Tag Archive | Sandra Brown

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!

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Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge 2010 Round-Up

Around Christmas I wrote a blog and in it had a big long moan about how badly I thought I’d done in this challenge. After that I sat down and worked out what thriller or suspense books I’d read throughout the year and was shocked to realise I’d actually read 11. Wow! I then thought about all the other books I’d read over the year, and went over to the host of the challenge Book Chick City to see what other people had read. shockingly someone had reviewed Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger. I wasn’t too sure if it was a thriller or suspense, but as someone else had used it, guess what? I’m really happy to use it.

So that means… I completed the challenge. WOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOO! The thing I haven’t done is review all the books yet, but I will get there. Here’s the list of them – the highlighted ones are linked to the review. The unhighlighted ones will have a review as soon as I can add it.

There you have it, my 12 books. I’m really happy I did it. I think the challenge pushed me to read more thrillers than I would have normally done, because I tend to favour chick lit and romance. I don’t know why I do that, I really love thrillers.

One of my aims of doing this challenge was to introduce myself to new authors. I certainly did that. The first book I read, a Sandra Brown book, I only picked up because of the challenge. I was so glad I did – I totally love both of her books I read during the challenge. I can’t wait to read more of hers.

Nicci French was introduced to me by my Step Mum. Again because I told her about the challenge so she gave me that book. I totally loved it, and will be looking out for more Nicci French books this year, and in the future.

Simon & Schuster sent all the people in this challenge an ARC of one of two novels. I was so happy I got Random by Craig Robertson. I hated the goreiness of it, but loved that at the same time. Last time I saw his update on Twitter, he was writing a new book. When it gets published I’ll be first in line to read it.

I honestly wouldn’t have read Asimov if it wasn’t for this challenge and my boyfriend convincing me it would work really well for the challenge. Sci-fi? Me? Nah! But, yeah. I actually enjoyed it. So much so, I’m going to read the other books in the Robot series. I don’t think I’ll read any others of his though, Sci-fi does still… I was going to say scare me, but I think it just doesn’t interest me that much. Hopefully he’ll (the boyfriend) will bully (!!) me into reading more of Asimov, or maybe another sci-fi writer – and he’ll find something easy-reading that I’ll ‘get’.

I’ve had the Judith Cutler book (and another) for years and didn’t pick it up in all that time. This challenge made me pick it up. I’ll definitely be reading the other one I’ve got of her’s (Dying to Fall) and probably the rest of that series.

That’s it. All the others I think I would have read anyway. But that’s pretty impressive – five authors that now I’ll be looking out for, that would have pasted right by me without the challenge.

I’m really impressed with how much I enjoyed the books I chose for this challenge. Looking at this list, I can genuinely say I loved each and every one of them. How good is that?!

I only have one small regret to come from this challenge. At the beginning of 2010 I looked around the internet and got recommendations of authors from people/places (including other people taking the challenge) and got a list of authors I wanted to read. But, I didn’t read any of them. That upsets me. But I’ll get over it. Just because the challenge is over… doesn’t mean I have to stop reading thrillers & suspense novels.

Plus… You never know what other challenges will be round the corner in 2011…

Standoff by Sandra Brown Review

A fearless reporter trapped in a volatile siege, two young lovers turned fugitive and a hold up that transforms a small desert town into a powder keg . . .

TV reporter Tiel McCoy is driving to New Mexico for a well-earned vacation when she hears on the radio that Fort Worth millionaire Russell Dendy’s daughter has been kidnapped. Calling her editor she finds out that the girl is pregnant, the kidnapper is the girl’s boyfriend and that they may be heading, as she is, to a small town in New Mexico.

She puts her holiday plans on hold to chase the story but as she stops for gas she gets caught up in a standoff at a gas station. If she survives she knows this will be the biggest scoop of her life. But as the night-long siege continues she is forced to put aside her reporter’s impartiality and become involved . . . or lives will be lost.

This is the second Sandra Brown novel I’ve read, and although I didn’t think it was as good as the first I read The Crush, I still enjoyed it a lot.  In fact, I finished it in one day – something that I rarely get the opportunity to do, but a long train journey and gripping story gave me the time.

Practically from the first page I was drawn into the story. Tiel’s a great main character, she’s believable and  I found myself rooting for her from the off. The kidnapping and resulting siege kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the whole novel. I’d strongly recommend this novel!

The Weekend’s Accomplishments

So much to talk about…

Firstly, all the entries have been posted for the Search Term Challenge on ErgoFiction.  One of the 14 stories is mine, but I can’t tell you which.  You can vote for your favourite 3 (yes, three) until Saturday, then the winner, and authors of all the stories will be published.  How exciting.

I got my writing course assignment back today.  I’ve not had a chance to go through it in that much detail, but it’s looking, um, ok.  I’ve a lot to work on, which is really what I expected.  She didn’t like my story as much as I do, but now I’ve read her comments, I can see why.  All good.  That means I can get on with writing the next assignment.  Can’t wait – it looks great.

I did a little bit of the course on the train home at the weekend – a bit where you do it for practice not for handing in.  They give you an idea of a novel, then you have to write a full synopsis of where you’d take it.  2 1/2 pages later I finished mine.  Loving the idea of the novel, and unsurprisingly it’s totally different from where they took it.  It’s made me think maybe I could possibly write thrillers.  I Can’t use what I did as it’s their idea.  Nevermind – I’ve enough other ideas to keep me going for a few years!

I finished reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  I really enjoyed it, in fact, I’m going to have to do a review of it at some point for the Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge I’m doing this year.  Should do that while it’s fresh in my mind.

At the weekend I saw my step mum, who reads even more than I do.  I couldn’t even guess how many books she reads a year – I think I’ll just stick to lots!  We swapped Sandra Brown books. I gave her The Crush, which I really really loved, she gave me Standoff.  It was a short novel (compared to the one I’ve just read anyway, that was nearly 600 words).  I read a lot yesterday and finished that too.  I like Sandra Brown, I’m so glad I discovered her.  I guess I need to do a review of that too, again for the T&SRC.

All in all, I had a pretty good weekend with regards to reading and writing.

The Crush by Sandra Brown

When Dr Rennie Newton is summoned to jury duty, she brings to the courtroom the same degree of dedication and composure that she displays in the operating room. And it is this commitment to duty and precision that compels her to return a not guilty verdict in the trial of notorious killer, Ricky Lozada. But it might prove the most regrettable decision of her life …

When a rival colleague is brutally slain, Rennie is cast as prime suspect even though Lozada’s menacing shadow looms over the murder. Not only does Lozada seem to be insinuating himself into every aspect of her life, but the police also seem intent on invading her privacy – particularly Wick Threadgill, an embittered detective with vengeance on his mind and a point to prove. As the stakes continue to rise, Rennie and Wick decide to forge an uneasy alliance – but what they both have yet to realise is that when the killer strikes, they won’t see it coming …

I’d never heard of Sandra Brown until I started researching authors and novels for the Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge I’ve signed up for this year.  It was one of those books I read about and thought, yeah, I’d like to read that.  Randomly a few days later I found it cheap (about a £ or so) in a supermarket – now that has to be fate.  I’m very glad I did.

Virtually from page 1 I was hooked.  Brown really gets into the minds of the characters, at one point I even found myself sympathising with the psychopathic murderer!  And you’re kept guessing what’s going to happen until the very end.  I can’t recommend this book highly enough. 

I’m off to find more Sandra Brown books…

Comments and challenges

Today started off pretty well (if you forget the rain, the buses – yes plural – terminating at my stop and being late for work!!).  When I checked my blog this morning, I’d had a few visitors, all good.  And a couple of comments.  Great.  One of the comments was from none other than Adele Parks.  As in THE Adele Parks, the author.  He he.  She’d obviously been searching for stuff about her and found a blog of mine from the summer talking about an excerpt of her book I’d been given.  How awesome is that!!! Also, it reminded me I never got round to reading the book I blogged about.  I should do that.

I’ve not really done much else today (writing wise).  I didn’t really do much yesterday either.  I have been very busy at work though.  In fact we were saying that this week is the busiest week since we’ve been here.  I’d like to complain, but my version of busy has still left me with well over an hour total to do my own thing.  I remember working 60 hour + weeks and still not getting anything done.  I do not miss hotels (well, maybe a little).

Boyfriend said he’d spend his lunch break getting the pics for my next reads so I can put them up on the blog when I start them.  Awesome!  However, that meant I had to think which books I was going to read next.  And remember the titles.  I bet I can’t remember the titles of at least 40 of the 64+ books currently on my shelf.  That’s not good.

I keep meaning to do a post for Thriller & Suspense Challenge with the books I plan to read for the challenge.  But, when I’m at home I keep forgetting to do it, or write down the books.  Lots of the books have been given to me by other people, so I can’t remember the titles.  I will do it soon.

I also keep meaning to review The Crush for the challenge.  I’ve read a few others’ reviews and it’s a great way to learn about new books, I’d love to tell people about this Sandra Brown one – I thought it was great.

I found another challenge/competition to enter yesterday here which Victanguera got from Writers Digest’s Promptly blog here.  You have to finish a scene where someone borrows your phone, then runs off crying.  I’m really excited about having a go at this.  Although it can only be 500 words, and like I said yesterday, I’m not good at short stories.  I keep getting excited about these little writing competitions/challenges.   I hope my enthusiasm for them continues and I actually manage to enter them, I have a bad habit of not following through with the things I say I will.  A bad habit I need to break!

I’ll stop procrastinating now and do some writing…

Best laid plans…

Today’s blog was going to be a rant about my boyfriend.  He complains I have too many books, then last night made me take a couple of his books, cause they’d be good for my Thriller & Suspense Challenge. Just cause he’s got too many and wanted to get rid of them.  Maybe. 

Anyway, that was my plan.  Until the snow happened.  My mum was supposed to come to London and we were going to do touristy things, including a lunch cruise on the Thames.  But like I said the snow happened and trains between Birmingham didn’t happen.  Which left me with two days holiday for no reason.  Damn.  I decided I’d make them worthwhile so have made a plan for these two days. 

Although today is nearly over and I know I’ve failed on a couple of these things, here’s my plan for Thursday & Friday:

  • Spend two hours on the writing course on Thursday
  • Spend two hours on the writing course on Friday
  • Spend two hours reading Italian Infatuation on Thursday
  • Spend two hours reading Italian Infatuation on Friday
  • A blog on Thursday
  • A blog on Friday
  • Go food shopping
  • Ice Christmas cake (I know…)
  • Make Turkey and Ham Pie with Christmas leftovers (frozen meat)
  • 30 minutes exercise on Thursday
  • 30 minutes exercise on Friday
  • Finish the novel I’m reading

That’s it.  As today’s not over yet, I can’t say I’ve failed any yet.  I can still read Italian Infatuation for two hours.  I haven’t done the exercise, but walking round Tesco, scrapping snow and walking to the local shop MIGHT add to 30 mins.  Maybe. 

But, look at the first one!  Writing Course!  I worked on it for OVER 2 hours.  Woo hoo. I’m really impressed with it.  I also think I’ve worked out why I’m procrastinating so much – I think I’m aiming too high.  The publication I’m aiming for is way above me.  For a first article, I should NOT be aiming for a national monthly magazine.  I’m not sure what I should be aiming for, but I’m pretty sure not this.  I’ve had to do a magazine analysis first and have realised that pretty much all articles have an expert’s advice.  I’m not ready for interviewing someone.  Although… I’ve got to do it at some point.  I don’t know.  *sigh*.   I’ll work it out I’m sure.  No idea how.

On completely different note, I finished The Crush by Sandra Brown last night.  I loved it, it was great.  I’m going to try to do a review of it.  Oh no, I need to, I did it for the Thriller & Suspense Challenge and there’s the option to add your review.  I want to, because when I first started this blog thing I said I was going to do book reviews.  I think I did two.  Oh well, this challenge means I’ll do at least 12 this year 🙂