Friday, February 28, 2014

The Accident, Edgy and Full of Suspense, by Chris Pavone!

The street is leafy, sun-dappled, birdsongy. Hayden's bicycle leans amid dozens of others in the jumbled rack on the wide sidewalk, a few blocks from the queen's palace in Amalienborg. He hops on, pedals gently through quiet streets, to the staid brick building on Kronprinsessegade that houses the David Collection, one of the premier resources on the Continent for his new hobby, Islamic art. He spends a half-hour examining the Middle Age artifacts of the Spanish emirate, from a time when Cordoba was the largest city in Western Europe. Cordoba, of all places.
Hayden Gray is, after all, a cultural attache'. He has a large luxurious office three hundred miles due south, in the American Embassy in Pariser Platz, next to the Brandenburg Gate. He still makes his permanent home in Munich, but his new job responsibilities require regular appearances in Berlin, and a legitimate office there. Of course Berlin has always been a fascination for Hayden, indeed for anyone in his line of work. Lost Angeles has the film business, and Paris has fashion; Berlin is for espionage. But it's not a particularly attractive city, and the appealing things about it--a vibrant youth culture, a practically developing-world level of inexpensiveness, and the limitless energy of its nightlife--are not compelling assets for him. So he'd rather not live there...
In the window across the street, the scraggly man sits at his desk, turned as always in profile. Jens Grundtvig, part-time student, part-time writer, and nearly full-time stoner, is sometimes typing on his computer, sometimes just moving his mouse around, researching, and sometimes is on the telephone, gathering quotes, checking facts. Grundtvig seems to be putting a fact-checking polish on another man's project, and Hayden's task is to find that other man. After three months, Jens Grundtvig of Copenhagen is Hayden's only substantive lead...

The Accident
By Chris Pavone

Whether or not intended, most Americans will think of only one man to characterize the life of Charlie Wolfe; i.e., if we are to assume the power and wealth of the individual for whom the book called, The Accident would be written. And once we get that into our heads, the next thing would be, What if...

What if a now very powerful American media mogul, together with his best friend and father, had killed and/or been involved with the cover up of the death of a young girl during his college years??? What if it really was an accident? Would that make a difference or does the fact that they covered it up mean that he knew he was guilty of murder?

Would we ever consider whether that man could have done it and, if so, if it was discovered, would he pay for it in jail, or would he ensure nobody ever found out, even if many deaths had to occur?

He opens the media folder of motion-activated
footage. Since he last checked, there have been
about ten minutes of motion, in one stretch,
time-stamped beginning 3:08 p.m. local time.
The first activated camera, as usual is the one in
the hall, as the front door opens. It's a different
man from the usual, this one tall and blond and
muscular and wearing latex gloves, moving
quickly, not pausing to listen for sounds, not
hesitating, not sneaking around corners. This
man, like the others, knows there's no one home;
he and his colleagues are keeping close tabs on
Isabel, and they know where she is at all times.
But also like the others, this blond guy doesn't
know about the surveillance cameras that are
watching him while he's spying on her.
These cameras are the author's. He had them
installed partly to monitor the agent, but mostly
keep track of these goons who come and go,
to see what they do, to see if they ever walk
away with a manuscript, or, worse, with the
woman herself. One or another of these guys
has been stealing into her apartment every
few days for months. Checking on her
submissions. Checking on her.
Can you even imagine what would happen if even a "hint" of such a book was made or discovered? If you can't, then run, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore and get this book! Chris Pavone may just be an expert in writing suspense. Readers are caught immediately with the concept, but the intriguing path that one copy of a book can take is not only believable but makes you question whether hot news can ever be stopped in its tracks...

Even by someone who has control of more media outlets than anyone else...

Maybe because there would be so many willing to dig his grave by "outing" the secret death...

The manuscript of the  book has just been submitted to a literary agent and, not through her hands, to others involved in publishing. It would be to their advantage for them to be able to publish and reap the benefits of such an explosive story! That was Isabel Reed's decision when she started thinking about how she could ensure that "she" was the agent who would control everything that happened!

Of course, other people had similar ideas...And if you can imagine an industry who is looking toward collapse, some time in the future, such as publishing companies are, you can also imagine it gets pretty cut throat at this time. So Isabel's first copy to her preferred editor--a man she knows is in love with her, is a safe decision. But not if he doesn't realize soon enough what a valuable property it will become and leaves it on his desk to be copied... She also hadn't known that her assistant had made a copy for her own use--and was the first one killed! At least until she found her the next day...

But soon the plot deepens as the CIA gets involved. They've already noticed that a man is doing a lot of research on Charlie.  And Charlie has had quite a bit of interaction with this agent for many years. Shall we save a lucrative arrangement on both sides? 

Now there were a number of copies getting out...and those individuals were immediately terminated... 

The book has been written by Anonymous... But there are a number of people who believe they know who the author is... Even if he is supposed to be dead...

Throughout the book readers are given slices of the manuscript so that you begin to see the potential of the story. But there are a couple of things that are "off" for the reader to consider, even if you can't figure out the "why's" of it. The ending was a total surprise for me, one that could even be a setup for a sequel, but with all that's going on in this one, I'm not sure anything more than the same could be conceived... LOL But then, I'm not this imaginatively creative writer who presents this
"Never seen him before, I don't think.
The truth is I didn't get a good look at
him--really, I didn't get any look at him--
I was on a very very long call with Steph
Bernstein, who was having a massive
meltdown about all the negative reader
reviews on Goodreads, which have been
sort of vicious, on top of that brutal daily
Times review."
ongoing suspense without a let-up!  

It is obvious that he has seen, learned and/or researched what is happening to and within publishing companies, although hopefully not as bloody as his book. But I did notice that he provided an interesting reference of the social media setting which most of us already knew about as reviewers. Sad to say that this bit of notoriety is not something we like to even see, especially in a book we are reviewing... All I can say is why get "vicious" in writing a review? I don't think I've ever felt vicious about anything...a little sarcastic, maybe...LOL in my JMPO blog...

Ok, I enjoyed reading books with a setting within the publishing world, even though I have just a teeny role in that arena...I think this is an excellent overview of the entire potential, including movie rights, etc. But no matter the setting, the suspense, the edgy writing, together with the political corruption makes for a totally entertaining, crime novel, even with a somewhat "hanging" end. Enjoy!


Chris Pavone is the author of THE EXPATS, which was an instant New York Times, USA Today, and international bestseller, published in twenty languages on five continents, as well as developed for film, plus winner of the 2013 Edgar Award for Best First Novel. Chris grew up in New York City, and attended Midwood High School in Brooklyn and Cornell University, then worked at a number of publishing houses over nearly two decades, most notably as an editor at Clarkson Potter, where he specialized in cookbooks; in the late nineties, he also wrote a little (and mostly blank) book called The Wine Log. Chris is married and the father of twin schoolboys, and lives in Greenwich Village and the North Fork of Long Island. His second novel, THE ACCIDENT, will be published March 11, 2014.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

R. C. Richter's Second Novel in Trilogy, Crossing the Rubicon: Semper Fi, Now Out!

 August 20, 1754
The sun broke over the mountain volcano of Caldera de Taburiente, which towered a thousand metres (three thousand feet) high in the centre of La Palma Island. The morning air was cool; the wildlife of the island began its morning call.
Next to the sea, with a commanding view of the world around it, was the Kennedy estate, home, its white three-story seaside walls with tiered balconies towering high over the coastline. Just off from the centre of the home was a fourth story, a tower that gave the residents a 360 view of the countryside around. The home was capped with red roof files. The morning sun began to bathe the house in a brilliant golden-yellow light. The sea below rolled in gentle as the waves washed onto the black sands that made up the coastline of the island.

Today, like every day on La Palma, the weather would be perfect. Not too hot and not too cool, a perfect twenty-six degrees Celsius.
Offshore in the distance was a small twin-masted sailing ship at anchor. It gently rolled in the waves as the sea birds flew high in the sky, circling it. In the master bedroom of this great villa, which overlooked the sea below from the open windows, Trinity and Jacob slowly awoke. The white netting that hung over their bed softly moved in the morning breeze
Jacob rolled over and softly brushed the hair from Trinity's face. It revealed an older Trinity. She was now thirty-four years old. Her long brown hair ran down the length of her body. She was still as beautiful as she was at twenty-one.

Trinity had lain there for almost an hour when there was a sound she had not heard in fifteen years. A ping sound? At first she didn't pay any attention, and then a minute later, there it was again. This time she looked up and then down at the iPhone case. She dropped her sunglasses and looked over them. Then again, a third ping. She sat up in the chair, picked up the iPhone case, and looked at it. On the main lock screen was a phone number of 000-000-0000 and a message: Hello Trinity.
"What the hell?" she said.
She unlocked the iPhone screen and looked up in the top corner of the display. It showed that the phone now had a Wi-Fi connection.
Another message came across: Trinity, are you there?
Trinity looked around at the hills behind her. She then called out, "Jacob, quit screwing with me," She stood and looked around. "Jacob, what the hell? How are you doing this?"
Again the texted message came in: Trinity, are you there?"
Trinity looked at the phone and then started to type: Who are you?
Trinity waited. Then: Trinity look at the sea. Do you see the ship at anchor?
Trinity looked out at the sea and saw a double-masted sailing ship at anchor just to her right, below where her home was. She stood and walked to the edge of the cliff, looking at the ship.
Then from the ship there was a flash of light from a mirror.
The next message read: Do you see my light?
Trinity looked down and read the message and then responded. Yes, who is this?
The reply was: Can I come ashore and meet you?

Crossing the Rubicon:
Semper Fi     Always Faithful
By R. C. Richter

I don't know why, but I never expected the author to go where no one has gone--to the future! ...LOL I mean, the first book took us historically back into the 1700s--was it just fifteen years ago that a group of teenage friends left their homes, without a word, leaving their family back in 2014, worrying and wondering where they were... 

The historical adventures we shared in that first book were as exciting for readers as it was for those teenagers who turned out to be the world's first time travelers!

Now someone who knew what a cell phone was, had contacted Trinity on her own cell, the only one that had survived from the past and which contained everything pertaining to their journey! She had been playing some of her music, something she needed to do occasionally to keep the past somewhat alive for her. Suddenly a Wi-Fi connection was made and her phone pinged to announce a message!

...It had a small fusion fuel cell which brought it back online about two days later. Once back online, it recorded the magnetic fields in the cave for the next two hundred and seventy-five years. For the scientists watching it, it was like it never left, but in fact, it had traveled back in time and sat there waiting for two hundred and seventy-five years. On it, it recorded both sides of the gate--the present and the past. What was key were the magnetic fields on both sides."
"At the time, this information was of little use to the science team of the day. But, fast-forward three hundred and twenty-two years, and with this information and the recorded solar activity over the last three hundred fifty years, it all started to make sense. What we learned was how you affect the gate, or field, on one end determines where you get off on the other end.
"In 2337, we were able to use all this information and fold space when the conditions were right. Now what you have to understand is the conditions, or gates, only happen once or twice a year. In some years, they do not happen at all. It's subject to what part of the world, or gate, you are in."
"There are more than the Chungo Cave?" Trinity asked.
"Oh yes," Markus picked up his black bag and pulled out a black object, ten by seventeen inches and one inch thick. The object was void of any reflections. It was as black as a black hole, no light reflecting off of it. Markus opened the object up, and the four students learned that it was some form of laptop computer from the year 2337. A holographic keypad came to life on the lower half of the computer. Markus typed in a password, and the screen came alive...
"It is a data terminal made from graphene, and the light from the sun charges it from any side. In theory, it will run forever..."

Markus, a Gatekeeper, from 2337, told them much about what had been learned since they first made their journey. In his time, travel was now routine. But he also confirmed something that, perhaps, nobody should be sure of--that the timeline happening was predestined, noting that "we all have our part to play." 

But then, during the night he was staying there, Markus died... And left all of his equipment used to travel...

And one other thing--each of the four remaining friends learned when they would die... Trinity would be the first...

Suddenly, they needed to bring their children into their secret lives. What better way to do it than to take them on their first trip in time... But this trip was not was not even on the timeline.  And some of the Gatekeepers were very, very unhappy as information started showing up! Applications for replacement of passports, new purchases...all of it recorded and zoomed into the computer that housed everything that had ever been placed on a computer!

But Trinity had even bigger plans! Were their deaths preordained? Perhaps they should discover that for themselves!

From historical times to the future, R. C. Richter is taking his readers into fantastical places that are sure to get even more exciting in the final novel, The Art of War expected later this year. Richter swiftly moves from the past into the present while bringing the future back to the past...and presents readers with an intoxicating ride you won't want to miss!

So what do you think happens when time travelers start bypassing their destinies?! Cool Stuff! Highly recommended!

Jacob walked up behind her as he once did in 1740. "Will you play?"
Trinity sat there and then slowly started to play. The music was not of 1740 or 1880. It was a song she knew from her childhood. It was filled with sadness, but you could feel the hope shining through at the end. The song was "Born to Die."
Keara stopped and returned back to the room. She started to cry. Tom walked up to her and held her.
That night they all sat out on the balcony and talked about the old days--how far they had come, how theirs was most likely the greatest journey of all time.
In time they returned to their rooms for the night. Jacob lay beside his wife, Trinity, and held her tight.
"Thank you for being part of my journey," he said.


R C Richter was born in 1964 to German parents and resides in Calgary, Alberta Canada, just 45 minutes from the Rocky Mountains where his book Crossing The Rubicon begins.
After graduating from school, RC Richter's first job was as a structural gas plant pipe designer, which only lasted one year before he moved on and pursued his dream of working in the film industry. In 1989 with three of his classmates he started Midnight HWY Film Company. Over the next 11 years, they produced well over 100 national and international TV commercials, music videos and films.
During his time with Midnight, RC won a number of awards for commercial, music video and documentary projects. He also began writing a number of screen plays.
On January 1, 2000, RC Richter called it quits once again and now followed his other interest in military off road equipment. This evolved into Environmental Rescue Equipment, where he built special off road firefighting equipment for wildland fires. This further evolved into ERE Logistics which designed and built military emergency bridge systems, based on the company's fleet of all wheel drive trucks.
Over the years RC Richter has traveled extensively, through Europe, the Middle East, Africa, North America and South America. Visiting most of the places in Crossing the Rubicon.
In February 2012, on his way to work at the aircraft hangar/shop facility in Southern Alberta, the story of Crossing the Rubicon once again came into play. The first ideas for the book were originally envisioned back in 1992 as a screenplay after exploring the Chungo Caves.
20 years later, on that trip to the hangar, he made the decision to return to those original notes and write the book.
RC Richter has always believed you have to follow your dreams and never give up. Crossing the Rubicon, shares this important vision from start to end.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Crossing... The Split...Andy's Story! Get Caught Up for Crossing the Rubicon Semper Fi - Review Tomorrow!

Did you Read the first Book? If not, check out my review!

And Watch for Review of Second Novel Tomorrow!

And did you Read The Secret Chapter???                                                Andy's Story

Andy's Story

By R. C. Richter

January 1, 1741
I said my good-byes. I would not see my friends again. It was hard,
but I no longer shared the same vision. I was tired; two years of traveling,
struggling to live each day, can do that. I just wanted to rest.

Andy's wife was dead. The others were ready to move on. Any just couldn't. His soul mate was gone and he had no reason to live. But he was still living. Something in his life had to change, even if it meant leaving the only friends he had...

He boarded the San Ignacio when everybody was off celebrating the New Year. He was in no shape to celebrate, perhaps ever again... especially when he entered his cabin and saw the bloody sheets from his wounds. And then, waking to find that Kim had been killed. He lay wondering how best to take his own life... Instead, he went back to the spot where she died--the blood still there after so many months. Without thinking he threw the oil lantern across the deck, setting the ship on fire. Only Kim's memory would go with him as he quickly left, ran to his horse, and rode away.

He rode until he reached Villa Nueva de Santa Clara in central Cuba. He had just decided to move on when a group of workers passed... And he was offered a job!

As I rode through the tall wood gates of the town and into the open country, I passed a number of wagons loaded with tobacco leaf. I stopped and watched them slowly pass by. I counted over twenty of them. As the
last one passed me, a well-groomed Spanish man in his early twenties on a white horse stopped. He spoke to me in Spanish, asking if I was lost.
I told him in broken Spanish, “You first need to know where you are going to be lost.”
He laughed. He looked at me. I did not fit the look of any local orAgain he laughed. He went on to say he was looking for help and asked if I was willing to work.
I sat there atop my horse, thinking. I had nowhere to go, nowhere to be. Nothing to call home.
I told him I was interested in learning more about how tobacco is grown, and was willing to try to work for him.
“Bueno,” he said.
I then said to him, “If I am to work for you, I think I should know your name.”
He agreed. He told me his name was Luis Estévez; his father was Don Estévez, one of the founding families in this area. I told him my name was Andy Taylor.
He responded in Spanish, “Like the man who makes clothes.”
“Sí,” I said.
I followed Luis Estévez and his wagon train of tobacco back into the town, and then later that afternoon, we rode out to his estate some ten miles or so southeast.

It was April 9th, 1742 when Andy watched a string of slaves going past. He hated the thought of people owning others... He saw a young girl at the end, maybe 14. Don Estevez told him that he would not replace his wife. Andy grew angry and told him that she would never replace Kim, embarrassing his friend and boss... But it was soon after that Don Estevez, calling him brother, gave him a piece of land to farm for himself.

He soon was building a home on his new property. He and Grace worked together and they found a few helpers for what he could pay since he refused to buy slaves. But he found himself becoming depressed again and made his final addition to their new home
“Kim Wong Taylor, Chinese Princess, beloved wife of Andy Taylor.
She will always be missed.”
Grace immediately planted flowers at the grave and watered them every day, knowing it was Andy's way to remember his love for his beautiful wife...

This short story provides readers closure, knowing that Andy made a life after his loss... Especially since his name comes up in the next novel, Crossing the Rubicon: Semper Fi. Not as exciting a life as before, but a heart-warming tale... 

Check with the author to read this secret chapter...Find him on Facebook, or just about anywhere!

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Notorious by Allison Brennan Introduces Exciting New Series Character, Max Revere! Coming March 25th!

Max parked herself near the carousel opening because she didn't want to be here any longer than she had to. Airports were part of her life, but she grew tire of the waiting part...
"Ms. Revere?" an elderly voice behind her asked.
Max turned and looked down at an older couple. The man, at least eight and maybe five foot four in lifts, stood with his wife, who barely topped five feet. They both had white hair and blue eyes and would have looked like cherubs if their faces weren't so deeply wrinkled.
Max smiled politely. "Yes, I'm Maxine Revere." She expected them to ask for autographs or question what investigation brought her to California. The true crime show she hosted every month on cable television had been moving up in the ratings. When she only wrote newspaper articles and books, few people outside of the business knew what she looked like. Now that she was on camera, people approached her regularly.
There were pros and cons to being recognized. She was on a tight time schedule today, but the couple looked sweet.
"I told you, Henry," the woman said to her husband. "I'm Penny Hoffman." Mrs. Hoffman extended her hand nervously. It was cold, dry, and fragile, like the woman in front of her. "This is my husband, Henry. I knew it was you." She gripped her purse tightly with both hands, the straps worn and frayed. "Do you believe in divine providence?"

By Allison Brennan

When both Sandra Brown and Lisa Gardner comments on the new character, Maxine Revere as an investigative reporter, created by Allison Brennan, I just knew that I would also enjoy meeting her. She's sassy, stubborn, brave and quite reckless--just what is needed to find out what she wants to know... Max had been working for newspapers in the past, but is now doing a monthly true crime show. They had hired a body guard/assistant for her, but David had scheduled vacation with his daughter, so he's not around for most of what Max gets into in this book. But I'm already looking forward to seeing more of him.

You would think that Max would not have needed a bodyguard to return to her hometown for a funeral... But that thinking would be wrong... Not only is she somewhat estranged from her family, but there was a murder there many years ago that had never been solved. Max was the girl's best friend...

And the funeral she had come to attend is that of the man who it was believed had murdered her...

Max had come home at the request of Jodi, Kevin's sister. Max had been the only one who supported Kevin when he was charged for the murder. In their hometown, Kevin had always been held responsible, even though not convicted. Now they found that Kevin had been investigating the case for years, having even asked Max to help him. She had refused...

Now she was there to attend his funeral carrying the guilt of another of her friends' death...

But why had he lied to her? Why had she stood by him during the trial and then turn on him? Now it was Jodi asking. Should she tell her?

"Do you really want to know? Max wasn't sure she wanted to say anything, because after twelve years her reasons for walking away seemed petty. But she'd never forget how she felt when Kevin told her he'd lied about his alibi. It was as if she'd been gutted--not because she thought he was guilty, but because he'd been able to lie so smoothly and she hadn't known.
Jodi straightened her spine. "Yes."
"Kevin lie about his alibi."
"I don't understand. He had no alibi--he said he was home. The prosecutor said he could have easily snuck out of the house."
"He did sneak out of the house."
She looked stricken. "You--you think he's guilty."
"No. But, he made me doubt him because I didn't understand then why he lied, and I understand less now." She sipped her coffee to calm her nerves, because remembering how inadequate and helpless she'd felt back then made her queasy. "After the trial, Kevin told me that he wasn't home, that he was with Olivia Langstrom."
Jodi looked perplexed. "Why didn't he tell the police that?" she asked.

It was intuition that allowed me to pinpoint the individual who had committed the murder, so don't be surprised if you don't solve the mystery before being told! LOL In fact, it had never been Max's intention of becoming involved in an investigation while she was there... Now she was not only committed to one but two!

The second murder had happened more recently. Max had been recognized at the airport upon arriving by an elderly couple who asked her to help them find out what had happened to their grandson, Jason, who had been murdered 5 months ago. The police had indicated they had no leads. When Penny told her that she had already written to Max twice, Max was not only angry but embarrassed because obviously her new assistant had not handled her letters. She promised to listen to their story...and before long she had started to check about the incident.

The interesting part was the coincidence that he was murdered not very far from where Lindy had been found in the school's pool... Are there really coincidents? Atherton College Prep seemed to be the location to start her investigation. Jason had been working on a new school project when he was killed.

Climbing trees was like riding a bike, but unwise to do in heels. She slid out of her two-inch pumps and pulled herself up to the first thick branch. Her heart raced, exhilarated, reminding her of when she first became an investigative reporter. When she didn't have the obligation of the cable show, when she didn't have staff who depended on her, when she didn't have any responsibilities to anyone, only to herself and her drive to learn the truth. She'd been reckless, brash, and free. She missed it.
She climbed higher than she needed to, mostly because she could and the sensation of height was freeing. The headache that had plagued her since she'd left the Ames house had disappeared and in a moment of clarity, Max saw what she might have been doing had she said no to Ben two years ago. More undercover work. Less responsibilities. More freedom. 
Max didn't like supernatural anything from movies to television to the plethora of ghost hunters and paranormal activities people claimed to have witnessed. But she'd been drawn to the television show The X-Riles because of Fox Mulder's tagline: The truth is out there." She didn't believe the truth was in outer space or in some military complex doing experiments on aliens, but she did believe that the truth was knowable, that it would set those trapped by lies free.
And from her vantage point halfway up the magnolia tree, Max saw the truth.

Truth was extremely important to Max--perhaps even obsessive about it. But could you blame her? Her mother had dropped her off at her grandmother's house and did occasionally write to her, the last on her 16th birthday. She never knew her father. [But I'm ready to make a guess on it...LOL]
Her grandmother had raised her, but was not an affectionate woman, finding out only accidentally on this trip home how she felt about her!

But the stigma of her mother's actions gave many in the family and community easy ways to jab Max... perhaps that was what caused her obsession? She certainly had left her friend Kevin high and dry when he'd confessed he'd lied. Still when she realized that his death clearly included Max being set up to take over Lindy's murder case... And at this point in her life, she was ready to do just that!

She not only solved that murder, but found who had killed the grandson of her new older friends... as well as a cold case! Yahoo! This new character has the ambition, the nerves, and the drive to keep going... Of course... it's not all work with no play... She and the investigating officer were able to "get together" to close the cases... and more! I love a little romance that doesn't overpower the suspense of the investigation, don't you?

An extraordinary beginning for a series! Hope I have time to follow this one! I'm so ready to see what she gets into next! Highly recommended!


New York Times and USA Today bestseller Allison Brennan is the author of twenty-three novels and several short stories. A former consultant in the California State Legislature, she lives in Northern California with her husband Dan and their five children.

Crime fiction, mysteries, and romantic suspense have always been Allison's favorites, so it's no surprise that her romantic thrillers have a dark suspense edge. Reviewers have called her books "terrifying," "mesmerizing," "fast-paced," "pulse-pounding," "wonderfully complex," "layered," and "a master of suspense - tops in the genre." As Lisa Gardner says, "Brennan knows how to deliver."

Writing three books a year is more than a full-time job, and so is raising five kids, but Allison believes life is too short to be bored. When she's not writing, she's reading, playing video games, watching old movies or new television shows, driving to or attending volleyball / basketball / football / soccer / baseball / softball games, and on occasion even makes it to the gym where she enjoys people-watching more than exercise.

Allison is currently writing the Lucy Kincaid series about an FBI recruit. The seventh book, COLD SNAP, is on sale now. DEAD HEAT will be out on June 3, 2014. Also, she's thrilled to announce a new hardcover mystery/thriller series starring investigative reporter Maxine Revere that launches March 25, 2014 with NOTORIOUS.

Advance praise from Sandra Brown: “Brennan’s NOTORIOUS introduces readers to a new and fascinating heroine worth rooting for. She’s an investigative reporter who’s not afraid to kick butt, climb a tree, or go to jail in pursuit of her story. She’s savvy and smart and takes no prisoners. Buckle up and brace yourself for Maxine Revere.”

And her friends...

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Mark Your Calendar for May to Get The Orphans of Race Point by Patry Francis --Spotlighting the Portuguese Community at Race Point

"Set against the coast of Provincetown..."

Hallie had been on the roof before, but that night was different. She would never be sure whether her sleep had been disturbed by the shift in temperature or by a sound that entered her room as stealthily as moonlight. Was it singing? By the time she opened her eyes and sat up in bed, it was gone. For some reason, she thought of how the old people wept when they played fado music at the annual Portuguese Festival, Saudade, her great-aunt Del called it: homesick music. But according to her father, the emotion was about
more than place. It was a profound longing for everything
that was lost and would never be regained...

Hallie was surprised that her father, with his famously keen sense of observation, hadn't yet discovered her secret excursions to the roof. The only one who knew was her best friend, Felicia.
"I think you just miss your mom," Felicia had said, twisting her wheat-colored braids and studying Hallie like a therapist, after she confided to her on the playground. "You go up there because you're looking for her."

 "Liz Cooper's got nothing to do with it." Hallie insisted, wishing she hadn't brought it up. "Besides, it's scientifically impossible to miss someone you can't remember."
She would never admit that she didn't go onto the roof to find her mother; she did it to escape her. In many ways, Thorne House still belonged to Liz Cooper, whose fledgling renovations and dreams of a family large enough to fill the place had ended abruptly on the highway. Though the first floor had been gradually taken over by Nick's rambling practice, it was cluttered with her memory...

Nick's mother's family had arrived with the first wave of Portuguese immigrants nearly a hundred years earlier, but on his father's side he was only second generation, and the ties with people "at home" were all still strong. Photographs of family in the Azores mixed with shots of Nick's friends from Provincetown and Harvard. There were pictures of him and Liz Cooper on the leafy, brick streets of Cambridge, where they'd fallen in love, at their small private wedding, and then holding their newborn daughter. But most of the wall was taken up by images of Hallie...The only thing that had stopped him from walking into the sea after he lost his wife...

The Orphans of Race Point
By Patry Francis

This novel was like unwrapping a heartrending but wonderful gift that was totally unexpected, but just want you would have wanted if you'd been asked! With the children running on the cover, I  pictured a family drama which it was--one that surrounded the families at Race Point, some of whom were single-parent families and others who seemed to be orphans just by not connecting with parents.  Hallie Costa, daughter of the town's doctor, was just as happy having just her father and herself since they had grown very close since her mother had been killed in an accident. Still, she knew that her father still missed his wife very much and would only occasionally date new women.

"You mean a party?"
"More like a few couples. I'm going with Christina,"
he said, referring to the girl he'd been seeing for
several months. "And Voodoo {Gus}really wants to
hang out with you."
Hallie's color deepened. "What is this--a summons?
The great Voodoo Silva has chosen me as the girl of
the week? I thought he was going out with one of
Daisy's cousins from Truro, anyway."
"Over," Neil said with a dismissive swoop of his
hand. "Come on. What do you say? He would
have called you and asked you all nice and proper.
It's just--well, like I said, he gets nervous around
"Are you trying to tell me Voodoo is shy? Please.
He's got to be the most arrogant boy I've ever met,"
she said...
With a thriving practice, Hallie was often on her own or with her two friends, Neil and Gus. Gus was an orphan living with relatives. His father was in jail for the murder of his wife. When his father was convicted, he said at court that he didn't want to ever see his son at the jail...

Gus had been in the house when she was killed. Knowing that she would probably be killed by her husband, and after he had tried to protect her once and had gotten hurt, she had talked to him and then forced a promise that if he heard similar noises, that he would hide in the closet and not come out.

He did what was promised, but it left him catatonic, unable to talk... They had tried counseling, but everything failed. So Dr. Costa said it was his turn to try and Gus did speak one word... But nothing more...

"You'll have to finish the rest
yourself,: she said. Then she
reached out to shake his hand
like her father always did when
he was finished with a patient.
Gus stared at her extended palm,
refusing to accept what it meant.
"Wait!" he finally called. "You
know I can't read that book."
..."You have to," she said,
stopping him with the firmness
in her voice. "Because you'll
never know the end of the

Gus' friend Neil would visit every day, but his aunt refused to have him come in to visit...

Hallie took the initiative, bought two gold fish and took one of her father's books as gifts. That day and for as long as it took, Hallie would go and read from David Copperfield... Why that book? Because it was a story of an orphan who becomes the hero of his own story... Slowly Gus came back to his life, as it now was...

Gus and Hallie did become a couple and were very much in love. The three were constantly involved until they reached their senior prom. Everybody had gone on to the beach, drinking and dancing the night away. Until Neil came up to Hallie and made a pass, even ripping her dress! If I were in Gus' mind at the time, I can almost guarantee that he had a flashback of his father beating his mother...

He went after Neil, beating him senseless...Hallie knew that he could kill him if somebody didn't intervene. She tried but, without realizing what he was doing, Gus knocked Hallie away and she was seriously hurt.

Nothing was ever the same...  Time stood still for Hallie in the hospital. But Gus was forever changed. He had early in his life been very involved in church, and even after the tragedy, he would spend time, alone, sitting in a pew of the sanctuary. He and the priest had formed a relationship and had spent time talking. Now Gus had turned back to the church and was on his way to enter the seminary when Hallie and he had their first and last talk before he left.

An interesting sub-plot finds Hallie later married to a surprising somewhat new character, who was the estranged son of the man who had lodged at the Costa home...

Only then does the mystery, suspense, and explosive information culminates into a unique twist of deception, intrigue, and a clear definition of good versus evil. For me, it came as a shock because I didn't pick up a clue for the ultimate ending... And you know what that means! I loved it!

Even if I would have preferred a different ending... 

I just finished the book, Coincidence (Read my review)... 'cause I would have to say that this story would have been part of the grand plan, if it wasn't just fantastic fiction! LOL



I grew up in of Brockton, Massachusetts, a city known for its legendary boxers and its once proud heritage as "the shoe city of the world." Many of my ancestors spent time laboring in the now ghostly leather factories, including my father and both grandfathers. They worked long hours, enjoyed vibrant lives with their families, and dreamed of sending their children to college. They succeeded.

A photograph of my grandfather, John Joseph Heney, in the factory hangs over my desk. I keep it there because in all my life, I've never known a finer, more intelligent man, and because it reminds me daily how fortunate I am to do the work I do.

It also recalls his personal two word motto: "No kick." To us, that phrase might suggest a watery drink; but in John's era it meant "no complaints," and it reflected his personal brand of tough optimism. "No kick" meant that if you want to do something in this world, whether it's painting a house, making a relationship work, or just staying alive (he lived to be ninety-nine), you didn't whine about the cost. You just got on with it. It's still the best advice I've ever gotten as a writer.

As a child, I dreamed of being a dancer, the first woman President of the United States, a girl singer with a rock band, a teacher, a contemplative nun, a police detective and in my Albert Schweitzer phase, a great humanitarian doctor. By the time I was ten, I had chosen names for the twelve children I planned to raise in my spare time.

But the truth is I never had a choice. I was a writer from the time I first held a pen—if not earlier. When my cousin Lorraine and I sat on the steps on a boring summer day, wondering what to do, I'd always suggest, "Let's write a story!"

I quickly learned that not everyone found sitting at the kitchen table hunched over a sheet of blank paper the best way to spend a perfect summer day.

Don't ask me why, but I did—and I still do.

Of course, my life hasn't been all about writing. It's also been happily filled by a husband, four children, and more pets than a family has a right to love. Since the poetry and fiction I wrote for literary magazines paid mostly in contributor's copies, I also worked as a waitress. I didn't know how much I actually enjoyed the work until I left it behind to write full time.

Making my lifelong obsession with writing a reality has taken commitment, sacrifice, and above all, patience. Though I will never have an opportunity to live out my other childhood career fantasies, through writing, I have inhabited countless lives, most far more interesting than my own. As my grandfather would say, "No kick."

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Coincidence by J. W. Ironmonger - A God Incident or Coincidence? Out Today! Spotlight on Africa's Joseph Kony...

{During Peace Negotiations in Sudan - Looks so Friendly and Warm
doesn't he??}

'I am a man of peace,' said Kony, although his eyes said otherwise.
'I am here to help you. I am here to help your mission.'
'And how do you intend to help our mission?' demanded Rebecca.
Kony's hand crept back towards his gun. The tone of the meeting
had changed. 'I can offer employment to your children,' he said
in Acholi, 'to your orphan children...'
'these children are not muna muna. They are not white men. They
are Acholi. The Acholi people are at war with the murderers and
child-killers of the Museveni regime. Every Acholi man, woman,
and child is bound by blood to rise up and support the struggle...
'You will not stop us, said Kony, 'because we have God and Jesus
on our side; because we are the Acholi. If you try to resist, then we
will say you are a part of the Museveni regime.' He swung his gun
around so that the barrel was an inch from Rebecca's face.
'Missus--my gun is on the table,' the LRA man protested, pushing it a bit further away. 'We have no come here to make trouble.'
'Then why have you come? Rebecca demanded.
The two men conferred softly in Acholi. Then the first man said, 'If you please, Mr. Luke, Mrs. Luke, it is my turn to make my introduction.'
Luke leaned back and raised a hand to silence Rebecca. 'Very well,' he said, 'your turn.'
'I am a man of God,' the soldier said, "I am a preacher like you.'
Luke nodded without correcting him.
'I am known throughout all of Acholiland as a holy man. That is right. Your man will tell you.' He nodded towards Odokonyero.
Everybody knows him,' Odokonyero replied.
'And he is a holy man?'
The cook nodded. 'He is a holy man to the Acholi.'
'I've never seen a holy man wearing an army uniform,' said Rebecca.
The holy man--or the man who claimed to be holy--said, 'Is it only the white man, then, who can fight for the Kingdom of God?' He looked around the table and his eyes settled on Rebecca. 'You are a child of God, are you not? Are you not commanded to take up arms to defeat the forces of evil in the world?'
The softly sinister implications of this question floated above the little meeting and settled like a moth on the rafters to watch the way the conversation went.
Rebecca said, 'Our God commands us to love our enemies; to turn the other cheek.' She flinched as a fly landed on her face, and swatted it away. Outside in the compound an unnatural silence prevailed.
'So,' said the hold man in the army uniform, 'you do not know of the LRA?'
'Are you familiar with the hymn "Onward Christian Soldiers--marching off to war"?' asked the soldier of Rebecca,
Rebecca shrank slightly. 'It's marching as to war.'
'As to war,' she said, 'not off to war. It has a completely different meaning.'
'It is a command for Christian Soldiers to fight,' said the man, 'to go off to war and fight.'
'No, it isn't,' Rebecca said. 'It's a metaphor. The hymn is telling us that we must face up to evil--but not with violence.'
"'With the Cross of Jesus going on before",' said the soldier triumphantly. '"Onward into battle, see his banners go".'

By J. W. Ironmonger

I had read this entire story before it settled into my gut...Why did the author write this book? Once you get into it, you may decide that it was determined that he would write this book at this time in 2014... But who determined that he would?

Quite a number of years ago, I read another book by a woman whose husband developed AIDS. She coined a phrase that I have used often since then. A God Incident is what I would call this book. No, I don't agree with the Big Bang Theory that you will learn about.  It claims that ever since then, everything is pre-determined. Nor do I believe that every single thing we do or decide is but part of a master plan that a supreme being has created. But, sometimes, just once in awhile, occasionally, sporadically, or maybe even routinely, I've witnessed a God Incident...

This one is all wrapped up in a complicated literary puzzle that discusses philosophical issues many have studied in college... If not, you will enjoy a review of coincidence, determinism, destiny, etc.

But there are postscripts of the foundling girl, and
these are significant too. In none of these cases did
anyone appreciate at the time quite how relevant
each of the events might be to the life of Azalea
Ives. The first such event occurred in May 1983,
almost a year after Azalea's appearance...The body
of a young woman, very badly decomposed, was
discovered on a beach in North Devon, near Bude.
She had been dead for about a year...In 1986, a
police constable in Cornwall, carrying out a cold-
case review, was able to point to a number of
similarities between this case and the case of
'Girl A.'
It was probably her Irish background that had allowed Midsummer's Day to be noted... They were having a fair in Devon, so Miriam had stopped there with Azalea who was only three years old at the time. The child was found alone and lost wandering through the crowds. But later at night, still nobody had come to pick her up at the manager's office. It was then they contacted the police.
Nikolai Astrup (1880-1928), who grew up on
Jølster lake at the same time as Elisabeth
and Oleanna, captured the St. Hansbål
(St. John’s bonfire) many times
Midsummer Night Festival


The Investigation continued and it was later confirmed the Azalea's mother had been murdered the night she was found. Azalea was put up for adoption and became the daughter of Luke and Rebecca Foley, both teachers...

Luke's family had been missionaries for three generations. When Luke had gone away to attend college, he had stayed, married and had begun to work. But it was his time now... They moved to Africa to work at the mission compound...

Azalea's happiest years were there in Africa--at least until she was 13. That's when she identified the man walking into the compound as Joseph Kony and immediately ran for her secure place. Kony's reputation was known throughout the country. He would demand, no, really steal children as well as men and women to fight his war. If they refused, they would cut off their lips, their arms, or in some other way disfigured them...Soon not many refused to be taken...

The Foleys had prepared everybody to be ready for danger and even ran drills, based upon a particular sound of the bell, to run to their assigned secure place. Azalea was to run to the bus, knowing if everybody had to leave, she would already be prepared. Luke did manage to sound the bell and everybody responded, but it wasn't enough. Kony had brought his own bus full of his child soldiers and they ran after and found all of them.

One of those children shot Rebecca in the back as she ran after the children, including Azalea, who were being taken! But Azalea, plus two other young visiting doctors, were white... and were a problem to Kony's group and should never have been taken.

There is an amazing concurrent story surrounding Azalea that works to solve the puzzle of her life. She had no memory of her life before the Foleys-- But what she had been able to determine so far was that she had lost loved ones on June 21, Midsummer Night! She lived with the possibility, the fear, that she also might die...

Enter the Coincidence expert...

Thomas Post taught Applied Philosophy and had through word of mouth, begun to receive questions about determinism, fate, destiny...coincidences... You'll get to know him very well--his mind, that is, as he tries to respond to Azalea's questions about her past and the coincidences that seemed to surround her... Actually, they made a good pair because Azalea was quite willing to challenge Thomas and stick to her own beliefs... Soon they were friends, then lovers...

And so when she disappeared out of his life, he was in such a quandary he didn't know what to do...

This latter relationship and the subsequent investigation actually makes up the majority of the book. But for me I think you can tell what came to be the most important element presented by the author. The love story, the puzzle of Azalea's seeming life full of coincidences, helps to lighten the reality contained in this book. I chose to play up the reality because Kony 2012 is, of course, in today's headlines, spreading virally.   More people need to know about Joseph Kony This book provides an excellent fictional account of what is and has actually happened in Africa.

If you don't read anything else, read "Explaining Kony" an appendix to the book... Here's the beginning:
This story is a work of the imagination. All the characters in this book are fictional, and none is based on any person, living or dead. Except:
Joseph Kony is a real person. His cult-like Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has been operating in Uganda, Sudan, and the Congo for more than twenty years. The BBC reports that tens of thousands have been killed by the LRA, and one and a half million people have been displaced. Thousands of children have been abducted. No one knows how many have been mutilated. As far as we know, Joseph Kony is alive and still evades capture...

My personal thanks goes to the author along with Kudos, congratulations, and praise for being brave enough to tackle him directly through your words... 

This entire novel is quite an achievement--to watch one lost child...walk through her life in such a strange and coincidental way... A Memorable Exceptional Read!


About this author

I'm the author of 'The Coincidence Authority,' ('Coincidence' in the USA), and 'The Notable Brain of Maximilian Ponder.' Here are some things about me:
1) I'm a Cornishman who was born in Kenya, schooled in Kent, studied in Nottingham and Liverpool, worked in Nigeria and Slough and Manchester and Edinburgh and Warrington and Warwick and Glasgow but never lived in any of those places (except Nigeria), and now I live just south of the village of Market Drayton in Shropshire right at the exact geographical centre of England.
2) I once wrote a book on British Zoos.
3) My lovely wife Sue and I are possibly the only non Indonesians to have seen a Javan rhino and her calf. True. You can read about it on my blog at
4) I once drove across the Sahara Desert in a £100 banger. You can find the proof on YouTube:
5) I once met Idi Amin at a rugby match and he bought me a drink.
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