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A Cold Goodbye: Ned Fain, Private Investigator (Book 1) by Sam Abbott

A Cold GoodbyeThe world has seen skirmishes, battles, police actions and wars for too long. It’s a fact of human history that at some point humanity has been fighting each other for some reason or another. This violence impacts so many from the home fronts to those fighting the battles and there are many common outcomes of these battles. One of the biggest is what to do with those who come back damaged, either physically, mentally or both. What will they be able to give to society and what will society do for them?

The book A Cold Goodbye will introduce the reader to one such soldier, Ned Fain. He is a former JAG officer who was fragged by someone in Afghanistan. He was defending some foreign soldiers and after the outcome of the case someone tossed a grenade into the bathroom. Unfortunately, Ned was in that bathroom and things did not go well for him.

He’s now back in the states, working as a painter while trying to get a real job. His wife has left him and the visual scars cause people to turn their heads. He’s out looking for a new job and is very unimpressed with the man he is about to interview with. Ned does not like how this supervisor tosses one of his own employees “under the bus” for work not done. So, he does what anyone should in that point walks out, not interviewing and heads to the bus stop.

The one problem the bus won’t be there for some time and decides again to stop into the local zoo. This decision will put him in the spot to witness a very icy murder. The fallout will happen in front of a class of children on a field trip and thanks to Ned’s quick thinking he may spare those kids years of therapy.

It is here when the book really takes off. We find out that there is a young teacher who went to the bathroom at the wrong time. She becomes a prime subject and while Ned is talking to the police she hears how he was at one time a JAG officer. This woman will seek out his help and he will get involved in the case. He may not be a practicing lawyer but this down on his luck ex-soldier is about to get back into the action. The best thing about the job is he gets himself a sweet car to make get rid of the need for public transportation and for this Mustang fan it’s the perfect choice.

A Cold Goodbye will take the reader into Ned’s life. We get to see how the “accident” may have transformed him physically but mentally his mind is still there. He is even able to give information to the police, and district attorney, items they have not gotten to themselves due to his keen observation skills.

Author Sam Abbott does a great job of putting imagery into the mind so the reader can picture some of the things happening in the book. The use of the imagination in this form helps connect the reader with the story. The characters are very believable and you will find yourself routing for the young teacher, and Ned. This is book one in a series and we will see how he will find himself getting ready for a new career as a private investigator.

This is a great entry into the Mystery and Thriller genre and should have readers wanting more from Ned. The book will end faster than you think but as a reader you will not feel let down. A Cold Goodbye is a great read, and I will share that there is one more mystery. Sam Abbott is pseudonym for the actual author, whose name will remain a mystery at least from my point of view.

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Posted by on September 18, 2015 in Reviews

 

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Ten Plus One Questions with Author Jessica A. Scott

Jessica ScottI have to say that it is always a bit humbling when an author reaches out to you for a book review. This is what Jessica A Scott did and I have to say I’ve enjoyed working with her when it came to her book and the questions below. I got a sense of the author through the may post it notes behind her in the author photo on the page. Those notes combined with the honest answers below make me hope there will be a lot more coming from the author. So please enjoy the answers to those Ten Plus One Questions.

Question 1: When did you realize first wanted to be a writer?

I think I have always wanted to be a writer. I’d been making up stories since I was old enough to think, and as soon as my mom taught me to read and write when I was three years old, I knew that’s how I wanted to spend my time. My stories got better and more complex over time, of course, but I’ve always known that writing was what I wanted to do with my life.

Question 2:  How did your friends/family take the loss of your time as you wrote the book?

Honestly, I don’t think they minded too much. I’m sure that my parents would have preferred that I do something that paid more (haha), but they were/are still very supportive of me and my pursuit of my dream, so I don’t think the loss of my time was much of an issue for anyone, especially since I’m able to balance writing with friends and family time fairly well.

Question 3: What inspired you to write Chase and Charlie?

I know this is a cliché in the writing business, but for this book, the idea came to me in a dream I had years ago. The dream itself was really strange (like most of my dreams are), but it gave me a general idea and the main character, who I instantly fell in love with and just HAD to write about. I think when a story idea comes to me in a dream, it makes me want to write it more, since it feels more real to me. It makes me feel like I myself have lived at least a part of it, or have met the characters before!

Question 4: During the initial writing process where did you get the idea for the book and its characters? 

Well, like I mentioned, I got the idea for the plot and the characters Chase and Charlie from a dream, but the story itself really began to develop on its own once I started writing it. Charlie, the main character/narrator, is a little bit like me, and a little bit better and more courageous and funny than me, and I feel like she just sort of wrote her own story. I just held the pen!

Question 5: Who were some of the authors that inspired you as a child growing up and their books? 

I’m not sure if her books really inspired mine, since they are so different, but J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series was always my favorite as a kid, because I was always amazed by how she had created an entire world for her and her characters, complete with different languages, names, and ideas that no one else had really put together before. I wanted to be able to do that, and do that in a way that seemed real to the reader, and to me.

I also read a lot of Dean Koontz books, even as a child, and I was (and still am) inspired by the way he took somewhat unbelievable or fantastical events and made them seem like something that could really happen. I am a huge fan of realistic fiction, and that is what I strive to write.

Question 6: What was the feeling like when you saw the first completed version of your book?

This is a good question! Honestly, I was kind of in shock when I first held the printed, paper copy of my book in my hand. It seemed so bizarre to me to read my own words, that I’d only seen on notebook paper and on my computer screen, inside of a real, honest-to-goodness, published book! (Which looks pretty great, thanks to my best friend and cover artist Sarah Hance.) I still don’t know if I quite believe it really happened… haha!

Question 7: Do you continue to write and in what genre? 

Of course I continue to write! Even if I never had anything published, or never have any commercial success, I will still continue to write, because that is my passion. My main genre focus is still thriller/romantic suspense, but I am experimenting with some different genres lately, such as the mystery and crime genres. I think it is a good thing to try different genres from time to time—it is a good exercise for your creativity!

Question 8: Who do you imagine being the people reading your book?

The characters in Chase and Charlie are sort of a “young twenty-something,” so I think that people in that age group would enjoy it, as would teenagers. There really isn’t anything too offensive in it, so I think that it could be read by anyone who likes suspense, regardless of age. I think young women especially would enjoy it, because it is always good for us to read a book about a strong, self-possessed, relatable female character who really gets things done.

Question 9: Any good suggestions for those who want to try writing their own book?

Yes, I have two suggestions, actually. First: NEVER GIVE UP!! Writing a book is hard, and it takes a lot of work, but mostly it takes perseverance. There will be days when you feel like you don’t connect with your characters, or days when you feel like you just don’t want to write anymore, but you can’t give up. Writing is something you have to do for you, not for anyone else, so you have to keep at it until you make yourself proud.

Secondly, I would suggest reading a book called On Writing by Stephen King. This is the best book about writing I have ever read, and it helped me a lot when I was experiencing writer’s block on a recent book. On Writing not only gives you a lot of great tips and advice about writing and how to improve your process, it also lets you see how a successful author like Stephen King became a successful author like Stephen King. Most importantly, though, it gives writers hope. As King himself says, “writing is a lonely job,” and it is really great to hear stories and advice from someone (a surprisingly relatable someone!) who has been there before, and who understands what being an author is really like.

Question 10: When not writing how do you like to spend your time?

When I’m not writing, I like to read, which actually helps a lot with the writing, so I’m not sure that counts. I also like to watch old movies and tv shows, like Chase and Charlie do in my novel (Maybe that’s where they get it from!). Writing is always my favorite thing to do though, so usually when I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing!

The + 1 Question

If your book got turned into a movie do you have any actors/actresses you’d like to see play your characters?

Hmm… that’s a tough one. I’m not sure who I’d like to play Chase or Hoagie, but I could definitely see Jennifer Lawrence playing Charlie. They both have a lot of spunk and a great sense of humor toward life, and I feel like Lawrence would really capture Charlie’s lighthearted, “never say die” attitude.

Where to find Jessica online

 

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2015 in Interview

 

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Chase and Charlie by Jessica A Scott

Chase & CharlieOne never knows how siblings will act together as they grow up and mature. They can either become best of friends, or complete strangers. The fact is that although they may be related there is no real reason to for them to like each other. One of the big differences is when the siblings are of the opposite sex. It seems that brothers and sisters have a closer bond with each other and if the boy is older he feels he needs to watch out for his little sister.

This brings me to the book, Chase and Charlie, by author Jessica A. Scott. I will admit when I first saw the title I thought of many businesses and even TV shows that had similar names to the book. I think maybe I was sensing something when that analogy came to mind as the book makes use of old TV shows. I of course did not know that at the beginning but that’s what makes reading and discovery what’s in the pages so enjoyable.

Chase and Charlie will introduce the reader to brother and sister pair that seems more like an old comedic act. I write this as Chase is a gentle giant as we learn the boy is 6’6 and weighs 310 pounds. Charlie, on the other hand, is petite and seems to be an average height for a woman coming in at 5’5. I have to say when I read those descriptions I thought of Laurel and Hardy, or Abbott and Costello. I realize some reading this may not know those classic comedic teams but I digress as this is about the book.

Chase and Charlie opens innocently with an introduction to the characters and their unique love of movies. At the same time within that first page the reader will learn that Chase is accused of murder and Charlie will try to clear his name.  The supposed murder takes place after the two go to Chuck E Cheese and win enough tickets for a life-size Chuck E Cheese Doll. The two do get many looks from younger patrons, and their parents, for the win but this is a special night. The plan is to catch the latest Star Trek movie, and one last night out before Chase graduates college. However, they will never see the movie as a blackout happens within the theater and when the lights come back up someone is dead up front and Chase is standing there.

The book will take off from this point and some readers will find the book hard to put down. The reader will get to experience all the things Charlie will do to free her brother. She will go as far as attempting to break into a mental hospital which will leader her to meeting Hogarth, who offers to help her. Hogarth is a janitor of sorts at the hospital who suspect things are not right there and the two will find out how right he is. As they work on showing Chase’s innocence they will uncover so many secrets about the hospital while they race to hide from those who eventually want Charlie stopped from her snooping.

Chase and Charlie uses a wide range of analogies within the book, and references to pop culture. One of my personal favorites is a nod to the old show Hogan’s Heroes which I watched as a kid. The book uses many others which are well timed and show Charlie’s sarcastic character. There are moments of high suspense and danger running throughout the pages. The book is written through the eyes of Charlie which leads to unique perspective on the events as they happen. This will also make sure we know what she’s thinking and what she plans to do to clear her brother. There will be those who find the book to be hard to put down as they begin to read it due to how it’s written. In any case those who enjoy some pop culture mixed in with a suspenseful mystery will enjoy the book. I will advise do not ask questions about where are the parents as that may cause you to over think the situation. Their absence is explained within the pages as well. Readers should just sit back and enjoy the ride you will be taken on within the pages. The book is published by Black Rose Writing.

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2015 in Reviews

 

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Thunder Bay by Robert Reynolds

Thunder BayGrowing up in a small town often requires a sacrifice as you get out of school. You can move away and look for work in the wide world, or stay and take what comes your way. It’s the curse of small town that many who grow up in that type of world must face. The really interesting fact is that often after you leave all you want to do is get back to that town. This urge to return home is what finds the main character in the book Thunder Bay by Robert Reynolds home and living a peaceful retirement.

Thunder Bay opens with a forward explaining that there is a town of the same name in Michigan and Canada. The story does take place primarily in Michigan but does make use of the Canadian setting. The forward continues to explain the setting of the book including the Mackinac Straits and the dangers that loom for ships in that area. Often when people think of dangerous shipping in Michigan its Lake Superior, much to the thanks of the song Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. The straits can be just as deadly as the forward states.

The book opens with what can only be described as a very tranquil opening with a man out painting Lake Huron when it’s broken by the sound of a Cessna. The plane is making an approach to Thunder Bay and Ray Winters realizes he must pack up his artwork or it is going to get ruined. The oncoming plane appears to be followed by an impending rain fall and if Ray isn’t fast his days work will get wet ruined.

This is the reader’s introduction to Ray who is the main character within the pages of the book Thunder Bay. He has retired back to his home town and had lost his wife not too long ago. He is a retired Chemical Weapons expert who will do freelance work at times but is enjoying being home again. He like many had left the town to see what the great big world would offer him.

As the book will tell the reader as the storm moves in on Lake Huron there is a boat out in the weather. The boat is not in the greatest of shape but the captain is hoping to make an easy buck with this trip and his passengers. He does not know who they are and is suspicious of the men but he is being well paid to make the trip.  The men are not the only cargo as the men carry a cylinder that will get Ray slightly involved in the mystery as the book progresses.

Thunder Bay is a book that has a large amount of focus on the area in which the book gets its title from. Those who are familiar with the area will get satisfaction from hearing the mention of the local landmarks. You will also get a sense of what it is like to live through the harsh winter during part of the book.  There is also mention of things on the Canadian side as the book does have police involved on both sides of the natural border.

The main thing with this book is that it is not just a thriller and chase to find what is going on with the cylinder. The book does make use of that factor and we find there is a potential evil plot going on in the back drop of the story. The other piece is how Ray finds his high school sweetheart back in town and like him, Millie Tremaine is also single. This ties together the elements of a disappearing boat and a love story in the idyllic setting.

There are many other characters that will bring color to the story from a bar owner, to the wife of the boats captain. There are the locals such as an older Native American gentleman to a Michigan State Police officer that also are enjoyable. Thunder Bay is a great read and does not truly get stuck in one of its plots for an unneeded period of time, but keeps the reader engaged till the end.

 

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2015 in Reviews

 

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Propinquity by John MacGregor

Propinquity_(novel)_book_coverToday across the world people look at what they believe in and will question their Faith. In some there is no reason for religion as they believe there is no higher power, where others are willing to die for what they believe. Books are written that will drive the intellectual to question what they understand about the world around them.

The John MacGregor book Propinquity will take the reader into such a world of discovery as we follow young men grow into who they become.  Their lives will take different roads of discovery but at some point live will bring them back together.

One of these young men is Clive Lean who goes to school living somewhat in the shadow of his rich father. He’s a young man that is after a future in medicine and has the intelligence to make this happen. The reader will get the sense out of this by the way MacGregor writes the character and his friends. These are men that are not afraid to use words that may require the use of a dictionary.

Clive’s friend Julian Lake is just as intelligent as Clive, but seems to question life as he goes through school Instead of following his dreams the young man goes for a walk in the outback of Australia. He goes out in search of what life means to him and along those travels he finds himself meeting some unique people He gets a sense of his life and not long after Lake is on his way to another adventure.

This is what the reader will get out of many of the first chapters of the book. An introspective look at the main character as the travel their paths of life. The story moves smoothly as we read along to the narrators tone and use of humor. Some may find the humor fleeting, or dry, but there is enough there to help those first chapters seem to move along at a good speed.

It’s not till Clive meets what could be the love of his life or at most his intellectual equal. Samantha Goode, Sam, has special access to Westminster Abbey where there just happens to be some secrets buried. As Sam hints to Clive about what could be hidden curiosity will eventually get the better of them and exploring they will go. It is under the Abbey that they find Henry VII’s widow, Berengaria of Navarre.

Berengaria is not a character many know from their history books but her story will engage the readers. As Clive and Sam begin to read the secret papers buried with the woman they begin to question if she is in fact alive. This will take them on a journey that will reconnect them with friends of old and discoveries that will leave the reader enthralled. The reader will be brought to questions that are perfect for the world we live in.

Propinquity was written in the early 1980’s but the soul of the book is set in such a way it works today. In truth as you read the book and see the questions the characters ask themselves you would think this was a new book. In a way this makes the book timeless as it fits so perfectly with not only today’s world but the period it was written.

The book has been compared to other great historical mysteries that have been written.  The problem is that Propinquity is stand alone. Its message, its story, came well before the books it is compared to. The difference is that the publisher of this book did it an injustice by printing so few copies. Readers are fortunate that the book is again available as an EBook.  I have avoided referencing the books it has been compared to but to help show who may enjoy this book I must. The book has been compared to The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. As a reader you may see some of those elements but this was written well before Brown’s book. It’s a book that is for the mind and the soul as you will question your believes and learn as you read.

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2013 in Reviews

 

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The Eradication by author T Bison

EradicationThe Eradication is a novel by author T Bison, which will get the reader asking themselves some serious questions. The main one I found myself asking was,” how would I feel?”, when I learned what drove Hayden to do what he did..

Hayden is man who saw his world turned upside down, side- ways, and every which way that is possible in one evening. You’d think it was the event you find him facing when you begin reading the book. The fact he is in front of a Judge with a record of not showing compassion and caring more about protecting those in power then the little man. It’s in this court room we get a bit of insight into what Hayden has done. Those hints do no justice to what he really does and those stories await the reader.

What drives Hayden to accomplish what he does is one horrible event he comes home to find. He comes home after a few drinks, finds the door open, and his dog cowering in the corner. He finds out why the dog is so shaken when he sees his wife’s body, yes body, on the bedroom floor. She’s been beaten to death and violated brutally by an attacker and Hayden has the misfortune of finding her.

Hayden is one of those men that many today would categorize as a conspiracy theorist. He believes government is too big, too far reaching, and that people may depend on the government to much. So it is no shock that he does not call the police first, and when it’s time to deal with the police he has his own unique way of dealing with them.  I must say that the way the character is written at this point has me routing for Hayden more and more.

T Bison does a great job of creating the character of Hayden Burns and bringing the reader into this man’s mind and his impact on others. He can be the silent type, but if you are able to connect with him, he is a true friend. This becomes clear as he helps a young man get a job with his company, and later he helps give a waitress an idea for a new career path.

The book is set in a way that the reader gets to learn about Hayden and those lives he enters. The story follows his life and at times provides more information through needed flashbacks to younger periods. These flashbacks are not cumbersome but something that helps move the story forward. It will also help the reader get more information and explain why Hayden does what he does.

What T Bison does masterfully in this book is give you the appearance that Hayden has moved on from his wife’s murder. The ability of the man to move and accept what life has given him may have you feeling so happy for the main character. You will find yourself forgetting the opening scene, or wondering what got happened put him in front of a judge.

As the true depths of what Hayden has been doing over the many years becomes revealed you will find yourself in shock. The stories elements will flash in your mind as you remember moments on how and when he may have done, what he has done. The one thing you will take from The Eradication is a well written book with developed characters. The book will seem like a quick read as you will find yourself unable to put it down, and that is a sign of a great book,

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2013 in Reviews

 

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The Angels of Autumn by Joshua Skye

I muAngelsst preface this review with a bit of a warning as “The Angels of Autumn” is a romance/erotic novel. The book contains adult themes that are not for those old enough to drive. The story line involves some gay men relations that some readers could find objectionable. The other thing I will put a note on is to set the story the main character does go into some political rants.  I realize some people do not care for this in their books, and although it isn’t throughout the book it is used often in the first few chapters.  So there are you warnings for the book “The Angels of Autumn”, by Joshua Skye.

 

The story opens with to lovers enjoying each other’s bodies under the stars out from the prying eyes of their small town. The two men are reveling in their shared moment of peace and togetherness. They eventually realize that they must return to society and head back to town. It is when one of these young men returns to Wren County that he is met by a sinister laugh.

We are next introduced to Kincade who is returning to his hometown for the first time since leaving. He has much trepidation about returning as all he remembers about the town was the bigots and bullies. These are the people that do not understand his choice of lifestyle and made his life hell from nearly day one.

The reader finds out that Wren Country is like many small towns around the United States. You have those families that have the money and the power and are not afraid to use it. Locals are those who matter and if you move into town you may never be really a part of the town. Lastly, they can be a conservative bastion and those with a liberal mindset or live differently are ridiculed relentlessly. This is the life that Kincade and his deceased brother endured as they grew up in Wren.

Kincade’s arrival to town does not go without notice as some of the locals are aware of his return. The one person who is thrilled to see him is his mother. She is a woman that works hard for a local company and is ready to leave that life to move out of Wren County.  As a reader you can understand why she feels that way as she helps to lend to the feelings of revenge Kincade is dealing with. You see his brother, his twin brother, was murdered and he wants revenge.

This is what the reader gets to discover, and it’s who killed Kincade’s brother. There are dark reasoning’s to why this happened and there appears to be a large cover up. The town’s sheriff and his deputies are part of this cover up and Kincade knows he will get no help there. There are others and in town and before Kincade can fully start his search he is met with another tragedy. His mother is killed.

The Angels of Autumn takes the reader on a further journey as the hate Kincade feels for what has happened to his family drives him to find out what happened. As he searches for the truth Kincade will find the man who loved his brother, and a man to love Kincade.

The problem is that no matter what you may begin to think about the people in this town you find will find out there is something much worse underneath all that is happening. The evil taking over the town and turning neighbor against neighbor has set its eyes on Kincade and any who may help him.

The Angels of Autumn is a book that some may have a hard time reading due to some of the subject matter. There are those who will not get past the homosexual encounters, or the political bashing. On a personal note I almost did not get past the political side, but I gave the book a chance and found a good supernatural story.  Joshua Sky was able to take all that subject matter and bring forth an engaging story and Pink Pepper Press was the ones who saw that and printed the book.

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2013 in Reviews

 

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