BOOK REVIEW: “Ultimate Betrayal” By Author Jo Ann Wentzel. #Science Fiction #Dystopian.

BOOK REVIEW: ULTIMATE BETRAYAL. By JO ANN WENTZEL.

Meet author Jo Ann Wentzel.

Jo Ann Wentzel Book Review Bio

Jo Ann Wentzel has been married to the same man, Dan Wentzel, for over 52 years. She is a mother, grandmother and former foster care provider. She worked with over 75 kids while also working as a writer for weekly newspapers and many websites. She served as a Guardian-Ad –Litem and Court Mediator. She and her husband have been speakers and workshop presenters for many groups including foster parents. Almost two years ago, she and her husband retired to a motor home and travel the US with a rescue dog named Jessie.

Ultimate Obliteration is Wentzel’s fourth book and sequel to her novel Ultimate Betrayal. In her first novel, she describes her setting this way “Imagine a dystopian world where society cannot protect their children from moral decay and the spread of evil.” Ultimate Obliteration continues finding a solution to this issue with many using their own brand of justice.

The Rave Reviews Book Club selected her book It Begins and Ends with Family as one of the Books of the Month. This book describes her experiences working with challenging teens and the secrets to running a foster home.

Wentzel also wrote a book A Collection of Jo Ann’s Thoughts, a selection of a variety of her articles in answer to many of your questions.

She has several writing projects in the wings so you certainly will see more of this author.
Jo Ann wants to thank all readers who support her and would love to hear from you. All contact information, more of her writing and a forum to express yourself is available on her website, authorjoannwentzel.com

 

I am reviewing “Ultimate Betrayal.”

BOOK COVER ULTIMATE BETRAYAL BY JO ANN WENTZEL

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Imagine a dystopian world where society cannot protect their children from moral decay and the spread of evil.

Andrew Zenith, a conscientious local TV reporter, never worries about getting ahead just making a difference. He uncovers a story that will change the direction of his life forever. After hearing this story, all he thinks about every moment is confirming the facts he hopes are not true. He is driven to save the children. This task is near impossible since the majority of people have cold hearts and a loss of compassion for others.

He joins with others who care. Their mission-is to save the children at all costs. If their mission fails young lives will be ruined and even cut short. The fate of the children rests upon finding answers to the questions no one even wants to ask. Will he succeed against overwhelming odds?

 

MY REVIEW: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 A look into a frighteningly possible world.

This book may well be science fiction, and set in a future Dystopian society, but, you would need to be utterly hidden from our current society, with no outside communication whatsoever, not to understand that this book can well reflect with rare exception, the inhumanity exhibited in our world today. Not in some far distant time.

The character of Andrew Zenith is presented well. Author Jo Ann Wentzel’s writing allows us to feel the many layers of this man, his passion for life, his compassion for those for whom life has become unbearably dark. Most notably the children with nowhere to run and nowhere to turn to for safe-haven.

The book permits us a glimpse into a future where the desensitization to other people’s pain has created a callous indifference to suffering, and a well-shielded conscience.

The story is classical good vs evil. What sets it apart from other such classic tales is the author’s ability to allow many shades of both darkness and light to co-exist. It is a complex co-existence. Author Jo Ann Wentzel weaves it well.

An entertaining and thought provoking read indeed. I look forward to reading the sequel.

Purchase Ultimate Betrayal on Amazon.com

Jo Ann Wentzel’s Amazon Author Page.

TWITTER LINK

Author Website

 

Book Review: ‘Letting go into Perfect Love:’ Discovering the Extraordinary after Abuse. By Gwendolyn M Plano.

GWEN PLANO IMAGE
Author Gwendolyn M Plano.

From the Author

When I began writing my book, Letting Go into Perfect Love: Discovering the Extraordinary After Abuse, I thought I would simply tell my story. But as the words found paper, I realized that we all traverse a familiar terrain of joys and sorrows. Perhaps we have passed each other on our journeys.Figuratively or literally, we travel long distances in search of happiness,meaning, or love. We climb the highest mountains, we trek across the deserts,and we explore the ocean’s depths. We are restless until we find our heart’s desire.

My book is about how we craft our way through triumphs and tragedies, achievements and mistakes.Over the years, I have learned that we are never alone. Sometimes kind strangers or healers or friends show us the way, and sometimes we are visited by angels.

COVER Letting Go Into Perfect Love Gwen Plano

 

BLURB:
Inspiring and unforgettable, Letting Go into Perfect Love is a riveting account of a journey through the terror of domestic violence to a faith that transforms all. As a college administrator, Gwendolyn M. Plano lived her professional life in a highly visible and accountable space–but as a wife and mother, behind closed doors, she and her family experienced unpredictable threat. The statistics are staggering–every 9 seconds in the United States, a woman is assaulted or beaten–but to Gwen, this was her secret; it was her shame. When her husband eventually turned his brutality on her son, she knew she could no longer remain silent.

Alternately heart-wrenching and joyful, this is a story of triumph over adversity–one woman’s uplifting account of learning how to forgive the unforgiveable, recover her sense of self, bring healing into her family, and honor the journey home. Accompanied by glimpses of celestial beings, Gwen charts a path through sorrow to joy–and ultimately, writes of the one perfect love we all seek.

The story that unfolds is not a blow-by-blow account of savagery hidden within a twenty-five-year marriage; rather, it is a walk through innocent dreams betrayed–to courage found. “Tragedy spares no one;” Gwen points out, “it just courts each of us differently. One way or another, it finds a path into our hearts, and there we do battle with the intruder.” As a survivor who came out of her unhealthy relationship determined to start over, Gwen artfully depicts the challenges of balancing the obligations of motherhood and career with her family’s healing process, while offering hope to anyone facing monumental challenges.

Integral to Gwen’s journey is her faith. Because of her Catholic upbringing, she struggles with the scandal of divorce, but finally makes her peace. When her daughter reveals her molestation by clergy, however, her fragile sense of serenity dissolves. We walk with Gwen as she tries to make sense of this horror. The agony experienced by the entire family is devastatingly palpable. Against all odds, Gwen emerges confident of her faith and begins to see the threads of meaning in even the darkest moments.

This is a book for all. But, for those who have been in a destructive relationship, Gwen’s story will be heartbreakingly familiar. For those who have been spared such diminishment, it will provide insight into the often misunderstood phenomenon of domestic violence. Since one in every four women will experience such threat in her lifetime, understanding that murky world may provide the reader with the skills needed to help his or her sister or friend or neighbor. Whether victim or friend, though, readers will be inspired by the author’s courage and ultimate resolution of her predicament. And, you may see your own challenges a little differently.

MY REVIEW: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Powerful, Provocative and potentially life-altering!

 Each of us come to the place where we will read this work from such diverse directions. We will each interpret and attempt to define it in our many alternate ways. I bring to this reading a history of  abuse; accordingly my belief system was shakily formed and has remained under question for much of my life.

When I read the blurb, and several of the very eloquent reviews I almost stopped … I wanted to run like hell. My guts were telling me I’d feel every nuance of pain … my guts were uncannily right.

Author Gwen Plano has not simply invited me to read this book, from the opening pages, this author compelled me to read it. I figured if this woman has the courage to write it, then at the very least I should demand of myself the courage to read it.

Author Plano took me firmly by the heart and guided me through the occasional nightmarish quality of her life. Her honesty shook me, and I rejoiced to find an author unafraid to show herself as imperfect, willing to lay her soul bare in an effort to help others that may well be undergoing a similar horrendous, fearful and ultimately life-altering journey.

I have not yet experienced the great joy that comes from trusting so implicitly. However now, and largely thanks to the gift of author Gwen Planos writing, I have at last, again begun to question.  It is a powerful work indeed that can have caused that to eventuate. Please … do yourselves a favor … read this compelling book and open your heart. Take this journey with Author Gwen Plano and  perhaps come to a new understanding of just what true courage can do.

PURCHASE “LETTING GO INTO PERFECT LOVE” on AMAZON.COM

BOOK REVIEW: “Panama” By C.S Boyack.

BOOK REVIEW: Panama by C.S Boyack.

MEET THE AUTHOR:

BOOK REVIEW BIO PICTURE OF C S BOYACK

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

BOOK REVIEW COVER PANAMA BY CS BOYACK

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Ethan and Coop are sent to the construction zone along the Panama Canal. They have some experience with strange phenomenon, but nothing prepared them for this.

They are faced with civil war, Carlist pretenders to the thrones of France and Spain, an invading Spanish army, and another from Hell itself. They’ll be lucky to survive, let alone take care of anything while they’re down there.

This story is based upon the construction of the canal, Panamanian independence, international cooperation, and a few celebrity cameos. Even the magic takes on an international flavor.

Ghosts and Voodoo are one thing, but they have no idea what waits along the isthmus.

MY REVIEW: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟An utterly Captivating reading experience!

I have read and reviewed another book by this talented author, and was consequently eager to begin this work. This is a marvelous blend of genres. Author C.S Boyack possesses that rare talent of seamlessly blending Historical fact and entertaining fiction together to create a story that is as informative as it is entertaining. I ask no more than that from an author. I was most assuredly captured by rich and divergent characters, so skillfully crafted that they breathed on the page.

Author Boyack has a unique style. He captured me immediately with the introduction of the Ghost whisperer, Ethan, and his delightfully different cohort,  witchdoctor in the making that is Coop.

Many reviewers have covered the basis of the plot, which to say the least is threaded together with the skill of a spider spinning a sparkling web.

This authors’ ability to write wonderful dialogue, combined with a depth of characterization that brings the sounds, scents and imagery into the readers mind, is inspired. There is humor here, and it appears throughout this book, with a deft and certain touch that made me smile and take these diverse characters to my heart.

A stunning combination of fact, mystery, and the supernatural, ensure that this work will linger in my memory and have me seeking more of Author C.S Boyacks’ work.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

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PURCHASE “PANAMA” ON AMAZON.COM

C.S BOYACK AUTHOR PAGE on AMAZON.COM

Find C S BOYACK ON TWITTER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Book Review: ‘Hurricane Kretschman’ by Jeff Lee. Book 4 of the ‘Adventures in La-La Land’ Series.

 

Meet the author.

Jeff Lee image for review
Jeff Lee.

Born in New York State, Jeff Lee was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and has spent his entire writing career in Los Angeles.

For more than thirty years he has been a copywriter and creative director for some of the advertising industry’s most recognizable agencies, winning numerous awards for his creativity. None of those ad agencies are still in business, but Jeff appears to have a solid alibi.

Trained as a cook in the Army, he still enjoys being creative in the kitchen and admits that few things in life compare with the thrill of discovering you have just given a nasty case of food poisoning to 140 heavily armed men.

Jeff lives about halfway between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, in a house he shares with his two sons and a cat that’s part golden retriever.

BOOK COVER HURRICANE KRETSCHMAN BY JEFF LEE JPG

HURRICANE KRETSCHMAN:

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All wisecracking, Harley-riding Repo Man and Bounty Hunter to the Stars Fish Fishbein wants is a cool vacation. It’s just him and his three best buds, potato-potato-potatoing down the highway — along with a force of nature named Shawna Kretschman, a bad-ass blonde with her own full-race hog. Not to mention a short fuse, serious fighting skills and an outfit that leaves zippo to the imagination. All lickety-splitting their way to Sturgis, South Dakota to link up with better than a million hard-drinking, harder partying Harley owners at the town’s annual Motor Cycle Rally.

But a high-powered real estate developer wants all the bikers gone, so he can sell the area as a family-oriented resort town. And he’ll stop at nothing – including murder – to get what he wants. Bikers and locals suddenly start dropping like road racers on a rain-slick GP course. And Fish, his friends and his big mouth are all in the developer’s crosshairs.

They’re on a hysterical collision course that includes phony cops, bar fights, pepper spray-laced paint balls, a no-holds-barred wrestling match in a ring full of chocolate pudding, getting adopted by the entire Sioux nation and manscaping.

The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally might be an 80 year-old tradition. But it’s going to take all of Fish’s brains and a ton of luck to keep himself and his buds alive long enough to enjoy a few more seasons.

My Review 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Hands-down, one of THE funniest Books I have read.

Every once in a rare while an author comes along with the comedic timing essential to writing a fast-paced one liner such as ‘Hurricane Kretschman’. Having been totally entertained by the three preceding books in this series, I was both curious and excited to see if this talented author could make me laugh out loud in public yet again. He did. Author Lee’s wonderfully creative touch has given substance to several amazing characters in his journey through the mayhem that is crafted within these pages.

Central character “Fish” Fishbein is more complex than you would suspect at first viewing. The layers of this hilariously funny and deeply caring man are peeled back slowly, and every clever line of dialogue is intertwined with the characters love for his crazy companions, Kenny and Einstein, as they decide to head across the USA to the Motor Cycle Rally to end all Rally’s in Sturgis, South Dakota.

His constant companions and partners in  … well … everything, are cleverly drawn. Well enough in fact, to become clearly visual and as equally lovable as they are chaotic.

To my delight (And Fish’s) a new character explodes into being along the way.

How on earth does a reviewer ever hope to encapsulate the outrageously funny, and often diabolically dangerous persona of Shawna Kretschman aka the Hurricane Kretschman of the books title.

Suffice it say that this beautiful blonde PTSD suffering, Harley riding ex-Military M.P with attitude to ‘die’ from …er … for, adds further dimensions to the reading enjoyment. She sets “Fish’s” pulses racing as fast as a hog on a racetrack. Has our hero found love at last?

Whether they live long enough to find that out remains to be seen.

Enter the villain in the unflattering shape of Dale Kimbrough, a land developer set on making the bikers (All of them) disappear so he can develop a family friendly place. What’s not family friendly about bikers?

Suffice it to say, bodies start appearing, and bad guys start disappearing in rapid succession. The developer badly underestimated just how much mayhem he was unleashing when he chose to take on our heroes.

I laughed out loud so often along the road of this amazing journey, it was indeed a pleasure to become reunited with author Jeff Lee’s superbly talented writing. I simply can’t recommend this book highly enough.

OTHER OUTSTANDING BOOKS BY JEFF LEE.

BOOK COVER JEFF LEE THE LADIES TEMPERANCE CLUB FAREWELL TOURBOOK COVER JEFF LEE CHUMP CHANGE

purchase CHUMP CHANGE on Amazon.com

Purchase The Ladies Temperance Club Farewell Tour on Amazon.com

Purchase Hurricane Kretschman on Amazon.com

Jeff Lee Author Page on Amazon.com

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Book Review: “Paper in The Wind” by Olivia Mason-Charles.

Book REVIEW Paper in the wind by Olivia Mason Charles.

book-cover-paper-in-the-wind-olivia-mason-charles

Blurb

Paper in the Wind is a compassionate and riveting story depicting a single father’s dedication to his daughter. In the midst of the overwhelming struggles that accompanied autism, he continues to persevere. Her father’s love enabled her to overcome insurmountable obstacles, discovered the power of love and embraced the gift of life.

MY REVIEW. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Read, learn and be inspired. An amazing journey.

This book is written with a deep understanding of Autism, and a thought provoking, and inspirational message of hope. It is not written blindly … it is not written without great thought and the exploration of human failings and tribulations, for it truly encompasses all that and much more.

It is written with all the damage exposed of a couple coping the best way they know how with their autistic daughter. They fail and they falter in the face of all the pain, stress, and worry for the future of their beloved Alexa. In short, the author makes them very human, so human in fact that I caught myself nodding my head in sad tears of understanding. Life throws such massive challenges in the path of these parents. The author permits us to see how constant stress and unrelenting concern for their child rips apart the fabric of a love once a towering wall and now forced to crumble into ruin … exhausted by circumstances.

Olivia Mason -Charles doesn’t ease you into this story, you are confronted and challenged every step of the way. The length of the book should not to be judged by the number of its pages, but rather for the incredibly powerful messages imparted within each page. How many of us would not turn to something, anything to help deal with the unrelenting stress? Whether that something is a spiritual guide to support strong held beliefs, or a substance that gives temporary relief, such as alcohol, we are not asked to make judgement here … we are invited to try and understand.

This author invites you into the world of an Autistic child, in all its complexity. She shows the debilitating effects and the incredible and naive cruelty of those that do not, and cannot, even begin to understand.

Alexa is wonderfully characterized with all the intricacy of learning to comprehend a world that she perceives differently to others.

We are invited to cry for her, and rejoice with her, and cheer her on from the sidelines!

Yet despite the confrontations these marvelous characters face, the overwhelming message within these pages is hope. Hope that exists because of the unrelenting love of a father, a human man, a man with all the imperfections that simply being human can bring. Take this journey Olivia Mason-Charles invites you on with her inspiring words; I believe you will find it a truly memorable one.

Paper in The Wind on Amazon here.

The Author On TWITTER:

@omasoncharles

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Book Review: ‘How Can You Mend This Purple Heart.” by Terry Gould.

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: “How Can You Mend This Purple Heart?” By Author TERRY GOULD. T.L Gould.

 

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Winner of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation’s James Webb Award for distinguished fiction

In this riveting first novel, author T. L. Gould draws on his experiences in a military hospital with severely wounded Marines recovering from the Vietnam War. He has created a plain-truth, no-holds-barred narrative, stark in its simplicity, detail, and humor. From dressing changes and morphine drips to off-site forays under a fence and into neighborhood bars and brothels, Gould chronicles the precipitous journey to recovery of the men of Ward 2B: how they learned to walk again, to love again, and to triumph over crippling injuries.

How Can You Mend This Purple Heart is not a story about combat in the jungles of Vietnam. It is a story about boys who returned from combat as men—men who left the better part of their youth, a bit of their souls, and a lot of their flesh in a battlefield on the other side of the world. It’s a story about their longing to recapture the spirit of boyhood and rekindle the optimism and fearlessness of youth. And it’s about their struggle to be whole again—or at the very least, to feel whole. It chronicles a journey of love, redemption, sorrow, and joy; a journey of pain and anger . . . and a journey of hope. But most of all, a journey of the human spirit and its triumph over the most impossible odds.

How Can You Mend This Purple Heart is a tribute to all the combat-wounded veterans of past and present conflicts. May they find the strength to continue their lives’ missions and know that the entire nation is grateful for their sacrifices.

 

The human spirit standing tall.
This 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Review is from: How Can You Mend This Purple Heart? (Paperback)
I am privileged to own a copy of this book. Privileged indeed. Bookshelves hold the things we treasure; those books that linger in our memory and raise a smile, or cause our throats to constrict with unshed tears, our chests to tighten in helpless anger.

‘How Can You Mend This Purple Heart” does all of those things and more.

Do not read this book if you are looking for bloody scenes of war, they exist, but they exist in the memory of the men who returned from that war torn apart from planted mines.

They exist in the screams of night terror that echo through a hospital ward filled with men who survived the blasts, but not intact. They exist in the agony of knowing that for these men, life can never ever be the same again.

Do not read this book if you are looking for an easy read of mate-ship. It exists, but in the way of all things cruel and true, the mate-ship grows from shared terror, loss of limbs and shredding of innocence. Once the trust is established it can never be rent apart again.

Do not read this book anticipating only sadness; oh yes …  It exists, but in the way of the gallant and often surprising ways men reach out with unspoken need it is tempered with humor.

I laughed often during this journey of a book. I cried as well. but mostly I closed the final page with a feeling of kinship with the broken men who refused to just lay down and die. I closed it still angry about a war that they should never have had to fight.

I closed it with a smile at their kinship: and with hope for their futures.

I closed it with reluctance.

I recommend it with a certainty that the human spirit shines strong within those that have seen the worst man has to offer. I recommend it with a heartfelt hope, that their  indomitable  spirit will help prepare those whose innocence remains intact.book-cover-how-can-i-mend-this-broken-heart-terry-gould

Book Review: “Ingrid.(Daughter of The Alvar) Book 1.” By Hannah Warren.

Welcome to my first BOOK REVIEW of 2017 “Ingrid. (Daughter of The Alvar) Book 1.

Let’s meet the author, Hannah Warren.

Talent spotter Hannah bio

When I’m not writing or thinking about writing, you can find me at the paid job at my local university translating stuff and recruiting international students, experimenting with organic food in my kitchen, stretching my old bones in Yoga or glued to WhatsApp exchanging funny messages with my grown-up kids.

But writing is the real deal for me. I love creating complex characters (mostly women), who are faced with impossible choices in life and still they crack it, whether they perish or not. I write both contemporary and historical fiction and suppose I’m quite old school with my descriptive, character-driven style.

Recently I joined the writer’s collective 13th Sign Publishing. Apart from publishing books, we bring out a quarterly free eZine on topics we love: healthy living, healthy eating and great reading.

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On a lonely windswept island off the coast of Sweden, there is a place so desolate it feels abandoned by the fates. And yet, it possesses a strange beauty, which summons souls to awakening. This is the Alvar. Its very nature is a contradiction, and it is this ambiguity that calls to Ingrid, daughter to the vicar of Smedby.

Raised as God-fearing, she believes in charity, and when Kalle returns unexpectedly to the island community, her instinct is to help him. Considered a pariah by all due to his sordid past, one that saw him exiled for many years, he ventures into the Alvar to live, to escape the censure of the villagers. In this desolate place, how will he survive? Ingrid resolves to help him.

No one will tell Ingrid why Kalle was exiled. Her father commands her to stay away from the poacher. Their housekeeper warns her off. Her brother does not know what happened. Her French tutor, Max, is new to the island. The mystery is overwhelming and the only one who knows the truth is Kalle himself. In the spirit of charity, and also curiosity, Ingrid befriends Kalle, hoping to uncover the past, hoping also to help him survive the Alvar.

A gypsy reveals to Ingrid that she will lose everything, but the cossetted vicar’s daughter is headstrong. She enters the Alvar despite every warning … and meets her fate there.

MY REVIEW:🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

I made a decision in the past year to explore genres hitherto outside my usual comfort zone. Historical Fiction is a relatively new genre for me, and I approached it with an open mind, guided also by the fact that I have read and enjoyed other works by Author Hannah Warren.

Let me first explore the primary character of Ingrid.

Ingrid at the age of sixteen is the over protected and exceedingly naive daughter of the Vicar of Smedby. Her decision making process is governed by the strictest of upbringings  and the socially acceptable behavior patterns of a community isolated from the influences of the outside world by location, and crafted by the prejudices that exist within such a closely bound village.

Ingrid’s position as the vicars’ daughter is viewed with eyes that hold her both above, and accordingly protected from, anything even remotely connected with scandal; and herein lay the foundations of future behavior as this young girl experiences her first tantalizing and unexplored tastes of burgeoning womanhood.

Rebellion in teenagers can take many forms, and Ingrid finds herself both intrigued by, and more than a little curious about the arrival of a man whose actions when he was a part of this community earned him both the disrespect and hushed whispers that accompany anything considered outside of acceptable parameters.

Ingrid’s first acts of disobedience, are, in part, retaliation against the confines of her upbringing, and her newly dawning awareness of womanhood, and her need to exert her own will, whatever the cost. The arrival back in the village of the forbidden Kalle is simply too intriguing to resist.

Kalle’s character is less finely drawn, for to do so would reveal more than the reader needs to know if tension is to be maintained. Suffice it to say that he, along with other lesser characters is crafted beautifully.

The location itself is what helps drive this work to its unexpected conclusion. Author Hannah Warren invites you to experience the stark windswept place known as The Alvar. A place that invites secrets, and houses its own deep sense of mystery and darkness.

I detest spoilers in reviews, and to share more here would detract from what I found to be a enormously enjoyable and unpredictable reading experience.

I highly recommend this work, and look forward to reading more of this series.

Purchase ‘Ingrid’ here on Amazon.com.

Find Hannah here on Twitter; @hannah_war

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