Friday, May 13, 2022

Life After a Death Book Blitz Spotlight

 


Check out this new memoir by author Trina Machacek, Life After Death

Life After a Death

Publication Date: May 3, 2022

Genre: Memoir/ Grief/ Humor

The Widow Road Is…
Excruciatingly painful, a daily adventure into the unknown.
As exciting as going to the dentist and finding you’ve a second set of wisdom teeth.
THEN…

As the days come and go and go and come things get… What do they get? Easier? Calmer? No. They get weird.

Becoming a one instead of half a twosome is not what you bargained for? You find yourself really alone, a lot?

You need a cheerleader. You need to hear you are going to live again. You need hope.

With all the courage of a kitten coming out of the box for the first time, and seeing the world in a new light, Trina found widowhood wasn’t all that bad. Oh there will be bad. Its life there will always be bad and mad and sad.

That’s exactly when Trina will buck you up with, “you got this.”

Available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Born in 1955, married in 1976, widowed in 2018. Trina is finding this last path as another challenge to tackle with all the gusto it took her to start her self-syndicated national newspaper column “Is This You?” when she started it in 2012. Or writing her books, “They Call Me Weener” and “Life After A Death.” Hop aboard her widow train and become, as she says, “The best dang widow on your block.” ‘Course she laughs and points out she is the only person on her one mile square block in Diamond Valley, Nevada. Connect with her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrinaMachacekAuthor.

Book Blitz Organized By:









R&R Book Tours

Speechless in Achten Tan Review Spotlight

 

Sometimes Magic leaves you…Speechless!

Welcome to the book tour for the beautiful fantasy novel, Speechless in Achten Tan by Debbie Iancu-Haddad. Read on for my reviews, details, and a chance to win a fantastic giveaway!


Speechless in Achten Tan is the first book in Debbie Iancu-Haddad's The Sands of Achten Tan series and if you are an avid reader of fantasy novels you will not want to miss out on this book!

At first glance, the cover is what captures my attention, but the blurb quickly lures me in and I had to know more about this book. The author introduces me right off to young Mila. Her voice was taken from her by magic at a young age, and she has worked to try and conquer her magic to regain it. However, it seems that things just aren't going her way. So many times she has failed to move past being an Onra, and frustration eats at her. It's expected to fail on the first attempt. But to continue to fail time and time again? That's when you get the looks of sympathy. There's more to Mila's story though and it begs the question - is this part of what keeps her from achieving the next level and regaining her voice?

From the first page, I was in love with this book. The characters are engaging and I love the main character isn't a tall human girl. Mila is such an engaging character and when I discovered that she's a gnome who glows I was enraptured. Mila has moments of self-pity, but I appreciate that she doesn't wallow in them like I feared she might. She's a flawed character, but she really drives the story along with the other characters who come to stand by her side. 

There is so much to love in this book. I love the dangers that swirl in the desert sands. I love the small pictures at the beginning of each chapter. They are beautifully created and they fit the story so well. There is so much to enjoy and to be engaged by in this story from the very beginning. Mila has had tragedy strike her, there is romance trying to bud (Mila and other characters as well), and there is a task that seems too dangerous but must be accomplished. There is literally a little bit of something for all readers in this book. I couldn't put this book down, and the times when I did have to put the book down it never left my mind. I kept wondering - what happens next? Is Mila going to be okay? 

I'm already eager for the next book! To the author...when does that one come out exactly? LOL! I love a good fantasy novel and this book more than checks all the boxes. You get a strong female main character, you get a friend from home who at one time disappeared, and then you get a nice rounding out of new friends made in a variety of ways. But! Beware of who you trust! Not everyone is who they seem, so where will this lead young Mila? Guess you'll have to read to find out! 

This book earns its 5 out of 5 stars rating. I ate this book up. I love a good fantasy novel and the author more than delivers with this book. I look forward to book two and the continuation of Mila's story.

A huge thank you to the author and R&R Book Tour for the opportunity to read and review this book! Be sure to enter the giveaway below and visit my fellow bloggers for their thoughts on this book as well! Thank you for stopping by! 


Speechless in Achten Tan (The Sands of Achten Tan #1)

Publication Date: February 22, 2022 (Skullgate Media)

Genre: YA Fantasy

Sometimes Magic leaves you…Speechless!

Eighteen-year-old Mila hasn’t spoken in the five years since she became an Onra, a first level Everfall witch. After failing the test to reclaim her voice and control her magic, her mentor sends Mila to Achten Tan – City of Dust – a dangerous desert town, built in the massive ribcage of an extinct leviathan.
To reclaim her power, Mila must steal a magical staff capable of releasing it, from the sky-high lair of the Bone Master, Chief Opu Haku.
Her only resources are the magical luminous elixirs of the cursed caverns where she grew up, and a band of unlikely allies; a quirky inventor, a giant-ant rider, a healer, a librarian’s assistant, a Tar-tule rider and the chief’s playboy son.
But in the City of Bones, enemies & friends are not who they seem and trusting the wrong person can be deadly.
If Mila fails she will never speak again and her bones may be added to the wasteland.

Add to Goodreads



Excerpt

This time, I have to succeed.

A glimmer of light parts the mist rising from the Everfall, the massive waterfall tumbling from the plateau above Achten Tan into the underground caverns where we live. The waterfall is steeped in magic. To pass my test, I must harness its power, and pause the mighty flow for one brief moment.

The cool spray wicks my skin with moisture as the sun's first rays creep across the falls. I raise my hands to focus my magic and breathe deep, concentrating on a stripe of rainbow-colored sunlight refracting through the vapor. The water on my skin evaporates as it warms, humming with power. 

I gather the threads of ether to me, weaving them one by one into a spell. I cannot speak it out loud. Since the magic took my voice five years ago, it has reduced me to hand signals, gestures, and the words tattooed on my skin. But if the magic obeys me today, I will ascend to the next level, and be able to speak once more.

STOP. I command the water. The water swirls and writhes like a hissing serpent, escaping my hold. The mighty flow crests momentarily, building into a wave, shooting up above the falls when it should fall downward. Joy and hope flood my chest.

The gathered spectators gasp.

Even at this early hour, I have an audience: other hopefuls, their families, and friends. The other girls are taking their test for the first, or second, or at worst, the third time. This is my fourth try. A fourth failure might drive me to throw myself off the Everfall.

It's a truly spectacular way to die.

I should know, it’s how my brother died.

But I don't want to die. And if I had a choice, I definitely wouldn't jump. As it is, being this close to the edge of the falls makes my knees tremble. I just want to pass my trial and ascend from Onra, first-level cavern witch, to Misra, the second level, trusted to use her voice and powers.

Distracted by the crowd—or the wind, or my frail ability—the water breaks from my grasp, collapsing over the falls with a mighty slap, blowing wind and water back into my face like the insult it is.

I raise my dripping face to view the people gathered beyond the falls. I spot my parents' disappointed faces, my father clutching my mother's shoulder in support. My Nora's weathered visage rarely shows emotion, but I can tell her discontent by the tightening of her jaw, the whitening of her knuckles on her staff. And behind them, sweet Geb, standing a head taller than the rest. He wanted me to succeed so badly. His golden eyes find mine, holding nothing but sympathy. Still, looking at them all, I truly contemplate throwing myself over the edge, rather than having to face them as a failure once more.

I shake my head to dislodge such thoughts. I can't put them through that again.

Instead, I swallow my shame, hold back my tears, and flee.

Available on Amazon!

About the Author

Debbie Iancu-Haddad is a Jewish Israeli author living in Meitar in the Negev Desert.

She spends her time taking part in Anthologies (seven to date with two more on the way), writing VSS on Twitter, and buying way too much stuff online. Her goal is to promote body positive characters and include characters dealing with physical challenges. #ownvoices

For her day job, she gives lectures on humor, laughter yoga workshops and chocolate workshops, and sees how often she can make her two teenagers roll their eyes.

Debbie Iancu-Haddad | Twitter  | Facebook | Instagram

Giveaway: Click the link below for a chance to win a copy of Speechless in Achten Tan and a $25 Amazon e-Gift Card! (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Book Tour Schedule

May 9th

R&R Book Tours (Kick-Off) http://rrbooktours.com

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

I Love Books & Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Spotlight) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.com/

FUOnlyKnew (Spotlight) http://fuonlyknew.com/

May 10th

Sadie’s Spotlight (Interview) http://sadiesspotlight.com/

   @books_inthecity (Review) https://www.instagram.com/books_inthecity/

 Tabithabouldin (Review) https://www.instagram.com/tabithabouldin/

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

  @booksintheirnaturalhabitat (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/booksintheirnaturalhRaabitat/

May 11th

Riss Reviews (Review) https://rissreviewsx.wixsite.com/website

@takealookatmybookshelf (Review) https://www.instagram.com/takealookatmybookshelf/

I Smell Sheep (Spotlight) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

Ravenz Reviews (Spotlight) http://ravenzreviews.blogspot.com/

May 12th

Cheryl’s Book Nook (Review) https://cherylsbooknook.blogspot.com/

 @beastreader - https://www.instagram.com/beastreader/

 @cleoniki.books (Review) https://www.instagram.com/cleoniki.books/

@mels_booksandhooks (Review) https://www.instagram.com/mels_booksandhooks/

                  Sadie Forsythe (Review) http://sadieforsythe.com/wp/

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

May 13th

@amber.bunch_author (Review) https://www.instagram.com/amber.bunch_author/

Bunny’s Reviews (Review) https://bookwormbunnyreviews.blogspot.com/

The Faerie Review (Spotlight) http://www.thefaeriereview.com



Book Tour Organized By:




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Tuesday, May 10, 2022

The Black Diamond and the Witch's Curse Spotlight

 


Welcome to the book tour for The Black Diamond and the Witch's Curse by Terrence Potter!

The Black Diamond and the Witch’s Curse

Publication Date: October 27, 2021

Genre: Urban Fantasy/ Fantasy/ BIPOC

To most people, it appears as if Derek James is a typical college freshman. Yes, he is on a football scholarship at one of the most prestigious universities in the country, but other than that, he appears quite ordinary. But there is an extraordinary secret that Derek is harboring: he is a warlock! When he runs into fellow freshmen Matthias, Omar, and Tre’Vell, he is surprised to learn that they are also warlocks! Shortly after they all meet, however, the freshmen start getting attacked by terrifying monsters. Now, the four fast friends must overcome doubts and disagreements in order to discover the source of the attacks. But it may go deeper than any of them realize.

Arrival

It  was  hot.  This  had  to  be  the  hottest  day  of  the  summer.  Even though Move-In Day for the rest of the students was still two weeks away, Derek James was moving into his dorm early, as was the case with the rest of the football team.

He was excited to be starting his first year of college at Word University, especially because he was finally getting out from under his mother’s overprotective eye.

Mom, I really didn’t need you to help me move in. I got it,” Derek said. “Boy, if I let you move in by yourself, who knows what your room’s gonna look like? Besides, I want to meet your roommate,” his mother, Valerie James, responded.

Dad trusted me. I asked him not to come, and he didn’t.”

Well, I’m not your dad,” Valerie said. “And I gotta make sure that my baby is all right.”

Mom, I’m eighteen. Can you not call me ‘baby’?” Derek sighed.

I’m your mother. You will always be my baby, no matter how old you get.” “That don’t mean you gotta call me that,” Derek grumbled.

Whatever. Don’t back talk. Now, are we gonna put these things in your room or are we gonna stand here at the car talking all day?”

Derek’s room was on the fifth f loor, the highest f loor in the dorm. Derek looked up at the stately building, with the sun glistening off the windows, and thought that maybe he could use the help. “Okay, I’ll carry the minifridge up. You can take that trunk of clothes. I’ll meet you up there. Remember, it’s room 510B,” Derek decided. As he watched his mom carry the trunk into the building, he wiped the sweat from his brow. Man, he just couldn’t believe how hot it was!

Just as he was about to pick up the fridge, he noticed a couple of girls watching him, probably cheerleaders, also moving in that day. He took his shirt off, which by now was drenched, and revealed his impressive athlete’s physique. He heard the girls start to giggle. Satisfied, he smirked, tossed the shirt into the car, picked up the minifridge, and made his way up the steps to meet his mom at his room.

As he made his way up to the top of the stairs, Derek could see his mom standing at the door of what he could only presume was his room. As he walked down the hallway, he saw his mom give him a look that made him feel this big. When he got to his room, Derek dropped the fridge with a thud! and glanced up at his mom.

Derek, what are you doing with your shirt off?” Valerie admonished. “Man, it’s burning up outside! My shirt felt like I just took it out the washing machine!” Derek said.

It ain’t that hot outside. You know I ain’t raise you like that. You ain’t the only person out here!”

Mom, it’s like one hundred degrees outside and I ain’t want my shirt to be sticking to me. It’s not that big a deal,” Derek pleaded.

She sighed. “Just open the door,” Valerie said as she shook her head in disapproval.

Derek took the key from his pocket and opened the door to his dorm. Inside the room were two wooden desks, two dressers, and two closets. The walls were stark white. It was plain, but Derek had to admit that it was bigger than he had expected. It was bigger than his room at home. He had to keep in mind, though, that unlike at home, he had to share this with another person.

How much more stuff do you have to bring up?” Valerie asked.

Well, I got my TV, book bag, the rest of my clothes, and the book,” answered Derek.

Oh my god! I don’t feel like going back up and down those steps,” exclaimed Valerie.

Look, you the one that wanted to help me move in. Besides, I could be up and back by myself real quick,” suggested Derek.

No.”

But since I been up here, I can do it. It’s not that far and—” Derek started. “No, Derek! What if somebody saw you? Don’t risk it. It’s just one more trip.

I’m just getting old, is all. Don’t mind my complaining,” Valerie said. “Come on.” After bringing up the rest of Derek’s stuff, it was time for Valerie to go. “Okay, are you sure you got everything?” “Yes, Mom.”

Laptop? Toothpaste? Deodorant?” “Yes, Mom.”

Razor?”

Yes.” “Condoms?”

What? Come on, Mom!”

Well, like you said, you’re eighteen. I went to college. I know what’s up,” Valerie said.

I’m gonna act like we ain’t really talking about this,” said Derek, desperately wishing his mom would change the subject.

Okay, I can take a hint. And you’re sure you have the book? And anything else you would need?” Valerie inquired.

Yeah. Positive.”

I still can’t believe your dad let you take it with you,” Valerie said.

I guess he figured that I’m old enough for the responsibility,” said Derek. “Guess so,” Valerie said as her eyes began to well up with tears.

Aw come on, Mom, don’t start crying.”

I can’t help it. My baby is all grown up and leaving me.”

Mom, it’s not that far away. And you know I can always pop in whenever I want. It’s close enough for me to make the trip.”

I know. Okay, give me a hug before I go.” Derek gave his mom a big warm hug. She got into her car and Derek waved as her car slowly faded into the distance.

Derek turned to go back up to his room. As he began to make his way up the steps leading to the front entrance, a black Nissan Altima rolled past a couple of cars filled with other students in the process of moving in and pulled up in the fire lane in front of the building. What was intriguing to Derek about this car was that the driver had Kendrick Lamar’s “Backseat Freestyle” blasting from the speakers. Derek could appreciate this guy’s taste in music! He walked up to the car as the driver, a stocky-looking guy, got out.

Ay yo, you ride with Kendrick Lamar?” Derek asked, impressed. “Of course, my brotha. You a fan?” the driver asked.

Man, I got Good Kid, M.A.A.D City in heavy rotation on my iPod,” Derek responded.

Oh a’ight. I been a fan of Kendrick since Section.80,” the guy said. “I assume you’re on the football team.”

Yeah, wide receiver. You?” “Running back.”

Cool, cool. I’m Derek, by the way,” Derek said as he introduced himself. “I think my roommate’s name is Derek. My name is Bruce. Bruce Graves.” “Yup, I’m definitely your roommate. Well, I just got done putting my stuff up in the room. If you want, I can help you carry some stuff up,” Derek offered. “Okay, good looking out,” Bruce said, relieved he had some help.

After Derek and Bruce were finished unloading Bruce’s car, they decided to arrange the room to their liking. Bruce said, “Let’s put my bed on that wall and yours on the opposite one. That way, we could put the desks right near the windows and the TV can go on the refrigerator in the corner.”

Okay, I’m good with that. I’ll put my dresser by my bed. I kind of figured that these walls were gonna be bare so I brought us some posters to liven up the place,” Derek said. He threw up some posters of scantily clad chocolate-skinned models and celebrity females.

Definitely better,” Bruce said approvingly. Derek laughed. “I thought you’d approve.”

As the two started to unpack their belongings, Bruce noticed a strange- looking book that fell out of Derek’s backpack. “What type of classes are you taking?” Bruce asked. “You already got some of your books?”

Why?” Derek turned and asked.

Bruce pointed to Derek’s backpack. “Did you get to register early? What class takes that book? That jawn looks cool,” Bruce said. The book was large and looked about four inches thick. It was a hardback, yet bound in black leather. On the cover was a picture of a majestic roaring golden lion, with a clawed paw raised toward the sky. Bruce thought the book looked old.

Derek quickly moved to pick up the book and put it back in the backpack. “Nah, this book is mine. My dad gave it to me. It’s kind of a family heirloom,” Derek nervously said.

Heirloom?” Bruce asked perplexingly.

Yeah,” Derek responded. “It’s been passed down in my family since we was brought over from Africa. It means a lot.”

Yo, that’s cool. Can I see?” Bruce asked.

Um,” Derek hesitated. “It’s just my dad has this thing about nobody else handling it. Like I said, it’s real old and real important.”

Bruce looked slightly disappointed. “Oh. No problem. I understand.” An uncomfortable and awkward silence settled between the two.

So where you from?” Derek asked, trying to lighten the mood.

I was born in Pittsburg,” Bruce answered. “I’ve lived in Philly for the past twelve years though. You?”

Oh, I’m from right here, Pottington. I actually live, like, a couple miles from here.”

Oh, so you know your way around this city. Know all the places to go where all the honeys at, am I right?” Bruce joked.

Of course. This is my city. I got you covered,” Derek said. “But I got a feeling that you won’t have to go far to find a lot of bad chicks, if you know what I’m saying,” Derek suggestively offered.

You think the girls at this school got it like that?” Bruce asked.

Look, dawg. Not only do they look good, but you gotta remember that Word U is the best HBCU in the nation. These chicks got their heads on straight and the looks to match,” said Derek.

Shit, well, if that’s the case, I think I’m gonna have a very fun year,” Bruce said.

Bruce’s stomach began to growl. “I’m about to go get something to eat,” he said.

Okay, I already ate. I’ll holla at you later,” Derek said.

As soon as Bruce left the room, Derek booted up his laptop. Once he was logged on, he opened a Skype chat; and soon enough, a man appeared on the screen on the other end of the call. In the background were a few portraits and a TV. It appeared to be a living room. The chocolate-skinned man, the same complexion as Derek himself, was wearing a white undershirt and looked to be in his mid-forties. He had sprinkles of gray in his hair and a neatly trimmed goatee. A thin pair of reading glasses covered a pair of eyes that would lead someone to believe that this man had seen a lot in life.

The man smiled. “I was wondering when you would finally get around to calling me,” he said.

Derek laughed. “What’s up, Dad?”

Available on Amazon

About the Author


Terrence, born to Shawn and Clarence Potter in 1990, lived in Wilmington, Delaware, until the age of seven, when he moved to New Castle. He graduated from Howard High School before moving on the University of Delaware, graduating in 2012. He decided to begin his writing career a year after that. He chose to create fantasy stories featuring characters from under-represented and minority populations. His first book in the Black Diamond series, The Black Diamond and the Witch’s Curse, was published in 2016. The second, The Black Diamond and the Magic box, was published in 2019.

The Black Diamond Series

Book Tour Organized By:






 



R&R Book Tours



Friday, May 6, 2022

Killian the Assassin Book Spotlight

 


We are thrilled to share a brand-new series by Wendy L. Anderson starting with Killian the Assassin! Read on for more info and a chance to win a paperback copy of the book!

Killian the Assassin (Legends of Everclearing #1)

Publication Date: March 30, 2022

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Assassin, thief, arrogant rogue…

Pagan drumming in Killian’s veins would never let his sword fail or his heart stop thirsting for blood. It felt as if the old gods gathered around him, waiting for blood to spill.

Killian the Assassin has been hired to guard the daughter of a wealthy Lord. Blackmailed into going on a perilous journey over treacherous seas, and among violent mountains, he faces danger and demons. Fighting the bloodlust that always follows him, Killian discovers a lonely, innocent girl who did not betray but has been betrayed. She deserves love and protection, but is he the one to give her what she needs?

Tainted by the need for salvation, driven by sword lust, darkness follows them as together they become the first in the Legends of Everclearing.

Killian the Assassin! He’ll double-cross you, bed your wife, and steal your gold, all with a smile.

Follow Killian the Assassin on his journey in this new fantasy series, the Legends of Everclearing!

Add to Goodreads

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Wendy L. Anderson is a Colorado native and mother of two boys. She has an English Degree from Regis University and writes books, short stories and poetry. Wendy is a devout reader of the classics, fantasy, sci-fi and historical fiction. She has decided it is time to write down the fantasies from her own mind. Writing about everything from fantastical worlds to the stuff of her dreams she takes her stories along interesting paths while portraying characters and worlds she sees in her mind’s eye. Her goal is to deviate from common themes, write in original directions and transport her reader to the worlds of her creation.

Can’t get enough?  Read the Kingdom of Jior epic fantasy series:

Of Demon Kind

Redemption of the Fallen

Heirs of Jior

Iron and the Arrow

The Last Ny-Failen 

Click the link below for a chance to win a paperback edition of the book (North America Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wendy L. Anderson | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads


Book Tour Schedule

May 2nd

R&R Book Tours (Kick-Off) http://rrbooktours.com

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Riss Reviews (Review) https://rissreviewsx.wixsite.com/website

@rissreviews_xx (Instagram Feature) https://www.instagram.com/rissreviews_xx/

@takealookatmybookshelf (Review) https://www.instagram.com/takealookatmybookshelf/

I Love Books & Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

May 3rd

@hodophile_z (Review) https://www.instagram.com/hodophile_z/

  @books_inthecity (Review) https://www.instagram.com/books_inthecity/

@mels_booksandhooks (Review) https://www.instagram.com/mels_booksandhooks/

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight)  https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

May 4th

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Review) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/

@louturnspages (Review) https://www.instagram.com/louturnspages/

Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com

 B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

May 5th

Cheryl’s Book Nook (Review) https://cherylsbooknook.blogspot.com/

  @beastreader (Instagram Feature) https://www.instagram.com/beastreader/

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.com/

@tairen_soul (Review) https://www.instagram.com/tairen_soul/

May 6th

The Invisible Moth (Review) https://daleydowning.wordpress.com

Bunny’s Reviews (Review) https://bookwormbunnyreviews.blogspot.com/

Sophril Reads (Review)  http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

 @gryffindorbookishnerd (Review) https://www.instagram.com/gryffindorbookishnerd/



Book Tour Organized By:









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Monday, May 2, 2022

Dark Obsessions Review Spotlight

 


Welcome to the book tour for a gritty crime thriller, Dark Obsessions by Marie Sutro! Read on for my review, more details, and a chance to win a great giveaway!

“…a taut and terrifying descent into madness and redemption…brilliant psychological thriller—pop culture entertainment at its absolute best…”

Jon Land, USA Today Bestselling Author of Strong Cold Dead


 Dark Obsessions by Mari Sutro is a twisted thriller mystery novel that will have you on the edge of your seat as Kate Barnes races against the clock to save an unknown number of girls from the dire situation that they have found themselves in. Dark Obsessions is one of those books that will stick with you long after you put the novel down, and will keep you coming back for more of this bad-ass character.

Dark Obsessions is the first book that I have read by Mari Sutro, but the minute I read the blurb of this book my first question was – is there more? LOL! This novel is the second Kate Barnes novel, but it can be read as a standalone novel. Trust me. I devoured this book and I’m already making plans to go and grab book one and am eagerly anticipating book three. Yes, it’s safe to say that this author has acquired a die-hard fan.

Now, just let me say this before we go any further – this book will not be for everyone. I am a zealous fan of horror, mystery, and thrillers and this book check all the boxes. There is some content that some readers might find difficult to read, so while there aren’t explicit details of the things that happen to the characters in this book, it’s best to think of your own mental health if torture and other heinous abuses are too much for you. If you have read the previous Kate Barnes novel and enjoyed it then you honestly know what to expect and I’m sure you’ll dive into this book eagerly.

Kate Barnes is in Washington State originally with one purpose – to find her mom and to get some closure concerning her youth. She has no idea that while she’s there that she’ll be drawn into a case of a murdered young girl stolen away from her home in a foreign country. Kate has been through a lot on a recent case, and she’s made quite a name for herself as well. When the local Sheriff asks her for some insight she agrees. She has no intentions of staying on, but one thing leads to another, and justice calls to be given.

Dark Obsessions is the second Kate Barnes novel, but it can absolutely be read as a standalone novel. The author touches back on things that happened in the first book, but it’s just enough to add some spice to the story and give a bit of insight into Kate’s past concerning the two cases' connection. Kate draws on similarities and familiarities to help ground herself when it’s absolutely necessary. I love Kate’s determination to find the answers regardless of who gets the credit and glory. She follows the rules as much as she can, but working “off the clock” so to speak affords her some liberties that she might not have if she was working in the full scope of the law.

The author’s writing style is truly phenomenal. I’m kept on the edge of my seat wondering – what is going to happen next? What twist is the author going to pounce on me? There was multiple times when my jaw was literally on the floor. There are some elements that I was quick to pick up on – which I absolutely loved, but the author keeps me guessing just the same. Throughout the book, I couldn’t help questioning – how deep does this go? As the puzzle comes together I couldn’t help but be in shock at the revelations the author has in store for readers.

I love the perfect moments of backstory that the author inserts into the novel. I appreciate the author works so hard to give readers a well-rounded image to work with concerning the characters in this book. I love seeing how the characters came to be in the various situations that they find themselves in. While this story does mostly focus on the mystery of the case at hand, the author remembers to give readers moments of Kate’s original objective in coming to Eagle’s Nest. In the process, the author is leaving little clues for readers to pick up on. The twists and surprises make this novel a true page-turner from beginning to end. I love how the clues answer so few questions while creating more at the same time. The horror element is so delicately done that it’s truly beautiful in its own twisted and unique way. I also appreciate that the author includes significant images in this book as well. They add so much to this novel that simple words cannot.

The attention to detail truly makes this novel a true work of art and me greedy to read more by this author. The amount of detail is well done and I love that the author draws on her familial law enforcement history to construct this novel. If you love a good mystery novel with just the right amount of twisted horror then this is the book for you. I cannot wait for the next book in the Kate Barnes series, but in the meantime, I’ll be sure to immerse myself in this author’s debut novel.

This book more than earns a 5 out of 5 stars rating. I ate this book and even when I finished reading it this novel stuck with me. I enjoyed every twisted element wrapped up inside these pages. I could almost see this book playing out in the twisted macabre of a news story on the television. Yes, that’s just how real these characters come off and that is one the true tells of a fantastically written novel. For readers who enjoy the twisted, the macabre, and novels absolutely dripping with mystery this book is a must-read.

Thank you to the author and R&R Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this book! Be sure to check out my fellow bloggers as they share their thoughts on this novel and further information about the author.   


Dark Obsessions 

Genre: Crime Thriller

Publication Date: April 26th, 2022

Reeling from the trauma of her last case, SFPD Detective Kate Barnes heads to the Olympic Peninsula hoping to heal the present by resolving the past. When the ravaged corpse of an unidentified teen is discovered, her search for personal peace takes a back seat to the quest for justice.

As Kate digs deeper, she discovers the victim was not the only one who had been taken against her will. Racing against the clock to rescue the remaining girls, she uncovers a complex series of ever-increasing horrors. In the darkest corners of Washington state, Kate Barnes will come face-to-face with an adversary so ruthless and powerful that it will take everything she has to save herself, let alone the girls.

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Excerpt

DEPUTY JENNA WHEATON slammed the door of the patrol car shut. The sound bounced off the walls of the abandoned quarry, doubling and trebling before finally fading in the late afternoon stillness. Spinning on her heel, she cast a final warning glare at the two teenage passengers huddled in the backseat. Exhaling, she turned toward the abandoned warehouse which stood across from the edge of the vast mining pit.

The setting sun reflected off a narrow row of windows running above the structure’s main entrance, lighting the surrounding forest ablaze in a fiery glow. Averting her gaze, she strode toward the set of stairs leading up to the double door entry. Bits of gravel crunched softly under her boots as she walked, amplifying the overall sense of desolation.

Jenna’s shadow kept pace with her as she moved—exaggerating her lean, lanky, features topped off by a shoulder-length mop of blonde hair. Exuding the air of a woman not to be trifled with, she remained convinced she was on a fool’s errand. There was no way the old warehouse would yield the unimaginable find the teenagers had reported when they had burst through the doors of the sheriff’s office over an hour ago.

She had been finishing up a domestic violence report on the other side of town when the call had come in. The DV complaint had been a farce—an adolescent attempt to punish a parent for failing to buy a new cell phone.

Jenna had finally convinced the ill-mannered fifteen-year-old daughter to apologize to her overworked mother when her radio had come to life, recalling her to the station. Once there, two more teens had been dumped in her lap. There was every reason to believe the two wanna-be skater boys sitting in her patrol car were fueled by the same adolescent angst, wayward hormones, and abject stupidity.

Foregoing the rusted railings on either side of the stairs, she jogged up to the porch. The right-side door stood open; a broken chain dangled from the handle—the padlock still intact. Beyond the first few feet of the doorway, darkness pervaded.

She unholstered her flashlight and stepped up to the threshold, glad she had taken the time to lock the boys securely in the car. The last thing she needed was for the miscreants to pop up from behind and scare the shit out of her—just their way of passing a boring Friday afternoon.

Truth be told, she could not really blame them. Eagle’s Nest was high on nature but low on things to do. Other than the bowling alley downtown, there was little going on within the town limits. It was a reality she knew all too well.

Divorced at thirty-eight, with a nine-year-old son in tow, Jenna had ached for a change from the predictability of life in small-town America. She had been about to accept a position with the Seattle PD when a sudden heart attack had prompted Sheriff Selby to retire early. With no local candidates for the position, the town had been forced to look elsewhere.

After three months, they had found a unanimous favorite. Far more handsome than any of the local singles, Sheriff Luchasetti, who was only a few years older than Jenna, had immediately infected her with some form of Disney-esque brain fever. Abandoning her senses, she had turned down the Seattle offer.

In hindsight, it had been a ridiculous move. After a few months of intense flirting on her part, Tony had made his disinterest clear by turning down Jenna’s invite for a nightcap at her place. He had claimed he could not risk his new position by fraternizing with a deputy. But Jenna knew better. Any man who made it to forty-four without signing a marriage license or siring a child had no sincere interest in either one.

Swallowing past the year-old frustration, she stepped over the threshold into the cavernous space. Her right hand settled on the butt of her Glock as she entered, evidence of good training and experience rather than anticipation of actual trouble.

The beam from her flashlight was not strong enough to reach the back of the building, but she moved ahead anyway. Had she even partially believed the boys’ outlandish story about finding a dead body in the concrete pit up ahead, she may have proceeded with more caution.

She had only made it about five feet before a vile stench—reminiscent of a cross between motor oil and animal fat—hit her like a semi. Steeling herself against the aroma, Jenna focused on the goal ahead. If the boys had seen something, it was certainly nothing more than a sick animal that had sought refuge here in its final moments.

As she continued, the rubber soles of her shoes squeaked softly against the dusty concrete. Arriving at the fifteen-foot-square opening in the floor, Jenna pointed her flashlight down. Her eyes tracked the circle of visibility as it traveled down the opposite wall of the shaft.

A moment later, the light revealed a pale arm. As it swept over a mutilated breast, then worked its way across the rest of the slender human form, the deputy staggered backward. Her right hand clawed at her shoulder, grasping for the radio affixed to her uniform. When her fingers finally closed around the device, it took an entire minute before she was confident she could speak without shrieking.

Available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble



About the Author


Marie Sutro is an award-winning and bestselling crime fiction author. She is also a member of Sisters in Crime whose writing has been inspired by the combined service of her great-grandfather, grandfather, and father in the San Francisco Police Department.

Her bestselling debut novel, Dark Associations, was awarded the Benjamin Franklin Award for the Best New Voice in Fiction. A proponent for literacy, she volunteers with California Library Literacy Services, helping adults learn to read and write.

She resides in Northern California and is currently at work on the next Kate Barnes story. To learn more about Marie, visit her website at mariesutro.com.

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