Reader Reviews

One of the most gratifying (and terrifying) aspects of writing a book is getting feedback. I am so grateful to the people who took the time to read my novel in its various stages of development, and who provided honest input so that I could edit effectively. It is because of those brave souls that I now have a story that has garnered such positive reviews. Here are a few that I pulled from and Goodreads to share on this blog:

R. Malone

Phew! What a journey that was! 24 hours after entering Kathryn’s world, I was finally able to re-enter my own. I haven’t read that solidly in years! In Shades of Secrecy, Mikayla Olsson created a fantastic set of relatable characters and emotional circumstances that drew me in immediately. Each chapter was written in a way that kept me wholly invested in the cause and a desire to press on toward answers and resolution. From the beginning, Kathryn’s situation seems somewhat familiar in it’s heartache but quickly takes it’s first turn (of many) to the unexpected. I wanted to know “Why?” right away and couldn’t finish until satisfied.

Kathryn herself is either someone you are or someone you know – in that when faced with an emotionally difficult situation she has a hard time letting others who love her in to help. Her friendships are both unconditional and immensely entertaining. Kathryn’s deep and sometimes overwhelming struggle to move forward is perfectly offset with humerous thoughts and observations of daily interactions that are refreshingly honest and had me laughing throughout.

I’d highly recommend this book and can not wait to see another from this writer!



Intense and emotionally charged, this book is like a rolllercoaster! Lots of emotional ups and downs, mixed with smooth coasting, complete with some exciting and unexpected twists and turns. My attention was captured on the very first page! I found myself instantly connected to the main heroine, Kathryn, and her heart wrenching emotional journey to fill in the missing pieces of what was needed for her to move forward in her life. The dark tone of this book was easily brightened up a notch with relatable, dry humor laced throughout that even had me laughing out loud at times. ; ) This book moves quick and is quite a page turner! Loved it!!!!!!!



This book captivated me from the very first page and it was hard to stop and do anything else. I wanted to read it cover to cover, all at once, without any interruptions! The atmosphere and pace of the narrative kept me engaged and I was truly impressed by the writing style, which was fluid and captivating. The story is full of unexpected twists and turns–surprises that evoked many different emotions. The use of humor and irony adds an unusual edge to the dialog. I sensed a distinct voice in this first novel, a very particular tone, which is one of the most difficult effects to achieve in creative writing. It feels like the product of a more mature and experienced author. All in all, this is a serious work, very accomplished, that promises even more interesting stories in the future. I enjoyed reading this novel and wait anxiously for her next one.



This book captured me from the beginning. You will find yourself cheering for Kathryn and searching your own soul for how you would handle the same situations she faces. Careful when you start this book, you won’t want to put it down. Great job, Mikayla Olsson.



I just finished “Shades of Secrecy” and loved every page of it. I felt I knew the characters and could not wait to see what each new chapter would bring. This book is a great read and it was just what I needed on a relaxing summer day. I can’t wait to see what Mikayla Olsson writes next!


Kathy P.

This book captured my attention from the first page…and it never slowed down. Once you start, you will not be able to put it down. I hope to see more from this author.



Enjoyed this book from beginning to end. Found the main character, Kathryn to be enchanting and very entertaining. This is not your typical, figure everything out in advance, book.


Review on Goodreads:

It was so refreshing for me to stumble upon this book – an independently published book that has no glaring grammatical or spelling errors!! Not only that, but it had a wonderfully lyrical and flowing prose style that carried the story forward gracefully. The plot was interesting and the relative normality of the main character was easy to relate to, especially how she interacted with her mother’s cat (of course, me being a cat person, I could be biased). I did think that there could have been more plot development regarding the intricacies of the mother’s illness, but otherwise this was a solid read and one I feel comfortable recommending.


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