Friday, October 30, 2015

Pills And Starships Book Review


 
I have a rather unusual futuristic book to share with all of you that I found quite fascinating that our society would be so accepting in the future. It's called Pills and Starships written by Lydia Millet.

Synopsis:
In this richly imagined dystopic future brought by global warming, seventeen-year-old Nat and her hacker brother Sam have come by ship to the Big Island of Hawaii for their parents’ Final Week. The few Americans who still live well also live long—so long that older adults bow out not by natural means but by buying death contracts from the corporates who now run the disintegrating society by keeping the people happy through a constant diet of “pharma.” Nat’s family is spending their pharma-guided last week at a luxury resort complex called the Twilight Island Acropolis. 
Deeply conflicted about her parents’ decision, Nat spends her time keeping a record of everything her family does in the company-supplied diary that came in the hotel’s care package. While Nat attempts to come to terms with her impending parentless future, Sam begins to discover cracks in the corporates’ agenda and eventually rebels against the company his parents have hired to handle their last days. Nat has to choose a side. Does she let her parents go gently into that good night, or does she turn against the system and try to break them out? 
But the deck is stacked against Nat and Sam: in this oppressive environment, water and food are scarce, mass human migrations are constant, and new babies are illegal. As the week nears its end, Nat rushes to protect herself and her younger brother from the corporates while also forging a path toward a future that offers the hope of redemption for humanity. 
My Thoughts:
Wow! This book is really so crazy about senior citizens that I couldn't really believe what I was reading! You only get to live to a certain age, even if you are perfectly healthy and then you gotta go but it's also the way that they have it set up that really freaked me out!
I won't go into any details because you just have to read this book for yourself. This writer must have had some really wild imagination to come up with this whole scenario. I can't believe that parents are required to turn themselves in at a certain age, no matter if they still have children at home or not. Then those kids are left without any parents and I guess they get lost in the shuffle if there is no one to take care and of them!
But, there is hope on the horizon! As always, there is a rebellion going on and people are starting to protest this mandatory rule of turning yourself in to be done away with and Nat meets some of these people and she begins to see that she really isn't okay with losing her parents and decides to see if she can stop it.
Not sure if there will be another book coming as the ending could have been just that or it was left in such a way that there could be another installment coming. If one is coming, I can't wait to read it so I can see what happens next!

Happy Reading!

About the Author:

Lydia Millet is a novelist and short-story writer known for her dark humor, idiosyncratic characters and language, and strong interest in the relationship between humans and other animals. Born in Boston, she grew up in Toronto and now lives outside Tucson, Arizona with her two children, where she writes and works in wildlife conservation.

Sometimes called a "novelist of ideas," Millet won the PEN-USA award for fiction for her early novel My Happy Life (2002); in 2010, her story collection Love in Infant Monkeys was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. In 2008, 2011, and 2012 she published three novels in a critically acclaimed series about extinction and personal loss: How the Dead Dream, Ghost Lights, and Magnificence. June 2014 will see the publication of her first book for young-adult readers, Pills and Starships -- an apocalyptic tale of death contracts and climate change set in the ruins of Hawaii.

Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from you.

Paper Doll Book Review & Giveaway**Closed**


 
I have a new mystery/drama book to share with all of you called Paper Doll written by Joe Cosentino. This is actually part of Jana Lane Mysteries, so if you really like reading this mystery, you will get to read other books as they come out!
 
Synopsis:
Jana Lane was America's most famous child star until she was attacked on the studio lot at eighteen years old. Now a thirty-eight-year-old beauty and mother of two living in a mansion in picturesque Hudson Valley, New York, Jana's flashbacks from her past turn into murder attempts in her present. The local suspects include Jana's down-on-his-luck husband with a dislike for living off the fruits of his wife's young labor, Jana's sister and male friend (who both have eyes for Jana's husband), Jana's show business father, her deranged loyal fan, and Jana's young Guy Friday who covets her fame and shares an uncanny resemblance to Jana.  
Forced to summon up the lost courage she had as a child, Jana visits the California movie studio she once called home. This sends her on a whirlwind of visits with former and current movie studio personnel. It also leads to a romance with the son of her old producer--Rocco Cavoto--the devilishly handsome filmmaker who is planning Jana's comeback both professionally and personally. With Rocco's help, Jana uncovers a web of secrets about everyone she loves, including the person who destroyed her past and threatens to snuff out her future. 
My Thoughts:,
 
Next to YA Fantasy/Supernatural books, Mystery books are my second choice and before I found the YA Fantasy genre, that was all I read, so I have a really long history reading Mystery/Drama books.
 
I love the care that this writer gave his readers a really juicy story filled with disturbing twists and turns and people who weren't quite right around children growing up in the movie industry in Hollywood. I am so glad that I am not a part of all that madness! I really don't see how those people are able to live any kind of "real" life the way they are hounded by the press. How can you have a night out or a day and just be comfortable?
 
Anyway, Jana Lane has quite a few enemies that want her dead or want her life, so she's not living real good right now. She left show business back around 18, but nobody seems to really grasp that concept, so when asked if she would like to re-launch her career, her old producer wants her to come back and make a movie, she agrees.
 
And with that things get in motion again that she had tried to forget all those years ago. It's going to be a bumpy ride, so hold on and keep reading!
 
Happy Reading!
About the Author:
 
Amazon Bestselling author Joe Cosentino wrote DRAMA QUEEN the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), AN INFATUATION & A SHOOTING STAR (Dreamspinner Press), PAPER DOLL the first Jana Lane mystery (Whiskey Creek Press), and THE NUTCRACKER AND THE MOUSE KING (Eldridge Plays and Musicals).
 
He has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O'Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. His one-act plays, "Infatuation" and "Neighbor," were performed in New York City. He wrote THE PERILS OF PAULINE educational film (Prentice Hall Publishers).
 
Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. His upcoming novels are A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS (Dreamspinner Press holiday novella),THE NAKED PRINCE AND OTHER TALES FROM FAIRYLAND (Dreamspinner Press fairytale novella), DRAMA MUSCLE the second Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), and PORCELAIN DOLL the second Jana Lane mystery (Wild Rose Press). 
 
I will be giving my copy of Paper Doll to one of you. It's a very good book and I wanted to share it with someone else who might enjoy it. The giveaway will be open to the Continental U.S. only. Good Luck Everyone!
 
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Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from you.

Mark of the Beast Book Review


 
I have a book I wanted to share with you today called The Mark of The Beast written by Adolphus Anekwe that is pretty darn scary!
 
Synopsis:
Mark of the Beast: A searing medical thriller by Adolphus A. Anekwe, a renowned doctor, about the ramifications of isolating a gene that causes violent behavior
Dr. Regina Dickerson is a Catholic physician in San Diego who has discovered that there is a certain genetic marker that indicates the carrier is prone to psychotic violence.  
Working on blood from prison inmates, her theory begins to prove itself time and again with violent offenders. The variety of crimes is diverse: one couple murders their children for organ money, another man kidnaps young girls to seduce and kill them, yet another has a penchant for cyanide.  
As Dickerson's work begins to show results and catches the attention of the media, people begin to fear that witch hunts and Spanish Inquisition–style mayhem will result if forcible testing is carried out. Meanwhile, a race begins to find a cure. With science and religion at odds, Dickerson must find her own answers while trying to escape those who want to put an end to her inflammatory research.
My Thoughts:
 
This is a really far out , I hope in the future scenario, because it is really disturbing to think that they can come up with tests that would predict if you had certain tendencies to do things. In this particular test, this doctor is able to predict or she think she can, if people will commit violent crimes.
 
What she sets out to do is to try and predict who will basically do the more awful crimes, like murder, child rape, anything that involves very bad violence. She comes up with a code, which is the HLA B66 but for some odd reason, she really goes out on a limb and decides that her test is actually something Biblical.
 
According to some ancient works that she uncovers, the letter B in the old language was actually a 6, so that changed her test from a B66 to 666. So, this is where the story gets a little off balance and they try to determine if they can predict if people are indeed the Mark of the Beast because they have this B66 genetic code.
 
I am not good with science stuff, so I can't really explain it like the book does, but it makes for a very interesting story but in the end, this doctor will learn a valuable lesson!
 
Happy Reading!

Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product.  All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from you.  

Red Carpets & White Lies Book Review


 
 
I have a different kind of book than I normally read to share with you called Red Carpets & White Lies written by Lea Black who was a Real Housewife in The Real Housewives of Miami.

Synopsis:
In a city known for its never-ending parties, Miami socialite Leigh Anatole White hosts the most extravagant party of them all. Her annual Charity Ball, a star-studded benefit for troubled teens, is the most highly anticipated event of the season, and Leigh pulls out all the stops to ensure it doesn’t disappoint.

This year—the tenth anniversary of the Ball—Leigh has decided to give Miami one last blowout before relinquishing her title as hostess. Suffice it to say, the pressure is on: this year’s Charity Ball simply must be the best yet. With help from her committee, a few close friends, a masterful personal assistant and her supportive husband, Leigh is poised to deliver. Even the dirty secrets and entanglements of her friends and pseudo-friends—the good-hearted, hard-drinking gossip queen Dixie Johnson; drag queen extraordinaire Diva Elaine Manchester; and bronzed, botoxed and backstabbing Katie Parker, to name a few—can’t slow her down.

When an influential art dealer shows up, offering to provide high-end artwork for the Charity Ball’s auction, Leigh is thrilled. This is just what the gala needs to set it apart from previous years’, and after all of Leigh’s hard work, it looks as though the last Charity Ball may just live up to the hype. But as always in the world of Miami’s rich and shameless, a scandal is never far off…and this one hits everyone close to home.  
My Thoughts:
 
I have to be honest and say I have never watched any Real Housewives and actually about the only reality TV that I do watch is Dancing with the Stars, so this was a big departure from my normal reading material.
 
But, it really did turn out to be a pretty good book because it wasn't all about that stuff that they do on TV. This was something of a crime/mystery type of book this Real Housewives star decided to write about and the story is about someone who was able to penetrate Leigh's inner circle and basically mess with her charity that she always did each year for her charity that helped troubled teens.
 
I have to admit that I think anyone that would mess with a charity event, no matter where the money raised is going, really needs to get the book thrown at them because it's just wrong to steal money from a good cause. Unfortunately, at first, the cops thought Leigh was the one who stole the money until her husband and friends were able to figure it all out and help clear her name.
 
This book has just the right amount of suspense and drama that it kept me glued to the book and when I get that involved in a story, it's a good book to tell others about!
 
Happy Reading!
 
About the Author:
 
Lea Black, resonates far beyond her prominent role on The Real Housewives of Miami.  Multi-talented Black also blogs regularly for outlets such as The Huffington Post and E! Online, has founded and co-founded several health and beauty lines, and hosts an annual gala that wrangles in Miami’s considerable wealth and talent to raise money for charity.

Lea is also president and CEO of a multi-brand company she created and founded. She is married to criminal defense attorney Roy Black, with whom she has a thirteen-year-old son, RJ.

Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product.  All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from you. 

Krampus The Yule Lord Book Review


 
Title: Krampus: The Yule Lord
Author: Brom
Release Date: October 30, 2012
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Genre: Paranormal/Mythology
Format: Ebook/Paperback/Hardcover/Audible

 Synopsis:
Santa Claus, my dear old friend, you are a thief, a traitor, a slanderer, a murder, a liar, but worst of all you are a mockery of everything for which I stood. 
You have sung your last ho, ho, ho, for I am coming to take your head. I am coming to take back what is mine, to take back Yuletide… 
The author and artist of The Child Thief returns with a modern fabulist tale of Krampus, the Lord of Yule and mortal enemy of Santa Claus. 
One Christmas Eve in a small hollow in Boone County, West Virginia, struggling songwriter Jesse Walker witnesses a strange spectacle: seven devilish figures chasing a man in a red suit toward a sleigh and eight reindeer. When the reindeer leap skyward taking the sleigh, devil men, and Santa into the clouds, screams follow. Moments later, a large sack plummets earthward, a magical sack that will thrust the down-on-his luck singer into the clutches of the terrifying Yule Lord, Krampus. But the lines between good and evil become blurred as Jesse’s new master reveals many dark secrets about the cherry-cheeked Santa Claus, and how half a millennium ago, the jolly old saint imprisoned Krampus and usurped his magic. 
Now Santa’s time is running short, for the Yule Lord is determined to have his retribution and reclaim Yuletide. If Jesse can survive this ancient feud, he might have the chance to redeem himself to his family, to save his own broken dreams…and help bring the magic of Yule to the impoverished folk of Boone County. 
My Thoughts:
 
This book is really misleading with the pictures on the front and back of the book! I thought it was going to be a really scary, horror type of book, but instead it's more like a supernatural or  Fantasy type book. Which is a good thing because I actually was a little wary that if I read it I might have nightmares, so for me, it was quiet a relief!
 
Krampus, who is Yule Lord, was actually a type of God who fell out of Grace and Santa Claus had to send him into exile. Of course, he really does look like the picture on the book cover, but he really does mean well, he just goes about it in a sometimes horrible way.
 
I actually smiled and a few times even laughed at some of his antics! I do have to warn you though, there is quiet a bit of cussing, although not from Krampus, but from his followers. Just wanted you to know that in case you have an aversion to foul language.
 
I really enjoyed the book once I realized it wasn't going to give me goosebumps or nightmares and Krampus, the Yule Lord actually has a pretty good morale to the book about what he believes and what he thinks Mother Earth wants for our planet.
 
I hope that you will give this book a chance because it actually is a pretty good book to read for the upcoming Christmas season and because in some ways, Krampus the Yule Lord fixes some things that are broken, but the most important things he does is that he makes people see the error of their ways and all his followers and some of the people in Boone County end up being in a much better place than before they met him.
 
Happy Reading!
 
About the Author: 
 
Born in the deep dark south in the mid-sixties. Brom, an army brat, spent his entire youth on the move and unabashedly blames living in such places as Japan, Hawaii, Germany, and Alabama for all his afflictions. From his earliest memories Brom has been obsessed with the creation of the weird, the monstrous, and the beautiful.
 
At age twenty, Brom began working full-time as a commercial illustrator in Atlanta, Georgia. Three years later he entered the field of fantastic art he’d loved his whole life, making his mark developing and illustrating for TSR’s best selling role-playing worlds.
 
He has since gone on to lend his distinctive vision to all facets of the creative industries, from novels and games, to comics and film. Most recently he’s created a series of award winning horror novels that he both writes and illustrates: “The Plucker”, an adult children’s book, “The Devil’s Rose”, a modern western set in Hell, “The Child Thief”, a gritty, nightmarish retelling of the Peter Pan myth, and his latest concoction, “Krampus, the Yule Lord”, a tale of revenge between Krampus and Santa set in rural West Virginia.
 
Brom is currently kept in a dank cellar somewhere in the drizzly Northwest. There he subsists on poison spiders, centipedes, and bad kung-fu flicks. When not eating bugs, he is ever writing, painting, and trying to reach a happy sing-a-long with the many demons dancing about in his head.
 
For more information check out his website.
 
Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product.  All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from you. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

His Rebel Heart Book Review


 
Title: His Rebel Heart
Author: Amber Leigh Williams
Publisher: Harlequin (Superromance)
Pages: 380
Genre: Contemporary Romance
 
Synopsis:
Being a single mother and successful florist is tough, especially when your new next-door neighbor is the man who shattered your heart. Eight years ago, bad boy James Bracken walked away from Adrian Carlton…and their unborn child. Now he’s back. And Adrian’s desire to protect her son from the truth of his biological father isn’t enough to hide the wild blue eyes of father and son, or to keep Adrian from surrendering to the raw passion between her and James.  
But is he truly the changed man he claims to be? Maybe this time his rebel heart really is home to stay. 
My Thoughts:

This book has it all! There is definitely a lot of romance involved, but also some rough and tumble guys on both sides of the law, along with some good people trying to keep the balance in their lives.

All of this comes to a full head on head slam when Adrian's ex boyfriend comes back into town and moves right next door to where she lives with her 8 year old son. She thought she had put him behind her, but taking one look at James and she knew she was in trouble.

Can someone really change who they fundamentally are? I think so to some degree but I also think they will battle those demons for a very long time and will have to re-commit to being a different person each day. Hopefully, one day it won't matter because the change has fully taken over that person's life and they no longer have to make an effort to control their impulses anymore.

What Adrian and James had in the beginning 8 years ago will finally be answered and addressed in the manner it should have been all those years ago. James will also learn some secrets that will rock his world but at least the secret he finds out isn't the bad kind like he did to Adrian years ago.

If you are a romance buff, then you will definitely enjoy this unique love story with all it's twists and turns. It's another Harlequin Super Romance hit!

Happy Reading!
About the Author: 
 
Amber Leigh Williams lives on the Gulf Coast. A southern girl at heart, she lives for beach days, the smell of real books, relaxing at her family’s lakehouse, and spending time with her husband and two children. When she’s not keeping up with rambunctious little ones and two large dogs she can usually be found reading a good romance or cooking up a new dish in her kitchen. She is represented by D4EO Literary Agency.

Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product.  All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from you. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Barter Book Spotlight


https://www.dropbox.com/sh/8i5dge5f8bqr5zb/AACSRMiGtR-zXRtYtGRYYV-fa?dl=0

 
Book Synopsis: 
 
In today’s “lean in” era, debut novelist Siobhan Adcock casts the issue of whether women can ever “have it all” into a superbly written novel that will have readers everywhere talking. Bridget has given up her career to raise her daughter, but now a terrifying presence has entered their Texas home—and only Bridget can feel it. In 1902, motherhood spurs Rebecca to turn her back on her husband, despite her own misgivings. As Adcock crosscuts these two women’s stories with mounting tension, each arrives at a terrible ordeal of her own making.

About the author: 
  
Siobhan Adcock received her MFA in fiction from Cornell University, and her short fiction has appeared in several literary magazines. Shehas worked as a writer and editor for Epicurious, Gourmet.com, iVillage.com, and The Knowm among other digital publishers. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

A Distant Voice Book Spotlight & Giveaway**Closed**



A Distant Voice
Bridie Blake
Evernight Teen
Contemporary Young Adult
72,000 words

 
In life you don’t find your voice. It finds you. 

Violet Hayes knows how to survive the year living with her grandmother in the small town of Wandorah, Tennessee. 

• Make Rose happy 
• Don’t sing or play guitar 
• Avoid Sally Shaw 
• Ignore Carter Jenkins 

It seems simple enough, right? Wrong. 

• How do you keep a depressed sister happy? 
• How do you deny yourself your dream? 
• How do you avoid a friendship? 
• And how do you ignore a boy when he’s everywhere you turn? 

Violet’s to-do list just became a whole lot harder. 
 
14+ due to adult situations
 
Excerpt:
 
He smiled and reached out to pull the guitar toward him. He strummed his fingers over the strings and played a few chords before glancing over at me proudly.

“Impressive.”

He offered me the guitar. “Your turn.”

“And what makes you think I can play?”

“Your bloodlines.”

I snorted out a laugh and clapped my hand over my mouth in horror.
“Play away,” he said, ignoring my snort, and pushed the guitar into my hands.

I stared down at it with my mouth hanging open. The way my heart raced you’d think he’d pulled the pin on a grenade and handed it to me. Relax Violet. It’s an instrument. It can’t hurt you. Unless I tripped over it and broke my neck. And that could happen. Probably not entirely realistic while I’m holding it, but if I dropped it and then got up and tripped, it … oh dear god, what is wrong with me?

His mom called out his name and he gave me an apologetic shrug. “I’ll be right back.”

He left the room and I remained where I was, the guitar still burning my hands. It had been months since I’d played. Months since I’d felt that wave of joy I got whenever my fingers ran over the strings.

A yearning, so strong it sent butterflies fluttering in my stomach, washed over me and my fingers moved. They ran over the strings, playing whatever came to mind. I closed my eyes and let myself be swallowed up by it all. I allowed myself to forget and be something else. Someone else.

I didn’t know how long I stayed like that but a shuffle behind me forced me back to reality. I opened my eyes and twisted around. Carter stood in the doorway, a look of wonder on his face and it made me squirm. I dropped my hands, rested the guitar on his bed, and scrambled to my feet. “I should go.”

He moved toward me slowly, as though scared a sudden movement would startle me. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” I mumbled and folded my arms across my chest, tucking my hands into my armpits where they’d be safe and wouldn’t stray towards anymore strings.

His brow creased and I saw him trying to work out what had happened but I didn’t want to talk about it. I tried to duck out of his room before he asked me anything. He gripped my arm, stopping my quick exit. “It’s okay,” he said. “You’re allowed to enjoy things. You’re not betraying your sister by having fun or doing the things you want to do.” His voice, filled with sincerity and kindness, caused a lump to take up residence in my throat.

His hand ran along my arm and towards my hidden hand. He tugged on it until he freed it and he squeezed my fingers gently. I shook my head because he’s right, but he’s wrong at the same time. It was guilt over Rose that stopped me doing things but when it came to music, there was so much more to it.

Music destroyed Gran’s life. It ruined Mom’s childhood. I couldn’t love something like that because if I did, I’d open myself up to the same hurt. And I’m not anywhere near as strong as Gran. It would destroy me. It would be my trigger.

I wanted to tell him that. I wanted him to understand. But the words wouldn’t come out of me.

Author Bio:
 
Bridie lives, daydreams and writes in Melbourne, Australia. She’s happiest at her computer, coffee in hand, Tim Tams on standby and her furry companion Poppy at her feet. When not writing she’s usually found with a book in her hand or playing with her tribe of nieces and nephews.

Discover more about her at http://www.bridieblake.com/, https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBridieBlake or @BridieBlake on Twitter

Giveaway:  $25 Amazon GC

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Falling Awake Book Blast




FALLING AWAKE:

Magic or madness? Can your dreams really take over your life?

Falling Awake is the story of a book and the power of imagination to turn two lives upside down.
 
 
When Mary Parker finds an unusual book everything in her life changes. As she reads, she dreams, and the quiet, repressed woman is transformed.

She gives the book and the phenomenon a name, 'falling awake’. The existence of the book seems to make others act out of character too. Joe’s usually dour father gambles with the factory where Mary works, and Joe, the romantic daydreamer, engages in a sexual eternal triangle to keep the dull routine of the accounts department at bay. The dominant partner in the triangle is Clem; dark and dangerous.

Extricating himself from Clem, Joe meets Mary. They fall in love and marry in haste when Mary falls pregnant, but this is no happy ever after tale. Their joy turns to misery when Mary miscarries and she turns inward to her darkening 'falling awake' world. Then Joe's father dies, and he has to fight for control of the factory.

He falls into Clem’s clutches again, and to make things worse, he believes Mary is going mad, and the people and places she remembers all just dreams dreamt inside her insanity. But then how can Joe remember them too?

Magic or madness?

For Mary and Joe, the impossible - or the deadly - might only be a breath away.

 
Falling Awake is a brain teaser, an atmospheric mystery, an exposition of madness; an examination of the impossible, a fantasy, a ghost story, a psychological thriller, a love story, and a story of intrigue and sudden death. It will keep you awake at night, wondering, and pausing during the day, questioning …

One editor has already described it as:
 
“In the best traditions of Audrey Niffenegger and Carlos Ruiz Zafón…”

And others comment:

“…one of the most original, quirky manuscripts I’ve read for a long time…”

“…I especially like the fairy-tale and myth undertones that creep in from time to time throughout the novel: Sleeping Beauty clutching her book with echoes of Snow White in her glass coffin, the transformative red mac with its Red Riding Hood connotations, Mary’s Cinderella transformation from emotionally abused child to confident woman, the mermaid dress, Mariam’s Scheherazade dance, and especially the gambler as Rumpelstiltskin…”

“…a light, authoritative touch with both …story and characters.”



Debrah Martin is a British author writing under three different pen names and in three very different genres. She plots fast-paced thrillers as D.B. Martin, with the first in the Patchwork trilogy, Patchwork Man, having been recently awarded a coveted B.R.A.G. Medallion. Her YA teen detective series is penned as Lily Stuart – THE teen detective; irreverent, blunt, funny and vulnerable. Webs and Magpies are the first two books in the series. And as Debrah Martin she writes literary fiction.

Her first literary fiction, Chained Melodies, a startling transgender story to rival The Danish Girl, and described pre-release as “…a beautiful book about love, acceptance and self-discovery…” was also released earlier this month.

Net Galley reviewers can access an ARC of Falling Awake there from 27th October, and all reviewers can obtain a copy and more information about Debrah’s other works by contacting her at the email address below.

For the first thirty reviewers to post a review of Falling Awake on Amazon, if you email Debrah with a link to the review, she’ll send you a bumper bundle (digital) of her other adult fiction books, including the award-winning Patchwork People series. Reviewers are also invited to contact Debrah for review copies of any of her books.

Debrah Martin can be emailed on info@debrahmartin.co.uk

Her website is www.debrahmartin.co.uk

And she is on:

Twitter: @StorytellerDeb

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeborahMartin.Author?ref=hl

Pinterest: http://uk.pinterest.com/Debrah_Martin/

And Sign up to Debrah’s mailing list for news and special offers: http://eepurl.com/3-965
 
Book trailer:



Read an excerpt from Falling Awake –
 
‘What is life? An illusion, a shadow, a story.’

Pedro Calderon de la Barca
 
Prologue

No-one could sleep forever.

But apparently she could. It was the unusual challenge to the premise that had brought him here against the inclination to evade responsibility and slip home to his own dreams. She’d slept continuously for days now, without the need for water or sustenance; her only requirement, seemingly, a book. He peered curiously through the viewing panel as the attendant hovered behind him.

‘That’s her,’ the attendant announced as if pulling a rabbit from a hat. ‘Mary Parker.’

‘She’s very pretty,’ the tall young man declared, deep blue eyes narrowing to slits as he studied her. The woman’s long red hair cascaded over the side of the bed like blood streaming to the floor, her face a marble effigy of life. She reminded him of Millais’ Ophelia as she floated downstream on her layette of wild flowers – except this frozen beauty was merely asleep, not dead. He wondered what she was dreaming about. She seemed very familiar in a strange half-forgotten way.

‘Yeah, she is – and quiet now, but she weren’t once. Blimey – you should have seen her then, screaming and hollering. Wasn’t until we found that old book and gave it back to her that she shut up.’ The attendant picked at his nails and watched the tall young man lean in closer still. The corner of a book poked out from under the tightly clasped hands. ‘Then she just slept,’ the attendant added, shrugging his shoulders.

‘What’s its significance?’ the young man asked. He could just make out a title scrawled longhand across its spine. He wondered if the woman had written it on herself. He could only decipher the first word – ‘Falling’.

‘Not a clue, Mister; it’s just an empty book.’ The attendant shifted impatiently, as if tired of waiting, then asked, ‘How’d you know her again?’ He flipped the visitors’ page back to read the tall young man’s entry.

22nd Sept ’92: Time in – 5.45pm. John Hathorne, Director: Geo. Tooley & Sons.

‘I don’t really. She worked at the factory, that’s all. We have to be seen as caring employers so I’m here to check on her before we sign her off the books.’ He paused. Now he came to think of it he might have met her once. There had been a girl with bright red hair like hers the day he’d been shown round the factory. He’d been surprised by her scarlet mac because of the colour clash. He dragged himself from his reverie.

‘You said she had no family?’

‘Nope, apparently the mother died a while back and the neighbours say she’s been a bit odd ever since. Before they brought her in here she was wandering the graveyard down the road babbling about how she couldn’t find herself any more. Shame – when you got no-one.’

‘How do you think she can do it?’

‘What?’

‘Not eat or drink for so long – just sleep.’

‘Beats me. Maybe she’s not really there and we’re just imagining her.’ The young man stared at him. The attendant laughed. ‘Only joking. You done then?’ The attendant looked expectantly at him, and the young man found himself involuntarily offering his business card before collecting his briefcase and coat.

‘I suppose I could see if I can do something to help her if she comes back to the land of the living.’

The attendant turned the card over and read aloud, ‘Bespoke leisure wear and stage costumiers; themed event supplies a speciality.’ He studied the tall young man. ‘Versions of reality, huh? You’ll be getting a lot of custom soon, then.’ He sniggered. Outside the midweek rush hour traffic distantly hooted on its way home. The light had dimmed to the half-dusk of early autumn, but fallen leaves and skeletal trees said winter was already in the air.

The tall young man had spotted the now redundant leather straps on the side of the bed when he’d been trying to decipher the title of the book. The reddening round her wrists indicated where no doubt they’d been clasped until recently. ‘Halloween does tend to be a busy time,’ he agreed, suddenly uneasy. The place was oppressive and the sight of the comatose and confined woman depressed him. ‘Such a waste. Will she ever recover, do you think?’

‘Don’t know, mister. Not sure if she’s actually ill. Probably just the stresses of life – grief and disappointment. They do strange things to us, don’t they? Perhaps if she had someone to look after her, she’d get well again, but then who knows when anyone recovers from life.’ He laughed mirthlessly. ‘Maybe it’s better to just dream?’ The tall young man considered the idea for a while.

‘No, reality is always better, no matter how hard.’

He went back to the viewing window and studied the young woman for a few minutes more before gathering up the Essex County Gazette he’d brought with him and stuffing it under the arm carrying the briefcase. The pages creased and he made to flatten them, but stopped abruptly and tossed the paper back on the table the attendant had been sitting at when he’d arrived. He peered at his hand as if there was something wrong with it before shaking his head. The attendant cleared his throat meaningfully and opened the unit’s outer door.

‘I hope her dreams are sweet,’ the young man added sadly as the attendant ushered him out. The attendant flicked the light off and the room behind them sank back into shadow.

Neither saw the frozen figure thaw, stir, and open her eyes – deep green pools of luminescence. They fixed on the door and she listened intently to the low rumble of the tall young man’s voice as he made his goodbyes. The marble features creased to a frown and the slack body tensed. The book still clutched in her hand shivered.

‘No!’ she murmured. ‘No, no, no!’

This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.

Do You Suffer From Depression?


  
Abilify and efficient treatment of depression
 
There are various diseases that are sign of our time. Interesting enough, number of mental patients has increased dramatically in last couple of decades. Most of the medical professionals believe that this is caused by changes to environment, more people living in big cities as well as misuse of drugs, narcotics and alcohol. All of these factors increase chances of person suffering from depression.                

Biggest issue with depression is our perspective of it. If a person is feeling down, we often tend to say that he is depressed. We take it lightly and because of that, we created a bad picture of this disease in our heads. Anyway, it is a mental condition that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It can have an enormous impact on person’s quality of life and some severe forms can even result in suicide. Today, we are able to control this issue with use of therapy and medication. Buy Abilifyonline so that you can efficiently counter symptoms of the disease.                

Depression is a type of illness that can easily be diagnosed. According to specialists from You! Drugstore, it is characterized by low mood. Patient has different social and personal issues including: inability to interact with other people, to enjoy company of other individuals or to exchange ideas, patient has low confidence and self-esteem; he is unable to concentrate on his job or daily duties, things that were previously interesting are no longer so. As the times goes by, person will lose interest for fulfilling his basic needs such as having sex or eating. Slowly, this will lead to suicidal tendencies. In 10 to 15 % of cases, depression will end in suicide. This is precisely why patient needs to treat it on time so that it doesn’t become severe.                

There are numerous genetic and social problems that will lead to this situation. First and foremost, similarly to other mental issues, depression can be hereditary. Even if patient’s parents suffered from some other sort of mental illness, there is still a high chance of developing depression. Sometimes, childhood events can lead to this problem. Children that were mistreated, abused, beaten or took some other type of punishment which was inappropriate, are more likely to suffer from it. Disease can also appear at later stage in life as a result of bad work performance, loss of a loved one, loss of housing or due to some other traumatic experience. Sometimes, it can even be caused by use of drugs or alcohol.                

Nowadays, we are able to control symptoms of the illness by using various drugs. One of them is Abilify. This is an antipsychotic that works by affecting neurons within the brain. It comes in a form of tablet; it can be used with or without food. However, patient shouldn’t use it for more than 6 weeks. Patients who have history of breast cancer, seizures or epilepsy, heart, kidney or liver condition, diabetes, trouble swallowing, high cholesterol or triglycerides, should consult with a doctor before using Abilify.

Disclaimer:  All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from you.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Best In Show Book Tour & Giveaway**Closed**



BEST IN SHOW
 
Mina’s Adventures Series, Book 6
Maria Grazia Swan
Cozy Romantic Suspense, 188 pages


Mina Calvi, Italian transplant to Southern California, thinks her love life might finally come together, just as her professional life has.

Her Furry Friends Foundation, a no-kill shelter for rescued cats and dogs, is a success, and Mina hopes she may find a loving forever home for herself, in the arms of Diego Moran, her elusive, frustratingly mysterious, on again-off again, lover.

When a seemingly innocent night out with friends lands Mina in a hospital bed and Diego undercover, and not the covers Mina wants him to be under, Mina has to draw on all her new-found maturity, and all her supportive friends for strength.

Meanwhile, a Best in Show cat takes up residence at the Ritzy Cats B&B, Mina’s other venture, setting Mina on the trail of a suspicious character who might not have the cat's best interests at heart.

Add a Matchmaker to the Stars, a temperamental Italian chef and the usual menagerie of people and pets, stir it all up and you have an entertaining, hard to put down romantic tale of suspense.
 
Excerpt:
 
Did he love her?
 
In the heat of the night, love was a given. But as daylight unfolded, her insecurities found their path to her heart. Mina didn’t move, afraid the slightest shifting might wake him. His chest rose and fell against her back as he breathed peacefully. Their bodies touched, connected in a perfect fit. A match made in heaven she repeated to herself, in heaven but not on earth?
 
The longing she felt for him transcended sex and lust. Eyes closed, she revisited their good-bye two years ago in the cemetery in Italy, and that sense of unconditional love he’d brought into her life. It was the kind of love Mina assumed girls customarily expected from a father, a brother, a kin. But that was only a guess, a yearning, since she’d grown up without parents or siblings, so she had never experienced such love, until then, during that magical Italian summer.
 
Diego stirred and brushed his lips up and down the nap of her neck. “Missed you,” he whispered.
Now wide-awake, Mina quipped, “You missed me? How?”
 
“How?” In one fluid motion he spun her around, her body pressed against his. “How did I miss you?’
He paused, his eyes burning from a surge of passion she hadn’t seen coming. “For the last two years I carried with me the image of you in your red dress. The way you looked the last time I was near you. It’s branded in my soul. I couldn’t rid myself of it. Even now a glimpse of a red dress would arouse me. I’d be aroused not by the woman wearing it, but by the memory of you in that red dress.”

 
About the Author
 
Best selling author Maria Grazia Swan was born in Italy, but this rolling stone has definitely gathered no moss.

She lived in Belgium, France, Germany, in beautiful Orange County, California where she raised her family, and is currently at home in Phoenix, Arizona--but stay tuned for weekly updates of Where in the World is Maria Grazia Swan?

As a young girl, her vivid imagination predestined her to be a writer. She won her first literary award at the age of fourteen while living in Belgium. As a young woman Maria returned to Italy to design for--ooh-la-la--haute couture.

Once in the U.S. and after years of concentrating on family, she tackled real estate. These days her time is devoted to her deepest passions: writing and helping people and pets find the perfect home.

Maria loves travel, opera, good books, hiking, and intelligent movies (if she can find one, that is). When asked about her idea of a perfect evening, she favors stimulating conversation, Northern Italian food and perfectly chilled Prosecco--but then, who doesn't?
 
Find Me Here –Maria Grazia Swan: mariagswan@gmail.com, personal   mgsweb1@gmail.com readers/website.
 
Giveaway:


I Love My Cat Locket Pendant (US only)
Paperback copy of any of Maria’s Books, winner’s choice (US only)
Ebook copy of any of Maria’s Books, winner’s choice (Intl)
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Strong Light of Day Book Review


Strong Light of Day by Jon Land

on Tour October 12 - November 13, 2015

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller
Published by: Forge
Publication Date: Oct 13, 2015
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 978-0765335128
Series: Caitlin Strong, #7 

Synopsis:

Strong Light of Day by Jon Land
Caitlin Strong is a fifth generation Texas Ranger as quick with her wits as her gun. Over the years she’s taken on all manner of criminals and miscreants, thwarting the plans of villains to do vast damage to the country and state she loves. But none of that has prepared Caitlin for an investigation that pits her against ruthless billionaire oilman Calum Dane whose genetically engineered pesticide may have poisoned a large swath of the state.

How that poisoning is connected to the disappearance of thirty high school students from a Houston prep school, including the son of her outlaw lover Cort Wesley Masters, presents Caitlin with the greatest and most desperate challenge of her career.

And, as if that wasn’t enough, she also has to deal with a crazed rancher whose entire herd of cattle has been picked clean to the bone by something science can’t explain.

The common denominator between these apparently disparate events is a new and deadly enemy capable of destroying the US economy and killing millions in the process. An enemy different than any Caitlin has faced before, and a foe it will take far more than bullets to bring down. But there’s another player in the deadly game Caitlin finds herself playing in the form of Russian extremists prepared to seize upon an opportunity to win a war they never stopped fighting.

Caitlin’s race to save the country weaves through the present and the past, confronting her and Cort Wesley with the most powerful and dangerous foes they’ve ever faced, both human and otherwise. The Cold War hasn’t just heated up; it’s boiling over under the spill of a strong light only Caitlin can extinguish before it’s too late.

My Thoughts:

I have always loved reading this series starring the woman Texas Ranger because she comes off so bad and yet on the right side of the law! These stories are filled with adventure and just enough of constant action to make you think it's about a male counterpart, but in fact, she is a woman.

She comes from a long line of Texas Rangers and never really thought about doing any other kind of work. The fact that her boyfriend was a criminal makes the story line really great and there is always enough action for him to get into trouble, but the right kind of trouble. He has 2 teen age boys that also bring a lot of things to the story and this particular story features the younger brother who is still in high school and gets involved in a kidnapping that lucky for him, he missed by mere inches!

Of course, in this particular story, she also learns some more stories about her father and her boyfriend's father and how for once, they teamed up together to get the bad guys, which also might be some of those same Russians that her father fought years ago.

If you haven't read any of the Caitlin Strong Texas Ranger stories, you just might want to!

Happy Reading!

Reviews:

Land's exciting seventh Caitlin Strong novel (after 2014's Strong Darkness) finds the fifth-generation Texas Ranger pursuing two cases: one involving a herd of cattle that has been picked clean to the bone and another revolving around the disappearance of a busload of students from a Houston prep school spending the night at a nature center. Caitlin realizes that the key to solving both may be found in an ingenious Cold War conspiracy involving "agroterrorism" that her own father investigated decades earlier, along with outlaw Boone Masters, the father of her boyfriend, Cort Wesley Masters. A convoluted narrative -- with Russian mobsters, rate Texas militiamen, alien invasion theories, cattle rustling, and a corrupt oil baron -- slows the momentum early on, but Land pulls out all the stops in the latter chapters. More than a few bombshell revelations and jaw-dropping plot twists will satisfy longtime series fans. ~ Publisher's Weekly

Caitlin Strong is a kick-ass Texas Ranger and one of the toughest female protagonists in crime fiction. In her seventh outing, she's called to investigate the disappearance of 30 children, who all seem to have vanished while on a camping trip. One of the missing children is the son of her boyfriend, Cort Wesley Masters. On top of all that, she's asked to negotiate with a crazed rancher who is holding his family hostage, claiming that aliens have taken his cattle and that he will kill his family before he lets the aliens take them. Other subplots include a billionaire businessman who has created a genetically engineered pesticide that is causing cancer, Navy SEALS in Afghanistan back in 2003, and some really Russians. This is a complex, multifaceted take, but it moves at lightening speed, even allowing time to provide some background on Strong's family - she is a fifth-generation Texas Ranger. Fans of the series and readers who like their women fearless and smart will love this story. ~ Stacy Alesi, Booklist Online

Top Pick! Land's seventh novel featuring Texas Ranger and action heroine extraordinaire Caitlin Strong demonstrates why he is one of the best action thriller writers in the business. The mix of history, character development and baffling storylines will enthrall readers.

Summary: A group of prep school students vanishes on a field trip, including the son of Caitlin Strong's boyfriend, Cort Wesley Masters. Folks with secret agendas are involved, and they don't care who they hurt or destroy to get what they desire. Strong has her hands full, but, thankfully, she is more than capable of saving the day.  ~ RT Book Reviews

Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER 1
Zavala County, Texas
Caitlin Strong stopped her SUV at the checkpoint on Route 83 heading toward Crystal City. The sheriff’s deputy approaching her vehicle seemed to recognize her as soon as she slid down her window, well before he could see her Texas Ranger badge. He was an older man, long and lean with legs crimped inward from too much side-to-side stress on his knees riding horses.
“You got no call to be here, Ranger,” the deputy said, having clearly been warned to expect her, his light complexion turned a rosy pink shade by the sun and heat.
“You mean driving on a public highway, Deputy?”
“I mean heading into the shit storm that’s unfolding a few miles down it.” He had brownish-purplish blotches on the exposed flesh of his right forearm, the kind of marks that cry out for a dermatologist’s attention. Then she noticed the bandages swathed in patches on his other arm and realized they were probably already getting it. “We got enough problems without you sticking your nose in,” the deputy continued. “Wherever you go, bullets seem to follow and the last thing we need is a shooting war.”
“You think that’s what I came here for?”
The deputy folded his arms in front of his chest so the untreated one stuck out, the dark blotches seeming to widen as his forearm muscles tightened. “I think you’ve got no idea how Christoph Russell Ilg will react when a Texas Ranger shows up. You don’t know these parts, Caitlin Strong, and no stranger known for her gun is gonna solve this problem the sheriff’s department has already got under control.”
“Under control,” Caitlin repeated. “Is that what you call an armed standoff between sheriff’s deputies, the highway patrol and that militia backing Ilg? I heard they’ve been pouring in from as far away as Idaho. Might as well post a sign off the highway that reads, ‘Whack jobs, next exit.’”
“If the highway patrol had just left this to the sheriff’s department,” the deputy groused, face wrinkling as if he’d swallowed something sour, “those militia men never would’ve had call to show up. We had the situation contained.”
“Was that before or after a rancher started defying the entire federal government?” Caitlin asked him, unable to help herself. “The goddamn federal government can kiss my ass. This here’s Texas and this here’s a local problem. A Zavala County problem that’s got no need for the Texas Rangers.”
The deputy tilted his stare toward the ground, as if ready to spit some tobacco he wasn’t currently chewing. Then he hitched up his gaze along with his shoulders and planted his hands on his hips, just standing there as if this was an extension of the standoff down the road.
“You should wear long sleeves,” Caitlin told him.
“Not in this heat.”
She let him see her focus trained on the dark blotches dotting his arm. The breeze picked up and blew her wavy black hair over her face. Caitlin brushed it aside, feeling the light sheen of the sunscreen she’d slathered on before setting out from San Antonio. She’d taken to using more of it lately, even though the dark tones that came courtesy of a Mexican grandmother she’d never met made her tan instead of burn.
“Better hot than dead, Deputy,” she told the man at her window. “You need me to tell you the rate of skin cancer in these parts?” He let his arms dangle stiff by his sides. “You really do have a nasty habit of messing in other’s people business.”
“You mean, trying to keep them alive, sometimes from falling victim to their own stubbornness.”
“Who we talking about here, Ranger?”
“Christoph Russell Ilg. Who else would we be talking about?”

CHAPTER 2
Zavala County, Texas
Caitlin reflected on what she’d learned about Christoph Russell Ilg for the next two miles down the road. His second wife had just given him his ninth child, and sixth son, even though he was somewhere close to either side of seventy. His parents were German immigrants who came to Texas as migrant farm workers. He’d been born on one of numerous farms they worked in the immediate years after World War II when birth certificates were optional. Ilg himself swore he didn’t even know his own birthday and, as a result, celebrated his and all his children’s on the same day in June exactly six months after Christmas.
For more than a century, ranchers and feedlot operators had been grazing their cattle on South Texas grasslands. Then the Environmental Protection Agency, working in concert with the Army Corps of Engineers, interpreted the Clean Water Act as giving them the right to redefine cattle ponds and even ponds formed over flooded land into what they called “waterways of the United States.” The Bureau of Land Management then crafted a law requiring ranchers to get permits for land on which they once free grazed. Short of that they could be fined for polluting or contaminating those newly proclaimed federal properties.
The fact that EPA’s efforts were as well intentioned as the ranchers’ protests were strident probably hadn’t registered with Ilg, who’d paid none of the two dozen citations he’d been issued amounting to nearly fifty thousand dollars in fines. In fact, he’d been purposely setting his cattle to graze near those waterways on a regular basis, including the day the sheriff’s department came to serve him with an arrest warrant for the unpaid levies. The first of the militiamen who’d come in expectation of exactly that moment sprang from positions of cover, training their guns on the four deputies who had the sense not to draw theirs in response.
By the time those the reinforcements they summoned arrived, more militiamen had spilled in and more continued to show up seemingly by the hour. They formed a perimeter around the area Ilg had staked out and returned with his cattle every day to graze, further inciting the potential of violence the militiamen seemed to thirst for while pawing the triggers of their AR-15s and hunting rifles. One had been arrested during a routine traffic stop after a highway patrolman had spotted a Gatling gun in the back of his pick-up.
The standoff had been going on for three days now with neither side showing any signs of giving in or up. For his part, Ilg had no reason to acquiesce either to the demands of the EPA to stop grazing his cattle amid federally protected waters or to the attempts of the Bureau of Land Management rangers to collect the bulk of the fines levied against him. For their part, the militiamen who’d gathered at Ilg’s ranch not far from Uvalde likely saw his faux crusade as another last stand to preserve the so-called real and free America. They wore the fatigues and gear of real soldiers, imagining themselves to be as brave and skilled as true servicemen fighting real wars instead of imaginary ones. Annointing themselves as the only just moral arbiters, when all they really wanted was an opportunity to parade around with their weapons in the hope of someday getting an actual chance to use them.
Caitlin saw the second roadblock at the head of a side road off the highway leading straight to Christoph Russell Ilg’s ranch. From this distance the scene had the look of a child’s play scene with toy soldiers staged to confront each other on a paper maché battlefield. Drawing closer, Caitlin was able to see the true scope of the danger with heavily armed highway patrolmen poised in flak jackets behind their vehicles while even more heavily armed militiamen peeked out from behind various boulders, trees and thick fence posts. A television truck bearing the markings of a national cable news channel, meanwhile, was parked between the rival fronts, a technician unloading equipment while a reporter Caitlin thought she recognized looked on casually.
She pulled her SUV over and was met by a highway patrol captain she’d worked with before as soon as she climbed out.
“Morning, Frank,” she said to Captain Francis Denbow.
“You got no call to be here, Caitlin,” he said, mopping the sweat from his brow with a sleeve.
“That’s what they told me at the checkpoint back up eighty-three.”
“Well, you should have listened to them.”
“Thanks, anyway.”
“For what?”
“Not telling me you have the situation under control.”
“Because we damn well don’t. A car backfiring could set off a whole shooting war here over waters not fit to drink. Last thing we need is you stirring the pot. Hope you don’t mind I called Austin to get them to call you off.”
“Too bad my cell phone’s not working,” Caitlin told him, reaching back inside the SUV to grab a set of tri-folded pages from the visor.

CHAPTER 3
Zavala County, Texas
Caitlin continued into the open space of road and land between the two armed camps, ignoring the threats shouted her way by the militiamen. She walked on without slowing, heading straight into more guns than she could count while making sure her SIG-Sauer P226 remained in plain view in its holster. She held the pages before her as well, feeling them rustle in the breeze lifting off the prairie. It picked up briefly, hard enough to whisk the hat off a militiamen lying prone over the rim of an arroyo holding a rifle with telescopic sight fixed on her. She caught the heavy whomp-whomp-whomp of a helicopter circling overhead, this network or that sure to be getting shots of the standoff.
That’s when she spotted the man in the light colored suit and graying ginger-shaded hair striding her way from the side of the road where most of the media had gathered, hands tucked into his pants pockets.
“Well, well, well,” grinned Congressman Asa Fraley who represented Texas’ 32nd District, voice droning as if he were still giving an interview, “look who it is. Just what we need right now, some gasoline sprayed on the fire.”
“I’m just here doing my job, Congressman,” Caitlin said, standing stiff before him.
Fraley stopped close enough to Caitlin for her to be able to smell the spearmint lacing his breath. “The problem, Ranger, is I’m here doing my job too. In this case that means putting out a fire, not fanning the flames.”
Caitlin nodded. “I couldn’t help but notice which side you’re standing with, sir.”
“I’m just trying to defuse the situation. That man’s a patriot, Ranger,” Fraley said, looking back toward Christoph Ilg holding court with any media type who’d listen. “I would’ve thought you of all people would see that.”
“Really? Why?”
“Because the Texas Rangers were birthed to lend justice to a frontier not all that much different than this one.”
“Oh, it was plenty different, Congressman,” Caitlin said, blowing out her own breath to chase the spearmint back. He’d stopped close enough to leave them contending for the same space, Fraley treating her more like another reporter with whom he needed to establish an instant familiarity. “Back then, my ancestors had their hands full with Mexican bandits and marauding Indian tribes. They never had to deal with the likes of anti-government militias and politicians looking for any soapbox to shoot off their mouths.” She spotted a man glaring at her, having drawn closer to Ilg’s right flank and packing a cannon-sized pistol. “Do you have a brother, sir?”
“That’s none of your business.”
“Because I just noticed a man who looks an awful lot like you. That twin of yours maybe, the one who can’t keep himself out of trouble? As I recall, even in Texas a felon carrying a gun is a probation violation. Maybe I should run him in.”
Fraley took a step back, aware suddenly the space wasn’t his to command as he was normally accustomed. His gaze grew flat and harsh, his eyes narrowing to mere slits barely revealing his grayish pupils. Caitlin had never seen a man with gray eyes before, nor one with a dye job gone so wrong, Fraley’s strands of coarse hair evenly mixed between shades of orange and corn yellow.
“How many men have you killed exactly, Ranger?”
“One less than maybe I should have, Congressman.”
“Is that a threat?”
“No more than that subpoena you keep promising to slap me with to drag me before that committee of yours in Washington.”
“It’s called the Government Oversight Committee and you’re going to find that we take our work very seriously.”
“So do I, sir,” Caitlin said, peering past him. “Speaking of which, please step aside so I can do my job.”

Author Bio:

Jon LandJon Land is the USA Today bestselling author of the 38 novels, including seven titles in the critically acclaimed Caitlin Strong series: Strong Enough to Die, Strong Justice, Strong at the Break, Strong Vengeance, Strong Rain Falling (winner of the 2014 International Book Award and 2013 USA Best Book Award for Mystery-Suspense) and Strong Darkness (winner of the 2014 USA Books Best Book Award and the 2015 International Book Award for Thriller).

Caitlin Strong returns this October in Strong Light of Day, to be followed by Darkness Rising, his sci-fi collaboration with Heather Graham coming from Forge in June of 2016.

Jon is a 1979 graduate of Brown University, lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours
 
Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from you.