I am featuring a different book in each post until all my 31 books are listed here. Today I am featuring Hunting Mariah in this post which is the first novel I wrote for 18+ readers and the 7th publication in October of 2014 of all my books. Hunting Mariah is in the spotlight today!
I wrote this novel many years ago when my son was in college and my daughter was going into college shortly afterward back in the 90’s. The story lay dormant until 2014 when I thought it was time to edit and publish it.
When I published this book many people were shocked at the violence in it. They were surprised that I would write something so different from my sweet children’s books. I am an eclectic author writing anything from children’s, MG/PT/YA to Novels for 18+ I love to delve into new and different genres and challenge myself to do something new with each book.
The story behind this novel is, and there’s always a story behind a book, I dreamt of this idea for a story one night. My son was in college at the time and he told me about a rape on campus and how the on-campus security handled it. They instructed all the woman to walk in groups of more than two or, if possible, avoid going out at night. Of course this frightened me. My daughter was going to college the following year and I was distraught about her safety. My son relayed the story to her and stressed the importance of being vigilant and careful at night. Thank God there were no other incidents while she was there. But this story stayed in my mind and I had to put it down. The serial killer would not leave me alone until I told his story. I hope you will enjoy it and that it doesn’t frighten you as much as it frightened me.
Once I completed this book I felt drained and couldn’t look at it again until some of my readers requested a sequel. At that point I took it upon myself to read the book again and begin the sequel which was published in 2018, Mariah’s Revenge. It was cathartic for me to revisit the killer and put him out of my mind when I was through with his story once again.
This is a warning! Be prepared to not be able to put this book or its sequel down until you finish them. You will neglect your family, forget about dinner, laundry and sleeping. Remember I warned you!
I had a reader that could not put this book down. His wife told me that he never reads this kind of book but noticed it on her bedside table one night. He picked it up just to read a little but a few hours or so later he was still reading it. He told her he couldn’t stop until he found out what happened. He then went right to Amazon and purchased book 2! I was thrilled to hear this. Of course he didn’t review it but she felt compelled to tell me which I appreciated profoundly. He berated her for not telling him about it sooner. She still had not read it at that time but told me that she was going to right away because of the comments from her husband. That is why reviews are so important.
Hearing from readers and fans is wonderful! I can’t receive enough reviews either. I love knowing how my readers feel about my work.
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An insane killer, obsessed with blood and death, seeks revenge with those he perceives wronged him. He is now on the loose. His next victim may be Mariah.
Mariah has lost her memory. Will she remember what has transpired in her past? Can Mariah escape this deadly killer’s grasp. Will she finally be safe? Will the killer be apprehended?
My goal as an author of Novels for 18+ is to encourage everyone to read daily to enhance their lives and increase their creativity and good health. Please keep reading and I will keep writing. Happy reading everyone!
Here is a Book Trailer done by Christopher Graham:
If you still need convincing that this book is a great book, read these amazing reviews on Amazon:
Tina Frisco5.0 out of 5 stars A Mystery Fan’s Delight Reviewed in the United States on January 21, 2015Verified PurchaseThis book held me on the edge of my seat from page one. The serial killer is introduced in a blood-curdling prologue rife with suspense, leaving the reader most eager to turn the page. When Mariah makes her appearance, she finds herself in a strange place, terrified and suffering from amnesia. This spawns the question: Is she already in the clutches of the “school girl killer”?
The author impregnates her story with intrigue by shrouding her main characters in mystery. Unknown to Mariah, their lives are intertwined and bear on each other significantly. Suspense builds as the veil is slowly lifted on each one’s secret, closely guarded for the sake of Mariah’s safety. Deeply rooted in the past, these secrets now threaten to explode into the present.
With a shocking introduction and seeding her story with crumbs of revelation, J. E. Spina captures and holds the reader’s interest throughout this action-packed tale of mystery and suspense. She gives nothing away until the very end, and then adds an epilogue that will delight horror fans.
I closed this book feeling that I’d just seen a very entertaining movie ~ and wearing a smile of utter satisfaction.
Clark Slomin5.0 out of 5 stars A heart-pounding thriller Reviewed in the United States on March 28, 2015Verified PurchaseI had known Janice Spina as the author of charming, award-winning children’s picture books. So when her thriller novel “Hunting Mariah” hit the market, I was quite surprised! The next surprise (shock, in fact), came in reading the book’s opening. Raw and brutal, yet Spina tells it like it’s completely natural –thereby setting up getting the reader into the mind of the killer. This book started off with a bang!
The twists and turns this tale takes keep the reader off-guard as Mariah retells the events she slowly recalls after surviving her attacker – a man (and there are several men in Mariah’s life in the story) whose identity the reader is unsure of for most of the book. Devious poetry accompanies the text, as the killer verbalizes his justification for his savage desires, intentions, and actions.
This story runs the reader through the gamut of human emotions as Mariah, her friends, and family experience and endure what would be life’s normal course shattered by tragedy at the hands of a psychopath. I found myself deeply moved at one completely unexpected tragic point in the story.
I won’t give much more of the story away. After all, it IS a mystery/thriller, and I want you to be as surprised and entertained as I was.
Gigi Sedlmayer, Book Excellence Award Finalist winning author of the Talon series5.0 out of 5 stars On the dark side Reviewed in the United States on February 25, 2015Verified PurchaseI normally don’t read mystery thrillers, but somehow it got to me. I couldn’t stop reading, it held me captive til the end, even I thought right from the beginning who the awful blood thirsty killer person might be. But still I was always pushed back again, could it really be him? There were so many different turns and twists, that you really couldn’t be sure of anything.
Mariah, the innocent school girl was put into a dangerous twist; she nearly couldn’t get out again, shutting herself up to cope with the unexpected. And then you were transported into the mind of the school girl killer. What a blood thirsty individual, killing school girls for practice then killing Mariah’s friend, only to get to her. Everyone longed for justice. But will justice come?
Very cleverly done, JE Spina. She put family values and support into the foreground.
Loved it. Have to give it 5 stars
Colleen M. Chesebro5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Reader Enjoyment: 5 Overall Rate Reviewed in the United States on July 3, 2018Hunting Mariah is written by J. E. Spina, an award-winning children’s author. This novel is her debut into the mystery and crime genre.
The story is set in a New York suburb, where a killer is on the loose, terrorizing a college campus filled with young students.
Be prepared to be creeped out as J. E. Spina gives us an intimate view into the thought processes of a killer. Spina portrays this character as if she channeled the thoughts and actions of a real serial killer. The guy is deranged and takes pleasure in the sight, smell, and the feel of blood. Her descriptions were chilling!
The story revolves around the protagonist, Mariah Hampton who suffers from amnesia and Dr. Roberts, who is helping her to remember the savage attack she endured at the hands of an unnamed man. Through most of the book, this man’s identity is a secret which adds to the suspense building.
As Mariah’s memories begin to resurface, she realizes that the family secrets from her past have exploded into the future.
J. E. Spina has written a whopper of a murder mystery. She strings the reader along, giving nothing away until the explosive ending!
Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Fairies
*I received this book as a gift.*
Carol Balawyder5.0 out of 5 stars Fast-Paced Suspense Novel Reviewed in Canada on September 17, 2018Verified PurchaseIt isn’t because Hunting Mariah reminded me of my own in progress novel that I really loved this book, although that didn’t hurt. There’s a serial killer’s hunger for school girls whom Spina gives reasons for his macabre behavior as she allows us to get inside his insane mind and intensifying obsessive need to kill. He will stop at nothing until he satisfies his warped hunger to hunt down Mariah.
The novel contains many plot angles that drive it forward. Of course, there’s why Mariah is being hunted by the serial killer in the first place – a mystery which the author is able to maintain throughout the novel. Why is she kept in isolation in a psychiatric ward and what are her memory blanks about? Why can’t Tony, a man who obviously cares deeply for Mariah but for reasons revealed only much later in the novel, return his love for her? Adding more tension are the secondary characters that inhabit this thriller and Spina has the talent to create suspense around each of them.
Although the author makes clear from the beginning who the killer is I kept wondering, as other characters were introduced and more twists were added, if it could be someone else.
Writing under the name Janice Spina the author is known for writing children’s books – at least over a dozen. Hunting Mariah brings J.E. Spina into the respectful world of fast-paced thrillers which will keep you turning the pages.
Blessings & Hugs! Stay Safe, Stay Well and God Bless!
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