Thanks to the authors for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: Available Now
Synopsis: A suspenseful novel with a twist. Eight short stories, by two suspense authors, from diverse backgrounds. From opposite sides of the Atlantic these stories have been created. One author started the tale and the other ended it. No discussion, no pre-planning, but yet their stories are seamless. With just creativity and the use of writing prompts, to craft one tale, with two different authors. This anthology of suspenseful, fast paced and engaging tales covers multiple genres. There is a story for everyone!
The Suspenseful Collection is a collaboration between two of our fellow bloggers, Didi Oviatt and Kim Knight. They’ve been created from their readers votes. There are two things that really make this collection of eight short stories stand out. The first is the multiple genres that are represented from steamy history crime fiction, to YA fantasy, to contemporary romance, and more. The second is that each story is started by one author, and completed by the other. I’ve got to say that this is one of the most clever and creative concepts I’ve come across. And what makes it even better is that I found Didi’s and Kim’s writing to flow seamlessly. If I hadn’t already known what the writing format was, I’d never have guessed there were two authors behind this. For this review I’m going to give you the summary of each story as provided by the authors, with my rating and thoughts.
Steamy Historical Crime Fiction: It Was The First Time I Killed A Man.
It’s 1972 and New York’s first female serial killer Lisa Vanacilli is in the hot seat again, ten years after her conviction of murder to the first degree and innocent plea. The ruthless but sexy reporter Tiffany Low cracks Lisa for a confession…at a price. Lisa is strong, courageous and says it how it is. This story has been extended due to reader’s demand. And is only for adult readers.
Holy hot chili peppers! Steamy doesn’t begin to describe this story! Speaking in the first pov, Lisa is crafty and crazy. She reminded me a little of real-life serial killer Aileen Wournos only with a thick New York accent. Watching her reel in Tiffany who is willing to do just about anything to get the scoop of a lifetime was like watching a spider with a fly. Watching the interplay between these two women was mesmerizing! I give this a rating of 5 Stars.
Psychological Fiction: Every Time I Hear That Voice From the Basement.
George appears to be harmless. The local neighborhood geek on the outside, married to Jolene. In reality he’s a very disturbed man. His path crosses with Dana, the local check out girl. This is a psychological suspense story with a twist.
This creepy tale gave me goosebumps! George’s OCD is brilliantly and sympathetically captured, and for most of the story I felt quite sorry for him. The scenes between him and his horrible wife Jolene made me squirm, although what happens with them was darkly comedic at times. I wasn’t completely satisfied by the ending, but overall I really enjoyed this. I give this a rating of 4.5 Stars.
Crime Fiction: The Entrance To The Tunnel Is His Only Way Out.
Juan is a wanted man, and an ex-gang member on the run from Atlanta to Mexico. With a hundred grand in cash stolen from his ex-boss, he meets an unlikely fate in Mexico. A fast-paced crime fiction story.
To be honest, just from the premise I thought this was going to be my least favorite story. What a pleasant surprise this turned out to be. Made up of just two scenes, this has a twist ending that you’ll never see coming! I give this a rating of 5 Stars.
Contemporary Romance: When His Hands Run Up My Thighs I…
Love has no time limit, age limit or use by date. Sarah, now in her fifties, is reunited with her long-lost love Joshua. They last had contact in 1961. In the present day, thanks to the advancement of technology, their paths cross. A heart-warming and modern tale, about long distance love, that will leave you warm inside.
This is a lovely nostalgic tale story about two middle-aged people who are given a second chance at love. Although it gave me the warm fuzzies, I had a slight problem connecting with Sarah and Joshua as a couple. I think this was probably because of the short length of the story. I give this a rating of 4 Stars.
Suspense: We Only Said Goodbye With Words, I Died A Hundred Times.
In 1963 Russia Femme Fatale Mila Petrov is London’s top Madam. Her entertainment house is booming, she has a team of London’s top strongest women behind her. Unfinished business from her past creeps up and haunts her. It’s nothing she can’t handle. A suspenseful historical tale with a strong femme fatale.
Mila is without a doubt one of my favorite characters in the book! Yes she possesses some unsavory characteristics, but this is a woman who basically dragged herself out of poverty, with no assistance from anyone. And during a time when women definitely were not treated equally, no less. I could easily see this being expanded into a full length novel. I give this a rating of 4.5 Stars.
Fantasy: The Ones Who Live At The Bottom Of The Ocean, Come To The Surface.
A beautiful coming of age story, featuring sixteen year old Zoe and her mother May-Li. Myth becomes reality, as Zoe finds out who and what she really is. Her mixed descent reveals more than what meets the eye. This fantasy story is set against the backdrop of a Greek island and Hong Kong, China.
This is the only YA story in this collection, and I loved the diversity and world-building. The only reason why I’m not giving this a perfect rating is because of its brevity, the characters and their relationship with each other weren’t quite developed enough. I would love to see this turned into a full length novel, because it holds so much promise! I give this a rating of 4.5 Stars.
Suspenseful Crime Fiction: Guilty As Charged, In Self-Defence.
California’s sassy, tough, and likeable defence lawyer Catherine has taken on a case so high profile, if she wins she’ll become a partner of Martin Law Firm. Defending forty six year old Mrs. Chevelle. An ex Las Vegas show girl, now a Hollywood wife, on trial for the murder of her high-profile husband. She claims she’s innocent. Readers are taken on a fast-paced journey on a mission to seek the truth.
I really enjoyed the dialogue between Catherine and Mrs. Chevelle. And the plot twist is awesome! There was just one thing that slightly spoiled the story for me, and that was Catherine’s handling of a sexual harassment issue that arises between a co-worker and a young female assistant. I thought Catherine was a bit callous in her verbal response. I give this a rating of 4.5 Stars.
Contemporary Fiction: It’s A Man’s Man’s World.
A beautiful modern tale showing the love and appreciation of a woman. James Brown said it right when he said: “It’s a man’s man’s world, but it would mean nothing without a woman or a girl.”
I didn’t think a short story could effect me so emotionally, but this one had me reaching for the tissues. It’s a beautiful, poignant tale and was the absolutely perfect way to bring this collection to a close. I give this a rating of 5 Stars.
I absolutely loved The Suspenseful Collection: Volume One, And I highly recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a quick read that’s a little out of the ordinary. I’m eagerly looking forward to Didi’s and Kim’s next collaboration!
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Meet the Authors!
Kim is thirty-four (born in 1983), and from London in the UK. She’s a mother to a beautiful toddler and a proud author of seven romance and thriller books. Kim started her as a traditionally published author after she scored a publishing contact with a USA based publisher. She was over the moon! However, it became clear that things were not as she expected. Therefore, she set out on her own journey, she dived head first into the world of self-publishing and republished two of her fictional stories, and became a proud self-published author also. Something great was unleashed, and she’ll never look back in regret.
As a reader, she’s head over heels in love with romance, historical fiction, crime fiction, African-American suspense and thriller genre books. At present Kim is writing a romantic thriller novel, and brainstorming steamy romance novella ideas. As a writer, Kim enjoys creating stories with a diverse and multi-cultural line up, within the romance, romantic suspense, general thriller and crime genres. When she’s not reading or writing stories of her own, her other passions include practising her French, fashion, drawing, make-up artistry, spending time at her sewing machine dressmaking, watching make-up and beauty tutorials on YouTube, letter writing and being a mum.
Social Media Links:
Twitter ~ @kimknightauthoruk
Facebook ~ @kimknightauthoruk
Author Site ~ http://www.kimknightauthor.com
Amazon Author Page
Didi Oviatt is a small-town gal who married a small-town guy. Within a few years of experiencing a new families bliss, she discovered that she had a thirst to write. Now, after digging down deep and getting in touch with her literary self, she’s writing mystery/thrillers like Search For Kaylee (coming soon), Aggravated Momentum, The Stix, and New Age Lamians. Along with a six-piece short story collection called the Time Wasters And don’t fret: there are two more Lamian novels in the works. When Didi doesn’t have her nose buried in a book, she can be found enjoying a laid back outdoorsy life. Time spent sleeping under the stars, hiking, fishing, and ATVing the back roads of beautiful mountain trails, and bathing in the desert heat plays an important part of her day to day lifestyle.
Social Media Links:
WordPress ~ https://didioviatt.wordpress.com
Amazon Author Page ~ https://www.amazon.com/Didi-Oviatt/e/BOOHVJJTLE/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1503030553&sr=8-1
Facebook ~ https://www.facebook.com/didioviatt
Twitter ~ @Didi_Oviatt
Smashwords ~ https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DidiO
Instagram ~ https://www.instagram.com/didioviatt/