Excerpt & Giveaway: THE ANCIENT TRIPOD OF PEACE by Kalen Cap

As part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions, today’s post is about  The Ancient Tripod of Peace, the first book in a new YA mystery series by Kalen Cap.  (Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.)

Description

Teens Lexi and Gil face relic-thieving secret societies.

Plagued by loneliness in her Lake Erie Islands community, vegan Lexi hopes to make like-minded friends in high school. But her dad’s job is jeopardized when relics are stolen from his museum, changing her priorities. And she finds her new teachers’ eerie dislike of her troubling.

His dad in jail, cipher enthusiast and bacon-loving Gil hopes freshman year will provide a clean slate. Soon, he discovers secret codes within a Shakespearean play while paired with Lexi, pulling him into an ancient mystery.

With the official museum burglary investigation stalled, the mismatched teen sleuths join forces to try and crack the case. Lexi’s inquiries and Gil’s codes capture their teachers’ attention. But these teachers have the stolen Tripod of Peace, a powerful relic sought by rival secret societies. Caught in these societies’ crossfire as thieves wield an instrument of astounding power, Gil and Lexi are in danger.

The Ancient Tripod of Peace is the first book in novelist Kalen Cap’s Teen Thief-Catchers Series. If you like stories with artifact treasures, fighting secret societies, and spirited protagonists, you’ll enjoy this novel.

Giveaway:

Click here to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a $40 Amazon/BN GC from  to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Read an excerpt:

Lexi hadn’t met any vegan guys her age, only girls. “Want to join me and Anita later?”
“Sure. I’ll try it out,” Trevor agreed.
“We only have a day to find our code for this topic,” Gil said. “Let’s focus on the project. I don’t want to start out locked in with something weak.”
The three read the project description again. Lexi felt clueless. She asked the others how to begin.
Gil said the topic related well to his social science fair project the year before on secret codes in writing.

Lexi rolled her eyes. From the way Gil told it, the project was designed for him. Full of yourself maybe?
Trevor said he spent part of a summer in Greece the year before when his father ran workshops there. There, he’d learned about ancient Greek history. Lexi didn’t mind as much when Trevor made it sound like his experiences aligned with the project. Unlike Gil’s, Trevor’s voice soothed her.
Trevor and Gil both stared at her expectantly. She blushed, first believing they were checking her out. But she soon realized they wanted to hear her special connection to the project topic.

“My grandmother usually teaches history here, too. She gave the opening talk at assembly. Oh, and my granddad’s an actor. He used to be a professional and acted in lots of Shakespeare. They can give me pointers,” Lexi said. My grandparents? That’s my “in” on the project? I’m such a loser. She was determined to not be the weakest link in the group.

About the Author

Kalen Cap is a writer living in Ohio and regularly commutes back and forth between Columbus and Port Clinton residences. Set among the Lake Erie Islands, “TheAncient Tripod of Peace” is his second novel, first of the Teen Thief-Catcher series. His first novel, “Tangled Ties to a Manatee,” was published in 2012.

Connect with Kalen Cap:

You can buy the book on Amazon.

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Cozy Happenings – February 2018

Because, like many of my readers, I devour cozy mysteries,  I have decided to add a monthly blog post “Cozy Happenings” to highlight a some of the new releases, giveaways and sales from my author friends.  Hope it helps you find something great to read this month.

Recent or Upcoming Releases – Check’em Out!
NR-KD NR_Nardi
NR_DG  NR_thistleNR_LL

Simply click a book cover to view additional details on Amazon.

 

 


Free or Discounted Books
Remember- always check prices… FREE_moonSAle_fatality  Sale_chill
Sale_Dophin  Sale_theatre

BTW,  I may add to this list over the course of the month – so feel free to stop by and take another look.

Note: This blog does not contain any affiliate links. Links are provided for the reader’s convenience only (I do not receive monetary or other compensation for including such links).

Review & Giveaway: THE AMENDMENT KILLER by Ronald S. Barak

the-amendment-killer-ronald-s-barak-banner

As part of a blog tour organized by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours, I recently read a pre-release copy of The Amendment Killer, a thriller by Ronald S. Barak. The first in a new series, this political/legal thriller is an engrossing read. 

Description

“WE HAVE YOUR GRANDDAUGHTER. HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO DO.”

The-Amendment-Killer-Ronald-S-Barak-cover-3200x4800pxThat’s the text message Supreme Court Justice Arnold Hirschfeld receives as hearings commence in the U.S. Supreme Court to determine the fate of the 28th Amendment – enacted to criminalize abuse of power on the part of our political representatives.

In court to defend the amendment, retired U.S. District Court Judge Cyrus Brooks observes his old friend and law school classmate Hirschfeld acting strangely and dispatches veteran D.C. homicide detective Frank Lotello to find out why.

In the meantime, Hirschfeld’s precocious and feisty 11-year-old diabetic granddaughter Cassie, brutally kidnapped to control her grandfather’s swing vote upholding or invalidating the amendment, watches her insulin pump running dry and wonders which poses her greatest threat, the kidnappers or the clock. As Brooks is forced to choose between saving our nation or saving the girl.

My Review

I really enjoyed this book. The story is told from alternating points of view, giving you a sense of what each of the major players is going through and the extent to which they might or might not be willing to bend the rules to save Cassie.  The characters were well developed, Cassie in particular, and you can’t help but envy her relationship with her grandfather. In addition, the author’s treatment of the potential vulnerabilities of the Supreme Court and< the hypothetical analyses of Article 5 were thought provoking.  With its  well-placed and intelligent plot, this political thriller was a pleasure to read.

FTC Disclosure:   I received a complimentary ARC of this book as part of this blog tour. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.

Get your copy of The Amendment Killer:

Hardback, Paperback, & eBookAmazon , Barnes & Noble 
AudioBook —  Libro.fm , Nook
Plus Add it to Your Goodreads  List!

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for a chance to win an  Amazon.com Gift Card.

About the Author

Ronald-S-BarakDescribed by his readers as a cross between Agatha Christie, Lee Child, and John Lescroart, bestselling author Ron Barak keeps his readers flipping the pages into the wee hours of the night. While he mostly lets his characters tell his stories, he does manage to get his licks in too.

Barak derives great satisfaction in knowing that his books not only entertain but also stimulate others to think about how things might be, how people can actually resolve real-world problems. In particular, Barak tackles the country’s dysfunctional government representatives—not just back-seat driving criticism for the sake of being a back-seat driver, but truly framing practical remedies to the political abuse and corruption adversely affecting too many people’s lives today. Barak’s extensive legal background and insight allow him to cleverly cross-pollenate his fiction and today’s sad state of political reality.

In his latest novel, THE AMENDMENT KILLER, Barak calls upon his real world legal ingenuity and skill to craft a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution criminalizing political abuse and corruption that Constitutional scholars across the country are heralding as a highly plausible answer to the political chaos destroying the very moral fiber of the country today. It’s difficult to read THE AMENDMENT KILLER and not imagine what could—and should—be expected and demanded of those political leaders who have forgotten they are there to serve and not be served.

Barak is also a committed and strident advocate of finding a cure for diabetes. One of the primary characters in THE AMENDMENT KILLER is the feisty and precocious 11-year-old diabetic granddaughter of the Supreme Court justice holding the swing vote in a case in which Congress is challenging the validity of Barak’s hypothetical 28th Amendment. It is no small coincidence that Barak is himself a diabetic. Or that he has committed 50% of the net proceeds of THE AMENDMENT KILLER to diabetes research and education.

Barak is singularly qualified to have authored THE AMENDMENT KILLER, which will appeal to political and legal thriller aficionados alike. Barak is a law school honors graduate and a former Olympic athlete. While still in law school, he authored a bill introduced in Congress that overnight forced the settlement of a decades long dispute between the NCAA and the AAU to control amateur athletics in the United States.

Present-day politicians would do well to read THE AMENDMENT KILLER and not underestimate the potential of Barak’s 28th Amendment. You can read his 28th Amendment at ronaldsbarak.com/28th-amendment-page-2. You can also read his occasional political blogs at ronaldsbarak.com/blog.

Ron and his wife, Barbie, and the four-legged members of their family reside in Pacific Palisades, California.

You can catch up with the author on:
Website 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!

5 Tips For Successful Proofreading

Some great pointers for checking your own work from K.M.Allen.

K.M. Allan

For someone who is a writer, I’ve done very little of it lately. This is because I’ve been spending the last few months editing and proofreading the four books that make up my YA supernatural series. As a result, I’ve become pretty apt at revising drafts, or at least I’ve learned enough about proofreading to share some valuable tips.

Make A List

Before you start proofreading, you should have a list of what you want to tackle; such as…

  • Spelling
  • Grammar
  • Punctuation
  • Physical Character Descriptions (eye color, hair color, tall, short, etc.)
  • Settings/Locations
  • Dialogue

Make a basic list of common proofing goals (like those above), as well as a list of things to check that are specific to your book. No one knows better than you which words or phrases you repeat, or that Timmy fell down the well in chapter three so he can’t be at school in chapter…

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POW/MIA Day & Excerpt: EVER THE PATRIOT

Today, September 15, is National POW/MIA Recognition Day in the U.S. – a time to set aside some time to learn about our nation’s former POWs and missing servicemen,  and to honor those who continue to protect our freedom.

Cover_EverPatriotI didn’t find out that my father, Vincent J. Riccio, had been a Prisoner of War in World War II until I was in high school. He didn’t seem to think it was all that important. In his words, “Not a big deal.” Almost 50 years passed before he would share his story with us, and only then after he began having nightmares and flashbacks. His story revealed to me a side of him that I had never known – a glimpse into what he was like as a young soldier – fun-loving, level headed, and resourceful.

Following his death, his words were transcribed into a short memoir –  Ever the Patriot that recounts his experiences in the U.S. Army Air Corps as an Instrument Technician, Aviation Cadet, and Flight Engineer in World War II.  He  served as flight engineer and top turret gunner in the 335th squadron (95th Bomb Group). When their B-17 was hit on Nov 5, 1944 on a bombing, he parachuted out and landed in Germany near Trippstadt. He was almost killed at least three times before reaching Stalag Luft IV, and he was on the forced march from Stalag Luft IV until Fallingbostel (Stalag XIB).

In honor of National POW/MIA Recognition Day, Ever the Patriot can be downloaded from Amazon free on September 15 and 16, 2017.

Read an excerpt about the Forced March:

On the morning of February 6, 1945, they came around hollering in German to get out – fast. We all fell out and they marched us out. Each man was given one Red Cross package.

They marched us out of the compound that day in a column of threes; we didn’t know why. Our compound was the first one to leave.

They started us walking down the road. All day long we walked, until that night just before dark we came to a farm with a big barn. It was one of those communal farms. There must have been two or three thousand of us. They herded us into the barn and then closed the door. That’s it. You’re there for the night.

The next morning right at sun up, they shook us loose, got us outside, and we started walking again. This was in February, it was freezing cold. I guess just the walking kept us from freezing to death. For me, this “short hike” went on for more than 60 days. After the war, they called it the Black Hunger March, because the only food you got was the food you could scrounge. Every once in a while you got a steamed potato that had been steamed to feed the cattle. If we happened to be passing a farm that was doing that.

The German guards walked right alongside us. For the most part, they were not mean, they were not horrible. When you couldn’t walk anymore, the dogs would get you up and you would walk some more.

After a few days, the buddy system took over. Three men who marched together looked out for each other. My buddies were a cowboy from Utah named J.P. Red and a fellow from New York named Jack Gray. Whatever we could scrounge we shared.

I think everybody was sick. Everybody in the entire column had diarrhea or dysentery, or whatever you want to call it. The only time you were allowed to move to the side of the road was to “squat and squirt,” and when you did, it was complete with blood and everything else.

The days were pretty much all the same. Every night we wound up in a barn on a different farm. The day to remember in our march along the North Sea in the dead of winter was February 13th. On February 13th we started walking at daylight and marched through an area called Swinemünde. We crossed bridges and country roads, always away from people and towns. We marched all day long. Then it started to get dark and there’s no farm or barn in sight. All of a sudden they stopped the column near a big field, and they said, “here tonight.” They posted the guards around us, and wherever you fell is where you spent the night.

We woke up in the morning – it’s a wonder we all woke up – we woke up covered with snow. It had started to snow during the night. The only reason we didn’t freeze to death is that we were all laying down so close together, almost one on top of the other. Our body heat saved us. Anyway, we got through that night and they marched us off.

Some of the guards were sympathetic but could do nothing. They too were tired from marching alongside us. I must have looked real bad because one guard shared his ration with me, which I shared with my buddies.

We were having a scenic tour of northern Germany along the North Sea. There is one thing that I remember about the march that lifted our spirits. We had never gone through a town. Eventually, after about 30-40 days, I don’t remember exactly when, I think around the middle of March, we could see a town or village in front of us. We were coming to a more populated area, and the road we were on was going right though this town. We hadn’t had to do that yet.

As we got close to the town, someone from up front passed the word back – We march through town at attention. We all figured that when we walk through the town, and they know we are all flyers, we’re going to catch hell. So somebody up front had passed the word: we march through like soldiers.

As we approached the town, you could see the column start to straighten out – I have to tell you, I was proud to be an American. We were a ragged looking bunch, marching through at attention like soldiers. Nothing happened as we passed through town. The townspeople just stared at us.

By the end of March, the weather was better but most of us were not. The worst part was trying to walk with swollen feet. The guys who weren’t in as bad shape helped the others. Two men helped me because my both my feet and ankles were blown up like balloons. I was down to around 85 pounds and I felt awful.

Eventually, in early April, they stopped us at a different POW camp – Stalag XIB Fallingbostel. This was an old camp, originally a British Reprisal camp. This particular camp had all the British colonials that were captured at Dunkirk, and they had been there for three and a half years.

When they marched us all in, the British and South Africans came out and brought the two dozen or so of us who couldn’t walk any more into their barracks. The South African POWs took care of us. There was this Sergeant from Johannesburg who I called Sergeant Red because he had this big red beard. He brought me in and put me on his bunk, and then had the medics take a look at my feet.

Back before the march, I had sewed into the lining of my great coat as many packs of cigarettes as I could scrounge or barter for while I was in camp. I still had quite a few left. Cigarettes were never a problem, if you wanted to barter with a farmer, you could give him a cigarette for a carrot or two.

I pulled cigarettes out of my coat and passed them around to the British soldiers, which they appreciated because they hadn’t had any cigarettes in a long time.

The rest of the guys in our column were outside in a tent, and a few days later the word was the boys are marching out again. Sergeant Red said, “You aren’t going, you’re staying right here.” There were about two dozen of us Americans that the British wouldn’t let go because we would never have made it. They hid us until the rest of the column had moved out.

Dialogue Tags – Again #wwwblogs #writingtips #amwriting

Excellent reminder (from Allison Williams’s blog on the use of dialogue tags. Can you chuckle a word?

Alison Williams Writing

writing-dialogue

This is a subject I’ve written about several times in the past, but it is an issue I keep coming back to, time and time again.

I’m a huge fan of self-publishing and of independent authors. I’ve read some absolutely amazing books by indie authors and have worked with some amazing authors that have self-published. There are so many great indie authors out there and many that are as good as, if not better than, traditionally published authors.

However, one thing that sets apart the majority of (but by no means all) traditionally published authors from some self-published authors and authors published by small presses is the proliferation of complicated dialogue tags in the work of the latter two. Now, I’m not saying it’s all indie authors that do this, but there is a lot of it about, and it’s usually a sign of an author who hasn’t had their…

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9 Reasons why you should never check a writer’s search history #amwriting #writing

Great and humorous post by Georgina Cromarty–Maybe we writers should clear our search history more often..

G.L. Cromarty

We writers love to google stuff. If we’re not writing, or staring into space, or messing about on Facebook, or—Okay you get the idea—then there’s a good chance we’re googling something to do with our latest Work in Progress. Let this article serve to comfort both our loved ones (who should really know better than to check our search history anyway), or police investigating a missing person (because hey, we may be a writer, but we do draw the research line way before it gets close to reality. And that missing person case is totally different to the one we wrote about in our last book).

So, why you should never check a writer’s search history.

1. The shock: Looking up baby names doesn’t mean the family is about to expand. No, there are no new puppies or babies on the way—unless there are, which is technically possible because even writers procreate and…

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Calling all cozy mystery lovers

Summer is a great time for reading, whether at the beach or curled up on the sofa in the comfort of your air-conditioned home.  To celebrate the 4th of July and the onset of summer, 21  authors have organized an amazing winner-takes-all giveaway – 21 cozy mysteries and $210 in Amazon gift cards.
Click here to enter the rafflecopter (now through July 4th).

July4th
BTW, I haven’t been posting as often lately because I’ve been concentrating on finishing my next cozy mystery – Dying for Data.  I’m excited to report that it is almost done – expect a cover reveal soon and a release later this summer . If you’d like to be notified when the book becomes available, sign up for my mailing list.