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Add all the crime fighters together and you get…

M-9: A Chelmin and Spaulding CID Mystery Book Cover M-9: A Chelmin and Spaulding CID Mystery
Chelmin & Spaulding CID Mysteries Book 1
by Marvin J Wolf
Mystery & Thrillers , Police Procedural
BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 20 Aug 2019

Who killed Kendra Farrell and left her bound, dehydrated body on a boxcar loaded with Army boots? Army CID agents Rudy Chelmin and his rookie partner, Will Spaulding, trace the train’s route back to Barstow, CA, and the Marine Corps Supply Depot. Before they can begin a joint-service investigation, they come under attack by a determined and heavily armed international gang. As they try to unwrap the mystery of Kendra’s death they must take out a sniper, escape from an RPG attack that levels a city block, and dodge a car bomb—and that’s just the first few days. To find Kendra’s killer they must learn why she was killed. As they unravel a mind-twisting snarl of nefarious, intertwined networks, they must also battle the bureaucracy—The FBI, Homeland Security, and the Barstow police want their share of the case. Then Chelmin vanishes and Spaulding has only three days to learn if his partner will suffer Kendra’s agonizing fate.

This is a complex story that might confuse so you need to keep your wits about you when reading it! I thought it was interesting in the way that the Army, Navy, FBI and local PD were interlinked in solving the murders and the rationale for them.

Keep the story straight and the various characters involved, and you will enjoy the book…

More in the series to come I hope.

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Floating or Drowning?

Woman in the Water Book Cover Woman in the Water
Katerina Diamond
Mystery Thriller Murder
Harper Collins, Avon Books

When a woman’s body is found submerged in icy water, police are shocked to find she is alive. But she won’t disclose her name, or what happened to her – even when a second body is discovered. And then she disappears from her hospital bed. Detectives Adrian Miles and Imogen Grey follow their only lead to the home of the Corrigans, looking for answers. But the more they dig into the couple’s lives, the less they understand about them. What’s their connection to the body in the river? Why have other people they know been hurt, or vanished? And can they discover the dark truth of their marriage before it’s too late? Smart, shocking and twisty – perfect for fans of Cara Hunter and Karin Slaughter.

I really thought I knew how this would end about three-quarters of the way through, but I was so wrong!

The ending is a 5 star for me, but overall, I thought the story needed tightening up and a general edit, which is why it gets a 4.

For once this police procedural demonstrates just how long it can take to solve a murder. The intricacies of police procedures that must be followed and the fact that people don’t always work through the night, but go home at 5 and come in at 9 even when they are trying to solve a murder. Much more realistic.

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No mind-altering for me!

Lavendar Lace Book Cover Lavendar Lace
A Washoe Indian, Northstar, California Mystery
by Lynn A. Dalton
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 07 Apr 2019

An 23-year old intern designed a mind altering device for the CIA. She goes to college to get her degree so she can become an agent with the CIA. A CIA operative sold Lavendar Lace's name to the Russian War Room and to the Russian Terrorists as the developer of this weapon. When Lavendar Lace goes on winter break to NorthStar skiing resort gunmen with automatic weapons try to kill her. The Russians are determined to capture Lavendar Lace and she is rescued and protected by a Washoe Indian. The CIA joins in on protecting Lavendar Lace as her mind is something the American Government wants.

I really couldn’t finish this book. I found the writing style uncomfortable and stilted.

I was also confused about Lavendar and what she was actually studying. Is design biotech weaponising mind control really a BSc Engineering? Surely this would be studied at Masters or Phd level? And Engineering? Maybe.

I also was not happy that this idea of mind control even existed, let alone that people were trying to design it, so it offended my pacifist nature

I was also confused about Lavendar and what she was actually studying. Is design biotech weaponising mind control really a BSc Engineering? Surely this would be studied at Masters or Phd level? And Engineering? Maybe.

I also was not happy that this idea of mind control even existed, let alone that people were trying to design it, so it offended my pacifist nature.

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Why Awake?

Awakening: Rise as the Fall Unfolds Book Cover Awakening: Rise as the Fall Unfolds
An 8th Dimension Novel Book 3
Carissa Andrews
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller, Urban Fantasy
Independently published
Publication date: November 12th 2019

The final five angels have been located and averting the apocalypse means somehow recreating the birth of Christ.  Morgan never expected total annihilation would come down to the actions of five misfit angels. But as each one’s hidden angelic power unfolds, so does the sinister truth… the entire Jesus storyline has been wiped from the collective consciousness, leaving a tear in the fabric of reality. The final five need to figure out how their gifts are meant to fit together in order to set things right. However, coming to terms with the responsibility resting on their shoulders doesn’t come easy. To make matters worse, the demons have found them and unless they get on the same page quickly, the darkness will consume them all. But how can they make things right when the thing that’s missing happened more than 2000 years ago? One thing’s for sure. If they fail, existence ceases. If you love books like Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s American Gods or Good Omens, Joe Hill’s Nos4A2, or Stephen King’s (Richard Bachman) Blaze, then you’ll love Awakening!

“Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular genre to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?”

When I originally went to college, I had big plans to become an archaeologist or anthropologist. I have always been fascinated by the idea of mythology, spirituality, and religion. But more than that, I have always loved the paranormal and supernatural side as well. I grew up in a very eclectic, open minded family who embraced dichotomous thinking—which basically means holding two seemingly opposing viewpoints as true at the same time. For example, being Christian, but believing other religions or spiritual traditions hold similar truths. Magical mindsets and energy work have always played a role in my life. In fact, in 2002, I started my journey to become a reiki master. I have also dived deep into comparative religion because the concept is deeply fascinating to me.

Then, on the other side (remember the dichotomous thinking), I love science. Physics, astronomy, biology, chemistry—you name it. So, being this strange person with seemingly opposing beliefs, I find I can look at subjects more… subjectively.

Awakening originally came to me as a way to make sense of the world after the 2016 election. I’m not gonna lie—it seriously felt light we were fighting a war of light and dark and the dark was winning. So, my question to myself was… what if there were angels buried in the subconsciousness of humans walking the Earth? What would that look like? How would that play out?

However, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around their mission. What would they fight for? How would they fix things? Then, at our local writers group’s Christmas party last year, we got an interesting writing prompt. There were actually something like seven of them, but the one I chose was: write something about the Jesus story from a totally different perspective.

Now, I have to place a caveat here – I am actually very eclectic spiritually because of my background. I don’t identify as one religion or another anymore. I just don’t feel it’s necessary. So, as a sciencey, fantasy jumbled up mess I am, I took an idea I’d had in the back of my mind for a long time about the Jesus story. It relied on the question of—what if Jesus didn’t exist? What if in the future, darkness had taken over and his light never shone on the world? (Okay, historically, there are actual questions about true existence, but there is no denying his story exists—and has had a huge impact on the world.)

But more than that, what if someone from the future could go back and make things happen? How could you tell this story where it seems both believable—and completely crazy at the same time? I mean, that’s what science fiction and fantasy are meant to do, right? Play with the bigger questions of who we are, why we’re here, and the stories we tell ourselves… right?

To my knowledge, no one has written a story quite like Awakening. It’s part urban fantasy – part alternative history – part science fiction. But what I am most pleased about with this book is that it must have placed its timing perfectly (I may have written it, but I swear the stories have their own timing). Both Christians and non-Christians alike love the story and the way the story was able to tread the wire between motivation and blasphemy.

About the Author:

Carissa Andrews is a freelance writer, award-winning graphic designer, indie author coach, and internationally bestselling author from Crosslake Minnesota. She is the President of the Lakes Area Writers Alliance, a 501c3 nonprofit for writers in central Minnesota, as well as the owner of Author Revolution, LLC – an organization geared toward helping new authors navigate the waters of indie publishing. For 2020, Carissa has her sights set on becoming a NYT or USA Today Bestselling Author with her upcoming series, The Windhaven Witches. You can learn more about Carissa, her services, and her upcoming novels by visiting her websites: www.carissaandrews.comwww.authorrevolution.org, or authorrevolution.teachable.com

Author links:

https://www.carissaandrews.com/

https://www.instagram.com/Carissa_Andrews_MN/

https://www.pinterest.ca/carissaandrews/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5755860.Carissa_Andrews

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarissaAndrews

https://twitter.com/CarissaAndrews

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How to steal: the author lets us know

Heist Book Cover Heist
Melanie Perkiss Witch Hunter
Kezzy Sparks
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Thriller
Square Six
Publication date: October 31st 2019

A thrilling introduction to the dark mystical world of Melanie ‘Breaker’ Perkiss, Buffalo NY’s most capable witch hunter and spell lifter.  In this debut instalment, a dark mage acting on behalf of a vengeful ex has magically removed the genitals of a man and vanished, leaving him wiped clean down there. And unfortunately for the victim, he is set to wed…now imagine saying ‘I do’ while in that deprived state. No wonder when a shell-shocked and heartbroken Casey walks into Melanie’s office to report the incident, the witch hunter immediately goes on a chase, risking her own life as she encounters dark creatures and malevolent spirits in the city’s darkest corners. The pressure is indeed on Mel: the wedding is fast approaching and leads remain few. Will she be able to corner the mage, recover the taken goods and save a doomed marriage, while bringing the conspirators to justice?  

  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

Answer: I chose this particular plot premise because a theft of body parts off a living person by witches is not something you often encounter in urban fantasy books. And further, what appealed to me regarding the genital heist is that the victim is set to wed, which therefore puts pressure on the main character to solve the mystery and bring it to closure before the day comes.

  1. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a notebook where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

Answer: I must say I do take quite a bit of time, thinking about a plot line and weighing whether it will appeal to readers or not. Although I do not make heavy notes about a book before writing it, I do outline a little bit so that the writing process is guided and can be completed faster.

  1. How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?

Answer: I don’t do a lot of research really, since most of the stuff that I put down is something I create in my head. The plot material for HEIST was never researched on, except for some minor details about the witchcraft trials of Salem Massachusetts in 1692—3, which I speak about in one chapter.

  1. What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?

Answer: For HEIST I never used any researched materials, except for the dates of the small historical event I mentioned before.

  1. How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police, medics etc when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?

Answer: I suppose in situations where one is writing a novel that closely follows reality, the information you’d get from authority figures would be of great value since they are the ones who actually work in the field you have chosen to write about. Fantasy works differently, though, because almost everything is imagined. Myself I have never approached any authority for background information.

  1.  How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?

Answer: Yes, I have had some early works of mine rejected, and that didn’t surprise me. It’s only the fewest authors who can boast that they have never been turned down. Rejection is all part and parcel of the creative industries.

  1. Did you need to self-publish any e-books before a publisher took you up?

Answer: Sure, I did self-publish, and still would do so if needed.

  1. Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?

Answer: Without a doubt, I do believe self-publishing actually offers a viable alternative to the traditional approach. Many authors have succeeded first as indie writers and then gone on to snag traditional contracts. Yes, it’s harder to find audiences when writing as an indie, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be done. The biggest benefit of being an indie is total control. Everything you put out there, you are responsible for it.

  1. Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take you before this happened?

Answer: To be honest, current trends show that for the average writer, it’s well nigh impossible to survive solely on royalties. For that reason most authors have a day job with which to support themselves, and they will continue to work until such time royalties have built to a substantial amount. Very few do ever get to that level, though, and I am still a long way away from quitting my day job myself, unless a miracle happens.

  1. What is the funniest thing that happened to you on a book tour?

Answer: This is my first virtual tour and I am not very sure what could happen. If there is to be anything awkward or embarrassing coming however, we will see about it.

  1. What do you read when you are ill in bed?

            Answer: I haven’t been ill enough to stay in bed for a number of years now, and I can count myself lucky in that regard. What I would read, though, were such a thing ever to happen, would be something perhaps light and fun, think Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, but definitely not something with a lot of ghosts and dead people in it like Darynda Jones’s Charlie Davidson series.

  1. What is your favourite genre?

Answer: Currently my favourite genre is the paranormal mystery. I have always been fascinated by magic and its elements and at some point in my life, actually believed it existed. To that end, I have sampled everything from Ilona Andrews to Jeaniene Frost.

  1. If you could recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead author?

Answer: One writer I would never fail to recommend is Dan Brown. He is not perfect by all means, but it’s no fluke either that he has sold hundreds of millions of copies of his books. He is definitely the master of the modern day thriller.

A dead author I’d recommend any day is Charles Dickens—no need for introductions there.

  1. Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?

Answer: No question, I would say Dan Brown has been a great influence. He has this ability to get into a story fast and then keep you hooked till the last word. And you’re left with no idea how much time has elapsed when your eyes are glued to the pages. With that said, I have found myself trying to do things like he does. Genre-wise I am not into the same stuff he is into, though, and I enjoy writing the fantasy story more.

  1. In your opinion, who is the funniest author now writing?

Answer: I would say two authors compete for that title currently, the first being Janet Evanovich and the second Jim Butcher. In any instalment of Stephanie Plum’s series, she gets into many laugh-out-loud funny moments and her banter with her associates is out of this world. She is quirky and comedic and does things you might imagine as foolish, but she always gets her way in the end and delivers on whatever she set out to do. Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden is another funny character and is very popular for that reason, less so for his ability to work magic.  

  1. Have you ever tried to imitate another author’s style? And if so, why?

            Answer: I certainly did do a little imitation during my early days. And the author I naturally chose to write like is Dan Brown, because he is phenomenal and a great influencer. I actually have a novel that bears the same structure as the Da Vinci Code, though it’s one I never got as far as publishing.

            Recently though, I have grown up and struck out on my own, and in HEIST you never sense anything Dan Brown-esque at all.

  1. Which of your books are you most proud of?

Answer: Since HEIST is my only published book, I would then say that debut of mine is the one I am most proud of. It possesses all the elements of what I imagine constitutes a good story. Its plot premise is one that hasn’t been overly done, its magic elements are unique and inventive. Also it has got all the suspense, vulnerability and subterfuge that readers look for.

  1. What, in your life, are you most proud of doing?

Answer: I’d say following my dreams and doing those things that I love to do is what I am proud of most. Many people go around with a novel idea in their head but never get around to actually put it down on paper, but I have been able to do it. And for that, I’d say I am blessed.

  1. Do you have an unusual hobby?

Answer: Probably not at the moment, but some years ago, I really tried to get into underwear modelling. That’s, of course, not an easy thing to do and the chances of succeeding are tiny. It’s a fun thing to try though, and when I was at it I was really serious about it, though now when I look back I realize it’s not anything I was made for. It did provide a little entertainment and heartaches, though, while it lasted.

  1. If you could choose to live in another country/town – which would you choose? And why?

Answer: There is really many candidates for this, and it’s hard to make a choice. Florida with its warmer weather and many good beaches would not be a bad idea, as would be New York City with its variety and bustle.

  1. What would you take on a desert island to read if you could only take 3 books?

Answer: One Harry Potter maybe, just to have a little magic with me—for in case I need to work some spells. Second, an epic horror from Stephen King, just to make things look as grim as possible, and then a Dan Brown thriller to provide the suspense and quick thrills.

Author Bio

Young man with a mobile phone standing at the wall

Kezzy Sparks is a Toronto based author and writer. HEIST is his debut fiction in the long form. He enjoys reading as well, and lists works by Jim Butcher, Stephen King, Benedict Jacka, Dan Brown and Kevin Hearne as some of his personal favorites.

https://kezzysparks.net/

https://www.facebook.com/authorkezzysparks

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