Tag Archive | murder

Short Story #1 – That One Night!

Olivia Bradford stared out of the window of her bungalow. The sun was setting. The sky was so red that she felt that someone had inflicted a mean-looking wound on it. The wound-like opening opened wide, pouring out reddish orange light across the sky. Olivia felt that the sky was bleeding just like her heart. The opening atlast swallowed the sun & darkness crept over the vast unknown space. She turned to her room, which was nothing but sombre.

It was time for another sleepless night. This had been the norm for the past nine years. Without Austin, the house seemed to be nothing but an empty place. She lay in her bed & her thoughts wandered over to that one night, when she had done the most outrageous thing in her life. Nine years ago, on a similar night, she had confronted Austin, with so many questions. Austin was her husband of ten years. Olivia & Austin were a wonderful couple. They were childless but then in their daily life they found so much time for each other that not having a child, to call their own, didn’t come as a big problem. Also, they both had married late. At the time of their marriage, Olivia was 41 & Austin, 43. On some outings made on her own, Olivia had heard that Austin was having an affair with Jade, his personal secretary. This news had broken her heart. She trusted him, but then, to hear such a thing…that too when Jade was a woman of only 27, almost half of Austin’s age.

She had cried for nights & at last decided to confront him. His attitude when questioned, made her sure that there was something fishy going on. She was driven to a state of craziness, when he had said “What if I have an affair?. You got anything to lose?”. She had rushed to the kitchen, grabbed the largest knife from her cutlery & ran back to her room. She still remembered how his eyes had widened on seeing the wild look in her eyes & the gleam of the knife in her hands. She hadn’t given it a second thought. She closed her eyes & stabbed hard. The knife passed through his heart, maybe because it showed the breaking of their beautiful bond. Three more stabs & he was lying down on the floor with a frozen look in his eyes. She had cried over his body. Next morning, her neighbours had rushed to her house only to find her screaming her lungs out & Austin lying in a cold pool of blood.

Police came soon, apprehended her & she was taken to the court later, where she confessed to her crime. Considering her age (she was 51 at the time of the murder) & her present disturbed mental state, her eleven years had been reduced to nine years. So she had served nine years in jail. The sadness & agony, she had undergone there, was clearly seen on her face now. She had become a quiet woman, who often burst into angry torrents, when reminded of her past life by any of her neighbours. She never entertained anyone. There was no one who wanted to be her friend or companion. She was called various names such as a hag, a harridan e.t.c. by people. She couldn’t have cared less.

When she was serving her first year in jail, she had come into possession of Austin’s diary, reading which, she had realised that he had given Jade, the position of a daughter. As he was getting older, Jade had supported him in everything at the office, sparking off rumours that they were having an affair. Olivia had not slept soundly after knowing this. Guilt brought her to the edge of madness. That frightened look in Austin’s eyes often flashed through her mind like a lightning. How could she have done this?. Austin had got angry when she had confronted him because he couldn’t have believed that Olivia could suspect Jade, of all the people.

Now, Olivia was back to her bungalow. At 60, she led an austere life. Society didn’t care for her nor did she care for it. She went back to the window. She couldn’t lie in her bed for long. Now, the moon had come out & was shining in full glory. There was only a sycamore in the vicinity from this window. It’s branches were bare. Looking at it, she felt that the bare branches were out to grab her. It had a menacing look. One leaf blew onto her face. She caught it & stared at it. It was very dry, as dry as her life was now, without the caring & loving touch of Austin. She didn’t like crying now. The life in jail had taught her to control her tears. But now, a single tear was forming in her right eye & threatening to run down her puckered cheek. She didn’t want to cry. She looked out at the night & the now waning moon. Before she could control, that one tear started flowing & the rest of her tears followed. No one was there to witness it, but the waning moon, the sycamore & that night…

Backstory

I wrote this story in the time period of just one hour, on Aug 9th, 2005. More than the story line itself, I love to give more importance to surroundings and to describe things vividly.

Thank you for the few who showed interest in reading my works, giving me the confidence to share it here. Hope you liked it. Kindly leave feedback.

Disclosure : This is the sole intellectual property of Naznin Azeez and should not be copied.

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Naz ♥

Blog Tour : A Murder of Magpies by Sarah Bromley – ARC Book Review and Giveaway!

 

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Welcome to my stop of ‘A Murder of Magpies’ blog tour!

ABOUT A MURDER OF MAGPIES

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Title: A Murder of Magpies

Publication date: October 28, 2014

Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.

Author: Sarah Bromley

Winter in Black Orchard, Wisconsin, is long and dark, and sixteen-year-old Vayda Silver prays the snow will keep the truth and secrecy of the last two years buried. Hiding from the past with her father and twin brother, Vayda knows the rules: never return to the town of her mother’s murder, and never work a Mind Game where someone might see.

No one can know the toll emotions take on Vayda, how emotion becomes energy in her hands, or how she can’t control the destruction she causes. But it’s not long before her powers can no longer be contained. The truth is dangerously close to being exposed, placing Vayda and her family at risk.

Until someone quiets the chaos inside her.

Unwanted. That’s all Ward Ravenscroft has ever been. To cope, he numbs the pain of rejection by denying himself emotions of any kind. Yet Vayda stirs something in him. He can’t explain the hold she has on him–inspiring him with both hope and fear. He claims not to scare easily, except he doesn’t know what her powers can do. Yet.

Just as Vadya and Ward draw closer, she finds the past isn’t so easily buried. And when it follows the Silvers to Black Orchard, it has murder in mind.

My Review

The book cover, simple as it is, has an alluring quality to it, coupled with the interesting title. The solitary bird under the glaring light from the street lamp post, featured on a sepia toned cover with a touch of color only for the title, makes this cover one of the most intriguing book covers I have ever seen. Readers could interpret it in many ways. The font of the title is beautiful. Also, the title is very cleverly formed. It has the word ‘Murder’ in it since there is a murder in the story, but clearly it indicates a group of birds, particularly magpies, which is also a nickname, the protagonist of this story, Vayda goes by!

Vayda Silver is a girl with a lot of power that she herself underestimates. She can read minds, calm people down, feel what others are feeling or even burst overhead lightings when the feelings become too much to handle and the energy rises. Her twin brother, Jonah Silver is the opposite of her. He riles up people and push out his feelings, moving objects by a mere flick of his wrist. He is like fire while Vayda is like ice. Together they are like Ying and Yang, balancing each other. I love their relationship. It is imperfect and that’s why I can relate to it. Their love is unconditional yet they do fight each other at times. Jonah always looks out for Vayda and protects her.

They both, along with their father, Emory Silver are on the run. Their mind games have earned them names like freak, gypsy and witch. So, they keep moving, always looking over their shoulders, afraid they will be recognized by someone from a previous place they have stayed at. Vayda is lonely, scared to commit to someone but that changes when along comes Ward, a damaged boy with a disturbed past of his own, who somehow calms Vayda down and makes her experience peace, which she rarely does otherwise.

The unspoken attraction between Vayda and Ward and then their love story as we move deeper into the story, is very nicely depicted. It’s very sweet. Each chapter is written from either Vayda’s or Ward’s POV. Other important characters in the book are Rain Killian, Vayda’s and Jonah’s godfather, Marty Pifkin and Chloe, who are their classmates and ones who are always looking out to fight Vayda and Jonah and, Sister Tremblay, someone who seemingly exudes hatred towards the Silver family.

Vayda and Jonah’s late mother, Lorna was someone who quite enjoyed the power the mind games gave her over others. But that got her killed. Now, would her family too suffer and perish like her?. You got to read the book to know more!

The author has really created an amazing and powerful world, with her words!. I am in awe of her work. The situations all tie in well. There are certain situations though, which needs a tad more clarity / explanation. That’s the only fault I could find in the book. Otherwise, it’s an engaging read, which will have you craving to read all of it in one go!.

I give this book 4 out of 5, which by Goodreads standards mean, I ‘really liked it’!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR : SARAH BROMLEY

Sarah Bromley

Sarah Bromley lives near St. Louis with her husband, three children, and two dogs. She likes the quiet hours of morning when she can drink coffee in peace, stare into the woods behind her house, and wonder what monsters live there. When she’s not writing or wrangling small children, she can be found volunteering at a stable for disabled riders.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter Facebook | Goodreads

TOURWIDE GIVEAWAY

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PURCHASE LINKS TO THE BOOK

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | TBD | IndieBound

Source : I was provided a complimentary ebook copy for review purpose. All opinions are 100% my own.

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Naz ♥

ARC Book Review: Collateral Damage by Frederick Lee Brooke

Hey all!

I will be reviewing a murder mystery/suspense thriller today. But first, more about the author.

Frederick

Frederick Lee Brooke is the author of the widely-acclaimed Annie Ogden mystery series, which includes Doing Max Vinyl, Zombie Candy, and Collateral Damage. A consummate jet setter, he was born and raised in Chicago (where both Doing Max Vinyl and Zombie Candy are set) and has lived in Illinois, Massachusetts, Montana, France, and Germany; he has called Switzerland his home for the past two decades.

Brooke’s love of the written and spoken word is vast—not only has he taught English in various European schools, he also knows French, German, and Italian, and dabbles in Turkish in his spare time. This love of language led him to quit his day job two years ago and focus on his original dream: writing fiction. When not writing books, his three kids (and their homework) keep him busy. He is currently working on a new series of thrillers and, once that’s done, he might take some time to visit one of those Swiss chocolate factories (but only for the free samples). He can often be found chopping vegetables in the kitchen, and makes a mean lasagna!

You can find him online at www.FrederickLeeBrooke.com. Sign up for his newsletter and read all about his travels, recipes, and upcoming works!

Book Summary

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A love story. 

When Annie Ogden’s ex-boyfriend Michael Garcia reappears, she has to confront a lie dating back to her time in Iraq. Will she go back to hot, passionate Michael, who has developed a disturbing interest in meth, or will she stick with her pudgy PI partner and fiancé, Salvatore?

A murder.

The calculus changes when Michael is arrested for murder. When Salvatore refuses to help investigate, Annie is forced to try to find the killer herself. Meanwhile her sister’s creepy husband, Todd, is making more of an ass of himself than usual.

An obsession.

Annie’s problems with three obsessive men suddenly pale in significance when she realizes the killer has set his sights on her.

My review

Collateral Damage has a very nice book cover. It shows Annie Ogden, the main character of this book and a man being stabbed. The diamond ring is of significance too. The title is not only intriguing, it’s also apt for this book. The author actually showed 2 possible book covers with slight differences, on his Facebook page and asked his fans to choose one. I am so glad that the final cover that got chosen was the one I had voted for!

The story revolves around Annie, her fiancé Salvatore and her ex lover Michael. The characters are excellently created such that they are flawed and thus makes them people that you could easily have associated with, in real life. Their emotions are real and tangible. Annie is a very bold, beautiful yet complicated person. She complicates everything. Salvatore is a person who loves Annie so much, is jealous of Micheal but at the same time is downright understanding. Michael is a passionate and weird person. I say weird because he does things that no one would normally do, yet in his eyes it’s perfectly normal. He is so obsessed with Annie. The love between him and Annie is described really well and you totally understand what a passionate and close relationship they had. Without being graphic, the author excels in conveying their burning desires and I think that’s a mighty achievement!

The book is written in first person narrative from the point of view of two people, Annie and Salvatore. I love first person narrative!. There is absolutely no confusion here because each chapter heading contains the name of the person whose point of view is discussed in that chapter. I liked this approach.

The murder is set in such a way that you would think it’s ABSOLUTELY impossible to find the killer. Each step during the investigation, only toughens the case rather than making it easy. I loved the book to bits for that. I love tough cases because finding a killer in such cases keep the whole book intriguing and unputdownable (my crazy computer thinks it’s not a legit word!. There is a red underline for spell check. Jeez!). The author has really built a case that is believable and takes us step by step towards solving the case piece by piece until the whole puzzle is completed and the killer is found.

Thrillers being my favorite genre and having read many a mystery by several top-notch authors, I take pride in the fact that I am able to solve cases and find the killer (most of the time) before the book ends . But that was not the case here. No no, my friend!. I couldn’t put my finger on who that person was and finally when it was revealed, I was shocked, to say the least!. This book also makes you sit up and think about how much information about yourself you put up on the internet and how much access into your life, you are giving to anonymous people around you. It’s creepy.

The other significant characters are also built very well. I usually don’t like it at all, if there are unanswered bits in a book. After reading, I had one single yet important question on my mind. I couldn’t come up with an answer to that. So I wrote to Frederick. He wrote back promptly and answered the question for me. It perfectly made sense. I won’t reveal the question here because it’s like a spoiler. This book is *mind blowing*, I tell you. You have got to read it.  Add it to your ever increasing pile of TBR right now. But put it right on top of the pile so that you read it first!!

Frederick has officially made it to my favorite-authors-of-all-time list!. I give this book 5 stars, which by Goodreads standards mean ‘it was amazing’.

Purchase link

Amazon ~

Click on the link above to purchase this book for just $0.99 (Limited period only!).

How I received a copy

An ARC ebook was gifted to me by the author. It was not given for review purposes but it would be an utter shame if I don’t review such an awesome book. Every thing mentioned here is 100% my own thoughts.

Love,
Naz