Posted in excerpt, paranormal, suspense on August 18, 2017

Curse Breaker

By J.T.Bishop

 

Publisher: J. T. Bishop; 1 edition

Series: Red-Line

Paperback: 402 pages

October 6, 2016, $14.95

Genre: Paranormal Suspense

Synopsis

She’ll risk her life to break his curse, but revealing the truth could be far more dangerous.

In high school, a friend’s mother blames Grayson Steele for the tragic death of her daughter. Now, years later, Grayson is wealthy and successful, but on the brink of suicide. Because the women he loves are dying. And he can’t stop it.

Knowing about Grayson’s circumstances, Gillian Fletcher derives a plan. Catch the killer who’s making Grayson Steele’s life a living hell. But there’s only one way to do it. She has to be the bait.

As Grayson and Gillian’s plan takes shape, they must not only expose a killer, but also their feelings for each other. The further they go, the more secrets they will reveal. Secrets that will illuminate not just a murderer, but shocking truths that neither may be prepared to face.

Truths that will change their future forever.

Curse Breaker is an Indie Brag Medallion winner and the fourth book in J. T. Bishop’s award-winning Red-Line paranormal suspense series. It can be read before or after her Red-Line trilogy. If you love murder mysteries, page turners, and fast-paced stories, then you’ll love this compelling book by award-winning author J. T. Bishop.

Excerpt

“Then what do you want?”

“Excuse me?”

“You know my name? Know I live nearby? Know I grew up not far from here?” He crossed his arms. “What do you want?”

She didn’t answer for a second. “I’m a reporter.”

He chuckled. The men on the beach lifted the tarp, but they blocked his view. “Looks like you’ve got quite the story on your hands. First on the scene.”

“I’m not that kind of reporter.”

“You’re not?”

“No. I work for Lifestyle magazine.”

Lifestyle, huh? What lifestyle are you interested in?”

“Yours.”

He smirked. “Let me guess. You want to interview me?”

“I do.”

“Why?”

“Why not? Everyone wants to get an interview with you. You’re a millionaire playboy who’s become a recluse. The Howard Hughes of our time. You’re a huge scoop.”

“No thanks.”

“Why not? Don’t you want the world to know the truth?”

“What truth?”

“That you’re not as messed up as they say you are. That you’re not a drug user or psychotic. That you’re not building sandcastles in your bedroom in your free time. Or tying up seagulls and eating them for lunch.”

He grimaced. “Is that what they’re saying about me?”

“Depends on the magazine.”

He shook his head. “I’m obviously not keeping up on current trends.”

“So tell them that you don’t do any of those things.”

He tilted his head. “And how do you know I don’t?”

She didn’t say anything, but her eyes moved back to the beach. The men were moving the body into a zippered bag. They tried to keep the bystanders from watching by holding up a blanket, but a strong gust of wind blew and the blanket moved and he got a quick but clear view of the woman. A chill shot through him when he realized he recognized her. He knew the victim.

“Oh my God.”

“What?” she asked.

He felt the blood leave his face, and he stared at the sand.

“You okay?”

He looked for his dog. “Max?” He saw Max chasing a seagull.

“Mr. Steele?”

Max ran up to him and shook out the water on his coat. “Let’s go, Max.”

“Please, Mr. Steele. Would you consider it?”

He didn’t answer her. His wooden legs didn’t want to move, but he forced them over the sand, the face of the victim echoing in his mind. He blinked and tried to think back. When had he seen her last? Calculating the time in his head, he grimaced when he remembered. Three days. It had been three days since he’d slept with her. He felt the urge to lose his pizza, but he held it back. Picking up his pace, he walked fast through the sand and ignored the reporter behind him.

“Mr. Steele? Are you okay? Can I follow up with you later?”

Leaving the scene, he said nothing.

About the Author

Born and raised in Dallas, TX, J. T. Bishop began writing in 2012. Inspired by a video that theorized the meaning of the end of the Mayan calendar, J. T. began the Red-Line trilogy. The video surmised that the earth was the central hub of activity for extraterrestrials thousands of years ago. J.T. didn’t know whether that was true or not, but it did spawn an idea. What if those extraterrestrials were still here? Two years and a lot of work later, the first three Red-Line books were complete, but she’s not done. The Red-Line saga develops as she continues to write new books.

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Posted in excerpt, mystery, Spotlight, suspense on August 13, 2017

Synopsis

No good deed goes unpunished. When Jane Larson—a hot-shot litigator for a large firm in New York City—helps out a friend, she is sucked into the unfamiliar world of divorce and child support.

Jane’s discovery of the deadbeat dads hidden assets soon unravels a web of lies, drugs, and murder that keeps getting more dangerous.

Soon, Jane is involved in a high stakes race to recover a missing suitcase of cash and catch the murderer before she becomes the next victim.

Praise

“A sleuthing lawyer returns to the streets of New York in this mystery of drugs, murder, and financial skullduggery… the husband-wife team of Rothman-Hicks and Hicks has again produced a fast-paced, engaging story… overall, this is a satisfying read. An enjoyable romp involving a shady attorney and the mob that should make readers look forward to the next Jane Larson caper.” – Kirkus

“Weave a Murderous Web is an enthralling murder mystery. It gets your heart pounding with action and passion, while simultaneously entangling your mind with its ambiguity…. Engaging. Witty. Fast paced. As the plot progresses, the intensity heightens, catapulting you into a surprising twist, then plummets you into a sudden, yet satisfying end.” – 5 Stars, Cheryl E. Rodriguez, Readers’ Favorite

“Jane Larson is the kind of character that will be loved by many readers… The plot is well thought out and masterfully executed, laced with numerous surprises to keep readers turning the pages. This is one of those books that should occupy an enviable place in your shelf if you are into fast-paced thrillers and compelling investigative stories.” – 5 Stars, Ruffina Oserio, Readers’ Favorite

Excerpt

From Chapter One

I was in my office at Adams & Ridge talking on the telephone when Francine entered. At the moment, my friend, Lee, was on the other end of the wire, yakking up a storm in my ear. Her rant covered already familiar terrain. My man, my David, was drifting dangerously away from me while I did nothing to win him back. As we say around the courts, Oy.

Francine tiptoed forward and placed on my desk a two-day-old copy of The Daily News opened to the item concerning Mark Samuels’ death.

“I gotta go, Lee,” I said.

While Francine waited for me, she had backed into a corner of my office, leaned against the wall, and tried to make her six feet of lanky body less noticeable. Two large metal buttons were pinned to her heavily braided cotton sweater. One read Stop Fracking New York and the other protested against the annual Canadian seal hunt with a scarlet X through an image of a baby seal whose brains had been battered to a pink pulp.

I pointed at the newspaper and gave her a questioning glance, but she quickly averted her eyes to stare at the floor.

“Have you been listening to me at all?” Lee demanded. Her voice rose to a kind of exasperated wail. “David has been dating someone. I think he may be getting serious.”

“David was born serious, Lee,” I said.

“Stop it, Jane,” she shouted so I had to hold the phone away from my ear. Even Francine raised an eyebrow. “You know what I mean.”

“I’m sorry, Lee.”

“I don’t understand why you’re taking this so nonchalantly. You know you still love him. You could get back together in a heartbeat if you’d just spend a tenth as much time on a relationship as you spend on your career.”

“I’m a lawyer, Lee. Not a—”

A sharp intake of breath followed. “Not a baby maker?” Lee demanded. Anger replaced the plaintive wail. “Is that what you were going to say?”

Would I ever admit that the word had been on the tip of my tongue?

“No. I was going to say, ‘not a librarian’, or the owner of some other nine-to-five job. The hours come with the territory, Lee. David knows that, but deep down in that wonderful heart of his, he also thinks the hours spent at the office are A-okay for the guy, but not for the girl. In any event, Martha didn’t raise her daughter to compete over a man.”

The sound of a whale breaching the surface erupted from the phone. “You’re maddening, Jane.”

“No, I’m busy,” I replied.

Lee sighed. “Well, I have to go too. Laurie is home sick and I’m taking her to the doctor. We’ll talk more later, Jane. I’m not going to sit back and let this happen to my two best friends in the world. I’m going to fight, Jane.”

“Goodbye, Lee.”

She disconnected.

Actually, I wasn’t busy at all, or I wouldn’t have spent even that much time on the phone being lectured by Lee. She’s an old friend from Columbia Law, but enough is enough.

A major litigation I had been working on had settled just a day before and the client and powers-that-be at Adams & Ridge were very happy with me—especially Seymour Ridge. The old man himself had hammered out the settlement shortly after I made the CEO of the party suing our client look like a doofus on the witness stand. So, I had some time on my hands until I was given another assignment.

 

About the Authors

Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks have been collaborating on books for forty-six years.  Their first joint effort was a student project while Anne was at Bryn Mawr College and Ken attended Haverford. Since then, they have written over twenty books together. They are members of International Thriller Writers. They live and work in New York City, where many of their books are set.

Their Jane Larson series of mystery/thrillers involves a high-powered New York City attorney with a penchant for getting involved in situations that she would be better off leaving alone. These novels have been praised by reviewers for their gritty portrayals of city life, lively characters, fast action, surprise endings and highly polished prose. Jane is cynical and rebellious, but she finds herself drawn to the simple life her deceased mother lived as an attorney who served women unable to afford legal services. The series includes Weave A Murderous Web, Praise Her, Praise Diana, and Mind Me, Milady.

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Posted in Giveaway, Guest Post, suspense on August 11, 2017

Genre: Suspense
Date of Release: August 1, 2017
Number in Series: Stand-alone
Publisher: Cinnamon & Sugar Press
Number of page: 287

Synopsis

A father’s disappearance never solved, a mother’s secret taken to the grave, a daughter deceived…

Kathryn Landry thinks her life is just about perfect. She is the owner of a successful interior designer business in Newport Beach, California, and she has an attentive, supportive husband. But her world comes crashing down when her husband, Neil Landry, vanishes without a trace… in a situation almost identical to the disappearance of her father twenty years before.

With her father’s disappearance still a mystery, Kathryn is skeptical that the detective assigned to her case will be able to find her husband. Determined to uncover the truth, Kathryn is plunged into a world of politics, high-priced call girls and wealth. As she begins to search for her husband, a decades-old secret her mother took to the grave threatens to destroy all she holds dear. Caught up in a web of betrayals and deceit, and not knowing who to trust, Kathryn must find a way to survive as she discovers the past has a way of repeating itself.

Guest Post

Welcome to K.A. Davis!  She is here to share a bit with us about her new book.  It sounds like a great read and I’ve been to Newport Beach so maybe it will bring back some memories!

Thanks for having me on your blog, Leslie! I’m excited for the chance to share a bit about my debut suspense novel, A Game of Deceit.

I started writing my book more than seventeen years ago. My protagonist, Kathryn Landry, is in her mid-thirties and I made her a bit younger than I was when I started writing. I based some of her characteristics on myself or what I wish I was like (such as I made her tall whereas I’m very short!) Her story has some elements that came from my real-life experiences too. When I was eighteen and visiting home for the first time in three months, I walked in and found my mother crying. My father had packed up all his belongings that very day and left us for another woman! He didn’t bother telling my mom he was going, nor did he think to leave note… it was just bare closets and drawers. I know that by starting Kathryn’s story with what happened to me was cathartic but from there Kathryn took on her own personality and started telling her own story. She surprised and occasionally troubled me! There were a few times I didn’t want to go down the path she was leading me but when I tried writing a different scenario, the scene felt flat. It wasn’t until I reverted back to where she was leading me that the story flowed again.

As the years passed and as I grew older (thankfully Kathryn stayed the same!) her assistant, Marianne, started taking on my more mature characteristics. Marianne has a nurturing personality and loves to bake, something I discovered I loved to do after my granddaughters were born. While I would label A Game of Deceit as a suspense, there are some cozy mystery elements to it, such as the food Marianne prepares and shares with her friends. In keeping with the theme of my own blog, I couldn’t pass up the chance to share some of those recipes in my book as well. But overall, I tried to keep the cozy elements from interfering with the suspense and continuity of the storyline.

I also decided to place the setting in Newport Beach, California, which is the location that I worked in for several years and close to where I live. While a beach town, it’s not the humble, kitschy fun place that many coastal towns are. Maybe a vacationing visitor might not catch the undertones quite so much, but after working for a wealthy philanthropist for several years I had an insider view of some of the people who live there. While generous, there is a certain pretentious air and if you’re not a part of the “in” group with the right car, the right address, the right designer labels, then you are nobody. Kathryn has to juggle her clientele with who she really is and where she fits in, not always an easy task.

I hope you take a look at A Game of Deceit and read Kathryn’s story as she searches for the truth of what happened to both her father and her husband! Her quest takes her from the setting of Newport Beach to the wilderness area of Orange County; from luxurious yachts to a raging wildfire to attempted abductions that threatens her life.

Happy reading!

Kim

About the Author

Kim Davis lives in Southern California with her husband, near wildfire country. During the Portola Hills fire in October 2007, she had to evacuate her two young granddaughters, one of whom has Rett Syndrome, as a wall of one hundred foot flames crept towards their home. Thankfully, due to the brave efforts of firefighters, their neighborhood was spared and no loss of life or property occurred. She was able to use that experience to write a harrowing scene in A Game of Deceit.

She writes the Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder blog and has had several children’s articles published in Cricket, Nature Friend, Skipping Stones, and the Seed of Truth magazines. Kim Davis is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

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Giveaway

I was lucky enough to be chosen to have my own giveaway along with the tour giveaway.

I am giving away either a Print copy of the book (open to US residents only) or an eBook (open internationally) of A Game of Deceit

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Tour Giveaway

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check out the other blogs on this tour

July 31 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW

July 31 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

August 1 – Must Read Faster – CHARACTER GUEST POST

August 1 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

August 2 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

August 3 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 4 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW

August 5 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

August 6 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

August 7 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

August 7 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW

August 8 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

August 9 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

August 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

August 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

August 12 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

August 13 – Varietats – REVIEW

August 14 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

Posted in Giveaway, Guest Post, suspense, Thriller on August 10, 2017

Shadow Girl (An Afton Tangler Thriller)
Suspense/Thriller
2nd in Series
Release Date – August 1, 2017
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425281789
Kindle ASIN: B01MXHV6CL

The brutal murder of a business tycoon leaves Afton Tangler and the Twin Cities reeling, but that’s just the beginning of a gruesome crime spree…

Leland Odin made his fortune launching a home shopping network, but his millions can’t save his life. On the list for a transplant, the ailing businessman sees all hope lost when the helicopter carrying his donor heart is shot out of the sky.

Now with two pilots dead and dozens injured, Afton Tangler, family liaison officer for the Minneapolis Police Department, is drawn into the case. As she and her partner investigate family members and business associates, whoever wants Leland dead strikes again—and succeeds—in a brazen hospital room attack.

The supposedly squeaky clean millionaire has crossed the wrong person—and she’s not finished exacting her revenge. The case explodes into an international conspiracy of unbridled greed and violence. And as Afton gets closer to unearthing the mastermind behind it, she gets closer to becoming collateral damage…

Amazon * B&N * BAM

Guest Post

A Q&A with Gerry Schmitt, international bestselling author of Shadow Girl, book #2 in the Afton Tangler Thriller series.

You write four series – the Afton Tangler Thrillers as Gerry Schmitt and the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbooking Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries as Laura Childs. How do you manage to keep them all straight?

In my former life, I was CEO of a good-sized marketing firm. Because we handled around twenty clients at a time, I was used to balancing projects and creating uniquely different campaigns and marketing programs for each client. I just brought that same discipline to my fiction writing.

Your most recent book is Shadow Girl.  Tell us a little about that.

When a medical helicopter is blasted out of the sky, a dying tycoon’s hope for a heart transplant is dashed. But that’s just the beginning of a gruesome crime spree that leaves Afton Tangler, family liaison officer, and the Minneapolis PD reeling. Vicious crime boss Mom Chao Cherry has sworn to avenge her husband’s death and recover her stolen narcotics – and nothing can stop her.

Were there any particular writers or books that influenced your writing?

I was a big Nancy Drew fan as a kid, then I got into Stephen King. Amazing stuff.  My secret dream is to be a horror writer.

What writer inspired you the most?

James A. Michener. When he put out his Writer’s Handbook, I couldn’t believe anyone could be so open about sharing scribbled first drafts, editor’s comments, and continuity mistakes. He really gave me the courage to plunge in and start writing novels. Now I’ve written 42 of them!

What’s a typical writing day like?

I try to work from 9 to 5 and turn out about 2,000 words per day. If I stay on track with that, I can generally get my book done fairly quickly – maybe 3 or 4 months. Then I let my finished book “age” for a while before I go back and punch it up. There hasn’t been a thing written that couldn’t use a little punching up.

What authors do you read for pleasure?

Stephen King, Michael Connelly, John Sandford, Patricia Cornwell, Dean Koontz, and Douglas Preston & Lincoln Childs.

What has surprised you most about your readership and their response to your novels?

I’m amazed that readers view my characters as good friends who can be re-visited every time a new book comes out. It’s thrilling and humbling – I have important relationships to maintain!

In writing your novels, how are your characters created? Does the inspiration for them come from real life?

As strange as it sounds, characters just seem to pop into my head. People always ask if I do index cards or plan intricate bios. I can’t imagine doing anything that studied. To me writing is about intuition and gut instinct – you’ve got to sit back and let the characters speak to you. My characters always seem to buzz around inside my head like people in a crowded elevator. My job is to pry open those doors and let them elbow their way out!

About the Author

Gerry Schmitt is the author of the just-released novel Shadow Girl, the second book in her Afton Tangler Thriller series. Under the pen name Laura Childs, she is the New York Times and USA Todaybestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbooking Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club MysteriesIn Gerry’s previous life she was CEO of her own marketing firm, authored several screenplays, and produced a reality TV show.

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Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the other blogs on this tour

July 31 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

July 31 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

August 1 – Varietats2010 – REVIEW

August 2 – Mystery Playground – GUEST POST

August 2 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW

August 3 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

August 3 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

August 4 – Bookworm Cafe –  REVIEW

August 5 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

August 5 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

August 6 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

August 7 – The Editing Pen – GUEST POST

August 7 – I Wish I Lived in a Library – REVIEW

August 8 – My Reading Journey – REVIEW

August 9 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 10 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

August 11 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

August 12 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

August 12 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

August 13 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 13 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW

Posted in 3 1/2 paws, Book Release, Review, suspense on July 26, 2017

Synopsis

The text message is just three words: I need you.

Isa drops everything, takes her baby daughter and heads straight to Salten. She spent the most significant days of her life at boarding school on the marshes there, days which still cast their shadow over her now.

Something terrible has been found on the beach. Something which will force Isa to confront her past, together with the three best friends she hasn’t seen for years, but has never forgotten. Theirs is no cosy reunion: Salten isn’t a safe place for them, after what they did.

At school the girls used to play the Lying Game. They competed to convince people of the most outrageous stories. But for some, did the boundary between fact and fantasy become too blurred?

And how much can you really trust your friends?

Review

Friendships formed out of necessity is what these four women have together. Kate, Thea, Fatima and Isa met in boarding school and something clicked for them. Perhaps because they were all a bit wild and also have home lives that were not quite traditional. They were a force to be reckoned with on campus only because of their game – The Lying Game. It was more of a challenge to see who could embellish a story the most and get away with it. Little did they know that 15+ years later it might come back to haunt them.

This book is engaging and had me wondering what secret the women were hiding. The first half of the book leads up to what the 4 women did during their time at boarding school that caused them to scatter across the country. Then the last half shares how they plan to handle the revelation and the impact it will have on their lives. But in the revelation more details are learned and perhaps it wasn’t quite what they thought when they were 15. There is a bit of a mystery as to who was involved in this situation and when all is explained, how it impacted their lives going forward.

The copy of the book I had (from Netgalley) didn’t have any formal chapters. There were 4 sections. Thankfully there were larger gaps where I could stop. I guess those were supposed to be chapters but without making them a chapter. The story fluctuates between the past and the present and I felt like the author did a good job with the story flow.

The book is set in England and the differences in the English language always make me chuckle…only because some words are used in different contexts than what I am used to hearing.

There are quite a few f* bombs and I do wish authors would learn some new words to express frustration or whatever emotion they are trying to express and stop using the same word over and over again. Not sure when we became such a crude world.

We give it 3 1/2 paws

About the Author

Ruth Ware grew up in Sussex, on the south coast of England. After graduating from Manchester University she moved to Paris, before settling in North London. She has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language and a press officer. She is married with two small children, and In a Dark, Dark Wood is her début thriller.

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Posted in 4 paws, Review, suspense on July 25, 2017

Synopsis

In this relentlessly paced novel of psychological suspense, New York Times bestselling author Michelle Richmond crafts an intense and shocking tale that asks: How far would you go to protect your marriage?

Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.

The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact. And most of its rules make sense. Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter. . . . Never mention The Pact to anyone.

Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples. And then one of them breaks the rules. The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life. And The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule. For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.

Review

I was able to get a copy of this early from Netgalley and WOW!

I have always known that marriage takes work between both parties, but The Pact is a bit extreme in its measures! Most of us might call The Pact a cult because of its rules and the punishments if you break the rules.

Alice & Jake might seem like an unlikely couple but they complement each other quite well and this induction into The Pact (TP) tests even their love for each other. Are the rules really there to help or are they there for some other nefarious reason?

This book had me on the edge at various times wondering if belonging to TP was a good or bad thing. Sometimes it seemed like a good thing but as they delve further into the organization it is not all it is cracked up to be but there is no way out. I wondered at times if Alice was being brainwashed or if she really was looking deeper into herself and her actions as part of a married couple.

There are some surprises near the end and after those are revealed I truly did not expect the ending. No spoilers but I wish there had been an epilogue to explain a little bit more of what happened. If nothing else, this book will make you think about how you view married life or being part of a couple.

We give this 4 paws up

Posted in 4 1/2 paws, Adventure, fiction, suspense on July 23, 2017

Synopsis

Ed and his childhood friend Danny are gearing up in Kodiak, Alaska, preparing to join the Angie Piper’s crew for another season of crab fishing. Ed is a relative newcomer, but despite the perils of the trade, he sees no reason to fear for Danny’s safety. The Angie Piper has always been blessed. She has a stalwart captain, Fred, a crack engineer, Dave, and two time-tested pros to keep the rest of the operation running smoothly, exuberant Loni and the more reticent Salazar.

Every season has a greenhorn, the one who works for a pittance in order to learn the ropes. This time around it is Ed’s friend Danny, no ordinary crewman. Their shared history is complex. Though strong, brave, and hardworking, Danny is a simple soul, and Ed is weighed down by guilt, dark memories of the many times he failed to defend his friend against the inevitable bullying. And cantankerous Dave believes Danny is a bad omen, so much so that his bitter opposition may endanger them all.

The season starts off strong, and the crew is elated by the bounty of their catch. Then their luck turns. The skies grow dark, the waves swell, and Mother Nature bears down on them with her full arsenal. When the storm finally abates, who will live to tell the tale?

Amazon * Blackstone Audio * Barnes & Noble

Review

This is one intense book! You might have seen some of the reality TV shows about those that fish or crab in Alaska or that general area. This book brings the harsh reality of that what those men (and possibly women) endure in this profession.

But the book is about a little bit more than that. It is also about a relationship between Ed and Danny. While it takes awhile to really figure out what is wrong with Danny (mentally challenged), the relationship between these two men has many facets. From Ed’s guilt at not protecting his friend as he should have growing up, to Danny’s loyalty to Ed. There are some harsh realities that Ed has to learn and face to become a better man.

I felt that the book really reflected the grittiness of their profession and how quickly mother nature can rain down and create havoc for those on the boats. There is a lot they have to do and need to be quick on their feet to avoid going overboard or having the boat sink on their watch.

The only thing I wasn’t wild about was the number of f* bombs. yes perhaps it was called for in some situations, but if there needs to be cussing how about using other words? I had to deduct 1/2 star for that. But other than this one thing, the book is well worth reading.  We give it 4 1/2 paws.

About the Author

Chris Riley lives near Sacramento, California, vowing one day to move back to the Pacific Northwest. In the meantime, he teaches special education, writes awesome stories, and hides from the blasting heat for six months out of the year. He has had dozens of short stories published in various magazines and anthologies, and across various genres. Chris is represented by Mark Gottlieb of Trident Media Group, and his debut novel, The Sinking of the Angie Piper, will be published in July, 2017.

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Posted in 4 paws, Review, suspense on July 11, 2017

Synopsis

In the breathtaking new thriller from David Bell, bestselling author of Since She Went Away and Somebody I Used to Know, the fate of two missing teenage girls becomes a father’s worst nightmare….

Just a year and a half after the tragic death of his wife, Bill Price’s fifteen-year-old daughter, Summer, and her best friend, Haley, disappear. Days later, the girls are found in a city park. Haley is dead at the scene, while Summer is left beaten beyond recognition and clinging to life.

As Bill holds vigil over Summer’s bandaged body, the only sound the unconscious girl can make is one cryptic and chilling word: No. And the more time Bill spends with Summer, the more he wonders what happened to her. Or if the injured girl in the hospital bed is really his daughter at all.

When troubling new questions about Summer’s life surface, Bill is not prepared for the aftershocks. He’ll soon discover that both the living and the dead have secrets. And that searching for the truth will tear open old wounds that pierce straight to the heart of his family…

Review

This book takes you on quite the roller coaster of emotions!

Two girls go missing and are found in the park – 1 dead and the other badly beaten. The families are destroyed and Summer’s father is out to make sure whoever did this to his daughter pays the price.

I’m trying to figure out what to write to not give away too much that would spoil the book!

The father, Bill Price, definitely has some issues. I don’t know if they stem from losing his wife and now what has happened to his daughter Summer, or if there is more to what makes him tick. He was a little annoying with wanting justice – while I understood how he felt, he also was not giving the police time to truly do their job. Many of the things that happened were mistakes that could happen to anyone. The one upside to this whole tragic event is that it brought Bill and his sister closer together in the end (there are some rough patches!).

The book surprised me many times with the twists and turns. I was shocked at a few incidents that happened and while I suspected some of who was involved, the revelations might just leave you dumb founded in the end.

The book does have a somewhat happy ending – as happy as it can be when tragedy occurs.

We give it 4 paws up.

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Posted in excerpt, suspense, Thriller on July 3, 2017

Synopsis

Robin Fox, peace-loving professor of world religions, wants only to leave his dark past as a military interrogator behind him. But when an unknown suspect tries to disperse a deadly virus in downtown Washington, Fox is unwillingly drawn back into the shadowy world of intelligence.

The FBI and CIA automatically suspect Islamic terrorists, but Fox digs deeper to discover the far more frightening truth: a global conspiracy to eradicate all religion from the face of the earth.

From Washington to Jerusalem, from Rome to London, Fox must use all his wits in a perilous race to stop a psychopathic mastermind from unleashing worldwide devastation.

Purchase through his Publisher

Excerpt

The coroner’s report confirmed that Thom had died of cyanide poisoning. The news claimed the top spot on all the networks, and even the BBC gave it airtime, right after a fire in the chapel of Windsor Castle. Thom’s name had clearly been known far beyond the Oberlin College campus.

The president of USAtheists called a press conference. “The murder of Thom DiDio is a tragedy and an outrage. Whether he was killed because of what he believed, or because of whom he loved, is irrelevant. What matters is that the world has lost a great intellect and a great humanitarian, and his blood is on the hands of religious fanatics.”

Fox flinched at the incendiary last line. That’s not how Thom would talk. But if the man needed to lash out, Fox could scarcely blame him.

He and Emily had worked with the FBI to help create a composite sketch, which was now being broadcast regularly on television. But so far, it had yet to yield any leads.

“Any progress with Harpo?” Fox asked once he was back in the incident room at FBI headquarters.

Adler shook his head. “We kept him under observation last night. Gave him a box of books, as you suggested, but he didn’t read any.”

“What did he do?”

“Just lay on his bed.”

“The whole time? You never saw him perform salat?”

“Sorry?”

“Say his prayers facing Mecca?”

“Well, he’s been in a cell without windows. He has no way of knowing what time it is, or which way Mecca is.”

“John, even at Gitmo, we showed the detainees at least that much courtesy. We gave them copies of the Qur’an, a qibla sign to point the way to Mecca, and even played a recording of the adhaan at the proper times.”

Adler shrugged. “If you want, you can take it up with the FBI; this is their turf. Now, the technician has him all hooked up, and they’re waiting for you in the interview room.”

The room held Harpo, Kato, Malika, the technician, Fox, and the extra guard he had requested. The polygraph apparatus, the projector, and a tripod-mounted video camera were crammed into the little space that remained. There was barely room to take a deep breath.

Fox kept a close eye on Harpo, and the readout from the polygraph. Harpo’s breathing was very steady and regular, three seconds in, five seconds out. Fox suspected that he had been trained in ways to “beat the box,” to fool a lie detector.

“Do you speak English?”

Fox watched the readout. It showed no variation in his blood pressure, heart rate, or galvanic skin response, either then or when Malika tried him in Russian and Chechen.

“Are there six people in this room?” This was a control question, to show what his vital signs looked like at baseline, after he was over his initial nervousness.

“Are you an American citizen?” No change in his vitals for that either, nor for the Eastern European equivalents.

“Can you hear me? Testing? One, two, three? Four, five? Six, seven?” Then, with a little extra emphasis: “Eight, eight?”

No variation. That diminished the likelihood that he was a white supremacist. The number 88, if letters were substituted for the numerals, became “HH”—a code for “Heil Hitler.”

“All right, let’s try some names. Do you know A.J. Muste? George Fox? Gene Hoffman?” These were control questions. All those names were peace philosophers, whom Fox thought it highly unlikely that he had ever heard of.

“Venera Goridze?”

No change in the readout. No flicker of recognition on his face.

“Do you realize that if you answer our questions, the prosecutors will be much less likely to ask for the death penalty?”

That finally got to him. The readout showed a slight increase in his vital signs. A normal fear reaction to the threat of death? Or excitement at the prospect of martyrdom?

And they had also established that he understood English. They would have no further need of Malika’s services. It was just as well; the smell of her perfume in that confined space had been a little overpowering.

“You know, it must be awfully boring for you, cooped up in a cell all that time,” Fox continued. “I’ve put together a little video for you. I’m curious to see how you’ll like it.”

He put in a DVD that he had made, a montage of various clips garnered from the Internet. It began with innocuous natural scenes—flowers, mountains, waterfalls—with a background of soothing classical music.

Then came the scenes meant to show his reaction at times of emotional arousal. A battle scene from a movie, with loud explosions and bursts of gunfire. There was a slight rise in his vitals—the startle reflex—but he soon reverted to baseline, and stayed there as the video switched back to the control images.

A clip of a shapely blonde model sliding a gossamer silk robe off her shoulders to reveal her lingerie, and then reaching behind her back to unfasten her brassiere. Fox kept his eyes fixed on the readout, ignoring the stern look he got from Kato and the blush on Malika’s face.

Such an image would usually provoke an involuntary response in any red-blooded young male, but Harpo showed no more reaction than at baseline. Clearly, he was very well trained.

The control images again, this time alternating with others meant to provoke an emotional response. A sermon by the Reverend Hill. A cross being set alight by white-robed Klansmen. A muezzin intoning the call to prayer from a minaret. The second plane crashing into the World Trade Center. A speech by Osama bin Laden. A speech by President Obama, announcing the death of Osama bin Laden.

Then came the part that Fox had wanted extra protection for: a clip from a back-alley YouTube video making a mockery of the prophet Mohammed. For this one, he stepped out of Harpo’s reach, anticipating that he might jump up and attack even if he had to drag the entire polygraph apparatus behind him.

Harpo showed no inclination to move. The readout showed no reaction. If he was indeed a fanatical Muslim, he had a level of mental discipline worthy of a Zen master.

Fox stepped out of Harpo’s field of view again. “All right, we’re done. You can turn it off now,” he told the technician, while gesturing that he should keep it going. “Very interesting, don’t you think? These results indicate…” He put in a dramatic pause, then looked at Harpo and enunciated ominously: “N-S-R.”

Harpo’s shoulders relaxed slightly, and he let out a long breath. It was barely visible when you looked at him, but it showed up on the readout. A well-concealed sigh of relief.

Fox’s suspicions were confirmed. “NSR” meant “No Significant Response,” but there was no way Harpo could know that unless he had studied polygraphy.

Even so, the results were remarkable. The most common technique for beating a lie detector involved focusing on some frightening or exciting image after every question, to cause an artificial jump in the vital signs. The goal was to bring up the baseline, creating so many false positives that the polygrapher would have trouble distinguishing them from significant responses. Harpo had done the opposite, bringing everything down to a level where hardly any reaction was perceptible. How much mental training had he had to undergo in order to do that?

About the Author

Charles Kowalski is almost as much a citizen of the world as his fictional character, Robin Fox, having lived abroad for over 15 years, visited over 30 countries, and studied over 10 languages. His unpublished debut novel, Mind Virus, won the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ Colorado Gold Award and was a finalist for the Adventure Writers’ Competition, the Killer Nashville Claymore Award, and the Pacific Northwest Writers’ Association literary award.

Charles currently divides his time between Japan, where he teaches English at a university, and his family home in Maine.

Mind Virus is scheduled for publication by Literary Wanderlust on July 1, 2017.

Other novels and short stories by Charles Kowalski:

“Let This Cup Pass From Me”

“Arise, My Love”

“The Evil I Do Not Mean To Do”

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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight, suspense on June 15, 2017

Fatal Facade (An Allison Campbell Mystery Book 4)
Cozy Mystery/Suspense
4th in Series
Henery Press (June 13, 2017)
Paperback: 278 pages

Synopsis

Allison Campbell accepted a dream assignment: a visit to the Italian Dolomites to help Hollywood socialite Elle Rose reinvent herself. A guest cottage on the grounds of Elle’s historic castle promises to be a much-needed respite from Allison’s harried life on the Philadelphia Main Line, and the picturesque region, with its sharp peaks, rolling pastures, and medieval churches, is the perfect spot from which to plan her upcoming wedding.

Only this idyllic retreat is anything but peaceful. There are the other visitors—an entourage of back-biting expats and Hollywood VIPs. There’s Elle’s famous rock star father, now a shadowy recluse hovering behind the castle’s closed doors. And then there’s Elle’s erratic behavior. Nothing is as it seems. After a guest plummets to her death from a cliff on the castle grounds, Allison’s trip of a lifetime turns nightmarish—but before she can journey home, Allison must catch a killer.

Books in the Allison Campbell Mystery Series:

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About the Author

Wendy Tyson’s background in law and psychology has provided inspiration for her mysteries and thrillers. Originally from the Philadelphia area, Wendy has returned to her roots and lives there again on a micro-farm with her husband, three sons and three dogs.  Wendy’s short fiction has appeared in literary journals, and she’s a contributing editor and columnist for The Big Thrill and The Thrill Begins, International Thriller Writers’ online magazines. Wendy is the author of the Allison Campbell Mystery Series and the Greenhouse Mystery Series.

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June 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT

June 13 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

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June 16 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 17 –  Nadaness In Motion – INTERVIEW

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June 19 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

June 20 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

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