Archive for December 12th, 2018

Deadly Ground


Deadly Ground by Thomas W. Starbuck & Judy Belshe-Toernblom

We’re all on deadly ground now. This virus doesn’t have rules. We don’t know what the next moments will bring.

For whatever reason, God saw fit to give me the responsibility of being the second Adam, and to restart the human race.

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“Great concept…makes you think. Could history be repeating itself? Fast read. Anxious for the sequel.”- Peggy Holder, Amazon

“A really good book and definitely a page-turner. I really liked the characters which is so important to me when I read a book. And the story really makes you think a lot about the things that are going on around us throughout the world. This was a different type of book than I normally read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This book has something for so many readers’ interests – some fantasy, some romance, some sci-fi. It’s also a quick read. I’m looking forward to the author’s sequel to ‘Deadly Ground’.”-Tamara, Amazon Review

About the Authors

Deadly Ground by Thomas W. Starbuck and Judy Belshe-Toernblom 

Thomas W. Starbuck

Thomas W. Starbuck, an eternal optimist, finds joy in everything around him – from quality time with his active family to quiet meditation and contemplation about the world around him. Never living life in the status quo, Tom had an idea for a story.

This spark of an idea for a screenplay turned into Tom’s first novel, ‘Deadly Ground’, published in April 2018. To give Deadly Ground the soul it needed, Tom worked with gifted writer, Judy Belshe-Toernblom, on both the screenplay and novel, and they were recognized by the 2018 Capital Fund Screenplay Competition Top 100.

Tom is the father of two daughters and a beloved granddaughter, who one of the Deadly Ground characters was named after. He lives with his wife of 45 years in Des Moines, Iowa, where he graduated from Drake University and worked in financial services for 32 years prior to retirement in 2009.

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Deadly Ground by Thomas W. Starbuck and Judy Belshe-Toernblom

Judy Belshe-Toernblom

Multi-talented Judy Belshe-Toernblom has spent her career as an award-winning writer/producer/casting director in Hollywood. Having published 5 books, Judy received the Dove Foundation Award for her book, Boonville Redemption: The End of the Beginning, as well as its film, Boonville Redemption, starring Pat Boone, Edward Asner and Diane Ladd. Working with Thomas W. Starbuck on both the screenplay and published novel, Deadly Ground, they were recognized by the 2018 Capital Fund Screenplay Competition Top 100. She also received the Irwin Award for her book, It’s A Freeway Out There! Everyone’s Guide to the Film and Commercial Industry.

She’s had the privilege of working with award-winning directors over the years, casting for movies, educational films, industrials and infomercials,  such as:  McGruff the Crime Dog series, How the West Was Lost (Cable Ace Award), Knotts Berry Farm, Oroweat, Disney educational projects, Boys and Girls Town PSAs, Will Rogers Institute PSAs, and 100s more.

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My Review

5 stars

AB is a genetic scientist that is on vacation when a strange virus starts in Africa and quickly spreads throughout the world. The virus quickly kills people then turns them into dust. He rushes to the CDC to try and create a vaccine but things go wrong and don’t seal themselves fast enough against the airborne disease. Strangely, AB has some genetic codes that keep him alive when everyone else dies. He decides to try and find survivors but learns that he is probably the last person in the world.

This was a short yet interesting read. It really makes you think about what you would do in his position as being the last person alive. What about when he loses his only companion? What about surviving in this new world?

I loved this story and couldn’t get enough. I was sad to see that it ended so suddenly but I have seen that there will be a sequel. I can’t wait to get my hands on that.

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

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I would like to thank Virtual Author Book Tours for the opportunity to share this book.

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Book Details:

Book Title: Tammy The Little Cat With a Big Attitude by Liane Carter
Category: Adult Non-fiction, 140 pages
Genre: Pets / Memoir (told from cat’s perspective)
Publisher: Independently published
Release date: September 28, 2018
Tour dates: Nov 26 to Dec 21, 2018
Content Rating: PG (mild language – “hell”, “bloody”)

Book Description:

I was snatched from my mum when I was only two weeks old, and what happened next was bigger than any kitten could imagine.

“A gently witty and charming story which draws the reader in from the word ‘go’ to a truly entrancing feline perspective on human well-intentioned but frequently misguided behaviour when taking on a new pet.”
– Mary Ashton, retired veterinary surgeon

“A heart-warming story that really has unique perspective on the ever-important animal-human bond (and how our pets really feel about us).”
– Sommer Pari, licensed veterinary technician

To read more reviews, please visit Liane Carter’s page on iRead Book Tours.
Buy the Book:
Meet the Author:

Devoted to giving her readers smiles, tears and tension in both her poignant non-fiction and fast-paced fantasy adventures, Liane Carter bares her soul. Author of The Chronicles of Joya, The Dream Devils, Darcy: The Dog Who Talked and Tammy: The Little Cat With A Big Attitude, she has written features and a weekly column for Costa Blanca News, articles for Writing Magazine, and has taught over 150 writing workshops. She pours her innate joy into her books and also expresses it in nature, playing instruments, creating art and dancing.

Connect with Liane: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest

Guest Post
Books and Cats

Books and cats go together for me. Maybe because Tammy, my cat, used to love me reading to her, or maybe because they snuggle with us when we snuggle up with a book.

Even though my husband had asked me more than once to write about Tammy, I didn’t feel brave enough, skilled enough, or healed enough in my heart. He didn’t want to forget her. I didn’t know if I was brave enough to remember over and over through the first draft, rewrite and subsequent edits.

Then, years later, our dog, Darcy, died and I found myself unable to progress with the fantasy adventure sequel I was writing. I found it difficult to progress with anything. This time, he and a close friend asked me to write about her. My friend asked me to so it would help her in years to come when she would have to face the end of her journey with her dog.

And so I started writing the Darcy book. It took four years and in the middle of that four year journey, Tammy – never wanting to be left out – kept coming in my mind for me to write about her. So I started writing Tammy: The Little Cat With A Big Attitude while editing Darcy: The Dog Who Talked. During the writing of both books I laughed and cried and wondered why I would put myself through such an emotional rollercoaster, and at the same time knowing I had no choice. These books had to come out. My instinct whispered and my heart pushed.

I am learning more and more that it is more painful not to write, and when a subject comes up from inside that needs to be written about, and wants attention, it will NOT be ignored – rather like the wonderful cat I knew.

My Review
5 Stars

This is the story of Liane who convinced her mother to adopt a little two week old kitten that she called Tammy. What follows is the 16 year journey of both of their lives together. Liane writes Tammy’s perspective from what she thinks she would have said in the different situations. If you have had the pleasure of any cat’s company it is easy to see exactly what Tammy “says”.

I loved this story as you follow along as Tammy is scared of the giants and how it takes her a while to start coming out of hiding and her shell. I loved all the antics Tammy got into and know exactly what Liane goes through having grown up on a farm with numerous barn cats, having several cats of my own, and raising several foster babies. Of course the ending breaks your heart but I believe that is the sign of a great pet.

This is an amazing story and one that I recommend for everyone to read. It will appeal to younger kids all the way to adults and cat/pet lovers.

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

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Ends Dec 29, 2018
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An 11 x 14 inch print of Tammy: The Little Cat With A Big Attitude book cover signed by the author and the illustrator
An 11 x 14 inch print of Darcy: The Dog Who Talked book cover signed by the author and the illustrator
A signed paperback of Tammy: The Little Cat With A Big Attitude
A signed paperback of Darcy: The Dog Who Talked
and a $10 Amazon GC (open internationally to wherever Amazon delivers)

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I would like to thank iRead Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Spring Thaw

Audiobook Details:

Book Title: Spring Thaw by Lauren Carr
Category: Adult fiction, Unabridged Audiobook
Genre: Murder Mystery, Short Stories

  • Narrated by: Mike Alger
    Length: 6 hrs and 59 mins
    Release date: October 23, 2018
  • Publisher: Acorn Book Services

Content Rating: PG (mild violence and sexual suggestion)

Book Description:

In today’s hectic world, many whodunit fans don’t have time to get their mystery fix diving into a whole novel. Lauren Carr’s SPRING THAW AND OTHER MYSTERY SHORT STORIES is for these fans—but that doesn’t mean whodunit fans who do have time can’t dive in as well.

A novella, Spring Thaw features retired federal agent Chris Matheson from Lauren Carr’s newest bestselling cold case series. When his late father’s former friend is indicted for the seven year old murder of a church bishop, Chris renews old broken friendships to thaw out the cold case.

Featuring Mac Faraday from Lauren Carr’s popular Mac Faraday Mysteries, an estate auction turns into a deadly affair after Gnarly’s antics cause Mac to purchase a gem of a dress, which isn’t his color in Killing Bid. (Previously published in Lauren Carr’s BEAUTY TO DIE FOR.)

Beauty to Die For features the Lovers in Crime, Joshua Thornton and Cameron Gates in a race against the Angel of Death to clear the name of a dying woman’s son, who was framed for murdering Miss Pennsylvania. (Previously published in BEAUTY TO DIE FOR.)

Countdown to Murder returns to the Lovers in Crime where Cameron and Joshua try to solve the murder of a young pregnant widow before it happens. (Previously published in BEAUTY TO DIE FOR.)

Mystery fans will see that every dog has his day, especially if that dog is Gnarly. In Lucky Dog, Gnarly helps Mac Faraday to solve the murder of a wealthy society girl. (Previously published in BEAUTY TO DIE FOR.)

Dog Loving Mystery Fans will get a special treat when they read The Gnarly Rehabilitation Program. In this Gnarly Mystery Short, Bert and Ernie learn the hard way that crime does not pay when they dog nap Gnarly. (Previously published as a bonus feature with A WEDDING AND A KILLING.)

Gnarly, the rambunctious German shepherd, is also features in Lauren Carr’s Christmas short, A Gnarly Christmas. It is Christmas day and Gnarly has been up to his old tricks again. Now he’s in the dog house–or rather the boathouse–after stealing the Christmas feast! Moments after Archie and Mac leave Spencer Manor, Gnarly hears a call for help from Rocky, the Maltese down the street. Four assassins for hire have invaded the home of Rocky’s elderly owners. While the home invaders wait for instructions from a mysterious caller, Gnarly must plot to stop them. Can Gnarly save Christmas with only the help of an 8-pound Maltese dressed in an elf suit? (Previously published as a single short story by the same name.)

To read more audiobook reviews, please visit Lauren Carr’s page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy Spring Thaw:
Praise for Lauren Carr’s books:

“Lauren Carr is a master storyteller who combines the humor of Janet Evanovich and the investigative skills of Patricia Cornwell. She is always at the top of my reading list.”
– Sherry Fundin, Fundinmental

“Lauren Carr could give Agatha Christie a run for her money!”
– Charlene Mabie-Gamble, Literary R&R

“Lauren Carr’s books are never boring, that’s for sure. They entertain, give us a good mystery to dig into, keep the reader guessing, give us a few good laughs and make us eager for the next book. Warning: Lauren Carr’s series are addictive, so be ready to read more than just one book!”
– Laura Fabiani, Library of Clean Reads

“She is an amazing author that draws you into the story, makes you fall in love with the characters (they feel like family!) and keeps you guessing right to the very end.”
– Working Mommy Journal

“Lauren Carr does a good job of moving the quirky storyline along nicely with an abundance of witty dialogue. And you have no idea who the good guys are and who the bad guys are until the end.”
– Every Free Chance Book Reviews

Meet the Author:

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Now, Lauren has added one more hit series to her list with the Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries. Set in the quaint West Virginia town of Harpers Ferry, Ice introduces Chris Matheson, a retired FBI agent, who joins forces with other law enforcement retirees to heat up those cold cases that keep them up at night.

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

Guest Post

Living the Life of Gnarly: (Story of a K-9 Sidekick)

By Lauren Carr

 This guest post is the story of Gnarly, German Shepherd sidekick to Mac Faraday, the star detective of Lauren Carr’s Mac Faraday Mysteries.

Mac Faraday was a homicide detective in Washington, DC, when his life changed in one day. With the pound of a judge’s gavel, Mac’s twenty-year marriage was over and his wife got everything. He was wiped out financially. As he was leaving the courtroom, a lawyer approached him. Fearful that he was about to get another financial hit, Mac ran for three city blocks before he felt sorry for the little man chasing him.

With the expression of a child bursting to tell his secret, this lawyer informed Mac Faraday that the teenaged girl who had given him up for adoption forty-seven years earlier had grown up to become Robin Spencer, world famous murder mystery writer. Upon her death six weeks earlier, she had left her entire estate to her only child.

Mac Faraday also inherited Robin Spencer’s dog—Gnarly, who has recently been elected mayor of Spencer, Maryland, located on the shores of Deep Creek Lake.

Here’s Gnarly’s story, as dictated to Archie Monday, because Mac has grounded him from using the computer after ordering a $2000 Home Pet Spa, complete with a massage attachment, on his credit card.

Take it away, Gnarly!

I was born a poor German Shepherd at Beck’s Kennels, located in a small town in West Virginia called Inwood. Okay, maybe I wasn’t exactly poor, but let’s face it, it was a far cry from Spencer Manor on Deep Creek Lake, Maryland.

Well, I could tell you about my life in the Army, but then I would have to kill you. So, I guess you want to hear about how I ended up as chief of security at Spencer Manor, Mac Faraday’s multi-million-dollar estate, and mayor of Spencer. I know, most mayors quit their day jobs after getting elected, but I just can’t leave the security of my favorite human to just anyone. I mean, if something happens to Archie, then who’s going to feed me? Who’s going to take me to the salon? Who’s going to cover up my scandals?

Anyway, I digress …

It all started after the Army decided they needed to get rid—I mean, it was time for me to leave my life of service in the United States military.

Eventually, I ended up on Spencer Point, assigned to protect this less-than-nice woman named Katrina Singleton in It’s Murder, My Son.  Let’s just say she and I didn’t see eye-to-eye. I kept trying to tell her that someone was seriously stalking her, but she wouldn’t listen and kept telling me what a bad dog I was because I was digging up her yard. She kept locking me in the garage. Hello! It was my job to protect her and she’s locking me in the garage. How am I supposed to protect someone when I’m locked up?

But there was this nice police officer, David O’Callaghan. He listened. After Katrina’s murderer almost killed me when I tried to apprehend him, David took me to the vet. Katrina’s husband ordered them to put me to sleep, but Robin Spencer, the nice lady who lived next door to Katrina, saved me.

Life with Robin Spencer (until she died a couple of months later); and then Mac and Archie Monday (Robin’s assistant, now Mac’s wife) is the best. Mac has a tendency to get testy on occasion—like when I find things and bring them home. He especially gets mad when David, who it turned out is Mac’s half-brother, shows up in his role as chief of police and accuses me of stealing this stuff that I have found fair and square.

But, I flash everyone my big brown eyes. My favorite female human, Archie will jump to my defense and plead temporary insanity. David will agree to abuse his position as chief of police and cover up my crime. (He’s even paid off some of my victims to drop their complaints, but you didn’t hear that from me.) Mac will grumble, glare, and ground me.

I must confess that the life of a rich and famous K-9 is not all that it’s cracked up to be. Take Mac’s latest case in Crimes Past:

It was autumn. The weather was fair and mild and the leaves were at their height—I mean brilliant colors—until I stepped outside and a feral cat attached itself to my face and started biting my eyebrows.

Not a good way to start the day!

Of course, I had to defend myself. I bucked the cat off and snapped its neck. So, I’m standing there with puncture wounds on my head, bleeding, and Mc’s sanding there with his mouth hanging up and there’s a dead cat laying at our feet.

Meanwhile, we are well aware that right next door, the crazy cat lady who brought all of these feral cats to torment me, is just looking for something to get me into trouble―like I can’t get into trouble on my own without her help. She calls the police if I so much as sneeze and my phlegm hits her driveway.

What does Mac do? What any good political advisor will do. He throws me in the car and we get the hell out of there. Then, he calls David to get rid of the body. Only problem is that the dead body disappears.

Anyway, other than yet another political scandal, it was the perfect weekend for a wedding. No, not mine! I’m a confirmed bachelor. Let’s get that straight. Though, I do admit I have a favorite girl by the name of Storm. She’s Belgian, by the way. She lives with David O’Callaghan, who has been a bit sad lately since his last girlfriend took off for Paris.

Mac Faraday has offered up the Spencer Inn, his hotel, as a free venue for the daughter of a detective he used to work with. The bride’s late mother had been the victim of a double homicide—a case Mac had never solved. Of course, Mac does have a devious streak in him. The bride had invited all of her mother’s co-workers and friends—who happened to be suspects in the murder. (And to think he scolds me when I’m devious.)

David was supposed to help Mac on the case, which meant I got to spend some extra time with Storm, only he ended up blowing Mac off when some lady from his past showed up out of the blue with a young man who bore a striking resemblance to David. Storm liked them both right away, so I guess they were cool—which is a good thing considering what they asked me to do at the end of the weekend.

Mac was so desperate to explore every avenue for a break in the cold case for the double murder that he even entertained a suggestion from disgraced former detective Lou Gannon that one of their former friends was the killer.

So I was taking a nice nap in my reserved chair in the lounge at the Spencer Inn when a toilet blew up! That’s right. Someone blew up a toilet and set Mac’s hotel on fire—in my town! No one blows up a hotel in my town and gets away with it. Of course, I had to get straight to work biting butts and taking names.

That was all Mac needed to rip into this cold case to get to the truth. The big question was—which was of Mac’s old friends was really a cold-blooded killer.

Read Crimes Past to find out.

My Review

4 stars

Spring Thaw is the first short story in this collection. An old friends of Chris’ father is being charged with killing a church bishop seven years prior. Around the time of the murder he had cut ties with people but Chris is determined to help how his son. I loved how Chris was not going to just let this charge go without more proof and he discovers there is a lot more to the story than when everyone knows.

Included in this collection are also previously published stories with Mac Faraday where an estate sales leads to so much more. Cameron Gates and Joshua Thornton looking into a woman being threaten with dead roses. Joshua Thornton is asked to help clear the name of a dying woman’s son so she can go in peace. Mac looks into the death of a wealth woman by her dog hating ex. And of course there is Gnarly helping stop a robbery and getting out of a dognapping.

Having never read the other stories I was thrilled by this collection. They are all a great addition for anyone that enjoys mysteries and a wonderful sampling of Lauren Carr’s books. But then I learned that all but the first book have already been released. I’m torn on my feeling about this.

Overall I loved the book and I just love how Mike Alger brings these books to life. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book.

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

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Dec 22, 2018
Enter for your chance to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card courtesy of Lauren Carr, author of Crimes Past (open internationally to wherever Amazon delivers / 1 winner)

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I would like to thank iRead Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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