Book Review: Before the Ruins

50403527

Before the Ruins by Victoria Gosling is a wonderfully crafted mystery, set in modern day England, that weaves a whole cast of characters so intricately and a plot that keeps you engaged and anxious to read how she brings it all together at the end, revealing secrets and the truths around them.  

Andy, Em, Peter, Marcus and David have found friendship and comradery but are also in the process of learning how many secrets one group of friends can hold. As a young group of friends there are games to play and plenty of time to enjoy each other’s company. Andy conveys the impression that she leads the group, while also seemingly the least favored friend. With Em and Marcus close by her side the group works on solving an old mystery haunting The Manor since 1936, the missing diamonds.  As they age so do their problems, and the situations they find themselves in, while life seems to unravel around them. Where is Peter? What has happened to David? Who is telling the truth? Who can any of them believe? It isn’t until years later that loose ends are tied up, truths are told, and authentic relationships are revealed.  

I give this story 3.5 out of 5 stars for the compelling storyline and cast of characters.  Gosling is a native of the English countryside, which made some of the references confusing to a reader who is not familiar with places and situations specific to life in England. After reading through most of the story many phrases become understandable based on context and in the end, you don’t notice any impact of cultural differences at all.  

Book Review: Behind the Blue Elevator

Behind the Blue Elevator

Behind the Blue Elevator, by Felicia Baxley is so smartly amazing. As an avid reader of psychological thrillers, I am in awe of her storytelling and anxiously await more of her work.  

Ella is a college student finishing her education with an internship placement at an insane asylum. She is not looking forward to her first day, as she would prefer an internship she had actually wanted, but this would fulfill her obligations needed to graduate. Her first day was nothing she ever expected. How could a mental patient catch her eye like Lebannon did? Was she really going to be a trained professional if she was going to fall for her patients? Each patient Ella encounters is different, and she begins to look forward to testing out her diagnostic knowledge. Spending time with Lebannon teaches Ella more than any college course could have.  

I give this story 5 out of 5 stars. This was a fast-paced story that kept me engaged from page one to the end. There were quite a few typing errors that I hope an editor can notice, but they do not distract enough to take from the plot or characters. This is a must read for anyone who likes to feel twisted when reading a psychological plot more twisted than anything since Stephen King.  

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57311321-behind-the-blue-elevator

Gathering Dark: Book Review

53205875

Gathering Dark by Candice Fox is a fast paced, keeps-you-guessing, suspense thriller featuring a main character who has been put into the worst scenario possible and who is now trying to deal with it and get her life back. Then the other main character is a cop who is also put in a bad situation, but her situation just keeps getting worse.  

Blair was going to be a new mother when she was convicted of murdering her neighbor.  
Jessica is the cop who put Blair away ten years ago for the murder. Now, Jessica is being questioned by her coworkers but also begins questioning herself in Blair’s murder case. Had she jumped for a conviction without really looking at the evidence? Is she just looking for false clues to make herself feel justified? There are many other players in both women’s lives and some of them are more powerful than others. With each new chapter you are brought closer to these women, but your understanding of the truth gets more skewed. 

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It was a slow read at the beginning trying to organize who is who, as the chapters alternate between Blair and Jessica. Although the plot seems somewhat predictable, the author has thrown in enough loops to make you question who is really at fault here. I would recommend this book to readers who like reading about the twists and turns of truth and suspense.   

The Haunting of Gallagher Hotel: Book Review

54587629. sy475

The Haunting of Gallagher Hotel by K.T. Rose is a twisted tale of good versus evil in a hauntingly good ghost story that will keep you turning pages until the end. Rose went to a new level of haunting in this novel.  

Riley is a server who has been asked to work for a one-night gig at the Gallagher Hotel. She is one of the few on a concise list of people invited to this special event and she has no idea why the owner asked for her. During the first few minutes on the job Riley is introduced to a handful of special guests including Chris who has plans to work a short stint before grabbing as many treasures as he can and heading to Mexico. With a cast of characters that is quite diverse the evening is set to be memorable for everyone.  

I give this story 4 out of 5 stars for its ability to keep me turning pages with new surprises throughout. Some of the plot twists get confusing because there are so many lives intertwined, but overall, the plot carries you through for an eye-opening look at justice and truth in the eyes of a greater being. This story is definitely a must-read for any ghost hunter! 

©2021 CBialczak Book Review

Book Review: “I Will Never Leave You”

Check it out on Goodreads

38717453

I Will Never Leave You by S.M. Thayer takes you on an inside look at what a couple will do to have a baby of their own. You won’t want to put it down! 

Trish and James have what every couple wants, love, careers, and an endless amount of money thanks to Trish’s father and his banking success. The one thing they’ve never been able to get is a baby despite all the different attempts and methods. When Trish finds out that James has a mistress, she feels like her life is shattered. She is broken into even more pieces when James tells her that Laurel is pregnant with his baby! Who is Laurel and where did James meet her? Does this mean that Trish is the sole reason she and James don’t have a baby of their own?  

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. I was hooked from the beginning and with all the twists and turns of the plot, I couldn’t stop reading until the very last page. Everything you think will happen does; or at least seems to happen. Thayer has done a fantastic job at keeping the plot moving and the reader guessing.  

Book Review: Everything We Keep

29639736. sy475

Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale is a suspenseful read that will bring you along all the twists and turns that Aimee, the main character, goes on. Heartbreak, lies, secrets, and new love all thrown together for a trip of a lifetime.  

Aimee is getting ready to walk down the aisle with the love of her life. She is devastated to learn he has died in an accident on a trip to Mexico. She is not sure how she will go on, what she will do, or what move to make next. She has a feeling that James survived but doesn’t know how to find the truth or if she even wants to know the truth. Slowly moving forward with her dream of owning her own shop, Aimee is sideswept again, testing all her decisions she has made since losing her fiancée.  

I give this story 3.5 out of 5 stars. The story is intriguing and offers a ton of secrets and twists that will keep you guessing. The plot keeps moving but has many subplots which makes it somewhat confusing as to who is presently active in her life and who is just a piece of her past. Without being a spoiler, there is an epilogue that will interest any reader into reading the sequel, Everything We Left Behind: A Novel.  

©2021 CBialczak Book Review

Book Review: Anger is an Acid

53356020. sy475

Anger is an Acid is the third book in Michael Clark’s series of ghost stories. This final tale is one you won’t be able to put down until the last page! Tim wants his girls back and can’t bear to lose anyone else in the process. It takes all he has, to not succumb to death as his heart is breaking at the thought of losing his two beautiful daughters.  

Tim and Holly are tired of Mildred and her murderous antics. With the news of Mildred Wells now gone public, staying out of the public eye is nearly impossible. Clark introduces some new characters to thicken the plot of the dangerous situation Tim and Holly are in, making a ghost story that is so believable and haunting at the same time. Just when you aren’t sure how the author is going to pull off another step in the plot he does so seamlessly, and you continue to be engaged. Without spoilers I’d say the ending is a good one and you will definitely be happy reading to the very last page.  

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars for a book that is written in such a way that it is so realistic that even if you don’t believe in ghosts, you will still fear for Tim and Holly and wonder what Mildred Wells is going to do next! If you start with book #1 there is really no downfall to the series, however as a stand-alone book there may be loose ends that are confusing to a reader started with book #3.  

©2021 CBialczak Book Review

Book Review: The Failsafe Query

The Failsafe Query by Michael Jenkins is a fast-paced adventure that takes you to places around the globe people only read about in the newspaper. This is a modern-day spy thriller that keeps you turning pages until the end.  

Sean Richardson is in all the way, trying to find out how much more destruction may come to the countries which are not allies with Iraq. The story begins shortly after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centers, a field in Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon in 2001. The opening is quick to show you what life as an operative working for the government might be faced with. Each chapter brings you deeper into Richardson’s career, with well thought out plans and well written information to allow the reader to become engrossed in each situation.  

I give this book four out of five stars as it took me some reading to make sense of exactly who Richardson was, who he was working for, and what he was after. Some of the chapters are more in-depth, which makes reading slower if you don’t have a background in the history of the Middle East and the British government. It is engaging and a great book for those looking for a good spy thriller!  


File:4 stars.svg - Wikipedia

Being a Book Reviewer

I review books for different venues. One of these is called Reedsy Discovery. When you apply to be a reviewer you may be offered an interview, where you will be briefed on expectations.

There is an opportunity with Reedsy to make money as a reviewer. When you join you open an account that money can be moved into based on your reviews. When someone likes your review and comments on it you may be given a small amount of money. If you love to read and can offer a lot of reviews, your chance of getting positive feedback increases.

If you would like to join you can click here https://reedsy.com/discovery/reviewers/apply?referral=christine-bialczak
If you join through my link I will receive $50! Once you are a reviewer you can have this opportunity too!

Check it out. It is a great opportunity to read books for free, while choosing within your favorite genre or venturing out to see what else you might enjoy!

Click here: https://reedsy.com/discovery/reviewers/apply?referral=christine-bialczak

Book Review – Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse

Written by Sherrill Joseph: http://sherrilljoseph.com/

Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse by Sherrill Joseph is the second book in her Nutmeg Street Detective series, and it has only gotten better! Join these young detectives as they use logic and other clues to solve a mystery that hits very close to home. 

Lanny, Lexi, Moki, and Rani are becoming well known in their neighborhood for solving mysteries. The four juveniles are smart, talented, and pride themselves on their impeccable manners and mature conversation. In this second book, Isabela de Cordoba is a young woman who has just turned 21 years old and with this birthday milestone she gets a letter from a relative long gone, her great, great grandfather. The letter alerts Isabela that there is a valuable green emerald hidden on her property, a gem worth millions of dollars. Isabela needs help finding it and when she starts hearing noises in the house, while she is home alone, she invites the Nutmeg Street Detectives to come and stay to help her solve the mysteries of her ancestors and find out if her home is haunted.  

There are many new characters introduced in this story and for the most part it can be understood without having read the first book, but it helps to know who these kids are and where they come from, all information that helps the reader understand the characters better. Based on wealth and a lot of good luck, some young readers may not relate to the characters as well, as they present themselves as four very privileged individuals.  

I give this story five out of five stars for its believable characters and fast-moving plot. In this second book of the set, Joseph has portrayed a young person today, including their use of cell phones for flashlights and pictures! This book will keep you wondering and turning pages right up to the end.  

©2020 CBialczak Book Review