Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Review - Mr Mercedes by Stephen King

Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #1)Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Hardcover, 436 pages
Published June 3rd 2014 by Scribner (first published January 1st 2014)
Source: Own Copy

'In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.

In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the "perk" and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.

Brady Hartfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again.

Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands.

Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

My Thoughts: 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Mr Mercedes and think that it was another great attempt by King to write something other than a novel of the horror or supernatural persuasion.

Crime novels are usually my favourite genre next to horror and in my opinion this one had a gripping storyline that was built up nicely from the beginning and carried through nicely to the end.

All of the characters were interesting and easy to imagine and by the end I even grew quite fond of some of them which means I really cannot wait until the next instalment in this trilogy gets released. I'm especially interested to see which characters get carried on through the series and how they develop further over time.

One of the main aspects of Mr Mercedes that I really enjoyed was that the reader was given the story from two different perspectives, being that of the retired cop investigating the crimes as well as the bad guy who is responsible for it all. Once I got further into the criminal's mind and saw his history and background, I almost felt pity for him as he is clearly an object of his upbringing and the psychology behind the actions of people like this has always fascinated me a little.

All in all I loved this book and struggled to put it down during the last 100 pages or so. Due to the nature of King's previous work you really do never know what his conclusions will bring and I was so invested in needing to know what the outcome of the bad guys mission was going to be that it became my mission to find out towards the end.

If you go into reading this book expecting old King writing then you might be a bit disappointed, but if you go into it with a clear mind and the knowledge that you are reading a good crime novel then hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Book Blitz - Hark - A Christmas Collection by Justin Bog

Hark---A Christmas Collection . . .
By Justin Bog
Genre: Fiction, Short Stories

Book Description:
A beautifully written collection of short stories from critically acclaimed Pacific Northwest writer Justin Bog, Hark explores the range of emotions surrounding the holidays. From melancholy to madness, loss and despair to hope and forgiveness, these six tales shimmer with feelings, some we'd rather stuff away, that Christmas can evoke.
Set in colorful locations around the United States, from Anacortes, Washington, to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Sun Valley, Idaho, each tale focuses on people who struggle to make good choices, learn lessons, and maybe even find peace during the holiday season.
A bonus story, Poseidon Eyes, from Booktrope's upcoming reissue of Sandcastle and Other Stories---The Complete Edition, is included.

Author Bio:
Justin Bog lives in the Pacific Northwest on Fidalgo Island. Justin Bog was Pop Culture Correspondent and Editor for In Classic Style. He enjoys cooking, lawn mowing not so much, and spends time walking and handing out treats to two long coat German shepherds, Zippy and Kipling, and two barn cats, Ajax The Gray and Eartha Kitt’n.

Follow Justin Online:
Justin Bog A Writer's Life Blog: www.justinbog.com
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/JustinBog1
Twitter: @JustinBog

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Review - Ouback Blaze by Rachael Johns

Outback BlazeOutback Blaze by Rachael Johns
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Published May 1st 2014 by Harlequin MIRA
Source: Publisher for Review

'Ruby wasn't looking for love, Drew wasn't looking to stay...until they found each other. Can their fling survive the darkness of Ruby's past and Drew's desire to move on?

Ruby Jones was always an optimist, but the trauma of her past had made her wary. So when she flees to the small rural community of Bunyip Bay to start afresh, she has her sights firmly set on establishing her horse-riding business and rebuilding her life. The last thing Ruby wants is a romance. In fact, after all she has been through, she can't imagine she will ever believe in love again.

Police officer Drew Noble has no intention of staying in Bunyip Bay — he is just an outsider seeking temporary refuge. But as the charm of the town sways him, Drew finds himself increasingly drawn to the community and its inhabitants, as well as another newcomer, the lovely Ruby Jones.

When Drew investigates a suspicious fire at Ruby's parents' business, he finds himself feeling strangely protective of the girl with the flowers in her hair. As the details of Ruby's past emerge and she comes once more under threat, Drew realises he will do all in his power to save her.

Soon these outsiders discover they have both lost their hearts — not only to the town but to each other.

My Thoughts:
Outback Blaze is the second installment in the Bunyip Bay series and I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting this small rural Australian town after reading Outback Dreams a little while ago.

I found the main female character, Ruby Jones, very likeable and I've come to realise that Rachael Johns develops her female leads quite well. Ruby has a very painful past and was doing her best to rebuild her life back in Bunyip Bay and live a normal life. The way her and Drew come together and develop their romance is nice and believable without seeming too forced and I prefer this type of romance to the sappy, 'fall head over heels in a heartbeat' kind.

I really enjoyed the interesting back story as to why Drew came to join this little town and I also found his character developed in a realistic way. You really wanted these two people to be together and find happiness within each other.

As for the other characters in the book, there were some interesting developments that those who have read Outback Dreams and are familiar with the history of some of the original characters will certainly appreciate. This doesn't mean you have to have read Outback Dreams to enjoy Outback Blaze at all as it could quite easily be read as a standalone story in itself.

The addition of the suspense element broke this book up nicely and I always find that reading books like these really make me long to experience living life in a small rural town one day just to see what it is really like.

I definitely look forward to reading the third installment in the series, Outback Ghost, in the near future.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Spotlight & Interview - A Fistful of Evil by Rebecca Chastain

Today I am very happy to be hosting a great interview with Rebecca Chastain.

First up, here is a little bit about her latest book, A Fistful of Evil....

Madison Fox just learned that her ability to see souls is more than a sight: It’s a weapon for fighting evil. The only problem is she doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing.

On the positive side, her money problems are over, she’s possibly discovered her purpose in life, and her coworker is smoking hot. On the negative side, evil creatures now actively hunt her, and deadly experiences are becoming the norm.

When she thinks it couldn’t get worse, a powerful evil sets up shop at a local hotel’s video game convention, and it’s got its eye on more than the gaming geeks: it is hungry for Madison’s soul. Madison needs to become an expert illuminant enforcer overnight to save her job, her region . . . and her life.

If Stephanie Plum fought evil with magic, it’d look a lot like this.

A Fistful of Evil is an Amazon Top 100 Fantasy Bestseller in the United States, Australia, and Canada.


Where did you get the inspiration for A Fistful of Evil?
I’m a fantasy addict and wish I had my own magic, so it makes sense that my ideas always spark from the main character’s magic. The idea for Madison’s magic came when I was trying to fall asleep. To distract myself from a bad work day, I focused on my cat, who was sleeping beside my pillow. In the darkness, I pretended I could see her glowing white, which made me think about being able to see souls, and whether or not that would be a good thing. From there, the story took off…and it took me a long time to fall to sleep.

Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
I am Madison’s polar opposite and am much more like her best friend Bridget. I like to plan. I savor routine. I adore a quiet day in front of my computer. I wish I were more spontaneous and outgoing like Madison. Of course, if it meant attracting as much trouble as she does, no thanks!

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
I was eleven the first time I wrote a story, and it was an epiphany. Short of stumbling through a wardrobe (I always check!) or getting an owl-delivered message, writing is the closest I can get to wielding magic, and I’m not going to give it up!

What does your writing area look like?
A little bit messy and well lived in. More specifically, my sprawling desk takes up half the room, and an elliptical machine and two bookcases take up the rest of the space. The desk is covered with manuscripts in various stages, research books, and far too many sticky notes with scribbles only I can interpret. An enormous white board with my extensive to-do list hangs across from my desk to keep me on track. And, of course, cat beds are tucked into favored spaces to appease my “coworkers,” who otherwise prefer sprawling across my desk, knocking everything to the floor.

What are five items you never leave home without?
Lip gloss, a list of books I need to buy, a hair tie, my purse, and a pullover sweater (what is with the arctic temperatures of some restaurants?). I’m always forgetting to bring my phone.

Do you prefer ebooks or print?
I love ebooks! They let me squeeze extra reading time into every day, including while flossing and applying moisturizer and sunscreen. Also, I can load my ereader with a library of books for long trips rather than packing a heavy tote (this might be the reason my husband got me an ereader in the first place).

What are you reading right now?
For pleasure, Kat Richardson’s Greywalker; for research, Charles C. Mann’s 1941; and for marketing tips, Joanna Penn’s How to Market a Book.

Do you have a favorite TV show?
S.H.I.E.L.D. is my current favorite, and next in line are Doctor Who, The Good Wife, Scandal, and Modern Family. I sorely miss Eureka and Warehouse 13. I wish more sci-fi/fantasy shows were geared toward adults and not teens!

What’s one thing that scares you?
Shower curtains, or rather, closed shower curtains. Bathtubs are large. You could fit a lot of stuff back there, including people. I always check behind shower curtains before using the restroom in someone’s house. (You’ve been warned: If you ever have me over, I’m going to look.) I’ve scared myself a few times, too, because a lot of people use spare bathroom showers as extra storage.

Goals for future projects?
A Fistful of Evil is the first of string of novels, the number depending on reader response; I want to make fans happy! I also plan to write two or three more novellas in the world of Magic of the Gargoyles. Beyond that, I have a fantasy series set in the time of the Aztec half mapped out, a magical realism screwball romance set in LA that is currently in edits, and possibly a YA stand-alone involving time manipulation.

Anything you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for reading my novel! I love to hear from readers, so email me at rebecca[at]rebeccachastain[dot]com, leave a comment on my blog, or chat with me on Facebook.

Important Links:

Amazon US:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5660379.Rebecca_Chastain
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...