4.5 Star Review · book review · mystery novels

Guilty by Laura Elliot(My Honest Review)


Image courtesy of Bookouture

Guilty by Laura Elliot

Published by Bookouture June 22, 2017


*Book received for free from Netgalley*


Thirteen year old Constance Lawson goes missing one night and the prime suspect is her very own uncle, Karl Lawson.

The only reason he is a suspect is because young reporter, Amanda Bowe, has a way with words; she makes some startling connections, supposedly linking Karl to his niece’s disappearance.

Six years later, Karl’s life has been destroyed: His brother alienates him, his wife and child abandoned him, and Amanda Bowe is doing excellent.

What will it take for Amanda to understand the pain she put Karl through?

What I can say about this book, is that it keeps you guessing. That is a major point for me and was basically the bonus which gives this book its 4.5/5 hearts.

The reason this book gets four and half hearts, is not because it’s a bad book. To be honest, this story was pretty brilliant.

I just have not read a psych thriller in so long, I was lost at some points or didn’t care..? I cared about what happened in Karl’s life though.

The reporter is one character I did not like nor feel any connection with.

Also, at some point, I thought the story would end, but then the book twists into Amanda’s story. I honestly did not care about her and her life. I truly didn’t. But her story is the bonus of the book in some ways.

What ways you may ask? When it comes to a person being guilty, so many play their role in it too.

I am seriously considering reading more of Laura Elliot’s books.

mystery novels · writing

Tosca Lee is Releasing Her Newest Novel, The Progeny!

Thriller book with girl in shadows
Image courtesy of Howard Books

One of my favorite authors in the world, Tosca Lee, is releasing her newest novel, The Progeny on May 24, 2016. That is 5 days away, folks! And if you are in the Lincoln, NE area, stop by and visit this Saturday May 21st at Barnes and Noble where she will be signing The Progeny from 2pm-4pm.

The Progeny Blurb/Summation(summary from Netgalley):

New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee brings a modern twist to an ancient mystery surrounding the most notorious female serial killer of all time. A fast-paced thriller for fans of Ted Dekker’s The Books of Mortals, Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, and BBC America’s hit series Orphan Black.

Emily Jacobs is the descendant of a serial killer.

Now, she’s become the hunted. She’s on a quest that will take her to the secret underground of Europe and the inner circles of three ancient orders—one determined to kill her, one devoted to keeping her alive, and one she must ultimately save.

Filled with adrenaline, romance, and reversals, The Progeny is the present-day saga of a 400-year-old war between the uncanny descendants of “Blood Countess” Elizabeth Bathory, the most prolific female serial killer of all time, and a secret society dedicated to erasing every one of her descendants. A story about the search for self filled with centuries-old intrigues against the backdrop of atrocity and hope.

Who is Elizabeth Bathory?

Another thing I love about Tosca, is that she isn’t afraid to dive into history and tell its story in a clear, yet creative way.

I never heard of Elizabeth Bathory, according to Wikipedia, she was the most prolific female murderer, killing hundreds of young women between the years 1585-1610. She was later imprisoned and died four years later. So Progeny is about a girl descended from this real life historical figure.

A great recipe for a story. Genius idea, Tosca!

I have to get my thriller fix. How about you? Pre-Order The Progeny now and we can read/discuss/share!

More About Tosca Lee:

Tosca Lee is the author of Demon: A Memoir(my fav), Havah: The Story of Eve, and The Legend of Sheba. She has co-authored the Books of Mortal Series with Bestselling author Ted Dekker.

To learn more about Tosca and this soon to be released book, please visit her at her newly re-launched site www.toscalee.com.

book review · mystery novels

‘Pieces of Light’ the Finale to a Great Trilogy

Pieces of Light by Julie Cave

Pieces of Light is the final book in the Dinah Harris Mystery Series and it is more explosive and more revealing than the last two books. And finally, a few of my curiosities are settled.


Washington D.C. is in the grips of an angry serial bomber- that targets churches. Former FBI agent Dinah Harris is consulted on the case and what she discovers is not too far from where our national headlines are now. On the heels of the case is a couple’s dying marriage and the serious affects of spousal abuse and other forms of darkness that can etch itself in someone’s soul. Former characters from before are back in this thriller.

My Reaction

One of my questions was answered when Dinah finally took an interest in a guy and I am so glad she does(sorry I have to get this out first before getting to the dark stuff). He is tall and handsome and causes Dinah to question her reactions to him. Again, this is an overtly Christian book so hooking up and doing more than kissing doesn’t happen. Affection, but no more than that.

What I love most about Julie Cave’s novels is that she presents a clear case for both sides of an argument. When asked why he bombs churches, the bomber gives an answer I am sure we have all heard:

“Christians are well known for their hypocrisy. Every time I turn on the news, another pastor or evangelist or well-known Christian admits to having affairs or being a drug addict or embezzles funds…and I stopped believing in Him.”(pg. 267).

Pieces of Light totally gripped me from the first page, which begins with a letter from an inmate a year earlier. The writing and the information in this novel contains a potent message for this world.

Some may get turned off by the evangelically rich dialogue between characters but through sharing God’s Word in the plot, I could see clearly those pieces of light which makes this series a winner.

5/5 Stars!!!!!!

Book Details:

Pieces of Light(A Dinah Harris Mystery, #3), Julie Cave

Master Books(2011)

ISBN: 978-0-89051-608-9

Apologetics · book review · contemporary christian fiction · mystery novels

Review: ‘The Shadowed Mind'(A Dinah Harris Mystery, #2) is a Chiller

the shadowed mind, suspense booksIf you are a Christian and looking for a good mystery that seems to be ripped from today’s headlines and features a strong, flawed heroine. Then I strongly suggest Julie Cave’s Dinah Harris Mystery trilogy. And in The Shadowed Mind, the second book in this trilogy things get even deadlier.

Former FBI Agent Dinah Harris is now a consultant on the latest case: a cunning, terrifying killer emerges and decides who gets to live or die. Along with this event, Dinah learns about eugenics and euthanasia.

Briefly, eugenics is the science of improving the population by “breeding” those with good genes. Euthanasia is assisted suicide or “mercy killing”. And so in this mystery, there are people groups who publicly denounce these ideas but secretly they hold fast to them and what will raise goose bumps on your skin is the Julie Cave’s research that illustrates in real life people once held/hold on to these ideas, beginning with the history of The racial Integrity Act of 1924 or Sterilization Act which affected blacks of course and Indians and other non-white people groups. But it extends also to sterilizing those with histories of addictions, disabilities, and mental illness.

My Reaction:

Dinah Harris is touted as being the most talented FBI on the force and I guess this is before her depression and drinking took over because right now I see bits and pieces of how good she is as far as asking right questions and digging for clues but nothing really spectacular. But I do have a feeling this will pick up in the conclusion to this wonderful trilogy. Honestly, the books are just that good.

Also, I am a romantic at heart so I am wondering…when the heck will Dinah at least have some sort of gushy feelings for a dude?

Okay, maybe I’m picking, but seriously, this is a great series.

*Book received for unbiased review from author Julie Cave

4/5 Stars

Book Details:

The Shadowed Mind: A Dinah Harris Mystery, #2 by Julie Cave

Master Books(2010)


Apologetics · book review · mystery novels

Deadly Consequences and Theological Thoughts in ‘Deadly Disclosures’

Deadly Disclosures: A Dinah Harris Mystery

Deadly Disclosures: A Dinah Harris MysteryDeadly Disclosures: A Dinah Harris Mystery by Julie Cave

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A prominent Secretary of the Smithsonian vanishes and is found dead.

FBI agent Dinah Harris is summoned to the case, but she has a problem. A drinking problem and it will take an act of God for her to get through this case which will shake the foundation of the Smithsonian and America as she knows it.

The case goes deeper as Dinah realizes there is more at stake here than just a missing Secretary. More dead bodies pile up as she and her partner Ferguson discovers that this case is one of faith versus science:

“…you really don’t want anyone to practice any religion except atheism, right?” Dinah said mildly. That doesn’t sound like freedom of religion to me; that sounds like religious persecution.”(pg.257)

Deadly Disclosures is an exciting mystery portraying the views of the humanists/evolutionists and the Creationists/Christians and those who will literally kill for their beliefs. The book has intelligent dialogue, believable crime scenes, and you can tell the book has been thoroughly researched.

Although the book has five star status, some people may find Dinah too dry and cold. Her personality was really stale and her drinking booze every day and night is seen as a hindrance to her relationship with others. However, she does have a devastating story as to why she drinks and wishes to die.

Another potential pitfall for readers could be how atheists and Christians are portrayed. You’ve seen this in faith films: Atheists are the bad guys and Christians are the nice, sweet people.

A very entertaining book that begs you to keep turning the pages.

*Book received for free from Julie Cave for an unbiased review.

View all my reviews

Book Details:

Deadly Disclosures: A Dinah Harris Mystery, #1

Julie Cave

Master Books(2010)

ISBN: 978-0-89051-584-6

mystery novels · Uncategorized

A Round of Applause to A &E Television Networks for ‘Bates Motel’

The movie psycho was a Hitchcock favorite and first slasher film to hit black and white screens. Today, A&E Television Networks created Bates Motel in 2013 and so far all ten episodes for season 1 are on Netflix while season 2 begins tonight. What drew me into Bates Motel was my own prior knowledge about Norman Bates and of course the complex characters in the show. Bates is actually more normal than we think and he reflects who we all could become if we do not have the right guidance.

Bates Motel is a precursor to what  Norman Bates will be famous for- a psycho. I have never watched the old movie but I’ve heard much about it and learned that Busta Rhymes borrowed the “Psycho” theme for his song “Gimme Some Mo”. From what I do know is that Bates is a mentally disturbed young boy with a very controlling mother; with hints of some incestuous feelings involved…?

Kudos to actress Vera Farmiga for playing her role exceptionally well.

Anyway, eventually Norman will become all the more disturbed displaying dis-associative disorder and “slashing” innocent women. Now, there are little things here and there that may have contributed to Norman Bates’ behaviors.

*Did you know the movie Psycho is based on a novel by Robert Bloch? And that the whole story is based on an actual murderer named Ed Gein? Check it out.

Here are some disturbing things I noticed while watching Bates Motel which could  possibly lead any adolescent down a dark path. SPOILER for those who have not watched, sorry.

  • Norman loses his dad(he does not recall killing his own father but, yeah he did).
  • His mom moves him into a crazy town.
  • His mother has a problem with him joining social activities(and this is what kids need!)
  • He sees his mom getting raped, she kills the man and does not call the cops which leads to another dark event that spirals out of control the entire series
  • Norman meets a pretty girl, has sex with her and she tells him she is not into him(OUCH)

These are not excuses for becoming a serial killer but it would make anyone depressed, especially a teenager from a broken home where the parents were ill equipped to deal with issues properly in the first place.

And so now we have the makings of a psycho. A&E has done a great job on this series- I like the actors/actresses they’ve chosen, I like how the story moves at a natural pace which is the beginning of Norman Bates breakdown, and  ti is more”Coming of Age”. Smart idea considering that is where most films are heading anyway these days- a more angst-y, mysterious route.

Do you like to watch Bates Motel? Share this post with anyone you know or comment below! 🙂


book review · mystery novels

‘Best of Luck Elsewhere’ and ‘The Hot Spot’ reviews

The Hot Spot by Niobia Bryant

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Zaria Ali has two grown girls and an ex husband who walked out on her for a younger woman.

What’s a woman to do?

Zaria meets very handsome Kaleb Strong and discovers that their passion could sizzle up an already hot summer in July- but their age difference could cause a rift. Zaria at forty two is not ready to settle down, she is trying to reclaim her youth, while Kaleb, at 26 wants a woman who is ready for marriage and children with him. Still, they fill each other’s homes with love and lust and the heat never dies down but get’s stronger…and stronger…

I was pleased with the emotional punches Niobia Bryant pulled in this book. The pages had to be flipped because I wanted to see what would happen with these two souls who were made for each other in every way.

If you want a book filled with romance, passion, and more passion, please read The Hot Spot.

View all my reviews

Best of Luck Elsewhere by Trisha Haddad

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

J Press editor, S. Rain has been killed in an accident with a an author’s rejection letter found at the scene and that same person could be after mystery editor, Eliza Tahan because it is actually Eliza who rejects authors but it is her boss’s name whow went on those rejection letters.

Enter Adam Mestas, the handsome book editor who interviews her and their relationship quickly turns into a love affair filled with sweet promise and intrigue, but not without a few accidents happening all around them.

This book, for me was okay. Truly I wanted to give it three and half stars because while the storyline and the mystery of “whodunit” was quite interesting and I am sure it will resonate with many who have turned in manuscripts only to have them rejected; the typos and other errors and the fact I wanted more interaction between the protagonist and her lover earned the book four stars.

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