The Wife Between Us

The Wife Between Us

Reviewed by Jetana Mutter

*This book was provided for an honest review

It’s been said that humans as a species only hear what we want to; only see what we want to. When it comes to matters of the heart, we like to turn a blind eye to the unpleasant things. We don’t like to be reminded that humans as a whole aren’t perfect. Then, we might see or hear something that we can’t ignore any longer- we could hear something that doesn’t sound quite right and jump to conclusions without fully knowing the truth. Alternatively, we could see something that we can no longer rationalize away to ourselves to continue in the lie. Perhaps we think we see things that we want to see there, but do not exist. The saying “to assume, makes an ass out of u and me” is true. We make assumptions based on these things… but what if our assumptions aren’t right at any angle?

The Wife Between Us features a classic plot of man meets young woman, marries her then sometime down the road of marriage, falls in love with another woman and the wife is now sitting out in the cold. What sets this one apart from the many before it (and I’m sure after) is the twists that are thrown at us. We assume when we read the title that it will be a tale filled with jealousy, obsessions, and a desperate wife to stop the relationship between her husband and the other woman. Assume nothing though as the plot thickens and curves every time we think we have it figured out. Learn to read between the lies and find out where the truth really begins.

The Wife Between Us was written by both Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. This tale is broken down into three parts- and I’ll admit the first part being the hardest to get through in my opinion. It shifts back and forth between two women’s points of view- which is fine in itself- but the way it was written bounced between first and third person. We got to experience everything that the wife felt first hand at the demise of her marriage and see into the life of Nellie, the seemingly other woman, in third person as if it were being told to us. The end of the first part is one hell of a mind blower though and the writing pattern shows that the first part was written that way out of necessity. It will propel us into the next part with such force that we have no choice but to hold onto the edge of our seats as we try to figure out where this sordid tale really began. It’s more than where the story began, it’s finding out what happens now. Dive into this book for a mind twisting story that will keep you on your toes in this exciting thriller that revolves around what one woman would do to stop the man she married being with her new and younger replacement. It definitely is a read that you won’t be able to put down once you get the first shock, and it will have you begging for more.

Title: The Wife Between Us

Author: Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Publication Date: January 2018

Page Count: 352 pages

Price: $26.99

ISBN: 9781250130921

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

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Simple Machines

Simple Machines

Reviewed by Demetrius Svette

*This book was provided for an honest review

Are you ready to bring things to the next level? If so, then look no further because if you continue on, you will miss one of the best reads that you will come across- and the mad world of Chrome Valley. Chrome Valley is a fictitious world created by Andrew Mackay where his stories take place in; a place that cranks the clockwork of his imagination while bringing in small nudges to his other books and characters. The more you read Mackay’s work, the more you will see his world fold together in each books’ pages and it makes him stand out from the rest. If you like grotesque extreme horror, comedies, love stories or a great thriller, then the works that come from Mackay’s mind is what you are looking for- he has a little bit of everything for whatever mood you might be in for. If you read Simple Machines– which let’s face it, you probably will- then you should read Mackay’s other book, Versus– it’s a necessity to read after Simple Machines. Why am I such a fan? If you have read Andrew’s work, then you will understand why I call Mackay a “God of character development” because he owns the world of Chrome Valley and punches you in the gut with the madness and excitement that he brings to his readers. I assure you that if you have never read anything by Mackay before, you will bow down to his feet screaming ‘we’re not worthy’-as if you were Wayne and Garth from Wayne’s World– after you read Simple Machines.

In this book-, no let me correct myself on that- this glorious masterpiece that shines in gold, lies an alternate world within a world where we continue to see the master work in the form of the most realistic characters. So realistic, in fact, that they could be your neighbors. Our male lead- Xander Manning- is working on the biggest breakthrough of his life by working on his artificial intelligence, Mavis. On one of the most important days of his life, he is challenged when his wife Charlotte breaks the dire news that she wants a divorce. Xander is stronger than most male characters as he strives to continue onwards while his distractions get the best of him. Chloe Armstrong, the ultimate female character of all, is Xander’s biggest distraction after he meets her at a party for the reveal of Mavis. The adventure of a lifetime is presented to Xander, which will make him choose life or choose to fold. Will Xander bring himself to the brink of madness with his world in a complete whirlwind? Mackay keeps you guessing until the answers are finally revealed. Many lives cross through the pages of Simple Machines that you will beg for more in this epic thriller/ love story. We are all simple machines… or do we complicate our lives to hide that we are simple when you strip everything away? Find out for yourself in this groundbreaking masterpiece.

We continue to be readers in Mackay’s world of fiction in one of his best works yet. We have followed him through comedy, horror and even the grotesque and extreme as Andrew guides us in a world of his own making- just as James Cameron did with Avatar. This world is very different though as it is a highly realistic world- drawing inspiration from the daily activity around us- and uses the best character developments with clashes of twists, thrills and the most epic ending that Mackay purposely guts you with. I think of Mackay as sitting on a throne as he molds the characters in his stories, watching and waiting to see the reaction from society as he preys upon your fears, tears and desires. I will say this with 100% honesty, Simple Machines is the best work of fiction that I have read all year. Andrew Mackay ends 2017 with a big bang with this one and deserves a huge round of applause for this masterpiece that outshines all others.

Mirror, Mirror

Mirror, Mirror

Reviewed by Jetana Mutter

*This book was provided for an honest review

They say that time heals all wounds but death is never an easy thing to accept. We all know that one day, it is a fate that we will all have to accept, but it doesn’t make it easier to deal with. The death of a loved one can leave a dark hole in your life that never completely goes away; you learn to live your life the best you can without them. Many of us wish that there were a way to communicate with those who have passed from this Earth- to be able to talk to them one more time, to know that they are truly okay. What if your loved one was murdered; how would you be able to cope with that? When we hear paranormal, we usually tend to think about ghosts and things of that nature; but the definition of ‘paranormal’ is defined as “denoting events or phenomena that are beyond the scope of normal scientific understanding”. What would happen if you suddenly had a link to your loved one who was killed, to find out what exactly happened on that fateful night?

Samantha Williams, or Sam, works for the Oregon Tribune on the crime beat section. One fateful night she is dispatched to the scene of a major pile-up accident where she finds that her whole world has come crashing down on her- her parents both perished in the accident. Months later, as she’s at her Grandmother’s picking through some things that belonged to her parents, she finds her cousin’s old vanity mirror (her cousin, Emily, was brutally murdered in her own home when Sam was just a kid). Things are going good for Sam- she’s got a new home and a new boyfriend- then she starts seeing flashes of her cousin’s murder in the old mirror. When she tries to tell her best friend (who is her roommate) and her boyfriend, neither of them can believe what she is saying. Until one night when she sees Emily’s killer striking again, this time as it happens. With an inexplicable link that only appears to Sam, time starts running out as Sam realizes she is his new target. Will the police be able to catch this maniac before it’s too late? Will Sam be able to solve the mystery of what happened to Emily that devastating night many years ago? Pick up a copy of Mirror, Mirror today and find out for yourself.

Mirror, Mirror is the first book by Jessica Jesinghaus that I have read, and it gripped me tightly and would not let go. From the start, it is captivating as you are pulled into a world that is seemingly unreal with Sam. The link that she is given is one that many people would both be scared to have yet yearn for. To be able to see your cousin’s murder over a decade ago would make a lot of people think that they are going crazy, but Sam uses the knowledge that she is getting to be able to make strides in finding out who Emily’s killer really is. This book is a well written mystery/thriller that will put you on the edge of your seat as you go along on the ride with Sam- making you want to turn the pages in one sitting to find out if your thoughts on the identity of the killer are who you think it is. If you’re looking for a gripping and spell-binding ride, then Mirror, Mirror is for you.

Convenience

Convenience

Reviewed by Demetrius Svette

If you don’t know who Andrew MacKay is, shame on you; but, it is not too late for you to read the work that comes from his genius mind that lies inside the pages of his books. I’d like to welcome you to another mind-altering book created by MacKay. He has written many books that range from comedy to horror and thriller; but Convenience is definitely in a category all of it’s own. It shifts to the left, the right and slams through to hit the water beneath. I have read books from MacKay about school shootings and terrorism, enjoyed being inside the mind of a coma patient, been inside the mind with a brain tumor and God knows what else will happen when it comes from MacKay’s mind. But, I believe Convenience is one of the best works of his to read so far. If you are a fan of Andrew’s, then Convenience is for you. Now, let’s dip inside and I’ll tell you a little.

Convenience is filled with the reality of a worker named Willy Gee. Willy works at the Kaleidoscope Shopping Centre in Chrome Valley. He is one of the most important people that works there other than your security guards; Willy is a supervisor of the facilities of Kaleidoscope. Yes, it was a big shock for me as well. Willy has been doing this type of work for a very long time, making sure he is on top of cleaning every hour, on the hour. He checks every cubicle and checks both the men and women’s restrooms to clean. It is that we don’t know what happens that really terrifies us. Are you ready to dive in the toiletries and roll in the filth of the cubicles with Willy Gee; bringing the madness and chaos that is waiting to reveal itself inside? Well, what are you waiting for? Pick up a copy of Convenience today… and welcome to a shift in Willy’s world.

I have written a few reviews about Mr. MacKay’s work, but I have to say that this book touched me on a different level. Andrew has brought the ability to see inside of a normal working person at a mall and bring the craziest, most bizarre story that makes you shake your head and ask yourself, what did I just read? It is an experience that MacKay brings you with every book he writes, taking something completely normal and bringing absolute chaos by telling you the deepest, darkest secrets of it- connecting you to his stories. MacKay is skilled and clever in his word choices and layouts of his books, which results in the best stories, hands down. He brings a strong connection to the world of his imagination and you, the reader; but he also connects his books to each other in some way. It is fantastic and not something you see very much of. I look forward to his next release, as always, filling my bookshelves with Andrew MacKay’s work with each book that comes from his messed up mind.

 

Spoiled

Spoiled

Reviewed by Jetana Mutter

*This book was provided for an honest review

Those with any life experience knows that if you have wealth, then you have a sense of entitlement about your personality- especially if you grew up being wealthy. To those where money is no object, it is amazing what and who will go your way; everyone and everything have their price, if you are willing to pay it. With that sense of entitlement comes the thinking that ‘I am better than everyone’ and ‘I want it, give it to me!’ A normal person, when they don’t get what they want, they are bummed out about it but keep going. What happens when a Spoiled woman- or girl if you wish- doesn’t get what she wants though? Most of the time, it’s just a huge temper tantrum (almost as if you are watching an overgrown toddler cry about not getting their way) and that is it. Sometimes though, it can be enough for a person to snap.

In Spoiled by Elizabeth Cash and Erin Lee, our main characters are Cora and Micha. Cora is a woman from wealth; she owns her business with her brother Derek, and the two of them built their financial empire from the ground up- without Mommy and Daddy’s help. Micha, or Michael as those outside of work know him, grew up in a modest house and found his way into finances as a way to help his parents out. Micha has worked his way from lowly intern at Graham’s Incorporated to a big investment analyst and along the way has put himself onto Cora’s radar. Cora knows by looking at Micha that she wants him, bad, and will stop at nothing to get him- even if the sentiment isn’t returned. How will Cora react to someone turning her down? What will Micha do when Cora doesn’t accept ‘no’ for an answer? Pick up a copy of Spoiled today and find out for yourself!

This is the first collaboration between Cash and Lee that I have read- having read their works separately- and the way in which this was written is flawless. I’m always a little nervous to read collaborations between authors because there are times that the story doesn’t flow like it should since you have two different people bringing their own perspectives into the story line. In Spoiled, the story flows seamlessly between the characters, tipping a hat to both Cash and Lee for being able to write such expressive characters without making it feel like you are just reading two different parts to the same book. This book leaves you on one hell of a cliffhanger, when I reached the end I screamed out ‘What the…’ so I do hope that these two great women have plans for a sequel, just so that I can rest knowing what happens to Cora and Micha in the end. Jealousy is a dangerous thing, combining it with the intentions of a spoiled brat and you have the grand story that is left off as abrupt as…

The Seventh Seed

The Seventh Seed

Reviewed by Jetana Mutter

*This book was provided for an honest review

When you hear ‘conspiracy theories’, people typically tend to think of the crazy people who like to wear tin foil hats that spew out all kinds of things. “Big brother is watching you”, “Aliens do exist” or “Big pharmaceutical companies have the law in their pocket”, things of that nature. What if, though, there was more to those so-called ‘conspiracy theories’ than meets the eye? What would you do if you found yourself inside of a massive public cover-up to keep the public from knowing who did what? I’m not a stranger to conspiracy theories, my husband loves them, and over time I have seen some wild ones; however, the story in The Seventh Seed by Allison Maruska provides the ultimate government and big pharmaceutical company working together cover-up.

The Seventh Seed is a standalone sequel to The Fourth Descendant, and in this book we follow Javier, who has gained some knowledge that LifeFarm- an all in one pharmaceutical and agricultural company- desperately wants to keep hidden from the public’s eyes. He has discovered a new type of insects and bugs that are pesticide resistant; but, it’s what they have evolved into that has causes for concern. The new superbugs are carriers of a virus that has no vaccine available. Javier tries to do the right thing in informing someone but it goes the opposite of how he envisioned it. Now he is being held captive and awaiting to be transported to a holding facility. After an incredible escape, he now has to find his way to a lab to look at the specimen’s that he has to create a vaccine. Along the way he meets some unlikely allies. What will happen to Javier and the Allies? Will the vaccine be the key to bringing down the corruption… will the vaccine even work? Pick up a copy of The Seventh Seed by Allison Maruska today, and find out for yourselves!

The Seventh Seed is the first book that I have read from Maruska, but it will not be the last. When I first started reading this book, I had no idea that this was a sequel because it read very well as a standalone. The story line is perfect, in my opinion, because conspiracy theories are tough to write in a convincing way- but Allison nailed it. It had the perfect balance of theory, people who question what they’re told and those who wish to do something about it. Timing is everything when it comes to taking down a big company like LifeFarm, one that has the government in their pocket; but the catalyst comes from an unlikely source, throwing long awaited plans into action that could possibly change the way things are, forever. I look forward to going back to read the first book, to find out where the chain of events in The Seventh Seed started at.

Versus

Versus

Reviewed by Demetrius Svette

*This book was provided for an honest review

During my lifetime, there have been many acts of violence in the United States that I will truly never forget; but they have only occurred through the media’s point of view as I have not witnessed most of them in person. Shootings happen everywhere- be it at a school, a movie theatre or even at a hotel. Many acts of violence are a trigger for most people so they will not appreciate the magnitude of the imagination from an author or movie director. I very rarely look to the news or media to learn from the heinous acts of violence to teach myself (and in the future, my kids) the different kinds of violence that exist in a society that has been corrupted. The media has proven that they can manipulate situations, so you can’t trust in first glance at what you’re being told. Allow me to tell you what I think about this book where an incredible and truthful imagination that is raw from beginning to end lies. I do have to tell you that this will disturb you- so if you are weak minded, please just turn away now. Alternatively, you can fully open your mind to the potential wrapped in the pages of these four chapters of terror that is Versus by Andrew MacKay.

Versus is exactly what it sounds like. From the title, you expect the inside to be a world of unfortunate events that will transpire. It will involve the innocent and the not so innocent in the society of Chrome Junction. Through the eyes of the media, the battle between a news reporter and an anchor will occur when the news reporter will stop at nothing to be front and center to rise to fame. Versus will cover different types of turmoil in the U.K., and for the first time, it seems that all hell has just broke loose. This book gives you two unique points of view- those of Freddie and Daryl. Freddie is a student from Chrome Junction Academy who has his faith in Allah challenged. Daryl is a student that never wants people to forget who he is. The two main characters will transpire their ways through a God like atmosphere in this disturbing and chilling story of how the media will do anything to corrupt your mind through their actions in this epic thriller. From the mind of the brave and bold Andrew MacKay, you will be challenged throughout Versus about the real world we live in today. This story is not set in a humorous mind frame- it is a chilling start with a disturbing ending. Step into the world of media as you step in the minds of a psychopath who wants to become a God and one who aims to be the soldier of his own God to diminish the non-believers.

This story steps into boundaries that most will never touch or write about. During my research of works of school shooting fictions, I have found that there are very few in the world. Some think it is a subject better left alone. MacKay, I praise you for taking on these taboos and stepping into the spotlight with touchy subjects; many will hate you for it and many will love you for it. I love that Mackay brought his mind outside of the box. Many would take thriller or horror stories and develop happiness somewhere into the disturbed world they create, whereas MacKay started with disturbing and ended in terror- something that you do not find very much. In the first chapter of this story, I yelled aloud as hard as I could. How many terror events can you fit in a story? Apparently, a lot can happen in works of fiction. Andrew makes me scream and squirm while I read his books because he takes real life events that release monsters into the streets and tears the floor up while the walls tremble down, all without a break for you to catch your breath from all the terror that unfolds within his imagination.

Andrew MacKay is unique in every way I can imagine- he constantly pushes the walls of his thinking box, tearing them down as he watches them explode to give him his creative style of writing. He develops the details and the minds of these characters to make you feel like you have known them for years. You feel their pain and misery. The events that occur in this story will make you so angry in parts that your veins in the top of your head are bulging out; but you end up respecting him as you close his story of madness. You learn things from his writing that will make you think about the world we live in and the events that surround us. MacKay will continue to stretch the bounds of imagination through his fiction as he bends the tape that says, “DO NOT CROSS” and shreds it out of his way. Andrew MacKay has no rules and will not stop because it isn’t something that people talk about, and this is why I will continue to read his works. I urge everyone to read this book as this is one of his best to show the style of MacKay.