book reviews

Title: Hunting Mariah

Amazon Author Page: Janice Spina

Publication Date: 

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: True Crime, Murder & Mayhem, Serial Killers, Mystery





“An insane killer, obsessed with blood and death, seeks revenge with those he perceives wronged him. He is now on the loose. His next victim may be Mariah.

Mariah has lost her memory. Will she remember what has transpired in her past? Can Mariah escape this deadly killer’s grasp? Will she finally be safe? Will the killer be apprehended?”


Hunting Mariah is written by J. E. Spina, an award-winning children’s author. This novel is her debut into the mystery and crime genre.

The story is set in a New York suburb, where a killer is on the loose, terrorizing a college campus filled with young students.

Be prepared to be creeped out as J. E. Spina gives us an intimate view into the thought processes of a killer. Spina portrays this character as if she channeled the thoughts and actions of a real serial killer. The guy is deranged and takes pleasure in the sight, smell, and the feel of blood. Her descriptions were chilling!

The story revolves around the protagonist, Mariah Hampton who suffers from amnesia and Dr. Roberts, who is helping her to remember the savage attack she endured at the hands of an unnamed man. Through most of the book, this man’s identity is a secret which adds to the suspense building.

As Mariah’s memories begin to resurface, she realizes that the family secrets from her past have exploded into the future.

J. E. Spina has written a whopper of a murder mystery. She strings the reader along, giving nothing away until the explosive ending!


Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Fairies

5 fairies

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System


Author, Janice Spina

About the Author:

Janice Spina is an award-winning author with eleven children’s books, Louey the Lazy Elephant, Ricky the Rambunctious Raccoon, Jerry the Crabby Crayfish, Lamby the Lonely Lamb, Jesse the Precocious Polar Bear, Broose the Moose on the Loose, Sebastian Meets Marvin the Monkey, and Colby the Courageous Cat, Jeffrey the Jittery Giraffe, Clarence Henry the Hermit Crab, and five YA/MG/P/T books, Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series, Books 1-5, copy editor and writer of novels and poetry.

Hunting Mariah is her first novel to be published under J.E. Spina. She published her second novel, a paranormal/mystery/romance, How Far Is Heaven, June 2016. Book 3 of Davey & Derek Junior Detectives was published in August 2016 and Book 4 of Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series in December on 2016. An Angel Among Us, a short story collection, was published in March 2017 and Jeffrey the Jittery Giraffe, a children’s book, in May 2017. Clarence Henry the Hermit Crab was published in 2018 and Mariah’s Revenge and Lucy the Talented Toy Terrier in 2018.

Janice has received a Silver Medal from MOM’S Choice Awards for Lamby the Lonely Lamb and the Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards for Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Book 1, The Case of the Missing Cell Phone, and Book 2, The Case of the Mysterious Black Cat, and Book 3, The Case of the Magical Ivory Elephant, and an Honorable Mention from Readers’ Favorite for Book 1, The Case of the Missing Cell Phone.

Jerry the Crabby Crayfish received a Pinnacle Book Achievement in April of 2017 and Broose the Moose on the Loose won a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award in August of 2017. Book 3, Davey & Derek Junior Detectives, The Case of the Magical Ivory Elephant, won a Silver Medal from Reader’s Favorite Awards in September of 2017. Book 5, Davey & Derek Junior Detectives, The Case of the Sad Mischievous Ghost, won a Silver Medal from Authorsdb Cover Contest and a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award.

She is editing a YA fantasy and writing a series for MG/PT/YA girls and plans to write more Davey & Derek Junior Detectives books. All of these books, hopefully over the next few years, will be published.

Janice’s short stories have been published in other’s anthologies and in The Writer’s Newsletter,

Book trailers: (How Far Is Heaven) (Hunting Mariah) (Both created by Chris Graham)

Her logo is Jemsbooks – books for all ages!


Her motto is: Reading Gives You Wings to Fly! Come soar with Jemsbooks! Happy Reading!

Janice’s hobbies besides writing are crocheting, exercising to keep in shape, going to the movies with her husband or out to lunch or dinner, reading, book reviewing, blogging and spending time with her five grandchildren who are her writing inspiration.

Janice loves to hears from readers and appreciates and happily welcomes reviews.

“Hunting Mariah was written about twenty years ago but took a back seat to my children’s books. Once I published five children’s books I decided it was time to edit my novel and get it published.

I have been asked in several interviews online what influenced me to write this type of story. My answer to this is nothing. The story just strangely came to me one day and I felt compelled to put it on paper.”

“The killer frightened me and will probably scare a lot of my readers too. Chuckle! I did have two children, one at a time in college, and since this serial killer appears on campus it made me think of the time there was some trouble on my son and daughter’s college campus. It is purely fictional and from my vivid imagination, thank goodness.

My future plans are to edit and publish two more novels of different genres over the next year and will be publishing two more books in my middle-grade series in 2016. Two more children’s books are waiting for illustrations from my illustrator/husband, John. My goal is to have Jemsbooks for all ages. I am almost there – need to edit a YA fantasy to cover all ages completely.”


How to Connect with the Author:

Author Website:

TWITTER: @janice_spina

FACEBOOK: @janicespina7

Smashing good timeThanks for stopping by to meet Janice. Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

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