Beautiful, smart, alluring… Natalie Dreyer shone like a star in her professional world of corporate law. When she won the hand of the wealthy and charming Karl Albrecht, she thought she had it all.
Natalie is living the dream, but when tragedy strikes, her past comes back to haunt her and she must reassess what really defines a woman’s value.
Meanwhile, a crisis and confronting revelations challenge Karl to re-examine his standards and to question his deepest beliefs.
An epic novel, emotion-charged, tight with passion, and rich with sub-plots and intrigue, ”Mortgaged Goods” challenges us with heart-wrenching questions about our capacity to love and to forgive.
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A Memory of Solstice by Caleb Chandler opens in the middle of the night in a dark and eerie museum in Washington D.C. James and Billy are the night guards and the night will not be a successful one for them. There are some otherworldly forces at work; intent on retrieving a keystone the museum has in its collection.
This sets the stage for the reader’s introduction to Lincoln, a peculiar workaholic lawyer who lives alone with his three-legged dog, Sadie. All is not what it seems with Lincoln either. A strange man named Wes approaches Lincoln and starts a conversation about biology and genetics and genetic mutations.
Later, Wes approaches Lincoln again to inform him that the company Wes works for has been watching Lincoln for a while. He also tells Lincoln that he knows things about him that make him special. He then proceeds to ask Lincoln if he will help Wes and his company, Xelix, by approaching five more people who are like Lincoln to some degree.
While Lincoln is not happy at this intrusion into his life, he does finally concede and agree to help. He then goes on a journey to collect the others like him: Hannah, a woman who works with flowers and plants: Nathan, a paleontologist: Talon, a police officer: Bennett, a personal trainer for the body and mind: and Micah, a young, petty criminal who has not yet found his way in life.
They all find themselves gathered at Xelix. Nothing is what is seems and things quickly take a turn for the worse. The action really picks up at this point as the reader learns more about each character and different worlds are discovered and explored.
Although the story was a bit hard to understand at times, I think that can be attributed to the fact that there was so much going on. I think the book could benefit from differentiating the characters a bit more. At times, the way they spoke kind of ran together and I had to check to see who was speaking.
With that said, the story was very good. I found myself turning pages quickly to see what might happen next. The action never got boring. Each page brought more surprises and unexpected events. The book kept me entertained. The story felt very ambitious and although the twists occasionally were difficult to follow the author was able to deliver some moments that made me gasp.
I very much enjoyed this book for it’s thought provoking themes and elegant character development. If you like supernatural thrillers, this is the book for you. The story is especially effective when introducing new worlds and unusual characters that were fantastic but still authentic, which reminded me of Jim Butcher’s same ability in the Dresden Files. I was very impressed with the books attention to detail and the way the author painted pictures with words. Get ready for an adventure!
Pages: 503 | ASIN: B07D9WQXKQ
Posted in Four Stars
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The Status Update follows Christine, a grieving mother, as she is presented with the opportunity to travel back and make different decisions that could save lives. What was the inspiration for the heartfelt setup to this emotional novel?
I wanted to write a character dealing with hopelessness and heading down a path of destruction, but who transforms. To reap the benefits of the gift, she has to trust in faith and magic, and she becomes hopeful.
The Status Update is a genre-crossing novel combining elements of science fiction and suspense as well. Did you start writing with this in mind, or did this happen organically as you were writing?
I was pleasantly surprised by readers who found The Status Update suspenseful. I was going for thought-provoking and hoping the twist on the time travel genre would keep readers engaged.
I felt that Christine was an intriguing character. What were the driving ideals that drove the characters development throughout the story?
I wanted to illustrate inner conflict and struggle. To highlight the tension between the two Christines, I use both third person and first person to tell her story. This “mirror” account was also designed to provide that sense of deja vu often invoked in time travel stories.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be published?
The Status Update is my first piece of fiction. A lawyer by day, I typically write about law. I am incorporating law into my next fiction book, but with a supernatural twist. The heroin is a criminal defense lawyer who works with her dead ex-husband (a police officer) to bring about justice.
“Still grieving decade old losses and feeling the weight of new losses, Christine felt like everything was slipping away from her – her home, her physical health, her family. Upon a freak Facebook encounter with her younger self, she’s presented with a second chance. Has Christine finally lost her mind? Or has she been gifted with a rare opportunity to change the course of her life? And if this gift is real, can Christine convince her younger self to believe her and to heed her warnings?
What about the butterfly effect? Will Christine’s modifications result in some universal impact? Should she try to stop tragedy for all involved or should she be more careful, and instead just focus on protecting her family?
A new twist on the time travel genre, The Status Update is the movie Frequency meets the movie The Lake House meets the digital age.
The setting is Lewiston-Auburn, Maine and the time period switches between 2015 and 2025.”
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The Heart to Kill is an edge of your seat crime novel following Sarah, a high-flying law student, who returns home to help an old friend prove her innocence. What was the inspiration for this thrilling case Sarah takes on?
The inspiration for the novel was Euripides play, Medea, where Medea murders her two sons in revenge for her husband, Jason’s abandonment.
The lawyers Sarah must work with have a ‘boys club’ mentality. Did you see Sarah breaking into this group or did you want her to blaze her own trail?
In my mind, Sarah was confused by what happened. She believed she excelled in everything she did and didn’t quite comprehend how she could be treated in the way she was. While she wanted to become “part of the group,” in the end she was forced to blaze her own trail.
This is a suspenseful crime story that gets the details just right. What research did you undertake to ensure the law was portrayed accurately?
Part of my background contributed to this novel. I served as an expert witness on change of venue trials, interviewed California judges and attorneys who were serving or had served on the Family Bar for a Ford Foundation grant to study the impact of the (California) 1970 Family Law Act, set up reading learning centers in 32 California State Prisons to teach prisoners to read, read trial transcripts for preliminary hearings,read the South Carolina law on murders, and had three attorneys advise me on several issues.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will that be published?
Sarah comes back. She is now in New York City living with her Aunt Beccah and working as a paralegal for a law firm specializing in labor issues. She finds a book with an inscription “To Yetta,” picture of a woman, and a receipt for services to be rendered to the Triangle Shirtwaist Company. The story, The Search for Yetta, and her current legal work on a class action suit defending female janitorial workers in New York against wage abuse, finds Sarah discovering, not only who her Great Aunt was, but that the current abuses among low-wage earners today closely parallel her Great Aunt’s experiences. Publication? Keep your fingers crossed.
Author Link: Website
Savvy law student Sarah Wasser returns to her apartment to find two telephone messages: She has not been chosen for a coveted summer internship, and her best friend from high school has just murdered her two children. Unwilling to admit the internship failure to family and friends, the quick thinking Sarah secures a position on JoBeth’s defense team and returns to her sleepy hometown in South Carolina.
But Sarah is not well-prepared for working in a community rife with duplicity and betrayal, and her efforts are met with the benevolent amusement of the senior law partner, the resentment of the trial attorney, the rush to judgement by the folks of Eight Mile Junction, and discovery of her father’s role in the degradation of JoBeth.
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Sarah Wesser, a high achiever in the middle of her law degree, decides to return home for the summer after two life-changing phone calls. One phone call is a rejection from an internship and the other is the terrible news the children of her high school friend JoBeth have been kidnapped. Sarah returns to her hometown of Eight Mile Junction to be involved in a law case that will shock the county. Between trying to please her father who is determined to mould Sarah into an image of perfection and working with lawyers to save the fate of JoBeth, Sarah learns that the people and life she left behind may not be what it seems.
The Heart to Kill, written by Dorothy Place, is an edge of your seat crime novel based around Sarah, a high-flying law student, who returns to her hometown of Eight Mile Junction- a place where red clay is born under your nails and will stain your hands, no matter how far or wide you travel. The reader will be kept on their toes as Sarah dives in to assist lawyers who are trying to save her friend JoBeth from the wrath of small town mentality.
An emotive story line will leave the reader feeling mixed emotions of empathy and horror whilst determining whether JoBeth is innocent or guilty of such a horrific crime. At times, you feel as though you are part of the jury as the story delves into the intricate details that have lead to the terrible tragedy involving the two children.
JoBeth seemingly had it all. Married within months of leaving high school, to her sweetheart Phillip, she soon follows the small town trend by having two beautiful children. However, this soon falls apart and JoBeth is left divorced, lonely and obsessed with chasing a Cinderella fantasy. When Sarah returns home, she discovers there is more to JoBeth then the sweet, lovable high school girl she left behind. JoBeth appears as a broken shadow of herself which leaves the reader to wonder- what events impacted JoBeth severely enough to break her soul?
Meet the lawyers- a group of men who are banding together to try and save the fate of JoBeth.
The lawyers are built around a “boys club” mentality, meeting for golf and chortling with the DA before heading to the courtrooms. Suave but mysterious, one of the lawyers is Al Westfall whom is a private man that many find difficult to read or engage with. He can appear callous and cold however catches the eye of someone you would least expect.
Meanwhile, Sam Wesser, (Sarah’s father) is a powerful, dominant character who controls the family in the same way a conductor controls an orchestra. Desperate to seek his approval, Sarah and her mother bend and heed to his every demand. His methods of parenting and his relationship with his wife teeter on the edge of emotional abuse and leave the reader feeling empathetic to Sarah’s desire to rebel.
I would recommend The Heart to Kill to anyone who enjoys a court/crime style novel. My only qualm was that I wished the novel was longer!
Pages: 200 | ISBN: 162288129X
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