June Book Reviews, Part Two

I’m back again with the second half of my reviews for June. If you missed part one, you can find it here. Summer is a huge reading time for me, with pool season the perfect opportunity to float on a raft with a paperback or my Kindle (have to be extra careful it doesn’t fall in the drink). These are the books that rounded out the second half of the month for me. To read the official blurbs and learn more about each, just click the Amazon link below each review.

book cover for Primal Waters by Steve Allen shows diver in scuba gear about to be swallowed in the open mouth of a mammoth sharkMeg: Primal Waters
By Steve Alten

Book three in the Meg series launches with an intriguing premise. It has been eighteen years since Jonas Taylor last crossed paths with a colossal Carcharodon megalodon, a.k.a. “Jurassic shark.” At sixty-four, he’s the father of a soon-to-be eighteen-year-old daughter and a slightly younger son. Along with his wife, Terry, he’s juggling family and mounting bills, when he gets an offer he can’t refuse—doing commentary on a reality TV survival show called Daredevils.Taking the job means going to sea for six weeks, his daughter in tow, along with a film crew and an adrenalin-fueled cast of thrill seekers. But all is not on the level, and there is more than one Meg haunting the Pacific, presenting separate challenges for each member of the Taylor family.

Once again Alten knows how to ramp up the excitement. The book starts off with a slow burn, the reader knowing there is more behind the Daredevils offer than meets the eye.

There are also plenty of opportunities for various Megs to answer the dinner bell. The Daredevil characters—good and bad—are all well drawn, and the reality TV angle adds a great edge. I particularly loved when Jonas intentionally flubs the name of the show’s airhead host after she repeatedly goofs his. Small things like this add flavor to the book, especially given the high-octane action scenes. I do wish Jonas and Terry weren’t always fighting off unwanted sexual advances (a theme in the last two books), but those small distractions aside, this is summer popcorn reading at its best. More than one Meg invades the Pacific. Give those sharks 5 stars!

Amazon Link
Genre: Suspense Action Fiction > Sea Adventures Fiction > Fantasy Adventure Fiction


Book cover for Red Eyes in the Darkness bu D.L.Finn shows a wash of black and grays with tree branchesRed Eyes in the Darkness
By D.L. Finn

This is another entry in the author’s evildwel series, which addresses the balance of good and evil across mortal and supernatural realms.  Retirees Will and Cass, along with their two dogs have a comfortable life—until murder hits close to home, and they suddenly find themselves the prime suspects.

Finn does a great job building tension with “It” watching and stalking them, their own daughters falling into the mindset of suspicion “It” has orchestrated.

This is a short story rife with tension that steadily builds as Cass, then Will, come to realize the evil which has infiltrated their lives. I didn’t expect the twist at the end. On a side note, I love how the author always includes pets in her stories, crafting yet another aspect that makes her characters feel like neighbors. 5 stars

Amazon Link
Genre: Paranormal and Urban Fantasy > Short Stories


Book cover for The Sheriff Meets His Match by Jacquie Biggar shows man huge red stiletto high heeled shoe with man in jeans and untucked shirt leaning against heel, with arms crossedThe Sheriff Meets His Match
By Jacquie Biggar

After reading Summer Lovin’, part of Biggar’s Wounded Heart series set in the fictional town of Tidal Falls, I immediately wanted to read The Sheriff Meets His Match which tells the story of Jack and Laurel, hinted about in Summer Lovin’. Laurel is a transplant from the sunshine state of Florida who takes the job of secretary to Tidal Falls hunky sheriff. Their attraction is quick and flirty, but complications arrive in the form of Laurel’s charismatic Uncle Max, and her cousin’s lowlife ex-husband.

As guaranteed in any Biggar novel there is plenty of heartwarming moments, including Laurel bounding with Jack’s teenage daughter, and the introduction of a cuddly lost kitten. Every time I read one of these novels, I am amazed by how effortlessly Biggar brings her characters to life with spot-on POV, snappy dialogue, and fleshed out descriptions. This is an author who knows how to set a stage for maximum effect. Each and every book screams “Hallmark movie.” 5 stars!

Amazon Link
Genre: Holiday Romance > Short Stories


Book cover for To Hunt a Sub by Jacqui Murray shows submarine breaking water with focus on large conning towerTo Hunt a Sub
By Jacqui Murray

Wow! This book delivers a complex mix of academia, covert ops, terrorist plots, and artificial intelligence. Once started, I couldn’t stop reading. Murray populates her espionage tale with a roster of characters that include an ex-Navy SEAL–now college professor–two brilliant grad students, an eccentric mathematician, and a Middle Eastern terrorist with deep pockets to name just a few of the highly diverse cast.

Kali Delamagente has invented an AI to track the evolution of prehistoric man. But “Otto” is capable of much more. In the wrong hands, Kali’s cutting-edge technology can decimate U.S. submarines. She attracts the attention of a mysterious unseen donor who funds her research, as well the FBI. Enter Dr. Zeke Rowe, ex-SEAL and Navy Intel officer who pursued a career in academia after a failed mission left him with permanent injuries.

Working together, Delamagente and Rowe struggle to remain one step ahead of a terrorist network that has infiltrated most every aspect of Kali’s life. Friends and colleagues are not always who they seem. As the stakes grow higher, Kali’s lab is broken into, her dog vanishes, a new friend is abducted, and her son is kidnapped. The book rockets to an explosive end, but the journey there is alternately a slow burn and a roller coaster of twists and turns.

The research that obviously went into the book—from the origins of prehistoric man, to the workings of submarines, intelligence agencies, and military protocol—is mind-boggling. I’ve already purchased book two of the Delamagente/Rowe espionage thrillers and look forward to three when it is released. 5 Whopping big stars!

Amazon Link
Genre: Technothrillers > Action Thrillers


And that rounds out my June reading. I hope something I’ve shared intrigues you. I’ve already got my nose buried in July books and look forward to discovering more titles. I love when I find new authors to add to my auto-buy list and discover fresh gems from authors I love. Here’s hoping your reading is every bit as inspired and satisfying!

 

The Detective, An Excerpt from Unclear Purposes by Joan Hall #RomanticSuspense #Mystery

Exciting times! I’m  thrilled to have my friend, Joan Hall, as my guest today. She’s brought along a fabulous excerpt from her new release, Unclear Purposes. I’m particularly fond of this excerpt because of the featured character. Joan handled him extremely well throughout the book, setting a stage for growth that I found fascinating—just one of the excellent elements in her superb novel. You can find my five start review of Unclear Purposes on Book Bub. And now here’s Joan with her latest release . . .

Mae, it’s an honor to be on your site today and to share about my latest release, Unclear Purposes¸the third and final in the Driscoll Lake Series.

To give your readers a bit of background, there’s a killer on the loose. Driscoll Lake’s new detective, Jason Montgomery, is tasked with solving the crime. But Jason is young, inexperienced, and a bit arrogant. He hasn’t gotten off to a good start with the police chief, Matt Bradford. Let’s get to know Jason a little better and hear his thoughts about the crime.

Book cover for Unclear Purposes by Joan Hall on banner ad /graphic with text from the novel

Jason Montgomery rubbed his forehead as he looked through the file on his desk. Three weeks had passed since the murder of Jenny Allen, and he still wasn’t close to finding her killer. Chief Bradford wanted to meet with him this afternoon to discuss the case, and he wasn’t looking forward to it. If he had even one new piece of evidence, he might feel differently.

Jenny Allen was an enigma. Nothing about her past gave him any clues as to who murdered her. He’d spoken to people who knew Jenny in Taos, Santa Fe, and San Antonio. No one had been able to provide anything that would point him to her killer.

Everyone he’d spoken with said Jenny was quiet and kept to herself. Wasn’t one to make enemies. Jason was beginning to believe the killing had been a random act. Same as the murder in Brewster. He’d kept in close contact with detective Somers.

So far, Brewster police hadn’t come up with a suspect. That was a good thing. If these murders were the work of a serial killer, which was yet to be determined, Jason wanted to be the one to solve the crime. What better way to get in Matt’s good graces and secure his position on the force? And that was only the stepping stone to bigger and better things.

As he looked at the file, another issue came to mind. How was Jenny’s killer able to escape unnoticed? No one who had been jogging that evening reported seeing anything suspicious. Vince Green and Christine Lawrence approached the crime scene from opposite directions. Neither of them saw anyone along the path.

The coroner estimated the victim had only been dead a short time before they found the body. There were no footsteps in the soft earth alongside the path, which meant the murderer had either walked or run at least a short distance along the paved trail.

Christine or Vince might have seen something or someone and had blotted it from their memory. Jason knew of instances where it had happened. The shock of witnessing a brutal crime or being the first on the scene was overwhelming for some people.

If that were the case, he’d be willing to bet Christine was the one who had forgotten. Vince Green was a former law enforcement officer. Trained to be observant. He would notice things most people would overlook.

It was time to have another talk with Ms. Lawrence.

Book cover for Unclear uses shows setting sun reflecting off lake, dark tree line in background, ghost outline of woman's head and shoulders in foreground

Blurb:

Some people take secrets to the grave…

Three years after her husband’s murder, Christine Lawrence still struggles for balance. She has a rewarding career and a close circle of friends but feels oddly unfulfilled. Worse, the close relationship she once had with her teenage daughter has grown increasingly strained.

Former FBI agent, Vince Green, is battling demons of his own—painful secrets that drove him from Driscoll Lake. Newly resettled in the small town, he makes his living as a private investigator.

When Vince and Christine cross paths, stumbling over the body of a murder victim, he’s forced to confront memories he thought long buried. The circumstances surrounding the killing are eerily similar to a victim from his past.

As the body count continues to rise, Christine finds herself drawn to Vince. With a murderer stalking the streets of Driscoll Lake, neither is aware the killer has targeted her as the next victim—or that Vince’s past is key to unmasking a disturbed and deadly killer.

Universal Purchase Link

Bio box for author Joan Hall

Website and Social Media Links:

Website   |  Goodreads  | Twitter   |  Facebook   |   Pinterest   | Instagram   |   BookBub

 

Tangled Roots by Denise D. Young #FantasyRomance

I have a first time guest on the blog today and I hope you’ll make her few welcome. Denise D. Young is here with her debut release, Tangled Roots, a fantasy romance.  Any new release is cause for excitement, but a debut release is extra special. Here’s Denise to tell you about her book and what first attracted her to her chosen genre.

P.S….don’t forget to check out her giveaway below!


Thanks, Mae, for hosting me as I celebrate Tangled Roots, Book 1 of my Tangled Magic Series and my debut fantasy romance!

Language, for me, is a conduit for magic. And we don’t have to believe in “magic” in the witchy sense to feel that magic coursing through us when we read—or write—a captivating story.

As a writer and a reader, that’s what draws me to the page. I poured that heart, that love, that magic, into every word of Tangled Roots.

I fell in love with romance novels a long time ago, when I used to steal my mom’s Harlequins. There were plenty of contemporary romances, a whole lot of westerns, and a healthy dose of romantic suspense.

The story that stuck with me most, however, was a time-slip about a man and woman who had plenty of sparks—and the misfortune of being transported back in time, where they had to pretend to be husband and wife. I don’t remember the title, the author, or much else, except that there was a magic to that story that I’ll never forget.

That author, whoever they might be, gave me my first glimpse of fantasy and paranormal romance. Perhaps, it’s only fitting then, that there’s a time-slip element in my story!

Tangled Roots

The first in a new series.

A witch lost in time. A man with magic in his blood and a chip on his shoulder. Dark secrets and shadowy magic. Steamy romance meets contemporary fantasy with a time slip in the first book of this new series.

Cassie Gearhart casts a spell in the forest in the summer of 1974. The next thing she knows, she wakes up to find the world irrevocably changed.

It’s 2019, for one thing. For another, all of her coven members have vanished, leaving behind only one man who holds the key to their secrets, Nick Felson, the grandson of her high priestess and a rough-around-the-edges farm boy who wants nothing to do with twenty-year-old Cassie.

For twenty-three-year-old Nick Felson, there are two worlds: one, Willow Creek, Virginia, before everything went to hell. And the other, after.

He’s sworn off magic, until a confused Cassie knocks on his door in the middle of the night, somehow missing decades’ worth of time. But Nick knows falling for Cassie means letting magic back into his life—and that’s one line he swore he’d never cross.

Can Cassie unravel the mystery that transported her into the future? And can Nick resist the powerful magic and heart-pounding passion that swirl in the air whenever he and Cassie are together?

The Tangled Magic Series is intended for readers 18-plus who enjoy short but steamy reads, wild and witchy magic, swoon-worthy kisses, small-town charm, and interconnected books. The series is best read in order.

Now available for pre-order on Amazon.

Add Tangled Roots to your Goodreads to-be-read list.

An Excerpt from Tangled Roots (Tangled Magic #1)

“Cassie.” Her name slipped off my tongue, tasting of summer—of dandelion salad, mint iced tea, a tiny drop of sweet honeysuckle.

My sleeping magic threatened to surface. The scent of a field freshly ploughed rose up, along with a hint of mushrooms, a wild forest of fir and pine.

She tilted her head. “You inherited your grandmother’s gifts.”

“They’re not a gift,” I snapped.

She raised an eyebrow. “I know some people think that, but you can’t—”

“I’m not discussing this with a stranger.” Her fingers were worrying the wood of the farmhouse table, tracing the pattern of the grains. “Who sent you here? I told them months ago to stay away.”

Her brow furrowed. “Told who?”

“The other covens. I know they want answers. I’m not their man. You understand?”

She shook her head. The quilt fell away from her shoulders, revealing a stained, previously white sundress that skimmed sun-bronzed thighs. The dress had a vintage vibe, as though she’d plucked it off the rack at a secondhand clothing store.

She reached out, tentative, and touched my arm. “Nick, no one sent me, okay? I’m just…lost. I’m so lost, and really far from home.”

“I thought Ginny was your mentor. Were you emailing or something?”

“It’s like you’re speaking another language half the time. Look, the truth is, when I say I’m not from around here, I don’t mean Willow Creek. I mean, now.”

“Now? Are you playing freaking mind games? Is that your style? Gaslight the last witch in Willow Creek?”

Before she could respond, the kettle whistled. I jumped back, grunting as I slammed my hip into the corner of the island. With a growl I turned to the tea kettle. I pulled down two blue pottery mugs emblazoned with pale moons over emerald green mountains. I plucked two tea bags out of the metal canister, not even bothering to check what blend, and set her mug in front of her.

“Honey and sugar on the island.” I inclined my head in that direction.

“I’m confused.” She wrapped one hand around the mug and, without asking, opened a drawer and withdrew a spoon. Again, like she’d been here before. Not once. Many times. “Am I staying for tea, or do you want to run me off the property?” She jutted out her chin, and I caught a glimpse of stubborn pride underneath a veil of polite acquiescence.

I scratched the stubble on my chin. “Tell me the truth. Who you are. Why you’re here. No games.”

“No games.” The words, a mere whisper, tingled in the air with a magical sort of promise. Somehow, without knowing how I knew, whatever she said next would be the truth.

Cassie and Nick’s story will be available on May 14. You can pre-order a copy today, or enter a giveaway on Goodreads to win 1 of 50 copies of the Kindle book.

About the Author

Denise D. Young may or may not be a woodland sprite who loves tea, crystals, and thunderstorms. As much as she loves a wild forest, she also loves a good story, which is why she is also an indie author who pens fantasy and romance.

If you’ve ever hoped to find a book of spells in a dusty attic, if you suspect every misty forest contains a hidden portal to another realm, or if you don’t mind a little darkness before your happily-ever-after, her books might be just the thing you’ve been waiting for.

Her Tangled Magic Series features witches, romance, and small-town charm. The first book in the four-part series is coming in May 2019.

A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and Hollins University, Denise took first place in the Pages from the Heart Contest for her novella Good Old-Fashioned Magic in 2015. Her novel A Prince in Patience Point received second place in the 2016 Cleveland Rocks Romance Contest.

Denise lives with her husband and their animals in the mountains of Virginia, where small towns and tall trees inspire her stories. She reads tarot cards, gazes at stars, and believes magic is the answer (no matter what the question was).

Magic Awaits! Connect with Denise on the Web:

Website | Newsletter | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

New Release: Murder in Plane Sight by Julie Holmes #Mystery #Suspense

I am über excited to be taking part in the book launch blog tour for my friend, Julie Holmes. Her debut release, Murder in Plane Sight, a mystery/suspense novel is now available. I have been looking forward to this release for a long time, and am thrilled to know Julie has more mysteries planned. If you’re not already following her blog, Facets of a Muse, you’re missing out on a lot of fun. This isn’t the first time Julie has appeared on my blog, but it IS the first time she’s been here to share a novel she’s written. I hope you’ll give her a warm welcome!


Thank you, Mae, for hosting me! I’ve had the opportunity to watch fellow writers release their books. I’ve even hosted their announcements on my own blog, hoping that someday it would be my turn to announce my own book release.

That day is here. It’s both exciting and terrifying. Exciting because I have reached a goal I have been aiming for since elementary school. Terrifying because I can no longer stay home and quietly keep writing, not if I want to gather readers.

I’ve been paying attention to my fellow writers and what they do for their book releases. Some offer a bit of insight into their process, which seems to suggest there is some sort of order to the whole thing.

I suppose there is. First come the characters.

No, wait, first comes the story.

Hmm. It’s different for every writer, and for me it can be different for every book. Sometimes I come up with characters who need a story. Sometimes I get a great story idea, and the characters follow.

So which was it with this book, you ask? That’s a little tricky, because the very first draft wasn’t set at the airport at all. In fact, it was a whole different story, with a main character who was an aircraft mechanic, and a story set in rural Minnesota. What is the point of a character who works at the airport when the story isn’t set there?

I realized I had two separate stories: a character who needed a story, and a story that needed a character. So I pulled my aircraft mechanic out of rural Minnesota and gave her a story. And of course, as is usual in my creative process, her first story wasn’t even set on the airport grounds.

Which I realized after I wrote the first draft and started reading through it. And I heard the voice of my writing teacher, clear as day: Why isn’t she at the airport?

Um. Yeah. Duh!

And eventually the story matured into Murder in Plane Sight.What about the other story, you ask? That’s on my list to work on after I finish Book 2. Yes, there will be another Sierra Bauer mystery. 🙂

Book cover for Murder in Plane Sight by Julie Holmes shows plane on snowy taxi way with woman in foreground, back to camera

BLURB:
Sierra Bauer, aircraft mechanic, struggled against personal tragedy to reclaim control of her life and her aviation career, but when she discovers a frozen body in her inspection plane, she must prove her innocence and uncover the key to exposing a deadly aviation conspiracy before she becomes the next casualty.

Find at Amazon and Barnes and Noble and wherever books are sold.

Short Excerpt:
Headlights glared in the rearview mirror. Sierra Bauer slowed, but not enough. Her car slid around the turn onto the service drive that ran past the Range Airlines maintenance hangar on the western side of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. She steered into the skid, regained control. Cursed the timing of the snow.

The idiot stuck to her backside like duct tape, too damn close even for Minneapolis drivers in these two inches of fresh January snow. Sierra considered hitting the brakes.

A deep rumble, and her tailgater passed her.

A pickup truck.

In the glow of her headlights, she identified the color.

Black.

Her breath caught.

An outline of a pale rectangle peeked from the layer of snow on the rear bumper.

Her heart stuttered. Raced.

It can’t be his truck. How would he know where I am?

bio box for author, Julie Holmes

Find Julie at the following haunts:
Web | Blog | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

New Release: Just Her Poetry by D. L. Finn #bookrelease #poetry

Hi, friends. I’ve been out of town at the beach for several days, so please excuse me for being absent from commenting on your blogs. I’m now back in the thick of things and delighted to be participating in the blog tour for D.L. Finn with her newest release, Just Her Poetry. Denise is a bright, sunny soul whose beautiful spirit always shines through. I’ve read several of her books, including her poetry, and always find her work vividly imagined and engaging. I had her current release on pre-order and look forward to wallowing around in the pages. The cover alone is enough to put me in a contemplative mood! Please welcome Denise….


Thank you, Mae, for having me on your blog to celebrate the release of my first poetry book, “Just Her Poetry Seasons of a Soul.”

Finn Facts:

  1. As a child, I used to catch lake fish with a bare hook off the boat dock. It always seemed to impress the adults who couldn’t do the same thing.
  2. I’m able to vent my frustrations through poetry. No one will ever see it, but it helps me work through my negative feelings.

Just Her Poetry Cover

Blurb:
Take a journey with D.L. Finn as she blends her love of nature with her deepest emotions. Sit with her on the forest floor observing its tranquil beauty, or stroll along the ocean’s shore admiring the vastness of its horizon. Here in these peaceful moments you’ll be able to experience her thoughts and feelings in the light—and in the darkness. This is a thought-provoking collection of poetry that invites the reader into all the seasons of a soul.

~ooOOoo~

Excerpt from Some Readers’ Favorites from No Fairy Tale

ANOTHER WORLD

Deep under the sea

Is another place,

Not just for fish

Or humans to explore.

It’s their world,

Unseen by mortal eyes.

They know it isn’t safe

To show themselves just yet.

They welcome back

Another one

Who had been lost

From their fold.

They are safe,

And they wait

For their time

To come forth.

Until then they watch,

Wait, and swim

With the dolphins,

Hiding in plain sight.

Amazon Purchase Link

1

D.L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA. She immersed herself in reading all types of books, but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, being surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations vary from children’s books, young adult fantasy, and adult paranormal romance to an autobiography with poetry. She continues on her adventures with an open invitation for her readers to join her.

D.L. Finn Links:
TwitterFacebook InstagramPinterest | D.L. Finn blog

New Release: Heart of the Storm by Debbie Peterson #TimeTravel #SweetRomance #Bermuda Triangle

It’s another release day for my good friend, Debbie Peterson! Debbie writes mesmerizing tales of time travel with a splash of sweet romance mixed in. In her newest book, Heart of the Storm, she addresses one of the foremost unexplained mysteries to baffle scientists for centuries—the Bermuda Triangle.

Please welcome Debbie as she shares a true-life incident from the Triangle, and celebrates Heart of the Storm.


Book cover for Heart of the Storm by Debbie Peterson shows girl in foreground wearing a DEA t-shirt with old clipper ship in background on a sunset sea

Hello Mae! Thank you for helping me celebrate the release of Heart of the Storm.

Once upon a time, five TBM Avenger torpedo bombers, known as “Flight 19,” took off from the Naval Air Station in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. It was during the afternoon hours of December 15, 1945. The routine training flight was no big deal, really. They were to conduct a bombing exercise known then as “Navigation Problem Number One.” It would take a mere three hours. During this mission they would fly to a place called the Hens and Chicken Shoals, drop a few practice bombs, then head north and fly over the Grand Bahama Island. Afterward, they would turn in a southwesterly direction and go back to base. Lieutenant Charles C. Taylor, an experienced World War II pilot, served as flight leader.

At first, all went as planned…at first.

About 2:30 p.m. the boys dropped their practice load over the Hens and Chickens Shoals and turned north as scheduled. That’s when the routine flight became anything but routine. You see, from out of the blue, and quite unexpectedly, Taylor reported the compass of his plane wasn’t functioning correctly. He became convincedthey were all flying in the wrong direction. A sudden, tumultuous rainstorm, accompanied by high winds and heavy clouds worsened the situation. They couldn’t see a  thing.

“I don’t know where we are,” said one of the pilots over the radio. “We must’ve got lost after that last turn.”

A Navy flight instructor, who was flying near the coast of Florida, overheard the chatter. After he informed the Air Station of the situation, he radioed the Avengers and asked if they needed assistance.

“Both my compasses are out and I’m trying to find Ft. Lauderdale, Florida,” a panicked Taylor said. “I’m over land, but it’s broken. I’m sure I’m in the Keys, but I don’t know how far down.”

That didn’t make any sense at all. After all, Taylor had made his scheduled pass over Hens and Chicken Shoals less than an hour earlier. Yet, for some reason, he now believed his squad had somehow drifted hundreds of miles off course and ended up in the Florida Keys. Pilots lost in the Atlantic were trained to fly their planes toward the setting sun. This, of course, would take them west toward the mainland, even if they didn’t know where west was. In the hope he could locate the Florida peninsula, Taylor turned his squad northeast.

“Dammit,” one man groused over the radio. “If we would just fly west, we would get home.”

Taylor finally turned around and headed west, but shortly after 6 p.m., he once again changed direction. “We didn’t go far enough east,” he said. “We may as well just turn around and go east again.” The transmissions became increasingly faint. By now, fuel would be running low. Taylor instructed his men to prepare for a crash landing in the ocean. “All planes close up tight,” he said. “We’ll have to ditch unless landfall…when the first plane drops below ten gallons, we all go down together.” A few minutes later, the only thing that could be heard over the radio was unnerving static.

Treasure hunters thought they solved the puzzle of the missing planes in 1991 when they found five World War II-era Avengers on the ocean floor near Fort Lauderdale. However, the serial numbers didn’t match those of “Flight 19.”

There are many such stories that have taken place inside the Bermuda Triangle. There are a few things they all have in common, though: A sudden, raging storm, malfunctioning gauges, disorientation and feelings of being hopelessly lost…

Such a setting is found in the beginning of Heart of the Storm, in a story where past meets present and the adventure begins!

Blurb:
DEA agent Aliyana Montijo must stop a drug lord’s killing orders and find a government mole. With a contract on her head, she trusts no one. While heading back to Florida with evidence, lightning strikes her plane. As it careens into the ocean, she thinks she sees a pirate ship. What she finds is a dashing and most unlikely ally.

Four centuries ago, Wolfaert Dircksen Van Ness captained a vessel for the Dutch West Indies Company. Then an unearthly storm in the Bermuda Triangle blew him into a parallel dimension. After rescuing Aliyana from a similar tempest, he finds himself drawn to the courageous beauty and wants to aid her mission.

In the midst of danger, the two find themselves falling in love. Then a misunderstanding tears them apart, perhaps forever…

photo of Debbie Peterson, AuthorAbout Debbie Peterson
Debbie is an author of paranormal and fantasy romance. She has-and always has had-a soft spot for fairy tales, the joy of falling in love, making an impossible love possible, and happily ever after endings. She loves music, art, beautiful sunrises, sunsets, and thunder storms.

When she’s not busy conjuring her latest novel, She spends time with the members of her very large and nutty family in the lovely, arid deserts of southern Nevada. She also pursues her interests in family history (which she also teaches), mythology, and history.

You can find her at the following haunts:
Website
Twitter 
Facebook
Goodreads

Buy Links
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Apple I Tunes

Book Review: Voyage of the Lanternfish by C. S. Boyack #FantasyAdventure #PirateAdventure

For the new year, I’m going to be adding a variety of posts, including sharing book reviews. With the amount of books I read a year, why not? 😀

I still haven’t finalized the format. Most likely it will be something I do on a monthly basis with reviews of the books I’ve read during the month.

But to get started, I’m doing a stand alone review. I finished Voyage of the Lanternfish by C. S. Boyack last night and am still thinking about the highly imaginative world the author created. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this story. I’ve read a number of Craig’s books, but this one rocks the boat! Heehee. Pun intended.

Book cover for Voyage of the Lanternfish by author, C. S. Boyack, shows bow of old clipper ship with glowing lanternfish headFirst the Blurb:
An honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he’s pushed into a political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms. James Cuttler’s fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes through with the plan.

He soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those who disrupted his simple life. He can’t do it alone, so he recruits a band of cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually, they’re going to have to engage the enemy.

James’ goals aren’t necessarily the same as his crew. It’s a delicate balancing act to collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue the girl.

Voyage of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.

MY 5-STAR REVIEW:
What a rollicking, magical, high-octane, deftly plotted adventure! Remember when Dorothy steps from her black-and-white world into the Land of Oz for the first time? That explosion of color, wonder, and delight is equivalent to what the reader experiences in Voyage of the Lanternfish.

Wow, where to begin? I won’t reiterate the plot (just hop up and read the blurb), but I will say you’re in for a treat with this story of pirates, high-sea adventure, a diverse cast of characters and plenty of bizarre creatures. Where else will you encounter root monsters, an anvil bird, Fu dogs, owlcats, and a moving reef? And those are just some of the imaginative beings Boyack introduces with his latest release. I developed a special fondness for the root monsters with their unwavering loyalty, nightly story-telling sessions, rabid delight in receiving names, and atrocious mangling of language. Of special note: You can’t read this book and not appreciate the cleverness of “I I I I”

Trust me. 🙂

The cast is every bit as colorful as the creatures and extremely diverse in backgrounds. They each have such strong personalities, it’s hard to choose a favorite. Even secondary characters and third level characters get plenty of moments to shine. The battle scenes involving mortars, guns, and claiming ships are perfectly executed. I was dazzled and glued to the pages.

I have read several books by this author but this one is in a league of its own. Hop aboard and set sail. You won’t be disappointed!


Gang, go forth and ONE CLICK. This isn’t just a adventure story, but one that builds on character relationships, too. You won’t regret setting sail!

It’s Release Day! End of Day by Mae Clair #SupernaturalSuspense #Mystery #Thriller

Today is the book birthday for End of Day, book 2 of my Hode’s Hill trilogy.  If you enjoyed book 1, Cusp of Night, you’ll find this one in the same vein. Once again, I’m visiting the small Pennsylvania town of Hode’s Hill, but with a plot whose tentacles reach back to the town’s founding. As in Cusp of Night, I’ve spun two mysteries—one in the the past (taking place in the year 1799) and one in the present. You get two separate mysteries that tie together at the end.

Book cover for End of Day, mystery/suspense novel by Mae Clair shows old dilapidated church with bell tower and a cemetery in the background overgrown with weeds

The past is never truly buried…  

Generations of Jillian Cley’s family have been tasked with a strange duty—tending the burial plot of Gabriel Vane, whose body was the first to be interred in the Hode’s Hill cemetery. Jillian faithfully continues the long-standing tradition—until one October night, Vane’s body is stolen from its resting place. Is it a Halloween prank? Or something more sinister?

As the descendants of those buried in the church yard begin to experience bizarre “accidents,” Jillian tries to uncover the cause. Deeply empathic, she does not make friends easily, or lightly. But to fend off the terror taking over her town, she must join forces with artist Dante DeLuca, whose sensitivity to the spirit world has been both a blessing and a curse. The two soon realize Jillian’s murky family history is entwined with a tragic legacy tracing back to the founding of Hode’s Hill. To set matters right, an ancient wrong must be avenged…or Jillian, Dante, and everyone in town will forever be at the mercy of a vengeful spirit.

~ooOOoo~

In Cusp of Night, I introduced the reader to the spiritualist movement of the 1800s, sham mediums, and a creature called the Fiend.

This time around, the story touches on Church Grims, Folk Memories, and a collection of monsters. Yes, monsters. I do love my creatures 🙂 The two lead characters—Jillian Cley and Dante DeLuca—had minor roles in Cusp. They take center stage, along with several new characters who bullied their way into the story. I never saw Madison, Sherre Lorquet, or the Porter Brothers coming until they appeared in their respective scenes. All added new layers which helped develop the plot. My muse knew what he was doing.

Thank you to everyone who pre-ordered. If you haven’t already grabbed a copy and would like to, you can purchase from the bookseller of your choice through this link.

Although this is the second book of a series, it can also be read as a stand alone. I would love to tell you more about grims and folk memories, but for now, I’ll let them unravel in the book. 🙂

New Release: Voyage of the Lanternfish by C. S. Boyack #Fantasy #Pirates #RootMonsters

My first post of 2019 is going to be a treat, folks! Not only is Lisa Burton, stunning spokesmodel for author C.S. Boyack, visiting my blog, but she’s here to share Craig’s latest book, Voyage of the Lanternfish.

Book cover for Voyage of the Lanternfish by author, C. S. Boyack, shows bow of old clipper ship with glowing lanternfish head Now, I’m always excited when Mr. Boyack trots out a new novel. His stories are wildly imaginative and flavored with a bit of odd. I’m a huge fan of odd.

I’m also a huge fan of monsters, especially cryptids. There are root monsters in Craig’s new book! Seriously, how cool is that name? I can’t wait to meet these guys. Let’s see what Lisa has to say about them.


“Oh, my gosh, Mae. I’m so happy to be back here. In fact, I’m happy to be anywhere this time of year. The writing cabin gets pretty cold and lonely about now.

“Anyway, Craig has me out on tour for his newest book, Voyage of the Lanternfish. I know fantasy monsters aren’t quite cryptids, but work with me here. I thought they might appeal to your readers, because of the cryptic connection.

“Craig wants to have his say, so he made me bring some data along. We’ll share it, then we can have some fun.”


The root monsters in this story are part of the good guys. Mal, the witch doctor, grew them in a planter attached to the window of a Gypsy caravan. He plucked them from the ground, lopped off their leaves; voila, instant creature.

They started out as something that could keep watch in the middle of the night while my characters traveled through wild country. My original vision of them was based around what were called Pigmies in The Mummy Returns. The pigmies were a swarm with sharp teeth and pointy sticks.

My root monsters retained a lot of that throughout the story. They scrounged things like old fish hooks to fight with, but the sharp teeth remained. There could be a smattering of the tooth fairies from one of the Hellboy movies. (Swarms are scary.)

They started growing in number, and some of them needed singling out. These monsters got names. They developed their own pidgin English.

One of the things I really enjoyed was how their culture advanced. They became the storytellers aboard the ship, and their verbal history might be the only thing these pirates leave behind. Their stories are always a bit off kilter from the actual truth. As an example, they have no idea about numbers. There is a scene where the monster named Boss is trying to negotiate for more monsters. In typical fashion, characters would spout numbers and work toward the middle in negotiations. Boss just throws random numbers out that are nonsensical.

Their culture evolves to the point that the rest of the crew looks forward to monster story time. The giving of a name is looked upon as a badge of honor and must be earned. I even hinted that they may be developing their own shaman.

Make no mistake, while they are dangerous and ruthless, they are also comedy relief. My recipe of tooth fairies and Pigmies got a healthy dose of Minions, and a pinch of Wile E. Coyote too.

If you’d like to know more, I’ll make sure Lisa drops off a cover, blurb, and purchase link.


“Now that the boss had his say, we can do the fun part. Look, I brought you a new poster. I chose this one, because it has a couple of root monsters in it. I know the one in the red hat is Flattop. He gets dialog and everything in the story.

Lisa Burton, spokesmodel for author C.S. Boyack in sexy pirate outfit with skull-and-crossbones flag, chest of gold and root monsters

“I really enjoyed dressing up in pirate clothes for a couple of months while Sean worked on these posters. Your readers should feel free to share them on Pinterest, or even use them as computer and gadget backgrounds. That’s what they’re for.

“As the pitch-girl for Craig’s work, I’ll leave you all the important stuff to add to the post whenever you’re ready. Now, what’s fun around here before I head for my next stop?”


Hmm…Maybe I should have Lisa chat with the Mothman, the Fiend, or even the monsters that make an appearance in my next book. She could handle any of them. Then again, she’d probably find their wardrobe atrocious and I’d have to agree. She and I will have to settle for shopping.

And speaking of shopping, I highly recommend you go forth and ONE CLICK Voyage of the Lanternfish. I’m currently reading it and can vouch you’re going to love it!

Check out the blurb:

An honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he’s pushed into a political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms. James Cuttler’s fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes through with the plan.

He soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those who disrupted his simple life. He can’t do it alone, so he recruits a band of cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually, they’re going to have to engage the enemy.

James’ goals aren’t necessarily the same as his crew. It’s a delicate balancing act to collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue the girl.

Voyage of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.

Purchase Link

Author, C. S. BoyackAuthor Bio:

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Connect with Craig at the following haunts:
Blog | My Novels | Twitter GoodreadsFacebookPinterest | BookBub

 

Guest Post: Writing horror and supernatural stories by Robbie Cheadle #DarkVisions #HorrorAnthology #NewRelease

I’m happy to welcome guest blogger and author, Robbie Cheadle, today with a look at how she became interested in writing horror and supernatural tales. Already an accomplished children’s book author, Robbie is now venturing into other genres. Her stories, The Haunting of William, and The Willow Tree,  are featured in the new anthology, Dark Visions. Perfect reading at this time of year, this goose bump-inducing collection is high on my TBR. Please welcome Robbie with her first guest appearance on my blog!

banner ad for Dark Visions, a collection of supernatural stories

As a pre-teen I was fascinated by horror and supernatural books and stories. At the age of ten I read Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. It scared me to death, but I loved the thrill. I steadfastly read my way through all the horror and supernatural books I could get my hands on.

I started writing in 2015 by accident. I had been writing poems for many years and made up stories from time to time for my children, but I had never consciously sat down and tried to write a story. The Sir Chocolate series of books evolved with Michael through a process of joining our ideas together and creating rhyming verse stories to help him to learn to read and write and practice his spelling.

During 2017, I decided to write the story of my mom’s early years growing up in the town of Bungay, England during WWII. That was the first time I actively plotted a story line. A lot of historical research was required for the book to establish the setting and enable the reader to understand the historical facts of the time and follow the timeline of the war. I completed While the Bombs Fell in May 2018 and it has recently become available on Amazon.

This historical research for my mom’s book resulted in my discovering a lot about the folklore of her hometown, much of which is steeped in superstition and mythology. Bungay abounds with ghosts and other mythological creatures and these gave me a lot of fodder for my imagination. The idea of trying my hand at a darker story emerged. I have written four short stories in the supernatural and horror genre. I submitted two of these for Dan Alatorre’s Word Weaver competitions this year and I received an excellent critique in respect of both. I implemented Dan’s advice and resubmitted the two stories to him and was very thrilled when they were accepted for his new horror anthology, Dark Visions.

BLURB:
Book cover for Dark Visions, a horror anthology shows cloaked, hooded figure holding a glowing sphereFrom the creators of the #1 bestseller The Box Under The Bed horror anthology comes Dark Visions, 34 horror stories from 27 authors.

Tag along on a con man’s New Orleans vacation where he gets more than he bargained for from a mysterious voodoo shop. A collection of family photos reveals an eerie secret about a beloved grandmother’s true nature. A child’s horrifying memories haunt her into adulthood. A new camp counselor learns that the camp has secrets she might not live to reveal.

Edited and compiled by Amazon bestselling author Dan Alatorre, this anthology of horror brings together the minds and pens of more than two dozen amazing authors.

Dark Visions will take you into the realm of the eerie and macabre, with thrills and chills from:

bestselling author Dan Alatorre (The Navigators),
bestselling author Jenifer Ruff (Everett),
bestselling author Allison Maruska (The Fourth Descendant),
bestselling author J. A. Allen,
award-winning author MD Walker,
award-winning author Juliet Nubel,
award-winning author Dabney Farmer,
award-winning author Sharon E. Cathcart,
award-winning author Heather Kindt,
award-winning author Bonnie Lyons,
award-winning author Sharon Connell,
award-winning author Geoff LePard,
award-winning author Anne Marie Andrus,
award-winning author Christine Valentor,
award-winning author BA Helberg,
Ernesto San Giacomo,
award-winning author Alana Turner,
Nick Vossen,
award-winning author Robbie Cheadle,
Betty Valentine,
award-winning author Frank Parker,
award-winning author Bonnie Lyons,
award-winning author Lori Micken,
Chuck Jackson,
Ellen Best,
Victoria Clapton

Perfect for Halloween or any time, these stories will make you think twice before spending the night alone, planting a tree in your garden, or even visiting your mother.

Consider yourselves warned.

Purchase Dark Visions from Amazon

Connect with Robbie Cheadle at the following haunts:
Twitter | Facebook | Blog