Book Spotlight: Dead After Midnight

Welcome to the blog tour for Dead After Midnight, A Kelsey Woods Thriller!

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Dead After Midnight (A Kelsey Woods Thriller Book 1)

Publication Date: May 16th, 2020

Genre: Thriller

Suzie Q is a prostitute and determined to get out of her current line of work and excited for a fresh start with best friend Lucy by her side. Her dreams come to an abrupt halt, when, during a night of turning tricks, she stumbles upon Lucy’s brutally murdered body. Fearing for her life, Suzie runs to her neighbor, Luke’s, to regroup, where she discovers he’s not just a creepy client, but an undercover FBI agent. He blindsides her when he reveals that she’s mixed up in an FBI investigation, and that she’s been unknowingly working for Johnny Stone, New York’s notorious crime boss. Suzie flees from New York, hiding in a quaint seaside town in Maine. She changes her identity and her life. Now she has to survive, to keep the life she has come to love.

This is the first novel in the Kelsey Woods thriller series.

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Excerpt

I unlocked the door and climbed the stairs to the top floor, which opened up right by my room. I quietly unlocked my door and went right over to the large picture window and looked out. Nothing. No boogeyman hiding in the bushes and casing the joint. I shut the curtains and turned to switch on the light, stopping mid stride.

“Don’t be foolish and scream, Suzie. The cops would be called and I am pretty sure you don’t want to involve them.”

There he was, larger than life and stretched out on my bed as if he owned the place. I wasn’t surprised to see him. I couldn’t see his face, but of course I recognized the voice; I had heard it many times in my old life—a very deep, distinctive voice.

“How did you find me, Luke?”

“Just have to ask the right people the right questions over and over again. It’s good to see you. I’ve been in town a few days now, watching you. I have to say, you’ve impressed me with all the positive changes in your life. New line of work, new home, and even a new name—it suits you. I mean that. I’m very happy that you’ve left the old life behind you. Lucy would be very proud.”

“Are you here to take me back? Am I being arrested?”

Available on Amazon

About the Author

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CP’s reading tastes are an eclectic mix of thriller, crime, romance, and the occasional fantasy novel. But, when she puts pen to paper, she can’t resist the intrigue of a thriller.

CP has written two novels in The Kelsey Woods series, Dead After Midnight (debut novel, released in May 2020) and Dead Before Sunrise – which is scheduled for release in the fall of 2020.

A true east coaster from beautiful Nova Scotia, Canada, CP is happily married to her high school sweetheart. She’s been blessed with a wonderful family, including six adorable grandchildren.

CP loves hearing from readers, connect with her via email or Twitter.

C.P. Daly

Giveaway: Win one of three print copied of Dead After Midnight!

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DeadAfterMidnight

Blog Tour Schedule

August 24th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

PoptheButterfly Reads (Spotlight) https://popthebutterfly.wordpress.com

Eclectic Review (Review) https://eclecticreview.com/

Purple Shelf Club (Review) https://www.purpleshelfclub.com/

August 25th

I’m into Books (Spotlight) https://imintobooks.com

Horror Tree (Guest Post) https://www.horrortree.com

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Inked and Blonde (Review) https://inkedandblonde.blogspot.com/

August 26th

Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

Ally’s Reading Corner (Review) http://allysreadingcorner.wordpress.com

Stine Writing (Review) https://christinebialczak.com/

Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com

August 27th

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

Meli’s Book Reviews (Review) https://melisbokreviews.wordpress.com/

Rajiv’s Reviews (Review) https://www.rajivsreviews.com/

August 28th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Reviews by Satabdi (Review) http://satabdimukherjee.wordpress.com

Blog Tour Organized By:

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I made it to 2k subscribers thanks to all of you amazing people and so I decided to do a video where I react to your assumptions about me! Find out the real truth about me and get to know me as a person a little better! Check out the video below:

Book Review: Frightful Verses

Chris is hammering these books out of the park and spending his time in quarantine helping me out from a distance. This time he read The Frightful Verses: A Collection of Fearful Poems by Francisco a Ojeda.

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Synopsis: A collection of one hundred poems meant to entice the curious and frighten them in many different ways. From the classical and gothic to modern and contemporary, these poems address different subjects seen from the poet’s unique perspective. Aspects of horror, terror, science, religion, politics, philosophy, and even humor fill these pages.

Earlier this year a rather one-sided Twitter debate started when an established author said new authors should read contemporary books if they want to write their own book. A small minority objected saying they could study all they needed from the old classics because those authors knew how to write.

Numerous others pointed out that reading contemporary books help you know which tropes and clichés you should avoid in your own writing. It doesn’t matter if you can write like an old master if you’re writing something that people have seen a hundred times before.

For example, I was reading a science fiction novel written by someone who probably hadn’t read any science fiction novel since the 1970s. It had all the datedness of Heinlein’s bad writing and sexist language without any of the high points of his writing. It didn’t matter that it was well-written. It read like a spoof of bad science fiction tropes from the 1970s.

So, potential authors should read modern books in the genre they wish to write.

That is the advice I would give to the author of The Frightful Verses. In fact, I would advise the author to also study the classics in addition to the modern verses. Nearly every one of the poems (I counted 101) in The Frightful Verses would get at best a C+ mark in a Grade 9 or 10 high school class.

There were 70 poems with four-line stanzas with a rhyming sequence of 2 and 4 (2nd sentence rhymes with the 4th sentence). There were over a dozen with rhymes 1 and 2, then 3 and 4. Sometimes they’re broken up into two-line stanzas and once into six-line stanzas, but they still use similar rhyming patterns and similar metronomy. You could jump from one poem to another and not notice you were now reading a different poem.

For example, see the poem below.

On those rainy gray days

From under the cover, I stay

To keep me warm

And protect me from harm

In a broken mansion

With all the cracks and creaks

You stepped through doors

Not opened in days and weeks

In the long past

A myth had grown

As memories seem to last

A chest was left alone

In a caverned home

Off stagnant Adam’s ale

With pillars shaded gray

And curtains of pale

Entering into the lab

And looking around to see

She was surely ready to stab

Whatever it could be

Neighbors outside their homes

And pointing to the skies

To watch a smoky trail

Behind the thing that flies

That’s actually not one poem. It is composed of the first stanza from six consecutive poems. I could have made it 20 stanzas long from 20 consecutive poems, but six stanzas provide enough example to show the similarity in patterns that is found in nearly every one of the poems. One poem in that style is interesting: seventy to eighty of the same style is tiring.

The other major failing of these poems is that they lack ambiguity in their meanings. Metaphors are mostly absent; the poems are fairly literal and don’t leave much room for altering interpretations. Compare that to T.S. Eliot’s The Wastelands, or The Second Coming (below), which are rife with enough symbolism to fill weeks worth of poetry class discussions.

The darkness drops again; but now I know

That twenty centuries of stony sleep

Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Or The Hollow Men, also by Eliot.

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams

In death’s dream kingdom

These do not appear:

There, the eyes are

Sunlight on a broken column

There, is a tree swinging

And voices are

In the wind’s singing

More distant and more solemn

Than a fading star.

Even many contemporary songs use ambiguity and symbolism to good effect: Hotel California (Eagles), Demons (Imagine Dragons), Ophelia (Natalie Merchant), Mad World (Gary Jules), Behind Blue Eyes (Limp Bizkit).

Good poets know how to tell a story just in meter and rhythm. They know when to stick to a pattern, they know when to suddenly change it; they know when to use the rules and know when to break the rules. While Francisco does sometimes change his rhyming pattern in mid-poem (as is good), he often forces a rhyme when it would be better to also break it. He used “clichés” to rhyme with “away”. And my favourite example,

It slithers over the sand

Grains stick to its skin

Hoping to gather a meal

Digests all by ptyalin

There are several dozen other rhyming “skin” words that could be used instead of “ptyalin”. However, kudos for getting the word “ptyalin” into a poem: I’ve never seen “ptyalin” used outside of my biology books. It’s an amylase enzyme found in saliva that digests starch. A loaf of bread is fair game for the slithering “it”, but proteins, keratin, lipids, and calcium (muscle, skin, fat, bone) or even cellulose (plants) will be safe—saliva-soggy perhaps, but safely undigested.

If you’re going to write poems you need to read poems. You need to google how to write poems. You should read a book on writing poems. You should really take a class in writing poems. This book of poems, unfortunately, seems to have been written by someone who has done none of the above—and that is a shame because there are some rough gems hidden within the poems. They just need a more knowledgeable, experienced, and craftier hand to make them shine.

Book Rating: 1/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in ebook format by the author to read and give an honest review.


Check out Lisa King’s brand new novel called The Vanishing Hour which is available now on Amazon! She is a Canadian author from London, Ontario and I am super excited to share the love on her new book! If you like post-apocalyptic books, then this one is for you!

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You can buy her book here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B081ZHCPGF/



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Ever heard of Book Snobbery? Well, I did the Book Snob Book Tag and answered some questions regarding the topic. Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Whispers In The Dark

If you are looking for the ultimate book to read on Halloween night, look no further!

Welcome to the blog tour for Laurel Hightower’s Whispers in the Dark. This tale will give your goosebumps goosebumps! Follow along for exclusive content and a chance to win a signed copy (US only) or a digital copy in your preferred format (International)!

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Whispers in the Dark

Publication Date: December 7th, 2018

Genre: Paranormal Thriller/ Horror

Publisher: JournalStone

Rose McFarland is a trained killer–a Memphis S.W.A.T. sniper with a secret. Her team knows about the burn scars that lurk under her clothes, a legacy of the house fire that killed her father and brother sixteen years before. Her supervisors know that she spent two years in a rehabilitative facility, healing and learning to cope with the emotional trauma of the fire. But no one knows about the visions that drove her there, angry spirits that consumed her childhood, alienated her from her family and made her doubt her own sanity–the Whispers.

When Charlie Akers, a half-brother she never knew, ends up on the wrong side of Rose’s rifle, she unwittingly sets off a chain of events that puts her family in the middle of increasingly dangerous paranormal visitations. Charlie won’t stay dead, and soon ghosts from Rose’s past are creeping back into her life. People she’s killed in the line of duty, family she thought long buried, every one of them under the influence of Rose’s greatest fear, the Whispers themselves.

As the walls between our world and the world of the dead grow thin, Rose will have to face her old nightmares to stop the Whispers from breaking free. If she can’t, it won’t just be Memphis that falls to the dead–there will be no safe place left on earth for the living.

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Excerpt

His heart thudding again, Zack tried to hold his breath, peering

into the gloom. He didn’t have to wait long. Another shuffle, something

dragging against the grit. A shadow, darker than the rest of the

night. It moved, swayed. Waited.

“Matt?”

No answer, but Zack thought he could hear breathing now. Labored,

wheezing. The way Matt had sounded toward the end. He took a step closer,

stopped. “Matt?”

Zack.” A whisper. Tired, but an uptick of hope at the end.

Zack swallowed. Matt had been waiting a long time. For the first

time, Zack wondered if his brother would be angry.

More dry dragging as Matt moved again. He was close now, almost

close enough to touch. Zack coughed, his asthma tickled by something in

the dry air down here. What was that? What did it smell like now?

Zack?” A hand reaching out, slow, tentative.

Zack smiled tremulously, reached out too. Clasped the hand he’d

waited thirty-seven years to feel again. Felt it pull him closer, into a shaft

of moonlight coming through a broken window high on the wall. He looked

up, into his brother’s face. Faltered.

“Matt?”

No, Zack realized with regret as the bony clutch tightened and

pulled him close. Not Matt at all.

Amazon | JournalStone | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

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About the Author

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Laurel Hightower grew up in Kentucky, attending college in California and Tennessee before returning home to horse country, where she lives with her husband, son and two rescue animals, Yattering the cat (named for the Clive Barker short story) and Ladybug the adorable mutt. She definitely wants to see a picture of your dog, and often bonds with complete strangers over animal stories. A lifetime reader, she would raid her parents’ bookshelves from an early age, resulting in a number of awkward conversations about things like, “what does getting laid mean?” She loves discovering new favorite authors, and supporting the writing and reading community.

Laurel works as a paralegal in a mid-size firm, wrangling litigators by day and writing at night. A bourbon and beer girl, she’s a fan of horror movies and true life ghost stories. Whispers in the Dark is her first novel, though there are always more in the pipeline, and she loves researching anything horror related. She can usually be found working on the next project into the wee hours, sometimes as late as ten at night, as long as her toddler allows. Follow her on social media, even though she’s really bad at it, and she’ll follow you back. Plus you’ll be rewarded by pictures of cute dogs and kids.

Laurel Hightower | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

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Blog Tour Schedule

October 21st

Reads & Reels (Review) http://readsandreels.com

Viviana MacKade (Guest Post) https://viviana-mackade.blog/

I Smell Sheep (Spotlight) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

The Reading Chemist (Review) https://thereadingchemist.com/

I Love Books and Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

October 22nd

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Didi Oviatt (Review) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Review) www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com

Dark Reads (Review) http://darkreads826573417.wordpress.com

October 23rd

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Review) https://nyxblogs.wordpress.com/

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

October 24th

Musings of a Final Girl (Review) https://musingsofafinalgirl.wordpress.com/

Shalini’s Books and Reviews (Review) https://bookreviewsbyshalini.com/

Crossroad Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.crossroadreviews.com

October 25th

Eclectic Reviews (Review) https://eclecticreview.com/

Ity Reads Books (Review) http://www.ityreadsbooks.home.blog

J Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

Blog Tour Organized By:

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Honesty you say?! Well, take a listen and let me be completely honest with you…..

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Book Review: Kiss Me Kill Me

Hey bookworms. How was your weekend? Mine was spent reading Kiss Me Kill Me by J.S. Carol. This psychological thriller was definitely a piece of work and one to look out for.

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Synopsis: Can you trust the one you love? When Zoe meets Dan, he’s everything she is looking for in a man – intelligent, charming, supportive.

It’s only after they’re married that she
realizes that he’s controlling, aggressive, paranoid.
And there’s no way out.

Or is there?

Zoe knows she has to escape, but Dan’s found her once before, and she knows he can find her again. But Dan has plans of his own. Plans that don’t necessarily include Zoe.

Be careful who you trust . . .

I really liked this book. It was written very well and had multiple storylines that all eventually tie together for a climax of an ending. Zoe was a very strong main character that was well rounded and had a lot of backstory to her that was revealed piece by piece. Her husband Daniel was most similar to a robot, void of emotion (besides anger). Lizzy was spunky, wild and fun so I liked her a lot and Gabriel….well he was just straight up creepy as f**k.

There was an expectation where I thought the story was going to go and then the author threw me for a loop (which I loved). I found myself glued to my Kindle app reading into all hours of the night because I wanted to know what happened next.

Right up to the very end, I was super anxious for the main character and her struggles. Not knowing what was going to happen to her was like a fire building from a little spark to an intense flame, more and more just kept being added on to her life and you couldn’t predict where she was going to end up.

There were some parts where words were spelled a little differently than normal but I feel like they just might be the English way of spelling them so that was a minor detail.

All in all, this author kept me entertained with my nose glued to my Kindle app so it was a success! I would recommend this to anyone that wants a psychological thriller that will keep you continually guessing.

Book Rating: 4.5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads. What do you think of psychological thrillers? Do you like them/not like them? Let us know in the comments!

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in ebook format by NetGalley to read and give an honest review.

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Book Review: In the Dark

New review from Sara Mac hot off the press and available for your reading pleasure. Check out this review as she shares her thoughts on In The Dark by Becca Fox.


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Synopsis: How far would you go to save your family?

Movies and books have made being a monster sound cool.

Lindsay can’t wear silver jewelry or get drunk with her friends, but hey, she sprouts fur and fangs during the full moon. Totally rad, right? Not. Forget about exploring the beast within, Lindsay just wants to graduate from nursing school. When a stroll in the park ends with her and her little brother being surrounded by masked goons who want to sell them overseas, Lindsay has no choice but to change.

Despite her best efforts, these kidnappers know how to handle a werewolf inexperienced in hand-to-paw combat. She regains consciousness hours after the scuffle to find her brother gone. In a panic, she turns to the only werewolf she knows: Wayne, Mr. Werewolf Pride, the guy Lindsay rejected none-too-kindly several years ago. Being the forgiving kind of guy he is, Wayne agrees to help. . .so long as Lindsay joins his pack. Living among others of her kind is the last thing Lindsay wants, but for her brother’s sake, she bites her tongue and agrees.

Lindsay learns a few things while traveling through Europe in search of her brother. One: Being a werewolf can be pretty badass when you know how to use your abilities. Two: Being a freak isn’t so bad when you’re surrounded by other freaks. And three: She might have misjudged Wayne.

When she and Wayne stumble onto the mastermind behind the kidnapping, this werewolf mafia king decides they know too much. Lindsay and Wayne should get out of dodge but, they know that unless this man is stopped, innocent people will die.

In this novel, Lindsay, a young adult werewolf, is kidnapped, along with her brother, her ex-boyfriend, and a few high-profile children. Though Lindsay eventually manages to escape, the rest are taken and flown across the world to be sold as slaves, and she must work with an old acquaintance in order to rescue them all. It is a story about coming to terms with who she is, with some romance, adventure, and action thrown into the mix.

The overall plot of the book was interesting, and the premise, though common, is entertaining enough.

Unfortunately, the book isn’t very detailed, and so often reads like a synopsis of itself. The characters are well developed, but unfortunately, they are developed into cliché, predictable archetypes of themselves. For example, Lindsay, a young werewolf, struggling with the beast inside, torn between loving two men who both aren’t capable of expressing their affections, and uncontrolled anger over saving her brother – well developed, but kind of boring.

I feel like this book is a good first draft of itself. I liked the story well enough to finish it quickly, but I just wanted MORE from it. I would have loved some more unique character development, more detail, and explanations throughout, and a little less predictability in the plot. Maybe I’m just getting pickier, but this book just doesn’t stand up well compared to other novels in the genre.

Book Rating: 3/5

You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads!

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in ebook format by the author to read and give an honest review.

Also, we are still pretty excited about it and if you haven’t seen, we are on the Top 100 Book Bloggers list of Canadian Book Bloggers! Check out that post to see all the other brilliant bloggers.


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Book Review – I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

I recently finished I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid and man oh man was it ever intense! I was sent this book by Simon and Schuster Canada for winning their Book Club Pick of the Month contest. Now this happened in the summer and I had a huge list of books to go through but I am finally getting to it.

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I read this book on a flight to the great northern city of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada over the Christmas break to visit my friend Jordan. I had my nose in this book from takeoff to landing on the flight home and was completely engrossed in the intricate web of a masterpiece Iain Reid created.

The story starts with a woman in a car with her boyfriend and they are travelling to his parents house so that she can meet them for the first time. Meanwhile, she is thinking of ending the relationship and a lot of the book is her constant struggle in her head about what to do in this situation since she no longer wants to be in the relationship. They get to the farm and she meets his parents but things seem to be out of place and she starts to notice a lot of things that are “off”. Thus ensues a crazy twisted nightmare of a story that I never expected in the least.

I will be spoiling the ending because holy crap it was crazy. But I will clearly define where the spoiler is so don’t worry. Before that though, I wanted to share the best quote from the book.

You can say anything, you can do anything, but you can’t fake a thought.

This line is so haunting once you know what the ending is. Alright without further ado, spoiler time…

*SPOILER INSERTED HERE, DON’T READ FURTHER IF YOU WANT TO READ THIS BOOK*

So it turned out that this woman was one of multiple personalities inside the boyfriend’s head and she was never real the entire time. When she is thinking of ending it, she is meaning ending his life. After you come to this realization, the entire book becomes so much creepier.

I also never caught it till after but the author just says “a woman” instead of giving the main character a name because she is the one telling the story. It made so much sense at the end but it was a very intense plot twist.

*SPOILER ENDED*

If you wish to read this book, you can find it here: http://www.simonandschuster.ca/books/Im-Thinking-of-Ending-Things/Iain-Reid/9781501103452

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this review in any way. I chose to write it because I wanted to.