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Solomon’s Porch

Solomon's Porch by [Janet Morris Grimes]

While this is not your typical love story, there is certainly a lot of love to go around between the characters in Solomon’s Porch by Janet Morris Grimes. Speaking of love, Grimes has a way of writing that leaves you feeling emotionally connected with each and every character-rooting for all of them despite their wrongdoings or shortcomings. We follow the characters through the aftermath of a traumatic event that weaves together the lives of people who didn’t know they needed each other, all connected through one beloved man from Ginger Ridge, Georgia- Solomon Thomas.

We meet the dramatis personae one by one, learning their story and that each is feeling the pressure of precious time-and a looming suspicion that they are running out of it. There is Raphael Henry- a Mexican immigrant who is suddenly facing deportation and attempting to prepare his young and growing family for a future without him. His run-in with Solomon creates even more chaos for him, and leads Solomon back into the life of single mom Harper Phillips. Unbeknownst to her at first, Harper was close to Solomon during her troubled childhood and is immediately drawn to helping him. With that task, she is surely not alone. Among many, there is newly single dad Brock Timberland, a soldier turned Pastor, who is trying to find his new way in life while restoring the faith in the Ginger Ridge community. Investigating the event is Detective Cameron Sterling-who despite his lackluster and burnt-out attitude, finds much-needed inspiration and a renewed sense of purpose through this particular case. All of their lives begin to intertwine in unexpected and interesting ways, leaving the reader in a dreamy state of surprise and suspense.

I could not have loved this book more. It was my favorite kind- one that you don’t want to end, already missing the characters you have come to love long before you’ve even finished. I would absolutely recommend it to every reader who loves a good heartfelt story. The  lessons of overcoming trauma, abandonment and grief, living with empathy and kindness, and putting yourself in other people’s shoes run deep throughout the narrative. It is near impossible not to resonate with the struggles that are faced and to find hope and reason in seemingly unanswered prayers.

My favorite quote and greatest takeaway from Solomon’s Porch was from Solly himself: “You can only use the past to change the future, find a way to pay it forward.” Watching this lesson be brought to life over and over in this compelling story of human compassion will inspire any reader to live in alignment with these words of wisdom, releasing the chains of regret and focusing on the beauty in the hope of what is to come.

Pages: 253 | ASIN: B09C7LPQFB

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The Circle (The Circle Series)

The Circle (The Circle Series) by [Stephen Galgon]

The Circle, by Stephen J Galgon is a gripping crime thriller set in New York. The story is divided into three parts and tells the story of two friends: Doug, a museum tour guide, and best friend Eric Matthews, a high-flying New York attorney. The two friends become involved with a secret organization known as The Circle which was founded by wealthy men decades ago. Members meet secretly, in the back of a bar in New York, which they refer to as a safe house. The story follows the two men’s journey into this secret underworld, where they try to figure out who is the predator and who is the prey.

The Circle is told in three parts, giving a clear structure to the novel, each one ending naturally as one of the character’s actions comes to an end or conclusion. Although the story is told from varying character’s perspectives, it is easy for the reader to follow. The Circle is fast paced, with plenty of twists and turns, however this structure ensures it is easy to follow from beginning to end.

The Circle focuses on the journey of two friends, as the story progresses more intriguing characters are introduced. Doug and Eric are both well developed character that felt grounded and authentic. Having been friends since childhood, they travel together from the small town of Grover to the big city to begin their working careers. Although they have very different personalities their friendship is strong. Their differences are highlighted by their differing vocabulary choices, descriptions of their appearance and interests, vocations and the choices they make.

The Circle is a fast-paced murder mystery that has a consistently eerie ambiance to the scenes and setting due to the vivid descriptions. The characters, while not all as compelling as the main characters, served to either bring more layers out of the protagonists, or move the plot along. And the plot, in general, is very fast, or at least if feels that way, possibly due to the various unexpected twists throughout the novel. I simply gave up trying to guess what was going to happen next.

The mystery at the heart of this novel is provocative and gruesomely creative. With an edgy but imaginative style that will pique the interest of any crime fiction fan. The Circle is an engrossing thriller that gets more intriguing the deeper we get into this dramatic mystery.

Pages: 428 | ASIN: B07YHC79DG

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Dave Frolick Author Interview

Dave Frolick Author Interview

The Cabin: A Murder Mystery is a twisting murder mystery that follows a homicide detective trying to solve a case in his hometown. What was the inspiration for the setup to this intriguing novel?

Buck Woods was a character I originally created as a back woods trapper when I attempted to write a story when I was 14 years old. I liked the name so I made Buck an NYPD Homicide Detective. Since I’m a fan of James Patterson and Stuart Woods, I decided to attempt a murder/mystery novel as my first book. I choose Orono, Maine for Buck’s home town just from looking at a map of the United States.

Before publishing the book, my wife and I took a trip to Orono to check out the location. By personally checking out the setting it helped me get the facts straight, and make the story more authentic.

Buck is an interesting character that I thought was well developed. What were some driving ideals behind his character?

I tried to develop Buck into a strong caring character that people can identify with. However, I gave him obstacles he had to deal with on a daily basis. PTSD from his Gulf War days, self-blame and feelings of guilt from the death of his teenage girlfriend, Doreen Warren and the murder of his NYPD partner, Cheryl Jenkins were a few of the challenges Buck had to work through.

I enjoyed the mystery that unfolded. Was this planned or did it develop organically while writing?

The Cabin: A Murder Mystery started as a rough idea. Once I determined what the story would be about, I sat down at my computer and began to write the first chapter. I walk every day for almost two hours.

This gives me time to think and plot my story and develop characters. I find this is the best way for me to write. I don’t sit down and plot every scene on paper like other writers do.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My next novel is now completed and will be edited this April. The book is called New York City Murders. Homicide Detective Buck Woods returns to New York City and teams up with a new partner, a beautiful woman named Kristie Karlsson. The novel is a stand-alone sequel to The Cabin: A Murder Mystery.

Author Links: Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook

The Cabin: A Murder Mystery by [Frolick, W.D.]

Buck Woods, a stressed-out NYPD homicide detective and former Marine Scout sniper on sabbatical, returns home to Orono, Maine.

Upon arriving back in town, Buck meets up with his old high school friend, Detective Jim Barkowsky of the Orono PD. Jim invites Buck to stay with him, his wife, and their two children.

The next morning Buck and Jim go to check out Buck’s new home, an old run-down log cabin he inherited from his grandfather on two acres of land on Punshaw Lake. Upon entering the cabin, they discover the decomposing body of an unidentified man. The victim died from a single gunshot wound. It is obvious that he was murdered.

Buck and Jim set out to solve the murder by putting together the pieces of the puzzle. Unexpected twists, turns, and obstacles abound, leading to a climax that puts Buck’s life on the line.

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The Cabin: A Murder Mystery

The Cabin: A Murder Mystery by W.D. Frolick is the story of a burned-out detective who can’t escape a murder investigation even during his vacation. Buckley Woods is a homicide detective in New York City, until his partner, Cheryl Jenkins, a married mother of two, is shot and killed when she and Buck are trying to apprehend a murder suspect two weeks before Christmas. Unable to start working with another partner, Buck takes a sabbatical and returns to his hometown in Maine to face the demons from his past. He blames himself for his high school girlfriend, Doreen’s death. Back in Orono again, Buck plans to fix up the log cabin on Pushaw Lake that he inherited from his grandfather. But when he arrives at the cabin, he discovers a dead body with a single gunshot wound to the forehead. Will Buck be able to avoid being drawn into the murder investigation? And will he find proof that Doreen’s death wasn’t just a tragic accident?

The book begins with Buck and his partner chasing after a murder suspect, which pulled me into the story right away. I enjoyed the author’s writing style, and I liked that there were several female characters in senior positions within the New York police department. Most other authors that I’ve read seem to have a primarily male cast in law enforcement in crime fiction/mystery.

The author seemed to be dropping some very broad hints in the first few chapters, and I suspected who the murderer was pretty early in the book, even before Buck and Jim discovered the body (although the motive was unclear until much later on in the story). But then, other clues and suspects were introduced, providing a number of false leads, which had me second-guessing myself. I really enjoyed that the story kept me guessing about the identity of the murderer until the very end of the book. And the truth about what happened to Doreen came as a complete surprise to me.

Although I enjoyed the book, I felt that there were too many mundane details, such as what Buck cooked for dinner, and that there were too many unnecessary details about secondary characters that did not relate directly to Buck or the mystery. This slowed the pace of an otherwise entertaining story.

Other than these minor quibbles I think this book is a solid crime novel that uses mystery and intrigue in interesting ways. Bucks character is well developed and the story keeps you guessing until the end.

Pages: 212 | ASIN: B01MR0BGG5

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