Book Review- Follow Me Back

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Follow Me Back by A.V. Geiger
Expected Publication by Sourcebooks Fire on June 6, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Romance, Thriller, Suspense
Pages: 354
Amazon
Goodreads

Tessa Hart’s world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it’s like his speaking directly to her…

Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn’t help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.

When a fellow pop star is murdered at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast—like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric’s plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world’s best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn…

I might have just found one of my new favorite books. Follow Me Back was AMAZING!!! I received an ARC in exchange for a review in the mail yesterday, and considering I’m in the middle of two other books, my plan was to read the first few sentences and put it on the shelf to read next. AND THEN I COULD NOT STOP READING. Literally I could not put the book down. I didn’t do anything until I finished it. I just sat there and read and read and OMG look who’s fangirling now.

The story is told in two narratives; a police interview, and back story. There was so much mystery and secrecy. I just had to know what was going to happen next the whole time. The whole book was fast paced and exciting.

The characters themselves were surprisingly relatable and likeable. It was easy to sympathize with Eric and to like Tessa. Their conversations were so cute, and despite everything else going on around them and in their lives, they had each other. What I liked most about that was how they got to that point. Their initial conversation was actually super believable, as was its progression. It just seemed organic and natural.

I just really loved everything about this book. I loved the characters and the plot. I loved the writing and the presentation. I loved the mystery and action and suspense and the danger. I would recommend this book to literally anyone who likes amazing books because that is what this is.

If I could give Follow Me Back more than five hearts, I would, but five seems to be the limit, so five hearts it is.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Seriously though. Go preorder this book!! You do not want to miss this!!

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Author Q&A- Zee Monodee

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Zee Monodee, an author, editor, smitten wife, in-over-her-head mum to a teen boy, best-buddy stepmum to a young adult lad, bookaholic, lover of all things fluffy & pink, chronic shoeholic, and incompetent housewife desperate to channel Nigella Lawson (and who’ll prolly always fail at making domestic goddess status)…  

Zee hails from the multicultural, rainbow-nation island of Mauritius, in the southern Indian Ocean, where she grew up on the figurative fence—one side had her ancestors’ Indian and Muslim culture; the other had modernity and the global village. When one day she realised she could dip her toes into both sides without losing her integrity, she found her identity. Read the interview below!

Walking cover

Q: How long have you been writing?

A: Actively, I would say 11 years now going on 12. Around the time I picked up the pen (or should I say the keyboard…?), I had just been diagnosed with aggressive malignant breast cancer, and I had just turned 22. I was on hiatus from my corporate job as an after-sales departmental coordinator given how I’d had a baby twenty months earlier and I wanted to be home with him until he’d enter preschool at 3. But ever since I was in school, I dreamed of being a writer. For my language essays, I would write stories that resembled synopses to romance novels. So met with death staring right at me, and the wake-up call of my own mortality, I knew something would have to give. I knew ‘one day’ I would write, but how about if we made ‘one day’ now, as my husband told me back then? I thus started writing, finding my footing, my voice, my genre, my calling in a way, and I fumbled around for close to 6 years afterwards, still writing, but just not confidently enough. For example, I was ‘hiding’ behind pen names when I could very easily have used my own name; the people in my life were pushing me to write sexy and nothing but… But I reckoned that wasn’t me – I’m a pink floss and fluff kinda gal, and I like this touch of lightness in my stories. Plus I wanted something to make my stories ‘mine’, and for me, that became my setting, for which I utilized my native island, Mauritius.

At the end of these 6 years, I was glad to have found myself through my writing, and I came away from the pen names and established my brand as Zee Monodee. Haven’t looked back ever since! J

 

Q: What inspires your writing? Do you have a muse?

A: No muse – they’re fickle biatches, most of the time, innit? LOL. No, I just rely on imagination. Like, I grew up watching soapies with my mother. Dynasty, Dallas, Coronation Street, Eastenders, The Bold and the Beautiful, The Young and the Restless – you name it, and we’ve most probably watched it. And I was always imagining side stories for the characters – as in, what if he/she had met this person or that person at that point in their lives? How would the narrative be different? I still do this to TV shows today, I’ll admit, adding ‘new’ characters of my own making complete with a full backstory and everything to the tale inside my head.

Basically, I use this ‘what if’ propensity of mine to come up with stories. Something sparks an idea, and the rest develops from there. For example, I have an ongoing series titled The Daimsbury Chronicles. It is set in the eponymous fictional village of Daimsbury in Surrey. I never started this as a series. I wanted to tell a story of a cancer patient and the rich and totally unlikely man to fall for her, and I needed a setting – so why not a small village in Surrey? I was all set to write their story and be done with it, but in developing their tale, I ‘met’ other people in this location, and of course, the ‘what if’ kicked in…so much so that the series has 12 books lined up in it, and I’m still not sure more might not be coming to this list. I just meet ‘people’ and feel I need to tell their story, and I roll with that.

 

Q: Tell me about your novel, Walking The Edge. What was the original idea behind it?

A: It started with an impression of déjà vu. I was sick with a horrible flu one winter, and the meds made me so totally woozy. I would wake up and speak with my husband then not remember that I did so. Or else, I would experience this weird feeling a little while later where I felt I had discussed something with him, but it was hazy and I wasn’t sure I had imagined that or if it had really happened. It felt like I was remembering things, but I couldn’t be sure. It made me think of amnesia, of memory returning – how do you trust what the truth really is, then?

And this was the starting point for the character of Amelia. What if there is someone with her feeding her information, which are actually lies? Hence, her husband, Peter, came into the picture. Now why would Peter be hiding things from her? And what to make of the memories that seem to be coming to the fore? Are they real? Figments from her sub-conscious? Total fictional constructs?

I built it from there, and the story took a life of its own as I wrote and, along with Amelia, I discovered what her amnesia really hid through the first draft of the story. It is a tale that totally took me by surprise, because I didn’t know I was capable of coming up with such concepts and, to be honest, such darkness. Because it wasn’t light and fluffy with a pink glow at all, though there was a happy ending. I don’t think I could ever write anything that doesn’t have a happy ending.

 

Q: What would you do if you found yourself in Amelia’s shoes? Would you make the same choices she does?

A: To be honest, I really don’t know… As I have grown up and matured, I have reached the point where I now know to trust what my gut and heart are telling me. But this is because I have a certain particular frame of reference in my mind; I know how my past has shaped me into the being I am today.

But what if I am left without this frame of reference? What then? I think this is the fundamental question in this – who do you trust, when you’re not sure you can still trust yourself?

I know I would’ve gotten out of that bad marriage to a man like Peter, though – because no woman should have to tolerate such treatment, whether she has amnesia or not.

 

Q: What writing projects are you working on now?

A: The series I mentioned above – The Daimsbury Chronicles. These are shorter, quick tales of heart-felt romance that flow a lot like a soap opera. I am focusing on this right now, because it is quick bites I can write and put out more regularly for my readers. Currently, I am penning Book 3 in the lineup, that original cancer patient’s tale. I know – it all started with her, but she is only now getting her story. I’m hoping that book can come out sometime by August this year *touch wood*

I am also very much involved in the process of translating my books for the French market. I am a native French speaker; in fact, I only learned English through school, while I spoke French from my earliest days. So it’s a labour of love to balance new writing with translating a backlist, when translation, I have found, is pretty much writing a whole story from scratch but with the advantage that you have the original and won’t run into stumbling blocks or even full walls like with original writing in whatever language.

 

Q: What is something you want the world to know?

A: That culture and peace and religion can co-exist, if we give them the chance. For example, I am a Muslim woman, yet I write romance, I cry at sappy movies (and books!), I love shopping and anything pink and fluffy, I’m a total shoe addict, I’m of Indian origin so consider myself also a Desi Girl. My best friend is a Catholic from Malta, and I’d give my life for her and vice versa. I have good friends from all walks of life – Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Arabs, European, American, Black, White, Asian, straight, lesbian, gay. All this doesn’t mean I’m a cop out on any front, be it being a Muslim or being a decent human being. We can live in peace and harmony – get to know the person, and don’t judge on generalities. Nobody is cut from the same cloth, not even identical twins with the same genome! We are all individuals, so please, address and get to know the individual, and through him/her, the world.

Find Zee Online:

Amazon

Book Review- Sick

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Sick by Christa Wojciechowski
Published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. on October 1, 2015
Genres: Psychological, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Pages: 70
Goodreads
Amazon

Everyone has a breaking point. Is this marriage based on unconditional love or an unhealthy obsession?

Susan Branch’s life revolves around the care of her charming and inscrutable husband John, a man born into wealth and prestige who lost his family’s fortune when his mysterious chronic illnesses left him bedridden. Together they live a decrepit existence beholden to the current owners of his family’s former estate.
After years of devoting herself to John’s care, Susan is worn out and frustrated. Yet she is determined to scrape together whatever resources she can to keep John comfortable and happy. This includes stealing Demerol from the doctor’s office where she works to feed John’s ever-increasing need for pain medication.

As John’s condition continues to puzzle doctors, Susan begins to notice strange objects appearing around her house. Ever wary of creepy Old Pete, the groundskeeper, Susan decides to confront the elderly man and put an end to his snooping for good.
John suffers a critical emergency, but he is saved and is soon released from the hospital. His health begins to improve, and Susan dreams of a normal life, but her hope for a miracle transforms into a nightmare one fateful afternoon when she discovers the true cause of John’s sickness.

Sick was, well, sick… for lack of a better word. The beginning was slow; I was introduced to Suze, John, their current living conditions, and how they got there. It was interesting, and more than a little strange. I wasn’t sure if I should sympathize with Suze or pity her.

As the story went on it became more and more compelling. The story really was quite short, so it didn’t take long to read. Even so, I found my reading speed quickening as I got further and further into the plot. I knew something was very strange, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until the big reveal at the end. Then everything clicked into place.

I really enjoyed the ending of Sick. All the pent up frustration and mystery came to a (pretty epic) conclusion. It ended the novella so perfectly.

Sick is one of the more mature book I have read, but not in an overly obvious way. It was rather low key, and that made it all the more enjoyable to read. Nothing was overly sexualized, yet there was an undertone of love that was both disturbing and beautiful at the same time.

I didn’t really enjoy the first half of the novella, just because of how slow the pace was ad how much information I had to absorb in such a short amount of pages. Even so, I am looking forward to reading the sequel, Sicker.

I am going to give sick three out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥

*This book was given to me for free in exchange for an honest review. This has not in any way influenced my opinion of the book.

Book Review- Resthaven

e-Book Cover (Resthaven)

 

Resthaven by Erik Therme
Published by Kindle Press on April 12, 2016
Genres: Suspense, Young Adult
Pages: 220
Amazon
Goodreads

The last thing Kaylee wants to do is participate in a childish scavenger hunt–especially inside the abandoned retirement home on the edge of town. When she finds a bruised, deaf boy hiding inside one of the rooms, she vows to lead him to safety . . . only to discover the front doors are now padlocked, and her friends are nowhere to be found. Kaylee is about to learn that not everything that goes ‘bump in the night’ is imaginary, and sometimes there are worse things to fear than ghosts.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Resthaven, as it’s not the type of book I usually go for. However, when Erik asked me to review it for him, I said yes. Something about the first chapter had me hooked, and I wanted to read more.

I am happy to report that I liked the book. It was well written, and the characters were realistic and relatable. Throughout the book you learn about each character’s back story, and it really helps to bring the book to life.

One thing I really enjoyed was the detail in the book. I could imagine Kaylee and her “friends” entering Resthaven and running around its halls. I could feel my heart pounding when they got locked inside. Erik Therme brought all of his characters and settings to life in an enthralling way.

Another thing that I loved was how unpredictable the plot was. Every twist was a surprise. The whole book kept me on the edge of my seat. This is the kind of book I could imagine as a movie (the kind that would be terrifying and amazing).

The only part of the book that didn’t sit right with me was the ending. I wish there was a little more explanation at the end. However, the ending did tie up the loose ends, so I was satisfied.

I’m going to give Resthaven four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

If you love thrillers and suspense, I definitely recommend this book for you!

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This has not influenced my opinion of the book in any way