Archive for March 6th, 2018

Action, Military Thriller, Thriller
Date Published:  January 2018
Publisher: Balboa Press
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A new threat to the United States has emerged within its own borders. Deutsche Christen, a powerful paramilitary organization, led by a ruthless ex-Special Forces Officer, Carl Dietrich, is threatening to overthrow the U.S. government and assume absolute power over the country.
Bolstered by the overwhelming support provided by two foreign governments, Dietrich believes his forces to be invincible, and his future rise to power inevitable.
Hoping to garner additional members for his organization, he demands an interview with Sean Carrol, an ex-Special Forces officer and an investigative reporter for the New York International News. Dietrich orders that their meeting be held at one of the Deutsche Christen paramilitary camps. To assure Seans cooperation, he kidnaps his niece and nephew.
Understanding Dietrichs rationale for the meeting and further realizing that his niece and nephew arent going to be released, Sean develops a plan to rescue the children. Desperate, he along with Colonel Gannon, his ex-commander, reorganize his old Special Forces team and create a rescue mission.
While tensions rise worldwide and threats of war loom, panic takes center stage, as the prospect for cataclysmic destruction promises to annihilate civilization as we know it.
Praise for Conflux: Threat from the Troika:
“Written in the style of Patricia Cromwell, the author has you in the middle of the story from the first few pages. Bound to be a favorite on the beach this summer with it’s fast page turning tempo.” – John Lunde (Reader)
“…Conflux explores how panic and hatred, power and violence can cause chaos and pain, with real emotional stakes and a spark of hope for a better tomorrow. Brazzel’s skill and style makes for an enjoyable read for a wide audience of readers who enjoy living vicariously through fictional characters exhibiting strength, valor and the commitment to children’s safety.” – Pacific Book Review
About the Author

William Brazzel has been a property and casualty insurance agent for over thirty years. Dreaming of writing a novel has been a long term goal in his life. Finally, after many years of raising a family and nurturing his career, he has written his second novel “Conflux Threat from the Troika.” Unique and exciting, this novel projects a contemporary view of current day world threats that haunt and endanger all of us. With the creation of fictional characters and original scenes, he has fashioned a truly engaging and enjoyable but thought provoking storyline. Currently, he is busy working on his next project and hopes to complete it within the next year and a half.
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Black Flowers, White Lies by Yvonne Ventresca Banner

Black Flowers, White Lies

by Yvonne Ventresca

March 6, 2018 Book Blast


Black Flowers, White Lies by Yvonne Ventresca

“I raced through Black Flowers, White Lies in a single sitting. What a twisty thrill-ride!”
~April Henry, New York Times-bestselling author of Girl, Stolen


Her father died before she was born, but Ella Benton knows they have a connection that transcends the grave. Since her mother disapproves, she keeps her visits to the cemetery where he’s buried secret. But when Ella learns that her mother may have lied about how Dad died sixteen years ago, it’s clear she’s not the only one with secrets. New facts point to his death in a psychiatric hospital, not a car accident as Mom always claimed.

When a handprint much like the one Ella left on her father’s tombstone mysteriously appears on the bathroom mirror, she wonders if Dad is warning her of danger, as he did once before, or if someone’s playing unsettling tricks on her. But as the unexplained events become more frequent and more sinister, she finds herself terrified about who—or what—might harm her.

Soon the evidence points to someone new: Ella herself. What if, like Dad, she’s suffering from a mental breakdown? In this second novel from award-winning author Yvonne Ventresca, Ella desperately needs to find answers—no matter how disturbing the truth might be.


Black Flowers, White Lies by Yvonne Ventresca is a 2017 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal Winner!

Book Details:

Genre: Young Adult Thriller
Published by: Sky Pony Press
Publication Date: Paperback March 6, 2018 (Hardcover Oct 2016)
Number of Pages: 280
ISBN: 1510725962 (ISBN13: 9781510725966)

Grab Your copy of Black Flowers, White Lies on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, & Add it to your Goodreads list!

Read an excerpt:

Chapter One, Beautiful Boy:

I approach Dad’s tombstone with trepidation, then breathe a sigh of relief. No mysterious flowers wilt at his grave as I had feared. Last August, someone left fresh orange lilies for him throughout the month. I never figured out who. Then, in September, the flowers stopped appearing as suddenly as they started. I always wondered, with an odd mixture of anxiety and hope, if I would run into the other mourner— someone else who honored my father. But I never did.

Usually, the ritual of navigating the same cemetery rows, visiting Thomas Darren Benton, and putting a small rock on his headstone calms me. Now, the heat is relentless and sweat trickles down my back as I search for the perfect pebble. It needs to be a nice, roundish one. Despite the lilies left last summer, Dad wasn’t a bouquet kind of guy.

I know this even though I never met him. He died before I was born, so I have no memories of him, only stories from Mom that I’ve heard so many times it feels like I was actually there. I see him beam during his graduation from veterinary school and feel his hand pat Mom’s pregnant belly. I hear him pick my name from the baby book: Ariella, meaning lion, although Mom insists they nickname me Ella. I smell the damp on his clothes from the night he rescued Oscar the kitten from a storm drain and brought him home to stay. These recollections have been cobbled together into my own version of Dad for the last fifteen years.

Today the sky is gray and foreboding, but the occasional burst of wind does nothing to cool me. I finally find just the right rock nestled in a patch of grass and rub off the dirt with my fingers. My friend Jana taught me the tradition of leaving a stone as a way to mark my visits with something more permanent, more enduring than flowers.

I’m the only person who comes to his grave somewhat regularly, other than last summer’s unknown mourner. I don’t think Mom’s been here since her engagement to Stanley, a non-reading, self-absorbed, stubby man. With the wedding only days away, Stanley’s settled into our apartment, but each awkward conversation we have leaves me yearning for the father who painted my room a cheerful yellow, who created a mini-library of animal books to read to his future daughter.

I hesitate before Beloved Husband and Father, rolling the pebble between my fingers, then place it in line with the last one, making it the eighth in a row. I let my hand linger against the cool granite. Next week is Dad’s birthday, August 8. That number has been lucky for me since I was eight years old, when I could have died, but because of Dad’s warning, I didn’t.

The air gusts, whipping strands of hair across my face and scattering the pebbles to the ground. My skin prickles at the eerie timing before I realize that the wind has been stormy on and off throughout the day. Still, it spooks me because nothing has disturbed my markers in months. Until now. It’s almost like Dad is giving me another sign.

The cemetery turns out to be more peaceful than home. I’m lounging across my bed checking my phone with Oscar purring beside me when—bang—Mom pounds on the adjacent wall. Oscar scampers to the top of my bookcase, his favorite spot in times of trouble.

The room next to mine serves as Mom’s office, and since my soon-to-be-stepbrother is expected to arrive later tonight, she’s fixing it up. Loudly.

I give up on coaxing Oscar down and move to the doorway. “What are you doing?”

“Look.” She points with the hammer at two new pictures of the Manhattan skyline where a framed print of The Cat in the Hat used to be. Besides changing the wall decorations, she also cleared out the closet and moved her many piles of papers from the desk. “Do you think Blake will like it?”

I have no idea what Blake will like. The only photo I’ve even seen of him is one that Stanley keeps on his nightstand. It’s a faded picture of a young blond boy at the beach, smiling up at him.

“The room looks nice,” I say. “But it’s not like he’s living here forever.” Blake would only be staying with us for a few weeks until he moved into his dorm at NYU.

“I know. But I want this to feel like home for him.”

She certainly cares a lot about this guy we’ve never met. The filing cabinet, the now-spotless desk, and the fax machine are the sole remnants of her office.

“After we find your dress today, I need to buy some blue sheets and maybe some towels, too,” she says. “Are you ready to go?”

“Sure.” I sigh quietly.

Our apartment building is directly across from the Hoboken PATH station. After a short train ride to the Newport Mall, I remember for the hundredth time why I hate shopping with Mom. Every dress she pulls off the rack is revolting. But the wedding is only days away. We need to find something suitable that won’t forever embarrass me when I see the photos in years to come.

“How about this?” Mom holds up a mauve paisley thing with puffy sleeves, her eyes shiny with hope. “This color will look so flattering on you.”

“Maybe.” I don’t want to hurt her feelings, so I purposely drift away to shop on my own. And then I see it: a pale yellow dress, strapless, with a flouncy skirt and sequins around the middle. The dress sparkles when I hold it against me. I can’t wait to try it on.

Mom will hate it. She’ll want me to look conservative for the small group of friends and family at her wedding. My strategy is to show her other dresses she’ll hate even more. I find a black mini she’ll say isn’t long enough and a floral sundress she’ll think is too casual.

When I get to the dressing room, Mom and three hideous pink dresses await.

I try on the minidress first, which she predictably declares too short. Luckily, the mauve one bunches at my waist. She likes the sundress, but not for the wedding.

I put on a blush-colored one.

“It’s not bad,” she says. “What do you think?”

“Too much lace. It’s like wearing a tablecloth.”

She nods in agreement.

Finally, I try on the yellow one and giggle with delight. I come out, posture perfect, feeling like a princess. “Isn’t it beautiful?”

Mom frowns. “Strapless? You’d need something over it.”

I twirl. “I have that silver sweater at home.”

“Let’s see the rose-colored one.”


In the dressing room, I breathe deeply as I put on the last dress.

Her face lights up when I step out. “Ella! It’s so pretty! It brings a glow to your cheeks. And it’s perfect with your coloring.”

She calls it my coloring because I inherited Dad’s brown hair and brown eyes instead of her fairness.

“The rose is all right,” I say. “But don’t you think the ruffles look too childish for a sophomore?”

“Honey. It’s perfect for an almost-sophomore. And it’s appropriate. The yellow one might be nice for a dance, but for the wedding . . .”

I close the curtain and put on my shorts and favorite T-shirt, the one with the tabby cat that says Rescued is my favorite breed. It’s her wedding, I remind myself. She should get to choose. I should be mature.

I walk out and hand her the ruffled dress.

“Thank you. It means a lot to me,” Mom says. “I’ll pay for this and go to the bedding department. Want to meet at the food court in an hour?”


I shake off my annoyance and detour into the accessories section, where my friend Grace had seen a cute wallet with kittens on it that she thought I’d like. I’m sifting through the clearance items when this guy approaches me, holding a bunch of ties. Whoa. He’s tall and blond, and his white polo shirt shows off his tan.

“Excuse me,” Beautiful Boy says. “I’m trying to decide between these?” His voice lilts into a question. His smile is friendly, his eyes deep brown and intense. “I suck at this kind of thing.” He somehow manages to look model-perfect and sheepish at the same time. “Would you mind helping me pick one?”

I blink for a minute, staring at his face instead of the ties. My delayed response verges on awkward. “Okay,” I say. “What are you wearing it with?”

“A gray suit.”

I’m conscious of his eyes on me as I study the ones he’s chosen. It makes it hard to think. None of the ties have any yellow, my favorite color. Maybe it’s the dress shopping with Mom, but I point to the gray one with rose-colored diamond shapes. “I like this.”


I wish I could prolong our interaction somehow so that I can learn more about him. He lingers a too-short moment, then gives me another smile before he turns away.

I can’t help feeling like something momentous has transpired. I’m a believer in karma and fate and the mysterious workings of the universe. As I watch Beautiful Boy walk away, I hope that meeting him again is meant to be.


Excerpt from Black Flowers, White Lies by Yvonne Ventresca. Copyright © 2018 by Yvonne Ventresca. Reproduced with permission from Sky Pony Press. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Yvonne Ventresca

Whether the topic is psychological manipulation, ghostly encounters, or surviving a deadly outbreak, Yvonne Ventresca enjoys the thrill of writing about frightening situations. BuzzFeed listed her latest novel, BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES at the top of their YA “must read” list for fall 2016, and this psychological thriller received an IPPY Gold Medal for Young Adult Fiction in 2017.

Her debut YA novel, PANDEMIC (Sky Pony Press, 2014), won a Crystal Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Yvonne’s other credits include several short stories selected for anthologies, as well as two nonfiction books. She is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, SCBWI, The Authors Guild, and International Thriller Writers.

Besides writing, she loves a good ghost story, and as a third-degree black belt, she studies Isshinryu karate in a haunted dojo. You can learn more about Yvonne and her books at YvonneVentresca.com, where she also features helpful resources for teen writers.

Catch Up With Ms Ventresca on

yvonneventresca.com, Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram,

Pintetest, & Facebook!

Tour Participants:

Visit the other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!https://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=284172


This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Yvonne Ventresca. There will be 1 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Giftcard. The giveaway begins on March 6, 2018 and runs through March 12, 2018. Void where prohibited.

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Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

I would like to thank Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to share this book.

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Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe (The Streets of Maradaine – 2) by Marshall Ryan Maresca

Mixing high fantasy and urban fantasy, the second novel of the Streets of Maradaine series follows the Rynax brothers’ crew of outlaws as they attempt their biggest heist yet and restore justice to the common people.

The neighborhood of North Seleth has suffered–and not just the Holver Alley Fire. Poverty and marginalization are forcing people out of the neighborhood, and violence on the streets is getting worse. Only the Rynax brothers–Asti and Verci–and their Holver Alley Crew are fighting for the common people. They’ve taken care of the people who actually burned down Holver Alley, but they’re still looking for the moneyed interests behind the fire.

The trail of breadcrumbs leads the crew to Lord Henterman, and they plan to infiltrate the noble’s house on the other side of the city. While the crew tries to penetrate the heart of the house, the worst elements of North Seleth seem to be uniting under a mysterious new leader. With the crew’s attention divided, Asti discovers that the secrets behind the fire, including ones from his past, might be found in Lady Henterman’s wardrobe.

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 Marshall Ryan Maresca

Author’s Bio

Marshall Ryan Maresca grew up in upstate New York and studied film and video production at Penn State. He now lives Austin with his wife and son. His work appeared in Norton Anthology of Hint Fiction and Rick Klaw’s anthology Rayguns Over Texas. He also has had several short plays produced and has worked as a stage actor, a theatrical director and an amateur chef. His novels The Thorn of Dentonhill and A Murder of Mages each begin their own fantasy series, both set in the port city of Maradaine.

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My Review

5 stars

Asti and Verci Rynax are still trying to find the person responsible for the Holver Alley fire. They have punished the culprits but there is more to this fire than those that set it. At the same time, someone is buying up all the burnt property. Who is it and why? And who is this new gang that think they can move into Holver Alley while the Rynax brothers are looking into the culprits for the fire?

I really enjoyed the Holver Alley Crew was a great story. I was very excited when I received a copy of Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe. Although I have to be honest, at first I thought it was a historical romance until I looked it up and realized it’s the sequel to Holver Alley Crew.

I loved coming back to the Rynax brothers. Both have their own issues, secrets and wanting to settle down, but both also are looking to protect their gang and homes. I really enjoyed how you have to be one your toes with everyone. It’s hard to figure out where someone is coming from, what they are planning, and if they are really good or bad or just trying to survive in their own ways.

This is a great sequel to Holver Alley Crew. I’m sad to see the sequel won’t be out for a couple years but I am going to keep my eyes out for it.

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

I would like to thank DAW, Berkley, Penguin Random House for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Memento Mori


Memento Mori (Medicus Investigation – 8) by Ruth Downie

The eighth gripping novel in the bestselling Medicus series, in which Ruso and Tilla investigate the death of the wife of Ruso’s friend in the sacred hot spring of Aquae Sulis.

A scandal is threatening to engulf the popular spa town of Aquae Sulis (modern-day Bath). The wife of Ruso’s best friend, Valens, has been found dead in the sacred hot spring, stabbed through the heart. Fearing the wrath of the goddess and the ruin of the tourist trade, the temple officials are keen to cover up what’s happened. But the dead woman’s father is demanding justice, and he’s accusing Valens of murder.

If Valens turns up to face trial, he will risk execution. If he doesn’t, he’ll lose his children.

Ruso and Tilla do their best to help but it’s difficult to get anyone–even Valens himself–to reveal what really happened. Could Ruso’s friend really be guilty as charged?

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 Ruth Downie

Author’s Bio

I was lucky enough to be born in the West Country, in beautiful North Devon. Some people know from a very early age that they are going to be writers: I wasn’t one of them. I fear this will upset some readers, but I left university with an English degree and a plan to get married and live happily ever after. Perhaps it was all that Jane Austen.

Some of my earliest ventures into creative writing were attempts to type up my indecipherable shorthand in such a way that the boss wouldn’t realise I was making it up. As secretaries were replaced with computers, and my higher-flying contemporaries discovered to their horror that they were expected to type their own letters, there were fewer and fewer outlets for creativity in the office. Finally I took the plunge and started working on my own material.

And then came the Romans. I wasn’t looking for them: we only went to Hadrian’s Wall because we thought our children should do something educational on holiday. Sheltering from the rain in a museum, I read, “Roman soldiers were allowed to have relationships with local women, but they were not allowed to marry them.” Obviously, here was a terrific story waiting to be told. All I had to do was find out everything there was to know about Roman Britain, invent things to fill the gaps, and work out how to put it all together in a novel…

I’ve been accompanied throughout this impossible mission by a patient husband. We have two grown-up sons, two  two cats at the last count, and an unknown number of badgers who live down a dark hole in the garden.

When I’m not researching or writing the Ruso novels, I spend the occasional joyous week grovelling in mud with an archaeological trowel, because Roman Britain is still there. Underneath our feet.

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My Review

4 stars

Ruso and Tilla have been asked by Ruso’s friend, Valens, to look into the death of his wife at the new bath house at Aquae Sulis. It seems she has been found stabbed in the heart and her father thinks that Valens is responsible. Valens is in a troubling spot. If he shows up for trial, he will surely die. But if he doesn’t his children will be without a father.

This story has a little bit of everything in it. There is the initial murder that Ruso and Tilla are investigating. But you also have a new bath house that was just constructed that has had a murder, who will want to be there? What about those that worship the goddess Minerva Sulis and how this is affected by the murder?

This is my first book from Ruth Downie. It was an interesting story. One that kept me captivated through the book. But it is so much more than just a murder mystery. You learn about the extended families and how everyone seems to be connected. I also loved the settings, I felt like I was right there in the bath house.

I think this is a great story that can be read as a standalone book. But I have the feeling that if you read the other books in the series it would add volume to this world.

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

I would like to thank Bloomsbury Publishing for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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