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Scare CrowReview:

From Goodreads: Nineteen-year-old Emily Sheppard is losing her sanity.

Ever since her mob king boyfriend, Cameron Hillard, abandoned her for her own good, Emmy has been attempting to move on with her charmed college student life as if nothing happened.

Now rejected from the underworld and left grieving over Cameron’s alleged death, Emmy realizes she belongs nowhere.

Worse yet, she is now keeping a dangerous secret.

After just a short time with Emily, Cameron has lost control over his world.

As he miserably attempts to return to what is left of his life and unravel the mess he has made of the underworld, Emily’s hate turns to desperation. She needs to kill the kingpins responsible for Cameron’s death before they come looking for her.

As Cameron secretly observes Emily, he has no idea of the danger he has placed her in—or that it may already be too late for him to save her.

Scare Crow is a tale of revenge, terror, and love as Emmy and Cameron embark on separate journeys to face enemies, correct past mistakes, and…………..

find their way to their destinies.

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Oh. My. God. While I usually try to maintain a sense of professionalism in my reviews of novels, it is impossible for me to not fangirl a little over this amazing novel by the extremely talented Julie Hockley. I finished this second installment in the Crow’s Row series late in the evening not too long ago, and I have been unable to think of anything else since. My dreams have been permeated with scenes of Cameron, my heart’s desire, as I sleep through the night, and I’m just absolutely in love. In. Love. Not only with Cameron, but with Hockley’s writing style, her characters, the plot, the suspense, the alternating points-of-view, Meatball (at one point I literally yelled out, “Meeeeeeeeeeeeeatbaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal!” as I was reading). Every. Thing. I’m in love with Every. Last. Thing. About this novel.

I have been diligently waiting for this second installment since 2012, and let me just tell you, it was worth the wait. Hockley’s novel is perfection. Absolute. Perfection.

In this sequel to the amazing Crow’s Row, Hockley continues the tale of Emmy and Cameron, juxtaposing their stories as the novel unfolds. Bereft and out for blood, Emmy has no idea that her beloved still lives. Neither does Cameron realize that Emmy will stop at nothing to bring justice to those who stole her one true love in death. In a harsh reality where neither can fit into the other’s world and survive, this is a tale of love, deceit, revenge, and new beginnings.

Hockley’s story is enticing—I love the bad boy image, and although Cam is as bad as it gets, a mob king who kills mercilessly, he is also truly good at heart. And he’s impossible not to love. His heart bleeds throughout the novel; forced to separate himself from Emmy in order to keep her safe, and intent on bringing justice to the memory of his little brother Rocco, Cameron bares his soul for all to see in this beautiful novel, all the while maneuvering the underworld in a game of cat and mouse as it all comes to a head between the captains of the crime world.

And Emmy, filled with the hatred for those who killed her beau, is also extremely vivid and real. Her cross to bear is even more intricate and dangerous as she learns that even though she was set free from the underworld, she will never truly be safe, a revelation that causes her to rear back and fight with all her might.

A little dash of side romance, unrequited love, truths, lies, misunderstandings and murder all come together to create this riveting love story; you don’t want to miss it. Five amazing stars.

5 stars

I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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An Interview with Julie Hockley:

If you could devise the perfect dinner date for Cam and Emmy, what would be on the menu/what would they order?

Blood sausage. Blood pudding.

You drop a huge surprise on readers in Scare Crow—what was it like to create such a surprise?

That’s funny because to me, it wasn’t a surprise to me. That was always going to happen. Though I’m happy that readers saw it a surprise!

If you could meet anyone in the entire world, fictional included, who would it be and why?

Rocco. I miss him so much.

What/who was your inspiration for your novels Crow’s Row and Scare Crow?

Crow’s Row is Beauty and the Beast meets the Godfather.

Scare Crow is Pride and Prejudice meets Kill Bill.

Do you have a playlist for either of your novels?

When I’m writing I listen to everything and anything. It’s pretty weird. I’ll be in my car, listening to whatever comes on next and boom! A whole scene comes into play. Then I have to pull over as quickly as possible and type furiously on my phone before I forget it.

While I was writing certain Emmy scenes in Scare Crow and re-editing Crow’s Row, I listened to Skinny Love by Birdie a LOT! That song makes me want to weep every time.

What’s next for Cam and Emmy?

Scare Crow was about them changing. They needed to chance. Emmy especially.  She had a lot of growing up to do and a very short time to do it. Next Emmy and Cam will have a lot of explaining to do. Cam especially.

Are any of your characters based on real life people?

No. I’ve never had a picture in my head of who they could be. They exist only in my head. Fans have sent me pictures that are pretty close, but never have I seen Cam and Emmy and the rest of them exact. Of course, there are pieces of my character’s personalities that I have scooped up from other people. Rocco has a lot of my husband’s immature traits. Hands off ladies!

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Between the publishing of the first edition of Crow’s Row, to writing Scare Crow, to formally editing Scare Crow, to formally editing Crow’s Row, I’ve learned that the more you write, the better you become. I would tell them to read, a lot. Take a critical eye to their favorite novel.

Why do you like that novel? Is it the dialogue? Angst between characters? The way the author describes?

Then I would tell them to forget everything that I just said above and write what you want to write. A fan recently reminded me that, no matter what anyone says about you or your writing, as long as you’re proud of your work, your art, then you can hold your head up high. The rest is just noise.

What is the writing process like for you?

Sometimes difficult. Sometimes excruciating. Often it seems like I can’t find the words to describe what is happening in my head. It’s rather frustrating.

What inspired you to write/become a writer?

I love the feeling of pretending I’m someone else. Don’t get me wrong, I have a beautiful life. Nothing to complain about. So I need to get my drama fix somehow.

What does your writing cave look like?

Ha! My kitchen table. I pick the worse spot in the house. No privacy. Very little quiet. And the weird thing is that I can’t write unless there’s no one around me. My husband will get the evil eye until he is forced to leave the room. I need to pick and stick to a better spot. Unfortunately, my house is pretty small, so maybe I’ll have to go write in the garage or bathroom.

Do you ever get writers block—if so, how do you overcome it?

I get writers block all the time (hello, 3 years to write one book). When it happens, I try not to panic because panic is useless. And then I panic. And then I pretend that I don’t care. That I don’t need to ever write another word. The writer’s block will not get the best of me because I’m breaking up with writing. And then I sit back down and try again, later.

Are you working on any new series at this time?

Series? No! Never again! I’ve always got a few books floating around in my head and notes lying around my house, but I will not write another series. I will keep writing because it haunts me if I don’t, but if I ever publish anything after Crow’s Row is complete, it will be a stand-alone book. Though I need to figure out what a stand-alone book looks like because I thought Crow’s Row was a standalone book.

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Haven’t read book one, Crow’s Row?  Scoop it up now for just $2.99!  You WON’T be disappointed!!!

Crow's Row

Available Now:

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4f337-juliehockleyAbout Julie Hockley:

A former germaphobe and clean-freak turned mother of two, Julie collects enough tears and snot in a month to recreate Slimer Monster from Ghostbusters. Other than playing devoted wife and mama, Julie is the funniest person in the room (according to the 3 year-old and 2 year-old in said room) and can build the most awesome Lego rocket ship you’ve ever set your eyes on (according to her). Oh, and she has a full time career and has also written a bestselling novel. Superhero, or just downright insane?

 

 
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Crow's Row

From Goodreads: For college student Emily Sheppard, the thought of spending a summer alone in New York is much more preferable than spending it in France with her parents. 

Just completing her freshman year at Callister University, Emily faces a quiet summer in the city slums, supporting herself by working at the campus library.During one of her jogs through the nearby cemetery while visiting her brother Bill’s grave, Emily witnesses a brutal killing—and then she blacks out. When Emily regains consciousness, she realizes she’s been kidnapped by a young crime boss and his gang. 

She is hurled into a secret underworld, wondering why she is still alive and for how long.

Held captive in rural Vermont, she tries to make sense of her situation and what it means. While uncovering secrets about her brother and his untimely death, Emily falls in love with her very rich and very dangerous captor, twenty- six-year-old Cameron. She understands it’s a forbidden love and one that won’t allow her to return to her previous life. 

But love may not be enough to save Emily when no one even knows she is missing.

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Hockley has written a truly riveting love story that captivated me from the very beginning! I loved every minute of this novel, even the ending, though it angered me and even made me cry.  Leaving my emotions raw, Hockley has created a very powerful novel, and though the male lead, Cameron, is a crime boss, making tough decisions that occasionally end in the death of someone, he’s hard not to like.

It felt like an entire lifetime passed as I read.  Hockley has really fleshed out her characters, giving the reader a glimpse into their very souls, and I too found myself falling in love with Cameron.  I loved the pacing of the novel, and Hockley’s ability to fit all the pieces of the story together in such a perfect way, though the ending… was like a knife in the gut.

It’s not a mystery novel, but there is much suspense within the pages of Crow’s Row.  Hockley presents different scenarios that made me feel as if the story would go one way, but then it went in an entirely different direction, causing me slight heart attacks as I feared for Emily, for Cameron, for Rocco… I had a lot of pent up fear as I read, sure that something terrible was about to happen.  And it eventually did.  Emily is, afterall, held captive by a crime boss, and though he’s a dreamy, sexy character, he’s also the head of a group of killers.  Bad things are going to happen to some of the characters, and while I think I knew this is the back of my mind, it still shocked me and left me flabbergasted when they did.

There isn’t a happy ending, per se, but it does work perfectly with the novel, though I hate to say it.  The ending just about killed me.  I wasn’t expecting it, and I spent the entire last portion of the novel on pins and needles, screaming and crying because I couldn’t believe the twist the novel took.  This beautiful love story ripped my heart out in the end, but at the same time, it’s worth all the pain.  Upon finishing the novel I felt a hole in my own heart, just like some of the characters, and any author that can make me feel this deeply about fictional characters is one worthy of praise.  Hockley is indeed a literary genius, one to watch, and I am really hoping that there will be a sequel to this novel someday soon.  My heart needs to repair, and I’m dying for things to change. Five stars.

5 stars

Available Now:

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excerpt“I know you don’t believe anything I say, so there’s no point in me trying to defend myself to you anymore, even if it kills me to see you so disgusted with me.

But there’s one thing I do need you to know: I love you Emmy. I’ve loved you for a very long time.”

He turned his eyes to me for the briefest of moments, and I felt a crack in my newly erected armour.

“To have you here with me … I guess in some sick way, for a while, I thought that this could work. Hurting you was the last thing I wanted to do, but it looks like I managed to do that anyway.”

He took another breath. “This place is where I have to be, but it’s not a place where you can or should be. There’s nothing that I can do to change that. I won’t force this life on you.”

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4f337-juliehockleyAbout Julie Hockley:

A former germaphobe and clean-freak turned mother of two, Julie collects enough tears and snot in a month to recreate Slimer Monster from Ghostbusters. Other than playing devoted wife and mama, Julie is the funniest person in the room (according to the 3 year-old and 2 year-old in said room) and can build the most awesome Lego rocket ship you’ve ever set your eyes on (according to her). Oh, and she has a full time career and has also written a bestselling novel. Superhero, or just downright insane?

 

 
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Open Internationally!

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Crow's RowFrom Goodreads: For college student Emily Sheppard, the thought of spending a summer alone in New York is much more preferable than spending it in France with her parents. Just completing her freshman year at Callister University, Emily faces a quiet summer in the city slums, supporting herself by working at the campus library.

During one of her jogs through the nearby cemetery while visiting her brother Bill’s grave, Emily witnesses a brutal killing-and then she blacks out. When Emily regains consciousness, she realizes she’s been kidnapped by a young crime boss and his gang. She is hurled into a secret underworld, wondering why she is still alive and for how long.

Held captive in rural Vermont, she tries to make sense of her situation and what it means. While uncovering secrets about her brother and his untimely death, Emily falls in love with her very rich and very dangerous captor, twenty-six year- old Cameron. She understands it’s a forbidden love and one that won’t allow her to return to her previous life. But love may not be enough to save Emily when no one even knows she is missing.

____________________________________________

Hockley has written a truly riveting love story that captivated me from the very beginning! I loved every minute of this novel, even the ending, though it angered me and even made me cry.  Leaving my emotions raw, Hockley has created a very powerful novel, and though the male lead, Cameron, is a crime boss, making tough decisions that occasionally end in the death of someone, he’s hard not to like.

It felt like an entire lifetime passed as I read.  Hockley has really fleshed out her characters, giving the reader a glimpse into their very souls, and I too found myself falling in love with Cameron.  I loved the pacing of the novel, and Hockley’s ability to fit all the pieces of the story together in such a perfect way, though the ending… was like a knife in the gut.

It’s not a mystery novel, but there is much suspense within the pages of Crow’s Row.  Hockley presents different scenarios that made me feel as if the story would go one way, but then it went in an entirely different direction, causing me slight heart attacks as I feared for Emily, for Cameron, for Rocco… I had a lot of pent up fear as I read, sure that something terrible was about to happen.  And it eventually did.  Emily is, afterall, held captive by a crime boss, and though he’s a dreamy, sexy character, he’s also the head of a group of killers.  Bad things are going to happen to some of the characters, and while I think I knew this is the back of my mind, it still shocked me and left me flabbergasted when they did.

There isn’t a happy ending, per se, but it does work perfectly with the novel, though I hate to say it.  The ending just about killed me.  I wasn’t expecting it, and I spent the entire last portion of the novel on pins and needles, screaming and crying because I couldn’t believe the twist the novel took.  This beautiful love story ripped my heart out in the end, but at the same time, it’s worth all the pain.  Upon finishing the novel I felt a hole in my own heart, just like some of the characters, and any author that can make me feel this deeply about fictional characters is one worthy of praise.  Hockley is indeed a literary genius, one to watch, and I am really hoping that there will be a sequel to this novel someday soon.  My heart needs to repair, and I’m dying for things to change. Five stars.

5 stars

I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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