Sunday, November 29, 2015

Murder. Mystery. And Matrimony? Book Review: Secret Admirer by Patricia MacDonald


My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Laura Reed feels safe and happy in Cape Christian, a little jewel of Victorian architecture and quiet streets on New Jersey's southern tip. The children's books she writes are earning her modest fame; her husband Jimmy's art gallery is flourishing; and Cape Christian is the right kind of small town in which to raise their little boy, Michael. She never dreams that this New Year's Eve her nearly perfect life will end. That a man in a ski mask will break into her house, knock her out, and shoot her husband dead. That it will be nearly one hour before she revives and calls 911. That those missing minutes before her call will convince the police that she committed the crime. Although there is too little evidence to arrest her, Laura feels the eyes of the entire community - including her in-laws' - accusing her. Even her lawyer, Jimmy's business partner, doesn't seem to believe her. Her only ally is Gary, a young wheelchair-bound painter. His faithful devotion and the bouquets he sends brighten Laura's days. Then Ian Turner docks his sailboat in Cape Christian, and a chance meeting brings him into Laura's life. His marriage, too, has ended in tragedy, and he not only believes Laura, but falls in love with her. For the first time since Jimmy's murder, Laura dares to feel alive. Until she begins to sense that danger is near.

We've all heard the story. Husband or wife disappears or is murdered, remaining spouse inherits a large sum of money, and is immediately suspected. Snooze, snooze.

But what happens when we know the suspected killer is innocent? Can you believe their plea throughout the novel or will you too be swayed by opinions from the outside?

I typically don't read adult or mystery novels but in desperate need in something to occupy my mind I picked up Secret Admirer  by Patricia McDonald. Initially I wasn't too impressed by the seemingly dull story but just as I let my guard down I was thrust into a mystery like no other.

The author flawlessly attaches to you to the main character Laura. You sympathize with her because of her funny, but oblivious husband, cute child, and pesky in laws. Once Laura is accused of murdering her husband, you stand by your girl despite the accusations that seem like they might have some truth to them.

Laura makes some questionable decisions throughout the novel which lead you to question her just as you would if you were following her case in real life. The author definitely throws some curve balls, some of which are better done than others but overall add to the suspense and thrill of the novel. I can't say this is a completely unpredictable mystery, especially since I'm not too experienced in the mystery department myself but I will say with pride that I was at the edge of my seat during some parts. Like I said before, the author does an excellent job of emotionally connecting you to the character so you're just as concerned about her future as she is. This might not be a classic as far as mysteries go but it is definitely worth the read. 

*Don't forget to enter my Black Friday giveaway for your chance to win Amazon cash!*

Friday, November 27, 2015

Black Friday Giveaway!

Good morning all serial readers! I hope everyone is out of their turkey comas and ready for black friday!

To kick it off a bunch of bloggers, including myself are giving away free book related prizes! FREE! You can't find that in Walmart, huh?

Enter my giveaway below to win a free $5 Kindle or Amazon credit and follow the hop for other awesome prizes!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Navigating Nanowrimo & My Resurrection

So its no secret that I have absent from this blog for a little over a year. Did anybody miss me? Anyone? Hello?

Needless to say I'm so excited to be back with new content, new reviews, and new everything. Wipe your tears, babies.

So if its not too late to take charge of this blog its definitely not too late to start Nanowrimo! What's that? Its National Novel Writing Month silly!

During Nanowrimo, writers condition themselves to write daily by attempting to smash out a 50k word novel in thirty days. And before you piss yourself, let me add that I did this on my first try when I was fourteen. Alrighty then.

Although its already November 8th, believe me it is not too late! November is the time of discovering what your capable of as a writer, and its a whole lot more than you think.

So as a Nanowrimo survivor, here's my tips:

  1. Outline hella fast. Its already November 8th, what are you waiting for? If you want to get this done you're gonna have to outline your novel (if that's your thing. I highly suggest it) mad quick. Or, pick up an unfinished story, reread, get the juices flowing and get writing.
  2. Set word minimums, not word limits. At this rate you'll have to write about 2,000 words a day to finish on time. Does that mean once you hit 2,000 its time to shut the computer off? No! The goal is to get ahead so if you miss or slack on a day you won't have to worry.
  3. Find inspiration. If you search #nanowrimo on Tumblr, you'll find tons of people like you just trying to poop out a novel. That's my favorite way to get inspired. The actual Nanowrimo website has lots of cool ways to connect with other writers too, just don't get distracted.
  4. If you're not gonna write early, get your laundry done. If you have a few extra hours in the morning and you already have decided you won't be spending that time writing, instead get all your chores out the way so when you do want to write, you have nothing to stop you.
  5. Look back at that crappy, rushed novel and smile in pride. Rome wasn't built in a day! Its okay to not be the next James Patterson on December 1. But one good thing about writing is you can always revise. And revise and revise.

Are you doing NANOWRIMO this year? Leave me a comment and let me know how its going for you, and your tips!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Widow's Walk (ft. Giveaway)

His name was Garrett Richmond and he had always wanted to live by the ocean. So when the opportunity to buy-and renovate-the old home known as Seaside arrived, he leapt at the chance. Never mind that his friends and family thought he was crazy, he knew he could return this lonely mansion, worn by time, wind, and neglect, to its former beauty. But Seaside was more than just a project; it was spot that had called to him his entire life. And then one night he saw her… Her name is Constance Elizabeth Canfield and she tells him Seaside has been her home for over 150 years. But Constance is no ghost; rather, she claims that she has been somehow magically trapped between this life and the next. At first, Garrett can’t believe her crazy story-the woman had to be lying! And yet, there was something about Constance that was from another time... Soon this mysterious woman, and flesh and blood man share a closeness they cannot deny. But just as their love begins to bloom, Constance’s presence starts mysteriously fading away, soon to be gone forever. Is their love doomed--or is it strong enough to transcend time, and even death itself?
Let's give a round of applause for that cover, eh?
Author info:
After graduating from Colgate University with a B.A. in Economics and a minor Art History, Robert J. Barclay enjoyed a successful career in business, and served as chairman of his industry-related consulting group. After selling his business and moving from upstate New York to Florida (and with some rather successful prodding by his wife), he was able to finally devote his full attention to something he had always wanted to do: write a book. Rob lives in sunny south Florida. When he isn’t writing, he enjoys weightlifting, Shotokan Karate, and going to the beach to do absolutely nothing.  
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