October Releases

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Phoenix Blog Tour - Review + Giveaway by A.J. Scudiere

Author: A.J. Scudiere
Format: ARC PDF (Netgalley)
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Pages: 361
Publisher: Griffyn Ink
Genre: Contemporary/Mystery/Thriller

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Synopsis from Goodreads

Jason Mondy’s world is unraveling.

His seemingly secure job as a fire fighter is suddenly thrown into chaos. The bright spot in his week is that he rescued two children from a house fire, but he returns home that night to find all his furniture is missing. His girlfriend has left him without warning and his nightmares keep him from sleeping. Even just a simple trip home to find some rest leads his adoptive mother to sit him down and tell him that maybe his troubles aren’t quite as innocuous as they seem. Then his she divulges a secret she’s kept for over twenty-six years . . .

Jason has a brother he doesn’t remember existed.

He doesn’t remember his life before he was adopted at age seven. He only knows that he was rescued from the fire that took his birth mother’s life. But the story is deeper than that, and the foundation on which he built his world is now cracking. The brother he doesn't remember it out there somewhere, left behind.

Armed with only this stunning new piece of information, Jason embarks on a quest to find the truths buried deep in his past. As he searches, one by one the pieces of his life fall like dominoes. And the more he uncovers, the more everything he thought he knew about himself and his past begins to turn to ash.

His truth isn’t true at all . .  


      I really enjoyed this story. It is a read that stands on its own because the style is unique. A.J. Scudiere has shown me a world that had substance and felt very real. Scudiere knows how to build suspense, without it feeling over dramatic or forced.

      I like our main character Jason. He is dealing with so much. It seems everyone around him has a secret they are keeping from him. The biggest one from his adopted mother; he finds out he had a brother and he may or may nor be dead. His world is upside down and you connect with him. You feel sorry for him because life as he knows it won't be the same. I love how the opening scene effects Jason so much. It opens up a floodgate since he keeps having these nightmares about the house and the boys he saved. He doesn't understand it, but he brain is connecting the puzzles. I love where this goes.

      The story is good. I love the journey that Jason takes and the things he learns. He is a very humbling character. After being named a hero for saving the boys, he doesn't like taking credit for it. Problem is, Jason is not the most social guy, so he doesn't really want the attention. But his chief wants to make him the face of the station, but he won't tell Jason what is going on. And him being the face brings him attention of reporters. One reporter in particular will just complicate Jason's life even more. We also find out that what the firefighters have been told about the fire isn't entirely true. Then we have the story about Jason's lost brother. I love the search he goes on and the people he meets along the way. I don't want to spoil anything, but wow, this was a great mystery.

      As much as I enjoyed this, I did have an issue or two. I know that Jason is a firefighter, but there were quite a bit of scenes that took place at the firehouse that I don't feel were absolutely necessary. I am not saying they were bad or anything, but I would have preferred this whole book be told from Jason's POV. Just some of those firefighter scenes slowed the story down a bit for me.

       This is such a hard review for me because this is different and it is hard not spoil. Overall though, this was a great story. Scudiere definitely has a style all on her own. And yes, I said her. I was surprised that this was written by a woman. I don't mean anything mean by this, but Scudiere really understands the male mind. She gave use a mysterious and suspenseful read that really sucked me in. Like I said, it feels like a real story. This could have been a memoir...well Jason's scenes anyway. Even with a few slow moments, this is a surprising page turner. Jason is a great character that you need to know.


*This book belongs to the following challenges*
BCC's Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge 2012

About A.J. Scudiere

It’s A.J.’s world.  A strange place where patterns jump out and catch the eye, little is missed, and most of it can be recalled with a deep breath; it’s different from the world the rest of us inhabit.  But the rest of us can experience it—when we read.  In this world, the smell of Florida takes three weeks to fully leave the senses and the air in Dallas is so thick that the planes “sink” to the runways rather than actually landing.

For A.J., texture reigns supreme.  Whether it’s air or blood or virus, it can be felt and smelled.  Reality is always a little bit off from the norm and something usually lurks right under the surface. As a storyteller, A.J. loves irony, the unexpected, and a puzzle where all the pieces fit and make sense. Originally a scientist and a teacher, the writer says research is always a key player in the stories. AJ’s motto is “It could happen. It wouldn’t. But it could.”

A.J. has lived in Florida and Los Angeles among a handful of other places.  Recent whims have brought the dark writer to Tennessee, where home is a deceptively normal-looking neighborhood just outside Nashville.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway
*One winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter
*Contest ends October 16th!
*Open to US!
*Book provided by A.J. Scudiere


  1. I'm terrible with genre classifications, but I'll say some Tom Clancy novels as I believe they have been classified as techno thriller.

    Phoenix is an excellent book though for sure.

    1. LOL! I hear you. I can be the same way with genres. Techno thriller is new to me. I have sadly never read a Tom Clancy book, but I have played plenty of his games. That counts, right? LOL! Phoenix is a great read. So glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the comment hon :)


Due to the daily spam comments I have been getting lately and to avoid the annoying word verification, Anonymous comments are no more. I do not want bargains on bags, watches, jerseys, boots and other crap. Geez, they could at least spam me with book and movie stuff, I would be somewhat interested LOL! Thank you :D