Tag: thriller and suspense

Blog Blitz: In the Wake of Death

Today I am taking part in a blitz with several other blogs to get the word out on In the Wake of Death by Billy McLaughlin. For my contribution to the blitz I will provide the Prologue as an excerpt for you to read. At the end of this post there is also a chance to win a copy!

Purchase In the Wake of Death on Amazon

In the Wake of Death
Author: Billy McLaughlin
182 pages

Description from Amazon:

Sometimes waking up is only the beginning…

He was left for dead on the side of the road. Now Marc Adams is awake and he can barely remember anything about his life before. All he knows is that his meddling sister has returned to his life, whilst his partner Joel is gone.

Marc is convinced that something has happened to Joel. Why won’t anybody believe him?
As he is pulled further into the pit of his subconscious, Marc begins to remember exactly what happened on the night of his accident.

Soon, he’ll be wishing he hadn’t woken up at all.


The flicker of blue lights jolted him awake as he noticed the bloody taste upon his tongue. The sirens were a jarring howl that cut through the air sharper than a ten-inch blade.

Marc Adams crawled back to consciousness, his thudding heart providing a trance-like soundtrack to the melody of the siren. His body shuddered and stiffened under the weight of the unbearable pain and, if he knew nothing else, he knew it would hurt if he moved. How had he gotten here, he wondered? His eyes rolled back, blinking in panic as he tried to digest the awful truth that had brought him to this moment.

The wail became a scream as the alarms continued to echo, now sharper, past the tunnel of his ear. Then came the pain; at first a dull ache, then tightening around his muscles and lungs and across his skull. He wanted to roar because he’d never experienced pain this awful. A moment later he saw the silhouette of moving shadows. They drifted in and out of focus so often that he imagined someone in his head flicking the on and off switch.

Marc could hear the voices now. Could he move? Or even speak? What was his name? What followed was a confusing fracas of sound that only increased his anxiety. He tried to turn his head but the slightest movement sent an ache rippling through him. He felt the warm grit beneath his fingertips and he thanked god because it was the only thing that kept him in the here and now. Everything else swam in and out of focus and all the voices sounded as one. He still hadn’t been able to make enough sense to answer any of their questions. He hadn’t even been able to answer his own questions yet. Where the hell was he? Was he driving? What time was it?

“Try not to move, we’ll get you to hospital as soon as we can.” A reassuring voice from nearby spoke.

He wanted to say ‘Okay’. More than that, he wanted to scream ‘Help me’ and cry. The words and the tears didn’t come, but the pain became so profound he wanted to fall into a black hole and make it disappear. To fade from the pain so it was no longer his and he no longer had to endure it. Figures came and went, sirens went silent and the blue lights that first brought Marc into the present flashed no more. His bones felt like they’d been crushed beneath the feet of giants and his lungs burned as if someone was pouring fire into them. Marc’s body rose. Was he dying? The black sky and its shimmering spots came closer and for a moment he realised he was seeing the whole world turn.

It was then that Marc realised he was being lifted onto a spinal board and two hard foam blocks were slotted at either side of his head. He heard the rip of Velcro as somebody pulled it from one block to the other, tightening it so that his head wouldn’t escape. Then he was carried through a gathering crowd and hoisted into an ambulance. A tear slithered from the corner of his right eye and he felt the blood swim into his saliva at the back of his mouth. For a brief second, as it tingled at his tonsils, he feared he might drown in it. He heard the thud of an ambulance door and it echoed so loudly that he thought he was crashing through the windscreen of a car again.

“Just relax Sir, we’re taking you to the hospital, try not to move.” The paramedic’s voice was soothing like one of those voices you hear on a relaxation track.

Another thump. A memory returned to him then. It returned like an old forgotten movie and not the fresh vision it should have been. Joel?

“Where’s Joel?” he suddenly called out, his pain forgotten for the shortest time.

The paramedic rested his hand upon Marc’s shoulder and looked at him sympathetically. The ambulance moved.

“Who’s Joel?” The paramedic spoke with more authority now.

“My partner, he was driving.” Marc could see Joel now, in the midst of his mind, laughing and fiddling with the music system as they fought over what song to play.

The paramedic frowned because when they arrived Marc’s broken body had been lying by the side of the road. He had seen no other vehicles when he had driven the ambulance up the dirt road.

“Wait. Are you telling me that somebody else was in the accident with you?” That couldn’t be right. Had the driver driven away? He looked at Marc again and wondered what he should do. “We didn’t find anyone else. There was no car here,” he replied, holding Marc’s arm still. He could see the frustration in Marc’s bloody face, but his main priority was keeping him in place. The last thing he needed was for Marc to move and risk a spinal injury.

“No, I’m telling you, you’ve got to help him. Joel was in the car with me.”

If you want to read a review for In the Wake of Death, you can check out my friend and fellow blogger Gemma’s review here.


WIN a copy of In the Wake of Death:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Always Watching


 Author: Chevy Stevens

Published: June 18, 2013
Dates Read: October 25- November 9, 2016

My Rating: 3 stars

Book Summary from Amazon:

She helps people put their demons to rest.
But she has a few of her own…

In the lockdown ward of a psychiatric hospital, Dr. Nadine Lavoie is in her element. She has the tools to help people, and she has the desire—healing broken families is what she lives for. But Nadine doesn’t want to look too closely at her own past because there are whole chunks of her life that are black holes. It takes all her willpower to tamp down her recurrent claustrophobia, and her daughter, Lisa, is a runaway who has been on the streets for seven years.

When a distraught woman, Heather Simeon, is brought into the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit after a suicide attempt, Nadine gently coaxes her story out of her—and learns of some troubling parallels with her own life. Digging deeper, Nadine is forced to confront her traumatic childhood, and the damage that began when she and her brother were brought by their mother to a remote commune on Vancouver Island. What happened to Nadine? Why was their family destroyed? And why does the name Aaron Quinn, the group’s leader, bring complex feelings of terror to Nadine even today?

And then, the unthinkable happens, and Nadine realizes that danger is closer to home than she ever imagined. She has no choice but to face what terrifies her the most…and fight back.

Sometimes you can leave the past, but you can never escape.

My Review:

I listened to the audiobook Still Missing by Chevy Stevens a couple of months ago and I was blown away (I had listened to it several years ago, but did not remember much about it). I decided that I wanted to listen to more of her books since my local library offers hers on audio. Always Watching is another good one by Chevy Stevens, but it does not live up to Still Missing.

Heather Simeon becomes Dr. Nadine Lavoie’s newest patient after a suicide attempt. As Heather tells her story, Nadine realizes they have some similar circumstances in their lives. Heather was part of a commune (a cult) which Nadine was a part of when she was younger as she, her brother, and mother joined. Heather’s story brings to light some of Nadine’s repressed memories. And because of these memories which include sexual abuse, Nadine sets out on a mission to discover if there were any other victims. This decision brings danger to into her life.

Nadine’s daughter Lisa has been on her own for a while and she has been a drug addict. She comes into the story and Nadine also tries to save her in more than one way. Lisa becomes very important to this story.

Will Nadine find out if there are other victims, and will she save herself and her daughter from the dangers that come about in the novel? You will have to read to find out.

Always Watching is written well and I wanted to know what was going to happen. Maybe I expected a lot out of it after listening to Still Missing, but I just wasn’t pulled in to the story as much as I would have thought as I find cult type stories intriguing. I think I just wasn’t as attached to Nadine’s character. Always Watching did not have as much of a shock factor as Still Missing did. There are some intense scenes in Always Watching.

Warning: If you have issues with sexual abuse of a child, you might want to stay away from this book. There are not many scenes, but enough to possibly bother some more sensitive readers. There is also a tough scene involving an animal death.

If you want to check out some of Chevy Stevens’ work, I would say read Always Watching first then read Still Missing. I don’t really like to compare books, but I think having recently ‘read’ Still Missing affected my enjoyment of Always Watching. I do plan to read/listen to more of Chevy Stevens.

I would say overall that I would recommend this book.