Hush Money (Talent Chronicles)

Rated 4.52/5 based on 29 reviews
Be normal, invisible. Don’t get close to anyone. Kids with psychic abilities tend to mysteriously disappear when they get noticed. Joss has spent years trying to hide. Now she has an unasked-for best friend, who is the victim of an extortion plot by the school bully, who used to like Joss, who is best friends with her long-time crush, who is actually talking to her. Life just got complicated. More

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About Susan Bischoff

I’ve got a thing for love stories and superheroes. I'm working on something I call the Talent Chronicles. This series began with my desire for more superheroes! More romance! More Superhero!Romance.

Talents are people born with supernatural abilities, trying to find their way in a world that fears and wants to control them. I like to explore how the things that make us different from each other sometimes make life difficult, and sometimes are the making of us. These stories are for people who love Buffy, wanted more romance in Heroes, and thought Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor should have worked things out.

The first Talent Chronicles novel, Hush Money, is currently available with a sequel, Heroes 'Til Curfew, coming in 2011.

A Talent Chronicles short story, Impulse Control, appears in the Kiss Me, Kill Me Anthology with several other awesome indies. That's available here on Smashwords and proceeds go to charity. The story is also available singly as a free download.

Also in Series: Talent Chronicles

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Review by: paige p on April 11, 2015 :
I really loved this book and I though it was a great read, it was very fast paced and I enjoyed every second of it...but there some problems such as how the kids being taking away and nobody protested it, even the kids own parents where just handing them over to this "government" and never seeing them ever again, it was just not believeable to me. Other than that I really loved this book!
(reviewed 3 years after purchase)
Review by: Connie 13 on Aug. 17, 2012 :
First published here:

This book wasn't really what I was expecting.

When I first read the summary and started reading this book, I was expecting something different from what I got. Maybe I was missing that 'we're on the run from a horrible government organisation' feel. Instead I felt as if the characters were hiding from the local police. While this wasn't a bad thing, I didn't really got a feel for the direness of the situation these talented people were put in.

On a good note, I really liked the characterisation. They were written in a way in that I could distinguish each character by just listing their different qualities and not just their names and appearances. They were believable and I really like that. I could follow the story and the choices they made very well, and I didn't get very angry when the main characters did something (or didn't do something) that I wanted them to.

So overall, it was a very enjoyable book that I read quite quickly and couldn't put down. I didn't get bored and I wanted to keep reading. But it did lack that something that I was expecting.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
Review by: Lexie Snyder on Aug. 1, 2012 :
So, I just finished both of the books in this series after getting them last night. There are several books out there with teenagers having powers; elemental powers, completely crazy unique powers, teenagers being transported to various worlds and gaining unique wizarding powers. However, The Talent Chronicles stands out from the pack through the character development of each of the characters and the intricate attention to detail that Susan Bischoff gives to her world.

If you had a special talent you’d want to show it off wouldn’t you? We’re born and raised to rise above the pack, excel, and shine. The Olympics, NFL, and NASA all have one thing in common, the people that are in these groups are special; they possess unique skills that most of the world doesn’t. We celebrate them. However, having unique talents in is something that is Hush Money , the first book in the Talent Chronicles, will get you sent to the State School by the government NAIC. Believe me, it’s not like public school it’s more like an experimental prison. In Farview, an unusual number of teenagers seems to have talents and are being hauled off to the State School.

So, when Joss’ dad realizes she has a talent for telekinesis, Joss is raised to stay off the radar. Her father teaches her to do everything she can to not attract attention. She doesn’t have any friends, she keeps to herself and is always in control of her emotions and actions, and above all she tries to always be on the lookout for potential problems and solutions to those problems. It’s worked since she was a child. What she never anticipated was how one girl was going to change her whole life. Kat is a pretty popular girl, who does what she wants and is used to getting her own way. So, when she goes out of her way to help Joss when Marco is picking on her she simply expects both Marco and Joss to accede to her wishes. Joss suddenly finds herself at the “popular table” with Maddy and her twin Matt, Heather, and Elizabeth. She has know idea what to say to this girl who is the complete opposite of herself. Kat keeps seeking Joss out, convinced that she’s going to draw her out of her shell. Joss finds herself being drawn towards Kat, almost like a magnet. Telling her things that she’s never told anyone. Could it be that Joss isn’t the only one with a talent?

At Kat’s birthday party NAIC agents bust in looking for a boy with laser vision. Kat stands up to them and suddenly Joss finds herself standing up to them as well. Suddenly several teenagers from the “popular table” as well as Joss’ secret crush Dylan are all standing up to the agents. Talents are being used back and forth as kids are trying to find exit strategies and protect one of their own. Joss has trained for this her whole life. The only catch is it was always supposed to be for herself and her family, never outsiders. But Joss begins to realize that her morality isn’t going to let her walk away from her friends and other “Talents.” It becomes an us versus them mentality. Only, not all Talents are looking out for one another.

Marco and his crew have their own plans in mind, and they don’t appreciate Joss and her friends getting in the way.
There are tons of action scenes, interspersed with banter that had me laughing out loud. It was so easy to visualize the characters in my head, because Bischoff describes them so perfectly. I could anticipate exactly what Kat would say to Joss, and how Heather would jump in with her own dialogue with Joss that Kat wasn’t privy to. Suffice to say, almost every kid in this book has a talent and they are seriously cool. The is it-isn’t romance between Dylan and Joss also added to the book. It reminded me of those feelings we all used to have in high school where you can’t think of the right thing to say and are constantly overanalyzing what was said and done.

Bischoff does an excellent job of weaving just the right amount of action, humor, romance all overlaying the seriousness of the situation everyone is living in. The lines are clear between who are the villains and who are the “heroes.” As everyone begins to look to Joss as a leader, will her strength of character and her Talent be enough to fight off the villain? And will the teenagers realize the true villains aren’t always who they appear? The undercurrents of Hush Money are powerful and you can tell that Bischoff is leading the reader onto a bigger adventure in the next book.

This was an excellent read. I absolutely loved it! Joss is a perfect heroine. She’s strong, kick-ass, strategic in her thinking, sarcastic, trying to find her way in a new social world with friends, and always lead by her morals. If I hadn’t already had the second one I would have bought it immediately, because I didn’t want to leave Joss’ world.

I would recommend this to anyone who loves urban fantasy. If you’ve never read urban fantasy and you’re looking for a book to try this is it. Believe me; you’ll be missing out if you don’t read this, and this is coming from someone who reads several books a week. Yes, it’s truly that good!
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
Review by: Carol on July 12, 2012 :
Good YA story with an interesting heroine. Story is told with many points of view which are are labelled in sections to keep them straight.
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)
Review by: Nicole Thornton on May 28, 2012 :
The teenage girl lead seemed believable and the romantic development between her and the lead male seemed believable. But mostly, I enjoyed the story of their powers. Plus the lead female actually had relationships with others, not just 2 or 3 characters. It was nice to see the interactions with her family and that whatever was happening was not just about her and the boy she liked (like most of these YA supernatural stories coming out lately). Characters relationship was more realistic and well-rounded than most books. Story didn't feel too long either, but that the author ended it at the right time.
(reviewed 2 years after purchase)
Review by: Melissa Ramsey on April 13, 2012 :
I absolutely love these books! I fell in love with them right away, and read the first 2 books and the novella in 1 day. They are full of intense action, romance, friendship and teen angst. I think the most amazing thing about them is there are so many characters in this world and they are all interesting people that have their own identity - no one is typecast. I would love to read novella's about any one of them. I also love Dylan who doesn't have the greatest Talent, but is brave and hot anyways. Everyone who enjoys teen books should read these!
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)
Review by: Tahlia Newland on Oct. 21, 2011 :
I just loved this. It was the perfect read for me, not too heavy, not too light, a great story, good characterisation and a stunning ending, what more could you want?
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)
Review by: Kitana Black on Oct. 1, 2011 : (no rating)
This series is my new addiction! Could not put it down-immediately started reading the next book. The MC voice is funny and smart. There's humor, romance, and excitement. Extremely well written. I'm so glad I happened upon this site, and then this author!
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
Review by: Lisa Lawler on June 19, 2011 :
(This is a copy of my review from Goodreads)

Loved it, loved it, LOVED it!
I was gripped by the story right from the start, completely immersed in the story world, deeply interested in the characters, and the romance element is just perfect.
I can barely wait for the the second book in the series, and I've just seen there's a 0.5 in the series, Impulse Control, so I much check that out!
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)
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