Book Review: Wastebasket by J.M. Tompkins

The journey into absurdity is a slow descent.

The year is 2069. America has suffered a split between two groups, the Citizens and the Outsiders. To make a transition as a Citizen, one has to join the military and serve a six-year enlistment.

Not even a year into August Paxton’s service and he’s counting down the days until it’s over. But then everything takes a turn when a military drone crashes into the Wastebasket and August is assigned to the team charged to uncover it. The Wastebasket, the world’s largest trash dump, is home to natives that are rumored to be mentally and physically impaired, though no one is sure as to the extent of their condition. August is apprehensive about their mission’s location but learns that the real source of trepidation originates from within his own crew.

Wastebasket is the first installment of the Habitual Humanity series by J. M. Tompkins. The Habitual Humanity series will follow America’s fall into an apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic future.

My Review

I chose to read this novella after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

This novella is super short but the author has fit enough information into it that I’m already hooked. August is the main character and he is on a submarine serving his required six years. He isn’t perfect, of course, but he is a good guy.

When August and four other crew members are required to rescue a drone from the Wastebasket, they have no idea what to expect. Can they get in and get out without any complications?

I’m looking forward to the next installment of the Habitual Humanity series. I want to find out more about the characters and this “new” America.

About the Author

J. M. Tompkins worked within the field of technology sales until she was able to focus on her passion for writing. A late-blooming nerd, she enjoys a variety of interests including theology, history, genetics, and astronomy. Her novels and short stories contain each of these elements within dystopian worlds and science fiction plots.

J. M. lives in Georgia with her equally nerdy husband and her son. She loves cooking, reading, hiking, and spending time with her family and her two Italian Greyhounds.

http://www.creativityuntamed.com/

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Book Review: Leave no Trace by Mindy Mejia

There is a place in Minnesota with hundreds of miles of glacial lakes and untouched forests called the Boundary Waters. Ten years ago a man and his son trekked into this wilderness and never returned.

Search teams found their campsite ravaged by what looked like a bear. They were presumed dead until a decade later…the son appeared. Discovered while ransacking an outfitter store, he was violent and uncommunicative and sent to a psychiatric facility. Maya Stark, the assistant language therapist, is charged with making a connection with their high-profile patient. No matter how she tries, however, he refuses to answer questions about his father or the last ten years of his life

But Maya, who was abandoned by her own mother, has secrets, too. And as she’s drawn closer to this enigmatic boy who is no longer a boy, she’ll risk everything to reunite him with his father who has disappeared from the known world.

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from Simon & Schuster. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Maya had her share of problems as a teen, but she has turned her life around and is working as a speech therapist in the same psychiatric facility that she was treated in. But when her boss (and therapist) assigns her to work with Lucas, her world is turned upside down.

Lucas won’t communicate with anyone but Maya because he thinks he remembers her from sometime in the past. He just can’t quite remember when. Because she’s the only one he’ll communicate with, she’s asked to get as much info from him as she can even though he doesn’t seem to need speech therapy. To have her, a speech therapist, as his only therapist seemed a bit unrealistic to me, even if he wouldn’t communicate with anyone else. It makes for a good story, though.

I like these characters. Maya and Lucas are both psychologically damaged, but they’re still good people trying to do the right thing. As their bond grows stronger, Maya is determined to help Lucas get out of the facility and find his father.

Once I started reading this book, I couldn’t put it down. I love books in which the characters are this well developed. It makes me need to keep reading, although I did have to stop once or twice to cry.

Toward the end of Leave No Trace there is suspense added to the already good story. There are also a couple of twists. This is definitely a book I recommend, and I’m going to have to read Everything You Want Me to Be, Mindy Mejia’s last book, soon.

About the Author

My name is Mindy Mejia and I’m a writer. I write because, ever since I was six years old, my favorite game has been pretend. My life doesn’t have symmetry, theme, symbolism, or meditated beauty and I gravitate toward these things like a houseplant to the sun. I love the perfect words; I love how “fierce” and “confounded” and “swagger” look on the page and how my chest expands when I read them. I write because I believe in the reality of my fantasies, the truth in my fabrications. I’ve always had stories sneaking around my head, thrillers like THE DRAGON KEEPER and EVERYTHING YOU WANT ME TO BE, and sometimes I inhabit those stories more than my own life. (Best not to mention that last part to my husband, kids, or boss).

Website https://www.MindyMejia.com
Twitter MejiaWrites

Audiobook Review & Giveaway: Killer in the Band by Lauren Carr

Summer of Love & Murder

Joshua’s eldest son, Joshua “J.J.” Thornton Jr., has graduated at the top of his class from law school and returns home to spend the summer studying for the bar exam. However, to Joshua’s and Cameron’s shock and dismay, J.J. moves into the main house at Russell Ridge Farm, the largest dairy farm in the Ohio Valley, to rekindle a romance with Suellen Russell, a onetime leader of a rock group who’s twice his age. Quickly, they learn that she has been keeping a deep dark secret.

The move brings long-buried tensions between the father and son to the surface. But when a brutal killer strikes, the Lovers in Crime must set all differences aside to solve the crime before J.J. ends up in the cross hairs of a murderer.

Praise for Lauren Carr’s Mysteries:

“Lauren Carr could give Agatha Christie a run for her money!”

– Charlene Mabie-Gamble, Literary R&R

“As always, Lauren Carr brings an action-packed story that is almost impossible to put down. Her mystery plots have so many twists and turns that I didn’t know if I was coming or going. And the action just didn’t stop from the very beginning till the very end.” – Melina Mason, Melina’s Book Reviews

Buy the Book:

Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble

Add to Goodreads

My Review

I chose to listen to this book after receiving a free audiocopy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I had read this book about Cameron Gates and Joshua Thornton and was happy to listen to the audiobook, since I liked it the first time. Even though this is the third book in the series, it definitely stands on its own.

Killer in the Band is about Detective Cameron Gates solving some cold cases that affect members of the Thornton family. There are several stories occurring at the same time about the different members of the Thortons: murder mysteries, family discord, new friendships, and a May-December romance.

The characters are complex and, as usual in Lauren Carr’s books, there are many of them. She always makes it easy to keep them separate, though.

I like that the characters are all flawed in some way just like “real” people and that they try to overcome those flaws as the story progresses. My favorite characters, however, are the animals. From the horse who opens stalls to the rooster who attacks almost everyone, they bring humor to an otherwise suspenseful story.

I’ve listened to enough of Lauren Carr’s books that the narrator seems like an old friend. He does a great job narrating the stories, and I hope he continues to be the narrator in the future.

I definitely recommend Killer in the Band, whether you read it or listen to it, and look forward to reading more of Lauren Carr’s books.

Author’s Bio

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with Lauren: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

Giveaway

Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card courtesy of Lauren Carr, author of The Root of Murder (open to wherever Amazon.com delivers)

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