The Picky Bookworm

"Books are a uniquely portable magic." –Stephen King

The woman leaned over and kissed the victim on the forehead, stood, and approached the sheriff in the doorway. The lawman’s expression was one of uncertainty, confusion. She locked her eyes on his for a brief moment and passed him for the last time.

I was part of a conversation a couple weeks ago on Twitter about prologues. The question was, “yes or no?” I personally love them, because a well-written one can draw you into the story before the story actually starts. I mentioned this, along with mention of a book that did this for me. Bookworms, this was the book I mentioned. The prologue of this book had me invested in the characters before I actually even met them.

I met the author, David Billingsley, on Twitter, and he offered me a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.

The Story

Sandy, a woman who swore she would never move back to her hometown, has done so. She tried to kill herself a couple years ago, and the doctors allowed her to leave the hospital, as long as her father would be around to take care of her. One night, when Sandy is working her night shift at the local radio station, she hears a loud BOOM echoing through the town.

Along with the boom, Sandy has a feeling like euphoria come over her. She can’t explain it, and she has no idea where it came from. When she sees the man walking down the street a few minutes later, she feels drawn to him. This connection with a total stranger is unusual for her, but also begins a chain of events that will change every life in the town of Dinley.


Sandy stepped through the doorway of the radio station and into the waning heat. The sun had journeyed far enough below the horizon to make room for the opening act of night. A glow on the western horizon retreated while the stars were waking up in the east.

Where was the storm?

Stepping back and peering up at the two-hundred-foot transmitter tower hovering over the station, she stared into the sky as if her eyes would adjust and reality would soon reveal itself.

She moved out onto the front lawn. The stillness was unnerving. She always joked that a calm wind in West Texas was fifteen to twenty-five miles an hour. Tonight not even the lightest of breezes could be felt. It was an amazing evening – no bugs, no wind, and not as hot as it could be for midsummer.

She walked down the short sidewalk to the gravel driveway and out another ten yards to the edge of the blacktop of Highway 51, the lifeline of Dinley.

Nothing unusual.

About a mile to the south, the yellow traffic signal flashed endlessly, marking the intersection of Plains Street and the highway. Business looked to be typically brisk for Friday evening at the Gas N Go, one of those new multipump convenience stores that seemed to be breeding across West Texas. It was the only new business built in town in the last decade; it was also the most prominent business in town. To the north away from Dinley the only signs of life were a pair of distant headlamps and the initial sparkling of sporadic farmhouse lights.

She turned around and again looked up at the red-and-white antenna behind the station. The sentinel was still on guard with its flashing red warning beacon. Everything was as it should be.

“Hey, our phones are out,” interrupted AJ from inside the partially open front door. “The computers rebooted, and the monitor came back on.”

“Okay. Okay. Got the hint.”

“No rush. I lined up some music for you – about ten minutes worth.” He walked out the door and stood at the edge of the porch. “Nice evening. Bout the best we’ve had in some time. Not too hot.”

Sandy crossed her arms and gazed upward into the night sky. “AJ, you ever hear about people who were struck by lightning?”

“Guess I’ve heard a few stories.”

“When I heard the big bang, I got this strange feeling.”

“I did too. I was scared shitless. At least for a few minutes—“

“Will you just shut up and listen?”

He threw up his hands out in a surrendering gesture and leaned against the front porch post.

“This was not scared,” she said. “It was something I can’t explain. But I thought maybe lightning hit the tower and somehow traveled into the booth through my headphones.”

“One problem with that. No lightning, just a boom.”

“I know that. Maybe it was something else, like a power surge. Anyway, I felt really strange–strange in a good way. At the same time, I had a feeling like someone else came into the station when you went outside.” She paused and looked back toward her partner. He squinted as if waiting for more.

My Review

I can’t rave enough about this book! It was so good! Like I mentioned before, the prologue had me hooked from word one, and the rest of the book only got better! I reached a point about a third of the way through when I couldn’t put the book down!

The only bad thing I can think to say about this book is the lack of back story. Some is explained; enough to make this story make sense, but I had the feeling that this book had enough back story to warrant a prequel. I would love to see the author write one! I would buy it in a heartbeat!

The characters in this book were so relatable! Enough description is given to the characters to make them seem like real people. I would actually be friends with someone like Sandy. I even saw a little of myself in her, and I bet most women would. She has had her problems, but she works hard to overcome them. She stood up for what she thought was right, and she defended her family when it came down to it.

Each character, main and supporting, was well-developed. Even the characters that ended up being the “bad guys” were well developed enough that I, as the reader, knew why I hated them. I felt compassion for the good guys, and I prayed for justice for the bad ones. This book totally had me, hook line and sinker.

My Rating

I always have a hard time coming up with enough words when I really love a book. It usually boils down to, “I loved this book, I know you will too, so you should read this book!” I didn’t have trouble with this book. This book was SO good, and I definitely recommend it, but I’m actually able to tell you why 🙂

I give this book a very enthusiastic 5 stars! I will definitely buy my own copy of this book! I received a PDF of this book for free from the author, in return for an honest review, but I definitely want to support David by buying my own copy 🙂 I will also be adding this book to my re-read list for later. This book is not a love story, it is not a murder mystery and it is not a thriller. It has all those elements in the storyline, but it stands on its own. I can’t recommend this book enough!

Have you read this book? Do you think you will? Please let me know in the comments below! You can connect with the author, David Billingsley, on Twitter @MyOtherWork. He is such a nice man, and has done me a great favor by allowing me to review this book. I can’t thank him enough!

Thank you for reading this review. Please subscribe so you never miss an update! I love making new friends, so please follow me on Twitter as well, @PamelaRossAA. Until next time, bookworms!

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