Jacket Design: Kimberly Shursen
"This book was provided by Kimberly Shursen in exchange for my honest review alongside my proffered thank-you for asking."
Lottery is a fast paced psychological thriller that will make you turn pages hoping that Caleb O'Toole gets what should be coming to him. This down-on-his-luck loveable guy turned multi-rich-SOB had an air about him that made you hate him with a passion.
The novel opens up with Caleb in serious debt that all started with a ten dollar bet that made his future not look so bright. Being accosted by a person his bookie had sent to deliver a "message" the 50 grand he owed had a deadline. Bummed and as any serious drinker would, headed for the Tonga Room at the Fairmont Hotel where he was a regular. His multimillionaire friend Jack Weber was there and wouldn't help him out. Memories of his father goading him "...never amount to a tinker's damn." filled him.
But, hey, the lottery is at 736 mil. Jack throws him a hundred dollar bill and tells him to pick up some mega-million lottery tickets on the way over to a party he was throwing that night. And if he wins he'll split the pot.
Jack wins and reneges on his deal. Caleb is beside himself and the only thing that warrants anything positive in his life is Ling Jameson. The beautiful woman he had literally ran into earlier that evening. Later after the party, Caleb wants to go back and stand up for himself and get his half of the deal Jack had promised. He arrives on Jack's yacht and the confrontation begins. Caleb finds out that Jack has not cashed in on the winnings yet because he wants to wait for a few days. As the confrontation escalates Jack tells Caleb to get the hell off his yacht and, not budging, Jack charges him. Stepping out of the way, Weber tripped and went down hard. "... get up you SOB. I said we're gonna settle this." Not gonna happen. Weber's dead.
This is not a spoiler, only the beginning of a fast paced story of a madman making sure that no other man on earth will take away from him his beautiful lady Ling Jameson. Not even McKenzie Price who was on board that fateful night and supposedly heard everything. Or her brother Ron. Not even people who seemed to Caleb to be Ron. No one will take her away from him. Not even Ling's parents.
All the while, as the novel carries us through this macabre life of Caleb O'Toole, he hears voices and we learn that he has heard voices all his life, though, now he can put a face to them.
Panic sets in on the yacht and Caleb wants out of there. Before he does, he searches Jack's pockets and grabs the lottery ticket. He wipes the place down trying to conceal his fingerprints and makes his get-away.
After cashing in the lottery ticket four days later, Caleb and Ling marry and they start to open Ling's dream of an adoption agency to help orphans of China find American parents. Caleb and Ling travel to Shanghai to finalize the deal.
Justin and Jenee Rager of Topeka, Kansas are Ling's first couple that has made it through the mountain of applicants of perspective parents. They are proud parents of Baileigh, their beautiful toddler princess. Justin is self-employed as a mechanic working in his own shop since graduating high school. Jenee becomes a dear friend of Ling and as the story moves along Jenee turns to be the petrol to keep the authorities fueled. Especially, when the hurricane-force winds approached.
They adopt a child whom looked all to familiar to the child Jenee dreams of in her sleep. Elijah is a special needs child being left after his birth with multiple fractures to his legs. While Caleb, Ling, Justin and Jenee were in China, Ling had fell in love with a little girl named Ahna, half Chinese and half American just like Ling. She wanted to bring her home and Caleb was reluctant voicing they wanted their children. Consenting, Caleb agrees and as time moves on, Caleb and Ling have a son. Son of Caleb.
With Kimberly Shursen's ability to weave a page-turner plot, this psychological thriller has many twists, suspense, and murder to captivate all thriller lovers. She has gorgeous descriptive details of Shanghai, China to the seedy parts of the Tenderloin District of San Francisco, to the beautiful openness of Topeka, Kansas and back again to the affluent neighborhood of San Francisco's Pacific Heights.
She has a cast of more than a dozen characters, each having their own voice so you can vividly see them and all of their emotions. Their patois is set to distinguish where they were born and raised and their customs and beliefs were acknowledged.
Kimberly kept the mood and tone of her novel set in the utmost place for a thrill ride through the pages - dark, eerie, unexpected to say just a few. I loved it.
To speak of her theme for this beginning of her Lottery series is a realization in your mind that there are actual real people out there with a twitch in their left eye.
Here's where you can get your fingers on Lottery:
- Amazon ~ Kindle $4.99 ~ Paperback $16.99 USD
- Barnes & Noble ~ Paperback $16.99 USD
- IndieBound ~ Support your local book stores
About the author ~
After graduating from a private college with a BA in education, Shursen began writing a musical. Five years later she presented the music, book, and lyrics to private investors. The play premiered in Minneapolis, Minnesota and later opened in Sweden.
Eden, Shursen's second full-blown musical was also produced by investors, catching rave reviews.
Knowing her passion had always been to be an author, Ms. Shursen left her position as a marketing director to pursue a full-time career in writing. She has yet to regret the decision.
Shursen's debut novel, political thriller ITSY BITSY SPIDER, was voted one of the top two thrillers of 2013. Legal thriller HUSH was published in January of 2014 and a top pick for Underground Book Reviews.
"The absolutely best part of being a writer is meeting interesting people I would never have met if they had not taken a chance on a new writer and picked up my book. I will always and forever be grateful." ~ Kimberly Shursen