Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A tempting tangle of psychological thrills!

Psychological thriller fans will be in their comfort zone when reading Sister, Psychopath, a mind-stretching novel by author Maggie James.

            Initially the author introduces the reader to some seemingly ordinary polite individuals. That lasts for a few pages, and then things become a little off-center. As James’s characters unleash their personal agendas driven by deep-seated motivations, the reader is very likely to hug the edge of their seat, maybe even gnaw a couple fingernails to the quick. Remember Sister, Psychopath is a psychological thriller. It’ll mess with your mind, and I loved it!

Maggie James, Author

            James has mastered the craft of developing stand-out characters, whether the likable heroines or the despised villains. The author has a way of letting her characters tell the story to the reader in such a way that the full force of those characters comes alive on the pages of her books. Her characters could easily be the reader’s next door neighbor or in the case of Sister, Psychopath, the characters could be the reader’s family members, or one of the characters could easily be the reader. Yes, you! But that’s the chilling backbone of a psychological thriller, realizing there are no boundaries when it comes to thoughts and motivations of the human being.

            Sister, Psychopath is a perfect example of short-circuiting motivations that seem to be plentiful with James’s characters. No one has a corner on deceit, and no one has a monopoly on revenge. Neither does one individual have a lock on greed or scheming. But most important no one owns the process of rationalization which is rampant and rife in Maggie James’s novels. It’s that full-throttle quality that is an enjoyable hallmark of her books. Her characters generate maximum conflict and tension from their rationalizing, thus providing a harvest of psychological thrills for her readers.

            When I finished Sister, Psychopath I was tempted to book an appointment with the therapist down the street, just to get my head straight. But I decided against that idea; thought I’d wait until I read Maggie James’s next psychological thriller, The Second Captive, according to James’s website. Then I’ll be ready for some serious mind-straightening therapy.

            It only takes a little rationalization for me to give a Five-Star rating for Sister, Psychopath. A mind-bending read and hours of entertainment! I’ve cleared more space on my reading shelf for another Maggie James novel. Well done, Ms. James!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

5-Star Review: Chain of Title

An endless chain of explosive events and emotions from page one!

From the time Shayna Chastain signed on the dotted line, her comfortable life of twenty-five years took a seemingly legal subtle turn, then raced out of control like a careening ride on a runaway big rig without a brake and with an endless, descending mountain road ahead.

Robyn Roze, Author

Are you breathless yet? You will be for the next 357 pages of Chain of Title. Author Robyn Roze has established her writing voice, one that fills her novels with realistic characters fully equipped with flaws, aspirations, wants, and needs. Character motivations that swirl in conflict as the plot simmers and thickens.

Chain of Title is quality work delivering a unique set of characters that are distinctly different, and yet find themselves meshed in a common gravitational pull on a collision course headed for an exciting cataclysmic ending. Emotionally explosive reading!

After the devastation backdrop on the first few pages, of particular interest to me as a reader, was the vibrant resilience of forty-eight-year-old Shayna Chastain, who now faces life on the other side of mid-life. Yes, Shayna is challenged by the calendar, but dormant embers of emotion are set aflame, blazing into a youthful romantic renaissance like she’d never thought possible. And one unknown man provided the spark. But another is determined to snuff it out. And now the chain of choices facing Shayna are loosened by the author, and the reader is at their mercy also.

Author Roze masters dialogue that makes a reader want to listen in on every conversation, even the most intimate ones. Roze deserves a gold pen for giving us honest to goodness adult conversations and interactions, reflecting adult inner thoughts of her mature characters. How refreshing that is in the sea of silliness and immaturity that surrounds much of our current day media choices!

I commend Robyn Roze for her masterful romantic suspense, Chain of Title. Now that you jerked our “chain,” Ms. Roze, we’re hooked on your novels, and linked to your writing. While you decide where you’re taking us next in your writing world, I’m happy to hook another Five Stars to your growing collection!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

It's Book Season!

Yes! That’s right. Book season! Halloween not only kicks off the official Candi (It just looks better spelled like that.) season, but leads to other autumn and winter holidays on the way. But even bigger is the over-arching autumn and winter months that are perfect times to curl up with a collection of favorite books.

New releases are happening virtually every second and the harvest of entertaining books is never more abundant than right now. I hope you’ve decided to purchase an e-reader of your choice so you can take advantage of the convenience of digital reading. Yes, I know, an e-book is a departure from a traditional paper and ink book. Think of it this way: Are you still holding out for the telegram and the Morse code as a way to stay in touch with your social circles? Neither am I.

Oh no, I’m not an either-or person when it comes to preferring paper books vs digital books. I prefer both, and still have more paper and ink books than digital. I just love the convenience of the e-reader. Whatever your preference, settle in for the season and enjoy some great books.

Take time to browse the different categories and genres of books, and look for new releases. Above all make it a point to discover new authors. Sample the “look inside” and preview features offered online at your favorite bookseller. Those sample pages will help you decide if that book and/or author is for you. By visiting the author’s online sites you can gather additional insight to the author and her/his work.

If you’re looking for some specific recommendations, click on the Five-Star Author tab at the top of the blog. You’ll find a list of authors and their genres that I’ve enjoyed. Visit their author page or website and sample their work. You’ll find writing worth checking out.

After you try, and enjoy a new author’s work, take a few minutes to write a thoughtful review. Reviews are greatly appreciated by authors, and your impressions can be helpful to other readers browsing for another read. Include in your review what you liked about the book. And remember the tone of your review is a reflection upon you, not the author. One can still be civil and respectful when expressing positive or negative impressions.

Whatever you do, grab those leftover bags of Halloween treats, and crack open a new book.

It’s book season! Enjoy!