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Archive for February 9th, 2017

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The Last Grand Master

By Andrew Q. Gordon

Genre: Fantasy/SciFi

In a war that shook the earth, the six gods of Nendor defeated their brother Neldin, God of Evil. For three thousand years, Nendor and the Seven Kingdoms have known peace and prosperity and Neldin’s evil was nearly forgotten.

But then Meglar, wizard-king of Zargon, unleashes the dark magic of the underworld and creates an army of creatures to carry out his master’s will. One by one, the sovereign realms fall as a new war between the gods threatens to engulf Nendor.

Leading the opposition to Meglar is Grand Master Farrell. Young and untried, Farrell carries a secret that could hold the key to defeating Meglar—or it could destroy the world.

Farrell is joined by Nerti, queen of the unicorns, and Miceral, an immortal muchari warrior the Six have chosen as Farrell’s mate. As Farrell and his new allies make plans to counter Neldin’s evil, Meglar forces their hand when he invades a neighboring kingdom. Rushing to help their ally, Farrell and Miceral find themselves in the middle of the battle. Cut off from help, Farrell attempts an untried spell that will either turn the tide or cost him and Miceral their lives.

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About the Author

Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting with technology, he now takes his MacBook somewhere quiet when he wants to write.  Andrew’s imagination has helped him create works of high fantasy, paranormal thrills and touch of the futuristic.

To find out more about Andrew:

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The Echo Man

The Echo Man

by Richard Montanari

Book Blast: February 9, 2017

on Tour March 20 – April 7, 2017

Synopsis:

The Echo Man by Richard Montanari

It is fall in Philadelphia and the mutilated body of a man has been found in one of the poorest neighborhoods of the city. The victim’s forehead and eyes are wrapped in a band of white paper, sealed on one side with red sealing wax. On the other side is a smear of blood in the shape of a figure eight. The victim has been roughly and violently shaved clean — head to toe — a temporary tattoo on his finger.

As another brutalized body appears, then another, it becomes horrifyingly clear that someone is re-creating unsolved murders from Philadelphia’s past in the most sinister of ways.

And, for homicide detectives Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano, the killer is closer than they think…

Praise:

“This tale had me gripped by the throat, unwilling to do anything but anxiously turn the pages. Richard Montanari’s writing is both terrifying and lyrical, a killer combination that makes him a true stand-out in the crowded thriller market. The Echo Man showcases a master storyteller at his very best.” -Tess Gerritsen, bestselling author of The Silent Girl

“Richard Montanari’s The Echo Man continues his work as a writer whose prose can capture quite extraordinary subtleties. When a man’s facial expression is described as “not the look of someone with nothing to hide, but rather of one who has very carefully hidden everything,” we know we are in good hands, and with The Echo Man, we are in the hands of one of the best in the business”. – Thomas H. Cook, bestselling author of Red Leaves

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: February 7th 2017 (first published January 1st 2011)
Number of Pages: 400
ISBN: 0062467425 (ISBN13: 9780062467423)
Series: Jessica Balzano & Kevin Byrne #5
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Read an excerpt:

For every light there is shadow. For every sound, silence. From the moment he got the call Detective Kevin Francis Byrne had a premonition this night would forever change his life, that he was headed to a place marked by a profound evil, leaving only darkness in its wake.

“You ready?”

Byrne glanced at Jimmy. Detective Jimmy Purify sat in the passenger seat of the bashed and battered department- issue Ford. He was just a few years older than Byrne, but something in the man’s eyes held deep wisdom, a hard- won experience that transcended time spent on the job and spoke instead of time earned. They’d known each other a long time, but this was their first full tour as partners.

“I’m ready,” Byrne said.

He wasn’t.

They got out of the car and walked to the front entrance of the sprawling, well- tended Chestnut Hill mansion. Here, in this exclusive section of the northwest part of the city, there was history at every turn, a neighborhood designed at a time when Philadelphia was second only to London as the largest English- speaking city in the world. The first officer on the scene, a rookie named Timothy Meehan, stood inside the foyer, cloistered by coats and hats and scarves perfumed with age, just beyond the reach of the cold autumn wind cutting across the grounds.

Byrne had been in Officer Meehan’s shoes a handful of years earlier and remembered well how he’d felt when detectives arrived, the tangle of envy and relief and admiration. Chances were slight that Meehan would one day do the job Byrne was about to do. It took a certain breed to stay in the trenches, especially in a city like Philly, and most uniformed cops, at least the smart ones, moved on.

Byrne signed the crime- scene log and stepped into the warmth of the atrium, taking in the sights, the sounds, the smells. He would never again enter this scene for the first time, never again breathe an air so red with violence. Looking into the kitchen, he saw a blood splattered killing room, scarlet murals on pebbled white tile, the torn flesh of the victim jigsawed on the floor.

While Jimmy called for the medical examiner and crime- scene unit, Byrne walked to the end of the entrance hall. The officer standing there was a veteran patrolman, a man of fifty, a man content to live without ambition. At that moment Byrne envied him. The cop nodded toward the room on the other side of the corridor.

And that was when Kevin Byrne heard the music.

She sat in a chair on the opposite side of the room. The walls were covered with a forest- green silk; the floor with an exquisite burgundy Persian. The furniture was sturdy, in the Queen Anne style. The air smelled of jasmine and leather.

Byrne knew the room had been cleared, but he scanned every inch of it anyway. In one corner stood an antique curio case with beveled glass doors, its shelves arrayed with small porcelain figurines. In another corner leaned a beautiful cello. Candlelight shimmered on its golden surface.

The woman was slender and elegant, in her late twenties. She had burnished russet hair down to her shoulders, eyes the color of soft copper. She wore a long black gown, sling- back heels, pearls. Her makeup was a bit garish— theatrical, some might say— but it flattered her delicate features, her lucent skin.

When Byrne stepped fully into the room the woman looked his way, as if she had been expecting him, as if he might be a guest for Thanksgiving dinner, some discomfited cousin just in from Allentown or Ashtabula. But he was neither. He was there to arrest her.

“Can you hear it?” the woman asked. Her voice was almost adolescent in its pitch and resonance.

Byrne glanced at the crystal CD case resting on a small wooden easel atop the expensive stereo component. Chopin: Nocturne in G Major. Then he looked more closely at the cello. There was fresh blood on the strings and fingerboard, as well as on the bow lying on the floor. Afterward, she had played.

The woman closed her eyes. “Listen,” she said. “The blue notes.”

Byrne listened. He has never forgotten the melody, the way it both lifted and shattered his heart.

Moments later the music stopped. Byrne waited for the last note to feather into silence. “I’m going to need you to stand up now, ma’am,” he said.

When the woman opened her eyes Byrne felt something flicker in his chest. In his time on the streets of Philadelphia he had met all types of people, from soulless drug dealers, to oily con men, to smash-and-grab artists, to hopped-up joyriding kids. But never before had he encountered anyone so detached from the crime they had just committed. In her light- brown eyes Byrne saw demons caper from shadow to shadow.

The woman rose, turned to the side, put her hands behind her back. Byrne took out his handcuffs, slipped them over her slender white wrists, and clicked them shut.

She turned to face him. They stood in silence now, just a few inches apart, strangers not only to each other, but to this grim pageant and all that was to come.

“I’m scared,” she said.

Byrne wanted to tell her that he understood. He wanted to say that we all have moments of rage, moments when the walls of sanity tremble and crack. He wanted to tell her that she would pay for her crime, probably for the rest of her life— perhaps even with her life— but that while she was in his care she would be treated with dignity and respect.

He did not say these things. “My name is Detective Kevin Byrne,” he said. “It’s going to be all right.” It was November 1, 1990. Nothing has been right since.

Excerpt from The Echo Man by Richard Montanari. Copyright © 2017 by Richard Montanari. Reproduced with permission from Witness Impulse. All rights reserved.

Richard Montanari

Author Bio:

Richard Montanari is the internationally bestselling author of numerous novels, including the nine titles in the Byrne & Balzano series.

He lives in Cleveland, Ohio.

Catch Up With Our Author On:
Website 🔗, Goodreads, Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!

February 9th BLAST Participants:


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Tour Participants:

Don’t forget to check out these stops next month when they’ll be featuring reviews, interviews & More giveaways!

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Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Richard Montanari and Harper Collins. There will be 2 winners of one (1) eBook copy of The Echo Man by Richard Montanari. The giveaway begins on February 6th and runs through February 16th, 2017.

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Stalked

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Stalked (The Profiler – 4) by Elizabeth Heiter

If you’re reading this, I’m already dead…

That’s the note seventeen-year-old Haley Cooke leaves behind when she disappears from inside her high school. FBI profiler Evelyn Baine is called in to figure out who had reason to hurt her. On the surface, the popular cheerleader has no enemies, but as Evelyn digs deeper, she discovers that everyone close to Haley has something to hide. Everyone from estranged parents, to an older boyfriend with questionable connections, to a best friend who envies Haley’s life.

Secrets can be deadly…

One of those secrets may have gotten Haley killed. If she’s still alive, Evelyn knows that the more the investigation ramps up, the more pressure they could be putting on Haley’s kidnapper to make her disappear for good. It’s also possible the teenager isn’t in danger at all, but has skillfully manipulated everyone and staged her own disappearance. Only one thing is certain: uncovering Haley’s fate could be dangerous—even deadly—to Evelyn herself.

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

 Elizabeth Heiter

Author’s Bio

ELIZABETH HEITER likes her suspense to feature strong heroines, chilling villains, psychological twists, and a little bit (or a lot!) of romance. Her research has taken her into the minds of serial killers, through murder investigations, and onto the FBI Academy’s shooting range. Her novels have been published in more than a dozen countries and eight languages; they’ve also been shortlisted for the National Readers’ Choice, Daphne Du Maurier and Booksellers’ Best awards and won the RT Reviewers’ Choice award.

Elizabeth graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in English Literature. She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and Romance Writers of America.

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My Review

5 stars

Haley Cook is the perfect high school girl. Pretty, straight A’s, cheerleader, etc. But the last time anyone saw her was one month prior when her boyfriend Jordan dropped her off for cheerleading practice. But then her mother finds a notebook that the police missed. The first line reads, “If you are reading this, I’m already dead.” But who would want to hurt Haley?

Evelyn Baine, a FBI Profiler, is called in to investigate. It seems that there is more to Hailey’s life than you first see. It seems that everyone has some secret that they are trying to keep hidden. Then Evelyn’s partner, Kyle McKenzie, is working on the attack of a college student that will only talk to the FBI. It seems this is a human trafficking case that may be related to Hailey’s disappearance.

This is an action packed thriller that will keep you guessing until the end. Although everything seems perfect for Hailey, her life is far from it. How does her biological father fit in with her step father, how jealous is her best friend, does her college aged boyfriend have anything to do with this, how does a human trafficking case link in, and how is this going to affect Evelyn as she starts remembering her childhood friend disappearing?

There are so many twists and turns that you will be reading into the early hours of the night just to see what happens next. This is a great thriller and although it is the fourth book in the series you can read it as a stand-alone book.

I loved this story and I will definitely be purchasing the other three in the series. I can’t wait to see what I missed and for future books.

I received Stalked from the publisher for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Lessons from a Difficult Person: How to Deal with People Like Us by Sarah H. Elliston

 Lessons from a Difficult Person: How to Deal with People Like Us
Author:  Sarah H. Elliston
Category:  Adult Non-fiction, 176 pages
Genre:  Self-help / Relationships
Publisher:  CreateSpace
Release date:  November 30, 2016
Content Rating:  G

The funny thing is that Sarah Elliston never realized she was “a difficult person,” — someone who harangued people until she got her way, threw snip fits and temper tantrums, talked over her bosses and pointed out what she thought were their misconceptions. In her family, where she felt bullied, the only way she knew how to get someone’s attention and approval was to voice her opinion—and loudly! Without standing her ground, how could she do what she thought was best for herself and everyone around her. She wasn’t intentionally mean-spirited. She was just trying to do what she thought was RIGHT!

Until a kind, but firm, boss woke her up! With great compassion, and strength, her boss pointed out that that her actions had consequences. That in being “difficult,” she was not only disrupting the office camaraderie and production, but impeding her own professional advancement.

That’s the beginning of Sarah’s transformation— when she started on the journey to leave behind the difficult person, and become the woman who teaches others how to deal with difficult people. Sam Elliston is now bringing forth her vital manual on how to awaken the challenging personality, and change both the relationship and the environment, with her new book Dealing with Difficult People; Lessons Learned from a Difficult Person.

Today, Elliston is a highly successful workshop leader and trainer, who offers wisdom learned the hard way—by experience – as well as through rigorous study and certification in many areas of professional training that aid her in her work — Values Realization, Parent Effectiveness Training and Reality Therapy. She is a faculty member of the William Glasser Institute. Glasser is an internationally recognized psychiatrist and developer of Reality Therapy, a method of psychotherapy that teaches people they have a choice in how they choose to behave.

The methods Elliston offers in her book end the trauma and the drama, and minimize the possibility of confrontation. She gives YOU, the reader, the ability to take a strong, positive, confident—yet compassionate–stance with the “difficult person”—whether that is a relative, coworker, friend, one of your children or anyone else for that matter.

Elliston demonstrates how to:

• Identify the ways to talk to a “difficult” person
• Incorporate true incentives to help people change
• Make real the consequences of the “difficult” person’s action
• Increase success through acceptance and belonging
• Avoid being triggered by the “difficult” person allowing you to neutralize those hot buttons and communicate without judgment

Elliston lays out a proven script for peacefully transforming the difficult person’s behavior and the environment. She gives you the tools for successfully initiating and engaging in a conversation with a difficult person that would lead to change.

Amazon     Goodreads

Author’s Bio

Sarah E. Elliston

Sarah (Sam) Elliston is an expert in the art of Dealing with Difficult People. She is a top workshop leader and a member of the faculty of the William Glasser Institute, which espouses “Reality Therapy” to foster behavioral change.

But her instructional career began long before she even became aware that she was herself a “difficult person,” traits that began in Lincoln MA, where she grew up. For more than 30 years she has been teaching and training, first as a high school teacher in Ohio and Cincinnati—and then as an administrator in the not-for-profit sector.

Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

Interview with: Sarah Elliston

Author of Lessons From a Difficult Person; How to Deal With People Like us

  1. It’s an unusual title –What does it mean?

I discovered that I was a difficult person in the middle of my life and I was surprised that I hadn’t been informed before. I realized that most articles and literature on difficult people are written as if the difficult person is the enemy and there are tricks one can do to get along with or avoid him or her.

As my title suggests, this book is designed to help someone who has a difficult person in his life examine the situation and follow some steps to having a conversation with the person. It involves moving from annoyance with the other to being in their corner and cheering them on as they consider changing.

  1. Who inspires you as a writer?

I suppose the writer I emulate is E. B. White who wrote Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little and coauthored Elements of Style with William Strunk.

Mr. White wrote in clear language with simple descriptions that were as crisp and lively as they were clear-cut. My training was to write as distinctly as possible while also being vibrant and pure.

“Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that he make every word tell.”

“Elementary Principles of Composition”, The Elements of Style

The way of writing urges writers to eliminate unnecessary words. I find myself deleting the word “so” because it waters down the emotion (“so” glad to be here – being glad to be here is joyful enough) and growling at people who describe something as “very” unique. Unique is unique, there is nothing like it or it wouldn’t be unique. It does not need a modifier; a modifier insults the word and the reader (or listener).

I worked at diligently editing and restructuring my book so it would be as close to this as possible.

  1. What does it feel like to be difficult?

My experience was that it felt distanced from others and confusing, as if there was a message everybody else had and I didn’t get it. That led to a resentful and distrustful approach to others, especially those in leadership roles. It’s hard to feel close to another person when you’re considered difficult. I often felt as if I was walking through the paces of whatever role I was playing.

  1. Why should we make an effort to have a relationship with a difficult person when they already drive us crazy?

The simple response to this is because the difficult person isn’t happy being difficult, it is all they know how to do. Difficult people can be argumentative or clingy, they can be pushy or always quiet. They may not know how to be otherwise and if we don’t make an effort to have a relationship with them then not only are they missing out, we are missing out of having a real relationship with someone who, believe me, wants one but doesn’t know how to get it.

It is always a surprise to others when I suggest that difficult people really don’t know what they are doing that annoys others- they know that the others are annoyed but they don’t know why or if they have been told why, they don’t know what to do instead. Difficult behavior is a habit and it needs to be discussed and changed with the help of someone who is willing to take time and make an effort.

  1. Who do you think will benefit the most from this book?

My hope is that the difficult people will benefit if they have people in their lives who take the time to have conversations with them inviting and encouraging change. I hope the difficult people become less difficult and develop stronger relationships.

All of us need connection and a sense that of belonging with others. Difficult people don’t feel needed or connected enough or they would not be difficult. They wouldn’t need to annoy us in whatever way they do. They do what they do because it is a habit and it is all they know. Something about the result satisfies them or they wouldn’t keep doing but it isn’t really what they want.

We all crave to feel a part of something. It is a profound human need. For the people who have difficult people in their lives, I hope they benefit by getting to know themselves better and initiating a more fulfilling relationship with the difficult person.

And my passion is with the person who is annoying you to death. It is a habit and they are no happier about it than you are.

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Giveaway:

Prize: One winner will receive a copy of Lessons from a Difficult Person and a $10 Amazon gift card (open to USA & Canada)

Ends Feb 25

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Farm House

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Farm House by Steve Soderquist

Screams do not carry twenty miles to the next farm house…

Ten years ago, a little girl was supposedly murdered. Ten years ago, that little girl got away.

Now, after eight years of living on her own, feeding from garbage cans and doing what she must to survive and still remain anonymous, the lies told to her have led her—her sense of vengeance and retribution—back to the door-step of whom she considers to blame.

Those who stand in her way receive nothing of mercy as her relentless pursuit to extract revenge on those who robbed her of her life comes to a chilling close as nothing will stop her…and no one is to be spared.

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

 Steve Soderquist

Author’s Bio

Steve Soderquist was quite a successful musician twenty-odd years ago and spent many years on the road. He was with numerous bands before finally settling down to a more regular life. However, the writing bug kept biting at him. Steve had started a book called, ‘Mind’s Eye’ when he was seventeen and it never left him. Even though the writing muscle had certainly atrophied, he was getting that tickle like you get in the back of your throat when a cold is coming on.

Publishing his first novella ‘One for the Road’ motivated him to propel. When ‘Farm House’ was complete and those blessed two words were put down, ‘THE END’ he knew he found his calling.

Following up with the science fiction thriller, ‘Seeds’ then co-writing the romance thriller ‘Rogue’ with author Laura Ranger, Steve finished the short children’s story ‘The Littlest Princess’ and is currently working on two more titles.

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My Review

5 stars

Crystal Ann Christina was an abused child that was left for dead by her father when she was eight. But she managed to survive doing whatever it takes. Her mother Karen wonders what happened to Crystal and decides to take in those from the streets that need a family. Then they start disappearing one by one. At the same time a serial killer is on the loose and the police are trying to stop them. It seems Karen may have more information than you initially see and that she is intentionally not sharing that information with the detectives. Will they be able to stop the serial killer?

I love a great serial killer story when penned properly and Soderquist does a fantastic job. A young girl has been betrayed in the ultimate way and does whatever she can to survive, you feel bad for her. Years later you see she has become a serial killer, it’s hard to hate someone when they have had such a tough start in life.

Personally I love stories with female serial killers, creepy right?! But women are generally over looked when you think of someone that is going to kill. But I have seen things that women do that put male serial killers to shame. And this book fits right into true life events.

If you like your thrillers bloody good, look no further. You will be adding Soderquist to your book shelves like me.

I received Farm House from Polished Pages Editing for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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