Thursday, August 29, 2013

Shadow of Perception VBT

What happens when negligent plastic surgeons receive a taste of their own medicine…?

Chicago investigative reporter, Eden Risk, receives an unmarked envelope containing a postcard ordering her to watch the enclosed DVD…or someone else dies. No Police. After Eden watches the DVD, a gruesome, horrifying surgery, she turns to the private criminal investigation agency, CORE, for help. Only she hadn’t expected that help to come with a catch. Her former lover, Hudson Patterson, has been assigned to the case.

Hudson would rather have another CORE agent handle the investigation. Two years ago, he’d screwed things up with Eden…bad. And as more DVDs arrive, Eden and Hudson find themselves not only knee-deep in a twisted investigation, but forced to deal with their past, and the love they’d tried to deny.

Excerpt (Hero’s POV):
Hudson cleared his throat and eyed Eden’s cat. “I’ve only seen cats that size at the zoo or in the jungle. What the hell is it? Besides big and ugly.”

“Don’t talk like that.” She cupped Fabio’s only ear. “He’s sensitive.”

Eden had to have snapped at some point during the past two years. Literally. Since when did this woman, this no bullshit, headstrong woman, become all sensitive?

“Whatever, Dr. Doolittle,” he said, hiding his irritation. She could let her guard down, shed her hard as nails persona for a frickin’ cat, but she’d never bothered to make the effort with him.  During those months they’d been together, she’d come willingly to his bed, or she’d invite him to hers. Their pillow talk had been fun and sexy. They had exchanged stories, but never secrets. And after a while, that had bothered him. For the first time…ever, he’d been intrigued by a woman and he’d begun to trust enough to want to give more of himself than he’d ever been willing to in the past. Unfortunately, despite the intimate moments they’d shared, she had kept herself guarded. Instead of trying to find a way to break through her barriers, he’d gone and screwed everything up with her. He’d regretted that night for over two years. And the mistake she’d promised him she would never forgive.

Kristine, thanks so much for stopping by. So, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
Thank you for hosting today! I’m a stay at home mom of four kids (11, 10, 7 and 2). My life is crazy hectic. Between taking care of my kids and all that they are involved in, my two dogs and my career, I’m constantly on the go. I enjoy gardening (just don’t look at this year’s attempt at the veggie garden), am also a bit of an exercise freak, and I love kicking back and relaxing by our fire pit. My days and schedule can sometimes be so complicated. When it’s time to unwind I like to keep it simple!

How did you get started writing?
I began writing shortly after my first son was born. While I loved being a new mom, I needed something to keep me busy between diaper changes and feedings. During that time, my mom happened across an article in the paper that talked about a local writing group. She’d suggested I check it out, but at that point I didn’t take writing seriously. It was just something to do to pass the time. Five years later I met a woman who was part of that same writing group (Northeast Ohio Romance Writers of America). I attended a meeting and left totally inspired. From that point on I never looked at my writing as a hobby, but treated it as a career. It’s been twelve years since my mom cut that newspaper article out for me. Between my family and career, I’ve been truly blessed and this serves as a reminder that my mom always knew best!

What was the inspiration for your book?
Shockingly, the reality TV show Toddlers & Tiaras. I happened to catch a bit of an episode and because I was stunned by the idea of child beauty pageants, or rather the length kids and parents would go through to do them, I knew I had to somehow weave it into a book. Shadow of Perception isn’t about child beauty pageants, but I used the premise of the pageant as a jumpstart for the story, then took it to another level. I added an angle that will probably have most people reconsidering plastic surgery. Myself included, and I wrote the book!

What’s the one genre you haven’t written in yet that you’d like to?
Horror. When I was a kid, if I knew a horror movie was going to be on TV that evening, I’d become physically ill. Seriously. What’s funny is that my ten-year-old son is the same way. For a while we didn’t want him to even watch Scooby-Doo. I obviously overcame that fear and am always looking for a good horror movie or novel. The reason I’d like to write a horror? I want to see if I can scare you.

Are there any genres you won’t write? Why?
I LOVE historical romances, but I won’t write one. The amount of research that goes into writing a historical is WAY too intimidating for me! I do plenty of research for my suspense and contemporary books, but to be able to keep the language, the clothes, the setting, ALL of the historical aspects true to the story…wow. My hat goes off to those who write historical romances. Keep ‘em coming!

So, what are you working on right now? Got any releases planned, or still writing?
I’m currently wrapping up Shadow of Vengeance, book 3 of my CORE Shadow Trilogy, which will be released October 8th. In this story, CORE agents have to stop a killer who, for the past twenty years, has been preying on male students pledging fraternities. The heroine in this book is Rachel Davis, who played a significant role as CORE’s forensic computer analyst in both Shadow of Danger and Shadow of Perception. The hero is Owen Malcolm, who was in Shadow of Perception. I truly love these two characters. And the bad guy? Well, I always love writing those characters!

Alright, now for some totally random, fun questions.
Favorite color?  Hot Pink
Favorite movie?  Jaws
Alright, you have one superpower. What is it?  I can clone myself—I’m talking multiple times!

Last question: Which of your characters are you most like and how/why?
All of my heroines have a little bit of me. In Shadow of Perception, my heroine Eden has control issues. She’s OCD about her eating and exercise. I’m not the extreme portrayed in the book, but at one point in my life I’d been pretty close. In Shadow of Danger, my heroine Celeste can bake some awesome chocolate chip cookies. There are very few things I can bake, but chocolate chip cookies? Put it this way, I want to be on Food Network’s Chopped just so I can get to the dessert round and bake them (my husband caught me timing myself—if you know the show, you know what I’m talking about). This character also collects garden gnomes, which I do, too. Even in my contemporary romances you’ll find a little bit of me peppered here and there. I don’t purposefully do this, it just sort of happens.

That’s all from me, thanks so much for taking the time to stop by!
Thank you for having me!

My Review:
4.5 stars

This was a wonderful, intriguing, suspenseful book that kept me constantly on my toes, and kept on shocking me, even to the end. I don't even know where to start with how much I loved this book, especially since I don't want to spoil any of the surprises.

First off, the plot twists. Now, I'm a finicky reader. I often read multiple books at a time, because few books can hold my attention all the way till the end. And the longer the book, the harder it is to hold my attention. Shadow not only held my attention, but I couldn't put it down. Just when I thought I had all the answers, another twist would be introduced. Whether it was a bump in the relationship between Eden and Hudson, a stalker, or a peek into the murderer's mind, things never got dull. The ending shocked me as well. I thought I had it all figured out, only to find out just how wrong I was. Usually, when there is so much going on, the story can get bogged down or way too confusing. Very few writers can pull this off successfully, and Kristine is one of them.

Secondly, the characters. I liked both Eden and Hudson, but the real show stealer was the murderer Michael. Usually most bad guys are psychotic, off their rocker, etc. Michael wasn't. You saw parts of the story through his POV, and once I heard his motivations for doing what he was doing...well, I was conflicted. Part of me was abhorred at what he was doing, and yet I also wanted to root for him. Most authors just make the villain a bad guy, end of discussion. Here, the villain was a father trying to get justice for his dead daughter. He was a good man changed into this monster. And...well, I can't go in to much more detail without totally spoiling it. Suffice to say, Michael was a multi-dimensional villain, with both good and bad, and out of all the characters, he definitely made the biggest impression on me. Kristine wrote him beautifully, and I give kudos to her for such a well-written villain.

Now, the only thing that I had a bit of a problem with was the violence. Let's just say, reading about all the torture one of the victims went through...yeah, wasn't expecting that. Also, the romance is secondary here. It was more of a mystery/procedural than a romance book, which I wasn't expecting, but I still ended up liking it.

All in all, Shadow of Perception is an amazing read that I would highly recommend. My only advice is to be open-minded, strong-stomached, and not to read this book alone in the dark. And now I'm going to be eagerly looking forward to book 3 in the series.

Kristine will be awarding $5 Amazon gift cards to six randomly drawn commenters during the tour as well as print books to ten other randomly drawn commenters during the tour. 5 will be of Pick Me, a contemporary romance, and a gnome will come with the 5 copies of Shadow of Danger, book one of the suspense series. [US ONLY on the books]). So the more you comment, the better your chances of winning!

Author Bio and Links:
I didn’t pick up my first romance novel until I was in my late twenties. Immediately hooked, I read a bazillion books before deciding to write one of my own. After the birth of my first son I needed something to keep my mind from turning to mush, and Sesame Street wasn’t cutting it. While that first book will never see the light of day, something good had come from writing it. I realized my passion, and had found a career that I love.

When I’m not writing contemporary romances and dark, romantic suspense novels (or reading them!) I’m chasing after my four kids and two neurotic dogs.

Books available on:


  1. Thank you for hosting today! A great big thanks for the wonderful review. I'm so glad that you "got" my bad guy, Michael. I thoroughly enjoyed writing that character. Thank you again!

  2. A great interview thank you & I do love how we get the different POV.