Tag Archives: a must read

Sometimes the truth is better left dead . . .

Sweet Karoline by Catherine Astolfo

Sweet Karoline by Catherine Astolfo

Today I’m featuring the psychological suspense novel SWEET KAROLINE by CATHERINE ASTOLFO. This book has gotten some phenomenal reviews! Critics and bloggers are calling it a “page turner to the end” and “earmarked to be a classic”; “reminiscent of Daphne DuMaurier and Patricia Highsmith”.

Get it at AMAZON:  http://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Karoline-ebook/dp/B00DUIDMKO

PUBLISHER IMAJIN BOOKS: http://www.imajinbooks.com/catherine-astolfo

READ AN EXCERPT: http://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Karoline-Catherine-Astolfo/dp/192779207X

WATCH THE TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/?gl=CA

BOOK BLURB:
If I knew what I know now, would I have searched so hard for the truth?

Anne Williams says she killed her best friend, Karoline. But did she? Or is there more to Karoline’s mysterious death than meets the eye?

Anne embarks on a compelling journey to discover her past and exposes an unusual history, horrific crimes and appalling betrayals. Through unexpected turns and revelations, Anne learns about love, family and who she really is. Can she survive the truth?

REVIEWS:

Earmarked to be an award-winning classic, Sweet Karoline is undoubtedly a gripping page-turner to the very end.” — US Review of Books, RECOMMENDED

“Sweet Karoline is a cleverly constructed psychological novel of perceptions, with a narration that brought to mind Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and a plot reminiscent of Patricia Highsmith.” The Crime Thriller Hound Reviews

http://www.crimethrillerhound.co.uk/#!sweet-caroline/c1pw2
“From the story lead, she’s claimed to have killed her beloved roommate, Karoline, and quite handily for that matter. Yet it lingers and haunts…This might be part LA Confidential and part Fight Club, but for women.” The US Review of Books, First Chapter Reviews
http://www.theusreview.com/first-reviews/Sweet-Astolfo.html#.VKxYIyfwO1k

“Astolfo’s wonderful first sentence in Sweet Karoline explodes on the page and resonates right to the end of this twisting examination of dangerous minds. Never have I encountered a narrative voice that alternates more deftly between alienating and enticing.” —Mel Bradshaw, author of Fire On The Runway

“A deliciously twisted story about the perplexing power of adult female relationships. By turns scathingly funny and darkly insightful, Sweet Karoline is a hedonistic journey with all the right ingredients: lust, betrayal, true love and mystery. Grab a glass of wine and have the bottle handy. A compelling read from the start through to the surprising end.” —Robin Spano, author of Death’s Last Run

“In Catherine Astolfo’s chilling new novel Sweet Karoline, things aren’t always as they seem. Anne, the multifaceted anti-heroine in this noir tale takes a fateful journey into her forgotten past, uncovering the painful roots of her childhood. While furrowing for answers, a mystery unfolds, truths swirl to the surface, a heinous murder occurs. Who’s the killer? Caught in a tangled web of greed, lies and deceit Anne must come to terms with her past, present and future, and the bleak realization that those we hold close may be the last ones to trust. Compelling, visually descriptive, deftly delivered…Catherine Astolfo’s got the goods!” —Douglas Wickard, author of A Perfect Husband

“Sweet Karoline is a multi-layered mystery, where nothing is as it seems. The story grips you on page one and leads you through a maze of history, twisted relationships, and ultimately the darkness of the human mind.” —Liz Bugg, author of Oranges and Lemons

“In Sweet Karoline, Astolfo has created a daring hybrid mystery that combines elements of romance, history, and suspense in a carefully crafted story that keeps you guessing to the very end. Astolfo explores new boundaries as she extends her reach beyond the cozy mystery in this psychological exploration of the mind of a killer. A unique exploration of guilt and revenge.” —Michael J. McCann, author of The Fregoli Delusion

“The clever plot twists in Sweet Karoline will enrapture you from page one through the last paragraphs of this fast-paced modern mystery. Author Catherine Astolfo exhibits a strikingly perceptive gift for believable dialogue and rich character development. Her dry wit and colorful descriptions will have you howling in laughter at points, but in tears at others as she digs deep into the themes of guilt, race, and relationships. The powers of love and redemption are strong, but does the heart of an Ice Queen ever really melt? Enjoy the romp from Los Angeles, through Canada, to a priceless Italian rendezvous—all in the pages of Sweet Karoline, where long-buried secrets lie.” —Lisa Pell, award-winning author of Who’s Your Daddy, Baby?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Catherine Astolfo retired in 2002 after a very successful 34 years in education. Catherine received the Elementary Dufferin-Peel OECTA Award for Outstanding Service in 1998. She was also awarded Dufferin-Peel Catholic Elementary Principal of the Year in 2002 by the Catholic Principals Council of Ontario.

Catherine is a past President of Crime Writers of Canada and a Derrick Murdoch Award winner (2012). She was a Zonta Club 2012 Nominee for Women of Achievement.

Writing is Catherine’s passion. She can recall inventing fantasy stories for her classmates in Grade Three. Her short stories and poems have been published in a number of literary Canadian presses. In 2005, she won a Brampton Arts Award. Her short stories won the Bloody Words Short Story Award (second and first) in 2009 and 2010. She won the prestigious Arthur Ellis Best Short Crime Story Award in 2012. Catherine’s novels, The Emily Taylor Mysteries, as well as Sweet Karoline (July 14, 2013), are published by Imajin Books and are optioned for film by Sisbro & Co. Inc. Visit Catherine at http://www.catherineastolfo.com.

CONNECT WITH CATHERINE ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Catherine-Astolfo/426898307395107?ref=hl

Twitter: @cathyastolfo

Goodreads:
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/852970.Catherine_Astolfo

Google+: https://plus.google.com/116263954589831804470

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/castolfo

WEB SITE: www.catherineastolfo.com

BLOG: www.katywords.blogspot.com

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Filed under book critics, book reviews, CRIME, MYSTERY, PSYCHOLOGICAL SUSPENSE, PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER, SUSPENSE, SUSPENSE THRILLER, THRILLER

Sneak Peek Monday: The Accidental Witch by Jessica Penot (paranormal romance)

THE ACCIDENTAL WITCH COVER Today’s Sneak Peek is the  The Accidental Witch by Jessica Penot (paranormal with romantic elements) from Lachesis Publishing. It’s funny, scary, clever, and features a heroine that you will just love to bits.

What it’s about:

Phaedra Michaels is a small town psychologist who is beginning to lose hope. Two of her patients at the local hospital in Dismal, Alabama have just killed themselves, she’s still reeling from her divorce and what turned out to be a disastrous marriage, and her father has died, leaving her without any notion of who her real mother is.

Just as Phaedra decides to commit herself to a serious drinking problem and an eating disorder, or two, a mysterious spell book arrives in the mail. Feeling desperate, Phaedra uses it to cast spells to save her fading patients. Suddenly, good things start happening.  Phaedra’s patients begin to get better and she even starts dating the sexy doctor from the hospital.

Phaedra is so happy she doesn’t notice the small things that start to go wrong in Dismal, or the dark creatures slithering out of the shadows near her house. When Phaedra finally realizes her spells have attracted every card-carrying demon from hell, she has no choice but to accept help from a slightly nerdy, 500 year-old warlock with a penchant for wearing super hero T-shirts and a knack for getting under Phaedra’s skin. Now, if only she could get the hang of this witch thing, she might be able to save her town.

EXCERPT:

I carefully pulled the twine and the brown paper fell off. Beneath the paper was a large, leather bound book. It looked like an old journal or recipe book. It was tied together with a red ribbon and the ribbon held numerous pieces of paper. I ran my hands over the smooth leather and read the title of the book. It simply said Spells.

I laughed and pulled the red ribbon that held the book together. The book fell open. Inside, it was like a recipe book a mother would pass on to a daughter. There were old typed pages with handwritten notes in the margins. There were pages added with handwritten spells on them and drawings.

“What the hell?” I said as I leafed through the old book. There were potions and summoning spells and candle spells. In-between pages, there were pressed flowers and herbs and some of the pages were stained with old candle wax.

I set the book down and went into the kitchen and opened the fridge. At least the kitchen was done. It looked like any other modern kitchen. It had granite counter tops and marble floors. I’d spared no expense making it look like something that belonged in an old southern mansion. I wanted the house to be perfect and I had Johnny Boy’s money to help me achieve that dream. The lights flickered when I entered. I would have to talk to Lawson about that in the morning. I took a beer out of the fridge and opened it. I had a sip and grabbed a roll of cookie dough. Armed with the cookie dough and beer, I returned to the book. It had fallen off the counter, to the floor, and was opened to a page. I laughed again. The page it had opened to was love spells. That was just what I needed.

I sat down and ate and drank and leafed through the book. I stopped at a page with an interesting picture on it. The spell was an awakening spell. It awakened you to the supernatural world. I hesitated and looked at the script around it.

Something fell upstairs and the lights went out. I fumbled around and found the nearest flashlight and switched it on just as the lights flickered back on.

“Lawson, you asshole,” I said as I turned the flashlight off. “The wiring is done in the parlor, my ass.”

A sudden wave of fatigue washed over me and I picked up my mess and carted my sorry butt upstairs. I climbed into bed with my flashlight. I still had the book of spells. It had been so long since someone had given me something that I had forgotten what it felt like. I knew the book was more than weird. It bordered on creepy. A normal woman would probably burn the damn thing, but I wasn’t a normal woman. I was a lonely divorcée living in a house known to be haunted, but I loved it the way most people love their pets. I was the daughter of a man who had made it clear that he loathed me, with a step-mother who’d bought me toilet paper for Christmas. The creepy book was wonderful to me. It meant that someone out there, even if they were a freak, cared about me, and freak love was better than no love at all.

Connect with Jessica online on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

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Filed under HORROR, Lachesis Publishing, PARANORMAL, PARANORMAL ROMANCE, PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER, ROMANCE AUTHOR, ROMANCE FICTION, ROMANCE NOVEL, ROMANCE NOVELS, ROMANTIC ELEMENTS, ROMANTIC FICTION, SUPERNATURAL, SUPERNATURAL ROMANCE, WITCHES