Monday, February 19, 2018

Beautiful Evil Winter

Genre - Suspense

After the USSR collapses, a time reminiscent of the unforgiving gun-slinging days of the frontier west, mild-mannered Ethan and fiery Sophia board a plane bound for Russia. They hope to prevail with their homespun plan to secure their son's safe passage to America. What can go wrong? Maybe, an innocent ill fated encounter with the Mafia or maybe, being marked as a target for mob revenge. Perhaps, having to rely on a first-time adoption coordinator to complete the process and shelter them from harm. Honestly, what won't go wrong?

Inspired by a true story, Beautiful Evil Winter triumphs as epic historical fiction about the human capacity for hope, the traumas that shape our lives and the hardships we'll endure for love.
                      Kelly K. Lavender will be awarding $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. SEE GIVEAWAY below...


I push the door open and inhale a shallow breath. The smell of pump soap greets me. All clear. I can breathe.

Ting, Ting. The strained voice of the stressed-out flight attendant echoes through the tiny bathroom cabin.

“Within the next twenty minutes, The Captain will be turning on the fasten seat belt sign. Until then, you can use your electronic devices. We apologize for the inconvenience”

Turning from the sink to the opposite side to grab paper towels, all 5’2” 115 pounds of me twists like a corkscrew to move around. A quick swipe of the towels, a glance at my nostrils, a push of the level, and I’m free to escape into the main cabin.
As I near my seat, I notice that “Mr. Too Brightly” is sitting next to Ethan.
Damn! I have to sit next to him! Looks like comatose Ethan has just re-positioned himself to face the aisle way. Why doesn’t this plane offer two across seating instead of three?

My steps slow, but I don’t want to wake Ethan up to swap seats since he’s so tired.

As I stand next to our row of seats, Mr. Brightly realizes with a dazzling repugnant smile that I’ll be seated next to him.

“Don’t tell me you’re with that guy,” he says, gesturing at Ethan. “He’s out cold.” Between the screaming baby and me trying to wedge past him, he hasn’t moved an inch.” He smirks, his smile now a beacon of light.

I grit my teeth and carefully squeeze by Ethan’s knees grabbing the headrest of the seat in front of me for support. Glancing back over my shoulder, I see him looking at Ethan.

I focus on the seat space next to him, zeroing-in on the instructions on the pocket pouch for my seat. Someone scribbled in red pen, HELL A MILE HIGH.

As I wiggle into my seat and grope for my seatbelt, he watches my every move.

“Lucky me!” he says as he cranes his neck over my armrest to glance down my V-neck shirt.

“The flight attendant let me change seats. Person next to me was sick. She coughed all over me,” he says, waving his hand in front of his face as if shooing flies.

A puff of whiskey more noxious than cigarette smoke wafts my way. My nose wrinkles in disgust.
 “Now, honey, tell me all about you,” he says patting my white knuckles which grip the armrest. 

Adopting a child is so very frightening in and of itself.  Hoping you have done the right thing and traveled all the way to Russia to claim that child, even more so. This book seems so real.  I have no real idea what adopting a Russian baby is like.  I did a little online research because this book seemed so alive; like someone’s true experience.  Even the suspense was written well enough to make you think you were reading someone’s true story.  A definite compliment to the author.  This is however, a fiction story of a couple wanting a child so badly that they will do almost anything they are told to be able to adopt this child and take it home to the States.  There are many bumps in the road along the way. With no surprise, the experience has an effect on their relationship.
There were some characters in Lavendar’s book I liked and some I didn’t but then I think that is the sign of an author being very good at character description and development.  When Natasha, their caretaker, insists they must stay in the apartment for their safety, the author’s description of their time and the discomfort even had me feeling the same anxiety.  I had decided that I was going to describe this as a long book but I don’t think that is a correct description.  I realized that the tense and suspenseful moments were written so well that the book was not long but rather I was uncomfortable wanting to solve those problems the family had to endure. Another sign of good writing.  Definitely a book to read or put on your wish list.  

This book has been provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Kelly’s fascination with fiction began in middle school when she entered a book-reading contest and won. As an ardent fan of the resonating narrative and the cliffhanger, she decided to dedicate herself to becoming a skilled writer. When college professors spotlighted her writing in the classroom, it anchored her interest in becoming a novelist.

After earning a business degree, she continued to pursue her education at UCLA, via the UCLA Writers' Extension Program, where her work earned praise from an Award-Winning Author. A rickety project trip to Russia, to adopt a baby boy, provided the inspiration for her debut novel, Beautiful Evil Winter.


Beautiful Evil Winter a 2014 Triple Genre Finalist: Fiction-Suspense, Fiction-Thriller-General and Romance Sizzle! Readers’ Favorite receives entries from small presses, celebrities and New York Times Best-Selling Authors. Beautiful Evil Winter earned more accolades with READERS FAVORITE INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS by securing a place in the Winners' Circle for the mega category—Fiction Suspense.

THE ERIC HOFFER AWARDS honored Beautiful Evil Winter by selecting it for the Winners' Circle-Commercial Fiction! The Hoffer Award honors "...writing of significant merit..."

The NATIONAL INDIE EXCELLENCE AWARDS chose Beautiful Evil Winter as a New Fiction Finalist!

DAN POYNTER'S GLOBAL EBOOK AWARDS placed Beautiful Evil Winter in the Winners' Circle for Fiction-Suspense

Plenty, my second novel, also earned distinction as a DAN POYNTER'S 2016 GLOBAL EBOOK AWARD BRONZE MEDALIST-FICTION SUSPENSE.

Award-Winning Novels:                                                

Beautiful Evil Winter                               



Writers’ League of Texas

UCLA Writers’ Extension Program

Amazon buy link:


  1. I enjoyed getting to know your book; congrats on the tour and I hope it is a fun one for you :)

  2. Thanks for hosting! Thank you for reading and reviewing my novel.

  3. Kelly, I think you could tell by my review that I found your book very moving. I hope everyone will enjoy it as I did.

  4. Thanks for sharing the great post, I loved your review!

  5. I know someone who would really like this book. Thanks for sharing. I hope that I win. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

  6. So happy that you enjoyed it, Kathy! Kris and Lisa, thanks for your interest! What's your favorite suspense novel?

  7. Kelly, don't know if I have a favorite suspense novel but I'd say a C. J. Box or Harlan Coban novel would be one of the "sit on the edge of your seat" types like you accomplished here.


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