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Sunday, 27 April 2014

Blog Tour: Finding Jayda by Samantha Johns + 4* review +excerpt + giveaway

Title Finding Jayda
Author: Samantha Johns
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: 

Jayda Parrish was a St. Louis girl through and through, raised on gooey butter cake and Ted Drewes frozen custard. She came from humble working-class beginnings and was employed in a fuse factory in a lower-class part of town, despite her natural talents that could have afforded her a much better future. Fed up with her life, she plans a calculated escape from her abusive, alcoholic boyfriend, which includes faking her own death. Her escape works, but with unforeseen results. A series of life-threatening situations, and near-death challenges befall her as she flees her old life. The police now hot on her trail. Along the way Jayda encounters an array of colorful and unforgettable characters that transform her view of life and her expectations of happiness. During her journey Jayda finds a wonderful man and learns about true love, while facing the fight of her life to hang on to it all. Jayda’s character develops as one twist and turn confronts her after another in a fast-paced all-encompassing love story of deepest proportions. She finds strengths she didn’t know she possessed and learns to love more profoundly than she ever could have imagined possible. A romantic suspense story that includes mystery, ancient myths and long-held secrets.

The sound of police sirens pierced the chilly Halloween night.  It was 3 a.m., but the early hour did not deter onlookers from leaving their beds to shout angry accusations safely from their side of the rickety fence.  If this simple wire and wood structure failed to protect them, surely the cops pacing to and from the shabby little house would.  These two sisters did not appear to like this man who had lived next door to them for years.  He had managed to violate every known courtesy of neighborly conduct.   St. Louis Homicide Detective Ben Foxx carefully observed every detail.
“Murderer!” they screamed at officers walking near the shabby cottage.  “That creep killed her.  Everyone knew he would do it someday.  Ask anybody.  Arrest him.  Give him the electric chair,” they ranted and raved, sometimes simultaneously and sometimes taking turns.  It was almost as if they had agreed upon a plan to keep their noisy protests constant.
A frightened and confused Carson Liddell sat in a grimy plastic backyard patio chair awaiting questioning.  Carson’s wild and shaggy red hair covered his eyes, as it usually did, but he could still throw his evil stare at the two ranting women with his yellow-hued pupils.  They smiled back at him confidently, as if they could not imagine the possibility that they would be deprived the joy of watching him being hauled away in handcuffs. 
“I'm telling you she's been abducted,” Carson fumed as Foxx approached, dragging another patio chair over for their conversation.  “I came home and found everything just as you see it now—the blood, the knocked-over furniture—and Jayda's gone.  I had nothing to do with this.  Someone came here and took her away.”  He was rambling, trying to convince everyone who had ears to hear that he was innocent.  Carson Liddell was visibly shaken. Not with concern for his girlfriend, but for fear of his own situation.
“And why would anyone want to abduct Jayda Parrish,” Ben asked incredulously.  “There is no motive for that—no ransom money.  Why do you think this, Mr. Liddell?”
“How the hell do I know?” he answered angrily.  “There are lots of weirdoes out there.  Maybe someone did it to get at me somehow.  Lots of people hate me.”
“You say you had been at an AA meeting all evening,” asked Detective Ben Foxx, soberly and calmly, while typing information into his notebook computer.  “Do you have any witnesses who can verify your alibi for those hours?  Isn't it rather late for that type of thing?”
“It's Halloween.  There was a party after the meeting, and I hooked up with some new people—okay, a new woman.  The conversation ran pretty long,” he said.
“So, can you give me the names of these people you were with?” he pressed.
“Well, none of us use last names,” he said with apparent concern about this predicament. His pockmarked face contorted to form deep creases over his brow.  “Anonymity is taken very seriously in AA.  I can give permission for someone to reveal my identity, but I could get in real trouble telling you about anyone else in the group.”
“You're already in trouble,” stated Ben Foxx without emotion.  His deeply serious tone seemed to stun Carson into an even deeper sense of panic.  The whites of his eyes expanded and bulged, showing streaks of red blood vessels.
On hearing the word trouble, Carson clearly saw himself facing jail—a place where both inmates and guards would find reasons to mistreat him.  Ben Foxx watched as the man reacted like someone who had lived it all before and had emotional scars to show for it.  He could see all of this by reading Carson’s face and watching his gestures.  Suddenly, this man no longer cared about respecting some ridiculous principle such as anonymity.  He reached into his back pocket and pulled out a worn and folded piece of paper.


Simone's Review

*ARC received in return for an honest review

This is the first book I have read from author Samantha Johns and, to be honest, it is not the typical read I would usually go for. Like most bloggers we are given the chance to review and experience different stories from authors we would not normally try and, with this said, I am truly grateful to each and every author that gives us the chance to review their books. I have delved into many a story with my eyes closed (excuse the term) but so many of us only stick to one type of genre (me included in the past) and you can miss out on so many different amazing stories and authors, this book very much included.

So on to my review.....

Jayda Parrish, a middle class young woman from St. Louis has been in an abusive relationship with her dead beat alcoholic/abusive boyfriend, which is going no where fast, but Jayda has been cunningly plotting an escape to start a new life. She is so desperate to disappear for good, to be forgotten by her old life, that she fakes her own death. What she doesn't realise is that her life is going to change, but in no way is she prepared for the events that are around the corner and the decisions she makes are going to change her life in the most extreme way. I loved taking that ride with Jayda through these extraordinary events in her life.   

It's so refreshing to read a story in which we have a beautifully written female lead character. Jayda was caring and sensitive but no push over that's for sure (a real trooper in my eyes). Always best foot forward, never taking the high road but always doing what was right, not just for herself but for everyone involved and that's why, for me, Jayda really took centre stage. I found myself cheering her on through the tough times (and hell, there where many) while crying at the sad times, shouting at no one in particular to just give her a break already!! Man, this story is tough but if Jayda can do it, I need to change into my big girl panties and read on.....

Through this story Jayda meets a lot of different colourful characters Some play a major part to how her life pans out in the end while others I didn't much care for, as their intentions where not good for Jayda and did not deserve to be a part of her life. This leads me to mention Mason, who is so not my typical leading hot alpha male but, to be honest, he was so sweet and endearing and oh so very old school that he stole my heart anyway. Which just goes to show that you don't need all steamy hot sex in a man to make your heart beat faster, but a man who can show you that he can protect you, look after you and love you!! Then, of course, the rest later *winks* We are only human after all!!

All that is left to say Samantha Johns has given us a beautifully written story with strong, well developed characters. A story that takes you on a roller coaster of emotions, suspense, thrills, romance and even a little unexpected magical mystery added to make this story is slightly more intriguing. The chapters were a bit on the long side for me personally but in no means does this spoil the reading experience. If your looking for a great, interesting read with twists and turns along the way, I definitely recommend Finding Jayda finds it way into you hands or on your kindle for your next good read.

Simone gives this a rating of...

Born in rural Texas, Samantha has traveled extensively in her formative years. When she was small her parents traveled to England where she started pubic school as a young girl. Later her family moved to France, New York, Missouri and now she resides in Los Angeles. She's held jobs as diverse as law librarian to college professor to government worker. She has a BA and Writer's certificate from UM-St. Louis and a Master's degree in Communications from Webster University. She's co-authored books for Publications, Intl. as well as having many numerous published magazine articles. She enjoys attending Women's Literature and Fiction Writing groups to review current books and to discuss writing with her peers.
She enjoys the freedom she experiences with creative writing, especially a good story with plenty of twists and turns and suspense.

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