Tag Archives: J.A. Schneider

Book Review: ‘Girl Watching You’ by J.A. Schneider

Title: Girl Watching You

Published: 27th June 2019

Author: J.A. Schneider

Facebook: www.facebook.com/JASchneiderAuthor

Twitter: @JoyceSchneider1

 

Blurb:

Out of work actress Ava Beck, reduced to working in a West Village flower shop, starts to watch handsome, womanizing hedge funder Peter Greer, who lives near. He likes to romance his girlfriends with flowers.

Ava notices bruises on his troubled-looking date named Chloe. Concerned, she follows them after work to Chloe’s studio, second floor in the rear of a brownstone. She hears them arguing, climbs up the fire escape just as Greer angrily sees her…. and plunges into a world of stunning twists, murder and madness worse than any she could have imagined…

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A mystery or thriller. What a thriller ride you are taken on.

Joyce sure knows how to write a great thriller book. A few red herrings thrown in for good measure – some too obvious to be true and others subtle – but you will still be thinking ‘what the hell!’ when the big reveal takes place.

Ava is an out of work actress working in a florist until she can get back into the business. Her career has got a roadblock preventing people from hiring her. The roadblock in question is the man she thinks killed her sister – no accident as far as she is concerned. Confronting him in a rage wasn’t the best move after he was found innocent and now all she can do is hope for a win in her civil case suit against him. She just needs to find some more evidence or someone who has been prevented from speaking perhaps? With all this going on you can imagine that sleep has been hard to come by. Her way of coping is a little strange, the whole climbing fire escapes and looking out for people kind of strange. Once was enough to make her feel something other than numbness when she helped someone she knew but this next time she wished she had done something more than just look in and run away. Given that the person who’s flat it was ended up murdered that very night.

The only reason she went to look through the window was fear that the woman was in some kind of danger. She spotted her earlier at the flower shop with her partner, along with bruises on her wrists. She viewed the man as a predator and wanted to make sure she was ok after seeing them leave. A quick look later that night was all she wanted to do to satisfy her curiosity. After spotting a row in the making, and also getting spotted by the man himself, she got out of there fast. It’s not until the next day where she finds out the women was murdered. Thinking she witnessed the murder, or the lead up to it, she makes it her mission to get to the truth. She couldn’t save her sister but she wants to give justice to someone. After meeting the man, Peter, though and finding out more about him she starts to question everything she first thought. Could she be wrong by missing a link between this and another murder? If so then the real killer is out there watching. If it’s not him then she needs to keep looking before she ends up being a new target.

Red herrings time right from the start. One minute you think it could be one person then get a vibe from someone else until the final reveal. Can you guess the correct killer? They may have done this more than once and be linked closer than you first thought.

5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Release Blitz: ‘Girl Watching You’ by J.A. Schneider

Title: Girl Watching You

Author: J.A. Schneider

Genre: Thriller / Suspense / Crime

 

About the Book:

A young woman, obsessed by a man she considers a predator, climbs a fire escape and thinks she sees a murder.

Out of work actress Ava Beck, reduced to working in a West Village flower shop, starts to watch womanizing hedge funder Peter Greer, who lives near. He likes to romance his girlfriends with flowers.

Ava notices bruises on his troubled-looking date named Chloe. Concerned, she follows them after work to Chloe’s studio, second floor in the rear of a brownstone. She hears them arguing, climbs up the fire escape just as Greer angrily sees her…and plunges into a world of stunning twists, murder and madness worse than any she could have imagined…

 

What people are saying:

“Just finished…am completely blown away!” Goodreads

“What a fantastic thriller! The action starts with the first sentence and my heart was in my mouth with every page. This stand-alone thriller has such an unusual female character you just love and fear for. I so loved this book – five stars!” Alice Liddell

“Wow, I couldn’t put this book down. Loved the fast pace – no lulls! – and every time I thought I knew what was going on there was a twist. I was left open mouthed at the shocker ending…was reading through tears at one point. Loved this book!” Goodreads

I just finished Girl Watching you and am trying to catch my breath. This suspense-thriller is amazing, it will have you guessing and second-guessing until the end. 5+ Stars!” Crime Book Club

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Excerpt

1.

There he is again. Another girlfriend.

He approaches. I stiffen and – surprise – feel better. Not much better, but not crying bad, either. Because mad is better than sad, isn’t it? That revved feeling that pulls you out of your gloom? This guy makes me mad.

He comes right up to our sidewalk counter, surveying bouquets, hugging one-armed his beaming new girl. I give a helpless sigh. Doesn’t she know about him? He’s in every gossip column. I grit my teeth as he pays, per usual, with his gold Palladium Visa card; barely looks at me from behind his Armani sunglasses.

“Very nice,” I tell him, hands shaking as I wrap the double bouquet of pink roses in gold foil. And I think: Women should steer clear of you, Mister. You’re a predator. I know your name. I know where you live.

He’s oblivious, of course. (Do people realize, when they give you their credit cards, that you can find out practically everything about them?) Men like this enjoy their arrogance. He’s a Greed Is Good cliché who stops here often to gift his girls with bouquets, plush toys, exotic handcrafts. He’s dark-haired and handsome in an aggressive-brooding way, and his name is Peter Greer. He was written up as one of fifteen hot young hedge funders, and that was several years ago; now he’s forty-one. Weeks ago, he bought a party pad a few blocks away. Fancy place. I searched public records for his property sale.

A pity, I think, because Greer’s new girl is lovely, understated in a wheat-colored blazer over a blue dress. She thanks me sweetly, just like they taught her to do in Minnesota or Iowa or Ohio; then her pretty face disappears behind her fall of blond hair as she sniffs the bouquet, so romantic. Thank you, she smiles at him.

Minnesota, I’ve decided.

Shouldn’t warning women about men like this be some sort of civic duty?

She’s early twenties and smart-looking; maybe one of last June’s crop of new grad school types to arrive in the city, still euphoric that they’re in New York, in just the best new job ever working for bankers or media honchos and living in the heart of trendy West Village, woo hoo.

That’s how I felt, starting out.

She gazes at expensive orchids, leaning on Greer’s shoulder as he waves his wallet pointing to tall ficus and a big-leafed anthurium. Wouldn’t she like more plants in her place? It’s so bare!

She shakes her head, maybe thinking where would she put all her Ikea stuff with those big plants in the way. Her place is tiny. Last visit, he bought her potted yellow chrysanthemums. They wound up outside her window on the fire escape. I think her cat peed on them.

“Do you still have geraniums?” pipes a woman holding a poodle.

Oops. Other customers.

“September’s too late in the season, try asters?” I tell her, going back to subtly watching Greer and Minnesota.

By their effusiveness, I can tell they’ve had their early evening glass of wine at nearby Régine’s, as they’ve done for the weeks since I’ve noticed them dating. It’s probably where they met, probably their breathless our place though the poor girl doesn’t know it’s the turd’s favorite pickup joint. He still acts like their affair is new, but I catch an undercurrent of tension from her. She gives me a suddenly troubled look, then reaches – “Aww…” – to pat a plush bunny tied with a bow to roses…

What’s this?

Bruises on her wrist. Her blazer sleeve pulls back as she reaches to the toy, and I see fingerprint marks, jewel-blue over her pulse.

I lean to her, try to find a subtle way to ask if she was hurt.

But he’s already pulled her away.

I frown, watching them head east on leafy West Eleventh to her studio. It’s on the second floor in the rear, barely five hundred square feet but in a pretty brownstone with a view of the garden with its fire escape that doesn’t shake when you climb up, unlike some fire escapes-

“Ah, Miss?”

“Oh, sorry!”

It’s after six – coming home time – and I switch gears to catch up with jostling newcomers: a middle-aged woman in artiste black who wants white chrysanthemums; a young man in a tight Gucci T-shirt waving calla lilies; an elderly lady seeking African violets who asks how my auditions are going (I give her a sad face; she looks sad and says, “Oh, honey”), and a pair of lovers buying a hanging fern. They’ve settled in a one-bedroom on West Sixth. When you’re out together buying hanging ferns, your relationship is serious; you are comfortable with each other.

Two reasons why I like this job: I can hide from the world, and simultaneously get a glimpse into other lives. It helps to see some people find luck.

Then I think of Minnesota’s bruises…

About the Author:

J.A. (Joyce Anne) Schneider is a former staffer at Newsweek Magazine. She is the author of the Embryo medical thriller series, and of the Detective Kerri Blasco Police/Psychological Thrillers Fear Dreams, Her Last Breath, and Watching You.

She loves to hear from her readers. Her email address is joyce (at) jaschneiderauthor.net, her website is http://jaschneiderauthor.net, and come say hi on Facebook http://tinyurl.com/7fm44mk. Also join her website’s Newsletter to hear about sales and new books about to release! She lives with her family in Connecticut, loves gardening, and is working on her next Detective Kerri Blasco thriller.

Social Media Links:

Website: www.jaschneiderauthor.net

Facebook: www.facebook.com/joyce.schneider.142

Twitter: @JoyceSchneider1

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/5832782.J_A_Schneider

BookBub: www.bookbub.com/authors/j-a-schneider

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Book Review: ‘Watching You’ by J.A. Schneider

Title: Watching You (Detective Kerri Blasoc Book 3)

Published: 25th April 2017

Publisher: RGS Media

Author: J.A. Schneider

Facebook: www.facebook.com/JASchneiderAuthor

Twitter: @JoyceSchneider1

 

Synopsis:

A serial killer texts his victims first – but how does he get their phone numbers? A detective vows revenge. He comes after her.

In the chill of an October night, Detective Kerri Blasco is called to a bizarre murder scene. Leda Winfield, a young volunteer for the homeless, has been shot. Her cell phone displays the frightening text, WATCHING YOU, and into her back, hideously pushed with a hat pin, is a note with the same awful message. Leda’s socialite family and friends insist that no one would have wanted to harm her, but Detective Kerri isn’t convinced.

Until another random young woman is killed in exactly the same way. Kerri and her team profile a monstrous killer who enjoys terrifying his victims before stalking and killing them.

Soon Kerri finds that the killer is after her, too, and that the key to finding him may just be in the homeless shelter. When the body count rises, she vows to stop the madman – even if it means battling her own personal trauma, risking her job, her love relationship with her boss Alex Brand, and her life.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book about a crime detective. This is a game of cat and mouse with a lot of red herrings thrown in for good measure to pull your theories in multiple directions. The real killer could be the last person you’d think to look at.

Detective Kerri Blasco and her partner Detective Alex Brand (both on and off the job, though that part is hidden from their Captain) are called out to another homicide. With what is left behind on the body, one somewhat stranger than others they have dealt with lately. It’s just the beginning of an intricate game they are being pulled into. Is the killer a mastermind or a twisted freak? Maybe a bit of both when you get down to it.

Victims start to pile up but its starts with Leda. Or does it? She worked for the Mission; a place to help the homeless but is someone there to blame? Witnesses are hard to come by and not completely reliable but some things are clear. One being that the man limped, whether on purpose or just to push perceptions in another direction is another matter entirely.

Suspects are high with motives flying around right from the start. Jealous stepbrother, jilted lover, the Marxist or a drug deal gone wrong that someone needs to clean up. The detectives have to pull a top list but is the real killer even on it. The kills seem planned to a point with the prep and aftermath. It’s just that there’s nothing linking the victims, just what happens to them. They are all shot in the same place; have a ‘Watching You’ note pinned to them and a text sent to them beforehand.

This story follows Kerri more than the others have done as it soon becomes clear that she is going to be a target. She needs to watch her back as the killer is definitely watching her. Will her gut help this time with pinning the right guy down? The others really need to start listening to it because when she says something doesn’t fit she’s usually right.

I liked that you got to have parts where you were in the killers head as it’s a way to try to figure out who they are and what they are planning next. Helps you do a guess who as you try to put the different suspects together to see who fits. Can you figure it out before the cops do?

Strong characters throughout that have a way of drawing you into the story and holding you there until the end. A gripping thriller at its best but then I wouldn’t expect anything less from the author. Loved the first two in this series and this one just makes it a hat trick. So if you want to check out a good thriller today why not start with this set.

5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Her Last Breath’ by J.A. Schneider

Published: 21st October 2016

Publisher: RGS Media

Author: J.A. Schneider

Facebook: www.facebook.com/JASchneiderAuthor

Twitter: @JoyceSchneider1

 

Synopsis:

A chilling psychological thriller about a woman caught between two men…Mari Gill wakes to horror in a strange apartment next to a murdered man, and can’t remember the night before. Accused of murder, she feels torn between her husband, a successful defense attorney, and a mysterious, kind man who wants to help. Can she trust either of them – or even her friends? Detective Kerri Blasco battles her police bosses believing Mari is innocent…but is she?

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2017 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book about a detective. Couldn’t wait to read this one, as I loved Fear Dreams so much. Wanted to see what case Kerri would get next and how she would take on the challenge that would no doubt come with it. Trust her vibes people, they are never wrong.

So Mari wakes up in a strange bed with a dead man next to her, knife in his chest and has no recollection of how she got there or who the guy is. Talk about a shock to the system. The danger with shock quite like that for her is that it brings on one hell of an asthmatic attack. So shocked about what she sees, and about the fact she’s not sure how much longer she can breath, she jumps from the bed knocks over a lamp and crawls through broken glass to get to her bag. Hidden under a desk she gets her inhaler but the pressure is too much and it falls from her hands. It’s a good thing that Jay was on hand then. On the cusp of almost stopping breathing altogether Jay crashes through the door to save her life. Let’s see how fast you can fall for a hero shall we. All I can say about him is that it’s a good job he saw the whole scene as a set up from the start. Though who the person behind it was is something else entirely. Good job she has a defence lawyer for a husband then isn’t it. Well they are on a trial break at the moment but with the craziness coming their way I’m thinking it’s going to be permanent.

When Detectives Kerri Blasco and Alex Brand get to the scene you can see they have very different ideas to start with about what they are seeing. Alex is very much in the mind of thinking that the woman waking up next to the dead guy is more than likely the one that killed him, but Kerri isn’t so sure. Nothing about the scene makes sense and the longer she looks at it and Mari the more convinced she is of it. Her main issue being that Mari is meant to have stab this guy and then decided to take a nap by the side of him. Umm… I don’t think so. Her boss however isn’t too happy about not having an open and shut case. Only after her begging a bit does he give her a day to walk through the evidence more to see what really happened. He really should listen to her vibes more as they are very rarely wrong. They have a high profile case with the press hounding them; they really don’t want another bad mark or a lawsuit on the department. Especially when Mari has her big shot defence lawyer husband on the case. A day to crack a case that just brings up more clues than answers and still may or may not point the finger squarely at Mari. Couldn’t be too hard could it?

Seems Joaquin Ivanovic, the dead guy, was a fashion up and coming photographer with a bit of a mean streak with the models he worked with. He may have had it coming but from who and why. Mari’s friend Jenna and her boyfriend Rob you just get a very weird vibe from right from the start. The more they are mention the more you might think they are involved but then something else comes to light and the focus draws to someone new. You have many players each with a plausible reason but who is the one really pulling the strings. It’s a great way to keep you guessing to the end to see how it will all play out.

A psychological thriller at its best, Joyce really knows how to write a good gripping story. You should definitely check out her books.

5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Fear Dreams’ by J.A. Schneider

Fear Dreams

Title: Fear Dreams

Published: 28th March 2016

Publisher: RGS Media

Author: J.A. Schneider

Facebook: www.facebook.com/JASchneiderAuthor

Twitter: @JoyceSchneider1

Synopsis:

Liddy Barron, an artist, was injured in a hit-and-run accident that left her with recurring nightmares, partial amnesia, and an increasing obsession in the disappearance of a coed named Sasha Perry. Was Sasha murdered? Insecure and nervous, Liddy’s turmoil grows as she begins seeing ghostly images. Her husband Paul tries to help but suspects it’s just her imagination…while intuitive Detective Kerri Blasco, also obsessed with young Sasha’s disappearance, senses that Liddy may have a key to solving the case, and tries to unravel the shocking truth of what really haunts her.

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2016 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A mystery or detective novel. This one is both and so much more. Take a ride on this suspenseful journey through the lost memories of Liddy.

The story starts a few months after Liddy’s accident – one that she can’t really remember how it happened. A drunk driver hit her after she ran out into traffic. Her husband Paul says they were both really drunk, had a fight and then she ran off. With having no memory of the event she has no reason to doubt him. Even he says his memory is fuzzy due to the booze. Her road to recovery is taking an unusual turn though. Physically she is getting better but emotionally she is way off. Dreams of water, fear of loss and a mysterious girl seemingly asking for help are putting a strain on her psyche. Her shrink keeps getting her to go back to the night of the accident because as soon as she unlocks what’s been too painful to see she will remember everything. Much to the annoyance of a certain person though. The killer could be closer than you think.

Detective Kerri Blasco is a strong character that doesn’t ever want to give up on a case until she catches the person responsible. Especially with Sasha’s missing person’s case. Even though it would not usually be a case she’d deal with, her being a homicide detective, she just knows she has to do something. Her gut is telling her that there is more to it than meets the eye. This girl who had her whole life ahead of her planned out goes missing and everyone just thinks of it as a runaway case. With no new information coming in the case gets closed to a point leaving Kerri the only person taking the lead. She just needs that one clue that will open up new avenues. She just didn’t expect it to come from a drawing.

While Liddy is out at a café with her husband Paul and best friend Beth waiting to check out a new apartment she finds herself with her sketchbook in hand drawing people as they pass. One glance is all it takes to capture someone. The first drawing is good but it’s her second one that catches Beth’s eye. Liddy insists she saw her pass the street but now can’t recall. It’s not until the next day Beth remembers why the girl looked so familiar and that’s because it’s the missing girl Sasha. Unsure what to do at first with her drawing she soon makes her way to see the only detective on the case Kerri. At first she thinks she will be laughed out with her story and drawing but something about her makes Kerri insist she stay and explain more.

This picture and Liddy’s reference to water keep popping up seemingly creating clues to follow. When a friend of Sasha’s is back in town and shows some new pictures Kerri starts to get the break she has been after. She feels a connection with Liddy and gets a feeling that she is a key to unlocking what really happened to Sasha.

Soon suspicion is set at Liddy’s husband Paul’s friends’ door – Ben and Carl. The fact that Paul has a boat that they have all used at some point and that Ben was caught up with a prescription fraud case involving Sasha soon gets more pieces to fall into place. You get a certain vibe about Ben and Carl that you just know something isn’t quite right. Even to a point with Paul. He is a very cleverly thought out character who knows how to play certain ways. He can act the doting husband wanting to help Liddy out with her pain one moment but then flip into a bit of an asshole when he has had a few too many to drink, seemingly to blame her for all his troubles.

The way the story plays out you are being pushed into thinking certain people could have had something to do with it. Many start acting jumpy but it holds out on the big reveal until the end. You are just hanging on for the ride willing Liddy to let her mind open up and remember what’s been hidden. After a traumatic event memories can become hidden until you are ready to remember them. In remembering though she could be putting herself in danger, lets just hope Kerri can get there in time. But if not her then perhaps someone else who has decided to keep a watchful eye on Liddy can keep her safe.

Her shrink had it right all along. The moment she unlocks the past she can see through to a better future. Best read as a one day sitting as I think it helps build the tension more. Great read that will have you gripped throughout. Mystery, intrigue, suspense, this book has it all. So check it out now.

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5 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from the author for my honest review.

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