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Thursday, February 2, 2017

What You Don't Know: Tales of Obsession, Mystery & Murder in Southeast Asia by Elka Ray - Book Tour - Review - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hi lovelies! It gives me great pleasure today to host Elka Ray and her new book, “What You Don’t Know: Tales of Obsession, Mystery & Murder in Southeast Asia”!  For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!  Also, come back daily to interact with Elka and to increase your chances of winning!

Thanks for stopping by!  Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!

What You Don't Know: Tales of Obsession, Mystery & Murder in Southeast Asia
by Elka Ray


GENRE: Suspense, Short Stories



An American lawyer dreams of killing his trophy wife in Thailand. A Vietnamese soldier goes mad in a haunted forest. A bereaved mother's trip to Cambodia ends in tragedy - or does it?

Take a spine-tingling journey from the jungles of Sumatra through Bangkok's seedy bars to the seemingly sedate streets of Singapore. Your traveling companions are a slew of dark emotions - fear, grief, jealousy, greed, lust and revenge. And your destination? What you don't know can hurt you.

With flashes of black humor and hard-to-forget characters, these ten stories shine light into the dark corners of Southeast Asia.



The next day’s Bangkok Post is even worse. I read it on the plane to Krabi. There are three separate stories, all of them short, but what it boils down to is four dead tourists in less than twenty-four hours: a sixty-four year-old Australian man found dead in an alley in Bangkok (drugs suspected, possibly not self-administered); a thirty-one year-old Nigerian man stabbed, also in Bangkok; and two Japanese drowning victims near Phuket, one a twenty-one-year-old woman and the other her twenty-three-year-old male companion.

Am I here at an unusually unlucky time? Or is this normal?

It’s not until my untouched in-flight meal has been cleared away that the idea comes to me. At first, it’s just a crazy idea. But the more I think about it, the more sense it makes.

I am forty-nine years old. Candice is thirty-eight. We both have a lot of years ahead of us.



This book is a collection of ten short stories that all take place in Southeast Asia.  Many of these stories are like 7-10 pages, while some stories like, “Hot Flashes,” Story #5 is only two pages! 

The stories in this book concentrate around murder, mystery, revenge, loss, lust, infidelity, greed, fear, grief, jealousy, ghosts, and other dark topics!  

These stories are short, but have strong storylines, intriguing plots, and well developed characters.

Many of these characters throughout the book are realistic, interesting, and relatable.  For instance, in the first story, “Payback,” it’s about a husband and wife vacationing in Thailand.  While there, Martin, the husband learns of many tourists dying in suspicious circumstances.  Martin decides he is tired of his gold-digging trophy wife and plots to kill her.  Unfortunately, this task is harder than expected and it is entertaining to see the lengths he goes to accomplish this.

In Story #5, “Hot Flashes,” an older woman, Miriam, finds herself on a whimsical trip to Bali to meet her beau – a man she met on the internet.  As many people know, people can pretend to be anybody online and this story, like life, show you that you never really know who you’re actually talking to on the internet.  This story was interesting and very realistic.  This story was super short, but enjoyable.  It’s nice to know that even people in Southeast Asia play the Catfish game too lol.

In Story #7, “The Secret Admirer,” Maddie and Moira visit a fortune teller.  However, since the fortune teller doesn’t speak any English they bring Maddie’s Assistant, Thuy, with them.  In the telling the fortune teller predicts that Maddie will move away from Saigon and get married.  The fortune teller also predicts during Moira’s telling that a man at her work has a crush on her.  The rest of the story is about the two friends trying to figure out who Moira’s secret admirer is.  This story is hilarious and very entertaining!  Also, this story has very likable and genuine characters, and a very plausible storyline.

Even though these stories are on the darker side, Miss. Ray was able to find a way to add humor at just the right spots.  I think this is quite hard for authors to do as it can come off as callous.  However, it definitely added a bonus dimension to these stories and made these stories that much better.

This book is unique with such exciting, interesting, and intriguing stories!  There are so many unexpected twists and turns that keep you engaged to the very last page!

However, many of the stories end somewhat abruptly.  This allows for the reader to draw their own conclusions.  I usually prefer a tidier ending, but the style of this writing held up and perhaps was more fitting for these kind of stories.

I love short stories, because it is so easy to read one over coffee in the morning, then another later in the day, and another before bed, etc.  I really enjoyed reading these stories and found them to be the perfect length to read throughout my day.

My favorite stories in this book were “Payback,” “Hot Flashes,” and “The Secret Admirer.”

Wow!  The detail in this book is top-notch!  Whether Miss. Ray is describing the beautiful scenes of Southeast Asia or Candy’s hot red sandals – it is very easy to picture!  It is clear Miss. Ray knows Southeast Asia!  This was probably one of the best parts of these stories!  Every detail was well described and thought-out.  I felt like I was reading the story just as Miss. Ray had envisioned it.

I would absolutely recommend this book as these stories are highly entertaining, intriguing, and engaging!  You will enjoy stepping into the intense and shocking realm of Southeast Asia and will find these characters to be fascinating and thought-provoking!

**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book and have voluntarily provided an honest, and unbiased review in accordance with FTC regulations.**

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At the age of eleven, Elka Ray co-founded the Double Trouble Detective Agency. She’s been on the lookout for mysteries ever since. Elka’s latest book, “What You Don’t Know: Tales of Obsession, Mystery & Murder in Southeast Asia”, takes readers on a darkly suspenseful tour of the Far East. Her first novel, a fast-paced romantic adventure titled “Hanoi Jane”, was published by Marshall Cavendish in English and DT Books in Vietnamese. Elka’s next novel, the thriller “Saigon Dark”, will come out with Crimewave Press in November 2016. Elka is also the author and illustrator of a popular series of bilingual kids’ picture books about Vietnam.

Elka divides her time between Hoi An in Central Vietnam and Canada’s scenic Vancouver Island. When she’s not writing, drawing or reading she’s in - or near -the ocean.

Agent: Elka is represented by Amy Tipton at Signature Literary Agency

Check out Elka’s full biography here: http://elkaray.com/542-2/







Goodreads Author Page:

Goodreads Book Page:



Amazon Kindle:

Amazon Paperback:



Elka will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase made I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those awesome giveaways on here.**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.


  1. Elka ~ It is great to have you here! Congrats on your new book and good luck on the book tour! I enjoyed reading and reviewing your book, thanks for providing the copy! :)

    1. Ally - many thanks for your thoughtful reviews & encouragement!

  2. Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

    1. Hi Lisa! Thanks for stopping by and good luck in the giveaway! :)

  3. Thank you so much for reading & reviewing! Happy Asian New Rooster Year!

  4. I've enjoyed following the tour for What You Don't Know and I'm looking forward to checking it out. Thanks for sharing all of the posts along the way :)

  5. Congrats on the book tour. Thanks for hosting. I hope that I win. Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

  6. I sincerely hope that Ms. Ray had a successful tour with lots of publicity for her new book.
    Thank you for hosting!