Category Archives: Erica Spindler

Hachette Australia Roadshow: The Tez Edition

I recently attending the Hachette Australia Roadshow in Melbourne, which showcased upcoming books from the publisher that will be getting major publicity pushes.

I took home two books from the goody bag on offer: Karen Hamilton’s The Perfect Girlfriend and Kelly Rimmer’s Before I Let You Go. I’d heard of neither author before, but figured I’ll give these a try.

But my overall impression of the night was disappointing, because I’d hoped to hear that my favourite Hachette authors would be getting the big publicity pushes. Unfortunately, none of them were mentioned. Maybe because the night was focused on 2018 titles, perhaps?

But if you want a box hurled into the sun, you have to do it yourself. After searching through Hachette Australia’s website, I now present to you the upcoming Hachette books I’m interested in, plus a full list of Hachette authors I like – even if they don’t have anything upcoming listed on the site. Though the publication info – including covers and release dates – are for the Australian editions, I’ve included international pre-order links, so everyone can join in to support these authors and books.

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[COVER REVEAL] Triple Six – Erica Spindler

This post is part of the official cover reveal for Erica Spindler’s Triple Six (to be published in the UK as If You Dare). Below, you will find the author’s links, and information about the Lightkeepers series.

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March 2016 Reads

Yes, this is coming a week late, but it took time to summon up the brainpower to even write a single paragraph about a book. In the end, I reviewed six books, and wrote a paragraph for a seventh.

Megan Shepherd: Her Dark Curiosity: 5 stars
Erica Spindler: The Final Seven: 3 stars: Review
Blythe Woolston: MARTians: 5 stars: Review
Carrie Mesrobian: Cut Both Ways: 3 stars: Review
Megan Hart: Hold Me Close: 4 stars: Review
Robin Bridges: Dreaming of Antigone: 3 stars: Review
Sophie Littlefield: The Guilty One: 3 stars: Review

HER DARK CURIOSITY
When Book 1 in a series is worth five stars, you may hesitate to pick up Book 2. What if the sequel can’t live up to the quality of its predecessor? I needn’t have worried, because Her Dark Curiosity is another smashing read from Megan Shepherd. The novel opens with science, which bodes well for the rest of the story, a battle not to cure but to perhaps manage a violent condition. I’m not sure why Juliet shags Edward, but otherwise it’s a fabulous read that I definitely recommend. (NOTE TO ANIMAL LOVERS: There’s a dog character, and he’s alive for the entire book. There are thoughts against him, though thankfully none of them turn into action.)

[REVIEW] The Final Seven – Erica Spindler

Erica Spindler
The Final Seven (The Lightkeepers, Book 1)
Hachette Sphere (AU: 9th February 2016; UK: 11th February 2016); Double Shot Press (US: 11th February 2016)
Buy (US Kindle Edition) Buy (US Paperback) Buy (UK Kindle Edition) Buy (UK Paperback) Buy (CA Kindle Edition) Buy (CA Paperback) Buy (Worldwide Hardcover) Buy (Worldwide Paperback)

Erica Spindler is one of the few crime writers I still read regularly. The Final Seven is a departure from her usual fare, in content AND in publication. (It’s self-published only in the US. Otherwise, Hachette’s the publisher in the UK and Australia.) While it has good things in common with the author’s thrillers, this first book in the Lightkeepers series has a paranormal bent.

And herein is the problem, because I don’t connect with the concept. The FBI has launched a special division for paranormal crime investigation training. Only it’s top-secret, and its graduates are now integrated into regular police forces. And thus New Orleans Detective Micki Dare is paired with Zach Harris. Not only that, but he’s also given the rank of Detective. WHICH HE DIDN’T EARN. Micki is rightfully furious about this, and the situation is so frustrating.

Anyway, Zach turns out to be handy at finding evidence even though he keeps breaking rules, such as abandoning a crime scene. He and Micki go undercover, and pash on, and she’s attracted to him, and I JUST DON’T SHIP IT. Mind you, the first time the two meet Zach harasses Micki with inappropriate comments, so I disliked him from the start.

I’ll continue with this series, but I can’t recommend it like I would the author’s other novels.

[GUEST BLOGGER] Erica Spindler on Self-Publishing Her New Series

This guest post is part of the official blog tour for Erica Spindler’s The Final Seven. Below, you’ll find the author’s links, information about her books, as well as the guest post. TEZ’S NOTE: While the book is self-published in US/Canada, Hachette is publishing it in UK/Australia. Check your favourite local bookseller for details.

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TEZ’S REVIEWS
Shocking Pink
Fortune
The First Wife

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[REVIEW] The First Wife – Erica Spindler

Erica Spindler
The First Wife
Macmillan St. Martin’s (US: 10th February 2015); Hachette Little, Brown Sphere (UK & AU: 10th February 2015)
Buy (US Kindle Edition) Buy (US Hardcover) Buy (UK Kindle Edition) Buy (UK Hardcover) Buy (UK Paperback) Buy (CA Kindle Edition) Buy (CA Hardcover) Buy (Worldwide Hardcover) Buy (Worldwide Paperback)

I’ve only managed to stay up-to-date with a few crime authors, and Erica Spindler is one of them. Her books are mostly standalones (though some have the odd recurring character), so readers can jump in any time, without having to catch up.

The First Wife is another gem. It may be marketed as mystery/suspense/thriller, but it feels Gothic: a fish out of water learns that her new husband and his family have a LOT of secrets. The author’s no stranger to Gothics (check out her novel Fortune), and she again does it well here.

However, usually the author’s heroines have more back-story, so except for the fact that Bailey’s only family member was her mother, she comes without baggage. And it’s in her grief-stricken and distraught state that she meets Logan Abbott, extends her holiday…and they marry not long after.

Logan’s ten years older, and he’s been married before. It definitely feels like he rushes Bailey into marriage, and with her mother dead she’s not really leaving anyone or anything behind when she moves interstate. So she’s rather alone when she first arrives at Abbott Farm, but makes friends with the staff easily.

Logan, meanwhile, is bloody annoying. He’s the king of emotional manipulation, shutting down and playing the victim when Bailey tries to get him to open up about his past – namely all the things she should’ve found out BEFORE they were married, but she’s vulnerable with grief when they first meet, and Logan pounces on that.

He knows when Bailey’s been using his laptop, so he takes it away from the house every day. Whenever Bailey asks questions, he’s all “now you’re against me, too,” when she wouldn’t even HAVE questions had Logan been more honest and upfront from the start. His reasons for keeping secrets are the usual bollocks of “I’m trying to protect you” and “I didn’t want to upset you.” WE ARE NOT AMUSED.

But it’s okay – we’re SUPPOSED to think Logan’s shifty; we’re meant to suspect him of serial killing. That’s the story’s premise: Did Logan kill his first wife, and what about these other missing women from the area?

As a result of traumatic brain injury (via a physical blow – or is it psychological?), Bailey has retrograde amnesia. The author deals with it well: Bailey has several headaches, particularly when she tries to remember, and her memory doesn’t return all at once – just little clues along the way.

But really the drawcard here is the messed-up family and their MANY secrets. Also, the side characters are great for some snide comments – Raine and August are particularly fabulous during the wonderful soap opera-style dinner.

Even though I peeked at the last page, there were still plenty of surprises in store. I’ve always enjoyed Erica Spindler’s thrillers, and she’s in even better form with this Gothic suspense. The First Wife is totally binge-read-worthy, and goes down a treat. Now eagerly waiting whatever the author has in store next.

[REVIEW] Fortune – Erica Spindler

Erica Spindler
Fortune
Harlequin Mira (US: 1st September 2005; UK: 1st July 2010; CA: Date; AU: 1st December 2011)

After writing category romance but before writing thrillers, Erica Spindler wrote romantic suspense novels. Shocking Pink is the best, and Cause for Alarm and Bone Cold aren’t far behind. Fortune is like a Gothic saga, page-turner crack for the sheer amount of weird shit. You’d be forgiven for mistaking this for a V. C. Andrews novel. (Am I showing my age?)

The Monarchs are a jeweller family who think they’re up with Tiffany’s. At any one time, a brother-sister duo is in charge – he the businessman and she the creative. The gifted one. Currently the grandfather and his sister are leading the company, though they’re getting on years. The father’s generation is being skipped because he’s deemed not up to the task, and there’s no gifted woman. So now to take over is Griffin Monarch…and his half-sister Grace.

Once Grace’s mother Madeline catches young Griffin molesting the even younger Grace, she runs away with her daughter, changing their identities. Grace is gifted, so Madeline worries the Monarchs will keep her at any cost – not just for the business, but for Griffin’s incestuous interest.

Now mother and daughter are Claire and Skye Dearborn, the latter’s name sounding horrendously like a soap opera character or celebrity spawn, or wannabe-celebrity spawn. Way to fly under the radar. Anyway, they join a travelling circus, where Claire works as a fortune-teller. She’s gifted; not artistically, but she can sense the future.

Skye is creatively gifted, and such an annoying shit that even though you’ll feel sorry for her, you won’t like her. Such a pestering pain in the arse, and I’m not the only one who thinks so. Chance McCord escapes from his Amish life to work any job, and schemes his way into the travelling circus. He’s a little older than Skye, who desperately wants him to be her friend, even though she pisses him off relentlessly. He gives into her eventually because he feels sorry for her. That doesn’t stop Skye from being an annoying git, though.

Meanwhile, the Monarchs have sent a private investigator after Claire and Skye. Claire figures that the only way to keep Skye safe is to separate from her. Oh yes, Skye has abandonment issues. Claire plans to send the PI off-track, then sneak back to retrieve her daughter. Only Skye and Chance run off from the circus.

The pair has managed to score a trailer, a car, and a job for Chance. He works whilst Skye stays in the trailer – to be seen in public would endanger her. Skye’s abandonment issues, jealousy, hormones, and irritating personality came into play, and she falls in love with Chance, who’s not keen on that because Skye is jailbait and Chance is practically raising her. So while not technically incestuous, it still seems a lot like it. Consider that Skye is so beautiful and talented that she could snag any guy, and the two guys she ends up with as an adult are her half-brother and her guardian. (I told you Fortune has weird shit.)

Anyhoo, after Skye’s sort-of boyfriend – a homeless squatter who rooms with other homeless squatters – tries to date-rape her (Chance intervenes), Skye and Chance move away. They find a home, work, and school with a childless couple, and Chance decides to get his life back. Yeah, the themes of this novel aren’t subtle – more abandonment issues for Skye.

So she becomes a talented jeweller, and Chance a public relations guru. Meanwhile, Griffin Monarch has discovered that Grace Monarch and Skye Dearborn are one and the same, and offers her a job (but doesn’t tell her she’s a Monarch). Griffin also hires Chance for PR, just to mess with them both. And here’s where the weird shit really comes into play – the Monarchs not only know that Skye is one of them, but they shut their mouths whilst Griffin courts Skye. And she wonders why she vomits after they shag.

Then Skye falls in love with Chance again, and Griffin becomes murderously jealous. He decides to get rid of those who are keeping Skye from him – her best friend, Griffin and Skye’s grandmother, Chance McCord, etc. Then when he still can’t get Skye to love him, Griffin figures that if he can’t have her, no one will. So he tries to kill her, too.

P.S. As a child, Griffin tortured Skye’s kitten to death and made her watch. He also drowned his other half-sister (a non-gifted Monarch). The Monarchs really are an effed-up bunch if they never suspect that Griffin’s been psychotic all his life and they still let him shag his half-sister. Rich people, eh? Never want their name besmirched, even if it could save lives.

“But, Tez,” you say. “You’ve just summarised the novel. Where’s the review?” Well, now you know the nitty-gritty details, you know whether Fortune is for you. Despite its over-the-top batshittedness, it’s still quite a page-turner. If nothing else, it’s good snark-fodder. Enjoy.