Sep 182019
 

SILENT VOICES by Fran Lewis
Genre: Horror, Suspense
Published by: Southern Owl Publications, LLC
Publication Date: June 10th 2019
Number of Pages: 51
ASIN: B07S75JPQW
Series: Silent Voices
Review Copy From: Author
Edition: TPB
My Rating: 5

Synopsis

Driving down a rocky road I saw the overgrown grass, weeds, and poison ivy overtaking the outer perimeter of the bushes. The smell of mildew permeated the air, along with the stench of animals killed by cars coming up from the ground along this dirt road. I could see the sadness on the faces in the cars behind me; I could feel the pain and sorrow. As I looked inside the cars and saw the faces of the drivers, I began to wonder what they were thinking, their thoughts and feelings as they traveled down life’s highway, maybe for the very last time.

What stories lay behind the faces behind the wheel of each oncoming car?

What stories were hidden?

Whose voices are now silenced?

 

Reviews:

“Unique, haunting, terrifying, incredibly moving: Fran Lewis’ SILENT VOICES is all that and more as people tell spell-binding stories of their lives – and their deaths – from beyond the grave. You won’t forget this one!” – R.G. Belsky, award-winning author of the Clare Carlson mystery series.

“Silent Voices is a shrewd, sensitive and scintillating collection of short stories that make us feel and think. Noted talk show host Fran Lewis proves herself to be as skilled a storyteller as she is a listener, adept at both tugging on our heart strings and exposing the raw emotion between the lines. Her tales reach beyond the grave in fashioning rich tapestries drawn on a sprawling landscape at once both rich in color and gray-toned. A can’t miss effort certain to live with you far beyond the turn of the final page.” -Jon Land, USA Today bestselling author

“Once again, Fran Lewis knocks it out of the park with the latest in the Silent Voices series. At once chilling, but also inspirational, these stories do not fail to entertain. They will also raise the goosebumps on your skin. Prepare to be thrilled.” Vincent Zandri, New Your Times bestselling Thriller Award winning author of The Remains and The Caretaker’s Wife

My Thoughts

I have read previous books by this author so was looking forward for reading her latest, SILENT VOICES.

You can check out my reviews for HIDDEN TRUTHS AND LIES and A DAUGHTER’S PROMISE.

Having attended too many funerals for loved ones and making the somber drive through the cemetery to their final resting place, I too have looked at all the headstones and wondered who lies beneath those stones, who they are, how did they live and die? What are their stories?

This book consists of seven (7) short stories of those that have passed and their voices silenced. However, they get their chance to speak one final time from the grave in this book. Fran Lewis, in her descriptive writing, gives us a peek into just that and allows the reader to envision those that are of subjects of each story.

Two (2) of the stories were personal to the author, the voices of her grandmothers, which I felt so very sorry for with the kind of life they had and had to deal with.

Some of the stories are sad, some eerily chilling and some that their past caught up with them and now face their ultimate judgment.

A haunting read!! I guarantee, after reading this book, you will also wonder who lies below the headstones and what they would say if they hadn’t been silenced!

**Stop by Friday for Q&A with Fran Lewis**

Sep 062019
 


Hosted by McGruffy’s Reader and 15 and Meowing

This week’s Fill-Ins:

  1. I joined ____________ in _______________.
  2. I wish I’d asked _______________ about _________________.
  3. _________ had the biggest impact on who I am today.
  4. _________ is the most beautiful place I have ever been.

My answers:

  1. I joined the book blogging community in 2009 to present.

  2. I wish I’d asked my mother and grandmother about certain recipes that they didn’t write down in their notebooks.

  3. My grandmother had the biggest impact on who I am today.

  4. Aruba is the most beautiful place I have ever been.

Aug 272019
 

KEEPING LUCY by T. Greenwood
Genre: Historical Fiction; Family Life Fiction
Published by St. Matin’s Press
Publication Date: August 6, 2019
ASIN: B07J4RMRNT
Pages: 306
Review Copy From: St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley
Edition: eBook
My Rating: 5

Synopsis (via GR)

From the author of Rust & Stardust comes this heartbreaking story, inspired by true events, of how far one mother must go to protect her daughter.

Dover, Massachusetts, 1969. Ginny Richardson’s heart was torn open when her baby girl, Lucy, born with Down Syndrome, was taken from her. Under pressure from his powerful family, her husband, Ab, sent Lucy away to Willowridge, a special school for the “feeble-minded.” Ab tried to convince Ginny it was for the best. That they should grieve for their daughter as though she were dead. That they should try to move on.

But two years later, when Ginny’s best friend, Marsha, shows her a series of articles exposing Willowridge as a hell-on-earth–its squalid hallways filled with neglected children–she knows she can’t leave her daughter there. With Ginny’s six-year-old son in tow, Ginny and Marsha drive to the school to see Lucy for themselves. What they find sets their course on a heart-racing journey across state lines—turning Ginny into a fugitive.

For the first time, Ginny must test her own strength and face the world head-on as she fights Ab and his domineering father for the right to keep Lucy. Racing from Massachusetts to the beaches of Atlantic City, through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia to a roadside mermaid show in Florida, Keeping Lucy is a searing portrait of just how far a mother’s love can take her.

My Thoughts

Warning: have plenty of tissues nearby!!

It’s 1969 and Ginny Richardson has just had an emergency C-section but doesn’t get to hold or see her newborn daughter, Lucy. The doctor explains that the baby has severe disabilities and should be institutionalized, which her father-in-law has already committed the baby to Willowridge School for both the baby’s and family’s sake.

But 2 years later, Ginny’s best friend informs her that the school has been the subject of an exposé that it the residents are treated poorly, is horrifically filthy and that the caretakers are less than desirable. Ginny, at this point, decides to visit the school and her daughter against the controlling and arrogant father-in-law’s decision. What she finds is unbearable. She decides to take Lucy, and with her BFF Marsha, go on the run for a week, hoping that her husband and his father, change their minds that Lucy needs to be part of their family and in their home. Only to find out, her father-in-law’s firm is representing the school.

This story touched me to my core as I have been involved in similar instances and the author nailed it!!!!

I mention similar events. When my sister was born with Cerebral Palsy, 9 1/2 years prior to my birth, my parents were told to institutionalize her as she would not live past 16, have severe disabilities and to just forget about her. As told to me by several relatives, my father cold-cocked the doctor and took my sister home. She will be 73 this year living in assisted living for the past 8 years, with a more active social life than me.

While in High School, we went to a similar school for my psychology course. It was horrific with the same problems as Willowridge in the story. To this day, I can remember Joey, the 5 year old boy with big brown eyes that clung to me. I often wonder what happened to him and thankfully, that “school” also closed.

The narrative, characters, and emotions are raw, straight from the heart and soul. The reader will feel every emotion that Ginny was feeling, love, fear, guilt, betrayal and self doubt!!

KEEPING LUCY will tug at your heartstrings. And as a mother, understand the love a mother has for her child. A compelling and profound read that I highly recommend!

Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

REVIEW DISCLAIMER

  • This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
  • 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.
  • I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
  • Aug 232019
     


    Hosted by McGruffy’s Reader and 15 and Meowing

    This week’s Fill-Ins:

    1. I am a stickler for___________________.
    2. By the end of August, I plan to ____________________.
    3. _________ is my favorite thing about myself.
    4. These days, my biggest priority is _________.

    My answers:

    1. I am a stickler for organization.

    2. By the end of August, I plan to purge and organize my office since I have books everywhere.

    3. Being able to listen for my family and friends is my favorite thing about myself.

    4. These days, my biggest priority is to get out in the pool before the summer ends.

    Jul 052019
     

    A Monster Of All Time

    by J.T. Hunter

    on Tour July 1-31, 2019

     

    A Monster Of All Time by J.T. Hunter

    The True Story of Danny Rolling, The Gainesville Ripper

    Ambitious, attractive, and full of potential, five young college students prepared for the new semester. They dreamed of beginning careers and starting families. They had a lifetime of experiences in front of them. But death came without warning in the dark of the night.

    Brutally ending five promising lives, leaving behind three gruesome crime scenes, the Gainesville Ripper terrorized the University of Florida, casting an ominous shadow across a frightened college town.

    What evil lurked inside him?

    What demons drove him to kill?

    What made him A Monster of All Time?

    Book Details:

    Genre: True Crime
    Published by: RJ Parker Publishing
    Publication Date: September 4th 2018
    Number of Pages: 304
    ISBN: 1987902521 (ISBN13: 9781987902525)
    Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

     

    Author Bio:

    J.T. Hunter

    J.T. Hunter is an attorney with over fourteen years of experience practicing law, including criminal law and appeals, and he has significant training in criminal investigation techniques. He is also a college professor in Florida where his teaching interests focus on the intersection of criminal psychology, law, and literature.

    JT’s bestselling true crime books include:

  • Devil in The Darkness: True Story of Serial Killer ISRAEL KEYES
  • The Country Boy Killer: The True Story of Serial Killer Cody Legebokoff
  • In Colder Blood: True Story of the Walker Family Murder as depicted in Truman Capote’s, In Cold Blood
  • Deadly Deception: True Story of Tampa Serial Killer, Bobby Joe Long
  • Death Row Romeo: The True Story of Serial Killer Oscar Ray Bolin
  • The Vampire Next Door: True Story of the Vampire Rapist and Serial Killer
  • Q&A with JT Hunter

    Welcome and thank you for stopping by CMash Reads

    What inspired you to write this book?

    I remember hearing about the Gainesville student murders committed by Danny Rolling back when they happened, and I was struck by their similar impact on the college-town community as occurred with Ted Bundy’s crimes at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Then the more I researched Rolling the more interesting the story became.

    What was the biggest challenge in writing this book?

    The most difficult parts to write about were the murders. The crime scenes were very bloody because of the way Rolling killed his victims, and in some cases, because of what he did to their bodies afterward.

    Give us a glimpse of the research that went into this book.

    While researching the case, I gained access to the Alachua County State Attorney’s voluminous case files in Gainesville just before they were to be disposed of (and by voluminous I mean rows and rows of six foot high metal storage shelves). These materials included banker’s boxes of letters written by Rolling and interviews in which he detailed how he went about his crimes.

    How did you come up with the title?

    During an interview, one of Danny Rolling’s fellow inmates called him “a monster of all time”.

    Your routine in writing? Any idiosyncrasies?

    Once I decide on a subject to write about, I spend a lot of time researching newspaper archives. Then I get court documents, depositions, interview transcripts, and the like, before reaching out to witnesses. The process is substantially the same every time. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

    Tell us why we should read your book?

    The book gives you a glimpse into the mind of serial killer Danny Rolling and sheds some light on why he committed such terrible acts. It also illuminates the power of the media through the story of the falsely accused Edward Humphrey.

    Are you working on your next novel? If so, can you tell us a little bit about it?

    Yes, I’m currently working on a story about a 12-year-old girl who was abducted while walking home from her bus stop. Her body was found a week later. She had been sexually assaulted. The case went unsolved for decades until an amazing break came thanks to familial DNA.

    Fun Questions:
    Your novel will be a movie. You would you cast?

    Robert Downey Jr. or Joaquin Phoenix as Danny Rolling.

    Favorite leisure activities/hobbies?

    Movies, baseball, and reading.

    Favorite foods?

    Thai, sushi, Indian.

    Catch Up With J.T. Hunter On:
    jthunter.org, Goodreads, BookBub, & Facebook!

     

    Read an excerpt:

    Prologue
    January 1987
    Parchman, Mississippi

    The prisoner raged in his lonely cell.

    “When they let me out of here,” the prisoner swore to himself, “I’ll make them all pay.”

    Years of condemnation and contempt had taken its toll, breaking him down, eroding his spirit, destroying all sense of hope. Now only the anger remained.

    ~~~~~

    Cast into the bowels of Parchman Prison, the notorious Mississippi State Penitentiary, the prisoner had suffered daily torments during his confinement, each day falling deeper and deeper into despair. Raw sewage regularly seeped into his cell through the floor and flowed from a broken drain down the hall, flooding the cramped 8 x 10 feet concrete space with a revolting grey-brown liquid and an unrelenting stench.

    Kept in this torturous isolation, his besieged brain had betrayed him, replaying the grievous moments of his life, all of the humiliations and feelings of helplessness, every piercing word, and every raw, painful memory. It was a constant reminder that the world had always been a hurtful place of violence, animosity, and aversion, never one of empathy or understanding.

    Desperate to escape the unrelenting torment, he retreated ever deeper into the labyrinth of his own mind, creeping ever closer to madness. It was in that maze of insanity that he found himself. Or rather, something found him.

    In the bleak, all-encompassing darkness, something whispered his name.

    Faceless and formless, the voice seemed to emanate both from the impenetrable blackness surrounding him and from the shadowy depths of his own consciousness. The voice soothed and seduced him, its language both alien and familiar. It promised the strength to survive whatever nightmares awaited the remainder of his confinement. It offered the tools of revenge for his present condition, for all of the wrongs committed against him in the past, and for the scorn and mistreatment yet to come. Most of all, it promised the power to make others feel the suffering he had so long endured.

    Then a name imprinted itself into his brain, uttered from an unseen shape in the darkness, or muttered from the murky depths of memory.

    “Gemini,” an eerie voice proclaimed. “I am Gemini.”

    At that moment, an infernal compact was crafted, a devil’s contract offering redemption for the damned, a demonic covenant accepted regardless of the terms. Caring nothing for the consequences, the prisoner embraced the assurance of vengeance, pledging revenge for the countless injuries inflicted upon him. Just as a cold, uncaring world had robbed him of his humanity and stolen years of his life, he would take the lives of others in an equal and equitable proportion. A new sense of purpose washed over him, bringing with it a rebirth, a recognition of what he needed to do.

    And now he waited, marking the days with hidden malice, the bitter darkness of his cell matched only by the malevolence of his twisted, tainted soul.

    ***

    Excerpt from A Monster Of All Time by J.T. Hunter. Copyright 2018 by J.T. Hunter. Reproduced with permission from J.T. Hunter. All rights reserved.

     

     

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    This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for JT Hunter. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on July 1, 2019 and runs through August 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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