A Whisper Of A Mystery Trology by M. A. Appleby

The Ancient Whisper: A Whisper Of A Mystery Trilogy Book One by M. A. Appleby

In today’s interconnected world, anyone can find themselves embroiled in international politics, intrigue, and suspense. Ellen and her family learn the hard way that things are not always what they seem as they find themselves in seemingly impossible situations – especially when ties to the Middle East surface.

Relying on her strong resolve, faith, and enduring love for her family, Ellen confronts a host of shadowy characters, then leverages family dynamics to lead them through twists & turns in this new-world-order story…you will cheer for Ellen and her family as you travel with them!

A family struggles to rebuild their lives after a mysterious tragedy alters the course of their existence. Ellen Andress awakens from a drug-induced stupor to discover that she has been kidnapped by people who have ties to the Middle East. Once Ellen is taken back to where she was taken, she is unknowingly deceived by men posing as Special FBI agents. They place her and her family into the Federal Witness Protection Program, confiscating all of their possessions. With no income and a new identity, Ellen must generate money quickly. She then enters the perilous world of horse racing, wagering, and hi-stakes betting.

When she can’t reach the FBI agents, she contacts the CIA, where she learns that something big is going down, but what?

“Compelling story around a strong character you want to cheer for.” – Karen Hansen, PhD, LMHC (Seattle, WA)

“Exciting mini stories embedded in the main story and found it hard to find a good place to stop reading.” – Don Paullin (Author and Speaker)

“A wild ride – a very entertaining story that draws the reader in.” –  Annie Peters (The Portland Review)

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers’ Favorite

“The Ancient Whisper: A Whisper of a Mystery Trilogy, Volume 1 by M.A. Appleby is the story of Ellen Andress, a woman who has her life turned upside down when she is kidnapped and taken somewhere. A mother and a fighter, she becomes suspicious when she finds out that she has been taken away by some men who say they are FBI agents. Given a new identity, she takes things into her own hands to get back her life and make sure that she and her family safely make it out of this conspiracy that they have found themselves in. What is the actual purpose of kidnapping her and her family? What can Ellen do to get safety for herself and her family? Can she even get out of this life that forces more powerful than her have given her?

The Ancient Whisper is a mystery that I loved reading. It had me on the edge of my seat and kept me guessing and guessing until the very last chapter. This is not your garden variety mystery; it has substance and it easily connects with the reader. Try as hard as I might, I was unable to find any loopholes in the story, which was really refreshing. The tension and mystery were so thick that I could almost taste them. I really enjoyed how the atmosphere was created and then carried forward. In fifteen chapters that have been uniquely named, author M.A. Appleby gave the story a lot of substance and ensured that the reader stayed invested and interested in the story all the way to the end. The characters are very well-developed and actually add to the story and keep the reader more interested. I enjoyed the flow of the plot and how the author mixed horse racing and betting without deviating from the actual story line. I loved it and really enjoyed it!”

Reviewed by Trudi Fleischman Lopreto

“This is a must-read book. It has everything – suspense, action, mystery, family, twists and turns and so much more. I was hooked from the start to the finish. Ellen is the heroine of the story. When she finds herself a prisoner in a foreign land, she never gives up in her fight to get home to her family. When finally, she is allowed to return she finds herself in the federal witness protection program and being forced to live in a broken-down horse farm in Virginia without anything from her past life and waiting for her children to join her; she learns to make the best of her new life. Ellen deals with each twist and turn and deals with each nightmare as it happens. I cannot say enough good things about this book and urge you to read it today. I am anxiously planning on reading book two in the A Whisper of a Mystery Trilogy and can’t wait to see what happens next. Thank you, M. A. Appleby, for a great book.”

Reviewed by Linda Marie Marsh

“THIS is a book I call a “grabber”. It gets you from the start and simply does not let go till you, whew….are at the end.

Book One in a trilogy I look forward to reading what comes next! Appleby has written a puzzle within a puzzle within an enigma that has extraordinary circumstances. Right off the bat, you wonder what direction the book is taking and get so thoroughly absorbed that when the pieces finally start fitting together you feel like Sherlock Holmes.

Ellen Andress is on her way home from a vacation in Hawaii with her husband. There ends all sense of normalcy. For her, her family and the reader.”

Reviewed by Joan Kovats

“THE ANCIENT WHISPER is a wonderfully written suspense novel written by M.A. Appleby. I didn’t know what to expect upon selecting it, and to my surprise, was taken into a world and culture that was fascinating. I was riveted by the colorful characters, and not having answers to questions easily. The exposition keeps you on the seat of your pants. I couldn’t put it down! I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good mystery.”

Product Details:
Series: A Whisper of a Mystery Trilogy-Book One
Paperback: 390 Pages
September 6, 2017

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Whispered Dreams: A Whisper Of A Mystery Trilogy Book Two by M. A. Appleby

Book Two focuses on Ellen’s son, Jason, who has grown into a young man and is every bit as headstrong as his Mother.

Together, they expand their racing teams, outsmart the ‘good ole boys’ down at the race track, and endure confrontation from owners who like to play by their own rules.

Meanwhile, the CIA uncovers a plot to kill Jason, due to his heritage, from their nefarious Middle East cousins.

As he learns that the Monarchy of Obagur is threatened, he feels compelled to become involved. He is caught up in a coup and during the confusion is presumed missing or dead. Refusing to attend the Memorial Service, Ellen knows Jason is still alive, but what has happened to him?

Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers’ Favorite

“Whispered Dreams by M.A. Appleby is the second book in the A Whisper of a Mystery Trilogy. Ellen P. Andress is now known as Ellen D. Thompson. After the murder of her husband, Ravi, witness protection relocates Ellen and her family to a small community in Virginia. Years pass, life at Ashwood Farm and Stables has kept Ellen and her family busy with house renovations and harness horse racing. Ellen and Adrian plan to marry, her daughters are maturing and her son, Jason, will soon graduate from high school. After graduation, Jason must face the biggest decision of his life. He must decide whether to follow the destiny and legacy of his father’s family in Saudi Arabia or remain with his family in Virginia. Bizarre and unexplained incidents keep happening. Every decision result in an unbelievable consequence. Ellen is determined to find out why her family is on this strange journey. Unsettled feelings, premonitions, and dreams whisper to her in her quest to discover the truth.

M.A. Appleby’s Whispered Dreams is a story of family, mystery, and adventure. The story opens with the heroine sharing her memories. These memories lay the foundation for the continuing story. The narrative is a bit choppy at first, but as the story unfolds an intriguing rhythm begins to flow. As the heroine tells her story, you sense her drive and resolve, yet feel confusion and fear hovering all around her. As the plot thickens, the conflict intensifies internally and externally. Hell has no fury like a woman scorned, but you mess with her children, and the battle takes on a whole new level of rage. With each change of location, the canvas of the story broadens, causing the main cast of characters to develop and evolve. Furthermore, Appleby plants mysterious circumstances and bizarre incidents throughout the narrative, creating an engaging plot. As this segment of the trilogy comes to an end, some questions are answered, while others remain unsolved. One thing remains certain; this courageous heroine will never give up until the mystery is solved.”

Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers’ Favorite

“Whispered Dreams by M.A. Appleby is the second book in A Whisper of a Mystery trilogy. Against all odds, Ellen’s living a good life with Adrian and her three children. She can handle anything thrown her way, including the owners at the race track and her son Jason’s decision to go help his uncle in the Middle East defend the monarchy of Obagur from growing threats. When Jason stops responding and everyone stops answering Ellen’s phone calls, Adrian goes to the CIA to uncover the truth and discovers Jason has disappeared. While everyone is quick to write him off as dead, Ellen’s not giving up and believes there’s more going on than meets the eye.

M.A. Appleby splits the story between the first-person perspective of Ellen and the third person perspective of Jason, balancing out the feeling of home and mystery through Ellen and an action-packed conspiracy through Jason. Ellen has a rather cozy life with Adrian and her three kids, despite dealing with the owners at the race track. The majority of the plot focuses on Jason as he follows in his father’s footsteps by going to the Middle East to help his uncle and embrace his royal heritage. When Jason first arrives, it’s like a dream as he has a sense of wonder about this life he’s going to lead and forms a connection with his late father. However, as he trains and learns, he quickly discovers that this isn’t paradise. His ideals for his life quickly go up against his uncle’s plan for him. His life is threatened and he begins to feel trapped, which makes him start second guessing the decisions that brought him here. When a betrayal is unveiled, it sparks a dangerous path.

A side of romance is seen with Ellen and Adrian’s happy relationship which tends to be bubbly, but isn’t without its seriousness as they treat each other as partners and confidants. Jason has a mysterious romance with a woman who seems to show up out of nowhere and who ends up factoring into the story in a key way. Appleby brings a lot of heart to this family through Ellen’s perspective as that of a mother watching her children grow up and follow new paths in their lives. So, it’s a little bittersweet and adds more depth in an emotional sense when Jason disappears. The family is at the heart of the story as the love and hope Ellen has for her children is what keeps her moving forward, no matter what anyone tells her. Whispered Dreams is a cozy mystery meets international thriller with action, romance, and conspiracy.”

Product Details:
Series: A Whisper of a Mystery Trilogy Book Two
Paperback: 384 Pages
October 12, 2017

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Journey Of A Thousand Steps: A Whisper Of A Mystery Trilogy Book Three by M. A. Appleby

After several years with no new information about Jason, Ellen still wants closure and vows to never give up.

A documentary about a super cyclone that devastated islands west of Fiji catches her attention-oil tankers the size of football fields are maneuvering to avoid the storm; and this gives Ellen a theory and renewed hope. Taking matters into her own hands, she devises a plan to seek answers without the CIA’s help.

After searching, Ellen brings a storm survivor home to be part of their extended family, indicating he has a brain injury. This is possibly the beginning of the hardest journey of her life. I dealt with Traumatic Brain Injury when my son had a accident. Finding peace and closure has not been easy. In the last chapter of this book, I share our 10 Keys to recovery.

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers’ Favorite

“Journey of a Thousand Steps is a satisfying conclusion to A Whisper of a Mystery Trilogy by M.A. Appleby, a gritty story of a woman in search of answers. Jason has been missing for years, and in addition to the fact that Ellen can’t forgive herself for his sudden disappearance, she has to deal with the thought that he might never come back again. In spite of encouragement from friends and family to let go, she vows to find out the truth; she wants closure. She goes in search of Jason under very trying circumstances — without help from the CIA — and returns with a storm survivor with a brain injury. Can life ever be the same again for her and for her family?

This is a story about family, loss, and dealing with brain injury. M.A. Appleby creates very believable characters and the pacing is just awesome with dialogues that read naturally. The story begins with therapeutic sessions between Ellen and Dr. Laurel and the reader can understand the depth of Ellen’s pain. The sessions unveil facts and offer great plot points and backstory to make the read an enjoyable one. The writing is insightful and there are realistic and pertinent thoughts that readers might want to linger on: “When something unexpected happens to alter the course of your life, how you handle it is what truly matters.”

The themes of family, brain injury, and closure are well handled in this narrative. Talking about the family, the narrator says that it is like a circle and that the connection never ends; even if it breaks at times, it always finds a way to mend. Journey of a Thousand Steps features a gritty tale, emotionally and psychologically rich characters, and a story with strong plot points and twists that will surprise readers. Appleby is a great storyteller and her characters are so well executed that readers won’t find it hard connecting with them emotionally.”

Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers’ Favorite

Journey of a Thousand Steps: Book 3 (A Whisper of Mystery Trilogy) by M.A. Appleby continues the story of Ellen’s struggle with forces outside of her control that want to destroy her and her family. Along with her CIA husband, Adrian, and the rest of her family, they have established a new life on Ashwood Station, where they train and race standard-bred trotters and pacers. Ellen is trying, with the help of her psychiatrist Dr Laurel, to put the past behind her, but there is one thing she cannot forget. Her son, Jason, who was heir to the Saudi Royal crown disappeared four years previously. Whilst everyone assures Ellen it is time to let go and move on, Ellen cannot. In her heart of hearts, she knows Jason is still alive and she will not rest until she finds him. A coincidental documentary of a super typhoon in the far away South Pacific will set Ellen off on a journey of mystery, intrigue and no small amount of danger in her never-ending search for her lost son.

This is the third and final book in the series and although it can be read as a stand-alone, I would strongly recommend readers to consider reading the full series from the beginning to get an easier grasp of the characters and their backstories. Journey of a Thousand Steps: Book 3 (A Whisper of Mystery Trilogy) is a good, solid, mystery adventure, with an insight into the well-to-do world of Ellen and her family. I found the horse racing side of the story to be most fascinating, as an avid follower of the pacing/trotting world, from the other side of the world. The story is told from Ellen’s first-person perspective and, as such, gives us a personal and touching insight into the mind of a distraught mother who refuses to listen to reason, simply because she knows her son is not dead. M.A. Appleby has given us a well written, well researched and very readable mystery, one that I enjoyed and can recommend.”

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers’ Favorite

“Journey of a Thousand Steps: Book Three (A Whisper of a Mystery Trilogy) by M.A. Appleby is a captivating story of loss, of the quest to reconcile with the inevitable, and the journey towards healing. Inspired by a real-life tragedy in the author’s family, this novel comes with a bonus — powerful and life-changing steps to deal with brain injury. Years have passed by without Ellen getting any news about her son, Jason, and everyone in the family is of the opinion that she should move on and embrace life without her son. Perhaps accepting that the events leading to his disappearance were unpreventable could help her heal. But she refuses to let go without knowing what actually happened to her son. Follow her story as she takes things into her own hands and faces a devastating storm, only to bring home a survivor with a brain injury.

As the final book in a trilogy, it is a satisfying conclusion, a story that is beautifully told with clear points of view and a compelling first-person narrative voice. The story begins with the protagonist in the midst of the crisis and doing sessions with Dr. Laurel. The backstory is awesome and readers will enjoy M.A. Appleby’s ability to weave commentary into the narrative, featuring streams of consciousness and skillfully integrating natural sounding dialogues into the story. Ellen is the protagonist and a very compelling one, a real and believable character. There is a stubbornness in her that can only be the result of a mother’s love. The humanity infused into the narrative is strong. The suspense in Journey of a Thousand Steps: Book Three (A Whisper of a Mystery Trilogy) is nail-biting and the author succeeds in keeping readers engaged throughout the story. I couldn’t put it down. I loved the prose, the strong plot, and the steady pacing.”

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About M. A. Appleby: “I am a National Award-Winning Author of a gold and silver medal (President’s Book Awards) and a 1st Place Winner in category Autobiography/Biography from the Christian Author Awards, Fall-2017 for RAISING DAVID AGAIN!

My first books, A Whisper of a Mystery Trilogy, was inspired by our true life-changing event that evolved into a compelling story of a family who struggles with what happens in the ‘blink of an eye’. I equate the time we spent after my son suffered a traumatic brain injury to being in a dream-like state, much like a slow-motion movie. As time went on, we thought we would all wake up from the nightmare and our lives would go back to ‘normal’ but that didn’t happen. The concept for A Whisper of a Mystery Trilogy has actually drifted around in my head for nearly 35 years. It only flowed out after the idea came to incorporate my son’s journey of recovery into the story.

The original purpose of the journal I started the day of my son’s accident, was to impart information to survivors and caregivers as a way to help them on their journey. That journal became the impetus to write The Ancient Whisper, Whispered Dreams, and The Journey of a Thousand Steps.

When the trilogy was completed, I wrote RAISING DAVID AGAIN. This is David’s story and how our family copes with this condition. Included are other amazing stories of survival after brain injury, the 10 Keys to Recovery, and the resources section called: Brain Injury Tool Kit.”

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