Required Reading

Life is complicated enough without getting into hotwater with federal agencies so: TAKE NOTE Many things I review I got at no charge in exchange for an honest review. Consider this as informing you that ALL things I review may have been gotten at no charge. Realistically about 60% but in order to keep things above board just assume that I got the stuff free. I do not collect information on my readers. If cookies or other tracking stuff is used on my blogs it is due to BLOGGER not ME. Apparently the European Union's new rules state I need to inform you if cookies are being use. If they are it isn't byu me, consider yourself INFORMED.
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Books I have authored.

Many times I receive books for FREE to give them an honest review. I do not get paid to give a good or bad review. Spotlights are promotional and should be regarded as advertising for the book spotlighted. Regardless of where or how I got a book, my review will be as honest as I can make it.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Bone Labyrinth by James Rollins

This is one of those books that have you scratching your head and wondering where the line between fact and fiction may lie.   Reminiscent of an Indiana Jones thriller, Rollins postulates a prehistoric society that influenced the dawn of mankind.  This is done in conjunction with the attempt to isolate the human genome and generate planned mutation.   Considering some of the news out of China recently about gene editing, the story may not be so far-fetched.

The Chinese figure prominently as the villains

in the book.  Their willingness to defy both accepted cultural dogma and societal norms as well as ignoring treaties is clearly illustrated in both the story and the current headlines.

The development of Baako, a gorilla, and his relationship with the other characters is both sad and heartwarming. 

Rollins does an excellent job creating a plausible plot but you wonder if he and Dan Brown might be drinking buddies.

I enjoyed the book and recommend it. 

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Spotlight on E.A. Aymar

E.A. Aymar’s The Unrepentant is a gripping story of revenge and recovery, examining the dark corners of the human mind

Fairfax, VA -- As a respected and involved member of the mystery thriller community, E.A. Aymar’s latest book, The Unrepentant (March 4, 2019, Down and Out Books), is sure to be highly anticipated across the country.
Eighteen-year old Charlotte Reyes ran away from an abusive home only to end up fooled, kidnapped, and spirited across the country by a group of criminals. When she is rescued by Mace Peterson, a former soldier, they can’t seem to shake the gang or the crooked cop paid to bring her back. Seeking the revenge she feels is owed, Charlotte realizes she only has one option. She has to fight.
Corruption, cliffhangers, and violence drive this page-turner, while current issues relating to legalized sex work and mental health comment on relevant conversations that the public is focusing on right now.
E.A. Aymar’s other thrillers include the novel-in-stories The Night of the Flood (in which he served as co-editor and contributor), as well as I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead and You’re As Good As Dead. Aymar’s column, “Decisions and Revisions,” appears monthly in the Washington Independent Review of Books, and he is also the Managing Editor of The Thrill Begins, International Thriller Writers’ online resource for aspiring and debut thriller writers; he also serves on the Board of the International Thriller Writers, as Vice President of Author Programs. In addition to ITW, he is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. Aymar also runs the Noir at the Bar series for Washington, D.C., and has hosted and spoken at a variety of crime fiction, writing, and publishing events nationwide. He was born in Panama and now lives and writes in the D.C./MD/VA triangle.
Praise for “The Unrepentant”
The scary thing about E.A. Aymar is not that he is one of the most promising and talented hard boiled crime writers of his generation, but that he tells his tales of revenge like he has actually lived them.
Vincent Zandri, NY Times and USA Today bestselling author

Gritty and fleet, THE UNREPENTANT takes an unflinching look at things that aren't to be forgiven. Aymar's storytelling is timely, thoughtful, and well-informed and will stay with you long after The End.
Jamie Mason, author of THREE GRAVES FULL and MONDAY’S LIE

Brutal, dark and disturbing, Ed Aymar's THE UNREPENTANT packs a punch not easy to forget.
Zoƫ Sharp, author of the Charlie Fox crime thriller series

THE UNREPENTANT is a powerful, darkly evocative story that features an unforgettable protagonist in the wily Charlotte Reyes. These elements combine to make for a thrilling revenge tale peppered with sharp humor and feeling both timely and timeless. E.A. Aymar has arrived.”
Alex Segura, acclaimed author of BLACKOUT and DANGEROUS ENDS

Savage, nuanced, and infused with Aymar's signature dry wit, THE UNREPENTANT is an enjoyable hardboiled tale that pulls no punches. Compulsively readable, this is E.A. Aymar's best novel to date.
Jennifer Hillier, author of CREEP and WONDERLAND

Aymar tackles a horrific problem with unflinching courage and wit. THE UNREPENTANT rewards readers with crisp prose, relentless thrills, and characters you’d want on your team in what is, at its core, a modern-day brawl between good and evil. I couldn’t put it down.
 Wendy Tyson, author of ROOTED IN DECEIT

THE UNREPENTANT is a gripping and unnerving tale about the sex trade, American justice, and what it means to be a hero. E.A. Aymar takes on a taboo subject with honesty and courage.
Allison Leotta, author of THE LAST GOOD GIRL

A tale of unflinching brutality, told with dark humour and bursting with empathy for both victim and hapless criminal alike, THE UNREPENTANT is an action-packed, fast-moving thrill ride sure to leave readers breathless.
Owen Laukkanen, bestselling author of THE PROFESSIONALS

An Interview with E.A. AYMAR

  1. The details for the crime, law, and sex trafficking elements of the storyline are very in-depth. How did you conduct research for this aspect of the novel?

I read everything I could...and the reading was horrific. I came across volumes of painfully detailed accounts about sex trafficking from women - it’s almost always women - trapped within the practice. The brutality that these women (and, often, children)  undergo is unimaginable, and I think that’s part of the reason societies have allowed it to continue. We can’t confront the truth of what’s happening. We’d prefer not to look. But I found it impossible to look away.
And, from that exhausting research, the story emerged.
I also interviewed a number of people involved in organizations dedicated to the prevention of sex trafficking, as well as women involved in the practice. Those people are the strongest I’ve ever met, and their openness touched me. I hope I did them justice.

2.                You’ve written before about the importance of diversity in contemporary fiction. How did that factor into the writing of The Unrepentant?
Like me, my characters have always been of mixed race, and it’s honestly not something I thought much about. But I didn’t see those characters in books or television or movies while I was growing up, and it wasn’t until recently that I realized I’ve been creating the characters I wished I’d had as a young reader. If someone doesn’t quite feel like he or she belongs to society in some way, and they read my work, I hope they feel a sense of connection. I’d love to give someone that shared experience.
To that end, I’m really proud of the diversity among the novel’s protagonists. I live in an area filled with a mix of races and religions, and I think that mix represents the future of America, as well as the next movement in American literature. It’s an exciting time to see this change, and it’s exhilarating to be a part of it.
3.                Guilt is an underlying theme that reveals itself through different characters motives and actions. What can you say about how guilt relates to the title?
Oh, good question! The title could refer to a couple of characters within the book, but for me, it’s Charlotte. It was important for me to create a strong female lead, but this lead had to do things I didn’t quite accept. I don’t know if I agree with Charlotte’s decisions, but I do believe she would make them. And to do that, she needed to go somewhere she may never come back from. Somewhere I’m not sure I could go. Those types of people have always fascinated me.

4.                What is one of the most valuable things you’ve taken from the writing groups you belong to?
Really, so much! I was recently elected to the Board of the International Thriller Writers, and this summer, I found myself sitting at a table with Lee Child, R.L. Stine, David Morrell, MJ Rose, Steve Berry, Jenny Milchman...all writers who have written books that appeal to a wide swath of readers. I don’t think I said a word the entire time, which probably made for a dubious first impression, but there was so much to learn. The writers weren’t in “presentation” mode, they were all just casually talking about writing and the industry. I could have easily taken pages of notes.

The thing that struck me, when listening to all of these tremendous writers, was how often their advice came in the form of stories they’d heard, or advice they’d received from others. Essentially, they listened, and listened well. That’s what I took from that first meeting, and the advice I’d give to others. Always listen. And don’t just listen to what people say; listen to how they say it. A single conversation can tell you more about someone than they may want to reveal.

5.                How do you work to include violence in a story without glorifying it?
There are a couple of themes that seem like they’ll always factor into my writing, and violence is definitely one. And it’s not one I ever want to glorify. I want to prevent violence as realistically as I can, which means that it’s necessarily repulsive. I don’t want to write something too distressing for readers, but I do want it to be disturbing.
You can see the problem that presents when you’re trying to sell books.
Like a growing number of Americans, violence has personally affected my life on multiple occasions, and it’s never been the way it’s depicted in popular movies. Violence is messy, and distressing, and not easily resolved. And there’s nothing we can really do about it. We’re at a time in our history where - I think - a lot of people feel helpless. The amount of media we have is wonderful, but we’re inundated with information, and absorbing it is often overwhelming. I guess that’s why I write about violence. It’s the only way I can control it.

Monday, January 21, 2019

The Moroccan Girl by Charles Cumming

Kit Carradine is an author, a financial and literary

ily successful author as opposed to the bulk of us. He writes spy thrillers and is moderately happy until he isn’t.   He finds the lure of service to the Queen irresistible when approached about a mission. 

Kit discovers that living what he writes about is not exactly the bowl of cherries that he expected.   A liberal terrorist organization, the Russians, the CIA and Mi5/6 who knows who else are part of Kit’s indoctrination into the word of international intrigue.

As he struggles in unfamiliar waters, Kit finds many of the things he has included in his books are wrong and some are surprisingly right.

The book has an intricate and complex plot, I enjoyed it 

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Book of Fate by Brad Meltzer

The Book of Fate by Brad Meltzer
Wes Holloway is a presidential aide who undergoes physical and psychological trauma while serving the President.

Eight years later Wes discovers much of what he thought he knew about his trauma was flat out wrong.  The consequences of that revelation have a tumultuous impact on his life.

Meltzer does a good story with a very complex plot.   Do not give up, I found it very confusing initially but once you learn you the players the game becomes more understandable.   There is a high level of both tension and deception both brought about by people who you expect to be trustworthy.

I enjoyed the complexity of the story and the thorough wrap up. 

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Friday, January 11, 2019

sunshine state by d.p. Lyle

Jake Longley is an ex-baseball player who is a resistant private eye type.  Apparently, this is book is part of a series featuring Jake and I sadly confess this is the first one I have read.   Jake and Nicole, described as a bomb shell, are tasked to find a killer for a crime that another killer has confessed to and has been incarcerated for.  Whew, a mouthful of a sentence which suffers from questionable syntax and grammar.  I did love my grammer.  

Jake and Nicole have a relationship somewhat similar to Spencer and Hawk except that Hawk would be a beautiful woman and Jake isn’t nearly as dangerous as Spencer.  The repartee is the similarity.  

Jake’s Dad and his lifelong friend, the enormous and bottomless Pancake fill out the major characters.
The story is convoluted enough to satisfy the aficionado of the genre and there is enough action to satisfy the less discerning reader.

It was a good mystery, I enjoyed the characterizations and the plot.

I intend on reading more from Lyle.  

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Hemlock Bay by Catherine Coulter

This is a Dillon and Sherlock book primarily.   However the story is more about Lily, Dillon’s sister.  Dillon and Sherlock are FBI agents featured in many of Coulter’s books.   There is a supernatural flavor to part of this book and the rest is how Lily fights back from being a victim.

Coulter runs a double offense very well.  The two stories are mutually exclusive but tie together very well.  The portrayal of the sociopathic brother and sister was frightening as was the obsessive and reclusive art collector.

This was an exciting story and I highly recommend it.

 This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Hear My Heart by Maryann Jordan

Hear My Heart

Baytown Boys Book 8

Maryann Jordan

Release Date: December 18, 2018

Military duty called them away to war zones, but after tours overseas, the group of friends found their way back home as men, seeking the peaceful little seaside town. Now, the band of brothers, together once more, work to provide a place for less fortunate veterans to call home.   Aiden MacFarlane came home from the war determined to live life to the fullest and that included running his pub with his brother, hanging with his friends, coaching with the American Legion youth baseball teams, and enjoying the company of the vacationing ladies who passed through the little seaside town of Baytown.   War widower Lia Smith had moved to Baytown with her young daughter, and the last thing she was interested in was the town’s player.   Her job is to find out who might be stealing money from the town and she knows her investigation will ruffle feathers.   But as they got to know each other, they realized there was so much more to them that the labels of widower and Peter Pan.   Aiden falls for Lia and her adorable daughter, but when she is threatened by someone, he takes on the role of protector.   Will Aiden be able to save them before someone takes away his chance to truly live life to the fullest?   Scenes in the book are similar to what you would find in an R-Rated movie. Readers 18+ please.

About the Author:

As an Award Winning, Amazon International Bestselling and All-Star author, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble Best Selling Author, I have always been an avid reader. In 2013 I started a blog to showcase wonderful writers. In 2014, I finally gave in to the characters in my head pleading for their story to be told. Thus, Emma's Home was created. My first novel, Emma's Home became an Amazon Best Seller in 3 categories within the first month of publishing. Its success was followed by the rest of the Fairfield Series and then led into the Love's Series. Soon, other spin-off series came along and 8 of my books have made Amazon top 100 Bestselling books. Gabe, from the Alvarez Security Series won Silver Medal and 5 Star Review by the 2016 Reader's Choice Awards. Honor Love was an award winning novel from the 2016 Reader's Choice Awards. Serial Love was an award finalist novel from the 2016 Reader's Choice Awards. Coming Home was awarded the 5 Star Review by the 2017 Reader's Choice Awards. My books are filled with sweet romance and hot sex; mystery, suspense, real life characters and situations. My heroes are alphas, take charge men who love the strong, independent women they fall in love with. I worked as a counselor in a high school and have been involved in education for the past 30 years. I have just retired and look forward to more time with family and writing! I have been married to a wonderfully patient man for 36 years and have 2 adult, very supportive daughters. When writing, my dog or one of my cats will usually be found in my lap! I love to hear from readers, so please email me!