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Trees and Minds

Girl from the Tree House Book Cover Girl from the Tree House
Women of our time Book 1
Gudrun Frerichs
psychological, thriller
Gudrun Frerichs
(21 May 2019)

It all unraveled at the funeral...

Horace Reid's death opened the door to our freedom. His widow, Elizabeth, exists only on paper. She disappeared thirty years ago. It's us, the Tribe, who live in her body now. But nobody knows that. Us are Elise, the reluctant host, Lilly the closer, Ama, the proverbial mother, Sky, our wise guide, Amadeus, the warrior, and Luke, the man around the house. There are others, but we make sure they stay hidden and away from harm.

After Horace's funeral, they tried to lock us in a mental hospital. Our sister-in-law had it all carefully planned. Thanks to quick thinking—yes, being a multiple has its advantages—we escaped to New Zealand's South Island. Tucked away in the West Coast wilderness we... well, the plan was to continue our healing. We didn't expect that monsters from our past still had us on their radar. When the police accuse us of murder we have to run again. Where to go, which way to turn? Our neighbor Scott appears helpful, but can we trust him? Can we trust ourselves? Can we trust anyone?

The GIRL FROM THE TREE HOUSE is the first of a series of psychological thrillers set in current day New Zealand. It describes how Elizabeth, a thirty-two-year-old woman with multiple personalities (Dissociative Identity Disorder, DID), fights for her sanity and freedom. Four core personalities tell the story from the inside out, giving a touching insight into the workings of the dissociated mind. There are no graphic descriptions of abuse.

Gudrun Frerichs is a retired psychotherapist and trauma specialist in the field of (sexual) abuse recovery. She successfully worked with many clients who had a DID diagnosis. Recovery from trauma and dissociation has been the focus of her Master's dissertation (2000) and Ph.D. thesis (2008) and is also the topic of her blog Multiple Voices. THE GIRL FROM THE TREE HOUSE is a spectacular departure from her romance series THE GOLDEN GIRLS.

Whilst written by a psychotherapist she failed to completely proofread the book for terms spelt incorrectly. Which is a shame as this will confuse those readers who are not of her community.

Multiple personalities do exist in the DID world but it is rarer than most fiction writers would have us believe. Nevertheless, as this book is written by a psychotherapist, what we get here, is an amalgam of her true experiences with such patients. 
For someone like me, who is not an expert, this is fascinating. And yes, ECT is still used occasionally it seems. But childhood trauma is so often a cause of dissociating as Miss Marple says- it is a normal response, to any trauma in fact. 
And our narrator says she belongs to a Tribe, not all of whom are female. And only 1 got married.

This is not light reading, but it is thought provoking, especially in relation to our own internal worlds. We all have them. And, in the right circumstances, we can hold two contradictions as equally true and valid. Do we have more
than one personality? It often seems so. There is the way we interact with strangers, which is different from our interactions within family, and which may be different from how we interact with rich or poor or famous people.
So 5 stars for tackling a difficult issue- and think on- there are a very high percentage of prisoners with trauma related mental health problems which cause them to have difficulty operating in 'normal' society.

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And Alexandrea talks: tbc guest post waiting

The Secret Brokers Book Cover The Secret Brokers
(Secret Brokers, #1)
Alexandrea Weis
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense, Thriller
Vesuvian Books
April 7th 2020

Dallas August runs a dangerous business—an organization of elite spies for hire.

The secrets trade.

Nothing is off limits, and no price is too high.

When asked to uncover what recluse Gwen Marsh knows about a Mafia kingpin’s death, Dallas poses as a bodyguard to get close to his target, but the stubborn Asian beauty wants nothing to do with him. As the FBI and the Mafia close in, danger drives them together, but can he protect Gwen, or will Dallas be the one risking everything to discover what she is really hiding?

Dallas August is about to find out how dangerous life can be as one of the Secret Brokers.

Once you are in, there is no turning back.

Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

The tale of the undercover spy has always intrigued me. The danger and surreal settings have drawn me as a reader since I was young. A big influence on my desire to write in this genre was Ian Fleming—yes, the creator of the James Bond Series. His take on the character, and his details into Bond’s psyche, riveted me to every page. If you haven’t read the books, I highly recommend that you do. Fleming presented an in-depth course on how to write a character—one to which readers are drawn. Yes, James Bond was sexy, dangerous, and intriguing as a character, but he also had a vulnerability not captured in the films. Many of the James Bond novels were about the evolution of the character. His mistakes, broken heart, and failures as a spy made him confoundingly appealing. When I set out to write The Secret Brokers Series, I wanted to recreate the same flawed character in Dallas August that Fleming had mastered. After all, it’s the humanity of a character that draws us in. Knowing someone can be as unsure gives us hope that we’re not as different as we feel.

What makes The Secret Brokers stand out from other thriller genres will be the characters. They will be human, weathered by their flaws, but also retain a humorous side that makes them unforgettable. The world in which they live will be unique. As spies for hire, Dallas and his specialists—that is the term for his spies—steal secrets and sometimes sell them to the highest bidder. Their assignments will not always be deadly, some will be comical, but the dark world where many of Dallas’s specialists work will provide countless tales of deceit, infidelity, theft, betrayal, and murder. Stories will take place in museums, governments, colleges, hospitals, labs, drug companies, businesses, homes, and will involve men, women, children, cheating husbands, desperate wives, business moguls, leaders, diplomats, dictators, nurses, doctors, and politicians. The plotlines won’t be fantastical but relatable. In the stories, many may see their experiences mirrored. Adventure, romance, intrigue, and humor will be the cornerstones of The Secret Brokers Series. I hope it will entertain readers for a long time to come.     

Author Bio

Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Having been brought up in the motion picture industry, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans.WEBSITEGOODREADSFACEBOOKTWITTER

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Add all the crime fighters together and you get…

M-9: A Chelmin and Spaulding CID Mystery Book Cover M-9: A Chelmin and Spaulding CID Mystery
Chelmin & Spaulding CID Mysteries Book 1
by Marvin J Wolf
Mystery & Thrillers , Police Procedural
BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 20 Aug 2019

Who killed Kendra Farrell and left her bound, dehydrated body on a boxcar loaded with Army boots? Army CID agents Rudy Chelmin and his rookie partner, Will Spaulding, trace the train’s route back to Barstow, CA, and the Marine Corps Supply Depot. Before they can begin a joint-service investigation, they come under attack by a determined and heavily armed international gang. As they try to unwrap the mystery of Kendra’s death they must take out a sniper, escape from an RPG attack that levels a city block, and dodge a car bomb—and that’s just the first few days. To find Kendra’s killer they must learn why she was killed. As they unravel a mind-twisting snarl of nefarious, intertwined networks, they must also battle the bureaucracy—The FBI, Homeland Security, and the Barstow police want their share of the case. Then Chelmin vanishes and Spaulding has only three days to learn if his partner will suffer Kendra’s agonizing fate.

This is a complex story that might confuse so you need to keep your wits about you when reading it! I thought it was interesting in the way that the Army, Navy, FBI and local PD were interlinked in solving the murders and the rationale for them.

Keep the story straight and the various characters involved, and you will enjoy the book…

More in the series to come I hope.

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Floating or Drowning?

Woman in the Water Book Cover Woman in the Water
Katerina Diamond
Mystery Thriller Murder
Harper Collins, Avon Books

When a woman’s body is found submerged in icy water, police are shocked to find she is alive. But she won’t disclose her name, or what happened to her – even when a second body is discovered. And then she disappears from her hospital bed. Detectives Adrian Miles and Imogen Grey follow their only lead to the home of the Corrigans, looking for answers. But the more they dig into the couple’s lives, the less they understand about them. What’s their connection to the body in the river? Why have other people they know been hurt, or vanished? And can they discover the dark truth of their marriage before it’s too late? Smart, shocking and twisty – perfect for fans of Cara Hunter and Karin Slaughter.

I really thought I knew how this would end about three-quarters of the way through, but I was so wrong!

The ending is a 5 star for me, but overall, I thought the story needed tightening up and a general edit, which is why it gets a 4.

For once this police procedural demonstrates just how long it can take to solve a murder. The intricacies of police procedures that must be followed and the fact that people don’t always work through the night, but go home at 5 and come in at 9 even when they are trying to solve a murder. Much more realistic.

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No mind-altering for me!

Lavendar Lace Book Cover Lavendar Lace
A Washoe Indian, Northstar, California Mystery
by Lynn A. Dalton
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 07 Apr 2019

An 23-year old intern designed a mind altering device for the CIA. She goes to college to get her degree so she can become an agent with the CIA. A CIA operative sold Lavendar Lace's name to the Russian War Room and to the Russian Terrorists as the developer of this weapon. When Lavendar Lace goes on winter break to NorthStar skiing resort gunmen with automatic weapons try to kill her. The Russians are determined to capture Lavendar Lace and she is rescued and protected by a Washoe Indian. The CIA joins in on protecting Lavendar Lace as her mind is something the American Government wants.

I really couldn’t finish this book. I found the writing style uncomfortable and stilted.

I was also confused about Lavendar and what she was actually studying. Is design biotech weaponising mind control really a BSc Engineering? Surely this would be studied at Masters or Phd level? And Engineering? Maybe.

I also was not happy that this idea of mind control even existed, let alone that people were trying to design it, so it offended my pacifist nature

I was also confused about Lavendar and what she was actually studying. Is design biotech weaponising mind control really a BSc Engineering? Surely this would be studied at Masters or Phd level? And Engineering? Maybe.

I also was not happy that this idea of mind control even existed, let alone that people were trying to design it, so it offended my pacifist nature.

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