Descent into darkness

Put yourself in the position of a wife, mother and recently elected state legislator. You have always managed to meet life’s challenges, defeat your adversaries, and then…it all starts to fall apart. Would you be able to hold your cool even when you stir up a hornet’s nest that involves people who traffic in human lives and anyone who challenges them could incur their wrath? Yes, a plot full of drama, blackmail, murder and revenge. The book I refer to is “Freedom from Conscience – Descent into Darkness” by author Michael Cross
If you have read the previous books in the series you will be familiar with the main character, Melanie Lindberg; and if you haven’t this would be the perfect part of the saga to start off with (there is always time to go back and catch up to what made her what she is, and believe me you will want to do so after you read this book). She is a devoted wife and mother and has an interesting relationship as she lives with both a man and woman (like you think she is the only person in the public eye who has such a secret?). She has managed to forge this all together even after a turbulent series of events. Of course, while she is a lovable young woman, she is capable of employing intelligence and ruthlessness to attain her goals as well as protecting those she loves.
Everything seems to be working out great with her family and new career, but for some reason she craves something more, something more exciting. She is tempted to consider running for higher office, but when she takes on the issue of human trafficking and sex slavery she gets the unwanted attention of someone who wants her to out of the picture. Finally, after threats and harassments her house is set ablaze and she becomes suspicious of all people around her – which is quite a lot considering her job. At the same time a mysterious young Russian woman, Katja Ivanova, approaches her hoping to find out what has happened to her sister who disappeared a year earlier. Suddenly she has all the danger and excitement she could have hoped for, yet what is at stake is her life, her new friend and everyone she loves.
She has little faith the police can protect her and so she has to take matters into her own hands. And with Katja by her side they make the desperate decision to disguise themselves and infiltrate the dark strip club that their investigation keeps bringing their focus upon. Melanie and Katja suddenly find themselves in a completely different world than either knew existed. As they immerse themselves as exotic dancers and even live sex performers they soon find out there is no glamour in this line of work and are soon sucked into where there is no longer an avenue of escape – they must get to the bottom of a conspiracy that may very well involve not only the Chechen brothers who operate the business, but also forces that are far more powerful. And the police are the last ones they can go to for help.
So while keeping her quest in search for answers secret from her family, and desperately trying to remain anonymous so as not to be discovered by the media, she realizes just how deep corruption runs in her city, state and even nation.
After reading this book, I can promise you that you will not be able to put it down. Perfect for a cold winter day as it is full of exciting scenarios, romance, danger and…oh yeah, did I mention danger? You really feel for Melanie as she must do the unthinkable to save her loved ones…all the while not knowing who to trust and who might be the one to end her life. Oh, and one more thing to add to the plot…Melanie was once a vigilante serial killer. Her adversaries don’t know that.

Freedom From Conscience – It’s time to launch book 3!

The second book did not get attention from me because it was a total sequel to the first book. Not saying it doesn’t stand up to my expectations, since it too is just as amazing as the first- the third one is one of my favorites in the series which is why I have chosen to recomend it to you guys!

As we all know, winter is on it’s way (here at least) and what better way to spend those cold nights than curled up on the couch (or bed as I prefer) with an awesome book. I promise, no glittery vampires or teenage wolves or pregnant teens – just a good story, characters you can connect to and a believable psychopath you may en up dreaming about.

Here’s my review:



If you have yet to start the “Freedom from Conscience” novels my advice is go ahead and start with this one.  You won’t be sorry…and I guarantee you will want to get the first two in the series afterwards. 

The novel starts out with Melanie Lindberg, a young woman with education, successful career and loving family.  She has embarked on a new life…one that no longer involves the violence which surrounded her earlier in life.  Oh, did I mention she had been a vigilante serial killer?  Okay, that was in her past…now she is a suburban wife, mother and…well, let’s just say she defines family in her own terms.  So at first life is good…her husband, her children and her lover are everything she could have dreamed for.  Yet you know the saying, “All good things come to an end.”

Melanie is kidnapped and taken from her life by a handsome, older man who cannot be described as either kind or evil. To some Vincent comes across as a total psychopathic maniac you wouldn’t want to ever meet even in your worst nightmare.  Yet to others he may come across as a liberator, a man committed to unleashing Melanie’s potential which he sees her squandering in what he feels is mediocrity.

After putting Melanie through what could be described as an initiation into the depths of Hell she is left broken, and almost defenseless against his overpowering personality.  Will she ever be able to escape? And then enters Vincent’s wife Bethany, who becomes the ultimate motherly archetype, something giving her love she never had from her own mother. At this point you are convinced she never will want to return to her previous life.  And as a reader, despite Vincent’s distain for human beings outside this new family unit, you may begin to hope she does form a new life with these people.

Yet the harmony eventually begins to break down. Vincent has no idea who Melanie really is, or what she used to be, and as he tries to make her into a version of himself you see a clash of wills that will keep you glued to the story. Melanie, while quite capable of unspeakable violence, is deep down someone who refuses to hurt the innocent. I won’t tell you how it finally turns out, but I will tell you that if you enjoy reading something different this you will love. I could read this several times over because the author has a unique way of hypnotically weaving meanings into the story, layering, that allows you to discover deeper elements of the story.

Finally I love nature.  I love the sound of rain on the rooftop in the middle of the night. The author describes not only our characters very well but as you read you feel like you can feel what Melanie experiences, as well as close your eyes and both see and feel the places she explores in the deserts, forests and mountains in remote corners of Oregon and Montana. The author knows how to capture your attention and absorb you into Melanie’s world and life.  The book weaves the elements of tragedy and hope in such a way you won’t be able to put it down.



Book Signing

On September 22nd, Michael Cross is having a book signing for his newest book Freedom From Conscience – Melanie’s Awakening! It’s gonna be great, a happening you can not miss if you’re in Stockholm. It will be held in Gamla Stan at the English Bookshop (Lilla Nygatan 11) at 2 pm. 

If you can’t make it, don’t worry, the book can be purshased at and and you can message Mr. Cross on Facebook – and if he has the time, a signing can be arranged. You can also visit the official Freedom From Conscience facebook page at:

Freedom From Conscience – Melanie’s Awakening

“There is nothing as violent as love.” Some may see the truth in this, others not. I am not going to write of love as it applies to relationships but rather the love of a book. To be more specific, the sequel to ”Freedom From Conscience – Melanie’s Journey” which is titled, “Freedom From Conscience – Melanie’s Awakening” by the author Michael Cross. For those of you who have read the first part, I am happy to announce that the sequel is now in available! 

I do not intend this as a PR thing…then again maybe it is. You see, I am writing this column because I REALLY enjoyed the book! If you read the first book, you’ve simply got to read the second. If you have not read the first I would just like to say that like many well-written series you can pick up on who the main characters are what brought them to this point in time quite quickly. Of course you will probably finish the book and desire to read the first as well but trust me, you will enjoy “Melanie’s Awakening” even if you have not read the first book.

The book is a psychological thriller so it’s not a young children’s story. However, mature readers will enjoy the exploration of the very concept of right and wrong as well as the age-old question of what limits does individual happiness extend to. Is there romance? Yes. And of course there is deception, danger and suspense which builds from beginning to the surprise ending. Throughout you get to know more and more about the characters of the book, even the ones that are in the background. Seriously, if you dare read this and the previous book – you should.
One more thing I would like to mention is that with all the intrigue and suspense there is a certain innocence possessed by the primary characters Melanie and Nicole. You cannot help but connect with both on an emotional level; especially Melanie as you see the story unfold through her eyes.

Again, these books are not cute fairytales; more the opposite. Melanie is burdened with loneliness and is somewhat a psychopath – she is not completely without emotion however. When she does love it is with an intensity that burns, yet when she is deceived or betrayed she can become ice cold and willing to commit acts few dare even to fantasize about. Yet you cannot help but sympathize with her…even fall in love with her. Trust me, if you have read the first book you understand what I am saying. In this second book, Melanie learns that there are only very few people who can love you for who you are, luckily she has found a trustful friend, Nicole, who can accept Melanie for who she really is, or does she? It is not until the events unfold around Nicole’s marriage to her high school sweetheart Daniel that you find out that outward appearances can be quite misleading.

One other teaser for those who have already read the first book…the appearance of a new love interest for Melanie that reminds her of her first true love Mark Lindberg. I can’t say more…you’ll just have to read for yourselves.

Freedom From Conscience – Melanie’s Journey

I don’t think I’ve ever actually finished a book from cover to cover… well, except maybe the Goosebumps books, but those don’t really count! Three weeks ago, I went to the English Bookshop in Gamla Stan, because my teacher (Michael Cross) had just published a book and he had told me about it in school earlier. So I went to buy it and he signed it and bla bla… I was waiting for a friend to meet me in town, and she had just woken up, and she told me that she’d be done in like 3 hours, and I had no interest in going back home and then back again, so I stayed at the bookstore and started reading the book that’s called Freedom From Conscience. I read the first two chapters and sort of fell in love with the book and the characters. It is very psychological and makes you kind of wonder what’s right and what’s wrong.

The book is a fictional novell, and it’s about a girl named Melanie who is somewhat of a loner, and enjoys the outdoors more than hanging out in the mall. Her mother and new boyfriend moves to Portland from Oregon, where she has to attend a new high school, but that isn’t a bad thing, because she meets two new students whom she become close with, but there is something about them that catches your attention. For every chapter I read, the more interesting the book gets! It is a psychological/psychopathical thriller book, with understandable language and catching moments… I’d really recommend you to read it… if you dare!

The Tale of the three brothers

Found it! This story was in the new Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows movie.

One day long ago, three brothers decided to go out travelling the world together. At twilight they came to a treacherous river that had taken the lives of many people who had attempted to cross to the other side. The Peverells, being expert wizards, casually whipped out their wands and created a bridge out of thin air to cross over. No sooner had they set foot on the bridge when they saw a dark, hooded figure blocking their path in the middle of the bridge. This figure was none other than Death himself, and he was outraged that he’d been cheated out of three new victims, since most people usually drowned in the river. However, Death was cunning and pretended to congratulate the three brothers for being able to ”evade” him, offering each of them a prize for their skill.

Antioch, the eldest and most boastful of the Peverell brothers, desired power over others, and so he asked Death for a wand that must always win in a duel for its master, a wand worthy of a man who had conquered Death. So Death crossed to an Elder tree near the river bank, snapped off a twig from one of its branches, fashioned a wand fifteen inches in length with the core of a Thestral hair, and gave it to Antioch, promising him that the newly-created Elder wand would be the most powerful wand in creation.

Cadmus, the middle brother, was an arrogant man and wanted to humiliate Death even further, so he asked Death for the power to bring people back from the dead. So Death walked to the river bank, picked up a black stone from the riverbed, and gave it to Cadmus, promising him that when turned over thrice in one’s hand, the Resurrection stonewould have the power to bring back the dead as he had requested.

Ignotus, the youngest and wisest of the three brothers, was a humble man and did not trust Death at all. Rather than ask for something to further his own desires, he asked for something that would enable him to leave Death and not be followed. Death, knowing he may have been outsmarted by Ignotus but not wishing to betray his true intentions in giving the brothers their ”gifts,” took off his own Cloack of Invisiblility that he used to sneak up on people with and gave it to Ignotus with very bad grace. This was no ordinary Invisibility Cloak, as it provided everlasting protection to its wearer and did not fade with age as most Invisibility Cloaks often do. With this, Death stepped aside and allowed the three brothers to continue on their travels as they admired Death’s gifts and talked of their adventure.

Eventually, the three brothers separated, each heading toward his home. Antioch reached a village and sought out a wizard with whom he had a quarrel, engaging him in a duel that left the rival wizard dead on the floor. Antioch then proceeded to a nearby inn, where he celebrated his victory and drank heavily in the process. He then drunkenly boasted of his unbeatable wand he had snatched from Death himself, claiming it made him invincible. Later that night, a greedy wizardwho had overheard Antioch’s ravings crept up to Antioch’s room. Finding Antioch unconscious and wine-sodden, the wizard took the Elder Wand from Antioch’s belongings and, for good measure, slit Antioch’s throat, winning mastership of the Elder Wand for himself. So Death took back his first victim.

Meanwhile, Cadmus returned to his own home and took out the Resurrection Stone. As Death had instructed him, he turned the black stone over thrice in his hands, and, to his joy and astonishment, the image of the girl he had hoped at one point to marry before her untimely death appeared before him. However, she was cold and distant, as though being seen through a veil, and she suffered due to the fact that she no longer belonged in the world of the living and desired to go back to the world of the dead. Upset that the Resurrection Stone could not make it as though she had never died, Cadmus was driven mad with longing, and he took his own life so as to truly join his love in death. So Death took back his second victim.

Though Death searched for many long years, he was unable to find Ignotus, who successfully hid from Death for a good many years using the Cloak of Invisibility. Finally, when he was a ripe old age and had lived a long and happy life, Ignotus decided to take off the Cloak of Invisibility and gave it to his son. Ignotus then greeted Death as an old friend, and together they departed this world as equals.