Category: Author

Review “Permanence” by Vincent Zandri

Permanence by Vincent Zandri
Published by: Bear Media
Publication Date: May 4, 2012
Pages: 143
Review Copy from:  Author
Edition:  Digital galley
My Rating: 5

Synopsis (from author):
Based upon Vincent Zandri’s most anthologized Pushcart Prize-nominated short story of the same title, Permanence, is the story of Mary Kismet, a travel agent and former mother to a toddler who suffered an accidental drowning. Now, all alone in the world, she attempts to ease the pain of her suffering by immersing herself, body and soul, into a love affair with her psychiatrist, a man who is being haunted by his own demons. A tragic novella of obsession, dark compulsions, and madness, Permanence transports the ill-fated lovers from New York to Venice, Italy, and back again.

My Thoughts and Opinion:  This talented and gifted author has done it again!!! If you follow my blog, you know that I am a huge fan of Vincent Zandri, having read all of his books. In my opinion, he is a genius at his craft, writing novels that will catch you off guard. His writing is extraordinary, so much so, that with each book read, it seems that you are reading books by different authors. His writing style is unprecedented, whereas each stand alone novel, has a different and unique blueprint and delivery. Permanence was a thunderbolt !! I can’t stress enough how this masterful author, has the ability, creativity and accomplishment with words to bring the reader on a wild ride with each book he writes. Knowing and being familiar with his work, he still has me shaking my head at the end of each book that I read, due to the talent he possesses. Each book unmatched and unparalleled to his other novels. Brilliant!!!

With Permanence, from the first sentence, his words grabbed me like a vise and I knew there was going to be no escape. With this book, unlike his others, was written in a first person narrative of a very troubled female, Mary. Another surprise, just 2 very profound characters. The prose dark and haunting. Eerie! The author, with his ability and extraordinary use of words, allowed me to create the actual speech pattern of Mary. I imagined it to be as if someone was talking in a drug induced psychotic state. Powerful!! I could also vividly envision the characters and settings with his detailed and descriptive writing style. Ingenious!! I actually felt the emotional state of the main character. Terrifying!!!

Without a doubt, and in my opinion, Permanence has proved that Vincent Zandri is now the #1 Best Selling mystery/suspense author with his capacity and command of story telling. And will continue to be with his remarkable execution and diversity of writing. His creativity and originality is penetrating. Permanence, I feel is his best work yet, at least for now, as we wait for this artist to paint his next masterpiece!!!


(2012 Challenges: Romantic/Suspense, EBooks, Off The Self, FreeReads, Where Are You, A-Z, 52 in 52, Outdo Yourself, 100+)

Review “The Volunteer” by Barbara Taylor Sissel

The Volunteer by Barbara Taylor Sissel
Published by Author
At the request of author, Barbara Taylor Sissel, a Kindle Edition was gifted, at no cost to be, for my honest opinion.

Synopsis (from Amazon): In the fall of 1999, psychologist Sophia Beckman is compelled by the court to give testimony on behalf of a death row inmate that results in his sentence being overturned. Haunted by secrets from her past, she avoids the media spotlight as much as possible, but soon, other prisoners’ families come seeking her assistance. One family in particular, the wife, children, and brother of Jarrett Capshaw, is especially insistent. Forty-one days ago Jarrett’s request to die was granted by the State of Texas, and he became a dead man walking, a man they call a volunteer.

Jarrett’s crimes were unusual, involving the theft of precious Mayan antiquities. Murder was never part of the plan, but murder is what happened. He pulled the trigger, and as little as he feels prepared for it, as much as he struggles with matters of the soul, he’s ready to die. It is the only way his family and the families of his victims will be free to move on. While Jarrett labors to find the words to say good-bye to those he has loved, Sophia finds herself drawn into a relationship with his wife and oldest son. It is Jarrett’s family she can’t resist and there will be a price to pay. But not even Sophia could have foreseen the outcome when the brutal truth is exposed, the unalloyed facts that, incredibly, will deliver Jarrett’s fate straight into her hands.

The Volunteer is a story about families, how they are made, and how in one single, horrifying instant, they can be broken. It is a story about mothers and the lies they tell to protect their children, to keep them from being hurt. But what happens when the truth comes out anyway and nothing and no one is spared? Sometimes the truth has the power to break your heart, and in Sophia’s case it will also endanger her freedom and threaten everything she has ever believed about her life.

My Thoughts and Opinion: This is the second book I read by this author, the first being The Ninth Step. I am always a bit skeptical reading follow up novels by an author, especially when I enjoyed the first one as much as I did with The Ninth Step. Will it be as good? Will it have the same quality writing? Will I once again be able to connect with the characters? Are my expectations too high for the second book? Or could the first book have been a “one hit wonder”?

Barbara Taylor Sissel is an amazing author and I can’t say enough about her work. It is phenomenal. She writes about complex emotional and moral issues and weaves in flawed and life like characters into a suspenseful story that leaves the reader with thought provoking thoughts. The Volunteer is a book that will stay with the reader long after the last word is read. The author’s writing style is so detailed and fluid that the reader feels that they are present in the plot and characters’ lives. Full of emotions that are palpable. A story that the reader becomes invested in that it is hard to put down. A novel full of family relationship dynamics and how the past and lies can affect the future with dire consequences. Heart wrenching!! The suspense has twists and turns but I found myself more involved with the characters and that the suspense was a subplot. Would I recommend this book? Absolutely!! But, more so, I would recommend this author!! Her work is brilliant!!

(2012 Challenges: Romantic/Suspense, EBook, Mystery/Suspense, Off The Shelf, Just For Fun, FreeReads, Where Are You, A-Z, I Want More, 52 in 52, Outdo Yourself, 100+)

Review TRACES OF KARA by Melissa Foster

Traces of Kara by Melissa Foster
Published by: World Literary Press
Publication Date: Feburary 21, 2013
ISBN-10: 0989050807
ISBN-13: 978-0989050807
Pages: 306
Review Copy from: Author
Edition: ARC Kindle
My Rating: 5

Synopsis (from book): Twenty-nine year old Kara Knight has her sights set on leaving the small town of Williamsport, Maryland, which holds bad memories of a recent separation and no chance for a future. Her hopes are shattered one evening when she’s mistaken for Roland Greer’s long-lost fraternal twin, and thrown into her obsessive captor’s delusional world. Kara struggles to make sense in the darkness that envelops her and plan her escape. The hours tick away as Roland Greer plays out his–to take them both into death at the exact moment of their birth, never to be separated again.
Kara’s mother, Mimi Stone, races against time to save the daughter she fears she will lose when her long-held secret, and sordid past, is revealed.
Traces of Kara is a psychological thriller that will make you question every memory.

My Thoughts and Opinion: I, first, want to thank author, Melissa Foster for her generous gift and honor of giving me the opportunity of reading the galley of her soon to be published novel. Melissa has been a frequent visitor on my blog and since her first visit we have kept in touch. She is a kind, sweet, caring, genuine person with a huge heart besides being a fantastic author. After reading her books, Megan’s Way and Come Back To Me, she was put on my “authors to read” list. In the latter part of 2011, when I was dealing with some difficult and emotional personal issues, Melissa would offer words of encouragement. I emailed her not to long ago, telling her that my husband and I were going on a much needed and well deserved vacation and asked if her next novel would be published prior to us leaving as I would love to read her next novel while we were away. She responded that her next book was still in the hands of her editor but sent me the galley version for me to enjoy. And enjoy, I did! Thank you Melissa!! And now, my thoughts and opinion of Traces of Kara.

Gripping!! Within the first few pages, I was pulled and transported into the story. I knew that this was going to be a white knuckle read!! The main plot takes place during a 24 hour time period, with glimpses and hints of the past. Ingenious!! The characters brought to life with her amazing writing style, so much so, that I actually felt the emotions that the characters experienced. The suspense heart pounding, whereas I found myself having to read faster as if I was watching a time bomb ticking away. Masterful!! The chapters alternated between characters and the tension increased with every turn of the page. The story line progresses with inklings and teasers of how and what the connections are between the characters until it all unfolds of the thrilling interwoven plot. Brilliant!! A definite can’t put down read!! Not only do I recommend this read, but her other works as well.



I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me,
in exchange for my honest review.
No items that I receive
are ever sold…they are kept by me,
or given to family and/or friends.