Wednesday, February 26, 2020

February Book Reviews

For your consideration:

  • Some historical fiction (Living in a Star's Light);
  • A paranormal romance, of a sort (Franny’s Fable); and
  • A British satire (Curmudgeon Avenue #1).

Hope you find something for your library,

Living in a Star's Light: A novel based on the life of Miss Lotta Crabtree by Steve Lindahl

1870-80s Celebrities Had Their Posses Too 

From the complete book title, you know that Living in a Star’s Light is based on the life of American actress, dancer, musician, and philanthropist Lotta Crabtree. She made her name primarily in the 1870-80s, starting her career at the age of six dancing in the gold-mining camps in California and ending in quiet retirement and philanthropic work at Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey, some 70 years later. But as is often the case with historical fiction, Ms. Crabtree is not the center of this book. Rather, she is a notable, historical figure around whom the fictional characters circulate. In this case, it’s Walter Cain, his wife, and their friends. They are her number-one fans; they provide her feedback on her performances; they reassure her when things go wrong; they worry about her. In short, they are her crew, her entourage, her posse. 

For the complete review, see:

Curmudgeon Avenue #1: The Terraced House Diaries by Samantha Henthorn

A British Farce about “nincompoops and intertwined lives” Told by a House

The author of Curmudgeon Avenue #1, Samantha Henthorn describes her work as a comedy-drama. Drama, for example, comes in the form of the death of the parents of our two protagonists, the elderly sisters Edna and Edith at the start of the book. Comedy comes in the form of the parents dying by being crushed by an elephant thrown from a lorry driven by one of Edna’s exes. The elephant broke free of her constraints because the driver smelled so bad. Even so, he later becomes Edith’s romantic interest when he rents a room in the sisters’ home after a long, roof-sitting protest over being evicted from his own. Yes, it’s pretty difficult to find much drama in this book that’s not wrapped in total absurdity. It is truly the story of a group of nincompoops whose worlds never generate enough momentum of their own to escape each other’s orbits. And if that silliness isn’t enough, the story is told by the house, a Victorian terrace. The book even has some house humor. Speaking of the “tiresome” process of evicting someone, the house notes that it’s “… enough to make one's front bedroom windows glaze over.” Drama? Maybe. A farce? Without a doubt.

For the complete review, see:

Franny’s Fable by Heather Harrison

Kill Your Husband, Rinse, Repeat

As we join Franny in the book, Franny’s Fable, she’s writing the story of her life with husband Jamie. He’s lying in bed in the next room, dead, stabbed through the heart. She killed him. There are authors who could turn the hate, the rage, the desperation that must have gone into such a violent act into a book. But Franny isn’t documenting her struggle for survival. She’s writing about the routine of her life, about something she’s done “more times than she can count” to quote the author’s synopsis. And what she’s documenting is … her love.

For the complete review, see:

(I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.)

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Two Giveaways & A Literary Tidbit

In this newsletter, I have a couple of very different types of giveaways for you. The first is offering a prize package valued at $200 for Sci-Fi lovers. The second provides previews and short stories that span various genres because, as the giveaway says, who doesn't love a sample platter!

Much of my reading is scientific research - I never know where I might get the inspiration for my next techno-thriller. But you can't be in the field without picking up some literary tidbits from time to time. I've included one you might find interesting.

Happy reading,

C.L. Cannon’s Best of Sci-fi Giveaway!
$200 VALUE

Subscribe to some of today’s bestselling Sci-fi and Fantasy authors for a chance to win one hardback of Star Wars: The Secrets of the Jedi by Marc Sumerak, a paperback of Artemis by Andy Weir, hardback of Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, a paperback of Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, The Expanse board game, a Star Trek Poster, and a Fallout magnet.

Get full details and signup here:

Sneak Peeks and Previews Giveaway

Have a few minutes to try a new genre or a new author in an old favorite? Then, check out these book previews and short stories:

Your next new favorite book could be waiting.

And In the Writing World

Lee Child is turning the Jack Reacher series over to his brother, Andrew. If you're a fan, check out this podcast from Suspense Magazine on the transition.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Limited Time eBook Deals

Some mysteries, thrillers, and historical fiction to balance out all those sweet romances you downloaded for Valentine's Day. Hope you find something to enjoy.

(Prices change constantly. Be sure to verify all prices before purchase.)

Start Date: NOW  End Date: Feb. 28
Killer in the Retroscape: A Near-Future Mystery
By Bruce M. Perrin
Mystery, SciFi
Usual Price: $3.99  Sale: $0.99

“The parallels to the contemporary world are realistic, frightening, and thought-provoking."  - The Booklife Prize

When Doug Michaels finds his friend dead in 2068, he builds a mental landscape, a retroscape, to find the killer. But as suspects appear, they disappear almost as quickly. It's not the aftereffects of an illness sensationalized in the media as the “zombie pandemic”. It's not an evil artificial intelligence intent on taking over the world. It's not his friend's robot wife, Julia, even if she can't even remember her husband's final days.

And when his retroscape is finished, Doug finds the killer ... in one of the most unlikely of places.

Barnes and Noble:

Start Date: NOW  End Date: Feb. 19
Atlantic Nightmare: The longest military campaign in World War II
By Richard Freeman
Military History
Usual Price: $3.99  Sale: $0.99

The battle that Germany should have won?

No other battle of the Second World War lasted longer than the 2,075 days of the Battle of the Atlantic. It raged from the opening day of the war in September 1939 until it ended almost six years later with Germany’s surrender in May 1945.

Vital supplies of food, fuel and the raw materials needed by the Allies to wage war had to be transported in merchant ships in escorted convoys across the Atlantic Ocean where they were at the mercy of German U-boats and warships. At first, many were lost. The fall of France in June 1940 gave the U-boats bases on the Atlantic coast, and U-boat production increased allowing the Germans to now hunt in ‘wolf packs’.

How seriously did each sides take the battle? How far were they able to innovate their way out of problems they encountered? Who made the crucial decisions on how the battle should be fought? How was the crucial battle for intelligence won?


Start Date: NOW  End Date: Feb. 20
The Napoleon Affair: A Sean Wyatt Archaeological Thriller (Sean Wyatt Adventure Book 18)
By Ernest Dempsey
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99

When a high-ranking cardinal is murdered in his Vatican apartment over clues he might possess to the whereabouts of a relic considered truly divine, the Vatican calls in the experts.

They enlist former secret agent Sean Wyatt; his wife, Adriana; and his best friend, the renowned archaeologist Tommy Schultz, to help find both the cardinal’s killer and, if at all possible, the missing relic, thought to have been hidden by Napoléon Bonaparte two hundred years ago.

This relic—a ring worn by John the Baptist—is rumored to possess unfathomable power, rendering its wearer nearly invincible, able to wield the very power of God.
And the grand master of a once-powerful order of medieval Catholic knights wants it to help his twisted holy warriors regain their former glory.

They’ll stop at nothing until they possess the ring, kill Wyatt and his friends, overthrow the pope, and enlist believers worldwide into their unholy New Crusade.


Start Date: NOW  End Date: Feb. 19
Next Girl On The List - A serial killer crime thriller (McRyan Mystery Thriller and Suspense Series Book) (McRyan Mystery Series Book 7)
By Roger Stelljes
Financial Thriller
Usual Price: $4.99  Sale: $0.99

Dating can be deadly when your name is next on the list.

It had been so long since she had someone in her life. She thought he was amazing. The perfect guy – the perfect date. His calculated game of seduction and deception worked flawlessly. He lured her into his death trap, then he quietly slid out the door and disappeared yet again without a trace.

What clues are hidden in a picture-perfect murder?

Complex obscure clues woven into intricate crime scenes challenge Mac McRyan, all while a warped mind taunts him and stalks another innocent soul. As time relentlessly ticks down, Mac is forced to fight not only his own instincts but a deceptively treacherous killer in his most mind-bending and dangerous case yet.


Start Date: NOW  End Date: Feb. 19
SERIAL (CSI Reilly Steel Book 1)
By Casey Hill
Noir Crime
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99

Forensic investigator Reilly Steel, Quantico-trained and California-born and bred, imagined Dublin to be a far cry from bustling San Francisco, a sleepy backwater where she can lay past ghosts to rest and start anew.

She's arrived in Ireland to drag the Garda forensics team into the 21st-century plus keep tabs on her Irish-born father who's increasingly seeking solace in the bottle after a past tragedy.

But a brutal serial killer soon puts paid to that. A young man and woman are found dead in a hotel room, the gunshot wounds on their naked bodies suggesting a suicide pact. But as Reilly and the team dig deeper and more bodies are discovered, they soon realize that a twisted murderer is at work, one who seeks to upset society's norms in the most sickening way imaginable...


Start Date: NOW  End Date: Feb. 19
Ten Years Gone (Adam Lapid Mysteries Book 1)
By Jonathan Dunsky
Historical Fiction
Usual Price: $4.99  Sale: $0.99

She gave up her son to save him. Now she wants him back.

Germany, 1939 - Henrietta Ackerland, a Jewish mother in Nazi Germany, makes a heart-rending decision. She gives her infant son to a friend who is fleeing Germany to Israel.

Israel, 1949 - Henrietta finally arrives in Israel but she can't find her son. She hires private investigator Adam Lapid to find him for her.

Adam Lapid knows it will take a miracle to find Henrietta's missing child. And Adam doesn't believe in miracles. Not after experiencing the horrors of Auschwitz. Not after losing his family in the Holocaust. But he can't refuse to help a mother searching for her lost son.

What Adam doesn't realize is that this missing person's case will soon land him in a heap of trouble. For what starts as a hunt for a missing child soon turns Adam into prey - and of more than one hunter.


Start Date: NOW  End Date: Feb. 19
The Body Market: A Leine Basso Thriller
By D.V. Berkom
Organized Crime
Usual Price: $4.99  Sale: $0.99

Everything's for sale...

Former assassin Leine Basso is hired by a wealthy Beverly Hills power couple to find their missing daughter, Elise, last seen partying with her boyfriend at a club in Tijuana. At first, police believe the two teenagers are the victims of a carjacking. But when Leine finds their missing vehicle with a mutilated body inside, and the local cartel warns her away, she knows if Elise isn’t already dead, she will be soon, or worse.

In the lethal world of organized crime, there’s always a worse.

As Leine races to uncover the reason behind Elise Bennett’s disappearance, she must also battle the powerful interests fighting to keep her from the truth.


Start Date: NOW  End Date: Feb. 19
The Netherwell Horror
By Lee Mountford
Occult Fiction
Usual Price: $4.99  Sale: $0.99

‘Sis, I’m in trouble. Real trouble. And I need help.’

After receiving a worrying message from her estranged brother, Beth Davis sets out to find and help him, ending up in the strange, coastal town of Netherwell Bay. There, she begins to witness terrifying and unexplainable things, and reports of ritualistic murders have the town panicked.

A sinister cult soon makes its presence known, and the dark history of Netherwell Bay is unveiled. Beth then finds herself in a race against time to stop a doorway to Hell from opening… permanently.

The Netherwell Horror is a Lovecraftian mystery that quickly descends into madness, sickening violence, and chaos. Fans of Silent Hill will love this nightmarish tale, but those of a squeamish disposition need not apply…


Start Date: NOW  End Date: Feb. 20
What Happened at the Lake
By Phil M. Williams
Amateur Sleuth Mystery
Usual Price: $4.99  Sale: $0.99

They went on vacation. Not everyone made it back.

The Palmers went to the lake for a week of fun in the sun. But Alex Palmer had an agenda. He wanted his brother to reconcile with their hypercompetitive father. He wanted his daughter to break up with her shady boyfriend. Most of all, Alex wanted them to be a family one more time before he faced his predicament at home.

Evil incarnate and a brutal double murder shifted Alex’s focus from wants to needs. He needed to keep his family safe. He needed to find her. He needed to know what happened at the lake.

NOTE TO THE READER: This is a dark psychological thriller that delves into depraved acts of humanity. For adult readers only who can handle these subject matters. Adult language and explicit sexual violence.


Start Date: NOW  End Date: Feb. 21
The End of America’s War in Afghanistan (The Russian Agents Book 3)
By Ted Halstead
Military Thriller
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99

Three Russian agents are trying to stop nuclear weapons stolen from Pakistan by the Taliban. The Taliban wants to use the stolen weapons to force America out of Afghanistan for good, and return to power in Kabul.

Will nuclear strikes in multiple locations across Afghanistan let them succeed? Or can Russian agents and American special forces stop the Taliban in time?


Prices change constantly. Be sure to verify all prices before purchase.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.