Book Review: What I’ve Done by Melinda Leigh

What I've Done

 

 

Morgan Dane’s new client has blood on her hands—and no recollection of what happened—as the #1 Amazon Charts bestselling series continues.

 

Haley Powell wakes up covered in blood, with no memory of the night before. When she sees a man lying in the backyard, stabbed to death, she has only one terrified thought: What have I done?

Agreeing to take the case as a favor to her PI friend Lincoln Sharp, Morgan must scale a mountain of damning circumstantial and forensic evidence to prove her client innocent. Haley couldn’t appear more guilty: her bloodstained fingerprints are on the murder weapon, and she has no alibi. But Morgan can’t shake the feeling that this shocked young woman has been framed.

Someone out there is hell-bent on sabotaging her defense, targeting Morgan, her partner, and especially Haley. Someone who will stop at nothing—and whose next move will be deadly.

 

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Morgan Dane rocks. I always enjoy reading this series.
Criminal defense attorney Morgan Dane’s new client Haley Powell will prove to be an extremely challenging case. Private investigators Lincoln Sharpe and Lance will have their hands full with this one. Melinda Leigh deliver’s once again with a great story full of twists and turns. Never a dull moment, action packed, full of suspense, and keeps you on your toes. Great series and I’d recommend it to anyone.

 

 

 

 

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Morgan Dane book #5 is now available!

 

 

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The #1 Amazon Charts bestselling series continues as Morgan Dane and PI Lance Kruger fight for the innocence of a young murder suspect—if only they could find him.

When a retired sheriff’s deputy is shot to death in his home, his troubled teenage stepson, Evan, becomes the prime suspect. Even more incriminating, the boy disappeared from the scene of the crime.

Desperate to find her son, Evan’s mother begs PI Lance Kruger for help. She knows her son is innocent. Kruger and defense attorney Morgan Dane want to believe that too, but the evidence against the boy is damning. Just as the trail goes cold, another deputy vanishes. His shocking connection to Evan’s stepfather throws the investigation into chaos as Lance and Morgan fear the worst…that Evan is the killer’s new target.

With so many secrets to unravel, will Lance and Morgan find him before it’s too late?

 

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Storytelling with Steven James & Lynn Constantine

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Bestselling author Steven James hosts Lynn Constantine on the Story Blender Podcast

 

 

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This podcast originally appears on thestoryblender.com Feb. 19, 2019. Duration: 55 min.

 

Lynne Constantine is a coffee-drinking, Twitter-addicted fiction author always working on her next book. She is the international bestselling co-author of THE LAST MRS. PARRISH written under the pen name Liv Constantine. Her next book, THE LAST TIME I SAW YOU, comes out on May 7th.

 

 

 

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The internationally bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrishfollows that success with an addictive novel filled with shocking twists about the aftermath of a brutal high-society murder.

Dr. Kate English has it all. Not only is she the heiress to a large fortune; she has a gorgeous husband and daughter, a high-flying career, and a beautiful home anyone would envy.

But all that changes the night Kate’s mother, Lily, is found dead, brutally murdered in her own home. Heartbroken and distraught, Kate reaches out to her estranged best friend, Blaire Barrington, who rushes to her side for the funeral, where the years of distance between them are forgotten in a moment.

That evening, Kate’s grief turns to horror when she receives an anonymous text: You think you’re sad now, just wait. By the time I’m finished with you, you’ll wish you had been buried today. More than ever, Kate needs her old friend’s help.

Once Blaire decides to take the investigation into her own hands, it becomes clear that all is not as it seems in Baltimore high society. As infidelity, lies, and betrayals come to light, and tensions rise to a boiling point, she begins to alienate Kate’s friends and relatives with her relentless, accusatory questions, as she tries to find Lily’s killer. The murderer could be anyone—friend, neighbor, loved one. But whoever it is, it’s clear that Kate is next on their list. . .

In The Last Time I Saw You, Liv Constantine takes the lightning pace of The Last Mrs. Parrish and raises the stakes, creating an exquisitely tension-filled and absorbing tale of psychological suspense in which innocent lives—and one woman’s sanity—hang in the balance.

 

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Liv Constantine authors

 

Liv Constantine is the pen name of USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and international bestselling authors and sisters Lynne Constantine and Valerie Constantine, co-authors of the Reese Witherspoon book club pick, THE LAST MRS. PARRISH. Separated by three states, they spend hours plotting via FaceTime and burning up each other’s emails. They attribute their ability to concoct dark story lines to the hours they spent listening to tales handed down by their Greek grandmother. Their next book, THE LAST TIME I SAW YOU, will be released on May 7, 2019.

 

 

livconstantine.com

 

stevenjames.net

 

thestoryblender.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

RED Hotel: A Q&A with Gary Grossman and Ed Fuller

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BOOK RELEASE DAY – RED Hotel by Gary Grossman & Ed Fuller

 

 

 

 

 

A Q&A WITH THE AUTHORS

 

ED FULLER:

What was the primary motivation for writing a thriller before you met Gary Grossman? 

Growing up, I loved the James Bond books and movies. The adventure and the characters were exciting.  Then, over my 40 years with Marriott, I experienced a number of global crises situations that felt like they could have even come from Bond.  Along the way – a long way – 22 years as President of International for Marriott, I learned through kidnappings, evacuations, dealing with drug cartels, and foreign governments that crisis management was absolutely critical.  Since retiring from Marriott I decided to combine my realities with my early fantasies. RED HOTEL was born.

 

 

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ED FULLER:

What was your experience writing fiction versus non-fiction?

While I was still working with Marriott, I wrote a book “You Can’t Lead with your Feet on the Desk.” It was a business book that reflected my experiences and philosophies.  It was published by Wiley in the US, China, and Japan.  The reason I sought partnership with Gary Grossman was based on my lack of experience as a fiction writer.  So the way it works is I contribute stories and strategy and Gary applies the glue, creativity, and through-line that binds our stories, characters, and the overall international plot.

 

 

GARY GROSSMAN:

After meeting Ed Fuller what potential did you see in his story concept?

Gary Grossman – Initially, I wondered what would I have in common professionally with the former President of Marriott International.  After all, I was a thriller writer, he was a global executive with the responsibility over thousands of peoples’ lives and careers. I worked in fiction.  He worked in reality. But then we met and in the first thirty seconds I realized Ed was as much in the anti-terrorism business as the hotel business. He extracted his teams in Cairo and Tripoli during the fall of Mubarak and Gaddafi.  Company hotels were bombed. He dealt with drug cartels, kidnappings, and high-level officials in foreign governments around the world. Then I asked Ed who he had on speed dial. He told me. Dramatically. And I realized we could work together and create a wonderful plot fictionalizing Ed’s real life experiences.  

 

 

CLAP-THRILLER

 

 

GARY GROSSMAN:

How did you co-create Dan Reilly?

Dan does real life things, but in a fictional world.  Where Ed didn’t carry a gun, we gave one to Dan for a key scene.  But there’s so much of Ed in Dan. Key was focusing on Ed Fuller’s creation of the color code threat assessment levels he implemented at Marriott that we adapted for RED HOTEL.  So, as you meet Dan Reilly in print, you’ll understand a great deal about Ed Fuller’s remarkable career.

 

 

GARY GROSSMAN:

Tell us more about him and what makes him your protagonist?

Dan Reilly has contacts in the international intelligence community, just as Ed does.  For the sake of RED HOTEL, that pits him against a master assassin in the employ of the president of the Russian Federation.   The background for the entire plot deals with the president and his desire to rebuild the old Soviet bloc on Russia’s western front.   Fiction for RED HOTEL, but a real and present danger for NATO and the West.

 

 

 

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GARY GROSSMAN:

What kind of terrorists is he dealing with?

Spoiler alert.  The terrorists are actually agents of Russia.  But that’s for Dan Reilly and his team to figure out.  So right now, consider yourself head of the protagonist.  But there are more surprises in RED HOTEL to discover.

 

 

GARY GROSSMAN:

What are the stakes if they’re aren’t stopped?

The clock is ticking for Russia to make a dramatic and bold move.  To expand Russia’s existing borders into western Europe. So throughout RED HOTEL, all the Russian president needs is the right provocation.  That’s when and where Dan Reilly must step in.

 

 

 

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GARY GROSSMAN:

Describe how you came up with the title, Red Hotel.

The RED in RED HOTEL refers to the highest threat level in the color code system created by Ed Fuller at Marriott and Dan Reilly in the thriller.  RED means the property looks and feels more protected, and in Ed’s experience, the more visible the defenses against terrorists, the more likely bad guys are to move on.

 

 

GARY GROSSMAN:

What’s next for you?

Ed and I are nearly finished with the first draft of the sequel to RED HOTEL.  It picks right up from where the first book leaves off. So, stay tuned and thanks for deep diving into RED HOTEL.  We hope you’ll enjoy it.

# # #

 

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ED FULLER is a hospitality industry leader, educator, and author of the international Top 20 bestselling business book, You Can’t Lead with Your Feet on the Desk, published by Wiley. He is president of the Irvine, California-based Laguna Strategic Advisors, a global consortium that provides business consulting services to corporations and governments. Fuller is a director of the Federal Bureau of Investigators National Academy Associates Foundation (FBINAA). He has served as a Board Executive of several Charity Boards and Three University Boards. His 40-year career with Marriott included serving as CMO and several regional operational positions which was capped by his role as president and managing director of Marriott International for 22 years. As worldwide chief, he directed and administered corporate expansion of 555 hotels in 73 countries and $8 billion in sales. During that time, he oversaw the creation of Marriott International’s Global Security Strategy. Fuller served as a captain in the U.S. Army and was decorated with a Bronze Star and Army Commendation medals.

 

 

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Gary Grossman is a multiple Emmy Award winning television producer and author of the bestselling international political thrillers Executive Actions, Executive Treason, Executive Command, Executive Force, and Old Earth. He has also written two highly regarded non-fiction books on TV history. Grossman has been published by Dell/Delacorte, Byron Preiss Publishing, Diversion Books, Harlequin, Arlington House, and CBS/Popular Library. He has produced for NBC News, served as a columnist for the Boston Herald American, written for the Boston Globe and the New York Times. Grossman is Contributing Editor to Media Ethics Magazine and has produced more than 10,000 television programs for 40 networks. He’s a member of ITW, the International Thriller Writers Association and the Military Writers Society of America.

 

 

RED Hotel

REDHotel.com

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour Blast: The Scent of Death by Simon Beckett

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It has been a good summer for forensics expert Dr David Hunter. His relationship is going well and he’s in demand again as a police consultant. His life seems to be on an even keel.

But not for long. The call comes from an old associate: a body has been found, and she’d like Hunter to take a look . . .

St Jude’s Hospital now stands empty. Slowly rotting and silently awaiting demolition, the vast, oppressive building’s only visitors have been society’s outcasts, addicts and dealers. And it’s here that the partially mummified corpse has been discovered. Hunter is not sure how long the body has been hidden in the hospital’s cavernous loft, but he’s seen enough to know it’s a young woman. And that she was pregnant.

As the remains are removed for closer examination, a floor collapses revealing a previously sealed off part of a ward. Bricked up inside this hidden chamber are three beds. Two of them are occupied . . .
What other grisly secrets will St Jude’s reveal? The local community is alarmed and the police need answers. For David Hunter, what began as a challenging if straightforward case is about to become a twisted nightmare threatening him and those around him.

Featuring his trademark authentic forensics, claustrophobic sense of place and nerve-shredding tension, Simon Beckett’s new thriller will leave you gasping.

 

 

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Enjoy the Tour with these beautiful book blogs

 

2/18 – @Karen55555 – Go Buy The Book Blog

 

2/19 – @sephine – Live to Read. Read to Live Blog

 

2/20 – @clairsharpe – Always Need More Books

 

2/21 – @annebonnybook – Anne Bonny Book Reviews

 

2/22 – @rae_reads1 – Rae Reads

 

2/23 – @kaishajayneh –  The Writing Gamet

 

2/24 – @Lizzy11268 – Liz Loves Books

 

2/25 – @polesofie – Romantics, Rebels, and Reviews

 

2/26 – @ClaireKreads – A Knight’s Reads

 

2/27 – @AmandaDuncan12 – My Bookish Blogspot

 

2/28 – @dmmaguire391 – Donna’s Book Blog

 

3/1 – @JoannaLouisePar – Over the Rainbow Book Blog

 

3/2 – @Agi_mybookshelf – On My bookshelf

 

3/3 – @Shazsbookblog – Shaz’s Book Blog

 

3/4 – @vinsbookcase – Vincent’s Bookcase

 

 

 

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After an MA in English, Simon Beckett spent several years as a property repairer before a stint teaching in Spain. Back in the UK, he played percussion in several bands. He has been a freelance journalist since 1992, writing for The Times, The Independent on Sunday Review, The Daily Telegraph, The Observer and other major British publications. In 2002, as part of an article on the National Forensic Academy, he visited the Body Farm in Tennessee. This last commission was the inspiration behind the internationally bestselling The Chemistry of Death, which was shortlisted for the CWA’s Duncan Lawrie Dagger and has been translated into 21 languages. Simon Beckett is married and lives in Sheffield. The author of six novels, his second David Hunter thriller, Written in Bone, is published as a Bantam paperback in April 2008.

 

simonbeckett.com | Amazon | Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Darknet by Matthew Mather

Darknet

 

 

 

A prophetic and frighteningly realistic novel set in present-day New York, Darknet is the story of one man’s odyssey to overcome a global menace pushing the world toward oblivion, and his incredible gamble to risk everything to save his family.

Jake O’Connell left a life of crime and swore he’d never return, but his new life as a stock broker in New York is ripped away when his childhood friend Sean Womack is murdered. Thousands of miles away in Hong Kong, data scientist Jin Huang finds a list of wealthy dead people in a massive banking conspiracy. Problem is, some of the people don’t stay dead. As Jin begins her investigation, she’s petrified to discover her own name on the growing list of dead-but-alive…

On the run, they race across continents to uncover a dark secret spreading like a cancer into the world. Why was Sean killed, and how is the list of wealthy dead connected? Are some of them really coming back to life? But all this becomes irrelevant when Jake’s wife and daughter are attacked…

 

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A terrifying new breed of predator evolves…
A dark secret determined to stay hidden…

 

 

 

 

 

A GLOBAL CORPORATION HIDES A DARK SECRET… 

A TERRIFYING NEW ADVANCE IN TECHNOLOGY… 

WILL BE REVEALED. 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review

 

An absolutely thrilling book. No one writes a story quite like Matthew Mather does. Creepy, believable, and all too realistic. Not sure what took me so long read this one–but I was HOOKED from the beginning and gripped by suspense throughout the book. Sensational. The ability of Mather to capture a horrific cyber situation will send chills down your spine. A financial nightmare, cyber crimes, darknet assassins, mafia, Wall street players, FBI–expertly wrapped in a well written techno-thriller is absolutely genius.

 

 

 

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Matthew is the million-copy bestselling author of CyberStorm and Darknet, and the hit series Nomad and Atopia Chronicles. He started out his career working at the McGill Center for Intelligent Machines, going on to become one of the world’s leading members of the cybersecurity community. In between he’s worked in a variety of start-ups,everything from computational nanotechnology to electronic health records to weather prediction systems. He spends his time between Montreal and Charlotte, NC.

 

matthewmather.com

 

 

 

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William L. Myers Jr. Discusses the Killer’s Alibi

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For attorney Mick McFarland, the evidence is damning. And so are the family secrets in this twisty legal thriller from the Amazon Charts bestselling author of A Criminal Defense.

When crime lord Jimmy Nunzio is caught, knife in hand, over the body of his daughter’s lover and his own archenemy, he turns to Mick McFarland to take up his defense. Usually the courtroom puppeteer, McFarland quickly finds himself at the end of Nunzio’s strings. Struggling to find grounds for a not-guilty verdict on behalf of a well-known killer, Mick is hamstrung by Nunzio’s refusal to tell him what really happened.

On the other side of the law, Mick’s wife, Piper, is working to free Darlene Dowd, a young woman sentenced to life in prison for her sexually abusive father’s violent death. But the jury that convicted Darlene heard only part of the truth, and Piper will do anything to reveal the rest and prove Darlene’s innocence.

As Mick finds himself in the middle of a mob war, Piper delves deeper into Darlene’s past. Both will discover dark secrets that link these fathers and daughters–some that protect, some that destroy, and some that can’t stay hidden forever. No matter the risk.

 

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William L. Myers Jr. discusses the third installment of the Philadelphia Legal series, A Killer’s Alibi.

 

 

*What kind of person is attorney Mick McFarland that made him your protagonist?

            In crafting Mick, I set out to build a character who is basically a good guy, who wants right to prevail over wrong, but who, in the pursuit of right, will do whatever is necessary, including things that are wrong. As an attorney, Mick is a thinker, a planner, and very Machiavellian. He enjoys the “game” and excels at it.

 

 

*What can you tell us about the kind of case Mick is undertaking?

            Mick is in an interesting situation. His client is Philly crime lord Jimmy Nunzio—a man used to calling the shots. A Machiavellian manipulator. A man like Mick himself in many ways. What this means for Mick is that he isn’t the alpha dog as he is with most of his clients, and he finds himself having to dance with Jimmy Nunzio, for control of the case.

 

 

 

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*What is your method of creating characters and how do you bring out their flaws?

            I create characters by outlining them only in very general terms and then placing them into the story—putting them under stress–and watching how their flaws appear. I remember reading once that stress and conflict reveal character; you only find out core character by putting someone to the test. So, I make sure that my protagonists, and my antagonists, too, are under real threat.

 

 

 

*Tell us about Mick’s wife, Piper.

            Piper’s evolution is an interesting one. When I wrote, “A Criminal Defense,” the first book in “The Philadelphia Legal Series,” I started out with the plan simply to make a two-dimensional “wife” character for the main protagonist, Mick. But whenever I wrote Piper into a scene, she asked for more, she told me “I have more to contribute here.” By the end of the book, Piper was a fully-formed character with her own agenda, secrets and fears. In “A Killer’s Alibi,” Piper plays an even more important role—as a driving force behind one of the two main plot lines. She really comes into her own. (And, spoiler alert, in the fourth book, which I’m finishing now (in which Mick is imprisoned on charges or murder), Piper becomes THE driving force in Mick’s defense team.

 

 

 

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*Is the innocence project she’s involved with commonplace in law firms today? Would her official position be an investigative attorney?

            Most law firms which do innocence project work do so under the auspices of, for example, the Pennsylvania Innocence Project. Larger law firms do have pro bono practices and some have attorneys devoted solely to pro bono work.

 

 

 

*What can you tell us about the kind of case Piper is taking?

            Piper is leading the charge on behalf of Darlene Dowd, a young woman who was convicted of killing her sexually abusive father fifteen years earlier. Piper learns there is exculpatory evidence the jury never heard and she has to go on a hunting expedition to find the woman who has that evidence. But the woman has secrets of her own, and has been in hiding for years. It takes all of Piper’s will and resourcefulness to win the woman over and see that Darlene gets a fair hearing in court. But nothing is black and white in my books and Piper has to pay a price.

 

 

 

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*Now for one of my favorite questions. What is justice?

            Justice is like pornography: difficult to define but you know it when you see it.  When something happens to a character (good or bad) and it feels right to you, that’s justice.  The character, of course, may disagree with you— fictional characters, like real people, believe they are good guys, whether they are or aren’t. Along these lines, a word to the wise: if someday you find yourself standing before St. Peter, the one thing you should never say is I want what’s coming to me.

 

 

 

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William L. Myers, Jr. is the No. 6 best-selling author for Amazon Kindle in 2017 for his debut novel, A Criminal Defense. That was the first in what has become the Philadelphia Legal Series. The third book in that series, A Killers Alibi debuts February 19, 2019.
A Killer’s Alibi has had rave early reviews including New York Times Bestselling author, Bill Lasher—

“William Myers’ riveting new novel is not just a crackerjack legal thriller, it is a wrenching portrayal of a whole range of farther-daughter relations, showing how they can damage, how they can nourish, how they go dangerously off track. A story not to be missed.”

Born in 1958 into a blue-collar family, Mr. Myers inherited a work-ethic that propelled him through college and into the Ivy League at The University of Pennsylvania School of Law. From there, Mr. Myers started his legal career in a Philadelphia-based mega defense firm. After ten years defending corporate America, he realized his heart wasn’t in it. So, with his career on the fast track to success–he gave it all up and started his own firm. It was time to start fighting for the common guy.

That was twenty-five years ago and since then, he has focused on representing railroad employees and other honest, hard-working people who have been injured by others. He has represented thousands of clients in his tenure and has become a highly-regarded litigation attorney up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

 

 

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Book Review: Mortal Fall by Christine Carbo

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Glacier Park Mystery #2

 

A wildlife biologist’s shocking death leads to chilling discoveries about a home for troubled teens in Christine Carbo’s haunting and compelling new crime novel set in the wilds of Glacier National Park.

Glacier National Park police officer Monty Harris knows that each summer at least one person—be it a reckless, arrogant climber or a distracted hiker—will meet tragedy in the park. But Paul “Wolfie” Sedgewick’s fatal fall from the sheer cliffs near Going-To-the-Sun Road is incomprehensible. Wolfie was an experienced and highly regarded wildlife biologist who knew all too well the perils that Glacier’s treacherous terrain presents—and how to avoid them.

The case, so close to home, has frayed park employee emotions. Yet calm and methodical lead investigator Monty senses in his gut that something isn’t right. So when whispers of irresponsibility or suicide emerge, tarnishing Wolfie’s reputation, Monty dedicates himself to uncovering the truth, for the sake of the man’s family and to satisfy his own persistent sense of unease.

Monty discovers that Wolfie’s zealous studies of Glacier’s mysterious, embattled wolverine population, so vital to park ecology, had met resistance, both local and federal. To muddy the waters further, a wilderness facility for rehabilitating troubled teens—one that Monty’s older brother attended—may have a disturbing connection to the case. As Monty delves further into an investigation that goes deeper than he ever imagined, he wrestles with the demons of his past, which lead back to harsh betrayals he thought he’d buried long ago.

 

 

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I love Christine Carbo’s writing! Glacier Park Mystery book 2, Mortal Fall was exceptional in every sense of the word. Carbo delivers great crime fiction book after book in this series. Not one but two mysterious bodies are discovered without a trace or hint. Glacier National Park police officer Monty Harris picks up the case and attempts to solve the crime? Or was it an accident? Great character development and arc in this one. A solid mystery with exceptional writing. Don’t miss it! There’s two more books in the seres so I trying desperately to catch up. The Weight of Night and A Sharp Solitude

 

 

 

Exceptional Special Unique Different Speedometer Measuring Level

 

 

 

Glacier Park Mystery Series

 

The Wild Inside

Mortal Fall

The Weight of Night

A Sharp Solitude

 

 

 

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Christine Carbo is the author of The Wild Inside, Mortal Fall, The Weight of Night, and A Sharp Solitude (all from Atria Books/Simon and Schuster) and a recipient of the Womens’ National Book Association Pinckley Prize, the Silver Falchion Award and the High Plains Book Award. After earning a pilot’s license, pursuing various adventures in Norway, and working a brief stint as a flight attendant, she got an MA in English and linguistics and taught college-level courses. She still teaches, in a vastly different realm, as the owner of a Pilates studio. A Florida native, she and her family live in Whitefish, Montana. Find out more at ChristineCarbo.com.

 

 

Mysteries, thrillers, authors, readers, true crime. Bring your voice. Make some noise in this year’s MYSTERY THRILLER WEEK May 13-24 2019.  #MTW2019 Spread the word.  Sign up to participate:  Participate in MTW 2019

 

 

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An Interview with Scott Bell Author of the Abel Yeager Thrillers

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Abel Yeager has settled into a life of domestic bliss with his lovely wife, Charlotte. He’s left the violence and bloodshed behind to concentrate on being a good father and husband. For their long-delayed honeymoon, Abel and Charlie take a Hawaiian cruise. They’re looking forward to hiking volcanoes and sightseeing, once they meet up with Victor “Por Que” Ruiz and his new love, Dr. Alexandra Lopez.

Their idyllic vacation explodes in violence when a group of Hawaiian separatists, incited by a foreign power, rip through the islands, leaving blood and destruction in their wake. When Charlie is caught up with a group of hostages held by the terrorists as human shields, Abel is forced back into warrior mode.

The Hawaiians are supported by a few dozen foreign special forces soldiers, modern gear, and plenty of munitions. Abel has the help of three septuagenarian Vietnam veteran Marines and his pal Victor. Outnumbered and outgunned, Abel will stop at nothing to rescue his wife.

 

Amazon | Goodreads

 

 

 

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*How do you introduce your story to readers in the first chapter?

The beginning of a novel involves three aspects: A character, in a setting, with a problem. (Credit to Monalisa Foster, who came up with the easy definition.) A character means someone with whom the reader can identify. (It doesn’t mean an entire backstory infodump.) A setting is an identifiable place, usually created with minimal brushstrokes, though sometimes more. A problem can be anything from a ticking bomb to a hangnail, and it is rarely the main story problem, though it can be.  I never want to drop an unknown actor into a blank screen and hope the reader will engage–even when starting with an action scene, that’s a recipe for a weak opener.

 

 

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*What comes first before you write a book? An idea, character, specific crime?

Characters are always first. They may not be fully fleshed out, and I may not have everyone’s foibles identified, but I have a general idea of who’s who in the zoo. Next comes the “what if”. What if a truck driving Marine veteran unknowingly picks up a load of cartel cash, which is diverted for delivery to a bookstore? And what if the bookstore is run by a spunky woman who carries a big pistol for protection? What might happen to these two folks if they were jammed together?

 

 

*How do you navigate writing a story without an outline?

Rewrites. Lots of rewrites. Diving into any store without an outline sometimes means I write myself into a corner, but I can’t write to outline. A story is too organic for me to follow a cookbook. Things change. Ideas occur. Characters may go sideways on me. Writing to an outline would be more efficient, but I would get bored and quit.

 

 

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*How do you create your characters?

I look for stereotypes, then I try to twist them up a little. Or I take real life people and exaggerate something in their nature I like, or dislike. The Male Main Character in my Sam Cable mystery series is a big guy with a Boy Scout complex, not always the brightest guy in the room, but a stalwart, straightforward, action-oriented kind of guy, and I juxtapose him with my FMC who’s a small woman with a high IQ and a smartass view of the world. I like to take these different dynamics and throw them in the blender and see what happens.

 

*What’s your experience like writing in first person?

It’s limiting in a lot of ways.  Everyone starts out with 1st person, as it seems natural to tell a story from the “I” perspective, then you quickly realize you’re limited to only the things your POV can sense. I switch POVs from first to third in some novels, which I find helps me jump out of the track and tell a broader, richer story. “They” say don’t do this, but hey. Sue me.

 

 

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*Who is Abel Yeager?

At the DNA-level, Abel is modeled on my paternal grandfather, an uneducated man who was brilliant with mechanical devices and worked with his hands. He was also rumored to have the “hardest fists in the county.” Abel is a sheepdog among the sheep. A protector and a warrior who is fiercely protective of his friends, and bad news to his enemies.

 

 

*Do your books have any thematic elements?

I’m big on the Average Joe theme. None of my characters are James Bond or Jack Reacher types, and they all struggle with day-to-day things like paying the bills. Typically you’ll find my Everyman and Everywoman people thrown into combustible situations and forced to do their best. They make mistakes. They struggle to do the right thing. Sometimes they have to grow to reach their potential.

 

 

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*Name three of the hardest aspects of writing.

1.) The middle. Beginnings are easy, endings are fun. Bridging the gap from the endorphin rush of a good beginning to the pulse-pounding climax takes discipline and work ethic.

 

2.) Plotting. Writing organically (not by outline) can mean scrapping whole sections of a novel. Figuring out how to get my character out of the corner I just wrote him into and keep the plot on track can be a challenge.

 

3.) Waiting. If you trad publish like me, there’s a cycle of waiting that happens with every book and every short story. Query, wait, submit, wait, lather, rinse, repeat.

 

And, just for fun…

 

4.) Reviews. Getting reviews, querying bloggers for reviews, reading reviews and not responding to, or slitting your wrists over, the bad ones…the whole review process is a pain. I typically get good reviews, and I stay in the 4-plus range on average for both Goodreads and Amazon, and yet a single bad review can rub a blister on my ass for days at a time.

 

 

 

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Scott Bell writes because that way he can daydream and claim it on his taxes. A Certified Fraud Examiner and professional Suburban Man, Scott has a wife, two grown kids, and at least one cat sleeping on his keyboard. (The cat, not the wife and kids. They have their own keyboards to sleep on.)

His works include the mystery/thrillers Yeager’s Law, Yeager’s Mission, and April’s Fool, along with the forthcoming Yeager’s Getaway and May Day. He has a Science Fiction novel out called Working Stiffs, and his short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and online publications.

 

 

Mysteries, thrillers, authors, readers, true crime. Bring your voice. Make some noise in this year’s MYSTERY THRILLER WEEK May 13-24 2019.  #MTW2019 Spread the word.  Sign up to participate:  Participate in MTW 2019

 

 

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An Interview with Morgan Summer Author of the Jean Stone Crime Series

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*What do you love most about mysteries and thrillers?

The edge of your seat feeling you get while reading through the pages to discover who done it.

 

*What’s it like writing your own?

Nerve wracking, but fun all at the same time using my imagination to bring my stories to life.

 

*How did you come up with the name Jean Stone for your story?

It came to me a few days after I began writing the book. Jean is my grandmother’s name, my mom’s middle name, and my mother in law’s name. I found out later that my grandmother’s last name, Raulston is derived from the ancestral version of Raulstone. It was meant to be.

 

 

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*Can you tell us a little more about the setting?

A small rural town in Texas at a local high school nestled in the piney woods. It has aspects of my hometown and many other places I lived around the state of Texas. Jean is a new high school science teacher who has found herself stuck in the middle of a mystery at Harmony High School.

 

 

 

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*Why did you choose an amateur sleuth?

Jean finds herself in the middle of a mystery. Utilizing her educational background in forensics, she is able to put her skills to use. It is a way for self-discovery, here she sharpens her skills and learns as she goes.

 

 

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*What makes her a good one?

Her passion, her desire for the truth and to save a student of hers from harm.

 

*What separates a decent mystery from a great one?

A decent mystery is either too slow in the story or not building enough anticipation to where it falls flat while a great one moves at a decent pace building up the momentum to knock your socks off!

 

*Who are your favorite mystery, crime writers?

Peter James, Patricia Cornwell, James Patterson

 

*What’s up next for you?

I have about 20 books outlined for the Jean Stone Crime Series, Book 2 is in storyboarding and Book 3 is in pre-production plus I am working on a young adult unnamed mystery series inspired by my daughter.

 

Thanks Morgan!

 

Mysteries, thrillers, authors, readers, true crime. Bring your voice. Make some noise in this year’s MYSTERY THRILLER WEEK May 13-24 2019.  #MTW2019 Spread the word.  Sign up to participate:  Participate in MTW 2019

 

 

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Blog Tour: Five Bloody Hearts by Joy Ellis

Winter sunrise over stream on the Lincolnshire Wolds

 

 

DETECTIVE MATT BALLARD’S LAST CASE MIGHT BE THE ONE THAT FINALLY BREAKS HIM.

Grace Repton, a beautiful older woman, walks into the police station to tell Matt she has information that could stop a murder. Her fiancé, the infamous serial killer Jeremy Reader, has told her that he has a disciple who is going to kill using Reader’s horrific methods.

Reader murdered five women and was finally brought to justice by Detective Ballard. Reader is safely imprisoned in a high security prison, and claiming to be a reformed man who wants to help the police.

But can Matt believe the serial killer or his peculiar wife to be? Can the love of a good woman really change a serial killer?

And the Fenland police also have another investigation on their hands. A Lithuanian migrant worker is found dead on the fens. There is no ID on him, but he has a Tree of Life tattoo. The third body to be found with this distinctive tattoo. Is this gang war or something even more sinister?

 

 

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CAN YOU TRUST A KILLER TO HELP STOP A KILLER?

The police are stretched to breaking point with multiple copycat murders. And Matt and his girlfriend Liz will fight for everything they care about in a heart-stopping conclusion that will have you on the edge of your seat.

 

 

The Setting

England’s rural fenland is a strange place, with its never-ending fields, winding tracks, and long straight droves (the old livestock routes) that lead to nowhere. The lonely lanes are flanked either side by deep drainage ditches and are, for a good part of the year, filled with tall, whispering reeds. Closer to the Wash, high seabanks form a barrier between river and marsh, and the richly fertile soil of the drained land. But when the mists come down, as they so often do, perspective is destroyed and all sense of direction lost, and then the fens become a rather frightening place of mystery and danger. Somewhere that you do not want to be at night.

 

 

 

Beautiful sunrise panoramic over Corfe Castle in Dorset England

 

 

This is the sequel to the #1 best-selling BEWARE THE PAST. Perfect for fans of Rachel Abbott, Robert Bryndza, Mel Sherratt, Angela Marsons, Colin Dexter, or Ruth Rendell.

A MYSTERY TO MAKE YOUR HEART RACE

 

Amazon | Goodreads |Website

 

 

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I loved this one. Five Bloody Hearts by Joy Ellis is definitely a gripping crime thriller. As I read, I pictured the scenes playing out in my  head as a movie. This would be a GREAT MOVIE. A brilliant, imaginative plot with good depth of character makes this one a winner. Joy Ellis is a good voice to have in crime fiction. The way she crafts scenes in her writing is superb. It captures the story and propels the reader until the end.

 

 

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ALSO BY JOY ELLIS

THE BEST-SELLING NIKKI GALENA SERIES
Book 1: CRIME ON THE FENS
Book 2: SHADOW OVER THE FENS
Book 3: HUNTED ON THE FENS
Book 4: KILLER ON THE FENS
Book 5: STALKER ON THE FENS
Book 6: CAPTIVE ON THE FENS
Book 7: BURIED ON THE FENS
Book 8: THIEVES ON THE FENS
Book 9: FIRE ON THE FENS

JACKMAN & EVANS
Book 1: THE MURDERER’S SON
Book 2: THEIR LOST DAUGHTERS
Book 3: THE FOURTH FRIEND
Book 4: THE GUILTY ONES
Book 5: THE STOLEN BOYS

DETECTIVE MATT BALLARD
Book 1: BEWARE THE PAST
Book 2: FIVE BLOODY HEARTS

STANDALONES
GUIDE STAR

 

 

 

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JOY ELLIS – Author Bio

“I was born in Kent but spent most of my working life in London and Surrey. I was an apprentice florist to Constance Spry Ltd, a prestigious Mayfair shop that throughout the sixties and seventies teemed with both royalty and ‘real’ celebrities. What an eye-opener for a working-class kid from the Garden of England! I swore then, probably whilst I was scrubbing the floor or making the tea, that I would have a shop of my own one day. It took until the early eighties, but I did it. Sadly the recession wiped us out, and I embarked on a series of weird and wonderful jobs; the last one being a bookshop manager. Surrounded by books all day, getting to order whatever you liked, and being paid for it! Oh bliss!

And now I live in a village in the Lincolnshire Fens with my partner, Jacqueline, and our two second generation Springer spaniels. I had been writing mysteries for years but never had the time to take it seriously. Now I can, and as my partner is a highly decorated retired police officer; my choice of genre was suddenly clear. I have set my crime thrillers here in the misty fens because I sincerely love the remoteness and airy beauty of the marshlands. This area is steeped in superstitions and lends itself so well to murder!”

 

 

Mysteries, thrillers, authors, readers, true crime. Bring your voice. Make some noise in this year’s MYSTERY THRILLER WEEK May 13-24 2019.  #MTW2019 Spread the word.  Sign up to participate:  Participate in MTW 2019

 

 

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