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review 2018-10-12 06:41
Going Underground in Eleven by Carolyn Arnold @Carolyn_Arnold
Eleven - Carolyn Arnold

 

 

 

 

Carolyn Arnold is a prolific writer and I have been reading her work for a while now. Her thrillers are to die for and I am excited when I have another one of her books in my hand.

 

Eleven was FREE at the time of posting and if you are a thriller lover, this is a must read.

 

Publisher:  Hibbert & Stiles Publishing 

 

Eleven (Brandon Fisher FBI series, #1)

Amazon  /  Goodreads

 

MY REVIEW

 

First, I would grab this book because it was written by Carolyn Arnold. Second, I have been reading her work for a while now, and I now she won’t disappoint my, but she may blow my mind. Third, SHE DID!

 

Carolyn Arnold’s novels read like Criminal Minds episodes. I love how she breaks down the crimes and the criminals, taking us through the process, step by step, clue by clue. And this is one mystery that keeps on giving. I was super creeped out early and it never stopped. I wonder where Carolyn came up with the idea for Eleven. Is she smoking something?

 

Salt Lick. Kentucky. Underground. Creepaliciously gruesome and I feel chills running up and down my spine just writing this.

 

Eleven, the symbol of purity, but I sure don’t see it here.

 

Focus, analyze, and be objective is what is required and Brandon is thankful for the training that allowed him to do exactly that, especially in the current circumstances. This is Brandon’s first case with the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI. His coworkers ride him, calling him Kid, Pending and Slingshot.

 

We watch Brandon grow and learn as he works under Jack, a Supervisory Special Agent. Danger strikes too close for comfort, but he slowly learns to keep control of his emotions, or he would be useless to the investigation. His first case, and it is a horrific one.

 

WOW…I am only at 28% and the story is so intense, I wonder how I will make it to the end. Do I cheat and peak? NO! Don’t do it. It would ruin everything. It is the anticipation, the awful, sickening journey that makes it all worthwhile. I will savor the threats and danger. I will crawl around underground with them…there go those shivers again.

 

There is so much more of the story to come, I can’t imagine what surprises are in store for me, but Carolyn’s ability to write with suspense and make her characters seem so real that at times I forget this isn’t a true story, is one journey I know I won’t regret..

 

The killer they are looking for is just out of reach. They will get there, but will it be in time? There is more than one life at stake.

 

Stories and scenes that happen underground really freak me out. I shivered and cringed my way to the end and loved every minute of it! If you love mystery, thrills and suspense of the highest caliber, this is a must read and Carolyn Arnold is an author you want to follow. I anticipate many more horrific stories to come. Bring it on, Carolyn!

“You have one great weakness.”

“You’re too positive.”

“You think we catch all the bad guys, that we can stop the evil in the world.”

“You believe in hope even when there is none.”

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  5 Stars

 

READ MORE HERE

 

MY REVIEWS FOR CAROLYN ARNOLD

 

 

 

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Source: www.fundinmental.com/going-underground-in-eleven-by-carolyn-arnold-carolyn_arnold
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review 2018-05-01 12:03
Book Review - The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh by Carolyn Arnold (Matthew Connor Adventure Series Book 2)
The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh - Carolyn Arnold

Another exciting adventure with our intrepid explorers who are desperate to find the Emerald tablets.  According to legend these tablets hold untold powers and in the wrong hands could lead to world devastation. The story line and brilliant descriptive writing brings the ancient world of Egypt to life. Egypt holds a fascination for the modern world and all the secrets and myths it holds and this is a novel which takes us on that journey to solve one of them.

On previous expeditions our group had to overcome personnel issues and put aside grievances to work together to achieve the overall goal. Their characters and their traits are expertly brought to life and with the past tensions on the previous expeditions, it adds emotions of love, jealousy and greed to the story.

Any reader who enjoys adventure stories which are full of excitement, danger, with a hint of a love triangle, will love this novel. In creating our explorer of ancient antiquities in Matthew Connor she has set a great rival for Indiana Jones. Look out for other novels by this author!

Source: beckvalleybooks.blogspot.co.uk/2018/05/book-review-secret-of-lost-pharaoh-by.html
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review 2018-04-19 19:52
New Release Review – The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh by Carolyn Arnold @Carolyn_Arnold
The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh - Carolyn Arnold

 

The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh

Amazon  /  Goodreads

 

MY REVIEW

 

It seems books with an Egypt locale have been dropping into my reading list and The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh by Carolyn Arnold is the latest one. I feel I am right there with Alex as she begins her descent…

 

Secrets surround the Lost Pharaoh’s tomb and she is determined to protect it.

 

What she found was so much more than she expected and she felt that Matthew Connor, her Indiana Jones, would be the perfect person to have at her side.

 

Matthew hops on a plane out of Alaska, swings by Toronto, Canada, to pick up his posse, and it’s off to Egypt and another treasure hunting adventure.

 

I am glad to be back with Matthew, Robyn, who works as the curator at the Royal Ontario Museum, and Cal who is a world class photographer.

 

We will have some sexual tension and a bit of goo goo eye romance. I’m not sure what’s what and I don’t think they do either, so it should be interesting. Matthew is a bit of a dufus. Can’t see what’s right in front of him. Oh well, I think we will have plenty of time, even if it’s in future books, for him to wake up.

 

Underground…oh man…I can handle larger spaces for a short period of time with easy exits, but being lowered into a welllike hole, a cavein, rolling down the river with tons of earth your sky, entombed snakes (yep, we have to have snakes)…They are hanging on, tamping down their fear. Could I? NOPE!!!!

 

When they went to the airport, I thought, hmmm…something has got to happen…and it did.

 

The twists and turns, action and adventure, mystery and suspense, kept me on my toes. I thought this would happen, then it didn’t. I thought that would happen, then it didn’t. Carolyn Arnold does a good job of leading me down a familiar path, then jerking the rug out from under me. Think it’s over, oh no, not by a long shot.

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of City of Gold by Carolyn Arnold.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 4 Stars

 

READ MORE HERE

 

    • You can see my Giveaways HERE.
    • You can see my Reviews HERE.
    • If you like what you see, why don’t you follow me?
    • Leave your link in the comments and I will drop by to see what’s shakin’.
    • Thanks for visiting!
Source: www.fundinmental.com/new-release-review-the-secret-of-the-lost-pharaoh-by-carolyn-arnold-carolyn_arnold
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review 2018-04-18 02:50
A would-be Indiana Jones-esque adventure in Egypt
The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh - Carolyn Arnold

Noted thrill-seeker, adventurer and archaeologist in the Indiana Jones mold, Matt Connor, is contacted by a former colleague with a more-than-tempting offer: she's pretty sure that she's on the trail of a fascination of Matt's -- the Emerald Tablets -- and would he like to help look for them? Matt jumps at the chance and persuades Dr. Alexandria Leonard to let him bring his two friends along -- they've come along on many of his previous escapades and will be a helpful addition to this one, too.

 

He just has to convince them to come. Following the three of them being compelled to find the lost City of Gold, they've plunged themselves into their very tame careers and personal lives and away from excitement. Matt convinces them to come along (or the book would've been much shorter), and they head to Egypt a couple of days later. Keeping things very secret from just about everyone, of course, because these Emerald Tablets have great power -- we're not told anything about this power, just that no one wants it to fall into the wrong hands. When people first started talking about them in those terms, I rolled my eyes, until I realized that this was a world in which that was a thing -- tablets have power, the Ark of the Covenant probably took out a bunch of Nazis and Bobby probably found an ancient tiki that carried a curse. Once I figured out that was the kind of book I was reading, things made a little more sense. We are told almost nothing else about the Tablets, but from the way everyone acts about them (at least everyone that believes in them), you can tell they're a pretty big deal.

 

Once they arrive, things start to good poorly for the expedition -- and not in small ways, but they struggle through it all (mostly). The Tablets are not easily found -- if they even exist, that is. But there's plenty of other archeological finds to focus on -- and some real dangers. Like, say, snakes. Arnold does a great job depicting how snakes can really creep a person out -- even a person safely reading about them on their Kindle thousands of miles away from a single asp. Although at a certain point, they just disappear -- like Hamlin's Pied Piper sauntered through Egypt and every asp left with him. It was a bit disconcerting once they stopped being a concern -- especially in the last chapters where they really could've been a looming presence -- after being everywhere for a while.

This was a fun little adventure story, nothing too intense, nothing too serious, just a nice little diversion (which is good thing). But it could've been better, too.

 

Early on, when the characters are getting to know each other and get comfortable in Egypt, I really had some trouble with the conversation. Matt's friend and photographer (ugh, don't get me started on the drama surrounding bringing along a photographer), Cal, can serve a great role for the reader. Cal's only a hobbiest when it comes to this stuff from hanging out with his friend -- so he can ask a lot of questions that Arnold can use to plug the reader into the world. It's a thankless task that characters in books and TV shows have to play letting the "stars" show off their expertise. That's all well and good, but man, Cal asked some pretty dumb questions -- and what's worse, characters in and around the field of archaeology were way too impressed with others answering simple questions -- questions I could've answered. That was hard to swallow, but easy to get past.

 

But was really hard to get past -- if only because she kept throwing it in your face -- was the unsubtle emotional stories. Alex's other friend, Robyn, is clearly the love of his life -- and vice versa. But they broke up years ago, while neither has let go. And one or the other of them (and occasionally, Cal) is thinking about this every few pages, without doing anything about it. And when another romance is kindled in Egypt, the melodrama gets hard to swallow -- seriously, in an early draft of Twilight, Stephanie Meyer would've cut this kind of stuff for being "too high school." Unless I'm remembering incorrectly, Arnold can do subtle emotions, this didn't seem to be the same author who wrote Remnants -- and that's a shame.

 

The pacing of this was disappointing -- we got too much set-up, far too much time establishing the various storylines in Egypt, and then we rushed through the conclusion. I think the heart of the adventure took the last 20 percent of the book! It needed to be longer just to give it the necessary dramatic weight -- and to make the last challenges these characters faced seem more difficult and fraught than a run down to Tim Horton's for donuts and coffee.

 

The mystery component (for lack of a better word), was far too easy to figure out -- but it wasn't framed as a whodunit, so that's not a slight on Arnold. But it does make you wonder about the powers of observation displayed by Matt, Cal, Alex and the rest. But the villainous characters did their overall job, keeping things moving and providing a way for Matt and the rest to have the adventure the book they needed.

 

I've given a lot of space here to my relatively minor complaints -- but it takes a bit of space to express them. I did have a good time reading the book. Matt's a fun character -- ditto for Cal. I enjoyed the chemistry between the central characters and could've easily read another hundred pages or more with them and not really noticed or minded. As long as the high school stuff was downplayed -- when that wasn't a focus, I wanted more time with all the characters.

 

This is the second in a series, but would be a find jumping-on point. I do recommend this for people looking for a light adventure, and can see myself coming back for another go-round with these characters -- I know Arnold can do better than this (and this wasn't bad, it just wasn't as good as it could've been).

 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Hibbert & Stiles Publishing in exchange for this post. I appreciate the opportunity to read this book.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2018/04/17/the-secret-of-the-lost-pharaoh-by-carolyn-arnold-a-would-be-indiana-jones-esque-adventure-in-egypt
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review 2018-04-03 22:05
A thrilling and fun adventure for lovers of Ancient Egypt and Indiana Jones
The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh - Carolyn Arnold

Thanks to the author’s publicist for offering me this opportunity to participate in the blog tour for the launch of this novel and for providing me an ARC copy that I freely chose to review.

I have read one of Carolyn Arnold’s Police Procedural books (Remnants, Brandon Fisher FBI Book 6) and when I was approached about this book, that is quite different in genre, I was very curious. I know I’m not the only reader fascinated by Ancient Egypt, Archaeology, and the secrets hidden by the pyramids and the hieroglyphs. I still have a copy of Gods, Graves and Scholars: The Story of Archaeology by C. W. Ceram (well, Dioses, Tumbas y Sabios, as I read the Spanish Translation), which I was given as a child, and I remember how much time I spent reading it and imagining that I was there, in Tutankhamen’s Tomb. Of course, the book is quite old now, and I was delighted to be given the opportunity of following an expedition in modern times, and seeing how much things have changed. But some things haven’t, and the magic and the excitement are still there.

This is book 2 in the Matthew Connor Adventure series, and although I can confirm it can be read independently, there are quite a few references to the previous book, City of Gold, so if you’re intending to read the whole series, I’d advise you to start by the first book, as you might otherwise miss some of the surprises. There is enough information about book 1 to get a good sense of the closeness between the friends, the dangers they encountered in their previous adventure, and also to understand what makes them tick.  But when it came to the intricacies of their personal lives, I was curious about how much background I had missed, because, in such matters, nuances are important.

The story is told in the third person from a variety of characters’ points of view. It is Matthew Connor Series, and he is one of the main characters, but the story starts with Alex, an Egyptologist who knew Matthew from before and who calls him when she realises what she has come across. Both of Matthew’s friends, Cal and Robin appear reluctant to join him at first, for different reasons, but they cannot resist the adventure, and they make a great team. Robin is the studious and organised one, and she’s always dreamed of Egypt. Cal is a photographer who loves adventure and is always trying to bring a light touch and a joke to the proceedings, and the fact that he is not knowledgeable about the topic offers the author the perfect excuse to explain the background, both historical and procedural, to their expedition. Matthew is an interesting mixture of intuition, deduction, and determination. He has great instincts even if sometimes he might get side-tracked by his emotions and his flirting with danger.  I know some readers are reluctant to read books where the point of view changes often, but it is well-done here, and it helps keep the mystery and the intrigue, as each character’s personality and insights provide us different clues to what is really going on. It is up to us to put the pieces of the puzzle together and it is great fun.

The book is fast-paced, and it will delight lovers of adventures. If you love Indiana Jones, you will be fascinated by the Emerald Tablets, the lost pharaoh, the snake whisperer, the treasure map, the betrayals, and the many secrets. In an ideal world, I would have loved to know more about the pharaoh and his secrets (he sounds like a fascinating character), and I was much more interested and convinced by the adventure aspect of the story than by the personal relationships and the love stories of the characters. Matthew came across as quite fickle at times, but he is very young (that is more evident emotionally than professionally), and I think his reactions and behaviour are understandable. The three friends go through emotional turmoil, and in all cases, it is related to their profession and their love of adventure, which brings an interesting and realistic aspect to the matter. We are used to adventurers who are either loners, or somehow come across a kindred spirit who loves adventures as much as they do, but rarely do we find a group of friends who know the value of their friendship and appreciate the difficulties of fitting their love for adventure into a ‘normal’ life. None of the main characters are flawless heroes (some hate snakes, there are jealousies, unfunny jokes, superstition, lack of commitment, and lies) and, for me, that is a strength, because it makes them human and easier to identify with.

The author once more shows her skill at research, and the technology used as part of the expedition, the procedures followed, and the setting blend smoothly into the story without delaying the action or going into unnecessarily detailed descriptions. There are clues, red herrings, plenty of suspects, and twists and turns to keep the mystery readers engaged too.

A thrilling and fun adventure that I recommend to anybody who loves the Indiana Jones movies and has always been intrigued by archaeological mysteries. The plot is particularly strong, but the characters are relatable and likeable, and I would love to join them on their next adventure. I am sure you will too.

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