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Are you looking for a gift for someone that loves comics? What about a great book that they will love?

Check out these books that will appeal to any comic lover.

The Zaftan Troubles Series

This is a seven part collection of short stories.

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Contact (Book 1)

An alien mining ship discovers a planet loaded with rare earth minerals. The aliens, known as zaftans, plan to fill their ship with the mined minerals. Unfortunately, the planet is inhabited by intelligent beings. But what could possibly go wrong with a simple mining operation on a planet with primitive natives?
The zaftans negotiate with the government for permission to mine the minerals. The aliens vow to respect property rights and not damage any property.

Amazon     BN     Goodreads

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Confusion (Book 2)

Afterwards, the zaftans deploy robotic explorers to search for minerals. The robots trespass on private property and also destroy some property. A local gem miner, MacDrakin, uses his battle axe to destroy one trespassing robot. More robots are destroyed by yuk chieftain after the machines survey his tribal lands
Uh-oh! This isn’t going the way it was planned.

Amazon     BN     Goodreads

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Combat (Book 3)

Enraged by the loss of valuable robots, the zaftans protest to the government officials who send a telegram to the local constable ordering her to protect the robots. The constable can only watch as MacDrakin, after destroying a second robot, gathers warriors and declares war on the aliens and their machines.
Can the aliens be defeated?

Amazon     BN     Goodreads

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Convolution (Book 4)

Enraged by the loss of valuable robots, the zaftans protest to the government officials who send a telegram to the local constable ordering her to protect the robots. The constable can only watch as MacDrakin, after destroying a second robot, gathers warriors and declares war on the aliens and their machines.
Now what will happen?

Amazon     BN     Goodreads

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Sam (Book 5)

Three hundred years later, the gundies and zaftans continue their scrum. This time in outer space.
Sam is an new type android, one with an organic brain. Assigned as an ensign on a Gundy battle cruiser, she is disturbed to realize she can experience emotions. Her primary emotion is loneliness until Slash 9, the ship’s main computer, befriends her. Can an android and a computer experience love? How about marriage and sex? While battling a zaftan fleet?

Amazon     BN     Goodreads

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Klatze (Book 6)

Klatze is a low-ranking naval officer in the zaftan navy. She is determined to win advancement through talent and ability rather than the traditional method of assassination. Beautiful by alien standards, she comes to the attention of the fleet commodore, Gongeblazn. After she refuses to have sex with him, Gongeblazn’s lust turns to thoughts of vengeance.
Can Klatze survive the attacks of a crazed assassin?

Amazon     BN     Goodreads

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Gongeblazn (Book 7)

Gongeblazn is jailed through an inspired bit of treachery. Eventually he escapes, steals a ship and turns to space piracy. On his travels, he comes across Sam, now a stew-bot for a cruise line and Klatze, now a fleet commodore. Gongeblazn makes one last attempt to pay back Klatze for refusing to have sex with him.

Will Gongeblazn succeed this time?

Amazon     BN     Goodreads

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The Neuromorphs by Dennis Meredith

The robots were good. The Russian thugs were evil. But then. . .

It’s 2050, and self-learning Helper androids have proven invaluable servants to humans, making their lives easier, even saving them.

But to their horror, retired SEAL Patrick Jensen and his wife Leah discover that rogue programmers and Russian mobsters are reprogramming the trusted robots to murder their wealthy owners. The crooks then skillfully disguise the lifelike robots as their dead masters, directing the robot mimics to plunder the victims’ estates of billions of dollars.

But neither the corrupt engineers nor the greedy thugs realize what catastrophe they have wrought in giving the robots autonomous abilities.

They have created a new race of networked, “hive-minded” sentient creatures driven by a relentless survival instinct: the Neuromorphs.

Patrick must enlist his SEAL team to marshal their combat skills and futuristic firepower to thwart the seemingly unstoppable evolution of a new dominant species on the planet.

Amazon     Goodreads

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Mythicals by Dennis Meredith

They’re real: fairies, pixies, werewolves, ogres! They’re aliens!

Drunken journalist Jack March can’t believe his bleary eyes when he stumbles onto a winged fairy! She vaults away into the night sky, and his unbelievable—and unbelieved—encounter leads to a stunning revelation that all the creatures of myth and legend are real!

Fairies, pixies, trolls, werewolves, ogres, vampires, angels, elves, bigfoot—all are alien exiles to the planet. For their crimes, these “mythicals” are serving out banishment disguised in flesh-suits enabling them to live among the planet’s natives.

Jack reveals their secret to the world, along with a horrendous discovery: they have decided that the native “terminal species” must be eradicated before it ruins its home planet’s ecology.

In this riveting scifi/fairy tale, Jack joins with sympathetic fairies, pixies, and ogres to attempt to save the planet from the mythicals, as well as the mysterious alien cabal known as the Pilgrims.

Amazon     Goodreads

Four Feasts Till Darkness

This is a four book series.

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Feast of Fates (Book 1)

Morigan lives a quiet life as the handmaiden to a fatherly old sorcerer named Thackery. But when she crosses paths with Caenith, a not wholly mortal man, her world changes forever. Their meeting sparks long buried magical powers deep within Morigan. As she attempts to understand her newfound abilities, unbidden visions begin to plague her—visions that show a devastating madness descending on one of the Immortal Kings who rules the land.

With Morigan growing more powerful each day, the leaders of the realm soon realize that this young woman could hold the key to their destruction. Suddenly, Morigan finds herself beset by enemies, and she must master her mysterious gifts if she is to survive.

Amazon     Goodreads

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Feast of Dreams (Book 2)

As two queens plot each other’s destruction, a small band of adventurers continues its quest for the knowledge needed to defeat the mad King Brutus and his unearthly parasite, the Black Queen. Their search brings Morigan and the Wolf to the perilous forests of Alabion, where they and their companions will face the darkness of their pasts-and discover equally dark destinies.

Meanwhile, far from Alabion, the queens of the East and West continue their deadly dance. One seeks a relic of great power, while the other puts her faith in a mix of military and technomagikal force. Both are aware they have a slim window of opportunity to settle their power struggle-after all, Mad Brutus’s recent defeat is at best a setback. The mad king is already amassing a new army of soulless husks in the wastelands of Mor’Khul.

Unknown to the great powers struggling for control, a father and son wander those same wastelands, scavenging what they can as they weather Brutus’s gathering storm. They too have a role to play in Geadhain’s fate-a role which may just provide a last remnant of hope.

Amazon     Goodreads

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Feast of Chaos (Book 3)

Menos has been destroyed. No corner of the realm of Geadhain is safe from the Black Queen’s hunger. Zionae—or the Great Dreamer, as she has been called in ancient tongues—has a thirst that cannot be quenched until all of Geadhain burns and bleeds. She preys on the minds of weak men and exploits human folly for an unhuman end. She cannot be defeated in her current state, but the answer to her downfall may lie in the land of her past.

It is with this aim that a Daughter of Fate, Morigan, and her brave and true companions venture to the mysterious Pandemonia, the land of chaos itself. Ancient secrets and even older power lurk in its swamps and deserts. Life itself becomes uncertain, but the Hunters of Fate have no choice: Pandemonia must give up its secrets if they want to find the Black Queen’s weakness.

Elsewhere in the realm, alliances form and break. Dead men rise and heroes fall. Eod prepares for war. In hiding, Lila, the bearer of its destruction, will be given a chance to atone and answer for her sins. Will her actions save Eod, or has she damned it with her crimes?

Amazon     Goodreads

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Feast of Darkness, Part 1 (Book 4)

“The end of the world begins at the far end of the world”

Throughout the world of Geadhain, for mortals, Immortals, and Dreamers alike, the tides of war have ebbed and flowed for eons. For Morigan and Caenith and their courageous companions, that tide has become a tsunami as they continue their treacherous journey into the strange shifting land of Pandemonia—where they are near to discovering a mythic relic to use against the Black Queen. Meanwhile, the citizens of Eod and the surviving elements of Menos ready their shaky alliance in a last stand against Death and her ghoulish unliving hordes; while King Magnus, Queen Lila, and Erik abandon humanity’s last bastion and venture north into a hostile world scoured by shrieking blizzards and walls of ice en route to their own confrontation with the enraged spirit of Winter herself and a historic evil embodied by the monstrous Kinlords.

Across sundry fantastical landscapes, familiar heroes are edging toward individual destinies that even the Sisters Three are unable to fully discern, as Fate continues to weave and reweave its murky tapestry. Nothing is certain except that should the Wolf and the Fawn fail in their looming apocalyptic clash with the mad king himself, all will be lost for the people of Geadhain.

Amazon     Goodreads

You can find my reviews for the first three books here.

I would like to thank Author Marketing Experts for the opportunity to share these books.

I was given the first two books in the Zaftan Troubles series, Neuromorphs, and Mythicals to review but I ran short of time to get them included in this post. I will get those posted shortly.

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In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree

By Michael McLellan

Genre: Historical Fiction

Henry was born into slavery; his young life spent working in tobacco drying sheds on Missouri plantations. Freed at the onset of the Civil War, he’s alone, starving, and on the run from Confederate militiamen.

Five years later, Clara Hanfield, the daughter of a powerful New York shipping magnate, escapes her tyrannical father and travels west in pursuit of John Elliot, the man she loves. John, a U.S. Army lieutenant, was sent to the Dakota Territory where he discovers a government conspiracy to incite an all-out war with the Indians; a war meant to finally eliminate them as an obstacle to the westward expansion.

Henry finds himself caught in the middle.

Aided by Clara, John, and his native ally, Standing Elk, Henry must battle hatred, greed, and the ghosts of his past during this turbulent and troubling time in American history.

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

Praise for In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree

“The book uniquely conveys a story about the time in history; and at the same time, it feels like it is of the time in history. Imbued with plain, straightforward language, the writing cuts to the bones of the plot. It is a pleasure to read clean prose such as McLellan’s.”  – Sarah Margolis Pearce, author of The Promise of Fate

The author sends out a strong reminder of our past.” – Chitra Iyer

About the Author

Michael’s love of books began with Beverly Cleary’s The Mouse and the Motorcycle when he was seven-years-old. Later influenced by the works of John Steinbeck, Harper Lee, Stephen King, and Cormac McCarthy, Michael developed his style of storytelling. A self-proclaimed blue-collar writer, he draws on his experiences and observations to bring relevant and compelling topics to life.

Michael lives in Northern California, and when he’s not writing, he can usually be found wandering around the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges.

His body of work includes the 2014 novel After and Again, the 2015 novel American Flowers, and the shorts Joe Price and Anywhere But Here.

Website     Goodreads

Publisher: Sweet Candy Press

 

My Review

5 Stars

Henry is a slave that grew up working in the tobacco sheds in plantations and is freed at the start of the Civil War just to find himself prosecuted by prejudice and hatred. He quickly finds himself in trouble yet finds help in an unlikely place. This leads him down a new path in life as a guide then an advocate for the Indians.

At the same time we follow the story of disgraced soldier John Elliot and Clara Hanfield. Clara’s father forbids their love and tries to send John west hoping Clara will find someone new. This backfires when Clara decides to go looking for John herself. There we meet as John and Henry find a government conspiracy to get rid of the Indian’s for good.

This is a wonderful look at a very dark period in our history. Henry is thrown into this hard world and quickly finds himself at the hangman’s noose. Although he is looked down on, he changes his world and becomes a guide and an advocate for the Indians that helped him.

John is a disgrace and can focus on nothing but how to improve his status. But when he learns of the government’s plan to eradicate the Indians he knows it’s more to help those in need than his social standing. Thank goodness Clara was there to help him.

I admit that I don’t usually read historical stories but I was drawn to this book by the description. I think it is because it’s an area of history that is not usually written about. I was drawn in and found myself unable to put this book down. It is very realistic and I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. I think this is a great story and one that should be checked out.

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

I would like to thank Sage’s Blog Tours for the opportunity to read and share this book.

Excerpt

Of course it’s murder, you pampered little pup,” Picton hissed, his face only inches from John’s. “You’re even more naive than I first thought you to be. Did you really believe the seventy of us were going to roam the countryside engaging Indian war parties? Frank Picton’s seventy defeats five thousand bloodthirsty braves! How poetic. You are right about one thing: we’re not fighting a war, we are inciting one. Tell me something; do you have the slightest notion of how many Washington fortunes are invested in the western expansion?
In railroads and gold mines, and telegraphs, and cattle, and other ventures beyond counting?…No? Of course you don’t. We are going to finish what Colonel Chivington so ungracefully began. After we resupply we’re riding north into Sioux country to inflame the filthy savages even further. Then, soon, perhaps by this fall, when the heathens have lashed out sufficiently against more innocents, the public outrage will be such that they will be unable to decry the army for finally crushing the red vermin once and for all.”

He sighed and released John’s arm.

“The Indian and the white man will never be able to coexist. It’s been proven, time and again. Treaties fail and only delay the inevitable outcome. This land is ours now. It was ordained by God. Mark my words, John, ten years from now the Indian warrior will be nothing more than a fireside story told to frighten disobedient children.”

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The Awakened

I’m re-posting this book since I managed to get my review added. Sorry about that.

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The Awakened by Julian Cheek

My name is Sam. I am nothing special but apparently if I don’t wake up, both this world and that other one will be destroyed. Nice One! All I wanted was to disappear into my own world and be left alone. But, No! Even THAT was taken away from me.

Well just wait. You want me to fight? I’ll show you “fight.”

You took the most important thing in my life away from me, and now I am coming for you.

Hidden away in your mountain stronghold, even the rocks around you will not stop me getting to you.

You started this war.

I am going to finish it!

Seventeen year old Sam just wants to be left alone!

He has enough to cope with in his invisible, suburban, existence without having some fantastic and, frankly, unasked-for, alternate reality drop into his life asserting that he has powers beyond his wildest dreams. And that unless he does something, both his world, and that of Muanga-Atua, will come to a horrible end.

A terrifying episode one blustery night may be enough to start to erode the impregnable shell he thought he had built up around himself. A shell, not to keep others out, but to keep the rage in. Could he afford, as was the norm now, just to do nothing?

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

Author Information

Living  in  Petersfield,  Hampshire,  Julian  Cheek  has  worked  for  over  thirty  years  as  an  architect          working  on  several  major  projects  including  Mercedes  World,  a  competition  for  Battersea  Power  Station,  NikeTown  and  most  recently  a  high  rise,  Versace  branded  residential  building  in  London.  When  not  designing  he  is  embracing  his  other  creative  interests,  writing.  His  first  book,  You  should  not  wake  a  hibernating  Puff-Adder  (2011)  was  a  series  of  short  stories  inspired  by  his  childhood  growing  up  in  South  Africa.

Website     Twitter     Facebook     Instagram

My Review

4 stars

Sam recently lost his brother and is having a hard time adjusting. He can barely get through his classes and his home life is difficult. He feels invisible and that his parents cared more for David than him. His mother is a ghost and his father takes out the loss on Sam. Sam is turn up, feeling invisible, and angry all the time.

But when he sleeps he is taken to a strange land where the people know him as Sam of the Shade. They are expecting him to help them from the death that is wiping them out. Sam is convinced that this is nothing more than a dream. He has an inkling that something is familiar but can’t seem to get past the idea that it is a dream and a manifestation of his present situation.

I felt for Sam, his parents are suffering the loss of David in their own was and Sam seems to be getting the short end of the stick. I understand why he is so angry and lost as he constantly beats himself up and blames himself for David’s death.

I did have a bit of a tough time getting into the story. I felt for Sam but was getting tired of the whole this is just a dream things. It made the story drag and made me get a little irritated by Sam. Now, having said that, this is not one of those HEA stories. Sam is going through hell and things are not just going to get better magically. Sometimes you have to have everything taken away to see what you really have.

This was an interesting book and one I think you should check out. You might love it or hate it but I think it is one that she be given an opportunity to prove itself.

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.

Tour Schedule

Monday 4th June – Fiction Fascination

Tuesday 5th June – Cliste Bella

Wednesday 6th June – The Pewter Wolf

Thursday 7th June – An Awfully Big Adventure

Friday 8th June – Big Book Little Book

Saturday 9th June – YA Wonderlust Blog

Sunday 10th June – A Daydreamer’s Thoughts

Monday 11th June – JBronder Book Reviews

Tuesday 12th June – Charlotte Somewhere

Wednesday 13th June – Stories_To_Live_By

Thursday 14th June – The September Issue

Friday 15th June – Kirstyes

Sunday 17th June – Amy’s Bookish Life

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Flesh and Blood
The Vampires of Shadow Hills Book 1
by Willow Rose
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

For fans of Twilight and A Shade of
Vampire
comes a new addiction impossible to put down.

It’s like Riverdale meets Big Little Lies meets Romeo and Juliet, but with
vampires!”

What if you can’t trust your own family?

Robyn’s parents are ruining her life. As if their constant bickering and
embarrassing behavior wasn’t bad enough, they’ve forbidden her
from hanging out with her crush just when a flirty new girl moves to
their block. Strangely enough, Robyn’s parents look the other way
when her big brother breaks curfew… even after a local girl’s
violent murder.
With the neighborhood on high alert, strange sightings are on the rise and
the accusations begin to fly. Between her brother’s nighttime
excursions and her parents’ odd behavior, Robyn starts to worry
that the killer may be living under her own roof. In a town where
neighbor has turned against neighbor, deciding whom to trust with her
dark fears could be a matter of life and death…
Flesh and Blood is the first book in a fun and frightening series
of romantic paranormal mysteries. If you like terrifying thrills,
flesh and blood characters, and vampires without the sparkle, then
you’ll love Willow Rose’s tale of suburban terror.
**Only .99 cents!!**
My Review
4 Stars
Robyn’s parents are fighting with themselves and the neighbors. They have forbidden her from spending any time with her boyfriend and are just making her life difficult. Then her brother starts breaking the curfew without getting into trouble and does a 180 in behavior and looks. If that was not enough for Robyn to question her parents, maybe the midnight meetings and over coverage in the sun is. Then local girls are turning up murdered. There is something odd happening in the little town of Shadow Hills.This story is a good YA paranormal story. Robyn is fed up with her parent, especially when she is not allowed around her boyfriend and a new girl in town is sniffing around him. Of course you have the mystery of who is killing the girls and who is next. But I loved the vampire and potential other paranormal creatures in this little town where everyone knows everyone else and all about their business.

I love Willow Rose’s books but I’m sad to say that I have not had the opportunity to review one in a while. I grew up in a little town and this is exactly some of the stuff that I remember and not necessarily in a good way. You can tell that this story is geared to YA, not all of the conversations flow as well and I admit that I did have some issues of who was narrating because of how the story jumped around.

Beyond that I really enjoyed Flesh & Blood. I can’t wait to dig into Blood & Fire.

Blood and Fire
The Vampires of Shadow Hills Book 2

“I wish my parents were immortal bloodsucking vampires,” said no one.
Ever.

Especially not Robyn who is struggling being the only human in a house filled
with vampires. Can she keep it a secret that she knows what they are?
Meanwhile Jayden’s family is revealing secrets of their own and
nothing is as it seems in Shadow Hills anymore. .

Who can they trust?

Blood and Fire is the second book in a fun and frightening series
of romantic paranormal mysteries. If you like terrifying thrills,
flesh and blood characters, and vampires without the sparkle, then
you’ll love Willow Rose’s tale of suburban terror.
My Review
5 Stars
Robyn is struggling to be the only human in a house full of vampires. And to make matters worse, her mother has decided to homeschool her to keep her away from Jayden. But he has his own family secrets that are coming out and making his life difficult too. But they are not the only ones in Shadow Hills. The teens are trying to keep girls from being killed and they are learning that there is more to all of their stories than what they knew.

This series is getting better and better. Robyn is trying to not let her family know that she knows their secret. But it’s hard when her mother is trying to isolate her. But this is just one more drop in the bucket of things going on in Shadow Hills. We have new people and new paranormal people/creatures to keep us on our toes. But are they here to help or cause more death and destruction?

This series is starting to get better but it sure likes to end on cliff hangers. I can’t wait to get my hands on Fire and Beauty.

Fire and Beauty
The Vampires of Shadow Hills Book 3

It’s a neighborhood like any other. Except it is not.

Under the surface lures so many secrets that the teenagers of Shadow Hills
fear for their lives.
Jazmine knows her friend’s parents are strange supernatural beings, but what
about hers?
Who can she trust?
Fire and Beauty is the third book in a fun and frightening series
of romantic paranormal mysteries. If you like terrifying thrills,
flesh and blood characters, and vampires without the sparkle, then
you’ll love Willow Rose’s tale of suburban terror.
 
The Queen of Scream aka Willow Rose is a #1 Amazon Best-selling Author
and an Amazon ALL-star Author of more than 40 novels. She writes
Mystery, Suspense, Horror, Supernatural thrillers, and Fantasy.
She lives on Florida’s Space Coast with her husband and two daughters.
When she is not writing or reading, you will find her surfing and
watch the dolphins play in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
Willow’s books are fast-paced, nail-biting pageturners.
Several of her books have reached the Kindle top 20 of ALL books in the US,
UK, and Canada.
She has sold more than two million books.
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive content and a giveaway!
 Enter for your chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card
 I would like to thank Silver Dagger Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share these books.

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The Fourth Gunman by John Lansing Tour Banner

The Fourth Gunman

by John Lansing

on Tour February 19 – March 24, 2018

Synopsis:

The Fourth Gunman by John Lansing

From the best selling author of The Devil’s Necktie, and Blond Cargo comes the latest title in the Jack Bertolino series.

Retired inspector Jack Bertolino straddles two perilous worlds. Known for his impeccable police work, Jack has also done a priceless favor for an infamous Mafia Don: he saved the gangster’s kidnapped daughter from being sold into the sex trade, and brought her safely home.

In Jack’s line of work, he can’t help but have friends—and enemies—on both sides of the law.

So when FBI agent Luke Hunter goes missing after a deep undercover assignment with that same mob boss, the FBI calls Jack in, looking for a favor. With his connections and skills, Jack’s the only man for the job: find Luke Hunter, dead or alive.

The Mobster operates an illegal gambling yacht in international waters off of Southern California, and when Luke went missing, so did half a million dollars of the mob’s money. As Jack dives into the case, he’ll learn the true mystery isn’t the agent’s disappearance, but something far more ominous…

The Fourth Gunman is a sizzling action-packed thriller that will keep you turning pages until the explosive finale.

Book Details:

Genre: Crime/Thriller
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Number of Pages: 375 (estimated)
ISBN: 1501189530 (ISBN13: 9781501189531)
Series: Jack Bertolino, 4 | Each is a Stand Alone Novel
Purchase Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, & Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

One

Luke Hunter sat hunched over a tight built-in desk in the cabin of a weathered thirty-six-foot catamaran docked in Marina del Rey. His fingers flew over the keyboard of a MacBook Pro. There had been one amber sconce illuminating the cabin before he broke in to the vessel, but now the laptop computer was throwing more light than he was comfortable with. At two a.m., all was quiet on the dock, but Luke was running late and still had another stop to make before he could call it a night.

Luke’s hair was short, brown, and unruly, his Italian eyes smoky, his beard dark and in need of a shave. His angular face was set with determination as he slipped a flash drive into the computer, tapped a few keys, and hit Copy, hoping to make short work of his theft.

The cabin was teak, and brass, and well worn. Rolled navigational charts littered the cramped workspace but didn’t intrude on the comfortable living quarters and the bunk that occupied the bow of the catamaran.

Luke spun in the chair, unraveled specific charts on the bed, snapped photos with his iPhone, and stowed the maps back where he’d found them. He had a theory as to why so many of the charts were focused on the waters in and around the Farallon Islands, off the coast of San Francisco, and hoped the computer files would corroborate his suspicions.

He took pictures of the scuba tanks, masks, flippers, speargun, and weight belts that were stowed aft. The galley was diminutive but efficient. A few potted succulents and fresh herbs on a shelf above the sink lent a feminine touch to the nautical surroundings. Nothing of interest there.

Luke heard the screech of the rusted security gate that led from the parking lot to the yachts and immediately shut down the computer, pocketed the flash drive, and closed the lid, tamping out the light.

He hoped it was just another liveaboard moored at the same dock, returning home after a night on the town. But he spun in place, laced his hands behind his head, and stretched out his legs, facing the teak steps that led from the stern into the cabin, ready to talk his way out of a dicey spot if necessary. It would be uncomfortable but doable. He set his face into a gotcha grin, ready to go on the offensive. It wouldn’t be the first time he’d been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

The boat rocked slightly, the slippered footfalls nearly silent as a woman made her descent into the body of the vessel. Silk drawstring pants hugged her willowy frame as she stepped off the wooden stairway and seemed to suck all the air out of the cabin.

Roxy Donnelly had straight red hair that kissed her collarbone and parted in the middle, and a light feathering of freckles on her cheeks and chest. Her hazel eyes bore in to Luke’s, assessing the situation. She came to a conclusion and—without speaking—told him everything a man wanted to hear from a woman.

Roxy was backlit, her figure silhouetted in a diaphanous white blouse. Luke could see she was braless, and his heart quickened. Her nipples rippled the fabric, and sparks spread to Luke’s chest and down to his groin. As he became aroused, he found himself at a loss for words. No mafioso cracking wise, only deep breathing trying to hide his visceral reaction to the danger of her unexpected arrival. The cabin seemed to become tighter still, if that was possible, until Roxy broke the silence.

“I knew you were smarter than you looked.” If she was aware that Luke had raided her computer, she gave no indication or surprise at his presence. “You saw the schedule, Trent’s on call.”

She stepped closer and Luke found himself on his feet. “I made the schedule,” he said.

Roxy stepped so close their noses touched. He could feel her breath. The light scent of perfume was intoxicating. She reached down and touched his erection, stoking the fire. “I know what you drink, but I don’t know how you like it.”

“Any way you serve it,” Luke said, his voice deep, throaty, and bedroom. He knew he should hit the road but stood transfixed.

Roxy took his hand, squeezed it, and led him to the queen-size bunk in the rear of the cabin. “Get comfortable.”

She stepped into the galley, poured two glasses of Scotch, neat, kicked off her slipper shoes, and glided barefoot to the bed, handing Luke his drink. They clinked and each took a deep sip, never breaking eye contact.

Roxy set her glass down, slowly unbuttoned her blouse, and shrugged out of it, revealing sheer perfection. A dancer’s body. Compact upright breasts, a narrow sculpted waist, and a sapphire-pierced belly button. She tossed the blouse onto the chair Luke had been sitting in, leaned over him, and unbuckled his belt more roughly than he would have expected.

Luke might have received a reality check, but by the time his cell phone buzzed in his pants pocket, they were hanging over the chair.

“You’re not upset?” he said, a statement of fact.

“You should’ve called first, but it was inevitable. It was perfect the first time. We work too hard for no pleasure. Roll over, I’m good with my hands.”

No argument from Luke, who pulled off his gray crewneck and tossed it on the chair. He eased onto his stomach carefully because he was sporting a blazing hard-on.

Roxy was fully engaged. She lit a candle, then raked his back with her fingernails, the brief contact from her nipples as she leaned over him burning a trail from his neck down to his waist. As she straddled Luke, he felt her heat and let out a husky groan.

Roxy started on his lower back and slowly worked her way up his spine, compressing with thumbs and forefingers every third vertebrae until she reached his neck.

“You are good,” he murmured.

By the time Luke realized cold steel was pressed against the back of his head and not her thumbs, he was dead.

The explosion of the hammer striking the .22 round in her derringer created a blinding electric flash behind Luke’s eyes. The bullet rattled around his skull, tearing up brain matter, until his world turned pitch-black.

Roxy jumped off the bed, grabbed a plastic garbage bag out of the galley, pulled it over Luke’s head, and cinched it around his neck to catch any blood evidence. She picked up her cell and hit Speed Dial.

“Trent. We’ve got a situation,” and Roxy gave him the rapid-fire shorthand version while she rifled through Luke’s pants and billfold, her voice devoid of emotion. Her body vibrated uncontrollably as adrenaline coursed through her nervous system. She dropped Luke’s keys and willed her hands to stop shaking as she placed his cell phone and the flash drive next to her laptop. “I’ll clean things up on the home front, you keep your ears open and get a feel for the play at your end. Stay on shift—Shut the fuck up and let me talk!” And then in a tight whisper, “I killed a man, okay? I’ve had better nights. Okay, okay, but only text if you sense movement in our direction.” Roxy was unraveling. “You won’t hear from me again until, until, shit, Trent, until I call you.”

Roxy snapped out the light and walked over to the door and tried to still her breathing as she sucked in the thick sea air and listened for any movement on the dock. Water lapping against hulls and nylon lines clanking on aluminum masts were the only early-morning sounds. If not for the dead body lying on her bunk, it would almost be peaceful.

Roxy got down on her hands and knees and scrabbled around until she came up with the keys she’d dropped. She sat on the edge of the bed and made a mental list of what she had to accomplish. Sucked in a breath, nodded, and went into action.

Roxy pulled the duvet cover over Luke’s body and changed into jeans and black T-shirt and black running shoes. She grabbed a pair of thin cotton gloves and shrugged into Trent’s oversize black hoodie.

She rifled through the junk drawer and pulled out a roll of blue painter’s tape, took a credit card and the cash out of Luke’s wallet and added it to her own, and ran out of the catamaran, locking the door behind her.

*****

Roxy pulled the hood over her red hair and slipped on the gloves as she ran up the dock and out through the chain-link security gate.

There was a smattering of cars in the lot, and Roxy started hitting the button on the remote-entry key for Luke’s car but got no response. She knew Luke drove a black Camaro but was at a loss. She spun in place and felt like she was going to explode. She turned off the emotion, knowing that if she didn’t fly right, she was as good as dead.

She jogged over to the next lot that was half full and tried the key again. Nothing. Roxy fought to suck down the bile and panic that threatened to overwhelm her. She ran up and down three rows of cars. Still nothing. She pounded toward the apartment complex across the street.

Roxy heard the ding before she found the car.

Luke had parked in the open lot that serviced the channel on the other side of the road. Mercury-vapor security lamps provided ambient light. Roxy checked the license plate and went to work.

She pulled out the tape and ripped off a small strip, turning a 1 into a 7. She tore off two smaller strips and changed a second 1 to a 4. She repeated the task on the front plate and dove, flattening herself on the rocky macadam surface, as a car drove up the street.

A black-and-white rolled onto the lot, its tires crackling over the uneven surface. The cop car did a silent drive past her aisle, slowed, then moved up to the far end of the lot, turned left, and back out onto the street.

Time seemed to stand still, but the pounding of Roxy’s heart reminded her that the clock was ticking and daylight would be her enemy. She grabbed a handful of dirt from the ground and wiped it onto the license plate with one eye peeled for the cop car. She did the same with the rear plate, obscuring some of her handiwork. After the cop car made his final pass down the street and disappeared onto the main drag, Roxy jumped behind the wheel of the Camaro, adjusted the seat and mirror, put on a pair of dark glasses, and rumbled out of the parking lot.

*****

It took sixteen minutes to get from the marina to long-term parking at LAX. The black Camaro had black-tinted windows, and when Roxy pulled into the lot, hit the button, grabbed a ticket, and waited for the electronic arm to rise, she had her hood pulled tight, her dark sunglasses in place, and her head tilted down. If there had been a security camera at play, all it would’ve recorded was the top of a dark hoodie.

The lot was huge. Roxy motored to the far end and parked between two large SUVs that all but swallowed Luke’s low-slung muscle car. She checked the glove compartment to see if there was anything worth taking, or revealing as to Luke’s true purpose, snooping in the wrong place at the wrong time. She found the car’s registration and proof of insurance and pocketed the documents in the hope that it might slow the inquiry sure to follow. She hit the button that opened the trunk, readjusted the driver’s seat, locked the doors, and exited the vehicle.

A salmon glow pulsed above the horizon, a warm-up for the main event. The adrenaline had worn off, and Roxy was so tired she could have slept standing up. What she saw when she looked in the trunk got her heart pounding and her head spinning again. A large leather satchel on wheels, filled with cash. More cash than Roxy had ever seen in her twenty-seven years on God’s planet. It was Mafia money. The weekend’s take from the illegal gambling yacht where she bartended. She zippered the bag and slammed the trunk shut. She didn’t need any more heat than she’d already generated.

Roxy took a few steps away, spun back, opened the trunk, grabbed the satchel, and started wheeling it down the long row of cars toward the shuttle that arrived every fifteen minutes. She’d take the short ride to Tom Bradley International Terminal, where she planned on using Luke’s credit card at a McDonald’s to create a paper trail.

Inherent problems were created by taking the Mafia’s money, but leaving it would have been a major fuckup. A man on the run would never leave without the cash.

*****

Two black stretch limos roared into the parking lot at Long Beach Shoreline Marina, adjacent to the Bella Fortuna. Doors flew open, and eight men exited the vehicles, ran across the lot, and pounded up the yacht’s gangplank, disappearing into the body of the luxury craft.

A somber Tony-the-Man stood at the railing on the main deck and looked down as Vincent Cardona stepped out of the lead car and walked slowly up the gangplank. The two men locked eyes for what seemed to Tony like an eternity before Cardona boarded the ship.

Heads would roll, and Tony instinctively rubbed his neck— his was at the top of the list.

*****

The yellow cab let Roxy off at the Admiralty Club in Marina del Rey. She paid the driver with cash and waited until he was gone before walking next door to the Killer Shrimp Diner, where she was a regular and knew the kitchen was open twenty-four/seven. She peeled off her sunglasses, pulled the hood back, and shook out her startling red hair.

Roxy forced herself to eat scrambled eggs, bacon, and buttered toast, generating an alibi with her own credit card receipt. She paid up and rolled the satchel, laden with cash, down the sidewalk and the half-mile trek to her catamaran as the sun breached the Santa Monica Mountains behind her.

Two

Twenty-four hours had passed since the death of Luke Hunter, and the weather had turned nasty. The sea was whitecapped, the crescent moon blanketed by a thick marine layer. A perfect night for what Roxy and Trent had to accomplish.

A perfect night to dump a body.

Trent was piloting the catamaran, heading south toward the San Pedro Channel and powered by the auxiliary engine. He knew the depth of the basin was good for at least 2,250 feet. He’d studied the charts, set the GPS, and they were just a few minutes from their destination.

Trent looked right at home, almost regal, standing behind the wheel of the craft that bucked, rolled, and cut through the waves, never veering off course. He was a Saudi national and a U.S. citizen, raised in the States from the age of eight, so he had no discernible accent. He was twenty-eight years old, with a boyish open face, a buffed physique, a swarthy complexion, buzz-cut brown hair, and gray eyes that could set Roxy’s heart thrumming. A finely inked tiger ran the length of one muscled forearm, the tattooed claws drawing red blood.

Roxy stepped out of the cabin and carefully made her way behind him, wrapped her arms around his six-pack, and leaned her cheek against his back, trying to still the beating of her heart.

Trent gave her hand a firm squeeze before grabbing the wheel with both hands. “You’re a brave woman, Roxy,” he shouted over his shoulder, fighting the howling wind. “A warrior.”

The moment he announced they were approaching their destination, the GPS system gave off a shrill cry. The night was black; there were no other boats in the area, no container ships navigating the channel. It was time to get to work. He shut off the engine, locked the wheel, and lowered himself into the cabin, followed by Roxy.

Luke, head still covered with the plastic garbage bag, was dressed in nothing but his briefs. He’d been rolled onto the cabin floor; his body lay on top of the duvet cover.

Trent grabbed two fifty-pound diving belts from their scuba gear and carried them up to the main deck. Roxy handed a twenty-five-pounder through the hatch. Trent ran back down, wrapped Luke’s body tightly in the blanket, and, with Roxy’s help, dragged his deadweight up the stairs and onto the aft deck behind the wheelhouse.

Trent pulled back the duvet and fastened one belt, cinched it tight around Luke’s waist, and then made short work of the second. He grabbed the twenty-five-pound belt, wrapped it twice around Luke’s neck, and secured it. Postmortem lividity had turned Luke’s back, buttocks, and legs a blackish-purple where the blood had settled.

Trent pulled the duvet taut, rolling Luke’s body over, and ripped a cut from top to bottom on the garbage bag so it would disengage after splashdown and be dragged out to sea. He worried it might fill with air as the corpse decomposed, and drag the body to the surface.

Roxy steeled herself as she looked down at Luke. His face was bone-white, his eyes devoid of color, just a thick opaque film. If there was one life lesson she had learned from her father, it was to meet trouble head-on. Never roll over, never look back, and never run. She swallowed her rising bile and choked, “Do it.”

Trent grabbed both ends of the blanket and muscled Luke’s body with 125 pounds of lead weights off the stern of the catamaran, tossing the duvet into the chop behind him.

Roxy and Trent stood shoulder to shoulder as they watched Luke float for a second and then slip below the water’s surface; they were confident he was permanently buried at sea and they could move forward with their plan.

Three

Day One

Retired Inspector Jack Bertolino was sitting in the nosebleed seats at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond, Stanford University’s baseball stadium, in Northern California. The sun was blinding, the sky ultra-blue, the wisp of cirrus clouds as white as cotton. The old-growth pepper trees surrounding the field swayed in the light breeze carrying the scent of eucalyptus and fresh-mowed grass, taking some of the heat off the early-September afternoon.

Jack had his eyes closed behind his Ray-Bans, taking in the sounds of the college baseball game, now in the eighth inning, being played in the stadium below. His hair was dark brown verging on black, with strands of silver feathering the temples, and worn long enough to threaten his collar. His angular face was weathered from years doing undercover narcotics work on the streets of NYC, and his tan only served to accentuate the scars from hard-fought battles. A bump on his otherwise straight Roman nose, a gift from a crack dealer, buffered some of Jack’s innate intensity. At six-two and big-boned, Jack had a tight fit in the stadium seating, but the sound of the hard ball slamming into leather, the crack of the bat, the umpire’s barked calls, and the emotion of the crowd made it a perfect day. Took him back to his youth playing the game on Staten Island, where he had raised his son, Chris.

There was a chance Chris was going to pitch for the first time since the attempt on his life that had shattered his throwing arm nine months earlier. Jack wouldn’t have missed seeing his son in action again for the world. It hadn’t been an easy recovery for the young man, physically or mentally, and Jack tried to keep his own emotions in check. He didn’t want his heavy feelings to pull Chris down.

Jack was jolted out of his reverie as a trim man wearing a light-weight gray suit and dark aviator sunglasses, with zero body fat and white brush-cut hair, banged against his knees as he moved down the aisle, finally dropping into the seat directly to Jack’s right.

An attractive, serious woman wearing an equally professional gray pantsuit, with a jacket cut large enough to accommodate her shoulder rig and 9mm, made her way up his aisle. There was something about a woman and a gun that was a turn-on for Jack. Or maybe it was her shoulder-length auburn hair that shone as bright as her mirrored sunglasses. She head-tossed her hair off her face as she took the seat to Jack’s left, feigning interest in the game.

Jack wasn’t surprised by the untimely visit; he had made the feds on his flight from LAX and been waiting for them to play their hand.

“To what do I deserve the honor?” he said, his eyes lasered on the game as the Ohio State Buckeyes headed for the bench and the Stanford Cardinals ran onto the field. Chris had been in the bullpen warming up for the past twenty minutes but remained sidelined; the game was tied three to three at the top of the ninth, and it seemed unlikely he’d be called to play.

“I couldn’t do it,” the female FBI agent said, her eyes never leaving the field. Jack didn’t respond, so she continued, “Come to the game if it were my kid. Too much pressure.” Her voice carried an easy strength, and she wasn’t going to be deterred by his silence. “Especially with all your boy has been through,” letting Jack know he had no secrets from the FBI.

Ohio pounded a ball toward the left-field fence. The batter shot by first and was held up on second by the third-base coach.

It never surprised Jack how much the government knew about civilians’ lives, but his son was sacrosanct. And he knew if he spoke right away, he might not be able to control his growing anger at the personal violation.

The male agent, picking up on Jack’s energy, took off his glasses and proffered his hand. “Special Agent Ted Flannery.” He looked to be pushing fifty but had the body and vigor of a thirty-year-old. “Sorry for the intrusion, Jack, but we’ve come to ask for your help.” Flannery’s hand hung in midair until it became clear Jack wasn’t going to respond. Undaunted, the agent went on, “You’ve had a good relationship with the FBI throughout your career, Jack, and beyond. It’s been duly noted and appreciated, and because of your recent history, you’re in a unique position to be of service.”

“What do you need?” Jack asked, giving away nothing.

“Vincent Cardona,” the female agent said, answering his question. “You visited his home in Beverly Hills on the seventh of May. You were on Cardona’s payroll, hired to find his daughter, Angelica Marie, who’d been kidnapped. An altercation occurred. You slammed Cardona up against the wall, Peter Maniacci drew down on you, and Cardona’s cousin Frankie, with two other gunmen on his heels, ran out of the kitchen, ready to shoot you dead if ordered.”

“You wired the house?” Jack asked.

“Cardona’s too smart for that. He does a sweep once a week. No . . .” She paused for effect. “The fourth gunman was an FBI agent.”

The level of intensity in her tone wasn’t lost on Jack. She had referred to her agent in the past tense, but there was something more. Something unspoken, Jack thought.

Ohio thundered a ball over the fence for a two-run homer. Jack’s body tensed as the coach walked onto the field, huddled with the pitcher and catcher, and signaled toward the sidelines.

Chris Bertolino, number 11, ran out onto the mound and tossed a few back and forth with the catcher as the field was cleared and the game resumed. At six-two, Chris was as tall as Jack, but lean and rangy with sandy brown hair, a gift from his mother’s side of the family.

Jack raised his hand to his lips, and the feds let him concentrate on the game. They knew Bertolino wasn’t a man who could be pressured, and understood the personal significance of this moment.

Chris sucked in a deep breath, nodded to the catcher, and unloaded. His first pitch flew high on the outside. Ball one.

His second pitch went wide. Ball two.

The third pitch was hit. A sizzling line drive caught by the shortstop. First out.

The catcher walked out to the mound, whispered a few words to Chris, and resumed his position behind home plate.

Chris nodded, his game face on. If nerves were at play, he showed nothing to his opponent. He wound up and fired a fast-ball. Strike one. He denied the first two signals from the catcher and threw a second blistering pitch. Strike two. The crowd in the stands started to get loud. Chris tossed a slider, wide. The batter reached, fanned for the ball, and came up empty. Strike three.

The stadium erupted as the second batter stepped into the dugout and tossed his helmet in disgust.

The crowd started chanting and Jack’s stomach tightened. The lanky Buckeye leadoff batter made a big show of whipping his bat to loosen up before flashing a dead eye toward Chris, hocking a loogie onto the red clay, and stepping up to the plate.

Chris smoked a fastball.

The batter swung and made contact. The ball took a short hop and was plucked up by the second baseman, who threw Ohio out at first.

The crowd leaped to its feet as Chris led the team off the field, having stopped the flow of blood.

Jack let out a long, even breath, trying to slow his beating heart.

Chris never made it to bat. The first three Stanford starters were struck out in succession.

Stanford lost the game five to three, but it was a personal triumph for Chris, and Jack wished he were alone to savor the moment.

“I’ve got to get down to my boy,” he said to the female agent, who seemed to be in charge.

“Our agent disappeared three weeks ago,” she said, clearly un-willing to relinquish the moment. “He was deep undercover, and we believe he was on to something major. He never checked in, never filed a final report.”

“You should call in the cops.”

“We won’t jeopardize the case we’ve built against Vincent Cardona.”

“I’ve been down that rabbit hole,” Jack said, ending their impromptu meeting. “Don’t want anything to do with the man.” He stepped past the woman.

“Jack,” she said. The undercurrent in her voice, a sadness, struck a chord and turned him in place. She reached out with her card and looked up to lock eyes with him. “Liz Hunter. Think about it, Jack, and call me. Any time.” And then, “We could use your help.”
Agent Hunter wore light makeup on her clear tanned skin. She couldn’t have been over thirty, but her wide forehead was etched with fine worry lines. The hazards of the job, Jack decided. Her cheekbones were high and strong, her figure athletic, her slender, elegant neck tilted slightly to make her point. Jack found himself wondering what her eyes looked like.

“Why should I get involved?”

“The missing agent is my brother.”

Jack nodded, took the card, turned, and made his way down the steep concrete steps toward the Cardinals locker room.

***

Excerpt from The Fourth Gunman by John Lansing. Copyright © 2017 by John Lansing. Reproduced with permission from John Lansing. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

John Lansing

Best-selling author John Lansing started his career as an actor in New York City. He spent a year at the Royale Theatre performing the lead in the Broadway production of “Grease” before putting together a rock ‘n’ roll band and playing the iconic club CBGB.

Lansing closed up his Tribeca loft and headed for the West Coast where he landed a co-starring role in George Lucas’ “More American Graffiti,” and guest-starred on numerous television shows.

During his fifteen-year writing career, Lansing wrote and produced “Walker Texas Ranger,” co-wrote two CBS Movies of the Week, and co-executive produced the ABC series “Scoundrels.”

John’s first book was Good Cop Bad Money, a true crime tome he co-wrote with former NYPD Inspector Glen Morisano.

The Devil’s Necktie, his first Jack Bertolino novel, became a best seller on Barnes & Noble and hit #1 in Amazon’s Kindle store in the Crime Fiction genre.

Jack Bertolino returns in John’s fourth novel, “The Fourth Gunman.”

A native of Long Island, John now resides in Los Angeles.

Catch Up With John On www.johnlansing.net;,

Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!

My Review

5 Stars

Undercover FBI agent Luke Hunter is working on an illegal mob gambling ship off the coast of California when he disappears. Luke’s sister gets in touch with retired inspector Jack Bertolino to find her brother. Jake has an agreement with a mob boss that he just wants to know what happened to Luke and will report only that. He discovers that Luke disappeared along with a half million dollars of the mobs money. There is a lot more going on than just Luke and the money disappearing and Jack is going to have some of those favors he has collected to find out the truth.

Jack is one of those guys that you can’t help but like. But he dances around the line of legal and illegal. Because of that he has some serious connections that he is going to have to use to find out what happened to Luke and keep himself alive. And starting a relationship with a mob bosses daughter is going to be one of those things that just might kill him.

This is the first Jack Bertolino story that I have read and had no problem jumping in to it, it felt like it could be a stand-alone book. Although there were a couple things that I’m sure reading the other books would be more familiar. This book is full of action, danger, and not a clear truth as to what happened.

If you like thrillers and action I think you will enjoy this book. I really liked it and will be checking out the other three books in the series.

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

Tour Participants:

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Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for John Lansing. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com gift Card. The giveaway begins on February 19 and ends on March 25, 2018.

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

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The Deal

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The Deal by S C Cunningham

A Paranormal Thriller for those who dare to believe that there is something else out there…

At the age of four, Amy was taken…She survived.

A week later, another little girl was taken…She didn’t.

Angry that a bad man has gotten away with murder, feisty young Amy Fox makes a deal with God. When she dies, if she’s been a good girl, would God let her sit on a cloud for a while, invisible, to get bad people who slip through his fingers?

Her deal and God long forgotten, career girl Amy mysteriously dies. Her lifeless body is found beneath a London underground commuter train.

She awakens in the afterlife to discover an international network of like-minded souls who’ve all made the same deal. A sophisticated MI5-esque justice machine sits in the skies, protecting, righting wrongs, tracking criminals, and working within strict rules of play…all against time.

Each country’s Unit shares intelligence, surveillance, and resources to deactivate dangerous situations. The only evidence they leave behind during their earthly visits is a small white feather sashaying to the ground.

In a chaotic world, powerful adversaries try to close her Unit down. A complex SAS vigilante has been assigned to work as her partner, but with his jealous violent ex-girlfriend on her heels and with her own vendetta to settle, Amy has never worked so hard in her entire earthly life. She has to wonder if making a deal with God was a mistake.

Amazon USA     Amazon UK     Goodreads

S.C. Cunningham

Author’s Bio

Author of The Penance List, Unfinished Business and The Deal,  Siobhan C Cunningham (S C Cunningham) creates Paranormal Romance and Psychological Crime Thrillers with a skilled mix of fuelled tension, dark humour, and pulsating sex scenes. Having worked in the industries she writes about, her novels offer a fresh level of sincerity and authority, rare in fiction.

Abducted as a child, she survived; and every night for months afterward, she prayed to God, asking for a deal. This personal journey sparked the fuse behind the intriguing and riveting fictional world she portrays in The Deal, the first in The Fallen Angel series. Twenty years later Cunningham crossed paths with a violent serial attacker, sowing the seed for her mind-bending thriller, The David Trilogy; The Penance List, Unfinished Business, For My Sins.

An ex-model, British born of Irish roots, she married a rock musician and has worked in the exciting worlds of music, film, sports, celebrity management and as a Crime Investigator for the British Police (Wanted & Absconder Unit, Major Crime Team, Intelligence Analyst, Investigations Hub).

Her first novel, The Penance List has been adapted to film screenplay.

She is the proud mother to contemporary Artist Scarlett Raven and owned by three dogs.

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LinkedIn      Google+     Amazon Author Page

My Review

4 stars

When Amy Fox was four years old she was kidnapped and raped. She managed to get away but the next little girl her attacker took was not so lucky. She made a deal with God that when she dies she wants to go after the bad guys that don’t get punished. Years later and the promise forgotten, Amy dies via train.

She then wakes and learns that she is not part of The Unit, a specialized group that looks to protect those in danger. But there is something going on besides what you see on the surface. It seems that some people in The Unit don’t really want to help the innocent and proceed to cause problems for the rest of the group.

This is a dark story with very realistic descriptions of abuse, rape, and such. But to get the point across in this story I think this works well. I love The Unit and everything they stand for. Although Amy forgets about her promise, she quickly fits in and becomes a killer woman fighting to protect the innocent.

I also enjoyed the romance aspect between John and Amy although there were moments that I was not that impressed with John. I think this really added to the story without drowning it.

This is a great story and one that I recommend checking out. I’m excited to see what SC Cunningham comes up with for book 2.

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.

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Prison of Statues

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Book Title:   Prison of Statues  (Book 1 of The Statues Trilogy) by Ainsley Shay

Genre(s): YA Paranormal Romance

Everything appears colorless in Iris’ world…until she falls asleep and the nightmares begin.

Iris’ plan to stay in her small town of Gradywoods just long enough to bury her father shatters when she finds a letter he wrote to her only two days before his death. On the evening of his funeral, her nightmare bursts with colors. Being colorblind since birth, Iris feels both amazed and apprehensive, but when she wakes in the morning, her world turns gray once again.

The day after her father’s funeral, Iris finds refuge from her pain at Yves Antique Pages, the small bookshop owned by Mr. Yves, her adopted grandfather. She soon encounters three mysterious strangers who are inexplicably drawn to her. Through secrets and deceit, she fears they are all here for one reason…her.

Night after night, the nightmares continue into a series of disturbing events where Iris finds herself caught in a vibrant collision of past and present. In them, she witnesses another’s loss, torture, and broken love. As each episode escalates, she’s brought closer to a place where death may be a more satisfying end.

As Iris’ world reaches fragile limits, she must find a way out of an uncompromising fight for her life and for a love she may once have had.

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Ainsley Shay

Author’s Bio

Ainsley Shay’s passion for writing sparks from her unstoppable brain conjuring random first sentences, a single trait of a character, or a single thread of a plot. But, when her love for the fantastical world of fiction, where anything can happen takes over, it’s exactly at that moment she is reminded that the possibilities are endless. And, there is where the fun begins.

She surrounds herself with positive people and strives for balance in everything (rarely finds it, but she’ll never give up looking for it!). She sleeps with rocks and dreams in her pillowcase, loves audio books, has more jeans with holes than without, is fascinated with the word “hence”, and has a beta fish named Enzo, who excitedly meets her at his window each morning.
Ainsley resides in South Florida with her incredible husband and three amazing daughters. She loves the beach, but like most Floridians takes that beautiful part of our state for granted. (She’s working on that!)

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Other Works by Ainsley Shay:

Adelina’s Curse (Book 2 of The Statues Trilogy)

The Carving Witch (Book 3 of The Statues Trilogy)

After the Curtain Falls

Delicate Thorns

Catching Bait

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Excerpt

The front door opened. I reached across the passenger seat and rolled down the window. He was not quite silhouetted as light bathed him from behind. I could easily see the details of his shirtless, firm body. My dream hardly gave justice to the real thing. He stood on the porch with the phone still held to his ear. “Do you want to come in?”

“Yes.” This was not a good idea. I meant, it was a great idea, the best idea I ever had. But, it was bad. Bad. Bad. Bad. I got out of my car to go to him. Blacwin waited for me on the porch. It wasn’t until I heard him breathe as I climbed the few steps of the porch that I realized we both still held the phones against our ears. He whispered, “Hi,” into the receiver.

“Hi.” His bare chest was a distraction, as was the line that led from his chest all the way down to the waistline of his jeans.

“I guess we don’t need these anymore.”

Agreeing, I lowered the phone. We smiled sheepishly at each other. Bad idea, Iris. This is how things that probably shouldn’t happen, happen. But, right now, I really wanted those things to happen.

“I hope this isn’t too creepy, me showing up on your doorstep at four-thirty in the morning.”

“Creepier things have happened.” His smile touched his eyes, and simultaneously, every other part of me, too. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more alive than in those countless seconds of staring into his eyes. It was like he knew every secret, every moment that had ever happened in my life. He pushed open the door and gestured for me to enter. I did. As I passed him, I caught a glimpse of the pendant resting in the hollow of his throat. Unconsciously, I took a sharp intake of breath. It was exactly the one from my dream. I shook my head and tried to conjure some rational explanation. I had to have glimpsed it before and tucked the image into the layers of my subconscious. No, I haven’t. I felt positive I had never seen it.

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