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Wounded Warriors Series, Book 3: Mirror Mirror by Karen Wiesner (Paranormal Suspense Women's Fiction)

Wounded Warriors Series, Book 3: Mirror Mirror by Karen Wiesner (Paranormal Suspense Women's Fiction)
 
(19 reviews)  

Women who have faced pain, loss and heartache. They know the score and never back down. Women who aren't afraid to love with all their passion and all their strength, who risk everything for their own little piece of heaven...

Men who live their lives on the blade's edge. Knights in black armor. The only thing more dangerous than crossing these men is loving them...

Twenty-five years ago, Gwen Nicholson-Nelson was in a car accident that almost claimed her life and left behind a strange gift. She can see the future, and death, before it comes to pass. She had a vision of her husband's death ten years before it happened in, for Gwen, chilling deja vu. During this time, she's also had a disturbing connection with another like her, a psychic who has the power to not only see into others but to manipulate and destroy.

For twenty-five years, as seemingly unrelated events convince Gwen she has no power of her own beyond bizarre sight, she's wondered why she was given the ability to see pain and death yet never to alleviate it. But when her nemesis targets Dylan Mitchell, the man she loves, and his daughter, all the pieces of the puzzle that have tormented her fall into place. Gwen must discover her own power, believe in herself and her destiny, and act--before her vision of Dylan's death comes to pass.

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Wounded Warriors Series, Book 3: Mirror Mirror by Karen Wiesner (Paranormal Suspense Women's Fiction)
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Readers' Favorite https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/mirror-mirror
Jan 22, 2016
4 Stars!
Karen Wiesner presents us with quite a unique heroine in MIRROR MIRROR. Although this story seems like it might be your standard paranormal suspense, it really isn't and that is thanks to Karen Wiesner's brilliant storytelling. Although the villain works in a mysterious way, his motives are all too common, which makes this story that much more compelling. There are no otherworldly motives, which helps Gwen find the strength she needs to do something about the taunts and visions that have plagued her for years. It is refreshing to see a woman become the strong person she should be and Wiesner brings this to life brilliantly. Just because Gwen is a former supermodel does not mean she is a docile weakling looking for a man to care for her. No, she is strong and determined to have a life without the specter of death constantly hanging over every joyful moment in her life. MIRROR MIRROR is a gripping story about forgiveness and love, and the journey to both.
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Karen Wiesner
Jun 9, 2015
Awards & Honors:
5 delightful divas, Recommended Read, and January & June 2010 Top Book of the Month nominee and winner from Dark Diva Reviews
10 stars from Roundtable Reviews
5 stars from Single Titles
5 stars from Huntress Reviews
5 roses from Escape to Romance
5 cups from Coffee Time Romance Reviews
5 hearts from The Romance Studio
5 books from Long and Short Reviews
5 stars from Readers Favorite

Rating: You NEED to read! “This is a striking paranormal romance with its own unique twists! Gwen really fights her “accursed” gift. She does not want to know the future of others and she does not want to manipulate others by using the gift. Yet she does use her gift a bit in her counseling job and is able to sense an evil presence but she doesn’t know how to fight “the other.” Gwen has remained in personal isolation, other than her wonderful daughter, and her work, since the death of her first husband, Tommie. She is too afraid to reach out and risk living fully. Dylan has loved Gwen since before she married. Dylan’s own troubles caused him to lose the chance to be with Gwen in the past. Now finally he is getting the chance to write Tommie’s story, but more importantly he is getting another chance with Gwen. While Gwen struggles to fight her attraction to Dylan, she becomes increasingly aware of the evil presence that seems to be stalking people she knows. Dylan’s daughter Randa becomes a key to the evil that haunts Gwen and has a surprising connection to Dylan’s past. The dark mystery threads through the story until it comes to a head near the end with fast paced confrontation and action! There is also a wonderful conflict and love—that good old push and pull—between Gwen and Dylan, complete with some paranormal or mystical elements. The story flows well although they are flawed characters, which makes them realistic. Ms. Wiesner has a distinct talent for telling an emotional and suspenseful story. I applaud her for writing consistently engaging romance that is “need” to read quality!” ~MarthaE for You Gotta Read Reviews http://yougottareadreviews.blogspot.com/

5 Stars! “Tense and exciting, Karen Wiesner takes us into the mind of a madman in her chilling tale, MIRROR MIRROR, the third book in her Wounded Warriors Series. Karen Wiesner’s style of writing keeps you glued to the pages. She deals with issues that are real and often hard to look at. MIRROR MIRROR does this beautifully, all while blending in terror and suspense. Gwen has suffered for years with her visions, but now she’s beginning to realize there’s more to them than just seeing the future. She needs to learn how to use her gift more effectively. Dylan and Gwen have a past together that never really ended. Do they have the chance to finish what was started all those years ago? Read this compelling tale and find out. Karen Wiesner and MIRROR MIRROR will capture you heart and soul as you immerse yourself in its pages, unable to put it down until the last word has been read.” ~Debby Guyette for Single Titles http://singletitles.com/?p=3319

5 Cups! "Ms. Wiesner takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride from the first pages to the last. The twists and turns of the plot kept me breathless. Just when I thought the book was going in one direction, it suddenly turned around and went in a completely different one. I loved this book. I could not put it down. I plan to read the other books of this series." ~Candy for Coffee Time Romance http://coffeetimeromance.com/BookReviews/MirrorMirrorBook3OfTheWoundedWarriorSeries.html

10 out of 10 Stars! "Having never read any of Karen Wiesner's work before, [MIRROR MIRROR] was a clean slate for me when I began it. I had absolutely no idea what to expect. However, as I started the book it became very clear very quickly that Ms. Wiesner is a very talented storyteller. To quote a line from Jerry McGuire this book "had me at hello." The more that I read about Gwen Nicholson-Nelson, the more enthralled I became with her talents and the more I read about Dylan Mitchell, the bigger my crush got on him! Karen Wiesner has written a novel for all types of readers in this one. There is an incredible love story, well-meaning ghosts, a very creepy villain, and enough suspense to keep you reading for hours without wanting to put this book down. It also isn't that often that a person comes across a book that they can just imagine being made into a film. This is one of them. The storyline in this novel would not only make a terrific love story, but an excellent movie of suspense. As you read, you can almost imagine seeing it on the big screen! While I have not read Ms. Wiesner's first two novels in the Wounded Warrior Series, I am eager to get them in my hands and read more about this extended group of friends." ~Summer Hepler for Roundtable Reviews www.roundtablereviews.com

4 Angels! "I love novels that just grab you by the neck and don't let you go; this is one
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Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite (https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/13137)
Oct 4, 2013
Karen Wiesner presents us with quite a unique heroine in Mirror Mirror. Gwen, a former supermodel and actual psychic, often gets glimpses of future events, mostly deaths just before they happen. Much to Gwen's chagrin, there is a more powerful psychic playing with her, allowing her to see what will happen far too late to help, but early enough to cause mental anguish. It happened with her now-deceased husband and it is happening again with the new love in her life, Dylan Mitchell. This other sinister dark force seems to haunt Gwen, causing her anguish for his amusement but Gwen is finally ready to fight back. She's willing to fight for Dylan and his daughter and the troubled Kyle...if only she knew how.

Although Mirror Mirror seems like it might be your standard paranormal suspense, it really isn't and that is thanks to Karen Wiesner's brilliant storytelling. Although the villain works in a mysterious way, his motives are all too common, which makes this story that much more compelling. There are no otherworldly motives, which helps Gwen find the strength she needs to do something about the taunts and visions that have plagued her for years. It is refreshing to see a woman become the strong person she should be and Wiesner brings this to life brilliantly. Just because Gwen is a former supermodel does not mean she is a docile weakling looking for a man to care for her. No, she is strong and determined to have a life without the specter of death constantly hanging over every joyful moment in her life.

Mirror Mirror is a gripping story about forgiveness and love, and the journey to both.
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Kathy for Dark Diva Reviews http://ddrreviews.blogspot.com/2010/06/mirror-mirror-wounded-warriors-3-by.html
Sep 8, 2013
5 Delightful Divas!

"MIRROR MIRROR is an excellent read and, while it's quite a bit different in regards to the paranormal element, it's still a wonderful character-driven story. It's also a great fit with Karen Wiesner's Wounded Warriors Series...oh boy is it ever!

In the other stories, so far, Gwen is one of those people that always seem to have everything under control. The reality, however, is far different. She's just been able to partially mask the turmoil that she's ruthlessly repressed and, as I discovered, no one was as surprised as she when everything came undone. The catalyst is Dylan Mitchell, a man from her past who she's managed to push deep down into her consciousness...but now that he's back in the picture and the genie will not go back into the bottle.

Dylan...he's an unexpected force and I really couldn't see how anyone could surpass Tommie in Gwen's heart. But that was before we met him and found out just how intense their past connection had been. All that he's gone through over the years is enough to send anyone around the bend, but Dylan's memories of Gwen have given him strength and a courage he never knew he possessed. All I can say is, it's a very, very good thing!

As the present and the past collide no-one is untouched and an evil that's been touching the lives of people around Dylan and Gwen is finally unmasked, but not without a world of hurt and heartache, for both the characters and the reader.

I was totally captivated by Gwen's struggle against her nemesis who, until now, had remained a rather vague force. But with the coming together of Dylan and Gwen's lives once again, the face, and touch, of evil is becoming clearer to Gwen. Shivers, horror, disgust all run rampant as we are dragged further into the mind of obsession and twisted desire and there were times when I could swear that the filth coming from the "other's" mind was tangible. I became overwhelmingly involved through Gwen and Dylan, but also through the younger minds that were in the grasp of this human monster.

There were times I almost despaired of Gwen's ability to open herself up to a love that she had worked so hard to forget. But with the help of some very good friends, a daughter who, in some ways, far exceeded her years, a man that needed her in ways even he couldn't explain and a presence that was finally able to help her break through the interior shields, Gwen was able to come face to face with evil.

Even now I feel such emotion at all that had taken place that the tears threaten to fall. Be prepared with a handful of tissues because, while this is a romance, there is a lot that has to be let go and it is still somewhat overwhelming. It took me awhile to process this third story in the very talented Karen Wiesner's Wounded Warriors Series, but once I started the review for MIRROR MIRROR, it practically wrote itself. If that's not testament to the power of Ms. Wiesner's writing, I don't know what else I could possibly say. Except for: Do yourself a favor and check out, at the very least, this story--you won't regret it!"
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Larkspur for Long and Short Reviews http://www.longandshortreviews.com
Sep 8, 2013
5 Books!

Imagine you had a gift or curse that let you see the future, the past, the death of a loved one or an evil presence. Would it change you? That is what Gwen has been given.

Imagine one night in the midst of your greatest despair you find salvation in the arms of a stranger, the answer to questions you've asked yourself forever, gave you a glimpse of what love could be. Would it guide you? Would you reach for it? Forever? That's what Dylan asks himself.

Ms. Wiesner gives us this psychological thriller where evil abounds but is hidden. We readers are given a haunting, heart wrenching tale by an author gifted with words that move the reader to feel the pain and anguish of her characters. Characters who make you laugh and cry and feel pain with them. Characters who are so real, so powerful, so well developed that they lift off the pages with movie like effects in the reader's mind.

The supporting characters add depth to the story without detracting from our hero and heroine. Our author gives us her flowing dialogue that helps us understand and empathize with her characters, her vision scenes leave us gasping on the edge of our seats with daunting clarity.

This amazing read will enthrall any reader who loves heart stopping psychic thrillers, who loves a great love story with wonderful three dimensional characters. Readers who like melded family drama pieces with enough teen-aged angst to give parents the cold sweats. It will appeal to readers who like the heat turned way up on their romances. It's a great summer or beach read and is well worth your time.
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Sample Chapter

Chapter One

"You okay?" Gregg asked as they walked down the hall crowded with students rushing toward their next class.

Gwen Nicholson-Nelson knew her friend's expression as well as he knew hers. He knew she was picking up on something, and he was already worried.

He's here. I can feel him. Or he's here, in one of these kid's minds, and I'm feeling him through them.

"Gwen?" Gregg said again, taking her elbow.

She looked up at him sharply. Reality flooded back in, and she wanted to call herself foolish. Paranoid. She hadn't felt him for two years. Him--her nemesis, the psychic like her. Like her, but more powerful. Much, much more powerful.

"I'm all right," she said softly. "Kyle's probably waiting."

They picked up their pace through the emptying halls until they reached the small classroom set aside for their counseling. Gwen and Gregg worked for an outreach program that helped teenage boys who were in trouble. Wayward Angels for Boys had a sub-out policy that allowed them to counsel the boys in the local schools.

Kyle Meadowbrook had a multitude of problems. He'd come into the Wayward Angels shelter on his own several weeks before, after slamming down a bottle of whiskey and snorting enough crack to put him into a coma. When he'd come to, he didn't have the vaguest memory of cutting into his own flesh with a razor. At that time, Kyle's father and the Oak Creek Police Department had been called in for intervention. Kyle had been so shaken, he'd agreed to counseling. His workaholic father didn't seem to believe his son's condition warranted more than that. Mandatory twice a week sessions for the past three weeks had gotten them nowhere. Now that the immediate crisis was over, Kyle showed up late for each session and refused to communicate outside of insisting he was fine.

Fine didn't explain the black shadows around his eyes, nor the haunted expression that made Gwen believe a part of him no longer responded to reality.

"Monday was his last mandatory session," Gwen said softly, five minutes after the appointed time for the session to start, when Kyle hadn't yet joined him. "He won't show."

"He'll show," Gregg insisted.

"Let's have him called out of class."

"Let's wait a few minutes. We don't want to humiliate him in front of his friends. Give him time."

Gwen looked at Gregg, one of her oldest friends, before nodding. He could be right, even if it went against her instincts. Until a year ago, Gregg hadn't had any formal training as a counselor. Life experience had been his teacher. He'd been through what these boys went through. He knew exactly where they were, and he could draw them out the way few others were able to. The troubled boys--including Kyle--trusted him. And he had faith in them, even the hard cases, like this one.

The sick feeling in the pit of Gwen's stomach seemed to be growing stronger. He's close. He can't be, but I feel him coming closer.

Kyle appeared in the doorway.

Gwen gasped like she'd been struck forcefully head-on. Don't let this be, she thought desperately when Kyle came into the room and sat in front of them without looking at either of them. Why wouldn't I have felt his presence during the other sessions with Kyle? Or was he blocking me?

Forcing herself to breathe regularly, Gwen looked closely at Kyle. Before his drinking, drugging, and suicide attempts, he was probably good looking. Even the rings he wore in his ears, his nose, bottom lip and eyebrow didn't detract from that, yet his deathly pallor and the pronounced darkness around his eyes had stolen the life from him. He was obviously agitated as he sat facing their expressions of concern. He's afraid, Gwen realized.

"I don't wanna keep comin' to these," he said.

"You're not better," Gregg reminded him. The gentleness in his voice was also remarkably firm.

Gwen's stomach flipped, and she closed her eyes while Kyle insisted he was doing all right.

Gregg asked him if something had happened.

Blackness swept over Gwen, and she was standing in the tunnel where all of her visions began. Something pulled on her, but she tried to resist, forcing her eyes open. Reality refused to take her back. The vision was calling too strongly for her to function in her role as counselor today.

Get out of my head! Leave me alone. I don't want you here. Why are you here?

The voice sucked her forward through the tunnel until she emerged into the black and white world beyond the half-light. She saw Kyle on his bed. The pillows around him had been slashed and the feathery insides had burst out like entrails. Something forced her forward, closer to him. Blood. Blood red against the stark white of the pillows.

"Nothin's goin' on. I told you, I'm okay."

The voices of reality tugged at her again, and she blindly reached out toward Kyle, knowing he was nearby. If she touched him, she would know everything the boy didn't want to tell them.

Gregg understood, and prevented her reach in order to secure Kyle's right to privacy. Gregg's dark eyes looked at her with concern. Something in her tortured expression must have convinced him not to stop her a second time. Kyle's life depended on it.

"Kyle, take my hand."

His blue eyes narrowed, and he shook his head immediately.

"Please, take my hand. I can't help you if you don't." Just let me see.

His reluctance made him move in slow motion. Timidly, he offered her his hand, palm up at first, then turned it over at the last minute like that could stop her from sensing what was so close.

Gwen clasped her hands around his cold one, and then she was flying back through the tunnel to the half-light, the black and white with one splotch of color. Kyle's eyes suddenly flew open on the bed, he sat up, and Gwen followed his attention as he looked down at himself. The word 'Loser' had been carved into his chest with a razor. Bright red blood dripped from the fresh wounds. Screams burst from his throat.

Gwen shook uncontrollably, fighting her own screams.

The laughter beneath the piercing screams was insidious. He's here. He's inside Kyle. He'll destroy another, and there's nothing I can do to stop him. He knows that. He relishes that--that's why he lets me in at the last minute.

He spoke to her the way he always did--as if she were a helpless creature under his power, the way the children he destroyed were helpless. Yes, I'm here. I've blocked you until this moment because Kyle won't be here for long. 'Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockle shells, and pretty maids all in a row. Mary, Mary...'

The familiar chant washed out even Kyle's screams until Gwen cowered beneath it, shaking and trying to drive his voice out by begging Kyle not to give in to him.

Then she was torn out of the tunnel and thrust back into reality in a shower of icicles, a lurching stomach. She knew better than to eat before any of her sessions, but hot acid filled her throat. She was on the floor on her hands and knees before Kyle. When their eyes met, she whispered the bloody word she'd seen in her vision: "Loser."

Kyle shrank back from her immediately, horror in his eyes. When he tried to get out of his chair, get to his feet, Gregg was up, holding him back. Kyle struggled until Gregg's voice penetrated the fear pervading his mind. "Tell me, man. I can help you if you just tell me."

Gwen wrapped her arms around herself, trembling uncontrollably. "Show him," she urged when Kyle looked down at her with repulsed reluctance. The teenager swallowed, but then he stepped back, reached down and grasped the hem of his t-shirt under this jacket.

Streams of fresh blood dripped over his lower stomach when he revealed the cuts forming the word Loser on his chest.

"Oh, s*t," Gregg muttered under his breath.

"I don't remember," Kyle said, his voice breaking. "I don't remember doing it. I'm goin' crazy. I think I'm goin' crazy, Gregg. I don't remember."

Gregg put an arm around the boy, murmuring comfort to him in a weak voice. "We'll get you out of school. Get you to the shelter clinic."

Kyle nodded.

Gwen felt no relief despite his compliance, especially when Gregg's eyes met hers in a silent promise that they'd talk later. He wanted to know exactly what had happened.

All she wanted to do was forget.

* * * *

Gwen sat at her desk at Wayward Angels, willing herself not to give in to the tears she so desperately wanted to release. Her professionalism as a counselor had only failed her three times previously, years before. At that time, her visions had debilitated her so completely she'd been unable to do anything, except react to the presence of the other.

It was happening again, and she was as helpless as she'd always been against him. Her stomach clenched at the reminder. I can't stop this. I can't prevent it. And I can't help Kyle. I don't have that power.

The door to her office opened. She raised her head, knowing it would be Gregg.

He looked at her sympathetically for a long minute, then swore in a soft voice.

"How is he?" Gwen asked after he closed the door behind himself.

"He's checked in. I've set up a round-the-clock watch on him. He also agreed to let us talk to his old man again, when he gets back from a business trip next week. I asked him to tell his old man over the phone, but he says doesn't want to tell him anything specific until he's actually here. Kyle wants to be in the room when we tell his dad. I got the feeling the old man suspects what it's about."

Anger filed Gwen's head like a fire. "He won't even come home for this?"

"Since I agreed to Kyle's terms and his old man's not willing to leave the trip without specifics, there's nothing else to do. The kid will run if we don't agree. And you know as well as I do, he's not safe out there alone."

The tears Gwen had tried hard to fight rose up against her will and filled her eyes. She knew Kyle's father's type. She'd seen it far too many times. Maybe alcoholism was better than this problem. At least there was some treatment, some recourse. There was no treatment for workaholics like Kyle's father--nothing short of a complete lifestyle make-over. Gwen had learned that the hard way.

She'd spent more than ten years of her life working herself into the ground, just to avoid life. To avoid feeling anything she didn't want to feel. She'd even ascribed the best of intentions for her actions. Her daughter would be well-provided for all her life. Ally would lack for nothing, except precious memories of quiet, unhurried time spent with her mother.

Gregg walked to her desk, pulled a chair around, and sat in front of her. He reached for her hands, careful to speak as he did so, so she would be grounded in reality instead of more visions. "What did you see?"

The blood in the black and white vision threatened to yank her back in, but she shook her head to clear her mind. "He was there. The one I've felt before."

"It's been two years," Gregg reminded her of what she knew only too well. "Are you sure it was the same one?"

"He spoke to me. He told me Kyle wouldn't be around much longer. He... 'Pretty maids.' Oh, Gregg, it was him. There's no way to mistake him." Contrary to what false psychics and those who eagerly followed after them believed, there were very few true psychics, precognitives, telepaths, or clairvoyants. As a supermodel for most of her life, Gwen had been all over the world. In fifteen years, she'd met only one other like her. Her power was limited compared to his. She could only see. He could influence or affect anyone or anything. He was the one with power. Power beyond anything Gwen had ever feared in herself or imagined could be possible in others.

Gregg nodded. "What did you see of Kyle?"

"I saw his room. His bed. His pillows had been slashed, and there was blood on the feathers spilling out. I saw him come awake, look down at his chest. And then he couldn't stop screaming."

"He did it himself?"

"Yes, but just like with the others, he didn't do it of his own free will. He's there, there in his mind, making Kyle do these things."

Gregg sensual mouth twisted slightly as he looked at her. "You didn't feel him all the other times with Kyle."

"I told you, Gregg, this other one has powers I don't have. He told me he's blocked me deliberately until now--and that makes it clear to me that it won't be long before he takes Kyle. He can more than suggest things. He can make those he gets inside do anything he wants them to do, even the things they fear the most." A sob rose into her throat until she had to forcefully push her words out: "He has all those powers, but I have none, outside of seeing. I can't help Kyle. I can't stop him this time any more than I did the last times, when he destroyed those kids."

"So the other one isn't hiding anymore. Wish he'd died, like we hoped."

The last time she'd felt him, a young girl had died by her own hand to escape the things she'd felt compelled to do, not of her own will. She'd died to escape the chant that wouldn't leave her, or Gwen's, head: Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockle shells, and pretty maids all in a row.

Gwen hadn't been able to stop him. She'd reached out instinctively to the victim, but she'd been powerless to bring her back over the edge. How do you stop someone you can feel, but can't find? She didn't even know what he looked like. All she knew was the sound of his mocking voice in her mind.

Blood. Bold. The only color in a world of black and white. The screams...

The vision dissolved when Gregg eased her forward, murmuring comfort, as he pulled her to him. She'd broken her own dependency on him, but she couldn't deny his arms were still one of the few consolations she responded to.

"Don't let Kyle out of your sight," she said, quietly fierce.

"I won't, baby. I promise."

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