Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Book Review: A Child is Torn by Dawn Kopman Whidden

Title:  A Child is Torn
Author:  Dawn Kopman Whidden
Publisher:  DKW Books (Second Edition)
Genre:  Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Release Date:  July 6, 2016

From the Back Cover:

When dependable Evan Madison fails to show up for work, police are dispatched to his home. His ten-year-old son, Brad, is discovered inside, unharmed and seemingly alone. He is stoic, sitting in front of the television playing his favorite video game, Super Mario—and he’s covered in blood.

Veteran Police Officer Marty Keal is the first on the scene. With his many years of experience, he thinks he’s seen it all. That is, until he discovers Brad’s not really alone after all. Upstairs in their bedroom lies the brutally bludgeoned and deceased bodies of both his mother and his father. When questioned, Brad confesses to the horrific murders.

When Brad is transferred to a local mental health institution for children, Dr. Hope Rubin is brought in to evaluate and treat the child. A preliminary investigation shows no evidence of any kind of mistreatment in his past. She must determine the disturbing truth: Is Brad telling the truth? Or is he covering for someone else?

Detective Jean Whitely rounds out the investigative team; and she suspects there is much more to the case than what meets the eye. The happily married mother of two is unwavering in her determination to uncover the real truth about Brad. Was he abused? Or is he the product of an evil seed born to kill?

As the layers of truth about Brad are systematically peeled away, you will be compelled to ask yourself, which is the more dominate factor in contributing to who we are—NATURE or NURTURE? 

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

My Review:

Whew!  This book had just about everything!  Murder, suspense, mystery and romance... and when I say romance I mean the tingly kind... not the blunt cold heavy sex kind.  It was perfect and did not take away from the main story.  It enhanced the story by giving you deeper insight into the lives of the characters.

This book grabbed me from the first page.  When Brad's father didn't show up for work and couldn't be reached, co-workers became concerned and called the police to investigate.  Then when Police Officer Marty Keal shows up and not only finds little 10-year-old Brad sitting in an almost catatonic state in front of the TV playing a video game, covered in blood, he knows this is going to be a bad scene.  Sure enough!  When he explores the house to see if anyone else is there he finds Brad's parents in their bedroom bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat.

Could this sweet little boy be responsible?  He was covered in blood, his little fingerprints were all over the baseball bat... and he said he hurt them.  Little Brad is taken to a psychiatric facility under the care of Dr. Hope Rubin and during that time he enters the hearts of Dr. Hope, Detective Jean Whitley, Gabby, Marty and just about everyone else he comes in contact with.  How is it possible that this sweet little boy could have done something so horrendous?  Or did he?

I didn't quite understand why the Madison's were not questioned more thoroughly in the beginning.  There were certainly red flags with those two and the detectives should have seen that.  It was explained, but somehow I couldn't grasp that explanation. Maybe I've just watched too many episodes of CSI and Criminal Minds.  But all in all, this story was VERY good and well thought out!

The author, Dawn Kopman Whidden, manages to build each character in the story bringing in personal relationships with fathers, mothers, children and even with each other, without taking away from the story itself.  These characters seemed so real!  And the story brought tears to my eyes more than once.

On a side note, I was glad to see that the cover has been changed from the first edition of this book.  This one is much better, and not quite so "Chucky".

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a thriller, mystery or suspense novel.

*Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy provided by the author with the sole purpose of an honest review.  All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

My Rating:

About the Author:

Dawn Kopman Whidden is a native New York author who grew up in the close-knit community of Little Neck Douglaston during the baby boomer era. She graduated from Queensboro Community college.

Twenty years ago, she traded in her days of living in the bustling city for a more serene and tranquil life on a small farm in the town of Bell, located in North Central Florida.

She is retired and shares her life and love with her husband of nineteen years and an adopted stray dog she named Casey. She has also been blessed with two beautiful grandchildren.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Book Review: Are you ready to listen? - God (Volume 1 -Tapping into divinely guided healing and self love)

Title:  Are you ready to listen? --God
Author:  Debbie N. Goldberg
Publisher:  Smoakhouse Publishing (2nd Edition)
Genre:  Self help, Spiritual
Release Date:  January 16, 2017

From the Back Cover:

"Are you ready to listen?" Those were the first words I heard God say to me. What enfolded over the next 2 years was a relationship with Jesus, God and the archangels that accompany all of us dally. In this book, I take you through my own awakening, dialogue with Spirit and the healing of all the injured parts of my soul. As a career therapist, this journey into Spirit awakened me to a deeper meaning, a healing of emotional hurt that was buried yet alive and present within all my fears and perceived limitations. My journey from stressed-out, career hungry, love starved therapist to the joy and fulfillment I experience today is all chronicled in the volumes of Creating A Life Worth Living, a gift of love from Spirit. Everything you need for your life's journey is within you. Allow me to help you find this love within and awaken to a new world. Are you ready to listen? -God is the first volume in a series of books that build upon one other and are best read in sequence as you grow in your spiritual journey.

Buy Links: Amazon

My Review:

Okay... I know this isn't the kind of book you normally see being reviewed here on The Novel Lady blog, but I found it fascinating and wanted to share it with you.  This author writes from her heart and it shows on every page.

For many years Debbie Goldberg was a therapist, specializing in mental health and substance abuse issues.  After a family conflict a few years ago, she started looking deeper into herself and began to reach out to discover a more spiritual side that had been hidden from her.  Through meditation, prayer and self discovery, a new awakening took place.  An awakening she wants to share with her readers so that they too can enjoy their own spiritual journey.

This book is Volume 1 in her series to help the reader on his or her path to spiritual enlightenment... a spiritual journey to find love within.  As Debbie Goldberg explains in an almost poetic style, and through her journal entries of her conversations with Jesus, the reader grows to understand more about life than ever realized before.

I heartily recommend this book to anyone who feels that something is lacking in their life.  

*Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy provided by Smoakhouse Publishing and the author with the sole purpose of an honest review.  All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

My Rating:

(sacramental wine)

About the Author:

Author and therapist Debbie N. Goldberg was raised in a Jewish family on Long Island where most of her childhood and young adult life was laced with shame, guilt, abuse and rebellion. It was these turbulent years that set the course toward spirituality that she thrives in today.

As an adult, Debbie became a therapist specializing in depression, anxiety and relationships. Through nearly two decades in a thriving career and ultimately private practice, Debbie sought a path to a deeper more meaningful life.

Through a spiritual collision of meditation and suffering, Debbie heard Jesus speak. What unfolded next was a daily dialogue with Source, much like the conversations she had read in Neale Donald Walsh’s “Conversations with God” many years prior.

Vowing to do as God asked, she penned three volumes; Create a Life Worth Living, direct messages from Source and her insights on how they play a part in our lives.

Debbie lives and writes in Islamorada, Florida where she teaches others the path to Spirit.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Book Review: My Familiar Stranger: The Vampire Hunters by Victoria Danann

Title:  My Familiar Stranger: The Vampire Hunters (Knights of Black Swan, Book 1)
Author:  Victoria Danann
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Publisher: 7th House Publishing
Release Date:  April 25, 2012

From the Back Cover:

New York Times and USA Today bestseller, Victoria Danann, brings you the first book of an epic series with pages that turn themselves. 

Elora Laiken escaped assassination in an experimental device that left her broken, physically and emotionally. She was deposited within the walls of a secret society of vampire hunters. In another dimension. She must adapt and do it quickly, while dealing with the amorous attentions of a bad boy elf, the elite knight who rescued her, and a sizzling hot six-hundred-year-old vampire.

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

My Review:

This was a great book! Elora Laiken finds herself thrown into a device that transports her (not very nicely) to another dimension.... While there are many similarities between her dimension and this new one, there are some things that are quite different -- like the existence of vampires and elves.

I absolutely loved the story line and concept behind the book. There was action, adventure, romance, a love triangle, humor... this book had a little bit of everything. There were some laugh-out-loud moments, and even more moments where you got those wonderful little tingles. The characters were memorable, and I absolutely adored some of them.

There were a few hiccups along the way, which was why I couldn't rate this book higher. Overall, I'd probably give it a 3.5 (rounded up to 4) simply because of these issues. The head-hopping was really frustrating and annoying. Every other sentence, we were in someone else's point of view and it was really difficult to know what was going on -- especially in the beginning of the book. The beginning itself was very rough, with too many characters (and every single one was physically described) and had the feel of an info dump. The promising story line was what carried me through this part though.

There was also a scene where Elora is slipped an aphrodisiac -- which was more like a roofie or date-rape drug (with the main heroine not having any recollection of what happened the night before).  Not only did I have an issue with how this was presented (Elora even mentioned that the male character wouldn't have done anything -- because he's not a "rapist"), but I felt like it was a cheap author trick for Elora and a certain male character to act on their emotions and physical attraction without any "consequences". Quite frankly, the entire scene could have been taken out without causing any detriment to the story -- except you'd have fewer spicy sex scenes.

Overall, I definitely enjoyed this book. While it's a standalone book, the next books in the series appear to follow some of the other characters from this book. Unfortunately, I won't be following the rest of the series. I don't think I can handle the head-hopping and I wasn't very fond of some of the other main characters. However, if you don't mind the head-hopping and you enjoy hot paranormal romance books with intriguing story lines, you should definitely check this out.

My Rating:

About the Author:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Victoria Danann, is the author of sixteen romances, paranormal and contemporary. 

Her Knights of Black Swan series won BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE SERIES THREE YEARS IN A ROW. 2013,2014,2015 - Reviewers Choice Awards, The Paranormal Romance Guild.

Victoria’s paranormal romances come with uniquely fresh perspectives on “imaginary” creatures, characters, and themes. She adds a dash of scifi, a flourish of fantasy, enough humor to make you laugh out loud, and enough steam to make you squirm in your chair. Her heroines are independent femmes with flaws and minds of their own whether they are aliens, witches, demonologists, psychics, past life therapists, or financial analysts from Dallas. Her heroes are hot and hunky, but they also have brains, character, and good manners – usually – whether they be elves, demons, berserkers, werewolves, or vampires.

The first book of the Knights of Black Swan Paranormal Romance Series, My Familiar Stranger, was nominated for Best Paranormal Romance of 2012 by both Reviewers’ Choice and Readers’ Choice Awards. All of her books have opened on the Amazon Best Sellers list and earned Night Owl Reviews TOP PICK awards. Many have appeared on Listopia BOOK OF THE MONTH as #1 across all genres.

Author Links:
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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Book Review: Just for Now - Escape to New Zealand (Book Three) by Rosalind James

Title:  Just for Now:  Escape to New Zealand (Book Three)
Author:  Rosalind James
Genre:  Romance
Release Date:  February 14, 2014

About the Book:

There’s no place like home ...
For teacher Jenna McKnight, nothing spells “heartbreak” like finding her husband with somebody else--in her bed. It’s clearly time to reinvent herself. A new body, a new city, and a new job later, she’s done just that. The beautiful Auckland villa isn’t really her home, though. Finn Douglas and his kids aren’t really her family, however much she wishes they were. And playing house can be a dangerous game.

Rugby star Finn Douglas is just looking for a temporary nanny and housekeeper. Not a girlfriend, and definitely not a wife. He can’t resist Jenna’s cooking, it’s true. Who knew he’d have so much trouble resisting her? He wants to do what’s right for his kids. But waiting is so hard ...

Note: This STAND-ALONE romance, like New Zealand, contains a bit of steam. If that isn't your cuppa, you may want to visit a different country ... er, book.

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

My Review:

I listened to the Audible version of this book and loved, loved, loved it!  The narrator was exceptionally talented... changing voices... changing accents... keeping things lively.  Perfect!

It is understandable how some people might have a difficult time with the dialogue used in this book, but the story takes place in New Zealand... so you NEED to use the terminology used in New Zealand.  Although I have not yet traveled there (it's on my bucket list), I do have friends who live on both the north island and also friends who live on the south island.  They have visited me here in the States and we have communicated online for many years.  Because of that, I have grown accustomed to the colorful language and terminology (and their love of rugby and the AB's).  So it wasn't necessary for me to grab the book and turn to the back pages for a peek at the "kiwi glossary".  Other readers may get a bit confused, so it's nice to know that glossary was there.

The story starts out with Jenna coming home early due to a cancelled meeting, only to find her husband in bed with someone else.  Okay, you are probably thinking that this scene has been done a million times before.  But later in the book you find out who he was in bed with and why that adds to the sexual naivete of Jenna.  Then along comes Finn who needs a temporary nanny for his two kids. Finn is a hunk of a man who plays for the All Blacks rugby team... and just the kind of man Jenna needs.  And the games begin!  In a storage closet at a wedding, in the laundry room and anywhere else they happen to be.  Yes, there is explicit sex in this book, so be fore-warned.  But you also get tingles!  And I love tingles!  This is a romance book and it is dripping in romance!  (Shivers going down my spine as I remember some of the scenes...yes... lots of tingles!)

I really enjoyed this book, and Rosalind James is great at character development and making a story flow, but I found the book to be somewhat predictable.  I will probably read more of the books in this series though.  By the way, even though this was Book 3 in this series, it can be read as a stand-alone book.  I had no problem starting with this one.

My Rating:

About the Author:

Sign up for my newsletter and never miss a release, special, or free book! http://www.rosalindjames.com/mail-list

Yes, ALL the books are stand-alones except JUST ONCE MORE and FRACTURED. 

Rosalind James, a publishing industry veteran and former marketing executive, is an author of Contemporary Romance and Romantic Suspense novels published both independently and through Montlake Romance. She was raised in North Idaho, but now lives in Berkeley, California, with her husband and a Labrador Retriever named Charlie. Rosalind attributes her surprising success to the fact that "lots of people would like to escape to New Zealand! I know I did!"

Visit www.rosalindjames.com to listen to the songs from the New Zealand books, follow characters on their travels, watch funny and fascinating New Zealand videos, and learn about what's new.

Follow me on facebook: at rosalindjamesbooks
On Twitter: www.twitter.com/RosalindJames5

Friday, January 27, 2017

Book Review: A Quick Bite (Argeneau Vampire, Book 1) by Lynsay Sands

Title:  A Quick Bite (Argeneau Vampire, Book 1)
Author:  Lynsay Sands
Genre:  Paranormal Romance, Vampires
Publisher:  HarperCollins Publishers
Release Date:  October 13, 2009

From the Back Cover:

That hot guy tied to Lissianna Argeneau's bed? He's not dessert—he's the main course!

Lissianna has been spending her centuries pining for Mr. Right, not just a quick snack, and this sexy guy she finds in her bed looks like he might be a candidate. But there's another, more pressing issue: her tendency to faint at the sight of blood . . . an especially annoying quirk for a vampire. Of course it doesn't hurt that this man has a delicious-looking neck. What kind of cold-blooded vampire woman could resist a bite of that?

Dr. Gregory Hewitt recovers from the shock of waking up in a stranger's bedroom pretty quickly—once he sees a gorgeous woman about to treat him to a wild night of passion. But is it possible for the good doctor to find true love with a vampire vixen, or will he be just a good meal? That's a question Dr. Greg might be willing to sink his teeth into . . . if he can just get Lissianna to bite.

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble Kobo

My Review:

Wow! I loved this!

I know this book has been out for awhile, but I hadn't yet had a chance to read it. Last time I went to the salon, my nail technician was raving about it and told me I had to check it out. So I did -- and I'm so glad!

Lynsay Sands puts a really cool twist on the idea of vampires. I won't spoil anything, but it's different than most of your traditional vampire books. Not only that, but... TINGLES! The small looks, the not-so-casual touches... this book was full of tingles. Some of the scenes were downright HOT!

This is a complete book with no pesky cliffhanger and a HEA. I have to say, I'm definitely a fan. I'm going to definitely pick up the next book in the series. For fans of Paranormal Romance, this book is a must read!

My Rating:

About the Author:

Born in Southern Ontario, Lynsay Sands is the New York Times bestselling author of the Argeneau Vampire series. She has written more than 34 books and anthologies since her first novel was published in 1997. Her romantic comedies span three genres—historical, contemporary, and paranormal—and have made the Waldenbooks, Barnes & Noble, USA Today, and New York Times bestseller lists. Lynsay's books are read in more than twelve countries and have been translated into at least six languages. She's been a nominee for both the Romantic Times Best Historical Romance Award and the Romantic Times Best Paranormal Romance Award, was nominated and placed three times in the RIO (Reviewers International Organization) Awards of Excellence, and has several books on All About Romance's Favorite Funnies list.

Author Links:
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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Book Review: Southern Spirits by Angie Fox

Title:  Southern Spirits (Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries, Book 1)
Author:  Angie Fox
Genre:  Cozy Mystery, Paranormal
Release Date:  January 18, 2015

From the Back Cover:

One simple mistake…
For a girl who is about to lose her family home,
Releases the ghost of a long-dead gangster,
And opens Verity Long’s eyes to a whole new world.

When out of work graphic designer Verity Long accidentally traps a ghost on her property, she’s saddled with more than a supernatural sidekick—she gains the ability see spirits. It leads to an offer she can’t refuse from the town’s bad boy, the brother of her ex and the last man she should ever partner with.

Ellis Wydell is in possession of a stunning historic property haunted by some of Sugarland Tennessee’s finest former citizens. Only some of them are growing restless—and destructive. He hires Verity to put an end to the disturbances. But soon, Verity learns there’s more to the mysterious estate than floating specters, secret passageways, and hidden rooms.

There’s a modern day mystery afoot, one that hinges on a decades-old murder. Verity isn't above questioning the living, or the dead. But can she discover the truth before the killer finds her?
Buy Links: Amazon | Barn
es & Noble

My Review:

For fans of cozy mysteries and paranormal books, this is a great, quick, and fun read. Verity Long has been having a run of bad luck... only to made slightly worse by getting stuck with a supernatural sidekick. With her new ability to see ghosts, she finds herself stuck in the middle of a mystery of strange happenings at her ex's brother's property.

The book moves at a great pace, with lots of action, mystery, and even a touch of humor to keep things entertaining. The characters (and especially ghosts) have a lot of personality and are quite memorable... each with their own stories and idiosyncrasies. There's even a little hint of romance to keep things even more fun.

If you're looking for a quick, fun read.... I definitely recommend this book. I think it would probably be a great book on audio to listen to while you're on a roadtrip. I'm interested in checking out the rest of the series to see how Verity's talents progress and if her "sidekick" manages to disentangle himself from the rosebushes.

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy provided by NetGalley with the sole purpose of an honest review.  All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

My Rating:

About the Author:

New York Times bestselling author Angie Fox writes sweet, fun, action-packed paranormal mystery and romance. Her characters are clever and fearless, but in real life, Angie is afraid of basements, bees, and going up stairs when it is dark behind her. Let's face it. Angie wouldn't last five minutes in one of her books.

Angie is best known for her Southern Ghost Hunter mysteries and for her Accidental Demon Slayer books. She lives in St. Louis, with her football-addicted husband, two kids, and Moxie the dog.

Sign up here: http://eepurl.com/bUrBDT to find out when her next release is coming out.

Author Links:
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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Book Review: The Sapphire Manticore by Marie Andreas

Title:  The Sapphire Manticore (The Lost Ancients, Book 4)
Author:  Marie Andreas
Genre:  Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Fantasy
Release Date:  January 8, 2017

From the Back Cover:

Murderous magic, vanished races, killer relics, and drunken faeries--who knew the end of the world would look like this? The story that began in The Glass Gargoyle, The Obsidian Chimera, and The Emerald Dragon continues...

Taryn St. Giles thought she knew all about elves. She dreamed of the long vanished elves as a child and has spent the past fifteen years digging through their abandoned ruins in Beccia. Six months ago, Taryn found out everything she thought she knew about the elves was wrong.

Two weeks ago she found out how very wrong she'd been.

Taryn and Alric have been captured to answer for crimes against a long lost people. Crimes that could bring down an entire kingdom and revolve around a small, glass gargoyle. Part of a weapon that destroyed an extremely powerful race, now only known as the Ancients, it, and its fellow pieces are deadly to any who have them. Knowledge of the relics found by Taryn and Alric have spread far. Dangerous bands of long dead creatures, ghosts, and nightmares out of myths are waking up and hunting for the relics. And Taryn.
Buy Links: Amazon

My Review:

Taryn's at it again... and this time, she's found herself square in the middle of elvish craziness. Only this time, she's not spending her time hunting for relics and digging in the abandoned ruins. Nope. These elves are all very much alive... and someone's trying to kill her.

This is the fourth installment of the The Lost Ancients series and a welcome addition to the series. Our lovable and highly entertaining fairies are back, but sadly, they don't take center stage in this book. Instead, we have more of a focus on Taryn... and to a lesser degree, Alric. Unfortunately, the two budding lovebirds have been captured and are kept separate for most of the book -- so we miss out on those awesome romantic tingles. In fact, most of Taryn's former companions are kept separate. Instead, we're introduced to some interesting new characters -- elves, ghosts, and even a witch. This book was over three hundred pages, but it didn't feel like it... the story flew by and once again, left me with a ton of questions.

The main plot of The Sapphire Manticore follows the same formula as the rest of the series. It's namesake of each book references a single artifact, however each of these relics is simply a piece of some larger deadly weapon. While the main plot is somewhat predictable and follows the same pattern as the rest of the books, I find myself strangely hooked on the series in the hopes that all of the other questions will eventually be answered. Taryn's background, in particular, is something of a mystery.

Unfortunately, Taryn doesn't seem all that focused or interested in trying to answer the questions that I'm interested in. Granted, most of the time, she's dodging crossbow bolts, finding evil books, or escaping insane ghost trying to kill her... but I keep hoping in a moment of downtime that she'll try to figure out more about her strange abilities.

The book moved along at a rapid pace... I don't think I even came up for air once I started reading it. Marie Andreas has a way of writing that draws you into her world and keeps you captivated until the very last page. I'm anxiously looking forward to the next book in the series and hope that we'll find out even more as the series continues to unfold.

My Rating:

About the Author:

Marie is a fantasy and science fiction reader with a serious writing addiction. If she wasn't writing about all the people in her head, she'd be lurking about coffee shops annoying total strangers with her stories. So really, writing is a way of saving the masses. Her first fantasy series, The Lost Ancients, starts with The Glass Gargoyle. Books two and three, The Obsidian Chimera and The Emerald Dragon, are also out now. Book four, The Sapphire Manticore, will be out in January 2017. The six book series will continue in 2017 and 2018. A space opera trilogy, The Asarlai Wars, launched with Warrior Wench, and will continue in 2017 with the Victorious Dead. When not saving the masses from coffee shop shenanigans, Marie likes to visit the UK and keeps hoping someone will give her a nice summer home in the Forest of Dean.

Author Links:
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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Book Review: Kubrick's Game by Derek Taylor Kent

Title:  Kubrick's Game
Author:  Derek Taylor Kent
Genre:  Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Publisher: Evolved Publishing
Release Date:  August 7, 2016

About the Book (from back cover and more):

What if Stanley Kubrick left behind more than just his classic films? What if he also left behind an elaborate puzzle cleverly buried within his films, which would lead the player toward a treasure that could change the course of human history?

"A thrilling page-turner, thrilled with mystery and puzzles designed by a cinematic genius." ~Jennifer Bosworth, Author of "Struck" and "The Killing Jar"

Fifteen years after his death in March 1999, Stanley Kubrick has apparently arranged a hand-selected announcement that his films are far more than they appear to be. As UCLA's resident Kubrick expert, Professor Mascaro was the recipient of Kubrick's package. Inside is a reproduction of the famous photo Kubrick took for the cover of Look Magazine following the death of FDR. The image to the right has become emblazoned in the American zeitgeist.
On the back of the photo is a message written by Kubrick that reads: "Follow me to Q's identity." Mascaro is stumped and asks Shawn Hagan, his brilliant but socially awkward film student, what he thinks that might mean.
Shawn takes the photo and studies it with his only two friends at school-Wilson Devereaux, an infamous former child star bent on becoming a respected director, and Samira "Sami" Singh, a graduate film student with a dark, rebellious past.
The friends initially come up empty, but upon discovering a missing piece of the puzzle Mascaro strangely decided not to reveal at first, Shawn realizes that the answer to Q's identity is hidden within the dialogue and imagery of the first film Kubrick had complete control over-"Lolita."
The clues lead the friends to an old hotel in New York, where a mysterious package has been held by the concierge for twenty years. The package contains the next clue in the puzzle as well as a filmed message from Kubrick himself that confirms the construct of the elaborate game.Unfortunately, the friends also learn that at least two other groups have recently uncovered this first part of the puzzle, which puts them a step behind.
By the end, Kubrick will have proven his genius to be unmatched, when the game takes the player far beyond the boundaries of reality and sends him into the darkest realms of the human mind in order to make it to the final stage. This climactic set piece is surely the most difficult and diabolical puzzle ever created by man.
Shawn will have to face his own demons and reconnect with those who care about him in order to receive the great treasure that is Kubrick's final legacy and gift to humanity.
"Like Kubrick's films, this book dazzles. A fascinating mind-bender that any movie fan will geek out for." ~ EJ Altbacker, Author of "SharkWars" and "Handy Andy Saves the World"
KUBRICK'S GAME by Derek Taylor Kent
Evolved Publishing presents a mind-blowing, often comedic, sometimes tragic, always entertaining look at an extraordinary "What If?" adventure.

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble Goodreads

My Review:

This is one of those books that you will either love or hate.  For me... I loved it!  And I'm not even a film buff or a fan of Stanley Kubrick!  But I AM a fan of mysteries!  And this book had mystery on every page.

About one third into the story, I didn't think the characters were very well developed, but the more I read, the more I began to "know" them.  They still weren't as developed as I would have liked, but what the author, Derek Taylor Kent, did with the story line made up for that.

There was a touch of young adult, college-type, humor thrown in that made me chuckle and just enough suspense to hold my intrigue.  And there was a touch of romance (but no tingles.. and you know how I love tingles).  But what really fascinated me was the game itself.  This wasn't your typical scavenger hunt.  This game took the type of intelligence that few people... even people in the film industry... would have.

The story starts out with a nerdy, socially awkward college student, Shawn Hagan, attending a film class at UCLA and proceeds to argue with his professor beginning with the professor's pronunciation of Stanley Kubrick's name. The disagreement goes downhill from there, but Shawn is later called into Professor Mascaro's office and is shown a photo with a message written on the back from the famous Stanley Kubrick himself. This was the first in a long line of clues establishing the "game".  Shawn enlists the help of two friends, Sami and Wilson, and the game is on!  But as they proceeded they realized that they were not the only people playing this game.  Students from other universities were also involved... and some real bad guys too!  These were the kind of bad guys with guns.

I was provided the audio version of this book for my review, and although I appreciated that (I love Audible!), I can't help but feel I was a bit cheated when I realized that the book itself contained pictures that enhanced the story.  I may just go buy the book to see more for myself!  As for the audio version, I must say that the narrator was wonderful!  They actually used different actors for some of the different voices.  It was extremely well done.  So, whichever you choose, book or audio, be prepared for an intriguing tale!

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary Audible copy provided by the Reader's Favorites with the sole purpose of an honest review.  All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

My Rating:

About the Author:

Derek Taylor Kent is an author and screenwriter based out Los Angeles, CA. His first novel thriller novel, KUBRICK'S GAME, was picked up by Evolved Publishing and is due for release, September 26, 2016. His popular book series, SCARY SCHOOL (written under pen name Derek the Ghost), won an award for “Funniest Chapter Book of 2011” by Children’s Literature Network, and has become a favorite for middle-readers. Derek's bilingual picture book EL PERRO CON SOMBRERO was released August, 2015 through Holt/Macmillan and was a #1 best-selling new picture book. It continues to be a beloved and top selling picture book. 

His horror screenplay NAUGHTY is currently in production with Gearshift and Paradox Factory Films, and he is currently working on content for narrative Virtual Reality through his company Wondrous VR. 

Derek started writing children’s books at the age of 15. His other book series include SIMON AND THE SOLAR SYSTEM and RUDY AND THE BEAST. He toured the nation with his one-man children’s show, MICHAEL JORDAN’S MAGIC SHOES, which he wrote and performed while attending UCLA’s School of Theater. 

Kent has also written and produced many children's plays with sold-out runs at the Westside Playhouse and Culver City Public Theatre and has acted in many stage plays, musicals and films. He's been a mentor at summer camps and children’s programs, overseeing creative storytelling and dramatic arts. 

Derek the Ghost ("author" of Scary School) is an eleven-year-old ghost who haunts the classrooms and hallways of Scary School, writing down all the spine-tingling often hilarious things that go on there. Despite his ghostly state, Derek still enjoys reading comic books and hopes to one day become a master ninjas. If that doesn't work out, he will continue to share the fun of this very special, very secret school, so all kids can experience the scariest school on earth. Derek the Ghost communicates through the first-time ghost whisperer Derek Taylor Kent, who is a writer and performer in Los Angeles, California.

The Novel Lady Published @ 2014 by Ipietoon