J159 by Renee Logan ~ 2017

I thought, hell, jury duty never sounded so good, but ...

When Eddie was taken by the system, he thought he was doing his civic duty, not being indoctrinated into a maddening isolation that would leave him fighting for his very breath.

Author: Renee Logan
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (April 29, 2017)
Publication: April 29 1, 2017
Pages: 248
Language: English
Author photographer: A friend who enjoys quiet recognition

"This book was provided by Renee Logan in exchange for my honest review alongside my proffered thank-you for asking."

4  Stars

Renee Logan
Could you imagine having to report for jury duty?  What a drag everyone says it is.  Right?
Sure there are those who feel civic duty is the stand-up thing to do so they jump on it; to each their own ~ it's jury duty.

Here in Renee Logan's novel J159 - some of you might wear a smile.  Some folks finish this jury duty wearing one of those smiles and tapping their back pocket as they get on with their lives.

Could you imagine reporting for jury duty - knowing you have no need to worry about making your mortgage payments, nor utilities, nor any monthly premiums - even personal.  Your property will be maintained and all (including Acts of God) repairs will be done promptly.

Sometimes the duty calls for months at a time right?  Your job is in the back of your mind?  No worries.  After you complete your jury duty, you will have your same job at the same level as you were, and where applicable - better.  Plus folks, you are are going to be paid for your services - cash.

Dr. Joyce Wyndham, creator of the Pure Juror System thought - The point is making sure the juror has no worries at all so his/her concentration is completely in the case at hand.  There will be no communication with the outside world.  All of your entertainment are movies and shows and the like that are reruns from years past.  No news or anything that could relate to the case at hand.
Sounds like a good idea for all around and you might be saying to yourself - there is always 'a thing'.  Here's the thing, jury duty is not less than three, not more than five years.

Did your smile go away?  Well, some smile, some frown, and some just shrug their shoulders and say hey, gotta go.  You see it happening around you in your daily life.  Folks coming out and getting back to what they were doing - hell, some even move away and start anew.  The court cases?  Exactly folks! pure justice - no if's and's or rebuttals.  The truly guilty go to prison.  And the truly innocent will do their job ....

This read folks will get you going right off the bat.  And if you are anywhere near the definition of curious, you'll be turning the pages.  Ms. Logan captures the isolation you might feel you should be going through.  Yet, what slowed the read down for me - but first a prelude - what else would you write about - was the constant talk of food.  No, I didn't get hungry, I was stuffed.  I was hoping (wishing?) for an enigmatic twist with the food.

A lab rat waiting for lights named Eddie is the protagonist of this tale.  Folks, when I started this read I was feeling as if the main character was a female - he is not female.  As the story went on ... Delighted by discovery, my face glowed with warmth, is one example that made me feel the character was from our species - feminine; there were a couple here and there that were peppered through the beginning of the tale that made me root for her.  Eddie, he's a he.  I still felt a feminine tone/air for this character as the tale went and I loved how this tale went.  Okay, maybe homosexual?

Lab rat?  Yeah, poor Eddie had to do exactly as the lights indicated.  Red - Wait. Green - You're good. From eating to getting some fresh air to having to get inside in a hurry to ... Eat. Wait. Wake. Wait.
Poor Eddie was living a life of complete isolation - even from other jurors.  No tainting of your decision on the case on hand.

Eddie, I mean Ms. Logan, was describing great inter-monologue as I read.  Major despair riddled off the pages.  Pulled me right in there with Eddie.  A lot of what was going on in his head had set my atmosphere and setting for me - the isolation is a killer.  The sub-plot was excellent, Renee.  The court cases that came and went, time itself and all the background for the tale was moving.

Talk about moving, your pace Ms. Logan was spot on coinciding with Eddie's growth into his nightmare.  It dug my rooting for Eddie a little deeper.

I was hoping for the friends of this tale were actually Eddie's foe and then a super nice twist for Eddie in the end.  The plot was excellent, though, I knew all along whom the ending was in favor for, so, that's why there was that hope for a twist. Some mystery-meat, twisty twist in the end, and more problems for Jack.  That's what I needed.  Folks, Jack is one of the most courageous men you will ever meet.  Pick this read up ~ All in all, this is a really good read folks ~

I needed more twist.  Recommend you ask?, Well yeah, of course, because listen, you really will enjoy getting isolated with Eddie.  I'll go ahead and say you're welcomed.


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Here's where you can get your fingers on J159:
  •  Amazon ~ Kindle $2.99 ~ Paperback $10.95 USD

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About the author  ~

Renee Logan is an Australian born writer, artist, and photographer.  She has lived in Europe and traveled the world, but proudly calls Texas, USA her home.

Renee has written and illustrated children's books and continues to do so in parallel to her love of writing thrillers, science-fiction, dystopian, mysteries, and general fiction.

With a predilection for oil painting and a vast array of photography interests, Renee's artistic works can be found among both private and commercial collections, as well as print media and advertising.

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The Iron Line by L. M. Merrington ~ 2017

“There’s a ghost train that runs along here at night.
They say it carries the souls of those bound for hell.”

Author: L. M. Merrington
Publisher: PAC Books (December 4, 2017)
Publication: December 4, 2017
Pages: 177
Language: English
Cover design: Raewyn Brack
Author photographer: James Walsh

"This book was provided by L. M. Merrington in exchange for my honest review alongside my proffered thank-you for asking."

5 Stars

L. M. Merrington
What a terrific weekend mystery read folks!

This story was incredible. 

The Iron Line is a Gothic murder mystery set with secrets nestled within the rural fictional town of Tungold, Australia in the late 1800's.

A newly widowed young lady by the name of Jane Adams will take you on a journey to hell and back.

Becoming the new gatekeeper from Goulburn, she was capable of handling one daily train that ran through town - and then she deemed herself capable of settling her curiosity of the train that rumbled the tracks every now and then, deep in the middle of the night.

Locals call it The Ghost Train and it be best to run home and jump in bed and cover your head 'til its gone - lest you die.  Happenings before you know.

Curiosity killed the cat, yet she had to spy the train and once she did, she didn't die. Though she spied a sight she might've not should've -

yet again, not sure what happened exactly in town there with that murder too, but teaming up with Constable Ward seemed like a for sure plan.  'Even though being a woman', Jane is vibrant and outspoken and after seeing the logic, Ward concedes that two views are better than one.  Off they set to investigate a mysterious ghost train and a murder to them making no sense.

Constable Ward reminded me of Pierce Brosnan with his suave demeanor and I felt Jane looking at him with a cautious female want through the read.  Now she's thinking hold on here, hold on, slow the hell down.  Still wearing mourning threads.  Slow.  It.  Down.  And there were the spots in the read she did halt all, then, the rekindles, then ....

Both of these characters will wrap you with life in the 1800's - detailing for you the life one would expect back then.  I appreciated the temperament Ms. Merrington, all the characters were distinct with their garb and demeanors, and their patois was accented audibly for me  - thank you. 

The Iron Line is speckled with a bit of history of the land and times along with a handful of issues facing women since time started really.  Tip of my hat for voicing the violence of where one should feel the safety of tranquility at it's fullest Ms. Merrington.  Along with other issues peppered here and there that are alive and kicking and happening today right now as you are reading my review here.

As I was reading, Jane becomes more lovable by the page.  Stands her ground as her backbone is made of impenetrable granite at times.  She can't stand bullies.  Many of us probably could relate to Jane, not only for her perseverance, but as you read, for her other ingredients that make up her character.     

As the mystery of the ghost train and the murder - and the attempted killing! - continues, you are enveloped in the Victorian Gothic genre for the weekend.  Now folks, I'm down here on Earth, just as the lot of  you - Ms. Merrington pens a sentence that pulls the next one right afterwards and then the sentence pulls the next paragraph right after turning that into the next page which in turns a smile as you close the back cover.  Take my word for it.

Now I would venture to say the question of whether or not that I would recommend this read for your weekend pleasure is naught, eh?
Yep. Thought so.

Folks, you won't see the end.  This is a great mystery with the end having a twist - oh, twisting right around the corner ... and down the hill ~ you can't possibly see it  ~  however, you will absolutely love it!

~ enjoy!

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Here's where you can get your fingers on The Iron Line:
  •  Amazon ~ Kindle $2.99 ~ Paperback $14.99 USD

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About the author  ~

L.M. Merrington is an Australian author, freelance writer and consultant.  Her books include two Gothic mysteries, Greythorne and The Iron Line, and a non-fiction communications handbook, Communications for Volunteers: Low-Cost Strategies for Community Groups.  She is fascinated by the Victorian era and particularly enjoys writing Gothic stories and steampunk.

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You'll also get access to exclusive behind-the-scenes content, first-look book excerpts and more.

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My Review

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