Archive | January 2020

Movie Review: The Turning

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A young governess is hired by a man who has become responsible for his young nephew and niece after their parents’ deaths. A modern take on Henry James’ novella “The Turn of the Screw.”

My Review:

As soon as I saw the trailer I knew I had to see this! And honestly, the best part was that it was set in the 90s! But seriously, I need Mackenzie Davis’s whole wardrobe from the film. Best style ever!

First, Mackenzie’s acting was fantastic! As was the actress playing Mrs. Grose. The little girl was good too, but not sure what was going on with Finn! I love him in Stranger Things but he came across as a bit wooden? Not sure exactly on how to describe it! Yet I did like his weird-ass character!

The atmosphere was my favorite thing with a Gothicky vibe! I think maybe a little past the halfway point was when things started to uninterest me but they weren’t bad. However, I’m still confused as crap about the ending, but I’d still recommend!

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What’s your favorite horror film?

Review: The Devouring Gray

Title: The Devouring Gray

Author: Christine Lynn Herman

Date of Publication: April 2nd, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

On the edge of town a beast haunts the woods, trapped in the Gray, its bonds loosening…

Uprooted from the city, Violet Saunders doesn’t have much hope of fitting in at her new school in Four Paths, a town almost buried in the woodlands of rural New York. The fact that she’s descended from one of the town’s founders doesn’t help much, either—her new neighbours treat her with distant respect, and something very like fear. When she meets Justin, May, Isaac, and Harper, all children of founder families, and sees the otherworldly destruction they can wreak, she starts to wonder if the townsfolk are right to be afraid.

When bodies start to appear in the woods, the locals become downright hostile. Can the teenagers solve the mystery of Four Paths, and their own part in it, before another calamity strikes?

My Review:

I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while but had been needing to get through a clutter of ARCs! Luckily, I wasn’t disappointed when I finally found my chance!

I liked the multiple POVs, but I would have liked to have more on Isaac! He was my favorite! Harper was interesting and she’s missing part of her arm because of the Gray. Violet is the new kid in town. And Justin I liked but he needed more oomph. But when these characters were all together, they were on fire!

Loved the Founding Fathers’ stuff as well as the magic. I have not read the Raven Boys but this is definitely nothing like Stranger Things, which is a good thing, wouldn’t want a book exactly like a show! My only complaint was the book felt a bit MG at times.

The writing was beautiful and it was fun to dig deeper in the town to uncover its secrets! Need book 2!

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Do you like creepy trees?

Cover Reveal: Frozen Stiff Drink

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BOOK BLURB

A winter blizzard barrels toward Wharton County with a vengeance. Madam Zenya predicted the raging storm would change the course of Kellan’s life, but the famed seer never could’ve prepared him for all the collateral damage. Nana D disappears after visiting a patient at Willow Trees, leaving behind a trail of confusion. When the patient turns up dead, and second body is discovered beneath the snowbanks, Kellan must face his worst fears. What tragedy has befallen his beloved grandmother?

Kellan’s brother Hampton learns essential life lessons the hard way after his father-in-law accuses him of embezzlement. While trying to prove his innocence, Hampton digs himself a deeper hole that might lead to prison. Sheriff Montague wants to save him, but she receives the shock of her life as the past hurtles forward and complicates her future.

Between locating Nana D and solving the scandalous murder of another prominent Braxton citizen, Kellan and April’s worlds explode with more turmoil than they can handle. Too bad neither one of them knows what to do about the psychic’s latest premonition. The suspicious deaths happening around town aren’t ending anytime soon.

BOOK LINKS

Amazon Link Coming soon

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49989079-frozen-stiff-drink

About the Author

AUTHOR PIC JAY

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College. I spent fifteen years building a technology career in the retail, sports, media, and entertainment industries. I enjoyed my job, but a passion for books and stories had been missing for far too long. I’m a voracious reader in my favorite genres (thriller, suspense, contemporary, mystery, and historical fiction), as books transport me to a different world where I can immerse myself in so many fantastic cultures and places. I’m an avid genealogist who hopes to visit all the German, Scottish, Irish, and British villages my ancestors emigrated from in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind, and my body. I decided to pursue my passion by dusting off the creativity inside my head and drafting outlines for several novels. I quickly realized I was back in my element growing happier and more excited with life each day. My goal in writing is to connect with readers who want to be part of great storiesand who enjoy interacting with authors. To get a strong picture of who I am, check out my author website or my blog. It’s full of humor and eccentricity, sharing connections with everyone I follow—all in the hope of building a network of friends across the world.

When I completed the first book, Watching Glass Shatter, I knew I’d stumbled upon my passion again, suddenly dreaming up characters, plots, and settings all day long. I chose my second novel, Father Figure, through a poll on my blog where I let everyone vote for their favorite plot and character summaries. It is with my third book, Academic Curveball, the first in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, where I immersed myself in a college campus full of so much activity, I could hardly stop thinking about new murder scenes or character relationships to finish writing the current story. Come join in the fun!

List of Books

Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (April 2018)

Braxton Campus Mysteries

Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)

Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)

Flower Power Trip – #3 (March 2019)

Mistaken Identity Crisis – #4 (June 2019)

Haunted House Ghost – #5 (October 2019)

Websites & Blog

Website: https://jamesjcudney.com/

Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

Social Media Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamesJCudneyIVAuthor/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BraxtonCampusMysteries/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jamescudney4/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamescudney4/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jamescudney4

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescudney4

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What’s your favorite mystery?

Review: If You Only Knew

Title: If You Only Knew

Author: Prerna Pickett

Date of Publication: February 11th, 2020

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Goodreads Summary:

Corey has just been released from jail, and all he wants is a new beginning. But when his former gang comes knocking, Corey agrees to vandalize the home of Kent Hopper, the prosecutor who put him away.

To erase the guilt she carries from getting away with a crime, Tessa spends most of her nights riding her motorcycle. When she catches Corey destroying her father’s car, she doesn’t see a criminal: She sees a way to finally right her own wrongs. So instead of turning Corey over to the police, she convinces her father to give Corey a second chance.

As Tessa and Corey spend more time with each other, it becomes difficult to ignore the pull between them. But they’re both keeping secrets, and when those secrets come to light, they’ll each have to face their demons in order to have a future together.

My Review:

So I actually read Prerna’s short story in Love in Main and I loved it. I remember seeing her upcoming book on Edelweiss and decided to download it. I’m super picky with contemporary so I’m hard to please!

But! I loved it! It was very character driven with an interesting gang concept. And  Corey and Tessa were my little babies! Their chemistry was on fire!

The dialogue was fun and the serious moments mingled in very well! I explode with happiness when there’s a mixture of this! Can’t wait to read more from this author!

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What’s your favorite contemporary book?

Download A Layer Hidden for FREE!

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Moving to another planet should be easy, right? For Bree, she believed this to be true. But when something sinister wakes aboard her spacecraft, Bree and her family discover that surviving passage through space will be anything but easy.

A Layer Hidden is a short story with a hint of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

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Download for FREE on Amazon HERE!

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Did you download your free copy A Layer Hidden?

Review: As Much As I Ever Could

Title: As Much As I Ever Could

Author: Brandy Woods Snow

Date of Publication: May 26th, 2020

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Goodreads Summary:

Seventeen-year-old CJ Ainsworth doesn’t drive—not because she can’t, but because she won’t.

She’s been living with the guilt of being the sole survivor of the head-on collision that claimed her mother’s and sister’s lives. It’s the reason she refuses to get behind the wheel. It’s the reason her father has nearly abandoned her. It’s the reason she’s sent to piddle the summer away at her estranged Memaw’s house in Edisto Beach.

All CJ wants to do is isolate herself and make it to the trial at summer’s end, where she’ll testify against the stranger who couldn’t keep his car in its own lane.
She doesn’t expect to fall for a boy, especially not Jett Ramsey, a hotshot racing champion destined for greatness on the NASCAR circuit.

CJ’s resolve crumbles when she loses a bet that puts her squarely in Jett’s
driver’s seat. While he patiently reintroduces her to driving, they confide in each other, and CJ learns she’s not the only one silently suffering through a loss.

As their connection deepens, Jett’s focus on the track is called into question. CJ can’t be the cause of another car crash, but her heart is broken either way. Can CJ learn to put her heart in drive? Or will she throw it in reverse?

My Review:

I’ve come to learn that if it’s contemporary, Brandy Woods Snow does not disappoint!

As soon as I dove into As Much As I Ever Could, I fell in love with CJ! She was awesome and has a brain full of baggage that she has to deal with. And then there’s my boy! Jett! Loved him! And he was the perfect book boyfriend! Plus, he drives fast cars! Now put these two characters together and you get swoon galore!

There was some great side characters too! Memaw! I want a Memaw in my life!

Overall this was a super fun book filled with emotion and kisses and drama and awesomeness! And the dialogue was so freaking good!

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What is your favorite contemporary book?

Review: Lifestyles of Gods & Monsters

Title: Lifestyles of Gods & Monsters

Author: Emily Roberson

Date of Publication: October 20th, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Ariadne’s whole life is curated and shared with the world. Her royal family’s entertainment empire is beloved by the tabloids, all over social media, and the hottest thing on television. The biggest moneymaker? The Labyrinth Contest, a TV extravaganza in which Ariadne leads fourteen teens into a maze to kill a monster. To win means endless glory; to lose means death. In ten seasons, no one has ever won.

When the gorgeous, mysterious Theseus arrives at the competition and asks Ariadne to help him to victory, she doesn’t expect to fall for him. He might be acting interested in her just to boost ratings. Their chemistry is undeniable, though, and she can help him survive. If he wins, the contest would end for good. But if she helps him, she doesn’t just endanger her family’s empire―the monster would have to die. And for Ariadne, his life might be the only one worth saving.

Ariadne’s every move is watched by the public and predestined by the gods, so how can she find a way to forge her own destiny and save the people she loves?

My Review:

This was a pretty awesome story! And I actually didn’t know this particular Greek mythology tale so it was nice to be able to read something new on that!

The whole social media thing, along with the Greek stuff, was pretty interesting! It just goes to show how bad social media can be. I do use social media a lot, but I actually prefer the world without it.

I absolutely loved Theseus and Ariadne! They had wonderful chemistry and worked great together as a team. My one con is that in the beginning it was super insta-love. I just wish there would have been a little build to that.

Overall, this was a fun book with cool world building, and I would actually love to see a sequel on this because I want more!

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Who is your favorite Greek god or goddess?