Daniel is my son. He has always been mine. And he always will be.
On some level deep inside, Laura Bateman knows something is wrong. That her relationship with her son is not what it should be. That it is based on lies.
But bad things have happened to Laura. Things that change a person. Forever.
For twenty-six-year-old Daniel, the discovery that his mother is not who he thought comes close to destroying him. As his world turns upside down, he searches for sanity in the madness that has become his life. Daniel is left with nothing but questions. Why did Laura do something so terrible? Can he move past the demons of his childhood?
And the biggest question of all: can he ever forgive Laura?
This is the first book I’ve read by Maggie James and I certainly enjoyed it.
It’s an emotional tale of Laura Bateman who is driven to steal someone else’s young child, the reasons why and the terrible impact on herself, Daniel (who’s now an adult,) and Daniel’s real family are all explored.
Can Daniel forgive the woman who kidnapped him? And what sad secrets is she keeping from him? And what terrible truth hasn’t he told her?
There are startling revelations, and emotional scenes with the story building up slowly but surely to its conclusion.
It’s a difficult one to comment on in detail without spoiling the story. But I didn’t quite buy into the girlfriend conundrum revelation at the beginning of the story. Some of the other details regarding Daniel’s life story and proclivities were more interesting to me.
This is for you if you enjoy psychological suspense with a strong emotional aspect, looking at both a female and male viewpoint (cleverly done,) as the story is written in dual point of view. The plot is simple, engaging and effective. The characters are damaged by the tragic circumstances of their lives and this is conveyed well. Laura Bateman’s certainty that her actions were justified creates an interesting and engaging aspect to the story.
Overall, an enjoyable read, which kept me turning the pages.
A recommended read – my rating 4 stars.
Thank you so much to the author for a copy. I freely give my unbiased and considered opinion.
Since Maylee was abducted from her high school the very month of graduation, her Aunt Autumn has never lost hope in finding her.
It’s been three years. Autumn has finally reached inside herself and found the courage to track down an old lead, and travels across the country to find more clues about Maylee’s disappearance.
But will she be able to pry Maylee’s case back open, and what will she uncover in the process of searching for Maylee?
It’s a cold, dark world we live in, and Autumn is about to find out just how cruel it can be. But strength and determination are on her side, and she will do whatever it takes to deliver justice.
This is an impressive debut novel. It’s strengths lie in great characterisation, fantastic detailing and descriptions which enhance the reader’s experience.
Search For Maylee has much to commend it: sadness, anger, grief, fear, anxiety, the list goes on and on.
I won’t lie to you, it’s pretty grim and gut wrenchingly sad in places, and parts of it made me want to cry with the sheer terror and torment suffered by the young women, as you would expect in such abductions.
Autumn sets out to find her niece and uncovers a group of predatory and evil men. She puts herself in dangerous situations and doesn’t give up. She is one strong-willed, determined lady and I loved her for that. I particularly loved the part where she went undercover. That alone sent chills down my spine.
No spoilers, but kudos to the author for adding a touch of lightness with the developing love story between Autumn and Chance to soften the edge off some of the trauma.
The ending was bitter sweet. Personally, I don’t think it would have been right to end the narrative any other way. I can’t say anymore for fear of spoiling the story for you.
A fantastic tale, well done Didi Oviatt. I am sure I will be reading more from this author. I listened to Search For Maylee on audio and loved the Author’s About The Author page which was wonderfully recounted, so personal, giving the listener an added bonus – Didi Oviatt explains her love of writing and how she is an “unexpected novelist.”
I related to that sentiment a lot.
Rating: 5 stars. Highly recommended for readers of crime, suspense, and thriller fiction.
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The tired, small hatchback hit a rock next to the edge of the road and came to an unexpected and abrupt stop. Erica had not seen the bulky thing hidden underneath the uncut grass. She switched off the engine and got out. There seemed no significant damage to her old banger but she couldn’t care less right now, to be honest, and decided she would leave it parked here anyway. She must be close.
Quite frankly, she considered herself lucky to have made it this far; the roads had been bumpy and her car was in a dire condition, too. It wouldn’t be much longer before it would have to be scrapped. Living in London she rarely needed it and had often been tempted to sell it anyway.
This was deepest Wales, the countryside – something that the Londoner in her had not seen for years and certainly hadn’t missed. Poor phone reception, miles to the nearest supermarket with its supplies of cigarettes and bubbly: that’s what the countryside meant to her.
She guessed the car was sufficiently off the road and out of the way. Who would come here, anyway? It was unlikely that two cars would find this remote corner of Wales at the same time, she reckoned. Erica looked around: not a living soul in sight, no houses or vehicles; she was totally off the beaten track. She could see no significant landmarks; all views were blocked by large trees and hedges. It was drizzling a little and although it was past lunchtime, there was mist that reminded her of early mornings. The wind had made the spring temperatures drop more than she had anticipated and she was chilly in her inadequate city clothing.
She searched her purse for the map, which her assistant Hilda had drawn for her. It seemed as if she was in the right place; there was the small path at the foot of the hill, and the two opposing gates leading to fields with horses and sheep. Since leaving her nearby B&B, all the road junctions she had come to had been easy to recognise and here was the little shoulder by the side of the road, where Hilda had recommended she should park the car.
She assured herself once more that it was the right path and then she psyched herself up for the walk up the steep hill. The tricky part, Hilda had explained, was finding the hidden gate, which would lead her to the man himself. However, Hilda didn’t have pancreatic cancer and was not recovering from a course of chemo and so she had no idea how difficult it would be for Erica to walk up that hill. It seemed by no means the easy climb her assistant had called it. For all her recent goodness, that woman could drive her mad.
Erica looked at herself in the outside mirror of her car before getting ready to face the man. Her hair had not fallen out from the chemo but it had turned grey and made her look much older than she was. There were still crow’s feet and wrinkles despite being facially bloated – it really wasn’t fair; the worst of both worlds. People used to think of Erica as at least five years younger than she actually was, but now people thought she was five years older. Overnight it seemed, she had aged from 40 to 50 but given her current situation she would be lucky to reach 45. Additionally, she had lost a lot of weight, despite the effect that the steroids had had on her. With her mere 5’ 4’’ frame, she looked tiny and felt thin and weak.
Only this man might be able to improve her chances and she desperately hoped the trip here would be worth it. If the man really was who Hilda thought, there was a slight chance for her. If she could make him speak to her, then she was sure she could persuade him to help – if he still possessed those powers. There suddenly seemed a lot of ifs.
She locked the car and began the climb up the tree-covered hill. Her trainers slid on the moist moss, her jeans too tight for some of the big steps she had to take. There was only a tiny trodden path, which seemed easy to lose sight of, curving its way upwardly through the trees. She was glad she had the map. Hilda deserved an award for organising this; if Erica ever made it back to her position at work she would make sure to find a way of compensating her, if she had anything left after she had paid the man.
Her assistant had come here a few days ago and had scouted the place out in the manner of a gifted detective. Hilda had been an angel the last few months with an uncalled for loyalty and devotion which Erica felt she didn’t deserve.
This is a shout out for my friend Christoph Fischer’s whose medical thriller The Healer is part of this multi author, charity box set of medical thrillers DO NO HARM.
Unique Selling Point: Unique, Imaginative, ‘Charming, enchanting and richly layered this is purely delightful.’
“This delightful book will appeal to teens and young adults who love stories filled with magical crystals, dark family curses, and mysteries waiting to be solved around every corner. Each chapter leads you on a journey of discovery where Amelina earns the right to use three wizard stones to reset the balance of time and finally break the curse that holds her family hostage. A captivating tale!” – Colleen M. Chesebro (Editor)
What if vampires were not the undead, but rather the dying? What if there were two factions among vampires: the sustained and the unsustainable? And what if those factions were at war with one another over the life of a young woman who promised them a future? Vampyrie brings the myth of the vampire into the realm of possibility. Phoebe Angelina Delaney is a reluctant genius and compassionate hothead. She finds herself in a pitch-dark underground and doesn’t remember how she got there. Did she drink too much alcohol and wander off in a stupor, or was she kidnapped by a malicious element determined to make her life a living hell? Sir Michael Alan David is a vampire – an enigma, charismatic and mysterious, who weaves in and out of Phoebe’s life. Does he intend to use his title as a ruse to draw her closer to an unearthly fate, or is he a cloak-and-dagger knight in shining armor? Too many secrets have been kept for too long. Phoebe must unravel the mystery in order to survive. Two major characters from the author’s first novel, Plateau join forces with Phoebe to battle the demons in Vampyrie.
Right from the beginning I really enjoyed Vampyrie Origin of The Vampire and found it to be a new and mysterious slant on the vampire story which has always fascinated me. This interest kept me reading throughout. It was a confident, well written story with excellent plotting, characterisation, dialogue and setting. I particularly enjoyed the martial art slant with Master Po and the emphasis on friendships and family relationships.
On a personal note I would have liked more detail of the rogue’s in battle (and wouldn’t be adverse to more gore,) in the battle scenes but that’s just me! Ha ha. At times long passages of dialogue made me impatient for the forthcoming battle! Yes I can be a bit bloodthirsty!
This novel would really appeal to readers who like vampire stories where the emphasis is less on the sexy lore of the vampire. Instead challenge your perceptions with this unique, and thoughtful read – questioning the legend, secrets and the nature of the choices we make with regard to good and evil. There are revelations to keep the reader on his or her toes too.
Definitely recommended reading. My rating: 4 stars.
The next blockbuster thriller for those who loved The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl…. a novel with “an astonishing intensity that drags you in and never – ever – lets you go.” (Daily Mail, UK)
On a rainy afternoon, a mother’s life is shattered as her son slips from her grip and runs into the street …
I Let You Go follows Jenna Gray as she moves to a ramshackle cottage on the remote Welsh coast, trying to escape the memory of the car accident that plays again and again in her mind and desperate to heal from the loss of her child and the rest of her painful past.
At the same time, the novel tracks the pair of Bristol police investigators trying to get to the bottom of this hit-and-run. As they chase down one hopeless lead after another, they find themselves as drawn to each other as they are to the frustrating, twist-filled case before them.
This psychological thriller surprised me, again and again but I am ashamed to say it has been sitting on my shelf for some time. And guess what – it belongs to my mum! She loves well written murder mysteries and thrillers (the more gruesome the better) but can’t watch anything remotely scary on TV. This cracks me up! So mum, you’d be proud of me, I loved this, even though some passages made me draw a shocked breath in, thankful that I wasn’t the main protagonist in the story.
Here are the blurb sentences on the back of the book and my commentary!
In a split-second, Jenna Gray’s world descends into a nightmare.(No kidding!)
Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows, to start afresh. (But how can she?)
Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life for ever. (And isn’t that an understatement.)
Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. (Curiouser and curiouser!)
But her past is about to catch up with her and the consequences will be devastating…. (Never a truer word said!)
Read I let You Go if you enjoy tense, fast-paced (particularly in the second half of the novel,) thrillers with a twist that surprises and shocks. There is plenty to get your teeth into: emotion, grief, trust, blind love, overcoming fear, a mother’s love, guilt, domestic violence …
Overall 5 stars. The first half of the novel is perhaps a little slow (a four star,) but well worth hanging in there to reach those middle to end chapters that sky rockets this novel up to five stars.
DISCLAIMER: “As of 13th September 2017 we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.” My opinions are my own and any reviews on this site have not been swayed or altered in any way by monetary compensation, or by the offer of a free book in exchange for a review.
Have you read I Let You Go? I’d love to hear your views if you have.
Today, I am delighted to welcome S C Skillman to my blog with her blog tour post and discussion about inspiration.
GUEST POST By SC Skillman For Marjorie Mallon Inspiration, Motivation, and Keeping to the Path
Being an author in today’s world is a much tougher journey than one might ever believe, when one first conceives the desire to write stories.
I was inspired at the age of seven by the adventure stories of Enid Blyton and wanted to write exciting stories like hers. Essentially my desire was to write about girls my own age doing thrilling and dangerous and intrepid things quite out of my own daily experience. I created two girls called Marilyn and Sylvia and wrote many stories about them. They were good, brave, beautiful, clever and talented, everything I wanted to be. In other words, the desire was for transformation.
And this is why I believe we read fiction. Our longing is to be transported from out of our own lives, our own minds, into the mind and heart of someone else, to enter into a different world, to be inside someone else’s skin, to share his or her joys and sorrow and hopes and dreams.
Listening to conversations and observing people and the interaction of their personalities has long fascinated me and is a large part of my desire to write. I wrote a detailed daily journal throughout my teens and twenties, which ran to many volumes, and in it I would often record conversations I had been a part of or had overheard, and observations about people I knew, including family relationships.
The changes in the publishing scene over the past couple of decades have held out a seductive allure to independent authors, offering power and autonomy. Yet the snares along the path are even greater. We have all these opportunities, but also there are many people pursuing the same dream, and recording their success and offering their advice on social media. This can prove overwhelming for sensitive, introverted creative people – which is the case with many writers.
So it can prove a lifeline when we find inspiring quotes to strengthen and uplift us. Here’s one, from St Paul: “But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize.” And he also encouraged his readers with these words: “Only let us live up to all we have attained.”
Knowing that others have struggled for years and eventually, with persistence, won through, is a very helpful reminder for us when we start to doubt the value of our past achievements and allow it to weaken our faith in what we are capable of achieving in the future. My non-fiction book Perilous Path, an inspirational writers guide, contains several chapters which help authors to overcome obstacles in their path and how to use art and music as therapy as well as a source of fresh inspiration.
So, finally, what makes us carry on? We need to draw the water of inspiration and motivation from a reliable well. I found one particular saying of Sir Winston Churchill very powerful. When invited to speak to an audience of school pupils, who were all waiting to hear wise words from the great man, he said, “I only have five words to give you. Never, never, never give up.”