The Dark In-Between by Elizabeth Hrib

View on Goodreads
  • Publication date: May 5, 2020 by Swoon Reads
  • Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

I never should have let go.

In her head, that day is still a blur of shrieking metal and blinding ocean spray. One moment

she’d been searching the coming twilight for the first wink of stars and the next . . .

She didn’t remember in pictures exactly, because the images were blue and purple and black,

like the bottom of the harbor. But she could remember the jump of her heart as the boat cap-

sized against the rocks and the crush of surf that had rolled her over and over.

The tide had caught her limbs, surging up and down as it pushed the breath from her lungs. And against her hands, she could remember the rough scratch of underwater rock and the slick feel of algae as she tried to protect her head. There was something else, too. The silk of skin against hers. Liddy’s fingers tangled with her own, and then nothing but the frantic thought that raged against her temple. Get to the surface.

Had Liddy had that same terrifying thought? Had she had the same realization that she couldn’t tell up from down in the dark?

“It was an accident,” Evan says simply. “Nothing you did or didn’t do would change that

outcome.”

“You weren’t there,” she says. “You don’t know that.”

“You guys wore life jackets. Liddy was just dragged under when the boat tipped. You know this.”

But did she? Casey can’t remember breaking the surface. She can’t remember the first rush of

oxygen into her lungs. So, at what point had she been saved and Liddy lost?

Other flashes of that day rush back—Liddy’s easy grin, the excitement that bled into her laugh, the rev of the boat’s engine— and with it a wave of nausea.

“I have to use the bathroom,” Casey says, turning on her heel and rushing toward the back of

the house. She takes the main set of stairs. They curve sharply, and she races onto the landing,

past the photos of Liddy at equestrian training, vocal recitals, and family vacations. The entire house is a testament to the wonderful person Liddy had been and now serves as a stark reminder of everything her parents had lost—everything Casey had lost in a best friend.

Hands grappling for the right door, she takes refuge in the bathroom, only to find a framed photo of Liddy staring back at her from the shelf mounted beside the sink. It seems that with her passing, more and more pictures had appeared in the house.

And she was always wearing that impossibly bright smile.

Casey tips the photo facedown and barricades herself behind the bathroom door, pressing the

lock with her thumb and running her hand up the wall for the light switch. There’s a fuzzy edge to the silence in the dark. Almost like watching a snowy television screen. The sound of

nothingness, of that blurry noiseless whisper, grows into a pulse she can feel beat beneath her skin as she slides down against the door.

If she squeezes her eyes tight enough, all she can see is black.

Shapes grow out of the darkness in her mind. Tall reaching tree limbs. A black wood, shrouded in shadow and stone, covered in mounds of turned earth.

Casey tries to blink the images away. It’s not the first time this has happened, these grief-

induced daymares.

…Casey?

She freezes. The voice is new.

Excerpt from novel
Photo of author

Elizabeth Hrib was born and raised in London, Ontario where she studied nursing at Western University. She now calls the East Coast home, where she works as a nurse in Halifax. When she’s not working or writing, she can be found at the piano, planning her next Netflix binge, or attempting to keep her small, windowsill garden alive.

Lost Girl by Holly Kammier

VIew on Goodreads
  • Published: January 5, 2020 by Acorn Publishing
  • Genres: Romance, Suspense, Young Adult
  • Edition: Kindle
  • Pages: 292
  • Rating: 3 stars

AN APPALLING ACT OF VIOLENCE AND AN UNSOLVED DOUBLE MURDER.

SMALL-TOWN INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, SHELBY DAY, IS DETERMINED TO HUNT A KILLER. 

As her search draws closer to uncovering the twisted truth, she begins receiving ominous warnings to stay quiet and drop the story. The young journalist is in danger. Her cameraman and best friend, a person with his own secret past, says he wants to protect her. But Shelby is headstrong and dodging anything that could lead to love. She can’t allow anyone to distract her as she fights for the two women who deserve justice. 

She never expects along the way she’ll have to stop and save herself.

Ticktock… If Shelby doesn’t solve the crime soon, she’ll become the killer’s next victim. 

This is my first book by this author and it will certainly not be my last! I sat down with this book and only planned to get a few chapters knocked out, but ended up binge-reading it in one sitting! This book has a little bit of everything: an unsolved double murder, a budding romance, and unexpected reveals!

When this book opens, readers are quickly introduced to the main character: Shelby Day. The protagonist’s career is in reporting and she is currently tasked with interviewing individuals close to the two murdered victims whose killer still hasn’t been caught.

Day’s character is very career driven and feels like she does not have time for a committed relationship while opting for casual flings instead. However, things get complicated when she starts acknowledging her deeper feelings for a longtime male friend.

The mixture of suspense and feelings of love continue to build as this novel goes on, which leads to one killer ending. You see what I did there?

I hope those who read this enjoy my review and are encouraged to pick this one up! I’d also like to take a moment and thank Giselle from Xpresso Book Tours for allowing me a spot on this tour.

Heist by Kezzy Sparks

  • Published: October 31, 2019
  • Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Thriller
  • Edition: Kindle
  • Pages: 364
  • Rating: 3 stars

In this debut instalment, a dark mage acting on behalf of a vengeful ex has magically removed the genitals of a man and vanished, leaving him wiped clean down there. And unfortunately for the victim, he is set to wed…now imagine saying ‘I do’ while in that deprived state. 

No wonder when a shell-shocked and heartbroken Casey walks into Melanie’s office to report the incident, the witch hunter immediately goes on a chase, risking her own life as she encounters dark creatures and malevolent spirits in the city’s darkest corners.

The pressure is indeed on Mel: the wedding is fast approaching and leads remain few. Will she be able to corner the mage, recover the taken goods and save a doomed marriage, while bringing the conspirators to justice?

I must confess that once I read the synopsis on this one, I knew I had to read it! I love thrillers, but I haven’t read many with paranormal elements involved; however, this one did not disappoint! This title has a little bit of everything: a man looking forward to marrying his beloved, a mage hired to extract revenge, and a woman tasked with hunting down said mage.

The readers are introduced to Casey grabbing drinks at a bar before his upcoming wedding. He is looking forward to married life despite the feedback from his buddies. It is here that Casey encounters the mage, but her appearance has been altered by one of her spells; to Casey, she appears as this attractive, young woman that he can’t seem to resist. Her spell works and she manages to isolate him and perform her removal.

Alone with the victim, the mage performs the operation while he is in a drunken stupor. Upon awaking the next morning, he quickly spots the violation and begins seeking out solutions for his situation. While looking for answers, he is pointed in the direction of Melanie; she’s a witch hunter and agrees to help him out.

Melanie definitely has her work cut out for her, but remains optimistic that she can help restore Casey’s manhood. The wedding is days away, the mage has to be found, the stolen goods have to be returned…will justice prevail? You’ll have to read to find out!

* I’d like to thank Giselle from Xpresso Book Tours for allowing me a spot on this tour and for providing me with a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.

Sweet Poisons by Natalie Bennett

  • June 18, 2019
  • Genres: New Adult, Romance
  • Edition: Kindle
  • Pages: 236
  • Rating: 3 stars

Rhett Sullivan.

Mysterious boy painted in shades of red.

Nova Markov
Eccentric girl dripping in sunshine.

He was the type mother’s warned their little girls about—a cocky, rich asshole with a pretty smile, unapologetically insane and wild.

I was the type guys like him usually ignored—a free spirit who hid my crazy beneath an odd good girl facade, and the art hanging on my studio walls.

We were opposites in every way but one, and we collided like two runaway trains that never had a chance of stopping.

What blossomed between us, our ‘relationship’, was maniacal.

We got stuck in a cycle of madness.

Rhett Sullivan became a bittersweet poison I couldn’t get enough of.

In the end, that’s what destroyed me.

Because in the end?
Our love was nothing but a lie.

Author note: I said I was done slapping warning labels on my book babies this year, but since I have never written full on NA yet, I’m going to give a tiny one now. This will be the only label this duet will have. If you are not a fan of twisted stories that deal with dark themes, rich assholes, and lots of filthy sex, this will not appeal to you. This couple is not unicorns and rainbows and neither is their story

I must confess that the main reason I decided to checkout this book was because of its cover; the cover oozes darkness, but with an adequate amount of sensuality. After reading the book’s synopsis, however, I knew this was one I had to read; boy, must I say, it didn’t disappoint! From the beginning of this book, I was hooked and ended up finishing it in one sitting.

Honestly, I’ve never been a fan of romantic novels; I find those reads to be redundant and predictable. If you think this book is going to be another one of those reads, then you are mistaken and are best to leave this one behind. Yes, this book follows a budding romance between Nova and Rhett, but it is far from a “match made in heaven” or having a “fairy-tale ending.”

Nova is a twenty-two year old who has recently experienced the loss of her parents while Rhett is the mysterious new guy around town. As best as Nova tries to keep her distance from Rhett, their paths continue to cross and she finds herself no longer trying to push him away. However, the newfound relationship is in jeopardy of being destroyed before it even has a chance to evolve into something long-lasting; Rhett has a secret he’s hiding and when Nova begins to uncover the truth, the outcome will be unexpected for both of them.

I would recommend this book to those that enjoy romance novels that have a darker storyline. This book contains expletive language, sex, and violence; if mentions of these topics are triggering for you, then I highly suggest you steering clear of this book altogether.

Last, but not least, I want to thank Giselle for having me be a part of this Xpresso Book Tours event.