Tag Archive | Mystery & Suspense Challenge 2011

Mitigating Circumstances by Nancy Taylor Rosenburg – Review

Corruption, violence, rape and a mother’s vengeance are the explosive ingredients of this exceptional thriller. Promotion to chief of the Sex Crimes Division, and a budding romance with colleague Richard Fowler, give DA Lily Forrester the courage to end a bad marriage. Once she gets teenage Shana through the divorce, she can really start to live her own life. But the dream is shattered when a brutal intruder invades her home and attacks Lily and her daughter. And – distraught, terrified, frantic to protect Shana – Lily takes the law into her own hands . . .

This is another book that my Aunt picked up from a charity shop and offered to me before she took it to her holiday rental flat in Bournemouth. I am so glad she did.

I found the first chapter quite hard going as there were lots and lots of different characters thrown at the reader, but once I made it through there and realised who the important ones were and weren’t, I really got into it.

I couldn’t put it down, I was totally gripped. In the mornings I get a tube, then can either walk to work, or change to another tube for a 4 minute journey. Everyday when I was reading this I took the 2nd tube, just so I could read for those extra 4 minutes. I loved it that much.

I read it a few months ago (I know, I should have reviewed it then – naughty me!), so don’t remember too many details to review thoroughly, but I remember enough to have googled Nancy Taylor Rosenburg and been very happy to find she’s got LOADS more novels that I can read. The Mystery & Suspense Challenge 2012 is going to be a fun one!

*As well as counting this in the Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge I’m using it as R in the A to Z Challenge. I know this is cheating a little as it should be a T (last name), but I genuinely thought she was Nancy Taylor-Rosenburg when I picked it up (Nancy Taylor – Rosenburg didn’t even cross my mind), so I’m going with it! Out of the rules I’ve broken for it (my own specified rules even if not the real ones) this is a minor one. Cheat? Maybe, but I don’t care. I’m just glad I thought it or I would have missed out on this awesome book!

Fear No Evil by Allison Brennan Review

In cyberspace, no one can hear you scream.

Instead of preparing for her high school graduation, Lucy Kincaid is facing a vicious execution. Lured by an online predator, she’s destined to die horribly – live on the Internet – while hundreds of heartless viewers watch and vote on the method of her slaughter. Her family’s only hope rests with Kate Donovan, an FBI agent who took on the same sadistic killer once before . . . and lost. Blamed for another girl’s gruesome murder, Kate’s been fighting to clear her name. But she agrees to join the hunt for Lucy – and reluctantly steps back into her worst nightmare.

With time running out before the bloody webcast airs, Kate teams up with forensic psychiatrist Dillon Kincaid to get inside the head of her twisted quarry, zero in on his chamber of horrors, and reach Lucy before grim history repeats itself and another innocent’s brutal death goes hideously live.

Face the fear. Speak its name. See its face.

I’d never heard of Allison Brennan, but my lovely boyfriend won this book for me in a Twitter competition. It was dubbed as Romantic Suspense, which kind of put me off it – I like my romance, and I like my suspense… but mixing them? (I was totally forgetting that I love Sandra Brown at this stage – and hers are definitely Romantic Suspense). I had to read the book though for three reasons: It was a prize, tt was letter B for my A to Z Challenge, and it’s a Mystery/Suspense novel that fits with that challenge.

If I’m completely honest, I actually read it at the beginning of the year, and loved it, but just hadn’t got round to reviewing until now.

The book was the third in a series, so I was worried that I was going to have missed half the story by missing the first 2 novels, but it turns out it’s a series, but each focusing on a different member of the Kincaid series. Missed nothing.

I can’t explain how much I loved this book. It was very graphic in some places, so I wouldn’t read if you have a weak stomach, but other than that I can say nothing bad about it (I don’t even think that was bad). I was immediately caught up in it and loved the main characters almost from the beginning. I couldn’t put it down once I got into it – there were way too many late nights because of it!

I can’t wait to read the other books in the series (which I most definitely will do – the only reason I haven’t this year is because I could only read 1 B in the A-Z Challenge and I wasn’t sure I’d have time to read many more outside the challenge), and to be honest, all her other books. She has A LOT (have a look at all of them here)!

Seriously, go buy it or rent it from the library. You will not regret it!

(Untitled Blog)

I need to stay away from Facebook. It’s bad for me. Well, it’s bad for my writing. I’ve been saying for weeks that it is my life at the moment that’s conspiring against me from writing and blogging, and for a while it was. But this week, it’s definitely been Facebook. Or more specifically the games on there. I am obsessed with Bubble Spinner. It’s like a game I was obsessed with a uni – which I’ve totally forgotten the name of. I think I’ve got an obsessive personality (apparently it runs in families, and my dad totally has – I had no hope!)

I finished Fear No Evil by Allison Brennan yesterday. I loved it. During the first half, I spent most of the time questioning why I was enjoying it and reading it, when the topic was so nasty and was pretty gory. But the way it’s written just draws you in, and I loved the characters. This book is the final in a trilogy – I’ve not read the first two, but I really want to go back and read them (when I’m not doing an A to Z challenge).  The MCs in the first and second are siblings of one of the MCs in Fear No Evil so I kind of know them, althoug I’m not as keen to read them as I would be if it was the same MC  (Dillon the MC in this one is awesome – you know if it was a film you’d totally fancy him).

I’ve just realised I’m totally behind with my reviews for books for both the A to Z challenge and the Mystery & Suspense challenge. Hmmm. Will have to rectify that sometime. Maybe I’ll wait until I have the week off and catch up then. So far I’ve read 2 for the Mystery & Suspense and A and B for the alphabet one. Or more technically A and A and B. I’m just about to start another B… oops… But… it’s also another for the M&S challenge, so all good. I guess. Kind of.

That paragraph I wrote about Fear No Evil was almost a book review. Hmmmm. Might have to use that!

The next book I’m going to read is Linwood Barclay’s Fear the Worst. I bought it last weekend, but don’t have a clue what it’s about. I bought it totally on the author’s reputation. I’ve read two of his books and loved them, so when I saw another I had to have it.

Imagine… being an author whose books people buy on the knowledge of your writing. Cecelia Ahern, whose book The Book of Tomorrow I read earlier in the month, is the same – I picked that up because I knew I had to read more of her writing if it was available. It didn’t matter what it was about. Marian Keyes, Jane Green, Lisa Jewell and Dan Brown are some of those people. There are more, I know there are more, but I can’t think of them now. 

Ok, I’m off to bed – I have another full day of packing and moving stuff across London (literally all the way across – from North West to South East – we must be nuts!)

Not Writing, but Moving

Well nearly moving. I’m currently looking for somewhere to move to. Do you know how much effort it takes? I really didn’t remember. I was so lucky with my last place as my best mate’s flatmate moved out, so I moved straight in. It’s three and a half years since I last looked for somewhere, and the market certainly wasn’t like this back then! I wasn’t expecting this!

I took a day off yesterday, initially it was for a hangover, but when that didn’t materialise I thought I’d use it for flat hunting. It was 17.00 just as I was leaving the house for some evening viewings that I realised I should have done some writing. 5 PM! Shocking.

I see writing the same as dieting at the moment – I’ve too much on my plate with the move (well trying to find somewhere to move to) I’m not going to beat myself up about not doing any. Tonight is the first night I’ve been in and had a chance to blog for about a week, so I should look positively that when I get a chance to do it I am. Not sure about the actual writing of fiction though. Uh…

One thing I’m really good at the moment is reading. For some reason I seem to be doing lots of travelling (I guess house hunting round London does that), and reading is what I do on the tube. I’ve done my first novel for the Mystery & Suspense Reading challenge and the first for the A-Z Challenge.

At some point, I’ll update the pages for the challenges with the books I’ve read, and the ones that are on my list to read.

For the A-Z Challenge I’ve decided I’m going to read the 26 books in alphabetical order (author’s last name) but then on the side I’ll read other books. I guess the Mystery books can be part of the A-Z Challenge or not. Either way is good.
The book I’m reading at the moment is Cecelia Ahern’s The Book of Tomorrow. I’ve wanted to read it because it’s by her since I heard about it. But, although I’ve been excited about reading it, I’ve also not been. Her first couple of books (PS I Love You and Where Rainbows End) were amazing. I truly loved them and think they are among the best chick lit novels ever written. I’m pretty sure I’d go as far as to say PS I Love You is THE BEST chick lit novel I’ve ever read. But, then her books started getting a little… fantasy-ish. They’re still really good, but I’m not a fantasy person. I don’t want to read about a place lost things go, or imaginary friend that an adult has. Having said that though, I have enjoyed these books when I read them. Hence me wanting to read this.

I’m just under half way through now. In the beginning I found it quite hard to get into. The MC is quite spoilt and I didn’t really like her. But now I’m getting to like her, and the book is getting really good. See, I’m not a big fantasy person, but I like this kind of thing.

Right, off to bed. Another fun filled day of flat hunting and viewing is ahead of me tomorrow – yay!

Old Book, New Book and Still No Writing

I finished Stephen King’s On Writing last week, and have now started reading another book.

On Writing: what can I say? I loved it, I learnt loads, and it really really made me want to write more. When I say more, I couldn’t really be writing any less at the moment so maybe that should say ‘it really made me want to write.’ Honestly when he was talking about writing, I was getting really excited about it myself.

I just don’t know what my problem is. I really want to, but there’s just something stopping me. To be honest over the last few days it has honestly been time. Tonight is my first night at home since last Thursday (after being ‘stranded’ in hotels earlier in the week because of a power cable problem causing no electricity in the flat, and a very busy social life) so when I got in tonight (an hour early thanks to a site visit finishing early) I had domestic stuff to do. Sigh.

My plan to try to do some writing during my lunch hour is being wrecked at the moment by being so busy at work. Yesterday I stopped just to get a sandwich from the canteen and to write a really quick blog. Maybe 15 mins max. Hopefully I’ve cleared enough stuff to enable me to have a lunch break again, and get into the habit of writing then.

I’m going to try really hard to do some tomorrow night. I’m not going out, so should be able to do some. It’s Fiction Friday the day after, so I can do that piece. Maybe something else.

That went a bit off topic of On Writing didn’t it. I’d love to be able to share half of what he said in it, but I’d much rather suggest you go read it if you haven’t. My step mum loved it and she’s not a writer, so even if you’re not a writer I’d suggest you go read it. If you do want to read about anything in it, I couldn’t help but blogging about a few things a week or so ago, so take a look at this.

As I said earlier, I’m now reading another book. This is really exciting as it’s the first book for my A to Z challenge and for my Mystery and Suspense Challenge. Jeff Abbott’s A Kiss Gone Bad (as you can see from my side bar). A for Abbott because I’m going to read the books in the order of the alphabet. So far (about page 20) I’m enjoying it. Which is good considering I’d never heard of it, and only really picked it up because it was cheap and fitted the model of Thriller & Suspense novels for my 2010  challenge. I’d heard of Fear and Panic (two of his other books), but from the names I thought they were horror so stayed well away. Obviously I can’t say how much I’ll like the rest of the book, but from the bit I’ve read, I’m glad I picked up this book!

I’m looking forward to this 26 book challenge for the A-Z challenge. But, I have a little problem. I’m reading A. Jeff Abbott. But, on my bedside table, I have another book. A book whose author’s surname also begins with A. Damn. It’s Cecelia Ahern’s The Book of Tomorrow. It’s been on my TBR list for ages and I finally got it for Christmas. I don’t want to wait until I’ve read 26 other books before I read it. So, I’ve decided, not all the books I read this year will be for the challenge. I’m hoping to read more than 26 anyway, so it doesn’t matter too much. I do like the fact I’m going to go A-A-B… and so on. I’m almost tempted to do a double A-Z challenge (2 As, 2 Bs, 2 Cs etc), but I’d like to do something other than read this year, and I don’t know if I’d be able to if I was trying to read 52 books. Not when we’re pretty much done with 1/12 of the year!

Right I’m off to watch a film. I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking I should be writing not watching a film. But I’m not going to. After all the housework I’ve done, and how busy I’ve been at work the last 2 weeks, I think I deserve a bit of R&R! Tomorrow. I promise.

Still Thinking

I’m still thinking about my goals for 2011, so I’m not going to post them quite yet. As I finished the blog about it pretty late last night, I’m pretty sure I’m going to allow myself a little more time.

I’ve just had lunch in our canteen. I was going to try to read while I ate, but a Jacket potato apparently requires two hands, and I hate bending books back (generally my books have a maximum of one or two creases down the spine when I’ve finished them – my current book Stephen King’s On Writing has none and I’m on page 261 of 367 – result!). Instead of reading, I listened in to someone’s conversation – for writing purposes of course (!). On of the ladies (who I know is a big reader like me) was saying how she’ has just started a ‘fun’ way of getting through her to be read books. The first book she’s reading is by an author whose sirname beginning with A. Then she’ll go to B, then C etc. until she gets to Z. If there are more than one with any letter she’s going to read just one on the first time round, then go again.

How much do I love that idea. I’ll tell you how much. I’m going to set myself an A-Z challenge this year. 26 books, each one by a different author beginning with a different letter of the alphabet. I guess it can totally tie in with the Mystery & Suspense Challenge (12 books in that genre). I’m really excited now I’ve had this idea. SO excited.

I’ve just realised I can’t be the only one who’s thought of this can I? No, I can’t. A quick google search led me to A to Z Challenge. Becky (the organiser) has set three ways of doing the challenge A- 26 Authors alphabetically B- 26 titles alphabetically and C – 52 books, authors & titles. I’m sticking with my 26 authors. When I’ve finished this, I’m going to sign up, then that’s me, up, up and away! How exciting.  

The only downside to this idea, is that I’ve been planning my next book for a couple of weeks now. And the author’s name doesn’t begin with A. WAIT. I’m being stupid. YES IT DOES. Abbott (as in Jeff Abbott) certainly begins with an A. OH YES!!!!

Right, I’ve got 5 or so minutes left of my lunch break. That’s just enough time to have a quick peak at the Fiction Friday prompt for this week and make a start. Result.

Weekend Round Up

It’s quite a nice feeling, having something to write about. Granted I’m only encouraged to write because the other half is watching some rubbish kick-em all film so I’m having to find something else to do (I did try, but when someone was shot in the first five minutes and he literally exploded I decided it wasn’t my cup of tea!), but still, I’m blogging, and I’ve got something to say – YAY!

First of all, after about two years of people saying I should read Stephen King’s On Writing, I finally picked it up at the end of last week (it was a Christmas present – you have to love Christmas!). To start with I thought it was a bit strange – it literally was just chapter after chapter of little memories from his childhood. Strange, but not bad, because each memory shaped where he is now. It’s now starting to get really good, him selling his first story, novel etc. I got tingles on the tube when I was reading about his first HUGE payment for Carrie.

One of the most interesting things I’ve read so far, is that he didn’t and still doesn’t like the character Carrie. So far, I’ve made every one of my MCs likeable. When I’ve posted stories on here from Holiday and people have said they don’t like Dan (because, lets face it, he is a male slut), I’ve been quite upset because I love him. He comes from my imagination therefore to me, almost feels like my baby (yeah, I don’t have kids!). I can’t imagine writing about someone I don’t like. Yet. Maybe in time that will come…?

Another thing I’m getting from it, is a really big want to write. I guess it started last week when I thought about doing, and then wrote something for Fiction Friday. Then I spent quite a bit of time reading On Writing over the weekend, and since then I’ve got a craving to get my laptop and write. I don’t know why I’ve not done that. I guess I wouldn’t know what to work on, whether to carry on with my NaNo book, The Dating Project, or go back to Holiday. I guess there’s always Italian Infatuation that I could edit. Sigh.

I think I’m a little scared of The Dating Project, because I KNOW it needs editing a whole lot, and I don’t really want to. Not that I need to, what I really need to do is finish it. But then I really need to finish Holiday too. And think of a better name for it.

Because starting to write one of them again feels like such a big leap, I think I might do a few smaller things first. I might work on a piece for Fiction Friday, and maybe use a few daily prompts to get me back into writing.

Over the Christmas holiday I bought a couple of Jeff Abbott books. I didn’t WANT to buy two, but my boyfriend was sick of waiting for me to decide which one I wanted that he said he’d buy them both (result!). I was undecided because they were in the same series, but I couldn’t work out which came first (they said they were published in the same year – they lied). Anyway, point of this (other than I have a wonderful boyfriend) is that I’ve got my first book to read for this year’s Mystery & Suspense Challenge. A Kiss Gone Bad. I’m looking forward to it.

Right, I’m going to go and look at Fiction Friday now… Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever done it before Thursday!

Mystery & Suspense Challenge 2011!

Yep, you read it right. I’ve found a new challenge for this year. The Mystery & Suspense Challenge 2011 hosted by Book Chick City. Hey, you might think, that sounds like the Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge I did in 2010? Well, you’d be correct. BCC has just changed the name for this year – which makes sense don’t you think.

If you read my post yesterday (here) you’ll see how much I enjoyed the challenge, read some damn good books and got introduced to some brilliant authors. Having had all this, how could I NOT do it again?

Last year, I made a list of authors I wanted to try, but didn’t. So, this year I want to read books by these people: Lisa Gardner, Michael Connelly, Tana French, JD Robb, Harlan Coben, Gayle Trent.

So… 12 Mystery & Suspense novels… 12 months… GO!