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text 2018-07-21 12:35
Blog Tour: Cruelty's Daughter by Anna Willett with Excerpt and Giveaway

Today’s stop is for Anna Willett’s Cruelty's Daughter. We will have info about the book and author, a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 


When a young girl is abducted by a notorious serial killer, a woman risks her own life trying to save her.

Mina is struggling to come to terms with her past. Having led a reclusive life, shunning human contact, she decides to take on a local college course to help get her life back on track.

However, when a young girl who tries to befriend her is abducted by a serial killer, Mina feels responsible. She refused to wait with the girl for her mother to pick her up. And she shrugged off the youngster’s fears.

Now Mina cannot rest until she finds out what happened. But as she probes into the events of that evening, her own nightmares start to return. She has put herself in danger, one that leads to an increasingly tense standoff with a cruel and vicious man who will stop at nothing.

Can she find the strength to stand up to her demons, past and present? And will she do so, even if it means risking everything?

CRUELTY’S DAUGHTER is the fifth novel by best-selling Australian author, Anna Willett. She writes in the thriller genre, with a touch of horror. Her books explore how women react to difficult situations. The books are full of tension, physical and psychological, and they are difficult to put down.

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The flap on the back of the mailbox clanked open. The box was not as overflowing as she’d expected. Reclusive behaviour has its advantages, she thought, flicking her tongue over her suddenly dry mouth. Glancing around, she was struck by how silent the street seemed. In the windows, lights flickering behind closed curtains and blinds were the only sign of life. With the stack clutched to her chest, Mina turned and hurried up the path. A glass-rattling clang echoed and the front door slammed behind her. Another envelope, identical to the last. The same rich texture and an odour. She tried to identify it but all that came to mind was polish of some sort, maybe wax. Had the smell been on the first note? Mina dropped the packet on the table and sat. It wasn’t over. How had she ever convinced herself it was? She let out a long breath, surprised at how laboured it sounded. I could throw it away. If I don’t look, I won’t have to know. Her mind raced through possible scenarios. Maybe this time the Magician would give details. A location. Mina pulled her hair over her right shoulder and twisted it around her hand. She picked up the envelope and tore it open. Once more, a single sheet of paper, thick and grainy. Before unfolding it, she shook the envelope and a second penguin clip tumbled out. A soft noise somewhere between a sigh and a gasp escaped her lips. The clip bounced on the table and then lay still. Mina had the urge to sweep the little plastic clip to the floor and crush it under her foot. Instead, she unfolded the paper. This time the message was longer, but no less disturbing. The gift that keeps on giving. The large sloping letters were unmistakably written by the same person. Mina stared at the words trying to see more than what appeared on the page. What does he mean? And more importantly, where is this going? Six words. Enough to send a trail of sweat running down her spine. She put the page on the table alongside the clip and focused on one word, keeps. Did that mean Andrea was still alive? Maybe he was trying to tell her something? But why her? In movies, the killer often sent taunting notes to the police or the hero. But this was no movie and she was as far from a hero as a woman could be. The light drained out of the day, reflecting darkness into the kitchen. She had the eerie sensation of being watched: someone hiding outside the house, peering in the windows. She had the urge to turn and look out of the kitchen window, but the fear that she might actually see a face pressed against the glass kept her from looking over her shoulder. She needed light to chase the shadows away. Half out of her chair, the shrieking of her phone erupted. The noise was so shocking in the darkening room that Mina slapped her palm on the table in surprise. The phone was on the counter where she’d left it after Lee had called. She stood on numb legs and reached for it, keeping her eyes off the window.

Anna Willett is the author of Backwoods Ripper, Retribution Ridge as well as the bestselling, Unwelcome Guests and the tense new psychological thriller, Forgotten Crimes. Raised in Western Australia, Anna developed a love for fiction at an early age and began writing short stories in high school. Drawn to dark tales, Anna enjoys writing thrillers with strong female characters. When she's not writing, Anna loves reading, travelling and spending time with her husband, children and dogs.
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review 2018-07-20 18:31
The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter
The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter - Theodora Goss

This book throws a mixture of literary classics at you with quite the unusual twist. We go on a murder mystery adventure with Sherlock Holmes, Watson (which sold me on this book right from the start), and Dr. Jekyll's daughter Mary, who stumbles upon Diana the daughter of Hyde, who may or may not be her sister. We are eventually introduced to a slew of monstrous women who are linked to the likes of Frankenstein, Rappaccini and Moreau.

The story is told in their own words, each of the women attempt to write their own parts of the story, which we are constantly reminded by their sporadic, humorous dialog throughout the book. Mostly arguing over inaccuracies and veering completely off topic at times.

This was a fun book and I loved the friendship and the family dynamic between the "monstrous" women. I did however have a few issues with it. Holmes didn't quite feel authentically Sherlock to me. Only once did he wow with his skills of deduction and it was to get a boat ride and not to solve any mysteries.

The story is a bit slow with all the action happening toward the end. The grand climax has them solving the case, however, I was disappointed to finish the book and not have my questions answered. After the grand climax the story continues on, but it's mostly just to set up the next book. Mary even has the opportunity to find out what really happened to her father in the past, but instead she decides she's just not in the mood and will find out later. She lets the opportunity slip away because later doesn't come, at least not in this book!

Despite my frustrations, I did mostly enjoy the book. This is the first of 3 books (I believe) so I'm sure all the answers will come eventually. The girls are off to rescue the daughter of Van Helsing in book 2, but if Mary keeps bringing home every stray monstrosity she can find, she's going to need a bigger house soon!

 

 

-Shey

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text 2018-06-22 12:00
Friday Reads - June 22, 2018
Wishing Lake (A Finding Home Novel) - Regina Hart
After the Eclipse: A Mother's Murder, a Daughter's Search - Sarah Perry
The Spirit of '76: From Politics to Technology, the Year America Went Rock & Roll (Kindle Single) - David Browne
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood - Trevor Noah
Cafe Au Lait - Liane Spicer
Welcome to Last Chance - Cathleen Armstrong
If Ever I Would Leave You: A Montana Rescue Prequel - Susan May Warren
Submerged - Dani Pettrey

This week I read Wishing Lake by Regina Hart (my favorite in the Finding Home series...so far), After the Eclipse by Sarah Perry, and The Spirit of '76 by David Browne. I hope to get to reviewing those books over the weekend.

 

Something is screwy with USAFE's e-lending system, so I had to put One in a Million on the backburner until the system is working again.

 

This weekend I want to get Trevor Noah's Born a Crime (borrowed a physical copy from library) and Café Au Lait by Liane Spicer (PRIME lending library borrow) read. I need to write my personal essay and resume for my grad school applications. Transcripts have been ordered (I swear the Air Force loves to make easy, mundane tasks HELLA complicated via the Internet....). Waiting on my mentor/friend for the recommendation letter. Oh man....it's really happening!!!!

 

Next week I want to get to Welcome to Last Chance (Last Chance #1) by Cathleen Armstrong, If Ever I Would Leave You (Montana Rescue #0.5) by Susan May Warren, and Submerged (Alaskan Courage #1) by Dani Petry. The first and last book are Prime lending library reads and it is my hope I can be done with these books and cancel my Prime membership by the end of the month. As if I don't have enough series to keep track of, now I am starting new ones.

 

Happy Reading!

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review 2018-06-17 00:00
Daughter of Shadow
Daughter of Shadow - Tyler Sehn Daughter of Shadow - Tyler Sehn I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Daughter of Shadow follows Melea, a warrior who serves Emperor Anathasius, the Lord of Light and Living God of the Shining Empire. She is a tool for his vision and is tasked with carrying out his will.

Melea is an interesting character. She is clearly tormented by her past and suppresses her memories which later resurface. While clearly powerful, she is also prone to making mistakes and bad decisions. She is not perfect and she's also not infallible. As a fan of imperfect characters, I like her. She knows she is a tool and still holds up hope that her emperor may not view her as an object and actually value her. Her deep desire for acknowledgement and to be valued is clear is made clear as well as her want to not disappoint.

Daughter of Shadow follows several POV characters, not all of whom were given an equal number of pages. As such, it can sometimes feel uneven and there were some characters I didn't like reading the POV of, such as the priest Belenus. There were also some characters whose POV I wanted to see more, such as the Emperor's. While I enjoyed Queen Ritika's POV, I sometimes wondered what her POV contributed to the plot overall. Maybe build-up for the next one? I don't know. Still, I did like her point of view and she was an interesting character.

My favorite characters would be Melea and Ritika. Ritika, while the queen of her native land, is also young and somewhat inexperienced. However, I appreciated the fact that she does not let this hinder her. She remains in control and has a lot of agency. She would remind everyone that she is the queen and I liked that she stood up for herself. I'm intrigued by the character of Emperor Anathasius. The entire time I felt like there was something more to him and I would have loved to see his character and backstory explored more.

The writing tends to be well-paced for the most part, with some tedious moments depending on the point-of-view. It's also pretty descriptive which helps me imagine the world better. The worldbuilding is rather good, with a deep religious component regarding the Shining Empire. I liked that the empire had this utopic facade with dark undertones feel to it.

Overall, I liked Daughter of Shadow. It's an epic fantasy that's easy to get into and has a large cast of intriguing characters.

This review can also be found on The Bookworm Daydreamer
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review 2018-06-11 07:35
Daughter Of Ash
Daughter of Ash (The Awakened Book 4) - Matthew S. Cox

So far, The Awakened has been a series that has moved a lot. A new main character at the start of each new book, but the same very interesting world that they try to live in. While some of them eventually come together, it is also a weakness, since you have to get to know the character each time over and you loose some of the bond you had gotten with the series.

Kate is a Midas-like assassin, only she burns everything she touches, instead of turning it into gold. This has left her with for example holographic clothing. When she hears an alternative is available in the Badlands, she leaves her job as an assassin to pursue this.

While Kate was an interesting character, she had to grow on me. Like the previous books in the series, it was rather gloomy. But I still like the series and will continue with it. There seems to be some convergence in the story so I'm interested to see where exactly it is heading.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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