Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Dark Secret by Danielle Rose


Title: Dark Secret
Series: Darkhaven Saga #1
Author: Danielle Rose
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publication Date: February 18, 2020


There's no wrath like that of a witch scorned.

Seventeen-year-old spirit witch Ava López is the self-appointed guardian of the witches and humans of Darkhaven, an idyllic village nestled between the forest and the sea. Her watch: vicious and bloodthirsty vampires.

Ava is a novice in the eyes of her coven. If she expects to protect them and the secrecy of their powers, she must gain better control of her own. When a full moon ritual goes awry, control may be lost forever, and Ava is exiled from her coven. Forced to seek refuge among the beings she had always sworn herself to hunt, she vows revenge on those who have upended her life.

But the more time Ava spends away from her coven, the more she discovers a startling truth: the witches haven’t been honest with her. Ava’s quest to strip the truth from everything she’s ever known begins with the toughest realization of all—coming to terms with who she has become.


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Meet the Author:

Dubbed a “triple threat” by readers, Danielle Rose dabbles in many genres, including urban fantasy, suspense, and romance. The USA Today bestselling author holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine.

Danielle is a self-professed sufferer of ’philes and an Oxford comma enthusiast. She prefers solitude to crowds, animals to people, four seasons to hellfire, nature to cities, and traveling as often as she breathes.




Monday, 17 February 2020

The Vampire Next Door by JT Hunter




Title: The Vampire Next Door
Author: JT Hunter
Genre: True Crime
Publication Date: October 11th 2014
Publisher: RJ Parker Publishing
Number of Pages: 365
ISBN: 1500909491 (ISBN13: 9781500909499)


The True Story of the Vampire Rapist

While he stalked the streets hunting his unsuspecting victims, the residents of a quiet Florida town slept soundly, oblivious to the dark creature in their midst, unaware of the vampire next door.

John Crutchley seemed to be living the American Dream. Good-looking and blessed with a genius level IQ, he had a prestigious, white-collar job at a prominent government defense contractor, where he held top secret security clearance and handled projects for NASA and the Pentagon. To all outward appearances, he was a hard-working, successful family man with a lavish new house, a devoted wife, and a healthy young son.

But he concealed a hidden side of his personality, a dark secret tied to a hunger for blood and the overriding need to kill. As one of the most prolific serial killers in American history, Crutchley committed at least twelve murders, and possibly nearly three dozen. His IQ eclipsed that of Ted Bundy, and his body count may have as well.


Excerpt:

Chapter 2: You were a vampire . . .

Nineteen-year-old Christina Almah was still a virgin, and a bit naïve when it came to matters of sex, but like most teenaged girls on the verge of womanhood, she enjoyed receiving attention from good-looking, romantically inclined men. Yet, even she was surprised when, after a handsome, slightly older man took an interest in her, she found herself traveling all the way across the country to see him again.

Christina first met twenty-two-year-old Carl Von Bane several months earlier while he was visiting a friend near her hometown of Westminster, California. She immediately noticed him when he walked into the Drug Emporium where she had been working for the past year as a clerk, and they had quickly hit it off. His rugged, bad-boy looks and confident disposition combined to render her fully smitten. But the budding romance had barely begun before “Von” returned home to Florida. Their brief time together had passed much too quickly for the love-struck Miss Almah.

Since Von’s departure, they had continued their blossoming relationship by telephone racking up steep long distance bills. All the while, Christina had meticulously saved her meager Drug Emporium pay so that she could afford to purchase a plane ticket to visit him. When Von had called her a few weeks ago, Christina hinted at wanting to see him again by casually mentioning that she had some vacation time that needed to be used. When he suggested that she catch a flight to Florida to visit him, she had immediately agreed. After all, this was not some fly by night infatuation. She thought that she might be in love.

Christina had been counting the days until this trip—a weeklong vacation certain to be a memorable one if for no other reason than the fact that it would be the first time she had ever traveled alone. She booked a direct flight on Eastern Airlines from Los Angeles to Orlando International Airport, and Von had picked her up there nearly a week ago. Since then, she had been staying with Von in his mother’s mobile home at Lot 12 of the Enchanted Lakes Mobile Home Park on Malabar Road, near the eastern edge of the City of Palm Bay in southern Brevard County.

Named for the lush palm trees that lined the bay at the mouth of Turkey Creek, the nearly 100-square-mile Palm Bay had experienced a period of rapid growth in recent years fueled by an influx of retirees, northern transplants, and space industry workers. As part of the “Space Coast,” Palm Bay benefited from its proximity to Cape Canaveral, home to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s space shuttle program. To the west of Palm Bay, just past Interstate 95, a vast expanse of swamps and marsh grass stretched beyond the horizon, home to an endless assortment of flora and fauna. Under the blinding gaze of the eternal Florida sun, cold-blooded creatures swam silent and unseen as they had for ages past, ancient predators stalking their unsuspecting prey.

Immediately to the east of Palm Bay sits the Town of Malabar, a small, quiet community only thirteen square miles in size. Its eastern edge meets the Intracoastal Waterway in a subtropical paradise of palm trees, sailboats, and spectacular sunsets. The area’s abundant seafood, perennial sunshine, and constant sea breeze reminded Christina of her favorite parts of California. That familiarity was reassuring. It felt comfortable. She felt safe.

A petite girl standing about five feet, four inches tall and weighing a little less than 110 pounds, Christina was not a beauty queen, but she was not unattractive either. Indeed, her green eyes and brown hair combined in an inviting way that most men found sensual and appealing, and she had enjoyed her fair share of suitors. Although she had shared a few intimate moments with boys in high school, she had never found one with whom she felt comfortable enough to sacrifice her virtue. Still sexually inexperienced, she had the classic Libra traits of compassion, innate gentleness, and a genuine caring for others, traits that were sometimes misconstrued by men. Still, it never dawned on her that Von’s testosterone-driven brain would expect something more than a kiss hello, or that he would interpret her willingness to fly across the country to visit him as a green light for sleeping together. Von had tried to take that next step during her first night in Florida, and when she told him that she was not ready, he had reluctantly played the part of the understanding boyfriend, but he could not wholly hide his irritation and mounting frustration.

Von worked at Gator Chrysler in nearby Melbourne, and he had to leave Christina alone for much of the day. That had been the routine for most of the week, and the excitement of staying with someone in another state had long-since faded away. On this particular morning, she passed some time by listening to a worn down cassette tape of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” album, popping it into the cherry red Sony Walkman that Von had given her. She played several songs, rewound the tape, and played them again, but after a while she tired of listening to the provocative singer purr about being “touched for the very first time.” She tried watching television after that, but quickly lost interest in the mindless game shows and melodramatic soap operas that dominated the channels. Growing bored, she decided to walk to Melbourne a few miles away to visit several friends that she had met through Von. She would be flying back to California the next morning and wanted to say her good-byes and make the most of her final day of vacation. Wearing blue jeans, sandals, and a black t-shirt with a Harley-Davidson insignia splashed across the front, she left the trailer shorty after 1:00 p.m. It was the twenty-first day of November, 1985.

As she walked out of the entrance of the mobile home park, a light rain began to fall. She could see dark clouds gathering in the distance and a westerly wind promised that they would soon be present. Somewhere beyond the visible horizon, thunder rumbled ominous and angry, its source hidden behind an approaching wall of grey and black clouds.

Christina turned left and started walking faster as the rain increased, heading east on Malabar Road toward U.S. 1 and the Intracoastal. She planned to stop at the Jiffy Mart at the corner of Malabar Road and U.S. 1 to buy a pack of cigarettes before walking north into Melbourne. She had not gone far when a small, light-colored car pulled up beside her.

Behind the wheel of the two-door automobile sat a clean-shaven man wearing a stylish, navy-blue sports coat, a black-and-white striped tie, and a nice pair of dress slacks, not the cheap K-Mart kind, but the higher quality cloth and cut of a more fashionable men’s store. The man looked to be in his late twenties or early thirties. He had loafer style shoes, but he was not wearing them while he drove. Christine thought it slightly odd that the well-dressed man’s bare foot operated the gas and brake pedals, but she gave it no more than a fleeting thought. She had certainly seen much stranger things during her time in Florida. The man’s eyes were concealed behind darkly tinted sunglasses and his face was framed by a mane of medium-length, dirty blonde hair. He had a thin build, and though slightly pale in complexion, his handsome facial features held an undeniable allure. She could not help feeling an attraction to him.

Flashing a broad, inviting smile, he leaned over, rolled down the passenger door window, and greeted her in a friendly, reassuring voice.

“It’s a bit wet today for a walk, isn’t it?” he asked with a wry, disarming smile. “Can I give you a lift?”

Although Christina was initially wary of his invitation, he looked harmless enough and it was the middle of the day in broad daylight in a public place, so she did not wait long before responding.

“Well,” she said, deliberately drawing out her reply as she decided how much to trust the seemingly friendly stranger. “I’m on my way to Melbourne to meet some friends. Are you going anywhere near there?”

“Sure, I have to go that way to get to my office. I just need to stop by my house real quick to pick up a notebook for work, but it’ll only take a minute or two. Go ahead and hop in.”

She hesitated for just a moment, studied her Good Samaritan one last time, and then grabbed the passenger side door handle of the car. As she opened the door, she heard Sting’s new song, “Russians,” playing on the car’s radio.

The country had long since fallen into the depths of the Cold War, and the perpetual threat of nuclear holocaust loomed in the back of most people’s minds like some amorphous boogieman lurking in the shadows. As Christine pulled the door closed, Sting’s voice flowed out of the car’s speakers, echoing what seemed to be the universal mood in America and Western Europe, the growing fear of a nuclear attack by the Russian-controlled Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The song sought to appeal to the good in what President Reagan dubbed the “Evil Empire,” expressing a desperate hope that the Russian leaders loved their children enough to avoid the horror of a nuclear holocaust.

Suffering from the same state of uneasiness expressed in the song, Christina found herself captivated by the sense of calm that seemed to radiate from the man behind the wheel. They drove for a little while making small talk. While they chatted, she caught a glimpse of the man’s eyes behind his sunglasses. Their azure shade of blue added to the aura of assuredness he projected, and it seemed to Christina that the man’s eyes had the power to peer into her very soul, not in any unsettling way, but in an understanding, comforting manner that disarmed her naturally cautious disposition. He seemed genuinely interested in learning about her, and she was impressed with how articulately he expressed himself. He was charming, witty, and exuded self-confidence, and Christine felt relieved that he seemed to be normal. Some of Von’s friends that she had met were more than a little on the odd side.

After about five minutes, the man turned his car onto a bumpy, dirt road, and then continued on for a few minutes more before exiting onto a gravel driveway obscured by a tall row of hedges. Planted across the inner edge of the yard, the hedges had grown high enough to block a clear view of whatever was behind them. As the car continued down the driveway, a well-kept lawn, dotted sporadically with pine and oak trees, came into view. At the far end of the lawn stood a redbrick, Colonial style house with four white columns framing a large front door painted the same shade of white as the columns. The gravel driveway ended at a double-length carport on the left side of the house. The man pulled into the carport and parked. Two motorcycles stood at the opposite end of the parking area.

“I’ll be right back,” the man told her as he took the key out of the ignition and slipped on his shoes.

He stepped out of the car and walked to the side door of the house, where he paused and glanced back at her.

“Hey, you want to come inside for a drink?”

She smiled politely.

“Oh, no thanks, my friends are expecting me and I don’t want them to worry.”

“Suit yourself,” he said, before unlocking the door and disappearing into the building.

After a few minutes, the man emerged and announced with an embarrassed laugh that the notebook was not in the house after all.

“It must be in the back of the car,” he said, an amused smile spreading across his face as if he had just remembered an irresistibly funny joke.

He walked to the passenger side of the car and opened the door, flashing her the same smug alligator smile. He crawled into the back seat and began looking around, grinning all the while.

Suddenly, the back of Christina’s seat shot forward, slamming her violently against the dashboard. Stunned by the force of the impact and shocked by the unexpected attack, she was barely able to register the sound of something rustling behind her.

Then something brushed against her forehead. Before she could react, her neck jerked back painfully, and she began to choke. Frantically, she reached for her purse, attempting to grab something – anything – to try to defend herself. Her fingers brushed against the top of a can of OFF insect repellant. Desperate, she thought that if she could spray her attacker in his eyes, she might be able to blind him long enough to get away.

But as her fingers closed around the spray can, the man’s voice, angry and powerful, startled her into submission.

Stop it or I’ll kill you!”

As her initial impulse of self-defense gave way to a paralyzing feeling of despair, her hand retreated out of her purse and her arm fell numbly to her side.

Then the rope tightened and everything went black.


Excerpt from The Vampire Next Door: The True Story of the Vampire Rapist by JT Hunter. Copyright 2014 by JT Hunter. Reproduced with permission from JT Hunter. All rights reserved.


Author Bio:

J.T. Hunter is an attorney with over fourteen years of experience practicing law, including criminal law and appeals, and he has significant training in criminal investigation techniques. He is also a college professor in Florida where his teaching interests focus on the intersection of criminal psychology, law, and literature.






This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for JT Hunter. There will be two (2) winners. Each winner will receive an Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on February 1, 2020 and runs through March 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.




On Tour February 1-29, 2020

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!
These are the stops on the tour as of January 17 and are subject to change.




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Friday, 14 February 2020

Rage and Retribution by Lorraine Mace



Title: Rage and Retribution
Series: A DI Sterling Thriller
Author: Lorraine Mace
Genre: Crime – hard boiled
Publication Date: 13 Feb. 2020
Publisher: Accent Press


Can two wrongs ever make a right?


A man is found by the side of a canal, comatose and brutally attacked.

It quickly becomes clear that someone is abducting men and subjecting them to horrific acts of torture. After three days they're released, fighting for their lives and refusing to speak.


A councillor is accused of fraud.

Montague Mason is an upstanding member of the community. That is until he's publicly accused of stealing the youth centre's funds - an accusation that threatens to rip through the very heart of the community and expose his best-kept secret. But how far would he go to protect himself?


Two cases. One deadly answer.

As the two cases collide, D.I. Paolo Sterling finds he has more questions than answers. And, when torture escalates to murder, he suddenly finds himself in a race against time to find the killer and put an end to the depravity - once and for all.





My Review:

Another dark and gritty thriller from Lorraine Mace, with an opening chapter from Nemesis which is dark and necessarily graphic, but not gratuitously so.

From there I joined DI Paolo Sterling at the opening ceremony of the renovated youth centre, a project Paolo played a major part in making happen. The ceremony goes awry when the plaque is revealed and it has been defaced with an accusation against the local councillor.

Paolo has to discover whether there is any truth to the accusation, as well as find out who is behind it. At the same time, Paolo is called in to investigate the brutal attack on a man who is now in hospital in a coma. Not only that, but Paolo has to deal with his complicated family life, and difficulties within his team of officers.

Rage and Retribution is another gripping character-driven thriller from a talented author. It's a compelling read, full of tension and suspense, that deals with some difficult issues. Not for the faint-hearted!

Rage and Retribution is the fourth book in the series featuring DI Paolo Sterling, but as with the previous three, it can easily be read as a stand-alone.

( I received a complimentary copy of the book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.)



Author Bio:

When not working on her D.I. Sterling Series, Lorraine Mace is engaged in many writing-related activities. She is a columnist for both Writing Magazine and Writers' Forum and is head judge for Writers’ Forum monthly fiction competitions. A tutor for Writers Bureau, she also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service. She is co-author, with Maureen Vincent-Northam, of The Writer's Abc Checklist (Accent Press). Other books include children’s novel Vlad The Inhaler - Hero In The Making, and Notes From The Margin, a compilation of her Writing Magazine humour column.










Thursday, 13 February 2020

Empire's Hostage by Marian L. Thorpe


Title: Empire's Hostage
Series: Empire's Legacy Book 2
Author: Marian L. Thorpe
Genre: NA / Adult historical fantasy (no magic) or alternate world adventure
Publication Date: July 2017




For fifteen months, the Empire and the northern people have been at war, but a truce is finally at hand. As part of this treaty, Lena, now a Guardswoman on the Wall, is asked to stand as a hostage, to go north to live and learn among the people of Linrathe. But not everyone there will welcome her. As Lena learns more of the history of both her land and the north, a new threat emerges, one that will test her loyalty to its limits, and in the end, demand a price she could not have envisioned.










Author Bio:

Not content with two careers as a research scientist and an educator, Marian L Thorpe decided to go back to what she’d always wanted to do and be a writer. Author of the alternative world medieval trilogy Empire’s Legacy, Marian also has published short stories and poetry. Her life-long interest in Roman and post-Roman European history informs her novels, while her avocations of landscape archaeology and birding provide background to her settings.










Giveaway to Win a Paperback copy of Empire’s Legacy, the complete trilogy (Open Internationally)
*Terms and Conditions - Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
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Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Australia Burns by Various Authors



Title: Australia Burns
Series: Show Australia Some Love Volumes 1, 2 and 3
Author: Various Authors
Publication Date: February 14
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc


The books will be available on February 14, but are currently available for pre-order.


Volume 1

Stories in this collection are contributed by authors who care about Australia and the relief efforts from the devastating bushfires. All profits from the book will be donated to charities involved with the recovery efforts. The publisher and authors are not affiliated with the charities. They simply want to show Australia their love and support.

A collection of Short Stories in Mainstream Fiction,
Women's Fiction, Thrillers, and Mystery



A Solicitous Wife by Madeleine McDonald
No One Knew by Larry Farmer
Pinochle by Brenda Whiteside
The Tuesday Night Meeting by Peggy Jaeger
911, What's Your Emergency? by D. V. Stone
Tall Tales by Laura Strickland
Fare Gain by Alexandra Christle
The Note by Stephen B. King
Three Ghosts by Julie Howard
Detective Paws and Lip Gloss by Maureen L. Bonatch
The Ring by Margaret Ann Spence
Portrait of a Gunfighter by Hywela Lyn
Six Hours or So by Lisa Wilkes
Prussic Acid by Melody DeBlois







Volume 2

Stories in this collection are contributed by authors who care about Australia and the relief efforts from the devastating bushfires. All profits from the book will be donated to charities involved with the recovery efforts. The publisher and authors are not affiliated with the charities. They simply want to show Australia their love and support.

A collection of Romance, Young Adult,
and Women's Fiction Short Stories


Che Gelida Manina by M. S. Spencer
Recipes for Love by Carol Henry
Waiting for Caleb by Gini Rifkin
Wings of Fire by Jana Richards
A Lark by Gabbi Grey
Apple Crisp by Terry Graham
Goody Twoshoes by Mark Love
The Number by Barbara Bettis
Deadly Homecoming by Peggy Chambers
An Egg-Cellent Witness by Marilyn Barr
Season of Withered Corn by Judy Ann Davis
Beneath the Pines by Debby Grahl
Christopher Reisner by Linda Griffin
Unexpected Love: Chase Allen by Anna Lores
The Cowboy and the Lady by Jean Adams
The Heart Necklace by Amanda Uhl
The Relaxation Response by Darcy Lundeen
Dancing Through Tears by Jeny Heckman




Volume Three

Stories in this collection are contributed by authors who care about Australia and the relief efforts from the devastating bushfires. All profits from the book will be donated to charities involved with the recovery efforts. The publisher and authors are not affiliated with the charities. They simply want to show Australia their love and support.

A collection of Paranormal, Horror,
and Sci-Fi Fiction Short Stories.


The Pilot's Son by CJ Zahner
The Vengeance by Rhonda Gilmour
A Climb to Kill by ML Erdahl
Born of Fangs by Sydney Winward
Johnny Appleseed by Robert Herold
Rebellion in Slot III by Roni Denholtz
Home, Sweet Mobile Home by Alana Lorens
The Filthy Human by Tori V. Rainn
Baby Daddy by Kerry Blaisdell
The Witch of Calico Island by Cat Dubie
Stained-Glass Vision by Mary Morgan
A Witch's Protocol by Tena Stetler
I Choose Life by Kristal Dawn Harris
Together Forever by N. Christine Samuelson
Where Is Your High School Sweetheart? by Donna Kunkel
Lost and Found by Joanne Guidoccio
Nursery Chimes by D.S. Lucas





My Review of Australia Burns Volume 1:

Written by a group of authors who have come together for a great cause, this volume has 14 delightful stories for you to dig into. From the wonderfully weird to the weirdly wonderful, there's something here for everyone, humour, mystery, thrills and more. This first volume of the three is an easy book to dip in and out of, and a great way to find 'new to you' authors.

As with all anthologies, some stories caught my interest more than others, and there were a few that I wished were longer, could be expanded on or continued.

My favourite story was The Note by Stephen B. King, which was a super story of an everyday guy, who unwittingly becomes a hero when he saves his neighbour. I will be looking to read more from this author, along with a few others




The publisher will give away a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter.



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by:

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Blue Skies Over Berlin by John Steinberg



Title: Blue Skies Over Berlin
Author: John Steinberg
Genre: Fiction / History / Mystery /Romance / World War 2 / Art


A young German woman, thinking she can escape her memories of wartime Berlin, moves to London in 1954 under her new name of Charlotte Brown. The offer of a prestigious job at the National Gallery leads her to believe that she can establish a new life in a city itself emerging from the ruins of war.

With her new identity, Charlotte hopes she has left Eva Schlessinger far behind . . . but when her job brings her into contact with a ruthless set of art dealers with dubious wartime connections, she fears they can see behind her facade. Priceless masterpieces start appearing at auction, stolen from murdered Jewish families by the Nazis, and she herself is implicated. At this point, Charlotte makes a solemn promise – one that will take her a lifetime to fulfil.

Blue Skies Over Berlin is a novel about secrets and guilt in an uncertain time, balanced by friendship and enduring love - and ultimately the need to make amends for just standing by.






Author Bio:

Born and raised in North London in 1952, John still lives in the city with his wife and three children. Privately educated, John left school after ‘A’ levels and completed a business diploma in what is now the University of Westminster, before entering banking.

He started training as an accountant but did not complete the course, choosing a position in his family’s furniture manufacturing business instead. John started his own mergers and acquisitions business in 1987, which he ran for almost 20 years before quitting to become a full time writer in 2007.

John has co-written and produced comedies for the stage and has created a series of books for children.

“Previously, I had only been interested in comedy and finally started to write down the things I said or thought of. That led me to co-write and produce a play, In the Balance, and then W for Banker – which appeared at the New End Theatre, Hampstead. It was then I decided to quit the world of business in favour of writing full-time, and move toward more serious subjects. My first novel has taken two years to write and is the first in a series of books I am calling the ‘Steinberg Stories’.”







Monday, 10 February 2020

Destiny's Series by Victoria Saccenti



Is proud to reveal the NEW book covers for the epic Destiny saga.







Destiny’s Plan

An empty seat and a love that can withstand the trials of fate…

When Raquelita Muro takes the empty seat on the bus to avoid sitting beside her mother, she doesn’t expect to find the love of her life. But as the hours pass by on the journey from Texas to Florida, Raquelita knows that Matthew Buchanan is the one for her.

But fate, the US Military, and an interfering mother stand between the young lovers and their destiny.

Exchanging letters in secret is their only hope as Matthew ships off to Vietnam and Raquelita and her family make a new life for themselves in Florida. And when tragedy strikes they will each be brought to the edge of what they can survive.

The course of true love never did run smooth, but will Matthew and Raquelita find each other again when half a world and an ocean of pain stands between them?



Editorial Review:

Destiny's Plan is a romance novel by Victoria Saccenti and the first book in the Destiny's Series. Set during the Vietnam war, the plot recounts the first meeting of Raquelita Muro and Matthew Buchanan just as he is about be recruited and sent off to Vietnam. These innocent and idealistic young lovers encounter a world that seems to no longer believe in love, and their relationship is tested by war, distance, hardship, and family interference. Through it all, however, they try to remain strong, and it's up to them to see whether they can handle what fate throws at them, or whether it will tear them apart for good.

An innocent tale of love at first sight takes a serious twist as war looms. Victoria Saccenti has created a charming and naïve heroine in Lita, who learns the harsh lessons of the real world and grows up through the readers' eyes. The Hispanic culture is vividly presented with lively characters that make up Lita's family, and though Destiny's Plan is quite a long book, it is easy to read and keep turning pages. Matthew's hardship and shocking consequences of his time in Vietnam presented a really interesting and unexpected twist to the story, and I can safely say that the plot line is not what you would usually expect from a historical romance. The political backdrop of 1960s America takes a back seat to the secrets in the Muro family, the two atmospheres combining in a very satisfying and engrossing way.



Destiny’s Choice

He’s older, his PTSD wounds run deep, and doesn’t believe in second chances. She does...

As a naïve young woman, Marité Muro nearly drowned in a maelstrom of confusing emotions stirred by two very different men. One whose tortured soul tugged at her heart, another whose scorching touch made her innocent body want…more.

Vietnam left scars on Brian MacKay, some visible, some invisible—and nearly impossible to heal. His war buddy’s sister-in-law has ripened into a tempting, irresistible woman, but their age difference makes her forbidden fruit.

After four years in a Spanish prep school, Marité’s come home ready to fight for the man she’s never been able to forget. But when Michael returns out of the past, he threatens everything Marité and Brian have started to build.



Editorial Review:

Destiny's Choice is Book 2 in the Destiny's Series by Victoria Saccenti, a riveting tale of a love that is as powerful as it is dangerous. Marité Muro might have been infatuated with Brian MacKay when she was very young, but after four years of prep school in Spain, she comes back to Florida different, feeling mature and sure of what she wants, and if there is anything in the world she'd die for, it's to be enfolded in the arms of Brian MacKay. Things could have been easy if MacKay hadn't served with her brother in Viet Nam. Brian Mackay might be a war hero, but now he has to face a new kind of war; he has to wrestle with the powerful emotions the young Marité Muro stirs in his heart. He knows he shouldn't want her, but all his defenses are being weakened. How long will he keep up the fight before he finally crumbles under her charm?

You'll love Destiny's Choice if you're into romance and if you love the kind of setting that mimics the world of Eden, with a serpent tugging at the hem of your clothes and a forbidden fruit that is infinitely inviting. Victoria Saccenti creates beautiful characters and tactfully draws readers into their minds through her powerful and vivid descriptions. Marité Muro is one of those characters readers want to follow in their growth process. She is stubborn and reckless, the kind of character who'll do anything to get what she wants, but she's come a long way. The psychological conflict is well-developed in the story, and while it helps the plot to move fast, it also allows readers to connect easily with the characters. It's a very entertaining and engaging read, a hard-to-put-down kind of book for romance lovers.



Destiny’s Way

One disastrous night rips the lovers apart. All is lost, until Fate intervenes.

Brian’s love for Marité burns with the heat of an eternal flame. However, when Michael makes a play for her, Brian’s PTSD-fueled demons convince him Marité’s better off with someone younger, less damaged—anyone—but him.

Anger tears at Marité’s heart. Anger at Brian for giving up so easily. At Michael for trying to reignite an old infatuation. Mostly, anger at herself for her part in the debacle and for not having the strength to fight for the only man she’ll ever love.

But Destiny is not quite finished with the lovers…



Editorial Review:

 Destiny's Way is the third book in Destiny's Series by Victoria Saccenti, an absorbing contemporary romance that will provoke the most compelling and powerful emotions in readers. When Brian McKay inadvertently catches Michael, his cousin, trying to kiss the love of his life, his jealousy boils over. In a quick moment of insanity, he boards a plane and flies to Round Rock. Marité Muro, the woman he'd loved passionately, would be better off without him, so he thinks. Meanwhile, Marité is left devastated as she moves to her home in Abuela. She hates Brian for leaving. She blames herself for not taking control and acting maturely, and Michael for not being able to set the limits. Read on to discover the delightful twist in the story and the surprising and powerful workings of love.

Destiny's Way is a story that brilliantly highlights the power of love, a story with a strong conflict centered on characters that are beautifully explored. I enjoyed the way the protagonist, Brian, is imagined. A character with a serious personality flaw -- his anger is aggressive and he seems to be haunted by his past. But the transformation that takes place within him is what stunned me. I enjoy books in which characters grow and positively evolve, and this is one such book. The other elements of the storytelling craft are beautifully accomplished -- the vivid settings, the fast-paced, gripping plot, the strong conflict, and the awesome writing. I loved the prose and excellent paragraph breaks which create strong, dramatic ripples. Victoria Saccenti has the gift to make each character's emotions come alive and this aspect of her writing will allow her readers to easily connect with the characters. This was an enjoyable read.



About the Author:

Award-winning, multi-genre author Victoria Saccenti picked up pencil and paper the moment her childhood book heroes started conversing with her. Sounds a little crazy, but there’s no rhyme or reason for inspiration.

She writes romantic women’s fiction, contemporary romance, and paranormal romance. Her stories explore the twists and turns of human interaction, the many facets of love, and all possible happy endings.

After thirty years of traveling the world, she’s settled in Central Florida. However, if she could convince her husband to sell their home, she would pack up her computer and move to Scotland, a land she adores.







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Sunday, 9 February 2020

One: Rage Vengeance Murder by K. J. McGillick



Title: One: Rage Vengeance Murder
Series: A Path of Deception and Betrayal Book 3
Author: K. J. McGillick
Genre: Thriller
Publication Date: 25th April 2018


A stolen life. A Faustian bargain. Prey becomes predator.

Azar Abed is out for revenge for the life Dr. Adrian Armond stole from her. No matter what the cost. Adrien Armond will stop at nothing to recover the massive fortune Azar Abed embezzled from him. Neither will walk away until the other is dead. Someone’s going to die, that is for certain.

Personal revenge gets caught up in a bio-terror plot to crash the world’s economy as darkness spirals into darkness and terror is the order of the day. Azar Abed and Adrien Armond are on a collision course that could have catastrophic consequences on a global scale.

Who will kill who first? Will it be enough? Can anyone stop the bio-terror plot to destroy the world’s economy that is already in motion? Does anyone have enough humanity left even to try?

Set against a backdrop of Washington, DC, ONE is a heart pounding-psychological thriller pitting greed against greed in a cat-and-mouse game where vengeance is the only prize. It can be read as a standalone, or as the conclusion to events begun in its predecessor, TWO. It concludes the Path of Deception and Betrayal series.



Excerpt:

Adrien

      Paris was no longer a safe place for me. My story and face were too well-known. The removal of my two fingers, courtesy of Ivan Roselov, was priority for treatment immediately after it occurred. However, not such a priority for the French prison system. The months I languished in jail awaiting trial without treatment rendered them useless appendages and complications arose. It wasn’t until after my release that I was able to have the issues addressed by competent, but uncaring, judgmental doctors who used to be a part of my circle. They were willing to take my money but unwilling to show me respect. People would pay for their transgressions against me. However, until my money was back in my hands, I had to keep that mantra, day after day as I searched for Azar Abed and the money she stole from me. An eye for an eye.
      The life I had relied upon and taken for granted came to an end when Avigad involved me in the theft of his daughter’s kidney. He needed to save his own life and he decided she was to be sacrificed. His renal failure had worsened to the point his life would certainly end sooner rather than later, and he was determined to live even if it meant stealing an organ from his daughter. His madness in the end drove me to kill him before he stole my life. Although I returned her kidney to her, her anger knew no bounds and she extracted her revenge on me for my part by stealing all my hidden funds. She left me all but destitute save the funds I had hidden which were not within my reach until the trial had ended and I was free.
      One thing Avigad taught me was how to hide money. Sometimes hiding it in plain sight worked the best. Other times, it had to be layered through several channels. A bit complicated in today’s world driven by regulations.
      I was forced to sell the last of the gallery paintings just months before the walls of my life came tumbling down which brought a tidy sum of 300 thousand US dollars. After cleaning it through four banks and two luxury cars, I was able to convert it to cash and tuck it away in a safe deposit bank in New York. Now it was time to retrieve that money. Another insurance policy involved a storage facility in Maine owned by another cell member, Jude White. I was able to arrange for some paintings to be stored that contained information in the frames I could trade on very soon.
      A trip to the US was necessary to start rebuilding my life and I was indeed fortunate that the Paris sweep had not discovered my other two passports—one Italian and one Canadian. Since the US appeared to have a better relationship with Canadians these days, I determined it would serve me better to travel under my Canadian passport. My cover? A Canadian software engineer, a rather innocuous cover that I knew just enough about to bore people to death if they tried to engage me in a conversation about it.

*
      Unlike many other people in the world who loved the energy and buzz of New York, I did not. After my incarceration, the nonstop motion and never-ending sea of people surrounding me had an effect that brought me to the point of a panic attack. After my release from prison I became a bit of a recluse, kept my own counsel and preferred it that way. I had the rest of my life planned and once I retrieved my funds from Azar, I would live out my live on an island in the Pacific far away from the despicable people that inhabited the rest of the earth.
      Money had become an issue for me, making a trip to New York to retrieve some of my secreted funds necessary. Although traveling under another identity, New York hosted an enormous Russian population. Consequently, a place I shouldn’t linger for long. The Roselovs’ reach was long. I never knew how Avigad had secured the false documents he always provided but the last two in my possession should do fine for what was needed. However, it troubled me to use them even for a restricted time as I had every reason to believe his Russian contacts were involved in procuring the documents. If my use of the passport hit their radar, it might produce a problem.
      I had to remind myself I was here for one purpose. I needed to retrieve my funds to tide me over and also meet with a man who could assist me in moving the cash to offshore accounts. Something I had always done myself but now lacked the necessary credentials to do so without possibly hitting someone’s radar. The plan was relatively easy. Warren Goldberg was to meet me at the bank. I’d add his name as someone allowed to access my safe deposit box. In turn, over the course of two months he would make several visits to the bank and remove the cash to offshore accounts for me. Three hundred thousand dollars being removed in a duffel bag all at once might garner some suspicion. Warren was possibly the only person I trusted, and he had served me well over the years. In return, my investments had benefited him as well and he was more than happy to continue our arrangement. He had recommended an associate, code name Melzar. What kind of name was that? Code or not. These people with their cloak-and-dagger nonsense… I needed them and if it meant achieving my goal I’d play along.



Author Bio:

K. J. McGillick was born in New York and once she started to walk she never stopped running. But that's what New Yorker's do. Right? A Registered Nurse, a lawyer now author.

As she evolved so did her career choices. After completing her graduate degree in nursing, she spent many years in the university setting sharing the dreams of the enthusiastic nursing students she taught. After twenty rewarding years in the medical field she attended law school and has spent the last twenty-four years as an attorney helping people navigate the turbulent waters of the legal system. Not an easy feat. And now? Now she is sharing the characters she loves with readers hoping they are intrigued by her twisting and turning plots and entertained by her writing







Saturday, 8 February 2020

The Pâtissière by S M Boland



Title: The Pâtissière
Author: S M Boland
Genre: Women's Fiction, Cozy Mystery
Publication Date: May 2019
Publisher: Warblebox



A delicious tale of murder and sweetness.

A young girl's life is transformed by a visit to the greatest Salon du The in Paris, but she discovers more than the sophisticated magnificence of a Mont Blanc. She finds a new world, one which lures her in, corrupts her, consumes her and ultimately destroys her.

What 'Perfume' did for scent, 'The Pâtissière' does for taste.







About the Author:

S M Boland is an international author of women's fiction, including the five star rated, Mrs Keiller's Marmalade.








Friday, 7 February 2020

A Shape on the Air by Julia Ibbotson


Title: A Shape on the Air
Author: Julia Ibbotson
Genre: Historical time slip romance
Publication Date: August 2017


Unlocking a love that lasts for lifetimes - and beyond!

When Dr Viv DuLac, a medievalist, slips into 499 AD and into the body of Lady Vivianne, little does she realise that both their lives across the centuries will become intertwined as they fight for their dreams … and their lives.

How can the key which Viv bring back with her to the present unlock the love they both crave, and help them through the dangers they both face? And how can they help each other across the centuries, without changing the course of history?



Excerpt:

A Shape on the Air is the story of two women 1500 years apart. Can they help each other to achieve their greatest desire? And what if the world they want is not the one that's best for them? University lecturer in medieval studies, Dr Viv DuLac, is devastated when her partner walks out and threatens her home. About to lose everything, drunk and desperate, her world quite literally turns upside down as she finds herself in the body of the fifth century Lady Vivianne, who is struggling with the shifting values of the Dark Ages and her forced betrothal to the brutish Sir Pelleas. He is implicated in the death of her parents. Haunted by both Lady Vivianne and by Viv's own parents' death and legacy, can Viv unravel the web of mystery that surrounds and connects their two lives, and bring peace to them both? A haunting story of lives intertwining across the ages, of the triumph of the human spirit and of dreams lost and found.

This is an extract from the opening of my book, A Shape on the Air. Dr Viv DuLac has just had a strange experience, voices echoing in her head seemingly from somewhere centuries ago, and someone calling her Lady Vivianne. She arrives home from her job at the university as a senior lecturer in medieval studies and awaits her beloved partner, Pete, who is returning from an IT conference in Belgium. But all does not go to plan…

      Viv blinked through the darkness of the apartments’ communal hall, struggling to escape the strange thoughts that invaded her mind.
      “My little Lady Vivianne” – where had that come from? Had her mother called her that? But it was so long ago … her parents were gone, way back. And the man, speaking loudly in that odd determined way, as Pete sometimes did, but yet certainly not Pete … this one, a disturbing voice, vaguely heard on the air … Darkness and unwanted thoughts, so vivid they seemed like memories.
      But a flick of the brain and they were gone. She was shattered after four nights with little sleep, and her mind out of kilter.
      Her eyes adjusted to the dimness after the glaring sunshine of the courtyard. As her vision cleared so did her brain. She unlocked her own apartment door. Pete would be back soon from his four day IT conference in Belgium. She could hardly wait.
      Viv planned to make his favourite meal and then … mmm …
      She dropped her work bag on her desk in the little study. Tired already, she’d had a busy day at the university but the thought of Pete spurred her on. Quickly she changed from her business-like work suit into the slim jeans that fitted her long legs and rounded bottom snugly, and the floaty chiffon top that showed off her firm breasts, knowing these clothes were Pete’s favourites.
      Pulling out of her bag the manuscript she was working on for her undergrad students, the new translation of the long Anglo-Saxon heroic poem Beowulf, she took it through to the kitchen and opened it on the table to glance at as she began one of her favourite activities, cooking a special dinner for the two of them.
      Soon wafts of Il Divo singing Nella Fantasia drifted out from her sound system, and she hummed along with it as she lifted the casserole dish out of the oven to stir it, breathing in the rich earthy smell of the venison in red wine. Not only was Pete coming home, it was also the fifth anniversary of moving in together to this wonderful flat.
      As she prepped the meal, she kept peering through her reading glasses at the manuscript, trying to work out one particularly difficult passage. She had the candles ready for the table and she grinned to herself as she thought of the silky basque she had bought for tonight. He would smile at her across the table and take her hand in his; they’d leave the dishes there and he would lead her into their bedroom … She squirmed deliciously and forced her attention back to her tasks.
      She was slipping the casserole dish back into the oven when she heard the front door slam and Pete drop his briefcase on the hall floor.
      “Hi, darling,” she called out to him, snatching off her glasses.
      He didn’t respond. She looked up and saw him standing in the kitchen doorway, leaning his well-built rugby-player’s physique against the doorjamb, staring into space.
      She smiled at his unusually serious face, his piercing blue eyes, and the way he raked his hand through his thick fair hair which looked almost golden in the early evening sunlight. He was growing a beard and had a distinct dark shadow across his jawline. He looked tired. But she felt the usual shiver of desire run down her spine as she moved over to him and wrapped her arms round his neck.
      He bent to her, eyes closed tightly, and nuzzled her neck. “Mmmm …” he murmured something into her thick wavy hair but she couldn’t hear him as she felt his strong arms surround her slim body and pull her into him. She felt the familiar tingling in her abdomen and the warm ache. His mouth sought hers and he kissed her deeply. Oh goodness, he’d clearly missed her so much. She felt herself melting into him as his fingers burrowed urgently into her hair. Maybe the dinner could wait half an hour … His teeth almost bit through her lip and she caught her breath with the pain. This was not Pete’s normal gentle exploring first, that usually sent shivers of anticipation through her body, but an immediately desperate demand. He tugged at her hair. An almost brutal force.
      She snapped open her eyes. He was looking through her as if he was seeing someone else in his arms.



Author Bio:

Acclaimed, award-winning author Julia Ibbotson is fascinated by the medieval world and concepts of time travel.

She read English at Keele University, England (after a turbulent but exciting gap year in Ghana, West Africa) specialising in medieval language, literature and history, and has a PhD in socio-linguistics.

She wrote her first novel at 10 years of age, but became a school teacher, then an academic as a senior university lecturer and researcher.

As well as medieval time-slip, she has published a number of books, including memoir/history of food (The Old Rectory), children’s medieval fantasy (S.C.A.R.S), a trilogy opening in 1960s Ghana (Drumbeats), and many academic works.

Apart from insatiable reading, she loves travelling the world, singing in choirs, swimming, yoga and walking in the countryside in England and Madeira where she and her husband divide their time.







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Schedule pic (XL-centre)