The Wall by David Pereda

The Wall by David Pereda
Publisher: Drake Valley Press
Genre: Contemporary, Thriller
Rated: 5 stars
Review by Rose

THOMAS BERTRAM is an American living in San Salvador with his fiancée CECILIA. They own a popular neighborhood restaurant and plan to wed soon. Thomas’s dream is to obtain a resident visa for Cecilia and return to the United States.

DOMINGO JIMENEZ and his wife BLANCA own a small repair shop across the street. Domingo’s dream is to move to America as well so that his seven-year-old daughter NANCY can grow up speaking English and having a good education and a better life than he and Blanca had.

When armed gang members invade their neighborhood to demand “protection” money and threaten them with death if they don’t pay, Thomas and Domingo’s dreams for the future take on a new perspective. They decide to flee the country with their families through Guatemala and Mexico to seek asylum in the United States.

But their journey is more challenging than expected, and they face a myriad of difficulties and must overcome multiple obstacles that put not only their dreams but also their lives at risk.

This is a brilliantly written tale of two families, with mention of many more, who are trying to escape the danger of their homelands to travel to a land they think may offer them better hope for the future.

The characters are richly drawn and my heart ached for what they went through. Although the paths the two families took were different, the emotions and desires were the same. They yearned for a better life, a safer life. There were many side characters too… some better, some worse. I was especially touched by the volunteers who helped in Brownsville.

The settings were vibrantly described – I could place myself in their shoes and could feel their fear and despair. It was hard to put this fast-paced book down. I could so see this on the big screen. There were definite scenes that would leave you with your heart in your throat, and there was one scene in particular that had me in tears.

This book touched me on so many different levels and dealt with so many issues. It’s obvious that Mr. Pereda did his research, but the book doesn’t come across as preachy or political. And, while it has its moments of heartbreak, it is, at the end, a story of hope.

Thanks, Mr. Pereda. You earned a solid 5 stars for a wonderful thriller! I will definitely be looking for more from this author.

A Thin Slice of Heaven by pm terrell


A Thin Slice of Heaven by pm Terrell
Publisher: Drake Valley Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full (322 pgs)
Heat: Spicy
Rated: 4.5 stars
Review by Poppy

She had arranged to meet her husband in Northern Ireland for a second honeymoon, but when Charleigh arrives at the remote castle, she receives a message that he won’t be coming—and that he’s leaving her for another woman. Stranded for the weekend by a snow storm that has blocked all access to the castle, she finds herself three thousand miles from home in a country she knows nothing about. She is soon joined by Sean Bracken, the great-grandson of Laird Bracken, the original owner of the castle, and she finds herself falling quickly and madly in love with him. There’s just one problem: he’s dead. As the castle begins to come alive with secrets from centuries past, she finds herself trapped between parallel worlds. Caught up in a mass haunting, she can no longer recognize the line between the living and the dead. Now she’s discovering that her appearance there wasn’t by accident—and is more sinister than she ever suspected.

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What a fascinating book, and nothing like I expected.

I’ve read one other book by this author, so expected rich descriptions and well-rounded, three dimensional characters, which I certainly go here as well. I feel as if I could go to Ireland and know exactly where every square foot of this setting would be. The sights, sounds, smells and more are all well written here.

I loved the character of Charleigh, though I have to admit she took to having a ghost around a lot more readily than I would have! She’s having a rough time on her trip to Ireland, supposedly a second honeymoon after twenty years of marriage, only to be dumped via text by her philandering husband. Later, when I find out she’s known about his cheating for years and years and stayed with him, though, I did lose a bit of respect. Still, aside from that, she’s an admirable, older, less than perfectly formed heroine.

Sean is pretty awesome. He’s handsome and unbelievably crazy about Charleigh. There were a few times at the start where I was a bit overwhelmed by his attentions to her, considering we believed they’d only just met, but even so — sexy, Irish guy (er, ghost) … who could resist?

When things start to get odd, Charleigh is incredibly strong. I’m not sure what I’d have done in her place, but I wouldn’t have minded the attentions of Sean! Honestly, the hardest part about writing this review is not including spoilers, so let me simply say this: if you like romance with a surprising, paranormal twist … if you enjoy reading a book that seems to be one thing and then becomes something entirely different, the type of book you want to go back and read again the moment you finish because the twist blows your mind and you need to see where the clues were planted, then this is the book for you. While it had the occasional hiccup for me, I still very much liked it. Technically perfect, quite enjoyable and delightfully different, A Thin Slice of Heaven cemented my admiration for the author and ensures I’ll be picking up future releases.

Secrets of a Dangerous Woman by p.m. terrell

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Secrets of a Dangerous Woman by p.m. terrell
Publisher: Drake Valley Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: Full (350 pgs)
Rated: 5 stars
Review by Rose

Dylan Maguire is back and in his first mission with the CIA he must interrogate a recently captured Brenda Carnegie. But when she escapes again, it’s obvious that she’s had help from within the CIA’s own ranks. With Vicki Boyd’s psychic help, he must locate her again—and find out why some in the highest levels of government want her dead while others will risk everything to help her. And when he finds out her true identity, his mission has just become very personal.

Step into a world of mystery and suspense with Secrets of a Dangerous Woman by pm terrell. And, what’s not to like? We get to see a charming Irishman, after all.
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This is part of Ms. terrell’s Black Swamp Mystery series and, even though it would helpful to have read the first book in the series (just because you would already be familiar with the characters), I didn’t find it a problem to pick up without having read the first book.  The characters are well drawn and engaging and there is enough backstory included that I never felt lost.

The author is truly skilled and, with her apt descriptions and well chosen words, she  really amps up the suspense in this story.  There are a lot of twists and turns in the story and Ms. terrell keeps you guessing to the end.

Secrets of a Dangerous Woman is very fast-paced and keeps you entertained and on the edge of your seat as you try to keep up with the story. I’m going to hurry out and get the other books in the series–I enjoyed this one THAT much.