Monday, September 27, 2010

Review & Ebook Giveaway: Hush Money by Susan Bischoff

Title:  Hush Money
Author:  Susan Bischoff

Genre:  YA Fantasy/Supernatural Powers
Formats:  ebook, paperback
Publication Date: August 2010
Word Count: approx. 50,000 (short novel)
Page count on Sony Reader:  142 (story only), 168 (with extras)
Print Length: 192 Pages
Source:  ebook provided by author 

Talent Chronicles, Book 1

Description from Goodreads: 
They call their abilities Talents, and that’s what they call themselves as well. Talents are people born with supernatural powers, feared by the population at large. Possession of an “unregistered ability” has become illegal, and those who are discovered are forcibly removed to government-run research facilities. For Talents, keeping their secret is the most important thing in their lives. For some, that need for secrecy begins to define who they are.

That’s how it is for Joss, a high school girl who does everything in her power to go unnoticed. She's incredibly bright, but strives to maintain grades that are good yet not too good. She doesn't participate in school activities, keeps quiet in class, eats by herself. Despite her longtime crush on Dylan, she wouldn't even think about trying to talk to him. Joss doesn't make friends of any kind, because friends can draw attention, friends can make you slip up, friends can make things complicated.

When new girl, Kat, steps in to rescue Joss from an uncomfortable situation with Marco, the class jerk, she doesn’t realize what she’s getting into, and it blows up in her face. Joss finds herself torn between a desire to do the right thing, to find some way to help a girl who was kind to her; and her need to mind her own business and fade into. For the first time, Joss begins to question the way she operates, and starts to long for connections with other people--especially a connection with Dylan, who's finally starting to talk to her.

But what's up with Dylan's sudden interest? As Marco’s best friend, can he be trusted at all?

It's bad enough when a girl's got to worry about friends, boys, over-protective dads, and shoes that pinch, but when you throw in blackmail, government agents with guns, and really annoying little sisters...that's just about too much to handle, even for a girl with an ass-kicking superpower.

My Review: 
I have one word for this book...awesome!  I loved everything about it--the voice, the story, the writing style, the dialogue, and the characters. All were great.  I really can’t think of anything I didn’t like. 

The writing style and voice of this story grabbed me from the beginning. The teenage dialogue was fantastic and believable with just the right amount of snark.  The characters were flawed but very likeable and fleshed out.  You can see how Dylan and Jocelyn (Joss) grow and change throughout the story, both personally and in their relationship to each other.

The story narration switches back and forth between the first person point-of-view of the two main characters, Joss and Dylan.  Each section where the POV switches begins with the character’s name and that was very helpful to keep focus on which character was narrating. I really enjoy the dual POV as it allows me to see how each character interprets what is going on in the story. 

The plot moved along swiftly and was paced well with plenty of action and interaction between the characters.  It kept my interest and I didn’t want to put it down. 

I did sort of wonder if there is a reason for all these kids to have special powers. Usually there is something that triggers a superhero power like Spiderman getting bitten by a spider or the Incredible Hulk with the gamma waves.  I also wondered why there is such a large concentration of Talents in this particular area.  Hmmm… hopefully all will be revealed eventually in future books.  I really look forward to seeing more of Joss and Dylan’s growing relationship and the adventures of the whole “Talented” gang.  Though the story arc for this particular book was mostly wrapped up at the end, there are definitely some unresolved issues and a little cliffhanger action going on that will make you eager for the next book, Heroes ‘Til Curfew.

If you like YA fiction with a superhero type theme (think Heroes TV show or X-Men movies) and a wee bit of romance then I highly recommend giving this book a try. 

Rating:  5 – I LOVED IT!

Typos found: 1 (count adjusted as new version recently released with typos fixed)


This book is available in both paperback and ebook.  You can find Susan Bischoff on the web at:
Facebook: Susan's Facebook Page
Goodreads: Susan's Author Page

Get the book!  Smashwords, Kindle, Paperback  
(as of this posting the ebook is only .99 cents on Smashwords and .89 cents on Kindle! Totally awesome deal!  Heck, you can't even get a cheap cup of coffee for that!) 

Read an excerpt!

And now for the book giveaway!!


The gawds have spoken and the winner of an ebook copy of Hush Money is...



Susan is giving away one EBOOK of Hush Money to one lucky commenter.  Winner will receive a Smashwords coupon code for a free download in the format of their choice (.mobi / .epub / .pdf / .rtf  / .lrf / .pdb)
Deadline for entering this giveaway is Friday, October 1st, 10:00 PM (EST). Winner will be announced here and will be notified by email.  Winner has 48 hours to reply before another winner is chosen.

1 entry for answering the following question and leaving your email addy in comments. (No email = No entry)

If you could have a superpower what would it be? 

EXTRA ENTRIES:  Do as many of these as you want - the more you do, the more entries you get! 

**Please put all entries into one post**

+1 Be a follower of this blog (new or old) via Google Friend Connect
+1 Be a follower of Susan Bischoff's blog by email or RSS:
+1 Sign up for the Indie Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance Newsletter:
+1 Read this excerpt from Hush Money and tell me something about Joss.
+1 Vote on the poll at the top of left sidebar "Do ebook covers really matter?"
+1 Share this Giveaway on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, or other social network - 1 point per site.  Come back here and leave the link(s).
+3 Choose ONE of the following and leave a link where it can be found. (only one 3-point entry per person)
  • Add this giveaway to your blog's sidebar.
  • Do a quick shout out for this book or the giveaway on your blog.
  • For Non-Bloggers: comment about this giveaway in any appropriate forum at Goodreads,  LibraryThing, or other book related forum.
+1 Add up your points for me! (Don't forget the initial entry and this one).

Good luck everybody! :)


  1. Ever since I was a kid, my power of choice has always been telekenisis!

  2. Michelle, thank you so much for this review and all the work you're doing for the giveaway. You're awesome. It amazes me how much work book bloggers put in to making fun, informative places for readers to visit.

    To answer your question, I get so steeped in the figuring out the price and complications of having power that it often makes them seem a little less desirous. I would definitely have a mental talent over a physical one. I'm kind of a couch potato, so telekinesis would suit me, I think. Mind-reading is a close second.

    For anyone who's read Hush Money, or plans to, and gets to know the hero, Dylan, I have a somewhat long-running contest going at my blog. If you like looking through stock images, I'm looking for help finding the right image of Dylan for the cover of the next book. The winner gets Heroes 'Til Curfew when it becomes available. Click here for details.

    Thanks again, Michelle!

  3. As a fellow couch potato I like idea of telekinesis too! :) Being invisible is cool as long as you don't have to be nekkid! lol!

    Susan, I'll do a separate post for your Dylan contest too.

  4. I'd like to be able to teleport and thus not have to use public transport.


  5. If I could have one superpower, I'd love to have the power of telepathy. I'm terrible at reading facial expressions and body language cues, so this would help me a lot in my social relationships.


  6. I'd say teleportation or mind reading. :) That's the best so far!

    greyz dot greyz at gmail dot com

  7. This book looks fun!

    My super power would be invisibility ... so I can know what's going on with my kids now that they are getting older.....or maybe I'm better off not knowing!

  8. This giveaway is now closed to entries. Winner will be announced on the blog and contacted by email.

    Thanks to all the commenters and thanks to Susan for stopping by and joining in too :) I really enjoyed all your answers. That was fun! Good luck to everyone.


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