISBN : 97809986778

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Her Heart

Her Heart by Mary L. Schmidt is an inspiring and emotionally riveting story of a woman who, after years of abuse, can finally find love. Sarah is a warm-hearted nurse, a loving mother, and a women who experienced an unpleasant childhood. After years of abuse from a husband she doesn’t love she manages to leave with her son. Concerned for her son’s wellbeing, Sarah starts a new life on her own. Free of the abusive husband, and with a fresh start on life, Sarah has no intention of getting into a relationship or even thinking of marriage again. That is until an old friend from her past comes back into her life. Will Sarah believe she is worthy enough to be loved? Will she be able to trust again?

Mary L. Schmidt has written a powerful story that will inspire women who are going through the turmoil of abuse. Sarah’s story is a testament that a better life for themselves is possible, and that they are worthy of being happy. Mary’s writing is honest, and she doesn’t hold back when describing the horrifying and disturbing situations that abused women face. The author takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster and readers really get to feel Sarah’s hopelessness. Mary’s character development is one to be admired as you see Sarah, who is an emotionally broken woman, come out of this shell of defeat and begin to rebuild her life. Through the guidance of her Cherokee grandmother’s spirit, Sarah finds her voice.

Her Heart is a powerful and emotionally stirring story that will have you rooting for Sarah. This fast and gripping read will appeal to those who can relate to Sarah’s experience but also to readers who want to understand the same trauma that Sarah lives through. It is a heartfelt story of drama, self-discovery, and perseverance.

Pages: 94 | ASIN : B09CP2C1LK

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Rising Together 

Rising Together, by K.M Sparks and Christopher Cole, is the complex story of two young teens who are going through hardship and rely on one another. The main character, Tim, struggles with his home life and his best friend, Haze, helps him navigate his troubles.  

Tim is a young boy living in an abusive situation. His father is an alcoholic who verbally and physically abuses his family. Tim’s mother tells him and his brother to keep their situation a secret so that they are not separated. Keeping his home life a secret causes Tim to act out at school and get into trouble. His best friend, Haze, has a supportive family and excels in school. When Tim’s life turns upside down, Haze stands by his side and supports him through his transition.

Authors Sparks and Cole have a writing style that any reader would enjoy. The characters show substantial development throughout the book. Readers will enjoy watching the relationship between Tim and Haze grow into something more than best friends. Their relationship is one that teenage readers will be able to relate to.

The language in this contemporary novel is mature for the main characters only being twelve, but given their situations, growing up fast will have that impact. Developing independence at an early age is needed for Tim to survive the life he was dealt.

Rising Together is a compelling coming of age novel, with drama that will appeal to fans of young adult novels. This heartwarming book is a blend of hardships, friendship, and growing into oneself. If you like reading about a budding romance, taking a chance, and a light story then this heartfelt book is for you.

Pages: 172 | ASIN : B09L57CBQ2

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They Only Wear Black Hats 

They Only Wear Black Hats by Edward Izzi is a modern crime novel that will grab readers right from the title. The title successfully generates the right amount of curiosity, and relevance while maintaining a theme that can be seen throughout the major sequences in the novel.

This gripping story begins in a high school setting and the language can give readers the illusion of a contemporary breezy read. Soon however readers will realize its anything but a cozy mystery novel. This captivating story wastes no time in lettings the readers know that it’s going to be a dark and intense journey filled with toe curling twists and heartbreaks.

This thrilling story is fast paced with the murders of many young children containing explicit descriptions of their mutilation and death. Detective Palazzola grows frustrated with the lack of convictions on these murder cases yet has no recourse for the problem. One night he learns of the secret group called the Archangels. They step in when the law has failed to enact justice for the victims. A single black bowler hat left at the scene of each vigilante killing, the only clue to what is going on. This vigilante group however has vowed to put an end to anyone that tries to stop them from their mission of enacting justice to the victims.

The plot is enthralling, and the flow is brilliant with concise chapters that keeps you invested and intrigued throughout. The narration is also nonlinear and shifts from the perspective of Detective Palazzola to an omniscient third person narrator. The surprising story gives you small but significant details about each victim in such a way that you feel the sadness and root for justice to happen.

They Only Wear Black Hats will keep readers of suspenseful crime mysteries hooked from the opening lines. Those that want a fast-paced thriller will not be disappointed.

Pages: 333 | ASIN : B09LQ9JPP1

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The Importance of Being Earnest Enough

Paying homage to Oscar Wilde, Tom Beattie has written a one act play, The Importance of Being Ernest Enough. Fans of Oscar Wilde’s original will be won over with this modern-day rendition. In this clever tribute to Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, Beattie re-imagines the 19th century upper-class social sphere of Algernon Moncrieff and Jack Worthing and the women they are intended to marry. But there’s more than one twist in this tale; this caricature of upper-crust Britishness is set in the US and the characters have mobile phones, Facebook and instant access to rampant gossip. What’s more, all the main characters are gay with no intention of marrying their opposite sex intendeds.

Tom Beattie’s extraordinary and comical production will have readers entertained with scenes that have humor permeating every aspect of the production from dialogue to stage directions. The dialogue is confident and quick-witted with a dizzyingly fast pace. The puns and double-entendres are smart and hilarious, worthy of Wilde himself. This original work is unpredictable and rich with plot twists as the characters are rousing and imaginative. The stage direction notes give readers the chance to visualize how this production would look being performed by a full cast.

This play came with a bonus short scene in which the author is trying to teach his husband, David, how to meditate. Readers will laugh at the antics and back and forth banter between the two. It’s entertaining and amusing with Wildean nods to the political environment and the inevitability of aging.

The Importance of Being Ernest Enough is a fresh take on the classic by Oscar Wilde. Beattie’s version is modern, smart, engaging and hilarious and well worth a read. Those that have a passion for stage production or classics like Oscar Wilde will find something to laugh about and love in this play.

Pages: 121 | ASIN : B09LD1WRM9

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Blaze In, Blaze Out

Blaze in, Blaze out by Joseph Lewis is an action-filled mystery crime novel. Two members of a law enforcement task force are the lynchpins to putting away the crime boss Dmitry Andruko. In retaliation Dmitry puts out a hit out on the two officers with the instructions, kill anyone that gets in the way. Following the trial, Eiselmann spends the weekend with his family, and O’Connor heads out on a fishing trip with a friend and his four adopted teenage sons. What should have been a relaxing weekend for both men, turns into a nightmare and a fight for their lives and those they love. Detective O’Connor’s story and attempted murder interlaces itself with Brian and Bobby’s troubled relationship in a world filled with crimes, betrayal and homophobia.

Lewis’s comprehensive writing style makes sure the reader never gets lost in this complex and fast-moving plot. The point of view alternates with the chapters so readers can experience the story through the eyes of all the characters providing them with the full picture of what is occurring and sharing the characters insights and emotions. Care is taken by the author to provide descriptions of every place visited and every clothing item worn by the characters. Readers will become fully immersed into the world created by Lewis.

Besides being a crime thriller, this novel tackles the challenging subject of coming out. Brian struggles with his identity and his relationship with his adopted father due to his sexual orientation. The perspective of a teenage boy coming out to family adds a level of drama to this thriller novel.

Blaze in, Blaze out with its engaging plot and deep themes is a riveting novel and fast read that will keep readers in suspense and hooked till the last page. I recommend this action packed book to any teenager going through a difficult time with their parents and to any reader who loves suspenseful thrillers, and crime novel.

Pages: 321 | ASIN : B09B576BPJ

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