Sunday, January 27, 2013


Mike Martin, author of the Newfoundland-set murder mysery, The Walker on the Cape, talks about his novel and writing process. Visit his website.

The Walker on the Cape is a murder mystery set in a picturesque fishing community. Why did you choose this tiny town as your setting?

I had visited this small community on a number of occasions in recent years and it always had a kind of mysterious feel to it. Maybe it was because it was almost always cloaked in fog or maybe it was because it has a history of smuggling during the Prohibition days. In any case it seemed like a great location and setting for a mystery.

The detective figure in The Walker on the Cape is an American Indian sergeant named Winston Windflower. What inspired his character?

Winston Windflower is literally a figure of my imagination or at least of the creative process. Once I knew the setting for The Walker on the Cape he came to me as a character and started telling the story. I have added some of my own meat to his bones but he is his own person.

Do you have a writing process? Or do you wing it as you go along?

I have been a freelance writer for many years and that process is one of research and development of an idea. I found that fiction writing, at least for me, was much more of going with the flow. Once I had the main characters they told the story and I just wrote what I felt they were telling me.  Also I found that fiction writing came in spurts of inspiration and when they came I just had to sit and write, sometimes for weeks at a time.

Were there any parts of The Walker on the Cape that you particularly enjoyed writing? Any that you’ve found particularly challenging?

I really enjoyed writing the parts about food and eating. I do like to cook and love to eat, especially fresh seafood, so that was a lot of fun. If you read the book you will notice that it opens and closes with food. The challenging parts were certainly those involving police proceedures and the practices of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. I had to research a lot to get those parts right, especially those involving the RCMP. You don’t want to get that wrong, because they always get their man.

Do you have any anecdotes about The Walker on the Cape or the process of writing it that you can share? Inside jokes hidden the book? Strange places you found yourself writing?

As I noted earlier once the urge to write came upon me I literally had no choice to write. So in a few periods of inspiration I found myself locked in the guest bathroom at a relative’s house with my laptop hoping I would not be missed, or more importantly interupted. I guess if you gotta go, you just gotta go!!

How would you characterize your author voice? Do you think of yourself as writing in a particular style?

I would hope that I have a friendly voice that has a bit of an Irish lilt like my ancestors and while my style is not for everyone I do like to think that it is accessible to readers of all ages and inclinations. I would also describe myself as a story teller first and a writer second because for me the story is what counts. All of the rest is fluff. Fun to write but really just window dressing for the real story.

Are there any books or authors that you think inspired or influenced The Walker on the Cape?

I have long been an admirer of English mystery series on television like a Touch of Frost or Midsomer Murders and while they have influenced me I do not pretend to be in their class. I also love Donna Leon who writes from Venice and features a great detetctive and great Italian food.

What’s next for Sergeant Windflower?

Windflower is coming back and has a new mystery to solve. This time a body washes up on shore near Grand Bank and soon Windflower and his sidekick Eddie Tizzard are back on the case. The new book should be out in May, 2013.

The Walker on the Cape is available at:  Mike Martin's Official Website (e-book and paperback, listings on a variety of online and brick-and-mortar retailers)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

REVIEW: The Walker on the Cape / Mike Martin

TITLE: The Walker on the Cape
AUTHOR: Mike Martin
PUBLISHER: Self-Published
AVAILABILITY: Mike Martin's Official Website (e-book and paperback, listings on a variety of online and brick-and-mortar retailers)

Recommended for fans of murder mysteries and stories featuring local color.

Mystery—Cozy Mystery/Whodunit

The Walker on the Cape follows the form of a classic whodunit. It opens with a dead body and follows Sergeant Winston Windflower as he investigates the murder. The story is set in a small fishing community on the East Coast and contains a lot of local color.

The Walker on the Cape is a moderately-paced murder mystery. The questions of “what happened” and “who’s the killer” keep the plot moving forward while Windflower’s interactions with the locals allow the reader to enjoy the setting.

The majority of this book is written from the third person perspective of Windflower and rotates to other characters’ points of view. At times, it takes on a more omniscient narrative distance.

The Walker on the Cape opens as every good murder mystery should: with a dead body. The body is that of Elias Martin, an elderly man known for taking long strolls along the cape. Investigating the death is Sergeant Winston Windflower, who recently moved into town. When Windflower discovers that Elias was poisoned, he begins an investigation into the old man’s past to find the killer. Elias led a seemingly quiet life, but as Windflower learns more, he soon realizes that perhaps the old man’s life wasn’t so peaceful after all.

Windflower is an amiable and easily likable detective figure. He’s a classic good guy—determined, kind-hearted, and tough when he needs to be. Having been born and raised on a remote Indian reservation, he finds living in the small fishing community of Grand Bank to be quite a change from what he’s used to. His interactions with the locals, including a winsome café owner, bring the setting to life. In fact, it is this local color that makes The Walker on the Cape memorable.

Martin writes with a charming lilt reminiscent of classic cozy mysteries. The characters are a quirky bunch, such as the over-enthusiastic young policeman, Constable Eddie Tizzard, and the blustering Inspector MacIntosh. Between the investigation scenes, Windflower discovers his affections for the aforementioned café owner, a delightful woman name Sheila who introduces Windflower to the local comforts.

For a taste of Martin’s writing style, here’s the opening paragraph of the first chapter: “Even in an ordinary life the most extraordinary things can happen. Every morning for the past eleven years Elias Martin has had his breakfast of hot porridge and thick molasses bread smothered in partridgeberry jam. Then, rain or shine, he began his solitary walk from his small blue house on Elizabeth Avenue in Grand Bank, Newfoundland, down through the Cove, and until the winter snow made it impassable, up over the hills to the Cape.”

Such descriptions and charm are carried out throughout the novel, which retains a cheery atmosphere despite the bleakness of Windflower’s job. Like all cozy mysteries, the detective figure in The Walker on the Cape is removed from the danger and spends the majority of the investigation interviewing suspects and witnesses or stewing in his own thoughts. Things take an interesting turn about halfway through the book when corruption is unveiled and an arrest is made.

In terms of the plot, Martin has constructed a well laid-out web of suspects and motives, and he certainly seems to know his way around a police procedural. From the forensic reports to the ins and outs of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, he depicts a believable world of crime scenes and investigators.

All in all, I found The Walker in the Cape to be a fun and lighthearted read. It’s the kind of mystery that lets one delve into the various possible scenarios, revealing various backgrounds and stories along the way. The reader gets to explore the little town of Grand Bank along with Windflower, experiencing all its delights and hospitality.

I found a number of small errors such as typos. Also, and this is really nitpicky, Martin tends to write in long sentences, often unbroken by commas.

This book is fairly G-rated in terms of sex, violence, language, etc.

Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland and now lives in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a longtime freelance writer and a member of Ottawa Independent Writers, Capital Crime Writers, the Crime Writers of Canada, and the Newfoundland Writers’ Guild. The Walker on the Cape is his first full fiction book.

RELATED: An Interview with Mike Martin

Friday, January 18, 2013

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Pavel Kravchenko

Pavel Kravchenko, author of the sci-fi thriller Project Antichrist, answers questions about his book's inspirations and background. 

Where did the idea for Project Antichrist come from?
I started writing it around the beginning of 2006, you know, a few years removed from 9/11, with the neverending war in Iraq and the Mayan 2012 looming and the whole apocalyptic vibe in the air. The world seemed like a pretty messed up place. At the same time, I sort of immediately dismissed the idea of a “natural” catastrophic event, meaning that I was somehow convinced that if the world was actually going to end, it wouldn’t be a solar flare. It would be us. And it would be intentional.
But in terms of writing about it, I wasn’t really interested in writing a “post”-apocalyptic novel; I felt they were everywhere and was kind of sick of them, actually, by then. So I decided to write a novel about the world actually being in the process of ending. I started asking myself: Who could possibly want the world to end? Why? How would they do it? And then Luke came on the scene, and I started writing about him, and suddenly what I had written was actually a “pre”-apocalyptic novel.

The protagonist, Luke Whales, is a TV star who finds himself in the middle of a vast conspiracy after he’s framed for murder. What inspired his character?

Luke was actually inspired by a pretty stock version of the Antichrist. Arrogant, charismatic, in a position to influence millions, if not billions, of people, and so on. But of course, since I wasn’t telling a stock version of the rise of the Antichrist, that was really just a jumping-off point.

Tell us a bit about the near-future Chicago Project Antichrist takes place in.

Chicago’s got a few upgrades (and a few downgrades), but on the whole there aren’t too many changes. People spend more time at home, getting more and more information about the outside from their screens. Theaters are gone. Surveillance is everywhere. There’s new gadgetry. But the cars still drive on the ground. Guns still shoot bullets. Due to the not-quite-defined disaster happening out west, Chicago has also become a major broadcasting hub, with a lot of studios and network companies moving inland from both coasts.

Although Project Antichrist is told mostly from Luke’s point of view, it rotates between the perspectives of several characters. Do you have any favorites?

Even though she only gets her own POV once, Iris is probably my favorite, because I still don’t know everything there’s to know about her.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing Project Antichrist?

Probably the first chapter. I must have written it two dozen times over the years. And it’s not like there would be times when I said to myself, Hey, let me just slap something together quickly. No, every time you do it, you do your best, and you love how it sounds and how it flows and how it transitions into the rest of the book, and you think this is it, this is the last time, and then you read it 6 months later and it’s just all over the place and out of tune. I haven’t gone back to read it since I published :D

One of the central themes of Project Antichrist is the prevalent use of antidepressants in this futuristic society. What inspired that idea?

The idea is that “government” is the entity whose function and goal are both control. In a society of evolving beings, control becomes gradually more challenging to maintain, so in order to stay in power, this entity must invent new methods of keeping control. One such method described in Project Antichrist comes down to depressing the population with the world events, then hooking them on stupefying meds. In The Matrix, it was the plugging everyone into the virtual simulation of life.

If we were to walk in on you while you were writing, what would we see? Would you be at a desk? In a café? On the train?

I am a gamer and I only write at my gaming computer, where I can procrastinate and become distracted whenever I want. The desk is a horrible mess. I’ve got bookcases on both sides, a painting on one wall, and a marked up map of the US on the other. If you walked in when I’m writing, then everybody is probably asleep. And my walls are orange.

Project Antichrist ends with something of a cliffhanger. Are you working on a sequel?

Yeah, so at first I thought I was writing an apocalyptic book, but it actually turned out be pre-apocalyptic. As I was finishing it, it was pretty clear that the Apocalypse itself will have to play out in the sequel. That is still very much the plan, but right now I’m working on a different novel:  a sci-fi thriller set at a company that will send you to a paradise of your choice after you die, for a fee.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

REVIEW: Project Antichrist / Pavel Kravchenko

TITLE: Project Antichrist
AUTHOR: Pavel Kravchenko
PUBLISHER: Self-Published
AVAILABILITY: Amazon US (Kindle e-book), Amazon UK (Kindle e-book)

Recommended for fans of conspiracy thrillers and futuristic sci-fi.

Science Fiction—Thriller

Project Antichrist takes place in a futuristic Chicago and has a classic conspiracy thriller opening: the main character, Luke Whales, discovers a dead body in his apartment and, finding himself framed for the murder, runs from the authorities while searching for the truth. As the story moves along, the sci-fi elements begin trickling in—an evil corporation, mysterious aliens, higher planes of existence.

Project Antichrist ends with something of a cliffhanger. While the mysteries are for the most part explained by the end, the consequences are yet to be dealt with.

Project Antichrist dives into the mystery early on and keeps up a fairly frenetic pace throughout as each answer leads to more questions.

This book opens with Luke’s first person past narrative, then rotates between his point of view and the third person limited perspectives of several characters, such as the FBI agents chasing him. Each time a chapter is written in first person, it’s Luke’s point of view.

Luke Whales, a TV show host living in near-future Chicago, seems to have it all—money, looks, success. But behind the scenes, things aren’t so rosy. Divorced and still pining for his ex-wife, he takes antidepressants to make the world seem like a better place. One day, he comes home to find a dead body in his apartment and his personal gun missing. Realizing that he’s being set up, he flees.

From there, his circumstances only become more bizarre. Although Project Antichrist begins with a seemingly straightforward Fugitive-like plot—innocent man runs from the authorities while searching for the real killer—spirals out into a tangle of mysteries involving the powerful corporation behind the antidepressants Luke (and a huge chunk of the nation) takes and mysterious aliens with a sinister agenda.

Luke is an easy protagonist to root for, despite, or perhaps because of, his many flaws. Years of being a celebrity have made him arrogant, self-centered, and entitled, but at the center of it all, he’s still just a guy trying to figure things out. His bewilderment and considerable cluelessness when it comes to the whole fugitive situation are rather endearing. After all, he’s no superhero. He’s not even an everyday hero. And he’s a bit volatile—one of the first things he does in the book is march over to his ex-wife’s house and clock her new boyfriend.

As the story unfolds, Kravchenko introduces the reader to a number of interesting characters. There’s Iris, a hipster-like young woman with grand ideas and a bit of an attitude, who helps him flee the FBI simply because he needs her. And Paul, Luke’s friend from his pre-fame days who may or may not hold a grudge against him. And FBI agents Brighton and Brome, the latter of whom begins questioning the seemingly straightforward nature of the murder case he investigates.

Then there’s Dr. Young, a character who doesn’t have a lot of “screen time” compared to the other characters, but whose knowledge and thoughts shape the themes of the novel. Part priest and part psychiatrist, he knows more about what’s going on than perhaps he should. He’s the one who introduces Luke to the idea that there’s more going on than a simple murder. One of the most interesting sections in the book is the scene in which Dr. Young philosophizes about the nature of the antidepressants that have become so prevalent in this futuristic United States, a passage that serves as a commentary for our real-life increasing dependence on behavioral drugs.

And then things get apocalyptic. The title of the book is Project Antichrist, after all. The notion that the ones humans have thought of as gods are in fact aliens so powerful, they seem divine, isn’t entirely new to sci-fi, but Kravchenko gives the idea his own twist. Dr. Young acts almost like a prophet, telling Luke of things that are and things to come that are not only unbelievable, but borderline inconceivable. How Luke fits into this grand concept is slowly revealed throughout the course of the novel.

Along the way, Luke gets himself into plenty of trouble—chases with the police, an insane plot to rescue his friends from the clutches of the evil corporation, encounters with frightening, almost supernatural alien beings. Caught in the epicenter of conspiracies and puzzles, he struggles to reconcile what he sees with what he can believe. By the time Project Antichrist reaches its cliffhanger of a conclusion, normalcy is but a distant memory. In Project Antichrist, Kravchenko has crafted a thrilling sci-fi mystery with fascinating concepts and exciting action scenes. I had a hard time putting this book down because I simply had to know what was going on, and what would happen next.

I found a handful of typos and errors while reading, but nothing too distracting.

This book contains violence typical to the thriller genre—shootings, chases, etc. There’s nothing particularly gruesome or graphic.

Pavel Kravchenko grew up in Ukraine and moved to the United States at the age of twenty. He has held a number of different occupations and has published several short stories. Project Antichrist is his first novel. He currently lives in Illinois with his wife and two children.

Friday, January 11, 2013

REVIEW: Tough Girl / Libby Heily

TITLE: Tough Girl
AUTHOR: Libby Heily
PUBLISHER: Self-Published

Recommended for readers seeking gritty stories of harsh reality.

Drama—Coming of Age

Tough Girl is a hard book to shelve. For the most part, it is the harrowing tale of an impoverished girl who escapes her harsh life by battling aliens in her imagination. Since the girl, Reggie, spends so much time in her imaginary world, large sections of this novel are dedicated to fleshing out her daydreams. In a way, it’s two novels in one—the harsh reality Reggie lives in and the fantastical sci-fi universe she escapes to. The latter reads like pulp sci-fi, involving aliens, battles, and warfare.

Tough Girl follows Reggie through her hard life in the rundown apartments of an American city. While it seems straightforward at first, things start unraveling in the second half. It’s a relatively short book and makes for a quick read.

Tough Girl is told from Reggie’s third person limited perspectives. The daydream chapters are told from the point of view of Reggie’s imaginary alter-ego, Tough Girl.

11-year-old Reggie lives a dangerous life in an ordinary world. A resident of the impoverished Apartments and cared for only by a mentally ill mother, she faces constant bullying at school as well as the real-world dangers presented by poverty. She escapes this harsh reality via her imaginary alter ego, Tough Girl, who battles aliens in a faraway fanciful land.

Tough Girl is told from Reggie’s point of view and follows her as she goes about her life. She never seems to catch a break—the big girl at school picks on her, the popular boy creeps on her, and then, to top it all off, her mother can’t feed her. Reggie’s quiet, introverted personality is a direct result of all that external trauma. She does her best to remain invisible, hiding away in the safety of her mind.

Tough Girl is what Reggie aspires to be. Reggie spends much of her time detailing the world Tough Girl occupies, and the book switches between Reggie’s real world and Tough Girl’s imaginary one. Tough Girl is something straight out of a pulp sci-fi novel: a tough-as-nails fighter who doesn’t take crap from anyone.

The contrast between real-world Reggie and Tough Girl highlights the character’s mental state. Reggie can’t cope with the harrowing reality she lives in, a reality she can’t defeat by kicking bad guys. Tough Girl’s world allows her a sense of triumph, even if it’s only in her own head. The harder Reggie’s life is, the more she relies on Tough Girl. She even incorporates elements from her life into her fantasies. For instance, after a distinctive new neighbor moves in, she turns him into a character for Tough Girl to tangle with.

After Reggie’s mother disappears, she starts losing control of her fantasies. The imaginary beasts invade her real-world vision, and she can no longer control how Tough Girl’s story unravels. Confusion and bewilderment reign until the very end, which throws in a surprising twist.

Heily’s writing mimics a child’s simple, innocent thoughts. The basic sentence structure and vocabulary reflect Reggie’s point of view. Hers is not a very complex mind—she sees things in a certain way and has a hard time understanding anything else. For instance, she knows to fear rape, but doesn’t even know what it really is. She doesn’t understand the advances of a boy at school. She also fears the foster care system, thinking that she’s better off alone with her mentally ill mother, even though living with her means starvation.

Reggie is easy to sympathize with and even admire. Simplistic as her thoughts are, she always keeps her head on straight and deals with her situation face-on and with honesty. Fiercely independent, she handles the brutality of her situation with admirable strength, even though that strength is somewhat misplaced. Heily has done a superb job in depicting a child’s naiveté in a believable manner, making the story ring true.

Tough Girl is a harsh, gritty tale that deals with disturbing themes both in Reggie’s reality and in Tough Girl’s imagined world. Its unapologetic and uncensored depictions can be hard to read, but ultimately rewarding.

I found a handful of errors and typos, but for the most part, this book is well written and well edited.

Although Tough Girl features a young protagonist, it’s not a story for children. Many mature themes of violence and rape are touched upon. The actual depictions are mild, and the use of adult language is minimal.

Libby Heily lives in North Carolina with her husband and their dog, Daisy. She won the Pushcart Prize for her short story, "Grow Your Own Dad." Tough Girl is her debut novel.

Monday, January 7, 2013


Ryan Butcher, author of the psychological thriller Trial #1322, talks about his novel's inspirations.

Why did you choose to write in the thriller genre? Do you consider yourself primarily a thriller writer?
I only wrote the one thriller, so I don't know if that makes me a thriller writer, but I plan more books, thrillers as well as horror. I'm a friendly person, but it's good to vent some anger and have my main characters go through hell and back.  In my next books, I'll try to keep the gore at bay, though.

Trial #1322 is about a medical trial that goes horribly wrong for the participants. Why did you choose to write about this topic?

I have a friend who took part in trials and that gave me the idea. Plus it's something that hasn't been done yet. At least not that I remember. I did a bit of research and couldn't find a similar novel. I thought what would happen if a trial goes wrong?

Were there any aspects of Trial #1322 that you particularly enjoyed writing? Was anything particularly challenging?

I enjoyed developing the characters and how they slowly lost the plot. At the same time, it was a challenge, because I wanted to show early signs, while delivering valid explanations for their behaviour. In fact, the drugs kicked in relatively early; every interaction, the jealousy, etc., is because of the drugs. To keep the suspense wasn't as easy.

Trial #1322 spends a lot of time in the heads of the three main characters—Natalie, Jason, and Laura. What inspired this approach to storytelling?

I found it was important to give all three characters the opportunity to take centre stage. They all fight their own battles, and they all reveal something to the reader, particularly when they are in the same room. I think using this POV made it more exciting and was the perfect fit for this novel.

Would you ever participate in a medical trial for behavioral drugs?

No, I think I'm messed up enough as it is.

Trial #1322 leaves the ending pretty open. Do you intend to write a sequel? What are you working on now?

Open? Well, in some way, perhaps. I left it open to the reader's imagination what really happened. I can't give more information in case your readers want to see for themselves. So, no, there won't be a sequel.

I'm working on a paranormal thriller. A bit like paranormal activity, perhaps. Just different. A group of people in a house and it's going to be scary. Not for the faint-hearted.

Trial #1322 is available at: Amazon US (Kindle e-book), Amazon UK (Kindle e-book)

Friday, January 4, 2013

REVIEW: First to Find / Morgan C. Talbot

TITLE: First to Find (Caching Out Series #1)
AUTHOR: Morgan C. Talbot
AVAILABILITY: Amazon US (paperback), Amazon US (Kindle e-book), Amazon UK (paperback), Amazon UK (Kindle e-book), Barnes & Noble (paperback), Barnes & Noble (Nook e-book), OmniLit (e-book), Kobo (e-book)

Recommended for readers seeking colorful murder mysteries

Thriller/Mystery—Cozy Mystery/ Murder Mystery

First to Find falls comfortably in the murder mystery genre. It opens with a dead body, and what follows is a whodunit starring a puzzle-making geocacher turned amateur detective. The story is fairly G-rated, featuring dead bodies but nothing gruesome and virtually no violence.

First to Find opens as every good murder mystery should: with the discovery of a dead body. It hooks you from the start and entertains you while going through the suspect list, taking a few detours to expand upon the colorful lives of the characters.

The majority of First to Find is written from the third person limited perspective of Margarita, the amateur detective looking to solve the murder. Several sections are written from the third person limited perspective of her Australian roommate, Bindi.

Margarita Williams stumbles upon the dead body of one of her fellow geocachers one morning. When the man’s widow, untrusting of the local authorities, asks Margarita to discover the truth, Margarita sets out on a quest to solve the mystery before anyone else turns up dead.

Meanwhile, Bindi, Margarita’s Australian roommate, works on a puzzle of her own. Someone stole a sculpture from the local park around the same time as the murder took place, and she must find the real culprit to exonerate her falsely accused friend. The question is: are the crimes related?

First to Find revolves around the wonderful world of geocaching, an outdoor treasure hunting game. Players use GPS devices to navigate to coordinates and unearth caches—hidden containers containing trinkets for players to find and logbooks for them to sign. The local caching community featured in the novel is a group of unique, sometimes odd individuals. One of them may be the murderer, and any of them could be the next victim.

Margarita, haunted by past tragedies, tries to move on with her life by actively engaging with the people around her. Known for placing caches whose coordinates can only be unlocked by solving her clever puzzles, she has a sharp mind for making connections. This skill makes her the ideal candidate to solve what the bumbling local authorities cannot. Both cool and nerdy—and cool for being nerdy—she’s an immediately likable character whose thoughts and actions are a joy to watch.

Margarita may be the heroine of First to Find, but Bindi is far more than just the funky sidekick. A tea-guzzling Aussie with an abnormally sharp nose, she often outshines her costar with her charming peculiarities. Her story line runs parallel to Margarita’s, and while the two interact a lot at home, their missions are largely separate.

With everything going on around them—strange new neighbors, mysterious phone calls, suspicious actions by fellow geocachers—Margarita and Bindi face the challenge of separating the relevant clues from the everyday oddities of living among eccentric people. First to Find is as well plotted as mysteries get, with enough twists and red herrings to keep a reader guessing until its surprising ending, which neatly ties up all the loose ends.

In addition, Talbot’s lilting writing style, tailored based on which character’s perspective she’s writing from, gives the novel a distinctive and clever tone. Whether reflecting on their not-so-bright pasts or ruminating on their present situations, both Margarita and Bindi are easy to sympathize with and root for.

And then there’s the geocaching aspect, which serves as a fascinating backdrop to the mystery. I was intrigued by the glimpse into this fun (and apparently quite popular!) sport, of which I’d known nothing prior to reading First to Find. Talbot does an excellent job of illustrating the sport’s ins and outs, enough to tempt me to give it a try.

First to Find is a delightfully entertaining mystery starring a colorful cast of quirky characters. “Cozy” is certainly the right adjective for it, for it’s the kind of book I wanted to curl up with and finish from chapter one.

This book is very well edited.

This book is pretty much G-rated in terms of sex, violence, and adult language. Dead bodies are mentioned but not described at length.

[From the author’s Amazon page]

Morgan is an outdoorsy girl with a deep and abiding love for the natural sciences. Her degrees involve English and jujitsu. She enjoys hiking, camping, and wandering in the woods looking for the trail to the car, but there isn't enough chocolate on the planet to bribe her into rock climbing.
When she's not writing, she can be found making puzzles, getting lost on the way to geocaches, reading stories to her children, or taking far too many pictures of the same tree or rock.
She lives in Eastern Washington with her family.

Disclosure: Red Adept Publishing is the publisher of my upcoming science fiction novel, Artificial Absolutes. I bought and read this book on my own, and the above reflects only my honest opinion.