Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Available for Pre-Order Now

The fourth book of the Mind Sleuth Series, From the Mind of a Witch.

PI Rebecca Marte expects every client to proclaim their innocence, but a witch claiming it by reason of possession?

You can pre-order it now from Amazon for 99 cents and beat the price increase to $3.99 after the launch.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Book Review: True Fiction (Ian Ludlow Thrillers Book 1) by Lee Goldberg

Part Conspiracy Thriller, but Mostly Over-the-Top Spy Spoof

True Fiction definitely contains the grist for a top-notch spy/conspiracy thriller. You have a ruthless villain with the resources to implement his evil plot—take over the intelligence functions of the CIA. The technology he uses to push the government toward outsourcing this source of absolute power and incredible wealth is plausible. You also have a somewhat bumbling individual, in this case a writer, Ian Ludlow, who’s an unknowing pawn in the plan. But as in any good thriller, the victim sees through the deception and assembles (totally by happenstance) his band of misfits—a wannabe singer/song writer making her living driving authors to book signings; and a retired actor who’s an advocate of every conspiracy theory known to man … and several of his own making as well. This group, of course, is the only line of defense against the all-powerful, all-knowing criminal because their tale is too bizarre for anyone else to believe. Good luck Ian and friends!

Despite the book’s potential for fingernail-chewing, white-knuckle tension, however, I felt little. That was because … I was too busy laughing. Before getting too far into that topic, let me mention that the humor can and often is rather raunchy. Gratuitous, highly exaggerated sex scenes appear with some regularity and both setup and punchlines often involve the F-word, so be forewarned if that is not your style. But if you’re not offended by off-color humor, you’ll be rewarded with a story that’s replete with outlandish exaggerations and bizarre embellishments to reality. My favorites came from the ex-actor, who played the Vine in Hollywood and the Vine, a TV series written by Ian. Or, as the actor was known on the series, “Half man, half plant, all cop.” You gotta love the characters with bright green hair, wearing a tinfoil hat.

Overall, if you enjoy action mixed with some rather lowbrow humor, you should love True Fiction. Just be sure to get your copy before the “global elites” declare this fiction too close to the truth and have it banned (conspiracy theory complements of the ex-actor).

See on Amazon:

(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, March 23, 2021

Love Audiobooks?

Then Enter for Your Chance to Win a Three-Month Subscription to Audible (2 Winners)

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Monday, March 22, 2021

Sci-Fi Fantasy Giveaway Alert

Give a author's newsletter a try and receive a free story.

With a selection of more than 50 reads, you'll find your next favorite author here.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Mind in the Clouds On Sale

In recognition for being named a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards (a reader-driven award), I'm putting Mind in the Clouds on sale for 99 cents (regularly $3.99) from now until March 22.

"Strong characters, intelligent attention to detail and a great plot ensured this was a quite riveting read. Highly recommended."

"… a touch of romance and a chuckle at the end. Overall, an entertaining read."

“… a crazy wild ride through modern day technology with a little advanced AI thrown in to create an action thriller par excellence.


Or try a free sample:

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Book Review: Last Star Standing by Spaulding Taylor

Character-Driven Post-Apocalyptic Fiction with a Timeless Theme

The Last Star Standing is set on post-apocalyptic earth … although, without a few references to places like Australia, it can be hard to tell. That’s because its cast of characters prominently features non-humans—a ruthless race of conquering aliens, their imported, brutish servants, robots, giant sea creatures, and so on. The humans, when they appear, are often augmented, including our protagonist, Aiden Tenten. And when not enhanced with technology, they are often depicted only as overheard comments in crowd scenes. The result is an earth that feels otherworldly.

The story has a character-driven element, although the starting point in the transformation of our hero is a bit unclear. On one hand, Aiden is insecure about … well, almost everything from his abandonment by his mother as a child to when he was picked for sports at school to his current-day relationships with women. As a result, reputation is everything to him and he’s reckless in his pursuit of fame. But at the same time, he is described as having a messiah complex, a belief that he is destined to save the world. It seems a strange mix of destiny-calling while dealing with imagined slights, but that’s Aiden. As to where his character ends up? Well, that might be too much of a spoiler, but it’s a significant shift.

At a very high level, the plot is based on a well-worn theme as undermanned humans mount a rebellion against their ruthless overlords. To counter the threat, Aiden gathers a band of misfits with conveniently appropriate skills and powers (of course). While the battle between the evil empire and the out-gunned rebels is the general drift, fully the first half of the book does little to advance this plot. Aiden is being held captive, recalling some of his life and his missions. The intent is probably world-building and character development, but it feels somewhat meandering. In the second half, the focus is much clearer, allowing the plot to advance more smoothly (and with greater suspense and intrigue).

The prose is solid, as you might expect from an author with a background as a ghostwriter. One element of his style, however, deserves mention. He frequently inserts two or more distinct thoughts into single sentences with each new idea set off with dashes.  My cost was crippling – for I remained in rude health despite my birth mother’s best efforts – but Duncan Tenten had old-fashioned notions about his ‘line’– the irony being that most lines ended between WWIII and the invasion anyway.” This kind of interposition of ideas can make the text more interesting in moderation, but it can become tiring when overused. And it was, for my tastes.

Overall, the otherworldly feel of post-apocalyptic earth is well developed. And Aiden, as a damaged hero leading a vastly outgunned rebel force, is timeless and well worth the read.

I was given a copy of the book by the author. I elected to write this candid review.

See on Amazon:

(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 8, 2021

Audiobooks, Audiobooks, and More Audiobooks

Want to give your eyes a break from reading and your ears a chance to do more than hold up a mask?

Then, check out these two selections of more than fifty (yes, that's five-O) free audiobooks!

The first collection offers listens for markets across the globe. You'll find my audio version Of Half a Mind in this group.

The second collection focuses on audio codes for the UK. I have Killer in the Retroscape in this selection.

Listen, enjoy, and please consider leaving a review.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

From the Mind of a Witch is Coming Soon

The release of book 4 in the Mind Sleuth Series, From the Mind of a Witch, is looming. It is, perhaps, the cause of all the recent dark and dreary days in St. Louis? (The meteorologists, of course, may have a different opinion.)


When ex-FBI agent Rebecca Marte considered the possible challenges of her new career as a private investigator, she never thought one of them would be to clear a witch, Della Bergeron, charged with killing a man during a coven ritual. But that challenge became a near impossibility when six icons of the St. Louis business community, the rest of the coven, witnessed Bergeron standing over the body, covered in blood, declaring she’d kept her promise to be with him to the end.

The nearly open-and-shut case a took an even more bizarre turn six months after the killing, however, when Bergeron said there were extenuating circumstances. She hadn’t killed willingly. She’d been possessed by another witch.

Now, the means Rebecca knew to get someone to act against their will—threats of violence, emotional blackmail, drug-induced delusion—were less likely culprits in the murder than what laid in the witch’s mind. Thrust into this unfamiliar territory, she sought to involve her friend, Dr. Sam “Doc” Price, both to help her with the case and him with a losing battle to find his kidnapped fianc√©.