The Wives: Book Review

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The Wives by Tarryn Fisher is a twisted mystery leaving you wondering if you, as the reader, or the characters are the ones who cannot keep the story straight! Who is Thursday and how is she intertwined with Monday and Tuesday, or is she Seth’s one and only true love?  

Thursday is the narrator and main character in this perplexing mystery. The author explains the situation very well from the beginning of the story so you can follow who is who, but their roles become muddied as Thursday becomes more curious about her Polygamist husband’s other wives. From the beginning, Thursday was always okay with the arrangement between her and Seth; he had other wives and she would keep her curiosity at bay, knowing she was the one “legal” wife, and the most loved. But as she digs deeper into Seth’s other relationships, she realizes she might not be the most important and she is starting to understand why. Will collaboration with the other wives help answer some of her questions? What will Seth do when he finds out she has contacted the other wives? 

I give this story 4 out of 5 stars for its intricate and intriguing plot. Throughout the story the reader is left rooting for each wife for varied reasons and the author sends you on a twisted journey. There are a few times later in the story that it is hard to differentiate between the real and the imagined and to know whether this perplexity is set up purposely by the author or just the reader being confused. In the end, this book is worth reading and I would read more from Tarryn Fisher.  

©2021 CBialczak Book Review

Book Review: Before the Ruins

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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

The Haunting of Gallagher Hotel: Book Review

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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: Everything We Keep

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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: 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!  


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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

Tea with Rasputin: Book Review

Tea with Rasputin by Rolf Richardson is a realistic fiction story that sends you on a journey around the globe with many twists you will not expect. From the UK and US and on to the Soviet Union, Richardson’s history lesson leaves you understanding some implications of running an international business. 

This story is based around a British airline company and the people it chooses to employ, with many subplots filling the pages. Terry is fresh out of the British army and new to British World Airways based in the United Kingdom. A well-known and respected pilot, Greg Wilton has disappeared. Not having anyone immediately available, except Terry, who is new and at “the bottom of the barrel,” he is sent to find Greg Wilton. Greg’s reputation is positive, and he has been successful so far; this could be a position Terry might like someday down the road. For now, Terry will find his niche in the US and then in the Soviet Union, proving he is a trustworthy, hardworking employee for BWA. Terry meets people along the way that help him try to find the missing pilot and most stay close for the rest of his adventures. Setting up successful airport locations is Terry’s primary job with BWA, allowing him new opportunities with his family and a successful career he builds on his own.  

I would give this story three out of five stars for its relatable characters and realistic plot. The pace of the story is slow to start and drags on a bit throughout the entire book leaving you anxiously wondering what will happen next. It has many interesting insights into employment with an international company, as well as intrigue and deception. Despite its drawn-out content, the book is worth reading with an ending that is worth every minute. 

©2020 CBialczak Book Review

Dead Woman Scorned Book Review

Book #2 in the Michael Clark’s ghost story!

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Dead Woman Scorned by Michael Clark is book #2 in his series of modern-day ghost stories. Tim is just about to finish completing all the renovations of his haunted property, but the ghost is still angry with him and Holly for their actions in the first book. Now is the time to seek revenge. 

Tim and Holly have developed both their relationship as well as a beautiful property to get on the market. They want to be done with the house; the ghost wants to be done with them! This story, while moving the plot forward, also brings the reader back to learn about the history of souls who have haunted the property. The biggest problem now is the public and the authorities are getting involved, possibly marring the property and leaving Tim unable to sell and get his head above water financially.  

I give this story 4.5 out of 5 stars because of Clark’s ability to tie together so many intersecting lines, keeping the reader turning pages to find out what is going to happen next. At times some of the story lines seem a bit long but Clark has found a way to pull it all together at the end.  Each story line continues to seem believable, even if you don’t believe in ghosts. No spoiler here, but I am looking forward to getting my hands on book #3! 

The Outsider’s Mind: Book Review

The Outsider’s Mind : A Collection of Short Stories and the Quotes They Inspired by Sean Aeon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Outsiders Mind by Sean Aeon sends your mind on a journey to places you have only briefly ever thought about or never even knew existed. This collection of quotes and short stories leaves you wondering why you never looked closer at life.

The less conventional set up of this book is constructed with a series of quotes and short stories that probe into the minds of people and creatures alike. Stories have been fabricated with a spark of science fiction meets psychoanalysis mixed with modern day vampire stories. Aeon presents abstract ideas through a plethora of characters, often leaving you wondering who or what the passage is really referring to, or who is being influenced in these peculiar situations. You are given the starting point and led in obscure directions that revolve around simple intentions. For example, have you ever thought of time travel or traveling to another dimension? Aeon tries to address this idea but makes you think even deeper; how would I get there, and could I get back? He presents, through his stories, ideas that make you wonder who really has a true grasp on the facts. In another story you learn what might be going through a bee’s mind if it could think as logically as humans can.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars for its unique interpretation of the study of the mind. Some of the stories start out straight forward while others require you to go back to the beginning of that short story to find out if what you have just read is really about what you are now reading. Characters are vague in certain passages, leaving you wondering if you even know who or what you were reading about! Overall, the thought-provoking aspect of this story is original and keeps you reading until the end of the book. Aeon keeps you captivated with stories that will boggle your mind.



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