Susan Ashcraft

Books

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Smashwords book reviews by Susan Ashcraft

  • Project Moses - An Enzo Lee Mystery Thriller on April 20, 2012

    A great mystery/thriller. Originally from New York, Enzo Lee traveled to San Francisco to revive his journalist career. Now with the San Francisco Times, he is the undisputed King of Fluff. Ordered by his editor to cover the police beat while the regular reporter is out covering a brush fire, Enzo would rather stay with his own feature stories. Suddenly Enzo goes from a fluff feature reporter back into the world of investigative reporting when he looks into the deaths of a judge and a prosecuting attorney. This is a very well written, smooth flowing suspenseful mystery. Very creepy in that this story could actually be written from facts. I won this ebook through a LibraryThing giveaway.
  • The Pallor of Death & Other Stories on April 29, 2012
    (no rating)
    The Pallor of Death and Other Stories by Amanda Lawrence Auverigne FACT FINDING MISSION Jill and Ben's walk into the dark forest in search of a glowing ghost ends up being more than they expected. THE PALLOR OF DEATH Laura, Charlie and Melanie have a supernatural experience in the old mansion that Melanie just bought. LAND LINE A 911 call has Officers Simmons and Tyler heading to 799 Norfolk Lane. Will they find Betty and her brother or is someone or something else using the telephone? AT THE LAST MINUTE Holly's friend Dina has Halloween costume issues but luckily gets help from a crazy source. RAID The new designer drug Dead Ice has everyone acting buggy. PRICE MATCH GUARANTEE We all know how waiting in a line up at a department store gives you that dead zombie feeling but Merton Mart guarantees their customers' satisfaction with a killer product. LIGHTHEADED When the stomach rumbles from hunger, its in everyone's best interest to feed it. A SMALL MATTER OF FANTASTIC In order to win the campus costume contest at Halloween, Haley and Angela are dressed as a zombie gangster and his zombie moll, but with Chad and Devon dressed to impress as werewolves, you have to ask yourself where exactly did the guys get their fur? THEY ALL COME OUT AT DUSK Evangeline is tired but decides a little seduction is in order before the game with Percy is over. DRAMA Kevin and Jon have grown tired of Lois' games and insist that she finally chose which of them she will marry. But who is really the winner? A great selection of well written, interesting short stories. Some characters include ghosts, zombies, werewolves, beasts and creatures.
  • 45 Free Reiki Attunements on April 29, 2012

    While this book has 45 attunments, which I was impressed with, I did have some issues with this book. As I only have a general knowledge of Reiki and attunements this book really didn't help me. I had to go online to figure out how to properly use the attunements. It should note on the cover that you need to have knowledge of Reiki for this book to be of any use to you.
  • After Dinner Mint & Other Stories on April 29, 2012

    A nice collection of five short stories. A nice blend of mystery, suspense and humor. My favorite of the 5 stories is The Will in which Alice, and her 4 siblings Ben, Amelia, Elizabeth and Kevin, receive their inheritances. Alice receives $1 with the stipulation that she spend it that day, all at once. Her siblings receive multimillion dollar inheritances but who got the best deal? I received my copy through a LibraryThing giveaway.
  • Dead As Dutch on April 29, 2012

    Stan Heberling, director/writer/cameraman, has 48 hours to complete the filming of his thesis movie entitled Letter 13. Perceived as a know-it-all with delusions of grandeur at Eisenhower College, he has had a near impossible time getting the people he needs to complete his movie. Bryce Fowler, whiner extraordinaire, and Keisha Crenshaw, a true performer, are hired to costar. Unable to book a student with even basic camera skills, Stan had to beg his 15 year old sister to give up her weekend to help him with his film. After a late night visit from Stan that promises to go on indefinitely, Irv agrees to be sound-man for the movie. Now though, Irving Liberty Bell, sound-man guru of Eisenhower College, wonders just what he's gotten himself into. After a series of humorous misfortunes, Letter 13 takes off in a new direction. After Bryce stumbles upon a chest partially buried in the side of a hill, the movie goes from alien flick to buried treasure film. The direction however is not the one the film crew has been hoping for. Wandering aimlessly in the woods at night, a creepy old shack with stay out signs and rotting furniture in the walk up to the front door, Munyon, Dutch Schultz and vengeful zombies are just a few of the new problems that befall the cast and crew of the Letter 13 movie. Go along for the ride as this crazy group of characters tries to get this short film, with an ever changing story line, shot in one weekend.
  • Dead As Dutch on April 29, 2012

    Stan Heberling, director/writer/cameraman, has 48 hours to complete the filming of his thesis movie entitled Letter 13. Perceived as a know-it-all with delusions of grandeur at Eisenhower College, he has had a near impossible time getting the people he needs to complete his movie. Bryce Fowler, whiner extraordinaire, and Keisha Crenshaw, a true performer, are hired to costar. Unable to book a student with even basic camera skills, Stan had to beg his 15 year old sister to give up her weekend to help him with his film. After a late night visit from Stan that promises to go on indefinitely, Irv agrees to be soundman for the movie. Now though, Irving Liberty Bell, soundman guru of Eisenhower College, wonders just what he's gotten himself into. After a series of humorous misfortunes, Letter 13 takes off in a new direction. After Bryce stumbles upon a chest partially buried in the side of a hill, the movie goes from alien flick to buried treasure film. The direction however is not the one the film crew has been hoping for. Wandering aimlessly in the woods at night, a creepy old shack with stay out signs and rotting furniture in the walk up to the front door, Munyon, Dutch Schultz and vengeful zombies are just a few of the new problems that befall the cast and crew of the Letter 13 movie. Go along for the ride as this crazy group of characters tries to get this short film, with an ever changing story line, shot in one weekend.
  • Dark Genesis (The Darkling Trilogy, Book 1) on May 03, 2012

    Now I must admit, I requested a review copy simply because this was a debut novel for the author A.D. Koboah and not because I'm a particular fan of paranormal fantasy fiction. But this is not just a paranormal fantasy fiction, it's a beautiful love story, a touching look at mother-daughter relationships and a haunting look at the lives, loves and feelings of slaves in early America. Atlanta, 2011 - Dallas Marshall is a family rebel, in no small part because she receives psychic impressions or vibes. She disliked most of her family, finding them to be driven only to increase their already substantial fortunes. When her grandma had passed away, the only one left in the family who was like her was her artist aunt, Rose. There was a joke in the family about a guardian angel. Needing a refuge from her other family, Dallas is staying with her aunt. Wanting to be close again to her grandma, Dallas goes to the basement where her grandma's things are stored. Inside an old chest, Dallas finds what appears to be a journal. Receiving an impression when she touches the book, she knows it is written by an unknown woman, but a woman she has some kind of connection with. She opens the book and enters a different world, one that will change her life. In 1807, Luna is a beautiful slave woman, owned and abused by Master Henry, and then by his son Master John. The only control Luna has in her life is to get rid of the pregnancies resulting by this abuse. Getting caught would be deadly, but she will not allow a child of hers to be owned by the Master. Her mother, Mama Akosua, had been sold away when Luna was 3. But she had found a way to remain close to her daughter, living a 2 hour walk away. Mama Akosua is an herbalist and some say, a witch. She helps her daughter to abort the children, except the first one, a daughter, that she had spirited away. Luna has turned to God and has trouble believing in her mother's powers, even though there are times she feels them within herself. At a fire ravaged chapel on master's property, Luna has hidden a bible she had stolen from master's wife. She loves that book, and wishes so much that she could read the words herself. She feels something evil at the chapel, but cannot stay away. After leaving the chapel, she meets the creature. Luna stares in awe at him. He is beautiful in his guise as a human man, but it is just a guise. But there is another entity in the clearing by the chapel, and it is pure evil. Luna needs to get away, run fast and get away from them both. After the creature in human guise stops Master John from having his carnal way with Luna, it is revealed the creature is a vampire. He spirits Luna away, to keep her safe. As times pass, she falls in love with Avery, the name of the man he was before being turned into a vampire. I can't say more as I don't want to spoil the surprises in this wonderful paranormal, vampire fantasy romance novel. The only thing I would change about this novel is to make the story of Luna read like actual journal entries. I believe that would have made a more powerful statement. I received my copy through LibraryThing and asked for my honest opinion.
  • The Man Who Crossed Worlds (Miles Franco #1) on May 12, 2012

    A few years before Miles Franco was born the Bores showed up. No one knows for sure what caused them or why they were there, but the governments soon found ways to use them. They've found a way to make "tunnels" to another dimension. The place they call Heaven is anything but. Filled with a race of creatures similar to humans but with a much different perception of reality, it is the perfect place to smuggle things from, but there's so much more to it. No one really knows the full depth of the tunnels and what can come from them. Miles Franco is a freelance tunneler. He has a certain code of ethics that, while it doesn't include working for gangsters, it also doesn't include working for the cops. So when the cops pick him up on a trumped up charge he knows something is up. Something big, or why would they be bothering with him. Blackmailed into helping the cops, Miles must call on all his powers as a tunneler. When things sped out of control, and his city and friends get pulled into the mess that is now Miles' life, its time for him to make his stand. A great urban fantasy mystery novel! With an interesting new theme, creepy new race and a so-not-a-hero hero, this is a fun, fast paced, twisty read. I look forward to reading more of Miles Franco and his world, starting with the short story The Man Who Couldn't be Bought.
  • The Wardens of Punyu (The Handover Mysteries, Vol. I) on May 20, 2012

    In 1996, Claire Raymond is a smart, shrewd former journalist running the Hong Kong branch of a business magazine. Claire was born in the States but has lived in Hong Kong since the '70's. With her job, her hair color (in Chinese mythology red hair spelled demon), and her height, at 5'10" she was taller than many Asian men, she had a difficult time with long term relationships. Claire's friend, Father Fresnay, has sent a man to talk to Claire. This man, a doctor, tells a very strange and if true, an incredibly gruesome story involving the trafficking of viable human organs for transplant. What she hears is very unsettling but there is just this man's word and no collaborating evidence and she has a lot on her plate. Her New York deadline is looming and her reporter hasn't shown up, nor did he make an interview he had scheduled. Before she can look into the strange story the doctor has told her, she must find her reporter Vic. She has Cecilia, her Chinese assistant, send out feelers about the story, to see if any of her journalist friends have heard about this organ trafficking story. She needs to track down her wayward reporter Vic. Instead of Vic, Claire finds Chris Hager, her magazine's Bangkok stringer. A stringer is a reporter that works freelance, usually for several different papers and magazines. Claire's not sure what he's doing in Hong Kong, in Vic's room, but he gives her the old song and dance. She eventually gets a message, supposedly from Vic, saying he's fine, had taken a little holiday, but now due to extreme traffic, and tourists, he will be delayed getting back. As he often comes up with excuses, Claire is not surprised. A few days later, Claire goes for a hike with 2 of her friends. A body washes up on a nearby shore, badly damaged by marauding sharks, and a single bullet hole. Worse yet, Claire catches a glimpse of the man, its one of her reporters! After an autopsy, and a meet with other interested parties at the embassy, Claire is informed that one of her reports was spotted in China, which is horrible news! The embassy can't help him because they have such a fragile relationship with China. Claire is given a surprising suggestion. With the death of one of her male reporters, and having to sneak into China (if the Chinese find out she's entered without the proper journalist papers, it could result in a major incident) to get the other reporter out, Claire's time is running out. But as Claire soon finds out, things are just getting interesting. This has a great locale, very well described, right down to the bricks on the streets, credible and likeable characters (I can picture Cecilia in my mind easily), and an interesting mystery. I had really high hopes for this book because of the different locale and a rather gruesome mystery but it just didn't grab me tight. I would still give it a read as the author has a beautiful way of describing the locales, the scenes and the people.
  • Brambleman on June 10, 2012

    Kathleen Talton was getting old, already suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. Her husband, Thurwoood Talton, a retired Georgia State University history professor, died while trying to get his manuscript Flight from Forsyth published. He was hit in the head by a beer bottle throwing youth while marching for for civil rights in Forsyth County. Thurwood died a week later, and Kathleen believed it was caused by the youth who threw the bottle. Kathleen waited many years then decided she needed to have her husband's work completed and published. So she did something she hasn't done in years, she prayed. Not for forgiveness, not for happiness and not many of the things most people pray for. She asked for justice, companionship, vengeance, completion and closure. It was a most interesting prayer! Charlie Sherman, father of 14 year old Ben and daughter Rebecca (Beck), has been a stay at home dad for a long time. He had opted to stay at home so he could write his book. Prior tho staying home he had been a freelance writer and an editor. His wife Susan, supported his decision because she made more money at her job then he did, and that mattered a lot to her. The problem was, nothing Charlie wrote got published and Susan was sick of him. After a bitter dispute with his wife, his daughter had called the cops because she was afraid. Charlie got his butt kicked out of the house and concluded that Susan had wanted him gone for a long time. Walking in the rain, extremely upset, Charlie has a George Bailey moment. (George Bailey is a character from classic film It's a Wonderful Life, my all time favorite movie) and gets ready to jump from an overpass. A strange, seemingly random accident below him on the road has him realizing that if he takes his life, he won't see anymore weird stuff. Deciding to think things through a little more, he heads off for some peace, guiet and coffee. Instead he finds Trouble, though who and what he is Charlie's not sure of. And boy does Trouble SMELL!. When Trouble tells Charlie he has a job for him to do he finds himself agreeing to go and meet Kathleen. She hires him to finish up and publish her husband's manuscript and he can stay at her house in the basement well he does so. Charlie is a little leery but finally agrees and signs a contract. He figures things can't get much weirder, boy is he wrong! Things aren't just weird anymore, they're Old Testament weird! People were dying; Kathleen's daughter got boils after upsetting her mom, as did a pharmacist; burning buildings and, the kicker for Charlie, the contract he originally signed to complete Kathleen's husband book, the ink had turned to blood and if Charlie tried to get out of it, he paid with his life. You'd think with all this going on, Charlie would have enough to deal with but no. His wife Susan and the rest of her crazy relatives were all somehow tied in to Charlie's mess with the manuscript. Charlie has to think fast and move faster before something else bad happens. There is way, way more in store for Charlie, his wife Susan, her nutty family, Kathleen and Trouble. What does Trouble really want?And the biggest problem of all is Charlie knows that good and evil are somehow involved in all this, but what side is Charlie actually working for and how will he find out? Will Charlie survive? Will anyone survive? I found myself reading faster and faster as the story twisted and turned more and more. I really enjoyed the pace and the story in a story aspect that came out of the manuscript that Charlie had to edit. Some of the characters are just that, characters! Good, bad, hicks and politicians, men and women and children all had interesting thoughts and actions. My only real complaint was the length of the novel. While it held my attention all the way through, there were times I thought things could have been said just as well with several less words or pages. All in all though a good albeit long read. Please note that some people might be offended due to certain events, certain groups including the Klu Klux Klan and certain demeaning and racist remarks depicted in the novel but they are used to show what had actually happened in Forsyth County. I received this eBook through LibraryThing and was asked for my honest review.