Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mary Metcalfe's Excitingly Romantic...But Think "Fatal Attraction!"

"Good to see you too, Allison. How's your mother?" She tried to remember where the litter box was.
"She can't communicate at all. The stroke was so severe she'll probably never walk again."
"I'm sorry to hear that. You must be very worried about her." Carol stepped into the hall and moved towards the kitchen.
"Let's do a little tour then and make sure everything is ready..."
"You should know I've already put away everything of any value." Allison's eyes were hard.
"If you're referring to the con artist, he's now in prison for what he did." Carol smiled thinly. Allison hadn't even attempted to veil her snide comment. Most people weren't so blunt. "I'm sure the house is in showcase condition, but let's go have a quick look. It'll remind me of the features I want to play up." As Carol strode away, she didn't see Allison's piercing stare...
"The new owners will have a major redecorating project on their hands. I see some cars parked out front. Let's let the first visitor in." Time to get going, she thought, looking at her watch. As she opened the front door, she saw Devin Elliot striding up the walk. Of course, he'd be the first to arrive..."Hello, Devin Figured you'd be first."
"Hello, Carol. I need to warn you about something. This house and I have some history.
If Allison Wendover is here, it could get ugly."
"She's here. Should I call the police?"
"It won't get that ugly but--"
"What are you doing here, Devin?" Allison had come to the door and stood, legs akimbo, with her hands on her narrow hips. Carol glanced between the two of them, thinking she wasn't the only one who'd managed to get on Allison's bad side. She couldn't help but wonder what Devin had done.
"I'm here to see your mother's house, of course. It's a free world last time I checked."
"You are not welcome here." Allison's eyes blazed with anger.
"I don't have to be welcome. My money's as good as the next person's."
Carol watched in some alarm as the two titans suddenly squared off. "Allison. Can we please take this inside?" Carol could feel the electricity arcing off the two adversaries...Three couples on the sidewalk were watching the altercation with interest.
"He is not coming into this house."
"I most certainly am. I will simply call the police if you don't let me in to view this publicly advertised Open House."
Carol recognized the molten color of Devin's eyes. He was angry. Very angry. "Allison, you don't have a legal right to bar him from seeing the house. As your agent, I must ask you to step aside, let him in, and we'll go from there...
"When Allison moved to object, Carol cut her off. "Are we clear on this?
There are other prospective buyers waiting outside in the cold..."

New Beginnings
By Mary Metcalfe

This is my favorite of the three read this weekend... Of course, you all know I go for suspense with my romance and this one has a female that I really enjoyed hating! What more could I want, besides a pair of lovers to watch come together! Carol Brock, best friend of Jennifer in Winds of Change comes to the "star" role in New Beginnings. She's had some bad experiences with men in the past and twice got burnt on the job because issues which really were not her fault. But, as we know, often that doesn't make any difference if there are others who resent you for some reason...

And Carol was somebody you either looked to as a role model...or hated, because she was so good at selling. Her activities with real estate in Boston had made her a very wealthy woman... During the last year, though, she had finally realized that she was not really happy. Her children, in college, were distant, not having had much time with her, due to Carol's hours on the job, even at nights and weekends when most people looking to buy were available and wanting to view the properties...

"When I met you and saw the fire in your eyes, you
reminded me of Aero and Sabrina. [horses] He traced
a finger along the line of her shoulder. "So high-
spirited and beautiful." Carol half closed her eyes
as his hand slowly explored under her sweater. "I
want us to take this slowly, Carol, but I don't think
I can. You've touched my heart in a way no other
woman has in many years...
"Outside, Aero and Sabrina nuzzled heads as the
eagles flew high in the soft November light..."
Right now, she's responsible for the sale of a beautiful Victorian home, whose owner is now in a rest home and who dies during the novel, making it even more of a...shall we say, challenge!

At the same time, Carol, who has stayed away from men since the last few have caused much havoc in her life, meets a new one, who convinces her she's made the right decision! Because when she met him, in a parking lot, he had parked too close to her vehicle, and knocked off her side mirror! Carol couldn't even get into her car, so she promptly took a camera, sent it to the police and called a tow truck!

Off course the owner came just as the tow was to begin and took the brunt of her anger quite nicely, apologized, and finally started to laugh at her! Well...any woman knows how Carol reacted to that laughter!

But from bad beginnings...

It soon got worse!

Devin Elliott, architect, Boston's most eligible bachelor, and destroyer of vehicle mirrors, wants to buy the Victorian home for which Carol is responsible! And he wants an early viewing, which she refuses. Then, when he's the first at the open house, the daughter of the owner, refuses to allow him to enter! Carol stands in the midst of their screaming, while other interested customers watch from the sidewalk! Another real estate nightmare for Carol! But Allison has friends and connections... And, this time, Carol is suspended!

Now that should leave you hanging and wanting to know more, right? Well, let's just say that Devin used to date the owner's daughter, but it's been years ago. Only to Allison, she has never gotten over him...and if Carol has any type of relationship with him, even if just professional, Carol is now part of all that must happen!

Compelling drama, outrageous stalking, arson and much, much more! I loved it and think you will too! See yesterday's review for Debut Winds of Change and next in series Road to Tomorrow here tomorrow!


Originally from the Toronto-Hamilton area of Ontario, Canada, Mary moved to Ottawa to study journalism and fell in love with the region. Shortly after graduating, she met and fell in love with her soul mate.
In addition to being a full-time novelist, Mary edits memoirs, fiction and non-fiction manuscripts. She's adopted the moniker Lakefront Muse to reflect (pardon the pun) her love of living by a small lake and gaining inspiration from nature in her rural surroundings. While her novels are set in or near Boston, she lives in the foothills of the Laurentians in Quebec, Canada.
Please visit Mary on her blog at www.lakefrontmuse.blogspot.ca for weekly interviews with authors from around the world and musings about writing and publishing in general.
Learn more at www.marymetcalfe.ca.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekend Marathon of Reading Mary Metcalfe - Watch for Reviews of Trilogy!

Winds of Change

Sadly, this excerpt is no longer true...
"In his hotel room, Ben glanced at the bedside clock, I need
to get my act in gear. He threw back the covers. Finally, I can
check out. He grinned when he realized his his thinking had
changed. Just weeks ago I was beyond grateful to be in a hotel.
I must be ready to settle down if I'm thinking a hotel is boring.
I can't believe I actually want to move into Gord's condo, he
shook his head, scratched his head and grinned at himself in
the bathroom mirror. The furnished condo overlooking the
harbor belonged to a journalist buddy out on assignment. He'd
offered to pay rent but Gord said it was just going to sit empty.
Might as well keep it occupied. Works for me, Ben thought
and set himself up for a steaming shower.
"He was soon hailing a cab over to the studio to pick up the
keys. He was still getting used to the pulse of Boston and
being in a city where suicide bombers were unknown..."

By Mary Metcalfe

Spending a weekend with a delightful series is a wonderful vacation! Mary Metcalfe gives us lots of romance with a little suspense in each novel, but there is no doubt that she's created a set of characters with whom you will immediately feel at home. You might think about how your own family expands through marriage, births, joys and deaths but, so far, there is mostly love... It was soooo refreshing to enjoy the mutual attraction of a couple and watch it develop into something more...

Especially when it is happening in one family--and for the second time around...

In Winds of Change, three first marriages were lost through death...

Jennifer Barrett lost her husband and child in an accident. She works as a social worker who is just now trying to rebuild her life. I enjoyed how she seemed to blossom when she started a new relationship... While Lana Fitzpatrick was a nurse who worked at the senior home. She had a son Danny who you will soon come to love, as did the whole cast, LOL! And when Danny gets with Jennifer's dog, fun is all around!

"How are you now?"
"A lot better than I was even a month ago. I realize
now I was completely burned out. At least now I
don't walk around looking up for snipers but I still
feel more comfortable with my back to the wall in
restaurants. Just coming back, resting, exercising,
and eating properly has made a huge difference. I
feel like I'm standing on firm ground that isn't
to blow up when I least expect it...
"There are some places that are just too dangerous
to send in a journalist...
"Journalists aren't safe any more. I know some
who've been attacked and beaten up by mobs.
There was a case of a print reporter who had his
hands hacked at with a knife. They were trying
to prevent him from sending in his stories.
Female journalists have been raped."
Ben and Mark Powell have been estranged for many years. Mark had lived with his mother when she and Ben got divorced. It was Mark, then, who was his mother's only caregiver as she developed and died from cancer...

Ben is an internationally known journalist who has broadcasted from all parts of the world, but who could not face his son when his mother died...and went back to work soon after. After PTSD claimed him, he had decided to retire and when he reunites with his son, who has also suffered from severe depression, they tread carefully to try to build a relationship.

And it's all happening in Boston! At Brentwood's seniors residence...Jennifer's father lives there as an Alzheimer patient, but his mind for early memories abound and when Jennifer recommends one of her clients for a groundskeeper position, she is thrilled with an idea for the residents to be involved in gardening is approved, started, and that her father is soon guiding others through his knowledge!

One other character is Carol, Jennifer's best friend, who is always having man troubles, but this time, we get to watch it turn into a criminal investigation, when Ben, with his nose for truth versus lies, announces that there is something phony about Carol's latest!

I've purposely not given any info on the hookups that evolve in the book, so you'll enjoy those occasions as much as I did!

As some of you know, I have an interest in spotlighting what stress is doing to many of us. Mark suffered by feeling and being alone, seeing his mother suffer and die from cancer. Ben felt his audience needed to know what was happening in the world and so worked too hard and too long, traveling to too many dangerous places until he just could not go on...

I believe there are many who do not realize that what they feel is actually based upon the stress in their lives and that if it is not realized, it can mean death...I applaud this author for not only spotlighting but covering two different reasons by which your life can be instantly, or over a long time, changed in a dramatic way.

Aside from that, this is a great romantic tale that has little sexual details, but is full of what is most important in finding someone with whom to share your life. Definitely a contemporary women's story, but with much to offer men as well! Sit back and enjoy this one...Tomorrow will be New Beginnings as the family drama increases!


Originally from the Toronto-Hamilton area of Ontario, Canada, Mary moved to Ottawa to study journalism and fell in love with the region. Shortly after graduating, she met and fell in love with her soul mate.
In addition to being a full-time novelist, Mary edits memoirs, fiction and non-fiction manuscripts. She's adopted the moniker Lakefront Muse to reflect (pardon the pun) her love of living by a small lake and gaining inspiration from nature in her rural surroundings. While her novels are set in or near Boston, she lives in the foothills of the Laurentians in Quebec, Canada.
Please visit Mary on her blog at www.lakefrontmuse.blogspot.ca for weekly interviews with authors from around the world and musings about writing and publishing in general.
Learn more at www.marymetcalfe.ca.
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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Jamie Freveletti Creates Suspenseful, Surprising Action-Packed Trip to Bermuda Triangle...

Map of the Bermuda Triangle
"Emma didn’t know what to say, but his words sent doubt through her. That Marwell was so certain they’d meet up with some creature that he’d arranged for a weapon made the danger all that more real. She shook off the feeling. She had one hundred people depending on her back at the lab to collect the mineral, and she didn’t believe for a moment that a sea monster lived in the blue holes. Whatever was there was physical and quantifiable and she expected it to be explained by science. Nonetheless, she wouldn’t scoff at Marwell. The world was filled with wonder, and even the things that science explained often awed her...The engines seized and the cruiser gave a violent lurch. Emma flew sideways and hit the opposite side with her back. Carrow slid across the deck and slammed into the cooler. The engines whined and their gears clanged. “Sounds like a rod is stuck in them,” Carrow said. Emma, on her knees now, scrambled back to the aft section. Carrow joined her to peer over the transom at the engines. The water behind the boat was black and churning, but the cruiser didn’t move. It was as if something was holding them in place, trying to pull them underwater. Emma tried to see what was obstructing the engines, but the oily, dark water reduced the visibility. The boat gave another violent lurch, the stern shuddered, and the rear of the boat started to lower into the whirlpool that was forming. 
“We’re sinking,” Carrow said.
Dead Asleep
By Jamie Freveletti

This is my first read for Jamie Freveletti, but not my last. I immediately was impressed with her leading lady for the series, Emma Caldridge, a chemist who owns a new, struggling business in her field of expertise, but also is a freelance operative for Darkview, a private security group about which I am sure there is lots more to know! It turns out for this story, she acts in both positions!

But that is not surprising since Voodoo was involved!

Actually, it includes much more, but Freveletti does a great job in molding everything together, creating a wild thriller which will keep you involved almost on each page!

“That, Mr. Carrow, is an understatement,” she said.
He once again offered her the bottle.
She took hold of it and downed another swallow
without bothering to clean the neck.
This one was even better.
She felt a pleasant buzz begin,
and even looking at the dead rooster didn’t seem so
awful. “Is your problem a chemical one?”
“You could say that.” Emma was getting a bit frustrated.
“Why don’t you just spell it out for me?”
He took a deep breath. “My drummer fell asleep.”
She shrugged. “And?” “And hasn’t woken up.
For over twenty-four hours.”
“Mr. Carrow . . .” “And if you’ve heard anything about
Rex Rain, you’ve heard the party stories,
I’m sure.” Emma had heard the stories about
Rex Rain and their legendary drug use.
Some of the more fantastic tales involved satanic ritual
and devil worship. She’d always dismissed
the tabloid reports as gossip of the worst type.
“Well the stories are, for the most part, true,”
Carrow said. “I don’t believe that.” Carrow looked
“You don’t?” “Satanic ritual and selling your soul
to the devil for a number one hit? Nope.
Don’t believe it.” He smiled.
“Okay, well maybe that story
isn’t true, but Martin has been known to visit
mediums and conduct séances.
In fact we have a famous medium staying at the villa
right now. He also loves using the Ouija board.”
Carrow took a deep breath. “But honestly,
I don’t think I’ve ever seen him sleep this long.
I’ve seen him pass out, mind you,
but I don’t think I’ve seen him actually sleep...”
“You’d be better off calling Terra Cay’s doctor.
I presume there’s one on the island?”
“I’d rather you come. There’s a pile of powder
in the room that I can’t identify.”
The noise of the engine grew louder.
“Worried that the doctor will identify it
and then he’ll be busted?”
Carrow nodded. “That’s definitely part of it.
We’re here to party for the holiday, of course,
but also to record. I can’t afford to have him
hauled to the mainland to face charges,
but if I knew what it was, I’d just sweep it
under the rug and call the doctor.
What bothers me is that I don’t.”
He gave her a pointed look.
“And you can believe that I’ve seen it all
before, so if I don’t recognize it, it must be
real trouble..."
Emma was on a search for minerals that would help to reduce the aging process, but quite a number of people were opposed to her activities! First, she's traveled to a remote island that is right in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle...

And the minerals she's looking for are from what is called the blue holes, which is a place that none of the island residents will visit--you got it, there is some type of monster in the holes that pulls boats to the bottom!

Actually, readers never do discover what phenomenon  happens--all part of the Bermuda Triangle mystique, of course. But it certainly is something there since we see it capture first the boat on which Emma is working...and then the boat from which a killer is after her!

His name is Joseph--but he's not the first man who chases Emma and that man is a lot more scarier since he's holding a machete, his eyes focus toward the sky, and he can only move if told exactly what to do! And he has a wicked priestess controlling him...

Of course, neither one of these men are the man who is truly responsible for wanting her dead!

Because in addition to using the minerals from the blue holes for makeup, someone has already used the material to make something that is harmful--and mercenaries from all over the world want that new product!

Now if that wasn't enough, let me tell you that this island is inhabited by many very rich people. One of them is a rock musician who purchased the island under a different name in order to enjoy it in seclusion. But when he came to visit Emma, needing her professional help, she was immediately caught off guard...

Having heard the rumors about Rex Rain, she knew they were all into drugs and drinking. But when the leader said he had never seen the powder that was on the table near one of his band members, who had been asleep for over 24 hours, she knew she had to help!

And that was the first individual on the island who was infected...And Emma now had to try to figure out what was causing the sleep...

Because it was spreading!

Soon the island was quarantined!

Action packed, but full of potential issues that must be explored--voodoo, drugs, murder, monsters! Wow!

What a tropical paradise to visit! I loved this one... Such fun to move from one scene to another when you never know what is going to happen next!

The end was almost anti-climatic given the range of high points throughout this gem...But the ending was also quite satisfactory!

Highly recommended!


Jamie Freveletti is a trial attorney, martial artist, and runner. Her debut thriller, Running from the Devil, was chosen as a "Notable Book" by the Independent Booksellers of America, awarded "Best First Novel" by the International Thriller Writers and awarded a Barry Award for "Best First Novel." It has been translated into three languages and was an international bestseller. Her second novel, Running Dark, released in June, 2010, hit both the Chicagoland and South Florida bestseller lists and her third, The Ninth Day released in September, 2011 and was chosen as one of the "Best Thrillers of 2011" by Suspense Magazine.
In January, 2011, she was tapped by the Estate of Robert Ludlum to write the next in the Covert One series. That novel, The Janus Reprisal, released on September 11, 2012. The fourth in her series, Dead Asleep released on October 30, 2012 and hit #1 on Amazon's kindle bestseller list.
She is an avid runner and holds a black belt in aikido, a Japanese martial art. After law school she lived in Geneva, Switzerland while obtaining a diploma in International Studies. Back in Chicago, she represented clients in areas ranging from class actions for mass salmonella poisoning to securities fraud.
She lives in Chicago with her family.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hey! You! Have you ever considered Stealing an Identity? Read Daniel's Palmer's Stolen--Think Again!

English: image edited to hide card's owner nam...
English: image edited to hide card's owner name. author: Arturo Portilla (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
"The drug therapy I'm going to recommend has been highly effective
in treating your type of cancer."
"What's the survival rates..."
"Twenty-five percent," Adams said. "If we don't start treatment right away, that number could drop precipitously..."
"Here's where it gets a bit tricky," Adams said, speaking in a voice that suggested "a bit" meant "a lot."
I could see that Ruby was still trying to digest the 25 percent figure.
"How could it get more tricky?" she asked.
The generic form of Verbilifide, the drug therapy you need, is currently out of stock...
"Meaning it will cost around three hundred thousand dollars."
"Ruby and I both looked sticker shocked. It's bad enough confronting a cancer diagnosis, but to think about the financial implications conjured up the old "Insult to injury" adage..."

By Daniel Palmer

Available 4-30; Pre-order Now!

Palmer spotlights two nationally important topics in his latest thriller, but with his superb twist, you "almost" forget what started it all...

John Bodine is the main character. He still suffers from PTSD from when he had to "choose" to kill a friend! They had been climbing and John was placed in the position of knowing that he could not pull up both of his friends who were hanging below him. He chose to save the man with a family, but none of them ever got over it. John was no longer able to climb and had gone through a deep depression... His wife had been there to help...

Now she was the one suffering, but what she needed was money--lots of money! She had cancer. Their insurance company would not cover any medication except the generic version. The generic version had been unavailable for months! John searched for assistance and could gain only $12,000 from one organization...

In the meantime, his wife could not begin any type of medication! Will there ever be a better process for medical care in the United States?!!

John worked at home and had created an online game site. Because of his work, and because of the pressure placed on him to keep the love of his life alive, he decided to see if he could find one of his members who also were insured by the one company that would pay for the actual cancer medication, when the generic was not available. Doing his research online, he finally found one of his members, insured--but who was behind in payments...
"You don't know me. You have no right to pass judgment.
"I suppose that's true," Uretsky said, almost with a sigh.
"I don't know you. Not fully, that is. But I want to know
you. I want to know you so much better. How far can you
be pushed? That's the burning question here. I want to
see you break. That the game we're playing, John, and
there's no way out. Think about poor Lisa, here. Is there
really anything worse than having your fingers snipped
off by a rusty pair of pruning shears, your life force
drained from you, your windpipe crushed by the
constricting power of two hands squeezing tighter and
tighter? I think not. I think that's a gruesome death."
"I don't know," I said, my voice shaky. "I don't know."
I started to cry, small tears pricking at the corners of
my eyes. I was listening to the ranting of a madman and
watching the agony of a woman who I was powerless to
help. Well, not powerless, because there was one thing
I could do.
"Rob a liquor store..."

John immediately did all the things necessary to assume the identity of this man and his wife, including moving into a new home, establishing them with the new, stolen identity. His wife was very much opposed to this, but bottom line, nobody wanted her death just because their insurance company had a "get out of payment" clause in their policy...

Everything was going fine. Ruby had gone to a new doctor, got established and when the regiment for her started, they automatically were covered by their "new" insurance...

They started living again--even meeting a new neighbor... Nobody had questioned their identities...

Until one day...

The telephone in their new apartment rang. Nobody had been given that number! He hesitated, then picked it up...A voice spoke, raspy and deep, "My name is Elliot Uretsky and I believe you stole my identity."

Caught? Put in Jail? Left without Insurance?  Nothing like that happened! Instead, the man started terrorizing John and Ruby! If they were criminal enough to steal an identity for insurance purposes, then they were criminals. He wanted them to commit further criminal acts! The first job was to hold up a store! But John couldn't believe that he meant it and they didn't do what he said...

The neighbor who had just befriended them was mutilated and murdered! The man was a psychopath!

John and Ruby are pulled more and more into responding to the demands of this man, who seemed to know everything about them and whatever they did!

And he was using the same name as John's new identity! A police chase was soon underway. John and Ruby were, of course, involved since the woman murdered had lived below them...And the warning was that each of the people he held hostage would somehow be related to John or Ruby!

Frankly, as this thriller goes on, you even begin to forget about Ruby's grave health situation! They are pulled in further and further, not knowing what to do. They couldn't go to the police or they would be arrested for identity theft and insurance fraud... But if Ruby didn't get her medication, her death could be imminent!

I have appreciated Palmer's choice to deal with social issues in his novels and enjoyed his earlier ones (See below to click to my earlier reviews.) But his thriller writing, his creative imagery in this novel far surpasses anything he's done thus far! Don't miss any of this new writer's work--once you read it, you'll know that he's moving fast and is going to just get better and better! A must-read recommendation from me on this one!

What would you do if somebody in your life needed unavailable medicine to order to live?!! What A blockbuster movie this would make!


Daniel Palmer spent a decade as an e-commerce pioneer helping to build first generation websites for Barnes & Noble and other popular brands. An experienced musician and songwriter, Daniel has recorded two CDs and licensed his songs for commercial use. Daniel's co-written two short stories for the trade organization International Thriller Writers, which were published in Thriller (edited by James Patterson) and First Thrills (edited by Lee Child). His debut thriller novel, Delirious, WAS published by Kensington in early 2011, part of a three book contract with the publisher. He holds a master's degree in mass communications from Boston University, and currently resides in New Hampshire with his wife and two children.


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Monday, April 22, 2013

Blackie Noir Presents the Long and the Short of It...

Blacktop Styx:
A Novel of Savage Suspense

Who Mourns for Maggie

By Blackie Noir

There something about Noir's stories that speak to me... It certainly is not the extreme violence--rather it is the justice, the payback--dare I say the revenge? At least for me, fiction gives me the satisfaction of feeling all those feelings, without the reality of acting for myself! LOL... There will never be a time for me that I would not be rooting for good to win over evil. Yes, I recognize that there can be some gray sometimes... But not if it's written by Blackie Noir! Once I had finished Blacktop Styx, I needed a little dessert...and finished with Who Mourns for Maggie! Both are very cool stories! Let me tell you about Blacktop Styx first...

They called him Jimmy Gee... He was alone now, but had received word that Inga, his ex-wife had sent him a message...He had a daughter! Her name was Peril... And she was in trouble!

Now the fact that the message was delivered by the man who had taken Inga away from him, or that he and his present girlfriend were dead before Jimmy left, is just part of that life...
He unzipped the other bag and pulled out a pint of Beam.
Breaking the seal with his thumbnail Jimmy removed the 
cap and took a long hit, gasped, then took another. Capping the
pint, he laid it flat on the battered dresser, and lit a Winston. 
Looking around, Jimmy figured this had probably been a nice
place, like maybe back in the 1940’ s.
As he smoked he walked around the room turning on the lamps. 
Shit, three lamps and they barely threw enough weak , yellow 
light to illuminate the dump. Cheap fuck probably had
forty watt bulbs in his old lamps. Jimmy looked, snorted, 
and shook his head. Wrong, they were twenty-fives.
The dim light revealed stained walls interspersed with cracks. 
There were three inexpensive prints hanging askew. 
Two were poorly done floral arrangements, but the third
was of Wyeth’s ‘Christina’s World’. T.I.’ s daughter Clarissa
had tried, with limited success, to introduce Jimmy to the 
joys of fine art in the years that Jimmy had looked after her,
while T.I. served out a nine year bit in the joint. ‘Christina’s 
World’ was one of the works that had never left him. 
Although Jimmy was surprised to see a print of it here,
he felt it somehow was a good fit...
Two hours later, Jimmy had worked his way through most
of his pint, and half a pack of Winstons. 
Inga had given him two addresses, one of her home
in Signal Hill, the other of a bar in Long Beach. 
Within minutes of one another, both places were less 
than two hours away from the desert crossroads 
where Jimmy sat, sat and brooded about Peril. 
As he drank and smoked Jimmy stared at
“Christina’s World.” Seeing the woman, half-sitting, 
half-laying in the partially mown field, staring
at the farmhouse in the distance, he felt he was
viewing his daughter. Mysterious, her demeanor, 
her body language, all so hard to fathom..."

Jimmy quickly contacted his two best friends, T.I. and Griz and filled them in on what he's just learned. T.I. and Mona had a daughter, Clarissa  who Jimmy had always been close to. Now he found he was happy to consider having a daughter who'd be just about Clarissa's age.

Inga had contacted him by letter, but when Jimmy had gone to visit her, both had acknowledged that there were still feelings. Jimmy later told Peril that they had talked about trying it again...

But now it was too late; Inga had been murdered...

And when Jimmy later saw her body, he immediately went after her killer, knowing he wouldn't have the time to spend with him and repay the torture... But at least he'd be dead!

Jimmy Gee did make one mistake, though, he trusted the wrong man...

Good thing none of his friends did...

Now, I do need to say something about Peril...

She is one bad-assed female. She grew up believing that her father was dead; Inga had given her a picture with Jimmy, T.I., and Griz, and Peril clearly could see that he looked like her father--had his "nose..." LOL So enamored with him, Peril had always chosen to try to mold her actions, based upon her perception of what Jimmy Gee would have done...

I won't try to describe her, except to highlight that her eye teeth were purple...LOL

To match her car...

Actually, I think she did a pretty good job of imagining, because when she finally met him, she wouldn't let him leave her...

Had to throw in this fun video. As I was writing earlier, a phrase came to mind that my brother used to use when we were small... He always liked the cowboy movies prevalent at that time and would want to watch the "shoot-em-up-bang-bang" movies.  Who knew that others must have like the phrase and even created a short version of what we meant! Loved It!

And you can bet that Blacktop Styx is a "shoot-em-up-bang-bang" story! It's a chase story, mostly, but there are clear lines between the good and bad guys, for the readers at least... but the faces presented by a number of the men should not be taken for granted, as will be discovered!

Sure, it had a happy ending...and quite satisfying to this reader in the justice, payback and revenge areas! LOL


Friday, February 16, 2007

Homeless woman burned to death in SF

Read more here: http://blogs.kansascity.com/crime_scene/2007/02/homeless_woman_.html#storylink=cpy

There really was a Maggie... It's hard to review a book when, upon seeking pictures to accompany, you find that a homeless woman had already suffered the exact atrocity as was described by the author... Her name wasn't Maggie, but it was clear that Blackie Noir was writing in honor of those like this woman who died in 2007!

Maggie is the main character in a short story about the murders of homeless men and women by burning them to death. We open to find Maggie, unwell, looking to steal some vodka from another...all she has to do is follow him until he passes out...

He fell one time, but got up...walked on, falling again but on the railroad tracks! Well, after she took everything she wanted off of his body, she did try to move him from the tracks, but only got him halfway off... She had tried... now he'd have to help himself! But before she was out of there, she heard the trail whistle...and she ran back, and with super-strength, got him off!
She was half   a block away when she heard the train whistle. Shit. Go back? No fuckin way. Guy passed out on the tracks, whose fault was that? Not hers. Hey, she’d tried to move him. Damn near busted her back. Couldn’t be done. She’d done her part. Rest was up to God. Except for one thing. Maggie had this theory: sometimes God takes naps and bad shit happens. Was this such a time?

When the train sounded its whistle again, she stopped, turned, shrugged out of her back pack, dropped it to the ground. She could see the train’s headlight a half mile down the tracks, hauling ass. Could she cover half a block, faster than a speeding freight could cover half a mile? She didn’t know, but she’d sure as shit give it a good goddamn whirl.
Praying as she ran, she felt herself getting winded. Ignoring her pain, she ran harder, prayed harder still, then; her prayers were answered. Two thirds of her alcohol soaked, crystal-meth fueled, cigarette poisoned, years melted away, and she was seventeen and fleet again. Running with her daddy’s blue-tick hounds across the holler, getting stronger with every stride, knowing she could outrun the wind itself.
Fuck that train..."

When the veteran finally woke up, Maggie was still there...and they talked...

Another day came and Maggie was another homeless person murdered, burned...

Get this short story! The homeless deserve justice too! Highly recommended...and a special recognition to the homeless woman burned for her little bit of money on February 16, 2007...



Decades ago Raymond Chandler taught me the only French word I know . . . 'noir.'

Ever since, I've been jonesing for dark, hard-boiled, pulp style, crime fiction. From the genre's original innovators: Chandler, Hammett , Cain . . . to today's neo-noir stalwarts: J. L. Burke, Connelly, Pelecanos, Leonard, Teran, Lehane, et al.

Call me voracious. I devoured their work. Inhaled the dark smoke permeated ambiance where it all played out.

I read, and continue to read, them all.

It was while reading the newcomers, the young turks, that I decided . . . reading was no longer enough. I had my own tales to tell. Characters that kept nagging at me, urging me, beseeching me, demanding that I bring them to the page. Those who have met them through my work know . . . these are not gentle folk. Their petitions aren't meant to be taken lightly. So, in an attempt to appease those raucous demons, I sat down in 2000 and began my first novel . . . "Freeway Pigeons."

I completed "Freeway Pigeons" in 2001. That was the opening of a mysterious and magical door. Just what was behind that door? Lady, or tiger? Funny, I'm still not certain. Still, I wouldn't change things. I'd cross that threshold again in a heartbeat . . . undaunted. And why not, I've been blessed with a cornucopia of encouragement.

Who encouraged me?

Every writer, genius or plodder . . . visionary or hack, who ever made me laugh or cry, rage or sigh, become more aware or escape the doldrums. Every scribe, word-weaver or poet who had my heart trying to bang its way out of my chest or sing with the angels.

All of them. Man or woman, fresh or ancient, who moved me emotionally. Entertained and educated me. Kept long and sometimes lonely vigils with me. Gave me the unmitigated joy of a good read. THEY encouraged me . . . every last one.

I owe them.

I believe the best way I can repay that debt is through you, you the readers.
If I can deliver the joy, the escape, the spiritual catharsis of the coveted 'good read' to you, then at least a part of my debt has been paid.
* * *

Standard bio stuff: Started life on the cold coast (N.Y.C.) wended my way west to the land of sunshine, surf, and strange (L.A.).

Interests: Books. Books! Books!! Books!!! BOOKS !!!!!

Other interests: Music (as played / sung by others). Movies. Physical activities (running, free-weights, hiking). BIKES! (Harleys & old-Triumphs).

Bottom line: Family. (what it's all about)


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Friday, April 19, 2013

Douglas Jaffe Presents Fantastic Fantasy - Chinese Culture, Fables, Folk Religion, Dragons, Oh My!

Chinese dragon, symbol of Chinese culture and ...
Chinese dragon, symbol of Chinese culture and Chinese folk religion. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Chinese dragon, symbol of Chinese culture and ...
Chinese dragon, symbol of Chinese culture and Chinese folk religion. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
"Chi Wen focused on the largest of the structures
where the local magistrate had lived with his
extended family. He had been a thoughtful,
intelligent man and genuinely cared about the farming
province over which he had been sent to govern. He
had died some years ago from an infection and Chi
Wen missed him. They had shared a meal together once
when Chi Wen had taken the form of a traveling
scholar visiting from the capital. It was a memorable
evening and the first time Chi Wen had appeared as a
human being. He grinned as he thought back to his
initial awkwardness. Language, dress and customs
were easily mimicked, but the art of being human
was the more difficult skill to master.

Chasing Dragons

By Douglas A. Jaffe

There is much to learn from Douglas Jaffe if you take the time to  consider the choices of the two main characters, Sebastian and Chloe, a couple who fall in love at first sight...

Sebastian is originally from the States but moves to Hong Kong, led by his feelings for that land, its people. He now owns a bookstore with a lovely woman who manages it for him. I enjoyed their interaction and dialogue!

Sebastian also does something very interesting--he talks and listens to people...but there is no mention that he is a trained counselor... Still people come and they pay...
So, if you take the time to ponder over what people are talking to him about, you may find the session covering a topic for which you need advice! LOL... I especially enjoyed the father who had just found a new love after being divorced a number of years and thinking how his son, with whom he already had problems, would react...

The drama starts when two friends of his, documentary film makers, come to visit and seek his help during the development of a film on how dragons are part of the Chinese Culture.

Although I had never thought about it, there is indeed, as is discovered during that activity, that there is much the western and eastern feelings and opinions about dragons! While the West writes stories about slaying the dragon to save our princess, there is a reverence, a concept for good that surrounds them in the east.

Hence, the year of the dragon is celebrated and many hope to have their children born during that time so that good luck will be with them. Jaffe takes readers on a journey of those dragons as his shifting narrative moves to the lives of Chi Wen and Zhao Chen, two dragons who were at war in the distant past...

"Many Chinese families hope to have a child born
in the year of the dragon so as to acquire some of
the creature's more favorable traits. Famous
dragons in history includes Bruce Lee, Dr. Seuss,
Friedrich Nietzsche, Florence Nightingale, Deng
Xiaoping, Ernesto "Che" Guevara, Helen Keller
and Salvador Dali.
As I read the various myths and stories about these
fantastic creatures, it occurred to me that Jim and
Lydia were probably looking at these creatures in
a symbolic or historical context. Their projects
tended to be grounded examples of the real world.
in all its grit and grime. They have produced films
on the homeless, landmine victims, migrant workers,
massacre reconciliation tribunals and other topics
sufficiently capable with a healthy dose of guilt.
An X-files worthy expose on a secret cable of
omnipotent dragons ruling Asia was unlikely
to be there theme of choice..."

Indeed it is during the documentary activity, readers will meet individuals and hear folk tales about how dragons affect the lives of the Chinese people and their fears, but hopes, that their children will not allow these stories to fade away...

At one particular interview, Sebastian is caught off guard as an older woman takes a close look at him, and then gives him a card to call her. When they meet, she talks of how she "adopts" favorite or unique people and she sees in him someone she would like to know better. Later, she sends him a very valuable green dragon pendant...

But it had been before that time that it had started. It had also been before they had started working on the documentary... Sebastian had been dreaming--dreaming of dragons, of scenarios where he watched as dragons  lived. Was he becoming insane? And then an event occurred--was it a dream--where he had seen a number of youth beating much younger children. He watched and later saw all of the teens dead, lying on the ground with their throats torn...

When he saw the news in the paper, he had to realize, to admit to himself, that he had somehow killed them, although he could not remember doing so...

Fear for his mind led him to continue going through his recent past, trying to determine when all this had started. And then he knew--it had started when he met Chloe...

Jaffe could have ended his novel in at least two ways. I believe he chose the right way and did so to guide readers in what the moral in the story of Chinese culture might teach us... Are you game to read and choose what you would do? Highly recommended...


Douglas Jaffe

CEO at Solution Access Ltd Hong Kong
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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Patricia Gitt's ASAP Takes Us in Computer Theft and Black Marketing!

She had particularly loved visiting the Temple of A-Ma.   It was set on a small rise facing the inner harbor.   The Temple’s charming tale had captured her imagination.   It told of a poor young girl who had been seeking passage on a boat only to be turned down, until a small fishing boat took her aboard.   A storm blew up while they were at sea, destroying all the other boats save the one she was on.   Returning to shore, the girl revealed herself as the sea goddess A-Ma, and the fisherman was said to repay her by building a temple in her honor.   When she had asked Binh if he believed the tale, he said the Temple was 600 years old and predated the time of the supposed story.
                      Suzanne laughed but enjoyed the colorful little temple all the more.   This private tour was the first enjoyable time she'd had since this venture had begun.   Could it have only been five weeks since that first call from Smitty?   With each site Binh took her to, she relaxed a little more.   Things would work out.   Thank God Brad was in charge.   When she returned home, straightening out her husband would be her first priority.   If he was low enough to steal from the kids, what else had he been up to?
                       The car was now driving through an older section of the city, with narrow streets and three and four-story buildings located near the center of the island.   Binh told her they were going to stop near the Citadel of Sao Paulo do Monte, that there was a little factory shop selling Armani t- shirts and Louis Vuitton handbags at a discount.   Everyone knew that Asia had become the manufacturing center of the world.   She wondered if this outlet sold legitimate designer goods, or knockoffs?                      
Suddenly the front windshield next to Binh exploded in spider’s web of cracked glass.   Stunned, Suzanne sat frozen in her seat.   Binh’s scream pierced her brain. "Get down.   Don't get up until I tell you."
                         Throwing herself to the floor she banged her head on the console as the car hit a pothole.   She could feel her blood chill as Binh jerked the car into reverse and sped backward in the direction they had just come from.   Suzanne thought her heart would stop as the sound of rapidly firing guns pursued their high speed escape...

 As Soon As Possible

By Patricia E. Gitt

This novel reminded me a little of the Women's Murder Club Series, except there was no murder...LOL The reason was because there are three female friends who are extremely close and involved in each other's lives, so that when one has a problem, they all get involved...

ASAP is more business-oriented, focusing on three dynamic, successful women, who have each made it--an author, a designer and the main character in this book,  an expert and owner of a computer-design company. The primary emphasis was on the effect of her professional role on Suzanne Moss's personal life. For me, this was an issue about which I had to think, "been there" and had discussed it with other women and in professional associations, for decades. However, for women who are just entering the business world, it can be a startling picture of the reality!

“Mrs. Moss, this isn't a social call.   What I have to tell you has to be said in person.   What I can tell you is that your company has a leak.   An expensive one."
 “Leaks are always problematic, especially in the technology industry,” Suzanne said, playing for time.   “But I’m not the one you should be meeting with.   You want to see my partner, Bradley Stanton.”
 “First, I must see you.   The sooner we meet the sooner you can protect your company from a major theft.”
Suzanne liked Debbie and if she had given this stranger her private number then she should hear what he had to say.   Glancing at her schedule she sighed.   "Look, this is Thursday.   The best I can do is next Monday morning."
 "It can’t wait.   I can be at your office in five minutes."
"How about fifteen, but not in my office?   There's a coffee shop on the corner of 59th and 2nd Avenue.   It's off the beaten path so no one should recognize us.”   She’d be damned if she was going to meet a stranger in her office at this hour without even an assistant nearby.   “How will I recognize you?"
"I'll find you." Suzanne heard a soft chuckle.   "You find this humorous?"
"No Ma'am.   But you are rather famous in some circles."
The connection was cut leaving her to wonder just what circles this man traveled in.   Picking up her monthly diary, she jotted down the place and time of the early morning meeting.   For all of her expertise in computers, hand writing her appointments was one way she slowed down her fast paced life.   Everything seemed to be needed as soon as possible.   Asap was her life.
Let me just say that the story rings absolutely for what happens to Suzanne's life, so if that is a subject that concerns you, this may be a must-read for you.

I'm going to look instead at the very real issue that Suzanne faced professionally! She and her best friend, Brad had co-founded a company that quickly became successful. That was based not only on the product, but also on the individual talents of both Brad and Suzanne.

Suzanne handled almost all of the administrative duties. As those of us who have worked in that area, the time involved is rarely understood by those not having to perform the activities! Thus, she was working more and more overtime and her husband was getting more and more aggressive in his criticism of time away from home and the kids...

As well as the time spent by Brad...who handled the PR, marketing and other technical issues... Two different uses of time--no matter what, Suzanne would always be much more inundated, time-wise...

This company has an important goal of working to provide home-health care equipment, especially for those who are on continuous medication, such as for diabetes. Then, a brilliant young student had been discovered that could potentially upgrade/enhance this activity to a level that would be worth billions if successful.

But Suzanne was contacted by a man, who she felt she could trust, and told that her company was on a list that was "out" for those items that were to be acquired for sale on the black market! Brad had normally taken care of security issues and Suzanne realized that she had not really taken the issue as importantly as it should have been. Now, it was too late, the company had apparently already been hacked and important documentation stolen.

For the first time, Suzanne realized that she shouldn't, couldn't trust anybody!

She did have to trust Brad, though, because he was the only one that could help improve the situation. What she discovered, however, was that there was much in Brad's background that she was not aware of. And what might happen could be not only dangerous, but could cost them their company, if not their lives!

And those involved in this plan wanted her involved... She had to secretly travel to Macau without letting anybody, including her family, know where she was... Only to be caught in the middle of gunfire on the main streets there! Did they bring her here to kill? To ransom for the prototypes?

The womens' issues of being in business are important for those working, especially in male-dominated fields. I especially enjoyed the chase, the mystery of who could have betrayed their company and the reality of who did! Nothing that was unpredictable here...but still a good solid story that is worth your consideration! Check it out!


Having built a successful career as an executive in public relations, I've met and worked with many outstanding business leaders. Fascinated by power - those who amass it and those who are exiled from it - I create fictional worlds in which smart women balance high-powered careers with their private lives.

My debut novel, "CEO", is the fast-paced tale of corporate intrigue. Can CEO, Melissa Lynn Horn, save United Chemicals Corporation from extinction? Follow one savvy woman as she faces down an enemy bent on destroying the company, while navigating the all male corporate culture. In the end, does being a woman empower the CEO, or does being CEO transform the woman?

"asap --as soon as possible--", is my latest novel. It is the tale of business founder, Suzanne Moss, who is suddenly thrust into warp speed upon learning of a potential theft of her company's innovative technology. Meanwhile her overly scheduled life as wife and mother of a preteen son and daughter continues to challenge her powers to balance a dynamic career with her private responsibilities. With emotions stretched thin, Suzanne races to regain control of her life while saving her company.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Melissa Foster's Latest Hits Bestseller List of Coming of Age Books!

When civil rights and forbidden love collide

"This book will resonate with readers who enjoyed Kathryn Stockett's, THE HELP, Julie Kibler's, CALLING ME HOME, John Grisham's, A TIME TO KILL, Sue Monk Kidd's, THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES, and Kathleen Grissom's, THE KITCHEN HOUSE."

Buy it Now on Amazon: http://amzn.to/16TaOSZ
Buy it Now on B&N: 

"Within moments of starting to read, you will be transported back to the Arkansas of 1967 - hot, dusty, utterly rural and edgy. Poor white farmers dependent upon cheap black labor who, due to their superior numbers, are constantly suppressed, living on the wrong side of town, ghettoised and terrified. You will remember scenes from `In the Heat of the Night' and `Easy Rider'; you will remember that, less than fifty years ago, if you were black, you could be beaten for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And if you died at the hands of a white youth, justice would almost certainly be denied you." Author Roderick Craig Low


Alison Tillman has called Forrest Town, Arkansas home for the past eighteen years. Her mother's Blue Bonnet meetings, her father toiling night and day on the family farm, and the division of life between the whites and the blacks are all Alison knows. The winter of 1967, just a few months before marrying her high school sweetheart, Alison finds the body of a black man floating in the river, and she begins to view her existence with new perspective. The oppression and hate of the south, the ugliness she once was able to avert her eyes from, now demands her attention.

When a secretive friendship with a young black man takes an unexpected romantic turn, Alison is forced to choose between her predetermined future, and the dangerous path that her heart yearns for.


"A gripping and poignant novel dealing with a subject once taboo in American society." Hagerstown Magazine

"Have No Shame is a powerful testimony to love and the progressive, logical evolution of social consciousness, with an outcome that readers will find engrossing, unexpected, and ultimately eye-opening." Midwest Book Review

"A historical novel of love and its triumph, told with a unique and compelling voice." Bestselling Author Kathleen Shoop 

"Have No Shame is a delightful eye opener and a rather poignant book that everyone everywhere should put on their must-read list." Readers' Favorite

"A dynamic and heartwarming tale of young love, giving testament to those who struggled so we can live in an integrated society." Author Rachelle Ayala

"[HAVE NO SHAME] Perfectly catches the South at the dawning of the Civil Rights Movement. Melissa Foster takes us on an adventure that twists and turns unpredictably to a tense climax that renders this novel a true page-turner. This is undoubtedly the best novel I have read in a long time."  Roderick Craig Low, Author of 'Promises of Love and Good Behaviour'

"This book is not just a story; it's an experience." Author G.E. Johnson

Buy HAVE NO SHAME on Amazon: http://amzn.to/16TaOSZ

Melissa Foster

Melissa Foster is the award-winning author of four International bestselling novels. Her books have been recommended by USA Today's book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, the World Literary Café. When she's not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa is also a community builder for the Alliance for Independent Authors. She has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine. 
Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.

Visit Melissa on The Women's NestFostering Success, or World Lit Cafe. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.

Megan's Way
2011 Beach Book Award Winner (Spirituality)
2011 Readers Favorite Awards, Winner (Fiction/Drama), Finalist (Women's Fiction)
2010 Next Generation Indie Book Award, Finalist (Spirituality)
2011 New England Book Festival, Honorable Mention (Spirituality)

Chasing Amanda
2011 Readers Favorite Awards, Winner (Paranormal), Finalist, (Women's Fiction, Mystery)
2011 Dan Poynter's Global eBook Awards, Winner, (Paranormal)
Top 10 Books of 2011, Pixel of Ink
Amazon Top 100 75+ Days running
Indie Reader's Bestselling List That Counts (8 weeks)
Top Books of 2011, The Write Agenda

Come Back To Me
2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Finalist, 
2012 Readers Favorite Awards, Finalist 
2012 Kindle Book Review Best Indie Books Award, Finalist
2011 Dan Poynter's Global Ebook Awards, Finalist 
Top 5 Must Read Books of 2011, IndieReader
Top Ten Books of 2011, 
Tea Time With Marce
IndieReader Best Reviewed Books of 2011, Huffington Post

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Melissa_Foster
The Women’s Nest, women’s social network: http://www.TheWomensNest.com
World Literary Café: http://www.worldliterarycafe.com
Fostering Success: htto://www.fostering-success.com
Facebook Melissa Foster: http://www.facebook.com/MelissaFosterAuthor (Fanpage)
Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3023973.Melissa_Foster

HAVE NO SHAME has just hit the bestseller list for Coming of Age books

BRH does not normally announce books not yet reviewed, except for personal reasons; i.e., a connection to the author and a plan to read the book or as a planned blog event.  Time does not permit expanded services for announcements in general...Sorry...

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