#BookReview – The Secret Life and Death of Josie by Angela Kay

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A fourteen year old cold case. A mother desperate to have her daughter’s murderer brought to justice. Det. Lexi Dixon has been handed the case in hopes that fresh eyes can solve it. The victim: Josie Parker – a teenager with a secret life,  a ballet dancer with a boyfriend no one had met, not even her best friend, and a mother, Jenny Parker, who controlled her life. And then the unthinkable happened, Josie was murdered in an alley beside a bar. Dixon and her partner, Det. Zach Montgomery delve into the case, slowly uncovering clues that prior detectives hadn’t. Was it the mother’s secret that led to Josie’s demise? Josie’s affair with an older man? Jealousy between friends? Can Dixon and Montgomery solve the case before their boss pulls the plug? Will Josie’s murder remain unsolved? These are the burning questions the reader will ask until the very end.

The Life and Death of Josie is Angela Kay’s fourth novel and what I consider her best yet. Kay creates a lead character, Det. Lexi Dixon, who is both strong and vulnerable. Dixon is a dogged detective, driven, and meticulous. In her personal life, she is the victim of domestic abuse. When we meet her in the story, she’s found the courage to divorce her husband and fight for custody of her son. It is that strength and vulnerability that pushes Dixon to solve Josie’s murder and fight for her son even though the odds for both are stacked against her.

Kay’s other characters are also well-defined – from Dixon’s partner to Jenny Parker, to the ballet coach and his family, to Josie’s secret friends and the other witnesses and suspects in the case. There are no flat, two-dimensional characters in this novel. Kay shows them to us with their beauty spots, warts and all – egos, jealousy, envy, addiction, and rage.

The plot of the story is also well thought out. From the moment Dixon takes over the cold case, the reader is drawn into not only the twists and turns of the case, but also becomes invested in the secret life of Josie Parker and the domestic challenges facing Dixon. Kay intricately weaves these two women’s stories together. The reader cheers for Josie’s case to be solved and for Dixon’s personal life to be resolved successfully.

If you enjoy a good mystery with a police procedural driven narrative, then this is the novel for you. I highly recommend this novel.

Rating: 5 stars

Genre: Mystery

When Available: May 10, 2019

Where to Pre-order: Amazon


Other Novels by Angela Kay

The Murder of Manny Grimes (Jim DeLong Mysteries Book 1)

Blood Runs Cold (Jim DeLong Mysteries Book 2)

I Can Kill (SA Aidan O’Reilly Thriller)

Short Fiction by Angela Kay

The Naked Eye


About the Author

Author PhotoEquipped with a professional writing degree from Augusta State University, Angela Kay always had the imagination and passion of a writer. She has written many, many short stories in her lifetime, most of which won’t ever see the light of day!

During college, her playwright professor had urged her to submit her one-act play to a 2009 playwright contest. To her shock and glory, she was one of 23 across the United States to win for her one-act entitled “Digging Deeper.” Because of this, she was able to spend a week in Atlanta at the Horizon Theater Company.

She’d begun writing her first novel, The Murder of Manny Grimes in 2009 during a Creative Writing college course. The first draft was well-received by her peers and professor. After seven years of writing and re-writing, the final draft of Manny Grimes became so unrecognizable and so different from the direction she initially went in. Finally, finding the nerves to show it to the public, Angela published it in 2016 with ThomasMax Publishing. A year later, she followed it up with a second book, Blood Runs Cold.

Realizing how difficult it is to break into the whole writing scheme, Angela began a blog to help other authors, many of which deserve glory. Between her busy life and keeping up with her writing, she enjoys reading and reviewing books written by both traditional authors and independent authors.

Angela draws her inspiration from international bestselling author, Steven James, as well as Agatha Christie and James Patterson.

Aside from writing, Angela enjoys watching TV and movies. Her favorite entertainers include James Stewart, Bing Crosby, Paul Newman, Mark Wahlberg, Bryan Adams, and Jeremy Camp.

Angela lives in Augusta, Georgia with her crazy calico, Maggie.

To Contact Angela Kay: Website | Website Contact Email | Email

 

 

 

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#BookPromo – The Naked Eye by Angela Kay

The Naked Eye ebook cover

Good news, my lovelies! Angela Kay’s short story, The Naked Eye, is now available on Amazon for $.99! If you are new to her work, this is an excellent intro and if you’ve read all her works (like I have!), then this is just one more great read to add to your Kindle stack.

You can check out my review here

And you can purchase a copy of The Naked Eye @Amazon (and for those of you who have KindleUnlimited, it’s free!)


Other Novels by Angela Kay

The Murder of Manny Grimes (Jim DeLong Mysteries Book 1)

Blood Runs Cold (Jim DeLong Mysteries Book 2)

I Can Kill (SA Aidan O’Reilly Thriller)


About the Author

Author PhotoEquipped with a professional writing degree from Augusta State University, Angela Kay always had the imagination and passion of a writer. She has written many, many short stories in her lifetime, most of which won’t ever see the light of day!

During college, her playwright professor had urged her to submit her one-act play to a 2009 playwright contest. To her shock and glory, she was one of 23 across the United States to win for her one-act entitled “Digging Deeper.” Because of this, she was able to spend a week in Atlanta at the Horizon Theater Company.

She’d begun writing her first novel, The Murder of Manny Grimes in 2009 during a Creative Writing college course. The first draft was well-received by her peers and professor. After seven years of writing and re-writing, the final draft of Manny Grimes became so unrecognizable and so different from the direction she initially went in. Finally, finding the nerves to show it to the public, Angela published it in 2016 with ThomasMax Publishing. A year later, she followed it up with a second book, Blood Runs Cold.

Realizing how difficult it is to break into the whole writing scheme, Angela began a blog to help other authors, many of which deserve glory. Between her busy life and keeping up with her writing, she enjoys reading and reviewing books written by both traditional authors and independent authors.

Angela draws her inspiration from international bestselling author, Steven James, as well as Agatha Christie and James Patterson.

Aside from writing, Angela enjoys watching TV and movies. Her favorite entertainers include James Stewart, Bing Crosby, Paul Newman, Mark Wahlberg, Bryan Adams, and Jeremy Camp.

Angela lives in Augusta, Georgia with her crazy calico, Maggie.

To Contact Angela Kay: Website | Website Contact Email | Email

#BookReview – The Naked Eye by Angela Kay

The Naked Eye ebook cover

Eight friends rent a lodge in Aspen to do some skiing. However, plans take a drastic change when a blizzard sets in and one of the friends ends up dead, in a locked room. Luckily, the man who brought the group to the lodge is Lieutenant Davis who is the father of Bridget Davis, one of the lodgers. Due to the storm, there is no way in or out and they are shut in with the dead body of Lauren Crusher and the killer. Everyone is a suspect, including the lieutenant, but Davis has a job to do until help can be contacted. All seven remaining friends seem to have had problems with the deceased in varying  degrees. As Davis interviews each of the friends and searches their rooms for evidence, can he figure out how Lauren died and who wanted her dead?

The Naked Eye teaser 1

The Naked Eye by Angela Kay is a short mystery. Although short on word count, Kay uses her skill as a storyteller to define each character and set up a plot that gives a surprising twist at the end. Kay never fails to drop small hints that you realize only once you’ve finished one of her stories. As with her novels, this short story is heavy on detail, including a rich setting, real characters and well-defined plot.

The Naked Eye teaser 2

I highly recommend this short story for anyone who just wants a quick mystery to entice them, for those who’ve read Kay’s other three novels (The Murder of Manny Grimes, Blood Runs Cold, and I Can Kill) or anyone who is new to her work.

The Naked Eye teaser 3

Rating: 5 stars

Genre: Mystery

When Available: January 18, 2019

Where to Pre-order: Amazon


Other Novels by Angela Kay

The Murder of Manny Grimes (Jim DeLong Mysteries Book 1)

Blood Runs Cold (Jim DeLong Mysteries Book 2)

I Can Kill (SA Aidan O’Reilly Thriller)


About the Author

Author PhotoEquipped with a professional writing degree from Augusta State University, Angela Kay always had the imagination and passion of a writer. She has written many, many short stories in her lifetime, most of which won’t ever see the light of day!

During college, her playwright professor had urged her to submit her one-act play to a 2009 playwright contest. To her shock and glory, she was one of 23 across the United States to win for her one-act entitled “Digging Deeper.” Because of this, she was able to spend a week in Atlanta at the Horizon Theater Company.

She’d begun writing her first novel, The Murder of Manny Grimes in 2009 during a Creative Writing college course. The first draft was well-received by her peers and professor. After seven years of writing and re-writing, the final draft of Manny Grimes became so unrecognizable and so different from the direction she initially went in. Finally, finding the nerves to show it to the public, Angela published it in 2016 with ThomasMax Publishing. A year later, she followed it up with a second book, Blood Runs Cold.

Realizing how difficult it is to break into the whole writing scheme, Angela began a blog to help other authors, many of which deserve glory. Between her busy life and keeping up with her writing, she enjoys reading and reviewing books written by both traditional authors and independent authors.

Angela draws her inspiration from international bestselling author, Steven James, as well as Agatha Christie and James Patterson.

Aside from writing, Angela enjoys watching TV and movies. Her favorite entertainers include James Stewart, Bing Crosby, Paul Newman, Mark Wahlberg, Bryan Adams, and Jeremy Camp.

Angela lives in Augusta, Georgia with her crazy calico, Maggie.

To Contact Angela Kay: Website | Website Contact Email | Email

#BookPromo – Forbidden Chronicles of a Roman Centurion by John Chaplick

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About the Book

An archaeological dig under the streets of London unearths a Roman Centurion’s 2000-year-old letter which throws doubt on and threatens the foundations of Christian doctrine and modern society. Is it possible the New Testament is a forgery promulgated by the Roman Catholic Church? In a desperate effort to assess the validity of the letter’s contents, a team of scholars including Dr. Peter Clemens, a devout Christian, and Sam Wykoff, an avowed atheist, track the First Century itinerary of Roman Legion XX through England and the Near East travels of Apostle Paul upon whose writings the centurion’s letter was based. In the process, the team encounters danger and subterfuge at every turn. An antichrist group anxious to discredit the Bible, and religious zealots eager to protect the status quo by attempting to stop or kill them are just a few of the obstacles they must overcome.

Genre(s): Genre Fiction, Religious/Spiritual, International Mystery/Crime, Thriller

To Purchase: Author’s Website | Amazon


Excerpts from A Critical Review of Forbidden Chronicles of a Roman Centurion by Jim Booth

A bit like a mystery, a bit like a thriller, John Chaplick’s Forbidden Chronicles of a Roman Centurion explores some profound ideas while it seeks to accomplish an elusive and difficult task. A Roman centurion who knew the apostle Paul sends his son a letter which is discovered twenty centuries later in an archaeological dig under the streets of London. The discovery challenges the validity of the New Testament and sends a team of scholars across England and Asia Minor in search of the truth.

In its Da Vinci Code like narrative Chaplick’s novel challenges the reader with at times almost dauntingly philosophical and theological discussions among its main characters, including a theologian and an avowed atheist. There is action, danger, mystery, and even a little romance as the team encounters both hard core zealots who fear opposition to the Bible, and evil cultists who eager to discredit it.

The reader will find him/herself both entertained and enlightened by John Chaplick’s novel. One can ask for no more.


About the Author

5702261110072.JPGA former auditor and partner in an international CPA firm, John Chaplick is an instructor in the field of forensic and investigative accounting. His experience includes a specialty in fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering. He was the founder and president of his own business for eighteen years before he retired and made his home in Lutz, Florida.

He has published technical articles in various professional journals, and his mystery and romance novels are based upon his extensive corporate and professional experience. An Elder in the Presbyterian Church, John’s biblical studies have included research on the life of the apostle Paul. John holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan. He is a leader in the Florida Writers Association.

John also teaches writing classes at the Life Enrichment Center in Tampa, and at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at USF.

Titles by John Chaplick can be found on his website @ EngagingBooksBlog.com:

  • The Pandora Files
  • An Enduring Conspiracy
  • The Rivergrass Legacy (Award-winner)
  • Bridge of the Paper Tiger
  • Forbidden Chronicles of a Roman Centurion (Award-winner)

John Chaplick’s Website | LinkedIn

Book Review – The Murder of Manny Grimes by Angela Kay

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The Murder of Manny Grimes by Angela Kay is much more than a murder mystery. It is a story about love, hope and redemption with a paranormal and Christian slant. When three young boys enter the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department to report a murder at the Columbia County Elementary School, Lieutenant Jim DeLong’s life and those around him will be forever changed. A fifteen-year mystery, the death of Manny Grimes, and a suspected murder/suicide are all tangled together in this thrilling novel.

Manny Grimes had information that linked the murder/suicide and the mystery from fifteen years ago together, and he paid for it with his life. As DeLong, his mentor Russ Calhoun, and the CSI team of Newman and Elliot set out to solve this murder, life becomes complicated for all of them. DeLong is driven by the voice of Manny Grimes to help him and he cannot let him down.He also discovers that his wife and Calhoun had an affair and it drags him down a spiraling dark hole of alcoholism and rage. His personal life is as twisted and mixed-up as the case before him is. The team soon discover that the murder/suicide might have been staged and that one of the victims’ spouses could be involved in the cover-up, but the case is much deeper than that. It involves a murder fifteen years in the past that was also covered-up. Somehow through this tangled mystery, Kay ties all of the ends together in a shocking conclusion.

What I enjoyed most about this novel is that Kay does an excellent job of weaving so many story angles together to form a cohesive, well-written mystery. She also does an excellent job with the personal angles of the story – between DeLong and his wife, the affair his wife had with Calhoun, the interwoven angle of all the families involved in Manny Grimes’ murder and the budding romance between Calhoun and Elliot. These characters are rich, and humanly flawed, making them believable. The police procedural is also well done in this novel.

The only angle of the story that would have normally warded me off is the Christian slant. As a rule, I do not read Christian novels. Not because they are Christian, but because they are normally preachy and not my thing. However, in this novel, it made sense. DeLong’s life was spiraling out of control and a few nuances of scripture gave him the hope and determination to get his life back under control. It was well done in this novel and not at all preachy.

The only flaw I discovered was a minor one – DeLong was checked into a motel when he left his wife Samantha, but in once instance, it became a hotel. With such a minor flaw, there is no way I am allowing it to detract points from my review. This is a solid novel and deserves to be read and praised.

Note: I was given a free copy of this novel for a fair and honest review.

Rating: 5 stars

Genre(s): Mystery, Police Procedural, Christian, Paranormal

To Purchase: Amazon

Book Review – Who Watcheth by Helene Tursten

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Who Watcheth is a mystery/thriller by the Swedish author, Helene Tursten. A serial killer is on the loose in and around Goteborg, Sweden. He watches his prey, building up a fantasy in his mind that he is in a relationship with the women, and then when they commit what he considers a sin, he kills them. He also leaves photos he’s taken of them committing the sin, a white chrysanthemum, and a note with a Bible verse on it days before he kills them. His M.O. is specific, he always uses a cord with knots in them to strangle his victims and leaves behind some telling clues. The one victim who got away recalled that he had an abhorrent odor about him. Irene Huss is a detective on the Goteborg police department and along with her colleagues, she sets out to find the killer. During the course of the story, Irene has some problems of her own with a woman who wants vengeance for the deaths of her children. She directly blames the police department and Irene in particular, adding an additional round of suspense to the story.

What I enjoyed most about the novel is the interactions that Irene has with both her husband and her colleagues. Her character is well-rounded and well-developed. The other characters are well-developed too. The story unfolds at a nice pace – not too slow or quick, just right. I also enjoyed the police procedural. The suspense keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout and the attack scenes are well-written.

Unfortunately, I guessed who the killer would be long before it unfolded in the story because it was just so blatantly stereotypical, and he didn’t appear to be as sophisticated as I had assumed he would be. I won’t say more so as not to spoil it for other readers. I will let them make their own determination.

All in all, this is a well-written novel with a good plot, great characters and a suspenseful conclusion. I just wish the killer had lived up to my expectations so I could have given it a higher rating.

Note: I won a copy of this novel on Goodreads Giveaway for a fair and honest review.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Genre(s): Thriller, Mystery, Police Procedrual

To Purchase: Amazon

Book Review – Social Engineer by Ian Sutherland

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Social Engineer by Ian Sutherland is a novella and an introduction to the white hat hacking world of Brody Taylor. Taylor is a social engineer who hacks into companies’ systems in order to find flaws that can be manipulated by black hat hackers. He then teaches these companies how to plug up the holes in their security systems. This is how Taylor normally operates; however, he meets Mel via an internet dating site and his focus changes. Mel is an animal rights activist and the next company that Taylor will hack uses animals in their testings. What is Taylor’s true motivation and how does it affect his job and the relationship with Mel?

Sutherland has created a unique story here which is told in a disjointed timeline from the recent past to the present, switching back and forth. Along the way, the reader learns how Taylor hacks HTL, a pharmaceutical company, his relationship with Mel and her friends, and his motivations. Although this is an introduction novella, Sutherland creates believable, well-crafted characters, a plot that keeps you guessing until the last sentence, and an interesting concept that makes you want to read more about this character, Brody Taylor.

I’ve read some critics who’ve said that the back and forth timeline of this story confused them. I didn’t have the same difficulty. I actually enjoyed this aspect of the novella as it gave me a chance to really get to know Brody Taylor more. There was also criticism that the ending was unsatisfactory, but that didn’t bother me either, especially since I know there are other books in this series. I found this an enjoyable, thrilling read and highly recommend it for anyone interested in thrillers and hacking.

Note: I was given a free copy of this novella by the author for an honest and fair review.

Rating: 5 Star

Genre(s): Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Technothriller

To Purchase: Amazon