For readers around the globe. :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Out of the Easy

So, I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction.
Well, I thought I wasn't.
I found this book when I was looking for books told through a prostitutes POV (if you have any suggestions I am more than open to hearing about them). That being said, Out of the Easy is actually written from view of a prostitute's daughter.
Josie Moraine, Jo for short, was named after a well known brothel madam in New Orleans. Her mother has been a trainwreck from the start. By age 7, Josie was well-versed in the art of martini mixing. At age 12, she began hiding out in the bookstore that the owner let her live in. She's had to work her entire life because without working she wouldn't have survived under her mothers care. But she's always had Willie and Cokie to look out for her. They have eyes all over the French Quarter and always know the happenings. So when Jo's mother gets tangled up in a murder trial, things start to get sticky.
Josie, Jo, Josephine, wants more for herself. She doesn't want to stay in NOLA, she wants to get as far away as she can. She wants to go to college. She wants a life where no one knows her her dirty secrets. Somewhere where people don't know her mother is the town whore. Somewhere where she can start over completely.

Honestly, I want a second book. 
The way Ruta Sepetys wrote the ending definitely has the potential for another book.
Can Josie find herself or will she find herself back in Nola?
I would love to know.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Shadow Crimes

Earlier this month I participated in the PICT book tour for Shadow Crimes. As I was typing up the excerpt for my post (which you can find here), I realized this book might grab my interest more than I expected. So I hopped on and got myself an e-copy.
Now before you head over to the excerpt, I want you to know that I have posted a disclaimer that it includes a rape scene. In fact, the entire book has several rape scenes.
That being said, let's jump in.
Shadow Crimes starts with the brutal attack on an up and coming redheaded model named Rhonda. The modeling industry was shaken by this startling event and starts looking out for their own a little more. The story then jumps to our protagonist, Anna, a redheaded model who has just been discovered. She moves to NYC to becoming fully immersed in the lifestyle, but at just 18 she might be in over her head. Nevertheless, she keeps her eyes and ears open and always trust her gut. But that might not always be enough. When she takes a modeling gig in Italy, her career suddenly takes off. She's now an international model, who wouldn't want her on their team?! 
Anna has a nagging feeling that she should be more careful because the killer could be near. I mean, he got to one of her dear friends. Nobody is safe anymore.
Shadow Crimes was unlike any book I've read before, but it was good. 
Well, it was okay.
It's super anticlimactic because about halfway through the book, you basically can guess who the killer is and I promise you'll be right.
But overall, it was a good, quick read; one that I would definitely recommend to my friends.  

Looking for the excerpt?

Thursday, February 22, 2018

I Am Not a Serial Killer

John Wayne Cleaver doesn't want to be a serial killer.
He's trained himself for years on what not to do.
He's made a list of rules he has to follow.
He's built a wall inside himself to keep Mr. Monster at bay.

John knows he has all of the characteristics of a serial killer.
He knows he has to fight those urges, but when a killer comes to town, are his rules enough to keep him from his murderous tendencies?

I Am Not a Serial Killer is a 6 book series that follows John through his dark and lonely life.
I'm actually super excited to read the rest of this series, but I will say I had a few issues with the book. Once the climax hits, the whole book kind of takes a supernatural turn that I was not expecting at all. I'm not a huge fan of books with supernatural aspects, so that was kind of a bummer for me. But other than that, the book was fantastic. I'm hoping the rest of the series sticks to the psychological, serial killing side of John.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Friends and Other Liars

This book is fantastic!
It starts off from Danny's point a view but what is fascinating about his POV is that, well, he's watching his friends come together at his funeral.
That's right, Danny is dead.
His final wish?
Get his friends together so they can all get to know each other a little better, meaning he has dirt on each one of them and he's finally ready to spill it.

We learn all of the secrets through alternating points of view.
But not just that, it's also told through alternating time frames.
So we hear from High School Ruby, College Ruby, and Now Ruby.
Same goes for their friend Ally, and new friend Steph.
Not going to lie, storytelling in this way is probably one of my favorite things.
It gives such an awesome dynamic to all of the characters; how they grew up, who knew what, when things were happening, it's just fantastic storytelling. This book didn't let me down in that aspect either. Each character had a relationship with Danny that flourished in it's own way. He wanted them all to know that he knew everything. He was the only one who knew these secrets, and maybe that's what led to his death. Maybe they expected too much from him, but really, they only liked him when it was convenient from them. 

Now, when I started reading this, I was getting Th1rteen R3asons Why vibes, which was quickly squashed, but I'm okay with that. After Danny O.D.'s, his mother found letters in his room to give to his friends, letters that contained their secrets. The letter he wrote explaining all of the letters to them also mentioned if the secrets aren't told to the others, someone may have a way of letting the truth out. So 13RW is immediately where my mind jumped.
But then some of the members of their crew get additional letters that all say the same exact thing...
So, hello, obviously they are being stalked (they aren't but ya know, good storytelling). Once the stalker aspect came into play, I immediately jumped to Pretty Little Liars, but again those sneaky little thoughts were quickly squashed too.
But with everything I've said, I thoroughly enjoyed Friends and Other Liars!
It had just the right amount of secrets and tied up very nicely in the end (which I actually read first because I have no self control).
Huge thank you to NetGalley for an e-arc of Friends and Other Liars.
Even bigger thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for thinking of me and sending me a physical copy of the book!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


After reading about Sybil for TWO WEEKS (yes it took me that long) I can honestly say I am glad to have read her story. As a psychology student, I wanted to read this so badly. It is so intriguing the way our minds develop and how it can protect us from a variety of situations.
For those of you who don't know, Sybil is the first reported Multiple Personality (now called Dissociated Identity Disorder [DID]) to be psychoanalyzed. She was living on borrowed time, lost time, and confusion. She often woke up not knowing what she had done for the past few days, weeks, and sometimes even years. She had forgotten her multiplication tables in 5th grade because she had no memory of learning it. She would find broken glass with no recollection of how it had gotten broken. She would come home to find new things she assumed her father had built her, even though he didn't live near her or visit often... She would find herself walking down unfamiliar streets in the winter with no gloves, jacket, or hat. She had no idea it was because someone else had led her there, someone in her own body. 
Sybil had 16 different alters (average alters for DID patients is 8) who occasionally took control of Sybil's body and began living the lives they had dreamed. Throughout the book, Sybil has to come to terms with the fact that these alters (her doctor, Dr. Wilbur, called them personalities) were a part of her and she had to understand what they wanted and how they could help her become a "whole person". The alters were different ages depending on when Sybil's mind developed them to help protect her against whatever was happening at the time.
Dr. Wilbur learns of Sybil's abuse (common in DID patients). She was sexually abused by her mother at a very young age. She shared a bedroom with her parents until she was nine years old and often witnessed their sexual acts. Her father was deeply rooted in their local church and often pushed his Armageddon views onto his daughter. When her favorite grandmother died, her parents "forgot" about her and left her in the bedroom until the funeral was over. Each of these events, and many others, caused Sybil to disassociate from herself because the emotional baggage was too much to carry. Each of her alters became an emotion that she could hand off to them as a way of saying "Please take care of this for me, I do not wish to be included." 
For 11 years, Dr. Wilbur and Sybil worked together to find the trauma that caused this phenomenon, analyze each alter as an individual, and eventually integrate all the alters into one person, Sybil. 

Before I read this I found many reviews that questioned whether or not Sybil was actually suffering from DID or if her doctor pushed the idea onto her. Honestly, I believe she was definitely suffering from DID. However, the terminology of the book is slightly outdated (I mean it was the 1950's what do you expect? I mean she went to shock therapy for God's sake). But it really showed how psychology has evolved over the years, but the ideals behind it remain the same.

Shadow Crimes Exclusive!!

I have teamed up with PICT to provide an exclusive excerpt of E. J. Moran's new book Shadow Crimes! Check it out!

Disclaimer: Trigger Warnings for Violence and Rape

New York City, 1978
April Night

The clattering elevator came to a halt. Its passenger opened the scissor gate, then the double door, and exited. "Thank you for letting me up," he said as he walked toward Rhonda.
"Hi," she said sweetly. "Come on it." Rhonda motioned him through the door. "I'm really sorry but I'm already in my nightgown. I was about to go to sleep."
"Of course, it's late." He glanced around the minuscule studio. It was neat and barren, apart from a tiny, decrepit kitchenette, a single bed, and a small side table lined with a few of of Rhonda's modeling photos. "So, this is the apartment you were talking about?" he said, shaking his head in dismay. "You can do better than this. It's horrible here."
"It is, isn't it?" Rhonda said, putting her head down with embarrassment. "Unfortunately though I couldn't afford more." Regaining her composure, she smiled softly. "Anyway, the good news is I pay month-to-month, and as soon as I make some decent money modeling I'm going to move out."
"That's what I wanted to speak to you about."
"Well, have a seat," she said, laughing as she motioned to a corner at the far end of the bed. "Can I get you something to drink first?" she asked as he sat down.
"No, nothing, thank you." He looked at her intently, following her every gesture as she perched herself down near the head of the bed.
"So you want to be a famous model?"
She nodded in agreement.
 "Let's talk about what I can do for you."
"Terrific," she said, overjoyed by his interest in helping her.
"I think you have a lot of potential. I really do."
Rhonda smiled eagerly and took in a big breath of air, emphasizing her svelte, a perfect figure.
"It's not easy though to make it as a model. Beautiful girls are a dime a dozen," he said.
"I know. It's true. I see so many beautiful models every day."
"Exactly. That's why you need someone with connections, someone with power, to help you."
"You're right," Rhonda said. She could hardly believe she may be about to her her lucky break, one that could launch her to stardom in the modeling world.
Suddenly, he reached her arm and pulled her toward him.
"Hey, what are you doing?" Rhonda's eager smile faded. Confused, she tried to pull away.
"You know what I'm doing, Rhonda."
"No I don't. You said you wanted to speak with me."
"You want help? You want to make it big?"
"Yes, but not this way." She struggled to get away, but her resistance made him angry.
"You know you want this. I could see it in your eyes earlier."
"No, I don't," she said, still trying to pull away as his fingers dug into her arms.
He didn't loosen his grip. "You are so sexy, don't you know that?"
"Stop. I don't want to do this. I'm still a virgin."
"A virgin?" He pushed her back and held onto her tightly with outstretched arms, his piercing stare locking onto her terrified eyes. "I don't believe you."
"I am, I swear!" She tried to loosen his grip and get up from the bed. "You got the wrong impression."
"Then why are you such a cockteaser?" His large almost-shaped eyes began to shrink as he helfd her firm and squinted at her with the most evil look she had ever seen.
"I'm not. I don't know what you're talking about."
Pulling her closer, he kissed her hard as she desperately made futile attempts to get away.
"You slut!"
Rhonda squired and dodged his attempts to kiss her, shrieking in terror. He wrestled her down on the bed, straddling her hips and pushing her down against the pillow. He smothered her face with one of his large hands, both to shut her up and hold her still. Terrified she froze.
"Cockteaser! You're like all the others," he hissed.
Using his free hand, he undid his trousers and forced himself inside her. Rhonda could only whimper, too paralyzed with fear to do anything else. He grew more and more excited with each thrust, mumbling incoherent words of disgust and hatred until he reached his climax.
Rhonda bled to death in her own bed, her throat sliced with a seven-inch combat knife.
"Looks like she's been dead a few days," Detective Tansey said as he stared ar Rhonda's decomposing body. The ruggedly handsome man held his cool demeanor while the two officers from the crime lab covered their noses- the room was beginning to have a foul smell.
"Do you think she was a model?" Officer Kasinski asked.
"Maybe." Tansey glanced over at the professional-looking photos of Rhonda on the nightstand. "Definitely not a famous one though if she was living in a place like this.""Unless she was a druggie. Could have spent all her money on cocaine or something," Officer Smith added.
"True, seen that before."
Kasinski checked out the bathroom and returned. "No signs of drug paraphernalia."
 Tansey searched Rhonda's outstretched arms. "No signs of track marks either. She must have been living in this shithole because it was cheap."
The men shook their heads in disgust at the level of violence.
"Killer didn't just cut her throat, he damn near took her head off," Smith said.
"Looks like she's been raped too, judging by the bruising," Tansey added.
"My guess is that she let him up here," Kasinski continued. "The intercom worked, and there are no apparent signs of forced entry. That is, unless he as already in the building and snuck into her apartment while she slept. The lock is a joke."
"Or maybe she brought him home with her," Smith countered.
"Possibly. OK, let's get to work. We don't need to stare at her anymore." Tansey glanced away from the dead girl and began assessing the room for more evidence.
A few hours later, he picked up Rhonda's telephone and called the coroner's office. The men had collected everything that could be useful; now it was time to have the poor girl removed from the putrid, blood-soaked bed and taken to the morgue.

I also went ahead and bought the e-book for my Kindle because this excerpt was so good!!

Looking for my review?
Shadow Crimes

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

We All Fall Down

I really, really enjoy reading Natalie D. Richards books.
That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed We All Fall Down!
It tackles several topics including mental illness, hauntings, college, and friendship.
Paige and Theo have been best friends for years, but Theo finally wants more. Too bad Paige is trying to impress another boy... Something terrible happens the night of the party and their friendship is ruined. Bad things always happen on the bridge, but they never thought it would happen to them. 
Paige begins questioning her entire friendship with Theo. She knows their relationship is toxic, it could never work. Especially since she put a lock on the bridge with their initials on it.... Could that have cursed them?
After 6 months apart, strange things start happening to them. Theo is hearing voices, voices reviving conversations he had during the night of the party. The party that quite literally, ruined his life. It must just be a side effect of his medication. But the more it happens, the more he questions his sanity.
Paige starts finding things she lost the night of the party. Things like her earring, purse, shoes, even her own teeth.... Maybe it's Theo playing a joke on her, but maybe it's more than that.

If we're being honest, the supernatural side was a little too much for me. I don't usually read books that have hauntings, ghosts, the unknown, etc.. It just seemed a bit far fetched and out of place for me. Sure, you could argue symbolism, but I just didn't enjoy that part. That being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed the story and loved reading about Theo and Paige.

Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for providing me an advanced copy of We All Fall Down!
(Even though I just now got around to reading it, whoops!)

Looking for other Natalie D. Richards books?
One Was Lost