Archive for February 13th, 2018

Better Than This


Better Than This
By Tia Souders
A young adult novel
published by Clean Reads
Release date: Feb. 13, 2018

What can keep a dream alive?

Before the car accident that changed everything, Samantha Becker was a happy and loved little girl. Ten years later, Sam, now 18, lives under a dark cloud—largely ignored by an alcoholic mother who never recovered from her loss and ruled by an overbearing father who blames Samantha for the family tragedy. And yet, the troubled teenager has a dream that keeps her going, and an extraordinary musical talent that could take her all the way to Julliard…and far beyond.

Following her heart, however, means defying her father, who has his own plans for his daughter’s future. Then, in the wake of another devastating personal catastrophe, her dream is irreparably shattered, and in her pain and anger, Samantha acts out recklessly. But her salvation could come from a most unlikely trio: a handsome college student, a hopeful little boy…and an older neighbor woman whose caring and secrets will change Sam’s world forever.
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My mother crashed into the kitchen,
knocking over the wine glasses nestled on the hutch. Mumbling something
incomprehensible, along with accusations that someone rearranged the furniture,
she stumbled and fell. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the raised knife
poised again above the apple.
My father said I shifted my hand on the
island, distracted by my mother. A totally plausible explanation—if it were
My eyes widened as I stared down at the
halved fruit, now drenched in my blood. The pain came in startling, pulsing
waves until my entire hand felt as though it was engulfed in flames.
My heart threatened to crash through my
chest, as I struggled to comprehend what happened. I vaguely recalled screaming
in the background. Where it came from, I’m still unsure. Possibly me, or my
mother. I barely noticed my father’s panicked voice as it rang in my ears, nor
did I feel it when he squeezed the dish towel over my hand.
I don’t recall moving. I don’t remember
speaking or moaning in pain. All I remembered is the sight of the blood-stained
cloth shifting, noting the missing finger, and thinking This is my fretting
About the Author
Tia Souders is the author of bestselling women’s fiction novel
Waiting On Hope and the upcoming award-winning young adult novel Better
Than This (formerly titled Freedom Road). When she isn’t writing, she’s
likely renovating their century home. She’s a wine-loving, coffeeholic
with a sweet tooth and resides on a farm in rural Ohio with her husband
and children. 
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Cut You Down


Cut You Down (Wakeland – 2) by Sam Weibe

Tabitha Sorenson is missing. The bright but unstable student disappeared in the aftermath of a scandal involving millions of dollars in college funds. Professor Dana Essex doesn’t think the missing money and the missing student are connected, but she hires Vancouver PI David Wakeland to find Tabitha, with whom she is in obsessed.

When Wakeland discovers Tabitha has in fact stolen the money and is hiding out with her lover and reports back to his client, Essex is crushed to learn that Tabitha is in love with someone else. The next morning, Tabitha has been murdered and Essex has disappeared.

Meanwhile, Wakeland has his own problems. His former girlfriend, police officer Sonia Drego, believes her partner is corrupt. With her job–and possibly her life–on the line, Wakeland may be her best hope of uncovering the conspiracy in the department before it brings her down.

Hounded by Tabitha’s friends, the police, the press, and his own troubled conscience, Wakeland tries desperately to find Essex and make sense of what happened. Could it all have been a ruse from the start, and is Wakeland just another in a long line of suckers?

While searching for Essex and investigating Sonia’s partner, Wakeland encounters criminals, anarchists, and crooked authority figures–all of them desperate people who will stop at nothing to guard their secrets.

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 Sam Wiebe

Author’s Bio

Sam Wiebe is the author of the Vancouver crime novels Cut You DownInvisible Dead, and Last of the IndependentsWiebe’s short stories have appeared in Thuglit, Spinetingler, and subTerrain, and he was the 2016 Vancouver Public Library Writer in Residence. He lives in Vancouver.

Sam is represented by Chris Bucci of the Cooke McDermid Agency.

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My Review

5 stars

Wakeland is back. He is called in my Professor Dana Essex when a student, Tabitha Sorenson disappears in the middle of a scandal with millions in a college find disappear. Essex is obsessed with Tabitha and calls in Wakeland to investigate. Wakeland finds that she did take the money and is hiding out with another man. But then she is found dead and Essex is gone. At the same time, Wakeland’s old partner/girlfriend, Sonia Drego, thinks that her new partner is corrupt. She asks Wakeland to look into her partner and department.

Wakeland can help but look into the missing money, death, and corruption. But he is going to quickly find himself in over his head.  Who is Essex and why is he is obsessed with Tabitha? And when Tabitha ends up dead with the money missing, all signs point to Essex, who is this quiet professor and what is going on.

Also, while looking into Sonia’s partner we learn that Chris has ties to a Chinese mobster that Wakeland has run into before. They also remember Wakeland and are determined to not let him go this time.

I really enjoyed Invisible Dead. Although Cut You Down didn’t have the same feel as Invisible Dead, it was still a great thrill ride.

I received Cut You Down from the Quercus for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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