Spectre is the thrilling conclusion to your Kirk Ingram saga. Do you feel like you accomplished everything you wanted to with this series?
I know I said ‘thrilling conclusion’ in the synopsis that appears on the back of the book, but I wonder if we’ve seen the last of Kirk Ingram. That said, I feel extremely satisfied with what I’ve accomplished with Spectre, and how it augments the previous two books in the series. For example, in book #1, Haunted, I gave Ingram frequent nightmares, which is stereotypical of a protagonist with a troubled past. But then in Spectre, I used that element and exploded it into an entire book by positing the question: What if Ingram’s nightmares aren’t what they seem? The Kirk Ingram stories stand alone, but readers will appreciate the elements in Spectre that tie them into a trilogy.
How do you think the story, and your writing, has changed throughout the series?
A good aspect of self-publishing platforms is the hassle-free option to update previous books. I have the advantage that my reader base isn’t (yet) in the thousands and millions, so why not make an improvement? When book #2 – Diablo – released, I reviewed Haunted and spruced up the tone of the book, even thrashing sections I saw no point in this time around. I’ve certainly matured as an author. One simple way to see that is the ratings on Goodreads have improved with each book. My plots have always been complex and I’m finding new ways to keep that complexity interesting to the readers. Another constant in my writing nowadays is I always want to educate my readers. Even if my stories are fiction, I set them against the backdrop of contemporary events and locations, so that my readers learn something besides the entertainment value.
This book is exceptionally well written and wastes no time getting to the action. What were some goals you set for yourself in this book?
Thank you for the compliment. Key locales for the book were inspired by a vacation in Italy. I wanted to feature the imposing Christian and Roman edifices. Next, I wanted Ingram to have closure. In Haunted he lost his family; I wanted him to get over his guilt, to live his life to the fullest. I’ve always been interested in history, and Spectre gave me the opportunity to tell a story that converges from two different timelines. And finally, I wanted to write a paranormal story, but one that stands apart from the usual. And I believe, I’ve done that.
What is the next project you’re working on and when will it be available?
Next up, is book #3 in the Luc Fortesque series, Trigger Point. It will be available fall 2020.
More than 2000 years ago, the deeds and words of a Jewish carpenter seeded an ideology that inexorably spread across the known world. Who was he, really? Conspiracies, doubts, faith abound.
300 years later, Constantine marched victoriously into Rome. In a move befitting a shrewd politician, Emperor Constantine sought to legalise the radical religion proclaimed by the hitherto persecuted Christian sect with the ulterior motive of crowning himself godhead of a united empire.
But what if there existed others, who possessed the same powers as the Christ, and threatened the emperor’s new religion, and upset his ambitions?
June 2017: A remote abbey in the Italian Alps is attacked by an ethereal force. Every one of the abbey’s gifted residents is murdered, save for its newest resident, Jovanni Rossi.
A passenger jetliner makes an emergency landing at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport with seven casualties aboard. The perpetrator: former FBI agent, Kirk Ingram.
Seeking answers, Jovanni Rossi and Kirk Ingram must team up and face an incredible reality-altering truth.
Pursued by a vengeful father, a relentless contract killer and a sadistic gangster, the pair find themselves embroiled in a grander conflict between good and evil…
And they are the only people who stand against a dark force arising out of medieval times to consume the Earth!
Marley and Richard have only just met, but the spark is there, and it is real. Things begin to move quickly when Richard comes to work in the same business as Marley. In addition, he is strangely close to their new manager, Ross Gilmore. The buzz in Marley’s office is all about Ross and the wealth that he has accumulated. However, Marley’s sights are set on Richard, and she is much less concerned about his association with the new man in charge. With dreams of marriage, a family, and a horse farm of their own, Marley and Richard set out to make a life together. Something… just a little hint of something… isn’t as simple as it seems.
Marley Faces Reality, by Lesley J. Mooney, is the story of Marley Bollane, a young woman working hard and waiting patiently for her turn at love and a family. Unlike many in her peer group, Marley has chosen to remain a virgin until marriage. She doesn’t realize how quickly that marriage will arrive when she meets Richard. Their relationship moves quickly and all seems well. There remains something quite unsettling about Richard’s friend and business associate, Ross. Marley can’t shake the feeling, but she also can’t put a name to it.
The underlying and brewing drama is drawn out well throughout the book. Mooney keeps readers guessing and makes it interesting to watch Marley try to piece together the clues she begins to pick up along the way. Marley’s life with Richard moves along at a rapid pace, and the reader becomes easily absorbed in all of their triumphs.
Though the main characters’ lives move along quickly in the first few chapters, it takes a while to get to the meat of the story. When it finally happens, the author brings readers in headfirst. The drama is well-planned, multiple characters are impacted, and Marley is still clueless enough to keep readers yearning for more. When she fails to notice the changes in her children and the impact her brother-in-law has on their lives, readers become irate for her.
Ross, who begins the book as a mystery, becomes quite the villain, and does so fairly abruptly. He returns in one way or another throughout the plot. Whether he is in a face-to-face confrontation or whether previous dealings with him come back to haunt Marley and Richard’s little family, Ross is always there. His presence helps make the book much more than the romance it seemed at the outset.
There are some points in the beginning of the book where the dialogue feels a bit wordy. Some of the exchanges between characters feel much more like narration than genuine exchanges between two characters.
Readers who enjoy an element of romance in their thrillers will find Mooney’s work satisfying. Mooney has created relatable characters, a dramatic story-line with multiple twists and turns, and a heroine to be remembered.
Pages: 276 | ASIN: B07ZNC36XG
The Modronovich Incident by RL Dean is a sci-fi mystery set in outer space and told from the perspective of Beatrice, a pilot and wreck driver. She is tipped off about a mysterious case in which the Modronovich, a cargo ship testing an advanced Newtonian drive, went missing. Bea is intrigued by this case and pulls some strings to get a crew on board so that she can take a deep dive to find it. However, after facing endless obstacles and dead ends, she is forced to give it up. Until, a figure central to the case finally appears. Bea is finally able to put together the missing pieces and finds a shocking revelation at the heart of the puzzle.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book- I read it in just a few sittings and found it nearly impossible to put down. Not only are the premise and plot captivating, but the perspective from which it is shown is also perfectly captured. Beatrice is the perfect window into this futuristic world- the secrets, conspiracies, and revelations are portrayed through her eyes. From the first scene itself, RL Dean masterfully creates an air of suspense and tension, without losing me on an overdose of tech jargon.
RL Dean also managed to create strong female characters in powerful positions. They were ready to save the day, irrespective of which situation happened to arise. Their voices were deftly handled for the most part, except for a few questionable allusions to the ‘women love shopping’ trope. Especially Bea, who handled professional trouble and a petulant mother like any real woman do, with exasperation and a determination to bring her life back on track.
Another aspect that I found great joy in were the ‘Harvey Editorial’ snippets at the beginning of each chapter. They offered short insights, dialogue, or debate on the current day affairs of the future. They were funny, quirky, and often harkening back to our very own 21st century. These were everything from a sassy quip on a politician to a gloomy proclamation of the world ending (I guess some things never change).
All in all, this is a rewarding and thrilling read from start to finish, and I would recommend it to everyone.
Pages: 171 | ASIN: B07Z282VB4
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Tags: 50 shades of truth, action, adventure, author, author award, book, book award, book review, bookblogger, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nonfiction, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, romance, science fiction, story, supernatural, suspense, thriller, writer, writing
Rok was living a great life. He was a detective, something he’d aspired to be since childhood. Even better, he was working each day with one of his oldest friends. His girlfriend was more perfect for him than Rok could have ever imagined. Things were good. Until his stolen laptop is returned in the mail, containing a diary entry dated the following day. Each day brings a new update, eerily predicting events in the next 24 hours. As Rok tries to understand the why, how, and who of the situation, everything in his previously idyllic life is upended and he realizes he no longer knows anything.
720 Heartbeats, by Jaka Tomc is an intriguing mix of noir style detective drama, traditional love story, and mind bending science fiction, in a story that comes full circle before its end. What begins with Rok and his best friend Boris on an assignment soon turns into an unwanted and improbable adventure. When Rok’s laptop mysteriously reappears at home, he finds the journal entry but doesn’t give it too much thought. It isn’t until a couple of days have passed that he realizes it gives an accurate, albeit vague, glimpse into the future and by then, Rok is plagued with questions about how it can happen, and who is writing the diary. Things only get weirder when he decides that the only explanation is that it’s a future version of him, which spurns many discussions with Sara about alternate dimensions, the non-linear nature of time, and whether the decisions of present day Rok can change the outcomes of events for future Rok. To complicate matters further, his professional life becomes muddled when he learns some hard truths about people he thought he could trust. Within a week, and with the return of his laptop, Rok’s entire life changes.
Tomc does a wonderful job with his character’s development and dialogue, namely between Rok and Sara. Their conversations feel sincere, and cover the necessary points of the story without feeling forced. The other characters, while very much important to the plot, nonetheless remain very much in the background. Their interactions are still good, but slightly more flat. The story itself is frequently interrupted by Rok’s inner monologue about the randomness of life, the beauty of love, and various other philosophical musings. Although thought provoking the first few times, these tangents quickly become repetitive and, with a few exceptions, add little to the story. Despite that, the book is truly captivating and unique in the way it weaves genres together.
720 Heartbeats isn’t lengthy, but manages to contain plenty of action and mystery, and I had a hard time putting it down. The subtle implications presented at the end truly screws with your head as you wonder… what just happened?
Pages: 145 | ASIN: B07DS81NZR
Are we defined by the ones who were before us, or do our actions define us? Do the actions of one individual condemn their future descendants to a dire future?
The Progeny is a thrilling adventure story, echoing the suspense of Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne series. The beginning of the story is a little slow but the story picks up and is quickly entertaining. Things keep on rolling as our lead character, Audra and her small group of people find themselves in situations that quickly turn sour. Despite the frailty shown, the characters rise up to the challenges that face them, which made me emotionally invested in the well drawn characters. I frowned when I read about the zealots who were hunting descendants of the most infamous female serial killer in history. Why? They are not the killers. Why harm them? But then people do tend to carry grouses for years, maybe some are crazy to carry ones that pass on from generation to generation. These thought provoking themes kept me hooked. I especially loved Luka character, who loves Audra without any motives or benefits. The author describes the revelation in layers which is all the more warming to my heart.
There are many more layers to the story than initially appears. It shows the depth with which Tosca Lee has crafted her narrative. Overall the story is well written and continues at a good pace. We get a glimpse into the past of the characters, but thankfully the story does not dedicate too much time on it. The one thing that I did find odd was the persuasion power that every descendant of Elizabeth Bathory (mainly females) seems to have. Why it appears, or what is the reason for it is not explained. Even more curious is that it goes away after a certain age. Why? I need to know! Needless to say, I am invested in this enthralling and thoroughly entertaining novel.
Pages: 337 | ASIN: B010MH9YUW
A self declared angel of balance seeks to help a group of like minded people grow and hone their abilities. Preston Blake has hunted some of the most notorious serial killers. He will get them together by choice or intimidation. They will make each other better. If anyone falls out of line a Dreadnaught kind of fate will befall them. Preston, despite his demeanor as an alpha seems to have one weakness. Young, pure and entranced Grace Bennet. They are brought together by a force neither of them understands. Will Grace fall into Preston’s arms? Will the group serve its purpose? Is Detective Gabe Bastien a threat to the group or a potential?
Right from the get go, this book is disturbing to say the least. There is something dark and scary about the tone and feel of it. As soon as you begin to read it, you feel scared and vulnerable. Your skin crawls and you get an urge to either be very quiet or scream your lungs out. As you should when you are among serial killers. This is how vivid and in depth Wesley Boydd Thompson goes with this book. He leaves nothing to the imagination for the reader. He lets you go through every moment of it. You never forget Bethany’s screams and quick breaths no matter how far through the book you get. Perhaps it is the unabashed relay of frightening detail. Perhaps it is the blatant display of evil. Perhaps it is the chilling introduction to darkness.
The character development is really quite brilliant. Not in a way that makes you like them but in a way that puts you right inside their minds. It is like getting a front seat into the mind of a demented human being. The salaciously dark thought processes that occur even when they are not actively practicing their craft. For a minute there, you will think of it as a craft. You will be terrified by Preston’s evil confidence and charmed by Grace’s naïve innocence. You will be interested by Russel’s dark eagerness. The characters are multi-dimensional.
The book does have some grammar and spelling mistakes though. In some cases they can be distracting from the story however in some cases the reader will be way too engrossed and sufficiently freaked out to notice. I felt like some information was left out. Questions remain unanswered and some backstories are missing. Whether to be impressed by the cliff-hanger or exasperated will be a personal choice. The story feels unfinished and left me with more anxiety than satisfaction.
Serial Killer Support Group is a unique story with seemingly apt portrayal of serial killers. It is interesting and gripping. It is anticipatory and may leave you unable to close your eyes for a night but then most good stories will. Maybe refrain from reading if you are about to walk outside by yourself?
Pages: 37 | ISBN: 169945065X
Revenge I Will Have follows Navy SEAL Jake as he’s tasked with a new mission, but finds his psychotic ex-girlfriend embroiled in the mission’s objective. What was your inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?
At the conclusion of my first book, “Sleeping with a Wall Street Banker,” I found myself thinking about both Jake and Jessica. Where would Jake go? How would he react? What would Jessica do as a criminal on the run but also burning with hatred for those she feel betrayed her. Jake reacted by retreating to where he felt safe, a refuge. Jessica, consumed by hate, by seeking out a partner for revenge. Both characters were catalysts for the plot, similar to putting two combustible agents together, you eventually get a reaction. In this case Jessica caused the reaction that set the plot in motion because of her blind hatred
Jake is an interesting and well developed character. What were some ideas that guided his character development?
No one wants to read about a wimp or a sad self-absorbed character who is moping around, crying in their beer. Jake had misfortune fall upon him and he pulled himself up, like people do every day because they don’t have a choice. People are intrigued by characters with strong personalities, their strengths, flaws and idiosyncrasies. The reader can relate to them because they have flaws and quirks as well. I’m surrounded by strong personalities, most notably my husband who also has more than his share of lovable and funny idiosyncrasies
Jessica and her emotional issues were consistently intriguing. What were some themes you wanted to capture in her character and relationship with Jake?
Jessica allowed her emotional issues to overwhelm her to the point she was no longer in control. She thought she was pulling the strings but in the end, she was the one who was being used. Her hate blinded her to see through the obvious
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I’m actually formulating a sequel to Revenge. Without giving away the plot, the Bat’s terrorist network, funded by a foreign government, is planning retribution against Jake by staging what could be a cataclysmic attack on the US while also targeting members of Jake’s family for death, specifically his invalid mother and his brother who is a Roman Catholic priest. There are geopolitical twists and turns and new plot angles that will have the reader on edge. The Bat’s friends find they bought off more than they could chew by going after Jake’s family.
Mired in grief over the recent murder of his girlfriend, Alice, at the hands of his psychotic ex-lover, Jessica, former Navy SEAL turned Wall Street banker Jake Logan is suddenly called back into action. While his team’s primary target is internationally known terrorist financier Asyd Omar Batdadi, a.k.a. “the Bat,” the mission soon becomes personal for Jake when he learns that Jessica—a dangerous woman with dissociative identity disorder—is wrapped up in the plot. In fact, Jake’s connection to Jessica is the very reason he has been reactivated as a SEAL.
Their efforts to capture or kill Batdadi and his associates soon take Jake and his fellow SEALs to various locations in Europe and the United States, but the wily terrorist manages to elude them at every turn. In the midst of their hunt, they learn that, with Jessica’s help, Batdadi is plotting a bold terrorist strike on American soil. For Batdadi, it is an act of revenge for America’s interference in the lives of his Middle Eastern brethren, a chance to put himself in the “terrorist hall of fame” alongside names like Osama Bin Laden. For Jessica, it is the ultimate form of payback against the journalists whom she holds responsible for ruining her life and her future with Jake.
Battling a ticking clock, international criminal masterminds, and his own grief, Jake strives to transform his troubled relationship with Jessica from a liability into an asset, his only hope of saving thousands of innocent lives—not to mention his soul.
A small-town Texas cop who is haunted by his past.
A reporter who risks it all, even her life.
A kidnapping that crosses into an unearthly realm.
Focused on the abduction of four-year-old Mandy Norton, Chad Bishop, Meridian’s Police Chief, ignores the twinges of foreboding triggered by an eerie fog that shrouds his town. What he can’t ignore is the editor of the Tribune.
When Ashley Logan becomes embroiled in the search, nothing stops the hard-hitting, investigative reporter, including Chad’s threats to throw her in jail. She’s Mandy’s aunt.
As the mystery of Mandy’s disappearance deepens, unnerving details emerge. Chad refuses to believe they’re connected to his past until the case turns deadly. He’s forced to face the terror that haunts him. It’s waiting in the shadowy depths of the unearthly fog.
This time, it could cost Chad more than his sanity.
Amaya’s Journey to Children of Bwola Dances is an important book that shows how life is different for people in different parts of the globe. The book may be fictional but some of the events that are mentioned in the chapter have historical significance. The reader is taken through a world of war, extreme violence, drama, politics and rebel groups. The narration is raw and expressive giving the impression of events happening in real-time. Amaya’s writing helps one draw comparisons on how policies are made in western countries compared to other countries in the world. In the book, we see the adverse effects of war and how certain demographics get to be affected. Children and women are the most affected groups when war erupts.
It is a shame how young boys were recruited to fight in the war, robbing them of their innocence and a chance to grow up like other kids. The story is set in Australia and Uganda later on. The Lord Resistance Army (LRA) is rebelling against the Ugandan government. This is a story of pain, brutality, vengeance, hopelessness, power, and lack of humanity. You will get emotional on some pages especially when you read about the struggles of child soldiers. We follow as two teens with completely different backgrounds meet through fate and bond as they share past experiences. One teen, the Australian, is used to a different way of life but it is the difference that makes them key characters in the book.
The events that preceded the abduction of Bob and Samantha were not only disturbing but also upsetting to follow. Through the characters, we see how governments respond to calls of help when their citizens are in danger. The book is not just filled with agonizing stories. We follow beautiful customs and cultures in Africa and how they make societies blend. Reading about the Ladongo dace and how men and women lined up to celebrate a successful hunting trip gave me joy. I visualized how happy the dancers were when celebrating their success. The Lord Resistance Army was an evil group. The aggressive raids the group made and the damage it caused was unnecessary if the people had embraced civility. Through their actions, we learn the importance of having a stable government that ensures the rule of law is adhered.
In Journey to Children of Bwola Dancers you will learn about family dynamics, the power of a united people, the impact of poor governance and many more topics that are related to current events in the world. Amaya’s writing is excellent and her characters in the book were well developed. This book is not just a great thriller and drama novel but also a nice learning tool for readers who enjoy historical fiction stories.
Pages: 215 | ASIN: B07XTDVHWS
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