Spotlight on Just Another Termination by Linda Thorne

Just Another Termination

************

Title: Just Another Termination
Series: Judy Kenagy Mysteries Book 1
Author: Linda Thorne
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Publication Date: August 29, 2015
Genre: Mystery

************

Synopsis

Just Another Termination tells the story of Judy Kenagy,
the first human resources manager to turn sleuth or, at
least, the first to admit it. The story begins on the Mississippi
Gulf Coast pre-Katrina when Judy finds a young female
employee, a no-call-no-show, shot to death.

Small town police chief Carl Bombardier takes charge of the
investigation, soliciting Judy’s help in her role as HR manager
for the victim’s employer. Then another murder occurs and
there’s a connection. Both are linked to a double homicide
twenty-five years earlier. Knee-deep in the investigation, Judy
finds information that draws her back into the life of one evil,
prior employer. Then she stumbles upon a piece of evidence.
Can she solve all of the murders with this single find?

Or . . . are things not as they seem?

************

Purchase Link:

Amazon Buy Button

Coming soon to other fine retailers.

************

An Excerpt from Just Another Termination

I knew I had no business here, but was it going to cost me more than I’d thought?

Closer in, I could see the yellow tape was broken or missing in places, but still cordoned off a circular area of dirt and mud, about twelve feet in diameter. The tape had been stapled to stakes pounded into the ground, but many of them had fallen over. This crime scene had already been worked. Two dirty latex gloves and a staple gun had been left outside the perimeter, and multiple footprints marred the mud. The absence of a patrol officer protecting the scene implied the clean-up crew was on their way.

Inside the partially taped-off area, someone had outlined where Jimmie Lee’s body had been. Instead of the typical chalk line, plastic pegs were pressed into the mud about six inches apart, marking where the body had fallen.

I stepped high over the tape and into the mud, grateful I’d worn jeans and flat shoes for that dress-down Friday. Trees towered behind me, the interminable water before me. I caught a whiff of mildew.

I was no sooner inside than a rustling sound came from the tangle of maples and I twisted around. The noise disappeared and I turned back, catching a glitter in the mud. It came from the waterline where the soft waves of the Mississippi Sound licked against the cryptic outline of the corpse. That noise again.

I spun around to the whooshing sounds in the maples, my heart palpitating, but I still didn’t see anything. When I turned back, the glitter had disappeared. I stooped. I was in a race with the sun, not to mention wanting to be long gone before the clean-up crew appeared. With one hand, I frantically ran my fingers through the muck. Then a final spray of sunlight illuminated the spot and the sparkle reappeared. This time, I kept my eyes fixed on it, bending, reaching, touching. Gently, I lifted a metal object, close to an inch long and about half that in width. Heavy for its size. Twilight had deepened into dusk. I stood up and whirled round to the same rustling noise, but this time a crackling blast followed. A gun?

************

About the Author

Linda ThorneLinda Thorne began pursuing her true passion, writing, in 2005. Since then, she has published numerous short stories in the genres of mystery, thriller, and romance. Like her lead character, Thorne is a career human resources manager who has worked in the HR profession in Arizona, Colorado, Mississippi, California, and now, Tennessee. Her HR positions have ranged in title from vice-president (a small savings and loan), director, manager, specialist to generalist. She is working on a sequel to her debut novel, A Promotion to Die For, where her main character earns a promotion and encounters an unsolved murder all while Hurricane Katrina is bearing down on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She currently lives in Hermitage, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville, with her husband, Dave, and two border collies (fur people), Abby and Mo.

Visit Linda:

Website Button     Twitter Button     Facebook Button

 

Book Reviews: Under Your Skin by Sabine Durrant and Windigo Island by William Kent Krueger

Under Your SkinUnder Your Skin
Sabine Durrant
Emily Bestler Books/Atria Books, April 2015
ISBN 978-1-4767-1628-2
Trade Paperback

In the pre-dawn hours, Gaby Mortimer, a successful 42-year-old “presenter” on a popular mid-morning current affairs tv show, is taking her usual run through the woods near her home near London when she comes upon the dead body of a young woman.  And her life will never be the same.  (I should add here that the author had my rapt attention within those first few pages.)

Gaby immediately calls the police, and they soon arrive at the scene:  PC Morrow, a woman who “looks about twelve . . . small and freckly,” and DI Perivale, of the CID.  Till now, Gaby has led what many would call a charmed life: a successful career, married to a man she loves (although the marriage has fallen into a somewhat imperfect state of late) and an eight-year-old daughter she adores.  But all of that is threatened as Perivale seems to focus on Gaby when some evidence seems to point to her not as the horrified witness to a gruesome murder, but as a suspect, and her nightmare begins.

The book is wonderful well-written and –plotted, and I can say no more for fear of giving anything away.  Suffice it to say that the conclusion is totally unexpected, and the twists and turns of plot are nothing less than stunning.  I must admit that I had to put the book down briefly when I came within about 20 pages of the ending:  An instance of delayed gratification, as I couldn’t imagine what was coming next, and didn’t want the book to end.

Highly recommended.

Reviewed by Gloria Feit, April 2015.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Windigo IslandWindigo Island
William Kent Krueger
Atria Books, May 2015
ISBN: 978-1-476-74924-2
Trade Paperback

When the body of a 14-year-old Ojibwe girl washes up on Windigo Island, a rocky outcrop on Lake Superior, Cork O’Connor and his daughter, Jenny, embark on a crusade to rescue another teenager, Mariah, who had run away from home with her, ending up as prostitutes in Duluth, pimped by a man known, strangely enough, as Windigo.  The windigo is a mythical beast thought to rip hearts out of bodies and eat them, or a vengeful spirit called Michi Peshu, according to Ojibwe lore.

With the help of Mariah’s cousin, a game warden, her mother, and Henry Meloux, Cork and Jenny follow a thin trail to find the girl with little help from other victims of the pimps who are virtually brainwashed and refuse to talk, or a very few others.  What follows is an exciting investigation that leads to the uncovering of an extensive sex trafficking ring, many of whose victims are Native Americans steeped in poverty and abuse, especially in the Duluth and Twin Cities areas.

The novel graphically portrays the squalid cycle of poverty, abuse, alcoholism and runaway children on the reservations and the men who prey on them.    Once again, the author has the opportunity to demonstrate a deep empathy for the Ojibwe, their values and traditions, as well as describing his love of the North Woods.  All this and one of the most exciting finishes recently read by this reviewer.

Highly recommended.

Reviewed by Ted Feit, May 2015.

Book Review: The Vampire, the Hunter, and the Girl by Martin Lastrapes

The Vampire. the Hunter, and the Girl Tour Banner

************

Title: The Vampire, the Hunter, and the Girl
Series: The Vampire and the Hunter Trilogy, Book One
Author: Martin Lastrapes
Publisher: Cannibal Press
Publication Date: March 18, 2015
Genres: Horror, Paranormal

************

Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Barnes & Noble Buy Button     Books-A-Million Button     Amazon Buy Button

************

The Vampire, the Hunter, and the GirlThe Vampire, the Hunter, and the Girl
The Vampire and the Hunter Trilogy, Book One
Martin Lastrapes
Cannibal Press, March 2015
ISBN 978-0-9857043-2-2
Trade Paperback

From the author—

Adam and Jesus (the vampire and the hunter) have an innate antagonism, which is only heightened once they discover they’re competing for the affections of the same girl. Olivia (the girl) is an aspiring author struggling to write a vampire novel. What none of them yet know is there’s a menacing force looming that will change the course of their lives forever.

************

If ever a book had me coming and going, this one is it. It’s most certainly not your usual kind of vampire book if there even is such a thing as a usual vampire book. Here we have the dark side, a good bit of romance, more than a dash of humor but, thank heavens, no sparkly. From one moment to the next, I wasn’t sure which of these temperaments I was going to get. Then there’s a multitude of characters which was okay but, as much as I like character development, it was really overdone here. I knew more about the most obscure player than I would ever hope to and I suspect all the backstory could have been pared down by at least 15% of the book. And I could have done without the discussion of bodily functions and the overabundance of sexual activity and descriptions.

The pacing of what could be an exciting plot was almost glacial for much of the book with various chapters harking back to earlier situations but largely because so much of it is Adam telling Olivia how the vampire world works so she can write a book about vampires. Telling is just not as much fun as showing, you know? I also didn’t care much for the frequent re-telling of scenes from various characters’ points of view. I like multiple POV but not when it’s used to repeat scenes over and over.

BUT…I truly enjoyed this book in spite of all that. I mean, how can you not love a vampire who goes bowling? Throw in a bunch of wrestling, some stripping, illegal immigration, a barbershop for vampires, an exceedingly odd love triangle and a mean, nasty vampire named Victus (my favorite kind) and you’ve got a mishmash of fun and ick and horror and all the things that come with a good vampire novel. Dracula makes an appearance and it turns out he’s into superheroes ;-)

And then there’s Frank who makes Victus look like a Sunday school teacher. When Adam, Olivia and Jesus find out what has to be done about this very peculiar vampire, life is not so rosy anymore. I’m really looking forward to finding out what happens next in The Vampire, the Hunter, and the Witch.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, August 2015.

About the Author

Martin Lastrapes 2MARTIN LASTRAPES won the GRAND PRIZE at the 2012 PARIS BOOK FESTIVAL for his debut novel INSIDE THE OUTSIDE.

He grew up in the Inland Empire, has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Master’s Degree in Composition from Cal State San Bernardino, watches his favorite movies over and over again, learned many a lesson from professional wrestling, wonders if he’ll ever be famous enough to be on “Dancing With the Stars,” thinks good stand-up comedy is rare and under appreciated, is scared of Vladimir Putin, wonders if it’s too late to learn how to play the guitar, gets depressed when he hears the theme song from “M*A*S*H,” wonders why Teen Wolf never made it to the NBA, and wants Morgan Freeman to narrate his life.

He is also the host of THE MARTIN LASTRAPES SHOW PODCAST HOUR. Subscribe on iTunes or listen on the official website MartinLastrapesShow.com. New episodes every week.

************

Follow the tour here.

************

Xpresso Book Tours Button 2

Book Review: Confessions of a Fat Girl by Holly Dae

Confessions of a Fat Girl Tour Banner

************

Title: Confessions of a Fat Girl
Author: Holly Dae
Publication Date: July 24, 2015
Genre: General Fiction

************

Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Barnes & Noble Buy Button     Kobo Buy Button     Amazon Buy Button

************

Confessions of a Fat GirlConfessions of a Fat Girl
Holly Dae
CreateSpace, July 2015
ISBN 978-1515204053
Trade Paperback

From the author—

Smart and ambitious Season Minett was homeschooled, got accepted into college at 16, graduated with a B.A. in English at 20, got a job at a prestigious magazine at 21, and isn’t afraid to go after what she wants. Twenty-two-year-old Season has it made and everyone knows it. Except Season herself.

People can gush over her all day long, but Season knows they’re just being nice. In reality, she’s accomplished nothing. She doesn’t work hard enough, can’t get her book published, and worst of all at 5’6, 180 pounds with a thirty-two inch waist, a forty-four inch hip, and arms too big for her body, she’s fat and ugly. She’s such a disappointment that after her mother divorced Season’s dad, she went to live with her new, younger boyfriend and left Season to mother the rest of her siblings. So Season is quite bewildered when the guy she sees every weekend at the bookstore shows serious interest in her. And she ends up liking him. A lot.

Season’s not naive enough to think love will solve all her problems though. In fact, love seems to be making everything worse because her food obsession is growing more and more out of her control. But that’s impossible. There’s nothing wrong with counting calories and wanting to be thin. There’s nothing wrong with trying to be as perfect as everyone thinks she is. A fat girl can’t develop an eating disorder, let alone have one. Right?

Much is made of eating disorders these days and, fortunately, it seems as though at least some people are fighting back against the drive to be ultra-thin. Still, there are far too many, mostly girls and young women, who are compelled to reach for what they think is the perfect body image. Such a young woman is Season.

Season is a prickly sort and, once you know her story, it’s easy to understand why she has so much trouble letting other people into her life. She has learned that she doesn’t have a lot of reason to trust and she also feels very inadequate. On the whole, Season is a woman with very little self-esteem so it’s not surprising that, at first, she doesn’t respond well when a man named Victor approaches her in a cafe.

Victor is the kind of guy you wish every insecure woman could meet, genuinely nice and not afraid to stand for what he believes in (although he was way too chill during a certain gun incident). Unfortunately, Season is not so likeable and I found it hard to connect with her. She’s so inconsistent, for one thing, blowing hot and cold about nearly everything including her own image of herself. I find it really hard to believe that any woman who’s so hung up on what and how much she eats would be ready, willing and able to expose her body to a man she’s known for about five minutes. Also, Season is really rude to everyone, to the point of being tiresome. Still, she has her good moments and an important part of her story is watching her mellow just a bit.

Despite my reservations, especially about Season’s personality, this is an interesting story, unlike any I’ve read before, and I’m interested in trying some of Ms. Dae’s other work. After all, just because one book doesn’t resonate with me doesn’t mean another one won’t and I’m sure many readers will like Confessions of a Fat Girl ;-)

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, August 2015.

Holly Dae Confessions Teaser

************

About the Author

Stuck in the transition between graduating from college and starting a life called no job, Holly Dae spends most of her free time writing raw and edgy Young Adult and New Adult contemporary novels that deal with rape, drugs, sex, and general psychological ills. When she isn’t doing that, she’s writing fanfiction for fun and obsessively playing Mario Kart Eight and Pokemon Games.

************

Follow the tour here.

************

IFB Tours Button 2

Book Review: Love is the Drug by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Love Is the DrugLove is the Drug
Alaya Dawn Johnson
Arthur A. Levine Books, October 2014
ISBN 978-0-545-41781-5
Hardcover

Love is the Drug is one of those YA books that doesn’t feel like one. It just centers on some people who happen to be in high school.

And, oh yeah, it is a fun and engrossing book to read. The book opens with a scenario that is quickly becoming a favorite, one where the reader and the main character, Emily Bird, are asking themselves “Just what is going on here?” We will spend much of the book figuring that out.

Each chapter’s title is named for a chemical and if you’re unfamiliar with any of them, I’d recommend looking them up, as each one bears on the upcoming chapter. The writer has a great vocabulary and she isn’t afraid to use it which really adds to the story. There’s a great expression and a spelled out understanding of love in the book as well as lots of social references sprinkled throughout the text.

The only complaint I had was the author’s tendency to end chapters with a change in style, often switching to a first person point of view or at least once, a numbered list. It pulled me out of the story every time and I began wondering if it was meant to foretell some sort of surprise finish. Since it doesn’t, I would have been happier without the distraction. While I generally like the inventiveness behind it, there should have been a point to it.

An enjoyable book with only a minor flaw. Read it. Good stuff.

Reviewed by Constance Reader, July 2015.

Spotlight on Tropical Depression by Jeff Lindsay

Tropical Depression

************

Title: Tropical Depression
Series: A Billy Knight Thriller #1
Author: Jeff Lindsay
Publisher: Diversion Books
Publication Date: August 25, 2015 (Re-Release)
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Private Investigator

************

Synopsis

NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Jeff Lindsay
mastered suspense with his wildly addictive DEXTER
series. Before that, however, there was former cop and
current burnout Billy Knight. When a hostage situation
turns deadly, Billy loses everything—his wife, his daughter,
and his career. Devastated, he heads to Key West to put
down his gun and pick up a rod and reel as a fishing boat captain.
But former co-worker Roscoe McAuley isn’t ready to let Billy rest.

When Roscoe tells Billy that someone murdered his son, Billy
sends him away. When Roscoe himself turns up dead a few
weeks later, however, Billy can’t keep from getting sucked
back into Los Angeles, and the streets that took so much from him.

Billy’s investigations into the death of a former cop, and his son,
will take him up to the highest echelons of the LAPD, finding
corruption at every level. It puts him on a collision course with the
law, with his past, with his former fellow officers, and with the
dark aftermath of the Civil Rights Movement. Jeff Lindsay’s
considerable storytelling gifts are on full display, drawing the
reader in with a mesmerizing style and a case with
more dangerous blind curves than Mulholland Drive.

************

Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Barnes & Noble Buy Button     Kobo Buy Button     Books-A-Million Button     Amazon Buy Button

************

An Excerpt from Tropical Depression

Somebody once said Los Angeles isn’t really a city but a hundred suburbs looking for a city. Every suburb has a different flavor to it, and every Angeleno thinks he knows all about you when he knows which one you live in. But that’s mostly important because of the freeways.

Life in L.A. is centered on the freeway system. Which freeway you live nearest is crucial to your whole life. It determines where you can work, eat, shop, what dentist you go to, and who you can be seen with.

I needed a freeway that could take me between the two murder sites, get me downtown fast, or up to the Hollywood substation to see Ed Beasley.

I’d been thinking about the Hollywood Freeway. It went everywhere I needed to go, and it was centrally located, which meant it connected to a lot of other freeways. Besides, I knew a hotel just a block off the freeway that was cheap and within walking distance of the World News, where Roscoe had been cut down. I wanted to look at the spot where it happened. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t learn anything, but it was a starting place.

And sometimes just looking at the place where a murder happened can give you ideas about it; cops are probably a little more levelheaded than average, but most of them will agree there’s something around a murder scene that, if they weren’t cops, they would call vibes.

So Hollywood it was. I flagged down one of the vans that take you to the rental car offices.

By the time I got fitted out with a brand new matchbox—no, thank you, I did not want a special this-week-only deal on a Cadillac convertible; that’s right, cash, I didn’t like credit cards; no, thank you, I did not want an upgrade of any kind for only a few dollars more; no, thank you, I didn’t want the extra insurance—it was dark and I was tired. I drove north on the San Diego Freeway slowly, slowly enough to have at least one maniac per mile yell obscenities at me. Imagine the nerve of me, going only sixty in a fifty-five zone.

The traffic was light. Pretty soon I made my turn east on the Santa Monica. I was getting used to being in L.A. again, getting back into the rhythm of the freeways. I felt a twinge of dread as I passed the exit for Sepulveda Boulevard, but I left it behind with the lights of Westwood.

The city always looks like quiet countryside from the Santa Monica Freeway. Once you are beyond Santa Monica and Westwood, you hit a stretch that is isolated from the areas it passes through. You could be driving through inner-city neighborhoods or country-club suburbs, but you’ll never know from the freeway.

That all changes as you approach downtown. Suddenly there is a skyline of tall buildings, and if you time it just right, there are two moons in the sky. The second one is only a round and brightly lit corporate logo on a skyscraper, but if it’s your first time through you can pass some anxious moments before you figure that out. After all, if any city in the world had two moons, wouldn’t it be L.A.?

And suddenly you are in one of the greatest driving nightmares of all recorded history. As you arc down a slow curve through the buildings and join the Harbor Freeway you are flung into the legendary Four-Level. The name is misleading, a slight understatement. It really seems like a lot more than four levels.

The closest thing to driving the Four-Level is flying a balloon through a vicious dogfight with the Red Baron’s Flying Circus. The bad guys—and they are all bad guys in the Four-Level—the bad guys come at you from all possible angles, always at speeds just slightly faster than the traffic is moving, and if you do not have every move planned out hours in advance you’ll be stuck in the wrong lane looking for a sign you’ve already missed and before you know it you will find yourself in Altadena, wondering what happened.

I got over into the right lane in plenty of time and made the swoop under several hundred tons of concrete overpass, and I was on the Hollywood Freeway. Traffic started to pick up after two or three exits, and in ten minutes I was coming off the Gower Street ramp and onto Franklin.

There’s a large hotel right there on Franklin at Gower. I’ve never figured out how they break even. They’re always at least two-thirds empty. They don’t even ask if you have a reservation. They are so stunned that you’ve found their hotel they are even polite for the first few days. There’s also a really lousy coffee shop right on the premises, which is convenient if you keep a cop’s schedule. I guessed I was probably going to do that this trip.

A young Chinese guy named Allan showed me up to my room. It was on the fifth floor and looked down into the city, onto Hollywood Boulevard just two blocks away. I left the curtain open. The room was a little bit bigger than a gas station rest room, but the decor wasn’t quite as nice.

It was way past my bedtime back home, but I couldn’t sleep. I left my bag untouched on top of the bed and went out.

The neighborhood at Franklin and Gower is schizophrenic. Two blocks up the hill, towards the famous Hollywood sign, the real estate gets pretty close to seven figures. Two blocks down the hill and it’s overpriced at three.

I walked straight down Gower, past a big brick church, and turned west. I waved hello to Manny, Moe, and Jack on the corner: it had been a while. There was still a crowd moving along the street. Most of them were dressed like they were auditioning for the role of something your mother warned you against.

Some people have this picture of Hollywood Boulevard. They think it’s glamorous. They think if they can just get off the pig farm and leave Iowa for the big city, all they have to do is get to Hollywood Boulevard and magic will happen. They’ll be discovered.

The funny thing is, they’re right. The guys that do the discovering are almost always waiting in the Greyhound station. If you’re young and alone, they’ll discover you. The magic they make happen might not be what you had in mind, but you won’t care about that for more than a week. After that you’ll be so eager to please you’ll gladly do things you’d never even had a name for until you got discovered. And a few years later when you die of disease or overdose or failure to please the magic-makers, your own mother won’t recognize you. And that’s the real magic of Hollywood. They take innocence and turn it into money and broken lives.

I stopped for a hot dog, hoping my sour mood would pass. It didn’t. I got mustard on my shirt. I watched a transvestite hooker working on a young Marine. The jarhead was drunk enough not to know better. He couldn’t believe his luck. I guess the hooker felt the same way.

The hot dog started to taste like old regrets. I threw the remaining half into the trash and walked the last two blocks to Cahuenga.

The World News is open twenty-four hours a day, and there’s always a handful of people browsing. In a town like this there’s a lot of people who can’t sleep. I don’t figure it’s their conscience bothering them.

I stood on the sidewalk in front of the place. There were racks of specialty magazines for people interested in unlikely things. There were several rows of out-of-town newspapers. Down at the far end of the newsstand was an alley. Maybe three steps this side of it there was a faint rusty brown stain spread across the sidewalk and over the curb into the gutter. I stepped over it and walked into the alley.

The alley was dark, but that was no surprise. The only surprise was that I started to feel the old cop adrenaline starting up again, just walking down a dark alley late at night. Suddenly I really wanted this guy. I wanted to find whoever had killed Roscoe and put him in a small cell with a couple of very friendly body-builders.

The night air started to feel charged. It felt good to be doing cop work again, and that made me a little mad, but I nosed around for a minute anyway. I wasn’t expecting to find anything, and I didn’t. By getting down on one knee and squinting I did find the spot where the rusty stains started. There was a large splat, and then a trickle leading back out of the alley to the stain on the sidewalk.

I followed the trickle back to the big stain and stood over it, looking down.

Blood is hard to wash out. But sooner or later the rain, the sun, and the passing feet wear away the stains. This stain was just about all that was left of Roscoe McAuley and when it was gone there would be nothing left of him at all except a piece of rock with his name on it and a couple of loose memories. What he was, what he did, what he thought and cared about—that was already gone. All that was hosed away a lot easier than blood stains—a lot quicker, too.

“I’m sorry, Roscoe,” I said to the stain. It didn’t answer. I walked back up the hill and climbed into a bed that was too soft and smelled of mothballs and cigarettes.

************

About the Author

Jeff LindsayJeff Lindsay is the award-winning author of the seven New York Times bestselling Dexter novels upon which the international hit TV show Dexter is based. His books appear in more than 30 languages and have sold millions of copies around the world. Jeff is a graduate of Middlebury College, Celebration Mime Clown School, and has a double MFA from Carnegie Mellon. Although a full-time writer now, he has worked as an actor, comic, director, MC, DJ, singer, songwriter, composer, musician, story analyst, script doctor, and screenwriter.

Catch Up:

Website Button     Twitter Button     Facebook Button     Goodreads Button 2

************

Follow the book blitz here.

************

Partners in Crime Book Tours

Book Review: Aurelious Forty by Dianna Beirne

Aurelious Forty Tour Banner

************

Title: Aurelious Forty
Series: Aurelious Forty, Volume One

Author: Dianna Beirne
Publication Date: December 12, 2014
Genres: Dark Fantasy, Young Adult

************

Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Barnes & Noble Buy Button     Kobo Buy Button     Amazon Buy Button

************

Aurelious FortyAurelious Forty
Aurelious Forty, Volume One
Dianna Beirne
Dianna Beirne, December 2014
ISBN 978-0986327100
Trade Paperback

From the author—

Aurelious Forty has led a lonely, troubled life. He stays disconnected from the world around him with no family and no friends. He lives merely to exist…to survive.

Aurelious’ life changes in an instant when an impulsive decision forces him to abandon everything he has ever known. Choosing to follow strangers into a new world, he discovers he was born with a gift so strong, so unique; it could give him the power to change humanity.

But the shadows of his childhood are long and dark and run through every fiber of his soul. Can Aurelious break the chains of his past and use his gift for good? Or will the nightmare of his tormentors set him on a path of revenge so fierce it could destroy us all?

Here we have a young man who’s a true loner, just a few steps shy of being a hermit. He doesn’t want to be away from all people as hermits do. In fact, he is entranced by people and always wants to observe them and write about them on his treasured laptop; what he doesn’t want is to know people, to have them in his life in real form, to engage with them in any way. His lack of connection with others might lead one to think that he’s anti-social and perhaps he is but one should not make the mistake that he suffers from Antisocial Personality Disorder. Far from it. He doesn’t want to harm us nor does he have a disregard for our well-being. He just doesn’t want to know us.

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, for Aurelious, his armor is about to be pierced when he meets Brekwyn and Anira. His life takes a turn he could never have anticipated and he enters a world he could never have imagined. Too bad it’s not going to be all peaches and cream.

When I first saw this book, I was reluctant to read it because of the description. I like fantastical stories and those with paranormal elements, even the ones that just mess with my mind but, before I go into it, I want to know at least a little something about what’s going to happen. I don’t need a lot of detail—in fact, I dislike the descriptions that go on and on, just give me a couple of hints—but give me something, please. Ms. Beirne doesn’t really offer much but there was just a little something, a tug, that made me want to at least dip my toe into these waters and I’m so very glad I did.

I can’t really say much more about Aurelious or his tale because it would be chockful of spoilers so let me just say this: take a leap into the unknown and you’ll be surprised and, even with a massive cliffhanger, you’ll come away feeling good about this boy ;-)

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, August 2015.

A Deeper Look at a Main
Character: Aurelious Forty

Aurelious is, at times, a bit of an enigma. He is a very emotional character and while he shares his emotional experiences with the reader, he tries desperately to hide them from the characters that he interacts with on the page. He is typically unsuccessful in masking his own emotions from those around him though he’s generally unaware of how unsuccessful he is because he’s fairly self-absorbed, at least in the beginning of the book. Enigma.

There is a lot to love in Aurelious but he makes you work at loving him, he doesn’t give it right away. There are times when you might think it’s easier to dislike him but then he draws you in and you’re reminded of what he endured as a child and you’re proud of how far he’s come.

Although he is the main character and the one telling us his story, he isn’t the hero. He is really more of a sidekick who has to learn from the hero and finds himself fumbling along the way, a lot. He fumbles so much that he makes the hero a little less heroic for a minute. But, when he starts to look outside of himself, when he starts to connect with and care for the people around him, when he shows us how much he changes and overcomes, then he does become a little bit more of a hero himself. Or at least makes us question how a hero could be defined.

Aurelious Forty struggles. He learns. He grows. He changes . He is an imperfect character, just like the rest of us. And, in his imperfection, he is worthy of being loved, just like the rest of us. As the person who created him, I must confess, I hope people will embrace his flaws and love him.

************

About the Author

Dianna BeirneDianna Beirne lives in a fantasy world. Okay not really, but part of her wishes she did and, since that’s technically impossible, she writes about fantasy worlds instead. Her first Young Adult novel entitled Aurelious Forty; Volume One quickly turned into her first Young Adult series with the addition of Aurelious Forty; Volume Two and, Aurelious Forty; Volume Three.

When not writing, she’s generally daydreaming which morphs into wondering if that last daydream could turn into a book. She has also recently discovered podcasts but doesn’t exactly understand what they are or why they’re different from regular radio shows. So it’s safe to assume that her next book won’t be about a podcast. Instead she’ll just keep listening to the ones that she finds that hilarious because laughing is one of her favorite pastimes and she finds way too many things funny!

Prior to dedicating her time to writing, Dianna taught under graduate and graduate courses about using literacy in the elementary, middle, and high school classroom. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a Master’s degree in Literacy and a Doctorate in Education specializing in Curriculum and Teaching.

Dianna lives in New York and is the grateful mother of a son whom she misses terribly when he is away at college.

Author Links:

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

************

Follow the tour here.

************

YA Bound Book Tours Button 2