Release Blitz: LAKE EFFECT by K.C. Gillis

As part of a Release Blitz organized by RABT Blog Tours and PR, today’s post turns the spotlight on Lake Effect (A Jordan Reed Mystery) by K.C. Gillis, which released today.   this sounds like an engaging read and the cover is gorgeous.

About the Book

LakeffectcoverMysterious marina accidents. Destroyed evidence. Can a tenacious reporter decipher the twisted clues at a small-town lake?

Jordan Reed is burned out from all the attention on her previous high-profile story. But when a new lead lands in her lap, she reluctantly postpones her vacation to investigate a classic New England marina. With hundreds of dead fish washing up on Copper Lake’s otherwise pristine shores, Jordan suspects a sinister cover-up.

But by the time she arrives on the scene, she’s surprised to discover the police chief eliminated every last carcass and seems hellbent on blocking her inquiries. And her search for the culprit takes a perilous turn when gambling kingpins descend on the city and a string of unexplained calamities plague the docks.

Can Jordan expose the corruption, or will she be the next to go belly-up?

Lake Effect is the second book in the fast-paced Jordan Reed mystery series. If you like steely female sleuths, gripping action, and clever twists that’ll keep you guessing, then you’ll love K.C. Gillis’s page-turning mystery.

About the Author

K.C. (Kevin) Gillis is the author of the Jordan Reed mystery series. Despite being a lifelong lover of stories and books, writing took a distant back seat as his professional career travelled through the Canadian Air Force, a decade as a chemist, followed by a long and continuing run in corporate America. With writing no longer in the back seat (but not quite yet in the front seat), Kevin now has the Jordan Reed series well underway. His personal interests focus on endurance and water sports. Having grown up in the Canadian Maritimes, he now lives in the US northeast.

Contact Links

Purchase Link:  

  • Amazon
    Read FREE With Kindle Unlimited

Other books in the Jordan Reed Mystery series:

Toxic Deception

Strange symptoms. Bloody secrets. Can one reporter solve a medical mystery before she ends up in a body bag?

Jordan Reed put her world on hold to hunt down corruption. So when the gutsy journalist gets tipped off about blood money changing hands at a pharmaceutical factory, she dives into the story. With an otherwise healthy worker dropping dead of multiple organ failure, Jordan suspects something far more sinister than a simple accident…

Buy Toxic Deception to unravel a contagious mystery today HERE!

Review & Giveaway: FLIGHT RISK by Cara Putnam

As part of a virtual tour organized by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours, I recently had the pleasure of reading a pre-release copy of  Flight Riskan engaging thriller by Cara Putnam.

About the Book

flight-risk-by-cara-putman-978-0785233275-coverSavannah Daniels has worked hard to build her law practice, to surround herself with good friends, and to be the loyal aunt her troubled niece can always count on. But since her ex-husband’s betrayal, she has trouble trusting anyone.

Jett Glover’s father committed suicide over a false newspaper report that ruined his reputation. Now a fierce champion of truth, Jett is writing the story of his journalism career—an international sex-trafficking exposé that will bring down a celebrity baseball player and the men closest to him, including Savannah’s ex-husband.

When Jett’s story breaks, tragedy ensues. Then a commercial airline crashes, and one of Savannah’s clients is implicated in the crash. Men connected to the scandal, including her ex, begin to die amid mysterious circumstances, and Savannah’s niece becomes an unwitting target.

Against their better instincts, Jett and Savannah join ranks to sort the facts from fiction. But can Savannah trust the reporter who threw her life into chaos? And can Jett face the possibility that he’s made the biggest mistake of his life?

My Review

This is a fast moving legal thriller that combines mystery, suspense, and romance while taking on difficult topics – journalistic integrity and human trafficking – and complex family relationships.

Savannah is a strong intelligent woman, whose family relationships are complex (and unusual). She relies on her faith to cope with difficult situations.  A successful patent lawyer, her latest case involves a technology related to the aircraft industry.  When a plane goes down with her ex-husband on it, Savannah (and this reader) can’t help wondering whether it is merely a coincidence.  And so the questions begin.

Jett, on the other hand, is a self-righteous journalist with very strong feelings about “fake news” – he is determined to report nothing but the truth.  Jett has published an expository piece on Savannah’s ex and his pals – making accusations that she has trouble accepting at face value.  Given their conflicting opinions, it is no surprise that these two main characters disagree, despite the strong undercurrent of sexual tension between the two.  Nonetheless, the two find they need to work together to discover the truth.

There is much more to this story than initially meets the eye.  Surprises abound as the story unravels – with enough suspense to keep the pages turning way past my bedtime.

FTC disclosure: I received an advance review copy of this book. This has not affected the content of my review.

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Cara Putman and Thomas Nelson. There will be 2 winners. Each winner will receive a set of three (3) print copies by Cara Putman.

About the Author

flight-risk-by-cara-putman-978-0785233275-Cara Putman is the author of more than twenty-five legal thrillers, historical romances, and romantic suspense novels. She has won or been a finalist for honors including the ACFW Book of the Year and the Christian Retailing’s BEST Award. Cara graduated high school at sixteen, college at twenty, completed her law degree at twenty-seven, and recently received her MBA. She is a practicing attorney, teaches undergraduate and graduate law courses at a Big Ten business school, and is a homeschooling mom of four. She lives with her husband and children in Indiana.

Visit her at:
CaraPutman.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter – @Cara_Putman, & Facebook – Cara.Putman!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Visit the tour page for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

Showcase & Giveaway: ONE NIGHT GONE by Tara Laskowski

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As part of a blog tour organized by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours, today’s post showcases One Night Gone, a new suspense-filled mystery by Tara Laskowski.

Description

one-night-gone-by-tara-laskowski-coverIt was the perfect place to disappear…

One sultry summer, Maureen Haddaway arrives in the wealthy town of Opal Beach to start her life anew—to achieve her destiny. There, she finds herself lured by the promise of friendship, love, starry skies, and wild parties. But Maureen’s new life just might be too good to be true, and before the summer is up, she vanishes.

Decades later, when Allison Simpson is offered the opportunity to house-sit in Opal Beach during the off-season, it seems like the perfect chance to begin fresh after a messy divorce. But when she becomes drawn into the mysterious disappearance of a girl thirty years before, Allison realizes the gorgeous homes of Opal Beach hide dark secrets. And the truth of that long-ago summer is not even the most shocking part of all…

“A heart-wrenching and suspenseful novel of betrayal and revenge. Stunning!” —Carol Goodman, award-winning author of The Night Visitors

“Featuring a brilliantly executed dual timeline with two unforgettable narrators, One Night Gone is a timely and timeless mystery that will keep you obsessively reading well past your bedtime.” —Paul Tremblay, author of The Cabin at the End of the World

Scroll down to the bottom of the post to read an excerpt.

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter giveaway,  hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Harlequin and Tara Laskowski, for your chance to win a print copy of One Night Gone (U.S. and Canada addresses only).

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads

About the Author

Tara LaskowskiTARA LASKOWSKI is the award-winning author of two short story collections, Modern Manners for Your Inner Demons and Bystanders, which was named a best book of 2017 by Jennifer Egan in The Guardian. She has had stories published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Mid-American Review, and the Norton anthology New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction, among others. Her Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine story, “States of Matter,” was selected by Amy Hempel for the 2017 Best Small Fictions anthology, and her short story “The Case of the Vanishing Professor” is a finalist for the 2019 Agatha Award. Tara was the winner of the 2010 Santa Fe Writers Project’s Literary Awards Prize, has been the editor of the popular online flash fiction journal SmokeLong Quarterly since 2010, and is a member of Sisters in Crime. She earned a BA in English with a minor in writing from Susquehanna University and an MFA in creative writing from George Mason University. Tara grew up in Pennsylvania and lives in Virginia. One Night Gone is her first novel.

Visit Tara at:
TaraLaskowski.com, Goodreads, BookBub, @TaraLWrites, Instagram, & Facebook!

Read an excerpt:

Opal Beach was about a two-hour drive without traffic from downtown Philadelphia. It was somewhere halfway between Ocean City and Atlantic City and way less touristy. The beach always reminded me of vacations as a kid, running barefoot on hot sand, creating lopsided sand castles with plastic buckets, breaking crab legs and sucking out the meat. But there was also a sense of slowing down, of taking it all in, and I needed that now. I could feel the air change, the way it clung, coated, opened everything up.

Through the car windows, the Oc¬tober air was shockingly cold but also reviving. The salty air had always bothered my mother and sister, who complained it was too humid and their tongues felt strange, but I loved the way it worked its fingers into my hair and curled around the tendrils. It made me feel a little wild, a little different. Untamed. Like anything could happen.

Was I really doing this? Was I really pressing on this pedal, steering, guiding these four wheels to a stranger’s beach house, where I would live for the next three months alone? It had all happened so fast. A blur, really. Annie’s friend Sharon, with that same nurse-like efficiency that Annie had, set it all up so quickly that I’d barely had time to adjust to the idea before it was actually happening.

But I was used to life messing with me now, used to tripping over a curb or forgetting to eat breakfast or chipping a nail, waking up only to discover that everything I’d known to be true was suddenly different. So in some ways this journey, the picking up and leaving behind, felt like an emerging. Like Rockefeller, the hermit crab I’d bought on our family vacation one year at a boardwalk shack, I was crawling out of a dingy shell and moving into a shinier, larger home. (Unlike Rockefeller, though, I hoped I wouldn’t die from the soap residue that was left inside the new shell when someone tried to clean it too vigorously before setting him inside the cage.)

I drove down a two-lane road just off the ocean, the main drag for all the beachfront houses. I could imagine that on a weekend in July it looked like a parking lot as families navigated in or out of town, canoes and coolers tied up on their roof racks. But now it was eerily vacant, and I had the sense I was the last woman on earth, that in my quiet drive alone the rest of humanity had vanished. I was trying to decide if that was a good thing or not when a giant orange Hummer zoomed into view behind me and passed without slowing down. “Well, so much for that. Asshole,” I said.

The houses were dramatically large and looming, blocking what otherwise would’ve been a magnificent view. You could tell which ones were just rentals—the monstrosities with thirteen bedrooms and a six-car garage that five families could rent out at once. But further down the road, the houses had more style and character. The kind of places—lots of windows, big porches, nice landscaping—that would make your mouth water even without the lush ocean backdrop as icing on the cake.

I slowed as my GPS indicated I was getting close, but even so I almost missed the tiny driveway and its faded, weather-beaten road sign declaring my new mailing address: Piper Sand Road.

I had made it.

The long gravel drive split off halfway up, with one side leading to the Worthington house and the other side to their neighbor’s. When I’d first met the Worthingtons for my “job interview” just a few weeks before, I’d been so nervous about the whole thing that I’d taken the wrong driveway and parked in the neighbor’s lot and stared at it for a good minute before realizing the house number was wrong.

But now, pulling into the correct driveway slowly, it felt like an adventure movie soundtrack should be swelling. And our heroine finds her destiny.

I could imagine Annie’s reaction when she finally saw the house in person. It was stunning. The surrounding homes were propped up on beams, like old ladies hitching up their skirts so they wouldn’t get wet in the surf, but that just gave the Worthingtons’ house an understated effect. It stood confident and modest between them, a beach gingerbread house right out of a fairy tale, with light blue curtains and sweeping eaves.

I parked right at the porch steps and got out, wrapping my cardigan around me to stave off the whipping wind. The front porch was small but quaint, with two wooden rocking chairs and a small white table with flaking paint. I ran my palm along the back of one of the tall chairs, and it creaked from my touch. The chairs seemed to be more for decoration than sitting.

Dolores, Sharon’s sister who lived in town, was supposed to be meeting me to hand over the keys. Yet it seemed I’d arrived first. I’d had to come one week sooner than planned, as Patty and John had been whisked away to her mysterious assignment in Eastern Europe a little earlier than expected. Patty had called me from the airport with the news. I’d pictured her in her white visor and tennis sneakers rushing through the terminals, bags bouncing off her lower back as she breathlessly gave me instructions.

Still, I half expected Patty to appear in the window as I squatted down and peered inside the house. It was hard to see with the bright sun glaring at my back, but I could make out the shadowy silhouette of the large island counter in the middle of the kitchen. Beyond that room, I remembered, was the living room, with doors and stairs leading to all the many nooks of the house.

All empty now, waiting for me. A shiver curled from my spine up to my neck, unwinding inside me. Calm down, you idiot, I told myself. Not everything is a trap. Think positively, and positive things will come…

Excerpt from One Night Gone, by Tara Laskowski.

Follow the tour at Partners in Crime for reviews, guest posts and more.

Review & Giveaway: THE PUPPET MASTER by Ronald S. Barak

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As part of a blog tour organized by Silver Dagger Book Tours, I jumped at the chance to read Ronald Barak’s latest thriller- The Puppet Master.  The Puppet  Master is a prequel to  The Amendment Killer, an excellent novel, which I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing when it was released (click here to read that review).

Description

Puppet-Master-2018-FIN-cover-praise-s-3200x4800px-ebook_400x600What would YOU do if they took everything you had, your family, your home, your business, your dignity, even—perhaps—your sanity? Ronald S. Barak’s latest, The Puppet Master, prequel to The Amendment Killer, and the second in the Brooks/Lotello Thriller Series, is a gripping story of a political system gone awry—and those who feel compelled to fix it. “Have you ever killed anyone? I have. I’ll do it again. If I need to.” Three prominent political leaders in Washington, D.C., murdered in as many days.

Not a plausible story premise? What about the real world villain who recently mailed a series of pipe bombs to a number of prominent political figures? Ripped from the headlines? Barak gives new meaning to the word “timely.” The Puppet Master isn’t ripped from the headlines; written first, it forecast the headlines that followed!

The Puppet Master begins with a bang. Literally. Three of them. Not a page wasted. Capitol Hill panics. Who will be next? Others whisper that our political leaders are only getting what they deserve. Anxious to see who will be next. And why.

Crafty D.C. homicide detective Frank Lotello is tasked to find the killer. Cliff Norman, a local businessman with ample motive, is arrested. Politicians breathe a sigh of relief. However, when Lotello discovers a disturbing White House connection, he suspects Norman may not be what he appears to be. Things may not be what they appear to be.

Norman’s trial commences in the courtroom of savvy D.C. trial court judge Cyrus Brooks. An angry nation rallies behind Norman. The jury debates whether Norman’s actions may be legally justified by a rampant abuse of political trust, and threatens to unravel the very fabric of our dysfunctional government.

In an unprecedented and questionable manner that may destroy their respective careers, Lotello quietly approaches Brooks and they form a secret alliance to uncover the truth in this classic whodunnit mystery. Before it’s too late.

Blurring fiction and reality, The Puppet Master will have you dangling from the first page to the very last.

You can view the book trailer at: https://youtu.be/J9aV5pMUKC8.

Buy Links:

My Review

I enjoyed following  Detective Lotello as he persists in investigating the murder of three high-profile politicans – despite the confession of a bitter, broken man with a grudge.  The story is told from alternating points of view in short chapters, giving you a sense of what each of the players is going through and their deliberations, yet without being too confusing to follow.   Both Lotello and Judge Brooks are great characters – human and relatable.

The story is engaging and well-paced, while raising controversial questions regarding the potential for broader application  of the justifiable homicide defense in the courts – when does it become reasonable to take the law into your own hands?  Definitely thought-provoking stuff.

A well-written choice for fans of political thrillers and police procedurals.

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.

Giveaway and More

Follow the tour for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and enter the Thriller Junkies  giveaway for your chance to win an e-book copy of the Puppet Master and a $10 Amazon 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 🔗!

Showcase & Excerpt: SHADES OF JUSTICE (Madison Knight 9) by Carolyn Arnold

Detective Madison Knight Series Tour RABT Summer 2019 (1)

As part of a blog tour organized by RABT Book Tours, today’s post shines the spotlight on the Detective Madison Knight series by Carolyn Arnold – and specifically the latest addition to the series – Shades of Justice.

About the Book

The line between good and evil isn’t always clear…

Shades-of-Justice-3D-HC-Tablet-Blogger-Page-186x200-2019Detective Madison Knight has risked her badge—and her life—in the pursuit of justice before, and she just might need to do so again. Two victims are found murdered and naked in the home of Steven Malone, who is the largest contributor to the Stiles PD. One victim is his wife. The other victim is a John Doe. This high-profile double homicide immediately pits Madison against her sergeant, who seems more intent on protecting the Malones’ reputation and retaining a benefactor than catching a killer.

Madison will need to pull on her tenacity and courage if she’s going to follow the evidence without prejudice. In the process, it becomes clear that finding justice isn’t always black and white, and often the shades in between tell the fullest story—and it’s not something she will forget anytime soon.

Scroll down to the end of this post to read an excerpt!

Retailer links:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Apple iBooks   Kobo   Google Play   Goodreads

About the Series

What to expect from the Detective Madison Knight series:

Murder. Investigation. The pursuit of justice. Do you love trying to figure out whodunit? How about investigating alongside police detectives from the crime scene to the forensics lab and everywhere in between? Do you love a strong female lead? Then I invite you to meet Detective Madison Knight as she solves murders with her male partner, utilizing good old-fashioned investigative work aided by modern technology.

This is the perfect book series for fans of James Patterson, Michael Connelly, and JD Robb to name a few. This series is also bound to entertain those who enjoy Law & OrderCSIBlue BloodsRizzoli & IslesWomen’s Murder Club, and Hawaii Five-O.

Read in any order or follow the series from the beginning.

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About the Author

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

author-carolyn-arnold-photo-3Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and beagles and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.

Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD online:

And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.

Excerpt

Excerpt from chapter 3 of Shades of Justice (Detective Madison Knight series)

They say someone’s always having a worse day than you are. Who the heck are “they,” and how would they know, anyway? Madison was pretty sure days couldn’t get much worse than the one Kimberly Olson-Malone was having. Madison couldn’t imagine finding her own mother dead—and naked with another man, no less. As much as she felt for Kimberly, she couldn’t let it cloud her judgment. Kimberly had been the one to find them and that alone made her the first suspect.

Terry pointed to the next street as they drove. “Turn right there.”

Even though Terry knew where they were going, Madison was the one driving.

She took the corner, and he pointed at a two-story, gray-brick mansion. With the exception of the forensics van and a police cruiser parked in the three-car driveway, the house had terrific curb appeal with its large front windows and double-door entry.

Madison parked out front on the street.

“Before we go in, I’m going to give you a warning,” Terry said.

She glanced over at him, her hand letting go of the door handle. Was he going to tell her it was a messy scene? There wasn’t much else that turned her stomach as did the sight and stench of a lot of blood. She gulped. The victims had been shot.

“Okay,” she said with trepidation.

“Cynthia’s on the warpath,” Terry said. “She makes your bad moods look like—”

“Be careful of your next words.”

“Or what?” He wriggled his fingers as if to say, Bring it on.

Terry really was the brother she never had. “Why’s she in a bad mood?” Madison asked but could think of at least one off the top of her head: her wedding was mere days away, and a case like this would take a lot of time for evidence collection and processing. That thought led to another. “Oh, no.”

“What?”

“We had plans for a final dress fitting tonight. We might have to push that off.”

Terry arched his brows. “I’m not a wedding planner, but shouldn’t dress fittings have been done ages ago?”

It wasn’t for the lack of trying, but it turned out that when dresses were ordered from different shops, they could be made from different dye lots. With Cynthia’s sister and bridesmaid, Tammy, living in Alabama, she’d gotten hers there while Madison ordered hers in Stiles. With take two, they returned their initial dresses and arranged to get new ones from the same bridal shop in Stiles. “It’s a long story,” was all she said.

“Okay.” Terry dragged out the word, but quickly moved on. “Well, she’s pissed because the firemen who responded to the nine-one-one call pulled the bodies out of the pool.”

“Oh,” Madison said slowly, appreciating that her friend would be livid about contamination of the crime scene. Cynthia wouldn’t care that the firemen were wired to save lives until—or unless—they could confirm death.

The two of them got out of the car, and at the front door, Madison looked up. The place had looked big from the curb, but standing next to it only impressed just how successful the Malones were.

Officer Tendum was stationed at door. He was younger, a little wet behind the ears, and he and Madison had butted heads more than once. Then again, it was his stupidity that had resulted in her former training officer, Reggie Higgins, being shot during a murder investigation about a year ago. At least Higgins had been fortunate enough to recover and return to work.

Tendum stepped to the side to allow Madison and Terry to enter the house.

Inside, they were greeted by a grand entry with two sweeping staircases that hugged the curves of two walls. A large, teardrop-crystal chandelier punctuated the center of the space. Abstract paintings adorned the walls with lighting mounted over them. Madison didn’t know much about art, but flea-market finds didn’t typically wind up in fine frames with specialty lighting.

The smell of chlorine hung in the air, and she started following her nose—and Terry—toward the back of the home.

They passed an expansive living space that could have served as a lobby for a fine hotel. A bottle of red wine sat on a coffee table as did two wineglasses, each with some wine in them. The kitchen off to the right gleamed with high-end stainless steel appliances, and a breakfast bar lined the wall.

“All this for two people,” Madison said, thinking about the imbalances of wealth distribution.

“Yep, all eight thousand square feet,” Terry responded.

He opened the door to an atrium with a million-dollar view of the Bradshaw River that ran through Stiles. The rectangular pool, surrounded by a tiled patio dotted with lounge chairs and tables, took center stage. A hot tub, large enough for six, was to the right end of the pool, and in the corner of the room, there was a sauna. Blood spatter was to the immediate edge of the pool, to the left of the pool ladder, along with the two bodies.

Matching bullet holes marked both their foreheads, but the water had cleaned the wounds. For a shooting, there was minimal mess.

 

Review: DRONE STRIKE by Joe Giordano

If you enjoy international intrigue and suspense, you will want to check out Drone Strike: An Anthony Provati Thriller (Appointment with ISIL Book 2) by Joe Giordano.  I had reviewed the first book in the series, and was glad when the author offered me a review copy of the sequel.

Description

Drone Strike, an Anthony Provati Thriller. Karim’s family is killed as ‘collateral damage’ by a U.S. drone strike in Iraq. The Islamic State in the Levant exploits his rage, recruiting him for a terrorist attack on the U.S., and only Anthony Provati can stop him. Drone Strike takes you on a fast-paced adventure across the Mediterranean, into Mexico, finally arriving in the States. Drone Strike explores the psychological realities that seduce Karim to commit an act of terror, includes a love story between Moslem Karim and Miriam, a Christian woman he defends in Turkey, and highlights the plight of Middle Eastern and Central American refugees.

My Review

I really enjoyed this book. As in Appointment with ISIL, the first book in the series,  the author has created a somewhat disturbing scenario that strikes home given the threat of terror faced around the world today. I enjoyed following the protagonist, Anthony Provati, as he again tries to thwart a terrorist attack.  He is the same loveable, flawed guy who finds it hard to resist the temptation of a beautiful woman.

But before Anthony makes his appearance, the reader is introduced to Karim and is given a glimpse into the events that contributed to his bitterness toward America.  He is a particularly well developed character; an internal debate rages within him, particularly after he meets a Syrian Christian woman who is seeking refuge in Europe.

Clearly, an impressive amount of research went into this book – both with respect to the diverse geographic destinations and the cultures and organizations involved.

An interesting and engrossing read. I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish it.

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

For my review of the first book in this series, click here.
The book is available on Amazon.

Review: AS DIRECTED by Kathleen Valenti

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As part of a blog tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, I recently had the pleasure of reading As Directed, the third book in the Maggie O’Malley Mystery series by Kathleen Valenti. 

About the Book

AsDirected-cover-front-REV-663x1024In the shadow of a past fraught with danger and tainted by loss, former pharmaceutical researcher Maggie O’Malley is rebuilding her life, trading test tubes for pill bottles as she embarks on a new career at the corner drugstore.

But as she spreads her wings, things begin to go terribly wrong. A customer falls ill in the store. Followed by another. And then more.

The specter of poisoning arises, conjuring old grudges, past sins, buried secrets and new suspicions from which no one is immune.

As Maggie and her best friend Constantine begin to investigate, they discover that some of the deadliest doses come from the most unexpected places.

My Review

From the first page, suspense is in the air. Even before you meet Maggie and the main characters, the prologue has you hooked and you want know what is happening and why.  Then, when customers at the pharmacy start to drop, you share in Maggie’s angst as she tries to identify the source of the poisoning.  Her charming would-be bridegroom, Constantine, is at her side – helping her investigate, while they both fend off family demands to set a date and plan a fancy wedding.  After all,  how can she can think about weddings when people are dropping all around her.  As Maggie’s investigation progresses, the story takes unexpected directions along the way to a satisfying resolution. An enjoyable and well-paced read with an intricate plot.

This was my first time reading anything by this author. Although part of a series, this book can definitely be read as a standalone.

FTC Disclosure:  I received an advance review copy from the publisher.  This has not affected the content of this review. 

About the Author

kvpromoshot-300x300Kathleen Valenti is the author of the Maggie O’Malley Mystery Series, which includes her Agatha- and Lefty-nominated debut novel, Protocol. When Kathleen isn’t writing page-turning mysteries that combine humor and suspense, she works as a nationally award-winning advertising copywriter. She lives in Oregon with her family where she pretends to enjoy running. Learn more at www.kathleenvalenti.com.

Author Links

Purchase Links:  Amazon Barnes & Noble  iTunes  Kobo

For additional stops on this tour, click here.

Blurb Blitz & Giveaway: FINAL NOTICE by Van Fleisher

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As part of blitz tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions, today’s post shines the spotlight on what promises to be a good political thriller – Final Notice by Van Fleisher.

Description

BookCover_FinalNoticeThe year is the very near future.  A brilliant young doctor and mathematician, Vijay Patel, has invented a new health/sport watch that monitors blood chemistry so accurately, it can actually predict when someone will die – within 10, 20, or 30 days.  The intention of this “Final Notice,” as it is called, is to allow people to get their affairs in order and reach out to loved ones before it’s too late.  But when those notified have easy access to a gun, the result is sometimes lethal for more than just the watch-owner.

These are the stories of several people who receive their Final Notice and their very different reactions … including a desire to get revenge with impunity.  They range from an 89-year-old resident in a retirement home to a U.S. Senator…from a benevolent widow to a crass tycoon to a noted climate change scientist.

But in this fresh, fast-paced page-turner, their stories are all set against the all-too-recognizable backdrop of a guns-gone-wild America, and the relentless push by the NRA and their surrogate politicians to make guns even easier to acquire.

There is plenty of dark humor and political satire in FINAL NOTICE, as well as touching scenes and outright suspense.  So expect to laugh out loud, dry some tears, and bite your nails (not necessarily in that order).

Read an Excerpt

And sure enough, in 1.24 seconds, Trudi had 1,620,000 results. “Here it is. California law protects us if we shoot a burglar in our home. Still, it wouldn’t help if we didn’t hear them until they burst into the room. I can’t see either one of us having the presence of mind to reach for the gun, roll out of bed and blast away. What are you smiling at?”

“At the image of you doing just that!”

“Hey. I’ve been watching Angelina Jolie and I think I can manage the moves.”

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter giveaway for your change to win a $50 gift card from Van Fleisher.

About Van Fleisher

“After 21 years with an airline, and 30 years in management consulting, I retired and found that my phone didn’t ring and the only emails I got were asking for money. So, since I was at my computer, I decided to write a novel.”

Author ImageThis is only half the story. (Van is notoriously modest.) The author was Director of International Marketing with TWA, and an International Management Consultant – taking him behind the closed doors of boardrooms and executive offices around the world. He knows how business works, which gives the slightly “sci-fi” premise of Final Notice a realistic feel. Moreover, his two careers led him to live abroad for much of his life. After growing up in New Jersey and Florida, where he never thought much further than the length of a football field, and going to college in New Mexico, he wound up living in England, Scotland and France, travelling frequently to the Middle East and Asia. He even spent a year living in India. And his first-hand experience with – and respect for – other cultures is apparent in this book.

“Final Notice is meant to highlight, my concerns with America’s handling of three important issues: gun control (not anti-gun), ageism and the importance of immigration. The book won’t fix these issues, but there are a number of great organizations with even greater people working on our behalf to right these wrongs. Proceeds from sales of Final Notice will help support those efforts.”

Connect with Van Fleisher:

Get your copy of Final Notice Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/FINAL-NOTICE-What-would-certain-ebook/dp/B0798XNY6P

Release Spotlight: PROFESSOR K: THE FINAL QUEST by Gabriel Farago

Today marks the release of the 4th thriller in the Jack Rogan series by Gabriel Farago.  It sounds exciting and so my TBR list just grew, again.   Read on

Tip: The author is offering the new release at a special price – $0.99 – now through Nov. 4th.  You can grab your copy on Amazon

Description

Professor K The Final QuestA desperate plea from the Vatican. A kidnapped chef. An ambitious mob boss. One perilous game.

When Professor Alexandra Delacroix is called in to find a cure for the dying pope, she follows clues left by her mentor and friend, the late Professor K, which lead her on a breathtaking search through historical secrets, some of them deadly.

Her old friend Jack Rogan must step in to assist while also searching for kidnapped Top Chef Europe winner Lorenza da Baggio. He joins forces with his young friend and gifted psychic, Tristan, a dedicated mafia hunting prosecutor, a fearless young police officer, and an enigmatic Egyptian detective on a perilous hunt for a notorious IS terrorist.

Together, they stand off with the head of a powerful Mafia family in Florence and uncover a network of corruption and heinous crimes reaching to the very top.

Will Rogan and his friends succeed in finding Lorenza and curing the pope, or will the dark forces swirling around them prevail in their sinister plots?

What Advance Readers Are Saying

If you’ve read Gabriel Farago’s previous novels and novellas, you know you’re in for a ride when you open his latest book. And it’s not an easy journey – Farago’s novels require you to stay switched on. Some of the cutting-edge science in his books might seem far-fetched, but in fact it’s based on actual breakthroughs in genomics being worked on right now in Sydney, Australia. … Fans of Farago’s imaginative, globetrotting plots will enjoy this latest novel every bit as much as his previous books.             ~ Sally Asnicar

Thriller of Thrillers; Intense Action – Farago Does It Again!

A master storyteller and wordsmith, Gabriel Farago entertains his readers with vivid descriptions, clear, yet complex plots and realistic, fascinating characters. His genius of bringing together several characters from previous books to fulfil their moments of destiny is done with great care and attention to detail. The Italian Mafia, the Vatican and the Pope, along with IS terrorists, take you on an emotional journey that will leave you sitting on the edge of your seats.

Farago delivers yet another spellbinding, well-written thriller that is action-packed and realistic. The dialogue is beautifully constructed, and the book is well researched. Don’t miss this book! Although it can be read as a standalone, it does tie up some loose ends that will leave you gasping!
This is a must read for thriller-lovers. Farago delivers!   ~ Charla White

About the Author

GabrielFaragoGabriel Farago is the international, bestselling and multi-award-winning Australian author of the Jack Rogan mysteries and thrillers series for the thinking reader. As a lawyer with a passion for history and archaeology, Gabriel Farago had to wait for many years before being able to pursue another passion—writing—in earnest. However, his love of books and storytelling started long before that.

‘I remember as a young boy reading biographies and history books with a torch under the bed covers,’ he recalls, ‘and then writing stories about archaeologists and explorers the next day, instead of doing homework. Whilst I regularly got into trouble for this, I believe we can only do well in our endeavours if we are passionate about the things we love; for me, writing has become a passion.’

Born in Budapest, Gabriel grew up in post-War Europe, and after fleeing Hungary with his parents during the Revolution in 56, he went to school in Austria before arriving in Australia as a teenager. This allowed him to become multi-lingual and feel ‘at home’ in different countries and diverse cultures.

Shaped by a long legal career and experiences spanning several decades and continents, his is a mature voice that speaks in many tongues.Gabriel holds degrees in literature and law, speaks several languages and takes research and authenticity very seriously.

Inquisitive by nature, he studied Egyptology and learned to read the hieroglyphs. He travels extensively and visits all of the locations mentioned in his books. ‘I try to weave fact and fiction into a seamless storyline,’ he explains. ‘By blurring the boundaries between the two, the reader is never quite sure where one ends, and the other begins. This is of course quite deliberate as it creates the illusion of authenticity and reality in a work that is pure fiction. A successful work of fiction is a balancing act: reality must rub shoulders with imagination in a way that is both entertaining and plausible.’

Gabriel lives in the Blue Mountains in Australia just outside Sydney, surrounded by a World Heritage National Park. ‘The beauty and solitude of this unique environment,’ he
points out, ‘give me inspiration and the energy to weave my thoughts and ideas into stories which, I sincerely hope, will in turn entertain and inspire my readers.’

Connect with Gabriel:

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Review: SOMEBODY’S DAUGHTER by David Bell

Today’s selection is  the latest thriller by David Bell, which released just days ago.   I really enjoyed  Bring Her Home and Since She Went Away so I jumped at the chance to download a pre-release copy of Somebody’s Daughter from NetGalley.

Description

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When Michael Frazier’s ex-wife, Erica, unexpectedly shows up on his doorstep, she drops a bombshell that threatens to rip his family apart: Her ten-year-old daughter is missing–and Michael is the father. Unsure whether this is the truth but unwilling to leave the girl’s fate to chance, Michael has no choice but to follow the elusive trail of the child he has always wanted but never knew he had.

Over the course of one night, lies that span a decade come bubbling to the surface, putting Michael, his wife, and his whole family in jeopardy. And as the window for a little girl’s safe return closes, Michael will have to decide who can be trusted and who is hiding the truth….

My Review

This book does not disappoint. The reader is taken on a journey that focuses on the disappearance of a child and whether or not Michael is her biological father, an emotional issue that is colored by his family’s past.

The well written narrative presents the distinct perspectives of Michael, his current wife, and one of the police officers involved in the search.  These characters were especially well developed, making it easy to identify with what they were going through.  The plot was interesting and well paced, and the writer’s use of short chapters made it even harder for me to put this book down. The temptation to read just one more, and then another, kept those pages turning.

The only negative for me was that the ending felt a bit abrupt, leaving one plot question not fully addressed.  Nonetheless, if you enjoy mystery and suspense, this is definitely a book to add to your TBR list.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary ARC of this book from NetGalley. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.