Archive for March, 2018

Organized Crime Fantasy
Date Published:  June 2017
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Seven organized crime Families, known as the Seven Blessed Families, rule the World of Exodus and its people with the use of their mysterious magical artifacts, called Relics. Relics give powers to the Blessed members of the Families, and they use those powers for corruption and control of everything in Exodus.
Maretto Rose, the patriarch of the Rose Family, celebrates his 50th birthday by attending a performance at the Grand Theater with three of his four sons. The theater is attacked by the heir of the Cicello Family, Zasso Cicello. His mission is to abduct Maretto, but it fails when Maretto’s son, Georgiano, fights Zasso to protect his father and family. Georgiano is ultimately slain and Zasso flees and goes into hiding. Now, the Rose Family must find where Zasso is hiding. They want answers. Who gave him the order for the attack, and what do they want with Maretto Rose? And most of all, they want revenge…But who could it be? A leader of a rival Family? Or someone or something else more powerful than they could imagine?
Meanwhile, Maretto’s youngest son, Ric, must battle his demons and addictions in order to become a Blessed member of the Family and become the man he was destined to be, before he ends up being another dead junky on the street.
So, sit back and enjoy the ride, because in Exodus, gangsters make the world go round.

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Praise for Blood and Roses:
“When I first started reading I thought this was going to be a typical gangster story, and in a lot of ways it was. However, the addition of magical relics, giving the family members magical powers, gives a wonderful twist to the story. The use of modern day technology, including flying cars, adds even more to the unexpected quality of the story. I especially love the scenes where they use magic for a variety of attacks and defences.
 The plot, which at first, seemed to be very straight forward, was twisted out of shape by the inclusion of not just one, but several different players. This kept me guessing to the very end of the story about what was happening. Even at the end there are questions left unanswered, leading nicely to the next novel in the series, which I’m dying to read.” -Emie Cuevas, OnlineBookClub.com
          So far, it had been the perfect birthday for Don Maretto Rose.  Well, maybe not perfect.  His youngest son was not present for the celebration, and it hurt the powerful man very much on the inside.  But it was still as close as it was going to get to being perfect.
          But sometimes, when you least expect it, the unexpected happens…And everything goes to hell.
          Outside the Grand Theater, two black extended SUVs came flying from around a nearby skyscraper and hovered towards the ground.  They landed on the street directly in front of the red-carpeted entranceway.  As soon as they were grounded, the doors on each SUV flew open, and gangsters came pouring out like water from a spout.  One of the Rose Family guards and two theater security went into immediate action to stop the unwanted guests from entering the theater.  An array of other guards and security lined the stairs and main entrance.
          Now, a lot of the gangsters spilling out of the cars looked pretty much the same, dressed in regular black suits and fedoras, but there were two in particular that were dressed a little nicer and a little weirder.  They both took their good ole time striding towards the main guard as the other gangsters filed behind them.  The one in front was tall and lanky, wearing a royal blue suit with a matching necktie and white dress shirt.  He bore a blue fedora over his silvery black hair that hung down to his cheeks.  His eyes matched his hair, and his face was thin like his body.  He was draped in gold jewelry around his neck and had gemmed rings on almost every finger.  The pride in his walk signified that he was a man of importance.  And he was.  The man was none other than Zasso Cicello, son of Don Xanose Cicello.
            Walking closely behind, was a shorter man dressed in a shiny silver suit and black dress shirt.  His face was round but came to a point at his chin, and he bore a pair of sunglasses that could be mistaken for a couple of round mirrors.  His long and thin hair was shoulder length and was black with a bluish tint.  He, also, had a certain pride to his walk.  And that’s because he was Zasso’s personal protector and assassin, Razo Malvagio.
            As Zasso and Razo approached the main guard, he put up a hand to signal them to stop and said, “I’m sorry gentlemen, but this is a private viewing and you need to show credentials to enter the theater.”
            In the blink of an eye, Razo came whirling around Zasso, holding a pistol-gripped sawed-off shotgun.  It was pointed directly at the guard, and Razo didn’t hesitate to pull the trigger.  There was a loud burst, and then the guard’s hand exploded clean off his arm, along with half of his face.  His limp body collapsed on the red carpet.  A puddle of blood formed underneath the other half of his face.
            “There are my credentials,” Zasso said to the corpse.
            The two theater security guards reached for their firearms, but Zasso was too quick for them.  Like a gunslinger, he drew a small pistol from his waist and fired multiple shots.  Blood burst out of their chests, and they perished before they even touched their guns.  Zasso and Razo continued on, with their entourage following behind.
            The Rose Family guards and theater security wasted no time opening fire at the oncoming murderers.  They fired numerous times whether it was with a handgun or semiautomatic rifle.  But it was to no success.  Upon the masquerade of bullet-fire, Zasso raised a hand and magically constructed a transparent yellow force field that deflected the bullets.  Then, all hell broke loose.
            Zasso’s gangsters came storming around him and returned fire upon the guards and security.  Zasso and Razo went on the offensive as well with their short-arm weapons.  Blood started spilling, and bodies were falling everywhere.  When Zasso reached the bottom of the stairs, he extended his left hand and bolts of electricity spewed from his fingertips in the direction of his targets.  And at the same time, he kept on firing shots out of his pistol with his right hand.  His targets were electrocuted and blown away by bullets at the same time.  Zasso was Blessedwith magical powers by his Family’s Relic, which made him a very dangerous killer.
            While a few of his men were taken down, Zasso and Razo came away from the chaotic scene unscathed.  The Rose Family guards and theater security were all dead.  It was now time for them to enter the premises of the theater and accomplish what they came here to do.

 About the Author

Jordan Petrarca lives in Erie, Pennsylvania with his wife and twin girls. “Blood and Roses” was inspired by his love for fantasy and organized crime stories.
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RABT Book Tours & PR
I would like to thank Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to share this book.

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Mortal Outcomes


Mortal Outcomes (Dan Reno – 3) by Dave Stanton

Bounty hunter Dan Reno never thought he’d be the prey.

When a pair of accused rapists from a New Jersey-based gang surface in South Lake Tahoe, bounty hunter Dan Reno is called in. The first is easy to catch, but the second, a Satanist suspected of a string of murders, is an adversary, unlike any Reno, has faced before. After escaping Reno’s clutches, in the desert outside of Carson City, the target vanishes. That is until he makes it clear he intends to settle the score.

To make matters worse, the criminal takes an interest in a teenage boy and his talented sister, both friends of Reno’s.

Wading through a drug-dealing turf war and a deadly feud between mobsters running a local casino, Reno has to hunt a ghost-like adversary who is calling all the shots.

The more Reno learns more about his target, the more he’s convinced that mayhem is inevitable unless he can capture him quickly. He’d prefer it to be clean, without further bloodshed. But sometimes that isn’t possible, especially when Reno’s partner Cody Gibbons decides it’s time for payback.

Mortal Outcomes is a fast-paced thriller full of action and adventure. The Dan Reno series appeals to fans of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series as well as authors like; Rob Sinclair, David Baldacci, Mark Dawson, Michael Connely and David Archer.

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Author’s Bio

Born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1960, Dave Stanton moved to Northern California in 1961. He attended San Jose State University and received a BA in journalism in 1983. Over the years, he worked as a bartender, newspaper advertising salesman, furniture mover, debt collector, and technology salesman. He has two children, Austin and Haley, and lives with his wife, Heidi, in San Jose, California.

Stanton is the author of six novels, all featuring private investigator Dan Reno and his ex-cop buddy, Cody Gibbons.

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My Review

5 stars

Private investigator/bounty hunter Dan Reno is asked to bring in to escape cons from New Jersey. The first one was easy to catch but the second; he is a real work of art. A Satanist that has a list of murder victims that is not about to end any time soon. Dan has his work cut out for him just trying to find him, especially since it seems he is one step ahead of Dan. But then Dan becomes his target and things get dangerous.

But this is not the only thing happening. You have a couple gangs that are giving the locals problems and make the mistake to threaten a couple kids that Dan cares about. Dan, along with help from his cop friend Cody Gibbons are about to jump into the trouble and will have to fight to get out.

I loved this book. Dan Reno is a man’s man. He knows his business and has the guts to stand up and the knowledge on how to put people in their place. You have drugs, gangs, the mob, politics, and a serial killer that is smarter than your average bad guy. This book has a little bit of everything and will appeal to everyone.

It is the third book in the series and although I have not read any other books from Dave Stanton I had no problem following along with this book. If you are looking for a great thriller, look no further.

I received a complimentary copy of the book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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I Love You My Child, I’m Abandoning You: Holocaust Memoir

By Ariela Palacz

I Love You My Child, I’m Abandoning You is an exciting, human documentary taking place in France during the Holocaust. Ariela’s story plucks at existential strings and focuses a spotlight on our strong needs and basic rights to belong—to a family, to a tradition, and to the nation.

Ariela Palacz (as Paulette Szenker) shares her life story with the reader, weaving the past and the present together in an authentic and moving journey between France during the Holocaust, and Jerusalem of today.

Little Paulette, an excellent pupil surrounded by a loving family, is forced suddenly to confront the cruel reality of the Holocaust of French Jewry, forcibly separating her from her family and causing her to be abandoned by her father.

Despite the difficult and shocking experience that she copes with as a young girl during the Holocaust she remains optimistic and naïve, with a thirst for life even in her darkest hours.
Ariela’s story honors the memory of French Jews who perished in the Holocaust while simultaneously expressing the will to live, the revival, the optimism, and the bravery that characterize those who survived and the future generations of the Jewish people.

[The grandchildren – Roi, Shirly and Gali Edelstein]

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Ariela Palacz

Author’s Bio

Just a child at the outbreak of WWII, Ariella Palacz was born to a Jewish family in France.

In an attempt to save the children, the family was separated. Ariella’s mother was hospitalized, as she was unable to care for them. The children were sent off to a remote village, hidden under false identities and raised as Christians.

When the war was over, their father came to take them back. He was alone. Ariella’s mother had been killed by the Nazis.

In 1970, Ariella immigrated to Israel together with her husband Eitan and children Yoram and Yael. Her third child – Keren – was born in Israel. She lived in Jerusalem and worked in the Yad VaShem Holocaust museum where she told her story to thousands of visitors from all backgrounds. Ariella was a mother, a grandmother, and a great-grandmother.

Ariella passed away in 2017 backgrounds.


My Review

5 stars

Paulette is eight years old in France when her parents abandon her and her siblings. Her parents are then taken and killed. Paulette has to make some tough decisions to do whatever it takes to keep her siblings and herself alive in a bleak period. She does things that takes her years to work through but she manages to survive the Holocaust.

Whenever I see a true story about the Holocaust I try to read it. I absolutely hate what happened to the Jews, gypsies, gays, and those unknown that the Nazi’s brutalized, tortured, and killed just for being different. But I read these books to remind myself of the horrors of the world. By reading these books we give credit to those that are gone and keep their memories alive. What better way to honor the dead.

This book gets tough to read at times and will break your heart along the way. I commend Ariela for everything she went through. It was equally hard to follow as Ariela worked through the events she lived. But this goes to show how a strong person gets through life.

This is one of those books I think everyone should read. It should be right up there with Anne Frank’s Diary. It’s very moving and one that you will need a box of tissue to get through but you will be happy that you read it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Ari at Candid Book Reviews for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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The Shield


The Shield (The Finder – 1) by CJ Bentley

People lose their belongings. That is a fact of life. It can happen by accident, but sometimes it can happen when you put them in a very safe place and forget where that safe place is. Not many people are good at finding them again.

A young, gutsy girl with a kind heart, who’s searching for her own identity growing up in the 1960s, just happens to be very good at finding things. Can she be the one to help return whatever is lost – anywhere and at any time – to its original owner?

With the help of a beautiful yet mysterious wise woman and a chivalrous knight she does just that. She finds and returns his shield, lost in battle, which unbeknown to her holds a secret that is important to his King, the safety of the Kingdom and the life of the daughter of his best friend.

The Shield is the first story in The Finder Series, taking our heroine on extraordinary journeys back in time. Her first adventure takes place in Medieval England in 1340 where she meets King Edward III, his wife Philippa and their son, who will later become the Black Prince.

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Author’s Bio

A wife, mother to three wonderful sons and grandmother to two beautiful grand daughters and a fun loving grandson. Having a love of books since my own childhood I have passed that love of reading down to the last two generations.

Whilst living in the Middle East due to my husbands work I have had time to write children’s books from an idea based on my own childhood experience, when, aged ten and fishing in a local stream, I found a shield in the silt. I chose to put it back. My first story grew from what could have happened if I had kept it. From the initial book the second grew and with the third completed the fourth is underway. I have ideas for them fifth and sixth and who knows how many more. It could be quite an exciting ride taking the main characters to places as yet still in my imagination.

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My Review

5 Stars

We start this story somewhere in Durham in 1340 AD. A knight has been attacked and robbed. He is on an important mission with a secret message hidden in his now missing shield. After not being able to find the shield he decides to heal up then return to keep looking.

Then we meet Peggy, at least that is what she wants to go by this week. She is ten years old and playing in the stream with her four friends when they discover a wooden shield. She then sees a knight although the other don’t. Then Peggy, now being called Eleanor by the knight, travels through time to help him complete his mission.

This is a fantastic story for any age but meant for midgrade readers. You have a delightful child that is about to learn how kids had to be more mature in 1340 AD. I love the adventure she goes on the Sir Kay.

This is a great story that quickly sucked me in and left me up late at night. It is well written for all ages and I can’t wait to see what adventure Eleanor/Peggy goes on next.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Authoright for the opportunity to read and share this book. Also for being able to take part in the Clink Street Spring Reading Week 2018.

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The Book of Air


The Book of Air by Joe Treasure

 Retreating from an airborne virus with a uniquely unsettling symptom, property developer Jason escapes London for his country estate, where he is forced to negotiate a new way of living with an assortment of fellow survivors.

Far in the future, an isolated community of descendants continue to farm this same estate. Among their most treasured possessions are a few books, including a copy of Jane Eyre, from which they have constructed their hierarchies, rituals and beliefs. When 15-year-old Agnes begins to record the events of her life, she has no idea what consequences will follow. Locked away for her transgressions, she escapes to the urban ruins and a kind of freedom, but must decide where her future lies.

These two stories interweave, illuminating each other in unexpected ways and offering long vistas of loss, regeneration and wonder.

The Book of Air is a story of survival, the shaping of memory and the enduring impulse to find meaning in a turbulent world.

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Author’s Bio

Joe Treasure currently lives in South West London with his wife Leni Wildflower. As an English teacher in Wales, he ran an innovative drama programme, before following Leni across the pond to Los Angeles, an experience that inspired his critically acclaimed debut novel The Male Gaze (published by Picador). His second novel Besotted (also published by Picador) also met with rave reviews.

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My Review

4 stars

This story is told by two people. Agnes talks of a time that has moved on from our own. She lives on a country estate with several others that use items left over from the prior owners. No one really knows how some of the stuff works or even how to keep it from breaking down. This world is based on one of four books that they found on the estate, Jane Eyre.

Jason is from our time. He is a survivor from an airborne virus that has killed most of the population. He barely gets out of London with a few other survivors and heads to a country estate. They form a community and try to keep alive in this new world.

This is a story of discovery and survival. I like how you bounce back and forth between Jason and Agnes and how different their worlds are. You do come to learn that Agnes is in a world about one hundred years from Jason’s.

This is not a high action story, more of a telling of how both worlds have changes from ours and what these people have done to survive. It a good read and I find it interesting how Agnes’ community to have been created around Jane Eyre. I’m not one for Bronte but I have read this one. Although I’m not really fond of it, I liked how you could pick up different parts of this story. I enjoyed this book and recommend everyone check it out.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Authoright for the opportunity to read and share this book. Also for being able to take part in the Clink Street Spring Reading Week 2018.

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The Elf King


The Elf King by Lorraine Hellier

Lorraine Hellier’s children’s book The Elf King follows the story of a family of elves. Bay Leaf is the new Elf King. In this fantasy tale his sister, Sweet Pea, demonstrates her love and devotion for her brother. In the story, the elves go on a perilous journey to the Mountain Shrine where Bay Leaf must take his ‘Oath of Allegiance’ to the ‘Moon Lake Elves’. An enchanted book offers advice and guidance from their ancestors and warns Sweet Pea to take care of her brother several times during the journey. Bay Leaf almost loses his life… Sweet Pea supports Bay Leaf throughout the journey, but will her interference bring resolution to Bay Leaf’s heartache on their return? This traditional tale of love and loyalty will appeal to children aged between 7-9 that enjoy fantasy tales. Lorraine uses The Elf King to raise issues surrounding family loyality and the importance of supporting each other in difficult times.

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Author’s Bio

Lorraine writes from her canal-side home near the cathedral city of Lichfield, Staffordshire. She visits local schools offering Author Visits and Creative Writing Workshops.  She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators supporting and encouraging other members.

Lorraine loves to travel, a visit to New Zealand inspired this novel.

The sequel “The Elf Quest” will be published April 2018.

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My Review

4 stars

Bay Leaf is the new elf king of the Moon Lake Elves even if he is not ready for this responsibility. He needs to travel to the Mountain Shrine and take the Oath of Allegiance to the Moon Lake Elves. But he is not ready to be king and he has others matters on his mind. Thankfully his sister Sweat Pea is there to help encourage him and help him use The History of Moon Lake Elves on his adventure. Together Bay Leaf and Sweat Pea have a huge challenge ahead of them.

This is a wonderful fantasy story for mid-grade readers or anyone that loves fantasies. You have a young king that is not really ready to rule and has a forbidden love. His sister s still trying to get used to him being a king instead of her big brother, but is there to assist and support him on this journey. Of course you have action, adventure, and a great way to build a true leader.

This is a wonderful story and one that I recommend that you check it out. The sequel should be out shortly and I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to read and share this book.

A Note from the Author

Thank you for inviting me to visit your blog.

When I began writing Children’s novels I hadn’t anticipated I would be embarking on a series. The reason can only be because I didn’t want to let go of my characters! I get so attached to them they become my friends.

Prior to this book I published a series of five. These were inspired by my time living and working in Guernsey, Channel Islands.

“The Elf King” is the first of a trilogy. The sequel “The Elf Quest,” official publication date is April 2018 but copies are available now. I am presently writing the third book.

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I began “The Elf King” with the characters. I chose to name the female elves after flowers and the males after herbs. The novel is from Sweet Pea’s point of view but it is about her brother, Bay Leaf, the new Elf King, and the perilous journey they take for him to take his Oath of Allegiance. This first book centres round Sweet Pea and Bay Leaf’s family and friends and their love and loyalty.

It is important when writing a series to remember to be consistent. You need to make sure you don’t change a character’s appearance, habits etc. For example Bay Leaf has a habit of tugging his earlobe when he is nervous or anxious.

All writers have different methods of keeping track of characters and settings. For “The Elf King” I used brainstorming for the characters and a roll of paper with relevant information of family tree, the journey from their Moon Lake home to the Mountain Shrine, the generations of Elf Kings and details about the Enchanted Book.

In 2015 I had the opportunity to visit New Zealand. I had just started the first draft of “The Elf King.” The spectacular scenery inspired me to take the elves on a journey. The lakes, mountains, waterfalls and rivers offered me settings for their expedition.

In the sequel Sweet Pea leaves the security of her clan to search for another clan of elves to trade for moonstones.

In the third novel readers meet with the three Elf Clans they are familiar with from book two. Moon Lake Elves, an affluent clan, Wood Elves, an ecological clan and the Wilderness Elves, rough and brutal elves.

I have enjoyed writing this Trilogy. I wonder which of my list of ideas I will use next and if it be a series?

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YA Speculative Fiction
Date Published: March 2018
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Ignorance is cheap. And then it costs you everything.
Perth author Rachel Watts’ latest release delivers a devastating vision of a post-climate change world in which governments have collapsed and corporations rule with an iron fist. In this world two young women from different backgrounds find themselves unexpectedly aligned in their pursuit for the truth.
The world has suffered economic collapse and multiple environmental crises. In a flooded city, Ava Murasaki is searching for her activist sister Sophia. Meanwhile, Valerie Newlin lives in the secure complex of the Scylla Corporation, the world’s only remaining multinational. There, she finds evidence of something horrifying in the Corporation medical research data. Set in a searingly real near-future, Survival is a story of what people will face for those they love.
Survival is accompanied by four of Watts’ previously published dystopian and post-apocalyptic stories.

Purchase Links

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About the Author

Rachel Watts is an award-winning journalist and a writer of literary and speculative fiction. She holds a Master’s Degree in Media and Communication and teaches creative writing to adults and teenagers. Her short stories and non-fiction have been published by Westerly, Island, Kill Your Darlings, Tincture and more.
Rachel Watts lives in Perth, Western Australia.
 Contact Links
Website     Twitter     Facebook     LinkedIn    Promo Link
RABT Book Tours & PR
I would like to thank Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to share this book.

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A Wolf in the Woods

A Wolf in the Woods

by Nancy Allen

on Tour March 1-31, 2018


A Wolf in the Woods by Nancy Allen

McCown County assistant prosecutor Elsie Arnold is prepping an assault case when a girl is found beaten and bloodied at a roadside no-tell motel. Elsie tries to convince the teen to reveal who attacked her, but Mandy is too scared—and stubborn—to cooperate… and then she disappears. Elsie’s positive a predator is targeting the Ozark hills, yet the authorities refuse to believe their small town could be plagued by sex trafficking.

Then middle school student Desiree Wickham goes missing, but only Elsie suspects it could be connected to Mandy’s assault. As she digs deeper into the events leading up to Desiree’s disappearance, she stumbles upon an alarming discovery: local girls are falling prey to a dubious online modeling agency, and never seen again. Elsie shares her concerns with Detective Ashlock and the FBI, but they shut her out.

She takes matters into her own hands and lands an interview with the head of the modeling agency. But when she meets him face-to-face, she discovers the fate of Desiree and Mandy… and becomes his newest captive. Elsie’s desperate to free the girls—and save herself—before the unspeakable happens. And she’s in for the fight of her life.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: February 20, 2018
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 0062438786 (ISBN13: 9780062438782)
Series: Ozarks Mysteries #4 | Each is a Stand Alone Mystery
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | HarperCollins

Read an excerpt:


A dark haired man lounged behind a battered desk in a second floor room at an EconoMo motel that sat on the highway in flyover country, Missouri. He pulled up Skype on his laptop and studied his own image on the computer screen, rubbing the tattoo that covered his neck. Behind him, the unmade bed was visible on the screen. A thin cotton sheet covered the form of a young girl.

He adjusted the angle to cut her from the shot. The bed disappeared, replaced by beige curtains at the window, hanging askew on the rod.

The place was a dump. He could afford better accommodations, without a doubt. It was business, and business was booming. His greatest challenge was procuring sufficient supply to meet the constant demand.

On the desktop, bottles were scattered near the computer. Alprazolam. Oxycodone. Rohypnol. Diazepam. Three value packs of Benadryl: cherry flavored. A plastic bottle of Aristocrat vodka sat beside a jumbo container of Hawaiian Punch.

As he pushed them aside, the bottle of roofies rolled off the desktop and onto the dirty carpet. He caught it just before it rolled under the dresser.

A ding notified him: his Skype appointment was ready. Right on time. He liked the girls to be punctual.

He hit the button on the mouse and fixed a smile on his face. “Lola! How you doing, baby!”

A giggling girl with a mane of curly blonde hair greeted him onscreen. “Tony, you’re so funny. I’m not Lola, I’ve told you a zillion times.”

“But you look like a Lola. If you want to make it in the modeling trade, you’ll have to project glamour. Drama.” He stretched his arms over his head, displaying muscled biceps covered in ink, and locked his hands behind his neck.

“Cool.” Her eyes shone.

“Leave that country girl persona behind in Podunk. Where are you from again?”

“Barton. Barton, Missouri. Where’s Podunk?”

He laughed, running his hand over his thick hair. “Podunk is where you’re sitting right now. What you’re itching to ditch. How’s life?”

Desiree shrugged, pulling a face.

“They still giving you shit at school, baby?”

She rolled her head back onto her neck. “All. The. Time.”

“And how’s living at home?”


“Wish you could leave it all behind?”


The girl turned her head; he heard a whisper from someone off-screen. Sharply, he asked: “Are you alone?”

A second head appeared over Lola’s shoulder. He saw a mixed race girl. She was taller than Lola, but he pegged her at the same age: an adolescent, around fourteen.

And she was a diamond in the rough—a black diamond. Unblemished skin, full lips, high cheekbones. Lola said, “You asked if I had any friends who wanted to meet you.”

He smiled, tapping his hand on the counter. “Who’s this?”

The tall girl looked at her friend, then into the computer. “I’m Taylor Johnson.”

“And you’re interested in modeling?”

She blinked. A nervous twitch. He shot a grin, to reassure her. “You’ve got the bone structure for it.”

The tall girl pinched her lips together. “Maybe. I think so.”

“We’ll need to conduct some auditions by video, maybe an interview, before you can qualify for a live shoot at the agency.”

She looked skittish. He wouldn’t get anything from her today.

“Let’s just get acquainted, okay?” He was about to launch into his patter: find out her story, gain her trust.

But a moan sounded from the bed behind him. The girl was coming around. He glanced over, fearful that she might raise a ruckus that could scare off his new prospects.

Tony picked up his phone. “Aw shit. Call’s coming in from one of our clients. I gotta take it.” He winked and shut off Skype just in time.

In a weak voice, she said, “Tony. Help me. Please, take off the cuffs.”

He sighed. Picking up a dirty plastic cup, he poured a measure of vodka and Benadryl, and topped it off with the red punch.

The girl spoke again, in a pleading tone. “Don’t make me do it, Tony. It hurts.”

He stirred the drink with his finger and walked toward the bed. “Mandy, Mandy. You look like you could use a magic drink, baby. This will fix you right up.”

The girl tried to sit up as he extended the red plastic cup. Tony stared down at her, shaking his head. “What’s that saying? ‘The customer is always right.’ You know what you got to do.”

The girl began to thrash against the mattress. But she was handcuffed to the metal bed frame.


Excerpt from A Wolf in the Woods by Nancy Allen. Copyright © 2018 by Nancy Allen. Reproduced with permission from Witness Impulse. All rights reserved.

Nancy Allen

Author Bio:

Nancy Allen practiced law for 15 years as Assistant Missouri Attorney General and Assistant Prosecutor in her native Ozarks.

She tried over 30 jury trials, including murder and sexual offenses, and is now a law instructor at Missouri State University.

Catch Up With Ms. Allen On:
nancyallenbooks.com     Goodreads – Nancy Allen
Twitter – @TheNancyAllen
& Facebook – NancyAllenAuthor

My Review

5 stars

Elsie Arnold is the assistant prosecutor and is called in when a young girl, Mandy is attacked in a local motel. Elsie is afraid that she has been kidnapped and tried to get more information from Mandy when the girl disappears. Then she learns of a middle schooler, Desiree Wickham that disappears too. Elsie is trying to get the local police to look into the case when she learns the girls may be connected by a local modelling ad. But they are dragging their feet so Elsie decides to step up and work her own investigation. But she quickly finds herself in the same position of so many other girls.

Elsie means well but she is not about to be brushed off when she is trying to help the girls that have disappeared. Although her intentions meant well going out on her own, she does find herself in quite a predicament. And with some of her personal choices, it didn’t really surprise me to learn she became a victim too.

Elsie does not always show the best judgment but she does have heart and she is trying to help when it seems so many people are just brushing the issue under the rug. I love how this book is about those girls that go missing but it’s based in a small town. Of course nothing like this would EVER happen in a small town. That’s city folk problems.

This is my first book from Nancy Allen and I am pleased with it. I loved the location and the story, very well written. I am very curious to go back and see what I have missed from this series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

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The Clock Flower

Book Details:

Book Title: The Clock Flower by Barbara Casey (Book 3 of The F.I.G. Mysteries)
Category: YA Fiction, 208 pages
Genre: Mystery / Fantasy
Publisher: Gauthier Publications, The Hungry Goat Press Imprint
Release date: February 2018
Tour dates: Feb 26 to March 30, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (There is light profanity and some threat of violence.)

Book Description:

Dara Roux, abandoned when she was seven years old by her mother. Exceptionally gifted in foreign languages. Orphan. Accepted to Yale University.

Mackenzie Yarborough, no record of her parents or where she was born. Exceptionally gifted in math and problem-solving. Orphan. Accepted to MIT.

Jennifer Torres, both parents killed in an automobile accident when she was sixteen. Exceptionally gifted in music and art. Orphan. Accepted to Juilliard.

The three FIGs—Females of Intellectual Genius—as they are called, have graduated from Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women after returning from New York City where Dara learned why her mother abandoned her all those years ago, and they are now attending universities where they can further their special talents. This means they will be separated from each other and from Carolina, their much-loved mentor and teacher who is “one of them,” for the first time in their young lives. They vow to try living apart for one semester, in the so-called real world that doesn’t include the orphanage; but if things don’t work out, they will come up with another plan—a plan where they can be together once again.

Dara is invited through Yale University to take part in an exciting archeological project in China. Jennifer, once again visualizing black and white images and the unusual sounds of another cadence that seem to be connected to Mackenzie, is engrossed in creating her next symphony at Juilliard. Mackenzie, because of her genius at problem-solving, is personally chosen by a US Senator to get involved in a mysterious, secret research project involving immortality that is being conducted in a small village in China—not too far from where Dara is involved with the archeological site. Once there, however, she finds herself facing a terrifying death from the blood-dripping teeth of an ancient evil dragon. Her best friends, the FIGs and Carolina, rely on their own unique genius and special talents to save her as she discovers the truth of her birth parents.

To read reviews, please visit Barbara Casey’s page on iRead Book Tours.

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About the Author:
Barbara Casey is the author of several award-winning novels for both adults and young adults, as well as book-length works of nonfiction true crime and numerous articles, poems, and short stories. Her nonfiction true crime book, Kathryn Kelly: The Moll Behind Machine Gun Kelly, has been optioned for a major film and television series. In addition to her own writing, she is an editorial consultant and president of the Barbara Casey Agency. Established in 1995, she represents authors throughout the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. Barbara is also a partner in Strategic Media Books Publishing, an independent publishing house that specializes in cutting-edge adult nonfiction. Barbara lives on a mountain in Georgia with her husband, and three dogs who adopted her: Benton, a hound-mix; Fitz, a miniature dachshund; and Gert, a Jack Russel terrier of sorts.

Connect with the author:  Website

 My Review
5 stars

The FIGs have graduated from Wood Rose Orphanage and are now out in the real world. They are attending separate universities but are planning on keeping in touch every night. But then something is starting to brew. Mackenzie finds herself on a secret mission in a remote Chinese village near where she is working on the key to immorality along with fighting a dragon and learning about her own past.Mackenzie is not alone in her travels to China. Dara is researching ancient languages at an archeological dig and Jennifer is looking into musical compositions with ancient Chinese instruments. And we can’t forget about Caroline. Her gypsy magic is going to make an appearance too since it seems Mackenzie is in some kind of trouble.

I loved the first two books in this series and was very excited to get my little paws on this one. The Clock Flower has the girls separating for the first time. But it’s now for long as they all find themselves together again. Of course we have a great mystery and wonderful companions. Lots of adventure and action to keep us reading, and of course, finally Mackenzie’s story along with her parents.

The only downside to this story was there was a lot about the prior books but that left less room for the present story. I would have liked a little more with Mackenzie and the girls. Beyond that I think this is a great story and a wonderful addition to the F.I.G. Mystery series. I can’t wait for the next book.

I received a complimentary of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

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Wolf Moon: The Rise of the Werewolf

Lycanthropic – 2

by Steve Morris

Post-Apocalyptic / Horror

Date Published: 1 April 2018

Publisher: Landmark Media

Werewolves run wild in London. Riots grip the city as vigilantes and protesters take to the streets.

The Prime Minister is determined to contain the disease before it spreads further. She fights back ruthlessly with all the tools of government at her disposal.

But Leanna’s plans are only just beginning to unfold. The leader of the werewolves and her army of Wolf Brothers are already one step ahead of the authorities.

And for the ordinary people caught up in the conflict, daily life becomes a fight for survival.

WOLF MOON injects an original and exhilarating new twist into the werewolf genre.

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Author’s Bio

Steve Morris has been a nuclear physicist, and a dot com entrepreneur, and is now the author of the Lycanthropic werewolf apocalypse series. He lives in Oxford, England.

Website      Twitter     Goodreads

My Review

5 stars

After the nightmare of New Years, London has been turned on its head. Many are still trying to get out of London while others are dealing with what happened to them. The Prime Minister is trying everything she can to stop the werewolves but it is an uphill battle.

Then you have Leanna. She is determined to evolve humans into the next best thing, werewolves. The problem she faces is lycanthropy is not easily transmitted through bites, scratches, or blood. Also, humans are weak and Leanna learns that most die from the infection. But she is determined to take over everything with her Wolf Army.

I strongly recommend reading Wolf Blood before you read Wolf Moon. You will be lost and will lose the connection to all of the characters. I loved this story. There are so many players and all have their own events shaping them. But I have to say Leanna is one crazy woman.

If you love a good werewolf story, look no further. Wolf Moon is a great sequel to Wolf Blood, both great additions to the genera. I can’t wait to see what Steve Morris has in store next.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.


Chapter One

King’s College Hospital, Lambeth, South London, New Year’s Day

Police Constable Liz Bailey slowly blinked her eyelids open. Blinding yellow light burned her eyes and she screwed them shut again quickly. Darkness was better. She was somewhere warm and soft, and her head felt fuzzy like she was inside a cocoon.

A cocoon. That’s what she needed now. A warm, dark, safe corner that she could curl into and hide. Too much had happened, and she just wanted it to stop. The world began to fade as she drifted back into the tender arms of sleep.

‘Are you awake?’ asked a soothing voice, rich and smooth as honey.

The voice might have been real, or just a dream. Liz ignored it, sinking back into the softness that enfolded her.

‘How do you feel?’

She didn’t know whether hours had passed since she’d first heard the voice, or just the beat of a heart. The voice was gentle but insistent and impossible to ignore. She forced her eyelids open a crack. The bright light still burned, but not as badly as before.

A nurse was leaning over her, a concerned look on her face, a well-worn caring look. ‘You’ve been in a deep sleep since you arrived in the Emergency Department,’ said the nurse. ‘We administered stimulants, but you didn’t respond. We were wondering if you were ever going to wake up.’ Her mouth turned up at the corners in a faint smile, deep dimples hollowing her caramel-coloured cheeks.

‘I know you,’ murmured Liz. ‘I’ve seen you somewhere before.’ Was it in a dream? She couldn’t remember. She remembered nothing.

The nurse smiled again. ‘It was here,’ she said. ‘In the hospital. My name is Chanita. I treated your colleague, PC David Morgan.’

Chanita. Liz’s lips moved soundlessly. David Morgan. Strange names. Names from long ago, a lifetime ago. ‘He’s dead,’ said Liz. ‘Dave Morgan is dead. The wolf bit him. I saw it myself.’ Had that really happened, or was it part of the dream? She hoped it was a dream, but a coldness in her heart told her it was real. ‘So tired,’ she muttered. ‘Light hurts.’

The nurse frowned at that. ‘Let me take a look at your eyes.’

‘Need to sleep,’ said Liz. She felt her eyes closing again, lead weights pulling them shut, the warm darkness dragging her back into wonderful oblivion.

A hand shook her arm gently. ‘Open your eyes for me,’ said the nurse.

It took a colossal effort to force them open. A light shone into them and she snapped them shut again. ‘Too bright.’

‘You have acute photo sensitivity,’ announced Chanita. ‘And your eyes are dilated with a pronounced yellow tint. Do you have any idea what that means?’

Liz shook her head. She had no idea what anything meant.

‘Have you been bitten?’ demanded the nurse. ‘By a wolf? Did it bite you?’

A wolf. An image presented itself to her, a huge black beast, its yellow eyes glowing in the dark like searchlights, its teeth bared, tongue dripping with drool. A memory, not a dream. A memory from last night. Had the wolf bitten her? No. She had thought it would, but it had sniffed at her and walked on by. Then it had run. Run at the others.

She snapped her eyes wide open, ignoring the painful stab of the lights. ‘The others! My colleague, Dean, the children he was protecting? What happened to them?’

‘They’re all okay,’ said Chanita calmly. ‘They were brought in at the same time as you. Your colleague is being treated for a head wound. The teenagers have minor injuries.’

Liz allowed her eyes to drift closed again. They were safe. She was safe.

‘We’re going to keep you in for observation for a few days,’ continued Chanita. ‘One of the doctors will be round to see you later, but at the moment we’re very short of staff. A lot of casualties were brought in during the night after the riots and the wolf attacks.’

Liz curled up in the bed. Riots. That’s right. She had been in the middle of the rioting. She remembered the petrol bomb, the injured people, the looters. She had done her best to help them. She had done something terrible too. But what? The answer was just out of reach, and for now she wanted to keep it that way. It would come to her, in its own time, when she was strong enough to deal with it. Now was the time for sleep.

Chanita said something else to her, but it was too quiet to hear, coming from too far away. The nurse spoke again, but Liz let the distant voice wash over her. The darkness was calling her, and couldn’t be refused.

She continued to drift in and out of sleep. How many times, and for how long, she had no way of knowing. Other nurses came to her bedside, and a doctor too. They questioned her, but she couldn’t remember what they asked, or how she answered. All that mattered was sleep.

At first the sleep was sweet and healing. Her battered body craved the relief it brought her aching bones. Her exhausted mind uncurled into its soothing embrace. Then the dreams began.

Fire, darkness, screams – a vision of Hell. Yellow eyes, bright in the night. The stuff of nightmare. Yet this was no nightmare, this was memory. A giant wolf, panting hot breath in the frigid air. An explosion. Police officers wreathed in flames. The fighting in the alleyway. It was coming back to her, the memories unfolding one by one like blood red roses.

What had she done? The horror of the memory flooded over her in a wave. The moon shining on her skin, its silver rays filling her with superhuman energy. And then the violence. She had attacked those vigilantes with her bare hands. Drawn dark red lines in their flesh with her fingers. Smacked them to the ground like flies. Left them for dead.

The moon had changed her. It had made her a monster, yellow-eyed like the wolves. And Chanita knew.

Liz sat up in bed, suddenly alert. The bright hospital lights half blinded her, but she narrowed her eyes, gritted her teeth and hauled her legs over the edge of the bed. It was like dragging huge weights up a hill. An IV drip tethered her, feeding liquid into the back of her hand, but she pulled the tube out and dropped onto the floor. Her legs sagged and she had to grip the metal frame of the bed to stop herself falling. She held it for a moment, regaining her balance, and used it to drag herself forward. She had to get out of the hospital before Chanita returned.

A privacy curtain hung around her bed. She drew it aside and peeked out at the hospital ward. It was bedlam. Every bed was full, and nurses and doctors hurried around tending to patients. No one took any notice of her. She looked around for Chanita and saw the nurse attending to a patient down the far end of the ward. Liz lurched off in the opposite direction.

She reached the ward exit and half walked, half fell down the staircase. A woman at the bottom of the stairs frowned at her, staring at her eyes, but Liz pushed past, following the signs to the main exit. Everywhere people hurried. Patients, doctors, visitors, nurses and support staff. The bright lights overhead burned down relentlessly and every limb felt dead with exhaustion. She sat down on a plastic bench in the corridor to rest for a moment, before coming to her senses.

Chanita knew. As soon as Liz was discovered missing, they would come for her. They would catch her. And what would they do when they caught a monster? An image of villagers wielding pitchforks and flaming torches sprang into her mind. She lurched back to her feet, forcing the exhaustion aside, ignoring the pain in her eyes. The corridor twisted and turned, intersecting with other corridors like a maze, until eventually she pushed out and found herself in the open air. To her surprise, it was still dark, still the early hours of the morning. She must have been in the hospital for only a few hours, unless days had somehow passed.

She looked around and stumbled over to a black taxi. The driver had the window wound down and she placed her hands firmly on the metal door to steady herself.

‘Where to, love?’ asked the driver.

‘What day is it?’ she demanded.

‘Eh? You what?’

‘What day is it?’ she asked again.

‘New Year’s Day,’ said the man cheerfully. ‘Blimey, you must have had a big night out.’

New Year’s Day. Only a few hours had passed since the rioting. Since she had become a monster.

‘So where to, then?’ asked the driver.

‘Brixton Hill,’ she told him, climbing into the back of the cab. Her home wasn’t far from the hospital. Just a short journey and she would be safe again.

‘Bloody hell,’ said the driver, peering at her in his rear-view mirror as he pulled into the early morning traffic. ‘You look like you’ve been in a battle.’

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