Blue Haven by Lisa King Review

Blue Haven is
a science-fiction thriller that explores what innovation can achieve—and
destroy—despite the best intentions. King’s imaginative world-building and use
of moral ambiguity make this page-turning novel a thought-provoking thrill
that’s impossible to put 
down

By Lisa King

Welcome to Blue Haven, the world’s most lucrative condo corporation—so exclusive that only five lucky residents live in this lush, tropical paradise, housed in a top-secret location.

Among them is twenty-five-year-old Aloe Malone, an introvert and former waitress who traded bussing tables for lengthy sleep-ins, ocean dips, Michelin-star restaurants, spectacular sunsets, and unlikely new friends—all thanks to a spurious lottery win.

Life’s good.

Damn good.

That is, until Aloe discovers a journal.

Seemingly left by a past resident named Eloise whose entries are both sad and evoking, Aloe quickly suspects there’s more to Blue Haven than meets the eye.

Her suspicions are confirmed when visions arise, gruesome hallucinations she can’t understand, followed by a strange yet familiar man lurking in places he shouldn’t. Something’s wrong. Or maybe it’s all in her head. Regardless, she vows to uncover the truth.

Except someone wants to keep her quiet, and it’s the last person she ever suspected.

Blue Haven is a science-fiction thriller that explores what innovation can achieve—and destroy—despite the best intentions. King’s imaginative world building and use of moral ambiguity make this page-turning novel a thought-provoking thrill that’s impossible to put down.

Book Information

Release Date: May 31, 2022

Publisher:  The Story Plant

Soft Cover: ISBN: 978-1611883206; 336 pages; $26.95; E-Book, $7.49

Book Trailer https://youtu.be/DgnqxcZLRcg

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3LVsZB0

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/3waPpHv

Indigo: https://bit.ly/3MWRayO

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781611883206

Book Depository: https://bit.ly/3kNK4kk

My Thoughts

I was in a Summer reading mood when I picked up Blue Haven. I had just finished working for the school year and was eager to start my summer with a book that would give me the “summer feels”. This book was the perfect read for that and so much more. It is very atmospheric, when I opened the book, I was immediately transported to Blue Haven, experiencing what Aloe was experiencing.

This story exceeded my expectations and is my favorite read of 2022. There were several jaw dropping twists and things that I was shocked by in a good way. I am still thinking about the story a week after I have finished it.

I highly recommend this book but urge readers to go into it knowing as little as possible about it, it’s so much fun! It does have some bad language but overall the content is pretty clean.

I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher to read and review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

My Rating

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Day One

Less than twenty-four hours earlier, Aloe Malone was sitting on a
tattered couch, a distinct eagerness coursing through her veins. She shivered;
her radiator was on the fritz again, sputtering from one side, cackling,
rendering her tiny bachelor apartment bone-cold uncomfortable. She curled into
a sweater, still freezing, slowly succumbing to the chronic, aggravating chill.

And then she laughed, her breath puffy with condensation. She’d
worked her last shift at the diner, and said her meager and limited
goodbyes—except the one owed to her crummy apartment.

“Sayonara, shithole,” she whispered under her
breath.

Now, she squinted into the radiant sun: hot
but not fierce, a tempered warmth that was perfect and satisfying. She pressed
her feet into the fairy dust sand and gave her toes a wiggle. She’d never felt
sand like this before: white, delicate, possibly otherworldly, like it’d been
manufactured in a laboratory or harvested from another universe. Like someone
had broken one million hourglasses to populate this beach.

She turned to her personal concierge, Amir.
“Is this … real sand?”

Surely, it couldn’t be.

He nodded. “Real indeed. One of the many
reasons we chose this location.”

This location: a mysterious venue somewhere on planet Earth. She’d love to know
the actual coordinates and considered asking (for the third time) but
confidentiality was part of the deal. If you wanted to live in the world’s most
lucrative beachfront community, secrecy was paramount.

Still, she dug her toes deeper into the cushy grains. What
part of the world produces sand like this? Aruba? Somewhere in South Asia? The
Philippines?

She stared skeptically at Amir. His natural tan and dark features
were clearly exotic. And his name, Amir. Was that Arabic?

“Aloe?” He touched her arm. “Are you feeling okay? You look a bit
dazed.”

Her mind floated back. “Yeah, sorry. Still a little groggy.”

“That’s a very common side effect,” he replied. “Rest assured,
you’ll be back to normal in a few hours at most.”

She nodded, somewhat attuned to the aftermath of drugs slugging
through her arteries. The whole “going under” aspect had been daunting: a white
mask, followed by slow, deep inhalations; counting down from ten, as requested;
waking somewhere new and unknown— though it made good, logical sense. How else
were people supposed to fly to a top-secret paradise without discovering its
whereabouts?

Besides, look at this fucking view.
The oceanfront, steps away, was a prism of blue light. Turquoise lapped at the
shoreline, fading to a sumptuous cerulean. The sky was a lovely robin’s egg,
swept with long, lazy clouds. Her eyes found the horizon. There was nothing in
the distance, no islands, shorelines, or glimpses. Just pure, unadulterated
space.

Aloe turned to the billowing palm trees swaying in her periphery.
Not an imposing number, just enough to provide a calculated amount of shade.
Unlike other beaches she’d visited, Blue Haven’s was devoid of human life; and
that, was its true appeal. No sandcastles or shoddily impaled umbrellas or
squawking birds begging for scraps of potato chips. Blue Haven was a
stock-grade computer background that didn’t exist in real life—except it did,
to her absolute astonishment.

“Paradise,” she looked at Amir and smiled. “Y’all weren’t lying.”

“We aim to please,” he replied. “Go ahead, test the water. Dip
your toe in. We’ve installed top-of-the-line thermoregulators to ensure the
perfect temperature. Always.”

“You’re heating … the ocean?”

“Only as required.”

“Wow,” she replied, stepping forward.

A wave drifted over her toes, warm as bathwater, and she instantly
unwound. A salty gust of air filled her lungs, causing her chest to lift.

And just like that, the unshakeable sense of irresolution that’d
been following her for years was suddenly gone. All that mattered was here and
now—this moment.

“How’s the temperature?” Amir asked.

She returned to his side with a lightness in her step. “Perfect.”

“Excellent.” He tucked a fuchsia hibiscus behind her ear, and for
some reason this motion summoned a pang of guilt. Her stomach lurched, and the
weight of her body returned.

Did she really deserve this new life?

The answer was clear and undisputed. Of course not. No cognizant,
twenty-five-year-old could honestly admit otherwise. She’d simply gotten lucky.

Then again, who was she to contest the force of luck?

“Are you ready to continue with the tour?” Amir asked.

She took one last glance at the ocean, nodding. The view was
dreamy, glorious, enchanting—beyond any adjective she’d ever learned. Maybe she
didn’t deserve this life, but it had found her. The only choice now was
acceptance.

Even if Blue Haven seemed too good to be true.

 


Lisa King
 is a Canadian fiction author and researcher whose work on veteran mental health has been published in numerous academic journals. She holds degrees in psychology and neuroscience, both from Western University. Aside from writing, she enjoys family outings, ample coffee, and unapologetic napping. She lives in London, Ontario with her husband, daughter, and wonky-eyed cat.

Her latest book is the adult science fiction/psychological thriller, Blue Haven.

You can vist her website at www.AuthorLisaKing.com or connect with her on Twitter and Instagram.

 
Sponsored By:

Shattered by Death by Catherine Finger Reiew and Givewaway

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About the Book

Book:  Shattered by Death

Author: Catherine Finger

Genre:  Thriller/Suspense/Mystery

Release Date: June 2016

When Josie’s abusive soon-to-be-ex-husband had an affair with another woman, Josie could have murdered them. When someone does, Jo is the prime suspect and the only one who can solve the case.

 

 

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

Of all the genres that I typically read, suspense and thrillers are among my favorite. This story was one of the “grittier” thrillers that I’ve read in Christian fiction (graphic descriptions that are not for the faint of heart) but I liked that about this book. Often I find that Christian suspense tends to barely scratch of the surface of murder related stories and I appreciated that this author delved a little deeper into it.

The story is book 2 in a series and often, especially in Christian fiction, I find that reading the previous books in a series aren’t necessary to understanding the story. Although reading book one isn’t necessary, I did find myself a bit in the dark about some of the things that the characters were discussing, as the plot points from the first book were referenced several times. In this instance, I would recommend reading book 1 before this one.

Overall, I found this a solid, quick mystery that was enjoyable to read. 

I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher to read and review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

About the Author

 

Catherine Finger loves to dream, write, and tell stories. Recently retired from a wonderful career in public education, she celebrates the ability to choose how to spend her time in a new way during the second half of life. So far, she chooses to write books, ride horses, serve others, and generally find her way into and out of trouble both on the road and at home.  She lives in the Midwest with a warm and wonderful combination of family and friends.

Capsized by Death, the fourth novel in her Jo Oliver Thriller series, will be released by Elk Lake Publishing in November 2019. Anchored by Death, the third of her Jo Oliver novels, was a Bronze Medal winner at the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards; a 2018 Selah Awards finalist; and a finalist for the National Indie Excellence Awards. Her second Jo Oliver Thriller, Shattered by Death, was a finalist in the International Book Awards and the National Indie Excellence Awards. Catherine and her novels have been featured on radio stations, blogs, and in numerous articles—all posted at www.CatherineFinger.com.

Catherine loves to interact with her readers at www.CatherineFinger.comFollow her on Facebook at Catherine Finger, Author, and on Twitter at CatherineFinger@BeJoOliver.

 

 

More from Catherine

“If you could kill someone and get away with it, what would you do? How would you do it?”

 

Having posed this question over dessert during a really good first date several years ago—to my surprise and delight my date proceeded to share a story about an international cosmetic gone badly awry. I was so taken with this story, that I couldn’t wait to get home and start writing. And I did. That night I sat down to write a scene between two powerful women, intending one to toy with the other by playing with a jar of deadly moisturizer as they interacted.

 

As I wrote that night, an unexpected scene involving spiritual warfare popped into my head and onto the screen. The edgy, scary, lock-your-doors-before reading story I called Shattered by Death was born.

 

While the moisturizer scene didn’t ultimately stay in the book, the idea of powerful women pitted against each other did. I strive to create antagonists that are as strong—or stronger—than Jo Oliver. When I feel the tension of wondering whether or not Josie is going to make it out alive—that’s when I know I’m in the middle of a great story.

I hope you think so too.

Enjoy the read!

Catherine

 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 26

My Devotional Thoughts, May 26

deb’s Book Review, May 27

Blogging With Carol, May 27

Texas Book-aholic, May 28

Betti Mace, May 29

Emily Yager, May 29

Older & Smarter?, May 30

Bigreadersite, May 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 31

Inklings and notions, June 1

Rebecca Tews, June 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 2

Soulfully Romantic, June 2

For Him and My Family, June 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 4

Daysong Reflections, June 4

For the Love of Literature, June 5

Pause for Tales, June 5

Through the Fire Blogs, June 6

April Hayman, Author, June 6

Christian Bookaholic, June 7

Splashes of Joy, June 7

amandainpa, June 8

Genesis 5020, June 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Catherine is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/fb4f/shattered-by-death-celebration-tour-giveaway

One Little Lie by Colleen Coble Review

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About the Book

Book:  One Little Lie

Author: Colleen Coble

Genre:  Romantic Suspense

Release Date: March 3, 2020

one little lie

It started with one little lie. But Jane Hardy will do everything in her power to uncover the truth in this gripping new romantic suspense.

Jane Hardy is appointed interim sheriff in Pelican Harbor, Alabama, after her father retires, but there’s no time for an adjustment period. When her father is arrested for theft and then implicated in a recent murder, Jane quickly realizes she’s facing someone out to destroy the only family she has.

After escaping with her father from a cult fifteen years ago, Jane has searched relentlessly for her mother—who refused to leave—ever since. Could someone from that horrible past have found them?

Reid Bechtol is well-known for his documentaries, and his latest project involves covering Jane’s career. Jane has little interest in the attention, but the committee who appointed her loves the idea of the publicity.

Jane finds herself depending on Reid’s calm manner as he follows her around filming, and they begin working together to clear her father. But Reid has his own secrets from the past, and the gulf between them may be impossible to cross—especially once her father’s lie catches up with him.

 

Click here to get your copy.

My Thoughts

Colleen Coble has always been one of my favorite Christian fiction authors so I was very eager to pick this one up, especially after reading that it involves cults. The story started out with a bang and I was hooked.

The main character Jane was a petite but fierce woman who held her own in the law enforcement world. Reid was mysterious at first but as more was revealed about him, I was intrigued to find out more.

The story had a lot of facets and a lot of characters. I had some trouble keeping track of everyone at first but eventually it all started to click. I began to wonder how all of the different plot points were related but in the end they all came together in a satisfying way.

I enjoyed how the author left the reader wanting more at the end…I need to pick up the next book! Overall, this was a great thriller with many twists and turns. Highly recommended!

I received this book from Celebrate Lit and the author/publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

 

About the Author

Colleen CobleBest-selling author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has over 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. You can visit her website at http://colleencoble.com.

Blog Stops

Back Porch Reads, March 10

Life of Literature, March 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 10

Texas Book-aholic, March 10

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 11

The Avid Reader, March 11

Lighthouse Academy, March 11

By The Book, March 12

Older & Smarter?, March 12

Through the Fire Blogs, March 12

Remembrancy, March 12

Betti Mace, March 13

April Hayman, Author, March 13

Emily Yager, March 13

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, March 14

Bigreadersite, March 14

deb’s Book Review, March 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 15

Inklings and notions, March 15

CarpeDiem, March 15

Christian Bookaholic, March 15

Just the Write Escape, March 16

For Him and My Family, March 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 16

Robin’s Nest, March 17

All-of-a-kind Mom, March 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 17

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 17

Stories By Gina, March 18

Janicesbookreviews, March 18

Mary Hake, March 18

Empowermoms, March 18

For the Love of Literature, March 19

Blossoms and Blessings, March 19

Because I said so – and other adventures in Parenting, March 19

Hallie Reads, March 19

A Baker’s Perspective, March 20

Quiet Quilter, March 20

Simple Harvest Reads, March 20 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Splashes of Joy, March 21

Moments, March 21

amandainpa, March 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 21

Pause for Tales, March 22

Britt Reads Fiction, March 22

Spoken from the Heart, March 22

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 22

To Everything There is a Season, March 23

Life love writing, March 23

Daysong Reflections, March 23

Lights in a Dark World, March 23

Blood Moon Redemption by Judy Ducharme Review

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Synopsis

An ancient relic, a puzzling prophesy, a young woman . . . tied together through the ages . . .

Throughout history, blood moons have always been surrounded by persecution and provision, great trials and triumphs. The first blood moons in 1493-1494 provided a new world for the Jewish people. The second in 1949-1950 gave them Israel, and the third in 1967-1969 presented the Jewish people with Jerusalem. Now a fourth set of blood moons is on the horizon, and Tassie’s mother is certain they will bring about great change.

Tassie, a young Jewish lawyer named for a lost religious relic, has her sights set on her career and love, and she doesn’t have time for silly children’s stories. Dismissing the blood moons as circumstance, her unbelief threatens to keep her from her destiny. When Tassie finds herself in the center of worldwide turmoil and a terrorist plot, can she accept her family history and fulfill her place in the future of Israel? Or will the country of her heritage finally fall to its many enemies?

Blood Moon Redemption is an end-times thriller that will keep you riveted until the very last moonrise.

My Thoughts

I received this book from Just Read Tours and Ambassador International as part of their Blind Date with a Book program.

This story was a bit out of my comfort zone as end times stories are not always my favorite. It took about 100 pages for me to really start getting on board with the story but once I did, I was hooked.

The story jumps between past and present and has a lot of mystery and revelations. It was very intense at times. I enjoyed the historical moments and found the storyline of the tassel very interesting.

The character development was done very well and I loved watching Tassie’s transformation.

I recommend this to people interested in prophecy and who like to be on the edge of their seats.

I received this book from Just Read Tours and Ambassador International to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica Review

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Synopsis

She tried to run, but she can’t escape the other Mrs.

Sadie and Will Foust have only just moved their family from bustling Chicago to small-town Maine when their neighbor Morgan Baines is found dead in her home. The murder rocks their tiny coastal island, but no one is more shaken than Sadie.

But it’s not just Morgan’s death that has Sadie on edge. And as the eyes of suspicion turn toward the new family in town, Sadie is drawn deeper into the mystery of what really happened that dark and deadly night. But Sadie must be careful, for the more she discovers about Mrs. Baines, the more she begins to realize just how much she has to lose if the truth ever comes to light.

My Thoughts

Wow! This was a ride! This story is best to read with knowing as little as possible about the synopsis because there are many surprises along the way. It’s full of twists and turns…some that I was able to figure out and others that I didn’t see coming. There were a few outlandish concepts that require a bit of suspension of disbelief but they were minor and didn’t interfere with my enjoyment of the story. Overall, this was a homerun that I recommend to fans of domestic thrillers.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and Park Row to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

My Rating

4 stars

The Holdout by Graham Moore Review

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Synopsis

In this twisty tale from Moore (The Sherlockian), the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game, young juror Maya Seale is convinced that African American high school teacher Bobby Nock is innocent of killing the wealthy white female student with whom he appears to have been involved and persuades her fellow jurors likewise. Ten years later, a true-crime docuseries reassembles the jurors, and Maya, now a defense attorney, must prove her own innocence when one of them is found dead in Maya’s room.

My Thoughts

I remember watching the Jodi Arias trial religiously…I didn’t want to miss even one day of testimony and when the verdict came in, I rushed home from work and got there just in time to see the jury render her guilty of first degree murder. The jury then went to work on the sentencing phase and could not decide for or against the death penalty so they were dismissed and a new trial commenced for sentencing. In this trial, the jury was hung as well, but with 11 jurors in favor of the death penalty and only 1 against it. This one “holdout” juror was seen as a vile, horrible human being on the forums that I frequently read. The other jurors were quoted as saying that she refused to deliberate and the rumors were swirling that she could possibly have been a plant to keep Jodi Arias from receiving the death penalty. It was a media circus and very eye opening. Seeing this made me rethink my opinions on being a juror…before this experience, I had assumed that a juror could keep their anonymity if they desired but after seeing the press visit and record images of this woman’s home, I realized that this is not true.

The Holdout by Graham Moore presents a similar scenario…12 jurors find a man not guilty of murder when the evidence seems to point to his guilt. This decision is made because of 1 holdout who convinces each of the 11 other jurors to vote not guilty. I found the story to be very interesting as it delves into the jury selection process, being sequestered, and deliberations. There are also multiple mysteries in the story and plenty of twists and turns.

There were a few moments when the story began to lose some steam and the story became a bit convoluted but overall, it was a very unique and interesting thriller that I really enjoyed. Highly recommended.

I received an arc of this book to read and review from Random House and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

My Rating

4 stars

The Other People by C.J. Tudor Review

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Synopsis

She sleeps, a pale girl in a white room . . .

Three years ago, Gabe saw his daughter taken. In the back of a rusty old car, covered in bumper stickers. He was driving behind the car. He watched her disappear. But no one believes him. Most people believe that his daughter, and wife, are dead. For a while, people believed that Gabe was responsible.

Three years later and Gabe cannot give up hope. Even though he has given up everything else. His home, his job, his old life. He spends his days and nights travelling up and down the motorway, sleeping in his camper van in service stations, searching for the car that took her. Searching for his daughter.

Katie spends a lot of her life in service stations, working as a waitress. She often sees Gabriel, or ‘the thin man’ as she has nicknamed him. She knows his story. She feels for him, because Katie understands what it’s like to lose a loved one. Nine years ago, her father was murdered. It broke her family apart. She hasn’t seen her oldest sister since the day of the funeral; the day she did something terrible.

Fran and her daughter, Alice, put in a lot of miles on the motorway. Not searching. But running. Trying to keep one step ahead of the people that want to hurt them. Because Fran knows the truth. She knows what really happened to Gabe’s daughter. She knows who is responsible. And she knows that if they ever find them, they’re dead.

 

My Thoughts

I couldn’t put this one down! A wild ride from the first page to the last that had many surprises. This was the type of story that really made me think, “could this really happen?” and I truly believe that it’s possible (which adds to the creepy factor). This is the type of book that starts out somewhat confusing and eventually all of the pieces fall into place perfectly. I don’t want to say much about the plot because I feel that it’s best to go into this one knowing as little as possible. I definitely recommend this book, I read it in one sitting.

I received an arc of this book from NetGalley and Random House to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own

 

My Rating

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No Turning Back by Katie Vorreiter Review and Giveaway

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About the Book

Book: No Turning Back

Author: Katie Vorreiter

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release Date: December, 2016

No Turning BackChronic panic attacks have stolen Livvy Fischer’s classically trained soprano voice and derailed her life. Due partly to a mix-up, partly to her crush on Pastor Lucas, Livvy joins a worship team bound for the chapel at San Quentin. But when a full-scale riot breaks out, she is separated from Lucas and the rest of her group. Survival becomes this song bird’s sole focus.

Snatched from the chapel by an inmate, Livvy doesn’t know who to trust. Tobin says he’s protecting her, but she’s been blindsided before. She struggles to put her trust in God, while all too aware that free will can wreak horrible consequences. Tobin wants her to hide and ride out the prison storm, but Livvy becomes the obsession of another inmate who is a serial killer. Will God protect her? Will Tobin?

It’s one thing if Tobin is turning his life around behind bars. It’s quite another to fall for him.

 

Click here to grab your copy.

My Thoughts

This book explores what would happen if a civilian got caught up in the middle of a prison riot. The reader follows Livvie as she works to survive as one of the only women in a group of hardened criminals at San Quentin.

This story is full of heart-pounding suspense and some unexpected twists and turns. Along the way, you get to know the characters very well and the emotions run high for them. I enjoyed the break kneck speed at which the story flowed and truly felt as if I was in the middle of the dangerous prison.

The romance in the story surprised me in how much I liked it. I was a bit annoyed at times with Livvie because she tended to make some very foolish and dangerous decisions.

The faith content in the book is strong and I really appreciated the themes of forgiveness and redemption that flowed throughout the story.

Overall, this was a very thrilling and worthwhile read. Highly recommended.

I received this book from the author/publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author

Katie VorreiterKatie Vorreiter is an award-winning writer and copyeditor. She makes her home in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two children rapidly morphing into young adults, and a ridiculously adorable cockapoo. No Turning Back is her debut novel.

 

More from Katie

I’m often asked where on earth I came up with the premise of No Turning Back. My good friend and pastor had me spellbound with his stories of taking softball teams into San Quentin, the maximum security prison for men. What a ministry! He had a few funny tales, but what stood out to me were the cautions the team was given upon entry: they had to sign a form acknowledging that in the event they were taken hostage, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation would not negotiate for their release.

Say what?

That got me thinking about what it would be like for a woman in such a situation. There are female corrections officers, certainly, as well as woman food service workers and volunteers in a range of capacities. But I wanted a true fish-out-of-water character, and thus Livvy was born. Because of a terrible event in her past, she’s hypervigilant about her personal security. She’s also tiny and, of all things, an opera soprano.

Once I had my Livvy, I threw her into a full-scale riot at a men’s correctional facility. Poor thing. But, of course, she’s got God on her side, and he tends to tip the scales. Yet, as all Christ followers are aware, prayer, even unto the God of the universe, is not a get-out-of-jail-free card. Pun intended. We know—all too painfully sometimes—that Jesus was right when he said we’ll have troubles here on earth. God is with us through the storm and works all things together for good, but there’s no guarantee that he’ll remove the storm and it’s often hard to see the good when we’re in the middle of not-so-good.

What role, then, does prayer have in the face of the free will of a person intent on evil? If you want to know the answer, read the book. Just kidding. The story is a fast, fun ride and delves into some deep areas, but I don’t pretend to answer the questions of the ages. If you like chewing on these kinds of issues—on your own or with friends­—check out the No Turning Back discussion questions on my website.

Don’t worry: the story isn’t all dark. In most situations, I can’t stay serious for long, so you’ll find some humor, as well as not one but two hunky romantic options. I really hope you like it. If you want to chat, drop me a note on Facebook or on my website.

Blog Stops

For Him and My Family, October 5

Betti Mace, October 5

Remembrancy, October 6

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 6

Through the Fire Blogs, October 7

Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections, October 7

Quiet Workings, October 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 9

Just the Write Escape, October 10

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 10

Blogging With Carol , October 11

Emily Yager, October 11

Godly Book Reviews, October 12

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, October 12

amandainpa, October 13

Bigreadersite, October 13

Pause for Tales, October 14

For The Love of Books , October 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 15

Older & Smarter?, October 16

Texas Book-aholic, October 17

janicesbookreviews, October 17

A Reader’s Brain, October 18

Inklings and notions , October 18

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Katie is giving away the grand prize of a $40 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/eb99/no-turning-back-celebration-tour-giveaway

Synapse by Steven James Review

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About the Book

Book: Synapse

Author: Steven James

Genre: Thriller, Sci-Fi

Release Date: October 8, 2019

cover SynapseThirty years in the future, when AI is so advanced that humans live side by side with cognizant robots called Artificials, Kestrel Hathaway must come to terms not just with what machines know, but what they believe. Is hope real for them, or merely an illusion?

Soon after experiencing a personal tragedy, Kestrel witnesses a terrorist attack and is drawn into a world of conspiracies and lies that she and Jordan, her Artificial, have to untangle. With a second, more brutal attack looming on the horizon, their best chance of stopping it is teaming up with federal counterterrorism agent Nick Vernon.

But the clock is ticking—and all the while, Jordan is asking questions that Artificials were never meant to ask.

Deftly weaving suspense and intrigue into a rich, resonant tale that explores faith and what it really means to be human, Steven James offers us a glimpse into the future and into our own hearts.

Synapse is an unforgettable, gripping story of dreams shattered, truth revealed, and hope reborn.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

My Thoughts

I’ve read one other book by Steven James (The Pawn) and I was extremely impressed by his writing and storytelling abilities. Synapse was a suspenseful thrill ride that kept me on the edge of my seat with every page.

The story takes place 30 years in the future and features a world not too different from the one we live in now but technology is much more prevalent (self driving cars and AI technology). The increase of  AI technology introduces a lot of varying feelings by people and the country becomes divided.

The reader is introduced to a “robot” named Jordan, who is very “human-like”. The author raises a lot of thought provoking questions about Heaven and souls and free will.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and devoured it in a few days (which is rare for me). Steven James is an underrated author, in my opinion. I feel like more people need to pick up his books, they are definitely worth the read!

I received this book from the publisher/author to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author

stevenjamesSteven James is the critically acclaimed, national bestselling author of sixteen novels. His work has been optioned by ABC Studios and praised by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, the New York Journal of Books, and many others. His pulse-pounding, award-winning thrillers are known for their intricate storylines and insightful explorations of good and evil.  When he’s not working on his next book, he’s either teaching master classes on writing throughout the country, trail running, or sneaking off to catch a matinee.

 

More from Steven

“James is a pro at creating suspense.”

Criminal Element

 

“stimulating tale…thrilling story of greed and corruption”

Publishers Weekly STARRED review

 

Read my op-ed on robots and faith in the New York Times

 

I grew up reading and loving science fiction stories. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of artificial intelligence, but as I’ve thought about it over the years, I’ve realized that our lives are not based just on what we know, but also what we believe. So, I started asking myself, “What would the world look like if machines developed artificial belief?” Within a few decades, advanced AIs might very well have consciousness and self-awareness. At that point, what will they choose to believe about the meaning of live, God, and the afterlife?

All of these questions were in my mind as I wrote Synapse, a story that takes place 30 years from now in a world very much like our own. This is a cautionary tale with implications that are both chilling and revealing and I think that if you like suspense, you’ll love this near-future thriller.

Steven

Learn more at stevenjames.net

Facebook and Twitter: @readstevenjames

Buy the book: https://www.tnzfiction.com/synapse-a-novel/

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Pause for Tales, October 12

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The String by Caleb Breakey Review

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Synopsis

A sociopath is running a deadly social experiment on a university campus. Markus Haas is the first to refuse to play the game. What unravels is a sequence of impossible decisions and a race against time to stop the sociopath before others pay the ultimate price.

My Thoughts

The synopsis of this book made me so excited. This definitely sounded like my kind of story. Unfortunately, this one didn’t quite hit the mark for me.

The story started out very promising…the first few chapters had me extremely intrigued and the plot is very interesting and unique. I was enjoying it until about the middle of the book and then I started to become confused with the amount of characters and all of the various “knots” in the string. It became difficult for me to follow and I also began to lose interest and felt that it was a bit long.

The content is clean and I definitely think we need more clean or Christian thrillers out there. There was violence but it wasn’t descriptive.

Overall, this was an average thriller. I enjoyed it for the most part but I don’t feel that it will be memorable.

I received this book from the publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

My Rating

3 stars