Friday, March 27, 2020

March Book Reviews

I'm fortunate that one of my favorite pastimes is hiking. And since Missouri State Parks are still welcoming visitors to the outdoors, I have a few hours of my social distancing already covered each week.

It's still a little early for our blooming trees, as you can see from the shot above. But we have all the tiny streams that only run in the Spring to enjoy.

I get a few more hours of social distancing from getting lost in some great reads. Hope you find something in my March reviews that will do the same for you.

  • A crime mystery (She Wore Mourning);
  • A cozy mystery (Name Your Poison); and
  • Occult horror (The Everett Exorcism).

Happy reading,

She Wore Mourning (Zachary Goldman Mysteries Book 1) by P.D. Workman

PI Investigates His Own Demons as Well as the Crime’s 

In She Wore Mourning, Private Investigator Zachary Goldman takes on a gut-wrenching case when he investigates the drowning death of a five-year-old boy. Ruled an accident by the police, the boy’s grandmother wants closure and hires Goldman for a second opinion. Goldman has his suspicions, but he has nothing sufficient for law enforcement to re-open the investigation. Things seem at an impasse, then someone tries to kill him. But is the attempt on his life because of this case or some other that he’s working? He can’t be sure. And if it is this case, who’s responsible for the boy’s death? A pedophile who abducted the boy from his unlocked, backyard and then killed him? One or both of the parents? A forensic scientist in training who seems a bit too interested in Goldman’s case? Even the grandmother doesn’t escape Goldman’s scrutiny. Kudos to the author for keeping the suspense high, dangling several viable suspects in front of our eyes.

For the complete review, see:

Name Your Poison (Top Shelf Mysteries Book 3) by Lolli Powell

You Can’t Beat this Heroine for an Imaginative and Humorous Murder Investigation

Author Lolli Powell continues her winning formula for bar owner and amateur sleuth, Erica (Ricki) Fontaine, mixing a hyperactive imagination with a cynical sense of humor in this third installment of the Top Shelf Mysteries, Name Your Poison. Above all, our heroine has near-boundless imagination. Before the police have the forensics report on the cause of death, Ricki has already decided it was a murder. Not only that, but she’s sure the victim wasn’t the intended target and her newspaper reporter friend, Logan, was nearly killed only as collateral damage. And while that’s quite the deductive leap without a net, she becomes really creative on motives. Before a tense (and unexpected) finale, Ricki suggests the murder was motivated by everything from retaliation by a sexually harassed Hollywood starlet to an attempt to derail a movie that was to be shot in her hometown. All the better to keep the reader guessing … which I did.

For the complete review, see:

The Everett Exorcism (World of Shadows Book 1) by Lincoln Cole

Bad Things Happen When Your Exorcist Doesn’t Believe in Demons

When ‘occult’ and ‘paranormal’ are the sub-genres of a horror novel, I don’t necessarily expect to be scared. Often after loosening the constraints of reality, the authors become embroiled in creating ever more hideous creatures or discovering increasingly horrendous ways for people to die. The result is that the stories can end up being as humorous as they are scary. The Everett Exorcism, however, is NOT one of those books. It is quite creepy … in all the right ways.

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.)

Monday, March 16, 2020

Celebrate (Almost) Spring with A Couple of Giveaways

I've been flattered by several recent messages and emails concerning one of my books. For example, one of them read "BTW, everything that’s going on with the coronavirus reminds me of the background of the world of Killer in the Retroscape." 

While I am glad that my depiction of a world-wide pandemic reads true--something I strive for to build suspense--I'm also happy that my story is fiction. The coronavirus is life. Please listen to health officials and stay safe.

The notes I received also reminded me of an article I read recently about how government and business were tapping into Sci-Fi literature to plan for the future. Realism can serve more than suspense! I thought you might be interested.

Happy (almost) Spring,

Now to the free reads.

1. The Book Review Club

Take a look at more than 55 free books in a variety of genre, including my dark, techno-thriller, Of Half a MindFind your next favorite read and consider thanking the author with a book review.

2. The Whodunit Mystery Giveaway 

Pick up free stories from more than 20 mystery/thriller/suspense writers at the Whodunit Mystery Giveaway.

A word of clarification about this one - although the download site calls all of the free offers "books", there are also samples from novels and short stories, including my short story. And if you think my entry, Amie and Alex: A Love Story isn't a mystery, then I'd guess you haven’t read it yet!

Friday, March 6, 2020

March Limited-Time eBook Deals

Some entertaining (and inexpensive) reads while we wait for Spring. Hope you find something to enjoy.


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

Start Date: NOW  End Date: March 8
Name Your Poison (Top Shelf Mysteries Book 3)
By Lolli Powell
Cozy Mystery, Women Sleuths
Usual Price: $3.99  Sale: $0.99

New York and Hollywood come to the Top Shelf!

Ricki and the Top Shelf crew have worked for weeks preparing for the launch party for Logan Parker’s book. Waterton is abuzz, not just about their very own newspaper editor writing what promises to be a bestseller, but also about the movie based on the book that might be filmed on location in Waterton. But when the location scout drinks from the wrong energy drink—well, nothing ruins a party like a dead body!

Ricki’s not so sure the location scout was the intended victim, and Gabe’s not so sure it’s a murder. One thing he is sure of—he doesn’t want Ricki investigating. You’d think he’d know by now that she never listens.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: March 10
Damaged: a heart-stopping psychological thriller
By Dan Scottow
Psychological Thriller
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99

Journalist Emily Blake is sent back to her hometown to investigate the disappearance of a young girl called Becky Clarke. Emily takes the assignment willingly as the case echoes the disappearance of her childhood friend, Alice Abbott, twenty-five years earlier.

Returning to the village, Emily renews old acquaintances and rivalries. She reconnects with her estranged brother Adam, who has never quite recovered from tragic events from their past.

While she looks into the disappearance of Becky Clarke, Emily revisits Alice’s case but not everyone welcomes her investigation. As lies that have been told for twenty-five years surrounding Alice’s disappearance begin to unravel, Emily is drawn deeper into the mystery. 

What happened to Alice? 
Will Becky ever be found? 
And do the answers lie closer to home than anyone ever imagined?

Start Date: NOW  End Date: March 11
By James D. Prescott
Usual Price: $4.99  Sale: $0.99

While investigating hydrothermal vents in the Pacific Ocean, scientist Nicholay Panov and his crew mysteriously vanish. Weeks later, when their vessel is finally found, the hull has been crushed nearly beyond recognition.

Searching for answers, glaciologist Sienna Panov reaches out to Ben Fisher, the rich and enigmatic CEO who commissioned the expedition. Ben is the inventor of a revolutionary neural enhancement device. Once implanted in the brain, it has the power to boost both mental and physical abilities to dizzying new heights.

Except Ben has recently suffered a tragedy of his own, after a savage attack robbed him of his memory and left him framed for murder. Working together, Ben and Sienna soon discover a shadowy conspiracy connecting both events.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: March 10
Murder on the SS Mystique (An SS Mystique Cozy Mystery Book 1)
By Shelly West
Cozy Mystery
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99

After Audrey Hughes’s long contract working security aboard a booze cruise ends, she’s craving something different. And what would be a greater change in scenery than a renovated 1940s ocean liner called the SS Mystique?

Audrey eagerly signs up, thinking all she’ll have to do is tend to wealthy passengers and their pets on a quaint old liner. Instead, she boards a ship shrouded in odd superstitions and deadly mysteries.

It wouldn’t be so bad—if not for the two dead bodies appearing right after the ship sets sail. Spitfire Audrey has a few ideas about who might be to blame, but a handsome Officer Gerald is determined to keep her off the trail.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: March 10
The Thanksgiving Trip: A Cozy Mystery (A Tess and Tilly Cozy Mystery Book 5)
By Kathi Daley
Cozy Mystery
Usual Price: $3.99  Sale: $0.99

The entire Thomas family takes a Thanksgiving trip to a mountain cabin after Tess learns that her father visited the area every autumn to hunt and fish before his supposed death in a fiery truck accident. After arriving at the cabin, Tess and Tony, along with Mike and Bree, team up to investigate a suspicious death, while Tess and Tony secretly talk to people who live in the area and once knew her father. Hoping to finally find answers for her unanswered questions regarding her father's current whereabouts, Tess widens her search which lead her to a startling realization.

Meanwhile, a stray dog seems intent on adopting Mike in spite of Mike's insistence that there is no way he has room in his life for an energetic and mischievous puppy.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: March 9
By Matt James
Sci-Fi Adventure
Usual Price: $4.99  Sale: $0.99

The only thing colder than the Antarctic air is the icy chill of death…

Off the coast of McMurdo Station, in the frigid waters of the Southern Ocean, a new species of Antarctic octopus is unintentionally discovered. Specialists aboard a state-of-the-art DARPA research vessel aim to apply the animal’s “sub-zero venom” to one of their projects: An experimental painkiller designed for soldiers on the front lines.

All is going according to plan until the ship is caught in an intense storm. The retrofitted tanker is rocked, and the onboard laboratory is destroyed. Amid the chaos, the lead scientist is infected by a strange virus while conducting the specimen’s dissection.

The scientist didn’t die in the accident. He changed.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: March 10
Asylum (Touched by the Fae Book 1)
By Jessica Lynch
Young Adult Fantasy
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99

Black Pine Facility for Wayward Juveniles. The asylum. It's a place where they stick troubled cases like me until we age out or they think they've fixed us.

Newsflash: you can't fix what's not broken. And I may have been thrown into Black Pine when I was barely fifteen, but I'm not crazy. I'm cursed.

Because of the fae? They're real. Gorgeous, ethereal, mythical creatures who can't lie but are experts at twisting the truth. Just one touch, that's all it takes. Just one touch and the fae have power over you. Just one touch and your whole world can go up in flames.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: March 10
Damned From Birth
By Jon Athan
Horror Suspense
Usual Price: $3.99  Sale: $0.99

While attempting to abduct a teenager from her home, notorious serial killer Victor Brooks meets his match: ten 9mm bullets. In a puddle of his own blood, sprawled across a stranger’s kitchen floor, Victor’s life begins to flash before his very eyes. He sees the living and the dead, peace and carnage, friends and foes, success and disappointment, love and hatred. He sees a life defined by anger, pain, and sorrow.

The light at the end of Victor's tunnel is red—red with blood.

WARNING: This novel contains graphic content. Reader discretion is advised.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: March 11
Edge of Eons: A Cultivation Novel (The Adept Archives: Book 1)
By Darren Hultberg Jr
Young Adult Dark Fantasy
Usual Price: $3.99  Sale: $0.99

In the realm of Eon, strength is the rule of law.

In daylight, the realm is ruled by the adepts, a group of mighty cultivators that use their spirits to wield world-bending, mystic power. These adepts live in constant strife, fighting for control of relics that hold the divine powers of ancient gods.

In twilight, the realm belongs to the darkbeasts, nightmarish creatures born of a mysterious fog known as the veil. These creatures are drawn to power, hoarding relics in their dungeons and slaying any adepts that dare venture too close.

Together, these opposing forces create a grim balance of power, one only survived by those with strength, cunning and a bit of wit. But balance is not easily maintained...

Start Date: NOW  End Date: March 9
Shadow of Oblivion (Avenger Book 1)
By Richard Tongue
Cyberpunk Sci-Fi
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99

For decades, tensions have risen between the resurgent Terran Republic, formed from the ashes of a century-long conflict, and the Belters, colonists who left Earth at the height of the fighting to build new worlds among the stars. When war erupts, the heart of their battle fleet is Goliath, the largest battleship ever built, the result of years of work in hidden shipyards lost in the depths of space. Earth has no answer to her, no ship in her fleet a match for the overwhelming power of the warship. Defeat seems inevitable.

Until a renegade Admiral concocts a final, desperate plan.

Only one ship, an experimental warship, the Avenger, might possibly stand a chance against the might of Goliath. One ship, with a crew with nothing to lose and everything to gain, gathered from the dregs of Earth’s space forces. The last hope for the Terran Republic. The last, desperate hope for victory.

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 Amazon:  linking to and affiliated sites.