Authors Showcase: Psychics and Suspense
October 18, 2012
The Book: Dark Before Dawn
The Author: Stacy Juba
When teen psychic Dawn Christian gets involved with a fortuneteller mentor and two girls who share her mysterious talents, she finally belongs after years of being a misfit. When she learns her new friends may be tied to freak “accidents” in town, Dawn has an important choice to make – continue developing the talent that makes her special or challenge the only people who have ever accepted her.
This novel is appropriate for young adults ages 12 and up, or adults, and contains an excerpt from Stacy Juba’s classic young adult family hockey novel Face-Off.
Review by Nanette Martin: Stacy Juba’s paranormal, YA Mystery, Dark Before Dawn, is a enjoyable escape, no matter your age. Pick it up when you have time to finish because, once you start, it’s hard to put down. Stacy has mastered her craft, and the pictures she paints with realistic characterization, believable dialogue, and quick paced plotting, all add up to the artist’s gift of storytelling.
As a writer of young adult fiction, she captures the true essence of teens, and channels in this novel, with paranormal perfection, their needs for understanding, their desires to fit in, and to be accepted. She does this in such a way that even if you are no longer a teen, you are taken back in time to the place where you remember your own angst. Books like Dark Before Dawn should be required reading to be enjoyed for parents of teens, to help them reconnect with the issues and concerns at the forefront of their children’s lives.
Some things don’t change, we all need understanding and acceptance and a place to fit in. (As I tell my teens, “We’re all just kids down here, I just got here before you did.”) In the end, we all need the same things, and if we don’t get them … tragedy can occur, as we discover through this skillfully told tale. No matter how old a kid you are, there is a lot to appreciate in Dark Before Dawn.
The voices of Stacy’s characters resonate and stay with you. This novel in particular delivers an exciting mystery, with a unique twist. I highly recommend this book, and any other the talented Stacy Juba has written. Keep ’em coming, Stacy!
Review by Barbara Ensign: We all know how difficult it can be for a teenager to have to move, leaving behind their friends, home and their school. Dawn and her mother moved to a quaint island where her mothers’ new husband and his son live. She of course crosses paths with the “popular” girl, and trouble ensues!
The only difference is that Dawn has some unique psychic abilities, that are at times a gift as well as a curse. The local Psychic is willing to teach her to control her “gift.” Dawn is dealing with what is right versus wrong and as a teenager, having a little trouble where that line is. The characters are great, you learn enough about them all to understand their position in the story.
I’ve enjoyed reading Stacy’s books and this one is right up there with the best of them.
Not my normal type of book, but so glad I had the chance to enjoy reading it. You wont want to put it down. It was fun learning about the town’s people.
Add to your MUST READ list.
The Book: Broken Build
The Author: Rachelle Ayala
Jen Jones hides a horrible secret behind her new degree, toned body, and exciting job at Silicon Valley’s hottest startup—until a man linked to her past is killed in a hit-and-run.
CEO and founder Dave Jewell is about to land a huge deal. He doesn’t need blood on his car, threatening phone calls, and Jen wrapped in broken code and blackmail.
A gang of thugs hunts Jen, and she takes refuge in Dave’s protective arms. Together, they must thwart a killer and rescue an innocent victim from their past. Love blossoms, but a damaging revelation points straight at Jen, threatening to tear them apart forever.
Content advisory: language, sexual situations
Review by Hammy: Jennifer Cruz is a girl with a past. She undergoes plastic surgery to change her image in hopes for a better life. But images can’t change her heart and the things that haunt her. It can’t change the fact that she’s in love with the man she wronged. Now that she works for his company, will he recognize her? Jen is faced with new fears instead of ditching her troubled past.
Things get a little too close for comfort when Dave, the man Jen’s in love with, shows great interrest in her. Romance blooms, but secrets play on Jen’s heart. Will Dave learn who she is? Would he ever be able to forgive her for what she’d done?
When Rey Custudio, a man out to take what he can from Jen, is murdered while waiting for Jen to finish a job he’s forced her to do, suspicion falls on Jen. Her relationship crumbles, and trust becomes an issue between Dave and Jen.
Secrets emerge, lies unfold and Jen soon learns beauty is only skin deep. Will Dave love her for who she is, or forgive her past indescretions if the truth is revealed?
Broken Build is an exciting story full of twists and turns, murder and deception, with a steamy romance. The question is, can love prevail and trust be gained, or will the past destroy what Jen and Dave have? I can’t spoil the fun, but I can say Ms. Ayala has done it again by creating another riveting tale sure to keep you guessing!
Review by Milly: A smart & fascinating read with vivid writing and a very likeable main character (Jen) who is strong, intelligent and independent, but also has a vulnerability that is perhaps what endeared her to me.
The book kicks off with suspense and mystery in abundance, there is something for everyone here, be it the mystery, technology or the romance that draws you in. Jen is a computer whiz who takes a job working for Dave’s startup company. He is someone from her past but he doesn’t recognise her having altered her appearance so much. Things soon heat up!
This book has a sophisticated storyline and good depth of characters, but be aware of the tech talk – although intriguing, it was beyond my understanding, but thankfully it didn’t affect my following of the plot.