Books I’d Love To Read…(October 15th 2017)

Books I'd love to read
the cryptic crossword caper

The Cryptic Crossword Caper

Mags, recently widowed, has retired to tiny Buck’s Gap off the Big Sur coast, content to work her crosswords and discuss mysteries with her book club. Then she discovers the body of a murder victim, a professional puzzle-maker, and is drawn into the investigation. Soon a glamorous FBI agent arrives in town trying to find some stolen diamonds from a long-ago heist that she thinks may be connected. Mags is happy to help the police chief, but she may have bitten off more than she can chew. Fortunately, she has the Buck’s Gap Women’s Auxiliary by her side.

There are several puzzles in the book which can be worked by the reader, including a hybrid cryptic crossword, a Sudoku, and two cryptograms. These provide clues to the murder. The crossword and Sudoku are available online where they can be worked interactively or downloaded and printed out to be worked on paper. Details on how to do so are available in the Appendix. Find this book at The Cryptic Crossword Caper.

the rogue mountains by joshua tarquinio

The Rogue Mountains by Joshua Tarquinio

The end of times hadn’t been the end of times. It wasn’t even the end of Pittsburgh. But what else to call it? Heaven and Hell and all the other planes had opened up on Earth and the battle was fought. But then it ended, and everything was still here, albeit with more than a few new additions to the taxonomy. If the end of times had come and gone, had God gone too? The Creative had given no sign, renewing the faith of some, destroying that of others. One question prevailed. Whether or not God was still around, what would be the place of mankind in the order of things? As this story begins, Del Ballantine, monster hunter, arrives in a small mountain town to help with the infestation. He soon learns it won’t be as easy as the last ten or so places. One mountain is home to a witch. Another mountain, home to a primordial beast only one man ever lived to speak of. That man hadn’t been able to say much before he went insane though. Ariana, Jeremy, and Reggie make up the house band at the Foothill Hotel and Bar. Though Reggie is content to go with the flow, his band mates are becoming frustrated with their situation. Jeremy, too talented to stay where he is, must care for his nightmare plagued mother. Ariana, who hasn’t yet found herself, finds that the thrills she once easily extracted from her middle-of-nowhere town are beginning to lose their luster. Along the way, Ballantine meets the curmudgeon taxidermist and his uncommonly attractive wife, the no-nonsense hotel owner and her mute husband, a cocksure world traveler come to try his hand at hunting game from Hell, wood devils, shug monkeys, hunner dyers, hellcats, a ghost, and Jessica among many others. There’s action and suspense, magic and mayhem, sex and violence, mixed emotions and questionable deeds. Can the people take their mountains back? And whether or not they succeed, will they find their place?  Find this book at The Rogue Mountains.

Culture Man by Guy Cook

Culture Man by Guy Cook

Rob’s “Year of Culture” gave him purpose last year: to perform and blog about a cultural activity each week. This year he’s at a loss until a mix-up at his ex-girlfriend Marianne’s laboratory leads to limited superpowers. He resolves to win the local tennis tournament, the Hampshire Cup. His best friend, Paul, and his physio, Kate—who can’t resist a superhero on the books—help him. Meanwhile, a supervillain stalks Winchester stealing cultural artefacts—all of which, oddly, have featured in Rob’s blog. Nicknamed the Velvet Vandal by the local press, the crimes become more ambitious and Rob is drawn in.

Soon he, Paul, Kate and Marianne are entangled in a summer of mystery and adventure. Who is the Velvet Vandal? What role does Marianne’s sinister professor play? And can Rob’s powers lead him to discover his true calling? Amongst the rooftop battles, daring raids on an Oxford laboratory, hopes of romance, an escaped anteater, and the morally dubious attempt to win the Hampshire Cup, a thrilling climax approaches. Find this one at Culture Man.

Dreams of a Broken Man

Dreams of a Broken Man by Roger Bray

On a cold, misty night in Eugene, Oregon Hazel Reed disappears from outside her ex-husband’s home. Hazel is stunningly beautiful, intelligent and unfaithful. So when she vanishes without a trace a jealous ex-husband is the natural suspect. Alex says she came to reconcile but, the DA thinks otherwise and Alex is convicted and imprisoned for Hazel’s murder. His sister, Alice, refuses to believe that he is a capable of such an act.
Three years pass and the last appeal fails. Alex is in jail and Alice is desperate and alone; until a chance meeting gives her hope.
As her new friend, Steve, helps her peel away the hidden truths and fragile lies holding the prosecution case together they realise that they are revealing a deeper and more sinister mystery.
Without them knowing, finding out what happened to Hazel has become a race against time. You can find this book at Dreams of a Broken Man.

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Books I’d Love To Read October 8th 2017

The Dead Don’t Always Rest in Peace…

Jason Crandall, recently widowed, is left to raise his young daughter and rebellious teenage son on his own – and the old Victorian in Shadow Springs seems like the perfect place for them to start over. But the cracks in Jason’s new world begin to show when he meets Savannah Sturgess, a beautiful socialite who has half the men in town dancing on tangled strings.

When she goes missing, secrets begin to surface, and Jason becomes ensnared in a dangerous web that leads to murder – and he becomes a likely suspect. But who has the answers that will prove his innocence? The jealous husband who’s hell-bent on destroying him? The local sheriff with an incriminating secret? The blind old woman in the house next door who seems to watch him from the windows? Or perhaps the answers lie in the haunting visions and dreams that have recently begun to consume him.

Or maybe, Savannah herself is trying to tell him that things aren’t always as they seem – and that sometimes, the dead don’t rest in peace.

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The Circuit Series

Centuries after Earth was rendered an uninhabitable wasteland, humanity was forced from its home world and founded the Kepler Circuit, a string of colonies throughout the solar system. These settlements provide resources to the remnants of humankind, the most important resource being the newly discovered element–Gravitum–found only in the Earth’s unstable mantle.

But a powerful religious faction known as the New Earth Tribunal has risen to preside over most of the Circuit. Though there is barely a faction left to challenge them, a string of attacks on the Tribunal’s freighters causes them to suspect their mortal enemies, the Ceresians, of foul play.

Tasked with solving the problem is Sage Volus: Tribunal Executor. Spy.

Sage quickly infiltrates the ranks of a roguish, Ceresian mercenary named Talon Rayne, seeking to discover the truth behind the attacks, but the longer she works amidst Talon and his squad, the more she finds her faith in the Tribunal tested.

While her quest for answers only unearths more questions, a new threat is on the rise, and it plans to bring down the Tribune once and for all.

Check it out at Circuit Series.

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Fractured Symmetry: Blair MacAlister and Terendurr The Black Stone

A woman of action working for a reclusive, enigmatic genius, one-thousand light-years from Earth …

Blair MacAlister is an expert at Judo, a credible AI hacker, and a certified pilot of craft atmospheric and interstellar. Her favorite weapon is sarcasm, or failing that, her ever-present blaster. Her boss is Terendurr the Black Stone: technical wizard, expert in the ethnography of myriad races, fancier of rare foods and wines, and even rarer fractalites. An Entharion Quadromorph, exiled from his homeworld and under constant threat of assassination, he is also somewhat irritable.

Together they investigate mysteries based on science, in a setting that brings them into contact with all the main races of Civspace: The mysterious Junn, the affable but biologically intense Raylics, the chaotic and powerful Oro-Ka, the commercial minded Keret, and the cynical Phair. At the center of their cases are transformative genetic therapies, unlikely fossils, the linked neurology of symbiotes, and more. Terendurr is over 300 years old and has seen and endured the worst and strangest the galaxy has to offer. Will Blair prove as durable as her boss?

Fractured Symmetry, the first book in the series: Interstellar Investigations: Blair MacAlister & Terendurr the Black Stone. Find it at Fractured Symmetry.

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Tridea’s Children

*2017 Golden Quill Award Contest – Semifinalist*

For as long as anyone in the world of Tridea can remember, large crystals have lined the landscape, possessing and exuding powerful magical energy.

When a meteor crashes into Tridea and the crystals are infected by a darkness. The populace of elves, fae and feline races discover a great danger. A virus is released, capable of controlling all humans.

Humans are vulnerable… easy to control… dangerous.

For Rush, Spark and Feather, what started off as a simple scouting mission to monitor the affected humans, turns into a dangerous journey. Where their unity and endurance will not only be tested, but challenged.

In the darkest of times… they must stand together.

Despite their initial attitudes towards humans, they realize that if they are to survive and save Tridea, they will need to overcome their differences and face the darkness.

Find it at Tridea’s Children.

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Jais

Welcome to the war.

David Rivers returns from combat to find the silence of peace deafening. Escaping into the thrill of BASE jumping keeps a darkness growing within him at bay, until a discharge from military service pushes him over the edge.

After brutally settling his final score, David is confronted by three men who emerge from the shadows, having watched unseen as he committed ruthless, cold-blooded murder.

Now, they want him to do it again.

David undertakes the single most dangerous assignment of his life, earning admission into the dark underworld of ex-special operators for hire and plunging headlong into a new war, where victory is defined by profit and the rules are set by the highest bidder.

But as the stakes—and the payoff—continue to rise, his pursuit of the impossible is turning into a battle for survival, and David must confront the growing realization that his greatest enemy may not be within after all.

Find this one at Jais by Jason Kasper.

 

Jais, the debut novel by Jason Kasper, is the first book in the David Rivers Series.

 

Books I’d LOVE To Read If I Just Had The Time (September 23rd 2017)

Hiding in Third Person is the story of friends who help each other during desperate times. Ricky, a flippant orderly befriends a mental patient at an asylum he refers to as the spa and dude ranch. He listens to the man, the other orderlies call Mr. River, tell a dubious tale of two teenage boys on the run from an assassin. In River’s story the boys, Malachi and Doc, take refuge at an abandoned military base, BOMARC, nestled in the heart of the idyllic New Jersey Pinelands. The killer, known to the boys as The Finder, hesitates to follow them into the facility because it was once the site of a plutonium spill.

Unknown to the teens, three law enforcement officers are also on their trail. Cancer worries, and false identities hinder the cops in their search. Evidence from a suspected murder scene, and a mysterious code baffle the officers, keeping them one step behind the killer. Check it out at Hiding in Third Person.

In the aftermath of the mass slaughter of vampires in eighteenth century Europe Valentin tries to keep the fragile covenant not to kill mortals intact through a strategy of abundance. Working from the shadows as vampire elders rule the three nests of modern day Amsterdam, he attempts to manage the finances of the continental vampires while mentoring the newly turned American Steve.
After dealing with a vampire hunter in Amsterdam, Valentin, Karolina, and Steve travel to the primal vampire nest in tunnels beneath the Mother of Cities to attend the annual council of elders ruled by Lord Makru. Things go horribly wrong though when a newly turned American girl on summer break tells a mortal everything about the vampires, but fails to feed on him, spurring yet another descendant of vampire hunters into action.
Karolina’s plans to start throwing feeding parties on unsuspecting mortals again after two and half centuries are put on hold as unrest in the four London nests spills over to Amsterdam, resulting in violence and the true death for some. When she and Viona finally start throwing feeding parties at the mansion in Amsterdam and the palace in the Mother of Cities another summer concludes with shocking developments and heart breaking lose. Check it out at The Gloaming, Rise of the Stealth Vampire Elder.

THE BODY OF PRESIDENTIAL candidate “Skipper” Goodman turns up in the snowy mountains of Utah, near the small town of Truman, nine months after his private jet vanishes en route to D.C. Despite orders to the contrary, Truman’s local coroner cannot resist the temptation to probe the most famous guest to ever cross his table. Within an hour of the body’s discovery, Colonel James Merkett and a strike team are racing toward Truman in an effort to contain the “Goodman problem” before it can spread any further. ANXIOUS TO BE HOME after a week away, Alex Summers and her closest friend, Marie Matthews, are horrified to learn that seven people in their sleepy little town have died mysteriously while they were out of touch. All the deaths occurred within hours of Goodman’s body arriving at the coroner’s office. Could there be some connection? Are the rest of their friends and family in danger? The women embark on a mission to find out, but their search for clues turns up a handful of scrap and more questions—questions that someone doesn’t want them to ask. Alex and Marie soon find themselves in a frantic flight to save their very lives, pursued by men with murderous intent. Marie Matthews is determined to unravel the lies that are choking the life out of her town, or die trying. What no one knows, including Alex, is that Marie Matthews is a woman with deadly secrets of her own. Check this one out at An Evil Wind.

Thread and Other Stories is a multi-genre collection of short stories (single author) that includes science fiction, fantasy, urban fiction, literary fiction, historical fiction, and espionage. There are seven stories in the collection.

Prudence and her older brother Yannick face extreme poverty and hardship in Thread. They live day to day on the wages they earn at low paying, difficult jobs. They face hardships that seem insurmountable for two young children. Isidore, an impoverished boy trying to survive on his own, enters their lives with even greater needs than Prudence and Yannick. They integrate him into their family life even as their world begins to crumble around them. But, there is an ominous backdrop to these events as strange entities take a keen interest in the lives of the three children.

A military psychologist evaluates a Vietnam war veteran who has experienced psychological damage in Shrink. The veteran’s fellow soldiers and friends must support him as the psychologist attempts to uncover the reasons behind his trauma.

Emil, Annie, and their three children—Zona, Owen, and Abner—struggle to stay safe in a steampunk-inspired fantasy world in Chance. Abner finds himself in trouble as a powerful magical being terrorizes the family farm. Only Zona’s quick thinking along with her parents’ knowledge of magic will give them a chance against the dark sorcery of the enemy.

John and Greg, bound by friendship, embark on a journey of trial and tragedy in Conflict, a 20th Century historical fiction. They must deal with death, loss, and grief as compatriots fall in battle during this poignant snapshot of the Canadian military in World War I. John and Greg show a contrast in the ways that these soldiers adapted to the psychological effects of war.

Veera, an astrophysicist, begins to experience recurring déjà vu, the source of which she cannot determine in Oversight, a science fiction adventure. She is unknowingly set on a collision course with Misha, who challenges Veera’s perception of the world as she struggles to determine what is real and what isn’t. Misha must deal with his own psychological demons as he tries to salvage a failing mission that will either end in glory or in his own death.

Dmitry is a hardened spy in the Cold War who has no mercy for his adversary Olyesa in the espionage thriller Deception. Olyesa and Dmitry navigate their way through the murky waters of agents and double agents while simultaneously struggling against each other for survival. When their divergent plans collide, it threatens to destroy them both.

Explore a metaphysical debate in the literary short story Conversation, which is woven between each of the short stories in this collection. An unnamed protagonist and an unidentified and secretive entity discuss the metaphysical and spiritual meaning behind science and what it means to gain knowledge.

Don’t miss this book- it’s at Thread and Other Stories.

Books I’d LOVE To Read If I Could Just Find The Time (September 16, 2017)

WildWorldWild World by Peter S. Rush is a mystery set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and protest era of the 1970’s. WILD WORLD is a gripping novel of power, corruption, injustice, courage, and hope—and one tenacious young man whose determination to overturn the system holds unexpected consequences for his own life. In the spring of 1970, Steve Logan, like thousands of other college students across America, takes to the streets to protest authority and the Vietnam War. Fueled by a strong sense of moral justice, he wants to make the world better—a belief his girlfriend Roxy, a medical student, passionately shares. Weeks before his graduation from Brown University, Steve’s life is upended when National Guard troops kill four students at Kent State University. Then, he meets a reform-minded cop from New York City who convinces Steve that to change the system, he has to get involved. Eager to make a difference, Steve decides to give up law school and join the Providence Police Department. While the rookie cop with an Ivy League degree knows that change is difficult, the reality of fighting the establishment soon overwhelms him. His education makes him an outsider, and his honesty makes him a threat to the corrupt cops who use the power of their badge to inflict brutality and extort. And the job is taking a toll at home. His college friends think he’s a traitor to the cause and even Roxy, the woman he loves, has begun to pull away. But Steve isn’t going to give up. Devising a dangerous plan to radically shake up the system, he begins to collect the evidence to take his enemies down . . . unless they take him out first. You can find this one at Wild World.

 

Ophiuchus Rising

Time-travelling secret agents, the greatest prison in the universe, and a quasi-mystical monster that lives in a black hole that could be the apocalypse to an entire Niven Ring full of people…

Not that Nightingale does that sort of thing any more. Certainly not. These days, he teaches a class in the mornings and spends the evening in quiet repose.

And Amy? Well, Amy is on vacation. On a date, in fact. A date that is very rapidly going badly, and it is entirely her fault.

So when the fate of an entire galaxy hangs in the balance, who better to call than a stodgy professor and a bad girlfriend? Faced with the inevitable, Nightingale and Amy are pulled back in to the world of Hoshido, Kael, and Kaaden – a secret organization of time-travelling busybodies dedicated to the preservation of history. Flung casually across time and space, with no weaponry or contacts, Nightingale and Amy have to infiltrate the prison, stare the Beast in the face, and make the ultimate decision. The stakes could not be higher, and they’re running out of the one thing that had always been on their side – time…OPHIUCHUS RISING is a thrilling 57,000 word sci-fi novel set in the Hoshido, Kael, and Kaaden (HKK) universe.

You can find this one at Ophiuchus Rising.

tiedyed

 

When 18-year-old Brianne James discovers a murdered young girl at Montgomery Park – a 15-year-old who has been left for dead in the icy snow – there is only one thing she can do: search for the killer.

Brianne has a nose for sleuthing. She can connect with people; even scary people. She has the smarts to solve even the most underhanded crime, and she can solve it with or without the help of the police or her parents.

When it comes to Conner Ryan, however, his unrelenting assistance is quite another story. When you’re in love with one of the hottest guys in school – who in the heck cares?

You can find this book at Tie Died.

Books I’d LOVE To Read (September 9th 2017)

I’ve decided to highlight books I’d love to read but don’t currently have the time. Every week, I’ll be issuing a post to let others know about these interesting books.

September 9th 2017:

 

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Wealth of a Nation by T.B. O’Neill

Everyone knows I love a good Dystopian novel. I love books that can show me how society can take an idea and run so far with it, it’s a nightmare. This book is about a society in which there’s no jobs. Society is divided into workers and citizens, with citizens being the lower class. Given that we read daily about how increasingly more jobs are being lost to automation and the global race to the bottom, it’s an interesting ‘what if’- what if automation and technology remove the need for most human workers? How would society deal with that?You can find the author’s website with a book trailer and interview here: T. B. O’Neill

 

 

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Androcide by Erec Stebbins

 

Androcide (Intel 1 Book 5) is about investigators in New York City who’ve linked gruesome murders to a man-murdering serial killer known as the Eunuch Maker. They enter a cat-and-mouse game with the killer that can prove deadly.

You can view the book trailer and more details at the author’s website at: Erec Stebbins’ Androcide

 

Sparkle is a Fantasy/Horror Young Adult novel from Arin Lee Kambitsis.  What if the

Sparkle

Sparkle by Arin Lee Kambitsis

monsters that like eating kids were real? What if an ancient one from the time of Eden started killing people in your town? What if it thought you looked tasty?

This book can be found at Sparkle.

 

 

 

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The Step-Spinsters by Madina Papadopoulos

 

This is an imaginative, Medeival retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale. This is told from the point of view of her step-sisters. After all, there’s always more than one side to any story. This book is at The Step-Spinsters.