Monday, September 30, 2013

Great Solid Suspense Mystery, Hidden, by Thomas Hall Spotlights Child Abduction...

"The dream always started out innocently enough: Jonathan and his wife, Cindy, are sitting on a beach blanket by a lake, laughing and joking about something or other. Cindy then decides to go for a swim. Jonathan stays on the blanket, preferring to read.
"After several minutes and without warning, the sky turns the color of putty. It's as if God has taken a paintbrush and on a single stroke obliterated the blue overhead. Even more startling is the condition of the lake. There are rolling waves and whitecaps heading toward Cindy. Jonathan calls to her with fear in his voice, but she dismisses him.
 'If it starts thundering and lightning, I'll come in..."
"Other  than the fact that Cindy had died, nothing in the dream had actually occurred...

By Thomas Hall

Jonathan's wife had been killed just months ago and Jonathan had fallen apart until he was able to realize that his son, Eric, had lost his mother and was also grieving. Eric was just now beginning to respond to his attempts to establish a better relationship between the two... It had been an average morning when Jonathan had dropped off Eric at school...

When they told him Eric was gone, Jonathan couldn't really be sure that he had waited there until Eric had actually opened the door and entered school. But that didn't matter, it didn't change the fact that he was gone--possibly kidnapped, possibly a runaway. Eric was six years old...

As two of the most important individuals in this drama, readers will not have much interaction with either. Jonathan must meekly stand by, perhaps praying, perhaps trying to remember any little thing that might help the police, the FBI...

Eric? He's Hidden...

"The silence was brief as Walker continued. "You
know, it's funny. Over the years I've gotten a lot of
satisfaction from what I do. But if someone asked
me whether I love my job, I'd say no. How can you
love doing something that half the time ends up
with some kid being scarred for life, or worse? So
why did I keep doing it?" A pause, "Well, at the
risk of sounding like a self-serving jerk, I'm good
at it. And just maybe a few more kids are alive
because of that. But as great as the successful ones
make you feel, somehow they don't make up for
other ones."
This is a solid mystery that will keep you in suspense, until--everything starts falling apart for the bad guys! And when that happens, a variety of criminal activities will fall out... from many, many places...

Eric, though, has been hidden...

The man who kidnapped him has been killed...

The man who fed him has been killed...

The criminal investigation team leaders for this kidnapping are, simply, two characters that would, if we were in this situation, be the best possible men to be working the case.

Dave Munoz is the local detective but has been joined by FBI agent Craig Walker. Walker surprises Munoz by being a very informal, let's-work-together type of agent. In fact by the end of the story, they are thinking about working together... I'm hoping that the author decides to do at least another sequel...and possibly a series! That's how good these guys are. They work the case, rarely take time off and use every means possible to, in this situation, find the child! Walker has plenty of experience in abduction cases, while Munoz adds the creative thinking and perseverance...

Action moves back and forth between the kidnapping case and the activities of the criminals involved. Tony Sarno is the front man for most of the events that occur. We find him initially being arrested in a hotel that is being used for prostitution--he is in the hallway, but had dropped his cell phone as the police do a raid...

Tony Sarno is into just about anything you can think of, but because the police found an email that had porn photos attached, they were able to take him in as well. The important part of this is that we meet three other characters--a volunteer public defender and an ADA who become involved with the kidnapping case... And a possible corrupt judge...

This is an exceptionally well-written suspense novel that moves directly into child abduction, pornography and trafficking, with the emphasis on solving the crimes... But also honing in on the potential criminal activities that are kept people you might pass in the mall or on the street... daily... 

Highly recommended for mystery lovers! Enjoy!


About the author: 
Thomas Hall was born on Long Island, New York and would later move to Massachusetts. After graduating high school he received a full athletic scholarship to Northeastern University where he would receive his Bachelor and Master Degrees. As a former English teacher and principal, with over thirty-five years in the academia field, Mr. Hall has since retired and is now able to devote his time and extensive skill set to his passion—writing. He and his wife Marcia live in Central Massachusetts and have three adult children.

Friday, September 27, 2013

While Mom's Away... All Our Friends Visit!

"Hey! You Got Some Great Books In This Cabin!"
"What! He's just a friend!"

"I know this is going to taste good--once I get it Open!"
"Everybody cuddles outside in the cold--we're friends now!"
"Hi Everybody! This is My Mom! Yeah, adopted! You?"
"Hey! Us Too!
"Oh God, don't let anything get broke!
Mom'll be mad!"
"Somebody shut those dogs up! Or we'll put them out!"

"All I wanted to do was let some friends see how nice my home is with Mom..."

"You know, I didn't want them here! This is OUR Home too!"

"Yeah, but we were here first! But she does provide good eats!"
"You can say that again! Let me get some!"

"Hey, save some for my kids! Do we get to go inside too?!"

"And Get That Cat Away From My Walls!"

"Hey Mom! Don't Be Mad! We had fun!"
"This has been brought to you by the
group at the
"Just My Opinion Blog"
I told her we didn't get 'nuf stuff
Payback is FUN!"

"But This is my Blue Period!"

Thursday, September 26, 2013

GMO Killerz by Rick Carufel Surprised Me With Story Twist With Great Crazy Character...

"Myron did not intend to murder his wife when he sat down to dinner.   Lucille had made one of his favorite dishes, spaghetti and meatballs with her wonderful, made-from-scratch pasta sauce.   The thought never crossed his mind.   He loved his wife and had been happily married for twenty-nine years. They had two great kids, who were away at college, and were planning their dream vacation to Maui. The problem was the TV.   "There was one particular telemarketer for some sort of cookware who was, Myron thought, from Australia.   He had a very annoying accent, and his way of pronouncing his E's as I's was particularly grating on Myron's nerves.   This commercial ran constantly and it was not unusual for the same advertisement to play over and over during a single show.   It was when this intrusive telemarketer, with his annoying accent, said 'iggs' instead of 'eggs' that it finally got to Myron in some inexplicable way and caused the problem. 
"Myron and Lucille were eating in front of the TV, as was their custom, and the commercial came on.   Myron tried to brace himself for the sound of the dreaded 'iggs' but all he could do was tremble.   Over the past few days this commercial had, for some unknown reason, caused Myron to react violently to the sound of that particular word and each time the word had been spoken, Myron felt his control slipping away.     
"'Iggs' was spoken four times during the course of the commercial and with each utterance the pressure within Myron began to build.   He felt that if he heard 'iggs' one more time, his brain would explode. Upon the first voicing, Myron began to shake violently.   On the second, he began to have some sort of seizure.   By the third, Myron was bleeding from the nose and ears, his head rolling back and forth on the headrest of his Lazy-boy while he moaned softly, "No.... no..." 
"With the fourth and final verbalization, Myron was quiet, seeming to have regained his composure, much to the relief of Lucille who had been sitting in her Lazy-boy, agog at Myron's display, a forkful of meatball halfway to her mouth.   
"Honey! Are you all right?" asked Lucille. 
"I'm fine, dear," replied Myron as he rose from his chair and moved towards his wife.   In one fluid motion, he grasped his wife's mid-way-to-the-mouth hand with the forkful of meatball and rammed it into her forehead, deep enough to pierce the skull.   He then picked up her steak knife...

GMO Killerz
By Rick Carufel

H. G. Well was one of the forerunners in placing genetics modification into a horror novel. Surely you've seen or read his novel which included an island where Dr. Moreau "experimented..." Well, as I was reading GMO Killerz, that was the story that came to mind, only this time it was Dr. Lev Nieman who was leading a team...
Although Dr. Lev Neiman works for the
 Satanos Corporation, a multinational
 GMO conglomerate that makes the most
 deadly poisons on the planet, 
he is first an agent of the Israeli
 government.   He was recruited as a teen
 and the Israelis paid for his education in
 genetic engineering.   Sent to America,
 he studied at M.I.T.   Before graduating
 with honors, he had been recruited by
 Satanos, which was exactly what his
 handlers in Israel wanted.   He is now a
 lead researcher at the Satanos facility,
 east of Morehead, Minnesota.

And, of course, the research had gone quite far in the desire to manipulate others to do what they are told! Dr. Nieman had progressed to the point that he was able to introduce strands of DNA into an individual who could, upon command of a

"But many things go on here that few know about
 beyond the actual research teams.   One particularly
 secretive team is led by Dr. Neiman. 
"His team has gone beyond the manipulation of the
 physical  form and delves into the manipulation
 of organisms through the use of programmable
 DNA chains.   Lev and his masters in Israeli 
intelligence want to be able to manipulate the
 actions and behavior of organisms on their cue.   
They basically want, with the introduction 
of chemical agents into certain segments of
 populations, to absolutely control them.
"Animal tests have been less than rewarding. 
  Mostly the animals, even chimps, don't have
 the cognitive ability to exhibit changes in the 
mental makeup beyond behavioral changes,
 usually of the extremely violent kind.   
So Neiman and his team have resorted to
 testing human subjects.   These are mostly 
volunteers who have answered ads in the 
newspapers for subjects to participate in a study
 in behavioral modifications.   
"Although Satanos
 has no qualms about creating genetic monsters
 in the name of research, they are sticklers when it
 comes to human testing.
"Key word" be forced to do anything that he had earlier been told to do--specifically, to Kill...

That wasn't hard to guess, was it, given the title of the book. So plan to witness quite a lot of gratuitous violence, not only uncalled for, but sometimes regretted by the individual involved. On the other hand, this isn't a pure slasher story with a horrible creature that comes out of dreams or hides behind a mask. These are people like you or I who happens to have...met... Dr. Nieman!

Soon, Nieman has a "gang" of volunteers just waiting around for the next assignment. After all, if you tell them to forget, an individual doesn't have much to get "back to..."

Now the interesting twist is that one of his research volunteers already had behavioral modification issues... in fact, Nieman realized that about 13% of those receiving the extra DNA strands were not responding as expected.

Take a look at the young lady on the right of the book cover! Dangerous?! You bet! But she was NOT controlled by the good Dr. Nieman...

Police haven't a clue, right? Jimmy and Oly--yep, Jimmy plays a little of "Laurel and Hardy" in between trying to figure out what is going on! And they do begin to discover, for instance, about the extra DNA... But it's just not enough...

In the meantime, Marissa, the little doll who was "affected" differently, is on her way to find the guy who tried to get her to kill her mother--which she did not... And she's picking up some helpers along the way!

And, oh yeah... Dr. Nieman's thinking is being affected by all the control he's got in his hands...

I don't know why, but once Marissa was introduced, I started to find this horror novel humorous! The characters are perfect, the writing and story so fluently presented that you begin to imagine all the possibilities! In fact, although I am not sure, but the ending could be taken as a set up for a sequel... Myself? I was surprised by the quality of the book. The cover appeared a little overdone when I first saw it, but it really is perfect for the story! In fact, I enjoyed Marissa so much that this reader who is not an avid horror fan, would enjoy seeing what happens to her...Think "Kill Bill" for this young lady who kept me "laughing" in this "explicit" horror story... Go figure!


I was born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island in 1951. I have lived in California, Oregon, Arizona and Hawaii, I now live in Minnesota. I originally started out as a commercial artist and worked in many tourist areas over the years selling art. I started reading Sci-Fi and Horror by the late 50s and loved it. Over the years I have toyed with the idea of writing but never had the time until I started having serious back problems. With a few visits to the doctor and a MRI it was found that I had broken my back some time in the past and have degenerative joint and disc disease. So I became disabled. Now I had the time to write. I began writing in 2002 and have been writing even since.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pepe by Robby Charters Writes Cyberpunk YA Novel About Dystopian Future - Or... Reality Right Now??? Exciting Use of Computers!

"Pepe, Ennio and Enrico thought it would be cool to hang out down Camino Real. They told Mother Clara they were off to the newsagent to buy sweets and comic books. 
"She said, 'Okay, but come right back.' But they knew she'd be busy giving the girls a lesson in feminine hygiene. Little Pierre tagged along as well. They hung about the newsagent for a bit, leafing through the comic books. Not a lot of fun in that -- the embedded flash animations wouldn't work until the merchant scanned them at the till. Nothing for it but to go. Pepe tried to get Pierre to go home, but he was already on to their plan. Pepe knew if they forced him, he'd go straight to Mother Clara, so they let him come along. 
"They were off. They decided to avoid San Michele Square, because the gang kids who hung out there would as soon beat them up as look at them. They went up a residential street, past a private school and out near the Bank of Cardovia building. 
"It was Saturday, so nobody was at work. Instead, there was a weekend market along the footpath in front of all the banks and brokerage houses. The coffee shops were open, of course, as was Camino Real Centre, further towards San Michele Square. They walked slowly along, looking at all the stalls on the way. Pepe knew he had to keep a close eye on Pierre, or not only would they catch it from Mother Clara when they got back, but he’d have Raquel to answer to. Mother Clara would only spank; Raquel would kill. The magnetic train floated silently overhead.
When they first installed the magnetic train three years ago, Raul thought it was the coolest thing. The track consisted of nothing more than big magnetic hoops mounted about twenty meters apart on top of big fat pillars, two hoops per pillar, so they looked like pairs of spectacles. One was for trains coming, the other for going. 
"Each hoop sent and received magnetic current to and from its counterpart on the next pillar, creating a magnetic field stretching from pillar to pillar that would support the train in mid air. 
"The two-story stations were elevated, and created a nice shade over the street on hot days. The trains entered the enclosed upper level via double round gates on either end (which also functioned as magnetic hoops). The lower level was open all around, and it was for people to get their passes from the machines and go through the turnstiles. People would also use the second level to get across the busy street. You reached that by a sliding staircase from street level. The trains resembled giant worms made of flexi-tubes, only smoother. They looked as though they were floating in the air -- actually, they were travelling through the hoops, riding on the magnetic field they created. 
"At first, it was weird to watch them floating by. They made headlines all over the world. Other countries were worried about environmental and safety factors. That never seemed to be an issue here -- not with the government, anyway. Being the first at something meant more to them. Finally, other countries started installing them too, but they were probably designed for better safety. Now, it was just another feature of every day life -- one more way to get to work, or school, or shopping. A worm-like train was floating into the station above, but he hardly noticed. He was still waiting for Rudolfo and Leo.

By Robby Charters

While the author wrote this as scifi cyberpunk, which it is, I found myself reading it more as a Fairy Tale story. Readers may also get the feel of a story once told, because the background theme is ageless... Characters may have more computer savvy, which is always fun to see how a writer envisions the future! But the good guy versus the bad guy, it seems, will never disappear. Have we given up on utopia and know that we are now living in a dystopian society?

But then, even there, we find hope... 

And Pepe and some really wonderful characters is here to bring us that hope!

Take a look at this cover...Just like shown above, under the city of the Republic of Cardovia, there are children and danger in the slums...

"The giant Flash Animation holograph rotated slowly above the intersection, depicting General Don Juan Clemente, president for life, flicking his eyelid, breaking into a toothy grin as though he were really looking at you. The caption said, '2020, Cardovia's year of vision'. It looked creepy at night. 
"But right now, there were still many hours of daylight left -- too many for Pepe. He looked down the line-up now waiting for the next green, and groaned. The bucket was heavy and drivers were always in a bad mood this time of day. He counted his takings again. 13 Dinarios. Not enough. With a grunt, he lifted his bucket and walked down the island to the first sedan he saw -- a Mercedes. The windscreen wipers immediately went on. 'Okay, okay! Freakin tightwad!' He had to side-step to avoid a motorbike.
Take a good long look at the robotic looking man on the cover--he is your villain and a perfect individual for that role. You won't even feel sorry that he is almost entirely a robot and normally can only be found in his bedroom! Why?

Because he's everywhere he needs to be electronically! Talk about "Big Brother" looking over your shoulder...LOL Of course, General Don Juan Clemente got to his presidential position (for life) through deceit, cunning, and criminal actions!

Pepe on the other hand, is a young boy of 12 who lives in the slums of the Dockyards community. He and his friend Po had been there long enough to become very street savvy, just like the many children who lived on the streets or around the dockyards. They both tried to earn some type of living and stay away from the ganglords, but it was very hard.

"Much of the welfare of the vast slum community is in the hands of gang warlords... It is said by some that power is brokered to them from government agencies.
"The big money is to be found in prostitution, drug trade, child labor, and money laundering on a big scale. The European Commission has confirmed that Cardovia is one of the main transit centres for several international drug rings. In fact, according to some studies, at least ten percent of the nation's workforce is employed by the criminal sector..."

While Pepe and so many others were polishing shoes or washing car windows, trying to get money to eat, Raul, a young boy just Pepe's age, was on his home computer. He hacked just for the fun of it, and now, after much work, had been able to invade the activities of the President himself! But what he saw that day--the murder of his uncle--affected him more than anything else in his life! He tried to tell his father, but, as a high-ranking military officer, Carlo didn't take much time with his son and brushed him off, even though family members had begun to question where Uncle Rodrigo could be...

Through the efforts of Father Antonio, who was called the slum priest because he had set up a large facility to house more of the children from the streets, together with Atsuko, who was a knight, and so much more, who had lived there since the time that Cardovia had a King ruling the land, we see something big is about to happen...

It was Atsuko who worked successfully to connect Pepe and Raul and began the effort needed to discover what was really happening in the city! But word got out, somehow that either the King or his son was still alive after all this time...

The President was not going to allow the old monarchy to come back! Just as a King once did who was afraid to lose his position, The President called for all children to be rounded up, especially blond boys... Obviously quite controversial, the government said it was a new program to support the children, provide educational benefits to allow them to gain future employment.

What was really happening was that girls as well as boys were placed where men would use them, or they were forced to work and others were just killed. A photographer had caught the latter happening, which soon got in the news, but was it enough?

In my opinion, the real star in this novel was young Raol through his computer skills! Then, too, Pepe gained some additional help once Atsuko had come into his and Po's life and began to...explain...

This was my first time reading the author, but in his own words, he considers this novel his best! If you or your young adult children are enjoying any of the TV programs about storybook legends, I have every confidence they will enjoy this story. The graphic issues included are those that are seen on regular television, but I still recommend parents consider the issues of child trafficking and murder as it relates to your children. I thoroughly enjoyed it myself and would highly recommend it for YA and adults into scifi...


About the Author

Robby lives with his family, sometimes in Thailand, where he was born and his wife is from, sometimes in Ireland, where his dad is from. In Thailand, he teaches English. In Ireland, he does software and other things. In both places, he writes.

By now you all know that I like to roam around and find out more about the books I review. When I read the Dedication at the front of the page, I had that "extra" information I wanted. I think it clearly explains how the author came to write this story... The following video will provide a look at the location that was used as the foundation for the Dockyards Community in the story. I applaud the author for using his knowledge and experience to share with the world about this area of Thailand...

Dedication: to all the children of HDF Mercy Centre, and the residents of the Klong Toey slum community, Bangkok, Thailand

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Underwater Adventure Bedtime Stories by Cathy Wilson Hooked Me! Goldie Visits to Share!

Hello Fishes, friends, and all things underwater--and Above Water TOO!

I'm Goldie! I'm so happy to visit today here at Book Readers Heaven,  because I'd love to have children learn about my underwater world! Maybe you even have or will be learning to swim and will come to visit all of us one day! In the meantime, I wanted to recommend a book that really hooked me...ahhh, a little fishy humor, yes! Let me tell you about the three stories you'll be reading!

And I found this cute video for you to listen to...after all, I just know you'd like to be fishes too! Maybe your Mom and Dad will help you learn some things about us!


The Underwater Adventure Bedtime Stories

By Cathy Wilson

The Sparkle Fish That Didn’t Sparkle  

A blow fish named Irwin.
Irwin loves to swim the backstroke
 and walk on his fins.
Sandy seahorse is very crafty. 
She is really good at making baskets
 out of seagrass. Sandy is also
 a really great acrobat. 
She can do flips and twirls like
 you wouldn't believe.
 Sometimes she even puts on shows 
for all the other creatures of the sea.

The Mermaid That Couldn't Sleep 

Not being able to sleep at night is a
problem that some of you may have,
just like Eve. Her father was the 
King of the mermaids but he also
sometime couldn't sleep...

So they went to a doctor and 
that it might be what they were
eating or drinking...
Or even could be related to the
times they played or went to bed...

So Eve and her father both started
looking at things differently and want 
to share what happened with 
all of you!

Sparky didn't sparkle! Well, you know, when you are sad, that sparkle is just not there... Even though Sparky had many friends, like Irwin and Sandy... 

You see, Sparky is somewhat of a grouch and when he's playing he's looking for something to complain about. Why even when he gets an A in school, he complains it wasn't an A+...

Awww, Sparky, maybe you need a new attitude...but how does that happen, if you don't feel happy? Maybe you readers can help?!!!

A sweet little mermaid called Eve

 lived in an underwater kingdom
 hidden deep beneath the surface
 of the beautiful sea. 
This kingdom was magical and
 could only be seen by those

that believed.

 A natural protector to keep
 dangerous creatures away. 
The kingdom was called 
Mystic Paradise.

Oscar Finds a Hidden Treasure

Did you know that sometimes you can find treasure under water? Well, that's true and Oscar found some! First, let me tell you about his friend Jewell...She helped him a lot, because sometimes Oscar would get impatient and she would talk to him, helping him think through things... He had other friends too, but a true friend does help see your problems, so when he found some treasure, some of what Jewell had talked to him about came back to him.

Finally Oscar got to the glitter and you
wouldn't believe what he found. It was
a full box of gold, diamonds and jewels. 
This made Oscar's heart go pitter patter
and he almost forgot to breathe he was
so excited. Lucky for Oscar he was very
strong and could lift the box full of 
wonderful treasures. 
He used all his muscles to drag 
the treasure box back to his room. 
Nobody saw him and he decided he would
keep the treasure all to himself. 
Even though Oscar knew he shouldn't
keep anything that didn't belong to him. 
That was wrong.
Now he had found treasure before, but this time, he started wondering whether it belonged to anybody else! What would YOU do if you found a whole big chest full of gold and jewelry?! Do you think Oscar took it to his room to hide it? Find out!

Think what you would do and if you don't know, maybe reading about Oscar will help you decide what to do when you find a treasure--maybe something you find up there on land that you would want, like a cell phone or a game!

Oh, I was asked to let you know that the friends I brought with me today are not necessarily those friends that will be in Cathy Wilson's book--but they're my friends too! So I hope you get to visit soon! There are great adventures under water! And if you get these underwater stories to read or have read to you, tell 'em Goldie said... Good for You!



You create your own reality. Your only boundaries are the ones you make. If you believe it with all your heart, it will happen, good or bad.
I grew up on a farm and learned early on what hard work really is. Learning many tough lessons and establishing a sound, balanced and open base.
My name is Cathy Wilson and I'm a happy mom and published writer. With over 250 ebooks, 10,000 articles and 30,000 blogs published last time I checked-LOL And I'm just starting now to publish things for me, instead of writing for everyone else.
I'm a single mom to 6 fabulous monkeys (kids) and writing is my passion. I'm a dreamer that looks for the good in everything and runs from the negative. When my magical fingers hit the keys my heart and soul pours out.
It doesn't matter whether I'm writing about toilet seats, health and wellness, my sick daughter or broken marriage, my two encounters with death, dating, or creating children's books. I know how to capture the attention of the target audience with the information in my head and I deliver meaning.
I magically pull out that emotional connection a good writer needs to write well.
And if I can help just one person with my words, then I'm a very happy girl!
I believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Sandman and the Tooth Fairy. The only way these thoughts can be true is if you believe. Besides, there's no fun in closing your mind to it now is there?
I have written every day since I've been about 7 or 8, and only recently have I decided to make it my main focus in life. The other's being my children, and staying fit and healthy.
Information is knowledge and knowledge is power. And with every word I write I'm learning and becoming a better writer.
I believe we get knocked down in life for a reason. To make us stronger and perhaps send us in a different direction. I am an open book and I don't think there's any question I won't answer. And I've been knocked down and run over many times in my life. The only thing I know for certain is that I need to pick myself up, clean the rocks from my knees and keep on going. One foot in front of the other and don't look back. Because I know bigger and better is just around the corner.
I believe in the impossible and I will make it happen.
If you tell me I can't do something that's exactly what I'll do. I learn in life by screwing up and trying to make a better decision next time. I'm on my own by choice because I won't settle. I want it all and I will work my butt off to get it. My children deserve the world and more, and I'm going to figure out a way to give it to them. That's what is going to make me smile.
I have a gift, and it's in writing. I've finally figured it out and I'm ready to take the world by storm.
I've got my blocks and I'm ready to build. And I hope that you take the time to have a look at my writing. And that you learn a little something from it and maybe even crack a smile or two. Cuz that's what life's all about, isn't it?
Thanks for reading and keep doing what makes you happy!

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Tricky Game Pulls Readers Into... Whatever Game That's Being Played! Read Seraphima Bogomolova...

Ritz-Carlton, Moscow
"Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game."   Voltaire

"Tearing out of the night, a silver Bentley whizzes along the curb and stops before the 911 Aurora club on Petrovka Street. Out onto the glistening asphalt steps a woman. Her heeled shoes rhythmically clicking, she walks to the club entrance. 
"At the door, a smiling crimson-lipped hostess welcomes her in. She enters the club: the insistent beats of music crescendos slam her body with their feverish vibes. Through the crowd of raving clubbers and dancing strippers, she walks toward a man seated at the table by the stage. Drawing on his cigar, he watches the sultry movements of a dancer wrapping her smooth tanned body around the cold metal of the pole. 
"Approaching, she stops, her eyes fastened on the man's profile. Instantaneously sensing her presence, he turns round catching her blue gaze. Her hand extended to him, he grabs it and, parting his lips, impresses them on it, leaving a flaming trail on her skin. She pulls it away. 
"He looks up at her. "Are you playing with me?” 
“I think you enjoy being played with." 
"It depends." "On what?" "On the game." 
"She sits down. His eyes on her mouth, the man watches her light up a cigarillo, her slightly trembling rouge lips encircled around its chocolate tip. She draws on it, releasing a blow of smoke toward him. He turns away, motioning at a waitress. Swiftly, a bottle of Krug arrives, placed in between them on the table. He picks the bottle up and pours champagne into their glasses. 
"To our agreement." 
"As you wish." 
"Do you think it really matters what I wish?" 
"It depends." 
"On what?" 
"On your wish." Leaning forward, the man brings his glass to hers. The crystal sides of their glasses meet for a split of a second, releasing a gentle clink. She takes a sip from hers then puts it back onto the table. 
"It's late. I have to go." 
"Please stay." 
"Are you tempting me?"
"No, I'm indulging you."
" She stands up. Grabbing her hand, he pulls her toward him. Her body tenses slightly. He tightens his grip, enjoying the sensation it produces then lets her go. "She walks away. He follows her with his eyes until she disappears out of his site, engulfed by the crowd of the club revellers...
"...her silver Bentley softly pulls in before an imposing residential building, its modern grandeur shamelessly overshadowing the traditional facade of the Church of St. George Neokesariyskii, tucked away in a small garden next to it. She steps out. The watchful stare of her driver on her, engulfed in silence of the night, she slowly walks up the brightly lit stairway of the house. Lancing the silence, a gunshot shatters the night. She gasps. Blood quickly soaking the sleeve of her coat drips into the sparkling white snow.

A Tricky Game
Seraphima Bogomolova

It was exciting for me to immediately be caught in this new novel, first because it is in third person. I always feel that it allows readers to sink in quickly and follow the action... without disruption...

Thereafter it was the quick dialogue sentences... For me, I immediately began to formulate a vision of this sophisticated leading lady as her characteristics were formed by her actions. An articulate lady of poise, mystery, and intrigue... 

Next I was struck by the lead-ins that kept me following along after this woman--"Shot" was the lead-in for the excerpt above...Then "Visitor"... She had me and I read the book in one sitting, except of course to grab a cup of tea about 11 PM last night...

This was in addition to a quote about games that was displayed on a single page to begin each chapter!

I was enthralled with the writer by that time! In these days writers are trying out many things. This writer, I felt, followed the basic rules to move the story forward with every word. She used the traditional third person, but then she added these few distinctive cues that kept me on my toes! What was going to happen! And it is only very late in the game that you will begin to see it, watch for it...look forward to it!

Jacques Moreaux, Angela's grandfather, gets involved, trying to protect her by calling in some help, but at least one gets a little over-zealous and winds up dead... Because we're dealing with the potential of a lot of money! Kazimir Stankevitch, in addition to "other things" wants Angela to negotiate or otherwise obtain for him 51% of Bioyl Investments which is presently owned by Dmitry Voronov, a well-known billionaire.  Angela is an expert in stock market manipulation and is quite capable of making that happen!

The game is on...

But each individual must decide what game is being played! It's dangerous to even be considering such a transaction through some type of manipulation. Is Angela able to play that game and win? Is she willing to enter a transaction with Kazimir, knowing what could happen afterward? Her grandfather obviously is in fear for her life. 

But Angela is playing...for keeps...
'Not long ago, in a charming dream, 
I saw myself - a king with crown's treasure,
 I was in love with you, it seemed, 
And heart was beating with a pleasure'.

Oh, I must include the fun places that readers will be exposed to following Angela! The best, in my opinion, was her attendance at masquerades! In fact, that's another extra touch that the author provides--she gives location settings and even links to places, such as Venice where those balls take place!

And Angela receives mysterious gifts, kisses from a masked man...who writes poetry...

Readers will also be provided some historical background on the visited places in Moscow, St. Petersburg and more...

"It's not so important who starts the game but who finishes it." is the quote starting the last chapter. So, how does the game end? It's a fantastic ending in my opinion! Highly recommended!


It's a masquerade, a love parade 
So, won't you stay and dance with me?  
"Masquerade", Backstreet Boys

A Little More History...
"In my opinion, the Konstantinovsky Palace is the best place to have it."
"I wholeheartedly agree with you, Nina Alekseevna." Entering the Blue Hall, they come over to the floor-to-ceiling windows and look out onto the landscaped park ensemble, spreading all way to the shore of the Finnish Gulf.
“Do you know that Peter the Great thought to make the Palace a 'Russian Versailles'? 
"Nina Alekseevna, I thought Peterhof Palace was more like it." 
"Yes, but that's only because during the construction of the Konstantinovsky Palace it became apparent that it was ill adapted for installation of fountains, so Peter focused his attention on Peterhof Palace instead." 
"What were the original designs for the Palace like?" 
"The original designs, drawn by the French architect Jean Baptiste Le Blonde, depicted the Palace as a Chateau d'Eau, situated on a round island." 
"Imagine that!" 
"Yes, but unfortunately, the architect's death prevented him from completing his elaborate project. Instead, in 1718 a temporary wooden palace was constructed, which was mostly used by the Russian royalty as a sort of hunting lodge." 
"When was The Palace completed?"
 "It was completed only in 1807, when it came into the possession of Romanov family. The Grand Duke Konstantin Pavlovich, the younger brother of Alexander I, devoted a great deal of attention to his residence." 
"So, the current look of The Palace is a legacy of The Grand Duke Konstantin?" 
"Yes, Konstantin Nikolaevich, though, the son of the Nicolas I. He is the one, who undertook the reconstruction of The Palace and its park ensemble, including the central rooms." 
"The Blue and Marble Halls?" 
"Yes, the central rooms were redecorated in accordance with a project drawn up by the architect Andrei Stakenschneider and given the current names: The Blue and The Mable Halls. 
"Thank you, Nina Alekseevna." "My pleasure, Angela. 

About this author
The author of a psychological thriller ‘A Tricky Game‘ and the editor of Avantoure infotainment blog, Seraphima Bogomolova was born and raised in St Petersburg, Russia. She received a degree in English and American Literature in the private Institute of Foreign Languages. Her studies had a big influence on her literary preferences with her two favourite authors being Anton Chekhov, one of the greatest writers of short stories in history, and John Fowles, a master of mystification in post modern English literature.

Seraphima’s love for travel and exploration brought her to many cities and countries including London, New York, Moscow, Dubai, and Geneva. In Moscow, she had an opportunity to run a cigar magazine, Hecho a Mano, the first glossy publication on tobacco in Russia.

In 2006 her publishing experience led Seraphima to launch her own rich media publication, Avantoure. This innovative, ahead of time project had made a stir in the digital publishing world and was produced in its avant-garde format until late 2009.

Her debut into literary world started in October 2010 in New York, where a certain sequence of events prompted her to begin writing her first novella 'A Tricky Game‘. The first draft of the book was finished by the end of 2011. In 2012 a pilot version of it was released. Based on the feedback of the readers the novella was reworked and the final improved version of it was published in July 2013.

Currently, Seraphima works on her second novella and also helps her husband on the development and launch of an innovative online platform related to books.