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Raven and the Code Book

Raven Anderson is a bad ass femme fatale secret agent detective killer who uses her skills, intelligence and sex appeal to get answers. This woman is not to be messed with or it may be the last thing you do. Raven was born into the life of a trained killer and secret spy working for an agency known as The Foundation. This is the third book in the Raven Anderson series and she is back to kick ass and take names. If you haven’t read the other two books, you will be fine with the brief synopsis at the beginning of this book. Soon you will get to know Raven very well!

Together with her friend Naci, she is given the mission to protect Professor Raymond Steele until he can reveal his groundbreaking solution to the world’s biggest issues, a solution, apparently, that has the big powers of the world scrambling to shut it down for fear of threats to power. Raven takes on the challenge with determination and killer instinct. It doesn’t take long for this mission to become intense. The Professor is in danger before Raven can get to him and his wife has been taken as a way to get the code book. From here, this book is a non-stop thrill ride punctuated by violence and sexiness, but also some light-hearted humor and interesting relationships. Its great fun as the author takes the reader all over the world, almost like getting to be a Go-Pro attached to an international spy! She goes up against some pretty rough characters, like the thuggish Boris Alexi, who is desperately seeking the code book. This story has a great arch with an exciting ending.

I quite liked the Naci Vacara character and thought that she balanced Raven’s character. Raven is a character that is intriguing because she is so well developed, nuanced, and dynamic. This is a labor of love and a truly enjoyable read that is both quick and fun. This is perfect if you are looking for something a little edgy but easy to digest.

Pages: 328 | ISBN: 1730750575

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Raven Gone Rogue

Raven Gone Rogue by [Fennell, John]

Raven Gone Rogue is the second book in John Fennel II’s series which follows on from Raven and The Panther. It picks up the story with Raven, an agent, who is relaxing in her Florida hideout when her colleague Morgan tells her that they’ve been found and need to escape. Bullets come coursing through the air from a familiar enemy, The Foundation. Raven recognizes the enemy agents attacking her and the tension builds from there.

This confrontation leads to a fast-paced boat chase with the two Foundation agents frantically pursuing Raven. But Raven confidently takes control of the situation. She trusts in her abilities and decides to show off her innate skills and her specialist training. Ultimately Raven is a highly skilled and therefore very effective agent. This makes her a formidable enemy.

The prose is rich with onomatopoeia and vivid descriptions making it easy for the reader to visualize the chaos, be it a spray of bullets or a shower of shrapnel. The reader thus engages with the various elements of the adventure as it unfolds. Each scene plays out like a movie. In one instance switching between Morgan and Raven, keeping the flow of the action and constantly building tension and suspense as the reader follows both of these integral characters.

Despite the desperate and often critical situations, Raven is consistently calm and collected, always analyzing the situation and preparing her next move. Furthermore, the relationships that the characters build carry with them a sense of realism which at points – particularly at moments of remembering past trauma – communicates the feelings and motivations of the characters well.

The book comes with a brilliant energy. An impetus that moves through the first book and into this one, which is always forwarding the narrative and taking Raven into new situations.

Therefore, I give this book a four out of five for its in-depth development of its protagonist. Raven is such an interesting character to follow as she always seems prepared and she has an interesting approach to her line of work. Her confidence pervades every move that she makes, she knows she’s good at her job and she is not afraid to show off her talents. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy fiction that includes secret agents going off grid. The twists and turns in the narrative means that this book may appeal to those who enjoy some mystery mixed in with the action.

Pages: 231 | ASIN: B07M8PC5H1

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The War Zone

Jolene Grace Author Interview

Jolene Grace Author Interview

Going Dark follows Amelia as she tries to help journalists that have been kidnapped which has sparked an international incident. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?

The idea of ‘Going Dark’ started to form in my mind as I spent nights working on the foreign desk at CBS. Those nights, I was alone in the entire studio, watching incoming video feed from our military forces stationed in Iraq. In 2006-07, the war was in full swing and we received daily updates on the progress and struggle people were facing during the war. The war zone wasn’t too far off from our foreign correspondent team stationed in Iraq, reporting from there. As I was sitting at my desk, I envisioned Amelia Sinclair (a foreign liaison in Going Dark) how hard and challenging must be to be separated from your family when your job takes you away from them, especially if you have young children.

Amelia and Jets are dynamic characters that are enigmatic and empathetic. What were some themes you wanted to capture in their characters? 

Amelia had to sacrifice her career when she became a mother. Having children was not something she had planned on doing, but when it happened, she made the decision to stay back and take a desk job.

However, her thirst for adventure never fully went away. So, when her boss, Harold Fost, approached her with a proposition to oversee a covert assignment, she simply couldn’t resist. But Murphy’s Law tipped the scale against her and her friends and co-workers get kidnapped. I wanted ordinary people, the readers, who juggle work and family life to be able to relate to her and to the choices she makes along the way on this journey.

Jets is a complicated guy. He’d seen things most of us have not, working as a spy for the CIA. To me, he was interesting because, he believed in the cause set forth by the CIA, but he still had conscious and when he sees the wrong person is being blamed for crimes that she didn’t commit; he has to put aside his oath to the CIA and go with his guts, even if that decision could cost him his career.

This is an exciting novel on par with Robert Ludlum or Tom Clancy novels. Did you start writing with this in mind of did this happen organically? 

Tom Clancy was a master at setting up an engaging plot and building action in his novels. He is certainly an influencer in my writing. Another writer whom I admire is John Le Carre, unquestionably the undisputed father of spy thrillers. Both of these writers are exceptional.

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

I recently finished writing the second book in the Gabriel Jets series, called Political Whispers. Jets is a castaway in Afghanistan, having accepted a covert position, offered to him by Robert McKaine. Jets is in charge of a secretive drone program, most on Capitol Hill don’t know it even exists. The second book has more military overture and is action packed. Political Whispers is slated for release in early 2019.

Author Links: GoodReadsTwitter | Website

Going Dark (Gabriel Jets Book 1) by [Grace, Jolene]Gabriel Jets is the CIA’s top agent, a man with a reputation of getting the job done, no matter the price. On a rare visit back to the States, Jets is dispatched to collect a video depicting the kidnapping of four U.S. journalists working undercover in Damascus, Syria. 

Meanwhile, the U.S. president and his chief of staff, Robert McKaine, are called to the Situation Room to receive a briefing. Damascus is rocked by a terrorist plot that killed twenty-five innocent people. 

A link between the two events is quickly discovered, with evidence pointing to the involvement of another U.S. journalist, Amelia Sinclair, a prominent foreign correspondent, with direct ties to the missing.

While Jets hunts for the video, he crosses paths with Amelia. In a blink of an eye, his mission is compromised as he believes she is being set up to be the fall guy. 

As the U.S. government closes in to arrest Sinclair, Jets alters his assignment to help clear her name and track down the powerful men behind the ploy to draw in the country into an international scandal. 

If Jets fails, the country he swore to protect, will go dark.

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The Fallen Ones

Vashti Quiroz Vega Author Interview

Vashti Quiroz Vega Author Interview

The Fall of Lilith is a dark fantasy novel centered around the anti-heroine, Lilith, and the creation and fall of the angels. What was your inspiration for this imaginative novel?

The Fall of Lilith is a High Fantasy with dark elements. I grew up in a religious home and went to religious private school. Angels always fascinated me, but there isn’t much information in the bible about them, so I always imagined what they were like, both the holy angels and the fallen ones. I also read a great deal of religious books (fiction and Non-fiction), mythology and fairytales growing up. I basically combined all three to create this book. I did a lot of research and used facts from the Bible, Hebrew Bible, and Quran to ground it in reality.

I liked that we got to see Lilith change from good to bad throughout the novel, and how that was portrayed was entertaining. Did her character develop organically as you were writing or was it planned?

 I always knew she would be an evil character at some point. That being said, she took it from there and developed organically.

 There is heavy use of religion and myth in this book. What kind of research did you undertake for this novel to keep things accurate?

 An enormous amount of research went into this novel. I researched animals, natural disasters, food, geography, names, and religious text among other things. Like Tom Clancy said, “The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.”

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

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The Fall of Lilith (Fantasy Angels Series) by [Quiroz Vega, Vashti]

In The Fall of Lilith, Vashti Quiroz-Vega crafts an irresistible new take on heaven and hell that boldly lays bare the passionate, conflicted natures of God’s first creations: the resplendent celestial beings known as angels.

If you think you know their story, think again.

Endowed with every gift of mind, body, and spirit, the angels reside in a paradise bounded by divine laws, chief of which are obedience to God, and celibacy. In all other things, the angels possess free will, that they may add in their own unique ways to God’s unfolding plan.

Lilith, most exquisite of angels, finds the rules arbitrary and stifling. She yearns to follow no plan but her own: a plan that leads to the throne now occupied by God himself. With clever words and forbidden caresses, Lilith sows discontent among the angels. Soon the virus of rebellion has spread to the greatest of them all: Lucifer.

Now, as angel is pitted against angel, old loyalties are betrayed and friendships broken. Lust, envy, pride, and ambition arise to shake the foundations of heaven . . . and beyond. For what begins as a war in paradise invades God’s newest creation, a planet known as Earth. It is there, in the garden called Eden, that Lilith, Lucifer, and the other rebel angels will seek a final desperate victory—or a venomous revenge.

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Review: The Return by Carter Vance

The Return (Second Coming, #1) 2star

The Knights Templar are much more than a group of men with vague secrets. They are men of action. Men of power. And they have a purpose. They must safeguard the next coming of Christ. The time of the next coming has arrived and great evil stands in its way. The Templars must use all their training and power and influence to fight back against an enemy that has infiltrated the upper echelons of society and has inserted itself as a power player in politics, finance, and even the drug trade, all in preparation to thwart the prophecy that has yet to be fulfilled. Sarah and Peter Christos are the expectant parents of the next prophet and are wrapped up quickly in the Templar world. They have to fight not only for their lives, but for the life of their unborn child.

The Return is an impressive romp around the world. I thought at first that this book was going to be like The Da Vinci Code, but was pleasantly surprised to find that it’s more like Dan Brown meets Tom Clancy. Although, both aspects seem overtly contrived. While there is some interesting world history blended with fiction to the point where it’s hard to tell the two apart, other parts are a little too unbelievable. Example: At one point the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran gets a random visitor to his house. The man presents himself as a dead, but now resurrected, Imam from 800 years ago and the President accepts this with the guy basically saying ‘trust me, it’s me’ and the President proceeds to divulge some fairly important information to a person that just walked off the street (later it’s revealed that the man is not an Imam and is indeed a regular guy just trying to get information). Like the old order, the Templars’ in the book are a military order to its fullest realization. They’ve got secret military installations, tanker ships converted to mobile assault bases, fighter jets, and battalions of highly trained soldiers, but the weapons systems are a little too futuristic to fit into the Tom Clancy style of books and pushes the book into the science fiction genre; which is not necessarily a bad thing. While all the action and fighting and weapons were interesting what brought this book down a notch for me was that the whole book was delivered with a lack of basic literary devices. It’s not that these specific things are missing completely; it’s that the creative writing was missing from this very creative story. And instead the story is given in lines of facts; ‘he did this’, ‘she did that’, ‘they went over there’, and then a series of details of what a place looks like followed by a timeline of what happened. It’s unfair for me to say this book does it and none others do; it’s just that it’s more prominent in this story where other stories would cover it up with creative writing so you don’t really notice it. But back to my earlier statement; if you enjoy Tom Clancy-esque stories than this might be right up your alley, as the action and adventure take you on a wild ride around the world.

Pages: 317
ASIN: B0072VTEU2
Find out more about the author, Carter Vance at www.cartervancebooks.com

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