Following are reviews of books we have read.

“Dead Tide”

By AJ Scudiere

Review by Felix Bearden

Rating: Four Wolves and a pup!

”Dead Tide” may well have been labeled ”Discovery of Whiches” (apologies to Deborah Harkness for a very bad pun). A lot of the story is concerned to which team, Nightshade or opponents the new characters belong. GJ returns with her analytical skills and helped guide Nightshade in their quest for justice. Also, she has cemented her place on the team with her skill using her 18 shot semi-automatic. The only way she could improve her performance would be to have silver bullets. If you have not yet read ”Dead Tide” and you haven’t seen the ”Queen’s Staircase” on Nassau, I suggest you scare up a picture to help you better appreciate one of the incidents in the book.

“Garden of Bone”

By AJ Scudiere

Review By Liz and Felix Bearden

Oh give me a bone
In the Darcelle Dauphine home,
Where the kids and Lobomau play.
Where always is heard
A discouraging word
And the sky is cloudy all day.

Bone, bone on the range
Where the soft tissue just falls away,
Where always is heard
Some discouraging word
And the clouds look like sh.t
Every day.

Another A.J.Scudiere book in the NightShade series that is worth singing about. Same type twisting plot intertwined with her knowledge of Human Forensic Identification, Human Physiology, and Witchcraft. And for those who play dominoes, this book gives new meaning to ”bone yard”. For those who read it I suggest you have a dictionary handy and be ready to learn something. But be careful. A lot of her fiction sounds like fact.



AJ Scudiere

review by Felix Bearden

Rating: 4 femurs and 1 humerus

Ezekiel cried, “Dem dry bones!”
Ezekiel cried, “Dem dry bones!”
Ezekiel cried, “Dem dry bones!”
“Oh, hear the word of AJ.”

The phalanges connected to metatarsals,
The metatarsals connected to the tibia,
The tibia connected to the femur,
The femur connected to the ilium,
The ilium connected to the thoracic vertebrae,
The thoracic vertebrae connected to the Scapula,
The scapula connected to the cervical vertebrae,
The cervical vertebrae connected to the skull bone,
Now hear the word of AJ!

Dem bones, dem bones gonna walk aroun’,
Dem bones, dem bones gonna turn aroun’,
Dem bones, dem bones, gonna run aroun’
Now, hear the word of the AJ.

The head bone connected to the neck bone,
The neck bone connected to the shoulder bone,
The shoulder bone connected to the back bone,
The back bone connected to the hip bone,
The hip bone connected to the leg bone,
The leg bone connected to the ankle bone,
The ankle bone connected to the paw bone,
The paw bone connected to the toe bones,
Now hear the word of AJ.

Dem bones, dem bones, gonna paw the groun’,
Dem bones, dem bones gonna run aroun’,
Dem bones, dem bones, gonna save their town’
Oh, hear the word of the AJ.


“Fortune (red)” ****


AJ Scudiere


Review by Liz Bearden
Typically, writers conform to certain formats within genres. Mysteries line up a series of events sometimes including the reader by offering clues to the ending. In fiction, there may be a random series of events leading to a particular resolution. Sometimes I find that a book is simply a slice of life that has no obvious purpose, but to share universal circumstances and emotions. A.J. conforms to none of the conventional writing techniques, but uses most of them. The depiction of a husband and wife suffering the agony of a missing child is enough to build on, but she also includes the tension of secrets between the parents that may or may not have led to the situation. This mental upheaval adds to the desire of the reader for information and resolution. There is no way to stop reading before the end of the book, but I must admit, the resolution to me was not totally satisfactory. I still am plagued by the questions regarding the relationship between the father and the biological mother of the child, even though,having read “Fortune” Grey, first, I was armed with the DNA information and state of mind of the biological father. Happy endings, are, to my embarrassment, much more often satisfactory to me than other endings. And A.J. never fails to produce a stand alone book, even in this instance. Because I am conflicted about some gaps in the information, I would rate this as a four star, rather than a five star book. Of course, there is always the possibility that the inscrutable A.J. has another book in mind outlining another portion of the story. My questions would be, “Was this funded by a rogue branch of the government?” “What happened to the biological mother?” I know the presumption is that she was murdered, but I would have liked an expansion of events during that period, as well as what transpired between the father and the biological mother. I guess the conclusion to come to, is that I can’t get enough of the author’s books. Too bad you can’t be cloned, A.J. Or can you?


“Fortune (red)” *****


AJ Scudiere


Review by Felix

AJ’s concept of an “E-qual”, not a prequel or a sequel, pays off in the two books of Fortune. In the grey version she gets to display her sensitivity toward the characters on one side of an incident. In the red version, which is the ultimate of intensity, AJ gets to illustrate the feeling a mother on the other side of the same incident.

AJ also points out that incidents of this kind, where often are treated alone, are added to the normal pressures and problems of the day.

The descriptions remind me of my own mother taking to task a principal of an elementary school for paddling me for something I had allegedly done at school, and a teacher that gave me an “F” on a paper after psychoanalyzing its content. I had chosen to write an immoral story and used different handwriting styles to indicate different moods in the story. It must have taken 5 times the amount of time than the time to whip out the replacement good feeling moral story that my mother convinced the teacher to accept.

But this is about AJ’s book! Recommendation – Read the grey version first.

And thanks AJ for another couple of sleep deprived nights.


“Fortune (gray)”


AJ Scudiere *****

Review by Felix Bearden

As to be expected, AJ has turned out an unusual but captivating story. It doesn’t fit in the normal but limited genres. It is adventure, mystery, and emotion. She accurately expresses the feelings and emotions of most men that may find themselves in similar situations as Rafe’s.

Even though Rafe’s actions were illegal under man’s law I wonder how the Creator viewed his actions. AJ made it clear that Rafe was fundamentally a good person, and as such this reader found himself rooting for his success and affected by his paranoia.

Don’t know whether its a good thing, but my recurring nightmare has change from trying to stop a car with bad brakes to waking up expecting the FBI to be breaking in. So far I have resisted the urge to check on my college graduate, married daughter to see if she was OK.

Review by Liz Bearden

Well….I plead (intensely) for a new book, but apparently, the intense part was inserted into the plot. Although I was almost frantic to know who this man was to the child he abducted, she strung it out, clue by clue, forcing the reader to attempt to solve the mystery simultaneously with her abductor. Needless to say, I lost even more sleep. Because of the authenticity of the characters, in this book, as well as previous ones, I am impressed at the depth of understanding shown for the feelings of each one. When I compare this book with my favorite, “The Shadow Constant”, or Felix’s favorite, probably “Resonance”, and other family favorites, it’s hard not to suspect that A.J. may be a closet psychologist, or maybe a schizophrenic. Don’t sue me A.J. I am a devoted fan. This offering will no doubt have expectant parents checking their paperwork including bills and birth certificates thoroughly. Going on the past books, I suspect that a lot of research went into this. Without giving away the plot or the ending {?}, this is a book to start if you can block out some time to binge, and let the phone pick up messages. Everyone got the brushoff, while I finished this one. By the time I finished, I was so invested in the welfare of the adorable child, and the endearing qualities of the abductor, it was frustrating to come to an end.

I would give this one five stars, but maybe I should withhold half of one until I read
Fortune (red).

Echo and Ember

by AJ Sudiere

Review by Felix Bearden

The Nightshade series is a great read. Yes, each one is stand-alone but we recommend you start at the beginning to prepare you for the last in the series (so far) reviewed below.

I must have enjoyed AJScudiere’s most recent book. The evidence is

  • I got a ticket for reading it at a traffic light,
  • My granddaughter is still mad at me for reading it during her wedding.
  • My wife is upset that I missed saying “I love you” before I went to sleep for the first time in 58 years.

This is AJ’s typically well-written and well-researched book and with a couple of new Night-Shade characters with special abilities of their own, one who’s special ability I fear influenced this review – Even after I erased the book from my iPhone. The plot is typical AJ if you can call anything about AJ typical – well thought out, tense, and exciting,

My rating on the special Night-Shade scale is 4 wolves and a pup (same 5 stars on Amazon). For those who haven’t read the others in the Night-Shade series I recommend you read them first even though each stands alone.

I would say more but I’ve got to take something for this buzzing in my head!

The Other Side of the Song

by Meg Duly

on October 3, 2014