24 July, 2019

#Interview with Tess Gerritsen, #Author of The Shape of Night

About the Author:
Internationally bestselling author Tess Gerritsen took an unusual route to a writing career. A graduate of Stanford University, Tess went on to medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, where she was awarded her M.D.

While on maternity leave from her work as a physician, she began to write fiction. In 1987, her first novel was published. Call After Midnight, a romantic thriller, was followed by eight more romantic suspense novels. She also wrote a screenplay, “Adrift”, which aired as a 1993 CBS Movie of the Week starring Kate Jackson.

Tess’s first medical thriller, Harvest, was released in hardcover in 1996, and it marked her debut on the New York Times bestseller list. Her books have been published in forty countries, and more than 30 million copies have been sold around the world.

Her books have been top-3 bestsellers in the United States and number one bestsellers abroad. She has won both the Nero Wolfe Award (for Vanish) and the Rita Award (for The Surgeon). Critics around the world have praised her novels as “Pulse-pounding fun” (Philadelphia Inquirer), “Scary and brilliant” (Toronto Globe and Mail), and “Polished, riveting prose” (Chicago Tribune). Publisher Weekly has dubbed her the “medical suspense queen”.

Now retired from medicine, she writes full time. She lives in Maine.


Please tell the readers a bit about your upcoming release, ‘The Shape of Night’.

A troubled young woman named Ava flees Boston and rents a seaside mansion on the coast of Maine.  Eerie sounds and a glimpse of a man in her turret makes her realize the house is haunted by the ghost of Jeremiah Brodie, a sea captain who has been dead a hundred fifty years.  Rather than being frightened, Ava is drawn to him, and soon she eagerly welcomes the visits of her ghostly lover.  Then she learns that every woman who has lived in the house has also died in the house.  Is Capt. Brodie responsible, or is the killer very much alive and still breathing?

Why did you choose Maine as the backdrop of the novel and how does it compliment the plot?

I live in Maine, which is one of the most beautiful places on earth.  With our rocky seacoast and our dense forests, it truly is a wild and sometimes lonely place.  It’s also rumored to be one of the most haunted places in the country.  It seemed the perfect place for a ghost story. 

How is writing core mystery different from writing something like ‘The Shape of Night’ which has paranormal elements entwined?

Because I’m not a believer in the paranormal, I wanted the haunting to be a matter of interpretation.  Is Captain Brodie real or is he all in Ava’s head?  This is a murder mystery that may -- or may not -- involve a ghost.  By the end of the book, some readers may still not be certain.  I want them to think of this story as a prism in which it’s possible to glimpse many angles and reflections, any of which may be true.  

Tell us a bit about Ava Collette. Did she inherit any of your personal quirks?

Her love of good food, her enjoyment of cooking, and a fondness for wine are certainly drawn from my own life.  My father was part-owner of a restaurant and he was a fabulous cook.  He inspired me to make every meal count.

Do your characters drive the plot or does the plot drive the characters?

In this story, the character (Ava) drove the plot.  Her sense of shame is what really haunts her in this story.  While writing it, I wondered: what could she have possibly done that made her isolate herself?  Why does the ghost come to her in the punishing form he does?  It is all about Ava’s guilt and self-judgment.

Which bit of the book did you find hard to write, and which is your favourite scene?

The erotic scenes were the hardest.  They were difficult to write because of the manner in which Ava draws pleasure.  The secret that haunts her leads her to seek both release and pain.

The Rizzoli & Isles Series is quite popular, including the TV series. How difficult is it, to move out of the comfort zone that comes with writing a series like that, to write something else?

Very difficult, although I started my career writing romantic suspense so this book feels like coming home to the genre I loved first.  My crime readers have come to expect a police procedural from me so they may be a bit startled, but there is a crime involved in this story.  Instead of a story about detectives, SHAPE OF NIGHT has a heroine unlike any I’ve created before.  And it explores an emotion seldom described in novels: shame, and its poisonous effects on both your waking and your sleeping mind. 

Who are your favorite authors to read?

I read across the board, from Lisa Gardner and Lisa Unger to Stephen King and Sandra Brown.  The only genre I tend to avoid is sports.

What are you working on now? And what can your readers look forward to?

I’m in the early stages of a novel about a female retired spy.  My hometown seems to have collected a number of retired CIA personnel and I wondered: what if one of them was called back into the field?  How would it feel to be back in the action when you’re not moving as fast as you used to?

About the Book:
A woman trying to outrun her past is drawn to a quiet coastal town in Maine–and to a string of unsolved murders–in this haunting tale of romantic suspense from New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen.

Ava Collette is punishing herself for an unspeakable tragedy. So she flees Boston and rents an old home named Brodie’s Watch on a remote coastal peninsula of Maine, hoping to work on a cookbook inspired by New England cuisine that she’s been trying to finish for months. She immediately feels at peace in the isolated house–until she starts to hear strange noises.

Rumor has it that a sea captain named Brodie has haunted the house for decades. Then, one night, Ava is awakened to find herself face to face with an apparition who looks–and feels–all too real. Meanwhile, there’s been a series of accidental deaths nearby that don’t add up. And as Ava starts to check into the previous renter’s mysterious disappearance, she starts to realize that there’s a disturbing secret some in town are desperate to keep hidden.

Soon all of Ava’s waking hours are consumed by her investigation, and her nights are ignited by Captain Brodie’s ghostly visits. But even as she questions her own sanity, she knows she must uncover the truth before a killer strikes again.

15 July, 2019

#BookReview :: The Antagonists by Tina Biswas

Check out the Book

When a fire breaks out at a hospital and results in loss of life, tongues start waggling and the blame game begins. Devi, the chief minister of the state, points her finger at Sachin Lohia – a billionaire businessman. The clash between the Chief Minister and Sachin Lohia doesn’t stop there as Devi is against the mining project that The Lohia Group is invested in. In this battle of wits and politics between two strong personalities, who will remain standing in the end?

While what I referred to as the ‘clash of the titans’  is the main focus of the story and Sachin and Devi both don the hats of the protagonist and the antagonist from time to time, the story also has three other characters that helped shape up the plot. Dr. Anima Acharya, a neurosurgeon dealing with personal issues, is placed right at Balachuria where the mining project is located. We have Anil Thakur, Sachin’s right hand man, who is an opportunistic man ready to milk any situation to his advantage. Then there is Devi’s secretary who is more often than not used as a tool to infuse humour into the story. When put together, the cast brings in a varied set of personalities that provide the readers with enough enjoyment. The characters are well-developed and interestingly portrayed. The plot in itself is not very complex and will probably disappoint you if you come in with the expectations of a few gripping twists. But it has enough mettle to keep you hooked. There’s a bit of satirical tone in the book that I thoroughly enjoyed.

At 400 odd pages, the book can take a while for any reader to get through. I feel that there were moments were the story was dragging a bit and could have done with tighter narrative. Other than that this is a refreshing tale that would satisfy readers who prefer their reading material have a touch of reality in them.

Review Copy received from Fingerprint Publishing

12 July, 2019

#CoverReveal :: A Secret Tie: The King & the Spy by Summerita Rhayne

About the Book:
Yashita has chosen to lead the life of a spy. But after years of serving the ruler well, she has now a request. She wants to get married and settle down. To her utmost relief, King Hitaksha agrees to set her free. But he has a condition. She must fulfil one more mission before he will allow her to leave his service.

Through the dangers of ancient politics and twisted monarchy, Yashita faces threats and perils to the mission. Battling through unknown kingdoms, she must play a dangerous game to save her life and the King's. But there's far tougher trial she must live through constantly. The forbidden attraction the King holds for her...

A Secret Tie is the third book in a historical fiction series. Also read Against The Tide and A Twist of Fate.

Preorder for 99 cents only AMAZON


‘Do take the other bed.' She curled the hand which itched to reach out and touch him.

'Thank you for the offer. But I'm better placed here. I prefer the security of a locked door far more than a pair of nubile arms around my neck.'

The remark threw her. Unnecessarily provoking, in her opinion.

'And are those arms so eager to greet you, sire?' Would he punish her impudence?

'Now don't withdraw the invitation. I don't wish to arouse pique in you, but I have stated my preference.'

Again, she felt that stab of burning anger that it seemed only he could rouse. She suppressed the emotion and said archly, 'You're hardly complimentary. Some women might take that statement as a challenge.'

'Some men might mean it to be so.'

She sent him a provocative look from beneath her lashes, a slanting, coy look that ad sent admirers prostrating at her feet. 'But you do not? Do you indeed not find me attractive, sire?’

Her pulse jumped at her own daring. A question which demanded a response.

His mouth twisted in a familiar wry look. He met her gaze full on. 'One does not take poison twice.'

She recoiled as though stung and he leaned forward and flicked a finger against her cheek, his tone lightened to a teasing note. 'One may take it in small doses, so as to get accustomed maybe.'

'Poison! Is that what I am to you?' Her chagrined question came in a raised voice.

His voice was even, but a different note entered it, sending shivers feathering down her spine for reasons she could ill understand. 'Is passion so different from poison? When it can dull your senses, make you lose your grip on reality, damage you...'

'You surely won't charm a woman if you keep talking like that, sire,' she said lightly, keeping the conversation from straying into dangerous zones. Yes, they were there...lurking beneath the surface. One unwise word and she might betray more than she meant to. She'd been wrong to give in to the impulse to challenge him. She knew as well as he there would be no going back for them.


About the Author:
Summerita Rhayne writes contemporary and historical romance with lots of emotional conflict. She first got published in 2013 and has won contests with prestigious publishers such as Harlequin and Harper Collins India. She believes if the inspiration is strong enough, the story characters will find a way to make the writer pen them down, even when writing time is in short supply. When cerebrally confronted with the sizzling interaction of two Alpha characters, the only way to get peace is write their book!

She loves being a professor but becomes a homemaker when not at work. Winding down with a book and a cup of coffee is her favorite or you can find her watching legal drama series. (Suits, anyone?)
She believes in being supportive to aspiring authors. You can connect with her if you have a new book out for a spotlight or a chitchat at her blog. 

Author Links:
Facebook * Twitter * Newsletter * Goodreads

11 July, 2019

#BookReview :: I am the 10th by D.R. Downer

Check out the Book

There’s not much I can summarize about the book without giving out a few spoilers. The book blurb tells you all that you need to know about it. The only thing that I would add is that the author has titled the book very appropriately. There! I said it and gave you another clue about what to expect in the book.

Starting from the 3rd Century B.C to modern times, the author has traced a certain path that the human race has taken. His focus though is a certain group of people that have lived in the shadows and forwarded their agenda. Some people may tag them as cult, but if so what are their motives? Are they working towards progressing humankind? Or are they concerned about saving them? And what if their only aim is to bring an end to the world as we know it? You have to read the book to find out.

What I loved the most is the way the author has crafted his story. It covers a wide timeline, gives the readers enough details to be able to follow and yet it is a book with 180 odd pages. The author has used his words wisely to be able to tell an enthralling story in such a short format. To top that, the author has also managed to weave in elements of mythology and science in a seamless manner. It was a plot driven story that was certainly entertaining.

If you like Indian Mythology and have a couple of hours on a lazy weekend, gives this book a try.

Review Copy received from the Author

08 July, 2019

#BlogTour :: A Monster Of All Time by J.T. Hunter

A Monster Of All Time

by J.T. Hunter

on Tour July 1-31, 2019


A Monster Of All Time by J.T. Hunter

The True Story of Danny Rolling, The Gainesville Ripper

Ambitious, attractive, and full of potential, five young college students prepared for the new semester. They dreamed of beginning careers and starting families. They had a lifetime of experiences in front of them. But death came without warning in the dark of the night.

Brutally ending five promising lives, leaving behind three gruesome crime scenes, the Gainesville Ripper terrorized the University of Florida, casting an ominous shadow across a frightened college town.

What evil lurked inside him?

What demons drove him to kill?

What made him A Monster of All Time?

Book Details:

Genre: True Crime
Published by: RJ Parker Publishing
Publication Date: September 4th 2018
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 1987902521 (ISBN13: 9781987902525)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

January 1987
Parchman, Mississippi

The prisoner raged in his lonely cell.
"When they let me out of here," the prisoner swore to himself, "I’ll make them all pay."
Years of condemnation and contempt had taken its toll, breaking him down, eroding his spirit, destroying all sense of hope. Now only the anger remained.


Cast into the bowels of Parchman Prison, the notorious Mississippi State Penitentiary, the prisoner had suffered daily torments during his confinement, each day falling deeper and deeper into despair. Raw sewage regularly seeped into his cell through the floor and flowed from a broken drain down the hall, flooding the cramped 8 x 10 feet concrete space with a revolting grey-brown liquid and an unrelenting stench.

Kept in this torturous isolation, his besieged brain had betrayed him, replaying the grievous moments of his life, all of the humiliations and feelings of helplessness, every piercing word, and every raw, painful memory. It was a constant reminder that the world had always been a hurtful place of violence, animosity, and aversion, never one of empathy or understanding.

Desperate to escape the unrelenting torment, he retreated ever deeper into the labyrinth of his own mind, creeping ever closer to madness. It was in that maze of insanity that he found himself. Or rather, something found him.

In the bleak, all-encompassing darkness, something whispered his name.

Faceless and formless, the voice seemed to emanate both from the impenetrable blackness surrounding him and from the shadowy depths of his own consciousness. The voice soothed and seduced him, its language both alien and familiar. It promised the strength to survive whatever nightmares awaited the remainder of his confinement. It offered the tools of revenge for his present condition, for all of the wrongs committed against him in the past, and for the scorn and mistreatment yet to come. Most of all, it promised the power to make others feel the suffering he had so long endured.

Then a name imprinted itself into his brain, uttered from an unseen shape in the darkness, or muttered from the murky depths of memory.

"Gemini," an eerie voice proclaimed. "I am Gemini."

At that moment, an infernal compact was crafted, a devil’s contract offering redemption for the damned, a demonic covenant accepted regardless of the terms. Caring nothing for the consequences, the prisoner embraced the assurance of vengeance, pledging revenge for the countless injuries inflicted upon him. Just as a cold, uncaring world had robbed him of his humanity and stolen years of his life, he would take the lives of others in an equal and equitable proportion. A new sense of purpose washed over him, bringing with it a rebirth, a recognition of what he needed to do.

And now he waited, marking the days with hidden malice, the bitter darkness of his cell matched only by the malevolence of his twisted, tainted soul.

Excerpt from A Monster Of All Time by J.T. Hunter. Copyright 2018 by J.T. Hunter. Reproduced with permission from J.T. Hunter. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

J.T. Hunter
J.T. Hunter is an attorney with over fourteen years of experience practicing law, including criminal law and appeals, and he has significant training in criminal investigation techniques. He is also a college professor in Florida where his teaching interests focus on the intersection of criminal psychology, law, and literature.
JT's bestselling true crime books include:

  • Devil in The Darkness: True Story of Serial Killer ISRAEL KEYES
  • The Country Boy Killer: The True Story of Serial Killer Cody Legebokoff
  • In Colder Blood: True Story of the Walker Family Murder as depicted in Truman Capote’s, In Cold Blood
  • Deadly Deception: True Story of Tampa Serial Killer, Bobby Joe Long
  • Death Row Romeo: The True Story of Serial Killer Oscar Ray Bolin
  • The Vampire Next Door: True Story of the Vampire Rapist and Serial Killer

  • Catch Up With J.T. Hunter On:
    jthunter.org, Goodreads, BookBubFacebook!

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    This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for JT Hunter. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on July 1, 2019 and runs through August 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.
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    03 July, 2019

    #BlogTour :: American Red by David Marlett

    American Red

    by David Marlett

    on Tour July 1 - August 31, 2019


    American Red by David Marlett
    In American Red, as the Great American Century begins, and the modern world roars to life, Capitalists flaunt greed and seize power, Socialists and labor unions flex their violent will, and an extraordinary true story of love and sacrifice unfolds. In his critically acclaimed debut novel, Fortunate Son, David Marlett introduced readers to a fresh take on historical fiction-the historical legal thriller-bringing alive the people and events leading to and surrounding some of the most momentous, dramatic legal trials in history. Now he returns with American Red, the story of one of the greatest domestic terrorists in American history, and the detectives, lawyers, spies, and lovers who brought him down. The men and women of American Red are among the most fascinating in American history. When, at the dawn of the 20th century, the Idaho governor is assassinated, blame falls on "Big Bill" Haywood, the all-powerful, one-eyed boss of the Western Federation of Miners in Denver. Close by, his polio-crippled wife, Neva, struggles with her wavering faith, her love for another man, and her sister's affair with her husband. New technologies accelerate American life, but justice lags behind. Private detectives, battling socialists and unions on behalf of wealthy capitalists, will do whatever it takes to see Haywood hanged. The scene is set for bloodshed, from Denver to Boise to San Francisco. America's most famous attorney, Clarence Darrow, leads the defense-a philandering U.S. senator leads the prosecution-while the press, gunhands, and spies pour in. Among them are two idealists, Jack Garrett and Carla Capone-he a spy for the prosecution, she for the defense. Risking all, they discover truths about their employers, about themselves and each other, and what they'll sacrifice for justice and honor-and for love.

    Book Details

    Genre: Historical Fictio
    Published by: The Story Plant 
    Publication Date: July 2nd 2019 
    Number of Pages: 535 
    ISBN: 1611881781 (ISBN13: 9781611881783) 
    Purchase Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

    Read an excerpt:

    The lawyer lobbed a verbal spear across the courtroom, piercing the young man, pinning him to the creaky witness chair and tilting the twelve jurymen forward. Their brows rose in anticipation of a gore-laden response from the witness as he clutched his bowler, his face vacant toward the wood floor beyond his shoddy boots. When the judge cleared his throat, the plaintiff's attorney, Clarence Darrow, repeated the question. "Mr. Bullock, I know this is a strain upon you to recount that tragic day when fifteen of your brothers perished at the hands of the Stratton-" "Your Honor! Point in question," barked the flint-faced defense attorney representing the Stratton Independence Mine, a non-union gold operation near Cripple Creek, Colorado. On this warm summer afternoon in Denver, he and Darrow were the best dressed there, each wearing a three-button, vested suit over a white shirt and dull tie. The robed judge gave a long blink, then peered at Darrow. With a chin waggle, his ruling on the objection was clear. "Yes, certainly. My apologies, Your Honor," feigned Darrow, glancing toward the plaintiff's table where two widows sat in somber regard. Though his wheat-blonde hair and sharp, pale eyes defied his age of forty-nine, his reputation for cunning brilliance and oratory sorcery mitigated the power of his youthful appearance: it was no longer the disarming weapon it had once been. No attorney in the United States would ever presume nascence upon Clarence Darrow. Certainly not in this, his twenty-sixth trial. He continued at the witness. "Though as just a mere man, one among all …" He turned to the jury. "The emotion of this event strains even the most resolute of procedural decorum. I am, as are we all, hard-pressed to-" "Whole strides, shall we, Mr. Darrow?" grumbled the judge. "Yes," Darrow said, turning once again to James Bullock who seemed locked in the block ice of tragedy, having not moved a fraction since first taking the witness seat. "Mr. Bullock, we must rally ourselves, muster our strength, and for the memory of your brothers, share with these jurymen the events of that dark day. You said the ride up from the stope, the mine floor, was a swift one, and there were the sixteen of you in the cage made to hold no more than nine-is that correct?" "Yes, Sir," Bullock replied, his voice a faint warble. "Please continue," Darrow urged. Bullock looked up. "We kept going, right along, but it kept slipping. We'd go a ways and slip again." "Slipping? It was dropping?" "Yes, Sir. Dropping down sudden like, then stopping. Cappy was yelling at us to get to the center, but there was no room. We was in tight." "By Cappy you mean Mr. Capone, the foreman?" "Yes, Sir. Our shift boss that day." The witness sucked his bottom lip. "He was in the cage 'long with us." He sniffed in a breath then added, "And his boy, Tony. Friend of mine. No better fella." "My condolences," said Darrow. "What do you think was the aid in getting the men to the middle of the cage?" "Keep it centered in the shaft, I reckon. We was all yelling." Bullock took a slow breath before continuing, "Cappy was trying to keep the men quiet, but it wasn't making much a difference. Had his arms around Tony." A muscle in Darrow's cheek shuddered. "Please continue." "So we was slipping, going up. Then the operator, he took us up about six feet above the collar of the shaft, then back down again." "Which is not the usual-" "Not rightly. No, Sir. We should've stopped at the collar and no more. But later they said the brakes failed on the control wheel." "Mr. Bullock, let's return to what you experienced. You were near the top of the shaft, the vertical shaft that we've established was 1,631 feet deep, containing, at that time, about twenty feet of water in its base, below the lowest stope, correct?" "Yes, Sir. Before they pumped that water to get to em." "By ‘them' you mean the bodies of your dead companions?" "Yes, Sir." "Ok, you were being hoisted at over 900 feet per minute by an operator working alone on the surface-near the top of the shaft, when the platform began to slip and jump. Is that your testimony?" "Yes, Sir." "That must have been terrifying." "Yes, Sir, it was. We'd come off a tenner too." "A ten-hour shift?" "Yes, Sir." Darrow rounded on the jury, throwing the next question over his shoulder. "Oh, but Sir, how could it have been a ten-hour work day when the eight-hour day is now the law of this state?" The defense lawyer's chair squeaked as he stood. "Objection, Your Honor." "I'll allow it," barked the judge, adding, "But gentlemen ..." The witness shook his head. "The Stratton is a non-union, gold ore mine. Supposed to be non-union anyway. Superintendent said owners weren't obliged to that socialist law." "Hearsay, Your-" "Keep your seat, Counsel. You're going to wear this jury thin." Darrow stepped closer to the witness. "Mr. Bullock, as I said, let's steer clear from what you heard others say. The facts speak for themselves: you and your friends were compelled to work an illegal ten-hour shift. Let's continue. You were near the top, but unable to get off the contraption, and it began to-" "Yes. We'd gone shooting up, then he stopped it for a second." “"By ‘he,' you mean the lift operator?" "Yes, Sir. He stopped it but then it must have gotten beyond his control, cause we dropped sixty, seventy feet all the sudden. We were going quick. We said to each other we're all gone. Then he raised us about ten feet and stopped us. But then, it started again, and this time it was going fast up and we went into the sheave wheel as fast as we could go." "To be sure we all follow, Mr. Bullock, the lift is the sole apparatus that hoisted you from the Stratton Mine, where you work?" "Yes, Sir." "And the sheave wheel is the giant wheel above the surface, driven by a large, thirty-year-old steam engine, run by an operator. That sheave wheel coils in the cable"he pantomimed the motion-"pulling up the 1,500-pound-load platform, or lift, carrying its limit of nine men. And it coils out the cable when the lift is lowered. But that day the lift carried sixteen men-you and fifteen others. Probably over 3,000 pounds. Twice its load limit. Correct?" "Yes, Sir. But, to be clear, I ain't at the Stratton no more." "No?" asked Darrow, pleased the man had bit the lure. "No. Seeing how I was one of Cappy's men. Federation. And, now 'cause this." His voice faded. Darrow frowned, walked a few paces toward the jury, clapped once and rubbed his hands together. "The mine owners, a thousand miles away, won't let you work because you're here-a member of the Western Federation of Miners, a union man giving his honest testimony. Is that right?" "Yes, Sir." Again, the defense counsel came to his feet. "Your Honor, Mr. Darrow knows Mr. Bullock's discharge wasn't-" The judge raised a hand, took a deep breath and cocked his head toward the seasoned attorney before him. "Swift to your point, Mr. Darrow." "Yes, Your Honor." Darrow's blue eyes returned to the witness. "Mr. Bullock, you were telling us about the sheave wheel." "Yes. It's a big thing up there, out over the top of the shaft. You see it on your way up. We all think on it-if we was to not stop and slam right up into it-which we did that day. We all knew it'd happen. I crouched to save myself from the hard blow I knew was coming. I seen a piece of timber about one foot wide there underside the sheave, and soon as we rammed, I grabbed hold and held myself up there, and pretty soon the cage dropped from below me, and I began to holler for a ladder to get down." "Must have been distressing, up there, holding fast to a timber, dangling 1,631 feet over an open shaft, watching your fifteen brothers fall." Bullock choked back tears. "Yes, Sir. That's what I saw." He paused. When he resumed, his tone was empty, as if the voice of his shadow. "I heard em. Heard em go. They was screaming. They knew their end had come. I heard em till I heard em no more."

    --- Excerpt from American Red by David Marlett. Copyright 2019 by David Marlett. Reproduced with permission from The Story Plant. All rights reserved.

    Author Bio:

    David Marlett David Marlett is an award-winning storyteller and writer of historical fiction, primarily historical legal thrillers bringing alive the fascinating people and events leading to major historical trials. His first such novel, Fortunate Son, became a national bestseller in 2014, rising to #2 in all historical fiction and #3 in all literature and fiction on Amazon. The late Vincent Bugliosi -- #1 New York Times bestselling author of Helter Skelter -- said David is "a masterful writer of historical fact and detail, of adventure, peril and courtroom drama.” Just released is American Red which follows the extraordinary true story of a set of radical lovers, lawyers, killers, and spies who launched the Great American Century. Visit www.AmericanRedBook.com. He is currently writing his next historical legal thriller, Angeles Los, which continues some of the lead characters from American Red. Angeles Los is based on the true story at the 1910 intersection of the first movies made in Los Angeles, the murderous bombing of the Los Angeles Times, and eccentric Abbot Kinney's "Venice of America" kingdom. In addition, David is a professor at Pepperdine Law School, was the managing editor of OMNI Magazine, and guest-lectures on story design. He is a graduate of The University of Texas School of Law, the father of four, and lives in Manhattan Beach, California. For more, visit www.DavidMarlett.com.

    Find Our Author Online:

    davidmarlett.com | Goodreads | BookBub | Twitter | Facebook  

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    02 July, 2019

    #GuestPost :: Ramblin’ Notes — Time Travel Possible, No Machine Required by Rue Allyn

    The Catnapped Lover ~ A Short Contemporary Romance by Rue Allyn


    What does a bet between best friends have to do with a kidnapped cat and a tumbled-down animal shelter?  Nothing, unless you are Adam Talcott and you want to prove to your best-buddy that you can survive without access to your wealth and family connections.  Adam would have succeeded too, if it hadn’t been for Dierdre Clancy and that blasted cat.  


    Balancing an armload of mail, an overloaded briefcase, and a gym bag with two yogurt cups teetering on top, Dierdre Clancy rushed to her cubicle. For the fourth time this week, and the umpteenth time this month, she was late. Once again, a power outage in the decrepit apartment building where she lived had caused her alarm clock to fail.

    Please, Lord, don’t let my chauvinist pig of a boss realize I’ve been missing.

    The yogurt cups threatened to topple off the gym bag. Dierdre wasn’t about to let her lunch decorate the linoleum. The mail showered to the floor. The briefcase hit her foot. With her free hand, she plastered the cups to her side. The gym bag slid down her arm. The webbed strap twisted, tourniquet style, around her wrist.

    She managed a couple of sideways hops that brought her to the edge of her desk. The gym bag swung wildly. Leaning against the arm weighed down by the bag’s stranglehold, she managed to dump the yogurt cups onto the desk without mishap. She pulled herself upright and reached for the strap at her wrist.

    Somehow, during all the hopping, the bag had swung around her legs and gotten wedged in the narrow space between her desk and file cabinet. The same strap that cut off circulation to her hand pressed into the backs of her knees, pinning her neatly to the desk. Only an act of extreme dexterity could save her from her own folly. Imbecile, why didn’t you make two trips?

    Because I didn’t want to risk having the boss see me coming in late.

    “Clancy! You’re late.”

    Dierdre’s heart hit the ceiling. She knew the shout—a cross between an operatic tenor and a pig at slaughter. Still, she hadn’t been prepared to hear her boss’s screeching quite so soon.

    Buy Links: books2read.com/u/ba2KBx

    Hero Bio: 
    Adam Talcott was born rich. He went into business with his best friend from college and made even more millions. His methods may be unorthodox, but he nearly always succeeds. Now he’s been challenged to live for two months without any of the privileges and resources he’s known all his life. Adam is confident that he can conquer this challenge as he has all others. But he didn’t count on Dierdre Clancy and that danged cat.

    Heroine Bio: 
    Dierdre Clancy grew up in a family of givers. Her parents were missionaries and often too busy saving other, less privileged people to realize how lonely and abandoned Dierdre felt. When she reached her teen years, she was shipped back to the USA to live with her Aunt Shea on Shea’s rundown farm and animal shelter. Finally she was in a stable environment with an adult she could count on. Dierdre went on to gain a degree in social work and took up the Clancy family tradition of helping others. Most of the time helping others was easy. But Adam Talcott broke that mold and every other box she tried to put him into. How could one man be so difficult to manage?

    Ramblin’ Notes — Time Travel Possible, No Machine Required

    Yes, time travel is possible. How? Read a book. The old-fashioned kind of book, made from paper, isn’t technically a machine, so no Time Machine is required. However, for purists we have computers, tablets, cell-phones, dedicated reading devices and a whole host of other machines that can transport you back in time via the printed page (or screen if you prefer).

    Now some may protest that reading about the past is not traveling there. I won’t argue. For me, reading about the past or stories set in the past is a transportive experience. Lately, I’ve been transported to Wyoming territory in the year 1875. Much was going on at that time. The Lakota nation was fighting for its rights to its holy lands and hunting grounds. Gold had been discovered in the Black Hills–smack in the middle of those holy lands. Settlers were pushing westward at the urging of the Union Pacific railroad. The railroad needed passengers, and it held rights to land along the path of the railway. Land that the railway owners hoped to sell to settlers at a huge profit. If all of that wasn’t enough fights were brewing not just among the Lakota and the settlers but between cattlemen, sheep owners, and farmers. Stagecoach and railway robberies were common place and towns sprang up to provide services to the far flung ranches, farms and mines

    Use that marvelous time machine, the internet, and drill down a layer or three on any one of these topics and you find time travel gold. Be present at the skirmishes that led to the Battle of Little Big Horn and later to the tragedy at Wounded Knee. Get shaken to the bone on a runaway stagecoach as it flees road agents who to steal everything on board, including your own personal treasures. Follow Ferdinand V. Hayden (surveyor), William Henry Jackson (Photographer), and Thomas Moran (artist) and their party as they survey what is now Yellowstone National Park. They “compiled a comprehensive report, including large-format photographs by William Henry Jackson and paintings by Thomas Moran. The report helped to convince the U.S. Congress to withdraw this region from public auction,” and by 1872 President U. S. Grant signed The Act of Dedication law that created Yellowstone National Park. Jackson’s photographs were of particular interest to me even though I’d visited the park in person twice.

    My most recent time travels took me to the trail from Laramie to Devil’s Tower.I caught a ride with a muleskinner who was making deliveries from the rail head at Laramie to out lying ranches. This particular skinner had a good relationship with the Lakota, respected their lands and would trade with them honestly. No cheating, no shoddy goods, no spoiled stores. The skinner had earned the trust of the Lakota bands that lived in the area of Devil’s Tower. That was a feat few settlers could manage, simply because prejudice and ignorance took precedence over common sense and courtesy.

    Sadly my mule skinner didn’t spend long with any one group, so I didn’t learn much about the Lakota other than that they were folks with the same kinds of worries, hopes and dreams that most folks have. I did learn quite a bit about the low-lives taking advantage of not just the Lakota but every person who gave trust too easily. That’s how I discovered that my mule skinner–a major character in my current work in progress–falls victim to the machinations of a villain who is actually trying to increase tensions between the Lakota and the settlers. That villain figures that he can get land at very cheap prices if the area is deemed unsafe. Then he can have the army clear the Lakota off their lands and lay claim to those too.

    All of this, we normally call research, is what I call time travel. The great thing is that anyone can do it. So the next time you go online or pick up a book ask yourself not what you want to know, but instead, when you want to be. Please leave a comment and share some of your time travel experiences.

    Hi, I’m Rue Allyn, I write heart melting romance novels. Books about characters and adventures in which love triumphs at the darkest moment. The kind of hopeful, steal-your-breath romance that melts a reader’s heart. The type of book I like to read. Hope you will too.

    Freebie ~~ Get a FREE download of Rue Allyn’s May 2019 release Forever Hold My Heart, a Scottish historical novella. Just sign up for her newsletter here https://www.rueallyn.com/ravonsubscribe/.

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    01 July, 2019

    #GuestPost :: Mahoney by Andrew Joyce

    About the Author:
    Andrew Joyce left home at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn't return from his journey until years later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written seven books. His first novel, Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, was awarded the Editors' Choice Award for Best Western of 2013. A subsequent novel, Yellow Hair, received the Book of the Year award from Just Reviews and Best Historical Fiction of 2016 from Colleen's Book Reviews.

    Check out Andrew’s Website

    My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. Debdatta has been kind enough to allow me a little space on her blog to promote my new book, Mahoney. So, I thought I’d tell you how it came about. But to do that, I gotta tell you how my mind works.

    A few years ago, I had just finished reading Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn for the third time, and I started thinking about what ever happened to those boys, Tom and Huck. They must have grown up, but then what? So I sat down at my computer and banged out Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. I had them as adults in the Old West. Kind of like Wyatt Earp type characters. It was a modest success and won an award as Best Western of 2013.

    I think my favorite book of all time is The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. I’ve read it a number of times over the years. The last time being two years ago. Now, for those of you who may not have read it, it’s about one family’s trek from the Oklahoma Dust Bowl of the 1930s to the “Land of Milk and Honey,” also known as California. Of course. California wasn’t a land of milk and honey. If anything, the family was worse off in California than they were in Oklahoma. The subtext of the book is how those on the lower rungs of society’s ladder are oppressed and have very little voice to fight against that oppression.

    Near the end of the book, Tom Joad, the protagonist, runs afoul of the law and must leave his family or else be arrested on a trumped up charge or be killed by the big landowners’ goons. His mother, quite naturally, will miss him and is worried for him. The words he spoke to her in that scene have become iconic.

    "I'll be aroun' in the dark. I'll be everywhere-wherever you look. Wherever there is a fight so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Wherever there is a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there. I'll be in the way kids laugh when they're hungry and they know supper's ready. An' when our folk eat the stuff they raise an' live in the houses they build—why, I'll be there." — Tom Joad, The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck

    So, here’s what I did. Just like with Huck Finn, I started thinking about what ever happened to Tom Joad after he left his family. I wanted to write about injustices and the people who suffer those injustices. I thought I’d follow Tom around and write about what he encountered from about the mid-thirties to 1963 when Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I have a Dream” speech.

    However, there was just one problem with that: copyright laws. The character of Tom Joad belongs to the heirs of John Steinbeck. So, I had to come up with another angle. After some thought on the matter, I decided to expand my initial time frame from between 1933 and 1963 to 1849 and 1963. I’d start the story in Ireland during the potato famine and work my way to America and then I’d end up where I had originally intended.

    Here’s the blurb for the book:

    In this compelling, richly researched novel, author Andrew Joyce tells a riveting story of adventure, endurance, and hope as the Mahoney clan fights to gain a foothold in America.
    In the second year of an Gorta Mhór—the Great Famine—nineteen-year-old Devin Mahoney lies on the dirt floor of his small, dark cabin. He has not eaten in five days. His only hope of survival is to get to America, the land of milk and honey. After surviving disease and storms at sea that decimate crew and passengers alike, Devin’s ship limps into New York Harbor three days before Christmas, 1849. Thus starts an epic journey that will take him and his descendants through one hundred and fourteen years of American history, including the Civil War, the Wild West, and the Great Depression.

    Well, that’s how Mahoney came about. For those of you who may read it, I hope you enjoy it. It took me almost two years of research, writing, and editing to get it to where I wanted and to tell the story I wanted to tell.

    Read a Snippet:

    The reflected firelight flickered across awestruck faces and mirrored in the eyes of those who listened as stories were told of yesterday’s indignities and tomorrow’s aspirations. The look in those yearning eyes spoke of hopes and dreams. The laughter heard around the fire conveyed a sense that somehow it would all work out. For a few short hours, on Saturday nights, in the deep woods of a place none of them had ever heard of before, the constant fear that lived within their hearts was banished from their lives.

    In time, they would prevail. Their sons and daughters would one day stand straight and tall as proud Americans, as proud as their fathers had been to be Irish.

    Check out the book on Amazon