Book Review: A Weaver's Web by Chris Pearce

A Weaver's Web
by Chris Pearce
Historical Fiction/Saga
3.5 Stars


Handloom weaver Henry Wakefield, his wife Sarah and their five children live in abject poverty in the Manchester area of the UK in the early 19th century at the time of the Industrial Revolution. Henry hates the new factories and won’t let his family work in them. He clashes with Sarah, a factory agent, a local priest and reformers, and son Albert runs away. The family are evicted and move to Manchester but are even worse off, living in a cellar in a terrace and have another little mouth to feed.

Henry’s love of money overrides his hatred of factories and he starts one of his own, but it is beset with problems. The Wakefields eventually become quite wealthy, but Henry holds the purse strings and this has a devastating effect on the family. Albert is caught stealing and is transported to New South Wales. Her baby’s death, Albert’s unknown fate and society parties become too much for Sarah, who hears voices and is taken to the lunatic asylum. Son Benjamin faces eviction from the family home for having a baby with an orphan girl too soon after their marriage.

Family members, including Sarah who has got out of the asylum and Albert who has returned to England unbeknown to Henry, have had enough and seek revenge.


Henry Wakefield is a handloom weaver around the time of the Industrial Revolution. He hates the new emerging factories, becuase he knows they will soon put him and other handweavers out of a job and he forbids his family from working in them, even though they would earn better money.

His long-suffering wife Sarah, tries to get him to see reason, but Henry is admanat - none of his family are to set foot in a factory. Their eldest son Albert runs away, fed up of having little money and eating even less. He finds work in Manchester as apprentice to a shoemaker, but is then kidnapped by factory agents who thinks he's an orphan. They make him work in a factory with other orphans, chained and fettered so they can't run away.

Evicted from their cottage, the Wakefields move to Manchester, but things only go from bad to worse.

I wanted to like this story more than I did. It's well written, well researched and you get a feel for the time and place, but it is just so depressing.

Misery upon misery just seemd to be heaped on the family - evicted from their home, then living a cellar which floods when it rains. Eking out meagre meals with what little money they have. Their son kidnapped and forced to work in a factory for pittance pay. Albert getting caught stealing and transported, Sarah ending up in an insane asylum. When Sarah gets pregnant again, instead of joy, Henry worries it's only going to be another mouth to feed and Sarah won't be able to work for a while. I don't know how Sarah put up with him.

Henry is one of the most dislikable characters I've ever read. He's quite happy to drink, gamble and whore his money away. One whore robbed him and he pretended he just lost the money in a puddle when he was drunk. He even sleeps in a chair with his trousers on, so Sarah won't find out how much money he actually has or lost at cards! I loathed him, I thought that might be too strong a word, but no. I'm trying to think of anything that might redeem him, but no, I can't think of a thing. He is just awful to his family and ends up being the worst sort of factory owner, even after he knew what his sons had gone through in those horrible places.

If you're looking for a fluffy, light-hearted read, this is not the book for you. But if you're after an historical story with a bit of revenge thrown in, then give this one a try.

Guest Post & Giveaway: Twinfinity Nethermore by Chris Podhola

Guest Post
The Invisible Wall
by Chris Podhola

It happened about forty thousand words in.  Everything was going great up until that point.  I wrote the first forty thousand words of Twinfinity: Nethermore in one week, words flowed like water pouring down a waterfall, ideas came like snowflakes in a blizzard, and the characters lived inside of me like cute, dangerous, or lively animals in a zoo.

But it didn’t last.

I hit that forty thousand word mark and it was suddenly as if I were driving down the expressway in the middle of Texas and I suddenly found myself out of gas.  I was stranded and the only option I had was to walk back in the direction in which I came.  The worst part about it was that it almost seemed like I thought I was in Texas, but in reality I was somewhere in Oklahoma by mistake.  I had no idea what to do.  The ideas totally dried up, I felt disconnected from the characters, and every word I wanted to write just seemed wrong to me, as if I suddenly no longer even understood the English language.  I was hopelessly stuck.

I guess I should point out that I’m not an outliner.  That is to say I’ve never been able to sit down and write an outline of a story before I’ve written it.  When I write I either sit down with a pen and paper and write, or I sit down in front of my computer and write.  I see the story as it unfolds and I write it as it comes.  Most of the time this works wonderfully, but sometimes I hit that invisible wall where I go off in the wrong direction, and I have to correct that in order to get beyond that invisible wall.

So I sat the project down for months and wrote other things for a while, but I desperately wanted to finish this novel.  For the first time in my life I knew that Twinfinity: Nethermore would be my first completed novel.  I knew that the idea was good.  I knew that the characters were good and I knew that it would be a story that readers would want to read.

If I could ever finish it.

So how did I overcome the dreaded “Writers Block?”

With the delete key of course.

This may not always be the solution to a blocked story—especially if the blockage comes as you begin to write the first page, but for me that’s never the way it happens.  For me, when writer’s block does come, it comes after that first major surge of writing ends.  This was the case with Nethermore, and the reason that it happened was that I had made things too easy for the twins and they got bored, so I got bored.  I ended up starting completely from scratch, with the same characters, but with a completely different theme and approach.

All in all the story seemed to flow nicely as long as I was headed down the corrected plot path, but as soon as I veered from that path, that’s when things always seemed to get foggy to me.  Every time I found myself getting blocked I’d set the story down for a short period of time and when I went back to it I’d always re-read what I had, figure out the places where the story wasn’t right, and as soon as I picked that portion out the story would seem to flow again.

The problem I had with Nethermore, more specifically, in the beginning, was that Whitney wasn’t originally blind and deaf.  When I wrote the original rough draft of Volume 1 Whitney could both see and hear.  I didn’t realize it at first but Whitney wasn’t satisfied with herself this way.  She became bored with the story and so did I and, therefore, the ideas quit coming to me.

It was as I was rewriting a scene that didn’t make it into the novel (the scene just didn’t apply at all after I realized my main character wasn’t supposed to be able to see or hear at all) that I realized who Whitney Leighton really was.  She was a girl that was both blind and deaf, but on top of that, she was also a girl who was living her life through her twin brother’s eyes and ears.  Once I figured that part out the story was much easier to write.

If you find yourself blocked you might want to consider erasing the wall instead of trying to figure out a way around it.  Find a part of the story that isn’t exactly right, delete it, and see if that doesn’t help you.


Twinfinity: Nethermore
Volume 1
Chris Podhola
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal,Urban Fantasy
Date of Publication: May 26, 2014
ISBN: 978-1499625035
Number of pages: 411
Word Count: 107,000
Cover Artist:

Book Description:

Whitney Leighton has a secret.  She is both blind and deaf but that’s not what she’s trying to keep hidden.  Her secret is that she can both see and hear through her twin brother Tommy.  They call it piggybacking because she can shift her consciousness into her brother’s mind.

Whitney’s not the only one with a secret; Tommy has one too and it’s Whitney that he’s keeping it from.  His secret is that Whitney isn’t who she’s supposed to be.  He has dreams of her, but in his dreams she has tattoos, battle-scars on her face, and a formidable look of determination.  If Tommy’s dreams come true then Whitney is in serious trouble and so is everyone else.  The simple Whitney that is, doesn’t stand a chance against the evil that exists in his sleep, and the world will be thrust into chaos.

The teen twins end up at Camp Tumbling Waters and Lake Amicolola where something is waiting for them.  Something as dark as Whitney’s vision and as insane as Tommy’s dreams and IT needs Whitney to escape the prison that IT calls … Nethermore.

Book Trailer:

Available at Amazon


About the Author:

The author is a 43 year-old United States Air Force veteran of the first Iraq War.  This is his debut novel in the Twinfinity urban fantasy series.  He was born and raised in south-eastern Michigan and served his country in California, Germany, and Turkey.


Tour giveaway:

2 $50 Amazon gift cards

5 free kindle copies

3 free paperbacks

Book Spotlight & Author Interview Saving Jamie by Carol Braswell

Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?
That is an interesting question. I have learned, after writing three books, that I like to plan the story first. Up until now I have run by the seat of my pants and encountered the dreaded 'saggy middle'. My awesome critique partner has been trying to get me to outline the story first. In the past I never knew which way the story would go and with an outline I can deviate in any direction the characters tell me to. I like having the story laid out first. So, now I'm a planner. That is until the next story.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story?
Absolutely. In my first book, I told the story and it is a complete flop. The story is there but I didn't listen to the character. All of the characters direct the story. Sometime we argue about the direction but they always win. Who knows their story better than they do?

What is your favorite food?
I am crazy about creamy anything. I love Italian and Cajun. My favorite Italian meal is shrimp Alfredo and I love chicken gumbo. I love to cook and if I can get fresh shrimp I'll cook shrimp Creole. But my specialty is cakes and bread puddings. Thanks to a past co-worker I make an awesome white chocolate bread pudding.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Most definitely a night owl. My creativity hits me around ten in the evening and I have been known to write until dawn. I guess it has something to do with the quite, dark night that makes me want to write. But no matter what time I go to bed, I can't sleep past eight in the morning. I am subject to take an hour nap now and then.

Where do you dream of traveling to and why?
I want to go to Italy. I think Italian men are so sexy and I love the food. There is so much history and to walk among the ruins of the coliseum would be a dream come true. I don't read or write historical but I love to study it. My wonderful hubby and I travel around the U.S. and have been out of the country a few times and so far the people are so warm and friendly. I just think Italy would be so much fun. I might want to move there.

Do distant places feature in your books?
We spent two weeks in Glacier National Park one summer and Finding Amy starts in and around the area. My first book, which is being rewritten, is centered around South America and Mexico. We are planning a trip to Maine and I'm sure there will be a book waiting there for me to write.

Do you listen to music while writing?
That depends. If I am on my laptop I am in front of the television. It is usually turned down low. If I'm at my desk upstairs, there is music playing. The music I listen to depends on the scenes I'm writing. I have an instrumental tape with rain and thunder in the background that sets my creative juices flowing. I am a die-hard country music fan.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?
Saving Jamie is about the stubborn identical twin of Amy Summers. She has no basic skills, married right out of high school, has a little girl who is four, and is trying to stay one step ahead of a powerful Colombian drug lord who wants the money her ex-husband stole. Jamie wants it, too. What she goes through to get the money gets her in hot water at every turn. It doesn't help that she has the hots for the FBI agent, Rex Garrett, who is trying to keep her safe.

What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?
That the stories are the easy part. Putting them on paper, piece of cake and getting a publisher wasn't too hard. In my naive mind I just thought all I had to do was write the stories. Wrong. There is business planning, marketing, promotions, acquiring a fan base, finding beta readers, editors, and social media, to name a few. All areas I was unfamiliar with and had to learn. I'm still learning and I'm sure as soon as I get it down, the rules will change.

Is there anything you would do differently?
Read and attend classes on the craft before ever starting the first story. Some talented writers have the ability to write a best seller on their first attempt but most of us don't. I would absorb everything I could. That still might not get me a best seller but I won't stop trying.

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?
Liliana Hart got the wheels rolling and the Indie Revolution keeps them turning. There is so much opportunity for writers now that wasn't available a few years ago and if you don't try, you will miss out.

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?
Write the best book you can write. I have never met a successful author who wasn't happy to give advice and tips. Listen to them. They have been where we are trying to go and know what to expect.

What are three words that describe you?
Motivated, determined, and happy.

What's your favorite book or who is your favorite writer?
Anything Janet Evanovich writes. She is so funny.

Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book
The only thing standing between the cartel who is hunting her and Jamie is FBI agent Rex Garrett, but he can’t protect her when she disobeys orders. When a dead body turns up and evidence places Jamie at the scene she becomes the number one suspect. Will he have to arrest the woman he’s come to care about or will he find her dead?

Jamie Kenner is abducted and barely escapes with her life, but a head injury leaves what memory she has almost useless. With her head exploding in pain and no memory of why she finds help with a reclusive, yet kindly old rancher, something isn’t right. Fear haunts her. A secret is locked inside her head and someone is willing to kill for it.

List of previous books if any
When The Past Came Back (out of print and being rewritten)
Finding Amy (8/2013)
Saving Jamie (8/2014)

Any websites/places readers can find you on the web.

Title: Saving Jamie
Author: Carol Braswell
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Her secret can get her killed! 

The only thing standing between Jamie and the Cartel is FBI agent Rex Garret, but he can’t protect her when she disobeys orders. When a dead body turns up and evidence places Jamie at the scene she becomes the number one suspect. Will he have to arrest the woman he’s come to care about or will he find her dead?

Can he save her this time?

Jamie Kenner barely escapes abduction alive, but at what cost? A traumatic head injury leaves what little memory she has left almost useless. An unlikely friendship with a reclusive, but kind rancher eases her pain and frustration. Yet something isn’t right. Fear haunted her. A secret is locked inside her head, dancing just out of reach…a secret someone is willing to kill for.



Taking several deep breaths, she shut her eyes and wiped her wet hands on her dripping wet designer jeans. Bending over, she scratched the wet ground for the special black rock she buried a couple of years ago. “Damn.” She dug her fingers into the mud until the rock appeared and another nail cracked. It wasn’t anything that couldn’t be fixed but it ticked her off. She shouldn’t have to do this but she didn’t trust anyone else.

Her fingers gripped the key and she stood to unlock the gate. Her finger’s shook as she tried to fit the key in the small hole. She sensed someone behind her just before a hairy arm snaked around her neck. A gruff voice whispered in her ear, “If you scream, I’ll slit your throat.”

The sharp knife pierced the skin on her neck again and another man stepped in front of her and grinned, flashing two gold teeth. He placed duct tape over her mouth, snuffing out the scream that rose in her throat. Her arms were forced back, fastened with zip ties, and the keys to the house and gate were ripped from her hand. Jamie’s heart drummed heavily in her ears. She wanted to run but her legs had turned to rubber.  She heard the gate click closed and the two men drug her around the pool to the back door of her old home.

“Oh, crap,” she thought. What the hell was going on? Who were they?


About the Author:

Carol Braswell has been writing since 1994. She took it seriously three years ago when a newspaper story caught her eye and Finding Amy was born. But Amy had an identical twin and her story had to be told as well. Saving Jamie dictated her story, Carol listened and Jamie’s adventure came to life.

“Several beta readers told me they didn’t like Jamie in the first book. That’s exactly how I wanted her to come across. But I had to redeem her in Saving Jamie. My editor said I had.”

Mrs. Braswell says she writes what she loves to read. That is a lot of suspense and a little romance thrown in to keep the emotions flowing. Her page turners keep you on the edge wondering just what will happen next. And you never have to wait long for a hunt and capture or a steamy roll in the sheets. Her books are loaded with both.

At present Mrs. Braswell is working on three books and plans to release two more after re-writes. “It is a daunting task, to say the least, but will be well worth the effort.”

She lives in east Texas with her hero husband who can fix anything and three very spoiled Maltese. She says her home was built for comfort and tranquility. Hubby built her a pergola where she escapes to writes.


Free Book Spotlight & Giveaway The Frost of Springtime by Rachel L. Demeter

Historical Romance
Date Published: February 14, 2014
Publisher: Black Lyon Publishing, LLC

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To rescue her was to rescue his own soul.

On a cold Parisian night, Vicomte Aleksender de Lefèvre forges an everlasting bond with a broken girl during her darkest hour, rescuing her from a life of abuse and misery. Tormented by his own demons, he finds his first bit of solace in sheltering little Sofia Rose.

But when Aleksender is drawn away by the Franco-Prussian war, the seasons pass. And in that long year, Sofia matures into a stunning young woman—a dancer with an understanding of devotion and redemption far surpassing her age.

Alongside his closest friend, Aleksender returns home to find that “home” is gone, replaced by revolution, bloodshed, betrayal—and a love always out of reach. Scarred inside and out, he’s thrust into a world of sensuality and violence—a world in which all his hours have now grown dark, and where only Sofia might bring an end to the winter in his heart.

Inspired by the 1871 Paris Commune, The Frost of Springtime is a poignant tale of revolution, redemption, and the healing power of love.


She smiled and reached for his face. “Let me have you in the most intimate of ways, let me give you a part of myself that no other man may touch. Make me yours forever.”

Aleksender responded with his caress. Broad, weathered hands skimmed over the valley of her curves as he traced each and every bend. He pressed a wet line of kisses down her neck, her torso—felt a sharp intake of breath as he ventured lower … lower …


About the Author

Rachel L. Demeter lives in the beautiful hills of Anaheim, California with Teddy, her goofy lowland sheepdog, and high school sweetheart of ten years. She enjoys writing dark, edgy romances that challenge the reader’s emotions and examine the redeeming power of love.

Imagining stories and characters has been Rachel’s passion for longer than she can remember. Before learning how to read or write, she would dictate stories while her mom would jot them down for her. She has a special affinity for the tortured hero and unconventional romances. Whether sculpting the protagonist or antagonist, she always ensures that every character is given a soul.

Rachel strives to intricately blend elements of romance, suspense, and horror. Some common themes her stories never stray too far from: forbidden romance, soul mates, the power of love to redeem, mend all wounds, and triumph over darkness. Her dream is to move readers and leave an emotional impact through her words.

Author Links

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$5 Amazon Gift Card
5 signed “The Frost of Springtime” bookmarks
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Book Spotlight: Alpha Wolf's Pet Hidden by Eva Gordon

Suspenseful Steamy Werewolf Romance
This series is intended for a mature adult (over 18 years old) audience.
Alpha Wolf’s Pet
Hidden, Book 1
By Eva Gordon

Mia’s testimony against Russian mobsters forced her to enter the witness protection program. She is relocated to a quaint cottage in Wolf Woods, near Mt. Rainier, far from everyone and everything she loved and cared for. All is calm, until she meets Dominic, the gorgeous ruggedly handsome owner of the mysterious Wolfe Estate. He is all alpha male, domineering, and controlling. The last thing she needs is to get involved with a sexy control freak.

Alpha werewolf, Dominic Wolfe, is the packs’ enforcer. When an attractive young woman moves into a cottage near his territory; his senses are heightened to obsessive proportions. A human pet to meet his desires.

Dominic is determined to unveil Mia’s real identity while keeping his own securely hidden. Haunted by the howls and shrieks coming from Dominic’s estate, Mia wonders if she can really trust the enigmatic man she suspects of wanting a dominant-submissive relationship. A man who brings out her darker desires. Will hidden danger keep them from gratifying their burning passion?

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble (Nook) | Smashwords

Her Alpha Wolf’s Pet series, Hidden, Book 1 will continue with Book 2 Kept, and Book 3 Hunted.
Find out more about future books in Eva Gordon’s Alpha Wolf’s Pet series and her other paranormal, fantasy and steampunk books at


About the Author:

I write genre bending paranormal/fantasy novels with a strong romantic element. HEA. I love to create stories that combine my passion for mythology, romance, and suspense and werewolf lore. I also write steampunk and Victorian era historical novels.

I have a BS in Zoology and graduate studies in Biology. I have taught high school Biology, Environmental Science and Anatomy/Physiology. When not in my den writing, I enjoy world travel, steampunk conventions, hiking, raptor rehabilitation and wolf sanctuaries.

I also teach online workshops on wolf lore ancient falconry and animal lore for Romance Writers of America and other writer groups. If you are interested in my workshops, please contact me.

Learn more about Eva Gordon below

Amazon UK Author Page:

Awarding Winning Author of Epic and Steamy Paranormal/Fantasy/Historical Fiction

Website | Blog | Amazon Author Page | Like Page on Face Book | Goodreads  | Twitter

Guest Post & Giveaway: Captured Lies by Maggie Thom

Guest Post
Thinking of Becoming a Writer?
by Maggie Thom

If you are thinking about becoming a writer or maybe you're a writer but really don't consider yourself one, there are some things that you should know. Writing is one of those crafts that is truly amazing and can take you away to so many places. The best part is that you get to create people, places, things, creatures and you get to decide what happens to them all. But it's not as simple as people make it sound.

1. Writing is an amazing craft but it takes a lot of time and dedication to it, so be prepared to park your behind to do it.

2. Procrastination will become your best friend... avoid it at all costs. It really is rather devious as you will find that you become very proficient at other skills - like cleaning, laundry, doing errands, washing your dog, etc. - all things you'd never thought would be something you'd end up doing for hours just to avoid writing.

3. Some people will love your work and some people won't, recognize that your writing isn't for everyone. And that's okay.

4. Friends and family will try to help but know that you will be given a lot of advice as to what type of stories you should write or how you should add in some new elements into the one you have.

5. Talk to readers and talk to authors, get as much feedback as you can about what they like to read and what makes a compelling story.

6. Get feedback on the stories that you write, find readers and writers to give you feedback. Try to make sure that those people are willing to give you honest, constructive criticism. It will truly help you to strengthen and expand your writing.

The best advice I can give is to focus on your writing and your love of writing, it truly will make it so much easier. Some different things may happen that can be discouraging but try not to focus on the negative. Learn your craft, practice your craft, do your craft and share your craft. Know that you have a gift and you get to decide what to do with it but also know that stepping into your gifts and talents will be the greatest gift you can give yourself. Write for the love of it.


Captured Lies
by Maggie Thom
Book #1 The Caspian Wine Series
Date Published: October 2012

She was kidnapped not once but twice and now someone wants her dead because of it...

Her life was a lie!

Bailey knew her upbringing wasn’t normal but she’s worked hard to stabilize her life. At 29, she finally has a good business, a stable home; her life is miles from that of her childhood. Then suddenly her mother dies, leaving a gaping hole and a discovery that they may not even be related. If Guy, the private investigator is to be believed, her life is a lie. Using the skills she learned on the streets, Bailey travels back through a sketchy and dangerous past, to find answers. Dodging bullets, staying ahead of those who want her dead and convincing Guy she can do it alone, are making it difficult to discover not only the secrets of her mother’s past but that of a family claiming she is theirs.

Everyone seems to have a story... but who’s telling the truth? And who wants her dead? Is Guy part of the solution? Or part of the problem? To discover the facts, she’ll have to untangle a web of deceit, lies, and secrets, dating back over thirty years.

But can she do it in time...

Captured Lies won Book of the Month LAS Reviews (March 2014)

"This is a story that when you start to read it you don’t want to put it down until you finish it." Cindy's Reviews

"Captured Lies is a very edge of your seat sort of book... I was totally enthralled with this book..." Tammy's Tea Time

"Maggie Thom has a hidden gem with Captured Lies!... Like an onion, each layer of this action-packed tale becomes more involved, more wickedly deceitful and more dangerous..." Tome Tender

"Captured Lies is an outstanding book and it was a book I couldn't put down..." Dee Sauter (Moderator Linda Howard Book Junkies)


About the Author:

Award winning author, Maggie Thom, took the challenge and leapt off, leaving a fulltime, twenty year career in management, to write full time. After publishing her first suspense/thriller book Captured Lies, October 2012, she published her second novel, Tainted Waters, April, 2013. Tainted Waters went on to win 2013 Suspense and Thriller Book of the Year through Turning the Pages Magazine and Captured Lies won book of the Month through LAS Reviews (February 2014). She published her third novel, Deceitful Truths (The Caspian Wine Series - Book 2), March 2014.

An avid reader and writer her whole life, she decided to break the monotony of wishing to be an author by making it happen. She is a wholehearted nature lover and likes nothing better than to take a book, hike to a remote spot by a river or waterfalls and read. Married to her best friend, she is learning that humor, love and patience help her navigate her way through her twins’ teen years. Her motto: Escape to read and Read to escape. "Maggie Thom writes a fast paced thriller laced with romance that keeps the reader interested and on edge!" InDtale Magazine

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Book Review: A Vision of Fire by Gillian Anderson & Jeff Rovin

A Vision of Fire
by Gillian Anderson & Jeff Rovin
Science Fiction
Simon and Schuster
Review Copy from Netgalley courtesy of the publisher
4 Stars

The first novel from iconic X-Files star Gillian Anderson and New York Times bestselling author Jeff Rovin: a science fiction thriller of epic proportions.

Renowned child psychologist Caitlin O’Hara is a single mom trying to juggle her job, her son, and a lackluster dating life. Her world is suddenly upturned when Maanik, the daughter of India’s ambassador to the United Nations, starts speaking in tongues and having violent visions. Caitlin is sure that her fits have something to do with the recent assassination attempt on her father—a shooting that has escalated nuclear tensions between India and Pakistan to dangerous levels—but when teenagers around the world start having similar outbursts, Caitlin begins to think that there’s a more sinister force at work.

In Haiti, a student claws at her throat, drowning on dry land. In Iran, a boy suddenly and inexplicably sets himself on fire. Animals, too, are acting irrationally, from rats in New York City to birds in South America to ordinary house pets. With Asia on the cusp of nuclear war, Caitlin must race across the globe to uncover the mystical links among these seemingly unrelated incidents in order to save her patient—and perhaps the world.


I was an avid fan of the X-Files so when I saw that Gillian Anderson had written a book, I had to give it a go and I'm glad I did.

Tensions are running high in the UN after an assassination attempt on the Indian ambassador. It looks like the peace talks going badly between India and Pakistan might set off a nuclear war and things all around the world are getting weird. From animals behaving oddly, to children and teenagers having strange lapses of concentration and harming themselves, or being harmed by unseen forces.

Caitlin O'Hara is a child psychologist who is brought on board after the ambassador's daughter has strange fits and starts speaking in languages no one can understand. Even Caitlin's friend, Ben, an interpreter at the UN doesn't recognise any of them, but they do have similarities to some he's heard. At first Caitlin is convinced that Manik is having some sort of reaction to her father's almost shooting, but she's never seen a case of PTSD that happened so quickly before.

Soon, other things grab her attention: a young man who set fire to himself in Iran, a young woman who suffered all the symptoms of drowning, but she'd been on dry land. It seems that Manik's episodes are part of something bigger, but what? And how can they stop it?

Now, this is an enjoyable book, well told with characters that you care about. But I have a niggle with Caitlin and the first time she witnesses one of Manik's strange episodes. Up until that point, Caitlin seemed a very down-to-earth sort of person, medically trained and looking for scientific explanations. But as soon as she sees Manik, she suddenly does an about-turn and veers off into New-Agey type stuff. She wants to treat Manik with nothing more than hypnosis and rants at the family doctor for prescribing sedatives. It just didn't seem like her at all.

The book is fast-paced and I eagerly turned the pages ready to see what happens next. It has an intriguing, mysterious storyline to be untangled and the threads were woven together so well that it leaves plenty of room for the next book. Another book I will look forward to.