J.E. Spina: Hunting Mariah

 

Hunting Mariah

It isn’t because Hunting Mariah reminded me of my own in progress novel that I really loved this book, although that didn’t hurt. There’s a serial killer’s hunger for school girls whom Spina gives reasons for his macabre behavior as she allows us to get inside his insane mind and his intensifying obsessive need to kill. He will stop at nothing until he satisfies his warped hunger to hunt down Mariah.

The novel contains many plot angles that drive it forward. Of course, there’s why Mariah is being hunted by the serial killer in the first place – a mystery which the author is able to maintain throughout the novel. Why is she kept in isolation in a psychiatric ward and what are her memory blanks about? Why can’t Tony, a man who obviously cares deeply for Mariah but for reasons revealed only much later in the novel, return his love for her? Adding more tension are the secondary characters that inhabit this thriller and Spina has the talent to create suspense around each of them.

Although the author makes clear from the beginning who the killer is I kept wondering, as other characters were introduced and more twists were added, if it could be someone else.

Writing under the name Janice Spina the author is known for writing children’s books – at least over a dozen. Hunting Mariah brings J.E. Spina into the respectful world of fast-paced adult thrillers which will keep you turning the pages.

 

Bau: Sense of Smell

I love my morning walks. My new environment is a lot different from my old one and I am beginning to discover all sorts of interesting smells which is super tremendously stimulating.

The percentage of the dog’s brain that is devoted to analyzing smells is actually 40 times larger than that of a human! It’s been estimated that dogs can identify smells somewhere between 1,000 to 10,000 times better than nasally challenged humans can.

https://www.dummies.com/pets/dogs/understanding-a-dogs-sense-of-smell/

smelling

dog enjoying grass perfume

 

BAU: Let’s Go Home

“Let’s go home,” she says after our morning walk.

Those words used to send thrills through my heart. I loved my old neighbourhood with its variety of odours. Where are the intoxicating smells of roasted chicken coming from the delivery store? Where is the good owner of the deli who often slipped me a piece of pepperoni? And the trees trunks with the smell of my buddies?

There is none of this now. I feel lost.

I am inside an elevator and up we go with my stomach doing a tilt- a-whirl. I try to contain my fear. I am not used to being in such a small closed space. Then the doors open and I am able to breathe again and let out a loud bark which my mistress scolds me for. I follow her down a corridor and into my new home.

I miss my old home with its passage-way long enough for me to chase after my stuffed dinosaur. Here, though it’s too small. I head straight for my bed and sulk for the  remainder of the day and evening, which in dog time is probably weeks, maybe months.  I hate my new home. I hate that she didn’t even consult me about moving.

Bau4

 

Thelma Mariano: Heart of Stone

Book’s Blurb

Following a wager of the gods, a statue of Aphrodite springs to life. She has thirty days to find true love or return to stone.

After two hundred years trapped in granite, Daphne will do anything to stay alive. However, she’s past her prime as a woman and her face is pockmarked after prolonged exposure to acid rain and pollution. Without the advantages of youth or obvious beauty, how can she attract a suitable partner in so little time?

 

 

Heart of Stone

In a world of instant gratification and hookups, is it even possible to find anything real? And do so before the month runs out?
Desperate for answers, she turns to others for advice and looks for love in all the wrong places. With days, then minutes remaining to her, she must listen to the wisdom of her now-fragmented heart.

 

 

…the story symbolizes the dilemma faced by many women – to open our hearts to love and risk vulnerability (in Daphne’s case, death) or to resist and turn to stone.

Heart of Stone is a romantic fantasy.  Thelma Mariano began writing fiction in the confessions field, where she sold over 40 stories to women’s magazines (such as True Story, True Confessions and True Experience) put out by NYC publishers in the days of mass readership. She is also the author of three published novels: Night Cries (women’s fiction), ConneXions (psychological suspense) and SeaStruck (a paranormal romance).

Heart of Stone is a short and easy read. It ponders the notion of true love and the pain of a broken heart. The novel is set in some of Montreal’s landmarks: Old Montreal,  Le Plateau and St. Denis Street. But the most remarkable one for me is of the chapel in the Old Port where the statue of Our Lady of the Harbor is immortalized in Leonard Cohen’s haunting song Suzanne.

The book is offered for free right now on Smashwords and Amazon. I had difficulty downloading it on my Kindle through Amazon but had no problems sending it to my iPad. Go figure!