Friday, September 27, 2019

September's Book Reviews

For your possible reading pleasure:
  • A coming-of-age tale set in the music scene of San Francisco in the 1980s (Choosing the Dark);
  • A thought-provoking, dystopian techno-thriller (The Atopia Chronicles); and
  • A paranormal suspense novel (Kaleidoscope).
Hope you find something for your library,

Choosing the Dark by Brian Marshall

A Tale of Living Life on One’s Own Terms … and Often Growing from It

Choosing the Dark is a coming of age tale that finds our protagonist, Rob Walstein, at the juncture between high school and, you guessed it, the rest of his life. Concerned that he’d spent his first seventeen years trying to be what others expected, Rob wants to find himself. So, he leaves his comfortable, middle-class home on the outskirts of San Francisco and moves into the city, lives in a dive, and makes rent (barely) by washing dishes. He also gets a girl—or at least, has a one-night stand—and joins a band led by a self-destructive poet, their music described by what it’s not. It’s not punk, not metal, not rock … maybe not even music, but it stirs his soul. All of these events are quite well-crafted by author Brian Marshall, with interesting and vivid analogies and a sprinkling of humor. Overall, the prose is excellent, although some simple typos detract slightly. Find the complete review on Amazon:

The Atopia Chronicles by Matthew Mather

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders will need a lot of work

If author Matthew Mather paints an even halfway accurate picture of our future in The Atopia Chronicles, one thing is certain—the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5) is going to need a lot of work. First, we’ll need to add the Sim Kid Syndrome, marked by an irrational desire to bring into the world bio-similar digital versions of oneself until your family resembles a small town. Loss of Neural Cohesion results from letting your proxxi drive your body too often. Phuture-Driven Hyperactivity is marked by frenetic action to avoid one’s demise as predicted by the Phuture News (note: more research is needed because these actions may be justified—perhaps the predictions are right). Find the complete review on Amazon:

Kaleidoscope by Chariss K. Walker

A Suspenseful Cliff-Hanger that Sets a High Bar for the Series

Kaleidoscope is Book 1 of The Vision Chronicles, an eight-book, paranormal suspense series with a ninth novella offered as a prequel. The set, which according to the author should be read in order, follows the life of Mike Lewis as he develops his gift—the ability to see the future—in order to protect himself, his family, and his friends from powerful enemies. Written in first person, book 1 gives us insight into the mind of Mike Lewis. Paralyzed by a fear of being confined in a laboratory that studies paranormal abilities, he has held everyone at arm’s length—friends, family, potential love interests. But as we join him, things are about to change. He can’t continue this way and decides to contact his old, college friend, Nelson, who is now a psychiatrist. About the same time, he meets a beautiful, wealthy New York socialite, Cassandra (Casey) D’Angelo. And from that point forward, everything goes sideways, as it becomes clear someone is after him. Find the complete review on Amazon:

Monday, September 16, 2019

September's Limited-Time Kindle Deals

Some reads you might enjoy at a limited time price. (Prices change constantly. Please verify all prices before purchase.)

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 9/19
Plotting for Murder (Cozy Mystery Bookshop Series Book 1)
By Tamra Baumann
Cozy Animal Mystery
Usual Price: $3.99  Sale: $1.99

Sawyer Davis’ new life in picturesque Sunset Cove is crumbling around her as fast as the old Victorian house she lives in. She’s a chef whose matchmaking mother has left her a puppy, a bevy of single men to choose from, and a bookshop dedicated to whodunnits. Complete with a book club of amateur sleuths who live for death. When one of the members dies just after eating Sawyer’s amazing truffle mac and cheese, Sawyer is immersed in an even bigger soup pot of trouble.

With her chef’s reputation on the line, and an uncle after her inheritance, Sawyer teams up with the sheriff who once broke her heart—whether he wants her help or not—to solve the mystery. Will past hurts, and long-buried attraction for the sheriff stand in the way of solving the crime before the murderer strikes again?

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 9/20
The Silver Wolf (James Ryker Book 3)
By Rob Sinclair
Usual Price: $3.99  Sale: $0.99

Ryker wants blood, and one way or another he’ll get it...

Still tormented by the disappearance of his wife, ex-intelligence agent James Ryker sets out on a personal mission of revenge, prepared to go to any lengths in search of the truth.

The trail takes him from the crystal waters of Mexico’s Caribbean coast, back to a place he thought he would never set foot again - his country of birth, England. But there he discovers more than even he bargained for. Stumbling across a terrorist attack targeted against his old employers - the secretive Joint Intelligence Agency -the faint clues to many events in his recent past are all seemingly linked to one mysterious character; The Silver Wolf.

But just who is the Silver Wolf, and why is he hell bent on punishing not just Ryker, but his closest allies at the JIA too?

Has Ryker finally met his match?

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 9/19
Mystery at the Regal Rose Hotel: A 1920s Historical Murder Mystery (Lola Rose Mysteries Book One)
By C. Jane Reid
Cozy Mystery
Usual Price: $3.99  Sale: $1.99

The week that Lola Rose checked into the Regal Rose Hotel, three events caught her quite unprepared: her widowed mother's surprise engagement to a famous London barrister, her desire to form a friendship with the cantankerous elderly woman living in the hotel's penthouse, and a dead body at the foot of the elegant sweeping staircase on the hotel's first floor.

When a new acquaintance is charged with murder, Lola calls upon her trio of friends to clear his name. It will mean setting aside cocktail parties, night clubs, and late lie-ins, but Lola is willing to sacrifice much more to save an innocent man. Calling on her sophisticated upbringing as an Englishwoman's daughter and the Get It Done attitude taught by her Texan father, Lola will charm self-righteous hotel clerks, square off with cranky detective inspectors, and even tolerate a pompous German ex-officer to do what she knows is right.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 9/19
Sunken Treasure Lost Worlds: A Colten X. Burnett Novel (The Risky Business Chronicle Book 1)
By Hep Aldridge
Sea Adventure
Usual Price: $4.99  Sale: $0.99

His knowledge can make them all rich... or get them killed.

From the depths of the Atlantic off Cape Canaveral Florida, searching for sunken Spanish treasure, to the Andes mountains of Ecuador chasing the legend of a lost golden library, Dr. Colten X. Burnett and the Risky Business team are on a quixotic adventure.

While trying to make an honest, well sort of honest living, searching for remnants of the lost 1715 fleet, Risky Business Ltd. becomes entangled in a mystery that covers two continents and may rewrite history.

The lure of uncovering a lost civilization, as well as the secrets it holds, motivates the team on their dangerous journey into a cosmological unknown.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 9/20
Broken Ice (Immortal Operative Book 1)
By J.R. Rain
Paranormal Thriller
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99

Mina Barrett is the CIA’s best defense against the Dominion. She’s young, charming, intelligent, motivated… and she’s a vampire.

Twenty years ago, vampires revealed themselves to the world. Society hadn’t expected them to be real at all, much less a species entirely separate from humans. The government feared hostile foreign powers would also seek to exploit their psychic talents, and put out a call for recruitment.

After a childhood spent in isolation, Mina saw a chance for adventure and signed on the dotted line. Unlike the Dominion, she doesn’t feel humans are inferior creatures and works to stop others of her kind from enslaving them.

A deep cover asset discovers information that vampires want to keep out of human hands. The CIA sends Mina in to bring him—and his information—out alive. But the Dominion has their sights set on the secrets buried for centuries beneath a Siberian glacier… secrets that could reshape the world.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 9/19
Who Killed Vivien Morse?: A rural detective mystery (Peter Hatherall Mystery Book 4)
By Diana J Febry
Detective Mystery
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99

A stand-alone mystery featuring DCI Peter Hatherall.

Vivien Morse, a young social worker is discovered battered to death in Silver Lady Woods. Everyone assumes she was attacked by her estranged husband until her supervisor disappears. The connection appears to be Vivien’s last client. A damaged and disturbed girl who believes a bundle of rags is her lost baby and never leaves the family farm while she awaits the return of her lover. The matter is confused by the arrival of a stranger to the area clearly searching for something or someone and an escaped convict with connections to the area. DCI Hatherall has to separate fact from fantasy to discover who did kill Vivien Morse.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 9/19
Purrfect Rivalry (The Mysteries of Max Book 6)
By Nic Saint
Humorous Animal Fiction
Usual Price: $3.99  Sale: $0.99

When someone takes a shot at well-renowned pop star Charlie Dieber and kills one of his bodyguards instead, Odelia Poole, self-confessed Bedieber and big-time fan, is quick to offer her assistance to help find the shooter. Teaming up with Detective Chase Kingsley, she enters the world of the Dieber, and soon discovers not everything is as it seems.

Odelia’s cat menagerie, meanwhile, is in a state of shock when longtime rival Diego returns to Hampton Cove, and immediately starts stirring up trouble. Diego has one goal in mind: take over Max’s place in Odelia’s home and heart and get Max, Dooley and Brutus sent to the pound. The only one who can help them is Clarice, their feral friend. She got rid of Diego once, and they hope she will do it again. Unfortunately Clarice has been adopted. By Charlie Dieber.

Will Diego become Odelia’s new go-to feline sleuth or will Max strike back? Will they be able to stop the killer before he kills the world’s number-one pop star? And will Grandma move to Washington and go into politics? Find out in Purrfect Rivalry, a cozy cat mystery like no other.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 9/20
The Mummy Case (Jim Knighthorse Book 2)
By J.R. Rain
Usual Price: $4.99  Sale: $0.99

Now in The Mummy Case, private investigator Jim Knighthorse takes on a very cold case. When historian Willie Clarke dies of mysteriously of dehydration in the California deserts, ex-football hero Jim Knighthorse is hired to dig a little deeper—and discovers a shocking connection to one of the West's oldest mysteries.

Over a hundred years ago, an unnamed cowboy was murdered in the California desert and, due to freak weather conditions, would become mummified within twenty-four hours. Now known to the world as Sylvester the Mummy and displayed in a creepy curiosity shop, Sylvester and historian Willie Clarke will be forever linked in mystery. That is, unless private investigator Jim Knighthorse can survive long enough to untangle one of the West's greatest unsolved murders.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 9/21
I'm Dreaming of a Wicked Christmas: The First Noel told by Rick Rowling (Paranormal in Manhattan Mystery: A Cozy Mystery Book 17)
By Lotta Smith
Vampire Mystery
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99

Dashing, debonair paranormal investigator Rick Rowling usually spends the holidays at luxurious resorts, with women falling at his feet. What would make him trade champagne toasts and caviar dreams for a Yuletide dinner in Queens with the family of his ravishing assistant Mandy, the only woman who seems immune to his charms?

Turns out the single witness to the murder of Santa Claus is a lovelorn ghost who wants a date with Rick in exchange for information on the suspect. A romantic romp through the city could become a double date with destiny for the FBI's sexiest sleuth, but can he solve the case before the spirit departs forever?

And don't forget to preorder your copy of Mind in Chains

(Prices change constantly. Please verify all prices before purchase.)

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Three Headlines for Summer '19

1. Mind in Chains is available for preorder!

The third book in the Mind Sleuth Series, Mind in Chains is now available for pre-order. Release of this fast-paced, medical thriller is scheduled for November 4.

Amazon Universal Link:

2. Want to get a FREE copy of Mind in Chains? Would you consider writing a review?

If you answered yes to both, please click your way over to Prolific Works and claim a free copy.

The giveaway of this Advance Review Copy of the book ends after 200 copies are downloaded or on November 3, whichever comes first. So, don't delay.

3. Killer in the Retroscape: A Near-Future Mystery wins two more awards

“Congratulations, you have successfully moved into the library space!”

With those words, I learned that RETROSCAPE had been selected by Indie Missouri. It’s now available to dozens of public libraries across the state. So, if you have a MO library card and want to give it a read, here’s the link:

A few days later, RETROSCAPE was named a BRAG Medallion honoree. These two awards come on the heels of a third place finish in the Eric Hoffer eBook competition and placement among the finalists for the Montaigne Medal for the year's most thought-provoking book.

Pick up your copy at Or read for free with Kindle Unlimited.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

September Kindle Deals

Some reads you might enjoy at a limited time price. (Prices change constantly. Please verify all prices before purchase.)

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 9/10
The Body on the Barstool (A Top Shelf Mystery) (Top Shelf Mysteries Book 1)
By Lolli Powell
Cozy Mystery
Usual Price: $1.99  Sale: $0.99

New Yorker Erica "Ricki" Fontaine's n'er-do-well uncle has dropped dead and left her a dive bar in a small Ohio River town. Now she's trying to change the Top Shelf from a bar known for its Friday night fights into the kind of drinking establishment where you can bring your granny. But finding her ex-husband dead on a barstool at opening time one morning just might put a kink in those plans.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 9/10
Harper (A Hathaway Sister Mystery Book 1)
By Kathi Daley
Cozy Mystery
Usual Price: $4.99  Sale: $0.99

Harper Hathaway, a former member of the armed services on her way home after suffering a personal tragedy is pulled into a race against time when a puppy runs onto the road alerting her to a vehicle which had been in an accident but is not visible from the road. Her attempt to avoid hitting the puppy lands her in the ditch herself. Unharmed she tries to help the occupants of the vehicle which include a man, a woman, and a baby. The driver of the vehicle demands that she hide the baby who, as it turns out, is being sought by powerful men with far reaching connections. In order to protect the baby, and find a way out of the mess she has gotten herself into, Harper calls her old friend Ben Holiday, a former cop and current PI, who hooks her up with his friend Michael Maddox, a computer genius with a particular skill set that will aide Harper in her quest to bring the baby to safety.

With the men who are searching for the baby on their heels, Harper and Michael set off across the country with the baby and the puppy, and a desire in their hearts, to find the answers they’ll need to ensure the safety of the child.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 9/12
She Died Famous
By Kyle Rutkin
Psychological Thriller
Usual Price: $5.99  Sale: $1.99

A gripping psychological thriller about iconic superstar, Kelly Trozzo, and her suspected killer, the author she commissioned to pen her shocking Hollywood memoir.

A Star is Born meets Gone Girl, in this dark and twisted love story with an unforgettable conclusion.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 9/11
Strawberry Donuts and Scandal (A Donut Truck Cozy Mystery Book 4)
By Cindy Bell
Cozy Mystery
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99

Business is booming for Donuts on the Move. Joyce and Brenda have hired their first employee, Melissa, and they are excited that the donut truck is part of a local food fair. When a popular vlogger turns up at the food fair and does a feature on the donut truck they are thrilled.

But when there are violent protests at the fair, business is put on hold. Then things go from bad to worse when someone is murdered. Joyce and Brenda cannot resist a good mystery, so they decide to do a little investigating of their own. But their sleuthing leads them straight towards trouble, and they find that they have bitten off more than they can chew.

It is a race against time to find the murderer before the killer makes sure that their message is heard, and there is another victim.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 9/12
My Dearest Love
By Emilie Loring
Cozy Mystery
Usual Price: $3.99  Sale: $0.99

Alone in the glittering world of New York Society, Beth Gilbert faces a serious challenge.

When lovely, twenty-three-year-old Beth Gilbert was suddenly orphaned by the mysterious death of her scientist-father, she became the ward of handsome young Chris Bradford. The Bradford family were leaders of metropolitan society, a rich, powerful clan.

Hardly had Beth taken her place in New York's busy social world than Chris told her that someone was trying to steal the million-dollar formula her father had given him. And then Beth discovered that more than the Gilbert formula was at stake. A human life was involved!

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 9/12
The Shining Years: A story of love and mystery
By Emilie Loring
Romantic Mystery
Usual Price: $3.99  Sale: $0.99

They say a man’s home is his castle.

And for Stanley Holbrook this was quite literally true; his rural Connecticut home in the town of Waring made as a replica of a medieval castle on the Rhine, complete with turrets and narrow Gothic windows. ‘Holbrook’s Folly’ had been in the family for years and when it passed into Stanley’s hands it became a fortress with a purpose – no women allowed.

No women, that is, until one day, a letter appears from San Francisco announcing the arrival of Stanley’s crotchety hypochondriac aunt, Winifred Holbrook. Then another from Paris describing the plight of his beautiful widowed sister-in-law Eve and her infant son. Then one from a Mrs. Davis in New York, who characterizes herself as ‘a rebellious old woman’ but an able homemaker. And finally one with no signature at all, a saucy, intriguing note which promises: ‘We will be meeting again. I wonder if you have forgotten my name.’

Before long, however, Stanley finds opposition in his castle to be much stronger and much more dangerous than he had ever anticipated…

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 9/11
Celebrities and Chaos (Dune House Cozy Mystery Book 10)
By Cindy Bell
Cozy Mystery
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99

A new TV show is filming on the beach in Garber and Dune House is full to the brim with crew members and celebrities. Suzie and Mary are run off their feet trying to keep up with the demanding guests. But that turns out to be the least of their concerns when someone is found murdered.

Chaos erupts as Mary is the prime suspect and Dune House is out-of-bounds because it is a crime scene. Suzie and Mary join forces with Paul to try and weed through the web of suspects to find the killer. They are in a race against the clock to clear Mary’s name and get back to business as usual at Dune House.

Will the murderer be found before Mary lands up behind bars and the reputation of Dune House lands up in tatters?

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 9/12
In the Presence of Enemies
By William J. Coughlin
Financial Thriller
Usual Price: $3.99  Sale: $0.99

The death and surprise will of a wealthy father plunges a family into animosity and conspiracy.

Jake Martin has been working at a top city law firm for five years. With his eye on the coveted position of partner, he's looking for a case that could make his career.

He sees his opportunity when a rich client passes away after a year on life support. But the client's shock will places all of the man's wealth into the hands of his new wife, leaving his children with little other than their rage.

Jake finds himself suddenly amid the ruthless greed of influential men and women, buffeted back and forth by currents of power. Ultimately, he realises that when in the presence of enemies, the only person you can truly count on is himself.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 9/12
The Burns Fire: The Fire Salamander Chronicles
By N.M. Thorn
Occult Suspense
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99

When you're a supernatural weapon of mass destruction, it can be hard to walk in the world of humans, especially when you work for the FBI...

Zane Burns--a.k.a. Gunz--is a Fire Salamander who works for a secret paranormal division of the FBI. When he gets a call in the middle of the night to get involved in a multiple homicide investigation, he soon finds himself embroiled in a storm of supernatural mayhem and violence powered by dark magical forces that will stretch both his abilities and resolve to breaking point.

Soon, Gunz becomes entangled in a web of lies and intrigue, making it impossible to tell who is friend and who is foe.
One thing's for sure, though... if he is to survive, he must push himself and his abilities further than he ever has before.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 9/12
The Longest Pleasure (Masters and Green Book 15)
By Douglas Clark
Crime Thriller
Usual Price: $3.99  Sale: $0.99

Hatred is the longest pleasure...

... and it is manifested in a particularly horrifying form when almost simultaneously in four widely separated parts of Britain there are calculated outbreaks of botulism.

In each outbreak the source is traced to an infected tin of meat, and each tin was bought in one of the super markets of the same national chain. The Home Office suppresses news of the outbreaks to prevent widespread public panic, and also calls in Chief Superintendent Masters and Chief Inspector Green of Scotland Yard, who rise magnificently to the challenge in an investigation that is technically absorbing and packed with suspense...

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 9/11
No White Lies
By Dan Eaton
Political Thriller
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $1.99

What really happened to Lizzy McCormick?

Award-winning journalist Will McCormick has the perfect life. Money, a beautiful family, and a Pulitzer Prize. He also has a dark secret. The story that made him famous years ago didn’t quite happen the way he told it, and now someone from his past has returned to make him pay.

A new and chillingly plausible take on the intelligence failure that led the US and its allies to war in Iraq, and the global horror that followed.

No White Lies is a fast-paced thriller that will haunt you long after you’ve turned the final page.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 9/10
Murder at Cold Creek College (Cold Creek Mysteries Book 1)
By Christa Nardi
Cozy Mystery
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99

A dead body isn't the best way to start a semester or a romance.

Sheridan Hendley is a professor and psychologist, not a sleuth. When her colleague is murdered and her good friend becomes the prime suspect, her curiosity and logical mind have her putting pieces together. It also becomes apparent that Sheridan is attracted to the handsome Detective. As Sheridan tries to connect all the people in Adam's life, she finds that many women have a motive for Adam's murder. When Sheridan's tires are slashed and then she is assaulted, it's clear someone is afraid she's getting too close.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 9/11
Buried Secrets: A McKenna Mystery Novel
By Kate Anslinger
Kidnapping Thriller
Usual Price: $6.99  Sale: $0.99

Grace McKenna has a gift. When she looks into the eyes of criminals, she is inundated with glimpses of their crimes. A tortured woman, a drowning man, a frightened child. Being a small town police officer, she is forced to solve these cryptic cases on her own, maintaining secrecy while using her detective skills to obtain clues along the way. In Buried Secrets, Grace welcomes you back into her world as she tries to piece together another crime in Bridgeton, Massachusetts. When Grace responds to a routine call, she meets Miriam Caverly, an older woman with a past that is less than mundane. Alongside her boyfriend and ex-cop, Mark Connolly, Grace is thrown into a tangle of town secrets that force her to step outside the town’s boundaries for answers that she is scared to face. A town drunk with a bitter past, a well-intentioned family strapped with the burden of a tragedy, and a lineup of memorable characters, make Buried Secrets an intense page-turner that follows The Gift in a perfectly aligned chain of events.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: 9/11
Flowers for the Dead
By Barbara Copperthwaite
Serial Killers
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99


After a devastating car crash wipes out her family, Laura struggles to get her life together. Grieving, she becomes forgetful. She doesn’t remember how money got into her purse, or buying that pint of milk…

Adam is the perfect boyfriend. He cooks meals. He does the housework. He looks after Laura’s every need. He knows everything about her.

But Laura has never met Adam. And she knows nothing about him.

What turned him into a monster who stalks his victims? How did he become warped from a sensitive boy who adored the fairy tales his gran read to him? And what is he trying to say with the bouquets he sends?

(Prices change constantly. Please verify all prices before purchase.)