John David Bethel Discusses His Writing Process With No Immaculate Conceptions

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One month after his college graduation, Dean Eaton is writing speeches for presumptive presidential candidate, U.S. Senator Peter Dottier. Two months later, he is being pursued by a psychopath.

Dean Eaton is determined to make his own way after college. He wants to break away from the life paved for him by his parents. His first step is a week or so camping to clear his head and rejuvenate his spirit. What begins well ends with him witnessing the assassination of an undercover FBI agent. This brings Eaton into the orbit of Special Agent Steven Blanchard who convinces Dean to join him to bring down the deadly arms dealer who had the agent murdered. This partnership calls for Eaton to be placed on the staff of Senator Peter Dottier in order to track down a contact of the murdered FBI agent who, according to Blanchard, is a member of the senator’s staff.

As he struggles to learn and fit in to the confusing and often devious world of politics and public policy, Dean finds a mentor in his landlord, Ambassador Belmont Towbin, a respected eminence grise in Washington.

Throughout his learning process, Dean is also dealing with the dangers of his role identifying the contact. It soon becomes obvious that all is not as Blanchard has represented. Not even close. As Dean’s suspicions grow, Reisa Winston, Blanchard’s partner, reveals that he is the contact, and things go south from there.

No Immaculate Conceptions is a novel of politics and a study of the deadly ambitions of significant players in Washington who often use their power and positions for personal ends.

 

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Meet author John David Bethel a writer of fiction and non-fiction. He has been published in popular consumer magazines and respected political journals. He is the author of Evil Town, a novel of political intrigue, and Blood Moon, a psychological crime thriller inspired by a true story of kidnapping, torture, extortion and murder.

 

 

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Did you outline this book or was it more intuitive?

I don’t work from an outline.  I begin with a kernel of an idea and build on that foundation.  In the case of No Immaculate Conceptions that kernel was the main character’s camping trip during which he discovers a wounded, and soon to be dead, federal agent.  From there it’s off to Washington, where – one month after his college graduation – Dean Eaton is writing speeches for presumptive presidential candidate, U.S. Senator Peter Dottier.  Two months later, he is being pursued by a psychopath.

 

*Is your writing approach to every book the same?

Yes, and in the case of No Immaculate Conceptions, I set Dean down in Washington with Senator Dottier in order to track down a contact of the murdered FBI agent who, according to Dean’s FBI handler, is a member of the senator’s staff.

 

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*Where did the kernel of the idea for No Immaculate Conceptions begin?

From a daydream.  I was wondering how I would react in a situation where outside forces put my life in danger and I hadn’t a clue what they wanted.  That evolved into the initial plot-line for the novel whereby Dean is wandering around a lovely, pristine environment and realizes he is being followed, and then shot at.  This brings him into the orbit of FBI Special Agent Steven Blanchard who convinces Dean to join him to bring down the deadly arms dealer who had the agent murdered.

 

*Who is Dean Eaton and what motivates him?

Eaton is a child of privilege who has had all the advantages of life and wants to find his own way.  This has created in him not only a drive toward independence, but also the willingness to take chances, go out on a limb to gain new experiences.  In the novel, he goes so far out on that limb there is a high likelihood it will break off.

 

 

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*How do you create characters for your books?

There are authors who create back stories for their characters to understand how they will react as the plot advances.  My technique is to place the characters in the action and let that dictate the development of their personalities. It fits with the intuitive way I develop my novels.

 

*Name some struggles you had writing this book.  

Fortunately, I’ve not had struggles with writing any of my novels.  It sounds overly simplistic but I begin at the beginning and stop at the end.  The editing process often takes a good bit longer than does writing the original draft.  

 

 

 

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*No Immaculate Conceptions is lengthy book. Had you been writing this for a while, or did it just flow naturally?  

Once the kernel of the plot line was on paper (on the screen), things advanced naturally and fairly swiftly.  

There is the advice given to all writers to “write what you know.”  I know politics and I write about it. Perhaps that is one of the reasons I find the going easy when I put it all down.  I mine my experiences in Washington as a speechwriter and communications strategist – adding drama – and it all seems to work out.  

 

 

*Describe your mindset when you begin to write.

My wife tells me I go into a zone and it takes some prodding to get back into the present.  A “fugue state” perhaps describes it best.

 

 

*What kind of advice would you give to new writers?

Write because you enjoy the creative process, and believe in yourself.   

I’m often asked why I write and my answer is because I have to.  The urge to create has to be satisfied…as presumptuous as that sounds.

 

 

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Mr. Bethel spent 35 years in politics and government. He served in the Senior Executive Service as a political appointee where he was Senior Adviser/Director of Speechwriting for the Secretary of Commerce; directed speechwriting offices for other Cabinet officials, serving as Chief Speechwriter to the Secretary of Education; and lead speechwriter in the Department of Transportation’s Office of Policy and International Affairs. He also served as press secretary/speechwriter to members of U.S. Congress.

Mr. Bethel works as a media consultant for a number of prominent communications management firms. He writes speeches, opinion editorials and Congressional testimony for CEOs of the nation’s largest corporations, including the Hilton Hotels Corporation, and Royal Caribbean Lines. His op-ed pieces have appeared in The Washington Post and other prominent newspapers around the country.

David Bethel graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors from Tulane University and lives in Miami, Florida.

 

David Bethel is a writer of fiction and non-fiction.  He is the author of Evil Town and Blood Moon. www.johndavidbethel.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Livia Lone by Barry Eisler

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Seattle PD sex-crimes detective Livia Lone knows the monsters she hunts. Sold by her Thai parents along with her little sister, Nason; marooned in America; abused by the men who trafficked them…the only thing that kept Livia alive as a teenager was her determination to find Nason.

Livia has never stopped looking. And she copes with her failure to protect her sister by doing everything she can to put predators in prison.

Or, when that fails, by putting them in the ground.

But when a fresh lead offers new hope of finding Nason and the men who trafficked them both, Livia will have to go beyond just being a cop. Beyond even being a vigilante. She’ll have to relive the horrors of the past. Take on one of the most powerful men in the US government. And uncover a conspiracy of almost unimaginable evil.

In every way, it’s an unfair fight. But Livia has two advantages: her unending love for Nason—

And a lifelong lust for vengeance.

 

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HOLY GUACAMOLE. THAT. WAS. EPIC. 

This book is largely the making of Livia Lone, and how–what she has become.  I had many emotions while reading this. Anger, laughter, sadness, hope, fear. It has it all. Not many writers can invoke such a wide range of emotions in the same book. Especially with me. I almost cried, which is really saying something. There’s only been a handful of writers who actually made me cry. This was sooo close.

 

Barry Eisler takes an innocent young Thai girl, masters her worldview, and then puts you on the front row in the world of sex trafficking. Livia Lone is such a powerful character with an amazing story. She was robbed of her family, country, security, and the one thing she lived for–her sister, Nason. Strong character arc. Five stars. Enough said.

 

 

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LIVIA LONE SERIES

 

Livia Lone

The Night Trade

The Killer Collective

 

 

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Barry Eisler spent three years in a covert position with the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, then worked as a technology lawyer and startup executive in Silicon Valley and Japan, earning his black belt at the Kodokan International Judo Center along the way. Eisler’s bestselling thrillers have won the Barry Award and the Gumshoe Award for Best Thriller of the Year, have been included in numerous “Best Of” lists, and have been translated into nearly twenty languages. Eisler lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and, when he’s not writing novels, blogs about torture, civil liberties, and the rule of law.
–from the author’s website

 

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Blog Tour: Next Victim by Helen H. Durrant

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NEXT VICTIM by Helen H. Durrant

 

 

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MEET DETECTIVE RACHEL KING IN THIS BRILLIANT NEW CRIME SERIES.

DISCOVER A BRAND NEW MYSTERY FROM #1 BEST-SELLING AUTHOR HELEN H. DURRANT THAT WILL HAVE YOU GRIPPED FROM START TO NERVE-SHREDDING FINISH.

A young man’s body is found burnt and tortured by a Manchester canal.

Detective Rachel King investigates. But she has a secret, the love of her life is a well-known villain. He has recently come back on the scene. But what does he really want?

A brutal serial killer with a taste for good-looking young blonde men.

A student who believes she has a lost brother. But even her own father doesn’t believe her. She was involved with the first victim.

As the murders continue, can Rachel keep her family together and stop the killer?

 

 

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THE DETECTIVE

DCI Rachel King. Thirty-nine year-old mother of two teenage daughters. Divorced from Alan.  She lives in the Cheshire village of Poynton – about ten miles from central Manchester. She is good at her job, gets results but does make mistakes. One of them was getting involved with a budding villain in her teens. No one, family, friends or colleagues know anything about this.

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This is just great crime fiction. The victim. The body. The killer. The ensuing investigation. The demonstration of his M.O. and motivation for his work. I always enjoy when there’s a formidable antagonist in the mix. I prefer stories when the killer’s point of view is used early on versus later in the book. That, with detective Rachel King’s life creates a more powerful story. In other words, Helen Durrant knows how to deliver! I’m definitely  recommending this series.

 

 

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ALSO BY HELEN H. DURRANT

THE CALLADINE & BAYLISS MYSTERY SERIES

Book 1: DEAD WRONG

Book 2: DEAD SILENT

Book 3: DEAD LIST

Book 4: DEAD LOST

Book 5: DEAD & BURIED

Book 6: DEAD NASTY

Book 7: DEAD JEALOUS

 

THE DCI GRECO BOOKS

Book 1: DARK MURDER

Book 2: DARK HOUSES

Book 3: DARK TRADE

 

 

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HELEN H. DURRANT

OVER 700,000 books sold of her Calladine & Bayliss and DI Greco Series

I’m one of the ‘baby boomer’ generation. I was born in Edinburgh to an English father and Scottish mother. My father was from the North West of England and this was where the family settled.

I know the area well, both the good and the bad, and so I set my books here. Sitting between two counties, Lancashire and Yorkshire, and between the city and the hills, it offers a rich mix of the industrial and the countryside and all the character therein. I always planned to write crime novels — to create the characters in my books. Since my retirement from a busy teaching job in FE, this is what I’ve done — almost to exclusion of anything else!

I have a grown-up family and five grandchildren. They see me as something of an eccentric — always on my laptop writing away. Writing is something of a second career and, despite having a bus pass, keeps me busy, young and tuned in the world as it currently is.

 

 

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Blog Tour: Fat Chance by A.B. Morgan

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A missing barrister, a severed thumb and fat chance of finding out the truth.

Ella Fitzwilliam’s world is about to spiral out of control. She’s not cut out to be a private investigator. With little or no aptitude for the job, she’s been sent undercover to expose the hidden lives of two men who meet nearly every week at Buxham’s – a private members’ club where portions are large and secrets are held in strictest confidence.

One of those men is Harry Drysdale, a defence barrister, and the other is Marcus Carver, an eminent surgeon with a tarnished past and much to lose. Ella knows he has unhealthy appetites, she’s sure he’s feeding his perverted habits and putting his female patients at risk but she has to prove it.

When Harry Drysdale goes missing, Konrad Neale TV journalist tries to reveal the truth behind the lies, but some of the secrets start to reveal themselves… and they are big.

 

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I like A.B. Morgan’s writing style. Right away, she places you in the mindset of the character within the scene. Well established point of view characters make this an easy and entertaining read. Great suspense, mystery, intrigue, and well balanced writing.

 

 

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Alison Morgan author bio

 

Alison Morgan lives in rural Bedfordshire, UK, with her engineer husband and bonkers dog. Life is never boring and they are usually planning the next adventure. Alison spent several decades working on the front line of mental health services as a specialist nurse and latterly as manager of an early intervention service for first episode psychosis. However, when a heart problem brought her career to a juddering halt, she had to find a way of managing her own sanity, so she sat down to write some useful clinical guidelines for student nurses. Instead, a story that had been lurking in her mind came spewing forth onto the pages of what became her first novel. Since then she has been unable to stem the flow of ideas and writes full-time from a luxurious shack at the top of the garden. Alison writes under the name A B Morgan and. within her storylines, she continues to make good use of her years of experience in mental health services, where the truth is often much stranger than fiction.

 

www.abmorgan.co.uk

 

 

 

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Book Review: The Innocent by Taylor Stevens

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Vanessa Michael Munroe #2

 

Vanessa Michael Munroe—the fearless heroine of the New York Times bestseller The Informationist—returns in a gripping new thriller.

Eight years ago, five-year old Hannah was spirited out of school and into the closed world of a cult known as The Chosen. Ever since, followers of its leader have hidden the child and shielded her abductor. Now, childhood survivors of The Chosen who have escaped to make a life for themselves on the outside know here to find Hannah and turn to Vanessa Michael Munroe for help. Munroe reluctantly takes the job, and travels to Buenos Aires to infiltrate the cult and save the girl. Inducted in to a world unlike anything she has faced before, Munroe must navigate unpredictable members and their dangerous cohorts, the impatient survivors who hired her, and the struggle against her own increasingly violent nature so she can rescue the child before the window of opportunity closes and Hannah is lost forever.

Now with an excerpt from the latest Vanessa Michael Munroe novel, The Catch

 

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Taylor Stevens has mastered the voice of sensational protagonist Vanessa Michael Munroe, but in this second installment of the series, it isn’t just her story.  The story also is that of close confidant, Miles Bradford, Logan, and an innocent kidnapped girl named Hannah.

The story is told through point of view characters Munroe and Bradford. Throughout the story you get a “beneath the hood” intrinsic view of each one, what motivates them, critical backstory, and how they understand each other. So basically it’s a revelation of character on many fronts, which should be a given in any book, but especially so in this one.

Taylor Stevens takes you deep into character with a stylistic prose that places you right on the scene. I found myself lost within this story–and that’s exactly where I want to be.

 

 

 

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Vanessa Michael Munroe Series

The Informantionist

The Innocent

The Doll

The Vessel

The Catch

The Mask

 

Also…Check out Liar’s Paradox released December 18, 2018.

 

 

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Liars’ Paradox is hands-down the best thriller I’ve read this year. Original, cunning, smart, riveting and relentless; with complex characters, pitch-perfect pacing, and high tension from page one to the end that begs for a movie treatment. Taylor Stevens has catapulted herself to the top of my favorite authors, right up there with Lisa Gardner and Lee Child.”
—Allison BrennanNew York Times Bestselling Author of the Max Revere novels

Liars’ Paradox is pulse-pounding thriller in the vein of Nelson DeMille’s The Charm School. Taylor Stevens weaves a web of betrayal and intrigue that kept me flipping pages, blew me away, and left me hungry for her next release!”
—Mark Greaney, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of Mission Critical

 

 

A master of international intrigue, New York Times bestselling author Taylor Stevens introduces a pair of wild cards into the global spy game—a brother and sister who were raised to deceive—and trained to kill . . .

They live in the shadows, Jack and Jill, feuding twins who can never stop running. From earliest memory they’ve been taught to hide, to hunt, to survive. Their prowess is outdone only by Clare, who has always been mentor first and mother second. She trained them in the art of espionage, tested their skills in weaponry, surveillance, and sabotage, and sharpened their minds with nerve-wracking psychological games. As they grew older they came to question her motives, her methods—and her sanity . . .

Now twenty-six years old, the twins are trying to lead normal lives. But when Clare’s off-the-grid safehouse explodes and she goes missing, they’re forced to believe the unthinkable: Their mother’s paranoid delusions have been real all along. To find her, they’ll need to set aside their differences; to survive, they’ll have to draw on every skill she’s trained them to use. A twisted trail leads from the CIA, to the KGB, to an underground network of global assassins where hunters become the hunted. Everyone, it seems, wants them dead—and, for one of the twins, it’s a threat that’s frighteningly familiar and dangerously close to home . . .

Filled with explosive action, suspense, and powerful human drama, Liars’ Paradox is world-class intrigue at its finest.

 

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Book Review: The Burning Men by Steve Parker

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THE BURNING MEN by Steve Parker 

Discover a crime thriller full of shocking twists by one of the most exciting new authors you’ll read this year.

A MAN IS BURNT AT THE STAKE IN A LONDON PARK. HIS SMOULDERING CORPSE IS A MESSAGE OF THE MOST VIOLENT KIND.

The man burnt alive is Davey Caine. He is the heir to the criminal empire created by his father, William ‘Billy’ Caine. Billy is a notorious and violent gangster with total control of South East London. But he’s not the man he used to be and the sharks smell blood in the water.

Detectives Ray Paterson and Johnny Clocks must find the killer before Billy extracts his own brand of justice. They find themselves drawn ever deeper into London’s underworld.

The streets explode into violence and the body count rises. Men are shot and burned alive in a tit-for-tat power struggle between rival gangs.

Detectives Ray Paterson and Johnny Clocks find themselves trying to control men of extreme viciousness. Men who have no fear of the law and its consequences and who are unafraid to kill anyone who stands in their way — including police detectives.

Paterson is stunned when he’s offered the chance to stop the conflict dead in its tracks. If he ignores it, the mayhem continues. If he takes it, there will be a price to pay.

What he doesn’t know is that the price will come with hidden and devastating consequences.

ON THE STREETS OF LONDON, A SIMMERING GANG WAR IS ABOUT TO ERUPT WITH PATERSON AND CLOCKS CAUGHT RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE.

This is the third in a series of action-packed, edge-of-your-seat crime thrillers, with an ending that will have your heart in your mouth.

Perfect for fans of Kimberley Chambers, Damien Boyd, Rachel Abbott, Patricia Gibney or Martina Cole.

Detective Superintendent Ray Paterson is a young and (thanks to family money) wealthy womaniser, separated from his model wife and tipped to be the youngest ever commissioner of police. He knows he’s weak when it comes to practical policing and struggles to find a place among his peers, desperate to be a good policeman and not just a ‘climber’.

Detective Inspector Johnny Clocks is a foul-mouthed, working-class officer. He grew up surrounded by rogues and villains to become a first-class thief taker with the Met police. However, his childish attitude has short-circuited his career and he spends his days antagonising as many people as he can.
 
THE AUTHOR

Steve Parker is a retired police officer who served for 20 years in numerous high-profiles squads.

THE SETTING
Bermondsey is an area of London nestled on the banks of the River Thames. It once had a reputation for housing more armed robbers, murderers and career criminals than anywhere else in the country. Now one of the most upmarket places to live and work in London, it has all but severed itself from its working-class roots. Home to the iconic Tower Bridge and crammed with expensive apartments, art galleries, fancy restaurants and famous residents. But for the police, those who truly know, Bermondsey never lost its roots . . . or its reputation.

DETECTIVE RAY PATERSON
Book 1: THEIR LAST WORDS
Book 2: THE LOST CHILDREN
Book 3: THE BURNING MEN

 

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This one was definitely a page turner! Detectives Ray Paterson and Johnny Clocks are quite a pair! I love how Steve Parker has created these characters and put them in the midst of a stellar plot. I can’t say this about every book, but it was so easy to get lost in pages to find out what happens next. A gripping crime. Hidden messages. Gangsters in London’s underworld–This was quite a surprise!

 

 

 

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Book Review: Hard Road by J.B. Turner

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Jon Reznick is a “ghost”: a black-ops specialist who takes his orders from shadowy handlers, and his salary from the US government. Still mourning the loss of his beloved wife on 9/11, he’s dispatched to carry out a high-level hit. Reznick knows only that it must look like suicide. It’s textbook.

But the target is not the man Reznick expected. The whole setup is wrong. In an instant the operation is compromised, and Reznick is on the run with the man he was sent to kill. A man wanted by the FBI, and by a mysterious terrorist organization hell-bent on bringing the United States to its knees. FBI Assistant Director Martha Meyerstein is determined to track him down, and to intercept whatever it is Reznick was sent to do.

When Reznick’s young daughter becomes a pawn in the game, he has to use more than his military training to stay one step ahead of those responsible. Meanwhile, he is the only person who knows the true extent of the threat to national security—and has the stealth and determination to stop it.

 

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J.B. Turner introduces us to Jon Reznick in this blockbuster series beginning with Hard Road. Reznick, a black ops specialist assassin is sent on a hit but nothing feels right. He soon realizes his handler sent him to the wrong target. But why? I’m completely enthralled by this series on every level. J.B. Turner writes a tight thriller that doesn’t let up from page one. The action, level of tension, intrigue, characters are off the charts good. I love this kind of thriller!

 

 

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J.B. Turner is a former journalist and now #1 international bestselling author. He is best known for the Jon Reznick® series of action thrillers. His latest book, Reckoning (Thomas & Mercer), was published on 2 August 2018. His influences and favorite authors include: James Ellroy, Richard Stark, Hunter S. Thompson, James Lee Burke, George Orwell, Jack Kerouac, Henry James, Harlan Coben, Thomas H. Cook, John Grisham, James Patterson, John Buchan, John Grisham, and Michael Connelly.

His latest book is the second in the American Ghost® series of action thrillers. The new series features protagonist Nathan Stone, a former CIA covert operative who had been critically wounded, and everyone thought was dead. But behind closed doors, he was rehabilitated by a highly secretive government organization known as the Commission, given a new identity and appearance, and remoulded into a lethal assassin. His brief: to execute kill orders drawn up by the Commission, all in the name of national security. The Commission owns him, but Stone knows one wrong move could turn him from loyal asset to hunted man.

He wrote the Jon Reznick novella, Gone Bad (No Way Back Press), and the Deborah Jones crime thrillers, Miami Requiem (No Way Back Press) and Dark Waters (No Way Back Press).

His books have conspiratorial elements and themes throughout them. His work can often be described as thrillers; his books cover sub-genre categories including assassination thriller, suspense thriller, political thriller, crime fiction, military thriller, and, in the case of the Deborah Jones books, mysteries.

He has a keen interest in geo-politics.

He loves music and drinks dangerous levels of coffee (and a fair bit of red wine). He occasionally blogs. He listens to everything from Beethoven to The Beatles, The Cure to Bach. And everything in between. Occasionally writes. Loves films. Well, good ones. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Parallax View, The Conversation, Heat, The Godfather, The Offence, Goodfellas, The French Connection, Payback, It’s a Wonderful Life, Manhattan, Annie Hall, Sideways, As Good As It Gets, Wonder Boys, The Deer Hunter, All the President’s Men, Silver Linings Playbook, Babette’s Feast, and a personal fave, Animal House (what’s not to like?).

He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is married with two children.

He is represented by Mark Gottlieb of Trident Media Group, New York.

 

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Book Review: Close to the Bone by Kendra Elliot

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Widow’s Island Novella book 1

 

FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde is back home on a remote Pacific Northwest island when she gets the call: a teenager’s skeletal remains have been found on a nearby island.

Together with Tessa Black, a childhood friend turned local deputy, Cate confronts dreary weather and bleak leads to make sense of the death. The complications pile up as Cate is distracted by the coroner on the case—and by nagging memories that draw her twenty years into the past. The remains suggest eerie similarities between this victim, and Cate and Tessa’s friend Samantha, who disappeared when she was fourteen.

Cate finds herself up against closemouthed locals, buried town secrets, and even her own heart. As the case unravels, will she be able to cut through the fog and find justice for the missing and the dead.

 

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Bestselling author Kendra Elliot kicks off a great beginning to the Widow’s Island series! This was so well written it didn’t really seem like a novella. It had all the necessary elements of a full novel complete with mystery, suspense, crime, character, and a touch of romance. I thought the idea for the Widow’s Island setting was genius; the culture, secrets, history of families, it made the story very appealing.

 

See my review of the Audiobook & Narrator Performance: Close to the Bone

 

 

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Kendra Elliot has sold over 5.5 million books, hit the Wall Street Journal top ten bestseller list seven times, and is a three time winner of the Daphne du Maurier award.

Her 2017 release, A MERCIFUL DEATH, was a #1 Amazon overall bestseller and has been optioned for TV by Warner Brothers Television and Ellen Degeneres’s A Very Good Production.

She is an International Thriller Writers’ finalist and a Romantic Times finalist. She grew up in the lush Pacific Northwest and still lives there with her family, three cats, and two Pomeranians. She’s always been fascinated with forensics, refuses to eat anything green, and can’t wait to wear flip flops every day.

 

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Book Review: Patient Zero (Joe Ledger #1)

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When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there’s either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills… and there’s nothing wrong with Joe Ledger’s skills. And that’s both a good, and a bad thing. It’s good because he’s a Baltimore detective that has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new taskforce created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can’t handle. This rapid response group is called the Department of Military Sciences or the DMS for short. It’s bad because his first mission is to help stop a group of terrorists from releasing a dreadful bio-weapon that can turn ordinary people into zombies. The fate of the world hangs in the balance…

 

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REVIEW

 

 

 

Holy mackerel, Jonathan Maberry is the real deal! One of the best books I’ve read this year (First published March 3, 2009). This is one of the those books that grip you from the first page and won’t let go until you finish it. I haven’t even  heard of Maberry until a few weeks ago. Don’t you love it when you find a great author? YES. Rich and entertaining cast of characters. A thrilling blockbuster plot. Enough action and tension for two books. What else could you ask for? This is a well written unique kind of thriller that I love. Kudos Maberry.

 

 

 

Five Gold Stars

 

 

 

 

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JONATHAN MABERRY is a New York Times best-selling and five-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author, anthology editor, comic book writer, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer. He was named one of the Today’s Top Ten Horror Writers. His books have been sold to more than two-dozen countries.

He writes in several genres. His young adult fiction includes ROT & RUIN (2011; was named in Booklist’s Ten Best Horror Novels for Young Adults, an American Library Association Top Pick, a Bram Stoker and Pennsylvania Keystone to Reading winner; winner of several state Teen Book Awards including the Cricket, Nutmeg and MASL; winner of the Cybils Award, the Eva Perry Mock Printz medal, Dead Letter Best Novel Award, and four Melinda Awards); DUST & DECAY (winner of the 2011 Bram Stoker Award; FLESH & BONE (winner of the Bram Stoker Award; 2012; and FIRE & ASH (August 2013). BROKEN LANDS, the first of a new spin-off series, debuts in 2018.

His thrillers include The Joe Ledger Thrillers from St. Martin’s Griffin (PATIENT ZERO, 2009, winner of the Black Quill and a Bram Stoker Award finalist for Best Novel; EXTINCTION MACHINE, (2013; now in development for TV by SONY); PREDATOR ONE, and others. His first middle grade novel, THE NIGHTSIDERS BOOK 1: THE ORPHAN ARMY, was named one the 100 Best Books for Children 2015, with a sequel, VAULT OF SHADOWS debuting this year from Simon & Schuster. His standalone teen science fiction novel, MARS ONE, is in development for film by Zucker Productions and Lone Tree Entertainment. His upcoming standalone suspense novel, GLIMPSE, has gotten advance praise from Clive Barker, Scott Smith, James Rollins, Heather Graham and Charlaine Harris.

His horror novels include The Pine Deep Trilogy from Pinnacle Books (GHOST ROAD BLUES, 2006, winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel and named one of the 25 Best Horror Novels of the New Millennium; DEAD MAN’S SONG, 2007; and BAD MOON RISING, 2008), as well as DEAD OF NIGHT, 2011 (named one of the 25 Best Horror Novels of the New Millennium) and its sequel, FALL OF NIGHT, 2014. He also wrote the movie novelization, THE WOLFMAN, 2010, winner of the Scribe Award for Best Adaptation; and DEADLANDS: GHOSTWALKERS, an original novel inspired by the million-copy-selling role-playing game. He has also written the foreword to a new annotated edition of DRACULA from Writers Digest Books.

Jonathan and colleague #1 NY Times bestseller Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures) each wrote an X-FILES ORIGINS novel for teens; with Kami focusing on Fox Mulder in AGENT OF CHAOS; and Jonathan telling the backstory of young Dana Scully in DEVIL’S ADVOCATE.

Jonathan is the creator, editor and co-author of V-WARS, a shared-world vampire anthology from IDW, and its sequels, V-WARS: BLOOD AND FIRE, V-WARS: NIGHT TERRORS, and V-WARS. And he writes a best-selling monthly V-WARS comic. A board game version of V-Wars was released in 2017; and the series is in development for TV by IDW Media.

He is also the editor of the dark fantasy anthology series, OUT OF TUNE (JournalStone), a series of THE X-FILES anthologies which launched in 2015; SCARY OUT THERE, an anthology of horror for teens; and the anthologies ALIENS: BUG HUNT, NIGHTS OF THE LIVING DEAD (with George Romero), JOE LEDGER UNSTOPPABLE (with Bryan Thomas Schmidt) and two volumes of mysteries: ALTERNATE SHERLOCKS and THE GAME’S AFOOT (with Michael Ventrella).

Jonathan was an expert on the History Channel documentary series, ZOMBIES: A Living History and TRUE MONSTERS. And he was participated in the commentary tracks for NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: REANIMATED.

 

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Awesome

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: FIELD OF VALOR by Matthew Betley

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Set in the aftermath of Betley’s “machine-gun pace” (BooklistOath of Honor and the discovery of a deadly global conspiracy, the president requests Logan West to form a covert task force with the mission to dismantle a nameless enemy.

With the full resources of the Justice Department, Intelligence Community, and the military (not to mention presidential pardons pre-signed), Logan must battle a secret organization with the connections and funding to rival many first-world nations. The goal of this organization is both singular and sinister—to pit the United States against China in a bid to dismantle the world’s security and economy. Back on US soil, Logan and his task force pursue the elusive foe from the woods of northern Virginia to the banks of the Chesapeake Bay, from suburban Maryland across the urban sprawl of Washington DC. The stakes have never been higher for Logan or America itself…

 

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VALOR IS FREEDOM

 

 

 

 

“Betley has quietly become an important new voice in the covert-thriller genre.” (Booklist)

“The action in Betley’s superb thrillers can come from every direction at the pace of a firefight, sweeping you from Iraq to Mexico to Africa to the corridors of power in DC. A former Marine, Betley writes with the authority of an insider who understands this world intimately, just as he knows his compelling and troubled hero, Logan West. A welcome new star!” (Peter Heller, New York Times bestselling author of THE DOG STARS)

“Suspenseful, inventive, and relentless, FIELD OF VALOR unfolds at lightning pace. The action rings with authenticity. The story brims with twists, intrigue, and secrets that will keep readers turning pages.”  (Meg Gardiner, New York Times bestselling author of INTO THE BLACK NOWHERE )

“In Field of Valor, make sure you strap in tight! Like the best rides in a theme park, this one starts FAST, and while your heart rate may occasionally approach ‘normal,’ it never truly does…and you’ll love it! Betley’s pacing, language, and presentation of situations sing the true, real notes of one who has been there. Logan West uses his considerable intelligence and fortitude to conquer the challenges presented. If you haven’t discovered Matthew Betley before, congratulate yourself for doing so now!” (Charles Davis, Fox Sports NFL Sunday Announcer & Analyst, John Madden Video Game Announcer )

“Fast, hard-hitting, and impossible to put down, FIELD OF VALOR is hands-down one of the best action thrillers hitting bookstores in 2018.” (The Real Book Spy )

 

 

 

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Better, than expected.

 

I admit this was my first tap into Matthew Betley’s blockbuster series with Field of Valor. It was definitely better than I expected it too be. I’m not sure what I expected, but exceeded whatever was in my brain! Excellent. The crafting of the scenes, including the fighting, settings, and action were off the charts. All I could say was, DAMN, that was good. It’s that kind of thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat and leaves you full when you’re done. The plot to stop a global conspiracy with the lethality, resources, and resolve that rival our own military make this a homerun. In fact, it seems like the conspiracy gets deeper and deeper as the book goes along. I jumped into this series with Field of Valor, so have to go back and devour the first two books. Overwatch and Oath of Honor. So I’ll be ready for book 4 when it comes out early next year!

 

 

 

Five Gold Stars

 

 

 

 

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Matthew Betley grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, which he considers home after his family moved there from New Jersey, where he was born and which also explains his affinity for the New York Yankees. He attended St. Xavier High School and then Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he graduated with a B.A. in psychology and minors in political science and sociology. He also spent the first semester of senior year investigating felony murder cases as an intern investigator in Washington, D.C., for the Public Defender’s Office, a formative experience that provided countless stories that could fill the pages of a non-fiction book. Upon graduation, he worked in corporate America for five years in Cincinnati before joining the Marine Corps in 1999.

Matt spent ten years as a Marine officer and was trained as a scout sniper platoon commander, an infantry officer, and a ground intelligence officer. His experiences include deployments to Djibouti after 9/11, and Fallujah, Iraq, prior to the surge, both in staff officer support billets.

Finally, and most importantly, Matt is a recovering alcoholic with nearly eight years of sobriety. He credits the Marine Corps with providing a foundation in discipline and personal accountability for his desire to initially seek help. Matt is open and direct about it and has spoken in front of large groups of people with one clear message – if he can get sober, so can anyone. He credits his recovery with providing the authenticity for Logan West’s struggle with his inner demons.

 

 

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