Search

Didi Oviatt

Author of suspense novels Search For Maylee, Aggravated Momentum, The Stix, and New Age Lamians. As well as the short story collection Time Wasters and (co-author of) The Suspenseful Collection. Columnist for The Conscious Talk Magazine.

Category

thriller

Review: The Stone Arch Secret, by K. D. Dowdall 5 of 5 stars

My Review:

The Stone Arch Secret by K. D. Dowdall is my favorite of all the books I’ve read so far this year. What I love most about it is the deep rooted feeling of authenticity poured into each sentence. Dowdall has the gift of giving life and appreciation to the setting in a way that’s like no other author I’ve followed. The characters are excellent, I love Lilly and Noah both! They’re developed perfectly. It’s packed with personality, physical explanation, and the emotions felt as the reader are booming from cover to cover.

The main setting is in a place with beautiful, mysterious, and even creepy wooded areas, along with many old colonial style homes and places of business. Dowdall draws attention to the details that matter. As a rule, most colonial homes have a history, and The Stone Arch Secret brings this feature to the surface. Colonial building restorations, as well as usages are explained in a way that really give the entire book a rich authentic historical feel, and I love that!

It offers a few twists here and there that are shockingly unexpected. Enough so to keep you on the edge of your seat, yet still have a realistic feel!

Lilly, the main character, experiences a strange encounter of sorts as a teenager. She goes exploring in the woods with her cousin Dax, and something happens that changes her life forever and is shocking enough for each of their subconscious to block it. Dax winds up in a mental institution, and neither he nor Lilly can remember exactly what played out. Years later, upon hearing of the death of Dax, Lilly goes back to their childhood hometown Salmon Brook looking for answers from that life altering day.

Noah, a now grown man remembers Lilly from their childhood. He liked her then and is utterly drawn to her now, as she is him. He’s spent the last several years building a life for himself, and has also returned on a mission of his own. The two wind up weaving themselves into each other’s lives, and helping one another with each agenda. The flow is lovely, and the pieces of these two characters fit together seamlessly.

I love the unique angle of the villain (s). The community of Salmon Brook is not how it seems at first blush. There is a group of religious fanatics that are extremely shady. Their leader is a super creepy, calculated, and vindictive guy. As was his father and several others before them. The history of the group is disturbing and the current state of it is pure evil.

I love this book, and I look forward to reading even more of K. D. Dowdalls books!!

Description:

Readers who like books by Debra Burroughs and Melinda Leigh will like, The Stone Arch Secret. Twenty-eight-year-old anthropologist, Lilly Allaire, receives a phone call telling her that Dax is dead. The cause of death is unknown. At the age of fourteen, best friends, Lilly and Dax, experience a traumatic incident. After the incident, Dax is institutionalized in a psychiatric hospital in a catatonic state. For Dax, his memory loss is a subconscious act of self-preservation, a blocking out of all memories. Lilly still suffers a blocked memory of that day and has frequent nightmares. After Dax’s funeral, Lilly decides to go back to Salmon Brook, her hometown, to find out the truth about the mysterious incident that destroyed Dax’s life. While searching for clues to the incident, Lilly has a chance meeting with a former high school classmate, Noah Hawthorne. Noah remembers Lilly as his high school secret crush and offers to help her. Together, they try to unravel the mysterious incident that plagues Lilly’s dreams and turns them into nightmares. They soon realize that their hometown has a deadly secret and both their lives are now in danger. However, Noah has a secret of his own that puts Lilly in harm’s way.

 

Advertisements

Review: The Pretty Ones, by Ania Ahlborn 4 of 5 stars

My Review:

Ania Ahlborn has become one of my favorite thriller/horror writers!  Within the last year I’ve read four of her books and every single one of them has blown me away! Her style is one of a kind, she’s brilliant!

The Pretty Ones is in my opinion right up there with the best of her work!  Brother is still my favorite, but this one is seriously neck and neck. Just when I thought I had things figured out, Ania threw in a curve and had me wide eyed with my jaw to the floor!  I freaking loved the end of this book. From cover to cover it offers everything a great psychological thriller should. It’s nasty, twisted and shocking, yet it still has that authentically raw and believable feel to it.

The main character Nell is extremely quiet and self conscious. She’s awkward, full of a longing to belong, and she has this deep routed hate that practically consumes her. Nell works day in and day out at a tedious call center, surrounded by girls that she absolutely loathes. These women either ignore her completely, leaving her to feel invisible, or they pick on her. She sticks with the job, and keeps quiet to support her brother Barrett in their crappy apartment on a very dicey part of the city.

Barrett doesn’t speak. He’s an aspiring writer, who makes notes to Nell to communicate. They are both extremely obsessive, possessive, protective and weird with each other. This very strange brother/sister relationship was forced into it’s weirdness by their horrible up-bringing. Their father died when they were young and their mother was an awful woman. What makes their relationship unique is that it’s layered into physiological surprises that unfold in perfect timing through out the story.

There has been a series of killing in the city, and as the book unravels those murders grow closer and closer to home. This book is awesome and I’ll definitely be reading more and more of Ania’s work!

Description:

A terrifying e-novella from the bestselling author of Within These Walls, Brother, and The Bird Eater!

New York, 1977. The sweltering height of the Summer of Sam. The entire city is gripped with fear, but all Nell Sullivan worries about is whether or not she’ll ever make a friend. The self-proclaimed “Plain Jane” does her best to fit in with the girls at work, but Nell’s brother, Barrett, assures her that she’ll never be like them. When Nell manages to finally garner some much-yearned-for attention, the unthinkable happens to her newfound friend. The office pool blames Son of Sam, but Nell knows the awful truth…because doing the devil’s work is easy when there’s already a serial killer on the loose.

The Stone Arch Secret, by K. D. Dowdall @shanannigans81 #blogtour #thriller #giveaway

Genre:  Mystery/ Thriller/ Romance

Publication Date: January 2018

Blurb:

Twenty-eight-year-old cultural anthropologist, Lilly Allaire, receives a phone call telling her that Dax is dead.  The cause of death is unknown.

At the age of fourteen, best friends, Lilly and Dax, experience a traumatic incident. After the incident, Dax is institutionalized in a psychiatric hospital with total memory loss.  For Dax, his memory loss is an act of self-preservation.  Lilly still suffers a blocked memory of that day and has frequent nightmares.

Lilly decides to go back to Salmon Brook, her hometown, to find out the truth about the mysterious incident that left Dax in a catatonic state. Lilly has a chance meeting with a former high school classmate, Noah Hawthorne.

Noah remembers Lilly as his high school secret crush and offers to help her. Together, they try to unravel the mysterious incident that plagues Lilly’s dreams and turns them into nightmares.

However, Noah has a secret of his own, a dangerous secret, that will put Lilly in harm’s way.

Available on Amazon

The Stone Arch Secret Cover

About the Author

D. Dowdall, PhD, MSN, RN was born in New England and spent her elementary-grade school years in Granby, Connecticut. She graduated from FAU with a master’s degree in Clinical Research Nursing and has a PhD in clinical nutrition. K. D. is also a lover of ballet, jazz, ballroom dance, contemporary dance, and has had her own dance studio.  She has written songs, poetry, short stories, and now several fiction novels; a children’s fantasy adventure story, a historical mystery/murder with a dash romance and a third fiction novel almost complete;  a mystery thriller with romance. All are standalone novels.  Her next book is a series.

Along the way, it was her good fortune to live in the Republic of China, Saudi Arabia, and England. Each culture she experienced reinforced her belief that all cultures are rich in storytelling to explain their human hopes, dreams, struggles, and life experiences, often in magical fantasy presentations. K. D. still dances, loves swimming, scuba diving, and theatre.

KD Dowdall

https://karendowdall.com/

Giveaway: 2 Print Copies of The Stone Arch Secret

#ARC sign up! Choose Between 7 books, Amazon #kindle Gifted!

My writing buddy Kim and I are inviting all friends to an ARC read and review round! This means you will be gifted a FREE Amazon Kindle copy of one of the below books, in exchange for an honest review. The event is taking place between the 1st- 31st January 2018. The only polite request is, if you receive a copy of the book you signed up for, please read and leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads during January 2018. Note that all but three of these books are novella length, and should not take long to read. Feel free to forward this event onto anyone who you may feel is interested! Sharing is caring!!

Further descriptions on each book can be found on Amazon Author Pages here:

DIDI’s BOOKS

KIM’s BOOKS

We are both so excited for this freebie review round!! It’s a hell of a way to kick of the new year.  The requests have been coming in and neither of us can wait to see your shining reviews on Amazon and Goodreads!  Thank you readers!

LET ME CHOOSE MY FREE KINDLE GIFT, I’d LOVE TO LEAVE A REVIEW!

Happy Reading!!!

book-759873__340

Start 2018 With Free Books!

Hello Book Lovers!

My co-author and I are inviting you to our Author Review Copy read and review round…. this means freebies!
 

1st-31st January 2018

Would you like a FREE Amazon gifted copy of one of our books below? (plus more!!!) There’s no catch, we promise. We’re doing an ARC read and review round. Anyone who is interested in a book will be gifted a copy, in exchange for an honest review. Check out the blurbs, if something takes your fancy there’s a Google forms link THAT CAN BE FILLED OUT HERE to indicate your interest and you will receive a free copy directly. The link will be clickable at the bottom of post as well.
Happy New Year!
Happy Reading!

The Red Room, Romance In The City

The Red Room is book one of the Romance In The City novella series, of steamy and romantic standalone short stories.

Rita Lane lives a double life in her day job she’s a receptionist at the prestigious London Park Hotel. By night her adventures begin. As a thirty something year old woman she is content with her single status. Richard Clarkson a New York based guest at the Park Hotel has firmly closed the door to romance, after a rocky marriage. As soon as Rita checks Richard into the hotel as a guest the sparks and electricity between the two begin.

After hours, the day before Valentine’s Day , their paths cross in an unexpected way. Rita and Richard’s desire for each other is on maximum …. will they cross the line to become more than just friends? The Red Room is a steamy short story set in London with diverse characters that will leave you wanting more.
41LmRaPtkuL

Lover’s Retreat, Romance Set In Paradise

Lover’s Retreat is book #2 of the Romance Set in Paradise Series of stand alone modern, steamy, suspenseful and romantic stories. All set in exotic locations around the world.

For thirty seven year old recluse Yasmin O’Neil, life feels like one crisis after another. Her husband left her five years ago, she starts to suspect she’s losing her hearing, and then her mother is diagnosed with cancer. When her mother passes away her fortune changes. Yasmin is fifty thousand pounds richer from her mother’s estate. Yasmin takes her fate into her own hands after years of being a recluse, she rediscovers herself at a spiritual retreat in Sri Lanka south Asia, before she plans to spend the next six months travelling around the world. In Sri Lanka, Yasmin’s path crosses with Michael Thomas, an army soldier on his own path of self discovery. With their luke warm initial encounter the pair don’t hit it off straight away. After some push and pull the two are finally on the same page. Their encounter turns from luke warm to steamy sizzling hot.

In Lover’s Retreat two very different characters originally on different paths, embrace the need for change and companionship. Set in the back drop of paradise, palm trees and untouched nature of Sri Lanka, these two lonely souls gain more than just self discovery they gain a soul mate.

51NK6teqAqL__SX260_

The Suspenseful Collection Volume #1

For Mature Readers Only:

A suspenseful novel with a twist. Eight short stories, by two suspense authors, from diverse backgrounds. From opposite sides of the Atlantic these stories have been created. One author started the tale and the other ended it. No discussion, no pre-planning, but yet their stories are seamless. With just creativity and the use of writing prompts, to craft one tale, with two different writers. This anthology of suspenseful, fast paced and engaging tales covers multiple genres. From heart felt romance, crime, fantasy, and steamy historical fiction. There is a story for everyone!

Steamy Historical Crime Fiction: It was The First Time I Killed A Man.

It’s 1972 and New York’s first female serial killer Lisa Vanacilli is in the hot seat again, ten years after her conviction of murder to the first degree and innocent plea. The ruthless but sexy reporter Tiffany Low cracks Lisa for a confession… at a price. Lisa is strong, courageous and says it how it is. This story has been extended due to reader’s demand. And is only for adult readers.

Psychological Fiction: Every Time I Hear That Voice From The Basement.

George appears to be harmless. The local neighbourhood geek on the outside, married to Jolene. In reality, he’s a very disturbed man. His path crosses with Dana, the local check out girl. This is a psychological suspense story with a twist.

Crime Fiction: The Entrance To The Tunnel Is His Only Way Out.

Juan is a wanted man, and an ex-gang member on the run from Atlanta to Mexico. With a hundred grand in cash stolen from his ex-boss, he meets an unlikely fate in Mexico. A fast-paced crime fiction story.

Contemporary Romance: When His Hands Run Up My Thighs I…

Love has no time limit, age limit or use by date. Sarah now in her fifties is reunited with her long-lost love Joshua. They last had contact in 1961. In the present day, thanks to the advancement of technology their paths cross. A heart-warming and modern tale, about long distance love, that will leave you warm inside.

Suspense: We Only Said Goodbye With Words, I Died A Hundred Times:

In 1963 Russian Femme Fatale Mila Petrov is London’s top Madam. Her entertainment house is booming, she has a team of London’s strongest women behind her. Unfinished business from her past creeps up and haunts her. It’s nothing she can’t handle. A suspenseful historical tale, with a strong femme fatale.

Fantasy: The Ones Who Live At The Bottom Of The Ocean, Come To The Surface.

A beautiful coming of age story, featuring sixteen year old Zoe and her mother May-Li. Myth becomes reality, as Zoe finds out who and what she really is. Her mixed descent reveals more than what meets the eye. This fantasy story is set against the backdrop of a Greek island and Hong Kong, China.

Suspenseful Crime Fiction: Guilty As Charged, In Self-Defence

California’s sassy, tough, and likeable defence lawyer Catherine has taken on a case so high profile, if she wins she’ll become a partner of Martin Law Firm. Defending forty six year old Mrs. Chevelle. An ex Las Vegas show girl, now a Hollywood wife, on trial for the murder of her high-profile husband. She claims she’s innocent. Readers are taken on a fast -paced journey on a mission to seek the truth.

Contemporary Fiction: It’s A Man’s Man’s World:

A beautiful modern tale showing the love and appreciation of a woman. James Brown said it right when he said, “it’s a man’s man’s world, but it would mean nothing without a woman or a girl.”

51ruGbCos2L__SY346_

Search For Maylee

Since Maylee was abducted from her high school the very month of graduation, her Aunt Autumn has never lost hope in finding her. It’s been three years. Autumn has finally reached inside herself and found the courage to track down an old lead. She moves across the country to find him. Will Autumn be able to pry Maylee’s case back open? More importantly, what will Autumn uncover in the process of searching for Maylee? It’s a cold dark world we live in, and she is about to find out just how cruel it can be. Strength and determination are on Autumn’s side and she will do what ever it takes.

51slZqFZ1NL

Havana Heat
THIS IS FREE NOW ON AMAZONHavana Heat is book one of the Romance Set in Paradise series of modern,steamy, suspenseful and romantic stories, set in exotic locations around the world. In Havana Heat readers are transported to the paradise of Cuba’s capital Havana, following the romance and heat build between Spaniard Detective Sebastian Garcia, and London born and bred wedding planner Melinda Jones. Melinda’s path crosses with the handsome and charming Detective at Casa De Amour Hotel as a guest at her client’s exotic location wedding. Both characters are in search of a slice of paradise, away from their own troubled love life back home. Once their paths cross the romance and sizzle begins.

When all hell breaks out at Casa De Amour Hotel, and conflict builds over their past both characters are faced with a decision to take a risk and see out their romance, or walk away. Forever asking themselves what could have been. Romance, thrills and excitement await in book one of this modern romance series set in paradise.

51fjpCH2m7L__SX260_

YES PLEASE I’D LOVE AN AMAZON GIFT
ENTER YOUR EMAIL ON THIS FORM

Yearly Bookish Goals

The tail end of 2016 was a pivotal point for me in SO many bookish ways! Some sort of switch flipped with my outlook on life, and my permanent take on goal setting. I’ve been writing for years, but kind of just kept to myself about the whole shebang. Aside from a few friends and family members, not a soul in the world knew my name as an author.

It wasn’t until I released Aggravated Momentum in the Fall of 2016 that I got a boost of confidence in my writing and decided to start putting myself out there. (It’s still my favorite book of all my works too BTW!) At the end of October 2016 I started this blog. Then at the tail end of November 2016 I started my Twitter account, my FB Author Page, my Amazon Author Page, and an Instagram account, AND I actually started logging on and updating all of my reads on Goodreads.

To shorten my story… At the end of 2016 I started building my Author platform!

I can’t believe it’s been a full year since I decided to center my toes on that exhilarating starting line to a real writing career!  Now more than ever, I completely understand the concept that, ‘successful writing a marathon, not a sprint.’ In so many ways I still feel like a toddler, taking tiny little calculated baby steps every single day toward the finish line. It’s a slow climb, and I’ve enjoyed every single pebble in passing. I still have a long way to go, but the difference one year has brought is insanely exciting!

Just about this time last year I sat myself down and actually wrote a list of goals that I wanted to accomplish in 2017 and beyond. It was the first time in my entire life that I’d actually done that! (I know, I know… why did it take me until my 30s to figure this necessity of life out?)

Anyhow, my list wasn’t a resolution at all.  I was already set to work at my goals, and if anything they were more of a lifestyle change… This pivotal point just so happened to fall at the very time of year that people set utterly unpractical New Years resolutions that they usually don’t stick to for more than a couple months, if that. I even wrote a post a bout it called Why make resolutions when you’re already making your dreams come true!?

accomplish-1136863__340

Looking back now in reflection I actually nailed EVERY SINGLE thing I set my mind to for this year! I set my goals as challenging, yet practical. It all felt like a lot at the time, but that was totally fine, because if it wasn’t big goals then I knew I’d slack off and let my progress grow stagnant. Here’s a short list of the goals I had set for and accomplished in 2017:

  • Read at least 50 books.  I set the magical 2017 TBR number at 50 because there are 52 weeks in a year, yet that’s kind of an ugly number. I wanted a nice even clean number lol. I get that tons of book bloggers shoot for a hundred in a year and try to read a book every couple days, but come on now. I said practical goals, right? Being a mom of two young kids who aren’t yet in school all day, but are still old enough for T-ball, swim class, toddler time, preschool, and summer camps… along  with my part time ‘day job’, dedication to wifelyness, and book writing… lets just say I figured that reading a book a week was pushing myself.  I’m proud to say that as of today Goodreads announced my year of books at a shining number of 51!!!  Wahooo, go reading goals!
  • Finish and publish my (at the time) work in progress Search For Maylee. On Oct. 6th 2017 Search For Maylee was released, but I didn’t stop there!  I also wound up releasing a two book short story collection called the Time Wasters as well as the first Vol. of a suspenseful short story collaboration The Suspenseful Collection.
  • Build up the Blog to over 1000 followers and Twitter to at least 2000. This goal was tricky. I actually had started these accounts the same time as my Facebook and Instagram accounts, but I knew that it would be way too time consuming to build them all at a rapid pace. So I picked the two that I felt where more important to work on right out the gate and focused mainly on that. Awesomely enough, I nailed these goals too!  As of today I have 1220 WordPress followers, and 2495 twitter followers!
  • Look into and dabble some with Freelance. I actually ended up landing my very first ever Freelance job, and I love it more than I ever would have imagined loving a job!!!  The Conscious Talk Magazine is a fresh new mag that I’ve been writing for since the very first issue was released on the last day in Sept 2017.  So far I have 23 articles published. The fellow writers for the Mag are ALL so amazing, and I’m so excited to watch it continue to grow and flourish!

goals-2691265__340

Now, for 2018… What shall my goals be?  I’m thinking something like this:

  • Read: at least 50 books AGAIN for the second year in a row.
  • Write and Publish: books two and three of the start in my New Age Lamian Trilogy.
  • Freelance: Continue to Grow at the Conscious Talk Magazine, as well as finding and working on a local project of sorts. I’d like to try writing copy, but will definitely explore my options, before settling on a goal that particular!
  • Social Media Growth: I’d like to continue a steady incline here on WordPress as well as Twitter, but plan to spend more time growing my Facebook and Instagram presence.  I want to see each of those accounts at least double in size and interactive activity. My biggest social media goal for 2018 will be in Goodreads though!!  I want to triple my friend list as well as my followers (wish me luck, and if I’m not already your friend there then please oh please let me know!  Lets connect on Goodreads friends!!)
  • Book Marketing:  This is my MAIN FOCUS FOR 2018! My audience has had a steady growth in 2017 so I really want to really focus marketing my stuff in 2018. I’m officially making it a goal to grow my email list, book tours and promos, Social Media collaborations and book campaigns, build a strong presence in book clubs, volunteer for a youth event of sorts, do at least two signings, schedule/sign up for local events to show a face in (be it Library or otherwise), get back to querying agents for future works, and again… spend much much much more needed time on Goodreads!

There we have it!!  I hope I haven’t left out anything big lol!!

Good luck with your goals, book nerds!!  I know I’ll need all the luck I can get too!!

idea-2123972__340

 

Excerpt: Search For Maylee #coldcase

Their eyes locked and for one brief moment they were the only two people in the world. Josie, Craig, Jeremy, and even Maylee faded into mere background.  The sharp gray shards of color in his eyes pierced through her, and she drank in their naked vulnerability. There was a sense of surrender in the upward pull of his brows. It was a look she was yet to see plastered on his handsome face, a look that melted her insides.

As she welcomed him in, the sexy familiar scent of him threatened to consume her. It smelled like spruce bark and ocean, and it followed him into her apartment, her heart, her future. They had opened up to each other in a way that there was no turning back from. Even if it had only been by phone. No matter what he had to say, there was sure to be a way around it. Autumn was confident of that.

Their greeting was somewhat awkward. Chance didn’t know whether to fall to her knees in apology, or to scoop her into his arms for the embrace he’d been pondering about for weeks. He opted for neither and took a seat.

“I’m sorry to barge in like this. I wish I could have came on different terms.” He openly admitted with a hint of surrender bleeding through.

“It’s fine,” Autumn lied.

She tried her best not to look back toward her bedroom as it contained an overwhelming secret of her own. Lingering post-vomit body chills shot up her spine, and her stomach continued to spin. She took a seat next to him, close enough for their legs to brush. The heat of his body left an impression on every part of her that was close enough to feel it. The fluttering in her chest turned rapid as he gently placed his hand on her exposed knee. Tight lengthy yoga shorts were definitely a good choice, she thought.

Chance leaned in toward her, ready to spill the beans on his entire operation. But, as soon as he opened his mouth to speak he realized the lightened shade of her skin, the warmth of her leg under his wanting palm, and the cloudy haze that was covering the whites of her eyes.

“Oh my God, Autumn. Are you okay?”

She had to clear the lump from her throat before words could push through. The only thing she could see in his devilish eyes was concern, and all that she wanted to do was bury herself in his arms. She toyed with the possibility of crawling onto his lap and allowing the smell and comfort of him to engulf her while she cried like a baby.

“I don’t know,” she confessed, containing her ridiculous urges.

Autumn wrapped an arm around her stomach. It wasn’t exactly a lie. Looking at those photos triggered something in her guts, and the two rounds of vomit she’d experienced might not have been enough. There was no question about it, she was most definitely sick.

“Why didn’t you say something?” He asked.

Instinctively Chance reached a hand up to feel the burning heat of her forehead.

Amazon Description:

Since Maylee was abducted from her high school the very month of graduation, her Aunt Autumn has never lost hope in finding her. It’s been three years. Autumn has finally reached inside herself and found the courage to track down an old lead. She moves across the country to find him. Will Autumn be able to pry Maylee’s case back open? More importantly, what will Autumn uncover in the process of searching for Maylee? It’s a cold dark world we live in, and she is about to find out just how cruel it can be. Strength and determination are on Autumn’s side and she will do what ever it takes.

White Water Black Death, by Shaun Ebelthite #booktour #review @shanannigans81

White Water Black Death - cover.jpgWhite Water, Black Death

Author: Shaun Ebelthite

Release Date: Septemer 2017

Genre: Thriller/ Suspense

“A cruise ship is the perfect target for a biological attack”. These are the chilling words emailed to the Seaborne Symphony in the mid-Atlantic.

Magazine editor Geneva Jones has been sent on the trans-Atlantic cruise to help secure a major advertising agreement from the CEO of the cruise line Rachel Atkinson, but her efforts to win her over are curtailed by a mysterious crew death. Geneva suspects foul play. Rachel insists its suicide. A former investigative journalist, Geneva can’t resist digging deeper, but what she finds is far more devastating. There’s an Ebola outbreak on the ship, everyone is trapped aboard and Rachel is trying to keep it secret.

Geneva knows enough about Ebola to be terrified, but she’s also onto the biggest story of her career. As panic surges through the ship, she becomes fixated on a single question. How was the virus brought aboard? The answer is worse than she could have imagined, and the greatest exposé she’ll ever get, if she can only prove it.

Add to  Goodreads

Available to Purchase on Amazon

About the Author

Author Pic.jpg

Shaun Ebelthite was born in Namibia, raised in South Africa and educated in Dubai in the Middle East where he is a maritime and cruise journalist. He has been covering all aspects of ocean transport for more than five years and runs the Middle East’s foremost online cruise magazine. He has had two children’s books published, and is now branching out into a new genre with his first thriller.

Cruise Arabia

Amazon

MY REVIEW:

I’d like to thank the Author as well as R&R Book Tours for the free copy of this book that I received in exchange for an honest review.

There’s a lot going on with White Water Black Death by Shaun Ebelthite. Lots of characters, lots of complexities. It’s very fast paced, which I thought was awesome given the setting and tone. A few of the scenes were extremely unexpected, so the shock factor is really what kept me turning the pages rather than character attachment. I didn’t feel very emotionally invested with the people in the book, especially for the first half (maybe a little less… like a third.).

At first I couldn’t quite pinpoint my attachment struggle because it really is well written, yet I had to go back and re-read several pages a few times in order to draw a clear mental picture of what was really going on and with who. I feel like there are too many characters, and they’re a little underdevelopment out the gate, so it takes a while to get them all straight. I was a little confused. Luckily it turns around and the story really picks up once the characters are mentally cleared. It winds up being an excellent and very intense thrill ride!

That said, there are a couple distinct qualities about this book that I really loved.

First thing’s first, the plot is so unique. If you’re going to write a book about a deadly virus then what better place to put it than an inescapable cruise liner in the middle of dicey seas! What a setting! After reading it you can bet your ass I won’t be caught dead booking myself a cruise vacation anytime soon… if ever!

Secondly, the secrecy was very intricately laced and it really brought the story together. From the beginning to end it felt like every single character has something to hide. I found myself questioning everyone and looking for a motive and/or conspiracy behind everything, which was great. Also the secrecy between the Captain’s staff and the guests. The lies they tell left and right in order to keep everything under wraps and avoid a panic is so gut wrenching and eye opening, its almost surreal to think about something like this really happening. I’m willing to bet that if this book ever becomes a bestseller then there would easily be a very noticeable dent in the amount of cruise ship vacationers.

Lastly, there is so much more to the depth of the plot than just the sickness and it gives the entire story that much more umph. Geneva the reporter on board, is a really sneaky snoop — as any great reporter should be. She is relentless and utterly determined to get to the bottom of the secrets amongst the crew members and staff.

Ultimately I enjoyed the read, and am glad I picked it to review. 3.75 rating

For your chance to win 1 of 3 digital copies of “White Water, Black Death” click here!

Blog Tour Organized By: 

R&R Book Tours Button.jpg

R&R Book Tours

 

Prologue: Aggravated Momentum (18+ reading)

My hands are as far above my head as they can reach, my back intensely arched, and my calf muscles tighten, extending to the footboard. My pumpkin orange painted toes point as they join the stretch. The sun beams through a tight crevice in the drapes, challenging my eyes to regain vision. I squint and strain to open them. Its late afternoon, and I’ve been sleeping for four hours. Sadly, it’s the most uninterrupted sleep my taxing life has allowed in over a week.
The sensation of piercing eyes causes the hair to raise on my forearms. After I finish rubbing the sleep from my face, I glance around intently. No one is here. Weird. I swear I could feel someone’s presence. It must be my nerves. My thick down comforter drops from my shoulders as I sit up for another stretch. It isn’t usually this hot in my room, so I’m glad I was able to sleep through my sweat. My body is clammy. The tank top and shorts that cling to my skin are damp and wrinkled.
I’m supposed to meet Markie for a girl’s night in an hour. I better hurry. I told that weird friend of hers from work that I wasn’t going to make it, but changed my mind after debating all week. The decision is made: I’m going. Markie is one of my closest friends, but she’s changed since Beth died. She’s distanced herself. Now, with everything else going on around her, I’m afraid.
As the water heats, steam fills my shower and escapes through the bathroom door that I usually leave open. I like stepping out of the shower feeling clean and refreshed, not muggy and overheated. I think about Markie’s situation as I rub an oversized purple loofah across my skin. A deliciously scented lather forms on my protruding ribs and bony hips. The stress of all these deaths has taken a serious toll on my appetite. My body is shrinking, I’m beginning to look sickly.
I wonder how I’m supposed to tell Markie that I’ve been sleeping with the one acquaintance that’s off limits. I guess I can’t. Not now anyway, it will have to wait. I should feel worse about it than I do, but he’s convenient, and I’m lonely. He’ll do for now. It must be the guilt of it that’s forcing me to go to this stupid club tonight. Any smart woman would stay away.
My fingers scrub harshly into my scalp. My eyes squint tightly, trying to block the shampoo as it washes away. Before they can fully open, the shower door slides. A shocked gasp rises from my throat, and I force my lids open through a painful soapy haze. The air escapes my lungs in a slow, relieved sigh. I take in the sight of him. He stands naked with a grin, ready to join me.
“What the hell are you doing?” I demand.
“What does it look like?”
“You scared the shit out of me!”
“You’re pretty sexy when you’re startled.”
“I really don’t have time for this.” I snap, “I’m in a hurry.”
He pushes his way in anyway and shuts the door behind him. He stays just out of reach of the spraying showerhead, and watches me wash off. My back tingles and the blood rushes to my skins edge in reaction to his touch. The last of the soap bubbles disappear into the drain at our toes. He picks up my leg at the thigh and presses me forward against the shower wall.
With one hard thrust, he forces himself inside me. It is a lot rougher than his usual tactic. I gasp and press my hands against the wall for balance. He moves violently, but I like it. Strong fingers intertwine through my wet hair at the base of my scalp, then he pulls it, hard. My head jerks back with the powerful tug. A quiet, excited, involuntary squeal escapes my open mouth. His breath is hot on the back of my neck.
“You like it hard, don’t you Joyce?” His voice is lower than I’ve ever heard him speak.
“Yes!”
For the first time in my life, I get a thrill from hearing my name. He releases his hold on my hair and shoves me back against the wall. A firm arm presses against my back. I’m unable to move my chest or shoulders, and am forced to take him in on his terms. Just as I’m about to crumble under his strong hold, a menacing whisper echoes in my ear.
“This is going to hurt.”
A shock pools to my center and a chill runs down my spine. It takes every ounce of strength I have to pull away from him. He squeezes my body tightly against his own. Then he loosens his grip, allowing me to turn and face him.
“What are you talking ab…”
A sudden pain consumes my neck, cutting me off mid-question. My voice catches in the center of my throat and is unable to escape. Instinctively, I grab hold of the sharp pulsating pain and squeeze. The fluid filling my hands, and running down my arms is much thicker and hotter than the shower water. Everything is beginning to blur. I look at him, trying to plead with my eyes. I am unable to speak. I lean against the wall, in effort to regain balance. Everything is spinning. I pull my bloodied hands from my neck to take a look. My vision is distorted, but not enough to disable the sight of color. My scarlet fingers spin and blur.
I feel cold. I want to grab him, beg for his help, but I can’t. My body slumps down the wall. My legs become weaker and weaker. What have you done to me? I scramble through the black and red blur, struggling to take a look at his face. For a flash, I see him. His head is tilted to one side and his face is blank. A hint of a smirk forms across his lips. I black out. I can still feel but I can’t see. I pull in breath with short shallow pants. I can hear an awkward gurgle coming out of my throat. My body is ice cold under the hot running water.
My life slowly drains away, yet a sharp digging pain reminds me that I am still alive. One piercing jab after another stings into my ribs, chest and stomach. I try to kick, throw my arms or scream, but cant. I can’t move. It only takes a few more jolts to realize that I’m being stabbed. Over and over the shock spreads across my body. After what seems like a lifetime of torturing pain, it finally fades. A faint sensation is left at my neck. There is something touching my midsection, something inside it. That too melts away until there is nothing left. I don’t feel anything anymore – no pain, no fear. I give up the struggle for breath and let myself go to the darkness.

 

 

CONNECT WITH ME! AMAZON AUTHORS PAGE //  GOODREADS //  TWITTER
LIKE AND FOLLOW MY FACEBOOK PAGE HERE
CLICK HERE TO JOIN DIDI’S BI-MONTHLY NEWSLETTER!

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: